Monday, August 31, 2009

In a Time Out

Hello All,

Sorry for the delay in posts. Holidays have created a non-schedule, it would seem and I hope to get back in the saddle in the next day or so. Hold tight and enjoy the last few summer-ish days we have left!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

When it hits home....

Life can be cruel. No more so than when it involves a child....

The recent tornado that tore through southwestern Ontario claimed the life of one child. A boy. Although I did not know the boy, I do know his parents - we went to school together. We road a school bus for years and then graduated through life to meet again in a prenatal class years ago.

We sat across the room from each other, marvelling at how life had changed for all four of us and what we had to look forward to in our first born children.

We had a boy. So did they.

The wonder that is Facebook brought us back together again and we chatted as the interest arose - usually from an interesting photo or status update. Both parents are quiet, intellectual people with brilliant senses of humor. I can only image how wonderful their son was...and their daughter is.....

I have actually had nightmares about not being there for my children when a storm hits. With both The Big Guy and I working a distance from where they were in daycare, I was always aware of weather, both winter and summer. I have anticipated the horror our friends are now living through. I look at First Born Son, think of all that is coming up in his life, from school in a week to a family of his own in the future and imagine it all being gone. With out warning....

I'm not going to share names, or details. That is not how our friends want this very private matter handled. Media can be a slimy monster in cases like this. Looking for the best angle, the edgiest quote, picture..... You will hear enough from "conventional" news sources. I don't want to be a part of that.

In short, take a moment to tell your children how much you love them. Tell your husband, wife, parent, sibling how much they mean to you.

Life is good - but it doesn't come with a guarantee.

Make each moment count. It sounds corny now, but you will cherish every moment when the time comes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fashion Victim.....


Is This the End for CROCS?
BE interactive The company that manufactures CROCS is on the verge of bankruptcy.

CROCS, which was originally founded by Andrew Reddyhoff and Marie-Claude de Billy of Quebec, is in financial crisis.

The American firm that has since bought the brand has been recording significant losses for quite some time. For the second quarter, $30 million in losses was reported and sales were down by 11%.

In 2008, several employees of the company lost their jobs. The third quarter is expected to be much stronger with anticipated sales of $150 million.

CROCS first arrived on the market in 2002. Now, it seems that the shoes are a victim of their own success. Their quality and durability makes them virtually indestructible, leaving no reason for consumers to purchase replacements.

Several stars have also helped to bring the brand's popularity, including Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Teri Hatcher, George W. Bush, and many others.

CROCS management have until late September to settle their debts, otherwise, the company will fold.

OR - people figured out they were butt ugly and stopped buying them...I'm just sayin'!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

So a week after former US President Bill Clinton negotiates the release of two American journalists from China, and is heralded as a hero, his wife, once again getting the short end of the stick.

Shortly after arriving in Congo, Africa, US Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton responded to questions at a press conference. One question was regarding a financial situation and ended with "What does President Clinton think about this?"

Now, the history book has not been kind to Hilliary. From her personal appearance, to her ambition and noteworthy career, there hasn't been a lot of kindness thrown her way. I never really took note until this week, when news broke about this "outburst."

In a nutshell, she states, "My husband is not the Secretary of State, I am. If you want to find out what I think, ask me, but I'm not going to channel my husband." I may have ad libbed a bit - but the point there.

Now she's being raked over the coals for her response....

I ask, Why?

She's worked her entire life for this position and save for a couple of missteps in the election process, the US may well have had their first Female President. So to have the question posed to her in reference to her husband is not only insulting to her, it's a slam to all women. She restated the question as she heard it - no one corrected it - and as far as she could tell, the translator had accurately communicated the student's query.

It's like "So, thanks for coming down honey, but tell us, what does the Big Dog think??"

I'd be more than annoyed too.

Yes, Bill Clinton is a great guy. Fairly popular President. He's a real hit with the ladies too. Hillary has had to endure a lot to ensure his success and, in the long run, her own. I can imagine the conversation in the Clinton kitchen when she decided to for President was that this is the "Hilliary Era".

It likely doesn't help that Bubba gets pulled out for all of the profile events (nothing like saving damsels in distress). But you can't blame a girl for getting her feathers ruffled.

And pointing out the obvious was called for. It's not like she swore at the student or insulted him/her.

Can't say I'd be as diplomatic in the same situation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ya, About What I Said Earlier, Forget That....

So, after the weeks of tortured deliberating, the endless debate of pros and cons, the struggle to find the answer in this world of unyielding chaos - First Born Son decided he wasn't going to hang up the pads.

