love letter

>> Friday, February 29, 2008

Dear ValleyGirl,

I will seek and I will find you.
I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.
I will make you ache, shake & sweat until you moan & groan.
I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.
I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I'm finished with you.

And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All my love,

The Flu

Get your mind out of the gutter!!

Leap Year

(Y'all just have absolutely NO idea how long I waited to use this!! I got it as an email several months ago, but there was just never a really appropriate time. Until this week. And boy I tell ya, it describes my week PERFECTLY!!)


i do love smalltown medicine

>> Wednesday, February 27, 2008

As much as I would love to live closer to family and the place I grew up (and Wal*M*rt!!), I have to say, there are some SERIOUS perks to living in the boonies. All stories of walking in peace and tranquility with nothing for miles and miles but a few horses and cows aside, I have to brag on our medical system a little.

Today, it appeared that for the most part, all us ladies were on the mend after our bouts of fevers and coughing, but Fidget was quite fussy all afternoon. Even when she seemed to be happily playing, she was always on the verge of tears. Or outright crying, even though she didn't seem upset. And then all of a sudden, she said something about her ear. A-ha.

I looked up at the clock. Dang it. Four-thirty. No doctors' offices are open anymore. Next I looked at myself in the mirror. Cripes! No stinkin' way am I going out in public like this, even if I do have a dying kid. Remember, I've been sick for the last two days myself!!

So I quickly washed my hair in the sink, threw on some semi-respectable clothing, packed the girls into the van, and headed to the hospital in town. By 5:15, a nurse had checked Fidget out and contacted the on-call doctor. By 6:00 --after an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants and half of another disturbing kids' show, in which the girl's mother is a PRAYING MANTIS -- he had seen her, confirmed my suspicions, and we were out the door with prescription in hand.

They'd given me two syringes of antibiotics because they figured I wouldn't be able to get to the pharmacy in time, but when I walked into the store (I had to pick up more kids' ibuprofen and some milk anyway), I noticed the lights of the apothecary were still on. Lo and behold, even though the pharmacy was officially closed, the pharmacist was still there and said he'd likely be there for another half hour or so doing some paperwork...... so sure, he'd gladly mix up a batch of Fidget's prescribed meds in the mean time. Can you even believe that?! I almost hopped the counter and kissed him!! (although that might have more to do with missing The Bushman...)

That is one HUGE difference between living in The Big City and The Valley in the Middle of Nowhere. I tell ya, goods might be a little more expensive, but services are cheaper and generally much faster. And of course, in Canada, there's no such thing as waiting to fill out long insurance forms or HMO's or paying medical bills and whatnot -- medical care is all paid for by our taxes. (Actually, I have no idea what HMO's are. I just know it relates to medical stuff and I think I sound important when I use the term.)

I was amazed, once again, at the speed with which it all happened and SO thankful that there's never a huge waiting room full of people at our local hospital. And for pharmacists who willingly work after hours sometimes. Just to be nice.



wellness wednesday

Ugh, I wasn't going to play this week because fevers and coughing have ravaged our home in the last few days and my brain still hurts. But, seeings as how I had much of this written earlier already, I figured I may as well finish it.

Last week, I talked about slowly beginning to fight against the path I'd been on and carve a new groove for myself. I briefly mentioned the word perseverance, and that's what I tried to focus on this last week. (rather unsuccessfully, but at least I tried!)

I found the following great quote on my friends' blog, who'd received it from a dear friend of theirs. Since it fits so well with the whole 'carving a groove' theme, I wanted to share it with you.

"Perserverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perserverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perserverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that [we might fail]."

How many of you have thought about perseverance that way? (Okay, don't tell me -- I'd hate to find out I'm the only one!!) I never once thought that perseverance could mean more than just keepin' on keepin' on. I have certainly never 'refused to believe I might fail.' Heck, I PLAN for failure. Just like a pre-nup agreement, there are always several "but if, then that" loop-holes when I'm setting goals for myself in the weight loss/healthy living department. How awful and faithless to prepare oneself for the worst even before committing to the best!!

So Sunday night, I decided to make a concentrated, conscientious effort to switch from just barely hanging on to persevering. And then we all got hit with this virus. Nuff said.

We seem to be on the mend now though, and today is always the best day to start making changes for the better. How about you? Are you persevering or just hanging on?

Rock Climber


wordless weekday: "can't hardly wait, part 2"

>> Tuesday, February 26, 2008

(Pick a day, any day, but they still call it "Wednesday...")


10 things you'll likely never hear me say...

