Monday, February 28, 2011

Is being ALONE underrated?

Having never really lived alone I don't feel very qualified to answer this question. I lived at home with my family growing up; then briefly (3 months) had a bachelor suite while going to college; then moved into shared accommodation while working as a chambermaid at a Banff hotel; then went to a live in nanny job; then back to my parents for two months; then into a room mate situation; then had my own place for 9 whole days before I met my first husband and he basically started to stay there semi permanently; then lived with him for the next 18 years; then lived with my kids; then my next husband moved in and here I am today! So not sure that 3 months and 9 days qualifies as ever having lived alone? Actually sounds kind of pathetic when laid out like that!

I, of course now live with my family and shall until either I die, or the kids move out and my husband passes on. Not dwelling on dramatic or anything, just looking at why sometimes I want to scream if I don't get my way! No, really, I just need space sometimes. Now, to me, space does not mean living in the same home as other people when you basically are not speaking to each other, that is just creepy and is always incredibly frustrating. Space does not mean everyone doing their own thing without any interaction. Space does means I do my thing, don't feel like I am letting anyone else down by not doing what they want; not feeling like I am being judged for what I do or don't do; not feeling like I am being selfish; not feeling as though there is some annoying undercurrent of something bothering someone; not being ignored or feeling like I or they are trying to hard to make people happy.

I have recently talked to people who are going through life changes, either separation, a spouse has passed away, they know that something drastic is on the horizon or they are planning to make a midnight move. I just don't think any of those types of knowing you will be alone ever feel good. I suppose if you are alone by choice and you are comfortable with it and not always hoping to just find someone, that it can be pretty cool.

I think that I would enjoy knowing that I can make as much as I want of something, as little, make it decadent, or severely healthy; I can clean OR not; I can go for a walk without feeling like I should but just do it because I want to, OR not; I can go visit someone and stay away all day without worrying about another or when I should get home. I can buy a bottle of wine and watch it age on the shelf and dream about the day I open it or I can drink the whole thing in one night, just because. I can cry and let myself take a depression day for no reason other than, I need to clean out my tear ducts. I can laugh and watch stupid shows on TV all day, not because they make any difference in the world but because it just feels good to belly laugh at stupid antics. I can watch tear jerkers and have an old movie day like Gone with the Wind or download the whole Mad Max series and remember Mel Gibson before we found out he was an alcoholic, cheating, wife beating, anti Semite. I can stay in my jammies for two days without going anywhere (I would still brush my teeth though, because otherwise it is just gross!) and not answer the phone or I can dress up really nice, put make up on and make a trip to town to have a dinner out even if I can't afford it. 

I guess the fun part would be the fact that you don't have to justify anything. This doesn't mean you shouldn't ever justify anything, just a relief to be absolved of that from time to time. Now, this doesn't mean that by being alone you get to whine or cry about it, because in my scenario we are talking a choice. I don't think anyone ever really plans to spend their life alone, but it happens and we can learn to like it. The other great part about being alone is that you can have people over to visit that you like and not have to invite people you don't like because someone else might want them to come over. You can sit up and talk and laugh loudly all night without bothering anyone; or you can go to bed at 8:00pm because you are tired.

I don't know, being alone sounds like it has some definite advantages. I am not planning anything, not making any changes, just thinking that if we have not completely destroyed our planet, not used up all the fossil fuels, my kids eventually move out and should I some day be living alone, I just might do some of those things. (I might have to get a house pet to talk to though, because clearly my voice needs to be heard.) In the meantime, I love my little life! I would like those people who are undergoing change, planned for or not, to think about some of the things they have that we who have people with us all the time don't have. So, maybe for five minutes you won't feel sad or lonely. 

Come on! Now get out some movies that you used to love that are no longer politically correct, make up a big tub of popcorn, stay IN your jammies, NO getting dressed! Grab a half sack of beer or some fizzy pop, kick up your feet, unplug the phone, turn off Facebook and email and remember the good times! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Classic Parenting Moment...

I wasn't planning to post anything so soon since y  I wrote a long post.yesterday..  However! The story must be told. It is one of those moments as a parent that you wonder, do you admit that you did something and tried to cover it before your child ever noticed OR go with what they think and cover it that way? Now that I have your attention...

Over the past few months that we have lived here, in our 100+ year old house, both Len and Rachel believe they have either seen or felt the presence of something no longer human. A ghost? A spirit? Something shifting curiously through the room? Keep in mind, neither Jessica nor I have EVER felt anything and we are all comfortable and safe here. (No Amityville Horror!)

Last night, as Jessica was getting ready for bed, I was in the bathroom changing and I heard her SCREAM in terror! My first response, "Jessica! What now???" My child does tend to be over dramatic and cry or wail at the slightest provocation. I opened the bathroom door, just having finished dressing myself in my jammies and when I looked down at her face, I viewed COMPLETE terror!

