Monday, June 21, 2010

Jock Strap!

Tonight we had a rather unexpected surprise at Karate ... somehow I didn't get the memo, but thankful to happen to have my camera in my handbag!

It turned out that it was Cody's graduation.  He performed with his classmates, broke a wooden board in 2 with his bare hands and was presented with the highest 'Ranger' honour of a solid Gold Belt.  This means he is now ready to commence his Leadership training in the young adult classes as of next week.   He also now wears a new fancy smancy uniform!!!  He's very self impressed and full of self accomplishment!  At this same time I needed to purchase his protective gear ...  

Yes, we (meaning Cody) had to 'inspect' in detail every item before we left the building ... it was so funny to watch - but my favourite was when he got to the Jock Strap ... 'mum, why to I have to wear one of these? (holding up a jock strap and using his normal speaks - aka loud) ... So quietly I tell him ... it's to protect your 'privates' (trying to keep anatomy talk to a minimum)  You see, I've never tried to hide or give cute names to his body parts - he's always called a spade a spade, and today evidently was going to be like every other day ....

Cody: what does it do?  How does it work?  Why would anyone try to hurt my penis?  As the body parts started to flow naturally from his mouth, the smiling and interested spectators started leaving like I had the plague .... evidently my answers did not satisfy him ...

And his questions didn't stop. Started again in the grocery store, and library ... and all the time in his 'quiet' voice! (Being scarcastic there!).

We got home and he was beside himself to inspect them further .... mum, he said, they look like undies! With pieces missing ...

Now, I myself having never seen a pair up close, intriged as much as he, and dying inside laughing whilst pretending all the time to be knowledgeable, slowly figuring how to put the piece in, you know, the hard bit, and then getting him try them on.  If only I could have captured the look of male reverence as he proudly displayed his new acquisition.  So I got a wooden spoon and proceeded to hit it. Big smile on his face.  Mamma, it doesn't hurt!!!  NOW he gets it!

I still haven't been able to explain well enough to satisfy his curiosity as to why girls don't use one ... Cody's logic dictates that girls have 'privates' too ... make sense to me ... ???

Anyways, proud of my little ones accomplishments and he looks like he's ready to take on the world!  Yea for all the Jock Straps out there!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

'When You Thought I Wasn't Looking' - unknown author

Found this poem in Cody's Karate's monthly newsletter.  Makes me stop and think about how my words and actions should always be setting a positive example ....

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in him.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I say that you cared, and I wanted to be Everything that I could be.

When you though I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Birth of a Marathon Runner!

I'm going to run a marathon!  There ... I said it!  And yes my friends are looking sideways at me - but that's ok!  

Why you ask?  How on earth did you get to that?

Well, while we were in London, England, the London Marathon took place - and it ran right by our hotel, so we were smack bang in the middle of it!  We went out and cheered for about 5 hours - I lost my voice ... absolutely did not think it would be very interesting ... instead had a ball of a time!!

Cody turns to Daddy and says, 'Daddy, why don't you run in the Marathon so we can cheer you on?'  Daddy replies ... 'oohhhh, Daddy couldn't do that, but Mummy can!' ... so there you have it ... 

So, I ask you, why not?  Yes, I'm starting out a little later in life, but some of those runners were in their 80's and I'm guessing they started somewhere!!!  For those of you who know me, I'm very determined once I commit to a task.  I'm not planning to WIN the marathon - although stranger things have happened - just to be in one and finish the line .... no pressure, running and walking when needing to!

I'm slow ... in fact you most likely can walk faster than I can run ... that's ok.  I'm there for me, not to race.  

There really are LOTS of benefits as I see it.  They include:

Great roll model for my son
Getting fit
Losing some flab - I hope
Gaining energy
Acomplishing goals

Here's the downside as I see it:

Finding the time to fit the excercise in
Paying to run in races (what's with that????)
Wear and tear on my body

So what have I done so far?  I started on the treadmill and eliptical while I was in London - walking of course!  Then slowing introducing the running.  20 mins on each.  Once I got home I dusted off the treadmill and have been using that to build up.

