"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Monday, April 30, 2012


Today I found out that a good friend of mine just lost his sister.  She has been sick for a long time, about 5 years.  She fought the good fight and fought it hard.  She lasted much longer than any of the doctor's predictions and she did it with heart and soul and pure, dig-in-and-don't-give-up determination. 

But she must have just got tired.  Her time finally came.  She left behind her family and her son, and so many friends.

The visitation will be this week.  I will go for him, and be there for him.  I know he will be busy and it will be crowded and he won't be able to spare the time and energy for much of a visit.  But if I can look in his face, give him a hug and share some strength and love, I think I will have done well. 

It will break my heart to be there.  I have cried off and on through much of the day, as I think about it, and as I hear from him.

He was one of my best friends in high school and of my entire life.  I think of him often, usually when certain songs come on the radio (Nightswimming by REM, Fool in the Rain by Led Zepplin, and pretty much anything by the Watchmen).  He is a good person and a good friend.  He is a total math nerd.  He used to be able to drink like a fish, although I don't know if he does anymore.  He is a (relatively) new dad.  I think he would be an amazing father.  He relies on sarcasm and humor to hide a lot of his feelings, but when he decides to share, they will break your heart.  I am privileged enough that he has shared with me a couple of times.  He makes amazing mixed tapes. He always, ALWAYS remembers my birthday and writes me a note.

A couple of years ago, he sent me an email.  It's the type of email that I have always wanted to get.  It came out of left field, we hadn't talked for a long time.  It was about the impact that I had made on his life, and how I had helped him become the man he was today.  I saved it.  On really bad days, I re-read it. 

So, now he is my heart and my thoughts.  I will try and be the best friend I can be for him.  Please, don't let me fail.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now, be there and be a friend".

I don't hate you.

So, yeah, I am going to be super annoying and keep talking about my positive mindset.  It's because right now, I am having to remind myself all the time to be positive.  It isn't coming natural all the time now.  What is happening is that I am noticing more quickly when I am being negative, or when I am surrounded by negativity. 

Anyway, the other day was a hard assignment.  Sure, I loved doing my wish list for the universe and asking for my heart's desires.  That was fun to imagine and keep wishing for.  It makes me feel like a kid again, wishing on stars and dandelion seeds.

But the other day was about repairing relationships in your life.  About how the negative feelings you hold for other people really just poisons your own life. 

Immediately, the first relationship that popped into my mind is the one I have with someone I work with.  If you have read any of my previous blogs, or talked to me in person after a particularly trying work day, you know EXACTLY who I am talking about. 

The assignment was to put together a list of 10 positive things about this person.  Each item had to be phrased as (Name), I am grateful for....

This was hard.  REALLY hard.

But as I started writing, it got a little easier.  I got to look at things from another perspective.  So, in the interest of sharing, here is my list for you-know-who.

J, I am grateful for the work you have taken off of my plate. That allows me to dedicate my time more fully to other tasks.
J, I am grateful that you are the primary contact for the client now, as that also frees up much of my time.
J, I am grateful for the effort you have been putting in lately to show gratitude to the team.
J, I am grateful that you didn't get angry or blame me when I made that mistake in August.  That must have been hard.
J, I am grateful every time you say thank you.
J. I am grateful that you are willing to put your name to an email and potentially take the heat.
J, I am grateful for all the times you bought donuts or muffins for the team to try and help us get through the day.
J, I am grateful for the beautiful poinsettia you bought the entire team at Christmas.  It was very thoughtful.
J, I am grateful for the times you drove us both to Toronto.  It saved me gas and the frustration of driving myself.
J, I am grateful for your efforts at humor and levity.  It must be hard when faced with all of us, but you still try.  So thank you.

So, I did it.  And since I did it, it hasn't been as bad.  I can shake it off, when I get a poorly worded email.  I can read between the lines and get the heart of the message.  I can move forward and not dwell.  I know something will come up and challenge me.  That will be the real test. 

But I think it is worth it.  It is making me a better person.  And that is the best reward of all. 
Wish me luck!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new perspective on an old issue".


Ok, this falls under the category of random posts.

I was watching a documentary on Harley Davidson the other day.  They were talking about one of the big annual runs that takes place in somewhere in the west.  That wasn't important. 

Anyway, they did a run through Yellowstone Park.  And at that point, I decided that I wanted to go to Yellowstone.

I don't even know that much about it.  But I want to see herds of buffalo, and I want to see elk.  I want to see old Faithful.  I want to camp there and experience it.

This seems weird, but I am now super interested.  I haven't even told Geoff.  It's not happening anytime soon, but it's now on my bucket list. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new item for the wish list".

More to be grateful for

As I continue to practice gratitude, in the hopes that it will drive more towards me, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some of the good things to come my way this week:

- I found an old gift card for a restaurant yesterday, when I was cleaning out the kitchen.  I had no idea what was left on it, if anything.  Today, we ended up at this same restaurant for lunch with the kids and friends.  I gave the girl the card, asking her to just check and see if anything was left on it.  Sure enough, all I paid for lunch for the 4 of us was $1.07.  Score!

