Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tank Dempsy

I like the idea of volunteering.  It saddens me that my life is kind of busy and when it's not busy I'm recuperating from its busy-ness (I'm digging the word busy right now.  Clearly.)  I wish I had more time to volunteer to help others.

Last weekend I donated my time and Gage's time to assist the Hamilton Burlington SPCA run an Adopt-a-thon.  Their goal was to adopt out 125 animals in honour of their 125 years in service.  They reached 96 I believe, which is a huge milestone.  One of those 96 happened to be a new puppy for the R-C-M household.  Sorry, let me be clear, he's not a puppy but in my eyes all dogs are puppies.  He's 18 months to 2 years (they think) and he's wonderful.  Wonderfully cute and only a little frustrating as demonstrated in the pie chart below.

Pie charts are fun!
So, much to Eric's dismay Gage and I fell in love with this sweet boy.  (Weirdly I could not shake the song "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?" all day.)  We took him out for a walk early in the day and I had convinced myself that he'd be adopted for sure as the day went on.  Well, alas, the end of our shift neared and poor "Jermaine" (or Jamal or Jerome depending on what staff member or person you asked) hadn't been taken out for a look-see once!  So of course Gage and I felt inclined to take him out to play in the grass one more time.  And then he lured us in with those big brown puppy dog eyes of his.  (Eric said he couldn't help it, he's a dog, but whatever!)

We hadn't completely settled on a name yet.  We were thinking of Radar because his ears are so big they're like satelites, but then Eric came up with Tank Demspy (from Call of Duty) and I'm pretty ok with that.  We'd just call him Dempsy.  So I think that's where we are leaning now.  He's completely awesome with the cats, basically acknowledges them and then just ignores them.  He's a little hyper when he comes out of his crate but I suppose that's to be expected (he's probably so relieved that we keep coming back for him).  He's house trained which is a humungous relief to this lady and he doesn't leave our yard (or presence really) when he's outside.  He's still working out what gentle means with Roan, but Roan is also still working out what firm and in charge means too, so they're an ongoing project.  He walks pretty good on a leash but still needs to master what heel means.  We'll get there though.  He knows how to sit and we're working on 'lay down' and 'shake paw' now.  And he's picking it up! 

So all in all, I am not feeling regret yet at bringing a dog home considering that was actually the last thing on  my mind!  But it does lead me to wonder;  what would happen if I volunteered at a home for the aged...maybe I'd bring home a new grandpa?  Do you volunteer?  How do you donate your time? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pouring Down

It's pouring rain right now.  I remember the feeling I used to get as a kid when I was stuck at school and it was raining like it is right now.  The skies would be dark and it felt like nightfall which made me feel slightly strange that I happened to be sitting in my desk.  The florescent lights always appeared to shine that much brighter on days like this.   It was a bittersweet feeling:  I'd love the rain and how it made me feel as if I was at school at night but I'd dread the fact that in a short time I'd have to walk home in the same rain and it wouldn't be so comforting then. 

It's 25+ years later and I still love the rain.  I love laying in my bed (in the attic) listening to it crash down on my roof.  Lately though, I haven't been able to enjoy it, AT ALL!  For, you see, my roof has been leaking.  So everytime it rained I'd get a feeling of dread.  What was once a calming and leisurely experience was causing me stress and doom and gloom.  Each rain storm would create more and more damage to my dry wall and plaster.  In crazy storms, such as this one, it would drip down my inner wall and leak through the ceilings in my kitchen and living room!  ZOINKS!!   

The state of my kitchen pre new roof.

But, ladies and germs, my roof is now repaired so it can rain and rain and rain all it wants, and I can love and love and love it with my whole heart again.  And there isn't much better (weather-wise) than a summer rain.  The other day I stood outside in the pouring rain and did this:
I just stood there with my face up to the sky and my arms out at my side and I took it in.  It was a great rain.  The temperature in the air was warm and perfect and the rain was cool and refreshing.  Now the weather is changing and it's cooling off, the time to stand in the rain is coming to an end for another season.  Next up?  Jumping in puddles.  What do you like to do in the rain? 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flowers for a Flower

This past week was my brother's 40th birthday and this coming week is my niece, Sawyer's 4th birthday.  So to accompany the actual presents purchased in a store, I decided to make them each a craft this year, since that seems to be my shtick lately. 

