Friday, September 8, 2017

Oh September

Well hello there ~ it's been a long long time
and here I sit ~ Friday morning and the first of two vacation weeks
is drawing to an end

thankfully I have next week off too
so I thought I would catch you up on what has been happening
the last 6 months!

When I last posted my brother was in the hospital
he was on an uphill climb and I am happy to say
he was one day short of 2 months in 
but came out the other side

he is still not back to work but going to rehab
and getting stronger every day

with the Spring we were thrust into grad year prep
prom dress shopping ~ college acceptance letters
and graduation

birthdays celebrated ~ gatherings with friends
concerts where we sang and danced
making new memories along the way

prom night was so much fun ~ I loved seeing all the kids
the different dresses ~ colours
I was grinning from ear to ear and snapping like a mad woman!

Sam with her Mom & Dad.

Grad night I was a proud Auntie for sure

Sam and Kat after the ceremony

The end of June my oldest niece Katrina decided to spread her wings
and she left for out west

on Father's Day we took a trip to the cape
down to the cottage and the farm
it was a great family day
we picked Sam up after work and everyone came to our place
where we had dinner and just spent some quality time together

I am happy to say that she is going great and loving it.

Summer was a mix of weekends at the cottage
a day trip or two
and just soaking up the nice weather
family gatherings
special times with special people

and with that ~ I will finish off my little update
not sure if anyone out there is still reading
but documenting for myself more than anything I guess.

Hope you had a great summer

Sunday, February 26, 2017


OK - here I am - the once a month girl

no excuses though
I had some news to share
and wanted to get it out

3 weeks ago today
my brother was taken to the hospital
he had texted me on Tuesday saying he thought he had bronchitis
while he was at dialysis on Wed, the doctor gave him a prescription
then Saturday he was weak and his cough was bad

texting back and forth that night with his girlfriend
they admitted him, put him right in ICU and on oxygen
he had pneumonia

I did not go in on Sunday as he needed rest more than anything
and I planned to go in after work on Monday

Monday morning I was just leaving the house for work
when the phone rang
it was Stella - Gord's girlfriend - his breathing was bad
they are putting him on a respirator

I rushed to the hospital - scared for him

That first week I spent many hours in ICU
praying - crying - hugging
he was in bad shape - double pneumonia
acute respiratory distress syndrome
and scariest of all - sepsis

with his existing health issues - diabetes, kidney failure and a heart condition
this was not good news
he was so weak - could he fight his way back
all we could do was keep the faith
and pray

we would get good news, then bad news
it has been an emotional roller coaster
prayers pouring in from family and friends
I am thankful for Facebook as I could just post an update
every couple of days

there have been little things happen
they lower the sedation so he opens his eyes when we are there
and he was giving my hand a squeeze

then one night last week I was on my way home
I was feeling down
losing faith

driving in the car - I started talking to Mom
asking her - no telling her - I need you now
I need you to step up - we cannot lose him 
it is not his time - I knew that deep in my heart

feeling what I probably needed was just a good cry

that night I was getting ready for bed
I picked up my phone
it was 11:11

I smiled - looked up and said - ok
you got my message

the next afternoon at work I get a text from Stella
she had met with the doctor
he had said that Gord has just started showing signs of improvement
last night and today

Trev picked my up after work
I said do you really think - was it a coincidence?
no - not a coincidence
we have to believe and keep the faith

I am happy to say that when we went in today
he was awake
we were talking to him and he started to cry
I wiped his tears and told him how proud I was of him
he is a fighter - he fought for his life
and came out the other side

he still has a long road ahead of him
and when he found out the date he could not believe it
I told him I loved him and he mouthed the words back to us

both Trev and I cried in the hall leaving the hospital
but this time they were tears of happiness
a relief that he is coming back to us
with a little help from our angel.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Out of the Shadows

Yes - here I am 
after 3 months away
truth be told, I did not intend to stay away this long

I have formulated a post in my mind many times
but never pulled the pin to actually sit down and type down the words
until tonight.

