Yesterday I celebrated my birthday. It was a good day dear imaginary reader, it began in a different sort of way.
Teach is mid way through the process of getting everything car switched over from the “right coast” (ooo this will tick a few of my imaginary friends off haha) to Onterrible (just to even things up!). Up bright and early, as the early arrival gets to the front of the line at Service Ontario, we headed into town armed with all of the necessary information. It was raining like a son of a gun and the wee little “kids car” was more like a two man kayak in places - let the adventure begin!
Upon arrival teach pulled the lucky number 66 and our wait began. Let me just say that people watching in Service Ontario is quite good, we all looked moderately like drowned rats! The wait wasn’t too long and of course our customer service person wasn’t familiar with the transferring process; help was quickly secured from the rep closest to her. Unfortunate, the “helper” seemed to have left her customer service gene at home yesterday. Now, to be fair this was a stressful adulting moment for Teach. Anything that hits the old pocketbook is stressful. Unknown process + decreasing bank account x customer disservice = stress & moderate panic with perhaps just a smidgen of attitude from both sides. Oh happy birthday to me hahaha! We left with plates, a temporary sticker and a date with the mechanic to update the safety on the car. Progress!
Upon completion of that wee adventure Teach announced that she was going to take me out for a birthday breakfast. In the same breath, I swear, she asked “which is the best way to get to McDonalds!” Oh how I love this kid! We ran our last errands while sucking down our coffees and number 2’s please, of course these were enjoyed hash brown first. :)
Once back home with the sun shining Teach headed up for a quick nap before taking me to the train and then on to work at the golf club. I headed into the weight room to torture my self for the next 35 minutes. Last Sunday our family friend Fit Guy was kind enough to come out to the middle of nowhere to learn more about my fitness level or should I say lack there of. Then, being the most awesome patient guy that he is - bless his little heart - he gave me a very beginner, beginner work out. One that has reps and sets. One that someone like me who is gung ho but is at heart a compliance person will follow. If done properly, my hip will improve and so will the rest of me, woot! I degress; yesterday was work out two. Sunday learning, Monday lets just call it pain day, Tuesday garden day, Wednesday work out day.
This is the view to the north from our weight room, I admit that I try to keep my back to it as its very easy for me to get distracted. Would be very easy to find all the things that need my hand on them - like right then! This fitness thing is a long journey for me, I had the wrong mind set earlier this year. Looking for quick change led to long lasting injury. I find myself while working in the garden reminding myself to stay within my time limits, to not “over do” it. Using this mind set, my time in the garden is improving and I think it shows, in the garden anyway! I feel like I could work out again today, though I won’t. Slow, slow, slow is my new motto.
Once Teach got up and at’em we headed to the GO train so I could head into the Big Smoke, meet up with TLOMIL and LLB have a little nosh and a couple flutes of Cava and head over to the Jays game. We wont even discuss the game other than to say that we left early and we NEVER do that.
The pic above was taken on the GO and clearly indicates that 1) I need to up my selfie game and 2) what the heck is it about my hair?!? Most of our family is heading to an adventure in the Dominican next week and if my hair looks like this here, I mean just YIKES!!!!!
On our way home from the game a fox leisurely crossed the road in front of us, stopping on the other side to take a good look at us as we passed by. His pointy ears and long nose easy to see, the white ring on the bottom of his tail caught in the moon light. Once home, I headed up stairs with my trusty four legged man, ran some water into the tub and settled in for a quick soak. After the water stopped dripping and my breathing settled I took a few minutes to relish being in middle of nowhere. No noise but for the cry of distant coyotes, crickets and the hoot every now and then of an owl.
Now THAT was a great birthday dear imaginary reader.
It has been both a fun filled week here in the middle of nowhere with just a bit of anxiety thrown in just to keep us on our toes dear imaginary reader. I am a bit of a list girl and not being around for those two weeks sure did add to my Jillie do list :). Mother Nature that fickle woman chose to ply us with super heat which is not necessarily condusive to working outside, especially when you have two “helpers” like I did this past week.
