happiness

Protected by mom’s love

Mom’s birthday was a couple of days ago so she’s been on my mind more than usual. Last night a memory came up that I shared with the girl and I thought it was such a powerful memory of mom’s love that I would share it here.

When I was a little kid- I don’t know how old but probably in the 6-8 year old range – some of the horses here got into some gopher poison. The carrier for the poison was oats so when the horses discovered a big bucket of oats they devoured it. I remember lots of yelling and then mom, dad, and I (and I think Grandma and maybe some others – I’m a bit sketchy on these details) were standing just outside of the yard in the square field watching Grandma’s horse Captain and another horse named Stick run flat out up and down the field. I remember the adults all freaking out and the horses both snorting loudly and having kind of wild looks in their eyes. At the time I had no idea what was going on but I knew something bad was happening.

Suddenly mom turned to me and yelled at me to run back to the house and grab her purse.

Now I was a little kid, and a curious and kind of defiant little kid so I stood my ground and stared at her demanding to know why she was sending me off when clearly shit was getting real. I don’t know how she said it but something in her voice let me know that I really needed to run back to the house and get that purse. I was grumbling my way up the driveway when I heard more shouts and cries and things were kind of chaotic. My stomach sunk because I knew something bad had happened and I recall having a moment of gratitude for my mom who had sent me away.

The horses didn’t survive the incident and it was pretty devastating, I remember how much my Grandma loved Captain.

Mostly what I remember though is how mom’s immediate thought was to protect me from what was undoubtably an extremely traumatic scene. Because mom couldn’t just pick me up or grab my hand and kind of force me to leave she had to choose words that would convince me to run. There’s a fierceness in a mother’s love that I don’t think you really find anywhere else and I’m so grateful that mom pulled me out of a really tragic situation.

Mom protected me in many other ways throughout the years, especially near the end when she was my strongest supporter throughout my divorce. We had so many bumps in our relationship but there are these moments when her love shines through so clear and bright.

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happiness

Backwards shirt day

Today would have been mom’s birthday and my emotions have been all over the place. It’s also right before thanksgiving and this is a difficult holiday for me as memories of a violent incident from my marriage pop back in my memories at this time.

With that said, I really needed something to laugh about today. I was in town doing some errands and swung by our butcher shop. I am in there a lot lately because my diet requires that I eat a lot of meat and theirs is such good quality – I find grocery store meat makes me feel ill at the best of times. Because I am in there so often I’ve got to know the guys who work there a bit – they all seem really nice and it feels like a happy place.

Anyway, I walk into the store and I was chatting with one of the guys who works there. They usually wear chefs coats, but he was leaving for the day and was in his street clothes. I noticed that the front collar of his t-shirt looked like it was up a bit higher than normal and I had a thought “his shirt is on backwards”. I have no idea if it actually was or not, could have just been how the shirt was sitting. But once that thought was there it stayed. And it made me laugh a little because when my kids were little no matter how hard I tried at least one of them headed off for the day with their clothes on backwards.

That’s not the funny part though.

I came home and was sitting on the couch telling the story to the girl when I looked down and went OH MY GOD. I jumped up and said MY BLOODY SHIRT IS ON BACKWARDS!!!. So yeah. I don’t know if he went home and laughed when he noticed his shirt was on backwards, if indeed it was, but I certainly laughed when I got home and discovered my shirt was on backwards.

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happiness

SIBO sucks

I swore I would be completely honest about this SIBO journey, but damn it was a lot easier to be honest when things were going well. Things are not going well at the present time.

I haven’t really been sleeping well for the last couple of months, and if you know me then you know that sleep is probably the most important thing I do to look after myself. If I’m not rested I can’t function. And in the last couple of weeks my sleep has been getting sooooo much worse. The last few nights have been maybe an hour or two of shut eye – and not very good rests even during those puny amounts.

I’m a disaster.

