Life

Things I Love Best About My Husband!! Happy Anniversary To Us!

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My husband, Will  and I are celebrating 30 years together this weekend.   We met on August 14th, 1986 and it has been a wonderful adventure ever since.  I love him more and more each day.  There are many things I love about him, but these are just a few.  In honour of our 30 years together, I have listed 30 reasons.

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Us on our honeymoon in Germany, 1988.

  1. He is my best friend…no question.
  2. He has the best twisted sense of humour.
  3. He always has my best interest at heart.
  4. He pushes me to be a better person.
  5. He gets my kind of crazy and weirdness.
  6. I get his kind of crazy and weirdness.
  7. He has saved me from the worst parts of myself, and continues to do so.
  8. He truly likes me.
  9. He loves me through the good, bad and the ugly.
  10. He thinks I am beautiful and tells me so.
  11. He thinks I am smart and tells me so.
  12. He finds me funny.
  13. He can laugh at himself.
  14. He supports me in my choices, both good and bad.
  15. He understands me.
  16. He doesn’t mind that I need time to myself sometimes.
  17. He supports me through my never-ending and ever-changing “hobbies”.
  18. He drives me to the thrift stores!
  19. He buys me important things like new winter boots or new tires for my car or a new computer when I need them, rather than buying me just frivolous things like flowers and chocolates.  (Although a few flowers and chocolates wouldn’t hurt now and again, and he does buy them too).
  20. He is the handsomest man I have ever met.
  21. He calls me on my bullshit.
  22. He understands when I have anxiety or apparently unreasonable fears, and doesn’t judge me.
  23. He is kind and considerate.
  24. He surprises and interests me everyday.
  25. He is open to new adventures with me.
  26. He loves to travel.
  27. He has many similar but also many dissimilar interests than me.  This keeps it interesting.
  28. He remembers my birthday and our anniversaries.
  29. He has the most beautiful smile and best evil grin.
  30. I can see the love in his eyes when he looks at me.

I am a very lucky girl to have such an amazing husband.  I hope that all of you are lucky enough to have someone in your life who completes you and makes you feel as good about yourself.  Have a happy life and I hope you have someone or many someones to share it with like good friends and family.  Cheers, Michele

Why I Love Tuscany!! Travel Photos And Memories!

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We fell in love with Tuscany the first year we lived in Europe.  We visited Florence, Rome and Pisa in our week that we were there, but I featured some of our Rome pictures in a previous post.  So here are just a few of our photos of Tuscany 2006.  Enjoy.

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Florence
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Our Villa on a hill top, an olive orchard and vineyard. I had one of the best meals of my life, cooked by myself.  Wild local boar cooked over burning trimmed olive branches and grape vines, local wine, a fresh tomato salad made with the olive oil from the orchard, lemons from the tree outside our room and basil from the garden.  So amazing!imageimage

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Roccastrata

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As you can see, Tuscany is a fabulous place.  We had a wonderful time and I would go back in a heartbeat.  The food, the people…just everything.  Cheers, Michele

When Will High School Ever End!! The Clique Culture!

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As I said in a previous post about being grown-up and mature, I am at a soul-searching point in my life.  And part of that is trying to still figure out why people tend to behave like they are still in high school.  You know…the cliques…the politics…the meanness…and the pecking order.  I look around at people as an outside observer because I don’t really belong to a group of people other than my family and a few close friends.  I don’t have a larger group…a clique, I guess you would call it…that I belong to.

In school I was always a loner, and not always by choice.  I am socially awkward still and find that I have a hard time understanding the pecking order of our culture.  It is a sad thing to me when I read the paper or watch the news or even just observe people around me in public or at work that we are a very clique driven culture.  If you belong to a certain group due to ethnicity or colour or background or social standing or finances, you tend to stick with your own kind.  Now I can understand this when it comes to maintaining the history and culture of a particular group to keep it alive and growing, but when it is just about keeping like-minded people in and non-like-minded people out, I just don’t understand.  I think I am just too soft and naive and hope that people will like me or anyone else for that matter for the content of their mind and personality and how they treat other people rather than the numbers on their bank statement or where they stand in the pecking order.

I often think back to a summer I spent on a trout farm where I stayed and one of my jobs was to care for the flock of chickens that provided eggs and meat to the farm owners.  I learned very quickly that chickens are some of the least intelligent animals I have ever met.  And unfortunately some of the biggest bullies.  Chickens form cliques or groups based on similarities in appearance or strength and will peck away at the chickens that are different.  Whether those other chickens are weaker or a different colour, they will single them out and make their lives miserable.  I used to protect the loner chickens from the bullies and try to ensure that they got a chance at the food.  The other people who lived on the farm said that I shouldn’t bother because as soon as I left the chicken run, it would all start over again…it was the way of life for chickens…the establishment of the pecking order.  And I know comparing people to chickens seems pretty cruel..but let’s be honest…people as a group are cruel even if people individually can be kind and generous.

I wonder when it will ever make sense to me why people behave the way they do.  I took courses in university studying animal behaviour and I find myself adapting the things I learned in these courses to how I observe and watch other people and their interactions.  We are animals after all.  And even if our civilized brain tells us that we should work together and be kind, our primitive brain wants to protect what is ours…whether it is food, shelter, security, money, etc. So we stick together in small groups and defend ourselves against interlopers.  High school was just a big chicken run and unfortunately, and my observations support this…we haven’t really grown out of the high school clique mentality.  This is a global problem in my opinion.  And it is sad!

I still try to remain optimistic about people, and the people I have close to me show me the positive wonderful way that people can be…kind, generous, considerate, loving and open.  I guess that’s why I keep them close.  I guess they are my clique after all.

