Wednesday Hodgepodge ~ July 8th, 2015

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.34.07 PM It’s been a pretty long times since I’ve taken part in Wednesday Hodgepodge, but I always enjoy the questions. If you would like to join in be sure to check out From This Side of the Pond and give these questions a go yourself.

1. When did you last ‘swim against the tide’?

In general, I’m more a go with the flow type of person. I certainly have my own views on things, but I tend to keep them to myself most of the time so that involves just going my own way and not struggling to get where I’m going. The only time I actually fight for my views to be heard are with my partner and that usually doesn’t work out in my favour so swim, swim, swim along in silence (or quietly go against the crowd, as I have no need for confrontation). 

2. What’s the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I know I haven’t read these types of books in a long time. When I first out of high school, self help books are what I did for fun, but yeah, not so much anymore. I read Eat for Health about three years ago when I was dealing with some medical issues. That may have been the last self help book I’ve read. Well, I’ve read some Gary Chapman for reviews, and have enjoyed those. My favourite being Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married
3. “Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness.” (Sir James Goldsmith)
Hmm, do I have to answer this one? I think that everyone has a difference view of what tolerance is and if we really looked at it most people, including myself sometimes, would need meet my expectation of tolerance. I think you have to live and breathe tolerance to be considered tolerant. It’s not just sitting back and saying you are tolerant. On the other hand, it isn’t saying you are tolerant and then clearly judging people that you say you are tolerant of. It isn’t an easy one. 
4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?
Like I’m sure so many others, Christmas baking is at the top of the list as it really was the only time I was allowed to help in the kitchen. My Mum would make a huge variety of cookies. I, however, don’t really remember any specifics about our baking or those (stereotypical) magical moments we must have shared. 
I’m going to go with a story of a different kind because I remember it well right down to the clothes I wore later that day (a lilac colours short sleeve sweated with little flowers around the collar….it also embarrassed me as it was a day I wanted to look like the other kids). When I was in grade 4 or 5 the school arranged for our pen pals from another school to come and visit us for a week (each student from the other school was pen pals with two students from my school). The first night in town my pen pal stayed at my house and she woke up before my parents did in the morning and was hungry. I’d never prepared my own breakfast before and my pen pal wanted toast. I told her that, but she told me that I could certainly make toast myself. Well the toaster started smoking like crazy waking up my parents that got very upset with me. I was so, so embarrassed and I cried. I begged for the pen pal just to go stay at her other pen pal’s house and I think that is what happened as I don’t remember her being in my house after that. I felt bad for disobeying my parents and felt worse for not being able to cook a simple piece of. Within two years, my Mum had passed away and I got thrown into the kitchen without knowing anything (and may have started a small fire or two). The memory of how embarrassed I felt in front of my pen pal is the reason why my children spend time in the kitchen with me from the moment they are born. They all have good kitchen skills and can prepare their own food (geared towards their respective ages) without assistance from me. 

5. How did/do your children’s summer compare with your summers as a child? If you are not a parent, answer as it relates to what you’ve observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.

Vastly different and that makes me sad. When I was a child we would go on a family vacation every were to Newfoundland and my Mum would start packing weeks before and there was so much anticipation of the trip. Once there I’d explore with my cousins and it was so much fun. Even when we were just around home I spent lots of time outside and at the park with my little troupe of anglophone friends. I was close friends with a local family and we’d spend hours at the beach or in their yard making mud pies and going on all kinds of adventures and when we were tired we go down into their basement and play pretend. It was good fun.

My children are homeschooled and don’t really have friends, so we actually just do school year long. We’ve never planned a family vacation in advance (and usually only take them when I have to get away every 4 or five years). There’s no excitement about the summer being any different from any other time of the year. We live in an are where there are many bugs and my husband and oldest son cannot handle insects at all so we spend all our time inside. We haven’t been to the beach in the last three years as my husband doesn’t see the point and is always so busy. It makes me really sad and frustrated. My kids are only children once and there’s really nothing special or new for them in the summer. They play far too many video games, we hang out around the house and we do school. Same ol’, same ol’.

 6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?

