Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Last night we had a snowstorm. Not much in accumulation, just mostly nasty and annoying and tricky driving. But it didn't get in the way of us attending the Barra MacNeil's Christmas Concert! I was so thankful it didn't get cancelled. I have wanted to see their Christmas Concert for years and it was as great I knew it would be. I think I will go every year. I may have to find someone to go with since my family liked it but didn't love it like I did.
Tomorrow I am hoping we will complete the last minute shopping errands, change the beds and generally finalize the "to do" list. My mom is coming on the 23rd, we have hair appts and Marly has her "braces-off photo shoot". What a great perk from our orthodontist. I think Christmas Eve will arrive to a ready and happy and non-stressed household.
Frank is so happy on vacation and Marly will build the gingerbread house tomorrow. Everyone seems to be resting and content. I am getting excited at the thought of hosting Christmas dinner.
However, today Margie and Paul had the funeral for their mother and tomorrow Shelley buries her father. So close to Christmas. It is the first year without Cherie - I am still in disbelief about that. Karen is having the first Christmas without her Dad, Andrea without hers. This "circle of life" thing is not good. I am not ready for it at all. So much death. It must have always been there, I just never noticed because it didn't really affect me. Now I am at that age and stage. God bless all those souls who have gone and please extra bless those who are left behind.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
One more day of school tomorrow. Marly made and iced brownies for the english class party, bought sunchips for the PHAL party and will be making sugar cookies in the Food class party. I guess nothing is happening in science. She is happy and excited. Also, she babysat tonight and has a job lined up for Monday so that always makes her happy...cha ching!
Frank and I ran errands today. Got a lot done. Little things, but lots of stops. Some Christmas preparations. We even had a snack together. He is enjoying his vacation, especially with the new computer.
I have my last doc appt tomorrow, the ENT specialist. Then hopefully I won't see another doc until 2010. A few more errands. Marly is with her Dad on the weekend and we have the Barra MacNeil's Christmas concert on Sunday night. I have always wanted to see it, so I am very excited.
I am missing my Dad a lot lately but I am trying to be Christmassy. Of course, I am trying not to over-indulge Marly but it's soo hard. I'd buy her the world if I could, but Christmas isn't about that. I'm nervous about having Christmas Dinner here this year. Our house-hold is so quiet compared to others. We don't live in chaos. But it seems pretty boring.
I am learning to live up against the wall. I have so much I need to talk to my Dad about and he is not here and no one else is here. It's like being up against a brick wall. I am just stuck there. So I talk to myself and try to imagine what Dad would say and hope I get it right. I suppose that is what growing up is all about...doing it yourself. It's hard to listen when the words aren't spoken out loud.
It's still green here. Wisps and swirls of snow. Please hold off until all the Christmas travelling is done.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Although, I look like an idiot as I come down from crying in front of everyone.
But I love being shiny clean and everything right between me and my God.
I feel so relieved, so ready. I love that time before my next sin :)
Believe me, I ask for forgiveness all the time. If I waited for confession, I'd be so weighted down I wouldn't be able to walk in the church. I'd have to be brought in a wheel-barrow and dumped in front of the priest.
I just love the personal reflection and the good advice. It's a great sacrament.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This is the last week of school. Marly has to pass in her science fair project, present it to the judges, write a quiz, make sugar cookies. A jam-packed last week. Frank is already on vacation until 2010. He received a very generous, very well-deserved, Christmas bonus. That was exciting!
I am finally feeling better after 6-7 weeks of illness. Swine flu, pneumonia, major sinus infection, migraines, vertigo, asthma, etc. Basically the fall was a complete write-off. But the doc thinks I'm on the mend and I should be completely fine by the new year. Miraculously Frank and Marly stayed well and we had several wonderful friends who saw us through these bad weeks.
The Christmas shopping is well underway and Marly even wrapped half of them. The decorating, although on a small scale, is done and we are enjoying the tree. Christmas dinner will be at our house this year. So the plans seem to be set.
I went looking at Christmas lights a couple of nights ago. There were flurries flurrying around and lights twinkling and music playing and that is my favourite part of Christmas: lights and music.
Christmas will come and go, faster than a sparkly Christmas light. Time goes on, there's no stopping it.
I miss my Dad.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Please God - get those braces off!!!
The weather has been spectacular. I know I talk about the weather but it's a big topic of conversation here. Unbelievably sunny and warm EVERYDAY! The beginning of fall is always so beautiful.
