A hidden love of storage

I have this thing about books. I have a love for books, that I know is not very unique, but I have another love that is tied in with this love…bookshelves.

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There is a social media site that leaves me dreaming of new, inventive ways to store, display, and love my books.

How CUTE!

How CUTE!

It leaves me wanting to build or find builders to create these ingenious and imaginative bookshelves.

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This website is called Bookshelf Porn.

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And it really is crazy how many different styles of bookshelves there are on this site.

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Things you would have never thought of!

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Placements that make it seem accidental, but are so not.

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If you too have a love for books, and by extension, bookshelves I beg you stay away…stay away from the magic that is bookshelfporn.com
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Or not.

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~ Andreah

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For today, tomorrow and yesterday – thank you!

Yesterday, just as every day, was a day to remember: to look at our past and think of those who died and fought for our future. And although yesterday was officially marked as Remembrance Day, we should still hold all those men and women who have died for our freedom in our hearts and thoughts.

To forget them would mean that we have forgotten how free we are in Canada. It is because of them that we are privileged to live in the beautiful country we call Canada.

Poppy's

In elementary school, it was never properly explained what Remembrance Day was. There was a moment of silence – a staple on November 11th – and a possible movie or video shown in the gym, but the magnitude of what the soldiers have done for us never fully hit me.

Every year, the week leading up to Remembrance Day the History channel screens small documentaries on WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War. Suddenly I get a second chance to learn my country’s history, and learn of the men and women who served for Canada.

There is no old and out dated book in front of me to write an essay out of, there is no teacher grading my knowledge of the occurrences, but just simply me and those veterans who are brave enough to tell their story for anyone who will listen, so we can remember and never forget.

On the left is Cody's Grandfather, he fought in the second World War - and never spoke of what he saw, or experienced. We remember for all the veterans.  This is the only picture we have of him.

On the left is Cody’s Grandfather. He fought in WWII and never spoke of what he saw, or experienced. We remember for all the veterans.
This is the only picture we have of him.

Remembering is all they ask for – remembering, and never forgetting. It seems so simple, and yet there are many soldiers’ stories who will never be heard, there are those whose names have been forgotten, whose faces are distant.

For all those who have lost parents, grandparents, cousins, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends – thank you.

For those currently serving – thank you.

For those who will serve – thank you.

You have fought for and will fight for Canada, for our freedom!

Lest we forget.

~ Jacqui

Dadventures!

Father’s Day is right around the corner.

When we sisters decided to do Father’s Day posts, I truly had no idea what to write about exactly. After reading the sisters’ posts, I was moved and awed.

I thought for longer than I should have, and one thing kept popping into my mind over and over again: there is really only one thing I can say about fathers, and to do it I am going to tell you all a story.

One day, I was about 12 or 13 years old, and I was home alone with our dad. It was a Saturday and spring time. I was sitting on the couch and he came out from his office. Stretched his arms into the air, looked out the window and then turned to me.

“Wanna go get some ice cream?”

“Sure Dad, I’ll get my shoes on.”

I was thinking we were going to walk downtown to the amazing local ice cream store. So I put on my socks and running shoes and was all ready outside waiting for him.

He walked out the door and hopped into the vehicle (I believe at that time he had the Jimmy).

I was really confused – Dad likes to walk – but not thinking anything of it I got in and put on my seat belt.

Then he started driving away from town. In fact, we were going somewhere new…and I didn’t have a freaking clue where it was.

For the first time that I could remember, I had our dad all to myself. We talked the entire way there (wherever there was).

After driving for about 40 to 45 minutes, I finally asked, “Dad, where are we going?”

“To get ice cream.”

“… But, where?”

“It’s an adventure Kid; you will see.”

That was the only thing I really remember from the entire drive. That for the first time ever I got to go on an adventure.

We ended up going to Port Dover and getting ice cream on the beach and then walking around for a couple hours, just hanging out and talking. I don’t even remember half of what we said that day on the way there or back.

I do however remember I got bubble gum ice cream that was bright blue and stained my lips and tongue, and that I came home with Dad, happy and sun burnt.

I have never forgotten my first adventure.

My dad and I have not always had the best relationship (everyone has their bumps), but he gave me the greatest thing I could have asked for in my life – my love for adventures, and to just do something, even if it seems silly.

“All you can do is try, Kid.”

I carry it with me, Dad, and thank you for the best part of my life.

Andreah and Dad - Graduation Day (Another Adventure)

Me and Dad on graduation day (another adventure)

To me, being a dad is about letting your kids see possibilities. It’s about letting them have adventures and being there supporting them if they fail or if they triumph. I know Joe is going to be an awesome dad, and I know that one day, when we do embark on that brand new adventure, it is going to be everything that an adventure should be: exciting, scary, happy, sad, and a whole other range of emotions no one can even begin to describe. Dad taught me a lot throughout my life, but one thing that really stuck is the adventures.

Here’s to all the adventures, Dad!

~ Andreah

Team Lillian – Updated!

