Saturday, 29 December 2012

The (Un)Certainty of Happiness

I often wonder where happiness comes from.  Is it from our external environment, our brain, our hearts, our faith or is it from the people that have touched our lives?  Where does it come from and where does it go when we feel lost?

I started thinking about the definition of happiness.  I quickly realized it is not an all-encompassing term.  It means different things to different people, and is brought on by wide array of events and opportunities that affect us each individually.  There is is no "one source" of happiness.  There is no one book that can permanently enlighten us to the way of happy.  There are chains of events that open up the sky and let you spin in the sun for that moment.  Find any excuse to find more of those's worth it!

The trouble with happiness, I believe, is this; We can never be truly happy until we are certain that there is nothing "better" than what we have.  But we can never PROVE that what we have is better or more valuable. The answer to happiness lies solely upon the faith that we are at our happiest now.  As humans, we are too smart for our own good.  We have the ability to ask ourselves "what if."  The difficult part in that question is that there is no answer - unless you act upon it.  However, that action may include a series of unfortunate events (kinda like that famous book title!) that make you regret ever asking "what if."  You see, happiness should not be based on hind sight (which, if you know anything about good vision is 20/20!).  Your joy should be present in the here and now - even in the face of disappointment.  Not an easy task.  For some reason it is easier to see what makes us unhappy, and harder to see what does bring joy.

Instead of being a grey dweller, spend your time as a Happy Hunter.  Look for the reasons to smile amidst the gloom.  See the joy that may appear to be wrapped in sadness or disappointment - and ask for happy.  Be vocal about what makes you happy, share it with others...ask those around you what makes them happy and make it so.  Sometimes the greatest joy comes from making someone elses' day.  Live with the intention of happy.

I can't believe it but...writing this post kind made me feel happier than I was feeling!

Your Fellow Happy Hunter,

Kathy Pettit

Monday, 10 December 2012

Sharing the Splendor

Totally NOT the bunny I saw but cute!
I recently shared this story with my colleagues, and wanted to pass it along to you.  It was a tiny moment, but I felt it deeply.
It was early morning, and before I headed downstairs into the morning zoo that is my family, I opened my bedroom drapes and looked outside.  In the brown, dirty remnants of grass in the fenced patch of land we call our backyard - a tiny, but significant moment was taking place.  Under the bird feeder in my backyard, a giant brown bunny was gobbling up the scattered seeds, surrounded by a flock of chickadees.  Side by side they scavenged the damp ground for the treasures from above.  They weren't at odds with each other, they weren't jockeying for a better position - they were co-existing in this beautiful world in utter harmony.  They recognized there was enough to go around.  They each could get their fill and be content.
Amongst the happy (and, let's be honest - at times disgruntled - noises perculating up from downstairs) I recognize how blessed I am to live a life of "plenty."  I have to learn to share more.  There are times when I feel like I don't have "enough."  I have to blink, shake my head and look around and realize I have what I NEED and much, much more!  That quiet moment in my backyard has reminded me that if we all could exist in an environment where we are MOST happy when we make another human being happy, then we have found true and pure joy. I believe all the fighting in the world could be diminished if people really treated others happiness as their own.  I need to share more. Do you have room to be happy making others happy? 

I can't believe it but...a bunny and some chickadees shared wisdom with me!

Happy sharing,
Kathy Pettit

Monday, 12 November 2012

Let's Eradicate Tender Tushies

Once and for all!  I would like to propose demand that our plea be acknowledged and acted upon with great enthusiasm and sympathy.  That we join our voices in unison for this worthy cause and injustice.  That people everywhere make these same demands to generate a change in the status quo.

I'm talking about toilet paper, people!  You all have to know which one I am referring to....the vehicle-sized wheel of scratchiness that is mounted on almost every stall in our great country!  Where the paper is so thin that is virtually impossible to actually pull down the size you need without every single square breaking off along the way.

Why, people?  Why must our tushies suffer the injustice?  If you are a business owner and citing "saving money" or "cutting costs" as your excuse for rasping our gentle derrieres - you are sadly mistaken!  Rather than force us users to eek out square by square in excessive amounts of toilet paper - offer 2 ply!  I can guarantee we use WAY more than we need in order to reduce the risk of "poke through!"  We avoid the dreaded "poke through" by using a scientific method in which we wad up 3 times as much toilet paper as we need to prevent any such unsavoury accident from occurring.  Therefore, dearest business owner, you aren't really saving a penny. 

Going forward, please consider supporting this worthy cause of protecting our fanny's from unnecessary rawness.

I can't believe it but...I may have started a revolution!  Long live 2 ply!

