Saturday, December 31, 2011

It’s Almost a New Year

Another year has come and gone. I hope it was a great year for everyone.

I had my ups and downs. I lost my Dad but I gained a brother, we added to our family when Astro joined us, I started my blog and it took us 10 weeks of fighting with our mortgage broker to secure our mortgage. I have to admit that all in all 2011 has been a very stressful year; I’m looking forward to 2012 being a much better one.

I know many people make New Year’s resolutions and while I have in the past this year I’m not going to do anything concrete. I normally do all the things you’re supposed to do to ensure a goal is real and not just a dream. I usually write it out and break it down and make it measureable – you know the drill; and I’m usually pretty good with following through but this year I’m just going to go with the flow. I’m going to have a few things in the back of my mind and work easily and gently towards them.

In 2012 I’m going to get my blog address changed (sooner or later), I’m going to get our work site up and running (sooner than later), I’m going to get organized (gradually) and I’m going try to manage my stress a little better than I have in the past. And most importantly – I’m going to do all this while being more compassionate with myself.

I hope you’ll take some time to acknowledge what worked for you this year and what didn’t and make any changes you think will help you lead a happier more joyful life.

Happy New Year.... Let’s make 2012 the best year yet!

See you next year.
Lot's of love,
Lynne

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Today is a day I usually look forward to. My shopping is done with the exception of a few little things and my groceries, so I would normally spend today wrapping all the gifts and getting ready for Christmas.

Here’s my tradition for the day - I brew myself a pot of tea, get all the wrapping paper and supplies ready near the kitchen table and then bring down all the gifts. I crank up the Christmas music and start with Shane (because he came first) then I move on to Bradley, then the dogs, everyone else and then lastly Jon. I drink my tea and enjoy the process; if by chance I’m still wrapping as dinner approaches I might add just a little nip of whisky to my tea....things get very creative then.

This year apparently I’ve stepped a little out of my box. Things were not as they usually are. My power was turned off this morning because our electrical panel was updated and our hydro service buried in the yard. I wrapped with no lights, no Christmas music and no tea.

Sometimes change comes whether we want it or not. I still enjoyed the day (even without the whisky!) but it wasn’t the same peaceful day I usually have while getting ready for Christmas. Maybe next year I will shake up my routine because I did something different this year – you never know I guess, but then again... I doubt it. J



Friday, December 16, 2011

Simple Christmas Pleasures

Yesterday I was lamenting about how I’m not yet in the mood for Christmas. It’s funny how sometimes a small thing is all I need to change my perception.

Wednesday afternoon I went shopping with a friend and while we both managed to pick up a few things we spent most of the afternoon chatting and dreaming about new shoes. Towards the end of the afternoon I was handed a Christmas card and it got me thinking how most of us (yes – me too) have given up on the time honoured tradition of giving cards this time of year.

I put the card in my bag and then the bag went into my trunk and my car ended up staying in Kanata overnight Wednesday. When I picked up my car and took my packages into the house I remembered the card. We already have a couple of Christmas cards kicking around the house; one from our mortgage broker that doesn’t even say Merry Christmas or the more generic Happy Holiday all it says is “thanks for your business, we appreciate your referrals.” (Note my sarcasm!) We have one from the sales guy we buy most of our construction materials from...again, not very meaningful.

The card from my girlfriend is lovely as is the sentiment written in it. In one moment I was cranky and overwhelmed and the next moment I was feeling grateful and appreciative for both friends and the season. All it took was a thoughtful friend and a Christmas card. It makes me think we should go back to the tradition of sending cards; they really are simple Christmas pleasures we can all enjoy.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Panic

We are 10 days away from Christmas and I’m not nearly ready. I have 8 shopping days left to get almost everything. I don’t shop on Christmas Eve because it’s my birthday and I refuse to spend it in a shopping mall. With so few days left to prepare and so much left to do I’m nearing panic mode.

The only thing I have done so far is hang my wreath on the front door. The tree isn’t up, we have no decorations, and I haven’t even started baking yet. UG!!

My shopping isn’t going well for a few reasons – 1. I hate shopping, 2. I’m just not feeling festive so far this year, 3. Each year my boys get harder to shop for, and 4. The renos on our house seem to be taking all of my energy.

Up until recently I’ve been hoping for snow to kick me into gear but with the weather the way it’s been I’d be happy if it just got cold now. I need something – anything to get me moving before it’s too late....anyone have any suggestions?!

Don't you just love the mud? :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The New Year’s Coming!

Like so many of you I’m great at making New Year’s resolutions and maybe not as great as I’d like to be in keeping them.

With that in mind, I thought I would try something a little different this year. I’m going to read Debbie Ford’s book ‘The 21 day Consciousness Cleanse – A Breakthrough Program for Connecting with Your Soul’s Deepest Purpose” between now and January 1st.  I read it when it first came out in 2009. I enjoyed it and I thought I got a lot out of it then but for some reason it’s been calling out to me for the last couple of weeks to reread it; so I think now’s a great time to do that.

It’s about letting go of the past, embracing the present and working towards the future. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than opening myself up to this book and its lessons and being ready to start a new year with a truly fresh perspective.

As I read through the book I think it will be fun to talk about what I’m learning here, so if you’d like to join me in reading this insightful book I’d love you to. There are some great conversations waiting to happen and a wonderful New Year just around the corner that might be even better if we leave a few things back here in 2011.

