Jun 15

I left my heart in backwoods Ohio…..

Remember when I went to camp with 100 complete strangers last year in the middle of nowhere?  I did it again. Last year I couldn’t adequately describe what camp did for me.  I couldn’t put into words the affect the experience had on me and how it changed my life.  I mean I could, I just couldn’t put my finger on the ‘why’.   I could just write about what we did and the people I met.  I said it was life changing at it was.  People would ask me about the experience and I would describe it as “just like kids camp but with vodka and CPAP machines” .  We played games and we drank.  We danced and we sang 80’s song off key.  And I would repeat over and over “it’s not that kind of camp” when people would give me the side eye when I said I spent 4 days in the woods with a bunch of strangers.


Well now another year of Camp Throwback is behind me and I can finally bring myself to sit down and put my thoughts into words.  YES I traveled to some hidden little  place in Ohio that no one who lives outside of Ohio has ever heard  of with 100+ internet strangers.  Twice.  The first year I was  scared.  I was careful.  I didn’t drink “too much” and I didn’t stay up “too late”.  And I made friends. And without a doubt, against everything I thought possible, I had the time of my life.  When I came home I immediately bought tickets for June 2016.  Last year I flew in the night before and stayed in a hotel by myself because i was worried to accept the many offers I had from people to just ‘crash at my place’ or ‘fly into Chicago we’ll pick you up”.  Um NO?  What sort of freaks just offer a complete stranger rides and places to stay?  No thank you.  I will fly into the designated airport and use the prearranged shuttle service.  This year?  I booked a flight into Cincinnati and just said “Hey everybody this is when I’m arriving who’s going to meet me”.  What was the difference?  The difference is now I understand the magic of Camp Throwback.  I know what it is now.  What Brittany Gibbons has created at Camp Throwback is a place that I never really believed existed.  You know that feeling you have when you go someplace new?  That fear in the pit of your stomach?  That little kid voice that no matter how old you get flashes through your mind and says ‘what if nobody likes me’?  Camp is the one place on the planet where that doesn’t exist.  It’s the opposite of that feeling from the second you enter the gates.  If you see a group of people sitting on a blanket you can just sit down and BOOM  brand new friends.  If want to dance by yourself to the songs of your youth, you can and NO ONE is sitting there pointing and laughing.  More than likely they will stand up and dance too.  You want to wear a bikini, wear a motherfucking bikini with absolutely no chance of someone saying that you shouldn’t.  More likely someone will say “oh my god, you look BANGING! Where did you GET THAT!?!”   Where you can laugh so hard your stomach hurts for DAYS because you’re playing Cards Against Humanity with some of the sickest/funniest people on the planet.


What Camp throwback is to me is the one place on the planet where I hang out with 100 people who have shared and intense desire to be a good friend.  To make sure that everyone feels included.  That take the time to get to know you and would rather give a hug than a dirty look.  They have patience, smiles and laughter and they have pure joy at the experience.  And they do it year after year.  Camp session after camp session.  Sure Camp Throwback is the brainchild of one of my favourite people on the planet and I applaud her for this magical place.  BUT the camp experience isn’t just this one person, it’s every single camper.  It’s the girl who read about it online and books a ticket and a flight and shows up alone.  It’s the dude who is dragged there by his wife because she heard about it on some crazy online group and insists he comes along.  It’s the counsellors who make sure that everyone finds their way as they first pull up and step out of their cars looking around, eyes darting like a deer in the headlights.   It’s every single camper that comes to Camp Throwback and puts aside the outside world and embraces the idea that we are all just love.  Camp Throwback is a beautiful place in the middle of the woods where you can be 100% yourself and your faith in the human race will be restored.  Where you can exhale and let the problems of the world fall away.









20160601_195045 20160603_103852 20160602_203301 20160602_163913




Sadly when you leave it all comes rushing back.  Work, meetings, those pesky children.  The world outside of Camp Throwback is not nearly as appealing or as accepting.  This year I’ve cried a lot.  Not only because I miss my camp family but because I now understand how beautiful it is and sadly how rare that feeling I have at camp is.  To finally find the place where you belong also points out how lonely the rest of the planet can be, how ‘not camp’ every day life is.  And not just the fact that apparently it’s not “socially acceptable” to have vodka for breakfast and say ‘motherfucker’ every other word.  But that it’s hard to take the time to just sit on a bench and colour dirty words while someone next to you is braiding a friendship bracelet.   I’m hoping that each person that ends up there comes out with a piece of Camp in their heart and spreads that love to their corner of the world.  Thank you my fellow Throwbackers.  You are forever my Camp Family and you hold a piece of my heart with you no matter the distance.

