Thursday, June 27, 2013

She Loves Me… She Loves Me Not.

She most definitely loved me.
I miss my Daisy Marie every single day...
Taken: June 23rd, 2013
I am sure it's purely a coincidence but You’ve Got Mail ranks right up there as one of my most watched movies of all time.

One of the most memorable scenes for me is when Tom Hanks goes to her apartment to bring her flowers and try to start anew. He brings her a bouquet of daisies. 

“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower” she asks? For a number of very personal reasons, I couldn’t agree more.

I was about to tackle the lawn at the cottage (for the first time this season) last Sunday when I stood in amazement at my beautiful sea of daisies. I was in awe as I watched Dot wade through the white and yellow and green foliage. If there's one word I would use to describe our moment it would be peaceful. As I do in 99% of my ah-ha moments, I reached for my camera.

I've taken a bazillion pictures over the years but this one is truly very special. As I bent down I uttered the words "I love you Daisy Marie..." The bizarre thing is that Dot moved in to smell the flowers and literally held her pose. Once again, it was like the three of us were reunited. It's hard to believe that she left me over a year ago this month. It's even harder to believe is that she still preoccupies my thoughts.

June is a roller coaster month for me emotionally. So many highs to acknowledge and so many lows to revisit. As I snapped the pic, I was quickly reminded that June 23rd was the very last day I laughed with my father before he passed. Yet taking the photo, I wasn't even remotely sad.

With my glass half full, I instantly told myself that my beloved Daisy Marie didn't want me to spend the day alone. How silly is it that as I snapped the photo I could feel my father's hand touch my shoulder.

Truth be known? There were really four of us present in this very special moment...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 24th, 2012? A Biggie For Me…

GOOB & Me at Actinolite
Taken: June 23th, 2012.
It was exactly a year ago yesterday that I sat outside the King Eddie Hotel in downtown Toronto sobbing as I prepared for my journey back to Muskoka. 

If I close my eyes I can see the bench I sat on that morning; I was outside a Starbucks, my eyes were damp, and I began to lean on a friend via BBM.

My memory of that very moment's vivid; it was a Sunday morning, and I felt totally lost and alone in my dark thoughts. 

My biggest problem? There wasn't a GPS nor flashlight anywhere in sight to help me find my way!

A year later I feel sorry for my poor David; in hindsight I was leaning on him far more than I should have. In retrospect, he valiantly carried me. I hadn’t been diagnosed as depressed, but 365 days after the fact, I am convinced that bothersome stray cat was scratching really hard at the screen door.

The only thing I didn’t do was fold like a lawn chair and let him in. You have no idea how easy it would have been to open the door and welcome the company. I wanted to. I just never did. I worked really hard every single day (for the next several months) so I wouldn't have to clean the litter box.

I am reflective for a couple of reasons tonight. Today is the first anniversary of one of my lowest points personally during a very trying time. I didn’t go to work yesterday. It wasn’t a vacation day, I called in sick. Not because I was feeling blue but the exact opposite. My driving need for a sense of accomplishment had me rendered completely exhausted.

I'm in a great place. Matter a fact, this summer I am going to hold myself accountable rather than look to those around me to blame for my being a bitch. Blame is nothing other than a lame excuse. That said, there are a very small handful of people in my life that need to just go away.

Departure isn't needed because I am mad or upset, but rather it's time to let go of the outside influence that breed self doubt. As bizarre as it sounds, I don’t want them to go away mad, I just want them to go away. As I resign myself to the reality at hand, I only have one other thing to say.

You know who you are...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Smartie Is Coming Home!

Taken: 2007
For a girl that's lucky to get one surprise a year, this past week officially delivered my 2013 ditty.

I can’t describe the excitement I felt yesterday when my very bestest friend in the whole wide world confirmed that he was making an unexpected trip from the Yukon (home to Ontario) in less than a month.

As I have said before, the 5,675 kilometres that separates us is insignificant; at the end of the day unconditional is exactly that, which is how I would describe our friendship. It works because we make it. We care. It's as simple as that. That said, this is the first summer visit since he's moved, that I am going to him instead of him coming to me in Muskoka.

Though he did live in Muskoka for almost 20 years, outside of me living here it really is no longer a focal point for him. His family vacations on an island in the Kawartha’s (which is where he’ll land after his meetings in Ottawa). As a result, I am going on a road trip.

I know our time together will pass crazy fast. We communicate in one form or another almost every single day, but there’s nothing like spending time together face to face. I enjoy hearing him laugh but seeing him laugh is the absolute best. The second best thing? Seeing his entire family. Close third? Fishing at dawn and not saying a single word to each other, just enjoying the one thing we rarely get to enjoy.

Each other’s company!...I can hardly wait!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Congratulations Auntie Cai!

