Keep Shining

Photo courtesy of http://www.gorillabrigade.com

Today didn’t feel quite right. I remember laying in bed this morning wide awake for quite some time because I had to pee very bad but I though I was uncomfortable I was too lazy to move. By the time I got up to pee it was time to get up anyways but I crawled back in bed and stole an extra fifteen minutes of cuddle time with my husband.

The day didn’t start unusually but from the minute I got to work I felt off and disorganized. I usually look at Mondays as an opportunity to regroup and start the week strong and fresh. In fact yesterday I went to church with a friend and we listened to a sermon on Vocational Health and I was actually quite excited to start the work week.

In the morning we had a visitor to our building who is going to be doing some work here for another company, he didn’t have an appointment but I generously let him in any way and allowed him look around. I called our Maintenance Manager to let him know and then shoved my phone into my pocket. A couple of minutes later I bent down to pick up my keys and the phone took a hard thud on the concrete. The screen had some minor cracks but the inside touch screen had issues and one side of the phone was green. I felt instantly deflated.

I was recounting my story to the mail lady when she came in and she told me she had met a co-worker for coffee and she had a bad day, she got bit by a dog, fell in a mud puddle and dropped her phone down a manhole. She had me beat and since bad things happen in threes she was done!

The mail lady said her goodbyes with a promise to see me the next day. I looked at her like she had three heads and said “You will not see me on a Saturday!” She abruptly laughed and then looked at me with a mixture of sympathy and amusement as she reminded me that it was only Monday.

Five minutes later I broke a mug in my office and sent coffee and broken glass flying everywhere. After cleaning it up I decided maybe it was time to take lunch. I enjoy texting with my teenage daughter on her lunch hour and I was able to turn my phone sideways and with a little bit of difficulty I asked how her day was and told her I broke my phone. She replied that maybe it would make me feel better to know her heart was broken? My heart swelled and I texted back “Why?” She said people hurt her feelings everyday. I replied that those people do not matter to which she replied that some of them do. I replied, “Close your eyes and picture yourself peeing on them. Now that you have peed on them they do not matter!”

Her reply to my Mother of the year advice was “LMAO I love You”

Feeling just like I imagine a mother of the year would feel I laughed and contemplated another witty reply but somehow my already broken phone slipped out of my hands and hit the floor with a tragic thud. The phone is now broken beyond repair and it could be up till three days until I receive another. The screen is just black but the blue notification light flashes mockingly!!

Mondays are awesome!! I spent the rest of my afternoon at work hoping that my fourteen year old daughter was not at school peeing all over people. She wouldn’t even be able to text me. 😦

I have the words of a Dionne Warwick ballad, keep smiling, keep shining….” playing over and over in my head like a bad dream. That is what I will do universe, I am damn well going to dust myself off and keep shining!


How was your day?

Chicken Wings and Silly Things

Find the sunshine in everyday
Find the sunshine in everyday

I really shot myself in the foot by putting it in writing that I had a free five minutes in my last post. At the end of that evening I was exhausted and I was so ready for sleep when I crawled into bed only to discover that my cat had pissed in the middle of my bed.

Apparently she is annoyed with me for going back to work and decided to show her displeasure in a big way.

After a tedious clean up and new bedding I stretched out for a short(er) but glorious sleep. I was on the verge of exquisite slumber when hubby came to bed and as usual turned on the fan in our adjoining washroom. He needs the white noise and I despise it. I wake up several times a night thinking the heat is going and then lay awake stressing about my electric bill. Sometimes from overuse the fan begins to act up and I will wake thinking a helicopter is landing on the roof. Not a great feeling. I remember the 3 1/2 months I spent in the hospital pregnant with Haley and the Helipad landing was directly above my room. I would hear that thing at all hours and near pee my pants. Perhaps that is what happened to Kitty, she had the piss scared out of her.