You guys know how to get me...either Facebook, comments here or you can always email me at insideouthealthandwellness@gmail.com. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks; I hope you can join me.

P.S. If you’d like to know more about Debbie Ford or her books you can find lots of               information here...www.debbieford.com.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Changes

This weekend was a busy one for me. Jon and I went to see Prince on Saturday evening and then we all had Bradley’s football banquet on Sunday. While I enjoyed both evenings I’d really rather not have two things in one weekend.

I was complaining about it to an old friend I bumped into last week and she remarked how much I’ve changed over the years. She wanted to know where the “bar bunny” had gone; she regaled me with stories of years past and how much fun I used to be. To her the changes she sees aren’t good ones. I’ve lost my fun, my edge and who I was.

She’s right that I’ve changed over the years – of course I have; we all do. The changes aren’t the ones she’s observed though. Sure I used to go out a lot, but that doesn’t mean that Lynne was the authentic one; it only means that’s what I used to do. When I was 20 I didn’t know why I was always exhausted, I didn’t know why I was cranky, I didn’t know that I had an option to take things a little easier – In fact, I didn’t know much.

It’s taken me another twenty years to learn a thing or two about myself. I now know who I am and what makes me feel good. The changes aren’t that I’d rather take it easy the changes are that I now know what I prefer to do and that I’m not afraid to admit it to myself and others.

Her implication that I’m just getting old and boring pissed me off more than a little. The only thing my age has to do with it is the wisdom about myself and my life that growing older has given me. Change is amazing when you’re aligning yourself with your authenticity. If getting older means getting real then bring it on, I’m ready!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Break Time

I find myself over tired, over stressed or over extended. I’m not sure which (or if it matters) but however I look at it, I’m under the weather, which is very rare for me.

I’m going to take this week off to recharge my batteries. I will be back next week and if all goes well – and I’m really hoping it does, I will be back at my new blog address.

I’m leaving you with a little something though. I hope you’ll take the five or so minutes it takes to watch this video. It’s amazing; even with the subtitles.....



Friday, November 25, 2011

Another Week Done and I’m Not

I don’t know if other people have as much difficulty getting plans accomplished on a time frame as I do – I hope so. It would be nice to know I’m not alone in this. Another week didn’t go as planned so my blog hasn’t been moved yet and my other web site is not ready either.

Our work computer was in for service, and what I thought would take a day or two took a little more than a week, then I got new software that I’m having some trouble figuring out. It’s always something around here.

Seriously though; I have no idea how people get organized and stay that way. I always have great intentions and then something comes up that throws me for a loop (or two).

I’m hoping to have both things done sometime next week....fingers crossed!

Have a nice weekend! See you next week J

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall Fantasies

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn;
While the Lily white shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn, nor a threat, stain her beauty bright.

~William Blake, ‘The Lily”

As most of you know I love gardening and especially flowers. This time of year I start to get a little sad without my garden to poke around in. My guys don’t buy me flowers quite as often as I might like so I have to take things into my own hands occasionally. The last time I was at the grocery store I picked myself up a small bouquet; and while they’re lovely they’re just not quite enough.


With fall here and winter just around the corner I know my flower fixes will be few and far between for the next several months. Each year right about now I have a little fantasy about becoming a florist; then all my days would be spent surrounded by flowers....aahhh, just thinking about it always makes me smile.


I love this poem by William Blake so much that I’ve often thought about making the first words the name of my floral business. ‘The Modest Rose’ would make a lovely name for a florist I think. This little fantasy, the odd bouquet here and there and my plans for next summer’s garden will just have to satisfy me through another winter I guess.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Snow Fall

Yesterday morning was bright and sunny with clear blue skies and this morning is grey and blah....just like November is ‘supposed’ to be. I jumped out of bed this morning when I saw the snow. I love the first snow fall of the year and this one’s a good one!

Technically this would be our second snow fall because we had a crazy 15 minute storm one day last week that left mini snowballs everywhere, but they only stayed a few hours so it doesn’t really count in my books.

I was curious how Astro would react to the snow because she’s so skittish about everything but she bounded out and played like she remembered it from last winter. It was so much fun to watch the dogs romp around in the snow. I haven’t been out yet but I’m looking forward to a walk through the field with all the girls. It will be our first trip this year to the creek and I know it will be a barrel of fun.

I love our changeable weather – to me it’s one of the wonders of this part of the world. I can’t imagine every day being the same. I’ll take sunny and bright one day and a storm the next any day over sunny and warm all the time. 


My front yard Nov. 22nd.

My front yard Nov. 23rd.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Beauty

I’ve heard November described as ugly, blah and grey. That’s not what I saw this morning on my tour around the yard. The beauty in my own yard moved me so much I have to share with you some of what I saw this morning....


Frost even makes the weeds beautiful.
I love milkweed.


My self portrait ;-)
I know you've seen it before but I
just love my falling down barn.

Astro is so cute somedays!
I think the ice crystals are beautiful.
This is why I live in the country!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Up Coming Events

Well here we are; it’s Friday again. Another week has come and gone. It’s been a busy week for me and this coming week is shaping up to be another busy one.

Jon and I (OK...mostly Jon J) are working hard to get the house ready for winter, and this year that means new windows, doors, insulation, siding, soffit and fascia. As if that’s not enough we’re also working on our back addition trying to get another bathroom, and redoing the roof on the garage. We (there I go with the we again) are hoping to have all of this done by Christmas – which is a little crazy really.

