This One’s For You, Robbie M.


A visit from good friends had me in tears in my kitchen last night, but let me back up a little.

In the fashion of all great deadbeats, I’ve vanished from your lives again. Maybe you didn’t notice. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes at the suggestion that you would notice my complete and utter lack of writing. I’ve noticed, and as usual, I’ve been hurting from the absence of words to share. I’m a deadbeat. I’m owning it, and it’s hurting me more than it’s hurting you.

My excuses are almost always good. I went through a huge and cathartic reckoning where I had to account for some pretty heavy-duty shortcomings, and make amends with some pretty important people. That shit ain’t easy. It’s humbling, and painful, and it’s private, so I couldn’t really share the details. It took the piss out of me, and left with this raw combo of self-hatred, and newly acquired self-love. The latter is so weird and unfamiliar, that I had to constantly work at it to scrape through the few weeks leading up to the next big thing.

We moved. We’re still in the country, far away from city life, but now my nuclear family has a home of our own. There were bountiful blessings living with our in-laws, but it was most definitely time to find our own home, and it’s the perfect home for our unique family. What a gift from the Universe! Our pre-teen daughters get their own bedrooms and bathrooms (Hallelujah!) our little boy gets his own room and mommy has a private grown up bed again, and we all have a beautiful pool to enjoy. Hosting friends in our own space is a healing that I didn’t even know I needed. The house is wonderful, but this big change is not without some growing pains. For example:

I haven’t really slept well since mid May. Life stress leading up to the move, and trying to transition Noodle into his own bed has taken it’s toll. I need some great strategies to help transition this little guy so that he can sleep on his own, and I need a full night’s rest.

The dog is making us crazy. She’s SUPER high energy, very mouthy, not yet housebroken, and deaf. The children are somewhat terrified of her, because she’s drawn blood from all of us. I  bit off way more than I can chew here, I realize. It’s in my nature to throw my hands up from this frustration and walk away before I can reap the benefits of a mature relationship that has weathered the shit storm, in this case of puppy hood. I will fight that nature, because I really hate my ‘run for cover’ impulses, and I’ve committed to giving this dog a better life. She’s so beautiful, and when she looks at me with those hazel eyes…well, I’m keenly aware that neither of us are going anywhere. Sorry daddy, you’re just going to have to deal with this unruly fur baby of ours.

We’ve radically changed our diet and lifestyle. Our whole family has given up carbs of all kinds and sugars of all kinds. The adults stay below 30 net carbs per day, and our kids only get sugar from berries. No more wheat, grains, rice, etc. All gone. For just over two months now. A huge change, and I’ll tell you more about it in future posts. Why such radical change? Basically because the excessive amount of sugar in our diets is killing us, the information we are fed about ‘proper nutrition’ is a lie created by big agricultural corporations, and because I want to live as long as I can, in the very best shape I can be in. Reading, listening to podcasts and finding and cooking new recipes has eaten up so much time, but it’s been so very worth it.

But all of this is bullshit, isn’t it? There will always be excuses for why I don’t write, and I’ll never realize my dreams if I continue to cower behind life. Something else is always going on, but in the midst of this, there will always be time to write. If I don’t write it’s because I’m afraid. It’s because I’m succumbing to that external voice that tells me I have no right, that I have nothing to say.

I’m sorry that I fell into that well again. I’m sorry I haven’t been a better blogger. I’m sorry my novel is gathering dust, and that I judged all of those women in my last writing class for continuing to hammer away at the manuscripts they’d been working on for years. This writing business is unbelievably hard when I’m not doing it, and effortlessly easy when I am. It’s not easy to be a great writer, let’s be clear, it’s easy to find the words. They flow like honey, and I can barely type fast enough to catch this.

And so, in my kitchen last night, when my friend shared how much his brother enjoyed my writing, and was missing my posts, his brother who I never would have pegged in a million years as the kind of person who would like my style, I was moved to tears. My writer’s ego is huge and fragile. I realized in that moment that this guy is exactly the kind of guy I want to get to with my words. The kind of girl he would marry is the kind of girl I want to reach with my fiction. I felt like I was getting just the kick in the ass that I needed to pick up where I left off here.

So Robbie, this one’s for you. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it more than you can ever know.



The Motherfunk

To say that there has been a lot going on in our lives would be something of a massive understatement. It’s unlikely I’ll be posting with any regularity until June, so my apologies. In the meanwhile, I have something fun to share, just in time for Mother’s Day. Friends, particularly Toronto friends, let me introduce you to The Motherfunk!

