03
Jul 15

Greed and resentment

I found myself at the school yard this afternoon with my minion army. They were playing together while I sat on the grass and watched them, read my book and enjoyed the unseasonably lovely, warm breeze.

And that is when it hit me. There are only 59 more days of summer vacation. I only have 59 days to enjoy this time with them. And, if the previous years are anything to go by, these next 59 days will fly by in the blink of an eye and then school, work, the bitter cold weather, the grind will start all over again.

And it was then that I felt the darkness start to fall over me this afternoon. In spite of the warm, bright sun. In spite of the clear blue sky and green lushness that surrounded me in the beauty of soft grass and forests. Despite my laughing, playing children enjoying the width and breadth and freedom of having the entire school yard to themselves. The darkness crept up and pricked the backs of my eyes, causing them to sting and tear. The darkness sat himself on my shoulder and hissed in my ear ” it’s slipping away from you. It’s all slipping away and you can’t stop it.” And I felt my heart beat heavier, slower, painfully slower while I counted and re-counted the days left before I would have to relinquish them back into their schools.

And I as I watched them play through my tears, I cursed myself for being stupid, for being upset over ‘nothing’ and letting the darkness win. I berated myself for being weak and pathetic, allowing sadness into an otherwise perfect day. I chastised myself for risking letting my children seeing me cry, without provocation or obvious cause. A crying mother is a sure-fire way to create anxiety and darkness in her children, I reminded myself.

And then, as quickly as he came, the darkness lifted. And my heartbeat sped up, lightened up and resumed its normal healthy rhythm. My tears evaporated just as they threatened to spill over my lower lashline and before leaving their tell-tale signs of streaky mascara for my children to see and question. The hissing whisper stopped and was replaced with the sound of one of my babies giggling at one of the others who was growling like a bear to elicit said giggles from his sibling. It was replaced by the sound of the leaves on the trees swaying gently in the wind, their song soft and subtle with the promise of new beginnings and the sunny, carefree summer days ahead during which I would be given the opportunity to bask in and absorb every precious moment of the childhoods that surrounded me.

I found myself feeling upset and greedy, resenting the rapid passage time and greedily wishing for more, although not able to explain, even to myself, why I felt that I deserved more.I forgot to appreciate the time that I do have with them and risked the quality of our time by being sad, bitter or depressed all because eventually it will end. These feelings of greed and resentment brought on the darkness and gave him space in my head. It was greed, not time who was the real enemy. And having faced this ugly fact, felt the feelings, admitted to myself what it all meant, they are now gone and I am left with an enormous amount of gratitude for each hour and minute that I get to spend ‘just being’ with my little people this summer. And once again, my heart is happy. At least it is until the next time I have to fight off the darkness, but at this moment, I am happy.


01
Jul 15

Here are a few things that I know to be true of me

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In my life of seemingly never-ending existential questions, quandaries and crises and my ongoing efforts to sort through them all, I have decided to share a few things that I know to be true of me.

1. I was created and am here to do good things. To make a difference, to have an impact, to leave the world a better place for having been here, for at least one person, for however long I am allowed to stay.

2. I was born into the family I grew up in and found, then created the family I now have to help the other members feel happier, safer, or less alone. To help them to laugh and feel loved and to navigate our world with the knowledge that someone ALWAYS has their back. No matter what, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve spoken, no matter what they think, say or feel about me at any particular moment in time. If we were family once, then we are family still. If we choose to be family, that’s what we remain.

