Monday, 26 August 2013

Hello, Monday!
  I'm going to send you on a bit of a mission this morning.  My weekend included quite a diverse soundtrack.  All smile worthy tracks that sent me spinning back in time.  A story for each tune sort of weekend.  You know how I love a good story!
Here's what it sounds like:

The Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
P.M. Dawn - Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
2Pac - California Love
Offspring - Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)

  Seriously random treats and a solid cause for a laugh!  We all have songs that send us soaring back through the reel of our memories.  Songs that actually are so saturated in memory you can almost smell the moment again.
  Some are good, some not so good memories, some songs you'll be flat out embarrassed to admit you love, but really it's about the memory and the reason you love it, and if you're lucky, some of those memories will be ridiculously fantastic!
  What's the tune that sends you back?  Go have a listen and, if you feel inclined, email me!  You could inspire next week's tune!

  Have fun on your music adventure!  Dig up the mixed tapes from your youth and try to track down a tape player!  Hahaha! Oh man.....

  We'll chat soon!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Mid-Week Confessions and a BIG BIG lesson on PATIENCE

  Last summer I marveled at how quickly I was captured, and as I fell hard, I was stunned by my ability to tend my garden.  I was unequivocally in love with that small plot of dirt, and as I watched the plants I'd coaxed to life grow and nourish my family.....well, it was a remarkably satisfying feeling.
  We planted that 12x12 piece of dirt again this year; tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, peppers, celery, onions and lettuce, it's amazing how much you can fit into such a small space.  I also planted pots filled with herbs and a strawberry plant I'm still not sure how I managed to not kill over the winter.
  Well this summer has shaped up to look nothing like last summer.  My swimsuit hangs on a hook and has been admired from a distance, my floppy hat, the one I picked out specifically to cover not only my head but also my face, has not seen much light of day. 
  To say it delicately, I have had few moments to enjoy the summer and embrace my inner child.
  A month ago I thought my garden was done for and, the most painful bit, I was certain I'd killed my strawberry plant.  (I wrote about it then but never posted because I felt foolish about writing about something so trivial.  Yet instead of tossing it into the recycle bin like I never had the thoughts at all, I thought I'd piece together a lesson for myself today.)
  So back to a month ago.  
  Do you remember July?  Well it was hot here, really hot, for here anyway.  Here's my confession, as sad as it is: I forgot to water my garden; completely forgot it was even there.  
  I stepped into that dry patch of dirt one day and saw a mess.  My peas grew together because I forgot to string them up before they tangled into a gnarly, twisted-clump of messy-green disaster.  I will admit the peas tasted the same, and yes, they did taste good, but there was absolutely no uniformity and had there been, I'm sure they would have produced a much greater harvest.
  Shall I continue or would it have been better had I called this entry, Here's to the Ridiculous....  
  Thankfully I happened to be in the backyard at the right moment to adorn the tomato plants with lovely metal-work cages, to not only help them grow tall, but to bare their weight.
  For a few days all those weeks ago I truly believed I had failed my garden, hence the composing of the original piece you're seeing bits of.  I had neglected it to the extent that a few of the weeds I pulled were taller than my knees.... shameful, I know, not to mention the seeds that simply didn't sprout, (there will be no peppers of any sort this year.)
  So here's my lesson: but in truth there are many; I guess it just depends on the lesson you need today.
  I started something and, though I didn't feed it or give it the attention that my own expectations begged, I still did the job.  My garden has still produced and, if my over-grown and heavy green tomatoes, which in fact, are growing beyond what the cages can hold are any indication, I'm not as unsuccessful as I thought I would be only weeks ago.
  I just picked a giant bowl filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and an onion, though the onion was definitely premature.  Last week I even threw some of that homegrown produce into a pot of soup!
  Do you see the lesson in there or am I seriously reaching here?
  Okay, you asked for it!  I'll explain.
1~ you don't have to be the best at everything to see results!
2~ rushing to conclusions and claiming defeat is inbred in us.  How often do we abandon       
     something we love simply because we hit a bump in the road, something appeared to 
     be blocking our way or it doesn't happen in the time we expect it to? Serious food for 
     thought right there!
3~ when growing something worthwhile you will have good days and bad, stormy weather, 
     perfect-balmy days, magnificent sunsets and cool rain that can revive even the most 
     dehydrated creature.  
4~ everything that is alive takes work.  I guess the options you have are to tend and put in 
      some effort or give up and walk away; washing your hands of the obligation.  There is a 
      third, though I am hesitant to mention it because to me it is maybe the worst, and that is
      to let it grow dormant; it's a death all its own that is hard to recover from.

