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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our spider web


It was an interesting summer. We had family arrive. Five of our boys went to camp. We went on day adventures. Attended a few concerts. I tried to spend some time alone. Then two of my oldest sons and I went to Mexico where I had my teeth worked on. I met new friends. All in all it was a decent summer without any medical situations going on. It was refreshing and different. A summer we needed. Now that it's September, I'm back homeschooling seven and we have three Elementary students in public school. We have become football parents to our one son, while juggling driving others to and from work. Other sports will soon emerge throughout the year. During my downtime, I am getting ready for my first Christmas craft fair in November for my crafting business “Rock My Island” and slowly but surely starting to write my book. Pole fitness I continue once a week.....while practicing on my own poles at home. It's completely crazy thinking about what you can get done in a day. From 7am to midnight daily it's non stop. For me, productivity is a must. From baking, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling to beach combing, field trips, driving, sports, appointments, fitness, education to crafting to gardening – you name it, it's accomplished daily. My husband and I are both like this. Work. Productivity. Proactive. Dedicated. Routines. Structure. Organized. Hence why our life just molds into a nicely defined pot of bronze. lol Don't get me wrong....it can be dysfunctional. Crazy. Stressful and exhausting but its a day by day deliverance. Facing challenges as they come and sometimes by storm like Gerald's health or teenagers searching for their independence. Definitely our life, “our home” is like a spider web of directions. Our path can be sticky, we can be caught at times fighting harder then before to stay on track but we always persevere. The trick and my advise is; “Don't ever give up” “Get up, move one foot in front of the other....be proactive for not only your family, for yourself” “Own your feelings. Share your feelings....don't ever be ashamed of your feelings” “Be true with everything that you do for others and for yourself” Most importantly, “Learn to listen” That I remind myself every day and as I age, I'm getting better at just listening to others. Everybody's perspective is different and regardless if it's right or wrong, listening to someone is one of the most important things you can do. So as we move into fall, weaving through our spider web we're embracing the colder weather. We are looking forward to tomorrow. To living and experiencing. We will continue moving forward with our glass always full. We all need to embrace life and each other. After this post...and before homeschooling.....I'm going to call (not text) and acknowledge people that I love. Start your day there and continue to make this day and every day your best proactive day possible. Love to you all and “Happy Fall” 

That's me! Living and experiencing life from the sky! - "You can too!"

Monday, July 17, 2017

"Alone"

It was time. I longed to feel and know what it felt like to be truly alone. It wasn't about our children, our challenges, any stressors or the overuse of our fast paced life. From what I can remember, I've never spent "alone" time with myself. What if I don't even like myself? So after dropping off a few of our boys and visiting with a few family members, I made my way to a single owned yurt in the bush. What's written is my sporadic thoughts during my time being alone. 

*The forest is rich, thick, green and full of life. I watched a squirrel for 30 min playing around in a huckle berry tree. I tried talking to the the squirrel but apparently I don't know the squirrel language! I watched for other critters hoping they would stick around so I wasn't alone. I started asking myself, "Am I actually that person that can't be alone? I mean, absolutely "alone" with myself? No noise. No people. No Internet. No one to talk too? I've hiked lots in my life but I was always with other people. As my mind continued to talk, I decided that it was okay to talk out loud, that way it wasn't so silent anymore. 

Then the heart appeared.

*I started to find myself paranoid. I was listening to every little crackle in the bush. It wasn't a sunny day. It was cooler, cloudy and with the wind all the trees moved making it eery. I remained in the yurt for a little while and eventually made my way outside. Very windy and cool. So ear ringing silent except for the constant crackling of the trees. The silence was almost like its own noise when you're not used to it. It's peaceful, serene but so silent that you can hear the ringing in your own mind. It was very foreign to me. It was just me, alone with nature. 



