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