Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Are you looking fo rme?

I have decided to jump ship as there is stuff I wanna do that I cant here!

So come and find me here please http://cheaperthencheap.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 5, 2007


I achieved a major goal today I walked 10 miles!!!!!!!!!!!! That is a major break through for me! It took me 2 hours but I did it! I am so very glad that I did!Tonight my legs and body are so very tired and sore but it is a good sore and tired, kind of like my body saying job well done!

Today I also joined a gym. That should help me get to my goal of having a healthier lifestyle. I am hoping this helps me get the weight off and have a bit more support as I am making radical changes to who and what Hollie does.

Tonight to reward myself we rented the movie Evan Almighty. Roo and I really liked it..Roo called it crazy insane, which I think is a good thing. Roo also got her 5th Webkinz today( a gift)
the webkin of the Month-the Frog, so her and Freddie had to play online of course. Starting to think Webkinz mania has hit this house full force...For Christmas all Roo wants are Webkinz..lots of them!lol

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ice cream Rewards

With the end of the month being on this past Sunday Roo completed a two month project.

We back at the begining of August set the goal that she would do one act of service without being asked every day for two months. If she achieved this goal she got to have an icecream party!

Well over the last two months Roo has gotten very creative in her goal. These are some of the things she did over the last 2 months: picked up dog droppings for our neighbour who forgot to take care of biz, made my bed more then once for me, made me breakfast in bed, called her gramma just to say Hi, sent her gram a letter, gave toys to a shelter, swept the deck and porch, served guests, made cookies for a friend, and helped at school whenever she could. Her teacher on Cirriculm Night told me Roo was too helpful...so I had to explain our goal, and she told me that Roo was helpful at least once a day!

So Monday night for Family Night( yes we do a Mommy and Me night only) on Mondays we had an icercream party, 2 kinds of icecream, fudge sauce, crumbled cookies, brownies, and strawberries! Can you imagine what Roo coud create? CAn you? She called it a mountain of icecream and stuff. She was overstuffed, but the smile was worth it and I think she learned that she could help others in many ways..so hopefully the lesson of giving has been instilled.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What to do When the Kids Aint in School

What a Friday we had! It was a PA DAy here so I had two girls Roo and Red. Let me tell you a house with two 9 years olds in a wonderful crazy place to be...Red got here bright and early and the girls broke into crafting as 9 year olds will do! Red brought a paint kit with her and the girls went on to paint, papers, t-shirts, flip flops, purses, wallets, basically anything they could! Then once they ran out of things to paint they decided to paint themselves! What a mess! It defintely was a LONG clean up--but the sounds of laughter from both girls made up for the mess! They were two grils being insane as they would say. Here is the final product!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a September!

Sorry I havent been blogging but I have been one very busy mom!

Okay the good stuff first:

Roo is settling in well at school this year. She has EA's in both morning and afternoon classrooms! She has completed about 3/4 of all the testing that they do at the begining of the year and is about 6 months behind, that is a good thing! She is doing well and now that behaviors are well under control we can do more for her LD. This is every parent who raises a special child's dream: that she be able to succeed at her level with her peers. I am a happy mom in how far she has come. On the pyshical front it has been a bit harder for her as allergies have hit and hit hard, Roo is now taking adult meds to help her cope but they are working so that is a good thing!

On the school front I blogged last year about being on the School Advisory council Exec., I am doing that again this year but a wee change is that I am not doing the chairing, woohoo! I am doing more with Home and School(PTA)..We are busy getting ready for our fall fair, can you imagine a mom who is running around looking for donations for our raffles??? Can You? Got anything to offer up? That is what I will be focused on for the next couple of weeks.

Then on the other school front I am now attending courses to upgrade my computer certification so by Christmas all my certifications will be up to speed!

Then there is the fact that I am apaprtmetn hunting, this one simply has been a huge drain to me and Roo and well we have stayed actually too long, it is time to move!

Bad Stuff:

This Monday will she me praying and praying some more as my mom undergos brain surgery to remove a tumor. Prayerfuly she recovers well.

Okay I think that catches you all on my crazy world right now!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Today is September 11th, there are so many thoughts that go through my head today that I think it wants to explode..

My mind is taken back to that dreadful day, the day I watched from afar as so many lives where changed forever. It is the day that Roo almost died cause I was watching the NEWS instead of her. She swallowed a toonie and it got caught in her lung pipe...after 7 hours in a cardiac care unit and a surgery I had my little girl back..so many were not as lucky as I was that day.

There were so many lives lost that day, and they will be remembered I am sure but what really is thier legacy? Some are known as heros, some have been somewhat forgotten with the passage of time. Some that volunteered that day for service and spent weeks down at ground zero are now dying as a direct result of being thier that day and they have been so neglected. I can remeber the flags as the firefighters and police officers walked back from the site. It is these men and women that are now the forgotten heros of the day..they are being neglected by thier forces, by thier city and even by thier country, but that often happens to those that serve valiantly. Thier is an air of expectation that you will go and serve, give and no matter what happens to you, you suck it up..that is the heros path right? WRONG..I think we as global citizens need to do more to thank and insure that no one is forgotten, they did that good deed without thought of themselves..so what can we do to insure a proper legacy for those who really are heros..
Support them. and thier families as we also support those who died that day let that be our good deed today. I would encourage you if you are American write and write again, let the major of New York, your congressmen, your senators know your thoughts on this day..Let us not let them die without the support they so need..
And if you really want to do a good deed today please do register it at www.mygooddeed.org .

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Good Day

Well today is turning into a good day! Got a call from Roo's school at lunch, she wasnt feeing well, but she stayed and tuffed it out and that is a good thing. Her tummy was bugging her.

Today I also got a call from Inside Toronto( our local community newspaper chain) and I won foour tickets to this Saturdays Argo game-- and it is againt the Hamilton Tiger Cats so we get to see the rivals play for free and they are great seats too.
Then I went grocery shopping. Spent $16.56 and came home with $39 in food. Why? Because I used Dominions Fresh or Free guarntee...want to know what I brought home for FREE? Calcium fortifed orange juice, Kellogs Winders( candy treat for Roo), Cookies, carmel tea, and Pillsbury Carmel Buns! Yum so some yummy goodies that I wouldnt of bougt not on my budget. I had gome to buy Rice Krispies and chicken legs which both were on sale..
Then walking through Zellers I was given a FREE book..got to love Vendor Week at Zellers. Oh and right now I listening to music that I downloaded for FREE with my win of 20 downloads from the Hershey Rip to Win contest..so I am a very happy camper right now!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School = FREEDOM!

The day started with an energetic lil girl waking her mom at 6:15 am with a "Mom, its the first day of school, lets get going"...To be honest I dont know who was more excited this morning me or her. I kept waking up every few hours, you know you dont want to be late on the first day.
So we got ready and waited for it to be time to go, which wasnt till 8:20. Even then we got there with plenty of time to spare. Roo was excited about her first day and I am thinking could this mean freedom for me!
Prayerfully Roo will have a good year ahead, which will mean that freedom I was writing about. As the parent of a special needs child there is much to my life that is done to care properly for her. I took the last 2 years to care for her primarily, to be there when the school called, to be there after school for her. This is the year that I want FREEDOM!
I want to be able to go to work like most other parents I know, especially single ones. I hate being that mom( you know the welfare one). I want so much to provide better for me and Roo. These last two years have been difficult, especially finicially - some days this mom isnt sure how she made it through. I want to have a somewhat normal life and not one that leaves me with less then $10 a day to live off of...is that too much to desire?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

China Town

Today Roo I and I headed to China Town, what an insanely crazy busy place on the weekend!It was wall to wall people! Roo loves China Town. She loves the little trinkets and toys that she can find there...so she was off to spend her $10. But our first stop was for Lunch was at Lucky Dragon. The restraunt is very basic but the food is good and cheap too. So we feasted and even brought hope a doggy bag. Then it was time to shop...Roo eyed several things and is quickly becoing a very thoughtful shopper. She was looking at fans, chinesse umberallas, toys, chopsticks and movies...for her $10 she got a small fan, turtle chopsticks, a change purse, and 2 movies. She is watching one right now..
It was packed down there but I do like to head down when I am looking for a specific item or two that I know I can get cheap, today I needed a new headphones and mike for my computer, well today I was able to do just that and for $5 too. Got to love Factory Direct. Well time for me to go watch High School Musical 2 with Roo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Can You Feel It?

Up here in the land of the North, it is well that time of year, the eveing becomes cool, the morning are crisp and well it is the last week before school begins.

There is anticipation in the air, what will the new school year bring? Will Roo get good teachers who I an communicate with? how will she do without an Eductional Assistant? Will I finally get to go back to work?

I am eager to see what this year will bring..Roo is eager to see her friends..We got to see 2 yesterday, we went for a barbeque at the lil girl who I watch after school's and on the walk over we ran into Roo's classmate from last year( they will be in the same class this year). So it was great fun for her to spend time with friends..For me it is great to watch because for the longest time forming friendships was something Roo simply couldnt do, so I am a happy mom.