"The sunset"

*I was laying in my yurt looking out to the sky and I could hear faint voices in the woods. Several times I said, "No Carrie, that's just your mind" Then finally I got up and peered out. I saw nothing. So I went outside and walked around the yurt several times. I heard it again. I thought to myself that too much silence just plays with your mind. Then my eye caught the color pink. In a distance all I could see was a woman. I watched to see if they would notice me. Then they were gone. I was hoping they would have seen me. Right then I knew, I like interaction and "alone" isn't for me. 
I was so excited to be alone until now. I started to journal. My mind wrote as I had the erg too. 

*I constantly questioned myself. Over and over. At the best of times I don't think I'm a good enough mother. I feel I need to somehow change. Maybe I don't love enough? Why have I had teenagers run away!? It must be me. Why is my husband sick? Is this punishment that I must deserve? Maybe I'm just being selfish because this isn't about me at all.......our minds are our worst enemies. 


"Where I sat"

*When the sun finally came out, it felt like my friend. I happy bright light. I did have my phone with me and I had scattered on and off service. I stayed off the Internet and I mainly used my phone to take pictures and play music once in awhile to curb the ringing silence. I sat in this wonderful homemade lawn chair and when I sat back I could see the tops of the trees with peek a boo glimpses of the sky. I started to cry. I felt sad inside. Why am I doing this!? It was silent with the odd bee or bird singing. My friend squirrel would appear here and there too. I just watched the clouds pass in the sky while listening to the wind whistling in the trees while finally relaxing and absorbing me. Just me. It must be cry worthy being me. I've been so strong. I always will remain strong however feeling like I might have some PTSD and the constant ongoing health stressors that most don't endure....it all came ahead being alone. 


My friend Squirrel

*This time I was sitting cross legged on my yurts deck. I kept realizing I was talking to myself out loud. Constantly thinking. Talking. Pacing at times. I tried doing my pebble art. Reading a book. I kept peering out into the woods. Looking around. My friend squirrel would appear from time to time. He was a chatter box. I like that he was there. I felt safe knowing how happy and playful he was in the trees and climbing on the logs. A character. I was going to name him however I just liked the name squirrel. 

*I felt like I had a "wow" moment. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. So as I was sitting in the 1/2 outdoor outhouse, I noticed wood rounds and rocks everywhere. Wood rounds and rocks were my walls! Why didn't I notice this right away!? I just started a crafting business called, "Rock my Island" that consists of wood rounds and rocks! It wasn't a weird feeling that I was surrounded by this, it was a meant to be feeling. I was suppose to do this! The guilty feeling I had even being here left, I no longer feel guilty. "I think?"


My potty

*Many times I sat in that homemade chair that supported me to see the tops of the trees and the peek a boo sky. I tried hard to train myself to stop thinking. Maybe for once.... not to journal. I figured out something just then....you can not be truly alone, too feel truly at peace until you face yourself. Your mind. I needed to go through and deal with everything in my mind. Fighting my own thoughts. Every guilt. Questioning myself, "Who am I?" "Am I good enough?" "What should I change?" Until I was able to fight my own, I was not truly alone with a calm and peaceful mind of silence.


Where I sat inside.

*Funny, as I sat watching my friend squirrel, I started questioning that too...."Is that the same friend squirrel or is it a different squirrel?" I honestly couldn't tell. Made me think about friends in general. "Are they who we think they are?" I believe in all my friends. I love them all to pieces. I have been burned royally in the past with friends that was not who I thought they were. Interesting on how my friend squirrel reminded me of this. 

* "There's nothing to be afraid of" - Me.

*Don't stop believing. We want to believe in ourselves. We want to believe in our children. Friends. Family. We want to believe in each other. Don't stop believing - I kept chanting to myself. 

*I've noticed the sun makes you stop worrying about everything. It lightens your mind as it does the sky. It lightens the trees and everything around you. It's empowering. That is why we all need this light in our life. The sun. 

* "So when that one bee wants to be your friend and you're having an argument with it" - Me. 

* "Have you ever felt free!?" "Truly free!?" I finally did! I had no clothes on sitting just listening to the birds and maybe that one squirrel friend. It was liberating."I don't like my body. My hair. I don't even know that I like my meaningful tattoos anymore" I kept thinking. I would never sit naked unless I knew I was completely alone.

