Monday, January 26, 2015

For the Love Of...Home with Judy Bowman

Good Monday Everyone!

And welcome to another edition of For the Love Of...

Home is not always where you expect to find it and sometimes it's more than you expected it to be. Today, my good friend Judy Bowman describes in her beautifully expressive way her journey to finally finding home.


For the love of...

There are so many ways to finish that phrase and it is difficult for me to pick just one. So, when I mapped all of them out on a page, I discovered that my family, friends, the stars, the trees, the river in all seasons, sunrise and sunset, and my gardens and rocks are all elements of Home, that each plays a part in my sense of belonging. 
Family and friends.  My children are grown, and grandchildren fast growing through childhood. They consider my house home even though they’ve never lived here. Even Nick Ma who stayed with us for four months last year tells me he is coming home for Christmas while he studies in Canada. When my friend Cindy comes out for tea and a rave, she is family.  I feel  the house lean in, listen and laugh. It is probably our Mrs. Loggie, dead but not departed, eavesdropping and wondering, “what in the world are they talking about?” as Nick did when he was learning English. “Do you understand anything we say?” We’d ask. He shook his head, spread his arms and said,” Drama! Lots of Drama!”
The other element that contributes to my sense of place is the unique construction of this old story and a half.  George Loggie built this house over 100 years ago.  He must have been a short man.  Perhaps men of different heights helped him. Judging by the varying height of the doors, I estimate these carpenters to be  less than six feet tall and surely toddled around on tiny feet.  My son has to duck through the doors and half his foot hangs over each step.  He’s always tripping on the short, thirteen-step stairway.  There isn’t a right angle or level floor.  Depending on the room, the slant slides north, south, east and west.  Rule is:  don’t leave anything that can roll on a table.  If you do and it goes missing, look in the far corner.  Or, ask Mrs. Loggie to find it, as we do on a regular basis. She is reliable. That said, I am all slanted and crooked in many ways and not perfect but comfortable.
Until I moved into this house, the longest I had lived anywhere was six years.  My husband and I owned three homes during the course of our marriage but all in the same area of Waterloo so my children could stay in one school and keep the same friends. This was very important to me. My parents were gypsies, not Rom, but transient. Sometimes we moved several times a year. At final count, I changed schools 22 times.   My siblings and I were blessed that we could count on my grandparents to fetch us when health issues and other troubles caught up with my parents. And they did without fail. In foster care in Lachine Quebec, I used to dream of just crossing the street and I would be at my grandmother’s house.  That image sustained me when I was on the road with my parents heading to the next Promised Land. My grandmother’s house is still very much part of me.  I can smell the wood, the cellar, the air in June and see the moon path on the river. Because of those memories of home, I’ve tried to create a haven for grandchildren.
The legacy of my transient lifestyle is to be restless several times a year.  Since I wasn’t changing homes as often, I moved the furniture several times a year.  I still do.  My house and belongings are in an uproar of a mess but I actually feel comforted by this and as I sort and organize, I feel better.  Right now I am in the process of changing rooms and furniture and complaining about the mess, but as I am writing this, I see that this is a way of restructuring and renewing.  I should be good until September.  
When my husband and I moved here over twenty years ago, I had a difficult time settling in as I always did.  The culture, though Canadian, is very different. I mentally had my bags packed for at least 12 of those years because this was not my idea of home.
A wise woman said to me that home is a place we carry inside, not a place on a map.  I would say that is partially true, because where and how we live helps grow the sense of home within.  I credit my family, friends  and landscape to helping me root and grow here.  Every part of my life matters. 
It is in writing about the love of home that I realize that I am in that place. I love driving up the lane after work.  Every morning I run down to get my coffee and go back to bed and drink it as daylight comes. It is a sacred time for me. Now, in winter, I see the sunrise at the horizon. In summer I wait until it tops the leafy trees.  
In the summer, I plant a garden and hover like a new mother over the seedlings.  Just watching carrots grow is a lesson in patience because it takes months.  Being in the garden reminds me of a larger sense of belonging, that I have a small place on this earth and here for a long while yet, I hope. But who knows?  The main thing is I’m home now.


