Friday, December 31, 2010

And we start all over again....

do we really though?

The passage of time is a strange thing. We are about to mark the end of 2010 and welcome in 2011. We will spend the next year looking forward to (or dreading)  the same dates we did in 2010; birthdays, anniversaries, holidays....
the only thing that changes is the year.

I'll admit, this final 2 weeks of 2010 has not been a good one. I'd like a do over but that's not going to happen right? I've been feeling foul for the last couple of weeks, grumpy, moody, in a funk. My patience has been none existent for the kids, Sean, my mom. I truly feel like this was the worst Christmas ever.
And the thing is, there is no reason for it. I had my family and my friends and my Tassimo. What more could a girl ask for? I had two weeks off work to spend with my family. I didn't have to wake up with an alarm (okay - I did, but human alarms named Connor don't count)

But yet, I still feel like I'll be glad when this holiday is done. (Of course, after about 3 days of work I'll be counting down to spring break!)

So I've been thinking about what I want for 2011. I guess this is the adult equivalent of asking Santa for things.

I don't make resolutions. They aren't kept, they are way too lofty and let's face it, I can resolve to lose 30 lbs like I did last year but I can also promise you that this time next year the chances that I'll have lost those 30 lbs are slim. I don't have the gumption to do it right now. It was like all the years I resolved to quit smoking. Every December 31 I would smoke my "last" cigarette before bed and every January 1st I'd be smoking again within an hour of waking.

I will lose 30 lbs - when I'm damn good and ready, just like I quit smoking when I was damn good and ready. (6.5 years ago!!)

I'd like to be really lofty and say something like I'm going to cure cancer or save the world in some other way but, well, that's not likely either. So let's be a little realistic shall we?

I'd like to have more patience in 2011. More patience with Sean and more patience with the kids (especially Mary) I find lately that that little girl makes me quite insane. I don't want her to be the 'middle child' or the black sheep. I don't want her to be 'outside' of our family.
I am going to spend more one on one time with each of the kids, talking with them, playing with them and in general enjoying their company. Less time getting angry or frustrated with them.

I'm going to try to better with money. Last year I said I was going to pay down 50%  of the window debt and not accumulate any more and well, that just didn't happen. It was lofty though considering I was working at home in a job I wasn't totally in love with and not making a whole heap of money.
But now - I'm working a job I love and I'm making good money so I need to really focus and if I still live on the shoe string budget I was on when I worked at home I can direct all that extra money to the debt. I could conceivably be debt free in 36 months. (a little longer if I get Sean the tent trailer for his 40th birthday like I want to.)

I'm going to try to reconnect with an old friend. I have one old friend in particular who shared a big part of my life and though we'd gone our separate ways, we connected again a few years ago via facebook. I was sad to see that friendship move on and I'd really like to see if that friendship can be rekindled.

I'm making it a goal this year to meet at least one of the other Pumpkin Patch Mommies. I don't exactly know how but I will. They have become an important part of my life. The group as a whole has inspired me to be a better person by how everyone looks out for everyone else. I've said it before, I know most people don't 'get it' they are 'just a bunch of strangers you met on the internet' but really they are so much more and I am truly blessed to be a part of their group.  So, hopefully, I'll be lucky enough to be able to connect in real life with at least one of them. (the goal being to meet as many of them as possible over the years)

There are have been a lot of changes in my life on the past year, most notably career changes. I've really done things in the last year that I'd not have done even 5 years ago - I lacked the confidence. I've come out of my comfort zone - got a new job, met new people, didn't play the shy wall flower that I really am. I made an effort to get to know people at work and while I'm not as outgoing as some of the other people at work, I think I'm doing alright.  I've joined the volleyball team at work - this is HUGE since A: I'm not athletic B: I've never played volleyball outside gym class as a kid and C: I'm really really stepping outside of my comfort zone.  But in order to get to know some of my coworkers I need to get involved in these things - 20 minutes in the staffroom at lunch isn't going to cut it.

So I resolve to continue on this path of getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things. It's opening up the world to me and that is good.

Overall, 2010 was a pretty decent year for me, certainly one of the better ones in recent memory so here's to hoping that 2011 is good too.

And to you, my dear readers, I wish you all peace, joy, love and prosperity for 2011. May all of your dreams come true. I hope you are able to finish the year with those you started it with and maybe a new friend or two as well. 


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time to get back on that horse

You may (or may not) have noticed a sudden decline in my sewing. I had to take a break when I started working and only did custom jobs and the Christmas gift bags.
But June 3rd is just around the corner as is the Oshawa Relay for Life  so I need to get my butt in gear and get some more bags made and cards printed.  I had a thought on a way to customize the bags even more but I'm going to keep this idea a secret for a bit and research my options first.

So, starting tomorrow night I'm getting back into the swing of sewing. I'm going to aim to make 4 bags this week and then my goal will be 1 bag a week from January to the end of May.  That should give me roughly 22 bags plus the ones I still have available, plus a few sets of cards to sell at the Relay.

And now, the shameless plug. I have a lot of new readers so I'd like to direct your attention for a minute to my other blog Papa's Pride.  This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who I lost to cancer in 2009 and my efforts to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through our participation in the Relay for Life.  From there you can chose to make donation to our team (aptly named Papa's Pride) or you can purchase one of the custom tote bags or photo greeting cards from my Etsy Store and all proceeds are donated directly to our team.

But barring that - at the very least, if you are on Facebook, please go to my FB page and click "Like" The more likes I get the more traffic is generated and the more money we can potentially raise.

Everyone is touched by cancer in some way.  No effort to fight back is too small. We can all make a difference.

Gimme head with hair, long beautiful hair.....

This is one of those posts in which I remind you of how cheap  frugal I am.

I don't go and get my hair done. In fact, up until last year I didn't even go and get my hair cut by a professional. I just had my mom trim it.

The two years ago one of my daycare parents gave me a Christmas bonus so I decided to take the money and get my hair professionally cut, styles and highlighted. It cost me a small fortune but I fell in love. It was gorgeous and I felt like a million bucks. Great hair makes you briefly forget that you're packing an extra 20 lbs or that you've got a couple of PMS induced zits on your face.

I vowed that every 6 months I would splurge and get my hair done.

This turned into going to Great Clips and buying hair dye kits. It still looked okay but it wasn't salon great.

For my birthday last summer my mom gave me money to go get my hair done in preparation for returning to work. But not having worked for 3 months meant money was tight and I couldn't justify spending $150 on my hair and then getting groceries on my already maxed out VISA. So I went to Great Clips, bought a Loreal hair dye (I found one I actually liked) and spent the rest on feeding my kids.

For Christmas, Sean got wise. He wanted me to get my hair done but rather than give me the cash he went out and got me a gift certificate for the salon. So I have no choice but to use it there. So this morning in an hour and a half I'm going to get my hair done.

I don't think I'm getting it cut or styled, I'm just going with the highlights. But we'll see.  Maybe I'll get it all chopped off. (actually I would, I think short little cuts a la Meg Ryan are cute but you need to have a tiny face and well, let's be honest, tiny is not a word to use about me.)
Maybe I'll do something crazy like blue streaks.

Or maybe I'll play it safe, get my red and blond highlights and call it a day. Either way, it's gonna be hot!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking ahead

Wow - what was up with that pity party yesterday huh? It was Christmas, the happiest day if the year and I'm feeling sorry for myself. Someone slap me.

It's okay, I'm over it (or should I say I've passed the hormonal stage in my cycle)

So the other day I was re reading my New Year's Day post from 2010 and it's interesting to see just how much has changed in the last year - and how much of what I'd hoped for this year has actually happened - and what has not.

I didn't lose any weight. I didn't gain any either so that's got to count for something but short of getting a gym membership I don't see me losing any weight anytime soon. I'd like a gym membership but I need Emily to be old enough to babysit Connor on a regular basis first...so I can actually go to the gym.

