Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Warmth

I have been absent from my blog, while trying to be present in my life.

Summer was busy! I did my third year in the local Transcona Farmers Market, and Haley helped a lot with that. She was in charge of making and selling her cupcakes, treating it as a part time job. She loved it because she got to keep all of the profits! She was a huge help in other ways as well, with the loading and unloading of the vehicle, set up and selling. She’s pretty darn cute so when she would tell people that she made the cupcakes, how could they resist. I am so thankful to everyone who supported us and came week after week to purchase our goodies or buy my handcrafted items. In the end, it proved to also be a good learning for Haley, getting a bit better at counting and managing her money. I hope to instil in her, that entrepreneurial drive!

So what else have we been up to?

I was emotionally invested in a 10 week writing course that blew my mind in so many ways. I found a voice that I didn’t know I had, and I look forward to practicing putting that voice into action! Truthfully, I was too busy to be fully and faithfully engaged, but just like everything else; it will sit with me every day, resonate and stir within me, and flourish in good time. I am in the process of developing a blog with just my writing, and designing it is proving to be a challenge. All in good time right?

We swam so much! We fell in love with the slowing down that peacefully and instinctively came with our time at Beauty Bay! We spent hours on the beach, on the floating dock, paddle boarding, we even tried yoga on the paddle board, ever so briefly in the rough waters that came with that particular weekend!

We had lazy days of reading and writing, snuggling with the pets, we indulged in too much good food and good drinks! But it was all so wonderful.
We spent time with friends, met up with ones we haven’t seen for years, got to know other even deeper; in doing so, discovering ourselves in a new light.
My mind is filled with enough beautiful images to keep me dreaming well into spring!
School has begun, and I look forward to settling into our old routine and hopefully adding something new to it. I can feel in my anxiety ridden mind, the intensity that comes with bearing down and getting prepared for my fall artisan shows, the challenges of Haley in grade 8, and writing that needs to happen! I hope to embrace it all, and have only very few moments of doubt and near breakdown days. I hope my yoga continues to bring me that inner calm I often have to channel throughout the day!

Here is some more of my summer in pictures!

Paddle Board yoga!
Beautiful Writing Spaces

Amazing lake sunsets

Awesome beach days, and so much swimming!
Summer was amazing in every way possible. I hope fall has the same possibilities!
Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Keeps Me Up at Night - Story Unfolding 101

*What keeps you up at night? What could you talk about every single day for the rest of your life? What do you want to shout from the rooftops so everyone will know? What runs electric through your veins?

What keeps me up at night? Seriously?
What doesn’t keep me up at night?
Photo Via Pinterest
I don’t sleep much, or well. So the fact that I can’t sleep, keeps me up. Fear of insomnia taking over my life once again, keeps me up. People use the word insomnia too much. I think I likely did as well, until I actually had it, and sleep would not come to me, not at 1 am, not at 3 am, not a 5 am. Never. Finally I would nap some afternoons, for short periods of time. Insomnia, you know when you have it, and it is dreadful!
What keeps me up at night?
Conversations I ought to have or would like to have, will keep me up. Thinking about marriage and friendships, keeps me up at night.
Story ideas keep me up at night.

Songs stuck in my head keep me in a state of consciousness.

Oddly enough, ways in which I can meet and have dinner with Prince keep me up at night.
If you tell me to think about ice cream flavors to help me get to sleep, instead of counting sheep, now THAT, keeps me up. DO you know how many ice cream flavors you can think of? Remember the ice cream in a cone shape plastic cup, it was pink and had a gum ball at the bottom, and you ate it with a wooden stick spoon? What about the Canadian Mint Bar or Strawberry Shortcake? Oh and pudding pops! See what happens?
My brain does not shut the fuck up!
This writing prompt does not help me, and it even kept me up one damn night!

Now what could I talk about every single day? Again, some would say Prince. Weird, I know. Others would say my daughter, my cat, the crappy service you get from people in retail stores.

I know where this writing prompt is meant to go, what it is supposed to inspire in me. It doesn’t.

Here is the thing. Something that moves me, or something I am passionate about, it is not something tangible.
It is a feeling.

It is a deep, unbending need that gnaws at me every day, a need that I push into those deep crevasses.

It’s a feeling of home, of family (not necessarily the traditional sense of family). It is a place of belonging.
That is what it is, that ignites me, what I want to shout from the rooftops. This feeling I search for and long for, that I am scared I will die without feeling it.

A feeling of love and warmth, closeness, kindness, tenderness, sharing, caring and an absolute unvarying, sum of exchange.
Love that is given and returned on the parity,

