Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My son and I decorated with tons of spider's webs, spiders, pumpkins, skulls, ghosts, horrific faces, giant skeleton posters, witches, black cats and spooky trees this year. Should protect my house from the evil spirits that are floating around this year on Hallow's Eve. There are 3 occupants of my household at the moment, so there are 3 carved pumpkins. This is one of the skeletons as you walk your way up my winding front walkway. At night it catches the light and sort of glows, as do the ghost ones, and the wicked cat ones.

One pumpkin is a graveyard, one is supposed to be a vampire tiger (lol, kids have such great imaginations), and one says beware on it.
My son was with his dad for trick or treating this year, so I set up camp at my house to commence the rather dull task of handing out candy. I do enjoy seeing costumes and hearing the 7 - 8 year olds have their competitions about who will get the most candy.. but overall, it's just "meh" when I'm not the one taking my son around trick or treating. Anyway, here's my campout spot on my ultra comfy stairs. I knew they'd come in handy when I bought the place.
(Though at the time I was probably more thinking about performing outrageous indecent acts of... errr.. nevermind).

I hope you all had a great Halloween today and that you were able to keep the evil's at bay, whatever form they were in.
Jules :Obooooo!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not just Tuesdays anymore... Life happens every day of the week.

I have to say, October has just been such a difficult month. I made a pact with Hersh a while back that we'd have to make it a good month, but neither of us has really succeeded, unfortunately. There's just been too much stress, too much pressure, and too much sad or bad news.

In my life, the month of October has produced lots of heartache causing a lot of tears. Thankfully, I have been able to let out my angst, and move on, and even smile and laugh, after all is said, registered and done.

I got to thinking tonight, how it is that I have come to be like me. Yes, a good portion of it is how I was raised (thanks parents) but also it is what I've done to make myself who I am once I became an adult. We never stop learning or growing; we expand our personalities all the time.

With this life is a guarantee of hardship and heartache. It's so important that we learn how to deal with it all so it can be absorbed, emotionally dealt with and then we can move on, move forward and continue to grow from it. Unfortunately not all of life's teachable moments are positive ones. I was reminded tonight of "Tuesdays with Morrie". I did a post about him and his book/play way back in December 2007. I want you all to click this link and go read that post... especially if you've had a tough time lately, are looking for inspiration, or have the desire to better yourself and continue to grow. Morrie taught me a lot back then, and I've kept his words inside of me ever since. After you're done reading the post, go get the book. It's a quick easy read and you'll be better off having read it. IF you're in Red Deer and want to read it, I have a copy I can lend you.

Love Jules

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are you hot or cold?

There are just some things that I think taste better cold than hot. This post is randomly brought forth by the fact that my body is cold, and I was sitting here thinking of ways to warm it up and I recalled my Dad saying once that if you're cold, eat something cold, it will lower your internal body temperature and thus make the cold outside seem less frigid. Incidentally, this theory of his stands for feeling hot as well.. eat something hot to make you less hot. I don't know if I get it entirely, and I'm certain there's no scientific backing to it, but hey... it's a fun concept and well worth the giggle it made me produce when he told me!

Some things I think are better cold than hot are:
  1. Coffee
  2. Chicken (especially if it's fried and left in the fridge overnight)
  3. Water
  4. Milk
  5. Pizza
  6. Nipples... but I won't elaborate there.

Do you have a favorite item that you think tastes better cold than hot? Tell me and I'll try it and see if I agree with you... as long as it's not complicated to make (I'm not a big fan of having to cook).

Hey, it's almost Halloween. How about you lurkers take this as the opportunity to come forth from the shadows and say hi to me? Come on... I know you're there, and I promise not to scare you away. ;P

Jules :O)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Can't wait for October to be over...

I feel emotional lately.

Part of it is that I'm ready to not be lonely anymore, finally. I want a companion full time again, to hold me and love me and adore and spoil me.. whom I can treat the same. Here, in my arms every night. To help parent my little bud. A complete family unit again. Although, my Chinese horoscope thing says I shouldn't accept a proposal before February.

Another thing is that there are people whom I love dearly that are seriously ill and I can't keep the negative thoughts at bay about what that entails.

Plus, it snowed and was a grey day today, thus beginning winter... and for us Albertans, it means being sentenced to 6 months of snow, ice, accidents, being cold to the bone and being stuck in the city. Might as well just squash me like a bug... the free wandering spirit that I am. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I had the object of my affections stuck here with me.

With any luck November will be a better month.....

Or maybe I just need a giant hug.
Jules :O(

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I wore purple today...

I have been a blogger friend to many people over the course of my 4+ years of blogging. Many of those have stayed in my life for the whole duration. Some have fallen out of touch, but I often still fondly remember them. I believe everybody has a purpose for being in somebody's life. They say it's either for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Even though I may not keep in touch with some of my blogger friends on a more personal level (ie. phone calls, chats, texts), I do so still enjoy their blogs and feel a certain sense of emptiness if they ever stop blogging for a while. I feel really blessed to have met the people I have in this virtual world, and when I get to meet them in real life, I feel even more blessed.

