Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Radical parenting

So... I read a fabulous article written by former Calgary AP Mama, Tabitha Tucker, someone I know, personally and whose quiet activism has inspired me.

A link to the article is here:

Tabitha, thanks for your honesty and for your example!!

For all you mothers out there who think being a stay at home mom is the easy, lazy way out, or that trusting your kids to someone else to raise them and teach them values is more respectable than the former... I challenge you to read this article.

For those who've read it, what do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hippie Role Models

So...(I begin a lot of sentances with So... Don't I?)... my parents were hippies. I was born in the 70's and I remember wearing bell bottoms and my parents smoking pot and spending a lot of time outside, in the wilderness and with family.

In fact, I grew up with a LARGE hippy/Catholic extended family...that, with few exceptions, lived very close.

I remember listening to ABBA, CCR, BTO and a lot of mid-late 70's music... including Pete Seeger.

For those of you who don't know who Pete Seeger was, here is some cool wikinfo:

One of my favourite Pete Seeger song is "If I had a Hammer". It illustrates how 'Before his time' Pete Seeger really was... the free-thinker, the activist, the environmentalist... he is truly amazing.

The neatest thing about this peace-loving song is that he wrote it in the 40's... long before most people were talking about peace and love.

"There is no such thing as a wrong note, as long as you're singing!". - Pete Seeger

words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening
All over this land
I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land
I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Accidents, rain and silver (gold) linings...

Soo...I was involved in a little accident on Monday. Actually, my car was written off and I had a CT scan (n visible brain damage...but it's the invisible stuff we are most concerned about).

I hit my head and suffered through three days of something called a "post-concussive" headache (basically open skull, poke brain with sharp object repeatedly). It was terrible... I took narcotics.

I went and saw Dr. Rob at Gateway, who fixed me up and when I woke this morning, my headache was mostly gone. No more percocet.

I still hurt, but it is a reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to have walked away with only a concussion and whiplash (medical disclaimer: that we know of). The person who rear-ended me at high speeds actually flipped his own vehicle and was transported to the hospital on a spineboard after being extricated by EMS.

Here is the back of my car.

Liam's carseat could not be extricated... thankfully both boys were safe, at home, with their dad.

The silver lining in all this is that we will get a new car...mine is totalled! WooHoo!

I am hoping to purchase a lovely crossover vehicle frm some friends who are offering it to us for a VERY reasonable price... please cross your fingers for us that this will work out.

On another topic...RAIN!?

While it is great for my garden, it feels like fall... I feel like I should be making soup right now.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lovely evening... longing.

We went for a long bike ride this evening. It was so nice.

We saw a young buck deer with velvety antlers, a jackrabbit and, of course, a number of dogs... all of whom strained at their leashes to come play with our boys!

I haven't had a proper helmet for years. I have a ginormous head and have a hard time finding a helmet to fit. The other day, in Winners no less, Alan found me a helmet that fit perfectly!

Tonight after dinner Parker annunced that we were going for a ride... all of us!

Liam rode the trail-a-bike, happily, for the first time. He has always preferred the baby seat on Alan's bike, but he is growing up so much and making so many gains, I was hardly surprised when he opted for the bigger, more exciting option!

Parker rode his new bike, of course. He is a pretty confident rider and I was proud to see him zooming along, aware of his surroundings and following instructions.

I trailed behind them a little, watching all my men happily.

The wind was cool and gentle and refreshing and the sun slowly set in the West. I saw the sky glow a beautiful apricot colour behind tall pine trees.

One thing I truly love about living in Wildwood/Spruce Cliff is the quiet, small-town feeling. The houses are older and the trees are mature and stately.

When the wind blows you can almost imagine yourself in a forest... so quiet.

It is times like these that I long for home... The solitude. The silence. Acres of untrodden snow. Wild berries and windy paths.

I am so blessed to have been raised in such a beautiful place... but always, I long to be there.

Some nights I lay in bed looking at the silhouette of the tall tamarack on the drapes in my bedroom... when I close my eyes, I am 8 years old again, walking, unafraid, in a field of wildflowers.

I am free...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Voluntary Simplicity

So... we live pretty simply.

I know that if Alan accepted a job in mainstream O&G and worked a LOT more hours, we could have a bigger house. We could have a fancier car. We could go on cruises, have a larger TV and more mad money... but the thing is, we don't want to.

We want him to come home every night by six pm.

We want to have evenings to spend together.

I want to be home with my kids every day and to be the person who gets to see them grow and develop.

I want to have time to help people around me when they need it, rather than being so over-scheduled that I am physically or emotionally unable.

I know many wealthy people. Very few of them are as happy as we are in our tiny home with our sub-compact car and our vacations with family or in the mountains.

I see so many people buying, buying, almost seems like an attempt to feel happy and successful... but they don't seem to realise that happiness and success are not available for purchase.

Happiness and success are grown and nurtured in one's own home.

I spent this afternoon baking brownies with Parker. He loves to cook. Then we layed in the hammock and read some from the Spiderwick Chronicles.

We ate brownies rocked and laughed and I realised that no car or house or trip or "stuff" could make me feel as content and happy and successful as spending an hour rocking in a $20 hammock with my 6 year old.

To learn more about the Voluntary Simplicity movement, visit the link below:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


So...the past three weeks has been absolutely NUTS!?

My Dad and Step-mom came to visit. I was shocked. I am so conditioned to expect him to bail out at the last minute or try and control or change things that I had written off him ever following through with this... but, they did come and it was a nice visit.

While they were here, water started leaking trough our kitchen ceiling. It did not stop. It happened at odd times, like at night when nobody'd showered or bathed since morning. My Step-mom insisted we speak with someone to have it fixed. See, the problem is that this has happened SO many times since we've lived here and they've only employed stop-gap measures which never worked in the long run.

So, we had someone come in, and I became the squeaky wheel.

So, after living in a hotel and with kind friends for over a week, we have an entirely new bathroom (okay, we DID pay for the new dual-flush toilet and vanity out of pocket), but it is lovely and new and SO nice!

We also seem to have fixed the leak, so no water coming through the ceiling any more... new ceiling... no mold.

Before we could move back in my Mum called and let us know she was coming for the weekend. I was so exhausted from driving P back and forth from where we were staying and camp and drinving to every home-improvement store buying fixtures, paint and caring for Liam.

Mum was due Saturday morning and we, thankfully, had a toilet by Friday afternoon. I was feeling pretty exasperated by Friday night, had a sore throat... but friend was having a jewelry party and I really wanted to support her, s I went and had a nice time.

I was in my own bed by 11pm and started having chills by 11:30. Chills turned to shaking, fever and general 3:30am I woke Alan up and I had a terribly high fever and he says I was incoherantly babbling about planetary alignment.

So, I spent most of the weekend sick... my Mum came anyway (I hope you are still heathy, Mum...:( ) and popped pills every 4-6 hours.

Last night I looked up "cold" in my Louise Hay book and it says it's caused from too much going on around you, etc, etc...I had to laugh... I think I may qualify.