A place of solitude, peace and tranquility,


And Adoration.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Unwanted Kiss

Story 101 – Conference call

On the weekend, I had a video conference call with my writing group. One of the questions posed to us, was ‘who, or what, is our muse?’
I had never really thought about it much before. It could be heartache, or loneliness, or hurt.  I know that often, music has inspired me. There are a few artists that I can listen to that will ignite my imagination, and usually, it is their music, if any, playing while I am writing. Often I like silence.
We were asked the question, ‘what would it do to our writing if we believed God, the Spirit, the universe was our muse? God my source? The universe?
Well, I will tell you, when I first contemplated if I was going to partake in this writing course, I sent an e mail, asking if it was religious based. I did not want to write about God, I did not want to write about religion, I just wanted to write. I was assured that although there were many religious people in the course, it was not religious based. I was good with that. As it turns out, these women are amazing!
I explained that while I am not a part of an organized religion, I do believe. I refer to him as ‘my God’. All I mean by that, is that I believe, and he may not be the same God you pray to, and we may not have the same beliefs, but I do believe that there is someone bigger than me, someone more than me, someone who loves me, and guides me. I have my own unique experience with religion, with the church, with God, but have always lived by the belief that there are two things you only talk about with a few trusted people, politics and religion. I still stand by that.
Anyway, our task at hand was to take 10 minutes to write about God, the Spirit, the universe, (whatever was our belief), being our muse.
Here is what I think:
I have a story within me that will not come out to be shared.
Is my muse, my God, my universe, going to give me the most divine opportunity to share my story?
If I would have been asked this question a few days prior, I would not have been able to answer it. I had NO answer. This day I did. I could see, that God had an injustice happen upon my daughter, allowing words to bubble up, my story, beginning to come to the surface and he was speaking to me through her, likely knowing, through her, is the only way I could truly hear him. If he truly is the reason for all things, he needs to protect my daughter. This light, this spark, within me is enough to light my fire.
He has fuelled my need. If the universe is my muse, I have put out there, a need to find my voice.
This is her story, yet it is mine...

The Unwanted Kiss

She came in the front door, her bag slung across her chest, her hair wild from the humidity.
“Mom, can I talk to you, tell you something that happened?
I shut my laptop with a “snap”, I know when she says this, that she needs my undivided attention.
“Sure honey, what happened?”
She was at her friend *Connors house, so I quickly scanned my mind, he annoyed her again, she ran into someone at the school yard on her way home, or she saw some bad kids. These are all some of the things she regularly reports.
I was in no way prepared for what would come out of her mouth; that perfect, small mouth, with those beautiful full lips. My lips.
“Connor forced himself on me and kissed me! I pushed him away, but he did it again, three times!”
“He WHAT?” is the first response that came out of my mouth. As I asked her to tell me what happened, I said a quick request to God in my head to please let her be able to get it all out, let her find her communications skills enough to be clear about what happened.
She described how he asked her to go in the garage he wanted to kiss her. She admitted she was curious too, she thought it may feel good.
Then she got nervous, she thought it was wrong and told him so.
He kissed her anyway.
She got hot and started to sweat, she didn’t feel right, she felt like it was wrong, and once again told him no, she didn’t want to kiss him again.
He put his hand on her lower back and pushed himself toward her to kiss him again, she pushed him away, both her hands on his chest, she explained, showing me with her hands outstretched. He kissed her a third time, and she yelled at him.
As she told me this, she began to cry.
I sat in front of her, holding her hands, reaching out to comfort her.
I closed my eyes.
Oh God, his rough hands.
Oh God, the searing pain.
Oh God that horrible taste in the back of my throat, what the hell is that?
Oh God, my back is killing me, my head, oh God the pain.
I opened my eyes and it was her I saw before me. Her red, hot face, tears coming down her cheeks.
My anger boiled inside me, bile coming up, I nearly puked in my mouth.
I was devastated for what she just experienced, yet thankful for what did not happen.
God, don’t let it happen to her too, please, not ever. Please, no!
I scanned her for the truth.
I knew there was more, so I asked her.
“He asked me mom, oh God, he asked me if he could see my boobs, he pulled my shirt, my bra away.”
Then it ended. His mom came into the garage.
My girl tried to tell his mom what happened and she told me that they both got into trouble. This mom, this woman, this stupid bitch said to my girl over and over again that it takes two. It takes two. She didn’t know what it meant, but his mom kept saying this to her.
It takes two?
If this woman had been in front of me, I would have punched her. I would have spit on her.
I let my girl cry. She needed to cry, to be rid of the feelings I knew were overwhelming her. The shame, the confusion, the hurt, the betrayal of her friend.
As she put her face in her hands, I closed my eyes.
I had to ask her if she knew what it meant. I knew I had to ask her a serious set of questions and be prepared to answer the ones she asked me.
Should I tell her my story?
It was all too much, I wanted her to keep her face covered, and I couldn’t let her see my face. I can’t let her see my tears; I can’t let her see my truth.
Not yet. Not now. I’m not ready. She’s not ready.
Oh God, if you are there, please spare her.

*name has been changed.

I believe that this was God telling me, that the time is now, to share my story, and share my truth. This is her story, yet it is mine.

Thank you for stopping by.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Questions Answered - Story 101

Something interesting was presented to us in my Story 101 class, a group of questions for us to answer, adapted from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. I have not read the book yet, but it is on my list. I do know it is a book that has helped many people discover–and recover– their creativity. It's a book for those wishing to experience more creativity in their lives.

I like this idea, I have seen it on other blogs in their "about" page, a list of things that readers may find interesting to know about the blogger, or a way to get to know them better.

I always thought that two of the things I would list if I was to do this kind of "about me" page would be; a phobia I have: grasshoppers! What can you always be guaranteed to find when you come to my house: my vacuum in the middle of the floor in one of  my rooms! I have 4 pets so I vacuum up to 3 times a day most days. I like to have it handy. Granted, having it in the middle of the kitchen or living room is not ideal, but it's handy if I find a fur ball!

Anyway, I digress. So here it is, I wanted to participate and blog the answers to the questions listed for us.

1. My favorite childhood toy was...
Cats! I know they are not a toy, but I would go into the closet when I had a cat who had babies, (and yes it happened often!) and I would grab my moms knitting needles and pretend to be their teacher! I would use the knitting needles to point at the one who should answer the questions! Weird I know. Barbie's were a close second!