*I started thinking about hiking and all those moments I spent with others. Experiencing the underground bees, the snuffling coming from bears, the cougars, the wolves and on how when in a group of hikers, it was okay to be surrounded by wildlife. We had each other. Right now I felt grounded and safe being alone because I had my squirrel. 

*I hiked down to a beach and interestingly enough I was alone there too. Well almost alone. There was an eagle who sat on a rock bluff nearby. We were both watching each other. I found myself trying to speak eagle. lol As time passed I kept coming to the conclusion that I really don't like being alone. When I went back to the yurt I continued to study every movement and noise in the bush. I again felt paranoid. I can see why people in the reality television series "Alone and Afraid" tap out. Your mind is indeed your worst enemy.


See my friend Eagle!?

*Then I found out I wasn't alone. I was heading off to bed early and all I could hear was crackling noises! I would look outside. In every way even feeling afraid, I wanted to know what and where the noises were coming from! I sat back on my bed listening and staring in the directions of the noises. Then all of a sudden there was mice everywhere! I'm not afraid of mice so I got up and told them they're not getting my food. I had a few open bags of crackers. I tip toed towards the one mouse that was staring at me near my crackers and I snatched the crackers back. I started packing up my open food. Jeeze I never noticed them before. I think I was paying too much attention to what was outside but not in the inside! I tried to go back to sleep but they kept running all over the place. It was like they were having a party. Clinging and clanging. I couldn't take it. I grabbed a blanket, pillow and hoofed it to my car. While I was sitting in my car I watched a big cat with a huge tail walk off this log into the bush. Jeeze, now a cougar! Just then I locked my car doors. (ha ha) As my mind was thinking this cougar was a magician and he could open my car door! Again I was thinking to myself, "I do not enjoy being alone. This could be a very long night" 


See me!?

*Rise n shine! The night was understandably long. Tossing and turning in my car and watching the dark become to light made for a long night! I started walking back to the yurt. I looked all around me curious to see if that cat was still around. When I went back inside the yurt looking for the mice that kicked me out all I found was mice feces everywhere and including on my bed. I'm here for another night however contemplating if I should just leave or sleep in my car. We shall see how my thoughts are throughout the day.


I made this......"Trek"

*I left. Shows how I am not interested staying alone in the bush sharing my bed with mice. I just couldn't do it. I give all my respect to every individual that can. I definitely learned this is not me. I know writers seek solitude to allow their minds to flow, as it did mine however I'm obviously weak in this department of being alone. 

*As I was sitting on the ferry I found myself contemplating if I should just go home or surprise my dad, or my brother, or a friend. I still had two nights left before I had to pick my boys up from camp. My thoughts were so indecisive. 

*My experience offered what I wanted. I was alone. Truly alone. I felt I needed to finish my time. I know if I didn't, I would regret it later. Shortly off the ferry I was stopped due to some construction work. I recognized a friends car. I pulled over and sure enough it was! Just then I felt so excited too not be alone anymore! Not only that, my friend Ann found me a place to stay! At her friend Caroline's house. No more mice! No more sleeping in my car! I gratefully accepted this offer. Caroline went out to a potluck dinner that night, so I found myself sitting in her home alone writing again eating the same ole tuna kit that I've been eating for days. Caroline offered for me to make use of her home and her kitchen however I was content with my tuna. I did not want to impose. After a few hours Ann and her husband picked me up to go play rock songs bingo. With people! Music! Interaction! AND I won bingo! Yay! 

*Ann is a very caring lovely woman who is so unconditional. I call her my other mother and it was so nice to visit without having children by my side. In fact every visit I had was purely enjoyable. During rock bingo I tried for the first time deep fried pickles. Disgusting! Why on earth would I pick deep fried pickles for my first normal meal!? I am crazy! For Ann.....I will see her again and more then likely with children. I cherished our time.


Disgusting!

