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Showing posts from April, 2012

Gormley's "Ten things I wish I'd known earlier"

John Gormley spoke at the College of Law's Graduation banquet and wrote about his speech in his column this week. The column was titled "Ten things I wish I'd known earlier" and in it he shared the then things he shared with the graduates.

My Favorites:

1. Lady Macbeth was right: "What is done is done and can't be undone." Learn from your mistakes, personal and professional, and then move on. Regret and dwelling on what you cannot change will strip your soul;


Somehow this past semester I missed calling a parent whose child's mark had been steadily dropping since midterm reports. I try to call or email parents at least once before report cards if there is a concern (there was no concern before midterms with this particular student) and I ALWAYS call parents of students who are at jeopardy of failing my class about a month before final exams. This one particular call got missed and the student ended up failing their final. I felt awful. I had made a mis…

My 30's

The last few months I have noticed wrinkles around my eyes. I am sure they were there before, but they just recently started having flashing lights around them every time I look in the mirror. At the end of March, Carmen at Blog By A Herzog posted Getting Older. I could totally relate. I know I am not old, but I want to look 40 when I'm 40, not 50. I, like Carmen, have started changing my habits. The last few summers I have stayed out of the sun and only ventured in with SPF 50 on. This was hard at first, because I love how I look with a bit of a tan. But when I weighed a tan vs cancer, it was a no brainer. More recently I have made a much bigger effort to watch my face every night. It is a small step, but as Carmen shares, really important. I had also noticed a decrease in strength and subsequently started doing sit-ups and push-ups in the morning. I am please to say it has been a couple of months and I have stuck with it!

This brings me to the 30 Things Every Woman Should Have a…

What we had for supper last night!

I made a Shepard's Pie last night for supper. It was quick and easy -  mostly because all the ingredients were pre-made!


Ground beef (I used the vegetarian substitute this time to make-up for "a little less meat" Monday, but I brown my ground beef before I throw it in the freezer, so this is prep-free for me)1 pkg gravyVegetables (frozen, canned, or leftover)Mashed potatoes (leftover or instant)Cheese

Put as much meat (or fake meat:-) at the bottom of your casserole dish. Make the gravy as per package directions. I like my gravy a bit thicker, so I added a bit of flour (mixed in water) once it got boiling in the microwave. Pour the gravy over the meat and mix. Layer vegetables on top. I partially cooked my frozen veggies to cut down on cooking time. Mix shredded cheese with potatoes (as much or as little as you like). Spread on top.

I cooked this for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees with the lid on.

I find that I have very little time from when I get home, until when we sit down …

Right where I put them.

I lost my school keys last week.

GASP.

I know. How brutal? I had taken a medical day on Wednesday and when I arrived back at work on Thursday they were not in their usual safe place, my purse. I looked through that suitcase of a thing 14 times. I scoured my classroom and the car. I looked in our entrance way and our office. I even had Hugh look in the car for me - I was convinced an extra set of eyes would be able to find them.

Since then I have been using a spare key, graciously given to me by our secretary and yesterday I lost it.

GASP.

Why is this happening to me? During my prep I had to fill up my water bottle and use the washroom. I headed to the staff room and did both things. I went to leave and I couldn't find my key. I retraced my steps. It wasn't by the sink where I filled up the water bottle and it wasn't in the washroom. The only conclusion I could come to was that I must have left it in my classroom. Nope. I headed back down to the staff room to check one more …

My clean vs. Hugh's clean

The weather was gorgeous yesterday - which means I got to wear one of my new dresses (the black and white polka dot with the red sweater, for those of you who watched the video!). My classroom was screaming hot by the afternoon, so I was glad to have it.

Hugh and I had a meeting after school and as we gathered our stuff to head home in our respective vehicles we decided it was too nice to cook (not to mention we were short on time) and it would be fun to have a picnic (and we didn't have any picnic food at the house).  I ran home to get Calder and Hugh was in charge of food.

Monday is usually, "Meatless Monday" at our house, so in that spirit, Hugh bought cheese pizza. He also bought a chicken ranch pizza and some wings, so it was more like, "a bit less meat Monday"!

We laid out a blanket and had a picnic in the yard. It had cooled off considerably from the afternoon and the wind had picked up, but we had a great time. Calder ate 1/2 a chicken wing. The sandbox…

What ELSE can I do?

What would you do if your best friend died?

I think my initial reaction would be shock which would then be followed by a body heaving cry. I would head straight to my friend's house and cling to her family. I would be lost in emotion. It is my hope that at some point I would begin wondering, "what can I do?"  Once I got to that point I am fairly confident I would send Hugh to the store for supplies and head myself to the kitchen - because that's just what I do - I cook. I also hope that as I spent some time in the kitchen crying and cooking, I would start thinking "What ELSE can I do?"

A friend who lives on our crescent lost a dear friend. Her name was Audra-May Babcock and she left a husband and 2 sons ( 2 years-old and 4 years-old) to mourn her.