Yesterday was a good and upbeat day at work and I managed to leave in time to rush home and drive Haley to music lessons, pop by work for another 40 minutes, stop and get groceries, make a quick (but late) dinner for the girls, put in laundry and then go for wing night at the local pub with hubby. He wanted to take me out so we could have a chat with me….intriguing! I ordered a corona and listened intently as my husband told me that we had to put my cat to sleep, that she has been terrorizing the mailman and the local children and that on top of refusing mail delivery the mailman had put in a complaint with the city. He looked at me sadly with a sympathetic shrug and hand squeeze. Good try hubby, good try!

I never wanted a cat but Kirk saved her almost ten years ago from certain death and she chose me as her person and it will continue to be that way!

We shared some pub grub and some laughs together. I really wanted to opt for fuzzy jammies and a night on the coach but we really enjoyed each others company. My husband is really good at recognizing when we just need a step away from the ordinary.

Life doesn’t always have to be extraordinary, we just have to grasp onto the moments that make us happy and focus on making time for more of those with the people we love!

Haley just called to tell me her sister called her the asshole of the family. I assured her that there are several assholes in the family but she is not at the top of the list. She asked if she could have ice cream. The kid has her priorities.

Tonight I took Morgan to practice, stopped by the YMCA to sign a paper, picked up the items I went to the grocery store for… spent $164 and came home without, picked up Morgan’s new phone and got a haircut.

My hair had gotten so long and it is incredibly thick. I needed a trim and a “fix-up” because I tried to trim my own bangs. At first I thought they looked pretty spy but as the days went on I kept trying to even it up and I was truly buthering it.

I laid back at the hairdresser while the nice young lady from the Phillipines washed my hair. It felt so great laying back with warm water running on my head. I wanted to stay forever.

It’s 10 pm and I finally got something to eat, put my jammies on and crawled in bed to watch Greys Anatomy re-runs. My house is a disaster but I can’t find the desire to care!

It has been brutally cold. This morning it was -37 with the wind chill eeek. The good news is the days are getting longer. I love the pink sky and the rising sun as I drive to work in the morning and the fiery ball nestled above the trees as I drive home.

Sometimes it’s the little things

Kick those winter blues to the snowy curb.

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I am writing this from snowy Edmonton, Alberta Canada where temperatures are well below freezing and we have piles of snow. The weather changed in the last week first getting unseasonably mild and dumping piles of snow on us and then we were blessed with a cold snap. My mood retaliated by putting me into hibernation mode. I spent whole days in my fuzzy blue robe, curled up with my fleece blanket watching movies. I kept the blinds closed to keep out the light and sipped coffee and baileys as if it was the magical cure for winter. I started preparing for hibernation around Thanksgiving (second week of October in Canada) by stuffing carbs into me till I had packed on some solid weight and I felt fatigued enough to sleep for months. With very few hours of daylight it seemed like the natural choice!

Unfortunately my kids were not loving he idea of winter hibernation. They have got shit to do and places to be and apparently I am their appointed chauffer. I am honestly tired of feeling tired and I miss those carefree days of summer. I miss the sun on my face, long days, bbqs, beachy music, flip flops, pretty colored cocktails with umbrellas in them and unmistakable song of the ice cream truck.

I am sitting here thinking about the best things about summer, trying to pinpoint what I miss the most and how I can use that to combat this “blue” feeling!


I miss sunshine
We are lucky to still get a fair bit of sunshine but when it is cold out it is harder and harder to get opportunities to be outside. As humans we make 90% of our vitamin D naturally by sunlight exposure to the skin.Humans spend less time in the sun today than at any point in human history – which is why more than 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. While vitamin D supplements are an alternative when sunlight exposure is not available it is not natures intended way of producing the vitamin. I read recently that taking your vitamin D supplements with red wine makes them more soluble and the vitamin is better absorbed by the body. There was no scientific evidence to back up this theory but it is certainly worth a try 😉

Back yard BBqs and flip flops
I BBQ all year around. Last week I cleaned off two feet of snow from the BBq and grilled up some rally tasty rib eye steaks. The problem was putting my boots on and taking them off became tedious. Oh how I miss flip flops.

I paired the steak with a nice green salad and some grilled asparagus. The combination felt almost tropical! Cutting back on the junk food and processed foods in favor of lean meats and fruits and vegetables can help stabilize your mood and winter weight. Make small changes to your diet and you will notice your mood and energy level soar. Remember the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids found naturally in fatty fish. There’s a neurotransmitter called serotonin in your body, and when you eat fatty fish, or take a high-quality fish oil supplement, your serotonin levels go up, which leads to your mood going up. Win win!!

