Mother’s Day…Ugh!!! Sunday, May 9 2010 

I have always had a “bee in my bonnet” about Mother’s Day or really any day that is made so commercial that it is all about the dollars and cents and not about embracing those in our life who have impacted our lives.  A friend of mind said “$7 for a Mother’s Day Card is scandalous” and I agree.  So what are my thoughts on this Mother’s Day…now these are my perceptions and my truth and how I am working through them…

I don’t remember much about Mother’s Day as a young child, probably because my mom was sick during the time I was 10 to 12 years old and then died when I had just turned 12.  I don’t think my issues with Mother’s Day came about until I was much older and a mother myself.  Being a mom was the most difficult experience of my life, probably not because it was so difficult, but because of these preconceived perceptions I had within myself that made it difficult for me.  There is no doubt that I am not a typical “mothering” type and “mothering” does not come naturally to me, but over the years I have realized that being a “learned” mom is just as amazing and our children benefit from us being their moms as well.  Parenting our children while we were attending a conservative evangelical church where the stereotypical wife and mother were propagated, I was always consumed with guilt because I wasn’t one of those amazing women who loved to cook, clean, bake and whose only desire in life was to be a wife and mother!  I was full of anger and frustration as I tried to be somebody I wasn’t, and, of course, failed miserably at trying to be somebody I wasn’t.  It has only been over the last 10 years that I have realized that I was and am a good mom and that I parented and loved my kids from my heart and in the way I was put together, and that there is beauty and good things encased in this “untypical” “christian” mom!!!  During all this learning, I have had the privilege of having an amazing husband who has never desired for me to be the “typical” “stereotypical” wife and mother, and has said “If that was who I had wanted to marry, I would never have married you”…so…on this Mother’s Day, I want to encourage each person, female and male, to embrace who you are and live life…not embracing the “christian” or “society” stereotypical role for female or male and embrace and enjoy “who you are” and “whose you are”.

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“Crossing Over”… Sunday, Apr 11 2010 

I just completed reading the book “Crossing Over” given to me by my son-in-law, Benny.  It was a very informative, learning read.  It is written of families who cross over the border from Mexico to United States to work…most of them crossing illegally.  The book followed the lives of a number of families who had made this trek for 3 generations and the great-grandchildren were now making the trek.  It also articulated the families who have relocated to live in the United States and how they are being assimilated into the American culture, but still wanting to keep their own culture.  The Mexican culture is a very mixed culture which transpired over the last hundreds of years.  I have never really taken an interest in Mexican history or culture, but with my daughter married to a Mexican and with a granddaughter in the mix, I thought it would be good to do some reading and learning in this whole area.  It is very interesting, very very sad, very very funny, very very confusing…but then I guess life wherever we live is all of those things as well.  I will be doing more research and reading on the subject.

Home again… Monday, Mar 29 2010 

Well, I am back in Saskatoon after spending 5 weeks in the sunny south…California!  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to coming home, but life must go on and I have to head back to reality.  I left the Palm Springs Airport with my little granddaughter, Chela, crying her heart out and running after me!  I cried most of the way to Denver, but the good thing was that going through security at Palm Springs was much easier as a “crying senior” rather than a “self-confident senior”…they couldn’t do enough to help me through and never even looked into one of my carry-ons.  I will miss that little girl so much!  There is no doubt that she is the light of our lives and brings much joy to us.  Now I will have to rely on Skype to bring her into my life as often as possible.  One nice thing, is that most of the snow is gone and the week ahead looks like it should be nice.  Now to get down to cleaning out my suitcases and doing some wash!  Oh the joys of home!

El Centro… Sunday, Mar 21 2010 

I haven’t blogged for a while as it has been busy here at Tamara’s and I don’t realize how much time is spent playing and spending time with our little Chela Bela.  She has to be the funniest kid around and I spend most of the day laughing at her except for the times when she is having a “hissy fit” and I am trying to hang on to her so she doesn’t fall or bang herself too hard!  She talks her own language and you can pretty well guess what she is saying by the intonation of her voice.  Her friend Nathan, who is 3, was here a couple of days ago and was pretending to be The Incredible Hulk and jumping off the bed…well now she jabbers away with her arms up in the air and then proceeds to jump off of anything she is standing on…too funny.  When she wants you to listen to her, she makes sure you are looking at her and she puts her head to the side and talks a mile a minute.  I am having so much fun with her.  She can maneuver anything with wheels, backwards, sideways, front…and today she was walking on the curbs without falling…one foot right in front of the other.  Just some of my fun times with my 1 1/2 old granddaughter.  I have one more week here and then I head back home.

