Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm doing it!

A little while back, I announced that I want to try my hand at fiction.  Considering how much I love reading, it kind of makes sense that I would like to try my hand at a bit of story telling of my own.

It was suggested to me that maybe I should created a page on this blog devoted to it but I'm fearful enough of failure that I don't want to mess with this blog like that so I've created a completely separate blog for this.

I've decided to call this new blog, appropriately enough, Tinkering with Fiction.

At this point, I have posted an introduction and have a couple of posts ready to go.  I'm starting out using writing prompts from Indie Chick Lit and a book of writing prompts that I bought a while back and, as my confidence grows, hope to branch out with prompts from my own head.

I can't promise great, prize-worthy, works of art but I hope to not disappoint either.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Watch what you believe!

Dr. Joe Schwarcz is one of the head of McGill University's Office for Science and Society (OSS).  He has a radio program here in Montreal and also a weekly column in the Montreal Gazette.

It is his office's job to bring science to "the people" and debunk some of the ridiculous propaganda that seems to flourish in the media.  He also has a passion for exposing quacks; so much so that he has a collection of rubber duckies in his office, lol!

Below is a link to a post that he put up on their Facebook page today about the latest marketing ploy from Pepsi that I thought you'd be interested in.  They are trying to appeal to the people who are going "natural".  Here's the problem: our bodies treat all sugars, regardless of where they come from, exactly the same way!  Sugar is sugar is sugar whether it comes from sugar cane, sugar beets, corn syrup, etc. - nutritionally speaking, they are all the same and should be limited.  If only I were better at taking that advice…..

This is not a paid promotional post (I don't do those), just me telling you that you should check out their Facebook page.  You'd be amazed at the interesting tidbits you'll pick up from this trustworthy source.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Finish the Sentence Friday - #6

The best decision I ever made was………..  

……..hmmmm, that’s a hard one.   

I could say that divorcing my husband might be it.  Certainly it was the hardest decision and it was a fresh start for me.  Of course, making that my choice would mean talking about why I made that decision and the thought of spewing out those details here makes me want to, well, spew……   

I could say that the decision to have my kids was the best one but that seems like such a cliché.  If I go through the Finish the Sentence Friday posts, how many of those will I find?  There’s nothing wrong with being thankful for our decision to have kids – goodness knows I am – but I write about them enough.  Let’s move on. 

I could say that moving out of my parents’ house as early as I could and getting out of that environment was my best decision ever.  Again, though, that would mean talking about the reasons and I try so hard to not bad-mouth people here.  Maybe someday, I’ll find the guts to really talk about it here but, for now, just trust me when I say that moving out was a great decision. 

All of these things were life-changers but there is a more recent one that I am happy to talk about and that many others share – the leap into social media.  When I joined Twitter, I didn’t really know what it was about, only that so many people were talking about it.  Once I got into it and started discovering people there, I was totally hooked!  I spent hours on it and it took me to so many sites that I never would have discovered on my own.  I have several Facebook friends who I interact with regularly and who enrich my life who I never would have known if I hadn’t met them on Twitter. 

Of course, my Twitter addiction has settled down quite a bit at this point and I don’t spend nearly so much time on it now but I still have fun with it while actually getting things done.  The fact that I’ve added Google +, Pinterest, Instagram to my life is beside the point. 

This is also where I discovered the world of blogging.  Can you believe that I didn’t even know what a blog was until then?!  I know it’s shocking!  I have read so many stories; funny, sad, thought-provoking where I have laughed, cried, agreed, disagreed and felt understanding.  For someone as shy as I am to be reaching out and talking to these people that I have never met about our lives is really kind of mind-blowing and certainly life-changing. 

Connecting with so many different people and hearing their stories has expanded my horizons and I find that I’m far less judgmental now than I once was and less likely to make assumptions about people.  That’s not to say that I’m perfect.  I certainly do put my foot in my mouth now and then but I don’t do it nearly as often as I once did. 

