Just Breathe

I was in my bootcamp class today, mid-mountain climbers, and realized I was holding my breath.  “Oh, Gawd BREATHE”.

It’s not the first time during exercising I’ve had to remind myself to breathe.  I often find myself holding my breath doing whatever it is, then realize that turning blue in class is probably not a good idea.  Also, being passed out on the floor would likely be frowned upon…not to mention a tad embarrassing.  “HEY COACH, WHY IS SHE LYING DOWN?!  IS THIS A NEW BURPEE MOVE WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT?!”  Then, everyone would be pissed and trying to do the new move that’s really not new, I’m just PASSED OUT THANKS, BUT DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME.  Now, I’ve taken to telling myself to breathe before class starts and whenever I find myself getting too caught up in an exercise.  It’s also a good idea to remind oneself to BREATHE during the day, even when not doing Burpees x 100, or face down doing plank jacks.

It’s not something that one should forget easily, I mean, breathing is as natural as, well, breathing but today I did catch myself NOT breathing.  It got me wondering how many other times I neglect to breathe during simple things and should be more self-aware.  Like, do I forget to breathe when I’m driving?  When I’m sleeping?  When I’m working?  HOW DOES SOMEBODY FORGET TO BREATHE?!  It’s ridiculous, really.  It’s like saying “Oh, I forgot to eat today.”  THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO ME.  Or, I FORGOT TO BUY WINE.  If that happens, I’m sure to be headed for the home.  So how does something so basic, so part of BEING HUMAN, be forgotten?

I guess it’s in line with so many other basic nuances of being a person that gets shoved aside during a busy day or week or life.  We forget to appreciate a warm day, a smile from someone we haven’t seen in a while, or a hot cup of coffee.  We forget what being little is like or that being a teen is dramatic and exhausting, and being a young adult can be scary.  We forget that not so long ago, the internet was new and exciting technology and playing hide and seek outside was the ONLY thing we did that was fun.  We forget that the simple act of walking is a gift many of us cannot enjoy and that living and breathing every day, is our greatest joy. We forget the basic simplicity of being human; the basic everyday pleasure of being alive and breathing.

Trying to be mindful and self-aware takes practice; one that I am in need of, obviously.  I read that a simple deep breath can calm your system down and give you the much needed oxygen to your brain to enhance those thinking cells and good vibrations.  It releases bad toxins and gets some much needed space to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.  A simple deep breath can do all of that.  Huh.

So can a bottle of wine, but usually drinking at one’s place of employment is not looked upon favourably.  AND, side plank with a sip-dip, anyone?  Yeah.  New exercise.  BYOB…

I have to try to remember to just breathe through all of that negativity people throw around like, “You’re doing that wrong” or “You should really rethink that shirt” or “Giving people the finger through their office door is not the professional behaviour we expect of you.”

IT WAS ONLY ONE TIME AND I FORGOT I HADN’T HAD A BREATH IN A WHILE.

GAAAWWWWDDDDD.

I’m going to go take a few deep breaths, now and appreciate that I CAN.

And open that wine…

Sip and breathe, and sip and breathe….

Me. After wine.

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Friday, Fall and Garden Gnome Gary

Friday is finally here and the rejoicing has begun. Even the dog is happy….for a change. The sun has finally appeared and all seems to be almost right with the world. Now if we can only get the world to cooperate.Fall is knocking on my front door and I’m thinking I should get my ass in gear this year to be ready for a festive season, unlike previous years where I bought a pumpkin the day of Halloween and made the kids carve it after school. It was an interesting looking pumpkin. Sort of like Quasimodo meets Mickey Mouse.  

This year, I should be preparing early for Halloween by making up some treat bags that have actual treats in them and not pencils or small ghoul-shaped erasers or left over Froot Loops…what? Desperate times….

Or, find some pumpkins and paint them freaky colours so my neighbours think I actually do something besides throw a random pumpkin on the front step and take a sharpie and draw on a weird-ass awkward smile…then blame the kids for not being ‘motivated with the spirit of Halloween’. Damned kids.

I’m thinking of scoping out a local field and thieving a hay stack to throw on my front porch. A) Field? B) Will a haystack fit in my Corolla? I should have asked that ever important question when I bought the car. Note to self, ask next time.

My garden gnome Gary has been hanging out in the front garden all summer. I found him toppled over face first in the dirt. Poor Gary. I stood him upright and vowed to include him in my fall-planning. I’m thinking I could make him more fall-like if I hide him inside a plastic skull and sharpie on some fake blood. He could become Ghoulish Gary by Halloween. I bet I’ll start a trend and the ‘hood will be filled with blood-stained garden gnomes strewn all over front porches…It’ll be like the Walking Dead only we could call it the March of the Garish Gnomes….WHO’S WITH ME??!!  

