Thursday, September 11, 2014

On My Own

This prompt from Mama Kat caught my eye this week:

Write about what it was like to live on your own for the first time.

I’m sure that a lot of those who choose this prompt will write about their twenty year old selves but I guess that I’m a “late bloomer”.  I lived with my parents until I was twenty and then moved in with the man who would later become my husband.  I always had a safety net; someone who could pick up the slack if I was sick or between jobs.

This changed completely when, at the age of thirty four, I left my husband.  All of a sudden, I had my own place; MY VERY OWN!  The lease and all of the bills had only my name; I was responsible for everything and, quite frankly, it was exhilarating.  Please note that the last year or two of my marriage had been so stressful and painful and just the fact that I wasn’t trying to hold together a crumbling marriage anymore was enough for me to hear angels singing in the background.

When I left him, I cashed in an investment and went out and bought all new things.  I bought dishes, pots and pans, towels, furniture, sheets and a dozen other things that I could go on listing.  I took very little from the house when I left for two reasons:  first, I couldn’t clean out the house since our kids would still be living there half the time and, second, I truly wanted a fresh start.  As a matter of fact, when he saw my new pot set he was a little envious and offered to “take it off my hands” if I wanted the set we already had.  No way Bud!

I fell in love with my new place…… MY place…… because it represented a new chapter in my life.  I was no longer this sad, broken person whose kids saw her cry far too often, who was in a downward spiral that she had such a hard time breaking away from.  I’ve had some tough times, financially, but seem to have things pretty much under control these days.  I still have a “lean” week now and then but I’m definitely swimming more often than sinking and I’m very proud of that.  My kids have a hard-working mother who supports herself and them, giving the three of us a pretty decent life.  In this respect, at least, I am definitely a positive role model.

I have always been a bit of a homebody but I’ve gotten worse in the last ten years.  I don’t know if it’s because I love my apartment or if I’m just getting old.  Maybe I won’t explore that question too deeply…..

I have come to enjoy having my own space so much that I’m not sure what I’ll do when Mr. Right finally emerges from the vast sea of Mr. Wrongs and wants to be let in.  I guess that I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.  


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Taking a Facebook break...

So, in my last post, I mentioned that I took a bit of a break from the internet during my vacation.  I barely touched my computer and feel that I’m better off for having done it.  I’ve been taking another break lately though that has lasted the whole summer.  With maybe a couple of exceptions, I haven’t been on Facebook since early June.

Believe it or not, the world didn't end without Facebook!

Gasp!  I know; it’s incredible!  What do we do without the time-suck that is Facebook?  Many of us have a hard time answering that question.  Now, I have been posting my blog links to this blog’s Facebook page but my personal page has been utterly neglected all summer and I haven’t really missed it.  I do admit that I do kind of miss seeing friends’ pictures and some of the jokes but there is so much that I don’t miss. 

For some reason, I have some friends who think that it’s their mission in life to post dozens of pictures of missing dogs, abused dogs and dogs that are available for adoption.  I get it; you like dogs and want to see people “adopt, don’t shop” but overexposing the people you know to your message backfires when they stop looking at your posts.  Enough is enough people! 

The same thing goes for those who are trying to sell something.  I’m glad that you’ve started up a home business selling makeup/Tupperware/vitamins but I really don’t need my news feed to be full of it.  I have one person on my friends list who is selling makeup and, believe me; I’ve seen enough gunked up eye lashes to last me forever.  The stuff doesn’t even look nice……

Then there are the people who overshare their issues or (just as bad) put up cryptic status updates that hint at something wrong.  If your grandma died and you’re sad about it, by all means, please share so that the people who care about you can express their sympathy and perhaps help you feel better.  You had a fight about money/child care/etc. with your ex?  I’ll take a pass on that one thank you.  We all screw up sometimes and write something that we regret later but there are some people who skip the regret part and just keep doing it.

Will I go back to Facebook?  Of course I will.  We all get sucked back in eventually.  Like it or not, this is how so many of us get our news not only about what is happening with our family and friends but also in the world in general.  I’m feeling a little bit “out of the loop” here but not so much that I’m ready to cave in (yet!).  I still check in on Twitter on my phone so I’m not totally out of touch with the world.

