In the still of the night-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Wellness, cabin in the woods, solar power, eco retreat, mara lake, british columbia, mindful, mindfulness, happiness, gratitude, Wise Project

I woke early to the soft tap of rain on the cabin roof. I boiled water outside on the bbq and made the most fabulous camp coffee ever made. I built a big roaring fire in the wood stove that has quickly lulled my husband back to sleep. My daughter is gently snoring in the loft. I am curled up with a soft blanket sipping coffee on a comfy chair by the fire. I am charmed by the crackle and snap and the serene quiet of this wooded retreat and I am full of gratitude.

I want to go for a quiet walk in the woods and find the little waterfall the owners told me about but I am a bit nervous knowing that there is a mama bear and her cubs close by. The owners of the cabin say they haven’t seen them by their house but they like to eat from the neighbors fruit trees. I would love to see them from a distance but not face to face alone in the woods. I circled the immediate area and delighted in birdsong and the sounds of nature instead of early morning traffic.

This cabin gives the illusion of being deeper into the wild than it actually is. It is a short drive or five minute walk into the woods so once you are here you feel very far away from the stresses of everyday. Our hosts Chantal and John put a great deal of love into this little getaway and it is evident in the little touches. The solar power is something that I wasn’t familiar with but besides a few common sense things it is pretty straight forward. Want not, waste not!

I know it is not my family’s cup of tea and they humor me a lot, but the truth is when you take away electronics, clutter and conveniences we are forced to live in this moment instead of the next one and we connect more as a family. They cannot deny it. The fact that my husband has drifted off into untroubled slumber several times this morning alone speaks volumes.

Last night we had a tasty camp dinner and played 5 second rule and charades. There were a lot of laughs and I was happy for the quality family time. Our daughter  was terrified of going to the outdoor washroom and hadn’t peed once between four and midnight. She is such a city girl. She insisted she didn’t need to pee at all but I dragged her out there and she managed to not get murdered or eaten by bears. She made us barricade the doors so that mice, bears and woods cabin murderers couldn’t get in and thank god because we are all living this morning.

Despite her fears she fell asleep almost immediately after settling down in the cozy loft. I caught her talking in her sleep several times. The still of the night here is very still. Though I was up early because it is light in here with all of the windows I feel extremely rested.

I am immensely enjoying this place. It feels like you are miles away from everything which is clearly more of a comfort to me than it is to my daughter. I do think it is a memory that as an adult she will cherish and hopefully she will take her own family on similar adventures. When you are an adult you really appreciate getting away from everyday worries.

Mara Lake Beach

She was quite excited to go to the beach today and though we originally thought it wasn’t going to be a beach day the sun won it’s battle with the grey clouds around 3 pm and it is quite gorgeous.  Mara Lake beach is located in Mara, between Salmon Arm and Sicamous in the Okanagan/Shuswap region of British Columbia. It  has a white sandbar and deep blue water that is refreshing and rejuvenating. It is the first time my daughter forgot that she doesn’t have wifi. I loved swimming with her and watching her build herself into a sand mermaid. You cannot have that experience in the city.

It is easy to be mindful in a place like this. The slower pace and lack of distractions forces you into it.  The quiet and the soft glow of candlelight is not so bad either.

I would highly recommend this place for a quiet retreat or for a couple looking to reconnect. There is no fridge or stove but there is a bbq with a side burner and the cozy kitchen is quite equipt. Frankly there is a coffee pot and a wine opener so I felt very much at home. I am fascinated by the tiny house movement and the “less is more” lifestyle so this was an enjoyable experience for me.

If you are planning on traveling to B.C. and would like to have a serene stay in a solar powered cabin in the woods check out this wooded retreat in Mara HERE

I talk about the Sweet sound of silence HERE, grab a coffee and have a listen.

Just a reminder that the W.I.S.E. Principles for July are Welcome, innocent, special and enjoy. I hope you are welcoming new and exciting experiences, seeking innocent and guiltless adventures and quiet time to rejuvenate. Treat each moment as if it is special and unique and live in the moment fully before moving on to the next.