When I started I ran at a 4 miles per hour pace to find my groove ... which by the way took 6 weeks of making myself so it.  Once I found my groove, running became addictive.  What I mean by finding my groove is when you push a tad and can keep on running without having to stop for a walk.  My visual motivation that I watch on the treadmill is:

Calories burned

I'm not killing myself and constantly monitor my heart rate so as to manage my running.  After I returned from Europe, I went for my first 5k run with a friend and we had a blast!!!  She left in the dust and did a fabulous job!  I think I did good to ... well, for me I did and I was running ... and I crossed the finish line ... more amazingly, I wasn't last!!!

I ran my first 5 k in 46 minutes and I didn't kill myself.  I did however get a sore knee so now I'm on joint vitamins to help with the fluids in the knee.  That was the first time off the treadmill so it was a little rougher on my body.

I still have a lot to learn - but I'm going to do it!  It may take me a while to build up, but that's ok too.  My hubby has helped me get decked with 'real shoes', some clothes and most exciting was my generation 2 ishuffle!!!  Wouldn't mind the garmin type watch, but that can wait!!!  So, I look the part!

My friend was very encouraging before my first 5k when she told me that I have a ready won.   Standing at the start line when 99.9% of the worlds population wasn't ... all I had to do was finish the race.   

So, that's it in a nutshell.  I'm going to run a marathon!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thought Provoking ....

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
- Maria Robinson

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ur ine Paris!

Last week-end this time we were on our way by Eurostar to Paris, France ... thankful that we had decided to go via the chunnel as opposed to flying ... nature decided to play havoc with the volcano that I can't pronounce!

The first week in London was full on!  Our first week end on arrival we went to Hamleys - just off the Oxford Cirus tube stop ... this was one of Cody's 'must do' ... he ran in arms wide open and left dejected and near tears ... 17 pounds for a transformer (not electrical) ... which he could get at home for $10-$12 USD ... so we next went to PJ's 'toy shop' - the ferrari dealership across the road - again, he ran in with arms wide open and left dejeted and wishing he had a job that paid more ... I thought, oh look at that nice mug - 40 pounds!!!  So I gently put the mug down, told the lady associate that she should never let the gentleman associate (who was singing out of tune next to her) to enter American Idol ... and quietly left everyone laughing!

Luckily we went into the National Geographic Shop for a nosey to find a treat!!!!  They had the show live there ... we had missed some of it, but it was entertaining and right up Cody's list of things he loves most!  There was reptiles, insects, mamals - just amazing - even a skunk!  She was adorable and affectionate (yes, we all got to pat her ... and yes, she had her scent package in tact).

We went to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and the National Art Gallery and we fortunate to view some of Van Gohs work (Sunflowers and Wheat fields were on display - some of his more recognisable work).  That was Sunday.  With PJ off to work the next day, Cody and me hit the road for the next few days.  We went to the ZSL London Zoo, London Sea Life Aquarium, Westminster Abbey, Vitoria Tower Gardens (to feed the pigeons), Big Ben, Parliament Square and buildings, the Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace - we watched the changing of the guards (with 2000+ others), a wonderful walk through the St James Park (feeding the pigeons, ducks - I even got to hand feed the squirrels!), Museum of Natural Science, Sciene Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum (which turned out to be absolutely fabulous) and a wonderful visit with a friend who just happened to be visiting London the same week!

Then Paris.  Because of the volcanic erruption, the train was packed - and the station was crazy with 'campers' trying to get a seat on any train out of London.  But the trip was awesome!  The countryside was picture perfect and it made me want to get out and go visit all these places!  So I had high hopes for Paris going in.  We packed extremely light - 2 small carry ons - as we planned on using the subway as the travel books had said - ' easy to use and great to get around'.   The first sign we see is - beware of pick pockets!  So now we are 'on guard' and then the smell hit us - the smell of urine.  Not a 2 year 'opps' kinda smell, but a full on, in your face - I peed and I'm proud of it kinda smell ... Cody was ready to go back on the train!  The 'easy to use and great to get around' was proving to be a little more of a challenge!!  But glad to say we arrived ready safetly to our hotel and ready for the next 2 days ....

Our hotel was close to the Arc de Triomphe.  We decided to find a grocery store, so I asked a gentleman if he could help us - yes, he said.  He said the lobsters were that way and pointed ... so we thanked him kindly and proceeded not any closer than we were before ... laughing of course!  We walked down the Avenue de Champs onto the Elysees to the Plae de la Concorde.  Followed by the Jardin Des Tuileries until we reached the Musee de Louve.  What an awesome museum!!!!  That in itself could take a week!!!!  In particular, we wanted to see the Mona Lisa, which we did, along with fabulous works of art and sculptures.  I definately could go back and spend more time in the Louve.  We continued down th St Eustache Forum de Halles and into the Centre Pompidou Beauborg.   The place was insane with people!  Crazy insane! 

