Photo by Jeff Moss – Crazy April Snow Day

Photos by Jeff is a new segment on my podcast, Jeff being my hubby for almost 20 years is an incredible photographer. I’m in awe of the emotion he can capture with the click of a finger. He’s been shooting stills for the better part of his life, capturing the year book in High School is where he made his start. He still has this camera! His passion shows through his photography at every snap! Mom & Daughter team, a shy dog, birds steeling berries. You get a feeling, you want to be there.

Episode 60

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss. This show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

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Instagram @ValerieJMoss

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Once in a while I’ll showcase and describe one picture of Jeff’s through a story. Let me know what you think and feel about these snapshots. Appreciate the visual, while driving in your car, making supper, doing chores. Then take a minute to checkout the picture that goes with the story. Was this what you imagined?

Today I’m featuring:
Crazy April Snow Day

The Path

The path is shadowed, there’s lines of sunlight peeking through the neighbours fence boards casting onto the snow filled sidewalk. The snow hasn’t been touched yet, it’s late in the day, almost supper time. When looking at the garage from the studio room, there’s 3 diagonal power line wires cast upon the peak of the garage.

Perfect Dip

One small perfect dip, a resting point no doubt left over from a bird. The garage’s window is frosted up from the bottom almost 3 quarters, it’s furry and your hand would leave a perfect imprint if you were to touch this. The window ledge is full, the snow and ice is spilling over the corner at just the right angle down toward the corner of the door. Catch me it’s calling, don’t let me fall.
The light is off, the door is locked, the garage is asleep and closed for the day. The cars are safe, the contents are secured.

Slice of Light

There’s a diagonal of sunlight no twilight maybe that’s displayed in a wide rectangle across the door to the garage and across the front of the  garage. This diagonal has a wide section with one wire shadow slicing through its path.

The Shovel

A blue shovel is resting against the garage, outside in the cold with  the snow alone, knowing another night is bestowed upon him. Tomorrow he’ll have work to do clearing this path as one more day of shovelling is ahead, and maybe more to come.

What colour is the garage?

What colour is the shovel?

This is Crazy April Snow Day, written and produced by Valerie Moss, photo by Jeff Moss check him out on IG @ Jeff Moss

Check out my website ValerieMoss.ca for this picture and leave your comments, did I miss describing something – were you picturing something else, tell me your thoughts?

Story by Valerie Moss, Photo by Jeff Moss

Cre8tive Hair

My Hair Studio
My Hair Studio
Cre8tive Hair

Episode 59

Today I’m sharing a ReView of my hairdressers, called Cre8tive Hair, located in a strip mall just off the intersection of McKnight and Edmonton Trail NE. Why I go here and why I recommend THIS place.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

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Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

Cre8tive with an ‘8’ is your average hair salon. It’s run by Asian people, there’s a mix of clientele like Asians, Caucasions – walk-ins, business owners from around the neighbourhood but mostly its run by Donna – she’s the soul of this place.

insert here

When I walk into Cre8tive Hair they know me, I’ve been coming to ‘Donna’s’ since we moved into our home about 10 mins from this place – like 5 years ago. My good hair style and colour Donna’s mastered it over the years, she’s made me platinum blond even. London and Jeff both go to this salon. My Sister and her family go here, my girlfriend Alison goes here – it’s a great affordable place with good people.

Donna

Donna, is about my age, she’s bubbly, passionate about hair and you can tell she loves being there. She can speak several languages, we both have a young child about the same age – we share stories. When we have life changes we share them with each other.

In this small hair salon, there’s also a nail studio. Mandie runs this portion, she’s a Vietnamese lady with long nails, great smile and she too loves what she does. She’s good at it too, many times I’ve had my nails done here and have shared this place with other people as well. She’s cheap and good like $26 for a polish change with fancy designs, her instagram page is fantastic.

What do you like about your salon, their price, their styles, the vibe? Me, I want to trust my hairdresser and I’m sort of cheap, I don’t want to spend $200 plus dollars getting my short hair coloured. I hate waiting for my hair to set and change and process…it’s the worst amount of wasted time but, I bring my laptop and write and produce when I’m there…

Basically I’m giving a shout out to this small place with a few stylists, where posters are stuck on the walls with tape, the TV is playing Ellen where Donna has always looked after me and my family, friends. Even a hop, skip and jump up the road from the KidsU that London attended for several years. They speak all sorts of languages in their including English.

Try Them Out!

hair stylist Donna conquered by Rock Star look!
photo curtesy by Jeff Moss, style curtesy of Donna

If you’re looking for a place to get your hair cut/styled or coloured or your nails done (Fabulash Nails and Spa) stop in at this little joint, it’s quaint, full of great people, good prices. 5010 – 4 street NE, Calgary Alberta. Say hi to them from Me, Valerie, London’s Mom lol.

Thanks for listening, this show drops every Tuesday.

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Calgary Stampede YeeeHaw!

Calgary Stampede

Episode 58

Today I’m sharing my first hand experience of The Calgary Stampede, the greatest outdoor show on Earth – or so they say. Stampede is coming up and we, Calgary are bracing ourselves for the chaos to ensue. Starts July 5th ends end of day July 14th. Boasting rodeos, mid-way rides, prizes, show home, super dogs, free concerts. Plus all the pancake breakfasts you can take in and the night life doesn’t end.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

I’ve lived in Calgary for 22 years and have only JUST attended the Calgary Stampede Rodeo last year. It’s hot, there’s crowds, it’s exciting. You see more than you should likely with the scantily dressed women and guys. It’s not the best place for kids but you’ll see lots of them there.

It was Amazing.

It’s cowboy hats, bbq smoking up the air, western dressed everyone old, new, dogs, horses – showing off their stampede duds, eating the mid way foods like:

  • Deep Fried Oreos
  • Corn Dogs
  • Bbq’d Everything
  • Drinking Ice Cold Flavoured Lemonade
  • Ice Cold Root Beer

Things to SEE and DO:

The Calgary Stampede Marching bands, my favourite 'to-see' item.
Calgary Marching Bands
  • Riding the Roller Coasters
  • Bumper Cars
  • Bungee Jumping
  • a new Zip Line was added last year
  • Marching bands are always my favourite
  • Rodeo and Grand Stand Show
Rodeo cloys are all entertainment, buying time at Calgary Stampede.
Calgary Stampede Rodeo Clown

What’s this about?