Be W.I.S.E. friends. Chat soon.

 

xo Michelle

 

Take on me-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Photo credit: Louie Schwartzberg
Photo credit: Louie Schwartzberg

Beauty and seduction are nature’s tools for survival because we protect what we love. ~ Louie Schwartzberg

You may have noticed that a lot of my blog titles are also the titles of classic songs. Yes this is on purpose. I love music and usually the title is something that just pops in my head very quickly. Take on me from the Norwegian band Aha is out of the 1985 vault. That is how I feel today, telling the universe to Take me on, because I am happy and nothing that happens today is going to change that.

Often when I write to you I have these A-ha moments and yesterday I said that I was once told that you will be what you think of most of the time and I always wanted to be happy. In seeking out those opportunities to create happiness every moment of every day it changes your entire focus. It doesn’t mean that I am never sad or angry but it means I know what happiness feels like and though I experience sadness  like everyone else I no longer dwell on it. In the dictionary dwelling is described as a place of residence. Do not dwell in a place of sadness and anger. These are places you visit quickly and leave.

Once again this  months W.I.S.E. Principles are WOW, incredible, stimulate and enthusiasm.

I found just the thing today that was expressive and awe-inspiring, it encouraged further interest and activity and I intensely and eagerly enjoyed. Not bad for day two of June.

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.

~Louie Schwartzberg

I want to share it with you and I am asking you to take ten thoughtful minutes and watch this. It will stimulate your brain, bring beauty to your eyes and calm over your entire being. If it doesn’t you are cold and dead inside and I cannot help you. Not that I can claim to help you anyway, I am not a doctor. As a regular person giving advice to another regular person here is my prescription for joy today. You’re welcome!!

Diary of a Whiny Bitch!

On my way to work a couple of days ago I found myself in tears at a red light; in fact I am tearing up just thinking about it. I was thinking about an argument that I had with my husband that morning that really shouldn’t have been an argument at all, it should have been two people supporting and encouraging each other but it turned into a pissing match over who was busier, whose day was the fullest, who put in the most effort. There wasn’t a winner and nor should there have been and at that moment I was feeling apologetic that those few minutes we are lucky enough to get together in the morning were wasted.

I was sitting at that red light with hot tears threatening to spill down my cheeks and ruin the make up I had carefully applied in the five minutes I had between making sure my daughters were out of bed and had something to eat before I ran out the door for work crossing my fingers that they would get to school on time. The haunting melody to James Blunts 1973 catapulted me out of my trance to answer the incoming call from my husband. 1973 is his ringtone not just because it is the year of his birth but because we have often danced to that the song when it comes on the radio. There just doesn’t seem to a be a lot of time to dance lately.

My husband had been working in the Alberta Oil sands for seven years. That is seven long years, working long hours in extreme weather and living in remote camps away from his family for 250 days out of a 365 day year. Circumstances led to him deciding to come home and try to run his business in Edmonton. It means even longer hours, a lot of worry about making ends meet and a great deal of faith but we all go to bed under the same roof every night and that is huge. I have returned to work full time as well so my job, my volunteer work, shuffling my kids activities and trying to make sure that my house doesn’t resemble a college dorm (and smell like one) gives me very little time to dedicate to my own sanity. My husband’s business is in infancy so he doesn’t have time to help me and I don’t have time to help him.

Insert frustration, lack of sleep, worry, not enough vegetables in your diet, yelling in place of talking, fear of epic mom failures and waking up with gray hairs where your eyebrows used to be and then the waterworks begin.

For ten days I have been promising myself a glass of wine and a kit kat bar. A “give myself a break” reward. In ten days I haven’t found the time. I really need to get my priorities straight!

As soon as I get to that last load of laundry, go on my fourteen year old daughters school zone which I haven’t signed into in six months (she swears she doesn’t have homework) and convince my 9 year old the importance of taking baths and showers I will get to it. The wine is waiting…..waiting….waiting. I hope it doesn’t turn to vinegar.