2. My favorite childhood game was...
Monopoly or hide and seek.

 3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was...
E.T. It was my first movie in a theatre. When I was 10 or 12, I can't remember, Purple Rain became THE movie that would change my life. So dramatic, I know, but it's how I felt at the time.

 4. I don't do it much but I enjoy...
A good food fight! Me and one of my brothers were famous for our food fights!

 5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself...
Give in to taking risks!

 6. If it weren't too late, I'd...
Travel the world, living in other countries for a time and moving on.

 7. My favorite musical instrument is...
I don't play an instrument, but I love the sound of the drums, and piano. Also the acoustic guitar.

 8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is...
Good question. Coffee is a big one for me, craft supplies, baking supplies, travel to Prince concerts, yikes, it's a good thing I don't really keep track.

 9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her...
Her own studio with lots of windows, natural light, and a view to die for!

 10. Taking time out for myself is...
writing, sitting still in nature and staring, swimming into deep water.

 11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming...
I may finally take a risk that would change the course of my life forever.

 12. I secretly enjoy reading...
I don't "secretly" enjoy anything, but I do love to read books that sometimes are a bit easy to read, with a good story, the ones you can finish in a day if you took the time. I do have an addiction to magazines. If I had the money, I would buy one of every magazine on every topic. But then I would need the time to read them all. I have piles of magazines I have not gotten to, or that I save for that one story I wanted to re read!

 13. If I had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be...
Oh, the list could be endless, a rocker chic, a better wife, a photographer for National Geographic. Or I would still be me, just the way I am. Childhood made me who I am, but it didn't keep me where I once was. Change and growth, can be a beautiful thing!

 14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd write or make a...
I would write a self dictated Biography of Prince. I find him fascinating, and would love to know his musically genius mind.

 15. My parents think artists are...
I have no idea what my mother would think artists are. Perhaps I should ask her.

 16. I believe God thinks artists are...
People who reach the souls of others.

 17. What makes me feel weird about this course is...
Opening up to strangers.

 18. Learning to trust myself is probably...
The best thing I could ever learn to do.

 19. My most cheer-me-up music is...
Anything that makes me move, dance and be silly!

 20. My favorite way to dress is...
This is a loaded question, because I do not dress in my favorite way. I have no idea how others would view how I currently dress, I have been told I am classic in my style. My favorite is Bohemian. Not that I would ever need to wear one, but I would love to be able to pull off a gown and heals!

There it is. So people who know me, did you learn anything new?

Wow, I encourage you to jot this down for yourself and answer the questions, the answers came so much easier to me than I thought!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Story 101

I started a new writing course, Story 101, which will continue for ten weeks. In these 10 weeks, my plan is to use this blog as my writing place. We have a syllabus for our ten weeks, full of writing prompts, blog analysis, activities, books we need to read. I may be a bit crazy to be doing this right now, in the busy summer months, but all of my months are busy. No time like now.

The first food for thought presented to us; “why am I taking this course, do I have a story unfolding?”

We all have a story, don’t we?

For the last four days on the beach, there was this anonymous man, sitting there in his chair. He would sit alone, drinking a beer or two. When the heat became too much or the water beckoned him, he would retreat to the water for a swim. On and on, day after day, my curious eyes would watch him, my heart felt warm towards him. We have now progressed, him and I, from a friendly nod of acknowledgement to a hello and finally an exchange of names and a conversation. He even offered to take a picture of my family.

Today, I glanced back at him. Tibor is his name. No doubt he was handsome in his day. Now he has silver hair, likely in his 60’s, a fit, tanned man. As I glimpse at him, I wonder about him, what is Tibor’s story? Is there a Mrs. or is she gone. Does he have children, grandchildren? Is he sad? What does he think about all those hours?

Tibor has a story.

I have a story.

We all have a story. Some of us want to tell it. Some of us need to tell it. Some would rather their stories didn’t exist in their form.

But...we all matter and each and every one of our stories matter.

I may find out through Story 101 that I began this course to tell my story. Maybe it is to see if I have the courage to use my authentic voice. I am taking this course to learn; from myself and others as we become brave worriers in our own right.

I am taking this course to find my heart, become alive in places I fear I have died.

As we build a community and rally around each other, I hope to share my stories and find my authentic voice which these days, seems to be silent.

Most of all, I want to write.

I want to dig into the crevices of me, deep and dark, bright and wild.

I want to write.

You may choose to read or you may not. It is ok either way. You may be intrigued by my journey or bored. Either way, it is ok.

I do know that in my writing I will grow, I will find beauty, I will be beautiful. If in some small way, by being me, I have touched someone deep inside their crevices, helped someone feel love, make them smile or help them feel a sense of connection, my words will have been worth it.

Story 101 is just another one of my journeys, to my final destination.

I hope that without judgement, you will join me in reading about my journey. Perhaps you will begin to or continue to find your voice to your own story unfolding.

My biggest barrier, as I take this course, is going to be fear. I’m ashamed to say that sometimes, fear rules me. What am I afraid of? Well, sometimes I am afraid of the fact that no one truly knows me, and in writing and sharing, people may finally get to know me. What if knowing me means not loving me?

I am afraid to dream my dreams, because of fear of success. What if achieving my dreams means leaving others behind? I am afraid of the crippling guilt of being selfish.

Finally, I am afraid, that I actually will find my voice and in doing so, I will split myself wide open, gaping wounds and all, for all to know, for all to see, for all to judge and for all to question. I am afraid to find the answer to my burning question: How can I feel like something is absent, when I am so happy?

How will I manage these obstacles? With the faith and belief that all of this will happen and I will be loved anyway, I will still be happy and maybe even happier still.

