Big, Burly, Beer Drinkin' Steelworker

Kaila A. Notto – Nov. 2019

Ahh yes, mill sign – how true.

That thing must have been up there for over fifty years.

Still relevant.

Shout-out to my guides for offering me the support to muster the courage to seek clarity in the difficult situations and the strength to transmute the experience in order to relate them here.

What once would have leveled me now offers me the opportunity to grow my roots deep enough to sway with the harsher winds of life instead of letting me blow over – thank you so much.

And Tim, whom I don’t think reads any of these entries but will one day – lol – thank you for being my best friend and true guiding light during the darkest times.

I know you know.

Okay, let’s get into it.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is f76427fa-c7ea-43c3-9fdd-c0a470bfd1ca.jpg

The above photo is me a mere couple of hours after suffering a severe anxiety attack.

The sunshine through my curtains made a wonderful filter and I thought it was a perfect image to capture the peace that comes after working through a painful episode like that.

It takes me a hell of a lot less time to unravel myself from these episodes than it did in the past.

Today – I offer some personal experiences to share some texture in regards to who I am as a person.

I was about twelve years old when my Mom won a car from a beer case.

I was sitting on my bed upstairs when she came up and told us what had happened.

Molson Export – the beer she drank for years – held a contest in ‘99 where there were scratch-off tickets inside each beer case with the chance to win a car and claim it at the Molson Indy – now Honda Indy – in Toronto.

Her case had two tickets inside.

The first one Mom scratched and it said something like “Not a Winner”.

She saw the second scratch-off ticket at the bottom of the case and thought it said she had won a hat.

She read it again and realized she had won the grand prize!

I remember her running up the stairs to our bedrooms to tell Lauren and I…

We won a car! Honest to God I’m not kidding! We won a car!

Mom had purchased a new car just weeks before – a silver Ford Escort – so she said she’d rather sell the car she won and go on a family trip with the money.

It was a Chevy Neon – bright red – but she hated red lol and loved Ford vehicles so our neighbour happily purchased the “Special Edition – Grand Prix Neon” and the rest fell into place from there.

We spent the day at the Indy and Mom drove the car once around the track to the soundtrack of a cheering crowd – and then Dad drove it home with us following behind in the Escort!

After they sold the car we spent two weeks – all expenses paid –  on a trip to Florida and traveled all over including visits to both Disneyland and Universal Studios.

I will never forget that trip although my sister – who was ten – doesn’t remember much of it.

She was really sick during most of the trip and spent a lot of time sleeping – which I’ve told her – but she doesn’t remember that either.

I remember Mom complaining about Dad’s snoring from the first night we got there.

Mom told him he couldn’t go to sleep until we were all sound asleep because his snoring was so bad – LMAO – and he did cause he’s a stand up guy lol!

They had been discussing whether or not to spend money on a separate hotel room for him because Mom was a light sleeper as it was but they ultimately decided against it.

I think that is both hilarious and at the same time eerily indicative of what was to follow when we got home.

I’ll get to that in a minute.

Dad loves to eat.

I mean – the guy will literally eat anything lol.

My appreciation of food and the diversity of my palate is due to my parents offering us an extremely wide range of food growing up – escargot was one of my favourite foods as a child.

And yes – I knew what it was lol – my parents always told us exactly what we were eating.

If I’m honest, I never understood as a child why the wait staff would often be fascinated with us when we ate at restaurants with my parents.

We’d almost always be invited to the back of the kitchen or be offered some kind of special treat.

I thought it was because we were “well behaved” – because we were told that we were – and my parents were excellent at explaining to us why we act the way we do in public.

I think parents these days just try to yell the problem away.

Plus, the “wooden spoon” threat was always readily available though we never actually got hit with that or at all lol!

The threat was enough!

Jiggle that drawer the spoon was located in and we’d go from animals to angels real quick…


I realized as an adult how weird we must have looked in these situations.

I’d witness the behavior of other kids being loud or running around everywhere and my parents would say “we are so glad you two are well-behaved” which propelled us to want to be…well, more well-behaved lol.

