Friday, June 28, 2013

A Treasured Relationship

I don’t have a big social circle and not even that many close friends.  I’m a pretty shy person and tend to be awkward when meeting people for the first time.  My social circle was bigger when I was still married but they were mostly Stinky’s friends.  He is the outgoing life-of-the-party (one of our problems, actually, but we’ll save that story for another day). 

One of the people who are still very much in my life is my sister-in-law.  Yes, I still think of her as my SIL – I divorced Stinky, not his family!  I’ve mentioned her in this blog in the past as DJ Chick since she had a radio show at the time but I need to find a new blog name for her.

There is no way that you can describe my (ex) in-laws as bland or vanilla.  They are passionate, volatile, intelligent, talented people.  I have had many great times with them and times that left me emotionally/mentally drained.  My SIL and I have had many ups and downs in the past twenty-three years (yikes!) but, in the last few years, seem to have come to a really good place.  She is my friend, my family and a confidante who I know that I can say just about anything to.  We have seen each other at our best and our worst and have a stronger relationship because of it.

When we get together, there tends to be a lot of wine being poured and great food to eat.  We’ll spend an entire afternoon catching up with one another and sharing stories.  I think that she makes me laugh more than anybody I know and boy do I ever need that laugh sometimes.  Laughter is the best medicine after all!  Once in a while, we call each other and say that “I need a dose of you soon”.   As a matter of fact, I sent her just such a text message the other day.  Hopefully we’ll be linking up this weekend.

Our daughters are the same age (only five months apart) and get along really well.  I love that they are close and have a great relationship.  My cousins have always lived so far away that, although we keep in touch and enjoy each other’s company, we’ve never been especially close.  The girls do their cousin-bonding while we ladies retreat to the kitchen with our bottle(s) of wine.  The Boy will come with us sometimes but I think that he sometimes finds there is too much estrogen in the air and makes his own plans. 

Women’s personal relationships with each other can be so complex.  We are very emotional beings and can be highly critical of one another (and ourselves for that matter).  We see this all the time in the blog world; women bashing each other over their parenting choices, their lifestyle choices, their weight and sense of fashion.  You know, the “mommy wars”.  Men just don’t seem to do these things.  This is why we must treasure the close, healthy relationships that we form whether in person or in the online community.  These are the people that lift us up spiritually, emotionally and sometimes even physically.  When we are feeling down about life, about ourselves, they remind us that we are not alone.

Thank you my dear sister-in-law for being part of my life.  If only this rain would clear up, you and I will spend some quality time this weekend grilling some meat on the BBQ and guzzling some wine/beer.  Good times!



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Where would I go?

One of this week’s writing prompts at Mama Kat’s Losing It is:  eight places I’d go this summer if money wasn’t an object.  Imagine first class airfares, four star hotels, any restaurants that please my taste buds……. I could get used to that! 

Maritimes – When I was eighteen, I went to Nova Scotia to visit my (then) boyfriend’s family and thought it was a beautiful place.  I was amazed by the power of the ocean and loved the small towns that I saw.  I would love to spend some time touring Canada’s Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland), exploring the history, soaking in the natural beauty, doing some whale watching, eating wonderful seafood and, of course, partying with the locals.  Nobody can party like a Neufie! 

New York City – I admit that I’m not keen on big cities with their crowds and pollution but I would have to make an exception for New York.  Yes, it’s probably the biggest, most crowded city on the continent but it’s one of those places that I would like to visit once just to be able to say that “I did it”.  I would shop at all of those famous stores (especially that big M&M place!), visit the museums and go see a Broadway show.  The first thing on my list, though, would be a trip to the World Trade Centre site and the museum there to pay my respects to those who died and those who so valiantly gave of themselves on that day.  No trip to New York would be complete without that stop. 