Some of Audra's friends did exactly what I hope I would do. They thought, "What ELSE can I do?" They put together a fundraiser on Saturday night to raise money for Audra's boys' education fun…

Thursday

Wednesday I had a day filled with ups and downs. It was exhausting. All day I tried to figure out what I was going to write. I couldn't come up with one thing that felt inspired.

This lead me to think about not writing. . .

When I first started blogging it was to keep a family record of some of the events in our lives. It was a good way to share stories and pictures with family and friends. Then we had Tripp and my blog became part of my therapy. In a lot of ways my blog became about Tripp. This is a place where he is talked about and remembered. He lives here.

The day I stopped blogging on a daily basis was an emotional day for me. It felt in a lot of ways like letting part of Tripp go. He was wound so tightly through my blog that losing a day of writing felt like losing a piece of him. But I had to live my life and it was beginning to feel like I was writing to write, rather than writing to keep family records or writing for therapy.

Last night those same thoughts ran through my…

Pretty Red Shoes

I have been playing a new game with Calder. Hugh and I used to play it a lot, so it is fun to now be able to include Calder. The game is called "I love you more than . . . " and here is a sample of a conversation we had yesterday at the table:

J: I love you more than milk.
C: I love you more than ketchup.
J: I love you more than reading.
C: I love you more than glasses on your face.
J: I love you more than playing ball.
C: I love you more than peanuts.
J: I love you more than my new red shoes.
C: I love your pretty red shoes.

I just about rolled out of my chair laughing. I got two new pairs of shoes on trip to Toronto and Calder has been wearing them out! He bangs down the hall in them and then runs to the bedroom to get the other pair.

Too cute!

Hugh jokes that my shoes actually fit Calder. Apparently, Hugh thinks I have tiny carnie feet to go along with my tiny carnie hands (I have my sister and brother to thank for that one). 

Not quite as cute!


UPDATE: Just saw Deena pinn…

Set the timer

I am setting the timer today. 10 minutes.

It was good to be back at work today. I had left myself in a good place before the break - organized and on top of things. It made going back to work a much better experience. And I completed everything on my list from Sunday night which was also VERY helpful!


It is interesting the things that remind me of our loss. Sometimes it is another family, sometimes it is the fact that Hugh, Calder and I are enjoying ourselves. . . Our happiness reminds me of our sadness. 


Ball season is up and running. It is fun to get throwing the ball around again. I took last season off. I didn't feel like playing after Tripp died. This year should be fun. Calder is old enough to come to the games and run around. I would like to see a little nicer weather, though. I do not like playing in the cold. My young body hated it. My older body loathes it.


I have FINALLY got some organization done on our new computer - and by new I mean the one we got before Christmas. I h…

Post-Vacation Blues

Sunday, 6:58 pm

I have self-diagnosed myself with Post-Vacation Blues tonight. It exists. Wikipedia told me.

I have just been a bit down the last couple of days and the best reason I can come up with is having to go back to work. I love my job, but it just can't compare to an uninterrupted week of family and friends.

THIS site had some good tips for bouncing back after a holiday.

Here is my list:

Do the marking I have been putting off ALL WEEK. I seriously don't want to do it, but it is going to be even harder going back to work tomorrow knowing I am behind. I am also going to check my email tonight and deal with those that need to be dealt with. This way I will be able to do some planning and prep done before school starts on Monday.Plan some meals for the next week. I have let myself eat like crap this week, continually telling myself, "It's okay to indulge. I'm on holidays." Enough is enough. Eating like crap has made me feel like crap. This week my mantra i…

Creating Opportunities

You MUST check out Deena's post from yesterday. Not only did she make an amazing video (and I am not just saying that because I am one of the stars), she wrote a really thought provoking post that, you guessed it, got me thinking.

Deena spoke about how experiences are better than material goods and how the gift she got at Christmas from her husband, Dan, was the best should could have every gotten - Not because it was a trip to a Jay's game, but because he gave her the opportunity to have an experience.

I think back to my post, Five Regrets of The Dying. On my deathbed I want to have a life that is full of experiences. I realize that won't happen unless I make the effort to create opportunities where experiences can be made.

I know Deena would agree that the experiences we create don't all have to to be big things like a trip to the Jay's game (although that was an AWESOME experience and a great thing to consider doing every few years!).  Sometimes those experience…

TO - A Summary

My friend, Deena, and I spent 3 days in Toronto this week. We had grand plans of doing some touristy stuff before the Blue Jay's games on Monday and Tuesday night - until we arrived in TO. It turns out shop-till-you-drop followed by America's favorite pastime was just what the doctor order to rejuvenate these two moms. 
Shopping is something I don't do very often. Hugh and I usually do one large shopping trip in the fall to gather all the missing links to our wardrobe (Hugh is actually so set on shopping once a year that one summer he was down to 4 pairs of socks, but refused to purchase new ones because it wasn't "back-to-school shopping" time. He blamed his situation on Santa. Apparently, during his fall shopping the previous year he banked on getting a package of socks in his stocking and it didn't happen. Believe me, Santa got the message loud and clear. No one needs to see Hugh wearing the same yellow/brown hole-ridden socks day after day). 
This yea…

T-or-onto

Deena's fabulous husband, Dan, got her a trip for two to the Blue Jays home opener for Christmas and she asked me to accompany her. How lucky am I? Dan is not so lucky. Hugh has made it very clear that he will be giving Dan the gears the next time he sees him for making him and ALL other husbands look bad. I am confident Dan can handle it! :-)

Here is one of my favorites from the game.