Very little drama ensued.

Frig, we were just glad the kid made a decision. I had actually begun to think about all the things I could with the money I wouldn't be spending on new skates, stick, pads, blocker and catcher - because - as mentioned earlier - he wouldn't be needing it. Projects outside, better back to school shopping...maybe even set some aside for a new table and chair set for the dining area!

Focus moved onto Second Born Son. He was still in the game and while softball is still very much at the forefront of our lives, the nature of hockey demands that we start the conversation in August. SBS barely peeped about his brother's drama - as is the norm. He has discovered that when the fur is flying with his brother, duck and cover is the safest option.

So I really felt bad for him when FBS decided he SHOULD be a goalie again this year. To make the long story short - reality set in when people started hearing (and therefore commenting on) that he wasn't going to be a goalie. One person in particular.

Coach Jim, the coach he had the first year he was a goalie, caught drift of this and without saying a word, conveyed through his facial expression to me all he needed to - "I'm Disappointed!" I shared the exchange with FBS.

"He's MAD at me?" he gasped.

"No, he's just disappointed. A lot of people will be surprised or disappointed when they find out you aren't playing," I replied.
"But why?" he demanded.
"Because you are a good goalie - not a superstar, but you worked really hard to become good and now people are going to be surprised or disappointed that you've chosen to stop," I reasoned.

Cue the hamster, FBS is thinking hard!

It took another 24 hours of questioning me, his father and himself but finally he came to me.

"Would it be ok if I played hockey this year?" he asked.

"Of course," I answered, "But you have to tell me why you want to play."

"WHAT?! I thought you'd just be happy if I played?"

"No, I want YOU to be happy with the decision you make." I have found it just has helpful to stop taking as it is to blather my mouth off.

So I did.


Which is exactly why I was afraid he was making the wrong decision in the first place....

So, guess who is going out Friday night and pricing Goalie pads.......

I guess the new table and chairs will have to wait until next year!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh Baby you Try!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “try”. Small word, only three letters. But it has a lot of meaning to me and I think, overall, it is under-rated.

Of course, like many words, if you don’t mean it, it becomes rather frustrating. Try. “I will try to get that done for you” could just as easily mean “The chances of that getting done are as good as a snowball in Hell, but hey, if I say 'I’ll try', at least you’ll get off my back”.

We have always asked our children to Try. “I know you don’t like mushrooms Second Born Son, but Try one this time and see if you have changed your mind.”

It came into dinner conversation during a meaningful exchange about the caliber of an athlete on First Born Son’s baseball team. He was being rather harsh and I felt it was time to rein him in and see the child from a different perspective.

“Actually I think Johnny is doing ok,” I said, much to the dismay of FBS. “At least he is trying.” This was met with much scoffing and eye rolling and who knows what else as I cleared the table.

I had the perfect opportunity to prove my point a mere 72 hours later. FBS was not putting his all into his effort. He kicked at the dirt, he swayed in the breeze. He goofed off and wasn’t being overly attentive when given instruction by his coach. He did have moments of promise, a couple of hits, so he wasn’t a complete waste of a position. But he was not up to his regular standard, though I could tell in his mind he felt he was.

As we left the game (where our butts were not just handed to us, but gift wrapped as well) he asked me how I thought he did. And I told him the truth.

And he did not like it.

“I did better than Johnny did,” he retorted. “At least Johnny tried,” I finished.

Johnny is never going to be a great player. He’s there purely for the social aspect. I think his parents feel it’s a great way for him to get out with his friends, who, for the most part, are fairly athletic. For FBS to compare himself to Johnny wasn’t just unfair to Johnny, it was selling himself short as well. I explained to FBS that if he tried, he would do much better. Johnny tries every time he’s on the field and his efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Before you start thinking that I’m the A+ Mom, please know that I don’t believe in perfection. What I feel is my 100% may not be your 100%. I do know that each of us comes with our own level of skills and ability. We have potential that even we are not fully aware of. If I can teach my sons nothing else, then I want them to know that they will find a level of success as long as they Try.

We all know people who float through life. They are caught in their vacuum of security and insulated by fear. Others rest on their laurels, failing to challenge themselves or inspire others.

“Try” is what gets you through the hard times. “Try” is what created the wheel, it’s what heals broken hearts and what ends wars.

I will Try to be a better mother tomorrow than what I am today. I will Try to have the balance I need to have a happy family. I will try to be the best mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend/coach I can be. I will try to vacuum this week….

Saying it is the first part. It’s the doing that will make that three-letter word the most important one in my vocabulary.