Archive for the ‘Good Times’ Category

June 29, 2012
Filed Under (Family, Good Times, The Happy Sad Things) by svana

I am utterly gobsmacked.

On June 29, 1999 my wee girl came into the world. Today she becomes a teenager. I’m torn between being the supportive Mom who has absolute, utter pride of watching this extraordinary child take her first steps toward adulthood and the Mommy who could fix any wrong in the world with hugs and kisses.  These are the days where I feel the need to check my expiration date, because pretty soon she won’t need my guidance or advice…or that’s the way it may feel.

So, while I have the chance… I’d like to hand off a bit of wisdom that she may or may not take.

Thirteen things to know as you turn 13:

1) No one person has all the answers.

Kiddo, you are going to meet people that seem to know exactly all the right things to say at the right times and seem to have all the answers. The truth is, only you will have all the answers you need for your path. Taking one person’s truth and re-making yourself to fit that truth is the greatest lie and disservice you could ever do to yourself. Trust your own wisdom, because ultimately, it will be you walking the path and you will need to choose your shoes for that journey.


2) Opinions are like assholes…everyone has got one.

Not everyone is going to agree with you or you with them. If we all agreed on everything, there would be no growth, no forward motion and no dreams. You know what your deal breakers are, respect that others have deal breakers too. You have every right to your opinion and feel free to defend your opinions. You are smart enough to know how to defend your ideology and beliefs without beating someone into a pulpy mass. Have fewer battles and more debates.


3) Never date a guy who wears white pants.

I’m very happy to be proven wrong on this point, but it has been my experience that any guy in the Canadian climate who wears white pants is someone who can’t be trusted.


4) Guys who spend more time in front of the mirror than you do…avoid them like the plague.

Invariably, any guy who spends more time making himself pretty is either a narcissist or really insecure. Either way, dating a guy like that is exhausting, and really pointless. You spend your time reassuring them or propping their ego up…constantly. Ask yourself: if looks are that important to the person you are with, what is underneath all that? It doesn’t matter how pretty the cake is, if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth…why bother?


5) One true best friend trumps 20 faux friends.

People are going to come and go through your life for various reasons. Your best friend should be someone you can trust without reservation. This type of relationship doesn’t just “happen”, it takes time, trust and effort on both sides. Aside from your Dad, I have one Best Friend and a number of people that come damn close to being a best friend.  I would far rather have one or two people who are close to me and care about me than 20 people that don’t really care, but say they do.


6) Popularity is a lie.

Wearing the “right” clothes, having the “right” hair style, hanging out with the “right” people…it’s a lie. Every step you take away from being the person you know yourself to be in order to fit in with the popular crowd, the harder it is to navigate through the coming years. Don’t discard who you are for what someone else tells you should be.


7) Keep a journal.

Find a time to write down what happened in the day. Take the time to vent, celebrate, ruminate, laugh and mull over. Do it in your own hand, in a bound book that you can revisit as you need to. Your memories are precious and being able to look back at what has happened allows you to see how much you’ve grown.


8) Let your freak flag fly!

Being brave isn’t always easy, but it is easier than trying to be something you are not.  Be who you are…without limits.


9) Words count…use yours wisely.

As we well know, words can hurt or heal. Knowing what words mean is important but even more so, how to apply those words. Anyone can cuss and swear, those words don’t take all that much imagination. We’ll get you a Chambers Dictionary…and failing that, look to Shakespeare if you want to tell someone off. Having said that, once those words pass your lips you can’t take them back. Try to look beyond your initial indignation and try to determine whether or not it is really important for you to tell someone off.


10) Beauty is not on the outside.

At first glance, some people look beautiful, some look average, some look plain and some look pretty rough. However, as you get to know these people, your idea of beauty will transform. The most beautiful person in the world, visually, could have the blackest soul…and as you get to see more of that, you become aware of how ugly that person truly is.

Compassion, generosity, wit and humour are qualities that mature but do not age. They never get wrinkles and when these qualities are coupled with beautiful soul, you have timeless beauty.

As the old saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.


11) I will scare all your boyfriends.

This is a fact. It’s not Dad they’ll need to watch out for, it’s me. If I scare them away, they are not worthy of you.


12) If your Dad says, “I don’t like the way that guy treats you”

Your Dad is a gentleman, as such, he believes that a woman is to be treated with respect. If your Dad has seen something that has bothered him enough to speak up and step into a place where he feels he must say something to you about how you are being treated…Pay attention, he is not speaking from a knee jerk reaction, but from a place of observation.


