Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer daze

We've been here, there, and everywhere over the past few weeks, soaking up every ounce of summer that we can. The homefront has been sorely neglected (and the darkening sky says I'm not going to get to the grass cutting today) but we are content in the knowing that there is always a tomorrow.   One month till the kiddies go back to school...we'll cut the grass then. In the mean time, we're busy having fun! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Most of us

Most of us are not the Mothers or Fathers you hear about on the 6 o'clock news. We're not the ones leaving our kids in the car while we head into the salon for a 45 minute mani-pedi. We're not the ones letting our 6 year old stay home alone with only an iPad to keep them company while we head out for our midnight shift at the bar. We're not even the ones who let our kids ride around town on their bikes, unsupervised for hours on end. Most of us are good, if not great parents. 

Most of us trust our kids. We've taught them about strangers, about safety, about what to do in the case of an emergency. And how to be responsible. 

And most of us great parents sometimes make choices that others may deem irresponsible. We leave our kids in the car for a few minutes here and there; to pay for gas, when we only have two hands and three kids. To run into the bank where we can see our car from the road. But they're OUR kids. And our decisions to make. 

Most of us are smart, and have the same values we've taught to our kids - responsibility, evaluating the danger of a situation and making responsible choices. 

And yet, strangers on the street judge our choices, without ever having met us, or our kids. 

Trust us. Trust that we are good parents that love our children and want the best for them. Trust that we know our kids better than you. 

And if you think a kid may be in danger, or distress, of course, reach out to help. 

Helping means "can I help you carry something, so you can hold your child's hand?" "Can I give you my grocery cart, so you don't have to run across the lot to grab one with four kids in tow?"  Helping means watching a child for signs of distress. A kid in a car, playing on an iPad in the shade is not in distress. 

Of COURSE there are times to get the authorities involved, but most of the time, everything is just fine. 

We've all made it this far. Most of our parents made choices that we'd shudder at, yet we're all still here. 

So, seriously. Trust us. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bedtime Snuggles

For the past few nights, Corben hasn't been interested in his bed. I think he's figured out that the living room is where it's at, mostly because it's where mama is at, after Mama is done snuggling...but Corben is not. So he creeps quietly down the stairs, hoping I don't notice him (which is practically impossible) and quietly snuggles in. 

I love it, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  And I want to remember these moments, so I write about them. That is all. 

(And Corben is right, his bed sucks. Poor kid.)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Just a minute.

Corben came to me this afternoon, while I was in conversation with other adults. He had a complaint, about some other kids (one of whom was his brother,) who didn't want to share toys with him. Mid conversation, I had my attention elsewhere and didn't answer him right away. 

"Mom" he tugged on my shirt a few minutes later. 


"Mom, can you give me some advice, like you usually do."

Whoa, that got my attention. This kid isn't coming to me to bother me in the midst of my conversation, he's coming for a bit of guidance. A bit of helpful, loving, grown-up words of wisdom.

And that I am totally happy to give. 

Sometimes I feel like my kids need all of me, every minute. And there are times that they certainly do. But most if the time, especially as they get older and more independent, there is less of that. Usually, they only need a minute. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Steve has been away for nearly 2 weeks now. There is very little that I enjoy about him being away, but there is one tiny pleasure that I look forward to. 

Night time snuggles with my boys. 

When he's away, we do random nights where the boys get to sleep all night in the "big bed." We co-slept with both boys, and it's nice to have them in our luxurious large bed to snuggle with again. 

Corben in particular is just lovely to cuddle up with. (Nothing against G, but he's all long and gangly limbs, plus he grinds the hell out of his teeth.) Corbie curls up into a ball and likes to snuggle up in the crook of my arm. His arms tangle with mine, and he finds my hand to hold. His legs get wrapped up in mine too. We are tangled up together, like we used to be in the days when he grew inside me, boy and his Mama. 

I know these days are fleeting. My boys won't always want to curl up with me in the night. So while they do, I'll hold them tight; the tops of their heads wil be the last thing I kiss goodnight in the evening, and the first thing I kiss good morning in the light of dawn. And I'll curl up with them, tangled up in sweet dreams of the same time, looking forward to having the man that brought these precious gifts to me back in his rightful spot! 

Monday, April 28, 2014


Today could have gone very poorly. In fact, it started out that way. I had barely been up for 10 minutes before it started heading south. But then, on my way home from dropping Griffin off at school (nearly half an hour late, after a very tumultuous morning) I made the decision to start over. To not let my shitty morning take control over my entire day.

Take two. Hit the reset button. Start the day fresh. 

And damned if we didn't have the best day ever! 