Italy – Now that I’ve depressed you, let me lift you up with beautiful Italy.  I love history and would dearly love to go to a country with such a rich past.  I would wander through Rome and Venice soaking in the feel of such old cities.  I would take a tour through Italy’s wine country sipping my way from place to place.  Don’t worry I wouldn’t get drunk because I’d also be eating my way across the country.   Good thing I’d be spending so much time walking to counteract all of those calories or you’d be rolling me into the airport to go home. 

Hawaii – Hawaii has become a very commercial tourist destination which would normally be a turnoff for me and, if I went, I would definitely stay away from the “touristy” places.  I would love to go there to visit the live volcanoes.  The power of the earth has always fascinated me and left me awed.  How amazing would it be to see the flowing magma?!  There are also some magnificent natural vistas there too that I would love to see first-hand.  

Banff National Park – I would turn this into a double vacation by taking the cross-Canada train from Montreal to Alberta (first class of course!) to see more of this wonderful country before arriving at my destination.  Banff is one of Canada’s natural wonders; the majestic mountains, the wildlife, the resorts.  I think that I would spend the first half of my time there hiking and camping and then, for the second half, find myself a luxury resort in the mountains for some pampering. 

Yellowstone National Park – I think that I would go to Yellowstone for much the same reason as I chose Hawaii.  Imagine knowing that you are standing in the caldera of a super-volcano?  My respect for the power of nature and the earth that we are standing on is immense.  The journey to witness the geysers and hot springs in person would be worth every minute. 

Greece – Yes, I’m going to be repetitive again.  My reasons for visiting Greece are much the same as my reasons for visiting Italy (minus the wine).  The history of this old country draws me in and the idea of walking in footsteps of the ancient Greeks awes me.  Also, there’s the food  :) 

My own city – Montreal is a vibrant city that absolutely glows in the summer.  I would love to book myself into a four star hotel downtown, escaping the usual responsibilities and spend my days soaking in everything that I possibly can: Formula One Racing, Franco Folies, International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs comedy festival, Beer Fest, International Fireworks Competition, International Film Fest, numerous wonderful museums…… the list goes on.  Add to these things the incredible food scene which now finally includes food trucks (yay!) in addition to all of the wonderful restaurants and the lively night life.  Living here with the usual routine of daily life of work, kids, chores, etc., I think that we sometimes forget to stop and be grateful for what we have right here at home.  

Where would you go? 

Mama’s Losin’ It


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Teenager Conversations

My kids are pretty normal for their ages (14 and 12).  Sometimes, finding out what is going on in their lives feels like an interrogation.

Me (at dinner table):  How was your day?

The Boy:  Okay

Drama Queen (who’s actually not so dramatic these days):  Good

Me:  What did you do today?

Both:  Not much

Me:  Any tests this week?

The Boy:  Nope

Drama Queen:  Um, maybe….

It’s like pulling teeth! 

Sometimes I do manage to catch one of them in the mood to talk and I milk it for all it’s worth even if it means listening to a twenty minute description of the latest Xbox game or watching my daughter just letting her natural goofiness shine through that preteen cone of silence.   
I find that if I let them start the conversation, they tend to be more forthcoming.  Once they start the ball rolling, I can slip in questions and actually get full-sentence answers.  There is a fine art to talking to a teen and I am slowly learning it.  I may even master it before they hit their twenties!

The one time that I can guarantee getting a conversation from them is when I talk about the things that they did when they were small.  For some reason, they LOVE to hear about their toddler antics and the cute things they said as preschoolers.  They giggle and blush and ask “what else did we used to do?”  What is the fascination with these stories?  I don’t know if this is a way to hold onto their younger selves or if hearing these stories makes them feel more grown up.  Probably the latter.

My daughter was asking me about some time that she spent in the hospital when she was a baby and wanted every detail – what I was doing, what her father was doing where her brother spent his time while she was away.  I must admit that I glossed over some of the details like how very scared we were at first when we didn’t know what was wrong with her, all of the needles that the poor kid got jabbed with, how very pale she was after surgery from blood loss…… maybe I missed a bonding opportunity by not going into more detail; I don’t know…..  I have an issue with reminding my kids of their mortality.  There are enough stories in the news to do that without me adding to it.

