Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

ode to my trailer

​I miss camping and…

the scent of an open campfire 

the coolness of an ocean breeze

the closeness of family

late nights and sleeping in

freshly baked donuts just around the corner and reading novels into the wee hours of the night

listening to the waves as they crash upon the shore

open windows and shaded decks

walks after dark

fireworks lighting the evening sky

searching endlessly for beach treasures

melted marshmallows sandwiched between chocolate cookies

starlit nights and full moons over the water

the crispness of the morning and the heat of the afternoon sun

I miss the laziness of summer.

But for now, I’m going to relax here on my porcelain throne in the blessedness of my home for a few more minutes and relish in the fact that no matter how hard I try, it is impossible to wash my hands at the same time.

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The Let’s Be Realistic Resolutions

Fall 2015 338 COPY AWell, it’s that time of year when I should reflect on the past and look forward to the future. In my 40+ years on the face of this earth, I think I’ve had one New Year’s Resolution stick. I’m happy to report that I am a master tooth flosser, thank you very much.

So this year, I decided to create a new list of resolutions for myself. A much more doable list. No losing 136 lbs or learning to sky dive for this girl. No starting a new company, reading all of Shakespeare’s works, or traveling to exotic locations. There will no cooking with leeks, running a marathon, or learning how to speak 4 new languages.

Instead, I will….

*Shower every day. At least once. Unless of course, I’ve been really, really sick and I need a doctor’s note for work, in which case, I won’t shower because if I’m sick, I’m going to look and smell the part too.

*Never go to Walmart in my pj pants. Maybe the top under a zipped up jacket, but NEVER the pants.  This resolution does not apply to grabbing the Walmart flyers at the end of my driveway.

*Refuse to take up smoking this year. Or going to bars. Or smoking in bars.

*Give up pop. Yeah right, who am I kidding? I just discovered Cherry Coke at the Walmart.

*Always use my right hand when I am writing with a pencil. Well, because I’m right-handed.  (I suspect I will nail this one.)

*Look for new ways to incorporate cream cheese and sour cream into my cooking.

*Laugh more.  It’s the best medicine and if it keeps me out the doctor’s office smelling like I haven’t showered for a week, that works for me.  And probably my doctor.

*Try to learn to ignore certain sounds that I find incredibly annoying, even if it means I am a genius. Like gum chewing. OK, let’s be realistic. Can’t we just rid the world of gum chewing?

*Remember all of my passwords so I don’t have to create new ones every time I order pizza or buy new shoes.  Every.  Single.  Time.

*Watch more Netflix documentaries. OK, that made me laugh.

*Try to lower my blood pressure when talking about politics.  I will therefore not go into politics.  This also means I will not read the CBC/CNN comments under news articles…very often.

*Eat more fish. Like bacon wrapped scallops.

*Ride a unicorn down the street to the bank and deposit my lotto earnings into my account. OK, a girl can dream, can’t she?

 

I suppose I should make another list that will miraculously make me healthier, but in the meantime, maybe I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing, and tweak that a bit.  Or a lot.  A whole lot.  A real whole lot.

 

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25 Things I Learned this Summer 

Well, I guess summer is officially over according to the calendar. I admit I do like the routine of fall, the coolness of the shortened days, and of course, the colours. But in all seriousness, what can compare to the ease of summer? So in order to prove that I was still learning outside the confines of a classroom, I thought I would share with you what I did learn this summer. Um, things I would probably never learn in a classroom.

So here, we go. 25 things I learned this summer:

1)Museums are cool. So are national parks.

2)You can bike on a path and feel like you are going downhill both ways. I previously thought that was only possible when your parents walked to school uphill both ways in the winter.

3)One can eat too much McDonald’s. And the drive-thru staff can hear everything you’re yelling at your kids before they say, “Can I take your order, ma’am?”

4)I may actually really like VBS songs. Really.

5)I can scratch bug bites with the same addictive tendencies as that of the average 6 year old.

6)My father looks pretty good as a pirate.