My Auntie Cai is at the tippy top of the heap in my books. You know the type? She defines "the kind of person I want to be when I grow up!" Though I know she'll smile at my humour, she knows that I've always had an absolute respect for her from a very young age. 

My Auntie Cai at her 80th Birthday Party
Taken: November 2012
She’s 80 now, which makes no matter when it comes to her (because 80 is her new 60). I am proud to announce that she was just named the Lucile C. Jolette Volunteer of The Year, in the town where she has lived almost her entire life.

After reading the article that was written for her in the local newspaper I was moved. I can envision her accepting her award. She'd be humble for sure,  but I would hope she would have accepted her award with bells on.

She has the most amazing bells: dressed to the nine’s, she'd be wearing a smile that would score low as a twelve on a scale of one to ten. What can I say? She has a great spirit and this indescribable energy! 

She's smart, honest, fair, but most of all (growing up with a mother that was stringent) she's always been bat shit crazy fun. Don't get me wrong;  she'd  listen to your plight, hold you accountable for your crap, but always help you find the way. She'd help you understand the really hard journeys, and make you will yourself strong enough to take them. At least I know she did that for me.

I wish I could share the article written in her honour. It wraps up with “Cai is tenacious and faithful to causes to which she invests her time…” I am so very proud to be one of those causes. I am proud to admit that I've raised my kids the way she helped raise me; hands on, with honesty, support, and great lines of open communication. She showed me the way, and for that I am forever grateful.

Congratulations on being named Volunteer of the Year Auntie Cai. Just like your own, I love you very much.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Just Always Find A Way...

Make me laugh and we're golden.

Yesterday my very favourite client called to pick my brain; “I know it’ll only take me 45 seconds” he said, “but I value your opinion just the same”.  Laughing, I asked what he needed.

He’s a very successful downtown Toronto lawyer with a great place in Beaumaris. My other important notable? He could very well be Canada's Worst Handyman. 

Seriously, if I had a dime for every time he said "I could do the work myself but..." I would single handedly be able to pay his very expensive land tax bill!

Anyway, for the third summer in a row we’re doing work at his place. Low and behold, he called because he wants to do a renovation to his pool area. After talking about his options, we both agreed on what would look and work best.

So, after ten minutes of sarcastic banter, he finally confessed that he doesn’t really need the name of a contractor per say, he needs a favour. Kind of a “who can you have at my place to meet me this Saturday?” I agreed to call in a marker on one condition. I would make the call but stipulated  "he's my friend... so whatever you do... DON'T cheap him down!" I did use an ethic reference but you catch my drift.

All joking aside, I am so glad that I could help Dave by just picking up the phone. Glass half full? That Grant unconditionally offered to help me help Dave no questions asked.

Could it be that my energy feeds the brightness the others offer me?

I most certainly hope so... I really do most certainly hope so!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy 85th Birthday HervĂ©…

Morning coffee on the very last birthday he was alive to celebrate.
Taken: June 2005
Today is June the 9th and it's the day my father was born.

Hard to believe if he were alive he would be 85 years old today. 

What I find even harder to believe is that he left me eight years ago this June 23rd. 

Makes no matter the lapse of time, as I think of him every single day.

I remember absolutely everything about my dad; the sound of his voice, the look in his eyes when he smiled, most importantly the love that he had for life. His work ethic was one thing but his loyalty to his family and his friends was so unconditional it bordered indescribable.

To this very day he remains the voice inside my children`s head, my husband`s closest confidant, and the spirit inside me to never give up and never stop trying. I use to think that my personal success came from my mother pushing me at the rink all those years. It may have been part of the foundation, but as a mother and wife I know that all the finishing touches were a tag team effort.

I couldn`t have done it without my husbands support, and he couldn`t have carried the kids and I without my father`s love and support. A cold beer in the carport is sometimes all you need when you've got three screaming kids and a wife/daughter that's a total bitch. That right there is the God honest truth.

Happy 85th Birthday Dad.

We love and miss you very much. xoxox

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Friday Night Fix

My morning went off the rails quicker than Charlie Sheen in a crack house. I'm not joking. At every single turn, I found unwanted stress. Not just stub your toe kind of stress, but the big stuff that emotional tsunamis are made of.

"The Lord helps those that help themselves.." my mother always use to say. This time last year, I would have booked an appointment with my Chiropractor to ease my body's tension and stress; nowadays, my needs are very different, so I quickly put my thinking cap on. With tears flowing again after lunch, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I needed to call and book a room.

No one will ever know... I thought. It’s a Friday night in June, there will be no one around. I had this surge of adrenaline, then I closed the office door and made the call before I changed my mind. “I’d like to book a room for right after work” I said. “Are there any available?” They have my credit card on file so there was no need to register. (Who says a small town doesn't have its perks?)