This is our week to say Adieu to summer, so it is filled with a trip to the libary, a trip to our favorite summer craft tine, a trip to the park, a trip to the CNE, and a wee bit of shopping so it will be a very busy week!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Morning Talk with Roo

I am cross posting this on both my blogs today cause well it was such a great conversation with Roo:

My daughter Roo and I had an intersting talk this morning about money..You see she was watching TV and a Plan Canada program came on, and my daughter who is a very empathic 9 year old was like mom why do some kids live like that? why cant we share? can we sponser all these kids? please mom what can we do...
Roo doesnt realize that to Canadian standards we are considered poor by many, even though we have a place to live, food in the cupboards, and well freecycled and garage sale material possessions. Our talk turned to what we do have materially and how that compares to the children in much of the world. Roo I think was realizing how rich we are on a global standard. It made her stop and think about her collection of toys in her room, and how some kids arent so blessed, and the shelves full of books she has..I think she is coming to understand that we can do our part by not buying into the material fantasy that is much of western thought.
You can live simply, make do, recycle, make concessions, and give too, they say karma is a great thing, and personally sharing as you are able to is a good thing in a world that says we need the newest computer, the newest gadgets to make our life easier, but would that really be the answer I think not, I like the lessons I have been learning myself about being cheaper then cheap..I too not that long ago was on that material rollercoaster looking for the next newest thing..simple is nice, simple is easy, simple is cheaper then cheap and leaves one feeling blessed.
Well off to have a sinple day of going to the park..be blessed.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Got to My First Contestors Meeting

Tonight Roo and I got to get to actually attend a ToWannaWinners meeting! For you who dont know what the group is about it is a bunch of us here in Toronto who love to enter contests. Well it was great to meet so many who I have only read about for the last 6 months! It was a blast! Roo and I came home with a mini fan and photo album oh and a lucky clover which will now hang here by the puter to bring me luck as I enter! Roo loved the fact that the meeting was at Wendy's--her favorite restraunt!

Taking Roo was a bit of a challenge, she did okay for the first hour, but then was quickly getting bored! Well I think if she goes with me again I will make sure I have stuff for her to do, maybe bring some coloring etc, or a maze book. But overall it was great. We talked about local contests, the first national convention, how we contest and so much more. The group really is a FUN bunch! I was simply glad to meet so many of them after hearing about there wins and stories!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Reflections on Military Service and Dieppe

As I wrote earlier this week I was able to put together more of my grandfather's military service, but along with finding more about him I am learning more about his older brother who served and died for my freedom. Today is the 65th anniversary of the try to get ahold of a stronghold on French soil, the words Dieppe will forever live in the Canadian history books. For years I thought our family military service came after Dieppe, but I was wrong. You see after talking to my great uncle George( the last remaining of that generation of Pollards) my great Uncle Fredrick died 65 years ago today at Dieppe. He was one of the 913 Canadians who died that day, trying to free France. Thousands of others were injured but for them it was worth it to help another...Back then we wanted our friends to be FREE, we were willing to fight for it. Today our country lost another solidier in Afganistan, he is the 67th soldier to die in this new war we fight to again give some freedom. Years ago those who went came back our heros, having saved much of Europe from well who knows what would of happened if Hitler had had his way completely. Today we ask as we lend military effort to the task of ridding a country of terrorists, we ask should we be there? havent we done enough...It is as if we no longer want to fight for peace, for freedom, like our grandfathers, and those of his generation did. Perhaps they valued freedom more then we do today. Do we take our freedoms for granted and say if it is on the other side of the world from me I dont have to care, or get involved. Wars will always be around in some part of the world or another has some try and force views, and lifestyles onto others..why is this? Did our grandfathers fight in vain on that beach if we are abusing the blessing of being free today? if we dont care? These are some of the questions I ask today as I watch the men who were there go back to remember my great uncle, and the other 912 men lost that day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Step into the Past

Yesterday me and Roo headed to the other side of the city to get together with my sister and then go visit family.We met up at Yorkdale and then went and got some flowers for grandma's and grandpa's grave..after that it was a trip up to Beechwood cemetary to take the flowers to the graves and pray our respects. Both Karen and I had a hard time rembering the exact spot where they were..we must of spent at least 10 minutes looking for grave 1515..we found it what we had missed were the flowers already covering the marker. So we tided up those ones and added ours. It was nice to go and pay our respects.

After there it was time to head over to my dad's brother Uncle R and Aunt A's. It was great to hang with them. A pulled out some OLD photos that got the stories for the family past going. It was nice to step into the past for a bit. Then Aunt A pulled out some REAL OLD pics that dated back to 1945 and a newspaer article that was in the Toronto Tegram about my grandfather Norman Pollard who was captured on Sept 29th, 1945 in Belguim. It also mentions that my grandfather's older brother had been killed in combat there. The article put so many pices together of the stories I had heard from gram about those years. Then Aunt A pulled out a photo of the day grampa left his family to go and serve, you see him a dad of 3 with his bag over his shoulder and my dad who was about Roo's age then saying goodbye to his Dad..and I couldnt help but think what it must of been like to be a parnet going off to war, not knowing if or when you would see your wife or children again. It really got me thinking of the sacrifices that my generation really dont know enough about. For me it was amazing to step back in time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hanging With Family

This week my sister, her partner, and my two nieces are here in Toronto. Yeah! I love when they come to vist, which is every 2 years. Today they have taken a side trip to Niagra Falls to go to Marine Land. My one niece who is 15 loves dolphins and cant wait to see them.

On Friday my sister came to visit at my place( they are staying with her partner's bro in Brampton) and left the girls for the night. I took my nieces and Roo shopping along the Danforth. ....we got there down there about 4 just as everything was getting geared up for Taste on the Danforth..you could smell the tastes in the air. Both my nieces were telling me they dont ussally street shop but hit the mall..so they were getting a kick out of going store to store. The oldest( the returned runaway) bought a few prezzies for friends and these HUGE gold earrings. The youngest was saving her money and just window shopped. Roo wanted to take the girls to her favorite store on the Danforth Treasure Island toys and guess what we found there the new CHARMS for the Webkinz ...so I watched my daughter drool for a bit as she eyed them and then as she went to show my nieces some of her favorite other things in the store I bought one while she wasnt looking. Mean mom eh! I plan on using it as a reward this week.

After we got home we had dinner and the girls watched Iced Age 1 and 2 which Roo had nver seen. All the girls had fun together and crashed together in the livingroom while I used the occasion to sleep in the only real bed we have(roo's)...

On Saturday after sleeping in it the teens decided to take Roo to the local splash park..I let the girls go on thier own and used the time to tidy up after 3 girls!!How much mess can three girls make in a day! My sis got here in the early eve and after a very short visit they were off. We are all ( meaning about 10 family mbrs) getting together tommorrow at my Uncle's place. It will be good to see some of my cousins. Most of us havent connected since my Grandma's funeral in October.
Isnt hanging with family the absolute best~!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sadder then Sad

I can t believe how very sad I am. I am grieving and grieving again. I cant beleive how many emotions have come up today with Bandit's daeth. It is as if Smokey( my step father just died). My mom is beide herself. She called me in tears. You see after Smokey died Bandit was mom's companion, her friend, and her strength in those first dark days after burying Smokey. Bandit is being put to rest in a pet cemetary near mom.

Smokey was the reason the family got a dog in the first place. When mom and Smokey retired and move to the acres on the mountain Smokey wanted a dog to hunt with, to take for walks, to have. What Smokey didnt know was how much we as a family came to love Bandit even more after he was gone because it was as if apart of Smokey was with us still. Today that physical piece is gone and now all we have are the memories.

Making this even harder today I called the cemetary to make arrangements for dad. To bury is ashes is going to cost about $2000 in total. There is so much stress with this burial as my dad's ashes are with his brother and well lets just say not all parts of the family are talking one to another. I can see this being a very sad stressfilled week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Death of Family Pet

I am so very sad tonight, I cant sleep. I just want to cry. You see tommorrow my mom is putting Bandit down...who is Bandit. BAndit is my dog, mom's dog, Karen's dog, the family pet.
Mom and Smokey got Bandit 14 years ago. Bandit was my constant companion when I lived at home. WE would go for long walks on the back acres. We would play together. I loved my dog. Smokey, my step dog was the one who first brought Bandit home and after his death Bandit became my mom's constant companion except for the last 2 years when he has lived with my sister.