I made my brother a 'king can' version of a red neck wine glass to use at his party (for pop silly, he doesn't drink) since he was the birthday boy, but the bugger never even used it!  Thankfully his wife, Anita, discovered the cubic capacity of the glass and stole it for her beer.  My kind of girl.

For Sawyer I decided to experiment with some crayon art that I'd seen on Pinterest.  I was able to find some canvas for $2 and I got some crayons and fake flowers at the Dollarama. 

I bought four boxes of crayons, because I mainly wanted to stick to greens, yellows, blues, oranges and browns.  (I figure I'll make another crayon art using the reds, pinks, and purples down the road.)  I then took my new, handy, dandy glue gun (works like a a glue gun should which is great since it's my 3rd one) and glued the crayons to the top of the board pointing down.  I then took my hair dryer and put it on medium heat and began melting the crayons.  It takes a while, have patience.  And as note for the next time, I probably should used the diffuser attachment to help keep the hot air concentrated on certain areas.  Make sure you have some newspaper under it as the wax will run and sometimes it splattered off the canvas.  I had propped the canvas up on the back of a chair so gravity could assist me and I found that helpful as well. 

Once I got the look I was going for, I plugged my trusty glue gun back in and by the time it had heated up, the running wax had solidified in place.  I then glued some silk (I use that term loosely as they're made of polyester) flowers randomly onto the streaks thus creating a garden when you flip the canvas over and the crayons are now at the bottom. 

This craft took maybe an hour and most of that was melting the crayons.  The whole thing probably cost me 18 dollars total and I still have flowers and crayons left over for another project, so let's cut that in half shall we?  So for $10  I made Sawyer a craft from her Auntie Holly, and then I jotted a little note on the back for her.  Maybe she'll keep it around for when she's older (which would be cool) or maybe she won't.  Either way, it was a fun craft and one I'd do again.  I have something in mind already for Round 2. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

White Trashapalooza!

So it seems my brother and his wife may have inadvertently started a new trend.  This year for my brother's 40th birthday they had their 2nd annual "White Trash Party".  It's probably insulting to red necks but to 'those' people you can't really insult them so don't worry your pretty little heads over it.  I'm quite certain they'd think we did them proud.

I should have taken pictures of the house as it appeared when we drove up.  There were tacky signs about Geoff being 40 and cars parked all over the front lawn with gardening tools strategically placed, or strewn about rather.  There was a smorgasbord of food consisting of Kentucky Fried Chicken, wieners and beans, baked beans, hot dog and cheese kabobs (raw of course), jambalaya and the birthday cake made solely of Twinkies pasted together with icing.

I don't recall any spectacular decorations, aside from the bras in the tree, because everyones' outfits stole the show.  It was a musical revue for my eyes.  Aside from two people (who joined us following a legit, non-white trash party) EVERYONE showed up in costume and might I add, they totally BROUGHT it!!  Value Village must have seen a spike in their sales this past week. 

Eric and I showed up trying to go for a different trashy look this year over last and this time we brought our kidlets in tow, who also represented.  I still can't look at the pictures of Roan without laughing.  He was a great sport and even won his own 'best costume' award:  an unopened box of Twinkies.  He was quite pleased with himself and proceeded to eat the box of Twinkies for breakfast the next morning.  Nothing trashy about being a mom who allowed that, right? 

I channeled Peg Bundy, Eric channeled a cross between Ninja of Die Antwoord and Al Pacino in Taxi Driver (but for some reason I thought he still looked crazy hot), Roan channeled the stereotypical white trash boy and Gage channeled a 'wigger' teenager ( I know it's a harsh term, but it's a term none the less). 

Dawn and Anita bought their supplies at K-mart in the States (who knew that this style was back in?), my mom formulated a cross between her mother and mother in law and sported a buttload of polyester.  We weren't lacking for kindling if we needed it. 

Kind of wish we'd had it in us to take an entourage trip to Walmart.  We probably would have ended up on the People of Walmart website.  Then we'd have known we truly nailed it. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Do ya feel lucky, punk?

I've never been a recipient of too much good luck.  Just not meant for me I guess.  I have gone through lengthy periods of time where I thought if I didn't have bad luck I'd have no luck at all.  I felt like a black cloud was always lurking over my head.  Then I gave up thinking about it and the world shifted.  Not in any "I just won the lottery" way, but it shifted in 'the bad shit seems to happen to others now' way.  My life is mundane...lacking of excitement and I'm completely ok with that.  Good excitement would be nice but if it means I have to give up the chance of good excitement to lose the bad excitement then I'm willing to sacrifice. 

