Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Sunshine) Hi everyone, how is everyone doing? It's a long weekend and things around here are getting very busy. Today was Little Miss Sunshine's birthday (she is finally double digits). My sister came over as she is off for the week. The birthday girl wanted to go for dinner and then bowling so we were out quite late. On Thursday after school she will have her girlfriends over for a little party. She wanted to make it a baking party so we will be baking muffins and pizza and cookies. It will be a fun and very busy night. Then Friday is Good Friday so we are in the process of arranging our yearly fish and chips outing. We should be getting our book club books when we are together on Friday. Then Saturday we will celebrate Easter and Little Miss Sunshine's Birthday at our home with both sides of the family; so I will be busy preparing for 30 people. It will be a very relaxing (??) weekend. Actually, I am looking forward to everything except all of the work that is involved. (Carolin) I don't know about relaxing and it is Friday morning and you have already stressed me out! The little one said she had fun at Little Miss Sunshines birthday party. Thanks for inviting her.

(Cathy) Hey Sunshine, you will be very busy this weekend. I bet you don't want to change places with me! I will be working, Good Friday, Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday; then I get two days off! I have taken advantage of the weather though. I have done all of my laundry and hung it outside to dry. I love to hang clothes outside to dry, nothing beats that warm sunny fragrance. I am doing my laundry right now the first load is hanging outside as I type. have been tidying my garden beds, too. Please note all budding gardeners..... please resist the urge to rake your lawns and dig in your garden beds! It is much too soon! We have clay soil and the moisture (frost) is still coming up from the ground. Too much walking and digging and raking will just compact the clay and come August you will have bricks. Stay off the lawn!!! Just go around and crumple the leaves back onto the garden bed. You should make the neighbour behind me read this, they are out there raking away. Tidy up broken twigs and prune whatever needs pruning at this time of year. I hope I will have time to sit and read a book and drink a cup of tea, (my favourite past time), in the garden. We are all looking forward to fish and chips this year! (Carolin) Hi all, I am late typing thankfully Cathy sent a email reminding me to get on and type. Yes it is Good Friday we are home from church and it was a nice service. I am hoping to get my laundry and tidy the house today before we all go out for Fish and Chips. I hope everyone had a good week. Work was good though my $$ are down I am assuming it is because it is the first week back for us after March Break, and the weather is nice so the kids want to be outside. I spoke to the principal about what is going to happen next year. He still has nothing confirmed so I am getting very frustrated. I have to type up a letter with what I want and give him and the board a deadline. I have also started telling parents and students that if they want me back next year and they find having food services in the school beneficial then they need to email the principal and any board members and let them know. I am hoping it might put a fire under the board and they will get my future settled once and for all.

I wish everyone a very happy Easter and amongst all the family, dinner's, and chocolate may we all remember who sacrificed his life for us so we could be saved.

Happy Easter Everyone!

May the Lord bless you all.

Happy Easter to everyone and have a great long weekend. The weather is suppose to be amazing!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dancing with the stars (season #10) week 2

I am watching the show as I type.

Nicole (Pussy Cat Doll) wow she is amazing! She got two 10.s and one 8.

Pamela Anderson has a Marylin Monroe vibe tonight and I look forward to seeing her dance. Wow, she danced and it was to, "I wanna be kissed by you." It was really good.

Kate Gosselin and her partner are having trouble and he seems to have walked out on her. They have gone to commercial. They are back and oh no they are dancing. I don't understand how she can be so bad. It is actually painful to watch and I feel really bad for her. The positive thing is that she is still trying and she can only get better.

I actually think that Buzz is slightly better then Kate at the moment.

Well elimination night is coming and we (the girls and I) all feel that Kate will be the one eliminated.

We will just have to wait and see.

The Celebrity Apprentice

Well last night there was another episode of TCA and they had to come up with an editorial about identity theft and how to protect yourself.

The men's team (rock solid) used Curtis Stone as their ambassador and the women (Tenacity) used Sharron Osborne as their ambassador. The women's team produced a better product and won the task.

The board room elimination was different as Darryl Strawberry (MLB baseball player) asked to be fired. We are not sure if he is home sick or something and all of his team mates were trying to talk him out of it. In the end after much talk Strawberry was fired.

It was a bit of a boring show and I don't know if I will be watching the show for the entire season.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bench Talk: Friendships and Why Friendships Are So Important

The title speaks for itself. Is it possible to live without a good close friendship and would you want to?

(Sunshine) Having friends is very important to me. Friends come in different ways. There is the friendship that you have with your spouse, and that with your children. You can have a close friendship with your siblings and with other family members. Finally, there are friendships that form from getting to know a complete stranger who one day becomes a good close friend. I cherish each and every one of my friendships. They are an important part of my life. What makes someone a good close friend? For me, it is a sharing in each others lives. To share there must be a comfort level and trust and respect for each other. How is it that this can happen with some people that you meet and not with others? Well, I think that some of that comes down to personalities and similarities in values and how you live your lives. Ultimately you have to like the person that you are friends with and sometimes you need to work at maintaining a friendship. With everyone being so busy, making time for it all can be a struggle. In the end the effort is worth it. I think that a good friendship usually also comes very naturally. There is not much thought put into it and suddenly things just happen and you wake up one day and find that you have a new friend in your life. You can be yourself with your friend and they will still love you. They can share in your pain and celebrate in your successes. You care for each other and feel what the other is going through. Your lives are intertwined and you are richer for having that person in your life. You can rely on them and although the answers to your questions may not always be yes, you respect that and remember how they are always there for you.

The hard part comes when an existing friendship starts to change. Then what? It can be hard and confusing. You can have two really good people with two sides for why things fell apart and sometimes it's not even about why. Blaming helps no one. It works better just to understand that things in life change and so do people and we all have to respect what others want in their lives, even if in the end that means the existing friendship has changed its form.

In conclusion, I guess that it is possible to live without a good and close friendship because anything in life is possible but I am grateful that I am blessed with great friendships in my life that come from both family and friends.

To my good friends who I share this blog with, I love you all very much and I hope that we will grow old together. (Carolin) Guess what, we may grow old together, but we will do it without my grey hair showing! Yes, I spent three hours at the hairdressers yesterday and had my hair cut, coloured, foiled, and styled. Yes, I am now $183.00 lighter but I don't have any more grey! I can't wait to see your new look. I go tomorrow to get rid of the grey and da kink! ($125.00)

With everything in your life, things change and so do friends. I have found that you have girlfriends for different times of your life. But as your needs and theirs grow and life happens friendships evolve. It is important for women to have friends other than their partner. They need the outlet. Because we, as women, like to think, over analyse, and discuss our feeling, issues, thoughts; we need more than a spouse to let us do that. I have had and have some wonderful friends and am thankful for them. Now, this blog is getting a little too mushy for me so I have to go and nag my kids to get ready for school :(

(Cathy) Carolin is right. Women do need girlfriends. Close girlfriends! As much as we can share with a partner, there are subjects that women like to talk and discuss and trash and pick apart until there is nothing left of the topic! Husbands don't have the patience for this. (ok maybe some do) Trust is another valued aspect of close girlfriends. It's the ability to be there, present either in person or spirit and not judge! It's to know when to offer advice and to know when to shut up! It's also the ability to know when your girlfriend needs space and even when they are hurting and you want so badly to help..... it's knowing when to stand back and wait.