>> Sunday, February 24, 2008

  1. I got to spend the whole day in the garden!
  2. No thanks, I prefer to clean my house myself.
  3. I don't feel like going outside; I'd rather use my elliptical.
  4. Pick a tax shelter, any tax shelter -- we've made too much money again this year.
  5. I've been too busy to think about eating today.
  6. Ugh, it's just too hot outside.
  7. Ooo, let's throw a DINNER PARTY! (Sorry Sandy, it just ain't gonna happen!)
  8. Wouldn't it be fun to have another baby?
  9. Fidget, sweetie, you've been sitting there all morning. It's time to run around a little.
  10. I wish winter could be a little longer... Sigh.


friday fun

>> Friday, February 22, 2008

Even though the weather has DRASTICALLY improved and we've even been above freezing (just one day!), this email I received last week is still very fitting!!

On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and said:
"Today I am going to create a land called Canada, it will be a land of outstanding natural beauty. It shall have tall majestic mountains full of mountain goats, and eagles, beautiful sparkling lakes bountiful with bass and trout, forests full of elk and moose, high cliffs over-looking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life, and rivers stocked with salmon."

God continued,
"I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper, I shall call these inhabitants Canadians, and they shall be known as the most friendly people on the earth."

"But Lord," asked Gabriel, "don't you think you are being too generous to these Canadians?"

"Not really,"
replied God.....
"just wait till you see the winters I am going to give them!"


Okay, and now for the Middle Name HOOPLA!
Tara hi-fived me for this this week:

(1) You must post the rules on your post before you answer the questions.
(2) You need to list one fact about yourself using each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name use your maiden name instead.
(3) When you are finished with your answers, you tag one person for each letter of your name.

Well, get ready for some excitement. I've got a whopper of a middle name!

L - love walking outdoors (hey, it didn't say these facts had to be new and exciting!)
Y - yardwork sucks. Well, mostly just gardening. I actually quite enjoy mowing the lawn.
N - nature-lover (Even in winter, I just discovered this year. I'm still not outside much though, if I don't absolutely have to be!!)
N - never been to the east or west coast, though I've travelled fairly extensively in North America, and a little bit in Africa and Central America.

Wow, could you even hang in there long enough to finish reading through all that?! Whew. Okay, now I'm tagging Karen, Susanne, Sharon and Chris, my favourite blogging family!!

Hope y'all have a great weekend!!
Obnoxious Day 2/24
(Did YOU know Sunday was National Obnoxious Day? Yeah, me neither. What a thing to especially set aside a day for! Like there isn't enough obnoxiousness in the world every other day!! I had fun with National Temporary Insanity Day on Tuesday, though...)


wellness wednesday

>> Wednesday, February 20, 2008

(Click either of the buttons for more great ideas, encouragement, or to check out other participants.)

Two weeks ago, I used the phrase, "start carving my groove" and it seemed to strike a chord with several people. It got me thinking about how water works when it gets dammed up or when there's suddenly water where there didn't used to be and it needs to get somewhere, like during spring thaw up in the hills around our place.

Each weekend, we drive up into the hills to the little town where our church is and each spring, it amazes me how many new rivulets make their way down to the road. No path has been previously cut for them necessarily, they have to blaze their own trail -- carve their own groove -- in order to get anywhere.

Similarly, developing self-discipline -- carving a new groove -- requires effort. It requires time and perseverance. The gulley at the end of our road that gets a little wider and a little deeper every year (after having swallowed the road that used to be there) didn't just suddenly come into being. It's only been after years of spring run-off carving its path down to the river that the ravine has become what it is.

So this week, I've tried to view things a little differently. As a rivulet planning to one day rival the Amazon. One has to start somewhere, right? I've started with this: leaving the computer off in the mornings until I've done my 30 minutes on the elliptical, read 4-6 chapters in my Bible, and spent some quality time with God. And making sure there's laundry to fold when I sit down in front of the TV, so that my hands are busy with something other than shovelling food into my mouth!

There have been other small changes -- allowing myself only an hour after breakfast to check email and read blogs before digging into my to-do list, inviting my girls to help me with dishes or make a meal, incorporating more fruit and veggies into my daily diet while cutting back on snacks and soft drinks.

My GOAL really isn't to lose weight; my goal is to live with purpose the life I think God would want me to. This includes being a good steward of the human vessel He's entrusted me with. I have NOT done well in this area for basically all of my adult life, but I've realized recently that my focus has always been wrong. My focus has been ME and how I want to look all hot and sexy and have people express their unbelief that I'm a 30-something mom of two and how I'd tell everyone of my great determination, all the while primping and preening and strutting my stuff. I've always known my focus needed to rather be on HIM, but somehow never realized that it wasn't.