It’s tough to even get a bed made let alone work outside. The adventures of Murphy and Ollie are always good for a laugh, and usually at some point a life lesson.
The boy and DC have Murph in obedience classes and we do our best to keep him onside of the rules, at 10 months old he is still a bit of a handful but appears to be calming down somewhat. He and Ollie chase each other, sometimes Murph blows a tire while attempting a tight turn around the corner of the kitchen island. The speed and angle having a great impact (get it dear imaginary reader) on the outcome. Never the less, he always gets up, shakes his head and is ready to catch up or find where Ollie and the next adventure are. A gentle pat, a hug and a kiss and he is ready to go!
Oh I remember the days when it was like that with our kids....100 years ago. A little scary fall? No biggie, smile, clap your hands and away they go! Terrible to compare them to a dog but ya know, a quick rub of the boo boo, a hug and kiss worked just the same way with them. Back then, anything said as long as it was with the correct tone was magic.
And then they grew up. As they are beginning to say, “adulting is hard”. WIsh I could say that it gets easier, but alas, I cannot.
I wish that the words, when I can find them, were the right words and at the precise correct moment. Have you ever had a discussion and you just can’t find the right words - then 20 minutes after the person has left you come up with just the perfect thing to say? Man! If only that “I got this “ sentence showed up on time! Tone and inflection still carry weight but now those kids add their own spin on what the words mean sometimes, AHHHHHH. Frustration sets in and ya just have to keep your head on straight right?
Do not even get me started with trying to impart wisdom by text. That sh*t just does not work.
You want everything to be OK for your kids, family - circle. It won’t ever be perfect, that is just not attainable; to believe that perfection is your quest in my opinion will add unnecessary stress and anxiety to anyone’s life. Relationships are not perfect, it sucks to start a new career at the bottom, and monetary struggles are a way of life when you begin to adult. These are the facts of adulting. Commitment, hard work, sometimes blood, sweat and tears even when you cant see the forest for the trees will help to carry you along the journey. My grandfather was always one to say “you need to have a plan - you just cant float along”. TLOMIL says, “ have a one year, five year plan and write that sucker down”. I agree with both those wise men. Just remember that life happens, those plans are not written in stone. We are going back to those straight lines and bends again dear imaginary reader.
We CAN DO THIS!!! YOU CAN DO THIS!
So - as my kids take steps deeper into adulting, I feel anxiety , they feel anxiety. They call, text and come to visit. I try to look strong and confident; and before they leave I make sure to give them a rub here and there, make sure they have some Ollie time. A big “squeeze hug” and a kiss before they head out the door. Each and every day I send them every positive vibe I have.
And on the days that Murph is hanging with us I make sure they give him a hug, look into his beautiful eyes and take along some of his “OUCH!! Ahhh..I’m ok, lets go” attitude along with them.
And that right there, those seven little words are enough to make a conversation with me at least stutter if not grind to a halt dear imaginary reader. Truly, honestly, no word of a lie. As I have noted before speaking with new people (depending who they are to be specific) is usually an ok thing for me, but this one question is a stumper!
I know that may seem strange but my first response in the past no matter what I was doing for gainful employment was “I am a Mom and I also do.....whatever”. I am going to be 57 next week, when I give that answer these days I get a few looks ya know. You can almost see the words flashing through the mind of whom ever the poor unsuspecting soul(s) was that asked the question. Does she mean GRANDmother? Has she had a few too many? Is she having a moment? How do we get away.....
Seriously dear imaginary reader, I get it. But no matter what job I have had or may get in the future being “just a Mom” will always be my number one position. To be clear, it is my belief that my role as Mom/Ma/Mother and I am sure on occasion (though they would never admit it) B*tch, is the role that has prepared me the most throughly for what true adulting was going to throw my way. True with my Mom’s and brothers health issues there were a few things that got right up and in my face at an early age, but other than that oh yeah, and the guy who puked in my lap on the way home from the College Bowl while in High School, I was pretty lucky. I as a Mothers Helper for a few years during the summer, they had a house cleaner and I had every weekday afternoon off to head to the big smoke to indulge my favorite past time. That was it....until I held the boy, maybe just maybe I had held a baby once. Well SURPRISE!!!!