I thank God every day for these ladies with whom I share my life. I trust these ladies with my life and I know that if my life were to end prematurely that these ladies would be present with my family to take care of what my life has left behind. (talk about mushy, eh, Carolin!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy)Phew! I got lucky. I went to bed last night and remembered that I had forgotten to set up this post! I work early in the morning so as I came home I rushed to turn on my computer to see how many nasty e-mails ( :) ) I received. Guess what..... not one. Like I said, I got lucky, lol!

(excuse me a moment as I send the ladies an e-mail now).... done.

So, how was everyone's week? We have settled with the insurance company. They were great! It's funny because, and I guess it's natural, I keep thinking I hear something outside. I need to relax and not let the break-in make me a prisoner in my own home. I know with the good weather coming it won't take long., and hey, it could have been a lot more serious, right?! (Carolin) We have had our cars rummaged through a number of times now (in the old house and this one) it is a little unsettling but eventually you get over it. The one thing we have learnt is not to keep anything of value in the cars.

Congrats again to the teenager for receiving her acceptance to her first choice University!!

Sunshine..... how was the trip to New York?

(Sunshine) We had a great time on our trip. It was very busy because we ran around all day and did so many things but at the same time I felt very relaxed the whole trip. We were at the border ready to cross into the US from Canada when I voiced to Mr. Sunshine that I thought that my passport was probably going to need to be renewed soon. Well he took a look at it and low and behold it had expired in January of this year. Well now what? I said that if they would not let me into the US then Mr Sunshine and the kids should proceed without me and I would meet them in Niagara Falls on the way back. Everyone voiced that they would not go on the trip without me. Well the customs officer never even noticed. So I got in, will they let me back out?

The first stop that we made was in New Jersey to Carlo's Bakery (The Cake Boss). Little Miss Sunshine watches this show every week so she was so excited and so was I. We took lots of pictures and bought some canoli, a crumb cake(sort of like a coffee cake) and a muffin. These were the things that Little Miss Sunshine wanted to taste. They were all delicious. We were there for about an hour and the store was very busy. We asked where the boss was and we were told that he was in Philadelphia. We were watching the stair case and we caught a glimpse of Mary, Cousin Anthony, the mom and Grace. We asked if Mary could come and meet Little Miss Sunshine and take a picture but we were told that Mary was busy and I could hear everyone else asking the same questions that I was. Everyone wanted to meet them. In the time period that I was there, hundreds of people visited the store. It was a fun experience. We were never rushed and we were made to feel welcome. We did meet Frankie and Stretch and Little Miss Sunshine took a picture with both of them. They were both really nice. Sounds really fun and I am sure it would mean more to me if I had a clue who any of these people were.

Then we headed over to New York. It was interesting as our hotel was sandwiched between flower shops in the middle of a street. You could drive right by it and not even know that it was a hotel. Every square foot of space in NYC is inhabited by something.

While in NYC, we visited the Statue of Liberty, skated at Rockefeller centre, saw The Phantom of the Opera, saw street performers and artists at Washington square, had a rickshaw tour of Central park, ate at Carnegie Deli and many other restaurants, Visited Julliard, visited Trump Tower, visited Little Italy and China town and did a lot of walking around and riding on the metro as well as visited Central Station. Oh yes and we played the big piano at FAO Schwartz.

There were a lot of interesting people and St Patrick's Cathedral was a very busy place as we were there on St Patrick's Day. There was a lot of celebrating going on. It was a see of green and everyone was well behaved.

Lets not forget Times Square, what a sight. Little Miss Sunshine and I had our picture up on one of the large bill boards for a period of time. It is a pretty cool place. There are thousands of people gathered in one area. NYC truly is the city that never sleeps.

We also visited ground zero and spoke to someone who is presently working on the new Freedom Tower project. He was in NYC at the time of 9\11 and he told us his story. It was really fascinating and I learned a lot. 4500 people lost there lives that day. The Twin Towers were struck and in total seven buildings actually disintegrated. The new Freedom Tower project is scheduled to be completed 2037 and the Freedom Tower is self will be taller then the CN tower (sorry about that said George the worker). It will be 1776 feet tall because that is the year that the declaration of independence was signed. Our conversation with George is still so fresh in my mind that I can remember every detail It was fascinating being there and I could not fathom to understand how the city must have been during that very difficult time. But, there was hope and happiness in George's eyes and in his smile and he could talk all night about his beloved city. Meeting him was one of my favourite parts of the entire trip. (carolin) Wow that sounds great but I think I would find also very emotional. Though I do find it a little wild that it will take another 27 years to complete. What are they building that will take a generation to complete?

Miss Teen Sunshine was constantly asking me if I like her future home town. She fell in Love with New York on a father daughter trip a few years a go and now I can understand why someone with her interests is so captivated by this unique city.

They let me back into Canada and we arrived home safe and sound. You mustn't of had any backpacks with you!!! (read on)

In conclusion I LOVE NEW YORK It has been a number of years since we have been but I too love everything about New York.

The little one and I have just got home from a day at the Museum. I have been so often with the teenager that just the thought makes me sigh. But the little one really wanted to go, we invited KD and little Mac and Cheese to come along as they had never been. Thankfully my mom had given me free passes (surprised?) She had six passes and we used 5 and gave one away. Thank goodness we did as it would of cost us $89.00 to get in. $89.00!!!!!!!!! is anyone else as outraged as me. If you go to any museum in NYC they are FREE!!!!!, same with Washington. When we went to Ottawa though there was an admission price it was nothing like this. Also my biggest complaint with the museum is what we are seeing under glass with security everywhere is not even the real thing! They show us copies of the real thing, also they have things that I don't understand why it is in a museum. Someone out there please educate me how a piece of fabric that is 2 inches by 2 inches really is what is left from a 1500 year old kimono?

The girls seemed to have fun in the ancient Greece exhibit. They spent there time giggling, pointing and taking pictures of the male Greek statues. It was really hard not to just laugh along with them as Cheese would point to the male statues body parts and the little one would snap pictures.

Near the beginning of our day we had a mean security guard come up to me and tell me I had to hand in my backpack at the coat check (free of charge) as back packs were not allowed. I explained that it had the little one medication in it. But he didn't seem to care. Also he never told us where the coat check was. Now keep in mind we went through admission and security check points as they call them and no one said anything to us. So of course I figured once we found the coat check I would hand it in and see what they would do about the meds. Well this guy followed us around and harassed us constantly. Now I have my back up and I am not going to give him the satisfaction, we moved to another floor then at one point well looking at a picture of some ancient thing (the real thing not being there of course). We had 5 security guards start walking around us and they were talking in their mics attached to there coat sleeves. KD, me and the kids made a quick right and we where able to give them the slip.

Finally after lunch we find the coat check they gave me a reusable bag to put the meds and my wallet in. None of us were wearing coats just sweaters so I told the kids that they could put their sweaters in the now empty backpack. Which the checker then told me that backpacks were free to check in but if we put a coat in one then we have to pay $8.00 ($2.00 of each sweater). Lets just say by the time I was done, the backpack was checked with the sweaters inside and nothing but a number tag exchanged hands. We continued on our way with security watching us every where we went. Security would tell the girls they were too loud, they walked to quickly, they weren't allowed to touch etc, etc, etc. By this time I was pissed and would normally never let them run around or bother anyone but not today. Girls thought they had hit pay dirt as we let them touch, jump, dance till their little hearts were content.