This week my sister is here with me and she doesnt have it in her to put our dying pet down so mom has taken it upon herself to do it ..He is having a hard time breathing, walking, barely eating, he is dying and it is time to make peace that our pet will soon be gone but what a week for him to go, the same time we are burying dad...so much grief is at the surface and I dont know what to do with it. I feel like crying, my stomach is in knots as I relive so many memories. I never thought the death of a dog would so impact me, but it is. Since I was in my late 20's Bandit has been part of our family and with his passing thier will be a hole in our family as another one passes to the other side. He will be so very missed, and I pray his final moments are in comfort and peace for he brought us so much of that over the years. You will be so missed my dear Bandit.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Not Much of a Holiday Weekend

There wasnt much time spent relaxing on this Holiday day...it was spent scrubbing, dusting, organizing and basically cleaning. After being sick last week well housework was so piled up! Last week Roo ( my 9 yr old did some very basic chores) but that was ALL that got done so you can imagine the state of my apartment and the thing is I have my sister who works as a professional cleaner coming to visit on Wednesday! CAn you say Hollie is in panic clean mode!
Roo was great and cleaned her room.Tommorrow I will wash her floor, did the rest of them today, as well as the stove, the fridge, the bathroom, the storage closet, well you get the picture. I want it spic and span before my sister gets here. You see she supervises cleaners at the casino and her place well you can eat off the floor, literally so well I always feel like I am coming up short in my sorta clean, tidy place.

So I bleached, I wiped, I vacumed, I polished, etc etc today so now I need to relax! Do you have a favorite cleaning tool? product or system that makes you life easier, if you do, please tell cause I can use all the help I can get!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Dinner Invite

Last night Roo and I were invited out for dinner. My friend Juan and his son who is friends with Roo invited us over to thier place which isnt that far from us. First when I got there I must admit I was impressed his place was very warm and inviting ( not what this girl has seen at most single mens apartments) ..So Juan knowing that I am nursing that ucler of mine didnt cook up the spices which I am thankful for...we had great fish, chicken, pasta and salad...he is a very good cook. After dinner while the kids played and painted we talked and talked. It was great to get to know him better. It really was the first time I have talked to a man who has been down the divorce path, and has rebuildt, and it was great to learn his views on things and many of them mirrored mine which was very cool I thought. We listened to the spanish sounds of his culture and that music is some of my favorite as well. It really was a great night out and we werent watching the clock so Roo and I ended up getting home VERY late..just before midnight..over all an excellent night out after revovering from being so laid up for days..

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thinking of Dad

I am not sure how many of you have lost a parent, but today is my dad's birthday and I cant help but think of him.....if he would of lived he would be 70..I cant believe that even 5 years after the loss you still feel it.

I think I am thinking of him more and more right now because we are finally putting him to rest. When he died we cremated him as per his wishes but he was never interred..his ashes sat in my gram's and his apartment till her death. It was like everytime I visited her I visited him. Well next week my sister is coming to town and one of the things we want to do with his brothers permissions is take care of dad..After gram died dad's brother found documents where dad owned two burial plots.. we want to place his ashes there. Hopefully this can be done with Karen here, making it easier to do.

I so want him to have a final resting spot, one that Roo and I can still visit and remember a life well lived. Dad was an awesome man and I miss him still so very much. I think this might help bring comfort and closure knowing that he really is taken care of.

Have any of you battled with grief long after a loss and how did you deal with it?

And dad if you are loooking down--Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Okay I have been in pain for 7 days now, at first I thought, oh it was the fact that well Auntie Gertie was upon me..but more and more the pain increased..Went to the doc on fri who basically said if it aint better by Monday come back, and he took an urine sample to check,...that doct trip cost$15 for taxis..Sat eve I was feeling even worse so I ended up in the emergency ward, where the doc took blood, urine etc...started treating for a UTI but the pain progressively has gotten worse. Sat eve trip to hospital taxis and prescription cost $45. Yesterday it got even worse well ended back up in emerg they are now thinking it is kidney stones or my gallbladder we wont know till tommorrow am so I am now on pain meds till then...the last trip was another $45. I have to be at the hospital for 8 am tommorrow. I just want the pain gone for good, I am not sleeping and I feel ugh like screaming! One thankful note my daughter Roo has been a great lil nurse! So getting sick can COST big time even within a FREE system..so are you prepared for those sick days, with this happening I realized I wasnt and am not.

I just so want the pain gone and to feel better I would give up my right arm for that!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cheaper then Cheap

As I jounrey into becoming much more aware of how cheap I want to be I have decided to take my readers on the journey with me and thus I have started another blog that will be a sister blog to this one. There I will write about how cheap I am and how frugal I can be...I will be looking for the freebies, the cheapest buys, the greatest and bestest deals in town, and learning how to really live well on a small budget.

Here I will still talk about raising Roo in the city and all that means to us. Here I will talk of current issues and what and how they might impact my household. Here I will talk of all things that impact us very intimatly......so now you all have to very different blogs to read by the one and only simply Hollie!

So go and read my other one please and join with me as I try and become the Queen of Cheap!

So go now and check it out http://cheaperthencheap.blogspot.com/ and let me know what you think.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

9 years later

Nine years ago at this very hour I was on the road, on a good ol Greyhound bus leaving Carlsbad NW for the Great North. I had Roo in a carrier and she was such a very good baby for the entire trip. I remember well the shelter that we had stayed at in New Mexico had set us up well for the journey and then we stayed at the Red Door shelter when we got here to Toronto. For those of you who dont know my entire journey( or those who may be newer readers). Roo was born homeless thanks to the EX I had. Roo was 6 months old on that journey north.

I remember our arrival in Toronto well and the lost luggage( some of my stuff arrived 2 days later). I remember going to my dad's and gram's our first stop, once we were settled to introduce Roo to her grandfather and great grandma, and the extended clan. I remember being glad I was back on Canandian soil.

So much has gone on in those 9 years, I think I have grown in who I am and truely have become the survivor, the advocate, the mom that was deep within me back then.

Some not so good things have happened that were seen as set backs but even those we recovered from, heck not even the great fire of 2004 where we lost it all except us, deterred us.

I truely am enjoying parenting Roo, not every day is a cake walk, but we are on a journey, a path, that has its hills and vallies. Right now most days I am content with what we have..do I want better for both of us yes, but all is in the master's hand. He knows what is around the corner where I dont and that is okay with me! Nine years later and I'm glad that I caught that bus.

Thankful Mom

Sometimes I look at Roo and am amazed. First at where the time has gone, but then I really look at her and have to say WOW....Reasons why I love being her mom:

  • she makes a great breakfast in bed, today she woke me up with my fav herbal tea and cereal already poured, what a great kid.
  • she gives the biggest and best HUGS!
  • she tells the silliest jokes and her favorites are Knock knocks
  • She likes to read as much as I do, and will lay in bed and read till she falls asleep, most nights she has fallen asleep with a book in her hand, how cute is that!
  • she likes to play board games just like her mom
  • she loves to cuddle with her mom
  • she is very creative, and smart
  • she is a great friend( 0ne of the things I am most thankful for this year is that she has formed friendships)
  • she is loyal
  • she is honest, even if it means getting in trouble, she will own up
  • she likes gardeing, like her mom
  • she is a water baby while her mom is a water rat

Okay you get the idea and I am sure every mom out there has there own list as why they love there kids so very much..The one good thing my EX left me with was her to raise: my unique, creative, loving child!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Realities of living on 12.21 a Day in Toronto

I live off 12.21 cents every day, that is after my rent and utilites are paid. Roo is in that one out of every four childern here in Canada that live in poverty. Here in Canada the poverty line is 20,900 for a family of two. My income last year even when you added in Child TAx Benefits and Child Support and GST checks clocked in just over $14,000. So you can see we live well below that line. There is an election on the way here in Ontario and one of the issues that has to be addressed is how many children in this province who are exactly like Roo live in poverty.

Here are the harsh realities for a child in poverty in Canad's biggest city:
  • FOOD- you simply dont eat well, yes I try and see that we follow Canada's food guide but that is an almost an impossiblity. When it gets to a few days before your next check your cupboards are bare, and yes I have gone without so she eats. You also end up carb loading and dont get enough protien cause you go for the cheapest. There are some times when you have had to resort to a food bank, and you feel humiliated and ashamed everytime you do.
  • Housing- we live in a small one bedroom basement apartment in East York. Good neighbourhood,thank goodness but this means very little space to call our own. I gave Roo the bedroom and my back has not seen a real bed in well so long Im forgetting what one would feel like. I sleep on a 1960's pullout couch.
  • Clothing-new clothes are a rarity, most of yours come from Value Village but you are okay with that, but sometimes things like underwear, socks and shoes must be bought new.
  • No Vacations-In Roo's 9 years she has seen one weekend camping trip and that has been the extent of vacation time for us. That trip was 4 summers ago.
  • You dont get to do things that kids normally do like swim lessons, dance lessons, clubs etc because well your mom doesnt have the money to allow for those.
  • Dental care, the basics are covered for Roo but it has left me with about $4,000 of URGENTLY needed dental care still not done, this isnt covered by our government, only extractions for adults are.
  • You have to plan carefully what you can do to try to have FUn in the city, you try to get out to some of the FREE events around town, but then you have to remember that busfare for you and Roo amounts to $7 for a round trip, so most times you can only go to where you can walk to.
  • You have only 2 tv channels, no cable, your internet connection is your only luxury.
  • Some times you dont even you to church because you dont have the busfare.