- I don't normally enjoy grocery shopping.  So today, I was grateful for a good grocery experience BEFORE I even went.  Sure enough, at Walmart, I got into a line with only one person in front of me (who was paying as I got in line, so NO wait), which is unheard of when I normally go.  Also, I had wanted to get everything on my list for less than $150.  My final total was $140.77.  :)

-Yesterday, our neighbours brought us a plate of home made cupcakes and icing, complete with sprinkles.  Just because.  The kids were thrilled!

-  I finally hit 40 lbs in my weight loss journey.  It seems like it took forever, but in reality, it's been just under 3 months.

 I know there was more, but it's slipping my mind now.  I need to be more diligent in writing stuff down, so that I can marvel and be amazed at how cool this stuff is!  :)

Thanks for listening (see the gratitude there! ;)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "next up? Awesomeness!"


Geoff and I have decided to finally get on the same page and rededicate ourselves.

We have 2 photography businesses in the works.  Unfortunately, I also work a (sometimes more than) full time job.  Between that and the house, and trying to spend at least some quality time with my family, not alot of time is left for photos.  Also, I will admit, I was feeling very lonely in my efforts.  Geoff did little but show up for the shoots and aim the camera (I know there is more to it than that, but you catch my drift.)  I was feeling very resentful and martyr- like, so work on the photos slowed down, then stopped.

Last week, Geoff and I had a long talk and as a result, we set up new expectations and schedule.  Geoff is working steadily on both of them each week, working on marketing, and generating new business.  He is honing his skills, building new ones.  He is clearing up old business and cleaning up the office space. 

We have had a couple of photo shoots scheduled.  One, due to bad weather and bad health, has been re-scheduled 3 times.  The other went off without a hitch today.  A preview will be posted to TaCL blog soon.

We both agree that as we try and get in synch with what we each like and want (he learns my style and I learn to talk "photography' in a way that makes sense to him) we need to practice, practice, practice. 

So, with that being said, we are going to be asking some of you, our nearest and dearest, to be our guinea pigs.  if you are interested in pictures, contact us and let us know.  Otherwise, we will probably be reaching out to you, someday soon.  Be ready!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new lease on life".

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I have lost a "Sawyer!"

As you know, I have been trying to get healthier and lose weight.  The other day, Sawyer was playing in the bathroom with the scale.  She got it turned on, and asked me what the number said (she is only good to about 23 or so.)

I looked over and told her "You weight 36.7 lbs, honey."

Then it occurred to me.  I have lost a "Sawyer'. As of today, the official total is 40.2 lbs in just under 12 weeks.

"Sawyer, I have lost you!!"  I tell her.

She looks extremely confused.  After all, she isn't lost.  She is standing in her bathroom, looking right at me.

"No, I used to have the same amount as you on my body and now it's gone!  I lost you!"  I excitedly proclaim, gesturing like crazy.

Now a panicked look has entered her eyes.  She knows that babies grow in tummies and I think she is worried that I am going to try and put her back.

Finally, I hugged her and congratulated her on being found and not being in any one's tummy and for weighing 37 lbs.  She was happy and toddled off. 

I just congratulated myself quietly.  :)  It's better that way.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "No more "Sawyer" 'round the middle"!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Payoff?

I posted yesterday about how I am trying to be more grateful, in order to attract more good things to me in my life.  Today, I saw some payoff!

- Sawyer said this morning that she wanted a jump rope.  She sees me do simulated jump rope in my exercise routine and some of her shows have people jumping rope.  She has been "jumping rope" with everything she can find.  Geoff said this morning that he can't remember seeing a jump rope in the store, that wasn't for hardcore work outs.  Then, tonight, Sebastian comes home from school with a jump rope in his bag.  I don't know why he got it (I can guess), but it was just a super strange and fortunate coincidence.

- After Geoff and I went to see the Duke boys, I had asked my dad if he could get us some more tickets.  I was interested in Le Grand Cirque, which is a Cirque de Soliel type show.  I asked for a Friday or Saturday and for 4 tickets, so that we could bring our friends.  He tried, but unfortunately they were all sold out. Today, that same friend asked me if Geoff and I were interested in going to see the SAME show with them.  They had gotten some comp tickets and thought about bringing us.  Again, super weird but great coincidence.

- At the end of March, I won a Body Shop gift set at a stag and doe.  It included a Mango body scrub which I immediately fell in love with.  As I told Geoff, "if I was Oprah, this would be on my favorite things show."  Yesterday, I noticed that I am almost out, because I use it so often.  Today, I get a gift pack from my mom, that includes a brown sugar body scrub she MADE for me!!  There are other wonderful things in the pack as well, that I can't wait to use (all made by my mom).  Again, super weird, and super great.

I had some other not great news come in today, so these things really helped offset that, and help me stay happy and motivated.  It is encouraging, because my dream list has some pretty gigantic things on it! 

Keep it up, Universe!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new things a'comin'".


I have been working really really hard on being grateful.  I hope it's working.