Our Small Group skyped me tonight from Saskatoon.  That was so fun and it was so good to see my good friend, Darren & Sherryl, Kevin & Carla, Mike and Sandi…miss those people and will be so good to see them and have some good conversations.

Tamara’s friend Rachelle and her parents are coming over tomorrow to celebrate Rachelle’s birthday.  It will be swimming at the water park and then barbacue steak and coconut cupcakes…delicious.  Another beautiful day in the sunshine is anticipated.

Mom was cleaning her carpet so her play things were piled up!

  1. This is what we do at the mall!!

Outlet Malls… Tuesday, Mar 2 2010 

Well today, March 1st, was our shopping day, so off to the outlet malls we head at 9:00 am this morning.  We arrived before the stores opened so hung out in the sun enjoying the beautiful morning.  Then the siege began!  There is no doubt that the prices are right and there is something to say about the American merchandising…for instance…it is nearly impossible for me to purchase shoes in Canadian that are not an exorbitant price because of my narrow foot.  However, the first store I entered today I had to make a BIG decision about what shoes I would purchase as there was more than one style and more than one pair of shoes to choose from….shoes actually manufactured in a narrow width…and they are shoes that are actually comfortable and can be worn for long periods of time without my feet nearly falling apart…oh the joys of outlet mall shopping.  My most favorite store to shop in is the Carters Children’s Store.  I did have fun again today shopping for little Chela Bela and enjoying the fact that the purchases I were at prices I can only imagine would come to Saskatoon…too fun and the clothes were fun as well.  The rest of the day was spent with Jerry outfitting himself as we both are not shoppers and we only do this about once a year…he was fortunate as well and the sizes here fit him…he even tried on a couple of long sleeved shirts where the sleeves were too long…that just never happens and we had a good laugh over that.  Well, with that day behind us, we had a good meal as we hadn’t eaten much throughout our shopping spree…then went to see the movie “It’s complicated” which was so funny….we had lots of laughs…came back to our condo and now are ready for bed.

Trip to El Centro… Monday, Mar 1 2010 

We got up early, that is, 6:30 am, so we could leave by 7:30 am to give us time to stop at Starbucks and get to El Centro around 9:00 am.  Jerry was driving so we got there in good time.  Benny had to work but we got time to have some eggs and chorizo for breakfast…Benny’s specialty…together with some good coffee and then we took Benny to work.  We saw about two dozen F18s rev up their engines and take off…it was so loud but so fun to watch.  Chela wasn’t too happy with all the noise but was entertained by running around in the big parking lot.  We then headed back to Tamara’s where we checked out Tamara’s garden which is growing amazingly…peas, onions, peppers, lettuce, strawberries, zucchinni, tomatoes and pots with flowers she planted.  Everything is growing and Joanne ate a couple of the peas.  Laila was so excited to get so much attention and she loved all the fuss given her.

Chela went down for a nap and I decided to stay with her while the rest of the troop headed out to the Base runway to see the practice run being done by the Blue Angels as they practiced for their upcoming airshows.  They gave the troop 45 minutes of uninterrupted show of all the maneuvers she would be doing in their upcoming airshows…absolutely amazing…Joanne’s best moment was when Tamara said to her “Watch out Aunti Joanne” and this jet came roaring from behind them going at full speed about 50 feet off the ground…nearly scared the “blank” out of her.  I couldn’t believe that Chela could sleep through all the jet noise, but it didn’t seem to bother her at all.

When Benny was done work, we all hopped in the Pilot and did the grand tour for Dwight and Joanne.  We showed them the fence between Mexico and USA…we went to Calexico and drove right up to the fence where you could be Mexicali on the other side.  They saw all the Border Control vehicles and the sand that goes up to the fence.  We saw downtown El Centro and the headed out to Imperial to our favorite Mexican restaurant where we totally sufficed our appetites with the great food we ate.  We headed back to Benny and Tamara’s and decided we needed dessert so stopped to pick up a peach pie and ice cream…which we ate before we headed back to Palm Desert.  Chela entertained us with her acrobats and dancing and was not a happy camper when we left.  All in all it was a great day.  Lots of fun with the Benavides family and a great airshow put on especially for us…you couldn’t ask for anything better.

Today, being Sunday, Jerry went back to the car show and Dwight, Joanne and I went to the flea market to check out the sales and we came away with some amazing jewellery.  We then headed out to pick up Jerry from his car show and realized that the Canada USA hockey game was on.

