Monday, September 29, 2008


"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance."

This was the last sentence of a long, forwarded email that I received today. Sometimes you just have to keep reading to the bottom to get the message that you were meant to receive that day!

The Eyes Have It

"The eyes are the window to the soul"

I've been thinking a lot this morning about what we see reflected back to us, when we look into another person's eyes ...

An adoring new parent, gazing lovingly at their brand new baby. Two people newly in love ... trust, hope, fear, appreciation, adoration. Disappointment, hurt, disinterest, disillusionment, indifference ... as that love goes awry. Friends, as we get to know them better ... interest, encouragement, support and all that friendship will endure. We look into the eyes of our furry friends and the body language and all that is spoken in the eyes of our pets. To look into the eyes of a family member and see the reflection of a person you lost years ago ...

There is so much that is spoken and heard when you look into a person's eyes. When I think of the relationships in my life that have flourished ... and those that I lost ... when I think of the eye contact, I can feel the wordless communication that spoke louder than the loudest shouting match ... or the quietness of knowing that another person cared, without a word being spoken.

In almost every case (when it came to matters of the heart), I can recall that the eyes told the story before the words came.

When I was madly in love, that was (usually) reflected back to me. When I saw and appreciated the person for who they were (and not who they weren't), I saw that appreciation reflected back to me. When and how does the hurting begin? Was it the time that I misread his eyes? I thought I saw something that wasn't there? And then when he looked back into mine, did he see the hurt that was reflected back to him?

As with most anything, small things add up. When I saw disinterest reflected back in his eyes, was that simply the reflection of disinterest in mine and did that spur on the sequence of events that ended up with the pain that was eventually reflected back?

Lately, My Youngest has been wondering why animals can't speak to us. It made me reflect on the ease with which a person has, lavishing attention and love on our beloved pets when it is not in our nature to act so outwardly loving to our human companions. Our pets communicate pure and utter trust and love back towards us. The family pet that has been ignored, mistreated and unloved will still gaze up toward you and love you without reservations or conditions. They don't require that 'reflection' back to give their unwavering love. It is akin to the look of a young child, who will gaze into your eyes with that purely unconditional love. They love the world ... and in most cases, the world loves them back.

When I look back at the reflections that I have seen in the eyes of those who have touched my life, I know that when I see the best in a person that is what is usually reflected back to me. And when that same look is reflected back to me in another person's eyes, they usually see the best in me.

"When a person is talking to you, listen to what they are saying with their eyes."

Friday, September 26, 2008


"I'm drinking from my saucer ... 'cause my cup has overflowed"

This no-stress life is really agreeing with me. I can tell my contentment levels are full to the brim in every action and feeling that I have.

My relationship with food is directly affected by what is going on in my world. I have used food as a substitute for almost everything and anything. These past few weeks, food has not been used in any capacity to console or fulfill me. Food fills me up, but only in the physical sense. 'The budget' has lessened the temptation to snack. But the 'full' feeling inside of me has taken away the urge to snack.

Sleep is another thing that is directly affected by my stress levels. If too much is going on in my mind, I don't sleep well at night and I can fall asleep as soon as I sit still, during the day. It seems that sleep has little to do with tiredness and a lot to do with 'escape'.

The never ending to-do lists in my mind motivate me. But I also become very obsessive. In my daycare-world, I have a schedule that I follow. It serves me well and the kids know what to expect in a day. And when I waiver from it in my regularly scheduled daycare life, it never fails. It throws the day off track and it takes a while to regain lost ground. These past few weeks (of having only a few children to tend and less coming and going) have been amazing. We have not followed that schedule religiously ... and we have survived. In fact, there has been a calmness to the day that has been enjoyable. I haven't done my 'Friday chores' in two weeks. Instead, I've been cleaning on a need-to-do basis. And it gets done.

Not working on Saturdays has been the best medicine of all. That second day off relieves so much pressure during the week. Normally, I place a lot of pressure on myself to tend to all of my work and errands because I can count my weekend in hours instead of days. This obsessiveness that I have throughout the week has a lot to do with having a 40 hour 'weekend'. The complete and utter freedom that I feel when I wake up on a Saturday morning and know that I have one more day off that follows it is amazing. I wake up with a happy heart. Contentment.

