A blast from my past…

I used this blog today, and then I got to looking at my dashboard and checked out my old blog.  I laughed, I cried, it was a good day.  So, in case I haven’t done it before, here’s my link:


I feel that the day is soon coming when I’ll be back on the creative release involving humour and blogging bandwagon.  We’ll see, but looking back, I do miss it.


Sneak a peek!

We are always a family who loves having people over.  I’m not sure why.  I’m shy, my husband is always joking once we invite people over that he’s changed his mind.  But, when the door opens, I can’t imagine it being any other way.  We love to entertain.  I’ve been inviting a few people we’ve met from out of country to come up.  Not that we have some fantastic Airbnb or something, but we are always willing to open our doors for someone to come and see us or to experience where we live.  In saying so, I’m posting a blog post for all those who were invited, so they can check us out, since we’re not on facebook.

So, without further ado, the summer version.  I’ll post more for the winter version later.


The now comfortably furnished deck (though our house is green siding now.)  🙂


Part of the park by our house.

dog island

Dog Island, from a boat.

MM lookout

Overlook at Marten Mountain Lookout.

devonshire beach

Devonshire beach about 10 minutes from our place.

I snagged these from online (except the one of my deck) because surprisingly I don’thave many photos of summertime!!  I’ll post more, but for now it’s a peek at life in small town Alberta.  🙂


I told someone so…

So, it’s come to this.

I am not sure if I’m happy or sad.  I’m not sure if I wasn’t careful enough about what I wished for.  And, I’m really not sure what I expected otherwise.

It’s an F-word.  But, not the four-letter one that invokes laughter or anger in the same moment.  It’s longer than that and it has more weight.  Fibromyalgia.

20 years I spent going from doctor to doctor because they all moved or retired to family life, or maybe got tired of seeing my file grow with every visit.  I insisted there was something going on, and they insisted I needed more water, less sugar and more sleep.  While I admit these are all things that help, I was looking for something more concrete.  An excuse or something to prove that it wasn’t all my fault.  And, there it is.  A twelve letter culmination of frustration and sleeplessness.  An answer to my prayers at 2am for some direction on how to feel better.  And yet, I feel… nothing.  Just a little “I KNEW there was something going on…”  Yet, is it really a diagnosis?

I think I’m mostly pissed with the fact that the things I’d finally started doing to make myself healthier are now no-no’s.  Well, for now, anyway.  I loved crossfit.  There’s something about being able to do a shit-ton of situps and still be able to do a shit-ton of squats and lift a 125lb bar over your head in the same hour workout.  But, there won’t be any going back.  Unless I get up the nerve and walk in for a hello.  And try not to be the sad, sob-story sitting on the couch watching instead of doing.

But, it’s supposedly not progressive, just always there with flare-ups when things are bad.  A positive, I suppose.  It’s crappy hearing that there should be NO WEIGHTS, and very light low/no-impact aerobic activity after finally being able to bust ass on a WOD.  Oh well.  I need to stop snivelling and put on my big-girl panties and move my ass at least, instead of sitting there on the couch eating like shit and getting bigger big-girl panties…



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Gutter Parenting

I can’t help but look at my husband sometimes to see his reaction to things my kids say, to make sure I’m not the only one who is always living in the gutter and having inappropriate visuals at times.

My Youngest Daughter got a stuffed animal Christmas tree ornament from her Auntie as part of a goodie bag for Christmas.  I didn’t pay much attention to it, it was brown and furry, I assumed it was a bear and went on with stuffing my face with yummy dinner and dessert and second dessert.  In the car on the way home, in the darkness, she dropped it on the floor and it got soaked from the now melted snow from her boots.  I told her to hang it up on the hook above the door and let it dry.  A few minutes later, out of complete silence came this:

Her: Mom I have a beaver.

Me (Trying not to laugh): What?

Her: A beaver.  I have a beaver.

Me: What do you mean you have a beaver?!