Thank-you to Judy for being a guest on For the Love Of...Judy is a very talented writer and poet who also has her own blog. Find Judy and her some of her writings at...

If you know someone who has a love they would like to share, or if you would like to share a story about something you love, please drop me a line at

Thanks for stopping by. On Monday, February 9th, my guest will be Morgan Lee, whom I've only met virtually, but I know she'll have a wonderful story to share with all of you.

Here's to whatever you love,


Thursday, January 22, 2015

This One's for My Sean

There are two very specific things that I remember about the morning after Sean’s 20th birthday; he looked absolutely awful and I couldn’t wait to make fun of him. He’d been out late the night before, imbibing too much with his friends, and as he lay moaning on a table in our drama classroom, blocking his vision from the nasty lights with one arm, I took great joy in teasing him. To be honest, it made me happier than was appropriate since I was dating someone else at the time, and I always tried to ignore the butterflies that danced in my stomach every time I talked to him.

A year later, less 2 days, at a surprise party for Sean, thrown for him by yours truly, he held my hair back as I spent some quality time with the toilet after having imbibed too much with his friends. (Side note, don’t drink with Sean’s friends.) He didn’t scold me as I whined. He didn’t tease me, even though I deserved it. I had never felt so cared for which is probably why I knew that it was the perfect time to tell him, for the first time, that I loved him. Thankfully he returned the sentiment in kind and continued to sit with me until I felt better. 

Today, Sean is 40. For the last 20 years we’ve learned, grown, embraced, fought, changed, loved, challenged, struggled, cried, cared, wondered, hoped, dreamed, laughed, celebrated, and grieved together. We’ve moved seven times, (twice across the country) bought a house, a car, between the two of us worked at least 30 jobs, and are now raising the most incredible daughter. We are healthy, have lots of friends, and good families. Life, in short, has been and continues to be good to us.

Last night, when Sean was chatting with a friend, I overheard him paraphrasing Tolkien. (Yes Sir, I was dropping eaves.) He said something along the lines of having once read that Tolkien said that you don’t really know that you’ve married the right person until you’ve been together for around 20 years, walked the long road with that person. For myself, I knew Sean was the right person for me, was my forever the moment I first asked him on a date. The last 20 years have only confirmed and strengthened this certainty. He is the most giving person I've even met. He is very intelligent and a deep thinker. He is loving, absolutely hilarious, more talented than he'll ever admit, and incredibly brave. The longer we walk our road together, the longer I want our road to be. He’s my best friend, my life, my everything. Every day I feel a true sense of happiness that he is mine and ever beautifully mystified, but grateful, that he chose me to walk the long road with me.
Happy 40th Birthday to my love, my heart, my forever reason to dance.

Happy 40th Birthday to my Sean.

Monday, January 12, 2015

For the Love Of...Balance with Lisa Savage

Hello and Good Monday to you all!

I am so lucky and proud to have my very, very good friend Lisa Savage on my blog today. Lisa is my third guest on, For the Love Of...She's here to share how trying something new can teach you a lot about yourself and find balance even in a very busy life.

Everybody please, give a warm welcome to Lisa.


I have, what I consider to be, a pretty busy life. With two young children, a day job as a social worker, a home to maintain, and all of the other day-to-day things that life entails, I sometimes feel like I am juggling more tasks than I can handle. This feeling has been especially strong since this past fall as I was feeling like nothing I did received 100% of my attention or ability, and I was really seeking balance in my life and something outside of the day-to-day tasks to focus on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining; I love my family, I like my job, I'm happy with my life, but sometimes you just need something a little bit different to change your outlook or your focus and get you outside of your normal routine. That’s when Jamberry came along.

