"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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We're Off - from Snow to Sand

It feels very strange that a week before Christmas I do not have stashes of presents hidden throughout the house. I have resisted the temptation to put stocking stuffers in the grocery cart and I have wrapped a grand total of five presents, three for teachers and two for my mother. One more sleep and we are off to the sunny and hopefully warmer south, although with the weather very, very "White Christmas" here, anything will be an improvement. I can't say how secretly happy I am that our snowblower wouldn't start when we got it out of the garage for it's first blow of the year and there has been no time to get it fixed. Luckily our neighbour has a son in the business and I am able to get in and out of our drive with ease. My pioneer woman spirit only extends so far and digging the wood pile out to keep the fire going on the fifth Snow Day so far as well as packing down a path with my snow shoes for the dog to be able to get out and do his thing is about it right now.

We did put the tree up two weeks ago and I have enjoyed it. On Monday Number Two and Three Sons and I sat in front of it most of the day watching movies and making crafts. We baked, well actually we made Candy Cane Bark which is technically not baking but is the most delicious thing ever. And when the power went out at 8 o'clock we lit candles and put another log on and read Christmas stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder. That was a Christmas miracle in our house and as the wind howled outside the boys and I felt like we were living in the Little House in the Big Woods, cosy and warm by the fire. Of course at midnight when the lights all came blazing back on I was more than happy to move the two perpetual motion machines out of my bed and back into theirs.

Number One Son and my Other Half have been away for the week at Mont Tremblant, Quebec for some father/son time and it has given our eldest a chance to be a little more independent away from his brothers. Something I hope will help him as I encourage him to do a French Exchange programme next year for two months. He would go to France or Switzerland in the spring of 2012 and we would have a student here next September/October. At first I thought Grade 8 was a little young but the reasoning is that the students won't miss as much academically as they would in high school and also they won't be as inclined to go over and party at age 13 and 14 (I hope). It would be a fantastic opportunity for him and something that is very near and dear to my heart. Language is my thing and most days I feel like I have very little influence over my sports-loving, brother-bashing, video-gaming sons. Number One is the reader in the family like me and he is already quite good in French after spending the first four years of school in French immersion. I would love for him to really solidify that skill and quiet frankly, we would all love to be able to go over and visit him, hopefully in the Alps, for Spring Break 2012.

But for now off we go to a place where instead of snow there will be sand and the palm trees are covered in millions of white lights. They say nobody does Christmas quite like Naples, Florida so I promise to take lots of pictures. Have a wonderful holiday everyone.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I am torn

I am not sure what to do about Christmas this year. Number One Son and his father will be leaving to go to Mont Tremblant, Quebec to ski with his team on December 12th and then they join Numbers Two, Three and I in Naples, FL on December 19th. We will be leaving on the 17th to spend our first Christmas down south with my Dad, my brother and sister and their families. We will be home on Boxing Day, the 26th in time for the boys to begin their season of ski racing but the question is, do we put up the tree?

We will have so little time before we leave and then, of course, we will come home to a half dead tree with needles every where and I will be the one who has to put everything away and clean it all up. For what? My Other Half was at a trade show this weekend and so we could put it up this week but then the weekend after we are staying at my Mum's to celebrate Christmas with her, four days later we head south. Am I a Grinch for not wanting to go through the hassle?

Number Two with Santa's Marching Band - Christmas 2000

Yesterday Number Two Son found his Santa hat to wear to school and started to rip through all the boxes to find his favourite Playmobile Santa sleigh and reindeer. I lost it when I saw the mess but I know how much he has always loved playing with the decorations. And on Saturday night I went to a party at a home that was decked to the halls and that coupled with some snow on the ground I know I can't not get out the Santas and the wreaths. And even though there might be a few needles to sweep up when we get home I think we will all appreciate coming home to enjoy Christmas for another week or so, at least until after New Years.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter's Hush

My world is white this morning.

The first snow fell over night and everything is quiet outside.

The howling wind that brought the storm has calmed and the birds are huddled around the feeder.

The dog stepped out for his morning constitutional and made it as far as the back porch before noticing the world had changed. He put his nose down and snuffled under the blanket of snow before leaping off to run around in circles like a puppy.

