Saturday, 28 December 2013


Once again we are entering that time of year when we make our New Years Resolutions. Lose weight and excercise more are probably at the top of a lot of our lists. Of course I would love to be a little trimmer around the mid section, and I have already begun to excercise more than I have been in the past, but my resolutions are a little deeper and personal.

This year  I want to take care of my mind and my inner body. I want to concentrate on the things that make me happy and feed my soul. I am going to take more time to reflect on the things that bring joy to my life and explore why these things make me happy. I want to seek out and make any changes I can bring to my life that encourage more personal growth and satisfaction. I am going to do things that make me happy and try to weed out anything that doesn't. I want to work at resolving issues that have brought me distress, unhappiness and conflict and work towards becoming a healthier me, not only outside but more so from within.

Another thing I'm going to work at this coming year is alleviating myself of conflict that I have been carrying. I had some really hurt feelings this past year and after much reflection and inner searching I have come to the conclusion that it is easier said than done to forgive and forget. I think the forgiveness part is much easier than the forgetting. I was told once that if you can't forgive and forget the transgressions of the past your life is hampered and you become stuck in a rut and you can't find happiness. I actually don't completely agree with the analogy. I think we learn from the past to become more self protective. We also learn that when hurt by certain individuals we have to protect ourselves in the future. Much like a deep wound in the flesh. It will heal, but it also leaves a scar. And that scar constantly serves as a reminder to not do again, what caused the scar in the first place. So going forward I will be wary of things that have given me the invisible scars and protect myself so that it doesn't happen again. I'm sure there are so many of you out there that know exactly what I'm talking about. We can forgive and move on, but I don't agree that forgetting is always part of the healing. That's why we have history. For example, if we choose to forget about the attrocities that happened to the Jewish people in WWll, we would be committing a diservice to those that died. We can forgive, but we must never forget.

That said, I'm looking forward to the coming year and excited to embark on my inner journey.  I am entering it with my best friend and husband at my side, whom I grow closer to with each passing moment and my children who bring me joy and happiness.

Happy New Year everyone and here's to hoping you all find our own inner peace and strength.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


I've been doing a lot of thinking about Christmas these days and how commercialised it has become. It feels so much different that when I was a kid. Now it seems to be all about presents, over spending and credit card bills in January. It has lost its magic. And by magic I don't mean Santa Claus.

You see, I'm a little different. I never believed in Santa Claus. My family is from European decent which means we opened presents on Christmas Eve together and went to Church on Christmas Day. We celebrated the true meaning of Christmas.

 Now I'm not here on my blog to preach or try to sway anyones religious beliefs. I don't do that, and I never will. We live in a free and diverse country where we are all able to practice our own beliefs and values, and that's what makes this nation great. We respect one another.  But for me personally I want the Christ back in Christmas.

Even early on in life I was always puzzled why people celebrated Christmas when they didn't believe in it. Why not get their own holiday I used to say. Why do they have to hijack ours? And hijacked it has become. Christmas has been over ridden with HO HO HO, and Santa Claus. There is an overabundance of presents and things we don't need, and people get stressed out trying to please every one and buy gifts for their bosses, neighbours, friends, kids and family. The amount of money that gets spent at this time of the year is astounding. The pressure to conform to this idocy is massive, and I just don't think its the way it should be. I don't want to buy a gift for my childrens teacher. ( Sorry teachers, I love you, but do you really need one more mug or candle that says #1 Teacher? )And I just don't want to send out 50 Christmas Cards to people. I don't have time and I find myself getting more and more resentful as my hand gets cramped trying to find something witty and personal to say in every card. So I've tossed the Christmas card tradition. Bah Humbug.

Now I'm not trying to be a scrooge, that's not what I mean, but I want the old fashioned Christmas this year. I want it to be about food, family and the real reason we celebrate.The birth of Jesus Christ. CHRISTmas. I have explained to my kids that this year, we are toning it down. We are reverting back to what it means to celebrate this very important day. We are celebrating a Birth. And that means its a joyous occasion. Of course there will still be presents, it is a birthday party. But it isn't going to be centered around the gifts. Our focus is going to be about being together as a family.

I have 3 favorite Christmas shows. Charlie Brown, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Its a Wonderful Life. Each of these classics have a very important message to share. But I think Dr Suess says it best, when the Grinch, after stealing all the presents, the decorations and even the Roast Beast awakens to find the Who's down in Whoville singing on Christmas morning. It goes something like this......

And the Grinch, with his grinch feet ice-cold in the snow
Stood puzzling and puzzling, How could it be so

It came without ribbons, it came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before

Why maybe, he thougth, it doesn't come from a store
Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.

Well said, Mr Grinch, well said.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


                                                       JUST A FEW MONTHS APART

I've mentioned before how much I love the 4 seasons. It fascinates me how quickly things grow only to die off, or become dormant for winter. From the glorious greens of spring to the peak of summer flowers, to the Autumn Harvest, and then winters white blanket, the four seasons show us life.

When I was in the yard yesterday I snapped a picture of the sunflowers of summer. Their majestic heads were bowed as if in defeat, their lives ended, only a shell remaining. I thought back to the heat of summer when their awesome heads rose proud toward the sun as I stood beneath their towering beauty and how quickly it went from that to this. Like life. It speeds by as if in a moment. There is no stopping the progression of time, so even though we are caught up in the pursuits of working, making money, buying things and surviving, we need to watch natures reminders that all these things are fleeting.

