Monday, June 21, 2010


As I sit here, hopped up on pain killers and muscle relaxants, I am reflecting a bit - although a bit too dramatically and on the side of melancholy...let's just keep that in mind shall we.

Tomorrow is the last grade 10 exam and she will have completed her first year of high school. It's over. Just like that. Time didn't just fly by. It raced by at the speed of light. Amazing. As usual, she was awesome. As usual, I have failed to convey that to her. Not that I haven't told her, just not told her enough or behaved it/shown her enough. Note for next year.

Why am I not content? Why do I compare? Why am I jealous? It's a hard thing - to overcome those tendencies of mine. To keep them in check, in control. It never leads to happiness, much less contentment. Generally frustration and unwarranted, unworthy sadness.

I miss my Dad. Father's Day sucks without a father.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Nights

Last night we did one of my very favourite things to do in the summer. You can actually do it anytime of the year, but in the summer you can do it outside and that makes it even more fun.

We had a spontaneous dinner party.

I was talking to my sister on the phone and she said what are you doing for dinner tonight? I had some trout thawing to BBQ with some veggies and potato skins. She said, why don't you bring that over here, I have a chicken and pickies and let's combine? Perfect. I love it. No big deal. It's not about what the food's about all being together and outside is even better.

So the kids got to be together. That was especially nice for mine since she is in the middle of studying for exams and it was a nice break for her. My BIL is so busy with his business that we never get to see him, much less around the fire pit and drink wine and tea and talk about nothing. After I spilt my tea all over me and my sister and the swing, we went inside to have family movie night, with everyone together. So nice.

Other than that, things have been pretty quiet around here. Bought a new front-loading washer and dryer. First time having new ones so that is exciting. Bought 2 new couches for the living room. No tropical vacation next winter, but we'll be clean and comfy for years to come :)

We either have a rat tunnelling in our flower beds or a sink-hole and at this point we are hoping that it's a rat. A rat can be caught for a lot cheaper than filling in a sink-hole! And while the pest guy (really nice guy) was here, he sprayed inside and out for the ants. That just makes me feel better. Just one small flower bed to be weeded is left and that's it for expected yard work - outside of regular maintenance.

We need an uncomplicated summer as Frank is very busy at work.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day By Day

The thing I find the hardest about raising a teenager is the day-by-day nature of the job. It is so unpredictable.

To me, teenagerhood is the long process of separating parent and child, or, in my case, mother from daughter. Compounded by the fact that, if I had my own way, we would be together forever :) The problem is that one day they are much older, responsible and mature and the next day they are five again. Back and forth, back and forth.

Generally, the only people who see this inconsistency are the parents. Although, I think deep down, the kids sometimes know and just can't admit it - to the parents and/or to themselves.

This year my daughter started high school (grade 10) and is 15. We had a major hurdle in the first month of school. She came home with a form to spend her grade 11 year abroad. She picked France, it was a no-brainer since she had completed the junior high french immersion program. The criteria for the student applying for this international program was someone who was responsible (check), mature (check), independent (check), social (check), keen (check), strong academics (check), speak a foreign language (check), etc. etc. You get the picture. All of the things I had worked so hard to instill in her in the last 15 years had come to fruition. Oh - she WANTED to go. A LOT! But, she was 15 and I just couldn't send her to France for 12 months. Why was it for 12 months? Why not 4 or 6? An entire year is a long time. I know my girl. I know she could do it. But after 4-6 months she would be ready to come home and then the spot would be vacant. That's not fair to someone else. Maybe she would want to stay the entire year, but my best guess as her mother was that it would be too long. I fully expect and hope that she will study a year abroad during her university time. Grade 11 is just a bit too soon. Needless to say, that decision did not go over well and was extremely difficult to make.

It has been like that all year. She is ready, meets the criteria, wants to - but something else, something I can't really explain to her but know in my heart, isn't quite ready and I have to say no. Mostly I think it's life experience. Oh, the agony. For her and me.

How do you let them go, bit by bit? Wanting them to be responsible, but knowing they aren't. Wanting them to deal with the consequences so they can learn, but knowing they're still young and maybe afraid to try (but they will never say). Wanting them to taste success knowing that means they have to taste failure.

I find it hard, so hard. One week I am sitting too close to her in church, embarrassing her so the next week I try to sit further apart and then I am chastised for ignoring her. Sort of a no-win situation. She can't wait to graduate and begin her life far away from me yet is nervous to go on a 5 day trip without me. Sort of no-win for her too I guess. Wanting so desperately to be grownup, not wanting to be a child anymore. But old enough now to know what it means to give up being a kid, the freedom, the carefreeness, the "having someone else do the work needed/be responsible for it".

