Saturday, January 28, 2012

Charlotte and the Kitty

Charlotte absolutely tortures our cat. She loves him, almost literally, to death. She hugs and squeezes him. She pokes his eyes and nose and ears. She pulls his tail. She pats him, and despite my efforts to show her how to be "gentle", she is quite enthusiastic and ends up hitting him instead.

Kitty can pretty much hold his own. He is nearly 25 lbs afterall. He sits there and takes the beatings. Doesn't raise a paw, not a whimper, not a hiss. Eventually, however, he does get really annoyed and scurries off to the confines of the basement or hides under a cabinet.

Honestly, I do try to keep Kitty away from Charlotte when I see her going really overboard. I don't want her to think she can get away with this behaviour all of the time. Most other kitty cats would have clawed her eyes out by now.

This morning, Charlotte decided to be nice. Kitty was expecting at any moment to have his fur pulled, which explains the slight glare on his face. Poor wonderful kitty, so much patience with our baby girl...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Celebrating Life

Today we went out for dinner with my Dad for his 60th birthday.

Today my Aunt lost her partner to a short battle with cancer.

Both events prompt us to celebrate. A celebration of another life milestone reached. A cause to celebrate memories of a life lived and lost.

As we sat eating dinner in the restaurant, there was a Mom and her two pre-teen children having dinner at the table next to us. All three were heads bowed: Mom texting on her i-phone, Son playing a game on a DS, Daughter surfing on an I-pad. They spoke barely a word to each other. They didn't even look at each other until they shared a dessert. Not engaged in each others lives at all.

I thought maybe I was the only one who noticed until my Mom looked over at me and said, sarcastically, "Now there's some quality family time."

And I'm guilty, very guilty, of spending too much time bent over my smartphone. Text. Surf. Email. Text. Surf. Email.

But I just wanted that Mom to know that she needed to celebrate, just in case she didn't get another opportunity. I wanted those kids to know that their Mom was too important not to pay attention. And I personally needed the reminder that time is far too precious to waste, that we need to cherish every single day, every single moment.

How have you spent your day? Have you zoned out, disengaged, over some meaningless electronic device? Or,  have you celebrated love, laughter, family, and made memories to last a lifetime?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dieting and New Shoes

I decided this past week to start dieting, AGAIN!

Not because it's the New Year and I've made a resolution to do so - I never do resolutions of the New Year variety - but because I've gained 20 pounds since last February.

Last February, after breastfeeding (which is, for me, the best way to lose pounds EV.ER!) I was down 18 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. That means I lost all 27 pounds of prego weight + another 18 for a grand total of 45 lbs in a little over 5 months.

Makes me want to have another baby. Almost. Not quite.

So, here goes the Weight Watchers points counting AGAIN. It works, I've done it before. It just takes some stick-to-it-tiveness. Which I may or may not have, depending on the day. I get bored with the monotony and have far too little will-power. Plus, the chocoholism doesn't help much. Just last night I was pounding back the Baileys filled chocolates. Baileys. And on a Sunday, after church, no less! Tsk tsk tsk. My chocoholism, clearly, has no limits!

And because I can't hibernate all winter long, as much as I'd like to, I've decided I may as well try and get out to enjoy the snow. If you can't beat it, frolic in it. Snowshoe style. I have no idea about brand names or whatever at this point. I went to the store, saw some pretty black with red trim snowshoes, and bought them. The lady said something about really liking "her (insert brand name here)'s". They look kinda like this. Which I personally think are very cool compared to the huge clunky round ones I had as a kid.

Now, the nice thin lady at the Sports store also told me I don't need the poles. She doesn't use the poles. Finds them "cumbersome". I listened to her, nodded, "oh yeah, cumbersome. I can totally see that." like I have a clue. But, it has been a very long time since I've done any skiing or snowshoeing or any type of winter sport. I fully expect to end up face-first in a snowbank, unable to get up, cursing on my lack of poles.

This could be very interesting indeed. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Read. Pray. Remember.

It's 2 years today since an old friend passed away. It's so hard to believe he's gone. The concept of him not existing somewhere in the world just doesn't feel right.

There are nights when I wake and all I can see is his face. Still. And I wasn't even a part of his life in the last few years. Even so, I am happy to have been a part of his life at one time. And I miss him.

I read the poem I wrote in THIS post often. It helps me remember him the way I last saw him, the way he had his arms outstretched over his shaved head, fingers entwined in the wire fence, watching the boys play softball. I don't know why he wasn't playing that day. But he wasn't. And the kids would run up to him and he would lift them up. And he would tickle them and play with them. He was good like that. I really liked that about him.

