About Me

May 28, 2013

The Little Couple.

Just watched the cutest episode of "The Little Couple" tonight. Jen and Bill have adopted a little boy from China to begin their family. So happy for them! Here's the little family:

Such a deserving family!

May 27, 2013

Healing Day.

Yesterday was a truly healing day in my little world. Without going in to huge background details, the long story short is this:

In 1996, my dear friend and our two families together started a baby loss support program in our community. The first year was a lot of administration work, relationship building and soul searching as we worked together to create a unique organization. We started to run a 6 week program in 1998 and by that fall, we had a support group running as well. We had an individual who asked to join us, as a bereaved mother herself but also as a social worker to work within the support group setting, as a volunteer. We met with her, liked what she had to say but warned her that we did not want to have a team of professionals running the group but to keep it always as a peer support program - parent to parent. She agreed and for 4 years we operated in this manner. At times, she stepped over the boundary but would apologize and come back to the original format with reminders. 

During this time, we had a mom join us who went thru the program and was hoping to help out in time as well. And then another. So we ended up in the end with a nice little group of 5 of us working to help grieving baby loss families, all volunteers, all with the same intent and purpose, or so we thought. 

One of the volunteers and I became quite close friends. We became trained doulas together and provided birth support to a number of families as a team, providing a great system of childcare for each other and back up care to our birthing families as required. Our husbands had gone to the same college and knew each other from the industry they were both working in. All seemed well. 

My dad became quite ill and finally died in 2002. During his last few months, "C" started to offer to take over the leadership role so I could spend more time with my dad and my family. Small bits at first and then more facilitating as the months moved on. I was, at the time, grateful for her support but looking back, wished I had realized what this was leading to. My dad died, we went away to spread his ashes, this team had beautiful flowers delivered to our house, we felt loved. 

Then "C" asked me to meet her at the office one day. Not suspecting that anything was up, off I went in the pouring rain to meet her. And that was the beginning of the end. 

Within a short time (42 minutes to be exact), she tore a strip off me, expressed her grand scheme and then started to try to pack up my office with boxes she had stowed around the corner. In disbelief, I stood my ground as her grand scheme involved taking the organization I had created away from me. She felt it belonged to her, even though she came on board 2 years after we started. However, it didn't work that day, as the other organizations in the building had heard her ranting and came to my defense. She was escorted out of the building, and told never to return. A few days later, she held a meeting with the parents who accessed our programs, as she had managed to take our database while I was away spreading my dad's ashes. I heard it was a large meeting and yes, we did lose some families but to this day, we aren't sure what it is she shared with them. Actually, to this day, we are still not sure what the actual issue was. The only thing I recall that stood out from her rant with me was that she "had the idea to start what I started back in 1995, a whole year before we began. But I unfairly beat her to it yet she's always felt that the organization should have been hers, so she was taking it back" and "that as a social worker, she was the only qualified individual on my team who had the right to work with families." As this was peer support and we were all volunteers, this statement didn't make sense as she knew coming into the fold what we were all about. Clearly, her ideas of what we were providing and what she wanted to do didn't mesh. But to try to steal an entire organization was not just bold but truly crazy. 

This is getting long and my fingers are numb from talking. Part Two to follow!

May 26, 2013


I have a love/hate feeling for today. It is our Annual Baby Loss Memorial Service, held the 4th Sunday afternoon every May. As one of the organizers and this year, as a speaker, I am honored to be invited and honored to be presenting. 

But I hate that there is a need to do this every year. I wish there was a "cure" for baby loss, a cure that will ensure that the pain our families endure does not have to ever occur. The sadness and empty arms are lifelong, not just for a moment. 

Today, we come together to remember these precious, tiny beings. There will be words of wisdom and comfort, hugs, memories shared, children will play and goodies will be enjoyed. Everyone will go home with a tiny teddy, symbolic of the baby they lost and those bears will be lovingly placed on a shelf or in a memory box, taken out often to be held, to ease the pain slightly, with the knowledge our families are not alone on their heartbreaking journey. 