I was watching a show on my laptop in bed the other night and I remember the days where I used to envy an actresses hair, body or trendy clothes. Now I just envy how clean the houses are on TV. I am getting older by the second and my laundry is piling up, dust is accumulating in corners and the dishes that have not broken are in the dishwasher. The hot bath I had planned turned into a quick tepid shower followed by my oldest daughters forty five minute tropical shower.

I eat left-overs, I wear left overs, I pull grey hair out of places that shouldn’t even have hair, I calculate bills and schedules in my head as soon as it hits the pillows. I dream of days where there is nothing to do. I yell a lot and yet nobody hears me, I go to the store to get milk and come home with an armload of groceries and no milk.

I am a MOTHER, hear me ROAR, Ok I know, it sounds more like a yawn!! It’s 8 pm and I am yawning. My bottle of wine is looking at me disapprovingly, mockingly as if I’ve done it some disservice. I have no milk and no gas and very little patience.

I had a great laugh tonight with a friend about vaginas, penises, pasta salad and poop. I needed it and it is in those moments that I am reminded how lucky I really am. My kids are doing OK, they have food to eat, clothes to wear and they love their mama. Today they even cleaned the house and made cupcakes. I have a husband who works harder then any man I know and still asks me to dance at the end of the day. I don’t have a model’s body, a millionaires money, a show home, the patience of a saint or a mother of the year award but this whiny bitch has five free minutes, an open bottle of wine and 5 confetti cupcakes….dare me???

Love you all and happy Easter xoxox
Michelle

Mom’s everywhere, watch this and then pat yourself on the back because you ROCK!! Especially mine!

INSPIRED

library

I have been feeling so uninspired lately. For those of you who follow my blog you can tell because I have been absent. I went on a couple of quick back to back trips so I originally blamed it on being busy but even when things went back to normal I found I was sitting in front of my computer trying to force myself to write. I guess you could call it writer’s block…I was feeling insipid and the more I tried to write the worse it became.

This morning I had a great workout and then met a friend for brunch. I decided maybe I needed a change of atmosphere so I went to the local library. In front of the library someone had written in chalk “The Public Library is the University of the People” That immediately made me smile. People from all walks of life go to the library. I love the library, I love books, I love the big wooden tables overlooking the lake. I loved that there wasn’t any laundry to do, dishes to wash or floors to mop.

I looked around at the people and silently wondered what they were all working on, some were on laptops like me, others were reading, and some were studying. A man caught my eye. Actually a woman caught my eye and she was curling up her nose at the sight of this man. My first thought was that the man was homeless. He had unkempt hair and a very long beard and appeared to be travelling with a lot of bags. He thumbed intently through the shelves of books, wide-eyed as a kid in a candy store. Although the lady with the curled up nose appeared unimpressed I was fascinated. So many people, so many walks of life but this particular man captured my attention. He seemed enthralled by the selection of books at his fingertips. I wondered would he choose a mystery, a documentary perhaps or was he doing research? I thought of the sign written in chalk on the pavement walking in “The public library is the University of the People” I smiled. If he was indeed homeless I am not sure what paths in life led him to that place but I am glad that a path led him to the public library. He wasn’t a man on the street begging for money or my judgment, he was a man searching for a passion, an escape, and maybe characters to enthrall him and take him to different lands he may never find the opportunity to visit. The public library didn’t belong to me or the lady with the curled up nose, it belongs to all of us; the people.

I often get approached by homeless people and though every encounter is different they always make me think,

“How did you get here?”

I believe a lot of them are not so different then you and I. I have made bad choices in my life, none of us are exempt from that. Did a choice or a succession of choices lead to a situation that was so overwhelming and beyond their control that they couldn’t find their way back? Was it an illness, a death, an addiction, a tragedy?

I am not going to pretend to have heart and sympathy for everyone who has crossed my path, I am no saint, but I do believe that everyone has a story, like characters in a book. It is so easy to sit back and be a critic but you can’t judge a person by their appearance anymore then you can judge a book by its cover. All of us are just characters in the book of life, all of us faced everyday with good, with evil, with conflict and choices.