3. I was born blessed with a highly emotional and creative spirit and nature. With the DNA sources that co-mingled to conceive me, there was really no avoiding this outcome. But this does not mean that I was born devoid of intelligence, logic or rational thought. Quite the opposite is true of me although it does partially mean that I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I cry when I’m scared, lonely, overwhelmed or proud. And sometimes I cry without knowing why I am crying. I also laugh, big and loud, sometimes it’s unstoppable and uncontrollable, sometimes it involves snorting and a serious lack of oxygen. And sometimes I laugh without knowing why. I’m comfortable with solitude and my own company, am able to go long stretches without feeling the need to say a word, content in my own sparkly little world and at the same time I also enjoy socializing with others and can talk non-stop at frightful speeds for prolonged periods of time when the mood strikes. I favour the ridiculous, absurd and witty in life and art. I appreciate a dry, cutting wit and banter. I feel all emotions so very, very deeply that as an adult, I have taught myself to ‘shut everything off’ just to survive at times, rather than turning those feelings into music, writing or another creative outlet. Rather than letting all of that energy serve any of my greater purposes, I have contorted it into something useless, draining and misshapen. Rather than stand up and own that this is how and who I am and this is what I want to do or say or make or be, I apologize for myself and the way that I am. I hide and I apologize for being me. I apologize. Without end. To others and myself. But no more, not any longer. Not for that.

4. I know to be true that I was born with the purpose of, specifically, being ‘Mum’ to the five lovelies who call me “Mummy.” Each one of them is the sole owner of a chunk of my heart – and no, not one chunk is bigger than the other. Not one of my children is truly like another and I like it that way. Each one of them drives me crazy at times. Makes me cry at times. Can make me laugh until my belly hurts or make me so frustrated that I can’t see straight. Each one of them can make me feel angrier than I ever imagined possible. Each one melts me with their absolute them-ness. Each one can bring out the almost rabid, fiercely protective mother instinct in me. Each one of them can break my heart with their tears, their strength, their spirit. Each one makes me feel prouder than I have ever felt of myself. Each one has the power to destroy me, entirely, either with their words or their actions. Without them, there is no ‘me.’ My challenge is to be able to wrap them all in my protective ‘mother bubble’ while still giving them the confidence and freedom to make their lives their own and fulfill their own individual paths and purposes.

5. I know that I may not have been born to be rich, famous, or beautiful. I think that I am okay with that. I’ve made peace with that probability and I am working every day on finding my contentment, my happiness, my peace within the life that I have and continue to build. I still dream big dreams, I still have a list longer than myself of things that I would like to accomplish before the world pulls my visitor visa and sends me packing, bagged and tagged onto my next adventure.

6. (Because 6 is my number) I know that I no longer know what my future holds and that maybe it has never ‘held’ anything. That maybe it has been up to me this whole time to MAKE my future and my life what I want it to be. This idea is not a new one, it is not an original one, but it is one that heard a million times will mean nothing until you find your way to it your own way. Fear, self-doubt, insecurity, uncertainty, and the opinions of others all delay arriving at this very real and true realization. Sometimes the delay is forever. The sooner and younger you are when you release this truth the better, but it is never too late to blaze your own path towards the life you want, the destiny you were meant for and the purpose(s) you have yet to fulfill. It is not a matter of not letting anyone or anything get in your way, it is a matter of getting out of your own way and achieving your potential without diminishing or reducing anyone else with whom you share even a moment during your journey.

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28
Jun 15

A surprising scrumptious and easy breakfast cookie recipe

Since I’ve had a few people request the recipe for the Breakfast Cookies that I baked for the teachers this past week I thought that it would be a good idea to post the recipe on the blog  and not flake out and just do a quicky Facebook post (this also ensures that if I lose my copy that I have another one to refer to!).

IMG_5965Breakfast Cookies (baking notes to follow at the end of the recipe)

Makes 36 cookies

Preheat oven 325°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Ingredients

1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt (see end note)
¾ cups lightly packed brown sugar
½ cup softened butter
¼ cup canola or coconut oil (can use vegetable oil) (see end note)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup flax seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2½ cups 9-grain cereal (see end note)
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, etc)

Directions

Combine the first four ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, butter and oils until smooth. Beat in eggs, seeds and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Stir in cereal, coconut and dried fruit.