Feb 04

Cupid, draw back your bow….

It’s amazing how when you are feeling blue suddenly there is a light.  In my case that light is shaped remarkably similar to a 12 year old boy.  Last night my sweet Mr. Magoo decided to draw the entire family as Simpson characters.  I am drawn as Marge.  This might be my favourite thing ever.  My halloween costume for 2016 is sorted.  Just need to find a lime green dress.  I already have the red shoes!



Today Mr. Magoo has requested that we watch “Bumpa’s video”  in honour of the 10th anniversary of his death. He’s been planning on watching it with me for over a month.  He reminded me last week “in case you forget it’s February 4th” Gee thanks Elijah……He is so proud of being one in the video.   So in honour of my sweet boy here is the video I made for all of Bumpa’s kids I can’t find the CD but thankfully I saved it in a million different places so I’d always have a copy.   He Raised Me Up…..


Dec 21

Drumroll please….2016 the Year of…..

But first how I got to this year’s intention…

She’s not the daughter I wanted.

Those words have shaped my entire life.  For those who don’t know me and probably a few that do, you may be shocked to find out that those are the words that have defined my entire life.  Those words were spoken by my mother.  Repeatedly.  My entire life.  To EVERYONE.  Back story.  I was the 4th born child in the bumpy and ending marriage of my mother and father.  After three boys my arrival was met with shock and disbelief.  I was supposed to be Christopher.  My mother was so convinced she was having another boy that early April morning that the midwife had to convince her I was a girl.  She was very happy, she FINALLY had her girl.  No more bitter disappointment.  I mean she LOVES my brothers but after 15 years of “jeans and t-shirts” as she liked to say she was more than a little thrilled to finally have a much anticipated and desired daughter.  And what a handful I was!  I was all girly and giggly.  I loved to dance and was a non stop talker.  I was the apple of my brother’s eye.  I was, in a word, perfect.  I had all the dresses and all the shoes.  My mother took her first maternity leave when I was born.  She stayed home with me for a couple years.  Later of course she would remind me how her pension was affected and it didn’t seem to make any difference so she probably shouldn’t have done it.  But then the inevitable happened.  I turned out to have my own personality.  When I was about three years old I decided I didn’t like the name my parents had lovingly picked for me and I changed it.  I didn’t ask, I just simply refused to respond to my first name.  “Call me ‘nother name” was demanded and from then forward I was known by my middle name.  Well they put up a good fight but I would just stare blankly at them as they yelled “KAREN” over and over until with a resigned sigh they would say “Allison” and I would happily answer!!   That probably should have been a hint as to how the rest of my life was going to go. Anyway…. my parents split, my older brothers moved away and I was left in Saskatoon with arguably the coolest older brother ever.  We were four years apart and we had a pretty damn good childhood.  We lived in the best neighbourhood with a million other kids.  It was a new suburban type neighbourhood with the best schools and fantastic teachers.  We grew up playing Kick the Can & raiding gardens for carrots.  I followed my big brother to the ice rink in the winter and rode my bike all over the place in the summer.   I’m still friends with a large percentage of the kids from back in the hood.  We all grew up to be pretty decent people.  Saskatoon raised some spectacular kids in the 70’s & 80’s.  Good, honest, decent people with dry sarcastic sense of humour or I suppose we could also be described witty smart asses.  It must have been in the water.  There were dips in the road along the way, I was molested by my babysitters husband and never really told anyone until years later in therapy.  Keeping that secret for so many years is probably one of my only regrets from old Toon town.  I have a crazy amount of guilt that my little 5 year old self suffered at this old man’s hand and I didn’t tell anyone.  My mother also struggled with what I now see was depression and I wasn’t very nice to her as a child.  I just didn’t understand how hard it was for her to be a divorced woman with 2 young kids in the 80’s with no real support system and so I never really tried to understand her sadness.  So I think that’s why I went down  such a bumpy teenagehood.  My mother didn’t really appreciate that I had my own desires and dreams.  She wanted me to live, act and feel what SHE wanted me to do.  There was no room for what I wanted in there at all.  It was stifling.  Prime example….when I was young I took piano lessons.  I never wanted to take piano lessons.  I wanted to take Violin lessons.  More than ANYTHING I wanted to take either the violin or the cello.  My mother told me I was taking the piano. I took the piano because that is what she had so desperately wanted to take when she was a child.   