Tag Archive | daughter

Pre-Teen Skin

Claire is officially a pre-teen as she closes in on 12 years on this earth. I knew this, so of course I knew that the dreaded day of the appearance of the first pimple was imminent. With this in mind, I went in search of a,”natural,” toner for her to use along with the dreaded Clearasil…no I do not own stock, but I should. I found this simple skin toner…so this morning as she came down the stairs with an enormous bright red spot right on the end of her nose, it was time to bring out the arsenal.  If you have a pre-teen, teen, or you still suffer from this skin issue…if it has reappeared because of menopause, ugh!…maybe this recipe from, ”Organic Body Care,”  can help you.

Acne Astringent

2 cups distilled water

1 Tablespoon yarrow

1 tablespoon chamomile flowers

6 drops rosemary oil

In a small saucepan bring water to a boil, remove from heat. Add the other ingredients and let steep 30 min. strain the mixture and put in a jar for safe keeping. Refrigerate, lasts one week.

God Bless, Julia



Claire came home today and wanted me to watch this video that she saw in music class…she goes to a school where about fifty percent of her classmates are Muslims from all over the world.  Each time she saw a country that one of her classmates was from, she got all excited. I’m so happy that she has such a diverse class…having grown up in Montreal I know how valuable it is to have such a childhood.

I have a new job as a picture framer, so I am going to try to post every day, but I think their idea of part-time and my idea of it are far apart. Oddly I feel a little guilty when I don’t post, lol, I’m such a geek sometimes.

God Bless, Julia


Second Day of School-Update

It can’t be a good sign if it is only the second day of school for my Claire, and I’m already exhausted…nope, not a good sign. It is not even for a good reason, like watching three hours of Horders. Claire came in the door yesterday talking a mile a minute,excited about the new year…and a big stack of papers for me to sign…it happens every year. Claire has this habit of when her teacher even suggests that they may need, or have to do, something, that it now becomes a law for Claire.  It reminds me of the scene in the,”Ten Commandments,” where Ramses says, “so lot it be written, so let it be done.” You can’t believe the panic in this child’s eyes, when I try to explain that she can wait one day to get a 1″ binder for her agenda. You would think the teacher is giving out lashings for noncompliance.

I knew that the Parti Québécois won the Quebec election yesterday before I went to bed…can’t say I was shocked. I’m impressed that they elected a woman, but that is where my good feelings end.  I moved away from the city I love, Montreal, because I did not want my children to grow up in a place where they would be discriminated against because of their Mother tongue. Most people who do not, or have not, lived in Quebec, believe that I exaggerate the  problem…I do not. After the election results were announced, and as the new Premier was giving her acceptance speech, a crazed gunman was shooting down people just outside the door, blaming the English for his acts.  I would like to say that it was just one crazy person, but the discrimination in Quebec of the English is institutionalized, and it has become acceptable to treat the English-speaking Quebecer badly. This is allowed to happen in one of the most peaceful countries of the world…shame on us.

God Bless, Julia

Back To School

When I was a child I loved this time of year…this is when I would get new books, pencils, pens…I’m sure this was the beginning of my stationary obsession. everything seemed like it held a promise, a new beginning, where you could start fresh. I never once regretted the start of the school year…probably why I have a college diploma, two B.A.s, and a post-graduate diploma…hard to believe considering my spelling, thank God for spell check.  I’m  what my parents liked to call a professional student…they considered it an insult…I don’t. I think that learning is a life long pursuit, I can not imagine not being in the process of learning something new…I find it exciting.

I am so glad that Claire likes school…Scott hated it…when you have a learning disability, as both of my birth children do, school can be torture. Tomorrow is the first day of grade six for Claire…the last year of elementary school. She is like me in the sence that she can not wait for school to start…she has been counting down for the last two weeks. Part of it has to do with seeing her friends again, as she is bussed to a school 20 minutes away so she has not seen her friends all summer. she also loves all the new pencils…she is writing her name on each one as I write this. Claire likes to take the lead in activities at school, so I’m sure this year will be filled with organizing yoga classes, and recycling club once again.

God Bless, Julia

Roughing It

I do not have a lot of happy childhood memories…that is why I tried, and continue to try to make moments in my children’s lives that they can look back and know, they had fun as a child.   When Scott was little, I made sure that holidays had family traditions associated with them, especially Christmas.  We did a lot of camping in the summer time, and we were always trying new things, or going on adventures…I was younger then :).  With Claire I am a little bit older…more than a decade…so the adventures have changed a little.  I’m not so fond of sleeping on the ground for weeks at a time any more.

For the next two weeks Bernice is on vacation, and Claire will be home :).  It’s that time of year again when we take to the Canadian woods to fight off the black bears and mosquitoes…I’m more afraid of the mosquitoes. A decade ago we would have been sleeping in a tent, cooking over an open fire, swimming in the glacial lakes… yeah, not happening! First Bernice is afraid of anything that could be even loosely defined as an insect. Problem number two?…I am so over sleeping on a ground covered in who knows what, that always seems to be on a slope so that you’re afraid of rolling away, and that has rocks that can not be found with the naked eye, but are poking you in the back all night. Problem number three?…glacial lakes are barely above freezing, that is why you can see the glacier from which it emerged…need I say more.

This year we are going to a nice cabin in the woods that has electricity, and beds. We are still roughing it…there is no running water or    bathroom in the cabin. That’s about how close to,”roughing it,” I want to get these days. I could do the tent, sleeping bag, make your own latrine thing, if I had to…I just don’t want to…and I think Claire doesn’t want me to either. I’m a much nicer mommy with eight hours sleep.

God Bless, Julia

Mothers And Daughters

Claire is not with me this week, she has been with her father since July 1st, and she will not be back until July 15th.  I know I am lucky to have such a wonderful daughter and that we have a close relationship…I hope it stays that way.  My relationship with my mother was strained…she had me when she was forty and while her own mother was dying of breast cancer.  She was an alcoholic and prescription drug abuser for most of my life…she let me know each day that I was a disappointment and burden to her, and I let her know that she was a disappointment to me as well.

As she laid dying in a hospital bed many years ago, I stayed with her, holding her hand until the very end…no one should die alone…I sang this song to her, told her I forgave her, and let her go…

God Bless,  Julia

Summer Quiet

I’ve been waiting for half a day now to write a post…I’ve been waiting for something funny, or at lest happy to pop into my head.  The truth is all I can think about today is how Claire left for two weeks yesterday to spend some of the summer holidays with her dad.  Her dad refuses to let me talk to her when she is with him, so that means two weeks without hearing her voice to know that she is o.k.  When she left yesterday she was crying and did not want to leave, I had to convince her that everything was going to be alright. I don’t think anything bad will happen…I’ll just miss her voice and her funny stories.  I’m hoping that if I just get that off my chest, put it out there so to speak, that I’ll be able to move on to other things.

Having children is like having your heart walking around outside your chest.  When something happens to them,, it happens to you too, good and bad.  It gets a little better when they are adults…at least for me…but you still go through their ups and downs with them…they never stop being your babies. Like the Robert Munch book says, “I’ll love you forever I`ll love you for always, as long as I`m living, my baby you`ll be. I`m hoping  one day I can read that book without tearing up, lol…there I go being pathetic again.

God Bless, Julia