Happy Wiping,

Kathy Pettit

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A One-Legged Wonder Woman

Pickle's Hands Holding Heart Stone Found on Beach in P.E.I
Long (I mean long) ago, in a village not unlike our own, a baby came into this world with a problem.  A problem, that back then, was a big deal.  A problem that another mother, less strong and more easily pressured, may have given up on.  In my lucky world, where I have been blessed, I am glad for that mother that chose to fight for her baby.  I am happy that she gave her everything she could and raised her into a strong and caring woman.

That "problem" is my step-mom, Judy.  It was her mother's determination and strength that fought for her to get care, and get treated like a "normal" kid.  You see, my step-mom was born with Spinal Bifida and a club foot.  She endured (and still suffers from) countless surgeries, medications, health problems and mobility issues.  But she is awesome.  You see, some people have that inner strength that doesn't allow them to mope about at their misfortune.  Instead, they feel blessed at the opportunities that they have been given.  People are amazed by my step-mom...amazed that a woman that has one leg can get around, and be, well, "normal."  The thing is, what you have or don't have should not define you.  You are you.  So when my step-mom lost her leg when she was younger - she didn't let it change who she was or alter her planned adventures.  She approached them differently - but still did it! 

The best part about her, is that she can laugh at herself.  She doesn't take any offence when being teased about hobbling around on one leg, at being older than the trees, at being around when the wheel was invented (my dad has shared this "fact" with the kids so knowing him - it MUST be true!).  She can take a heap on her plate, and dish out enough servings right back at ya, with leftovers to boot!  The other part that means a lot to me is her unwavering support in whatever we do.  I don't have a "mom" that wants to be in my life - so when my dad met Judy - she fit the bill.  Whether it's my cooking, my writing, my ideas - she listens.  She encourages.  She offers advice.  And most of all - she cares. 

While I know things are getting tougher for her physically, I sometimes forget what she has been through, and what she goes through everyday just to get out of bed.  I forget because she doesn't let it rule her.  After I had surgery, she listened to my struggles and whining, without once pointing out that she has had something like 50 surgeries to get over.  She hugged, patted, wiped tears (possibly my nose too, she's nice like that) and told me it can only get better.  And of course, she was always right. 

I really believe God gives us what we need, when we need it.  I am glad that he filled my life with Judy.  She has been a blessing....even if she is only one-legged!

I can't believe it but...this one-legged woman is a bit of a rock for me and my family!

Happy appreciating the loved ones in your life,

Kathy Pettit

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Why Explore the Tree...The Nest is So Comfy?!

It starts with diapers.  And tiny feet, wrapped in tiny socks that won't stay on.  The soft, downy head cupped gently in your hand...smelling of baby shampoo and newness.  Hands that seem to belong on a doll clutching your finger so tightly you wonder where that strength comes from.

Then, you wake up one morning, roll over bleary-eyed, look at the alarm clock and blink back shock that it's not 4am and your little one actually made it past 7am.  What seems like a week later, sunlight streams into your room, and when you check the time it's past smell toast...hear the happy chatter of kids discussing the best plan of attack to squeeze every bit of joy from their Saturday.  You sit up, shake the sleepies from your head and reflect back to the time of diapers and tiny feet wrapped in socks. 

Time in the nest is skewed.  At times you want to rush the daily routine that has you feeling exhausted...but when it slips by it's hard not to miss.  The nest is warm, safe and home.  But like all young, the call of freedom rings loudly over the treetops.  The pull of stepping out of the nest is normal, and trying to explain to the little ones that the timing has to be just right to encourage them onto that first branch.  Family traditions will have to evolve to allow for some first flights.  But right now I can't let go.  My Peach, Pickle and Coconut belong snuggled in the nest, under the wing of a watchful Mom and Dad.  One step at a time.

The moment, I know, is around the corner.  The moment when they look back with a smile and step off the branch - wings spread wide, confident and prepared.  Until then I will try and cherish each moment and each day. 

I can't believe it but...I miss diapers!

Happy cherishing,

Kathy Pettit

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Forget the turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes, the gravy, the pumpkin pie, the cranberry sauce (hard to do - I know - but I am going somewhere with this!)...try to conjure up an image of something else that represents Thanksgiving....  It's hard to do, but hopefully what you are left with is "family."  Family is an all-encompassing term representing all whom we hold near and dear to our hearts. People who may either be in our lives by choice or chance - but are here nonetheless!  

I have a thankful heart.  I truly appreciate what I have, where I come from and who I have in my life.  There are some pretty special people who have joined my adventure.  People who have helped me grow, those who reached out a hand when I stumbled, took the time to show me the sunshine when all I saw was rain, who laughed at me and with me, and who guided me towards what was right. 

