Tuesday, October 30, 2012

♫♪♫ Deck the Halls with Sleeves of Golf Balls...♪♫♪

Driving home from the Fall Cottage Life Show Sunday night I made an executive decision. The decision's to get the hell out of here for Christmas and head south. Just like that, a road trip was born.

Dear Santa,
I've been a really good girl. Please bring sun
and make sure my putter shows up.
Thanks. R
Once I'd made the decision, it was like it was meant to be. I initially looked at a number of destinations; but after speaking with a very nice gentleman yesterday,  I've been busy dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s on a rental agreement. An agreement that will house me in a pet-friendly condo just 200 ft from the ocean in South Carolina. 

The upcoming festive season has been on my mind for quite a while. I guess driving home Sunday I finally asked myself "why wouldn't I do this?" 

As a family, we started heading south for Xmas when the kids were small. We always made reindeer feed Christmas Eve, and had a full Christmas dinner the following day. It was relaxing, it was different. I always loved that we'd have to wear sunglasses to drink our coffee in the morning. Just like me, the overall experience was unconventional.

There are a lot of really personal reasons I don’t want to hang around for the festive season. None which are applicable to this particular post (so be a peach and don't inbox me and ask why). I have invited the twins to join but no matter what they decide I'll leave once business officially closes for the break.

Based on my calculation, I will sleep just outside Washington DC the first night. Well rested, I will check in the following day with time left over. I'll do the groceries, put up a little tree, hang my festive lights on the balcony, and spit polish my golf clubs (not necessarily in that order).

In booking my stay I was told that in the off season "well behaved dogs can go off leash." I'm thinking that has to be better than a box of really great dog treats right there. What the girls don't know is that they have to be crated when I am on the golf course. 

NOTE TO SELF: Buy LOTS of really GREAT dog treats. The girls are gonna seriously be pissed at the amount of time they  have to be crated!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thanks Bossman. Greatly Appreciated!

Have you ever had a day when you take a step back and say “I am exactly where I need to be at this point in my life?” Well today was one of those days for me. Out of the blue I called on a friend; for help, reassurance, & support. It turned out that person just happened to be my boss.

With my children grown and gone, I look back and realize I really haven’t transitioned from very many jobs. The ones I have had, I've always tried to move forward, taking away something positive. 

I will admit, as a mature woman I have worked for different types of people. Some of those employers I considered mentors; one in particular will never EVER be on my Christmas card list, the other three land somewhere in between.

As I have blogged before, "I am one of the lucky in life that enjoy what I do for a living."

I find it funny when people pat me on the head and ask me if I’m still doing 'such and such'. Makes no matter to me; I may be 'small town' but I am anything but 'small minded.' I have never walked away from a challenge and I've always lived my life as if the sky's the limit. I am me and that's how I roll.

As the self professed "Post It Note Queen" at work, I couldn't resist this particular graphic. The graphic may be for effect but it's message is extremely sincere and very heartfelt.

Thanks Bossman! You have no idea how much your support means to me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Classic Sean Kelly... I Really Miss Him.

Backstage after performing the Pirates of Penzance
I woke up in the middle of the night last night. I’d been dreaming. I wasn’t scared nor startled; in fact, right before I awoke I know I heard music and laughter.  I'd been dreaming of Sean.

I was blessed to have known Sean Kelly the better part of my life. I think I was 16 the first time I babysat for him and Mary Ann.  They had a young family and lived in a beautiful century home; which has since been torn down and is currently the local fire department parking lot.

Like any small town, it was tightly knit. Growing up, my next door neighbour Joyce worked for Sean. Then, when we bought the house next to Rob and Connie, he'd always chat with me (both before and after then Men of Song rehearsed) over my chain link fence. We`d been acquaintances forever but it was our mutual love of music and theater that sealed our friendship.

From the very first time I stepped on stage he was right there with me. For six months a year, for almost a decade, we were inseparable. He`d always greet me with a hug and never be too shy to offer a new joke. Matter a fact, it was his encouragement that eventually led me to choreography. To this day, I remember how much fun I had teaching the boys to dance staging Guys and Dolls.

Yes, we had a blast. My phone would ring at the office and with not so much as a hello, I`d hear “do you know how cold it is outside today Rhondi?” To which my standard response was “...soooo cold you saw a lawyer walking down the street with his hands in his own pockets?!”

Roaring laughter was how we rolled, that was classic Sean.

I know it's been years; but to this day I miss the ability to pull up his lap. I'd hand him a quarter (he always made me pay to ensure attorney/client privilege) and I'd tell him what I had going on. I could tell him anything. He believed in me. I mean really believed in me and for that I am eternally grateful.

If I close my eyes I can take myself back. Thirty of us crammed into the guys dressing room at the Opera House and Ken would start; Sean, Liam, Paul, Tutti et all would join. The harmonies were crisp and sounded amazing. To this day, The Lion Sleeps Tonight is still one of my very favourite songs. The bass line in particular.

