Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wreck It Ralph Costume

Motor Mouth wanted to be Wreck It Ralph for Halloween. Except...There are NO Wreck It Ralph costumes! The movie isn't even in theaters yet.

Motor Mouth emailed me a pic of Wreck It Ralph. Then he kept asking if we finished his costume. I told him that "Daddy and I GOT this." Then we'd look at each other and whisper "We don't have this, do we?"

J to the rescue!!! J found these two shirts at a thrift store for maybe $4 total. The brown fabric is from JoAnne Fabrics, maybe $14 total.

I crawled into bed at about midnight the night before Motor Mouth needed his costume for a party. J had been asleep and woke up then.

When I woke up the next morning, J had sewed these overalls without a pattern! Look at the detail! It was MAYBE his third time using a sewing machine.

I'm pretty proud of my man. The smile on Motor Mouth's face said it all.

FYI...J cut the neck of the orange shirt to make the v-shape. You can make this with an overalls pattern or buy a white pair of overalls and dye them brown with RIT dye.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

1000th Post

I hit my 1,000th post two posts ago. The one about the Road Trip. Had I been posting regularly, I would have hit the 1,000th post a loooooong time ago. But this is good. I'm glad it was that road trip post because that trip represents an important turning point in the relationship with my BFF. I'm still referring to Usher as my BFF, but he is more like a brother to me after our trip together. I guess almost 20 hours in a car together can either bring you closer or drive a wedge. Fortunately, it brought us closer.

My 1001st post was about someone I cared about many years ago but who has since passed away. It was an important post for me. Ever since I lost a dear friend, Grant Kent, many years ago, I have been slow to mourn the loss of people dear to me. It was nice to say goodbye to Michael Burdi in that post. One day I really should tell you about Grant Kent. He was pretty great.

I started blogging to post photos of our son. And because I felt like I could help make the world a little better place. Do more for your country than your country does for you. That sort of thing. Then I really got into it. When I was a stay@home mom, I blogged all the time. Who knew that four new blogs would out of it and one of those blogs would have more than double my traffic here at Widney Woman. It's because of the Husband Hat pattern I made. I had to create Widney Woman Creative to manage all the extra traffic. It is insane traffic. Insane, I tell you! It makes me chuckle.

If you are a faithful follower, you know that I have not exactly been faithful to post of late. Part of that is because I am so much busier at work and our kids are so involved in swimming. Honestly, though, for two years, I have not been able to post what I would like to because of the day-to-day life ramifications it would hold - not necessarily on me but on the lives of those around me. The last year has been a struggle and while I tend to share my struggles openly, my emotions were far too raw. But I'm coming out of that dark place and hope to be able to share some of the cool and not so cool stuff with you soon.

Join me in raising a glass to the next 1,000!!!

Michael Burdi

Last year, we visited downtown Toronto with the kids. It was the first time my husband really got to see the Toronto I LOVE. We always went downtown in the bitter cold months. Not sure why, really.

At any rate, I took J and the kids past where I worked, lived, loved for my formative years. I showed them where I had been a computer consultant at the Scotiabank head office and the former Sears Canada head office. Where I shopped. Where I went to see movies and the chi-chi salon where I had my hair done. We drove up Yonge Street. They saw street cars and subway stops I frequented. It was a beautiful spring day. Perfect really.

I showed my family where my first apartment was. And my next home in Toronto. It was the third home that saddened me. This is where I lived along with Michael Burdi. Michael owned a cute, brick bungalow. He lived on the main floor and rented the newly renovated lower floor to me for a few years.

Michael owned a hair salon for years. Salon on the Avenue. He drove a Mercedes in the winter and a corvette in the summer. He smoked like a chimney and had a heart of gold. He was an amazing stylist. Michael cut my hair once. I've had some amazing hair cuts. But that one, I still remember. My hair fell perfectly ALL. THE. TIME. For months!!! It was a GREAT cut.

As we drove along Brooke Avenue last spring, I saw that many of the older homes had been demolished and new homes built. Sadly, 290 Brooke Ave was one of those such casualties. It was really sad for me. I had lived there longer than anywhere else I had lived in Toronto. It was (and still is) a great neighborhood. I remember running to the bus stop in my heels. LOL.

I had searched for Michael Burdi before my visit. I found an obituary. Sadly, Michael passed away at his home in 2008. What was really sad was how life seemed to just go on as if he never lived. People shopped and ate on Avenue Road. They went to the grocery store. To the hair salon. His house was replaced. His salon no longer there.

It made me sad. This person I loved was gone and life just went on without him. Michael did not have children. He loved his nieces and nephews like his own. He talked about them often. My hope is that Michael lives in on the hearts of memories of his nieces and nephews. That they remember how special their uncle was and share that with their children. I don't have a photo of Michael. But I remember his face clearly. And his laugh. And his kind heart.

I know that dying is the way of life. That death is a part of the life cycle. And that people die every day and life has to move on. I think I just wasn't ready to move on yet. This blog post is my way of finally saying "Good bye" to Michael Burdi.

"Good Night, Sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." - Hamlet 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Road Trip!!!

We needed to visit my family in Canada. 
We were all set to go for the Canadian Thanksgiving, but J got a job and didn't think it would be prudent to take time off ten days after starting...

It looked like the road trip was on hold. 
Until my BFF, Usher, told me his brother bailed 
on a road trip to the Buffalo, NY area. 

