Friday’s Fave Five ~ February 28th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 5.02.08 PMThis week was just one of those that was “meh”. Nothing amazing happened, but nothing horrible either. It was just one of those weeks were everything was just okay. School was okay. My health was okay. The house was kept up okay. Just okay, so there’s not a whole lot stands out as a “favourite”  for Living to Tell the Story’s Friday’s Fave Five, but I’ll give it a go anyways, starting with a major blessing that I am so relieved that I can post this week.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 1.54.00 PM1. This sweet kitty is still with us. I wanted to post this last Friday, but at the time, I still was not sure that she would make a full recovery. For some reason, this little girl stopped eating and drinking completely over the weekend after Valentine’s Day (we assume she ingested ribbon off a gift Mike brought home to the children), but I caught it quickly and started dropper feeding her water. However, she was not improving and by midweek she was quite weak and completely despondent. Our only real option was to bring her in for exploratory surgery to see if there was an obstruction of some kind, but we did not have money for that so out of desperation I started feeding her raw human breast milk, thank goodness for extended nursing and the ability to produce enough to share! Within 24 hours of round the clock dropper feedings she started to respond to us calling her and by Friday evening she actual came into the kitchen and managed a couple licks of liquid from a tuna can. I continued to feed her breast milk and then introduced tuna pate by syringe and by the beginning of the following week she was fully able to eat and drink her normal diet without assistance. We are so glad that this sweetie decided to stick around with us for a while longer.

2. Sitting in the sunlight. I like to put on a dark shirt and sit in the window and let the sun warm my back. It is quite brutally cold again this week (and there’s another cold week in the forecast) so sitting in the sunlight at least lets me pretend that spring is coming.

3. February is drawing to a close. It is always a really hard month for me and this year wasn’t really an exception. It has felt like the never ending month even though it is the shortest of the year. I’m alright with bidding it adieu for another year.

4. Deciding to purchase an extra unit study to supplement our Further Up and Further In study. I found that the last couple of weeks have been no where near in depth enough for me to consider it our complete curriculum and I noticed that Liam was beginning to be less impressed with how little we were doing as well (the amount of work is perfect for my eight year old for what it is worth). I ended up going with  The Chronicles of Narnia Unit Study from LEMILOE Publishing. I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen of it so far and it just gives us a little bit more.

5. Craftsy. I’ve had fun just browsing the classes and signed up for one of their freebie mini classes. I’ve enjoyed the Figure Drawing Atelier thus far and Morgaine and I have been working on our fine art projects together this week. It’s always fun to do something together that we both enjoy.


Three Things Thursday ~ February 27th, 2014

This week I am combining Three Things Thursday with Throw Back Thursday as I have so many pictures to share that I never get around to and besides, I think pictures always add a little something to a blog post. If you would like to share three random tidbits about yourself please join me over at Heidi’s Head.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 1.34.48 PM 1. I absolutely love the beach. I grew up near the ocean (or at least the St. Lawrence River) and my father used to take me to the beach relatively regularly when I was a child. We built my Mom’s dream house right on the water and it was really sad when we had to live there. It was so nice to look out of my bedroom window and see the water. We’ve chosen where to live in relation to how near water we are. We are not on the water now, but it’s only about a 10 minute drive to get to the beach (though we haven’t really explored it since we moved here). Unfortunately, I married someone that isn’t really much of a beach person at all so we don’t spend near as much time near the water as I would like. I am just glad that he humoured me and moved the family east. I think there are times when he would have chosen to move westward towards the prairies, but I am not sure what my ocean loving soul would do with all that land and no water to be seen!

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 1.51.29 PM2. I’ve been trying to recreate these chocolate chip cookies for about 3 years now. They were beyond wonderful and I have not been able to get them to turn out the same since. I have followed the same recipe time and again. I’ve studied the fine points of making the perfect chocolate chip cookie and I’ve tried develop my own recipe time and again, without the success that I am looking for. It’s been quite discouraging and may not be very good for my waistline. If you have what you consider to be the perfect recipe, please share in the comments below!

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 1.52.06 PM 3. I absolutely adore living history. I would love to get a job at a historical site for the summer. The clothes and the simplicity. I think that families would get so much from it if they could come into one of these sites and live life like back then for a week or so. If anyone knows of historic sites like this, please let me know, as I could imagine taking the kids (further on down the line) on a road trip for an experience like this. Until then, we will enjoy having others bring history alive for us. I cannot wait to visit Le Pays de la Sagouine later this year to learn more about the Acadian culture as we are in the heart of Acadian New Brunswick .


If You Are Looking for Me….

