Bus Love

Last Spring I decided to take the plunge and do something out of my comfort zone. I learned to drive a School Bus. Secretly I love big vehicles. This was always something that I had wanted to do, so when the opportunity came I up I told my family and friends. Well, I had to follow through with it now that everyone knew. So I went for the training and testing and got my “B” licence on June 19th of 2014. I was so thrilled and excited that I went for it. Six months have past and I am loving my new job. I get to work with Children again, seeing their smiling faces everyday is awesome. I get to make a difference in their day and that makes me truly happy. I am contributing financially to my family and I feel that I have gained some more confidence again.

At Christmas time, I was certainly overwhelmed with the amount of gifts and cards received from Parents and their children, thanking me for keeping their kids safe everyday. This was such an awesome moment, I knew that this is exactly where I need to be. Although after 16 years of being Mom to my two Sons, I miss putting them on the school bus everyday. My Husband and I have switched roles and we are loving how we work together as a Family. My kids are enjoying having Daddy make their lunches and drive them to their appointments etc.. One of the benefits of my job is the time that I will get to spend with them during PD days, March Break and having the Summer off with them.

Everyday is different in my line of work. I deal with weather, which right now is at least -20 at 5:30 am, the bus is not always warm, the kids may be sick, or have a nosebleed. It is all worth it in the end. I love driving, so this is a perfect fit, Also working in my community is beneficial as I know the schools(both Sons attend the schools I drive to), and most of the children I know from hockey, baseball or are friends with their parents.

I am truly blessed to love what I do!

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Homesteading 101

As of late, I have been doing a lot of research.  I am interested in homesteading.  I love learning about caring for my Family and my Home.

When I was a young girl, I lived in the countryside in Quebec.  My Mother was a homesteader.  Back then we never called it that, she was a stay at home Mom.  She was always caring for her 4 children.  We had homemade meals, a vegetable garden, a wringer washer, a clothesline and an abundance of fresh air.  Those were simple times.   I am trying to get back to that.  All this technology in the world is making it hard to sometimes parent.  I feel like I am constantly calling the kids out of their rooms to come and be a part of the family at night.  They are online all the time. (Confession time, this does include me!).  I feel that they are missing out on these times with Mom and Dad.  I have been fortunate to have been a stay at home Mom for all of these 15 years. I have been an entrepreneur all of these years, but still home for my kids.  I have decided to invest my time as of late to homestead.  I have always been a homemaker.  I love to cook, organize and care for my family.  Now I just want to do more and be better at it.  My Sons are 11 and 15 now.  I do not want to miss this opportunity to teach the basics so that they may be able to care for themselves in the future, without depending on someone else.   Sure they may know a few things, but they certainly need to learn a whole lot more. Although they might argue that they can just turn to Google to find something out, I still think they need to be shown first hand!

It is almost Spring here in Ontario.  It has been such a cold, snowy winter and I am ready for the sunshine and warmth.  At this point I think that rain would be okay at any time.  I have been planning my garden out for months now.  I have found Heirloom seeds for my vegetable garden.  I will also be adding to my flower beds.  Hubby will be putting up a clothesline as soon as the frost is out of the ground,this thrills me.  I love the scent of fresh linens.  Thanks to the internet this winter, I spent many hours researching everything I need for going forward.  Homesteading for me is about simplicity, it is about being present in the moment. Now back to the internet!

Happy Homesteading!

Cat Love

fall 2012 619It is no secret that I love my cats. I love that they are cuddly and cute. More importantly I love the companionship that they provide. In 2006 we went to a local shelter and bought our first cat. Her name is Gertie, she is a tabby cat. She is also an indoor cat. Something that we decided when we chose one. There is too much heartache when a cat disappears. Gertie came on holidays with us in the RV. We did that for 5 years. She was awesome traveler.

Fast forward to 2011. While driving into town, I saw a sign for a Free Kitten. I had butterflies. I stopped in and saw the little black and white kitten playing. I fell in love. The next day I drove to the pet store and bought a few supplies. I then picked up the kitten. I did not tell my family. The kids were so surprised when they came home from school. Hubby said that nothing is ever free. We named him Patches. So cute and so cuddly. Gertie was in shock for a few days but after awhile the two started to get along. They each have their own routines, but mostly sleep in the afternoon on each couch. Some days when I find it hard to get moving I sleep along side them! Yes the secret is out.  The kids adore the cats and are part of my family. My fur babies!