Her: There (pointing at said animal) it’s a beaver.

Me: (looking at my husband and noticing he’s silently laughing so hard, which also makes me laugh out loud.) Oh.  Okay.

a few minutes later:

Her: My beaver is getting dried out.

Me: (bust out laughing, as is hubby)

Her: Why is that so funny?

Me: Nothing, I just thought it was a bear.

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(Warning or Suggestion – take it how you want – This is long a little rambling, but there’s a point.)

I realise that it has been far too long since I posted anything.  Why do I care?  Because for some reason, I feel that writing makes me feel more important, or involved, or interesting, or some other ‘i’ word.  I really wish I had more drive to stick to decisions I make, like ranting on my blog, or attending the gym three times a week.  Or even making supper every day.  (Yeah, my pie graph on my bank statement shows a hefty dining portion, much like my habitual pie portion at the very same dining establishments.)

But, does this mean I’m a lost cause?  I hope not.  I don’t get out as often as I like to, so the extent of my adult conversation is at my employment, which is new by the way!  And, sometimes, it’s the few and far between visits I have with my friends.  But, ultimately, there’s something so much more ‘me’ in these blog posts than a lot of the conversations I have outside my PC box.  I am not good at small talk (ask most of the customers who come through the till at work that I’ve only been learning for maybe five days, I’m the one who says ‘You too’ when they say something other than have a good day).  I try desperately to be comfortable with the silent pauses in conversations.  I don’t keep up with the news or even my own immediate family’s doings, so I don’t have a lot to talk about.  Until I sit at my computer/iphone at 11pm.  Maybe it’s because I have a bad memory.  Or I’m overwhelmed.  I keep thinking I need one of those little tape recorders that journalists and CEO’s used to carry so they could quickly dictate to themselves for later what they needed to tend to later on.  I tried it with my iPhone, when I finally got one.  It lasted a day.  Maybe I’m just too laid back to really care deep down.  But, since I’m not on facebook anymore, I feel so left out.  Even my one friend who used to berate all us facebookers about how horrible it is and how we always forget she’s not on facebook, she is now in there like a dirty shirt and I am the one who is left off of the invite list.  And, inviting my husband in no way guarantees that even he will be aware of the event, and so i am probably the last one who would find out too late about it.  Funny that my husband was the one who originally encouraged me to first log into facebook.  I did, reluctantly.  And after several years of 4:30pm mad rushes to make a supper that looked like I’d spent all day planning it, all while rushing around and setting the all-time speed record for cleaning my house like it took eight hours, he is the reason I gave it up.  (Why can’t I clean like that when I have time to clean????)  And now HE’S the one who is on there everyday, spending his grumpy evenings scrolling like a zombie through people’s pages and making me realise how stupid I looked.  So I guess, blogging is my way of staying somewhat connected.  To something.  I don’t even know what…  And, I fight with myself about whether I should ask him to change his password so I stop trolling facebook under his name….