Until last week...well I suppose a little while longer, but mainly last week.  Let's venture back a couple of months, because that's when this kinda, sorta started. 

I went garage sailing with my mom one weekend and came upon a 60" Sony Wega flat screen television.  At first I wasn't entirely sure that it was even for sale as it was on, and playing the Terminator.  I first assumed the owner was merely watching it to help pass the time during the sale,  but upon closer inspection I noticed a little "for sale" sticker on it.  So I inquired, pretty sure that it was going to be out of my spending range.  He told me that the picture was starting to darken on it but that he had a brand new bulb for it that just had to be put in and he wanted to sell both of them together.  So again, I asked, "How much?".  His reply?  Thirty bones.  Yup, you read that right, I wasn't missing the hundred in front of that thirty.  Thirty measly dollars.   "I'll take it!", I shouted and then proceeded to try to cram it into my car with no success.  I mean it is 60 inches after all.  So other means were taken and the tv eventually came home with me.  To Eric's lovely surprise.  And it was all I talked about for days months.  Who am I kidding?  I still talk about it.  It was hard not to blog about it but I was waiting.  Waiting for what I'm not sure, but I suppose for just this post. 

See how big it is next to the chair and my attic access?  Oh sweet score...

Anywho, fast forward to last week.  Eric and I were working some more on the new 'den' which is taking forever to complete (but that's an entirely different post)!  We got to talking about what tv we should put in there as this 60" is way too big for the space.  We decided a nice 40 or 42 inch flat screen would be a perfect size.  And then the conversation was over.  Later that afternoon Eric's brother shows up for a visit bearing mail from the parental unit's house for Eric.  Upon opening it we discovered a lovely $700 from Revenue Canada that we were not expecting.  Oh hello!  What a nice surprise.  That surely never happens to us. 

Then Monday after work I took Gage to the mall to buy some new shoes.  After visiting three stores umpteen number of times he finally settled on a $90 pair of shoes.  Groan.  But when they were rung in at the cash they came up as $50.  Quick, let's pay and get the hell out of here!  What I think happened is whomever keyed the code into the register keyed in the wrong price because not only was the shoe marked $90, but the ledge it was sitting on was also marked $90.  It was pretty clear that I was supposed to be paying $90.  Sweet score!  We were both pretty happy about it.  Frankly I'm surprised he didn't try to convince me to buy him another pair. 

Upon arrival home following our good luck I walked past the den on my way upstairs and spotted out of the corner of my eye a 40" Samsung flat screen television sitting in a completely sealed up box looking all pretty.  At first I was taken aback that Eric would just go ahead and buy something like that without me around.  And then I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that he did, as that just isn't like him.  I asked the boys if they had seen him leave to buy this, they hadn't.  Then we just stood there staring at it like it was a dead body.  We might as well have had sticks to poke it.  Later that night Eric called me from work (which he only does if he's in the hospital) to ask me if I'd ordered a tv on line.  I was shocked silent because if he's asking me that, then he clearly didn't go buy it.  Did we seriously just have a 40" flat screen show up randomly at our house?  Why crazy kids, yes we did!  Thank you Purolator TV Gods!   We figured they'd show up (or someone would) sooner or later to retrieve it but in the backs of our minds we were hoping Walmart would just send the purchaser out another one.  We were willing to leave it untouched for two weeks, after that squatters rights kicks in doesn't it?  Doesn't matter, the point is moot.  The tv was picked up and taken to its rightful home two days later.  Boo-urns.  And thus we return back to the land of "meh".  It was fun while it lasted though. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kids and Death

I decided to try a little experiment about what runs through the brains of kids.  I chose a subject that I know lots about (in a round about way) and I would think my kids would know more than the average child since they know what I do for a living.   I decided to interview Roan and two of his friends.  All the boys are 11 years old.  Here's what these particular kids thought about death.

Have you ever known anyone who died?

Mitchell:  Yes...my dad, grandma and great-grandma.

Julian:  Uhm, when I was 2 or 3, I only met my great-grandma and my great-grandpa for like a little bit and then they died and I only knew my cat since I was two and then my cat died.  My grandma went outside and found it dead in the bushes. 

