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.


It was an absolutely beautiful weekend weather wise here in Yarmouth. It was 20 degrees in the day time and dropped to about 5 at night. Crisp and clear and so lovely. We enjoyed ourselves with a campfire on Friday night and enjoyed the amazing display of the night sky. The milky way shone in all its glory, the owl kept us company with his spooky hooting, and even the loons gave us some night time music. I was surprised, I had thougth they had left for the winter, but in this I was mistaken.

I think campfires are such a great place to enter in to deep conversations. Everyone tends to open up a little more in the ambient glow of the flames as it creates an intimate environment. Its just the people around the fire and the crackle of wood. Truly the perfect setting for conversations about the unviverse, the stars and anything else our minds wonder about.

On Saturday we enjoyed a wonderful walk in Ellenwood Provincial Park. It is now closed for the season so it is ours to enjoy once again. We rarely bump in to anyone else in the park, so it is like having your own private oasis. The leaves are starting to change in to their brilliant colors, yet the water of the lake was still warm enough for us to dip our toes in.

 Sunday we spent cleaning and getting ready for the arrival of my parents from out West. I can't tell you how excited I am to see them, and how eternally grateful I feel for still having both my parents, and that they can still make the long journey to see me. I love them so dearly, and I can't wait until I see them come down that escalator at the airport and I catch my first glimpse. My mom and I always cry and hug and create a scene, its great. The countdown is on, just two more days!

So let the sun shine on for them and for all of us. Not just the sun in the sky, but the sun that shines in our lives, and gives us happiness, hope and wellness. We are truly blessed to be on this earth.