Tuesday, November 29, 2005

For the Birds...

What is up with me and birds?

Okay, let me back-track to our moving into the new house this past weekend. On my last blog I made a reference to U-Haul and that you should all wish us luck. Well, I think some of you forgot to cross your fingers for us. On Friday late morning Jamie received a call from our wonderful moving company stating that there had been a change in our reservation. We could no longer have the truck we needed for Saturday morning. They did, however, have a truck that was available for pickup in Bolton (about an hour away) for 3 hours on Saturday! Obviously no good. Thanks a lot eh? They did have a truck for Friday night, they could bump another guy, in turn screwing up another reservation, but we were desperate and took it. Jamie scrambled to gather up his "moving guys" (Mark, Chris, Kristen) who were more than happy to leave work early and help us out. Thank goodness for friends! So, we moved a little early but that's okay. It's just so exciting to be in the new house.

I've painted the living room already "Chivalry Copper" if you can picture that, kinda orangey-brown which sounds really gross but looks quite nice. I used probably the hardest paint technique I've ever done in my life and shall never attempt again. Again, the final product looks great. And Jennifer helped me out a whole bunch on Saturday unpacking boxes and vacuuming and things like that. I can't believe how much kitchen stuff I have/had from the wedding. It was just like Christmas opening all those boxes of new things!

We had some visitors...My Aunt Dianne, Uncle John (who hooked up our phone lines...awesome of him to do that for us!), Tracey and Richard and the girls, Vanessa and Gord and their girls. Funny story...Vanessa was changing Grayson who is 14months old and takes every opportunity during diaper changes to squirm about and run away. And up she gets and runs away and pees on our carpet!! ha ha ha! I laughed so much. Poor Vanessa was so embarassed. And I was still laughing and told her not to be embarassed, Grayson is just a baby enjoying her occasional nakedness. We are officially "christened"...lol.

Back to the pigeons...Sunday, we went to Walmart to buy some curtain rods and a few snacks. Went to Christa's to borrow her bar fridge and electric wok, small appliances to sustain us in a big way until we get our "normal" appliances. Back to the house and there were a gazillion pigeons roosting on our eave. Jamie picks up snow and I tell him, "Oh no, don't throw that. You'll hurt them".

Monday morning, I got up worried about driving to work. It is about a 45 minute drive now and I was accustomed to living only about 3 minutes away from work when we lived in Brampton.... I walk out the door and what a fright. There on my front steps is a pigeon! I put my hand to my chest and slowly walk towards it thinking it is dead. It starts to move and I get another start. I begin talking to myself, "Oh no, how can this be happening to me...I have to go to work. I'm going to be late on my first day living out of town!" So I step over the pigeon and go to the truck. I start the truck. Close the door. Start to cry. I get back out of the truck, "I don't care if I'm late for work. I can't leave a hurt pigeon on my steps and not do anything." But what to do? I go over to it. It's wing is crooked, broken. I am crying still, praying, wondering what to do. Nobody to call at 6am. What to do? What to do for the injured bird? I go back in the house. Up the stairs. To the linen closet. Grab one of my fuzziest towels and a box. Back outside. I wrap up the pigeon and think that any people across the street watching now must be making a mental note not to visit the crazy new neighbour lady. I put the warm towel wrapped pigeon in the box and notice that his nose is bleeding, his eyes are closed. I say a prayer over the box. "Lord you say in your word that you take care of even the birds. Please take care of this pigeon." I am crying again but walk to the truck feeling that it would now die in the peaceful warmth of a new red towel and the hand of God.

I called Jamie when I got to work. He wanted to know that I had made it safely. I asked him if he had thrown a snowball at the pigeons. He said he didn't because I told him not to. I told him about the pigeon on the front porch. He checked on it later in the morning. It was dead. Seriously, what is up with me and the birds?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pre Delivery Inspection

Today we had our walk-through (or P.D.I.) on the new house. YAY! This is so exciting! I can't believe Jamie and I are home-owners, well actually one day away from being home owners - we get our keys tomorrow afternoon.

