Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Animal Planet

A few times a year I try to get away for the night to the big city with some of my favourite ladies (and sometimes even a couple of 'gents) for an evening of dancing and drinks. 
I need to make a disclaimer right off the hop that my intentions when I go dancing is to do just that, dance.  Even when I wasn't in a relationship my reasoning was the same.  I love to dance.  I love to lose myself on the dance floor.  I often close my eyes and just feel the music and move.  I don't take much stock of what's going on around me (unless of course there is a train wreck near by and then I won't be able to peel my eyes off her/him), I'm just in the zone. 

Often during all these times I sneak moments to look around and watch it all unfold around me.  The mating dance if you will.  The dance floor can often turn into its own episode of Animal Planet.  On Animal Planet they film it so we, the viewers, can watch the animals stalk their prey on the open terrain.  It's not much different at the bar just more confined quarters.  I can almost, quite literally, see the pheromones emitting from the males when they pounce upon a girl ( the prey).  The energy that exudes from them when they are in hunting form is intense.  They do not take no for an answer very easily, but when they finally do, they just quickly move on to the next.  They probably think they can coerce their way through our force field.  Oh and look out if one of the targeted prey is an easy target or a willing target.  All gloves are off with regards to the other hunters.  The only difference between the bar and Animal Planet is the subjects in one are dressed better than the other (I'll let you decide if I'm talking about the animals or the bar hoppers). 

This past Saturday was no exception to this rule.  The hunters were in fine form on the dance floor and the prey were easily coerced.  I saw a lot of gross 'mating' going on, if you will.  So to the pathetic animals who joined us on the dance floor, I say thank you.  Thank you for providing me with 5 hours of additional entertainment over and above my beloved dancing. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Award Season

I have been seriously lacking any sort of creative juices over the past couple of weeks.  Well creative when it comes to blogging anyway (I was busy making dress shirt pillows for all of my dad's siblings out of his left over dress shirts, so all my creativity went to those I suppose).  I guess I finally understand what writer's block is.  I'm still not really 'feeling it' when it comes to writing but since my friend Jess tagged me in a post, I can use this as an excuse to get my fingers wet again (sitting inside a hurricane should help too).   So I'm going to try really, really hard to come up with more than one word answers.  

So like every blog award (I feel like I've covered this before) there are rules.  There are always stupid rules.  You know, like those dumb skill testing questions that really are too easy, but I feel like they should be harder so I try to find the twist in the question and end up getting it wrong.  I mean, really, it's always 16 isn't it?  Lets get this "Leibster Award" (who comes up with these names?) show on the road, shall we?  I know you're just jonsing for a Holly blog fix by now aren't ya? 
Here are the Rules:

- Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.

- They must also answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for them.

- They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.

- They must then choose 11 bloggers to tag with less than 200 followers.

- These lucky bloggers must be told.

- There are NO TAG BACKS.
11 things about myself (I'm honestly not sure I can come up with 11 interesting things):
1.  I'm 38 and when I let my hair grow and my roots come in there is not one grey hair yet.  Not one.  And I don't mean I plucked it out thus leaving none, I mean that option does not exist for me.  Yet. 
2.  I am the heaviest I've ever been in my entire life.  Still nothing I fret too much about.  Sane people get dressed, shower and have relations in the pitch black right?  But I am discovering the reality of 'thickening with age'.  Kind of sucks, but it could be so much worse.  I'm not at a point where I'm willing to sacrifice my food or laziness. 
3.  I pre-ordered Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 all by myself.  Like I just took it upon myself to do it.  Eric didn't even know it was coming out.  I pre-ordered it because I cannot wait to play the new Zombies and the new Nuketown boards.  My how the tables have turned. 
4.  On Friday, my hair will be fuscia for three days.  Then it will be brown.  But still no grey underneath.  Fuscia.  Yup you read that correct and no I'm not having a mid-life crisis (Oh my god, I'm totally at the point in my life where I'll soon be able to use that as an excuse!!).  I'm sure I'll feel inclined to blog about that later. 
5.  When I'm in the car I have to drive.  All the time.  If I don't, I get car sick.  (What am I?  Five?)  It's brutal.  It all started when I was pregnant with Gage and it's just gotten worse through the years.  The only time I'm ok is when I'm driving and even then once in a while the car sick monster wins. 
6.  I so badly wanted dark, bamboo floors in my house (I even suffered a near fatal injury over it).  I talked my dad and Eric into putting them in.  And when they are spotless they are beautiful, but with a houseful of people and animals, they suck.  Now I hate them.  Loathe them in fact and want to cover them up but I'm afraid to tell Eric. (Just pretend you're in court and strike that from the record Eric.)
7.  I have the patience of a saint, a....a....what has no patience?  A poor excuse for a doctor and this girl (wacka wacka, I said I had no patience not that I was lacking a sharp and witty sense of humour!).   I kind of think Eric hates that about me.  Kind of. 
8.  I signed an organ donor card.  But I refuse to give them permission to take my eyes, my skin or my bones.  I'm vain like that.  I know, I know....I'll let someone live a less than stellar life because of my vanity.  I didn't say I was an awesome person (though I am). 
9.  I have no actual talent.  Like I can't play an instrument, or do rad tricks on a skateboard, or sing well, or write poetry, or knit or crochet, or build shit, or cook without a recipe, or do a cartwheel on a balance beam.  Yup, I really lack in the skills department. 

10.  I enjoy looking for jobs for other people.  I like perusing the want ads in hopes of finding a listing that speaks to me about someone I know who needs a job.  Then I like to write cover letters and edit resumes and submit them for application on their behalf.  Sometimes they don't even know I do it.  I do not, however, want to search for a job for myself.  Nope, not ever again.  It's way too depressing.

