Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's the last one!

It is ten o'clock at night on November 30.  That means that NaBloPoMo has come to an end.

This has been challenging and a few of my posts this month have been "cheats"; pictures, video, a short note.  I can live with that.

The fact that I have posted at least something each and every day is an accomplishment that I am proud of.  I honestly had some serious doubts as to whether or not I would make it but I think that the fact that I told you all I was doing this and committed to it made me accountable to you and gave me the push that I needed.

All I can say is thank goodness for the writing prompts that they gave us!  I'm not sure that I would have made it past the first week without them.  They helped me stretch my boundaries and write about things that I may not have otherwise touched on.

NaBloPoMo for November 2013 seems to have been a huge success.  Each day, when participants put up their post, they put a link on the Blogher page (check it out) and right now there are almost 5000 links.  As of tonight, thirty of them are mine.  I'm honoured to have been involved in this with so many talented bloggers.  So far, I haven't checked out nearly as many of them as I wanted to but I intend to continue going back to visit as many blogs as I can.  I've had new readers visit me since I've been posting there and I love it!

I don't see myself being able to keep up the daily pace but I'd like to post at least a couple of times a week instead of going back to once a week.  Hopefully I can keep some of this momentum going  :)


Friday, November 29, 2013

Post #100

Instead of spending time coming up with a proper, big post tonight, I am spending time with my girl and my cat watching a Bugs Bunny and then Grimm at nine o'clock.  What better way is there to spend an evening?

I would like to take a moment, though, to point out that this is my 100th blog post.  I feel like I should do something to celebrate since that's quite a milestone but, again, a night with my baby is calling to me.

We love this show and never miss an episode!  Any more fans out there?


Thursday, November 28, 2013

The starting post

November 28th prompt for the NaBloPoMo challenge – How do you feel about the first blog post you ever wrote? 

My first blog entry happened August 11, 2009.   (here it is)

I had joined Twitter not too long before that and was on it constantly.  I made some new friends there who I am still in touch with today through Twitter as well as on Facebook.  I also discovered the world of blogging and was hooked instantly.  A lot of them were “mommy” blogs and humor blogs and, of course some humorous mommy blogs.  One thing they all have in common is that these were people just like me writing about their experiences in parenting, relationships and the workplace and I could relate to so many of them. 

It took me a little while to work up the courage to “put myself out there”.  I’m pretty shy person have never really had the courage to stand in front of
a crowd and speak up.  I think that connecting up with new people on Twitter, and being accepted, gave me the boost that I needed.  I probably never would have started this blog without it.  I can really see the lack of confidence in my own ability in my first post and like to think that I’ve gotten better. 

Reading my introduction, I have to admit that it’s a little sad how little has changed in a couple of parts of my life.  I’m still in the same very solid but uninspiring job.  Please don’t think that I’m ungrateful; this job pays my rent and feeds my kids and, for that, I am eternally grateful.  I just wish that it left me feeling a little more fulfilled.  The boyfriend front is still pretty sad.  It’s so hard to find a decent guy with the same goals as mine. 

On the other hand, my kids’ nicknames had to change since they have evolved from the eleven and nine year olds that they were then.  I’m in a far better place financially since I have managed to get my budget under control.  I’m far from rich but definitely less stressed about money than I was several years ago.  I also like to think that my confidence has grown too.  I don’t have a huge readership but nobody has outright booed me so I call that a win. 

I haven’t always been consistent about posting and there are couple of gaps where I just didn’t seem to have a lot to say but I have been working on that this year and hope to keep the momentum going.  This month’s NaBloPoMo has certainly been an exercise in that!  Blogging is something that I have come to enjoy and really like the connections that I have made because of it. 

I guess that I’ll end this post on the same note that I ended the first one on.  I’ve let a few people who I know outside of the internet in on my blog and the world hasn’t ended.  Who knows, maybe I’ll introduce some more people to it soon. 


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My proudest accomplishment

November 27th prompt for the NaBloPoMo challenge – What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

Well, really, there is only one answer to that:  my kids!   

They are not only good kids but are growing up to be people who I genuinely like as people.  Sure there is a bit of teenage attitude happening and I wish The Boy would make a little more effort to be nice to his sister but nobody is perfect.  He and his father have been butting heads a bit mostly because they are so damned much alike and neither one knows how to back down but that is something that they need to figure out between them.  I, for one, have a great relationship with him. 

We received the kids’ report cards last week and they are definitely something to be proud of (except one Geography grade…..).  I am so grateful that my kids do well in school with little struggle.  I’m not saying that they are geniuses or anything (ok, maybe a little) but their efforts are often rewarded in their grades. 