Now I am normally a rule abiding person, but what got my backpack in a tissie was was that there where others with backpacks, diaper bags, massive purses and they said nothing to them. And what it the issue with a backpack, how much of a threat can there be at the museum. Specially one that doesn't even show the real thing, just replicas. Also since when are two ponytail wearing moms with three girls a huge threat!

We were talking about going to the Science Centre on Saturday (I have free passes of course) but not sure if my picture is now been sent to all tourist venues.


Perhaps I should of just stayed At The Park today.

The Celebrity Apprentice

I am finding the show a little boring so far this season. I forgot how mean Donald Trump is.

I love Cyndi Lauper she is such a colourful character. Eliminated this week was the Sin Bad the comedian. Now who is going to make us laugh?

Curtis is one of my favourites. I use to watch him on Take Home Chef. I would love to run into him at the grocery store. My same 10 or so meals are so boring that even I am tired of them.

The most exciting part of the show so far is seeing all of the sights in New York as we were just there last week. Its cool when they film in spots that you were just standing in.

Dancing with the stars (Season #10)

What a premiere! The stars are so diverse and there is something for everyone. Jake the bachelor is back and watching over him is his beloved Vienna and Gia (didn't he already choose between the two of them)?

80 year old Buzz Aldrin, what a career and he is still young at heart. I don't know about his dancing though.

Pamela Anderson, that woman oozes sex appeal from every pore in her body.

Kate Gosselin, I didn't even recognize her. She should be the first one eliminated. Aren't there eight little people who require her undivided attention?

Nicole from the Pussy Cat Dolls, wow she was amazing!

Jessie James , I guess Donald Trump was right about him after all. (Oh, sorry wrong show).

There are many more stars involved but we will talk about them some other time. It should be a fun season.

American Idol

Well everyone American Idol has finally reached its top 10. My favourite of all is Crystal. I love her look and her unique sound. I think that she is in a league of her own. They could end the show right now if they want to because guess what Crystal will be the winner.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We Got Accepted!

Finally the big white envelope has arrived. What felt like every other grade 12 student had received their big white envelopes of acceptance. We sadly had not, the teenager and I had broke down and discussed what her plan B would since it appeared she wasn't getting any acceptances.

But now it doesn't matter cause the big white envelope has arrived and written on the outside in huge red letters it says CONGRATULATIONS. So right away I text the teenager at school (yes I know I am not supposed to, but this is important)

Me: the mail just came with a big envelope from your first choice. It says in big letter on the outside congratulations. Can I open it and text u. Just so you know I had to text that Congrats was on the outside so she wouldn't get in a snit that I opened her mail
The Teenager: Yes!
Me: Can I call you? The texting takes me to long
The Teenager: I'm in class
Me: Your accepted with a scholarship! Houners Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Studies!!!
The Teenager: YaaaaaaY!!! Re-close the envelope so I can open it when I get home
Me: Thinking ???? isn't the surprise over now, but I obediently put everything back in the envelope and try to make it look like it hasn't been frantically torn apart.

It has been a few hours now and every once and a while I look at the BWE (big white envelop). It actually brings a tear to my eye. She is growing up and after this summer things will never be the same. I am proud of her and know that this is the University she really wants to go to.

Once again my eyes veer to the BWE and I start to think why would they put a CONGRATULATIONS sticker on the outside of the envelope, doesn't it take the surprise away. But then it hit me the sticker is not for the applicant. Cause we all know that teenagers are not the one going out to get the mail (even when it is delivered to your front door). The only person in our house anyway who gets the mail is me. I believe CONGRATULATIONS sticker was put on for me. It was the Universities way of letting this crazy over involved, living vicariously through her daughter Mom know without breaking any federal laws of tampering mail that she is in!!!.

So to choice number one University, this mother says "THANK YOU".


Rick Hillier A Soldier First - Book Review

I just finished (Sunday) the bio by Rick Hillier I will be honest and admit I didn't really know much about him but that he had been the outspoken Chief of Defence for Canada.

I found the book very interesting and informative. Though at times when he spoke about military stuff it was way over my head! What I really liked reading was how he rose as a true leader without ever losing his Canadianism or losing sight on what was most important to him, his wife and children. Also, that he was able to do so much in his career and rise up through the ranks without ever losing his ethics. That alone is a huge accomplishment. I also found myself frustrated along with him while he dealt with Canadian bureaucracy and at times with other countries representatives. I cried when he talked about soldiers dying serving our country. He also talks about the emotional but amazing support from the Canadian people as each of our soldiers who have sacrificed their lives to save others have come home along the stretch of highway 401 renamed, "Highway of Hero's." I have written about my experience witnessing the "Highway of Hero's" and wondered at the time if there was any other country that did this. After reading General Hillier's book, I am even more proud and blessed to see this display of respect. From what I understand there is no other country in the world that honours their soldiers this way.

Through the book he tries very hard to explain the complexities of war. Also, his disdain of the UN and his frustration with NATO. For years the public has been fed the line that our military were only peacekeeping soldiers without being told just what that entails. Really, if you think about it, aren't all soldiers (in democratic countries) peacekeeping, isn't that their ultimate goal? Now to be honest I don't know if we (the public) have had the issues of Bosnia, Afghanistan, Serbia/Croatia etc. explained in a way that the general public could understand or if I was just too into my life to be overly concerned about others in far away countries. I remember back in 1999 a coworker and friend who was from Croatia tried to explain to me what was going on at that time with the fighting. And even then I don't think she totally understood it, so though it gave me a little bit of insight, I still really didn't get it. And many times I would say, "why can't everybody just get along?" Read Rick Hillier's book and you will see why that was never an option and just how fortunate we are!

Something I have come away with again and again is Education. If we are ever to stop wars and human rights atrocities then these countries need help in educating their young. And the education has to be of a kind that does not promote war or spread more lies. Though General Hillier never mentions Greg Mortenson he preaches the same sermon when it comes to helping the people of Afghanistan. We need to help them, not take over, and the children need to be educated that is the foundation of destroying the Taliban who feeds off the desperation of people. Think about this if a father cannot feed his family, he gets desperate and if he does not have the basic education to create work or to know how to farm his land to produce crops to sustain his family and sell to others... then he and his family become prime targets for the Taliban and other insurgents. The Taliban need only to provide food and then they are free to spread their propaganda! Also, if a man who in his heart of hearts knows that the Taliban is evil but the only way for his family to eat is to work with them then he really has no other option.

This book was very informative and enjoyable to read. I finished it knowing more about the global issues our country faces. Also with a deeper appreciation for the people who serve our country. I would recommend this book to anyone, not just Canadians. It explains our military relationship to the US, something that the media I feel has not done effectively. It also goes beyond the headline hunters and educates us on what was really going on after Sept 11.

If anything this book made me one more time, Proud to be Canadian!


P.S. I have Sarah Palins book waiting for me at the library. I look forward to seeing just what she has to say.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bench Talk: Hair - To Colour or Not to Colour?

To (roughly) quote Shakespeare, "that is the question."