11.  I have had the same pair of black Doc Marten's since 1992.  They still fit me (of course, I was totally done growing by then, yeesh) and on the rare occasion I still wear them.  I can't find it in me to get rid of them yet.  I've had the same pair of black Converse Chucks for 10 years.  I heart them.  They're still my go to shoe of choice.  My dog (who I sometimes hate [that should be #12]) tried to eat them and almost succeeded.  He almost died.  At my hands, not because of the actual ingestion of my shoe. 

Questions from Jess that I'm supposed to answer:

  1. Cat or dog person?   Well even though I just got a dog, I'm still 100% a cat person. I'm just now a cat person with a dog thrown in for good measure.  You know, cause my life wasn't nearly hectic enough!
  2. Favourite comfort food?   Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and mash potatoes all smothered in gravy.  And preferably when someone else cooks it.  Why does food always taste better when it's been prepared by someone other than myself?
  3. Favourite TV show?    Oh goodness, this could be a tough one.  I'll list a few that I've watched recently (Thank you Netflix USA).  The Big C, Sons of Anarchy, Freaks and Geeks, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec.   Aside from Netflix I do not watch TV.  Thank goodness for Facebook or I'd never have been aware of this impending hurricane!  No, nothing would have given it away. 
  4. Favourite Christmas gift ever and why?  Definitely not the ugly, mustard yellow sweater my Grandma bought me one year.  Or the grey fanny pack I recently got.  Interesting how the worst presents stick out more than the most favourite ones. 
  5. If you could meet any celebrity in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?  Perry Farrell, because he's just plain awesome.  He'd make me so nervous I'd probably be stupid.  He's already almost a real and true friend.  We're friends on Facebook and that means something these days doesn't it?  I just love him and not in a romantically, sexual way. 
  6. What is your favourite way to spend a Friday night?  Ordering pizza, getting a 6 pack of cupcakes (good ones, not grocery store ones), watching the latest It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, then playing Call of Duty and slaying hundreds of zombies with Eric. 
  7. What the item on your Bucket List you would most love to accomplish?  I haven't made a bucket list yet....I shall ponder this question. 
  8. What song has the most meaningful lyrics to you and why?  Right now, The Escape Club -  I'll Be There. 
  9. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would it be?  I'd be content to go just about anywhere right now.  I'd love to hit England, Amsterdam, Italy, Mexico (again), Australia, I said, pretty much anywhere is fine with me.  I'm not picky, just as long as I'm away and I learn about a different part of the world. 
  10. If you could learn a new language what would it be?  I'd be content to just know French fluently but for funsies, I'd like to speak Cantonese, because I think it would be super funny to hear that come out of my mouth. 
  11. Ghosts: Real or figments of the imagination  Real.  We're even doing a paranormal study at work to see if they can scientifically detect any spirits (Oh there are some, that's for sure!).  Kind of looking forward to that! 
My list of questions now?  Yeesh this is a lot of pressure for someone not feeling so inclined to 'write'. 

1.  Do you hate pet birds as much as I do?  Do you have a good and valid reason to have a bird as a pet?
2.  What animal/critter/bug/etc. creeps you the f*ck out the most?
3.  If you had a list with your husband/wife with 4 "free passes" of famous people who were allowed to bed without recourse who would your two girls and two guys be?  Who would your spouse pick for their four?  Must be two guys/two girls.  Come on, even dudes have man crushes. 
4.  What's one food you put in your mouth and actually stop to savour it?  Every single time.
5.  Which of your parents did you go to first for a ride?  How about money?  What if you were arrested?  Which one would you call first?
6.  Who would you want to play you in the movie of your life?
7.  If you could change one part of your body without costing a butt-load of money or causing pain, what would you change?
8.  If you won 5 million dollars, do you already have it "spent" before you cash the cheque?  On what? 
9. What is the one thing that would totally turn you off when it comes to someone you could be attracted to?  You know, the thing you just couldn't look past or turn a blind eye to?
10.  What is the main useless information that is taking up way too much grey matter in your brain?  *Hint:  Mine's 80's ballad lyrics or 80's TV show theme songs (Show me that smile again...).
11.   How much do you love my blog?  Show me the warm gushy feelings people! 

I don't think I'm going to do nominees.  But you should totally go into my comment box and paste my questions there and then answer them for me to read!!  Won't that be fun?  It totally will.  You should do it. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dress Shirt Throw Pillows

So when my father passed away, my sister and I got nuttin'.  No, no, we're not bitter (I'm trying to convince myself of that).  Well I suppose she did get something, she got some books.  But whatever, I don't really count those.  I hold on to the fact that my boys got something special of his and I suppose that's my share in a way.  So when I stumbled on this following idea I called my mom and secretly hoped she hadn't gotten rid of any of his clothes yet.  She hadn't.  Thank goodness for grief.  Am I right?  (I'M KIDDING, JEESH!). 

So for now I've taken possession of all of my dad's dress shirts.  I've pulled two out of the bunch to convert for my own keepsies and I figure eventually I'll turn all of them (including my two) into throw pillows!!  What's that?  What it is is a brilliant idea!  I think it's pretty cool that my dad once wore my throw pillows.  Wha-what?