Have you taken a Facebook break and, if so, how long did you last?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Lineup

I have just finished two weeks of vacation and am feeling very well rested.  I didn’t travel anywhere or do much that was exciting.  As a matter of fact, I was home for most of it spending time with my nose in a book or fiddling with my iPad.  I did get out a bit but, really, the past two weeks were about relaxation and recharging my batteries.  I was mostly offline including taking a break here on the blog.  A part of me missed the interaction but taking a break from everything is just what I needed.  I barely touched my computer the whole two weeks and don’t regret it.

That said, I’m back to work now and the kids started school this week so we’re back on a normal schedule and that means that it’s time to get my butt in gear and get back to writing.  What better way to do that is there than hooking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop?  Well, no better way, of course!

I am SO looking forward to the upcoming cool autumn weather!  The summer heat can just bite me…..  I love autumn and all that comes with it – cool weather, beautiful colours, comfort foods, pumpkin chai and, of course, the season premieres coming up on TV. 

I put up a post recently with the trailer for Season 5 of The Walking Dead and am excited beyond words for it!  I was late in the game, only picking it up on Netflix this past February and now I am absolutely hooked.  I can’t believe it took me so long to start watching this amazing show.  Now I can’t wait for the   October 12 season premiere!

I’m also looking forward to the premiere of Grimm.  This show just keeps getting better and better.  They have amazing talent on that show and do an excellent job of bringing legends to life.  Also, I NEED to know if the Captain is okay; the last time we saw him, he was in an ambulance with multiple gunshot wounds!

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is another show that I have gotten into.  They left us wondering, at the end of last season, how S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to come back from utter ruin as well as how the team would recover from the betrayal that they suffered.  I’m looking forward to plenty of action this season!

Another long-time favourite, of course, it The Big Bang Theory.  Sometimes, when a show has been on long enough, I will start to lose interest but this one just keeps me coming back for more.  The actors and writers on this show deserve the awards and praise that they receive.  I think one of my absolute favourite episodes is the one with Howard’s robotic arm – I laughed myself to tears over that one and still do every time I see it. 

The last one that I’ll list here is Sleepy Hollow.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first season and can’t wait to see what they do in Season 2.  The finale this spring left Ichabod being buried and Abby in another realm altogether and I’m looking forward to seeing how they get out of those fixes.  This is a well-imagined series that I really hope sticks around for a while.

This is some of the fall programming that I’m looking forward to.  What are you looking forward to?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Goodbye Mr. Williams

I was so very sad Monday night to hear of the death of Robin Williams.  It was only after I had published my anniversary post that night that I went surfing around online and saw the news.  I wouldn’t have had the heart to finish that post if I had found out before.  I rarely shed a tear for celebrity news which can be so full of drama but, when I found out about his death due to suicide, I cried like a baby.  My eyes are welling up just thinking about it.

My introduction to this great entertainer came when he showed up on my television in Mork and Mindy when I was eight years old.  Yes, I’m aging myself here.  He has been making me laugh ever since.  He was obviously a soul in torment, though, who camouflaged this with laughter. 

Depression lies, telling you that you are all alone, and it is so persuasive that it manages to get its claws into its victims to the point where this is all that they can see.  Sadly, he lost his fight with this beast leaving his family, friends and millions of fans to mourn his loss.

His magic will live on though in his movies, interviews and taped performances.  His work was his gift to us and, from what I have heard of him, this was a gift that he truly loved giving.  I have heard so many stories this week of his kindness and generosity which have touched my heart and left me even more saddened by his end.  

Mr. Williams, I hope that, wherever you are, you have found the peace that you couldn’t find in this life.

Thank you for the laughs



Monday, August 11, 2014

It's been five years!

August 11, 2009 

This is the date when I published my first blog post (here) five years ago.  I am, by nature, fairly shy and self-depreciating - not at all confident in my own writing abilities – so hitting that “publish” button took so much courage.   