It's all within our control. Attitude is everything. (And the sunshine doesn't hurt either!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ramble ramble blah blah blah

One might take a quick look at my blog and think that I fell off the face of the planet for most of February. And March. And maybe April too.

Truth be told, winter was loooong, people. And goddamnit if I didn't just about pack up my bags and hitch a ride south to warmer places. But I didn't. And we perservered. And here we are.

All indications seem to point to spring actually arriving sometime in the near future.  Yesterday was sunny, dare I say HOT even (almost 20C!) and there was some porch sitting and some cocktail drinking, and some praying that this bit of delight would keep on.

Today it's a balmy 5 degrees again, with a wind that will knock your bunnies over. (If you had bunnies.) (Which, I do.)

I don't know what kind of dark pit I fell into this winter, but it's nice to be out of it. The garlic is starting to poke it's head out of the ground, finally!  On Saturday I moved the aforementioned bunnies out of their House of Poop back into the great outdoors. We celebrated Easter Weekend with yard work, and new bicycles, and waay too much chocolate. And today I've decided to do some much needed computer work. In my chair. All day.


So much has gone on in the past few months that I don't even know where to start. Truth be told, I had to go though my Instagram feed to remember it all. Sad.

There was a ski trip to Elicotteville, a million and a half (ok, not quite, but close) baby bunnies, lots of snow, lots of snuggles, lots of hot chocolate. And lots and lots of soap.

The One of a Kind Show was the biggest baddest thing to happen in the past few months. A soapy whirlwind of a good/exhausting time, it was a dream come true!

And then there were smashed windows, trips to Stratford, more baby bunnies, and finally, little green things popping out of the ground. The children, along with the grass, are growing like weeds.

And I don't know where I'm going with all this.

I feel like I've lost my bloggy voice over the past few months, and I'm struggling to find it again. I want to pick up my camera again, and enjoy the little things that offer so much beauty in a single shot. And then write about them. But the inspiration just hasn't been there. If I had actually blogged the number of times I had THOUGHT about blogging, this space wouldn't have been the dead zone that it has been for so many weeks.

I feel like there are SO. MANY. THINGS. trying to fight for my attention.  The children, the husband, the dog, the rabbits, the groceries, the yardwork, the soap business, my friends, my family, my community.  Plus there's the relaxation that they tell us we're supposed to be doing. The laundry we should be washing, the dishes we should be doing, blah blah blah. And the blog we should be writing. Right.

Balance. It was supposed to be my word for 2014. My "thing" that I was supposed to be finding.

So far I feel like I'm sucking at the balance thing.

I feel like there are lots of other things that I'm rocking. The soapy side of life is certainly rocking. But the rest seems to be a bit unbalanced.

I think I'm rambled out. I think I've out-rambled my welcome, even though it's my damn blog.

Maybe just writing something, anything, will help me get back in the saddle again. Who knows.

For now, I sit, and dream about summer and fresh tomatoes and summer festivals and days at the pond. And no matter how unbalanced I feel, I can sit here in this spot knowing I'm at least unbalanced in the best spot in the world. And without even asking around, I know for certain that I'm not alone.

And that's worth a lot.

(If you made it this far you deserve a freaking medal!)


Friday, March 7, 2014

Longest. Winter. Ever.

You feel it, I feel it, and the kids are certainly feeling it.  This has been the LONGEST WINTER EVER.

It's also been the coldest winter in 34 years, since 1980.

Our house, built sometime in the early 1830's, as a barn, was converted into a home in 1980.  So this has been the coldest winter that this home has ever experienced.  

And trust me when I say that we've felt every shivering cold breath of it.

You may remember the last time we spoke, that we were prepping for some major minor renos.  Well, they didn't quite go as expected. We couldn't get to where we needed to get with the insulation, without ripping up the floor, which we wern't prepared to do on that day. And so no insulation. Which, in retrospect, was very very bad. (See above about coldest winter.) 

And so, without insulation, our house is cold.  Our house is not too bad when it's -10C outside.  But when it dips to -25C at night, or god forbid, lower then it dips in here too.  This morning it was 52 degrees in the house (a chilly 11C) with everything cranking at full.  There is nothing to be done, the heater can't keep up when there is -25 degree air seeping in all along the floor. (And holy EFF is the floor ever cold. )

The other day it finally got to me.  The cold inside, coupled with the cold outside, coupled with my car's new-found dislike of the cold, and its subsequent refusal to start, two days running (or not running, as the case may be) tipped me over the edge into "sobbing puddle of Mom."

And then Corbie came to me and hugged my leg.  Gave it a little pat. "Its ok, Mommy."

Deep breath. Winter won't last forever.

