Gee I’m mad! I’m boiling! (FGK 82)

Auntie Sheila’s letters are some of my favourite – she is so open and honest in them. I really appreciate how vulnerable and real she is when she writes. Because of that I’ve chosen not to post some of them, they are clearly private conversations happening between sisters but it has given me a lot of insight into who she was and what a really loving and remarkable lady she was.

Based on this letter I’m also understanding how it is that she received that award that Grandma spoke of in her autobiography. You can tell she takes her schooling seriously, it seems all she does is study – well and perhaps buy shoes. I can relate to the shoe purchases much more than the studying although I’ve spent the last couple of years studying more than I ever have before.

Nurse’s Residence

CGH Calgary

21 Aug 1956

Dear Marg

Well I bet you thought I’d forgotten you, hey! I’ve been meaning to get up every night this week but never quite made it.

Gee I’m mad!! I’m boiling!! We have to stay in here and study all day from 8am to 3:30pm! On a beautiful day like this! We’re supposed to be supervised but nobody is supervising us and everybody’s talking like mad. It’s just a waste of time.

Oh by the way I hear you went on a big date last night or rather you were supposed to go. Was the show – good?

Marg and I went to see the “High and Mighty” last night, sure was good. There was a big banquet and dance at Penley’s thurs night that all the kids went to except me. Maurice “had to study” so-o-o Kathy said I could go with a friend of one of her boyfriends but I didn’t like her boyfriend so-o-o. I stayed home and studied. Guess it was pretty good. I phoned home Wednesday. Well they didn’t have any news so I stayed in and studied some more, about a quarter to ten Maurice phoned and we went out until ten thirty. He was up to the library at tech all night.

Went over to the Macmillan’s for supper on Tuesday night. Uncle Frank and Aunt Georgie picked me up half way there- I was walking. Apparently ______ and Ken are staying in town for a few days. Marilyn and I drove all over town looking for _____ for canning. She’s buying them second hand. I guess she’s getting married at the end of October this time. Honestly that girl. She’s got more ______(I really wish I could make out this word lol).

Went to a baseball game between the Holy and us on Monday. We lost 18-11 but later we won two games so now we’ve got the cup.

Well I must start studying. I think I’ll get a pair of shoes before I go home. Am going on the bus.

See ya next week maybe




At the swing set 

We spent part of the afternoon outside in the yard playing at the swing set. It was sunny and warm, a perfect Saturday afternoon. I love that I’m getting to know my niece and nephew on a more regular basis instead of only seeing them once a year. 

Hearing little girl squeals of push me higher auntie Melissa was my happiness moment today

As she was coming inside, my niece got very upset that her mommy had shut the door and was worried she wasn’t going to be able to get in. 

My sister and I laughed at that thought – she said: like I’ve ever not been there when she’s needed me I said: I know. She knows she can trust you completely and yet there’s such great doubt. Which is when I had to look upwards and say ahhhhh get it God. That’s how You feel when I doubt You. Point taken. Have faith
Lift you hands lift your eyes in the storm is where you’ll find Me. And where you are I’ll hold your heart, I’ll hold your heart. (Casting Crowns)

happiness, law of attraction, narcissist

Cousins of the round table 

I feel so fortunate that I was blessed at birth with ready made best friends in the form of my sister and cousins. They don’t all live as close to me as I’d like, but those relationships stand the test of time. No matter how much time goes past or what happens I know there’s this awesome tribe of people that I belong to. The same thing goes for my kids. They are a part of this awesome extended family we have that stretches across Alberta, BC, The Yukon, Ontario, New York, Italy, and Texas. Both sides of my family have such a strong bond, and I appreciate that more and more as time goes on.

Tonight we were treated to supper by one of my cousins in Cochrane between guitar lessons and youth group. This round table of cousins worked out so perfectly, each one of us had a friend to sit with – she has a girl and a boy close to the same age as my kids. Sitting around and laughing with this beautiful part of my tribe was a happiness moment for the day that will warm my heart for a long time.

I feel kind of like we are the Whos down in Whoville. The grinch may have stolen our Christmas, but he can’t steal our love and joy. We will stand firmly in our tribe singing our songs of happiness no matter what kind of hate and destruction he sends our way. Although I will never forgive the hurt that he has inflicted on us, I’m caring less and less about the fact that he’s trying to destroy me. He can’t do that. I am getting stronger and stronger with each and every day.

Every time I have needed something on this journey it has been provided for me, and I have faith and trust in the fact that this also will turn out for the best. Just because he says I’m worthless and stupid does not make it so. In fact, this journey has taught me what incredible strength and love I possess. I have learned so many things over the past few months that have really shown to me that all those hateful things I was taught by him about myself aren’t true. I came across this wonderful quote this morning and it taught me exactly how I will look at his behaviour as I move ahead through this divorce. I think it’s important to talk about it because there’s so much shame put on the person who is being used by a narcissist. It is possible to get out of that relationship and move on to a happy life which is what we all deserve. With every step I take he’s more and more just someone I used to know.


Sisters who lunch

Today for the first time in ages my sister and I shared a couple of child free hours together. I think for the last 14 + years every time we have been together one of the other of us has had a child pulling at our legs looking for attention. While they are our favourite human beings, it was awfully nice to get a chance to just sit and talk with my sister.