I agonized for weeks over whether or not to jump into the blogging world that I had discovered through Twitter.  I “met” so many great people there, many of whom I am still in touch with, and discovered the world of blogging through them.   Even after all of my agonizing, I still held my breath when I sent that first post into cyberspace.  Amazingly enough, the universe didn’t explode when my words went out. 

I love this form of expression where regular people like me can talk about life, love, family, current events and engage with each other.  I have witnessed people laughing together, crying together and showing so much support for one another.  Yes, there is the occasional troll who loves nothing better than to throw some nastiness around but the good people far outnumber them.   So far (knock on wood) I’ve been pretty lucky that I haven’t had any troll experiences here. 

It is in this community where I have learned a lot about myself.  I really do have a lot to say and there are others who feel same as I do.  I am not alone.  I have also learned not to jump to judgment.  We all have our own reality and are doing what we feel is best for our own families.  I now think twice (sometimes three times) before I say that somebody else is wrong and, more often than not, give the benefit of the doubt. 

I do need to work on consistency though.  I post anywhere from one to three times in a week; basically whenever the mood strikes or when I find a prompt from a link-up that hits me the right way.  Ideally, I’d like to post at least twice a week but, when I try to force it, my brain goes completely blank and I can’t come up with anything interesting.   I seem to be a bit of a free spirit, going with the flow, when it comes to blogging.  When I stop to think about it, I suppose that’s not really such a bad thing.   

My audience has grown over the last five years but is still pretty small compared to many of the blogs that I visit.  I’m really okay with that since the thought of hundreds or (gasp!) thousands of people reading my words makes me hyperventilate a bit.  Talk about pressure!  I have huge respect for the Scary Mommy’s and The Blogesses of the blogging community for being able to put themselves “out there” for their vast audiences the way that they do.  My confidence has grown but I still have a long way to go…. 

For those of you who come by at least somewhat regularly, you may have noticed that I recently started signing off my posts as "Kathy" instead of "Kat".  This was explained in my last post

"In the beginning I felt a need for privacy and creating an "online name" seemed fitting but, these days, it's not feeling authentic so I've started signing off my posts with Kathy instead"

I've made the decision to take that one step further and actually change my blog name to use my full name now as well.  It just feels more "me", more authentic.

I don’t know where I’ll be in another five years but I do know that I would like to be here celebrating my ten year blogging anniversary with you, my bloggy friends. 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I've been nominated!!

I decided to give myself a three-day weekend this past weekend - just because.  I slept in and then sat down at my computer with my tea and a big bowl of cereal to surf around and catch up on some of my favourite bloggers.  Imagine my surprise when I landed on Angela's blog, Time with A & N, and saw that she had nominated my little blog for a Liebster Award!  In order to accept, I need to answer the eleven questions below and, in turn, nominate ten more bloggers who keep me entertained and informed.  I think that I can manage that.

1.  What's the inspiration behind the title of your blog?
I wanted my blog's title to reflect its content which is basically whatever happens to be going on around me in my own little world.  I talk about a variety of things including what I'm cooking, reading, thinking about and have opinions on so the title seems fitting.  I am, however, considering changing it to A Day in the life of Kathy though.  In the beginning I felt a need for privacy and creating an "online name" seemed fitting but, these days, it's not feeling authentic so I've started signing off my posts with Kathy instead.

2. What did you hope to be when you grew up?
I must admit that I never did have any solid plan.  Some people just "know" what they want to be - a cop, a fireman, an archeologist, a teacher, etc. but I never did have any clear path.  I kind of just fell into my current job (payroll) because I'm good with numbers but sometimes I still get the feeling that I still need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

3. What kind of animal best represents you/your family?
That really depends on the day.  Sometimes it's the sloth because no matter my best intentions, I just don't seem to get anywhere.  Other days it's a jackrabbit because I end up hopping from one thing to the next without stopping.

4. Why did you start your blog?
I've always loved the thought of writing but never could keep up a personal journal.  When I joined Twitter and starting finding all of these bloggers who talked about things that I too was going through and started building relationships with them, I knew that I had found my tribe.  Writing for myself wasn't motivating for me; it was the relationship with others that I needed in my life.