13) We love you, no matter what.

We are not always going to agree with choices you make, but we will always support you in the choices you make for yourself.  You are our child, and we will always love you. We will do our level best to back off and let you scrape your knees, watch you grow in your best direction and watch you make your own big decisions. There will be some tears as the years go by, but I’m confident that the tears will be dulled by laughter.


At the end of all this…

I could not be more proud of the person you are and I am blessed to be your Mom.

Happy 13th!


I love you forever and always.



April 08, 2012
Filed Under (Good Times) by svana

Good Friday started with a dream…

In my dream, I was waking up from a nap. I looked at the clock on the DVD player, and it said 3:43pm. I yelled at my poor spouse (sorry spouse) for letting me sleep through my coffee date scheduled at 1:00pm.

Then I woke up.

Feeling fuzzy eyed, I stumbled into our home office and related my dream to my spouse, and apologised  for yelling at him in my dream. I looked at him and said, “3:43 is going to be an important time today…I don’t know why, but it is”.  As ever, my very tolerant spouse smiled and nodded as if to say, “Sure, sure…go wake up sweetie”, then he went into the kitchen to pull some lunch together for me.

What followed was this….

Spouse: What the fuck?!?

Spouse double-times it out of the house .

Me: WTH?!?

Spouse: trucking up the neighbours driveway, and pauses to rap on the window…and flags me to come outside.

I wander out to the front porch, and peer up the drive…and see the biggest damn white dog I have ever seen.

Spouse: He looks friendly enough, but I think he’s thirsty.

I head back into the house & scare up a bowl big enough for the creature and head back outside. Only to be met with the fact that the dog has wandered off across the street, and my spouse is trying to chase him down in socked feet.

Me: Honey, go put shoes on, I’ll keep an eye on it!

Spouse heads off to get shoes, and I begin to follow said creature through our neighbors back yards across the street. Very soon after the dog finds himself street-side again, my spouse is waiting for us on the sidewalk. We took point positions on either side of the dog ‘s shoulders and navigated it back across the street with our thighs. [Note to self: big dogs only go where they want to go.] Thankfully, the dog was fairly co-operative and allowed us to get him back to our porch and the water.

As luck would have it, my spouse was on the ball and got a good picture of the dog…because the dog had no collar or tags <sigh>, and posted “Found” notices on Google+ and Twitter. I looked at my spouse and said, “I think I need to cancel my date”. This little statement began a 3+ hour journey to find out who would be looking for this pony sized dog.

I called my coffee date and related what had just happened…dream and all, and she was so gracious (Thank you, P!), and I told her I would likely be free by 4:00pm. P asked how I could possibly know that. My answer was so straight forward, it was like I was a voiced puppet, “because my dream highlighted 3:43, so we’ll have found its owner by then”. Of course, any rational person would laugh this off, yet I knew this to be a fact.

After fashioning one of my daughter’s skipping ropes into a makeshift leash, pooch and I were off for a wee walk.  Before anyone gets their knickers in a bunch, we are a cat household and despite the fact we keep dog treats, we do not have a spare leash or collar, the dog was not harmed. As luck would have it, one of the folks that lives a backyard away lent me a spare leash and collar, so pooch and I were much more comfortable, even if he was taking me for a walk every so often.

[Note to self: Even with a leash and collar, big dogs only go where they want to go.]

Pooch and I walked back to our house, and we began our journey through the neighborhood and into Wortley Village proper to see if we could locate the person who must be missing their pet. I quite certain the concept of walking around with no real idea as to where pooch came from seems a bit more than daft, but it was the only plan of action we had.

Wortley Village is a very big “DOG” area… Everyone seems to have a dog, therefore, someone must know this dog. As we wandered and asked every person we saw, “Do you know this dog? He has no collar or tags”… We were met with the rather annoying response of, “What do his tags say?” <sigh>

[Note to self: Holiday Fridays create a disconnect between brain and ears.]

We knocked on doors, we spoke to people on the street, we followed every lead that eventually turned our feet in the right direction. We found a part of the neighborhood that seemed to know this dog…and they said his name was Bentley.