Relishing in the snow fall yesterday, I watched my dog as he raced through the snow. He was chasing snowballs and leaping through snow banks. He was in pure bliss. Even my old dog Barley took the time to push through the snow, though it took its toll on the old boy. I'm sure for him it was worth it. But to watch my dog, just enjoying the moment with pure abandon, made me think that we don't do that enough in our own lives. We are all so caught up in the rat race that just doing something for the sake of doing it, gets pushed in the background. So I decided to join him. We ran around in the snow. I made snow angels, and hit the sled a few times with my daughter. We went on a beautiful walk through the woods and stopped and appreciated all the finer details that were there for our enjoyment. The forest presented us with its beautiful artwork, that no man's hand can create. We were treated to the angry chatter of squirrels as we passed by, themselves busy with the process of getting themselves ready for the long winter ahead.

 It absolutely takes my breath away to be able to be a part of the progression of life. When my own body, like the sunflower, is bent and old and just a shell, I hope I can reflect back on a life that held meaning, adventure and a bucket full of special moments. Nature has endless things to teach us. We just need to watch and listen and enjoy the now. Because that's all we have.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Well, we have had quite the last week and a half. The cold season has hit our home full force, and after not having had too many illnesses since we moved to Yarmouth, I guess we needed to make up for lost time. Definitely not a great time of the year to be sick, when you are trying to get Christmas shopping done, and Christmas concerts, rehearsals and dress rehearsals. But we are pushing through, and I think I may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

It is now only 13 days until Christmas and this morning sure looks the part. It snowed through the night and upon awakening we were greeted with fresh powdery snow. It's -5 which to me is the perfect temperature, and no wind. Glorious. I am taking this opportunity to immerse myself in the magic of winter and the season and revel in my day off. Today it is everything winter, everything Christmas, and I will even forgive myself for the laundry I forgot on the line last night.

This past little while I have been so wrapped up in being the perfect working Mom, I have forgotten what is really important. And as I sit by the fire this morning, I am reminding myself of all the things in my life that mean the most to me. My husband, my kids, my Mom and Dad, sister and brothers back home, my 2 awesome dogs and the wonderful life that surrounds me. It's not about being a perfect Mom, its about being a happy one, with peace and balance. I have been doing so much thinking lately about what makes me joyful and fills me with contentment and gratitude. I have also been working through who is important in my life, who makes me feel the ways I want to feel, and who doesn't. Who I should continue to allow to work in my life and who doesn't bring me the pleasure and joy that my life should be. Sometimes its a sobering reality when you realize and admit to one self that certain relationships have been completely one sided, and when you stop engaging with someone by always making contact, those people you thought were so important in your life really aren't because you weren't important to them. It's taken me a great many years to come to some of these conclusions, but even though its hard, its also very enlightening. It is starting to free me of certain feelings that I didn't even know I had. I think it's always important in life to keep on learning about ourselves. Read in to our own thoughts and feelings and reach deep for what really matters most. My transition from Stay at Home mom to working Mom has been very difficult. But it has also brought me a new awareness of the little moments and little things that I used to take for granted.

So without further adieu I shall don my snow boots, put on my toque and pull up my snow pants, for its off in to my woods I go. With the towering trees, their branches bending with snow, the hush of the land, silenced by a blanket of white, this is where I find my inner peace. The crunch of snow and a warm fire to come home to, there is no greater joy.

Monday, 2 December 2013


So last week my husband and I had the opportunity to relish in a few much needed days away from the old Homestead. Hubby had a conference to attend in Truro, Nova Scotia, so we added on an extra couple of days and made a little journey out of it. We drove the Fundy Coast all the way from Annapolis Royal, to Victoria Beach and then onward, taking every dirt road we could find that would take us to the water. It was spectacular. There was a big storm that was headed our way and we were always just a step ahead until finally it caught up to us at our stopping point in Wolfville, where we spent the night. We rested our heads at an absolutely amazing B&B. We stayed at the Olde Lantern Inn, a truly idyllic place to spend some time after a full day of travel. It is located on a Vineyard in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, and is conveniently located within steps to the Grand Pre Winery which is right next door. The host was more than welcoming and had a lovely fire going in the Common Area as the storm raged outside.

In the morning we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and great conversation with our Host, an individual of like minded ideas and philosophy that provided myself with a wonderful and much needed reminder of what's important in life. I believe we cross paths with people in life for a reason, and this was one of those times.

So it was onward to Truro, and hubby and I drove through the aftermath of quite the storm. The Bay of Fundy was still churning and the seas seemed angry and foreboding as we drove through the country side. There were still dark clouds gathered over the water and the tropical temperatures that had greeted us upon awakening plunged to freezing in a matter of hours. Flurries began to fall, and it felt like Winter once again.

We arrived in Truro and checked in to our Hotel, and then promptly headed over to Victoria Park, one of my favorite city parks that I have had the pleasure of visiting. I love the lush green valley, the multilevel walkways that hug the sides of the hill, and the roaring waterfall as all the waters from the storm forced its way through a narrow gorge. It was cold and crisp and the puddles began to freeze once again. We walked throughout the park for almost 2 hours, enjoying the sound of a roaring river, wind in the trees and silent flurries as they fell from the sky.