Jessica is pale but she had NO colour what so ever! Her freckles were even white. She could barely breathe and was trembling! I had no idea what was wrong and I was scared! She looked up at me "MMMMOOOMMMYYY... " Her little chest heaving and shuddering as she could barely make out the words "THiiissss wasss on mmmyyyy pillllowwww!" I looked down to see her white with pink polka dots stuffed elephant staring up at me, it's head almost decapitated and will admit, was briefly stunned. She said... "It was on my pillow! Who did this? WAAHhHHH"""

I picked up the elephant as I sheltered my panic stricken 9 year old that was the colour of white out and pointed to Rachel, "Do YOU know ANYTHING about this????" Thinking she may have placed it on her pillow. Rachel said, "WHAT? No! That is SO OOOOO creepy!" ... Remember, Rachel is the one who "saw" a ghost flutter through the kitchen from time to time. I now had TWO scared children.

I took Jessica to her room, showed her the bed and asked again, "Tell me more, WHAT happened?" All the while getting wetter and wetter as she heaved and cried on my chest. "MMmooommmY! My teddy! Why??"
I told her we can't figure this out if you don't calm down, which she finally did, enough to tell me, "I was getting ready for bed. I put my jammies on and saw my elephant on the dryer. I picked up it, so happy because it wasn't in my bed last night. So I hugged it and put it on my pillow. Then I walked away. When I came BAACckkkkk ... (heave, heave) ... it was THERE! It's scary head off staring at me!"

I instantly felt a complete body wracking guilt ridden moment... How could I tell her that I had ripped off it's head? How could I tell her that I forgot and thought I had hidden it, so I could repair it and then put it back like nothing happened? (You know, just like when the fish or hamster die and you put a new one in before your child discovers it is not sleeping permanently!) I felt like CRAP! (I also tried not to laugh hysterically at the same time, since my children, now in part due to me, figured our house was haunted!) 

Backing up my story a bit.... The night before, I had been speaking to my niece in Australia for well over an hour. During that time, I sat on Jessica's bed, chatted, and fiddled with her stuffies. I noticed the white and pink elephant had a long loose string below it's neck. So, not thinking I pulled and prodded at it, trying to rip it off so it was not hanging there. No, didn't use scissors, just RIPPED away until... you guessed it! Elly the Elephant's head FLIPPED completely backward with a wad of stuffing hanging out of its neck and head. I quickly hid the elephant ON THE DRYER under some laundry and figured, I can stitch it back together before she ever has a clue. Of course later, when I made my bed with fresh sheets for the night, I completely forgot that the stuffie was there and it was exposed. 
So, the next night, when Jess got ready for bed, she picked it up, happily hugged it and placed it on her bed, not noticing ANYTHING! Until of course, she went back to her room and saw it on her pillow! How could I possibly say I did it after that? AAAHHH! Parenting, some moments, you just go with. So, I convinced her that it probably came off when I washed it and I guess I didn't notice and it landed on the dryer because it was ripped and I will sew it up today with no more worries! Yes, I felt like a big piece of poo lying to her! After the terror though, I didn't want her to get mad at me, so I took the easy road! (Dear washing machine, sorry for blaming you, but, you are an inanimate object and I needed to be the hero. Love your owner.)

In the meantime, I had two children who figured something haunted had happened in our house. I do believe I managed to convince Jessica that it was just a matter of coincidences and I was prepared for the potential nightmares - thankfully she did not have any! Rachel however, had told her friend on FaceBook - who already knew about the "ghost" she had seen and she freaked HIM out! I must say I started to laugh hysterically when she told me that and I explained what really happened. She did find it hilarious (good thing) and I said she better tell him, but she has decided it was more fun to watch him be freaked out.

So, to end my little drama, it does not appear our house is haunted, we have asked around and do not believe anyone ever died here, a spirit did not decapitate the stuffie and place it on Jessica's pillow and besides having a REALLY good laugh, we all slept well!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What's Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It?

As you may know, if you have ever read my blog, I am married with children. Sounds typical and idyllic, but is it? Depending on your current age, society may have dictated to you "get married, have children" or "have children maybe get married" or "stay single". No matter what your situation, if you are in, have ever been in or would ever like to be in, a relationship... read on! You are about to receive the age old wisdom of Mama Sarah.

When beginning a relationship we have those feelings that Tina Turner speaks of in "What's Love Got To Do With It?" She says:
You must understand
That the touch of your hand
Makes my pulse react
That it's only the thrill
Of boy meeting girl
Opposites attract
Note: Did you know that scientists have tested the endorphins in people who are newly in love and the really passionate endorphins only last physiologically for one year? So, remember that when you think things are starting to get dull and SPICE them up yourself! Nature can't do it all for you!
Let's start with some thoughts about "What is a Relationship?" According to the Free Online Dictionary:
Relationship (noun) Definition:
1. the state of being connected or related
2. association by blood or marriage; kinship
3. the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etc. a business relationship
4. an emotional or sexual affair or liaison
5. (Mathematics) Logic Maths another name for relation 
Well for the purposes of today's blog, lets forget about number 5 - relation in Math. (Yuck! Math is my LEAST favourite subject next to Chemistry!) However, math is important in your finances and chemistry for intimacy so I guess they KIND of are important!