Drop by tablespoon, 2 inches apart. Flatten with the back of a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until starting to brown. Allow to sit on cookie sheet to cool for 10 minutes then remove and finish cooling on the cooling rack.

Notes

* Omit salt if using salted butter.
* Can omit the ¼ cup of coconut or canola oil with little-to-no effect on the finished product.    Can also replace it with applesauce if desired.
*  9-grain cereal – I use 1¾ – 2 cups of oats and ¾-½ cup of wheat bran. Others making these cookies have used a granola cereal like Quaker Harvest Crunch, but be aware that this option increases caloric, sugar and fat content exponentially, and depending on the granola cereal you choose, may no longer be nut-free / school-safe (although it will taste divine!).
*  These freeze well, so bake them up, throw them in a ziplock and enjoy breakfast cookies for a week. Also, if I don’t freeze them, they won’t survive two days around here!)

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26
Jun 15

At the end of the school year, I bake treats and write nonsensical letters

We all have our traditions, and this has become one of ours. In a nutshell, I bake treats for the teachers at the school where two of my smalls attend and at which I also work as a school assistant. I would bake for both schools (since I have kids at both and work at both), but I bake and bring everything on the very last day of the school year, which is always a PA Day and for the past two years, and I’ve had other children at my house on that day, so driving has been out of the question (people get so worked up if you toss even just a couple of kids into the trunk for even the shortest drive). So, the closest school wins the treats. And also, a rambling and manic note from me explaining the treats and my unsolicited thoughts on life.

This year, I’m sharing that note with you. You’ll have to imagine the treats. The internet remains shitty at sending and receiving food in real-time (someone please get on that, stat!). But in lieu of real treats, I’ll post a few pictures of this year’s baked offerings.

I bake because I figure teachers get enough mugs, coffee, apple-related knick knacks and cutesy teacher/school plaques already that adding more to the growing piles may not be the most awesome way to show my sincere appreciation for the jobs they do for our kids ten months of every year. But chocolate? Baked in flour, sugar, and other fine ingredients, completely consumable and storage-space-requirement-free? Well, that always shows appreciation in my book.

So this year, Breakfast Cookies (delicious!) and 1-2-3 Snap Brownies (they look and smell delicious, my poor life choices prevent me from sampling them to be able to review how they actually taste) are my recipes of choice. Only one of them has chocolate because while I cannot pretend to understand it, I do remember  hearing that not everyone likes chocolate. I also cannot say that I believe that not liking chocolate is a real thing, but that’s what some people like to claim. And I’m not judgy and meanish, so I play along with them.

I think last year I baked four different treats, cookies, bars or desserts. This year I only baked these two. Not because this year was worse, but because I'm weak. The letter explains it in more detail.

I think last year I baked four different treats, cookies, bars or desserts. This year I only baked these two. Not because this year was worse, but because I’m weak. The letter explains it in more detail.

2014/2015 End of School Year Badger Bits and Bites

 

Dear Teachers and Staff at Local School [name redacted] P.S.

 

This year, the variety of treats in the offering is lower. Like all the way down to a mere two types. I have a reason for this, not a good one, but a reason nonetheless. I’m on a diet (again). Of sorts.  Kind of. Mostly. Well, I’m trying to reduce my hip-print on this planet and so far, I haven’t snapped and knocked over the Mars Co. factory (win!). This fact really just means that baking is a much more difficult task, emotionally speaking, so to limit my temptation, I shortened the playlist.

 

But me on a diet is a bitter, sad, pitiful thing. A melancholy soul is she who cannot sample her wares before sending them on to you. So, I feel that it’s only fair to let you know that I’m trying out a new recipe (1-2-3 Snap Brownies – because chocolate (duh) and also, I know that ya’ll don’t see enough “1-2-3” during the course of Every. Single. Day.  that you go to work) that I have not yet tasted and if you’re reading this note, still have not tasted, despite spending many laborious minutes starving and slaving away in my kitchen, endlessly, preparing these treats and probably also other food stuffs for the minion army that is currently occupying my house. I think they may be here for the long haul, (they’ve gotten awfully familiar and insist upon calling me “Mummy” but there will not be any 30-year-olds living in my basement, so their days ARE numbered.

