AND SO IT BEGINS – FRIDAY’S PHLOG FOR SEPTEMBER 18,2015

hockey season

Once September hits we live at rinks.  My boy always wears unique gloves for hockey making it easier to keep track of him during his shifts.   Matt had a great coach last season but he was a little on the conservative side.  He looked at Matt’s gloves and said “you’re seriously not going to wear those are you?” Matt’s response – ” yes I seriously am!”

Number 4

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHockey season just finished up today.   The league I play in finished today and the boys finished yesterday.  However, we are heading into Spring sports and this year the boys have picked, you guessed it, more hockey.  Both of them want to focus more on hockey, so they’ve chosen to play in a Spring league.  Even though I’m finished for the season, I’m going to find some way of getting ice time so I can continue to practice.  This past season was fun, I gained more confidence and was able to focus more on the game instead of constantly worried if I was going to blow it for the team.  I always tell the boys “don’t play scared”, yet I got a good dose of playing scared in my  first year.   I can’t thank the girls I play with enough, they gave me constant constructive criticism and their coaching helped me tremendously.

So why is this post called “Number 4?”  It’s called Number 4 for Bobby, that is Robert Gordon Orr.  The other day my husband was practicing at one of the local rinks and as he was getting off the ice there was this little guy, couldn’t of been more than three or four, waiting to get on the ice dressed head to toe in Boston’s uniform.  My husband is a huge Boston Bruin’s fan which can be a problem in this town as we live in Vancouver – Boston beat us to the ever so great Lord Stanley.  My husband wears his Boston Jerseys all over town, even during the Stanley Cup games.  He gets lots of stares and dirty looks, but usually no one says anything as my husband is a big man and like he said to one guy who had to nerve to say something to him ; “when you’re my size, you wear whatever the hell you want!”  So back to this little guy, my husband gets off the ice and comments on his Bruin’s uniform.  The little guy just stared at him and my husband says “Do you know who Bobby Orr is?  He is the greatest hockey player alive and I was really lucky when I was a little guy, I got to see him play.”   The little guy’s eyes just lit up and his father says “he’s very shy, but if he wasn’t so shy he would not stop talking about Number 4.”  How is it that a little guy like that knows about Bobby Orr?

When I think back to when my guys were three and five, I was running errands at Costco with the two of them in tow.  I put my youngest sitting in the front of the cart and my oldest was walking with me holding my hand.  We get in the store and all of a sudden the two of them started screaming at the top of their lungs, “mommy, mommy take us to see Bobby Orr, Bobby Orr mommy he’s over there.  My eyes darted here and there but I could not see Bobby.  Then I saw him; Costco had this travelling road show displaying sport pictures for sale and there he was, one great big picture of Bobby.  The display was on the other side of the store, I had to squint my eyes to see it, but my boys saw it right away.  My oldest bolts from my grasp and runs like crazy over to the display all the while screaming “Bobby Orr, Bobby Orr.”  It was quite the scene; I ran after him got to the display and this man looks at me and says, “can you tell me how boys this age know Bobby Orr?”  “Well sir, if you knew my husband you would know why they know Bobby Orr, he has shown them every video of Bobby’s greatest scores and he constantly tells the boys that Bobby is the greatest hockey player that ever played the game.”  I had to drag the boys away from Bobby, they just wanted to run from one Bobby Orr picture to another.

At the beginning of each hockey season both boys always ask for Number 4 hoping that some of number 4’s greatness will rub off on them.  Just a few of Bobby’s greatest moments – enjoy!

