Lots of unconditional love!

20130628_183552 20130628_183449 20130628_183500What an amazing weekend!  I am surrounded by 5 species who are giving me so much attention.  It will soon go to my head!!  I’m telling you, pet sitting is not difficult here, that’s for sure!  I am getting all the lovin’ a girl can ask for…

I am getting kisses, getting nudged and cuddled and THAT is not something to take for granted. No sireee; plus they do not expect anything from me except loving them.  Only pets can really give you that unconditional kind of love (except for my mom of course).

And since I do enjoy the quietness of the country, just birds, occasional car…I can reap this type of environment and write or read at my heart`s content. No disturbances whatsoever.  If one of the pooches need to go out, they stand up, move around a little to show that they are alive but no barking or whimpering on their part.  Nope, they sure are amazing!!

And the felines are just as amazing.  GiGi the grey little one will jump on the kitchen counter so I can run some water for her but I 20130628_191738don`t let her do that.  Their master have tried to wean her off that habit.  I just fill up her dish with “fresh” water right next to the sink and she loves it.

20130628_185640My heart does go out to Bill, though as he is sore. Yep, his joints are aching alright and I can so relate some days.  He has eyes that make you want to weep and cuddle him, but not too hard so as not to hurt the little fella.

The girls are pretty nice…so gentle considering their size! Mornings they nudge their noses on my bed to tell me “they gotta GO!” but20130628_183358 they don`t whine…they patiently wait.  Amazing!!!

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Now Shabby, he is so adorable with one green eye and one blue eye.  He tried to run away last year but I got his number this year and I check him much better.  For some reason,he seems to like me more and wants to stick around and comes close to me so I can pet him…both felines let me hold them for more than a minute.  Well, GiGi is a suckee alright, she just enjoys being held and petted.

So that`s how I start the first half of my weekend…Canada Day weekend here.  My friends in Toronto are also celebrating Gay Pride and I wish I could see that amazing parade they have every year on Yonge Street…it is a sight to see!!

20130628_191658But for now, I am just as content relaxing with my friends.  CL

 

Bonne St-Jean Baptiste!!

national_aboriginal_day_aptnWhat does this weekend represent to us Canadians?  Hmm, well last night I watched on APTN, National Aboriginal Day and the talent was outstanding!  So many different genres of music! It was moving, touching and entertaining and as a festival should be…fun!  What a great day to celebrate Summer Solstice and the fact that it was my mother’s birthday as well made it all worthy of such celebrations.

This weekend represents for the end of the school year for students up to and including High School in Quebec…other provinces across Canada may be a few more days still.

My son, a high school teacher, can now look forward to some R & R and much needed rest.  Why? Because teaching is NOT easy plus he travels so much to and from school…crossing 2 bridges one way only!

st-jean-baptistes-dayWhat else is happening this weekend…our National holiday for people residing  in Quebec…June 24th, is Saint Jean Baptiste Day…La fête nationale du Québec .

It is a celebration of Francophone identity, culture and history. On this day,  it is customary to wish  Quebecois  and French Canadian people, Bonne St-Jean!

In many towns and cities across Quebec, St-Jean Baptiste Day  used to be celebrated with parades and floats. I remember in my small town the same boy for 3 years was on the float posing as St Jean Baptiste with his blonde curly locks.   There was dancing in the streets, a fair for everyone to have fun and ended the evening with a huge bonfire and then  fireworks…I loved St-Jean Baptiste Day as a child.

photo_985266_resizeIt is still widely celebrated and there are huge concerts with celebrities in major cities in the 13province who perform.  A nice occasion to sit by a bonfire with friends and family, play guitar and sing along…it is connecting with folks…period. I used to love to sit by the bonfire at our camping when the children were younger and we gather to look with awe at the fireworks a few campers set off near the pier by the lake.

downloadThe traditional bonfire celebrating Summer Solstice (Midsummer)  on June 23rd  in various countries around the world, aboriginal-language-canadacontinues in Quebec joined with the celebration of St. Jean Baptiste. 