Mitchell:  Oh ya, my cat died too.

Roan:  Yah...my grandpa and my great-grandpa, but I don't really remember him.  So just my grandpa and my cat Nika who died this year.  I saw her in her coffin.

How would you like to die?

Mitchell:  Uh, I don't want to die!

Julian:  I would rather just die in the normal, peaceful way like everybody does. 

Me:  So you think everyone dies normally and peacefully?

Julian:  No, I guess I'd like to die of old age or a quick non-painful death.

Me:  What's your idea of a quick non-painful death?

Roan:  Getting shot with a bullet.

Mitchell:  Nope, being run over by a transport truck.  You would die instantly, it would only hurt for a split second. 

Roan:  I would want to probably die from being old and slowly, so I can be with my family.  

Are you afraid to die?  Why?

Mitchell:  Yes!  I don't want to die cause it's an awesome world.  I'm afraid to die because I'm only 11!  I'm scared of actually dying itself.  You either go to hell or heaven.  You don't want to know where you're going to end up ahead of time cause you might want to do things differently or over again. 

Roan:  Yes and no.  Yes because I like to live but it's meant to be to die, so no.  But like uhm....no.  I don't know how to explain it.  Like it's going to happen either way.  So I'm scared and I'm not.  It's scary cause you life has ended. 

Julian:  Same as Roan, yes and no.  I wouldn't want to die yet.  No,because when you die your spirit is still living so you'll never be completely dead. 

What would you miss most if you died? 

Mitchell:  Family.  Like if you have kids you'll miss them.

Roan:  Family and friends.

Mitchell:  I'd miss everything.  Uhm, my mom, my family, and if I died in a couple of months, I'd miss my hamster because I'm getting a hamster soon.

Julian:  I'd really miss watermelon, it's my favourite.  I'd also miss my family and friends.  For instance, I play with  my friends every single day but if I died I wouldn't be able to play with them.  And my family, I have always liked my family so I'd miss them too. 

Would you rather be all curled up with arthritis and in pain, or die?

Mitchell:  I'd pick arthritis and in pain.  I want to live as long as I can.

Julian:  Same here.  But if I was like 100 or even 92 then I'd probably rather die.

Mitchell:  If you were 92 you'd probably just die the next year anyway.
Let’s say you die when you’re 200 years old, how do you want to go?

Mitchell:  With my children's children's children around me.  My kids would be dead, their kids would be 90 and then the others would be like 30 or 50.  The the other ones would be like 2. 

Julian:  I would want to die with all my family or some of my family that I have left with me. 

Roan:  With my family or tied to a rocket ship and blasted into outer space.  But still probably die quietly.

What do you think happens after death?

Mitchell:  Your spirit roams the Earth and you become a new person like a baby.  And you either go to Heaven or Hell.  Your body goes in a vase too. 

Roan:  Well sometimes it says "Rest In Peace" so that could mean you are resting.  In peace.  But if you are roaming you are not really resting, so I'd like to choose whatever I want, either to rest or to roam.  I'd probably roam around the world visiting all the places I'd like to see. 

Julian:  I think your spirit goes around the Earth but at the same time I could be in Heaven or Hell, I don't know where I'll go.  I might also become a new baby in this world or in another galaxy. 

Mitchell:  Your spirit would be its own person so you couldn't control it. It could go to Heaven or Hell or back to the Earth.   Or you could come back as an animal.

What are your thoughts on heaven?  What about hell?Mitchell:  Heaven is a nice peaceful place, above the clouds and everything is fine with you.  There are really nice people there.

Julian:  It's like a nice peaceful place in the clouds but it's not even in this world, but someplace beyond.  Like  La la land.

Roan:   I picture clouds everywhere. 

Julian:  There are things you always wanted to do in life...well in Heaven you'd be able to do it and have the things you've always wanted.

Roan:  I picture Hell as under the ground, the centre of the Earth with flames.  It's a terrible place and not peaceful at all. 

Mitchell:  Maybe there are some nice people there but they did something bad in their life but they didn't mean to.  Like they did something really bad but they didn't do it alone.  And they are stuck in Hell. 

Julian:  It's not so peaceful,  you can be tortured there.  There could be some nice and some not so nice people.  I also think there is fire and lava all around you.  It would be like the Never World in Minecraft.

Roan:  I think it would be terrible and scary there.

What do you think your life will be like as a dead person?