The Cowboys and Cowgirls come from all over the world to complete with this particular event, it’s one of the biggest Rodeo competitions. the purse prize of $100,000 makes it all worth while. I love the cowboy names like Ryder Write, Ty Wallace, don’t they just sound like strong country names that are full of moxie. Plus, bull names like Whiskey Hand and Night Moves are sure to scare even the toughest Cowboy.

It’s exciting times and lots on the line when these young men and women come to wager it all…when the bull doesn’t perform or the rider get’s a penalty for all of the wrong things, it just makes the event that much more unique. We rely on the grounds – the earth, being perfect, the weather cooperating, the animals to perform, the fans to buy tickets – all of this combined makes this event that much more powerful to be part of.

Giving out prizes at the Rodeo, during the Calgary Stampede.
Calgary Stampede Winner Ryder Write

They don’t call it the Greatest Outdoor show on earth for no reason…it’s over 100 years old and counting not many of us know anything that’s been around this long and still going strong. The stampede takes in approx 1 million visitors a year. There’s family day and kids day and seniors day to name a few special themes. They also have the CocaCola stage that has live bands with big names from last year like:

  • Walk off the Earth
  • Our Lady Peace
  • Cheryl Crow
  • Simple Plan
  • Billy Talent

Check out this past line up on my website, and for future and past highlighted bands, it’s pretty cool who gets to plan and how famous some of these bands truly are.

Being part of this amazing spirit and City Gratitude when it comes to the Stampede is pretty cool. All the buildings and people dress up or have something that shows their spirit like a cowboy hat or just a bandana, the kids go crazy for this time of year.

Plus so many business’ part take in festivities by having stampede breakfast parties serving free food – pancakes, sausages and include festivities for the kids like face painting and fun! If you’re coming to Calgary in the summer be sure to make this trip during the stampede season it’s sure to leave you with great memories.

Me, Valerie Moss and my hubby enjoying the Stampede
Calgary Stampede with my hubby Jeff and Me.

Top 10 things to do while in Calgary:

  1. Eat Pizza at 4th Spot Kitchen and Bar, boasts best pizza in YYC, check out my podcast about this place here
  2. 17th Avenue SW, stroll along restaurant hoping
  3. Ride Bikes through East Village full of markets and music
  4. Calgary Stampede
  5. Calgary Tower Check out my podcast about this here
  6. Have Breakfast at OeB(Over Easy BreakFast)
  7. Have Supper at The Keg Steakhouse
  8. Drive to Banff, Alberta
  9. Enjoy a day walking through Inglewood
  10. Have a Bull Dog and a good plate of chips and Salsa at Julio Barrios in Kensington

Thank you for listening check out my site ValerieMoss.ca for all the photos and links to the top 10 things I recommend doing while in Calgary. Have you taken in the Stampede did you buy tickets to the show home? Did you win prizes at the mid-way, try the deep friend Oreos? Let me know, tell me about your experience.

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This show is written and produced by me, Valerie Moss, the theme music for this show is written and produced by Jason Schnell but the background recordings are by me and loops through GarageBand. Talk to you next Tuesday!

The Blues Can

The Blues Can
Gritty graffiti from this local blues bar

Episode 57

Today I’m sharing my ReView of a night out at a gritty grounded bar called the Blues Can, located at Inglewood 1429 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta. Boats some great bluesy acts from across the globe. Think dark suits, 40’s polished shoes, harmonica and good vocals that sooth you. Feeling music in your bones…taking your mind somewhere else. This place is great.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

http://www.thebluescan.com/events.php?ahead=-3

See

When you walk into this place it looks like out of a movie, like picture the bar out of the Patrick Swayzee movie Rhoadhouse, Double Deuce. But the biggest different is it’s not the meanest bar – altho I’m sure it has some stories. Step foot into this bar, you need to pay a cover…$15 this doesn’t buy you a seat just a spot to stand. Back in the day it would have been filled with smoke, it’s gritty inside but casual. The line of site to the bar from anywhere is perfect.

insert 10 secs

Smell

Smells like a bar, like food and booze and people. Like stories are told and the bartenders have seen it all and heard music that they will never forget, it’s changed them. You smell and feel history in this place. You know there’s a culture here that makes it what it is.

insert 10 secs

Sound

The feeling is everything, it was just me and my girlfriend for a night out celebrating both our birthdays. Changing our corporate attire for casual jeans and boots. Walking into this place with a mixed demographic from here and the Deep South. You kind of feel like you may not belong, two women in a gritty bar. We were there to dance and enjoy the good music.

Insert 10 secs

Taste

No Original 16 at this bar…so we settled for their usual. The bar stools were full all the way around. There’s tables here and there, higher booth style along the wall to the right of the room, these were full, the place was full. The bar is situated off to the left as you walk in, the stage is centered at the back of the room, directly across from the entrance. the stage is lit up well, perfectly actually highlighting all the right parts of the band, the instruments and solidifying the mood in the room. It’s exactly where I wanted to be. Listening to live southern blues, gravely voices, steel guitars. Their plastic tip jar on the floor beside the mic stand…was filling up with purple bills, these guys were good.

The dance floor is small, people are laughing and having a good time around us and with us. Guys and Gals strutting and shaking their bodies, releasing their stresses, enjoying and absorbing the music. This wooden floor has supported many pairs of feet enjoying a night out at this great place. Grinning people all around young and old, great dancers prancer their swagger criss-crossing the dance floor. It was awesome.

insert 10 seconds

This place isn’t to sit and drink high priced whiskey or the finest of wines, you drink what you can see on the shelf or in the bar well. It’s the ‘usual’ and that’s what you order. We did a couple shots of Jack – seems like the right thing to do in this place but – we were ultimately there for the music.

insert 10 seconds

The finest polished shoes.