We had a nice Labour Day weekend. Mom came in for a night and we were tourists in our own city: Peggy's Cove, Fisherman's Cove, the Public Gardens. So beautiful.
This weekend is our last "free" weekend. Frank has a "golf" day tomorrow with work. Marly and I are having a girl's supper - Japanese :) . On Saturday Marly has a friend's birthday sleepover after church.
It's back to Mass for her. She had a slack summer church-wise. I, on the other hand, had my best summer attendance to date. It's her Confirmation this year. Her last year of religious ed. Can't believe it - time goes so fast. I know I will cry :) That will really impress her I'm sure :)
Yesterday I had a "perk up your house" day. A new pillow for the couch for the pillow cover that Mom brought back from Turkey. New shades for old bases for a "new", MATCHING set of lamps in our bedroom. Moved my 50s Pill Box hat lamp from the bedroom to the livingroom for all to see. I decorated a wreath form with autumn coloured beads for a fall, front door decoration. The jury's still out on that one. It looks like a wreath with beads on it. Janet said "is that the look you're going for?" I'm not sure yet. It sparkles in the sunlight but just looks like beads on a wreath otherwise.
Well the dentist awaits. How I hate the dentist :( Odd for someone whose teeth are fine and always have been. I shake so much he said "it's like killing Bambi". The only good thing is that I am too afraid to not go. My greatest fear is a root canal which I have never had and don't even know what it is - it just SOUNDS awful. At least they are SO nice to me and my nerves.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Today is the first day of school and the first day of High School. I can't believe she is in grade 10. I remember primary so vividly. However, she is ready. The morning went smoother that I expected, although that shouldn't be a surprise. It had been planned for days. The hair, the clothes, the breakfast, the lunch. Again with the "I'm making my own lunch". Wonder how long that will last? About as long as getting up when the alarm goes off is my guess. She looked awesome. FIFTEEN. BUT she kissed me goodbye and texted me when she got there. I'm happy. We went out for dinner last night to OPA to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of a new year. Lots of families with the same idea. Yummy OPA - I should have been a Greek!
I had a wonderful trip to NYC with Mom and Barbie. First time for Mom and me. Good thing Barbie knew her way around. We went on three bus tours (downtown, mid/uptown and one at night), three broadway musicals: 9 To 5, West Side Story and the Marvelous Wonderettes, the Backstage Tour of Radio City, the NBC StudioTtour and the Observation Deck at the Top of 30 Rock. A carriage ride through Central Park. And of course walking and windon shopping on 5th Ave, 6th Ave, Madison Ave, Times Square, etc. We ate at the Magnolia Bakery, Planet Hollywood, yummy suishi and a great irish pub called Connellys. We stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel which was lovely and a great central location to all our activities. The whole 4 days flew by. If I never get back, I feel I have really seen NYC. The only thing left really is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular so it's back to saving loonies and twoonies. A great city. The people were so friendly and nice and helpful. Only one less than positive observation...it is SO LOUD. I was prepared the noise of contruction and traffic and emergency vehicles. But it was the noise of 81/2 million people just living that I wasn't ready for. Yikes! As a bonus, both flights were very good. On time and one even early.
When I arrived home, the birthday sleepover was on. Barbie graciously offered her hot tub and pool deck for the afternoon. The pool itself was freezing and dirty after Hurricane Bill and Tropical Storm Dan, but the hot tub party was a hit. They set up a tent in the backyard and slept under the stars. The girls had a wonderful time together since this party was piggy-backing another birthday sleepover from the night before so they had lots of time together before school starts and they get separated. Squeezing in every last second of summer before this morning :)
Who knows what lies ahead. I am so lucky that every summer vacation is fabulous. Lots of friends and family get togethers, short trips away, pools and hot tubs, no bedtimes and no schedules.
This fall we are back to piano lessons and synchronized swimming. There is a real, decent school band to play in finally. Frank is more and more active with his HAM Radio. My bible study will be starting up the beginning of October. I want to try and take Mass more seriously this year.
I have three years left of being an at-home Mom. I want to fill those years with good things and good memories.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
She is at her first piano lesson of the year. Even before school starts (tomorrow). That's rough!
This year her lessons are one hour instead of 45 minutes because she is considered "advanced" (RCM level 7). The downside of success. That went over like a lead balloon :)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I have gone to Curves, had my shower and had my delicious Tim's. There is no radio or TV or laundry going or Ipod. Complete quiet. Just the tapping of my laptop keys. My daughter and nephew are asleep downstairs. Who knows when they drifted off last night?
