Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Unhappy News

I had a cousin named Jason.  He died of cancer on August 30.  He was 41 years old.  He had a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters who are 10 and 6. He will be greatly missed.

We have a large family, there were 17 of us.  Now there are 16.  I am very sad.  I feel very sad for his Mum.  My dear sweet Auntie Susie.

We will all miss him.  In a family of dancers, short on men, he will be missed when we dance.  In a family of huggers, he will be missed when we hug.  I will miss him. 

I feel like it cannot be true.  How can it be?

My only solace is in the fact that he will now be safe with my grandparents.  I do not know what else to say.

I love you Jason.

:o( Tina

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home Alone

For the last three days I have been home alone.

CH and the kids have been out and about - separately and together - and I have been home alone.  Left to do what I want to do.  In theory to do something for me.

The first day I did a super clean of the bathroom and the family room - you know the ones that start off by making a really big mess and end with twinkling clean.  (Have I mentioned I have been washing dishes in the bathroom sink for a MONTH cause the kitchen is still not done???)

Yesterday I cleaned out my sewing area and today my closet (big bag for goodwill always feels great!). I even put away the bin of things waiting to be out away (a big pile of my own clothes that are always the last on the list).  I had a look in the Little Man's room - he has a huge pile on his dresser that needs to be dealt with - but, he can do it.  He is old enough.  I made his bed for him so he had a big surface to work on...

The thing is, I think CH thinks he is doing me a favour and in reality it is so lonely here without them!  Even though I am getting things done at an alarming rate... and finding time to blog.... I do NOT like being home home without the mess makers! Not at all.  Not one bit.

:o)  Tina

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday on Saturday Afternoon!

Okay, so it is almost evening.  I have been busy (there is something out of the ordinary!) and Fridays always sneak up on me.

My cousin is coming tomorrow and I have been on a cleaning binge - she is staying at my parents' BUT with the current state of my kitchen, the house tends to get a little out of control! Oh yah, that's right.  Two months in and the renovation is still not done.  I have been doing dishes in the bathroom for a month.  :(

I spent most of today sorting through my UFOs.  I made a list.  So far there are 21 and I still have a few more to sort out.  Jeesh.  I had no idea there were so many!

So here we go- yesterday's blanks were:

fill in the blank Friday
the little things we do

1. One of life's most simple pleasures is the sound of the short people laughing together over secret kid stuff.

2. Nothing ever makes me want to punch someone. I know of course that this seems untrue but I cannot imagine hitting someone in the face.  Seriously. There are times when I want to smack them out of it, but I don't really get mad like that.

3. I like my husband because, ... I refuse to answer this question.  My family and friends read this blog.  :o) But really, I like him because he is dependable, because he never says no and means it, because he rubs my feet with his every night when we go to bed, because he looks hot with a tan, because he is by far one of the nicest people I have ever met.  

4. Wince is a funny word. I also find bathtub amusing.

5. If I had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be (this one is easy) Noxema.  I could live with water washed hair but I have been using Noxema since I was sixteen and I have pretty good skin. People notice and comment on it on occasion. 

6. I'm happy that my kids are happy, healthy, beautiful, intelligent, funny, well loved, well cared for, and know the importance of being kind.

7. I would never choose to work in a job that did not allow me to be there for every moment my kids need me to be there.

So that is it for today.  Next Saturday I will have another teenaged drama for you.  Haven't started a new book yet...  maybe the kitchen will be done, wouldn't that be something...


:o)  Tina

Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Known Blood

by Lawrence Hill

An Known Blood by Lawrence HillI am now a huge fan of this writer!  I read this back to back with The Book of Negros and loved both of them.  Although I liked The Book of Negros a little more (I felt it had better flow) I will still give this book a high recommendation.  Lawrence Hill's style is great - I have always heard that it is easier to write what you know, and both books that I have read of his have been about writers.

This book is about a man named Langston Cane V his quest to learn more about his family - in particular, the four Langston before him. In his search he uncovers some less than desirable family history, repairs his relationship with his father, and finds a bit of himself.  Over all a very good human story - just how I like them.

:o)  Tina

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Almost.... except for that last really boring post about my waking up after having a really spectacular dream about being at a party and, even better, being a teenager!

This may be the Little Man's way of telling me that perhaps it is time to buy some new, yellow bananas.

The Way Back Machine

 I am the one with crazy eyes and the big ridiculous grin.
This would have been in 1990 or early 1991,
as I am wearing my Grad jacket. Too Funny!
I just woke up and had to write.  I have not been sleeping well - at all - the last month or so as I have been in a bit of a financial crisis which is nearing completion (fingers crossed).  Last night I slept amazingly well.  And I had the best dream.

