Behind starburst eyes

Corona’s Effect on Mental Health

It’s been months since Covid-19 became a worldwide epidemic, and while I am truly, deeply thankful that my family has not experienced this virus directly, sadly it still has had an impact on my children through their mental health.

He used to be gregarious, he used to be fearless, he used to be happy and confident…Used to be…

It makes my heart ache to see the changes in him, to see how scared he is to even leave the house because as he puts it “It’s invisible, I can’t see it, I can’t fight it” He used to be thrilled to pop over to the store for me, and he’d always ask if he could pick up something for dessert for everyone in addition to the bread or milk I was usually asking for. Now, his first response is “Or I could not go” with a pleading face as he says it. He used to love going for runs, now he says “there’s too many people”. He would rather forgo takeout or new toys if he has to go outside for them.

So instead I don’t ask him to go for me, but I do ask him to go with me. I’m willing to walk with him, because I’m determined to make him go out (while of course allowing precautions such as a mask and hand sanitizer) because he can’t stay locked inside for the next however long. It’s not healthy for him.

I know this might be a long road for him, but I remember when he was 2 and would have uncontrollable meltdowns when we’d walk different routes home from Airzone, he’d cry that it “wasn’t the right way home”. Back then I knew he had to learn there were many ways to get to somewhere, physically and metaphorically. I would hold him and tell him over and over he was loved and safe and I understood and he was my wonderful brave boy as he cried for hours even after we got home.

This is no different, I’ll be there each step of the way offering him love and support as I help him walk this hard path. I love him enough to do the hard things because he always has been and always will be worth the effort to help him thrive.

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Step 3: Kill it with fire

Every blog posting about buying a used trailer to fix up will tell you that more work is needed than you think.

Naively, I ignored the myriad of warnings 😦 and I ended up finding this:

While I knew from the back that one small section of floor would need to be replaced I had no idea how bad it actually was or the real reason why.

I’d been told the back corner ripped when it was moved as a deck was attached to it and not properly unattached before they moved it, the real truth was much, much worse:

Carpenter ants, hundreds of them living and swarming throughout the entire inside of the walls and floor. The more we removed hoping it was the last “bad” section the more we found 😦 Was it hard on the kids and I to realize we wouldn’t be travelling this summer and that our plan for this trailer was not going to go anything like we’d thought…yep!

But as we took the entire trailer apart, separated each type of material, recycled what we could and brought the rest in multiple loads to the dump, I was able to help them to see that even though we plan, life doesn’t always go according to plan and we have 2 choices: Give up or give it all we’ve got to create a solution.

For this specific case we simply started again but from the ground up lol. Which meant our new first step was cleaning any loose rust from the chassis and then treating it with tremclad.

Now the real building begins! With just over 5 weeks left until I begin University again and the kids start their homeschooling year again the race is on! Do I think the whole thing will be finished in 5 weeks, no I truthfully don’t. BUT we’ll have the floor, walls, and roof done at least and that will give us more time to work on the inside of it on weekends as it gets cooler.

As we build a tiny home now instead of fixing up a trailer we’ll learn lots, work hard, and grow a dream and memories together. Wish us luck! 😀


Cream puffs and Cannoli’s

While nowadays it’s common advice for a husband to NOT give his wife kitchen appliances for special occasions, in my house that advice is false. Here, I love to cook and bake, and adore all the gadgets out there that help to make it easier to make even more creations. To that end my husband bought me a deep fryer this past week and I LOVE it. I’ve made far too many deep fried foods and had a blast doing it!

One of the best parts about my gift is that I am not the only one that adores using it. My kids are all interested in cooking and baking and I encourage them all to learn such a valuable life skill as culinary skills are! While I realize that knowing how to make perfect cannoli’s or cream puffs or even breaded deep fried stuffing patties are not essential to their lives, it certainly doesn’t hurt to know how 🙂 I know my eldest loves to bake more than cook, so he’s been thrilled with the baking we’ve doing, (as well as his new camouflage print apron I made him for Yule and his own set of piping tools.)

Me, while I love the baking, it’s the memories we make together, and the conversations we have as we go that I love the most. For example, I’d never made cannoli’s before, and so while I’d found a recipe online I didn’t have cannoli tubes, so I improvised. Some of my ideas were great and worked wonderfully, if a little large, but others were disasters. As Mr. C was trying so hard to make me feel better with encouraging words about how they weren’t “that bad” and that they “looked great!” I smiled and let him in on a secret. I don’t mind that they weren’t perfect from the start. I only mind if I give up before I get the hang of it. I believe that with enough effort and attempts, with perseverance I’ll succeed. He looked at me with surprise and asked “But aren’t you mad that you didn’t make them right, right away? Doesn’t it make you upset that one’s burnt, and that one’s totally flat?” and so I told him “No, I know that cannoli’s are said to be tricky, and even if they were thought of as easy I’d still be okay with needing time to master them. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to mess up and have terrible results, as long as you don’t give up, as long as you don’t quit.”

I wanted him to know that it’s okay to mess up, we all do, at least if we’re really living we do. When we’re fully immersed in life, in our life, it’s a messy, convoluted, upside down, right side out tilt a whirl experience. I don’t want him to be afraid to fully live because he thinks he’ll get it wrong, I want him to smile and learn from his mistakes cause eventually the cannoli’s will turn out great 😉



P.S The recipe I used for the cannoli’s was: 

The cream puffs:

However the breaded deep fried stuffing patties was all my idea 🙂 I used a half bread half potato stuffing as that is what I had on had as it’s the only stuffing any of my family ever makes. Our grandpa used it, and our parents all learnt it and used it and now my brother and even some of our cousins still use this one recipe for stuffing. I think a bread only stuffing wouldn’t have held together as well in the deep fryer as well as one that was thicker from the potatoes added, so be careful what recipe you choose if you’re going to make those 🙂

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