So here goes.  I picked up some pillow forms at a garage sale for a buck each.  So basically these pillows cost me a buck each, not a bad score.  I measured the pillow, this particular one was 16 inches x 16 inches.  So I cut my material into a 16 inch square.  I didn't add much room to spare as I wanted it to be taut and not all loosey goosey.  I decided to include the pocket.  The inspiration photo I originally came across did not include the pocket, but I think it adds character and gives the impression that it was once a dress shirt. 

Once my squares were cut out I flipped them so the outsides were facing each other and I pinned them together .  Then I ran all four sides through my sewing machine.  Upon completion of all four sides I unbuttoned the shirt and inserted the pillow form.  Then I straightened it all out and did the buttons up again.  Et VOILA!  A throw pillow reminiscent of my daddio. 

This Moment {6} - The follow up

Man I have not had ANY motivation to blog lately...Sorry for the delay.
A couple of years ago (or maybe it was last Halloween, no I think it was two years ago...) Eric and I drove up to Toronto to spend the night in Boy's Town (or the Gay Village, or the Church St. District).  The gays (that's my term of endearment for them) always have the best costumes ever.  I wasn't disappointed in the finds on this trip. 

We got dressed up (I wore my Star Trek dress and Eric wore hospital scrubs and a lab coat) and we melded into the throngs of people who took over the shut down street, dressed in their Hallowed best.   I am a huge people watcher and gay lover so aside from the sheer numbers that would be roaming the streets I was totally looking forward to this night.  Within moments of turning onto Church St., Eric was surrounded by dudes dressed as girls who were harbouring for his affections and photo opportunities and I was critiqued and called a bitch because my Star Trek uniform looked better on me than the gay boy's looked on him.  I think it was a backhanded compliment....I think.  We ogled all the amazing costumes, impressed with the amount of effort these guys (and some gals) put into their outfits.  We saw the Queen of England, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, the Lucky Charms Leprechaun, and Cap'n Crunch, we saw the Flintstone gang including their foot powered car, we saw Converse running shoes (like for real life size), we saw a buttload (no pun intended) of drag queens, and we saw shit we just plain didn't understand.  At one point we saw two big, fat 'cheerleaders' who were cordial and lovely enough to allow us to take our picture with them, until they weren't.  As they walked away they pondered to themselves how she (yup me) was able to snag a hot specimen like him (they meant Eric), in disgust.  I could hear them still though.  *Where's my sad face emoticon?   I just want to love the gays so much, why the hate? 

But then I was cheered up by these fine pieces of ass.  My favourite boys of the night, hands down.  My "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" friends.  They loved me (or at least they did a much better job faking it for me).  We decided a picture was in order and it was their idea to lift our skirts.  We had so much fun with them and spending the Halloween festivities in Boys Town.  I can't wait for the opportunity to do it again soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

This Moment {6}

If you're new to my blog (thanks to the October blogging challenge) and keep coming back then you'll soon learn that every Monday I have a ritual. **I've borrowed an idea from Janine over at Reflections From a Redhead who borrowed it from Thom at To Gyre and Gambol, who initially borrowed it from Cath at Just My Thoughts. So I too have started a Monday ritual.

One image will be posted. No words will describe it. It will capture a moment from my past - memories that I cherish. Then on Friday I will post part 2 of this new ritual where I will share the story behind the photo. This borrowed idea is called {This Moment}.

Dog Parking

Today it was so beautiful outside, we decided it was finally the right time to take Dempsy to the dog park.  From the moment I walked through the double fence it was crystal clear to me and the others that I was a newbie and out of sorts.  Eric was lagging behind me and I since I was alone and not quite sure how Dempsy would react with the other dogs I played it safe and kept him on his lead.  Dead giveaway number one right?  I stood out like a sore thumb to the other dog moms and dads (God, I hate that saying).  I mean who goes to the dog park and makes their dog stay on his leash?  Ahaha, this girl. 

After Dempsy spotted a couple other dogs playing, I decided it was do or die time so I let him off his lead and was immediately scolded by the other humans because I didn't take his prong collar off.  Uhm, what?  Oh nevermind it's just a choker, you're good.  Phew, thank goodness I was good, cause I could tell a scolding would have followed. Yeesh.  Holy pressure at the dog park, and not the warmest welcoming, that's for sure!

I think most of us, who have common sense, can figure out the basic etiquette at the dog park:

If your dog doesn't play nice, go home.
Pick up after your dog.
Have your dog vaccinated.
Don't bring a dog in heat into the park.
Leave small children at home.

But there are other dog park 'unwritten' rules out there.  Oh don't kid yourself.  Rules that us green dog owners need to learn, and quick before we end up shunned like we're in high school again (and believe me, there are cliques at the dog park).  In the half an hour that I was there it didn't take me long to realize that these doggy parents police (I think they make up their own laws too) that park pretty strictly and have ZERO problem telling other dog owners where they are slacking (and I thought moms were the judgiest of all, moms of dogs are far, FAR worse).  I think I need tougher skin. 

So today I learned that I should never, ever bring a ball.  (How do I make a sad face?  And what if there are no dogs around for Dempsy to play with?)  I get that you probably shouldn't use a ball if there are other dogs around, I'm not an idiot.  I understand that it could create a territorial behaviour from mine or someone else's pup.  But I felt like a scolded 5 year old when I was told to "lose the ball".  No hello, no f*ck you, just LOSE THE BALL.  Just like that, after the scolding about a non existant collar that was the next sentence out of their mouths.  Sometimes I hate people. 

