My Birthday Has Nothing To Do With It

November 16, 2010 § 9 Comments

On Saturday I’ll turn 39 years old
A full twelve months before I am 40

My birthday has nothing to do with it
A happenstance to start feeling my age

Some days a fair bit older

It’s dawning on me, these second life symptoms
Occurring ever faster, that I see things anew

With kids well into their teens and older

It’s rubbing me that I should start thinking
About a life that’s more my own

My birthday has nothing to do with it
It just so happens while I’m thinking these things

I’ve been good, I’ve more than overcome
I’ve excelled and received outward approval

It’s time I did some things for myself, just because
And my birthday has nothing to do with it

But it helps, a day just for me, presents and cake

Now That’s a Switch Up

November 16, 2010 § 4 Comments

Hubby wants to buy a used car.

Oh, I’m sorry, I have to clarify because as I’ve learned through the last few months of research he’s been doing, a Jeep is in fact not a car…apparently, it’s a lifestyle.

Personally, the only thing that interests me about it is that it has a hitch so we can finally get a camper/trailer.  As much as I love camping, and it really rang true this year when I only managed to get away for two days out of the whole summer, I’m so over tenting.

For years I’ve wanted one of those wind up camper/trailers that we had when I was a kid. Of course, a more updated version is ideal.  Anyway, before we can consider that, we need to find another vehicle, preferably one with said ability to tow.

Enter 1995 TJ Wrangler, black, three tops, 4WD…blah, blah, blah.  Hubby and I went to check it out on the weekend.  It’s not often I see him like that, what’s the word I’m looking for…optimistic.

He was also extremely excited, grinning like a five year old on Christmas morning, when it started up and started purring like a 300 lb gorilla. I swear that if he does buy it, I’ll hear him coming home a good ten minutes sooner.

The switch up is that I’m having to convince him to buy it.  Up until now the slant of our relationship has been him insisting that I don’t have to check with him over every penny I want to spend.  (Raising a young child by yourself in poverty will do that to a person.)

Hubby got the Jeep checked out by a mechanic and it needs a bit more work than originally thought but the owner is willing to come down in price.  That begins the whole back and forth that Hubby is doing to debate.

Meanwhile, I’m in the corner quietly whispering in his ear, “Go for it”, “Do it”, “We can’t afford not to” and “C’mon…you know you waaaaaaaana”.

Am I being a supportive wife?  Am I just giving back to him all the encouragement he has given me?

Sure, but I’m also hell bent on not having to share my car with he who leaves it a mess of coffee cups, newspaper and burger wrappers and the gas tank on empty.

Love you Dear!  😀

New Kitchen Curtains and a Bread Basket Liner

November 15, 2010 § 3 Comments

Okay, well I’ve certainly got the ball rolling with my kitchen update project.  So far I’ve turned this…

Into these…

and have enough leftover for…

Two standard oval placements, two smaller rectangle placemats, two chair seat covers and a tea cozy.  That’s a lot of fabric for the few measly bucks I paid for that one panel.  😀

And just because it’s there and it actually matches rather nicely, I decided to make a new liner for my bread basket out of the original plaid fabric I bought.

I rather like the light green gingham but it clashes so it’s a no go. First I totally guessed how much fabric I needed and started on the lining. If you’re new to sewing I would definitely recommend measuring (L, W, H) and then adding 1/2 to an inch for seams.

Taking one rectangular piece, I attached two shorter pieces (about half the length of the original) and sewed them to either short end.  Then I took two more pieces (equal in size to the original) and sewed them to the longer edges.

I repeated this with my main fabric. The end results look something like this…

Next it’s time to make it look like a fabric basket.  On both the lining piece and fabric piece, bring the corner edges together and sew each of the four seams.

Now you should have two basket shaped pieces.  The next part is a little tricky but with patience and determination it’s not too difficult.  Right sides, together place the lining and fabric one inside the other…it doesn’t matter which one goes inside which, but it is crucial the good sides (what will show) are facing each other.

Next, pin the lining and fabric together all the way around the top outer edge leaving a small opening at one of the corners to turn it out.

Sew all the way around except the opening. Turn inside out through the opening, fold in the edges of the opening and stitch closed.