*Update: Our Cambridge Times Rotary Classic Run in support of KidsAbility is coming up THIS Sunday, May 25th! If you would like to join our team – Team Lillian  – we would love your help in raising donations! If you would like to support our kickass team, please click the link here to donate online! Every little bit counts for this amazing organization that helps so many children and their families in our region!

To learn more about how KidsAbility has helped our Lillian, please enjoy the repost below!*

For those of you who know me personally, it will come as no surprise that I am head-over-heels, completely in love with my nieces and nephew and adore (pardon my French) the shit out of them.  Each one – yes, even our sweet little, bubble-blowing, Isaac – holds a special place in my heart for something that is unique to them. I love watching as they grow into their own little people, with their own distinct personalities, every day.

The babies

The babies

Lillian, or as we lovingly refer to her, Dilly, and I share a special bond.

It could be because she is also the 2nd oldest or middle child as I am, or it could be that her sense of humor/being a butt resonates with my inner toddler, it could be her sweet disposition (when she’s in the mood of course), or our ‘moments’ (which is when she runs up to me, says “Auntie Tomee, you found me!”, lays her tiny little head gently on my shoulder, and stays contently in my embrace for a few moments as I rock her back and forth) or it could be that she was born at a time in my life when I was struggling and holding her in my arms for the first time set my heart and mind straight with positivity in a way that no other being in my life had been able to. Whatever the reason, I feel incredibly blessed to have this little light in my life.

Dilly Toni

Dilly and I at the 2013 KidsAbility Fun Run

Shortly after her birth, we learned of Dilly’s hearing impairment caused by the genetic disorder Waardenburg Syndrome. Initially, human nature caused me to think of all of the challenges she may face – I worried about how children at school might treat her (kids can be SO mean!), or the people that would discount her abilities as she grew (because adults can be assholes), finished school, entered the working world, or even started dating (for the record, totally not my idea, Ben!).

However, as Dilly settled into her life at home, these worries quickly faded and soon seemed so silly. Between the familiarity/normalcy of the syndrome within our family, the wonderful healthcare providers at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital and the blessing of her cochlear implant and hearing aid, as she grew I knew she would be just fine.

Then we were introduced to KidsAbility.

Before Lillian, I had never heard of this AMAZING organization.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with KidsAbility, it is a local non-profit organization that provides rehabilitation services for children from birth to the age of 18, with developmental delays and disabilities, coordination disorders, physical disabilities, and communication difficulties. Specific to Lillian’s hearing impairment, KidsAbility works with her to ensure her speech is developing properly and on track. Not only does KidsAbility work with children to make sure they are developing to their own potential, but they also provide parents and caregivers the tools and understanding to help their children at home in their day-to-day routine that they might not otherwise have access to – and they do it all for FREE.

This past Friday I had the pleasure of tagging along to Dilly’s speech therapy appointment and I instantly understood why she gets so excited about these appointments. The environment and staff are welcoming, warm and kind. Between the giant play/waiting area, the staff and volunteers that are ready to strike up a conversation with the children and easily relate to them and the form of speech therapy which allows Lillian to showcase what she’s learning and where she needs help, it is evident KidsAbility’s focus is to help children realize their potential. 

KA Waiting Area

The KidsAbility play/waiting area

Throughout the appointment Lillian showed me just how much she gets out of these visits. While Julia is always sure to share with us how we can help Lillian and what new tools she is learning, seeing her interact with Heather was a great first-hand experience. They work through a variety of exercises which help Heather to determine where Lillian is excelling,where she needs a little more help and what next steps she should include for her to work on at home.

Heather working on sounds with Dilly at KidsAbility

Heather working on sounds with Dilly at KidsAbility

While KidsAbility has held a special place in my heart for some time now, after seeing first hand how much Lillian – as well as a few other children I was able to witness in therapy – receives from this unbelievable organization, I am even more determined to help this foundation in any way I can.

Last May, I was lucky enough to participate in the Cambridge Times Rotary Classic KidsAbility Fun Run, which is usually held on the last Sunday in May. Our kick-ass team – suitably named Team Lillian – was able to raise well over $2300 thanks to a ton of personal donations, as well as one large corporate donation from Kitchener-based LEDgendary Lighting (seriously cool Philips lighting and Color Kinetics products – check them out!).

2013's "Team Lillian"

2013’s “Team Lillian”

While gathering donations for this event, it made my heart happy to hear of the personal stories that people volunteered to share with me of how KidsAbility had helped their own children, nieces and nephews, or the children of friends. These stories reinforced the love I have for KidsAbility and instilled a desire in me to continue to participate in the KidsAbility Fun Run for as many years as I am able.

That being said, we are once again assembling a team for this year’s run! We will have our usual Facebook page, and link to our donation site up and running soon – if you would like to join our team, just let us know!

While the official site links and information have not been released (we will let you know when they are!), the sisters of Weather Vane Sisterhood are accepting donations as of today! We can arrange to meet with you in person to collect your donations, or you can email money transfer us your contribution to weathervanesisterhood@gmail.com.  

Remember: every little bit counts – to us, to you, to KidsAbility and most importantly, to the children. 

~ Toni