It I were looking for a job (which I am not), thanks to my children and ok, TLOMIL my skill set is pretty full. Ok, Ok, Ok, B*tchin AF. (Sometimes I kill myself..can you hear my chuckling as I slap the ole key board?!?). I am an organized, skilled manager and mulitasker (I just don’t necessarily get my kids name correct anymore while mid task but that is “just a Mom” thing. My scheduling abilities are easy applied to a multi person/multi activity calendar, which can be changed and updated to all in a flash! I am a team player, able to lead, coach and be the bad guy when required. Research flight/hotel/house/car, purchase and schedule said arrangements...already done (fingers crossed I get to go and play tooo!!!!!). Need info without using Google Home, I am your chick! Know lots of info about random things that can be used to influcene or just confuse the heck outta people, yip! Any candidate must know their way around Microsoft Products..ya, ya, ya...any mother can. Though no questions about excel - we have had an irreparable falling out. My abilities to mediate and negotiate are above average, though at times I have been known to perhaps laugh a bit if one of the wronged parties smirks. Just a wee issue I am sure!
You get it right? We Mom’s are Jill’s of all trades and master of none. I have worked some in some tough situations over the years, but this one, the “Mom” one, it takes the cake. It rakes you over the coals, flies you to the moon, make you shake with tears and beam with pride. It is definitely the most difficult and yet the best thing I have ever done in my life. And to think, I never thought I would have kids. Ooooooo...those pooping, crying, demanding for the rest of your life things? WTF?? No Way!
Ya way; so at my advanced age I will still answer the what do you do question with Mom first and on a confident day add blogger to my list (can you hear the shaking that goes with that one dear imaginary reader?) of things I do. Love ya kids...all of you!
Routine.....ah beautiful, reassuring routine. I just love it, I promise dear imaginary reader that I am not wedded to one specific routine. I can play things by ear, be spontaneous, float through a day, ya get what I am throwing down?
I have a couple of friends that don’t want anyone to speak to them until they have enjoyed at the least their first cup of coffee, if not their first pot. You defs can speak to me as soon as the ole feet hit the floor. My thing starts before that - I need to wake up well, perhaps the word is gently. My alarm can be music or what ever gentle tones are set on my phone, no military alarm, screaming birds for me. I turn off said alarm, close my eyes for a minute, often having to think “do you know where you are”? We have travelled quite a bit in the past couple of years, remembering where you are makes that first trip to the loo much more pleasant haha! Then comes to the coffee, dark roast please - freshly ground if possible. Man that sounds pretentious! Both my girls have worked as Barista’s, have great coffee knowledge and have turned me into a coffee snob right along with them :) . Coffee consumed preferably near a window where I can see nature/people watch while reading/playing on my IPad. Breakfast, toast with peanut butter or poached eggs. After that the day unfolds generally as planned. Go to bed repeat.
All my life’s a circle;
But I can’t tell you why
Season’s spinning round again;
The year’s keep rolling by.
The song that I am quoting is “Circle” by Harry Chapin, what a talented story teller he was, gone waaayyy to soon. Spending hours listening to his music and being fortunate enough to attend a few of concerts with family and friends (right Bracebridge girl and Blarney’s Dad?) were highlights of my teenage years.
Some mornings I wake up with a start, did I forget to set the alarm, a phone call jolts me into reality, or sh*t I forgot what ever! I get up and get going but somehow unless I truly work at it, the day is just off kilter ya know? That and my own self enforced to do list or what ever other problems real or imagined can set my day off into a deep slide off the side of a cliff. I am trying to get better handling the low level funk that can go hand in hand with days like this - do something that I know will give me pleasure and not just work on knocking things off the list. These days I like to think of the bends in the road that Harry mentions in his song. Just keep on keeping on and the road will straight again.
Ya, ya I know, the song is about love and I agree. I mean come on, lets me honest. I really do love TLOMIL, but do I LIKE him each and every day - NO! Seriously, we have been married for almost 32 years. The love always wins the day, its a circle, we get to the beginning again.
