Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

Yesterday E-man's school held "Toonies for Terry" in support of Cancer research and to honour the memory of Terry Fox.

I am always moved to tears when I think about the impact a single person can have. Terry wanted to raise money and awareness - he raised a country to follow his dream.

My gratitude today is for Terry and the way Canadians have chosen to honour his memory year after year.

Thursday...Your turn @ the table. What are you Grateful for today?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Borrowed Gratitude

I'm always on the look out for the good that surrounds us everyday.

I captured this beautiful moment from a friend's facebook status....

You can't teach your kids this, but you hope that you show them the right stuff. Last night at the parents meet the teacher, Brandon went to the Book Fair and got a small thing. His friend that didn't have any money said "that looks kool, I wanted one, but really couldn't get one." So what does my son do? He used his money and went back in and bought his friend one. It's a wristband that says 'Stop Bullying'.
Brandon I'm so proud of you and that shows how big of a heart you have.

Gratitude today for the purity of children, from them we could all stand to learn so much. Gratitude to my friend Adam for sharing this moment - it made my day.

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Belief Sharing

A quick quiet gratitude today....

Someone believes I can make a Grapple Pie.

I never made one before, I don't even have a recipe for such a thing, all I have is someone who believes I can.... sometimes that is enough.

Gratitude today to hear the words "I believe in you." (even if only to make the best darned hybrid apple grape pie ever consumed!)

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recent Lessons in Domestic Goddess

I have done some pretty amazing things in the pursuit of domestic goddess status. I say pursuit, because we all are very aware that 'Momma got no skills'. Okay I can cook, but it is safe to say that all of my domestic talents are wholly invested in this single ability. Thank goodness an exceptional pot roast has the ability to erase the horror of perpetual basket diving for matching socks and that if you are eating a cookie you are blinded to the smeary nose and finger print covered sliding door.

The job of a family is to encourage you and challenge you to improve your short comings. My family is exceptional in this regard, they develop scenarios continually to exercise my domestic muscles. They get gum stuck in their hair, spill nail polish on the bathroom counter, draw notes on the bathroom mirror with chapstik and lipstick, launch entire jugs of grape juice skyward in the kitchen (purple rain is not metaphoric in our house). There are the hunting expeditions fit for blood hounds as I attempt to locate lost lunches and missing water bottles. There are chemistry lessons in stain removal and tests of mending...everything from zippers and pant seams to shoes and bicycles. When it comes to improving a mother, my family excels, and I owe them a world of gratitude. I have learned that I am more capable than I believe, that the impossible should at the very least be attempted and that you can surprise yourself with the results.

This week I also learned that when the cat pees in the Lego bucket it's not the end of the world. (as long as someone tells you) I also learned that my family still needs me. (their solution to this problem was to bag up $500 worth of feline christened Lego for the garbage! Ok, once upon a time that would have been my solution too.) This week I learned that I can trust my internal domestic goddess guidance system. This week I learned that you can wash, dry and fold Lego. Ok so I washed it in a bucket of disinfectant soap and water, I let it soak for a few days in disinfectant water (I didn't say I wasn't completely grossed out) on Friday I poured the Lego into a couple of pillow cases, tied the tops shut with broccoli elastics and threw the sacks into my clothes dryer with a couple of old pillows. 20 minutes on perma-press netted me clean wrinkle free Lego.

I knew that I had done well, when I unloaded the Lego back into the disinfected bin and E-man said "Ahh, it's so toasty and fresh." For a moment I thought perhaps a little domestic guru does live within me, for a moment I thought about how grateful I am for all the lessons my family has put before me, they unknowingly set me up for a moment of Domestic Goddessness. Next up...I'm going to move the appliances and face what lurks beneath...while I still feel domestically powerful and capable.

Gratitude to the voluntold family member with the bravery to help me with this challenge, I can teach you what I know about Domestic Goddessing.

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks

Friday, September 23, 2011

Celebrating Pay It Forward Friday

I have been inspired lately by the level of personal commitment of people in general to spread some good. I think there has always been good going on behind the scenes it just doesn't generate as much attention as the rotten miserable attitude behavior incidents. Have you seen those "Do good commercials" where random strangers start yelling great things and grateful comments at one another? I so want to do that, and I would, but I fear that I cause my children enough embarrassment with my ordinary behavior, so I refrain.

I've made a point over the last few weeks of really paying attention to the things people are doing personally to promote good feelings in society.