I did not pay down 50% of the window debt and I did accumulate more but it's still manageable. (yeah, I'm trying to justify it)

I did continue to get A's in school (while I was going) but I gave up school and my goal of opening a new daycare centre in favor of my new fabulous dream job.

I did learn to use my new fancy camera and I did take the kids picture this year for the Christmas card. I've gotten pretty good with my camera. I'm hoping for Mother's Day to get a new lens so I can take even better pictures.

I am finishing 2010 with everyone who started it with me and I did in fact finish it with some new friends.

Not a bad year overall I think.

I'm going to think on what I want for 2011 and I'll get back to you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why all the hype?

I am suffering from Christmas let down.

Sometimes I wonder if it's not better to just  forgo the Christmas hype in favour of going somewhere as a family and spending time together.
We spend obscene amounts of money for 'stuff' and for what....I'm betting most of what Mary and Connor got will end up freecycled within the year.
Emily was thrilled with her $250 electronics but was still longing for the elusive Bench jacket (which she snagged on sale for boxing day today)

I feel sorry for myself because I picked one of my gifts so it wasn't wrapped (a leather jacket) and I got a wad of cash with an IOU for another (the Tassimo) because they are sold out, quite literally everywhere so it felt like I really didn't open anything for Christmas this year.

I feel sorry for myself because it was the first time in 8 years that Sean and I were both off work together for the entire holiday and then he got sick for 4 days of it. So I worked up the fun, family time in my head and it didn't happen.

And then I think - you dumbass, Christmas is for the kids - they loved it.
And then I see my mom, sad, depressed and wishing not for presents but to have my Dad here with her and I feel about this big for feeling sorry for myself over something so trivial.  Sean might have been sick in bed....but at least he was sick in bed.....

I think when my kids grow up I'll do just that, skip Christmas...just like in the John Grisham book (which was made into a stupid movie "Christmas with the Kranks" with Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and  Dan Aykroyd - the book was much better)

Of course, by then we'll probably have grandkids and then I still won't be able to skip Christmas.

Next year - I'm going to be realistic.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I feel.....

So this morning I was looking at my blog stats and I noticed someone was referred to my site from another one I'd never seen before. Most of my visitors either link from FB or come directly here. But this one came from this site

So naturally I had to check it out.

And when I did, I found this.

And now I'm like a junky. I can't stop clicking the little dots and getting glimpses of how people feel. And if you click the text it takes you to the blog it came from.

Apparently my hit came from my post last night....where I said I feel festive.

So, I feel honoured to have been found.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just having fun

Photoshop's not just for photos.  Heehee.





Also, I saw this on FB and thought I'd share it.


Doesn't hurt that it's got one of my favorite Christmas songs in it. I get goosebumps everytime I hear the song.

I'm feeling festive today. Can you tell?


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas bootie

There are few guarantees in life. The sun will rise in the east. Tomorrow will always come (okay, not for everyone but for someone it will) Children will give their teachers candles for Christmas.

On Friday we had a class party, lots of treats and loud Christmas music and fun. And in the afternoon my teaching partner and I opened our Christmas gifts from the kids.

I want to be clear about something. I'm not a snob. I am so overwhelmed that anyone thinks to buy me a gift at all, frankly I don't care what it is. I truly am a "it's the thought that counts" kind of person.  Consider also that I work in a school with a high percentage of low income families, many of whom can't afford some of the basics. So really, while I love the gifts, I loved, just as much, the hugs I got from the kids who didn't bring gifts.

One little girl picked out a necklace and earring set. I'm going to be honest, it was ugly. Really, really ugly. But the pride beaming out of this child's face when I opened it was something else. She obviously picked it and I'm sure she thought it was the most beautiful thing ever. And because of that, it was.

I made sure to coordinate my outfit on Friday so I knew I'd match my lovely new jewelery (pink) and after lunch when it was time to start our party I put on the necklace (think Mr. T meets Bollywood) and earrings. When she came in and saw me (us) wearing the necklace and earrings I thought she was going to burst. Her little face lit up like a Christmas tree and she told all of her friends that the teachers were wearing the necklaces she bought us. By the end of the afternoon my ears were killing me (sensitive ears) and I sounded like Santa himself with the jingling coming from around my neck but a little 4 year old girl was happy....and that made it worth it.
And Emily and Mary made out well, they split the earrings and necklace and are tickled with it.

I got a new endless supply of candles and the obligatory Teacher mug (which, by the way is awesome because it's huge and I like prefer big mugs) but again, it's all good because while some people may chuck that stuff aside without a second thought - I love it all, because someone took the time to think of me at Christmas.
I'll be honest, some of it will get re-gifted, and that's okay. It's not that I don't like it, just that I have no need for it (photo albums are wasted on me)

But much like my Christmas tree ornaments, my collection of 'things' given to me by children I've cared for (and now students) grows because I keep almost all of it. I've got things given to me by daycare children 13 years ago. And I still remember who gave it all to me. Because they cared enough to give me something...the least I can do is care enough to remember.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Ramble....

I have a few shopping related pet peeves I'd like to share. Sometimes it's good to complain....it keeps one from going postal (forgive the euphemism if you or someone you love is a postal worker of the non disgruntled nature)

1. I had to take the elevator in the mall yesterday. (This is a big deal as using elevators are second on my biggest fears list - right under losing one of my children) This elevator pet peeve is two fold - the first being people who take the elevator in the mall - yes the one right next to the escalator - despite their being young and apparently perfectly fit - and despite their being a line up of people with strollers and old ladies with walkers and even two guys in wheel chairs. Take the freakin' escalator so those of us who can't don't have to wait here forever.

The second part of this is when you are in the elevator and the door opens on your floor and there are 6 people standing on the other side waiting to get in - right in front of the door - so you can't get out. It's Christmas. The mall is packed. Did you really think that when the elevator doors opened there would be NO ONE in it who might want to get out first??? Get out of the freakin' way dumb ass! Stand to the side. MOVE!!!

This happened to me three times yesterday. Finally, the third time I didn't get out of the elevator. Some slack jawed yutz stood there staring at me...waiting for me to apparently walk right through him with my stroller and my three kids. So I stood there and stared right back at him, waiting to see if the light bulb went off and he moved so we could get out. He didn't, the door closed and we went back down. Emily was pretty confused.  When we got back up the idiot was gone. I guess he was one of the above mentioned young and fit fools who should have taken the escalator in the first place.

2. People who hum and haw about their orders in places like McDonald's, Tim Horton's, Burger King.....
What is there to think about? It's McDonald's. It's not selecting a fine wine or a retirement investment....it's a hamburger...and not a very good one at that. Tim Horton's has coffee. I'm sure they have other stuff too but really...let's be honest, Krispy Kream has better donuts.  It's not something that needs to be pondered and if you haven't decided what you're having before you get into line DON'T GET INTO LINE!! And if you don't know what a double double is....don't ask for one (specifically to the lady on Friday who ordered a double double with three sugar and one milk. Huh??)

And as a side note to #2 - when you are in line getting ready to order something...please have your money ready. It's not free. You're not going to win a you're-the-5 millionth-customer-served-so-it's-on-the-house-prize. Common sense dictates that if you are in line to purchase something you will have to pay for it, either with cash or debit card....so don't leave it to after you've been served to dig through your 40 gallon purse to find your $1.58 in nickles to pay for your 3 sugar/1 milk double double.

I'm not normally low and patience during the holiday season but this year it just feels like people are getting stupider. (maybe I'm getting smarter?) Common sense seems seems to have gone by the wayside.

I decided to do a bit of shopping today after work. I left school as quickly as I could so I could squeeze in a half hour of Christmas shopping before I felt too guilty and picked Connor up from daycare. Apparently those 30 minutes were too much. I found him lying in his teachers arms all limp and pathetic. He'd been running a fever since he woke from nap but they didn't bother to call me since I'm normally there within 20 minutes of nap ending anyway. So naturally today was the day I wasn't there until like an hour after nap ended. I can't catch a break from that Mommy guilt. Ever.