She was the poor child with a cardboard cut out piano dreaming of one day learning to play.  I was the child who had to fulfill that dream.  When I said I didn’t want to play anymore, I wasn’t allowed to quit.  YEARS of piano lessons.  I had natural talent and played beautifully and she couldn’t understand why i wouldn’t continue for ever. She was convinced that it was every child dream and as her daughter I must do it.  I quit the minute I could.  Ten years of piano lessons I never wanted, asked for or enjoyed.  And I never once got to learn the violin.  So we repeated the exact pattern she was trying to avoid.  I was in my bedroom pretending to play the violin just as she had been 40 years before.   Later when I was picked to play the bassoon in band she phoned the school and made them change it.  Not because she had any knowledge about musical instruments or that I had been picked to play one of the most challenging but because she thought it was ridiculous.   I was picked to play the bassoon because the band teacher knew I had musical talent.  The bassoon is a much more difficult instrument to master and he was sure I could handle it.  My mother turned up her nose and said ‘the bassoon? there’s no reason you have to play that, who plays the bassoon?”.  And therefore, I played the clarinet.  I mastered it in no time flat, was bored senseless and quit after 3 years.  The minute I turned 18 I moved out.  I gave up going to university because in order to do that I would have to stay at home and I just couldn’t.  She has thrown that in my face for the last 30 years.  The fact that I applied (and was accepted) into the college I wanted to go into didn’t help.  It wasn’t what SHE wanted me to do and from the minute I was accepted she started telling me how it wasn’t the right choice.   Look at what so and so’s daughter did!  Did you know that such and such’s son is a doctor?  You just left for NO reason. Well I was 18 with a 10 pm curfew…so I could vote but I couldn’t go to a late night movie.  Yes I moved out, I could no longer BREATHE.   My whole life I have been just a series of disappointments to her.   She’s made sure to let me know that every decision I’ve ever made has been the wrong one.  In her eyes I’m not a nice person.  I’m not a good partner.  She repeated told me that men just cheat and I should save my marriages.   I’m not a good cook. When I cook dinner for her she is beyond surprised that no one gets food poisoning and repeatedly tells me (in a shocked voice) how good it is.   I’m barely capable.  At 30 when taking my child on a vacation she didn’t talk to me for a ages because I didn’t take her.  Not that she wanted to see the destination but that she thought I shouldn’t be going alone.  “what if you get lost?” “but you’ve never been there before!” “you shouldn’t travel alone”.  The first  house I wanted to buy was dismissed by her as being unsafe.  She rescinded the offer to help with the down payment until I picked a house she deemed appropriate.   I love my mother and there are a lot worse out there. I absolutely understand how she became the woman she is but being raised by her  has made me doubt every single decision I’ve ever had to make.  The lack of confidence I have had my entire life has been crippling.  I promised myself that when I had kids I would be sure to let them know that I believe they are capable.  That I don’t have to agree with their choices, but that their choices are 100% theirs.  I will support them no matter what.  Even if I’m sitting here wringing my hands I will support them. And I will do my best for the first years of their life and then I will back the fuck off.  That I will happily give my opinion when asked but if I’m not asked, I’ll shut the hell up and let them figure it out.


So where does that leave me?  As I started to try to figure out my intention for this year i was struggling.  The Year of the House was a great success!  The new kitchen is 90% finished (pictures in the new year) and the house is now the home of our dreams.  The Year of Awesome that started it all continues to this day.  That first year of making an intention was really just a dream.  I was reaching out to the universe at the lowest point in my life with a hope for something better and wow…what a difference it has made in my life.  The year of Style was fun and although I started out thinking it would change my outside, it in fact changed my insides more than I ever thought possible. I ended up doing a photoshoot in my UNDERWEAR?!?!?!  So THAT was successful beyond anything I ever thought possible.  So 2016…what to do?  Where to put my focus?   “She’s not the daughter I wanted”.   The Year of Becoming.  That is what 2016 is going to be….the year of becoming who I’ve always wanted.  The year of becoming who I’ve always thought i could be but my self doubt and voices of my past held me back. To FINALLY stop playing that one sentence over and over in my head.   But what does it look like?  Well it’s a HUGE story.  One that I’m going to tell throughout the year.