[Note to self: No one is home on Good Friday]

Admittedly, I am not a dog person. I am a person who has spent her entire life observing responses…and this dog did not respond to the name Bentley. No ear perks, no head turn…nada, nothing, zip and zilch. I looked at my spouse and voiced my concern.  I had no problem working to get this dog back to his owner, provided of course, we were on the right track.  Could it be that this dog just didn’t like his name? A very helpful gal walked us to a house where the would-be Bentley could be identified.

Providence! Yes! We were so awesome!

Why didn’t it feel right? Not just to me, but to my spouse too.

Seemingly, this was the place for “Bentley” to be delivered. The homeowner was certain it was him, their dog knew his friend…all’s well that end’s well, right?


We were no more than 5 minutes from dropping “Bentley”, and my spouse received a call on his cell… Nope, not “Bentley”, but they were willing to hold on to the dog for at least 24 hours to allow more time for the owner to be located. <Huge SIGH of relief> Our home is simply not equipped to accommodate a large dog…to say nothing of what the cats would do to him.

[Note to self: Do we need to build a dog run in the backyard?]

We walked home, feeling rather dejected. I looked at my daughter and asked what time it was…2:47pm… well, lets see what will happen in the next 57 minutes. I walked the leash and collar back to my neighbors, and my spouse posted a “Found Dog” notice with picture on Kijiji.

Wouldn’t you know it… the first response as to who the dog belonged to was time stamped…. 3:43pm.  The second response was from the actual owner.

Walter (not Bentley) was happily reunited with his humans by about 4:10pm.

What an excellent adventure for Good Friday, and it was good indeed.

[Final note to self: Pay attention to your dreams. You never know when they might point you in the right direction.]







March 06, 2012
Filed Under (Family, Good Times) by svana

Have you ever watched a hawk or an eagle soar and have your breath catch in your throat and stand dumb-struck and awe-inspired?

I find myself celebrating achievements. Of my friends, loved ones, even my pets, more frequently and with greater joy. Most times I feel that my own accomplishments are rather mundane. I’ll never create great art, because I don’t have that gift. Or if I do, it’s long since buried and will take time to dig it out. I might be persuaded to write the “Great Canadian Novel”, but that’s somewhat unlikely because everyone knows that Valkyries are not Canadian and that ghosts aren’t real.

Today, I watched the kid light up as she read her acceptance email to a writer’s conference. For adolescents, sure, but still. Wow. I paused because I stopped to consider what each and every one of us could accomplish, with the right encouragement. That kid is so brave, and sometimes so fearless, standing on the cusp of her teen years with her hands wide open to all the possibilities and opportunities. And I am awe-struck. It’s like watching a hawk on the air currents, navigating them with an instinctive ease that I envy. If that’s a tribute to being a half-way decent parent then it feels marvelous. I can not claim any kind of responsibility for how she’s turning out. But I can support her and be very, very proud.

A friend of mine told me today how thankful she was for my love and support and I can’t imagine doing anything differently. As I told her today, “Hell, all I did was show up.” (Had she been in the same room, she would have hit me with a big stick) I’m starting to understand that despite the crusty exterior of who I am, I do have a gift to love and I offer that love, I don’t keep it to myself. Whether it is the neurotic Siamese we adopted in his retirement years, who used to hide instead of visiting with people; whether it’s the clients that see me in the office and are greeted with a hug; whether it’s cheering my spouse on from the sidelines; whether it’s standing back and watching my kid grow into a beautiful, strong young woman; whether it’s holding a friend’s hand on a bad day, it seems a small thing. I keep having the lesson shown to me by the neurotic Siamese who demands attention a year later, and doesn’t hide.

So, to my kid: Fly.

My spouse: It’s hard to improve on damn-near perfection. Perfection in my world. Thank you for teaching me, often, and with gentle words.

To that crazy dame from this morning: Grow your garden. And when you run out of space there, come play in mine.

To that neurotic Siamese: 2 o’clock in the morning is not the best time for hugs and kisses, but I’ll give them to you anyway.

To my own parents: Thank you for all the lessons that taught me how to be the parent that I am today.

For all the achievements I am privileged to observe, to partake in, and to enjoy, I am profoundly grateful.

February 12, 2012
Filed Under (Family, Good Times, You don't say...?) by svana

I suspect that I’m one of those really, really lucky women who is very loved by her husband, and knows it.

The other day, I sent a message through MSN to my spouse, saying…”Don’t fuss about valentines day”. To which I received the stunned response of, “ummmmmm?”. This small exchange sparked a discussion over whether or not Valentines Day is important to me.

