Monday, June 28, 2010


I wish that I could remember all the stories I heard as a child. There were so many. Stories about my parents and their experiences as children. Stories about how they met and what they experienced together. Birth stories, family anecdotes and funny little remembrances that were ripe for the taking. If only I could remember each one. If only I could have a second chance to record that precious family history.

The following is a story I remember my Dad telling me on many an occasion. It was a frequently requested story as I remember. Not all the details are clear but the picture is so vivid in my minds eye. And the story goes....

Before my parents met Dad threw all caution to the wind and purchased a little cottage by the ocean not far from the cape.

Back in the day Dad spent time at the cottage with his friends and family. My Uncle John spent time at the cottage with his family. The cottage was enjoyed by all. Dad even took Mum to the cottage for a date. If memory serves Dad ran out of gas and I think they spent the night at the cottage. I'm sure that event created quite the backlash. Anyway I digress. So after Mum and Dad were married they kept the cottage but at some point decided to rent the cottage. Well the time came when Mum and Dad decided they would create a life for themselves and their family by the sea in that tiny little cottage. They would make it a home. Unfortunately the renters had a different idea. They didn't want to leave. They downright refused. Not only did they refuse they went so far as trashing the house. Nothing my parents did would convince these people to leave so Dad took it into his own hands. At the time and for many years to follow Dad drove a Cadillac. So Dad and his brother as well as a friend(can't remember if it was his best man Dick Whiteside) took a ride down to the cottage, from the city. They were a motley crew. So motley in fact that the police stopped by to see what was going on that evening down at the cottage. Once the police found out the story they were more than willing to help from what I remember of the story. In the end the tenants left, the house was raised and a family made a home.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nanny and Papa Birds

Well I guess this post is going to start off a bit differently than I had originally thought.

'n' and I just came out on the back deck to enjoy the fruits of our labor(more about that later). No sooner had we both sat down then Nanny Bird and Papa Bird arrive. First it was just Nanny Bird and I didn't see her until 'n' pointed her out. She was sitting on the branch of an oak tree only 8 feet away from our deck. I'll take a photo later.

In case you are wondering about Nanny bird, I'll explain. My Mum's favorite bird was the cardinal, especially the bright red male. When my Mum was living we hardly ever saw cardinals in the yard. We had blue jay families, morning doves and little house sparrows but never any cardinals. The year she died, after she died the cardinals came to my yard and they have been here ever since. The male cardinals have been affectionately named 'Nanny Bird'. It's the craziest thing. I can be sitting in my living room with the windows open and I'll hear his call. I can almost always find him. What is even stranger is that when I whistle his call or call his name it's like he understands me and either calls back or if he is close enough he looks at me and tilts his head and many times he will fly to where I am sitting if I'm outside. I know you probably think I'm nuts but I'm completely telling the truth! So now my story gets even stranger.... Up until this year we have never seen the female cardinal. She is out there but never comes around. Well since Dad passed away the female is coming around. So now we have 'Nanny Bird' the red male cardinal and we have 'Papa Bird' the plain female cardinal. It's like they are finally together.

So I have digressed from my story. 'Nanny Bird' is on the tree and I'm talking to her/him, whatever... anyway I would swear the bird is responding to my words! "Hi Nanny Bird, how are you? etc." Well all of a sudden the female arrives and they sit even closer to us on the deck maybe 5 feet away in the branch that overhangs the deck! It brought tears to my eyes! They stayed on the branch for several minutes as we basked in their presence before they flew back into the woods.

Seeing the birds was a wonderful way to end a productive and rewarding day filled with quality time with both of my children and time spent outdoors digging in the dirt. N has been craving attention from both R and me. Today I spent time with him playing one of his favorite video games; Little Big Planet. Out of all of his video games I find this one to be the most entertaining. Playing with him can be difficult as he is an expert and I am only a beginner. It is a good lesson in patience for both of us when we play together. Later in the day he and R went out in search of an AC for N's room, leaving n and I home alone. We were excited to have the house to ourselves. We spent the afternoon outside working on the many planters that have remained empty until today. It felt so good to have my hands in the soil and share the experience with n. She enjoyed it just as much. Yesterday we spent the afternoon together visiting our favorite treat shop Cupcake Charlie's and then picking out flowers at Home Depot. On the drive home she said "I love going out with you Mum, I just love, love, love it!"

Making memories. Isn't that what summer is all about!

Friday, June 25, 2010

On Acceptance

I found the following quote from Women as Rest .

"We do not move forward by resisting what is undesirable in our life today. We move forward, we grow, we change by acceptance. Overcome not by force; overcome by surrender. The battle is fought, and won, inside ourselves. We must go through it until we learn, until we accept, until we become grateful, until we are set free." ~Alan Equality Tomkins

Today this quote really speaks to me. Change, growth and acceptance are huge themes in my life right now.

"We do not move forward by resisting what is undesirable in our life today." I have been feeling stuck, resistant, like the child who refuses his parents request time and time again. I won't face it and you can't make me. That's how I feel these days. I avoid my brother and conversations regarding the sale of Dad's house. The entire situation makes me feel ill at ease and physically sick to my stomach. I find myself irritable, anxious and easily upset when thinking about the house and the sales process, so avoidance has become my friend. Through this avoidance I am not changing the situation or helping myself.