On one of my earlier posts I wrote about the troubles with my hair, Being of Jamaican heritage and mixed blood I am white skinned with blue eyes and Afro hair. I am in the routine of 'relaxing' my hair to make it more manageable. If I didn't I would have to keep it in a short Afro. My hair is very fine and light so it will not hold a braid or twist and frizzes out of control in no time! So, every three months or so, off I go to the beauty salon to get my hair straightened, (relaxed)
Now, the grey is creeping in a an alarming rate! I didn't mind the few here and there, but now I have a skunk stripe growing from my forehead back and all sorts of grey everywhere else! So, picture a white skinned, blue eyed, light brown Afro hair with a skunk stripe and grey highlights!!!
To colour or not to colour? That is my question. Your feedback is appreciated.
(Carolin) I think we should change your name. For now on we will call you Flower. Remember the skunk from Bambi? It is very fitting cause you have a stench about you, no,no,no just Jokes (as the teenagers say) . You love flowers and plants and such, and you say you have this white stripe thing happening. I am so blind cause I don't remember seeing a skunk thing on your head. But not to worry I will be looking for it now! (Sunshine) Maybe you can live under my front steps Flower. I have to colour my hair as I get a head band (that's what Little Miss Sunshine calls it) of gray at the front of my hair. Gray hair and a hair net, not such a pretty picture. Personally, I have discovered that in a hair net everyone looks like a Nonna (grandmother) no matter what their age.
But seriously Cathy, I totally relate to your hair thing. Well not the Afro thing, or the thin thing, or the fine thing, or the Jamaican thing. But I do have grey hair!!! For a long time now I have talked about going to get highlights and low lights for my hair. I was hoping it would help to hide the grey. There is a hair salon near me that has a special on 50% off foils, but I don't know anyone who has been there to know if they are good. I am afraid of coming home with the patterned wallpaper stripe look (yuck). I find the home colour kits don't do well with covering the grey and I don't like the hair growth line you get after only three weeks. I actually don't mind the colour of my hair I just don't like the grey.
Carolin, I actually thought that your hair was highlighted. You are right, you do have great hair.
Cathy I have always told you that I love your hair no matter what you do with it. I have never noticed that your hair is thin as you have so much of it. My favourite is when you leave it natural and wear a head band. I think that it really brings out your blue eyes and it's different. I really think that it suits you so much. I also love it relaxed.
I have to take the little one to the dentist this afternoon and the hair salon is in the same plaza so I think I will go talk to them. Later the same day: So I stopped by the hair salon while the little one was at the dentist. This what they told me $45.00 for hair cut, $65.00 for a colour (little darker blond then what I am now) $90.00 for highlights and finally $20.00 for a toner. For a grand total of $210.00 plus taxes and tip! I am used to spending $25.00 every 6 months or so for a hair cut that's it. Needless to say I won't be getting my hair done anytime soon. When I was in the salon the two hairdressers working (sitting) looked bored. The place was empty, perhaps the over $200.00 price tag had something to do with it.The prices for hair colouring and cutting can get very outrageous. I used to colour at home but with my stubborn grays that hasn't worked for quite a while. Subsequently, I have to go and get it coloured every 6-8 weeks and even that time frame is stretching it a lot. I only cut my hair maybe every 4 months or so and that goes for highlighting it as well. You can highlight and only do your roots for about 6 months after that and that works well. So bottom line, I go to my hair dresser (Carolin you would love the building that they are in) and I get my hair coloured and dried with the diffuser for $50.00 plus tip. I only pay more when I need to cut and highlight and that may cost me about $110.00 (every 6 months or so). I know that Louise and her cousin have also gone to this hair dresser. For $210.00 you better be getting a massage and pedicure too. OK so I need the name and address of your hair person. Cause I can't afford $200.00 plus for hair. I might also go see what Frank's prices are like. I have always liked him but the girl who used to do the teenager's hair has left and the young thing they brought in I don't really like so I haven't been back in a while.
To colour or not to colour I don't know because I have to colour.
I vote if it makes you feel better then Colour! But keep in mind once you're on the bottle it is very hard to get off the bottle!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Stanger Sunday - Our Interview!


Wow! What a great experience. We ladies wish to thank, Jerrica who chose to interview us for her blog, .

Every Sunday, Jerrica chooses a new blog to feature on her post,

It's a great way to get to know fellow bloggers. Just click on the button above and this will take you to our interview on Jerrica'a blog.

Jerrica, thanks again for this opportunity. We ladies had a great time and we hope our readers will enjoy getting to know us all better.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursdays at the Park

We are keeping this short and sweet. It's March Break and we in Southern Ontario are experiencing one of the best March Breaks weather wise anyone can remember. Sunshine, Spring Jackets, Sandals kinda weather.

We don't have much to talk about cause we are all out enjoying it. Benchers hope you are having as much fun as we are.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bench Talk: Our favourite March Break Activities

It's March Break! This only means something big if you are a kid or if you have kids. What are some of your favourite activities for March Break? Come share with us!

(Carolin) Any activity would be better than how we have started our March Break. The teenager left this morning to spend a few hours with her Grandmother and then was meeting a friend and they were spending the day in Toronto. She plans to take the train home tomorrow morning (will spend night with said Grandmother). I know she made it to her Grandmother's as I got 12 phone calls on what to do, where to go, what does the building look like, etc. Finally, when she was with Grandma I asked her what she learned from this and she rolled her eyes at me (I honestly could hear the eyes rolling over the phone!) and said MOT-HER. After a "don't mother me" she admitted it might have been easier if she had written her Grandmother's address down. All this was happening while I was taking the little one to the doctors for a check up. I had made the appointment a while ago but thankfully I did, as she was not feeling well. The doctor gave her a stronger prescription for her Asthma meds and has also put her on a liquid steroid for the next five days. If her breathing does not improve by this afternoon we are to take her to emergency. She is sleeping on the couch now and hopefully the steroids will do the trick. I have never been to our cities new hospital and would like to keep it that way. Tomorrow we are off to the eye doctors for eye exams. Isn't March Break great! (Sunshine) Miss Teen Sunshine was on the prednisone for about a week when she was about 10 years old and it worked beautifully and she has never had to use it since (knock on wood).
Thankfully the little one's school has a two week March break so next week we plan to go to the Museum and Science Centre and such, when the crowds are gone. The teenager will be getting some free admissions passes from Grandma so it will be a fun cheep week. Of course you have coupons!!!!!
Well, I have limited time because I have more laundry to do and packing to do. We leave for New York City tomorrow morning. Knowing Mr. Sunshine it will be very very early. Someone will be looking after the dog for us and house sitting so that is a load off my mind. Does anyone watch the show, "Cake Boss," on TLC? We are going to visit Buddy and the gang and Little Miss Sunshine couldn't be more excited. She has over the last six months or so developed a love for baking. Only you Sunshine, if my child showed an interest in baking I would buy them a easy bake oven. But you, head to NYC so she can meet the CAKE BOSS! Now of course it would mean a lot more to me if I knew who the Cake Boss was. But I am assuming he is some wonder on TV.
I am looking forward to seeing FAO Schwartz (LOVE), Central Park (LOVE) and some great restaurants. We may even make it to watch a production on Broadway if we can manage to get some 50% off tickets. We are hoping to see either, "Wicked" or "The Phantom of the Opera." Have a great time; we haven't been there in years. If you get time head over to the Twin Towers Monument. I am sure it would be a very emotional experience.
Gotta go now so have a great week and talk to you all later.
Sorry all for not getting my two cents in. Our home, (garage) was broken in to, in broad daylight! My husband's power tools were all stolen! They broke through the side garage door. The police said this is quite common and that they are looking for easy stuff to exchange for quick cash so they can buy drugs. He said it shouldn't happen again as they are too stupid to remember which home they stole from! So, now we get to deal with the insurance and replacing the door and tools. Not to mention the 'creep factor' that someone has invaded our home.
Happy March Break!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Morning with NOTHING to do