Sorry if I seem to be veering off into uncharted territory in some of my posts, but I am more than just a thrifter and a refashioner and a cook, etc.  I have ideas and opinions about things and would like to share them as well as hear what you have to say.   What do you think about my wandering babble?  Cheers, Michele

 

Missing My Mom!! Does It Ever Get Easier?

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Today my mom would have been 76 years old…it has been over three years since she passed away and yet not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.  Today is especially hard.  I still find myself seeing something she would like and have even found myself going up to the checkout with that item in hand planning to buy it for her and then I remember she is gone.  I see her everyday when I look in the mirror, and when I see my beautiful daughters.  I hear myself saying things that she said to me and it makes me smile and sad at the same time.  She gave me so many things..the love of reading, the love of cooking for people, the love of gardening, the joy of thrifting and sewing, the need to be kind to people and so many other things that help make me who I am.  She is that little voice in my head that tells me what to do.  She loved her granddaughters so much that it makes me sad that she won’t be around to see them as adults living their own lives.  I know she would be proud of them no matter what.image image image image image image image image

I wish she was here so I could tell her all the things I wish I had said or to share with her my life and just day to day things.  I wish she was here to ask for advice or just to hear her voice once again.  I miss her hugs, the way she smelt and just knowing she is around if I need her.

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Does that feeling ever go away?  Does it ever really sink in that she is really gone?  Have you lost a parent or a loved one and how do you deal with the loss?  I would love some advice because today is a teary sad day for me.  Take care, Michele

Why I Love Paris!! Travel Photos and Memories!

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Paris is a city that we had the opportunity to visit many times while living in Europe.  There is no other city quite like it.  We have tried to see as many out of the way places in Paris, but yes, I will admit we did the touristy thing and went up the Eiffel Tower two separate times.  Loved it.  We wandered all over the city, up and down side streets into the different districts.  We visited the huge flea markets and saw amazing things for sale.  The Louvre was visited several times and we drank our fill of all the history and beautiful artworks.  The building itself is an architectural gem that should not be missed.  We climbed the Arc du Triumpe, wandered down the Champs de Elysses, ate in great restaurants including dim sum and sushi restaurants.  I even drove in Paris and didn’t die!! The Musee d’Orsay was purused and the Impressionist and Post Impressionist artwork drooled over by me. We drank coffee in fantastic people watching cafes.  Went to the great shopping districts and lived vicariously seeing people by Yves St. Laurent and Chanel like it was nothing new or exciting.  We loved Paris and hopefully will have a chance to go there again.  I am just going to post my photos and hopefully this will give you an idea why Paris is so amazing.

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As you can see by just a few photos, it is an amazing and beautiful city.  I could post tons more, but I just restricted it to a few.  Hope you get a chance to go there and if you have been, I would love to hear about your adventures.  Cheers, Michele

Things I Would Tell My Younger Self!!

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I have been reading these kinds of posts on other bloggers’ sites and thought I would do some reminiscing and figure out what I would tell my younger self.  Here are just a few of things that my younger self should know!

  1. Save my money and invest it in myself.
  2. Don’t worry about people judging me, they don’t really care about what I do as much as I think.  Those that matter don’t mind, those that mind, don’t matter.
  3. Have more self-confidence.  Stand up for myself and be easier on myself, stop being my own worst critic.
  4. Be more appreciative of all the wonderful things life has to offer.  Appreciate good friends and family more and be closer to the people that are important to me.
  5. Be more careful of my own feelings.  Be kind to myself.
  6. Listen more carefully to my instincts about people.  Make better choices in friends and relationships.
  7. Work harder and enjoy school more.
  8. Take opportunities when they arise, don’t let self-doubt make me turn away from greatness.
  9. Love my kids and husband and parents more and spend more time with them.
  10. Be more open and honest without making myself too open to hurt.  Allow vulnerability and accept that it is part of my humanness.  Cry more over the more things that matter, but cry less over things that don’t.
  11. Travel more when the opportunity arises.
  12. Don’t worry about fitting in; trying to fit in is an acceptance of mediocrity and conformity.
  13. Read more, watch TV less.
  14. Don’t let the hurts of the past affect the joys of the future.
  15. Be happier and laugh more.

These are just a few things that I would tell that much younger me, and if even a few of them sunk in, I might be a different person in a different place.  But then again, I like myself very much and where I am in life and the choices, mistakes and missteps that I have made have lead to the person that I am.  So who knows…maybe I should just leave my younger self to make those choices and I will still end up in the wonderful place I am in.  Life is great, I have people in my life that make me truly happy and each day brings me joy.  I hope that you are in a place in your life where you feel the same…but then again, we all wish we could go back and tell that younger self to smarten up, lighten up and not to give up.  What would you tell your younger self?  Cheers, Michele

Learning To Turn A Wooden Bowl With My Dad Part 2!!

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So my beautiful bowl is finally finished, and I can cross this challenge off my bucket list.  The last coats of friction polish are now on it and it is packed in my suitcase ready to take home to Ottawa.  I had a wonderful time learning how to turn wood on a lathe with my dad and will treasure this bowl for the amazing memories of this time we shared as a tangible reminder.

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This is what we started with on the lathe.

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Here is the inside of the bowl, I think the dark brown wood grain looks like a buffalo running across the prairie, which is appropriate since I was born in Manitoba, which is Buffalo country.

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This is the outside of the bowl.

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Here are the three bowls made so far out of the four chunks of cherry wood that a friend of my dad’s gave him.  The one on the far right is mine, the other two were turned by my dad.  What do you think of my newly learned craft?  I am absolutely delighted with the results.  Cheers, Michele