A couple of weeks ago, I was home alone with the kids.  They were both in bed, asleep, and I was browsing Netflix, looking for new documentaries or horror films.  What I found was "The Secret".

I never read the book.  I never knew what the secret was.  Had no idea.  But I have always been intrigued by it, so figured I would check it out. 

Turns out the secret is (spoiler alert here!!) about the laws of attraction.  Basically, if you think and say and feel good things, more good things will come to you.  If you think and say and feel bad things, more bad things will come to you.  It ain't rocket science, people.

So, I watched the show, and while the testimonies seemed like magic, alot of it made sense to me.  I could see this reflected in my life.  Times that went well, when I was feeling good about my life, it seemed like more and more goodness flowed in.  When I get sunk in my pessimism, there is usually just more of the same.  This seemed and felt right.  Maybe I am crazy.  I don't care.  :D

So, I started trying to implement some of the stuff they talk about in the movie.  Gratitude.  Asking for what you want.  Envisioning your dreams and desires.  Focusing on the positive emotions in life.  Stuff like that.  But it's hard.  It is really hard to be positive when you hear seemingly bad news, or when you get frustrated.  I know they say that those are the times when you have to focus on the positive the most and what you can get the most out of, for exactly that reason...because it IS so hard.

When researching it more (because that is what I do), I discovered that there is another book, a follow up to "The Secret", called "The Magic".  This was supposed to be more of a step by step guide of how to help the magic of the laws of attraction into your life.  I thought, Great!  I will have to keep my eye open for this.  And then promptly forgot.

Fast forward a couple of weeks.  Geoff and I take the kids to the Pen Centre, our local mall, just to walk around and wear off some energy.  Sebastian wanted to browse the book store, and Sawyer wanted to run up and down the wheelchair ramp.  Geoff went with Bastian, I stayed with Sawyer. 
As I sat and played with her, I noticed a book on display in front of the store.  It was "The Magic!!"  When Geoff came out, I mentioned to him that this was that thing that I talked about that time (the sad thing is that our conversations are often exactly like that!)  He promptly went back in and bought it for me.  I was very touched and grateful...what a great way to start!!

So, it is a guide.  28 days to a more grateful you.  I have been working through the book.  Everyday, it gives you a new thing to consider being grateful for.  Things like your body and mind, for all the money you have received (and probably haven't considered) in your life.  Things like your bills, and people that have impacted and changed your life.  I am on day 13. 

Do I feel more grateful?  I think so.  I certainly think about gratitude more.  I think about being positive as much as I can.  Does negative pop out??  Of course it does.  Especially around other people, when they are being negative.  I try and temper it, but I am still learning.  When I exercise, there are certain routines, or moves that I don't enjoy as much.  I will find myself saying "I HATE this exercise.." but I always try and follow it up with " but I am grateful for doing it because I know it will work" or "but I am grateful that my body is capable of doing it."  Something like that, to just change my focus on it.  It ain't easy, but it's nice to think and feel good thoughts.

One of the first things that you have to do, every day, first thing in the morning, is write down 10 things that you are thankful or grateful for and why you are grateful for them.  I thought I would share some of the things I have written.  Some days, it is harder to think of things to be grateful for. 

- I am grateful for the sunshine today because Sawyer and I could play outside.
- I am grateful for my job for a nice, easy, clean workday today.
- Thank you for Sebastian, for staying up a bit later today, for more 1 on 1 time.  (this was me being positive about him not going to bed!)
- I am grateful for my co-workers for being smart and making my days better.
- I am grateful to the author of the Night Circus for writing such a good story.
- I am thankful for my home for being my sanctuary.
- I am grateful for my body for being strong and capable.
- I am thankful for my brother for being in my life.
- I am grateful for my fingers for being capable of knitting and making beautiful things.
- Thank you for Michelle since she trusts me and that is a nice feeling.
- I am grateful that Geoff took us for a drive last night, when I was the only one who wanted to go.
- I am so thankful for all the comments my friends made on my Facebook page today, since they made me feel good and surprised me, in the best way. (this was my birthday!)
- Thank you for Sawyer because she makes me laugh every single day.
- Thank you for Sebastian because he teaches me patience and understanding.
- Thank you for Geoff for being someone I can always talk to.
- I am so grateful for my parents for loving my kids and being there every single time I have needed them.
- I am grateful for pizza, since it gives me something to hope for.
- I am thankful for Netflix since it gives me something other to do than waste time of Facebook.

LOL...see, some days are harder than others.

Today's task was to think of your ulitmate dreams and goals, what you really want from the universe.  You have to write out your top 10, and say thank you as if they have already happened.  Then, to inspire that true sense of gratitude, you go through a visualization activity where you think about what you would feel like when your dream comes true.  Who would you tell first?  How would you tell them?  What is the first great thing you would do after it came true? 

I worked my way through that tonight, while I was soaking in the tub.  By the end, I was crying and laughing at the same time.  The emotions stirred up were so powerful and overwhelming...it was amazing.  If nothing else, I have hope.  I want to feel that way for real, not just in my mind.  It pushes me to achieve and hope and try.