I also learned we should bring some water.  I guess I assumed there would be a water station/fountain/tap like at the city owned cemeteries.  Wrong.  There is a community water bowl though.  Go figure.  My dog drank a lot of other people's water today.  I'm a bad dog mom

And for the love of all things canine, we humans no longer have our own identity.  You do not ask another human being's name once you are inside those fences (I felt like I was at an AA meeting).  We, as individual people, no longer exist.  I am merely Dempsy's Mom.  Ugh.  This reason alone makes me not want to ever go back to the dog park.  But since he enjoyed it so much today and it was a decent experience for him overall, we likely will try it out again. 

This time I'll be prepared.  This time I shall trade the ball for the water.  This time I won't be so 'green'.  This time I might throw the 'tude back at them (I figure if I pretend to know what I'm doing in the confines of those fences I can probably pull it off) when they make me feel like the worlds worst person.  I'm kind of glad my boy Demps didn't go over to them when they called his name.  I'm glad he ignored her.  *Now how to I make a sticking out my tongue emoticon on here? 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Wood Will Renew The Foliage It Sheds

In the spring I thought it would be a brilliant idea to turn Gage's bedroom on the main floor of my house into a den and build him a new bedroom in the unfinished part of our basement.  On paper that seemed like a logical (still does) and quick transformation (not so much).  We are still far from finished the den and no where near completion on Gage's new space.  Instead he has completely taken over our rec room and destroyed it in the process.  Arg!  Following his room creation we'll be re-doing the rec room now.  No travels for us this year! 

Gage's room before furniture removal but after personal effects removed.

The point of this post is to introduce you to the main hiccup or the most time consuming aspect of the den transformation.  Our pallet wall.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and I loved the raw look of the wood.  I knew, aside from the work, Eric would also embrace this idea as he loves all things woodsy and natural.  So pallet searching we-a-went!  We lucked out huge when a friend of ours was able to bring us a butt truck load of pallets on a few occasions.  This saved us driving around looking (which we only had to do once).  And of course not every board on the pallet was in decent shape or suitable for using so we had a lovely trashy collection of pallets on our patio all summer.

It took a lot of physical labour to remove the usable boards from the pallets.  We deemed it better to cut through the nails with a saw rather than try to pry the boards off.  Prying them off would just result in breaking and cracking the boards.  This was merely one aspect I didn't take into consideration when I envisioned a quick finish date. 

Eric showing me his displeasure.
The second set back was the fact that it was thought best that we pull the drywall down off the one wall we had chosen to recover.  Drywall/plaster, same thing right?  Nope.  Plaster is a son of a bitch!  So that took way, WAY longer than I had thought and created way, WAY more of a mess than I was anticipating.  The metal gridding behind the plaster was the bane of Eric's existance.   Finally with the wall down to the studs we were able to put up the two sheets of plywood we had purchased.  I think we got 1/2 inch plywood to put over the studs.  The thought process behind this was:  Because the slats from the pallets are of different variances if there were any small gaps or spaces between slats then it wouldn't be as obvious with the wood plywood peaking through it rather than a painted wall.  And, my wall wouldn't be jutting out an extra inch or so from the orginal studs.  Eric is so smart, sometimes his extra work pays off. 

Now it was finally time to put the slats up onto the wall (the one part of the project I was totally focusing on).   After 5 lines I was coming to really appreciate how this wall was going to look upon completion.  Thank goodness we were only doing one accent wall.  I can't imagine trying to 'panel' an entire room with this process.  Now that the slats are all up it looks amazing.  Even though this project set my den make-over back like 3 months (working full time for a living and trying to squeeze this in isn't always practical) I have no regrets about this decision.

It's time to start piecing the room together.  I can't wait to see the finished project with all the crafty stuff I've done for it and in turn, show you the end result!  I'm looking forward to having a new room to hang out in.  I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  It will all be worth it.    


Saturday, October 13, 2012


I can honestly say that I've never been so angry, upset and frustrated over something that doesn't directly or personally involve me than I am right now over the situation involving Amanda Todd, here in Canada. 

Amanda is a 15 year old girl who made a stupid mistake judgement call more than a few years ago when she was in GRADE 7.  (For f*ck sake she was 12.  Twelve year olds are allowed to make mistakes.)  A mistake that some man (I use that term loosely as I feel he's a pathetic excuse of a human being.) has continued to haunt her with, torment her with, used as ammo to enlist the help of many others to torment her, basically destroy her life with.  He has found her and stalked her on Facebook each time (3 times in total) she switched schools to get away from her bullies there.  He just couldn't let it go, she was an easy prey. 

This is Amanda's video (her story, seeking help) that she posted the day before she was successful in yet another attempt on her own life.  She died on October 10th of this year.  I am heartbroken for a girl I do not know, nor will I ever get the chance to meet.  I am saddened and left with a feeling of hollowness for every single kid in this world that is suffering at the hands and actions of others.  I am scared for the future of our children.  I am feeling helpless that there seems to be nothing I can do and I feel hopeless because nothing seems to be being done by those in a position to do something.  I am sickened that these bullies continue to get away with their actions and choices, and those who are the victims and their families are left to suffer. 

I know that my reaction is not right, but I wish great harm on those perpetrators and their families.  I hope nothing good comes their way.  I hope they suffer from the hands of another.  I hope they feel pain every single day of their life. I wish I could physically maim them.  I wish I could torture them and laugh in their faces when they cried for mercy.  I wish every single horrible thing that I would often say I wouldn't wish on my own worst enemy happens to them.  I know it's childish and doesn't make what happened any better. I know by wanting those things I just stoop to their level, but I don't give a shit.  They have, in a round about way, taken another girls life.  They have destroyed a family.  I hope they get to experience the same pain.  They walk around all smug in their actions, they have created Twitter accounts to still torment and berate her after her death, they are still posting photos of her making a mockery of her .  They make me ashamed to share a species and a nation with them.  I am disgusted that Twitter and Facebook allow this behaviour to continue.  (Today I filed a report to Facebook asking them to remove a mocking photo of Amanda that is circulating on Facebook and they have denied my request.  I am sickened.  Yet another fine example of how those in some sort of power are failing our children.) 