At one point in the night this man, finely dressed with his red shirt, white suspenders, top hat with the crispest ribbon detail, came up on stage with a walking stick in hand and the darkest of sun glasses He, this man of poise proceeded to tear the harmonica apart. The place went crazy. And ad such, I was in awe of the excellence and talent before me. We set our purses on the stage just on the smallest corner as we couldn’t leave the at the table plus we were taxi-ing it all over this night.

insert 10 seconds

As most of you know I do these background recordings from my phone. its discreet and just to give you a sense of feeling from this part of my life. In no way am I’m steeling or portraying their work as my own, just to provide a context for my night out. Furthermore, I had never been to the Blues Can before, have you? There’s almost 600 reviews on google for this place. The list of Performers on their site is endless…check it out there’s link on my site http://www.thebluescan.com/performer.php

They have names like:

  • Silvertone Devils
  • Smoking 45s
  • Peter Fischer and the Hurricanes
  • our very own cousin in our Family Miss Ange and Company has also played there
  • Oscar Lopez Calgary owns
  • Rusty Reed

Don’t these names solidify the mood and the personality of these bands. These are old souls in these bands they have stories to tall and magic to perform. talking and engaging the crowds looking for the song and word that connects us all. These people perform and love to influence the souls before them. We all have a story and hearing a song a cord that strikes you is what we are after. Me and my brown haired friend had a great time. My first time here and definitely not my last.

Have you been here, do you love the music, the instruments, the gravelly voices, dark top hats, the deepest of bass and jazz notes? Can you sit in a bar, where you can barely see it’s so dim and feel at ease, your with like-minded patrons who are there for the same thing. Bathrooms don’t have doors on the stalls…the tables and chairs don’t match…it’s old and gots a story to tell? Can you?

insert 10 seconds

Take your bestie on a night out, in your jeans, order a drink from the bartender, like a Budweiser or a rum and coke, spend your time on the dance floor or in a table and just enjoy the music, let it penetrate your skin, your body, so your ears buzz with enjoyment. You won’t be disappointed and maybe you’ll be inspired by a good harmonica, tapping a symbol, polishing up a great pair of shoes, appreciating a ‘usual’ drink from the guy behind the bar. Bluesy Jazzy music to get your feet back on the ground as the song Mustang Sally would say.

Isn’t it funny how life is, I’m writing this last Saturday morning, getting all my thoughts down on paper. I’m satisfied. We had a heavy weekend inclusive of a funeral. I’m settling in for the night it’s about 9pm, Im stitching with embroidery and needle. My friend sends me a text…’wanna meet me at the Blues Can’ – so serendipitous – I say yes. 10:30pm, pull on some jeans, runners – yes it’s this casual and head down…

Don’t take my word for it check out these great ReViews:

  • If you are a music lover this is a MUST SEE. Small venue for up close and personal Blues shows. Come early as seating gets filled up very quickly. Staff are quick and efficient as it is a fast past environment for them.
    Please note there is usually cover here avg $20 /head depending on artist performing.
    So much talent comes through this place.
  • CASH ONLY. Excellent tequila. Reasonable prices. Fun at the Saturday afternoon jam from 3-6PM. Go early to get a seat. Dancing floor.
  • Calgary’s premier blues bar… live music nightly… superb staff, well situated along the Music Mile in Inglewood, good food and decent beer selection. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys authentic music.

Thank you for listening today…check out The Blues Can and it’s owner Greg Smith here’s a write up I found in the YYC Scene giving some background on this great place and the vision behind it.

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The show drops every Tuesday.

A Quilters Story

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

a collection of stories about quilters

Todays show I’m sharing some inspiration that I’ve been going through. It’s been 5 years since I went on a quilting retreat. Yes people I quilt. I used to go every year sometimes twice but lately life’s been busy work has held me back and honestly I hadn’t been quilting or sewing as much since I closed my business. This girl needed a break. Turned the chapter, we had some severe life changes, made some new goals went back to school, moved, cut off my hair and more life changing decisions. So quilting retreats and quilting was tabled.

Recently, I regained my fire for being a quilter and called up a couple of close friends from my sewing/quilting life to see if they wanted to join me on a retreat. Dusted of my sewing machine, took out some kits and I was ready and excited, we set off car loaded with projects, I felt renewed.

When was the last time you felt renewed a bit like your old self, feeling inspired and creative? I love to C*R*E*A*T*E plan, change things up (like my dishes as you know). I found this part of my creativity back and I was excited.

We nestled into this lodge in Coleman at the retreat house, Country Encounters. this place is run by a husband and wife team and family. It’s a huge home over 20 rooms, great facility over 100 years old plus they have a new modern hotel across the street. We stayed heer in a lovely suite with two rooms, fireplace seating area, kitchen gorgeous bathroom with a computerized shower that was hilarious to figure out, claw footed tub etc. Beds were cozy and it’s was a great place to rest after a hard day and night of quilting.

We setup in a great room, boasting a wall of windows, fire place, bar area (that we used well) as well as two lovely washrooms. picture A frame ceilings with exposed beams, tables and sun mixed with women from all over Calgary, Chestermere, Strathmore, Fernie.

One thing about retreats is you get to know people at a different level. People feel comfortable to open up with you, you can have room conversations with everyone or just get to know the lady beside you. People are making gifts for friends, themselves, siblings, people dying of cancer – you just never know what the purpose is of their project.

For me I wanted to have the feeling of a sisterhood back – I got this. I wanted to sew and visit all night with great friends – I got this chance to. I wanted to finished a couple of projects like:

  • Every Bunny’s Welcome at The Moss’: a very Easter themed quilt that I designed years ago 2012 and ran it as a mystery block of the month club through my store. I started and stopped so many times throughout the years. I got this quilted and finished – just need the binding to put on now. It’s full of hand stitched Easter eggs and bunnies, chicks, appliquéd on it – it’s a Great Wall hanging for any room during the Easter Season
  • Easter Bunny: this small wall hanging I started making I think in 2003, and I’ve always wanted to finish it – finally got the hand stitching completed. Small cute little bunny with big floppy years protecting his Easter egg
  • My Tuffet Kit – my friend Alison she bought these kits for us. Do you know what a Tuffet is? It’s a short foot stool with little bun feet. They are put together in a striped assembly of fabric. Quite a stunning focal point in any room. You can sit on them as they are wide enough approx 18″ across and soft enough approx 18″ tall or just use them as a foot stool. My hubby said you could put a hand bashed copper plate on top and set a plant on it – great idea hubby
  • Plaid Lap Robe quilt kit: my mum put this together for me, it’s all paper pieced with homespun plaids, some of them are even my step dads shirts. Such a cute kit. I dug this out and got a few blocks put together. I have plans for this quilt I want to make it a summer quilt for my bed. This quilt boasts a log cabin feel and in my ultra modern room – what a focal point this will be.
  • Truly Scrumptious: This quilt holds a special place in my heart. Long before I had my beautiful daughter I had suffered a miscarriage – even to write this I can feel tears. This was a block of the month club I ran through my quilting store (Pastimes Online). Fast forward 5 years later of trying we finally with outside intervention conceived, then failed, then conceived..and planted a little girl. So while I made this quilt all these years prior I made this with the hopes one day I’d have a girl to give this to. So I’ve kept the finished quilt top tucked away and recently showed London, my 7 yo daughter – she loved it. She doesn’t know this back story yet but one day she will. I asked her to help pick fabrics for the back of the quilt so, here we are in my quilting storage room going through fabrics what cute sounds from her ‘ oh mom I just love this with the bees’ or ‘mom can you add this it matches see’ and ‘this and this and that and this’ then she says, ‘mom I’m getting carried away’. This beautiful backed pieced with fabrics she loves.
  • Charm Candy Bag: this is a cute little lunch bag that I needed as my current bag is falling apart. I should clarify I’m not much of a lunch eater since switching to the OmAd (one meal a day) eating regime..anyway I made this bag with beautiful fabrics, silks and some machine quilting, cording for the straps, a small pocket inside – voila I love it! It’s approx. 10″h x 6 x 6 just enough to fit a water bottle or two, a snack or two

