Amazing Amanda…You DiD WHAT!

Amanda (Boston song)

Amanda (Boston song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In society these days you are often admired if you are ougoing, smile a lot and super confident. But is that always the best way?

My niece recently got married and she has always been shy, quiet and reserved. Honestly when she was little she would not go to a birthday party without her mom, she would voice no opinion on what she wanted to do or what she wanted to eat. She would barely speak to people she even knew.

Then somewhere along the way, something changed. She says university helped, I say she just became herself, only more so. I realized that with being quiet, she was observing and learning. She was quietly acquiring skills that are amazing. She has become the best gift giver, the best cupcake maker, the kindest with children, the most organized, super great at decorating and does the most amazing hair.  Now if I was good at all of those things you would know. I would tell everyone, perhaps be what you might say BRAGGY. But when I see Amanda I realize there is two ways to do everything, my way….big, bold and bossy or hers, quiet, effective and efficient.

So because of her, I look at the quiet group with a different light and realize that often that softer might often be better.

Congratulations Amanda!!

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Farm Camp

Česky: Krávy na krásné zelené louce English: C...

Image via Wikipedia

My daughter went to horse camp with her cousin.  It included a couple of nights sleep over, lots of horse riding, campfires, and fun. So while she was there I went to my Mom’s farm,. The first time I had been to my mom’s with no kids for at least a decade, probably longer. I know what a great time 2 days and 2 nights of Mom and daughter time, pure bliss.

The thing is my Mom is no ordinary mom. She is now a senior and still farms by herself. So the first night we have coffee and play scrabble,  have lots of chatting, very great. And in the morning, we feed a few animals and then have coffee with her friends in town, who are all super nice. This is a lovely relaxing time.

BUT when we get to the farm, my Mom suggests we move some cattle to the pasture. So we get the cows and a few calves organized and start them down the road.  Now most of my Mom’s cows are like pets but hitting the open road with a stranger (me) does get them excited.They decided to do a little Thelma and Louise. So there was a bit of running, they took off down the ditch and into my cousins field and I am running after them.  Of course I did a stop, drop and roll in the ditch as I misread the steepness of it.  But when you have cows hitting someones field, you need to stop, drop and roll and get up and start running again. So once we got them back on the road, I walked behind them to keep them moving the 6 miles to the pasture. My Mom who was driving the truck offered to switch places half way, but seriously …..do I want the neighbors talking about me! 

I love being outside and I like cows, who often walk in a straight line, but all it takes is one or two who want to wander from ditch to ditch, truly in search of greener pastures,but that can easily turn 6 miles into 10 or perhaps 12. When we get them to the corrals, we have to ear tag and do a little veterinary work on the calves. And trust me as cute as they may be, calves can kick very hard  and always right at  your shins!  Upon finishing that we walked the cattle back another half mile.  I think this might be Farm Boot camp. Forgot Gillian from  the biggest loser, come hang out with Pat and her pet cows.

We go home, Mom lets me ride in the truck this time, along with her dog Max.  Moving up the ladder, I am. At home we sit in our coveralls eating cold chicken and toast and have a spot of java. Oh wait, we are not done, this was just our lunch break. We hit the outdoors to fix fence.  Grab fence posts, crow bar, hammer and staples. When we get to the field we first chase a cow out of the oats, then back the truck up to the fence. My Mom digs the hole, then I stand on the back of the pick up with the sledge-hammer and pound that post into the ground, and proceed to we staple the barbed wire onto it.  We put in about 7 posts. There is nothing like using a sledge-hammer to fix those upper arms. After we finish that job, we go into the house, and my sister comes for coffee. She remarks on our matching outfits. Ha. Ha. Couture Coveralls.

After she leaves,  we decide to paint the window trim. My brother had replaced my mom’s window and the trim needed done. So out comes the paint, brush and I paint.  That completed I decide to go to bed, more like collapse into bed.

In the morning I  have a coffee while I repaint the window trim.

My Mom had made the coffee and was chatting while washing dishes, for heaven forbid she have a dishwasher, what would she do all day! Her words not mine.

I go outside and start to remove the shingles off the dog house     and begin re-shingling it. My Mom heads off to feed some chickens, cats and the cattle still at the farm.

I need to work fast on the dog house as I need to pick my daughter up that day. Which perhaps might be a good thing, can I keep up to my Mom? Will I need a holiday from my holiday?

This was a great holiday, I love being busy and love working on actual work. I may have just needed to be in a training program.

I often wonder how my Mom is so healthy, fit and spry and perhaps it is because her days are always like that. In the city you see people out running, and hitting the gym, perhaps they just need to go to farm camp. Hmm….might be a little business for my Mom.  She could get some help and they could get fit.

She could call it Pat’s pounds, or Keeping up with Mom, or Farm Fitness or …….the Biggest Loser on the Real Farm.

