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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You are beautiful

I've had a few individuals on my heart today. There is moments in our life that we can't forget. In previous posts I wrote about my experiences with complete strangers. Some people are amazing. I never would have thought I'd meet complete strangers that would impact my life so beautifully. When I was by myself during our sons pre-placement visits in a city unfamiliar to me, I met a brother and a sister in a restaurant one evening. They were an older couple, and literally while I was leaving the restaurant, the brother mentioned on how good my son was. We spoke for only a few minutes when I was given their phone number after being asked to call and join them for dinner the next day. The following day I contemplated. I wasn't going to call. After all, I didn't  know who they were and it was a sporadic move on their part. Half way during the next day I called. It was the best call I made. From there we not only became friends, for the past year we've corresponded on the phone, sent letters and different parcels to each other. A month ago, the brother came to visit our home. Complete strangers meant to meet and now friends forever. I still remember the impact these two lovely siblings made on me, and still do till this day.

Then a few months later I was in Toronto bringing back my second oldest daughter. I had no resources with me and I found myself in yet another foreign place. From a friend here I was connected with her friend in Toronto. Amazingly in the same city we were. This woman not only came to us, she helped us during the course of the days we were there, connected us to everything we needed, brought us into her home and was our saving grace. A woman I will never forget. Life can be hypocritical. I'm always always explaining to our children to not talk to strangers. Children are more vulnerable to be victimized and for my children, the importance of boundaries are crucial. Then here I am their mother talking with strangers all the time. I believe the good in most people and in order to absolutely seek that good is to trust, smile and converse with people you don't know. I explain to my children that you must be an adult in order to sense the ora within people. We usually know during the first or at least the first few meetings with someone new if we want to continue corresponding or not. I might not seem very careful but I'm very reluctant onto whom I invite into our lives. I believe we meet people for a reason. Regardless if it turns out to be a great positive relationship or not, our lives are here for growth, for learning and through even the worst relationship, we are experiencing which gives us the knowledge, the strength to make appropriate choices the next time. My belief meeting new people and proven within the most different atmosphere, sometimes the most awkward = equals truly the best scenarios meeting genuine individuals. I can claim this as truth because the three people I've written about above that I met from one end of Canada to another are absolutely beautiful. My thoughts today. And not only are these three strangers I met I believe to be beautiful.....I know most people are in their own way, they just need a chance to show it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween dinner photo-reflection

 Mummy Dogs
 Our thirteen year old son, Grandpa Gary & Grandma Brenda
 My husband and I
 Friends that are family, George and Bonnie!
 My oldest daughter and my dad, Grandpa Gary in his second costume!
 Great friends Sherry and Mike
 Dare to dip!?
 Spider punch
 Deviled Organs
 Fingers anyone!?
 Bloody teeth cookies
 A few of us ready to dig in......
 "Oh oh Grandma....I dumped the pumpkins!"
Mom, son and Dad...."Why does our son look different from us!?" 
My grand strawberry!
Our Halloween dinner was a success. My only regret was not taking enough pictures of everyone! Years ago I was really hesitant in sharing identifying photographs. Now I'm too proud. I have a great family. I have great friends. I have a life worth sharing! We had a good night with good people and tons of food. My father and mother came from Campbell River and surprised our children AND all of us with their costumes. Sizzling hot and ready to dance they were! Our children kept asking, "Is that Grandpa and Grandma?" What's really nice.....parents and grandparents just dressing up and having fun. Showing their children that they're never too old, never too serious and life is about having fun with each other. Memories for everyone. One of our thirteen and fifteen year old sons didn't dress up....our fifteen year old claims he's too old. I I was Ernie! Funny, my husband and I dressed up as Bert and Ernie and it made our littlest daughters night. She was also Elmo.
The reason why I like Halloween is because most of us all participate in dressing up. Just another time to build upon memories, to spend time together and enjoy the simplicity that life can be. It's all about play.
"Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it" Sai Baba.
"Life was meant to live it" - Me.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Got pumpkins!?