After lunch on the sidewalk we went over to Notre-Dame via the Palais de Justice.  Notre-Dame was amazing.  Our feet were 'smoking', so we took the subway over to the last item on the Saturday adgenda - the Eiffel Tower.  We went all the way to the top - the wait was long, the child petrified, but came with PJ and myself (hanging on for dear life - loudly asking - what if someone is undoing all the bolts????)  How can this be safe????  I think he would have kissed the ground if he knew he could upon coming back down!  That being said, the Eiffel Tower was what most impressed him!

Everywhere we went there were combat dressed men with ooseys - I'm guessing police????  It's kinda unnerving with them holding on to them ready to spring into action ...

Sunday we set out to finish our 'to do' list.  We started with the Jargin des Plantes where we went to the Musee National D'Histore Naturelle, the Pantheon followed by the Palis du Luxembourg and into the Jardin du Lxembourg.  Cody was starting to tire so we headed back to the Parc du Champ de maps by the Eiffel Tower.  The closest description that I can tell you about the people was that it was a people sea - a people sardine canned together sea - I've never seen anything like it ever before!  Ever!

It was time to say 'goodbye' to Paris and head on back to London.  Cody was glad.  He came to the conlusion, too many people smoked in Paris and it was toxic.  We were back at the hotel at 12.30 that night glad to hit the pillow!  Poor hubby had to turn around and go to work bright and chirpy the next day!  As for the city of Love?  Not this time ... I was with the men I love, but it really is a jackel and hyde city ... I would say London is more a city of Love than Paris ...  go figure!

Now with an exhausted child, we have taken things a  little slower.  We decided to take some further out lines and go shopping.  So we've ended up in Lewisham, Beckton, and Gallions Reach.  Interesting finds have been ASDA (Wal-Mart - but very different!), Smyths (toy store), pound store (and 99P stores), Tesco, and TK MAXX (know as TJ MAXX where we live.

Once a little more alive, we ventured to LegoLand in Windsor.  Even got to see the Queens Palace there from the train and bus windows!  I know she doesn't do the cleaning - and it would be insane for just one person to live in that mammoth space!  Cody had a wonderful day.  We stayed until the park closed.  If he could, he would have stayed there days.  He even got his LegoLand drivers license!

We then ventured to the other side of the city to the Kew Gardens.  It was a little more relaxing.  We again brought enough bread to feed the ducks and swans!   We enjoyed the walkway in the treetops, and Cody love going on the flying-fox.  And as if all that walking isn't enough, there is a gym (dear I say that word?) in the hotel that Cody keeps dragging me down to!  I have now been officially introduced to an elliptical!

Well, that's it for now!  The crocs are going strong and evidently by themselves say 'tourist!'  We have been having a wonderful time and now are starting on the 2nd half of our trip.  7 more days in London ... followed by 5 days in Rome, Italy ... should the volcano (which I can't pronounce) be favourable with it's ash vomit! 

And for a little chuckle, I was asked what part of America I was from because of my American accent!  Ha Ha!!!  So cheers from here ... and wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Arriving in the UK!

We arrived safe and sound!  Deprived of sleep ... determined to continue without sleep until tonight ...

Firstly, the people speak funny ... I know, I know, the pot calling the kettle black ... but they do!  But comfortingly so, in an odd sort of way.  More like an old pair of compfy slippers ...

The Marriot - well lets just say - I'm drinking a very nice complimentary glass of wine from them as I type, with an apology note attached ... there's always a story!!!   Beware, spelling may deteriorate!

Taxi from airport hysterical - probably more so with all of 3 hours sleep in a 48 hour period!  I have yet to see all the horse and carriages, but we drove on both a single and double carriageway!  Don't you love it when your taxi driver (with GPS) gets lost????

Child very, very well behaved - 5 hours sleep in the same 48 hour period ... until that same 5 hours was over ... oh well ... tomorrow's a new day.

Husband looking very fresh after his business class flight - have you seen those funky fold out beds they have in British Airways for business class?  They rub it in, because as you board and go to find your seat, you have to go through all the 'happy' people getting ready for bed!  Oh well, it's probably more interesting travelling in the cheap seats ... I never fail to have a chuckle AFTER the fight!  I'm wondering what the poor French gentleman is thinking ... hmmmm ....

