Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

May we always honor those who have fought for our country,

the ones who have returned, and the ones who did not.

May we always remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

"Lest We Forget"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


My Dearest Terran,

Wasn't it just last year that you were placed into my arms, a wrinkled, red and bruised bundle ready to make his wailing debut into this world? My heart burst wide open with happiness the first time I heard you announcing your place in my world.

Perhaps it was last month when you broke eggs in the carpet, and then desperately tried to clean the mess away by rubbing them into the carpet. Even at the age of two, you wanted only to make Mommy happy. Oh, how you make me happy! Your crazy blonde "flop-a-hair" locks and baby blue eyes charmed me every time, and I couldn't help but chuckle at your cuteness. It wasn't long after that when you discovered the beauty in classical music, and questioned the stirring emotions you felt in your four year old soul.

Maybe it was only a week ago when you learned to ride your bike for the first time, or left me to join your friends at school. You didn't look back once you were on the bus that first day. I'm glad for that, you would have seen me crying as I stood there waving, trying my best to be brave.

I think it might have been yesterday when you left for school again, wearing a cast on your arm after flipping your bike at the neighbors house. I think you mumbled something about starting Jr. High. Or going to your first dance. I wasn't sure though, because I couldn't recognize your voice.

When you come home from High School this afternoon I'll still be here, waiting for you like I always have been. You will be different. It takes me a while to recognize the adult you are becoming. You sound like a man. You are taller than I am now, and your shoulders carry a young man's responsibilities. The more you grow up, and away from me, the more desperately I search for traces of the baby, the toddler, the little boy you used to be.

I still see him. He's there in your eyes, the way you still look to me for reassurance when things are uncertain. He's there in the smile that you seem to save only for those closest to you. He's still there when I peek in on you after you're sound asleep, as I watch your chest rising and falling in rhythm with your dreams. Your dreams have always been important, and I hope you follow them, wherever they may lead you.

Fifteen years ago I welcomed you into this world. You were my first. I was young and scared, but you made it so easy to be your mother. You taught me so much about life and about myself, and about unconditional love.

I'm proud of you. Proud of the person you are now, and of the man you will become. Happy Fifteenth Birthday Terran. I love you more than you will ever know.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Looking Ahead

It's 4 days after Halloween and I'm listening to Garfield's Christmas on TV. Awesome movie that I remember taping off TV back in tha' day. This one is the DVD version that we rented for Halloween because Connor was too sick to go out. It has Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas on it. Turns out that Levi took him to a couple of houses anyways and I watched it alone...but don't tell anyone!

Here's a few pics of the preparations at our house:

Now that Halloween is over, Connor's focus is all about Christmas. "Oh what fun..." Heehee!

Thankfully he seems to be over the worst of his Pneumonia. I'm all about treating ailments naturally, but Wow! Do I ever love Prednisone! After the second dose his coughing was reduced to the point where he could actually finish a sentence without gasping for breath or having another coughing fit. And to where I could actually doze off a bit between breathing treatments at night. Yay for sleep in two hour stretches! After 5 days on the stuff he's barely coughing at all! : )

So now that he's on the mend, I have all four littles back for daycare again. All with runny noses and phlegmy coughs. Not so great - inevitable I know, but still...so the cycle continues. *sigh*

At some point last night the culmination of the past week and a half without sleep and a compromised immune system hit me full in the face. My throat hurts. My nose is plugged and runny at the same time. My lungs are burning and I feel like I've been hit by a truck. Looking after 4 toddlers and a preschooler today? It's not a pretty sight.

On the positive side, an opportunity has presented itself and I can't turn it down. I've got some plans in the works that will allow me to be more available for my children, put my skills, education and training to good use and still bring in an income. It's going to mean that some big decisions will have to be made, (nothing bad though - we're not moving or anything like that!) and a lot of ground work at first, but in the end I know it will be worth it. I wish I could elaborate more, but until some things are firmed up I can't really divulge much information. I do know that if I'm able to successfully go ahead with my plans, I will be busy in a different and much less stressful way than I am now.