Taking away some of the needless pressures in my life has filled something deep inside of me. Some deadlines and pressures are needed to get that feeling of accomplishment. But letting my world be ruled by these lists that I have in my mind, isn't necessarily the best way to go about it.

I love to accomplish 'impossible things'. I love the feeling of accomplishing a lot with my day. But it is a very wonderful thing to take away the outside pressures of the world and start from within.

I believe that world peace starts with one person. Yourself. If every single person in the world woke up with the feelings that I have been feeling these past few weeks, the change would be incredible. We are only in control of one person. Ourselves. I feel that this contentment is touching other lives. I can't control how others act and feel ... but by placing my best self out there, it certainly can't hurt.

One person at a time. If I could give just one gift, it would be to bottle up the recipe for this fulfillment and share it with the world (and I'd like the recipe myself, for when this feeling starts to wane as my regular life starts to work its way back into my days).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Calm After the Storm

I am revelling in the slow and quiet pace of life around here these days. It is amazing. I am not continually looking at the clock and racing to get more things done in a day than I have time for.

Right now, this is being done consciously as I am slowing my mind and body down so I don't get wound up into an 'overdo' mode. But later, I am wondering what I can incorporate into a new and improved lifestyle??

I love 'moving mountains' in a day ... accomplishing 'impossible things' ... a sense of accomplishment. I also love this new life of leisure. I am beginning to call this time of letting my body heal 'lazy'. I guess for the moment it is okay. But if it carries on beyond this doctor-advised time limit, it is not so great.

But for this moment, I am enjoying this state of calmness. Ahhh .... it is like taking a vacation without even leaving the house (or spending a dollar!!). I think that everyone should book themselves a brief holiday from their harried pace of life. That is a holiday that anyone should be able to afford.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Touched By an Angel ...

I'm still tingling inside, from an encounter I had today ...

I am in the beginning stages of collecting information on my dad's side of the family, to see if I can put together another family history story. Today, an aunt and uncle (my dad's brother) dropped by to give me some information that they had amassed. It was a very brief visit, but I made eye contact with my uncle. We exchanged a few words, his eyes twinkled and I felt Dad's presence in him, in the way he looked at me.

It was a moment. It was precious. I was reminded of the essence of who Dad was in an up close and personal way.

As I move along with this project and collect various stories and memories from the family and Dad's brothers, there is a lot of potential to bring my Dad to life in my heart and soul. He has been gone for a long time. It always surprises me when I have an emotional reminder of who he was. Something that touches something deep inside me ...

I've turned a corner today. Dad's family story will be straight from the heart. I can't wait to begin.

Taking Back the Weekends

Ahhh .... I have savored 2 weekends off in a row! It has been a glorious sensation to wake up on a Saturday morning and know that I have the day in its entirety to revel in. And then ... I wake up on Sunday and have one more day!!

I have been working 6 days a week (minus long weekends and vacation time) for almost 9 years now. This past spring/summer has been full of family events that have encouraged me to book those Saturdays off of work so I can be a part of the many events that have been going on. This same time, has been full of change at my 'Saturday job'. Change in policy, products, ownership ... And we have been short staffed, so I have been barely treading water to keep afloat at work.

Then ... I got sick (well, needed recovery time from surgery anyway). And knowing that I had those Saturdays off of work was the best cure of all for me. It has awakened a knowledge in me that 6 days is too much. It is time to make a choice. 5 days of work, whether it is from home or at a full time job, is the direction I need to take right now. I know this.

As this realization hit me, I looked at the frantic pace at the world around us. Family members that are working (between all the family members) 7 days a week. Everyone is going in separate directions. Granted, as kids grow up they are going to go off on their own direction anyway. And I suppose it is a consolation that these kids are headed off to a part time job, verses veering off course with a group of friends that don't enhance 'good choices'. But what has happened to weekends? One day to run your errands and tend to what must be done. A second day to focus on fun, family and relaxation in whatever form that may take?

My health stopped me in my tracks 2 weeks ago. I was so very, very fortunate that it was only a minor ailment that a quick trip to the ER was able to fix. But what about the health of the individuals who are dealing with the daily toll of unrelenting stress? It seems to me, that it must take a physical toll on a person's body when there is little or no reprieve from that stress load. And then when that same person works late and on weekends to try to alleviate the week day stress ... there is simply little time for the body to take time to be kind to itself.