I started writing a book almost ten years ago. I had faced some very difficult marital problems and in writing I found a creative outlet that allowed me to escape from my own problems. I fashioned characters in my head and penned them to paper. I literally penned them (I didn’t have a computer ten years ago). For a while the characters were like family to me. I felt their joy and their pain. At some point, maybe as I began to heal I put the characters on a shelf but they were still very much alive in my head. They were like family to me, I didn’t see them every day but they were always in my heart.

Recently I was thinking of the characters a lot and I looked through my garage until I found a bin of crumpled, handwritten words, lives that I had created and woven together many years ago. It was like being reunited with old friends. These characters faced pain and decisions and they made mistakes. If you drew the wrong page out of the book, without knowing the whole story maybe you would hate the characters, maybe you would think they were hateful, shallow or foul. However, maybe if you read the whole story you would fall in love with them, you would forgive them their missteps and cheer for them. You would long to help set them on the right path because you had faith in them.

When I first found the basket of crumpled papers I became obsessed with finishing the story. At a certain point I became overwhelmed. Years had changed me and the way I think and feel and some of the plot that was in my head was arduous to put onto paper. I had a beginning, a middle and an end but drawing a straight line and connecting that all became so overwhelming that I took something I loved and turned it into a chore instead of a passion.

I would think to a person who has been knocked down in life and experienced rock bottom it must be a very overwhelming place to be and to navigate your way back up. I am sure at some point they saw their way out, could see a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe the path was too rocky, too overwhelming. We will never know just by looking at them and turning up our nose. Could a smile or a kindness make a difference? I believe it can.

I smiled at the man and sat down with my coffee. I decided that along with my change of scenery I needed to change my direction. My problem is I couldn’t write in a straight line from beginning to end and maybe that is OK.

On this beautiful fall day I wrote the last chapter of my book. The middle may remain unwritten but that is fine. I wrote an ending that was eloquent and heartwarming. I brought people to life and I will bring them full circle. I even cried reading what I wrote (I am a sap)

One day I hope to share the whole story with you, until then I will take each day one day at a time.

Share your smiles today, someone needs one more than you know

Outside my local library today

Thousand Acre Heart Part 18 The missing piece of the puzzle

The missing piece of the puzzle

Christine was excited to hear from me and she could tell that my heart was sitting in my throat making it difficult to form coherent sentences. She went ahead and did the talking and though I know it was her job to remain impartial and unattached the circumstances made it next to impossible. Any woman with a heart that beats inside their body would have found it difficult not to feel some sort of emotion if they were the one in charge of relaying information to me about the son I longed for for a great deal of my life. She told me that Jeremy had contacted her by phone because he had sent an email and hadn’t heard back right away. It turns out that his email was stuck in her junk-mail folder and he was pretty anxious to hear back. She told me his name was Jeffrey, I admit that initially I had a very hard time identifying with that, for 19 years he was Jeremy in my heart. She also told me his nickname was Jam which resonated a little better because the initials short for Jeffrey Andrew also represented Jeremy Allen. She told me about his family and where he grew up which was surprisingly close to where I had lived prior to moving to Edmonton. She told me he had played hockey most of his life as a goalie and that made me smile. I was drinking the information in like a thirsty traveler in the dessert but what I longed to know most was “Did he think of me?” Did he ever wonder where he got his dark hair and wondrous eyes from? Did he ever wonder if we had the same laugh, the same curiosity, the same smile? It seemed almost too much to ask. This woman had just given me so much in a short time, so much more then promised and more then I ever hoped to expect. Then she told me the information that I thirsted for. To her it even seemed incredulous. Unfathomable in this day and age, especially in such a small town she speculated.  He never thought of me. He never wondered in what ways we were similar or different.  He never laid awake nights and thought “what if?” The truth was, until the letter from social services came he had lived his life one hundred percent as Jeffrey Andrew, not wondering about the little boy Jeremy or the woman who had chosen to let another family raise him as their son. There had been absolutely no reason to look back because he was never told he was adopted. I gasped and Christine allowed me some time to feel everything that I was feeling. I cried openly. I cried for him and for his parents, I cried for uprooting his life and the pain that it would cause. I also cried for me. I felt a betrayal of sorts. It wasn’t the agreement,  albeit verbal, his adopted mom had promised to give him a letter from me when he was old enough to understand. I cried at the thought that had I waited for him to search for me that day would have never come. Among the tears were tears of pure happiness, for the gift of today. My boy was healthy, happy, well adjusted, that was everything a mother could hope for. Christine told me that Jeffrey wanted to forgo the normal progression of things and have direct contact with me. Over the sound of my beating heart I heard  that he had written me a letter as well and she was about to forward it to me. She wished us luck. Her job was done. She was cutting me loose. This woman who had been my anchor in a sea of churning emotion was turning the Captains hat over to me. I was scared and excited sitting at my computer waiting for his email to come through. I must have read it a thousand times. My heart felt things I can’t even begin to explain but I know I was a little bit crazy. I typed a letter back quickly and that is where our “new” relationship began. It was a continuation of the one we forged in a hospital room with me promising to love him forever.