Definitely a love/hate kind of day ....

Memorial Day.

To my U.S. friends, a warm hug as you remember those who died while serving your country. I don't know anyone who has served in any war, so I can't imagine the feelings that are associated with saying goodbye to a loved one who embarks on the journey, not knowing if they will return. I'm sure there is pride, as well as fear. 

Thinking of you all this weekend. 

May 25, 2013

Fleetwood Mac!

The first record I ever
bought was "Rumors" by
Fleetwood Mac. 

I saved my babysitting
money for months and
vividly recall the very
rainy day when my mom
took me  to the mall to 
buy this special album.

The first concert I ever
saw was my favorite band
Fleetwood Mac. 

Ten days ago, 
we attended what we 
thought might be the last
concert we would ever see
Fleetwood Mac. 

Best concert ever!!

And at the end, 
they announced they'd be
back in a couple of years. 

They've been in the studio,
recording new material. 
Played two new songs
that night and we 
loved them both. 

Age has not slowed
Fleetwood Mac!


Sitting in a silent house. Our 3 month old granddaughter is napping, while mom and dad wait for the painters to finish at their apartment. They are used to complete silence when little L naps, so it was quite a learning experience for us to make sure absolutely no noise will occur while she is asleep. We even had to turn off the furnace so it wouldn't make any sound. It's been raining for 2 days now, so we had it on just low as the house was feeling chilly and we didn't want her to get cold. In the silence, she peacefully sleeps.

When our kids were babies, we made noise while they napped so they'd get used to it. We knew we'd have a big family and that our house would always be humming with noise. The request today to provide absolute silence was not something we were sure we could do. Even without little ones in the house, it's still a pretty noisy place. I couldn't imagine having to be so quiet you can't do anything! But our daughter-in-law is very strict so we honor her wishes and it keeps her happy. 

May 22, 2013

Full Moon Soon?

It's been a very weird 36 hours. Yesterday, I had 4 different appointments set up for families requiring counseling. All for grief. One is palliative but the others have all experienced the death of someone they love and need extra support and education. All were eager to meet with me. All confirmed on Monday that the appointment was set.

I received a call to cancel the first one. Then another call came in. And it didn't stop!

Ask me how many canceled?

Not sure?

Let me tell you. 

All 4!


That has never, ever, in all my years, happened before. Sometimes someone will cancel due to illness or they change their minds but it's usually pretty rare. Most often when someone has set an appointment for grief counseling, they come in because they call when they are ready to explore their journey.

So 4 in one day was weird. 

But then it gets weirder. 

Today, I had 3 set up. And can you believe what happened?

You guessed it!

All 3 canceled. 

So I've called it a day & I'm off to hang out in my garden. Either this is total coincidence and will never happen again, or their is a full moon rising. Whatever the reason, I've given up trying to figure it out!

How is your day going? 

May 21, 2013


We often connect thru our weekends to the news, to keep up with world events, to see what the weather forecast is, and even to hear about the good in the world. 

Sometimes, like this weekend, we disconnect because we're too wrapped up in our own little world to take time to check in. It was devastating this morning to turn on our local news and discover that Oklahoma has been destroyed by a massive tornado, with Moore, a city the size of ours, hit the hardest. It was horrifying to learn that a 2 year old boy was killed in the city beside us when he was out for dinner with his family, killed by a drunk driver who crashed into the restaurant patio the family was sitting at. it was sad to learn about all the individuals who were killed or hurt this weekend in accidents on the highways as they traveled to visit family and friends.

A beautiful weekend turned tragic in so many ways.

My heart aches this morning and my tears are abundant as I think about each and every family affected by these events. There is nothing I can do but wish these families heartfelt blessings for healing as they journey thru grief. 

May 20, 2013

Long Weekend List.

Here in Canada, we enjoyed a long, warm, sunny weekend called "Victoria Day Long Weekend."

