Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For John

Recently on the CBC, a DJ was talking about the loss of a musician; a young musician. He was saying that sometimes there are no words, no rhymes to put loss into words.

And he's right.

The call came late Sunday morning on December 9th 2001. It was a dark, rainy day. The dampness of a long Vancouver winter was already upon us. Sean and I were tired and cranky. Our newborn girl, just 7 weeks old had had a rough night so we'd all had a rough night.

I was sitting on the arm of a chair in our living room, holding Sorcha and trying to decide whether or not she really needed to be fed when the phone rang. Sean got it; it was his Dad. I don't remember the exact words Sean said out loud. I just remember the horrible cold feeling of disbelief; of feeling like someone was trying to pull my stomach out my back; of knowing that our family had forever changed in the end of a heartbeat.

While the world outside our tiny space stopped being real, the baby in my arms because very real and very hungry. Through my tears, my shock and while listening to Sean struggle with the news I sat down to feed our wee girl. While she ate I cried, asked questions, received fragmented answers and waited for Sean to be finished on the phone and tell me everything I didn't want to be true.

John, Sean's cousin, was gone. He'd been found in the alley outside his apartment in Toronto. Had he jumped? No, they didn't think so. It looked as though he'd been thrown. Why? Why? Why?

So many much confusion...Why did this happen? What are they going to do? What are we going to do?

Two days later, Sorcha and I went to my parents place in Victoria and Sean went to Ottawa for young John. He'd been asked to help carry John's casket to his grave site; help carry John on his last journey which unfortunately was the start of a long tortured path for his family.

John's case was too quickly determined a suicide when it was obvious from the evidence that it was wasn't. John's death was highly suspect, even to the casual observer, but the minds of those in power could not be changed. John's parents who are not people to just back down refused to accepted this hastily made decision and for 8 years they have fought tooth and nail to have the case reopened and have the ruling of John's death as suicide overturned.

But now we come to where the loss of words becomes a reality. How do you put into words the tragic death of a kind, happy man who loved his family deeply, who really cared for people and who truly believed with all his heart that his Papa was Santa Claus? How do you write down the frustration, the anger, the torment brought on by people who didn't to their jobs to bring about justice for John. But most of all, how do you even begin to describe in words the abyss of loss that his parents and sister feel? You can't; not in any words that come close anyway. John would have been 30 this year. The anniversary of his death brings about deep grief for all of us who knew him, but I can't imagine trying to put into words the thoughts and feelings his parents and sister must have on his birthday. There are no words of comfort to say to those who held John on the day he was born when he is now no longer here to hold.

We won't forget John and we will fight for him until the the words we've used to do so will finally mean something to someone. Until the words that have been said out loud are no longer lost on anyone.

Below is a link to a website John's family has set up for information about John, his case and the publicity his case has received. Please take the time to go to this site and see if there is any support you can offer.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Fall of Coffee

Tuesday, I think...I started to write Saturday...yes, Tuesday, Sept. 22/2009


I'm sitting at my computer willingly eating breakfast, and while stomach is happy for this unexpected early intake of food, my head is none too pleased...Today, I'm quitting coffee...

I love fills me with a sense of well being, comfort and...another word similar to those 2 concepts I've laid out. But lately, I've been thinking that perhaps it's time to make a change. I spend A LOT of money on coffee, and cream and sugar. And let's face it people I'm addicted to coffee. This is starting to make me uncomfortable. Plus, I'm pretty sure all the cream and sugar I put in my morning cup of love goes straight to my backside. So, this morning I thought "Well, I like tea, and I can drink tea with milk. Tea has the caffeine buzz that makes me feel so fine so why not give it a go."

Sigh...not so much...I felt like I had gut rot after the first 2 sips. Usually tea agrees with me, but not today so...I decided to go big or go home; cutting out caffeine entirely. And for your reading displeasure, I will be popping onto the entry throughout the day to record the process of "The Fall of Coffee". (a good name considering it is the first day of Fall)

So, it is now


I feel like I haven't slept, like my eyes are just sort of floating in their sockets, my head is heavy, but hey...I ate breakfast this morning because I really wanted to!! Coffee usually tells me..."'re good. We can do without food until at least 11:00." Ok, it's now time to pack up and head to work...where many varieties of caffeinated products abound and where there is a Tim's down the road! NO!!! I can do this!!

9:39 AM

I am at work…my head is reeling…the florescent lights are killing me eyes and I’m hungry again! I need coffee!! I’m trying to remember why I’m doing this…


Is it really so bad to have one vice????


Good gravy...I could fall asleep in my chair...I'll go sweep. You know sweep? With a broom? I wasn't saying sleep in baby talk...just want to be clear.


Help me!!!


Well...I could try to cut out the sugar...This is sad...I've been up for 4 hours, only 4 hours and I feel like I've deprived myself of this dark nectar of the Gods for days.


It's over...I can't take it...I actually have heartburn from NOT having coffee...bring it on!!


Coffee is brewing...Coffee: 1...Cindy: 0...I'm quite disturbed that not having a coffee has a horrible effect on my brain, but I'll never get any work done if I don't have some! So...sorry had to yawn...I'll carry on with this vice for now...maybe cut out a sugar or 2 and not worry about my backside. I exercise, that should help the ol' rear view, but if I don't get any coffee, I'll sleep more, do less and tell me,what good will that do anyone!!! I NEED COFFEE!!

11:16AM it's weird without sugar...But my head isn't reeling quite as much and I'll be able to function now. Moderation is the key. I'm trying not to feel like a failure...I mean I went less then 5 waking hours without coffee...that shouldn't have been difficult, but it was.