I woke the girls up for school and very quickly dissolved into a teary emotional mess. The talk I had planned in my head for months came out in choked waves while I blew my nose and wiped the running faucets that had taken over my eyes. Their immediate reaction was to cry as well. Their young hearts couldn’t quite comprehend. They wanted to know if their brother was okay and could he come live with us. I told them that wasn’t possible…what did I know?

I can’t recall my conversations with my husband or my mom on this day. It’s lost somewhere in my heart so they can feel free to weigh in if they remember. I am sure they won’t discount the fact that I was a little crazy. Maybe everyone is on the journey to becoming whole.

Jeffrey has from the beginning encouraged this blog and has agreed that I can share some of our correspondence.  I will share some of our initial correspondence with you but I have blocked out some names in the interest of everyone’s privacy.

♥♥ Michelle

Feb 4, 2010

Michelle,

As soon as i read this letter i had so much to say, and wanted to send it so fast. I only got it today. I didn’t think I was going to be so enthusiastic before i read it. My parents named me Jeffrey, I go by Jeff. Most of my friends call me Jam , its my initials and it caught on in high school. I just found out i was adopted less than a week ago, im still kind of in shock.

So my name is Jeff, I’ve always been fairly popular lots of friends. Im alot like you in that I value memories more than things. Nothing is better than a good story. Id like to think I have lots. My thing growing up was Hockey. I played goalie mostly and I was pretty good. I was always kinda a leader on my team ive had some of my best times playing hockey. I did good in school until highschool , I cared more about hockey and work. But I graduated at the end of last year.

After I graduated I took off To Banff with one of my best friends XXXX. Our friends xxxx and XXXX were living there and we went to stay with them. The plan was to get Jobs but i got homesick really fast ,so we went home. I feel like i learned alot from it though. And while I partied pretty hard and had alot of fun.

When I came back i decided that I wanted to go to college to become a youth worker which is what im doing now. School is pretty great because i love that im going to be doing something for a career that makes a difference. Im not working right now because at the start of the school year I was on a Juniour “C” hockey team and i couldn’t find a place to work around school and hockey. My goals right now are to do good in school and get a part time job, and work full time in april when im done school for the year. Im really a fun loving guy who lives for the weekend. I love your husbands silver patron shirt thats in one of the pictures!