The original intent was to celebrate Queen Victoria,  hence the term "Victoria Day Long Weekend." For most Canadians, it's a  weekend to garden, visit with family and friends, travel and relax, after a long winter.

Our little family was very busy all weekend. We created a spreadsheet we would stay on track and that worked very well. Here's our list that we managed to accomplish from Friday night up to Monday night:
  • cleaned the house from top to bottom in anticipation of guests all weekend
  • trip to Costco for new garden plants and food for both home and for our company
  • shot a commercial with our crew on Saturday morning outside
  • reorganized the kitchen and moved the island to the side of the nook, opening up quite a bit of space
  • cleaned the deck, hung the gazebo curtains and put out the cushions for the furniture
  • gathered my planting pots and lined them up for filling with fresh dirt
  • reorganized the garage so we can park, renovate, build and garden without tripping over items
  • recycled, purged, donated, gathered the garbage and made many, many trips to our dumpster
  • dug out the gardens and added new dirt in anticipation of planting the new perennials
  • rewrote my service plan for our centre and looked over our documents for our meeting tomorrow
  • had an impromptu dinner with our family, including my mom and her beau, who we ran in to while we were out and about today
  • helped our son move his house contents to storage in anticipation of their big move
  • wrote, checked and responded to emails and made notes for next week
  • washed, folded and put away 6 loads of laundry and reorganized by clothes closet and drawers
Looking forward to closing my eyes and having a great sleep, after a great weekend and great work!

How was your long weekend? If you didn't have a long weekend, what did you do and what would have you done if you would have had a long weekend?

May 19, 2013

Hoping ....

.... to wake up to this: 

But so far, it hasn't happened. 

It's cloudy and warm. 

But no rain. 

So we tackle our gardening list
while it's cooler. 

And hope that the rain will
arrive as soon as we're done!

How is your long weekend going?

May 18, 2013

First Day of Preschool!

B will be coming to gramma's preschool in the fall, so we decided to have him come for a few classes between now and the end of the school year at the end of June. He was very enthused about visiting and despite between younger than the other kids, he fit right in . He played, sang, listened, followed, engaged and laughed thru the whole class. 

B playing with the dollhouse.

Exploring the light table
under the loft. 

Stopping for a quick drink.

Snack time - he earned it for sure!

May 17, 2013


The charitable organization I created with my family and a dear friend was selected for a review recently. After operating for 16 years without any issue with our finances, we did have a conflict with the process of reporting T4's after discovering our former treasurer, an accountant and volunteer, had messed up the books a bit. Nothing illegal and all funds are accounted for. However, she failed to submit the proper documents in a timely fashion, did not report to us that she had not sent them in and then moved while this was happening, so we found out after she was gone and not reachable. I've spent time over the last year with my new, paid administrator trying to fix it all and when the Canada Revenue Agency (hereby referred to as the CRA) called us and offered a review to get on back track, we said "Yes!"

After our initial call, I started to get frantic about having the right documents in the right order. What if we fixed it but we did it wrong? What if they find something we didn't catch? So  many worries and I lost a lot of sleep. I like to have life in order and this drove me crazy, especially because we were contacted in January and the first available appointment was not until May. My board was not worried, my family was not worried but for some reason, I was beside myself, secretly thinking that at the end of the day, I'd be behind bars and my charitable organization stripped of it's worthy status.

Well, I am quite the silly worrier, aren't I? The CRA guy came on Tuesday and he was not just tall, light and handsome, but he was so sweet! And at the end of the day, not only was I not in jail and my organization in good standing, but we have a new way to calculate payroll in a simpler fashion and we were provided with a ton of accolades for working hard, in a timely way to fix the errors the accountant made. He loved the system I had created with binders and spreadsheets (instead of files) and even took a picture to show other volunteer groups. He shared with me how some organizations have gotten in to deep water and said it was a joy to visit with us because we were a very minor issue compared to most visits he has. I was relieved that all was well and proud I had worked so hard, with the support of my family and board of directors to maintain our status. To me, losing our charitable status would be like a death. The shame would be too much to bear and it would be news that I would not want the world to know but unfortunately, in Canada, when charities lose their status, it's big news!