Take me to the Atlantic Ocean my friend, let me stroll the rocky shores. I miss it something fierce. 

 7. Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it’s title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.
Here are a couple:
Inset your own random thought here.
 Ha, ha, I don’t have any random thoughts this week! I don’t even have a photo for you.

When Someone Tells me I Shouldn’t Do Something


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”

I sometimes turn around and do just that.

When my daughter was born I had a massive hemorrhage. The midwife went over everything that happened and my case with a couple of her doula colleagues and the suggestion that she brought to me a few days later was that I should very, very strongly consider not having any more children and certainly not attempting to have another homebirth. This was a midwife that I loved very much and she’d treated me with such dignity as she cared for me after my daughter’s birth, but it was hard for me to hear that she somehow felt that my body was defective or a medical mystery. I did, however, take her advice to heart, at least until I found out I was pregnant four years later. At that point there was no one that was going to tell me that I couldn’t birth my baby however I wanted. I fought, and I fought hard, to find a midwife that would actually attend my birth. I travelled hours and hours away from how and when the midwife I’d chosen backed down, I joined up with another midwife who helped me get whatever I wanted. She told me ever little loophole that we could sneak through to get my homebirth and that’s exactly what we did.

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In this picture my midwife is removing the saline lock that I’d allowed her to place before the birth (it was the one medical thing that I was okay with). After the birth I did start to bleed and the midwife ran over to hook up the IV, but it just would not run. My midwife looked at me and said, “I held up my end of the bargain and now you need to hold up yours. You are not going to bleed.” We looked at each other and we knew at that point that I wasn’t going to bleed. The bleeding slowed immediately with no intervention and within 30 minutes I was up nursing my third, and final baby. No need for medications, interventions, or panicked. The birth itself was incredibly intense, but for the first time I got my gentle third stage and my body did exactly what it was made to do.

Friday’s Fave Five ~ June 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.22.48 PMI am little late writing this post, but it is still Friday so here I am to share a few nice moments from my last week. If you would like to do the same be sure to visit Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story. Here we go with mine.

1. Getting time to go to the grocery store with just my youngest child. It was fun to just walk down all the aisle and look as long as we wanted. We only spent 25 dollars, but we enjoyed choosing the things that we really wanted. Usually we go to Costco and it is chaos. A regular grocery store is fun every once and a while.

2. Finishing my colouring page. I did worry a bit about what colours were going to go where. I was even going to quit after a choose a set of colours that I really didn’t like for a section. I hated the look of it, but I kept going and I think it turned out nicely in the end anyways.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.08.14 PM3. Hanging out with the kids in the tent. It was fun to laze around for one afternoon colouring while the kids played. We managed to get some school work done, too. We have not been able to sleep out there because there are a ton of mosquitoes in this area and the little one hated that we couldn’t quite catch every single one in the tent. I’m hoping that the girlie and I might get a chance to on a night when my partner is home, but the little one is used to having me near him all night so I don’t know if it will work or not. I do know that I love to sleep outside. We’ll see, I guess.

4. Walking this crazy dog. She actually went on her first on the road (we live along a highway) today. I’ve been working with training her for the last few weeks (never get a puppy just before winter sets in….makes teaching loose leash walking a bother). She isn’t perfect, but she is infinitely better than our other dog (that I doubt I’ll ever be able to really walk). I’m looking forward to getting her walking very well by the end of the summer. I feel safe talking her along the highway as she wasn’t anxious so that is good (don’t worry, it is a very quiet highway….our older dog has anxiety so if a car did happen to pass she’d freak out and try to pull me into the ditch). I think we’ll get the hang of it.

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5. Shipping notices. My first course will be arriving in the mail some time next week. It should give me a couple weeks to get started on the text books before I get assigned my teacher and the class opens. I was shocked at how fast they got everything organized once I organized myself to start. I’m still working on getting the loans straightened out, but I am hoping that will go well and I’ll be all set for full time in the fall. I know I’ll be checking out the tracking number until my package arrives anyways!


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”

Am I living happily ever after? Are you?

Life is not a fairly tale. That is the stuff of childhood (if you are lucky). The real world is a bit different I would say. I don’t know that there are many people that could say that they are living happily ever after – at least not it that fairy tale way.

