Getting Back To It

I knew it had been awhile but, I didn’t realize it had been this long, since I wrote.  A lot has gone on, since my last entries.  Life has been busy–Single mom, working two jobs, going through the divorce, moving, not to mention the regular daily responsibilities.  There just has not been time to do all the things I enjoy. Now that the dust has settled on a few things in my life — I am getting back to it.

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The Very Inspiring Bloggers Award

Well I do not know what to say. I’m still in shock. I know, this is not the Grammy awards, but to see that someone else, who is going through so much more than I am, recognize my blog  for being inspiring, takes my breath away.

It’s quite ironic I have been having a rough time these past few weeks. So I have not been able to write as much as I would like. In the free time I had I wanted to check and see what others have written, and then I saw that Painfully Waiting had added my blog to one of her 7 inspiring blogs in her award.

If you have time stop by Painfully Waiting’s blog. With brain tumors that are incurable, Painfully Waiting was only given two weeks to live—those two weeks have turned into 8 years. She is truly an inspiration in my books. For her to select my blog as one the 7 blogs she feels that are also inspirational knowing what she is going through; fills my heart with so much joy. My mother’s words come to mind. “Even though you might be going through a hard time in life always remember there are people out there going through a worse time than you.” I am so blessed that my mother kept me grounded. Painfully Waiting, I also want to thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us. You are the true inspiration.

So now I am supposed to share 7 interesting things about myself. This is actually very hard for me. OOOO think I just got one of the 7 interesting things for me.

–       I don’t like tooting my own horn. It’s just not my personality. I was raised that there is having confidence and then there is arrogance.  I know I am a good mom, wife or worker and person. I am not the best. I’d rather be the person still learning at 98 than think I know everything at 34. I have my opinions, thoughts and feelings just like everyone else. There is always room to grow.

–       I love music and I love to sing. I crank my music up, sing and do my housework.

–       I always root for the underdog.

–       Reusing items and making them useful in other ways. Example to some it was just a trunk of my mothers and was of no use. For me….I saw coffee table. I didn’t alter the appearance or even repaint the trunk to make it look new. I just put wheels on the bottom.  Voila instant awesome coffee table.

–       I’ve never had a speeding ticket. It’s not because I am female get out of tickets….I have never been pulled over because I either do the speed limit or do 5 miles over.

–       I love history, genealogy and research. All three go hand in hand.  With modern technology searching your family is at your fingers tips. It has made searching the family tree popular. Also with each generation that becomes an adult searching for your roots becomes important. Growing up it did not interest me. Come on how many teenagers want to spend their weekend in a archives scrolling through micro fiche trying to find a needle in a hay stack? It was something that my mother instilled that was important. Growing up on the Canadian/US border it was my mom that taught me knowing the American history is just as important as knowing your Canadian history. She encouraged World history.

–       I climbed Mt.Fuji….twice. My first time climbing Mt. Fuji was in August of 1998. Jack and I had only been in Japan since March of that year. It was a trip offered by MWR (it’s called something different now) and I just said “we are going on this trip” It was an absolute blast. We all had a blast. It was the first time we had gone on a vacation together (even though we had couples around us ) without our son (he was 8 months old). The bus took us to, I believe the Gotemba Station (5th Station) and we started our climb. It was not an easy climb. Hiking trails in local mountains is a lot different than hiking a 12,388 ft dormant volcano. The weather was beautiful when we started, the terrain at the beginning was more challenging than dealing with climb up and over and around the massive lava mounds towards the top. At the lower level it was almost like small glass beads of lava. We made jokes of 3 steps forward and 5 steps backwards. LOL the switch backs were the most mental part of the trip. Then at one point the clouds moved in. The rains were so cold and I’ve been in thunder and lightning storms before, but I cannot even tell you what it’s like to be in a thunder in lightening storm on the side of a mountain with no shelter. Ahhh it’s a little different when you are literally in the clouds along with the thunder and lightning. It was one of the greatest times of my life. Despite being soaked to the bone, cold, tired and hungry. While I remember the storm and what it felt like, I also remember seeing a beautiful rainbow after. I’ve seen rainbows before but I’ve never seen a rainbow basically right there in front of me. For me Mt. Fuji is a symbol of life. There will be times the climb of life is easy; there will be times the climb of life is downright hard as hell; but when you get to your destination and you SEE the hard work you have done to get to the top; the view is absolutely spectacular. Jack and I also climbed it again in August of 2000. The saying in Japan is “he who climbs Mt. Fuji once is wise; he who climbs Mt. Fuji twice is a fool.” I don’t consider myself a fool, I knew what to expect with the climb and was able to take in more of the view on the climb than I had done with the previous climb. However, the honest truth. I remember the second climb but not as well as the first climb.

