Good Morning Monday

It is 4:20 a.m. as I begin this post.  I have not slept…well, at least not since Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Did you know that the northern horizon is getting light at 3 a.m. this time of year?  Well, it is where I live….somewhere close to the 52nd parallel.   The birds start to sing too~around 3:30 a.m.  At 4 a.m it is light enough to see across our yard.  I know this because we(my hubby and I) were in the hot tub just before 4 a.m.   We were soaking tired, aching muscles and feet after a marathon day.  Actually, I only participated in the 2nd half of the marathon: 7:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.  He, on the other hand, was on his feet straight from 8 a.m. Sunday morning till 2:45 a.m Monday morning.  That’s nearly 19 hours.   He has gone to bed and I will not be disturbing him until at least noon…or later.  I don’t know anyone who works as physically hard as my husband.  He was fighting with a 600 pound switch for a hotel.  The cables coming into it each had to be twisted and forced into their slots…manually.  No help except for a bit of tool holding and moral support from me.  I watched as he literally put all of his weight into torquing each lug nut into the tightest position.  There were 25 of those cable ends to splice and fit and force and twist….it was a brutal job.  The sweat poured off his face and back.  He did not eat and I had to remind him to drink.  I think we went through about 4 energy drinks plus multiple waters and iced teas.  If he didn’t lose 10 lbs I’d be surprised as I watched his pants sag more and more off his belted waist.

This is how hard some people have to work.  Well, very few people really because most people wouldn’t touch a job like this…it’s no wonder this business owner has had such a tough time finding an electrician willing enough to take it on for a fraction of the cost it should have been charged for.  And people wonder why my man is  so close to shutting down his business.

I am not quite ready for bed.  There are 2 cakes in the oven.  My son has his final home ec/foods project this week: to decorate a cake.  He has to have the cake at school this morning.  Along with that he has a social presentation in his first class and a geology assignment due for 4th period.  He put in 24 hours this weekend helping his dad and wasn’t able to do any homework.  I’m sure his teachers won’t care to much~they expect the assignments completed regardless of extenuating circumstances.  It will be a rough morning for him. I told him he can take the van so that he can come home early to sleep.  Morning will come early for him too.

Well, the sun is coming up now. The cakes are almost baked.  There are lunches to make and Monday duties to attend to.  Do I bother lying down?  I might…for just an hour.  Good morning world.  It’s Monday.

Mother’s Day is for the kids!

Maybe I got spoiled when my kids were little. Maybe I just have a false perception of what Mother’s Day really is…..

or maybe,  Mother’s Day isn’t really for mothers.  Maybe it’s for kids.  Yes, that is what I think.  Mother’s Day is not really for us mothers…it’s for us kids.  

You see, for as long as I can remember Mother’s Day has been a day in the year that I, as a child of a mother, have looked forward to.  Why? Because I get to show how great I am.  I think this is a universally known fact: kids want to be known as “the best kid” so they draw the pictures, make the cards, make breakfast , clean their rooms, dress themselves(in mis-matched clothes) and show off their incredibly awesome talents of picking up and doing “mom’s  chores” .  We, the children of the world, are self-absorbed and sort of hungry for attention and validation.  I’m sure there must be a psychiatrist out there who has studied this phenomenon.  

My own little munchkins have lavished their love upon me year after year with cards and poems, pictures and crafts, treats and flowers and always hugs and kisses.   Well, they did.  They did up until they apparently saw through all the schmoozing and the placating.  I must have failed.  I guess I didn’t thank them adequately enough.  My “oh my’s” and “thanks sweetie” and “you’re the best kids ever” comments have obviously not been convincing enough.  Most kids wait for the pay -off.  They love their moms, of that I’m sure.  They adore her wit and humour, her baking and cooking, her cuddles and love.  Of course, I would never say otherwise!  But let’s get real…the kids are going for the payoff, the reward, the smile, the hug and even the tears. Hey, if you can make your mother cry on Mother’s Day, you just hit a payload of world’s best kid for the next several months.  You can do no wrong! (I am so rolling my eyes right now).  

Maybe I’m just a bit cynical or maybe I’m just seeing through it all but Mother’s Day isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  When I had my first child, Mother’s Day was incredibly special.  But, I was nauseous….I was pregnant with number 2!   My second Mother’s Day was spent with a toddler and a baby.  My husband was great about making sure we went out to lunch and I do believe that was the year we went out with both of our mothers(never happened since!).  The next few years were great too~ hubby gave me the day off. (HA). Ya right.  He made lunch or took me out, I got flowers and maybe a small token or card but really, a day off?  There is no such thing!  When you have babies and toddlers Mother’s Day is just another MOTHER day.  You wipe the snot, clean up the poop, feed the baby, wipe the tears, treat the sick and wounded and do the dishes.  That’s okay.  On Mother’s day, I am still a mother.  And on Father’s Day…I’m a mother too!  

There is a false perception that women ought not to lift a finger on Mother’s Day.  We should be pampered and waited on.  Hey, that would be nice any day of the year..why wait till May?!   So, yesterday, I celebrated this special day with my Grandma.  She is the mother of many.  She is an inspiration and my hero.  But I didn’t get her a card and I didn’t get a card(more on that later).   I don’t mind.  It isn’t about the cards and the flowers.  It’s about the kids.  Having kids is what makes you appreciate what your own mother went through. Having kids also makes you realize what a pain in the butt you were.  Being a kid(as we all are) is what Mother’s Day is all about.  We kids are the reason our mothers have a day to celebrate. 

