Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Archive for the ‘Off Topic’ Category

Just Going for It with Paint

I painted a painting today. I know, I find the whole thing weird too.

I’ve been casually looking for an abstract seascape or something like that for over my bed. Right now I just have a blank wall. I’ve only been looking for the past several months (or years if you’re actually keeping track), but I have never found anything that grabbed me enough for me to buy it. Mostly the ones I found were not the shape I was looking for.

So today, I had some time on my hands and I decided to just go for it and see what I could do. Now, I didn’t buy the size canvas I want as I thought I should do a “test” painting first to see how it turned out. So I headed to the Dollar Store and bought paint, a canvas (16×20) and brushes; I think I splurged and spent $8 on supplies. Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, and I’m not sure if I’m going to go for the big canvas or not, but I’m pretty proud of myself for just doing it. I know I won’t be in any galleries any time soon but for a first painting I think it is A-OK.

I’m sure you are wondering where this wondrous painting is, so here it is in all it’s glory 🙂

IMG_20140622_204023Maybe I’ll just go for it and paint something else one of these days. It was fun!

Dress Codes: Are they Oppressive?

My 13 year old is constantly complaining about the dress code at school. I feel a sense of conflict about the whole thing.

On the one hand, it’s another way that we teach our children that it is up to the girl to dress in a manner that will not distract boys. The onus is on the girl. This sets the stage for the idea that:

  • women that dress provocatively or in a manner that is considered provocative deserve to be raped
  • men cannot control themselves when they see a woman they consider to look sexy
  • women bring sexual harassment upon themselves based on the manner that they dress
  • the way a woman dresses defines what type of person she is
  • there is something wrong or inappropriate with women dressing sexy
  • women cannot be trusted to make their own choices
  • and so on and so forth

This and thoughts like this are RIDICULOUS and WRONG.

Clothes do not determine who the person is. And dress codes should not be used as a way to oppress women even further.

Men are civilized human beings and should act that way.

One of the things that distinguishes people from animals is our ability to make choices rather than just run on instinct. When men walk down the streets with no shirt on women manage to restrain themselves. No one thinks any less of a man with no shirt on. And yet some men in this world think that women owe them something. Women owe them sex. And apparently that thought is even more prevalent when women wear short skirts or tight tops. (I know it is not all men, but it is too many.)

Does it all start with the dress codes at school? Probably not. The conditioning that ‘women deserve less respect than men’ probably starts way before that. But the dress codes do not help.

My sense of conflict comes with the clothes being designed today. Why do the styles out there push girls to grow up faster than ever? Why are clothes so sexy for your pre-teen and teen? Why do 13 year olds need push up bras?

My oldest and I went shopping for bras and a bathing suit last night. I almost had a stroke. The selection of bras without some type of padding was super limited. Why do we need to tell women in the bra store that they are inadequate without padding? Because really, that is what all of those bras and bra designers are telling women. Your breasts are not big enough, perky enough, adequate enough but we can fix you. No wonder women have self-image issues.

And then in addition to the bras and bathing suits, everything is so tight and low-cut and short. I guess it is me as a mother wanting to protect her daughter that I see some benefit to the dress code. I don’t like what the dress code stands for but it is a very small way to fight against the designers that constantly sexualize our girls.

I agree with my daughter that the dress code is misogynistic. But so are the clothes that are produced today.

Is there a happy medium? I don’t know what it is yet. But I hope it has to do with teaching your children self-respect and respect for one another. I hope that one day every person (not just some people) can see that women are not a commodity nor are they an object. They are people with brains and feelings and bodies and muscles, just like men. No one gender is better or more powerful than the other. We complement each other and that is a positive thing.


Hiring the Neighbourhood Kid


Shovels (Photo credit: justintravis)

We had a snowstorm. According to the weather we got 30 cm of snow. It seemed like a pretty deep 30 cm :). Needless to say I was out there shovelling.

