Thursday, August 01, 2013


As my life has changed, so has my location.  You can now find me at

Come hang out if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

C'est fini - my last blog post

It's been coming for awhile, but today I have decided.  It's over.  I'm done.

Those who've read this blog for the last 7 years have been with me through the first year of my mother's death, the breakup of my long term relationship, buying and selling many houses, having a litter of puppies and keeping half of them.

You've encouraged me during dark times, supported me in light times, laughed at my follies, cried at my failures.  You've participated as I branched out to find love, you've been part of my wedding, and you've gotten to know my husband through these pages.

But, the time has come for me to move on.  It used to be, I wrote what I was thinking here because I had no where else to put it.  Now I share my stories and my heartbreak with The Guy.  It's a private affair.

Who knows?  Maybe I'm growing.

Anyway, this isn't the place I want to be any more.  I said the other day "The Internet is boring me."  And so it is.  Real life is where I want to be for now.  That may change, but I'm happy with the decision.

I'll let you know if that changes.  For now, I just want to say thank you for coming along for the ride.

For all those who have Facebook or Twitter, feel free to friend or follow me.  (I haven't given up on the internet all together.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The thing about stuff: living in a material world

I have a lot of stuff.

I think it's hereditary.  My whole family has a lot of stuff.

My paternal grandparents had two farm houses and numerous barns full of stuff.  Every thing they ever bought or received lined the walls and covered the surfaces.  My uncle took over the farm recently and is happily adding to the collection.

The maternal side had less and was tidier about it, but had stuff nonetheless. When we moved my maternal grandmother into her most recent home, she had two full drawers of torn pantyhose and over 20 styrofoam meat containers.

I used to think that my immediate family was better about having stuff.  I was wrong.  They just had different stuff.

My mother had scrapbooks filled with things she had gathered over the years.  Comics, cards, sayings, articles.  My father gathered books.  We tease that we didn't need to go to the library to do history papers, we just went to Dad's library.  That fact became less funny when Dad went to Ukraine and I got left with boxes and boxes of his books.

The rest of us aren't much better.  None of my siblings have met a book we didn't like.  It's a sacrilege in our family to get rid of books -- even for a good cause.  Add to that children's toys, school keepsakes, knick knacks, and more, there is a ton of crap out there.  I have my share.

What to do with it all is plaguing me.

I keep asking myself: Who is going to want all this when I die?

The answer for most people of what is going to happen to all their stuff is that their children will inherit it and keep it and cherish it.  They believe that because they worked to get it, their descendants will care about it and thus justify it's existance.

When The Guy and I discovered we couldn't have children, I started thinking about the things I have spent my life accumulating.  Suddenly, most of it became like an albatross hanging around my neck.
I am not quite at the point of having a garage sale, but I am questioning what's important after all.

Turns out, it's not what I thought.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Beards are gross

A friend's class is putting on a play where each of the characters has a different coloured beard.  She asked if I would make the beards for them.  I had the greatest time so I have to share my handiwork.



Here is the entire set of beards for your enjoyment.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Pork chop around my neck.

I admit it.  I have a problem.  I love dogs.  I have a seperate file of dog pictures for every vacation I go on.  Coming to this site, you might all think I'm unbalanced, but the truth is... well, yes. I am.
Without further ado, I give you: Dogs of Cuba 2011

resort dog
This is our resort Monty. Except she's a girl.

My favourite dog on our whole trip, this litle resort dog captured my heart the first day.  She was obviously the outcast of the pack and was alone at all times except when she crept up to the cats on occassion.  The cats left her alone and let her be, but the other resort dogs made sure she didn't stick around long if they were there.

She lived in one small section of the resort and came out most ni the early moring.  She would not come near any of us (except for one friend who was the luckiest ever) and only after 2 weeks came within a foot of The Guy.  I tried to tempt her daily with bacon, but she ran each time.

When no one was around, or just not looking, she would play and run and jump.  She ran playfully after couples (including myself -- she brushed by my skirt) and did circles trying to bite her own tail.  She lapped up the pool water and slept on the beach chairs.  But if anyone looked at her, her tail went as far under her butt as it could and she slunk away.

I wanted to bring her home, but figured that would not go well for any of us.

restaurante dog
Paladar dog.

This dog was at a house where we had lunch in Old Havana.  She is strictly a house dog who came next door to the Paladar (a home restaurant) to see if we would feed her. We did.
Okay, I did. But look at that face.  Could you have resisted?

weiner dog
Dog by the door.