Lately, it's wanting to know the weather forecast to be able to dress appropriately and then mad at me when the weather changes and she could have worn shorts, or it didn't rain, or she didn't need that jacket. I just look at her and stare. She is starting to realize that grownups don't know everything, can't control everything and maybe that's scary for her too - not to mention disappointing and depressing to understand that she won't be getting these superpowers either when she hits the age of majority. That it's hard work and luck and faith and EFFORT that makes things happen.

Like figuring out the bank machine isn't a magic box that spits out money on demand - that someone, somehow had to put that money IN first, before they can take it out :)

I find the responsibility for schoolwork especially draining. She wants to be in control of her studying, her homework, her schedule. So we let her. But how long do you wait before you step in when she's not living up to her end of the bargain. You try to wait and let her figure it out - she has to learn how to figure it out - but she's young and only in high school once and she has such potential and you want to help her realize her dreams and plans and sometimes she just isn't looking far enough ahead and staying focussed, but it's her life not yours...sigh. So hard.

I am frustrated a lot of the time. She is not like me. She happens to be a lot like my sister. It was hard for me to live with my sister and now I am doing it all over again. It's hard for her too I'm sure. I am not like her.

Another big thing is that I have always told her/taught her/encouraged her to stand up for herself and her positions and thoughts and ideas and opinions, especially if they are important to her. That people will not always agree with her and that it is hard, but sometimes you have to go on without their approval. And that sometimes, she will have to go up against me. That she will feel strongly about something and that may be different from how I feel. And if it is that important to her, she may have to continue without my approval (but always with my love). That is hard for her. I think she has seen my love as "agreement" and feeling the same about things. Now she is developing into her own person, or realizing the own person she has always been, and that sometimes that person is different from Mommy. Sometimes that is difficult for both Mommy and daughter. But when you feel stongly about something, sometimes you have to hold your ground.

That's where the love comes in. Always SAY it. Always go for the hug, even when it is refused. Always want to talk, be open to talking, to singing, to goofing around, to whatever she wants to do.

If I take each day as it comes, it is a much smaller chunk of life to deal with. So that's my general plan of attack.

I have never loved anyone like I love her. I am amazed by that. I am amazed by her and the person she is. She will never fully get that. I know that. That is not a problem for me.

Day by day, we just take it day-by-day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I can't even speak/write

You know sometimes when your anxiety aand stress levels are so high that you can barely contain the shaking?

'Nuff said.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week Four

Today marks the beginning of the fourth week of my detox diet. The fourth of sixteen.

The first two weeks went exceptionally well aside from Easter. Easter comes but once a year. Jellybeans won't kill me.

Week three was not as good. I probably had some carbs everyday. And by some I mean a cheese slice, a mouthfull of mashed potato, etc.

I'm definitely still in the 95%-98% detoxed range.

So, new ambitions for week four. Time to get back on track. Back on the wagon. Back on the horse. Whatever!

I know that Friday I am going to the valley with friends for an extended lunch with Angela so that will definitely involve some wise choices. But other than that, it's time to get serious. Jellybeans and cheese slices are not worth risking the potential success.

It's snowing here. Stupid spring snow. Barbie has rescued another dog. I got up at 4:45 am to make the days lunches and get ready for the gym before I realized my clock was an hour ahead. Sigh. Strengths workshop at church tonight. Frank has another doctor appt with the family doc to talk about the DH plan.

A new week has begun. God bless us, everyone :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

It's been a long time posting. Mostly because I forgot the username and password :)

The Day of Enrichment went spectacularly well. The talks were amazing. The women were amazing. The food was amazing. The music was amazing. The day went smoothly. It went so well. So encouraging. We are having a follow-up Women's Breakfast in a couple of weeks. I am really hoping this is the beginning of a Women's Ministry in our parish.

We are having a spring. We never have spring. We have winter, mud, summer and fall. But we are having a spring. It is wonderful. The apple blossoms are in grave danger with the frost forecasted but hey, we're having spring. The birds chirping in the morning, the squirrels chattering, why it practically makes getting up at 5:45 am to go to the gym bareable. Let me emphasize practically.

Frank has been diagnosed with celiac disease, via DH. Unbelieveable. What are the odds??? That's all I can say about that. That and answered prayers for a truthful diagnosis.

My Mom is on a 10 day carribean cruise. She doesn't like the heat or boats. But I hope she is having the time of her life with new experiences.