It's my first day of March Break and I got nothing to do. For all who are not familiar with what March break is, in Ontario a majority of the schools close for a week (in my case it is two weeks!). Many go away for the week, Florida being the hot spot. Actually if you have ever been to Florida during March break you might think you had made a wrong turn as all the car licenses plates are from Ontario. Our house discussed going away, we were looking into going out west to Vancouver and visiting my brother, but the husband could not get the time off. But anyway I digress back to me...

This is the first Saturday in a very long time where I don't need to plan, shop and cook for the upcoming week of school cafeteria lunches. I am at a loss as to what I should do with myself. The teenager is away for the weekend snowboarding up north, the little one is content staying in her pj and watching Saturday cartoon. I am not sure what the husband is up to and actually not even sure if he has to work today. So what do I do with myself?

I was thinking of going through family photos as I would like to create a wall of family photos for our bedroom. Or I could organize my work signage and have it laminated (boring) or I could drive over to blockbuster and get some movies and lay on the couch with a bag (OK two) of ruffles potato chips. Or I can curl up with my stack of books and get some reading done. As I look around I do notice the kitchen floor needs to be washed that's a possibility (a slim one).

Benchers send me a comment and vote on what I should do with my time off.

1. Organize photos
2. Organize work papers
3. Watch movies and eat potato chips
4. Read a book or two
5. Wash the kitchen floor.


P.S. I could head over to Walmart and just take my time wandering the store looking for nothing in particular.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy)Hi all, I was just sitting here remembering some of the kooky things we ladies did years ago. I remember one summer, it must have been a 'Ladies night' where we got together for an evening without kids or husbands and just talked, ate and laughed. This one particular night I think Sunshine didn't attend, or maybe she left early. Well, for reasons lost to me now, Carolin, Louise and I at about 1 or 2 am were outside of Sunshine's bedroom window throwing stones against the window to get her attention! It worked and downstairs she came and opened her door for us. We all stood in her front entrance, we clothed and Sunshine in her nightgown and we had the wackiest conversation ever! Let's just say that it was probably that night and that conversation which sealed our friendship. It was 'extremely' personal! Let's just say we spoke about climbing mountains and leave it at that. I remember laughing so hard and we must have stood there, crowded in the front entrance for another hour or so. (Sunshine) I do remember that night and all of you crazy women. I left at about 12:30am and wanted to get home because Mr. Sunshine was going out of town for two weeks. Thank goodness he doesn't have to do that extended leave much these days (knock on wood). You crazy girls woke me up and were talking about all sorts of things. Well readers, they were talking about our first times and how to get an orgasm and all of that fun stuff. They had already revealed their dirty little secrets to each other and now they were after mine. We laughed and probably shed many tears of laughter and let's just say that that particular evening changed Cathy's life forever. She really was intent on climbing her very own mountain after that. Since then Cathy has become an expert mountain climber. OMG!!! Way too much information!!! I cannot stop blushing! (Carolin) Hello??? you brought up the subject Cathy. What I want to know is does anyone see the irony of this blog? Just a few days ago Cathy is talking about not being able to remember and now she is on a memory moment. She probably remembers this night so well cause it was all about SEX!!!!! Also I can assure you all that Cathy is now one of the best and most frequent mountain climbers I have and will ever know! She has a particular penchant for the Andes mountain range.

I also remember another night when we went for a walk on the path and Carolin was looking for a tree branch that she wanted to give to her husband to make into a banister. Well, we searched high and low and finally found a branch (it was already off the tree, don't worry we did not cut it down). It was a huge branch and we walked all the way home with it. We passed a lot of people who were laughing at us and if memory served me right, we were also singing along the way. All of our husbands thought that we were crazy. I think that when Carolin moved she took the tree branch with her. Did you ever make it into a banister? Yes the branch (almost a log!) was used a a banister for the basement. And when we moved yes I made the movers move it as well. I remember the movers asking my husband "do I take this too?" and his reply was "yes , I know it is a piece of wood but to save me some pain from my wife just move the stupid thing"! To be honest with you I am not sure where the branch is now but it is a good feeling to know regardless of what crazy scheme I hatch you guys will be there to help me execute it.

It's a nice memory! Enjoy your memories while you can ladies. We should all get back into being more of those free spirited young girls. All we seem to do now is work, work, work. We didn't have to schedule fun in those days, it just came naturally.

What's your name again?

Hi everyone!

It's me, Cathy. I have been noticing lately that I have been forgetting things. I have always been proud of my memory, but it has begun to let me down. The worst is names. People with whom I have worked with for years will see me and call out, "Hi, are you doing?" I plant a big smile on my face and call back,"Hi, good to see you! Have a great day!." After we have passed I struggle to think of who the heck it was! I must know that person....... they looked very familiar....what is their name!!!! I will walk about 100 paces, going through the alphabet,, nope, and so on until, finally, it clicks! Then I feel stupid. How could I have forgotten that name?
It's not just names, either. I really need to write things down, in list format. I still use a PDA, (palm pilot). I love it! I note down appointments, birthdays and even grocery lists grow as I can add to the list as I think of things we need at the grocery store.
A very kind colleague commented to me once that my memory is still fine. It's just that with kids I have an abundance of 'stuff" I need to remember, on top of the things I did before. I thought it was very nice of him to say that......... now if I could just remember his name??

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bench Talk: Our First Book Club Book, "The Dirty Girls Social Club"

We are due to receive our first set of book club books on the 17th of March. Our first book is called, "The Dirty Girls Social Club," by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.

Book overview:
In this irrepressible, can't-put-it-down novel of six friends-each one an unforgettable woman in her late twenties-you'll meet:

--Lauren, the "caliente" columnist for the local Boston paper whose love live has recently led her to her boyfriend's catch him in the act with someone else
--Sara, the perfect wife and mother who's got it all but who is paying a high price
--Amber, raised a Valley girl without a word of Spanish but who is becoming a huge rock en espanol star
--Elizabeth, the stunning black Latina whose TV anchor job conflicts with her intensely private personal life
--Rebecca, hyper-in-command in the world of her glossy magazine, Ella, but totally at sea when it comes to men
--Usnavys, fabulous and larger than life, whose agenda to land the kind of man who can keep her in Manolos almost prevents her finding true love

Book review courtesy of Google Books.

This book will be the first time that we ladies have participated in a 'book club' together. Up until this time, only Carolin has been part of a book club. We hope to share in the reading and our thoughts on the book together, with you our fellow benchers, on this post titled, "Bench Talk."
Please feel free to obtain a copy yourselves from your local library and read and share along with us!

Until then, looking forward to March 17th.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Insert title Here!

