Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday!

Thursday, December 14, 2012

So I'm taking a break from my childhood journal today and want to mention how thankful I am for everything I have in my life.

My children, my hubby and of course all the good friends I've made over the years.  Some I still see and the ones I don't see still have a warm place in my heart.  I do believe people enter your life for a reason and when they leave it's because they've accomplished whatever it is they were to do.

Last Sunday was a special day because my son, his wife and baby granddaughter came for a visit.  Natalie looked beautiful in her red and black dress.  She had just been to see Santa.

Natalie Anne
The kid, Natalie and the boy
Hubby caught off guard

Hubby and Sam
Can't wait for Christmas!
So hubby and I will be away overnite on Saturday.  A little shopping, a little gambling.  Looking forward to a little time together.
Hope everyone has a great day and until later...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Journal Continued

Saturday, December 8, 2012

This is a continuation of my post from Thursday where I'll try to capture some of my "rebellious teen years".   Honestly, it's hard to describe everything that went on in my life at that time because I would need to write a book in order to capture it all.  You are getting a "capsulized" version  Also, reading back on my last post I do apologize for the spelling errors and will try to edit this post more thoroughly but I will apologize again, in advance, because I'm sure I've missed something.

The Rebellious Teens:

So moving into my grandmother's house was quite an eye-opener.  Oh I had spent holidays there over the years but wasn't prepared for what was in store.  Looking back,  I think they were all on their best behaviour for those short visits.

Once there, a family meeting was called at the kitchen table to discuss where I would sleep and attend school in September.  I had moved there at the end of Grade 8 and had to decide which high school I would attend.  I had no clue so they chose for me.  I only knew one other person that was going to attend there and hoped she'd be in my class.  Well that didn't happen.  In fact I never saw her so I was thrown into a school where I basically knew no one but everyone else seemed to know each other.  Again, I didn't "belong".

Also, I was used to going to church every Sunday rain or shine and asked where I would go.  They looked at me dumbfounded and weren't quite sure what to say.  You see they were not church-goers although my grandmother always sent money in an envelope to some church (I'm not sure which).  Anyway, it was finally decided that I could go wherever I wanted so I was left to my own devices on that one.  I ended up going to the same church where I was babtized years before but going by myself  each week wasn't much fun so that didn't last.

Did I mention that my aunt and uncle didn't believe in spanking or physical discipline of any kind?  Thank goodness!  They were modern thinkers in that respect.  Well my grandfather was not a modern thinker but "old school" and kept a belt hanging in full view of the kitchen table in case my sisters and I got out of hand.  Luckily, I never got it (why? I don't know) and my youngest sister being  "the baby" and could do no wrong never got it either so that left Barb, the middle child.

Barb was always getting the belt.  In fact one time in particular she was whipped so bad she could barely walk because of the welts on her legs.  I grew to hate my grandfather and his cruelty toward her.  I didn't attend his funeral years later because I could never forgive him for that and never will.  It is what it is.

So I would attempt to intervene in the arguments and fights that constantly happened in our house trying to be the voice of reason, only to be told it was none of business and if I wasn't happy I could leave.  Again, I didn't "belong".  My opinion meant nothing.  So I found solice with my friends and spent more and more time away from the house.  I only went home when I absolutely had to.  My life was changing and my innocence comprimised.  Finally fed up, I decided that when I turned sixteen I would leave.

I quit school, got a job and scoured the classifieds for a place to live.

When the actual day came for me to move out on my own, the hardest thing was to leave my grandmother whom I adored. I told her that I wasn't leaving "her" just the situation.  I'll always remember that conversation and the sad look in her eyes.  I miss her terribly...

Now freedom but at what price?

To be continued....

Me and Mom

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Thoughtful Thursday

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh where to start. Okay well I guess with Christmas coming I've been thinking a lot lately about all my good fortune.  Oh I may not be rich financially but emotionally and spiritually I am.

Now everyone knows how I feel about "organized" religion but I do have a spiritual side. I am not the heaten some people think I am although I tend to be more pragamatis and linear in my thought process.

I love blogging because it's somewhat of a personal journal.  I get to put my thoughts down on paper and although you may not agree with what I have to say, I don't mind because we all have our own opinions and beliefs.  That's what makes people interesting to me.  The diversity of it all.

I do want to say how happy I am that I found out that I have more readers than I thought.  Not all of them are listed as "followers" but they are world-wide.  I have had friends and family tell me that they routinely read my blog and I'm flattered that they are interested in what I have to say.

The beginning:

I'm the one squinting from the flash (circa 1959 or 1960)
on a rare visit to see my dad and new wife

I've had a very eclectic life from an early stage.

I am what they call an "army brat" because at the age of two we lived on an army base in Picton where my father was a weapons specialist.  My sister Barbara was born there and when we moved backed to Toronto (where I was born) my youngest sister Irene was born.

Life with my parents at that time was tumultuous to say the least. We lived in a little bungalow  in the east end of the city that my grandmother had bought for my parents as a wedding gift.

My father was an alchoholic and not a very nice one at that.  I have memories of the police bringing him home drunk and disorderly on a regular basis.

I remember watching my father beat my mother for the littlest thing.  There were no anger management classes in those days. I would just stand there crying begging him to stop and finally he would.

