Practical Magic for Soul Liberation

I have a lot to say...

Sometimes it's serious, sometimes it's silly, but it's always the truth.

Mostly, I share my stories and the wisdom gained from my own journey, in hopes that it helps you on yours.

A Message From The Fireflies

firefliesroad

I live in Northern Ontario where we are fortunate enough to enjoy being surrounded by nature. When I was a kid in the summer, we spent a lot of time outdoors because you have to capitalize on the few months of summer that we get. Our summer vacations were spent mostly at camp (what some of you call the cottage/lake house/cabin depending on where you live). Our cousins had a camp just down the road and we were constantly going back and forth at all hours.

At night, when we walked the dirt road, we would see fireflies flickering everywhere. There were no street lights of course, just some camps on one side, and a whole lot of forest on the other. It was dark. Really dark. So seeing the fireflies always made me feel safe. They were a glimmer of light in the pitch black night. Sometimes, we would even catch them in jars and use them as our own personal flashlights for awhile, before releasing them back to nature.

As the years passed, the fireflies disappeared. It was disappointing, but eventually, I got used to not seeing them anymore. Apparently, so did a lot of other people. Those of us who grew up being fascinated by fireflies, resigned ourselves to the fact that our kids would likely not experience the same magic on a summer’s night.  Fireflies, also called lighting bugs, are found all over the world and according to my google search, this decline in sightings has occurred everywhere. The culprits are thought to be development and light pollution.

Almost 40 years later, I have my own camp and my sister has one down the road. So again, cousins spend many a summer day and night going between one camp and the other. And this year, something really cool is happening....

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Summer Reads For Kids

From My Bookworms to Yours

book stack.cropped

Our family reads a lot.  In fact, I’m pretty sure we spend more money on books in this house than almost anything else that isn’t a total necessity.  Actually, scratch that… books ARE a necessity in our world. I would rather buy books than just about anything…except maybe food.  We do buy a lot of our books because there are certain ones we like to own for re-reading, or we pass them on to family and friends.  Sometimes, when we run out of shelf space, we do a bit of a de-cluttering and donate books to the library or other places so other folks can enjoy them.  But really, there’s no need to spend oodles of cash on books.  You can find tons of great reads at your local library and we do that sometimes too.

I love that our kids are bookworms.  I think it’s because they’ve grown up in a house full of books, where it’s been our routine since they were born, to read to them at night.  Sean and I alternate between kids.  One night he reads to Evan and I read to Marley, the next night we switch.  Very few things interfere with that routine except sometimes weekends, special occasions, or a rare night out.  If one of us is away for the evening, the remaining parent and two kids will crawl into bed and read together.  Then everyone goes off to their own rooms and reads some more.  When it’s time for lights out, we often hear appeals of, 'Just one more chapter, pleeeeeaaase" Or, "But I HAVE to know what happens next!" There have even been tears when we finish a particularly good book or series, because as Evan says, “When it’s over, you kinda feel like you’re losing people you care about.”

Nightly reading has become such a part of our family routine, that I can’t even imagine how I’ll cope when the day comes that they decide they no longer want mom or dad to read to them.  I had no trouble sending them off to kindergarten, and I suspect I’ll deal with the transition to high school just fine too…but the thought of them not wanting me to read to them anymore, gets me a little choked up. Sniff.

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We Plan To Have A Boring Summer 

            and I Can't Wait!

feet in grass

Remember when you were a kid and you looked really forward to summer?  You couldn’t wait for the bell to ring on that last day of school so you could run out those doors and spend two whole months doing whatever the heck you felt like.  The world was your oyster!  No commitments, no homework, just hanging with your friends and doing whatever you were in the mood to do.  Sometimes that meant doing absolutely nothing.   Sometimes...  it even meant being bored.

As adults, most of us would do just about anything to have one day of boredom to look forward to.  The work doesn’t end just because it’s summer.  In fact, depending on your circumstance, it could be an even busier time for you.  These days, with both parents working, or single parents having to do it all on their own, and fewer people having family close by who are willing or able to help out with kids, it can be downright chaotic.  Summer camps need booking well in advance to ensure you get a spot, not to mention the added cost of putting your kids in these programs or finding and paying for child care, if your kids aren’t old enough to be home alone. 

Even when families do have holidays, there is so much emphasis on having to do something special with that precious ‘quality time’.  All the planning, expense, packing, travelling, sight seeing, visiting, etc. can be super stressful.  We can end up feeling like we need a holiday to recover from our holiday!

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Dear June,

typewriter dear june
 

Dear June,

I’ve got some bad news for you. There’s really no nice way to say this so I’ll just cut to the chase... I think I’m breaking up with you. Because basically June, you suck!

What happened to you? Remember when you used to be all full of anticipation and promises of summer vacation, lazy days, easy ways, and freedom? Yeah.... those were the days right? But June, you’ve changed. The older I get, the more you disappoint me.

I’ve had about enough of your frenetic, schizo, unstable energy. I’m too old for this shit. You’re all over the map, and I can’t figure out what you want from me. June, don’t hate me for saying this, but I think you forgot to take your meds. Maybe you need a gentle reminder. Did you forget that people are supposed to look forward to you? Did you forget that you’re supposed to be all sunny and green, all curious, carefree and full of life? Sure, you might look like that on the outside, but at your core you’ve morphed into a black hearted devil. You’re like one of those icky Dementors in Harry Potter. Gross.

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Here’s To The Good Guys!

beer cheers
 
There seems to be never-ending talk in the news and on social media about the generally crappy and sometimes horrific behaviour perpetrated by certain men. Rape, mass murder, racism, sexism, domestic abuse, pedophilia, homophobia, tax evasion, political scandal, the abuse of power, rioting at sporting events, the list goes on. It’s really gross.

There’s no denying it. There are bad guys out there for sure. This atrocious man-behaviour gets a lot of attention, and I’m not suggesting for even a second that we ignore any of it, or that there aren't a few women out there who are equally as heinous. But I think we need to acknowledge more often, that there are good guys in this world too. A lot of them. In fact, I dare say they outnumber the bad guys by a whole heap. But the good guys are rarely the ones who make front page news. They may get an honorable mention here and there, but mostly, they just quietly go about their good guy business, expecting little or no recognition, while the scum bags among them do their damnedest to paint the whole lot in a negative light.

I’m fortunate to know a whole lot of good guys. I happen to be married to one of them in fact. So as Father’s Day approaches, let’s take this opportunity to give the good guys in our lives (even the ones who aren’t fathers) the props they deserve.

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