Without really planning it, we ended up back in our old ‘hood. Actually, I was treated to lunch at the building that was the McDonalds in our childhood neighbourhood. It’s amazing how that place has changed so much and still carried the same feeling of home. It was weird to feel so comfortable and at home in a place that actually was totally unfamiliar. It was even more so after a fire that went through part of the shopping centre at the end of last year. But, behind that was our old elementary school, and not to much farther down the street was our old home.

We didn’t really talk about anything important, but it wasn’t unimportant by any means either. All those small conversations about childhood memories, our own children, family life, friends, work, dreams, and hopes – they’re all the things that make up the big picture.

It was a wonderful happiness moment, just spending some quiet time alone with her. My sister is such a rare and wonderful person to have in my life. She’s someone who has known me since the beginning of our memories (well, I do remember a bit of life as the only child and therefore centre of the universe), someone who I can be totally and completely myself around, and someone whom I know will have my back always and no matter what. Those of us who have sisters that are also our friends are very lucky individuals indeed.

As a bonus happiness moment, Jenna and I were watching Masterchef Jr and they were doing a dish that best represented the head chefs (they were spicy, stinky, and wrinkly). I asked Jenna what she was and she said “sweet”, and then said Jacob was “bold”. I couldn’t have picked better dishes to describe those two. Actually they’re both sweet and bold, but as their mom I generally think they’re absolutely perfect specimens anyway (it’s the mom goggles).


Tea party and family games

My sister and her kids are down visiting for the weekend. I love that our kids are getting to know each other on a regular basis instead of once or twice a year as part of a rushed visit. Those cousin bonds are special, I am forever thankful for the lifelong friendships I have with my cousins (and I have a lot of them, spread out all over Canada, the US and Italy) and the tight bond I have with my sister.

We sat down for an impromptu tea party this afternoon. Jacob and I had bought an angel food cake and some strawberries yesterday and everyone had been eying them with hungry stomachs ever since we put them on the counter. When we could take the anticipation no longer, we declared it tea time and sat down for a little pig out. Tea, cake, and sharing stories – a great afternoon break.

Speaking of pigs, after supper we played our favourite weird family game – The Stinky Pig GameMy sister gave it to me for Christmas and we have been playing it ever since. It’s a weirdly addictive game of hot potato where you pass around a singing pig who eventually farts. Whomever is holding him as he gasses gets a token, and this goes on until all the tokens are gone. The loser (or winner depending on how you look at it) is the one holding the most tokens at the end of the game. It entertains us all, the toddler, the preschooler, the tween, the teen, the 40 something parents, and the Nana – all of us howling with laughter as we throw the singing pig around the circle.

These kinds of happiness moments are what makes the memories we carry and the bonds we create as we go through life. How blessed are we that we have these people to laugh and share life with.


The Hills Are Alive

I woke up today feeling a little agitated, I’m not really sure why – probably has something to do with not enough sleep and too much sugar the past few days (plus a few wild emotions thrown in). I decided to really take the time this morning to take care of that and calm myself as much as possible. I spent some time on my elliptical and then did a wonderfully peaceful90 minute yoga class. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I had an encounter with another human being. Unfortunately for him, it was my son who came home all upset about something. Tempers flared and soon we were yelling at each other. Fortunately Jacob and I are pretty fair and kind fighters with each other and we each quickly put ourselves in a time out to calm down before coming back together and working it out.

Somehow during all of this it seemed that my sister was picking up on my vibes of needing to get outside and blow off some steam. She texted me that she was going for a walk and invited me to come. That was exactly what I needed. We headed out on the ridge where we used to walk with Dad, and where some of his ashes are scattered. It is still kind of emotional for me to walk along there, but it also helps me to feel closer to him. Gill and I ended up having the exact kind of talk that I used to have with Dad on that walk… we talked about the kinds of people we wanted to be, a little about our faith, a little about our friends, mostly we just shared company.

We walked up and down the ridge until we were both feeling relaxed and happy and then we went home. I went over to see what my kids were doing and was delighted to find them watching The Sound of Music, my all time favourite movie. I got to sit down and watch the end of it with them, and we were joined by my mom and sister and her kids. A family viewing.

A double happiness moment today, first being out in our hills walking with my sister and then watching Maria and family escape across theirs to safety.



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. 



There is something special about a relationship with a sister that makes it different from any other relationship. Perhaps it’s the fact that we have known each other since our beginning here, we know each other’s flaws and those things that make each other great.

There no need to pretend to be anyone other than who we are when we are together. But, that part of our relationship is something that has come with time, maturity, commitment, and work. We have navigated our way through trying to be who we think each other thinks we should be, and who we think our family thinks we should be, and have finally settled into a very comfortable state of just being with each other.

here we are in a weird state of just being with each other… (I still have my monkey costume, both my kids have worn it)

Today we got to sit down and have a long and uninterrupted chat with each other. For the past 14 years one of us has had little kids or diversions that have kept us from just sitting and talking. She still has little kids, but somehow today things worked in the perfect way that gave us this opportunity to just sit and be together. We talked about everything, from our feelings about Dad dying, to our parenting skills, to what we think we will be like as little old ladies. It’s such a treasure to have someone to talk to where conversation is so easy.

I’ve written about it here before, but Mom reminded us today that this is when real life happens – in the little moments – and it’s so important to be able to sit down and take advantage of them when they come our way.

Today my happiness moment was that sacred time spent with my sister. I’m blessed to have her in my life.