R2 says

19 Aug

Some of the funny and weird things RJ has said: summer 2016

You know what’s looks like Rebel’s head?  
What?
The other side of his head!

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A housefly is just a green and black annoying dot.  With wings.

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One day can we catch ants and throw them in the lake?   No wait…let’s catch them, look at them, and put them back in nature.

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Every day is April Fool’s day in Tokyo!

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My favourite bands are called Truck Poop and Diamond Fart. They live on Paddington St.

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I need a jeep with unlikely hubcaps!

Why?

18 Aug

It’s been exactly two months since my marriage ended; four months since I was told the marriage was in trouble.

I’m functional, I’m upbeat, I’ve chosen to be content; overall, I’m in a good place both mentally and physically.

But the mind? 

It wanders.

The question of ‘why’ is never really far from my consciousness.  

I’m not wallowing in despair and I’m not being kept awake at night by an overactive mind, yet I’m constantly just asking myself why.

Why was I unable to see the hints and/or warning signs of a troubled relationship?  Am I really that ignorant?

Why was I so confidant that our love could withstand anything?  

Why did I think things were solid when they weren’t?

Why was I able to look beyond his faults and love unconditionally, but that unconditional love wasn’t returned? 

Why did I believe we were perfect together?  

Why did I have to go through that awful third pregnancy only to have this as the outcome?  

Why was I only given two months to ‘work on things’ before everything was just done?

Why did I think he was so wonderful?  Why did I have him on a pedestal?

Why did this happen?

And many more…

In time I know I’ll get some answers.  But until then, hundreds of questions will be repeatedly cycling through my mind, coupled with periodic self doubt and self loathing.  

What a fun process.

I have to admit, rightly or wrongly, I feel like a victim.  

I feel like things have just been happening TO me, rather than me making things happen.  Life feels chaotic and unsettled and I don’t like feeling passive or like all this just happened and I was helpless to change it.

I’ve been taking steps to regain control; I’m trying to stop feeling victimized.  Small steps.  

For instance, putting a public announcement on social media was one small way of taking control.  I didn’t want my marriage to end but it did.  So in addition to the other reasons I discussed, it was MY decision when and how to tell people.

People were upset about that public announcement, but their reactions to MY news are ultimately none of my business.

Continuing to write in this space about my feelings and healing process is another way of taking control.

I threw myself a birthday party, I went to Alberta to see my brother, I just got another tattoo.  I have more interesting things planned for the near future: things to help me heal and feel less chaotic.  I’ll also be going back to therapy at the end of September so I can figure out how to forgive and how to feel thankful and accepting for every surprise that life throws at me.

I can ask why a million times but I also have to DO things.  I can’t just sit still and let life happen to me.

Travel Blogging: pictures

13 Aug

Cheers!

kitty cat selfie


We don’t want to go home!

Thirty Three

11 Aug

A week ago I turned 33 years old.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll stop aging now…

I’m very thankful to Jason for helping make my birthday even better than it was last year.

Obviously I have some mixed feelings.  I never thought I’d be approaching my mid-thirties in the position of reinvention and transition due to an ending marriage.  

It was always my hope and expectation that I’d be forever celebrating my milestones with Jason, who has been the most important person in my life for over a decade.  

Jason is still important and he will always be around when I celebrate something special.  He just won’t be with me.  Sometimes, when I think about that, I feel happy.  Sometimes I feel very sad; sometimes I feel indifferent.

But Jason knows that birthdays are important to me and he helped make it special and then stayed out of the way while I had a big birthday party/housewarming party for myself. 

I’m thankful that we will always be family; we will always love each other.  

I’m thankful that I have these three special dudes in my life who made it easier to wake up older (and wiser) on August 4th: 

And cupcakes!  I’m thankful for cupcakes! 


Even though material possessions aren’t everything, I’m still thankful for birthday presents! 
And now I have a house that is big enough for large social gatherings and I’m pretty excited and thankful for that! 

