How Do You Say Goodbye

I haven’t posted on my blog for a while and recently have been thinking about getting back into it.  I thought this would be an appropriate subject to start up again.

Hunter, our yellow lab, came into our lives about seven years ago.  He was a rescue dog, found on a Reserve, skin and bones, whip marks all over his face, teeth broken and missing.  The only thing we knew about him other than the fact he had been abandoned and mistreated was that he had a pellet in his back leg and stomach that were never removed.  Despite all this, we brought him into our home and although he has not been an active dog he has given us seven years of unconditional love and affection.  Regardless of how humans treated him in the past, he never showed any signs of aggression (well expect once with the FedEx man) and always was even tempered.  He wanted to be with us at all times and when I was home, never left my side.  As he got older, arthritis set in making it harder for him to get around.  We had to stop him from going up and down the stairs in the house because that was becoming too painful for him and even the two stairs of the deck were becoming a challenge.  Last night, when I came home, he seemed to have great difficulty walking but managed to go outside to do his business.  After a while, I looked out and found him sitting on a snow bank looking as if he had no idea where he was, his eye was twitching and when he tried to stand, he couldn’t.  I managed to get him in the house, but he kept looking around as if he was lost or confused.  He lay on the kitchen floor and I just stood there not knowing what to do.  My daughter was coming home for reading week and was so looking forward to seeing her Poopy Doop again but I am thankful that she has the opportunity to say good bye.  It breaks my heart to sit here with him today and see him suffer silently.  Regardless, I still think – Are you making the right choice? Will he get better? but then I see him try to get up and walk to the door and he can’t and I know that our decision is justified.

So tonight at 7:30, we will bring our beloved pet to the Vet and say good bye.  We at least gave him seven years of a warm bed, lots of love, attention, good food and many, at times too many, doggie treats.

You never realize how much a dog fills your heart until they are gone. There are so many things I will miss about him.  He was there every night when I got home, wagging his tail.  I knew he was not only excited to see me but it alway meant that when the Mamma came home there was food put in his bowl, or how he used to sit at our feet when we looked at TV and put his paw on our foot as if to say – I’m here pay attention to me, the snores when he slept, the way he would rub his nose with his paws when you would tickle him, how he would always come into the kitchen when I was cutting things up for supper hoping that he might get a piece of carrot or potato.  He usually did.  The times we would have pizza he would always go and sit by Brian’s chair in the hope that he would get an occasional pizza crust.  He usually did.  How he would come and wait as we poured his bag of dog food into the container because he always knew there would be a few pieces that would “accidently” fall on the floor. There always was.

I’m not sure where doggies go after they die, but I sure do hope that where ever he goes he will be able to run without pain, chase balls, have an endless supply of treats and that he can find his brother Chase and play tug of war once again.

Hunter you will be forever in our hearts and like the Xmas tree needles, I’m sure I will still find your dog hair around the house for years to come.

 

Who doesn’t love – Back To School

As summer draws to an end, parents begin to feel the excitement of that wonderful time and I’m not talking about Christmas.  Yes folks, I’m talking about the “B” words.  Back To School.  Yep those three little words will turn even the most patience, gentle parent into a ball of excitement.  After a long summer of breaking up fights, kissing boo boo’s, spending horrendous amounts of money on summer camps and never having any time to yourself, parents rejoice in the thought of being able to sit down and finish their morning coffee without having any interruptions.

Now, I don’t have to worry about back to school anymore but I always remember as a child, the excitement of going to school with a new outfit on or a new pencil case hoping to be the envy of all my friends, not to mention the joy of seeing friends you haven’t seen all summer and bragging about the many adventures you went on during your vacation.  I remember the smiles on my children’s faces as they waited for the school bus, excited to show their friends all the cool stuff they had for school.

I have to admit, I still go through the flyers when they come in, looking at all the bright colorful pens, pencils and paper they now have to offer but am so happy I don’t have to join the mad dash in the stores as parents scramble to fill the endless list of school supplies.

As a parent, I think it is important to start your kids off in the new school year feeling confident and special, but it can be very expensive when you have more than one child starting school.  I found some great deals on Amazon I thought I would share.  Not only are they priced right, but they are colorful, bright and would make any child feel like they are important.





As a parent, we want our child to succeed and how better to do that than to make them feel proud of themselves because after all our children are our future.

Please note that I am using affiliate links and I’ll receive a portion of the sale should you purchase any of these products through the links.

