Showing posts from March, 2011

Better Living Through Chemistry

Well, you all know how I feel about drugs.  I'm not a big fan.  But there are days ... I had a bad day yesterday.  Well, to be honest, I've been having a bad couple of weeks.  Really, not a great 6 months.  I have not been able to settle my mood.  It's been up and down at least since September.  Most of the time it's been okay - so it's not like I've needed to be institutionalized.  I've held it together pretty well.  And I'm always trying to figure out the "why".  The truth is, there IS no "why".  At least not a lone cause.  At first I thought it was the job at the library (which probably didn't help anything, but wasn't the cause of any moods), then sugar (which certainly does make it worse), and then it was the stress of Christmas or work, then the stress of getting ready for vacation.  And now I'm pretty sure that the lack of sunshine and the continuation of an already interminably long winter is not helping.  But

Re-thinking Winter ... and Spring

Ah Spring ... crocusses, daffodils, cherry trees, breezes that promise the warmth of summer.  The springs of my Okanagan childhood began in March with dreary, dirty roads and boulevards, waiting for the street cleaners and grass to erase the evidence of winter sandings.  Winters started in November, sometimes December.  I remember a couple of green Christmases in there, and maybe only one Halloween when early snows made trick or treating unpleasant (maybe there we 2).  I spent hours at the living room window just wishing it would snow sooner (be careful what you wish for, little girl).  But by March we were usually mostly done with the snow and looking forward to better weather.  By spring break we were out camping (okay, usually it was a tad nippy, but we were still out there and there was sun).  But I no longer live in the Sunny Okanagan where 4 distinct (and equal) seasons greeted us each year.  I now live in Central Alberta - a very different geography and climate than the Okanaga

To Clarify

Just to be clear, folks, although I'd like more feedback from my faithful readers - most of whom are friends of mine - I don't require it.  I can tell how many people read each post.  And there are the regular folks who give me positive feedback and I really do appreciate it. My concern isn't with you guys ... it's with me needing that affirmation to feel good about it all.  I'm trying to be more Zen about it and just enjoy the writing, and trying not to require approval to feel good about the process. So I'm not asking for anything from you - although the comments I got back were really nice (Alva, you're funny).  I'm just working on my and "thinking out loud" so to speak. Sending out love ...

Blogging ... the ups and downs

I'm not entiredly sure why I started blogging.  I've always had topics swirling around in my head and a sometimes constant monologue going on in there as well.  I had things I wanted to say, and I sometimes considered something like a column in a local paper - but I didn't think I'd find an audience with that type of media in a small community. So when blogging became popular and I had several topics that I wanted to cover, I figured I'd go ahead and use it as my way to vent the monologue.  And it worked.  I've vented and written about several topics that were close to me.  It gave me a place to put my opinions and my stories.  But something darker lurked in the background.  My sense of self has become tied to the blog in some way.  When I write something and get a huge response, my heart soars.  But, on the flip side, if I write something and few people read it, I feel low - like I've disappointed my readers.  Or worse ... like it wasn't good.  And

More stuff about plastics

I just read an editorial piece talking about plastics.  I'd ask you to read it, but if you're too busy, here's the long and the short of it.  Plastic isn't evil.  It's necessary and good in many situations.  Just not as a throwaway material. My comment ... DUH!!  Most of the people I have read are really against single-use plastics.  Plastic bags, pop cup lids, straws, lighters, utensils, etc.  I've read of NO ONE who complains about their plastic keyboard or monitor (and although I'd like to see CDs and DVDs in paper sleeves, I do buy movies and occasionally music - thanks Great Big Seas for putting out your last two CDs in cardboard sleeves).  We need re-think plastic as not being disposable because it is too valuable to be - and this is the point that author is trying to make. As far as grocery store bags are concerned, the alternative to plastic is not paper - it is cloth (although in a pinch I'd rather take paper).  Reusable bags are what we sh