I of course, being a self described expert, shall pass on my knowledge and expertise, to you my fans. (OK yes, I am joking here, no one is an expert, we all learn our life lessons and move on.... I am not kidding about my fans though.)
The past year has been a time of great reflection for my husband and I as well as a time to determine how we wish to create our future. I say reflection as we had to decide if we both wanted to move in the same direction, if we had some of the same goals and were willing to work together, no matter how hard, to get there. We both also had to analyze our past relationships and assess when we did the right thing and where we were wrong. No matter how easily the relationship fell apart or how easy it is to blame on one person, it is the actions of both that ultimately  cause the breakdown.
I say create our future because, if we don't work together to accomplish our goals and we are not honest with each other about what goes wrong, don't take personal responsibility and don't help ourselves repair it, we will not succeed. In our case it was a huge adjustment to move across the country. For Len, he knew it was possible he may never see his friends or children again. For me, I knew that I was taking my children to a new province, away from all of our family and placing them in situation of great adjustment. We had to play the pros and cons very seriously in this decision and we eventually made the final decision together. (I apologize for the run on sentences, it has been a problem since about grade 2, when my teacher Mrs. Ritchie told me ... Sarah! Those are run on sentences! Oops doing it again! Please let's get back on topic?)
It would be easy for Len to say, "I only moved because Sarah gave me an ultimatum." (Yes, I did, guilty!) It would be easy for me to say, "It was your choice, you didn't have to come." However, we did make the choice together and planned the trip, our method of travel, etc. all together. In hindsight, we have no doubt we made lots of mistakes! I could blame some on him, he could blame some on me, we can BOTH blame the trucker who hit us, but we did this together and there really is NO ONE to blame. 

Although I am going to blog this in relation to marriage, please note that it is true for ALL relationships and apply my advice appropriately to your situation or don't. It is your choice! Although you may not agree with all I have to say, I think that you will concur with much of it. When some people get married, in a church, there is a requirement to attend pre-marital counseling first to assess whether this is the right decision for the couple. No, this is not something I had to do and that was ok with me. In retrospect, it might have been a good idea, although I highly doubt many couples go to session 3 and decide, wait a minute, I am NOT marrying you! I do think a lot of us know before we walk down that aisle or go before that justice of the peace, that we are doing the wrong thing, but do it anyway. Why? I am guessing for many people it is embarrassment, feel trapped or think we have to get married because everyone does it, or this is the "American" dream.

I was in the wedding industry for 5 years and watched couples who adored each other get married; couples who put up with each other get married; couples who were simply getting married to satisfy the parents. If you are in a relationship think about why. What do you want to get out of it? What are you willing to put into it? How are you going to deal with the boredom that comes along with it? The kids that get "in the way" and don't allow you time for yourself? What will you do when times get hard? Finances fall apart? How will you deal with those situations where there is "another person" interested in you and quite willing to try to pull you out of your relationship? Are you prepared to deal with those moments when your partner's looks begin to fade? They put on some extra weight? Frustrated because he/she is working too much to support the family? Expect him/her to work then do all the housework too? Maybe their energy is waning? One or both of you are feeling less attracted to each other? One is progressing well in a career or life path and the other feels left behind? Many of these feelings happen in every relationship. A couple has to actively and consciously work through the less than fabulous times.

It always makes me sad to see couples break up, especially when there are children involved. It makes me even sadder though, to watch couples who are unhappy or bad for each other, stay together "because of the children". I just don't think that helps anyone. So, when I see couples that are not working, on their relationship who have children and they breakup the family, sometimes I am relieved even though I feel sad for them all. I hope at those times parents will put the children first, find ways to communicate that are positive, withhold venting and blame in front of the kids and be amicable even when they don't feel like it. 

Stubborn couples can be a challenge! Sometimes they are BOTH doing the wrong thing, not sharing information, not being honest about their feelings, blaming each other for the disharmony. Unless each person in the couple is able to sit down or write out or go to a counselor - something - to let out their feelings, hurt, anger, frustration, lack of motivation, personal and shared goals. I can tell you that Len and I have had to do this many times. We love each other, laugh together, appreciate each other, are attracted to each other and still wonder at times if we are doing the right thing. It never changes for anyone. As soon as things start to get too comfortable, it is easy to take each other for granted. No relationship is simple, without hard times or perfect. 

My thoughts to you all are simply:
  1. Love who you are with - and who they are inside and out
  2. Laugh with them (not at them - they don't like that too much!)
  3. Remain intimate - remember to kiss and say I LOVE YOU and mean it
  4. Plan together and PLAY together
  5. Encourage each other and show excitement
  6. Be open and honest - even when it hurts
  7. Communicate regularly
  8. Don't get lost in the day to day - it easy to do with kids, jobs, commitments - remember YOU are the commitment for each other and it needs to remain near the top!
  9. Remember the things that made you fall in love and revive them
  10. Do what is right ... for you and your relationship - sometimes that means counseling, sometimes it means separate, sometimes it means apologizing or admitting you made a mistake and it always means being true to yourself
Well, I suppose I have rattled on sufficiently, having adequately earned my Masters in the School of Hard Knocks and I pass on my knowledge and understanding (or lack thereof). I wish you all light, love, happiness and honesty - to yourself and your mate. No couple is happy all the time, but it is remembering the good, forgiving the bad and moving forward that will allow you to sustain that marriage. (Now I have to go grab Len and throw him on the bed before the kids get home from school!)