The inspection today was to determine if everything is okay with the house, what needs to be repaired, changed, etc.

For example:
Our staircase to the upstairs is VERY squeaky and creeky
Our front yard has not yet been filled in with dirt so the steps outside drop down a little too far (very unsafe) and is bound to have someone break their neck when we are moving (Jen....stay away...just kidding)
Our eavestrough (sp?) not installed yet
Paint touchups throughout
One of the bedroom doors not latching properly

so yeah, tomorrow we get our keys and we can officially move IN! It didn't even really hit me until today when we went to see the lawyer and had to sign a gazillion papers.

And our first mortgage payment is due on December 24th! Christmas Eve! What luck?!

Speaking of Christmas, is anyone else having as big a problem as me getting out to do shopping for everyone this year? It still seems like I have barely anything done.

Wish me luck for safe (we have rented a U-Haul...click for news release...eeekk!) and snow-free moving on Saturday.

Will be posting pictures soon of our completed home. Totally forgot to take pics today.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Darren

...and Happy 2nd Birthday to Caitlynn! See Daphne's blog for pics, what a sweet little girl.

No "intellectual" meanderings this morning. Just a look back at my good weekend.

It started out with a trip to the Mattel toy warehouse sale on Friday after work. Jennifer and I waited in line for about a half an hour to get in. Luckily, our wait was mostly spent inside the building because it was brrrr cold outside. We got our first snow last week. Another reminder of winter being right around the corner. I was excited to get Isabella her Christmas present, Dress and Dance Dora.

And then the girls (Christa, Jen, and I) met for a yummy dinner at East Side Marios. The service was slow but the company and the food was good. And we all indulged ourselves on delicious chocolatey desserts, which we couldn't finish. So sad to waste chocolate so I brought mine home for Jamie to enjoy.
Saturday was a day of shopping with Jennifer. We went to the mall in the hopes of finding some great Christmas deals. We did pretty well, got a few things crossed off our list. I even found a gift for my sister ON SALE and these things NEVER go on sale. Can't tell you what it is though....it's a secret and she sometimes reads my blog. Shhhh! And I got a hooded Old Navy sweatshirt for my brother in law. This seems to be the same gift I give him every single year....but it's what he wants every single year... so who am I to argue? I love it when people give me easy gift ideas instead of leaving me to guess.
Saturday evening was super fun! It was Darren's birthday and Erykah made a chocolate cake...yummy! And we had Swiss Chalet take out for supper. And then Jamie and I went with Darren's friends to play indoor beach volleyball. I know that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron...it's an old factory that has been sectioned off into courts filled with sand, a makeshift beach. As good as it gets I suppose in the middle of a city as the onset of winter approaches. Volleyball is so much fun, there were about 14 or 15 of us, it was a blast and time flew. Jamie and I got home around 1am.
Sunday was spent sleeping in until about 10:15am and then I had a baby shower. April got so much nice stuff, especially this awesome homemade toy trunk filled with lots of goodies. Bobbi-Lynn was there with her baby, Shannon, who is 10 weeks old. I got to hold her for a while, my baby fix...lol.
The rest of the weekend, between everything else, I packed as many boxes as I possibly could for our move this week. We get our keys to the new house on Thursday afternoon. Jamie is so excited, called me first thing this morning even though he had only left the apartment a couple of hours earlier to tell me "only 3 days left honey!". It is really exciting, I must admit. Finally, our own home. Finally, we will live together by ourselves. Finally, all those bills to pay....yeah, that's the part that makes me not so excited. But I'm told it's worth it.
Here's hoping for a speedy week at work...and for smooth sailing with all the final details of closing our new house.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Straight Truth ...

...my thoughts provoked by Oprah's show yesterday entitled "When I Knew I was Gay"

I thought it was a good show and I am really intrigued about the whole topic. I'm not even certain how I feel or what I believe to be true when it comes to "Are you born gay?" or "Do you choose to be gay?" I think it may be a little of both depending on the person.

Totally not the point to my post today. My thoughts are about how some of the people were saying "How they knew..."