And this morning I looked at the forecast and realized that today, right now, is the coldest that it's going to be for the foreseeable future. I'm only going to get warmer.  The house is only going to get warmer. The grass is only going to get greener (once we find it under all the snow.)

And next year, when winter rolls around, we will be better prepared. More insulation.  If all goes well, a wood stove, hopefully even two.

And a bloody vacation planned for February, just in case.

But we're all ok.  We're alive, we have each other.  We have warm blankets and tea and hot water bottles, and the love.  We have a (albeit poorly insulated) roof over our heads. All in all, life ain't so bad.

And pretty soon, I'll be gardening.  And thanks to the long winter, there is more bunny poop piled up here than you can shake a stick at. 

The gardens this year are going to be fab! 

Stay warm, peeps, spring is coming!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Everything in it's place.

We're planning for some major minor renovations this week, and the house has been in a state of bordering-on-chaos for a few days now. Not chaos, just boardering on it.  Juuuuust on the edge. 

Our major minor renovations is just a little bit of insulation on the upper floor, but it necessitates getting rid of anything furniture-wise around the outside perimiter of the house.  And everything in the living room. 

One of the unfortuate things that lies around the outside edge of our house is our kitchen cabinets and our sink.

The same one that we tore out about a year ago and put back in.  We will now repeat that action, with the ripping out (again) and the putting back in (again.) 

It also involves some spray stuff in the basement, which necessitates moving everything away from the north, south, and west wall of our basement.  East side gonna be crowwwwded...

Anyway, my point is this:

There is so much stress on simplifying these days.  But when I moved my plants and my book shelves, and a few pieces of extra furniture out of the living room, it didn't feel simple. 

It felt empty.

Our living room is one of the magical places in the house, where we have managed to narrow it down to just enough stuff to fit in the room.  It's perfect - when everything is put in it's place, the room is a little haven of warmth and loveliness.

There are no other rooms like this in the house!  (Except maybe the bathroom...almost.)

The kids rooms have too many toys, our room has too many clothes.  There is too much fabric in my sewing room, too much crap-of-all-kinds in the basement (and way too many mason jars.)  Oh, and I run a business down there. 

There is too much useless junk in the kitchen, and too much recycling and garbage, and too much DAMN DOG FOOD ALL OVER THE FLOOR. 

BUT.  When it feels overwhelming, as it often does, I need to remember that I don't need to get rid of everything in site. 

Nope.  Just what doesn't fit. 

Everything in the home needs to have a place.  When you clean up the house, it should be easy to put everything away, because everything has a place to go to. (Its easier to get kids on board then too, because it's just about putting things in their spot.)  If it doesn't have a place, maybe it's gotta go.  Or maybe it needs a spot in storage.  Or maybe if it's really that important, then something else needs to go so the important thing can have a place.

Simplifying can often feel so overwhelming.  But we do have a decent amount of space in this house, and some pretty good storage solutions, and some good Virgo brains to go along with it.

I just need to do a little bit of letting go of things (something I'm not very good at) and a little bit of organizing and labeling (something I AM very good at) and we're not going to be too far off the wonderful little heavenly bliss of our living room.

Everything in it's place. That's it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I spent the day yesterday glaring and making angry noises at my computer, and all the silly people on Facebook. 

Hardly productive.

Our area of the world has been in a bit of a deep freeze for the past few weeks.  January has been c-c-c-cold.  February is shaping up to be not much different.  We're in the middle of a "good old fashioned winter" which is to say lots of snow, lots of cold, lots of wind.  Which, around here, results in lots of road closures, lots of cancelled buses and closed schools.  Some people have been stuck in their houses for close to a week now, as closed roads keep them from going anywhere.  People are running out of groceries, small towns are running out of gas, and tempers are running high.

Yesterday was particularly bad in Dufferin - everything looked good in the morning, good enough to send the kiddies to school, but then one by one the roads started closing. White-outs everywhere, and then at 1pm the county declared a state of emergency, closed the schools, cancelled the afternoon buses, and all of a sudden there were hundreds of kids stranded at their schools.  Chaos ensued.

(Just a note - Dufferin is the county that we moved AWAY FROM 18 months ago, not the one that we currently live in.  However, we still live very close to the border of the county, so it's road closures tend to affect us, although not nearly in the way that they used to.)

Many parents spent the day griping about the decisions the school board had made to send the kids to school. Run the buses, keep the schools open, keep exams running in highschools. "It's not safe!" they all shouted.  "Call the media, tell them how the board is risking the safety of our kids!"  "Our kids have to write exams, they have no choice but to go to school."

And that's when I started making my angry noises at the screen.