*The next day Caroline brought me out for coffee. What a wonderful intelligent woman. We discussed editing, publishers and of course writing books. Caroline has published two children's books and now is writing her biography. I was honored when she asked me if I could pre-read her beginning and give her my honest opinion. Me? I thought, "Wow, yes I will" I loved discussing about writing, even down to how we come up with titles. Titling my posts always become clear half way or at the end of a post. Caroline shared some of her life with me and so did I. It was truly an honoring experience that I will cherish forever. This alone journey inspired me to write once again. Journals have always been in my blood. Caroline just confirmed that I need (as her) to continue to follow our passions and our dreams as she is. It's work. Writing a book isn't easy. Especially when your sharing what's raw and real. For most of us, it's not only accomplishing a dream, it's a healing process. 

*My week journey has been out of this world. A reaffirmation to continue what I've been doing for over decades now - writing. Turn this dream into a reality. OH BOY, I have a lot of research and work ahead of me trying to find a publisher that believes in me. 

*I waited two sailing waits before I touched base on Vancouver Island. It allowed more time to reflect on my experiences. Interestingly enough now that I'm around people, I chuckle about the hard time I was having alone. I loved my friend squirrel and even the mice that I couldn't handle (as I reflect) it's like a comedy show. Anything else that was in the woods, it shall remain a mystery. I didn't and don't need to know anyhow. My last day before I picked up the boys from camp I spent shopping for two of our children's birthdays. Reality is setting in. There is a reason why we are given the path we're on. Even with the different forks chosen or not, our lives usually become clear. We just have to trust and be patient with our journey. 


"May the force be with us all"

*Bitter sweet feeling going from one extreme to another. Sometimes it's nice to try different life scenarios to reconfirm that your life is on the right track. Even when I travel, and as much as I love traveling, experiencing new things, there is no place better then home or where your heart is. I was born a caregiver. I knew it when I started lining up all my stuffies and baby dolls on my bed when I was a little girl. I knew I was a writer since as young as I can remember. One of my fondest memories was receiving my first old clunky typewriter (where the keys would stick) at the age of twelve. I have had a callus on my right middle finger for decades. I knew I was different in my own unique way, hence why I walk proudly for not only myself but to show others to be proud of who they are. To be different and shine it well. I am a good person now heading home to carry on my legacy. 

*For my first and last night I stayed at my brother Joey and Cheryl's house. A brother I'm just getting to know. I regret not knowing him however there is no time like the present. Joey seems like a kind and gentle soul. He's easy to love, he must be my brother!

"Listen to your heart...follow it"

*Just before picking up my boys I had still a few hours to spare. I hummed and hawed over messaging a friend. I find myself procrastinating a lot! So I stopped. I picked up that phone! We had a very nice visit reconnecting again like time never passed. I am so glad that I contacted her. If you ever find yourself procrastinating, try to stop. You'll miss out on beautiful friendships and opportunities. Take them while you can. Live in the moment when you have it. It can result in something so meaningful, so honoring and this moment was. I will always love my friend Carla. A strong and inspirational woman. 


My friend and I. It doesn't matter, time continues and so does our friendship. 

*To conclude, (if you made it this far) life is about "this moment" It's about taking today and looking forward to our future. It's about all the experiences we allow ourselves to have and too really love and rejoice with not only ourselves, each other. We are all uniquely different and some of us love to be alone, and some of us not so much. Whatever, whenever our heart pulls, we should follow and embrace that. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself, we don't know who we really are until we do. At this moment I know that being in solitude in the bush fighting off mice is not for me. However I do like talking to squirrels and Eagles. I love writing and sharing my thoughts and pictures. Someday I will have that book I publish. For now, I continue to take the steps forward following my heart in what and where it leads. If my direction shifts, I will follow. I can always turn the page and start a new chapter. Love to you all, and I hope you enjoyed my unedited week journey adding a few enlightenment's along the way. 

* "Appreciate life as it happens. Moments will soon pass and you will wish you had treasured them more" AND that being said, reflecting back, I cherished every moment - even if I was paranoid on and off developing some anxiety along the way. I met a new friend, Caroline. I visited long term ones. My heart will always remain open. Most importantly, I will also start loving myself more.