So those are the 7 interesting things about me.

I want to take this time to thank a few people who have been a huge part of my life.

My Mom – You might be gone from this world but you are still here in my heart. We had 28 years together—the longest relationship I have ever been in with anyone. Thank you for showing me that relationships take work. Most of all thank you for your support in everything I did,  dreamed or talked about. Thank you for being honest with me (even though I didn’t always like hearing the truth). Thank you for even though you felt I was making a mistake (and your opinions were known )— you supported me. As much as you wanted to protect me, you still loved me, supported me even when I was making a huge mistake. Thank you for teaching me that when wrong to stand up and admit mistakes and take the consequences.  Thank you for being there for every single event in my life, even if you did not agree with it. Thank you for all the life lessons, memories, love, support, debates, hugs, kisses, snuggles, laughter, tears, questions and all the things you weren’t even aware of that you were teaching me. You are always in my heart and I miss you every day.

My children – You both inspire me every single day. Aside from your nana, you two will be the longest relationship I will ever be in. I have loved you both from the moment you were inside of me. Words cannot express what it feels like to know this kind of love. I have been there for every moment in your life cheering you on. Like any relationship we will have good times and bad times. Always know that no matter what, even if I am being hard on you; I always love you and that never changes. One day you will understand. And as lame as it sounds right now (just like it was lame when I heard it from my mother) when you become a parent you will understand. Thank you for being who you two are. Each of you have a different personality, goals, interests and dreams. And like I thanked nana for; Thank you for all the life lessons, memories, love, support, debates, hugs, kisses, snuggles, laughter, tears, questions and all the things you weren’t even aware of that you were teaching me.

My friends – I am so blessed to have true friends in my life. Whether we have been best friend since 1st Grade or have met each other long our travels of life, you are all special to me. Thank you for being there through the absolute happy times; but most of all thank you for being there through the absolute worst times. Miles and even countries may separate us but always know if you ever need me I am there for all of you, even if it’s just a phone call at 3 in the morning.

To the people who have let me down and put me down—THANK YOU! I am stronger than you will ever know, because of it.

Now comes the part where I must nominate 7 other bloggers. These are in no particular order so here it goes:

The Forgotten Wife – She takes us through her life during and after a divorce. I encourage you to read her perspective; not everyone’s journey through this is the same. However, there is a lot of self growth during this time regardless of what the journey entails. I enjoy reading her blogs; not because she and I are going through the same thing, but she gives me another view outside the box.

Better Than Yesterday – A guys perspective of what he is going through with life. His writing is absolutely fabulous. I have truly enjoyed reading about his journey and his perspective.

Almost Spring – Yet another very inspiring blog of what she is going through in her life in the transforming from as she says “we to me.”

A Place For Me and My Thoughts – This blog is about a mother of an “adult” son who is not ready to grow up yet. While she will take some heat for speaking her mind—she is honest.

Margaret & Helen – I stumbled upon this blog and these two ladies say it like it is. I absolutely love their take on current events. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

The Simple of a Country’s Man Wife – I enjoy this blog because it brings me back home. You can take the girl out of the country; but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

Live. Explore. Learn. Remember – For me this is the latest blog I have been following. While only having time to read just a couple of their posts they too inspire me.

