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The funny thing is, the day before we came home from our holiday, I’d happened on this poster. It was posted on Facebook by Dr. Wayne Dyer (who’s work I’ve never been into), and shared by someone I follow. I thought it was cool but disregarded it and moved on. And it just stuck with me.

So, that night, I searched for it again for an embarrassingly long time while the Monkey and I were watching a movie; I wanted to save it on my iPhone so both of us could remember it in moments of anxiety or fear, which we’re both prone to. I finally found it, saved it and went to sleep.

It was our last night of normalcy! When we returned home the next day, we opened our front door to loud beeping and (since I was reading a book that takes place in the Amazon)… to the Amazon river: hot, humid and pouring rain. I guess, since the house was crying, the only thing I could do was cry. But, I was mostly in shock. We’d been away for eight days. I was ready to come home! But we had no home.

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Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

Eventually, we got ourselves a hotel that allowed pets. And we stayed in the small hotel room for two weeks (and over New Year’s), until we could secure ourselves a rented house, and that’s where we’re living now — probably for the next 10-12 months, while we gut and rebuild our entire house.

Our house had flooded, it turns out, because of the eight-day blackout during that infamous Christmas ice storm. We did everything we could while we were away to ensure the pipes didn’t freeze. But it was the radiator that burst in my bedroom. Boiling hot water poured out and started pumping through the ceilings, walls, when the furnace sensed the rad was losing water. We’re probably very lucky we weren’t there when it happened.

And here were are, one month later. Fairly settled. Fairly exhausted now that the adrenaline has worn off. We still have furniture to get, MY SHOES, my good clothes, etc. But friends, colleagues and family have helped us so much, and we’ve stayed in such good spirits.

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It’s taken her a while, but Betty White is finally back to her old sunny self!

Because in a way this is “something wonderful.” As with most dark experiences, there’s some light, you know? There are gifts. And there are many gifts here. As yoga teacher Monica Voss once said, when I was her student a few years ago, we need to “collapse the foundation so we can slowly rebuild.” (Like Dyer’s saying, this, too, has stuck with me.) Like a snake shedding its skin, there’s so much renewal here, transformation, possibility, rebuilding…

And of course, there’s humour in all of this. Ummm, did you read my last blog post? About every day being like Groundhog Day? Well, our entire routine has been turned UPSIDE DOWN. I went two weeks without my precious Vitamix, and we were far away from the kids’ school, their friends, programs, my yoga. The routine and the things I knew I depended on for my family’s (and my own) health and well-being… GONE.

It was the universe saying, “OK, you lost 50+ pounds, and you think you’ve got this parenting and lifestyle thing all figured out, do you? Well, we’ll see about that!” What an insane challenge.

You just have to keep smiling. Indeed, things like this really cast into relief what matters: we’re healthy, we’re together — who cares about the rest.

And you just do whatever you can to stay healthy and sane for your family when the world turns upside down. So I kept doing yoga. No matter what, I woke up early and did my entire Ashtanga yoga practice every day. In the tiny hotel room, as the Rascal snored, in the dark… I rolled out my mat. And yoga definitely kept its end of the bargain.

How? It’s simple: 

There’s nothing else to do but surrender to the moment. 

You see, this style of yoga can be completely hellish. You’re stuck there with 1.5 hours of mostly difficult poses ahead of you — plus, it’s reeeeeally early in the morning, you’re tired, Facebook is calling, gotta get the kids up and ready, so much to do… You can either freak out or surrender. So, you surrender. And you do it. You do the whole damn thing. And you don’t think about how you feel about it. And what a gift that is to take with you throughout the day, throughout every experience, whatever the universe throws your way.

It sounds insane and intense, maybe. But it’s a practice. And, like what Willem Dafoe has said, “I think you need a practice if you live in New York — at least I do.”

The strength this practice gives me, both mentally and physically, is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It 100% helped me get through the flood, and it helped me manage our family, keep things rolling and even continue working while Josh dealt with our living situation. That continuity, focus, strength, equanimity, surrender…

Ultimately, the feeling this whole experience has left me with is gratitude: to Josh, my kids, my family, friends and colleagues, to yoga and my yoga family, the universe and all our blessings.

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. 

Love!
xo Haley-O
PS: Next week, my teacher says, I’m to add the commonly dreaded Kapotasana (don’t try that at home!) to my practice. And I’m getting ready… Bring. It. On.