The week that just past was a blur. Homeschooling is a given, therapy appointments happen chores just exist and never go away.....then the beginning of November is school reporting for home school and public school. Meetings after meetings a had this week. It's not finished until roughly the middle of November. I have been fitting in Yoga once a week, a movie here and there - there is absolutely no time wasted. When I sit down, I write while boiling pumpkin. For Halloween we bought 23 pumpkins. Tonight (Thursday night) we gutted, carved, boiled and roasted pumpkin seeds. Hours and hours was spent just on pumpkins and pumpkin clean up! Crazier then my previous chicken post! 

 Believe it or not, this is my husband with a pumpkin on his head!
 My pumpkin
 Boiling pumpkin
 The pumpkin seeds ready for garlic roasting!
Next up - our Halloween party this weekend! I can't wait to share!
"Whatever life looks like to you - beyond it" - me.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken soup for the bloggers soul (offensive for some viewers)

Monday I was mainly in the kitchen. "All day" I'm a vegetarian but I cook meat for our family every night. While making lasagna, prepping lunches for Tuesday and organizing my weekly grocery list I had great laughs with this chicken. Now this might confirm that I am indeed crazy but again, I'm not in denial. It was my chicken soup for this bloggers soul! First off, his name is "chicken" and all day Monday he kept me company!
 Chicken showed up in my lasagna!
 My husband even had chicken soup for lunch!
Chicken sandwich?!
 "Oops, my chicken laid an egg!"
 Our children love fried chicken!
 They especially love popcorn chicken!
Why didn't the chicken cross the road?
Because we're raising them right!

 Too conclude, click on the link below and dance!

I apologise now if I didn't at least make you smile, the kitchen can be a fun place with chicken!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A foggy adventure

Day 1

Preparing everything at home (mainly meals) was part of day 1. Making sure from A-Z is accomplished. My husband was fine tuning the go-carts, for a go-cart and quading weekend with our children. I felt reassured all was well before heading off to the ferry. I purposely parked a half hour away from the terminal. I kicked piles of orange fallen leaves and breathed in the crisp fresh air as I walked completely alone. It was a great time to just unwind, establish my footing and to really grasp the idea that at this moment, I have no responsibilities but me. It's a strange concept when most of my time is with someone else. I started thinking about my oldest daughter. She backpacked for three months through Central America alone. What an experience and one that many never will have -traveling alone with only yourself to worry about. I had that experience for thirty minutes. lol While on the ferry I ran into people I knew. We chatted for a few minutes then I sat down looking into the water. To my surprise I thought I saw Pacific white sided Dolphins. Hundreds of them were following the ferry. I heard that these Dolphins have been in the area for a few days following the boat. It was cool. I remember catching the ferry years ago really early in the morning, the sun was coming up and the Dolphins were following behind. I'm not exactly sure how rare the sightings are but I've taking the ferry hundreds of times and I've only seen them twice. After my "rare" sighting of what I thought was white sided dolphins, I found out they're actually porpoises. Porpoises have a purpose for life. lol The difference between Dolphins and Porpoises is that Porpoises don't train as easily, therefore you don't see them in captivity. They're related to the Dolphin although smaller in size. So I learned something new. The fog started rolling in, and it definitely reminding me that it's October and being sopped in with fog while hiking it's not only cold, it's wet and blinding. Mmmm....half way through my ferry ride I met up with a great first aider, "Tammy" My partner in crime! With a big hug and a few stories later we caught up on life and we were ready to not only conquer the fog - we were ready to throw first aid scenarios at our fellow hikers that we were meeting on the other side. Although almost at the end of our ferry ride while we were feeling so confident that we can conquer the fog, both of us gazed out, just staring out into a blank blinding nothingness. It was a complete white out, like a clean white slate ready to be painted on. We looked at each other, smiled and said, "Let the experience begin"

Night of Day 1
Going through the border is always tedious and a stressful experience, but without fail, we (all six of us) made it through with minimal questions. It was late reaching our destination. Always on the first night we rearrange our packs, share the weight and prepare for a early morning start. We reacquainted, shared some stories and laughs and we went to bed.