Now on a slightly lighter note! Many of you have heard of and read the late Erma Bombeck's advice over the years. No, I do not purport to be her reincarnate, but I would like to post the poem she wrote about her life as she was dying of cancer. I do think that much of it is relative to today's topic.

If I Had My Life To Live Over - By Erma Bombeck

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. 
I would have talked less and listened more. 
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. 
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace 
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains. 

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life. 
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. 
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. 

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.' 

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look at it and really see it . . live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Say Hello to "Itsy Bitsy Spider Web Design"

Just a quick note to let you all know that my business plan WAS approved! 
I shall tell you much more later, but suffice it to say YAY!
PS to those of you who asked to be deleted from the blog, WILL DO!
Thank you all for your ongoing support!
Sincerely, Sarah Sherman aka ME!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


You may remember a few weeks ago that I posted a tribute to my Grandma. Well, today I saw some pictures from the Family Reunion held in honour of Grandma's 90th birthday and thought I would just put some pictures up. Grandma, love you and think about you a lot.... In your honour I am GOING to make your famous home made noodles this weekend and MAYBE even perogies! 
I hope my girls love them as much as I always loved yours! 

My brother, his girlfriend, my girls and I with Grandma at the reunion.

Grandma getting ready to blow out the candles for her 90th!

Grandma with her 5 surviving children, from left: Agnes, Klaas (my dad!), Peter, Abe and Eva   
Sadly Grandma was predeceased by her children Bill, Annie and Dave

“She is Gone”
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn you back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

(Short poem by David Harkins of Silloth, Cumbria in the United Kingdom)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

To those on my email list... Please Read!

OK I put you (one of ten people) on my direct email list. This way every time I post a blog, you get an email. However, I want to change that as more people want on it and I can only add ten. Could I please ask EACH of you, who get my blog IN your email to take a moment, go to my blog and on the right side of the page is a blue box. The blue box is to add to my mailing list. This way I can add more people. It is a simple process and all it asks for is your email. If you don't in the next few days I will just figure you are glad to have me delete you from my email and not bore you any more with my silly thoughts! 

So, go to the blue box, enter your name and email. There will be a verification box, this helps delete SPAM or unwanted junk, please enter the code. Then I have added a second step verification. You will go to your inbox for your email (check SPAM too just in case) and then click on the validation process and VOILA! You are one of  the lucky people who will get my newsletter/blog update. (It is REALLY not cumbersome, I just put down the step by step process for you!)

Thank you and have a great day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

El Nina, El Nino, Global Warming, Climate Change...

People asked if I was prepared for the long cold New Brunswick winters and I thought, yes I am. Overall we have fared well. I think we were prepared and we have even enjoyed the winter. It is now late February, well, past the middle of the month and downhill to March now. We have had lots of snow and they say there is more on the way, but mixed with freezing rain this time. None of it has bothered me so far, although I wish my truck could say the same!

To answer the "people", yes I was prepared for snow, but yes this is different. During my winters in Calgary and Kamloops we had snow and it seemed to hit by early November and never melted again until spring. We plugged our trucks in, got wind burnt and frost bite on our ears. The cold was colder and longer. In Kamloops I knew for sure that smoking was an addiction not a casual habit, as my co workers stood outside for ten minutes, three times per day, freezing their ass'ets' off. Calgary is where I discovered wearing long dangling earrings during the windy winter was NOT recommended, unless of course you liked frozen earrings. 

In New Brunswick we have received more snow than I have ever seen, I am sure. Even during the winter of 1996 or 2007 we never saw this kind of snow. Of course BC snow is heavier, wetter and slushier during the melt. This snow is kind of fun! Light, easy to shovel and to quote a new friend "Light as chicken feathers". So not really a big deal. Except for the 6 foot drifts surrounding my house. Today was warm, probably hit about 5 or 6 Celsius and huge clumps of snow and ice fell off the roof. We had to be cautious as we walked outside doorways to make sure that we were not impaled by giant icicles. (Someone might think it was one of Len's murder mysteries but the weapon had melted!)

So, back to my title... The locals tell me this was a harsher winter than they have seen for awhile. More snow and more often. Is this El Nina? Are we going through a climate change? We know the ice bergs are melting in the Arctic and land is disappearing as the water covers the shores. We know that villages are having to move as the perma frost is no longer frozen. Whole islands of the world are completely sinking and no longer on maps. We know it is colder where it shouldn't be and warmer where it should be cold. The ocean life is dying and the creatures on land are losing their habitats. Global warming? Lost ozone? What is it? 