I’ve had 2 cups of coffee (one with 2 creams and no sugar and one with 3 milks and 1 sugar) and I’ve got to tell you…I feel super! I can’t believe how clear my head feels, how awake I am, how horribly addicted I am to coffee!


I will not dwell on this for too long. Quitting anything cold turkey is ludicrous. I enjoy coffee! I believe that you could say that I don't just love coffee, I'm IN love with coffee, it makes me happy, I makes me warm, it relaxes me…and stains my teeth…But it’s my comfort drink! (even more then WINE!) In conclusion it would appear my "Fall of Coffee" turned rabidly into "Fall off the Coffee Wagon."


Until next time,
enjoy, like I do, at least one

Friday, August 21, 2009

Environmentally Sound

Hey there Blog Fanatics

We had an amazing Words on Water last night down at the OL' Saltwater Sounds. Miramichi born and now Fredericton based Carla Gunn read to us from her debut novel AMPHIBIAN. It's about an intelligent and articulate 9 year old boy named Phin who is dealing with his anxieties about the damage being done by humans to the environment. I'm looking forward to reading it. And I mean that...I bought the book and will read it soon. I too feel anxious about the environment, I feel as though any effor made by me to keep things a little greener will go un noticed, but really, every little bit helps and doing something is better then doing nothing. Excuse me while I climb off my soap box...

And as we always have with Words on Water, we had a theme and rightly so the theme was "Environment". I wrote a story of sorts about my Recycling Woes. Enjoy!


Recycling Ramblings

I like green and I like being green but a certain Frog was right when he said it wasn’t easy...

I try my best to recycle…I sort my cardboard from my paper and rinse out my soup cans too; sometimes scrubbing extra hard to rid the tin of food and sticky hues.

They sit patiently in my kitchen closet in a bag or in boxes until they overflow to the floor. I load these into my car where I burn fossil fuels to take them to their temporary home among the hopefully correctly recycled items.

The big blue recycling bins are around the town. I usually take them to one in the collage parking lot. Perhaps they feel smarter as they lie and wait to become anew? Perhaps they wonder if they will become new paper that will be used to write beautiful prose or breakthrough scientific research.

But what about plastics you say? What about milk jugs, and pill bottles? What about strawberry clam shell containers that can slice your fingers open while trying to retrieve a sweet piece of forced into ripeness red fruit? What of these oil based homes for food and drink?

Well… I recycle some…of...them, but this is where the green turns to blue. For in my fair town, a frustration is growing…well with me anyway…I’m not sure how other people feel when they flip the lid of yogurt container knowing that they’ve bought something they can’t recycle here, but for me the pain goes deep!

1 and 2! Oh you’ll do! Come with me! But 6,5,4 and 3…stay where you are! You’re not recyclable in this town you see!!

It’s not a thing I can control…I understand recycling is costly…and to recycle all numbers means more computer numbers in the budget…

But it causes me such woe to throw away the margarine tub (a 5) and recycle the lid. It hurts to buy the coffee that comes in the easy to grip container (a 6) knowing that it will be separated from its top in the end.

So, I keep them…I keep them all…the margarine bowls and yogurt containers, the coffee tubs and mushroom restrainers, the apple sauce cups and so, so, so many containers…and yell WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL OF YOU???

There’s only so many crafts you can use them for, only so many dried foods that you can store, only so many buttons and beads around and rocks and shiny trinkets abound. I fill them up, I give them away, I store them store them and still they stay.

I try to buy things that do not come in plastic containers I can’t recycle. Mushrooms in bulk and tomatoes too…no wait I can recycle tomato containers...they are a 2. Buying bulk beans is great, except the bag has to go, in with the garbage…woe upon woe.

Hey, hey! Did you know you can buy peanut butter in bulk and honey and jam and and and…the container you put them in is a 5! A 5! They’ll still in be in landfill long after I’m alive.

I want be gree even if, from time to time, trying to do so makes the air around me blue and my face a bit red. I can’t change the world, but I want to make my place in it a little cleaner. Recycling, composting and buying smarter...these things help me sleep a little better.

But I will always swim in the guilt of freezie wrappers and chip bags, plastic housing that cheese comes in and the waxy paper on band aids. And although I wince when these and other such items are tossed in the trash I feel a bit of the blue fade when our family of 3 creates less then one bag of garbage per week because of trying to be green.


I also wrote a song, based on my story, but I only read the story. Below is the song so pick a tune, any tune and sing along with...

The Being Green Blues

I do my part to recycle
Separate the best I can
Paper goes in that box
Cardboard in that bin
Shopping bags and tin cans
A recycling we will go
But when it comes to plastics
My heart is filled with woe

Flip over your containers
A triangle lays in wait
To reveal a tiny number
The master of its fate
Now in the town where I live
This number can bring on pain
When I discover my apple cup
Can’t be recycled again


1 and 2 you can come with me
Because of your recyclability
6,5,4,3 what can I say
You’ll live in my basement
To be reused someday.

Now recycling is expensive
It takes a lot of green
Not being green hurts my soul
A pain that’s felt not seen
The plastics I can’t recycle
Become homes for other things
Rocks, beads, rice, beans
Necklaces and rings

We recycle all that we can
We even compost too
Making so little garbage
The gray can’s a wee bit blue
Recycling even a little
Can keep your conscience clean
Don’t listen when the Frog says
It ain’t easy being green


And that, as they says folks, is all.