Day 2
After careful consideration with the weather conditions we hiked out into the fog at 8am. It was cold but it felt great. As we hiked our group discussed first aid scenarios. For example, one injury was a hiker suffering from a fractured ankle. He could barely walk. We sent one of us back to get help, while the rest of us made a splint for his leg. We exposed his foot, checked for swelling and circulation. We used three triangular bandages and rolled towels for support between his ankle bone and the splint. We decided to stay put, start a fire and wait for help instead of walking him out. So the first aid scenarios continued as we hiked. We kept a steady pace and with breaks we hiked close to nine hours on our first day. I wanted to kick myself as I forgot my camera at home and my phone was dying leaving me photo less. When I'm hiking I take photographs continuously of nature that catches my eye. So I was thinking every time I saw something, "I wish I had my camera" It annoyed me. Before dusk we set up camp and started a warm fire where we continued to mingle. We live in a remarkable world, its beauty never ceases to amaze me. Hiking at this time of year brings out the strength in you, and we couldn't have been more blessed with beautiful weather (lol) and just the awesome scenery making you crave more. The valleys, cliffs and surrounding waterfalls within day 2 was a trip worth taking. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity. I started thinking on how lucky I really am. I can't stress enough that everyone should take advantage of our world, after all - we're on this planet to hopefully enjoy it.

Day 3
Night 2 was surprisingly not that cold. Morning of day 3 was wet, damp and frosty until the fog lifted. From then on it was blue skies and sunshine. There's nothing like feeling the warmth from the sun on your face while enjoying the perfect combination of crisp cold air bringing your body temperature down from hiking. Hiking out was and always is a count down, 1,2,3,4....1,2,3,4....because reaching that last km, knowing you've accomplished your destination in and out without injury - is another great feeling. "Seeing that same tree" - is awesome. While heading back, we stopped at Costco and headed back to the border. We were making great time until we were asked to park the vehicle at the border. We parked in one of their car stalls. We were then asked to head inside with our passports, receipts and for further questioning. From there our vehicle was emptied, all our bags were unloaded and searched. Watching from a distance I had this sick feeling as everything I had (including personal belongings) were spread out. Of course I had nothing on me except Costco items. I hoped that the five others I was with was just as honest. Weird thoughts went through my mind, feeling semi concerned that something was wrong. I instantly felt my grey hair spreading.....but after a two hour ordeal, the security guard gave our passports back and instructed us to pack up. We were on our way. A little stressed, I was still convinced this was a worth while trip. Reaching home, it was like I never left. Everyone was happy and healthy. Some missed me over the course of a few days....and some didn't. Home sweet home, is always the best place to return too. Now my reality is setting in......I'm tired, it's late and Monday is here!

"To be a shining star, you must shine your own light"

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Take the opportunity when it knocks.....


 Our Thanksgiving weekend was eventful. On Saturday a friend and a few of our children went up to Mt. Washington checking out our chalet for Christmas, then my Dad and Mom in Campbell River had us over for dinner. (eight of us) It was a nice day. On Sunday I cooked our turkey and salmon dinner. Now here we are - it's Wednesday and we've already established this coming weekend plans. The opportunity knocked and I'm heading to the States to hike the Snoqualmie Pass with a few avid first aid hikers. The Snoqualmie Pass has an elevation of 3,022 feet at its summit. It's located on the line between the Kittitas Country and King Country. Not sure our route but another adventure nonetheless with the added bonus of shopping in the States! I've written in previous posts about shopping in the States and comparing the costs of our dollar with Canada. There is no comparison. For example, a large brick of cheese, (a 5lb block) is approximately $8.00-$11.00 in the States while here it's $26.00. A pair of DC running shoes can be anywhere from $9.99-$30.00 while here the cheapest usually starts at $50.00. A quick silver t-shirt in the States starts at $5.99 while here it's $19.00 - $29.99. Those are a few examples. Honestly, we're being hosed here in Canada.

