Friday, January 2, 2009

Moving out

... of Blogger that is.

Macs have this great program called iWeb that lets you create and publish blogs, among other things.  I've been contemplating using the iWeb program instead of this because it allows for much more creative freedom, and it' a lot more fun.

I really hope you'll update your links to my new blog - it just wouldn't be the same without all of you.  

Please come see me at:

2008 - 2009

Wow!  It's over!  2008 is another year in the history books.

08 brought some happy times and some not so happy times.  I'm glad it's over and excited to move ahead with the new year and see what it has to bring!

2008 brought:

The close death of my mother in a car accident.  It was a long, slow road to recovery for her including 6 months in hospital.  She's thankful to be alive and back at home, but it's difficult to see how limited she is now physically.  She's in her late 70's and age and years of not looking after herself have caught up with her.  Her accident took months out of my life well as I cared for her, running back and forth to hospital, looking after insurance, home care etc. 

My son's high school graduation was in June, and I am SO proud of him and all his accomplishments.  We've just completed his university applications and I'm so anxious to see where life takes him.  He wants to teach and I think he'll be a great teacher!

Gerald and I took a much needed vacation to Cancun in February where we reconnected with each other and finally had some time in life to sit back and talk to each other.  It was a wonderful and much needed week away.  This was also the week that got me seriously thinking about making Mexico our home as my love affair with the country and its people began.

We lost our beloved German Shepherd and sent her to the rainbow bridge.  This was probably the most heart wrenching thing that happened throughout the entire year.  Making the decision to put your animal to sleep is so difficult.  The kids were heartbroken but we took consolation in the fact that it was the best decision for her.  She could finally rest without pain.  We miss her everyday, but have so many wonderful memories of our girl.

We had the chance to take a vacation as a family, taking the kids to Playa del Carmen in August.  I think I left part of my heart there!  Having both kids with us on vacation is a rare event and we loved every minute of it!  Both kids were thrilled to be there and loved Playa almost as much as me!

I started my last year of university and the light at the end of the tunnel got so much brighter.  I also filled out my own applications for teacher's college and began the long wait to get an answer.

2009 will be the year when:

I quit smoking.  Again.  And hopefully for the last time.  With my 40th birthday just around the corner, I'm finding myself focusing more and more on adapting a healthier lifestyle and taking better care of myself.

I will graduate!!!  This is my last semester in completing my undergrad degree and I can't wait!
I will also begin teacher's college and take another step in getting on with my life.  Unfortunately, this also means that our finances are going to go down the proverbial drain.  

I will focus more or myself instead of getting bowled over by life.  I really want to be able to take more time for myself and rediscover the things I love about me.

I will try to finish some of the projects we've started around the house.  Some of these having been left unfinished for a few years now and this year, I swear they're going to be finished!

There are so many things that happened in 08 and so many that I'm looking forward to in 09.  

All the best to you and yours this new year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Yup, that's me in a nutshell.  AWOL.

It's not even that I've been insanely busy, or tied up, in prison, held hostage or anything like that.  I've just been...  meh.

"Meh" means ho hum.  Uninspired.  Bored.

That's me.  All of the above.

The end of last school semester came and went and although I loved the class I took, enjoyed the books, I was disappointed in my results.  I am, however, relieved to be off (from school at least) for the Christmas break and trying to psych myself for the schedule I've laid out for myself for my last semester.

I'm not a very Christmas-ey type person.  I love to see my children enjoying all the festivities and gifts, but I can take it or leave it.  I feel guilty if I haven't bought enough for them to meet the "quota".  My family is so small that we only celebrate with my mom and my in-laws.  

Christmas also marks the anniversary of my dad's death which is always a little sad.

Then there's work - where the general feeling is that "work" is more important than anything else.  I'm so glad that I don't subscribe to that notion.

I sometimes find it hard to come here and read what everyone has been doing in their perspectives homes in the sunny south.  So far in the past 2 weeks we've had: 3 major snowstorms, rain, freezing rain, above average temperatures (above zero), below average temperatures (below -15), hurricane force winds (ok, I may be exaggerating here a little but they're big ass winds none the less) and hail.  It's gray and shitty, dirty and muddy, cold and windy.  So, I sometimes find it pretty depressing to be stuck here while some people are enjoying the places I want so badly to be.  Nothing personal folks - I just really despise winter.

Anyway.  On to cheerier things.

We DID have a nice Christmas and we're having friends over for a quiet New Year's Eve.  

So, even though I've been "Meh", I wish you all a great 2009 and hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Bring on the New Year!!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What I'm reading these days

Thankfully, classes are over for this semester and I don't go back until January, so I've got some time to delve into some reading of my choice. sucked me in again and forced me to buy 4 books.

The History of Mexico by Burton Kirkwood is a great book, although a little "textbooky".  It covers everything from the Mayans, Aztecs, the Conquistadors, the wars of Mexican independence, the Porfiriato, the Mexican revolution, right up to present times.  If you're looking for an interesting read, this is a good one!