I hope you're all having a lovely summer and remember

Being Green isn't a


Monday, July 6, 2009

This One's for my Dad

Hello to all you Blog fans

Once again, wanting to participate in Words on Water was just the inspiration I needed to do some more writing (see beginning of previous to post if you've no idea what I'm talking about). As the last WOW was very close to Father's Day and to the start of summer, last months theme was "Father and/or Summer". Here is what I wrote for my Dad.


My Dad joined the Navy when he was 17. His parents put him on a train in Alberta and send him packing to Cornwallis, NS. After training, he was posted to the Naval base in Victoria, BC. He met my Mum when he was 21 and they married within months of meeting. By the time they'd been married for 4 years, they had 2 kids; me and my brother Scott.

My Dad was away at sea for a great deal of the first 14 years of my life. Sometimes it was only be for a few days. For a few months he would be away during the week and home on weekends. For one year though when I was in early elementary school, he was on shore leave and was home with us in the evenings while my Mum was at work. But at least once every couple years, my Dad would have to go away for up to 4 months at a time. I remember many a tear filled dawn when my Dad would come into my room to say goodbye. The hugs were never long enough, the tears came even though I tried to hold them in and saying I love you over and over never seemed to the exact way of telling him how much I would miss him. But it's what I did and he did it too.

This of course was a day in age where the wonder of email and cheap long distance did not exist. We would be lucky if we talked to my Dad once when he was away. However, my Dad always did what he could to let us know we were in his thoughts while we were apart. His specialty was notes. When I would get up in the morning after he'd left, I would always find a note written in ink crayon on the bathroom mirror. Lovely words like "I love you and will miss you. Take care of yourselves." would hover above a carefully drawn desert scene (my Dad loves to draw camels and palms trees). If possible we would preserve the note on the mirror for the entire time he was away.

The bathroom note was just the beginning. In every cupboard, and closet, in drawers, in our cloths, mixed in with our toys, in the pantry and even with the cat food, we would find notes. "Pet Rocky for me." "Thinking of you!" "Mmmm Cookies!" But best of all, my Dad would leave notes in places he knew we likely wouldn't go to for months. One year he went away in August and was due back sometime in November. Near Halloween, while rummaging under the stairs for decorations we found a note on our pumpkin lamp,"Happy Halloween! See you soon!".

My Dad also wrote letters. When he had to go on course in Halifax, the letters would arrive in regular envelopes on regular paper. But when he was away at sea, the letters would be written on mint green self adhesive paper (paper the exact shade of green as his uniform shirts at the time) and stamped from faraway places like Hawaii, Fiji or Thailand. One time he sent me a letter from New Zealand. In it he'd drawn me a picture of a cute, wooly sheep. "There are more sheep then people in New Zealand," he wrote "and this one is for you." He also never failed to tell me how much he missed me and loved me and how proud he was of me for all that I did.

My Dad coming home from a long trip was always a day of high excitement and not just because he was finally home, but because it usually meant we got out of school early and got PRESENTS! I wasn't greedy or expected a lot of gifts, but it was so exciting to get wondrous gifts from far off lands; a jade bracelet from Hong Kong, a hand painted fan from Japan, a real boom-a-rang from Australia. One time he brought home an electrocuted Gecko that he'd found in a toaster in Malaysia.

When I was 14 my Dad was transferred to Ottawa and the long trips to sea stopped for 4 years. Except for a monthly trip to Victoria, my Dad was home with us during our rough high school years and it was wonderful. We moved back to Victoria the summer I finished high school and the trips back to sea began again; but not for too much longer. In 1995, after nearly 30 years in the Navy, my Dad retired. I asked him not too long ago if he missed it or thought that he was missed and he said, "Leaving any job is like pulling your finger out of a bucket of water." He meant very simply that there is always someone to replace you.

I feel however, that this is just my Dad's enormous modesty talking. My Dad was highly respected in the Navy and excelled in every position he held. He sailed on 5 Canadian Destroyers during his time and moved quickly up the ranks. The final position he held was that of Coxswain on the HMCS Winnipeg of which he was part of her first crew. One summer when I was about 9 or 10 he sailed on a number of smaller ships called Mine Sweepers. The Mine Sweepers he sailed on that summer were all named after Canadian Rivers. One of the ships was called "The Miramichi". For some reason, my Dad gave me the badge from his uniform that said Miramichi on it. I hung it up in my room on my cork board and I remember feeling very proud that I could say the name properly. I still have the badge. It's on our fridge. The day my husband and I decided we would be moving to the lovely town of Miramichi, I fished it out of a bag of memories to show our daughter the name of her soon to be new hometown. I find warm happiness and perhaps a bit of "meant to be" in that fact that I've carried with me for well over half my life the name of the other coastal city that would bring me great joy.

When my Dad was in the Navy the engine rooms of the older ships were hell; hot, loud and hard on the body. The ships themselves were highly poisonous as they were filled with asbestos. Many men my Dad sailed with died soon after retirement at the age the 55 of cancer or other health problems caused by years of working on the ships. My Dad liked to tease us by saying "Be nice to me...I only have - years to live". It was darkly funny, but it scared me because it seemed to be true. However, in June of this year my Dad turned 60. His lungs are clear, his heart is good, his arteries clean and he is currently working at his 3rd job since retirement. I never take my Dad still being here for granted. I know I've been blessed to have a father who has taught me to be proud of who I am, to find happiness in all my accomplishments and to be brave. He gave me my smile, my sense of humour and my strong work ethic. He instilled in me the love music, taught me how to laugh at myself and told me to never walk with my head down because everyone is equal. He sometimes says that he wishes he could have been there for me more, but I never felt neglected or unloved. I say a prayer of thanks everyday that he is still here, and now, instead of joking that his time is almost up, we joke that he's well past his expiry date.