We thought our family was complete until we inherited a cat. My Mother in law was unable to care for him. His name is Boris. He was a rescue cat from a shelter. He was about 7 years old. We called him Big B. He had no front claws so he used to box with us when we walked by. He weighed about 20 pounds. The other two cats used to gang up on him occasionally. We loved watching him play with his favorite toy which was a rainbow full of catnip.

Sadly one day in August we noticed that he would not lay down and that his breathing was very labored. The kids hugged him and Hubby took him to the Emergency vet. His heart was surrounded by fluid and it was going in to his lungs. After some tests and ultrasound they could see how sick he was.

Boris died later that afternoon. Our family was heartbroken. He was a great pet. We still talk about Boris and how much we miss him. Life is easier again having only two litter boxes to clean and two bowls of food that are the same. I am tempted sometimes to stop in to the animal shelter, but I let the feeling pass by. Someday.

Will I ever get another cat? Maybe down the road!

Blissdom wrap up 2013!

BDC13_greywentto (1)A few weeks ago I got ready once again to head to my favorite conference. It is called Blissdom Canada.  I drove from Ottawa to Mississauga Ontario. I listened to tunes, stopped for tea and eventually arrived at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel. After checking in and seeing my beautiful room I came down to registration and met some new faces. I started off with the Handmade Marketplace where I made a few purchases for myself.  There was so much to see and I had a few more chances to visit the marketplace the next day.  The fun began. I was really looking forward to catching up with some Ottawa bloggers. There was the Sponsor meet and greet with a party provided by 19 Crimes, a new Australian wine. I was so happy to spend time with my friends Peggy Shanks and Jennifer Birnstihl. I met Anne Radcliffe and the person with the brightest smile Christa Amyot. We danced under the stars with Tenille and Jully Black.  We laughed with Chris Read, Elan Morgan and Sharon DeVellis. We cried with Glen Canning and Glennon Melton Doyle and were swooning over Jesse Labelle and Matt Dusk. Neil Hedley gave us Goosebumps and we cried along with Jennifer Powell and Shannon Mischuck.

The best thing about Blissdom is that everyone is welcoming and supportive. We are all there to connect and learn. I really enjoyed talking to the Sponsors. The variety of Brands represented was great. Something for everyone! There were parties, speakers and Microsessions. The highlight of the conference for me was the connections I made with other bloggers. I am new to blogging so connecting with a brand was not a goal that I had this year, but I did learn how! I was there to learn how to write and the importance of telling your story. I came away inspired by others and what they have accomplished. I came away grateful for friendships and for the life I have. I came home tired. I really enjoy getting away by myself to learn and grow as an individual.

After coming home and digesting all that I learned, I am taking steps to having more of an online presence. I am setting up my calendar for writing and exploring different topics. I am commenting more on blogs and will do my first Wordless Wednesday next week! The best news of all was finding out that I won a Microsoft Surface RT. It came and I wrote this post. Thank you BlissdomCanada, Microsoft, Tetley, Tim Horton’s, Hallmark, Cottonelle, Maple Leaf Foods, Lentils, Philosophy and the various Sponsors and BlissChicks for putting on a stellar Conference. Also a special thanks to Anna Epp Photography for the headshot.

See everyone next Fall!

Christmas Feelings!

Welcome to Christmas! Happy to have had a wonderful Christmas Eve with my Husband’s Family last night. Dinner, presents and great company! Today we spent at home with my Husband and two Sons ages 10 & 14. We woke up around 7 this morning and got right into it, opening up gifts and eating chocolate. After the cleanup and a strong cup of tea, it was time for a quick nap. My Brother-in-Law and his wife came over tonight for a roast beef dinner, a glass of wine and great conversation was enjoyed and watching my kids play made it a perfect day until the tears started. I lost my Best Friend in September of this year. He was 43 and died of ALS. I got to thinking of how we always got together at Christmas, had a coffee and exchanged gifts from each other. He is so missed and it hit me tonight that this is the first time that we are not together for this ritual. I know he is not suffering anymore. He is with his Mom now in Heaven. I cannot imagine how those parents feel who have lost their Children in the NewTown tragedy this month. Life is short, tell those around you how much you love them and care about them. John you were a big part of my life 30 years, I am blessed that we shared so many great times together. You are missed my Love xo

