My Mom’s Baked Beans

As the snow gently falls outside it makes me crave those special foods that my Mom made when I was a kid. It was always after  an afternoon of snow fort building, sledding, and a little cross-country skiing that I would run into the house starved for supper. I knew the moment I opened the door and caught the smell of baked beans in the oven that I couldn’t wait one more minute to dine with my family.

It is this simple recipe that I now make for my kids! We enjoy it when the air is cold, the snow has fallen, and take comfort in its warmth. It is  the warmth my Mother once filled me with after time spent playing in a winter wonderland.

What is your favorite family recipe on a cold winter’s day?

Moving Day!

In a few hours I will be moving from our little home on the park and getting ready to unpack the boxes in our new home. It is only up the street still walking distance of the children’s school and close to the friends that I have made throughout the past four years.  But it was a time for a change!

My husband drove by the open house with curiosity only a month ago as he did the walk – thru and called me to come see it! It was with hesitation I went to take a gander not ready to make promises.

We had been driving to other communities looking at the brand new show homes but the one thing they lacked was the community.I want my kids to grow in the community they know and prevent them from changing schools every three years.

So when I walked through this house I knew the price was right and it would keep me in the community that I have grown to love. My husband and I knew the obvious answer as we discussed it over coffee that this would be our house for the rest of our time we planned to spend in this city.

So in the morning light when I pick-up the keys to our new home I will dance with excitement for the wide open spaces. But in my heart I know I will miss my home that started it all! I will remember looking over the park where the kids would play,  the knocks on the doors from the neighbors kids, and look back on the tender moments that we shared in our special home.

It is this house on the park is one of the few that we have lived in as a family but it is another chapter full of beautiful memories.

 Do you have a special home that remains close to your heart?

Home Rests within the Heart

I am a creature of habit and when I return home for a visit I fall back into the hum of a very old routine. It is the drive down the river for a fresh lobster roll and a stroll along the boardwalk. I like to listen to the sound of the wind and gaze at the blue heron in the distant horizon.

It’s the familiarity of the landscape and the comfort of being close to water that ignites a quiet inspiration.

As  I reflect back on this past summer with the thoughts of  pints with friends, the warmth of my family, and the acquaintances who greet you on the street with a warm hello.

They are all a reminder that one of the greatest gifts in this world is the ability to connect with a warm smile or a gregarious laugh.

So as the west wind keeps me in one spot my heart always quietly yearns for the east coast. But blogging has helped to soothe that loss with the connection of friends throughout the world.

It is something that I am grateful for and smile to you for making me feel so much closer to home.

What does the word “home” mean to you?

Being Ten Again

I discovered when I return home to visit my Mother for an extended time that I revert to my ten-year old self. In the past week I have gotten accustomed to my Mother making my coffee, baking my favorite treats, and the biggest perk is a late night trip to the dairy bar for ice cream with sprinkles.

I also enjoy my quiet time and  relish my morning walks. It was on my last walk I returned home over an hour late and was reminded as I entered the house.

“Where were you?”

“I was on my walk.”

“You were supposed to be back over an hour ago!”

“Well! I took the back trail of the cove and forgot how long it would take me.”

“Don’t you realize there are bears on that trail?”

“Yes! Yes! I do! But luckily for me I didn’t see one!”

“Well! You should know better next time!”

“I do know better!”

I then stomp off  red-faced with my coffee and hop into the shower to cool off.

It is at that moment I revert from being a calm adult to an exasperated ten-year being told what to do, where I should go, and what time I am expected to be home. At those moments I take a deep breath realizing parents will always worry about their children regardless of age. It’s just a fact of life that I will always be her ten-year old kid!

Do your parents ever make you feel like you are ten?

The Sound of Silence

We went for a hike along The Hayburger Trail  and on our journey we came across an open meadow full of warmth that invited us in for a rest. We stopped in the middle and admired its beauty.

My husband told my children , “Be very quiet! Lets stand still for five minutes  and see what animals will appear.”

We all stood back to back looking out across the field a butterfly first greeted us, and then a lovely song from a bird filled the field with serenity. We all stood waiting, watching, and enjoying the peaceful moment.

It was that special moment my family and I  stood connected in silence looking out into the wilderness. We watched and waited but no animals appeared in our midst.

As we broke our silence we turned to face each other, looked each other in the eye, and looked down. We all burst out in laughter as we realized we had circled a large pile of bison dung in our silence. If any one of us had moved back on step we would be bringing a small treasure home with us on  the bottom of our shoe.