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 5.01.07 PM You won’t find me on facebook – at least not for a while. Faceboook is an interesting phenomena. You can look into a moment of time. It is so easy to take a peak into someone’s life. We’ve gotten used to these quick glimpses – the 2 second status update, the picture of the weather (or what was eaten for breakfast), the selfie, the check in from a location. It’s always nice to hear what people are doing, but I found myself loosing patience for articles I really wanted to read. If they didn’t get to the point in about 30 seconds my attention would wonder. I swear that facebook has completely messed with my attention span and that reason alone was enough for me to say, “Okay, time for a break!” I’ve starting logging into my professional account and training my brain to focus on articles (both scholarly and more lighthearted) because there is too much good stuff on there to pass up.

That being said, though, it was also time to take a break just to spend some time focusing on myself and my family. I go through times regularly where I get caught up in conversations or drama online and it is just a time suck. I value my opinions and trying to get them across to others that aren’t willing to listen to them is just not worth my energy. I’ve also encountered a number of stories (and pictures) in my newsfeed that are highly disturbing and sometimes a more sensitive soul just needs to bury their head in the sand to be able to keep from saying, “What kind of world have I brought my children into?” There is so much craziness out there.

I expect that I will likely be back more actively when the snow melts away and the world warms up. I will have the beauty of the world coming alive to balance out the coldness and distance that the internet sometimes is. I have yet to decide whether I will keep my personal account or not. I am quite enjoying the energy of my professional account when I log in from time to time and I am contemplating adding a trusted few to that profile. I can see myself using facebook as a tool as opposed to a way to really connect with people. I’m going to try some old fashioned snail mail and e-mails to keep in touch. Do people, outside of a work environment actually e- mail anymore or is communication all done by the newfangled texting? We shall see!

There’s a fair possibility that I will be around here more, but there are no guarantees. I do not know what work, if any, I will make public as I work on my spring awaken. I do hope to keep up better with what the little family is doing, but like always, I may actually spend more time living life than writing about it.

I know that most of my readers actually make it here via facebook, but I assume that if anyone is wondering where I am they will hope on over here. So, yes, taking a break, but I do intend to be back (whatever that may look like) within a couple months.

Wednesday Hodgepodge ~ February 26th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.34.07 PM Wednesday is upon us again and I have to say that I am enjoying my new ritual of coffee and (somewhat) quiet on Wednesday mornings when I write my answer’s for From This Side of the Pond’s Wednesday Hodgepodge. I put on some youtube videos (this week’s musical playlist stems from The Offspring as my starting point…..I assume I’ll live though my 90ies Alternative moments as I write today!) and write and the kids, generally, leave me alone. So here goes!

1. What is something you’ll never forget about the age you are right now?

I’m finally feeling my age. I’ve always felt much older than others my age as we kind of fast tracked things with children, a house and grown up responsibilities from well, a young age. I do believe that I’ve stopped “aging” now and am beginning to feel like I fit in with the world around me. I’ve felt this since hitting my 30ies, but I really think that I’ll really bloom into my skin in my 40ies, though I’ll work towards it until then. I’ve wanted to be in my 40ies most of my life so I’m looking forward to it!

2. What’s a household chore you’ve never done? How have you managed that???

It’s not a household chore, per say, but I’ve never pumped gas. My father showed me once, the day before I went to take my driving test and that’s the only time I have ever done it. I don’t drive a lot, but when I do I make sure that my husband has filled the tank in advance! The one time that I’ve ever run low when I was out, I actually drove all over town looking for a station with service!

As far as everything else, I am the person home, I am the one that does the work. I even learned how to do all the things my husband takes care of  last spring when I was taking care of this place on my own. I am pretty proud to say I know how to bleed a furnace now!
3. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture? Explain?

I think in general it is a delicate interplay of both of these in most cases.

4. Friday (February 28th) is ‘Something on a Stick Day’…funny because Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens recently sent me an idea for a question relating to this topic. What’s your favorite food eaten on a stick?

I would have to say the toasted marshmallow, but mostly because of the joy that roasting marshmallows brings to my children on the rare occasion we’ve done it. Shh, I don’t really like marshmallows all that much. 

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Ah, they were soooooooooo little!

5. Which of your five senses do you treasure most, and why?

I am going to go with sight, I think. I am pretty sure that I would find it very challenging to live without either of my senses, but I get a lot of pleasure out of beauty and nature and not to be be able to see God’s wonder would be so difficult. I had genetic testing done last year and it showed that I have an extremely high odds of experiencing macular degeneration as I age (I have every known gene/genetic mutation that is associated with macular degeneration…the graph was quite sobering). I will certainly treasure my vision, knowing that one day there is a possibility that it will be affected. I am glad to have this information available to me so that I can keep on top of appointments with my optometrist (sooooooooo overdue). I also use my vision to help me follow conversations in loud situations ( I hear fine, I think, but I tend to have a hard time following/processing conversations when I cannot see people’s lips) so I think I would struggle with hearing, or at least understanding, if my vision was affected. 