And oh my beautiful ladies!  I’m so thankful for the love and support and friendship through so many stages and changes!Thank you Tara for taking pictures with a fancy camera!

And more presents! 

The generosity of my friends will continually blow me away!  

And a car!  I’m thankful for a new vehicle that will transport all the children with no space issues! 

And debt free!  The money for the house came in and all our debts were paid.  To start again at zero is liberating and thrilling.  

I may not have what I thought I’d have (at this time last year), but I’m very blessed and full of hope.  

My mind and my heart are open and ready.  Do your best, thirty-three, bring it on!

Travel Blogging: R3’s first trip to Alberta

10 Aug

I had a lovely birthday (birthday blog to follow) and now I’m in Alberta with my littlest R, visiting my brother.  

When the opportunity came up for a second trip in the span of one summer, I really wanted to jump on it and bring my youngest child to meet his uncle!

R3’s first plane ride!

Nice to see you again, baby brother!

long day of travel


I miss the older kids but I’m so glad I was able to make this work!

Jesse has to work during the day, but we are enjoying his company when he gets home in the afternoon.  R3 is quite taken with him and has been following him around the house.  As soon as he saw Jesse, he gave him a huge smile.  

R3 is nervous around (yet fascinated by) the cats, obsessed with the cat food and water dishes, loving the deck and the expansive yard.


It’s great to just sit around, eat junk, drink coolers, and shoot the shit with my little brother.  He’s one of my favourite people ever.


It may not be an exciting vacation, but this quiet solitude of life in tiny farming community is exactly what I needed.  


Very few responsibilities and nowhere to go.  It’s perfect.

The Birthday Winner!

4 Aug

Thank you to all the readers who commented on last week’s birthday giveaway!  Eating Dirt set a record with 37 entries!

This is good for me and the artists because it means more traffic and exposure!  It’s bad for the people who entered the contest because the more people who enter, the less of a chance you have to win.

So all you lovely people, you have a one in 37 chance of winning!  Let’s get to it!


“Let me fold those for you, mama, because it’s your birthday!” 

Awwwww!


And, pick!


It always seems kind of anticlimactic when we finally pick the name!

But congratulations to Stephanie W!  

Here is your prize! 

Thank you to the amazing Thunder Bay artists and artisans who contributed and made this such a fun giveaway!  

I wonder if I can top it next year!


Thank you boy Roland

Thank you Nancy (search Nancy Freeborn on Facebook to view her public jewelry album)

Thank you Kyle

Thank you Bry

Thank you Meagan

Thank you Katie

Thank you Tara

Thank you Kayeleigh

Thank you Amy 

Birthday Blog Extravaganza!

28 Jul

A week from today is my birthday!  

In honour of ME and how fabulous I am, I’d like to give away something special.  Or, more specifically, several somethings special!  

What can I say, I’m just a giving person!

I’ve got a nice little handmade totebag full of handmade and locally sourced treasures, all ready to be delivered to one very lucky reader!

Let’s meet the contributors!

1. boy Roland is like Thunder Bay’s own Miss Congeniality: pleasant and kind to everyone, whether it be a friend or a fan or a client.  He knew early on that he wanted to make a living as an artist and his hard work and dedication has really paid off!

Over the last few years, boy Roland (a close contributor with the Die Active art collective) has made quite a name for himself around town.  His art is prolific and it’s showing up all over!  It’s like you can’t open a local magazine or walk down a street without seeing some boy Roland art, and that’s not a bad thing!

It’s always such a treat to see this guy’s signature style as you peruse the Walleye, notice a back alley mural in downtown Port Arthur, or pop in to New Day Records or Espresso Joya.  

It’s also a treat to hire boy Roland for a special customized piece of art.  He’s getting busier and busier as he realizes his dream of being an artist in-demand, but there is a chance he will have time to create something for you.  And if he doesn’t, he’ll turn you down in such a way that you’ll feel like you won the lottery anyway.

These dapper owls would make a great addition to any home!


