Family & Parenting · Living Life · Writing

Where the heck do you buy garbage tags?

AD0C7797-6708-4E4B-A886-8E5DB1ADCF17Staying at my sister-in-laws for an extra night last week seemed like a “fab” idea at the time.  My three kids were having a great time with their cousins, aunts and uncles. The food was great, and we were all sharing stories and laughter with each other. Hey, this is what the holidays are all about, right?  Our family seldom has this opportunity to be together all at once. In fact, this Christmas was the first Christmas my husband’s family has all come together, in 8 years.  I do love my sister-in-laws.  Having grown-up with two older brothers, sisterhood evaded me. When we “sisters” get together, we all lose ourselves in laughter over the silly things we say,  gullible ways we react, and certainly to the cut-throat games of Scrabble.

I would just like to gloat for a moment, and announce right here on the Internet, that I beat my sister-in-law “K” for the very first time in 20 years! She is the Queen of Scrabble (insert, pat-on-the-back right here).  

So, after I was able to persuade my amazing neighbour, to look after our very anxious, yappy dog for an extra day…plans were in place to stay and extra night.

Okay, back to what I was sharing with you.  So, the next, day we decided to go shopping at the famous Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre.  I managed to do a bit of spending damage there. But truth be told, I hate shopping.  I especially hate shopping in trendy, massive, Toronto-ish shopping centres (I’m sure I just lost the respect of half of you right there).  Anyways, my 15-year old daughter is the polar opposite to me in this department.  And she was really struggling to understand why I wasn’t buying her EVERYTHING during these boxing week sales, having forgotten that I likely dumped a small fortune on Christmas presents for her and her two adorable younger brothers (lol).  Anyways, it was nice to be-out with my sister-in-laws, and watching the cousins spend time together in the real world.

That night, we ate delicious leftovers, again, sat down for long chats, sharing silly jokes, poking fun at each other for our various quirks, and just enjoying the brotherly-sisterly banter.  We watched a movie, and then settled down for bed.  Ahhhhhh! What a great decision to stay one more night.  Our kids were having a great time, and I just felt these were the kinds of memories you like your kids to build.

The only bummer to visiting family out of town is…the drive home.  The drive TO a vacation, or event, or visit; is always infused with anticipation, excitement, and yearning to have a great time. The time flies as you all talk about what you want to do when you get there, and you’re playing happy highway games, or chatting the time away.

On the way home however…you’re just over-tired, irritable, and fed-up with the long drive. And is it just me, or does it seem like someone has gotta pee, every 45 minutes? It is road trips like these where I come to regret our decision to settle for a 5-seater vehicle this summer, In order to dump our crummy Dodge Caravan.  Quite honestly, I completely love our Toyota Rav 4…except when all five of us have to travel in it (which is like, once a month).

I digress (as per usual).

At last, we turn-off to London.  We are so close to home, I can almost taste it.  I am so tired, and just looking forward to a quiet day or two.  All of the Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking, visiting, and socializing had finally caught up with me. We pulled into our neighbourhood, and in a matter seconds, I gasped!

NOOOOOO! We didn’t! Okay, maybe we didn’t.  Don’t give up hope yet, Heidi.  Let’s drive in a bit deeper. Maybe they haven’t made it all the way-round yet.  Afterall, post-Christmas GARBAGE DAY is slow going…surely.

We round a corner, and start down the next street.  Sure enough, I glance at the lane of up-ended garbage bins, standing like soldiers…all..the way…down to our street.


My worst nightmare. We…have missed the garbage day, after Christmas day.  But do you know what is even worse? It’s FRIDAY! FRIDAY, I said! Well, if you are reading this and you live in London, Ontario like I do.  You know all too well why this is a massive problem! Not only have I missed THE most important garbage day of the year. My most important garbage day, has landed on THE worst day of the week.  In London, we run on a 6-day collection cycle. When you have garbage on a Friday, you won’t have a garbage day the next week at all!  You have garbage day the following Monday!

As we make the turn onto my street, my head is spinning…it aches, and a complete feeling of defeat fills my body.  They have collected every last bin on our street.  And if that wasn’t enough, the recycling has been collected too.

I now know I’m heading into a brutal garbage-day-less week, with 3 bags of garbage in the garage already and 3 large recycling bins, full to the brim.  With 8 days until my next garbage day, I KNOW I’m gonna need a lot of garbage tags.  The other awesome feature of London’s 6-day collection cycle is the 3-bag limit.  Ahhhhh yes! I am pumped for the mountain of trash that will pile-up in the garage, and the clear recycling bags I will pull out for the recycling overflow.

It seems I am clearly on my way to winning the Domestic Goddess of the Year award.  Why is that you ask? Go back and check out my blog, Laundry Lunacy.