Well Christmas came one year when I was four and I was told I was going for a visit to my aunt and uncle's in Weston over the holidays.  I was excited because I loved them dearly and they used to visit quite often (I found out later it was to make sure I was getting fed, etc.).

Anyway, little did I know it was not just a visit and that they were my new guardians.  So every night after supper I would sit by the front door waiting for them to pick me up. Of course they never came.  I used to fall asleep there on the floor so after about two weeks my aunt and uncle explained that they weren't coming and I would now be living with them.

As the years went by I grew accustomed to my new home and was enrolled in school and made friends with the neighbour's kids.  I went from a caotic life to one of structure and discipline.  I was enrolled in summer programs, ballet and tap at five and then through the years took singing, drama, recorder, piano, modern jazz, skating and swimming.    I was a brownie and girl guide.  I went to Sunday school, church camps and a host of other activities.  I was busy.  I had a good life and didn't want for anything or so it seemed.  Something was missing.  I didn't belong.  I thought maybe if my aunt and uncle adopted me and I had their last name I would fell better about myself but they refused and said I already had a last name and parents of my own.

I longed for my "real" mom and dad.  Oh I knew I had parents but they weren't in my life.  Over the years my mom would ask my aunt to pack a bag and she would pick me up to go on a trip.  I can't tell you how many times I sat on the veranda dressed and ready to go with my suitcase by my side but she never showed.  I just got used to it after awhile.

The other kids were always asking me why I lived with my aunt and uncle.  I never knew what to say so I would just make stuff up.  I do remember saying my father was a spy and my mother a movie star or a famous model...  I was convinced I was adopted because how could my parents just give me up?  So my uncle got my birth certificate to prove I wasn't.  I was so disappointed. I thought just maybe I had other parents out there that really cared about me.

I never felt I really belonged so when I was thirteen I became rebellious and wanted to leave the home that I had known from the age of four.  I longed for a diffrent life and some freedom so I moved back with my mom and sisters who were living with my grandmother in Toronto.  There were no shelters for battered women back then so my mother didn't have much of a choice when she left my father. 

Well needless to say, I went from structure back to caos in my teen years.

To be continued...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Torrential Tuesday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So I wanted to create a post today that's on the lighter side today as yesterday's post centered on a serious matter that is near and dear to my heart.

So here is a pic of our tree that we managed to get up and decorated last Wednesday night. 

By Day
By Night
I always let hubby do the lights and then I take over with the rest.  Now I just have to do some wrapping and put some presents underneath.
On another note:
I've been a bit tardy with my "Deals of the Week" and I do apologize.  I'll try to make it up to you but I've been nursing a cold and not quite up to snuff.
I do hope some of you were able to make the "One-of-a-Kind Craft Show that was on last weekend at the Direct Energy Building on the CNE grounds.  It's a fabulous show that boasts over 800 artists.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it sown this year, hopefully I will next year.
"Deals of the Week"
No Frills is having a 1,2, and 3 dollar sale until Thursday, December 6th.  Great deals to be had.  Oh and they "price match".  Check out their flyer.
Loblaws Superstore is also offering some great deals that are on until Thursday, December 6th as well.
Canadian Tire has come along way since they just offered car accessories and power tools.  Check out their flyer with sale prices in effect until December 13th.  They also "price match".
Hope everyone is having a good week and until later...


Monday, December 3, 2012

Thoughtful Monday!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm calling this post "Thoughtful Monday" because I got to thinking about the issue of domestic violence after watching a news broadcast regarding the Kansas Chief's player Belcher who murdered his beautiful girlfriend and the mother of their 3 month-old baby girl, Zoe.

Fellow players are mourning Belcher's death instead of the people that should be mourned, the victims in this case namely his girlfriend and her baby girl left without a mother.  I'm appalled at the ourpouring of emotion for this guy who is a cold-blooded killer that gunned down his girlfriend then shot himself.  Good riddance.  One less beater in the bunch.

In a perfect world there would be no domestic violence but unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world.  The majority of perpetrators are "so-called" men.  I use the word "men" loosely because to me they are not real men.

Real men love and care for the women in their lives.  They protect and cherish their mothers, lovers, daughters and female friends.  They nurture and advise and when they are frustrated or angry walk out of the room.  A real man can control his anger and not lash out.

I was a victim in the past of domestic violence.  I was lucky because I survived.  Thousands of women have not.

We have to make these men accountable for their actions.  How?  Just one reported incident and lock them away for good so they can't hurt anyone else.  I don't believe in rehabilitation because it's in their character.  You can improve on one's character but you can not change it.

I'm sad for all the women all over the world who endure abuse of any kind.  Some manage to get away but the memory of such violence stays with you.

Love and treasure the women and girls in your lives and they will flourish.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Celebration Saturday!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This post is dedicated to my daughter (aka the kid).

Twenty-nine years ago I received the best Xmas present ever, my daughter.

Not only is she my daughter but she is my best friend who has been at my side through the good times and the bad times.  Loyalty is her strong suit and thank goodness because there were some rough times but she was always there for me and still is.  Our love for each other is unconditional.

Taken in Rome
My Beautiful Girl
So tonite we celebrate over dinner with friends and family at a restaurant of her choice.
What she doesn't know is that every day is a celebration for just having her as my daughter.
I love you sweetie!
Ciao everyone!