Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ways to ring in the new year

There are about 100 ways to ring in the new year that I can think of without exerting too much energy that are better than the way I am this year. In a moment of NOT thinking clearly I picked up shifts at a group home  over the holidays which now I am regretting . I am away from my kids tonight to ring in the new year and I start out 2016 working on all my regularly scheduled days off. I hope I think more clearly as the year progresses and this is not an indication of the next 365 days. All work and no play makes me grumpy. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


It must be because it is the end of the year that I am waxing nostalgic about friendships. It has been three years since my friend Ed passed away and two years that my aunt has been gone. I miss them both a lot and know that if they were still here we would still be close. Which got me thinking about peoplewho are still alive who have "fallen" out of my life. Some I miss, some I resent, but I wonder in friendships how much it is up to one person to maintain contact and reciprocity. The people who I am in contact with now all give to our friendships in some level or another. I consider myself a good and loyal friend but I wonder sometimes if some people would be around if it wasn't my reaching out to them that kept us together. Good friends are hard to come by. New friends are hard to make and some old friends are hard to keep. Sad really. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Love letters from my sons

Today I am cleaning off my desk at work and found these notes my oldest boys wrote for me. I am grateful for my boys. I love them more than my luggage. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

New tattoo

I went to the Calgary tattoo convention this weekend and had the pleasure of being tattooed by Henry Lewis from San Francisco.
I had some burn marks on the inside of my leg and wanted them covered with a phoenix. Rising from the ashes and all you know.
Getting my shin and the back of my knee worked on hurt SO much but I am very happy.
I have lots more to be done - all the colour of the whole top half, but the burn marks are gone!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Three beautiful things

1. My pumpkin carvers
2. My babies sleeping
3. My bean with her glasses. She picked out the frames!

169169 odometer reading

I drive a truck that I have owned since 1995. That's right. It's 20 years old. 
Today I noticed the odometer at 169169 miles. 
I looked it up online and found this from the website :
I thought it was interesting. 

Number 169 is a combination of the attributes and energies of the numbers 1, 6 and 9.  Number 1resonates with the vibrations of showing initiative and tenacity, new beginnings and striving forward, pursuing goals, achievement and inspiration, self-reliance and personal strength.  Number 1 tells us that we create our own realities with our beliefs, thoughts and actions.  Number 6 brings its attributes of ability and stability, provision and providing and the monetary and material aspects of life, love of home and family, nurturing and caring for others, simplicity, reliability and responsibility, and the ability to compromise.  Number 9 denotes endings and conclusions and relates to the Universal Spiritual Laws, a higher perspective, karma, leading life as a positive example for others, benevolence and altruism, spiritual awareness and enlightenment, serving your soul mission and Lightworking.  

Angel Number 169 is a message from your angels that you are to take action towards living and serving your Divine life purpose. Your angels ask that you release any fears and anxieties about monetary issues, and get on with your passion and purpose today. Your angels will ensure that you are provided with all that you will need along your path. It is your right to be a powerful being.  Use your personal power in a loving way that benefits yourself and others. Listen to your intuitive messages and take positive action in the direction of your soul calling.

Angel Number 169 is a message to stop procrastinating and get on with things. It is time for you to detach yourself from your old and outdated material possessions and items and ‘let go’ and ‘release the old’.  It is a message that assures you that whatever leaves your life at this time will be replaced with ‘new’ and ‘better’.  Be open to receiving all that you deserve as you are ready for an upgrade in your life. 

Angel Number 169 can also suggest that you are at the end of a phase or cycle in your life.  Call upon your angels to comfort and guide you towards your next step.  Happiness and fulfilment await you with ‘new’ about to enter your life.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


My friend sent me this fuschite. I absolutely love it . Isn't it gorgeous?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Shona art at Muttart

Right now there is an AMAZING Shona art display at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. I was able to go and take a look this week and I am thrilled that I did. Here are some of the pieces I took photos of. I wish I had unlimited funds because I would have purchased MANY of the pieces had I been able to. I have such a love for all things from Zimbabwe. It was a little taste of home visiting the display and made my heart happy. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Three beautiful things

1. My baby in pigtails.
2. My creative mastermind.
3. Old soul. Loving companion.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Three Beautiful Things

Three beautiful things from today : 

1. My sons smile as he washes dishes. What a great kid I have! 

#2. My babies smile as she plays peek a boo in the kitchen cabinets . 