With all that in mind I’m changing blog addresses by the end of next week (if all goes well). It will be the same blog just at a different address. I will let you know as soon as I’m good to go and I hope very much you will join me there.

I’m also launching our work site late next week and I hope to see you all there too.

I’m going to be relaxing as much as possible this weekend in preparation for next week....so here’s to a great weekend. Cheers!!


My last plucky little guy!
P.S.  I couldn't resist snapping some pics of our first snow fall. It's staying longer than I thought it might. My flowers are doing their best to hang on as long as possible....



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Myth of Authenticity

Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you.
Unfold your own myth.
Rumi

This quote makes me think of authenticity and how difficult it can be to be true to ourselves. We all have labels and expectations that come with us and follow us through life. Our families label us the rebel, or the good girl, the athlete or the brainiac and it becomes something we don’t give any thought to until we discover a discomfort we weren’t really aware of.

We gather these labels starting in childhood and we continue with them through our school years and into our early adulthood without ever exploring if they’re what or who we really are. They become the myth of us, the myth of who we may or may not be.  We are a myth not only to others but to ourselves until we can stand outside the labels and expectations and decide if they are accurate and if we want to continue supporting them in our lives.

Once we begin to see ourselves as these labels or expectations then we have the option for a new myth. It is only a myth at this point because we’ve only just glimpsed a possibility of who we may really be or who we want to be. Until we begin to embody the myth is not the truth of who we are.

To fully feel our authenticity we need that distance between who we present ourselves to be and the who we long to be. We need to be able to see the differences and then we will find ourselves in a gentle spot from which we can choose the truth of who we are.  We choose authenticity just as we choose to believe a myth about ourselves and others.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesdays With Morrie

Bradley had to pick a book for his independent novel study for his grade 11 English class a couple of weeks ago and the list was pretty long. He’s not much of a reader so we decided that the shortest book he could read would probably be the best choice....it happened to be Tuesdays With Morrie; which is one of my very favourite books.

I’ve read it several times (and seen the movie a few times too). Bradley asked me to read it with him and I read it yesterday. No matter how many times I read it I never fail to learn something new or gain an insight that I missed the times before.

It’s such a wonderful book about the meaning of life and how important love and authenticity are to a fulfilling human experience. The title says it all really...Tuesdays with Morrie, an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.

What is life’s greatest lesson? Is it different for each of us? I don’t think it is – we all need the same things. We all need to love and be loved. We all need connections and to know that we matter to someone. Each one of us needs a community and belonging. Without these things life might go on but it is far less than it can be. Tuesdays with Morrie is a gentle reminder of how we can prioritize our lives for our greatest happiness; if you haven’t already read it, I recommend it whole heartedly!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank You

I’m sure you’ve heard about the law of attraction - whatever you focus on grows. With that in mind today I’m going to focus on saying thank you. It’s often also said that with gratitude love flows and I’m very grateful for so many things.

Today I want to thank you for reading. I’ve been trying to grow my audience a little and so far it’s not going quite as well as I’d hoped. Although I enjoy the writing and the photos I don’t necessarily enjoy self-promotion. I don’t even know how to answer the question “what do you write about?” without sounding (to me) ridiculous.

I know I have a small group of loyal readers and I want to say thank you to all of you for reading and for your encouragement through (the occasional) comment, facebook and emails. I really appreciate you taking the few minutes it takes to read my ramblings. I’m looking forward to the process of growing and I hope you’ll continue to be a part of it. Without you guys I’m just talking to myself, and I’m very grateful that’s not the case.



Friday, November 11, 2011

Do You Believe?

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. -Thomas Edison

Since I’ve been struggling a little these last few months this quote has come to my attention repeatedly and since I’m a big believer in signs I guess it means something. I’m not sure what honestly; but I’m open to knowing. I think that’s half the battle...being open to my life, and certainly to the possibilities of better days and better things.

As I re-read it I’m wondering what I could astound myself with today. I only want to focus on today because anything else seems like more to worry about. I think wondering what I can do to surprise myself is a better use of my brain power than worrying and stressing, so for today I’m going to be open to believing that I have something wonderful in me. I’m going to be open to believing that I can do something astounding – what a great thought that is!

I realize as I’m writing this, that I want to believe I’m capable of astounding things. I guess we all do. But how do we make amazing things happen when real life often gets in the way?

If you have a little time on your hands today maybe you could let me know your thoughts on this...do you believe we’re all capable of astounding things? And if you believe we are; how do we make them happen?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ebb and Flow

Everything moves in cycles – including life; I know this. What I don’t know right now, is when I’m going to be on an upswing.

Since early May it feels like it’s been one stressful thing after another. My father died and I thought that would be the bottom and yet things continue to pile on. Some days its small things like my car not starting and other days its bigger things, like the continued estrangement from my mother.

Between the stress, my anxiety and my ADD my brain is one constant swirling mess. It’s like being on a racetrack and trying to keep up with all the other cars. The only difference is that the race cars and their drivers get pit stops when needed.

I don’t feel like myself these days. I’m cranky and short tempered. I can’t even concentrate long enough to read a paragraph. I know things have gotten out of hand when I can’t read; reading has always been my favourite thing to do and when needed, my best escape from the stresses of life.

I find myself this week trying to deal with a minor family crisis and a lousy medical diagnosis. While I’m trying my best, anyone need only look around my house to see that I’m only spinning my wheels. The dishes aren’t done, the laundry is piling up. Things have gone from bad to worse around here and in all honesty I’d rather play solitaire or angry birds than do much else.