Grammy award winning musician Melissa Etheridge recently shared her experience
growing up gay. "I remember crying one Christmas because my grandfather bought
me a truck," she says. "I remember crying because I knew that it wasn't normal
for girls to want a truck."
And others stated similar incidences of girls doing typically "boy" things and boys doing typically "girl" things. For example, the men talking about how they used to dress up in their mothers heels and purses and things.

And they are all agreeing that these are OBVIOUS signs.

Okay, so here's my grief with this logic: I, as well as MANY of my friends and both of my siblings, would definitely be homosexuals if this were accurate. I loved sports growing up, loved the rough and tumble stuff we call "boy" activities....fishing and catching crabs on the beach, helping my dad fix his truck, playing street hockey, digging in the dirt with my tonka trucks. I really didn't like dolls and mostly preferred to have my hands in grease and mud. I did some girly things too but I really was a Tom Boy. I even have a "tonka" scar on my lip where I got a little too close and closed the tailgate of my pickup truck on my mouth.

Many of my girl friends were the same. My sister was the same. And then my brother, though very boyish in his love for all of the above-mentioned things, didn't have a choice with the hand-me-down girly stuff but to play with some of it.

Our next door neighbour, a boy, played with his dolls more than I ever did. He carried them around and took care of his babies all the time.

I understand that if all of these things were coupled with obvious statements of attraction to the opposite sex at a young age then it could certainly be a sign. For example, the one girl talked about telling her mom when she was 10 that she liked women. Yeah, that's probably a good sign. And we all know that there really are some instances where a guy is clearly gay and probably did spend most of his time in his mothers dresses and putting on makeup and dancing in front of the mirror.

But to be honest, I just don't think this in and of itself can say anything about the sexual orientation of a child. I do not understand at all how Melissa Etheridge could have been so upset about simply wanting to play with trucks, unless she was given grief by her family about it. It could have hit a chord because she already "knew" but I really don't see how this alone would be THE sign.

And I don't understand why we freak out so much about children crossing what we consider to be gender lines. All children explore. All children play. All children experiment to try and find themselves and figure out the world around them.

Does this mean that every parent with a daughter who loves softball or a son who enjoys playing dressup should be "worried" and start accepting and directing their children to a homosexual lifestyle? Please parents, life is crazy enough as it is without overanalyzing the fact that your three year old son wanted to be a bunny rabbit for Halloween rather than Batman. And don't, for goodness sake, tell your dear innocent child that they are not allowed to be the bunny rabbit because of what you fear it may mean. Instilling those fears just doesn't work out well in the long run.

I just think that sometimes, often even, if a girl like trucks then she just likes trucks. So what? she loves trucks. Big deal! Really! Why make it into a sexually confusing event for her. And if that girl when she was older then decided that this was not just about the trucks, that it meant more, then I would hope that her parents would love her unconditionally, as always.

And again, I'm not trying to pretend that I really know anything about how it feels to go through this. Most of the guests on Oprah shared the same feeling - that "coming out" was the most difficult thing in their life, that they often wished they were not gay. I don't understand any of it. I just cannot empathize. I can only share my thoughts. My thoughts today may change down the road. But for today, I really feel strongly about this, about not worrying about kids being kids, about not feeling so overwhelmed. I am afraid for my own future children enough as it is.

All said, I am grateful for Oprah...seriously, silly as that may sound to some of you...for allowing us to THINK about things like this, for educating us on a topic we are so ignorant of.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Copying Christa

Who do you want to be under the mistletoe with? In the real world, Jamie. In the dream world, really liking the guy from Prison Break.

What are your favourite Christmas memories? The overall excitement of everything...hanging our stockings, going to bed but not being able to sleep, waking up super early and then waking mom and dad who refused to let us even go into the living room until the fire was started in the furnace downstairs. I swear, they were slow on purpose just to torture us. And then reading the Christmas story, opening gifts, going to dinner at Grannys, supper at Nans. So many things, so many good memories!