  • People are handing out cookies in the name of Food Love
  • People are handing strangers gift cards in the name of the 5 Dollar Project
  • People are collecting food donations for the Food Bank at social meet-ups
  • I have witnessed people pay for the person behind them in line
  • I am amazed by the traffic courtesy of letting people merge alternately when a lane reaches a sudden end (ok this is a weird one maybe but I have to say that personally I really REALLY appreciate the practice)
  • There is a social movement of #PIFF where tweeps encourage/challenge each other to commit an act of random Pay It Forward kindness on Fridays (although I have come to appreciate that these acts are not restricted to Friday)
  • There is the Random Act of Kindness event gearing up in our area
  • I love when I see people chuck their change into the charity boxes at their favourite coffee stops, liqueur stores and supermarket
  • I have seen people offer up parking spots, hold doors, share lunches, pass along bus tickets, pick up garbage, say hi to strangers, and smile at random.
  • People are saving bottles (yes those ones) for the Food Bank, Bottles for Bean 3
  • Recycle your electronics at Gibsons Sound & Vision - proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity
I'm encouraged....and reminded of my very favourite quote (well one of them) "So shines a good deed in a weary world." (I know it's Shakespeare but I like the way Gene Wilder delivers it in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - yes, the original)

Gratitude to all those who are "DO-GOODING" you really are what shines.

In the spirit of #PIFF I challenge everyone today, to perform an act of DO-GOOD. Put your change in the charity box. Donate the monetary equivalent of that free bag of cookies into the next collection container you see. Say HI to a stranger. Stop and learn one new thing about someone you talk to in passing. Say thank you to someone. Buy a pot of fall flowers and drop them on your neighbour's porch. Do-good!

Do something and share what you did, share what you saw someone else do....I can't wait to see what got Paid Forward today!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

Every Thursday (except on those days when I don't) I post "Your Turn @ The Table"

I get sent some really awesome gratefuls every week. You don't always get to see them because, well, some people are shy about sharing, so they send an e-mail rather than posting a comment. I've been thinking that it would be really great if you could see some of that anonymous gratitude. So...I will add a  guest gratitude box over there with my family gratitude boxes. Each week after Your Turn @ The Table I'll post one of the gratitudes submitted that week (anonymously of course)

Keep watching you might just see your own Gratitude in that space!

Thank you for sharing every week. Gratitude really can change a life and it may not be your own.

My turn....Today I am grateful for my new Dishwasher.

I wish he had thumbs.

Your Turn....What are you Grateful for today?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More in the Box Than We Bargained For

KJ brought home one of those projects the other day, you know, one of THOSE projects... All About Me. The only project with the power to paralyze me worse than a bridge project is the "All About Me Project"

An All About Me project means that I will be scavenging through the photo box for a kindergarten picture from 9 years ago. My powers of memory recall and personal trivia will be measured and tested;
  • "What time was I born?"
  • "How much did I weigh?"
  • "What was my first word?"
  • "What was the name of the grandson of the lady who lived four houses down that I sprayed with the hose?"
 I should probably confess right now, that I don't know this stuff. I am not the mother who can recall the thing you were eating when you lost your first tooth or what colour ribbons you wore in your hair on the first day of school. Heck, the other day I forgot how to print the number 9 my kids are doomed

If you are one of those super Moms you probably think very little of me right now. If you have ever had to ask one of your children to confirm their birthday or grade in school you will sympathize with the pain I felt when that first question went live on Sunday evening... "How much did I weigh when I was born?"

I tried to be the good Mom..."8lbs 4oz." I blurted out. Immediately I realized I was wrong, I could tell by the look on Michael's face. His expression resembling the look you might expect if grandma willed you the false teeth. The debate was on. I tried to rationalize KJ's birth weight by ordinating it among Lula and E-man's weights but I had those wrong too, so my strategy was flawed from the start. Eventually we all headed upstairs to "the BOX"

I have a box for each of my kids, each box containing hospital bracelets, footprints, cards, locks of hair, favourite dresses, hats that sort of thing. I went into motherhood knowing that detail is not my strong suit and knowing that I better have a strong back up system.

I opened the box, and I choked up a little, looking at my girl holding up the little sleeper that she came home from the hospital in, (she has bras bigger than it now.) I reached for the hospital card that listed her details...7lbs 11oz...."Ok, I loose." I conceded. Then I watched as KJ sifted through the rest of the box, giggling and snickering. All I could think, was how much things change, and how far she has come.

I was lost in reflection when KJ asked "One shoe, why is there only one shoe?"

I laughed, I had forgotten all about it. "Because your sister has the other one." KJ looked at me like grandma had willed her the false teeth.

I looked at her and I started with ....

...."when you were born we were broke, like really broke." (and we were, a string of layoffs and ill timed plant closures, a broken car and a house held together mostly with duct tape and bubble gum. We were living on love and fumes.)

"When you needed walking shoes, we could afford to steal the pair from your sister's baby box."

Still she was holding grandma's teeth, except now she was laughing.

"That's where you come from" I said. THAT is why I get frustrated when you kids complain that you don't have everything you want... there was a time when you only had 1 shoe.