Until next time,
enjoy a life of

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fragmented Memories of My Gramma's Garden

Howdy Hey Blog Fans!

My place of employment hosts a monthly event called "Words on Water". Every month there is a theme, a featured guest and a then it's open mic to whomever is there. Based on said theme people are able to use this happy venue as a place to recite a poem, sing a song, maybe do a little acting, or tell a story. In May the theme was "Gardening and/or Flowers". I wrote, and read, about my Gramma.


My Gramma's garden was a place of beauty and oddities.
A place of nourishment and eccentricities.
A place of wonder and silence
A place of memory and warm aromas.

My Grandparent's home sat in the middle of her paradise.

As you approached the driveway you drove past the "spooky forest" which was fronted by rock gardens filled with many types of creepers and heather.

A large hedge bordered the right side of the their driveway; a hedge that was once home to many animals, including raccoons that more then once climbed through my Gramma's window and slept at the end of her bed.

At the end of hedge was a gate and beyond the gate was a large compost. Scraps from the potent "pig bucket" that she kept under the sink in the kitchen were carted out daily to this pile. Once nature had taken its course, the compost matter was used to fertilize her beautiful gardens.

My Gramma grew vegetables of all kinds and loved to steam them lightly and eat them right out the pot, dripping with butter, while watching a beloved nature show on PBS in her utility room.

She had a greenhouse that always smelled of musty earth and housed her many varieties of tomato plants. I always feared to go in there and especially into the little potting shed that was at the back of the greenhouse. It was too warm, the air too close and a cozy home for spiders.

She grew squash and beans, sweet peas and raspberries, broad beans and lettuce. On a summer day when she wasn't fishing we would often find her lounging on a lawn bed, shelling peas while watching "One Life to Live" or "General Hospital" on her 13" black and white TV. She had a great long cord for it that extended the length of her garden so that she could gasp in horror at all the loud kissing while she relaxed and worked near a patch of sunny flowers.

Her little house was surrounded by her flower gardens.

Flowers in window boxes.
Flowers in gardens below her dining room window, below the living room window, below the bedroom windows.
Flowers in hanging baskets from every corner of her house or hanging from the low branches of her apple tree.
Flowers in pots on her brick paths, in her driveway or under trees. Often they were not in pots at all, but in large barnacles she had collected while beach combing.

My Gramma being a person of the sea as well as of the earth made her fishing experiences part of her garden. Behind a fence covered with honey sweet nasturtiums, she had a table she and my Grandfather used for gutting fish. Often I would trek slowly along the garden stones to the table, not wanting to step in the mud and poke fish eyes or marvel at the fish eggs of a salmon.

She had a smoke house in the garden and used it often. The smell of smoking salmon and nasturtiums, fresh turned earth and fish heads is not one that is easily forgotten.

Near the end of my Gramma's life her garden took on an even more eccentric quality. When she hadn't the strength to plant all the types of beautiful and vibrant flowers that she loved, she decorated the ones she had. She would spray paint the teazle blue, yellow, orange or red and sprinkle them with sparkles, often while they were still in the garden. Her sunflowers which had deep red orange leaves and bright yellow centres wore happy smiles which she'd drawn on with a permanent marker.

A real treasure of her garden was Randolf. About 10 years before my Gramma passed away, she found a piece of driftwood while out fishing that bore a resemblance to the neck and head of a reindeer. For 11 months of the year Randolph stood watch in the garden. He would become part of it sometimes becoming wrapped in vines, or showered with petals, soaked with rain for days on end and on rare occasion, be covered with snow. But in December Randolf was brought into the living room and lovingly decorated as "The Christmas Tree". My Gramma would find twisted branches of evergreens and display them behind is head like antlers. These would be covered in many lights. And as he was a reindeer named Randolf, he had on light, a red one, on his nose. The best part of Randolf was that weathering of the marvelous piece of driftwood caused a split at in the "facial area" that looked like a smile. My Gramma would stare at him with great pride and grin and ask me "Doesn't he look happy?"

When kneeling in the garden became too difficult for her, my father made my Gramma sturdy raised garden beds so that she could continue to grow the veggies she so loved. He made them out of thick beams which he bound together with railway spikes. I remember thinking that the only way these beautiful garden beds would ever come apart were if they were bulldozed down...which is what ended up happening in the end.

When my Gramma passed away 8 years ago, a year after my Grandfather had died, my mother and her siblings sold the house and the land. The house, which was 70 years old at least, and in need of rewiring and re-piping was torn down. The "spooky forest" where my brother and I had played and scared ourselves was pulled down. And all of my Gramma's beautiful, wondrous, eccentric and beloved gardens were dug up and replaced by 2 houses.

There are more memories for me of this special place then I can ever write down. I feel great sorrow for what was lost, and even more sadness for the families who now live with the ghost of the beauty created by a woman who not only loved to garden, but needed to. But I mostly feel happiness and great fortune that I was once witness to a most beautiful place.

Until next time,
Find Happiness in Cin

Friday, April 24, 2009

Do You Believe in Magic?

Hello Blog Fans

Oh my dear's been too long...I shouldn't go so long in between posts lest you give up on me, but here I am!! Breathe my pretties, breathe.

My husband loves the game Magic. He started playing the game in high school, was still into it when we met in college and to this day, continues to carry a torch for the game. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's card game with creatures and colours and you have casting costs and land and you get to thrown down and put beasts in the graveyard and explode monkey's at random...maybe not the monkey think after all these year I would know more about it, but I don't. ON PURPOSE! Let me explain...