My theory is, (please keep in mind I am not a scientist and barely passed math or science in high school - although, I did excel in typing and sewing)... My theory is... all of the above. Based on what I see and hear about the world now and what I read about history and dinosaurs and the ice age, I think the world does go through climate changes every so often. Perhaps it is a cleansing. El Nina and El Nino are the colder and warmer winter weather fronts than are normally expected in the area.

Global warming, yes, we have destroyed this planet. Since the industrial revolution began in the 18th century and reached it's peak in the 19th century, mankind has been rushing to bigger and better and corporate powers have grabbed all they could as fast as they could. The poor were used and abused, working conditions were atrocious and whole families worked to struggle to survive, while the richer became richer. Farmland was thrown over for coal mines and logging. Machines were created that spit out poisons even back then.Since the end of World War 2 the major countries have rushed to get the most product out, bigger cars, faster jets, who can reach the moon first and now the great quest for oil.

Oh wait, was that the industrial revolution or is this still happening today? Here we are, struggling to keep up with each other, have the latest, stay in style, drive as far as we can to get the cheapest products and to what aim? I read in the news how the world is in a food crisis like none ever seen before. I watch as my own country closes down on agricultural lands for more pipelines and to sell our water. I drove across Canada this summer and saw fields but little farmed land. This was in part to the weather and in part to the economy but also due to big business shutting down small farmers. Are food is poisoned with pesticides, the seeds are genetically modified and don't reproduce, who exactly is this supposed to help? People no longer know how to truly take care of themselves, grow food, preserve it, cook with the basics, make clothes, keep warm or teach their children how to survive should anything happen. 

We all know the Mayans say the world will end in 2012. The Christians say the Second Coming is on the horizon. Some people believe that an intergalactic force is coming and we must be prepared. Whatever it is, something is happening. The world is changing. We must find a way to change with it. Make our land and lives matter. Stop our selfishness and think more about how to fix what we can, do our part to make the world better... Good idea in case you are one of the survivors. 

I can't say I am changing enough, but I am trying. I need to do more. I need to become as self sufficient as I can, but why? Either the world is ending as we know it and a few people will remain who need to be able to re inhabit the planet OR the Second Coming is happening and we need to show thankfulness for what we have been given OR the world continues to disintegrate at an ever increasing pace and except for the few who know how to do ANYTHING other than work in an office, sit on a computer or sell merchandise and SOMEONE has to grow food, make clothes and keep us going! Should this all happen, being rich and having a nice house won't really matter, unless there is a bunker underneath stored with heritage seeds and food storage. 

I do have to say that it excites me to see more and more people getting their message out there. More websites and magazines we can access to learn "how to". I have friends that are getting it and buying what they can organic and choosing not to use mass produced products like face creams, that last forever and what could it be doing to them and their body? I am learning how to make organic cosmetics/creams at home, how to make my own biodegradable laundry detergent for a fraction of the cost and that will not harm my land that wants to stay pure. 

I read on a friends Facebook status recently "I'm proposing that we call organic gardening just GARDENING, because that's what it is. It's not it's own new thing, it's how it's supposed to be done. And any other kind of gardening should now be called "CHEMICAL GARDENING" because that's what it is. Ok? Ok." Makes sense to me! 20 years ago we never even thought much about this because so many people were still raising natural food (at least home in gardens) but with the GMO's changing our food and seeds we don't have much choice but to consciously decide to be organic and have to search for where to get what we need. 

Please decide what you can do to change. We all need to. It won't change anything immediately and may not do enough to create a change, but we HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!

I guess I have joined the radicals...... 
Signed a granola grandma in New Brunswick

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesdays Musings

Learning to be home and not running around endlessly and needlessly took some time, but I think I am just about there. I could stay here for days and not seeing people is not bothering me. I have not become isolated and removed but I have become more thoughtful about what I do and why. This is all part of our new lifestyle choice. (Did I mention I really like it?)

Currently I leave the house twice a week, to go to a part time job on Monday and Wednesday and try to take care of all of our errands and needs at that time. Wednesday is long, up with kids early, straighten the house up a bit, off to work, pick kids up from school, any errands, take care of banking and groceries in town, off to two dance classes in a row and then home again. I leave the house around 9am and get home before 10pm. 

I am learning to be more careful, plan ahead better, less wasteful and I think I am assimilating quite well into my rural life. Remember we are 71km away from town and it takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes, depending on the weather and country road conditions to get there. We don't go often. I am very excited about our garden going in so that we have more food available here and I don't have to be dependent on the stores. Once we have chickens and goats even more of our needs will be met. 

We are hoping to get some sort of a green house up so that we can start seedlings and have them on the way since planting is not until almost June. The chicken house will be up first I am sure and I anxiously await the day we can go get our eggs for the first time! We are researching the right dog for us and it looks like it may be a Great Pyrenees as they are good winter dogs, care for livestock and protect the family. We just have to make sure the other temperaments are suitable and find one. I have contacted several rescue agencies and we shall have to wait and see if it happens.