I will manage these obstacles by the simple knowledge that I am who I am for a reason, that my stories, my life, and my love, is meant to be shared. I believe that beauty can indeed be something that can be felt in my heart and not just seen.

This is the truth. The truth shall set us free – right?

My truth will take courage, vulnerability and love.

I am about to embrace my story unfolding!
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Who Cares About IQ Anyway?

The envelope arrived in the mail today. Now it sits there on the counter. I moved it from my computer table to the pile of newspapers that need to be read, onto the counter. All in a span of 30 minutes!
It sits there, unopened, with all the power of the world over me.
I feel my breathing become labored, my neck hurts from the tension of my shoulders, my head pounds, my heart pounds and God, my breathing is so shallow. I can’t catch my breath; it escapes, never satisfying me enough. I try to breathe deeply, like I do in yoga, in and out; count it in, 1, 2, 3, and 4 and out, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. I love when I can get an extra breath out. It helps.
I try not to think about how this unopened envelope has the capacity to paralyse me, yet it does, and I am reminded of this fact, just by its sight. This is my anxiety at its highest power over my body; I try not to let it take over my mind too.
I know that envelope only contains an administered intelligence test for my daughter. It does not define her, or say who she is; it only tells me her IQ. It only tells me where she is intellectually compared to her peers. It will tell me that based on the results of the assessment, she is considered mentally retarded, a label I hate. A label that the system is trying to change now, to “cognitive impairment”.
I’ve been here before, four years ago, sitting in an office when someone first said those words to me, labelled my daughter that way. Actually she was one point away, and I was given the choice for them to go either way, if I chose the one point less, funding and resources would open up. I am not stupid, I told them I didn’t care what they called her, please go the one point lower. I quit my job that next week and embarked on a new focus in my life.
Here I am four years later, and I know the results that are contained in the envelope. I already had the sit down with the school psychologist. I remember the day well, only last week, when I walked home from the meeting giving way to my body and mind as it failed me. I lay on my couch at 4 in the afternoon, and I stayed that way for 2 hours. I don’t remember if I slept, cried, or if I was consumed with thoughts. I just know I missed my yoga class, sent my daughter to go for a walk with the dog and let her stay in her room to hang out. I didn’t want her to see me the way I was. Those two hours, would normally be filled with doing chores, homework and dinner prep, but today she got to spend at her leisure, while I let my body and mind recover.
I won’t let the same thing happen to me today. That envelope can sit unopened. I will write, I will work in my yard, I will keep busy. Today is too nice a day to be consumed by worry, by sadness, and yes by grief.
Today I will enjoy the sunshine on my shoulders, the breeze on my face, the time I take in solitude to consider how I will enjoy my summer. I will not make lists, and plan, and research.
I learned 13 years ago to never plan for more than the year. Each year brings changes, re assessments of the school year, new challenges to face.
I learned that each year I have a time of sadness, a time of grieving for what will never be, a time of joy for what is and a sense of pride for achievements.
What is the big deal with an IQ anyway? It’s not like we base our friendships and loves on it. We don’t ask people before we choose to love them, “hey what is your IQ, because if it’s not at least 92, I don’t think I can love you!”
No, we choose who we love based on caring, compassion, kindness, humor, spirit....not their ability to do algebra or write a winning essay or even play an instrument.
While my daughter may not be “book smart”, she is loyal and loving, genuine, cultured, kind, considerate, compassionate, happy, and above all, loved. Those are just some of her qualities, and I know, that is more important than any level of IQ.
So to hell with IQ!
Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Minneapolis, Prince, 3rd Eye Girl and a Police Officer!

I grew up with a rather eclectic exposure to music. I am the youngest of four kids, so I listened to all varieties of music in my formative years. When my older brother would go out with his friends, I would sneak into his room, and play his vinyl records. My favorite, were the 45 rpm records because then I could really listen to an assortment before he came back home! His collection was bountiful, but my favorite of his was The Scorpions, The Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, Genesis, Queen, David Bowie, Springsteen. Then there was the taste of my sister, more than 15 years older than I am, that influenced me. These, being the likes of Lionel Ritchie, Pat Benatar, Joni Mitchell, The Police, and Cheap Trick. Like I said, eclectic!

I found my own likes, by the time I was 10, but there came that pivotal moment when I discovered Prince. Wow. I was blown away and in love forever! I went through my hard rock, heavy metal phase for a while, being the rocker chick that I am! My tastes narrowed to some favorites, still to this day in The Doors, Van Morrison, U2 and Aerosmith. But the one constant was Prince.

After finally seeing Prince for the first time in his Welcome to Canada tour, my view on attending concerts changed. You can read about that here if you like, in my post "Prince, You Still Rock My World". Then, not even a year later, I travelled to Chicago to see him again, and you can read about that here if you so desire, in my post "Prince Welcome 2Chicago, My Personal Review"! Needless to say, I was hooked! Recently I went to see Bon Jovi with a friend. I do love me some Bon Jovi, his music is classic and he sounds great live. Here is the thing though. I have seen him twice, the first time, in an outdoor venue, and it was a blast! The second time was with a friend who ADORES him. During the concert I waited and waited. What was I waiting for? That mind-blowing feeling that comes over you, when you are feeling the music with your heart, transported to a place that is for a moment in time, nameless. I waited for that moment to resonate in my soul, dancing, clapping and lost in time. I danced, and clapped and had a great time, but the rest never happened. Seeing Prince live, ruined me for everyone else!