  Have I got carried away again?
  I'll try to reel in the serious and get on with it, shall I.
  Take it or leave it, folks, that's my confession, my truth, my lesson, if you will!  I think I've offered more than enough for today!  

That's all!
Happy Wednesday

Monday, 19 August 2013

Half Moon Run - Call Me In The Afternoon in session for BBC Radio 1

  Here's a listening delight for a Monday morning.  
  These fellows from Montreal are the real deal, kids, and I can't get enough of them.  I chose this track because its up-tempo-drum-tapping was necessary in my world after a crazy weekend, but I think my favorite track is Unofferable.  
  So, enough chitter chatter from me, have a listen, then scoot on over to your music page and buy this album!
  Have a beautiful day, folks!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Pick-Me-Up or Perk-Me-Up?

  I'm an habitual person.  I thrive best when I have a proper, solid routine.  I'm not opposed to swerving off the path every now and then, but as day to day life goes, I like the cookie cutter picture.  It makes sense to me.
  The moment school lets out my cookie cutter routine tanks.  I mean it seriously gets thrown out the window and there is nothing routine about it.  Not long after I begin to feel myself flag, like seriously drag; my tank is pressing utterly close to empty and though the light hasn't begun to flash in the danger zone of being stranded, I feel myself begin to sputter, gasping to get as much breath into my lungs before I go under.
  It doesn't help that I'm an introvert.  Yep, there it is folks, my confession for the day. Now that you have that piece of information maybe more of what I say has begun to resonate with you.  
  As my children grow older, and especially in the summer, being an introvert is not a quality that is easily appeased.  Between my princes staying up later and later, taking on a new job, juggling a social calendar that has its own demands, all the while focusing on entertaining those boys every day; Yes, my tank is empty.  And the plain and boring truth is that I'm simply tired. 
  Remember last fall when I linked many many entries to perspective?  Well, I need a refresher.  (If not you can go back and check them out. I was trying to narrow down my favorites but they all had little lessons that were a good reminder to me, so, actually, if you want, read 'em all! September and October were beauts, but the Ben Howard, Dancing in the Dark I think is one of my favs)   
  Here's what I know; I haven't made a point of taking care of me.  It's always the first thing to slip for me, and as much as I don't want to admit it, that's just who I am; it's the giver inside of me that has a hard time surrendering the giving.  Don't misunderstand; I'm not assuming the role of victim, martyr, enslaved mama-bear or woe-is-me, feel-sorry-for-the-sad-state-I'm-in.  That is also not who I am, nor is that my intention.
  I do want to shine a bright sparkly light, and give a massive thanks to my sweetheart for knowing me better than I am prepared to know myself and for reminding me that it's more than okay to stop, in reality it's vital.  Perhaps it would be more precisely described to say he forced me to stop; he didn't shout, but his voice was sure raised in that stern parental tone we all shudder at and scramble to obey. 
  It was hard, the stopping.  It took work too, which definitely goes against the definition of relaxing and shows how busy and wound I am really am, especially since sitting reminds me of all I haven't accomplished; like replying to emails, setting up an overdue skype date, and walking across the street to share a glass of wine with my gorgeous neighbor. 
  So yeah, I could really use a pick-me-up and a perk-me-up.
  On the bright side, we have begun to gear up for the return of schedule and another busy school year! Bigger snowsuits have been purchased, lunch boxes are waiting, and our backpacks have finally been cleaned out from their last use in June.  
  Call me an eager mom!  I am more than willing to accept that title and my children are certainly ready to head back to school to see their friends and settle into a routine.  
  So until that school bus chugs to a halt at the base of my driveway I will rely on caffeine and a non-stop non-schedule to keep me going, but you can bet when I see my princes loaded safe and happy on that school bus a few weeks from now, I will likely lock my doors and collapse for a day or two in the effort to recharge my dead battery!