Pirate

7)I am incredibly attractive….to deer flies. I’ve been calling them dog flies for years. When my daughter was a preschooler, and I asked her how she got a particular bruise, she used to tell me that a deer bit her. Now I’m thinking she must have known the correct name for these little blood sucking demons all along and just forgot to say the word fly.

8)I still do not know the real name for cupboard bugs. You know the ones…little, black, cream coloured stripes on back, found in cupboards.

9)Political ads increase my blood pressure. Deleting people who share political ads on Facebook lowers my blood pressure.  I suppose I should keep my husband on there though.

10)Occasionally a hamburger from a box tastes really good.  Really, really good.

11)Tomato soup is not always creamy. Seriously.

12)You can only hide from your boss for so long on Facebook. Eventually she will find you.  And maybe even read this.

13)Apparently people really do go to Vegas in the summer. Who knew?  I only got away as far as Halifax though.

14)I can make a pretty awesome plate of spaghetti. I still cannot eat an entire plate of spaghetti. Regardless of awesomeness.

15)I will starve before I learn to use chopsticks for their intended purpose. Of course, if I ate my McDonald’s meal with chopsticks, this could solve a lot of my problems.

16)I can let my Chatelaine subscription slide and not die. And all of the good Canadians gasped.

17)I can love my husband despite our different musical tastes. Well, I suppose I knew this before this summer, but did you know there are country songs about making bannock?

18)I can go into Butterfly World (think giant man made bubble filled with orange slices and butterflies) and not require medical assistance. Or medicinal assistance for that matters.

Butterfly World

19)There is a certain amount of satisfaction from filling up water balloons for my children and any other random child who happens to appear and allowing them to attack teenagers who thought they would have the upper hand when they saw my kids coming along.

20)A&W onion rings are from God. Olives are from satan. Ok, I knew that before this summer too.

21)Everyone should go into Cabela’s at least once in their lifetime. And Cabella’s is not the feminine form of Cabela’s, it’s just spelled wrong.

22)Collecting sea glass can an addictive sport.

IMG_0716

23)Tooth fairies take summer vacations too. And are sometimes charged interest in the meantime.

24)I still like summer camp…going there and sending my kids there.

25)Hell and humidity both begin with the letter H. Just saying.

There we have it, folks. Another list of amazing facts from a fun filled summer. Now that I’m settling back into the classroom though, I am looking forward to an amazing fall where I will learn some of the more important lessons in life from a great group of five year olds.

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New Year’s Resolutions Version 2015

Winter 2013 019 copy A

Yeah, um, so New Year’s Eve is tonight and therefore that means I only have a few hours to fulfill last year’s resolutions. Some took, and some will most likely appear on this year’s list. I flossed my teeth more often, I didn’t have a root canal, I cleaned off my dresser a few times, I got my passport, and I now have slightly more blog followers than I did this time one year ago. Thanks to my husband, my shower is looking pretty good (I wouldn’t lick the floor of it by any means), and my basement is beginning to come together. And of course, there are the ones that will remain on my new list, like the veggies and the Bible reading.

So without further ado, or something like that, here is my new list for 2015:

1) Convince my family that they need to unravel their dirty clothes before flinging them towards the other ravelled dirty clothes that have accumulated since I last unravelled dirty clothes and threw them into the washer. An intense training session may be required for this.

2) Post on my blog and my blog Facebook page more frequently. Not so much that my regular 5 readers are desensitized and never read any of it again. Of course, this may have to occur after my latest Netflix-a-thon comes to a bitter end.

3) Clean out my entire basement. Once upon a time, I had dreams of selling the contents of my basement, and getting my girls braces with the extra cash. I am not quite to the point where I just light a match and hope that insurance (dental or otherwise) takes care of all of my issues. There is hope as long as Costco still sells mammoth shelving units.

4) Print more pictures of my family and actually place those pictures on the wall. Or make really cute little ones and put them in my wallet. Oh, I need a new wallet.

5) Be more social. I’ve become quite the hermit in my later years. I know, hard to believe, (insert sarcasm here) being the socialite that I was in my younger days. Maybe I should invite people over more, like every Friday night and we could eat cheese ball and fancy crackers, and we could do each other’s nails, and tell ghost stories. And if they insist, they could help me clean out my basement and hang pictures on the wall.