 

Step Up Parenting

Schoolchildren (14-16) having paper fight in classroom

Wow – it has been a while hasn’t it.  Sorry about that.  Have been a bit busy with, for want of another word, Life…  There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do the things I want to do.  Between, working, writing, planning, summarizing, editing, cooking, cleaning, being a wife, and mother and trying to slip in a few extra minutes to myself here and there, days are definitely not long enough.  The great thing is we are leaving for our vacation in a few days, and I can’t wait.  The green hills of Ireland are calling me.  It’s going to be fantastic.  Just me, my hubby, no work, no phones, and no kids…Just Us.

So, other than promising to write in my blog more,  there was a situation this past week that involved my daughter, that got me thinking –  there is a Rant needing to get out. She is 21 and away for her 3rd summer working as a Sous-Chef at a summer camp.  I am pretty proud of her.  After graduating from College in the Baking and Pastry Arts Program 3 years ago, she has decided that this is not the career she wanted and made the decision to go back to school in the fall in an Animal Care Program so she can work with animals, possibly in a zoo or in wildlife conservation.   Anyway, I digress.  The reason for my post is to talk about parenting these days. I have raised two children, and I taught them that they must work hard to get anywhere and most of all they must respect people, especially people of authority.  Two summers in a row now, my daughter has had summer students come up to work at the camp.  They are around 16-17, fresh out of High School and the degree of maturity and respect are definitely lacking.  My daughter has told me about several situations, where girls have bullied other girls in the kitchen, where my daughter and the Chef have had to speak to them several times on their attitude in the kitchen, where they talk back to those in charge, give attitude, roll their eyes when told to do something, give attitude when reminded of chores they have to do and basically talk about people behind their backs.  I am a firm believer that teenager’s actions reflect their home life, and I have to scratch my head when I think, what are parents doing nowadays.  Are they so immersed in their cell phones or their lives, that they let their children run free?  What ever happened to being punished when you spoke back to someone?  That you respected a person you knew was your superior, and  made sure the job was done to the best of your ability, whether you liked it or not.

This past week, the camp has had to let two girls go because of bullying and attitude and apparently before they left they bad mouthed the Chef and my daughter to anyone who would listen, including writing a two-page letter to the catering company filled with lies about the kitchen. Like who does this? Where do they learn this behavior? Their parents come and pick them up with no questions asked. If that were me, I would want to speak to someone to find out what took place. There are two sides to every story. I have never been one to think my children are perfect or have I ever let on that they were. Whenever there was a situation that involved them when they were in school, I made sure I listened to both sides, and I can usually tell when my kids were lying to me. If I felt my kids were being treated unfairly, I would say so, but if I knew my kids were at fault, they would be punished, and I made sure they never did it again.

Parents get off your Asses and start taking charge. Stop trying to be your kid’s friend and man up….be a parent. These, rude, obnoxious, disrespectful bullies that you are raising are our future. Are these the type of people you want to unleash into society?

Personally, I want people to talk favorably about my children after they have left a workplace and as a mother, hearing good things about my son or daughter, is what makes me know, as a parent, I did a great job.

What about some other parents out there. What are your views on how children are raised these days?  Would love to hear them.

Until then…..Keep Writing.

Sometimes It’s Not The Batteries Fault

remotesI like to think that my husband and I  are fairly intelligent people but every once in a while, we do something that just makes us go DOH….  My husband had spinal surgery on Thursday and is now home recuperating.  His days consist of getting out of bed, walking downstairs and laying on the couch, getting up once in a while just to keep up his strength. He is getting a bit bored because now that he is pain free, he wants to move mountains and I won’t let him.  Yesterday, he was watching some movies on Netflix.  After supper, we bought a movie through our cable provider to watch.  Half way through the movie he gets a message from his daughter with a little video of our grandson playing on his slide.  Wanting to watch and share with me, he picks up one of our remotes and tries to pause the movie.  It won’t pause.  He tries several times – nothing.  “Let me see,” I say and I also try pushing the pause button several times.   “Maybe it is the batteries,” we think so I get up and go and grab two new batteries from the kitchen and put them in.  Still nothing. “I don’t understand why is doesn’t work, it was fine this afternoon.”  We decide to continue watching our movie because we can’t seem to pause it.  I get up and get the big zip lock bag of AAA batteries we keep and proceed to sit while I am watching the movie, changing the batteries to see if maybe our batteries are all bad.  Still nothing, we conclude that it may be the remote and maybe we need to buy a new DVD player and that we need to buy a new supply of batteries because ours have all gone bad.  The movie ends, I get up to manually turn the movie off, bend down to press the stop button and look over at my Husband – “You and I are friggen Idiots!” I say as I go over the the table and pick up the proper remote.  We were trying to pause the movie with our Netflix remote not our cable remote.  Sometimes it’s not the batteries fault, it is just plain stupidity and sometimes it feels good to laugh at yourself.