I find it to be a grand family celebration especially…who does not like a fair type day?  Who does not like fireworks?  It is a time to promote la Joie de Vive we, Quebecois are known for…live and let live.

Bonne St- Jean!

Rock a bye baby…

Emma June 14, 2013
Emma June 14, 2013

Finally I get to see my friend and her squeaky new born baby!! Yay!!  I can`t wait to smell her newborn baby scent.  I wish they could find cologne to mimic that awesome smell.  Just like the smell of leather…when you walk into Danier`s the smell of leather just fills your nostrils and it`s such pleasant and raw, sensual smell.  Oh my! Now how did I get on the subject of scents?  Oh yeah…babies!!!

How I remember well my first born!  When coming home from hospital, my son`s dad was getting things out of the car and I had laid my son on our double bed.  He looked so darn tiny.  I had undressed him and just stared at this tiny precious human being who was so dependent on me…on us.  The only thing he could do on his own was breath, pee, pooh, fart, burp and cry.  Well the burping needed a little help too.  But still!  I was just so overwhelmed with the sight of this infant and wondered if I would manage.

2013-04-07 16.17.56Speaking with my friend on the phone tonight made those entire memories flood back to me.  She has lots more friends with young children to tell her what to do and not do though.   Hopefully she will limit the “free advice” to a few that are consistent with her beliefs.  It can get so daunting and annoying too.  It is a time that moms are vulnerable to criticism and advice.  Advice giving can also destabilize a new mom.  She needs to build her confidence not be told what to do every second of the day!  She needs to be empowered and a little reasonable support and suggestion here and there is fine…but please!! Women, don`t you remember how you felt when tom, dick and harry told you what to do and not to do?  Most advice contradicted with others and it got so confusing you just wanted to scream!! More often than not, you just curled up and cried out of helplessness and discouragement.

I had a few close friends who had young children and family of course.  And I limited regular phone calls to ONLY 3 moms that had similar values and parenting styles that I admired and wanted as a model.  I was nursing my son and back in 1978 it was just returning as the “norm”.  So many family members kept questioning me, “Why do you bother to do that? You are going to be so tired and what if your milk does not come in? What if you don`t have enough milk? And what about when you get back to work in 3 months?” In those days maternity leave was maximum 4 months paid by unemployment insurance.

Well, I will never forget the support I got from those 3 moms and I joined a support group similar to La Leche League at our local CLSC and eventually volunteered and offered support in turn too.  It replaced the old-fashioned huge extended families.  Many moms supporting other moms with breastfeeding, child development, nutrition, parenting and so much more.  It was a place you could feel “normal” for feeling overwhelmed at times being a stay at home mom.  It`s the toughest and most important job you will ever do in a lifetime…raising a child.

Boy oh boy, they sure don`t tell us that at sex Ed classes and not even during prenatal classes!  The little infant does not EVEN come back home from hospital with a workbook with instructions adapted to “this particular model”.  No Sireee, once you get home…you are on your own!

So it is a good thing you can scrounge up some supportive friends, some family and professional resources too.

annetteI remember when my dearest friend,  Annette came to visit me when I first came out of hospital. I was so tired. I could hardly sit down for obvious reasons and I had not got the hang of the nursing quite yet…I was so awkward, weak and sore.  I bet I looked like a rag for sure. Well, she didn`t stay long and 4 days later, she arrives at 11a.m. with a huge container in her arms.  The container was 2 full course warm meals for our lunch.  I was so surprised and pleased as well.   After we ate, I fed my son and then she asked if she could burp him and put him to sleep while I had a nap.  Oh boy!! Did I run to bed quickly.  I trusted her with my baby…she was his godmother after all!  Normally I was a little tigress with my baby but not with Annette.

I could hear him whimpering and then crying. Oh dear, I thought, he must have gas…poor thing.  But she sang to him and rocked him and he finally went to sleep.  She nestled him in the crib next to my bed and shut the door.