(Sunshine) Hello everyone. Happy Friday night. We really don't have a great name picked out for this bi-weekly meeting but I think that we need to step up our game if we really want to become a well visited blog someday. (Carolin)Hey bloggers here is a challenge for you. Come up with a title for our Friday night chats. (Louise)Okay.. I'm trying to figure out what I want to say but these women are yelling about how many times one of them(notice how I say one of them)It's Cathy, It's Cathy!!!!had sex this week!!! A little hint....even when you're at your worst.........Sex is always a fascinating subject, just because everyone has a different opinion on it...You weren't sick if you had sex! You know, how many times you like it, different and favorite positions, how many partners, who's in charge..........I can't believe we are talking about this. And from Louise of all people. I am mortified; this is a family blog.
Now the subject has changed to doctors appointments!!!How important is it that we take our kids in every year to have a check up. I think if they are healthy don't fix something that's not broken.....Okay it's back to sex....I think someone gave up sex for lent but I will never tell who...ha ha. Which Lent was it that you gave sex up for?

Louise had the idea of all of us having a pot luck. So we all brought something to eat.
Great food and it's such a treat to have a home cooked meal and not have to cook it myself!
We had two kinds of salad, stew, garlic bread, chicken wings, pizza...yum yum and key lime pie for dessert. I think I just heard a jamaican accent......
The lent season is upon us and one of my friends told me that as Catholics we are suppose to abstain from intimacy for the 40 days of lent. For us non Catholics she means SEX! I had said that I have never heard of this and that I would ask the priest at the school that I work at. So off to work I went and I didn't see Father Norm all day. I asked the two girls that I work with if they had ever heard of that. They both said that they had not and that we should ask Father Norm. Well the next day I saw Father and my co-worker asked me if I was going to ask him.. I commented that I would maybe later when no one was around (I am sure that I would never ask that question). Well Father commented that they had asked him earlier. I thought that he was joking but then he told me that I should just go ahead and have fun because there is no such rule. Well, I turned all shades of red and was thoroughly embarrassed! Well now every time I see Father he asks me how I am and how my lent is going and then he smiles a big smile! I will be embarrassed forever. I think this is hilarious and I would like to meet this cool Father Norm someday. OMG I would die!!!! (Cathy)This is priceless!!!!!! I have tears in my eyes from laughing so much!

Carolin is now talking about cancelling her home land line. My uncle in Italy cancelled his a long time ago and he is able to be reached only on his cell phone. I think that it will save a whole lot of money so I wonder if she will actually do it. I know that if Carolin does it that inevitably we will all probably follow suite and also try it. We all did that with the TV cable at one point. In my home we actually gave up watching TV for lent and cancelled the cable and did not have it for a little bit over a year or so. Once Mr. Sunshine got his bigger TV he got cable once again. I kind of missed watching TV with all of those lines. It has been so long since we had cable that I don't know what I would do with a zillion channels. Though I think I would of liked to watch that new show, "Parenthood." I don't know if it comes on a channel I get cause I can't stay up late enough to watch it. Perhaps I will wait and watch it when it comes out on DVD. That is how I am watching, "Brothers and Sisters," I am on season three and should be done this weekend. Of course because you know me I get the DVDs from the library and have two weeks to watch them (free). I just finished season two of, "Big Love," great show.....and now I'm watching season 5 of, "Rescue Me," my favorite show of all time!!! I have to go rub a leg be back soon! Whose leg? Oh, it's her youngest son's leg. It's sore. It must be a little bit better now because he is singing.

Does the man with the knife sharpening truck sharpen meat slicers? I know that we used the man in the truck for the lawn mower and Mr Sunshine said that he did an OK job. I would think that if they can sharpen a lawn mower blade then he should be able to sharpen a meat slicer blade. I am not really sure.

(Carolin) Hey everyone, my turn to type cause Cathy won't shut up. Actually, I can't get a word in! I just keep repeating myself over and over again! I think I have said this before, I'm going to refer back to one of our past blogs. She has been sick for a couple of weeks and I think perhaps she misses talking to us! It feels great to be back among the living with my best friends. Once again Cathy was not really sick. I can't catch a break! I will be back cause our food is ready and I am starving. We are just finishing dinner (very yummy) . Cathy is talking about the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. I didn't watch it, but the others say it was embarrassing for Canadians because they over did our stereotypes. The beaver, moose, maple leaf etc. So fellow bloggers we want to know, did you feel the closing ceremonies were embarrassing to watch? I would like to hear from benchers who are not Canadian as well. Benchers, hello benchers, are you out there? Louise just threw in another question maybe someone can answer. Why during the Olympics is the French language always spoken first? It's always the same I think. I think I recall that it's always french spoken first, but I do wonder why? Speaking of french, Louise is telling us about her son having to perform in a french skit at school. He did not have a good time. I remember having to perform in a play in grade school and being so scared that I hid under a desk and spoke my lines from there. What makes it even worse is that I had written the skit and the teachers gave me a great grade and wanted it performed for other classes! I am still amazed that I survived!

What about American Idol. I am not impressed with Ellen DeGeneres. I like her but I am tired about her always reminding us about how she is not an authority on music. I would love to see some actual rock stars as judges. I would love to see three knew judges every year. My personal suggestions would be people like Gene Simmons, Steve Tyler, Cindy Lauper, etc. I think that it would be much more interesting. Simon is a good judge but even he is looking a little bit bored himself. I like American Idol and I hope that it continues on. American Idol is the only show I watch.....I don't really have time for to much TV......The last few weeks its been busy with Soccer try outs and physio......I'm tired just thinking about it! Anyway I'm liking it...I like the blond girl with the dreds(not sure of spelling) and I haven't really had a chance to watch the guys yet so I'll let you know who I like when I get a chance to see and hear them.
Have a good night everyone. Hope we entertained you! Feed back is always appreciated.

Well how are you all doing and how is your lent going?

Gosh you are killing me, not again with the sex talk!

Friday follow

Hi everyone, this will be the second time we ladies are participating in the Friday Follow blog Hop! It's quite an adventure. It's hosted by the three ladies listed in the top three blogs on the link. We have found some really interesting blogs to follow. Come join in!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