This morning for some strange reason, is not a gentle morning. I am on my perch, drinking my coffee watching the gently moving leaves change color as they dance in and out of the sunlight. I am enjoying toast with avocado (way to change it up Jillie), then I hear a tap, tap that gets more aggressive. I know what it is, and head into our work out room with my camera
His life is a circle as well...he comes back on what I believe are his bend in the road days....
He tries to fly through the well marked window, banging his beak again and again. While it is sad to watch, its nice to know that you are not the only one having “a day”.
So dear imaginary reader, I’m going to head out into the sunlight and into Effortown and get on with my day. I wish you a day filled with mostly straight lines, perhaps a few bends full of fun!
Hello dear imaginary reader, I apologize for the little break in posting. During the remainder of our time in Canmore I decided that if time alone did not present itself, that I would be present - not taking time out to post but to enjoy our location and time together. I am very happy with my choice, a big thank you to our friends Sweet Thing and her husband Bondman for sharing their beautiful condo with us. Xoxo! That said, there is nothing like being home...ahhhh...your own bed and pillow, puppy snuggles and routine. I love a good routine!
I had mentioned in an earlier post that our family had been on a western adventure over a decade ago, this trip, some of that adventure was revisited. As our time in the Banff/Canmore area began to count down we decided to head to the Lake Louise area. To us, as beautiful as Lake Louise is, Moraine Lake takes the cake,
You may remember dear imaginary reader that Lake Moraine and her Seven Peaks were the image on the back of the old paper Twenty Dollar Canadian Bill.
From Moraine we headed to Lake Louise where the parking gods shined upon us! We were able to snag a spot on site, no shuttle for us....it was decision time. My hip had been a little sore from the stairs at Moraine (I forgot to mention we witnessed an engagement there, so fun!), I wasn’t sure that it would allow me to do the Tea House Hike. Our last visit here oh so very long ago found my young gazelles running up the trail while TLOMIL took his time and I am sure all of his patience to coax me up the trail. Ya see, I have a wee bit of a thing with heights. Makes no sense to me, throw me in a hot air balloon, a helicopter no biggie. Put me in a car doing switchbacks or walking near the edge of a trail and I am a big scaredy cat.
With a prod from LLB, and the help of the lovely walking sticks I had received as a Christmas gift from Teach and AI, I decided to give it a go. The hike begins at the beautiful Fairmont Lake Louise and slowly but surely switchbacks (YIKES) its way up to the Agnes Lake Tea House. The Tea House itself was built in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as shelter for hikers. The elevation gain of the hike is 400 m (1,312 ft), when you get to the Tea House you are at an altitude of 2135 m (7005 ft).
What the heck was I thinking? Thin air, 11 years after the first painful hike with a bad hip and wonky ankle! WTF!?!? With a “come on Ma, you got this” from LLB, we - LLB her Scott and I headed further up the trail. My love took position on the patio of the Fairmont to work the phone and not stress his knee. Did I mention that the volume of people on the trail was crazy? There were very few times when you weren’t having someone pass you, some were three abreast (promise not to rant!) which would push us over to the side, err edge! I am very sure that there were multiple times when the poor Scot could hear me shake I was so nervous.
LLB and Scot were gentle and supportive of me, encouraging breaks and allowing others to pass so I didnt have to stay close to the edge. I wont say that I was a speed merchant but together - we got ‘er done!
We met Scooter and KnowMe at the Tea House. LLB and I hung around for a bit, I was dehydrated and experiencing low sugars by the time we made it to the Tea House, so had to hydrate and eat a bit before we could head down. The others took off like the gazelles they are and headed to the Bee Hive before working their way back to the Fairmont patio.
LLB and I stopped along the way down to take some pics and marvel in the beauty of where we were. Somehow while looking out on the vista we were able to tune out the parade of people behind us.