I dreamt that I was partying (not really doing anything - just hanging out around a bon fire of our own creation away from the "grown-ups") with my old friends, and my new friends, the way we used to way back when nobody had any responsibility, or kids, or jobs with pressure, or husbands (with pain issues or who are gravely ill).

I feel great! Nothing like a trip in the Way Back Machine to energize you and make you feel the same invincibility you felt when you were a teenager.  Today is going to be a fabulous day!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer of the Beach

I have had a lot of things to worry about this summer and have retreated to the beach with my kids and some really good books.

Not to sort out the worries but to escape them.  The beach feels like heaven to me.  Perhaps that has something to do with my being a Pisces.

I don't even mind the sand constantly getting on the blanket. I have gone to Gyro Park, Champion Lake, Syringa Provincial Park, Christina Lake, Osoyoos Lake, Boundary Bay and to my Aunt and Uncle's in Lions Bay.  It has been the summer of the beach. Thing is, I look terrible in a bathing suit but have the best tan I have had since the summer I was 19 (which will SO be a Saturday Story).

So now, I will leave you.  To go back to the beach.

:o)  Tina

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hillby Lawrence Hill

I am on such a roll with excellent books - thanks in large part to my good friend Karen.  This was another story about someone courageous - my favorite kind of book.  I honestly, could not put it down.

It is the story of a woman who was taken from Africa as a child and sold into slavery and her remarkable life's journey. I loved it from the first word until the last.

Read it - you will love it too.

:o)  Tina

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Here it is Friday already. I have had another short internet hiatus but am back now and read to write! This week's Saturday story may be late, or not at all but this is a nice long post to keep you entertained and I am working on more! :o)
fill in the blank Friday

1. My idea of pure perfection would be independent, unending wealth. I don't want to be rich - just comfortable enough to do the things I wish I could do and to spend all the time I can with my kids while they are little(ish). I would still like to have the shop - just none of the worries.

2. Love and kindness make the world go 'round.

3. If it weren't for sleep I'd be able to do all of the millions of things I always want to do.  I would spend time with my kids without sacrificing all of the other things I want to be doing, i.e I would have a clean organized house all the time (not just on rainy days), I would design and sew all of the ideas in my imagination, I would have a hugely successful blog that helped to pay the bills, I would have horses (I have always wanted horses and will have them before I die), I would volunteer at the women's centre and maybe at an old folks home.  Sigh.  For now the shorties, sleep and the shop claim most of my time - but I do find time for the occasional blog post and plenty of sewing (of which I forget to take photos of every time I do it!)

4. Bloggers are are amazing!  Such a wealth of information, so many great person stories and lots and lots of other stuff that I can't get enough of!

5. If I had millions of  dollars I'd help as many people as I could and make sure that everyone I love never had to worry 

6. I'm glad it's Friday because there are not many weekends left before school gets out and I get to spend the next three days with the shorties and most likely go the beach!
Syringa Provincial Park
Penelope at Syringa Provincial Park

7. Something I'm excited about is the arrival of PITA's baby in October.  I think it will be a she and I am so excited to buy baby girl stuff again!
PITA and baby on board (this picture is from about 6 weeks ago but is one of my all time favorites - it even comes up on my phone when she calls)
I thought I would also do 5 Questions Friday from My Little Life as well.  I used to do this as well or instead of Fill in Blank Fridays but then there were like three in a row that kind of turned me off of it - they were kind of "American" and I am not.  By gones, here goes...

1. Do you close the bathroom door when you are home alone?  Our main bathroom (okay, our only bathroom) is in a direct line from our front door - which is the door we use the most - so yes I sure do, who knows when someone will come home.  I would anyway.  Even going in a big bathroom I feel exposed.

P.S. The kitchen renovation is still not done but I do not want to talk about it.

2. You have to walk around with a word on your forehead. That word describes you. One word. What is it? I did not know how to answer this so I asked Penelope and she said, nice.  :o)

3. What store do you refuse to shop at and why?  I don't have any store that I refuse to shop at but I try really hard to avoid Wal-Mart. I watched "Wal-Mart, The High Cost of Low Prices" and it solidified what I already felt.  Big box is bad for the local economy.  As a retailer I have seen it myself - they may not sell fabric anymore but they do sell sewing machines (really crappy, waste of money sewing machines).  I will admit that I have been going there lately but for like 10 months last year CH went without me to get the cheap necessities - dog food, cat food, tp, school snacks, and cereal - so that I would not spend any money that was no necessary to spend.

4. If you participated in arranged marriages for your child(ren), who would you choose for your child(ren)? I would choose the person that made them light up when they walked into the room.  I would choose the person they wanted me to choose.