I love getting out the scented candles and lighting them on crisp fall evenings…yes, I just took that from a Good Housekeeping magazine. HAHAHAHA. So cute. The rest of us just throw on the washing machine and hope the fabric softener makes the house smell clean.  

There are so many DIY sites with awesome ideas for fall decorating, that I should check them out. Or not. I’ll see if any include Sharpies and colouring garden gnomes, otherwise I’m out.

My biggest tip to get ready for fall is stock up on that wine before we have another wine shortage crises and the world comes crashing down around our feet and we have to actually think of something creative to do with our time. Pffft…STOP ME NOW BEFORE I GO TO MICHAELS AND SUCCUMB TO THE SMELL OF THE CRAFT PAINT.

OH THE HUMANITY…..    

 

 

Parenting Tips For Surviving The Teen Years With Grace, Dignity and A Little Less Drunkenness

Adolescence, otherwise known as the slow descent into madness, or those lost years mommy raided the liquor store in search for more wine, or when the little darlings morph into bigger versions of Teletubbies gone awry, is a trying time for everyone; parents, teens, grandparents, teachers, babies, the dog, the mail-delivery person, the librarian with the big ass mole, the nice policeman who escorted you home after being caught outside the liquor store after hours banging on the doors pleading for them to “PLEASE OPEN I NEED WINE! I HAVE TEENAGERS!!!”….

The brains of average teenagers are still developing and pushing the limits. It’s one of the many fun and interesting ways they determine their place in the family; their role in the world and their intimate social circle. It’s also annoying as hell.

Limit setting and parents sticking to them is the key element to any good survival during this emotional roller coaster. They will yell, scream, slam doors and then use the ever favourite “Jan’s mom let her do it”. “AGAIN WITH THE JAN’S MOM?! I’m not Jan’s mom! I don’t care what Jan’s mom let her do! WHO THE HELL IS JAN?! Jan’s mom can stick it!! “ Natural and understandable responses to an illogical and peer-pressure kind of tactic that only ensues argumentative combative behaviour. BAD FORM, TEEN. But that’s what they know. Knee jerk emotional responses to having their asses slammed into a room with nowhere to go but to a ‘Jan’s mom’ kind of response. Stick to your guns! Not literal guns, but your limits. Stick to your decisions. You get it. DON’T CAVE!  

I could say here that communication is the key to any good relationship and speaking in quiet tones and providing a caring and open environment for them to participate in mature dialogue will assist in curbing the emotional upheaval….but that would be utter bullshit. Seriously. Teens are a ball of emotional crap wrapped up in a brain-fugue ire that speaking at all will only escalate the already shitty attitude they possess. I tend to throw my hands in the air and say “Jesus, help me with this child! Give him the necessary good sense that he needs to see the light!” and then proceed to speak in tongues. This generally confuses the shit out of the teen and he is so freaked out he turns around and goes to his room to try to call his father saying “Mom has lost it! Come home now!” And will never ask to go to another party/borrow the car/jump off a bridge, again.  

As a mother of three teens who are now adults, I can say you will survive. Motherhood be damned, the adolescent years are the most trying times; following of course after toddlerdom when the word ‘no’ was the prompt to put more toys in the toilet; the righteous pre-teen years where buying the right shirt was a major meltdown affair and of course the roaring twenties where there’s university exams, classes and staying out all night. Actually, now that I read that statement, being a parent kind of sucks. There is no decade safe where you can really sit back with your feet up and relax and say, ‘yep. We did it. We raised our kids.’ A parent’s work is never done and even now that my kids are no longer ‘kids’, I can say I still worry. We still argue (yes, Miss H even with Son), we still have to set the limit and toe the line and all that parenting lingo you read in all of the Parenting 101 books that kinda only work when the kid is already well-adjusted, graduated with a PhD and on his way to his own wedding. All those nice parenting books you bought will surely serve better as a nightstand where you can lay your bottle of wine after an afternoon of endless pleading and begging with the mail-delivery-person to please rescue you from your torment only for him/her/neutral to pry your death grip from his/her/neutral arm and run madly up the street….damned mail-delivery persons! (being politically correct is wordy, but not expensive)

Suck it up, Mommy/Daddy you’re a lifer now!