If you've never heard of Jamberry well, let me tell you, it is amazing!! Jamberry nails wraps are heat activated vinyl wraps, kind of like nail stickers that you apply to your fingernails or toenails and they last for over a week on your fingers and up to six weeks or more on your toes. I have never been one to focus on my nails or to want to have them painted all the time but from the first time I tried Jamberry I have been in love. It was in November when my friend Kari, who is also an Independent Consultant, posted on her Facebook page that she was looking for people to join her team and become consultants that I thought maybe this could be an option for me. If you know me well, you know that the direct sales approach is not really something that I lean toward naturally. After all, I don't even like to ask people for money and I certainly hate to feel like I am bothering somebody, and promoting myself and my product and is a little bit of a step outside of my comfort zone. However, I have come to discover that this is a good thing and it's something that I think I needed at this time of my life.

One of the things that I love about selling Jamberry is when people are kind of skeptical at first and seem to be thinking, they’re silly nail stickers, how great can they be?! Then they try a sample and they're amazed at how long they last, how good they look, and how much they like them. I love to see people realize that this is a really great product and something that they would love to have. One of the best parts of becoming a Jamberry Independent Consultant is how much closer Kari and I have gotten through this whole process. She has been an unending source of support and encouragement and an amazing leader and friend to me. If that's the one thing that I take away from this Jamberry experience than that is enough. It's only been a couple short months since I've taken on this new challenge in my life but I’ve already learned a lot about myself and I'm grateful for that. Sometimes it can be a little stressful to have added this new challenge into my already busy life but every time I complete another task related to Jamberry whether it be an online party, a home party, learning something new, I feel a renewed sense of pride and a feeling of positivity that I was able to do it. I never realized that going outside your comfort zone (ie: direct sales for me) could be a scary, yet good feeling and seeing results, monetary and otherwise from my hard work, in such a short time makes me feel really proud and pleased to be a member of the Jamberry team. The emphasis on a team approach is very strong among Jamberry Independent Consultants and there are so many consultants willing to help, provide resources and information, and lend a hand so each of us can succeed. 
I think I’ll always remember the night I decided to be a Jamberry consultant. Not that it was really profound but it was a different kind of decision than one that I would usually make. I had been considering Kari's post on Facebook and while she was visiting one evening we talked about how I was thinking about joining the team and my apprehensions about it. Cindy was also there and both of them were very encouraging even though I was being indecisive (a normal thing for me) and not sure what to do. I felt so much support from both Kari and Cindy during the whole discussion. Right before Cindy left that evening she said to me, go ahead and do it; your work life is really busy and hectic maybe it would be nice to have something different, something positive to focus on. At that moment I decided I would take a chance and give it a try. I guess it was the fact that two of my closest friends were encouraging me and had faith in me that really made me feel like I could take the plunge and take a chance. I am so glad that I did. 

So this is all to say that it's not just the fact that I started selling “nail stickers” that that has been a positive change in my life, but it's what it has brought to me personally that I am grateful for. And even though my day-to-day life has become even busier since taking on this extra “job”, somehow I feel like there is greater balance in my life…I'm not even sure how that's possible…but I feel like the need to find time for family, relationships, and myself has taken on an even more important role and I have found a way to put more emphasis on each of those things since I've added Jamberry to my life.

Thank-you Kari and Cindy for encouraging me to take on this positive new challenge! Thank you also, Cindy, for asking me to be on your blog! It's been another challenge to think of how to put all of this into words but it's a been a nice reflection for me and I'm grateful for the opportunity! 

Thank you all for reading this as well and if you’re interested in these nail wraps that I am always gushing about check out my...

Facebook business page: Lisa Savage Jamberry Independent Consultant
Or my website: Lisa Savage Jamberry Nails 


Thanks again very much to Lisa for popping by today. I can't agree more that finding balance in one's life helps you to focus on what means the most to you.

If you know anyone who would has a love you think people should know more about, please write me at I'm always looking for guests for For the Love Of.

Until next time,

Here's to what you love,


PS: Jamberry's are pretty cool. Even Batman likes them.