5. If you could pick how and when you would die, would you? NO I am not sure I would ever sleep again.

:o)  Tina

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stumbled Upon #3

Oh how I have missed the internet and its vast wealth of time sucking knowledge, knick knacks, and time wasters.  It is such a love hate relationship - mostly love.  Sigh...the beach and summer vacationing has kept me away far too long.

Here are some of the things oo'd and aw'd over in the last little while.

I joined a social networking site called GoodReads - like an online book club.  You can keep track of what you have read, what you want to read, and what you are reading.  You can write a review and rate each book and read what others are saying about the book.  I am fully back into reading now that my kids can keep themselves occupied and I think this site will become a very good resource for me.  You can friend me (Tina Ihas) there if you like, I would be happy to have you.

Check out this super cute pin cushion, notion keep on Etsy.  This is from one of my followers shops - I love it.  I am thinking about buying it for a special someone from Christmas. (I like to start early)

See it on ETSY!
I came across this fun website after we got home from Vancouver.  I have book marked it for future reference as it seems valuable and Vancouver is our #1 vacation destination.

Happy serfing,

:o)  Tina

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Stories #3

If you are reading this and you know me personally, please know that it is not my intention to hurt, harm, or disrespect anyone.  These are events the way that I remember them, the way I lived them, how I felt about them. This is only about me.  Nobody else. This is my story.

I think I can.  I know I can.  I will.

She’s a Little Runaway Part 1

Oye I really do not even know when to start with this part of my story.  I guess at the beginning.

My cousin Debbie – the only female first cousin I have on my Dad’s side – is the same age as me.  She was a handful and I was the good girl. That summer evened us out a little.

Before I go any further I need to refer you back to the first Saturday Story about my Grandma’s place at The Lake.  My parents, as well as my Dad’s brother and sister, all had their own homes on my Grandma’s property.  My Auntie Denise, Uncle Don and my cousins Debbie and Calvin lived in their spot all year round from about the time I was about 13.  Debbie and I never got along very well.  We played together because we were put together but she lied and cheated and stole and was selfish and bossy.  Even as a small child she was not very nice and we did not see eye to eye most of the time. The summer of 1988 was the only time in my life when I ever felt any sort of commradery with her.

One summer my Grandma (God rest her messy soul) made a deal with us to clean her house for a flat of strawberries each.  While cleaning, Debbie decided to help herself to some of my cousin Paul's money.  She blamed me.  It was a disaster - typical of our relationship.  Needless to say, goodbye strawberries.  Honestly she was horrible.  She still is.  And I am not a person who says this about most people.  I would rather believe that people are good and that if they are acting horribly there is a reason.  In this case, I think the reason is way to deep set into her and she is just horrible, plain and simple. Anyway,

Debbie was a party girl.  My Aunt and Uncle were at work and she was smoking and drinking with her friends on their patio every night of the week.  The first few days I was out there asking them to please not swear and lecturing them on the evils of smoking (oh yeah, I was a 15 year old goody-two-shoes).  By the second week of this I was making plans to sneak out with them.  One of them in particular.

Honestly, I do not even know how it happened. It was one of those things where after the dust has settled you are standing there going - what the heck was that??? It was a long time ago, perhaps I too many of the details are foggy not for me to remember everything.  I do remember being excited - in a freaked out brave sort of way.

So, lets see what I can remember.  Debbie and I planning our way out my bedroom window, or wherever I was sleeping, for several nights in a row....  The night I got caught, what do I remember?  My parents suggesting I sleep in the tent.  Keeping my clothes on under my pajamas.  Putting my alarm clock under my pillow just in case I fell asleep before I got the signal.  Telling my Mum I loved her.  Hearing the pebbles hit the tent.  Taking off the pajamas and shutting off the alarm and sneaking out of the tent and around the corner with my shoes and jacket in my hands and coming face to face with my Mum.  Turning around and seeing my Dad.  Running in the only other direction I could run in.  My Dad chasing me - and catching me.  My Mum interrogating me while my Dad searched the neighborhood for the peddle tosser...

Until next week ~

:o) Tina

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

This week's blanks are about birthdays - my birthdays.  Other than the fabulous birthday cakes my Mum used to make for me when I was a kid, I do not have any significant birthday memories so I am choosing to fill in blanks from a post before I began filling in the blanks, the one closest to my own birthday!

fill in the blank Friday
the little things we do
1. Today I am wearing chocolate brown short and a raspberry pheasant blouse.  Sounds cool but the AC is broken at the shop and it was 88 went I left.  TOO HOT!!