Summer is almost over. Not quite three weeks left. I love summer so much. I can't believe it's almost over. I know the Fall is lovely but my girl is back to school so it's not the same.
We have had a great time. Lots of BBQs and summer parties. Lots of sleepovers. My trip to Bangor/Freeport with girlfriends was awesome. I'm sure the trip to NYC will be amazing. Lots of pool time, despite the July weather. Lots of summer.
This year, she will spend almost an entire week with her Dad. First time. I secretly never minded or pushed it. I'd rather her be with me. Anyway, next week will be very fun for her - the novelty is so much better than being at boring old home.
Please, Dear God, let the braces come off before school starts.
She has a weekend with a friend at Grammie's. Three days of babysitting for back-to-school clothes money. When will we fit that shopping day in? Her birthday! Her birthday pool day/camping sleepover to organize and pull off. A Family BBQ. So much left and the days are counting down.
And then it's done. And then she will be starting high school. Grade 10. Fifteen. Be still my heart. Be still my aching heart. Only three more years at home. So fast. Too fast. Right before my eyes. Like a flash of lightning. Blink and she's gone. Taking my heart with her.
Don't think about it. Enjoy everyday. Carve out memories. Take more pictures. Let her go.
Be still my aching, bleeding, tearful heart.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
He: cleaned up the computer and made changes to it, put up a new clothesline, installed storage hooks, installed/wired-in a new motion detector/outdoor light, worked on the lawn mower - all with a happy heart and patient disposition.
I, on the other hand, visited friends, went to the Farmers' Market, ate out for lunch, went for a drive and went to church with Mom and saw old PW friends.
On Sunday we were all able to go to the lake and Marly was able to swim it twice and spend the whole afternoon in the water. Angela rescued her from the "list" and kept her with them until we could make it out. Then we all had supper, were given freshly picked veggies and off to home we went.
We even hit Frenchy's and Frank scored a new shirt for work.
AND IT WAS SUNNY AND WARM TWO DAYS IN A ROW!!!
It is foggy now :(
I love, love, love summer!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
She has become and is maturing into a lovely young lady. She does well in school, swims and plays piano and clarinet. She has started babysitting and is loving it and doing really well. She has nice friends, has a nice little social life and has become very interested in clothes and shopping. So far, not so much on the boys and I am definitely OK with that.
She is capable, mature, independent, resourceful, thoughtful of others, loyal, honest, hilarious and too sarcastic for her own good. In addition to loving her more than life itself, I really like her.
The most important quality I have tried to convey is kindness. I must say that most of the time she is quite kind and compassionate. I have tried hard to show her how to turn the other cheek, give people the benefit of the doubt, stand up for herself and be true to herself while being diplomatic and caring, seeing two sides to every story, etc. etc. - all without her becoming a doormat herself.
But she's almost 15. She is making more and more of her own decisions everyday. What clothes to wear, what shows to watch, what movies to see. I am right there, trying to guide her, but also trying to give her the space she needs to experiment and maybe even fall.
So today, at the othodontist appt, she is mean and rude on purpose to the dental hygenist. Because she's mad they pointed out she needs to keep wearing the elastics and it will be one more month until the braces off. My heart justs breaks. That she would choose to be mean to this girl. This young lady who is trying to be nice and gets cut off by a selfish kid.
I know she's still a kid. Kids will be kids. I know she's frustrated and tired of the braces. But what about personal responsibility, or at the very least, sucking it up? It's got to start sometime. Just because Mommy's letting you speak for yourself, it's not freedom to be rude.
It's because it's a choice. That my daughter, after all these years, would choose to act that way on purpose. That she chose that behaviour over all others. I find it so disheartening. Did I show her nothing? Did I model that? Was she not listening at all? Have I failed? Is this her true self emerging?
I know I'm being a little dramatic. I was just hurt. To be honest, a little embarrassed and ashamed.
I just want so much for her. I know she's trying to figure herself out and how to handle herself in all sorts of situations. The world can be so harsh. I just want her to be able to do her share of the goodness. To want to be good and kind. To know that it's important.
Because nice matters. It really does.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Last minute sleepovers, extravagant forts in the basement, free video game rentals with report card.