When I last posted I had a huge case of daughter guilt
feeling bad that I was not missing Mom
as much as I thought I should

I talked to a few people about how I was feeling
and they all helped in their own ways
but I felt it was time to pull out the big guns
and actually talk to a professional

we have an employee assistance program at work
and it is free, so I made the call

they gave me a choice of sitting down with someone face to face
or I could do it over the phone

I had visions of me laying on a couch with the doc smoking a pipe
and jotting down notes on me
so I opted for the phone call

Did he help me - absolutely
after one hour long conversation he asked questions
and I poured it all out

he asked - so you are feeling guilty because you are feeling some relief that she is gone?
OMG - I am a terrible person if I do admit to that!
seems that I am not so terrible - I loved my Mama deeply
and was there for her through so much
but she was tired ~ and existing 
no longer really living the life she wanted
so it was time for her to join Dad where she has wanted to be
the last 15 years.

So I had 2 phone sessions and felt better
I think I just needed someone to say - hey - it's ok
you don't have to curl up in the fetal position and cry day and night

I threw myself into holiday prep
lists were made, shopping was done
baking and decorating
wrapping and singing Christmas songs

I took a week off in November and got lots done
bought myself a new baby - a Kitchenaid stand mixer
thanks to some money Mom left me
everyone thought I should name her Linda
but I knew something would come to me in time

one night while cooking dinner
the song Ruby Baby by Dion popped into my head
well that was a sign from above and Ruby she became

Mom's birthday is in July with ruby as her birthstone
so it was very fitting

We had a good Christmas - I hosted so it is a lot of work
but I love having everyone gathered around the table
it just makes me happy

New Years Day we always got together for Chinese food
so I wanted to honour the Stiles tradition
and do it again this year with my brother, his fiance and the girls
we raised our glasses and toasted to a life well lived
2017 will be a good year.

Belated Happy New Year
to you and yours


Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Potpourri

It's me ~ back again 
and on a Friday no less

Credit: Tetra Images Tetra Images Getty Images


I am finishing up a week of vacation and if I learned one thing this week
having time for myself really recharges my soul
I need down time ~ time to do absolutely nothing
or whatever I want is good for my well being

last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada
and we spent Sunday at the camp
it was damp and raining off and on
but that was ok as it was the people who we were with was what mattered the most

Trev's Mom cooked the turkey, dressing and pie
and then we all brought sides
it made things easier for Barb and took that pressure off just one person
trying to do it all

my brother and his girlfriend joined us
and even though we have had some issues in the past
we have come together since Mom's passing
and have been not only civil but supportive of one another

it was one of Mom's wishes and I am thankful that things have worked out that way.



holiday Monday I was alone
as hubby had to work
it was windy, cold and raining
as we caught the tail end of hurricane Matthew
Molly and I snuggled on the couch
and watched tv ~ drank tea and read

I caught myself as I picked up the phone to call Mom
then stopped ~ I know this will happen now and then
and I am ok with the feelings that will come over me

truth be told I have been feeling quite numb
not a lot of tears and being the way I am
it freaked me out a bit ~ you see I am an emotional person
not a drama queen or diva ~ but things do affect me
so the numbness is not something I am used to
so part of my new normal is realizing that I am ok
and that the stages of grief are there and different for everyone
and each parent as I am learning


last week leading up to vacation I had 2 things on my list
that I wanted to get done while I was off
I completed one last night and still contemplating the other
too funny as I am a list girl all the way
but apparently I require a deadline



I had planned to take a photography drive yesterday
up early ~ I had my route planned out
where to stop for lunch and then an alternate route back

then my baby girl got sick ~ we went to the vet on Wednesday
and I really did not want to leave her alone for a full day
when she was not feeling 100%

so maybe today I will go on a little drive
with my camera in hand ~ the sun is shining and I do believe
it will be the perfect day to get some fall shots



we talked last night about the weekend and we decided it is time to
head to our little cabin in the woods and close it up for the season

then Sunday ~ who knows what the day may bring

until next time


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Thoughts

So hello there and happy fall

I am just finishing up a week of vacation
my errands are complete
I have a banana bread in the oven and getting ready to make some muffins too

last I posted other than the news about Mom was in May
can you believe it!  yeah I can
so much has happened and I wanted to throw this one out there
as life has not been all bad over the summer

the weekend before my surgery I finally took the leap and did my gallery wall
I have since changed the mats out from white to a linen colour
and I do like it much better

