Tuesday, 28 June 2016


  • Behind in blogging two of the three trips I experienced in April and May
  • Loving that its summer finally here in N.S
  • Re-discovering life with a kitten - Misty arrived in May and shes a hit.
  • Enjoying being on the pool deck and being able to look up at the trees in full leaf and the blue sky, hear the breeze rustling the leaves and the hum of the pool pump
  • Planning all kinds of beach trips with the fam and my BFF (don't I sound about 10 years old)
  • Loving the work that I am enjoying with Ace. I am back into jumping, hes just learning and so we are working together and its good, enjoyable work.
  • Pumped that schools out for 10 weeks (yes 10! in your face 6 weeks of Brit summer time vacay that I used to think was endless), this means that there are no real bedtimes, no real mealtimes and no real morning stress - bring it!
  • Watching in awe all that's going on in the UK post Brexit and midly amused after yesterdays football game, that I have zero interest in, by the social media phrase "only England could leave Europe twice in one week"
  • Trying (albeit not that hard) not to get into arguments on FB about Brexit. I am really only interested to see where this goes, it doesn't really impact us (thank God)
  • Disappointed by all the British smuggery and antagonistic posts all over said social media by those in the "Leave" contingent since the vote.
  • Equally interested and a little nervous of what's going on in our Southern neighbour this year, who will be the new president???
  • Booking our next big trip to Florida
  • Looking into all the ways I can become an avid and successful airmiles collector, I had a convo with prob the best of the best of airmiles collectors and its practically a career
  • Running a house-hold budget to curb over-spending (at Tim Hortons) and trying to get this bank account back on track.
  • Hammering and chiselling and riding, being pretty active actually
  • Enjoying every single moment of the weekend - Friday night joy and late night movie, Saturday days out, Sunday morning dog walk and ride and chores - its all good.
  • Entering a whole new world of NS horse shows including barrel racing and English pleasure classes.

Boston - the girls birthday trip

I have come to realize how crap I have been in blogging lately and actually have three trips to blog about, so heres one. They are actually not in date order as Paul and I went to Toronto on a rather marvellous date weekend, then we took the girls to Boston for their birthday and then I returned to Boston for a course. Todays blog is about the girls trip.

It all started when Lily casually mentioned that you could go on an American Girl weekend in a hotel near the store where you get cookies and a free AG bed. How outstanding I thought, she then proceeded to educate me on the nearest store and how the whole AG weekend worked.
Given that I am a self confessed trip junkie I was ALL OVER THIS and we had no issues in getting this road trip going.

So they asked for birthday money for the planned humongous amount of spending anticipated in that store. And we agreed that we would foot the bill trip and buy them another doll each. They assured us that AG was the most necessary item this year and they had to have a new doll each, that it wouldn't be a waste of money but that it would be the purchase of the year.

Further research showed that the hotel in question no longer had a pool - like WTF! - so we ditched the *need* to be in the AG weekend hotel and researched hotels near the store WITH pools. The Sheraton had a stonking deal for that weekend price wise and so it was booked tuit suite. But I need to back up here, Paul suggested that we spend one night in that hotel and then booked another Bangor so we could check that out. It effectively cut our return journey in half, it was a deal.
So we had the Sheraton booked in Natick and the Marriot in Bangor.

We left at the crack of dawn and drove. It took three times as long to get to the first stop than I remembered. Not a great start. But we got there and we had breakfast. Then Paul drove to the US border which of course makes us all super excited, every time, never fails (that laso was further than I remembered - odd).
Then I was allowed to drive while Paul napped so I did. I took full advantage of the open yet very quite I95 in Maine and with Mount Katahdn in the distance I managed successfully to knock 20 minutes off of the GPS estimated arrival time - go me!

I gave the driving seat back near the bottom of Maine, which just for the record here is about the length of England, and we continued on smack into Friday afternoon Boston traffic which crawled for an hour. It was also really hot so now the girls think heat in April is achieved with a road trip to Boston.

The Sheraton room was small, the pool cloudy and the hot tub looked like floor washing water that was at least three weeks used. It was at least fifty shades of disgusting grey froth. (I got in it..for a short period - don't ask my why!)

We then drove to Olive Garden for supper which was on Lilys list of must have birthday experiences where she then proceeded to want to vomit all the way back to the hotel. The nausea did subside but I fear Olive Garden is finally off the "acceptable restaurant" list.

The next day we made it to the AG store. After breakfast where Chloe discovered scrambled eggs! Finally!
We spent a lot of time in that store.