First Avenue, where Purple Rain was filmed!
I have to tell you though, on May 25th, 2013 at the Myth in Minnesota when Prince and his new band 3rd Eye Girl took the stage, I was in seventh heaven! My new found twitter friend that I met up with, well he knew the first 3-4 songs that Prince was going to play. ("Let's Go Crazy", followed by "Endorphin machine, and "Screwdriver")  I’m glad I wasn’t that aware of his previous set list from the other shows on this tour. I read them, but didn’t memorize them, and so it was a nice surprise for me when he began his fourth song, “She’s Always in my Hair”. You see, I had this little dream come true, and somehow ended up with a special wrist band that got me up close, right at the stage. I could touch the stage. So when he began with “She’s Always in My Hair”, I think my eyes actually glazed over, for the first of several times that night, and I was misplaced. I was lost in pure emotion and pure feeling of enjoying the moment, etching it in my brain, to hold close in a place I can recall again and again if I like.

When Prince had Bobby Z, his drummer from the Revolution days, come on, applause erupted, with such an explosion of gratitude and love. Prince moved to the keyboard for this song, and I know many of my Prince friends will disagree with me here, but sometimes for this song, that is exactly where I like him. Especially this night, with Bobby Z on drums, with kind, caring, loving words spoken to Bobby, it would just not have had the same effect if he was on guitar. When you see Prince play guitar on this song, he himself seems to get lost and transported to his own place. I think being on the keys, allowed Prince to be present and speak his heart, giving us a glimpse of something that his fans don’t often see, the personal part of him.

This was not a concert of “hits” and I knew it wouldn’t be, which is one of the reasons I really wanted to see him and 3rd Eye Girl on this tour. This band he has is on fire! Donna Grantis, his guitarist, is remarkable. She tears it up on that guitar; you can feel her passion and is the epitome of my version of a true rocker chic! And she’s Canadian, so of course I am proud of her success based on her citizenship right away! There were times, I fought between looking at Prince and her, and I love to look at Prince! I loved that there was not a whole team of backup singers and dancers to distract my attention from the amazing band he has, but I did miss seeing Prince take control of the stage with his dance moves, jumping off the piano, showing us his sexy ass and all the rest that comes with his larger venue performances! He certainly did have control of the stage in that super conductor way that he has though, queuing his band when need be.

 He continued the rest of the show with Free, I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man, Guitar, Plectrum Electrum, Fixurlifeup, I Like it There (Oh my gosh, I didn’t think I could find him sexier!), So Far So Pleased, The Max and Laydown. I may be missing something, but those are the ones I know!

The bouncer in the VIP area mentioned to my friend that Prince will likely pass him the guitar during the performance. That didn’t happen because maybe we were not in the right spot at that moment in time, but he did get to touch it, and that was a highlight for him I know! The same bouncer also told us when Prince left the stage that he would not be back again, and that he looked very pissed off at something. I am not sure that was true, and I wish he never would have said it, because in my mind it was a perfect night, and I hope nothing annoyed him enough to walk off the stage abruptly, but alas, the night was over.
I know one of these wrist bands allowed me
 in the VIP section. And free
drinks, but I was NOT leaving my spot to get anything!

I need to say this, I really do. I have always wanted to see Prince in a smaller venue, thought I would NEVER have a chance to see him play live while I stood at the foot of a stage. But this night, I got both. Being that close, and watching him, I have been trying for two weeks to put into words, but they have not really come to me yet. I was so close that I could see the fabric of his clothes, the individual tassels on his vest. I could see his face, his makeup, and his hands. I am sure there were moments I stopped dancing just to look at him, I was so in awe. Then something happened. I saw him, and I saw for the first time that he was just him. Just Prince, in all his genius and his success, and his fame, I was seeing him as a man.  I had to wonder, with as private as he is, as eclectic as he is, and as brilliant as he is, perhaps it’s because his ego has taken pause and he feels just like that, he is just him, just a man doing what he loves to do?

A few months ago, I wrote down a few of my goals, for the year, and for the upcoming 5 years. Now laugh if you will, but one of those things I put on my short list, was to see Prince in a small venue (I was thinking more like the Dakota shows he did), and to be right AT the front of the stage. It happened, perhaps I should make a new list, and on that list one of the things should be to meet Prince? Actually meeting him would mean nothing to me, I don’t care so much to shake someone’s hand and engage in a small greeting. It doesn’t do anything for me. But dinner or a conversation....oh a girl can dream can’t she?

I think Prince need me to come to Paisley Park and build him a flower garden!
I do have a bit of a creepy, funny bit to my visit to see Prince live in his hometown. I figured since I drove the 8 hour drive to get there, I may as well drive by his recording studio, Paisley Park, just for the photo opportunity! As we parked our vehicle illegally and rather creepily by his gate entrance to quickly run around to the front to snap a photo, the police were driving by, swung around and came to check what was going on. Luckily he was nice, and said he was just checking why the vehicle was there. I assured him I was not doing any harm, just wanted to take a picture, and we would be on our way. I thought later that I should have asked him if I could take his photo, all I got was a shot of his car in the side view mirror. My daughter did the whole hand to forehead slap thing, and I told her we would do the same if say BEP or
Sorry Mr. Police officer, Sorry Prince!
Shania Twain or someone she really liked lived in a city we drove all the way to visit.

Ahh, good times, good memories, lovely feelings! Thanks Prince and 3rd Eye Girl for a great weekend I will never forget!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 3, 2013

My Gaping Hole

I love visiting a new city or town, and feeling the vibe of life being lived by others. I like to imagine myself there, my life as it would be, if that city was my home. Minneapolis this past weekend was the perfect place to imagine my life being transported. One day before leaving from Minneapolis, back to my home city, I became implausibly sad. I took some time to let the feeling settle inside me, and spent many hours during sightseeing, shopping, and driving, to consider why.

