Monday, December 31, 2012


New year's resolutions. Blech. Everyone will be posting new blog posts via twitter that have to do with resolutions. You know it. I know it.

As I sit here with a glass of wine listening to 80s one-hit-wonders, I wonder... what will 2013 bring?
Better yet, what will I bring to 2013?

I can sit here and make silly-ass promises that I know I won't keep. Why bother? Instead, I'm making a conscious effort to change little things in my day-to-day life. The usuals are there... as usual... eat better, be more active, swear less, spend less, etc.

But the majority of my efforts rest inside of me... in my heart. A little bit of conscious effort here and there to make things better, not only for me, but for those around me, too.  You may not notice them. That's ok. I'm not doing them for you, or you, or her, or him, but I'm doing them in small increments for me.  I'm hoping to be the one who will see these little things pay-off in smaller, then larger ways as the year progresses.

I plan to look back at this each month to see if I've set out on the right foot.

C'mon, 2013!

Here's to you!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Growing up I didn't really get Remembrance Day. I knew it was a holiday. I knew I didn't have to go to school; I had to wear a poppy and so on. I don't blame my parents for not truly relaying to me the purpose behind Remembrance Day. I do sort of blame my schooling, as I have no impacting memories of a meaningful Remembrance Day service. But I think I just simply didn't get it. Sad.

The one thing I do remember about Remembrance Day is a local radio program would do a Remembrance Day program each year. The music was old; it was touching; it was, to me authentic. It really spoke to me. I truly believe that the majority of any understanding I had of Remembrance Day growing up came from one song in particular:

I still love that song.

Each year I share with my students (and my kids) various songs to help them understand what Remembrance Day is all about... just in case some of them need to hear it to really feel it.

Music speaks.

Here are some other videos / songs that speak to me & Remembrance Day. Lest We Forget.

I'm glad Remembrance Day is something we honour and embrace nowadays. May our children grow to love, learn and understand.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Labelling our kids...

I was just glancing through some pictures on Facebook, and I was aghast at the amount of brand name labelling I'm seeing on kids.

It makes me stop and wonder... what does this teach our kids? Is that name on that $50 tee necessary in order to validate your child's importance? Existence? I've heard that argument. I've heard mothers say, "They have to have the right brand name clothes in order to even be considered cool."

Really? Is that the kind of persona or image you want your children to live up to? Brand name = cool. No brand name = uncool?

Thankfully, my kid goes to a school where just about anything goes. Yes, some kids have a few brand name hoodies, or tees -- Hollister, Lulu Lemon, Aeropostale are the big ones -- but if a kid shows up in any old name jeans and a sweater, no one really cares. Mind you, there are some kids who ONLY wear brand name, but they're not seen in any different light. Sometimes they're even called out on "wasting their money".

I'd like to think that my kids will be wearing what's comfortable, what they like, what they think looks good in the years to come. I'd like to think they will learn the value of money, the idea behind a "name". I'd like to think they will befriend others based on much more than their outward appearance or the clothes they are (or aren't) wearing.

Am I crazy in these thoughts? Am I setting my kids up to be "uncool"?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is getting the rounds on my FB feed this evening:

Many parents are posting this on FB this evening. I see lots of truths, both as a mom and a teacher. If anyone knows the author, please let me know in the comments so I can give credit where credit is due. Thoughts?

Here's what parents need to know:

That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra. That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books. That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children "advantages" that we're giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.
 That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children's toys and they wouldn't be missed, but some things are important-- building toys like legos and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.)
They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too-- to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it's absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.

That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That's not okay! Our children don't need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US.
They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they're a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm gonna say it out loud

Bikinis really bother me. I don't like them. I don't like them especially when I see young girls -- tweens, teens -- wearing skimpy and skimpier versions of them to attract male attention. Lately, I've seen pictures splattered all over Facebook -- or, as some of my relatives call it, "The Facebook".

Take a look at that word now, will you?


A compound word. (You would have learned about those in grammar, that foreign ancient subject in school days of lorn.) First word being face. Meaning that upper part of your body; the front of your head. Second word being book. (For more accurate definitions with those fancy spelling and phonetic thingies, seek out your favourite on-line dictionary.)

On the Facebook, I like to see pictures of happy, sad, grumpy, humorous faces. I like my feed to be a welcome sort of, open book, to the faces and lives of my friends and family.

It's not called "Boobbook".  I don't need to see people's knockers hanging, barely suspended by dental floss like pieces of material. I do not need to see the supposed red carpet pose (complete with duck face), as these scantly clad people stand next to a spruce tree at the local 'beach'.

But, I digress...

It's not just about my Facebook feed. It's about the image that these females are portraying to young men. It's about the seeking of attention... full body, gawking, LOOK-AT-MINE-ME! attention that these females are seeking to draw to themselves. Image. That's it. Maybe it's not the bikinis I loathe, but the foreboding image that comes attached with them... to them.

I have a young daughter. I've felt the need to start talking to her at this early age about bikinis. We talk about why people wear them. We talk about swimming at the beach. The need to be comfortable. The need to be comfortable in the skin you're in. We talk about skin cancer. We talk about drawing unnecessary attention to one's self. We talk about tankinis and how they can show a person's athleticism and can still look "cool". We talk about a lot of things when the topic of bikinis comes up, or when we're at the beach.