Where would you rather spend Christmas this year? I'm excited about being in the new house with Jamie. And mom and dad are coming to visit which is wonderful. But there's nothing quite like being home in Newfoundland for Christmas.

What is your favourite Christmas song? "They stood in silent prayer" by Charlie Pride. Listened to it every single year over and over again on mom and dad's old record player. And another old one on a record in mom's collection but I don't really know the name of it...and I can NEVER find it anywhere online. If anyone recognizes this, please let me know what the name of it is:
There was my mommy in her nightgown
She was jumping all around
with ol' Santa Claus
The record kept a playin'
And mamma kept a sayin'
Ol' Santa was good for the cause
His belly kept a shakin'
Mommy kept
a makin'
Jokes about the look in his eyes
I'll make a little bet
I'll never forget
Mommy twisting with Santa that night

What do you usually do Christmas morning? Get up and open gifts, go to Tracey's to watch my nieces open their gifts, call mom and dad (if they're not already here with us) and my friends, visit Jamie's sister and her family.

Have you bought all your presents yet? Not even close...don't even know what to get for half of the people on my list.

What do you do on Christmas Eve? If Nfld, there's usually church and then we just all hang out as a family and have a "lunch" (in Nfld, "lunch" is a pre-bedtime snack) of tea and yummy baked goods. Here in Ontario, I usually visit with people and then go to Jennifers to drop off her gifts from Chris. Cause she's too nosy for him to keep the gifts at their house. lol :)

Do you spend Christmas with a lot of family? Yes, and my friends too.

Do you go anywhere special on Christmas (vacation) ? Don't vacation, nice to be home for Christmas.

How many items are on your wish list? I honestly couldn't really think of a lot this year... would be great to have some new clothes, scrapbooking stuff, yummy chocolates. My wish list is usually a mile long.

What do you usually eat on Christmas? lots of turkey and sweets

When did you find out that Santa wasn't real? Mom and Dad never really talked about Santa - about his being real or not being real. We were kinda left to figure it out on our own. And then one Christmas I remember so clearly, Tracey and I still shared a room back then. We couldn't sleep and we snuck out of our bedroom. I still remember we were wearing those long flannel nightgowns. We hid around the corner and watched mom and dad stuff our stockings and put all the presents under the tree. I just remember my heart pounding with excitement and anticipation and a certain amount of disappointment over having confirmed that Santa did not exist except in the form of my parents.

Do you still make snowmen and snow angels? haven't for a while but I'm sure it would be a lot of fun and get out there and act like a kid again.

Do you still have snow ball fights with your siblings/parents? Last snowball fight I remember was at Steph's and Jason's house when all the guys started going nuts at each other. I think Jennifer totally fell "tits up" (pardon the expression) cause it was so slippery on the road. Crazy boys!

What's your favourite Christmas movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What do you like doing over the Christmas holidays? visiting with friends and family, eating lots of chocolate (as usual) and other yummy stuff, getting gifts (of course), giving gifts.

What do you plan to do for New Year's Eve? Maybe go to Gage Park cause I heard Glass Tiger was going to be there this year. And it was kinda nice going out and being there last year. I guess it might depend on my parents and the rest of my family/friends though.

What are your usual traditions on New Year's? Don't really have any "traditions", just do whatever, usually visiting everyone.

Got any resolutions? no, don't keep em anyways

What's the weirdest thing you've ever got for Christmas? I've gotten some very weird sweaters and stuff from some of my distant relatives. And Aunt Thelma always gives the little package with avon hand lotion and smelly soaps often wrapped in a teabag box or maybe a cream cracker box...lol...that's a little weird but I love it anyway cause she has so many nieces and nephews but still makes an effort to think of us all.

What's the most expensive thing you've got for Christmas? probably my fancy-schmancy camera

How early do you wake up on Christmas morning? when I was a kid, around 6am, now I try for around 7am but Jamie's a big kid and I know he's going to try to get me out of bed super early.

