Cold and heartless!

There is something of a sensitive subject that I would like to bring up for my post today, and it’s not like it’s something new! It happens every year, and time and time again it seems to creep up on me and bites deep to my bones. It makes me want to curl up and stay in bed, closing the curtains and hiding away until it’s done with.

It seem’s that once again WINTER is coming! It was more apparent than ever on Saturday when our cozy little town was donned with a light dusting of the white stuff.

Most popular tags for this image include: climate, ecard, love, sleep and winter

Now I know I am not the only one out there who feels yucky about winter – just check out Facebook while it’s snowing. So you can all come out from behind your scarves, coats, parkas and show your faces. I refuse to stand alone in this season. Winter is the only time that everyone becomes fascinated with snow or at least it seems like I have a ton of meteorologists to let me know what it is I am looking at (it’s very helpful!).

It seems to be that the same people who complain about the heat during the summer also complain about the cold during the winter. They may require a map, as we do live in Canada where we have four seasons and snow can occur in the fall – hard to believe, I know!

Now, to get serious, please allow me to shrug off the sassy for a moment. The Winter Blues are something that I get and I know that Toni is also a fellow blue battler. I love being outside during the summer, and I have not quite yet perfected the art of running during the winter, and my skin HATES the dry winter air as it cracks, breaks, and scabs up in protest. Future Floridian, right here people! Although, I don’t think I could handle all the alligators.

It’s becoming the time when we get up and it’s dark out, we get out of work and it’s dark out, and it’s because of our decreased exposure to light our body doesn’t kick in to make the feel good juice, serotonin, that pumps through our body. The serotonin factory is kicked into gear when your body is exposed to light. Another fun fact about serotonin – it converts into melatonin, which is your body’s self-made sleep aid that leaves you feeling even worse! Gosh winter, you really are a bitch!

Preach, ecard, preach!

I know winter isn’t all bad. It does hold the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas, (can’t you hear those sleigh bells?!), but with my seretonin level decreasing as we speak it’s getting hard for me to be optimistic. Don’t worry, I am going to put on my big girl pants and then my snow pants and suck it up, because let’s face it, Southern Ontario gets it pretty easy during the winter compared to, let’s say, the east coast? I have a girlfriend who has recently come home from Newfoundland where she temporarily set up shop as her husband works out there (that’s right, she is superwoman (love you Court)), and it turns out she volunteered to go into super winter land! There are many other reasons she is superwoman, but I digress – this post is all about the evil mistress winter!

Hey guys, where’d your cars go? Guys?

This year I am going to be prepared! I have my daily dose of sun booked, TLT, our workout group is back in full force, which will help with my endorphins (just ask Elle Woods – they make people happy), I have a Costco-size multi-vitamin bottle that should get me through until mid-December 2020, I have purchased some winter hiking boots that are pretty impressive, and I am fully prepared to hike throughout the winter trying to make the best out of this cold, heartless season!

In the meantime, I am welcoming the beauty that comes from our trees preparing to tuck in for the winter – there is the silver lining.

Bring it winter! I am ready for alllllll your crazy!

~ Jacqui

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Prayer for peace

We pause today to remember those who have been affected by the tragedies that have struck our country in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and in Ottawa over the past week.

Photo by: Shawn Dearn

Photo by: Shawn Dearn

Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of the fallen and the injured, the first responders, and all those who need to heal in the days and weeks and months and even years to come.

Above all, we pray for peace in the wake of the violence, and wisdom for the decision-makers as they take the first steps to repair what has been broken.

~ The Sisterhood

O, Canada

Oh, Canada <3

O, Canada ❤

Happy 147th birthday, Canada!

The sisters of The Weather Vane Sisterhood are so very proud to be Canadian girls.

This big, beautiful country provides so much for us to love. From the freedoms we are lucky to have been afforded, to the kindness that we are known for, to the natural gorgeousness that lies coast to coast – Canada, you have my heart.

Personally, many of the cliches and stereotypes apply to me as a Canadian.

From my adoration of the great game of hockey –

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My personal weakness when it comes to fries, curds and gravy.

Yuuuuuuuuumers!

Yuuuuuuuuummers!

To my favourite bird and their haunting morning call, the loon.

Takes me back to Gull Lake every time

Takes me back to Gull Lake and my childhood every time.

To the shameful addiction I have to liquid Canadian crack.

Tim Horton's coffee - a staple and necessity.

Tim Hortons coffee – a staple and necessity.

Not to mention how stunning I find the vast differences in landscape that this country offers.

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I even love our ridiculous habit of apologizing.

Has to be a real stat, it's on the Internet.

Has to be a real stat, it’s on the internet.

As always, I will celebrate you today, Canada. Your birthday reminds me how lucky we are to live in such a fantastic Country and be able to call ourselves Canadians.

Happy birthday Canada!

Happy birthday, Canada!

Happy Canada Day to all of our readers! We hope you have a safe and memory- and laughter-filled Canada Day with all of your family and friends!

~ Toni

Home <3

Home ❤

Adventures into a great perhaps

When I was young I thought I knew everything.

I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, and thought I knew what exactly my future would hold.

I was never going to have children.

That so changed when my nieces came into the world, ripping apart what I thought and making me feel completely different about kids.

I was never getting married.

Not only did I not think I would never find someone, and that I would be alone for most, to all, of my life, I thought I would just never feel like it was necessary.

“It’s just a piece of paper, it doesn’t have any true meaning to me!”

Well, when I met Joe, that all changed. I realized that I actually found someone who I wouldn’t mind having that piece of paper with, I actually want to be tied to this man for the rest of my life. When I came to the realization, I felt it was necessary to talk to Joe about it. We had both said when we started our relationship that we wouldn’t be getting married, but if we decided to spend the rest of our lives together, we could just do it with out all that.

“Joe, I have something to tell you.”

“What is it sweetie?”

“I think I one day I want to marry you.”

“That may not work, because I know one day I am going to marry you.”

“Oh, okay!”

Which then brings me to a new chapter of our story.

We went on a new adventure. We went to Nova Scotia! Joe, my best friend Elena, and Joe’s cousin Mike all piled into Elena’s car and drove (just for the weekend) all the way to Nova Scotia!

We arrived!!

We arrived!

It is an amazing and beautiful province. Seriously, if you can, please go visit.

We stopped at the information centre, and Elena talked to a lady about where we should go and show the boys the ocean, the most beautiful body of water (which I have a sort of love affair with). After a lot of debate, and figuring out where exactly we were going to stay for the one night, we had it all figured out – we were on our way to Peggy’s Cove.

Peggy's Cove is one of the most photographed landmarks in Canada!

Peggy’s Cove is one of the most photographed landmarks in Canada

After 1-2 more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our destination. We all got out of the car, done our journey for a little bit. Me and Elena then took off, quickly made our way up the rocks while the boys lagged behind. I wanted to see my ocean! I had missed it since we left P.E.I. last summer and I wanted to see it now!

I got to a beautiful spot and sat down waiting for Joe. Because I know how nervous he is around heights, I didn’t sit too close to the edge.

When he finally got to the top where I was sitting, we sat and cuddled for a little while enjoying the breathtaking view. But Joe was shaking like a leaf! I thought it was the height and the slight (15-20 ft) drop onto more rocks. Or the fact that the waves have been know to engulf the rocks we were currently sitting on, and we could then be dragged out into the ocean.

“You don’t have to be nervous Joe! You are up here with me!”

“I know,” he said, his voice shaking too. I just cuddled in closer, hoping that he would stop being so nervous. I mean, there was nothing to be afraid of! Nothing bad was going to happen! Then I decided to be a smart a**.

“You know, it is so beautiful up here, it would be an amazing place to propose!” I said, cheekily nudging him.

The View of my Ocean!

The view of my ocean

He turned his head, and gave me this smug smile, and started reaching into his pocket. I gave him a questioning look thinking There is no way…

As he pulled his hand out of his pocket, he opened it up and said;

“Andreah Lynn Laurentino, will you marry me?”

Sitting in his hand was the ring I had admired last year at an antique barn. I then burst into tears, “Yes! Yes, of course I’ll marry you!”

We both laughed and hugged and kissed. I just kept thinking that this can’t be true! I can’t be so lucky!

Meanwhile, Elena and Mike were in on it of course, so they grabbed the champagne Elena had brought and we toasted to our future, and to the amazing moment they all helped make possible.

I never thought it would happen to me.

I get to marry one of my best friends! And I couldn’t be happier or more overjoyed! I clearly know nothing about the future, and as long as I can face it with him, I don’t care.

Joe on the Ocean floor at the Bay of Fundy! My Fiance!

Joe on the ocean floor at the Bay of Fundy. My Fiance!

 

~ Andreah

Earth Hour

Earth Hour Logo

Earth Hour is tomorrow, Saturday March 29, 2014, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time. It’s a time when you turn off lights and stop using as much electricity as is safe and smart to raise awareness around our environment and reduce, even for one hour, our effect on this living, breathing planet called Earth that we live on.

So, what does one do in the dark for one hour? There are obvious ideas…some of them naughty (like, you know…) and some of them smart, like talking by candlelight, taking a nap, or going outside to look at the stars (if you’re lucky enough to have a cloudless sky).

The bigger question is what will you do for an hour…and then what will you do beyond that? What will you do with your power, the power over the Earth, the power from the Earth? What difference will you make for the better, for the environment and this giant miracle that sustains your life? Because really it’s up to you and me and it’ll probably take more than an hour.

~ Julia

Clara’s Big Ride

We at the Weather Vane Sisterhood are pro mental health. Pro talking about it, pro supporting it, pro medication, pro therapy, pro help, and pro not hiding it.

One of our very own Canadian athletes, Clara Hughes, who is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games (six in total, if you must know, in speed skating and in cycling) is embarking on a 110-day national bicycle tour through every province and territory, beginning today in Toronto and finishing in Ottawa on July 1. She’ll cover 12,000 km and visit 95 communities. The goal? To grow awareness, acceptance, and action to create a stigma-free Canada around mental illness.

To find out more about Clara and her awesome endeavor, to donate, or to find out what you can do to raise awareness in your community, click here.

And to Clara? You are awesome. You are incredible. You’re a mental health hero. Good luck and thank you!

My affliction with winter

I know, I know – if you don’t like it move, stop complaining about winter it happens every year, blah blah blah! I get it!

Normally, I am all for winter – it marks a time for renewal when the spring comes, like a second chance or a clean slate.

Well, ladies and gentlemen…I think I have earned the right for a little bitching. Me and my skin are DONE with it!

I have eczema. Eczema is this horrible rash that comes from dry irritated skin, which is most commonly treated with a cortisone cream with a steroid in it. I have had eczema since I was a baby, and I did not grow out if it like the doctor said I would. (I’m shaking my fist at you Dr. Eddy and Toni who also had eczema and now has legs I dream of! But that’s beside the point.)

My legs are red, my whole body feels like it’s being covered by mosquito bites, and I tear my skin apart at night when I am sleeping. I don’t even know I am doing it until I get screamed at by Cody because I am rocking the bed, and not in a good way (badump-bump).

I have tried E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G under the sun that has been prescribed to me from both a dermatologist and my family doctor, and apart from making my legs radio-active and glow in the dark, the creams have left me with scarring and discolouration. I have also gone on eczema forums (yeah, they have these) to try what they have suggested. Notta! Zip! Zilch!

When I was in middle school, I would wear pants all year round just to avoid the questions from the other kids, and when I did wear a skirt or shorts, I got asked why I had so many big bites, or asked if I was contagious. Now that I think about it, I should have swiftly kicked them with my “infected” leg and then wished them well!

This winter, being especially cold and cruel, has broadened the scope of my eczema… TO MY EYE LIDS!!

For days I went to work and tried to play it off like it was nothing, until I couldn’t any more and started bringing Vaseline and my EXTREME Aveeno moisturizer.

I went without make up, I rubbed baby lotion on my skin and I started to bathe nightly in baby oil (with aloe and vitamin E) then rubbed coconut oil on my skin, all while my skin was still damp. I looked like I just had an oil wrestling match, and I was freezing cold!

So you know what … I am throwing in the towel. I give up!

Please do not be alarmed when you see a giant magnifying glass in my back yard – I’m just trying to speed up spring!

~ Jacqui (and her itchy, irritated skin!)

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Adventure within an adventure

So last summer I did something slightly stupid. I went to Prince Edward Island (PEI) for a weekend. Me and one of my bestest friends in the world, Elena, drove to PEI late one Thursday night only to turn around and come back late one Sunday night after some adventures.

Now, it takes roughly 18 hours for you to drive from Ontario through the crazy province of Quebec, winding your way through the wild roads of New Brunswick, where we picked up two more friends, and finally, after a stop for a shower, over the biggest bridge in the universe to PEI.

Many crazy and wonderful adventures happened within this adventure, but I want to tell you about this one part of said adventures.

So on our way back we decided to stop at the quaint city of Charlottetown. Elena, who is just as strange as me, decided to go wandering. She had disappeared for about 30 minutes while I was walking around in a fountain outside  city hall. I was just splashing at our two friends, when she walked up and told us she had wandered into this church and wanted us to come see it because the pastor (preacher, father, etc.) was really awesome.

We went inside this beautiful and historic church and got the run down on it from the guy (his name now escapes me). Apparently this is the site where amazing Juno award-winners, musicians and singers alike have performed, especially at the local blues festival (which was two weeks later and we were angered we couldn’t make it). I love to sing, and after some prompting from the wonderful Elena, I started to sing Caro Mio Ben.

I was stopped by the pastor guy (I really wish I would remember his name!) who told me I had to stand on the stage where the past award-winning singers have sung because the acoustics were better. So I sang, and it was the most uplifting, wonderful moment of my life, especially when I was told by the pastor guy that I had a great voice and amazing presence, better than some of the other stars he has seen preform there. The feeling that came over me when I started singing and my friends’, who had never heard me sing before, jaws dropped was unlike any other.

They were amazed I had it in me, and wanted to hear more. The sound was unlike any other. A beautiful. resonating tune that came out of me and into the ears of my friends and my own didn’t sound familiar to me, the notes sounded more beautiful, and more passionate.

The floor that I was standing on, was designed by a famous violin-maker, and had strings running under the floor to make the sounds expand over the room and contract back to the singer, so no amplifier is ever needed. I loved all the adventures from that weekend, but that one was my favourite.

That, and the fact that after I had finished singing Elena got up and we sang a duet. We usually sing in the middle of stores, so it was nice to be able to share a stage for once.

I hoped you enjoyed my reminiscing and I hope you do something out of your comfort zone today!

~ Andreah