A friend of mine has been going through some ‘what’s my purpose’ stuff lately.  And yet, in the midst of all her chaos (which she hates), and change (which she hates) she is managing to maintain almost daily blog posts!  And she is the most private person I know, so I struggle with the irony of her ability and my inability.  I am one of the least private people, I share my bathroom stories with new friends and am not afraid of wearing a bikini on a holiday.  I find myself talking too loud in public about things I find either funny or exciting and realise all too late that the entire place has either cleared out because of the topics or people across the room are laughing at the exact moments the people at my table are laughing.  And it also seems to go the other way, everyone who doesn’t know me feels this inexplicable ease with which to share their most private thoughts, and I appreciate being the sounding board as I do it to others, and they always stop mid-topic suddenly realising  out loud that they’ve “never told anyone this stuff!” and they continue on.  It makes me feel special to be that openly accepted.  But sometimes I feel like I need more.  Like my blogging friend.  She’s my bestie, and she too surprised herself with how open she was with me.  She felt like she needed an anonymous outlet to share the shit that happens everyday, so she blogs anonymously.  Whether people read it or not.  And they do.  And then there’s mine.  I love what I write.  I love making people laugh, or feel the ‘I’m not alone!!’ feeling.  I love writing.  I love the freedom of a blog.  And yet, I forget about it in a month, or a couple days depending on the week.  And especially when I notice that there are no hits.  I’m the comedian who keeps making these awesome jokes and telling them to anyone who’ll listen in hopes that someone will laugh and instead, gets irritated crickets.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m broken.  I worked painting houses with a different friend, she was always so fit and when we’d work together and there were people around I always felt so out of shape just being in the same room as her.  Now, she’s much less active than she used to be, and she’s mostly ok with it, and I’m the one who’s attending Crossfit.  And lately it’s been three times a week.  And yet, aside from the ass-kicking that my knees are taking, I know I’m getting stronger and fitter, but I think I am realising that it’s not just my body that was crying for a change.  I don’t know what to do about my brain.  I know I can’t drop everything and there just aren’t enough free days that coincide between mine and my closest friends’ schedules for venting days, and sometimes those conversations leave the hamster in my head guzzling red bull like a frat boy.  Perhaps I need to enforce a bedtime?  My hubby thinks so.  But he’s been sleeping like shit lately too, so I don’t know.

I sit here, looking at my screen and can think of a million things to write.  Stories that would make people laugh, if not just smile.  It’s like having a friend who is always on, and never takes on the burdens of your stress, but I don’t think about it until 11pm and then end up tired the next day.  Or instead of awesome stories that are short and fun to read, there’s a 1,500 word essay on the trivialties of being me.

You know, my husband always asks me why I tell the world my problems.  It’s because in talking about my problems out loud, and often more than once, I usually find the answer hidden right in front of me.  I just re-read this post, hoping to edit it down to 300 words (lol, yeah right!) and there it was.  I come here simply to make someone out there laugh.  My friend uses her blog to vent or rant or share her disbelief in her fuck up of a day because its anonymous and she’s so private she wouldn’t even share her favourite colour with you (and it’s not black…).  Answer:  I am not private. I’ve told someone about it already and while I enjoy the possibility of making you laugh, that’s all it is.  A possibility.  No guarantee.  Crossfit has worked for me, I am sticking to it even though I have that small nagging voice on my shoulder saying I’m tired and this is getting old, I beat it away with the dowel I use for shoulder warmups and push through because I get results.  I am guaranteed that the work I put in will end in positive feedback even if it’s just from me, or my pants that don’t sigh when I sit down to supper anymore.  I still love to blog, I still want to make people laugh, especially if I don’t know them because strangers don’t feel obligated to laugh like acquaintances do.  (Closest friends sometimes laugh AT me and I’m usually laughing too, so I lie to myself at times and say it was WITH me!)  But, I guess I also don’t write often because I have so much other stuff going on that this is at the bottom of the 12 page to-do list.  It’s a want, not a need.  Something maybe, so I can say ‘go read about it on my blog’ instead of telling the same story 100 times and waiting for crickets.  I don’t get let down if nobody laughs, because there’s no feedback bar for personal reactions (lol!).   And my laundry isn’t folding itself.

Bestie, teach me to be a minimalist.

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Case of the Trendycats

I never thought I was a trender. Nor a trend follower. I never thought I was a trend leader, either. However, for the last few months (six or so?) I’ve been drooling over deep purple hair on Pinterest…yes, I admit I’m a pinner. Trender.
A few months into the drooling, I marched into my hairdresser’s salon and plucked out the hair swatch book and tagged the purple hair as “it” and away we went. I love it! And I felt so awesome doing something bold and fun and different! Trend follower.
I’ve been noticing several peopole around my town now sporting some shade of purple or other and keep telling myself, “That’s not quite my shade, I’m still unique.” Today I was walking to pick up my daughter from school and a lady I usually saw in her truck as I parked last year, walks by me. I almost choked. She always had this beautiful Pinterest worthy blonde coif. Guess what she’s sporting? Purple. And I’m pretty sure it’s bang on to what I’ve been sporting the last few months. Trend leader.
Now I want something different. Perhaps some Rogue streaks? 🙂 Off to Pinterest I go to gather ideas. Sigh…the irony. (At least I didn’t copy someone from town…I get that point.)