Family time, down time, time to destress. Taking back my weekends defines a better quality of life for me. Even if I must make financial sacrifices, I think that 2 days off to spend as I wish, is something that is good for me ... and those around me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dressing the Part

These post-surgery days have been a very quiet, introverted time for me. It seemed that I wasn't thinking any deep thoughts and the idea of 'blogging' during that time was beyond me. I can tell that my brain is waking up at last and lots of little things that I had been thinking are rising to the surface now.

'Dressing the part' was an apt title for todays musings. The morning that I woke up with my symptoms running rampant, all I did was get dressed and put on my glasses. No shower, no contact lenses, no make up, no fuss or muss in any capacity. And I looked terrible. Now on the other side of the coin I did feel pretty rotten as well, but I really 'dressed the part' and amplified the visual impact.

While in the hospital, I knew that my contact lenses would have had to come out and makeup would be washed off. Why in the world would I go to any trouble to look any better than I felt? It was a waste of time and energy. But when my family doctor walked in my room the morning after my surgery, she was physically turning around and started walking out again. Because she didn't recognize me! She said it was because of my glasses, but you add to that the lack of make up and a very bad hair day ... and I was actually a little bit relieved that she didn't recognize me!

Once I was home, I really didn't see the point in trying to 'pretty myself up'. I showered and freshened up and that helped me feel a little more alive. But I didn't place any more effort into my looks than that. Why?

What I found, is that I acted differently when I didn't take those extra steps to enhance the look of that reflection in the mirror. Yes, I was recouperating from surgery ... but a few strokes of make up and a few extra minutes with my hair would have added a boost of something to my self esteem. I started acting the part of 'patient'.

Five days into my recovery, I had friends over. So I took those extra moments and made myself look healthy. And amazingly, when I took that extra effort I actually felt better as well. I started 'living up' to the reflection in the mirror (still no great shakes, but you should have seen the unadorned me ... not a pretty sight!).

Last week, I took a small step back into my babysitting world (a few of my before and after school kids). I got up every morning and 'dressed for work'. Contact lenses, make up and a bit more fussing with my hair. I was definitely feeling better every day, but I felt the correlation between the way I dressed to the way I felt.

This morning, I face the luxury of a Saturday off!! I don't have kids to babysit and I am on a sick leave from my 'Saturday job'. So I questioned how much effort to put into my looks today.

I have some bookwork to do, so I wanted to get myself into work-mode. That meant putting in my contact lenses (I can see much better with them). And once I made that step, I knew that I should put my 'best face forward'. I took the extra steps to outline my fading features so a person could find my eyes in the bland canvas of my face. I primped with my hair a bit. I dressed the part of a person who was excited about facing the day ... and now I'm prepared to live it.

I once worked in an office where the only contact we had with the public was on the telephone. Our dress code at work was still business attire. And the reasoning behind that was very much what I realized as these past days of not 'dressing the part' of a healthy person. A person's telephone voice picks up on a lot. If you are dressed business-like, you tend to carry that into your voice. When you dress the part, you tend to 'act' the part.

I have had a few friends that have faced very serious health issues. And though I am sure that each of them would have had many days that they weren't feeling their best when I saw them, they 'put their best face forward' and acted the part of a healthier feeling person.

I don't believe that those extra steps of pampering are a cure all. But I do believe that it helps a person to feel a little better about themselves (no matter what they are battling - healing, depression, exhaustion ...) when you take some time to pamper yourself in some way that makes you feel better about yourself.

I have followed Rosie O'Donnell's blog and her comments and advise to others about battling depression are always the same. "Shower, sunshine and move" ... a little bit of 'yellow' in the day (no matter what form it takes for each individual) may not be an end-all solution. But it certainly can't hurt. Feeling good inside, having a positive outlook from within makes a huge difference to how you deal with so many things.

What makes each individual 'act the part' of a happier, healthier, less stressed person is as individual as the person. To take the time for yourself to feel 'yellow' within, is a good investment.

Be good to yourself ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Life in the Slow Lane

It's a different pace of life here lately. I'm good at 'slow'. Too good perhaps??

I did one thing that halted my productive mode. I put the TV in the living room. I prefer to call it a 'magnet'.