On a lighter note...this morning I was looking at the little map at the bottom of my blog and I noticed a new dot. Upon closer inspection I see my little dot is in the South Atlantic, just off the Ivory Coast.  Odd that the little dot is in the ocean. Some guy on a boat with nothing better to do that read my blog? Is there is teeny tiny island there? A shark with a Blackberry? (everyone else has one!)

Likely a little mislaid dot but it gave me a bit of entertainment nonetheless.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Beauty Within

I got a package in the mail yesterday from a dear friend. I've mentioned her more than once before, she lost her own Dad to cancer not long after my Dad died. We were able to be there for one another (though only in spirit as she lives what seems like a world away)  It was (and is) reassuring to me to know someone else who was going through the same thing at the same time and understood what I was feeling.

I do know a lot of people who've lost parents to cancer but I think over time the feeling changes and I'm sure that while I do understand the myriad of emotions that go along with it, I don't know that I could be the same support to a friend who might be going through it now that I've come out the other side as I was then when I was in the thick of it myself. Does that make sense?

Anyhow, the point is, that while infertility and the blessing of our October 2007 babies brought us together I think it was cancer that built our friendship. (could it be that something good comes from cancer? Truth be known, if it meant we could both have our Dad's back I'd rather not have her as a friend at all and I'm sure she'd say the same.)

This post was not supposed to be a debbie downer...and it's not. It's about, as the title implies, the beauty within.  It's the beauty within a person, within a friendship and within a heart.

I truly hope one day to meet my dear friend Jenny and to give her the big hug I can only send over the internet. She deserves it - and so much more. And I'm truly blessed to call her a friend.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Russia huh?

So every now and then I check my nifty stats bar on my blogger dashboard and I've noticed a trend. I seem to have some new but returning readers. In particular I've noticed a visitor or two from Russia every couple of days. I'm assuming it's the same person (people). It's a big internet but it's a bigger world so the chances of a variety of random readers, all from Russia stumbling upon the blog are not likely.

Anyhow, I just wanted to send a shout out to my Russian reader(s)

Привет, спасибо за посещение моего блога. Есть фантастический день!

(Google translate ROCKS!!)

And yes, it has occurred to me that the person reading this probably reads the whole thing in Russian so the fact that I've got that little blurb there in Russian will be totally lost on them....but if they are reading it in English then it won't be!  :)

Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

See the irony?

I need to get something off my chest. I'm confused. Now I know this post might not win me any friends, it could in fact lose me a few, simply because I know some of them are reading this very post on their Blackberries or iPhones.

First, watch this commercial.


I don't own a Blackberry or an iPhone. In part because I don't want to shell out all sorts of cash for a data plan. I have internet at home. I have it at work....I don't need it on my phone. No, make that, I don't want it on my phone. I'm cheap (remember that? I say it a lot...I really am cheap) I just figure if I'm forking out $50 a month for high speed at home why do I want to fork out an additional $100 a month for internet on a phone.

I was at a Christmas party the other night for work and everyone at my table except me and Sean had a Blackberry. They were exchanging PINS (I say this like I know what the hell a PIN is...truth be known the only PIN I know is my debit card PIN)   They were all fixated on their phones. I honestly waited for some of them to begin texting one another at the table.

I do understanding the merits of having access to the internet on your phone sometimes....I'm sure there are times when I thought it would have come in handy...and I did in fact even look into a Blackberry at one time but then I thought - do I want to be THAT accessible? All the time? Do I want to feel obligated to answer emails or texts or phone calls because everyone knows I have it?

I don't have a landline phone. (well, I do but it's Emily's phone) I have a cell and that is our home phone. But it's a basic, run of the mill cell phone, no data plan, not even a texting plan. And guess what....I ignore it when it rings....a lot. I have call answer...if it's important leave a message, I'll call you back right away.

It could be just because I hate the phone in general. I hate talking on it. I find it too impersonal, which is actually funny since my preferred method of communication if not in person is via email - which more people find impersonal. Maybe I'm just weird.

I have to laugh at the commercial above though....the advertise it as the phone that gets you in and out so you can get back to life.....

But I think the fundamental problem isn't the getting out to get back to life part....it's the getting in in the first place.   Have we really become so dependant on our technology that the thought of not being connected at all times frightens us?  I guess so. Because this phone provides the answer...stay connected without missing out on life. And yet...I don't think it's the phone itself causing us to miss out on life...it's the user causing him/herself to miss out on life. And I'm sure in a head to head someone using a Windows phone will spend just as much time browsing as someone on an iPhone or Blackberry.

I don't judge....I'm sure there are plenty people who think my blogging is a phenomenal waste of time or my sewing or anything else I really like to do. What floats my boat doesn't for another and vice versa....

But I really had a good chuckle at the irony of that commercial. (and because I do know someone who actually dropped his phone in a urinal and still uses it....feel free to gag now)

Best Christmas Song Ever

My personal favorite.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Always the skeptic.....

I don't mean to have this untrusting side of me. I do want to believe in that everyone is good and that there aren't jerks out there but the truth is I've met too many of those jerks and been screwed over one too many times to trust blindly. And yet, there is still that one small part of me that wants to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Last month I got a bag order  - for 3 Christmas bags. I was so super excited because it was my first official bonafide stranger - not even a friend of a friend order. So I promptly mailed the bags out and let the buyer know they'd be there in roughly 2 weeks (shipping to the US)

Last night I got an email from the buyer that she hadn't received the bags yet.

Now here's my problem. I didn't send it via parcel post which provides me with a postal tracking number. Partly because it costs roughly $10 more per package to send and the point is to keep costs low to raise more money...
and partly because in the last two years, between my Papa's Pride bags and my Pumpkin Patch friends I've sent more mail to the US than I can count and I've NEVER had a package not arrive. Between the Canadian and US Postal Services, I figure they've got their shit together.

So this brings me to conclusion #2....the one that makes me feel like shit for thinking it. Perhaps she's lying, she just wants another set for nothing. She's pulling a fast one. She's scamming me.

But then I want to believe in honesty and integrity and think - nah, why would she do that? I mean it's not like they're great, expensive products - they're homemade gift bags. They cost her $10.

Then I think - what is she thinking of me?!?! She's thinking  "That bitch - here she's selling these things, trying to guilt us into buying them by saying the proceeds are all going to cancer research and then I pay her and she stiffs me and doesn't send me a damned thing. SHE'S SCAMMING ME!!!"

And holy crap, I can't fathom anyone thinking anything like that about me because seriously my conscience wouldn't allow me to be that dishonest. Sure, I once stole some red fabric napkins from a Keg but I was young and stupid. Just two weeks ago I realized that the cashier at WalMart didn't charge me for a $1.00 holly branch and because I felt so guilty about it I put $5 in the Salvation Army kettle on the way out (normally I just throw in whatever small change is in my pocket...this time it was full on Paper Money!)  Money can clear your conscience when used appropriately.

So, I wrapped up three more bags and mailed them out to this woman first thing this morning....via parcel post...with a tracking number....it cost me $15 to send the bags. Yeah, the bags she paid $10 for. (insert eye roll here)  I'll swallow the loss. Shit happens. But it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Live and Learn.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How My Christmas Tree Mirrors My Life

Yesterday one of the boys in my class gave me a craft foam Christmas tree ornament for my tree. He decorated it with sequins and glitter glue. I went to him later in the day and asked him to put his name on the back of it.

I see a lot of Christmas trees in the malls, at friends and at family's houses and I have to say, my tree is truly unique.

There is no rhyme or reason to my tree. There is no colour scheme. There is no (identifiable) theme. It is not uniform. It is pure chaos, eclectic and disorganized - much like my day to day life.

But there's a secret. There is a theme to my tree (hence 'identifiable' being in brackets) My tree represents my life.

