Siblings without Rivalry..In my house?

The Glover 5 “Siblings Without Rivalry is a parenting book that came out when my kids were little, another one is “How to Talk So Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk”.  Although I certainly gave the theories a good whirl, when do I find out if it worked or not?

I did Home Child Care from the time my daughter was 6 months old.  I usually had a full house 7 kids total of various ages.  It was through a local licensed agency, they provided support materials, an ECE reference person, and educational opportunities.  One of which was parenting classes.  My own children are 18 months apart.  I wanted to have my children before I was 30 and fairly close together,  because my own mother was 41 when I was born, and the youngest sibling after me is 8 years older. The parenting classes were good because they also gave me a chance to talk to other parents with kids the same age.  Living in a small community and with the development of social media, I get to see how the kids mature into young adults.  Someone once told me you can try to teach your children the tools they need for life til about age 10.  After that, it is pretty much watch and keep them as safe as possible, oh and provide transportation.   We had a huge back yard, a lake near by, schools, a yellow lab.  Life was pretty awesome.

My son, is still a kid I think.  Oh he can survive on his own.  A unique individual.  However, there are times, I know, that my daughter would have …murdered him… so probably would have been better to be closer to 2 years apart, or 4…but then, my two oldest siblings are two years apart. How did that turn out???   They both live happily a nation apart.

Also read the Dance of Anger – you know – don’t get in the middle of an argument.  Oldest in my family -boy, then girl.  Boy was mothers son, could do no wrong, as far as I knew, and the same for my sister, father’s daughter, could do no wrong – next is another sister – only 11 months younger – and I believe that they have intelligence as a common interest.  Everyone was living their lives, marriage, divorce for both my brothers and my oldest sister.  Kids. Then my younger sister of the two passed away from cancer when she was 42.  I was 32.  Her death changed our family dynamics.  My dad was also diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same time -he was 72.  My sisters’ prognosis was not good – melanoma had resurfaced from a mole removed 10 year prior and it had spread all over. She lived in BC at that time, and me and my other sister in Ontario.  At first we hoped for the best, and then near the end, my sister and I flew out to BC to say good-bye.  It was hell.  We got to BC, but the flight to Kelowna was delayed for fog 3 times, we didn’t know if we would make it in time.  My older sister and I rebonded.  Mary only just knew who we were.  That was the first time I saw what cancer can do to someone.  I had spent a lot of summers with my sister Mary, between the ages of 10 through 18, she was like a surrogate mother to me.  She and her husband Ian took me into their family, we went on trips, to Europe, Florida, Maine – She tried to have children but couldn’t due to a condition called endimetrosis. She lost twins   So, her husband got her a yellow lab puppy, who eventually became our own family dog….When my dad passed away, my eldest brother who migrated  to California came back for the funeral and although he is far away – the line of communication is open – a positive…..and my mom came up to visit more…when my husband passed away my mother was very angry – again cancer and he was 49.  Children are not supposed to die before parents.  A different way to bond, but my mother and I  did become closer, and her ability to carry on and do so many things after my dad passed also taught me that I could do the same, eventually.  Sadly, my mom passed away a year and a bit after my husband, so I became a basket case.  Maybe not on the outside, but on the inside I was ripped.  I think I retreated from family for a bit after that.

Life is a bit foggy for a couple of years, although I have pictures…my kids survived, and my sister Barbara stayed in touch.  As did my brothers, but you know how guys are…My brother went to Britain to spread my mother’s ashes.  I don’t even remember it as being a wish of hers.  I think I would have liked to go, but I didn’t know til he was already gone.  Really??  I am not saying I would have gone, but it would have been nice to be asked.  Now this brother is 8 years older than I.  He was pissed when I was born.  He was no longer the baby.  I didn’t find out this information until he told me,  I was in my 40s I think.  I can’t say I know him that well.  I really don’t know my oldest brother that well either.  I mean by the time I was 10 they were all gone, moved out.  Except for Thom – my dad took a new job, so we moved and he stayed in our home town to finish highschool.  So he was abandoned.  Not really, he moved in with his girlfriend’s family who took quite good care of him and even after he divorced his wife, they stayed good friends.  It is amazing the perceptions we can have.  There is alot I don’t know about them, but they are my family and I love them.  The parents that they knew growing up are different from the parents I had.  Mom and dad were pretty relaxed by the time I became a teenager.  There was only one real rule that I remember – tell them where I was going, when I would be home, and call if the plan changes.

We didn’t have facebook then.   Keeping the lines of communication open is important to me.  It is easist to stay in touch with my sister.  She lives a few hours away, but we do try to stay connected.  My eldest brother is still in California, I do email him from time to time to make sure everything is good.  My other brother lives in the same town as my sister, and has a blackberry like myself, so we can communicate at the touch of a button – but I haven’t seen him in person for two years.  I really don’t want the next time I see him to be a funeral.  I suppose we could Skype???  Family dynamics are so different from one family to the next.  My parents were born in 1919 and 1920.  Dad was in WWII, they had 5 kids, mom thought she was going through menopause when she got pregnant with me.  Perfect family ? It was my perfect family, because it was mine.  Issues? Lots.  I know it was completely different for my brothers and sisters, and my only regret might be not knowing what they were like when they were little.  Did my mother have any parenting books? Not likely, but then she belonged to the UCW, played bridge, and was involved in the community back when neighbours knew everyone on the block, so I am sure she got lots of advice.  She also had girl friends – ones that I knew she kept for ever.

