Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When I Grow Up

Most of my life, I've thought I had it all figured out. I always had a dream, a goal, of what I wanted to be "when I grew up". At the time this picture was taken, I was quite confident in telling the world that I was going to be a ballerina, and a cowgirl. Yes, both - many people hold two jobs in this day and age. Okay, make that 3 (or 4?) jobs...I've always wanted to be a wife and a Mommy. As I got a bit older, my goal shifted slightly - still staying in the equine world, I might add - and for years I was *sure* that I was going to be a "horse vet". How many 5 year olds do you know, who have their future planned right down to which school they're going to attend? (University of Guelph, of course). As time went on, my goals shifted yet again. I had come to realize that being a veterinarian was going to take A LOT more work than I had bargained for, and although I was a good student I wasn't sure that my intellegence was up to par. I know it's not ideal to doubt oneself, but I'll just call it honesty. Instead, upon entering highschool I had decided that I would work towards becoming a Veterinary Technician. That was it, I had decided, my classes were chosen, and I worked my skinny little butt off to get towards that goal. I really was a great student, firmly planted on my highschool's Honour Roll, and even considered for Validictorian of my graduating class. Unfortunately, that was not quite good enough. Nope, apparently the only college education I'd be receiving would come from the "School of Hard Knocks". Applications were submitted, admission exams written, letters of recommendation handed over, and campus visits made. At the time, there were only 5 schools in the province who offered the Vet. Tech. program...each recieving approximately 600-700 applications, and each accepting a maximum of 40 students. I knew my chances were slim. Spring approached, and the school was abuzz with seemed that everyone around me was receiving admission acceptance letters, it was so exciting. I waited. And waited. And eventually received a couple of "waiting list" offers, but my admission letter never came. I felt shameful and embarassed when friends would cheerfully ask, "so where are you going next year?", because my answer had to be "nowhere". I was suddenly faced with a big "Oh Shit" moment...what was I going to do? I had it all planned, did everything I was supposed to do, but it didn't work out. And now I didn't know what to do next. Fortunately, I was already employed by veterinary clinic, and they kindly allowed me to begin full-time employment upon graduation. I was trained to do many of the tasks of a technician...minus the paycheque of an educated individual. Which I might add, turns out to not be as high as you might expect. A couple of years later, I came to the conclusion that I was unhappy with my career choice - I adored working with the animals, but the people (owners) were no treat. It also began to bother me that I was able to accept the sad situations so easily, as "just another day". To be completely honest, I am thankful that my "plan" didn't work out. I would have been in debt for thousands upon thousands of dollars for a career that I ended up not enjoying, and would have stressed my relationship with my now-husband beyond belief. Instead, I was able to follow a different path to my "dream job", and stray away again without incident...I was able to follow my other dream of falling head-over-heels in love, getting married and making beautiful babies. These three people are now my whole world, and I wouldn't trade it for a single minute of college education!
...But...Yes, there is a but...
Now what? I'm happy - I am truely happy. Yet I still feel like I need to do something more. I find myself slowly creeping up to the Big 3-0, yet I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up". Rather...I want to be SO MANY things, that I don't know which way to turn! I have many things that I am passionate about, and would love to make a career of, but honestly don't know how. Currently, I am a Gold Canyon Candle is a fantastic company to work with, I am in love with the products, and can't complain about the extra income! But is it forever? Given my track record...probably not. But I'll still make an honest try, as I really do enjoy it! I am also an on-again-off-again entrepreneur, having created my own business "Babylove By Jackie". My loyal readers will remember this - and after ANOTHER brief break I am back at it! I just can't seem to stay away from this one...that must mean something. I do enjoy to sew, but get overwhelmed when I get too busy - so with a few tweaks to my business plan, I will give it yet another try! What else do I want to do, you may ask? Well...let me tell you! Brace yourself, and pull up a comfy chair - you're gonna be here a while. Some things I would LOVE to do, but for various reasons have been unable...
- Own and operate a small horse boarding facility. Horses have always been my Number One passion, and would love to make a career of this!
- While running my stable, I would love to offer riding lessons to children/beginners, and nervous riders.
- Pony rides! I've always wanted a field full of hairy little ponies, and think it would be fun to do children's birthday parties, etc.
- Own and operate a cozy country Bed&Breakfast
- Own and operate a 1950's themed diner
- Own and operate a Victorian "Tea House", selling baked goods and other treats
- Interior Decorating
- Wedding Planning
- Cake Decorating
- Photography
Unfortunately, 99.9% of these things require a large amount of money to get that I can't generate, without a source of income! So basically, it's a vicious cycle. So I'll keep plugging away, and dabble here and there...and keep doing the job that I know I'm good at - being a Mommy!
Would you consider me to be a "Cowgirl"...? Do you think its too late to take up Ballet...?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Child