The Sounds of Summer
Sometimes Nostalgia can stimulate the brain and compensate for what is missing. I often feel like that when listening to Summer songs. I am quite honestly not ready for Christmas music so I made my own summer mix. Sometimes I close my eyes and listen to a song that takes me back to a time when the windows are rolled down and my sunglasses are on, my hair blowing in the hot summer breeze…..

Activity
I imagine this is a hard one for everyone. We all know the benefits of daily exercise to our health and well being but in the cold weather we often opt to pass on our regular activities in favor a warm house, a TV and our PJs. Adding a little bit of daily activity can certainly boost your mood. For those of you who love to sled, ski, snowshoe….wonderful for you. My favorite winter activity is coming back indoors, closing the blinds and pretending it is not winter outside, maybe put on a Zac Brown CD and have a hoola hoop contest with my girls.

Pretty Feet
Remember walking around in sandals with pretty red toenails? There is very little motivation for pretty feet in the winter because barely anyone sees them and the bottoms of your feet get rough and winter worn. There is not a more perfect time to get a pedicure. Guaranteed to lift your mood. Go to a nice place, add a massage (sometimes they will serve you wine) RELAX…pretend you are on a beach!!

GET OUT/See People
One of the biggest differences between summer and winter is the amount of socializing we do. As the malls are filling up with Christmas shoppers take advantage of winter specials at museums and art galleries. Explore your city (or town) the way you always intended. Meet a friend for brunch, go to a matinee. To heck with Book Clubs,throw an unforgettable “SUMMER GET TOGETHER” in the winter. Have your guests dress summery, bring a tropical dish and serve summer inspired cocktails. CHEERS!!

Its hard to make big changes in the winter when the days are short and our energy is low. One little change here and there will leave you feeling happier and more energetic, therefore apt to follow through with more changes.

Have a happy winter and check out my summer inspired mix below. I am off to my tepid bath where I have Hawaiian leis hung over the shower curtain and the sweet sound of Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville playing on my Samsung Smart Phone. I even hid my salt shaker, therefore it’s lost (and there is a woman to blame!). I am going in topless because somehow I know that after too many Margaritas and a day of sunshine that is how I would end up!!

Tell me how you cope with winter!

Working Man-Building a strong family

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I don’t really believe that there is women’s work and men’s work. I believe that gender roles should be equal but that being said somehow in my marriage we fell into more of traditional roles and I have been lucky enough to not have to get my hands dirty changing my oil, changing tires or taking out the toilet all three times our children decided to flush something that didn’t belong.

About a year and half ago I quit my job. My husband and I thought it was important that I have more time for our children with him away. Initially trepidatious I agreed it was for the best.  I do some work from home and I am a volunteer board member for a local league.  I am a full time wife, mother, cook, taxi driver and role model.

Do not misinterpret this to mean that I love picking up dirty socks or dirty dishes.  I don’t and I can safely say that though my family does not readily change their heathen ways it is not from lack of trying. My displeasure is known and though it would be easier I don’t do it for them. If I have to ask ten times it gets louder everytime and eventually the socks will get picked up.

My husband is away for work more then he is home and I know when he is there everybody wants a piece of him. His phone rings steady, people are in his ear and he is responsible for a crew of young guys that he affectionately calls his kids.

One day last week I was on the phone bitching to him about trying to get our daughter out of bed for school and he asked if I would like to trade him and get five thirteen year olds out of bed in the morning. I changed the subject of the conversation. 

Both if us have our roles and he is exceptional at his and I handle mine. Sometimes we struggle silently because part of our roles as husband and wife is too lift each other up, not weight each other down with complaints. When you live apart from each other sometimes part of supporting each other is learning to lean on yourself.  It’s a unique situation for certain and I don’t know that I will ever master it but I know that I won’t stop trying.

I know that my husband doesn’t tell me everyday how lonesome it gets living up North, how hard it is to miss your childrens special moments and get up and go to work each day, everyday knowing how many people are depending on him.