I have a father.  A warm-hearted, loving, hard-working father.  A father who raised my brother and I when my mother didn't want to.  A father that was humble enough to ask for help when required.  I grew up in Ontario housing, in a neighbourhood that selfishly cycles it's poverty to the next generation.  It's difficult to get out unscathed.  My dad pushed us to finish school and pursue a secondary education.  We listened.  Although I will be eternally grateful to The Food Bank and their contribution to our meals, I wanted more for my future and my family.  I worked hard because I wanted to live so that I could become the giver and help those in need where I could.  A kind of Pay-It-Forward feeling.  I look around at my house that we own, at our stuff, at my kids, at my loving hubby - and FEEL the appreciation right in my bones.  I am so blessed.  God has blessed me in abundance.  I will NEVER forget where I come from.  It is humbling to share with others that I was a recipient of The Food Bank.  It is not a dirty secret, but a fact that helped us survive.  Sometimes, putting a face to an organization helps one realize that their donations do matter, that they are making a positive difference in someones life.  

One thing I have learned along the way is: Be happy and joyful in everything you do.  Remain humble and appreciative.  Don't forget where you came from and how you got to where you are today.  For me, it was a fabulous journey, and the lessons learned along the way were invaluable to my future. 

Thank you everyone for reading.  And - hey - pass on some good deeds to a charity near you!  It will come back to you - I promise!

I can't believe it but...I feel good about having shared my humble beginnings.

Happy happiness,
Kathy Pettit


Monday, 24 September 2012

The Future - My Version

A gum commercial that advertises what a "taste experience in the future" will look like, got me thinking.  You know that creepy one where they're in a grey room and some weird black shapes appear in the sky?!   (And before you ask - that's my fireplace smoking - not my brain...seriously you guys are harsh!!)

Why do authors, film makers, and the general public visualize the future as bleak, stark and grey?  There seems to be excessive amounts of metal and concrete associated with our future, along with big random numbers painted on the walls.  The "futuristic" people are typically decked out in dismal colours, all looking alike - and no one appears "happy" in these circumstances.  Why?  Think back to the movies and commercials that reflect the future.  Is there one that I am missing that spins the future in a bright and sunny manner?  Are we so certain we are on the path of destruction and tree killing that we portray the future in that clinical way?  At that point have we used every can of yellow, pink, blue, and green paint that all any store has left is fifty shades of grey (totally included that randomly and then re-read it proud of my literal reference to literature - if you consider that literature...jury's out!)?

On all accounts companies, people and organizations are starting to take a more environmentally-friendly approach to life.  Which is great!  But should these changes not start to have a positive effect on our prediction of the future?  Can we actually attempt to paint a wall yellow in the next futuristic movie?  I would like us not to have to be living in a spaceship and eating some chemical concoction of a sea slug genetically altered with corn!

Here's my challenge to you:  Jot down what your future would look like.  Look around your home and imagine what will change, and what will stay the same.  Picture yourself there - with a smile.  I imagine in 1950 they predicted 2012 to be pretty dim and depressing.  Yet here we are.  And now we drive orange cars, have energy efficient lighting, plug our cars in to charge, recycle our paper and waste products, and the majority is not choosing grey as the sole colour to decorate their home!  (Although - on a side note - grey is hot right now.  Not for me though...if I'm going to be stuck with that in my future I'll surround myself in some colour!)

My future is bright and sunny!   Reducing the chemicals we use in our gardens and farms.  Eating more natural, whole foods and avoiding over processing anything into unrecognizable bundles of garbage.  Having neighbours of different cultures, beliefs and backgrounds all respecting each other and supporting each other.  A world where the populace recognizes that stealing, violence and hatred fuel a negative and unsustainable model of survival.  A community where we share the plenty with those that need it so they don't have to resort to the negative measures to meet their basic needs.  I may just write a book about it.  My Little Utopia.  Impossible...nah!  Nothing is impossible.  Difficult, yes...impossible, no! 

I can't believe it but...I referred to 50 shades of grey (paint) and the future in one posting!

Happy jotting,

Kathy Pettit

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Weaving Words

Best Designed Library Kansas City
I have a tendency to exaggerate.  I have always been a self-diagnosed story-teller.  Not the kind of tales that car salesman and fisherman make us all raise an eyebrow to.  (Sorry to my car-selling friend - totally NOT referring to you, ahem.)  That was awkward....!  But rather, I like to SEE stories in the mundane and everyday.  One tiny moment triggers a bit of a chain reaction in my squidgy brain.  The event may be something my kids or hubby may be something I see or hear.  All these tiny little threads are weaved into a story or memory that I feel the need to share.  All of your threads have made their way into my tale.  Whether you are the reader, the crossing guard, the person who sells me my coffee, or even someone from my past, you have been gently woven into my being and my tale.  You fit in perfectly.  Especially after a nice glass of blush wine...because everything is better with wine.

If you are reading this, you and I are linked across the time space continuum (I don't know what this really means, but sounds smarty-like).  Thanks for being a part of my story.  Especially you.  Yeah -YOU!  You're awesome! 

I can't believe it but...I am admitting to a teeny tiny, barely noticeable, smidgen of a flaw in myself. 