And so I've started carving my groove towards honouring Him in everything, my body and health included. None of the things I mentioned have been done every single day, but I've begun the process of change. My groove is still small and rather insignificant yet; not terribly impressive. But my potential is torrential.

Niagara Falls
(haha, how was THAT for cheesey??!!)


wordless tuesday/wednesday: "i can hardly wait" edition

>> Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Only another 3 months to go...

(heaving a deep sigh)

Wordless Wednesday



8 in 2008 upd8

>> Monday, February 18, 2008

I've decided, instead of boring you with listing each of my goals each time and indicating my progress (or lack thereof!) for each, I'm rather just going to bore you slightly less and mention only the ones I've been focusing on of late. That will hopefully keep these "upd8's" a little shorter! (the initial "8 in 2008" post with all my goal details for this year is here.)

Spend less time focusing on how much effort something will require, and more time focusing on the enjoyment of the thing itself - Again, I think I've done well here in the last couple of days that I've been living at home again. Counting yesterday, in the last two weeks of this month I had/have to:

  • teach the youth Sunday school class once
  • canvass my road for Heart & Stroke Foundation
  • attend a fundraising supper
  • church ladies' prayer sister revelation night
  • kindergarten families' gym night
  • treat bathroom walls and ceiling with mould/mildew killer
  • patch ceiling and sand
  • prime ceiling and trim with primer/sealant
  • give walls and ceiling two coats of paint
  • give baseboards, trim, and door two coats of white paint
  • install medicine cabinet and various other accessories to finish the bathroom (after buying them, of course! That hasn't been done yet either)
  • re-organized linen closet to accommodate things that used to be stored in the bathroom
  • Oh, and catch up with my studies after being away from home for a week!

Whew! I'm pretty sure there's other things I could add to the list, but you get the idea! I've got a full two weeks coming up before the month is over!!

I know this would have felt very overwhelming in the past, but for whatever reason, I'm just plugging away at it without really thinking about what's all left. And somehow I'm confident I'll fit it all in. Mind you, it's not like there's really a time limit on some of these things, just personal goals. I know that makes a difference, too.

But look at me go, all relaxed and casual about it!!! A lady from our church offered to take the girls for the day today, so in about an hour, I'll be dropping them off and then I'll have seven hours ALL TO MYSELF. That oughtta be good for getting a few things done! Haha, that's the PLAN anyway!!

8. Spend more time in conversation with God - I've done quite well here. Last week was great because I wasn't at home and there was really nothing for me to busy myself with, so I spent a lot of time reading my Bible and praying. I've quite enjoyed that time and it's been easy (so far) to want to keep it up since moving back home on Friday night.

President's Day 2
(We have a holiday here too today, but I'm not thrilled about what or who our province has supposedly decided to honour, so I'm more than happy to observe a holiday from a different country instead!! And doesn't have an appropriate smiley for any of the other Canadian provincial holidays taking place today anyway.)


okay, just a little peek....

>> Friday, February 15, 2008

...cuz I'm positively bustin', even though it's not done yet!!!!

Remember the insanely awful and horrifying photo of the tub faucet? (I can't resist posting it again, just to marvel in terror at it one last time.)

Well, it has become this magnificent, shiny, beautiful specimen of water temperature and flow control!!!

And remember this cramped-feeling view?

Check out the sudden roominess! Weird how it seems bigger now, eh?

The rest of the unveiling will happen once I've accessorized and painted. So don't be holdin' your breath -- it could be a while! (Remember, the kitchen still isn't done and that got put in almost exactly 6 years ago..... I'm kidding, mom! I promise I'll have the bathroom done before you come out next month!!)

Okay, well, my BRAND NEW SOAKER TUB is finally full, so off I go!!



bathroom update

Well, my week away from home is drawing to a close. The bathroom will be finished today. Don't expect too many pictures any time soon, though, because I still have to prime and paint the walls, baseboards, window casing, door frame, and door. I really wish I'd gotten The Bathroom Guy to do that, but because he already ended up doing a bunch of extras like changing the plumbing in the basement so we could switch the toilet and sink around and updating some of our electrical in the basement, as well as replacing a part on my furnace, I wasn't sure how we were doing budget-wise until yesterday. Now, it seems we're still almost a thousand dollars under the original estimate, so adding in the painting wouldn't have been a big deal after all, but I don't want him to have to come back and do that next week while we're living there again. So I'll tackle it on my own.

