Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Place

As the world sits rivited to their tv's and their twitter accounts (guilty!) watching a massive hurricane barrel down on the East Coast of the US, we sit here comfy in "this place."

This place?  Is magical.  You won't believe it until you see it in person, but it really truly is. 

We are "protected."  By the nature of the land (a valley) and by the goodness of the people that inhabit the land.

The Bank of Karma is not being hard hit by economic times.

That's not to say that crappy shit doesn't happen here, because it does.  But people work hard here for what they have.

We might be a little bit colder than you right now. (Most houses 'round here are heated by wood, which doesn't exactly run on a thermostat while you're gone for the day.  Or keep itself all stoked up and cozy while you sleep at night.) And we might not have as many other "creature comforts."  We're simple folk, and we like it that way, thankyouverymuch.

But we are out of the wind.  Out of the storm a little bit.  The literal and the the metaphorical storm. (Holy eff...on nights like these, I think of the wind up On the Roof.  Do you remember the wind on the Roof?  Hint: if you search the old blog for "wind," you come up with EIGHT PAGES of results!!  EIGHT.  Take that, Frankenstorm.)

You know what it is?  (I figured this out the other night, when, due to some serious back pain, I MIGHT have chased a bunch of Robaxacet with a bunch of Creemore Lager.  MIGHT, I said.  *ahem*)

Anywho...where were we?  Right, this place.

You know what it is about this place?  What it is that makes it magical?

It's that this place makes you beleive that anything is possible.  Or...that Anything Is Possible.

Yup, that's right.  True story.  Anything IS Possible.

All those dreams, those crazy ideas?

Here is a place to make it happen.

This place.



Sunday, October 28, 2012


It's taken me an entire week to put my thoughts onto paper (or computer, as it were) about the past weekend, and the Blissdom Canada conference that I attended last week.

It's awe inspiring, being among that many accomplished writers, and photographers, and business women, and AWESOME, all in one place.  And, it's also a little intimidating.

It took me a while to write about this whole experience, to find the right words, because I wanted them to be PERFECT.  I wanted them to be awesome.  And then I read someone else's words, about finding the gems in the crap, and that's when I though "eff it, just write it already, who cares if it's crap.  Maybe, just maybe, it'll be awesome."

So here it is:

Conferences like that, that shit is NOT easy for me.  But then I listened to Susan Cain talk, about the value of introverts, with about 80% of the room identifying as introverts, and I realized "I'm not alone here!" These are MY PEOPLE!  And how I wish that was the first thing I heard - I wish it was the opening keynote of the weekend, instead of some crappity crap presentation by Dove, about how their body wash (that contains SLS) is "caring" for your skin *cough*bullshit*cough*. I digress...that's another post to come.

The thing is, I was among people with similar interests to me.  There were other introverts, and other "green" mamas, and other mothers who could see my kids in theirs. There were fellow country folk, and people I knew in university, and someone that my dearest Gretel went to highschool with and hadn't seen in 20-something years. And of course, my dearest Gretel, my partner in crime for the journey. There were writers that I admired, photographers that I admired, and just some of the coolest Canadian women that there are out there on the internet.

And that alone is enough to get inspired from.  I don't dig the social events, but I can eat up infomation, and find inspiration in a lot of other people's words, and photos and accomplishments; and just the fact that I'm in the same room as them.  Heck, likely peeing next to them!  (Too much?  Sorry...)

I mentioned to someone at the opening night soiree, that I didn't dig brands, and the idea of working and writing for brands, instead of just writing for me.  They said "then why are you here?"

And I didn't really have to think about it.   I was there to connect with other people.  And to gather the tools to become a better writer.

And, let's be honest,  I was there to get some business inspiration, because I really beleive that everyone in the world should be using my soap...because it's pretty good soap.

So no matter how much I felt like a dork standing next to Tanis, clamming up like I'd swallowed my tounge, I try not to dwell on that, and look at the people I did connect with, and my goals for the conference.  I DID connect really well with some people, got to know some faces behind some names, and some new ones too.  I DID get some writing tools (even some from the super lovely Ali Martell.) And I even managed to talk to a few people about my soap. I made it to the opening party, not looking like I got hit by a tornado, and I had fun dressing up with some lovely ladies (although I would have happily skipped the costume party.)  I also managed to see some old friends along the way, at a late night impromptu stop at "the shop" - totally unrelated to Blissdom, but "cup filling" none the less.

And at the end of the day, I know that I stayed true to myself - I didn't try to be someone that I'm not.  I am shy, quiet, an introvert extrordinaire, who is much funnier on Facebook than I am in real life.  (True story.)  But I'm a good writer, and a good person, and the great thing is that I know that I'm not alone in ANY of this.