Happy story sharing,

Kathy Pettit

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Growing, Growing, Gone

This post all started with my son Coconut feeling sad that our tomato plants have to die when winter comes.  "Why?" he asked repeatedly.  "Why can't they grow taller than the snow and stay alive?"  It touches me that this bothers him.  It makes my heart swell that he, in his 5 year old way, is trying to figure out a way to help them survive.  How do you explain to a child that everything grows old and eventually withers?  Nothing is meant to live forever. 
I knew the next question was coming, it always does.  "Why does God make things die?"  "Honey, God doesn't MAKE anything die.  Everything on our beautiful planet has a purpose - even us.  The tomato plant works hard all summer.  God gave it a job to do.  What a great job it does!  But soon it will get tired, having completed it's mission, and go to sleep into the earth.  Next year, when we plant our tomatoes, this plant will feed the new one, making it do an even better job at feeding us."  I watch him try and process this in his little brain.  So before he asks, I continue, "We all have a purpose, or a job to do - even you.  When we leave this earth, we go to Heaven."
He reminds me he doesn't want me die.  Or Daddy.  Or Peach and Pickle.  I hug him, give him the bowl of gathered tomatoes, red, plump and juicy.  Before I can say anything else...he's distracted by the excitement of his harvest, opens the front door yelling to his sisters to come and look at all the tomatoes. 
Tomatoes.  Sometimes the most mundane situations bring about the deepest thoughts.  Thoughts that make you appreciate where you are standing that very moment.  You are always blessed.  Always.  The trick is to peer into the darkness and find the blessing. 

I can't believe it but...tomatoes are so inspirational!

Happy harvesting,
Kathy Pettit

Saturday, 1 September 2012

If YOU Think a Fish Should Climb a Tree...

...and it doesn't - you're going to be very disappointed in that fish!  A friend and neighbour shared Einstein's insight with me, after a glass of wine (or two) and it took me a minute to realize what he was really trying to say.  Then I got it.  Wow. I poured my self another glass of wine to really get into "ponder" mode!  I pondered so much that it's a wonder I remembered this conversation at all :)  The other side is, not only will the fish believe itself stupid, but so will those who judge and believe it should be able to climb a tree.

How many times in life do we put expectations on others on what WE think they SHOULD do?  Or what WE would do if we were them?  I don't live in a glass house - but I'm still not throwing any stones.  I am plainly guilty.  The easy solution to criticize those around us is to assume we are better, smarter and more experienced - we think we have all of the answers to everyone else's problem.  Those assumptions are based on our own personal experiences, and we relay that knowledge assuming every detail is identical to our own.  Life doesn't work that way.  God blessed us each with unique talents and experiences.  If instead, we used those experiences as a stepping stone to HELP those that are struggling - rather than judge them - we would be doing such good in the world. 

If I think a fish should climb a tree, and base my judgement of that said fish on the fact that it can't - then of course my perception is going to be negative!  If I humbly (and this is a hard thing to do - no doubt!) took a step back and really thought about it, I might discover that the task would be an impossible feat.  Instant reaction, however, is to judge, give advice and criticize.  Shame on me.  It is the kinder, more thoughtful person that pauses before speaking and shares that knowledge with me, that in actual fact, it would be impossible for that fish to climb a tree.  My perspective was the assumption that animal was defective in thought, and action.  But that would be wrong.  Only from taking the time to learn about that creature could I discover that the task is impossible.

My goal is to work harder at pausing before giving opinions and advice.  To not judge harshly on decisions made by someone else that is prepared to take ownership for their actions.  I want to really try and see their side of the story and LISTEN to what they saying.  This will be hard for me.  I am going to try, readers.  I hope this posting has made you think about yourself, and how you can positively influence those around you.

I can't believe it but...I discovered something really deep and meaningful whilst enjoying my wine.

In deep thoughts,

Kathy Pettit


Monday, 27 August 2012

Recreating Nostalgia

It doesn’t work. You can try – but you’ll never get it exactly right – and then you’ll be sorely disappointed and slightly  depressed…speaking from recent experience. 
For those of you in Southern Ontario, you may have been familiar with Mel’s Diner…located in the plaza beside University of Waterloo. It was a delicious dive. Famous for their 24 hour kitchen, greasy food and satisfying end to a night of fun at Loose Change Louie's.   A huge menu awaited you…mmm pickle spears (these things are hard to find!)…along with 50’s memorabilia and the music to match. Always busy. Always good. Sadly, this landmark burned to the ground a few years ago.
‘Lo and behold…from the ashes…Mel’s Diner made a re-appearance, in a brand new location.   It is now located across from a funeral home in suburbia (reminding us aging Gen Y's that's where you'll end up if you eat greasy diner food all the time!).  Not at all the same student crowd it expertly catered to. Hubby and I were excited to go…we walked in and saw similarities (although not as much tasteful clutter on the walls). As soon as we sat down deflation set in. They specialize in all day breakfast (which seems to a be a position gaining popularity - but I can cook my own eggs - easily!) and they have a very small regular menu now. No pickle spears…here is where a tear started to form in my eye (for realsies, sigh).  My meal was ok. Not great.  I sighed, ate it, looked around at what was brand new, trying to be old and recognized it wasn’t.  It just wasn't the same.  It tried - but failed. 
We left disappointed. It was a different restaurant, sadly with the same name of something that was really great. Recreating nostalgia is impossible.   Nostalgia is a feeling…a memory…a moment in time.  Enjoy every one of your moments, because you never know when they’ll come to an end.  Be ok with them in the past.  Memories are good.  They remind us of where we come from, how we got here, and why we should carry on.  And to quote my boss's coffee mug - "keep calm and carry on!"  I will find you elusive pickle spears...mark my words. 