NO CROCS ... except the pair I was wearing!  My husband graciously pointed out that it was very obvious that we were 'visitors' ... seriously, not one pair of crocs either on the plane or anywhere to be seen in the Canary Wharf area.

Now I know you've all heard of 'mumbles' - ladies????  Need I say more???  Well, they now have mumbles for men!  They're everywhere disguised as men's suits!  I'm dying laughing ... really, a variant legging for men!  Don't know if this particlular fashion trend will cross the pond, but I think my hubby would like to participate!!!!!  All in the name of 'fashion'!

Eating is very, very expensive!  That may be one of the reasons Twiggy stayed so skinny all these years!   And the packaging is miniture!    I went to 3 different grocery stores today closeby to the hotel.  I dropped an easy 30 pounds (dollars, not weight - but that would have been preferable to drop!) and I'm still wondering what exactly I got for it????  Not a lot!  I purchased a 'gallon' of milk in a 'pint' container the same look - only cute and cubby, at the same price.  The hens here must be the reason for the Queen's wealth, as I'm convinced that 'organic' is code for 'golden' ... 

The place is wonderfully diverse and the people are very enjoyable to watch.   I'm looking forward to tomorrow - going to the 7 or 8 story toy shop aand taking the tourist bus around London sight seeing ... 

Now, I'm not sure when I'll next be able to get online - it's not a free service - rather and additional 80 pounds per week ... so hubby 'splurred' for a one day event!  But I promise to continue to enjoy myself thoroughly,   show Cody a wonderfu memory of a fabulous place, cook as am able, walk alot, and spend time with my family!

Tar rar for now!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday on Thursday! 8th April 2010

So here is my first 'Wordless Wednesday'!  I know it's not Wednesday, but really that about sums it up!  I've been a tad busy with the kitchen reno, teaching school, socializing, karate mum, Easter bunny,  getting ready to fly to the UK tomorrow ... so I figured, pictures may best describe a little of my world!

So here is a sample of my seeds on the left - viable and now 50 plants to be planted tomorrow before I hope on the plane - and on the right - the dead and dying!  Decided next year none of this premade nonsense - its just cups and containers for me!  Took me a long time to transplant into these cups!

The seeds were looking sickly and needed more light - so rather than spend a bomb for more grow lights, I used alluminum to cover the lights and wouldn't you know it - they loved it!

Then don't for the kitchen ... while hubby was in the UK on business, we had rain, and rain, and then more rain ... so I became a human sump pump with my wet vac - around the clock - trying to hold the water at bay in the basement ... I did win this round! 

So here's 'date night'!  I spent my time priming the ceiling and walls - all ready to paint ...

Painting done!  Frustrating trip to IKEA for the cabinets.  A weekend 'dryfitting' the cabinets and hanging the cabinets.  80% of the cabinets built.  And now it waits ... not sure for how long ...

Now back to laundry, packing, and all those wonderful other things that need to be done.  Not sure when I'll get back to you, but will try!  And to my facebook friends, I'll try to update when I'm in a wireless site!  My first 'Wordless Wednesday' - on Thursday - with words! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Me and my pitchfork!

OK Dan and Granny!  I'm in ... I love my pitchfork ... and it's used everyday in the garden!  But alas, not for gardening!  You see my pitchfork is a baby bird maker ... and each and every year I 'hatch' at least one nestful of babies ... wrens, chicadees, and even a batch of meadow mice!

I enjoy it daily as it sits outside my kitchen window and brings me alot of pleasure as I watch my 'reality show'!  Move over Mark Burnett!

Now as for the shoes - goodness only knows what's been collected on there!  Today proved to be another day for gumboots.  Even found a little mouse with my son which we fed acorns and water before gently sending her on her way home to her family ...

So Dan, not as handsome as you look (alot like Paul Newman on his cookies I'd like to say), and Granny, definately not the Sultry Madonna glamour shot on your blog either ... but at least I can say ... you showed me yours, and I showed you mine!

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Husband thinks I'm a Wack Job!

Ha Ha!  I probably am ... what is 'normal' anyways ... ???

What I can say is .... I LOVE my new solar powered lights that I now have in my Vegetable garden!!!  LOVE them - all 8 of them ... they are in fake rocks ... got them on clearance from Costcos for next to nothing last year ...