Mitchell:  It would be pretty plain because you already lived and there is nothing to do after you die except roam free. 

Julian:  Plain but you'll have all sorts of new places to go to.  If you are a spirit you can roam around. 

Roan:  I think I would probably visit everywhere I wanted to go.  There would be no pain. 

Julian:  I'd like to fly, that would be cool.

Roan:  You could see anyone you wanted to when you wanted to.  And you could go through walls.

Mitchell:  Not necessarily.  If you were wearing clothes the clothes wouldn't go through the wall. 

Julian:  You could protect and help out the people you wanted to.  Like a guardian angel. 

Me:  Sounds like being dead could be pretty cool.

All of them:  Yeah....But we don't want to be dead. 

Julian:  I would like a new life that you've never tried before.  No traffic or cars.  And in our new life, we'd know nothing about our old life.  Our memories would be erased.

If you could come back after dying as anything, what would you pick? 

Julian:  I'd come back into this life to do it again.

Roan:  Me too, but I'd be a girl the next time.

Julian:  Ya I'd be a girl too, that's a good one.

Mitchell:  I'd like to be 4 things:  A girl, a hummingbird (because that's my favourite bird), a cheetah (because they run fast and are hard to kill) and a chimpanzee (because they are funny and strong).

Julian:  I'd come back as a tiger.  That would be cool or some kind of bird so I could feel what it's like to fly.

Roan:   BIRD!  I'd come back as a lion or a girl.  A hot girl.

What do you want your family to do with your body after you die?

Roan:  I'd want you to keep me in your house.

Me:  What like a stuffed animal in a corner or cremated?

Roan:  Cremated.

Mitchell:  I want to be in a room where there is a vase and my ashes are in there and there are pictures of me on the wall and candles everywhere.  Or bury me underneath the house... but what if they moved?  Then they'd have to dig it up and that would be hard.
Julian:  Ya, I'd say bury me in the backyard, but I would worry they'd move.  So keep the ashes in the house where they can remember me throughout their lives.

Me:  So all three of you would choose cremation?

Roan:  I don't want to be buried because I don't want to come back as a zombie. Also, if my parents or kids came over and spilled my ashes I'd make a loud creepy noise and they would be scared and I would shake the pictures around the house and make the ashes go right back in the thing they were in  and they'd be freaked out!

Do you believe in spirits and ghosts? 
Julian:  Yes, 100%.

Roan:  Yes, for sure.

Mitchell:  I have to choose my words carefully because I'm very gullible.  But, I've heard that spirits will haunt you if you don't believe in them.  I kind of do, but not like you think.  I don't think they're everywhere, but I do know for sure that they're roaming the cemeteries.  Spirits and ghosts are the same thing. 

Have you ever seen a ghost? 

Julian:  No, no one can really see ghosts. 

Roan:  I think I have.

Julian:  I might have, but I'm not sure. If I did, I probably don't remember.

Mitchell:  One time I took a picture and there was light coming into it and the room was dark and no one else was there but there was a blur on the camera and light .

Roan:  I saw something at school when I was playing a game with friends.   I saw something three times, but when I talk about it it sounds fake.   When I looked up again, it was gone but it felt like it was watching me. 

How do you think ghosts contact us?

Roan:  They could send letter by writing words on walls.  Or maybe they talk to us or whisper to us.  But mainly they come to you in your dreams.

Mitchell:  Ya, in your dreams.  I wouldn't use a Ouija board, they've been taken over by mean spirits.
And ghosts can't talk to us through other people.

Julian:   I think people have the power to talk to ghosts, but they don't know  how to use it.

Roan:  So kind of like the 3rd eye?  The eye that sees energy? 

Julian:  Ya, exactly.

Roan:  I've seen energy.

Do you think dying hurts?

Mitchell:  Probably because your heart stops pumping and you run out of air and when you hold your breath for too long it hurts.  But when you heart stops all your blood stops flowing and you get really cold and can't breathe, so that probably doesn't feel good.

Julian:   It can be painful in certain ways or peaceful.  Like lets say you are dying of cancer and you are in pain for a month and then you finally die...
Mitchell: Depends on what kind of cancer you have.  There are 3 kinds.

Roan:  No way, there are tons of different cancers.

Mitchell:  Ya, I know but there is one where you are going to die for sure, one where it can harm you but you won't die, you'll just be in a lot of pain, and one where you can have surgery and get better.