I can't believe it but...I am having nostalgic memories - and realizing I am REALLY getting old!

Reminiscing Pickle Spears,
Kathy Pettit

Friday, 24 August 2012

12 kids + Me

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I know what you're thinking.  This young, lovely, smart, and humourous (;P) lady is inviting 12 children to sleep she nuts?  Yes Possibly No - although that feeling will hit me an hour after they arrive!  It is Peach's 10th birthday this supposed "epic" party (description courtesy of my daughter) is taking place tonight.  So....the reality I have no time to blog - yet here I am. 

I thought I would share with the parents the reason their kids may be bratty come Saturday morning at pick up:    Junk Food....staying up late.....gossipping....junk food....waking up early....junk food...and, well their tween age doesn't help matters when it comes to being bratty!

Cookies and Cups.comThis is a sneak peek of the desserts I am whipping up (courtesy of an awesome foodie blogger that I like to check up on!!)

I can believe it but...I have 12 kids coming in 4.5 hours!!!! Help!!!

Pray for me....

Kathy Pettit




Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Halfway to 70...Luckily 70 is the New 40!

Grandparents are awesome to have when you are my age!  When you are young and you hear the stories of "old times" - it is hard impossible to understand what that really means.  I look around at the changes that have happened since my own childhood and marvel at what we have now.  Imagine being on this earth for the last 80 years...and reflecting back on your youth....then looking around you at this moment.  I LOVE to hear about how they lived...and worked...and managed.  At this stage of my life I can appreciate their input and advice.  They offer it from a place of experience, laced with love.

My lovely grandfather pointed out to me that I was halfway to 70!'ve got some serious living to do!  Halfway to 70.  I gotta be honest and share I made up the second part of the title.  I am hoping by the time I am ancient older that will be the truth.  How did I get to be this age without knowing where the sands of time have fallen?  (Although pure speculation tells me they have fallen on my floor and whenever I think I have it swept up, it magically ends back under my feet!)  If the next half of my life moves as quickly as the first...I better enjoy every waking moment (and, well I love snuggling in my cozy bed so every sleeping moment too!).

Soooo for all of you other halfway to 70ers...please share your secret on how you plan to spend the next half of your life.  Will you be kinder, laugh more, eat more, eat less, tickle strangers, drink more coffee, more wine, eat chocolate with every meal, get to know your neighbours, pinch the bum of a stranger (ok - don't do that last one - you might get hurt!)?

I can't believe it but...I'm closer to being a senior than not!   

Happy living readers, happy living!

Kathy Pettit

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Pepper Spray, Stun Guns and Sugar Free Fudge!

Only in America!  Don't get me wrong - I love the USA.  I love the shopping (hehe I accidently typed the shpooing but corrected it - I get the giggles easily!), the food, the people. 

Myself, Hubby, Peach, Pickle and Coconut just spent the last few days in Erie Pennsylvania - shopping!  And this store, across from our hotel was Kali's Candy (  It is a Jelly-Belly outlet (mmmm...I likey the Jelly Belly...), only the sign stated the aforementioned (big word, I know - look it up if you need to!) along with, "Pepper Spray, Stun Guns and Sugar Free Fudge."  Really?  'Cause when I'm out lookin' for stun guns, I may be diabetic and get a hankerin' for some sugar free fudge?  (And let's have an honest moment here - is there really ANY value in a fudge that is sugar free?)

There is a ring of truth to the expression "jack of all trades, master at none."  This saying can be a guide in our professional lives, as well as our personal lives.  Over-extension is the enemy to being really great.  This is where a little focus can really help you to master whatever it is you are hoping to accomplish.  What is your speciality?  Are you using it?  I am sure this store is filling in the niches that are obviously missing elsewhere in this community.  But I have to wonder...if they focused on a particular area (i.e. self defence OR candy) would they become a master of their domain (no Seinfeld pun intended - again...giggling!!)?