Positive reinforcement works folks!

We were five and seven and ordering “roast beef on a crusty” or getting the “steak and lobster special” the same as my parents would order.

Plus – we’d have leftovers for days!

I do this for Mila now when we go out and order her a regular sized meal that we can take with us to-go.

The Innsville is an upscale restaurant in Stoney Creek, ON and remains a family favourite – though I haven’t been since becoming vegetarian if I’m honest.

It’s a fine yet cozy restaurant which mainly offers meat-oriented dishes and have maintained their original menu as far as the last time I went alas I haven’t been recently.

I’m sure it is still fantastic so if you’re up for spending a little extra on fine dining – The Innsville is a great place to try.

My parents also cooked very well and we ate like “kings”.

Mom and Dad had uniquely difficult childhoods so it seemed that every avenue possible was extended to my sister and I to experience the best upbringing that they could offer us as parents.

They did and still do offer us the world.

 Dad is the strongest man I know and Mom managed to save my life after she died.

They know we are grateful.

“What does this have to do with Florida?” you ask?

Bear with me, it will come.

Mom would ask us tearfully “Did you enjoy your childhood? I think we could have done better…

And I’d stop her right there and go over absolutely everything about my memory of it and because my memory reaches to infancy I was able to regurgitate my highlight reel for her.

I’m glad I got to tell her how I felt and how much I loved her before she left.

Like how she’d let us use clean linen to make forts outside.

Or giving us pocket money for my favourite school events – the yearly book fair or the Christmas craft sale.

I remember how it felt to wrap my arms around Mom’s legs when she walked in the door to my grandma’s house after work and the feeling of joy washing over me in seeing her.

It didn’t matter what cartoon was on or what I was doing – I’d go running towards her each day excitedly.

I remember the scent of Oscar De La Renta softly emanating from her office clothes.

Dad once complained that he felt he worked too much and had thought he “missed a lot of us growing up”.

However, because school took up most of my daily life and I was very focused on how much I disliked school as a child so those hours dragged – I don’t remember him gone at all.

Seeing Mom and Dad – and Moo-Moo and Gramps! – was always the highlight of my day.

 I remember Dad playing with my sister and I after work.

Some days he’d be rolling around on the grass in the back yard shouting “Manaha’s going to get you!” – from the show “Are You Afraid of the Dark” – while pretending to be a monster coming after us.

I can’t even begin to describe the happiness and zest for life that the man radiates.

Back to Florida.

We ate and ate and every meal was at a different restaurant.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner – we went all out.

A couple of weeks after we got home Dad had a heart attack.

He was already dealing with the creeping symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome – now known as Reactive Arthritis – but he knew something was off that day and saw his doctor straight away.

His physician called an ambulance right then and there and told him he was having a heart attack.

I was just about to turn thirteen and I thought my Dad was going to die.

We met him at his doctor’s office and Dad was waving at us from the stretcher in the ambulance with his usual smile lighting up his entire face.

I was immensely devastated and overwhelmed with fear.

I thought that if I went with them to the hospital that he would die so I asked my Mom to let me stay with my aunt.

I regretted that later but thankfully he was okay and we went to visit him and learned that he had to change his diet and that the food we ate during our trip likely exaggerated his already clogged arteries.

We were lucky to be home when it happened.

I can still see him waving to us in the ambulance.

I can still see the panic on Mom’s face and feeling what she was going through.

In fact she almost got a ticket because she followed that ambulance like a race car driver lmao and went through every red light it did – tailgating until they all reached the hospital.

She thought the police with the lights behind her were to help her – lmaooo – she didn’t realize they were trying to get her to stop and slow down.

And I didn’t know that I was reading my Mom’s emotions at the time.

I was told I was “too sensitive” by many people as a child so I chalked it up to that – yet again.

I refused to accept the “reassuring” words of others over the feelings and worry emanating from Mom during the experience.

All of these experiences shaped me. The contrast of the lows that illuminate the highs.

The insight I have now that came as a result of it all – especially when Mom actually died.