I am on a 4 month detox to reduce the inflammation in my sinuses and digestive system. Unfortunately it seems to be working :) It is extremely difficult. Meat, fish and eggs and green vegetables. One fruit and one yogurt or milk serving. That's eat. No sugar, no carbs (they turn into sugar). Sugar has always been my enemy and weakness. Sigh.

Marly is doing so well in high school. I can't believe the young woman she is. Independent, capable, beautiful, lots of friends, great grades. She is being confirmed in May. I hope one day she will be glad. I love her so much. I can't imagine what it will be like when she leaves for university. It will be like part of me will be gone.

We made our first loaf of homeade gluten-free bread. I can't believe it. And we will eat it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not Much to Say

January is going fast. That's alright with me. Nothing particularly is going wrong, but for me January is the heart of winter and I'm happy to see it speed by.

We've had some glorious sunny days for a change. The snow hasn't been too bad - very manageable. Clear roads and that's the main thing.

Things are running smoothly here.

Marly is hard at work studying for her first set of exams. I hope they go well. She had her Ipod touch stolen from her which is nothing short of devastating! I feel so badly for her. The lack of scruples of others is a hard thing to accept and a difficult lesson to learn.

My Mom just got back from NYC. Her choir was invited to sing at Lincoln Center. They were thrilled and had a marvelous time.

I am on the organizing team for our church's Women's Day of Enrichment. There is nothing more inspiring than to sit in a room full of talented women, from all walks of life, with years of experience, friendship, skills and knowledge between them. The meeting room fairly radiates with sisterhood/womanness.

I have invited several girlfriends to have dinner with me in February to celebrate my birthday at a great thai/veitnamese restaurant downtown. I can't wait for the food and the socializing!

Janet and I have embarked on watching all the seasons of LOST. We are in the midst of season 3. We thought it would help pass the dreariness of winter. What a show. I like watching it episode after episode. I think once a week would have been too draggy and I would have become LOST in the plot. I really like it - infact Charlie has become a fixture in my dreams...although I wouldn't mind Sawyer popping in now and then :)

It's been a good month and beginning to 2010. I am sticking to my resolution to "thinking more before". I am trying hard and I see a difference although I'm not sure what others would say :)

Looking forward to February: Valentine's Day, my birthday, my Dad's birthday. Cherie's is January 31st and that will be hard. I'll be glad when it's Feb. one.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

In the end, it's like sweeping water with a broom.

It's a Christmas miracle - we actually got the driveway completely shovelled.

When I looked this morning and saw all the heavy, wet snow and saw the wall (thank you Mr. Snow Plow) where the road meets the driveway, I had a few seconds and actually thought we were going to be stuck in the house forever.

However the need for Tim's (coffee) prevailed and now we are done.

Three tylonels later for the back.

Please, a break, before we start over again. I know we live in Canada and it is the winter. I am fully aware of that. Please. A break.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

It Has Begun



We knew it was coming. It came in tiny, annoying storms but was always washed away a few days later. Christmas was lovely and green and easy for travelling. But we knew it wouldn't last. And I do always pray that it holds off until January. Well, January is here and so is the snow.

The snow, wind, freezing rain and everything that goes with it: plow trucks, salt trucks, sand, big boots and coats, gloves, hats, mitts. OLD MAN WINTER HAS COME TO STAY FOR A BIT.

This year I will try and do better. I don't think I will actually be able to embrace it, but I will ty to be more positive and not let the horribleness of the winter months be the major factor in my outlook on life :)

All we have to do it make it to March Break and then we can see the light, the sunlight, at the end of the tunnel.

And so, with newfound dtermination and optimism...

Isn't it beautiful

Friday, January 01, 2010

Think First. Ask Questions Later

The first day of a brand new year. New decade in this case. It's all so new and shiny and full of possibilities. A little scary since all those new possibilities can be the exciting side of new failures, disappointments and bad ideas.

I've been thinking a lot about New Year resolutions. The number of things I want to change about myself. Be the change I want to see. Work on myself, not on others.

I have never done well with New Year resolutions. Mostly I forget about them until it's too late. So if I want them to work, I need to remember them. They need to be short and snappy.

I need only one. Surely I can remember and implement one. One all-encompassing resolution.


I need to think first: before eating, before speaking, before acting, before reacting, before "yes", before "no"... I need to think even before thinking itself.

I'm hoping this will lead to better decisions, better delivery and the slowing down of the words in my head. If I consciously think first, maybe there is a better chance of doing it God's way instead of my way.

Happy New Year.