It was the perfect Sunday to revel in nature’s serene beauty and laugh a little along the way.

How do you enjoy the silence? Do you find peace in nature?

Don’t Mess with My Mom

My Mom is a force to be reckoned with and she will be the first tell you exactly what you don’t want to hear at the most inappropriate time. Especially if you live in a Pollyanna bubble like me! But that is life!

We have had our differences in the past  like most mother and daughters.  It was my obnoxious teen years  that tested her limits. And I know for a fact that I have pressed many  buttons,  as soon as the drawer opened, the spoon  came out, I would make  a mad dash for the door!

I think spoon haunts me til this very day!

My Mom also has another side that I don’t talk about enough. It is the side that when you are in need she is there with a phone call, she knows when to help when the chips are down, and she will always be there for you.

I remember as a young girl coming back from the grocery store with  her in her stealthy grey Station wagon.

A lone man swaggered along the sidewalk.

My Mom slowly drove by him very slowly, gave him the stink eye, then shook her finger at him exclaiming, “I’m watching you!”

She sighed and looked to me, “That bastard beats his wife. I can’t stand him! If he was married to me he would be dead! No questions asked.”

My young eyes looked at her in disbelief but I knew she was telling the truth. Nobody would ever mess with my Mom!

If there is one thing my Mom is she is a fighter, she has gumption, and she always looks out for her friends. The one thing she taught us  is to stand-up for ourselves and take no prisoners when duty calls us too.

Family sticks together through thick and thin!

I might crack the occasional menopausal joke her way or test her limits for old times sakes. But  as her daughter it is my duty to test those limits!

I wonder if she will like her gift Fifty Shades of Grey….

What do you love about your Mother? How will you be celebrating this Mother’s Day?

A Mother’s Unrest

As time passes and we fade to dust do our souls travel to another place? Does a restless soul get trapped ?  And is this why  paranormal activity may exist? I know when we hear the ghost stories over the camp fire at night gaff at the tales because it is stranger than fiction. But have you ever had your own paranormal experience that left you wondering – a sudden brush across your shoulder, a creepy feeling lurking from behind, or just the feeling of a presence somewhere in the midst of your home.

The first apartment that we went rented was in rickety old house, we had the main floor, it was a place that seemed dreams once lived with open windows, the three fireplaces, but as time passed turned into an array of various apartments blocking the flow of rooms and turning a once majestic home into a decay of the past. This is where we lived with the birth of our first son for the first few months of his life. It was the first morning we brought our bundle of joy home to our little space of warmth and love that strange things began to happen on a daily basis.

The first was the infestation of lady  bugs basking in the light of our huge bay window.  After the ladies sudden appearance more oddities occurred such as doors that were shut would slowly open, as if someone was quietly creeping into our room in the middle of the night. In the daytime  our  front entrance which was always locked would fly open for no explicable reason, and no one was ever at the door.

But then it was late at night, in the dead hours,  when the little one would summon for his feeding and you would catch a cool breeze with a glimpse of white shift throughout the hallway. It was those nights I wondered if sleep deprivation was getting the best of me.

It wasn’t until friends began to visit and mentioned they would never live in that house because it was haunted.

“Didn’t you know?”

“Know what? That the house is haunted?”

“We had friends who lived there two summers past and they would have strange things happen every night.”

It was then I discovered the story of this majestic old house. Once upon a  time a wealthy family had dwelled in it`s comforts and called this place home.  It was during World War II  both her husband and  two sons went off to war, and never returned. It is believed the heart of the family, a mother and a wife, is still waiting for their return…It made sense the Mother waiting for the inevitable return for her husband and sons. The grief, sorrow, and pain that must have held her soul to tight and now she is left to wait.

I never felt scared  in the old haunted house, I felt comforted that once lived a women who loved her sons, just as much as I loved mine. So when the door would slowly creep open with no one to be seen I knew it was just her checking in on our  little man. After all, everyone loves a baby, even ghosts, I’m assuming…

Do you believe in the paranormal? Have you ever had an experience that is stranger than fiction?

Call Me Old-Fashioned…

Do you remember the days at the supper table? The phone would ring and nobody would answer it because you were eating. It didn’t matter what who was calling because it had to wait. Meal Time  was family time regardless if you were crying over meatloaf and canned peas…

We always seem to be wired no matter where we go or what we do. It has become a part of our life. But isn’t there a time when we need to take a break from the connectivity. Isn’t supper time family time?