Every time I was at a loss as to what to do, I turned on the TV. I normally don't watch TV. It is my sleeping pill if I can't sleep (I can usually erase the words circulating in my head in the middle of the night, if I try to listen to the words on the TV set). I tape my favorite programs and watch them at my convenience (fast forwarding through the commercials). I watch DVD sets. But I rarely sit down and watch TV in 'real time'.

The world of TV. Omigosh. The commercials!! I have been inundated with the idea that I need shinier hair, less-aged skin, to lose weight, a new bed and I feel compelled to check out 'Motor City Casino' in Detroit. They play these commercials over and over and over. A person feels like they are under a spell. After my first week of exposure to commercial TV, my eyes glazed over and I found myself chanting "I need anti-aging cream ... I need anti-aging cream ..."

I stopped reading, because it was easier to turn on the TV set and let someone else entertain me. It is no work at all to watch TV. Mindless is the word that comes to mind. In my regularly scheduled life, I would love to have a day to read, write, visit and simply putter around in my world. But once I turned on the TV and found a nice rotation of programs that I enjoyed watching, I felt like I was losing my ability to think.

Mind you, I was supposed to be taking it easy. So I am letting that be my excuse for letting commercial TV into my living room and into my life. TV does one other thing for me. It puts me to sleep. And my body was healing. So TV was good medicine for me, in a way.

What did come to mind though, was the exposure of kids to TV. Wow. After spending a week with continual exposure to products that are geared to the daytime TV audience, I couldn't help but think of the impact of those commercials that speak directly to kids. I only let the kids watch movies or 'CBC Kids' (no commercials) when I babysit. I fast forward through all movie previews and 'coming soon' events because I find that if there are too many diversions before the movie, the kids don't settle in and watch the show. But I am now realizing that my 'no TV in the living room' and 'no cable on the TV I let the kids watch' was a true blessing. They don't need the exposure to the temptation of commercial TV.

I am an adult and have the ability to siphon out the hype of a commercial. But I don't always do it. When someone is advertising something that they have convinced me is essential to my well being for only '4 low monthly payments ...', I know that they have done their job. I have succumbed to their magic. What hope does a child have in that same world of must-have-items, that TV advertises?

I knew my life was better without 'TV' in it. I just didn't realize how much.

Monday, September 15, 2008


In this week after my surgery, I am learning a lot about limits.

I think that I tend to push my limits a lot. If there is a short period of time, I will challenge myself to see how much I can squeeze into that limitation. I race myself often. It's an internal push to get me motivated, keep me motivated and get the job done. I will start 5 mini projects and keep moving in a forward motion until they are all done (and usually, I will find at least 5 more things to do, as I go along).

This past week has been mind-numbing (quite literally) for me. I cannot seem to formulate the forethought and organization to do 2 things at once. I will try. Then later on, I'll stumble across something that I had started (but abandoned midstream). This inefficiency in my brain seems to have slowed down my progress immensely. I would honestly guess that it seems to take about 4 times the time and energy to accomplish a simple task (as compared to my pre-surgery mode).

Concentration is a big element of this disruption to my efficiency. I can't hold a thought for too long. I lose my train of thought, I can't formulate or find the words in my mind that I want to come up with. This extra energy that it takes to concentrate is taxing.

Writing is something that drains me. Normally if I have the time and motivation, writing is energizing to me. One set of thoughts can mushroom to various blog entries, an email or 2 and the words seem to multiply within. This past week, I am lucky if I can string together the words for an email and a blog entry in the same day. I am a wordy writer, so maybe if I kept my words to a minimum I would have more energy to send more!

The typing errors that I am making are many. I spend more time backspacing and correcting myself than I do, going forward it seems!

My body feels like it is healing very well. Physically I feel like I'm healing. But the body is a miraculous thing. I think this lethargy of my mind is exhausting me, so that I must rest.

Just because I am not in physical pain, it doesn't mean that I am totally healed. I am very grateful for a body that is slowing me down in my tracks. And I have a completely different level of compassion for those who struggle with their body's limitations on a daily basis. The level of concentration and energy expended to tend to 'life' in general, must define 'pushing the limits' to a completely different level.

I've spent the morning working on a company's bookwork, but before I go and relook at what I have done I think I must relax my brain muscles and relook at it with a fresh eye. I don't trust myself much these days ...