I was guilty of it myself and took on too many things in my volunteering world, and felt I had let people down unintentionally.  I had good intentions...but I was spread so thin that I couldn't give 100% to anything.  I suffered, my family suffered, my work suffered, the organizations I wanted to be involved in probably suffered as well.  My intentions were good - but my performance was very much "jack of all trades."  My goal now is to focus on what I can do effectively.  I also had to practice saying the word, "no."  Although my kids will tell you that is my area of expertise...I struggled with it.  I encourage to you to take on what you can handle, focus on your passion, and let go of things that you are not successful at.  Drop them.  Like hot potatoes.  Revel in your success, and accept that whatever you put your mind to you will be master of.

I can't believe it but...somehow Seinfeld got drawn into this crazy post!!

Happy shopping!

Kathy Pettit

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Coffee, Friends and Garbage Grabbing!!

This morning, over coffee, I was reminded of the strength of my friends.  In this instance, I am referring to physical strength....not the mushy kind!

Speed walking has been a a big part of my life for the last year, as I am trying to be more physically active and fit.  Luckily there are a group of women in the neighbourhood that join me on my sweaty adventures!  A few months ago, 2 friends decided to come along.  I don't want to use their names (in case they aren't real friends and sue me ;P), but the important details are this:  One of them is maybe 5ft tall, while the other one is maybe 100lbs - soaking wet, after eating at a buffet!  You'll see the relevance in a minute.

Sundays are the best days to walk in our neighbourhood!  Monday is garbage day.  Luckily, I am blessed to live in such a great neighbourhood, that people put some pretty nice stuff at the side of the road, before garbage day - thinking someone may find use for it rather than having it end up in our local landfill.  Well, as we come around a bend I see a solid round wooden table.  Right away, I said I planned to bring it home.  Home is 2km away.  Being such good friends, they immediately said they would help.  So, my tiny friends and I took turns carrying this piece all the way home.  For 2 kilometres.  I think we burned a billion calories that day.  Our arms all burned....and we were exhausted.  When I look back and think about what they did - I am touched.  They didn't have to do that - but they did without question.  And I would do the same for them.  Gladly.

That is what friends do for each other.  They will gladly carry someone elses' garbage for you.  They will lighten your load or burden out of compassion.   They will sit with you over coffee and motivate you (to write -thanks, Diana!), offer advice - and make you laugh. 

If your friends won't participate in garbage grabbing for a hidden treasure with you, or help you carry your burden - lead by example.  Be the friend that you would want to have.

I can't believe it but...I just admitted online to garbage grabbing (I'll call it re-purposing so I sound all eco-friendlyish!)! 

Happy Dumpster Diving Re-Purposing!

Kathy Pettit

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Grass IS Greener...Only in My Yard, Not Theirs

Whilst Hubby and I did lay sod last weekend, I'm not referring to the lovely patch of greenly goodness that stands out like sore thumb in the midst of our crunchy brown memory of grass!
Sometimes life sucks.  It does.  It's okay to admit that.  Things we wanted to happen - didn't.  Things we wanted - we didn't get.  People that we were supposed to trust broke it.  A job we wanted - we lost.  A loved one fighting a battle lost.  These things matter...they do.  I'm here to tell you - your REACTION matters more.
Think about this:  Did "it" happen for someone else instead, to change their lives for the better?  Did someone else get what they wanted - because maybe they really needed it?  Did someone else get that job that needed it more than you? 

I read a great book (thanks to the advice of hubby), that I would encourage everyone to read, called "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" - GREAT book!  In it, the author uses this example to get the reader to rethink personal suffering: "If you are driving home from work, and suddenly you see a fire engine with it's light flashing turn onto your street, a normal reaction is, "Please don't be my house..."  Maybe you pray for your family's safety.  If it's not your house, is your neighbour more deserving of the loss?"  Questions like these cause me goosebumps.  In a true community, if your neighbour is suffering, so should you.  Instead, we tend to breathe a sigh of relief when bad things happen to other people and not us.  Normal.  But should it be? 

 Seriously.  Look around you at this moment.  I may not even know you - but I am guessing you have a pretty great life.  Focus on what you do have, rather than on what you don't.  Focus on the joy, however small it may seem, and stretch it out.  Let that JOY light a candle onto others, so they can share it with those around them.  Spend more time looking inward for happiness and fulfilment, and less time using what is on the other side of that fence as a stepping stone to discontentment.  If we live our lives comparing ourselves to others we will never be happy.  Ever.  Maybe you don't go on as many vacations as your friends, maybe you have an older, a smaller what?  Maybe they are in need of a friend..maybe their marriage is hurting....maybe life is not being kind to them at this moment.  Admire their green grass and celebrate their blessings....but ENJOY your grass.  It's yours.  Use it with joy.

I can't believe it, but...I'm starting to appreciate the crispy grass.  This side of the fence is pretty great!

