Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Drive the Line

I have been driving this road for over nine years now. I have been trying to stay in the middle lane, you know the one between "let your children run willy nilly" or "my children are free spirits, I let them be who they are" and the other side "my kids are not allowed to do anything fun as it might harm them, Godforbid".

Driveway to the Ranch

Those descriptions might be a bit dramatic, even I will admit that.

The thing is, I find myself drifting to the left then over correcting and finding myself somewhere off to the right. I feel like an drunk driver and I don't like it.

Balance. It's what I strive for in most aspects of my life. I said strive, not achieve, just for the record.

One thing I try to limit is screen time. North America has an obesity problem that, in my opinion, is not helped by the fact that most of us sitting comatose in front of some form of electronic screen for too much of the day. I don't believe in not having a TV at all. I think deprivation can lead to rebellion. Rebellion is always a risk, I am not willing to up the ante on that one.

Another thing I try to limit is junk food and processed food. I know I feel like horse dung when I eat too much of it so by default it just can't be good for growing boys. However, again, deprivation is not the answer. So we have our treats and try to fill tup on decent food the rest of the time.

Sometimes there is too much TV time and too much junk food. I wish it went the otherway around but sadly, it rarely does.

Then there are the things that I cannot control. Things that I know people judge me on. Or maybe I just judge myself?

My kids are who they are. They are not outgoing. Have you met me? They are not antisocial either but they can come off as slightly rude because they are shy and uncomfortable around adults they don't know well. Frankly they can be shy around adults they know well. It is who they are. I cannot make them outgoing. I cannot change who they are.

I know this. Other people may not but I refuse to make excuses for my children. They do not have to be excused for who they are.

I got extremely off topic here. What was I saying again? Oh yeah, I am drifting between lanes trying not to crash the car.

Maybe I need a GPS?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Don't ask me

The Two of Us

I was just trying to be creative. There are 6.000 things wrong with this photo but I still kind of like it anyway.

I am non-conformist like that.

Normally, I am all about pointing out the flaws but today, I am not going to. And you can't make me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Bye, Old Friend

This week it was time to say good bye to an old friend. One that has been hanging on the wall of our house for the last eleven or so years.

See my wedding bouquet below?

Portrait of a happy day

It was 4,000 times more beautiful than I envisioned when we discussed what I wanted with the florist. To this day, I recommend her to anyone who will listen. She has such a distinct style, modern, yet soft, unique and always beautiful.

I loved my flowers to much that once our amazing day was over and done, I couldn't bear to get rid of them - I am not a hoarder, honest!

I dried them and then decided to make a swag out of them. This was big challenge for me, who stores all of my creativity in my left baby toenail.

Out with the Old and Dusty

It worked. If you didn't look at it too close or sneeze around it. It was fragile and only survived the move from our apartment to our house because we picked a non-windy day to drive it over while placed carefully on my lap.

But alas, after eleven years, it had become a health hazard. It was hanging over our kitchen table, dust ridden and falling apart. It was time.

I took photos and shed no tears. I am too practical to be that sentimental. Jay opened a garbage bag and we carefully shoved it in while holding our breath.

We were worried about asphyxiating on the dust that billowed out as I squished it into the bag.

I am kidding. Ish.

In its place, I printed and framed a few of our Grand Canyon photos.

In with the New

It's a nice change though our food may taste a bit bland for a bit while we get used to the lack of dust seasoning.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Arbitrary Thursday

I feel like writing a blog post but have no concrete subjects so arbitrary bits of random it is.

Jay bought me flowers a week or so ago to congratulate me on a new work contract that I was offered and accepted. It means that I will have more contract work over and above the work I have been doing over the last five years. It couldn't have come at a better time, really and truly.

I love when things just work out like that.


The pictures in my blog header are from 3 years ago. Or so. I haven't the foggiest on how to go about changing them. I should try and figure that out. Maybe.

I might just about be ready to change my blog layout. Maybe. But I haven't the foggiest how so that would require hiring a professional. I might get around to in sometime in 2012.

On Friday, I purchased three pork tenderloins from that big grocery store we have in Canada that carries a lot of products packaged in yellow. Saturday morning, in anticipation of hosting a dinner for Anna and Jen and families, I began cutting up the meat to marinate for souvlaki.

The first package, when opened stunk like rotting meat and the meat was the texture of what I envision Jabba the Hut feeling like. Slimy disgustingness.

The second did not. I cut that up and when I got to the end of it, guess what? Jabba the Hut consistency again. And now it is in the marinade with the peppers and onions.

Package three was as rank as the first.

I put all of it in a bag and marched it back to the Yellow Store. I was polite. I didn't even threaten to take the meat to the health department.

In return, the lady tried to take away my free gift card earned when I spent over $250 since the return of the meat (no exchange thankyouverymuch) would put my total below $250.

I am not even kidding.

I politely noted that under normal circumstances, I would completely agree. However, given that the meat was ROTTING, I would think that an exception could be made. I should have added "for the love of Pete", it was fitting, no?

She had the gall to note that for all she knew, I could have left the meat out overnight. Wow. I was stunned for a second or two, regained my composure and said that I had not, in fact, left the meat out overnight (insert yelling comment in my head - "because I am not a complete MORON!") and that it was doubtful, in my opinion, that the stench coming from the bag could have occurred overnight.
Again, not even kidding.

She begrudgingly let me keep my gift card. Wasn't she just the sweetest thing?