What do you usually get in your stocking? I love Daphne's description of "Doodads, Thingmajigs, and whatchamacallits....lmao) to interpret, I usually get chocolates (my favourite) and toiletry items (new toothbrush, deoderant, etc), makeup, socks, stuff like that.
Happy Birthday Vanessa!
(my sister-in-law for those of you who don't know)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oprah's Challenge: What have you done today?

I liked Oprah's challenge last Friday and as stated in her new theme song for the season (I believe it's by Heather Small), "What have you done today to make you feel proud?"

I'm not necessarily going to try and be on the Oprah show (tho' that would be wonderful) but I do think this is a great challenge. Every day is an opportunity to make a difference. Something you do, no matter how small and insignificant it seems at the time, could mean the world to another person.

It's not just about being proud of the BIG things, the things that take the most courage. These things are wonderful, of course, but it's the little things that can sometimes make a real impact:

Christa, it's helping the little old lady in the walker pick up the change that had fallen all from her purse onto the pavement?

Vicki, it's opening your home to your sister and spending countless hours with your nephew at Sick Kids.

Jenny, it's making meals to suit your pain-in-the-butt brother-in-law even on the days you'd rather just say, "screw you buddy!"

Tracey, it's taking your kids to church even though they are sometimes loud and squirmy.

Take the time every day to reflect on what you have done? Have you done anything? Challenge yourself....don't be afraid to feel proud of yourself and your accomplishments.

I'd love for you to share your proud moments.


I'm very excited to announce that I collected a total of 43 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child this year! That's 8 more than the previous record..woohoo!

A HUGE thanks to everyone who participated. These little gifts (to us) are so big for children around the world who literally have nothing. Just imagining the look of those little faces is enough for me to do this over and over again each year.

I believe you reap what you sow...to those of you who generously give (whether in this way or in some other way) thank you for planting good seeds.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Little Bella Church Story

Isabella really likes Dora the Explorer.

Isabella is kinda loud and rough and "bad" in church.

Two weekends ago in church with our grandmother visiting, Isabella decided to be extra hyper. Never fails when my sister is trying to make an impression about having well behaved kids. Bella was up in arms, climbing up on the pew, down on the floor, up and down, up and down. She had to be taken out twice, once when she bumped her head on the thingy that's on the back of the pew to hold the hymn books. She also decided to "let fly" (throw) her stuffed bunny across the church. I wanted to laugh so hard. I couldn't believe how far she could throw!

I can just hear Granny now, "tsk tsk...kids these days, can't even be good in church...my oh my what's the world coming to...?"

Yesterday Isabella was being so cute and quiet and nice in church. She was squiggling and wiggling a lot and putting her legs up on the seat and bumping the people in front of us every now and then but all in all she was quite "good" for her. So she's sitting there and scribbling frantically on a small piece of paper, making circles and big round scribbles round and round. And then she very matter-of-factly points and loudly states "Dowa!". Seriously, totally just 18 month-old scratches of ink across the church bulletin and to her it was "Dora". I giggle, her mom whispers, "Yes, Dora...shhhh!", the people behind say "Ah, so cute".

I was sitting between Jamie and Isabella. She still isn't sure about Jamie, looks at him all weird and stuff even though he totally loves her and tries to get her attention. He casually put his arm around me as he often does in church. She looks around me, gives him the "look" and proceeded to push his arm back from around my shoulder. Seems no one but her is allowed to be affectionate with Auntie Myrna.

I swear I missed at least half of the sermon because of paying attention to my niece rather than the Pastor.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Saw this on another blog and thought I'd copy. Here's the idea...you have to describe yourself with each letter of the alphabet.