5.  Name one item near the top of your bucket list.
I want to write.  Not just here on this blog but fiction.  I started up a fiction blog recently and have put up a few posts (working on another one now).  I don't know if I'll ever be good enough to actually publish something - you know, for money - but I want to be good enough to make myself proud.  Isn't that what it's all about?

6.  Describe your ideal summer evening.
Time spent on a deck with good friends, good food, good wine and plenty of laughter.

7.  Who inspires you the most outside of your family?
I wish that I had a great answer to this one.  Perhaps a magnificent author, actor, politician, sports hero…. but I'm drawing a complete blank.  I'm a bit of a loser on this one.

8.  Finish this sentence:  After a long day, it makes me happiest to….
……come home.  My home isn't anything fancy but it's where I'm happiest.  This is where I have all of the creature comforts that relax me after a long day at work.  Also, my kids are there too and that's where my heart lies.

9.  If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?  Why?
The power to heal.  I have nerve damage down my leg from when I was pregnant with my daughter and ended up with a herniated disk in my back.  It would be nice to be normal again - or as normal as I've ever been anyway  ;)

10.  Why do you write about what you write about?
Thie blog is about my live - the things that I do, read, cook, think about.  Who is more of an expert about these things than me?  I've been fortunate enough to find bloggy friends along the way who are happy to hear my story and share theirs; that makes this all worthwhile.

11.  What is your favourite season and why?
Hands down, autumn!  The colours, the cool crisp air, pumpkin chai, Halloween, the return of comfort foods like soup and slow cooker roasts after the hot summer months….. I could go on and on.

Now, time for my nominations.  These are bloggy friends who make me smile; some I've known for a while, some are newer finds.  To accept this nomination, my friends, you just need to answer the eleven questions and nominate some of your favourite bloggers.  Please make sure you give me the link to your post so that I can enjoy your answers!  Just so you know, Angela would be on this list if she didn't already have this award ;)

This & That As I Bounce Thru Life
Betsy's Random Assortment of Thoughts
The Animated Woman
Mama's Losin' It  (host of Thursday's Writer's Workshop)
Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine….
The online world of Julie DeNeen
People I Want to Punch in the Throat
Domain of the Mad Mommy
Janine's Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Choice Morsels


Friday, July 25, 2014

Comic-Con Trailer: The Walking Dead: Season 5

The Season 5 trailer just came out and I am SO excited!!  Bring on October!  :)


Thursday, July 24, 2014

What I'd rather be doing

As usual, on a Thursday, I’m at work.  Don’t worry; I posted this and hooked up with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop before I went to work.  It’s not like I’d play around on my blog while at the office…… (just sayin’,  in case the boss ever finds my blog).

As much as I LOVE my job (again for the boss), there are plenty of other things that I would also love to be doing.

-I would love to be sitting out on my balcony with a good book and a cup of tea.

-I would love to be having a picnic by the lake.  I live literally five minutes from a lovely lakeside park but do you think that I ever get there?  Ha!  I must get out there!

-I would love to go shopping, not because I need milk and tampons but just because I want to for totally frivolous things.  Of course, I need to work for the money to do that…..

-I would love to have the day to spend with my kids.  Of course, they’re teens now so even when I do have my vacation time, they probably won’t hang around with me.  A mom can dream though.

-I would love to spend some quality time writing both for this blog and some fiction.  I’m not spending enough time on either lately (sorry!)

-I would love to be sitting out on a terrasse somewhere drinking wine/sangria/beer/whatever with my lovely SIL.  I’m not seeing enough of her these days.

-I would love to be sitting on the sidelines watching my kids play soccer.  I enjoy the socializing with the other parents as much as I enjoy cheering my kids on.

-I would love to go to the movies for a couple of hours of air conditioned, well-entertained bliss.  There is always something out there that I want to see but, somehow, I don’t ever seem to go.  What’s up with that?

-I would love to take a nap.  I never napped when I was younger but, once I had kids, I learned the value of a good nap.  There’s nothing like “checking out” for an hour or so on a peaceful afternoon.

What would you rather be doing?


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A letter to myself

“It’s time to start dating again but, before you do, you write a letter to yourself.  Write that letter.”