I recently watched the movie "Blood Diamond" and was completely captivated by it.  I knew about blood diamonds, but I guess I was a little naive about the truth behind them.  The movie left me ashamed of having wanted a diamond ring, and more ashamed of actually wearing them.  This movie grabbed my heart, and so I wanted to learn more about Sierra Leone and the trade of blood diamonds.  (This is where comes in again.....)

Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell is the story of how diamond smuggling works, how the rebel war has destroyed Sierra Leone and how the policies of the diamond industry allowed it all to happen.  I haven't read the book yet, but I'll let you know how it is.  

A Long Way Gone - memoirs of a boy soldier by Ishmael Beah is a biography recounting how the author fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone, joined the army, was removed from fighting at age 16 by UNICEF, learned to forgive himself for the terrible acts he committed and learned to love himself once again.

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara chronicles how the author, while living in a small rural village near Sierra Leone was attacked by rebels who cut off her hands.  She survived and is now living Toronto, Ontario attending school.  

I know these books are going to affect me in many ways, but reading the truths about mankind can only bring a better understanding of the world, and the people who inhabit it.  Even if the subject is atrocious and horrific, it has really happened, and I'm willing to open myself to it instead of turning a blind eye.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jammie Weekend

To be quite honest, I have nothing new to talk about. I spent the entire weekend in my pyjamas working on an essay for school. It was a good weekend to hibernate in the house - Cold, rain, hail, snow. So, unless you want to hear all about my essay on Agar, a french book by Albert Memmi, which really is a fascinating book, by the way, you'll just have to wait for another day.

I did however, discover a really easy dinner - and I have NO idea why I didn't think of doing it sooner.... I'm a tool sometimes...

I made meatballs, got sub buns, cooked the meatballs in the spaghetti sauce, poured in all into the buns, and voila! Meatballs subs. Never a need to spend 8 dollars and whatever cents at Pizza Pizza again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm too old?

Wow.  I'm kind of stunned over here in Canada.  I'm too old!  I'm 4 months shy of my 40th birthday and I'm too old.  

I'm a daydreamer, and I spend a lot of my time thinking about leaving Canada for Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter, to teach.  I love the idea of France or Italy, Mexico (for obvious reasons)..  pretty much anywhere.

So I was browsing around my university's international office website looking to see what opportunities there are through different teach away organizations.  I found a whole list of them, but for the greater majority, you have to be under the age of 35.  Seriously.

I was stunned.  I don't feel 40.   Hell, I don't even look 40!  Isn't 40 the new 30?  

Reading these websites was a bit of an eye opener.  A bit of a shocker, to say the least.  

Yes, I was born in the 60's.  It was the LATE 60's though.

Physically I look pretty darned good for my age.  I need someone to put my butt and my boobs back where they were 20 years ago, but I've had 2 kids!  


I've got a few grays, but they're covered up with dye.  No one would know the difference.

So I guess I don't get to use the organizations and I'll have to do the legwork on my own when the time comes.

If anyone hears of any awesome teaching jobs that aren't in Canada or the States, keep me in mind!  I promise to leave my walker at home!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A group blog it is! Bilingual couples

As I was cruising through my favourite blogs, I headed to Cancun Canuck, read her post on languages, followed the link to Fned's blog, and well, here I am!

In our home, I speak English and French, with English being my mother tongue, my son Mike speaks English and French, again with English being his mother tongue.  My husband Gerald speaks only English, as does our daughter, Meaghan.

I grew up in northern Ontario and attended a french immersion school.  This is a school for anglophone children where they are submerged in the French language.  Along about grades 2 or 3, you end up with a child who is bilingual.

I continued on in french until high school when I attended an English school.

Mike was also in french immersion until grade 5 when we moved and put him in an English school.  At this point however, he was already bilingual and we've both kept our french.

We speak to each other occasionally in french, but because Gerald and Meaghan are both English-only speakers, we continue to speak English primarily.

Now you may wonder why we didn't choose to put Meaghan in french immersion as well.  I regret the fact that we didn't.  I really wish we had.  But it boils down to the same reason we took Mike out of french.  When we moved to this house, there were no french immersion schools within walking distance.  Simple - geography.

Meaghan will be in grade 4 next year and will begin french lessons in school.  At that point, Mike and I will both be speaking a lot more french in the house, because I want her to gain as much french, and have as much exposure to french as possible.  I guess that's my guilt speaking and me trying to make up for the mistake of not putting her in immersion from day 1.

As for Gerald.

I really think there are some people in this world who cannot learn a second language.  Seriously.  I speak 2 and am learning a third, Mike speaks 2, Meaghan is learning Spanish and French with me (even though she sometimes gets the two confused - she'll say oui or si).  Gerald...  poor Gerald can't seem to retain anything he learns in languages.  Or so he says.  The past 2 times we were in Mexico, he picked up as much Spanish as I did, but refuses to admit it.

So, maybe he's lazy.  Maybe he lacks confidence.  Could be anything.  

We are a bilingual house - or at least half the house is - but we continue to speak English predominantly.  Why?  I really think it's laziness.  It's just easier to speak the language we all understand and speak easily, instead of challenging ourselves to learn.  Maybe I should quit speaking English all together and force Gerald and Meaghan to learn a little more!