  Happy hot-summer weekend, everyone!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Ella Henderson - Waiting (Demo)

Hello, beauties!
How are you all doing? 
Good weekend? 
Exciting week ahead?
Is summer everything you hoped it would be so far?
If not, maybe this dreamy feast for your ears can turn things around for you!

  It's been a while since I've heard a sound that affects me the way this smooth as sweet syrup voice does.  I guess it's easiest to say that this short two minute tease embodies so many of my favorite things about music.  An instant reaction climbs my spine and crawls up my neck, setting my skin alive with goose flesh, a warmth seeps through to my finger tips, my breath stops, my spirit sighs, and I wait silently; not a flutter in my lungs.
  Let's address the words now shall we!  Described fear defined and mastered by courage, mingled with anticipation, highlighted by all that is to come if you hold on tight to the hope that dreams come true.

  What's not to love?  I'll be waiting patiently for the release of this beautiful young lady's first album, due to arrive sometime before Christmas!  Sounds like the perfect gift to me!

Have a fantastic beginning to another beautiful August week! 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Friday Favorites!
My young Prince returned from camp this evening.  A whole week with one son out of the house, being entertained by a heard of young people who are frankly far more prepared and equipped to captivate and entertain his young mind than little o'l me!  
  Did you go to camp when you were a kid?  Did you anticipate that week during the heat of summer when you could leave your parents and siblings behind, be given just a little taste of independence to live it up with your buddies in the coolest place ever?
  OH MAN!!
  The stories.
  The epic tales.
  The giggles.
  The memories.
  The lasting friendships.
  The days without being forced to brush your teeth, do your laundry, look out for your kid brother, or bathe.  
   My goodness, me!  Those were the days!
  I sent him away last Sunday and this evening he returned.  I have to confess this week has been easy; or easier, anyway.  I also confess that I didn't think I missed him; his presence was definitely noticed and I was constantly aware he wasn't always underfoot, but miss him? I didn't feel it or think so.
  But oh how I think I was wrong.  I couldn't take my eyes off him when he returned.  I was the first one opening the door to the truck and crossing the parking lot to take him in his arms (careful of course not to embarrass him! Is this what life will be like when he leaves for college?)
  How is this the boy who (only yesterday) came from my belly?  He's nearly as tall as me and, after only a short week away, his voice sounds different, he's more confident, he's grown in independence and, though he is legitimately pleased to see me, he is now that cool, aloof pre-teen boy who doesn't really "need" his mama.   
  Oh my, oh my.
  Well, he's home, happy, healthy, and safe, praise The Lord!  I'll be hearing tidbits for weeks to come and if the week was as fantastic as I am led to believe, next year, he will be the first to register.  
  Life is GREAT!!  My boys are all back, under my warm and cozy roof, I have loads and loads and loads of laundry to do, an ear to listen, and my heart is full!

  ****Thank you to all those camp leaders who give their time, their love, their patience, and their precious summer holidays to grow wisdom, integrity and character in the lives of young girls and boys. 
You are making a difference. 
You are teaching our children how to be functional humans.
You are doing the job of superheroes.
You are pouring into their lives something that I will never be able to give them.
Do not be discouraged; your work is making a massive difference in so many lives!

  As for me?  Well, it's my birthday in two hours, YIKES!  I'm going to bed! Ha!  I'll dream of some of my favorite things....cake, coffee, purple flowers, giggles, sweaty runs, drinks with girlfriends, my ultra-fantastic characters, the pretty room, palm trees, sunny beaches, calm waters at the lake, dance parties, clean sheets, hot coffee, a good book, a cup of tea, a visit with an old friend, wide-open-spaces, rustling breeze-dancing leaves, the smell of rain, the joy of living, a crackling-smoldering-rich-smelling bonfire, a phone conversation with a sassy, foul-mouthed beauty who always makes me laugh, the pleasure of a reciprocated smile.
  Life is good!
  These are some of my favorite things.