People do seem to be able to live happy, or happy enough, at least.

Do I?

At this point, probably not. I care too much about what everyone else things. I let what they do get to me. I let everything negative that happens be a reflection of something I’ve done. Where there is goodness, it has nothing to do with me. I am working slowly to change those views, but they’ve been with me for a long time.

I hope one day just to find my happy enough.

I Wouldn’t Do Anything


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Blogger With a Cause.”

If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t do anything. I’m such a whimp. Any causes I’ve felt passionate about I’ve kept secret. All the things I would do, no one knows about. I’ve gotten my foot wet a time or two, but nothing more than that. So for now, I let other people speak out while I sit quietly by the sidelines.

Friday’s Fave Five ~ May 29th, 2015

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It’s Friday and time to share a few good moments from the last week with Susanne from Living to Tell the Story. It’s always good to look back and reflect on the week. Even when the week hasn’t seemed that great, there are always at least 5 good things to focus on.

1. An awesome review on one of my shampoo bars. This made me happy as I really wanted this shampoo to work well for this person and I was so glad it did. It also lead to a few orders that has actually allowed me to pay down a bit of debt, which will allow me to use the credit card to start university. Yes, yes, I know, debt, but at least it is for something that I want that should, eventually, get us ahead.

2. One university that was on the ball, and one that wasn’t. It help make my choice easier. Both offer classes from home, but one was on a very part time basis and I got passed around the department all over the place before I could get answers. There other university was very on the ball. I was able to speak with an advisor as soon as I called and the financial aide office was just as quick to answer my questions. I’ll be able to pay for one class on credit to start in July and then I will take a full course load starting in September. I am very happy with the courses that they offer and I should be able to complete my degree in about 2 1/2 years (maybe less, once I see how much I can handle).

3. A Daily Prompt that had me listening to my favourite singers. It was a lot of fun, though sometimes emotional, to watch some music videos on youtube. I guess this one is especially fitting for this point in my life. I grew up thinking I was going to be a professional student and that I’d never have kids of my own, but that certainly isn’t what happened. I figured I’d have a couple degrees by now, not be starting over again, but it’s never too late.

4. Sunshine. The heat might be slowly draining me, but the sunshine is so nice. It is especially nice this morning. I’m going to finish up my coffee and head on outside and try to get a tent up for the kids. It is a huge tent though, so I’ll need as the luck I can get. At least it is sunny and not too hot (yet).

5. Colouring pages for adults. Ha, I’m putting this here just because I hope that I will enjoy it. I’ve heard that it is good for mental health, but I’m looking at the picture my daughter choose for me and feel anxious because I don’t have any clue what colours to choose. I do hope that it will be fun. If nothing else, it will give me something to do with my daughter. If I manage to make process on the colouring, I’ll post a picture here next week.

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The Music of My Life


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mix Tape.”

Music has always been very much a part of my life and I tend to actually get a little bit obsessive over the songs/groups that I listen to at certain points in my life. There are a few groups/singers that stand out at various times, so let’s see who they are.

Those Early Years

Boy George – Karma Chameleon – I was born in 1982 and for the first few years of my life I don’t think I had a musical preference, but I’ve heard that my Mum would get me up to listen to Boy George if he came on television so I’ll go with him being my first obsession. I did name my first My Little Pony after him, after all. Catchy and fun. I’m thinking those first few years were pretty good.

Early 1990s – The Wilson Philips/Crystal Gayle Years

Somewhere around grade 3 I started spending hours and hours alone with my dolls, listening to Wilson Phillips and Crystal Gayle over and over and over again. I didn’t know anything about love or life or anything, but I clung to a few songs and they became part of my life.

Wilson Phillips – Hold On. This song had the tendency to make me cry at various points in my life (both then and more recently). I think that even way back in the early 1990s I was looking for change and holding on seem like all I could do. The fact that it did, and does, make me cry suggests that hope is really hard for me. Other notable songs that I played over and over were well, Over and Over, and Eyes Like Twins (in which I act that one of my dolls was in trouble and another girls would come and help her be okay). This is all pretty fresh right now as my daughter recently wrote a journal entry asking me about my favourite things to do when I was her age and I was telling her about my “dolls from different countries.” I so miss those dolls. They may have been living what I wanted.