For 2 hours she dusted, mopped the floor, vacuumed the entire house, washed my kitchen, did the dishes and washed my bathroom from A to Z.  And when Annette cleans up…you DO notice!!  I was so touched when I woke up and saw all that she did.  I will never, to this day, ever forget her selfless act that day.  I guess that`s why we have been friends for so many years.  My son is now 34 and I still remember that day like it was yesterday.

I hope I can be of service to my dear friend tomorrow too and rock that beautiful infant so her mama can rest a bit.  This is the beginning of a new chapter in her life, and in mine as well.  Thank you, Marie-Hélène for being you and having Emma.

Welcome Emma…

Emma

Welcome dear dear Emma to this world on this 14th day of June, 2013.

Mama and Papa and all your family are so pleased you are here.  Mama especially can rest assured that you are well; that you have 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot:)

Life for Marie will never be the same now that you have entered her life…the sky will be bluer, the sun will shine brighter and the stars will twinkle more.

Lovely, beautiful Emma…Luv, hugs and kisses,

Auntie Cheryl-Lynn aka NanaLynn

Children killing children?

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Toddlers and pre-school children are supposed to laugh until they pee their pants, play with silly putty, draw, paint with their hands and feet, walk barefoot in mud puddles, make mud pies, pee in the pool, eat chocolate cake with their hands and smear the frosting on their chubby cheeks, jump on their beds, make houses with the couch cushions…okay, alright already…maybe play games on the computer or  tablet  but the mud puddles are way more fun!   Am I right?

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, folks.  I just logged on to Facebook,  before I get ready for a nice long weekend of leisure….no problems…not worrying about the world,  not worrying about youths in crisis because I know if they call the youth line where I work, they will be in excellent hands.  I can just feel free like a butterfly until I saw THIS…{I have no clue how to embed links so sorry for that}

Toddlers Killed more Americans than Terrorists did this year!

 

If you are like me, you will NOT  have be able to read the entire article…skimming quickly through tears was about all I could manage. What is going on people?!!! Of course I am anti-gun but still I am willing to live and let live…and if parents like to go hunting….well lock up the friggin weapons!!! Keep them in a place no ONE will get to or find.  Maybe, just maybe, when you are all done with your hunting trips…how about locking up the weapons in a POLICE warehouse somewhere….guarded by real MEAN guards!!

{I am so stark raving MAD right now…anger is so much better to handle than intense sadness}.Notice how I have used ONLY the term WEAPONS!  That is what they are.  They are made to KILL. Aw, yes, you will say but it is for killing animals. Hmmm, last I checked the same ammunition actually CAN and DOES KILL HUMANS.

I am just so angry, sad, frustrated….now this did NOT make my start of a great weekend…THIS is the reason I don’t watch the news or buy newspapers…guess I am going to have to cut Facebook because there is always someone who wants to  share bad news:(

Maybe this was a bad Thursday the 13th hoax…I am hoping that perhaps this is a hoax…yeah, that`s it! It may be a hoax that has gone viral…yeah, that must be it…

PS. if this IS true, no matter how frustrating this is, my heart goes out for the grieving parents…I cannot begin to imagine their grief:(

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, June 13, 2013

Cycling rant:(

Okay, time to write a RANT about cyclists.  This is NOT addressed to courteous cyclists.   And yes I realize the cyclists have to be doubly careful on the city streets…{all the more reason to wear a helmet and have a BELL on your bike}.  It could actually save YOUR life and the other pedestrian too!! 

I realize some people will be offended by this rant…but hey, if the shoe don’t fit…stop fretting!! and if it does fit…!

All we need to do is co-operate more, folks!!! 

Respect – co-operate – Respect!

I won’t even go as far to say that cyclists are the “silent killers” as a local politician in Australia said.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/green-driving/news-and-notes/cyclists-and-pedestrians-need-to-find-a-path-to-co-operation/article12139599/

This rant is not addressed to youths either,  who do tend to forget…I totally understand that.

But it IS addressed to SOME cyclists who are adults, especially in big cities who have no care BUT for themselves.  The ones who do NOT have cars or drive on regular basis are probably the worse because they don’t always see what it is like on the other side…there still are some drivers who are scared silly to hit a cyclist…some of us drivers who actually care.