By the way, if you think I’m gonna tell ya how many bags I’m up to, with 3 days to go before garbage day…forget it.  It would be a colossal embarrassment to reveal that.  But, if you have a guess, comment below.

Thanks for reading!






Family & Parenting · Funny story · Living Life · Writing

Laundry Lunacy

47B50A46-DCA0-424C-B181-1C8AA1BA4E49Ah yes, I am over one week into my holiday vacation.  I have got nothing but time! I figure, surely I am capable of taking care of laundry duties…from start-to-finish!

Laundry tests my sanity, it really does.  I mean, who actually has the time to handle the laundry for a family of five? More often than not, I beat myself up over the inefficiency of our system (or lack thereof) around here.  But I am determined to get back on track and discipline all members of the house to uphold a better laundry system.  It’s okay, I’ve got this! I don’t have to go to work today, I don’t have to pick-up my daughter from practice, there’s no karate classes tonight…and the three year old is having a nap.  THIS…means business.

I stare at the tower of laundry before me.  What will it be today? Perhaps I will start with putting the three baskets of clothes away, which have sat neglected for over a week. Oh, fabulous, I can’t wait to REFOLD the picked-over and strewn-about clothes. Or, I could of course, high-step through the laundry room over the suitcase, over the 15-year old’s dumping after cleaning her bedroom, then through the mountain of towels collected over time (typically I set aside all towels for last).

I’m not sure how I get myself into these Laundry-Lunacy cycles.  I mean, how many lessons do you need on — wash, dry, fold, basket, deliver, and put away?  There are honestly times I just want to bang my head against a wall. And yes, I do get my kids involved in the process.  I consistently request for their help, remind them of their duty, remind them to stick to the job-at-hand, scream at them, “When I was your age!” and finally, I berate them into PUTTING  CLOTHES INTO THEIR DRESSER!


Well… I. Will.Tell. You. Not only did I refold those three baskets of laundry…I also managed to deprive my kiddos of all fun for the day as we tackled five more loads of laundry. The eldest was to stay off of her phone until all towels were folded and put away. The 11-year-old was summoned to the mammoth collection of socks, teeming over the lip of the basket, and deprived from all YouTube-watching. My husband handled all lil-man clothes. Because, oh how I loathe the folding of size 3T clothes. It is endless!

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but we did in fact wash, dry, fold, basket…and put the laundry away.  For now, I have beaten the Laundry Lunacy this week. Now, let’s see how we do next week when school resumes and schedules are going full throttle.

I will take the small victory…thank you very much.

This is my first post in my effort to write weekly through, 2018. Small posts about the mundane things in life, or about matters that move me. Whichever way the wind blows 😁🖊📜



Funny story · Teaching & Working · Writing

GOOD GRIEF, What am I writing?

What a warm pleasure it is to be ‘home’ on my #WordPress blog, again straining to ignite my passion for writing. I do realize it has been the topic of the past couple of feeble attempts to write. Whatever it is I’ve been battling, I think I’m finally beginning to peel back some of the layers.

As a #teacher, I also maintain a teacher blog. It just so happens, that the blog I wrote and posted today blends nicely with some of the blunderings of every day life. In the post, you will see how I argue with myself as to whether or not the post is an #education post, or #life post.

At the end of it all, I recognize that life is all about wrestling with our hopes, dreams, goals, resolutions, etcetera, etcetera. I’m the kind of person that loves to envision things, but occasionally struggle to declare if that is officially a goal or not. When I name it a goal…that sets the ball rolling for plans and actions. I’m not afraid of that. Trust me. I just try not to commit to more than I can handle. It’s a hiccup of mine. Well fancy that, the name of my blog has seeped through the cracks here.

I thought about pasting the post from my teacher site…but perhaps I’ll link it instead. Come on over to visit. If you wanna see some incredibly perfect disastrous writing, you’ll wanna see this post.

Living Life · Writing

What does writing have to offer?

Blogging used to be ‘easy’ for me. I selected topics-with ease.

I gathered ideas – with ease. 

I found words – with ease. 

I drafted posts – with ease. 

I uploaded final products – with ease. 

No fear. 

No contemplation. 

No reservation. 

Somewhere it stopped. 

Likely for many different reasons. And even when I wanted to try again, I “couldn’t”. 

Until now. Now, I want the void to fill. 

With thoughts, ideas, feelings, and daily musings. 

Wish me luck. 

Oh yah…my passion for writing started with journaling. And so, this is how I’d like my return to writing, to resume. 

Here it goes!

Blog · Inspiration · Reading & Writing · Reflecting ~ Looking Back

I need to write

mac-keyboard-handsTwo years. It has been two years since I have written and posted a blog.  There are so many things I could say to address this void.  I could write about all the things I have done with my time. I could rationalize my reason for NOT writing. I could tell you how busy I’ve been as a mom, a teacher, a coach…I could tell you that I have a new 4-month old baby boy; so naturally, life has been a whirlwind.  BUT…I won’t.  Instead, I just need to write.