Happy Canada Day and Independence Day:

I love this time of year. For me it brings back a lot of memories.  July 1st (Canada Day) was an awesome time of year. It would be something I looked forward to. It was almost better than Christmas. First the Canada Day parade, then once the parade was over the festivities began. The local Lion’s Club had their fish chowder wagon. OMG and it was the best fish chowder anyone had ever tasted. Other activities included, the dog show, pony rides, the local schools of dance would also be out doing numbers. I am not sure if it is the same as when I was a kid or not

My mom and I would be on the go all day long. Then the dreaded moment…naptime! When I was little I hated nap time; now as an adult I love it. But if I wanted to stay up and watch the fireworks later that night I had to take a nap when I was little. For being a small town we put on quite a firework show.

Then a few days later we would go just a little drive to Eastport, Maine where there would be the Fourth of July celebration. It was a blast. Some years we didn’t even go down to Eastport, we would sometimes watch them from the shore and see the fireworks in the distance.

Then in August there would be another celebration the International Festival.

I miss home. I want to someday take my kids back home during this time of year so they can celebrate with the two countries. After all it is part of their heritage.

Today I have had a wonderful day off with my two children. We haven’t done anything spectacular. What I wanted to do with them (even though it didn’t cost very much) I looked at the bank account and as much as it would have been fun and simple to do it would have left me strapped. I dislike doing that to them. However, we made our own fun.

Now I have the BBQ pulled out and a friend and her kids are coming over. The kids will have fun and my friend and I will be able to catch up.

While you are out celebrating enjoy making memories, even if they are just small.  Most of all do it safely and have a great Fourth of July.

Getting To Know Me

It’s taken me about a week to get a chance to get be able to write. Single mom here, as much as I love to write with the kiddos and working and all the “life” tasks and responsibilities I have, I just don’t get the opportunity to pump out the writings as much as I would like.

That doesn’t mean the wheels aren’t spinning.  One would be amazed at the hours in which I do get the opportunity to write. I’ve woken straight up out of bed at 2 am in the morning plagued by the words swirling around in my head. If I do not get them out and on paper the wheels will church harder and faster.

Last week as I was cleaning up my house while the kids were gone to their dads I was thinking of topics, ideas for the blog. I had my music cranked up while in my cleaning zone and just thought, “I need to write a getting to know me post so my readers kind of know a little but more about me.”

Well hello!  Thus this post is born. I just haven’t been able to write it and it’s been plaguing my darned brain for over a week.  Even when I would get writing this post…another post would come into my head because I was spending too much time on a certain aspect. BLAH!!

One of the things that people must know about me, this is how my brain has worked all my life. It’s nothing new. Another topic or article idea will pop into my head as I am writing the current article. Then I go to my list of article ideas I all ready have and add to the list.

Anyway, back to the getting to know me. Basically this is a summary as I will get into more in future articles for the blog.

Where I grew up:

I grew up in a small coastal town in New Brunswick, Canada. In the summers it’s a tourist destination for people all over the world. We border Maine. Locals will not say they are going across the border; we are simply going “over the river.” I am sure that ease of that since 9/11 is not the same.  As a child the small town was awesome. I was always exploring. I loved being outside, on the beaches, in the water etc.  Growing up in a small town has it’s pros and cons; just like living in other places has it’s pros and cons.

As a teenager I couldn’t wait to get out of the small town.  Now as an adult I find I yearn to go home, even if it’s just for vacation to get grounded once again, and to also show my kids how I lived growing up. Despite, what they would think I was not a deprived child. Friends and I were always outside playing and there were always things to do.

The Younger Years:

As you all know I was raised by my mother. There are a lot of memories of a great childhood. The fun times she and I would share, the times with family and friends. I was independent right from the start. (Laughing) sometimes my independence got me into trouble. My mom was always proud of me, encouraged me, and was my biggest fan. Despite that people thought I was spoiled by her, I was to a certain degree. However, unlike the other kids my mother always had to know where I was, who I was with and I had a curfew.  Once home from school I always had to check in with her, if I was going to a friend’s house while she was still at work, I had to call to let her know.  I had responsibilities and chores just like other kids, mine were different.  Not only was it inside chores it was outside chores. I actually loved doing the outside work over the inside work.

