SINS OF THY FATHER!

I decided to dedicate this post to my father.  I never really talk about my father because some of the memories surrounding him are hurtful.  My  father died of a heart attack when I was 18 years old.  To say I miss him is an understatement, unfortunately, I have spent most of my life missing him.    Today I was at a memorial service for a young girl who passed away this past weekend.   As I watched her parents I wondered to myself “how do you say goodbye to your child?”  As happens quite often in times of death, we reminisce about our own lives or people we have lost.  My father crossed my mind today.

My parents were divorced when I was eight years old and I can still remember the day he walked out the door, I was devastated.  I absolutely adored my father and I couldn’t understand why he was leaving.  As I grew up I came to understand that my father had committed a cardinal sin, he had an affair with another woman.  My mother found out about this affair and my father broke up with the other woman and was determined to make it right with his family.  He couldn’t do it; he once told me that he loved this other woman so much and he couldn’t pretend at home anymore.  He started to see the other woman again and my mother gave him a choice – “me, the children or the door,” he chose the door.  My adoration for my father was replaced with utter confusion.  I still adored him and loved him very much, but everyone around me was furious with my father and it seemed like not one person liked him.  To voice my love for him felt wrong to me because it meant hurting my mother, so I remained silent.  Finally after much confusion my father was granted visiting rights  He could come and pick up my younger brother and I every Saturday from 8:00 am and we had to be home by 8:00 pm .  Not 8:10 pm, 8:30 pm or Sunday, every Saturday from 8 – 8 and there were no exceptions.  Looking back I know this was not enough time and I felt that way as a child.   There were two older siblings from the marriage and they could not be forced to visit him.

As I grew up life moved on and my mother, stepfather, younger brother and myself moved across the country.  My brother and I flew east to see Dad once a year for two weeks.  Not a lot of time when you think about it, but we always had a good visit.   As we neared toward the end of our visits, a great sadness always came over my father.  As we drove to the airport he would be very quiet in the car.  We would get to the checkout and gate for us to leave and it was here that I realized how much my father loved us.  When I hugged him to say goodbye it seemed like he held onto me forever and he would sob into my shoulder.  Then through his tears he would say “I love you more than you will ever know.”  I can remember thinking everyone is looking at us because this grown man is just sobbing his heart out – he didn’t care he wanted us to know how much he loved us.  This is why my father came to mind today – he couldn’t bear to say goodbye to his children.  Every time we left that airport to fly home for another year, a part of him died.

My father wanted to be happy but couldn’t because he was torn about his children.  Right or wrong he was a father, a father who loved his children more than they knew.  Now as I look at my own children I can only imagine his pain driving home from that  airport and knowing he wouldn’t see his flesh and blood for another year and this daughter loves her father more than he ever knew!

Mom and dad before any of us!

I’m the little one holding my mother’s hand and staring at my Father.

First picture – my older brother and sister with my dad at Christmas – a year before I was born!

2012 Planner – The First 30 Day Challenge : Crystal Wilkerson

For anyone who wants to add more balance in their lives and needs reminders to do so – this is the planner for you – plus part of your money goes to a worthy cause. Can’t beat that!

2012 Planner – The First 30 Day Challenge : Crystal Wilkerson.

SO INSPIRED!

Recently I’ve come across a few blogs about thrifting and what people can do with a $1.00 item to spruce up their house.  Life as a thrifter shares so many wonderful ideas for decorating on on a budget and everything she does looks completely unique and chic.  The Schmitt House has inspired me to re-paint my family room which has just thrilled my husband to pieces – I’m including him in the plans and the work!  Cara Schmitt painted a feature wall red and she loved it when she first painted it but grew tired of it.  I fell in love with the colour terra cotta 5 years ago and decided to paint our kitchen and family room this colour.  My husband told me in 5 years I would tire of the colour, here we are 5 years later and I’m tired of of the colour.  He’s right and I’m wrong – betcha Cara’s husband told her the same thing.  I’m adding another category to my blog  – thrifting and what I do with my finds.  I’ll start out with my living room – I’m going to paint my pumpkin room and show before and after pics.  Here’s a few  before pics of the pumpkin room – don’t hold your breath for the after pics – it may be a while.

Cara thought her mantle was busy  – take a look at this – I’m not even sure how this happened – there is still a Christmas decoration up there and how about that lego ship – my son decided it looked pretty good up there along with the art he drew and shaped into a ball… Keep you posted..

CROCK-POT OATMEAL

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – it’s a good way to start your day off right.  One of my guys eats breakfast immediately when he gets up, the other one sits there and stares at me for a good 20 minutes before he touches his food.  He always complains that he’s not ready to eat but we don’t have time until he is ready to eat, so it’s a struggle every morning.  I read a blog by yoonanimous entitled what a crock.  Simply put she writes that crocks are over-rated and I agree with her on some points.  But in this case the crock pot comes through and makes your morning simpler;  you get up to a big pot full of  creamy oatmeal all ready to go.