Soon we will find mitts and hats and snowpants. Put on boots and join him for snow angels

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wabi Sabi

In yet another case of I'm still thinking while someone else is actually doing, I had been pondering a post about the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi which means to find perfection in imperfection which has been my mantra ever since a friend who lived in Japan for four years gave me a book about it. Of course just as I was mulling over whether to take my own photos to illustrate the post or just go on line and find someone else's I came across this Design Sponge post which explains and has the perfect (no pun intended) photos of what Wabi Sabi means. I found another post explaining Wabi Sabi more as a philosophy of living rather than just one of decorating. I love the idea that, "Wabi-sabi is underplayed and modest, the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It's a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the entire tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon 90 percent obscured behind a ribbon of cloud. It's a richly mellow beauty that's striking but not obvious, that you can imagine having around you for a long, long time - Katherine Hepburn versus Marilyn Monroe." I always wanted to be Katherine Hepburn, elegant in trousers and a simple white man's shirt while my next door neighbour styled herself after Marilyn Monroe.

In my life I have evolved from a teenage girl who wanted nothing more than a room that "matched" to become someone who embraces the bits and pieces my Other Half and I have collected over the 22 years we have been creating home together. But I certainly didn't appreciate this growing up in a 150 year old farmhouse decorated with antique pine furniture and my mother's own unique style. In short - nothing matched. When I was 13 I went to school in the city and met a girl who became a life long friend and spent most of my time at her house which, of course, matched. Her mother had a wonderful style, formal yet comfortable. She used bright colours and had fabrics on the couches which had names like chintz and toile. Their kitchen was white and in my eyes, modern. Ours was dark and country. While my parents collected unknown (at the time) Inuit sculpture and native art, my friend's mother adorned her walls with up-and-coming and even famous artists.

In hindsight, of course, I can now appreciate what my parents created at our farm - a warm and inviting place with wonderful pieces of furniture scarred and battered with use by my brother, sister and I as well as many families before us. I have many of those pieces in my house now and they all have a story to tell. My own decorating philosophy, such as it is, begins with, " Is something useful and does it belong?" Meaning, not that it matches but because it looks at home. Of course all of this lofty discussion takes place in my head and isn't always easily translated to my home because of either time or money and I certainly have made some mistakes since I "decorated" our first apartment 22 years ago. We have gone from city to country, apartment to semi-detached house to bungalow to building a timber frame house in the country back to city and now Cape Cod-style in a small town. The first couch we bought was a high backed, over-stuffed, chintz-covered monster that hasn't fit anywhere after we sold the timber frame house. It will finally be liberated from our storage locker and moved to the office of our new workshop which has knotty pine walls and appropriately enough used to be the home of a timber frame builder.

We are currently in the process of transforming the basement playroom into a "Boy Cave" for our sons, namely the eldest who when asked why he wasn't inviting his friends over much replied, "because downstairs is a dump." At first I wanted to scream, "Well then why don't you guys clean up more often?" but then I saw his point. When we moved from the city the boys were 5, 7 and 9 and it was full of toys that now lie forgotten for the most part and the room centres around the TV and video games. So we bit the bullet and bought a giant sectional couch, fake leather that is easily wiped off and the cushions which are permanently attached so that mac & cheese can't be hidden under them. Now all five of us can sit comfortably and watch a movie together and the boys can have friends over and not be embarrassed. We have also moved their rooms around and I have given them free rein in their decor. So has any of my own personal aesthetic rubbed off on them? I'll let you decide.

Number One Son's Room (still under renovation)

Number Three Son's Room

Number Two Son's Room

P.S. I have no idea why the typeface decided to change, I guess maybe that's just another example of Wabi Sabi.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - that is to have succeeded.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life seems to be a challenge lately and continuing to believe that what I do everyday is important is harder and harder. Boys constantly bickering and fighting, my continual nagging to make the bed, set the table, do homework, feed the dog ... it goes on and on and there never seems to be anything positive in return. In the end I want them to grow up to be three good men like their father, but not necessarily great. The world is full of too many men whom society judges great but who cheat on their wives, abandon their children and leave a trail of friends behind all for power, money or fame.

So I will continue to lie with my children before they go to sleep, listen to their fears and dreams and put up with their noise and fights, tend my family and my friends and hope that I will in some way have succeeded - at least by Emerson's very fine definition.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Highway of Heroes

This week was, of course, when we do a lot of looking back. My kids’ school does an incredible job of bringing Remembrance Day to life. The assembly is poignant, relevant and brings me to tears every year. My eldest son’s Grade 7 class sang The Trews “Highway of Heroes” song while this video was shown. The interesting thing is that all the talk of war and peace seems to touch my children much more profoundly that it ever did me when I was their age. I was lucky to not know any family members who when to war and when I was growing up in the 70′s and 80′s in Canada, other than our peacekeeping forces, our country was not sending soldiers off to fight overseas. Today, it is quite different. All too frequently there is another ramp ceremony broadcast from Afghanistan and footage of the procession of cars and hearses along the Highway of Heroes (Hwy 401 in Ontario), a road I have travelled more times than I can count, back and forth from Montreal where I went to university and on weekends down to my husband's cottage in the Thousand Islands. I cannot imagine what it would be like to travel it as the parent of a fallen soldier. We live near a base and my boys actually ran their cross country race through it’s beautiful woods and fields where other mother's sons train to be sent to Afghanistan. Remembrance Day is far more relevant and real to my children than it ever was to me and while I am sorry that our world doesn’t seem to have changed since the “Great War” or any other since I am glad that my boys understand why we must never forget the sacrifices that others have made so we can live.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What a Weekend

It's not often that I get to report on a weekend full of fun with other grown ups but this one was all that and more. I didn't see the boys from Friday morning when they left for school until Sunday at about 11am when we picked them up at my Mum's. In fact I had Thursday off as well when we we headed up to close the cottage for the day.

Yes, that is snow on the ground

Now I know that driving five hours to pull boats out of the water and to bait mouse traps isn't everyone's idea of fun but I didn't have to make lunch or dinner so that counts for something, doesn't it? And no matter what you are doing what a difference having some time off makes in how you deal with your children. And the best part is that now that they are older there is hardly any prep involved in me getting away. Of course leaving my incredible Other Half at the helm helps too. He has never been one of those fathers. You know the ones who babysit their kids, who need detailed instructions on the care and feeding of their own offspring. The man I chose to marry and bear children for (and I take all the credit for my very wise choice) doesn't need to be told or even reminded to pick up his kids at school or make sure they don't eat only Halloween candy for every meal. I didn't make up meals or post instructions on the fridge for anything, not even the phone number of our local pizza place. I just had a shower, straightened my hair, packed my city clothes and walked out the door. I think it's partly because I definitely don't have any control issues and also because my partner is more organized than I will ever be. Here he is, right in the middle of a major expansion of the business, moving the shop to a new location next week, sourcing new suppliers and arranging for the necessary improvements to be made in, what will officially be, a plant not a workshop anymore. All the while keeping up with hockey, volleyball and dry land training schedules, homework and bloody Grade 5 Ancient Civilizations projects. He is Mr. Super Mom.

As for me, I hit the Starbucks drive through by 3pm on Friday afternoon and was on my way to the big city for a girl's dinner with my high school posse. We met downtown at a great Moroccan restaurant and ate and drank, laughed and talked until it was time for them to put the chairs up on the tables. Afterwards Diana and I headed back to her house where her hubby had thoughtfully chilled a bottle of Pino Grigio for us before he went to bed. We talked and laughed some more and I fell into bed feeling reconnected with friends who I don't get to see often enough but when we do get together it is as if no time has passed.

Saturday morning I got up, popped an Advil to ward off the post Pino head ache and hung out with the family for a while catching up on their lives until I headed off to IKEA. Normally the thought of tackling the Swedish super store on a Saturday would be my idea of hell but alone with no particular timetable I wandered, took pictures and got ideas for the "boy cave" we are transforming the basement playroom into. After a successful couple of hours I called my best friend and we met for lunch, gorged myself on Pad Thai and then went off to meet my Other Half to drive out to the suburbs see his parents. My father-in-law had a double bypass and a valve replacement two weeks ago and is now home and doing well. The pig's valve is a source of great amusement to the boys who keep asking whether Grandpa can now oink or if he still eats bacon. But both my in-laws while tired, looked much better than they had in the very tense weeks and days leading up to the surgery. We had dinner and motored back into the city to check in at our hotel. We were going to stay with our friends again but we decided to treat ourselves and not sleep on their basement hide-a-bed. One night on it was enough for my 44 year old back.

Dressed, refreshed and ready to party we hopped in a cab and headed back uptown to the "Twisted Kilt" for my sister's 40th birthday party. Those of you who might have read my previous post will know that my sister is a very special person and as a result the pub was packed with friends and family. We had a great time but unfortunately I left my camera back at the hotel and so there is no photographic evidence of the evening's festivities. But trust me on this, it was a great party. And when we did get back to our room we realized that since it was the night to "fall" back we had gained an extra hour of sleep with no children to spoil the illusion. Perfect timing on my party-planning brother-in-law's part.

Sunday morning was a lazy one until we looked at our watches over our favourite greasy spoon bacon and eggs and realized that even with the extra hour our reprieve was over. We had to haul it to my Mum's to pick up the boys and get Number One Son home for hockey practise while Number Two Son had a month's worth of work to do on his Ancient Civilization project which is due this week. So Cinderella left the ball, kicked off her high-heeled boots, slipped back into her Blundstones and went home to star as the sous chef in a video of Number Two Procrastinator making spicy Mayan hot chocolate.

But after a little break even spilled hot chocolate on a white dress shirt didn't get to me like it would have 48 hours ago. The boys had quality time with their grandmother and I had quality time with friends and my so-close-to-perfect Other Half.

Note to Self - Do it more often and everyone will be happier.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Top Ten Reasons Why You are So Special and
(after 40 years) I'm Glad You're My Sister

  1. You always listen to me no matter if I'm crying, ranting or just feeling sorry for myself.

  2. You make friends where ever you are whether it's in a bar or at the counter of a cheese shop. ('cause you never know who you might be talking to – dotcom millionaire or local wino)

  3. You are passionate about whatever you are doing and make everyone around you care too.

  4. You always were our grandfather's favourite and he must have recognized something early on that I have only come to see with the wisdom of age.

  5. You get my boys. Each one of their quirks and eccentricities and you bring out the best in each one of them.

  6. You will spontaneously sing "It's a Long Road to Freedom" with me.

  7. You back me up when I buy yet another pair of boots (aren't we lucky to wear the same size?)

  8. You brought PJ into our lives with joy and determination despite everything you and Paddy went through.

  9. No one (except our brother and you together) makes me laugh more or harder.

  10. You know me better than anyone else. Through Monday morning temper tantrums leaving for Havergal, frat parties at McGill, Christmas parties at the farm, weddings, break ups, babies and in the not-so-distant future, teenagers. You have been there, not necessarily close by, but always at the other end of phone whether I'm drunk dialling, crying or laughing.

    Not everyone has the kind of relationship we have, I have been surprised to learn and it might be because we haven't lived under the same roof since 1978. But whatever the reason, I am so glad to have you and your little family close by to celebrate with on special occasions like this and to just hang out, spending time together. Watching PJ take his first steps between his cousins, cheering on whatever sporting endeavour the boys are participating in and every once in a while, just the two of us. And I hope we can fine sometime to do just that, - before you turn 41.

    Happy 40th Boo. I love you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Twas the night before All Hallo's Eve

Halloween seemed a little discombobulated this year. Maybe it was because it was on a Sunday or the fact that it was really cold but we didn't even get out the decorations until the day of and only got so far as to put a few cobwebs up by the front door. In contrast to our old street in the city where we'd get over a hundred trick or treaters, here on our quiet cul de sac of eight houses only my cousin's son and a couple of neighbours rang the bell. The kids, mine included, are smart enough to know you get way more candy per street if you go to the high density neighbourhoods.

But we adults did get out the night before for a few treats and lots of fun as witnessed by photos below.

Breakfast at Tiffany's meets Bonnie while Clyde was getting them drinks
(Apologies to Audrey and Faye)

Lisbeth Salader, Holly Golightly, an Angel and a Witch

Not sure who is Madder? The Hatter or the Devil.

Barbie & Ken were the perfect hosts once they came out of their boxes.

Everyone was getting into the spirit including Number Two Son and
his cousin who modelled matching Spiderman costumes.

Finally the big night arrived and the ghosts, ghouls and zombies were out in full force.

The Motley Crew consisted of a Dirtbiker, Zombie Lumberjack, Mini Spiderman, Little Red Riding Hood, an Old Rich Guy, 80's Skier and Zombie Abe Lincoln. I never know what they are going to be until the last minute. Number One Son actually changed from a Hobo to Old Rich Guy about five minutes before we headed out.

The Lumberjack met up with his good buddy Shaun White who found trick or treating while carrying a snowboard a little tiring but at least he was dressed for the frigid temperatures.

I also had a revelation this year while trying to come up with a good couple costume for my Other Half and I - we need to really be in disguise. My wonderful Clark Kentish hubby definitely comes out of his more introverted self when he dons a costume but this year's tweed suit and fedora just wasn't disguise enough for him to let loose like last year's leather biker chaps and tattoo sleeves did. He said he felt too much like himself or at least his old self who used to wear a suit and tie every day.

Lesson learned. Next year there will be make up and/or masks involved.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Muse Still Missing

So please enjoy these photos which are completely out of order. Why is it so hard to move them around?

The Regional Cross Country Race

Number One Son came in 18th out of all the 12 & 13 year olds, all 145 of them!

Number Three Son came in 22nd out of 240 8 and 9 year olds!!

The oldest group is off

Number Three waiting for the gun in the Reebok Hockey cap that never leaves his head

Of course, I had to get some shots of the spectators while the runners were out of sight in the woods.

One in particular

A great day was had by all

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Colours

Despite the grey skies threatening rain all last weekend the colours were still brilliant in the Park. Here's a few photos.

Going through the creek


Cold boat ride

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yes, that's me cutting the cheese

It's amazing how life can get away from from you when you are not paying attention or you try to do something new. I am helping some friends out one day a week in their new shop, The Cheese Gallery. It's a fantastic place where you can buy a hunk of stinky cheese, sip a cup of tea, have your favourite painting framed or even enjoy a glass of wine with some cheese and crackers. In a town of 1400 people sometime you do have to be all things to all people. So on Tuesdays I can be found behind the counter - yes, "cutting the cheese" (sorry, hanging out with boys does tend to rub off on me) It is great fun, I am learning lots about the cheeses from France, England, as well as our many fine Canadian artisan cheese makers. Of course there is lots of joking about the old Monte Python Sketch and thanks to the wonders of YouTube I can share it with you.

But back to the problem of letting things get away from me. The boys seem to be coping with me not picking them up from school and my wonderful Other Half has rose to the occasion making dinner for us but this week I also had to go down to the city for a day and of course picked up a nasty cold bug and spent yesterday in bed watching "Glee" on demand. Today I am feeling a bit better, still have a pounding headache and won't make it over to the school to help with the Terry Fox Run. But I hope to sleep enough to be able to rally tonight as we have tickets for a Fundraiser and I borrowed a dress just for the occasion which is a big deal in my world. So the laundry has piled up, there's no food in the fridge, I'm hoping the boys have kept up with their homework and the poor dog hasn't been walked in days. How silly of me to have thought every once in a while that I would like to have a "sick" day. As my youngest said last night when he came in to say goodnight to me, "but I thought Mummys didn't get sick." They do but it's rarely worth it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Still at their beck and call

When the boys were little I was literally at their beck and call. For years I never seemed to be able to enter REM sleep because their was always a diaper to change or worse, an entire sleeper to be peeled off a cranky baby or a bucket needed beside a nauseous toddler or wet sheets to be changed. During the day it was constant diaper changes, non stop nursing, meal prep and clean up. One day morphed into the next until slowly we came out the other end of babydom and entered preschool world. Now I had a few hours with everyone off at school, time flew by in a haze of errands run without a stroller and quick uninterrupted conversations with friends. The nights were less hectic, I found myself waking up in the morning thinking that something must be wrong, no one had called out for me.

And so now we have moved all too quickly out of those early school years into the era of pre-teen angst and a whole new round of becking and calling. I have more time without them but now it's not as easy to make plans with friends because inevitably someone will need to be taken to the arena or picked up from dry land training or so-and-so wants to sleep over and can we go rent a movie or go to the theatre to meet the gang? It is never ending. I used to call the lists and schedules I left for whichever set of grandparent was babysitting for a few days "The Care & Feeding of the Brothers Grimm" but now it's less care and feeding and more "Chauffeuring and Digital Monitoring"

There's homework and the dreaded school projects. There's hockey practise and football tryouts. And now there's facebook and MSN monitoring. Our eldest doesn't have a cell phone yet and isn't really lobbying for one (although Number Two Son is) but I am starting to think it might not be a bad idea so I don't have to turn up at the arena only to be told he's going home with so-and-so or arriving at school to find no one there because they have all made plans and I'm not in them.

I'm not complaining, I just don't do change very well. Every transition I find myself clinging to the old days of making meals with one in the high chair, one on the floor with all the tupperware out of the cupboard and one playing with Play Doh on the counter. Now it's rushing to get a meal on the table before practise, watching which website they are surfing out of the corner of one eye while I squint with the other to read another permission form for yet another sporting activity. Change is good, change is inevitable but I still don't have to like it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

From the sublime to ridiculous in under three hours

Summer is over and I just haven't had the blogging muse strike me in a very long time. But this morning I am sitting drinking my second cup of uninterrupted coffee because it's just me and the dog at home. Yes, no boys (they slept over at my Dad's) and my Other Half is off at a much deserved golf weekend with the boys. Did I mention that I had the house to myself last night? I don't think in the three years we have lived here I have been alone in it for more than a few hours. I love being alone. I watched Date Night last week and I loved the scene where Tina Fey's character describes her fantasy of being alone in a quiet hotel room with nobody touching her and drinking a Diet Sprite. I got my fantasy last night.

Alone, lit a fire and opened a bottle of wine, fired up the Kindle and read some of Quinn Cummings essays from Notes from the Underwire. It was perfect. And this morning as I await the return of the mob I have had time to make myself a pot of steel cut oatmeal which takes at least a half an hour and I try to make but never have time to eat, catch up on my favourite blogs and start planning for the arrival of four more children, two mothers and two extra dogs for the night. From the sublime to ridiculous in under three hours.

So back to the reason for my absence from the blogosphere this summer, I think I might have to take a look at what I am doing in this blog, a few others I read have either disappeared or have been reinvented, not sure if I need to do anything as drastic as that but I think something needs to change.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life Lessons

I've been away for a while and I am only back on a temporary basis. Life keeps getting in the way but that's okay for now. I am sure I'll be back with a blogging vengeance in September. Something about back-to-school time. In the words of that Grand & Toy ad, "It's the most wonderful time of the year ..." So for now I will simply post a couple of things I have learned lately.

Always check all your pockets. In the past year we have, as a family lost quite a few things. These things were small and electronic so therefore their value was not directly in proportion to their size. The items were a brand new iPod Nano owned by Number One Son who lost it up at the cottage last summer. We looked everywhere, several times and finally bought him a new one for Christmas. The other thing was my small camera which I was convinced had gone out with the Christmas wrapping paper as the last time I used it was Christmas morning. We replaced that one a couple of weeks later and the replacement was promptly dropped by Number Two Son on the floor of the Alphorn Restaurant so the lens is now permanently jammed.

But back to the Life Lesson learned here. When it came time for me to pack the boys' stuff for camp I dutifully aired out their sleeping bags and even cleaned out their toilet kits and in doing so unzipped all the pockets. What did I find in Number One's kit? His old iPod that he had carefully packed last August. Hmmmm, do you think he ever opened his toothbrush holder either? So now Number Three Son has graduated from Number Two's iPod Classic which was my original to a barely used Nano. Lucky 8 year old that he is.

As for the camera? Well, we headed down to the pier one evening after soccer practise so the boys could cool off and I grabbed a backpack out of the front all closet to throw the towels in and opened one of the six or seven pockets and found ... you guessed it. The missing Christmas camera. So once I get the jammed one fixed we will have two identical Canon Sure Shots. One to take pictures with and one to lose.