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone where you have pretended to be "Really Interested" in something that they are interested in EVEN THOUGH you would rather have played in traffic than participate in it, BUT you pretended to like it because you thought it was the "nice" thing to do?(or because you want them to like you more or think you're cool or more pretty...)Or did you ever pretend that a particular habit of theirs didn't bother you at all (even though it did) because you didn't want to appear bitchy or lame? Sigh...I have...especially at the beginning of the relationship. Silly...Silly...Cin...

"Oh yes, I'd love to go watch you play pool in poorly lit sports bar for hours while you ignore me and I have to make small talk with your 'gal pals' that I have absolutely nothing in common with."

"Smoking? No it doesn't bother me at all. You go right ahead...I'm just hanging my head out the car window like the lap dog I am because I like the fact that you smoke! The world is your ashtray you say? Ha! Ha! That's a good one! Aren't you clever??!!"

"Why sure! I really, really enjoy watching you(for hours)look up 'interesting' facts about RUSH, a band that I dig just enough to put in my garden and forget to water, on the Internet that is only text based at this time because it's only 1992. NO!! I don't have a headache at all. The YELLOW lettering on BLACK screen is soothing really!! you like me more yet? How long do I have to keep this crap up???" the time I got involved with Sean, I had had enough of the shenanigans and the lies and thought "I'm not pretending for anyone anymore. If it bothers you that I don't like something you do and that you are one of these guys who think that couples should share in everything, should have the same interests, should wear matching velour jogging suits as we walk our matching rat dogs on the walking path in the park then I'm going to have to say NO to you." Thankfully he was not one of those guys. And so, because of this charming quality I did not pretend to like Magic the Gathering for him. He would play it a lot with his friends and with his brother. For years I have overheard long discussions about which card should be added to the deck or what colour is best again which colour, should one have a mixed deck while pursuing my own interests and trying my best, but not always being terribly successful, not to mock him. I have never asked to learn, I have no intest in learning, the thought of playing the game bores me tears. So my answer to the question "Why don't you want to learn?" has always been and shall always be "Because I don't want to thank-you" Now, I don't want to come across as a Magic hater here. I'm not. It's just not my thing. I do enjoy the art work on the cards. Some of it is quite beautiful and spectacularly creepy, but I have no desire to learn how to "get more manna" or whatever...

Over the years, Magic had become a distant memory in our home due to Sean having no one to play with. He'd pull out his cards, make a new deck just in case he met someone who'd like to play or study and old deck to see if it was still powerful. Last year, he'd met a few Magic-ers, and they often "threw down" but unfortunately for him, they moved away or got involved in another activity and so he was once again left along with his memories and his decks...until recently. One day out of the blue, our lovely daughter went up to him and sincerely asked "Daddy? Can you teach me how to play Magic?" For Sean I'm sure the Heavens opened and Angels sang!! Finally!! Someone to play Magic with whom he lived with AND wouldn't mock him!

They started slowly; he got Sorcha familiar with how the game worked, who played when and what and why. He taught her what kind of creatures went with what colours and what the different colours meant. He's literally spent hours making her decks she can understand with creatures she finds pretty in colours that she likes. (which is adorable because he's happily catering to her girly side!) In a act of deep love for his daughter, he actually broke apart a deck he'd had together since high school so that she could have some of his best cards. He's is slowly teaching her to play more strategically, is trying to encourage to play her hand aggressively and not worry about whether or not he sends her "Beautiful Fairy" to the graveyard. One day Sorcha ran up to me and "Mummy!! I beat Daddy at Magic! I used (can't remember) casting cost on my Pegasus to turn it into (some level of power) and it did (enter amount here) damage to his (blah dee blah) and put it in his graveyard!" "That's great honey!" I said. And even though I couldn't understand half of what she said, I meant it. I think, truly, that this is lovely. She was glowing with pride and happiness. I don't mock them or even feel the desire too as I think it's wonderful that they have something that is their own and hopefully it will continue for years. They "believe in Magic" and I believe I'm off the hook to learn forever thanks to my "young girl's heart."

Farewell for now, Blog Fans and continue to believe in,


Sunday, March 1, 2009


Hello to you Blog Fans

I have a confession to make. I'm cheating! It started slowly, you know? A little look here, a realization there, the "magic" was running out and soon...I was not just thinking about it, I was looking for it. I couldn't help it! I had to move on!! It doesn't matter how long you've been together or how loyal you try to be sometimes...yes HAVE to try something new! And in my case it's completely justified! I couldn't find what I needed anymore in the one I was so use to depending on, so use to USING I'm sorry to say! I swear, no matter where I looked or where I searched...or how much I pushed and tried to squeeze every little bit of what I deserved out of our "relationship" it was toothpaste...was no more...

Perhaps you think I'm being dramatic and that may be so, but that's how I roll. Ever since I've had teeth, I've been using Colgate toothpaste. I'm normally not a slave to brands, but I have always been loyal to this one. Now when I lived at home I didn't buy my own toothpaste, my Mum did, but I always attributed my perfect non filling-ed teeth to the regular use of Colgate toothpaste. (that and usually being way too good and actually using the 3 minute egg timer my Mum kept in the bathroom for us to use while brushing our teeth.) I felt so loyal to my toothpaste that whenever I spent the night at a friend's house and was forced to use a brand of toothpaste that wasn't Colgate, I would feel slightly guilty. I remember the overwhelming feeling of wrongness I endured whenever we stayed at my Grandparent's place and I was subject to the likes of Aquafresh or AIM! (although and I hate to admit this, but I always thought Aim to be a very pretty colour and if using Aquafresh, I would carefully put it on my toothbrush to look like it did on the toothbrush in the commercial with the tri-colours in a perfect line and the little "curly swoop" at the end...oh for shame!!!)