This is where I think too much. Every time I have an opportunity, I analyze all the details and give careful consideration before I decide, BUT when I do - it's a done deal decision. I dedicate to it. I'm all about action. 2-3 days is enough, then I want to come home to my family and responsibilities. Besides retail therapy, hiking is the best rejuvenation. The outdoors for me is like going to the spa, (besides blisters creating blood infections, and exertion from continuous rocky steep terrain) it's full of peaceful solitude and accomplishments.
 The moon is showing its full shine this Saturday, I will be curious on how home holds up while I look at it from the Snoqualmie pass. Many adventures to share for my next post!

To conclude, I've learned to take the opportunities that knock, to believe in my self and take the actions to enhance me - that's the mother I want to be and for my children. Not only to show my children that I'm not just their mother,  (who cooks, cleans and wipes bumbs) I am a independent person with goals too... onto whom my children "just might" be inspired after.

And thanks to a friend for reminding me to take the opportunity when it knocks........"self time" is a must. I do not only appreciate my life, my family and my friends, my children appreciate me when I return - for not only being their mother at home, but for setting an example for self accomplishments!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thankful for.....?

Every Thanksgiving I ask everyone what they're thankful for. Some of their responses are either predictable, semi-sucking up to me or completely genuine. Here is our results.
Age 6 months - "Her baba"

Age 23 months - "OUTSIIIIIIDE"
Age 5 - "Love"
Age 6 - "ELMO!"
Age 7 - Shrugged his shoulders......?
Age 9 - "I'm thankful for the races"
Age 10 - "I'm thankful for a family, for a roof over my head and my friends"
Age 11 - "My life"
Age 13 - "Having clothes cause I like doing laundry"
Age 13 - "Horses"
Age 13 - "I'm thankful for minecraft"
Age 13 - "I'm thankful for McDonald's"
Age 15 - "Having an amazing family and a cool mom and dad" - mmm.....I call that a semi-suck up!
Age 18- "My daughter and my family"
Age 19 - "For everything you have done for us"
Age 20 - "I'm thankful for a sound mind"
(only missing two of our oldest adult children's responses)

For myself.......I can write a book on what I'm thankful for. Health is number one, without it I couldn't look after my family that I'm also grateful for. For this 2013 Thanksgiving I'm thankful for having all of us together again for our family portraits - it meant the world to me. For overcoming most of our challenges. I'm thankful we have peace. (For now) At least a rest before the next challenging events that could happen! lol I'm also thankful for my weird sense of humor. I'm thankful for everyone in our life, and for myself believing that everything happens for a reason which includes meeting the people we have throughout our lives. There's definitely too much to be thankful for. Regardless if we are having horrible challenging days - there is so much within our world to appreciate and I'm just thankful recognizing it. I personally wish everyone a wonderful weekend while they enjoy the people they love within it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Top

The Top
The Top
     The Top
 The Top
 The Top
 The Top
One of my main goals raising children is to teach them that only by actions comes success. To make it to the top, you have to fight physically and mentally to get there. I started yoga recently with a friend and my second oldest daughter - and yoga stretches you to your limits. Life does. If you want something bad enough, you will make the appropriate steps necessary to get there. I continually learn throughout my life, if it's not physical, life can be emotionally challenging but with a positive, and an open mind you can conquer all odds and become as successful as you want to be with anything, and within any relationship. Love, live and I'm going to add because I've learned this - forgive. You will never get to the top without your physical actions, your will to succeed, your compassion to love unconditionally, and the want to experience, educate to live and move forward from the past. Those are my words for today. I know - I've been at the bottom, it's all about "The Top" for our family!