We chatted our way back stopping now and then for messages from TLOMIL “when will you be back, this flight of scotch is tasteing like another!” Or the next one “You are driving home”, the odd one from Teach asking questions. We debated answering but in a weird way were able to share when they weren’t with us. In the end, I now know that I very much enjoyed using the walking sticks. I did not enjoy wearing the Boys old back pack, too big, too hot. I need to pick up a breathable day pack. I learned that pushing my hip, within reason is worth it (thanks be for ibuprofen). The very best thing - any one on one time I can get with any of my kids is worth what ever it takes to get it ( I may regret stating this in black and white)
At the end of the hike we took our position on the patio with TLOMIL while waiting for Scotter, KnowMe and the Scot. Lovely duck confit wraps shared with LLB and a wee glass of processo and I was ready for our next adventure! Cheers, dear imaginary reader
I must begin this new blog post with a big thank you to those of you that chose to loose the invisible cloak and reach out to me regarding my last post WHY? It restores my faith in women - heck people - to know that I am not alone. I have made a point to say something nice to a complete stranger since then, when I feel it is appropriate. Yesterday when out exploring with the love of my immediate life, LLB and her Scot, our family friend Scooter and his girlfriend KnowMe I saw a server wearing an amazing pair of black boots that had been embroidered with colorful flowers. I took two seconds to share that I thought they were amazing! When I got back home I thought damn! Should have asked her where she got them....two seconds to do that. I was smiling as I shared and she beamed while saying thank you. So easy.....lets keep the good vibes rolling dear imaginary reader.
As mentioned above, we were out seeing the sights yesterday, we made a decision to head out to the furthest places we wanted to see then on subsequent days we would not have to travel as far. First stop for us was the Spiral Tunnels, the engineering of this over 100 years ago, still fascinates me t. We did have a bit of a wait but on such a beautiful day, it was lovely to stand and people/forest watch while we waited. The trains here in the west are super long, some 1 or 2 kilometers long. If you take a good look at the pic below you can see a train car close to the bottom right corner. Follow the cars going into the tunnel up on the left....the bottom car is part of the train heading into the tunnel. Now, if you look carefully you can see train cars in the middle of the picture. That is the engine and the front cars of the same same train coming out of the tunnel while end of the train is no where near entering the tunnel! I know, I know you probs have to be there to be excited, and I will lay claim to being a geek, but if you get the chance dear imaginary reader check it out!
Our next stop took us to Takakkkaw Falls in YoHo National Park, this too is among the highlights for our family, it is great to be able to share the experience with new people. The road in in a windy one through the forest, avalanche areas are easily seen. Switch backs to scare the heck out of you while another car (or bus!! YIKES) heads your way. There is a lovely waterfall called “Where the Waters Meet”, where water from the YOHO meets the water from Kicking Horse Pass, one grey one blue. Very powerful water...
By the time we made it to the main attraction we were all more than a wee bit hot, thankfully you can easily cool off
Our next stop was Emerald Lake and then Natural Bridge, each were enjoyed by the “kids”
After an amazing meal once again at Truffle Pigs is Field (this is another must if you are in the area), we headed back to Canmore. It was a quiet ride, a few sleepers along the route. Me, well I was proud that I had made it through the day without loosing my sh*t. Seems to be a bit of a recurring theme for me lately.
Ok, Ok, yeah, yeah, yeah....I know that I am blessed to be able to things that I do. The most basic of which is go outside where ever I want (in general terms) and when ever I want. I try to be a good sharer of space no matter where I am. I do not leave garbage, I will pick up garbage that I see (any of our family and I am sure yours do this). I try my best to not take anything into an area that really doesn’t need to be there...not dragging my cooler with me through a sight seeing area - we an go back and get it when we are ready to eat. I am not wearing a 45 pound backpack that I am clearly not used to wearing and I turn around in a crush of people unaware of the space that I consume and take out kids and others with said backpack. I don’t push my bike, front wheel up through a crowded farmers market when free bike check with security is provided.
I try to be specially aware and don’t leave my grocery cart deserted in the middle of a grocery isle so I can run back to get something I forgot, or take up the whole front of a shelf or freezer with my whole cart so no one else can get access. Then there is my alllllllll time favorite - sitting in my seat at a Jays game, and the person beside me is a guy with “man spread” for two and pushes or oozes (YUCK!!!) into my space. Usually this position is also completed while wearing a baseball hat along with the guy in front of him. A hat who’s position is moved several times in a game without giving consideration to those surrounding them whose sight line of said game is now obstructed!