As far as Crystal Gayle goes, I cannot remember any of the specific songs on the album, beyond Don’t It May Your Brown Eyes Blue. I seem to recall there were a few I’d use when my dolls were sick, but I really can’t recall now, so I’m saying that Wilson Philips most marked those years.

1994-1996 – Reba McEntire and The Rankin Family –  Facing Loss.

I latched on to those that have faced tragedy and families that seem put together. My Mum died in 1994 and almost immediately turned to Reba McEntire. She’d recently lost band members in a plane crash. She knew pain and she was still okay. I loved her. I dedicated my journal to her. I wrote to her and told her about things I was going through then got rid of the letters (though at one point I sent her my journal and some drawings that I’d done…I got back an autographed photo :p ).I just went on youtube to see what song I could choose, but there are so many. She is so, so real, but I’ll go with this one.

Reba McEntire – The Greatest Man I Never Knew – Though my father was, and is, alive and well, I still wanted to be near to him and want him near to me as I’d already lost my Mum. I wanted to know my father in case I lost him too. We weren’t that close of a family, though, and never really talked about much.

Reba McEntire – Not Going Down Like That – Even now, so many, many years later Reba McEntire sings my life. I don’t really follow her at all anymore, but my husband paused an episode of The Voice for me about a week ago, and there she was, still singing for me and I found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’ll never be the life of the party, but I’m tired of feeling like dying. There’s that little spark there somewhere.

As far as The Rankin Family goes, well, I wanted a family. I don’t really know how to explain it. At that time I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about anything and felt very alone. The Rankin Family just seemed so together and I wanted them to whisk me away to Cape Breton. When we went to visit Newfoundland the year after my Mum died I wanted to drive through Mabou just so I could be where they’d been. I was quite obsessive for a while and even named my cat Cookie (though I told my family it was after the oreo cookie, it was after the one of the Rankin girls). We lived in Cape Breton for a few years recently and you know, I never did make it to Mabou, but that’s okay. They’ve had their share of pain in the last years with the deaths of two bands members/siblings and their Mum (to cancer, which was another thing that drew to met them). There’s really not a song that spoke about my life at that time, though, so I can’t really put them in this playlist, they were important, though, and are worth mentioning.

1999-2002 – Basket Case, Falling in Love, and a Little Bit of Pink

Green Day – Basket Case – I may have spent some time in a psychiatric ward. I used to put this on my walkman and listen to it in the washroom with the nurse right outside the door (initially, being treated for an eating disorder, if they were suspicious I’d be followed to the toilet after meals).

Good Riddance – Green Day – Ending highscool, new beginnings (and goodness no, it wasn’t the time of my life, just closing some doors and moving on).

Crash and Burn – Savage Garden – I found the person that was all this to me. There was someone to take care of me and love me back into togetherness. I finally had someone that was there for me. He was so, so there for me and there were some challenging times as I continued to heal.

Pink – Just Like a Pill – There were times I wanted to run. I felt a bit smothered. I needed to spread my own wings. I didn’t though.

2003 and Beyond

Shania Twain – Forever and For Always – I first saw this video in the days after my first child was born. I was so madly in love with him and protective. I wanted someone to be so protective of me so this song made me cry so much. I called my midwife in tears and got counselling for past hurts in my life, so that I could see that whatever happened to me wasn’t because I wasn’t loved, but because people had their own things that they’d been going through to. Anyways, this song also spurred changes in my life because of the sweet love I had for my new little one.

Pink – F***ing Perfect – I wanted to let everyone know that they needed to fight and that they were worth so much and that they shouldn’t give up. That they were so very, very perfect. This was my little anthem for a time. I wanted to go back about 10 years and have Pink tell me I was perfect. I recently wrote that letter to myself, actually.

Pink – Try

The Present and Beyond

Demi Lovato – Let it Go – “Standing, frozen, in the life I’ve chosen, you won’t, find me. The past is all behind me. Buried in the snow.”


Raise Your Glass – Pink