Becoming the woman I wanted.  Hold on to your hats people.  This is huge.

2016 The Year of Becoming.

Oct 01

Out with the old….

My old kitchen.

Original cupboards were broken in a lot of places.  There was almost no counter space AND we had a dead wall.  The old owners had a little 2 person table on the dead wall but when we had a table there it just became a dumping ground.

20150505_100025 20150505_100057 20150505_100110

My new kitchen is all about colour and textures. You’ll see THREE different cabinet colours. Coloured appliances. Barn wood. Glass tiles.  Open shelving. My goal is to have it look like it’s been cobbled together with much loved pieces of many years.   I also wanted places to display some of my favourite treasures.


I’ve been “pinning” different kitchens since we bought our house.    And now those pins have all come to life.  We are soooo close.

So while I’m waiting to post pictures of the finished kitchen. Here’s a sneak peak at another new space in the house.  My new CRAFT ROOM!



I found an old stool at an estate sale of some old dude who died and was a hoarder.   Recovered it was some gorgeous vinyl.  The table I made with a piece of MDF and 2 9 cube shelves from Lowes.    Painted the MDF and boom…instant craft table!


I finally have a dedicated craft space and I’m already putting it to use making curtains for the new kitchen.


I KNOW I always go on and on about how amazing my life is.  It’s annoying.  It is probably the only annoying thing about me aside from my constantly being right and how ridiculously modest I am.  BUT when you’ve had the relationships that I have had in my past and then you find a true love, a partner and all your dreams come true it’s REALLY hard not to constantly be “oh my god, do you SEE THIS? My life!!”  I try to keep it to a minimum (yes this is a minimum) but I’m so fricking happy.   But this house renovations is truly been a dream come true.   I’ve been watching HGTV since it came on the air and I’ve never had the opportunity to do a renovation.  I’m so glad I finally get my shot.

And I’ve knocked it out of the park.  I can’t wait to show off the final product.


Here’s a sneak peak….(look a DISHWASHER!)



Sep 06

The House to Home…..so far….

It’s back to school week here and while that makes for busier mornings we are all happy to be back into the groove with more of a routine.  Here is Mr. Magoo hamming it up for his annual Back To School on the front step photo shoot.




The house is coming along!  Once you start renovations and you start to see things that you have been dreaming about fall into place it gets exciting.  I feel like I’ve been planning this renovation for years.  I probably have, even before we had this house.  I’ve been watching HGTV shows for 20 years and dreaming of some day having this opportunity.  I never believed it would happen but here it is!!

So first thing that happened was the house was painted.  Next the new hardwood floors went in and now the kitchen cabinets are about to be installed.  Along the way we’ve found a few new pieces of furniture and the place is coming together.  Here ya go peeps!

The arrival of the cabinets.  It was a long 7 week wait but they are here!



Well more like ‘here’ waiting to be installed.


So one of the VERY cool ideas that I had was to cover the bulk head above the sink with barnwood.  EVERYONE thought I was crazy.  I had one contractor tell me I should use hardwood flooring and everyone else who I told my idea to thought it would look really bad.  A few said so but they all thought it.  Cowboy fought me on this one ALL THE WAY.  But he did it.  He cut the wood and nailed it to the bulkhead even though I’m pretty sure he thought it was an insane idea.  Guess what?  It looks fantastic.  I love it so much.  In this pic Cowboy looks all happy, I think it’s relief that my hair-brain idea didn’t have to be taken down and re-drywalled.




I found the CUTEST schoolhouse light fixture at Wayfair.com.  This company is my new obsession!  Not only do they ship to Canada but they do so REASONABLY!!  I have my eye on a beautiful area rug that is probably going to make its way here once the rest of the renos are done.  The CAD still sucks but the prices are good even with the shitty exchange.





This is me making the love of my life stand there holding the new faucet.  I need visuals, I’m not good at ‘seeing’ the end result in my head.  BUT once the cabinets are in the granite people come to measure and the faucet must be here when they get here.  So I need to make a decision.  So Cowboy gets to stand there and hold a faucet while I take pictures and make sure it’s exactly what I want!



And that is where we are….so close to the finish line!!