Here's the thing - you, I, whoever, we ALWAYS have a choice.

I tried to explain this to some people yesterday, and it fell on deaf ears.

If you don't feel that it's safe to put your kids on the bus, despite what the school boards say, then DON'T DO IT.  Your choice.  Not the school board, not the school, YOU.  You even have a choice to write exams or not.  If you feel like your children are being asked to RISK THEIR LIVES to go write an exam, then you need to decide what is more important - their life, or their exam. You could drive them, or, if they miss it they could potentially write it later, take their mark without their exam, or worst case, retake the course. All of these things are better options than potentially getting killed on your way to school on treacherous roads. It is YOUR choice.

This is a lesson for yesterday, and ultimately, for life. 

I think too many people sit around and blame others for what is happening in their lives.  They blame chance, or circumstance, and wallow in their lives, thinking there is no way to change things.

Untrue.  There is always a way.  We always have a choice to make a positive change.  Sometimes you have to get creative, go way out of your comfort zone, ask for help.  But there is always a choice to be made.

Sometimes, granted, we can not control the things that happen to us.  We can't control the weather, accidents happen, people die suddenly, some things are out of our control.  But we CAN control how we react to those things. We can wallow in them, or choose to take a step in a different direction.

There is no such thing as "I have no choice."  You ALWAYS have one.  You are the maker of your own destiny.  The trailblazer of your own path. The person in charge of YOUR life is YOU.

And the person in charge of my life is me. Every choice that I have made, and then we as a family has made has brought us to where we are.  IT IS NO ACCIDENT that we live in the greatest place in the world (in our mind, anyway) and are stupidly happy.  We made it so.

So if you're unhappy with some facet of your life?

Change it.

YES, you can. 

Find the thing that sings to your soul, and then make a move towards it.

Even if it is a teeny tiny move.  Its STILL a move. A step in the right direction.

Somedays it will feel like you've hardly moved at all.  Some days you may move backwards. But tomorrow is a new day, and another chance to move forward again.

Some days you win, some days you learn.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

YOU, and only you can make the choice.

The choice to be happy lies in YOUR hands.

So go, be happy!

(And thanks to Marianne, who bugged me about blogging again.  Blogging makes me happy!  xoxox) 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014


This weekend, we tried a little something new on Sunday. We put away the phones, the ipads, the computers, and spent the day 100% unplugged.

It was so needed.

And it was SO awesome!

We played with each other. Read books, made and drank copious amounts of tea. Did puzzles, played with lego, drew, dreamed, and talked to each other. Like really talked.

(Some of us even went back to bed when "we" realized there was no morning show to be had!)

We invited some friends for dinner, and then spent the afternoon tidying up the house.  Finishing off the weekend with a delicious meal with friends, and a clean house, full of love for each other was perfect. 

We'll do it again, no doubt.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A year of Corben

One photo a month, for one year. (Except for October...there's two, I couldn't pick.)  All Corben, all the time. 

Happy Birthday dude!

(And sorry about the watermarks, but I wasn't about to re-upload them all!)

January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013

August 2013
September  2013
October 2013
Annnd October again
November 2013
December 2013

Happy Birthday, to the coolest, awesomest kid I know.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Oh Snap

We're in the middle of a "cold snap" right now. 

(Why "snap?"  I don't know.  We need to "snap" the heck out of it, pronto.)


The temperature is minus holymothertruckingcold outside right now, which is about 5 degrees warmer than it was this morning.  We're pretty sure the temperatures dipped down into the minus 30's (celsius) last night. If the number of layers I needed to wear to bed is any indication, it was extreme cold.

It has come to our attention that our house is woefully inadequately insulated.  WOEFULLY.  WHOA-FULLY INADEQUATE.

And when its holymothertruckingcold outside?  Well then it only slightly less than holymothertruckingcold inside too.

Our poor little propane fireplaces have been running non-stop for three days, and not once have we actually got up to the temperature that the thermostat is set to (a paltry 67 F...I am aiming low...and still not getting there.)  The propane bill this month is going to make me weep frozen tears of sadness into my cup of tea, oh yes it will.

But we soldier on.  Blankets.  Hot chocolate (with Baileys, of course.)  Toques in the house.  Hot water bottles in the bed.  Tonight I kicked Corben out of his room to the trundle bed in G's room, so Steve and I can sleep in his bed (on the upper floor, where the little heat that there is rises to) because I'm tired of seeing my gawd damn breath as I lay in bed.

I always said I wanted to live like a pioneer.

Be careful what you wish for internets, be oh so very careful! ;)

Stay toasty, my friends!  Send warm thoughts!