Take a few minutes to straighten it all out and the end result will look something like this…

Because I Like It Better

November 11, 2010 § 4 Comments

Just a few days ago I posted a pic of the new fabric I bought that I was going to make the new curtains for my kitchen out of…

Though not what I had in mind, it was all I could find at the fabric store that I both liked and matched the new colour scheme I was going for.  And as if the universe were paying attention to little ol’ me, today, while out at my local second hand store I found…

Now this is more like it…this is actually more in line in what I was looking for.  Plus it’s already a full size curtain panel, fully lined and hemmed.  Instead of making new kitchen window coverings from scratch, it’s a matter of a few alterations.  AND it only cost $3.40.

I also found these adorable jars for $2.00 ea.

They’re big enough to be practical, I can use them for my loose teas, and yet still small enough to be darling and quaint.

I’m really looking forward to this project.  😀



In Gratitude

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

On this Remembrance Day, while I’m eternally grateful for the sacrifices and the courage of our Canadian Veterans, the current war in the Middle East is a fervent reminder that we should not just be honouring ALL those who fought, but also ALL those who are fighting right now.

And it’s not just soldiers who are fighting this war, civilians too are in the field.  Specialists and contractors who can’t find work in their hometowns are risking their lives to do jobs that make soldiers’ lives easier and to ensure their own families back home are provided for.

In a perfect world there would be no war.  No man would have to kill another for someone else’s political or religious agenda.  No man would have to leave his family and travel thousands of miles to work just so he can make a decent living.

But this is not a perfect world and I can only stand, with great humility, in awe of the sacrifices people are willing to make for one another and for their beliefs.


Me-Time Matters

November 10, 2010 § 2 Comments

Now let me start off by saying that I’m no expert on Me-Time.  In fact, guilt free time spent by myself doing something just for me is new terrain and something I’ve been having to work at rather diligently.

I like to think that it’s because I started my parenting journey so young, at 16 I barely had a sense of myself before I was armpit high in nappies and 2 am feedings.  But the more Mommies I meet, in person and on-line, I’m discovering that my reluctance to hang up my apron, even temporarily, is shared by many a Mom.

It’s no secret that motherhood comes with certain undeniable expectations.  Kids need to be fed, have clean clothes, a comfortable home and require endless amounts of loving attention and support.  The daily grind is enough to knacker even the heartiest of us.

Still, as important as meeting those needs are, it’s equally important that we MAKE time to attend to our own.  Afterall, before we were Mommies, we were people (as my kids have been recently shocked to learn).  And whether we’re just starting out, nearing the finish line, have a large brood or just one child, we are equally entitled to regular Me-Time.

So, if we’re still uncomfortable with the whole concept, how do we start?  Like most things in life if you’re new to something…practise, practise, practise.  For example:

Taking A Bath

It took me years to figure out that if I had to clean the tub just before drawing myself a nice bubbly hot water soak, it doesn’t count.  Get Hubby or one of the older kids to clean the tub first…if that’s just not in the cards for you, make sure you clean the tub the day before.  That way, it’s all about you and the hot water.


I love to bake and when I’m doing it because I want to, it can be very relaxing and enjoyable.  Just make sure it’s not for the kids’ school party, the church bake sale or a Scout fundraiser.  Those don’t count either…if you can’t enjoy at least two of the cupcakes you spent the afternoon slaving over, then it’s definitely not Me-Time.

Being Artsy

Drawing and sketching are one of my secret passions.  The problem is that when I do have time on my own to do it, I can never find any of the coloured pencils I “JUST” bought.  The kids usurp them for their own art projects and it doesn’t count as Me-Time if I have to spend 20 minutes sharpening the few pencils that I can manage to get my hands on.  Keep a secret stash of craft supplies that no one else knows about.

Loving Your Music

I grew up in the 80’s and while the decade isn’t really known for it’s culturally significant musical influence, I still enjoy occasionally rockin’ out to The Bangles and Duran Duran.  Play it loud, proud and dance around the room.  If that’s not feasible, at least invest in a good pair of headphones so you can tune out everything else.  “Walk Like An Egyptian”

Go For A Walk

You might be saying, okay Sheri, good for you that you time enough for all of that.  But really, I started out just going for a walk by myself.  A simple walk around the block can count as Me-Time.  Just make sure you leave the dog (scooping poop doesn’t count), kids (worrying about how much exercise they’re getting doesn’t count) and any worries (stressing about bill collector’s doesn’t count) at home.

