Fun Fair

We spent our sunny Saturday at the Fun Fair being held at my niece’s school in Toronto. As I watched her excitedly skipping to the school at 11:00 this morning, I was reminded of all the Fun Fairs in my elementary school past. They were absolutely awesome! There was something about being at school on a sunny May Saturday that was so novel. Not to mention the fact that the school had been magically transformed into a veritable haven of fun.

Fun FairToday was my first Fun Fair in thirty five years and it was just as much fun as I remember. Bouncy castles, face painting, music, food, a clown, tattoos, games, popcorn, and cotton candy. And it was exactly the same energy that I remember from my own fairs.

What I don’t remember, as I look back thirty five years, is who was responsible for all that fun.

What I saw today, through the eyes of a mother, was the hundreds and hundreds of hours of work that must have gone into that Fun Fair today. All those dedicated parents, teachers, and staff who made today a day that my niece and her schoolmates will remember and will tuck into a happy place in their hearts to be pulled out at some point and treasured.

And so, thirty five years late, I send out my thanks to all those moms and dads and teachers who made all my Fun Fairs so magical! 🙂

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TGIF…!

For those of you who have been following me this week you will understand how heartfelt this post is.

TGIFI did it!

I did it really well!

And now I am going to read my book in the backyard and thoroughly enjoy the fact that tomorrow will not start at 4:00am!

And you know what I LOVE? That I will be rip-roaring to go again on Monday!

Happy Friday all! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Gong Show

As I mentioned in last night’s blog post, I am having a super-duper-crazy-busy-work-week and Simon is out of town on business. The past four mornings have started at 4:00am because, frankly, the workshop needs to be designed before I can go out to deliver it.

I am between workshops at the moment and am sitting in a Starbuck’s on the University of Toronto campus. And, with this morning’s slam-dunk of a workshop behind me, my mind has turned to the Gong Show of last night and I just have to share…

Sleepy CommuterI am always amazed, as I ride the buses, trains, and subways that get me to and from work, that people can sleep on public transit. And, I don’t mean a light cat nap. I mean drooling, snoring, sleep talking, and, my personal favourite, the shoulder lean. Really, there’s nothing quite like a fellow commuter asleep on your shoulder!

I am not a transit sleeper. I just don’t ever feel tired enough, I am not relaxed enough, and, it is not that comfortable. However, last night, on my way home from Toronto on the GoBus, I was so tired that I drifted in and out of fitful sleep.

When the bus pulled in to Hamilton at 7:00pm all I could think was; ‘In 90 minutes, after getting Zachary and Michael settled into bed, I can climb into my own comfy nest and get a good night’s sleep. Only 90 minutes, only 90 minutes…!’ I could feel the comforting mantra playing in my head as I made my way home from the bus stop.

Well, the Universe had other plans for me…

When I arrived home at 7:15, the kids were just heading off to the park to play lacrosse with my mom so I had a few minutes to empty the dishwasher, tidy the kitchen, clean out lunch bags, pack lunches for tomorrow and unpack and start repacking my own lunch bag. I debated putting in a load of laundry but decided I wouldn’t be up long enough to see it through.

When the boys got home from the park at 8:00, I told them it was snack time and then teeth. Michael told me that he could not eat his snack until he told me about a bullying incident that had happened after school (part of a larger issue that has been ongoing through the winter).

Baby BunnyMichael and I were on the couch in the living room when Zachary, who was sitting at the kitchen table, let out an ear-splitting scream.

Zachary tore out of his seat and ran to the back door yelling; ‘Mommy, mommy, hurry…Prana has a baby bunny!’ Our cat had caught a baby rabbit in the backyard and was proceeding to torture it at the back door. Zachary’s screaming scared her away from it so that when I arrived on the scene, I had a full view of an adorable little brown bunny lying on its side and twitching helplessly.

I am usually vey calm in an emergency. I can keep my head, be rational and I know what needs to be done. I don’t know whether it was just sheer fatigue or the upset of Michael’s bullying story, but the sight of this poor little injured baby bunny just undid me.

And, at 8:45 at night, all I wanted to be dealing with was the effort of brushing my teeth in preparation for bed, not dealing with frantic kids and an injured animal.

So I didn’t. I sent the boys across the street to get my neighbour, John.

John arrived all calm and in charge. He asked me to get a box and sat with the bunny and the five worried kids surrounding it (at this point, Max had come home and John’s kids had come over to join in on the excitement). When I procured the requested box, John suggested I call Animal Control, which I did. Animal Control told me they would send someone out as soon as possible. Seeing that we were all settled, John left the rabbit in my care and took his own kids home for bed.

At this point it was 9:30. My kids were totally wired, I still hadn’t heard the bullying incident and I had adopted an injured bunny for an undefined amount of time. I sent Zach to bed and sat down with Michael to help him. It was 10:00 by the time I got to the bottom of the story.

Animal ControlI had just settled the kids when Animal Control arrived and everyone came flying down the stairs to witness the handing-over of our furry little charge.

I had visions of a big, burly man who was going to grab the bunny and head for his truck to put the poor little thing out of its misery. However, what we got was absolutely the opposite!

The Animal Control guy was wam, nurturing and so gentle. He told us that the bunny looked good and that he was going to take it to his truck so that he could keep it warm in a little incubator. He also told us the bunny had a good chance and that, most likely, he would recuperate and be set free in a few days.