As I was lovingly installing them last weekend he wanted to know why on earth I would want solar power lights in my vege garden.  He doesn't get it ... but as I look out my window at night, my vege patch is lit up like the stars!  And only what I can call 'gardeners joy' - fills my heart when I see them.

You can see one of them by his feet in the photo above as he was helping me build the hoop house ... next to a kale plant that survived the harsh winter ... and in the photo below you can see them at the back of one of the beds ...

Interestingly enough, and fortunately for me, he loves me in spite of me ... and graciously rearranged the solar power lights so that they function better to meet my vege gardens layout.  And also has it set up so that once I have the hoop house being utilized for my Winter harvest, I'll have 2 lights inside so I can see what I'm doing!

But he would like to know (and I really don't know if he does) "what kind of person puts Solar Power lights in their vegetable garden?" 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Seriously challenged!

When it comes to electronics, I'm seriously challenged!!  Take the new video camera my hubby just got me.  It's so pretty ... small, going to be great on our trip to Europe ... but I gave it a 'try' yesterday and after uploading (not me, hubby) it turned out to be a disaster!

No surprise really ... but it was rather hilarious!  Needless to say, I don't have much time to figure it out.  And it doesn't help when my 7 year old, who hasn't seen it either, picks it up and shows me what to do!  So what I'm hearing is: 'no mama, you do it like this!'

Shameful really when you think about it!  The only reason I can load pictures on my blog is if I take them on my iphone - and even then my friend had to show me an 'easy' way to do that!!!  As for using the computer, well ... that's entirely another comic show!

So I'm thinking, wouldn't it be great if I could 'show' you some video of our travels?  I don't know how, but I know it has to be possible ...

It would look like this ... we're off to London to see the Queen ... OOOOPPPPPSSS ... that was surposed to be a picture of her face!  Disgraceful!

Anyways, that's the plan ... but I still may have to depend on my trusty iphone ... tried and true ... either way, I'll get some pics to you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why the tats? (Topic: Miscarriages)

I put the topic: Why the tattoos?  (Miscarriages)  so that you can choose to read on, or if this topic is too squirmish for you, no worries, best to stop here ... :)

I get this question a bit.  The easiliest answer is because I like them!  They have meaning for me.  Tatoos that is!  I'd have to, as I get to live with them.  Really when it all boils down to it, it's got nothing to do with anybody else.  I know that many of the folks I know just don't get it but that's ok!  My tattoos actually have been a major part of a healing process in my life.  Tattoos are healing you say - read on and you'll see tattoos have the power to heal!

You see, I'm a member of the 'Infertility group'.  For me - 10 years of drugs, hormones, injections etc - even  IVF cycles, 6 pregnancies - and one miricle. Cody was #3.  Every cycle offered the chance of hope - life was like a roller coaster.  Once you buckle in the infertility seat, get ready for the ride of your life!  You really no longer 'own' your body, you're at the descretion of science, doctors and nurses.  If they say jump, you say 'how high' and proceed to do everything requested of you ... and then some!  Like standing on your head, taking your temperature daily, eating certain kinds of foods, driving warm 'swimmers' to the clinic snuggled warmly in your bra, having injections and then more injections followed by pills and blood tests and dyes, etc, etc ... a full body invasion of whatever you hope will work!!!  Goodness only knows what all the side-effects of the medications will bring, but desperate people often use desperate measures!  All in the hopes of starting/or growing your family.  

And hope is all that it is, as there are no guarantees!

I'm classified as a 'habitual aborter'.  Meaning that for whatever reason, my body doesn't seem to work the way it should and when I get pregnant, which isn't that often, and then my body rejects the baby.  And even though both hubby and myself have been studied from head to toe, there is no reason that can be found for my bodies behaviour.  After some of the fetal autopses, they have found genetic errors, and the genetic councellors have told us that it's like getting struck by lightening - repeatedly - just plain bad luck!!!

Let me take the time to clarify here - there is no term 'miscarriage' used in medical circles - they are all called abortions.  And even when you insist that this is NOT AN ABORTION, they look pitifully at you and say 'abortion'.  So whether your loss is filled with longing for the child you are never going to have, or a chosen path, you are still called an aborter.