Wow Cathy, this is a really good start how shall I contribute to this fascinating topic? Ha, Ha,Ha when I got the email saying Cathy had set up, "Thursdays on the Bench," I to went to have a look and see what she wrote so I would get a feel where we were going this week. I opened up the blog and like you Sunshine, saw a blank screen. So I did what any friend would do I closed the blog and decided to wait till another day.Alright, alright.... I've been sick in bed all week and only had enough energy to get it started. My head is mush and there's not a thought in it! (I guess I just left myself open here!)
Just kidding. Cathy, I really hope that you feel better soon and join the land of the living. You can't continue to make a living lying on your back forever,(hey!)remember, our post on Monday, you are getting older by the minute. I am just being silly. I am tired and things are just flying out of my mind. Sometimes, I wish that this could be like an open chat link on facebook and we could chat back and forth together. Sometimes typing here by myself feels kind of lonely. Just erase this when you are done reading it. No, I will not erase it. I happen to agree with you. I'm still glad we have this way of keeping in touch!
I would like to talk about a very serious subject today. In the past week or so there have been three suicides that I have been made aware of. The one that I am sure that everyone has heard of is the one that occurred in Vancouver. The second is a boy from one of the local high schools and the third is a person who works with my sister. My prayers go out to the individuals and their family and friends. (Carolin)Suicide is a very angry and sad situation for everyone. Just last week two ladies from my Wednesday bible study were discussing the funeral they were going to the next day for a 18 year old boy who had committed suicide. I can remember times when I was younger and thinking it might be better if I had never been born. Or in moments of deep despair thinking I'll get even with everyone and just kill myself. But to be truly honest with myself I knew I would never go through with it. I wish I could understand what makes these people feel so alone that death would be better than living. It is sad, very sad for everyone involved.
What happens to someone to make them feel that taking their own life is better than being here on earth. How is it that they feel so alone and so unloved when there are really people out there that care about them? How can we as a society help? There are places and phone numbers people can call who are in dire emotional straits. There's the,
1-800-668-6868. It must be an incredibly hard call to make. I too have had the same thought when I was a teenager. I guess with all of the rapid growth a teen goes through, the lack of a good support system makes it all seem too much to handle.
I am sad and frustrated every time I hear the word suicide. It is such a scary word and the individuals minds must be in such a scary place.
I know that it is a gloomy topic but I can't stop thinking of it after hearing it day after day in the last week. They say that suicide rates increase during the winter months. I have also heard that more often than not there are no warning signs. I think that our schools and TV networks should start to run campaigns on helping those individuals who are feeling so down that this seems to be their only answer. We have got to address this topic as aggressively as we address drinking and driving, alcoholism and bullying to name a few.
I have heard that our young generation is already suffering from mental health. It was even mentioned in church a few weeks ago. The priest talked about how our children complain of boredom at such a young age and how this is an expression of a boredom that they feel in their lives. He talked about how this boredom leads to depression and how our children are depressed about their lives. He talked about how we have given our children so much so early on in their lives that there is little for them to get excited about and look forward to and work towards achieving because everything that they desire is at their finger tips because we can and do provide it all. Wow, have we really got it all wrong. Cell phones, lap top computers, I pods, TVs and cars to name just a few. I am scared for our children and for their children's children. But we do need to move forward don't we? I agree with your Priest, we have raised a generation of very privileged people. I have a cousin who is in his third year of university and recently was laid off from his job. He was subsequently offered a job as a waiter in a restaurant and turned it down cause he felt it was beneath him! He would rather have no job and have to take out student loans for school than work as a waiter. To be truly honest with myself I don't think I could have worked as the 'lunch lady' at the little ones school if the teenager was still there. I was never (and neither was she) comfortable around them. And the few students that are still at the school from the teenagers class are just as I remember them. A bunch of spoiled snobs and thankfully I rarely see them. Sunshine, I too agree with you about our kids generation. Why is it that we as parents feel the need to give 'all' to our kids without them earning it? I am speaking in a general term. Is it out of guilt? There are so many kids being raised by someone other than a parent. We ladies made the decision to stay home and raise our kids. We probably sacrificed lots, however, we do not feel like we did. I don't feel our kids feel like they missed out on anything, either. Time will tell.
My parents came to this country with very little in their pockets. They had to work hard to be able to live in and eventually after a very long time, own their very own home. There was only one car in our home and I never remember my parents giving me pocket money to spend if I needed to buy something. I always brought a lunch from home and I played with the same toys day in and day out. Most of the time it was with five rocks and a jumpsee made of elastic bands and, oh yes, I remember the tennis ball that we would put in an old pair of my moms nylons and play with against the wall. I played the same games as a kid. I was darn good at five rocks bloody knuckles and all. (We should have a game someday) The kids don't seem to play these games anymore. Neither of my kids learned how to skip (I never could double dutch). (I could, I loved skipping and playing with the two balls against the brick wall with all of the songs!)I two loved playing ball on the wall.I have tried to play five rocks with them but they think I am just dumb. I was trying trying to teach the girls how to play five rocks just last week only it was with candy at the keg on the table. I was describing how we would go and pick out our rocks in the street and I would keep them for each game that we played. I remember that there was one flat rock that was my favourite. It was small but easy to pick up. I told them that once the weather gets better we will go and each of us can pick out our own rocks and we could play on the front porch.
I was very happy and I don't think that I ever wished for much more then what we had. I wonder when that all changed? Now it seems that I want and want all the time. This house for instance. It is already a great house but we will probably be renovating it for forever because there is so much to do. I once heard someone say that 50 years ago or so they use to spend money on clothes and things when now we spend the money on the bling bling for our homes instead of ourselves. I remember the funky wall paper and funny paint colours in our home. We had an unfinished basement and a small three bedroom semi with four girls and my father and only one bathroom. I also remember loving that home so much. I have tried to raise my kids to appreciate what they have, but it is very hard. I am not one to go buy them stuff for the sake of stuff. The little one is wearing her sister's old uniform for school and the only thing I have had to buy is socks and a cardigan. I do know once she starts junior highschool I will have to invest in a new uniform and her sister and her are very different body types and the hand-me-down will not fit. Also, most of the little one's clothes are hand-me-downs from her sister or her cousin. In the past two years I have only bought her a pair of jeans, two tops, bathing suit and a Christmas dress. She doesn't seem to care.
Something I noticed about myself a few years ago was, I found I would get upset, depressed, feel sorry for myself after I watched home decorating shows or read home decorating magazines. I found they didn't usually inspire me they just made me feel like what ever I had or did was not good enough. Also, I found I would look at my home and then feel discontent instead of thankful that I have a nice home. So I stopped watching the shows and canceled my subscriptions to the magazines and now I really don't care what the latest new decorating trends are. I would like new stuff but I am content to wait. And my home might not be magazine ready but it is comfortable, clean (don't look under or in anything!) and I hope all feel welcome when they are here. And that's good enough for me.
I hope all of the children of the world can be happy where ever they are. My home was filled with love and I hope that I provide the same love and security to my children. Keep in mind Sunshine that there was suicide then, and pain, and not everyone home was a happy one. We were kids and many of life's stuff did not enter our radar at the time. Nor was stuff openly talked about like it is now. I think it is important that my children know when things are good in our home and when things are not. But it can be hard at times to walk the fine line of what they can handle. I didn't experience my first death or funeral till I was 19 years old. And now with my kids the minute I say I need to talk to them they think something terrible has happened and someone has died. It is so hard to see them touched by such tragedies so early in life. My sister and I discuss this topic so often. We had been to funerals but our very own personal tragedies did not start until we were both in our thirties and we seemed to have so much difficulty in dealing with them. My dad, seemed to be able to get through things in a much more emotionally stable way. We wondered if that was because he had always known personal tragedy from when he was a little boy. He grew up in a different time. He had two younger siblings (twins) who died at a very early age, he lived through the war and he travelled to this country at age 14 with his older 16 year old brother. The two of them were alone and came across on a boat that took two weeks to get to Halifax. They had a piece of paper with a Montreal address on it. They had to find their way from Halifax to Montreal to meet up with their dad where they worked on the railroad and sent money back home for his mother and five other siblings. Amongst all of that was so much hardship and disappointment. He had no choice but the learn to deal with tragedy and sadness and still find peace and happiness in his heart. He is my inspiration every day of my life and I have begun to think that these survival skills cannot be taught but rather they are something that we learn to help us cope with life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bachelor (flying on the winds of love) Finale

Well I don't have all that much to say except that Jake has made his choice and the final choice is

a big drum roll please

Jake and Vienna Forever

I wish them all the happiness in the world. The proposal was very heart felt and they both really seem to love each other.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bench Talk: Birthdays...(are they something to celebrate?)