 

Anyway, back to the treats. The first, as mentioned are called 1-2-3 Brownies and because they are laden with chocolate, I figure that they must be good, or at least that they can’t be completely wretched. And also they probably an excellent source of caffeine and happy-feelings-making neurotransmitters, so if you’re grumpy (like me) or sleepy (um, also like me), try a few of these. If nothing else, one word: Chocolate.

 

The other treat ‘o the day is a crazy good (or at least acceptable) Breakfast Cookie (don’t let the name fool you, you can eat these bad boys any time, day or night – hey, I’m not here to judge you), of which I have previously tasted but not actually baked myself. So I apologize in advance if my attempt is far lamer than the ones that I scarfed down daintily nibbled on at a cotillion during my past life as a southern belle. These are healthy-ish, or at least contain more ingredients than the brownies that totally take longer to kill you. Like flax and chia seeds, unsweetened coconut and oats and the like. Still, these cookies are not exactly a diet-friendly food, so I’m calling them a treat (and totally NOT eating a single morsel myself). Oh, and did I mention that they are school safe? I believe that the school requires snacks not be 110% bad for you, AND these beauties are also nut-free, alcohol-free, drug-free and contain no traces whatsoever of shellfish. (Note: On one of the rare occasions that I got to see an episode of Maury, I learned that things in life can be 110% certain, I always thought that we maxed out at 100%, but no, because Sunnyside-Up was 110% positive that Bobby-John was her baby-daddy and she put forth a pretty convincing argument, so I’m adopting her math. But only some of it, because as it goes she was 200% WRONG about Bobby-John, which was maybe a good thing because he was mostly married to her momma but also a little bit to her aunty. Back to the math (and baby-daddy) drawing board, I guess.

 

Anyway, despite this rambling note and likely terrifying glimpse into my mind, please enjoy the brownies and cookies. And more importantly, enjoy your summer vacations. Because my kids and I will be back in September *grin*

 

Yours truly,

Allison and her motley crew of minions

If nothing else, this is probably all the proof needed that 1) I need more sleep and 2) I shouldn’t write late at night because it just escalates far too quickly when I do. Oh well. Luckily I have already graduated from elementary school and I’m pretty sure that shit is irrevocable, so I’m fairly confident that I’m safe. 😉

So, with this, I am officially kicking off our Summer Break 2015! Watch for my S.O.S. posts coming soon!

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22
Jun 15

Summer Bucket List 2015 – Keeping it real and doing this in two parts. Part 2

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Last week, I posted Part One of my Summer 2015 Bucket list and wrote about how I’m a list maker. Well, now, a week later, I’m finally back with part two. Why a week later, you ask? Well, confession time. I broke my cardinal rule of list making. I deviated from my notebook method and wrote my very important bucket list on a couple of sticky notes. Sticky notes! What was I thinking? Those things are so stinkin’ small that it’s taken me until today to find them again. So, this time it didn’t end in disaster, but lesson learned. No more winging it and using scraps of paper to jot notes on, write lists or record anything else I may need to reference again. At any point in my life.

So now, with fewer than three days left in our school year, and again in no particular order, here the final 10 items on my Summer 2015 Bucket List:

1. Create, frame, and hang individual chore lists for each of my minions.
They all want to help. They all want to do things around the house. Then they all want to fight about who gets to do what until I toss them all out and do it myself. Clearly this system is lacking. And they are either absolute genuis’ and figured out how to get out of doing just about everything or else they just need a little bit more direction on how we’re going to divvy the fun up.