When I consider all the things, large and small, that he does through the year and over the years that we have passed through…Valentines Day seems pretty insignificant. Not to mention that any guy would be tickled pink to get a pass on the most expensive, commercial day of the year short of Christmas.

When I pause and consider all those things that are so easily overlooked…how much that people take for granted, I understand why they need a day to say “I love you”. Love, unless nurtured, appreciated and fed, fizzles out. Will one day a year ignite the same feeling you beheld when you realized you were in love? In my opinion, it won’t. As I type this, I’m reflecting on all the lovely, simple things that my spouse does…day in and day out.


Watching the same movie over and over with me until I get it out of my system…without complaint.

Getting up before the alarm goes off in the morning, and making me a beverage that I can enjoy before my feet touch the floor.

Leaving little love notes hither and yon, so I might discover them when I really need to.

Bringing me cold packs when I’ve used up every single one in the blessed hospital…for that matter, answering my damn text at 3:00 in the morning, when he should be sleeping.

All the times he held me while I grieved over the loss of a friend or family member, four legged or otherwise.

The cup of tea to settle my stomach before or after a seizure, and the regulation two advil if requested.

Being reasonable when I can’t.

Holding my hand at the birth of our child and better…holding my hand while I slept in the birthing tub, and not letting go when I rose out of the tub like a vampire from it’s coffin, hollering “I’ve gotta PUSH!”.

For always kissing me goodnight.

Talking me through my fears, over and over again.

Supporting me through my spirituality, even if he doesn’t believe. More to the point, if he doesn’t believe…he never ever shows it.

For checking my blog posts to ensure I’m not looking like a total boob.

Painting my toe nails horrific colours…and adding emoticon expressions free hand.

Putting up with my tantrums when all the electronics in the house have decided to rise up and stage a mutiny against me.

Telling me I’m beautiful, and helping me see it…even at my worst.

Humouring me when another stray shows up on our porch and welcoming them into our home.

For holding my hand as we fall asleep, every night.

These are just a few of the things that my husband does that tell me he loves me, without benefit of the yearly reminder of Valentines Day. I’m pretty damn grateful that I don’t need to rely on a Hallmark Holiday to know, from the top of my head to the tips of my hideously coloured toenails, that I am loved.

I wish that every person was as blessed as I am…I love you, Spouse…every day, not just on February 14…and I hope you know that.

May 04, 2009
Filed Under (Family, Free Hugs, Good Times) by svana

When I first met the wonderful man who was to become my husband, he would regale me with tales of a Baked Goods Goddess he worked with. This gal could do no wrong. I often wondered if her feet touched the ground owing to the heaps of generous and (I would say) loving praise my future spouse laid at her lotus feet. In those early months it was terribly hard not to be jealous of this woman who had my man so clearly wrapped around her flour-dusted pinkie.

Aw, hell…I was jealous.

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May 03, 2009
Filed Under (Free Hugs, Good Times) by svana

When I was a child, the best part of school for me was book orders. As a parent I can still indulge in this joy.

Being one of a generation of kids that grew up without cable, book orders were a lifeline in my world. Scholastic Canada has not changed much in the last 30 years. I shudder as I think about how much time has gone by, yet I find myself looking forward to the reminder of my age with each approaching book order. The same 4 or 6 pages of newsprint, filled with books to engage, educate and ponder. I think I spend more time looking at the Scholastic offerings than my daughter does.

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October 04, 2008
Filed Under (Free Hugs, Good Times) by svana

Everyone has an alter-ego of some type, be it in Facebook, MySpace, MSN or a list of some sort. I have to take it one step further. I have to make it real and a bit larger than life.

I am Super Soup…

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September 17, 2008
Filed Under (Good Times) by svana

I like online games.

There are some that are all consuming. Live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long, worldwide. The most enjoyable one that I have ever encountered is OGame. OGame is a text-based, resource-management and space-war themed online browser game with over two million accounts, which should be called OCrack. It is 100 % addictive, and pretty darn fun.

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September 12, 2008

On September 7th, I lost my husband and child…to Spore.

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September 08, 2008
Filed Under (Good Times) by svana

After 12 years, our house is still under construction. It never really ends, it just seems to get bigger and more involved. I thought if we broke it down into smaller chunks it would be easier to meet some fairly significant goals over the fall months. Personally, I believe that a bundle of dynamite in the basement would make me happiest because this house has a hate-on for me.

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