And that's good for everyone involved!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Keep Fingers From Cage

I'm normally a pretty laid back person. Except for when I'm not. That would be when I'm tired, sick, hungry, cold or any combination of the above. Ever see the sign "Keep Fingers From Cage"? It's there for a good reason.

Today I'm feeling a wee bit "edgy". I have tons in my life to be thankful for, but today I just feel like walking away from my life for a while. For your reading pleasure today, a list of things that I ponder as I try to get over myself.

*Five people live in this house. Why am I the only person who notices the garbage needs to be taken out and actually does it?

*Why do I do everyone's laundry, fold it, and take it to the bedrooms but the only time anyone else ever does laundry is to wash something (as in three items) of theirs. Then complains when it sits in the washer for 2 days and starts to stink.

*Dishes? Please. I wash dishes at least 5 times a day. I hate coming into the kitchen in the morning and seeing last nights dishes all over the place. If I don't feel like washing the supper dishes then why don't you do it? Every single person in this house is capable of getting their hands wet. This is pisses me off the most.

*I care for 5, sometimes 6 children for 11 hours a day, 5 days a week, in addition to 3 of my own. 4 of these kids are under age 3. I am not complaining about this, it is my job and what I chose to do. But just because I do it at home does not mean that I am ready, willing and able to do your errands as well just because "I'm at home all day." My job is just as important as yours.

*I get tired and I want to relax once in a while. I need a break sometimes. Leaving the house (and me) on weekends to do your thing (even if it is for us) while I am left with a sick kid is not relaxing. I'm here all week - I want/need to leave the house too. Only I have to drag Sick Boy with me. Not fun for either of us.

*I need a grown-up to talk to. 15 minutes during supper or 10 minutes before bed doesn't cut it for me. I have a ton of thoughts and ideas and dreams. Care to listen sometime?

*I want to feel like I'm beautiful. I only feel tired and worn out. Paying attention to me after I've had to ask really doesn't make me feel all that special.

*I want to feel appreciated. For WHO I am, not what I do on a daily basis. Yah, the clothes get washed, the house is somewhat clean...I get that you appreciate having someone provide you with clean socks. However,there is more to me than my housekeeping skills.

*When I get frustrated like this, don't tease me and call me grumpy. Don't joke with each other in front of me about how easy it is to upset me. That has never helped. Try making me some tea or hugging me without trying to "fix things". How about some prevention instead of a cure? Just sit with me and let me talk. Or cry. Or take a nap. Whatever I need.

Just don't stick your fingers through the bars after you've rattled the cage- you might lose one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reno Post - The First of Many

One of the benefits to being married to a hot young carpenter is that I don't have to hire anyone to fix stuff up around here...
I just have to ask him. If I'm lucky and have been a good little wifey, the job usually gets done within a prompt five years.


The List is long. Very, very long.

See the little baby blanket on the arm of the couch? The baby who belongs to that blankie is now five and a half.

So after Five Long Years, we've finally embarked on the long awaited Bathroom Reno. *heavenly chorus sounds from above*

Umm, yeah. Anyways...

Here's our lovely Powder Room before the Reno...

Would you believe that this couldn't even win us the Ugly Bathroom Contest at a local building supply store?

How charming. This is what lurks behind cheap wood panel. Who puts wood panels in a shower anyways? *shudder*

It was a two man job getting the old cast iron tub out of the bathroom (thanks Keir!)...

and another ordeal getting the thing down the stairs and turned at the landing...

Ok, how are we gonna get this turned?
I don't know-it's your tub! I thought you had a plan!

out the back door and finally loaded onto the truck.

That's it! Nothing else! I'm on vacation, remember?

Painting the house is also on The List, scheduled for Spring 2009.

While I love, love, LOVE my new bathtub and shower...

my real, actual, It's-Finally-Not-A-Handheld Shower...

Good Morning Mr. Moen!

And I'm tickled that the toilet is no longer in front of the window...

