to my sixteen-year-old mother, with love

to my sixteen-year-old mother, with love

Within 36 hours of her 16th birthday, my mother went into labour. My father was also 16. It was 1974 and barely a year after Roe v Wade. Although times were changing, babies conceived out of wedlock were still bastards, and teenage mothers of bastards were still shamed and hidden away. When I read Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, I learned the word that I now associate with my teenage mother: “Ignominious”.

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meet the lovely matryoshka inspired ladies

meet the lovely matryoshka inspired ladies

Confession: The beautiful Kokka (Japanese) fabric used to make these ladies sat in the "good intentions" pile for almost a full five years. A little editing of my fabric stash brought them top of mind and to the top of the pile. Since I have been feeling particularly "crafty" these days - I added a little embroidery, some vintage inspired patterns on the back, and a special bit of authentically vintage rick rack for the hangers. BAM! And now I regret not investing in more yardage...

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#IWD2016, Billie Jean King, and Parity

Today, I pay heartfelt homage to Billie Jean King and a moment that happened just before I was born. In 1973, she defeated Bobby Riggs in the legendary Battle of the Sexes tennis match. One of the greatest athletes of our time, Billie Jean King is also fierce activist for sexual equality and LGBT rights. My sincerest thanks to her and all the other disruptive, badass women (and men) who fight for parity. 

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"creative borrowing": relax, it's not a caravaggio

"creative borrowing": relax, it's not a caravaggio

Imagine this...you (call yourself @Esteyban) create a meme inspired by something profound your friend said and slap your handle in the middle of it. You appropriately credit your friend for the idea, because you’re an upstanding guy. Someone (@livesosa) comes across your meme on social media. He’s inspired! So he covers your handle - your signature - with his own and distributes it across his social networks as if he made it. But surprise! The meme contains a blatant math error that makes grade 2 teachers cringe. It goes viral, redistributed by other non-mathletes and many others that simply find amusement in other people's mistakes.

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Oh, The Things He’ll Know When A’Travelling We Go

Oh, The Things He’ll Know When A’Travelling We Go

I am not well travelled – yet. But for 8, my son James is off to a fair start. As I write today, we are in beautiful Cahuita, Costa Rica. James has been throughout Canada, to parts of the US including Alaska, to Mexico and to Costa Rica (now twice). We have bigger, far aflung dreams. Our dreams never include destination resorts and take us to tucked away places where it’s possible to take in local culture and customs a little ways off the beaten trail.

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today, we're almost all on time together

today, we're almost all on time together

There was once a time when New Year’s Eve heralded the one time of year we were all on time together. My family and friends counted down the seconds as we watched a twinkling “Big Apple” drop. At zero, a cacophony of noise blowers, cheers, fireworks, and even banging of pots and pans erupted simultaneously across our time zone. Perhaps our watches and clocks were synchronized for the big moment, but likely not.

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perfect, more or less (aka "a perfect home for tortoise")

perfect, more or less (aka "a perfect home for tortoise")

The following evolved from a (now bygone) bedtime ritual of storytelling in my home. My husband, son and I would each take turns telling stories of our own creation. Quite simply, this is one of mine. It originated with a visit to Gus, resident tortoise of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. For me, it is a lesson about "stuff", giving, and contentment. I hope that you both enjoy and find value in it. - Laurie

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un-"stuff"-ing Christmas for people, planet and wallet

un-"stuff"-ing Christmas for people, planet and wallet

My mother and my grandmother always made my Christmases special, joyful experiences. I fully intended to carry on all of their traditions (and then some) when I had a family of my own. But when the time came, I developed a much deeper appreciation for all of their sacrifices and the gifts of their time and energies. It was exhausting and not nearly as much fun as I had imagined. I have become a Grinch / Scrooge / Charlie Brown sympathizer. BAH HUMBUG!

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keep it real, teddy ruxpin. older than old-school family reading

Once upon a time, there was a child who would NOT go to sleep. There were tears, and begging, and tantrums – on both sides. Every night was a battle. Until one day, family reading time became a predictable part of our bedtime routine, and then we all slept reasonably happily ever after...

While reading selections have changed over time, we’ve kept up the habit. My son, James, is now 8. For at least half an hour each evening, electronic devices are put away, and I (it’s usually me, though not always) read aloud from my favourite yellow chair. James and my husband, Trevor, snuggle on the couch while our Berndoodle, Charkie, leans against my legs. 

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Well, how did I get here? (Opportunity Cost Theorem Revisited)

Thank you, Talking Heads. Maybe "Once in a Lifetime" is simply a mid-life anthem standard, and I missed the memo. But my 41 yo self has just taken a hard look at lyrics I remember singing, unseatbelted, in the back of my mother's old-school Toyota Celica:

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself...Well, how did I get here?

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