Me, I'm the sucker who never gave up!  I used every cycle available to me.  They did discover that I had endimetriosis, and I had regular surgerys to address the growths and leasons.  But I never gave up ... so much so that in my mid 40's my IVF specialist sat me down and told me - no more - I was too old!  And that was that!  I didn't feel old, but, I could live with the fact that I had done my absolute best.  I would never be able to question my committment to having a family.

Going through a miscarriage is indeed one of life's cruel and inhumane experiences for a woman (I can't speak for a woman who is choosing to abort, but I'm assuming it just isn't cut and dry - it never is!!!), but it is a very dark period of lonliness in a woman's life.  I say lonliness as the husband hasn't the life connection that a woman has, and does not feel the loss in such a devistating mannor.  There's a lot of self examination - and not in a very healthy way!!!

Hint here for the husband/man/father: don't try to talk her through the grief, allow her to go through the grieving process.  The best thing you can do is to hold her and just let her cry.  Acknowledge that this is a loss, no different than the loss of any other family member.  It is real to her.  And always will be.  She will cry - a lot!  It's ok!  She is entitled to her feelings!!

Pregnancy is supposed to be one of lifes treasured times for a woman, but miscarriages have a way of stealing that treasured time away from a woman.  Pregnancy becomes a time of fear!  And subsequent pregnancies are increasingly hard to enjoy with mutiply miscarriages.

There are many well intentioned folks who try to 'justify' the loss by saying things like:  it was meant to be dear, it's natures way of taking care of things, oh well, try again!, be greatful you already have a wonderful child, etc, etc, etc ... but those kind words make it hard.  Truely folks, there's a lot more to be said with a simple and honest hug!

I think one of lifes sad evolutions is that we as women don't talk about the topic nearly as much as we need to.  Have you had this conversation willingly with anyone lately?  And as I'm not a man, I can only assume it's all methodical, logical and has no emotional content if ever discussed? ???  I'm only guessing here ... but have an idea as I have heard the family conversations my hubby has had about the topic.

It is a fact of life that there are many women who have miscarriages - yet because of the personal nature of the emotions felt, we don't share as we need to.  I believe a woman needs to know she is entitled to feel the way she feels and that she doesn't need to feel isolated.  Life does suck and sometimes bad things do happen to good people.  It's ok to feel the way she feels!!!  Don't push her to move on until she has come to acceptance.

Anyways, back to the tats.  I've got tatoos that are visible, and others that are not ... and we'll just leave it at that!  Mostly my tatoos are of forget-me-nots.  I've used a wonderful Tattoo artist - Greg from a Way Cool Tatoos in Oakville, Ontario.  He's absolutely fabulous with matching skin colour to your skin tones, and I enjoy his work so much, that about half the work he has done on my body is freehand - yes, I loved his work that much!

When I was going through the miscarriages - it hit me that I was really the only one who was able to truely remember each child within me and I wanted to make sure that their short time (some a lot longer) remained important, and that they each one were very special and that their time with me counted!  I wanted to celebrate their lives ... I chose to do so through the art of tatoos.  So I have tatoos on different parts on my body - each reminding me of the special life that shared life with me - even though their time was short - in the form of 'forget-me-nots' - and I don't forget!

Time has a way of helping with the healing of loss, but I will never, ever forget!

"Least I forget"

Monday, March 22, 2010

A weekend made for gardening!

I bet you're thinking we worked on the kitchen ... AGAIN!  But alas, no!!!! 

Firstly we installed 2 new loos.  Hubby did most of the work, I was the assistant and kept him company.  The new loos are white, high efficiency duel flush - nice, but don't match the 70's pink, grey and beige interior - translation - once the kitchen is finished, I have more major projects!!!  And if you would like an explaination on the duel flush, my son will tell you "the half moon is for pee and the full moon is for poop" ...

After installing 2 new loos in the bathrooms, we took all our efforts outside and made the most of this spazzy weather.  An acre of land keeps us very busy ... Cody and Pierre detached the lawn with the help of Bumblebee - our ride on lawn mower, and then picked up the loose dry lawn matter.  After detaching they spread iron to natually help with the growth of the lawn,

We raked up lots of leftover leaves from the fall.  I finished cleaning up all the vege beds and the surrounding areas.  Cody was excited to see the snow peas starting to come through the soil.

I have yet to start tidying up the perennial garden beds.  That's going to be doosy in itself! 