So, if the next time we talk, I sound funny trying to be positive, just know, it all about gratitude and I am just trying to bring some more good into my world.  Buy me a beer or something, help the cause! 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never enough magic in your life".

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's my birthday!

Well, at least, it was my birthday.  I am now 39 years old.  Holy crap.

Seriously, I am still a goof.  I feel a lot like I did when I was 25, 30.  I don't know when I got this old.  It snuck up on me. 

I really don't hold alot of stock in age.  I am not at all depressed or worried or anything like that about the impending 40.  I have lots of friends that are over that hump, and lots of friends that are just rounding the curve towards it.  I am stuck in the middle, and I am a-ok with that. 

My birthday is not usually a big deal, which is perfectly fine for me.  I do always try and take it off work, since I believe no one should have to go to work on their birthday.  This year, because of the Cleveland trip and my birthday, I ended up with the whole week off.  I wasn't arguing!!

Geoff let me sleep in a bit in the morning and got up to let the dog out and get Sebastian ready for school.  Both Bastian and Sawyer tripped their way in, and with a little reminder, wished me a happy birthday. It was wonderful. 

I had my usual breakfast- 1 cup of Fibre One Cereal and 1/2 a cup of unsweetened almond milk.  Yummers.  LOL.  I was craving Cora's, but knew better.

My first birthday present to myself?  A 70 minute workout- Phase 3 strength pull and Phase 2 cardio.  Bah!!  First time I have had that long of a workout yet!!  But I did it, and started my birthday off right!  Felt good to get it out of the way, and do it right.

After that, Sawyer, Geoff and I wanted to get out of the house.  If I had stayed, I probably would have cleaned or something, and I don't want to do that on my birthday.  Instead, we headed out to Woodend and went for a hike.  It was beautiful weather and a great walk.  I showed Sawyer trilliums, and ant hills.  I showed her moss and fungus that grows on trees.  We saw butterflies and gnome holes.  We looked for snakes, but I think it might still be too early for them to be out.  Sawyer was a bit freaked at the thought that they would be there, so I stopped talking about it pretty quick.  Geoff took pictures of us the whole time.  I don't know how they turned out, since I haven't seen them yet, but I hope there are one or two good ones in there. 
At one point, Sawyer decided she was done hiking, and wanted to be carried.  Since we were, of course, at the bottom of the path and of the escarpment, and our van was at the top, this really wasn't an option.  Particularly when you consider the fact that every pocket in her pants and sweater were filled with rocks (mine were filled too).  She had a little meltdown, and we had to break for a bit.  Things got better when I found a magic elf spoon (yeah, literally, a silver spoon at the base of a tree.  Go figure.)  She got to dig in the dirt for a bit, which always makes life better. 
Geoff stuck to the path, but Sawyer and I hiked over land.  I was in completely inappropriate footwear (flip flops) but wasn't going to argue, since she was actually walking and not being carried.  I had to hold her hand the whole way, because she was afraid of slipping.  I also had the aforementioned rock-filled pockets, her Minnie Mouse juice cup, 2 Timmies cups we found on the trail and picked up to throw away and 2 sticks Sawyer found and wanted to bring home for Axle.  Sawyer carried her spoon.  We did eventually make it up the hill and gradually rejoined the actual path.  Sawyer decided that was an appropriate time to be carried.  This time, the spoon didn't work, but her "hammer" did.  When, in protest, she sat on the ground, refusing to budge, she found a thick, heavy piece of log, worn smooth with time.  She declared that is made the perfect hammer.  When I asked what she wanted to hammer, her response was to show me, rather than tell me.  Her object- my toes.  So, we skipped up the path, with her in constant pursuit of me, trying to smash my toes with her chunk of wood. This lasted most of the way to the top.  Finally, I did give in, and hoist her onto my hip.  I made it 3/4 of the way up the remaining hill with her.  Remember all the stuff I am carrying??  It's all still there.  We finally caught up to Geoff, and he took her the rest of the way, but only after handing me his pop, because, as he put it, "he can't carry everything and her too."  I just shot him a dirty look and kept walking.

After our big hike, we made our way to Boston Pizza for my birthday lunch.  Here, I gave myself my second birthday present- a glass of diet Pepsi.  I haven't had a full glass of pop in 2 and a half months.  It was much sweeter than I remember, but oh so good.  I stopped at one and stuck to water for the rest of the meal.  Pop is my gateway drug, so I have to know my limit.

After lunch, we headed home to meet Sebastian's bus.  I toyed with the idea of taking a nap, but fortune wasn't with me.  I don't remember why now. 
Geoff's mom stopped by with cards from her and Dawn, who was now in Las Vegas (yes, we had just come home from Cleveland the day before!  She is a travelling machine!) We had a nice visit and chat. My mom came by shortly after with a card and a cool hourglass with purple sand.  She stayed for a while too, chittychatting and catching up on things.  It was very nice for them both to visit and I truly, TRULY appreciated the gifts! 