As all good things go, this trip came to an end and it was back to reality. But not before we stopped at one of our favorite pubs for supper. It is in the beautiful town of Mahone Bay. No matter what time of year, this little village is bustling with activity. Its awesome beauty and ambiance is what makes this little hub such a great place to visit, and the Mug and Anchor Pub is the perfect place to grab a beer and sit by the crackling fire and enjoy some amazing East Coast Fair.

When we left the Pub the Carollers were singing in the Gazebo by the sea. The snow was falling softly and children carried lanterns as they lit up the Christmas lights in town. The church bell rang and everyone was clapping as the big tree by the water was lit up for all to enjoy. It felt like a scene from a story book, and I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised if Santa had flown by on his sleigh.

As I hugged my husband close, and we took in everything around us, I felt so blessed to be alive. Its the moments in life that count, and I am truly blessed to be a living in this beautiful province of Nova Scotia. It is a gem among gems.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Yesterday was an another amazing day for me. Something very special happened. My husband and I were home together, with no kids. Now I know this may not seem like a huge deal to all of you out there, but to us, its golden. You see, we are never ever alone together in the house. EVER. There is always one or more kids around. We don't mind it, we love it that way, but we didn't realize, until yesterday, how amazing it is to have the house to ourselves. As we bid the little darlings farewell as they trudged off to the school bus, we were grinning like a couple of kids. We leaped back in to bed and slept until 11. We made the most amazing omelets when we got up, filled with all the stuff that kids hate, like tomatoes and basil and feta cheese. Heck I even threw in a Kalamata Olive and some Capers just because I could.

Time alone together as Husband and Wife is normally something we have to leave the house to enjoy. It's usually dinner out, or a couple of days away. But staying home, alone, is a treasure that doesn't come around very often. And as our children grow older, I know that these days will become more frequent until one day, its just He and I again. But for now, I will treasure the special days, where for a short time I felt like a kid again, when I was left home alone for the first time. Pure fun, and satisfaction and a day I won't forget any time soon.

Monday, 25 November 2013


Well, I am officially in the Christmas spirit. The snow was falling yesterday, the air was crisp, cold and dry, and we finished decorating the house. I had my Christmas scented candles burning as Jimmy Rankin's Tinsel Town blasted from the stereo. In the afternoon, I ventured out in to the woods to get some greenery for my Centrepiece on the Dining Room table and I was awed by the beauty as I stood silently in the woods as the snow blew around me. I could see fresh deer tracks as I made my way through the trails and it felt so wonderful being out there and part of the wonderful world around me.

I love the preparation for Christmas. The coziness of the fire burning as the wind and snow howl around the house, makes me feel so safe and secure. Every season in Nova Scotia has its beauty and wonder, and as Winter approaches my excitement rises at the prospect of walks after a fresh snowfall, sledding by flashlight under a cold starry night, and freezing hands wrapped around a steaming mug of hot chocolate. There truly is nothing as satisfying as that.

Last night as we sat admiring the tree as the candles flickered in the darkness I felt an extreme contentedness envelope me. My love of my husband and children, as I listened to them laugh and joke with one another, filled my soul with gladness. I truly am a very lucky woman to be able to have these times with my family.

Later on, I listened as each of my kids spent time on the phone with their Oma ( my Mom ) and it warmed my heart to hear them enjoy talking with her. It made my night complete. Because even though my parents are far away, the distance is made shorter by the relationship and bond they have with them. Yes, yesterday was truly the perfect day.

Friday, 15 November 2013


The other day I was having my weekly visit with my friend Ernie. And as I have noted here before, he has a tremendous amount of knowledge to share with me. It's not only the things like what natural fertilizers to use on my garden or how to get rid of a pesky porcupine, but its the lessons in life that are the greatest gifts he is giving me.

We were sitting in his house ( which is over 100 years old ) and basking in the warmth of the fire in the old McClary Stove. As I sat fixing his glasses, he talked to me about Cars. Ernie loves cars and can go on for a long time about what makes one better than the other and so on and so forth. He then said to me that he never once had a new car. He told me people would sometimes pester him and say, "Ernie, why don't you buy yourself a new car? Don't you want something nice?" I asked him what he thought and felt when people had asked him this question. And he smiled. He said, "Well, I just let them know that nothing stays new forever, and that I hoped they enjoyed making their payments on their "new car" while I owned mine. I've never had much in life, but I never owed anyone anything either."

I think life has changed a lot over the last generation. I sometimes say I was born in the wrong time because a lot of the things that seem to be important in life don't matter to me. I don't care for fancy, I don't care about name brands and I really don't care if some one has a nicer car or house than I do. I just want every one to be happy. Money just doesn't impress me. It often makes me sad when I see people worship the rich and the famous. What makes them think that just because they have money and fame they have earned that attention. Or even want it for that matter. Can you imagine never being able to go out in public without knowing some one might recognize you. Can you imagine what it must be like to not really know if friends are true friends or they are just there for your wealth, or what they can do for you?