Busy Weekend And Other Such Stuff…..

blog    Hello you wonderful people out there. It has been a crazy week and I have not bothered to update my blog. I shouldn”t say not bothered because that is not correct.  I have worried about not being able to update it.  I have just been too frikken busy.  It has been very hectic at my day job and I try to do as much writing as I can in the evenings.  I was working on (actually just finished today) another Amish Fiction Romance story, but this time I hit a brick wall in terms of where I wanted the story to go.  It felt like all my creativity disappeared and I couldn’t for the life of me, think of anything.  I would sit down at the laptop and pouffff, my mind would go blank.  Isn’t it  strange how that happens. This weekend, I sat down Saturday morning and it was as if the ideas started to flow like lava  – I managed to finish a 13,000 and some book in two days.   Isn’t it funny how that works?

For some of you thinking, Does this woman not have a life? I will explain.  My wonderful husband is on the waiting list for back surgery so his evenings and weekends are spent lying on the couch because the pain becomes too much to bear when he is standing or sitting.  He manages to go to work everyday but by the time he get home he heads straight to the couch for the remainder of the evening.  My heart breaks for him because he is an active guy and having to stay put on the couch is just tearing him up. But, one has to do what one has to do. I know once he has surgery, our lives will return to normal, so until then I have lots of time to write.

walking dead

Tonight is the season finale of The Walking Dead.  Must say, I am excited and nervous beyond anything I have ever experienced.  Who is going to die tonight?   I know I will be on pins and needles through out the show.

I was going to update my Weight Loss Page even though my week has not been as successful as I wanted it to be.  I have been eating healthy but  there was my husbands birthday on Wednesday and of course there was cake.  And with the cake there was ice cream.  And of course I had to have some so that threw my eating plan way off kilter.  I will make a point of sitting down tomorrow night and updating my page and hope for a better week.  tI will actually be grocery week so I can buy good healthy things for me to eat.

This brings me to another beef.  Adult children living at home.  And I can post this rant because my kids do not read anything I write.  Both my children are still living at home and going to school and the rules are that with them working strange hours I would be responsible for one meal and one meal only – Supper.  If they wanted things like Ice Cream or chips or snacks or lunch items – they could buy them themselves.  Is that reasonable?  After all, I am not a restaurant that caters to everyone’s taste.  My daughter is great – she will go to the grocery store  and pick herself up items that she wants and never complains.  My 22 year old son on the other hand will eat anything that he can get his hands on and that is free.  At 57  I have to hide my food. Trying to buy myself healthy choices is difficult and I feel like such a meany when I do buy something and I have to say to him – Don’t Touch It’s Mine.  As a Mom, we are used to providing for our children, making sure they have enough food so it is very hard to say NO you can’t have that.  My son will go to the grocery store to pick up a few things and he will come back with a bag of chips and a bottle of pepsi.  I wonder what his cupboards will be like when he finally moves out – two boxes of KDinner and a bag of chips. Hopefully if I get invited over to a meal, I won’t have to bring my own.

hiding food

 

 

To Blog Or Not To Blog – Is That The Question?

blogA couple of weeks have gone by since I made a serious effort to get my blog up and running.  I went through theme after theme trying to find the perfect one that just felt right.  Not understanding all the concepts, I turned to the wonderful people in some of the blogging communities I joined and asked questions as well as YouTube and the Internet.  Slowly I began to  understood a little more and blogging took on a whole new meaning to me.  I am by no means an expert and I still have a long ways to go, but I thought I would share a few things I have discovered in my journey.