One of the neighbourhood kids has taken it upon himself to be a bit of an entrepreneur. This summer he was offering to mow lawns for $20 and today he was offering to help shovel for $5. I had him mow for me this summer. He did a pretty crappy job but my lawn was also extra long due to my lawnmower breaking a couple of weeks before so I let him get away with it. Today, he offered to help me for $5 so I said yes as there was a lot of snow.

Let me tell you that I shovelled circles around this boy. Yes, $5 was pretty cheap but if you are going to offer your services then dig in so you can get hired again.

I’m conflicted when it comes to this boy, I want to support his entrepreneurial spirit. There are loads of kids in this neighbourhood and he is the only one out there making an effort but I also want to pay for a job well-done.

I did give him some advice today. I told him to dig his scoop out of his shed so that he could make more money. The shovel he was using was not up to the snow that was out there today. If I had him shovel on his own, he would have taken 8 hours to do the driveway, easy.

I don’t think I’m going to hire him again since I don’t feel like I get my money’s worth but I feel a little bad about not wanting to hire him in the future. Any thoughts out there? I’d be interested to hear your opinions on the subject.

Happy Halloween (Otherwise Known as I Ate Too Much Candy)

English: Candy corn, specifically Brach's cand...

English: Candy corn, specifically Brach’s candy corn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another Halloween has come and gone and I have eaten too much candy today.

I feel yucky.

I wish this feeling would make me not want to eat candy tomorrow but I doubt it. Sugar is my nemesis. I am weak to its siren’s call. I will probably eat more tomorrow now that there are big bags of it in the house.

As a type of defence, I will have to fit some exercise into my day tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t rain as much as expected and I can take a quick walk at lunch.

I should have weighed myself this morning before this over-indulgence and before I wrote my monthly check-in.  D’oh, missed opportunities. Now I will have to suffer the consequences of my lack of willpower.

Curse you candy holiday!

Strength and Sleep – 2 Fun Poems

English: Quill pen

English: Quill pen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t written poetry in years, but for some reason I have been inspired to play with my words a bit and in doing so I have written something that is different from my norm. I won’t say that these are good poems, I will just say that they are fun and they were written rather quickly in a couple of bursts of inspiration. This is what happens when you vow to write more on whatever pops into your head.

The Different Sides of Strength

Muscles, sinew, flesh

Pushing, pulling, lifting

Brawny, oiled, tanned

Savagely grunting



Principles, grit, substance

Dedicating, persevering, committing

Tenacious, insistent, resolute

Steadfastly enduring



Tenderness, Comfort, Warmth

Reaching, supporting, assisting

Loyal, soft, generous

Carefully embracing



Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

I pray to wake refreshed and renewed

I pray I’m not being rude

For my wish is for rest and a good night’s sleep

It is not for doom or death to creep

I pray to wake upon the morrow

And not to be the cause of sorrow


All I need is 40 winks

To work out all the clunks and clinks

Or perhaps I could use a few more

I’m not as young as I was before

Sleep eludes me some of the time

But when I receive it it is sublime

It wraps me in its warm embrace

And takes me to a peaceful place


But I still want to wake up in the morn

Feeling rejuvenated and reborn

For I have lots of things to do

Some things old and some of them new

Each day is a gift to celebrate

So wake me up I cannot wait

To explore, to create, to start, to wrap

Perhaps I’ll take a little nap.

A Poem About Searing Pain and a Broken Heart

I’ve started reading a blog called Lessons from the End of a Marriage and it made me consider whether I want to get into the details of the end of my marriage as it relates to how I ended up here. I don’t think I do.

I’ve told that story many times and it’s no longer cathartic, it’s just an old story that has a sad ending. But that isn’t my ending. I don’t have an ending yet. I have loads more living to do and this blog is about Revitalizing Me, not about dredging up mostly healed wounds.