Ahhh, think back to the day when that adorable little pink baby was first placed in your arms and you promised him the world! And now, well now, he’s still kinda adorable and you would still give him the world if he wasn’t so damned stubborn like his father and have the intelligence of a snail. Then he comes home with decent grades and you think “Yesss. Finally, he has turned a corner. He is growing up” then he dents the car, or floods the basement with the garden hose or goes bowling with a frozen turkey and throws it through the front door.  

Yup.  

A teenager. The universe’s way of reminding you that young people can be stupid. We are the force that guides these young impressionable teens into adulthood with common sense, values and a wealth of information to make solid decisions; like bowling with a frozen turkey is way better suited in the basement using the hockey net. Duh…ANYONE KNOWS THAT.  

That’s why we also have wine. For when those guidelines are a little skewed, those decisions are a little off the mark and we struggle with guilt, ire and Jesus.

Good luck, fellow parents. You are not alone during this traumatic and challenging time. Remember, they will be around FOREVER. Also, the liquor store is open daily until 11pm. Make sure to get there early.

You. Are. Welcome.

 

    

 

All Hail Friday

Fridays are a day where normally, everyone is rejoicing in the weekend to come. Those of us fortunate enough not to have to work weekends or shift work, look forward to the last day of the week when we can kick off our shoes and sit back and enjoy a bit of respite from the hassles of working life.
Then the Universe sticks its nose in just to keep it interesting.

Relax?! YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!  

Friday’s dilemmas: Traffic snarls for daughter who has issues with drivers cutting her off and one lane detours then an awesome morning spent at the hospital for an appointment….which is ALWAYS a joyful experience.

I spill coffee down the front of my dress. Not so bad if it’s the end of the day, but at 9am it’s a bit of a piss-off.

Daughter baffles medical community following an appointment fraught with questions and little answers and left to figure shit out on her own. THANKS MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS FOR MAKING MY DAUGHTER AN ANOMOLY. HUGS!

Son receives a letter on his report card foreign to any of us who know and love him and are left wandering the streets yelling “WHY?!!!!!!!”  

The Universe is currently sitting back with a beer and pizza watching the games that have only just begun….

Daughter #1 has returned to work after the obligatory five days of mourning and wearing the same black clothes for a week. We all await the next round with bated breath and wine at the ready.  

I set out a plan of buying more wine for the long weekend ahead that is sure to have something akin to cleaning, arguing, laundry, in-fighting and heated discussions about the lives of the children/adults currently residing in our house. I plan on being sober only 10% of the time with some witty repartee ready for those occasions somebody actually asks my opinion.  

The new floor in our new bathroom that took months to renovate no longer heats up. The thermostat looks like this: —————– I’m under the impression it is DEEP in THOUGHT. Or it has decided to take a summer vacation. Maybe it’s shocked that we still require heat in July. Here’s a tip, Therm-O-Stat – WE LIVE IN NEWFOUNDLAND. IT DOESN’T GET ANY WARMER THAN THIS. NOW GET TO WORK!  

The 95 year old hip that occupies this soon-to-be 51 year old body enjoys the daily reminders that I can’t move to the left without the pain akin to getting a door slammed on my thumb times one thousand…with a Trump speech blaring in the background. And a hive of bees stinging my butt. I could go on, but you get the idea…it HURTS.  

 

Is it possible for a coffee stain to get darker as the day goes on? Because now it just looks like somebody smeared poop on the front of me. VERY ATTRACTIVE.

The Universe just polished off its first six-pack and opened another for the evening show…

 

 

Ma plan 

 

 

You Know You Should Call It A Day When:

In a rush to secure a gift for the love of your life, you call specific stores with desired item on sale only to find the last one to be sold “just minutes” before your alarmingly boisterous arrival.  This was hours after your initial plea of ‘can you save it for me?’ only to be told ‘no’. Fuckers.  So fearing impending doom and total catastrophic disappointment from the love of your life, you flee to the netherworlds of town to secure desired item.  You find it!  It barely squeezes into backseat of car.  Meanwhile, D1 is lamenting that you were unable to pick her up from her job so she asked the love of your life for a ride who calls you 7 times in attempts to reach you only to be promptly ignored.  And when finally you answer you hear this: ‘why the hell am I paying 65.00 a month for a cell phone that you don’t answer?!’ to which you respond ‘she could have walked to a Tim’s and waited it’s a nice day’ to which he states ‘what Tim’s there isn’t one close’ to which you promptly hang up.   You then drop D2 off at rowing 15 minutes late which is devastating since she’s the coach and is responsible to show a good example to the ‘young people’ and now has to do laps in response to her lateness.  Gee mom, you pretty much suck.  Then, you rush to rescue D1 from the hockey arena that D2 said she was impatiently waiting at since the love of your life had to pick her up from her job since that job equals death and waiting any more than five extra minutes could be as painful as having your toenails removed one-by-one by a monkey high on crack, AND the love of your life had to take son to hockey hence the whole arena thing,  only to find that she is home and has been home for some time now and if you had answered your fucking phone you would have known that and not have found that out by the time you were half way to an arena at which  none of your family were even located.  To which you proudly display said perceived ‘desired item’ in the livingroom after having to secure a hernia in the process of extracting item from the backseat of your Corrolla only to have the love of your life proclaim, upon his arrival home,  it’s not as desired as perceived.  Bastard. 