A field full of Wishes, ripe for the picking

Being a parent has so many rewards - for all we put up with, they had better be pretty sweet! All joking aside, the latest thing I've been able to enjoy, is my rediscovered ability to view life through the eyes of my children. To be able to slow down, get down to their level and marvel at the simplicities of life. As we get older, we get so caught up in the rush of the every-day, that we forget and ignore...we take for granted, and brush aside the things that once amazed us. When I'm with my children, I see that they are exploring the world around us for the very first time - the simplest of things are mesmorizing, and so they should be! When is the last time you watched a flower grow from a seed, and contemplated how it grew so tall, and blossomed? Stopped to watch ants scurrying into their ant-hill? Watched your goldfish swim around, and around, admiring his shimmery scales, and wondered why he didn't have eyelashes? Wished on a star? Splashed in a puddle? Looked for shapes in the clouds? Hunted for raspberries? Wondered if faeries lived in that hole in your maple tree? Wished on a dandelion? Spent hours picking wildflowers? Since being a parent, I promise that I have taken full advantage of the opportunity to do all of these things, and then some. I know that I spent my childhood exploring in wonderment, but just like everyone else, got distracted by "life" as I grew older. I consider myself so incredibly lucky to be able to rediscover what "life" is really all about. Every day, my children discover something new and I get to be there right alongside them. But ladies and gentlemen, I will let you in on a little don't need to have children in your life, to reclaim your child-like wonder! Every day, whatever you are doing, stop - just STOP, and look around you! Let everything else disappear, if only for a few minutes. Look up, look waaaaaay up...does that cloud look like a bunny to you? I wonder if you could jump high enough to reach the branch of that careful though, you never know who may be living there! Pick a wildflower bouquet for your desk, wish on a star...what harm could it do? Slooooow down. Wonder why. It's okay if you can't find the answer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hey Hey Hey!!!

Hello All! Just thought I'd let you know that I'm alive and well, and all that jazz! I've been busy, busy, busy...I'm sure you know the story; girl has two toddlers, two horses, two dogs...attempts to start up home based business in a home that was already chaotic...girl becomes buried in sewing projects, toys, dirty dishes and heaps of laundry, never to be heard from again. Well my friends, I am pleased to announce that I have resurfaced! I'm not saying that the piles of housework and projects have diminished, just that I have tunneled my way to my computer long enough to write a blog post. Priorities, you know. Nothing spectacular - just a greeting! And a promise that you will be hearing from me more often - stay tuned! We've got a lot of catching up to do!

In the meantime, hop on over to my friend Bev's blog (my favourite fabric shop!), They are holding a monthly contest for FREE fabric! I know! My heart skipped a beat too! And to make it even sweeter, this month's giveaway has a Halloween theme!!! If you know me at all, you know that this just may be my favourite "holiday". So, check out her blog for details, and be sure to visit her shop, as well at If you are a lover of fabric like myself, consider yourself may be there a while. I just fopped in for a quck look, and found myself lost in listings of florals, polkadots, stripes, seasonals....whew! Enough gorgeous fabric and inspiration for a lifetime of projects!