After that, Geoff and the kids and the dog and I all headed out to the drive in for the first carload night of the season.  I had asked earlier in the day if we could do that, since it is one of my favorite things.  I splurged a bit more on my diet and had some popcorn, but still stuck to water.  The kids made themselves at home all over the van, with pillows and blankies.  Sawyer loves the thrill and ritual of it as much as I do, and kept remarking about how she wants to go out in her pjs all the time.  We watched Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts.  Both kids were out cold by mid way through, but Geoff and I both enjoyed it.  The second movie was the Hunger Games, which we had seen (and loved!! Thanks, Book Club!) so we headed home. 

everyone getting blankies and pillows ready

Bastian's favorite spot

all of us
On Friday, I went to lunch with my lovely friends from work- Teresa, Dawn, Nyree, Lynn and Barb.  We always do Cat's Caboose for birthdays, and since Barb and I had celebrated recently, it was our day.  I had my favorite, the buffalo chicken salad, and we had some nice conversation and catch up.  It is crazy that we all work at the same place, pretty much, but rarely see each other and talk at work at all.  They all chipped in and got me gift certificates to our golf course, so that I can join in with their league.  I had opted out this year, with finances being what they are.  The fact that they knew what I was sacrificing and chose to give me that experience was incredibly touching.  I appreciated it so very, very much.  I really choked me up, but I tried not to show it.  Barb gave me 2 rounds as well, which was very unexpected, but so very, very nice. 

Saturday, my mom made me my birthday dinner.  Every year, my mom either takes us out or makes us a dinner for our birthday.  I love it.  It is so nice!  She does it for me and Geoff and the kids.  Even when the kids were babies and didn't know any better, it was always an event, with everyone together for dinner.  And the fact that she does it for Geoff too, without a second thought, means so much to me, but I know it means alot of Geoff.  That he gets that special treatment for his birthday, that someone remembers and puts out the effort to plan something and either make or pay for dinner, I know it touches him. 
I look forward to it every year.  As always, I chose to eat in, and I wanted my turkey crepes.  They are my favorite thing in the world.  So, again, I bent my diet a bit and ate them, complete with cheese sauce.  Fantastic and so very worth it.  Thank you Mom!! 
Adam gave me a card, signed with his usual "To You, From Me".  It was lovely, and it always means alot that he remembers.

So, that was my birthday.  Pretty amazing.  Pretty awesome.  Here's to another year!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for " 'nother year older".

Cleveland Rocks!!

On April 17, 2012, Dawn and I went to see Bruce Springsteen in Cleveland.  It was awesome.

We had heard months ago that he was on tour for his new album, Wrecking Ball.  He was playing Buffalo on April 13.  That would have been our most likely spot for seeing him.  The problem was that Geoff and I were going to see the Duke Boys (yes, Bo and Luke!) at the Casino that night.  The next feasible opportunity was the show in Cleveland.   I knew for sure there was one person that would be up for it, and that was Dawn.  It was a birthday present for me!!

Geoff decided that he wanted to come along to Cleveland, since Dawn and I were going to do the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next day, before coming home.  He didn't have a ticket to the concert (that is a whole other story.  Sheesh!) but would just hang out in the hotel while we were gone.

What Geoff did while we saw Bruce!
It was a great trip.  We had an amazing dinner at the House of Blues (I had jambalaya, which I absolutely love and very rarely get) and I even broke my diet a bit and had some beers.  Dawn and I walked to the arena, and after a little anxiety over the ticket situation (they don't send you tickets to print, they scan your credit card and find your tickets that way.  It worked, but we were worried the whole time!) we were in.

Dawn at the House of Blues
The show was amazing.  He looks great and worked the crowd so well.  He doesn't rely on lights, or smoke or lasers.  He just sings his songs and loves his band and dances and laughs.  I didn't know every song (the man has almost 40 years of songs behind him- I can't know everything!) but it was still awesome to hear him sing Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark, Badlands, and so many others.

Dawn and I, so excited and not at all emotional....yet.
The show was emotional for both of us.  I got teary, like I knew I would, when I heard him sing Born to Run, live and in person.  That's kinda a bucket list thing for me.  Dawn struggled a bit, because Bruce brings up so many memories of her dad.  It didn't dampen the show for either of us, not even a little bit.  If anything, it made it that much more poignant.
This was really a shot of the guy with the Garth Brooks circa 1994 shirt below us. 
But also a good shot of the arena.
Blurry Bruce!!

The man.

The next day, the 3 of us headed to the RnR HoF and stayed there for 6 hours!!!  And we didn't even look at the 2 floors of the Grateful Dead Exhibit!!  There was so much to see and learn and read.  I really liked the old stuff, with all the blues men, and the Sun Record guys.  I had a list of about 20 artists that I gave to Geoff, telling him to find me some songs for my ipod.  He is working on it.

I kept thinking about how much music plays a part in my life (and I am NOTHING compared to Geoff, Dawn and our other friend, Michelle!!)  So many of the displays reminded me of people in my life- my parents, my brother, old friends, my college friends.  It was a pretty amazing walk through my own memories and history, to go through this place.  It was just a little magical. :)

All in all, it was a great time.  I had amazing company, no hassle, no drama.  Thanks to you both, for helping me celebrate in style!