When I moved out on my own, I still bought Colgate toothpaste and it made me happy that I was hanging onto something that I felt was "part of our family". I gave up things like, making my bed on a regular basis, washing my colours separate from my whites or doing my dishes everyday (that's what large microwaves to hide said dishes in when company comes over are for), but the Colgate toothpaste and I were a match meant to stay together. When I got married, my husband, who was brought up in a house where he said the toothpaste they used was the toothpaste that was probably on sale, (and that's fine..I don't know want to start a family feud with my in-laws) did not make an issue out of my need to buy Colgate toothpaste. He quietly accepted that it was the toothpaste I preferred and that was that. (which is good because WHO KNOWS where we'd be today if he dared question our use of Colgate toothpaste.) Over the years, our Colgate toothpaste needs changed, more tarter control, total tooth control, able to do our taxes control, whatever, but it was still Colgate toothpaste. A few years ago though, things started to change...

I went to dentist and for the first time ever I had cavities...I was crushed!! My perfect teeth were no longer just that! Now BEFORE the thought even enters your mind it was NOT because of Colgate toothpaste; it was because I was seriously lacking in the "you should be flossing everyday" department. (as a side note, my husband's dentist once asked him if he considered himself "to be a good flosser" and he answered "I'd like to think so." For those of you who know my husband this may be amusing. I personally find it hilarious.) Anyway, I got some cavities BETWEEN my teeth...where Colgate toothpaste couldn't go and it can't help where it can't go if you understand me. And as a result of having a bad filling experience (pain, so much pain...nerve-damage-pain), the teeth with the fillings between them became very sensitive and I had to start using Colgate toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth. Not earth shattering news, but this meant that Sean and I were now using 2 different kinds of Colgate toothpaste. Not a big deal you say...perhaps not then...but it would be eventually!

I grew very use to my Colgate toothpaste for Sensitive teeth and never strayed from it except for perhaps to use Sean's Colgate Total if I ran out of mine and hadn't had a chance to get more. And here's why I may not have got a chance to get was hard to find!! Everywhere I'd shop, I'd have to scour the toothpaste aisle in search of my Sensitive Colgate and as the years went by, more often then not, I would have to look in 2 or 3 stores until I could find it! It was dawning on me that loyal, beautiful, faithful relationship with Colgate may be coming to an end...

Which brings us to the traumatic events at hand...My Sensitive Colgate was starting to get low so I started looking for a new tube...couldn't find one. "Oh well. I still have quite a bit left" I thought and moved on. The tube got thinner, flatter...I shopped around again...nothing..."Hmm...this isn't good..." I thought and tentatively moved on and pushing the thought out of my head that while searching for and not finding my Colgate Sensitive Toothpaste that I had dared to sneak a peak at the price of another brand...And then, when I got down to the "rolled up tube, hurting my hands just to squeeze any amount of paste out of the tube" phase I went out on a panicked induced shopping frenzy to find my Colgate toothpaste for Sensitive teeth!! And I was gone...gone...It appears the folks at Colgate-Palmolive Canada Inc no longer make my much needed toothpaste. Perhaps they feel there aren't enough "sensitive teeth" in the world anymore...or else there's not people in my geographic local that have as sensitive teeth as I do or a almost fanatical loyalty to Colgate Sensitive and so local stores ordering it in when there are a lot of other brands to chose from is probably futile.

Now you, if you haven't drifted off, are probably thinking "Just grow a pair and stop using Sensitive toothpaste and go back to sharing the Colgate Total with your husband." But hold it here BF's, I've done that and I'm afraid, my teeth have grown too attached to, become spoiled by the loving protective embrace that only Sensitive toothpaste can provide them. I'm am forever a slave to the Sensitive toothpaste's loving caress. And that is why, adrift in a sea of tooth pain caused by NOT using Sensitive toothpaste, and faced with the fact that in my lovely town, the brand of toothpaste I had been so long paired with was no longer available in the kind that so matched my needs, I had to buy ANOTHER BRAND OF TOOTHPASTE!!!! And there it sits...gleaming silver and all full of what I need, on my bathroom counter; Crest Sensitivity! With extra whitening! My Colgate Sensitive didn't have that, but it doesn't mean this one is better! This one tries to protect your children under 12 from it and from other things bad for them! "Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children" it says on the back. Colgate Sensitive didn't need to tell me that! I'm not a moron! "Hey honey, this toothpaste is bad for you right now, but what about these other non prescription drugs??? Where should I keep them? Within your reach? If only my toothpaste would tell me what to do!!" It also gives me the "helpful" advice of how to get the toothpaste out of the tube. "FOR BEST RESULTS, SQUEEZE TUBE FROM THE BOTTOM AND FLATTEN AS YOU GO UP." Well, thank the stars for that one because my Colgate Sensitive never told me that and I stupidly tried to squeeze it from the top and see how fat and bulging I could get get bottom! My daughter's toothpaste (and yes, it's Colgate for Kids with a jaunty picture of Sponge Bob Square Pants on it) doesn't tell her how to get the toothpaste out of it!

So as you can see..I'm not taking the toothpaste brand switch too well. Then to add insult to injury, I said to my husband "We're no longer a Colgate Family" and he said, and brace yourself for I swear this is the truth, "I don't have to use Colgate. It doesn't matter to me what I use."

