"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Snow & the Stock Market

Yesterday was absolutely miserable. It snowed big, wet, yucky flakes on and off all day. It didn't stay on the ground and the wind was howling, blowing most of the leaves that were left on trees down. Very depressing and a glimpse of what is to come - November. There is nothing good about November except that my sister was born on the 2nd, but other than that there is nothing. No holidays to speak of, not even Remembrance Day, that is now reserved only for the banks and government types. The kids learn "In Flanders Field the Poppies Grow" and we all wear poppies on our lapels but that is about the only bright spot in a long and dreary month.

But, on the bright side, today is clear, cold and sunny. My favourite kind of day and now that I have stoppped listening to the news about the economy I can get out of bed each morning without too much trouble. I really think this is all such a self-fulling prophecy. Yes, I know times are tough and it is a mess down in the States and it has been a bit of a wake up call for everyone to realize that it is not their right to own a $4000 handbag or live in a $1,000,000 house. We have all done it, gone shopping and bought something totally out of our snack bracket but this time it has all caught up with us. We all have to be more realistic. It is scary to think that we will be the first generation not to have a higher standard of living than our parents. Mine set the bar pretty high and I love them for all the oppportunities it gave me and my brother and sister. But I am not convinced that going to private school, travelling to Europe in the summer and getting a car for graduation made me into a better person than I would have otherwise been.

I am so glad to have moved out of the city and away from a world where everyone was a banker or a lawyer and all they could talk about was private schools and real estate. I bet those conversations have died down now that houses aren't selling for $100,000 over asking and those school fees still have to be paid.

Oops, how did I get onto this rant? I started out saying that it was all a self-fufilling prophecy. Meaning the media got ahold of it and we all began to get scared and now it's all you hear about. The stock market tanks, no it's back up. It's rallying. No it's back in the toilet. Who controls this roller coaster? People who make money from producing absolutely nothing real. And the people who are out there making something that is worth buying are getting hurt. Small businesses can't get money from the banks to operate, to create jobs and to provide for their families. Big businesses lay off workers from the top to the bottom and everyone in the places where those people live are getting hurt. But there are still those who are making money off of all of this. It is crazy and I am sort of relieved that the constant drive to out Jones the Jones may finally be over.

We moved to have a different kind of life, away from the rat race and so far it is working. My husband is around more, we can get out and do things that don't require long drives, paying for parking and the kids are happy. They have a freedom and independance that we never could have allowed in the city.

Maybe more people will come to realize that there is more to life than renovating and buying more stuff. I just hope they don't all move to our town.

Monday, October 20, 2008

31 Things About Me

Here's the deal...one word answers to the questions below.

1. Where is your cell phone? On my desk
2. Where is your significant other? Woodshop
3. Your hair colour? streaky
4. Your mother? Nuts
5. Your father? My hero
6. Your favorite thing? Sleep
7. Your dream last night? Weird, because I remember it
8. Your dream/goal? To grow old with my husband
9. The room you're in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Being forgotten
12. Where do you want to be in six years? With 3 happy teenage boys
13. Where were you last night? Home with three boys
14. What you’re not? Quiet
15. One of your wish list items? A laptop
16. Where you grew up? Country & city
17. The last thing you did? Make a fire
18. What are you wearing? Jeans & black sweather
19. Your TV? On too much
20. Your pet? Portugese Water Dog
21. Your computer? HP
22. Your mood? Ready to get away
23. Missing someone? My sister
24. Your car? Big, dirty Suburban
25. Something you’re not wearing? Lipstick, I never do
26. Favorite store? Bookstore
27. Your summer? Different
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Last night
31. Last time you cried? A couple of weeks ago

Friday, October 10, 2008


There really isn't another holiday on the calendar quite like Thanksgiving. I know that we Canadians probably co-opted it from the American extravaganza but it is one of my favourites. It isn't particularily religious, anyone from long time Canadians to the newest immigrants can celebrate the harvest, a bountiful table and being together with family. It isn't fraught with all the expectations and excesses of Christmas or even Halloween. You don't have to buy gifts or make a costume or hide eggs. You just prepare wonderful food to eat and enjoy, go for a walk or two in the crisp fall air and wonder at the brightness of all the colours.

I don't think there is ever a time in the year that I find the colour of the sky, the leaves or the water clearer. It is as if the Earth turns up the contrast for it's last hurrah before it settles into the greys and browns of November and then the whiteness of winter.