The Girl is smart, artistic and a kind soul.  I don’t think that I have ever heard a harsh word come out of her mouth.  She’ll never be one of the “mean girls”; instead she’s the one who will make sure that everyone is included and will do so with a smile.  She has her own sense of style that isn’t necessarily the current trend but, instead, what makes her happy.  My girl will not let me be touchy-feely in public as is normal for a thirteen-year old but is not above cuddling up with me at home to watch a movie.   I’ll take that! 

The Boy is smart and always soaking up more knowledge as he goes along.  Aside from not always being nice to his sister, he’s a pretty easy-going kid and makes friends easily.  When I went to meet-the-teacher night this year, his homeroom teacher literally GUSHED about him.  That does a momma’s heart good!  Best of all?  Even at fifteen, when a boy has the most need to be “cool”, he loves his mom and doesn’t mind showing it   

I could go on and on but that would be a bit braggy and nobody wants that (yes, braggy is a word even if autocorrect doesn’t agree!) 

Can you feel the love, lol?


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


November 26th prompt for the NaBloPoMo challenge – Tell us about the last thing you hid 

Usually, I’m not somebody who goes around hiding things (except what’s at the bottom of my underwear drawer but we won’t go there) but this time of year is a whole different ball game.  We are a month away from Christmas and, as I have mentioned in a previous post, I have actually started my Christmas shopping!  Go me!! 

This means that I have things to hide already.  I’ve got books, a semi-large appliance, kitchen knick-knacks, iTunes cards among other things.  Thankfully, my kids aren’t the type to go looking for their gifts since my closet is really the only place where I can hide them.  At least, I’m pretty sure they don’t snoop; I’ve never found evidence of it.  They seem to like opening their gifts Christmas morning and actually being surprised.   

I’m like that too.  When I was a kid, I knew that my mother kept the presents in her closet and it was off-limits.  There was one year, though, that my curiosity got the better of me and I peeked.  I waited until my parents were both out and I sneaked into their room to their closet door.  I was such a little goody-goody that just contemplating opening that door gave me quite a thrill.  After all, I was being BAD!    Well, I opened that door slowly with one hand and was squinting through the fingers of my other hand, not quite sure if I wanted to see or not, and it turns out that my mother had solved that problem for me by already having wrapped most of the gifts.  Those that weren’t wrapped were in bags and I just didn’t have the heart (or guts) to open them up.  I could never have feigned surprise on Christmas morning; my mother has her shortcomings but, somehow, she is an expert at spotting a lie (at least from me).  After such an anticlimactic end to that adventure, I just never bothered to try again.  

A long-ago present for The Girl that was loved


Monday, November 25, 2013

What did I buy?

November 25th prompt for the NaBloPoMo challenge – Tell us about the last thing a person or an advertisement convinced you to buy 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge tea drinker and my favourite place is David’s Tea (check them out!).  Okay, I lied; my favourite place to shop is Chapters/Indigo but David’s is a close second.  Their teas are a little pricier than what you buy in the grocery store but they are a luxury that I enjoy when the budget allows it. 

I get their promotions by email so I always know where my hard-earned dollars are going to next.  Back in August, they had a promotion going on their travel mugs where, if you bought one, you got a free 50 gram bag of the tea of your choice.  That’s a seven to eight dollar saving so you can bet that I made a beeline to the nearest store.   

I bought their Timolino Travel Cup (12 ounce, $29.50) and absolutely love it!!  Yeah, it’s a little pricey and I definitely cringed a bit but, boy oh boy, was it worth every penny!  This thing absolutely does NOT leak even a little bit which is a problem that I have had with other, cheaper, travel mugs. 

Look, no handle so it fits in your cup holder!

Also, it keeps the tea hot for hours.  I make a tea before I leave home at about 6:30 - 6:45 and it’s still hot when I finally finish drinking it at about 9:30. 

Obviously, I’m a sucker for advertising from this store but, in this case, that’s a good thing  


Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Sunday

I think that, when I got my hair cut on Friday, she must have cut away some of my brain too because I can't think of a darned thing to write today and the day is almost over.  I even took a nap today hoping that inspiration would strike but now I'm just groggy.  At least I had good intentions  ;)

I didn't want to break my NaBloPoMo challenge by not posting anything so I'll share my Facebook post-haircut selfie.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

A stunning flash-mob

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook earlier today and it moved me to tears.

I have seen many flash-mob videos and many of them are pretty good but this one was absolutely stunning!  I hope that you enjoy it  :)


Friday, November 22, 2013

What's in a cover?

November 22nd prompt for the NaBloPoMo challenge – How important are book covers in getting you to read a book? 

We seem to be continuing the book theme today which makes this reader a happy camper.  There are two answers to this question.   