BELIEVING IN THE UNIVERSE..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs I wrote in “Dear God”, my brother and sister-in law have been going through hell.  My sister-in law found out in November that she has leukemia and she’s been battling a tough fight ever since.  My brother and sister-in-law came to visit us last August and all was well, by November she was one sick lady;  makes you realize how much we take life for granted.   She survived pneumonia, chemotherapy and now she is waiting for a bone marrow donor to be found for a bone marrow transplant.   I live across the country and when family members go through something difficult, the miles between us become excruciating.   To say that we are concerned about my sister-in-law is an understatement, we are all worried sick about her, especially my brother.    I’ve put my sister-in-law’s name down in every prayer group I know, I say a prayer every morning and night and sometimes in-between.  This past weekend my son played in a hockey tournament in Seattle.  All four of us went down to Seattle for the weekend.  We were so busy running to games,  keeping on top of the schedule, figuring out where to eat and making sure the team of hockey players didn’t tear apart the hotel while we weren’t looking.  I didn’t really have a lot of time for anything this weekend and by the time I crashed at the end of the day, I’m not sure I even said a prayer.   My husband pre-booked tickets to the Everett Silvertips hockey game for the night we arrived.  The boys spent the afternoon hanging around the pool while my husband and I just sat in a chair!  We booked  Silvertip tickets for other parents and team members as well, unfortunately one team member didn’t make it down to Seattle in time for the game.  Consequently, we waited too long at the hotel for this family to arrive and when we realized they weren’t going to make it in time we rushed like hell to the arena to see the game. The real story of my life, always rushing from one place to another place with a little bickering in-between.  We made it to the Arena just in time for the American National Anthem.  At the entrance of the area where we were sitting they had black curtains drawn across the row so you couldn’t walk into the arena during the National Anthem.  I stood there with my hands clasped and my head down out of respect for the American Anthem and when I looked up there was a sign I  hadn’t noticed in my mad rush to get to our seats.  The sign was sitting on a display easel and at that moment the whole universe seemed to scream at me.  Pictured below is the sign and to most of you it will look like just a real estate sign advertising business.  To me it was a sign, a sign from the universe, a sign from God or a sign from the Angel I’ve been talking to.  A very simple sign really but in big bold letters the name LAMOUREUX and below in very small letters it said real estate.  The word real estate looked much smaller on the arena sign than the one pictured below because all I could see was LAMOUREUX.   After the National Anthem we find our seats and as I’m watching the game, my eyes followed the puck and all of a sudden there it was “LAMOUREUX.”  The universe was screaming at me again.  A much bigger sign than the one at the entrance was posted along the boards of the ice rink.  Lamoureux is the last name of my sister-in-law and that simple sign was just that, a simple sign, a sign that my sister-in-law and her illness has the universe’s attention.  Maybe, just maybe all those prayers are coming through.   To all those nay sayers I say this to you – signs and symbols are a big part of all of our lives.  Usually we are just too bloody busy to really take notice.  The universe was talking to me last weekend and it was loud enough for me to stop and listen.  It was saying LAMOUREUX…

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A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK..

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I’ve always been somewhat skeptical and suspicious of strangers.  I don’t trust easy and whenever I deal with sales people, I figure everyone has a story to tell or they are trying to rip me off.  This drives my husband crazy because he says I have to learn to trust at some point.  I think my youngest son has my suspicious nature as this past weekend we met some friends and went to an Abbey Heat hockey game.  The Abbey Heat are in the American Hockey league and the game we went to see was Abbey and Milwaukee Admirals.  Ryan Walter is the GM there and he is really good at the PR game.  In his day Ryan Walter played for the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens.  Ryan rolled up his PR sleeve and walked around the arena shaking everyone’s hand, talking to all the kids and showing off his Stanley Cup ring.  Half way through the game, my youngest(Matthew) decides he wants something from the concession stand.  Off he went and when he came back to sit down, Ryan Walters was working his way through the crowd in front of us.  Matt leans over to my husband and says ” you see that guy down there, back at the concession stand he tried to tell me that he played for the NHL”, he then rolls his eyes and says “yeah right.”  My husband says “Matt, that’s Ryan Walter, the GM for Abbey Heat and he did play for the NHL.”    My son looked a little shocked and then he says “he asked me if I wanted to try on his Stanley Cup ring, I didn’t think he was real so I said no thank you, I’ve already tried on a Stanley Cup ring.”  At that moment I wish I was a fly on the wall to see Ryan’s face.  “What did Ryan say to you Matthew?”  “He asked me for what team did I try on a Stanley Cup ring and I told him the Chicago Blackhawks.”  I guess Ryan didn’t believe my son because he asked him who he knew from the Blackhawks.  My husband is a friend of one of the scouts for the Blackhawks and all the scouts got the same ring as the players.  A party was thrown and we were all invited to see and try on the ring.  Must admit, it was cool – more cool than I thought it would be.  So when Ryan Walter asked my son to try on his Stanley Cup ring, Matt had already been there done that and wasn’t all that interested.  Comical really because as soon as Ryan pulled out his Stanley Cup ring to any other child, all of sudden all kinds of cameras appeared, people crowded all around and everyone posed with Ryan and the almighty Stanley Cup ring.  Not my son – he has his own pictures..(two very happy boys pictured below!)