I could never live in a place without the change in seasons. Just when I am getting sick of my summer clothes along comes fall with its cozy sweaters, leather boots and jean jackets. Then we hunker down in our winter coats, not to be seen uncovered again until that first glorious day in spring when the thermometer pushes up out of the single digits and suddenly everyone is in shorts and t shirts even though it is still freezing in the mornings. I know that I have S.D.D. (Seasonal Deficit Disorder) I tire quickly of too much of the same weather, whether it be hot and humid, cold and damp or bright and clear. I am always ready for a change, even for a rainy, dark day when you can't get out and do much of anything so you can just sit inside and read by the fire or putter around the house with nothing particular in mind.

I love fall because it is usually the shortest season. I was married in the fall, surrounded by the colours of the trees and the brilliant blue sky. I love it because even though I know that every day is getting shorter and the mornings are darker and soon the kids will come home from school and the street lights will be on that there is Halloween and the big build up to Christmas to look forward to.

So for now I will enjoy going out in a sweater without a coat and looking at the blue, blue bay and watching my garden slowly put itself to bed. And I feel like maybe it is a sign that the world needs to slow down and rest for a while so we can all rejuvinate ourselves for whatever lies ahead.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Exploring in our backyard

Think I peaked in grade three

Hemmingway was once famously challenged to write a six word memoir at a bar. So, on a cocktail napkin, he wrote, "For sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn." Smith Magazine launched a contest and published a book of the best ones.

I was quite taken by this challenge and over the course of the Easter weekend which I spent with my brother and sisiter, celebrating his 40th birthday, I (with some brother and sisterly help) came up with, "Think I peaked in Grade 3." Guess that's more of a statement than a memoir but it hits very close to home.

The scary thing is that kids today are all being forced to peak early. There is so much pressure to get them into sports, music lessons and other extra curricular activities early (Baby Mozart and Einstein?) that they are burnt out by the time they hit their teens and then they don't want to do anything. Someone gave me a book called "Slacker Mom" and I took it to heart. I don't want to be the mother who runs around every afternoon from hockey to piano to Kumon. My kids (ages 6, 8 & 10) play outside after school (we do live on a cul de sac in a small town) and even, gasp, watch TV for a while before dinner. They are involved in sports, hockey, soccer and skiing and one just started guitar lessons. They go to an old fashioned summer camp where there are no iPods or video games and they swim , canoe and fish at our cottage when they aren't at camp.

I kind of pride myself on the "Slacker Mom" label. Someone once said to me when she found out she was pregnant with her third son that while she was excited about joining my "Mothers of Three Boys Club" what she really thought was important about raising boys was not that they should grow up to be great, but that they should grow up to be good. Because, as she pointed out, the world has seen lots of so-called great men who haven't done much good for humanity and everyone could use another good man in their life.

So if I peaked in Grade 3 then I guess I can go for a second peak in mid life. I won't call it a crisis yet, the world has enough of those going on right now, but I am going to start working on another memoir. Working title, "To be continued ..."

Who is Cid?

Who is Cid?

- 4th or 5th generation Canadian by way of England, Scotland & Ireland

- highlights her hair but feels vindicated by her three blond sons

- finally, at age 42 is comfortable with her body and what she looks good in (most of the time)

- has been with the same man since she was 16 and loves him as much as ever and never wonders, “what if…”

- raised in the city and the country with horses, barn cats, dogs, three TV channels and a mother & father who let her and her brother and sister build forts and sleep in the barn, go riding bareback in the dark and play out of sight of the house

- a terrible procrastinator but who gets a great sense of satisfaction in finishing something even if it is only the laundry

- is called a “connector” by a friend, likes bringing people together, gets energy from others and loves to reconnect with people from the past

- a reader to the exclusion of most other things, could read while three boys were in the bath, read in the morning, far too late at night and anytime in between when it’s a good book, reads British chick lit, essays, Can lit and used to be, during her teen years, a huge sci fi fan (still loves apocalyptic stories)

- would love to travel again, but stay in one place for about six months like the south of France or New Zealand in a house, going to the market and living like a local

- can never get enough sleep, loves the idea of being a morning person but never seems to be able to wake up refreshed and ready to go

- lives in jeans and boots, wishes she had more style day to day but doesn’t want to look like she’s trying too hard

- loves the Fall because she get to wear the above mentioned jeans & boots, cool nights, great for sleeping, crisp sunny days and all the colours of the leaves

- has been at home raising three boys for the last eleven years and isn’t sure what to do next

- loves living in a small town with lots of interesting people to talk to and interesting things to do, where nothing is a chore to get involved in

- loves and likes her parents, brother and sister even if she doesn’t always agree with them

- loves the chaos of a bunch of kids and dogs running around while the adults sit and enjoy a glass of wine on the dock or deck especially when it happens spontaneously

- loves baguettes, good cheese, wild blueberries and fresh peaches

- wants to write but worries it is too solitary but thinks maybe doing this is a start

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