I'll tell you a story about the time I met Bill Gates. Now here's a guy who has wealth. Not just money, but WEALTH. I met him at a Marina in British Columbia. My husband, kids and I were caretaking a small island there that was owned by an American. It was one of many islands in the area that were privately owned, and most used the Marina where we also went in an out of on our daily commute to and from town and school for the kids. I had just recently had a baby and I was coming back from the Public Health nurse, where my little girl had gotten her immunization. I had my hands full with the baby in the car seat, diaper bag and some grocery bags as I was trying to manoeuvre myself in to the boat to go home. As I was doing this, one of the crew boats from the neighbouring island pulled in to the slip beside me. The owner and another gentleman hopped out and tied up the boat. When they saw me, they walked up and offered to help. My neighbour introduced me to his friend "Bill" and asked if they could hold the baby. Of course I was more than happy to turf the baby while I loaded up the boat with stuff, and I smiled and made small talk with "Bill" who seemed to have a puzzled look on his face at first, but then was genuinely full of smiles and was busy entertaining the baby. He asked me about how I was feeling, and how it was quite an accomplishment to be able to manage a baby and a boat. He told me he thought it was "quite something."I smiled back, as he handed me my daughter and I took off in my boat homeward bound.

When I returned back to the island I noticed a plane floating at the dock across the bay on the neighbouring Island. Hmmmm, I thought, the neighbours have company. As I walked up to the house my husband and the Assistant Caretaker rushed up to me excitedly telling me Bill Gates had flown in that very morning. I groaned, as I realized who Bill at the Marina was. But then I realized something else. I understood his quizzical look and then his undeniable delight in the fact that I had absolutely no idea on earth who he was. He was able for that moment in time, to be completely genuine as I treated him just like I would anyone else. With kindness, happiness and no false persona. You see, no matter how much money one has, whether it be a lot or a little, we really all just want one thing. And that's genuine respect. No false pretences. And that's how life should be. We shouldn't measure someone's worth by what their house looks like or what car they drive or if their coat is a Columbia, North Face or from the neighbourhood Thrift Store. Our worth should be measured by our kindness, our deeds and our uniqueness. Does Bill Gates remember me? I 100 percent doubt it. But I remember him and the lesson he taught me, without ever knowing he did. He showed the real him. All because I was unimpressed with who he was and what he was. A very cool thing indeed.

Thursday, 14 November 2013


Well I suppose my transitioning in to part time working Mom is a little more difficult than I had first imagined. I have been trying to be everything all at once, and maintain the standards that I had for myself when I wasn't employed, and continue everything now that I am working outside the home. Lesson learned is that it's impossible. I am getting more weary by the day, and I realized I am starting to lose sight of what I want my life to be all about.

I think achieving the work life balance is very important. But it is something extremely difficult to achieve. As I was coming up my front walkway a few evenings ago, I noticed a single rose was still blooming.

And what made me sad about it, is that I haven't had time to appreciate all the changes that have been going on around me the last few weeks. We have gone from the brilliant colors of autumn to the bare bones of winter and frost and I haven't had a chance to take it all in.

I have put the importance of being the perfect wife and mother before what it really means to live. I once saw on a friends facebook a little saying that they have hung in their home. It said " Excuse the messy house, we live here. " And you know what? It's true. We do live here. All five of us plus 2 dogs and a cat. And that means there will be dirt at the front door, and dishes in the sink, and laundry here and there. I have been putting all the pressure on myself to make sure all is running smoothly. I have a hard time accepting help in the house if it isn't done to my standards. And that just isn't right.

So I am trying to teach myself that it isn't a reflection on me personally if the bed isn't made or the laundry isn't done. It's more important that I have those moments with my kids. Smelling the roses, playing with our rabbits, or going for a walk on a crisp November day with my husband as the sun reflects over a quiet lake as evening sets in.

Last Sunday my husband and I decided to drop all the chores that needed to be done and hit the road for awhile. We got ourselves lost on the dirt roads of Meteghan and just enjoyed the wonderful scenery and peace that abounds in the backwoods. We came across the remains of an old sawmill and the village that was once there, disappearing in to the landscape.

It serves as a reminder that what is once there, will not always be. Time ticks along methodically until that moment when the clock stops for you or I. We need to remember to stop and smell the roses. We need to take the time to notice the minute details and beauty that nature has to offer instead of running on the treadmill of life to achieve a purpose that is empty and devoid of any true blissful happiness. The reality is, I need to work so that we have enough money to survive. But I don't need to set unrealistic standards for myself that can not be met and will only bring with it feelings of regret and ineptitude.

I love life and I love nature. I love my husband and I love my kids. Those are my priorities and those are my reason for being. And most of all, those are the things that bring me my own personal bliss.

So going forward, my house is going to be messier than it once was. Once in awhile, we will eat Mac and Cheese for supper, and Horror of Horrors, the bed may not be made. But I will be happy because I have gone and spent a few extra hours outdoors with my kids, finding the beauty of the forest, and appreciating the time we have together.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


My life has been somewhat crazy the last little while. I have been adjusting to a new schedule that has me feeling somewhat exhausted a lot of the time. Being a working Mom is not easy, especially when the family has gotten used to me running the household and the yard all on my own this past 2 years. That said, things are slowly adjusting and we are getting in to a new routine that is starting to work for all of us. I'm hoping that my ability to be able to find quiet time for my writing will find its way back up my priority list. After finding my writing voice again, it has brought me so much pleasure, and my hopes are that I can continue on writing and finding the joy and fulfillment that it has brought me so far.