Oonagh Duncan is a key soldier in my Army of Amazing Women, and she’s a personal trainer and fitness goddess who can now be seen regularly on the Steven and Chris Show. Here’s a clip of the Motherfunk in action. I laughed so hard watching this, that I can only assume the actual workout would be a total riot:

Now, Oonagh is shifting her MOTHERFUNK! program to a monthly charity event for Sick Kids and she wants to get a huge turn out and raise a shit ton of money. It’s a noble cause, a whole lot of fun, and a great way for new moms to get moving. Here’s why Sick Kids is so near and dear to Oonagh’s heart:
Some of you have already heard my story about why I’m so passionate about this cause. When I was pregnant with my first son, it was a crazy hot summer and my friend had a backyard pool (I know, right?) She was also pregnant and feeling the heat so she extended a broad invitation to anyone she had ever met who was pregnant to come and float in her pool on Tuesday afternoons and eat ice cream sandwiches. Best. A regular group of women started to show up and we shared way too much information about our bodies with each other, as one does during a first pregnancy. We called ourselves The Whales and, five years later, we have been through two rounds of babies, two trips, a near-divorce and two miscarriages. What started out with ice cream sandwiches has become what I’m sure will be a lifelong bond. Unfortunately, the Whales have proven a statistic anomaly as two of our babies were born with very serious congenital defects. William (now 4)  was born with serious heart problems and Oliver (now 2) was born with half of one lung. They were pretty scary times. In both cases, the staff at Sick Kids Hospital probably saved their lives…and their parents’ sanity. Which is why I want to raise a ton of money for the Hospital. 
Here are the details:
What: THE MOTHERFUNK! Toronto’s best dance party…that involves wearing a baby. Featured on the Steven and Chris show and named one of  Top 10 Fitness Trends by SHAPE Magazine
Who: Oonagh Duncan, pre and post natal fitness specialist and canfitpro Pro Trainer of the Year
When: Every second Thursday of the month, starting may 14th (right after Mother’s Day)
Where: Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Ave in Toronto
What time: 11:15am-12pm
How much: Pay what you can, suggested donation $15…100% of the proceeds go to the Sick Kids Foundation
Here’s an image and a link to the page on Oonagh’s site:
If you like me, you’ll love Oonagh. She radiates positive energy, she’s tonnes of fun, and every day I wish she had a You Tube channel so I could enjoy her work outs long distance. (Oonagh, get a damn You Tube channel already!)

Due Diligence, Disclosure, and Determination

So, our latest addition to the family, the adorable puppy I mentioned in my last post, is utterly and completely deaf. How do we know? Among many other tests designed to give off as little vibration as possible, we smashed the metal bottoms of two chafing dishes together over her head while she was sleeping and she didn’t even stir. Now I know why she barely ever barks. In honor of this unexpected wrench, today’s post is about due diligence, disclosure, and determination.


Sending Shanti back to the rescue wasn’t really an option. Deafness, though not ideal for a first-time family puppy, isn’t a deal-breaker in our books. In fact, I’m finding it kind of amazing to push beyond my voice to train this pup, and I think she’s teaching me to access parts of my senses that could really use a work out. My initial response, upon learning that our dog can’t hear, was to be really annoyed by the rescue organization that we adopted her from.

Due Diligence

Nekky called them to share our discovery and to ask for a reimbursement of enough of the adoption fee to cover the cost of a vibrating collar. To be clear, this isn’t a shock collar, it’s a collar that vibrates (like a cell phone) to grab the dog’s attention. Kind of a must-have in our circumstances. I was beyond satisfied when the contact at the rescue agreed to refund half the adoption fee and issue a tax receipt for the remaining half. She also said she would alert the other families who adopted Shanti’s sisters, in case the deafness was something they brought to the party too.

I couldn’t understand how the vet check the rescue claimed to have conducted (we got a receipt from this vet, and I wondered if it was real) could miss something so major. It seemed like a basic thing to check for. My own vet, our next-door neighbor, assured me it could be a very easy mistake, especially if the vet had all three puppies at once. We missed it ourselves, as the sleepiness of our puppy and the adorable chaos of her sister and the toddler at the foster home made things a bit distracting.


Would we have chosen this particular dog if we knew she was deaf? No way. I will freely admit to wanting our first puppy to be as simple as possible. I’m going to believe the rescue org when they say they had no idea that our dog was deaf, because I think most responsible rescues would be up front about such a thing to ensure that the dog finds a suitable home. Days after picking her up, we are already in love with her, bonded with her, and invested in her. We didn’t want to teach the kids that an issue like deafness meant that the dog had to go. Blindness, maybe, because I don’t even know how you would train a blind dog, but deafness is a highly workable dog training scenario. Dogs smell, see, and then hear. People hear, see and then smell. So, despite this surprise, we carry on as planned. We have an awesome trainer who we will work with once Shanti has her next round of shots, and in the meanwhile I’m grateful for the epic amount of information available.

We’ve already taught her how to sit, and come. Now we just need to get those puppy teeth under control!

Have you had a deaf dog? Know anyone who has? We’d love any tips or tidbits from you.