The trip was great; a good time was had by all. Minneapolis is a very pretty city, and I liked it more than I thought I would. I also may have found a new favorite paper store! I actually didn’t really wonder before we left, if I would like it or not. I was quite focused on the concert I was going there for, Prince of course. A small 3000 person show in his home town! (That has to be a separate blog post though!) What did I care if I would like the city or not. I was going to see Prince in concert for the 3rd time in 2 years!

But something happened, in the light of day. I looked around and saw that in some ways, it was a city much like my own. In some ways, it was a larger scale of the small mountainside town of Peachland that I fell in love with last year.  I could feel, within me, a gaping hole. Something missing...something not found...something I long for, need, crave?

There was a very pretty area that we went to on our second last day, the Lake Calhoun area. When we got there, my breath caught in my throat. Not because of its beauty. I have seen beautiful places before, in my ever favorite Rocky Mountains, the beaches of Hawaii, Jamaica, the forest and trees in our camping region, the soft silence and untouched beauty of the area I tree planted in as an 18 year old. I have seen many beautiful places, and that was not what caused my breath to be caught.

My daughter was with me the day I proclaimed that I loved Peachland so much I wanted to move there. She was with me in the water when she asked me, was it my dream to live there? She heard my reply that I was meant to live near beauty.

This day, in Minneapolis, as I stepped out of my vehicle, I looked at her and told her I had that same feeling that I had that day in Peachland.

I was meant to live near beauty.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nobody gets into a Bathroom Stall with my Baby!

photo courtesy of Photo Bucket
Today, my daughter came home with another bullying story. It’s not the first time someone did her wrong, and it won’t be the last! I listened to her long winded story of what happened...the girl was bugging her....wouldn’t shut up....told her to just leave me alone, go away...she said that nobody liked her....climbed over the top of the bathroom stall...

Wait, she what!? Yes I had heard it right, this mean, obtrusive bully, climbed over the top of the bathroom stall when my daughter went in there to get away from her.

I asked her next, “Did she put her hands on you?”

My daughter looked at me, she knows I can be fierce, and she put her head down and said no. I asked her again, wondering if her body language was showing tell tale signs of a lie. “Tell me now, the truth, did she put her hands on you? Did she poke you, push you, or did she shove you?” A mutual friend of my daughter and the bully had to actually drag this girl out of the bathroom, in order for the situation to stop. This girl did not put her hands on my daughter, but at this point, it didn’t matter.

I put on my shoes, told her to do the same and I asked her where this girl was right now! Possibly she was at the neighbors (the mutual friend) or at the school yard. We went to the neighbors, as I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell, to no answer; I could feel my anger growing.

As I said, when it comes to my girl, I can be fierce!

We walked to the school yard, and she was not there.

I took a breath, and took a cue from my daughter. My adrenaline was pumping, and I could see it got her pumping too. I knew I needed to calm down, and hopefully, I wouldn’t really find this girl. Instead I decided to walk into the school, to tell the principle.

As it turns out, this bully was being suspended, for what I know to be the 3rd or 4th time this school year. We told the principle what happened, we told him what she said, and I remembered to include the part about her wishing my daughter would die in a hole. Who says that? A few girls have bothered my unassuming daughter before. I have talked her through it, done and said all the things I believed to be right. This time though was different. Nobody, I mean nobody, gets into a bathroom stall with my baby!

When I was a teenager, a fair share of girls hated me. They didn’t like my long “spaghetti hair” (as they affectionately called it). One time, I even got chased out of one of the boys houses because one girl found out I was there hanging out.  They didn’t want me to hang out with any of the guys; they didn’t want their boyfriends talking to me. They seemed to wish I had never come to their school.  I wish back then I had someone to protect me, to stand up for me. I wish I could have been better at standing up for myself. I know firsthand how mean and cruel girls can be. I won’t be able to protect my daughter from all of them, but I can damn well try!

On the walk back home, my daughter thanked me for standing up for her, and for talking to the principal, and for all of the things I told her. One of the things I told her was that if anyone ever shoved her, she was to use all her strength and shove them back. Her response was a wide eyes, “mom, then I will get expelled and I will get into trouble!” To which I replied, “Honey, I already home school you part time, you can come to my school and you won’t get in trouble from me for standing up for yourself, EVER.”

Did I tell her the wrong thing? I know violence doesn’t solve anything and “violence begets violence”, but really, if someone cornered you, and punched you in the face, would you smile at them? I don’t think so!
Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Doing the Doggie Paddle

Today I feel like a child learning to swim. The only thing I can manage today is the doggie paddle.