These are just some of the issues that the poor in the city of Toronto and in the province of Ontario live with, so if you rad this and are voting in the upcoming election please note where your canidate falls on services to the poor.

And dont get me started on childhood mental health care or the cutting of 500 EA's here in Toronto this year....those too are major election issues!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Day Late

Yes yesterday I was supposed to update you all regarding my marathon prep but with it being Harry Day I will catch you up on what I did this week to prepare to do my half marathon.
*walked 4 days 5km each day
*danced an afternoon away when it was pouring rain with Roo
*did strength building exersices 3 times this week
*drank about 1L of water per day, yes I know I need to increase this!
*swam 15 laps at local pool when I took Roo swimming

so that was my physical activity for the week, so now we are 11 weeks and counting!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Are you reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

SPOILER ALERT-dont read this blog, if you dont want a sense of the book, I wont name characters who die but feel there are some things some of you that read me might want to know.

First this book is NOT written for a 9 yr old reader! It is far to DARK! So if you lil one loves Harry it may be a wait and read or read it to them so you can disscuss the dark parts, cause some of the pages well made me fearful and I am a grown woman.

This is a much much more mature in wrting style it is as if the first book was written for that 10 yr old and as the books have progressed they are for the more mature and OLDER teens, those who's heart Harry captured in the first book have grown up with him where those like my daughter feel only in love with harry really in the past year. It is not a book for the new Harry reader.

Rowlings does a pretty good job of tying up the ends of things we all wonder about. I love that we really get to see how complex Harry can be, doubtful at times and leading in others, meanwhile falling for a certain gal. I love Harry in this book.

Some of the things characters have seen and used come to have very special meanings in this book and as we look back we can see the foreshadowing....now if you havent read the the other books this series is one where you really do need to read what happened before to get the most out of the read.

Personally the very end of the book after such a very dark book was to sweet for me, even though I am the happy dreamer. So let me know what you think of the book without spoilers for this week please.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Adventure to Getting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So here I sit I am already at chapter 2 of guess what? Yes I have a copy of Book 7. Harry's last adventure. After this will there truely be no more Harry Potter?

We went to the biggest launch of a book ever I think Toronto has seen. It was so packed with people you would think we were sardines!

Roo loved every second we were there and now she is fast alseep. She was able to take the many FREE activities that INDIGO had going on for the kids. There was Hogwarts Castle, the Challenging Stair case, the double decker, she dueled, and of course visited the Shrieking Shack. There was so many dressed up in full costume and it was fun even to mix with the muggles. Every inch of a square block of Bay and Bloor was wall to wall people from about 8 pm on and as it got nearer and nearer the delivery hour it only got more packed, but to be honest I was so expecting it.

Well let me get back to reading and NO I wont leave any spoilers here this week, ok! I want you to read and enjoy just as much as I will. I will just say I really wish that there was al least one redeeming quality to Voldermort but as the book begins to seems clear there isnt! So there..Yes Voldermort is in the first chapter!

So do tell do you have the book yet? are you reading?

Our Summer Time Fun

Okay shaing some summer time fun pics of what my lil Roo has been doing this summer. The first pic is of her with one of her friends. One of the activites both girls love is to wrestle. Yes I said wrestle! They try and drag each other to the sofa for a pin.
The second photo is of Roo at one of our favorite cheap spots to go this summer and that is the splash park 3 blocks from our house. We bring snacks and drink, and I sit and read and watch while Roo plays.
Photo three is my dear Miss Fashion designer. See what she can do with a pld pair of tights and a slip. She made it into a dress and then pranced around in it for ours, the proud model and designer was she! She has been having a ball doing some pretty creative crazy things this summer. So what crazy things have yours been up to?
Tonight we are headed down to Bay and Bloor for some real craziness! We are headed to the biggest Harry Potter Party and launch here in Canada. They are occupying a whole street starting at 8 pm! Lots of stuff for kids to do and entertainment as we await that magic hour of 12:01 am! Can you wait to see who lives and who dies? We are looking forward to the event. Will have to report back on it later in the weekend.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Frugal Lifestyle or Bust

Lately I have been really examining how I live with my limited budget and have realized there is much that I can be doing to have more!

These are some of the things I have really started doing well in the last month or so:

  • tracking what I am spending, I am actually using a spread sheet in Excel to do this, and so far I simply bring home reciepts etc and enter them..I am watching where it is going and now I am able to see where I can make real cuts.
  • I am shopping the flyers and notcing sales cyle so say I buy 3 boxes of cereal I know that is more then enough till the next sale.
  • I am using coupons and collecting my loyalty points, infact this weekend I will be getting $100 worth of FREE stuff from Shoppers when I reedem 40,000 points! To get there I spent about $140. So it is like getting 40% off and when you think most of the stuff I bought there was on sale it is like Yeah Bonus time!
  • I am entering contests! There is nothing like FREE stuff. I spend about an hr entering contests and so far my wins are little but I am beleive the bigger ones will come.
  • I am doing without, some things I realize even are wants for me, and I havent gone there.
  • I am shopping Value Village and sales for back to school clothes, so far Roo has 4 new to her outfits for less then $30. I still have runners and a backpack to buy for her( but I do have still another $45 budgetted for back to school). Some of the stuff I pick up at Shoppers this weekend will be school supplies.
  • We are cooking more and more and eating less and less processed stuff, that is good.
  • We arent renting movies we are getting them from the libary.

So we are starting to live more frugally, hopefully that will leave us money for really important stuff that has been so far left undone as I tried to live cheque to cheque. So wish me well and if you have a frugal tip please feel free to leave it! As well I will be adding some of my new favorite frugal sites and blogs to the side over the next few days.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

3 Months from Today

Three months from today I will be doing the Toronto Marathon. It is hard to beleive that this health goal that I set for myself is now only 3 months away. Yes, I am walking everywhere I go practically. I have been averaging a good 5k on my feet at least each day. I am doing the half marathon walk. I am doing it memory of my grandmother who passed away last October from cancer and my dad who died 5 years ago. I do this to get my own health on track and to celebrate that fact as well. I am looking forward to crossing the finish line and getting my medal. My goal time is to average a 12 minute mile which should be pretty easy and that would have me crossing the finish line in about 2 1/2 hours. That is my goal! As of this week I am going to check in every Saturday and let you all know how training is progressing and how many miles I have walked that week. So 91 days from now I will be ready for the walk, I am looking forward to it, it is the first major health goal I have ever made and I am tahnkful for it. The money raised goes to The Princess Margaret Hospital which is one of the leading hospitals for Cancer care up here in Canada so please do cheer me on as I strive to reach the finish line!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Well here we are at another Friday the 13th, and so far nothing unlucky has happened but then again I dont really beleive in that sort of stuff do you?

This week has been rather busy even though Roo has been home all week with me. This is the first of a 3 week stretch she spends with me, then she goes back to daycamp for 1 week, home for another 2, back to camp for one and then home for the last 10days before back to school.

This week with Roo has been made up of :
  • Going to the libary twice, once so Roo could take part in a Shakespehere for 8-12 yr olds workshop. Roo is also taking part in the ssummer reading program so we had to report our first 3 reads. Roo LOVED the workshop and wants to do the camp the theatre group does next summer(yikes that camp is $300). I have decided I am taking her to see 12th Night which is being performed in High Park so she can see one of the plays.
  • We have also been making great use of the local splash park , everytime we go Roo seems to make a new friend which is great
  • We had a playdate with another spectrum child and thier family, and well let me say I am so very thankful every day for the progress Roo has made over the last year especially!
  • We went to Licks for lunch. YUM! Roo loved her free icecream come!( what was even better was the FREE lunch due to gift certificates from volunteering).
  • Went grocery shopping ..Roo is getting great at math and figuring out value, glad I can teach her these things now.
  • We had family night, Roo wanted to share one of the things she decided to learn about this summer and that is Ancient Eygpt..Yep we are learning about mummification, and the pyrmaids. We also played a great game of Life.
  • We downloaded some music Roo is inheriting my love of Broadway, yea! So we have been having inpromptu dance parties in the livingroom.
  • We checked our summer goal list to see what could be done this week, it looks like we will be on target for getting most of the MUST do stuff done and even a few Want to do's.
  • We got sand for the sandbox thanks to my friend Nancy, so Roo has been doing alot of creating in our backyard.

I did get invited to take Roo camping which is something we would love to do but my summer budget this year simply doesn't allow for such a luxury. Somedays I wonder how I manage with the budget we do have. But then we get blessed with a contest win and something FREE to do. I live for the FREE community events and am so thankful for the fact that we live in a city that offers many of them.

Well that has been our week in a nutshell, for those of you who know about my teen age runaway niece please keep her in your prayers. More and more it is looking worse instead of better. I pray she finds her way home soon before it is too late. She is 17 and thinks well that she can do anything.