Julian:  So, if you had cancer it would be very painful but after you die it would feel gentle and peaceful.

Roan:  It would be painful in a way.  Emotionally I think it hurts.  Your heart stops and it's broken because you'll never get to  see your family again, unless you come back as a ghost to see them.   But even still...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When They Were Boys, the Dead Sea Was Only Sick

I was reading an article at Vice website about senior citizens the author would 'sex up' and I got to thinking (funny how that happens from time to time)...who do I think is still crazy hot enough that I'd get dirty with them despite the fact that they should be giving me butterscotch candies and telling me stories about the depression?   I can still appreciate a handsome and distinguished older gent without it being too gross, right?  So I gave it some thought and here's my own personal list of old dudes I can see myself gettin' wit.  If ya knowwhatImean.  Ya you know!  I picked famous folks, because well...coming up with their photos wouldn't be nearly as creepy. 

These are in no particular order (I think).  And I made sure all of them were over 65 because 65 constitutes a senior discount at most places and the right to collect an Old Age Pension (or Social Security in the US of A) cheque and they are almost 30 years older than me.

1.  Ian McKellan - I know he's gay but since this list is never actually going to come to fruition does it really truly matter?  I thought not. 

2.  Tom Selleck - Shit guys, he's Magnum Fucking P.I.!  And that mustache seems like it would be a challenge all in and of itself.  And what girl doesn't like a challenge? 

3.  Max von Sydow - One of very few men to play both God and the Devil in films.  And while the movie wasn't great, his role in Needful Things was.  He's creepy and handsome. 

4.  Sean Connery - This one should be a freebie no?  I mean what kind of list would this be if he wasn't on here somewhere?  His voice makes him appealing.  I could listen to him talk dirty all night. 

5.  Bill Clinton - It's probably a power thing and an "I can tame his philandering ways" (egotistical of me, I'm aware) kind of thing all rolled up into one big ball of HELLO

6.  Harrison Ford -  Fighting aliens in outer space and having a wookie for a best friend is extremely sexy.  And I already know he's into the younger chicks. 

7.  Alan Rickman -  Harry Potter, Professor Snape.  Enough said. 

8. David Bowie - Man he's still hot after all these years.  Frankly in my opinion, he's gotten even hotter with age.  He's a legend in his own rights so I'd also do it for bragging rights. 

9.  Lemmy of Motorhead -  He's so ugly he's awesome.  And he's hardcore and probably has a few tricks up his sleeves...probably some STD's too so I'd make sure he wore a condom. 

10.  Iggy Pop - Oh man...for the same reasons as Lemmy 'cept as crazy as this fuck is, he's way, way, way hotter.  Me-ow!!! 

So there's a top ten list of men over the age of 65 who I'd be willing to go toe to toe with (sans clothing).  Probably a little gross but the point of this post was merely to be fun and entertaining and get me thinking outside of the box.  So grab your sense of humour and tell me who you'd be willing to sleep with who is at least 25-30 years your senior?  Leave your ideas in my comment section (because I like it and I'm uber curious who I forgot about) and we'll see if we can agree!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Every now and again someone I know does something worthy of me singing their praises on my blog.  Today I thought I'd mention something I think is priceless (so I guess it's good that it's free financially as well).

I met a woman by the name of Rachel and her best friend Denise a couple years ago when I had the honour and privilege of helping a family work through one of the hardest things possible...the death of their child.   Rachel knew the parents personally, so when they called and asked her to help she obliged.  The situation I'm talking about involved a 3 year old so it was not the 'norm' for Rachel and Denise but she still stepped up to the plate. 

Rachel is an area coordinator and photographer and Denise is a photographer for a non-profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS).  NILMDTS is a group of volunteer trade/experienced photographers who donate their time and equipment to take remembrance photos for families suffering the death of a baby and provide heirloom pictures of the child. 

Many times walking away for the final time proves to be the hardest part for a bereaved parent.  They are trying to prolong the inevitable and fear they'll forget the uniqueness of the little toes or the peaceful look on that tiny face.  They are trying with all of their power to burn the appearance of their son or daughter into their brain to sustain them until they themselves die.  NILMDTS takes that fear away from a parent and allows them to just sit and enjoy those precious moments with their child.