Happy Weekend one and all, cheers!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Mid-Week Confessions/Here's to the Ridiculous

  I have never, and I mean ever, been a girly-girl.  Shocking reveal....Not so much!  I could count on one hand the number of times I've had manicures and pedicures, YEP, that's correct, both of them combined.
  Anyway, I'm not sure what's come over me recently.  Maybe it's because my life is consumed by boys,  perhaps it's in the name of research, maybe it's been to spend some time with a new friend, maybe it's been a brief loss of sanity as I admire a different girlfriend's girliness, but I've focused a very small amount of attention on my nails lately.
  This seriously is a confession; if you'd known me in my youth you would likely be shocked to know I have a makeup bag at all!  (Growing up in the grunge fashion phase likely still has a lingering effect.) Set aside the phase I went through when I wouldn't leave the house without lipstick, or the short lived 5th grade blue eyeshadow that everyone was into, I have been a blank slate for most of my years.  I'll more than happily wear makeup now but it took a while; I didn't even wear more than mascara the day I got married. 
  Say WHAT?  
  It wasn't until I was a part of a wedding and was strapped apprehensively to a chair and painted up by two of the most skilled and beautiful aunt-in-laws that a girl could ask for that a whole new world was opened up to me.  I was released from that seat and when I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize the girl who stared back.  Can you imagine?  23 or so years of staring at a blank page and suddenly it was splashed in magnificent, precise strokes of colour-shading at the hand of a skilled artist?  
  I was a new woman!  I took control after that liberating experience and haven't shut the door on the makeup room since, though, I still would hardly say I wear a lot of makeup.
  Well it never did carry over all the way.  My nails, my hands in general, are an atrocious site on a good day and now that I've messed with them they're worse.  It freaked me out to no end to see them looking all fancy; I was less freaked out when my fingers were torn off my hand.  (Last summer it took a handful of stitches that were absolutely necessary after a baseball decided to take an evil and maniacal leap straight at my face. Luckily I'm still quick, but not quick enough!  And that right there puts a solid stamp on who I am than all the makeup in the world.)
  It revealed several things to me:
  Number 1: I talk with my hands...a lot, I'm like a conductor or a professional hand dancer. And the problem here is that my eyes crept to my shiny finger nails more often than they held focus on the eyes I was trying to communicate with; very distracting.
  Number 2: my fingers no longer looked like mine.  Instead they looked like my mother's. Now there is nothing bad about this fact, I love my mama, but it simply freaked me out.  Number 3: I hated it, it wasn't me in any way.  And I heard the argument You'll get used to it several times over the two weeks I lived in fancy-nail-world, but the truth of the matter is, I didn't and don't want to get used to it.
  So I removed that mishap of a choice and as I wait for my nails to repair themselves I will dabble in the unnoticeable nude shades of polish.
  So though I will admit to wanting to be surrounded by more and more girlie things as I grow comfortable in this ever changing world of womanhood, (and being surrounded by a world of boys likely doesn't dissuade the cause) I now know that particular world of girlie is not for me.
  I told you it was ridiculous. It also tells you more about me than I'm used to sharing.  So there you go....another Mid-Week Confession for you to laugh about!
  Everyday I learn a little more about the woman I am, and that is one thing I will happily confess to you any time of the week!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Monday Morning.  A Long Weekend.  A Birthday Kick-Off.

 I am officially declaring this week birthday week.... Yep, all week long!
The older I grow the more fond I seem to become of my birthday.  It's kind of bizarre, especially since this will be my 8th annual 28th birthday!  Regardless of the number, I really am looking forward to it.
  I was listening to this song the other morning on my run and the words spoke to me.  I had a lot of dreams when I was young, none more imperative to me than being older.  I could hardly wait to have my opinion valued simply because my age brought merit to my words.  I relished the thought of living in a grownup world where I would finally understand so many of life's answers, and at the same time, feel like I knew what I was doing and where I belonged.  
  Ha ha ha ha.
  Are you laughing, too?
  My oh my, what on earth was my hurry?
  Here's my finest confession yet.  I still don't feel like a grownup.  I don't feel much different, apart from, hopefully, collected wisdom and aching bones, than I did at 16.  It's the strangest thing.
  I like to think, like we so often do when we take a moment to drift back in our memories, that if I could go back to the time..... I would take more risks, I wouldn't be so focused on doing everything right, and I definitely would have taken more time to test the waters of my own limits. 
Do something crazy. 
Take what I wanted in the moment.  
Been a whole lot more wild and unpredictable.   
Think things through less and just do.