#3. The view from my bed. 

habit forming

I read yesterday that if you write three things you are grateful for consecutively for 21 days it changes your thought patterns. I had a gratitude journal where I used to write three things down daily but I have lost the journal which is hugely frustrating. I really try to be a grateful person, it is important to me. I don't feel as though my thought patterns are or have changed. That is another frustration for me. I feel like I constantly battle negative thoughts - not about the world around me, but about myself -  and I'm pretty ready to be over it!
I know that 21 days is the "threshold" used frequently when describing the formation or the breaking of habits. So far my experience is that this is not necessarily true. It take long term dedication and RE-dedication to make and keep habits (or break habits as the case may be).
I'll try again with the gratitude thing - though I don't commit to writing them here every day.
Here is what I am grateful for today:
1. The sun is shining, this morning it was snowing and I am not ready for the snow, so the sun is a welcome break in the weather pattern!
2. The gas and water and electric are hooked up to the trailer so the big boys and I are sleeping there even though it is not yet attached to the house. It is awesome!
3. There is a plan in place for CJ to return to school. Who knew I would having this much stress over kids and school?! I LOVED it so I never comprehended that anyone couldn't love it also. Such is not the case for my boy.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stolen from another Blog

1. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?Ummm. I work alone, and I wasn't awake for 2 hours before I left home this morning,  so no-one has yet had the joy of spending 2 hours with me today - but tonight I will be at least two hours with my kids.
2. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
Hopefully I will be getting a tattoo at the Calgary Tattoo convention in October.
3. Who was the last person you called?
My good friend.
4. What were you doing at 12am last night?
I was awake, writing in my journal I think..
5. Are your parents married/divorced?
6. When did you last see your mom?
May of this year.
7. What are you wearing right now?
Black Jeans, Birkenstocks,and a blue Restorative Justice t-shirt.
8. Where is your favorite place to be?
9. Where is your least favorite place to be?
10. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
Someplace warm
11. Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years?
I will have a masters degree and I hope I will be doing some kind of consulting. When I win the lottery tonight this answer will change.
12. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
I can't remember
13. What cities/towns/villages have you lived in?
Gweru, Sydney NS, Saskatoon SK, Edmonton AB, Everett WA, Provo UT, Ogden UT, Bellingham WA, Maple Valley WA, Oak Harbour WA, Brier WA various places in Alberta..
14. Are you a social person?
I can be, but typically not.
15. Do you sleep alone?
I start out sleeping alone but usually I am woken when kids climb into bed with me.

Friday, September 25, 2015

It was almost funny but TELUS SUCKS

I have insurance on my cell phones because, well, I have five children and my experience has been that they will find my phone and drop it into the toilet, or the tub, or the glass of chocolate milk next to the bed. Wait. That last one was what Shelly did with her own phone LAST time.
ANYWAY. The point is that I have insurance on the phones. So when Shelly's phone was dumped into the water I knew that I was covered. I thought I knew. I was apparently incorrect.
Telus, the company whom I have my service through, has outsourced the phone insurance to another company, so they cannot assist me.
I called the other company. They said my claim was denied but that it was "just standard" for the claim to be denied and to call back in 48 hours. I called back in 48 hours. I was told that Telus was reporting the phone as inactive, which they were - because I called and told them that the phone was not able to be used and they said they would change the status to inactive. They said I needed to call Telus and tell Telus to call them and explain why the phone was inactive. Seriously?
The call was a HUGE frustration and at the end of the call they said I would have the opportunity to participate in a one minute customer satisfaction survey. I waited for the survey. The first question was "How satisfied was I with the service I received?" and I was to push number 4 on my touch tone phone if I was dissatisfied. I was. I pushed the number four, AND I WAS DISCONNECTED!
That's an awesome survey. If you are dissatisfied you don't get to participate.
It has been a week and I still have no resolution. Telus and the company they outsource to BOTH suck. ( Yup, I said "Suck" and I know my mom hates that word. I feel strongly.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

30 days drawing challenge: day 8 Something orange

30 Days Drawing Challenge

From Here originally (but I got it from HERE)

I started this AGES ago, and got as far as day eight. (So much for follow through Julie!)
I thought I would try it again, I debated started again at the beginning but decided to just pick it up from day 8 where I left Off. Here is what I have left.