I guess that's what will be occupying my evenings for the next few days. Ugh. I HATE painting. Well, not so much the actual painting, but all the prep-work and clean-up are a pain in the butt. Maybe I'll buy a bunch of cheap rollers so that I can just chuck 'em after each coat, rather than having to wash them in order to reuse them for the next one. I have to treat the ceiling and top few inches of the walls with a chemical to kill mould and mildew first before I get to the priming and painting, so even though it's a teeny tiny room, it will still be a bit of a project.

And then there's the other things that will need doing in there yet, like installing a small, mirrored medicine cabinet above the sink, buying and installing a shower curtain rod, finding a shower curtain I like (or just a cheap one that we can use until such time as I can get to The Big City where the selection will be infinitely better), installing hooks for the towels where the ugly, free-standing cupboard used to be, that kind of thing. All stuff I can handle, but things that will take a bit of time.

Aside from the painting, the biggest issue facing me right now is where the heck I'm going to put all the things that used to be in the vanity and that free-standing cupboard!! I couldn't BELIEVE how much stuff came out of those storage areas! You know, stuff like 3-yr old leg waxing kits that had leaked all over the place and thoroughly gummed up everything on that shelf; 10-yr old permanent hair dye (copper) that I was never brave enough to put in my hair, but always thought I'd someday have the guts for; empty old hairspray bottles that, for whatever reason, never made it into the garbage.... PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one with this kind of clutter!!!!! But even though I threw all the gross, never-used, and completely useless things away, I still have a large laundry basket overflowing with the rest of the stuff. Where will this stuff live now, I wonder, since I'm basically getting rid of all storage in that room? I guess we'll see.

Anyway, so this afternoon I will pack up my stuff from here and move back home to tackle all those complex and daunting issues. I've had a wonderful time here at my best friend's house. It's made me realize how much I missed getting together with her and though I'm excited about moving back home, I will miss my best friend and the time this week has afforded us. It's been a good week.



>> Thursday, February 14, 2008

The powers that be has chosen
Sharon @ Techno-nana
to be the very first winner of my very first ever giveaway!!!!

I'm so excited about my winner because not only is she from the deep south (where they don't get to experience"real" winter at all, haha!), but she's the real life mama of two of my favourite bloggers, Karen and Susanne! (And also the mother-in-law to Chris, Susanne's husband, whose blog I visit fairly regularly as well.) All four of them entered their names in this giveaway, so it's like a 4-in-1 winner!! Because I'm sure Sharon will give them all a chance to look at and read through the books, too! Isn't that cool?!

Sharon, thank you so much for your prayers and for the encouragement and wisdom you share on your blog. I hope you (and your family!) enjoy the prize package!!

And to all of you who entered, thanks so much for your comments and entries! I hope y'all have a very

Happy Valentines Day!!



wordless wednesday: "waiting for the schoolbus"

>> Wednesday, February 13, 2008

**TIME'S UP! Don't forget, entries for
must be received before midnight tonight!!!



>> Monday, February 11, 2008

Woo-hoo!!!! In about two hours, my Bathroom Guy will be here and begin transforming THIS:


well, something prettier, and less rusty and corroded looking. Isn't that close-up of the bathtub faucet absolutely revolting?! (I'll bet if you click the picture to see the extreme close-up, you'll feel like hurling. I did. Feel like it, that is! I mean, what IS that thing dangling from the spout??!! Eeeewwwww.)

Unfortunately, he won't be able to make the room bigger, but I'm excited about getting a new sink, bathtub, tub surround, taps, shower curtain (man, I think there are few things I like less than shower doors; those tracks are a pain in the butt.), etc. I can hardly wait to see the finished product, all shiny and new and (hopefully!) fabulous looking! The walls will be re-painted, the free-standing cupboard -- which you can't see in the picture, but when I post the official before and after pics, you'll know what I'm talking about -- will be no more, the sink and toilet will be repositioned... oh, and did I mention everything will be SHINY AND NEW??!! Yay!!

I may be a little absent from bloggyland in the next few days as we'll be moving to my cousin's house until our bathroom is functional again,

but I'll still be picking and announcing a winner in

so make sure you get your name in by midnight, tomorrow night!!!


where my kids get their great looks...

>> Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saw this on Karen's site a while back and thought it looked like fun. I'm not sure how scientific it is though, because the results vary, depending on which pictures I use!! Although it doesn't switch from one parent to the other -- the greater resemblance stayed with the same parent, just the degree of resemblance to that parent changed. Anyway, take a peek and try your own!

See? Didn't I tell you it was fun? (And now you know what I look like when I'm all tanned -- and how super cute I looked in my tiny little, sticky-outtie pony tails last summer, too!)

Don't forget to get your name into my first ever give-away contest!!!!
The deadline for entries is
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 11.59 pm.


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