Whew! I will now step down from my soapbox. The Jillie rant is over perhaps now I have regained some composure and am up to fight the going out in public fight for another day! Does this bother you as well dear imaginary reader?
Yesterday found the love of my immediate life and I driving into Banff to have a little soak in the Upper Hot Springs, it is something that we both enjoying doing when we are in the vicinity of any natural Hot Spring to be honest. There is just something about it - now you already know about my nightly soak history dear imaginary reader but this is different.
Perhaps it begins with the historical nature of the location and the building itself - the feel of the soft warm water wrapping you in imagined safety and healing....Banff Upper Hot Springs is the highest operating Hot Spring in Canada at 5,200 feet (hot springs.ca). The gift store has souvenirs where you can purchase bathing suits both of current fashion and historical suits. The building where you enter the Hot Springs is a renovated historical building. It is easy to conjure up an image of people as my kids would say “back in the day” enjoying time in the spring in their fashionable suits..coming up the hill by horse and buggy.
Yesterday we were able to get a parking spot fairly close so TLOMIL didnt have far to walk up hill with his bum knee, the Hot Spring was bout 1/4 full. Lots of space to float or stand, easy to grab a jet to blast what ever sore spot you had. Bright, warm sun shining on your face...eyes closed, feel the steam...ahhhhhh. Heaven. There were people of all shapes and sizes - but all we could hear was English being spoken. I found this to be strange - normally our apres soak convo involves discussing the number of languages we heard.
I hopped up on the edge to cool off a bit , enjoying one of our family past times, people watching. There were people of all ages, a cute toddler in their swimming diaper practsing jumping into the “kiddie pool” with a grin from ear to ear when ever they were able to “stick” their landing. A group of older men sitting in a line having a serious political conversation - a group of tweens taking selfies of each other with a shared IPhone through the plastic cover of a dry bag. There were a number of women enjoying their soak in shorts and tee shirts. My favorites where the women of my vintage, some skinny, some my size or bigger.
As I cooled on the side and thought to myself, good for you ladies for having the confidence to feel awesome and secure in a two piece bathing suit I overheard three early twenty year old ladies to my right discuss the same ladies I was thinking of. The opinions they had were far different than my own. The were comparing their own bikini clad bodies with those of the older ladies - down to length of their torso, width of thighs - what where the older generation thinking wearing these suits - just look at their breasts!!! It took everything within me to listen to the imaginary voices of my girls in my head telling me that this was not the place to loose my shit. Why?? I mean seriously, why do we women do this to each other? WHY???
I wish that I could tell you that I have never done this dastardly thing, but that would be a big fat lie. I have compared myself to other women, but in my case generally, I come up lacking.
Why is it that for the most part it seems that we look for flaws in each other instead of seeing the positive? Why do we do this at all? Is this behavior something men do? If not, then why don’t they? Why is it that women feel they have to be taller, skinnier, color their hair, dress appropriately? Most men I know are happy if they comb their hair and match (though there are a couple that have no freaking concept of what the word “match” even means hahah). Ooohhh maybe that was mean....
I ended up having a conversation with the younger ladies, easy for me to talk to strangers than those I know, none the less a baby step backward on the tightrope I think. I promise Teach and LLB that I said nothing about my thoughts about their conversation, though on second thought perhaps I should have.
TLOMIL and I left the Hot Springs to wander about downtown Banff. A beauty day with mountains as the back ground. We came upon the weekly Farmers Market, found some yummy food, Gin (WOOT), and lovely people. While there, I again overheard a group of ladies criticizing one of the vendors appearance. Why?