However, I do want to share a sad poem. I wrote it just over 10 years ago when my youngest was 7 weeks old and my husband left me for the first time. I don’t want to share it because I want to rehash old hurts. I want to share it because I think it is good. It is raw and full of pain. Poems are supposed to evoke emotions and I think this one does that.

I’d love your feedback, I’d like to know if it makes you feel anything. Feel free to comment and thanks for reading it.


I awake

Roused from slumber by a small, hungry child

My child

Who at 7 weeks has just slept through 8 hours for the first time

I stumble to the bathroom to get a cloth

She needs to be changed

I don’t want to get up but it’s my job

It’s what I signed up for when I decided to have this child.


The pain crashes over me like a tidal wave

It rips through my body and brings new tears to my eyes

Tears that burn

All I can feel is the pain

It is so intense that I can’t remember how I felt before it started

I can’t remember the anger, the fighting

It all seems so insignificant compared to the pain.


My child suckles at my breast

She is sated

She falls asleep again with that little half-smile on her lips

The smile that says she is full, content

She doesn’t know what lies ahead

What decisions are being made for her

The innocent child

My innocent children.


The pain rips at me anew

It is fresh, overwhelming and all powerful

I struggle to compose myself

I am in survival mode

I need to be strong for my children

When all I want to do is curl up in my bed and go to sleep

Numbing sleep

Sleep that is oblivious to the pain

I’ve used the term “survival mode” before

To describe things between my husband and me

I was wrong, I wasn’t even close.


I can’t recall the past

What was said, what was done

Who was hurt

It doesn’t matter

It doesn’t compare to how I feel now

The searing through my body that barely allows me to breathe

The constant despair

The knowledge that my husband despises me so much that it conquers his pain

That his hatred, apathy, confusion conquers his heart and mind and his only decision is to leave

Leave not only me but his two beautiful children

His 3 year old who is so much like he used to be

Impulsive, loving, bursting with life

His 7 week old who hasn’t even let us see who she will be yet

What personality will emerge.


He says they’ll adjust

Children of separation, divorce

I can’t see any other conclusion

He doesn’t want to investigate, examine, determine what went wrong

He just wants to flee

My blinding pain is of no consequence

The way it envelopes me

The pain that emerges from 13 years of trust, love, companionship, friendship, tenderness, passion, commitment

A love that I can still feel underneath all of the pain

A commitment that I made until Death Do Us Part

A commitment that we would raise our children together, in the same home

That they could feel the strength in our love

That they could feel safe in our fortress, our family unit

That wasn’t supposed to crumble

To give way.


The pain envelopes me

I’m afraid of who it will make me

I’m afraid it will take a piece of my soul.




40 Days of Dating – the blog

I’ve been following this blog, 40 Days of Dating, and I have to say I’m hooked. Each day I check it to see if they have posted the next update.

The basic premise is that 2 friends, who have found themselves single at the same time, have decided to do an experiment and date for 40 days. They are tired of the prospect of dating (I can relate) and have decided to examine their personal relationship issues while going out with each other. They have 6 rules that they follow, one of which is seeing a therapist on a weekly basis (I guess they are pretty serious about scrutinizing their issues).

It gets interesting because Jessica and Tim are attracted to each other but they are concerned that they will ruin their friendship if they act on their attraction. Needless to say, there is some tension going on there. It feels a bit like a novel in that I can’t wait to turn the page and see what happens next. Perhaps I need to get out more or get more of a life, lol.

Anyway, I’m sharing it with you in case you want to follow along with the unfolding drama as well. They are on Day 20 so far so be sure to catch up on what you missed.

Graduation Memory Adventure

My niece graduated on Thursday. She didn’t really want anything for graduation so what I thought we’d do is go on a little adventure to create a memory.

Initially we planned to go on a city tour in an amphibious-type vehicle that can drive on land and also go into the water like a boat; the weather made us re-evaluate that plan. It just so happened that the day before we had been talking about how my niece wanted to see a lighthouse so that created the new plan. We donned raincoats and rubber boots and headed out to see a “fairly” local lighthouse. The adventure crew included me, my kids and my niece and nephew.