Well Roo wants to cuddle and watch High School Musical for only the 4th time this week so I better get, have a blessed weekend all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ed Mirvish and My Mom

Today Ed Mirvish died at the age of 92. If you are Canadian you know of him, if you live here in Toronto well he is a legend of well lets just say this city will never be the same because of his touch. When I first learned of his death my first call was to my mom why? Well let me tell you the story of my mom and Mr Mirvish.

Back in 1959 my mom began working for Ed's secetary of the time, as her nanny. One night mom had dinner with Mr Mirvish, and over the next few years Mr Mirvish kept a watchful eye on her, even trying to set my mom up with a date or two. It was Mr Mirvish who had just purchased out a wedding shop who supplied my moms wedding dresswhen she was getting married to my dad for $7( the same dress was worn by my sister 18 years ago). His wedding gift to them was $500( quite the sum for 1962). My mom spoke so kindly of him and said he was one who truely cared about those who were around him. She said He was a man like no other and she had wished she had followed some advice he gave back then.

Good night Ed you will be so missed in this city!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fear is part of our lives daily I am starting to think. Has it always been that way? For me I realize that as a kid I had so much freedom that I wouldnt think of letting Roo have today. When I was growing up I with my friends were allowed to roam the neighbourhood, go to the park, play down the street without adult supervision. These are things I wouldnt think of letting Roo do today. As I type this she is playing in the backyard, she knows though that she is not allowed out front without me..it is a simple rule, I feel safe with her in a fenced backyard. I take her to the park to play, I arrage playdates so she can have fun with other childern, but I wonder am I a bit too fearful? How am I going to teach her independence if I live in fear and instill fear in her? I dont let her walk to school (7 blocks away) by herself, and I go and get her feeling she is safer if I am there. Are my fears rational? At what risk is she if I let her have more freedom...Yes I know the child assualt rates for girls: 1 in 4 girls will be assualted in some way before they are 18. Most of those happen though not when kids are left to play but by people they know..so is this fear rational. What do you all think? Should we be letting our kids be kids more, or instilling more fear in them?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dear Michael Moore : re "Sicko"

I sent the following to Michael Moore earlier today and wanted to share the contents of the letter with my readers as some of you know the story and battles of the last number of years that Roo and I have endured up here in the great north.

Dear Mr Moore,

Much has been made about your movie Sicko and the light it shows on what is lacking in the American health care system. I am a Canadian who has lived with and had to use both the US system and Canada's. On your website, you herald Canada's universal system. Let me tell you I think you have some facts wrong from the individual user perspective. Here is my view of both the US system for the poor and Canada's.

First I have spent almost 3 years south of the border living in Los Angeles and in Carlsbad NM. I got to see doctors offices, emergency wards and maternity care down there and have seen the same here north of the border. First for a year I volunteered and worked with the homeless back in the 80's and early 90's. In LA even without health insurance I got looked after and rather well when I had medical issues. First I got a fungal infection. I went to a local health clinic that is free to all, they then referred me to a doctor who treated my fungal infection for FREE, now this doc office was in Brentwood, and what I found great about the US healthcare system is that many doctors step up to the plate very quickly and volunteer services for those in need, you find that RARE in Canada. I also had to be a patient once at the UCLA emerg dept. I saw a doctor within 15 minutes of arriving where here in Canada after say 15 different visits over the last 10 years I have had to wait for care at least 1 hour and when my 3 year old daughter needed life saving surgery we waited 7 hrs for a surgeon here in Canada, in a cardiac care unit. While I lived in New Mexico I became pregnant with my daughter, again I had inadequate insurance( my exhusband was medically retired military having served in the first Gulf War)..my doctor there never billed me for my 9 months of care. I did have a $2,500 bill from the hospital for her birth. She was covered by with govt funds immediate to her birth and received excellent care while we were in the USA.

For her she is 9, and has been at the mercy of Canada's true lack of universal health care. There are thousands up here that have NO medical coverage. You see my dear daughter since her arrival here in Canada has NOT had adequate medical coverage. She has no access to the universal health care system that is supposed to be in place up here, though she is the daughter of a Canadian citizen.She recieves all her care at a community health center( like your free US clinics), but they can not refer her to specialists and the like who could fully diagnosis her. You see my daughter has many of the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, sensory issues, and allergies. So far all we have offically is that she has an LD...the tests are undone, the specialists unseen simply because up here in Canada we do have a two tier system. You see even if I got my daughter a health card today and was able to get a referral to a specialist the wait for service is about a year...another year in which my daughter does not get the treatment she so NEEDS for her to have a healthy childhood and that is in Canada. I could take her and have her privately tested up here as most parents who can afford to do do --it costs about $2,500. But you see I am a single parent who is solo parenting who has had to become therapist, coach, and advocate as we battle the government system here in Ontario. For the past two years because she is undiagnosed I have not been able to work as I have to be here for her--you see here in Ontario we are not only lacking medical treatment for all but are lacking resources for special children in the classroom. But that is another issue..

As well on your site you hailed Canadian wait times for services and hospital care. From this user's perspective we are so lacking. To get to see specialists once you are referred by your doctor you are often waiting months to be seen. Getting in to see surgeons is like winning a lottery here. As well don't as me about my local emergency dept..minimum wait I have ever had was 30 minutes, but mostly they have averaged out to about 3 hours before ever being seen by a doctor, and then there is the wait for xrays etc. Up here our medical system is at a breaking point and then there are those who die in a emergency dept hallway after having a heart attack like my grandfather. So please Mr Moore Canada should not be looked at as an example of what good health care is you see up here we need more doctors, we need more care for those in need, so you see we especially the working poor find ourselves in the same place as those in the US who live near or below the poverty line.

So could you do those who are in the real know about how bad it is a favour and correct your site. And then let us not begin to look at the issue of dental care.As well not sure if you know this there is now a Health care tax, so we do pay for health care even IF our families cant be covered. So simply wanted to bring you up to speed and may you never rely on government sources to speak for a real Canadian family.

Hollie PollardMom, Advocate, Coach,Parent of Uninsured Canadian/American child

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Trip Down Candy Lane

This week I have been dropping Roo and her best bud off each day for summer camp, then going and well exploring more of my city of Toronto.

Well after I dropped the girls off at Applegrove Day Camp, I was off for a walk along the boardwalk. What a great walking path especially first thing in the morning, I walked east on the path and then went off it at Kew Gardens as I also wanted to window shop along the Beaches stretch of Queen St. Well I found a shop I had never seen before and got to say the window display caught my eye as well as the name of the store The Nutty Chocolatier. Well being the chocolate lover that I am well I had to go explore. For me what was more amazing then there great fudge( highly reccomend the turtle fudge or the rocky road), was the assortment of candy from my childhood. Stuff I have not tasted in years....It brought back so many memories of trips to the local corner store with my quarter, and the candy we would come out with back then. They had all my old favorites: golden nugget gum, bottlecaps, fun dip, wax buttons, and PINK popcorn. They had many more but those were old favs of mine from the 70's! I spent an hour in thier remembering the trips to the store, John's was next across from my school Davind Lingstone in Brandon Manitoba, and it was such a joy to go thier and try and decide what I was going to buy that day, it was fun and one of my fav memories of childhood. So today I am thankful for the Chocolatier bringing back so many fond memories..and if you are in the area it is a store to check out--me and Roo will be back there on Sat as I want to show her the candies of my childhood..and maybe try one or two.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Have been feeling a bit like Cinderella this past week. It seems I have been doing a TON of cleaning, organizing and sorting...and then Roo gets into something and I have to start that whole area again, so I am feeling a bit weary, and a bit like my favorite character of Cinderella. Now talking of housework and all those things that mom have to do, what is your least favorite chore? do you have a favorite organizational tip? I am trying hard to simplfy but still have an inviting funky lil place.

Well tonight I am going to relax and watch Canadian Idol...I have fav girl and fav guy already and this year there are a few that are uber great!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Canada Day, Goodbye Sams and a Concert for Diana

So many thoughts going through my head right now as I sit and watch the concert for Diana and type this. First about the concert, I think it was great for the princes to honor thier mom in such a way. I feel such a connection with a woman I only met in passing so many years ago. It was the first time she was an offical visit and I was blessed with that chance. It was also on the night of her death, that I knew in my heart that my marriage was a sham, so I always say there were 2 deaths that night hers and the death of me being so naive. It is great to raise funds for her favorite causes too, it was way so many loved her when she was alive, as she tried hard to raise awareness on key issues and succeced..I watching Duran Duran as I type( what an 80's band) but it was one of her favorites and todays line up truely does pay homage to her and her legacy( her boys). I watch today with my heart full of different emotions, and full of deep respect for a woman who went far too soon.

On another front here in Toronto yesterday our city said goodbye to a landmark, Sam the Record man is no more. Yesterday the Yonge St sore closed. Many canadians can remember buying thier first records at a sams store--I remember mine--it was a patridge family record. Thier store is part of Canadian history and has know met the same fate as others equally as well known such as Eatons...It will now simply be part of Canadian lore. The store was recognized recently as a heritage site with its signage like no other. I know for me buying music there was an experience, and I can even remember waiting in line for thier Boxing Day sale for they were well lets just say amazing. You will never again see a buying expereince like the one that we were able to have in that store. You will be missed Sam!