Those are my projects so just a touch of finishing for some and get into the finished piecing for others. I’m already using my bag and I’m still working on the plaid quilt top.

One thing about retreats is the stories about these people I love. As you might know by now I’m a pretty connected person, I like to get to know people on an intimate level, I’m curious and respectful.

Brown Eyed Suzy

One of the ladies at this retreat I’ve known for a while I’m going to refer to her as Brown Eyed Suzy. There’s something calming about her, I love how she talks, her voice is solid to me. She’s a reassuring person. I really like her. She worked as a porter at the hospital for years (like 30 years) and recently retired. She’s confident and sure of her thoughts.

She was working on some quilts talking about her kids, I knew she had kids and was married or as least I thought she was. Her and her Beau have been together for 42 years but never married legally. Her mom, was so embarrassed by this that she made up a married date for Brown Eyed Suzy in the family album – crazy hey.

Once I got talking to her she was telling me about her son. He’s not in a very good place has some addiction issues and has been in and out of jail most of his life. Brown Eyed become emotional as did I, she loves her son deeply and is so scared for him and his choices. He tells his mom that he loves the high of drugs and the thrill of the steal. She says to me he tells me too much and she doesn’t want to know these things. She’s had to set boundaries but yet be his mom – wow what a hard decision to make.

Southern Bell

Southern Bell I met years ago at another retreat, she’s got blond hair, bang and red rimmed glasses, she has a huge small and a very contagious laugh. Her purpose in life is her grandkids and her sons. She has a big Bermese mountain Dog that she adores and has had I think she said 7 of these dogs through her life. She’s travel with her army husband all over the world and talks about these amazing places she’s been. Germany, France, England, Croatia and more. She has a son that suffers with severe schizophrenia who’s disappeared for weeks and months at a time. BUT she told me a story at the lunch table that will blow your socks off…listen to this. She has a daughter that was shot by her boyfriend and then shot himself in front of her.

breathe

Southern Bell at the time was living in the Meritimes and this daughter was living in Ontario. The daughter was struggling with a controlling boyfriend and had finally separated from him. The story goes something like this, she was out one night and on her way home, it was dark, she always circled the blocks around her house row by row looking for his vehicle in a radius of 6 blocks one block circle at a time…she had done this routine faithfully. She opening her front door and he was inside already – waiting. He grabbed her at gun point, made her strip down and he proceeded to shoot her through the neck and out the shoulder, two bullet shots. She then still alive witnessed him shoot himself in her apartment.

When the police showed up at Southern Bell’s home in the middle of the night – she thought they were there to deliver news about her son with skitzophrenia that had been lost for many months but no, they were there to share this news about her daughter. Southern Bell was days away with a husband shipped off in the war somewhere…

How do you live through things like this? This story as I’m sitting at the lunch table brought me to tears. Her very daughter was shot – and lived – and witnessed this indescribable trauma. They both Southern Bell and the daughter still suffer from ptsd it’s only been about 10 years. This boyfriend has made a mark a scar truly on this young women body and her family that will never be forgotten.

The Horticulturist

This lady is a dear friend of mine, she’s funny and serious like me. I’ve known her and quilted with her for many years like 15 years. We’ve shared stories about life and work and kids. She was there for me when Jeff had his surgery. She has one son, been married for 30 some years. She’s a friend that you can just let go and be yourself with, she slightly older than me so I lean on her for advice, she’s genuine, thoughtful and caring. She’s struggling with parenting her mid-twenty year old son. he’s lost in life, not really any goals or direction, maybe no motivation. He’s feisty and his mom can be feisty back. She helps where she can, he takes what he wants from her. She wants the world for him, she wants him to be happy, healthy and find his way.

This is weighing on my friend the planter, she, like most of us compares her parenting skills to other people that influence her life like her siblings, her friends, and in-laws. In the end, it has to be your life that you are in control of not someone else’s. Her son, is in his mid-twenties going though pre-adulthood – is this the right word?. He needs to find his way, on his own. Get a job, get a place, get a goal, ambitions and maybe have a passion. My green thumb friend, wants the world for him, it crushes her that he can’t settle, find his groove, be responsible, have his own life. It’s heavy and makes her upset, angry at times. As parents we can only do so much…I adore her for her strength and her undying commitment to her son with boundaries.

This plant lady was working on the tuffet project with me together, she was also working on the beginnings of a t-shirt quilt for her friend that has cancer, such a purposeful project.

Ginger

Do you have any Gingers in your life. My friend with her red hair has been through things in life. First she was married, moved and had her first baby right away, her and her hubby lived in quite a large home 4 or 6 bedrooms, then she had her second baby. We’re quilting friends. She’s always been one of my hugest fans and supporters – thank you as I know you’re listening.

Her husband had a daughter years prior who was now back in his life and Ginger’s by proxy. this daughter was about 16 at the time and threw these two parents into teenager hood long before their in due time natural course. My friend, was having some challenges with this – this teen ended up moving out several months later…

Ginger’s husband came up to her one day and shared that he was gay. She as his wife, wondered why he liked the movie “broke back mountain” so much and now she had her answers. You know, this friend of mine, accepted her hubby’s ways with respect. Obviously, life is taking a crazy turn for her, selling their home, finding her new home and accepting this change, single mother hood and all.