A long term blogger friend of mine, Jim, wrote a stunning post on his blog a little bit ago... and with October 20th being Day of Purple in memory of 6 gay kids who committed suicide because life got too hard, I want to share Jim's post called It Gets Better with you (with his permission of course). When I read it, tears flowed, and joy filled my heart all in the span of the time it took to read it. If you've ever felt like the outward forces of societal pressures were causing just too much pain to bare anymore, seek out and surround yourself with people like Jim, and countless others, who have experienced extreme hardship in being accepted for who they were, overcame it and are now living truly amazing lives.

Love Jules :O*

parents of the world, unite and help me....

Ok.

I am officially sick and tired of being the ONLY parent who the teacher needs to have a talk with on an almost daily basis because my son did some mean behavior at school.

I've taken away any source of violence in my house, he isn't exposed to watching cartoons or movies with violence in them here. We cuddle instead of wrestle. I am always correcting his behaviors when we're out in public, trying to teach him right from wrong. I remind him of how to be a good friend, and teach him about the Golden Rule. We don't have a game console where he's acting out wrestling or fighting of any kind. I praise him HIGHLY and so does his teacher for times when he's well behaved. I offer him rewards and incentives.

He still has bad days where he's poking, hitting, punching and bothering the other kids at school.. even if it's just one single instance in a day, it's too much. Or if he's not doing that, he's making noise and disturbing the students that way.

The teacher says he does excellent work, but he's just not getting the social behavior thing.

He's been around other kids his whole life, even though he's an only child. I coach and teach him on what is right from wrong. But I feel like I'm failing as a parent, because I keep getting these reports of poor behavior.

Today we decided that we'll try putting a sticker/stamp rewards chart into place for him. As far as I know, he's the only kid in the class that requires this. I did this with him for 2 months with regard to eating last year. I eventually gave up on it.. because sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't.

I'm at a loss. I just don't understand why he is having so much trouble being nice and acting appropriately with kids at school. When we're out at a playground, he's able to make friends and play nicely for the most part there. And believe me, I'm not just "blind" to what goes on because I'm his mom. If I see something wrong, he doesn't get away with it.

Today... right now as I write this... I feel like crying. I want to feel pride, not shame. And I'm even ashamed to say that I'm embarrassed of my child's school behavior. Where have I gone wrong? What more can I do to make him understand that he needs to treat others nicely at school???

Jules :Ough.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Romance

Imagine ...

Slowly dancing
Holding each other
Pressed tightly together as you sway side to side.

This song playing
As you connect
On a level even deeper than before.

Tres Letrinhas by Marisa Monte
Wouldn't that be romantic?

I love this song, I think it's completely beautiful... the stuff dreams are made of. Don't forget the place in life that romance holds... it's so important! A little romantic gesture goes a long way!

Jules :O)

Guilty Indulgence #4

This spring/summer/autumn, I spent sooo much time in the mountains. They are my favorite place on earth.. apparently it doesn't matter where either. I went to Montana and loved them, Waterton and loved them, Banff and Kootenay National Parks and loved them. I guess, suffice it to say that the Rocky Mountains have a sort of magic to them that is really astounding and energizing. I feel like a different person when I'm there, as if the earth's abundant vibrancy flows up through my feet and rejuvenates my soul.

So, my Guilty Indulgence #4 is
BEING IN THE MOUNTAINS

One of my favorite things about being in the mountains is the wildlife I get to see there, because being in a city, you don't come across it much. Well, here we don't. I love this recent photo:
The last time I was there, I went into a place where there was a forest fire some years ago and it was a totally unique experience. Normally when you think of the mountains, you think lush forest with a great mixture of trees, each giving off their own fragrance. But here, the new growth still had several years to catch up and reforest the area. It really did take your breath away and make you think about what had gone on there, and how it impacted that part of the mountains. I found this burned out tree that captivated me completely. It looks like a human face to me.. see it (click to blow it up)? First I saw it as a small letter "d" but then I noticed the face. It became special to me instantly.

The thing that really steals the show for me is the clarity and the color of the water in the mountains, with all it's natural mineral richness. I love the hues of greens and blues that you find as you pass by almost every body of water in the mountains. It's so much different than the rivers that are run through the prairies which are so murky looking.

This is Olive Lake in Kootenay National Park, BC.. So green and beautiful, perfectly crystal clear. Really more the size of a pond, but totally worth stopping to indulge yourself in.

This is Numa Falls in Banff National Park. From the road this doesn't look like much of anything. Take my advice and stop there. It's the sort of place that it only takes a few seconds to realize its magnificence, and one that you will spend a lifetime remembering and wishing you could visit more often. The rock formations there are amazing and the turquoise water is very pleasing to the eye.

I can't go without posting this totally incredible photo of the reflection of a mountain in a little bit of river water that was left behind as the water receeded for the winter. To me, there's nothing like a snow topped mountain on a perfectly blue sky.


I consider myself so lucky to be close enough to enjoy these truly magnificent beauties, and thankful to have people to share them with! I suppose that's enough of that indulgence for the time being. I doubt I'll make it back out there again this year, unless the snow stays away in November... hard to say.