Nephew staying over for a week of "Aunt Sandy camp". Major grocery shopping done for "Aunt Sandy camp".
Attending niece's drama camp "Cinderella" and clapping wildly for the evil step-sister.
Making reservations for girls' trip to Bangor and Freeport for some retail therapy and major laughing our heads off.
I love summer. I don't need seasons. I would never miss them. I love the yellow sun, green grass and blue sky and pool lining!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
That we are free.
That we have a government and a military and fellow citizens who defend that freedom.
That Canada is a country that is fair and well respected in the global community. That we have free education and free health care. That we take care of our own.
Don't mistake me, we have our problems. But we are committed to solving them.
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I am part of the generation that has never known a world without Michael and Farrah. I know that sounds a little extreme but playing "Charlie's Angels" and singing to the Jackson 5 and Michael were big parts of my childhood and school dances.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I have wished him Happy Father's Day in Heaven three times so far, but it's just not the same. I know he can hear me but I just can't hear him.
I am so sad.
My best friend called a few minutes ago to make sure I was alright. I guess I am. Life does go on. But it's not the same and it's not as good.
I miss my Dad so much. I have so many things I need to talk about but he was the only one who could talk to me like I needed. Rational, practical and full of common sense, but not impersonal or non-caring. Validating my feelings but not letting them take charge or lead me to a wrong decision.
My father is in no pain now. I am glad of that. It was so hard to watch. It's just mean that in order for him to achieve that, he had to leave us. He worked so hard for so long to be healthy, to be ready for whatever was in store for him. But in the end the family genes laughed in his face and said "You are no match for us. We are stronger than you."
My Dad was funny, smart, caring, practical and one of my very best friends. He loved me no matter what.
I miss him so much.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I did not keep a journal, although the emails to home could suffice. We went to LA and saw the sights: Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Blvd, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd, Hollywood and Vine, The Grove, the freeway, the Hollywood Sign and all the things I've seen on TV and wanted to see my whole life.
Very crowded. Too much traffic. How small town am I?
The drives through the deserts were amazing. Nothing like I imagined. Giant windmill farms up close.
Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tempe, Chandler were all wonderful. I could definitely live in the desert year round. Except for no ocean - that would be a problem.
Grand Canyon, Prescott, Sedona, the mountains - stunning works of nature. Overwhelming works of God's hand.
Huntington Beach, just outside of LA. Just what I thought it would be. There I could live. The ocean and sun. Together all the time. Perfection. I had my picture taken with a "real live California surfer dude (Mike)". Good guy.
At the beach, I felt strangely calm. I realized it was fulfillment. Obviously, since it took so long to figure out this particular feeling, I must not feel it too often :) Being in California. A life-long dream come true. True inner satisfaction.
I learned things:
I am not surprised at what God can do. I was speechless at the beauty of Sedona. Positively stunning. And what can you say about the Grand Canyon. But, strangely, I wasn't surprised. It's like I expect greatness from Him.
I am surprised at the tenacity of man. The DESIRE to get from one place to another. Across deserts, through or around mountain tops, canyons, water, forests - nothing stands in man's way if man wants to get from Point A to Point B. How did people find the Grand Canyon and Sedona in the first place?
I live in Canada. It's a big country. We have a national railroad and three coastlines - I know about getting from Point A to Point B. But aside from the Rockies, my country's train and road trips have revealed the space, the vastness and distance.
Man is determined. Scary thought.
On a dreadfully sad note. My cousin Cherie died while I was away. I lit a candle for her in the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the red rocks of Sedona on Wednesday and she died early Friday morning. She is one of my favourite people ever.
One other thing I learned and I think it's a sign that I'm growing up. In and Out Burger, Carl's Junior, Chilis, Steinmart, Ross, TJ Maxx, etc., etc. They are just stores. Just because they are not here, doesn't make them better. They are fun, but they are just stores. This is important for me to learn and remember.
Friday, March 06, 2009
On that note...
I have gone to the bank and exchanged money into $US (tears flowing down my cheeks, the rates are soooo bad. Why didn't we buy $US in the summer when our $$ was better???).
Holiday haircuts for me and teenager this afternoon.
Missy's (the ferret) holiday arrangements are finalized.
Practically all meals planned from now until Wednesday to minimize excess grocery shopping and to eat what is currently in the freezer.
Teenager is doing an exceptional job on getting her school work done early and after this weekend will be completely under control. What would I do without her?