Cars” by The Frey plays as I write this – and this song was played during a poignant episode of Grey’s Anatomy – which was one of “our shows”.

Hi, Mom.

I won’t explain how because I can’t easily yet – but Spirit can influence the music you hear.

Mom and music are synonymous to me at this point.

Fundamentally we are energy and since music is another form of it – it is a form of Rosetta Stone for Spirit to use in communication with us – if we know how to translate the message.

That takes time to learn.

Back to the Frey song.

That song reminded me of a poignant episode in which Denny Duquette dies and Izzy is inconsolable.

Mom would often chuckle at how I would take on the suffering of our beloved television shows and I would tell her it was because I was putting myself in their shoes.

It’s just a show, pet” she would say.

“Yeah but this happens to people! Can you imagine?!”

Truthfully no sadness I’d ever felt could even touch the experience of losing Mom.

Nothing has – nothing will.

I actually thought I was incapable of crying for some time afterward because nothing could possibly make me sad anymore – the saddest thing had happened and in contrast nothing else even mattered.

Then I met Tim and my entire world flipped upside down.

I was broken inside but trying to navigate my new life as the daughter of someone on a totally different plane or dimension.

I had been dating and was genuinely doing well and I had accepted that I’d never again be understood like she knew me.

Until I met Tim.

I was already deep into studying Buddha and all sorts of philosophers – so when he popped into my life I started to have a little fun with Spirit.

Honestly I spent the first two weeks around Tim silent on purpose and he’d talk and talk…

But I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

He was saying things that she would have.

He was answering things that I was asking her.

And he knew nothing about any of it until some time after we officially began to date.

We began as co-workers and decided to wait to see each other outside of work before entering into a friendship or potential relationship to maintain integrity of professionalism.

I swore I’d never ever date anyone at work – especially as a minority female tradesperson – but the moment I saw him take a look through an alignment tool lens I just knew.

Like Mom said about Dad when he walked into her classroom – one smile and she knew they were meant to be.

I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing.

And people around us knew which made me wildly uncomfortable – but I couldn’t stop giggling like a school girl around him.

And I swear on my life that up until that point I was trying my damn best to act like “one of the guys” which he took down in an instant lol – I was all mushy and feminine and honestly I couldn’t even help it.

But I still did my job fam!

I had been dating someone else around the time we met and quickly ended that relationship but it hurt the other person and I hated that.

I felt like a big fucking asshole.

I was happy and comfortable but not “seen” and that was very hard for me to accept going forward.

My increasingly complicated spirituality was already causing conflict within the relationship and I was taking out my frustrations in acts of anger which was hurting me and the other person.

It was a very difficult conversation to have but I tried my best to explain and defend my decision and promptly left the relationship.

To know that I had caused another to suffer was fucking awful and even though I knew it all was for the best in regards to the bigger-picture I still struggled with being that person to somebody.

It all ended up working out and three months into dating Tim – we were pregnant.

I never missed a period and we were already living together in Toronto by this time – so I texted Tim to tell him I was going to buy pads at Shoppers Drug Mart and he replied “I thought you just bought some…What’s going on?”

I told him my period was late and that was unusual – I’ve never even been close to having a pregnancy scare before so I had no idea what was going on.

He told me to wait for him to come home – I was on vacation at the time and home for two weeks – so I impatiently waited.

We walked there once for the pregnancy test which turned positive and then for a second time to purchase prenatal vitamins.


Honestly, it was the most scary and beautiful experience of my life and I’ll never forget it.

I broke down in tears and without my saying anything Tim turned to me and said “You know I love you. We would have had one in a couple of years anyway!”

And then he became emotional and we hugged and that was the beginning of Mila.

I cannot eloquently explain with words the overwhelming joy and love that Tim caused me to feel in that moment – easing all of my fears all at once – and I knew it was yet another concrete sign that we were simply meant to be.

You know where you’re all “OmG He’S tHe OnE” and then it turns to shit and you’re like “wtf just happened?” – This was a mutual love and he expressed his knowing to me within days of our meeting each other.

We were on a job together and as we were bending copper tubing together he looked at me and said “you know, they say when you meet your wife you just know.”