Today, this kid doing the doggie paddle is getting so tired from being over exerted, is ready to stop, and can’t breathe. Today I feel the fear inside that kid, who wonders, what will happen if my arms stop paddling, if my legs stop kicking, if my head goes under water? Will I drown, will I find my strength to keep going. Will vim and vigor kick in at the last moment?
I will be off to yoga in less than an hour and I will hear the words of my yoga instructor telling me to clear my mind, connect with my breath; let the stress of the day go. I may hit “publish” today to this post; maybe it will be in a day or two. Whenever it is, I hope that I no longer feel like I am treading water for survival, I hope I am gliding, arms stretched, sun on my face, head under water, then head up again, breathing with ease.
Today, while I am trying to connect with my breath, will I be thinking of the weight of last week upon my shoulders? When I close my eyes, will I see the look on my daughter’s face, when the arguments of the day became too much for her and she slid down her locker to the school hall floor to have a good cry? Will I remember her disappointment in not attending the spring concert because we just could not get past the day’s events... the prior week’s events... the meltdowns... the frustrations? Maybe I will connect with the hard pit in my stomach, the lump in my throat or the guilt in my heart.
Perhaps writing these words will be enough, and in the days ahead I can refocus. Find that vim and vigor.
Last night we went to the library. My books of choice were, Organizing the Disorganized Child, The Homeschooling Handbook, and Solve Your Childs School Related Problems. Not exactly easy reading, is it? I know I won’t possibly get them all read in the time I have them on loan from the library. I know I will not possibly be able to retain all of the information in the pages of these books. I know that chapters will go unread, of things we have tried, milestones we have achieved, accomplishments met, things still yet out of reach. I will look at the book on my bedside table, the one I wish I was reading, and the one I wish I could get lost in.

Another day, perhaps.
Treading water, doing the doggie paddle, sometimes it’s the best we can do, and that is ok.                   
I am about to hit the “publish” button on my blog, and all the while thinking....I said I wouldn’t do it. I would not vent on my blog, I would not be negative, and I would not use my blog as a “friend” when I thought none would understand. But you know what? Sometimes, when all you can do to keep your head above water is flail your arms and kick your feet, survival instinct has to kick in, and you just have to do whatever it takes to endure. Because if you don’t, you just won’t survive it!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wrestling With Creativity

Every day upon waking, and enjoying my morning coffee, I have three choices of how I will proceed with my day.  I ask myself, today, will I be a writer, feeling the need to get a story or essay written? Are the words taking up space in my mind, almost forcing me to take pen to paper? Am I a paper crafter, wanting to create something new with the copious amounts of pretty paper in my work room? Perhaps I can make some new journals? Maybe today I’m going to work on teaching outlines for my daughter, make a new home schooling binder, print out worksheets for her to complete, and I will be a teacher. Each day, these are the questions swirling around in my creative mind, wrestling with each other, and no I am not multiple personality!

I do however have three very distinct outlets for my creativity. I am a writer, a paper crafter and teacher to my daughter.

When creativity strikes, it is all encompassing. There could be words swimming in my head that have a need to come together, and I cannot properly focus on anything else. A color combination or a great gift idea may come to mind, or I may have a flash of brilliance, a scholastic idea pops into my mind that I just need to incorporate into my daughters teaching routine. If I do not satiate my creative idea right away, I have a dull ache that takes over my body.

When I go a few days without creating, my body reminds me, by throwing me a headache, or I become restless and unfocused.

I came across this photo today on Facebook, and it just struck a chord with me.
There are a few circumstances in my life, which leave me wishing someone could honestly say these words to me.

Today I wish someone could tell me that they know how frustrating it can be to have multiple creative outlets and the struggle that comes with choosing which one to nurture on any given day. I suppose I don’t surround myself with enough people that are “like” me, but I have never considered it a qualification of friendship.

I know people who are very creative. Some of them have a love for art, writing, playing instruments, or singing. They are all so talented and have a single driving passion. I have three. They equally engage me, they equally bring a smile to my lips, and they equally satisfy a hunger in me. And every day, they equally rival for my attention. I wonder to myself, could this be right? Is it possible I just think that they are all equally important to me? The blessing to this, is that ideas pass through each other, dripping their essence into my heart and mind, while I am busy being creative! The downfall is that I become so engrossed in my work, that I forget the world is still involved around me. Hours pass without me being aware of them! Sometimes logic has to win, it could be that I have a writing deadline, other times I have a show coming up or a special order that needs to be ready, so I am crafting all day and into the evening, days upon days. It is what takes the most of my time and I suppose wins the wrestling match more often than not.

Teaching my daughter is a necessity, and sometimes has to win the match against all odds, against all desires of my heart. Some days, that are truly brilliant in their own right, I get to do all three. Those are my best days. Those are the days I go to bed, and realize, that I had a perfect teaching opportunity, I created something new in my craft room, and I took the time to write.

These are things I cannot calendar, I cannot schedule, I cannot force.

There are days that one of these creative forces speaks a little bit louder than the others, and I listen. There are days, I wish that I could be happy just to choose one. But how do you let go of something that feels so good?

Do you wrestle with creativity? Share your story with me, because it would mean so much to know that someone knows exactly how I feel!

Thanks for stopping by.





Sunday, March 10, 2013

Under the Willow Tree

So here I am, sitting at Starbucks, trying to get some work done, and then it happens. I lift my head to look outside, and what do I see? Besides a parking lot, that is, I see snow. I see dreary grey skies. I close my eyes and envision the snow plow on my street yesterday afternoon, causing me to rush out and move my van. I can see myself walking to yoga class, my feet having difficulty in my boots finding any solid ground; just ruts, from snow melted, and then frozen again, covered with more and more snow. And my heart sinks. I think to myself, I have had enough; I’m done with the snow, done with the cold, done with the lack of sunshine.

I can remember nights I walked to yoga, with a smile on my face, in the darkness as I look at the glitter of the snow, the twinkle that the street lights offer to the new fallen flakes. That love affair was over weeks ago. I need sunshine on my shoulders, tanned skin, and golden hair. I long to feel grass on my bare feet, soil from my garden under my nails, sun shining hot on my face, giving me that summer glow.