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2. Nancy Freeborn is a woman of many talents. Honestly, I don’t think she should be allowed to be so talented and so beautiful because it’s really not fair to the rest of us! This girl can sing and dance AND she creates amazing jewelry. She’s also a loving wife and mother AND she works at Hey Sailor where she models the clothing and makeup with sass and confidence.  

Nancy doesn’t have a Facebook business page but if you’re interested in seeing what else she has made, you can search “Nancy Freeborn” on Facebook; her album of handmade jewelry is open to the public.  Or, if you’re so inclined, you can visit Hey Sailor where some of Nancy’s jewelry is for sale (you can talk to Nancy if she’s working ) or pick up a business card that has a direct smartphone code for the Facebook jewelry album. 

Some of her creations are adorable and cute, like little polymer raspberry earrings; some of her creations are incredibly classy and sophisticated, like long beaded necklaces. There’s even something fun for the geeks, such as these golden snitch earrings! I have the matching necklace!  


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3. Regular readers will recognize Tara of HC Creations from her many Eating Dirt appearances. She still does a lot of beautiful handmade jewelry but recently, she’s expanding her horizons to be a representative for the buskins company: Buskins by Tara. Buskins is mainly a leggings company, but also has shorts, skirts, and shirts.  

Tara is always busy with raising her two sons, but still finds time for occasional jewelry making and is doing a great job finding various clothing items to keep her many clients happy!  She is such a kindhearted and beautiful soul, you’ll want to do business with her for sure!

Recently Tara had a booth full of clothing and jewelry set up at the busker fest.  If you follow her on Facebook, she will keep you updated about upcoming craft show and festival appearances.  

Here you have a pair of capri leggings (fits size 0-12) and an adorable Baltic Amber bracelet.  If you need a size bigger than 12, Tara can accommodate you!


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4. Amy Vervoort, the creative mind behind Olives and Bananas, has been through hell and come out the other side with her imagination intact. 

At one time, my dear friend lived what some would consider a picture-perfect life, yet tragedy struck when her infant son was taken far too soon.  Unimaginable pain led Amy into some dark days, but through the joy of welcoming a new baby, she found that she was able to see beauty in the world again.  

Amy spontaneously picked up some crochet hooks and started teaching herself simple patterns of baby hats and accessories. Simple patterns led to more complicated creations, which led to needle felting! Without any professional lessons, Amy has entered a world of whimsical and fantastical woollen creations. She is ridiculously talented and pretty much succeeds in whatever creative crafting she decides to try!

Joy and happiness practically burst out of each little woollen creature and this adorable little jellyfish is just one example of what you can bring into your home. Visit Amy on Facebook and Instagram and bring home some joy today, don’t delay!


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5. Kyle Lees is a local artist and illustrator, specializing in comics and prints.  

A few months ago, I joked that I’ve written about every artist in town EXCEPT Kyle!  Trust me, it was funny.  And while I do love a good joke at Kyle’s expense, I believe it’s time to rectify (haha!) the situation and zero in on this unassuming gem of a guy.

As a quick side note, Kyle, Bry (mentioned further down in this post), and Merk (from a previous giveaway) have a podcast called Zero Issues, which is worth listening to if you like comic books and or/super heroes and/or funny stuff!

He’s talented, he’s funny, he’s dark, he’s insightful, he’s irreverent. His art is sometimes deeply moving and almost always hilarious. Who knew that simple drawings in a delightful cartoon style could evoke such a wide variety of emotions? 

In order to keep up to date with Kyle’s art sale appearances, it’s best to like his Facebook page. While there, please peruse the offerings because you can make special print orders AND he has been known to do some fabulous commission work.

And one of his slightly off-colour (hah! It’s black and white) prints could potentially come reside at your home very soon! 

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6. Meagan B used to be the brains (and brawn) behind Sweet Beginnings, the creative baby product endeavour that offered adorable cloths and accessories for the wee ones in your life! 

Meagan’s little kids are getting a bit bigger and she’s letting her own personal interests dictate what goes on in the sewing room now. 