6. What’s the best music, theatre, or sporting venue you’ve been to? What made it great?

I have not very been to many venues (probably comes with the responsibilities mentioned in #1 and how we’ve often lived far away from family and support.

We did go see Dennis de Young at Place des Arts in Montreal. It was a smaller theatre (and my first and only musical experience)  making it quite intimate. Dennis de Young was also a very engaging performer and my husband and I quite enjoyed our evening together. I think it will be an evening that I will always remember and I’ll be thankful that my friend offered up the tickets to us last minute.

7. It’s the last week of the month…in five words or less bid adieu to your February.

See you next year, February!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of venues, I have to mention the Feis an Eilein in Christmas Island! The venue isn’t much (an old fire hall), but the musicians as just wonderful and we enjoyed the Summer concert series every year. There’s nothing like talking herbal remedies with Mary Jane Lammond (and then having her compliment my “lovely family” at the end of the show) or chatting with a performer’s mother while washing up in the bathroom and having her compliment and encourage my daughter to keep dancing. It was also lovely to run into other regular attendees at other Cape Breton events over the years. We absolutely adored emersing ourself in the Gaelic culture when we live in Cape Breton and it is probably the thing we miss most, by far, about the area. If you are even in Cape Breton in the area you have to check it the Feis ab Eilein’s summer concert series !

Friday’s Fave Five ~ February 21st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 5.02.08 PMIt’s been a long winter, so I figured it was time to share some blessings this week. I’m linking up to one of my favourite bloghops this weeek and I hope you will join me at Living to Tell the Story to share 5 of your favourite moments of the week.

1. Wonderful neighbours. I count this as a blessing every day. This week our lovely neighbour took the kids out to build snowmen when I was feeling under the weather. They all had a blast, the neighbour included. Her husband has also come a few times in the past week to plough out our driveway. So nice to have people care (and people that we can care about and for too). I’m loving the back and forth of the relationship. It makes our two little houses in the middle of nowhere seem like a community.

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I absolutely adore the reindeer snowman dude with glasses.

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The kid is pretty cute, too.

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Liam, who finds is hard to be serious for too long. The snowman matches his personality perfectly. Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 2.29.47 PM

Morgaine obviously had to make a gorgeous lady snow person. She and the neighbour worked hard on this lovely lady. 

2. Things moving ahead smoothly with Mike’s new employment at the CIBC. The drive is long (and expensive), but the people he works with are nice and pretty much all the paper work is out of the way for the benefits and whatnot that come with a bank job. It will be so good to have medical and dental insurance again!

3. Having a mini date with Mike and the little one while the kids were at a library program. Sure, we did groceries at Costco, but it gives me hope for the future if we end up again to move to Moncton. It was nice to see programming for the children (though I was surprised that there were not more kids). Liam and Morgaine were thrilled as they so rarely get to see anyone since we’ve moved. It was also fun to look at the bulletin boards and see a list of all the various groups and events around Moncton. It would be nice if we could make our way down there in the next 2 or 3 years.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 5.39.11 PMThis book for thing 4 and 5 – The Procrastinating Child by Rita Emmett. The book is pretty basic, but at the same time it has given me a kick in the boots to….

4. ….Get my own procrastination under control by working with my children. Several times time week I have given the children a goal at the same time as I give myself one and when we are done we do something together. I don’t do near enough one on one things with my children and I think that they are liking that as a reward for getting stuff done and I am liking that it is motivating me to get my work done as well. I think it helps the kids to see that I have goals, too, since I don’t usually mention them (“Hey, it’s not just me getting sent off to do work unfairly, she’s doing stuff, too!”)

5. …..really look at the role fear has in my life.  I read the chapter on procrastinating out of fear today and it really shone a light on how much fear there has always been in my life and how it pretty much controls me all the time. I won’t talk to people….they might reject me. I won’t start a project…I probably won’t finish (failure). I won’t advertise my business….people might want me services and what if I’m not good enough (success mixed with what if I can’t do it). I won’t say what’s on my mind….people might think I’m stupid. I won’t make a decision….I might make the wrong one. This has been me since probably as long as I’ve been alive. The struggle is something that I live with every single day and while I’ve made progress the fact that every fear that the author listed is something I still deal with regularly is startling and I want to start working on changing that. So yeah, I’m thankful for this one even if it means some work!