The RCMP states that they are lodging a 'full investigation' and maybe it's the cynic in me but I can guarantee that NOTHING will be done about this.  For once I hope with every fibre of my being that I'm wrong.   I'm experiencing crazy mixed emotions when it comes to her parents as well.  My heart bleeds for them right now.  I cannot imagine having to sit with them to make funeral arrangements.  I hurt for them, as a fellow parent, as a human being.  However, I can assure you had this been my child they would have been stripped of any social media outlets, and home schooled if this still carried on following a school change.  I wouldn't let my kid out of my site if they had previous unsuccessful suicide attempts.  I would be in the police station asking why this man hadn't been charged with distribution of child pornography, I'd be asking why they weren't at the schools charging these kids with harassment.  I wouldn't have allowed my child to make the decision to not press charges.  As a minor that choice should fall on me, not her.  I suppose this is all hindsight at this point, but there are so many other choices that could have been made. 

Please take the 8 minutes to watch her silent video.  And then do yourself, but more importantly do your children, a favour and watch it with them.  Talk to them about Amanda's story.  Let them understand the consequences of their actions should they decide to bully another human being because of a stupid judgement call.  Let them know that bullying does hurt people indefinitely.  Let them know it isn't right even if all their friends say it is.  But also let them know that if someone is bullying them that you'll be an advocate for them, that you will do everything in your power to protect your children from another's harm and then follow through with it.  All of it. 

This whole situation has been eating at me for two days now.  I shudder to think about how much my own situation in high school could have escalated if my bullies had had the power of the Internet and social media like Facebook existed.  My bullies eventually got bored and moved on, but Facebook just continues to add fuel to the fire.  I sit here and think about those I went to school with who were bullies and I wonder if they look back with remorse or if they are truly oblivious to their actions and how they've affected others.   I can't stop thinking about this.  I wish there was a way to help.  I'm feeling helpless and hopeless for our kids futures.  I could go on and on about this situation.  Right now I'm just empty. 

Words can hurt or heal.  What did yours do today? 

This Moment {5} - part two!

A couple summers ago I was offered an opportunity to go on a fishing charter and bring my family.  I hesitated at first because we're not really fishing people (I find it dreary and boring and plain all over dull), we're not morning people (had to be up at the crack of dawn to get on the water), Eric's a vegetarian so I didn't think he'd have any interest at all in catching fish, period), and I get motion sickness from merely sitting in the passenger seat of my car.  A few things against the idea really, but it was a lovely offer (and rude of me not to accept) and it was FREE (when something like this goes for around 4-5 hundred buckaroos)!  Plus it was something for us to do with the boys and we'd make memories right?  So I agreed. 

This was the absolute, very first time I've ever fished in my life.  Yup, I pre-judged that shit.  My boys and Eric had been fishing (off the dock of the bay style) before but never on a charter.  We headed out at 6 a.m. onto the open waters of Lake Ontario on a July morning.  Still a little chill in the air but we knew it would warm up throughout the morning.  (I'm still pretty sure that fishing dock of the bay style is dreary and dull.)

This beautiful rainbow here is my very first catch ever!  She was over 15lbs and fought me for every last second of her life.  My arms were like a tube of jello after I reeled her in.  I honestly was so close to handing the rod over to Eric to finish her off but she was just that close to my grasp.  I'm so glad I persevered and finished the task myself.  It was a great feeling (aside from the dull, throbbing ache of my arm for an hour after). 

Throughout the day we all took turns catching fish and reeling them in.  When we left the open waters and headed back to dock, about 4 hours later, we had about 20 fish.  The captain filleted them for us and bagged them up so we could take them home.  We ended up giving a lot of the fish away but we did BBQ some up for ourselves (minus Eric) and it was even tastier (I think because we worked so hard to get it).  The boys had a great day and even Eric got wrapped up in it.  We'd love the opportunity to do it again some time.  If you ever get the chance you should do a fishing charter at least once.  It was a great way to kill a morning and some fishies. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Get In The Picture

So I have been inspired by a blog post that a friend had shared on Facebook.  If you are a parent or will be a parent in the future please, please, PLEASE take the time to read Allison Tate's blog post

The gist of it is this;  our kids don't understand or get that we are so much more than just their parents.  It's time to put aside our vanity and make sure we are capturing all the moments, as best we can, that we share with them - the good, the bad and the down right ugly!  They need to see that we were once vibrant and young and beautiful in our own way.  They will see past the unkempt hair and the stained t-shirt or cellulite (and if they don't at the very least they will see where they've inherited it from!).  They will just remember you.   All the things we are hard on ourselves about, they love.  All the negatives we see, they are blind to.

I extend the challenge to you dear readers.  Somewhere (Facebook, your computer, photo albums, etc) create an album entitled Get In The Picture, and start capturing all those moments with your kids and STAY IN THE PICTURE!

Monday, October 8, 2012

This Moment {5}

If you're new to my blog (thanks to the October blogging challenge) and keep coming back then you'll soon learn that every Monday I have a ritual. **I've borrowed an idea from Janine over at Reflections From a Redhead who borrowed it from Thom at To Gyre and Gambol, who initially borrowed it from Cath at Just My Thoughts. So I too have started a Monday ritual.

