Thanksgiving road trip

Thanksgiving weekend road trip

Giving thanks on a road trip

This is what happens when a momma and her two girlies take a road trip to give thanks for one another…






How can a momma not be thankful?


How do you show your gratitude for your loved ones?


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Dedicated supporter & My fitness/training plan

I am so fortunate to have tremendous support when it comes to bettering my life, in almost any way. If I want to become more learned, he’s behind me. If I need to follow a crazy strict sleep schedule to combat insomnia, he’s behind me. If I want to make more time for my children, he’s behind me. If I want to spend more time with family or friends, he’s behind me. Lately, his support has been focused on helping me get into a regular daily morning exercise routine. So much that he thought he’d rally the troops, by asking my mom for a favour… for her to push my butt out the door on Thursday while I’m at their place… little did he know, it’s a scheduled rest day. 😉

Tomorrow after work I’m heading to my parents (some other big supporters) where my children have been visiting since Sunday. I haven’t seen my girlies, except for a three hour visit on Sunday afternoon. In three weeks (less two days). I miss them, so I’m taking the first chance I’ve got to get to them. I’ll stay overnight and have a nice relaxing visit with mom & dad, then return to the big city (& home) on Thursday morning.

Part of my planning involved the consideration of my fitness routine. And I’ll admit I wasn’t at all disappointed that it would work out that Thursday is a rest day. Of course, I haven’t fully briefed himself on my plan, as it is a work in progress. Since I am prone to fibromyalgia flare-ups, and often overdo it (what seems reasonable for everyone else, often feels fine in the moment, but is a killer for me in the immediate aftermath) I want to be extra careful. I also have a nagging ankle injury that will never entirely be back to normal.

So, I started off a couple of weeks ago with a plan to run 30 minutes (my limit from my physio/osteopath) every morning before work (and the same time every day that I’m not working – to establish a sustainable routine), I didn’t want to give myself an easy out (but in the back of mind mind I was thinking 1-2 rest days/week would be reasonable). However, I don’t want to allow myself to just skip a workout because I found an excuse not to go.

After a few days, my ankle started hurting – so the plan was altered to include rest days when my body tells me I need them. Then I decided to try substituting some cross training once in a while to help prevent the problem while still maintaining the routine. What seems to be working for my body right now, is no more than 2 days in a row of running. And one rest day/week to rest & repair longer than the 24 hrs. It’s all experimental, so I’ve been working through most of this in my head.

The current “training plan”: run 2 days, ride 1, run 2 days, rest 1, run 2 days, ride 1, run 2 days, rest 1, etc. Most weeks I will workout 6 out of 7 days, occasionally the cycle will allow 2 rest days in a week – which allows for a cut-back week.

I know eventually I will need to change things up a bit to make it interesting, but for now the current challenge is to establish the consistent routine of early morning workouts. Since 30 mins seems to be a reasonable limit for me, I thought rather than attempt to increase the length of time I would gradually increase the intensity, as my fitness level improves. When I’m ready to attempt long runs again, I will have a good solid base of weekly mileage to start with.

I won’t run if it hurts me, but I have a plan now that I am going to stick with.

To get back to himself. I am so thankful that he’s thinking about me and that he’s got my back. Hopefully we’re both on the same page of the training plan again. 🙂

Airing my laundry (I just know this will excite you as much as it does me!)

I’ve posted a number of times about my clothesline woes and accomplishments. Many people likely think I’m insane to be so passionate about such a thing as a clothesline. I probably am a little.

So what’s the deal? We bought our home 2 years ago, we chose it for proximity to the girls’ francophone school (one of two in all of HRM) in hopes that it would make things easier for everyone down the road. Now it means we’re not as close as we’d like to be to a lot of other things… groceries, transit route, libraries, etc. etc. but we were okay with that as we’re an active family who will often walk further and/or use transit rather than take the dreaded C-A-R. Unfortunately, until the girls get a bit older, it means that one of us needs to drive on all days that both of us are working, as the children need to be picked up from their after school program and toted back home.

But, I’m off-topic already.

Our ultimate goal would be to have an eco-friendly home in an eco-friendly environment where we can at least reduce our own family carbon footprint significantly over time. So. We purchase our home in a relatively new neighborhood where most people don’t hang their clothes out to dry. Now, I have grown up with clotheslines. We’ve almost ALWAYS lived somewhere that our primary source of clothes-drying was for the majority of the year (with the exception of the North West Territories) was the outdoor line. After my marriage ended, I moved with the children back to the city I call home. I had no choice but to rent an apartment, and therefore had no clothesline, just a little clothes horse that could not serve the family well for the majority of our needs. I missed my line terribly.

I was so excited to be moving into our own home where we could hang clothes (I refused to even look at properties that might have enforceable covenants against clotheslines – these are thankfully, less and less likely to be enforced these days). However, there was (expectedly) no clothesline already in place when we moved in.