This little guy lives with numerous families. They don't own him, he owns them. He has a collar though, which is a new thing for Havana dogs. On the day of this picture, he was waiting on the steps to be let into the building where he visits the old man on the 3rd floor. If you walked by, he would bark and look at you until you opened the door.


These guys wandered along in Varadero one evening. The littler one jumped about while the big one lumbered down the road. I couldn't help but want to follow them on their adventures.

For the entire catalogue of Dogs of Cuba (years 2011 and 2012) go here.
Don't judge me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My life in 5 places - Cuba

If you had to describe your life in five places, which sites would you choose and why?
First, I described my childhood home and what it meant to me.  Second, I told you about my summer getaway.  Third, about my very first home I ever owned.
I thought it was fitting that my fourth post would be about the wonderful place where I am currently sipping pina coladas.  (Well, okay, not as I write this.  I'm sitting on my couch with the dog, but when you read this? Pina Coladas.)

026 Barlovento - W
Our home for the next two weeks

This is my third trip to Cuba.  It has become a place of escape for The Guy and I.  We love it and would go back a hundred more times except that I have told The Guy that I would like to explore a bit more of the world first.
041 Varadero - W
Downtown Varedero

Cuba is a wonderful place.  I know, I have extolled it's virtues here before, but I could do so every day.  It is a place full of history and beauty, of dancing and music, of architecture and colour.  I have done amazing things in this country -- I swam with dolphins and almost drowned The Guy, I went snorkelling and almost drowned myself, I walked up the stairs of a 200 year old church, and I held a menagerie of cool animals.

Cuba has also been a place where The Guy and I have been able to reconnect.  When you have two people who work ridiculous hours, it is often hard to spend the kind of time necessary to maintain a good relationship.  When you are running from here to there and back again, it is hard to remember to stop and say "Oh, hey.  There you are."  Two weeks in a place where we have no expectations, but to eventually roll out of bed and hit the beach,  makes it a bit easier to get back to where we were.

464 Havana - love - B
Twue Wove

But the best part of Cuba is the people.  They are kind and happy and fun.  They always have a smile and will do whatever it takes to help you out.  They work harder than any people I've seen and the women are always wearing panty hose despite the 30 degree (celcius, of course) heat.

Havana mom and girl
How can you not love a people like this?

Monday, January 16, 2012

My life in 5 places - my first home

If you had to describe your life in five places, which sites would you choose and why?
First, I described my childhood home and what it meant to me.  Then, I told you about my summer home.  Now, it's about my very first home I ever owned.

Chinook Road
For most of my life. the only thing I ever really wanted was a house of my own.  My mom and I spent hours going through magazines and the Sears catalogue cutting out pictures of things we could decorate with if we only had the money.  For both of us, having a home where people could come and be themselves was top on our lists.  Let the rest of my family travel.  I want my own bed.

When my mom died, I used my inheritance for one thing I knew she would understand.  A BRAND NEW CAR!!!!!!!  No, wait.  That's Price is Right.

What I did was use a big chunk of it for a downpayment on a house.  There were two reasons for this.  First, my dad did what they always tell people not to do in the first few months of grief -- he made major life decisions.  He sold the house where he, my mother, and my sister lived and bought a condo.  My sister was suddenly homeless and our family had no centre.

I spent a long time looking for the house of my dreams.  I'm sure we looked at 20 before I walked into the house on Chinook.  It was very 70s (and not the good retro kind) but I knew it could be home.  I bought it and less than two months later was in the doors.

Bronwyns house
My very first house.  It had a ton of hydrengeas which I happily tore out.
Much to the dismay of everyone else in the neighbourhood.

My sister, Lyn, was going to move in with me and we went to town picking out paint chips, deciding on room layout, painting, and deorating.  When the time came, I had a house that was almost totally me.  However, being the procrastinators we were (are), we decided to wait until we moved in to paint the kitchen.  In 3 years, it never got done.  I left the paint for the next owners.

living room - the wall
My living room: Eggplant on the main wall, Lilac on the other.  
I bought the blue furniture brand new and won a trip to Mexico.