Then today is a day to celebrate all things Canada and I worry that with the onset of bigger and better and the box store that we are losing some of the things that are Canadian. That soon we will not have a legacy to pass on to our children..that being Canadian wont be the same as it once was.

On the political front we are no longer the peaceful nation, our the peacekeeper, we are no part of the warring nations trying to bring peace where it may not be wanted. We are now on lists of countries that are well on the watch for a terror attack. Why? because of our actions overseas...

On the homefront we cant even seem to get things right..we let those who have here since before any of my ancestors lanquish in poverty, poor housing, and education on on reserves well let me just say in some 3rd workd countries they get better. We as Cannucks have just ignored this while saying we are a welcoming people? are we really? Do we give a leg up to those that come or do we make them work 3 jobs to get by? Yes we have health care for all here but again even now we are Americanizing it with private clinics and the like for those of a different economic level..so again we dont meet the needs of all cannucks. We have so many problems facing us here right now that I am afraid that the land that I loved is so languishing.

Are there things to really celebrate?Yes but we have much to do if we want to remain truely Canadian. Perhaps we are on the edge of a wake up call only time will tell..

Well all I am off to enjoy the rest of today, may those of you who call this land home have a blessed and safe CAnada's Day! Enjoy and then tommorrow may we stand together and fix some of these things that must be fixed.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Webkinz and Rataoullie

Well our summer is starting off with a bang...

All Roo wanted for passing was another Webkinz..Yes she is like most kids in her school addicted to the craze- so far she had one lil cocker spaniel and now she owns a goggle. When we hit the Hallmark store yesterday it was hard for her to decide which one she wanted to own, but she loved the uniqueness of the character. Roo's house is becoming a mega mansion after she won some major webkin cash yesterday--she won 25,000 so now her house is a 10 room one all with thier own themes. My lil girl loves to virtual shop! She also loves the games...Mom loves the safety of the site! The thing I love about the KDZchat is that it is all pretyped!! You cant give away personal INFO! To get to where you can you have to have your parents unlock that ablity..for me that adds a wee bit of security, unlike Club penguin where kids can type what they want. I am liking Webkinz much more then the other these days, and it is cheap too so even this single mom can let my daughter have fun.

After shopping for her well earned Webkinz we headed to the food court for lunch, tacos! Then we hit the movie theatre...I can't believe how EXPENSIVE the movie theatre is getting! Well we got to Rataullie.......Disney's new summer movie. Roo says "It was awesome". I thought it was good! If you are looking for a fun movie it is one to see! It even had this jadded mom laughing.

Well today is the first day of what I hope to be a relaxing weekend, so hope you all enjoy yours!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So much happening it is hard to blog

Wow! Hard to believe that a month has gone by and no blogging! It has been a hard month but a good month too!

So let me catch you all up and share the lessons of the month...

Lesson 1 -- Set your priorites right! My month has been about what is important. Roo has been my priority and with the last month of school there was much that needed attention and I was so happy to be there for all of it! From the hopthon, class trip, class parties and all the things that come with it being almost summer holidays( which for us start in about an hr).

My family has been my other priority--just trying to be there for my sister who's teen daughter has run away from home twice this month..right now Kim isnt at home. Please include her in your prayers if you would ..she is 16 and well thinks she knows best.

Lesson 2--Have lots of fun and we have had that! The hopothon was very fun, dancing with 600 kids was a blast. Saw Shrek the 3rd, played Life lots, went garage saleing ( you know how much I love a bargin we got Roo some games and puzzles for like a dime each!) ,went to a baseball tournament, have been at the park in the eveing and we are watching Pirate Master and So You Thought You Could Dance together. We have also picked out our summer novels! Woo Hoo! We also went to Luminato( an arts festival that was held here in Toronto--it was too much fun!) Roo and I both got our faces painted, we took in a Salsa lesson were Roo ended up star of the show, and even the mayor of Toronto was compliemting my dear daughter-it really has been a FULL joyfilled month.

Lesson 3--Old friends are not far from our heart. This week I have been able to reconnect with my best friend from elementary school! I attended David Livingstone in Brandon MB and well Carolyn was my friend and neighbour. Last night we had a great conversation and it was simply the best to reconnect!

Well let summer vacation begin! I better go and get her and hopefully I will back back into my blog more...hope you all are simply enjoying your families!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Do You Know Me?

Do you think you know me?

If so take this lil test and lets see......tag you are all it, and invited to try and if you dont know me it lets you know about me.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Parents Nightmare

The absolute worse happened here in Toronto yesterday afternoon. A 15 yr old student, Jordan Manners was gunned down at school! What makes this shooting closer to home is that it is the school my youngest cousin attends as a senior. She was one of those in lockdown in her classroom for 4 hours yesterday as the tactical squad secured the premises. Talking to my aunt last night after I heard first and foremost i wanted to know how they all were.

They talked about the fear at first of not knowing--Was mine the one shot? It took awhile before parents knew what was what--can you imagine that kind of worry while standing across the street from your child's school. They did say that within minutes an officer was placed in each classroom with students to keep them safe. My cousin said it was kind of funny that they had just done drills on this very thing so most students were able to remain calm. But can you imagine the fear?

Our classrooms are no longer the safe havens that they once were and how are we as parents preparing our kids for the scary stuff that they can witness or even worse be a part of? For me i pray every morning for my daughters safety through out the day as well my last words to her every day are the same Love You, have a good day! I want to believe the world is basically good out there but more and more people who get hurt, insulted, pranked turn thier anger into violence and dont care who they take it out on. What a shame! We need to teach more kindness and compassion while we can.

Today I feel for the family of Jordan, and for every student and parent of my cousins school. Today I simply want to hug Roo more! Show more love and keep the scaries out, but more and more that is becoming more impossible...so as we say bye to our kids each day let us be mindful of how they leave us. Lets leave em with love..

A side note is that as one of the chairs of the school council we have a meeting today at Roo's school to talk about things like safety...cant wait...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

12 days no blogging

It has been a super busy two weeks here, a wee bit of insanity too!

so much to blog about and I dont know where to begin....

First up-The MORMONS...did any of you catch the PBS Frontline special? I did. It was very accurate and for that I am thankful. There for all the stuff I no longer believe there is alot of good to be found there.

What is the bad that I no longer believe, the whole priesthood line of authority and that they can and do recieve revelation for the members...I believe my relationship is with god my father. I no longer beleive that the temple rites are that big a deal..when we stand before god we will stand alone not in a family unit: will we spend time with our families after death in heaven yes, but will it be in the same form and fashion as here on earth, I dont know. what else I dont like? Male members can and are regulary sealed to more then one wife in the temple even in this time period...I was the second wife my ex was sealed too, and now he was sealed to his fourth as well so under Mormon theory if we were all celestial materail after death well HE would have 3 wives in heaven.

what good do they offer? great programs for all family members that help them to be better, to do more and to have more successful lives. they also have the basic gospel of christ facts down correctly: it is the add ons that get me...they are also a volunteer church which means no one has a paid position. they also have a great welfare program for those who could fall on hard times and there emergency prepardness program is next to none church wise. While I was LDS I grew and learned lots and i am thankfuul for my time within the church but is it for me right now? I dont think I could ever be a mormon of sorts, taking the good and leaving the yuck to be debated by the intellectuals.

second watched a few great new releases--Dream Girls, Because I said So, and Freedom Writers have all been watched in the last 10 days and I have enjoyed everyone of them. Isnt curling up with great movies and pizza on a friday night a great tradition.

Roo has had a busy couple of weeks as well. Last thurs eve was the spring concert at her school and guess who was choosen to be one of the MC's. ROO! She is a great job and the choir did great on the 5 songs that she did. Now that it is over she is busy preparing for the folk fest this wednesday eve.

so now that I have caught you all up on what i am thinking watching etc time to go and visit some blog buds!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Okay many of you might know I am a charitable person and I like to give when and where I can and will promote FREE to you and me ways to give as well.....

Well Miscrosoft through there Messenger software has come up with a creative way to give...
Go here to check it out. Now the down side of this right now it is ONLY avialabe for Americans to do but if you use messenger to chat let me encourage you to sign up and every conversation you have can put cash in the pockets of some of the better known charities fighting AIDS, brest cancer, supporting our boys and girls and the like, so here is the link to check out the causes..
http://im.live.com/Messenger/IM/Causes/ So go chat and give~!

A great way to stay in touch and give at the same time!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rosie and The View

For those of you who dont know I am a fan of Rosie...if you are asking who? Well then I want to know where you've been for the last 7 months...

Rosie has made The View the show to watch. Her views, and wit have been the one to watch. She has often been critized for what she said online. But so often she has said what we think as average human beings. She was never afraid to open her mouth and that is a good thing. I think having her there allowed for more real and deep conversations across North America. She brought topics such as Autism and Depression to the forefront. There were conversations about how the president is really doing, the War in Iraq and the lack of reporting in that arena, the first ammendment, and even gun control were just some of the topics up for debate.