So we began the task of determining how and where to place one. As it turned out there was no feasible spot without installing a post into a pile of rocks. Where we live there is not a home that gets built without significant blasting happening first in order to get through the bedrock and actually lay a foundation. Needless to say it would also take a HUGE amount of fill to be brought in in order for there to be any more than a thin layer of dirt atop the rock. So, we opt to go with the clothesline umbrella. It still requires a hole, but nothing nearly as substantial.

I was very excited to use the line and enthusiastically hung my laundry day after day, but the umbrellas are not built with any kind of durability, especially to withstand the kind of winds we get in our parts. Given that I use the line so frequently, I was not one to take the line down between uses. Needless to say, we had replaced it 4 times before giving up.

The next solution was a temporary fix. We run a line from the front porch to the only tree that was serviceable, knowing it will not be long enough to accommodate even a full load of laundry at times (and was very close to the house, so therefore too sheltered). The plan being to dig a hole (out of rock!) in a better location and erect a post (cemented in) for a more apt solution. This took some time. I plugged away using the smaller line and some supplementary clothes horses.

From Scenic

Ian is a trooper, and loves a challenge, so he started digging and digging, and digging – this needed to be a significant hole to accommodate the underground section needed to support a long enough post to work well. At some point he gets the idea to borrow our neighbor’s sledgehammer in order to break up the rock. The neighbor suggests what he really needs is a jack hammer. Oh joy! A power hammer half the size of Ian! He’s loving this plan. So off he went to the hardware store to rent the jackhammer.

After half a day of pounding, the hole is an acceptable depth (I am careful not to even attempt to act as foreman of such efforts, and therefore took his word for it) the post is erected, leveled, with guy line and all, and cement poured. I then must wait an entire week for it to set! Ian readied the line, installing pulleys, etc. all but for actually installing the wire (so as not to tempt me before the necessary week went by).

Finally I get to put the clothesline to use! I can’t tell you how exciting this is. The line goes out in the open where it gets lots of sun and air circulation (wind!), and is long enough to hold two loads of laundry (easily).

From Scenic

The first use looks hysterical, as the line always stretches at first, and it’s a windy day so I cannot use the separators that help keep the line from sagging too much (resulting in the line getting completely tangled from the clothes whipping around it).

Once it’s had a chance to stretch we get the line adjusted properly and I put it to the true test. Between the new and improved line, and the previously installed short line – I can hang nearly four loads of laundry! This is significant given we live in an area where the rains (and/or fog) may not let up for weeks at a time, except for the occasional day or two of reprieve. With a family of four active individuals, two being girlies who LOVE dressing up, we wash a LOT of laundry.

From Drop Box

Many thanks to my beloved for indulging me. Our pocketbooks (via power bill) and the environment thank you too!

The Long & Winding Road of reshaping a family

After writing a little about my somewhat-short-and-not-so-distant past as a single mom, I wanted to write about the process of blending families.  Our family is likely the least complicated of blending since there are no other children involved. 

However, it’s been a long and challenging (yet rewarding) process from single mom and “friend”, to combining our two households and all of the adjustments that come along with that, to the point we’re at now where it feels more normal and right to live this life than looking back on our previous ones.

My significant other got thrown into a ready-made family, thrown into parenting where rules, routines and traditions had already been established. We had to learn to bend and adapt our ways, and had steep a learning curve all around. It’s been challenging to be sure, and we’re certainly not over the hump yet, but it feels like we’re very close.

I don’t consider myself a single mom anymore.  The challenges I once had with finding time for myself, juggling all of the household responsibilities and finances, and making decisions about how to parent my children are shared with a partner who chose to be a part of our lives, and cares very much for every one of us.  While I know I don’t show it enough, I am so thankful to him for how much easier he makes things for us (most especially me) in so many ways. It’s the most incredible feeling to finally know someone has got my back, no matter what the circumstances.

Yet, the fact is that ultimately these two girls are my charges, and there will always be certain responsibilities and obligations that are no one else’s but mine, (and their father’s).  As much as I want to just let it all go, there’s also a teeny part of me that is reminded of how things didn’t go as planned once before, and that there are so many “What if’s” that could change things again one day. But mainly, it’s simply knowing that I brought these children into the world, and that when it comes right down to it, if we cannot agree on something, the decision to be made is always mine. In that regard, I feel I will always have one foot partially on that path of single parenthood. It’s a bit of a lonely feeling, but I remind myself that we’re not alone – there are families everywhere going through similar processes… And that even when he doesn’t fully agree with me, Ian has my back.

Fortunately, we have a relationship built on respect. It is truly the deal-breaker value for us, and we will generally find a way to work together to find a solution.

I feel truly blessed. Not only has it been worth waiting for, but every experience (good & bad) was worth living – for they brought me to this place.