We also crossed something else off our list!  We couldn’t decide between a new door or an old barn one and then good ole Rona had the answer.  We picked this up today!!  It comes in plain pine and I’m going to stain it! (this is their picture) I think I’m going to do a white wash/grey/dark walnut mix.  It’s going to be in the living room as an entry it to what will some day be the pantry.  And by someday I mean next year because this current reno is a KILLER!  But next year we will convert the old single attached garage into a full pantry and we’ll go through this beautiful barn door in order to get there.


A modern take on an old farmhouse.  That’s what our house is turning into.  And we are loving it!



Jul 11

Sixteen years of dreadlocks……

When I turned 30 I decided I was done.  Done straightening my hair, done paying hundreds or dollars for weaves and braids.  Done being anything but authentically myself.  My youngest two kids have only every known me to have locs.   A few times over the years I have cut my locs but I’ve never cut them off, just shorter a few times.   Well today I’ve decided to start being more adventurous with my locs.   Having more FUN with them.  My locs are GORGEOUS.  I get stopped on the street a LOT by people complimenting them but I get lazy and they are always the same. So…..here goes nothing.

Holy CRAP my dreads are long.  It’s about this length I start thinking I’m too old for long hair and end up cutting them to shoulder length.  And then I remember Toni Morrison and my goal to have beautiful grey dreads when I’m 84 like she is.

Hair goal. Miss Morrison.   Rockin’ the grey dreads like a boss.



Here I am straight out of the shower, all washed up and ready to start my retwist.


Half way through twisting I always start whining.  First because my hair starts to dry and it gets painful to separate and second because I have EXTREMELY thick hair.  Like CRAZY thick.  I have no idea how my mother managed my head when I was a kid.  Oh wait yes I do, with a hot comb on the stove and lots a tears from me.  For those  who doesn’t know what a hot comb is it looks like THIS.


And it’s heated directly on the stove and then run through your hair to ‘straighten’ it.  So the next time you are whining about your adorable little chi straightener ‘burning’ you I thank you to SHUT THE FUCK UP.  You don’t know pain until a hot steel comb hits your head directly for the stove.  You can thank a black person I’m sure we are the entire reason you CAN straighten your hair without third degree burns all over your damn head…..but I digress.



When I’m all done I feel such a sense of accomplishment.  I’m not sure WHY I whine it really only takes me about 30 minutes to twist.  I used to sit for 2-six hour sessions to get braids back in the 90s so this is NOTHING.  And yet I still whine.



Next up i decided to put in some pony tails because I don’t want the curls to go all the way up my head.

Also note to self, having no make up I’m fine with but MAN I really need to fill in my eyebrows.   LOL.


Ok. So I learnt how to do this through youtube videos.  Here I am half way thru.  Looks totally like the videos so far!IMG-20150710-WA0003


All curled up with the pipecleaners.  Now the five million hour wait for my very thick hair to dry.



The Verdict???  CURLS FOR DAYS!!!

So this is me first thing this morning after I pulled out the pipe cleaners!  Oh MY GOD!  I have CURLS!  I have no idea why I haven’t done something like this before.  I’m loving it.  I’m not going to separate it all out just let it fall and see what happens over the next few days.


I purposely did the pipe cleaners starting part way down because I wanted my length to still be there.  I’m sure that means the curls wont last as long but I’m good with that.  It’s just so beautiful.  B612-2015-07-11-07-24-06


Seeing myself in a different way this morning.  I’m rocking the curls!    IMG_20150711_073624


I am glad I took this little leap.  Sometimes I forget to do fun things just for me.  This is totally worth Miss Thing making fun of me all day yesterday while I was walking around with pipecleaners in my hair.  Ooooo I should probably see my mother while I’m rocking the curls.  She can not STAND my dreads but I’m thinking if she say them all fancied up she might actually think they are cute.   Ok, that might be a stretch but she will have to admit I look damn good.

Jun 16

Once a Dream. Now my Life!

So YEARS ago while living overseas I started hearing about a movement called Backyard Chickens.  I was shocked.  I mean people in the middle of the city having chickens?  How cool is that.  At the time I wasn’t in the place to actually HAVE chickens but that didn’t stop me from joining backyardchickens.com and salivating over all these crazy people and their chickens.    NEVER did I think I would have the chance to own chickens.  And then we bought a house in Devon.  The one little town who is totally okay with them.  The process of getting them is easy peasy.  So Cowboy built me a coop and today was the day I finally got to bring my girls home!