  1. Blogging takes a lot of work.  It isn’t a matter of just setting up a page and writing in it every once in a while.  You have to interact with people and interact often.  Most important is to get your name out there.
  2. When I first started, I joined every blogging community I could find on Facebook.  I am not sure this was a smart thing to do because I soon became lost. Too many comments to comment on,  not remembering who I liked or followed.  I spent more time clicking peoples blogs only to discover I already followed them. I would have been smarter to maybe join one for beginners and work on that, then as I got more confident and experienced, join others.
  3. First thing I did was get my blog on every social media site I could find, Pinterest, Stumble etc. – not sure that was a smart thing to do  because I didn’t and still don’t understand how some of them work.  I think I would have been wiser to look into each site and fully learn how they work so I could interact properly.  These sites all have great benefits but if you don’t understand them, they are useless.
  4. Having a niche is very important.  Without one you are just  blogging for the sake of blogging.  If you are going to want people to follow you, you need to have something worthwhile for them to read and something interesting that makes them come back for more.
  5. Adsense isn’t going to make you lots of money.   Everyone wants to make money on their blog, well maybe not everyone but most, and I don’t expect to get rich with mine but I thought some pocket change would be nice.  So far with Adsense I have made a whopping 3 cents. – Yahooooo – am living the dream.
  6. There are a lot of great people out there.  Yes, there are.  Wonderful, helpful people who will answer questions and go out of their way to make sure you understand.
  7. You can like, follow and share all you want, if you don’t have good content on your blog, it will not go anywhere.   You have to walk the walk.  If people like or follow you, you have to make sure you like and follow them.
  8. If you are going to blog seriously, have a game plan.  Just don’t go into blogging without thinking it over or making a schedule.  Because I work full time and only do my blogging in the evenings and weekends, it is important that I have a plan.  I didn’t at first but realize now just how important it is.  Take some time to organize yourself so you know what nights (or days) you are going to do what.
  9. When ideas hit you, write them down.  There have been so many times I have been sitting on the bus or even sitting at work and an idea for a blog article will pop in my head and by the time I get home I have forgotten what it was or can’t find the words anymore for what I want to say.  I now make a point of writing it down or if I am on the bus, use my notebook feature on my cell phone.
  10. Don’t be afraid.  For years I never really wrote anything because I thought it sounded stupid, I didn’t think I was any good or I thought no one would want to read my rantings.  Now I wish I had started writing years ago.

So after making these discoveries, I have stepped back, taken a good look at my blog and made some changes.  Not sure it will help but I am bound and determined to make a go of it.

What has blogging done for me?  Well for one thing it has given me confidence.  Confidence to know that I have something worthwhile to say and people will listen.  It has improved my writing and allowed me the freedom to say what I feel and feel what I say.  It has given me courage to not be afraid to put words to paper or words to computer screen in this case.

Blogging is fun and it is also a lot of work.  Don’t give up – there are a lot of success stories out there and those are the ones that keep me going.

Happy Blogging to all you wonderful people out there.

Here Comes Peter CottonTail….

bunny eggs   With Easter upon us, everywhere you go, store shelves are filled with chocolate bunnies and chicks and the more modern chocolate footballs and tractors.  Not being a religious person, I don’t look at it with  any type of significance other than it was the only day as a child we got to each chocolate first thing in the morning and  I got to wear black patent leather shoes, my Easter bonnet and purse and my little white gloves.   I would fill up my little Easter purse with candy eggs that I found in my basket and head over to visit my best friend at the time, a little boy named Timmy, who lived around the corner, so I could share my eggs with him and we could compare Easter baskets.  Those days are just mere memories now, but they always make me smile when I think of them.

 

bunnyfootball bunny tractor

Loving weird and strange things and with the internet being a plethora of information, I took an opportunity to do a bit of research on Easter and found these interesting facts on Easter.

1. The largest Easter egg hunt took place in Florida on 1st April 2007 where 9,753 children searched for 501,000 Easter eggs!

2. An Easter egg covered in diamonds sold for almost £9 million in 2007, it was commissioned by the Russian royal family as an engagement gift for a French aristocrat.

3. An average UK household spends around £75 on Easter each year!

4. 90 million chocolate bunnies and 91.4 billion eggs are produced each year In the USA.

5. Easter sales account for 10 per cent of UK chocolate sales for the whole year.

6. The first UK chocolate egg was produced by Fry’s of Bristol in 1873.

7. The tallest ever chocolate Easter egg was made in 2011 in Italy, weighing 7,200kg and standing 10.39 metres tall which makes it heavier than an elephant and taller than a giraffe.

8. The tradition of giving eggs at Easter time has been tracked back to the Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, they used to give eggs as a gift as to them it was a symbol of life.

9. The White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll on the front lawn each year. The tradition was introduced by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.