I'm longing for a decent place to store our towels (and for decent towels)...

and I miss having a sink.
For now,we wash our hands in the tub and brush our teeth at the kitchen sink.

Could I please draw your attention away from the Sweet Boy Child making a smoothie and towards this yucky I- Don't-Even-Know-What-This-Black-Stuff-Is counter...
and now to this slightly nicer Tile-It-When-Hubby's-In-Alberta-And-Can't-Do-Anything-About-It countertop...
He tried to stop me over the phone, because I've never tiled anything before, but I think we had a bad connection or something. That guy gets nervous about weird stuff. It'll do until we reno the kitchen...it's on The List for 2013.

We still have quite a bit of work to do - building and installing the vanity, painting the walls and putting up wainscott and laying the new floor. The necessities are in place and working and it's beginning to come together. The ceiling is painted, the walls are primed, and we've got the trim up around the 3/4 wall between the toilet and shower. I couldn't wait to put up the new shower curtain - it hints at the color scheme we're planning...isn't it pretty?

This weekend we'll be painting the walls. Levi has been building the vanity in the evenings, and it looks beautiful already. I'm not sure when it'll be going in, but you can be sure I'll post it - make sure you check back in again soon for more updates!

Covered in drywall dust,

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Reasons Why

Take the Savant out of the equation and you've got me.

I went to Pilates class last night feeling less than stellar. While the exercises felt great for my body, my head did not appreciate all I was trying to do and threatened to explode.

After Pilates, I went to the Superstore. I walked past the Pharmacy. Twice. I did not stop to get any Cold and Sinus medication. My sinuses hate me.

I also walked past the Natural Health section. I did not buy any more Oscillococcinum or Echinacea/Goldenseal tincture. I desperately need both.

I went to the Joe Fresh section and bought new bloomers for myself. They were cotton and were on sale at half price. I got size large. I am not a size large, and large thong unders on a medium size booty is just wrong. I can only hope they shrink in the washer, cuz even at three bucks for a pack of 5, I'm too cheap to go back and get the medium ones. Also because I don't want to grow my ass any bigger than it already is.

I went down the Paper Goods aisle and DID. NOT. BUY. KLEENEX. Um...hello? The main reason for my trip to Superstore in the first place was to get more Kleenex with lotion. We are a very Snotty Family these days.

I also did not call it a sick day today, and I am feeling like shit. I have two additional children here, and my head might blow up the next time someone so much as thinks about racing a car across the wood floor. We're not even gonna think about what might happen with the temper tantrums.

Tomorrow I am "calling in" sick, and staying my medium size ass in bed. Someone else is gonna have to go to Superstore - I think my brain fell out with that last sneeze.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Anniversary Edition

Three years ago I promised to love my best friend forever.

Three years ago I was moved to tears as he placed a ring on each of my two children's fingers and promised in a broken voice to always love them and cherish them as they were his own.

Three years ago I saw him for what he really was, an incredible man with a heart bigger than life itself, a man with the capacity to love me despite my many flaws.

Three years ago I thought I would die without him by my side.

Three years ago I considered myself the luckiest woman alive, simply because he had chosen to share the rest of his life with me.

Three years ago I would fall in love with him all over again, every time I caught a glimpse of those dimples and that charming grin.

Three years ago...

I still do.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Homeschool- The First Week (or so)

Our first week of homeschool blended almost seamlessly into our regular routine.

We don't "do school" every day, because some days I have a full house of wee ones, and it just doesn't work out. Other times, my little pupil decides to take a road trip with Nana and Papa for days on end. (OK! It was only four days but it felt like forever!)

When we do have a chance to work at some lessons, it's always fun and at his pace. We don't do "school at home", with text books and lesson plans and his sweet little self hunched over the kitchen table all day. We don't adhere to Unit Studies, Charlotte Mason, Classical or Traditional methods. All are common styles of homeschooling and can vary as much as the individual family does. Some would classify our method as "Eclectic", "Child-Led" or "Unschooling". Personally, I prefer not to label everything.