Happy days,

Kathy Pettit 


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Canning, Panning and Fanning

If you're wondering based on the title what this blog is're not alone! I have no idea either...I have it all planned out to make some sense in a non-sensical way.  You'll see.  Bear with me.  I was in a very rhymonious (not sure if that's a word, but I'm runnin' with it!) mood, AND I'm canning AND I'm blogging, AND there are 6 children running around my house at this exact moment whilst my 5 year old son, Coconut is crying his eyes out, AND my hubby is chatting with me with me about various desserts he wants to which I am nodding encouragingly hoping he'll head to the kitchen and whip something up.

News Flash Readers: He just turned on the TV so dessert is off the radar....

Anyhow...I'm canning..and I'm panning, thinking I need a second canning pot for the machine that is me....and I am hot and slightly bothered so I am fanning myself.  I'm also trying REALLY hard to ignore the demands of the 6 children...don't worry no one is hurt!!

I have become a little obsessed  focused with my canning.  Here's the list so far this season:

Peach Melba Jam, Honeyed Peaches, Lemony Blueberry Jam, Watermelon Pickles, Zucchini Relish, Applesauce, Apple Onion and Maple Relish, Sweet Dilled Pickles, Def Jam (cherry, strawberry and blueberry jam), and just 15 minutes ago - Tipsy Black Forest Preserves.

My goal this year is to not give anyone botulism.  If I shared some goodies with you - let me know if I can checkoff this goal as completed.  My second goal is to make some pretty darn good stuff.  I am canning while the veggies and fruits are cheap.  The downside is my kids keep eating all of my preserved stuff that is supposed to take us through winter!  Eat a fresh peach already...gosh!

I can't believe it but.....I am multi-tasking and accomplishing! 

Keeping it all together,

Kathy Pettit

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Nag or Coach...The Answer is Obvious to me!

Who are you callin' a nag?

Who called me a NAG? Me...I have a different viewpoint. I’m not sure why people see it from that angle…I’m trying to help…trying to make things go smoother. I like to think of myself as a Household Coach. I’m there by your side reminding you of your next move…guiding you towards success…making sure you leave no man (or dirty laundry) behind! I rally behind you like no one else! How can you fail? Well, obviously you can fail by NOT listening to your Coach. If you don’t listen to The Coach – then I nag coach some more. And it ain't pretty! Unlike a sports team, my coaching is free. I don’t invoice my family for my expertise or my time. I don’t charge them for giving them the best move in any given scenario. I do it out of love (and, to be honest, to get the job done right the first time!).

Like any Coach, sometimes I may come off a little strong. Possibly a little hard-headed (but just a little!). I mean well. In life you have to learn to listen instructions and follow the rules. My kids should be thankful for the guidance :) If my kids Pickle, Peach or Coconut (not their real names - seriously - were you thinking that!?? In case your kids are named that, I will defer to the ever popular Seinfeld removing-foot-from-mouth line, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!") or my husband happen across this post...know this: I coach because I love.
In the meantime I will accept either title from a complete stranger. But, if you ever overhear my children or hubby using the term “nag” – gently remind them that “coach” is the preferred reference.

I can't believe it but...I think I've coined a new modern term for nagging!!

Happy parenting!
Kathy Pettit

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The View From Up (or Down) Here

In life I refer a lot to "perspective."  I believe this is a key component of who and what we are, and how we fit into our world.  Do we easily find joy - or are we stuck in feeling sorry for ourselves and making the worst of every situation?  Personally, I consider my myself a "wine-glass-half-full-but-could-use- a-top-up-if-you've-got-it" type of person :)  Things don't often go my way.  In fact going awry and wonky are the norm for my life.  But it's kinda fun that way!  I never know what to expect - and therefore have a hard time being disappointed (ok - disappointment does impact me - but not for long!).  I figure if I follow my heart and listen to the guidance from up above - I'll get where I need to go when I am supposed to be there!

We are all dealt a set of cards.  Imagine, each hand slightly different, and maybe some more lucrative than the other.  However what matters most about cards - or LIFE - is:
How you play the game!!! 
Heck - play those cards to your advantage!  When you want to scream - sing.  When you want to cry - laugh.  When you want to pout - look around at all that you have and appreciate it!  The people (even if they are part of the reason you want to do the aforementioned!!) and places and things that you have been blessed with. 

IMAGINE A WORLD VOID OF ALL THAT IS IN YOUR LIFE NOW!  Imagine the people gone, the places gone, the memories gone and your "things" - gone.  How empty and sad is that world?  This makes me sad just thinking about it!  Even the people in my life that drive me crazy (and if you happen to be one of the crazies in my life reading this - definitely not referring to you!) they would leave a hole had I not experienced them.  I am who I am because of all that I am. All I have done, all I have felt, all I have witnessed, all I have helped, all I have accepted help, all I have changed - has created me - Kathy.  Here I am world.  Like it or leave it...but I accept you and the card card you dealt me.  And I'll even do it with a smile :)

I can't believe it but...I think I may be winning the game - better play your cards right!