I have come to understand the role writing has in my life.  I have stopped insisting there needs to be an adequate purpose or topic to write about.  I have arrived at a more peaceful place, where I realize that I write because it’s a passion of mine. It is not an obligation I have, to those who might read my writing.  But most importantly, I have found my writing freedom.  Writing for me is a release, and my preferred method of expression.

Somewhere along the way, when this blog really started to pick up some traffic, and I had friends and colleagues telling me I should really give writing a go…I lost my voice.  I thought my writing needed to be perfect.  I thought I needed a perfect topic, one that would resonate with my audience.  I thought I needed a perfect title, one that would catch an audience.  I thought I needed the perfect lead, one that would hook my audience.  With these “needs”, writing became a chore, a stress, and an anxiety for me.  All of a sudden, I felt like my writing had to be something an aspiring published writer would produce in their novice years.  I have known for some time that I really just need to write.  It was high-time I get back in the saddle, but I just couldn’t get my leg up in the stirrup.

Writing is cathartic.  When I’m not so busy analyzing what I should write, could write, or ought to write…it’s liberating.  When I’m not generating a dozen questions about what will go into my writing, and what will not… it’s liberating.  When I’m not wondering what my readers will think, how they might comment, or if my post will reach new heights…it’s liberating.

So today, I finally took the leap.  I just need to write.  It’s that simple.  I love the feeling of my fingers hammering away at the keys.  I love how my brain is always ahead of my fingers, and I need to go back to add in the letters and words I omit.  I love the rush and excitement I feel, just knowing that I’m writing and getting my thoughts out in front of my eyes.  The exhilaration that comes over me, as I see the letters race out from behind the cursor.  I’m writing. And it feels good.  I write, because I need to write.

As I look back at a few of my blog posts, even those that are my favourites (Heart and SoulToday marks my fork in the…”Road Not Taken”, and What will I write about today?); I see ways they could have been better.  Better ways to express those thoughts come to mind now, and I smile.  Growth.  I’m okay with these changes I see.  I see the growth in my thinking, and I’m inspired and motivated to write again.  I’m excited. The relief comes over me, as the words leave my head, freeing up the space for new ideas. New writing.

There. I’ve done it. My foot hooked into the stirrup, and I’ve pulled myself up into the saddle. Now it’s time to ride.

I’m a writer again…and I don’t really care if you like it or not…because I’m writing for me.  I need to write.

#ilovetowrite  #writerwannabe  #blogger

Another good read:  The Differences Between Hobby & Professional Writers – See more at:

Family & Parenting · Inspiration · Living Life · Teaching & Working · Wellness

JOY…is like getting a new puppy!

Aren’t we all drawn in and easily enamoured by all things…cute and adorable? Whenever I look into the eyes of a wee baby I can’t help but smile. But, it’s no ordinary smile. It’s that kind of smile that spontaneously explodes onto my face and cements there. Then there’s the emotion. I leap into joy; heart racing, blood pumping, “lost” in this world where my number one goal is to make the baby smile, or just respond to my crazy efforts. I think we can all connect to this experience, and this is what I call sheer JOY!

“Rocky” is our new 11-week old puppy. He’s a Schmorkie!

Then, there is that joy that comes when you bring home a new puppy!  In their first days, so cute, warm, sleepy, and loveable. Bringing me to the true inspiration for this post. Last week, we brought home a new puppy.  “Rocky” is our 11-week old Schmorkie.  You heard it right…a Schmorkie.  A Schmorkie is a hybrid breed crossing a Miniature Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese.  As you can see, he is truly adorable.  My nine-year old daughter has been begging us to have a dog for 7 years (she reports).  She has gripped on to the hope and dream of having a dog, much like a talented young Canadian boy hopes and dreams to make it to the National Hockey League.  Dogs bring joy into peoples lives.  Any dog-lover would confirm this.  Dogs are loyal and evolve into these companions that we, the dog lover get swooned and drawn into.  Dogs become your companion, playmate, friend, and part of your support network.  I can see that Rocky is well on his way to doing all these things for us.  He brings joy and excitement into our home everyday.  We are all thrilled to have him…and once trained…we will love him unconditionally (lol).

Joy is by far my favourite human emotion. Joy gives me such a positive,overwhelming feeling.  Not the kind of overwhelming feeling that come with stress. Joy takes over my body, mind and spirit leaving everything else on the OUTSIDE, where I can’t see it all for a while. Perhaps Joy can be better explained through an example. Family time at the beach is truly my  favourite thing to do…experience…I can’t find the words to say how wonderful it is. I don’t love the beach because I love to sunbathe, or swim in one of our splendid Great Lakes. It’s because, being at the beach with my hubby and our kids feels like a romantic and exhilarating retreat all-in-one!