I have a great family. My mom and dad XXXX and XXXX and my younger sister natalie. Besides the fact that they kept this from me for so long, they really are great. They always spoiled me and gave me more than I needed. I’ve lived in the same house here alll my life, but id like to get on my own as soon as i get a job and school done with. My dad was kinda like one of my best friends growing up and most of my memories with him are going to hockey rinks all over the place. My mom is a really caring person. My little sister natalie is 16 and she is awesome, we haven’t fought at all since we were younger. She is a pretty blonde and really smart. She only found out the other day when I did too. I guess when my parents adopted me they didn’t think that they could have kids and 3 years later they got lucky with my sister.
Finding out was such a shock but I’ve taken it really well i think. I’ve been on and off with my girl XXXX for a while now. ( I say my girl cuz i don’t know what to say because she hates being labelled). We Kinda just started seeing each other again just before I found out, and having her there for me is a big part of the reason i’ve been able to take it so well. I believe that things happen for a reason and every decision can effect so much. I believe in Karma and positive thinking. You should read the book ” The Celestine Prophecy”. It talks about how good things will happen and how things will work out if you just follow your intuitions and be led by coincedences. I think that’s why XXXX and me seemed to make a mends at the perfect time before I needed her. I also believe that’s why you knew to do the right thing when you decided to give my parents the gift of their first son. I hope your guilt goes away because your decision allowed me to have a great life. I really believe that your love and good thoughts have made a difference to me on some level. I’ve always been pretty lucky and I think you having me close to your heart probably had lots to do with it. Knowing that you worried about me dispising you for the decision you made me feel so bad. My parents not telling me didn’t make me mad at first… I lost trust in them.. but knowing that I was doing so good and you had to worry all the time makes me kinda mad at them. Thats what really struck me when i read the letter you sent me. Doing what im doing in school helps me understand the courage (i can only imagine) it would take to do whats best like you did. You didn’t deserve to have to worry for all that time.

You guys sound like you have a really good time! Kirk seems like a great husband by how you talk about him. Morgan and Haley are so beautiful. xxxx said she thought Haley looked like me. It’s crazy to think I have two little sister I didn’t even know about. Id like to know more about them. Do they know they have a big brother somewhere? When are their birthdays? I always find coincedences relating to dates and i guess im really into that stuff. Is there anything you can tell me about my father?

You say that you only moved two years ago and you look really famillar to me. The girls too, but maybe you guys would anyways. When you lived here did you ever buy groceries at sobeys on robie street? I worked there for a long time. I hope that this letter clears your mind and takes all guilt off your shoulders! My email is xxxxxxx@hotmail.com cuz mail is pretty old school. I can’t believe i wrote all this without saying how jealous I am that you went to ACDC, UFC and go to oilers games. One of my best friends went to ACDC in moncton , and i missed getting a ticket. He says it was amazing. He’ll love it that you mentioned ACDC. Im a huge leaf fan but i’ve always liked the oilers too, they both could be doing alot better this year though! Im excited to talk more and your close to my heart now too. I’ll see if i can find a suitable picture but if not ill find some good ones soon. Jeff

Hi Jeff,

I love the nickname Jam. Nicknames are the best. Some of my friends call me Mich some of them call me Shelle and my best friend in London, Ontario calls me Po Po. That one is a long story!!

 

I was absolutely stunned that you replied so soon and you are right that mail is old school so this is a really great way for us to communicate. When Tina told me that you didn’t know that you were adopted I was so worried about you being shook up but you seem to be taking it in stride.

 

 I will admit initially I was a little mad at your parents too, I always assumed you knew that you were adopted and that they would have at some point given you the letter I wrote after you were born. Taking a step back I realize that people make decisions that are personal to them and I can no more judge their decisions then I would like to have all of mine judged. The most important thing is that they gave you a good life and if anything I am sure they thought they were doing what was best. If I can take one thing from that it is that from the beginning they loved you like their very own and that is what I wished for you always. I bet they are struggling with this a little as well. I am quite certain that they have their own feelings surrounding you and I being in contact so please be easy on them.

 

Your letter certainly made me feel so much better about a lot of things. As far as the worrying and the guilt it is part of life and especially Motherhood so nobody is to blame for that. You mentioned that your Mother and you didn’t always see eye to eye. I bet you Morgan (the oldest) can relate. We love each other to the ends of the earth but she likes to challenge me on everything and it is my job to make sure that she eats well, brushes her teeth, does her homework, is safe…..all the non-fun stuff, so a lot of the time Kirk gets to be the fun one!! I like to think my kids have a lot of fun with me as well. They love it when I act silly. Especially when we turn on the radio and play name that tune and dance. The kids are Beatles fans and Haley woke up at 2 am last weekend because Kirk and I were playing their Beatles Rock Band. We were doing the tour. Hehe. We had fun. We also have a “Rock Band….”band” Kirk plays drums, Morgan guitar and Haley and I are singers. Haley mostly dances and makes up her own songs. She also has to change her clothes 50 times for these events. She is quite a diva. She turns 6 on April 29 and Morgan will turn 11 on November 8.