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Another Benefit of E-Harmony

While sitting with the family, watching “The Incredible Dr. Pol” on National Geographic – a reality show about the day-to-day business of a farm vet in Central Michigan (it’s very interesting, though I have discovered daughter number two has a weak stomach), we were forced to endure the random commercials that pay the bills of the tv station. One of them was E-Harmony. My oldest daughter is smart. She is also social. And she is very inventive. After the commercial was finished she piped up, “Mom! Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a kids site? I could say, ‘Hi! I’m a 9-year-old girl. I like this and I like that’ and then I could talk to other girls my age!” I quickly interceded with, “And there could be a man at the other end saying, ‘Hi! I’m a 9 yr old girl too! Where do you live? We could meet at the park!’ and you would tell him thinking he was a 9-year-old girl, and I might never see you again.” She looked at me wide-eyed. She paused. She said, “oh.” And I said, “That is why I don’t let you on the internet. I can’t trust you to not give out personal information online.” She looked at me wide-eyed and said, “But we’re allowed to search on google and find funny things and research stuff!” I was about to say that googling could be bad too, but simply said, “yes, that’s fine.” Sigh. Another segue into a conversation I was afraid to get into, that somehow was over much more quickly and much less painfully than I had expected. Thanks, e-harmony! You found my match, the fuse-lighting kind. 🙂

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Am I Going Senti-Mental?

I love reading. More so than some people, though perhaps not as much as others. I thoroughly enjoy it, but I am not a book-worm who hides away for days or weeks in a book. Well, most of the time. But, I come by it honestly, my mom is an avid reader as well. Not all the same genre as my taste (I doubt you’d find a YA Fantasy in her house, unless I left it there), but she definitely influenced me. And now, my daughters are readers. I must say, not with the same vigour as myself or their grandmother (give it time, I hope!)  Nonetheless, they love and excel at reading. I buy books for myself to read in the hopes that my children will read them and enjoy them as much as I do. I am not into reading extremely gruesome, disturbingly dark, overtly crude books. I tend to stay away from ones that push beyond my comfort levels when it comes to certain topics. I don’t read true murder mysteries, I shy away from true stories in general as they tend to cause me emotional grief. But I most definitely would not have my children reading things that I myself determine to be well within the realms of “adult” themes. I censor the reading material in my house, somewhat. Occasionally I discover some things in my home I never thought my children would read but have realised from the giggles I hear down the hall that they do and they aren’t entirely appropriate (aka bathroom magazines on men’s health or women’s fitness training… definitely have some almost R rated articles in there!) It’s funny how things like that escape my mommy-censor. But hey, they’re fun to read! (Note to self: put those mags in recycling…) Herein lies my conflict.