Kathy Pettit

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Can I Can That?

Totally in love with canning!  I am a machine.  3 weeks ago I opened my new canner that I got for Christmas from my hubby - and I haven't stopped since.  I was worried it would be some sort of weird science experiment that I would suck at.  I envisioned exploded jars, jam on my ceiling, and blisters from the heat.  I am proud to share that none of that has happened.  I have made some pretty delicious things!  Even my picky 9 year old is excited about helping and tasting!  That, my readers, is a feat unto itself!

Given the fear of drought, floods and plain old world-coming-to-an-end winter - I figured I would buy fruit and veggies while the going was good and preserve them in all their summer glory with the cost still being reasonable.  So, when peaches and apples are $4 a pound....I can open a jar of my honey poached peaches :)  Mmmmm...yes I am bragging a a little bit, but hey - I have worked my tail off canning up a storm - I deserve a bit of bragging rights!

Hands down, best place to get fruit and veggies - our local markets.  Shop near the end of the day when vendors are anxious to sell their stock and not pack it back up to rot in their facilities!  Buy it it all up and can can can.  Or, just do the can can dance move if canning is not your thing. 

I can't believe it but...I am canning!

Kathy Pettit, aka Canning Queen (self-titled)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Is this thing on?!

The realization sets in that there may actually be no one that is reading my blog.  Does it hurt? Not yet.  But I am sure it will!  Really, I am not that interesting.  I know it.  And now you know it.  The secret is out.  The cat is out of the bag (kidding, I don't keep cats in bags!!).  Still, it may be a bitter pill to swallow!

Back in the days of diary writing - you didn't want ANYONE to read your thoughts.  Now, our vision has changed.  We are self-important, we all feel we have something really important to say, and we'll say it even though no one is listening.  Why? 

I kinda feel (and this could just be me - tell me if that is the case! - and then aha - you actually read my blog!) like we are just big primates pressing the screen to get our instant reward.  We want everything immediately.  Heinz is WAY off track in 2012.  The best things come to those who get it fastest!  If you're in a restaurant, and you order a meal - and a person who gets seated after you gets their meal before you - do you feel agitated?  Do you feel cheated?  Even though some extra love and care may have gone into preparing your meal - it doesn't matter.  We want our reward or gratification NOW.  Not later.  Not even later if it will be better.  NOW!  We are a bunch of foot-stomping 3 year olds.

What I'm trying to spit out is that whether or not anyone wants to read this.  I'm writin' it.  SO THERE :)

I can't believe it but....I feel like I actually got my point across without writing a novel!  It's your lucky day. 

Keep reading!


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Who Am I, Really? Hmmm...I'll Try to Answer That....

Ever been asked that question?  How do you answer a question like that.  I am me, Kathy Pettit.  Brunette.  35.  Married for 15 years.  3 kids, 9 and under.  I love chocolate and wine...and I am OK with consuming them at the same time!  We have 2 beasts dogs, who I will share pictures with eventually.  I feel blessed, even when things don't go my way.  Why?  Because I am here, present and capable of handling challenges that teach me a lesson   I have great friends.  A great job.  Good health.  I have a healthy relationship with God. 

But WHO am I?  I consider myself a never-ending puzzle (or mess, depending on perspective!)  This puzzle, if you will, is made up of everyone and everything that I have known and experienced thus far.  Even you, reader, have contributed to me by reading this.  I am a compilation of experiences.  And I am thankful for every experience I have been blessed with (or cursed with), because they have made me who I am today. 

In a rather large, and peanut-free nutshell, that is me :) 

I can't believe it, but... I am going to end here and leave more for another day!

Happy days!

Kathy Pettit

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Live a Life Worth Living

What does this mean?  Do I do it?  Do you do it? 

I saw this title somewhere and it made me think.  Hard.  If life is not worth living, we are wasting it!  I was blessed with good health, family and freedom.  The big question is, would anyone else find my little existence on this very huge planet worth living?  Or is it our perspective that makes us feel worthwhile?  Maybe the trick is to see from other people's perspective and APPRECIATE their contribution for all it is worth. that is a mission worth going on.  I'll let you know...

I can't believe it, but, the mission starts now!


Thursday, 28 June 2012

...I Made it!

Whew....what a long haul cracking the seal on my decision to actually start my own personal blog!  I blog for work, love to write, love to read and have an opinion - so why shouldn't I blog?  I'll admit there is some pressure to stay consistent.  It is not for lack of material, but for lack of time blogging that I foresee blogging may be difficult.  But my friends, the journey has started.  You are welcome to join me.  I'll apologize in advance for the sarcasm.  I mean well....

I can't believe it, but - I'M HERE AT LAST!

Kathy Pettit