2. Go for one lunch and one dinner picnic each week.
This one needs no real explanation. The kids LOVE eating outside and we all love a good park BBQ, so I need to make this one happen. Lunches will be less fancy than dinners, consisting mostly of sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and water. 😉

3. Blog twice a week.
This needs to happen. I feel better when I blog. It makes my heart happy. It makes me feel more productive and competent. I tend to over complicate my blog posts to the point that I write myself into a corner and then retreat and try to figure out how to bring it around again. I’m going to work on simplifying things and just getting the posts out there.

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4. Set up a new bed for Pax, re-arrange the furniture all the minion’s rooms to optimize their spaces.
It’s time to replace Pax’s bed and it’s also time to re-assess what each of them needs in their rooms vs. what is currently in their rooms. Everything may change or only a few things may change. Or not much more than a good purge and organization may happen, but either way, all good things.

5. Make sure we get some family time at the cottage.
This aims to be our main family vacation this year. Last year we took Cape Cod by storm, but the Canadian dollar is being an asshole this year and keeping us north of the border and away from my beloved Aldi’s, Big Lots, and L.L. Bean. BUT, the upside is that this means that we’ll be able to have a longer than normal block of time at the cottage (and the frites stand!), which we are all really looking forward to and really, really need after the busy year we’ve had since getting home from the Cape.

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6. Read one book a week (for myself, no pictures, no large font 😉 ).
I was always a voracious reader. I would read all day and night if I could. And then, once I had more than one child to care for, reading became a thing of the past. Unless there were pictures, rhyming phrases or tactile 3D images to feel, I all but stopped reading it. And I love books. I love turning the pages, I love having a story unfold in front of me and awaken my imagination. So, I’m going to make the effort to bring this back into my life, as my life is now – not as someone who can afford to read for 12 hours straight, but rather someone who is crazy busy, has eleventy-billion things to do at any given moment but who also realizes that part of raising readers to lead by example, and let them see me READ, quietly, to myself. Good example and self-care at the same time = one multi-tasking mama!

7. Go for nature walks weekly.
My smalls love the forest. They love nature and they love family walks. So we’re going to roll all of that love into one and start walking the forest paths. It’s so lovely in there and we usually take a plastic bag so that  we can pick up any trash we find and dispose of it properly.

8. Wash the car with the kids twice a month.
This is something that Mr. KB usually does with the kids, but this summer, I think the smalls and I will tackle this chore a couple of times a month, shine our ride and all that. And maybe have a bit of water play at the same time. 😉

9. Re-vamp the basement space.
Just need to bite the bullet on this one. The kids will LOVE going on the train. It’s going to be a BIG, LONG day, but we can handle it. And I can’t wait to see them discover everything the ROM has to offer. At this point, it’s really a matter of picking a day, plucking up my resolve and doing it.

10. Crochet blankets (lapghan or better) and/or scarves for my minions.
I have the wool in all of their favourite colours. I have the tools that I need (if not the skills, but that’s another post). I have the minions who want blankies and scarves and hats and whatever else I can figure out. So, it’s time to power through and get something made up for them. This is on my summer list, but in reality, I expect this one to take until December – just in time for Christmas?!?

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So, while there are so many things that I want to do and get done, if I accomplish these 20 things, I’ll consider it a summer well done :)


19
Jun 15

This week I done did these things

I blogged.

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I lost 7 pounds.

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I picked strawberries from our garden.

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I planted perennials in our front yard.

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I went for a walk with Mr. KB.

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No actual picture for this one. Machete don’t text and Mr. KB doesn’t do selfies. But I’ll share a picture of the area we walked to give you an idea. ;)

Mr. KB and I took the minion army to the beach for a Friday night picnic.

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And about a bazillion other things. But these are some of the highlights.

And how was your week?