Husband has a new plan to try and minimize his snoring which is greatly appreciated.
Ginormous favour asked and accepted by darling friend to look after our house and pick up mail while we are gone. That is a great weight off my shoulders and now I can leave everything in peace. I must find the perfect thank-you gift on our travels.
A lot of the yucky stuff is getting done and soon we'll have to pack and get the carry-ons ready and that is the fun stuff. Even doing laundry in preparation of packing clean clothes is fun.
I just hope lack of plan doesn't result in missing something that someone really wants to do. Have faith. I don't mind being spontaneous - I just really like the anticipation and planning. To me that's part of the fun.
The Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage is tomorrow night. Can't wait. I have been looking forward to it since last year. My plan (ha ha) is the same as last year. One good helping of corned beef, seconds of course. I may have the obligatory veggie or two to make the plate look balanced. And then, more CB for dessert.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I am trying to make sure all the assignments, tests and project are completed and passed in before we leave, so there won't be any scary surprises upon our return. To her credit, my girl is on top of things. She knows I'm worried, so she's doing her very best at school; staying in at recess and lunch for extra help, working hard day and night. She's a good girl.
I'm trying to get the house ready, plan our packing, find someone to do the airport runs, look after the house and ferret, etc. etc. These things don't just happen on their own you know.
But the other grownup isn't really helping. Not with the practicalities or with the anticipation. I like being excited and talking about it and planning. He doesn't. He is at work until we go. At night, it's like it isn't even happening. A little depressing and not very fun at all. And I feel like we are going to land in California and then what?? After our reserved lunch at American Girl, that's it. No thoughts. We have so little time to fulfill life-long dreams I don't have any minutes to spare thinking about it in an LA parking lot.
Relax. Don't worry about it. That's what I'll have to do and what I will do, but that's no fun for me. Doing it his way is alright for him. I'm a caver. I like to talk about it and make plans and read up and have a plan of attack. I'm not talking about every minute. Just a rough idea so we don't get to the end of the trip wishing we did something but didn't have time or couldn't get there because you needed to plan in advance. I don't want anyone disappointed (yes, me too) because no one bothered to put the effort in. In this economy, spending this much money deserves a lot of effort!
So I'll put in my effort, by myself.
And tomorrow I have to go (with my sister) to visit my Mom about post-Dad stuff. Always a good time.
Monday, March 02, 2009
My whole life I have wanted to go to Los Angeles and now I finally am because it's less expensive to fly to and from there, rather than via Phoenix (our final destination). Lunch at the American Girl Doll store and a tour of all the hot spots is all that we have time for, but I'll take what we can get. A night at Huntington Beach for work but that will be fun too!
Then off to Az. To the Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Tuscon, Mexico (just a hop over the border and back) and all the real, authentic mexican food we can find. My teenage girl is so excited to eat at all the chains she hears about. And the shopping. And the SUN and NO SNOW and the SUN!!!
The next week or so I'll be in a bit of a panic, but I love that five day forecast - all sun, maybe a cloud. Can't wait!
Monday, January 05, 2009
I have a quick tongue and a sarcastic wit. I think fast and I talk fast. Too fast. Generally I just think people should keep up with me and not be so sensitive. People should embrace themselves and be who they are. Those on the receiving end should appreciate the honestly and lack of pussy-footing and get on with things. Except, of course, when I need to be sensitive.
I know, I know...do not let anything evil, or whatever, come out of you mouth. Use words to build others up not tear them down (I've been looking for that verse). At the very least, do unto others...and you get more flies with honey...
But when you have a conversation/dressing down with your teenager about her needing to consider others' feelings first, and being kind to others, even when they make you frustrated, etc. and then you find out that you were rude to someone and you didn't even notice because you are like that all the time AND YOUR KID NOTICED - well, can I dig myself a hole and hide :(
I am so ashamed. That my child, the one I am supposed to be "training up" saw me be a bitch. The mere fact that I was a bitch. The fact that I am a bitch. Even if I'm not a bitch all the time but even just one time (although I know it's more than once). Oh dear God, I am so ashamed.
I've been practically paralyzed with shame all day.
I will try and use this as a final catalyst for change. I don't want to be seen like that. Especially be seen like that by my teenage daughter. I don't want to be like that. I really need to use this opportunity to re-direct my words.
But right now I am just so ashamed.
My father would be so ashamed and disappointed in me. I am ashamed and disappointed in me.
Shame, shame, double shame.