 

Haley is anything but shy, she loves to sing and dance and act and do anything that draws attention to her. Getting ready for school this morning she was singing the Barney song and she would start out all sweet and then go into a “Metallica like “version. If you can imagine Metallica singing the Barney song??? Hmmmm…..She would like to be a ballerina and says she will eat carrots instead of chips. She loves chips!!!

 

Morgan is my cool rock chick. We have the same favorite song right now. Billy Talent, Rusted by the Rain. She also likes to write poetry and music (I think she gets that from me) She is interested in History, geography and would love to travel the world. We watch House Hunters International together so we can see what it would be like to live other places. We all love the Beach. I have family that live in Malgash in the summer and I adore it there. We all do.

Morgan is also a UFC fan. Her favorites are Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson and GSP.I have a picture of me and Dan Henderson after he knocked out Michael Bisbing at UFC 100. He was cool and excited and I brought back a shirt that he signed from Morgan.

Kirk will be tickled that you like his Patron shirt. It is his favorite. I bought it in Vegas. He also loves Patron. I like Cuervo Gold just as well and it costs a lot less. Kirk is a good husband and the best Dad. He and I haven’t always had it easy, we have had our share of struggles but they were all worth it. We all have a lot of fun together. Kirk played football and Rugby until we left Truro. He played with the Saints the year they won the provincial Championships. He misses playing on teams and just recently has started to play a little Hockey with some buddies. He also got Morgan a stick and they play around at the outdoor rink down the road.

I was so touched that you said that your Dad was like your best friend. So you are a Hockey guy! We took Morgan to her first NHL game Oilers vs. Kings for her Birthday this year. She and Kirk are L.A. Kings fans. Kirk has been for 25 years so even though I was rooting for the Home team “The Edmonton Snoilers” I was glad that they won for him. I was a New Jersey Devils fan growing up. The Bear (that’s my fave radio station here) played a song this morning called “Wake me up when the Season ends” as a dig to the Oilers….to the tune of Geenday When September ends!! Hopefully the Eskimos will make good use of Jesse Lumstrom and make us proud this year. Haley loves the Eskimo games….she mainly likes the cheerleaders!

I agree with you on the Celestine Prophecy though I have not read it but will….I believe in the power of faith and positive thinking. I have many stories in that regard. I am not surprised that you are popular and have lots of friends….it rather runs in the family! You don’t have to worry about “party pics” and that sort of thing!! As I said we are still very social people and doesn’t everyone “Live for the weekend?” One day though you will have grown up responsibilities and I wouldn’t ever want you to look back and feel like you missed out on anything!! You have no reason to be Jealous about AC/DC…you will have plenty of opportunity to see them. They ROCKED. My top five concerts (I can’t put them in order) Eagles, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Rolling Stones and yeah that is 4 but I saw the Eagles twice and they were sooo awesome both times. Like I said you have years to catch up and out do me and I hope you do. Don’t count me out yet though.

I was glad to hear about xxxx. It is a comfort to know that you have someone to help you deal with your feelings surrounding this. It is a pretty big deal and you haven’t had 20 years to think about it like I did. (Almost 20…April 10) My stepdad and my good friend and neighbour share your birthday.

I have tried to touch on everything…..you can ask me anything at all. Also let me know if you are overwhelmed or anything.