I loved that house.  Everyroom had my touch (except Lyn's... I wouldn't touch that if you paid me.) and it all meant a lot to me.  I scoured books to learn how to do electrical work and I changed every outlet on my own.  I fixed things and built things and hung shelves and pictures.  It was exactly how I wanted it to be.
It broke my heart that my mom couldn't see it.  But, I was doing what she couldn't anymore -- I was trying to create a home for my family to migrate to.

bedroom - wall 1
My bedroom displaying my paintings and the plant I kept alive for 3 years.  
Thanks to Ky.  She watered it everytime she came to visit.  Once a month.

Despite all the trouble there was in that place -- a ever-renewing lake in the basement, an entire yard of weeds that were supposed to be a garden, the biggest lawn known to man-kind -- it was my home.  I loved it.  I have a lot of great memories in that place.

When Ky moved in with Lyn and I, we were the happiest bunch of happies that ever happed.  We watched a lot of So You Think You Can Dance and ate a lot of take out, but we had a great time.  It was then the neighbours mentioned how great it was to see the place as it was meant to be.  They then explained how three spinsters had moved there in the 70s and they lived there until the last one of them died just before I bought the house.

I joined Lava Life the next day.  The rest is history.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My life in 5 places - North Battleford

If you had to describe your life in five places, which sites would you choose and why?
Yesterday, I described my childhood home and what it meant to me.  Today, I want to tell you about my home away from home.

North Battleford, Saskatchewan
I have to admit, when you think of a great place that impacted every moment of your life, North Battleford is not the place you normally go to first.  It is a small city (two small cities, really) on the road to nowhere.  It is a beautiful community with lots of greenery, a river flowing through it, and the worse options of restaurants in the province.  I mean, unless Pizza Hut and A&W are your thing.  Then you're golden.
For my family, North Battleford was the epicentre of our summers.  But not so much the town itself.  It was the little section of land off Airport Road where we grew up.  Sharon Schools.
Originally grounds housing a bible school and orphanage, this quiet little community made up of old airplane hangers and pilot barracks holds church camps at least twice a year.  My grandparents moved there in the 60s to take over supervising the orphanage and never left.  Grandma stayed nearly 50 years until we had to move her to a care home last spring.
My mother grew up here.  My grandparents adopted my two uncles and all but adopted my auntie.  My grandpa built the hockey rink every winter and tended flowers every summer.  Every hug my grandfather every gave me is here.  Every piece of advice my grandma gave is here. My mother's childhood is here.
My family spent a lot of time there and it is where my heart feels at peace.

North Battleford - tabernacle
The church at Sharon Schools.  Where my mom and dad got married.
As I planned to write this piece, I looked through all my photos for pictures to show.  I have none.  I went online and found some a friend had taken and he graciously allowed me to use them here.  Of course, he has none of my Grandparent's home, but he's looking through his files for me.  Sometimes, you are in a place so long, you forget that you might want to see pictures of it in the future.
Every year for a weekend at Easter and a week in July, between 300 - 500 people arrive to go to church meetings.  Everyone stays in the dorms that boast retro decor -- everything is from the 40s.  Not much has changed except the mattresses are no longer stuffed with straw.  We all go to church twice a day, eat together at the dining hall, play sports on one of the many areas dedicated to it, sit around the campfire, snack at the canteen, and soak up as much time with each other as possible.
North Battleford - H building
The H building (it's built in the shape of an H -- clever) and the men's dorm.

The girls all stayed in the girl's dorm at the far east end of the grounds.  From 13 years to married, we all crowded into 6 rooms with two plug ins and one mirror each.  One large bathroom to share and a furnace room that held all late night conferences.  I have so many great memories of that place -- staying up all night talking, singing as loud as we could, exchanging clothes, and laughing past lights out until the dorm mother came to yell at us.

Once I was too old for the dorm but not yet married (stupid old person biases on the importance of having a man in your life bollox) I returned to my grandma's home during those weeks.  It was then I got to rekindle my relationship with Grandma.  She has provided me with a lot of amusement, wonder, frustration and love.

North Battleford - main road
The main road from the centre of the grounds looking west.

This small area outside of the little city has been where I have experienced so much.  I have met life long friends, most of my old boyfriends, and people who have been my mentors and guides.  It has been a part of my life before I had life and will continue to be important to me for many years to come.  I know every inch of this land and have spent hours exploring every building and piece of grass.
It is the home of my family.  The home of my friends.
It is where I know I belong.
Please note: all photos used here have been genourously provided by my friend Dale.  He's a good chap.
Second note: This stupid post deleted itself twice.  The first time it was awesome.  The second time it was almost finished.  This last version will have to do or I am going to go postal.