Me-Time matters and I’d like to see more parenting books addressing this issue.

Because I Like It

November 10, 2010 § 4 Comments

I found the fabric I want to use for my kitchen redo.  It’s a little on the thick side and probably more suited to make a nice warm throw out of but it’s perfect for winter because it will keep the cold air from coming through the kitchen window, the only one we don’t seal with plastic for the season.

As you can see from the pic, I’ve started gathering up my co-ordinating bits and pieces and by the looks of it, I really won’t need to buy much else to make the transition from Spring Green to Winter Blue.  (It actually helps that I never got around to finishing the original upgrade that I started 8 years ago.  Yep, I’m big on ideas and getting started – it’s follow through that’s the challenge for me.)

Now I know that plaid is not everyone’s cup of tea but hey, it’s my kitchen and since I spend more time in it than anyone else on the planet, it makes sense that I should decorate it the way I like it.  A lick of paint, a few straight seams, some artfully placed accessories and it’ll feel like a whole new kitchen.

Simple Inspiration

November 6, 2010 § 9 Comments

We went shopping for a bookshelf for Daughter at our local swedish furniture store.  It was a zoo in there and frankly, I can think of a million things I’d rather be doing on a Saturday afternoon.  Anyway, it was a chore that needed doing because if I trip over one more pile of books someone’s going to get hurt…and I mean me.

Still, it wasn’t a total headache because along with finding a decent bookshelf for a reasonable price, Hubby actually stopped to take a gander at the following item that I have been hinting I would like for my birthday…

It’s a glazed cast iron pot.  Isn’t she a beaut?  Of course I had to try ‘er out right away and so for dinner tonight, we’re having…

Pot Roast!   Mmmmmm.  I don’t have an exact recipe because I just kind of threw a bunch of stuff together…and it’s still cooking.

Red wine, worhestershire, condensed beef consomme, horseradish, chilli powder, oregano, ground thyme, freshly ground black peppercorns, chopped onions and crushed garlic.  I whisked that all together, poured it over the beef and then popped it into a preheated 325 F oven.

After an hour I took it out, turned the beef over and added chopped celery and carrots.  I figure I’ll let it cook another hour, check on it, turn it again and then keep checking every 20 minutes after that.

Oh, and the simple inspiration part?  That’s the colour of the pot…I’ve found the basis for the new colour scheme I want to redo the kitchen in.

To the hardware store for paint and the fabric store for material for new curtains!

For No Reason

November 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

I like mint chocolate chip ice cream
I hate waking from a really good dream

Especially one with Jonathan Rhys Meyers in it

I like freshly cleaned rooms accented with flowers
I hate getting out of a really hot shower

Especially one with Hubby in it

For no reason I feel like sharing
For no reason I feel a little daring

I Miss Volunteering

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m thinking of approaching the new director of my high school to ask about a volunteering opportunity…or rather creating one.

I attended a school for teenage parents that incorporates a learning environment, an on-site daycare and resources for teen parents.  Without it, I would have been lost.

I spent ten years volunteering with them after I graduated but stopped when I started volunteering in my own community.  I gave that up a couple of years ago after we started homeschooling and felt I was spreading myself too thin.

Now that it’s been a few years without volunteering, I’m finding that I’m beginning to really miss it.  I miss helping others, feeling part of a bigger picture and just having something to do other than wallow.

And for me, giving back to an institution that gave so much to me is really important.  I want to teach a cooking class.  I know that I can offer these young parents some great, easy-to-make recipes, cooking tips and more importantly real empathy because I’ve been where they are.

I’m a little, okay a lot, scared about the idea but I’m also incredibly excited by it.  Which means that more than likely, I’m going to do it.

I’ll let you know.

UPDATE: Or, I could apply for the PAYING gig teaching kids cooking classes at my local grocery store, which Hubby just happened to mention after reading this post.

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