"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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gas, bloating, the recession and other reasons not to read this post

Okay, so I have been feeling like shit lately. Too tired in the morning, too tired in the afternoon and ready to crawl back into bed around 7pm. I doesn't help that it is getting darker so much earlier now. Why does that seem to happen so suddenly right after Labour Day? In the spring it takes forever for the sun to stay up until after 9pm but something happens once school starts that makes me want to crawl into bed right after dinner.

But back to my aches and pains. Lately no matter how healthy I try to eat which isn't that healthy compared to people who take their flax seed and cleanses seriously but better than my usual habit of eating the kids leftover Kraft Dinner and nibbling on the ends of Oreo Sippers. But I still have been feeling like crap - like the title says - bloated, gassy, nothing fits around my waist, tired and cranky. And this isn't just pre or post menstrual, this is all f**king month long. Yes, I know the recession that is supposedly over isn't helping the mood around our house. We run a seasonal business and right now we are headed into the off part of it and it looks like it is going to be a long one. My Other Half isn't sleeping much and working too much and the kids, well, they are kids. We can't expect them to understand why we aren't booking tickets to spend Thanksgiving with their cousins or even contemplating heading south for Spring Break.

But, again, back to my bloating. So I was flipping through a mag, one that I always thought was for older women but lately seems to be aimed right at me. Yes, that makes me their target - middle aged with school age kids, no money for designer shoes and needs recipes that involve using up leftovers ***** sigh*****

Anyways I came across an ad that described my "symptoms" to a T.

  • My stomach is going to explode

  • My friend thought I was pregnant (Well, maybe she did. She just had enough sense not to say it out loud)

  • Always craving sweets

  • Vaginal itching (not in a good way)

It seems I am suffering from a yeast overgrowth - YUCK - called Candida Albicans. The irony is that I had just told my sister that I thought her baby might have thrush and we were running around trying to find Acidophilus for her to take while breastfeeding. So it seems both PJ and I have an over abundance of yeast in our systems.

So now the fun begins. Really no one should ever go on line looking for answers to medical questions. Everything you find points to one of two things. Either you are going to die and you have to spend a fortune trying to prevent that outcome or you aren't going to die but you still have to spend a fortune trying to fix what ails you.

So if anyone knows anything about the other kind of yeast infection (I can't believe I am posting this for all to see but tough times require tough posts) and have any suggestions, recommendations and/or words of wisdom which don't require giving up coffee or wine, I'm all ears. For now I am off to the health food store to check out the selection of probiotics. (I can't believe that just came out of my keyboard)

Monday, September 21, 2009

To Hell with "It" Bags

Although I have never been a designer bag kind of gal, although there was that Kate Spade obsession back at the early turn of the century, I love The Wren's bags on Etsy and Being Brazen is having a give-away so check them both out. No wait, don't go to Being Brazen 'cause then you'll enter the contest and I will have less of a chance of winning this. Or maybe I just want to look like this when I wear jeans and a white T shirt.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is a Blogger's Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

I might be making a huge generalization but in my almost year long blogging experience I have noticed that bloggers for the most part are a very positive bunch. Now I know that there are some who leave nasty anonymous comments and there has been some back-stabbing and name-calling (that just adds to the excitement for the rest of us) but all in all we seems to be a pretty optimistic lot even in the face of tough times. Maybe it is because we have our blogs from which to vent our frustrations regarding children, bosses, spouses, politicians and the crazy world in general and everyone knows that the old 60's scream therapy had some merit.

Of course, the question could be asked, "If a blogger screams on line, does anybody hear her?" Maybe not our families but definitely our blogging friends who are some of the most supportive people I have ever had the good fortune to met and someday perhaps I will get to face to face. Despite cross border and cultural differences we all face the same day-to-day dramas as well as some that are much bigger and scarier. When I sit down at my computer to read the latest posts I am struck by the common theme of making the best of the gifts you have in tough economic times , coping with a special needs child, moving across the ocean with three young children , sharing difficult stories that we all should hear , dealing with a sick child , writing some page-scrolling fiction, helping others or coping with the aftermath of a horrific accident.

Every post, however mundane sends a message to someone out there that we are all in this together - trying to raise our children to be happy and well-adjusted, keeping the magic in our marriages, dealing gracefully with a messy divorce or an aging parent. I can't think of any situation that I have found myself in lately that I haven't almost serendipitously found someone writing a post about. And when I am feeling lost and alone (even when surrounded by my family and friends in RL) reading every one's words about their trials and tribulations helps in a way that I hadn't found before.

I try to be a "glass half full" kind of person but it can be a struggle raising three very active and physical boys, married to and working with an entrepreneur struggling to keep a business afloat during a recession all while navigating the treacherous waters of (gasp) middle age. Sometimes the glass is half empty, fortunately I keep the bottle or coffee pot close at hand so that so I can always top it up as I fire up my computer and read my old favourites as well as lots of new (to me, anyways) friends.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thousand Word Thursday

On Sunday my best friend was over for dinner and while we were trying to create a meal inspired by the movie Julie & Julia (which we had seen the night before and because best friends don't let best friends cook with copious amounts of butter and wine alone) she reminded me that we had been wanting to get a more recent photo of the two of us together as we hadn't taken one in a while. We have known each other since Grade 8 and have suffered through various horrific hairdos and colours (Clairol #99 ring a bell?) She is godmother to my eldest, the fun grown up as my children say. And although our lives have turned out quite differently from one another's - she, a successful, single career woman. Me, a SAHM, celebrating my 20th anniversary this October, she has held my hand through some tough times and we have kept in touch while living on different continents, countries and coasts.
So in honour of Thousand Word Thursday here is a short retrospective of a friendship that has survived over 30 (gulp) years. And yes, the cute guy in some of the photos is the man I married.