As they grow, mature and develop their individual personalities, they seem so grown up that sometimes I find myself talking to them as adults but conversations like the one with my daughter remind me that they aren’t so old.  The next several years will be ones of adjustment, not to mention balance.  I need to nourish their growing independence while not letting their youth be forgotten too quickly. 

This Mom gig is a tough one; who do I see about a raise?
Can you feel the love?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Old-School Blogging

I found this Old-School Blogging idea today while checking out Single Mom in the South's blog ( which she picked up from The Miss Elaine-ous Life ( and thought that I'd give it a whirl.  Please check these ladies out!

Alphabet Meme 

A. Attached or Single?  Divorced and single but would like to change that to attached someday.

B. Best Friend? Stinky - yes, my ex-husband.  We may not have been able to stay married but he's still my best friend.  He's seen me at my best and my worst and I probably couldn't do or say anything that would shock him

C. Cake or pie?  Definitely cake - the more chocolate the better

D. Day of choice?  Any day that I don't have to work!

E. Essential Item?  Tea!  I couldn't make it through my day without tea

F. Favorite color?   Green

G. Gummy bears or worms?  Not keen on either really but I'll say bears.  I can't imagine eating anything that looks like a worm without gagging

H. Hometown?  Pointe-Claire, QC.  I've moved around a bit but have spent the last seventeen years just ten minutes away. 

I. Favorite Indulgence?   Chocolate (see the answer to C)

J. January or July?    January.  Our summers are so hot and humid and I'm definitely not a hot weather person

K. Kids?   2 - a boy and a girl

L. Life isn’t complete without?  My kids, my friends, chocolate..... 

M. Marriage date?  February 18 1997 (also his birthday) not that it really matters since we're divorced and don't celebrate it anymore.

N. Number of brothers/sisters?  None (no I wasn't a spoiled only-child!)

O. Oranges or Apples.   Oranges

P. Phobias?  Nope

Q. Quotes?   "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good"

R. Reasons to smile?   My kids, my friends, my home, the fact that we are here to see another day, chocolate

S. Season of choice?  Autumn - no heat and humidity, no ice on the ground, beautiful colours  

T. Tag 5 People.   I am far too shy to tag people without permission and it would take too long to get that so..... nope

U. Unknown fact about me?  I obsess about everything.  If I have an event coming up, I'll go over the details and possible outcomes in my head until I'm totally wound up.

V. Vegetable?  Fiddleheads which are only available for about two weeks every spring so I gorge on them

W. Worst habit?  Eating my feelings away

X. Xray or Ultrasound?   No feelings either way but I had an MRI once and actually fell asleep in it.  Great little cat-nap!

Y. Your favorite food?  You may have noticed a trend in my answers above - chocolate!

Z. Zodiac sign?  Aquarius.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to let you know when my birthday is coming up, well in advance  :)


Thursday, June 13, 2013


Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with posts.  I like to blame this on lack of imagination rather than the fact that I’m a loser with no life.  Better to have a fault than be a loser, right?  Last week, when I checked out Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts and saw BACON, the words practically flowed from me – rather successfully, I think.  With that success, I decided to check out this week’s prompts and saw the word BRA.  Since I have had boobs for over thirty years (early bloomer) and am well-acquainted with this particular piece of clothing it seemed like a no-brainer.

Women have a true love-hate relationship with bras.  The hate part started early on for me with Grade 6 boys grabbing the back of my bra and snapping it against my skin.  I was already self-conscious enough without that crap going down.  Societal norms dictate that we wear them but we’d probably be happier without them.  We end up spending extraordinary amounts of time and money in the search for the perfect one.  

We get out the measuring tape to get our dimensions which, of course, change throughout our lives just to make sure that we have to go through the groan-worthy task of measuring ourselves on a fairly regular basis and then go from store to store, examining styles, materials, colours, fit, etc.  This part of the experience is just as groan-worthy.  I mean really, what evil grinch designs those changing rooms?  Trying on bras is just as big a blow to the ego as trying on bathing suits.