I watched in awe actually as parents paid for notty haired dolls to go through the spa treatment. It was strangely therapeutic. I wondered if they thought about the cost and ridiculousness of it all or didn't care or could no longer care as it was too painful.
We spent copious amounts of birthday cash. We left the store for a coffee in the Cheesecake Factory where we found we couldn't make a reservation for the evening meal but had to turn up with the rest of the population and take our chances. We had driven kms and miles for this restaurant, it was going to happen.

We went back in the AG store in time for our lunch reservation where lunch was surprisingly good. We had mac and cheese balls! They rocked! (who knew!)

We finally extracted the girls after a few hours and went back to the hotel where no one showed any interest whatsoever in discovering Boston or going to Fenway park as it would interrupt important pool or doll time, so we went back to the pool.( I was cool with this as I had my own Boston plans when I was due back three weeks later and it was a little damp and cool out anyways at this point)
For supper we got into the Cheesecake Factory after a 30 min wait, I say wait because Paul waited whilst we rocked that AG store yet again. We could see him with that little buzzer gadget out the window and they just had to indulge in wandering around one more time.

I have to say that the food was flat out amazing. I had a salad, Lily had fish and chips, Paul steak and Chloe chicken and biscuits. I of course got to try everyones with my very delicious antioxidant salad (I strongly recommend you check this chain out!) and then we did of course indulge in the best of all cheesecakes. We tried the key lime (naturally) and the Dulce Leche and they were magnificent.

We are all counting down till our next visit to a Cheesecake Factory (theres one in Orlando :-) ).

On the way home we checked out Gloucester, MA where "the crows nest" from "The Perfect Storm" couldn't have been more different than the movie and the actual town was not a 10 house place with next to nothing but fishermen there as I had anticipated but instead a bustling pretty big place and then Stephen Kings house,

We decided we weren't massive fans of Bangor (it felt creepy but it was early on a Sunday morning) and after Chloe struggled with her eyes due to swimming in the hotel pool we have decided that hotel pools are only to be searched out in Florida - specifically in Bahama Bay.
The girls discovered Subway, specifically white choc and macadamia nut cookies (I have only been raving to their deaf ears for 5 years but never mind....) and it was flat out expensive, perfectly wonderful family time.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The wobbles.

One of the things I have come to attribute to emigrating or maybe age or maybe both is my struggle with anxiety and lack of confidence. I have realized that I often suffer a complete lack of confidence in my abilities in areas where I was once totally confident. I still know that I am knowledgeable in these areas but I am besieged by crushing wobbles at key times... like when I have to discuss a decision I have made at work or with the horse.

One place I don't have these issues is with my decisions for my family and my girls (thank God) so why do I go down these roads in other areas?

I have given this, understandably, soooooo much thought.
I have strong core feelings on how to bring up my children and how I want this home to feel. Having come from a very broken home with very broken adults in it, I want my children to grow up in a loving, supportive home where summer is endless, rules are broken, bedtimes don't matter and you eat what you like when you like (in summer of course, oh and at weekends)
Laid back isn't it. Yes very! Our home was a rule nightmare, easy to break the countless ridiculous pointless rules instilled by various unreasonable step parents or grandparents that we barely knew that didn't buy into the "love rules" type of lifestyle. Easy then to be very much in trouble and very much punished. Little surprise that I made my own way at a very young age.
My mother did live by a strong "education is key" mantra and  that I agree with. So school days aside, politeness and respect aside, this house runs on love and fun and pure happiness.

Horse - hmmmm, maybe its the 10 years I had without one. Maybe its the fact that I am in another country where things roll a little differently. Maybe its the fact that self confidence continues to be an issue for me (I believe that a childhood where YOU don't have a voice as long as you "do as I say and not as I do" has a part to play in this - such a popular theme in British times when I was a kid). I don't know, maybe its all the above. What I do know is that I am struggling to say what I think about my horse and my riding with the same level of confidence as I do in how I run this home.

(Note: Obvs hubs and I run this home but I have a key say in this... thankfully we are rolling in the same way on this and always have done.)

Work - hmmmm, another one. I have the utmost good luck to work in probably the best company I have ever managed to get on the payroll in. Its full of very smart people. Its a Canadian Company.
I have exposure to high level accounting. I am so very lucky. I am often stressed to the max because of my own wobbles. I am perfectly capable, this I KNOW. Why do I feel the old angst so much then?

So.. I continue with living with this. I continue trying to get back to the working person I am sure I was in the UK where I had tremendous confidence in all I did in my working day.

The horse and I are working hard. Hes just 7 and a young 7 so he has lots to learn and I have lots to relearn. Its good work though, the best kind with a great instructor.

This house continues to run, just as it is.