The next thing you know, 
Usher, Mini Me, Motor Mouth and I were on a road trip!

We visited with my parents, siblings, nieces, nephews. 

Took our annual sibling photo!

I hung out with my nieces and nephews!

We met back up with Usher for the drive back home.

There was some limbo dancing involved.

All in all, it was a really great trip.

But it's ALWAYS nice to be HOME!

Grandpa Fly Guy in the House

The other day, Grandpa Fly Guy came to visit for Grand Friends Day at school.

He is flying solo these days.
This visit was so much more fun and more relaxed than ever before. 

Grandpa Fly Guy visited Mini Me in her classroom for about an hour.

Then he visited Motor Mouth in his classroom for about an hour.

Grandpa was actively involved in each kiddo's learning environment.

The weekend was filled with fishing!!!

All in all, it was a really delightful visit.

We can hardly wait for another visit from Grandpa Fly Guy!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Giving Thanks

I am Canadian. Je suis Canadienne. In honor of the Canadian Thanksgiving today, I'm going to honor someone I love dearly and respect highly. I am supremely thankful for my father-in-law, Daryl Widney (aka Fly Guy).

There are precious few men in this world who are as amazing and generous as Fly Guy. Fly Guy is not one of those guys that give kisses and bear hugs. He doesn't open his mouth and say "I love you" every time. But he does show his love in many ways.

Following are excerpts from text messages I sent to my father-in-law recently...

For what it is worth, you may not have hugged me much in the last 14 years but here are my memories of how you told me you love me in your language. You could not have loved me like this if you had sat on your butt and never worked hard to eventually own your own companies. Thank you, Fly Guy. I love you back!

Experiences your love and genuineness of heart gave to me (and many of these you also gave to the rest of your family):

- telling me if I can't be your daughter-in-law I would just have to be your daughter,

- inviting me to live with your family when J and I got engaged,

- trekking me all across Texas where you had me sample foods I never heard of before,

- flying me around the country in helicopters and private jets,

- showing me off-shore drilling rigs,

- taking me to oil and gas well sites (I have not forgotten the rattlesnake scare you gave me in the Pecos desert),

- explaining the petroleum, and aeronautical industries to me,

- taking me to a flight simulator facility,

- being proud to introduce me to your millionaire friends,

- taking me to Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, and all over Oklahoma,

- taking time to teach me stuff about everywhere you took me,

- watching you engage with children (not just my own),

- being an amazing grandfather to my kids,


- Driving a Hummer around town
- Me, off-roading to an oil well in a HUMMER!!!
- Riding Harley's

My first 4th of July was spent on a speed boat, a yacht and a BIG yacht on Grand Lake with fireworks and the fighter jets flying over!

Vegas, Baby!!! How could I possibly forget Vegas! Grand Canyon was fogged in but you still took me there.

- The Jag (my company car)
- Scooters
- Horses
- 4-wheelers
- Dirt bikes
- The boat
- That swing by the pond!!!

Oh! Who rides a bulldozer? Much less gets to rip out a tree and help dig a pond that her kids now LOVE to fish in?!

- Shooting guns. A 9-millimeter at that.

- Karaoke. So I don't sing well but it sure was fun.

- The farm with Kent and Gene. The cows. Calf fries.

- Flying a plane to/from the farm. Me. Flying a plane!

You treat my son's birth mom's girls like your own grand children. They call you "Grandpa!"

- Disney World
- Daytona Beach
- Emory Riddle
- 5 star hotels
- Top restaurants
- Pensacola trips x2
- Flying across country in a helicopter
- Cirque du Soleil Disney
- Downtown Disney
- Universal Florida
- Flying the coast line in a helicopter
- 2 helicopter conventions

- Bristol Tennessee to the Bell helicopter facility. Um. WoW! Flying in a corporate jet with execs then being picked up by 2 massive helicopters and flown to the Bell facility for the day. Um. Wow!

- Night vision goggles
- Laser
- Magnetic ball thing

This Canadian girl had never seen:
- the Continental Divide,
- the Mississippi River,
- the White Water Scandal river,
- the Tennessee mountains,
- the Rockies,
- swamp land in Mississippi,
- or forest fires.

- Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert!!! And dinner at Nonna's! That was one of the best nights ever as a family!!!!!

- Dinner in OKC with the Walkingsticks after great-Grandma's funeral. YOU paid for EVERYone's meal - your wife's siblings and spouses and kids!!!!!!!

The trip to Colorado was amazing for me. You took the time to explain all kinds of stuff to me. History, where we were, details, so much knowledge imparted on me.

Colorado Springs is one of my FAVORITE places and a DREAM living destination because you took me there and told me about it.
- Breckinridge, Denver, Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods.

- A volcano!!! You took me to a volcano!

I LOVE Blue Angels because you introduced flying to my son and took us to my first American air shows.

Yeah, you've given me a few hugs and said you love me a few times but I never needed that to know you valued hard work, respect, people who think and question, honesty, integrity. You taught it by giving of the fruit of your labor.

Footnote: This list may seem materialistic. It is NOT. This recognizes that everyone has their own love language. Their own way of saying they love and care about you. Their own way of hearing and receiving your love. This is the love language of my father-in-law. I think he has spoken volumes.

Thank you, Fly Guy! The Chicago Widneys love you back!