We had barely shut the door behind Animal Control when I burst into tears! I just felt completely overwhelmed with the bullying, the bunny, the late hour, the long week, and my partner out-of-town that I just dissolved. The kids, being so comfortable with my outward displays of emotion, just hugged me and told me that everything was okay.

All I could think was; shouldn’t I be the one comforting them?

It was well after 10:30 by the time I re-settled the kids. At that point I needed to craft a lengthy e-mail to Michael’s principal about the bullying and tidy up some work e-mail before shutting down.

I was just finishing up when Max produced a five-page trip form that was due the next morning!

Good NeighbourSeriously?!?!

It was 11:30 by the time I got into bed…and as I reflected on my extraordinary evening, I realized that my wonderful neighbour had swept in with his cape flying when I really needed him. It’s funny, when you are a mom, you are supposed to just innately know what to do in any situation that should arise.

Well…last night all I could think of was asking for help.

And, not only did help arrive, it arrived with a smile, a laugh and the warmth that I needed. Isn’t it amazing to know that we live in these incredible communities with extraordinary people who don’t even think twice about lending a hand?

And that all we need to do is ask.

I think that is truly extraordinary! 🙂

Mom’s Mom

Super GrannyI am in the middle of the busiest work week I have had in months and, as luck would have it, Simon is away on business!

So…who ya gonna call?

My wonderful mom, that’s who!

As I sit on the GoBus on my way home from my work day in Toronto, my Mommers has picked up Zachary from school, has probably unpacked lunch bags and will have the kids fed by the time I get home at 7:00. She will clean up the kitchen, help me put the kids to bed, fold laundry, and then turn around and do it all again tomorrow.

Sending out Radical appreciation for all you grand-moms out there who support us, love us and continue to nurture us as we walk our own mothering journey.

I love you mom! xo:)

Hot

Does it sound wimpy to say that I am too hot to write?

CloudsWe are in the throes of our first heatwave of the season and my body just hasn’t acclimatized yet. The humidex is sitting at 34 degrees Celcius and the air is so heavy I feel like it is sitting somewhere around my shoulders.

It’s the kind of weather that is too hot to do anything particularly productive so I am sitting in my backyard enjoying my tea (with my feet in the cool grass, of course!)

The weatherman has promised a good storm this evening to clear it all out. But in the meantime we have the most beautiful cumulonimbus clouds hovering overhead.

It’s time to slow it down a little…summer is here!

Hooray! 🙂

 

Extraordinarily Verdant

Today was supposed to be just a regular work-from-home day.

But it was anything but regular.

Feet in the GrassThe day was so warm and so lovely that all the windows and all the doors were flung open to receive the scents, the sounds and the constant breeze dancing through my house. It was just so wonderful to sit at my desk and feel the spring all around me that I felt as if I had delightfully puckish company with me while I worked.

My work for the day is done now and I find myself in my lovely little postage stamp of a backyard with my feet in the lush grass.

I find it extraordinary to think that two months ago this same patch of my backyard was knee-deep in snow. And today, here I sit feeling the earth beneath my feet pulsating with life.

I’m not sure it gets much more extraordinary than that! 🙂

 

Who Knew?

Puzzle PieceFor the past fourteen weeks I have been eating ‘clean’;  mostly raw, all vegan, juicing every day, lots of super foods, super herbs, and tons of sprouts.

And, feeling like a million bucks, I might add.

And so, I wonder, why is my eczema still flaring? What is it that my body is still trying to tell me? Could it possibly be the natural process of detoxification? Or is there something else that I haven’t quite figured out?

Well, yesterday’s wellness fair just may have given me the next piece in the puzzle in my quest for audacious health!

And that piece is called…carrageenan.

Spring WaterI start my day with at least three glasses of spring water with a dash of Celtic sea salt, then a ginger shot with my hubby and a fresh green juice. I do not need any food. Around 11:00am when I am feeling hungry, I make myself a chocolate Sun Warrior smoothie which I pack with superfoods; maca, ashwaganda, hemp hearts, acai, bee pollen, coconut milk and organic coconut water.

This, apparently, is where I have been going wrong.

The organic coconut milk which I have been buying contains carrageenan. And after doing a fair amount of research last night, I have discovered that carrageenan is causing quite an uproar in the organic foods industry. It is used to thicken foods and to keep them from separating and, apparently, causes inflammation, among other things. And inflammation in the body has all kinds of negative health effects, including exacerbating eczema.

And, I would not have known about carrageenan had I not been in the right place at the right time yesterday watching my friend Loren give an amazing presentation on raw almond milk at the wellness fair!

Raw Almond MilkI continue to be in complete awe of the incredible food and health journey that I am walking day by day. It seems that just when I am ready for the next piece of information to take my health to the next level, there it is.

So…here is my solution to the coconut milk dilemma. On my way home from the wellness fair yesterday I stopped at Whole Foods and stocked up on raw organic almonds. I soaked them overnight and made a delicious, creamy and sweet raw almond milk this morning. And, incidentally, making nut milk happens to be yet another one of those things that I said I would never do because it is too much work. And it was one of the easiest raw food preparations I have encountered to date.

Go figure!

I am going to sneak in another batch just before I put the kids to bed so we have cold, fresh, and carrageenan-free milk for our smoothies tomorrow.

That’s my wildly Radical Act for today! Living on the edge, huh?!?! 🙂Living on the Edge