So dear imaginary readers, I challenge you to stop criticizing and start supporting. Let’s start actually telling the man or woman something positive...lift people up instead of cutting them down. Let’s change the “Why” are we criticizing to “Why are we not” handing out a complement . Learning how to accept support and compliments is somehthing that I am not good at, I am sure that many of you dear imaginary readers aren’t either. A couple of weeks ago a friend shared her support of me with me, I said thanks and quickly changed the subject. I was uncomfortable, and I should not have been. Shoulda grabbed her up in a hug and said thanks. Let’s get good at giving and receiving.
Hey dear imaginary reader - thanks for taking the time to find me. To read my thoughts, fears and dreams. You make my day!
Before the boy headed off to College in the States just over a decade ago (what the heck!) our family took a trip to the west of Canada, this was our kids first trip on a plane. We had some great trips before that, but we were and still are lovers of a good road trip. When you have 3 kids in travel sports it takes a lot of your fun money to keep it going.
For that initial trip west we decided to show them the highs and the lows of travel - over the top and reasonable, we shared the cost with them so it was fun as well as a bit of a life lesson. That trip was my first trip west, the love of my immediate life had lived in British Columbia as a kid and had been there for work so nothing new to him. We rented condos in Vancouver and in Victoria. Blew our brains out and stayed in a suite at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino (worth every penny), where Teach was both blown away and nervous when the staff knew her name when she walked in the door. We also had a family learn to surf lesson while we were there, this after whale watching in Victoria where we were blessed to see many Orca breeches. I often wondered if the kids thought of those whales when we were out learning to surf. There is a picture of all of us in our wet suits and I promise you will never have to see it dear imaginary reader!
From Tofino we headed for a night in Whistler with a funny dinner at the Keg..though not sure if the boy found the whole thing humorous as there was a bit of fun at his expense. From there a beautiful drive to Jasper where we fulfilled, at least for one night, a childhood dream of TLOMIL and stayed in a cabin at a resort we labeled the Poca Dontis. We found ourselves in a cabin that had yet to be renovated, there had been flooding a few weeks earlier. Let’s just say this, we had to put toilet paper in the gap around the door and spray it with Off in hope of not being carried away by the mosquitos! The extremes from Tofino to Jasper..... Next stop was the awesome Banff Springs Hotel where we were upgraded (there are hotel fairies!!) to the A.C. Leighton Suite.
I now find myself just down the road in Canmore enjoying the hospitality of dear friends who have loaned us their condo for a couple of weeks. Today my love and I stopped into the Banff Springs Hotel and relived a bit of our trip with the kids. While it was a wonderful experience, it is wonderful to travel with just my love for a bit. It is something we don’t often do, something we should do more.
I had a massage the first day in Canmore with a lovely lady named Judy - boy she had magic hands! She began the massage by sharing that women our age don’t take time for ourselves often enough. There is always something to do, someone to look after and I should relax and enjoy my hour. I came out of there a wet noodle - and a mind set to enjoy this week with my love- to have the two of us take care of each other. Looking forward to LLB and her Scot coming out next week along with other friends but cheers to self care and couple time!
I plan on spending a little time right close to this chair, listen to the birds, watch the light change on the Three Sisters and just breathe....
If only the flies on the wall in this house could talk, oh my the stories they could tell you! There is no subject that is off limits here, in fact there never has been. A time and place, at times for sure not age appropriate - but as we raised our children we did our best to teach them about honesty and respect. The golden rule, the things and perhaps a few other tidbits that “normal” parents did not feel comfortable with dear imaginary reader.
One thing that we tried and failed at is only being positive about weight and image.
Our kids and I (for a second a million years ago) were athletes, movement has always been our happy place. TLOMIL had a knee injury fairly young that limited what he could do to “play”. It has always been a bit of a joke around here that both girls were successful in their chosen sports to the Provincial or National Level. The boy, not so much. Though he did get a bit of a ride to go to College down south (ok, north from us but try to explain that one to an American, just sayin”), and went on to play hockey in Australia and France. Staying active while adulting for some is difficult. This is where my hand raises and I am doing the old elementary school oooohh ahhh pick me pick me!