Thanks for the memories Sean. I miss you everyday and will love you always.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Time For A Good Fall Cleaning!

For whatever reason, I am feeling a little under the weather. The reality is today is the third day in a row I won’t be venturing into work.  At first I thought it was my body telling me to stop and regroup. This morning I am thinking it’s something much bigger than that.

Here’s a question for you? Have you ever had a “record scratch moment?” 

You know the type; when something happens and it’s like time freezes? All you hear is the needle dragging across the vinyl rrrrrrrrrrrrr and when it stops there’s just an eerie silence. 

I had three very personal “record scratch moments” in less than 24 hours this week. All three events involved completely different scenarios, each linked to very different facets of my life, each moment emotionally significant.

As I slept all day yesterday and tossed and turned all last night, I know it’s time. Time for a good fall cleaning. That’s right, time to take a good look around and start removing the excess emotional clutter.

Let's call a spade a spade. It’s been a hectic six months I completely get that. But I also know that a heap of emotion in my everyday life has truly subsided. Just as the leaves clutter up the front lawn and gully, for various reasons I feel a similar clutter in my thoughts. Hence my need for a good fall cleaning. The question is where to start? 

Maybe I’ll flip a coin. As a leader, I’ll want to be fair. I think the one side of my coin most definitely should be “never go to bed angry.”  Then, to honestly find balance, I must insist that the other side of my coin remind me that “I can’t want this enough for everyone else.”

Just like that, the clearing of clutter is underway!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Have Dogs Will Pedal…

Years ago I was given a five seat pedal boat from the guys developing the Birch Haven Resort property on Lake of Bays. It was never in great shape but hell FREE made it perfect. And from the time it landed in the water at Orilla Lake, it’s always been known as the boat that floats.

We have a water ski boat, as well as a row boat, but I spend the majority of my time in this kinda old plastic thingy that is really a sight for sore eyes. Why? I'll admit I enjoy the exercise but more importantly because my dog Dot is obsessed with it!

Sally, Dot, Casey & Goob
I guess the first dog to experience "The Beast" was Sally. In an effort to reel in the 'she terror' she was, we brought Dottie into the fold. Once Sally left us in July 2010, it quickly became evident that Dot was lonesome. I had always struggled with the Jack Russell tendencies Sally displayed but I absolutely loved her Beagle disposition. Hence my search for Daisy. She came to us via Kijjijji when she was five months old. 

Once I fully understood what a beagle needed, "The Beast" became an important tool to help Daisy exercise her nose. For hours at a time I would wander along the shoreline so that her sense of smell could get a workout. Never once did the boat that floats leave the dock without Dot in the back of it. 

Daisy n' Me
Dot and Daisy went together like peas and carrots. After Dot made it home and Daisy didn't, not only did she have to deal with the loss of her best friend, she was handed an eight week old puppy on a platter. 

When I moved to the cottage for the summer, the only thing Dot had that was hers was "The Beast". The pup was afraid of it initially, so naturally that was where Dot wanted to spend the majority of her time.

I remember making a promise that I would take her out for a pedal every evening and I did. By mid July, it was hot at night and Africa hot on the weekends. Made no matter to the dog. All I would have to say is one word "boat" and she was in it like a flash. 

With the summer behind me I would be remiss if I didn't say, "thanks Spottie Dottie!" My legs look amazing and that's part and parcel to you and your endearing obsession with the very ugly boat that floats.

My Sunbathing Buddy
My Reading Club Buddy
My Back of the Boat Riding Buddy
My Cavalcade of Colour Buddy

My Very Best Friend....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Six HENS None The Richer!

I love my HENS. I love the camaraderie we share, that we're all successful women, and that we always have a really good time. Who knew this silly lark would grow some legs and become somewhat of a sisterhood?

Due to a change in some regularly scheduled programming, this upcoming weekend has been postponed. So be it but suffice is to say, that our sisterhood reminds me of the afternoons I use to share when my children were small. A room full of like-minded women commiserating.

Back then we'd talk about which diapers were on sale and how long it had been since we'd last gotten laid. Must admit the latter produced the most round table banter as well as the most laughter and insight.

I was in heaven back then. Baby puke on my shoulder was how I rolled. Hanging the laundry outside on the line (because diapers and formula won out over hydro) was a given. Oh, and I made my own baby food. Let's face it; what else does a girl want to do other than spend every single Saturday with various fresh vegetables, boiling water, and a blender? Those were the days....

Seriously, twenty years later, the groups are the same but different. The HENS take me back to the MOMS. A time when I just wanted to have a minute and a half to myself. From the time I arrive in the hen house, I physically and emotionally decompress, exactly how I did with my coffee break crew as the children napped. That is the God' honest truth.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed this weekend didn’t work out. But at the end of the day, we are either all in or none of us are in. That’s what sisterhood is about right? And we are some crazy ass, really loud, fun loving sisters!