If we’re talking about an author who I already know and love, you could put a pile of dog poo on the cover and I’ll buy the book.  Once I have built a relationship with an author’s work, especially if we are talking about a series where I have gotten to know the main characters well, I will automatically trust that this pile of poo has deep meaning to the book.  With the authors who I love the most, I usually know the title of their next book and its release date long before I see any cover art and have it on my list of “wants” so the cover art is really beside the point. 

My latest "want" that has been fulfilled

 With authors who I have never read before, cover art is just about everything.  Sometimes I’ll take an interest in a new author when I read a review of their latest book online or in a magazine but, more often than not, I find someone new while perusing the shelves at the book store. 

I’ll walk into the store and start with the shelves of newly released paperbacks.  I first scan the shelves for authors I know then I slow down and scan a second time looking more closely at the book covers and titles.  Anything that catches my eye is picked up and the back cover description is read.  Once I have finished with that set of shelves, I move on to the shelves elsewhere in the store.  If I’m in the big downtown Chapters or Indigo, I could easily be there for an hour or more (okay, usually more….) 

I have found many books that I’ve enjoyed very much using this method as well as getting hooked on new mystery and suspense series.  I literally have a whole list of authors whose next new book I am on the lookout for. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Books to read

Pic via Mama Kat
Today, I'm leaving the NaBloPoMo prompts to visit one of Mama Kat’s Writing Prompt – List 8 books you’ve read that you think everyone should read in their lifetime.  So here goes…. 

-The Talisman by Stephen King.  This book tops the list because it is the one that set me on the path to a lifetime love of reading.  I read it the summer that I was sixteen.  Before this, I grudgingly read for school and perhaps picked one up for personal reading once in a while but that was it.  I saw a friend reading it at the pool and he was enjoying it so much that he offered to loan it to me.  I had never read anything so long but, since I had a bit of a crush on this guy, I took up the challenge.  From the very first page, the story hooked me and wouldn’t let go.  I spent days with my nose in this book, unable to put it down.  With this book, Mr. King captured my imagination and never let go.  I went on to read his other books and have never stopped reading since. 

-Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I know that this is actually three books but I can’t imagine recommending just one.  I am in absolute awe of his imagination.  He created this world, its peoples, its languages and its history in such a way that you almost believe that they are real.  You can’t help yourself; you find yourself in the story caring about each and every friend.  Yes, the characters become like friends long before the end. 

-Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  Again, I know this isn’t a single book but once you have read the first book, you NEED to know what happens next.  This started out as a story for tweens but turned in a phenomenon that sucked adults into the world of wizardry as well.  This story is a modern classic that belongs on any “100 books you must read” list. 

-Night by Eli Wiesel.  This is a book that I had to read in CEGEP (college) for an English class.  This story is about the author’s experiences in the Nazi concentration camps.  It is a small book, part of a larger manuscript that had been published in Yiddish, that gives you snapshots of life behind the gates.  It is small but powerful.  Normally, this kind of book is one that would never hit my radar which is a shame because, without that class assignment, I would never have read it.  I recommend everyone read it at least once their life. 

-Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  This is another book that was assigned reading; this time in high school.  I think that every teen should be forced asked to read this.  It appears on almost all of those “must-read” lists for very good reason.  It is a case study in how quickly so-called civilized human beings can degenerate when the structures of society are stripped away.  This book is really a predecessor of all of those zombie/virus/disaster apocalypse movies that everyone is so fond of today – except with better writing. 

-Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  This Canadian classic is a book that every child should read or have read to them.  It is the story of orphan Anne Shirley who is sent to the farm of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert (middle-aged siblings) called Green Gables, in P.E.I.  They had wanted a boy but Anne, with her intelligence, imagination and spirit stayed and turned life upside down for all who knew her.  This book has so much charm and humour that you can’t help but fall in love with it. 

-Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I actually own a two (huge) book set of all of the Sherlock Holmes stories and love them.  He is such an iconic character that I can’t imagine anyone in the English-speaking world not knowing who he is.  How many people have actually read the body of work that made him so famous though?  It is definitely worth diving into and, as always, better than the movies and tv shows out there (although some of them are pretty good). 

-Still Life by Louise Penny (first book in a series) – Here is another Canadian author who deserves a wide audience.  Louise Penny writes mysteries and lives about an hour south of Montreal so she’s practically a home town girl for me.  The main character in her series is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Homicide Department of the Sureté du Québec (provincial police force).  Each of her novels can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel but I highly suggest starting with the first one and working your way through.  The development of her characters and their stories is hard to resist and I’m always looking forward to the “next one”. 

This post has become a bit of a novel itself (sorry!) but, as you can tell, books are definitely my passion. 

Mama’s Losin’ It