Day 8 - Something Orange
Day 9 - Favorite TV Show
Day 10 - Something Green
Day 11 - Turning point in my life
Day 12 - Most Recent accomplishment
Day 13 - Comic
Day 14 - Favorite Fairytale
Day 15 - Family picture
Day 16 - Inspiration
Day 17 - Favorite plant
Day 18 - Just a doodle
Day 19 - Something New
Day 20 - Mandala
Day 21 - Something you want
Day 22 - Something you miss
Day 23 - Something you Need
Day 24 - A couple
Day 25 - Scenery
Day 26 - Something you don’t like
Day 27 - someone you love
Day 28 - anything you’d like
Day 29 - A place you want to go
Day 30 - A congrats banner for finishing the Challenge

And here is something Orange:

Gratitude week 14: something I take for granted

I try to practise daily gratitude and think of the things each day I am grateful for. Some days it is more difficult than others, and some days it is easy, but it is never as easy to think about the things I take for granted as when they aren’t working.

This weekend we had problems with the septic tank and our grey water was filling up the basement. The washer wasn’t working well and the dryer wasn’t working at all. I was EXTREMELY aware of the things I take for granted as the basement was filling up with water. Electricity, running water, heat, a septic system that works – all of these things I go through many days without thinking of how convenient they make my life and what a hassle it is to live without them. I am SUPER grateful for modern conveniences. Life without them is difficult – to say the least.

Today I am also extremely grateful for the phone – I made lots of important calls today (including the plumber who went out and fixed my septic mess) and was also able to spend time talking with a friend who lives too far away to visit daily, but who makes my day brighter every time we talk. THANK GOODNESS FOR PHONES!  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September Snapshot

Current mood
: melancholy over Maxies birthday, but excited for the rest of this month to pass. I am HOPEFULLY getting a tattoo in October at the convention in Calgary and October is my birthday month! YAHOO!
Current movie: I haven't watched a movie this month, but maybe I should get onto Netflix and watch something.
Current TV Show: Ditto for television. DOH. I used to be such a television addict! What am I doing with my time?!
Current book: I'm reading two books currently, enjoying one and not the other.
Current song: Try by Colbie Callait
Current album: Listening to radio from Calgary more than I am listening to any album really. But Max took my earphones from my office so now I can't even listen to music at work. Sometimes that kid........
Current food: I made wontons for wonton soup but I don't think I like wonton soup so I may end up giving them away
Current drink: I have almost totally eliminated pop from my diet so no Dr. Pepper for me! Pour me another coffee though.
Current color: green
Current Beauty Product: I don't know if it is a beauty product, but I have been using spiced vanilla cream on my elbows from the body shop. My elbows should be beautiful. 

Current celebrity crush: Laura Prepon. Can't get enough of her.

Current Project: Masters degree project. I dont think this thing is ever going to end.
Current need: I drastically need to alter the energy in my life.
Current guilty pleasure(s): Hmn. Smoking makes me feel both guilt and pleasure, so I'll go with smoking.
Current annoyance: the things in my home that keep breaking. ARGGGGGG.
Current excitement: looking forward to September 29 when I will both see a friend I am missing AND get my haircut from Amy.
Current triumph: Oh - I don't think I am feeling triumphant over anything at this moment in time.
Current anticipation: Moving into the new trailer once the electricity gets hooked up.
Photo I took this month:

Photo of me this month:

Gratitude week 13 : Something I have created

When I was in grade 8 I made an ashtray in pottery. No one I knew smoked. It just seemed like something I could do that would turn out exactly how I wanted it to!
Now I keep it on my desk at work. I'm grateful to have something I made so many years ago. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sad today

Birthdays aren't meant to be sad days but today I am sad and it is my sons birthday. He is 9. He has an organic brain injury which for him means that the change in schedule is overwhelming. The fact that he had a birthday party today - the first one he has ever asked for in his life - was simply too much and he spent most of the day crying. 
His younger brother - also with organic brain injury - is overstimulated by noise and lights and people. He spent the party hiding under their tables, until he ran away. 
I wish my kids could have "normal" birthdays full of fun and laughter. Unfortunately that is not the way our lives have unfolded. I'm going to spend a minute in this sadness

Gratitude Week 12: a city I have visited

I absolutely love travelling. I used to travel more and I haven’t in the past few years gone anywhere really interesting. I love Singapore, Seattle, San Francisco (maybe it’s a thing for places starting with the letter ‘s”)?

