happiness

Speaking up

Our local rants and raves page has been going crazy the last 24 hours after someone spoke up about a restaurant owner who has been verbally abusive. Hundreds of people have chimed in saying they have had similar experiences with this individual, while others are upset because they believe this will ruin his business.

In the 2015/2016 school year, my kids were at different schools with different start and end times. Many times I’d pick up the girl and go to this cafe with her while we waited for the boy to be done school. We would have tea or hot chocolate and share a treat and visit while we waited. The owner would come over and visit and it was quite enjoyable.

However, one time we were there and the owner began berating one of the young female workers. I don’t mean just yelling, or upset but yelling at her (in front of us customers) about what a worthless piece of shit she was, asking her over and over if she was stupid and what was wrong with her, and making other personal attacks.

It was distressing, but because we’d been there several times before I brushed it off as a one time thing (by the way, I’m learning to not do that, when my intuition says something is off, I’m listening from now on). The next two times we went there he did the same thing to her. She would quietly, with her head down, head over to wherever it was that he’d barked for her to be.

We have never returned.

The comments on the FB page have really helped me understand why people who have been the victims of abuse are so often hesitant to come forward. They are being told to think of his business, or that they should brush the experience off, even though their experience is valid and it’s being confirmed by hundreds of others who have similar stories with the same individual.

I feel this to the core of my soul because I know how hard it is to speak up after you’ve been abused. I know how people don’t want to believe you because they’ve never seen it themselves. I know how it feels to be told to stay quiet and endure the abuse so that you don’t interfere with their ability to earn money.

It’s bullshit.

I am SO proud of the people who are speaking up. The only way to change how things are is for us to talk about our experiences.

I have thought about the young woman who I watched being verbally assaulted by this man many times. I feel like I let her down by not saying anything at the time, because that’s when it should have been said. But I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t speak up for her when he was attacking her. I was scared. It’s scary when you have lived similar abuse to speak up because you know how quickly it can escalate. But still, I should have said something. It’s frightening to have a man yell at you and tell you you’re stupid and worthless. She endured that in front of many people who were dining and while we all listened, none of us did a damn thing.

It’s time to start doing something. We need to speak up, we need to talk about this.

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happiness

Pizza and Shepherd’s Pie

Usually when I finish a class we celebrate with pizza from Community Flatbread in Cochrane.

My last class ended March 15 which was just when things were beginning to get real here.
In the last 5 weeks things have changed and Community Flatbread is offering pre-made food for sale (as well as some grocery type food).

These little things are what brings some normalcy to a situation that is anything but normal, and I’m so grateful we are able to enjoy them.
(We also bought Shephard’s Pie from them that is absolutely to die for).

Community Flatbread is also one of the businesses in town who are taking donations so that those in our town who can’t afford groceries at this time can receive some as a gift.
I ❤️ our town and the amazing people in it!!

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happiness

Ciambelle

We went to a soft opening for the restaurant the boy is working at. It’s been fun listening to the process as they’ve prepared to open, more fun seeing how excited he’s getting about learning to be a chef.

The meal was awesome, but the dessert was divine. I’m not much of a Nutella fan usually, but these little donuts of goodness may be converting me.

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happiness

Montana’s and laughs

We went for a family supper to the new Montana’s in Cochrane. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a meal as much as I did this one.

Our server was amazing. He was funny, good at his job, personable, and made sure our whole evening was full of laughs and good food. John was his name – if you go ask to be seated in his section.

There was also a balloon and magic man who kept kids all the way from my 17 year old to the toddlers at the next table entertained with his shows.

We spent 2 hours there – not because the service was slow, but because we were enjoying ourselves so much. This is how a meal our should be. Laughter, conversation, and good food. I’m feeling very blessed.

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happiness

Fall party 2018

We had our second annual fall party at the hall today. I love that building, it represents many happy childhood memories- so I was incredibly happy to hear a few people come in the doors and express to me how deeply they love our hall too. It’s holds the love and memories of generations of our community.

The boy and I took a turn at the games – connect4, tic tac toe, corn hole… we sampled pies for the contest and the auction, and we visited with friends and family – including my childhood riding instructor whom I haven’t seen in decades.

So grateful to be part of this tribe

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happiness

Mutton bustin’

We went to the Cochrane Fair today just in time to watch the mutton bustin’

It is by far my favorite rodeo event. I love barrels and poles and several of the other ones, but watching those kids hang on for dear life is the funniest thing to watch

It was still pretty smoky (by that I mean ridiculously so) but we all have a bit of cabin fever and went out anyway. No regrets. We needed the injection of fun.

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happiness

And now there’s Bear

I seem to have developed a rather odd coping skill for mourning those people I have loved and lost. I adopt pets.

Today marks three months since mom died. And apparently I dealt with that by adopting a dog. We named him Bear and he’s a cuddly, fluffy, gentle, huge bear of a guy.

Our Dotted Dog loves him, the kids are over the moon about him, the cats tolerate his existence. Bear thinks he’s died and gone to heaven.

We need some happiness infused in our lives, it’s been a rough few years. All of us are animal people and they bring a kind of peaceful joy.

He is happiness

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happiness

Youth Group

We were so fortunate that even before we moved back home my kids were involved in the church we now go to thanks to my cousin and her family. They have been faithful members of this church for years and the year before we moved back home both my kids were involved in VBS here when we came back for a visit.

This church swooped us up right from the beginning and gave us a safe place to land. First my son and now my daughter have joined the youth group and gained instant friends, as well as time with their cousins, to play, laugh, and deepen their relationships with God. They have become an important part of all of our lives and I’m so grateful we all have this as part of our spiritual tribe.

Kids are at youth, mama is home reading a book with a cup of tea enjoying the quiet with a cat curled up beside me. Life is good and the simple things are what bring us joy – it doesn’t cost a penny.

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