I think it is time for a short snooze!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

"The Secret"

This is the quote of the day from "The Secret" daily calendar that I have, for Sept 10th:

"If some situation occurs that affects your state of joy, repeat to yourself, "All good is coming from this situation." And it will. Learn from each experience. You will find after experiencing a challenging situation, your level of joy will be higher than it has ever been before. Isn't that a good thing?"

Throughout the course of my life, I have learned to live that quote. In every case of 'discomfort' in my life, there has been a purpose. I can look back and see a lesson in every situation that was less than joyous to me at the moment. It took a while to see the consistency of the lessons I had learned and the new paths that I tried, due to life's events. But it never failed. I always ended up in a better place after the transition was complete.

And the 'level of joy' (or elation as I call it) seems to rise with each hurdle I encounter. You surpass that tough spot and a small amount of invincibility seeps into your being. A feeling that " ... if I can overcome that, then I can overcome anything ..." Every single time I overcome some challenge, I feel joyous inside. I am stronger mentally, my self esteem rises. There is a euphoria that overcomes me as I feel a renewed and stronger sense of myself after I overcome 'impossible things' (I think this is why I am so driven to do small 'impossible things' in my day to day world).

I think that there is a sense of peace in having absolute trust that there is a purpose to life's challenges. That I have never been given more than I can handle. The one exception to that may have been in the depths of a depression that I slipped into last year. But even at the bottom of that despair, there was a quiet but steady 'voice' within that just knew to ''call one person.'' And so began my healing ...

Good can come out of most anything bad. Look for the silver lining. Sometimes you have to search or wait a while ... but in the end you can find some purpose to most of life's discomforts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best Laid Plans ...

Friday, I finally had the doctors appointment about my upcoming surgery. And the doctor was very accommodating in picking a date. I had asked if we could do it next summer and if I could pick the dates. And he was agreeable on all counts. It was great. Time to save up for the necessary time off, I would be out of commission for the 2 weeks my parents expect me to be off (for my holidays), several families don't need me as much in the summer (2 of them will be off on a maternity leave) ... it couldn't have been better. I felt like I had taken a situation that was out of my control and contained it in a manageable way.

Then, life happened.

The symptoms came on fast and furious and by the time I left for the hospital Monday, I was quite certain that I would be having this surgery (planned for the summer) right away. No time to worry about anything but getting better. All the little worries that I had niggling away at my consciousness were far back on a back burner. I just wanted to feel better.

We live in a wonderful country. Thanks to our wonderful health care system, once I was (finally) in a bed in the emergency room my worries were all taken out of my hands. I went through the process and stages it takes to get from the emergency room to the operating table within 7 hours.

I woke up at 3 am, lying in my hospital bed with my stomach all settled down and in no pain. All I felt was complete and total gratitude.

Gratitude for my Middle Son and all that he does to sweep in and just take care of everything when the chips are down. His words were calm and constant, "Don't worry about a thing. I'll take care of everything. Don't worry about a thing." And I didn't. I have complete and utter faith in his abilities to step up to the plate when needed. I didn't worry about a thing.

Gratitude for the trial run that we had back in April, when they ran all sorts of tests and sent me home still guessing at what was wrong (but they managed to alleviate the symptoms regardless).

Gratitude for my doctor who doesn't let things slide. Through a follow up appointment, she was feeling that all was okay but "let's just send you for one more ultrasound ... just to be sure." It was that one last test that diagnosed my hernia and that knowledge made the emergency trip on Monday go so much smoother. They knew what they were dealing with and the wheels went swiftly into motion.

Gratitude for such a minor ailment that within 29 hours of my first discomfort, I was being wheeled into surgery. The problem was rectified. How many people with health ailments can say the same? I just quietly reflected on those who are still guessing at their diagnosis ... or the diagnosis is just the beginning - the treatment is a long and arduous process ... or when there is little that can be done to manage one's symptoms. So, so many scenarios that aren't black and white.

Gratitude for the quickness of the onset of symptoms which didn't allow me time to think. Even though I knew the surgery was minor, I had my reservations and concerns. To put it simply, I was scared. But when things happened so fast, the fear went out the door. "Please just fix me" was the only mantra going through my mind.