So, was joining social media the best decision that I ever made?  Maybe not THE best but certainly close to the top.  After all, if I hadn’t, this blog wouldn’t exist and that would be so sad….. 


Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Busy Week

I’m going to combine two of Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week since they pretty much meld together well.   The best thing that I’ve bought this month just happened to coincide with Easter weekend so is part of my Easter recap. 

Ive been a bit absent from the bloggy world this past week (or so) because I’ve been so darned busy spending money as well as building furniture and catching up from my vacation week.  I took a week off to recharge my failing internal batteries and came back to a short week last week so I was really pretty pooped at the end of each day.  However, this did not stop me from carrying out my plans for the tax refunds I received in the mail last week.  Aren’t tax refunds a glorious thing?!! 

Since they are outside of my normal paycheque and budget, I tend to consider my tax refund cheques to be “found” money and use them to get the things that we need/want that don’t fit into the normal budget.  That said, I spent an absolutely obscene amount of money last week…. 

We started with a trip to Costco where I stocked up my freezer, not to mention the rest of my kitchen, and bought The Boy a new bike.  His old one was totally finished and, considering his busy social life, he really needed a new one.  He’ll now be free to boogy off to his friends’ places free of the constraint of bus schedules. 

On Friday, since we all had the day off for the holiday, we hit the mall for some clothes shopping.  This is pretty much the only time of year when I actually buy clothes for myself.  There is usually something else that we need that comes first.  The kids were also sorely in need of new clothes.  They grow so darned fast!  That was definitely an expensive day but my wardrobe got a much needed boost so it was well worth it. 

On Saturday came the trip to Ikea.  The kids’ room hasn’t been changed since we moved into the apartment over nine years ago and something really had to be done.  We separated the bunk beds into two separate beds, threw out a whole bunch of junk and trashed the wall unit/dresser whose drawers were broken and whose shelves wouldn’t stay up anymore; hence the trip to Ikea.  We bought them each a new bureau as well as a tv stand for the old tv we have in there for the xBox.  The rest of that day and part of the next one were spent moving old furniture around and building new furniture.  There is something about building furniture that makes a non-handy person feel pretty powerful.  I even walked away with a small blood-blister on my finger as a souvenir of my new handiness! 

Please ignore the dust on the TV :)

As for Easter…… it’s never been a big holiday in our household.  When the kids were younger, I hid chocolate for them and gave them baskets with fun toys but they are teens now and would probably prefer cash.  I’ve picked up a few treats over the past couple of weeks so we’ve all had our share of chocolate and they got to celebrate the long weekend with a “new” bedroom.  I was so tired by Sunday night that I couldn’t have cooked a feast if my life had depended on it so we ordered in pizza. 

The tax refund money?  Poof, all gone! 


Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 4/16


Yes, the best way to live!  


Friday, April 11, 2014

Finish the Sentence Friday - #5

If I could go back in time...….

….. I would tell my younger self to work harder at overcoming her innate shyness and forge more close friendships.

When I was younger, I had little self-confidence and was painfully shy with people that I didn't know.  I still am, to a certain extent, but have been trying to work on that.  During the years that I was married to Stinky, there were always people around and we had a pretty decent social circle but the problem is that they were people that he drew to us.  He is an extrovert extraordinaire!  He draws people in so I never had to work at having people around me.  Unfortunately this meant that, when we separated, a lot of those "friends" stayed with him and I was left with a very small social circle.  Blink as they go by and you might miss them.

It's funny, there were always people around our house or some social thing to go to and I would actually get annoyed but, now, sometimes I miss it.  I guess it's all about perspective.

I do have friends though.  It's not like I'm a totally isolated hermit with noone but her cat.  We're talking about quality over quantity in my case.  Not a bad thing, when you think about it.  I've stumbled around a bit over the years, learning how to cultivate and keep friendships.  It's not as easy as you would think watching my ex work his magic but I'm getting there.  I only wish that I had worked harder at that skill when I was younger.  Teaching this old dog new tricks is tough.