Cheers Everyone! See you again soon!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm here, I'm here! I know, I've been gone a looooong time. Life gets away with you sometimes, you know? All is well on the are great, business is picking up, every day is a blessing!
The weather leaves something to be desired...cold and wet. Such is fall, I suppose - sometimes I wonder why I claim that this is my favourite season! But then one day the sun pulls through and lights up the colours in the trees and spreads across the ground, and I remember why. The earthy smell of the leaves beneath your feet, and a cozy sweater wrapped around you like a warm hug. Perfect. Comfort.
For me, this is a whole season of comfort...comfort food, that is! Fall harvest is in full swing, which makes for perfect seasonal roasts and stews. On a cold, soggy day like today, when I'm chilled to the bone, nothing warms me up more than a hearty meal cooking in the oven - and a pie, of course. Is the smell of apple pie in the oven not the epitome of autumn? Mmmm...

I do have a great new apple pie recipe to share with you, but not today. You'll have to come back for that one ;) But for now, get your soggy self out of the rain, come in to my kitchen and warm up! We've got the woodstove burning, it feels amazing...have a cup of coffee - or maybe hot cider? and you'll be feeling warm and cozy in no time. Here, you have to try one of these gooey cinnamon's that for comfort?

~Jackie's Cinnamon Buns~

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 tbsp baking powder

- 1 tsp salt

- 1/4 tsp baking soda

- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (don't have buttermilk onhand? mix 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, and enough milk to equal 1 cup...stir and let sit for about 5mins...use 3/4 cup of this mixture for this recipe)
- 8 tbsp butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar

- 1 tsp cinnamon

* Preheat oven to 400F - grease a 9" round baking pan.

* Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and mix well. Stir in oil and buttermilk and stir just until blended.

* Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll dough into a 15"x8" rectangle (you may trim edges to form straight lines, if you wish).

*Spread the butter over the dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small dish, and sprinkle evenly over the butter.

* Roll up rectangle in a "jelly roll" fashion, starting from one long side.

* Cut the roll into 1.5" slices. Arrange slices, cut side up, in your prepared baking pan.

* Bake until lightly browned, about 15-20mins.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Read All About It!

I'm famous again!

You MUST visit the blog of my *favourite* fabric supplier, Bev from "44th Street Fabric"! I look to her for the fabulous designer fabrics I use in my "Babylove" projects...the only problem is, they carry so much selection I never know what to buy! Because honestly, as much as I'd love to, "one of everything" just isn't cost-effective. *Sigh* Until then, I'll just work my way through her stock, piece by piece.

Bev and I recently did an interview, and you can find it posted on her blog today! If you'd like to learn a bit more about "Babylove by Jackie" and my background, be sure to check it out! And then, browse her'll be sure to find something for your next project, and if you're not a "sewer" you can always tell me your fabric pics for my future projects! I always choose fabrics that I personally like, but never know what my customers may be looking for.


Visit 44th Street Fabric here:

Of course, you'll have to visit my shop as well - new items have been added!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WWJD - "What Would June Do"

There are two eras that I've always felt I could belong...Victorian, and the 1950's. But in all honesty, I'm afraid I may suffocate if forced to actually live in either!

I've always adored the image of the 1950's housewife, and often thought I should strive to be more "June Cleaver-esque". But then I give my head a good shake - I adore the *image*, but in my world, the lifestyle just isn't practical. Was it ever? Did women during this time really uphold their household and family the way they are often portrayed? How was it more possible back then, and not now? More and more often I find myself standing in the middle of my house, feeling like we've been hit by some act of God/natural disaster...I would blame the children for the mess, if I could find them amongst the dirty laundry and dishes...but the sad fact is, I'm just as equally to blame. I have too many distractions, and I think that's what ahs changed most through the decades. In the 1950's, a woman was expected to greet her husband at the door with a cold drink and a hot meal on the table...the children and floors scrubbed to perfection. And that's all. She wasn't expected to contribute financially, her "place" was most often at home. Over the years, we've gained independance, but with "liberation" comes distraction. For example, right now I could (rather, "should") be washing my dishes, and tidying up from the day's adventures. However, I choose to sit at my computer and blog. Ah, yes - the internet...the master of all distractions. Through the day, I could vacuum and dust...but I'll get to that after my show is over on tv. Unless, of course, I decide to load the kids in the car and head off somewhere for the afternoon. These are all things that would not have posed a problem 50-60 years ago. Maybe if I want to at least make it "look" like I've got it all together, I need to simplify my life a little. Be a "stay-at-home-mom" that actually...stays home!
One of my many personal distractions is, as you know, sewing! I recently bought a vintage 1950's apron pattern, and had to try it out this afternoon! My first attempt is shown in the photo above - aprons will soon be available in my Etsy shop! Whether you're a "Domestic Goddess", or just playing "Desperate Housewife", you'll be sure to look the part - heels and pearls optional ;)
Don't those cinnamon buns look yummy? I wish I could share the way my kitchen smells, through my computer. A-MA-ZING! I'll share my recipe in my next post. When all else fails...bake! :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Hunted