She’s been on her own now with both kids, dad has been around here and there but not really a staple in their lives. The kids are incredible, smart and established and grounded. One moving off to pursue education dreams which my friend is sad and excited – the other still finishing high school – which my friend is grateful she still has one at home.

This red-headed friend of mine also just lost 50 pounds on the keyto diet and she couldn’t be more proud of herself. I wish the world for her, she’s such a neat grounded person. She too has a great laugh and the loudest hiccups. Her ginger hair the same as when I met her 15 years ago, her love for the Beatles has never died. She is true to herself and empowered from what she’s been through. This lady travels by herself, like I mean goes on cruises, enjoys bands and does and goes where she wants. We shared a room – she’d leave the light on for me every night as she to bed early. Thank you.

She was working on stitching projects that she discovered she needed glasses now to see – as the project was from several years back – lol she could see better with glasses – don’t we know how this feels.

Green Eyes

This lady is upbeat, she’s looking for purpose, most of the gals here know her story. Been a quilter for so many years but shelved it for quite a few. Likes to gab and connect with people. One lady asked her about her husbands heart surgery, Green Eyes explained what had happened and the sadness and anger she went through. How he was just 47 years old and their daughter was not even 2.

Brown Eyed Suzy asked about his health now and they got to chatting about changing their eating and lifestyle No meat cooked in there house – she was aghast at this – saying her hubby would like die if he never ate meat lol. Such a funny reaction. She was so curious about their pescatarian diet and eating raw veggies and only 1 meal a day (OMaD). Most of the ladies new green eyes mom as she would bring her to these retreats.

This pair of green eyes would laugh and have a great time. But then the older set of green eyes wouldn’t respond to requests or text or invitations. This mom would disappear and not be involved – suffering from her own personal traumas. Not be available for her daughter for a while. It’s been a few years since this daughter and mother have been together at a retreat laughing and enjoying. These women knew this feeling, everyone had a story.

This is me and a shortened version of my story.

Burnt Sienna

As we were leaving the lunch table I noticed on one of the ladies arms that she had this amazing scar covering the entire inside of her forearm. This scar looked like years had passed over it. I said to her sort of secretly as we were walking back to the great room – the room where our projects came to fruition – what happened?

She said when she was 8 she dumped a pot of coffee onto her arm and burnt the skin right off. Remembering the pain to this day likely 50 years or so later how it felt when they were picking the gauze out of the infection. Then she healed. Her parents took her to see a plastic surgeon at 13 to have this scar repaired. They described the surgery as cutting skin from the insides of her thighs and grafting it onto of her arm…nope she didn’t want to go through with this pain again or anymore. Sienna accepted her scar. It doesn’t bother her – it’s just part of her.

What would you do, would you have this scar fixed?

There was many other ladies at this retreat but these are the stories that have sort of stuck with me. This gathering of women who have this hobby in common, drives us to be together and share what we are working on and the cathartic nature of what we do – it’s our sort of therapy. When you are open to a room, receiving the room, they will receive you back, no judgements. Empower each other and build them up, it’s so important in life to value the moment, and be in the moment. These ladies impact me and change me, they teach me and make me reflect on my parenting style or my choices. The plant lady she said to me one of these nights that I am the best mother she knew…brought me to tears.

Do you have a group of people that you cherish, think of them whether family friends or colleagues. These people make you feel real, grounded and slightly open to sharing your life, good and bad with them. These are true people that you need in your life.

Tell me about your story of friendships that impact you deeply or a story that someone told you once that you think about every once in a while. These are the stories that build up our characters, we can reflect, use, take home to the bank!

The loops for this show is provided through GarageBand, thanks to Jason Schnell for my theme music. Tascam 40 – my very own music made just for me. Thanks to Kim, Alison, Pat, Colleen, Kathy and all the ladies that have inspired my story and taught me, shared with me and involved into their personal feeling.

Follow me on Instagram Facebook and Pinterest and share my podcast, I love sharing Tuesdays with you – reach out to me and tell me your story.

Thanks for listening.

The Messiest Body Scrub – BUT it’s worth it!

Two Minute Tuesdays on Valerie's Variety Podcast...
Two Minute Tuesdays Cover Art…

Episode 55

Two minute Tuesday TMTs Segment I’m featuring my favourite body scrub – a quick and dirty cheap body scrub. This is for all the girls, gals, ladies and guys if you want to have soft radiant skin. I love to exfoliate – like I mean a good scrub on my body to get all of the dead skin off, arms, legs mostly and face – neck, plus it feels really good.

Coffee and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I always save my used coffee grounds from my Keurig, we use a re-useable cup for our machine and scoop the coffee into this instead of the dreadful disposable cups. Anyway if you let this reusable cup sit overnight it will be dry and powdery. You tap the top of the cup and the ground just pour out – clean.

Containers

I have a red cylinder vase that looks nice on the counter that holds all of my use coffee grounds. Stirring occasionally with a chop stick to ensure it’s dry through. I transfer this to a tupperware to use in the shower. I found a small glass toy coffee cup that I use as my scoop- this probably holds a teaspoon, you could use any small scoop but it’s nice if it has a handle – easier to scoop the coffee out of the tupperware with wet hands. The tupperware size I’m talking about is like 1 measuring cup – not very big. The 2nd tupperware I have holds my Extra Virgin Coconut oil maybe half a cup. This is my favourite moisturizer to use, daily.

What to do

While in the shower, bring your ‘coffee’ tupperware with scoop in with you. Rinse off your body take a small scoop of coffee in your hand, moisten it slightly – you should have enough that coats both hands, and proceed to rub this into your legs, feet, bum, back, arms, keep getting more coffee as needed. The natural oils from the coffee also provide moisture. I also use this on my face. Please test an area of your body like you arm or your thigh first to ensure you don’t have any reaction. Scrub as firm as you want. I just love this good scratch, exfoliating on the body.

It’s Messy!

Warning, this is a message scrub, leaves your shower with little coffee grinds but it’s worth it! Also try ti limit the amount of water that gets into your container in the shower as it will mould. So, if you do get water just leave open on your bathroom counter over night giving it a stir with a chopstick or something dry until it’s dry through, easy!

