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.