Oh yeah, going to see Bruce again in August in Toronto.  This time, floor seats!!
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "No Surrender!!"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Once a Year, whether he needs it or not

My dad is a bit of a country boy.  He says and does things that make sense to him, even if not to the rest of us. 

He has an annual tradition.  Something he does once a year.  It's called a hair cut.  For the past 2 years, it has been my privledge to provide that shearing for him.

So, today, we celebrate Haircut Day.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nothin' left".


This makes me happy.  Fresh from my garden.  Making my living room smell amazing.  First day of vacation (not counting the weekend) and a great way to start it off.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nature's best".

Saturday, April 14, 2012

10 Weeks

So, I am 10 weeks into my new healthy lifestyle.  I was rocking right along, doing great, and then hit a bump in the road. 

Easter weekend was hard.  I had dinner out 3 times (twice at my mom's and once at my mothe-in-laws), but breakfast here Easter Sunday morning. While I tried to make healthy choices as often as I could, it was still difficult.

Then there was the candy.  Oh my.  Chocolate and candy and chocolate.  How I love and loathe you.

So, long story short, I snacked and nibbled and tasted and sampled.  And what it all led to was a food binge- my first in 10 weeks- on Tuesday.

This is what I ate:

- 14 Cool Ranch chips
- about 10 swedish berries
- 6 peanut butter or caramel filled eggs
- 2.5 chicken nuggets
- 1 slice of ham and cheese quiche
- 2 gummy rabbit heads

So, about 1000 extra calories.  Adds up quick, huh??  I paid the price.  My guts were so sore afterwards, and I had a pounding headache from the sugar and salt.  I did my workout a day early and felt a bit better about myself.

And now, today, I find out that I have gained 2.5 pounds.  *sigh*  I was about 2.5 pounds away from hitting 40lbs lost.  Now I have that much further to go.

But, it had to happen.  I know myself well enough to know that it was going to.  I can't go forever and not slip here or there.  For the past couple of days, I have been picking myself up, dusting myself off and moving on.  Doing the workouts, trying to stick to the meal plan.  Hopefully this weight will come off soon.

But, the good part is, I don't crave those things anymore.  The thought of them makes me a little sick.  And that's a good thing.  I gave in a little and gained alot (LOL...in more ways than I, I suppose!)

So, wish me luck, in hitting 40 lbs and all my other goals.  There are alot along the way, so I have to keep going!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "no more cravings!"

Pretty Girl

Last Saturday, just before Easter, I decided that Sawyer should get a hair cut.  I have trimmed her bangs a bunch of times, and I have also cut her hair once, about a year and a half ago.  She had so many curls and she hated (and still does) having her hair brushed that it just knotted up like crazy.  So I ended up cutting about 3 inches off the end of her hair.  It was not without it's consequences, since she lost alot of the curl on her top layers of hair. 

Her "Before" shot
So I finally decided that she should have a real haircut, since they could maybe do something that would bring some of the curl back.  I called Young Headz, which is a salon that specializes in kids, and got a same day appointment.  Geoff and I started preparing Sawyer for the adventure.  She was not happy and cried that she "didn't want to go to the salon".  She only turned around when Geoff told her that it was really a Princess store, and they would make her into a princess. 

Waiting patiently for her turn
She and I headed out.  We got there a bit early, which was good, because she needed time to adjust.  It was a busy place and she was totally and completely intimidated.  She clung to my leg and demanded to be picked up.  She whispered in my ear "What is going to happen here?"  I told her she was getting a hair cut.  Her big blue eyes welled up with tears and with a shaking, heart breaking voice, she whispered "Please Mommy, I don't want a hair cut.  Please, I just want to go home!"

Getting her hair washed.  Not happy about it, but doing it.

Letting the girl comb out the tangles.  I am never allowed to do this. 

So Serious.  But not crying, so a good thing.
I talked her into staying, just to "wait and see".  Eventually she played with some of the toys and watched the other kids getthing their hair done.  One little girl came out with a manicure and Sawyer was enthralled.  The same girl had sparkles in her hair, and that sent my little one over the top.  She HAD to have sparkles too (luckily they do the spray with every hair cut.)

We ended up waiting about 30-45 minutes, since they were running behind.  When it was finally Sawyer's turn, she was very, VERY brave.  She walked right over to the pink car chair (we waited a little extra time, just to get the chair) and got right in.  I agreed to have the girl do a hair wash, thinking it would be a fight like home.  However, Sawyer was good as gold.  She did at one point, sneak her little hand out from under her zebra striped cape, and searched for mine.  We locked fingers tight, and all was well.

She ended up doing so great!  They cut her hair into layers, to give more movement and let the curls underneath show through.  They even used the hair dryer, which she had never had before!
She got her sparkle spray, and I even got a little bag of her hair, from her first "real" haircut.  For the rest of the day, whenever anyone asked about her haircut, she would immediately hang her head.  People thought she was scared, or nervous and didn't want to talk about it.  Truth is, she was letting them see her sparkly shiney do. 

She is busy watching Dora here, so she can't look at me. 
Just before the hair dryer came out.