OH pain of hearing such blasphemy in my own home!! He'd only been using Colgate all these years just to humour me!!! Where will this lead?? Where will it end?? I hate to think of the shopping trip that will come at the end of this tube of Crest Sensitivity...will I end up just picking a tube at random, not caring about the brand? Will I just end up buying whatever is on sale? Or will I take up the mantel of a new brand and remain CREST-FALLEN? Only time will tell...there is always a chance, that like the cat, my Sensitive Colgate, will come back...if I'll want it anymore. It left once, it may leave again...Trust issues will arise! Maybe I'll enjoy trying different brands of Sensitive Toothpaste, enjoy living the life of one who "teeths" around if you will...perhaps cheating won't be so bad after all.

Till next time,
enjoy taking care of your teeth while you
I know I will...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Things of Randomness regarding Me that you may or may not know ...or care about....that add up to 25

Hello my fine Blog Fans

Over the past couple of days on Facebook, a few of my friends have participated in the note of "25 Things about Me". Well, not about me, but about themselves. I suppose I could post a note like this on Facebook (or not do it at all! I mean I'm sure you're not being kept awake at night by NOT knowing 25 random facts about me...or maybe you are...if you are, please seek professional help)but since I have this Blog here, I figured I may as well use it. So here goes.

25 "Facts" about me...

That's not a good start. You will now think that I'm not being honest because of the quotation marks around "Facts"...OK, 25 "interesting" facts about yours truly. Oh and the order has nothing to do with how important these facts are or how important they are to your well being, or how interesting they are or how important they are to me. Here goes.

1. I LOVE acting. I will do almost anything on stage and be anybody (so long as it doesn't involve naughty acts with animals or stripping), BUT I am terrified of being myself on stage.

2. I HATE it when people use quotation marks for emphasis. Here is a real example I witnessed on a customer's order while working at the UPS store a while back:
-Hoodies "In Stock". ( hurts)

3. My daughter and I are so much alike that it frightens me. Even her hand gestures and the looks she gives her father...scary. Sean is thrilled because he often gets told the same thing in stereo.

4. My husband makes me laugh more easily and more often then anyone else I know.

5. I LOVE CORNER GAS!!! I watch all the seasons (except the current one because we don't have cable) over and over and over again. I put it on when I'm cleaning, when I'm writing, when I'm lonely, when I'm blue. It's my comfort show.

6. I can't stand the Shrek movies. There! I said it!!! Many of you will probably stop reading now as you will be too shocked to continue, but there you have it...they make me want to tear my eyes out and shove them (my eyes) in my ears.

7. I have a fantastic relationship with my parents AND my in laws. I'm very lucky.

8. Wine makes me a better mother. When I'm at someone's house, there's nothing like a glass of wine (or 3) to help stop the micro managing instinct I have. Happiness lies in a glass of fermented grape juice.

9. I LOVE to sing. If I had half the confidence in my singing ability that I have in my acting ability, I would willingly sing in public.

10. I've seen NKOTB in concert twice...on the same year. Ottawa, March 1990 and Ottawa, Aug 1990. I have no desire to see them now that they've made a come back. Perhaps if they'd come back with something new...but sadly...they didn't.

11. I am always shocked by cleavage. Truly. You see it all the time in magazines and in movies! Celebrities just FALLING out of their cloths for the masses! Or showing up at awards shows with their fathers in tow and FALLING out of their dresses!! But when I see it in real life, perhaps at my job or in a restaurant or the lady washing my hair at the hair dressers, I'm shocked! I get embarrassed! I end staring intently into their eyes to the point of eye strain and tears lest my glance go southward! However....

12. At the same time I am a little bit jealous of woman are comfortable enough with themselves to show cleavage. It's just not something I can ever see myself doing without being totally self conscious.

13. My favourite band is an the Australian band Icehouse. They are extremely diverse. Their lead singer Iva Davies is an incredibly talented musician.

14. My favourite album currently is KD Langs "Hymns of the 49th Parallel". I listen to it over and over and never tire of it.

15. I was a bully for a short period in grade 4 to a girl named Kaelen Nelson. I am profoundly sorry for the way I treated her and wish I could apologize to her.

16. I used the "It's not you, it's me" line twice in my lifetime, but I wasn't using it as a line. I really, really meant it. However, I never fully explained why I was saying it to the 2 people I said it to as I was too embarrassed and ashamed. Rich Holt and Matt Levinson, I am truly sorry.

17. I have horrid arachnophobia and am scared of spiders almost as much as I am of dying.

18. I use to be extremely shy and acting was a way to put that aside for a while. I'm still shy now, but usually only in group situations. Put me in a group of people I only sort of know or don't know at all and most likely my ability for conversation ceases to exist. I'm a dry well. I sit there wracking my brain for something to say while I grind my teeth. I probably come across as very snooty, but really, I do want to talk! I've just gone blank.

19. I coloured my hair various shades of red and auburn for 14 years. When I stopped almost 2 years ago, no one noticed.

20. I'm a sucker for cover albums. You haven't heard anything until you've heard The Wiggles version of AC/DC's "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll".

21. I usually go to bed feeling guilty about something I've said to my daughter.

22. If it wouldn't eventually kill me, I would SLATHER butter on almost everything I ate. That's right, SLATHER.

23. I really don't like Vegetables. I never get a craving for a big bowl of anything leafy and I only eat them because if I DON'T, that will eventually kill me. To me veg tastes like metal. Yum.

24. I am often moved to tears by music. It could be because of the chord it's in, or the instrument that's being used, or the sound of the singers voice or the lyrics...all of these or any one of these will bring on the tears.

25. I am often very critical of my appearance, but I can honestly say without vanity or conceit, that I really like the colour of my eyes. Do you know what colour they are?