One image will be posted. No words will describe it. It will capture a moment from my past - memories that I cherish. Then on Friday I will post part 2 of this new ritual where I will share the story behind the photo. This borrowed idea is called {This Moment}.

Bird's Nests

It's supposedly some sort of spinach lovers month so it would be fitting to post an awesome and tasty recipe utilizing said vegetable.  But I'm going to go ahead and buck the system on this one simply because I'm not that big a fan of cooked spinach and well...being predictable can get boring.  I will say I do love me a good spinach salad but that's an easy enough recipe for most people to figure out.  So today I'll share with you a recipe that I made for breakfast this morning that went over well with all three of my boys, and me too!!  (Frankly, I'm the most important part of that equation.)  And for that I am thankful (which is appropriate because it's the Canadian Thanksgiving). 

Breakfast Bird's Nests

3 cups of frozen hash browns (shredded or cubed)
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
4 Tbsp of oil (vegetable or olive)
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a little extra
Bacon bits
Eggs (depends on how many you want to make, 1 egg per bird's nest)


Blend your hash browns, salt, pepper, oil and cheese.  If you let them thaw a little it's easier to mold them once in the muffin cups.   Take some of the mixture and add it to each cup, filling at least 2/3 of the way full.  Push down in centre to make a little pocket.  Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes add one egg to each cup (I broke each yolk, but that's a personal choice), sprinkle in some bacon bits (we used the 'fake' bacon bits because we have a vegetarian in the house) and some of the extra cheddar cheese on top.  Drop the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and put the pan back in for another 15 minutes. 

The above amounts yielded us 6 over sized muffin/nests.  You can easily adjust the amounts depending on how many you wish to make. 

Serve with toast or cinnamon buns, etc.  These were tasty, hearty and filling.  You can obviously change out the meat to sausage bits or ham, or just make veggie ones. 


Table Lamp Make-over

It's so hard to find a lamp.  Well a good, loyal, loving lamp is often hard to find.  I'm glad this kitty found one.

I'm a lucky girl myself!  Last weekend at my sister in law's fundraising garage sale I saw across the stretch of yard a sweet, little lamp hoping to make contact with me.  It was touch and go there for a while because he's pretty little and he was buried amongst a whole lot of goods and ware, but kindred souls we are, so it was meant to be.   The adoption fee was a mere two dollars so together we left it all behind us.  I brought him home and gave him a little makeover.  He's feeling useful again with his new lot on life. 

I was in need of a table lamp (or two) for the new den, I bought one at a garage sale a while ago for five bucks and covered the throwback to the 80's with twine.  But it's been sitting on a shelf in my craft area because I haven't found a shade that I'm satisfied with.  Since I still had some twine left over from this project I decided to do the same makeover with this little guy.  Now if I can just find a similar shade for the larger one, I'll have two matching lamps.  A girl can dream right?  I mean who doesn't long for a unified lamp family? 

Friday, October 5, 2012

This Moment {4} - Part two!


Roan had been bugging me incessantly about taking him to the Humane Society for a visit with the kitties.  So finally one afternoon I was able to scoot out of work early for whatever reason and take him.  I made sure to tell him I had no intentions whatsoever of adopting a new cat as we had three at the time and that was more than enough!  Eric also made sure that "DO NOT BRING ANY ANIMAL HOME." was the last thing he said to us as we backed out of the driveway.  (He tries so hard to be tough about animals....pfft) 

We got there and this little black cat with the worlds biggest personality immediately took to Roan.  Roan was bent over petting another cat and this black one jumped right up on his back and laid down, made himself right at home.  He's a smart kitty as in that moment Roan was smitten.  Roan begged me and pleaded with me to let him bring this cat home.  After all, I had a cat, Gage had a cat and Eric had a cat, it would only be fair right?  So I ask about the cat and was told that because we had three cats we weren't in the running to adopt this little guy as our town has a bylaw that only permits 3 cats per household.  Roan was heartbroken and on the verge of tears.  An immediate change in his character.  The girl at the Humane Society felt terrible and went to task on our behalf and got them to override the 'rules'.   So homeward bound we were. 

Eric immediately gave us his look of disapproval when he spotted the box in the backseat of the car.  And he guffawed at us that we adopted a black cat.  Black cats were assholes and stupid and no fun at all.  I assured him this wasn't the case with this little man, Shakespeare.  And the cat immediately proved me right.  Eric fell madly in love with this guy and stole him away from Roan. 

As I mentioned above he's got a humongous personality.  He's crazy laid back as you can see from the above photo.  He took to all of us right away with no weirdness or adjustments.  This was how he slept from the start.  Didn't seem phased that we were posing Bionicles on his body as he sawed logs.  He's a talker, he's a licker (and loves to have face love with us), he digs Eric's beard and often grooms us if we let him.  He sleeps with us, he shows up in the shower with us, he's playful and loves to go outside (we only allow him out with us while he's on a leash with harness).  He's a great hunter and makes sure that no mouse gets out alive (my hero).  He will reach up against us and put both his front paws on either side of our face and rub his head against ours (almost hug-like).  He's a great little find.  Just more proof that animals from shelters can wedge a place within your family and heart.  He's changed our stance on black cats forever.  He's truly awesome.  He's our Mitter Man. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shelter Dogs

So I heard a rumour that it's National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  Huh?  Who makes these things up?  I suppose it doesn't really matter as long as this title brings attention about adopting shelter dogs to the forefront.  I've decided to post about this because at the end of August I, myself, (much, MUCH to the chagrin of my mate) adopted a dog from a shelter.  Yes, I am WELL aware that I'm not a dog person (I've been reminded of this incessantly since I brought him home).  I've, 100%, touted the benefits, pleasures and ease of having cats for whole life actually.  Here's our story. 