I like things all in a row so I was not sure how I was going to react to all
the different frames ~ but when all was said and done
I do love it.  I added some red as we have a red recliner now
and some other red details in the room so it all works together

Rocky, Tracey, Nancy & Lori

my bestie turned 50 in June so we gathered the girls
and headed off to a local vineyard
so much fun!

when Tracey turned 50 last year, Rocky and I got her a cuff bracelet that read:

"A good friend knows all your best stories ~ A best friend has lived them with you"

it only seemed fitting that I get one for Rocky for hers
and while I was at it ~ I picked one up for myself as well
and had to get a pic of the 3 of us

the end of June brought another proud Auntie moment
when Katrina graduated from college

I love this little one that has grown into such a beautiful person
she has come such a long way

sorting through things at Mom's apartment over the summer was emotional
but some of the gems I came across were priceless
this is me with my Grampy and my Dad
a party at the cottage and I dare say this 3 generation shot
we were singing like nobody's business
such sweet memories

the junior high gang got together again in July
loads of laughs and catching up as the guys joined us this time around
another fun night

a day at the shore and a visit with one of Trev's Aunts
we sat on the deck and enjoyed the sunshine and the salt air

more beach time was had the long weekend in August
but this time on the Northumberland Strait

we walked and walked the beach at low tide
looking for treasures and splashing through the water
it was down time that was needed and appreciated

Rocky, Tracey, Kim & Lori 

this night was so much fun
we bought the tickets back in June
and the girl's were worried I would not be ready to go out for a night of fun
well they were wrong ~ we danced and sang like it was 1980
to the music of Loverboy
a good time was had by all

we got to the cottage again on Labour Day weekend
it was so nice and full of beautiful sunsets,
bonfires, fireworks and relaxation

date night with this one, this past week
she is a high school senior this year!  I can't even think about it.
We went to see Bridget Jones's Baby
so funny!

Trev and I got out on a little road trip as well
it's nice to just jump in the car and go for a little afternoon trip
go somewhere you have never been
top it off with a great cup of coffee and a treat
and still be home for supper.

I have some things on my heart but will save them for another time

much love,

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Mother's Love

So I didn't mean to be away this long
I thought about posting a few times
over the month of July ~ but things have been busy
and time that I did have were not spent in front of the computer

I am here today to document maybe more for myself
than anyone who may read my words
that my Mama gained her angel wings last week

she had a rough Spring
in and out of the hospital 3 times
and a couple of pretty bad falls

because she had COPD ~ she would get fluid on her lungs
then end up with pneumonia
but she would bounce back and come home after a week or so

when she landed in the hospital in June
the doctor said that she was no longer safe living by herself
so we started looking into an assisted living facility
there were many meetings at the hospital
and going to look at rooms for her
getting things set up for the move and the task of
cleaning out her apartment ~ what to keep
sifting and sorting through your memories can be a 
daunting task yet I was thankful that she sold the house 10 years
ago as there was only a fraction of things to go through

I found a room in a home in my sub division
it was perfect ~ Molly and I could go for a walk and visit
and we did ~ the residents loved seeing the pup come

I posted this on Facebook after we got her moved in

So this is how parents must feel when they drop their kids off at university. 
Leaving them in a dorm room with all their stuff in a house full of strangers. 
She loved her new room and is settling in ~ thankfully I am just a stones throw away #helicopterdaughter

Tuesday she asked to go to the hospital
and I went in after work to see how she was doing
she was sitting up ~ not feeling herself
but not critical for sure

around midnight the phone rang
 she had taken a turn for the worse
so in we went ~ called my brother
and stayed all night
she passed peacefully on Thursday morning
born July 18th ~ passed August 18th
she had just celebrated 70 candles on her cake

today I am still kind of numb
so much to do ~ finalizing things for her apartment
then this afternoon I will go over to her room
and pack up the rest of her things

the power of friendship is an amazing things
I am truly surrounded by the best people
the cards and messages ~ phone calls and visits

my solace now is that she is with the love of her life
she has not truly been happy since Dad passed and that was 15 years ago

while making calls I heard this over and over again
she is with your Dad
they have been reunited

I would have loved to have seen Dad scoop her up and twirl her around
upon her arrival in heaven.