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AND SHE GOES TO BATTLE..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog about my hockey team.  As most of you know I play hockey once a week with a women’s league.   I started last September, never played hockey before and the last time I skated probably was when I was 10 years old.  It was a challenge and pretty intimidating at first.  My husband and children talked me into playing and at first I thought I needed to have my head read as I have enough to do with the boys and their hockey.      For some unknown reason I accepted the challenge, I think it might have something to do with the fact that as  little girl I wanted to play a sport, not any sport in particular, just wanted to be part of a team.  Never happened, too many things going on in my parents’ life.   My husband kept telling me that once I got the skills out of the way, like skating without falling down, puck handling and passing, he figured I’d be a decent hockey player.  Last year I spent most of the year trying to not get killed on the ice, being in the right position and hearing the whistle when I was off side!  Being severely hearing impaired it’s pretty tough to do.  This is the part of my personality that I think my husband understood when he said I could be a decent hockey player.  After I got over the initial couple of games and feeling completely out of my league,the battle started.   Ever since I can remember when life presents a challenge and my first reaction is to back away, something inside me snaps and I go to battle.  The earliest recollection of the “battle and never let them see you sweat” thing happened, I think I was between the age of 7 or 8 years old.  I say this because my parents separated and divorced when I was 8 and at the time of this memory my father was still living with us.  There was this kid on my block and I still remember his name  – Allan.  Red haired freckle faced little bastard, he constantly said mean things to me, told me how ugly I was, made fun of me in front of the kids on a daily basis.  Even though he scared me, anger overcame my fear and I would usually come up with some kind of comeback.  This was the never let them see you sweat thinking.  One day he got physical and it took me by surprise.  I just got away from him and went home.  Funny thing back then, I never thought to tell my parents.  That night I went to bed and that’s when the battle syndrome started, I went over in my head what I could of done, what I should of done and imagined that he hit me and how I handled it.  I played this in my mind until I once again met Allan on the battlefield.  Like usual I ignored him but he couldn’t just be a nice kid and play, he started the name calling again and then he hit me.  I don’t even remember what went down, I just remember standing there with my hands balled into a fist and he was running screaming for his mother.  A good soldier doesn’t wait for the enemy to re-group, so off I went…  His mother showed up at our house and it turned out my father knew everything and saw from our living room window the whole show of Allan hitting me and me standing up for myself.  He essentially told Allan’s mother what he thought of her and her son and told her to get off his property.   He closed the door and told me he was proud of me for standing up for myself and he didn’t think I’d have any more problems with Allan.  I often wonder if Allan got the better of me if my father would of intervened or let me learn my lesson!

This battle thinking has helped me get through a few obstacles in life, I hit the obstacle head on and then regroup and hit it again.  I now know that this is why my husband encouraged me to play hockey – he knew I’d go to battle.  After talking to my brother on Friday night and listening to the trials he and his wife are going through (as written in Dear God), I headed to my game on Sunday night with a heavy heart.  I almost didn’t play because the game was Sunday night at 10:15 pm and I was feeling tired.  It then occurred to me that my sister-in-law would give her right arm to be able to go out and play hockey, so the battle began.   The team I play for has never won a game, this is my second year and we’ve never won.  Last year we were losing like 17 – 0!  Pretty bad I know but we’ve got a few newbies mixed in with some good hockey players and the teams we play against have more good hockey players than newbies, so we lose all the time.  We’re all a  bunch of hard working lady hockey players and we keep playing hard even when we lose.  That night when I got on the ice something snapped in me and the battle began. We were playing  lady sharks and let’s just say they are a bunch of Allan’s.   Standing on the ice, I imagined all the players as cancer and to get the puck from cancer was a good thing.  God help cancer when he tried to take the puck from me.  I think all the girls were thinking like that Sunday night because we came out fighting hard and none of us gave up on the puck.   Next thing I knew we scored and at this point we were losing 2 – 1, but it was still first period.  As the game went on I aggressively went after the puck and each time imagined I was taking out cancer.  Once I got the puck I managed to pass it the girls who could do something with it and we came pretty close on a few more goals.  Second period I found myself skating to the opposite team’s net with the puck and just when I was lining up the shot, one of my teammates came along took the puck and scored.  I guess you could say it’s a debate whether I gave her the puck or she stole it – doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned, together we tied up cancer.  Now it’s 2 -2 and we’ve got to hold cancer off for another period.  We made it to the end of the game and held that bastard cancer off and beat him in overtime.  First win for us ladies  – I think I was screaming the loudest after all in my head we won the battle, we beat cancer.  Too bad it’s not this easy in real life..