Gratitude for the wonderful doctors and nurses that took care of me every step of the way. The emergency room was breaking all sorts of records that day - they were so busy. But even so, once I was in their care, no short cuts were taken. I didn't feel like I was being rushed through, an extra inconvenience on a busy day. They were so kind, even amongst their busyness. From the very approachable (but busy) triage nurse that whisked me into a bed very soon after I came up to her to check to see that I hadn't missed my name being called ... to the ER nurses that were so busy, but still had the time to tend to some of my extra needs ... to the ER nurse that was fresh on his shift and was simply nice to me, humorous and genuinely appeared to like his job (as did all of the medical staff that I encountered) ... to the doctor that sat down and talked to me and spoke softly and kindly to me ... to the surgeons who explained what would be done and what the different scenarios were ... to the nurses in the observation ward who were compassionate, helpful, cheerful and again ... oh, so busy. The medical staff were amazing.

Then, I was quickly up on my feet and feeling so much better the next day they managed to send me home a day early. My stay was only overnight instead of the 2 day stay that they had mentioned at the onset of the day. This worked out so well, because even though My Son had stepped into my world and taken on my responsibilities ... he had pretty much put his own life on 'hold'. I was healthy enough to be home (and there is truly no place like home), and our lives were quickly reinstated to 'normal'.

As we drove home, My Son asked me how much all of this would cost. And my answer was 'nothing'. It is all covered by our health care system. Amazing. The efficiency of the medical staff that (could have) saved my life, had me in and out of their doors and on the road to recovery in just over 24 hours. And it cost me nothing. We are so fortunate to have the health care coverage that we do!

Then, once I got home the gratitude continued. The parents that I babysit for were all quick to rally up and assure me they were all okay and had found alternate childcare - just to take care of myself. Flowers, well wishes, cards ... Then there are my friends. I have an angel at my side that I call my friend. She found out that I was at home recovering from this surgery and passed the word along to another friend because she knew that I wouldn't call to tell anyone. I wouldn't have ... and I was just fine with that. I received two rapid phone calls and a visit from a friend shortly there after. I would have been fine on me own ... but having a friend at my side is always a blessing.

They say life is what happens when you are making other plans. I had all the contingencies of this all cased out in my perfect little scenario. But we fast-tracked through that and now I'm healed and on the road to recovery 10 months ahead of schedule.

I think that things worked out the way they were meant to be ....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Focus on Family

This past year has been one of focusing on the group of people who are a composite of who I am. My family.

From small little things like the harmony within my own small family of 3 sons ... to reaching out in new ways to include my siblings and Mom ... finding a way to get to know Mom's sisters as we collected stories for her family's history ... and now I am reaching out to my Dad's side.

I've made the step of approaching them about the idea of putting together their story ... and today I am getting together with the cousins that live in the city. There are 7 of us that live close together and due to the busy pace of life that encompasses all of us ... and the fact that it is foreign territory to reach out to a cousin (that we really didn't know well as a child), as an adult ... we have never gotten together as a group. As we gathered at an anniversary celebration a few weeks ago, it touched me to feel that 'connection' to people that I really don't know on a personal basis. I called my cousins and tested the waters on this cousin-gathering ... and I couldn't believe the response! They completely echoed my enthusiasm and excitement over this idea of getting together and getting to know each other better!!

I am hooked. Trying those 'impossible things' - things that simply aren't comfortable to do. If an idea comes to mind that feels right ... follow your heart!! The one thing that I've been finding out as I travel down this new road of trying 'impossible things', following my whims and heart and focusing on family ... is that more often than not, the person on the receiving end was as ready for the 'contact' as I was.

Someone has to take that first step. Sometimes it is someone else. But every now and again, it may be you or I.

I am full of anticipation as I await what this day has in store! There is a lot of excitement in my days right now. Focusing on my family has really strengthened my 'roots'. I highly recommend it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Fall Woes

Second pair of jeans ... second hole in the knee. I guess spring arrived just in the nick of time this year, because both of my pairs of jeans were ready to give out. I'm not ready to go shopping for new winter attire though. I think holes are 'in', aren't they?

I fixed my shoe today, but almost ruined it in the process of fixing it, by clamping the glued part together with the battery cables that I had on hand. I fixed my shoe at work (I used glue that a friend brought to work) and needed a clamp to hold it together while the glue dried. I thought I was so clever to think of the battery cables, but it made a big indentation in the shoe! I think it might be okay though once it has a chance to regain its old form.