When you find the right one, though, the clouds part, the sun beams down you and the angels sing.  The right one lifts you just the right way, contains you where it should and makes you feel damned sexy.  A woman wearing a great bra just looks, well, great!  It makes any outfit look better and it draws the eye to your “assets”.  This is where the “love” part of the relationship happens.  If you find that one great bra, you should definitely go buy a lottery ticket cuz it’s your lucky day! 

Of course, no matter how great your bra may be, there is nothing like coming home at the end of the day and setting the “girls” free.  As soon as my shoes come off, I head straight for my room and whip that thing off.  Anyone within earshot can hear the sigh that comes out of me when those hooks separate and I feel that freedom.  If only we could walk around like that all the time; I know that a lot of us would be very happy with that!

Now, of course, I have a daughter who has passed puberty and joined the bra-wearing legions.  She is inexperienced enough to not really know much about proper fit but do you think that she’ll let me see her in the bra of her choice in the store changing room?  Of course not!  She’s twelve (thirteen in September) and very shy about showing her body, even to me.  This leaves me calling directions through a closed door about what she should be looking for in fit.  Hopefully, this shyness will wear off with age and confidence; just not too quickly if her father has his way.  He asked me a couple of weeks ago (jokingly) if there was something we could give her to shrink those emerging curves and bring back his little girl.  Not likely buddy, not likely.

Mama’s Losin’ It


Thursday, June 6, 2013


This is my first time participating in the weekly Writer’s Workshop that Mama Kat hosts on her blog Mama’s Losin’ It.  Check it out -    Yes, another Kat!  We should start a club; call me sistah! 

Most weeks, when I look at her writing prompts, my mind tends to draw a great big blank.  I’m not good under pressure and my poor little imagination kind of shrivels ups.  This week, however, is different.   One of Mama Kat’s prompts this week is BACON!!  Yay!  This is one of my favorite words in all of the English language.  I can write an ode to bacon with my eyes closed and one hand behind my back but I won’t because I don’t want you to think that I’m a dope who can’t type to save her life. 

The sight of a perfectly cooked, crispy slice of bacon is a feast for the eyes, conjuring up images of cozy Sunday breakfasts eaten in your pj’s with a hot cup of tea and some eggs or pancakes. 

Then there is the smell!  The scent that permeates the whole house while that perfectly cured meat sizzles in the pan is pure ambrosia.  Nobody in the household can possible stay asleep once their noses pick up that scent.  It’s enough to make your taste buds stand up at attention and send drool dripping down your chin. 

The finale comes when you sink your teeth into that perfect combination of crispness and chewiness, the saltiness and smoky flavour, the grease that carries these flavours to all parts of your mouth.  Does it get any better than this? 

Bacon goes with just about anything.  I mean, really, it makes everything better!  You go into a restaurant and read about a chicken dish on the menu; as soon as you see that it’s wrapped in bacon, it doesn’t matter what else is in the dish, your first reaction is “Yum!”  Just take a tour around the internet and you’ll find great innovations in bacon enjoyment – bacon doughnuts, bacon jam, chocolate covered bacon……..  the combinations are endless!   If I met a man on the street who was wearing bacon scented cologne, I’d probably jump his bones right then and there.  Try getting that picture out of your head.  (you’re welcome) 

My latest love, though, is a recent menu addition at Tim Horton’s, that shining example of all that is Canadian.  I am talking, of course, about their breakfast panini – egg, cheese, your choice of bacon or sausage (bacon, of course!) all served on either a multi-grain or, get this, MAPLE flatbread!  We’re talking about flatbread infused with maple syrup here people…….with bacon!  It’s amazing that I have found the restraint to keep myself from going there every flippin’ day.  Take a look at this picture and just try to tell me that this doesn’t look good. 

Damn, now I want some bacon......


Mama’s Losin’ It