Happy Easter

Calder did some blog worthy crafts this weekend. On Friday we got out the hard-boiled eggs and made Volcano Eggs. I completely recommend these. Calder was enthralled for 10 minutes and in his world that amount of time doing anything other than cars is noteworthy.  I would add rubber gloves to the recipe (fewer stained fingers) and a dash of extra baking soda on the top of each egg before you douse them with vinegar. The more bubbles the better the volcano (that's according to Calder. . . and me)!

How Many Children Have You Had?

This week we told our story to someone who hadn't heard it. It is sad to relive the details, but it feels so wonderful getting to talk about Tripp. The further we move away from his life, the less opportunities we have to talk about him.

Think about the last time you had a conversation with someone. It might have been a co-worker or friend. Maybe it was even a family member. What did you talk about?

Last night we had a group of Hugh's staff over for some socializing. Most of our conversations were framed around our children - what we were doing over Easter, vacations we took, and other humerous stories from our everyday lives. Even the conversatiosn that weren't framed around our children had our children in them. When we talked about landscaping a yard, we discussed if kids were going to be using. When we talked about students in our buildings, we related the stories to our own children. A significant portion of what we talk about is our kids.

Imagine if you rarely got…

EXHAUSTED

Wednesday, 6:58 pm

The title needed caps to show you exactly how exhausted I am. Today I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, but I am putting on my super-mom hat, because that is exactly what super-mom's do. But I will do a little complaining first while I tell you where all the exhaustion is stemming from!

I am physically exhausted and I can't seem to get caught up on my Z's because I am sick. I got run down after a hockey filled weekend, which gave way for a cold to settle in and make itself at home. Amazing time at the rink, but the limited amount of sleep kicked my butt. I can't wait for an afternoon nap this weekend!

As you are well aware by now, Hugh is Calder's favorite, but for a tiny while around Christmas, I was right up there. Then for the past three months we have slowly moved back to him acting like he hates me. (Yes, I know he doesn't hate me. He just yells, hits, and cries when it is my turn to do things with him. That's not s…

Comfort Food

Yesterday on my drive home I was excited for spring. The sun felt warm and I imagined all of the things I was going to do outdoors over the Easter break next week. I wanted to dig the few weeds that are already coming up in my flower beds. I wanted to get some stain to finish Calder's play structure with. The zoo has been calling our name. We haven't been there in a few weeks and a visit was in order. I haven't taken my bike out for a spin yet and Calder needs some work on learning how to ride his. A game of street hockey could have been fun - and not the driveway kind we usually play - the real thing - lifting nets out of the way when traffic drives by.

Then this morning I heard the forecast. They are calling for rain-snow showers for the weekend and into next week. Sounds JUST lovely.

I am not sure if it's the upcoming weather, or just the fact that I am tired, a bit overwhelmed and beginning to get run down, but I am feeling a bit blue today.

Today was a day I thoug…

Random Thoughts

If you are looking for a place to dine on a Monday or Tuesday night in Saskatoon, you should try the Ivy's Lounge. They have 2 - 1 appetizers and a variety of dishes on their lounge menu that don't look or taste like traditional bar food (vegetable pasta for example). Not that I don't like bar food. . . . I love it (they had a steak sandwich that looked divine). Last night I was out with the girls and we had the calamari and the coconut shrimp to start. Both were good, but the shrimp were REALLY good. I mean I don't even like coconut and I loved them!  • • • I found this new cereal at Walmart. It may not be "new" I guess, but I did just find it! It is called Sally's and not only is it tasty, it comes without a box - a little less packaging is always a plus in my books. We have a few containers from Costco (about $15 for a set of 3) that we keep cereal in, so pouring is a breeze
• • • If you smoke please, please, PLEASE, do not throw your cigarette butts …

Hockey First

On Thursday we had a hockey first in our family. It was the first time my brother, Luke, and husband, Hugh, played on the same team.

They were both picked up by Balgonie to play AAA Provincials. Thursday night was game 5 and although they came up short, the whole family was there to watch (minus Calder - much to late of a night for the big guy).

I wanted to get some better pictures, but I knew that following a loss the guys wouldn't stay out for their sister/wife to snap a couple of memory shots!

Here were the two best.
They didn't play together that night. The coach should have asked me my opinion, because I think that Luke and Hugh would be an excellent pairing. I mean, one even shoots right and the other left! LOL