She also had the knack of getting under certain celebs skin....who can forget her rant about Donald Trump? It was priceless and his way of getting back at her well lets just say did his brand no service. When it came to her orginal rant about being a moral compass--I happened to agree with what she said with humor and wit--and that was Donald wasnt one, which is true, as a guide for youth today I would never want him in that role. There were also other fobiles that she got truely attacked beyond belief for and I think she handled them all well.The press especially one news outlet seems to attack her views lots.

I will be sad not to see he face every day there. I am thankful she will be guest hosting and doing special one hour specials and maybe now we can see her in other venues where she will not be attacked...For example I loved her on Nip and Tuck and really want to she more of her character there! Perhaps she would consider a podcast or the like where her view can be aired maybe with a little less critism.

I have been a Rosie fan since her days on Star Search, loved her old show, her movies, etc...I know funny for a christian mom to be she a fan, but I am...I find her candor refreshing, I love that she asks hard questions and expects to find answers..she has been a real advocate for children, those disadvantaged and the list goes on. I wish her the best no matter what she does next! But to be deadly honest my mornings will not be the same...no rushing to get errands done before 11 am, no planning my days Monday to Thurs so I could watch...I will watch when she is on and if they are having a guest or segment I want to see but The View will not be the same. I will miss you Rosie!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What a Weekend!

Well this weekend was so much better then the week that preceeded it. First mom is doing much better. Second the weather here in Toronto was delightful so say the least..

On Friday Roo and I did yard work which was great to get done...our yard is all nice and cleaned up for spring..Grass seed has been put down and all the broken branches and yuck of winter is gone..it sure makes one feel better when they have a yard they can enjoy. We also went and did errands and shopped as well Friday, and even took Roo back into the neighborhood where we first lived when coming back to Canada. It was a good day of mom and Roo time.

Yesterday we went to the movies. I had FREE passes for ICOKE. Arent free passes the best? We went to see " Meet the Robinsons"...after sitting in the theatre for about 10 minutes a mgr came in and said they were having projection difficulties and well gave us passes to a later movie showing as well as 4 free passes and 2 free popcorn coupons so it looks like we get to go to the movies for FREE 3 times instead of just the one. We have already decided what movie we will be seeing next and that will be Shrek the Third when it comes out in May. Roo said" It's a thumbs up movie mom" meaning she liked it.

Today I forgot to set the alarm and we ended up sleeping in so didnt get to church again . It was another beautiful day so Roo and I spent some time outdoors...we went to a local park and had our first pinic of the year and then had a great water gun battle when we got home. There is nothing like the simple things to put a smile on my face. After the week I had it was so good and nice to have a good weekend.

Well almost time to get ready for our fav Sunday night show" The Amazing Race"...we are rooting for the beauty queens! Go girls go! Well I hope you all have a good week.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Week of Yuckiness

Have you ever had a bad day? I had a bad week and am so glad today is the last day of the week...trying to think why does everything hit the fan in the same week?

The week started with me finding out about the Virginia Tech incident and the fact that an old schoolmate of mine from the NSTC was among the victims....Truro is REALLY small. Then I broke a tooth, then my mom had a minor stroke( she is okay now) and then I broke another tooth....so this week has found me grieving, worrying, and in pain..not a good week so I am glad it is over.

I cant get to a dentist to get rid of this pain for another few days and it is begining to ache beyond belief so I am really trying hard not to focus on it...but am trying to figure out how to pay for the dental work which will come to about $1,500.00...ugh! So like I said a bad week!

I need to get my focus off this bad week and look to what good is ahead..like I have FREE passes to the movies so I am taking Roo later today. I even have a FREE popcorn coupon so it really is a FREE afternoon out...as well the weather here in Toronto has finally taken a turn toward SPRING...we spent the day outdoors yesterday doing yard work and it was wonderful to be out in the yard sprucing things up. So even amongst the yuckies there have been moments of good..and good is GOOD!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pioneer Days

Today was a field trip day for Roo! She awoke this morning with a burst. "It is Century School House Day" were the first words out of her mouth...She was so excited about this outing. She had her long dress, her black tights, her lace up boots, her basket for her lunch and the mason jar for her drink. It was for her a mad rush to get ready as she was so absolutely exicted. Then she had to wait...cause she got ready faster then I have ever seen her get ready! It was fun to watch her excitement. But why is it they can get ready when they are excited in seconds but when it is just a regular day getting ready takes forever??

When we got to the school it was so cool to see her classmates all dressed as turn of the century children. It was neat to see all of them all dressed up. We were able to get some pics so I am hoping to have them posted soon.

When she got home she was telling me about her day and how she got discplined. She was forced to stand at the blackboard with her nose in a circle that the teacher had drawn. She said "Boy mom that was hard, Im glad they dont do that today"...I think she learnt how good she has it.
She liked her outing though and all and from her teacher she did well so that is good.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too Close to Home

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak was one of the teachers killed in the Virginia Tech tradegdy. She was a Canadian mom with 2 daughters---but what brought this closer to home was we were both students at the Nova Scotia Teacher's College at the same time way back when there was a college in Truro for teacher training.

She went on from the college to teach at the Agricultral College in Truro where her husband was the Head of the Department where my ex finace( Maurice) worked. Jerzy her husband headed up the Plant Science Department. They worked in the same Department for many years-Maurice is still there. She was also instrumental in the starting of a franchophone school in Truro. The family lived not far from mine. I lived in Truro( a town of 10,000) before leaving for the states in 97 to marry my now ex.....there is now a Canadian town grieving the loss of one of thier own.

Yes they had moved to Virginia some 7 years ago but they left behind them much of themselves in Nova Scotia. I know many who are grieving for her in that small town that it seems I left just yesterday......

It just makes the issue of safety seem more real. There family and all the families are in my prayers....words cant express what I am feeling today.....I wish I was at NSAC in the plant science building giving out hugs right now but I am far away so all I can do is pray. This sure has hit closer to home then I thought yesterday when I blogged my thoughts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech and School Safety

What a horrid day?! That seems to be an understatement. The United States Pres in addressing what happened at Virginia Tech today stated that school as supposed to be a sanctuary of learning and one of saftey. Well schools are becoming a whole less safe. I worry all the time about the safety of my child.

Today I cried for the 32 families who are going to have to bury childern, brothers, sisters, friends. I felt for them. I remember well the first time I ever heard of school shootings. I was a high school student in Winnipeg and there was a gun brought to school by a student at one of the other high schools in the city, a fellow student got shot. They did not die...

But in the years since I was a student there have been too many student deaths while at school: Dawson College( just seven months ago), Concordia, Taber, PolyTechnique, and those are just Canadian incidents. Then in the US most recently the Amish school house and who can forget Columbine. What can we as parents do? What can we train our kids to do? I think that is the most important question at this time.

Then today I opened my daughters Roo's backpack and there was a letter sent home telling us that a man who had sexually assaulted a woman had entered the school after hours last week. Yes none of kids where in immediate danger. The school was open as it is used by the community. The caretaker saw him and asked him to leave and the police were notified but still in makes your heart and head question more about what we can do to make our kids safe. For me as a mom I cherish my daughter and the time that she is with me and I want her to have a long happy life so I can t imagine the ache when you get that call saying the worse...I feel so much for the moms and dads tonight who are grieving kids they said Have a good day to just this morning, only to have that child gunned down in what is to be a sancutary, a safe haven. My prayers and thoughts are with them tonight. Then my thoughts to the lil girl who is sitting her nearby watching her favorite dvd, how do I keep her safe in what can be a scary world? That is the million dollar question on this mom's heart today.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Turning of Age

This week my girl friend turned the big 40 and yesterday my Uncle turned the big 50...what is it with these turning of the decades makes us rexamine our lives? What makes us feel a bit more fragile with the passing of age? Is it that as we grow older we attend more funerals -- this year I have gone to too many already. I have gone to funerals for those who lives were cut short while they were way to young to go in my way of thinking and have gone for those who lived long lives to the very full.

As I have watched my friend approach this age(40) I couldnt help but think back 2 years to my own crossing of the threshold...for me I remember the feelings of disappointment and I had some fear mixed in there too. You see I was and am a divorced woman raising a child in poverty in Canada....that instilled as still instills as much fear as hope. I felt bad for mistakes made at certain crossroads as I looked back, but at the same time I felt empowered by the lessons I learned along the way. I felt grateful that even though my marriage failed it was an experience that I had and could learn from. I felt that I was at a crossroads at needed to chart a course( actually make a plan for my future) ...well we know what happens when we try to steer the ship right? God comes in and does the course correction and from that we learn as well...as I continue to age I find I learn the lessons and no longer fear the uncharted waters of life.