Albert Einstein has been famously quoted saying that you can’t solve your problems with the same thinking that caused them. Apparently I need to think differently, or maybe I need a pit stop. Either way - something’s got to give.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Day We’ve Been Waiting For!

Not only do I try to notice life’s small pleasures and record them here I also often anticipate them and today is a day I’ve been waiting for for months. The corn in the field surrounding us is being combined.

Summer Corn

Our house is in a 100 acre field, and this year it was planted with corn. I’ve never really given corn a lot of thought – until this year. I don’t like being surrounded on three sides by it. It’s like having a 10’ sentinel around the house and yard all the time.

The corn yesterday

Last  fall and winter we used the field as our own back yard. We’d romp around it with the dogs, the girls and I would snowshoe almost every day (well, I snowshoed and they ran around!). When it’s not planted it’s like our property goes on and on and with the corn there since mid-spring we’ve been feeling a little closed in. Not anymore!

The combine

It’s a small thing for sure; but a big thing too. I’m really excited about it and now I can’t wait for the snow. Listening to the combine do its thing right now reminds me how much I love living here and how grateful I am to be able to step out of my door and have all the space I enjoy so much. 

After...isn't that better?!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Movember!

It’s that time of year again. Men of all ages are sporting moustaches to raise money for, and bring attention to men’s health. Both of the men I live with are working on their ‘staches’ for the cause. Bradley joined the group at his high school and Jon was inspired to follow suit; which means I’ve got two Mo Bros in my house and that makes me a Mo Sista.

While I might not necessarily enjoy looking at their moustaches; I’m so proud of both of them. Prostate health hits close to home for me because my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and managed to live with it (and the treatments) until May of this year. 

For the month of November lets all be Mo Sistas and support the men around us by donating if we can, and living with facial hair if we can’t.

For more information please see http://ca.movember.com/?home

Here’s Jon’s before shot....

He's feeling a little shy these days :-)

At the end of Movember I will very proudly show off the moustaches of both my Mo Bros! Stay tuned.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

It’s Test Time

I thought we’d have a little fun today.

I found these things this morning and I’m wondering if anyone knows what they are. If you have a guess put it in the comments, with your name, or on Facebook. If you’re right, you’ll win absolutely nothing except the knowledge that you know your stuff! J




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Misty Morning

It’s a misty morning here today and it makes me feel all cocooned and cozy sitting here in the kitchen beside the woodstove. I like days like today; days where I have nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do. I can putter around the house and the yard to my heart’s content.

I was supposed to be off this morning to my brother and sister in law’s place to have tea and talk shop but my car broke down yesterday so I’m stranded for a day or two until Jon can get it fixed. Although I was annoyed about it yesterday, today I’m going to take as a sign to relax a little and enjoy the solitude.

I’ve already had a few moments of joy this morning. I had a little walk around the yard with the dogs and my (newly repaired) camera, I hung out the laundry and pondered how much longer I’ll be able to do it this year and I watched the chick-a-dees at the bird feeder.

Right now I’m going to enjoy another cup of tea in my rocking chair by the fire....it’s going to be a good day J

The view out my front door this morning
and in the other direction....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Merry Christmas

Halloween is over for another year, which means of course that it’s now the Christmas season. Once all the Halloween candy has been bought it’s a mad retail rush to let us know it’s time to start shopping for Christmas.

Jon was at Lowes one day last week and on an end cap as soon as you walked into the store there was both Halloween decorations and dancing Santa’s. It used to always be Halloween and then Christmas; the two never shared a shelf. How times change.

We’ll see all the decorations in the stores now and Christmas flyers to entice us into the stores and to spend our hard earned dollars. It wouldn’t be Christmas without all the shopping and expense right?! At least that’s what retailers would have us believe.

I love the Christmas season; especially Christmas music (which starts in my house December 1st) so I’m glad it here for another year. I haven’t given it any thought yet – but I will soon. J

With all this in mind let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas this holiday season!

Monday, October 31, 2011

7 Billion And Counting

We’ve all known it was coming and according to the UN, today’s the day. Our world’s population has hit 7 billion people. That means (if you’re keeping track) that the world has gained 1 billion people since 1999 – 12 years!

Do people care? I honestly don’t know. When I was first labelled an ‘environmentalist’ it wasn’t a good thing. I often got called a ‘tree hugger’ and it was used as a derogatory term. Since that day being green has become trendy, annoying and then trendy again.  I can’t keep up with the current labels – good or bad.

What I really don’t understand is how a person can be anything but an advocate for our environment. Imagine for a moment our world without nature, without trees and animals and the beauty that is our natural world. Forget for a moment that we can’t survive without it; just take a second and think honestly how our lives would be without all the things that encompass our environment.

Our earth and all the living things on it; plant and animal alike deserve our respect and our care. I realize we can’t all do everything suggested but we can all make a difference. How difficult is it to use your green bin, or CFL bulbs? What about turning down your heat a little, what about choosing to walk to the corner store?

With 7 billion of us sharing our planet right now we can’t wait for our children to do the right thing...we need to leave the earth for them – not take it from them.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barriers to Love Part 2

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wrote in Barriers to Love the other day. About how I often make choices and decisions from a place of fear rather than a place of love; although this is something I’ve known about myself for a very long time, I all of a sudden feel the need to change it.

