Set Goals & Keep Active: ’cause it’s not all about swearing & vaginas.

Earlier this summer I decided that I wanted to bike from Peterborough to nearby town of Lakefield. It’s not far (16.8 km/one way) and I’ve been biking/running all summer so I figured it would a piece of cake.


This morning I got on my bike and by the time I hit the end of my street (3 houses) my legs were achy. Oh dear.You know those days when your body just will not cooperate. yup.

I debated looping back home, curling up on the couch and trying again another day.

But I’m pretty stubborn.

I hadn’t made it very far (3 km) when I started to wish I’d peed one more time before leaving. My bladder (as my kids will attest) is truly the size of a peanut. Maybe that second cup of coffee was not a good idea after all. But I distracted myself in the beauty of my surroundings. Such a gorgeous path!



I’d previously biked as far as Trent University which is about 1/2 way.  I rejoiced when I hit that spot.

New bike path near Trent!

New bike path near Trent!

Trent - you have a fabulous campus!

Trent – you have a fabulous campus!

I swear (and I swore) that I was on an incline the entire way to Lakefield. The only solace in that thought was that I’d be going downhill all the way home. (wheeeee!!!!)

My friend recently told me that she and her family of four kids recently did a 20km round trip bike ride. Her youngest is only 8 years old and she is now my hero. Apparently on the way they stopped at Canadian Tire for some rope in case they needed to tow her back. (why didn’t I pack any rope??)

By the time I reached the Lakefield sign, I was tired, my legs were sore and my vagina had gone completely numb (honestly – wtf ?!). The bright side in this condition was that I figured I probably couldn’t pee if I tried.

I saw the sign!

I saw the sign!

I biked on into town and landed at my destination (Canoe & Paddle) where my original plan was to celebrate with a cold pint and lunch on the patio before returning home. The only problem was that it was barely 11am. (yes, clearly my ferocious speed was proving to be a hinderance to my plans) Do they even serve beer this early? My stomach was still recovering from such heavy breathing that I wasn’t even hungry & even if they did serve beer this early I wasn’t quite ready to indulge. Well now what?

Sitting down seemed like a good start. So I sat down by the water with my notepad. I wrote a bit and texted my friends to let them know I was still (barely) alive.  I started to wonder how long it would take until my legs seized up so decided to keep moving. I walked around town for a little while until hunger struck. Then made my way back to Canoe and Paddle for that celebratory lunch.

I was not disappointed.

Lunch: salad, 5 paddle beer and ice water

Lunch: salad, 5 paddle beer and ice water

In other good news I was indeed able to relieve myself. (phew!)

I’m not going to lie. There was a moment where I debated just sitting on that patio until 4pm and asking Keith to come pick me up after work.

But did I mention I’m stubborn?

So I sent a quick text to my friends. Asking for them to pray for me and my vag  (who has not sent at least one of these texts in their lives) and started along the path on the way home.

It turns out that I was biking through a strange dimension where you are actually going uphill in BOTH directions. I had thought these were only the urban legends of parents walking to school.

But alas I held my slow (don’t be a hero) pace and plodded on.

I was only mildly embarrassed when everyone else on the path passed me (clearly they had not been biking the distance I had). I focused again on the nature around me. I passed butterflies, cardinals, kamikaze chipmunks (who might have been less kamikaze and more confused by the slow speed and fast cursing) and I passed a turtle.

Yes, I PASSED the turtle. *props

This path goes on .. and on..

This path goes on .. and on..

As much as I thought I was going to die, I still managed to return the smile and greetings of each friendly person who passed (in between silent cursing). Jeepers you are a friendly folk in Peterborough. Anyone want to tow me home?

Needless to say I made it and am not writing this from the side of a bike path waiting for a ride (though that would have made a good story too).

Post bike snack: Justin's honey almond butter..mmmm

Post bike snack: Justin’s honey almond butter..mmmm

Google maps will show you that this stretch should take approximately 1 hour each way. Clearly they did not account for the uphill dimensional world factor. It took me about 1 hour 20 minutes each way. (whatever. I passed the turtle.)

my route

my route

The moral of this story (yes, there is a point here, it’s not all about swearing and vaginas) is to stress the importance of setting goals.

Being retired (or at least temporarily unemployed) and having the kids in school all day leaves me with a lot of free time. And there is a lot going on my life (raise your hand if you can relate) that is completely out of my control.

But this. This was me. This was me saying, I’m going to do something and then actually doing it. Yeah it’s small potatoes but in my new world, it’s something I can cross of my list of things I should do one day.

Next thing I should do: Have a bath. With lots and lots and lots of epsom salts.





Happy Birthday Jason!

Today is your 44th birthday and to celebrate we had meat and cake for dinner (as per very specific requests). No fancy party hats or horns like last year but I did give a gift to all of us: a Rhodonite stone. Rain saw them at the store a couple weeks ago. (He has recently become interested in stones and gems).

“Their purpose is emotional healing. We should get one.”

“Do you think our emotions need healed?”

“Yeah.. you know.. ‘cause of Dad…”

So now we can start keeping our Rhodonite stones near our hearts as another step in our healing journey.


It’s ironic that your birthday falls just one day after World Suicide Prevention Day. As if I don’t think enough about you, and suicide, and all the ways I might have been able to tried so hard to prevent it.

But I guess I’m stuck with you and these thoughts of you.