We love to visit Port Stanley, Ontario once a week throughout the summer. Lake Erie is one of three Great Lakes Ontarians love to visit when hitting the beach.

The moment we arrive at the beach my body begins to change. As the kids burst with excitement, I can’t help but smile and join-in showing the same childlike thrill. We run along the shore, have races on the sandbar, and tow the kids through the deeper filling their gullies with water. Getting started it perhaps the best part. I race to the trunk of the car, frantically rummaging through all of our gear trying to find a way to take it all in one trip. All four of us load-up and we scurry down to the sand and water. Everyone is talking, giggling and planning what we’re going to build, dig-up, swim out to, and play. Everyone is a kid again.
This sensation is called…living in the moment. Another on of my favourite states to be in. Within five minutes of being at the beach, my mind and body surrender to these future moments right here…in the moment…at the beach. Gone, are all thoughts about work, house renovations, errands to be done, registrations to complete, bills to pay, things that just aren’t right, people I’m upset with and what to do about it, or all the things the kids need for this and that. All those thoughts rinse away with the waves that roll-up on the Great Lakes shore, and then pulled back out into the open water. Now, I’m actually living in the moment. When the kids begin digging to start their sandcastle I can really see them, when they laugh I can really hear them, when I jump in to pack the sand down I’m really there…playing with them. I become overwhelmed with a feeling of joy. I can’t stop smiling, and everything just feels…right.
Summer fun is wonderful! I used to get irritated by fellow teachers who seemed to clearly be in the profession because of the summers off. But as a mom and hard working teacher, I too have come to love my summers off. This is when I come alive and live in the moment. We don’t have to wait for moments of joy. The beach doesn’t come to us. We should all go out to find the joy we want.  We prepare what we need, pack-up, and drive to the beach. We’re creating these moments of joy.

Inspiration · Living Life · Reading & Writing · Teaching & Working

A teacher’s poetic goodbye

Mixed emotions fill my heart today.  I’m staying up, prolonging what tomorrow will bring.  As a teacher, I have spent most of my career in such a fabulous place.  Thamesford Public School, has been wonderful to me.  It will be tough to leave close friends and a caring community for the great unknown.

I do look forward to something fresh, since that’s what life is all about.  Change is good, and it’s time I had some.  So, I look forward to shorter drives, longer family time, and fresh faces at my new school.

Teachers become attached to their schools.  We gain friends and familiarity, which makes work feel like family time.  We watch our students learn and grow as they move through their education journey. Tonight I attended grad and was so inspired by the passion and drive those graduates displayed.

Cheers! To new beginnings!

I’ll leave you with the goodbye poem I plan to say tomorrow during the final assembly.  I hope I don’t cry when I’m up there since they call me concrete around there. Oh well, even concrete cracks…so let’s just wait-and-see what happens.

P.S. If you’re a teacher….or just curious, stop by my classroom website and check-out our stop motion animation art work.  It was great fun! Click on “Ms. Solway’s,” below in the poem title.


Thamesford Public School Thunderbirds

Ms. Solway’s Tribute to the T-Birds

I walked into TPS just nine years ago,
A fresh teacher ready to begin.
I was relaxed by all the friendly TPS staff,
And that helped me find ways to pitch in.

Coaching volleyball was such a natural choice,
The athletes so eager and nice.
First coaching the girls, then the boys,
Such energy and drive added spice.

As the years wore on, my teaching grew,
And balanced literacy became all the rave.
That’s when School Council stepped up to the plate,
Thunderwalk money is what they gave.

Along came Ms. De Vree to take on music,
A school show turned me into a believer.
TPS students – sure do give it their best,
So clear when they caught that show fever!

Grade 5, Grade 5/6, Grade 6, even 4/5,
Students learning with passion and fun.
Learning cycles with teaching staff came ‘round,
We found ways to Bump-Up everyone.

Hmm. Time for a break from this fabulous school,
I think… I’ll head on downtown.
To that big board office where opportunity knocks,
I’ll try on the Literacy coach crown.

People are so serious and official down there,
Not as nice as all of you here.
So, back I came for more volleyball and shows,
Terry Fox, and Remembrance Day cheer.

So many friends I look out there and see,
How is it – I’ve decided to go?
All the fun memories and wonderful people sitting there,
And students I have come to know.

So, TPS please don’t change even one thing,
I love your good hearts and nature.
Thunderbirds soar up high over it all,
Excellence is what you should wager.

So long for now, we’ll see each other again,
For the world is so small don’t you see?
Eight great years as a soaring Thunderbird,
Has been a real privilege for me.