Which of course, brings up the question of how. How does a person change a long seated habit – especially one as personal as how we see the world? A good friend of mine once told me that people who grow up in secure loving households are well adjusted and secure people, and those of us who grow up in unstable dysfunctional households are insecure and afraid. So if seeing my world the way I do comes from my dysfunctional childhood, how do I change it now as an adult?

As usual I seem to have more questions than answers.

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” - Bill Cosby

I came upon this quote this morning and I wonder if it doesn’t answer my questions in the simplest way possible. 

I won’t know if it’s that simple until I give it a try; and of course I’m afraid to try it but habits don’t change without effort so I’m going to give it my very best shot. I will of course let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Growing Pains

When I was little and couldn’t sleep because I’d played too hard or worn myself out my Grandmother would always tell me I was having growing pains. As I got older growing pains grew to encompass so many different things; the discomfort of starting a new school (and there were many), my first training bra, being taller than everyone else in elementary school – yes those of you who know me may now laugh! Peer pressure, my first boyfriend, my first break up, my first hangover, we all know the milestones that mark our way in life – “just growing pains” Nanny would tell me.

The implication was always that sooner or later I’d out grow growing pains because I’d grow up. Makes sense, right? As a girl I looked forward to that day. I associated being grown up with not having growing pains. I can actually remember being about eleven and being aware of one of the girls down the street being seventeen and I thought she seemed so grown up. I decided then and there that I would be grown up by then and no longer would growing pains be my struggle. Nanny really should have clued me in – growing pains never stop. They are always a part of life because we are forever growing. 

Once we’re grown up and have children of our own the growing pains double. We still have our own and now we have our children’s too. I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the assumption that once we have grandbabies we’ll also have theirs to feel too. 

I think I’m going through a period of intense growing pains (at my age, some might call them collectively a mid-life crisis). The catalyst for all of this? Bradley’s not going to play football next year. I know, I know, this should be his growing pain to deal with. I’ve been involved in football every season for the last 25 years and I can’t (right now) imagine my life without it. Then you throw in the fact that Shane will be 21 soon and Bradley 17 soon after that and you have growing pains.

What’s a person to do; besides keep right on growing?  There’s always something going on in our lives that encourage us to grow and move forward. Instead of bemoaning, I want to embrace the changes. Isn’t that one of the things we all want – the ability to embrace change and go with the flow of our lives?  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Berry Delicious Girly Moment

It doesn’t happen very often that I experience a girly moment....unless of course you count the times that I’m yelling for Jon or Bradley to kill a bug.

Sunday afternoon while Jon and I were trying to waste some time waiting for Bradley’s football game to start we went shopping for a pair of slippers for Jon. I hate shopping. I don’t like grocery shopping or clothes shopping or Christmas shopping. Somehow the shopping gene missed me and landed in both my boys.

We’ve looked almost everywhere for slippers that my big footed picky husband will wear and he suggested Payless Shoes. I’m not sure I’ve ever been there before but I can tell you for certain I will be there again! I walked in the store and the very first pair of shoes I saw I loved....I might even have let out a little girly squeal I loved them so much.

Not only were they my size, they were on sale too! Since Sunday I’ve had moments of being so incredibly happy to be a woman; there just might be more shoes in my near future. Now I just have to get Jon to take me some place nice so I can wear them. Check these babies out!!



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Early Morning

It’s early; the house is quiet inside and the wind is howling outside. I’ve just stoked up the fire and the dogs are lying at my feet. It’s peaceful here right now. Before the day starts and life takes over I have a few minutes to just be with the silence.

These are the moments I live for. The stillness within me and the matching stillness of my home this morning help me realize that it’s ok to just be. We live in such crazy busy times all we really need from time to time is to balance the craziness with some still quiet time.

In my life I’ve discovered lots of ways to allow myself stillness. The fire often helps but so does walking the girls through the field, taking my camera out and looking for a particular shot. I love deer, and I find watching them brings an inner stillness. When the boys were little and I could still read to them, in that moment just before sleep the stillness and joy were always palpable.

I’m sure we all have moments of stillness and silence in our lives no matter how busy they feel. It’s just a matter of recognising them and then of making them our own. Once we notice how a moment can change us it becomes easier to pay attention. Paying attention to our lives is the only way we can live them....one moment at a time.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Barriers to Love

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

I’m feeling extra introverted and a little melancholy this morning, and when I read this quote it got me thinking of all the ways I build barriers to love. I know it’s something we all do for a variety of reasons but today in particular it’s bothering me.

Spiritual books and self help books tell us that we live either from a place of fear or a place of love and I know all too often I choose fear and right now as I sit here thinking of my barriers to love that would be my biggest one.

By nature I’m not a brave woman. I won’t ever be sailing around the world alone, or jumping out of an airplane. It’s unlikely that I will ever scale the side of a mountain or fly a helicopter but I like to believe that I can look within myself without any reservations. I try hard to be self aware and that takes a certain kind of courage too.

We can’t fully experience our lives with too many barriers in place. They get in the way of not only love, but also of joy and fulfillment. So today while I’m pondering my life I’m going to think about ways to live from love and rather than building barriers I hope that maybe – just maybe, I can tear a few of them down.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pet Peeves

Pet peeves are like opinions – we all have a few of them. I will admit to quite a few.