Friday, January 06, 2012

My Jeep conspires against me

It started out like any other day.
I like to begin stories with that, even though it's not true.  It started out as a night shift and turned into the day that never ended.  Until 26 hours later.
At the end of November, my dad came from Ukraine to visit.  He spent a couple of days with The Guy and me before travelling on to visit his siblings and mine across the rest of Western Canada.  On the last leg of his journey, he returned to my fair city for another few days knowing this was the best way for both of us to keep from killing each other.
It's the same reason he moved to Ukraine.  He will tell you it was for his wife, but really it was so I wouldn't bury him in the front yard and tell someone the water main broke.
Somehow, it turned out that I was working nights for most of the time he was in town.  It worked out okay, he was busy enough during the day that he didn't need attending to until I'd slept.  We hung out the rest of the time and I went to work when the house headed to bed again.
This is a really long explanation for a back story.
The point was this: I had gone to work my last night shift before dropping Dad off at the airport the next morning.  I came home at 8am, packed up the Jeep, went for greasy breakfast, and I put him on the plane.  I was home and asleep by 10:30am and up by 3:30pm.  I knew I couldn't sleep too long for two reasons.  First, I needed to sleep that night and, second, my sister Ky was flying in that evening.
Poor The Guy was bombarded with my family for the entire month of December.  Yet, he still loves me. He's a treasure, that one.
Around 11:30pm, I dragged my tired rear end to the airport.  Monty accompanied me -- he loves car rides, Ky, and I knew I wouldn't be long.
Now, Monty weighs about 18 lbs.  Yet, if he sits in the passenger seat of the Jeep, it requests that I put the seatbelt on.  It also does this for my purse. And no, my purse weighs nowhere near 18 lbs.
In the past, I have wrapped the seatbelt around the back of the seat and buckled it in.  That way, the dog can sit comfortably (on the heated seats -- don't judge me) and I don't have to listen to the constant beeping that makes me homicidal.  It's a good system. Except that when I wrapped the seatbelt, it got away from me, wrapped around the head rest and stuck there.
At the airport, I wrestled with the stupid seatbelt, but couldn't get it loosened.  Frustrated, I jumped out of the Jeep and ran into the building because I was late.  On the way in, I realized -- I had no idea where I left my keys.  I mulled that around my brain a bit, searched my purse repeatedly, and waited for Ky to land.
Dragging her 400lb suitcase to the Jeep, we peered into the window.  There were my keys.  On the passenger seat.  Under the dog.  Son of a...
I tried to get the dog to dance around enough he'd accidentally open the door.  He's accidentally locked it before, so I figured it was a possibility.  After a few minutes (longer than I like to admit) I had to break down and get Ky to call CAA.
When they arrived, I offered them the dog in payment.  They broke into the Jeep in less than a minute (COMFORTING) and we were on our way.
Ky had to sit in the back seat.
Stupid seatbelt.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I know I am loved

In an effort to look forward, I am making the choice to remember the things that make every day better.  I have been focusing on appreciating the things I have and a lot of those things are thanks to The Guy. We're coming up on 5 years together and it is because of him I'm not always curled up on the floor behind the couch hiding from the world.
When we focus on the negative things, it is easy to get overwhelmed. When we focus on the little things people do, we can see what good is out there. These are just a few ways that I know The Guy loves me.
  • Even when we've only been separated for a few minutes, his face breaks into a grin when he sees me across the room
  • Every time I walk past him, he uses it as an excuse to touch me.  Yes, it is usually to smack my butt or tickle me, but it's still reaching out
  • Almost without fail, he texts me first thing in the morning (either before I'm awake or when he gets up and I'm at work) to tell me he loves me and to wish me a good day
  • He lets me steal his iced tea because I'm too lazy to get some myself.  And, he only pretends to stab me with his fork when I do
  • He makes me a coffee and will even run me a bath to make my ease into morning better
  • He does the yard work and never complains
  • He remembers the recycling each time it's due to go out and doesn't tease me because I forgot.  Again.
No matter what happens in this life, it's the people who make the difference.  I wouldn't give up a moment of my life* with The Guy for anything.  Well, maybe a week or so if I got a million bucks for it.
But only if we could still text.

* changed from "lie" though I maintain it could have been correct.