The reason I am not going to write about any of those places is because I think lots of people like them and there’s probably lots and lots of information out there about cool things that have to do with those places.

I decided instead to write about Bellingham. Why Bellingham you ask? Well I love Washington state for one, and I lived there for a number of years, first as a missionary and then I returned and lived there and taught karate. I lived in a number of places north and east of Seattle and loved all of them, but Bellingham was one of my favorite places.

Bellingham is about 90 miles north of Seattle, 21 miles south of the Canadian border and about 52 miles south of Vancouver, B.C.  it sits right on the north Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands are further to the west ( I also love the San Juans). The North Cascade mountains are east. I love the combination of ocean and mountains.

There are parks, trails, two community colleges, a university all in Bellingham. I absolutely LOVE it. I am grateful that I was able to visit Bellingham. I would never have known what a great place it is. For a long time I wanted to live there. Now I am in Canada and will never live in the USA but I would be very happy to visit Bellingham again. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gratitude Week 11: Something kind someone has done for me

I had a meeting at my local bank. I LOATHE the bank – I obviously have some work to do with regards to my feelings about money. The bank manager at my branch is someone I have worked with for many years and for years before she became the branch manager. She is a great person and has been extremely supportive of me over the years – which I am grateful for in and of itself.

We were talking while completing the transactions she was assisting me with and we lighted upon the topic of spaghetti squash. I love it and she was making it. Jokingly I said she should bring me leftovers and out of the blue she called me to say she had leftovers for me and was I coming to pick them up!  I am extremely grateful for kind people. This made my day today.

Gratitude Week 10: Something I use every day

Today I am grateful for my Blender. I  started exercising ( in June ) and try to do it daily. I have always been terrible at eating - I don't eat breakfast and most days forget to pack a lunch for work so I will usually go all day without eating and then when I get home in the evening I am STARVING and don't stop eating all evening. I decided to start drinking a shake as a meal supplement at work so I got a blender which I keep at work and I make sure I have a shake every day while I am working. I am SUPER happy I have it and I use it daily. (I am struggling presently with working out daily - I was doing REALLY well for two months and then in August was away lots and in September have been away a fair bit. Getting into the habit of working out every day again is a struggle).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gratitude week 9: things I like about summer

When I started this challenge I was supposed to write something I was grateful for every week for the entire year. Well I made it to 8 weeks and then fell off the bandwagon, so I am now jumping back into it but I have 30 weeks to catch up on!
Week Nine:
I think there is nothing that I DON’T like about the summer. We have LONG days and they are warm and beautiful. The kids are not in school which I love. I like mowing the lawn. I like trips to the river. I like visiting my mom or having her come here to visit. I like making fires in the evening and sitting around them with my family. I have always had a difficult time deciding which season is my favorite because I like spring, summer AND fall . Having said that I dislike the mud of spring, and I am always sad in the fall at the frosty mornings – I feel like summer passes too quickly, so maybe summer is my favorite season after all. I love summer and I am grateful for it.

School is in session

School is back in session and we have moved the kids to a different school this year. It was one of the most difficult decisions to make, but I am glad we chose to. Max is doing so well, better than he has done before. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for my number two boy. He has never liked school and it was a HUGE struggle at the end of last year to get him to class every day. He was absolutely miserable. Well he is just as miserable, only older and acting out more. Thankfully this school is dealing with it phenomenally and his teacher and two of the school aides are away today and tomorrow in training specifically to deal with him. UNFORTUNATELY they have asked us to keep him home the next two days because the sub teacher simply cannot deal with him. I am at a complete loss. I have no idea what to do. I don’t know why he is acting out – and since I have no idea the origin of his loathing of school I feel helpless in finding a solution. All I know is that it is hard. Hard on him, hard on us, hard on the teacher and the aides in the classroom. I hope we find a solution soon or its going to be a LONG year.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September : 12 of 12

When I woke up this am the little girl was already downstairs - just an empty bed.
I was trying to fold clothes and put stuff away but someone found the closet interesting and I got little done here. 
Oh iron man how I love you. 
Smudged the house and kids today before heading to friends for the evening. 
Max does all the work but he is super happy to drive his friends around! 
Pork express! 
Sandy checked out the bunnies 
Zee liked them also ! 
Next race car driver 
Big boys 
Climbing into my chair 
Days end