A-Animal Lover
B-Beautiful (that probably sounds *boastful* but I do feel like i'm a beautiful person most of the time, sometimes on the outside, mostly on the inside)
C-Creative, Chocoholic
E-East...specifically "down east" is where I long to be and miss the most
F-Fluffy (i prefer to use this word instead of fat...lol)
H-Helter Skelter (according to my friend, Joann, and she's known me almost literally forever so I have to believe her)
I-Intelligent, intrigued
J-Jamie, my new hubbie
K-Kissing, one of the best things ever
O-Obstetrician (If time were erased by about 10 years, I would become this as a profession)
P-Passionate, Poet
R-Research, I really like to KNOW and study and educate myself on stuff in general. Ignorance bothers me greatly.
S-Sarah LOVE LOVE LOVE this name and should I ever have a daughter, this is the name she will get....oh, and Scrapbooking...another thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE
U-Ultrasound that I have to get to check my uterus...lol...yes, all is well
V-Volleyball, play it once a week with the girls
W-Water....love everything about it - drinking it, swimming in it, just the entire nature of it - so calm and peaceful one moment and a complete fury the next - kinda like me!
X-Xsquared is the symbol for reactance. And I sometimes tend to overreact...sometimes!
Y-Young, a year and a half away from the big 3-0
Z-zeolous, zest for life

and I've added the numbers as well
1-day left to deliver shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
2-two siblings - one sister, one brother
3-number of children I would like to have. Ultimately, 2 of our own and 1 adopted
4-married almost 4 months
5-months pregnant my sister is with her 3rd child
6-time I try to eat dinner
7-my favourite number
8-the hours of sleep I need to get or else I'm a wreck. What to do when I become a mom??!!!
9-number of years I've worked with current company
10-size I was when I lost weight and now I've gained it all back to a size 14

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Daily Annoyances

What annoyances are more painful than those of which we cannot complain?
- Marquis de Custine

I am having a very annoyed day.

Honestly, on my way to work this morning I was praying, "Please Lord, help me to be patient and kind, the person you want me to be." It is not every morning that I pray like this on the way to work but I felt in a great mood and didn't want it to be ruined.

I think I was being put to the test.

First of all, the men at work are insanely annoying with the way they have these little pet names for each other all the while stabbing each other in the back. I heard one man actually say, "Johnny Baby, can you...." and on and on...they always put a -y on the end of every name. Joe-y, Bill-y, Mike-y...oh it's enough to drive ya bonkers. Can I get fired for saying that? But seriously people, you may as well start using "sweetie" and "honey bun".

Secondly: non-stop talking to yourself and me having to listen to it all day long.

Third: having a really disheveled hair day when the really cute computer guy from head office comes to visit. And it's not even like I can really help it cause my hair is naturally a mess and in the words of my dear loving grandmother I always look like a "streel".

Fourth: Dentist appointment

Fifth: Having the dentist ask me what show I would like to watch on the overhead tv screen and then completely ignoring my request for "Oprah" and instead turning on The Happy Days and Mary Tyler Moore.

Sixth: Dentist not giving me enough freezing and then saying "well we'll just try and proceed without giving you more cause we're almost done" Meanwhile, 20 minutes later and 64 winced/tightened/annoyed muscles later...

Seventh: Dentist making me bite down on that thing that keeps your mouth open even when he's not in there working. I know the point but it still sucks...and it makes my jaw ache.

Eighth: Realizing I don't even know how to spell "Eighth"...doesn't look right at all!

Ninth: Denist telling me that I really should see the orthodontist again to fix my jaw which doesn't really bite properly. This "fixing" would require me to have my jaw broken and wired shut for 6 weeks.

Side note: seriously pondered this surgery as a weight-loss option but decided against it.

Tenth: Christa telling me today that the Brick "gift" card that we got with our mortgage from our new home builder is honouring only retail in-store prices rather than the retail online prices, which are cheaper, thus making us spend more to get less. This may or may not be true (we will know after their "Brick" appointment tonight) but I overreacted and was annoyed at the prospect of it none-the-less.

Eleventh: Not knowing what to have for supper

Twelfth: my furry cat jumping into every single box I try to pack making it much more difficult to get done what I have to get done. Actually, this one is kinda funny now that I think about it. Stupid feline.

And with that happy note, I will end my list.

On another happy note, nothing soothes a sore mood like chocolate...my honey surprised me by bringing me a chocolate treat today. Thank God for husbands, the answer to my prayers!