17
Jun 15

Summer Bucket List 2015 – Keeping it real and doing this in two parts. Part 1

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I’m a list maker. I make lists at least daily if not more often. I make lists of chores that I need to do, errands I need to run, food I need to cook or bake, plants I need to plant in the garden, places I need to take the kids, I even make lists for ‘me’ time activities. I’m just a full-on list maker. And that’s not going to change. And, I’m okay with that. It forces me to use my stash of notebooks because I’m also a paper-and-pen list maker. Digital lists just don’t do it for me, so I’m writing my summer bucket list on paper first then re-creating it here for 1) accountability and 2) I’m a sharer. Also, you know that we have about six days left in our school year and then we’re free for ten glorious weeks. So, in no particular order, here the first 10 items on my Summer 2015 Bucket List:

1. Go for daily walks (not strolls) for a minimum of 45 minutes.
Because I need to make sure that I’m getting enough exercise. I definitely get enough activity, running around or doing housework and keeping up my smalls, but I’m not getting enough actual exercise. And it’s really showing.

2. Organize and declutter the linen closet.
This needs to happen. The space is completely out of control and I’m fairly sure that once I’m done going through it all that I will be looking for crafting ideas using old sheets, pillowcases, and towels. So keep me in mind if you come across any good ones. 😉

3. Go for a bike ride with the kids three times a week (at least).
I did this a couple of times last summer and it was really fun. Once I get past the dread of trying to dig my bike out of the shed, I really enjoy riding with my minion army.

4. Go to the library weekly.
To replenish books and movies and to have the smalls participate in the summer reading program. This one may also assist in another item elsewhere on my list. Oh so much goodness in one place (and did I mention that it’s air conditioned too? Win!) I can almost forgive that they also house the hockey arena in the same building. Ha! 😉

5. Do a family field trip to see a Blue Jays game.
Because it’s summer. And in summer, you play or watch baseball. Seven years at numerous diamonds all summer long with Declan taught me that one. Next year, Mas and Deacon want to play, so my field-filled summer life may begin all over again. :)

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6. Paint the laundry/powder room, including refinishing the cabinets.
This has been on my radar for a long time now. We bought the paint. We figured out a basic game plan, and then the project dropped down the list of important things to get done. But it needs to happen. When we bought the house, almost every room was a different shade of yellow. And, not that I don’t like yellow, but yellow with gray countertops makes my stomach hurt and is just blech. So, even though it will be a pain to move the washer and dryer out for a couple of days, the pain will pale in comparison to the joy the newly dolled up room will bring.

7. Take my minion army to a splash pad at least once a week.
Because they love water. And I love them. And that’s reason enough.

8. Deal with ‘Draft’ blog posts once and for all.
Two a week or bust! I did a post about this whole nightmare of a serial procrastinator earlier this month. But because it’s not one of my favourite things to do, I need to hammer it home for myself that it needs to be done. By me. Because I can’t afford to hire someone to clean up my messes. 😉

9. Do a big field trip to the ROM, complete with GO Train rides.
Just need to bite the bullet on this one. The kids will LOVE going on the train. It’s going to be a BIG, LONG day, but we can handle it. And I can’t wait to see them discover everything the ROM has to offer. At this point, it’s really a matter of picking a day, plucking up my resolve and doing it.

10. Go and visit with Nana once a week.
I miss my parents (wish I could give my teenage self a HUGE FYI advance warning that this was going to happen!) and my mum lives 45 minutes away, as opposed to the seven hours away that Montreal is, so seeing her weekly is doable, but during the school year it’s hard to coordinate regular visits. Last summer we made it to her house pretty much every week and it was a good thing for all of us. Happiness for everyone works for me.

Part two will follow in the next couple of days, DEFINITELY before school lets out! (Because I’m a recovering procrastinator, remember?) 😉

P.S. Spellcheck is officially out to get me. A dirty saboteur if you will. I write ‘declutter’ and it tries to force me to change it to ‘clutter’ Um, no asshole, I don’t want to clutter up the linen closet. It’s ALREADY cluttered, that’s why it’s on this list. Spellcheck, you don’t get me at all. Either that or you’re showing up for work drunk. Whatever dude, I may have to break up with you after this one. I’ll add that to my list.