Raining raining,raining and raining……

Umbrella with raindrops

Umbrella with raindrops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is raining like crazy where I live….the hard downpour kind that has you rushing from your car to your house or the store. The kind that can destroy the perfectly straightened hair right from the iron, the kind that makes you realize, that no you did not clean out your gutters and the kind that makes you stay inside. Personally I like rain and I admire nasty weather. It is nature having a temper tantrum.  I feel like regardless of the progress in the world and our cushy life made easy by inventions, the weather can bring everything to a halt.
Rainy days to me, feel like a day off. It gives you permission to bake glorious cookies and loafs, permission to watch tv, read a steamy novel and to not exercise. It is suddenly okay to be a coach potato and to eat comfort food in your fuzzy clothes.  When the sun is out, it seems a waste if you are not basking in its warmth, soaking up that Vitamin D, it is a shame to not seize the day. But with rain, if you go out for a walk, or go running, people either admire you, well or think you are nuts.
So tonight I am making white chocolate blueberry scones and watching trash  television! Bring on the Bachelor!!  Let it Rain!

Making Me HAPPY !!

Running (Evermore song)

Running (Evermore song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes I know once again ALL ABOUT ME! Well recently I did a stint in an office. Trying something new.

What it has done was to make me grateful for the many lovely things i have in my life.
1. I now appreciate being outside, part of the day, all of the day ,  just being out one with nature and all of it glory.
2. Being with my kids; gosh I know, very corny, but if you work to 5, get home at 5:30 and kids go to bed at 8, very limited interaction.
3. Exercise; I love fitness. So even though I am walking at lunch and do pilates at the photocopier, it is not the same. I have not had a great run or sporting event in days. I miss it.
4. A tidy house; no I am not an A personality or a drill sargeant about cleanliness, but a tidy house makes me happy.
5. Grocery Shopping During the Week; Shopping on the weekend is chaos, you need a full set of body armour just to get down the aisles. No loitering allowed.
6. Prep-time for Supper: So yes I pre-made meals for the week, but it is pretty hard to have fresh nann bread or delicious gravy if you need to eat right  now.

7. Reading the newspaper: I usually read the paper, maybe do the crossword, but now have no time. And although I often scoff at it and critique it, still miss that.

So the thing is I need the outdoors, exercise and some household order for me to be at my best. Life is short, do it right. Enjoy!!!

Schools Out for Summer!!

Technology Map - Tutornet

Technology Map – Tutornet (Photo credit: steven w)

Yes, school is out for summer. Those glorious days of no planned activities, lazying about and enjoying life.

Well a few years ago that is exactly what we had planned, nothing, and it was a capital M…Mistake. It sounds great but what happened was lots of bickering and fighting between the masses.  By the end of the season I was almost leaving some offspring in Walmart, yes I know very funny. Except it was NOT.

So now every year we have a week or so of easing into summer, sleeping in, playing and watching a little tv. But now I book a few camps. One child is doing 2 weeks of swim camp, a couple others 2 weeks of a daycamp with great fun activties, we have a week of power skating, a week of job training and 3 weddings to attend. We are also going to the lake, several times, the amusement park lots and going to sleep in the backyard. Oh yes, we are hitting the driving range (my choice), ohhh batting cages (my choice)  and Mac’s for a slurpee(kids choice) and making perogies.  We also plan to do a week at the farm, that is always fun. You know safe fun, riding in the back of a pick up, horse back riding, throwing rocks, and holding baby kittens.

I like the idea of loosey goosey but it does not play out for continous happiness. Sometimes we all need a bit of a plan or schedule, the trick is not to wait too long or else it is all booked up by Moms like me who have learnt the hard way.

How Do They Do IT!!

Housewife

Housewife (Photo credit: garryknight)

Generally I am a stay at home MOM, or Domestic Goddess as I like to say.  But this week for a “stepping out of the box “moment I am working. That’s right you got it, working in an office. So it is kinda cool, to get up, dress nice and do your hair. It is nice to challenge your brain just a bit with invoices and files and to talk to new and different people.

Now I realize there is a lot of parents who do this 40 hours a week, every week, but how?  Honestly I found my entire Sunday was spent cooking preparing for the week’s meals, I miss exercising so much, that I walk on my lunch break and once home find myself hugging my kids and trying to hand out quality attention in such a short time. Last night I even set a timer for half an hour and allotted each child with that much time,that I would do what they wanted.  FYI, for one we played school, made a craft that she thought of, another had me help her with her nails and do her hair, another wanted to play Uno, and another talk about a final exam, all great. I think they liked having the choice. But there was still laundry, some tidying and a few household business items to do. There was no down time. I realized any “ME” time was the time at work.

There is no better choice, stay at home or work, it is just what is a better choice for you. So my congratulations goes out to moms who do that every day, all day without fail.

You are amazing!

 

 

The Sweetest Thing

Math Dances

Math Dances (Photo credit: Dylan231)

School is on its way out!! That’s right just a day or two more and all of my crew are off for the summer. The crazy thing is that they are not in the same schools or even the same systems so everyone has a different schedule. So gradually we have been having backpacks come home bulging with half used supplies, projects and yech! leftover lunches!!!

But my youngest brings home a package yesterday that is all wrapped up so sweetly. When we open it, there is a string that is the height she was the first day of school, a hand drawn picture of her and I and a photo that the teacher had taken. The string was now several inches short, and when I saw it realized, it is  the gift that gives you the hot brownie fudge melting inside your heart. It was an adorable idea from a teacher, an idea that probably took an entire class to implement. Often at schools I have seen many enrichment programs going on, that I wondered “when are they teaching math”, but this is an idea I really appreciate.

So thank you, Mrs. C!