Jules :Oj

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

improvements

The first time I jogged Peri Trail it took me 45 minutes to go one way and I had to stop probably a dozen times to walk instead of jog. I think that was in June sometime. I'd have to look back at my blog.

Today, I jogged it twice, for a total of 4.2 miles or 6.75 kms WITHOUT stopping in the span of 55 minutes. I'd say that is a vast improvement. I could have jogged more, but it was dark already and I was a tad bit afraid of getting bush jumped.

I'd also say that my lungs have recovered from the bronchial infection I have been fighting off. I'm breathing fine and not coughing at all. I wish my body would show more, the actual fitness level I'm at. I want to be thin, damnit! LOL I'll get there someday.

Anyway, I'm proud of me tonight.

Jules :Oj

Thursday, October 07, 2010

a lesson on the corner of life

I was driving home this afternoon and I saw a man standing at a traffic light in the middle of a large intersection. The man was wearing a brown t-shirt, black worn jeans, some scuffed up shoes and a brown light sweater that he had wrapped around his tiny waist. His hair was shaggy, his beard was at least a month's worth... and he held a sign made from cardboard and a sharpie pen that read: "Homeless and Hungry".

My heart sank for this man. I was in my car, the light was about to change and I had to be somewhere at a very specified time. As I sat there, I ached to give him some help. I wanted so badly to invite him into my car and take him out for lunch, then leave him with enough money to get himself some supper as well. Then a strange thing happened. I started to doubt his validity. I started to wonder if he was one of the "bums on the street" that everyone warns me about... the con man who actually makes more money being a bum than I do at my job on a day to day basis. And having thoughts like this made me angry at myself, and at society (even though in Toronto I witnessed this con first hand). Angry that we live in a world where people have to lie and cheat in order to make a living, and angry that we've become such an untrusting humanity.

How does anyone know anymore, who needs help and who doesn't?

I had a hospital appointment one time, not long ago and I paid for 2 hours of parking, but only ended up using 15 minutes of the time on the parking slip. I thought, "this is a waste, I'll wait and give my parking allowance to someone who pulls in and needs it". So I waited for a few moments and this really old beat up and rusty car came driving in. I motioned to the driver and rolled down my window. I explained to him and his passenger that I only used 15 minutes of a 2 hour paid parking ticket and would like to give the rest to them, if they wanted it. They were completely overjoyed, smiling from ear to ear and passing on great thanks to me. As I went to get out of my car, the passenger said "Noooo, don't get out, I'll come to you". So I waited and as she opened her door, I saw that she was an amputee, with only one leg. She was so grateful for the parking pass, that she, with one leg, got out of her car to come retrieve it from me. I was blown away. The parking only cost $2 for the 2 hours. TWO DOLLARS. And they were so grateful.

It's amazing how doing something nice for somebody can change society... even if it only lasts in that person's memory for a day or two, yet how so few people do nice things anymore. Maybe their smile was contagious and they helped lighten the world just because they were given a break that day and it made them happy, thankful, grateful. And those nice things don't need to be huge, just pocket change helped those people in the parking lot, and I'm sure just pocket change would have helped the man holding the sign.

Tomorrow if I see him, I will give him a few dollars, enough for lunch. If it's a con, I will be none the wiser, and I will be left feeling really good about myself for helping some stranger in need. What's $5, anyway?

Jules :Obekind)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Weekend Getaway

I met D in the mountains this weekend. This time, it was in Canada though. We went to Radium and Fairmont and passed through the places in between. It is stunning country there.. makes me wish I could move down there. It's only about 4 hours from where I live, so I can see myself going there lots. Radium is totally a beautiful and quaint little mountain town and it felt like a home away from home. Still... I might like Banff better, but I'm not sure. There are places in Radium that completely blew my socks off because they were so beautiful. Here's a small sampling of photos from the weekend.

This was the old Fairmont Hotsprings building built in the 1930's, I asked a guy who looked like he probably knew what he was talking about. The genuine original hotsprings were just little dugouts in the side of the mountain that naturally filled with the hot water as it trickled out of the mountain. This little "bath house" is still in working order. There are 3 little rooms with a little "tub" in the ground, a window and an open skylight... no doors for privacy! We chose to go to the updated and much more commercial new facilities, though. LOL

This is just the view from inside one of those little rooms, looking out over the valley. I was in love with that red tree!

When we were done soaking, this large Bighorn was waiting for us by our cars!

As you're entering Radium from the north, you pass by this insanely beautiful mountain. It's called the Redwall Faults and they are sooo red and glorious, it's iron deposits through the years that make it look so red. Breathtaking, really. The sun was hitting this just right and almost made them glow (the photo doesn't really do it justice)!

Then basically if you turn and face the other way, you see this... of course, it looks different when the sun's high in the sky, but I love taking photos like these ones (though I have to credit D for spotting this awe inspiring photo op!)

Just sooooo pretty!!

We saw a black bear saunter across the road as we had gone out walking.. thankfully it went into the valley and not after us, and I saw at least a dozen deer to and from along the way. So much wonderful wildlife there! So that concludes what will probably be my last trip to the mountains this year.... unless the snow flies later rather than sooner!!
Jules :Oaaahhhhh!