Jersey has decided that chickens are the best thing EVA!!!

The chickens have decided that Jersey is a twit.



Here is how we transported our girls home.  I had bought them at a local critter sale in Millet and a friend of mine (we’ll call her the chicken pusher) babysat them because I was on my way to a weekend in Pigeon Lake with Miss Thing.


The other two girls we call ‘The Twins’.  They are little Cornish girls and their names are Phyllis and Lillian.  Or Phil & Lil for short.  It’s my little nod to the Rugrats.   They TOTALLY have their personality……Happy-PhilLil

So all the girls are now settled in their new coop courtesy of Cowboy.  He built them a delightful fully customized coop with no plans.  Completely off the top of his head.  And it’s awesome.  Fully insulated with three nesting boxes and three long perches.  It’s gorgeous.  And the chickens seem to love it.



Today is painting day!  Here the girls are in their new home.  It’ll be even more special once it’s BARN RED!20150615_154820


Good morning to our girls.  All settled in their new home!



Come on by locals and meet the newest members of our family.  And the rest of you….prepare yourselves….there are going to be a LOT of chicken pictures!



Jun 13

Garden 2015….it’s ON!

So last year was my first garden.  It did ‘ok’ but it wasn’t great.  This year I’m back at it and having some early success!  Last year I think I just overthought it.

As soon as the beds and pots were workable I put compost in all the dirt.  Last year I started all my squashes in the house and they just didn’t do well.  I got ONE zucchini and nothing else from the squash family.  So this year I put 4 seeds in each pot hoping a couple would take.   Guess what? They ALL took.  In every pot!  Now I have to get more pots and move some of these because they are too crowded!  Also guess who has two thumbs and didn’t label the different squashes?   THIS girl.

I now have three pots of huge squash plants and no idea which is which.   Here’s either spaghetti, acorn or zucchini.



Next up is the pepper plants.  I bought two.   One is already flowering!!  I spied a little pepper growing on it last night! In the background is another mystery squash plant.





Broccili!  So many people say how much success they have with it so I’m giving it a go.  Also eggplant….these are the two I’m really hoping I have some success with….crossing my fingers!


I did a little herb garden with some basil and other herbs.  It’s loving the sunny spot in my yard.



My little strawberry basket is flowering like crazy.  Even saw a few strawberries starting!



So the garden is truly taking off.  I may even have to stake the beans this week!

One last thing..new kitchen and main floor flooring is completely picked!  I didn’t think I would ever get to this point and there are some bits and bobs left to decide.  Things like cabinet pulls and backsplash tile but the main items are all decided.   This is the flooring that has been chosen.  The front entry will be in a huge 12X24 slate tile with a decorative edging.  And the hardwood floors will be solid hardwood in this medium colour.  Full kitchen reno and main floor redo starts July 27th! I feel like there should be a film crew when Cowboy and I do the demo.  2015 the year Our House becomes Our Home!


Jun 02

Camp Throwback or How to Fall in Love with 100 People in 4 Days


Who doesn’t want go into the backwoods of Ohio and sleep in a tiny bunk?  This year I decided to join a bunch of adults and go back to camp .  Not just any camp but one thrown by the incomparable Brittany Gibbons.  *Side note*  Her book Fat Girl Walking is out and it’s RIDICULOUSLY good.  BUY IT HERE!!!!  It all started last year when I didn’t go.  It was the inaugural year and I gave myself a list of reasons why not to go  (money, kids, house blah blah blah)  As soon as it happened I was bitterly disappointed in myself.   Why did I let talk myself out of something I really wanted to do.  Wasn’t this the NEW me?  Didn’t I live my life with joy.  Didn’t I have this amazing new life where I came from a place of “Yes”.  This was obviously something I had to do.  So right after camp last year I bought a Camp Throwback t-shirt and coffee mug as a reminder and a promise that in 2015 I would NOT miss it.   The tickets went on sale and I purchased ONE ticket.  That’s right, not only was I going but I was going alone.   I patiently waited for the months to pass, not really nervous but determined.  Pretty much everyone I told would look at me with a strange “well isn’t she weird” look,  well not others would look at me and ask ‘what do you MEAN adult camp?”.    What I mean is camp.  Camp camp.  Like kids camp but with CPAP machines and vodka.