Let’s start with the simple ones. What’s with men who wear capris? I mean is that a good look on a guy anywhere? People who wear floods drive me nuts; especially women who wear really high heels and feel the need to show us their shoes. Pants should cover your socks, your ankles,  a good portion of your shoes and if you’re wearing heels most of the heels too. Pinky rings on a man – I can’t stand them. I have no idea why, they just bug me. Why do so many people miss use the word ‘are’? Are and our are not the same word – nor are they interchangeable. For example: 'are you coming over to our house?' is the correct way to use them. It’s not: 'are you coming over to are house?'!

Now, my big pet peeves. People who can’t or won’t take the time to spell people’s names correctly – for example: my name is spelled Lynne...not Lynn; Jon’s name has no ‘h’. Why can’t people pay attention? Manners; or rather lack of them, crappy customer service and people who say they’re going to do something and don’t follow through. If you’re not going to do something don’t say you are, if you do say you’re going to do something – to quote Nike “Just do it”. I will likely feel the need to expand on a few of these, but for now let’s keep it very simple....


If you’re a man, don’t wear capris.

Make sure your pants are long enough.

Leave all pinky rings in the jewellery box.

Use are and our properly.

Take the time to check the spelling of people’s names.

Have some manners!

If appropriate, give excellent customer service.

And most importantly....

If you say you’re going to do something – just do it!!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Surrender

You know the expression – Let go, let God? What does that mean exactly? I’m reading a book about surrender and how to ‘let go’ of the false sense of control we think we have over our lives and I’m having trouble with the whole concept.

I’m a struggler...I’ve known it for a long time. I’ve also known that life doesn’t need to be so difficult all the time. Which brings me to the concept of surrender – it brings me to letting God be in charge. I’m a big believer of Him being in charge, but how exactly does that happen? I can’t wrap my brain comfortably around this.

The book I’m reading says that if the concept is difficult for you then ask yourself how your life would be different if you could let go of the control you think you have. Imagine yourself surrendering and see the potential.

I know that control is an illusion we all share, but it’s a comfortable one for me. Does that mean that surrender is simply too uncomfortable for me to practice? I don’t know the answer to that either. All I know right now is that I’ve used some version of the word comfort three times in this short post and that gives me something to think about.

Today instead of asking myself what role surrender plays in my life I need to ask myself why comfort is so important to me. Does discomfort lead to surrender and therefore to less struggle? There are always more questions than answers – I guess all I can do today is be comfortable with them! J

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Fall Garden

Jon and I planted 80 trees over Sunday and Monday and I loved being outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather so much I decided to prolong the weekend just a little longer by taking a few minutes in my garden this morning.


As much as l love my garden when it’s in full summer bloom I love it almost as much now. There’s always something to see when I look carefully. This morning I noticed I still have many alyssum blooming and my wild roses are still going strong. I saw one lonely cosmo in the mess of dried and tired greenery and of course the leaves are a wonderful back drop this time of year.

Wandering around the yard listening to the rustle of the fallen leaves is relaxing and meditative and makes me wonder what’s coming this winter. Although I’m looking forward to winters quiet charms, for the moment I’m content to enjoy the fall colours and marvel at the last of my flowers.




Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving

Our family has a tradition that during Thanksgiving dinner we take turns saying what we’re grateful for. Sometimes the things we’re grateful for are big important milestones and sometimes they’re very simple; but no matter, big or small they are all meaningful.

I think gratitude is one of the easiest ways to connect with our lives and although I make it a daily practice it never ceases to warm my heart to hear what my family is grateful for once a year.

Some of the things I am most grateful for are:

~ My amazing family

~ My friends, both old and new

~ My pups – even though they drive me a bit batty some days

~ My home, it welcomes me regardless of how often I vacuum

~ The trees around my home that make me feel like I live in a park

~ My books for the knowledge, entertainment and comfort they offer me

~ For being creative almost daily with my blog and my photography

Life is good!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Parenting 101

I read an article a few weeks ago about very harsh, very critical and domineering parents. These parents believe that the only way to raise children is to tell them what to do, how to think and to schedule ALL their time with activities that “will lead to better grownups” – such as music lessons, tutoring, language lessons etc... I don’t get it.

The only growing up people do is to mature physically and get taller. Humans don’t grow up...they grow. Period. We all grow into who we want to be or who we feel we are meant to be.

Children aren’t an extension of us; they are their own people. Their lives aren’t ours to do with as we please, but theirs to do with as they please. Parents are meant to love first and foremost and then to guide, encourage and support their children, not to dominate.

I don’t want my children to do only what they’re told; I want the boys to think for themselves. I’ve tried to raise them in such a way that they’ve learned to do just that. I want them to question everything, to learn as many new things as they can. I want them to have open and inquisitive minds, not only as young people but as adults too.

My goal with Shane and Bradley has always been to support them in learning who they are, who they want to be and how they want to contribute to our world. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? How can our children learn to think for themselves and learn to make good choices in their lives if we do all their thinking and decision making for them? 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

“Your time is limited..don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~ Steve Jobs

I love this quote, and in honour of Steve Jobs, today’s a good day to use it!

I’ve watched this video from time to time when I need a little inspiration or a good kick in the ass. It has accomplished both – depending on what I needed on the given day.

I hope you’ll take the fifteen minutes it takes to watch this video today. It’s definitely worth it. The world has lost an amazing man and I know I will continue to watch this video every now and then when I’m looking for a little inspiration, or more likely, when I feel like I need a kick in the ass. 




Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If you have nothing nice to say.....

I started writing my post this morning and I guess I’m in a mood because it wasn’t turning out the way I thought it would. All I can hear is my grandmother telling me if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So in honour of my grandmother; today I have nothing to say.

BTW...my name is spelled like this L-y-n-n-E

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gentle Reminders

It’s been rainy and gray the last few days and my moods have matched the weather. Usually I love the fall and in particular the rain but the last few days I’ve been feeling a little down. Besides the weather I’ve been giving myself a million excuses about my crappy mood – stress, exhaustion, boredom, busyness etc.. On the top of my list has been pain. With the change in weather (at least I hope it’s only the change in weather) my hip has been so painful walking has become difficult.


This morning after dropping Bradley off at school I was walking from the car to the house feeling sorry for myself and a reflection caught my eye.  I got my camera to take a couple of pictures and for a few moments I was reminded of the beauty in our world even on gray days and I forgot I was feeling sorry for myself. As I sit here my hip is still sore but I’m grateful for the gentle reminder that it’s not all bad.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Intimacy Issues

Why does it seem like everyone has intimacy issues these days? We live in a world of technology that has helped us hide who we are and what we need. As a society we hide behind email, texting, Facebook and Twitter at the expense of real relationships. Humans are social creatures and that doesn’t mean “social media”.

I have to admit to being a bit of a hypocrite writing this because I’m not very social and I love text messages but having said that I can also admit that I crave real connections. I want to know people and be known. Up until I started writing here I was an obsessively private person and to a certain extent that is still true; but I'm learning to be more open.

I’ve mentioned that some of the criticism I’ve received is that I’m too personal. I’ve made a couple of people uncomfortable with my honesty and at first I couldn’t figure out why and now I realize that by putting my truth out there it is an invitation for other people to do the same. With the exchange of truth comes intimacy. If I tell you what I need and you reciprocate then what? Where does that leave us? All of a sudden we have a relationship and relationships come with responsibility and a deeper knowing. As intimacy grows so does the fear that people will get to know the real us and possibly reject us. But aren’t we rejecting each other by not allowing real relationships to grow?

Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media sites and technology have us believing that updating our statuses regularly and having our ‘friends’ comment are relationships. My children both have 700 – 800 ‘friends’ on Facebook and recently Bradley told me that he wouldn’t even recognise many of them if he saw them at the mall.

I guess I’m old fashioned, but to me friends are the people who enrich our lives and our experiences.  They are people we know we can call when we need something. They are the people we think of when things go well for us....or not. Friends are the people we choose to spend our time with, and without growth and intimacy these relationships are cold, empty and unfulfilling.

Allowing intimacy is really just feeling safe with people; it’s trusting, not others, but ourselves. It’s trusting that if someone or something bites us in the ass we’ll still be OK. We can risk getting to know one another. We can risk giving ourselves to friends and family. We can risk being seen for who we truly are. We really can

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Friendship

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. 
~Marcel Proust


I was inspired by this quote and a homework assignment Bradley was working on last night.  He was supposed to find a quote and summarize what the quote meant to him in a word or two. To Bradley this quote means friends/friendship.

Friendship is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately. Because I’m very introverted and shy I’ve never had many friends. I decided shortly after my Dad died that I needed more people in my life. Seems simple enough right? To most people it is – in fact to about 80% of the population it’s an easy thing. We live in an extroverted/outgoing world and to an introvert it can be an incredibly intimidating place to be.

I used to wish to be more outgoing but it never happened and now I’m glad it didn’t. I’m finally happy to be as introverted as I am. I enjoy what it brings into my life and who I am because of it. However, as I said, I decided I needed more people – more friends in my life and this required a great deal of thought (did I mention how introverted I am? J). This is one of the reasons I decided to start my blog and put myself out there a little more. I know I need to be open to people and to possible friends for friendship to happen so that’s what I’ve been working on. It’s interesting how a simple change in attitude has brought new people into my life and deepened some of my existing relationships. It makes me wonder why I didn’t make this change years ago.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Frost


I walked around the yard and garden for the first time since we had frost last week. As much as I enjoy the Fall I really hate seeing my garden slowly but surely dying off. The morning glories in the main garden were done immediately, as were the tomatoes. I still have a few morning glory stragglers left in the bed beside the house. I’m not sure if the frost has gotten most of them or if it’s Astro running through the bed that’s killed almost everything in it. I guess next spring I’m going to have to fence all the gardens. I’ll think about that through the winter.

With the nice weather winding down I’m taking a few minutes every morning to wander a little with the girls and my camera to see what I can see. This morning I came upon a few weary flowers and a mini visitor who decided to let me take a few pictures of him. A few minutes admiring the ‘wild life’ is important to me knowing that soon the only animals we’ll consistently  see around here are the turkeys and the Canadian geese munching on what’s left of the corn once the field has been harvested.


Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s a Moody Monday

With the days getting shorter, Jon and I are getting up in twilight. Most days I don’t even notice, but this morning I got up and looked out one of the library windows and this is what caught my eye....


What a beautiful moody sky to start my week. As I stood outside this morning for a few minutes the sky changed colours almost as quickly as I could capture it. With Fall here and Winter fast approaching we need to enjoy the dawn of every beautiful day. Here’s to a wonderful week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Organization

I’m going to start today by admitting a little secret. I’m envious of organized people. I wish to be one. In keeping with my 30 day theme of looking after myself and doing things that feel good I asked myself if being organized would bring me joy and the answer was a resounding YES!!