Like with everyone else, there are scars from my childhood. I was molested as a child. And I will get into that later in another post. Despite that and all the family turmoil that takes place in any family, I had an awesome childhood. What doesn’t break you; makes you stronger.

I’m My Own Grandpa:

It’s the song I sing when trying to explain to others the family. My mother was the oldest of nine. At five she was adopted by her aunt and uncle (her biological fathers’ identical twin brother). So her brothers and sisters became her cousins. Are you confused yet? Well that’s why I sing “I am my own grandpa.”

I have an older sister (she’s technically a half sister). I have 3 nieces and 6 great nieces and nephews. There is also another half sister and half brother out there somewhere from my father’s previous marriage.

Our family is no different than any other family. For years I thought it was only my family that was screwed up. Then after being a part of another family for so long and seeing friends families; I have learned there’s other families that are more screwed up than mine. We aren’t perfect, we have our moments, there’s ones I won’t talk to, there’s some I wish I talked to more. We fight, bicker, laugh, cry, and go through all the emotions, troubles, good times every family goes through.

My personality:

I’m am and always have been a very independent female. I’m not this GI Jane but there’s not much I can’t do by myself. The girly girl woman; I am not. I can clean up pretty good though, when I want to. I just do not like doing it all the time.  I am opinionated, set in my ways and do have attitude. At the same time, I am also considerate, kind, thoughtful and sometimes will take more crap off of people than I should. I enjoy being around people, but when it comes time for me to have alone time, or solitude I need it. I don’t want to be around people all the time. I don’t want to be on the go all the time.  Many people do not understand that, because I can be at a huge party or get together and it just gets too overwhelming for me and I will go find a quiet spot and chill for a little while.

I can be abrasive when I need to be, but most of the time I do not like to be. Confrontation? I do not like.  It takes a lot for me to confront a person, many times I will let a lot of things go, but when I have had enough, I will say something.

I have squirrel moments, also known as ADD. I’ve had it for years but it wasn’t until I began going to therapy when Jack and I separated that I was told, I had it. Over the years because I was “different” I found ways to help me when I would get my squirrel moments which was writing things down to stay on task. Every job I have ever had and even in school, I have had to multitask so when you are going is 12 different directions I learned ways that helped me.

I’ve worked in the customer service industry from the time I was 14 and I treat my customers the same way I would want to be treated. I have a huge pet peeve about people that do not give quality customer service.  Over the years there has been numerous times I have walked out of a place of business due to lack of customer service.  I have been complimented by both customers and co-workers about how much they love to work with me and how I treat the customer. I’ve had plenty of rude customers in my day and they receive the same care, consideration as the rest.

My friend the other day also told me I follow the rules. She’s very right on that. For years Jack would get onto me when out of habit I would walk the sidewalk or pathway and not dash across the grass. That’s not to say I haven’t broken a few rules in my day; but the end result no matter how simple it is, doesn’t make me feel good as a person. One of the most valuable things my mother instilled in me was when you do wrong you take the consequence. It takes a bigger person to admit when they are wrong and take the consequence. Her famous and most irritating phrase growing up (and my sister heard the phrase too) “you make your bed you lie in it.” Funny how a friend that has only known me truly for two years was able to point that out, accept it, love it and yet my own husband out of the 13.5 years we were together saw it but didn’t care that was the type of person I am. I was raised when you lie it turns into a bigger lie and then it goes into a snowball. When he would “lie” and tell people we met on a skiing trip and not online; it didn’t make me feel good. When we went skiing shortly after my son was born and the guy said “one adult..one child and I wanted to say “no two adults” I got elbowed (not hard) in the ribs and told to “be quiet” and “bank error in our favor.”