Once upon a time there was a colour scheme and sophistication to my tree. But over the years those ornaments have been replaced. There's the teddy bears that represent the first Christmas Sean and I spent together. There is the Baby's First Christmas for all three kids. There are about 10 Simpson's ornaments - all Sean's. There's my Rudolph one.  Next summer when I go to the Ex I'm stopping at the booth in the arts and craft building and getting my Leg Lamp ornament and Ralphie dressed as a 'pink nightmare' ornament (if you don't get the reference....A Christmas Story - best Christmas movie ever....go rent it!! NOW!!)

I also have no less than 20 ornaments given to me by kids over the years. Yes, I keep them all. And they all have the names of the kids who made them and the date.  My oldest one is an upside down, snowman star ornament that was given to me by a girl named Ashley in 1994. Yep, I still have it.

It might not be pretty, it might not be sophisticated (much like me!) and you will never see my tree in Better Homes and Gardens but my tree has meaning ..... every single square inch is a memory...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Social Experiments

On Saturday night I drove to a bus shelter on a busy corner. I put the Tim Hortons gift card along with a note saying something to the effect of "You've just received a random act of kindness. Please enjoy a coffee (or hot chocolate or tea) on me. Have a great day and please, pass the kindness on." in an envelope and taped it to the bus shelter. I wrote OPEN ME with a smiley face on the envelope.

Two hours later it was still there.

All day Sunday....it was still there.

This morning when I drove to work, it was still there....AND....there were two people standing at the bus stop.

This afternoon when I came home from work it was gone...finally. I hope whoever found it appreciated it.

I have to wonder why it took so long for it to be taken. It's a busy bus stop, that's why I chose it. And yet it sat there unclaimed for a full day plus more. Are people afraid to open things that say Open Me?
I guess, if it were me standing in the bus stop I'd be thinking...hmmm....where's the camera? Allen Funt is long dead but there are all kinds of other 'candid camera' style shows on. I'd be wondering who was watching...I'm not sure I'd open an envelope taped to a bus shelter.

I'm thinking next month I'll try something similar. This time I'll try a new place and see how long it takes for it to be taken.

An interesting social experiment to say the least.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I have an online friend who's darling son, Kaelen, was born sleeping last year. 
A few days ago she sent an email to her friends and family explaining that she doesn't want his Christmas stocking to hang empty this year. So she's asked that everyone commit one random act of kindness in his memory and email the details to her. She will print them out, stuff them into his stocking and on Christmas morning she and her family will sit around and read about all the goodness done in her sons name.

Take a minute to wipe the tears...you'd have to be a cold hearted hag to not be moved by the thought.

Naturally I'm going to participate and have already begun.

I got to thinking the other day on my way to work though - why do we only do these things around the holidays or in the memory of someone who's died. Why are we not doing these things all the time, just because.

So, I've decided I am going to. I'm going to commit at least one random act of kindness every month. It might not be huge - perhaps paying the coffee of the person in line behind me at Timmies. I am hoping that I can do bigger ones too - I'm not sure what yet but I'll think of something.

Anyhow, this month, and in memory of Kaelen, I've bought a $5 Tim Hortons card. I'm going to tape it to a bus shelter with a note for whoever finds it, wishing them a pleasant day and hoping they'll pass the kindness on.  I thought about just passing it to the person behind me in line at Tim's but it doesn't seem random enough. And while it would be nice to see the persons reaction, I kind of think it will be nice to just imagine it. I know that the few times I've been lucky enough to have someone anonymously pay for my coffee it's really made my day. I hope this makes someone's day too. 

And it's good for the soul.

So I'm encouraging you all too  - you'll feel great  - and if the only reason you're doing it is to lift yourself up - it doesn't really matter - because in the end you're probably going to make someone smile.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Advent wreaths and birthday cake

Monday is the start of Advent (the Christian beginning of the Christmas season - not to be confused with the end of Thanksgiving/Christmas tree displays go up in the stores)

I made three Advent wreaths for my class and we'll be sending them home with the kids along with a book of prayers so they can do a small family Advent celebration. It brings the religion curriculum home. My own kids did this when they were in Kindergarten and they loved having their turn to bring the wreath home.

So the other day I was putting together the prayer booklets when the  Principal came into the room and saw the wreaths. He loved the idea and then went further to ask me to make a wreath for every classroom in the school....by Monday.

Being eager to impress the new boss, naturally I said yes. Trips to 4 WalMarts to find all the necessary items (I'm still one wreath short) I got (almost) everything I needed and got to work.

Here's the thing. An Advent wreath has 4 candles, three purple and one pink. It's freakishly hard to find pink candles. I know, weird right?
So I got a pack of candles, it has red, peach and a light peach/pink. Now I'll admit, I'd hoped it would be more pink but it's as close as I could come and next to the purple it does look pink.

So I brought some in to work yesterday and the secretary commented on the candles.....GRRRRRR. She didn't mean anything by it but it rubbed me and now I'm second guessing myself. The thing is, it's the same as the wreaths the Principal saw and loved so I don't know why I'm worrying....

that's just me.

Yesterday was my Dad's 64th birthday. We had an ice cream cake to celebrate. I was telling my mom about a friend who's Dad passed away a year ago this week and that she'd confided in me that no one seemed to remember and offer her support that day and how sad that made me I said I think that unless you have lived it it's hard to understand how important anniversaries like that are to some of us. My mom told me that she was afraid to mention my Dad's birthday yesterday because she was worried we would all think she was morbid.

It's funny the way people think. Oddly enough I was worried about bringing my mom down. She's still on such a high, having only returned from her three week trip to Italy on Wednesday. I didn't want to bring her down by reminding her that it's her husbands birthday and that she only went to Italy because he's no longer here.  But I also didn't want to overlook the day for me or for the kids. And as it turns out, it was just what we all needed.

It's time to look forward. One more month until Christmas. I better get busy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My baby can read.....

Not to be confused with the crap you can buy on TV.

My little man is getting smarter by the day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh blog, how I've missed you!

Every now and then (read: nearly every day) I'll think of something that would be great to blog about 'when I get a chance' and then when I finally get that chance I sit here staring at the screen - blank.
I need to start keeping a book with me to keep track of this stuff.

I've been missing my daily blogging but wow - who's got the time?! I've been sewing a lot. I've got two orders to work on tonight plus I've been trying to build up a reserve...June is not far away.  I also bring home work most nights. Though, that will start to decrease. Let me tell you why.

I have a fantastic Principal, that's why.

See, because we (the ECE's) are a new position and because we're starting from scratch with a new union we have NO planning time. This means that while we are expected to plan both collectively with the teacher as well as alone we are not allotted any time in the work day to do it. So there are three things that can happen. You can not do any planning (in which case you're nothing more than a high paid assistant) You can stay before and after school and plan and not be paid for it. Or you can do it at home, on your own time...and not be paid for it.
Up to now, I've been doing it more or less on my own time. I go to work an hour early everyday, partly to plan, partly to beat traffic. I stay(ed) late once  a week to meet with the teacher to plan.

Then an idea crossed my mind. When we take our class to the library there is the librarian, the teacher and me. Do we really need 3 teachers there? No, not really. So my fellow ECE approached the Principal and asked if we could use that 30 min a week to plan. Not only did he say yes but he also said we could use the IT time too provided the IT teacher was okay with it.

So now, I get minimum 30 min's planning time a week - usually I take 60. An hour might not seem like much but it's huge considering we're not 'granted' any. And it means I no longer stay late one night a week and only bring work home on weekends.

Then there's my kids....between gymnastics, craft clubs, piano lessons...I feel like there's never a night in which I can just come home from work, get into pj's and relax.

My poor blog is suffering.

I promise dear readers...I'll pick up the pace a bit. I'm going to have some awesome video of my little man READING!! yeah baby!!

Off to sew.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Work-a-holic

Have I become {gasp!!} a work-a-holic??

Let's talk work ethic.