Of course Meagan, a beautiful and talented self taught seamstress, still loves her kids and she likes making things for them, but Sweet Beginnings has been transformed into Made by Meag!  

Meagan focuses primarily on amazing (and often geeky) purses and bags.  They are available through Meagan by custom order and there is a small selection at Hey Sailor (link above).  If you like the Facebook page, you’ll be in the know about Meagan’s craft/market/convention appearances.  

One look at these bags and you’ll want one in every pattern!  I myself have a Star Wars themed purse and have commissioned a Harry Potter themed clutch.  

Maybe I’ll be able to give a full sized purse away one day, but for now I have something smaller, but still just as cute!

Dalek coin purse!  Or a makeup bag!  Or a reusable snack bag!

***

7. Bry Kotyk is a local writer and artist, author of Welcome to Hereafter.  WTH was established as a unique web comic in 2009, where Bry was able to keep readers updated on the newest developments.  

As more and more comics were posted to the site, Bry realized he could actually publish his work in the form of a graphic novel!  In Welcome to Hereafter, Bry imagines what it would be like if God lost his job and is suddenly thrown into life as a retiree, reconnecting with his son Jesus and a host of other deities.  

It’s such an amusing concept, though some might find it blasphemous, it’s actually quite delightful!  Just like Bry!  He’s delightful, talented, and just bursting with a joyful imagination!  

Bry sells his graphic novels and other various prints but he also decided to see if there was a market for this mug!  It’s what God uses in the Hereafter!  Maybe you’d like to sip your morning coffee from a mug proclaiming you as number 1 God.  After all, I’m sure you are the master of your domain!


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8. Driftwood Designs by Kayeleigh is one of my favourites!  

Kayeleigh is a creative soul who sees something in nature and feels her artistic muse take over.  Particularly driftood, but other things as well, speaks to Kayeleigh and asks to be transformed. 

 Kayeleigh likes to take her family out on scavenging expeditions, where she drags a wagon behind her and fills it up with driftwood just waiting to be given a new life.  In her spare time, she uses a wood burning kit (She’s a self taught pyrographer!) to etch meaningful symbols and words into the wood.  

Sometimes, as in the picture below, it’s on slices of wood and not driftwood, but the effect is striking nonetheless.  Here we have a Christmas tree ornament (or more simply put, a hanging ornament) with the sleeping giant burned into it, and a little tree magnet.  

These two small pieces would make adorable little additions for a lover of nature and local art.  Please visit the Facebook page and be inspired by what Kayeleigh can do with wood!  

If I knew Kayeleigh better, I’d make an in appropriate joke here, but we are only just getting to know one another.  So please, let’s be adults and refrain from making jokes about what Kayeleigh can do with wood, ok?!

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And there’s extra stuff too!

Season Fairy stickers by Australian artist Selena Fenech.  She’s definitely not local, but I have based two of my tattoos on her artwork.

The best stain remover ever!  Smells so good and even works to get out blood!  Not local to our area, but it is from a Canadian company.

Tibetan prayer flags!  These are just pretty and potentially very meaningful, depending on your beliefs and values.  Available for purchase at Wojo’s Mojo on Algoma.
***

And finally, the totebag, courtesy of Katie from Sew Whimsical.  

Regular readers will, of course, remember Katie from my very first blog giveaway and many special appearances over the last several years.  

Katie is presently concentrating on a career in teaching , but she is still active and excited about sewing. She still takes custom orders and would love to make something special for you or your loved one! 

She has contributed this adorable and versatile bag to the birthday giveaway!  What can you do with a cute handmade bag?  Your only limitation is your imagination! 

What did I do with this bag from my beautiful and talented friend Katie?  I stuffed it full of wonderful local art (and some other stuff) for a very special reader giveaway!

Last time I did my birthday giveaway, I did it on my actual birthday and told people they had to wish me happy birthday in order to be entered in the draw.  

Today isn’t my actual birthday however, so in order to be entered into the draw, you have to leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you’d buy me for my birthday if you won the lottery!  

The contest will close August 3rd at midnight and a winning name will be drawn the next day!

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