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Happy Birthday Canada

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Because I work for the City, I am at work today, which means no long weekend for me. Many of my friends who work for private companies are off enjoying a 4-day long weekend and I am working. It’s okay. I am actually not that mad. I am working which means not only do I have a job, but I have a city job which is a great thing to treasure so the fact that I am working today (while I may not be thrilled) is okay in my books.

However, don’t feel to bad for me, because I did take off last Friday so I could have a 3-day weekend and also so I could enjoy my NEW COTTAGE! I know it’s crazy, I wanted a house – bought one in four days. I wanted a cottage, bought one in a week. When I want something I get it…almost always. Thankfully with no regrets!

Kim and I headed up to the cottage with her two kids Thursday night to officially open our new buy and thankfully traffic really wasn’t *that* bad. It was manageable and I was fine because Kim drove, with Simba sleeping up front and me in the back with her four-year old and three-month old while the cat was whining away in the very back with all of our stuff. The cottage is just outside Peterborough off highway 7 past Havelock, ON. It’s a beautiful resort on Lake Seymour. I quickly settled in unpacking and getting me (and Simba) situated. The four of us spent Thursday night and all day Friday getting used to our new surroundings and just enjoying our time off away from home.

The rest of the weekend was spent at the lake, pool and of course a Saturday night fire thanks to Kim’s hubby who finally joined us on Friday night after baseball.

Why did I get this cottage you ask? I mean I am a city girl, always have been. Why would I want to spend a majority of my summer up north being eaten alive by pesky mosquitoes and sweating away with no cable to occupy my time? I did it because I am thinking of my future family. Because one day I will have a family of my own and one of my favorite memories as a child is going up north to my Aunt’s trailer and spending random weeks or weekends in Bobcaygeon, outside by the lake with my friends. I want a place where I can go and let the kids run “somewhat” free, where they can meet new people and have something to look forward to on their summer vacations from school. Who better to buy a cottage with then one of your best friends who has a family whom you adore!? Kim and her family were the perfect choice. It was a decision I can’t see me regretting.

One day my children will thank me for this opportunity I have given them and if there is a boyfriend involved in that process than I am sure he will also be grateful and depending on whom he is, if he doesn’t’ like cottage life, he can stay home cause I am quite happy with the peace and quiet the cottage brings to me.

So I may not have been able to celebrate Canada all weekend long like some folks do, but I got to celebrate it in a very Canadian way – up north, with friends outside!

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Tonight after work I will spend the evening and all of tomorrow with Eharmony and then head over to get to know my neighbours better by accepting their invite to a bbq. I have a lot of things to do this summer and a lot of people I want and need to spend time with, but that’s what summer is for no? I’ve put off the insemination until after my surgery in September…by then I will have a better idea of where Eharmony and I stand and be on a better, healthier path to hopefully create a viable pregnancy!

Stay tuned…

Love

Nicole

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Happy Father’s Day, the post that had to be written

There is a club that no one wants to belong to, yet at some point we all do. We cannot escape its grasp and membership is free and lifelong. It renews every year, like a demon reminding us that we are chained to him forever. We can’t be kicked out or voted out or evicted – though you really wish you could.

It’s the club of kids who’ve lost a parent.

I know friends who have been forced into this club way before my time of entry. I know of people who have stood by silently while my dad got sicker; knowing that I would soon become one of them, soon get my uniform that screams to the world “I‘VE LOST MY DAD“.

Losing a parent is heart wrenching, losing a parent who was your best friend, your most trusted confidant, well there are no words. It’s not heart wrenching, it’s not heart breaking – wrenches and breaks can be fixed or healed with time, they are temporary…losing my dad, that pain, that feeling…it will never disappear.

On Sunday, I will watch my friends celebrate their fathers and their husbands with pride and happiness, showering them with gifts or dinner or just a day off. I will read Facebook messages from friends wishing all the dads a Happy Fathers Day…accept mine; he won’t receive his Swiss Chalet or Keg dinner this year. Mine won’t get his M&M’s gift card, or “dad” parody t-shirt and he won’t be able to ask me for breakfast in bed – his Rice Krispies and OJ (which he ate every single day for the last 10 years of his life).

IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!!

I want to scream and yell like toddlers throwing a tantrum, but what good would that do? I had my breakdown on Christmas day  (5 months and 4 days after his passing) while I lied under the covers of the Ice Storm 2013. It helped bring me some peace – peace which I so desperately required that I would have given my left arm to have it, but now, six months later…screaming won’t help.

This is what you learn when you belong to this club…that once you have the initial breakdown, the ache, the longing, it stays with you, permanently in your whole body and you know it won’t go away – ever. Life is forever changed, because your best man is gone. No amount of tantrums, or screaming or panic will make it better…you have to accept this change and know that there will be good days and there will be bad days, but staying in bed doesn’t make it easier.

I want to wish my brother Paul, my Uncle Ed, my Uncle Glen and all the fathers who read my blog a very Happy Fathers Day. Your children are so blessed to have you, love them deeply and unconditionally forever.

Mine did.

Love Nicole

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LAUGHTER TRULY IS THE BEST MEDICINE

This weekend my long-awaited girls trip finally came! Blue Mountain was the destination and I was super excited because I have never been but so many colleagues and friends have been there and I have made it my mission to get to the mountains!. Thanks to Kim, Erin and Nancy that mission was completed!