Let me know if you try this out and what you think. check out my site for pictures of my containers. We use the presidents choice dark roast coffee (pssst better than Tim Hortons or MacDonalds). And just your over the counter extra virgin coconut oil from any grocery store, it’s like $10.

Until next Tuesday

Valerie’s Variety Podcast is a story podcast about my life in Calgary. ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod


Brekkie Cafe

Episode 54

Today I’m sharing my ReView of Brekkie Cafe, located at 120 120 Westpark Way SW. Brekkie Cafe boasts – A Glorious Break in Your Day! It’s a beautiful Cafe high ceilings, lots of windows and light. The food is fresh, wholesome and beautifully displayed on the plates.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

This is a great place to check out for breakfast, there’s a bit of a wait to get in but it’s worth it. The service is pretty good, you can tell people like to be there. They are happy and the people in this place range from father daughter duos, to families, to first dates. It’s got a good vibe in there.

Our Order

We order the avocado toast to start, which comes out in colours of purple and green. London Fogs to drink and I order the breakfast sandwich, Jeff orders either the lobster Benny or the Wild Mushroom Benny, London goes for the French toast that you heard at the top of the show! All the food is positioned just right on the plate. Theirs pride here and you can feel it and it’s noticeable.

No wait is no longer available Jeff tells me, if you’re not familiar with the ‘no wait’ app – which provides you a spot in line when you are on route to a restaurant or want to get in ahead of the crowds you could put your name in this app for your favourite dining spot – called no wait. You can monitor your position in line and it gives you a time when to be at the restaurant. It was bought out by Yelp for $40 million dollars.

Ambiance

When you sit in this place it has super high ceilings, there’s benches and tables and chairs, there’s plants everywhere as well as stacks of fresh bananas, avocados displays on teired platters. There’s a giant shelf made out of orange pipe and wooden planks. with plants and decorations – this shelf is separating the restaurant from one side to the other. But it’s open yet has a purpose. the charts are kind of retro in a mint green shade. The table too are retro with a aluminum trim around the sides. The cutlery is wrapped in linen napkins, don’t you just love a real napkin instead of the paper kind.

Great shelf separating the space, still open and full of nice decor.

I just love their brekkie logo, its the word BREKKIE spelled out in capital letters kind of a block style of bring and then the CA-FE is stacked at the end. Since this place is located in a strip mall kind of setting, there’s a few doors to go in but like most places- both doors to not open. One of the doors has a great saying in white vinyl “I’m not a swinger BUT the other door is with an arrow pointing to the other door.

door at BREKKIE CaFe, so funny!
Love the logo at BREKKIE CaFe, nicely done!

We notice the owner is sitting in one of the tables. He’s wearing chef whites prepared with papers and his planning journal.

Thanks for listening to my review today, of the BREKKIE cafe . Check out my website for pictures of BREKKIE Cafe and did you know you can text me to my email @ValerieMoss.ca.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

If there’s a place you’d like me to ReView let me know…maybe I can meet you there and we can ReView it over a glass of wine and your favourite menu item. Talk to you next Tuesday.

The Best Bread

Episode 53

Today I’m going to share my bread recipe. This is what I like about my ‘variety’ show, it allows me the platform to share stories about WhatEver-WhenEver and provides you with randomness of information.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

5 years ago Subway made headlines, not for their great tasting sandwiches, not for their over 33,000 locations beating McDonalds by over 1000 but for the chemical used in their bread. Their staple ingredient, the mere platform that everything at Subway relies and lies upon – their bread. This bread contains very bad ingredients. Referring to this ingredient by the tag-name of “yoga-mat”. The chemical name is azodicarbonamide or ADA which btw is contained in over 500 recipes and not just bread. In the plastics industry ADA is the chemical foaming agent. It is mixed into polymer plastic gel to generate tiny gas bubbles, something like champagne for plastics. The results are materials that are strong, light, spongy and malleable – like a yoga-mat.

This got me thinking, I did some research on a loaf of bread in any grocery store and I was pretty educated on the amount of chemicals in the everyday bread we buy in a grocery store and most of them contained azodibarbonamide – not just Subway!

So, I decided right then and there that I would start making my own bread. Jeff was on board. Who doesn’t like a fresh loaf of bread smelling good and tasting even better. We even have a song ‘jam bun jam bun’ and it goes to the jingle of old Cops shows. bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do…I digress.

Bread Machine

Cuisinart Bread Machine, a staple for making bread in my house!

We purchased a bread machine as I knew better then to try and time rising. This bread machine isn’t anything fancy, it’s the Cuisinart Bread Machine. You can purchase it on Amazon for about $160 and if you’re a prime member shipping is free. I bought ours about 5 years ago at Home Outfitters – for $200 but according to their website all stores are closing and they have huge sales so you might be able to pick one up from there for a good price.

Since I’ve had this bread maker I’ve made 2 loaves a bread a week, sometimes more but this is pretty typical. That’s over 520 loaves of break with this same machine.

You must put the ingredients into the bread maker or your mixing bowl in this order and this recipe is for a medium size of loaf. I found this to be the best size for the bread machine.

French Bread Ingredients – Standard White

Water, Table Salt, Bread Flour, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Amaranth Flour
Water, Table Salt, Bread Flour, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Amaranth Flour (maybe)
  • (x1) Cup, (x1)TBsp of water – room temp (I actually use the water from the Keurig holding tank)
  • (x3) 1/4 teaspoons white table salt
  • (x2) Cups, (x1) 1/3 Cup, (x1) TBsp of Bread Flour – I use bread flour as it’s seems to rise the best and taste the best. You can use all purpose but it’s not as good, in this picture on my site I’m showing a small bag of Amaranth flour, I will sometimes add a Tbsp of this within the cup measurement of the bread flour just adds a different element.
  • make a well in the flour to add your yeast
  • (x2) Teaspoons of Dry Active Yeast

Then set your Cuisinart bread machine to menu 5 – French Bread, and in 3:15mins you’ll have warm hot-made bread.

ReView of the Cuisinart Bread Machine

Since I’ve had this bread machine for so long I love it, it does what it needs to do and is very reliable. It’s noisy as it mixes away, beeps to add ingredients and to take the paddle out. It’s looks good on the counter and it has these great rubber feet that secure it while it does it’s mixing. It has 15 menu options, you can even make jams.