If I had to label, I would like to think that we're more of a "Relaxed homeschool" family - perhaps with a Montessori influence. For us, school happens in the living room after supper, in Mamma's room on a Saturday morning, in the garden on a weekday afternoon, with Dad while he's working at the shop. My Sweet Boy is realizing that learning doesn't happen at a specific time when someone tells you "learn this". Learning is all the time. For him, learning is just a continuation of his toddler curiosity. It's finding out the answers to the stuff he's wondering about, often in a hands-on way. It's applying the answers to real-life situations.

All this is not to say he just plays all day with a "learning" label slapped onto it. Quite the opposite. This week we've mostly worked with Math and Language Arts. He could be found at the table working with numbers and quantity, with Number Cards and Gemstones. He's had to focus on his printing and the phonetic sounds of letters. He's made patterns and groups, with pictures and glue. While all this sounds like "fluff", it's the foundational work on which he will learn. This afternoon we're going to do some Botany. Tomorrow he starts Drama Classes - the perfect outlet for all his creative energies. And learning how a pumpkin grows from a seed? Well, that's just cool!


Every September, Levi and I jokingly make bets on when the first kid is going to get sick with some virus they've picked up at school. Not that we think it's funny that the kids get sick, but with three kids, we've learned to have a sense of humor about accepting the inevetable.

I placed my bet at three and a half weeks from the first day, Levi placed his at five weeks. Traditionally, the sniffles and scratchy throats start to appear around the end of September/beginning of October.

Terran came home with a fever of 102F on Wednesday. Maddie has had a scratchy throat since yesterday, and this morning Connor woke up with a stuffy nose.

School started exactly one week ago yesterday.

It's going to be a long year.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Homeschool - The First Day

This morning Connor was standing in the kitchen at 7am, fully dressed, red notebook under his arm, beaming at me.

"I'm ready for my first day of Homeschool Kindergarten Mommy!"

He is more than ready to learn. He wants to do so much, and some of it before he's really ready. He had his "Bob Books" out this morning and was reading from a couple of those. He was doing well and was feeling pretty good about it until the little boy I babysit started reading it out loud to me too. (both boys are the same age)

Connor snapped the book shut and refused to read any more - the little boy gloated and said that it was easy. Connor didn't say anything but I could tell his feelings were hurt.

Later this afternoon we were doing a fall craft, one that involved coloring leaves and cutting them out. Each of the boys decorated their leaves the way they wanted, and then came time for cutting. Connor navigated the curves of his leaf with ease, cutting around the outline. The little boy couldn't hold the scissors properly, so I showed him again (we did some scissor work last week) how to hold the scissors, and he went to it. He ended up cutting his leaf into strips and tiny bits, saying that he wanted to cut it up and he didn't like leaves.

Connor looked over and gave him another paper with a leaf on it. "If you color this one, I can help you cut it out. You can take it home and show your Mom."

He looked at the leaf for a long time before accepting it, then looked at Connor. "OK. My mom likes leafs. I'll let you read to your mom next time, Connor"

It was the closest thing to an apology I've ever heard from this boy, and Connor accepted it with a sincere smile.

Any doubts I had about Homeschooling this morning disappeared with my boy's quiet, confident smile.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Queen of DeNial

So I sat down in front of the computer just now and gave myself a harsh reality check. It’s all about the (looks around) budget.

Ssshhhh!!!! Don’t say it out loud… it’s a bad word in this house! That one little word sets the little hairs on the back of my neck on end. Goosebumps and all that. That word means get to your corners and put the gloves on. Only now, I know it’s because my spending habits are out of control. Even worse? My husband is right. Oh, the indignity of it all!


I’ve been bitching about how tight the money is since I’ve finished up at work. You know, because we’re down to one income and all. Even though I get my lovely little Child Tax Benefit every month and Child Support Payments from The Ex, the extra income when I was working had become necessary in maintaining a balanced account. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make more money while still being at home this summer. (The cost of childcare for 2 kids would not be worth going out to work) Then it dawned on me that if I can’t Make More Money, maybe I should Spend Less!!! (Have I mentioned that I’m a bit slow when it suits me? No?)