Camp was….wait a minute, let me type exactly what Camp throwback was for me….Camp THROWBACK was life changing.  I don’t say that lightly.  You see when I was growing up I learnt many things.  I learnt how to change a tire, how to balance a cheque book, how to french kiss a boy and that people in groups are mean, cliquey and bitchy….especially girls.   In grade 8 we had a club that was called the “we hate so and so” club.   The name changed week to week but the club remained for most of grade 8.  We just switched which girl we directed our hate at and crossed our mess gloved covered fingers that it wasn’t our week.  It doesn’t change much as you get older.  The snide comments, the body shaming….we keep it going, we’re just more subtle about how we direct our hate.  We even have names for it “Mommy Wars”.  We can divide ourselves over anything!  Mostly things that legitimately have no effect on us whatsoever.  When you take your clothes off at the end of the day and crawl into your own bed, you roll over and say goodnight to the person  you’ve chosen to spend your life with and they say ‘damn my day sucked’ and you cuddle and go to sleep.  The gender of that person affects me how?  But there are fucking WARS over this.  Protests, rallies…people pulling kids out of school.  People taking the time to find poster board and write their hate for the other side down on it.  It’s jaw dropping to me.  But it’s normal.  It’s what we do.  Judge one another in every aspect of our lives.  What is she DOING wearing those pants?  Oh my god I can’t believe he is NOT WORKING and staying home with the kids while she works? Lady you should be ordering a SALAD?  Judgement fucking everywhere.  Do you want to know where it isn’t.  Camp Throwback.


I found the one place on the planet where there is LEGIT no judgement.  It’s a place of friendship bracelets and archery.  A place to meet new friends and sing really loudly on 80’s night.  It’s a place of corn dogs and Chili Dan’s bloody marys.  It’s a place with hangover yoga and 3-legged races.  It’s a place of hugging, deep conversations and ridiculous hashtags.  It’s a place in the middle of Ohio that for 4 glorious days there is no judgement, just love.

And vodka…lots and lots of vodka.


Here’s to my 100 new friends.  May you recover quickly and get a good case of camp amnesia…it’s not about the bugs or the bunks or the mysterious bruises that showed up a couple days later.  It’s not even about the raccoon or the fact that my ass has a legit bench shaped divot in it from sitting at the picnic tables.  It’s about the fact that my voice is still not quite back from singing Oh BABY YOU!!!!  YOU GOT WHAT I NEEEEEEED!! YOU SAY HE’S JUST A FRIEND. And I am in awe that in the little corner of Ohio for four days in May there is my little piece of heaven.  I will see you there next year.  I owe the first dance to Chili Dan (because, well it’s Dan), the first hug to Sara (because I left without one last hug) and the first shot  to Meredith (because “angel pee”).




May 14

A broken dishwasher + a Crazy Cowboy = a new KITCHEN!

And the renovation begins!  What I’ve learnt in a renovation is that all the boring shit goes first.   So the electricians were here and put in the pot lights.  The painter was here and took out the popcorn ceiling out while we were getting the house painted.  It looks great but there is no wow factor in pot lights.

I realize now that I should have taken complete before pictures.  I didn’t.  The whole idea of the renovation started because the dishwasher died.

I hung a piece of fabric over the hole and thought when we could afford the one I want (versus a regular dishwasher) we would just buy it and move on.  But my boyfriend is Cowboy so we all know that’s not what happened.


So our kitchen is 10X11.  It’s not a big kitchen but it’s a smart layout.  There are lots of cupboards.  The only issue we seem to have is counter space.  There isn’t a lot of it.


And there is this completely useless open wall.  Notice the fridge.  It’s a delightful fridge.  It’s also ENORMOUS!  And completely unnecessary.  So I’m getting a smaller sized fridge.  More on that later and the life long dream that is being fulfilled.


Thankfully the wall into the dining room was opened up before us so we don’t have major structural stuff to do.



So this is the before.  Next up, hardwood floors for the entire main floor INCLUDING the kitchen.  Those go in pretty quick here.  I’m hoping to have them in and then immediately after have the cupboard people put in the new cabinets so that the disruption is minimal.  Right now they are projecting July as a date for the cabinets.  So really it’s about how long I can go without a sink.  With 5 people and no kitchen.  Ugh.


Next up! The choices so far and why I am waiting for a fridge to come by boat from Italy.

Older posts «