Out of my Comfort Zone!

winter2012 219Well I am back from Toronto. A few weeks ago I attended the BlissdomCanada conference. It was the second one I attended and I was not disappointed by what I learned. I was really on the fence about what to do. By being active on Twitter and learning from others I am inspired once again to move forward and work on my blog.  I was able to connect with so many others that I met last year, but also stepped out of my comfort zone too. First off I drove to Toronto by myself, sure I have been and drove others, but this was a huge step for me. To top it off I also rented a car, actually it was a huge SUV, a Buick Enclave. I knew I was bringing others home with me, so we needed the room. Swag and luggage to be exact!  So I made it, with the helpful GPS I call my best friend.  I took my time, stopped at rest stops for Diet coke and tea.  Once I arrived at the Sheraton Hotel, I checked into my room awaiting someone special.  It was a roommate. The first time I ever shared a room with someone. It was trusting someone who I had only communicated with on Twitter.  It turned out to be one of the best things I could have done.  She took me under her wing and made me feel comfortable, and made me laugh too.  So the whole Blissdom weekend experience was amazing, met some new Bloggers and made lots of connections. Enjoyed Toronto and all it had to offer, been to a few spots I didn’t know about and met some famous Canadians, such as Jian Ghomeshi, Chef Michael Smith and Amber Mac.  I was a taste tester for Kraft Canada, ate lentil cookies and danced at the Costume Karaoke Party. Then to top off my weekend I drove two lovely ladies home back to Ottawa, again I only chatted with them using twitter and never met. It was a fantastic drive home and I learned about life as a Blogger, the pros and cons of the business. I learned alot about myself too!  So the next time you are faced with something new, will you step out of your Comfort Zone?

Kids and Religion

Recently we celebrated an important event in our family. Well important to me! As I am getting older I am becoming more spiritual in my daily round. I have been attending Church regularly and am finding peace. It gives me time to celebrate my Faith. Being from an Irish Catholic family, I grew up in the church. I was in the choir, Development and Peace, did food drives and participated in the Way of the Cross on Good Friday. As I started dating my Husband I got away from it for a while. When we got married we chose the Church that he grew up in. So I embraced it and it has been our family Church where we celebrate. I was married at Saint Isidore’s (Kanata, On) in October of 1994, my two Sons were baptized there in 1998 and 2002. On Sunday April 15th, 2012 we went to Church to celebrate the youngest boy and his First Communion. I remember mine when I was seven, I felt like a Princess all dressed up in a long white gown with a veil, gloves and a new purse. Having boys was a different story. The Church encourages you to not spend a lot of money on suits and dresses. This was a surprise to me. I had my Son dress up in a white shirt, with dress pants and a lovely argyle vest. He was very handsome. There were 21 children making their First Communion that day. It was so lovely to see all the little girls in their white dresses and shoes. No veils or gloves though. All of our families came to the Church to celebrate Him. It was a beautiful day. I was so proud of him.

The sad part of this whole thing is how their view of the Church was different from mine. I never asked questions like my boys do(certainly encouraged). I never protested going to mass on Sundays. My boys do not understand how important it is to me and it hurts. I am married to a Catholic, but his views have rubbed off on to the kids. They feel that it is not important to go to Church(or why we have to give money). While they are in a public school they do not get the religious instruction that we did growing up in the Catholic board. I struggle with my decision on a regular basis about this.

So I take the kids to do their courses regarding the Baptism, Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. This gives me one on one time with each of them and renews my Faith as a Christian. I hope that I have started a great foundation for them to start their own Journey with God. I guess they will eventually make their own decisions on what they believe Jesus is all about. So for now I go, alone on Sundays, I light a candle for my Family and Pray. This is when I feel renewed once again. I want them to know that they will always be supported no matter what they choose, but my hope is that one day in the future that they will surprise me and go to Church, no questions asked!

What are your thoughts?

Blessings,

Susan Ovington