Now there’s a concept! Only, I don’t really spend THAT much do I? I mean, it's not like there's any extra TO spend... Ok, I think you get the picture here. It’s the one that looks like me in denial, only with better hair. And manicured nails. *blush* A book I’ve recently read states that the word Denial could easily stand for “Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying”. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been totally lying to myself.

I tracked my spending. May I just say in my own defence, OUCH!?!?!

Bottom line says that if I planned my trips to town, ate before I left home (Fast food places were on there a lot), and actually thought about all the un-necsesary crap that I was buying (Dollar Store, Dairy Bar and Pet Store) I would have at least an extra $230.00** a month. That’s a whole lot of money to be throwing away!!

This month, I am challenging myself to track EVERY. CENT. I. SPEND. Also, try my best to be responsible about what it actually is I’m spending on. No more French Mani’s for me thankyouverymuch! At this point I have nothing to lose and about $230.00 or more to gain.

What’s worked for you?

**This figure does not include the price of Fuel for my senseless random trips to Wherever It Is I think I need to go for no reason other than Just Getting Out of the house because I'm bored. I’m afraid to know how much gas I’m actually wasting on un-necessary trips to town.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Random Bits of Bloggy Blathering...

*knocks on screen*

Hello?? Anyone out there anymore?

*crickets chirping*

Whatever. I'm still gonna write, and if you want to join in by reading then I'm all too happy to have you here for a bit. And maybe you can leave a nice comment or something? Please?

Yes, I've been away for waaay too long. But all that is changing now, because I have *pause for dramatic effect* High Speed Internet!!

Things are slowly getting back to normal I think (hope).

* Recovery from surgery is slower that I would have liked, but I am only at the 4 week mark. I feel pretty good most of the time, but my body is quick to remind me later on that I still need to take it easy. (I'm not sure what's killing me more, the no exercising/yoga/pilates for 6-8 weeks or the no umm.. er, "relations" for 6 weeks. It's a toss up!) Yes, I did just say that...

* Shopping!!! I have spent an obscene amount of time (and only a moderate amount of money) on myself lately. Once I got past that nagging "Mommy Guilt" from taking time and money to do something for myself, I made an appointment and got my hair done yesterday. It looks great - I love it. Completely chopped off into a cute bob, or as some would call it, a "Pob", after Posh Spice's latest look. Although I don't think mine is as short as hers. Something different and easier for the warm weather I hope we'll get soon. I also bought myself some new organic & mineral make-up, since my old stuff was used up long ago and I've been walking around with a naked face. And I got new Wellies!! Pink plaid ones...if we're going to have rain for weeks at a time, at least I can have some fun with it and wear the proper footwear! Who said retail therapy doesn't work?

*Did I mention we finally have High Speed Internet?

*Madeline is into Track & Field and Soccer, so four out of five days I am required to play the role of her chauffeur. Since she is also a social butterfly, I do after practice pick-ups at various friends houses as well.
Terran is rocking out on his newest guitar, a sweet blue Fender that was a gift to him from my dad. The sound out of that thing is amazing... He is going to the Music Rocks Academy "Learn to Play in a Band" summer camp in July. I think it's going to be an awesome experience for him!
Connor is his usual jolly self, and he makes me laugh on a daily basis. He told me that I was "this cool" and made a "loser" sign with his finger and thumb. I know what he meant but it didn't stop us from busting a gut laughing... I bought him some "BOB Books" that we will start on in the fall, they're grade 1 level and perfect for where he is at right now (and will be later on) with his reading. I love that he has such strong literacy skills at such a young age - not even in Kindergarten yet!