I got this writing prompt from Indie Chick Lit to use on my fiction blog but decided that it would be better over here where I “keep it real” and talk about life.  Obviously, I’ve been single for quite a long while now so I’m writing this with a lot of hindsight from lessons learned.

Dear Me,

Let’s just state the obvious – dating is tough.  You don’t want to meet a guy in a bar.  This is where the drinkers hang out and you’ve had enough of that crap to last a lifetime.  You don’t have a huge circle of friends so you don’t tend to go to many parties or get-togethers.  You don’t belong to any groups or associations where you could meet people.  These are big hindrances.

Then you have the online dating sites.  You can meet some nice people there but there are more losers than winners in that world.  Well, I suppose there are plenty of duds to be met in person as well but at least you can weed them out a little bit more easily in person. 

However you go about meeting guys, here are a few tips:

-never, EVER, date a man who is married or otherwise attached.  You deserve to be his “#1”.  You’re smart enough to understand this one without any more explanation.

-make sure that a man respects you enough to actually call sometimes and not just text.  If he’s really into you, he should want to hear your voice.

-if all he ever wants to do is get together at your place and not go out and do things, he’s either…… a) married/attached without telling you or  b) has no interest in actually dating you; only in “hook-ups”.

-speaking of hook-ups, try to stay away from them.  They’re not healthy, physically or emotionally.  They might be fun at the time but, without any real friendship behind them, are really pretty empty experiences.

-if you don’t feel respected then you probably aren’t being respected.  Go with your gut; it’s always a mile ahead of your brain and two miles ahead of your heart.

-be happy with yourself.  A person who is not happy in her own company cannot expect anyone else to be attracted to her. 

You’ll meet a few nice people along the way as well as a few not so nice ones.  That’s how life is.  One of these days, though, the right one will come along and you’ll have found your partner.  Until then, enjoy life; get out there, laugh and live well.

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Favourite App!

This week Mama Kat asked us what our favourite app is as one of her writing prompts.

I recently got an iPad Air and absolutely love it!  One of the first apps that I downloaded was Next Issue (  It is Canadian but I have no doubt that there is an American version of it too.  With a subscription of $14.99 a month (premium membership), you can get all of your favourite magazines on your tablet.  The first month is free so that you can try it out and see if you like it.

We’re not just talking about a few obscure magazines here like Cat Lovers Monthly or DIY Mushroom Gardening; no we’re talking big magazines like People, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmo, Glamour, Food Network Mag, Time, GQ, Oprah and so many more.  The first two that I named are my favourites and are weekly magazines.  There are some months where I would buy each of them two, three and sometimes even four times in a month.  The monthly membership fee for full access is going to save me a bundle!

I have a hard time imagining myself giving up holding a book in my hand but I’m willing to update myself for magazines.  Some of them even have links that you can hit to see movie previews or other digital extras that people holding the paper magazine don’t get.  Another thing that is nice is that you have access to past issues as well.

I download the new issues that I’m interested in when I’m at home with wi-fi and then I can read them anywhere I want regardless of whether I have a wi-fi connection or not.  Do note though that you do need wi-fi for any links that you want to check out.  Once you’ve read the issue, you should delete it from your tablet to save your device’s memory but can always download it again in future if you want to refer back to an article.  You have unlimited access!   You can also share a page by email if you want to share an article or a recipe.

Just a few of the many magazines!
As you can tell, I’m obviously in love with this app. 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Celebrating Canada Day

One of the prompts at the Writer’s Workshop this week is “show us your red, white and blue”.  Since July 1st is Canada Day and I am Canadian, I’m dropping the “blue” and showing my maple leaf pride.  This post would normally go up on Thursday for the Workshop but I'm putting it up today for Canada Day and will link up on Thursday.

I realize that it is practically un-Canadian of me to be boastful about my country.  We are known for our quiet pride and self-depreciating humour when it comes to talking about our country but I have never been shy to say that I am a proud Canadian, proud Quebecer and proud Montrealer.   

Yeah, I'm boasting  ;)
Canada is known for its vast open spaces and natural beauty; its universal medicare; its citizen’s penchant for saying sorry and ending sentences with “eh”.  We are known for our love of hockey, maple syrup and poutine.   