I was all “why the hell would you say that!” because I thought at that point he was some master manipulator who could read minds lol.

And my initial impression of him was “Why are they partnering me with someone who’s like, twenty? He’s hot but if he thinks that’ll make me act any differently this guy has another thing coming.”


He’s a year older than I am but looks young and where I thought he was actively trying to impress me – he was simply being himself.

Now that was impressive!

He also recognized our attraction to one another at the same time I did and the feeling was not only mutual – it felt like it was written in the stars.

I’ve come to accept that we’ve had many a life together in this world and I’m sure we’ll be together again, however it is important to note that relationships often change during reincarnated lifetimes to offer different lessons – so for all I know we were brother and sister in another life…lol.

I’ll find out eventually with my investigating past lives but I’m not there yet!

So now I am going to take a different turn in direction with the rest of this entry.

Mom kept telling me to “tell the Florida story!” and I didn’t know why until all of that came out in writing.

That is the beauty of trust – Spirit won’t lead you down an empty road.

I’ve pulled a couple cards for this entry and I think it’s hilarious that I’ve seen several readers pull the same King of Pentacles so this must be a collective lesson or upgrade.

If time has passed since I’ve written this, it still holds true as Spirit will guide the right eyes to this post regardless of when it is.

Time is a human construct. There is literally no such thing lmao.

It is certainly a useful tracking tool but alas, time is only a tool for us to use while we are inhabiting a body.

The first card I pulled was the Nine of Swords.

Personally, I’ve been through some difficult experiences recently such as the loss of a family member unexpectedly, spinning out in the car after the first snow fall with Mila in tow – which is what caused the aforementioned anxiety attack.

It was so bad that my whole body shook to the point where my foot was hitting the gas in increments – I couldn’t even keep my legs steady.

If this is you, low energy, feeling defeated and though everything is coming at you at once than this message may be for you.

I had all sorts of shit happen recently where I’m like “our politics are fucked, society is fucked, I’m probably going to die, that’s fine” and no…

That is not fine lol.

I was angry because yet another popular “spiritual guru” literally regurgitated what I had read in a story and made it seem as though the message was coming from them.

It pissed me off.

I read about how this tribe will surround a person who has acted in a negative way because that person requires extra love and attention rather than our usual condemnation of the person.

Aka “cancel culture” which is extremely prevalent.

Anywho, this person said something along the lines of how we should quit the cancel culture and surround people with love instead and that’s a great message – however if I hadn’t have read it in a story the day before on Instagram – likely the same story they read – it probably would have looked like profound advice.

There are a ton of legitimate people and a ton of shit people in disguise.

It is up to you to figure this out for yourself and I hope I can at least shed a light on some of these “profound insights” lol.

It’s rewording at its best.

I have a rough time too because karma takes care of these people on its own so I like to leave people do their thang – greed is a nasty impulse – but it is due diligence as a person who intends to help you in your ascension to at least point out what they are doing.

At least say you read the fuckin’ story about the tribe lol.

I mean, in school that shit is called plagiarizing.

Too bad we couldn’t throw these people through amirite?

I pushed back on Spirit for me to relay this shit because I generally don’t give a fuck about what other people do – that’s their own problem lmao – but it’s getting so prevalent that someone has to say something.

Maybe I’m the only one who notices – I dunno.

Also I hate lookin’ like a hater – fam, for the record – I don’t hate these people at all – I just think they are doing a shitty thing.

Like the whole Don Cherry situation going on – I don’t agree with what the man said however I do see clearly the irony on him losing his freedom of speech being fired on the day that we celebrate veterans for achieving us peace and, um, freedom of speech.

And that’s all I have to say about that *said in Forrest Gump’s voice*

The second card I pulled was the Queen of Swords which indicates to me that the growth I’ve accumulated has contributed to my ability to speak to certain matters much more eloquently than before.

So for you, this could be a message to remember that all of your experiences – the good and the bad – will help you to understand yourself and world around you much more clearly and your communication with others will improve because of it.