I wondered as my husband and I went out for a nice dinner. The perfect family sat across from us their daughter sat up right with her doll. She looked immaculate and was extremely well – behaved. She would play with her doll then look up to her parents. She would then wait for one of them to speak to her..

Her parents  both uttered not a single word to her! They were both on their phones, giggling, texting not paying any attention to this young girl looking up at them for recognition or some form of conversation. The girl sat straight playing with her doll,  quietly, waiting for someone to speak…

My husband and I both looked at each other and wondered have we become old-fashioned? Dinner time is a time to connect, laugh, speak with each other. It’s about talking about the present, your day, and making plans for the future.  Supper time is the time when you get to re-connect with your family  and stay in tune with your own children’s thoughts and feelings. I guess you can call me old-fashioned but at supper time the phone is tucked away and I’m laughing with my family!

Isn’t supper about family time, making the connection with your children and partner? Is there a time when we do need to put the phone down? What do you think?

Why do I Love Toes in My Nose?

It’s the start of August 1st and that means NaBloPoMo! The theme for the month is Fiction! Yes! Fiction! The topics, the titles, are endless, and should keep my blogging until the wee hours of summer. The prompt for today is, “What is your  favorite book?”

My mind reeled, I scoured the book shelves, I have a million favorite books and it’s tough just to pick one!  I could ramble on and on. But the one that stays close to my heart and has become a family favorite is “Toes in My Nose” by Sheree Fitch. This book still resonates with me because Sheree Fitch was the first author I ever heard speak or met.

She came to visit our school, read her poems, and answered a wily bunch of grade 3 kid’s questions.  I sat in awe listening to  her and amazed with my grade 3 eyes that she had written this book. A real author had come to our school, was reading her book to us,  and answering our questions!

A book of children’s poems that I can recite from heart:

I stuck my toes

in my nose,

And I couldn’t get them out.

It was those first three lines I could relate too as a kid because let’s face it. Life is about trial and error if we do anything that silly it’s when we are a kid.

Once you stick something up your nose you are definitely never going to do it again!

It looked a little strange

And People began to Shout

“Why would you ever?

My goodness – I never”

They got in a terrible snit

As a parent I’m now the one in a snit and asking “Why? Would you do that?” Every time one of my children attempts a death-defying stunt  or comes home covered in a cloud of dust.

It’s simple, I said

As they put me to bed

I just wanted to see

If they fit.

Of course as a child they wanted to see if it would fit, it’s the perfect simplistic answer of a child full of curiosity and life.

The unique poems of Toes in my Nose reminds us to look through the eyes of a child with their imagination and deep wonderment of the world around them. As you turn the page of the book each poem offers a new delight or chuckle from William Worm to Pocketful of Rocks.

Toes in My Nose was one of the first books that opened a world of reading and creative writing for me. It is also the book that reminds us it’s okay to be silly, and it’s even better sometimes to be a big kid at heart.

It is a book that I relish with my children as they roll over in stitches over each poem and rhyme. My signed copy is worn but my toes are still happy every time I see my children’s eyes light up with a smile.

What is one of your favorite books from childhood? Does it still resonate with you today?

Hooters: It’s Where You have a Hoot!

As my son and I walked through the  mall attempting to decide where to eat.  His eyes looked up at the bright orange sign and said, “Why don’t we give Hooters a try?”

I sighed, “Umm. Let’s go somewhere else that you might like to try!”

“Mom! Everybody says Hooters is the place where you have a hoot!”

“A hoot?”

“Yes! A hoot!

“Who says that?”

“I don’t know! I just heard it.”

His nine-year old eyes innocently looking up at me, “Can we go?”

“It’s not really a place to have a hoot. It’s just a restaurant. And I have heard the food is terrible.”

“But I want to try it!”

“How about you pick something else? And we can have ice cream afterwards?”

I know the great parental bribe! I have never pretended to be  above it. At the same time, it was my last attempt to change the subject. How did I explain to my son that I did not want to eat at Hooters because the woman were objectified in short shorts and low-cut tank tops. Was it really time for this conversation?

“Mom! Come on! Please! Please!”

If anyone was stubborn it was him and he wasn’t giving up!

“It looks fine. Can we go?”

And with that I diverted the subject, “Let’s have lunch later, and go check-out the skateboard shop.”

Crisis averted! But who knows for how long?

When is the right time to discuss the objectification of woman and sex? Can it be avoided? If so, for how long?