My oldest just turned 9. Oh man, she thinks she’s 19 that’s for sure, but she has the sensitivities befitting a young girl and the heart of a lion, the compassion of Mother Theresa and the philosophical musings of Buddha. Her questions are deep, profound, hard to answer, full of emotion and all too familiar. She is me, just a few years earlier than I think I was. I was trying to find some books online that would be suitable for her to expand our home library. Ones that wouldn’t cause inner turmoil or incite a 12 hour Q&A on topics a 9-year-old who is prone to irrational fears can’t be enlightened about properly without inadvertently opening many more cans of worms. But, according to my favourite e-book site, the Fiction section for kids 9-12 includes books about living in a polygamist community, life and issues of 17 yr old girl in a divorced family whose mother is intent on remarrying and abandoning her many times, senior girls who find out their boyfriends cheated on them and their friends were murdered… Sigh… Am I going mental? I don’t remember these being the kind of topics I would have been reading at 9-12 years of age. Sure, I read R.L. Stine books and Christopher Pike, spooky mysteries that were watered down but still interesting enough that my mom liked to read them. Sure, in school we read books that were deep and introspective and culturally reflective on society, etc… But that was grade 7 and up… I remember reading the Babysitter’s Club, Ms Teeny Wonderful… Perhaps I just self-censored. Perhaps I just blocked out the ones that caused me strife. Perhaps I am going Senti-Mental. I don’t want my daughter to be drowning in a whirlwind of teen romances, addiction afflictions, psychologically warped individuals who are coping (or not) with disorders that I hope my kids never have to go through, etc… I am a mom and I believe I have now reached the point of understanding my mother’s greying hair. Can you blame me? Maybe I should go ask my mom.

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Lol! Been a long time!

And I have so much to share, that I can’t begin. One day on holidays,I will vent an earful or twelve thousand. 🙂

Peanut-Free, how I love/hate thee.

I have developed a love/hate relationship with the Peanut-Free symbol.

My youngest is allergic to peanuts. And so, our diets have adapted to this life or death situation. Although I drool at Reese commericals and breathe deeply in the peanut butter aisle of the grocery stores, we have decided that if she can’t have it, neither should we. Except for the Snickers bars whose wrappers magically appear in my truck on lonely trips to Edmonton or the peanut buteer marshmallow squares that sit waiting for my consumption at adults-only parties.

When we discovered she was allergic, I was devastated: I will have to throw out almost everything in my pantry! After a full day of reading and sorting, a jar of peanut butter and a bag of cookies lay in the garbage can followed by relief: apparently not! This was immediately followed by thrill: finally, another excuse to stop eating junk food! It all has traces of peanuts in it, right? And so I avoided the cookie aisle like one avoids people you really don’t want to talk to: don’t even look at it or you end up there for hours… After spending three times the normal amount of shopping time, suffering from eyestrain from inexcusably small print and feeling like I had been deciphering an alien language, I realised this was not the case. However, since my youngest could not read and my oldest had bought into my mother-knows-best routines, I used it as an excuse to not buy most of the crap they wanted me to buy. “It all might contain peanuts.”

Enter the Peanut-Free symbol.

In answer to pleas from squinty-eyed parents, several brands of cookie manufacturers started placing the symbol on the front of their boxes. After having deprived myself (ahem – and the family too) of cookies for so long, I jumped on it and starting stashing boxes of cookies in my pantry like an air-raid shelter. As if somehow, the company would change their mind and I would never find peanut free cookies again. It was like Pavlov’s bell, I was buying almost any product that was bearing “The Mark”. Soon my bingeing was satisfied and I learned the hoarding was not necessary. I also learned that peanut free was not calorie free, but that’s another story, and I digress… It was my little timesaver and sort of secret. Hence, the love part. Until my kids discovered what it meant. Hence, the hate part.

When my oldest was just learning the concept of spelling at about three years old, she was also at an age where she loved baths. However, if you mentioned the word bath and a bath didn’t happen, she would have a meltdown, so we would spell out b a t h. One day, my mother proudly exclaimed that she’d taught Oldest to spell bath! And we had to tell my mother why that put a horrified look on my face. Having to rethink parenting strategies is frustrating, to say the least. Until now, the “it might contain peanuts” statement was like Judge Judy’s verdict. Final. So now, I spend three times the amount of time shopping, arguing about the health implications of all the foods my kids want to buy that according to “that label” we should be able to buy. In every store. In every aisle. Trying not to offend the nice lady beside me who has three boxes of it in her cart. Praying a food/health nut doesn’t correct my inaccurate accusations. Wishing I spoke Latin.


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