So here we are, set for the future, with our records in perfect order and no worries for me to carry! Worth the work but hopefully, a process we will never have to endure again. 

May 12, 2013


I have a crazy, busy 
week coming up. 

Between meetings, counselling
sessions, paperwork, along with
housework, family time
and a concert, 
I will have to write myself a
note or two to remember to breathe!

A Favorite Thing.

In my world today, "A Favorite Thing" is the beautiful flowers given to me for Mother's Day by our youngest dd. 

She knows how much I love 
pink, green and white together, 
and did a wonderful job in 
choosing these blooms!

Looking forward to gazing
at these for the next week.
Thank you dear CJ!

Thank you Claudia
for another great week
with "A Favorite Thing!"

Sunday Night Chit Chat.

Exactly 17 weeks ago, we were feeding the sheep on Salt Spring. In 7 short weeks, we'll be back there again, without winter jackets this time and with two little lambs to meet. 

I love Carla's "Sunday Night Chit Chat" each week. Some weeks, I participate and other weeks, I just read what the other bloggers have contributed. So interesting to read how everyone's week was. 

Here's my submission for this week:

Bereavement manuals for creating new training modules. Not fun stuff but a good time to read while it's quiet. And the bonus? I'll have more facilitators which means I can do less facilitating. 

Listening to? 
The movie we are watching. 

Bridesmaids. A silly, fun movie for a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

Cooking? Baking? 
Nothing at the moment but we should warm up dinner soon. We enjoyed an amazing Mother's Day bbq on our deck last night with family, as my dh had a hockey game tonight and our oldest dd and grandson had to be away until 7 tonight. Yummy leftovers are waiting for us!

Happy you accomplished this week?
Gathered all the documents and bits of paper for our upcoming review by Canada Revenue for our Charity that we operate. We've never had a review so this is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Think I'm all ready. And the reviewer sounds great so hopefully all will be well. Wish me luck!

Looking forward to next week? 
Teaching the teen group tomorrow. Review on Tuesday morning and grief group in the afternoon. Day off on Wednesday and meeting a friend for tea. Going to Fleetwood Mac in the evening. Lots of counselling sessions on Thursday. Preschool classes on Friday - love the little guys. So fun to work with! And then blissfully, a long weekend to enjoy. So far, no plans, other than gardening and enjoying the projected good weather. 

Thankful for today? 
I got to sleep in. Had the most amazing breakfast in bed, with lovely presents - flowers, gift cards (books and clothes) and a really nice case to carry my laptop in, with long straps to go over my shoulder. Long, hot, bubbly bath. Trip to the greenhouse to buy some lavender. Home to relax and watch a movie with dd. Bit of paperwork that I can leisurely do without interruption. What am I thankful for today? My dear family, my cozy but colorful home, my work, my organization, my health. I feel blessed to be at this time in our life in good health (most of the time) and enjoying all the small moments!

Bonus Question: Do you ever gamble, play the lottery, Bingo, sweepstakes, etc.? 
We bought our first Lotto 649 ticket when the lottery first started in Canada in 1982. We had just bought our first house and though not gamblers, we thought the $1 per week was pretty harmless on our small budget. We used a combination of our birthdates, our anniversary and our home address then to create our 6 number combination. We've played every game since then, never missing and winning often, though not large amounts but enough to offset the actual cost. We don't buy any other lottery tickets or gamble, play bingo, etc. We've never, ever changed our numbers - it would kill me if we did and then our numbers were pulled. Innocent fun that is a very tiny amount in our overall budget. We don't drink coffee or buy junk food, so it's our little indulgence! It would be so much fun to win, to share with our family and to expand our charity. Fun all around!

Well, now that you've read my contribution, hop over to Carla's to read what everyone else wrote!

Happy Mother's Day!