Something that has been keeping me grounded through my Stay at Home Mom to working Mom transition is the beauty that surrounds me when I come home at the end of the day. The way the light shines through the trees and the immense beauty of the leaves as they have reached the end of their amazing fall display induces a feeling of peace and also inspiration in my life.

 You see, sometimes in life things can get hard. There can be a shadow or a dark cloud that passes over your day that blocks the light from coming through. Storms can descend on life and it feels as if everything is being blown in different directions as the chaos ensues. But there is always the calm after the storm. The moment when the sky opens up and the light shines through bringing with it the peace and tranquility that we all need. This is what my little piece of heaven does for me. When I take a breath at the end of the day, and stand in the yard and allow all its beauty and wonder to seep in to my soul for a moment., I feel that light shine through me. And it makes me feel whole once again.


Thursday, 31 October 2013


Today dawned bright and beautiful. The sun rising up through the mist that hung over the lake cast a red glow over the frosty ground. The air was crisp and cold and as we stoked up the fire in the woodstove, hot tea cups in hand we watched as the sky turned fiery red. But as they say, Red Sky in Morning Sailors Warning, so I'm anticipating some rain in the near future. But its beautiful right now and its the perfect day for Halloween.

As a parent I've always loved Halloween night although I don't really go for all the creepy witch and devil stuff. For me its more the carving of pumpkins and the smell of them when you first light them up and see them glow. It's the crisp night air when you take the little ones trick or treating and the echo of the children's laughter as they run from house to house. Its the hot chocolate in hand as you greet other parents and smile at one another, understanding that this night is for the kids, and how cute are they? And how lucky are we to be parents?

I've gone through 3 children and endless costumes. From Luke Skywalker to ghosts and vampires we have done 20 years of trick or treating. But tonight, an era of our lives has passed. Our littlest one, who is not so little anymore, wants to go with her friends. And so, as Mom and Dad, we will sit home on Halloween.

 I know its the first of many last times. There will be the last Christmas Concert at school, the last Band Recital, Dance Recital or Soccer Game. There will be the last day of school, and the dreaded day when the last child moves out on their own. I love being a parent, even though its not always easy, and I hope the walls of my home will ring with the laughter of grandchildren when my kids are all grown. My husband and I already talk about the kind of Grandparents we will be, and our kids aren't even grown up yet. We tell our children now, that when they have kids in the future, we will be there. We want to have them over as much as we can, and support them in every way possible.

Last night our youngest went to the Halloween Dance at school. When we went to pick her up there were little ones everywhere, dressed in their Halloween finest. The excitement in the air fueled by the sugar rush of candy and chocolate made for a merry atmosphere. As we watched them all scooting here and there my husband turned to me and smiled. " I love kids!" he said. I nodded in understanding. There's nothing like them.

Happy Halloween everybody.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


When I first started this blog it was a way of getting me writing again. I had to push certain boundaries within myself to even have the courage to put stuff out there because I lack confidence as most writers do. I wanted my blog to be open, honest and real. When I write I do so freely. I spell check, but that's about it. I don't worry about grammar, using fancy language and trying to be someone I'm not. I write just as I would sit and talk if we were having a conversation over a cup of tea. Blogging is different than writing a short story, novel or even an article. To me, the best blogs are the real ones. The ones where individuals aren't trying to be someone they are not, or writing to appear super intelligent, unbelievably talented or have an amazing, free from any problems, life. I also needed it to be something that I enjoyed and didn't take up much time. I write quickly and then put it out there. You can probably tell from my posts if I've had a busy day, a tiring one or an excitingly awesome day just by the length of my post and how bad my grammar is that day.

To me writing and reading is as important as breathing and I read as much as I can. I love all sorts of literature, poetry and trashy beach novels. I'm not picky. But the kind of writing that turns me off is where someone is trying to be some one they aren't. You know what I mean. The novels and stories where it seems they had their thesaurus next to them as they wrote, trying to use the biggest words possible. It doesn't make for pleasant reading. It is pretentious writing and its not for me. When I read something that someone has written, I want to hear their voice in the words. I want to know them. I want it to be real. I don't want to think they sat with the piece for hours and hours rewriting, correcting, looking up words. It loses so much in this process. It loses their own voice.

I don't want my writing to be like that. I want you the reader to be able to imagine what it would be like to sit and have a chat together. I want it to be friendly and I want it to be me. The thing is, when I first started writing this blog, no one was reading it. I had no audience, so it didn't matter to me either way. Now, there are quite a few of you. And that's great. I love to have you in my life whoever and wherever you might be, but I feel an extra pressure. I start to agonize over what certain people in my life think when they read it. I don't want to feel this way, and I want my writing to continue to be real. I have to shut these feelings off and continue to not worry about what others think or feel. The blog is me, about me, my point of view and opinions. In the case of blogging I don't feel you are writing for the reader as much as you are journaling your day to day events and  thoughts.

So I am going to stay real, going to stay positive, and going to stay me, no matter what. I think that's what you deserve as my readers. You deserve the real me, my real life and concepts and opinions and my true voice. Thanks to all who support me, and your constant kind words and feedback. You truly learn in many of life's situations who wants the best for you, who supports you in all walks of life, and who out there doesn't. Stay real everybody.

