Bad to the Bone

I had an extreme case of the feels today – just too many emotions running around inside of me. It ended up being a day that I had to do a lot of driving, and Spotify led me to good old George Thorogood – Mr. BadToTheBone himself.

In my early 20s I listened to his music over and over and over, and today it did me good to blast it as loud as I could as I drove all over hells half acre.

Sometimes loud music alone in the car is needed. It brought me back to a really happy time in my life, and grabbing a hold of those memories and those feelings helped put my current state of emotions in a better balance. And knowing how to do that? That’s happiness.


She’s Squidward

I’m so excited – today I picked up Jenna’s clarinet for school band. She’s been talking about it all summer and I’m so happy for her that she’s going to learn a new instrument. 

There have been Squidward and his clarinet jokes all summer long and she says it all with a smile. It’s going to be so much fun to watch her learn a new instrument. Between this and the guitar it’s going to be a very musical year for her. 

I feel such incredible gratitude that the kids are finding activities that they enjoy and that I’m able to participate in it with them. It’s a huge blessing. 


Cadillac ranch 

Today started off as one of those days where nothing seemed to want to go the right way. There were no big disasters, but I just felt really off my game. 

Finally I realized that The Girl had passed some of her cold virus my way and I was just a little under the weather – so much better to realize that than thinking the universe was conspiring against me. A little lie down and I was much happier. 

Jenna had her guitar lesson today. She has taken so naturally to that instrument. It’s a real pleasure to watch her as she learns new songs. This week she decided she wanted her instructor to teach her Cadillac Ranch. 

I went in near the end of the lesson and her teacher was grinning from ear to ear. He said he’d been feeling off all day and was having a terrible time of it, and that playing that song had picked him up and put him in a really good mood. He turned and thanked Jenna for wanting to being such a happy song into class. 

It’s amazing how a relatively small thing like a song can put a shift on a bad day and turn it into a good one. It reminded me that it’s important to pay attention to those small moments because they can be game changers. Listening to them jam to Cadillac Ranch was my happiness moment today. 


Life is just a party 

Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last. 

My life has had so many serious twists and turns in it lately. I keep thinking with gratitude of the fact that a year and three months ago I started actively looking for a happiness moment in every single day. 

Back then there wasn’t a lot for me to be happy about and often I had to work really hard to find that moment. What a blessing that was that I started looking, because the more I looked the easier they became to find. 

Looking for happiness has walked me through my dad’s death and all the gut punches that have come with this divorce. Not only that but it has led me to study the science of Ayurveda, and that  has ended up being a driving force in strengthening my connection to God and deepening my spiritual faith in ways I never would have imagined.

When I started my journey I made myself a happiness playlist that I listened to over and over on my phone. I picked out songs that over the years had made me feel happy when I listened to them.  Many of those songs were by Prince. I was very sad today to learn of his passing, but grateful for all the music and joy he brought to my life. 

I’ve been feeling more and more that I am taking life too seriously. I want to be able to look back and think of all the fun times I had. Even though the last few years had very few fun times, the ones before that had lots – and I feel strongly the the ones coming up are filled with joy and love. 

My happiness moment was cruising in the car with my portable speaker (car stereo has been broken since last summer – soon I will be able to fix it!!! Bonus happiness moment) singing along with Jenna very  loudly and badly to Prince. Thanks for the music. 



Alberta Bound

I have a happiness playlist on my phone that I listen to almost constantly. The songs are many and varied, but for different reasons they all bring me happiness when I listen to them.

A year ago the song that was played over and over was Alberta Bound by Paul Brandt. By that time we have been away from home for over 10 years, Dad was so sick, and I was desperate to be back among my people. We had decided the fall of of 2014 that the kids and I would be able to return home June 2015, but I was filled with uncertainty about how that would happen and if it would happen before it was too late for Dad.

I was listening to the song again today and thinking of what I was doing a year ago right now, still living in Virginia, still so uncertain, and alone, and homesick. I played Alberta Bound continuously as I prayed that somehow we would safely return back to our tribe. I remember sitting on the floor of our kitchen repeating the words over and over

I’m Alberta Bound
This piece of heaven that I’ve found
Rocky Mountains and black fertile ground
Everything I need beneath that big blue sky
Doesn’t matter where I go
This place will always be my home
Yeah I’ve been Alberta Bound for all my life
And I’ll be Alberta Bound until I die

Somehow I figured if I repeated it often enough it would make it happen.

And then it did. Things got quickly worse with Dad and I knew that if we didn’t come back right away we would not make it in time. We packed our essentials, left the rest of the packing in the good care of my friend to supervise (and later my husband to ship) and we left. Alberta bound.

We made it in time to spend two and a half months with Dad before he died. I will be forever grateful for that time that strengthened our family for what was to come.

 Back home again. The barn built by my grandpa  
Now we live in the house that was built by my great-grandparents, beside the barn built by my grandpa ( I can see it when I look out the kitchen window. That is happiness). We have our tribe all around us, we are firmly grounded in our roots, and I can see horses in the field (you have no idea what that does for my soul). This place has always been my home and I am so thankful that we are back here. We need the love and the support of our family and friends, and we are so blessed to be blended back in with them again.