My Dad had a strong work ethic. He got a job right out of high school and worked his tail off until he no longer could.

My brother has worked, various jobs, since he was like 13 and when he's not working his paid job as a mechanic he's spent a heck of a lot of his off time working as a mechanic for family and friends.

My other brother worked full time while he went to college full time. How one can do two full time things at the same time is beyond me but he did it.

Sean has a strong work ethic. As much as he'd love to take time off, he rarely does - his holidays and that's it.
I think he got his work ethic from his Dad, a fisherman and sole support for his wife and 11 children. If his Dad didn't work, his family didn't eat.

For a long time I thought this work ethic that everyone had just didn't rub off on me. I hated working - right from my first job (the paper route I took over from my brothers) Yeah, I loved having money but I hated the work.

My first real full time job - I think part of the problem here was that I got a job in a place that offered 3 weeks vacation, 10 sick days and 5 personal days. So 3 months into this new job I had 6 weeks of paid leave at my disposal. And I made sure to use all 30 days every. single. year.

Then came the luxury of working from home. This was different because I did work hard - I had to - it was the only way to generate income. But, working hard in your pj's is not the same as working hard outside of your house.

I'll admit, part of me worried when I took this new job that I was going to have that feeling of dread each morning of 'shit, I have to go to work' I thought I'd be a month in before I was trying to think of reasons to take a day off...one of the kids is sick....I'm sick....my car broke down....and all of which would serve as mental health days.

Now, granted, I did take a day off near the end of September however, that was a genuine sick day.
But besides that day, I've actually been upset because Connor was sick and I didn't want to have to stay home (Sean did) or that the girls had a PA Day and Sean was working nights (meaning he would get roughly 4 hours sleep in 48 hours) so I might have to take a day off.
Rather than jumping at the chance to take time off I was thinking of 20 alternatives to this.

On Wednesday I started getting a sinus headache and a tickle in my chest. By Thursday afternoon my voice was going. On Friday I work up with no voice at all. Sean told me to stay home. My two co workers told me to stay home. I mean really, how can one command a class of thirty 5 year olds when one cannot speak?

A whistle. I got out my trusty whistle and between that and a great teaching partner I made it through the day.

In all fairness I probably should have stayed home. I was not nearly as effective as I could have been - but I just didn't want to.

So now, despite having this job that only pays me from 8:30-3:00 - I get to work at 7:30 often don't leave until 3:30, often work through part of my lunch and always through both of my breaks and yes, I bring home work too.

I don't have to do these things. I do them because I choose to. I like this job. I love this job. I think I found that work ethic that I've admired in others for so long.

Who'd have thunk it?!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month

We remember.



In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



Monday, November 8, 2010

WHAT were you thinking?!?!

The other day I was driving home and I passed a young girl (a teenager) She had one of the more bizarre hairstyles I've seen in a while. My picture won't do it justice but it looked something like this.

It was a mullet. But her bangs were long and covered half her face. And half of the back was spiked....it stuck up and lined her head. When I saw her my first thought was "Hmm, she looks like the Statue of Liberty." Then, I pictured Queen Victoria with the spiky crown she wore.  It looked like Kate Gosselin's old hairdo hopped up on crack.

Now I'm all for originality and kudos to her for pulling off a truly original do but I have to wonder - many years from now when this girl has grown, matured and likely conformed like most of the rest of us - will she look back at pictures of herself and say "What the hell was I thinking??"

I grew up in the days of film cameras. 110 mm. Yeah, even before 35 mm. I'm old. So all  of the pictures of me during my youth are good old fashioned photographs and kept on negatives. (though the technological age has allowed me to scan some of them so they can be added to FB for some laughs) for the most part, these pictures are now buried away and but fond memories to me and those who knew me....and my hair.

I started dying my hair when I was about 15. I did it blond. Like really blond. Like platinum blond.  But see, back in the day, hair dye wasn't the best and so occasionally you ended up with brassy looking hair. Or worse yet, green. Yeah, been there, done that.

Then there's the perm. I permed my hair twice a year (again, at home). I was always going for ringlets but somehow always ended up with afro. Add to this my  total hatred of my high forehead and therefore long bangs...I had a shaggy door look about me for much of my teen years. I see pictures of Robert Plant from in the 70's and think - Hey, that's my hair when I was 16!


Then we moved on to the 'feathered' hairstyle. You know, the one that all the girls who are still stuck in the 80's wear with the sides feathered a la Farrah Fawcett. Add to this the bouffant style on the top of the head....and no freakin' wonder there's a hole in the ozone layer with the amount of hair spray that went into our hair Each and Every morning.

I look back at the pictures now and think to myself...did I really think I looked good? I know I did at the time. But wow....just.....wow. It's scares me.

And I wonder...when I see pictures of myself now in years to come...will I think the same way. I mean, I'm no beauty queen but I think I clean up pretty nice. I suspect though - when I'm 75 and looking at pictures of the 37 year old me I'll be wondering - "damn girl, WHAT were you thinking??"


Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Bucket List

I watched The Bucket List today on TV. I've seen it many times before. I'm a sucker for a Jack Nicholson movie and this one in particular is one of his best.

I saw it for the first time just after it was released on video (I don't go to movies often - too expensive) and I cried at the end. How could you not.

The thing is, this movie took on a whole new and difficult meaning in 2009. See, I've always thought my Dad has a pretty striking resemblance to Jack Nicholson. Not the eye brows, mind you but the shape of his face, the hair (or lack thereof) and some of his mannerisms (at least on screen) 

So to watch this movie now, about a man with terminal cancer and to see my Dad in him....it's hard to watch.

I got to thinking. What would I put on my bucket list. You know what? I got nothing. Is that good or bad? I'm not sure. I mean, there are some things I'd like to do. I'd like to see the world....but the the thing is, if I died tomorrow (God forbid!) I don't think I'd regret not having seen the world.
I've been given the gift of motherhood, so no regrets there - though I suppose my bucket list would include seeing my kids grow up and becoming a great grandmother (notice I say great grandmother) I was lucky enough to know my own great grandmother (maternal) and my kids are lucky enough to know their own great grandmother (my paternal grandmother) so the longevity genes are there.
I'm not a daring type person, I don't long to skydive or scuba dive or climb Mount Everest. Hell, I don't anticipate getting on a plane in the foreseeable future.

I suppose I would add 'a family adventure' on my list. Some of my fondest memories are of our family road trips. Our family summer trips to Sault Ste. Marie.  My train trip with my mom to New Brunswick. Our drive to North Carolina (in which my Great Uncle said to my Dad, quite loudly, as we approached the border, "Did you put all the cocaine in the golf bags Mike?"  A few days later in the trip the same uncle lost his teeth - we found them 40 minutes later in his suitcase.
Of course, there is the epic trip to Vegas. 5 adults in a sedan for 5 days straight. Come to think of it, that is worthy of it's own post.

We do our drive to Newfoundland every few years and I'm hoping one day, many years from now the kids will look back on those trips with the same fondness I look back at mine. We'll smile and chuckle at Mary asking how she'd get into Nan's house when she saw the Newfie door. (for the uniformed...Newfoundland is a rock. In many of the rural areas the houses were built by the people living in them, hence no basements, just built up from the rocks. The house then has a porch (aka a 'bridge' in Newfinese) with steps that lead up to the door. Often times though only one door on the house will have steps that lead up to it, the other door will just be there....sometimes as high as 6 ft off the ground, with no steps leading up to it. It's just an emergency exit. I dubbed these doors Newfie Doors (Newfie jokes are the Canadian equivalent to dumb blond jokes - though truth be known, I've only ever met one dumb Newfie and it wasn't the Newfie in her that made her dumb)  Anyhow, when Mary saw my Mother In Law's house for the first time in 2007 and her Newfie door on the front she wondered out loud "How am I going to get in?"

Anyhow, I'm getting off track.

The point was - I'd love to say I have something clear and defined....my own Bucket List but I just don't think it's that easy. 