To these cyclists, I ask? Why do I HAVE to always  do a 360 degree take with my poor sore head/neck?  I feel like the girl in the Exorcist every time I drive in Montreal or Toronto but Montreal is MUCH WORSE and I have to admit that “some” Toronto drivers are NOT courteous with cyclists…not at all…That’s why I always wore a helmet in Toronto and did add a bell to my bike.

To the cyclist who may say, “Hey, I rang my bell but the pedestrian could not hear with their ear buds in.”   I say “If the pedestrian was walking on a green light or crossing a street where there is a STOP sign or at a  CROSS WALK…why didn’t you stop?”

All we need to do is co-operate more, folks!!! 

Respect – co-operate – Respect!

As a pedestrian, I also have a beef…yep, I am on a roll now!!   Many cyclists complain that cars are not careful and are rude and cut them off, sometimes literally drive them off the road…I get that and I agree that we should shoot the driver!!…some drivers are morons too!!

But I also hear cyclists say that they have every right on the road just like a car. Okay, FINE, then MAKE YOUR STOPS AT THE RED LIGHTS MORONS!!  At the stop signs AT LEAST SLOW DOWN and if you are going to ride through GET A F%#@!~/G BELL ON YOUR BIKE TO WARN THE POOR PEDESTRIAN YOU ALMOST  RAN OVER!!!

As a pedestrian, when I cross at a GREEN light I still check on both sides in case a car decides to own the road no matter what…after all, we are in Quebec and we do have a reputation to drive recklessly …but I don’t always see the bike down the street…you are so much smaller and pardon me, but  I AM CROSSING AT A GREEN LIGHT!!…
Today I was driving to work and 3 young women were riding their bikes 3 by 3…yuppers THREE by THREE!  We are in a big city but hey, these cyclists have decided that the streets belong to them. I had to drive very slowly, wait until there was no longer an ongoing car on my left and made a huge swerve…Did the cyclists take the Hint?  Nope!  Worse yet, at a cross walk, an elderly woman was trying to cross…I am stopped to let her go by and the cyclists just whiz by…the lady had to stop in the middle of the street …WAY TO GO LOVELY LADIES!!…someday you will be old and this will happen to you too…KARMA …AWWWWW it is my only revenge…

End of rant…CL

Diamond Jubilee Medal – Addendum

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At the reception with all those fancy shmancy people (corporate donors, upper management), regional directors along with  counsellors, colleagues and volunteers, I was feeling pretty calm.  I was allowed a guest, so I had invited a long time, former colleague and friend, Kelly, who I had not seen in years!  I was pleased to have  her “witness” this moment with me. It was also great to have my best friend and colleague, Maria,  receive this honour with me too!  There could not be a more perfect evening than this!…until…

It was especially wonderful getting to talk to a volunteer who also was recipient for this honorable award. How she touched my heart!  Her daughter had been bullied A LOT and she had taken her life!  I felt an imaginary boxing glove sock it to me right in the solar plexus and then tears started filling my eyes. I remember the series of suicides in that area of the country 2+ years ago. It had impacted me the most in my entire career working on this youth line.  What struck me were the stories shared in the media and how I had recognized one youth as a teen to whom I had spoken…I felt so guilty and powerless.

Now here I was facing this amazing woman, grief-stricken mother,  and volunteer who goes to schools to talk about bullying and spread the word to get help and not take your life.  I told her I remember speaking to a girl at that time and how sad I had felt.   She just smiled and tried to comfort ME!  She kept thanking me for doing the wonderful work that we do on this youth line.

This wonderful woman…this amazing soul, mother, angel of grace deserved this medal more than she can ever know!  She has shared her story month after month…she has spread the word that our youth line is an option and she has saved so many youths from taking their lives…so much more than she will ever know.  How fitting that SHE received such an honour…The Great Spirit has created some amazing angels of mercy …Pam, this amazing woman and her daughter, Jenna who continues to be a part of that important message…Don’t ever give up…there is help.