She left (rolling her eyes, I'm sure)

Then I laughed harder. E-man's box doesn't have any shoes (yes, he wore them too!)

Gratitude that while we were busy concentrating on the things that weren't 'things' we came a long way too. Gratitude that life has unique ways of reminding you what is important.

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Grateful un-McMorning

Today is my first offical moring as an ex-fast-food restuarant employee. I want to say I miss it but considering that the gig lasted 12 months longer than my original 6 month target I am happy to be sitting at my table this morning writting rather than trying desperately to decipher the garbled orders and instructions of people barely awake and caffine deficent!

I do however miss my sisters (and brothers) in deep fried humour, and we did have some fun! I will be stopping by from time to time to pick up a smile and a beverage on my way into the office, somehow I can't quit you people cold turkey :)

Gratitude today for the laughs and the tears, the flowers, the rude remarks that said "hey, you're okay." the shoulders and avacodos the fries, the banana muffins, the inside jokes, the outside jokes and the support as I charted my course into fulltime employement. Thank you for keeping me smiling! Take care of my customers please and each other!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

Gather around the table and get your gratitude ready...It's Thursday, the day we get around the table and ask what you are GRATEFUL for!

Today I am grateful that my windshield wipers are fixed! Thanks to my handy husband, I will not be the person travelling down the road with her wipers stuck to the middle of her windshield today, and if it should happen to rain....well, I'll be able to see without hanging my head out the window!

Cheers! Your turn...What are you GRATEFUL for today?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dream life Courtesy of Mort

I thought we could all use a bit of a chuckle today, so in honor of the life we are all striving for, I present, Mortimer (aka Mort the Enforcer) in a photo demonstration of the great life

Fabulous Entertainment

Great Friendship

A Little Indulgence

Something to wash it all down with

and a Good Night's Sleep

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lessons from the First Day of School

Our family learned some very big lessons on the first day of school this year.

1. Awful people exist in this world
2. Good people exist in this world
3. Gratitude exists even in the depths of sorrow

I was nearing the end of my day at work, looking forward to getting home to the first day of school catch-up. I love all those papers to fill out and the stories from my kids about who is in their class and how the teachers are. The chatter on the very first day of school always fills a house with a buzz of excitement and pure joy.

Just past 3 o'clock my phone rang. Instantly upon hearing Michael's voice I knew our day had taken a sharp turn in an opposite emotional direction.

"The vet just called me... Clara has been hit by a car...she didn't make it."

My heart sank to my knees, as I thought about the big lovable, floppy ear basset hound, who just last month came to be part of our family.

The details were very vague. I understood that a neighbour was at the vet clinic, as was at least one of my girls, someone was picking E-man up from school and Clara was gone.

I shut down my work and raced out the door. That 15 minute drive to my kids felt like a million years! Pulling into the vet clinic my heart sank again, immediately, I recognized our neighbour Ed's truck and the car of my good friend Patti. Please tell me it wasn't one of them, I prayed, knowing that the only thing that could make this situation any more devastating was if one of my friends felt responsible.

Inside the clinic I was greeted by a visibly upset receptionist and an equally upset vet and technician who took me to my kids. They opened the door to a tiny room and there they all were. My three babies with tear stained cheeks, Patti with her mascara stained sweater, Ed and Colin clearly deflated. I hugged everyone, asked a few questions and sent the kids home with Patti. Ed stayed behind to catch me up, and hold me up while I dealt with the unpleasantness of saying goodbye and making arrangements with the clinic staff for Clara's burial.

I learned, that the dogs had managed to somehow escape the fenced yard,  thankfully Ed spotted them and let the girls knows. I knew that an army of adults and kids would not have been able to return those dogs home if they got out. They had only been with us a month and while we were working on obedience, when it came to some things they listened like teenagers.

I learned, that the person who hit Clara did not hesitate, did not stop, did not even look back...and my heart broke a little more. I learned that Ed picked Clara up and carried her back to his truck. I learned, that Colin helped Ed the last part of the way and comforted Clara in the back as they raced to the vet clinic down the street. I learned, that KJ accompanied Ed and Colin and Clara and that Lula went to get E-man from school. I learned, that Ed had to use colourful explicatives with a complete stranger at a four way stop and that KJ was touched by that gesture. I learned, that Shawnie took care of Cooper while Patti headed to the Vet clinic to take care of my family.

I learned, that thankfully, Clara did not suffer.

Around the table (when we finally got around to supper) Michael and I tried to focus the conversation around the first day of school. It was clear that most everyone's food was going to be cold rather than consumed and E-man excused himself time and again to blow his nose and wipe his eyes.

I asked KJ to start our gratefuls for the evening. "I am grateful that I didn't get lost on my first day of highschool today" she said.

E-man left the table again, this time sobbing.