When you lose someone you love you look for the gifts they gave you, and sometimes you don’t find those gifts right away.  I still cherish the girlfriends I made in my teens, so maybe my mom gave me that.  My sister Mary – can’t quite put that gift into words yet.  My husband Gord – of course the gift of my children – and the love of living in Muskoka.  Both my parents loved to read – but I will give that to my dad, I fondly remember Saturday and Sunday mornings spent reading the comics while he devoured the Toronto Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the Globe and Mail and then starting reading a mystery… I think I still have a lot to learn from my brothers and my sister and I look forward to seeing where we go from here.   All of these thoughts were brought on by reading another blog – Rodelena -who knew?



It is a beautiful day in my neighbourhood!

After a woosy night, I took my time this morning, wasn’t quite sure if I would make it into work, but the kinks seemed to work their way out of my system, and away I went.

I do seriously wonder about the mental state of people other than myself on the roads right now.  Are we near a full moon?  It doesn’t seem to matter whether the cars are big or little or trucks or trucks with trailers they all want the whole road, any road and all of it.  Look out.  I think rather than getting a timmies in the morning, it should be a timmies and a drive though driving test.  Just the basics. Stop at a red light.  Signal before you turn.  Which side of the road you are supposed to drive on.  Maybe it is the texting or talking??  I am not sure.  It doesn’t seem to matter if I am driving in town, out of town, or on a rural road or a dirt path.  Male or female, young or old.  No pleases or thank youÈs either.  We are approaching the two busiest weeks of the summer, and frankly, I am a little frightened.  I haven’t even brought up boating.  I thought the cooler, dryer weather would have brought with it calmer, more temperate personalities. Nuh uh, not so far.

german shepard and pug in a boat
I think they are looking for fish?

Mind you, our community is suffering from stormitis, we had a storm, that wasn’t a tornado go through last Friday, and although not a tornado, or a hurricane, it brought down more trees, and caused more damage than anyone first believed.  We still have areas without power.  So, 7 days with no power would definitely make me grumpy.  I always thought going to the cottage was a no power, no running water experience anyway.  I think we all need to sit back, chill out, and savour the cool breezes.

My little girl turned 25 today-July 21st

Two girls at a baseball game
Amanda on her Birthday (right)

So incredible, my little girl is growing up.  I am so excited for her!!  I loved being in my 20s, there was nothing I wouldn’t do or try.  Well, maybe a couple of things.  The good friends I had then, are still my good friends now.  For that I feel truly blessed.

She has accomplished so much I think.  She is brave, honest, good sense of humour, smart, a girl any mom would be proud to call her daughter – and she is also my friend.

I hope she can gather all the life lessons she has learned so far – and go forward with a positive spirit, a sense of adventure and a desire to know the world.

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Better Day – Cooled the Inner Core

Kahshe Lake somewhere
Out for a boatride

Vacations are a wonderful thing – apparently it is 30C feeling like 35C, which is fine. I have been outside earlier -to give Doug a bath, and to take the garbage out and walk around the house. It is lovely sunshine. Great day for whatever you choose to do. My brain is less fuzzy, and I feel significantly restored. Have to remember to keep the fluid levels up. We are proposing a boat ride, if Chris doesn’t wear himself out first. Washed his hats, vacuumed my car – I forgot to put the top up. I have 5 books borrowed from the library for my e reader. There is one I want to purchase-I use KOBO, but I am holding out, until I read all the other ones. I am waiting patiently for Elizabeth George to finish her next novel -always a treat, Tammi Hoag, I think has a new one out, and I have been borrowing from the e library -a wonderful service through Overdrive, and the Canadian Government funding, I look for older books by my favourite authors and gobble them up. I need a good summer read – murder in the cottage country, female cop with love interest, no tv, internet or telephone access – how would they solve it? bit of physic ability, family drama on the side- or maybe just a short story would be better??

MS Rant – Do not read

Old steamship mail boat and passenger boat for Muskoka Lakes
Ready to cruise?

Well I don’t know if it is a flare from the heat, or a relapse, or what, I don’t even care about that part, I just want my body back. New symptom – the ms hug – it does seem to subside some after moving about.   Old symptoms – brain freeze- I know I am awake, but can somebody tell my brain how to talk?  Increased muscle weakness in hips and right leg -just progression? or is my brain not talking to these body parts? Facial twitching – had it before, but now I think I am playing the part of Bewitched, my nose twitches lol.  Bowels slower than mud, bad comparison, bladder not so quick either. Did a round of oral steroids last week, don’t think it did squat.  Eyes hurt – but that could be allergies – Random nerve pain to ears, hands, or any other part of my body.  I work in air conditioning, I live in air conditioning, and now I am on vacation with the energy of a slug.  or a slugs grandmother.   Have I bitched long enough?  I did get a parking pass – why not? My left pelvis gets locked on forward.  I am doing some physio therapy for leg weakness and core strength.  Should have done this ages ago, but didn’t realize how weak it was?  I haven’t had any new lesions since the first year – so if no new lesions, you think no new symptoms, or no body acting like it has ms right?  I have been reading about the remyliating experiments – I think they, along with stem cell transplants, cause they have these younger cells that help remyelating , are going to be the treatment of the future , more so than the ccvi, whatever.  Plus  I hate to tell my partner all my symptoms, cause then I feel like I am being a winer…which I am right now, then I am done, moving forward – have to use that mindfulness theory – tell my body to get with the program, don’t deny the symptoms, but don’t let them control your life -hense the I have ms but it doesn’t have me slogan.  I am not letting it take me over, I just need to be sensible, patient, maintain my sense of humour and have reasonable expectations of my day.

So, the sun is shining, and it is a beautiful day.  Partner is off at an event, and I am catching up on Coronation Street, enjoying morning coffee and sitting with Doug (pug).  Hopefully we will get out for a boat ride today – or at least to a beach where I will float in cool water, and Chris can fish , oops, if I am floating, will I scare away the fish??