I think there’s hope for me. I’m organized in a few areas of my life. My linen closet is organized, my books definitely are and my sock drawer mostly is. When I think of doing something or learning something my first thought is always to get a book, but I don’t think a book is the right answer in this case. I’ve been watching organizing shows on HGTV but all they do is throw everything out so there isn’t really anything left to organize. Jon and I have downsized as much as we possibly can right now so there is nothing else to throw out and since we live in an old log house our closets are pretty much non-existent; which leaves me wondering where to start.

   Here’s my list of things that need organized:

My time!
Filing, how to, what to keep, what should go
The office area
Bills – again, do I keep them or what?
Tax stuff – what do I need and what don’t I need to keep
Jon’s business stuff
General household junk (for lack of a better word)

I feel like being organized should come naturally to me. And if not me, then Jon, he’s logical and analytical and organizing should be right up his alley. I have an excuse; at least I tell myself I do...I’m creative, I like creative chaos J. If you happen to be disorganized too, feel free to use my excuse; I don’t mind sharing. And if you’re an organized person please send tips and suggestions – I can definitely use as many of them as I can get!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turtle Time

I can’t remember the last time I had a day to do whatever I wanted to. I’ve been going and going the last few weeks and I’m really tired of it.  I wish I could pretend to be a turtle and just pull myself into my shell and stay there until I feel like coming out. On Monday I decided that I would give myself a month of looking after myself and of putting my needs first in my life but I forgot that I had several days of dental appointments lined up. When I was thinking of doing things for myself I briefly held the idea that those thirty days would be enjoyable and that I would only do the things that I want to do. Unfortunately I forgot about all the shoulds and have tos.

I don’t know where all my stamina has gone. I can remember working full time, looking after the boys, my house and still having time for a social life and hobbies. Now I can barely find the stamina – or the time to do the bare necessities. Clearly I’m not doing a very good job of looking after myself. I wonder when that changed – or why I let it. I guess ultimately that’s the question I need to answer for myself. Why have I let myself off the hook when it comes to me? I deserve better.

In these moments I wonder what other people do to de-stress and relax. I know I’m not the only person struggling with all of this stuff.

You know what? I’m tired of listening to myself whine – so in addition to my thirty days of (trying) to do a better job looking after myself I’m also going to give up whining and complaining. I might regret putting that in writing when Jon reads this, but what the heck – here’s to 30 days of no whining and focusing on the positive instead of the negative. Since I don’t have any dental appointments scheduled for the next month I’m confident that I can do this...wish me luck!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Zero to Sixty

For the last few months I’ve been aware of feeling a strong sense of discontent. I’ve written about it here a few times and I’ve talked about it endlessly with Jon and I’ve pushed myself to do this and that and a million things. I think I’ve been going about it in the wrong way. I started writing here as a way to get more in touch with myself and my life and to go deeper into what makes me me, and what brings me joy.

I either don’t do something or I commit fully. In this case I’ve committed fully and I think I’m wearing myself out. It’s become a job – not the writing; I love writing and could do it all day every day. I’ve been beating myself up a lot lately as I try to push myself to accomplish these crazy to-do lists. I’ve been trying to go from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye and it’s not working for me. It’s too much. I’ve been putting all this unnecessary pressure on myself – and I’m doing just the opposite of what I set out to do. Joy has all but left the building and I’m too tired and stressed out to get in touch with anything; let alone myself and my own needs.

I decided that for the next 30 days I’m going to walk my talk. I’m going to make myself my first priority. For the next month I will do all the things that make me feel good. I will look after myself in the best way I know how – I am going to do exactly what I set out to do when I started writing here. I am going to cultivate simplicity, ease, creativity and joy in as many moments as I can. Will you join me?


Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Today’s post is dedicated to the most amazing man I know; my husband Jon. Tomorrow is our sixth wedding anniversary and a celebration of one of the happiest days of my life.

“Once, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a miracle.”

We’re a bit of an odd pair. He grew up on a farm and I grew up in the city, he comes from a large close knit family, I don’t, he’s logical and I’m creative, he’s tall and I’m short. J I guess we’re a case of opposites attracting and I’m very glad we do.

When we first met, Jon thought I was one of the weirdest people he’d ever met....now he’s my biggest supporter. I feel so grateful to know he’s always in my corner loving me unconditionally. I’ve given him challenge after challenge and he’s risen to them all. When we got married he became step Dad to a 10 year old and a 14 year old – how’s that for asking a lot? Now of course my kids are perfect ....however, when you’re a young man with no experience with kids having a readymade family can be stressful, but Jon stepped up to the plate and always tried to do his very best. That doesn’t mean we haven’t had conflict, because of course we have; what it means is that Jon came into our existing family with an open heart. He was more than willing to love my boys – he expected to and he does. The best part? They know it. Shane and Bradley know they can count on Jon for whatever they need. He’s managed to blend being a parent and being a friend to them.  Is there more a mother can ask than to have the man she loves love her children? Not to me.

In our time together I’ve learned so much from him. I can see the world through eyes other than my own and what a wonderful gift that is. He makes me laugh and  sometimes cry, he makes me feel safe and loved and very often when I see him across the room my heart still does a summersault in my chest and that makes me smile and remember what falling in love feels like.  I look in his eyes and I see love looking back at me. I need nothing more.

I love you Jon, now and forever.