We watched the hockey game…Joanne nearly needed to be resuscitate a couple of times…but we did win in the end and we were shouting and yelling…proud to be Canadian.  Then we headed out to the pool and caught up on a little of the sun…went for a walk…and then were excited to be watch the Closing Ceremonies….but we now realize that here in the USofA they did not broadcast these kinds of events live…so we are waiting patiently until 8:00 pm to see…probably…only a snippet of the Closing Ceremonies…very frustrating being here as when it comes to the Olympics…they don’t get it!!  It was a great weekend!

Car Show in Palm Desert… Saturday, Feb 27 2010 

We headed out to the “48th Collector Car Show & Auction” which takes place the next 3 days.  Jerry and Dwight had seen the “Batmobile” the other day as I guess it is going to be on the auction block.  These are some of the cars we saw this afternoon:  Jerry’s favorite ’63 Corvette; Joanne’s favorite ’63 Black Impala; Dwight’s favorite ’51 Chev Pickup; Gloria’s favorite was a Teal Blue ’53 Ford Truck; 1969 Road Runner with the Big Fin; 1966 Edsel; alot of Cadillacs, Mercedes, Bentleys, Rolls Royce, Jags, Lincolns, Imperials, Edsel Ambulance – one of four ever made; Hotrods – 33 Fords, 31 Model A, 32 Fords…and any other vehicle you could imagine.  We stayed for a bit of the auction, but the auctioneer talked so fast that he had smoke coming out of his ears!!!  We got tired of listening so we left.  While at the car show, all of a sudden I heard my name called and I turned around and who was standing there but our friends Dave and Colleen Scott from Saskatoon.  They are here in Palm Springs for a couple of months this winter.  We hope to connect for coffee or dinner in the next week or so.  So fun to see them!  Now tomorrow we are off to El Centro for the day…looking forward to that!

Lazy days in Palm Springs… Friday, Feb 26 2010 

We have had some amazing days here down south in the beautiful sunshine and blue skies.  Dwight and Jerry have been doing some traveling with Dwight’s work and Joanne and I have been hanging out at the pool, reading our books and really not doing much of anything.  It has been awesome!  It looks like we will head out to El Centro tomorrow as the Blue Angels are going to be doing a practice run and it will be fun for Dwight and Joanne to see them.  It is about a little over a hour drive from Palm Springs so we will head out there early tomorrow morning.  Joanne and I have been doing long walks in the morning and checked out the Exercise Room and tried out all the equipment…Joanne’s arms hurt today…mine are fine but then I didn’t put any weights on the machines I did!!!!!!  We played our first games of cards last night and that is always fun…you wouldn’t want to listen in on our conversation as it gets quite interesting as the games progress…needless to say “I was doomed” and of course didn’t win one game.  At the pool the other day I looked up from my lounge chair and met the eyes of the “Roadrunner” who was also lounging around the pool…too funny!  We also have one that keeps us entertained outside our patio.  We also have rabbits to entertain us…and we saw a little baby bunny around the pool area yesterday.  Lots of fun!  Today the guys are around so not sure what we will do, but it will be leisurely and unhurried!  This is the life…at least for a couple of weeks.

Lazy Day – Day 6 Thursday, Feb 25 2010 

Today Jerry and Dwight headed out early to make some business calls in Orange County.  Joanne and I did our morning walk and then spent the rest of the day at the pool…awesome day.  We loved the Canada hockey victory tonight against Russia and the rest of the evening is about watching Olympics and reading our books.  Another great day of vacation!

Hanging out at the pool – Day 5 Wednesday, Feb 24 2010 

We had a great day today which started out by having our morning coffee on the patio with Dwight and Joanne.  It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining and the sky clear blue.  Jerry and Dwight wanted to do some running around, so they headed out, and Joanne and I went for a long walk.  When we got back we put on our swimming suits and headed to the pool for a few hours.  The pools here are absolutely beautiful, not that we go swimming or anything like that, we just lay on our lounge chairs and look beautiful!!!  What a great lazy day!  Got some reading done and just relaxing.  We went to the Outback Steakhouse tonight…it was absolutely delicious and topped it off with a great Hot Chocolate Brownie topped with Ice Cream and Whipped Cream…very good.  We are now watching some Olympics on NBC.  I have to say the coverage of the Olympics on NBC leaves a great deal to be desired.  After watching the coverage in Canada, and then coming here…it is absolutely ridiculous the coverage here…cannot believe it!!!  Stayed up late last night to see the Gold Medal skate of our Skating Dancing Team.  It was so fun watching them getting their medals and hearing the national anthem sung loud and clear by all…it brought tears to my eyes!  I was proud to be a Canadian.

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