I’ve talked with my naturopath and we agreed it was likely that some of my anxiety was seeking attention – because I also had started feeling more and more anxious – something that always happens when I’m not getting enough sleep. However, in the last few days I noticed some of the body aches were back, my head is throbbing, and I basically just felt really unwell.

It’s the SIBO. Something I’ve been eating has to be aggravating it. Which in turn aggravates me because my diet has been SO restricted. So, while I was lying in bed last night at 3am cursing up a storm about how I was never going to sleep again I decided to go back to the basics. For me that means my “hamburger soup” which is essentially ground beef, tomato paste, beef bone broth, and kale made in the instant pot. Yum. But when get discouraged I tell myself that there are literally millions (maybe billions) of people who would love to eat what I’m eating so I shut my mouth and remember to be grateful.

Another thing I am super grateful for is our local butcher shop in Cochrane “The Butchery Block” because that is the place where I have been sourcing all of my beef. I’ve found most grocery store meat makes me feel nauseous, but their stuff is fantastic – it’s like how I remember beef tasting when I was a kid. They know where they get it from (a ranch in southern Alberta) and their prices are pretty decent. I’m really grateful for that little shop.

Further, this time I’m grateful I didn’t just chalk all these symptoms down to mental health issues. SIBO makes me anxious, it bring up trauma like feelings, and leaves me exhausted. But it doesn’t mean that I’m failing at caring for my mental health, it means that there are some physical issues that need to be addressed. I mean, Im always working at my mental health – but sometimes there are physical issues that can be the source of mental health like symptoms, and I think it’s very important that we remember that.

Fingers crossed that things start to get better over the next couple of days while I enjoy my hamburger soup!

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happiness

Dad’s Photos: Annora Brown’s Crocuses

I love this legend. This was the reason why I started bringing in the flower books to the hospital when Dad was so sick. I was trying to remember the story but was falling (very) short. I felt so badly for dad who had gone to so much work to put together all of these treasures so that we could remember what he taught us forever. So now this story to me is more than just a beautiful legend, but a treasured memory of time with my dad.

Blackfoot legend retold by Annora Brown, photos by John Ramsay.

This is the painting dad is talking about. It hangs on the wall in the kitchen behind where I’m sitting and I enjoy looking at it every day. To me it captures exactly what an Alberta spring looks like. It has hung here for as long as I can remember, and while Cherie has a copy this original is also hers and one day will hang on the wall at her place.
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happiness

Days Gone By 4 (FGK 217)

Sheila, Margie, Marshall 1947
There’s a lot going on in this one. I think it’s Grandma on the left holding a tray of food all dressed up in the field. The poor man sitting on the left looks like he was caught by surprise.
We’ve seen this one before – but the back is this photo says “Edna at Coal? Camp” anyone know where that is? The photo was printed in Vancouver as far as I can tell
I *think* this is Grandma and her friend Jean. They seem to me like they had an Anne Shirley/Diana Barry kind of friendship- one that we should all be so lucky to have.
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Days Gone By 2 (FGK 215)

Help me out if you know who anyone is!

Percy and I (Edna) and Margaret Rowland (A friend). Summer 1947. Grandma is closest to the barn, Grandpa beside her.
Granny’s grave.
Grandpa
Maybe grandma?
Grandma and her friend Jean, not sure who the man is – one of their fathers?
Grandpa, Jean, Grandma, George (I think? Jean’s husband?)
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happiness

Memories of Grandma’s 80th 11 (FGK 212)

Grandma, You are so giving and loving. You always know the right thing to say. You are always ready to lend a helping hand. You always have as mile to cheer up my day. You have given me so many fond memories. You always make your house feel like home. You are very trusting (especially in letting your grand children drive your car without a license!) You always take the time to talk to everyone. You are so kind and I am very grateful that I have such a wonderful Grandma that I love so much.