2 1/2 cups Large flake rolled oats(old fashioned)

5 Cups of water

1/2 tsp Salt

Mix all three ingredients in 31/2 quart slow cooker. Cover cook on low for 7 – 8 hours overnight.  Makes 5 1/2 cups.

Add some frozen blueberries and nuts and you’ve got a very healthy breakie!

WOMEN AND HOCKEY!

I thought it was about time for another post about my experiences with my hockey team.  As I mentioned before, I joined a women’s hockey team this year;  I’ve never played hockey and I haven’t skated since I was a youngster.  When I first joined this team I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous playing for the first time.  I find most of the women on our team fairly accepting of a newbie but just as starting a new job or being in a social situation where you don’t know anyone, some aren’t so accepting.  Frankly, I’m there to play hockey and whether these women like me or not is of no consequence to me.  I’m learning and I’m improving every game, my skating is getting stronger and I’m not afraid to go after the puck – sounds easy, going after the puck, but when a 6’4 woman is on the opposite end of that puck – not so easy.  I’ve been run down and shoved around more than a few times.  You are absolutely right in what you are thinking – doesn’t sound like a place to get some me time, but for some reason when I’m chasing after that puck and fighting for the puck to stay out of our end – I lose all sense of where I am, I don’t think about anything, work, kids, husband, bills absolutely nothing except getting that bloody puck.  I’m somewhat surprised how much I enjoy it and it was my son who put it into perspective for me.  Before I joined this team, at dinner one night I was talking to my husband and the boys about why I shouldn’t commit to this hockey team and I was using all the excuses that busy mothers use – I don’t have time, I have housework, dinner to cook, laundry to do and I hardly get any time to myself so maybe I should use the time I would be playing hockey to sit down, relax and have a cup of tea! Brendan (my twelve year old and always philosophical) says “you can do that when you’re eighty!”  I have to admit – that hit a nerve with me.  I’ve never played any sport and as a child wanted to join something but there were issues with my parents that made playing sports impossible(long story – another blog).  I sat there for a minute and thought, “he’s right, why not right now!”

It’s certainly not a glamour world this world of hockey.  Let’s just say most of the woman are very natural – no makeup, jewellery, come-as you-are  type of woman.  If you think that men are the aggressors when it comes to sports think again.  A couple of weeks ago we were playing lady sharks (yep – the name of the team – and sharks they can be) a group of extremely aggressive women.  Our team consists mostly of  beginners with a few more experienced players so I guess you can say we don’t make the cut!  We never win and we’re just happy if the score is not 15 – 1.  So these lady sharks come along and they play really hard and really aggressive, they hit and whack their way to goals.  Not really necessary since we’re not a very good team.   It’s nothing personal –  it’s hockey.   At the game a couple of weeks ago against lady sharks, one lady shark in particular was skating around the ice and hacking our team with her stick on the back of our legs.  Back of the legs are exposed as you don’t have any padding there.  She hit one woman from our team at least three times – the fourth  time lady from our team yells at the lady shark – “excuse me, but what the hell are you doing?”  Lady shark says “it was an accident!”  “Bullshit” lady from our team says – “an accident happens once not four times, if it was an accident apologize.”  Lady shark refuses to apologize, because that’s what lady sharks do, so our little lady shoves lady shark and lady shark shoves back.  I thought I was going to witness a full-out fight when all of a sudden our little lady skates to our bench and gets her composure back and in a very calm voice says “sorry about that ladies but that woman made me very mad.”   That was the first time I thought of my boys during that game.  The boys get into silly fights all the time – you apologize, no you apologize, you did it not me and then they start shoving!

AWESOME DAY!

This morning I woke up looked out the window to see that we got some snow, some but not too much.  Not enough to make it bad driving, not enough for them to close the schools down.  See that’s what I prayed for, I prayed for enough snow that the schools were closed down, I wouldn’t have to go to work and the kids wouldn’t have to go to school.  I headed to the kitchen to get breakfast and before I started breakie I thought – “hey you never know – I’ll check the website and see” – answer to my prayers – school was closed for all of us – snow day, lazy day, relaxing day, morning to sit back with a cup of coffee and watch a movie on netflix – yes, yes, yes – God came through this am!  About 10:00 am I decided we better get out of our pj’s and head to the hills and we ran away….

It started to pour rain but we didn’t let the rain dampen our enthusiasm.  Great day with the kids and good friends – a little bliss in our crazy schedule, a little piece of heaven. I never got to that pile of laundry that is currently taking over my laundry room – tomorrow is another day…

Lazy Man’s Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil – It’s all about semolina

I had to press this recipe – haven’t made it yet but I’m going too – such simple ingredients, simple recipe- the recipe looks like a keeper..

Lazy Man’s Gnocchi with Tomato and Basil – It’s all about semolina.