I still haven't gone to see his grave. I know I should. I need to. I will. In the meantime, I will read my poem and think of him fondly. I will pray for his dear family for their mourning is on a level beyond what I can, or ever hope to, understand.

I will read. I will pray. I will remember. That's all I know how to do. R.I.P. Clayton.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Another Sad Love Song

I honestly don't even care about the Hugh Jackman part.

It's the video this guy made for his wife's birthday that is so touching.

First saw the couple on Oprah here.

And here's the article from MSN this morning. Sadly, Kristian lost his battle.

Break out the kleenex.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


After Jamie's grandmother passed away on Boxing day, we were all, of course, very sad. Nothing can take away the sadness that is felt when a dear loved one parts from this life.

The next day, Jamie called home to tell me about a horrific story out of Connecticut, that struck close to home, literally, as the grandmother invovled in this tragedy was originally from Newfoundland.

You can read the story here.

As I read the news article, I wept, and suddenly felt so extremely grateful over my sadness for Nan. I know that sounds silly. I don't want to take away from any sadness felt over Nan, because it is completely genuine. But it's the truth. I felt like it was the best death anyone could wish for. Nan was 86 years old. She had a good life, lived to a good age, and died surrounded by a loving family. Her death was, for lack of a better description, truly a good one.

In stark constrast, this one woman, on Christmas morning, lost absolutely everything important in the world. She lost her parents and her children. Five members of her immediate family gone. Gone just like that. And I really cried. I don't know this family at all. But I cried with the reminder that life is so fragile. It is a gift not to be taken for granted. Whether old or young, when death comes, it is instant, and it changes those who are living forever.

Mostly, I want it to be a lesson to cherish my family. If this house burns down, there is nothing inside that cannot be replaced. But my children. They are my life and my joy. And with that, I want to share them with you, in their Christmas finest.

Christmas Eve Church Service

Christmas Eve matching pj's

Monday, January 02, 2012

RIP Our War Bride

She was a teenager, working as a waitress in her hometown in England, during the war. She, I imagine, was like most teenage girls during that time, trying to catch the eye of some handsome young man. She had a kind heart for them too, and knitted mittens for the boys in the troops from overseas.

And she did catch an eye. And why would she not? With that pretty hair and such a beautiful smile. She was the perfect picture of a sweetheart - the kind Mr. tall-and-good-looking Joseph James Curling Laing, RAF, wanted.

He was going to leave and send for her. But she was a feisty one and said, "Oh no way mister, you're not getting out of here without me. You're going to marry me before you leave!" And so they were married in a stunning brick church built in 600 A.D. in The Lizard, Cornwall, in 1943.

"Pearl" had heard stories of Newfoundland from her husband. It was a rugged land. There was no electricity, no paved roads, no indoor plumbing. It was very different from the amenities she was accustomed to.

But she followed him anyways. She was 20 years old when she boarded the ship on January 26th, 1943, and alone, except for her 2 year old daughter and a baby in her belly. She was in for a rough winter voyage that took her across the Atlantic. Her journey carried her to a stay in Lomond, while waiting for the ice to come in. And on February 27th, 1943, she finally made her way on horse and sleigh to her new home in Norris Point.

And when she arrived she must have been thinking, "Oh my! What have I gotten myself into!". The description from her husband could not have prepared her for how truly primitive this Newfoundland would be. But she was greeted immediately by "Aunt Nellie" who, unbeknownst to her at the time, would become one of her very best friends. Even though her new way of life was much different than the one she had known such a short time ago and miles away, it was this warm friendly welcome that helped her settle right in.

It wasn't long, just a couple of months, before Curling and Pearl welcomed a brand new baby boy. Eventually they would raise 8 children: 5 daughters and 3 sons. This would grow over the years to a current tally of 17 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

As Jamie and I sat there, in her little white house, on boxing day, surrounded by so many of those children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Jamie said, "You know, it's all because of her that we're here."

It's amazing when you really think about it. One brave young lady was brave enough to follow her heart across thousands of miles of ocean, and managed to fill a home to overflowing, not just with people, but with abounding love as well.

And her name carries on, in our hearts, and with our daughter, Sarah Lillian, who I hope we can teach to be as kind and lovely and courageous as her Great-Nanny Laing.

R.I.P. Lillian Pearl (Nicholls) Laing: November 22, 1925 to December 26, 2011