For years I had to hear “you’re such a Canadian.” What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? It’s a compliment that’s how I take it. Not all Canadians are like me. I’m a Maritimer. I set the standards high for myself. Sometimes I don’t even make the bar and that’s frustrating. I can be harder on myself when I make a mistake than anyone else can be. What a lot of people don’t understand when I make a mistake I recognize it and a lot of times they don’t need to point it out; I’ve all ready kicked myself in the ass for it.

To give you a perspective of me, I am now 34; I got my drivers license when I was 16. I’ve never had a speeding ticket. The first time I have been pulled over in my life was a couple months ago and it was for an expired tag. I could have cried, boo hooed when that cop pulled me over, put the blame on Jack that he’s being a jerk and hasn’t helped me financially with the kids so when it came to updating my car tag and groceries, power or rent for the kids, I choose the kids over the car tag. Guess what my fault. I took the ticket, and told the officer have a good day and be safe out there. Got the tag updated and then went to court and showed I had gotten it updated and the judge reduced the ticket to half. It is what it is people.

The Things I Enjoy Doing:

I have a lot of interests. Music has always been a part of my life. You can tell the mood I am in by the music I listen to at the time. I like all genres of music…except Classical (sorry mom, just can’t do it). I love to sing, there was a time I wanted to be a singer. I just sing for the enjoyment. When my best friend and I were in high school she and I did two variety shows together. I loved it, but I couldn’t do it every night. Music and me singing allows me to stop my mind from churning. I can focus on the music the lyrics, my voice. The kids know that when the music cranks up in the house….I’m about to get some serious cleaning done. Amazing how much work you can get done while belting out songs and not even realizing how much work you got done. The music goes off when I am studying, writing or doing work that requires concentration.

Anyway, I enjoy writing, reading, spending time with the kiddos, family and friends. Other things I enjoy, and many of them I haven’t been able to do in years are quilting, cross stitch, hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, designing, photography, swimming, skiing (cross country is my best; I do like downhill) sailing and there are a lot of others things as well.

I also have my bucket list of things I want to do, and some of those are, white water rafting, sky-diving, parasailing, more traveling (I’ve wanted to go to Ireland since I was a child).

Volunteering:

I have volunteered a lot over my life. How many hours? For me the hours do not matter. Back home our community wanted a community hall so we all came together and made it happen. It was amazing to see a small community come together. Even as a young teenager I was there many steps of the way, so many weekends I was right there a long side of the adults, pounding nails. It was an amazing feeling standing beside the other people who had volunteered and seeing the finished building. It didn’t stop there once the building was finished; we had to get money coming in to support the community hall. If I recall correctly when the hall was open we had a wedding reception every weekend for at least 8 weeks. Where was I? Right there beside all the ladies in the kitchen, getting platters ready, getting tables set up, arranging and serving the guests and then cleaned up. They were long hours on our feet, some of those ladies were 70 years old and doing just as much work if not more than I was. We laughed, joked, and solved problems that came up. To this day I remember the feeling of being around all these great people and the times we shared. We also over the years lost some great people and a plague would go up in their memory. They would have contested the plagues. None of us did it for the kudos or the attention. We did it because we enjoyed every moment of it. We were happy seeing other people enjoying the hall; whether it was a wedding, a family reunion, a Christmas concert, or group functions.

As a Marine spouse I also volunteered. 4 days a week, 4 hours a day for 6-8 months, at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (might be called something different now). Again I loved it. Being as young as I was, it was also a huge learning experience for me. I learned how to do budgets for families, show them their debt to income ratio, offered advice on how to cut back. I also tried to implement it into my marriage and how we did our finances.  It’s not easy when the other person’s attitude is “just make it happen.” When you do not have the other person’s support or willingness to sit down and go over the finances fully, it will not be effective. As much as I tried to implement it alone Jack and I would have been more successful if him and I would have sat down and went through it with a fine tooth comb. It’s easy to say “stop spending” to one another, it’s another when you both make the decision, set the rules, and even goals of where you want your family to be financially.