10. The world’s most popular egg-shaped chocolate is unsurprisingly the Cadburys Cream Egg.

And I can’t let Easter go by without thinking of this.  I remember seeing it on a card in the Hallmark store and I laughed for days.  I mean, who wouldn’t find this funny.

bunny ears

So whatever Easter means to you, most importantly it is a time to spend with family, enjoy a good meal and eat chocolate.

To All My Internet Friends – Near and Far – easter

 

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along

gay heartGrowing up in the 70s, the idea of anyone being gay, lesbian, bisexual or even transgender was something you didn’t talk about.  In fact I remember seeing someone I went to high school with, who everyone used to talk about as being a kind of an odd guy, wearing eyeliner and working in the make up counter at the Bay after graduation.  The only thing that crossed my mind was – That is weird.  I mean, he was a nice guy, never did anything to hurt me in high school.  He was always friendly to me.  Who was I to judge.

Over the years I have worked with many gay and lesbian people and never really thought anything anything other than what wonderful people they are.  After all, someones sexual preference is no business of mine.  I have had several incidents in my life that have really made me think about this side of life. The first was when my Photographer husband was hired to photograph his first Lesbian wedding.  I agreed to go as his assistant  to help out, but partly because there was a curiosity.  They were a couple from down in the States, who wanted to start a family and it wasn’t legal for them to marry in their State, so they came up to Canada.

Now, being an emotional person, I have cried and still do, at every wedding I go to.  I don’t know what it is, but there is just something about a wedding, at that moment when the Bride walks in with her father and sees her husband to be  for the first time that brings tears to my eyes.  Maybe it is the romantic in me, I don’t know.  I was very curious to see if I would feel the same emotions at a Lesbian wedding that I do at a straight wedding.

Unfortunately the Brides father was not in favor of his daughters lifestyle and wouldn’t  attend,  but her mother was there and although I felt she might have been a bit uncomfortable, the fact that she was there to support her daughter made her A Okay in my books.  The ceremony started and in comes the Bride with her mother, walks up the aisle and sees her Bride waiting for her at the alter and the tears started to flow. I realized something very important that day.  I realized that it isn’t about  whether you are gay or straight,  it is all about LOVE.  The love that two people share when they finally find that perfect someone to spend the rest of their lives with. The fact that two people, who had had such a struggle and have had to fight for their rights can find happiness  and live a normal life just like straight people. The other Brides parents did not come and I remember thinking how sad that would be.  To have the most important time in your life happen, and your parents not attend because they refuse to accept a who you really are.

As a mother, the only thing I want for my children is to be happy. I went on to think about how I would react should they ever tell me they were gay.  It doesn’t matter.  They are my flesh and blood and all I ask is that they find love and be happy, even if that is with the same gender.  Would I, as a parent, be able to shun them and tell them they are no longer my child. I don’t understand how a parent can do that. I even told them, even before they started dating and were old enough to understand, that it didn’t matter to me.  That no matter what their preference was, I would love them no matter what. I didn’t want them living in fear or even worse, hiding who they really are because they are afraid how I would react.

I have since gone on to assist at several lesbian and gay weddings and the emotions are always there.  I think it is absolutely wonderful that two people can be proud of finding happiness and I have some wonderful friends who have since come out and married and it makes my heart swell with pride that they can now live a life full of love and be happy without ridicule or negativity.

It was through a friend that I became aware of the Transgender community.  Again, not something that I really thought about.  As a teenager, we would fall down laughing if we saw someone dressing as the other gender especially a man.  I mean who doesn’t love a good Drag Queen, flamboyant with a bit too much make up on.  That was the image that came to mind.   I had the opportunity to support this friend by attending a Transgender Christmas Party a few years ago and I have to say I was absolutely overwhelmed at the amount of people who are transgender and have struggled over the years  just to be heard. To see them all together, laughing and enjoying themselves really makes you think. For some of them, it is  one night of the year that they can actually be happy and be themselves.  That is just plain sad.

We, as straight heterosexual people, find so much fault in life, we are constantly criticizing people for their beliefs, for their preferences, for their loves, for their values, and for the color of their skin.  This needs to stop.  We need to look at everyone as equals. So what if they love the same gender, want to be another gender or even just dress as another gender occassionally, who are we to say it isn’t right. We need to look into their hearts and their souls.  They are all good people.  In fact, I think better people than some of the straight people I know.  I have met some pretty fickle straight people in my years, but have never met a fickle gay person.

It is time we start accepting that the world is changing.  People from all walks of life want rights, they want to be heard and it is up to us to stand and listen and welcome them with open arms.  I know my arms are open…. are yours?

 

gay 2