And watching the movie made me miss my Dad.

On a related note - I got a new like on the Papa's Pride FB page today. It was the first "like" by a stranger. It's silly, but I was so excited because it means it's getting noticed. Yay.

On another related note - I bought a showcase spot on Etsy. It's basically a day in which your shop is put in a showcase - which is supposed to drum up traffic. I bought a spot before and it did get me a lot of hits.
But - when I went to book the day the first available day was November 25th. My Dad's birthday.
I'm taking that as a sign.

A sign of good things to come.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What should I believe?

No, I'm not asking any philosophical questions about religion or the meaning of life or anything deep. I'm questioning my blog counter.

See waaaaaay down at the bottom of the page...there is a counter and a map. The map tells me where people are from who are reading my blog and the counter tells me how many people have visited.

I check it every now and then, it's nice to know who's lurking. But here's the thing. When I click the map it gives me a list of cities and days that people have visited. So for instance I see my cousin visited, a few of my Pumpkin Patch friends have stopped by, I'm pretty certain one of those is my Fabric Angel, and one is my sister in law.  Then there are a few who I'm just not sure who they are.  But for the most part, besides a few local ones - I pretty well know who all those visitors are.

So, based on my map stats...I've had 4 visitors in the last 24 hours - and that includes me.

However - blogger has this nifty little stats bar now. So I can click it and get a wealth of information about where people are viewing my blog from, what type of browser they use, what posts they're reading and where the linked from.

According to Bloggers I've had 8 hits in the last day NOT including me. What's more - 5 are from Canada, 2 are from the US and 1 is from Russia.

So I wonder - why do these stats not show up on my external counter? Is it because it's an application? Is it not reliable? Should I just get rid of it? I kind of like my map with the pretty stars.

I know I shouldn't care but it's kind of interesting to see who's snooping into my blog.

And another thing - what's a girl got to do to get BONed around here? I'm crossing my fingers - if I could get BONed I could then direct all the fabulous new readers to the Papa's Pride blog and - well, you know where I'm going with that.

It's been a long week. I have a canker sore in my mouth, I'm almost done my class of wine and I'm exhausted  - hence the senseless ramble of this post.

Have a nice night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Showing off and a little wine

Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard was bare last night and there was nothing to take to work for lunch today. But since it was payday for Sean AKA grocery shopping day I smiled, snuggled close and begged him to bring me in some lunch today. I guess squashing my boobs up against him helped because he agreed to.

So I got to show him off. Yeah, silly, I know, but my hubby is pretty freakin' hot and I wanted to show him off a bit. And my little man Connor is pretty freakin' adorable (even if he does cram his fingers up his nose when he gets shy or nervous)

So I got to be the proud peacock and introduce them to a few of the staff. Yeah, I know, it's stupid....but that's me.

So earlier in the day the teacher and I are chatting and she pulls out a bottle of wine from her bag. My first thought is "Sweet - liquid lunch!"
So she tells me that she was talking with her husband (also a teacher) about our working together and the things I'm doing in the classroom (she seems to think I'm going above and beyond - I just think I'm doing my job) so her husband bought me a bottle of wine. Apparently he had wanted her to stress to me that it was from him, not from her.

It was so sweet and really appreciated (not just because I love a good bottle of wine) but because it was nice to hear that she genuinely does appreciate me and my hard work. I mean, I know she says it in the class all the time and thanks me all the time but there is that little insecure part of me that says "Ah, she's just a nice person, really though, you're irritating the crap out of her and she thinks your a half wit" I guess that little voice can shut the hell up now.

So I'm going to enjoy my bottle of wine, look forward to showing off my sexy husband some more at the Christmas party and enjoy life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My life - the roller coaster

I'm starting to wonder if I might be bipolar or something. Last week I'm crying on my way to and from work and feeling like a pile of crap and this week I'm on top of the world.

I was reflecting a while ago (as in a while ago this evening) about how awesome my life it.

  • I have a fabulous husband. Sure, we've had moments were fabulous was not the "f" word I would have used to describe him (or him me for that matter)
  • I have 3 of the best kids ever. I fall in love with them more everyday (not in spite of but because of their noisy, eye rolling, "FINE!" pants peeing, temper tantrum ways)
  • I have job I LOVE. Yes, I do, I love my job. Even on the hardest days (yes, I survived the first month and lived to tell about it) I look forward to going to work. I like the people there. I love the paycheck. When we finally get some benefits and our union crap sorted out I'll love that too. I also love that in 7 short weeks I'll be enjoying Christmas Break! Woohoo!
  • I am feeling productive. I've single handedly raised $375 with my Papa's Pride initiative and I'm proud of that. I mean, last year I was beyond proud of the $1500 we raised as a family but I'm more proud of this because it's getting a name out there and that helps raise awareness. Anyone who carries around a Papa's Pride bag has the chance to have someone see the tag and say "Hey, what's that?" which gives them an opportunity to say "Oh, I bought this bag as a fundraiser for cancer....etc etc"  It mean be a little thing - but it's something and I'm proud of it.
The fact of the matter is, I'm happy. It's been a long time since I could honestly say I'm really, truly happy. There was always something nagging me, marital issues, ttc and infertility, not enjoying my job...but now - there is nothing that lingers there - at least not for long.

So there you have it. The ups and downs of me. Enjoy the ride!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's all good.

I saw baby yesterday at the store. She was very new. She was so new she still had the 'fuzz' on her face and her head was still 'lumpy'. She was gorgeous.
I'll admit it made me long for another.

I think I'm hitting that point. Connor is 3 now. He's not a baby anymore and he's not a toddler anymore - he's a child - a little boy. And part of me thinks WOOHOO - I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He'll be starting school in a year, he's old enough that Emily can start babysitting, he's not requiring my attention 150% of the time - I'm reaching those independent years of having older children.

I have a friend who's youngest son is Mary's age and I've often been envious of how she and her husband can get up early on weekends, go to garage sales and then go have a nice breakfast together without too much worry about what to do with the kids or having to drag any of them along. 
But I've also been the mommy of young children for 11 years now and I'm not entirely sure I know how to be anything else.

I'm trying though. I have a job now and I love it. I have a new hobby (sewing) and I love it. I'm starting to make plans for the future (Sean's 40th birthday present - a tent trailer - shhhh don't tell him) and I'm excited.

But there's still that little part of me that thinks my time for being a mom to young children is running out and I should get it all in when I can. (I know - I'm only 37 and there is still time but it was hard enough when I was 33 to get pregnant and stay pregnant - it's going to be even harder when I'm older.)
I'm going to miss that new baby smell and hours upon hours of starting a little tiny face and hands and feet that I made.

I suppose the flip side is that I also miss the night waking, colic, diapers, sore nipples, 40 tons of cargo everytime we leave the house....

My cousin is going to be a grandmother soon. It scares me to think that the prospect of being a grandparent isn't so bad...you get all the perks of the new baby - plus the luxury of spoiling him/her  -without any of the responsibility. I can get on board with something like that! Does it mean that I'm old if I'm thinking this way?

My kids might be growing up but they're no where near the age of  becoming parents so grandparenthood is quite some time away yet.  Hell, I have friends who are still having kids.

I suppose in the meantime, while I'm slightly envious of those new moms with their new little fuzzy faced, lumpy headed babies I can remember that they might too be envious of me  - sleeping until 8:20 in the morning, sending my kids out to the backyard so I can get some bags sewn - and dare I say it, having an long, hot bubble bath - all by myself!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rage

I'm quite certain what I have is a hardcore case of PMS (or DMS as the case may be  - the D being 'during' for those who might be a little slow on the upstart)

On Wednesday afternoon on my way home from work I broke out crying. I don't really know why. I had a fine day, nothing stressful at work. Nothing stressful at home - just a general feeling blue kind of thing.