Wednesday Hodgepodge ~ February 19th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.34.07 PMI’m quite shocked that it is Wednesday again already. I had every intention of blogging more frequently over the past week, but plans don’t always work out. Anyways, I quite enjoyed last week’s Wednesday Hodgepodge so I am back for more fun this week. If you would like to participate be sure to visit From This Side of Pond and link on up with your answers to the following questions.
1. What’s the biggest change since your childhood in the way people think or act?

  I get the impression that people don’t take pride in their work anymore. They go and do the bare minimum they need to in order to get by. Living with someone who gives his all to whatever he is working on it makes me so sad that his hard work is not awarded any more that that of people who basically do as little work as they can. My husband recently changed jobs and several of his coworkers begged him to stay (and to write letters to the organizations higher up because they wanted opportunities to advance and thought that if my husband complained it might help them all). No, not his battle. Anyways, people want things handed to them and they don’t want to work for them. My children are the same way at times, and it drives me batty. I was such a perfectionist growing up and got my sense of worth from the good work I did, and I hate to see my children (and others) do just enough. I want them to feel good about the work that they put in and not just do it so they have free time or whatever. It’s a constant battle for me. 

I just want to see people work hard and take pride in their work. I don’t know, I look at people and think that they would just feel so much better to do a good job than just a mediocre one, but I don’t know. It makes me feel good to know that I’ve done the best that I can and I think the world would be a better place if people put in a little more effort. The idea of hard work seems to have been lost on the current generation (generally speaking). 

2. The Olympic Biathlon involves cross country skiing broken up with two or four rounds of target shooting. Which part of that would stress you out more? Or would you love them both equally?

Oh Lord, I used to cross country ski with a couple of my teachers when I was in elementary school. I was quite horrible and felt half dead the next day. It really is exercise. I’m not big on shooting things either, but I might take it over long distance cross country. I’d likely be better at it. However, there are cross country skis in our shed (the house we live in was repossessed  so a fair bit of stuff got left behind) and I’ve been meaning to pull them out and give them a go. We’ll see if I have more endurance now than I did at 10!

3. February is National Canned Food Month…what is your most purchased canned food item? What was in the last can you opened?

Hmm, we do not do a lot of canned foods. We pretty much stick to canned kidney beans (that’s the last thing we’ve had canned) and canned chickpeas (for hummus, otherwise I use dried). I do have canned tuna (for the first time in years) that I plan on opening for lunch today.  

4. What river (anywhere in the world) would you most like to cruise?

I would never go on any kind of cruise (ugh, I cannot imagine being stuck on a boat with an outbreak of norovirus or something…..pretty much my worse nightmare), but if I had to choose a river, give me the Nile, I think. I’d really like to do the Egypt thing. 

5. It’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep…what do you do?  Count sheep? Toss and turn? Watch television? Or do you get up and do something productive?

I know insomnia well. It tends to visit me frequently. Currently, I just lay there and try to be as still as possible as my toddler curls right into me and the last think I want to do it wake him up. I used to be a wonderer so I’d get up and roam around the house and pick up the kitchen a bit, maybe write an e-mail or blog post, but now my husband sleeps in our main living area so yep, I lay there and worry. I have been known to sign 99 bottles of beer on the wall in my head, though! I’ve never made it to zero, but most of the time it’s because I’ve gotten distracted!  

6. How important is keeping your cool?

Vitally important, but I struggle with anger every single day. It’s not pretty and I have a lot of self loathing for myself because of it.   

7. I’ve got white stuff on the brain so why not run with it? White lie, wave the white flag, white knuckle it, white wash a situation, or white as a sheet…which phrase could most recently apply to your own life in some way?

I’m going with white as a sheet just because I’ve been having some medical issues and am likely getting quite anemic, but yeah, not quite the meaning of the term as it isn’t a fear based reaction, however, I do feel rather pale! (oh, yeah, white knuckling it is good, too….been watching the Olympics and I get that anxiety for them, it seems. I’ve spent so much time holding my breath over the last ten days! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I don’t really have much to say this week. This is the first time I’ve felt winter to be a hassle and I am very much looking forward to the sun gaining some warmth in the coming weeks. I think being a little under the weather has left me feeling the cold a little bit more than I normally do and I just feel like the sun would melt away some of the fatigue that I seemed plagued by this winter. I think I’ll leave you with a Beatles song this week! 

Valentine’s Day Truffles for You – Paleo Style

We are not much for Valentine’s Day in this house, but I very much wanted an excuse to make these GAPS friendly truffles from Health Home and Happiness. I’d seen them last year, but coconut cream was not something that we had in our house at all regularly. I whipped them up in about 5 minutes after the children were in bed and they were a hit with everyone except the three year old. He is certainly missing out. These bites are very rich and dark,  just like real chocolate truffles.

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I promise that if you check out this easy recipe you are in for a treat! Nothing better for your love, or just for yourself, this Valentine’s Day!