Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Boy Crushes

Lately I've been scoping out the boys.  Sure, most of them don't even have facial hair yet, but I can do math.  I was 18 when I met Richard, and my eldest is now 12.  That's 6 years.  6 years ago I was 27, and that was just a blink ago.  That means that my eldest could very well be getting hitched in just a blink.

So I'm scoping me out a son in law.

I must say that this intentional match making, with all its deliberation and rejection makes me feel very royal.  I do have self control, otherwise conversations with mothers of boys might go as such:

"What a good looking boy your son is!  And polite!  How are his grades?  Great, great.  Say, did I hear mention of your acquiring some land?  100 acres!  Hardwood, or....?  Interesting... Any mental illness in your family?  Let's discuss an alliance.  I think your family and ours could go very far together."

Of course, we have forbidden any type of dating until the girls are at least 30.  If the right plot of land were to come along, though....

Monday, September 21, 2015

Widowers are Where It's At

Richard upped his life insurance this week.  He flipped open the policy letter to show me the rather substantial amount, at which he declared that I'd be all set if he kicks the bucket.  I asked him if he plans on doing that anytime soon, at which he answered that it being a 20 year term insurance, he's aiming at 20 years plus a day. 

Later, in bed, where all good conversations happen, he asked me what I'd do if he died.  After the obligatory, "Oh, I'd mourn forever and never ever get over it.", we got down to the business of how we'd find a replacement spouse (for me the drive is mostly that I wouldn't have the time or energy to mow the lawn.  It's cheaper to house and feed someone than to hire out, I figure.).

"I think the grocery store would be the best place, " says Richard.  "I'd hang out in the meat section, and whoever bought the best cuts of meat, I'd marry her."

"Yeah, that'd be pretty good.  That would be a good woman."


"I know what I'd do," I say.  "I'd spend my days at the granite shop, you know where they sell gravestones?"


"And when a nice looking man came to pick out a pretty stone, I'd say, 'Is that stone for your wife?  That's so sad.  Let's go have coffee and you can tell me all about it.'  It'd be a sure thing."

Richard nods.  "That's a special kind of plan, alright."

"Don't die, okay?"


You know you have a good man when you'd rather have him than his insurance money.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Worst Day of His Life

I broke up with Richard.

It was a hot summer, we were just getting to know each other, and I had doubts.  He was kind.  He was sincere.  He was great with kids.  He was fun.  Maybe a bit too kind and sincere.  Maybe a bit too good with kids and a bit too sincere.  No one is that perfect (of course, this was before The Apple...another time).  There was a catch, and I wasn't going to get caught.

I'd been there before, and I  knew better.  I was nobody's fool, and I wasn't about to wait around to be broken up with.  So I beat him to it - I broke up with him before he could break up with me.  Ha.  I won.

That summer day in 2001, the week after we jumped from a plane (it was held together with duct tape, literally, so you can take that into account), I drove over with my mind made up and my heart in my throat.  It was the right thing to do.  He knew right away that something was up.  The quick side hug, the stiff sitting on the couch, the, "So, um.  I wanted to tell you something."  And it was done.  Free.

He didn't say much.  He asked why, and I honestly wasn't sure but I made up some fool excuse.  He accepted, and then he got up.

He walked me to my car!  The man, who'd just had his heart trampled, walked me through the front door, off the deck, and to my car.

And stepped in dog poop.  For real.  The man, who'd just had his heart trampled, walked me to my car and stepped in dog crap.  *This is always where Richard stops me in my story with, "That was the worst day of my life.  Those were my favourite shoes."*  He groaned, disgusted, "Careful not to step in the dog poop."

The man, who'd just had his heart trampled, walked me to my car, stepped in dog crap, and warned me about it.  Most men would have pushed me into it.  He cared for me and my shoes.

He opened my car door, closed it gently behind me and leaned into the window.  He wished me a safe drive home.  I stared at him, stunned at this man who walks me, warns me, and wishes me well when he's been trampled and shat upon.

At home my mother confirmed my fears.  Fool.  Absolute fool.  "They're not all going to break your heart, Emilie."  I had done that enough for myself.

Months or years later I asked him about that night.  He'd gone to his best friend's, who'd greeted the news with, "Aw, that sucks man."  They'd driven around for hours, and the next summer that friend stood up with us at our wedding.

All these years later I think of the times that man has walked.  Not only on the night he stepped in dog poop, but all the others.  The time he walked me out of the church, dressed in white.  The time he walked me across the parking lot, suitcase in hand, pausing for contractions that brought our daughter to us.  The times he walked to me with an apology, and the times he rocked me with forgiveness.  The times he walked the bedroom floors with our infants and allowed me to sleep a little while longer.  The time we strolled my favourite trail, the pain almost intolerable, because he knew it meant so much to me.  The time he took one step, scars raw from surgery, me unsure next to his walker, the pain fresh but the hope burning.  Every walk from the house every morning of the week to feed his family, and every walk back to the kitchen to have lunch with a flustered wife and four kids, because it matters.  Every walk to the kitchen sink, arms wrapped around me, "C'mere".