*Ending off my week, my nephew Brandon married his teenage sweetheart. It was a beautiful wedding and a very emotional experience as everything came pouring out of me. (The wine was a part contributor) lol Just seeing every one, visiting and having some fun celebrating was the best conclusion to this week. A great ending for me, and a new beginning for Mr. & Mrs. Aucoin.  Congratulations! 



*If it wasn't for my husband and my supportive family....this post "this experience" maybe wouldn't have happened. I am grateful. 



Thursday, June 8, 2017

ROCK MY ISLAND



Here's a sneak peek of my new business adventure! #rockmyisland is unique rock and wood creations. What is very special about this piece IS Gerald used a chainsaw and made Vancouver Island out of a cedar stump. This piece seen above is my business sign, the only one of its kind. I'm so excited! Stay tuned for free standing rock art and jewelry. I also have a facebook page called, "Rock My Island" where I will be displaying new pieces! I've signed up for future craft fairs and I'm hoping within two plus years I could open a little artisan shop with another artisan crafter employing some of our special needs children. I truly believe with action, productivity, dedication anything is possible. I sometimes believe I am living proof of my words. Believe in yourself! #rockmyisland  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"Dancing in our own tornado"



Sentence after sentence I have deleted. I have the thoughts but trying to write it perfectly so readers understand without assuming or judging can be hard to do. I’ve always known that the path we’ve chosen is a challenging one. We seem to have moved forward in a positive direction however it’s not easy. Last night I painted a very messy creation of a naked pole dancer holding on tight while spiraling inside a tornado. I feel that way sometimes. I keep dancing, I keep painting, I keep writing, I continue to hang on hoping that the choices I make in this life will not only serve me well, my family. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. A think a good rebel. A mother, a wife and a daughter that teaches to accept differences and through me, I hope that people can see that it doesn’t matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter about the differences, and or choices that one makes, what matters is that we are all accepting of one another while being loving and kind. All of us trying to conform in unity as the same isn’t a happiness that is true. So as I raise my children I try to raise them happy. To be themselves. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for some. We are dealing with different conditions and mental illnesses that are far beyond our control. We are dealing with health challenges that are beyond our medical system. This leaves me dancing in our own tornado. I continue to be this proactive, dedicated, semi-crazy, different, fun, wife and mother but sometimes inside that tornado I get hit by rocks that brings me down. Then I question myself. I question absolutely everything. I know everybody feels this way from time to time. It’s just life. We all go through storms. Most of us manage to hang on. We know and understand that this too shall pass. I’m going to be honest here. For the last two years since my husband has been sick it’s been very difficult. Even though we have been moving forward the best we know how, it’s been a health shit storm. Definitely a wild tornado that continues to surface. It’s hard to remain happy and positive when you continue to get hit with rocks. That is why I started pole fitness. That is why I started painting. We all need an external focus other then what’s inside the tornado. That is the key. Whatever challenges you are having in your life, if its health, finances, children, friends, family – well you name it….and you feel that it’s out of control and basically you can’t change what is. The key is hanging on for YOURSELF. You are no good to no one if you’re not hanging on. Mental health plays a role in all of us, we need to recognize it then decide on how we are going to deal with it. For me, it’s as simple as remaining proactive in all that I do. Every day. At least an hour a day for myself. Small hikes. Getting outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, even screaming out into our universe is a healthy release method that helps. Life is not easy for any of us. That’s why I’m sharing because I know that (I) we are not alone. I feel that I’m here to support not only my family, not only myself but I’m here to support you in any way that I can. And that’s through sharing my life. Sharing also is a form or therapy. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Anyone who personally knows me, knows that I am here to listen and if you don’t want to share but need reinsurance that it’s going to be okay, I am here to personally share our rocks and provide how we cope. It is hard to be a parent, it is hard to pick up the broken pieces from wherever they fell. People always say, “Wow I’m envious on how large and well your family is” Don’t be fooled, it’s a challenging path. It’s not for everyone. It’s a 24/7 dedicated path of destruction sometimes. My only advice when other parents come to me when they’re at a loss is, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. We aren’t God. The day we met our children never meant they were ours to control. We are only providing the best atmosphere and possible good philosophies for their continued and hopefully healthy happy futures. We have no control on what happens with illness, we can only change our lifestyle in hopes it helps, be proactive and search for the answers.” “In the end if we are doing the best we can while still hanging on, maybe still in the midst of that tornado, we have to be easy on ourselves” At least an hour a day be good to you, rejuvenate your soul. Continue to tell yourself you’re a beautiful individual. Sometimes it’s easy being kind and loving to others, it’s not as easy to be kind and loving to yourself. Forgive. We aren’t perfect. In conclusion….I wrote this post for me. I’m sure you’re not surprised. As I wrote, I did not judge or criticize myself, I was honest. I acknowledged my tornado. As I’m hanging on while getting hit by rocks I remain calm, patient and I’m continuing to believe that we will survive. I forgive myself for everything I’ve made mistakes on. I am a continued learner and survivor of this tornado called, “Life” For the rest of you, if any of this made sense and relates within your lives, “Hang on, believe in yourself and others, share, support and most importantly, look after you” I am. 