For me the turning of the years have simply become that the passing of time on this journey that we call life. For me to look back to much and repy past events does nothing to honor where God has brought me to today. For me I can look back and cherish what he brought me through and be reminded that he has much still planned for me. I am not sure where the path will go but I will follow and prayerfully age with grace and wisdom...for I find those characteristics only come with the passage of time!

As we turn an age may we not fear but celebrate all we have been given while on the journey and look forward to all that is to come.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Safe Schools Sacked!

Yesterday it was annouced the policy of SAFE school is being sacked here and for that can I say I am thankful as a parent........

Dont I want my daughter safe at school? Well yes of course...But the zero tolerence policy goes into play EVEN if a child is in grade 1. My daughter Roo got her first suspension when she was two months into her FIRST year of school, because of zero tolerence. Many of the suspensions are for 1 day only which are non debatable and there is nothing a parent could do about it either. Rachel got 4 suspensions in grade 1. The zero tolerence policy left principals without wiggle room and kids without skills to redeem themselves so it was a LOSE LOSE situation.

Let me give you an example of a ssuspension Roo got. Last year she was working very hard on a project, she was creating a new toy for a science project. It had to have moving parts. She got upset after the project broke in front of her and was in tears, she was frustrated of course. The teacher went over to comfort her and well Roo pushed the teachers HAND away...she got suspended for pushing a teacher. It was a bit much for a child who had been diagnosed but the principal used the zero tolerence to take Roo out of school for the day. I have seen suspensions often given to kids who need services instead of suspension.

This year Roo was not offically suspended at all but her principal and me worked together for the first 4 months of the school year and some days when she was having a hard day at school with behavior I would come and pull her for an hr or two and then she would go back. By doing this she got what she needed at the time yet was back in the classroom as soon as it was feasible. Since she has had an EA she has not needed to come home once, again a child was needing help not time at home.

I was glad to hear they scrapped the SAFE schools because as the kids become teens the suspensions lead to expelling etc and leads kids with no where to turn but a pretty yucky world with no skills and without healthy support that can help them learn to control behaviors.

For Roo working with the EA's and teachers this year she has really began to bloom. She is making friends and when problems come up she is using skills to try and solve them instead of lash out at first. Yes she still makes mistakes along the way but she sure has come a long way and this mom is so very proud of her. I do credit so much of where she it at with the school she is going to RH Mcgregor! The staff there are the best! They have done so much to help her get the skills that she needs and with that she has had many successes lately and for that I am so grateful!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Vimy and Beyond

Today the 90th anniversary of the assualt on Vimy Ridge was remembered here in Canada and in France as the Memorial there which has been restored was rededicated.........but it was a very bitter day for Canadians.

Yesterday in Afganistan 6 of ours were killed....it is the last hit Canada's military has taken in peace time.....when offically our country is NOT at war. I have so many mixed emotions when I think of the soldiers there...when the mission first began we were told our guys were going to just rebuild( be peace keepers which Cannucks are WELL known for) well there mission has changed over the years and well we dont know how long we will be there for. I can t help but think of the 51 families that have lost memebers for freedoms sake...I think of Ainsworth who I attended church with and the sacrifice he made with his life.

Then my mind and heart comes back here to Toronto to Dwight Wilson who is one of 2 remaining ww1 vets. Tonight there was a special service to thank him once again for his service to county...He is 107. He served in both World Wars and deserves the thanks and so much more as do all who served.....then my mind goes to Vimy and the services there today. Canada became a country on the world stage with what we did at Vimy...we took it, but we left many there that day. They were remembered...the memorial is restored to its glory so all can go and simply remember and be reminded those men went so we could have peace.

I think as we look to the future of our country we need to look back and to the men and women who gave and give so much so we can simply be free to live how we choose. We need to see peace where we can and look for ways to share it, instead of having the mindset that we need to have enemies, that is getting us no where fast..peace needs to be on our lips and taught to our kids...or more will be lost in the years to come in whatever battle we find ourselves in.

A side note about the Memorail in Vimy ridge...one of its bigest fans was Adolph Hilter. Why? Because it was about peace...not soldiers, no battles, the memorial is about peace. He sent his elite SS to guard it during WW2 so it would not be damaged and it wasnt. If even Hilter thought peace should be revered and guarded what should our thoughts be on that topic? Do we guard it? Want it? Or is it simply an illusion for another time and place and our world will never have it.

So yes with thoughts of the families( most Maritimers) who are grieving the loss of thier sons tonight on my mind, I say we need to search and find the roads that can lead to peace...so let us look for peace and may it begin with you and I.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Hope you all are having a blessed Easter Sunday! I as a christian mom am so thankful for this day! When God created each thing that we have that we mostly take for granted today...the sky, the air, the sea, animals, trees and the like he stated " this is good" and when he sent his son at his baptism he decended like a dove with an approving eye....and then at his death Christ stated it is finished....the job was done once for ALL! ......then the reason we can celebrate that glorious Easter morn with the empty tomb....what a day of Celebration that has turned into for all of us who say we beleive. It makes me want to dance and celebrate for it is Finished and because of that greaat act I have and will have so much more!....It is well with my soul!

Today is more about the easter egg dance that we love watching our kids do...I know I couldnt help but smile as Roo collected egg after egg this morning. Then I had to take a step back and think there is more to this day then eggs and bunnies we really do have a reason to be happy and celebrate! So after the choclate is gone just think we have something so much more and better for those of us who say we trust in him--eternal life--so lets celebrate~!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

My Visit to Cityline

This morning I ventured out in the rain and headed downtown to the City TV Studios. I got there in time to see them sitting up for Cityline. So I went across the street for a cup of tea at Starbucks...got back in time to get sat in the front row of the audience.

At almost 10 am we got the drill lots of applause etc and Cityline began. The show today was a money special. Where they talked about being in control and really know what is happening with your money. I think the beggest thing said was LIVE below what you already have! That is how wealth is gained. There were lots of money saving tips given too, which was really helpful.

There were even prizes. I came home with a copy of Wish magazine, 2 battery operated candles and a Barenaked Ladies CD...so I did well! Got to love wins!! I gave one candle to my neighbour who spent the last month taking Roo to school while I was recovering, and I am so thankful for her support. I am listening to my new CD as I type and loving it!

It really was a fun WIN( the tickects and all the stuff), I am so starting to love the contests I am entering.....and wins do happen! YEAH!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

Last night I rented " The Pursuit of Happyness". What a great movie! Talk about motivating it was that and more. It reminded me that where I live you can do and become what you set your mind too. It takes having a dream and chasing after it.....It means doing the work. It means thinking big...the movie was a great reminder of where I live and the possiblities that can happen here.

Talking about what can happen here is sems that some that pursue happyness get stuck on a downward spiral like the character Will played and some end up on the street like him, some end up in shelters and more and more it is happening to families here in the US and Canada and that is such a SHAME. I often see us worrying about the traviesties far away ie Iraq, Afganistan, Africa but the plight of the poorest kids well I wonder how many of them may begin to hate the land where they live cause of LACK in lands of wealth? To come back from that kind of reality is so hard. I know from first hand experience.

I havent ever really blogged about the hardest six months of my life. I ended up in a shelter when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with Roo. I was in Carlsbad NM. I couldnt get back to Canada as I was in a high risk pregnancy and travel was impossible. I ended up in the shelter there and am thankful there at least is a shelter system. The counsellors and staff were great really but i was so sad, at what should of been a happy time. I was suicidal in fact that Thanksgiving Day all I could think about is how I wanted life to be over. If I had not of been carrying Roo I would not be here today. It was because I couldnt end her life that I am here.
Roo was born without a home as many kids are today...no money...and no resources. I can relate to the anger, fear, frustration that many that find themselves at the bottom of the pile.

Roo was born into extreme American poverty that is the reality for 100,000 of thousands in the land of plenty. The programs like Foodstamps, WIC, welfare are well very lacking in really helping to give a helping hand up and dont get me started on how the US and Canada treat our disabled......it should be a crime. Especially when they may be disabled due to service to country.I could rant for days on that topic but I degress.

It was the help of a few friends esecially the help of one man who happens to be one of the towns prosectors. He let me look after his mom for a few months and that got me the money that I would eventually travel back to Canada on.

Rachel was 8 months old when we got back to Canada finally in Aug of 1998...and again we were homeless and again having to go to a shelter. This time the Red Door here in Toronto took us in. Thankfully we were in this shelter a very short time....10 days and then I was able to get a room and launch a life here in Canada.

By the time Roo was 16 months old I had found a fulltime job...and again was pursuing happyness but It was more then a struggle and I can understand why that struggle leads some to give up and turn to hate, and anger and even to home grown terrorism....all you have to do is really see the pain that is there.

The one thing that I think matters most as we travel on this pursuit are the people that cross our paths....for me I will never ever forget those who gave a listening ear, groceries when we were without, a place to stay after a deadly fire, the advice of great thinkers who I have ben blessed to meet, there are many who have helped to remind me that the pursuit of happyness in well worth it.

Right now I aint where i want to be but i am not where I used to be either....I am pursuing my road to happyness!
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