Resistance Is Fertile

There’s a thing I do in relationships which has been making relationships of all kinds incredibly difficult for most of my life. I take everything very, very personally. I can’t hear emotional criticism without falling deep into a black hole of self loathing, where the only thing that makes sense is leaving the relationship to spare everyone the awful reality of me. As I type this, from a well-rested, un-triggered and objective perspective this sentiment is totally ridiculous, but in those bleak moments it feels very, very real. On Tuesday, therapy day, I arrived at a new reality where I finally learned that resistance is fertile.

I sat in our therapist’s office with both of my partners and listened to feedback directly linked to my parenting shortcomings and for the first time I was able to talk myself down from the ledge. As I teetered on the lip of that black well of self loathing my inner voice said “hey, don’t do that. You’ve made some mistakes, some big ones, but you’re working really hard, and growing and all of the wonderful change you are making will be bigger and more memorable than any pain you’ve caused because you’re waking up now, and that is awesome.”

It wasn’t easy. I don’t want to mislead anyone here. As I realized my inner narrative was shifting, sounding so cheerily unlike me, my gut was to scoff at this, to dismiss it as cheesy and foolish but somehow I pushed through. I don’t know how I did it. I resisted the urge to go to that bleak place, and a bounty of open listening and present attention was waiting. Instead of having a shitty post-therapy day I enjoyed a yummy lunch with my partners at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and then got some good work done.

Here’s what I’ve been doing, and I think my success is thanks to these combined efforts:

Taking my vitamins regularly

Making careful, less carb-intense food choices and ‘treating’ myself with fruit and good chocolate instead of whatever crap I can grab from the candy shelf. (In our new house, the candy shelf will be eliminated.)

Exercising every day with at least twenty minutes of yoga

Going to bed earlier to make sure I can get eight hours of sleep and still wake up at 5:30 for my quiet, meditative yoga time

Tackling home organizing projects

Approaching work and money with care and organization

Taking self-imposed time outs when I need to, adjusting plans to reflect my level of anxiety (I love you, and I’ll see you soon, when I am more able to be present in your company!)

My internal/emotional process is finally slowing down, especially when I am triggered. There is time and space to be objective, and more empathetic. I can take better care of myself, and those around me. I’m resisting the old normal, and even in the moments when I slip, when I can’t catch myself before falling into negative behavior, I can bounce back more quickly and make apologies and amends with humility and grace.

I am good. I am a child of the Universe. I can change and grow and be deserving of the abundance of love in my life, and so can you.


Listen to Your Body

I’m in the eye of yet another cold, and I’ve been sick so many times this season, I’m starting to worry about larger issues. Have I mentioned that I’m a bit of a worrier when it comes to my health? We eat well – generally low carb, no processed foods, LOTS of vegetables and greens. I’ve been trying to do a bit of exercise each day, and take my vitamins, but here we go again with the runny nose business. My body is trying to tell me something, but I have no idea what that something is. I sleep just fine. I’m not particularly over-extending myself, at least I don’t think I am. If stress is an immune suppressor, I suppose that might be the problem. At any rate, I’m trying to listen to the messages I’m getting, and I’m choosing to slow down over the next few days.

Which means no Feminist Porn Awards. Boo. We need a grown up date, and I thought this would be an awesome experience for all of us to enjoy, and for me to share with you, but I suppose you’ll just have to go see for yourselves and send me a report.

There’s a screening event tonight with Filmmaker Erika Lust that I was particularly looking forward to. If any of you are curious about exploring porn, she’s an excellent place to start. I find her work beautiful, exciting, and incredibly accessible. EXPLICIT CONTENT ALERT: You can find her website here, and a link to her awesome X-confessions project here, where she turns the steamiest user-submitted sex secrets into short films.

The mother of two daughters decided to become a filmmaker to change the landscape of erotic film, and to celebrate sex from a female perspective. “I don’t want to get women out of porn, I want to get women INTO porn!” Porn isn’t going away, and it’s now the way most kids are getting their sex education. Ten minutes on Erika’s site made me feel excited and inspired to tuck myself away with her film collection and a box of Kleenex. For my cold, you little perverts! Maybe my body is telling me to stay home and have my own Feminist Porn Awards?

Check our Erika’s amazing TedX Talk here:

Here are the deets for the Feminist Porn Awards event with Erika Lust tonight. Please someone, go for me and tell her that I love her.

Royal Cinema

608 College St.

Phone: (416) 466-4400

Event at 7pm

Tickets $12 in advance/$15 at the door (cash only at the door)/Premium Tickets $115 in advance/$140 at the door. Get tickets here or in person at Good For Her in Toronto . Sliding scale tickets available at Good For Her.

Premium tickets include preferential reserved seating to all three FPA events, VIP cocktail party with the stars on April 17th and gift bag of toys and treats courtesy of Lelo, Pjur Lubricant, Wicked Sensuals, Good Releasing DVDs, Tenga, VIP tickets to the Everything to do with Sex Show.

The Royal is wheelchair accessible event space. The bathroom unfortunately is not wheelchair accessible. Any attendees who require an attendant can gain access for their PSW free of charge by emailing us for a free ticket or by speaking with a staff person at the event.