People tell me all the time, it takes someone special to do my job and I suppose in a way they are correct but I truly believe it takes someone special, like Rachel and Denise, to provide this priceless gift to a parent who has had their world shattered and their dreams crushed.    The pictures are tastefully done and capture the essence of the little babies.  So while it's not the same as holding their child or having the baby as part of their day to day chaos, they will forever have pictures of the child who cannot sit at the dinner table with them or the child they won't walk to school on the first day.  They will at least have these photos.  And that's something to show the world that this baby existed and is real to someone. 

So I'm proud to say I know these two ladies even if fleetingly.  I'm grateful to know they exist out there and that I can recommend them to any grieving parent of a newborn without hesitation.  NILMDTS is a respected organization and should be commended for the gifts they are giving people.  The services are free and each family is provided with a CD of all the photos taken at no charge.  The parents can then select their favourites and print the photos themselves, or have them enlarged and framed at their own convenience with no pressure.   And since NILMDTS is a not for profit organization they can always use more volunteers.  So if you are a photographer and think you might like to make a person's life a little brighter at their darkest time reach out and contact Rachel or NILMDTS.  This organization is holding strong in Canada and throughout the USA so even if you aren't in my area you can find a local branch through their website

This is a link to an article that ran in a local newspaper in our area this week. 

It's not easy to work through the loss of a child no matter what age, so anything out there that can help ease that suffering is a blessing in my eyes.  I wish more bereaved parents were aware of this organization and I wish more medical professionals saw the value in it enough to pass the information along to a grieving family. 

Thank you Rachel, Denise and all the other countless volunteers who work diligently with grace and respect to assist these families at their darkest times.  You truly are angels. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

When You Wish Upon A Star....

A shooting star is a common name for the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the atmosphere to become a meteor. 

This the closest photo I could find on line to depict what we were seeing last night.

This weekend is prime opportunity to witness numerous shooting stars in the night skies.   As it turns out, and most of you are aware, this weekend will be host to the best meteor shower of the year with hundreds of shooting stars filling the sky in the pre-dawn hours.  The Perseid Meteor showers will peak on Sunday night. 

Interestingly enough, in my 38 years I have no recollection of ever having the opportunity to see a shooting star.  I'm not much of a star gazer and I don't sit around ogling the heavens at night too often so my chances have been greatly diminished.   Last night was a first for me. 

Eric and I decided to create a makeshift 'bed' on the trampoline, since the temperature in the air was totally perfect last night, around midnight.  We got comfy and laid there and stared up at the night sky.  It had been kind of cloudy all day and supposedly there was supposed to be some storm that was due to blow in.  Thankfully the clouds dispersed and that storm never transpired. 

Immediately upon climbing up onto the trampoline I witnessed my very first shooting star.  And after an hour and a half, at the very most, I'd witnessed 26.  A couple of them were really amazing!  I didn't make a wish on any of them.  I thought since they were sending me so many for my first time it would be presumptuous of me to think I could wish on them all.  By number 26 I'd gotten too comfy (in true Holly fashion) and closed my eyes and fell asleep under the starry night.   Eric reported counting 44 before he too fell prey to sleep. 

We woke up at 7 this morning covered in dew with a light sprinkling of rain falling on us.  (I have to say dew works wonders on my hair.  It's so soft and curly this morning!  Probably not nearly as beautiful and flowing as I imagine it is but it sure feels that way.)

I think we're going to head out again tonight provided the weather co-operates and watch some more before I have to come in and sleep in a real bed before work tomorrow.  I'm gonna drag the boys out to witness it this time around though. 

Did you see meteors last night?  How many did you witness?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dr. Mom

Haven't had the desire to write a blog post since completing the July challenge.  It's been nice not having that underlying 'pressure' of sorts.  I've also been sick in bed for the past two days and feeling like a truck ran me over so that doesn't help either.  Yesterday I got an email that was entitled, "Reminds me of you".  It was one of those chain letter emails but the fact that the sender put that in the subject line made me actually read it.  That sender was my mom (she's probably biased, but when I'm feeling shitty and sick it was a nice little pick me up!) and here's what it said.

"She can deal with stress and carry heavy burdens. She smiles when she feels like screaming, and she sings when she feels like crying. She cries when she's happy and laughs when she's afraid. Her love is unconditional."

So thanks mom for this unknowing bright spot in my lousy day.  Mom's are the best and I'm both glad to be part of that catagory and glad to have my own awesome mom.