Maybe I'm just a prude. Maybe I see bikinis in too much negative light. But, in my value set, I see the need to educate my daughter openly about the choices we make as females, the images that prevail, the images that are portrayed, the hurdles to come, and the hurdles that have been overcome.

And, she and I will visit this blog post 7 to 10 years down the road if we have to.
It's a long road... and as I walk it right now... I don't like bikinis.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What I lawned today... I mean... learned today...

Did you learn anything today?
I did.

It was a long time coming. It was a first for me. But, I did it!
I learned  lawned  learned a few things today:

  1. A big orange lawnmower has a clutch that you need to employ before you start the stupid thing.
  2. After several attempts at starting the stupid orange thing, and finally engaging it, you will see puffs of black smoke. (Smoke can't be good... especially black.)
  3. A lawnmower has a reverse option... which, evidently goes relatively fast out the garage door.
  4. When shifting from reverse to forward (using aforementioned clutch, of course),  be sure not to have the other gear thingy at the rabbit. 

5. Hills are not your friend... especially if you're short and not as heavy as your husband. Gravity comes into play lifting one's arse off the seat in a sort of leverage action, which, then, causes the lawnmower to stall because it thinks you have fallen off the seat.

6. Children wave... then laugh and point... when you're on one of these rigs.

Nonetheless, one thing remains...

I did it. I mowed our acreage for the first time...

and I'm sure he'll come home and need to "fix it".

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm All Glitz & Glamour...

... just look at me now.

I can rock a pony tail for days at a time.
Dark circles? Nah, last night's mascara.
Finger prints tell the stories of my children in the dust on the piano.
No matter how often I ride use my broom, the tumble weeds prevail.
The laundry's done... it just hasn't grown legs to get out of that pile.
There are stains on the couch. (A new one is redundant at this point.)
There are toys on the couch (and every other sitting surface, for that matter).
There's clutter everywhere, even though I de-cluttered 7 spots this month.
I forgot to use those coupons.
I missed the hours at the paint store.
That picture's not hung.

But, in it all, I'm all glitz and glamour because there's happiness... and fun... and spontaneity...

...and we all can clean up when really needed. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Please remember the little steps...

A lot of people have their soapboxes they stand on. Fine. Good. These people have something that they're passionate about for whatever reasons. Good. Good for them. But, when their mission becomes so narrow-sighted and so self-proclaiming, often all that's left is a loud, beaming and boasting voice that loses it's message... that loses the passion... that loses respect and its audience sometimes, too.

It's when people lose their focus (or maybe some never really had a true one to begin with), that I wish they'd take the time to think of certain aspects of life.

Think of a baby learning to walk. First they need the support of others or other things. They gain confidence. Then, they start to take those little stumbling steps forward. Still with the encouragement and support of others. Finally, before too long, those little steps become leaps and bounds and full-fledged running.

But, guess what? If it wasn't for those little steps... there wouldn't be the running.

Sometimes all people have the ability to contribute (for whatever want or reason) is the little steps. Don't judge the little steps. Don't criticize. Encourage. It's with these little steps that a move forward can occur.

Did you ever hear the pitter-patter of many little feet? What better sound? All of those little steps, moving together toward progress. Toward a movement. Toward something special.

You can't deny the quiet, achieving beauty of the little steps.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Toxic People

When I was younger (in junior high and high school) I used to write poetry. A LOT of poetry. It was my outlet; it was how I dealt with my teen angst, my coming of age, so to speak. I remember one night sitting at my best friend's house and her mom throwing topics at me to see what kind of poems I could come up with based on an idea for a title only.

One of the titles she gave to me that night was "Toxic People". I remember in my naivety having to ask what that meant. (I think I was thinking of acne or something.) However, once she explained what "toxic people" were, the poem emerged. It was an ok poem, by some standards, but I'm sure it showed my limited life experience.

As I've been sitting here tonight, I was reminded of that poem... thinking about the toxic people in my life that I can't escape. I've tried. I've put them aside as best I can. I've risen above. But, the bitter reality is they are always lingering in the background... wandering through some insignificant aspect of my life... creeping into my thoughts, most times when I want them there the least.

I know they are toxic because they have a lasting, unescapable affect. I've tried. Yes, I've tried. But for some things, not even a well-thought of, well-written poem will put them to rest.

image from:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Missing the groove...

From September to June, each school year, to be exact, I'm immersed in my 2 biggest responsibilities: working mom & teacher. It's no easy feat most days as I'm sure my neighbours can attest; I'm quite sure they think the 7:30am screaming banshee next door is nuts. It's because of these 2 all-giving, all forsaking responsibilities that my blogging takes a backseat.
 :( Boooooo.

Thanks to twitter & pinterest, I'm always popping onto great blogs and reading really great blog posts, which, in turn, causes me to ponder my own blogging more and more.

Thus, it's my hope to do it more! I want to get my thoughts, musings, etc down on paper (so to speak) once again. It's enjoyable. It's reflective. It's 'out there'.

So, don't give up on me yet. I'm gonna get my groove back!