Alberta votes. What are the issues that affect you and your family?

Last year during the Canadian federal election I really wanted to explore the different political parties and their platforms and find out where I stood, you know... politically speaking. This is often a tough thing to do during an election with 'propaganda' and agendas coming at you from all angles.

And then a Canadian blogger that I hold in very high regard did something wonderful. She took a good hard look at all the parties, read their platforms extensively and posted a synopsis of each on her blog. I can honestly say that I ended up making my decision based a lot on the information that Annie at Phd in Parenting posted on her site about the parties and their platforms as they related to families, parenting and women's issues.

And so, in an effort to suss out again where I stand at a provincial political  level, I am going to attempt to do something that is way out of my comfort zone, but that I think is vitally important right now. I am going to try to be 'Annie' for the 2012 Alberta Elections and for all of you!

As you know, on March 26th, the provincial election was called in Alberta and we are now less than three weeks away from the April 23rd Election Day.

If you have been keeping up with some of the election coverage then you will no doubt be aware that so far, this election campaign has been quite a contentious one.  And I don't know about you, but all of it is leaving me feeling confused, disillusioned and at this point rather indecisive.

For the next two weeks I am going to be scouring through the platforms of each political party (and probably dropping in to a few of my local campaign offices too) and like Annie did, I will be reporting here on the parenting and family related policies and promises that each of them are making.

So as you follow the #abvote Twitter stream or read and watch the news and try to decide which party to support, what questions do you have? What are the things that are most important for you and your family and what would you like to see me address in these posts?

Diving into the {political} deep end!


(photo credit: Elections Alberta)

Irony and an Arrow

Do you know what sucks and is also kind of ironic? I am attending a blogging conference this weekend, the inaugural Blogwest 2012 AND I am also suffering from a seemingly unending case of writer's block!

I seriously have about 10 posts sitting in my drafts folder that I started writing, got to a certain point and then just sort of lost steam.

And this is starting to really piss me off!

I think it is because my brain is so full of a lot of other life events right now. Selling our house, building the new house, closing the store, getting the new site up and running, prepping the family and business tax returns (whoohoo fun... NOT!!), and packing, I really have to start doing more packing.

All of this has left me feeling like I may be neglecting my space and my readers here on my blog.


What I am NOT feeling, is like I am neglecting my family.

And really, that was the point of pretty much every major decision that I have made this year. Right?

Little C wants me to help him make an imaginary recipe of sticks and twigs and play dough. Sure thing baby.

Princess L wants to read me a story and pretend that she is the mommy. Yup, just let me sit down first.

Starting each morning with a new favourite song of the day and a kitchen dance party. Check.

Ending our days together taking the dog for a walk and getting some sweet, fresh, snowy air. Doing that.

REGULAR date nights out with Natural Urban Dad every couple of weeks and an evening babysitter who loves my kids. Yes, I've got that too!

So while I may be not writing a whole lot lately, I am doing a lot more of what I am supposed to be doing. Looking after me and my little family.

Now, what I am also feeling, is that I need to really come to terms with and be a whole lot more vocal and proud that I am a...

Magnificent MAMA,

a wonderful WIFE,

and a brazen BLOGGER!

And kind of in that order too.

Inspiration with hit soon enough and my block will become unblocked. When it does, I will be ready for it, and so will my typing fingers!!

I have a feeling that it might happen sometime this weekend when I am surrounded by the many bloggers and brands and fabulous online folk that will be attending Blogwest 2012.

A friend of mine pinned this anonymous quote tonight and I thought it was very a propos!


Getting ready for a big 'launch'!

Goodnight all,






I just spent the last 2 hours in a cramped 3-bed hospital room with my 82-year-old Godmother.

This is the woman my daughter is named after. The woman who was a best friend to my grandmother, a kind of surrogate mother for my own mother and the woman at whose home I have the fondest memories of my childhood.

She is a pretty amazing woman and I am so incredibly thankful that she has always been a part of my life.

Talking with her today, we covered the usual. How the kids and Natural Urban Dad are doing, how goes the progress on the new house, and the usual chit-chat. And then the conversation took a turn that it often does with her.

She is ready to die. She actually wants to die.

Seven years ago this December, the love of her life, the man she was married to for 60 years, the man who left her a love note tucked under her pillow every day, passed away.

She wants to be with him again.

A few months ago, she had a fall at her home and her son found her unconscious on the floor (he woke up suddenly at 3 AM and told his wife he had to go check on his mom). She told me that during those few hours that she was technically in a coma, that she was at peace. She was floating. She was on her way to see her love.

And then she woke up.

Today we also talked a lot about her life in Europe as a child, how her mom died suddenly at the age of 38 when she was only nine and of her life during and after the war. She showed me her engagement ring and told me the story of how my Godfather had to buy the gold on the black market and designed the bow-shaped ring himself. She told me of all the love notes and little presents that he would leave for her under her pillow, for no other reason than just because he loved her so much.

This is the stuff that great love stories are made of people!

And then we started talking about my grandmother. Helen (we never called her Grandma) was also an amazing woman. All 90 pounds of her.  My Godparents where the closest thing to family that she had and they know the most about her life. I only know tidbits. If I have one regret in this life it is that I did not spend more time with her and get her to tell me more about her life.

You see, I do not know who my grandfather is. Neither does my mother. Helen was a governess in the late 1940's for a rich family in the south of France. She fell in love with the married chauffeur and proceeded to get herself knocked up at the spinster-y age of 42. This is as much as I know. And as I found out today, this seems to be as much as anyone knows. I assume this situation was quite the scandal in those days and in 1952, two years after my mother was born my grandmother and my mother immigrated to Canada. Once here, I do know that there was a short marriage to another man, who died of a heart attack and then I think Helen just swore of off men forever.

What I found out today, is that my dear grandmother, this tiny woman whom I have held on such a pedestal my whole life, who expected so much from me, who was always so prim and proper, was actually quite the goof. My Godmother regaled me today with stories about Helen. I heard about her walking around nude all the time. Answering the door with nothing on and with nary a care in the world. We had quite the giggle today about her many naked antics.

Why am I going on and on about all of this?


That is why.

I still only have tidbits of my grandmother's life. I wish that she had journaled more, that she had written down her thoughts, her experiences, her perspective of being a single mother in the 1950's and 60's. I wish I could have known her more, understood her more and that I had more of her to remember.

My Godfather wrote his memoirs and his children had them bound into a hardcover book for him before he passed away. I asked my Godmother for a copy of that book today. It was all written in French, so it might take me a while to read it. But read it I will.

Sometimes I hear people make disparaging remarks about being a blogger. Oh, you are not a writer, you are just a blogger. And I realized something today. I am both. And I am neither.  I write not only for myself, but for future generations too.

And this is my legacy.

This blog is the way that MY grand children will know me when I am not around anymore. They will know the funny me, the sad me, the advocate me, the Mommy me and the rant-y me! They will be able to read about how their parents were born, read about how and why we did things "in the old days" and see their parents through my eyes (and my camera lens).

They will be able to see how we built our dream home, the home that their parents grew up in, the one that they will get to come to for sleep-overs and holidays and birthdays and anniversaries.

Maybe one day I or the kids will take this blog and make it into a book. Not necessarily for mass production, just for the family to have  a tangible connection to the woman I am/will be/was. So I will write. I will write for me, for my kids and for my grand kids. I will write for the women who came before me, for my mother and for my grandmother...

...and I will write  for my Godmother. May she soon find peace and her one true love waiting for her with open arms and an eternal love note.