Friday, 18 October 2013


I can't believe we are in mid October already. Autumn is flying by so quickly and soon we will be in the depths of winter.

As we carry forward towards November I can't help but think how quickly life goes by. Sometimes I can't believe when I look in the mirror that I'm already in my 40's. When did that happen? I think my mind is still sitting at somewhere around 28 and I'll probably let it stay there. The rest of me though is no longer in the late 20's mode. I'm ok with that though. I am very happy with who I am, where I am, and who I am with. The experiences I've had over the course of my lifetime so far have been bountiful, and the people I have met along the way are irreplaceable. To my friends out there far and wide, you are a huge part of my life, even though we may not talk all time. When we do finally get on the phone and have a chat, its like we were never apart. And remember the door is always open here at our house, and there's always wine in the fridge!

As I was driving through the country side this morning I was thinking about the friends I have made over the years and how much I miss them. In my life I have made some really great connections, and I do wish we could get together more than we do. Some of my friends I haven't seen since we moved across the country, and even though it feels as if such little time has passed, in reality it has been 6 years. We are older, somewhat wiser ( maybe ) and have had a multitude of experiences that we haven't shared together. But they are still a apart of my life no matter how far away we all are and the amazing memories we created together are never forgotten.

But it really drives the point home of enjoying the moment and trying not to be in such a rush. As I drove home from my visit with my guy Ernie, I took the time to pull over, take in the scenery around me and snap some photos. I took in the silence of the day, the beautiful sunshine, and the Autumn colors that were reflected in the river. And my thoughts today as I did so were on all the friends I have made so far in life, and the excitement of meeting new ones as well. I am truly blessed to have you all in my life, so this post is for you.

Thursday, 17 October 2013


When I look at my daughter I see pieces of myself. I see my eyes, or a certain expression, her stubborn personality or the love of climbing trees. I also see the differences. Her love of clothes, makeup, hair styles and dance. Her uniqueness is what makes her so beautiful and so special and I love her, like all my kids, more than life itself. I would move mountains for my kids if I could, and I want only the best for them in every way possible.

When I see the tremendous pressure that girls are under these days it scares me. The magazines, the movies, the billboards, the music videos and Hollywood to name a few are the influences that our younger generation sees as the norm. This is how they are told to dress, to act, to be. If they don't achieve this unattainable look they somehow don't measure up.
You see, I am a true believer in equality. For EVERYONE. In our world there has been and still is slavery, hatred, inequality and prejudice. I don't understand it. I can't see why any of use would be intolerable of any one else because of their religious beliefs, gender or race. I would have thought we would have learned those lessons by now. And we have somewhat. Through education and individuals that have spoken out we have come leaps and bounds further than we ever have in our society.
But I for one am concerned for Women. I personally don't feel equal. There are still the old opinions. If you say you are a feminist you are considered a bitch ( excuse the language ) The same goes for women in power. A man earned his way to the top, a woman was a bitch to get there, or slept her way there. When I received my pilot's license many years ago I was told by more than one individual that they would never fly with me because I was a woman. Think I'm exaggerating? I'm not. A couple of years ago I was on a flight. When the Captain's voice came on the speaker, and it was a female, you could see the looks passing between people. I even heard someone utter, " Oh no, a woman pilot." You know what? There are good pilot's, great pilots and terrible pilot's. It really doesn't matter what sex they are.
As a woman, I feel this generation has taken a huge leap backwards. We have allowed the sexualisation of our young girls to take place and done absolutely nothing to stand in its way. We should be shouting from the rooftops. Instead we allow our girls to be sexualized on magazine covers, billboards and in music videos. Our latest fashions for teens promote sex. Breast augmentation is at an all time high for young women, as is Bulimia and Anorexia. To garner male attention seems to be what's most important. If you watch Pop Music Videos, most show women ( young girls ) in subservient positions. Movie stars that are men are considered more handsome as they grow older, women movie stars just get older and disappear.
It's the same in literature. Fifty Shades of Grey was an all time best seller in which the Male character was the dominator and the woman a submissive, having no control in the relationship. What message are we sending out there? To men and women?
You see, in this world we have had to fight for equality. The United States finally had their first Black President and we celebrated. Canada has become a top multicultural country with equal rights for any race and we are proud. Yet our girls are sexualized every day. We don't care. Some people even say we want it this way.  I was told recently when having this conversation about this topic that "Us girls like the attention we get, and we dress provocatively on purpose. We want male attention. It's our goal." Well, its not mine and I don't want it to be that way for our daughters.
We have wars over oil. We have wars over money. But we turn a blind eye to the fact that 8 and 9 year old girls are being married off to older men, then dying or being permanently injured on their so called wedding night. We don't care that women are being suppressed, forced in to marriages they don't want and denied education. In my own country we as women have only been allowed to vote in an election for less than a hundred years. That's in someone's present day life span, and I know some women who will still vote for whomever their husband tells them to. They don't and can't have their own opinions.
So here is my wish for my daughter. That when she grows up, she feels equal. To anyone. That she never has to feel different because she is a woman pilot or engineer, or welder. That she can feel proud to be happy with herself. Her body, who she is and what she is, not measured by what the media tells us we should be, but what we want to be. That she finds personal satisfaction with herself and that she finds a partner in life that feels the same way. And most of all I hope that we can all band together to ensure that our world is a safe place for women, where we have equal rights and opportunities no matter where we live. We deserve it. Isn't it worth fighting for?