Heartfelt wishes to all the
momma bloggers who are
being celebrated today. 

I was spoiled with a yummy
breakfast in bed that included
turkey bacon, cheesy brown 
eggs, organic raspberries,
blackberries and strawberries in
yogurt, real orange juice and
a warm Cinnabon cinnamon bun. 

So good!

Wherever you are, good wishes 
from my little corner of the world
are sent to you today! 

May 10, 2013

Life and Death.

Favorite show!

And tonight, an episode that
included both Life and Death. 

Totally a mirror of my daily job!

May 9, 2013

Yesterday I ....

  • drove my daughter to her work - too far to walk as it's on the other side of our little hamlet
  • came home to water our "quickly changing to green" grass and trees
  • tidied the house that was beautifully clean on the weekend but by yesterday was looking a little weary
  • had a long, hot bath and planned my day while soaking
  • met a board member who is redesigning our website for tea - iced, shaken lemonade teas, my favorite
  • ran into a old friend who has become distant - we had a brief but lovely chat
  • paid all the bills for May and June so I don't have to think about them for the next two months
  • ate a scrumptious lunch of leftovers - love that my husband cooks such wonderful meals
  • spent the next 8 hours working on a project that includes a lot of tiny sticky notes, with receipts, spreadsheets and mind boggling numbers
  • scheduled appointments for my next day off, including one bank to gather the last few items I need for said project, an appointment for renewing our little mortgage and an appointment with our local funeral home to pitch a project idea
  • created a budget for our now booked holiday, set for June 28th to July 8th
  • went shopping for the preschool and used a Groupon that was gifted to me to buy little B 3 toys/activities that totaled $44 but I only had to pay $4 - my kind of deal!
  • played with little B before his gym class then got back to my paperwork once he was gone and dh had gone to the hockey game with a friend - love the quiet when I have to concentrate on numbers
  • crawled into our comfy bed to watch Corrie at 1 a.m.
So much for a day off!!

It's going to be a long day as I've been awake since 6 with a puppy who wanted to play. But lots of good things happening today and tomorrow is another day off, so I can catch up on my sleep then. 

Enjoy your bright and sunny day, where ever you are!!

May 6, 2013


I've just spent the last hour trying to post free ads to our local newspapers website. A great events calendar that should be full. Now I think I can see why it isn't. I've posted two events. One took right away but has not yet shown up. There was no message to indicate it has gone thru. No recourse. Nothing! So at the moment, I have no idea if my event is there. I tried a second post for another of our support groups and it doesn't do anything other than sit there. I click, it sits, not frozen, just "dead". 


I think paying for ads would be far less time consuming and likely not as frustrating!! If we had the budget, its the route I would definitely go. 

Question of the Day!

Our world has woken up finally and spring has arrived. The sun is out, there is a light breeze, the air smells wonderful, the grass is getting greener by the moment and the buds on the trees are bigger every second. As much as I love the rain, the sun goes make everything "happy." Planning my day to include time outside, watering our lawns and our plants, sitting on the deck under the gazebo to have my lunch and opening all the windows to bring the air inside. Classical music playing to keep my company. Cupcakes baking in the oven. 

I have to teach a class today to a group of grieving teens at an alternative school in the city. A nice little group, with 3 boys and 1 girl, plus their guidance counsellor. We're meeting for 8 weeks and today is week 3. I've planned our art based around clay, something they were quite interested in trying. I have one very chatty boy who is very determined to not go down the same path as his family members in their grief journey, which has included addictions and crime. Smart kid, full of hope for his own future. 