You asked about your father and I would like you to know that he is still in Truro. He remains to this very day one of my best friends. He and I are polar opposites but every time in my life when I needed someone he was always there. Everything that we went through had the potential to tear us apart but “You” are the glue that kept us in touch and caring about each other always.  We dated off and on for years but we were just not meant to be together forever in that way. I will love him always though and he and I have been in touch and he is grateful for news. He was quite worried when he found out that you hadn’t known you were adopted, he was worried about you being overwhelmed. He has a good heart. He was very popular in school too, lots of friends, he played football and he was popular with the ladies. None of them compared to me though!! Hehe. He was engaged but never married. He has a son that is 8 and he is a phenomenal Dad. He works hard and has for as long as I’ve known him. His parents divorced young so though he was his parent’s only child he has a ½ sister and step brother on one side and a ½ brother on the other side. He lost his Dad in the spring. I guess to sum it up….you come from good people.

I think I have to close this off at some point ….I could rattle on forever. You have lightened the weight that has been sitting on my heart forever and thank you so much for putting me in yours.

P.S.

Yes the girls know about you. Morgan is over the moon excited. She cried at first because she wanted to know that you were alright. She has thousands of questions!!

I hope to hear from u soon. Xo

Michelle

Growing “Older” Gracefully-A celebration of timeless beauty

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” 

― Sophia Loren

The girls and I were at the spray park today, cooling off from the sweltering Canada Day heat and what I observed was an abundance of women determined to NOT grow old but in turn they looked just that. There really is something to be said for growing “older” gracefully. By that I don’t mean letting yourself go. I mean dressing appropriately, not using so much make-up that it settles into your fine lines, actually adding to the years you are trying to cover up, and keeping it natural. With age comes wisdom and people that have the wisdom to embrace their years can teach us all a lesson. I was thinking back to some of the women I have admired and envied over the years and how their addictions to plastic surgery and holding on to youth have been anything but kind to them.

Remember Melanie Griffith in Milk Money? She was just naturally beautiful and she exuded  happy confidence. For years she had an on again off again romance with hunk Don Johnson and when that romance finally fizzled Melanie found solace and love with Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas. Perhaps trying to keep up with Hollywood elite young beauties was too much because sweet, fresh faced Melanie is a shadow of her former self.

Melanie in Milk Money

Melanie –Growing Older Gracefully

Melanie Before and After

Priscilla Presley

In 1959 Iconic Elvis Presley met Priscilla at a party in Germany. She was 14 at the time but appeared much older and made quite an impression on the King. She was truly one of the most beautiful women in the world. I can understand the desire to stay youthful and I can only assume that a little nip here and a tuck there turns into an obsession until there is very little left to work with. Priscillas pretty face does not even show a glimpse of who she once was and should now be. 😦

Young Pricilla

Growing Older Gracefully

Plastic Surgery Gone Horribly Wrong

Mickey Rourke

He was so sexy and seductive alongside Kim Bassinger  in 9 1/2 weeks. Vanity is devilish!

Victoria Beckham

There is nothing POSH about this disaster. Your hunky husband may play soccer but I am sure he didn’t intend for you to put balls on your chest!

Darrel Hannah

Like a fish out of water something has gone terribly wrong with my favorite mermaid

Heidi Montag

Of Hollywood’s the Hills fame, young Heidi, born and raised in Colorado intends to become a walking barbie. One thing is for certain, she is plastic!

The true beauties are those that embrace their age like Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Sheryl Crow, Halle Berry, George Clooney, Sting, Diane Keaton, Bruce Springsteen, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Annette Benning, Richard Gere and my FAVE Jamie Lee Curtis. These are the men and women we should be looking up to. Healthy bodies, healthy faces and healthy attitudes about aging. Aging is inevitable but the way you age is a choice. Cheers to Growing older gracefully, in mind, body and spirit.

Nakusp, British Columbia

Nakusp, British Columbia

This is for the WordPress photo a day challenge for FORWARD. Looking forward to next weekend when we take the 9 hour trip to beautiful Nakusp for a relaxing mini vacation on a private beach on Lower Arrow Lakes overlooking the mountains. They are in the midst of a heat wave so the water will be a great idea. This place is magical and so very good for my soul. It brings us closer to nature and to each other. Looking FORWARD with happy anticipation.