Monday, November 07, 2005

one day late

Happy Birthday Daphne!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Happy Bonfire Night

It was so strange to move to Ontario where I found NOBODY (except fellow Newfoundlanders) knows anything about "Bonfire Night" or "Guy Fawkes Night".

This is a tradition celebrated in Newfoundland which began in Britain where Guy Fawkes was involved in a plot to destroy parliament (or something like that). To me, it was less about Guy Fawkes, even though we were taught that this was the man it all started with. It was more just about the fire and getting the community (friends and family) together.

For more info:

The website even mentions Newfoundland as being one of the places other than Britain where Bonfire night has been celebrated through the centuries.

Does anyone else remember Bonfire night like I do? It was so exciting for us and the men/guys/boys would spend weeks gathering up wood, old boats, tires, anything that could burn, to try and have the biggest fire in town. It was an event almost everyone participated in on November 5th. As children it was great to enjoy marshmallows and weiners over an open fire on the cold autumn nights. As teenagers, it was just so much fun to simply "hang out" and compete over which town had the best and the biggest bonfire.

Sounds strange to those of you who've never experienced this tradition but it is something I will always remember.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Grandad - In Memory

I've been thinking of my Grandad today. He passed away in May 1995, buried on my sisters birthday on May 24th. Over 10 years ago. Really? Has it been that long? I still miss him...guess that's the thing about having a loved one pass away, missing them never ends, it always hurts to remember.

My grandad...ah, the memories. I always felt so close to my grandparents growing up. They lived next door and were an every day part of my existence. I miss the simplicity of it all, back when I would just spend time with them and life was wonderful because of them.

I remember Grandad:
  • catching rabbits (sounds morbid I know but a memory all the same)
  • eating those little marshallow filled ice cream cone candy
  • falling asleep and snoring in church
  • babysitting me on Sunday nights and going for a "randy" (that means "drive" for you non-newfs) to my uncles house to visit
  • frying me the best eggs in the world
  • mixing lime cordial with a ton of sugar
  • being very impatient waiting for his meals to be served
  • always having a plastic glass in the glove box to stop at a cliff on the side of the road for a drink of the freshest spring water you'll ever find anywhere.

.....and there are so many more...

Packing boxes and I just came across my poetry book. I haven't written in it for a while. Tend to write when I am feeling sad and low. I turn the pages to a poem I wrote a short time after my grandad died. I remember watching him from the kitchen window of our house, seeing him walk up into the back garden, I would cringe when he stumbled. It broke my heart but I felt so inspired by his strength to carry on and work hard even after a stroke left him paralyzed on the right and dominant side of his body.

I remember the days before he died. He lay on his bed and would point and exclaim to my Granny, "Look! Don't you see it?" He was so frustrated that no one could understand but yet he was so peaceful. I believe he was in the presence of his angel. The angel was there when he breathed his final breath. I was there. I sensed it. I will not soon forget the feeling in the room that night.

The poem is called "The Quiet Nod" and it makes me cry every time I read it over to myself. I want to share it with you.

He stumbled and fell as he slowly limped up the narrow path.
A gentle hand reached down and picked him up out of the dirt,
And then held his hand to help him on his way.
He crippled on, not realizing that he was being watched,
Admired for his great strength.
Not strength in himself, but in the hand that held him day by day.

With every passing day he looked up and asked,
"Father, when can I walk on my own again?"
The answer was a quiet nod -
The assurance that one day soon everything would be okay.

On a soft pillow he laid his head and closed his eyes to rest.
Again, a gentle hand reached out and touched his precious brow
And lingered on, always patiently watching.
With childlike faith he held fast to the hand that held him,
His peace, his only trust.
Knowing that all alone he could never carry on day by day.

Again, he looked up into the loving eyes and said,
"Father, I know you will never leave me."
The answer still was just that quiet nod
saying again that everything would be just fine.

He awakened for the final time once cold yet peaceful night
And with his final grain of mortal strength reached out for that hand
that had been there all the time.
He looked into the loving eyes that looked down at him
and understood the hope
that was in his heart and had carried him through each passing day.