Guess where I will refrain from buying my meat from here on out?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

To Find A Soulmate

Dear Jack and Kamden,

I have dreams for you, my dear boys. Not the kind you might think, like that I want you to be doctors or lawyers or neurosurgeons. Rather I want you to find that which makes you happy.

This includes finding someone to share your life with. Not that sharing your life with someone is required, because it is not. What is required, if you choose to share your life with someone, is that this person bring happiness, love and friendship to your life.

Skipping rocks

And vice versa. I got lucky and fate brought Daddy and I together. For me, your Daddy is this person. But I experienced the opposite of this for a brief time in another relationship and that relationship, still to this day, keeps from taking your Daddy for granted.

Here is my list of criteria (not exhaustive by any means):

- your partner should bring out the best in you and you in them, in fact, you should both become better people because of your relationship

- you should always feel comfortable around your partner and able to be who you are

- your partner should get you, understand your interests (not necessarily share them but respect them) and you should both support each other

- together, you should be able to laugh at the silliest of things, just because

- Seven letters: RESPECT. Both ways. Always.


This list might seem too lofty but I assure you, it is not. I believe that there is one person for everyone and if you wait, you will find them.

These are things that evolved almost immediately when Daddy and I met. We just knew that we were supposed to be together.


If you don't know if they are for you, they are not for you.

If you think that things will get better once you get married, they are not for you.

If you think that if you can just change this one little thing about them, they are not for you.

If you can't come to a decision, together, civilly, 85% of the time, they are not for you.

Being alone is preferable to being miserable and lonely with someone else. This is easy for me to say, I know, having not been alone for over 17 years but I think there are many people in the world that can vouch for it.

The key is to figure all this out before you make a life long commitment and especially before you bring kids into it. But that said, we all make mistakes and what separates the men from the boys is how you deal with them.

Because I know you will both turn your noses up at any advice I might have for you when you get to the age of dating (30 years old, of course), I will give this to you and pretend that someone else wrote it.


Love always,


Thursday, September 02, 2010

It was Grand and so is he

I promised more pictures from our Vegas trip and when I make a promise, I deliver gosh darn it all anyway (anyone remember that from SNL back in the late 80's - it was that guy who said "I am good enough, and strong enough and gosh darn it all people like me!).

Anyway, here are the pictures from our Helicopter Tour of the Grand Canyon. I would highly recommend this if you can do it. It was, aside from hanging out with our friends, the highlight of the trip.

Our pilot was very cute (a nice bonus), young and a Mormon from Utah. He even knew where Saskatchewan was as he had been in Alberta on a church mission. Poor guy (the Alberta part, I got nothing against Mormon's!)

As an aside, I was pleasantly surprised how many Americans knew where Saskatchewan was...normally I just say that we are from Canada because I have to admit I have a skewed view of the average Americans knowledge of Canadian geography. After this trip, I have to stand corrected, y'all know what you are talkin' about.

Nature's Show

Just outside the city limits of the bright lights, big city, nature competes with its own show and I, personally, think it gives the strip a run for its money.

Red Rock

More stunning rock formations a bit further outside the city limits.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam - it doesn't look to big from way up here. But thos white specks towards the bottom right of the photo are boats. That kinda puts in perspective, no?

The Grand Entrance

Our first view of the Grand Canyon. To state the obvious, it is grand, beyond adequate words.

4000 ft

We flew down into the canyon after our pilot (his name escapes me but I can however picture his face) dropped us down. I just about lost my breakfast at about that point too. I took Gravol, however, it either wasn't enough or wasn't working. I was never so glad to be out of the copter in the 44 degree C heat (111.12 degrees F for you imperial folks). It was hot but much preferable to the motion sickness!

On the Colorado River

The Canyon walls are 4000 ft above us down on the Colorado River (in my head I totally say CALL-er_RA-do with some good American twang).

Mind blowing. The walls people, not my sad attempt at an accent.

Dessert plants

Then we flew up the canyon wall in the helicopter and took a bus to Eagle Point (click to see why it's called that) home of the Sky Walk. We didn't go out on the Sky Walk (had to pay even more for that) since we had such amazing views from the helicopter.

Me and My One and Only

Having friends with us was great for taking photos of each other. We did lots of that but you know what we never did? Take photos of us with the friends. Nor did we take photos when we were dressed up later for dinner and the David Spade show. We are so smart.

Wicked view

Next we took a bus to Guano Point. Our helicopter pilot was telling us that Guano means bat poop in one of the Native American languages and that it is used in cosmetics. I am going with ignorance is bliss on that one.

Here you could walk out over this big rock ledge - see picture on link above. It freaked me right out. In places you were inches from the edge of the canyon wall. Which judging by the sheer edge of the side on the opposite side of the canyon, was deadly. We stayed as far away as possible. I am very clumsy. AND there were people on there with kids. Like kids my boys age. I nearly had a coronary. They can go when they are 18. No wait 30, around the same time they can start dating.


The rock formation is stunning. It is really that red. My running shoes still have the red dust on them from walking on the path.

Blue and Red

I am running out of commentary. The photos speak for themselves and this has no bearing on my ability, it's the subject that takes all the credit.

He's from Heaven

And this guy, my handsome Jay, he turns the big X-O today. The X is the number of his age but it's a secret. Well not really, you can probably figure it out.

Jay, this trip was amazing. It reminded me of how much I love spending time with you. Thank you for the last 17 years (seriously, this is the 17th birthday we will celebrate together). You are my everything and it is an honour to walk beside you in this life.

Happy birthday Jay! And my big brother, Trevor too!

It's meatloaf night! (not even kidding, we are going out for meatloaf - it has become a tradition)