I hope to get to start building websites soon since I can do it from home, low overhead and the money will be helpful to get on to the next project. Currently I am working for a lovely couple about a half hour away. The job is great but the fuel consumption is horrendous. Diesel is about 15 cents a litre more than gas in New Brunswick and I am currently paying $1.243 per litre, by the time summer hits.. well I just can't think about that! Of course everyone says get a different vehicle but it is not in my current budget. I put $40 in on Monday and it didn't even go to a half tank. I drove home in the heavy snow and by the time I got home, I was down to a quarter of a tank! Stressful! It also makes me seriously wonder if I should continue in my job! Oh well, a bit more time to ponder that. I would hate to leave the couple as they are wonderful to me, but financially, if you spend half or more of what you make to get there... is it feasible? 

Well, it is time to get ready and start my long day. I just thought I would throw a few words out there into blog land! The girls are good. Len is well and seems to be in less pain than he was, which is great! The sun is up and no snow on today's horizon!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines - a true Hallmark holiday! ... and free chocolate!

Really it is all about Peace and Love

Timeless Valentine

As time goes by from year to year,
One thing is surely true, my dear;
Though decades come and decades go,
Just seeing you sets me aglow.

Time shifts my body; I start to sag,
When I pass a mirror, it can make me gag.
My joints all ache; I can hardly move;
Still a smile from you, and I’m in the groove.

Getting older can be a pain,
But with you along, I can’t complain.
Despite the things that we go through,
I know I’ll never stop loving you.

Your loving heart turns life to play,
As we laugh at time from day to day.
So I write this poem, and I’ll hang my sign,
Saying, "Always Be My Valentine."

By Karl and Joanna Fuchs

"Time shifts my body, I start to sag... The girls look good though don't they?"

I can't take credit for this poem, but I find it apropos! It truly describes what we go through, year by year. Clearly Valentines day had a significance back in the 10th century... Now it is a day to feel compelled to do something, a day to go with the crowd and say I LOVE YOU! What's wrong with that? No, you should not have to be told to say I love you to the one you are with, but some people just WON'T do it any other time! So, let's ... say it with me "Happy Valentines Day Honey! I love you!" That wasn't so hard was it?

Now the tough part, what to expect? My first husband REFUSED to acknowledge Valentines Day and that bothered me for awhile, then I figured, who cares? He would wait until a week AFTER and fill my car with flowers or something to unexpectedly tell me he loved me. My current husband, (Love you Len!) is usually pretty good about these things even when I say not to worry about it. This year however, he is kind of isolated. He is an hour from town and doesn't get around much, especially not without me. I don't worry though, he tells me all the time how he loves me, tells me I am funny, says I make him laugh, tells me I am pretty without makeup and that is all I need or really want. 

If we were in better shape money wise this year, I thought it would have been fun to take some branches and tie some organic seed packets to them as a Valentines bouquet! Go with the theme but make it work better into our current lives. For the kids the Valentine Fairy always arrived at our house and left them a gift or two and some chocolates... Well, I asked Jess today if she remembered to send the Valentine Fairy a letter to tell her we moved, she didn't. I wonder if she will find us? Well, if she does (um, it IS me!) then there will be a little something at the breakfast table, but not much. 

We had more fun today, making, cutting out, cooking and decorating all of the Valentine cookies and I think the girls will remember that more than a gift from the fairy. (A neighbour's child told me today the fairy doesn't come to their house anyway, they only get a card.) So, Maybe the Fairy Can't Find This Neighbourhood! Too rural and she only does urban 'hoods?

All is well, I really do think that we over do these things and the day is not about the what, it is about the why. So, on that note, there is a little gift from the fairy, we made tons of cookies and are giving some to neighbours and maybe tomorrow at dinner I will shape their food in a heart... Just to say:
I love you family!
Jessica's Class Party Tray

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Today is the first day of the rest of my life!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life, well, until tomorrow anyway, then IT's the first day! I was reading an article earlier today regarding the state of our world, planet, etc. and how there was not much we could do anymore except to give up hope. It seemed like a rather bleak outlook to me, so I continued to read. I guess that was the hook, eh? The article went on to say how we could feel hopeless and cry but then suck it up and move on. Do what we can each day to make the world a better place. So, that is why I am here... To help make YOUR world a better place! (OK! I will stop being cheeky!)

I guess I could feel down because the snow drifts surrounding my house have become higher than my window sills. I could feel down because the odds are we still have two months of winter left or because it is -14 c and we are due for another 20cm of snow on Monday. I could be depressed because I am broke and don't even have money to get the stuff I need to make crafts during the long winter. I could be discouraged because we still don't have bedrooms and if we are lucky the kids will be upstairs by summertime. I am worried though, because I am not really down or depressed. So if I am NOT depressed, am I ok? 