Saturday, 12 October 2013


In Canada this our Thanksgiving weekend. Next to Christmas this is one of my favorite holidays. It's not that I like Turkey that much, its the fellowship that I enjoy. There is so much to be thankful for in this life, and what better way to do so than with family and friends.

We started off our long weekend with a beautiful drive to Shelburne, Nova Scotia. My parents are here for the month and they couldn't have picked a better time to come. The temperature yesterday was 24 degrees and we were able to sit outside on the patio at The Sea Dog Pub in Shelburne and enjoy an amazing locally brewed beer from the Boxing Rock Brewery while enjoying the fall colors that adorned the harbour as the boats bobbed on their moorings swinging to and fro with the tide.

I truly give thanks to be able to enjoy this time with my parents. My husband and I had a ball driving all the scenic routes from here to Shelburne, enjoying the many ocean vistas, a gorgeous white sandy beach and an idyllic little town at the end of the journey. Time together is so precious and it means so much to be able to share these special moments together.

Now I look forward to the Turkey supper ahead that we will prepare as a family over some good wine and laughter. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. From my house to yours.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Growing up in a suburban city outside Vancouver, British Columbia, my life was so much different than what my kids have been exposed to living in rural Nova Scotia. I had sidewalks to walk to school on and everyone's lawns and gardens were manicured as if on display. If you had an acreage you were rich and everyone had a paved driveway. We walked or rode our bikes to elementary school as opposed to taking the school bus and there was transit to get you around town. You absolutely locked your door at night and there were street lights, so it was never completely dark.

For my kids, its the opposite. They have to take the bus to get to school. There are no sidewalks or street lights. If  you have an acerage, it didn't cost that much to buy it but if your driveway is paved, well then, you probably have a few extra bucks lying around. They have also grown up knowing that the night sky has an abundance of stars. I read in an article recently that in the country with no artificial light you can see, on average 2000 stars in the sky. In the city, you see around 12. Wow.

But one of the biggest differences I see for my children is that they are much more in touch with where their food comes from than I was as a child. Of course I knew vegetables grew on a farm, and cows gave us milk, but I didn't get to see it first hand. My kids know what it takes to grow food and raise food and they know it doesn't just come wrapped up in plastic from the grocery store. They also know the hard work that goes in to what appears on the supper table, especially seafood. Lobster season is approaching here in Yarmouth. The traps are being readied, and the fisherman/women are busy getting everything in to shape for the beginning of the season. It is a hard life. It is dangerous and it is cold.  And my children know that when dumping day arrives, half of the able bodied kids that are old enough will be absent from school, helping their Dad's, Mom's, Uncles and Aunts set the traps. ( Dumping day refers to when the Lobster Season opens and all the fishing boats "dump" their traps )

Living rurally and in a small town has many blessings and so many lessons. I'm so glad my children have an opportunity to experience life a little differently than where I grew up. Its not that I didn't like where I was raised, but it just didn't have that true Canadian experience. It felt a little priviledged and disconnected from real life. No one was a farmer where I grew up, nor was anyone a fisherman. Most of the kids I grew up with led a priviedged life. They didn't have to help out on the farm, or help Dad and Mom fish. Life was easy and that world for me felt like an unrealistic bubble. I'm a back to the land kind of person and I have no interest in living a suburban life. Great for some people, but a prison for me. Give me a starry night, a field of hay, a hoe and a shovel anyday over a sidewalk, a street lamp or traffic. I need my ATV and hiking boots and I would rather get muddy than have a spa treatment. And truly, I want my kids to know that life is hard sometimes, and you have to work a little to reap some benefits.
So when life goes on and my kids end up living in a high rise in a city somewhere when they are grown,I know they will never forget the lessons small town rural living gave them. They will know that you have to work hard to grow food, and you have to risk your life to put seafood on someone else's table. They will always know the taste of lobster fresh from the sea and they will be able to envision the fisherman's hands, chapped from the cold, as he hands them over. They will always remember the tast of a tomato fresh from the vine, and the smell of freshly mown hay. No matter where they go, or what they do, they will always appreciate those starry nights with thousands of stars twinkling above and darkness so dark, you can't see your hand in front of your face. And most importantly, they will remember what it feels like to listen and hear what it sounds like to have no sound at all. The silence of country life. What a wonderful thing indeed.

Sunday, 6 October 2013


Being a parent can be challenging. Truly I don't remember a time any longer when I wasn't tired. Somehow I just never feel completely rested. It dawned on me the other day that I don't think I have slept continuously through the night more than a few times in the last 21 years. Phew, no wonder I'm tired.

There's always things to think about, kids to listen for, lists to made and revamped in my head, things to worry about, things to be excited about, dogs that need to be let out in the night, sick kids, throwing up kids and kids afraid of the dark. And lets not forget Mommy and Daddy time, which has to take place when everyone is asleep. Romantic, I know ( interject sarcasm here )

Being a seasoned Mom, I smile kindly when new Moms talk about how tired they are but how, as soon as the baby starts sleeping through the night, everything will go back to normal.  Somehow they have this notion, lets call it blind hope, that this exhaustion is a passing thing, and that as soon as Junior grows out of this little stage, all will be well. The thing is, Junior grows up to be a teenager, and then a young adult who doesn't always call home or tell you where they are going, and you imagine all sorts of hideous scenarios of death, accidents and murder that have happend to them, making for some horrendously sleepless nights. And also, more times than not, we have more kids, so just when we think we have things under control, we give birth to another one of the little darlings. Insanity, I know!