Today on my drive home from the morning school drop off I had to pull off a couple of times to admire the beauty of where I live. It was a gratitude filled happiness moment.

  Those amazing Rocky Mountains. I never get enough of them. 


Machinery in the hay valley by our house  


Japanese flute music 

We had a very frazzled afternoon with lots of emotions running high. Anger took the wheel a bit more than he needed to. The three of us took a deep breath and decided to hit the restart button. 

When we sat down for supper we had the nicest, most relaxing Japanese flute music playing in the background. This is some of Jacob’s favourite music.  It was amazing the calm that overtook us. Within minutes Jenna commented how beautiful it was. We slowed down, really paid attention to our food, and enjoyed each other’s company. A great happiness moment. 


Grown up things and changes

Like a lot of us, I woke up this morning to the news that David Bowie had died.  In my morning stupor I thought about how I felt about that news.  I wouldn’t have described myself as his biggest fan, but you can’t be a product of my generation and not have had him have some kind of influence on your life. At least musically speaking.

The song of his that really spoke to me in my angst filled teen years was Changes. Although the song is as old as I am, the first time I heard it I was 14, living at a boarding school on Vancouver Island, and trying to figure out what it meant to be me. Putting a few hundred hormonal, confused teens together made adolescence seem even more intense, and we were full of changes. Of course since the Breakfast Club played every single weekend in at least one of the dorms, this:


pretty much became a part of our DNA by the end of the year. It was a song I came back to over and over through my teens, and then kind of got folded away in a corner memory box in my 20s and 30s. Something happened when I was in my 40s and started once again questioning who I am and how I want to live my life. Suddenly the song started playing in my consciousness again. That and my mantra song Don’t Stop Believin’.  I had a happiness moment as I listened to all the Bowie songs on the radio this morning and sat with all the memories they brought back. 

The reason I spent so much time driving this morning (and therefore could listen to the Bowie tribute) was because I was enroute for an annual adult activity (not that kind). Last year around this time I was standing in the bathroom, fresh out of the shower, drying myself wth an old spongebob towel. I decided then and there that since I was an adult and could do some things that made me feel happier and more pampered, I would purchase one new bath towel for myself every single year

This year I went to Homesense and bought myself a wonderfully soft Egyptian cotton towel. All for the big ticket price of $9.99. I am ridiculously happy about my new towel. 



The best day of the year 

Boxing Day has been my favourite day of the year for ages. I love having that day after Christmas to hang out, play with new toys, eat leftovers from the feast, and to get outside and have some fun. 

It was -27C  when the day began began, thank goodness it warmed up a bit as the day went on. 

Ever since Jenna started taking guitar lessons this past fall she has wanted to go play for her auntie Carolyn who is an amazing musician. Today she got her wish and we took her guitar over for a jamming session. 

Watching her as she stayed so composed and unflustered really impressed me. That Deck the Halls can be tricky, but she calmly played her way through it. 

I had a moment of supreme happiness and joy in a short conversation with my cousin in law whom I feel like I’ve known my entire life and is one of my close tribe members. 

Then later on a happiness moment sledding with my sister who is also in that tribe. 

Somehow I missed Dad more today than I thought I would. My mom and sister felt the same way, so perhaps it was because we felt his presence so strongly yesterday. It seems surreal he’s not here, and yet that’s what is. I’m sure he loves that we are all out having fun and enjoying the season he loved this day too. 

The best day of the year. 


Bad to the bone

Years ago, in my early twenties, I had what came to be remembered as the summer of fun. It was the first year ever that I wasn’t showing my horse. Had I known it marked the end of my competitive riding it may not have been the summer of fun, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was young and single and had a good friend who was also young and single and fun. We spent the summer camping all over Alberta and British Columbia. On a whim we would pack up our tent and our dogs and take off for parts unknown in search of adventure. 

Near the end of the summer we added some other friends to our posse and went house boating on the Shuswap. Our boat had those wonderfully loud speakers to blast music and our theme song quickly became Bad To The Bone by George Thorogood. Whenever it was time for us to drive the boat, go swimming, or pretty much whenever we needed to be heard we would blast out the beginning of that song. 

To me those guitar riffs that start off that song hold memories of fun, sun, smiles, friends, and self confidence. It was a time in my life when I was happy with who I was and had confidence in who I was becoming. 

This morning as I sang loudly and badly to Bad to the Bone on my morning run I thought how easier life would have been had I not been broken. How differently would my energy have been used had I not had to spend it fixing myself? The good thing is that like many breaks I am healing into a stronger version of who I was. And maybe that’s what I needed to do. 

I’m thankful I have the strength to keep reaching for better things. 

My happiness moment today is supervising my kids as they supervise my sister’s kids in the play zone at the mall. It’s fun watching the four of them run and play with each other. Cousin relationships are special and I’m thankful they have this opportunity to bond together.