Lula was furious with me. "We shouldn't be doing this today, it's too sad, there is nothing grateful about today"

I explained that this was the most important day to acknowledge some gratitude, that even on the very worst day of your life there exists reasons to be thankful.

E-man returned to the table.

Lula conceded and offered a grateful "The first day of grade 11 went pretty smoothly at school."

I offered my Gratitude "I am grateful that Dad didn't get hurt in his motorcycle fender-bender this afternoon." (yes other things also transpired that made the first day back to school one we'd rather forget) I really wanted to grateful for the vet clinic staff and our friends but I did not want to open the flood gates of emotion any further.

Clearly Michael didn't want to either, for his grateful was "I'm glad everyone's first day at school was okay."

E-man's turn came. He choked up terribly and for a minute I thought maybe Lula was right, this was a bad idea. Then came his gratitude....

"I am grateful that we have such good neighbours" he said.

And I learned.... That my son gets it. That even in the face of extreme sorrow he can choose to focus on the space between the raindrops.

The first day of school 2011 was filled with lessons...

1. Horrible people who would rundown a dog exist
2. There exists also wonderful souls like Ed, Colin, Patti, Shawnie, and the staff at Williamsburg Veterinary Hospital.
3. Gratitude exists in all circumstances

Our extreme gratitude to Ed, Colin, Patti, Shawnie, The Staff at Williamsburg Veterinary Hospital and to Lorraine and Sarah who blessed us with the company of Clara. I know this is heartbreaking for you as well and I am sorry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

A simple gratitude from me today, to kick things off...

The kids are back to school...

I am grateful that the fridge will not be opened 600 times a day, that computers and tv's and video games will not be playing and charging, grateful that the a/c will not be pouring out to the sidewalk while kids stand with the front door open talking with their friends about plans that may or may not come into fruition.

The real gratitude comes in a month when that first back to school hydro bill arrives!

Thursday... Your turn @ the table. What are you grateful for today?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Picking Sides

When Michael and I were first married we owned a teeny, tiny 2 bedroom house. The total square footage was less than 700 square feet. You can imagine in that limited space, we were lucky to have 1 bathroom. It was a closet of a room, complete with a tub, sink and a toilet. For the first week it had no electrical outlet and in desperation I would plug my curling iron in at the kitchen table and curl my hair in my reflection in the toaster. (I didn't mind too much, there was more room for my ashtray in the kitchen) Michael quickly had an electrician buddy come to the house and help us with our wiring challenges. The bathroom became functional and Michael quickly learned that his turn in the mirror was whenever I was finished.

When the kids began arriving  I barely noticed the one bathroom inconvenience, they were little and we managed, but being a girl I knew that the day would come. The day that would find myself and our 2 daughters negotiating mirror time while Michael and our son begged on the other side of the door for toilet time. I envisioned them opting in desperation to borrow a neighbours loo or pee behind a tree in the yard. Common sense dictated that we eventually would need another bathroom. Actually common sense dictated that a family of 5 in a two bedroom house probably needed more than an extra bathroom.

So we sold our little house and moved into something more suitable. We tripled our square footage and along with it our bathroom count, officially ending our bathroom dilemmas.

There is always a place to pee, a mirror to see in and an outlet to plug a hairdryer or straightener into.

Or there was.

Tomorrow we have two teenager girls who will vie for shower, mirror, sink time, in preparation for highschool appearances. They tried a trial run today. 96 minutes start to finish for KJ. 96 minutes before the door opened and KJ informed Lula the bathroom was all hers. 96 minutes before the fireworks started. 96 minutes before the bathroom trauma started. Arguments over hairdryers and nail polish remover, towels and counter space.

I think they may have forgotten their bathroom roots. I think they have forgotten how grateful they should be that they have a bathroom to share. Perhaps they don't realise how grateful they should be that while they are cat scrapping over eyelash curlers and bobbi-pins, their little brother isn't banging on the other side of the door threatening to pee in their shoes if he doesn't get his turn in the water closet.

What today's trial run taught us is that the girls will need to wake up at 3 am to get all their primping and priming done in time to meet the bus. It taught us that teenage daughters are like cage fighters, sometime you just have to let them battle it out, survival of the fittest style and wait for the hairspray to settle.

More importantly I learned how grateful I am that I have a bathroom of my own.

Note to kids; I will be on the good side of my bathroom door and all of your knocking and pleading will not convince me to forfeit my time. I paid my dues...curled my hair in the kitchen and stood cross legged on the bad side of the door too many times, and you can too!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thurdsay...Your Turn @ The Table

Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of Mortimer, Lula's kitten, out of the corner of my eye, and I think he must have fallen into the toilet. Then I catch Copper the dog licking Mort like he's covered in gravy, and I am immediately grateful that the dog only eats shoes.

Thursday....What's your Gratitude? Leave me some good to read when I get back from the shoe store later today!