And after all was said and done, my 2 youngest gave me cards they made and my 2 oldest posted “Happy Mother’s Day” on my FB wall.  Because that’s what kids do.  And no, they didn’t do the dishes(till I guilted them into it).  And no, I didn’t have peace and harmony, smelly flowers, sappy words and silly gifts.  At the end of the day, I had my kids. And that’s what Mother’s Day is all about~ kids.

**author’s note: if any of my children read this, for next year’s Mother’s Day, could I have ONE day of no fighting, no trips to the ER, no homework crises, no school forms to fill out, no conversations about responsibility and respect, no emotional breakdowns about how hard your life is, no messy rooms and for crying out loud~ could I have a nap with NO background noise?  Thanks..in advance. You’re the BEST! :)  **

To paint the oak or not to paint…

Writing has not come easy this week so I have abstained.  It’s not that I don’t have things to write about~ there are many, just not getting the content and “meat” that I want.

So, I will start this week on the lighter side of things.  We bought this house last fall with lots of oak..it was built mid-90′s.

Saskatchewan farmers LOVE their oak!! I hate oak.  Okay, well hate might be a strong word but it is not even in my top 5 choices for trim and cabinets.  So, here we are in this house where every bathroom has oak cabinetry, the kitchen is full of it, the banister, all trims and doors……ugh.

I want to paint~ I’m GOING to paint!

My husband is cautious though. He thinks for resale(if we should ever need to) I may scare people away. I’m saying, “What people??”  The only people buying acreages in Sask right now are Albertans under 40….hey that’s me!! And we don’t like oak.

In the kitchen I have decided on black…yes , BLACK!

In the living room there is a large mantle and fireplace~ all oak.  I want to paint it a creamy white and lighten up the walls with a buttery yellow. So, here’s the question~ What do YOU all think of me painting the oak in our house? Good idea or not?

our current colors in the living room

Things that take time..

I recently visited a Value Village store.  Don’t get there very often and I really had very little time. I was looking for a specific piece of clothing and never did find it but I did quickly pass through the bedding section.  I was shocked by what I saw~ hanger after hanger of afgahns hung and waiting to be purchased. I don’t know if people see the value in them and so they may stay there a long time.  There were the brown/orange/yellow combination colours from the 60′s and 70′s, there were peach, green, pinks and blues reminiscent of the 80′s.  There were even baby afgahns, barely used, perfectly crafted, soft and ready for cuddling a new infant.   Why would people toss these out?
I have so few afgahns but each one I have I know the source.  I also know the time involved in making one.   I’m working on one right now and I have no intention of ever getting rid of it~ if I made it , it is worthy to be kept and passed down to my kids and their kids if need be.  Do people no longer appreciate the value of time and the care taken by the person creating this gift?  I don’t understand it.

Then there’s meals.  I am so guilty of falling into the bad habits of buying pre-made, pre-packaged, preserved foods and snacks.  I used to bake and cook everything from scratch but busy days and on-the-run schedules have caused me to settle for inferior foods.  I am trying to reverse the trend in our house but I admit it is so hard.   But even worse than saving time is the fact that the food is just not as good, especially baked goods.  What could be better than a fresh cinnamon bun , warm from the oven, smothered in melting butter?  You can’t buy that sort of thing.  And yes, start to finish, it probably does take several hours to make .

Last week there was a radio talk show host talking about how Generation                 ” Y”ers(born after 1977) know very little about cooking, baking, sewing and ironing.  One woman called in and made a flippant comment about how these things take too much time and when she can pay someone else to do them, why would she do it herself.  I thought of how sad that statement is.  We have lost the value of well-spent time.

We justify hours of TV watching as “down time”.  We spend loads of money on take-out , dining out and coffee times~ all of which take time out of our schedules whether we admit it or not.  Yes, it is definitely a priority issue.  And sure enough, some people will agree that it simply isn’t worth it.  But I would like to make the case for learning to do these seemingly mundane tasks once again.  If for no other reason than to appreciate the fact that quality takes time.

And when you stop and take the time to make something from scratch you will also stop time from passing by so quickly.  Consider  being so busy that you pick up clothes from the cleaner, rush to pick up some supper, rush to take the kids to their clubs and sports and rush to get homework done…..and then what?  What is gained by the rushing?  Fatigue, crankiness, ungratefulness, and the thought of doing it all over again tomorrow?  When you stop to make a meal from scratch, bread from scratch and perhaps even a quilt or afgahn, nothing else will get done in those moments, hours, days.  This is true.  Once you get past that fact though, you will see that because nothing else is getting done, you have the time to focus on one thing.  One very important thing for you or for your family.  In those moments, you suspend time.  You cannot drive and run and play and rush while crocheting.  It simply can’t be done.  And so, if it takes you 40 hours to complete your masterpiece, it is 40 hours well spent~ sitting, listening, soaking in the moments.    40 hours to think, to relax, to focus, to meditate.    Some things take time~ growing a baby, growing a garden, raising a child, perfecting a marriage, memorizing scripture, writing a book, learning a language, painting a house, refinishing an antique, rebuilding a car…………sounds like some pretty good things to take time for.