No flowers yet but we're getting there!
Now that we are all coming out of hibernation from the long winter months, I plan to spend some time enjoying those friendships.  Perhaps a beer on a terrasse downtown after work, a couple of friends over for a BBQ, a glass (or two or three…..) of wine with my lovely SIL.  I should probably try to get better at picking up the phone too…..

I'm a work in progress but, then again, aren't we all?


Thursday, April 10, 2014


When I look at my reflection I see a forty-four year old woman.   This woman has a few wrinkles creeping up around her eyes and a few grey hairs (thankfully only a few!).   After over four decades of happy, sad, stress and hard work, these things are to be expected.  Hers is not a life of leisure. 

When I look at my reflection I see a woman who wasn’t exactly thin before she had two babies and, given her sad lack of impulse control, will probably never be thin. She may work on this but, for the moment, basically accepts herself as she is.

When I look at my reflection I see a woman whose best and prettiest feature is her smile.  She shows that smile off as often as possible even when she isn't totally "feeling" it because it feels good when people smile back.

When I look at my reflection I see a mother, daughter, niece, cousin, aunt, ex-wife, sister-in-law, friend and coworker who treasures all of these things but, some days, still isn’t entirely sure what she wants to be when she grows up. 

When I look at my reflection, I see a woman who feels more confident and likes herself better now than her younger self did.  She's still a bit insecure sometimes but is working to get past that.

When I look at my reflection, I see a woman who, despite having family and friends to love, is lonely and sometimes aches for a partner.  Sadly, the dating scene has proven too damned depressing…..

When I look at my refection, I see a woman who needs to get out more and experience life before she turns into a crazy cat lady.  Now that spring truly seems to be on the way, perhaps she'll work on that.

That woman in the mirror is complicated and needs improvement in some areas but she's not so bad.  I think that I like her.


(post inspired by Mama Kat's Writing Prompts)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

There goes a piece of my childhood…  so sad…..

Friday, April 4, 2014

Finish the Sentence Friday - #4

I never understood what the big deal was about……. 

….. so-called “reality” programs. 

I’ve aired my opinion on this before so nobody should be too shocked by the fact that I boycott all “reality” television on basic principle no matter how popular it may be.  These programs have absolutely nothing to do with reality.  Just because there is no script, doesn’t make it real.   

I just don’t understand the fascination that the viewing public has with this genre.  Obviously, people really are fascinated enough by it to tune in week after week or the genre would have died out long ago but I just don’t get it.   

People let themselves be stranded on islands with a bunch of strangers to form lord-of-the-flies-like alliances forced to eat gross things and “jump through hoops” to keep from being thrown out.  There are those who live with strangers and proceed to verbally tear each other apart for the benefit of the rolling cameras.  There are people who get up on a stage to have their talents ridiculed by judges and their millions of viewers.  Don’t even get me started on the pathetic souls who try to woo a spouse with a camera in their faces and knowing that their every move is being judged around thousands of water coolers the next day.  It’s hard enough navigating a relationship when it’s just two people involved. 

Then we move on to the quasi-celebrities and has-beens who bring the cameras into their lives to advertise their drama and dysfunctional relationships to the world.  Please don’t tell me these people are normal.  People like this are attention junkies and know that they are just crazy enough (or can pretend to be) to be interesting.  I mean who the heck would want to watch the Kardashians eat their Shreddies in the morning and head off to work like a normal family?  Nobody! 

How is any of this reality?  How do they manage to suck so many people into watching?  I can’t say that people who watch this programming are fools or stupid.  I know some very intelligent and perfectly nice people who watch at least some of this genre.  Could it just be a matter of human curiosity like rubbernecking when you pass an accident on the road or looking at the guy on the street corner who is talking to himself?  I think that some of the antics on these shows have a kind of car wreck feel to them that make people want to see what happens next.    

Thankfully, there are a gazillion channels (exaggerate much?) out there providing something for everyone  and if, even with all of this choice, I still can’t find something to watch, I can always (gasp) turn OFF the television and pick up a book or even type up a blog post about there being nothing to watch.

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic