"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

Friday, February 18, 2011

And so it begins ...

My Other Half left me this morning. For two weeks. He's off on the boat show circuit and will be away for the next two weeks and, more importantly, three weekends. Gulp. He'll be missing 4 or 5 ski races, the next round of hockey playoffs, the club championships and a trip to Toronto to see Billy Elliot. The boys are already worried about who will sharpen their skis. Me? I'm more worried about taking the three of them on the subway for the first time in four years and whether I/they will survive until the second week when I hightail it to Boston for three days to help S. out at the show.

So I will take it one day at a time. Today I'm dropping the boys off at the ski hill for training and then I am heading to the barn to see if my horse remembers who I am. I haven't ridden since before Christmas and I am persona non grata amongst my riding buddies. But the temperature is well above zero this morning despite the crazy wind blowing the next cold front in from the Arctic and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

Stay tuned for more updates from Single Motherland.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I've been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and it has really got me thinking about being happy. Right now, in the depths of a frigid Canadian winter I'm having a tough time feeling anything but a longing for spring. My boys are all having issues of their own and my Other Half heads off on the boat show circuit soon for three weeks. The petty annoyances of life are all contriving to bog me down. The bickering amongst my boys, the never-ending snow piling up outside the door, never having enough time to do all the things I know I should be doing, let alone the things I want to do. When people make lists of the things that make them happy they are usually the little things much like the list I made when I first started this blog which is still there somewhere down at the bottom of the page on the right. There is nothing wrong in taking pleasure from the little things it's just that right now I need to think about the big picture. Rubin quotes William Butler Yeats who said, "Happiness, is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing."

This is the problem for me at this point, smack dab in the middle of my life - I am not growing while everyone around me is. My sons are growing literally and will in a very short time all be taller than me but they are also growing in so many other ways. In their maturity and independence and as people. My Other Half and my sister are both growing businesses, shooting for the big leagues, creating what they hope will be their legacy. Friends around me are growing as athletes, pushing themselves physically and some are growing emotionally, leaving a relationship or a career after many years. As for me, I am the ultimate in stasus. I have been in the same relationship for over 25 years, I haven't had a career change since before the boys were born. I haven't trained to run a marathon or even entered the Club Championships. And after starting this blog two and a half years ago I haven't really done much with it. I haven't started writing the great Canadian novel or had anything published in the local paper. So all the little things that do make me happy aren't adding up to much and I am finding myself on autopilot. Telling myself that I am doing the best I can raising my kids and being a supportive wife. I make lists and I have even crossed a few things off them but I think Rubin is right, what I need now is growth because before I know it my children will be grown and S. and I will be empty nesters and I don't want us to wake up one morning and say, "Now what do we do with the rest of our lives?"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

(taken by one of the cousins)

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's still snowing

Yes, we're still under a blanket of the white stuff up here. Not that it's really any surprise to anyone but by February I am starting to tire of the stuff or, most likely, the temperatures needed to sustain it. We have been in a deep freeze since New Years. Skiing, as you may have gathered from previous posts, is less of a pass time than a religion for our family so it begins to lose some of its luster after day 30 or so. This past Saturday I was coerced into a snow shoe with friends which I agreed to on the condition that it be a "social" outing rather than a competitive "who can run to the top and back down again first" sort of thing. It was the former, I am happy to report and I was even able to stop and take a few photos along the way. The quality isn't great as I didn't have my real camera with me but the iPhone at least gives you a sense of how gorgeous it was to be out in the woods catching up with friends and giving two happy dogs some exercise.

Sunday was a tough day for all three boys with disappointing finishes in all of their races but as I keep telling myself, learning to handle disappointment is going to help them throughout their lives. Hockey play offs continue for our goalie and (hopefully) after this round the team, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, can hang up their skates and dream about better luck next year.

Super Bowl Sunday was celebrated with family and my sister out did herself with the menu as requested by my boys. We dined on mini cocktail wieners in bbq sauce, an assortment of sushi including spicy tuna rolls and sashimi, New England Clam Chowder and then homemade pizza on a Pillsbury croissant crust followed by apple pie and ice cream for dessert. It was quite the party.

I've been hearing about quite a bit of drama in other people's lives lately and mine, in comparison, seems terribly mundane. No long lost loves reappearing on the scene, no family show downs, no marital implosions or offspring explosions. And as I watched, in morbid fascination, that "car wreck on the side of the road and I can't turn away" reality TV series, Toddlers in Tiaras with the overweight mothers and red neck fathers tarting their 10 year old daughters up like third rate Vegas showgirls, spending thousands of dollars they probably can ill afford on tacky sequinned costumes, I took some comfort in my little mundane world and crawled deeper under the blankets.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Dispatches

I know that most of the northeastern and central portion of the continent is finally dealing with what we up have most days so forgive me if I have little sympathy for y'all down south (that includes you, Toronto) Yes, it is Snow Day # 7 or 8 by my count and while most of those did occur before Christmas, it's still another day with the boys at home. But "Snowmagedon" and "Snowpocalypse" Really? Has the world actually come to an end because for the first time in my adult life the Toronto District School Board declared it a Snow Day? I think not. I don't know if it's my age showing or that the world really does take itself way too seriously. In 1993 B.C. (Before Children) my Other Half and I lived in Kennebunkport, Maine for a couple of years and my favourite thing was the build up to a snow day. Those Mainers really know how to make it an event. It would start when the birth of a storm was being tracked either from the Midwest or, horror of all horrors, coming down from Canada. I was teaching so we'd all start making bets on whether school would be open the next day or not and then when our administrator actually made the call (usually when she told us to leave as soon as the last child had been picked up) we'd all smile and rush home to shut off our alarm clocks. My Other Half and I would hunker down with some wine, the dog and cat and lots of wood stacked by the fireplace to watch the local news. The 6 o'clock anchors would be wearing cozy sweaters instead of their usual jacket and ties as if they were going to be spending the night in the studio and the art department would have a field day with the STORM WATCH graphics. Then the cancellations would start rolling across the bottom of the screen - school closures, Weight Watchers meetings cancelled but the best of all was when the B&M Baked Bean factory in Portland would cancel the night or morning shift. Really, it was too dangerous for even those most essential of workers to risk going into work. It made us laugh every time.

Nowadays, everyone, including those bean makers, are far too vital to the economy to even consider staying home because of a little snow. That's why I like it up here, nothing is more important than the kids' safety, so the buses are cancelled at the drop of a snowflake but it's really more because of how important it is to our local economy that they get a few extra days on the slopes. As for me? I couldn't have hightailed it out of the house faster this morning when my Other Half realized that the roads going in the direction of the boat shop were closed and he wasn't going anywhere. I made the boys some Pillsbury Cinnamon buns, kicked them outside to play and left for work. In our town my place of employ, the Cheese Gallery, is considered an essential service and I braved an unplowed street and parking lot to make it in to put the coffee on and get the croissants in the oven. Now the only thing to do is update my facebook status, blog and decide what kind of grilled cheese to make for lunch. My friends who own the shop think I'm a saint for coming in to open the shop on time. Hell, even the bank is closed today. So I not only do I get brownie points at work, I get peace and quiet with no kids fighting over the computer, demanding food and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake throughout the house.

Yes, life isn't so bad up her in the Greater White North. Tomorrow? It's a PD Day but the sun is supposed to shine and the snow will be perfect so the boys and I will hit the slopes. Friday? The entire school will be at Blue Mountain for the Ski Cross event. It's a tough life we lead up here but somebody's got to do it.
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