My girly girl.  <3
All done, sparkly and even got a sucker!  Pretty lady!
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "natural beauty, with a little help, of course!"

Friday, April 6, 2012


I am dreading this post. 

Any of you that know Geoff and his family probably know that this Monday, April 9, is the 1 year anniversary of when we lost Kit.

The fact that this weekend is Easter is either a blessing or a curse.  It might help Geoff be a little distracted and help him get through some of the rougher days.  Or it might just be one more thing that Kit isn't here for. 

Another mile marker.

I feel funny writing about it.  It's been a weird year. 

He is still very much a presence in our lives.  We, both my small family here and the extended family of Geoff's mom and his sisters, talk about him often.  We have pictures of him in the house.  Both my kids still include him in their nightly bedtime prayers.  They still go to "Grandma and Grandpa's" house. 

In no way do we shy away from any conversation or questions about him for the kids, or anyone else for that matter. 

Geoff is doing amazing.  He has been to some bereavement sessions, and I think what he got out of it most, was that he is doing just fine.  He is dealing and handling and addressing.  I don't think he can take a picture or talk about football without thinking of his dad.  But he has gotten to the point where he can talk to the kids about him, and answer questions.  Sure, it breaks him sometimes, it probably always will.  But he is standing up and carrying on.  He doesn't wear his grief out in the open, that's not his style.  It's a quiet thing, a private thing. But that's ok.  He deals with it, and that's what's important.

In his will, Kit has left a token to each of the grandsons.  Sebastian got one of his rings.  Since Sawyer wasn't in the picture at the time the will was written, there wasn't anything really set out for her.  That bothered Geoff.  Not in a bad, I'm-contesting-the-will-in-court, kind of way.  But more in a way that he wants something for her to remember him by.  Something of her very own.  Nothing valuable, or expensive, or something that belongs with Kathy or Dawn or Holly.  He asked his mom, and she put some thought into it.  What they settled on was Kit's AA coin.  I think it is a perfect choice.  It now resides in the box, with Sebastian's ring.

Over the past year, the milestones were difficult and sometimes odd.  I know everyone has their own, and those stories are theirs.  But here, Father's Day was a big one, and I think one that snuck up on us.  It hit Geoff really hard and started some feelings and emotions that took months to overcome.  I think it was a surprise, since it really wasn't ever that big of a deal when Kit was alive.  Most years, I came up with a gift for him.  We would pop over, with a card and a little something, and spend some time.  No big dinners, or celebrations.  So for it to devastate our little family came as a big shock.  We have moved on, but it worries me a bit for this year. 
The beginning of football season was another hard one for Geoff.  He talked football with his dad CONSTANTLY.  I am not even really convinced that Kit liked football all that much.  I think he just knew that Geoff loved it and loved to talk about it.  That was good enough for him.  I bore the brunt of this one, since I am his new outlet.  :)  I don't mind.
Of course, the holidays and birthdays were difficult too.  But those were the ones we expected.  We prepped for that, talked about it, reviewed it, rehearsed it in our minds and hearts.  It was the little stuff, the day to day stuff that caught us, and still catches us off guard.

About a month ago, the kids got on this weird kick where they started talking about Kit all the time. Sawyer, who was only 2 and a half when he died, started asking questions.  Grown up questions.  Like where Grandpa was, was he still in the hospital?  Did Geoff miss his Daddy?  Does Grandpa still love her?  She would get her empathy bear (from the funeral home) that she calls Grandpa Bear, and kiss him and tell him "Good night, Grandpa.  Grandma, and Daddy and me and Mommy and Bastian all love you."

None of us told her to do this.  None of us has started these conversations. She did it all on her own.

At the same time, Sebastian started talking about him too.  Out of nowhere, he would say "Mommy, I miss Grandpa."  I would say that I miss him too.  Whenever he mentions him, I always ask him "Do you see Grandpa?  Do you dream about him?  Do you talk to him?"  Sometimes he says yes, and sometimes no, which is why I believe his answers.  He has never, ever told me what they talk about.  Rarely, he has cried when I asked him, but most times, he smiles.

I firmly believe Kit comes to see his grandkids.  Often.  I welcome him. 

In November, Geoff and I, with his mom and sister, took a trip that should have included Kit.  When the smoke had cleared after Kit's death, one of the first things I had talked to Geoff about was the trip.  Kit and Kathy had invited all of us kids at Christmas.  None of us had committed at the time, but I knew, now, that at least one of us was going.  As it turned out, we were able to swing both of us going.  It was not without a little bit of apprehension.  I was very worried that this was going to be difficult and very emotional.  For us, Dawn, Geoff and I, because we knew that Kit was supposed to be there.  But mainly for Kathy.  Key West was their place. 
Surprisingly, shockingly, it wasn't like that at all.  It was lovely.  We talked about him, of course, and I think his absence was felt every day.  But there was really only one moment in time, in (of all places!) Captain Tony's Bar, where tears flowed, and we all struggled.  It was brief but heart wrenching.  I think it had to happen.  We left a note behind.  Hope you got it, Kit. 