With his final breath he whispered,
"Father, is it time to go home now?"
The answer came in a quiet nod...

Thank you Grandad...for everything you have given me...so much still even tho' you are gone.

Until we meet again...

"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee..." Psalms 91:11

Ladybug Picnic

My title is inspired by the gazillion ladybugs that have inhabited my apartment building. I used to think these little creatures were so cute. In cartoon form they certainly are. Sesame street even had a song, I love the song, still get it stuck in my head...

1, 2, 3...4, 5, 6...7, 8 ,9...10, 11, 12... and they all played games at the ladybugs picnic...They played jumprope but the rope it broke so they sat around playing knock knock jokes...the ladybugs 12 at the ladybugs picnic.
Anyone else remember that song?

But in real live form, I have come to despise these little biting creatures. Yes, they do bite!

We were always told to never kill a ladybug - bad luck or something. And we were told that the number of spots told the age of the ladybug...in days? years? not sure though I'm certain this spot counting thing must be a complete myth. We were also told that ladybugs were "good for the soil" in our veggie garden so it was better to keep them alive.

But lately I have become a ladybug killer. I have to do it with a shoe, can't stand the Crrrrrunch between my fingers....eeewww!!! Jamie and I have had two buzzing around in our bedroom this past week. Unbeknowst to Jamie of course who sleeps through everything. He usually awakens by the THUD..."What was that?" to which I answer "ladybug" and he says "Oh" and is immediately back to snoozing.

And on Tuesday during lunch a ladybug got in the SUV while Jenny and I were on lunch. It was crawling on the ceiling and we got all freaked out like the bunch of wussie girls that we are because we were certain it was going to fly into our hair. So we immediately trapped it inside a Tim Hortons bag. Then sealed the bag. Then felt bad about the ladybug flying around trapped inside the bag. But then we still threw the bag into the trash leading the little spotted insect to certain death.

In an effort to reset the balance, I have decided to educate myself a little more about these "pretty" little red and orangish spotty beetles. In case you're interested:



And for all kinds of cute ladybug cartoons:


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

No such thing as ghosts

Erykah the "Sorceress"
Erykah decided she wanted to be something a little "scarier" this year. She originally wanted to be a skeleton but Tracey couldn't find a costume in her size. So, she decided on this....it's a sorceress/vampire type thing. Not sure of the exact name. But never-the-less, Erykah was very happy about getting to wear black nail polish and red lipstick for trick or treating.

Erykah has always, for some reason, been fascinated with scary stuff. It's very strange hearing a child talk about ghosts and goblins and zombies such even before she was allowed to watch Scooby Doo.

Here's a story for you:

When I moved into my apartment back in January 2003, Erykah was 2 and a half. I didn't know that she had ever heard anything about ghosts or even knew what the word "ghost" meant. Tracey and I were both flabbergasted when one of the first statements she made about my apartment was that there were ghosts. She could see one on the wall of the living room. AND, there were two in my bedroom closet - a red one and a white one. She described the red one as being the scary one. Needless to say, she completely threw me for a loop.

I completely passed it off as her crazy childhood imagination, mostly because i'm a scaredy cat who would never want to believe that such a thing existed into my new apartment.

BUT, there's a part of me that truly believes that children are much more openminded to the supernatural. Their minds have not yet been trained to decide what reality they will choose to accept or not accept. Children just seem to have that "sixth" sense, they have not yet learned to shut it off as most adults have. I'm not sure if I necessarily believe in ghosts but I do think there are many things, unexplainable things, out there in the universe, in the atmosphere, in our everyday lives.

Any thoughts?

Isabella the "Tiger"

Isabella and the Pumpkin

Isabella had the little job of scooping out the pumpkin innards on Halloween night. Erykah had gone on a field trip earlier in the day with her class from school and her pumpkins were fresh and ready for daddy to carve. Isabella would scoop the spoon down into the pumpkin over and over again, but mostly she would turn the spoon upsidedown and lose the pumpkin stuff. She even tried a taste but decided it was yucky.