We move forward, we grow, we change by acceptance. I think there is a big part of me that would like to climb under my covers and pretend that Dad never died and all of this is just a figment of my imagination. On the surface it looks like I have accepted what has happened and that I have moved on-whatever that means. I guess I have to really accept that things are different on an internal, spiritual and gut level; Mum and Dad are gone and it is a reality that the house is being sold. Not only is it being sold but the folks who are in the process of putting together an offer are planning on taking the house down and putting up a prefab. My childhood home will be gone forever. Serious change to push through. As I think about acceptance I realize that going back almost ten years when my dear MIL and my own Mum passed away I never truly had to accept those losses. I was distracted by my very young children who needed my attention, my grieving husband who needed my attention and my dear father who was destroyed by the death of my Mum. I guess by taking care of all of these people who truly deserved the care I gave I was able go avoid doing the work myself to move toward acceptance.

"Overcome not by force; overcome by surrender." Perhaps pushing through is the wrong approach. How do I surrender into it when it is still so raw. I am a fighter with strong convictions and opinions. I don't easily change my mind once it is set. I don't like to give in... I guess I have to learn how to surrender. The problem with that is it opens one up to vulnerability, pain, grief, the unknown. Is it this process that has me so utterly exhausted?

"The battle is fought, and won, inside ourselves." I am such an internal battler, if that makes any sense to anyone out there. I hate and avoid confrontation in daily life but go inside my head on just about any day of the week and at some point during the day a battle is ensuing. Should I do this, should I do that, what if I say this and then he says that, If I do this then so and so will feel that..... Sometimes I literally have to tell myself out loud to Stop! This is not a recent trait that has come with the death of my father. I have been like this my entire life. Sadly much of what goes on inside my head includes catastrophizing the situation. It is always the worst case scenario that plays out in my minds eye, even when I know it is irrational. So I am more than familiar with the battle within. It is time to change the tape.

"We must go through it until we learn, until we accept, until we become grateful, until we are set free." This sentence brings me to tears and I am not sure why. Something else to think about.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time, Time, Time

Well I've had so many things that I wanted to blog about over the last couple of weeks, but time has slipped away. We have been in negotiations with buyers regarding Dad's house and I must say it is simply exhausting. I feel like I've been wrung through and emotional roller coaster.
So I just thought I'd stop in and add a quick post so that everyone who does visit knows that all is ok. Just crazy. Hopefully things will resolve themselves and I will be able to get back to my daily writing practice. Wish me luck.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Look

So what do you think of the new look? I was checking out the new Design tab in blogger and I ended up loosing my old formatting so.... I had no choice I had to go with a new look.

I think I like it. I wish I could use my own photo for the background. I'll have to do some research and see if I can figure it out.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Fill Ins


1. Spending the day walking, talking and taking photos with a dear one feels great.
2. The solution eludes me, let me know when you figure it out!
3. I like to fall asleep with the windows open, the fan blowing and under soft covers.
4. How about we skip the hormonal teenage years and go right to when we are all happy and friendly again?
5. Spending time by the ocean is something I highly recommend!
6. Imagine all the people.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include Cupcake Charlies, Tiny Boxes and picking up some flowers_ and Sunday, I want to plant, plant, plant!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Computer Troubles!

Well it has been several days since I last posted or even visited any of my blog friends. My laptop computer has been going on the fritz. I have only had sporadic internet access with my laptop and as it is my main personal computer and the computer I prefer to use when posting on my blog I have not been posting. I do have access via R's computer as well as the children's computer but I have to steal time on both of these computers and often have only a quick minute to check email or FB. I did spend time today ordering my new laptop. I have been captured by the other side and have ordered an apple mac book pro. I am very excited. After all my computer is at least 5 years old and I am overdue for an update. I added a couple of high interest programs. I'll be managing my photos with Aperture. Aperture is Apple's competition to Adobe's Lightroom. I did some research, perhaps not enough as I should have downloaded Aperture and tried it out but from what I read that Aperture is comparable to Lightroom and it is significantly less expensive. I'm planning on using it for my personal photos and then using i photo for school photos. I'm also hoping to get an external hard drive. I also added the Microsoft Office for Apple. I went back and forth between this and iWork and decided that I'd stick with what I know. I think that I will have the best of both worlds. Finally I added Final Cut so that I can create and edit movies. Now 'm thinking of upgrading the memory on my old laptop in order to have two working laptops. We'll see.

I have much more to blog about but the kids and I are watching Aliens in the Attic so I'm going to go and enjoy the movie.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Forty two years ago today my parents were married. For the last 9 years this anniversary has largely gone uncelebrated and perhaps even forgotten by choice. I never mentioned it to my Dad. I did not want to make him feel any more loss than he already felt. He didn't always remember the day of the week or the date so it seemed compassionate to let the day go by without notice. Today I have thought of my parents a lot. In my mind I picture them celebrating their special day together again after being separated for so many years.

Happy 42nd anniversary Mum and Dad. May you dance among the stars together for now and always. I love you and miss you both every day.

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