Thursday morning I cried halfway to work. I do know what that was. It was my Uncles birthday - (my dad's brother) and I had wished him happy birthday on FB. I saw a post from his daughter wishing him a happy birthday and got to thinking about how my own Dad's birthday is coming and how much I wish I could be stressing about whether or not I should get him a Canadian Tire gift card or a golf shirt. (in the last few years my Dad became nearly impossible to buy for)

Thursday on my way home it was more of the same. I also felt pretty blah all evening at home.

Today it's different though. I do still have the blah feeling but I also feel so angry - at everything. I find I'm yelling at the kids or getting pissed at them for reason which, in the grand scheme of things, are not that big a deal.  Connor's incessant door closing, Emily's standard 11 year old response "Fine" (said with various emphasises (is that even a word?) depending on the situation) Mary's constant noise...

I'm completely void of any energy  - in fact, if it weren't for the fact that I don't trust the girls to not go crazy on the candy they got from school I'd be inclined to just crawl into bed now.

I'm sure it's just hormones and if so this month is a killer but I hate being in this funk. And Sean being on nights isn't helping it any because when the kids go to bed I'm stuck here alone and miserable.

My one little saving grace is that I'm getting more bag orders. It's keeping me going. I've got another order this weekend and I'm waiting on payment from an order last weekend. When I get those payments in we'll have topped the $380 mark - and with my Uncles pledge to match the donations we receive we'll be at $760! That's almost half of what we raised last year...and we've still got 6 7 months to go.

So for that, I'm beyond excited.

Well, I'm off. I'm going to go drink some coffee...and perhaps something stronger and then I'll sit back, watch some tv and maybe doze on and off. And hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blah

That's how I feel. I've been a bit of an emotional basket case for the last day or two. Not sure why really but it's one of those crying at the drop of a hat things.

I'm sure I'll feel better soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

All the work was done for me!

Remember how I mentioned that I am a giant Friends fan and I've seen every. single. episode. (multiple times)?

Well, I am the same when it comes to MASH. I've seen every episode of MASH several times. It is my favorite show and has been for a long time. And no matter how many times I see it, I still cry during the episode where Henry Blake gets killed on his way home, I still cry during the episode when Radar goes home and I cry during most of the final episode. So don't let the following post lead you to believe that I have anything but the deepest admiration for all of the actors who've been on MASH.

This post was going to be about the odd resemblance that some of the cast members of MASH have to certain Muppets.  The idea for it came to me because Loretta Swit was in town on Friday and Sean said to me "Did you see Miss Piggy on Breakfast Television?" It took a minute but I figured it out. She was on a local morning show and he thinks (and I have to agree, at least back in the earliest days of MASH) that she somewhat resembles Miss Piggy.

So I went on an image search of Loretta Swit and Miss Piggy - I was going to post them together for your consideration.

And this is what I found.


There it is, in one neat package, Loretta Swit and Miss Piggy together. Do you see it? They could be sisters right?

I then got to thinking....Hmmm....what else can I find?

Jamie Farr                                                                                     Gonzo


Spooky huh?

Kind of like people who look like their pets (or vice versa)

A certainly individual in my family was once married to someone who Sean thought looked like the dog from the Red Dog Beer logo.

Have fun with that.

Happy Sunday - have a fantastic week!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sometimes you just need to belt one out

The other morning on my way to work I was listening to the radio. In the mornings I switch between the all news channel (for commuter traffic) the classic rock station, the current pop station and, if I'm really needing to let some aggressions out, my Eminem CD.

So this particular morning I'm listening to the classic rock station. The were talking about the 12 worst board games of all time.
Normally I can't tolerate the inane chatter of the DJ's on this station for longer than a nanosecond - they spend more time laughing at their own jokes which would be fine if they were funny. More often then not though, I fail to see the humor (and I *get* jokes)

But - I had to hear about the worst games. Click the link, see the games and then come back. (promise you'll come back...don't just ditch me mid blog...)

So, they were talking about the game Fingers Harry. Now depending on your particular flavour of humor there are several places you could go with that one. Obviously being radio they had to keep it somewhat family friendly but it just struck me funny when the woman DJ said "Well, I want to know who gets to be Harry first?" This led them into a whole spiel which I won't bore you with because it won't translate as funny but at the time, I was laughing so freakin' hard in my car that I was crying. It was genuine, pee your pants laughing.

Being that I was stuck in traffic and not moving people are sitting in their cars all around me. A lady looked over at me and I looked at her, barely able to keep my eyes open because I'm laughing so hard and I guess it was contagious because she started to laugh too.

Of course, them I'm embarrassed. I realize everyone can see me. I must look like a yutz laughing my ass off (yep, I typed the whole damn LMAO - that's how funny it was) My mascara is running. I've got tear trails in my foundation....I was a mess. But I was happy.

On the way home that night, I was thinking about it again, not so much the joke but the fact that everyone around me could see me in my car.
This got me to thinking about singing in the car.

If I looked ridiculous laughing then I wondered how I must look when I'm singing. Admit it, you do it. We all do it. You turn up your favorite tune and started belting it out. Maybe drumming on the wheel. Maybe seat dancing.

No sooner do I think this then slightly ahead of me to my right is a car. I see a guy bouncing around in it. I pull up closer and I see this guy bopping back and forth, going completely Neil Peart on his steering wheel and though I couldn't hear him judging by how wide his mouth was opening this guy was singing at the top of his lungs.

And he looked completely idiotic. But he looked happy.

Sometimes you just gotta say 'screw it'. Don't worry about who's looking into your car or about how stupid you look (cause I gotta tell you - I don't care if you're Beyonce - if you're singing in the car - the people in the other cars can't hear you....so you just look stupid) 

Sometimes you just need to turn that music up loud and belt one out

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You want answers?

I want the truth!

You can handle the truth...

Sorry, I really really hate Tom Cruise but I love Jack Nicholson and he far outweighs my hatred of the whack job. Plus, A Few Good Men really is a good movie (I could type the whole Jack Nicholson "you can't handle the truth" speech for you - I've seen the movie that many times - but really, he's way more awesome at it than my blogging it.

Anyhow my "you want answers" was in reference to the Rebus puzzles from my last post.

Here they are!

1. SYMPHON
unfinished symphony



2. M1Y L1I1F1E
for once in my life
(four ones)


3. O_ER_T_O_
painless operation
(the letters p a i n are missing)


And the last two - Jenny you smart cookie!
4. B10
beaten black and blue


5. HERRING
red herring


Have a nice day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Puzzle Fun

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

I'm a nerd.

Okay, so not such a big secret but here's something you might not know.
I LOVE rebus puzzles. I like the challenge and if I might brag a bit - I'm pretty good at them.

So I thought for shiggles I'd post a few. If you know the answers go ahead and leave them in the comments (don't be shy....I know there's lots of you out there lurking...come on out and play!)

Alright here goes....


1. SYMPHON


2. M1Y L1I1F1E


3. O_ER_T_O_


4. B10

5. HERRING


Can't wait to hear your answers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In case you didn't know....you can't win 'em all.

It's been a really long time (by my standards) in which I've have several hours of undisturbed time in which to, well, do anything.
So last night while Sean was at work I thought I'd surf the net. (there was NOTHING on TV last night)

I played on Pogo for a while. I FB'd and Pumpkin Patched. (yes, I just used Facebook and Pumpkin Patch as verbs - love it!)

I was going to sew some bags to post but my sister in law ordered a bag so I wanted to get that done for her and then my cousin ordered a custom bag so was waiting on confirmation of the details for that in order to get that started. These days I only have the energy (and time) to sew on weekends so I try to cram a lot of it in. June is just around the corner and I'd like to have a lot of bags to bring to the Relay for Life.

Anyhow, my fabric reserves, while still pretty healthy in some areas are lacking in others. There are some (like the pink, the blue stripes, and the florals) that I have a lot of but others (like the oh, so popular black checkers) that I only have enough left to make one bag.
I'm always on the lookout for more.