Hubby was a great help building the hoop house!  This year I plan on a year round harvest, so I'm very excited to see how this is all going to work!

The hoop house is made out of electrical piping as it withstands the temperatures better than the pretty white pvc.  The frame is attached with pipe clips to the existing bed and then held together with electrical ties.

 I'm still looking for clips to hold the plastic on with, but I'm sure I'll find something before too long!  I felt like Goldy Locks at Lowes - that ones too big, that ones too small!

Then I made up a potatoe growing frame.  I found some offcuts, measured them - 24 inches and screwed them together to make 2 layers.

Found some left over weed mat and stapled it to the bottom of one.  Placed them by my beds and filled both of them up with the remaining 'good compost' dirt!  One to grow potatoes in and one to add when the potatoes get higher.  I'll temporarily put some flowers in until the potatoes are ready.

I cut cardboard boxes(12 inches wide) to make better walkways in the vege gardens (waiting to build the kitchen cabinets so I'll have the cardboard for the rest of the garden).  

I made boxes to go around the bases of the birdhouses for planting climbers in (still have 2 more to make), filled up the bird feeders, cleaned up the birdbaths and moved the soil accordingly  ...

The great thing about the weekend was being able to enjoy all our meals outside in the warmth of the day!  I just wished I had more hours in each day!  The body feels tired, yet very good!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I can can! Depression Stock!

Tis a funny thing.  I grew up in a family who preserved to the hilt.  All the cupboards were full with jams and fruits to tide us over through the winter months in New Zealand.  My Grandma was the champion of preserving ... not the 'new, improved, safe methods' now preached ... but the good old fashioned germy method - which surprisingly enough, I lived through ... pleasantly so!

Now I'm trying to provide nuitricious, healthy foods for my own family, and I seem to have come full circle!  Only for some unknow reason, canning scares me ... but for some absolutely bizzaire reason I did it last night!  You seen I had no intention of it ... even after I had put Cody to bed last night ... it was one of those, if I don't try, I'll never succeed moments in life ... instead I had set out to make stock as I was all out.  I'm pretty chuffed with myself that I figured that out last year!  But I really want to utilize my vege garden to it's fullest this year, and I won't be able to unless I figure out how to use that pressure cooker!!!

So I started yesterday by making 'Depression Stock' ... that's my name for it because I feel like this is what life was like then ... and I didn't follow a receipe ... so here's my own one:

Save your good cut offs when you are chopping veges for dishes and store them in a bag/container in freezer until you are needing to make stock ... like this:

I also used some chicken bones that I had previously made stock with and froze them for a second time around.

Toss them in a large pot and add plenty of water ... after a day of simmering I made 22 cups of stock, so I'm done for a while!  I didn't know really what to add, so I added 2 bay leaves, 10 peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of tyme, and 4 fresh sprigs of parsley that I have kept inside all winter ... it looked like this when I started:

I got it up to a nice boil for a tad bit - say 1/2 an hour, then dropped the heat to simmer for the next 4 hours, turned the heat off, left it on the element, and let it cool ... notice how I don't do too much ... you see I'm actually quite busy, and if it's going to take a lot of time in my house, it just isn't going to happen!!!

At the end of it I use a colliander and pour the liquid gold into another container so I don't have to do any of the skimming and 'mothering' throughout the cooking process!  And this is what liquid gold looks like:

The smell was to die for, and the stock looks like it's full of nutrients!!! 

So now I'm thinking ... wouldn't it be great if I could can it instead of taking up my freezer space????  No thawing in advance when I'm in a hurry to whip something up for dinner????  So I went into the basement and dragged up the canning equipment ... thinking, what's the worst that could happen ... really, what's the worst?   Well, I could screw it up, all the bottles could break, it could taste narley, or I could poisen my family and myself ...

So I found 4 lonely empty jars, cleaned them up, got the seals soaking, and bobs-your-uncle, there they are sitting in the pressure canner ready to pressure can!!!  (This looks like a pressure cooker, and is a pressure cooker, but it is also a pressure canner - yes, I do know there is a difference ... I didn't a year ago ... but this is a duel featured pressure pot).

I googled the instructions as I went, and waited ... and waited ... and waited ...

And wouldn't you know it, I have 4 beautiful jars full of liquid gold sitting on my counter still cooling!

So my verdict is, that this could be useful.  That it takes time.  I would need a bigger pressure canner to make the process worth my time and efforts.  I didn't break the jars.  The seals have sealed!!!  And I can can!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hurry up and wait!