*Pets - Ok, pet. Lilly still pukes on an almost daily basis. Is it because she eats too fast, or gets all worked up before she eats and then "splat!" there it is again? I thought of hairballs, but she's a shorthair and there's never any hair in it. Last year the vet put her on some "special" (read EXPENSIVE) food but it really didn't seem to make a difference. Also, I've been checking out the Pet Insurance sites. Does anyone have insurance on their pet? Last year we spent a small fortune on her with her urinary crystals and dehydration and everything else. One site quoted me $11.00 a month for some pretty decent coverage. Levi thinks I'm insane for considering it, his argument is "She's a barn cat!" True, she was. But HE brought her into our home when she was teeny tiny and she's family now. I would hate to think that a couple hundred dollars might mean the difference between having her here and having her put down. Eleven dollars a month starts to look pretty affordable when you consider it cost us $400.00 last year alone in vet bills before we even got her spayed...

And, we're considering adding to our family. A fur baby, I mean. We've had the privilege of looking after my sister's husky, Silver, for a few months. I really enjoyed having her here. She's such a well behaved dog, and I love her personality. Not to mention how beautiful she is...Anyways, I've really wanted a dog for a long time now, since well before Christmas actually. I've been doing lots of research and the two we've narrowed it down to are the American Cocker Spaniel or Siberian Husky. I know, so different! They each have the intelligence and personalities that we're looking for, and both breeds are great with children, gentle, playful, etc. Both breeds are beautiful too, so that doesn't make it any easier to choose. Our house and yard are big enough for either breed, so that makes it harder to choose too. There's pros and cons to both breeds, so I guess it will be a surprise to us all when the time comes to get our new addition! (And yes, I checked out Pet Insurance for dogs too!)

So let's hear from you. Is pet insurance a crock or not? American Cocker Spaniel or Siberian Husky? Regular, Organic, Mineral, or no make-up at all? Wellies or wet feet? How long should a 14 year old boy be allowed to grow his hair, and should an 11 year old girl be allowed to get her own "Facebook?" And does anyone want to come over and clean up this cat puke?

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Rainy Days and Mondays...

...always get me down."

I've had a wonderful weekend at home with my family these past few days. It was wonderful in part because Friday was my birthday, but also because my dad and step-mom were visiting from Newfoundland. I haven't seen them since last August, and I haven't spent my birthday with my dad since I was fourteen. The kids were thrilled to have someone new to showcase their talents in front of, and I think my parents were just as delighted to sit and enjoy the quirky little people that are their grand kids.

With me still recovering from my surgery three weeks ago and my father recovering from shoulder surgery a week ago, it really didn't take too much to tire either one of us out. As is typical of my parents, they spoiled us all rotten - Olive took Maddie and I shoe shopping, and Dad managed to BBQ the most amazing steaks with one arm in a sling. By the time evening fell though, we were more than ready to sit and relax in front of a crackling fire. It was comforting, having them here, and it felt good to feel connected to family again.

I've mentioned before that it's not so much the "where I grew up" that I feel a longing for, but rather the "how". I know my childhood was less than ideal, but I had a great younger childhood and my dad played a huge part in that. He was a very "hands-on" parent, always involved and introducing us to new things. After he and my mom divorced, most of my relationships with extended family and other positives in my life also disappeared, and so I've always associated the happier times with him.

This morning Dad and Olive left for Nova Scotia, where they will stay until next week before returning to Newfoundland. I've learned to deal with the good-byes over the last nineteen years, and they've become easier. I know that I will see them again soon, likely within the year. Somehow, that doesn't make it any easier, and I know that I will miss my dad. Suddenly I am fourteen again. The sadness I feel every time I say good-bye to him has lodged itself in my throat, and the ache of "homesickness" that had eased while he was here has settled once again in my chest.

I really hope the sun comes out tomorrow, but for today, it can rain.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Bitter Numbers

Because I simply have nothing else to do before my surgery next week, I will share with you a little snippet of my life lately.

8 months since I hemorrhaged
34 weeks since I was referred to the specialist
1 fucked up Provincial Health Care System on PEI
242 days I struggled with this problem
21 days ago I finally had my appointment with the specialist
5 days ago since I received date of surgery from hospital
8 days till surgery
56 days out of commission
8 weeks without receiving a paycheck, leaving
0 dollars in my bank account.

