Stuck on a Crazy Train_Small-Town Girl at Heart Stuck on a Crazy Train Originally Published: March 22, 2020 Revised: January 22, 2021 There’s a song by Ozzy Osbourne with a line in the chorus that goes, “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.” For about a year and a half, I felt like this song described my life. I was stuck on a crazy train of anxiety and depression and the train was barreling along the tracks towards a deep ravine without a train bridge. There’s a scene exactly like this in the 1990 film Back to the Future Part III when Doc and Marty, who are stranded in 1885, convert a steam engine into a time machine that will take them back home to the future.  Unfortunately for me, the crazy train I was riding on was not a time machine that would allow me to skip the current events in my life and move on to something better.…

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Stuck on a Crazy Train_Small-Town Girl at Heart

Stuck on a Crazy Train

Originally Published: March 22, 2020 Revised: January 22, 2021 There’s a song by Ozzy Osbourne …

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A Christmas to Remember, Small-Town Girl at Heart

A Christmas to Remember

A couple of weeks ago, I mailed out a few handmade Christmas cards to family …

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Cultivating a Thankful Heart

Cultivating a Thankful Heart during Hard Times

I’m especially thankful for my family. We have been through a lot together and we have had (and still have) more than our share of hardships, but those hardships have bonded us together like glue, and not just any ordinary glue—it’s a Crazy Glue kind of bond. There is very little that can separate us—we’ve already been through the fire and survived.

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You are Loved, Small-Town Girl at Heart

You are Loved

Imagine reading the words, “You were created to be loved,” at a time when you …

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New Beginnings, Small-Town Girl at Heart

New Beginnings

J.P. Morgan once said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” As I write this blog entry, I have finally decided to not stay where I’ve been for the past twelve years of my life.

Over the past several years, I have been asking myself the same questions over and over again: Is this it? Is this all there is to life? Work, sleep, prepare for work, eat, and cram the rest of my life and relationships into the one or two hours left of the evening and on the weekends? Is this really the meaning of life? If it is, why do I have this nagging feeling like I’m missing something?

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Rose-Coloured Glasses - Small-Town Girl at Heart

Taking Off My Rose-Coloured Glasses

Reflections on Systematic Racism and Oppression in Canada

Have you heard the phrase “looking through rose-coloured glasses?” It is an idiom that has been used since the 1840’s to describe a way of looking at life with optimism and cheerfulness. According to Grammarist, a person who looks at things through rose-coloured glasses “looks on the bright side, sees the glass half full and looks for a silver lining in all things.” This type of person sees the world as a good place, is upbeat and hopeful, brimming with optimism and positive thinking…

When my social media newsfeed began filling up with posts about racism and systematic injustice and oppression about a month ago, I commented on several of these posts expressing my shock that racism against the black community still happens in the world today.

I had several conversations with family members on this subject and made the claim that racism against the black community doesn’t happen here at home in Canada.

My father-in-law graciously pointed out that, while I may not have seen racism happening against the black community at home, it is very evident against the indigenous community in our country.

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First Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask

First Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask

A Self-Care Journey, Part 3 Last week I shared an article about what self-care is …

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A Christmas to Remember, Small-Town Girl at Heart A Christmas to Remember A couple of weeks ago, I mailed out a few handmade Christmas cards to family and friends who I won’t be able to visit this Christmas. I wanted to send them a few words of encouragement and to let them…

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Cultivating a Thankful Heart Cultivating a Thankful Heart during Hard Times I’m especially thankful for my family. We have been through a lot together and we have had (and still have) more than our share of hardships, but those hardships have bonded us together like glue, and not just any ordinary…

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You are Loved, Small-Town Girl at Heart You are Loved Imagine reading the words, “You were created to be loved,” at a time when you feel like nobody loves you. Then imagine hearing a whisper in your ear, “Lovely child, I love you,” after spending years believing the lie that…

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New Beginnings, Small-Town Girl at Heart New Beginnings J.P. Morgan once said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” As I write this blog entry, I have finally decided to not stay where I’ve been for the past…

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Rose-Coloured Glasses - Small-Town Girl at Heart Taking Off My Rose-Coloured Glasses Reflections on Systematic Racism and Oppression in Canada Have you heard the phrase “looking through rose-coloured glasses?” It is an idiom that has been used since the 1840’s to describe a way of looking at life with optimism and cheerfulness.…

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First Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask A Self-Care Journey, Part 3 Last week I shared an article about what self-care is and what it is not (see blog post here) and the week before I shared a story of my own self-care journey (see blog post…