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather the lack of will" - Vince Lombardi

And success has many forms - it could just mean happiness - and that is inner work with the steps I provided above. If we can get to the top - anyone can! Smile, and be thankful that today is a brand new day to enjoy your life!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gadget necessity world

Years a go I bought myself a new drill press. I never understood the big hype about men and their tools. I haven't been someone that needed new kitchen supplies either. I punch bread, I have this old hand held beater since I was seventeen. This beater clicks as it spins through my mixtures. I dice food with my large knife. I'm the same way when it comes to electronics. We still have our VCR's. We do have a blue ray player but I'm really not grasping the concept of the difference between a blue ray verses a DVD player. Basically the blue ray has more features, and better quality but if I didn't know any better, it wouldn't matter therefore I wouldn't be missing out on quality as quality seems to change monthly and empties our pocket books anyways. We can't keep up. At least the kitchen appliances and gadgets don't seem to change that much or I'm semi oblivious to it. I wrote once about how I wished I was living in the "Little house in the Prairie" days during the nineteenth century. It wasn't simple by no means but the idea with a less populated and younger country seems more appealing to me. I think that's why up north in smaller communities and the country lifestyle is also a more comfortable way of living. We have grown accustomed to the more convenient semi hectic way of life, where the hustle of thousands of people drive our highways and blue rays are our quality of our lives. Just lately I purchased my own USB memory chip. I had to ask one of my sons on how to download my book I've been writing onto the USB. Once I figured that out ....I was pretty stoked. I thought "yahoo" it's a little tool just like my drill press! ZIP and it's accomplished. My biggest worry was loosing everything on my computer that seems to crash periodically, a computer as outdated as my kitchen supplies! So.....I am adjusting and understanding the concept of quality although it doesn't change my inner perspective on how simpler it could be without the worry of loosing valuable material if I just had my old typewriter! In a way with all the new tools, gadgets and electronics the new generation is getting lazier. My husband and I have been collecting and looking for household items for two of our adult children to help furnish their new homes. The "gadget necessity world" became apparent to us because even without a plunger for their future clogged toilet - they will not know what to do. Did a plunger exist centuries ago, no and neither did a toilet. So we've evolved to the point of creating a less functional generation unless they have a USB stick in order to survive. To prove my theory, I asked one of our sons, "If the toilet became plugged, what would you do?" He naturally responded saying, "I would use a plunger" So I asked, "What if we didn't have a plunger?" There was complete silence. Perhaps I can use this as one of our science experiments. It's scary knowing that some individuals can't function without a microwave, or a food processor in their kitchen, it would be mayhem! Writing about possible storms, I'm one that loves a good storm. When the power goes out, no electricity! For many of us life has come to an end.....for me it's just another hike in the woods. So as much as I'm moving along with our society, and our continuous evolving generation - I still enjoy the simplicities of life adding the protection of my USB stick. I have this generation does because the truth is, it's a gadget necessity world until the lights go out.

And to end...."Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution" -Anthony D'Angelo

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's a date - I think.....

Our oldest daughter gave us 50% off coupons for the Cactus Club so my husband and I snuck out for a total of two hours. At the end of our two hours on a Friday night we were closing down and being kicked out of Walmart! Yes we are pathetic. Our late night dinner was great lasting a total of one hour then our last hour was shopping the baby isle and picking up multiple jugs of vim that was on sale. We weren't even together, my husband went one way while I went another meeting up at the till. It's bizarre going out together. It doesn't happen very often and when it does.....we really don't know what to do. My husband always suggests going to Walmart. So it was a date buying our granddaughter some outfits, our children some gummy worms while making sure we stocked up on our favorite bathroom cleaner! Mmmm.....maybe next time we will be more creative and go to a movie. The problem with movies, my husband falls a sleep every time! So I dunno....any suggestions?! When the weather is against us, and we don't go to bars - what on earth does two do!?
 "Enlighten me - please comment, would love to hear your suggestions"