That's what it feels like!  We're in 'limbo' with the kitchen renovation.  This weekend we once again made our deadline.  The pole is resized to perfection - thus making my husband a very happy chappy!

The window is ready to go - bar one more application of corking ... The walls 100% and that miserable popcorn ceiling is completly off ready for the 'professionals' to come and mud, sand, plaster ... so we're waiting.

You'd never guess just how hard it is to get good help at an affordable price.  I can tell you the folks in the mudding business definately aren't going through a depression!  I can also tell you they are in no particular hurry for business either ... if you need mudding, plan months in advance ....

Here we have the tools to complete the job ... and here we have the popcorn!  Popcorn anyone?  Unsalted!

Couldn't we do this ourselves?  You ask - well yes, we could, however, 2 major factors come into play.  Firstly - this is one really messy, dusty job, combined that with asthma - not good!  Secondly - the ceiling is so large and we're not so confident that we can get the perfect look we are wanting.  I for one don't want to be doing and redoing the ceiling until it is perfect!!!!

Never fear, we have plenty of other projects to keep us busy in the mean time!  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Business Trip!

One of my favourite tidbits of 'work speaks' when my hubby comes home are the words ... work is sending me to ???????   Translation ... we're going on a fieldtrip!  We thought we were going to Korea this year, but were pleasantly surprised with a trip to the UK instead!

So this last couple of weeks I've been trying to fit in making a 3 week itinary fieldtrip to London, England!  It's quite one thing to plan a tip away when it's just yourselves, but to keep a 7 year old happy is quite another!  Needless to say, Legoland is one of our trips highlights planned ... as is the zoo!

The other piece of the puzzle is how to travel on a shoestring!  Obviously hubby is very well taken care of - hotel, taxis, business class flights, food delic and much more - but Cody and me, well, we're the luggage handlers ... sandwiches, public transportation, economy flights,  lots of parks - you get the picture!  But worth every effort and wouldn't change the opportunity for anything!

We're also thinking of going to Paris for one of the week-ends - taking the chunnel - yeah!  And coming back via Rome ...

With the kitchen still in the middle of reno (over the hump now and see the light at the end of the tunnel), spring gardening in tow, school in full session ... well, it's going to be a crazy month!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hoist away!

Interestingly enough, we moved from 'shell' to 'room' status last weekend ... sadly enough, we're still recovering!

This last week-end however, we had a 'secret weapon' - our friend - Greg Rushton!  Thank you Mr Greg!  Mr Greg came and assisted us with putting up the ceiling and the walls on Sunday!  His help made the difference of the ceiling fully up, or just still in the process!!!! 

On Friday morning, we had the 12 foot ceiling boards delivered - they arrived before 7 am (image the door bell ringing and everyone - except Cody - in bed ... trying to get a sleepin ... it did give us a great start for the rest of the day!!!).  Pierre had taken another vacation day to expedite the process.  Cody had 2 karate graduation ceremonies, so that took up Friday evening and Saturday morning - and just to make the mix more interesting, my Mum was here for the week from Canada ...

Don't forget Smoko break!!! Just how you want the house to look when you have company over!

Then that same evening, Pierre went and rented the 'drywall ceiling lift helper ' for lack of the right tool term ... it looks like this ...

You can see Greg hard at work!   Doesn't he make it look easy????  That rented tool from Home Depot was awesome!  Those 12 ft sheetrock boards are very fragile and can break just like that!  So once the sheetrock was loaded, there was no more holding, and it made the job much quicker and smoother!  Definately worth the rental!!!

You can see Greg putting in supports.  These supports are going to hold the cabinets in place.

So it's about 9 pm now and we're putting the kitchen back so that we can function until the next week-end!  Our bodies ach!  My arms are still sore ... the house still is covered with layers of dust - cleaning continues to be a nightmare ... laundry keeps mounting - it's at K1 proportions!!!!

So this weekend we're planning on tweeking some stuff, revisiting the window, completing the 'shell' by finishing the walls, removing the remaining popcorn off the rest of the ceiling (blugh!!!!) - and as we have a contemporary home, that means alot of popcorn - in time for the plaster to come and give our kitchen a pretty 'skin'.  There, that should keep us busy!  But will we complete everything we need to do ??????  I guess we'll have to wait and see ....