Happy Birthday to you!.........etc, etc, etc...
Is is still a happy day or is it a day you would rather forget?

(Cathy)It's funny because as a kid growing up, birthdays were never about the age. It was our special day and it was celebrated, but, I never recall the emphasis being on the age. I enjoyed my birthdays up until I turned 26. I was good with the birthday number till 36 then I didn't want to celebrate anymore. I felt by 36 I should have it all together and I didn't (and still don't). (Sunshine) I still really enjoy my birthday. I am grateful to have made it to another year and I look at my girls and at my husband and I am incredible grateful for having them in my life is the biggest blessing. For me it's a day to reflect on life and although there has definitely been some very big hurdles to overcome and many more in the future I am sure there is also so much to be grateful for and being given another day of life is always a good way to start. Each day is a new beginning and with it come new possibilities and challenges. As you can all tell bloggers Sunshine's name fits her well, if she wasn't named Sunshine we would have to call her Pollyanna. You took the words right our of my mouth! Hey, I had to look that one up! So if you are being complementary then I should take it as a nice comment, but, if you are using it in a negative connotation then; Oh well, I guess I will just assume that it is the first one. (you are too funny!) ....back to birthdays....
I don't know what changed. Maybe it was a transition year. I was out of university and working and I guess it was the first time I was really an 'independent' adult. I remember wondering if and when I would be privileged to find myself married and with child. That was always a dream for me. To marry and have a family. Old fashioned, yes, however, very enticing for me. I consider myself lucky to have achieved my dream. Being married and having children was always the first thing on my wish list as well. Though I married young and I wanted kids it wasn't my dream. I could see a life without kids and I was ok with it at that time. Now though I love my kids more then anything, I do at times wonder what life would have been like if I had chosen a different road.I know my life would have been different if I had stuck with ballet. I do wonder every now and again, however, I know I made the correct decision to leave dance. I used to talk about being a pilot when I was younger and also joining the army. Well, I know now that my stomach is too queasy to ever fly a plane for a living and I am too much of a big scaredy cat to every join the army. Thank goodness there are other talented people in this world who can successfully do those jobs.
O.K., back to birthdays, again, :), I don't like them anymore. Do not even mention the day to me, wish me happy birthday or anything. I just get so depressed now. All I can think of is, "there goes another year." Stupid, I know. I still feel young and I still think young and I am happy so what is it? If you read on of our earlier posts you know how livid I was when on my 40th birthday I found a huge bouquet of helium balloons tied to our front porch. (and still no one will own up to it!) Nobody has owned up to it cause we can't remember if we did this or not! Cathy, I know exactly who was responsible for that but I will never ever tell. Aha! Just as I was beginning to think it was someone other than you three ladies! Sunshine, was it me cause I can't remember. I'm not telling! Well, that was many years ago and now as I approach what I thought was a number that couldn't exist I don't know what to think or do. I can't do a thing about it, so....
It is interesting that you would post a Monday Bench Talk for March 1st. As we are celebrating a birthday today. It is the little one's (my baby) 10th birthday. She is so excited, we went out on Friday after school to Chapters (bookstore) to buy her birthday gifts. She asked for a book on bugs and spiders. She also asked for sketch pads and pencils (her sister is going to get that for her). We will have her favourite dinner Kentucky Fried Chicken (last year's dinner was wieners and beans) and for dessert she has requested a Ice Cream cake. So I think I have gotten of pretty easy I don't have to cook dinner or make a cake! Happy Birthday to the little one, it is so hard to believe that it is double digits already. Do you think that that means double trouble too? (I only say that because Little Miss Sunshine will be double digits soon too.)
I think when it comes to my birthday is the gift part that frustrates me. This is an opportunity to give a gift and show that you know this person. 8 out of 10 times I am left disappointed. Perhaps my expectation are to high or I am not clear enough with my request. Though I think I am, when I ask for a I-pod like the teenagers, that to me seems pretty clear. What I get is a MP3 and a big boom box. Off to the store the husband goes to return it and get a I-Pod like I asked. Back home and he gives me a I-Touch!!!! I don't want an I-Touch ( I have a blackberry so the I-Touch is redundant). After a few days the teenager and I make a deal she gets the I-touch and I get her old I-pod (not the colour I wanted but closer to what I wanted). And then the teenager give me a musical instrument made out of a coconut (what was she on at the time of this purchase?) and a salt & pepper shaker. The little one gave me a CD 'The Best of Funk' , funk??? any type of music but funk. Sorry, but that is so funny and so cute at the same time. I want to hear the funk! Get on down!! I know I shouldn't complain as there are many women, wives, mothers who don't even get their birthday acknowledged, let alone a gift. Next year I think I will ask for cash! I think that the chances of you getting cash from your ten year old will be a little slim. How much cash will you wish for?
With regards to gifts, sometimes (last Christmas) I was very vocal about what I really wanted as I was talking to my sister on the phone and on Christmas morning, Mr Sunshine came through. I realized that my complaining on the phone when I thought that he was sleeping while we were watching TV works better then me telling him what I really want. That's a good one!
I don't usually get gifts as Mr Sunshine always says that it is my Birthday every day of the year. Little Miss Sunshine always makes me a home made card and many hand drawn pictures. Miss Teen Sunshine may actually break down and give me a hug. This year Mr Sunshine wanted to go out for a nice dinner but I asked him to cook me a really nice lunch/dinner instead. He can make really good meals if he puts his mind to it and takes the time to do it. He was out grocery shopping yesterday and I know what some of the meal will be as I have requested a few favourites as for the rest it will be a surprise. I remember when we were dating and he was house sitting for a friend. He called me from an Italian pasta store and put the lady on the phone with me so that I could pronounce what he was looking for. He made me a beautiful meal with antipasto, soup, Fettuccine Alfredo, veal scallopini with mushrooms, salad and a heart shaped ice cream cake. Then we watched one of his favourite movies, "The Mannequin," and guess what, during the movie, he fell asleep. Some things never change, have we ever had a evening where Mr. Sunshine hasn't fallen asleep? I put that special line in there just for you girls, yes, he has always fallen asleep in person and on the phone! And I thought his favourite movie was The Princess Bride? He has three all time favourites. That is the best movie ever! Why did you watch one of his favourite movies? I never really thought about it but I enjoyed the movie and to this day I remember every detail of that evening.. I started to clean up the mound of dishes but he got up and would not let me touch a thing. We started the evening with some of my favourite music, The Eagles, Blue Rodeo and Michael Bolton. It was really sweet of him and I really appreciated the effort. The meal was delicious! And though this is Bench Talk and we post it on Monday between you and me benchers we are talking on Sunday and today is Sunshine's birthday. Happy 4*&#@!^ Birthday Sunshine. I am sure you will have a wonderful day better than my house as my big plans for the day is to clean the fridge! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR SUNSHINE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! Thanks girls.
Have a wonderful week everyone. Talk to you on Thursday.