PPS: Look out for my personal article “Chaos Theory” in the March issue of Today’s Parent Magazine. On stands in a couple of weeks! (I managed to slip some yoga in there, too, of course — because, you know, when you wake up every day to practise, come hell or HIGH WATER, a little obsession is inevitable… xo)


Wake up.

Wrestle the dog.

Wrestle the cat.

Let out the dog.

Boil some water.

Let in the dog.

Give her her favourite all-natural, vegan “boney.”

But first, make her sit. Gentle….

Make lemon water: squeeze the hell out of lemon, pour water on top, then the freshly boiled water.

Make cat food with leftover boiled water.

Prepare Maaarge’s meds.

Wait patiently as Maaarge tries to eat her meds.

Feed cats.

Attempt to drink lemon water and pop first herbal med of the day.

Bring lemon water upstairs without spilling.

Turn on all the lights and wake up sleepy heads.

But first! Stare at the Rascal’s adorably large, heavily-blonde-lashed eyelids as he begins to stir (inevitably) in my bed.

Take out clothes for the Monkey, dump them on her bed and savour the cuteness of her sweet morning breath as she dozes, still as a log on her messy pink bed.

Shower.

Yell in the shower, “Wake up, sleepy heads!”

Someone comes in and asks twenty-seven questions: “Is it the weekend?” “Can we have a toy today?” “When is it the weekend?” “Mama, are you going to work today?”

Someone else comes in: “Do we have swimming today?” “I’m tiiiiiired.” “Mama, am I having lunch with Grandma?” “I don’t wanna go to swimming.” “Is this Queen Elizabeth’s necklace?”

“JOSH! Wake up!”

Get out of the shower, brush teeth, floss, attempt skincare regime and get dressed, while drinking lemon juice and not spilling.

Help the Rascal with his socks.

Leave Josh to finish up with the kids and run downstairs.

Make kids’ breakfast.

Fill steel water bottles and insert ice packs into lunch boxes. Place all in backpacks.

Brush the Monkey’s hair.

Make green smoothie.

Write lunch notes.

Pack lunch.

Feed the monkeys.

Give Rascal probiotics, and vitamin D drops to both.

Wash blender and kids’ breakfast dishes.

Put on makeup in the dining room as kids get their coats and shoes on and ask me thirty-four questions.

Kiss Josh goodbye and send him off with the Monkey (if he’s still home).

Take the Rascal to school (or both kids if Josh is away or at early morning meeting).

Chat with teachers.

Avoid Starbucks.

Head to work listening to Cosmo‘s Wake Up with Taylor, drinking green smoothie without spilling.

Avoid Starbucks.

Walk into office and say hello to awesome colleagues.

Check email.

5-hour marathon: Blog, tweet, edit, write, go to meetings, answer emails, LUNCH, blog, tweet, edit, write, publish, etc., etc..

Race home.

Stop for 2-minute grocery run or fresh green juice if there’s time.

Let out the dog.

Run to the school in 5 minutes.

Pick up the Rascal.

Stand, wait, talk to parents, watch the Rascal play.

Pick up the Monkey.

Stand, wait, talk to parents, watch the Monkey play.

Walk home with the kids in 40 minutes.

Go to programs (if have them).

Make dinner.

Ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes while dinner cooks.

Clean up dinner as Josh bathes the kids and reads stories.

Feed cats.

Medicate Maaarge.

Feed Betty White.

Let out Betty White.

Kiss the kids goodnight.

Make the kids lunches and snacks for tomorrow.

Make my lunch.

Finish up days work: blog, tweet, write, edit, answer emails, Facebook, etc., etc.

Soak beans and/or grains and prep dinner for tomorrow.

Watch TV to numb the heck out. If not at an evening event interviewing a celeb, or out celebrating a 40th birthday with a big night out….

Wrestle the dog if she’s not already in bed.

Give kitties cookies and fill bowls with water.

Good night.

Next week: Back to early morning YOGA. Somehow….

Love!

xo Haley-O


The Monkey decorated our staircase. A skipping rope, my kukui-nut necklace from our Hawaiian honeymoon, a snake doll, Smurfette, Pablo, Elmo, Micky and his bride Minnie all adorn my banister and are making my house a mess home….

Sorry, Gorgeouses, I’ve been too busy to update lately, filling my evenings with celebrity blogging, writing articles, putting the kids to bed, preparing for TIFF, putting the kids to bed, getting my haircut, cleaning dishes, putting the kids to bed again. In other news, I’ve been grabbing my ankles in Urdhva Dhanurasana (hollaahhh!), and tomorrow I have to collect a pee sample from Betty White first thing in the morning before yoga.