The Hunter
he came to investigate while I was taking pictures in the front yard

The Hunted

In case you forget me saying it before, I'll say it again - I love living in the country. The peace and quiet, the seclusion, the fresh air...but in the absence of traffic and crazy people (okay, maybe not the crazy people...they seem to thrive out here - for example, the beaver trapper who felt it necessary to knock on my door and interrogate me as to why I locked the neighbour's gate. Um - it's the NEIGHBOUR'S gate.), we still have our fair share of threats and dangers. The most prominent that we've noticed lately, is the wildlife - coyotes to be exact. In real life, these bushy-tailed critters are not quite as gullible as you may remember from "Looney Toons" - they are, however, very wylie. Sneaky. Quiet. In most situations, I would have thought that they would keep to themselves, and I would easily believe the old addage that "they're more afraid of you, than you are of them". I would have thought that they would smell humans and keep their distance. That is, until they started hanging around my back door! Apparently, they've caught a whiff of my little dog, and she smells mighty appetizing. Not sure why, this scrawny little thing is no bigger than a small rabbit, and there's probably better eating in a rat...I mean, she's a Miniature Dachsie! Maybe they have a taste for Oscar Meyer. Regardless, she's now being hunted by at least two different coyotes - and that scares the crap out of me. These creatures that should be keeping their distance in the bush, have been crouching in the grass outside my back door waiting for us to take the dog out...have you ever had to "bear arms", just to take your dog out for a pee? It's not ideal. I'm pretty sure he's been marking his territory (ie. MY territory), because Myah is afraid to go outside and when she's out there her nose never leaves the ground - unless she finds a particularly interesting smell, and feels the need to roll in it to bask in the aroma. And if they'll go after my dog, what about my children? They'll at least run in the opposite direction of me, but I'm afraid that these opportunistic hunters may see a small child as a tasty snack. So I now have a love-hate relationship with my surroundings. I love everything that the country has to offer, but hate that I am afraid to take my children outside to enjoy it.

After doing some research, it turns out that coyote numbers in my area are rising, and bounties and campaigns to cull them don't seem to have an effect; in some instances, their numbers have climbed higher after being hunted. There's also a pretty good chance that these particular animals are a hybrid mix between a coyote and an eastern wolf - which would explain why they appear larger than normal. Coyotes are highly adaptable opportunistic feeders, and will eat anything from apples to deer, and will become specialized in hunting animals that are abundant in their territory (which can range hundreds of kilometers). I'm wondering if this year has been hard on their normal food sources, as a hungry coyote will become more bold and venture into riskier situations - they'll do anything to get food. Even a chain-link fence will pose as no more than an inconvenient obstable, because it can easily be climbed. A few suggestions, if you find yourself living with coyotes:

- don't leave garbage or pet food in your yard
- don't compost meat products
- install motion-sensor lighting

- don't leave pets and small children unattended

- erect a solid wooden fence, at least 6-8ft high

I don't think so. I can keep my garbage picked up, but I am certainly not going to build a barracade around my house. But what if that's my only solution? After our last encounter, I blurted out that I couldn't live like this, and wouldn't live here if I couldn't keep my family safe. Irrational, yes. But I just don't know what to do! Have any of you ever been in this situation? Has your area imposed any sort of program to control the coyote (or any wildlife) population? They say that the coyote population is cyclical, and will "bust and boom"...I'm hoping that a "bust" is in the near future...or that these sneaky hunters will meet a different type of "boom".