When I arrived, they were extremely accommodating. "Your room is waiting” she said. I closed the door, took off my clothes and looked lovingly at my old and dear friend. I have never been so happy to be in another’s exclusive company in my entire life.

Once I was finished, I left completely satisfied and extremely content. Tonight made me see the light. So much so that on the way out the door and whispered "just so you know... I really do love you... very much.”

My 1st Friday Night Special
Taken: June 7/13
I wish I could have heard those very words uttered back. I have always longed to hear "I love you too"  but not a single word was said. As always, I turned out the lights, closed the door, and headed home. 

Kind of sad really. When will they invent a talking tanning bed that can unconditionally return my love?

What the hell were you thinking?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

♪♫ ♪ Happy 21st Birthday You Two… ♫♪♫

I can’t believe it was 21 years ago tonight that I was lying in a hospital bed and my son Jamie was tugging at my arm saying “...come on Mommy, let’s just go home.” We’d prepared him for the fact that he was going to have a brother and sister, but it took the overnight separation (and two screaming newborns) to snap him into the reality at hand.

Yess-sir-ree! Twenty one years ago today our family was officially complete.

They arrived  two minutes apart. In a flash, two seven pound babies landed into my/our arms filling both our lives and our hearts. I hate to keep playing the time card, but where the hell did it go?

Where do I start? From the day they were born they were a team. One would cry, they'd both get fed. The other cranky, they'd both be amused. I swear from the minute they were born they had this cosmic plan. Silly or not after all these years, that early genetic chemistry is still very apparent today.

It’s eerily quiet night here tonight. It feels kind of weird. David and Tony are both working late and Thom took Staci out for a quiet dinner (because he knew that she was home alone with me). Yup, gone are the days of balloons and birthday cakes, not to mention hall rentals and kids puking from eating too many hot dogs. Too bad really... 

I am first to admit that I’ve led a sheltered life, but Staci & David birthday parties were always some very serious fun. Guess tonight is the end of an era. A day I never imagined would arrive.

NOT A CHANCE! I gotta pull all the stops out one last time this weekend. I know that they're 21 but I gotta have one last hurrah for Sweetie & Goob right? So the judge looks to the jury and Tony says... "ABSOLUTELY"!

Who says at 21 you're too old for a surprises? Happy Birthday you two. We love you very much.

Staci & Daviid's 18th Birthday - A good time was had by all.
Happy 21st Birthday. xoxoxoxo
Taken: June 5th 2010

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Just Been One Of Them Thar Days

I’m not sure if it’s the crappy weather, or that I'm just over tired; but I was genuinely off my stride today. I suppose it could be something as simple as the barometric pressure but I’m not entirely sure. 

Part of my problem was I was awake this morning before six and (no matter how hard I tried) I couldn’t get back to sleep. I tried a movie, I tried a warm cup of water with lemon, I tried counting sheep, nothing worked. 

Serioulsy... This is how I've felt all day.
It’s literally been forever since I have felt funk instead of fab at the cottage; as a result, I just packed ‘er up, and headed for home.

The change of scenery of arriving home? Didn't help.

A relaxing hour long phone conversation this aft, a yummy Sunday dinner, an extra long tranquil bubble bath?

Not a single stinkin' solitary stitch of improvement!

What can I say, with the day almost behind me, I have very little idea why my day has presented itself as a glass half empty. Guess I'll need to think about it. Boy I hate that specific string of  words. They always seem to offer me far more trouble than they're worth.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day. As I grumble and slip into my jammies, I suppose I have to resign myself to the fact that I just absolutely hate the unknown. I can't stand when there’s something I can’t figure out. Kinda pisses me off actually!

Just sayin’

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pot Of Gold Anyone?

My photo does not do this perfect moment justice.
Taken: May 31, 2013
As I do every Friday, I had planned to golf last night. That said, Mother Nature had a different plan. As a result, I bolted out to the cottage like lightening ahead of The Weather Networks warning of it.

As I poured myself a glass of wine the sky opened and the mother-load hit; I love a good storm, and with no lighting on the radar, I stood in the rain and kept Puddin’ fetching a tennis ball in and out of the lake.

What can I say, Dottie would participate in no such nonsense, so after dinner, it was Dot’s turn for a treat.

...Out we went in her favourite boat that floats.

The lake was like glass. The bugs were at bay, and we were all alone. Peddling along, and singing out loud to my pups, I glanced over to find this breathtaking site.

I instantly began sending it to friends that can relate. People that work with people for a living, and strive every single day to encompass a “glass half full” mindset. One friend instantly responded with the obvious question.

"Did you find the pot of gold?" he asked. "Not yet" I said. "But I feel there's hope."

His response both warmed my heart and made me smile.

"I agree..." was all I read.