Hockey Night in Canada

In the post “Bye, Bye, Great Pumpkin” I talked about getting rid of our orange family room.  I hired a painter and re-painted the room a calm and soothing grey.  Took me a while to put the room back together because once I removed everything from the room, I didn’t want to put it all back.  Several years ago my husband won this big picture of Bobby Orr.  It is a nice picture but how do you decorate around Bobby Orr.  Now, now ladies if you’re saying get rid of Bobby Orr you have to remember that it’s not all about us.  Our hubbies have decorating preferences too – even if you don’t agree with your man’s taste he does have preferences.  My husband loves his Bobby Orr picture,  so being a hockey family we decided to put the picture in our family room.   One night while looking through blogs, I came across Micheline’s blog and really liked her art work.  Why I don’t know, I e-mailed Micheline to ask her if she would consider painting a  hockey picture of my children.  I sent the above picture of the boys, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted or expected.  Micheline politely said “thank you, but no thanks.”  Part of her reluctance was she thought I wanted a portrait and I assured her I wanted something abstract.  The painting took about two months as she had other commission work to complete.  I had no idea what artistic brilliance Micheline would come up with and other than telling her what number jerseys the boys wear, and a few other tidbits of information, I left the professional part of painting up to the expert.  I guess you can say that this project was a leap of faith for both artist and client.  Glad to say we are both happy with the results.  I love the picture and Micheline took on something out of her comfort zone.   Thanks Micheline for helping me complete my decorating project, the picture looks awesome in our family room and compliments Bobby!   Below is the awesome pic Micheline came up with – I love it -hubbie is still warming up to it!

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THE AIR IS DIFFERENT UP HERE!

This past weekend I found myself in 100 Mile House, BC for an Atom Hockey Tournament for my youngest son.  I’ll be honest, when this trip was first mentioned to me I wasn’t all that thrilled about driving 5 hours for a tournament.  Then to add insult to injury, I found out my husband and other son could not join us for the tournament.  There was no way I wanted to drive up there alone so my husband, being so kind, arranged for me to drive up with the coach and his family.  I said to my husband “can’t we just say impossible we can’t make it” – noooo we had to go.  After all I wanted to stay home and paint my pumpkin room as I mentioned in my “So Inspired” blog.  Off I went and put on a big smiley face and pretended I was glad to go as my son was so excited.  We left the house at 9:00 am Friday morning and arrived in 100 Mile House around 2:00 pm.  We quickly unpacked the truck and grabbed our skates and hockey sticks and headed to the outdoor skating rink for a game of hockey.  The coach myself, his son and my son played a game of hockey for an hour and my son laughed his face off the whole time.  It was then that I realized how wrong I was, it was going to be  a good weekend.  Being out of the city I felt like I could breathe and pretty soon my body lost all of that city tension.  Back to our chalet we headed to change to our bathing suits and headed to hang out at the hot tub and pool.  The next day the boys played two games and then we had a four hour wait for the next game.  Everyone was tired and wanted to relax, but all my son could talk about was playing hockey on the outside rink.  I found out that there was a natural pond a little ways down the hill through the trees and that’s where my son and I  and his friend headed with our skates through the blades of our hockey sticks thrown over our shoulders.  Through the trees where we came upon a beautiful ice rink, smooth as glass with  a tepee standing to one side of the rink, a place where you could build a fire to stay warm.  Luckily for us there was no need for a fire as the sun was shining warm on our faces.  The team lost one game, won three games that weekend and my son played the best hockey he’s ever played.  He won most sportsmanship award and the smile on his face was priceless.    The picture gallery below was taken by my son on his I-pod,  sort of a journal of his journey all through the eyes of a child:

A few of my pictures to finish off the weekend!

Let’s just say this is a character rink!   Look at that smile!

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