I loved doing it for the military and their families. We also worked side by side with the Red Cross. When family members received a Red Cross message back home, we worked hard to ensure that they had the funds to get back home to their loved ones.  Seeing a little bit of relief on that person’s face when a loved one of theirs is ill, dying or has died and they are half a world away and they are able to go home made, was the best feeling in the world.

I haven’t volunteered in several years due to work, kids, and just life. However, volunteering is everywhere. It’s just helping others; it could be giving a mom a break from the kids and offering a sleepover. I love helping others.

While the post is long, I wanted my readers to get a little perspective of me.  Some of the topics in this post will be written about further; some of them won’t.

Have a great and safe Fourth out there everyone.

It’s Summer Time

I’ve had to get used to many things since living in the south since 2001. For one school for my kids does not go from September to June.

Yesterday, May 22, 2012 was my children’s last day of school. My handsome young man will be going into high school next year; my lil miss will be going into the 3rd grade. Yes, you get brownie points if you tell me at 34 years old I do not look old enough to have a son going into high school.

I remind my children…“I remember what it was like being a kid.” I guess I am a parent when they look at me like I have lost my marbles….just like I did when my mother said those exact same words. Of course my mom was born n 1943 and had been just before she turned 36. Lol when I had my son (almost 15 years ago) I had only been out of high school since June 1996. The 1960’s and the 1990’s were a smidge bit different.

Regardless kids love summer time. Hell adults love summer time. Despite the money situation, despite all the issues going on between the divorce and their dad; they will have a good summer. Sometimes the greatest memories don’t require the best vacations that you didn’t know your parents couldn’t exactly afford.

My fondest memories of summer–hanging out with my two best friends. Ok Ok you got me I am snickering a little bit. There was baseball in my best friends yard. I don’t even think my friends and I played baseball we just had her brother hit the balls, to see how far he could get them into “the Triangle.” The triangle you ask? Oh you only get a triangle if you live where we lived. Essentially it was the little part the construction people forgot about when making a road. Yes where I come from we were guilty of landmark directions. When you said “meet you at the triangle” you knew it was the intersection..out in Chamcook. We were quite pissed years later when they paved our paradise and we couldn’t play there any more. God only remembers what we played in the triangle.

Of course as you get older your summers get more cool; or so we thought; because we were cool. There were Glass Tiger concers; Lee Aaron concerts. Hey don’t mock me. Lee Aaron was Canada’s queen of Heavy Metal.

Summers for me are memories of sleep overs; that sleeping never took place. Going for a little toodle (a drive) that sometimes ended up being 2 hours and God knows where we would end up. The sun stayed out until around 9 close to 10 pm if I recall (Atlantic time). Playing some sort of card game with my best friends family, going on another genealogy adventure with mom.

Summer meant awesome take out. By take out I mean…you sit in your car and eat your food. The windows get fogged up. Many of the “take-outs” back home are seasonal and it’s not full on like donkey kong until the American Memorial Day Weekend. Fries and fried scallops, tuna rolls, lobster rolls. Seafood platters.

Summer’s were going to the lake, summers were freaking awesome as a kid and we didn’t need to be going to some awesome vacation. We had vacation in our own back yard. The ocean, lakes, nature trails and all the fun things to do back home. Just being and hanging out was awesome.

Today when I got home from work. I had 7-9 bikes in my front yard and walked into the house with my children’s friends and the joy and it was an awesome feeling. While they do not realize it now, memories are being made. It doesn’t have to be spectacular or grand to make an awesome memory in your life. I hope one day they realize that. Unfortunately it will be when they are adults. Our parents heard the same thing we hear “mom we’re bored”

Construction

You will notice I am changing sites and changing things around. I will let you all know if more changes are coming.

There are a lot of things I love doing. Writing is just one of them. However, I am a jack of all trades. There is nothing I can’t do. I love computers and I love the design aspect as well.

The blog will start slow and hopefully as more people discover this site there will be more advancing. Please keep up with my facebook page as well on One Woman.

Have a great day

Bryant