And there you have it...25 facts about me. Actually, if you go through the list very carefully, I mean study it and become one with it, you will discover a lot more then 25 facts about me. Truly amazing I know.

Delight in Cin!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Shape of Things

Howdy folks...I'm on a Rule Roll...another entry straight away pour vous. I have a couple more Sorcha tales that are sure to amuse, but ones that I thought should be separate from the last tale.
In case you've spent a fair bit of time in a dark dwelling such as a cave or have spent a year or 2 under a rock, you know that Barack Obama is now the president of the USA. Last week on inauguration day, Sorcha came home from school and told my hubby and I that they watched part of the inauguration ceremony at school. I found that fascinating because as far as I know back in October when Stephen Harper became Prime Minister...again...they didn't watch diddly about it at school. The following is a conversation I had with Sorcha.

"Really?" I asked, "You watched part of the swearing in ceremony at school?"
"So, you know what the president looks like? You could pick him out of a line up?"
"Does he seem like a nice guy?"
"Do you know what Stephen Harper looks like?"

This seems sad except that, and I won't Harp (Ha!) on this too much, he's not very memorable...for some. I however, can't wipe his plastic hair and smile from my mind...But let me add, that if you asked Sorcha who the Canadian Prime Minister was, she would tell you Stephen Harper. She knows a lot more about Prime Ministers then I do as she has a place mat with all of them up to and including Paul Martin on it. She even, when quizzed by me just for kicks, correctly answered, who the only Prime Minister with a mustache was. Do you know? In case you're not walking around with a $100 in your pocket, it's Sir Robert Borden. Tell your friends! They're sure to be impressed! Now, some others did have facial hair, but he was the only one to sport JUST a mustache.

OK, next on our list of tales...

For Christmas my mother gave Sorcha a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD. It turns out it's for wee kids, (and similar in context to Dora the Explorer where the main character doesn't seem to know much about his or her environment so is constantly looking at the screen and asking the kids watching to point out "Where Boots is" for example even though he is CLEARLY right beside her...) but she still enjoys it for the most part. However, Sorcha being quite literal in her thinking gets very indignant at times about certain things she watches when she just can't wrap her head around why they are the way they are. One day she says "You know the Mickey Mouse in Micky Mouse Clubhouse? Well...I don't understand because he has his license, he owns a car, but...he doesn't know his shapes!" She understands that the show is a learning show for little ones, but she figures that if he's going to teach kids WHILE driving, he should not pretend he doesn't know his shapes as it's very silly and misrepresents what a person (or mouse) should know BEFORE they get behind the wheel of a car. I happen to agree with her. Why do characters have about as smart as a box of hair so that kids feel like they are learning? But that I think, should be another blog entry altogether.

So long for now,
I'll leave you to get your Cin on.

PS: I'd like to pass on a lovely Hello to good friend Jason Gemmill. I learned the immortal phrase "Smart as a box of hair" from him.

Tell Me What's the Circumstance of Circumcision?

Hello Blog Fans

The title of the this entry is no great creation of mine, but of the Barenaked Ladies. It's a clever line a song called "I know" from their third album "Born on a Pirate Ship".

A couple of weeks ago, Sorcha took a book, a kids book, out of the library about Egypt. One quiet afternoon while intently reading about the pyramids, the desert and the Nile, she stopped suddenly and with a look of sheer incredulity on her face she asks "Mummy? What are they doing?" I take the book from her to see this (see picture below)....

"Huh...well...that's an interesting thing to put in a kids book..." I said...slightly bemused..

"What are they doing?"

I thought for a few seconds about the best way to handle this delicate circumstance and thought that in this case honesty probably was the best policy.

"Well...I could tell you. Do you want me to tell you? It's a bit icky..."

"OH I don't want to know about icky stuff!!"

"Well, Sorcha, you're going to have to learn about icky stuff eventually. Do you want me to tell you?"


So, without a full transcription of our conversation, let me just say that, based on the basics of the male anatomy that she knows, I told her as delicately, but as truthfully, as I could with out being too "icky".

"Oh...OK..." she says...looking pretty confused as she tried to digest this new and probably disturbing information about the society in which she was being raised.

"But why are they holding his arms back?" (see picture)

"Oh...well...back then, they didn't have anything to freeze that area with so that they wouldn't feel any pain so it probably hurt quite a bit and my guess is that he didn't WANT to get this done."

And there you have it. I suppose I could have denied knowing what they were doing or said she wasn't ready to know, but I think that would have been a bad thing. She's only 7 yes, but I was too when I started to ask questions about all the "icky stuff". And my answers will be calculated in a way, based on her age at the time she asks, but I will be honest because that's how I roll. She's growing up and unlike the crocodiles in Egypt, I won't live in De Nile.

Until next time,
Cin with the best.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Long Hot Shower

I have a confession to make...

I am guilty of the long, hot shower.

It is a beacon of watery escape.
A security blanket disguised as a waterfall.
As I surrender to its warmth
I feel safe and protected
It's rhythmic hum blocks out other noises beyond the frogs
and leaves me at peace with my own thoughts.

I then however, become victim of the long, hot shower.

For the seclusion of the tub with it's vinyl curtain,
the sound of the steady fall of therapy will not block out,
will not let me forget all the thoughts that make me weary.
I am glued to my hot spot as I sort through a mind full of
longing, guilt, cynicism and wrath.
But in there I feel no pain.

For them, I become crusader of the long hot shower.

When I step out of my steamy haven
and face the realities of my happy world,
I feel better, I feel comforted and relaxed.
The shower washes away the dark thoughts,
and it cleans my mind with a scented hope
that I can make it through to the next...

long hot shower.

Here's hoping your New Year is full of,