Another thing about being a parent is no alone time in the bathroom. I can't have a shower or go to the bathroom in peace. This is a thing of the far distant past. Shower time means sibling fights, spills in the kitchen, kids trying to jimmy the lock on the bathroom because they have to go NOW and some sort of injury. Many a times I have found myself racing out of the shower, towel wrapped around me, dripping water all over the floor only to find angelic faces looking back at me. "What?" they say. "What was all the screaming about? I thought someone got killed?" I franticly look around for blood. "Oh that, we're fine now." And all faces turn back to the movie that's on the TV.

You see, when you sign on to be a parent, you are in for the long haul. There is no turning back, you just trudge on in the trenches. Sleep is a nice notion, a dream that will take  place sometime in the future. Privacy and Peace is something that exists in the lives of the couples that don't have kids. Have you ever noticed how well these people age? Where are their wrinkles? Their worry lines? Their muffin top? Their stretch marks? And why are they all tanned? Oh ya, they get to go to hot places on vacation. They can afford it. Sometimes I gaze on them with envy. But then I fall asleep while gazing. Have to catch those zzzzz's any chance you get.

But here's the thing. In all my complaining, and all my suffering, underneath lies a miracle. A miracle of life and love.  For each bad moment, there are 1000 good ones. For each "I HATE you MOM!" There are 1000 I love you's. For each Christmas emergency room visit with vomit on your tacky Christmas sweater, are many Christmas joys, of snuggles gazing at the tree lights, and faces of wonder when they see their stockings full Christmas morning. For each time your face is scrunched in worry ( that's where the wrinkles come from ) as you lie your hand against a feverish forhead and they shiver beneath their Hello Kitty quilt, you will have moments of sheer joy, as you see them dance across a stage or fly high on the trampoline as you shout, "BE CAREFUL!"

And the best thing of all, is when you show up for work on a Sunday morning and you open your lunch bag to grab an apple, and out falls a note that little hands slipped in there when you weren't looking. And as you open it a smile breaks out on your face as you read the words written there in child like scrawl. Dear Mom, I miss you. Hope you have a good day. P.S. Be Happy because I love you.

Those words make everything worth while. And Mommy loves you too.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


As I was driving in to work this morning I was reflecting on how different my life is now compared to 20 years ago. All the changes we have made to get where we are and how unbelievably blessed I feel to be where we are today. I thought about how two decades ago I had two jobs in different hospitals and had an hour commute through traffic and stop lights. Bumper to bumper cars, finding a parking spot, paying handsomley for said parking spot, and working hard at being a young Mom while the rest of my friends were in University. They were figuring out who they wanted to be, and I already knew who I was. Young working Mom. I had already gone through college at high speed and launched myself in to the work force two feet first. But what I wasn't prepared for was the lesson my Career Choice would teach me, and how it would mold my life in to something completely different than I thought it would be. And how, full circle I am back in Health Care, learning the same lessons all over again. I have always known them and never forgotten, but it is important to be reminded constantly at the fragility of life and how we need to be living in each moment and be present in ones own life.
 I started working in the Lab of the Hospital when I was just 21. I was young, adventuress and invincible. Sure I had my struggles being a young parent with so much responsibility while all my peers were in a different mind set. But I truly always felt everything would work out. As I started working I was completely unprepared for what it means to work in Health Care and for the things I would see. I quickly recognized that a lot of  people don't actually live that long, and that growing old was something that we didn't all get to do. I saw cancer, suicide, car accidents, heart attacks and diseases I had never heard of. I saw new parents leave the hospital with empty arms and grief stricken faces while elated ones got to take their new bundle of joy home with them. The realization that life wasn't fair, death didn't pick and choose, and that we only get this one shot, quickly embedded in to my brain. It is a lesson that to this day I feel completely honored to have learned. I have carried it with me all my life and it has compelled me to make choices in life that aren't always the norm. I have chosen life over money more times than I can count, and even though I'm not rich, or have a penny in the bank, I am rich in experiences, love and happiness.

So on the way to work this morning, as the mist rose from the fields, the sun climbed up in to the sky and red and orange leaves drifted down on to the road ahead I thanked God for everything in my life. I cranked up my music and thoroughly enjoyed that 20 years later my commute is down a country road with no traffic lights. I have amazing scenery and there is no traffic. And as I pull in to work and face the day in a Health Care setting that is not Acute Care, but long term, I get to gain the lessons and knowledge of what the Elders of our society have to teach me. I take the time to listen to their stories, and heed their warnings that life is short and to do what makes us happy. Should any of us be graced with the honor of living our lives out to a grand old age we should remember that when the journey is over, its our experiences, our happiness and the joy we brought not only to ourselves but to others that matters. So have that extra slice of pie once in awhile. Don't get caught up in how others perceive you, or try so very hard to preserve your body only to end up in a long term care facility because you worked so hard at being healthy. Enjoy, be happy and healthy and love life!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


I know I already posted today but I had to share this amazing morning with you as the fog dissipated. Autumn's miracles.