6) Figure out how to actually use my cell phone. Which I suspect means not letting my 7 year old take selfies during church or while driving in a vehicle anymore (she’s used up all of the memory…is that a tech term these days?). I’m still saying no to a data plan, so there really can’t be that much to learn, right.

7) Take my husband to Newfoundland. Without the kids. And see an iceberg. And kiss a cod. Ok, maybe I’ll just plan a trip to NFLD while my kids aren’t in the same room as me.

8) Read more.  My Bible, and the 3964 e-books I’ve downloaded.  I know, I have a problem.  Exaggerating is only one of them.

9) Eat out less often. Buy/hunt more meat, cook it and serve it to my family. But not with cheese ball and crackers. Vegetables, lots of vegetables. I may not be ready to embrace clean eating, but perhaps I should try for eating-cleaner-than-my-shower-floor-clean.

Ok, I can do this. I’m going to rock 2015.

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Location, location, location

I have this incredibly annoying habit of allowing others to rent out too much space in my head. It’s not like they care to be there, and in fact, they probably don’t even realize that they have such a fabulous rental property. Folks, it really is all about location.

There have been several renters in my head throughout the years. Some have made the news lines on CNN, while others try to live more quietly in more spacious surroundings out of the spotlight. But somehow, each one of these renters have quietly snuck into my head, and occupied it for far too long, wearing out their welcome.

Each situation is different. But every time, I do the exact same thing. I allow their perceived trash to pile up inside my head until I make it my own. I mull over it, picking up each piece and seek to find the mistakes. Many imaginary conversations take place in my rental property, and in them, I am the winner, the righter of the wrongs, the giver of “necessary” advice, the judge.

Eventually, I open my mouth and I begin to complain about my occupants. Maybe not outright at first, but a knowing look, a rolling of the eyes, a snide comment, a tinge of sarcasm. Sometimes a brazenness follows and the words spill out, the words themselves not necessarily nasty or hurtful, but the tone, the casualness, and the implications are all there. Laying there, pained and prideful.

But eviction notices must be served. I need to take each unwanted occupant, throw them out of my head. Yet, not out onto the streets. No, I need to send them to my heart, where I know, with prayer and patience, because it really is me who has the obstacles, they will change ME for the better.

And then, when I’m ready, I will move on.

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The little string

I don’t know who put it there. Nor do I care. But it’s there. Resting on the line. The divide. A little white string strongly contrasted by the growing green grass of spring beneath it. Strung and pulled tightly by the two tiny sticks at each end of the string. The chasm between neighbours.

The line was no longer invisible. The proverbial line in the sand had been literally drawn. It sat day in, day out, waiting for someone to innocently trip over the small, obscure little strand of discord. Two sides split down the middle.

A partition of sorts. Not the kind sold by office supply companies and used to increase work productivity. A partition of differences, perhaps even bitterness and a longing to be right.

Not yet a fence. Not yet a wall. Those had been created long before the string came off the shelf. A fence built to keep others out.

Now I’m not suggesting that the two parties join hands, sing a round of Kumbaya, have tea parties and paint each other’s nails. Life is not all rainbows and unicorns. Unfortunately sometimes life doesn’t work that way. Problems are not always solved, like the ending of a book or show.

But in the meanwhile, I’m going to examine my own little strings of discontent. Take stock of any feelings that I have been harbouring and harvesting. Starve the seeds of resentment quietly growing in myself. Quiet that voice that’s far too eager to destroy, not build.

And maybe, just maybe someday that string will become a bridge.

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Five Minute Friday: Glue

Tonight after supper, I walked behind my daughter and her friend as they biked down the street, keeping a watchful eye on them. In an effort to stay out and enjoy the day as much as they possibly could, they busied themselves trying to gather as many other friends on their little journey around the block. I soaked in the last rays of the sun’s warmth and rejoiced in their blessing of friendship.