I love you from one human to another. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Update - May 9th



It's been so long since I wrote. Between homeschooling, the public schools, all my duties plus adding painting, pole dancing now gardening, planning for summer while juggling endless medical appointments, my writing has been on the back burner. What's new with us!? I'm not exactly sure where to begin. So I might be all over the place. The garden we are building is going to be eight large raised beds enclosed with a locking entrance to protect it from rabbits, deer, dogs and children. Most of our children are going to have their own garden space however it needs to be supervised due to the fact one sibling might become jealous of anothers growth SO you just never know what could happen. Supervision is a must with all things. Regardless it's going to be epic! 

I wrote a post years and years ago located on here about other parents housing teenagers. Usually these individuals are well known to the community however there is nothing any one can do unless there is criminal activity. It's quite an issue as these parents are literally harming other peoples children while supplying and partying with these under age children. You would think this would be criminal. It's not unless someone is hurt, causing a disturbance and or caught with the legal substances. We as parents are legally responsible however there is nothing we can do. Go figure. Anyhow the reason I bring this up is because I know of a home in our community that is just this and if you're someone living in our district and missing a teenager for example, I might have the location. The more police documentation the better. I truly believe us parents that are concerned what our youth is up too, should stick together. So if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

It's been almost two years since my husband Gerald was deathly ill with MRSA. To date it has left him with spinal and nerve damage causing severe chronic pain and every day there's something different to awaken too. Which includes facial migraines, chronic muscle spasms all over internally and externally. Hypertension, extreme bouts of exhaustion, dizzy spells that drop him to the floor, food that doesn't stay down and the list goes on. He is at high risk for relapse, having a stroke and a heart attack. To date his blood levels were extremely high for a heart attack. It's an ugly diagnoses with no cure except hope. With that we take our life one day at a time as every day can look different. However it is frustrating to say the least. For me I can't help but wonder if today is the day where we loose such a beloved dedicated man. It's just what I witness while adding a little PTSD I suppose. For our children, they witness that he's not well but they seem to be resilient while moving forward on their own paths. Life is so unpredictable and we really need to cherish every minute...and cherish every one. We can't loose sight of this. 

Now that it's May (I can't believe it) We as a homeschooling group are prepping for the 5km foam run on June 10th! It's going to be interesting. lol We start at 11am that day and it's located here in Nanoose Bay. It's a huge fun event for all. You don't have to be in the messy obstacle race, you can come and cheer us on! There will be food vendors, music and I even heard a beer garden. So literally for every one! We will be designing our own shirts and it will definitely be a fun great post to write about next month while adding our pictures! It's a great way to end our homeschooling year! 

To conclude for now.....I wish every one health and happiness. It's the most important two facts we need in our lives. Except for eating. Eating is good. Especially seafood. I would love Lobster right now! lol

Remember...."Start each day with a grateful heart" and "Every day is a second chance" - so lets make the best of it. "Love to all" 


And "May the 4th continue to be with you!"

"