#SummerGoals #ParentingGoals #GoalsForMySmallsThisSummer

#SummerGoals #ParentingGoals #GoalsForMySmallsThisSummer


09
Jun 15

I’ve reached new heights of procrastination

Well, I did it. I finally forced myself to look at the list of my blog posts. WordPress very helpfully (read: spitefully) indicates the status of each post. And, noticing that there were no less than FOUR posts on page 1 with “Draft” beside it, I decided to dig a little deeper. Going through the most recent four pages, there were TWENTY posts with that mocking label slapped on the end of them. I stopped digging at that point. Because, well, twenty. That’s why.

Unfortunately, the truth is that I work in a fairly chaotic way. I usually have six or more things on the go at any one moment and bounce around between them. My mind is always at work either in constant dialogue or composing, planning, dreaming, and scheming (in a non-sociopathic way, of course). And rather than working on one thing from start to finish and moving on, a job well done, and all of that, I start things, work on them, walk (or run) away from them either out of frustration, necessity or distraction. And then I get wrapped up in doing whatever else catches my eye and I’m (clearly) very remiss at returning to finish up what I was in the middle of when I turned away (although it continues to live in my mind, nagging at me at weird times throughout my day).

I hate finding out things like this about myself. These things just do not reinforce my self-image of not being a total doofus. Eh. Moving on. I’ve decided to tackle two of those ‘Draft’ posts a week until they are all either written and published or deleted and burned in disgust. I figure this will solve two problems. One, writer’s block will not be a problem because I have a tonne of work already started (yay me!) and two, it will help me clean things up and get back on track working on projects that I want and need to in order to keep mind and soul together and not be bogged down with such a menagerie of thoughts, projects and ideas.

There are so many things that I want to do with these last 50 years of my life and I really do not want to waste a moment (after all, realistically, I’m only really figuring on having a smidgen over 18,000 productive days left) dealing with clutter, literal or figurative, that does not promote health, happiness or a sense that I am fulfilling my purpose on this planet. Because:

Or just do laundry. Or just be sad. Or just eat. Or just sit around and wait. Or follow someone else.  (image found on Pinterest)

Or just do laundry. Or just be sad. Or just eat. Or just sit around and wait. Or just follow someone else. Or just cry about my dress size.Or just constantly struggle. Well, you get the idea. (Image found on Pinterest)


03
Jun 15

Does anyone else suffer from emotionally induced email dependency?

When things go horribly wrong, and someone who is important in my life is upset with me, or we’re arguing or disagreeing about an issue, depending on how much I care about that person, I am prone to falling into what I can only call an altered state of email dependency.

What this entails is me hitting the F9 key in Outlook repeatedly checking for new mail every 60-90 seconds. Looking, praying, and hoping for an a reply to my last email. You know the email I’m waiting for, the one that says that everything is ok, that the person doesn’t hate me, doesn’t think that I’m crazy, stupid or worthless. The email that says that it’s okay that we disagree, and everything is going to be okay, that this too shall pass and I needn’t feel as though my world has ended.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have to really care about or love the person with whom I’m at odds to fall into this state of being. Which is good. Because love. But which is also bad because extreme emotional anguish that may only be relieved by someone else and it really sucks to feel as though I am neither allowed nor able to decide to just be okay again and make my world right again. After all, I am able to make my children’s worlds right all the time but am powerless over my own? Why is that?

And yes, I know that I sound somewhat (??) unhinged. I am working so hard on me and my efforts to be real with myself and others. Learning to be honest and true about my thoughts, feelings, and actions. To stop saying yes when I want to say no. To stop eating shit politely with a knife and fork and smiling whenever I feel like someone is being unkind to me. To stop reacting emotionally to insults or verbal digs (real or perceived) and rather begin to refuse to be diminished into a state of tears and abject sadness as my tears only serve to expose me to further ridicule and disdain.