After the class, I have to pick up my daughter from work and we should be home by 3:20. That leaves the rest of the evening for enjoying the yard, including dinner on the deck. I have some paperwork to tackle and hope to get a good start this morning. I have two deadlines looming. One is Friday but that one just requires printing off the documents to send. The other is next week, May 14th. It's a big one and lots of little pieces of paper and notes that need to be organized. The actual meeting will be less than an hour but the gathering will consume some time that as much as I don't want to do it, it will be good to get those things into a better order of organization. Next week is full of meetings every evening and one concert midweek, so I'm cherishing this week that includes just one evening meeting on Thursday. Working in the morning tomorrow, then working from home in the afternoon. Wednesday is my day off. Thursday is my long day, a solid 12 hour work day, including two counselling sessions in the morning for two children, an afternoon class to attend (yeah, I'm not teaching that one!), and a support group meeting in the evening to lead. All easy stuff. Friday is easy with two small classes with little people. Saturday is full with a grief class in the morning and shopping/housework/gardening in the afternoon. We might go to a plant sale at a community event that includes an art sale! Sunday is Mother's Day and hopefully a day of blissful nothing, except family, good food and relaxing. The weather is supposed to be 20+ every day. I should be sporting a lovely tone of brown on my skin by week's end!

My quote and question for the day: 

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver, poet

May 5, 2013

A Favorite Thing.

Joining in for this week's 
"A Favorite Thing" 
over at Claudia's

Introducing Lua Oak, sleeping soundly
in the fresh air, with gramma. 

And a few minutes later,
wide awake with grampa!

May 4, 2013

Exactly Eight ....

 ....  more weeks until we ....

.... pack our bags ....

.... hop on the plane then off ....

.... for a trip across the sea ....

.... to our favorite place on earth!

Okay, not quite "across the sea" but
we do go across the strait, 
from Vancouver Island 
over to Salt Spring Island.

Just 8 more weeks to a place of
peace, tranquility, renewal and rest!

Where is your favorite place to 
visit in the world?

May 2, 2013


There are so many things that I 
am grateful for in my life. 

A fun, loving family,
a warm, cozy home,
a creative, flexible career,
a circle of support that we can
lean on, sharing the good 
days and the bad. 

Today, I am grateful for
the amazing blogging world. 
Laying in bed, utterly miserable
with pain and congestion, 
your blogs have taken me
away from my plight, given me
hope with your beautiful pictures of
spring that ours might just be
around the corner, and
you've entertained me with
stories and images of your lives,
a wonderful distraction from
these dreary days. 

Thank you all for sharing your
journeys with all of us who
spend time each day reading them!

May 1, 2013

Thankful for Pneumonia!

My cold has progressed to pneumonia, an annual event for me in this house.  A side effect from being an asthmatic kid. But for the first time ever, I'm truly thankful for this blip in my schedule!

While I am not happy to be this ill, I'm relieved to have some time just for me to stay in bed and get better. Life has become increasingly hectic over the last few weeks and I'm quickly falling behind in all my projects. While laying in bed for the next few days will not cure what ails me, it will give me some time to clear my head, rethink my priorities and create an action plan. I was feeling quite overwhelmed yesterday but waking up today and deciding that everything will have to fall to the wayside so I can recover has made me feel better already. I'm going to lay here and get better and dream. And then put the plan into place so I don't have to rely on getting sick for my world to slow down. 

Definitely not the best way to live this beautiful life!

Thankful for an incredible work environment where my time is my own and taking time to fight this battle is not a burden on anyone. 

Thankful for a dear husband who takes care of me the best he can and is coming home early this afternoon to pick up our daughter from school and make me my favorite soup. 

Thankful for a warm and cozy house that is sheltering me today from the blustery snow outside. Yes, it is May 1st in Alberta but that clearly hasn't stopped Mother Nature from extending winter this year. 

Thankful for my soft bed that comforts my aching body and makes sleeping easier when every thing hurts!

Thankful for my naturopathic doctor who has just the right combination of herbs and supplements so I can heal without any side effects from drugs. 

Thankful for sleeping dogs at the moment. Not sure how I will manage to take them outside but dd made sure they had a good run this morning. If all goes well, they'll sleep well until dh gets home!

I'm off to make a steaming cup of tea to savor in my cozy bed. Looking foward to feeling stronger and back to a better path once this bug leave my body. Have a lovely day and stay healthy!!