Taking the paddle out is such a nice treat if you can get to it. I usually make the bread when I’m away from the house or overnight as it’s noisy so I can’t take the paddle out. Leaving this metal flipper inside the bread when the bread is done baking, while removing the bread the paddle keeps a chunk of the bread so there’s a slight hole in the middle – doesn’t change the flavour.

We also use a bread box to store our newly fresh, cooled loaf in. Did you know you’re not supposed to store bread in the fridge? This makes the bread dry out and stale faster. It’s best to store bread in room temperature. So I found this box, it’s a teal tin bread box on Amazon for about $35. as it’s the perfect size for the exact loaves I make. When purchasing a bread box for your bread be cognizant of the size, they typically come very large-long and shallow, it’s weird. So just a heads up.

Thanks for hanging out with me today. Bread is a girls best friend, we eat it as a comfort food, men like big manly sandwiches – who doesn’t really. Bread some in so many shapes and sizes, with so many ingredients. But as a daily staple in my house anyway, we love our simple 4 ingredient bread recipe, we know there’s no ‘yoga-mat’ chemical in it and it’s pretty wholesome, yes we could argue and get into the gluten factor and the processing of the flour however…lets stick with this fresh white bread slathered in true organic salted butter.

My auntie Cher told a story about her gramma making loafs and loafs of bread – likely because they had so many kids…she had these giant arms (like the hugest ‘hi helens’) and she’s snap those loaves into this brisk twist and put them onto the large butchers block French country table for rising. Auntie said that you didn’t get near her gramma’s arms while she was making bread or you might have a ‘cuff’ upside the body by getting into her work space, such a cute memory.

My daughter, London growing up with fresh bread in the house is so funny, mum can you buy these store buns they are so yummy! ugh isn’t this such as life..grass is greener somewhere else.

The CourtRoom

Episode 52

Todays show is about my first courtroom experience and the people I shared this with. I was by proxy along for the ride.

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. the Show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

First, I stood inline to fill out the Affidavit (positively being watched on the high security in the courthouse) I had to swear on a Bible to ensure I was documenting the truth. While standing in line I witnessed all kinds of people suing all kinds of other people who weren’t there. Renters suing Landlords, Landlords suing tenants for skipping on rent. Business owners suing developers. People standing nervous at the window and not knowing how to fill out the documentation (like myself) properly. It’s stressful, you’re watching busy people going here and there.

On the glass on the wickets there’s the usual barrage of signs saying ‘new hours’ but it’s dated 2015….How long do you display a new notice for…3 years – also rudeness won’t be tolerated? The signs are peeling up slightly and obviously old. The people working behind the counter are dressed so casually, not really really weekend attire but more casual then you’d expect from working as a clerk in a courthouse. they are helpful however they don’t sound like they know why you have to fill out things just that you do. There’s no depth to the answers they are canned and repeated over and over day after day…

Then you wait for the next step something comes in the mail.

We sat in the conference call, the next point to this civil court case. The judge, a women had no patience for the lack of organization shown. The original person who started this process is no longer available and so I was granted the task. .I have no history with the story besides people telling me the story. I request to be excused by the Judge and she…carries on to discuss the matters with the other knowledgeable parties I’m sitting with. We get our hands slapped. The judge is not interested in the adjustment in the people thus causing us not to appear in court when scheduled a month or so prior to this conference call…and therefore the counter claim is adhered to by default.

So this means that we sued a client who didn’t pay his bill, we plaintiff failed to appear in court on said day. So we have to sit in this conference call with claimant and ‘not happy’ judge. She’s tough and scolds us for our lack of consideration and wasting the courts time. The judge asks us to get in touch with claimant directly. Who is also on the phone witnessing us get lectured by the judge – he gets this front row seat. She, the judge asks that we settle this outside of the courts time. We end the conversation likely after she does…sit and ponder this for a moment, then proceed to call the claimant – in short that did not go smooth either. This is all before noon on a Friday.UGH.

So we wait for the next court date to get granted – and we finally appear in court on time ahead of schedule and was…it shows the whole listing on the screen outside the courtroom. There’s a few parties along with us. We see a few people waiting amongst us at the small benches but not the claimant. If you have a court date to appear in court you need to be there or by default the party who doesn’t appear loses. So…we all head into court together, the clerk – in attire similar to the judges greets us all 1 x 1.

The courtroom is like you see in th movies, its oak, the judge is sitting up higher then the rest of the room slightly. The clerk is the next level down with computers and chairs and a large wide desk. Then there’s a witness box to the right while facing the judge. There’s a podium directly in front of us in the exact center of the room with microphone. it’s quiet in there, the clerk puts us at ease by engaging us for specific questions. There’s signs everywhere saying ‘you are being recorded’ and ‘ these microphones are live’ out group is nervous – well some of our are. The other groups are also nervous or slightly antsy.

We are sitting in the very front row where the public sits. We will be last as our is classified more like a trial. The other two parties there – will be first.

Case 1

Landlord versus tenant – the Tenant appears but the Landlord doesn’t show. This man is requested to come up an stand in the witness box. He’s quiet spoken. The clerk requests him to swear on whichever ‘bible’ he chooses – he chooses the Koran. The clerk is fumbled because she doesn’t have a ‘swear’ script for the Koran – the judge assists her with this lack of preparedness and ensures she can use whatever ‘swear’ script is available. The Tenant swears and this case proceeds.

The Tenant is suing the landlord for not providing enough notice to move?

The case is in favour of the tenant and the judge does the math outloud and lays it all our- the tenant is happy and the case is closed.

Case 2

Business Owner Suing Client

This business owner is approx. 30-35 years old, he’s well prepared with all sorts of bank statements. Letters of promise, calendar entries in the bank etc – a whole mittful of paperwork. His story goes like this…this company was hired to fly-out to assist in helping Saskatchewan during the fire season with a crew, plane and supplies equipment. This crew was from Calgary and they needed to fly up north in SASK to assist in putting out forest fires. Business owner was out of pocket said money and proved by contracts, bank statements etc. The company that hired them said he’d pay for all mentioned above and signed contracts etc. The business owner had EFTs sent to him consecutively every two weeks except the last two promised payments. This is what he was suing for plus the judge granted some payment for the pain in the ass expenses.

the Judge ruled in his favour and submitted the documents.

Case 3

Our case, the claimant didn’t show up…we were granted in favour. I’m not going to disclose our case as I work for this company and to protect their privacy I’ll leave it out.