Kim and I drove up together Friday in the early afternoon and we made amazing time – except that about 20 minutes away my GPS lost a signal and we had to find our own way there. Thankfully there is the MOUNTAINS to follow so we did. Blue Mountain had to be somewhere close to the actual mountain no? YES! YAY!

We walked around waiting for Nancy and Erin to arrive (who also lost GPS signal but they didn’t clue in quite as quickly to the follow the mountains) and figuring out where things were.

As we were walking we decided to ride their version of a roller coaster. It was crazy fun and when the other girls finally arrived we all rode the coaster again! I am not going to do a play by-play of everything we did because there was so much:

we ate (well Kim didn’t – for some reason all of her food was undercooked, overcooked or gross) but the rest of us ate well and drank well and we had a blast.

I have needed this break with these ladies for a long time now. They are three of my absolute closest friends and the ones who make the most time to hang out with me even though they have families, partners, kids and friends of their own and they always keep me smiling. This weekend was NO different.

We all laughed so much my stomach was cramping and my cheeks were aching. Even during our “couples” spa package Kim had me in tears, ruining my clay mask – but those lights really did look like dog dishes!!!

Kim, Nancy and I went zip lining and I was pretty sure it would be the walk up to the zips that would kill me not the actual zip lining! I mean seriously, can’t they have an escalator? I couldn’t breathe by the time we got to the top and they guy was explaining what would happen…I just let him strap me and let me go. IT WAS FANTASTIC! Another item scratched off my bucket list! YES!

We also had a lot of Sex on the Beach drinks. When I say a lot, I mean for four girls who never drink. We each had like 4 or 5 but we were all feeling good and enjoying every minute away giggling and gossiping!

On the Saturday we were sitting under a gazebo around 10:30 at night and we looked over and there were approximately 20 young boys (about ages10-14 I’m guessing) who had streaked down to their underwear and ran through the village with no shoes on! At first we couldn’t believe it and then we just kept giggling the whole time – completely inappropriate – but so hilarious!

On Sunday when it was finally time to leave, I was sad. I knew I’d have to come home and deal with this dreaded week leading up to father’s day alone, but I was also happy to come home to Simba. Nothing beats a girl’s weekend with friends, except coming home to puppy dog kisses!

This is going to have to be an annual thing because these girls are my life and this weekend proved how amazing time away from everything truly is!

Until next year…

Love Nicole

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Bye bye Scarborough – officially

My parents bought the Scarborough house in 1971. The story goes like this: 

Lil Webb lived at the house next to the one my parents would eventually buy. She was my grandparents age *late 50’s at that point I believe* and her and her husband knew my grandparents briefly. They told my parents to buy the home because a young “colored” couple had viewed the home and as the neighborhood was all Caucasian – it would be an issue to have a colored family move in next door.

Now I pause and ask you to not hold it against Lil or her husband for these remarks, being ignorant on race and religion was a lot different in 1971 than it is now and those comments would never have been acceptable to my parents.

My father liked the house enough as it had a pool (which was torn down in the 80’s due to wood rot) and a basement with a big enough room for a ping pong/pool table. This was what my father required. My mom liked it because it was still along the bus path and she didn’t drive at the time. The only thing missing was a garage. However after looking at other homes – a garage would have cost them a couple of thousand dollars more and the house was already at the top end of their budget – $28,000. YA I SAID $28,000. They carried a mortgage. Good grief, my car cost me $30,000. I still shake my head like crazy when I picture a home costing $28,000.

They moved in and quickly got to know their new neighborhood and their new neighbours. They soon got pregnant with son Paul who was born in 1973 and 8 years later, little me came along in the beginning of 1981. Our family lived their together in the Scarborough house until 1994 when my mother moved out and my parents divorced, but my father continued raising us in that home until his untimely death in July of 2013.

This home, the Scarborough home, has been the place where my brother and I could always come back to no matter how many times we left (and we both left at various times for various reasons) and it was my only home. Nowhere else had felt like home to me, not even the apartment I shared with my ex or the homes I lived in while I was attending University. However after my father’s passing, the heart of the home was gone. I came back to the house on July 21st after our final hospital visitation and this place was no longer my home. The soul of this $28,000 home was gone. I knew I would have to continue living it for some time, to catch my breath, to heal, to grow and to make my plan B, but it was now the place I was living. It wasn’t my home, it was my house. There is a massive difference.

I bought my home, as you all know in March and without even putting the Scarborough home on the market, I have received word that it has now officially sold. New owners will be taking over this house and creating their home in its four walls. We got what we wanted – a lot more than $28,000 that’s for sure – and as of July 23rd, it will no longer be the place my brother and I can come back to when life doesn’t’ work out as we feel it should. This thought hurts…I have no safe zone. It really makes this whole past year VERY real to me.

The new owners are so fortunate to have my neighbours and my schools and my stores and sidewalks and roads and trees…it really is a beautiful street and a nice neighborhood – even though it has changed A LOT in 42 years.

It’s time…to say goodbye and focus soley on my new home.  My new memories…building dreams within my four walls of Ajax.

Love

Nicole