To tie the Nine of Swords together with this card tells me that a bitch be going thru it – kinda like me – but that it will help you out in the long run with your efforts in communicating.

At the time my Mom died I thought my life was about to end at my own hand and now I see the point of the entire experience.

It took me six years of deep involvement with myself to be able to do this but if I can turn that fucking terrible situation into something positive then I’m sure you can do the best with what you’ve got coming at you.

We all have our lessons to learn.

I’m here for you if you need someone to talk to or for guidance….

That’s what these cards are for so hit me up if you need me, k?

The third and final card I pulled was The King of Pentacles.

Yeah, I know my tits are out lmao.

I do it to stir the uncomfortable right out of ya!

Haha just kidding – I appreciate my body and if you had’ve told thirteen year old me that I’d not only have the confidence to post something as risqué as these photos I would have called you a liar.

It’s funny because my grandma used to get upset that one beautiful cousin of mine would post revealing photos and now that same grandma is behind the scenes encouraging us both on the other side.

In losing our bodies we gain perspective and lose all of the societal normalcies and way of thinking that were attached to our person.

We become like a tabula rasa but not really blank – we will return if we have lessons to learn.

Culture, ideals, societal norms, physical appearance and traits, attributes, experiences, sickness, etc. are all texture for our soul to learn and grow.

And ps. that cousin still happens to be one of my fave people in the world lol.

She always marched to her own drum and I always envied her for her confidence and beauty – I still do.

And she’s as down to earth as anyone can be which is rare these days!

I literally have a hard time communicating with people because they are so attached to who they think they are that I truly enjoy finding people who are unapologetically authentic.

So the King of Pentacles intertwines the divine masculine traits like strength and confidence in action with the message of abundance or success.

So, I intuit this as Spirit letting me know that it’ll all work out in the wash with my talking about this the way I do.

I try my best to tell it the way I see it and I hope that no one finds offence – and if you do that probably means you’re in the wrong place friend lol.

And if I find I am wrong about something I will post it here also.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

…Being an asshole and knowing that you’re one that is, lol.

And to further clarify about the whole Don Cherry situation – I do not agree with what he said but I also don’t agree with a lot of things.

Same as you.

And lastly, time for a lil toolbox talk.

Another work week has come and gone in my career and I’ve learned so much.

This week we tested an obsolete coke oven gas line for the presence of Naphthalene because we smelled moth balls and needed to ensure the safety of our contractors who were cutting it.

We knew it had the potential to ignite but it was an unknown for us as tradespeople because it has been almost thirty years since it was used on our side of the mill.

Ultimately they decided against hot work and were okay with cold cutting instead – much to my delight!

It can be extremely difficult to cold cut pipe but I think because it was so old and rusted it wasn’t too much of an issue.

We didn’t know it until the roofing repair contractors informed us that this pipe was not sitting on supports but only held up by the structure of the roof so we knew we needed to get it outta there asap.

The roofers moved to a different area in the mean time.

It’s funny because Mom used to work for a steel company as a scheduler/coordinator and she’d meet people who had only heard her voice on the phone – and she always described herself as a big, burly beer drinking’ steelworker which resulted in hilarity when these people actually met her.

She was this beautiful, petite little thing and far from big and burly lol.

But she sure was powerful!

Still is.

So, now when I talk with people on the phone I like to say the same thing ’cause technically it’s true lmao – at least the beer drinkin’ part!

I loves me a cold beer some days and it always reminds me of my Mom because she loved her beer.

So I shall leave you with a wish for your happiness and healthy growth through the tough times.

“But I’ve been told,
That it gets better when it rains.
The flowers, they won’t grow
With only the good and sunny days”
– Frank Walker & Astrid S.

Look for the signs in the music. The artists are ascended individuals who literally transmute these messages to us beautifully through song.

Tomorrow is five years to the day that Mom and I had our last moment together in the kitchen as she died.

On November 21st she was declared dead.

Mom….We have come so far.

It even glitched to say this was posted on the 16th of November and as I publish this it’s the 15th lol.

Thank you.


Kaila A. Notto

Copyright © The Mindful Millwright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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