I grew up always having animals in my house.  We had cats, we had a dog.  I always felt a connection with the cats (though not all of them).  The dog was fine, I tolerated him.  He was a good boy, but like most dogs, he could be a pain in the ass too.  But you know what?  He knew when I was sad or feeling lousy and he always hung around to make sure I got through what I needed to get through.   I have lots of funny stories about Max the dog, so I'll always remember him and compare every other dog in my presence to him. 

Fast forward to about 5 years ago.  I'm a single mother with a 10 year old and a 6 year old at home.  I'm working full time and everything that needs to be done in a day falls on my shoulders.  So that's a perfect time to adopt a new puppy right?  Totally, pfft.  Man just typing it out makes me shake my head and wonder why I didn't see the insanity of this idea back then.  The picture in my head of a family dog for my sons was just too alluring.  So hunting for a breeder began and the mission to add a new four legged dog to our mix had commenced.  (Just the thought of my puppy experience sends shivers down my spine.)  The dream was lovely, just not realistic.  I couldn't take the incessant whining when she was crated at night. I couldn't handle the added chores of cleaning up pee and poop.  She didn't listen and would dart into the street and run from us.  She got into everything and chewed anything that fit (or frankly didn't fit) into her mouth.  I'm embarrassed and a little saddened to inform you that I'm not going to end this little story with a happy finish outlining how we all adjusted, she got better and we have a cozy relationship now.  Nope, that didn't happen.  What happened is I called the breeders and asked to return her, out of fear that I'd kill her or my children (don't worry, it likely would have been her).  The happy part of this story is two-fold.  She was adopted that very night, following her return, by someone who had adopted another pup from the same litter.  She was going to be living with another dog on a farm (no really, a real farm not the 'farm in the sky').  Perfect for her.  And I learned that I just couldn't handle a puppy.  Not then, not likely ever.  It's was harder than having a newborn baby.  And the patience needed?  I just don't have.   Lesson most definitely learned. 

Now jump ahead to August of this year.  Gage and I spent a day volunteering with the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA during their weekend Adopt-a-thon (They adopted around 100 animals out that weekend, magnificent!).  Gage was able to earn 8 out of the 40 hours of community service that's required to graduate high school and I love animals, so why not?  Hey, I'm not a troll!  Upon our arrival we immediately spotted the dog who would soon become Dempsy.  He was gorgeous, absolutely the most handsome pup in the place.  Gage fell for him, hard.  We took him outside for a run and hang out time and called Eric just to get a feel for his thoughts.  He was adamant we do not come home with this dog.  Gage wouldn't let it go.  For 8 hours I listened to him beg and plead for us to take this dog home.  Those eyes...they got to him.  I thought there is absolutely no way he's still going to be here at the end of our shift so I told Gage we'd give it some serious thought if he was still around.  I was wrong.  He had an adoption clause on him that he was not to go to a home with children, so he was out of the running for most of the families that walked through the doors that day.  (They just didn't know him that well as they'd only had him a week and didn't want to take a chance.)  So back outside we went with him and another phone call to Eric.  And here we are.

Today Dempsy has become part of our family and is continuing to delve deeper into our mix each day.  He's such a good boy.  They figure he's about 2 so there is still some puppy in him but he's so, so, SO much better than a puppy.  He was house trained and crate trained.  He listens when we call him.  He stays in the backyard.  He doesn't attack our cats (not violently anyway).  He does chew slippers and shoes (much to Gage's dismay) and he's not terribly good about leaving us alone to eat (yet).  He could also stand to use a little work on the whole not pulling on the lead while walking thing.  He's the best at playing catch and he brings back the ball!  Whoa!  He can be a little nippy still when he wants you to come with him or pet him or he gets excited.  But he's so much better now at not jumping up on people than he was when we first got him.  He also knows how to sit, shake paw and lay down (thanks Eric!).  And if we keep him stocked with raw hides and chew toys, he tends to leave our slippers and shoes alone.  If you 'ignore' him long enough he'll just lay down and chill.  We lucked out, he's really a good boy.  Similar to Max the dog.  One day he'll get there.  He's still got a few wiggles to work out. 

So my point is to remind those that there are good dogs, even great dogs at the SPCA and animal shelters in your area.  Don't just assume because they're in a shelter that they are problem dogs.  There are many reasons why someone turns an animal in.  Not all because of the animal.  Spend some time with them before you make the committment, take them out to play, walk them, get to know their personality and how they jive with you.  You could end up finding a real treasure.   Have you rescued an animal from your local shelter?  What was your experience like? 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Morning Rituals

The other morning on my way in to work I got stuck behind a school bus.   While this can normally prove annoying in my 'hurry up to get nowhere fast' life, today I didn't seem to mind.  I wasn't running late, the sun was shining, and it was a gorgeous morning. So while I was sitting behind this bus with its flashing red lights telling me to slow down once in a while, I looked over and spotted a mother (probably my age or slightly younger) and her small boy (I'm guessing 5 years old) standing on the side of the road waiting for the bus doors to swallow up her son and throw him head first into the real world.

I quietly (yup, turned the radio off) watched her let go of his hand as he made his way onto the bus.  I watched her watch him intently.  And I knew immediately when he spotted her watching him because I saw a genuine smile spread across her face and then I watched her frantically wave at him, silently encouraging him that all would be well...for today at least.  I then watched her hands fall just as quickly to her side and the smile drop off her face as she turned to face her own world. 