I have a long way to go on that one.

So, in the meantime, I hit F9 – get up, tidy up a few things, hang out with my kids, prepare a snack for someone and make my way back to my open laptop. Switch the screen over to Outlook and jab at the F9 key again and wait while the program goes through the motions of receiving (or not receiving) email. And more often than not, I go through all of those steps again. And again. And again.

Except this time, I decided to write this post instead, hoping against hope that getting it out ‘there’ will help me to break this cycle and do something different. Something better. Something healthier.

So, here I am. Waiting, wanting, hoping, talking myself off the verge of tears, holding myself together and trying to convince myself that the lack of communication does not mean that I’m nothing to this very important (to me) person in particular and the world in general.

It just means that the internet is broken again.

Damn that Kardashian/Jenner family and their internet-breaking ways.

Truth?

Truth?


02
Jun 15

Five things I so love today

Aside from the obvious unchanging list toppers (husband/kids, family, chocolate), today I am loving these things:

Cook's Illustrated Magazine. So much more than a magazine, it's a way of life. Without CI, I would have been lost in my quest for a pressure cooker, to say the least!

Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. So much more than a magazine, it’s a way of life. Without CI, I would have been lost in my quest for a pressure cooker, to say the least!

Remembering that time, about two weeks ago, when Ms. M. turned five and DORA the EXPLORER called her for her birthday. I love that memory.

Remembering that time, about two weeks ago, when Ms. M. turned five and DORA the EXPLORER called her on her birthday. I love the memory of watching that conversation and Ms. M’s beautiful big smiles.

That Mr. K.B. knows me so well that he bought me these. I didn't even open the packages for over a week. I just wanted to stare at their shiny newness and marvel at the possibilities they presented to me.

That Mr. K.B. knows me so well that he bought me these and I didn’t once hint that I would LOVE to have one. And then when he gave them to me, I didn’t even open the packages for over a week. I just wanted to stare at their shiny newness and marvel at the limitless possibilities they presented to me.

So happy that  I remembered to 'jazz up' the chicken breasts with little messages that will make me smile when I go to prepare them later on. That, and knowing that anyone going through the freezer may get a giggle as well. (Or, that I've given someone a reason to roll their eyes and wonder if I'm seriously fit to leave the house on my own).

So happy that I remembered to ‘jazz up’ the chicken breasts with little messages that will make me smile when I go to prepare them later on. That, and knowing that anyone going through the freezer may get a giggle as well. (Or, that I’ve given someone a reason to roll their eyes and wonder if I’m seriously fit to leave the house on my own).

This picture that M&M created together using flowers that they collected off the ground at the garden centre when we were there on the weekend buying our tomato plants. I love so much that they couldn't stand the thought of leaving all of these beautiful fallen blooms on the floor to be stepped on, swept away and discarded, so they collected them up and many of them went into this picture and the rest fed our compost bin to help create more beauty in our gardens.

This picture that M&M created together using flowers that they collected off the ground at the garden centre when we were there on the weekend buying our tomato plants.
I love so much that they couldn’t stand the thought of leaving all of these beautiful fallen blooms on the floor to be stepped on, swept away and discarded, so they collected them up and many of them went into this picture while the rest fed our compost bin to help create more beauty in our garden later on.

That is it for today. Short and to the point. Just like me. Except I’m mostly just short, and kind of roundish, not really pointy at all, but that’s neither here nor there. We’re not here to talk about me, so moving right along. We have no fanfare or kerfuffle here today. Oh, but I should mention that if you’re not checking out The Keswick Blog on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you’re only getting one piece of TKB puzzle. So pop on over to one or all of those sites and follow along.

You will likely regret it, but not immediately.

And I promise, no walk of shame the next morning.

heart