Monday, October 8, 2012

So Close and Yet So Far....

I remember the first summer I was away from home. I was living thirty miles south in an apartment with a guardian and four other figure skaters. I called home in the first week; I was physically exhausted, very lonely, and I remember it was a Thursday evening. I was crying. I asked for my dad. Without hesitation my mother yelled telling me to “stop it immediately and pull myself together”. To this day, it's been the most memorable life lesson about personal survival I have ever had. I was twelve.

Before David left last night we had an hour long heart to heart. It was genuine for both of us and (I feel) we were honest and sincere.  We spoke about how he was left in the city and assumptions were made about the situation he'd been placed in. Let’s just say, incorrect assumptions (on my part) were made. Yesterday the record was set straight.

I have always pushed my children. I have unconditionally supported them, and I have also stepped back so they could appreciate the dedication it takes to be successful. As discussed for the first time this weekend, nothing prepares a child to leave the nest. This weekend solidified that it’s not only my journey that has been difficult, so has theirs.

As a mother, it’s hard to admit that I've made some serious parenting mistakes, but I have. All three of my children are unique and as a result never a way to treat them perfectly equal.  It may not have always been equal but it's always been fair. That said, I am very respectful of the choices and the decisions they’ve made. Only time will tell them their true stories.
Just because you can't see me... Doesn't mean I'm not here.

As I sit at my desk this afternoon I am feeling a little like my pup in the picture. 

My children may think when they struggled the hardest I wasn’t there for them but that’s not true. I've never been out of earshot, my heart racing, a safe distance away. 

When it comes to David, I am glad he understands that I'll always be there for him.

All I can hope is that I will eventually be invited down the stairs. I have to think I will be but if I’m not at least now I will understand why.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let The Festivities Begin...

One more sleep and Thanksgiving weekend will have officially begun. When it comes to holiday celebration, this upcoming weekend has always been one of my favourites. 

Before I had children, there would be some juggling between in-laws but nothing too crazy. After the children arrived, Poppa’s Camp became our Thanksgiving hike and Easter was always celebrated with Grandma & Grandpa Peacock. 

Thanksgiving 2009 - Grandma & Grandpa Peacock heading home...
As the kids grew, Orillia Lake would rotate with Lake Temiscaming for our celebration of Thanksgiving  festivities.

After my father passed, The Peacock’s Nest (weather pending) was the place to be. It was where the entire clan would land. 

Grandparents, even great grandparents made the trek. Aunts, uncles, boyfriends, girlfriends, cousins sister’s dog’s uncles twice removed, have all dined with us. It’s extremely tranquil this time of year. Hard to explain; it's like the water and air speak, warning you of a significant shift in nature.

In keeping with 2012 as the "year of change", I'd like to announce that I'm not sure what is happening this weekend. Dave’s trip north is more like a play date, and it seems we have conflicting work schedules all around. Either way, I’ll take lots of pics of my chicks no matter what.

Admitting I am a bit of a control freak, I feel a little unsettled in leaving my much needed itinerary with the weatherman. First red flag is that I am leaving it up to a man, second is a valid Rhondi concern. Have you ever noticed that the weatherman is the only guy that can screw up at his job 100% of the time and never get fired? Seriously! 

All kidding aside, Canadian readers have a Happy Thanksgiving. American readers, you’ll have to wait. Apparently the best deals at Macys follow a parade hosted a large corporate adverting base with distribution rights belonging to General Electric (aka NBC).


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

3 Ring Circus Anyone?

"Start every day like it's going to be your best..." ~ Sir Tim Clarke (via Facebook)

(Heading to work 7:00am July 5th, 2012)
I woke up this morning and on a scale of one to ten I was a fifteen. 

From the time I opened my eyes and my feet hit the floor, I knew I was going to have a really great day. Fire engine red Rhondi was ready to go!

It was a perfect fall morning for my walk. Even though it was dark when I ventured out, my music choices set my stride as well as my mindset. My jaunt into work always prepares me mentally for the day ahead.

The day started top drawer but as it progressed the pressure cooker became a little more intense. Because I’m always the one motivating and reassuring, if I ever get quiet, the boys immediately call 911 and send in reinforcement. Today was Peanut M&M's which was totally amazing!

I’m not going to lie. I have so much going on in my life right now that the atmosphere is a little bit like a 3 Ring Circus. All three rings are definitely keeping me busy but in a great way. For the first time in a long time I don’t feel overwhelmed; I’m excited for everything I have going on in my life, and I am truly grateful for all the things I have to look forward to in the next six months.

The biggest change in me has got to be my attitude. Seems I can truly let go of what I can’t control. I wasn't capable of doing that a year ago, once again proving that personal progress is very empowering!