The long road to becoming a locavore

In the past couple of years, we've been looking into ways to eat more sustainably - that means buying locally or at least buying organic. We usually buy 10kg (22lb) bags of flour at the grocery store for something like $12-14 a bag.  It's neither local or organic.  It pisses me off.  So I looked into a couple of things.  Safeway sells 1.8kg bags of organic, whole wheat flour from SunnyBoy, which is a mill located in Camrose - about a half hour drive from our house.  The small bags that Safeway sells cost about $7 and are plastic (!).  So expensive and not good packaging as far as I'm concerned. So I e-mailed the SunnyBoy mill and asked if I could buy the organic flour in something other than plastic.  Sure enough, if you make arrangements, you can buy at 20kg bag from the mill and it comes in paper. The cost is $32 - making it slightly more expensive than the non-organic variety, but less than half the cost of buying it in the small plastic bags.  For a few dollars mo

Great Mother

So after writing the Horrible Mother blog (and crying a little), I felt better, and Daniel, after being upstairs in his room and doing his own thing (which included a little craft and playing with he Pokemon cards), was happy again.  I gave him a big hug and appologized for losing my patience.  And later, when he did spelling again (with his Dad) he got all the words right!  We did it again this morning with a little struggle, but hardly anything to worry about, and all was fine.  We had to start doing spelling every day after his grades started to slump.  And I'm happy to say that he's doing better now. I was contented this morning when Daniel and I cuddled on the couch while discussing the morning's news out of Japan.  He's a great kid.  And I'm a great mother.  I have my lost patience moments, and yesterday was one of them.  But I remain honest with him - I tell him that my patience is gone and that I really need for him to concentrate or not fool around - a

Horrible Mother

Today I feel like a horrible mother.  I was in a fine mood until I picked my lovely, wonderful son up at school.  And he started to spin like a top, and chatter on and on about Pokemon, and yammer on about nothing else.  Then, when we got home, it was like pulling teeth to get him to do his spelling.  Tears ensued (as they often do), but the spelling test is 2 days early this week because they have Thursday and Friday off, so if we don't get it right today, his spelling test results are bad (and on the report card he brought home yesterday, spelling had gone from an A to a B, so I'm focused on that a bit right now).  So I yell at him.  And get mad at him.  And hug him.  And he screws around.  And I get mad again.  It's like an evil little dance - with some tears being real and some being fake - and some of my anger being real and some just to get my point across. In any case now I feel like crying because I just can't get through to him without being mean.  And I do

St. Augustine, Florida

Went to a great place today - St. Augustine, Florida.  St. Augustine is touted as the oldest city in America.  It was a Spanish colony that was founded in the early 1600s, I believe - don't remember all the dates.  There's the old fort, a live interpretation area and a museum with lots of archaeologcial stuff in it.  I quite enjoyed the day. The first place we went was the museum with the archaeological materials.  I got to see a lot of things that I've only read about in books - I never get to do this early historic archaeology, so it was quite cool to finally see it first hand. Then we went to the live interpretation place - and had the BEST first-person interpretation tour ever.  Very clever, very funny and really well done.  Hat's off to the couple who did the routine.  The tour was through a plantation owner's city house.  What struck me the most was the sheer lack of materials in the house.  I used to see such as thing as just the lack of money or availabl

The Happiest Place on Earth ... makes me sad - CRAP!

(Karen G., you might not want to read this - I know you love Disney World, and I don't want to ruin it for you - so skip this one - or just read the last 2 paragraphs). Maybe my love affair with Disney is waning.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm still enjoying parts of our trip .  I still like the rides and the Electric Light Parade was cool given that I saw it in 1976 when it first started and am seeing it again 35 years later (a full-circle moment there).  Disney does what they do very well. We've been in Florida now for 4 full days.  We've done the Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios (Harry Potter World), The Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios.  It's a lot to do in 4 days.  Our 7-year-old would be happier to sit with Mommy and Daddy by the pool - the parks are a bit much for him when he spends full days there.  We've done a few rides - Pirates of the Caribbean is still a favourite, as is the Haunted Mansion.  But there are things about ME that h