For me, knowing that is at least 51% of the battle.

Will I go back to Blissdom again next year?  You betcha.

After 7 years of blogging, I'm finally starting to find "my people."  Things have changed so much for us in the past year, and we finally feel like we're "home" in this new house and this new community, and it's so nice to start to feel that about this "Worlds Biggest Small Town" as well.

At the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto - a stunning and raw place to see. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Family Photos

A few weeks ago I met my friend Terri-Ann at the park with my three boys, along with her husband a and 4 children, for an exchange of family photos.  Both Terr-Ann and I are pretty handy with our cameras, so we thought what better way to capture some family photos.  Below are the results, and I'm thrilled!

One of the first shots, where everyone actually stood STILL.
Corben has had it after 3 minutes.  He's off.
The toddler sumo hold.  "You will stay here for this photo so...help...me!"
One of my favourites, with rounded corners.  (I'm in love with rounded corners these days, I think it's the hippie in me.)

"Here, sit on Daddy's shoulders."  "No, I want to go over to Mama's shoulders."  Hilarity ensues.
Not sure what was happening here, but it's hilarious!
And then it went bad...
And then we lost Corben to the playground.  Alone, as the only child in the photos, Griffin decides to ramp it up a notch.
Photo bombed by a 6 year old.
How do we get rid of this crazy child? Hey...what's over THERE?
Humph...that worked well. Not.
And then we finally distracted him with juice, and got this gem:
We decided to try and move over to where Corben REALLY wanted to be, and get a few more shots.
OK, nevermind!

We had so much fun that I think we'll do this again next year.  Thanks Terri-Ann!!

(Back in the limelight, and ready to perform some more! Jump, monkey, jump!) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thanksgiving, in a nutshell.

Oh the past few days have been a rollercoaster.  Or the past...however long it's been since I've been here last.  Feels like forever.  (Wait now, I have to go back and check.)  (Oh right, our picturesque walk on the Bruce Trail.  Lovely.)

Well since then we've welcomed October. (Hi, October!) 

And there was Thanksgiving.  On which I wasn't feeling particularly thankful. 

I was feeling angry, and emotional, sobby even.  As was everyone else in this house.  

And I've been staying away, not really knowing what to say about the whole thing.

It was one of the darkest days I've had in a long time. 

Dark, in that I didn't much like my kid. I didn't particularly care for myself either, nor did I feel particularly thankful for anything.

And I had no idea what the hell I was doing.  I felt lost.  I felt like I was supposed to be the fricking leader of the pack, and I had no idea which way to turn myself, never mind lead the rest of them.

In hindsight, the day wasn't all that bad.  We started with finishing the work on the basement that we had started the day before.  Drywall, and fun things like that.  It was actually really good.  I finished cleaning up the basement, Steve left for work, Mom took Corben for a walk, and then he fell asleep for a nap. 

And then Griffin lost his shit, followed closely by the rest of us. 

There was a lot of crying.  A lot of difficult parenting moments.  Some of them I rocked.  Some of them I sucked at. 

And at the end of it all, I was drained.  And felt like I was the one that needed help, as much as or more than my kid did. 

I saw a LOT of me in Griffin that day, and it was as terrifying as it was enlightening. 

And as fast as the insanity began, it was over. 


Monday, was a new day.

I was DETERMINED to make it better. 

I put bread in the bread maker.  Lunch, taken care of.  (Lets not talk about the bread that didn't really rise properly and ended up being a small brick of flour rather than a large loaf of bread, m'kay?) 

I put dinner in the crockpot. 

And then I focused on taking care of the kids, and taking care of me, and just ENJOYING the day.

And it worked.  

Despite the fact that the shitty part of Sunday is what sticks out in my mind, overall it was pretty decent, and I did learn a few things.  We ARE going to be ok.  This ISN'T going to be easy...few things worth having actually ARE.  This family, my children, this house, our home, THIS needs to be my focus right now.  Everything else is secondary.

Because without all that, this family, our home?

I would be even MORE lost than I felt that day. 

I may not know what the hell I am doing all the time.  (OK, most of the time.)  But I do know that I  am thankful to be given the chance to try,  and have this opportunity to figure it all out.  I'm thankful for my husband for working extra hard so I CAN take care of our home and our children, and for my Mom for coming to the rescue when we need a helping hand.  (And just being here...which kept me from TOTALLY going off the deep end, in the name of Trying to Keep My Shit Together.) I'm also thankful for this community, who has welcomed us with the widest of open arms, and is ALWAYS willing to lend a hand, as often as we are willing to ask for one.

I am grateful for all that we have, and the chance to make it into even more.

Thanksgiving in a nutshell.  A big, emotional nutshell.

Oh what fun!  ;)