Throughout our lives we make many different kinds of friends, perhaps somewhat dependent on life’s situations at the time. Friends that stick like glue through thick and thin and others that are only for a season. It’s not so much that some friendships are poorly designed necessarily or that we “un-friend” someone, but there’s a natural ebb and flow within friendships, just as there is with many things in life. Circumstances change, people move, jobs finish, and life gets in the way.

For the last several weeks, this topic has rented a fair amount of space in my head. I want to develop those friendships I have with my friends more deeply. I don’t want to be the glue stick friend who just has an attractive cover, may change colours when applied, and often times, can’t really cut the tough job of being a friend at all times. I want to be the crazy glue kind of friend who sticks around, may go unnoticed at times by others because there is no glitz and glam, but is there and dependable, ready with that listening ear and a cup of tea.

Today I join with Lisa-Jo Baker for another Five Minute Friday. Our topic today is Glue.

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Because we simply just don’t know

While I journey through this life into eternity…

I want to sing joyfully in the van,

I want to snuggle with my babies,

I want to take pictures with my mind,

I want to read an extra page to my child at bedtime,

I want to eat that piece of chocolate cake with boiled icing,

I want to kiss my love again and again,

I want to talk a little longer,

I want to laugh a little louder,

I want to count the stars and breathe in the fresh air of a moonlit night,

I want to relish the silence,

I want to embrace the noise,

I want to lend a hand,

I want to count my blessings,

I want to say another word, pray another word, write another word,

I want to share more, listen more, love more

…because we simply just don’t know

when.

In memory of Chris (1968-2013)

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Five Minute Friday: Write

Write.

As a teenager, I loved to read and write. It was fun, an escape. I would write corny poetry (admit it, you probably did too), the occasional short story, and letter after letter to pen pals.

In fact, it was through these letters, that I actually was given the opportunity, by my parents, to meet one of my pen pals. For several years, my friend, Stacey, and I would write several letters a year back and forth. Page after page. Each letter signed off with a “Write back soon!”

And then full-fledged adulthood hit, bills, stress, jobs, and our letters petered off until eventually we no longer heard from each other.

I still wrote, but life became filled with reports, tests, documentation, and soon that was the only writing I was doing. The only leisure writing was a quick email or status update. But last summer happened, and I decided to write again. For fun. Because I wanted to. An escape like the old days.

Now to just pick up a real piece of paper, and write an old friend a letter that should have been written long ago.

Today I joined up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. The topic today was: Write.

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Letting Go and Let to be a Mom

Life is crazy! This I know for certain. If I over think my life as a mom, I could go crazy. All too often we beat ourselves up over the least little things, or we allow ourselves to get beyond the point of usefulness in these little battles.

Emotions are raw, feelings are hurt and egos are bruised.

The more I read on social media, the more I believe that I am an incredibly unfit mother at times. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Doubt creeps in. Issues are created. We build our fences. Walls are constructed. The ring has been placed out in the open. Gloves have been put on. Even a spectator or two has wandered in to observe the match.

And why do we feel we must draw blood? Be right all of the time.

It is these little battles that will divide us.

I don’t need to list all of these issues out here. You know the ones I’m talking about. You walk into a room and there is that undeniable hush. “Did you know that she lets her kids…? Puts her kids in…? Feeds her kids…? Bought her kids…? Made her kids…?” And heaven help us, if the issues are brought up on our favourite social media venue! They are no longer whispers, but shouts and sometimes virtual fisticuffs.

All of these little battles conquering us, when really we need to take a step back and realize that we are in this process together. We inherently have the same goal for our children. To grow them into productive human beings, who will give back, love and be loved.

We just need to lie down. Some of these micro-battles were never meant to be fought. The imaginary foe didn’t even draw a line in the sand.

But yet, these battles wage on in our minds, on our computer screens, and at the sidelines of our children’s games in the park.

It is not a war to be won. Relax. Withdraw your sword (of words) before you trip and a childhood, your child’s, has passed right by you.

Tears will come, issues will surround us, and there will always be people who think differently than you. But this is a life to be lived. Enjoyed even. With a little play and hard work thrown in there for good measure.

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