This 2 minute time out at the start of my day made me realize that even though I don't know this woman and maybe I don't live the same lifestyle as her (whether that be good or bad) or live in the same neighbourhood or have the same problems, we do have one thing in common.  We are moms just trying to make it through the day for the sake of our kids; be good role models, love them with our whole heart, and encourage them to grow and become independant.  So while we don't have much in common (or maybe we do), we have that.  And that's the one thing that ties all of us moms together.

So why are we so harsh and judgmental with other mothers?  We need to stop the judgment.  We all struggle.  Stay at home moms are no better than working moms.  Moms who breast feed their kids are not better at this or care more than moms who bottle feed.  Oh you use cloth diapers?  Good for you, I think you're brave.  But don't judge me because I found ease and convenience in disposables.  Every toy my children owned wasn't made of bamboo or hemp.  I'm not a bad mom because of this and it doesn't mean I don't care about the world I'm leaving to my children.  I didn't make my own babyfood even though I really wished I'd had the time, but don't judge me because you did.  My kids still had nourishment.  I probably got more sleep than you because I didn't share my bed with my kid thus I didn't have their itty, bitty, little feet jammed into my back all night but that doesn't make me a better or worse mother than you because you believe in the 'family bed'.  What's that?  That mother chews her baby's food for him?  What a nutjob.   Maybe he has a reflux disorder or maybe he just doesn't care and it's not hurting him or our own children so how is it any business of ours?  I could go on.  I feel like the minute we have our own children it's not really about offering advice and support (we cloak it with 'meaning well') it's more about judgement.  Who's better at this game?  Me?  Her? 

I watched that woman today.  She didn't know I was watching her.  She wasn't putting on airs for me.  I watched her and I knew how she felt.  I knew why she was smiling and waving.  We were united, in a sense, for a very fleeting moment in time.  I don't know her story, but I do know this:  She's a mom just like me.  And while I didn't see it in that moment I know she has difficult periods where she doubts her abilities.  She has days where she probably wishes she wasn't a mom.  She is sick with worry about what this world could do to her precious baby.  She has nights where she gets no sleep because her son was up sick with a fever all night and she doesn't need other mothers, who themselves aren't perfect, judging her because she's got a short fuse the next morning.  She judges herself enough.  We all do. 

Today I smiled at that lady, even though she didn't see me, because she did good.  She silently gave her son the push he needed to start his day off positively and she gave another mother a moment of pause, to reflect on what it is that we mothers do each and every day and the realization that we should stand united, not divided.  That kid took a big step when he got on that bus today, for all us. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Blog Challenge

Oh no, what have I roped myself into??  Today's the jump off for the October Blog a Day Challenge (actually yesterday was, but I already had something to post on Monday).  I'm not too sure I'm in the right (psyched up) mind frame to pull this off again.  I feel like I'm still recuperating from July's blog challenge.  For real.  To help though, I've tried to come up with a list of potential post subjects to work through during this challenging month. 

Since I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one searching for ideas and content to post about I figured I'd share my suggestions with you.  It would be great to see another person's take on the same or altered version of a subject.  So consider this a helpful diving board and spring into action.  Use these as a running block and push off on this month long marathon.  Alright enough with the analogies, lets get going! 

*Set a timer for 20 minutes and write down everything you'd like your children to know about life.  Could be fun stuff, could be words of wisdom, just keep that pen or fingers moving.  First things that come to mind.  Then share them with us!

*Tell us why you blog and/or what you, personally, get out of it.

*Share with us your top 5 books and a brief description about why we should also read them.

*Confide in us, your readers, your 10 guilty pleasures.

*Link us in to your favourite three YouTube videos.

*Do a feature blog highlighting a small business (other than your own) or friend's business. 

*Tell us about one person you are so glad you met.  How has this person changed, altered, enhanced, affected your life. 

*Describe to us that one thing you do every day.  The what, the who, the how, the why, the when.

*Share with us the stuff you've been doing around your house.  For example, renovations, crafts, organizing techniques, gardening, etc.

*Write a letter to someone you miss the most.  Maybe they'll read it too!

*Tell us about your love affair with....Could be a person, a product, a location, an event.

*Talk to us about a social issue.  Share your views (good or bad) on bullying, gay marriage, the war, natural disasters (ie. hurricane), charitable organizations, social media, 'Hollywood', health care, teachers diagnosing children, etc.

So while there aren't 31 actual subjects to cover all the days you have ahead of you, hopefully you are able to fill one of those needs with an example from above.   Do you have any ideas for blog subjects to share with me?  Then go on, leave them in the comments, I always love new ideas.  Also, if you decide to use this particular blog post as inspiration and you do your own version of a list, leave me a link to your blog in my comments, I'll be sure to take a peek and add some of your ideas to my own growing reminder list.  Bring on the 31 posts in 31 days challenge!  I look forward to catching up with some of my favourite bloggers and finding new ones to stalk!

Monday, October 1, 2012

This Moment {4}

If you're new to my blog (thanks to the October blogging challenge) and keep coming back then you'll soon learn that every Monday I have a ritual.  **I've borrowed an idea from Janine over at Reflections From a Redhead who borrowed it from Thom at To Gyre and Gambol, who initially borrowed it from Cath at Just My Thoughts. So I too have started a Monday ritual.

One image will be posted. No words will describe it. It will capture a moment from my past - memories that I cherish. Then on Friday I will post part 2 of this new ritual where I will share the story behind the photo. This borrowed idea is called {This Moment}.