Today, I am reminded of a summer day, last year, in one of the most beautiful places I know. Peachland, British Columbia. My girl and I drove to Peachland from Kelowna to spend the day on the beach. We packed a lunch, took our books, camera, our blanket and nothing much more than that! I parked the car and we headed to the rocky beach. Anticipation was building as I gazed past the beach in front of me to see the mountains, surrounding the wide open body of water, a calmness came over me. Haley didn’t like the beach very much because it was rocky instead of sandy. I loved it. I don’t care for sand much; it gets under my nails, in my hair, and on my blanket! We took a quick swim to cool off, before having our lunch. I remember reading for only a short while, before complete relaxation took over my body and mind, and I sank down into the blanket, playing with the grass on the ground above my head. Within minutes, Haley said to me “uh mom, look at that!” I lifted my head and looked towards the mountains to the blackest sky I had ever seen in these parts. Seconds later the wind came with a fierceness that took us by surprise. After gathering all of our stuff, throwing it in the car, we ran to the coffee shop!

We sat there, on the patio of the coffee shop, watching as the worst storm of the season, ripped its way through our beautiful, tranquil Peachland. I watched the willow tree, its sinewy limbs swaying with each gust.

Some might think our day was ruined, but it was far from ruined, it just turned out differently. It may have only been a few hours we spent in Peachland, on the beach, at the cafe, walking the shops and sitting near the Willow Tree, but it was enough time for me to fall in love. I fell in love with a place that felt more like a home to me than I have ever felt anywhere before.

It has stayed with me, that wonderful feeling.

I don’t sleep well, and one night, something in me was pulling, and I got up, grabbed a pen and paper, and these are the words that came out, all the while, that beautiful, wonderful, willow tree, illuminated in my mind.

You are a touch away

Yet I cannot reach you.

I want to whisper, so only you will hear;

By the guidance of the moon

Meet me, under the willow tree.

When you reach me,

Hold my hand in yours

With the other, touch my face and

Kiss me once, kiss me twice

Take my breath away with your love

When you come to meet me,

Under the willow tree.

I have no idea what it means, if anything, but they were the words there, inside me.

Still to this day, I can close my eyes, and see that beautiful Willow Tree.

When winter seems long, it is that day that I think about.

I hope whatever part of the world you are in, sunshine is falling upon your face when you read this!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Letter to Myself

Did you know that you could write a letter and have it e mailed to your future self? I just learned this, and I think it is so cool. Check out how it works, here at

Learning this just made me want to write a bunch of letters to myself and have them delivered in the future, as a way of checking in on me and my goals! My friend and I are doing a challenge with each other to lose 14 pounds and read 14 books this year. I should write myself a future letter to be delivered in 9 months as a check in, a reminder!

What brought me to this site is a series of writing worksheets I am doing. My assignment was to write a letter to myself, reminding me why I fell in love with writing. To practice being vulnerable in my writing, I thought I would share it here.

A Letter to Myself

You had dreams of writing. The end result was not always clear, the path sometimes murky, but you had dreams of writing.
Do you remember that you wanted to go to Ryerson College to take a course in journalism? That is what you thought you wanted to do, be a journalist, interview people, and write inspiring stories. In the midst of writing your poems, and essays, you got confused, you fell in love for the first time, you wanted to run away more often than you wanted to stay. Always though, you had a journal, you had the words in your head, the songs written inside you like a blueprint waiting to come out.
Thanks to an domineering high school love, you never did go to Ryerson College. At some point you decided that you didn’t want to become a journalist because you didn’t want to write what other people told you to write about. You wanted to travel and so you became a Travel Consultant. While in that career, you once spoke to a travel journalist who convinced you that journalism was a tough way to make a living, and at times, difficult to make the words come together about a topic you had no interest in. So from there, you dropped the idea, you dropped the dream you half hearted imagined for yourself. There was a period of time you stopped writing altogether.
You changed, you grew, and you looked within. There were times you just ignored who you were becoming and just lived day to day to exist. Then you had a daughter and things began to change. You wanted to live your life in a way that she could respect, learn from, and admire. You wanted to lead by example. Only something happened. The universe both gave you a gift and took something away at the same time. This little girl was not “normal”, she was not “average”, and her chromosome pattern and her doctors told you this. You coddled her and protected her and in taking all the time to do so, you were losing the essence of you and who you wanted to become.
Now you have within you, this fire burning, and your love for writing has come back to you. Your love of poems and lyrics and essays and the way the truth has a way of unfolding when you begin to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, is with you daily. Your end result and path seem a little clearer. You discovered a desire to write a book.

You now know that it was not about making a living writing, but living to write that story that was forming inside you, waiting for the right time to come out. You needed to live your life, have the gift of that beautiful girl given to you, and now you can write the rest of your story the way you always hoped it would unfold on the pages of the story called your life.
Photo courtesy of Namaste Cafe
I want you to remember that what you loved about writing was the way it made you feel less alone in a world where you felt only you recognized your surroundings. Your love of writing gave you a path to clear through all the clutter in your mind, and make sense of a lovely sweet, who grew up too fast, innocence taken, ideals that would never have effect. Writing helped you to come to terms with the life you created for yourself, and rip yourself from its grip. I want you to remember that writing was your survival mechanism, and within your words, is where you felt safe, fulfilled. In your writing is where you will realize your providence, find completion and learn be authentic to whom you are. I want you to remember that you were chosen for a life worth sharing, given a story worth telling. Now go on, write, and do it every day!

If you could write a letter to yourself, what would you say to yourself, NOW, or in the future? I hope when my letter comes back to me, I am writing every day and that my story is at least half way to being a book. Half way seems almost there.....almost.....

Thank you for stopping by!