Then fast forward appeared in the courtroom with said someone…this is the first time I’ve ever been in a courtroom. I LOVED it however was nervous and had anxiety but still my first time was pretty cool, have you been in a courtroom? If you have tell me your story.

I’m a Daughter without a Mother

Episode 51

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast with your host me, Valerie Moss this show is about ReViews, InterViews and my Daily Views. It’s a story podcast about my life in Calgary, WhatEVER | WhenEVER. The show drops every Tuesday.

Follow me on Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Instagram @ValerieJMoss

Pinterest @VJMoss

Facebook @ValeriesVarietyPod

A personal Journey into Motherhood.

Todays episode is about being a daughter to a Father. When I was 6 months old and my sister was 2.5 years old our parents got a divorce. They were married young and life was a mix mash of selfish teenagerhood-young adult life – neither being sure footed. Embracing the fact that change is inevitable. Resulting in them – my two parents going their separate ways. We, my sister and I lived with my dad – full time.

I saw my mom sometimes growing up but not many times. We didn’t see her regularly at Christmas or special occasions. We saw her sometimes at my auntie Kathy’s house (her sisters). This was my life, saw her sometimes. When I met my husband about 20 years ago he asked me how many times in my life had I seen my mom…I said maybe a few dozen times – I was 23 years old when he asked me this question. When I would see her mostly it was good. She’s connected and engaged. I think I spent only one Christmas with her. Probably the best time(s) I have with her is since I’ve been an adult. When we are sewing, quilting and retreating together. She loves to come, we stay up all night visiting, sharing the same bed even. I taught her how to quilt, she taught me how to stitch.

The challenging part about this is that you need to reach out to her like over a dozen times to a) actually get a response this can be by call, voice male, text, email etc etc. Finally she’d respond. This went on for about 7 years or so…connecting was awesome being with my mom was awesome – trying to get this to work was always on me. I initiated it all and still do.

Then nothing for the last 2 or 3 years NOTTA

Recently I was caught again. Shame on Me. It has been about 2 years or so since I’ve spoken to my mom. I’ve reached out sent videos of my daughter, texts, email, calls. NOTTA. She doesn’t respond. For my 40th birthday my hubby invited her to my party, no response, my auntie was coming so she reached out to my mom, no response.I Sung her happy birthday on voice mail, wished her Merry Christmas. All of it and NOTTA. This starts to weigh on a girl, you know? So finally I get frustrated and fed up and sad so I stop reaching out, then I feel guilty and the cycle starts all over again.

How was I caught? I fell for it, I let my emotions get to me, I got…excited because guess what? She texted me back. Yep the first time in years. So, I was excited I sent her a note back immediately thanking her for her response I thought to acknowledge her would be a good step. I had asked if we could meet in Red Deer for lunch – this is approx the same distance driving for both of us. She responded again…here’s the text convo. insert text message here:

Aunties are Moms too

I’ve been surround by Aunties growing up. Especially my moms sister. Her and my dad remained friends after my mom and dad split. Plus they were both from the same small Albertan town so everyone goes home for Christmas. My dad, always wanted us to keep connected to our roots.

This Auntie was my everything growing up, I’ve told you a bit about her in previous episodes at Christmas she’s the one with last minute gifts saved up for when I’d arrive – sew all night then wrap gifts for placing under the tree. She’s so funny – like I mean lose your drink in your mouth, spit and choke on your giggles funny. She’s full of wit and stories. The other night we talked for 4 hours yep she’s that person in my life.

I can talk and tell her about everything. She would be the one who influence my Mothering skills, from watching and changing her kids diapers, feeding them bathing them, being together with Auntie and kids that was me. I loved it. I had younger sisters that I could help cherish and nourish and play with. Auntie K would braid my hair, we’d stay up late playing Tetris and laughing.

So when you think of Mother’s Day who comes to mind? If you have an amazing mom, you’re one of the lucky ones. Many of us have different people that create this image for us, could be a close friend like my sweet friend Alison who I adore. It could be a girlfriend that you had your babies with, Diane I couldn’t have gotten through those early days and months without you.

Growing up with a Dad

For me growing up with a dad, day in and day out. He did everything he could. He went to school and worked when we were young, a lot. This man’s life was heavy with decisions, money was tight and our life was full of change. We moved a lot always trying for better. He worked a lot so we were home a lot alone.

My Dad was a chef so growing up with this we had great meals and could cook a mean supper at a young age. He was a fun dad, always taking us to the mall, doing small things to spoil us, bring us to family functions – this was important to him. He’s a family guy, he will always be there for you – family and friends.

When I mother to my daughter I do all the things that I wanted done to me. I’m basically giving my child what I feel like I missed out on or didn’t get enough of. Things like ‘pillow talk’ snuggles, whispering secrets, braiding hair (altho my dad could put sponge rollers in my hair so I looked like Shirley Temple – I loved it) makeup, nails, being pretty. I lay with her in the night when she’s had a bad dream, stroke her hair when she’s had a hard day (my dad would sing Que Ser Rar) let her cry and have a moment. Help her make good choices with food, clothes, hair, hygiene. She needs me like we need a person.

Who is this ‘Mother’ to You

To you it might be your mother to me it’s my friends and my dad and my auntie Kathy. Since I’ve grown and as I come into my own spirit and my own sure-footedness I feel like I get to choose. I get to choose to be with this person or that person. When I reach out to my mom, am I prepared for the no response back, again? I get to choose to spend time with people who matter to me. Weather it’s a friend from work, a long distance call that lasts all night, text message with lasers – these are the people who respond back, who care the you are there. They matter to you and you matter to them.

I Feel

I love my mom, I’m here for her. She’s a lost sole. Her mother, Valerie – died when my mom was 16 years old. This changed my mom forever, she’s never been the same. Losing her mom at such a tender age, coming into womanhood, being in high school, in the 60’s and 70s and then having a baby at 19. To this day, when she talks about her mother she cries with sorrow, it weighs heavily on her, it’s fresh. She’s engaged and warm-loving. When I have her in this moment I want to savour it and I have good memories with her, lots of laughs and pictures. One day, she’ll be back again.

Remember who matters to you…be the person who matters to this person.

Until next Tuesday, happy Mothers Day.

Thank you to London who so naturally can take over the microphone. She was busy working on her chores while I was trying to sneak in this episode. I asked if she wanted to share any comments about mothers day episode and she sure completed this episode perfectly.

See you next Tuesday.