In turn I try to make sure that all the business here gets taken care of. The children are fed, educated and active, I volunteer at their school and their league, the business paperwork is done on time and I teach our girls about hard work, about integrity, about accountability and about the value of a dollar. I try to have a little life for myself because it is important for me and for them to see.

Our roles are very different but equally important.  I know I miss Kirk somedays more then I say and I definitely appreciate him more then I could ever express. I know that he makes our lives possible  and in turn we make his possible. We are all doing our best and continuing to learn. I do not define him nor he me but I believe that we make each other better!

Our kids are growing up with a family that doesn’t all get to sit down at the dinner table together every night but they are being given opportunities that neigher my husband and I had as children.

Families don’t fit into a little box like they used to. That perfect fifties style family with the Mom serving dinner in a dress to a suit and tie dad while her well groomed children say their prayers and talk about their day over meatloaf and pie!

Tell me about your unique family!

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Here’s looking at you kid

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This is a bit of a braggart post. My nine year old daughter Haley opened up her school zone last night on my laptop and was tweaking her “Soup”write up she said. I was reading it and I was instantly blown away!

She is so imaginative and descriptive.  BTW she doesn’t even like carrots (cooked) and she considers Campbells  original chicken noodle soup to be gourmet.

Needless to say I am impressed. I think she is a beautiful young writer. She sings, dances, is learning piano, plays roller derby. She is definitely well rounded.

Very little of it comes from me but this one…..maybe!

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NOT a crazy cat lady

My cat Aulie is over nine years old. We named her Aulie because my husband picked her up on the side of the Highway when she was just a wee kitten in a place called Aulac, New Brunswick. I didn’t consider myself much of a cat person but my youngest Haley was just a baby when Kirk called to say he had rescued this kitten someone had thrown out of a moving vehicle. She was much too young to be taken from her mother but I guess the disgusting people that disposed of her like she was yesterdays trash didn’t much care.

My husband stopped the truck and trailers he was hauling, a set of Seaboard B-trains loaded with fuel and ran down the dark highway to scoop up the wounded, scared kitten. Although she was tiny and her face was beat up she was a beautiful kitten and he loved her instantly. She didn’t share the same sentiment.

We had Aulie vet checked and got the OK to bring her home to be part of our family. She chose me as her human and likes to shower me with attention. Aulie will on occasion warm to Kirk and the girls, mostly when she is hungry or just in the mood but generally she reserves all of her attention for me.

The problem is she does not like to be held or cuddled. She will lay on me and play with my hair or bang her head into my hands to force me to pet her but she does not like to be held. It’s weird, I always thought it had something to do with her early separation from her mother but some days I just think she is a jerk. She is controlling and likes that our relationship be on her terms only. She often sleeps with me when my husband is away working, sometimes she cannot get close enough to me but I cannot put her in my arms. I have often woke to find her watching me. It’s a little creepy but since I am her human I guess it’s normal…right??

A couple of days ago she got quite annoyed with me because I tried to cuddle her. The nerve of me, she stormed away all sullen and bitchy feline like. She also found a new “human” though it is not human at all. I think she truly feels that my Halloween Skello is her mama. She cuddles into her at every opportunity. I want to put Skello away till next year but I just cannot bare to break Aulie’s heart. If she is not eating or doing her lady business she is cuddling with Skello.

It really is the perfect relationship. She can get as close as she wants and Skello doesn’t try to hold or hinder her. Skello is there when she wants and never leaves. Right now she is cuddled up and as content as can be. I think Aulie has found her happy place. It looks like Skello is getting a Santa hat and sticking around!

Fire in the Sky

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My Grampy Miller used to say
Pink sky at night ‘sailors delight’
Pink sky in the morning ‘sailors heed warning’

It’s a crisp morning in the Capital city currently sitting at -11. The good news is that we are expecting sunshine and +4 and the morning sky looks incredible!

My youngest daughter and I just burst out into song singing Trooper “We’re here for a good time! ”

Sending them to school with a belly full of bacon and eggs and a smile.

My coffee is ready…it’s a good morning! !

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