I think about some of the things that Kit has missed.  Sometimes, I can't believe he's actually gone.  Sometimes I still expect to see him at the house, or pulling up in the driveway on a sunny Sunday morning to visit for a bit, with his Timmies in hand.  Sometimes I get really angry that he went and did this to the family.  We have enough to deal with, thank you very much.  Lots of times, I hear a song, and I think of him.  I think of things that have happened in the past year, and I wonder if they would have, if he had stayed. 

I like to think we honour him, a little, every day.  I don't think about the night he died, or the time in the hospital.  I don't need to remember that.  When I think of him and picture him in my mind, it's always alive and well.  It's him being sarcastic and inappropriate.  It's him and me, chatting and bashing on Geoff.   It's his endless stories, full of dramatic pauses and tangents that go nowhere.  It's 20 years of good and bad, infuriating and hilarious.  There are regrets and guilt and happiness. 

I miss him.  I miss you. 


Love the way you look

Another snapshot into my life with Sawyer.

Today, we were playing after work, and painting a little bird house that she had gotten from one of her friends at school for Easter.  As we worked, we talked.

Earlier in the day, she had come to me, as I worked, with a treasure.  She had pilfered the container of strawberries from the fridge, and had smuggled her ill-gotten gain to me. 

She knows she isn't supposed to have strawberries.  We think she has a mild allergy, since she gets a nasty looking rash on her backside and the backs of her legs when she has too many of them.  She knows this, but she still loves them.

These strawberries were gigantic, Chernobyl-type strawberries, almost the size of small apples.  They were awesomely delicious, and I couldn't help but let her have a couple.  We shared them in secret, as I kept warning her to not have anymore.  I kept telling her "Your bum is going to hurt later."

When we were painting later, she asked me about it.  She wanted to know why the strawberries would hurt her, and if they would hurt me.  I told her no, they didn't hurt me, but it was like apples with Grammie.  Sometimes food wasn't good for certain people, and they had to stay away from it. 

She asked if there were any foods that would hurt me.  I said no, not really, but Sebastian can't have regular milk or regular bread.  Daddy can't have cheese, without taking his special pills.  She understood all that, and agreed.  Again she asked, can any food hurt me?

Now I have been trying to eat healthy and exercise and have been doing pretty well.  The past week, however, has been a bit of a struggle.  I have hit the 9 week mark.  I miss pop.  I miss chocolate and candy and pizza.  I miss fried, crunchy goodness.  So, as she asked me these questions, this was on my mind.

So I told her "Lots of foods can hurt me.  I have to be really careful about the food that I eat now.  You know how momma exercises every night?  I do that so that I won't look like this anymore.  I want to be a thinner and prettier mom for you and Bastian."  She looked confused. 
I continued "For me, food like candy and cookies hurt me.  They make me bigger and heavier.  They make me very unhappy.  I don't want a big belly, I don't want to look like that."

She looked up from her painting, very serious and said "But I love the way you look."

I was shocked.  I hugged my girl and thanked her. I told her then she is one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

"I know," she said.

Love that kid. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "need perspective from my kids more often."

Thursday, April 5, 2012


When I was growing up, I always called my mother "Mommy", until I got to an age where it shortened to "Mom".  Sometimes, even "Ma" (but not often).  Even now, when I want something, I might revert back to Mommy, occasionally.

Sebastian still calls me Mommy.  I don't mind, not even a little bit.  I love it.  It took me 4 years to even hear him say it (3 years before he signed it), so I cherish the word.  I love to hear it, and sometimes it even brings tears to my eyes.

Sawyer, lately, has taken, more and more, to calling me Momma.

Now, this was never a word I was overly fond of.  It conjured images of "big mamas" and "motorcycle mamas" and other, not so flattering mamas. 

But from her...oh, it melts my heart. 

She is constantly playing imaginary games with me (even if I am working and not playing along.)  It started as Momma Bear and Baby Bear.  We would build caves and catch fish and eat berries.  Now, we don't even have to be playing, she will just sometimes call me Momma Bear.  I love it.  Lately, she is just shortening it to Momma. 

Now, this word conjures brand new images.  Of homebaked and homemade goodness, of mother warriors, of warmth and home. Good images....GREAT images.

So, I will take this and wear it proudly.  Mommy, Momma.  That's me.  I hope she calls me that forever.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new name.  Great name."

Pet Peeve

I have been meaning to post this for a while now.  Nothing big, just a pet peeve of mine. 

To all you smokers out there, I think there is something you need to know.


So, just because you choose to smoke, doesn't mean that you are allowed to flick your butt where ever you want.  Don't throw it out your car window (and watch the pretty sparks as it rolls all over the road after you.)  Don't drop it at your feet, where ever you are- parking lot, public park, my front lawn...where ever!  I was with guys in a boat who were smoking, and they just pitched it over the side. 

I would hope that people would look at me with disgust and horror if I chose to throw food wrappers, or paper wherever the hell I wanted, just because I was done with it.

Don't know why, but this bothered me today. 

That is all, I am done.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nicotine can turn people into assholes".