2. My favorite childhood food was puppy on the stick - my Mum's version of corn dogs (so yummy) and my favorite food now is ...I don't think I can just choose one. I really love my own cooking and there are a few things my Mum makes that are so yummy (turkey with stuffing, cupcrooks (basically giant meat filled gnocchi), fried zucchini, ravioli, and of course puppy on the stick - yummy...)

3. A day that I am too busy to sew and/or blog is a day that I am too busy. (or maybe I am just at the beach with not electricity or cell service...)

4. The last movie I saw was Nell on Netflix and the next movie I want to see is The Kids are Alright.  Neither of which is a new movie but I am not much of a trend follower.

5. My favorite smell is a toss up between gardenia and clean laundry in scented air land but would be coffee/toast combination for smells that are just there because, it reminds me of my Granty and Grandad's house in the morning.  I also love the sound of blaring talk radio and the hum of an electric razor for the very same reason.

6. A weird little quirk I have is ... A weird quirk!  HA!  But there are so many, how can I choose only one.  ( I am so glad that I chose these blanks).  Let me see - when I make a sandwich, whatever is on the sandwich has to cover all of the bread. Every little bit.  Maybe refer to my 15 Interesting Things About Me post or this is going to be WAY to long of answer for only one blank.

7. When I take personality quizzes they always say I am a bit of an introvert with extroverted tendencies.  I think that is pretty accurate.  I am brave and open in some situations (blogging or at the shop) where I am very confident and much less so in others.  Having said that, I was voted best party person in high school.

See yah!

:o)  Tina

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BB2G July World Tour: I Am Enough

This is a blog that I am big fan of - and a post that seems to be a bit about me...

BB2G July World Tour: I Am Enough

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Scoop

Okay so here it is.  The ugly truth. I have been busy.  Perhaps too busy to blog.  Busy having fun.

The sun has finally decided to shine in my part of the world and I have been making time to enjoy it with my kids.    I have spent a large number of days at the beach with them, and sometimes even CH gets to come. I have the best tan I have had in ages and it has been the shortest summer.

Beautiful blue sky kinda day.
This is Monday.  Sunday it was packed.
The end of the day.  The sun setting through the trees.
Talk to you soon!

:o)  Tina

Monday, August 8, 2011


by Jeffrey Eugenides

I could not put this book down, it was a great read. It was descriptive enough to keep you interested, to allow you to clearly envision the atmosphere and location of the events that were taking place without boring you half to death (it has happened, I skip ahead).  This is the kind of book that when you are finished reading it you skip ahead to the really interesting parts in the next book you read.

Jeffrey Eugenides also wrote the Virigin Suicides which I think I might read - or watch again.

Its a 5 for sure!

:o)  Tina

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Stories #2

If you are reading this and you know me personally, please know that it is not my intention to hurt, harm, or disrespect anyone.  These are events the way that I remember them, the way I lived them, how I felt about them. This is only about me.  Nobody else. This is my story.

I think I can.  I know I can.  I will.

Spring Fling

Okay, so let’s skip ahead through the trips to Vancouver to visit my maternal grandparents, the camping and water slides and sightseeing and endless days in our boat out on the lake and all of our other fun summer activities to the rest of the year.  Still – idealic.  I had an easy and enjoyable childhood.  My Dad had a good job, my Mum stayed home and took care of us.  We had everything we needed, almost everything we wanted, and always felt unconditionally loved.  Like I said, I cannot remember anything that wasn’t great.  Every day I hope my kids will be able to say the same thing.

I think things started to change when I was in grade eight. Unlucky 13. Once the hormones were unleashed and my parents were faced with my desire to be independent.  To make my own decisions.  My Mum has a tendency to want to control a situation (I inherited this trait!) and as I have now learned through my own experience that does not work well with hormonal teenagers (more on this later). I remember a lot of fights that got really ugly that were really only just a battle of wills. Making my lunch before I did something I wanted to do, borrowing my friend`s clothes knowing that was a no no in our house… those kinds of things.
In the spring of 1988 my life began to change.  When I look back on the differences between childhood and teenager-hood 1988 is when a lot of the big things really seemed to have happened, after that it was growing – growing up and growing into the changes that I had haphazardly inflicted upon myself.  It was the year of rebellion - sex, drinking, smoking pot… running away.