But the truth is.... I don't know if I would.
  I already told you a few weeks ago that I love Bastille, I have listened to this album so much since I bought it that even my crazytown kiddos know all the words.  I thought instead of simply playing you a song, I would give you the words and let you head over to buy it yourself.
  These are the thoughts in my rambling mind as I kick of my birthday week.  I hope you enjoy this fantastic Monday.  It's a holiday here and, at this exact moment, we have no plans for this beautiful August day. 
  Where will the next few hours lead us?  
  Maybe I will put some crazy in my life after all!  Regardless, I will definitely stop thinking about the weight of living!

  Have a fantastic day folks!!  We'll chat soon.
The Weight Of Living Part II ~Bastille

The weight of living
the weight of living 
the weight of living
the weight of living.

All that you desired
when you were a child
was to be old, was to be old
Now that you are here
suddenly you fear 
you've lost control, you've lost control.
Do you like the person you've become?

Under the weight of living
you're under the weight of living,
Under the weight of living
you are under the weight, the weight of living
The weight of living.

It all crept upon you
in the night it got you
it plagued your mind, it plagues your mind
everyday it passes faster than the last did
you'll be old soon, you'll be old.
Do you like the person you've become?

Under the weight of living
you're under the weight of living,
Under the weight of living
you are under the weight, the weight of living
The weight of living.

Oh, tell yourself this is how it's going to be.
Oh, tell yourself this is how it's going to be.

Under the weight of living
you're under the weight of living,
Under the weight of living
you are under the weight, the weight of living
The weight of living.

song by: Bastille

Friday, 2 August 2013


1~ fresh bread.  I had a productive week, even if I've been feeling somehow off and
     unpredictably weird  lately.  There is something tender and comforting about watching
     that tasty treat not only rise but turn a delicious golden hue in the heat of the oven.
2~ chilly evenings and even cooler nights.  I'll confess I'm not thrilled it has happened so 
      early in the season, but I love having to bury my nose beneath the covers to stay warm.
3~ honest words.  It's hard to hear objective and constructive criticism, even when you've 
     asked for it.  There is more good than harm though in this instance; we can grow, do 
     better, develop ourselves, and move on in the right direction.
4~ sending my princes to camp.  Little Bear has been and returned and my Giant Child is 
     leaving in the next few days.  There is no trepidation in their eyes as they prepare, there 
     is only excitement.  They are brave and I admire their joyful anticipation so, so much.  It
     is so much easier to send them off knowing there is no fear in their little hearts.  In fact, 
     when Little Bear returned I was worried; he was sad after the initial hugs and cuddles; he 
     wanted to stay longer!  Camp is AWESOME!
5~ I love when something old is new again! I've got a beautiful old desk and a side table 
     that are begging for some TLC.  I'm planning on refinishing them in the fall when I have
     a few spare minutes....but seeing them sitting there waiting...I may scrape together some
     time sooner than later!
6~ my garden.  I spent the afternoon digging in the dirt and that dirt, well, it's producing.....
     such a rewarding feeling!
7~ the warmth of a fire.  I love a fire on a cool summer evening, and though I'm not at all 
     pleased that summer has taken a very early turn towards chilly, I am thrilled for the 
     quiet, relaxed and calming effect watching those beautiful flames flicker induces in me!
8~fresh blueberries and strawberries.  I've indulged in these beauties to the point of an 
    aching stomach.  They are so good and not only delicious but enticing to the eyes as well!
    I made a crazy good blueberry cake yesterday morning.  It tasted like summer and looked
    so filled with love that it was gobbled up in no time!  Summer fresh food is a temptation I'll
9~ driving with the windows down!  Truly one of my favorite things. Warm air, happy 
     tunes, hair chaotically swirled into knots by the wind.....that right there is summer at its 
10~ a parade?  Okay, I'll be's not one of my favorites, but it does make everyone 
        else excited, and that energy is contagious.  I may secretly get into it.....I guess I'll have 
        to wait and see and maybe get back to you when it's all over!

  We're all busy.  I know, I know....broken record here!  But it's true.
  Summer is gone all too quickly in my corner of the world.  Soon I will be hauling boxes from the top of the closet to replace the summer wear for heavier knits and cozier cottons.  Until that moment I want to take it all in, soak up the sun, embrace the easy-breezy summer feel. I will do that by cruising with my windows down, the radio turned up, shielding my eyes with a shiny pair of sunnies, slap on a hat to stop the tangles in my hair.....yep, summer to me is that simple carefree feeling!

Happy Friday everyone!
Cheers to the weekend!