On the drive there was some loud, crazy singing which we attempted to drown out with the radio. Then when we got there there were tons of pictures, posing and rock climbing. I’m not including pics of the kids but here are a couple of me and the rocks.


After all the rock climbing and picture taking, we headed into the gift shop to buy some salt water taffy. My niece and my oldest mailed post cards to each other from the lighthouse so they should get those in a few days.

We had a great time and I think that we created a pretty good memory. I hope that the memories created by spending time with family will outlast any material things I would have given her. (BTW, I did give her a bit of cash too for those of you who think I was totally cheap.)

6 Months and 100 Posts

100I cannot believe that this is my 100th post.

When I started this little project I’m not sure if I ever thought that I would make it this far. I hoped that I would but 100 posts is a lot. I’m pretty proud of myself.

They haven’t all been stellar but they have all been written by me. I may eventually go back and purge a few of them but they are a nice little diary of my adventures these past 6 months.

Today is also the 8 month anniversary of my unemployment. I never thought I would be unemployed this long either. I had 2 interviews last week (for the same job) so I’m waiting patiently to find out if they want me to come in for a third. I’m hopeful even though it would be an hour commute, I am really tired of looking. But as I have not heard yet, I have to get back to the job search tomorrow. Last week was so crazy I certainly didn’t do much. And this week I want to take an extra long weekend so I need to get to it tomorrow!

As for the goals of this project, I think I am making progress. It is not always easy to be happier. Some of us have innate personality traits that make some days a challenge. And I have yet to find my great passion. I don’t know if I ever will, but I am happy to have this project as my intermediary passion until I can find something better :).

Manic Monday Morning

My crazy morning really started last evening when my oldest went to the Emergency room. On Saturday morning she started complaining about pain in her chest and over the weekend it got progressively worse. So last night her father took her to the hospital where medical professionals performed urine and blood tests and took an x-ray and they found… nothing.

Flash forward to this morning, normally my schedule is pretty open these days but this morning I had to wake up bright and early to head out of town to do a physical abilities test for Canada Post. I applied for a casual position with them and although it has been a process I believe this is the final hoop to jump through. As I was rushing around getting ready I was also madly texting my ex to find out how my daughter was doing. And as I drove the 1.5 hours to get to my testing location, my oldest was off to the hospital to get an ultrasound. Needless to say, I was a little stressed about the test in the first place but feel free to amp that up as I was stressed about my daughter as well. So when they took my blood pressure at my test I’m sure it was slightly elevated.

As soon as I got out of the test, I called to find out the results from the ultrasound and fortunately or unfortunately, they still found nothing. So the plan right now is for her to take prescription pain medication until we can get her into the family doctor on Wednesday. That does not seem like much of a plan to me but apparently that is the tactic for unknown illnesses. 😦

On the way home I stopped for a quick bite, I was famished after my 80 minutes of physical activity. I pulled into the local Irving Big Stop and look at what I saw parked there:

IMG00581-20130617-1155Since I’m a bit of an internet geek, I immediately took a pic and shared it on Twitter and Facebook (and now to my blog fans as well). It was pretty fun to see the Google Street View car in small town, Canada. I even got to chat with the woman who drove the hi-tech car. She confirmed it was a pretty sweet gig, which was no surprise.

Normally my days are pretty quiet and uneventful but all of this commotion happened before lunch time. As a matter of fact, the afternoon has been pretty anti-climactic in comparison. I should hear back regarding my physical test this week, I think it went well in spite of everything, I mean I’m not in the best shape of my life but I’m not in the worst shape of my life either. It doesn’t mean I am guaranteed a job, I’m quite sure there were a lot of us doing the testing but it is finished and I think I did ok.

As for my daughter, hopefully she will have a miraculous recovery this week and it will all have been a result of something easy like muscle strain. Because the concept of long-term prescription pain medication for an undetermined illness just sucks.

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