I'm back to my Saturday job for the duration of the fall and winter seasons and that doesn't please me. I'm sinking fast there, as the rate of change at work is going much faster than it has in all the (almost) 9 years that I've been working Saturdays. We are short staffed as well, so there is simply no time to catch up. I'm not enjoying this sinking sensation.

But on the bright side, my surgery can be tabled until next summer! Time to save and plan for this. And summer holidays to recouperate. It may not disrupt my life after all!! It was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders when I found out this news yesterday. I know I should still be strict with the budgeting, but we fell off the wagon a bit last night. A bit? Maybe a lot. Kurt commented that he liked it better when we were on a budget, because we spent far less time shopping. I must admit that I agree with him. Our time spent in the stores was minimal. And we both enjoyed that.

So now that the food supplies are replenished and other supplies have been restocked, I think we shall go back on our strict budget for the rest of the month. That sounds like a good plan to me. We have plenty of things to do right here under our own roof. Things that don't cost money. Things we can do together or apart.

We have all we need right under our roof. I'm feeling much more content about the ''nuts'' I've stored up for winter after all. My squirrel instincts are keen. I like to feel stocked up and ready for the winter ahead.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Next Come the Socks!

I can't believe it. I wore a long sleeved shirt today. And I wasn't too hot. And ... I wore the first hole in the knee of my jeans today as well.

Here comes the expensive season. I wear out knees and socks galore during the cool weather. I love summer because my shorts are above my knees and I never wear socks.

This is also the season of the 'uncomfortable shoes'. Oh no. I may have to quit my Saturday job because I simply don't have a pair of shoes to wear. Maybe I'll hot glue the sole back onto the tops of the shoes I can wear. That ought to buy me a little bit of time.

Blech. I sure don't relish the thought of cool weather. I may go barefoot and wear shorts all year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Little Things Mean Alot

Today, Kurt brought home kind of a 'get to know me' information sheet that he had filled out at school. One of the questions was "The person I most admire" ... he answered "My mom because she is funny and nice."

I know, at his age probably not a lot of people come to mind as to they admire. But it still felt good to read the words (even if they may have been written under duress).

It made me happy that he thinks that I am funny! It amazed me that he thinks I'm nice. :)

The written word carries a lot of weight.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Letter to My Son

My Middle Son turns 21 today ... I woke up and my fingers had a mind of their own. This is what they wrote:

21 years ago today, I was waking up to the knowledge that you would be coming into my life that day. Wow ... that seems like a lifetime ago (and to you, it is!).

Little did I know where our road together and apart would lead ...

When you were born, we felt more like a real 'family'. Having one child is nice ... having two ... feels like a family. It was my protective mother genes in me (which were nice and close to the surface after having you ... I think some people say it is a hormonal thing ... I prefer to call it protective mother syndrome), that picked us up and away from a chaotic and unhealthy lifestyle and moved us out here for a new beginning.

A new baby, a new beginning, a whole new world for us. I've never regretted that decision for a moment. It was the best move for us.

The next best move that I made for our family is when I decided to work from home after My Youngest was born. Maybe you and I would have been close anyway, but I credit the fact that I wasn't overwhelmed with work stresses at the end of my day, to the realization that your moods and behaviours were directly related to the stresses you were facing at school. Not me. I didn't take it personally, so I was better equipped to understand where you were coming from (even though I still didn't handle every situation perfectly, it was far better than how I dealt with things the first time around) ...

The teenage years weren't without their trying times, but in the end I could see that you were a strong minded individual who wasn't going to bow to peer pressure just to be liked and popular. You had a strong sense of who you were and what you believed in. And no one was going to sway your thinking.

And that brings us to today. A song that you played for me yesterday makes me feel that you have not changed a your way of thinking in some ways, since you were that teen who wasn't concerned about going with the flow of things just to be with the in crowd. You are who you are. And you are strong in what you believe in.

You have enveloped your family into that strong sense of belief and I feel that you would stand up for not only yourself, but anyone you care about.

You are pretty amazing. I am so proud to call you my son ...


Monday, September 1, 2008

A Most Excellent Weekend

As I sit here, fully awake and reflecting on my 3 days off ... I am so pleased with the way the weekend unfolded.

It was a perfect mix of work and play. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. I took time to do a few fun things. And the weekend was wrapped up with a most unexpected and enjoyable visit with a friend.

Who could ask for anything more??