Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thirteen: Small things that speak volumes to me

MORE Thursday 13 Participants can be found HERE. Check it out!

This week my topic is 13 Small Things that Speak Volumes to Me....

1. The heaving sigh the puppies makes when they lay down beside me.

2. Having people look me in the eye when they speak to me.

3. People taking grocery carts back into the store when they are finished unloading.

4. The gift of photos of our sons in a frame that was given to us by our friend at Christmas. It was the kindest, most thoughtful thing ever and I love it.

5. My co-worker bringing me a coffee when she relieves me at work because she has stopped for one for herself on the way in.

6. My son saying " I love you more than that" when I tell him I love him.

7. An email from my mom in the morning that she sends before her day begins. There is always an email waiting when I wake up to start my day.

8. Out of the blue texts from friends who live far away saying " Thinking of you" and nothing else.

9. Having someone lend me four seasons of "Downton Abbey" to watch.

10. Sitting in the living room with my spouse after the kids have gone to bed and watching a show together.

11. Listening to my kids and my spouse laughing.

12. Someone recommending a book to me.

13. My spouse making a salad for me so it is ready when I come home after a late shift.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our New Puppies

We have new puppies. They are just over three months old, litter mates and a mixed breed. We looked up characteristics of both breeds to see if we could get an idea of what kinds of things we might find in our babies as they grow. He are some of the things we have found out that seem to be true of our babies (they have been home with us for a just over a month).
1. They are comical, affectionate and playful.
3. They like to be challenged and have fun and will make up games if they are not entertained.
4. Howling is a favorite pastime. This is SO true, particularly of Flames (CJ's puppy). He loves to howl and when he gets started the others all join in. By others I mean :Brownie, Zuva, Max and CJ!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Riding lessons

Recently in our small community an opportunity has presented itself for us to get riding lessons for the boys. They have ridden horses before with friends, but never taken any kind of formal lessons. In a small community options for recreation are limited (unless we participate in hockey - which we currently don't). We were thrilled with the chance and signed them up immediately. True to form, our eldest is not interested at all in getting onto the horse, but he was willing to go into the arena and LEAD the horse (or "drive it" as he says). Our thrill seeking younger son was excited to go and at the end of his first lesson his only complaint was that he didn't get to go faster! He has had two lessons, and we have signed up for more. My hope is that the eldest will decide at some point he wants to participate but in the meantime we will let him "drive", and that's ok!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Land lots of land - and goats

We live on six acres of land which is PLENTY enough to raise some animals. I have a SMALL desire to have other kinds of animals, but a BIGGER desire to remain free to come and go as I please without worrying about getting someone else to tend the smallholding. (which now that I write it out is FUNNY if you know me - I am a total homebody and hate going anywhere!)
I have dreams of having goats - I don't know why - they amuse me and I think they would be great for the boys. I would also like chickens, a few beehives, and maybe a cow and a donkey and a miniature horse or two.
Realistically it is unlikely that we will ever have animals, but if we did I would ABSOLUTELY get one of these:

Parking Problems - rural style

I remind myself often that people actually pay to get out of cities and stay in rural locations as a "getaway". I am grateful that this is where I live. I see the northern lights often. I see the stars brightly shining nightly. I see wildlife literally on a daily basis, and I don't have to drive though nasty traffic to get to work and my parking is free!
The other day when I arrived at work I was a little preoccupied with gathering all of my stuff and when I looked up ready to out of my vehicle there were two moose in the yard.
I would rather my parking "problems" than some of my friends and families problems in cities!
By the time I put all my garbage down and got my camera in hand they had walked off into the bushes, but here is evidence that I DID see them.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Apologetic Gay

This week I went to a presentation on homophobic bullying. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go and hear the speaker. He spoke about some things I already know, and some things I had no idea about. But one thing that he said specifically resonated with me.
He talked about measuring the "health" or the "safety" of a community - whether it be a school, a town, a company, a government - by the visibility and involvement of minorities. If a space is not a safe space then the minorities will not speak out, they will not be vocal, they may not even be visible. It really made me think of our experiences in this small community where we have been for more than ten years. First of all we are the ONLY out gay couple that I know of. There is no gay organization in this community at all. The high schools have no out gay students or gay student organization and the college has no gay student organization.
Let me say this before I continue - there are "pockets" of places where we have felt very accepted in this community. One of these is with some of the administrators and teachers and aides at the school where our kids attend. On days Mother's day they send home two cards, or two projects for the boys for each of us. On Fathers day they send home a project for us, so the kids are still working on things when the others are making things for their dads. We have a pocket of support in our small rural community - we have neighbours who are AMAZING and who have been good friends to us. So we don't live in this horribly hostile place and I don't want to give the impression that we do. However, having said that, I DO feel as though I have been stifled. I have stood in my office at work when co-workers have made fun of gay people. I attended a family campout with my children where at a campfire one of my friends husbands, in front of everyone, said to me " I have no problem with people being lesbian, I just think if they use a dildo then they are not a real lesbian and they are fooling themselves. Do you use one?" Interestingly he did not, nor did anyone else, talk about the sexual practices of anyone else around the campfire, and whether or not their sexuality was "valid".
I think of myself sometimes as an "apologetic gay". I am sorry for the anguish that my being gay has caused in my life and in the lives of my family. I am sorry that it has affected some of my relationships. I am very conscious about the things I say, the things I post on facebook, the things I post on my blog, and the way I present myself (or don't present myself) in public because I don't want to be offensive. I have avoided saying things when co-workers have made gay jokes or said "That's so gay". I have laughed off, and downplayed comments like the one made to me at the family picnic. It makes me a little sad. A LOT sad - because as I sat in that presentation and I thought of being a gay teen in this community where there is no support, I thought of how I WOULD say things on the behalf of that youth. I would protect, I would advocate and I would not be silent in the face of such overt and blatant homophobia. I am sad that I have not done that for myself, and for my spouse. I resolved in that meeting that I would like to change how I have been apologetic. Now I just need to figure out how!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Silly Zuva

Zuva is our dog. We got her from a local rescue as a puppy many years ago. She is a great dog and she is getting older. She is not so fond of playing all the time any more - our first real physical sign of her age. She has always been very playful. She will still play, but now on her terms, not on ours. She is fond of finding cozy places to rest, and at Christmas she decided one of those spaces was under the tree where no-one could easily reach her. Silly pup.