None of it seems really too important. I am still so appreciative of where I am and where I live. I hear about the predictions of 'when' the world will end. Odds are when it does I am not one of the fortunate to be lifted off to heaven and I may regret that when the time comes. BUT! I know I have lived my best, done my best, met challenges, survived them, moved on, tried not to take too much time to feel sorry for myself (although I have definitely taken some time for self pity) and love the people in my life. I am not a mean person, I try to help others when I can and I am thankful for my good fortune every day. I try to teach my children right from wrong and what is important. I hope that in the end, this will all account for something, but if not, c'est la vie!

I have discovered or re-discovered talents I never knew or forgot I had. I like to bake, keep house for my family, welcome my kids home at the end of the day, sit for hours with them to do homework and overall, I am pretty good with my life. I have a man that I love and he loves me. I have kids that are good, albeit manic and hormonal, but that's normal right? I have wonderful friends, even at a distance and when I go to bed at night I let out a big, pleased sigh and tuck right in.

My wish for others is to: find something, somewhere or someone you like. Make that be the best it can be for you. Don't keep searching for things to get better, just make them better. I am learning to live with less and as long as I have food, shelter, clothing and can get the kids to school all is well. I will know on Tuesday if my business plan goes through, which I would like! If it doesn't, I shall proceed anyway, just with less money. The money is nice and will allow us to finish rooms and build that chicken coop, get birds and maybe a small barn for some dairy goats. If the money does not come, then we will still do it, but slower and with more caution. Either way, life is good, the winter shall end in 8 weeks or so (I just made a Freudian slip, I typed "in 8 weeks or snow" instead of so! It may be might fault now if winter takes longer!)

I seriously want to write something important and I have been playing with writing for the past year to determine how to go forward and what to write. I have a few ideas and I keep rolling them around in my mind. If you think I should go for it, let me know! If not, well, who cares? Ha  ha! Just kidding! I really do appreciate any and all feedback.

Now, for today, I couldn't get to the store or have money to buy a gift, so I created one. I made a book, semi-scrapbooked it, for an 11 year old girl. I gave her ideas on how to be a happy teen, including helpful websites and information on inner beauty as well as some home grown tips on outer beauty! Did you know that a ripe tomato, sliced up, placed all over your face, (avoiding the eyes and mouth) will help remove black heads and add some colour and freshness to it? Wow, eh? Seem I am even learning how to make organic, home grown gifts! (Kind of proud of that actually!) Problem is, we have a party for a ten year old boy tomorrow and I think he would rather eat the tomato than sit with it on his face... Have to come up with something else for him! Ideas?

Time to make lunch, then layer on the heavy winter clothing. We are off to have a sliding/skidoo party outside for a few hours and then roast marshmallows over the fire and have hot chocolate. Yes it is cold, yes there is snow... We may as well make the most of it! Perhaps Jessica and I will build an igloo and post pictures soon!

As the great Sheryl Crowe says: " It's not having what you want, It's wanting what you've got" I think that is a good reminder for us all. I have highlighted a few favourite parts of the song, so ENJOY! So although this is a fun song with a good beat, it has an awesome message! See you soon Friends and Fans!

"Soak Up The Sun"

My friend the communist
Holds meetings in his RV
I can't afford his gas
So I'm stuck here watching TV
I don't have digital
I don't have diddly squat
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got

I'm gonna soak up the sun
Gonna tell everyone
To lighten up (I'm gonna tell 'em that)
I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up o I'm gonna soak up the sun

I'm gonna soak up the sun
I've got a crummy job
It don't pay near enough
To buy the things it takes
To win me some of your love
Every time I turn around
I'm looking up, you're looking down
Maybe something's wrong with you
That makes you act the way you do
Maybe i am crazy too


I'm gonna soak up the sun
While it's still free

I'm gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me
Don't have no master suite
I'm still the king of me
You have a fancy ride, but baby
I'm the one who has the key
Every time I turn around
I'm looking up, you're looking down
Maybe something's wrong with you
That makes you act the way you do
Maybe I am crazy too


I'm gonna soak up the sun
Got my 45 on
So I can rock on. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday in Fosterville, NB

Well, the feedback I am getting is that the food looks good and the snow doesn't! I guess it is a matter of taste. Perhaps in a year or two it will bother me, not this year though! It is all just a novelty still... I hope I continue to enjoy it! Of course life is different here and I spend my time trying to stay busy rather than the old, I NEED TIME! My mantra now is not, I need 4 more hours in a day! It is only, I need more money to do what I want! Oh well, I hope to know in about a week the result of my business plan. She (the consultant) did indicate it was one of the best she had seen and was very encouraging so I am just enjoying the last week or so before I get the results. 

We received another foot of snow and it is too deep to really even use a skidoo at the moment, not that we have one. The neighbours do and it seems to be getting stuck in the deep drifts. I keep trying to get the kids to build me a snowman, but to no avail and I have to say that I don't think snowman building ever really interested me. I guess I did it when I was a kid, but there were usually about four or more working on it at the same time and the job went quickly. 

Just a quick note for today! I posted a new story on my other blog and it is called "Beauty is only skin deep". I hope you enjoy it! Now, off to make dinner and get the kids ready for school tomorrow!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The New Year in New Brunswick... A few photos!