Speaking of whom, this is what’s going on on my lap right now (the black mounds at the bottom of the photo would be my curvaceous bod, FYI)….

Sibling rivalry. I know it’s not the best photo. But it’s better than this other one I got when Minden suddenly went in for a kiss (that mysterious object on the bottom left would be his creepy li’l eye, FYI)….

Sighh, it feels good to blog about my cats again — now all I have to do is knit something. The other day I noticed that Minden mysteriously lost a bottom fang. He only has three fangs now. So gorj.

I have to go to bed now so I can wake up and collect Betty’s pee sample. I don’t think anything’s wrong with her, but there was a bit of a curious pee incident at the cottage last weekend, and our vet is insisting we take a sample to make sure she doesn’t have stones or a UTI. Are you fascinated? Nay, riveted? Are you riveted, Gorgeouses?

Ugh, she’s humping him again….

I was listening to this guy‘s podcast on my way to work today (he was my best friend in kindergarten and I love his work). He said ending an addiction could take a “moment”  — or it could take “thousands of years.” A moment…, to think. I think a lot could change if I could end my Starbucks addiction this moment and begin to really feed myself and maybe vow to become a morning person.

School’s starting next week. One weekend to rest and then it starts. Again.

Love….

xo Haley-O


The couple months have been crazy for me. Recap: tooth trauma, new job (aka lifestyle overhaul), new dog “Betty White” (aka lifestyle overhaul), new nephew, loved one in hospital (was released TODAY). I think it’s time for a little mundanity, don’t you? Checkit….

I just ate a slice of raw vegan strawberry cheesecake from Live. It’s yummy, but a little too walnut-y. Someone snuck a cheaty little taste before I could slice into it.

There’s a family of cardinals living in our backyard. Deep inside this tree….

It’s rare that you see a female cardinal, you know. But we see the mama bird all the time. Isn’t she beautiful?

I watched the daddy cardinal feed the baby — beak to beak. Amazing. Needless to say, Betty White’s not allowed in the backyard when the birds are hunting. I hardly want her near MINDEN….

(legs….)

(she wears short-shorts….)

In the course of writing this post, my children have come down the stairs four times.

The Rascal and I went on a moonlit midnight walk with Betty White just last night….

Tonight he’s wearing a Paul Frank T-shirt and bathing-suit shorts to bed. I asked him why he was wearing bathing-suit shorts, and he said because “I yike to, Mama.”

The Monkey says “babing suit” instead of “bathing suit.” and I like it better. Really. Otherwise the Monkey’s quite articulate.

I took Monkey, Rascal and Josh-O to the office the other day to retrieve the whatchamacallit I dropped down the elevator shaft in front of an elevator full of men — all heads bobbed as the whatchamacallit bounded off the elevator ledge and into the shaft (plop). Facilities went down, way down, and got it for me.

This is what they did at 4pm on Father’s Day….

Josh-O’s a great dad. Too bad he doesn’t read my blog. Or is it? If he did read my blog, I wouldn’t be able to call him a nutball, or tell you about the astronomical parking ticket I got illegally parking in front of Starbucks the other day — which I totally just quit, again, just now — now would I? He’s laughing at me right now because I couldn’t figure out that my whatchamacallit thingy I dropped down the elevator shaft is called a “parking pass.”

This morning, at work, I wrote about Kim Kardashian’s cleavage of the buttocks. When I took breaks, I spun around in my chair and looked at the great view by my desk….

Did you know ornithology is the most popular hobby in the world? Loved One told me when had brunch at the hospital yesterday morning. Apparently heard it on the radio.


RASCAL’S BIG BOY FURNITURE ARRIVED TODAY!

Isn’t it SWEET? Do you like the stripes? The BLUE walls?

We’ve had so many changes in the past few weeks that I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s all a little too much, especially for me, since I don’t do change very well, which is exactly why the universe keeps throwing it at me (lose a tooth much?) — well, the universe and MY HUSBAND, who is now, by the way, officially, a WORK-AT-HOME DAD (WOHD, FTW).