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Self-Care: That Thing You Do To Keep the Motor Running Self-Care: That Thing You Do To Keep the Motor Running Last week I shared a story about my own struggles with self-care and how I fell prey to the lie that productivity is the key to success (see blog post here). Today, I want to explain what self-care is and…

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The Lies Productivity Whispers in Your Ear, A Self-Care Journey The Lies Productivity Whispers in Your Ear I’m terrible at self-care and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I never really understood what self-care is. I’ve always had this impression of self-care as “girly-girl” activities, such as manicures, pedicures, facials, spas, hair dos, body sugaring, etc……

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Mother's Day without Mom, Small-Town Girl at Heart A Mother’s Day without Mom Mother’s Day during a pandemic is new territory for many of us, although the absence of our mothers may be familiar territory for a few of us. Some of us have the opportunity to live in the same house with…

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Be Still_Finding Peace in Times of Trouble_Small-Town Girl at Heart Be Still: Finding Peace in Times of Trouble A little more than three weeks ago, I had a panic attack as the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic pressed down on me. Prior to this, I hadn’t given the pandemic much thought. The lockdowns haven’t inconvenienced me all that…

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The Stress Monster Cover The Stress Monster Do you remember the opening scene in Star Wars: A New Hope when Darth Vader grips a crewmember aboard Princess Leia’s ship in a chokehold as he asks questions about where the transmission with the Death Star plans are? Stress…

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Social Distancing 25 Ways to Stay Social While Social Distancing The Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) that is currently affecting the world has dramatically changed the way we interact with other people… When uncertain and difficult times charge the air like static electricity, we are susceptible to shocks of fear and doubt.…

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Stuck on a Crazy Train_Small-Town Girl at Heart Stuck on a Crazy Train Originally Published: March 22, 2020 Revised: January 22, 2021 There’s a song by Ozzy Osbourne with a line in the chorus that goes, “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.” For about a year and a half, I…

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Not An All Weather Road Sign Not an All Weather Road I have always had an explorative spirit, although it has simmered down a little over the years because my husband, “Teddy,” doesn’t care to explore. He grew up in the city all his life and never had the privilege of…

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Village Well, Tarlac, Philippines A Well of Hope a Philippines Travel Experience A year ago this week, I went on a vacation I will never forget. My husband and I joined several members of his family (immediate and extended) on a trip to the Philippines to visit the…

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A New Year To Be_Small-Town Girl at Heart A New Year to Be Originally Published: December 29, 2019 Revised: December 30, 2020 It’s that time of year when we take some time to look back on what we accomplished in the past year and to plan what we will accomplish in the next…

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The Christmas List, Small-Town Girl at Heart The Christmas List *Disclaimer: “The Christmas List” is a work of fiction and does not represent any real people or charitable organizations. It was four weeks before Christmas and I still hadn’t finished writing my Christmas list. Mom wanted it on her desk…

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A Heart That Grew Three Sizes - Small-Town Girl at Heart A Heart That Grew Three Sizes Originally Published: December 15, 2019 Revised: December 14, 2020 The Christmas season is the busiest time of the year and sometimes I wonder if it’s worth all the stress, extra work and late nights. Don’t get me wrong: I love…

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Sweeter Than Chocolate, Small-Town Girl at Heart Sweeter Than Chocolate When I was a child, Christmas was the most anticipated season of the year.  It couldn’t have been a happier time—with the setting up of the Christmas tree and decorations; the hours spent in the wet snow building snowmen, forts,…

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Christmas Angel, Small-Town Girl at Heart Christmas Angel When I was thirteen, I met an angel, named Wayne, two days before Christmas in 1998 following a car accident involving my aunt, my two sisters, and me during our last-minute Christmas shopping expedition to downtown Winnipeg.  The traffic on…

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01_Ferris_Wheel_2011 Control Freak I loved going to the carnival when I was a kid. There was something so entrancing about the carnival—it was a whole new world full of wonder. There was popcorn and cotton candy, hotdogs and nachos, mini donuts and pork…

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Love Love is All You Do In the summer of 1967 the Beatles released a song titled “All You Need Is Love,” which reached international success and became the anthem for the “flower power” hippie movement over that summer. The song had profound political implications during…

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Giving Thanks Small-Town Girl at Heart Giving Thanks Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend in Canada, which means it’s that time of year for me to contemplate what I’m thankful for. Usually I have no trouble making a list, but these last few years I have felt it…

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A Boomerang Called Kindness, Small-Town Girl at Heart A Boomerang Called Kindness The subject of kindness has been tugging at my heartstrings for a number of years, but it has tugged the hardest most recently when my husband and I walked by an elementary school in our neighborhood and found laminated pink…

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