Home Baked Porridge Bread
Farm cookies until the Real farm starts!
Plowed snow first floor window
The living room view to the street
The shop in the blizzard
Ice huts & fishing

So glad we have 2 wood stoves!

The kids sent home early because of the blizzard!

The New Brunswick Sky at Night

The Sky

The sky is clear
The stars I see
The trees look tall
No shadows for me
I feel so small
The universe is near
Up on Green Mountain
The  coyote cries
The bear are asleep
The moose they moan
The deer will hide
From a hunters gun
The duck are gone
Pending summer’s sun
I am small
The trees are tall
The sky is vast
I fall to sleep.
At last…

Sarah Sherman

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If you are a mom.... Like this (An ode to Facebook Posts!) sort of...

There is a Facebook posting that goes around and it says:
"PROMISE TO MY CHILDREN: I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you crazy, be your worst nightmare, embarrass you in front of your friends, & hunt you down like a bloodhound..because I LOVE YOU! When you understand that, I will know you are a responsible adult. You will NEVER find someone who loves you, prays for you, cares about you, & worries about you more than your MOM! Repost if you're a Mom!! ♥"
 I see this posted on so many mom's profiles and we all mean it! BUT! Do our kids get it? Do they realize when we say "I will stalk you" it means,  I will keep an eye on you, know where you are and help you make the right choices. "I will flip out on you" means, I will be upset if you lie to me, endanger yourself or are disrespectful. I want you to learn to be someone of value, someone of quality who can be trusted and loved. "I will lecture you" means, I will repeat myself over and over and over and over... because I know that half of what I say is gone before I am done my sentence, BUT, if I repeat myself and show you that the basics of who you are and who you can be, does not change even though people do and society does, one day it will sink in and you will be glad that I never gave up on you.

"I will drive you crazy" means, I will sound old fashioned, I will look angry, I will make you wish you could forget who I was... but I will NEVER forget who you are, who you will be and how much I love you. I do have feelings too and I will be hurt when you throw words at me that sting but I will always be here. "I will be your worst nightmare" means, when you date that guy who treats you bad, I will kick him to the curb. I don't care that you think he is the one, I will tell you why he is not and that it is NEVER OK to let him treat you like you don't matter... You DO matter and you always WILL matter. 

"I will embarrass you in front of your friends" means, when you talk trash, are mean, speak vulgar, or act like less than you are, to impress someone else, I will call you on it. You NEVER need to bring yourself down to someone else to make them think you are cool. You are MORE than cool! You are beautiful, amazing, talented and need to give yourself credit for that. "I will hunt you down like a bloodhound" means, if I think you are unsafe, I will find you. If someone takes you and you don't want to be there, I will bring you back. If you are in danger, I will try to protect you, even if I get hurt. 

My child, you are more valuable than anything on this earth. You have great things to accomplish in your life. There are times when life is hard and we want to give up, but we can't. You got me through when I wanted to give up and I will do all I can to get you through when you want to give up. YOU are the only person who needs to learn to love you. The rest of us do and want you to love yourself.

If you are a mom... post this. Being a mom, doesn't mean "I will give you the best things" it means I will give you the BEST example and love. Being a mom doesn't mean "I have to have lots of money" it means, I have to have lots of love and call on myself to have lots of patience, even when I lose it. Being a mom means teaching you how to care for yourself, cook, clean, earn money and be self sufficient and strong, never having to be dependent on another if you don't wan to. Being a mom doesn't mean   anything if I don't teach you, my child, to learn to love yourself, respect yourself, learn the value of a dollar and the value of YOU! 

To both my girls, I love you, I always will. I won't always agree with you. I won't always make you happy, but I will always do what I think is the best thing for you in the long run. I will make mistakes and I may say the wrong thing in anger but I will accept my faults and offer you an apology and try to repair the hurt. I never want you to leave me out of unhappiness or despair. I want you to leave me when you are ready and prepared to take on life's journey and YOUR future.

Your loving mother, as inadequate as I may be some days, I am your mom and love you desperately! If you are a mom... Like THIS!

A poem for my girls..........

My Daughter

Once she was tiny
A mere 7lbs in my hands
Then she grew stronger
My arms held her close
As a toddler she was brave
She could walk a long way
She loved her mama well
She was a survivor I could tell
She hugged me tight
She kissed me goodnight

She continued to grow
A young woman I began to know
She is taller than me now
She thinks she knows it all
But her mother she will come to
When her world begins to fall
There are days we cry together
Then we are birds of a feather
One day she may know
The joy of a mother’s heart

She will learn the sorrow
Of watching your child grow
She will leave me
She will go out on her own
But she will always know
She can return home
Her mother adores her
She is in my heart
No matter where life takes us
We will never be apart

My baby is not 7
She is not even 11
But hopefully by the time
She reaches 27
She will be my friend
In my heart to the end
A mother loves her child
She learns to let go
But the worry, the love
Never from her mind go
Sarah Sherman