And so when I received this medal, I opened the box and looked at the medal and tears welled up again. I noticed how it resembled my step-father’s medal he received from the army for having fought in World War II.  And I…an ordinary person like me who did nothing extraordinary was holding this medal in my hand now!  How my step-father and Mom would have been proud of me today!

My thoughts went back to Pam and her extraordinary courage for sharing her story with youths day after day despite the pain it must bring to her.  How I feel honoured and thankful to have met this woman. For over 2 years I have carried this guilt and fear whenever I get a similar call nowadays.  I had not realized how much I had been moved by this tragedy.

If it had not been for my having this opportunity to go up to Toronto, thank you Kathy, to receive this medal…thank you Kids Help Phone, I would never had met this outstanding person, Pam…I accept this Diamond Jubilee medal in honour of  your Jenna.  Thank you!

http://tech.ca.msn.com/mom-believes-bullying-pushed-teen-to-suicide

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, June 6, 2013

Emma, where are you?

941982_10151632880653701_1657842491_nLet me tell you a little story that comes from the heart of your Maman and Papa.

Once upon a  long long time ago there was a princess in Canada and far far far away there was a prince in St- Lucia. Well, the prince searched and searched for his princess on his itsy bitsy isle in the Caribbean. So off he sailed to the colder side of the world…even the cold was worth it if he could find his forever loving princess.

Hey, wait!  I already blogged about this!  Okay so

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Emma, if you want to learn more about life BEFORE you were fabricated (conceived…gross for a daughter to even fathom)

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Check out blog:  http://wp.me/p2RsU0-9z  and have Maman or Papa read it to you.

Emma, Emma, what are you doing?  You are anxiously awaited by so many people but485521_10151632880498701_152135337_n especially by your Maman and Papa.  Maman has loved you before even feeling your little jumps and twirls in her tummy.

Yep, and Papa has been singing and talking to you so you could recognize his voice when you finally come into this world.
Yep, and Papa has been singing and talking to you so you could recognize his voice when you finally come into this world.

Yep, and Papa has been singing and talking to you so you could recognize his voice when you finally come into this world.

Maman has felt you knocking on that door to come out many many times and it appears it is either stuck or you have decided to stay in the warmth and safety of this home…Maman’s womb…well, I can’t say that I blame you.  You get fed with no effort on your part, you get to float in the warm waters of this home and you are safe…but there isn’t that much room, sweetie…so time to meet your parents now.

You have Grand-Maman and Grand-Papa  Savard who are so anxious to hold you too and take you for stroller rides.
You have Grand-Maman and Grand-Papa Savard who are so anxious to hold you too and take you for stroller rides.

You have Grand-Maman and Grand-Papa Savard who are so anxious to hold you too and take you for stroller rides.

You have an auntie that can't wait to hold you in her arms.
You have an auntie that can’t wait to hold you in her arms.

Maman has a soul sister who will be your auntie…boy oh boy, how she can’t wait to hold you in her arms!

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You have  sooooooo many aunties, uncles, cousins and close friends who will also become your aunties and uncles just counting the days until they hear the news of Emma’s arrival.

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Oh, and even Grand-Maman Camille who could not travel from the isle of St-Lucia to see your maman and papa make their vows of love…she has moved mountains (well small ones because they can be just so big on that teeny isle)…and she too will be here to see you when you enter this world.

947381_10151632908613701_997576748_nSo, Emma, it is time to leave that little bubble and enter this world of love, affection and  compassion. Trust me, Emma, you will, by no means, lack love and attention…dearest, sweetest Emma…Maman t’attend hâtivement…tes parents attendent avec enthousiasmes afin de te chanter des petites berceuses…et des  tendres refrains  d’amour.  Parce-que tu sais, Emma, tes parents sont des grand amateurs et amants de musique.  Tant qu’il y a de la musique et de l’amour dans ta vie, chère Emma, il y a de la vie éternelle remplis de bonheur car le cœur chante aussi…ton cœur chantonnera au premier soupire dans ce monde.

Welcome – Bienvenue to this wonderful life,  Emma!

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Having you here will make this world so much better:)

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, June 5, 2013