During those “eight weeks out of commission”, the following will still need to be taken care of:
168 meals
112 snacks
219 loads of laundry (roughly)
24 days of scrubbing the bathroom
56 days of general house cleaning
12 trips to the grocery store
4 mortgage payments
2 bank payments
224 kisses goodnight.

As if that weren't enough, I've developed a completely unrelated, yet undiagnosed illness. There has also been:

35 consecutive days of unrelenting abdominal pain, resulting in
15 pounds lost in about
14 days.
3 pounds were gained back, but it took
21 days to gain these back.
8 visits to the doctor, who ordered
34 different blood and other tests, coming up with
3 possible diagnoses.
1 referral to yet another specialist to confirm diagnosis
28 days ago
0 phone calls from specialist.
1 completely fucked up Provincial Health Care System
4 weeks off work so far, plus another
2 months after surgery in
1 week still leaves
0 dollars in my bank account.

So because of this, my Doctor suggested that I might be able to apply for Sick Benefits through the Employment Insurance Program. I need:

600 hours of work in the past
52 weeks in order to be eligible. I have
588 hours.
12 hours short … still leaving
0 dollars in my bank account and
0 government support because I have
1 husband who works
40 plus hours a week.

Leaving us with:

3 children
1 house and related expenses to look after on
1 income. All because of
1 completely fucked up Provincial Health Care System.

Ask me if I’m bitter…

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Comfort and Joy

I finally got onto Blogger again! Yay!

Has it really been almost six months since my last post? Wow. I've been writing still, hoping for the day that I could post something, anything on here again. So you will have to excuse the lateness of some of the posts, one was written around Christmas, the other around Valentine's Day. I have missed posting but I've still been reading my favorites, so I don't feel completely out of the loop.

(Oh, and I ended up keeping the stroller, but I still spoke to my doctor. Turns out that I'm "normal"...)

This next post was written around the holidays, but I think the message still remains timeless. We should all practice gratitude, regardless of the season...

Her hands trembled as she cautiously opened the bag. Nothing was wrapped, but that was OK. She had not asked for much. She hadn’t asked for anything really, as she had learned long ago that with expectation also came disappointment. Already overwhelmed by this unexpected show of generosity from those she did not know, she was close to tears and holding her breath when she was handed the simple plastic bag.

“Ohhh!” was all she could whisper as she pulled a small pair of brand new winter boots from the bag. “Oh he’ll be so warm in these! And they’re so nice!” The tears spilled over as she was handed yet another bag, this one containing a new pair of pants and a cozy fleece sweater in the exact size that her young son wore.

Smiling gratefully through her tears, she found her voice once more. “I really didn’t expect anything…” she began, looking down at the new boots once again, and then at the large box of groceries that sat by her feet, so thankful for the kindness of strangers.

Her son would be warm this winter. There was food to put in the cupboards. It’s been difficult lately, but this… this would help make it easier. That was all that mattered to her. Her son’s comfort was more important than the fact that she wished she could provide all this for him on her own. She knew she was doing her best with the resources she had, and she had tried to make her peace with this. Pride had no place in this home, where love was abundant even if the money wasn’t.

When you are rushing around this season, stressing about what you “need” to get and trying to find that “perfect gift”, take a moment to reflect on where you are in your life right now. Has it always been easy for you? Have you ever been grateful for the kindness of strangers? In the end, is it really going to matter what label your jacket had on it, or what that must have trendy toy was? Remind yourself that the simple things, the basic things, are the things that are most important – love, comfort and joy.

The joy to be found in the simple act of giving to those less fortunate is profound. It reminds us to be appreciative of the things we have, and can humble us when we have been taking what we consider “basic comforts” for granted. It can allow for a new perspective on the life we have now, guide us towards the simpler life we want to live, and help us to re-organize our priorities. The practice of giving – this in itself is a gift for our own soul, but when we can provide this comfort to families who must otherwise do without, the joy will follow.