AND THEN THE NEXT DAY, you dump a whole bottle of coffee cream on the floor of your car, and a strong odor of Hazelnut permeates the interior.  In attempts to squelch that odor and the impending sour-milk-from-the-depths-of-a-nauseated-baby-smell, you erroneously decide to mop up said dairy product with paper towels and a Lysol-soaked rag.  Now the car smells like Hazelnut infused Lysol.  Pleasant. 

THE DAY AFTER THAT, having not had the opportunity to purchase more Hazelnut heavenly goodness in which to put in your morning coffee since you were busy doing OTHER PEOPLE’S laundry, preparing supper, cleaning shit up and planning an epic holiday, you ask three family members early in the morning to assist in said purchase only to be told that it would ‘make them late for work’.  So, only one cup of morning coffee.  All the damned day.

 Grumpy. As. Shit. 

NOOOOOOO!!!!!  MY EYES ARE BURNING

NOOOOOOO!!!!! MY EYES ARE BURNING

Hope you are having a fucking awesome day.  Love and hugs to all.

KJ  

 

An Unnatural Nature Scene

I bring you a moment from the wild one may never see again.  First, let’s set the stage.  Watch the intro to Wild Kingdom…

Are you ready?

The Newfoundland Hubby in His natural habitat doing something unnatural.

The Newfoundland Hubby in his natural habitat doing something unnatural.

I know that you are all as amazed as I am about this…I was lucky enough to capture the scene on my phone so you can all marvel in this bizarre and captivating experience.

HUBBY COOKING!!!

For those of you needing the details he is cooking fish n’ brewis.  (salt fish and soaked hard bread.  He prefers his fried.)

Until next time friends, keep your cameras at the ready and watch out for those wild animals.  You never know WHAT they’ll do next!

This And The Other Word

Friday squirrel

It’s finally Friday and I’m thankful that I have a gathering to look forward to.  I’ve been swilling around in doggie duties, laundry and work this week and I feel like I should sit back and drink a few with my buds.  My peeps.  Let’s eat, drink and be merry…not that we never are.  There’s plenty of frivolity in the ‘hood.  Maybe even a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner will be sung…okay, not exactly sung so much as strangled out from the vocal chords of a drunk woman strung out on the extreme amounts of alcohol and carbohydrate deprivation.  In my ever attempts at losing a few extra pounds of woman-mass, I have decided to restrict my carb intake while simultaneously upping my veggie/fruit combo.  Of course I refuse to totally do without wine, chocolate and coffee so they remain a steadfast part of my diet.  I should start my own regime and call it “The Winos Guide To Losing A Few Pounds While Still Enjoying Her Midlife Crisis In A Drunken Stuper”   The business plan practically writes itself.

Recent events have me yelling ‘Hell’s yah!’ in my jammies on my front lawn.   I was so going to provide links to the main story, but my lawyer, Vinnie Buttowski, has advised me that that  probably isn’t in my best interest. (as an aside, I hate the word ‘that’ and to use it double in a sentence has me near convulsions of grammatical anxiety so extreme I may just wet myself in spite) (as a double aside, this paragraph originally took up half the post, but again, I was advised to ‘shut the fuck up’ so, yeah.  This is it, yo)   So, instead I’ll distract you with this:

If you haven’t noticed and most of you haven’t as you can’t actually see me, my ‘no carb’ thing that I have been slaving at for two weeks has resulted in a little loss of sponge around my middle.  It’s going well and I am enjoying the freedom that only no- carb can do for you…eating multitudes of veggies and almonds and having peeps taunt me incessantly with croissants and cookies.  They’re fucking awesome.  They love me so much they feel the need to parade treats in front of me like a feral cat walking nonchalantly in front of an old person with a cane. Lovely, really…come a little closer I’ll show you the new cane I bought.  It’s very shiny and heavy….