I have had my excuses, difficult to find time for me while the kids were small, too busy with the kids during the school crazy sports years. Of course there was that whole thing of gainful employment thrown into the mix to add yet another layer to the I want to but just cant find the time mix. My throwing myself into my kids lives 150% was the right thing to do at the time. I am very proud to say that I believe that we have strong, loving, honest (sometimes perhaps to honest) relationships. But I have shown them some wrong ways along our journey as well.
Now dear imaginary reader we know that for almost a year now I have been struggling with back and hip issues, while I have had to be careful and I have over done it, they perhaps turned into yet another excuse for me. For the past few weeks mulching, weeding, canoeing and so on, I have been pushing the old envelope and have survived. In fact I believe just a smidgin flourished, now dont go crazy there is still plenty of fluff here to de fluff but progress has been made. (Did you hear the sound of the cork popping!?)
All of us are trying to move and get healthier whether by going to a trainer, using an app on our phones or just moving more in life. I had a conversation with LLB a little while ago about the benefits of taking before, during and after shots to check your progress through what can be tourture. For me, the torture begins at the first shot - would not want to look at that sucker if my life depended on it. I suggested that perhaps instead of photos to begin with she start by taking her measurements. By no means is LLB fluffy just not as “tight” as she was last year as she trained for and ran her first half marathon. Adulting can do that to you right dear imaginary reader? So, as she says she “no longer wants to be a skinny fat girl”, I know she and her app will make it so - and PDQ as my Mom would say.
I think I made a mistake. This week I took a couple of before and after shots of my back garden...
Ya know what? I didn’ want to peek at that either. Looking at that reminded me of all the sweat, bites, aches and pain - oh the hours it would take to get this right! But then I sucked it up and got it done.
Its not perfect but its better - just like LLB and I will be when we put the work in. It makes me feel proud when I look at these shots as I rub antinflammatory cream into my hip and tush! These photos show why I was wrong, you can remember but seeing is better my dear imaginary reader. LLB, the next time I see you we are going to break out the camera and get this party started, we have a wedding to get ready for kid!
Well hey there dear imaginary reader, I hope your week has been a fun filled as mine has!
I haven’t shared with you yet about a couple of really cool things that have been happening here in the middle of nowhere lately, and they have been keeping me busy this week. First of all a couple of months ago DC and the boy got engaged, that’s right, I am going to be MOG! It is very exciting for our families, I am happy to share that LLB, Baby girl and I were invited to go dress shopping last night. It was so much fun and of course DC looked amazing in everything she tried on. At one point we three girls and DC’s Mom and soon to be SIL had a group cry..we got poor DC going as well. Yes folks, I am a big cry baby looking for a place to happen, its true, I admit it.
Point two is this - several weeks ago Baby Girl asked me why her name was what it is in this Blog - my response “well it is your position in the family”. We agreed I would change her name to one more fitting “the grown ass woman that I am Mom” when she got a job. Low and behold - Baby Girl has morphed into Teach! Yes sir - got her first real live teaching job to begin this fall. So exciting, so proud of her!
Another note which makes me happy for strange reasons is that the love of my immediate life has decided (for a little while at least) to become unretold! He is having fun working out some business issues for a company and that makes his heart sing most days. I like it because I can accomplish what ever I want, when ever I want around here. I have actually had the bed to myself for a couple of days, its been great! Now just between me and you I am ready for him to come home.....
This week has also brought on the task of proof reading letters for LLB as she applies for a position to article. My fingers and toes are crossed for her - she will be an amazing lawyer.
The gardens are coming along, I thought today that as a gardener I will never be happy. I had to remind myself that it is only the first pass through my back gardens this year, I need to be happy with better and not perfect. I guess I could say that about more than just my gardens. I shared a couple of pictures on Instagram yesterday, they are coming along. It has been brutal working in this heat, but it has to be done before we get going on more mulch.
Ya know, it seems only yesterday that I was struggling getting the new car seat hooked on to a grocery cart while wrangling the two older kids. Now, they are all moving forward, a good thing but perhaps a tad unsettling for me as well. It’s a bit of a maze but then...I like puzzles dear imaginary reader.
I leave you with a picture of Oli, he who only wants to come in when he is good and ready these days...