Hope everyone is having a great summer, especially all you Asian spammers we bloggers love so much, I've never had so many comments I can't understand.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Raw Food Detox Debrief

So I made it through the 7 day detox as prescribed by the Raw Divas. And I have to say I am quite proud of myself. I did not slip up once, although I may have jumped the gun on finishing when I ate dinner out with my Other Half and his mother on Saturday night, I think I was supposed to go through to Sunday morning but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to my favourite restaurant in town and sit by the water, enjoy a glass of Prosecco and the delicious food.

But I digress, the week started off with major headaches for the first couple of days, probably due to caffeine with drawl more than anything. I don't drink a lot of coffee, a cup or two in the morning but my head was screaming by the afternoon of the first day then it subsided into a dull roar by Day 2 and by Day 3 I was okay. I have to admit I rather enjoyed the "Green Smoothies" for breakfast and am still making them. I blended kale, bananas, strawberries, mango and blueberries with just a wee bit of OJ and they were great. Filled me up and kept me going until lunch.

Lunch was either a bowl of fruit, the easy way out for me as I cut up fruit and have a bowl in the fridge all the time anyways, mostly watermelon, cantaloupe and mango. Or if I was feeling inspired I made a salad of all the veggies I could fit in a bowl. I did miss having dressing on it and found it a little dry so again I added a bit of OJ or one day I pureed strawberries to drizzle over. Not the same as balsamic vinegar but better than nothing. I love fennel so I ate a lot of that and I bought the premixed salad greens as a base. I didn't try to grow my own sprouts or mung beans (yuck) so I didn't get a lot of protein and you aren't supposed to have any oils at all so no nuts or seeds for the 7 days.

As the week went on I found making meals for the boys easier and the biggest thing I learned was that it is possible to make a meal with out grazing through the process. That is my biggest downfall since I tend to eat an entire meal before we even sit down at the table. And I didn't touch bread for the week either, my other weakness. Had my first slice of whole grain toast this morning and it was okay and I had my smoothie as well.

By Friday my waistbands were looser and while I still felt tired by the end of the day I have to admit I felt lighter and not just weight-wise. My whole body felt better, not so puffy in the morning and although bags under my eyes aren't gone I think they may have lightened up from dark purple to more of a lilac hue.

So what else did I learn that I can incorporate into my daily life since I am definitely not a total raw food convert? Well, I think the thing I can do is save my splurges for when they are worth it like when we go out for dinner. There is no point in pigging out on bread and butter at home or eating the kids leftover tuna casserole just because it's there. And when we do go out I will try to skip on the bread basket and concentrate on the meal. I am drinking more water and I am not sure whether I will ever go back to coffee. I tried some decaf this morning and it just didn't do it for me and it's the morning ritual I enjoy more than anything else.

As for the alcohol or lack there of, Friday night I was craving a cold Corona so badly as I sat watching the kids swim but I stuck to my guns and passed, just added another lime to my water. And even missing out on the champagne at book club was okay since I felt fine the next morning instead of slightly hungover and tired from staying up too late which is really the problem these days. I can't function if I go to bed past 11pm anymore. I am realizing that my eating habits are more situational than anything else. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and just like I tell my kids to get out so they aren't thinking about food from the minute they get home from school, I need to make the meal, get out and go sit on the porch or weed the garden.

More than anything else I know the thing that I got most out of the experience is that I feel like I did something for myself. I didn't necessarily lose a ton of weight but I didn't cheat once and it is the first time I have ever challenged myself to something like that so it's a big deal. It felt good to be in control. My friend who was my phone buddy (and it's good to have someone to call because the Divas emails are pretty generic and not terribly inspiring) when I felt my willpower caving has suggested that it might be something we could do every 6 months or so. Don't know if I 'm that keen but talk to me in January after the Christmas eat-a-thon when my ski pants are digging into my waist and I just might be ready to jump back on the raw food wagon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bet the World Cup players don't get to do this

Number Three on a break-away

Number Two takes the throw in

Then it was down to the pier to cool off

Ahhh ... summer

Friday, June 18, 2010

For My Other Half - Happy Father's Day

You are the King of Fishermen

You are the best to snuggle up to

You never get tired of reading stories

You've known me since forever

I love you
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