And, no, you didn’t miss that blog post. I didn’t write about how Josh-O was out of work for, ohhh, three months, or about how we did our share of flipping out. But it was all worth it because, now, he’s HOME. And he’s happy. And he REALLY wants a dog. Hurray! We’re working FEVERISHLY to rescue a dog. But the shelters, fortunately and unfortunately, don’t love giving dogs to families with young children. But that’s another story — except to say that we just got APPROVED by a Mississauga dog shelter! (Go Mississauga! Shout-out!) Hurray!

While Josh was gainfully unemployed, he annoyed the heck out of me by turning the house upside down with changes: spring cleaning, re-painting the entire house, putting up desperately-needed blinds (who knew?), throwing out my beloved winter boots, alas, and selling Rascal’s baby furniture…. It was all so awful. But I love the end result. Check the kids’ rooms….

So fresh, huh? And so CLICHÉ, I know…. The Monkey, of course, wanted pink, and the Rascal blue…. Who was I to argue? I think it’s beautiful.

Sniff. Rascal’s been sleeping in our bed for the past two weeks because we — geniuses that we are — sold his crib AND THEN went looking for a bed. Believe it or not, I’ll actually miss sleeping with him because he’s the best cuddler in the world. Certainly better than this skinny little rugrat, MAAARRRGE!

(That Marge’s ear is perfectly positioned RIGHT in front of the now heinous GREAT GAP — the gumline of which is receding to frightening heights — is no accident, I assure you! But we’ll not get into that right now. Not while I have this fancy spring in my fingertips! Heh.)

Rascal was, of course, SO excited to get his new big-boy bed that he got right into his lion outfit….

RAWR! Of course, SOMEONE, was not impressed….

At all. But WHAT A LOWER LIP, eh? Isn’t it fabulous?

Not fabulous, however (other than this segue, bygones), was bedtime. It started off great, with the requisite bedtime jumping party….

…and the obligatory back-of-the-head blog photo….

But, the minute the light was turned off, Rascal started screaming. And my heart’s been pounding out of my chest ever since — of course, tonight’s episode, OMG, of Survivor didn’t help. I lay down with him for a few minutes to calm him down. Way too smart for his own little good, though, he climbed completely on top of me so I couldn’t leave without waking him up.

But I left. I rolled out from under him, told him I’d be back in TEN, and I left. And he screamed, as he always does when he doesn’t get his way. And he cried great bulbous tears, as only he can when he doesn’t get his way. But I did it. I left. Heart aching, pounding with mother anxiety. And, in no more than two minutes, all was quiet. Except for my heart, Jeff Probst, and a very impressed purring kitty with a fabulous lower lip.

Love!

xo Haley-O


Earth Day…. While I gifted Earth with a promise to not drink Starbucks from a paper cup (unless somehow absolutely unavoidable), Earth gifted me with something I totally didn’t expect. SPINACH! In my backyard! Gorgeouses, how deliciously awesome is this…?

Looks like grass, I know. But look closer…. SPINACH:

So yummy and new and green, can’t wait to sink my teeth into it. Oh wait! (And please don’t hate me for this segue) I don’t have a front tooth! I won’t have a front tooth for, what, a year was it?

It doesn’t take much for me to remind myself (constantly) that, yes, I’m missing a front tooth. But, huff, I was VERY reminded of said ghastly fact when I went to my favourite vegetarian restaurant for lunch today and accidentally bit down WRONG on a totally glorious tempeh wrap and nearly swallowed my, erm, denture. Capital F, FAIL. Capital E, EMBARRASSING.

And can’t they call it something other than “denture” for those of us under seventy-five? It’s more like a bite plate with a tooth on it, anyway. “Bite plate” is SOOOO much better sounding when you’re in your mid-thirties. Or not….

Don’t worry, I reached deep into the hollow of my mouth and discovered, within the awkwardly bitten/chewed sandwich pieces (because you need details), the pointy edges of the, erm, bite plate. This. Is my life.

Then there’s the matter of my house — which Josh-O decided we needed to paint two days after my surgery, huff. This is what my downstairs has looked like for the past, hmmm, four days:

But, you know what? It’s okay. It’s all okay. It’s just a tooth. It’s just a house. Despite the post-surgery discomfort — major — I feel great. I had a major — major — infection removed from MY FACE, an infection I’ve been living with for almost three decades, thanks to a fateful childhood stone-throwing…. And about that I feel GREAT! So great that I’ve been climbing mountains. Well, hills. Well, let’s just say I’m exercising, and eating really well. I think I found not only my denture, but my willpower, too, inside that sandwich! Hello, ooold friend! (More on that another day.)

Anyway, looks like I’ll be watching the season finale of Taking the Stage (loooove) WITH the Rascal, who’s sitting here on my bed beside me, thrashing around. This is but one of the many BENEFITS of having no working living room and a very loud, insistent child who refuses to sleep and is just so crazy adorable — “Mama, you teef hewt?” (trans. “Mama, your teeth hurt?”)

Sighhh, LOVE!

Happy Earth Day. Seriously, may every day be Earth Day!

xo Haley-O


It’s hard to write a blog post with a cat on your lap. I think that’s one of the reason’s I blog less often than I used to. That, and twitter, and my seasonal anti-socialness. Yes, beloved Macbook, I know “socialness” is not a word but, according to you, either is “macbook.” There’s such a thing as poetic license, you know. And thank you for helping me spell “license.” It’s one of those words I never know how to spell. That, and “exercise” and “occasion,” and “judgment.” Reminds me of how it took me the longest time to notice the spelling of “schedule” — why not “schedual”?

I so think I’m Aristotle right now — ruminating on the little particulars in life and in the mind…. Because I just read this FABO (I know, not officially a word but whatevs) novel all about Aristotle and his student Alexander the Great….

Yes, I read Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mean. It was my T-Dot blogger bookclub choice. Aside from the animal experimentation and dead-soldier dissection — Alexander the Great was a wee bit CRAZY (crazy but HOT, apparently) — this was the most relaxing, enjoyable book I’ve read in a long time.

If you loved The Tudors and Rome TV series (LOVE LOVE LOVE), you’ll love this book. Lyon takes you RIGHT out of the 20th century, and into Aristotle’s mind — an insatiably curious, innocent, self-questioning, seeking and apparently bi-polar mind.

If you love ancient philosophy, you’ll love this book. Lyon’s (historical-fictional) contextualization of Aristotle’s works makes his theories so much more accessible than your philosophy professor ever could. If only this book were around when I was taking philosophy exams. I had so many “AHA!” moments — or, should I say, “EUREKA” moments!

If you love ancient history, you might, as the author puts it in her acknowledgments, “turn purple” when you read this book. But I was okay with that.

If you love a little erotica in your reading, you’ll love this book. I’m not sure I ever needed to imagine Aristotle’s sex life. But, it was cool to learn how his second wife taught him that there is, indeed, such a thing as a female orgasm. EUREKA!

At Book Club last night, we didn’t talk much about the book. Probably because we all had different levels of interest in Aristotle and his philosophy. I wanted to talk about the significance and treatment of TRAGEDY and CATHARSIS in the book — but I was once a post-graduate philosophy major. AND WE WERE TIRED. AND WE WANTED TO CUPCAKES…. Check ‘em out!

I set them up in my fancy cake plate. Ooo, did I mention I entertained? I ENTERTAINED. I never entertain at my house. EVER. I chose the book; I hosted the SOIREE. But, I think I did ok! What do you think? Check out the table….

Fresh veggies and hummus….

Chips and dips, and fancy NUTS — total HIT — from my fave food store, Organic Abundance — presented in a GORJ clay bowl handmade by BFF Jenifer-Lyn Terner….

And various grains and bean dishes, etc., etc….

And I dressed up my 5-pound LIGHTER bod….

Getting there…! (I’m getting my haircut TOMORROW, woohoo!). And I wore my fancy slippers….

And I had a great time with my bloggy buddies — like the fabulous and brillers KAREN….

…and SANDRA MAMALOOPER….

Lovelies KITTENPIE and BLITHELY BABBLING don’t show their faces online. But I managed to get a picture of Kittenpie’s lap….

And, of course, the “unwonted guest”…. The Monkey LOVES Mamalooper…. Here she is trudge-trudge-trudging BACK upstairs for the fifth time (I saved her a cupcake, of course)….

It was a FAB party, if I do say so myself. Several peeps in the club couldn’t make it, so it was low key. We drank mint green tea, instead of wine. I turned on the fireplace and gave Mamalooper a blanket to cozy up in. They left after 11pm. I went to bed happy.

Then, today, the Monkey barged in on me when I was in the shower, yelling, “THAT’S MY MAMA!” Let’s just say her playdate, Jill, got an eye full….

THIS MONTH’S BOOK: Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants.

Thinking about the people in Haiti today. A great place to donate is here —  http://freethechildren.com/.

LOVE….

xo Haley-O

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