Happy 80th birthday! Love always, Melissa

*disclaimer: this was the only acid wash I ever owned, and the only time I ever wore this dress- but standing beside Grandma as the Heritage Belle this photo keeps showing up. Mom bought the dress from the lady who sold us Rolex so I kind of love it even though it’s so ugly. Doesn’t Grandma look beautiful as the Heritage Belle? Proof we are beautiful at any age, especially when our beauty radiates from within.

Grandma. Here is a poem just for you, the best grandma in the world.

Grandma

Bread, pies

Loving, caring, soothing

ready, beautiful, young, playful

Loving, playing, laughing,

Toys, games

Grandchildren

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happiness

Memories of Grandma’s 80th 9 (FGK 210)

(Why are we sitting like a TV family???)

Dear Mom

Your 80th birthday is not only a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your friends a life that has enriched all of us, it also gives us a chance to give thanks for some of these qualities that make you such a wonderful person.

What an exciting and varied life you’ve lived. And yet you’ve always managed to adapt to the present while preserving important aspects of the past. That I think is one of the most important qualities of your character.

All my life I’ve been enthralled by your stories of growing up in Cochrane, marrying Dad, the early days on the ranch, and the establishment of our home. You’ve given continuity to our family by passing these stories onto your grandchildren and I hope we’ve all gained an appreciation of the fact that much of what we enjoy today is a result of the efforts of you and Dad.

In my own childhood memories, you of course played a pivotal role. How lucky I am to have that memory of coming home from school on a cold day and entering a kitchen full of freshly baked break, doughnuts, and love. Always you had a treat waiting for us when we got home.

Your life didn’t lack excitement or challenges; I can remember you rushing someone off to the hospital because of an accident in the field while simultaneously making plans to feed a crew of hungry people supper. You saw to it that your (often reluctant) children had the benefit of music lessons even if it meant tackling roads that today we might consider impassable without a four wheel drive. (I personally came as close as I ever want to climbing a telephone pole on one of those trips)

When it was necessary, you weren’t afraid to take on the medical establishment, and I will always be grateful that against everyone’s advice you had the courage and foresight to take me to Warm Springs where I got a brace that helped change my life.

Your own active imagination has always helped you understand the dreams of others. The support you gave me when I wanted to go to school in far off places gave me the opportunity to enrich my life indescribably, I now know I had a remarkably privileged education and life experience in my teens and twenties. Your tolerance in these matters is a great example to me as a parent: you may not have always agreed with what I was doing, but I always had your support and that gave me the courage to go on.

We’ve had some very good times together too. Such as our trip to Nassau when I was in high school… do you remember your reaction when I thought you should run back into our burning hotel to rescue my Calypso records?

It wasn’t until I became an adult that I came to appreciate your real gifts to your children: you example of a sincere religious faith, concern for your fellow men, and an ability to set goals and work to achieve them.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM…. And thank you! Love Margi

I remember thinking how great it was that I got through the 80s without big hair 😂
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A History in Photos 3 (FGK 160)

Last night I received a wonderful gift, and my uncle spent hours (literally hours – I think over 3) going through my photos with me and a couple of cousins, and writing down who was in every one of them. Not only did he remember an incredible number of people, but he was able to name many of the animals in the photos as well. I am grateful and it will certainly make sharing these memories more accurate. Again though, if anyone is able to recognize anyone who is unnamed please pass that information on to me (or any good stories associated with the photos).

Additionally, I am looking for a local (Calgary area) recommendation for someone who does high quality scanning of old photos. I want to publish these in a book for the family to share and enjoy and my scanner is not of a good enough quality. Thank you in advance for anyone who has any suggestions.

Uncle Marshall down the hill at what is now Kumlins (Jack Copithorne’s)
Uncle Marshall said “if anyone tries to tell you I don’t know about turkeys, here’s proof that I know what I’m talking about”
Left to Right: Sheila Copithorne, (Back) Clarence Buckley, Anne Copithorne, Marshall Copithorne, Harvey Buckley, Kenny Copithorne, Richard Copithorne.
Grandma and Grandpa in front of the barn
Grandpa (Percy Copithorne)
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