About Grade 9

High School Graduation

The Three Amigos

Circa 2002

Like fine wine we have aged well

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random Tuesday

I am a little lost now that it is the second week of school. The first one was a flurry of getting everyone back into the routine and calming fears of terrible teachers and having no friends. Now all seem to be somewhat happy but I am in limbo. Lots of things I should be doing. So here are my random thoughts for today.
  • Why has summer decided to realign itself in August and September? Not that I am complaining but couldn't we have started say at the end of June and wrapped up a couple of months later, maybe? Just a thought.

  • Sons Numbers One and Two both have the left eye tooth coming in on top of the baby one which is not showing any wiggle. Wonder if I can negotiate a twoof-for-one deal with the dentist?

  • What does one wear to one's 25th all girl's high school reunion? Should one care?

  • Why aren't there proper TV season premieres in the fall anymore? I have no idea when any of the old shows are starting and what the new ones are.

  • Could they not make iPods with a finder option? I know there is a lost Nano somewhere in our house but hell if we can find it. At least with a phone you can call it.

  • Why does hockey start in September? The last place I want to be during this gorgeous Indian summer is in a freezing cold arena. We will have more than enough cold soon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Wrinkle in Time

Last night as the boys were trying to find something to read other than Archie comics which I am trying to wean them off of after a summer of Betty vs. Veronica. (What could be the appeal of that eternal threesome to 11 and 9 year old boys?) Cam found a Hardy Boys graphic novel and Ben resorted to re-reading an old Sports Illustrated for Kids while my Other Half read to Griff. (Yes, I have dispensed with their pseudonyms finally. Guess I have really crossed over to the dark side of blogging now) So when they were finally all settled I realized that I had nothing to read and since it was TV off time I couldn't sneak into my room and turn it back on.

I looked on the bookshelf and found Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Unbelievably I never read this book when I was a science fiction and fantasy fan in my younger years. Recently I remember it being mentioned in some CBC Book List or another as a classic young adult story. So I picked it up and am now completely immersed in the world and parallel universes of the Murry children. I can identify with Meg who is struggling with school even though she is smart (although I was never any good at math after Grade 4) because she doesn't fit in and I love wise beyond his years, Charles Wallace. They have just passed through a tesseract or "wrinkle in time" to search for their physicist father who has been missing for a year. I can't wait to get back into it tonight.

After a summer of German-occupied islands and polygamy this is just what I needed. Maybe I'll even be able to get the boys interested in the genre that sparked one of my first literary loves.

Ahhh Summer ...

Brothers rowing together

Sailing the Hobies

View from Molly's Island

Early Morning Mist

Local Wildlife

Number One Son Sets Sail

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The last days of summer

It is September 5th, Saturday of the last long weekend of the summer of '09 and while it is nice that we are still at the cottage during the first week of September, especially when I know that many kids went back to school last Monday here in Ontario and most American schools started a few weeks ago, it is still hard to say goodbye to summer even when you are 43 years old.

This summer has been an odd one for our family with a lot less time at the cottage. The boys were at camp in July and my Other Half and I were busy at work so we rented out the place to help cover our costs. We are lucky to have a family who takes it for three weeks every July and loves and understands it's 60 year old quirks and eccentricities. And where we live on the shores of Georgian Bay is cottage country to many people who travel up from the city to go to the beach or hike or bike. It's a tough life at home but there is something about being in the place you grew up.

The cottage is the one constant in my life and I hope it will be in my children's too. It is where I learned to swim and drive a boat (oh, the freedom of a tin boat with a 9.9hp motor on the back), it is where I smoked my first cigarette which my friend and I pilfered from my grandfather's ever present open pack. It is thanks to those Rothman's Extra Long + Extra Strong that I never smoked again. It is where I brought my first serious boyfriend and where my Mum told us to stay out of the sleeping cabins, "If there is anything you want to do you can do it in a canoe." I will definately use that line on my boys when the girlfriends start appearing. And it is where I brought my someday-to-be husband to pass the test of fishing with my Dad, playing cards with my grandmother and falling in love with the place that means so much to me.

The summers of a young mother spending nine weeks straight on the lake are gone, filled up with soccer tournaments and work. The long days of toddlers and babies splashing in a tiny wading pool on the dock and then graduating to jumping off in flourescent orange life jackets are over. Those long , hot afternoons of reading while children napped and then putting them to bed before the sun set so the adults could talk over many glasses of wine have been replaced by non stop lifeguarding as the boys paddle and swim across the lake to friends' cottages and serious fishing trips to catch the monster bass that has illuded four generations on this lake. We are ready to go to bed before the kids and can barely stay up to watch a meteor shower from the dock these days.

But the feeling is the same as I cross the lake for the first time each year. It is of peace descending like a gentle mist enveloping me no matter how frazzled I feel after packing the car, driving three hours, unpacking the car and then loading the boat. It is the memories that come from the water, the trees and the air here that have made me who I am and are helping to shape the men my boys will become. A shared conciousness with their great great grandparents that has been passed down through five generations. A sense of place, of where they come from and who they are.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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