And because I’m stuck with you, you are also stuck with me (sucker!). And I am going to continue to talk to you each and every day (that should be sufficient punishment). Of course the bright side is that I am talking more than yelling at you these days (you’re welcome.)

And I have stopped (um okay, I’ve decreased) blaming you for everything that goes wrong in our lives. Yes, of course I realize that when I’m late getting the kids out the door in the morning, it’s probably not your fault. But that doesn’t mean I won’t mutter your name under my breath with clenched fists in classic “Newman” style.

Lately you have become less of a mortal enemy and more of a weird imaginary friend that I don’t really like.

I do miss talking to you about Rain and Moxie. A lot. Despite our MANY challenges, we always united for them. The kids and I are incredibly blessed to have such an amazing community of friends and family who love and care for them. But you were the only person on earth who loved them like I do. There is so much about them and their lives that only you would understand. The week before you died, you told me that you knew that I was a good mom and that I would always take great care of Rain and Moxie. I told you that they also needed you. They need(ed) their Dad. I meant that. What I didn’t say is that I needed you too.

These days, I’ve decided that your role in the afterlife is to protect us. (Big. Fucking. Job.)

You are our guardian angel with a studded dog collar, ever-changing facial hair and a drink in your hand.

We were never overly conventional.

When things go sidewise, I expect you to be there. When the kids have taken off on their bikes for too long and I’m getting worried or when I hear a crash from the basement where they are playing, my first internal thought is:

For fuck’s sake Jason, the very least you can do is deal with this.

It’s oddly comforting to believe that you are still out there somewhere, co-parenting along with me. You agree with me a lot more in the spirit world and for the most part I do appreciate your silence.

So Happy Birthday Hoop.

Cheers to you and rest up: because we will probably be keeping you very busy.




Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad!



Happy Birthday Hoop

Happy Birthday Hoop

Another day (in the Kawarthas) another beach (or two)

Since moving to Peterborough at the end of June, we have mostly stuck close to home. And really…why wouldn’t we? We have beautiful water at either end of our street and are a 10 minute bike ride to two beaches and downtown. It’s truly been like living at the cottage.

But today when I was out for my (semi-regular) morning run, it dawned on me that we are living in an entire region of lakes and beaches and since school is only a week away we should really start exploring! I think I am in a back-to-school nesting phase: trying to do everything that we didn’t do this summer in the last final moments before our freedom is restricted.

So I jumped on my best sources of travel advice: Google, Twitter and my handy Kawartha region map. I decided to start our adventure by heading out toward Buckhorn and visit Sandy Beach.

Just outside of Buckhorn we stopped at McLean Buckhorn Berry Farm for some beach snacks: mixed pack of plums, cheese curds and butter tarts! (yum, yum and yummmmmmm)

While there we also got affirmation that Sandy Beach was the place to be as well directions – thank you! The directions I’d found until then were somewhat sketchy and the kids are rarely amused with my ‘hmm… i think we are going the right way..’ mutterings.

In no time at all, we were at the beach!

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach

It seemed oddly named at first since there was very little sandy area but then we soon realized that you could walk on and on in under waist deep water. Rain and Moxie explored and swam and explored some more. They are currently collecting shells which they hope to sell and use profits for either candy or university. I alternated joining them in their fun and sitting in the shade writing in my journal. It was a perfect spot, lots of shade and lots of water! We stayed for over 3 hours before I finally dragged them out of the water, into the car and onto our next adventure…


When we first hit town, we made a quick stop at the beach but Rain was starving (I guess growing boys need more than snack food to survive) so we decided to find dinner.  We strolled downtown Lakefield (cutest town ever!!) and ended up on the Canoe & Paddle Pub patio.

Bangers 'n Mash

Bangers ‘n Mash

'Draw a component and pass to the person next to you' game while waiting for dinner

‘Draw a component and pass to the person next to you’ game while waiting for dinner

The food and service were superb – as was my pint of 5 Paddles Home Sweet Home beer (mmm…..refreshing…..) Moxie received a free kids ice cream coupon for the Kawartha Dairy ice cream shop next door as part of her kids meal so we obviously headed there next.  Ice cream for kids, cappuccino for me and more amazing service! Life is good here in the Kawarthas.

Ice Cream Challenge - who's in?

Ice Cream Challenge – who’s in?

“Can we go back to the beach?”

Sure – one more dip to cool off before heading home. It is a shame to let that great beach go to waste.. (just don’t go far out – it hasn’t been 1/2 since you ate and as much as I will rescue you, I’m kinda happy just chillin’ with my cappuccino)

Lakefield Beach

Lakefield Beach

Refreshed, full and getting sleepy, we loaded back in the car for our quick 20 minute drive home (my goal is to bike to Lakefield by end of the year – only 17km each way – piece of cake!)

Today, our adventures reminded me of our Western Canada road trip which we did last summer. Traveling around in a hap-hazard way. Vague plans but easily side-tracked. Lots of snacking and giggling. I love our team.

Once home and everyone had showered, I had one more burst of energy. I decided to hang white Christmas lights on the patio. Yes of course I realize it is NOT Christmas but … I have wanted to have lights outside on a summer patio for as long as I can remember.. so I did it. And I love it. And I’m sitting out here right now. And I might even sleep out here.  Okay.. no not really.

My new happy place

My new happy place

But I am going to play my guitar for a bit so sweet dreams to you and cheers to another day of adventure!