It was the worst day, but it was followed by so many good walks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Paddy's

I really like St. Patrick's Day.  I might even love it.

I fill it with rainbow cakes, and green milk, and shamrock crafts.
We make a leprechaun trap every year.  Even my love life is affected.

Have you ever noticed that Richard resembles an over-grown leprechaun?

Me and O'Richard

This is not a coincidence.  It's why I married him.  

Exactly 14 years ago to this very day, give or take a few months, Richard and I
met at the Civic Centre gym.  He turned on the ginger, and snap.  It was a done deal.

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's been a few months.  I figured I should update this thing, but now that I'm here, I'm at a loss for words.

I got nuttin'.

I seriously need to get a life.

In short form (boring form), here's the last few months.

The kids grew, school kept on keeping on, my coursework is almost done, all hell broke loose, we struggled, we came together, we struggle again, friends came, friends went, Rich and I went on vacation, Rich got a promotion, I stopped working, I got bored, I quit Facebook, I began searching for a hobby, I taught myself to crochet, Maddie got an e-mail and Pinterest account, we went to the dentist, we started remineralizing, I'm going on an adventure...

So, yeah, that's it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Time to Rest

I've made this observation before, but it still rings true.  I reread the posts on this
blog and I am amazed and baffled at how different life is, how different I am from
the six years ago.  I had begun this online journal as a way to chronicle my journey
as a midwife.  It was intended as a window into our lives so that family and friends in
North America could be a part of our adventures in the Philippines.

And then, that didn't happen.

It became a window into our lives in New Brunswick.  Close enough!

That's minor, really.  I think on how I began as an electrologist, then as a doula, then
as a student herbalist.  My electrologist business lasted  seven years and came to an
end after Gen was born.  It was too busy, it was crazy.  My doula business puttered along
until a couple years ago when a boom bumped my births up to fifty plus visits per year
with clients.  I came to a pretty abrupt halt this summer, deciding that it was just too much.
Being a doula is hard physically, emotionally, financially, familially, and socially.  Seven years as a birth attendant seemed enough.

Now, I am nearing the end of my course as a Certified Women's Health Educator and Community Herbalist.  I can't help but think, now what?  It's almost a certainty that I can't build a career from this, at least, not in this area.  I have a vague idea of workshops and online webinars.  I have a vague dream of a strawbale apothecary, consultation room, and herbal cafe.  Likely as not, that will remain a dream.

I should be disappointed.  I should be downcast, feeling like I've wasted all this time and money on an education that won't be used.  I suppose I am, but the bigger feeling is one of suspense.

I had worked hard to build my electrologist business.  It was a huge leap of faith to shut my doors, and yet, it worked out.  My salary was matched almost dollar for dollar with a promotion for Richard.  My doula business was (literally) blood, sweat, and tears, and publicly announcing my step back was suicide for my doula work.  Yet, it coincided with a very surprising turn of events which will replace all our family has lost from my not working.

Perhaps I will be a practicing herbalist.  Maybe I will hold workshops and herb walks, teach how to make ointments and lotions, or put together formulations and health support plans for those in my community.  Then again, maybe not.  Whatever happens, though, there is that faith that things are working out just exactly as they should.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Short Stories

I love short stories.  I think it is the concentrated goodness, or the cutting to the chase that is necessary to cram an entire story into a few pages.  Perhaps I love them so much because I am in fact a commitment-phobe, a little gun shy when it comes to fully commiting to any long-term relationship.

This brings to mind the time Richard and I broke up, or rather I broke up with Richard.  Aptly entitled 'Richard's Worst Day Ever, and Then There Was the Dog Poop', it's my kids' favourite story.  We'll get to that some other time.

Yes, the short story relationship is probably the best one out there.  You get the best of the story, skip the unnecessary details, and get right to the point.  No idle talk, no messing around, and if there is idle talk, you know it's in there for a really good reason.  There is no wasted ink in a short story.  It's all good.

I've lost track of how many books I've begun to read, only to lose interest after a couple chapters.  Worst, to lose the actual book after having invested my time and interest.  Doubly worst, to have forgotten the book on the deck and to have it torn to shreds and eaten by a raccoon (5 books this summer).  With short stories, you sit down, you read, your life is forever changed, and you're done.

Short stories.  If I were to be given any book as a present, I would hope it was a collection of short stories.