We have given the world celebrities like Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Tatiana Maslany, Justin Bieber (sorry!!), Ryan Reynolds (not sorry!), William Shatner (Montreal boy!), Michael J. Fox, Keifer Sutherland, Nathan Fillion, Mike Myers and so many more.  You’re welcome world.  There are many others who my American readers may not recognize like Rick Mercer, David Suzuki, Russell Peters, Brent Butt, Ron James and (again) so many more. 
We have harsh winters in many parts of the country and very hot summers and a population who can get much joy out of both.  I must say, though, that the heat and humidity have just kicked in here and I have found myself longing for a bit of snow as I lay in bed sweating.  Only a Canadian would say that, lol! 

We are known throughout the world as peacekeepers and are welcome everywhere we go.  I am very proud of my country’s reputation in international circles.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize our weaknesses though.  Yes, we have stupid politicians just like anywhere else.  Yes, our medical and education systems are not perfect.  Yes, our government could use some streamlining.  All in all though, I’d rather be here than anywhere else. 

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite videos celebrating what makes us Canadian rather than just an extension of the US.  We tend to be the quiet neighbor to the north and get forgotten.  This was a commercial for Molson Canadian a while back that went absolutely viral.  Put your tongue firmly "in cheek" and enjoy  ;)

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and Happy July 4th to my American friends!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finish the Sentence Friday #8

I haven’t participated in Finish the Sentence Friday in a while mostly because the subjects just haven’t “spoken” to me but this week’s did.  I’m glad too since I just found out that they are taking a break for July.   

The one thing I’ll never compromise on is……… 

This sentence seems to have a different ending at different ages and, in the end, I find myself compromising on most of those things.   

“I will always do something for a living that is exciting and makes me happy” – There came a time when responsibilities reared their heads and taking a good, stable job became the priority over excitement. 

“I will never feed my kids junk food” (from pre-parent days, of course) – Any parent who says that they actually stick to this one and never gives their kid a sugary treat is either a liar or a bloody saint.   

“I will always be the parent who bakes, does crafts, patiently sits with her kids as they do their homework while a delicious, healthy dinner is simmering on the stove; in other words the perfect mom” – Ha!  Boy was there compromise there!  After being gone eleven hours a day five days a week, this poor mom is pooped.  I’ve got two great kids who seem to love me though so I at least get an “A” for effort.  

“I will always be completely honest.  I’ll never lie to anyone” – Now, most of the time that is true of me but I’d be lying now if I said that I’ve never told a little white lie.  Is there anybody who has never said that a friend’s new outfit/haircut was nice, when they really didn’t so, just to not hurt their feelings?  Have you ever said that you forgot to call someone back or “got busy” when, really, you just didn’t feel like talking and didn’t want them to take it personally?  Even the most honest of us makes the occasional compromise with the best of intentions. 

See, life is all about compromise.  I can’t think of one thing that I can righteously say I would NEVER compromise on and you can’t either.  As a matter of fact, the word “never” should be obliterated from the English language.   

Never say “never”! 

You might say, but Kathy I would never hurt or kill someone.  Really?  If somebody was physically threatening or hurting your family, you wouldn’t fight back and take that sucker out?  Of course you would.   Mama Bear would certainly come out in me if somebody was hurting my kids and I’m one of the most peace-loving people around.   You’d never steal?  If you or your family were starving, you wouldn’t steal food?  Of course you would.  We all would.  The difference between the “good” people and the “bad” people is what has to happen for you to make those compromises. 

Of course not all compromises are born of such dire circumstances.  Some are as simple as ordering pizza when you know you should be grilling that chicken in your fridge and serving it with a nice salad but you’re just too tired to do anything other than dial the pizzeria phone number. 

Not all compromise is bad.  The ability to bend and see a different way of doing things can be a good thing.  Those who are so rigid that they can’t fathom a change in how they think and do things are missing out on so much in life.   They miss out on understanding a different point of view.  They miss out on relationships that could enrich their lives.  They miss opportunities.  I try hard to not be that kind of person.  Now that is something I won't compromise on!

This picture has nothing to do with the subject matter; I'm just proud of The Girl's artwork :)