In the spring I seemed to be a bit of a magnet for boys – and I loved it.  There were a few calling my house all the time and I was crazy about a few others.  One of them being a member of the cross country running team named Tom Sendit. He was horrible to me which of course kept me coming back for more.  I went to dance with my friends and was making out with him in his best friend Ben’s truck and when he wanted to kick it up a notch I said “No.  We are not even going out.” – his response was “We are now.”  Classy and memorable.  He spent the early part of the spring I was in grade nine trying to convince me to have sex with him (which I didn’t) and getting me to do his English homework (which I did).  There was no official end to that relationship , he just stopped taking my calls and using me to do his homework.  I remember being disappointed and a little embarrassed but more because of the defeat than the loss – I was so indestructible back then.

Later on that spring, my friends and I got some beer to get drunk for another dance.  We each guzzled our six pack and went into the dance totally plastered.  I cannot believe I drank that much – one beer and I am tipsy now and I am twice the weight I was then!  Anyway, my memories of that night are vague.  I had a friend named Mark who was dancing with Ben’s sister and I approached him for… help, maybe just because he was a familiar face… and Ben’s sister suggested I go ask him to help me.  I do not remember much more about the dance (other than the throwing up).  Ben walked me home, making sure I got home safely, and then before leaving, he told me that he loved me.  He told me that if I remember him telling me that the next morning I should come to Gyro Park to watch him run.  I did and so I did.

(Aside:  My parents were away and the neighbours were keeping an eye on us.  The pot smoking, Nazereth listening, Steve King reading neighbour. I was not worried about going home.)

Wouldn’t it be a nice story if I could say “and we got married and had children and to this day I love him more and more with each passing moment” and blah blah blah – readers, that is not the case. There is so much more to tell. I lived hard and had more fun than one person should be allowed to have for the next 15 years.  I assembled stories and learned lessons.  I created a past for myself that I hope my children will not be able to claim for themselves.  I did stupid reckless things and put my life in danger.  I drank too much and did too many drugs.  So many things, that I do not want my kids to be a part of.  My poor parents.

Ironically, I have come full circle as Ben possessed, at 17, many of the qualities that I love about CH.  He was responsible, dependable, very nice and very easy – easy to understand, easy to please, easy to get along with.  There was never a hidden agenda. He did what he could for me and tried to do more.  He taught me how to drive and how I liked to be kissed. I, on the other hand stomped all over his poor heart.  He is married to a friend of mine now, they have two kids, two dogs, a nice house and seem to have a nice life – not too damaged by me!

In June, as we always did when school got out, we headed out to the lake.  I do not remember being too worried about seeing Ben.  I may have been, but it is not something that has stuck with me.  Funny how life works, isn’t it?  I was not attached to him then but I am attached to the memories I have of him now – he was there for the last of my innocence.  He held my hand during the last months of my childhood, helping me up the steps to the next stage of my life. 

As the summer progressed, Ben rode his bike out the Lake to see me.  (About 50 minutes in the car – he was on the track team and in great shape but I do not know how long that would have taken.  Too long.  TWO very steep passes.)  The second time he came out was a disaster. I had met someone else.  Someone not as nice.  Someone who would dramatically change my life.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. My go to outfit for a dress-up occasion like a wedding is something flowy and flowery and that is a pretty color.  I feel the best in girly clothes.

2. This week has been stressfull, to say the least.  I (we) are having some money problems that have come to a head and we are trying to redo our mortage to take care of them.  It has been a hard couple of years since CH went on disability.  Learning to live within our means has been a challenge at best.  I think we have finally got it now that we are in the hole! :o)  Could be worse, it is money not health or happiness.  Right????

3. When it's dinnertime and I'm feeling lazy I try very hard to put it aside and make my kids something decent to eat.  I do not want them ending up with bad eating habits like me.  Remember chips are my favorite food group - Penelope and the Little Man prefer fruit and veg.
4. My favorite pair of shoes are my flip flops.  When I was in my 20s I had a fabulous shoe collection which contained my all time favorite shoes - a pair of 9 West wedge sandles.  They were like walking on mattresses - so comfy, cute and made me like 5 inches taller!

5. A random item that I own that is completely unnecessary, but that I could never part with is my tea pot collection.  I love tea (as you may already know) and have about 40 tea pots - none of which get used.  I started with one belonging to my great-grandmother and the collection blossomed from there.

6. My favorite person is ... one really?  I can't do it.  I have a favorite people - CH, Penelope and the Little Man, PITA & Co., Grandpa, the Aunts, my parents, the Wilters. (Not necessarily in that order) 

7. If I were going to write my own blank it would say "When I was a kid all I wanted to be when I grew up was a mum and maybe a truck driver.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Big Question

If you had a theme song, what would it be and why?

I think that the circus song - you know "de de de le de de de" would be my theme song, because I never stop thinking.  My brain is always full steam ahead - in an amusing sory of way.

Have a nice Monday ~ I am off to the beach!

:o)  Tina