I decided to scan kijiji. I've been very lucky there, it's where I found my Fabric Angel.
I found an ad that someone was selling a pretty nice lot of upholstery weight material. The pictures of it were nice, solid colours (blues and reddish/pinkish/maroon)
So, as before, I took a chance and emailed the seller - explaining the situation - and asking for a donation. I provided them with a link to the Papa's Pride blog (proof that I'm not a whack job trying to pull a fast one)
In the past, I've always put - I understand if you'd rather not donate the fabric but I figure it never hurts to ask.

I got a reply this morning from the seller. He/she replied that they "already do TONS of charity work" [sic] so basically, thanks but no thanks.

Now again, obviously it's their choice, whatever. But here's what's bugging me.
They were only asking $20 for the whole lot. (yeah I know what you're thinking - it's only $20 - suck it up buttercup and just buy the damn stuff. I plan to because it looked really great but the fact of the matter is that despite my fabulous new job I'm still flat freakin' broke until at least Wednesday. We're still playing a bit of catch up because of Emily's day at the Eaton Centre, Connor's Birthday party and my brakes and rotors needing to be done.) And I can't email now and say, can you hang onto it until Wednesday and I'll buy it because then I do look like a whack job trying to pull a fast one. So I'll wait until Wednesday and if it's not sold THEN I'll email and say if you don't want to donate it fine - I'd like to buy it because it would be really helpful.

(deep breath)

But again - by donating it they only loose $20. No biggie. And again - it's their choice to not donate it but here's what bugs me...they didn't even look at the Papa's Pride Blog. I know this because I have a 'unique visit' counter and the map - I know when and where people are when they view the blog (plus Blogger has the nifty stats page)

This person didn't make a decision based on, oh I don't know, being adequately informed - he/she just didn't want to. That's what's bothering me. If it were something like "Hmmm, I've looked at this blog and I think this woman is doing something very interesting, however, we already do TONS of charity work so I think I'd rather still just sell my fabrics" then I could say "Okay, I tried, but at least it's only $20 (the cost of which is recovered on the sale of one bag) so I'll just buy it. "

I'm taking it personally (which I know it isn't but I still take it that way) because they didn't bother to look at the blog. They made a decision based solely on my email which leaves me feeling as though they think I'm the whack job trying to pull a fast one that I tried to convince them that I am not by sending them the link to the blog in the first place.

I realize this is my issue. Not everyone out there is like my Fabric Angel. Not everyone *gets* the value of what I'm doing. I know in my heart of hearts that this 'cause' is more important to me than to anyone else simply because it's what helps me deal with losing my Dad. I've been so blessed with people like my Fabric Angel who get it and the family, friends and random strangers who've placed the orders that keep me going - that keep me sewing - that keep me hoping that I'll sell a ton of bags, raise a ton of money before June and then start all over again in July.

Anyhow, I'm going to buy the fabric on Wednesday if it's still available. I think it they will make nice bags. And in the meantime - I'll keep working with what I have and have fun doing it.

And after I complete the orders in waiting we'll have broken the $300 mark. WOOHOO!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This, that and Butterscotch Lifesavers

So, my new teacher started last week on Tuesday.
I can say sum up my week in one simple sentence. I LOVE HER!

She's fantastic. She's young, she's energetic, she's easy to get along with, she's nice, she's a hard worker, she knows what she's doing - and she values my opinion and input. I can't tell you how many times last week she'd say to me "we're in this together" or "we're a team".

I'll admit I was worried that I'd be going from the frying pan into the fire but I really, didn't. Last week was the best week of work I've had in.....so very long.

I know I'm a big nerd but I big puffy heart her oh, so much.




I've lost weight since I've started working. Not a huge amount but about 5 lbs. I'm thrilled and I know it's in large part because I'm not eating like a horse everyday. I have breakfast (toast or porridge and coffee) Lunch (either a bagel and cream cheese or a salad and yogurt) and then supper (though, I'm starved when I get home and I tend to eat a large supper) When I snack at school it's on an apple.

I have one small problem though. See, at night I've been going to bed early (like 9:30) Partly because I'm exhausted but also because Sean gets up for work so early that he goes to bed then too...so I figure, I got nothing else to do, may as well go to bed too. So this keeps me from snacking on weeknights. On weekends he goes to bed early still but my snacking is kept in check because I get something healthy before he goes to bed.

Here's my problem.

Sean is working nights for the next 6 weeks. That means after the kids go to bed I have nothing to do. I'm bored. I'm lonely. So I snack.
Last night it was curry/shrimp samosa's from M&M (didn't like them)

Tonight...chicken wings. MMMMMMM

I know I shouldn't and I know this is emotional/boredom eating but I can't help myself.
So, I can rejoice in my 5 lost lbs while I put them back on.

Oh well.

I've had a hankering for butterscotch lifesavers (or butter rum lifesavers) for about two weeks and do you think I can find any? Nada. It's killing me. 7/11 doesn't have them. WalMart doesn't have them. The little corner store doesn't have them. I used to be a 2 pack a day lifesaver sucker. I gave the habit up in favour of smoking more (insert a 'you're a pathetic loser' headhake here) but lately I've been wanting to suck on something (get your mind out of the gutter you perv) and butterscotch lifesavers would hit the spot.

I might have to go buy some Werthers. It's just not the same.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rest in Peace Little Ones

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

It's one of those things that people don't always openly talk about but when they do - they find that there are so many others out there who are sharing the same grief as they are. So many women who've lost a pregnancy - whether it be early on or later. So many women who've babies have been born sleeping. And so many women who's babies lived but for a short time.

It's on this day that we remember the babies who only made it into our arms for a short time - or not at all but will live forever in our hearts. We also remember their families who are left behind to mourn them.

I'm lighting my candle for my own two babies, gone before I ever got to hold them. I often wonder who you would have been but I know one day we'll meet and I'll hold you in my arms.

I'm also lighting my candle in memory of Reagan, Gavin, Zoe and Anna, Kaelen, Angelina and Gabriella, Baby Bulldozer and in memory of the babies lost during pregnancy by so many of my friends...




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to a very big boy!

My baby boy is 3 today. 3 years ago today I was rejoicing that he was finally here. After all the struggling to get pregnant and stay pregnant. After the hell of losing two babies before him. After the trauma of his birth, almost losing him and my only thoughts being "I can't go home with no baby"

But I didn't. And on October 12, 2007 my life changed forever.

Happy Birthday baby boy. We love you so much!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving weekend for us northern folks.

I've never been a giant Thanksgiving fan. Chicken may be my favorite food but turkey doesn't fall into that category for me, I don't feel the same love for it (though I'll admit I love the smell of it cooking)
It just seems like a lot of work for a dinner for what is otherwise a meaningless holiday. We're not farmers, we don't harvest our crop now (wait - I do still have a few tomatoes and hot peppers out there) and while we do go around the table talking about what we're thankful for it's not a religious holiday. If it weren't for it originating long ago when farmers were celebrating a successful season and the fruits of their labours I would think Thanksgiving was just as contrived as Valentine's Day. (and I'm a little surprised that Hallmark hasn't sunk their claws into this weekend more)

But - it is what it is. A day off work tomorrow, an excuse to have a big family meal and a reason to pause and reflect on the many gifts we've been blessed with.

A few years ago while going around the table, telling each other what we were thankful for, my Dad said "I'm just glad to be here for another year" Foreboding since it was his last Thanksgiving with us.

So - in the spirit of cheesiness and all that mush, I'm going to tell you all what I'm thankful for this year.

I'm thankful for the obvious - my family - both immediate and extended. As the years have gone on I have built new bonds with with my family, not just my mom and brothers but with my sisters in law, my cousins, aunts and uncles. Family is important, they're your roots and without them, you're nothing.
As a side note to this, I'm thankful I don't have any sisters. I've always wished for a sister but I think if I had one I wouldn't appreciate my sisters in law as much as I do. And I like my sisters in law (which I'm lucky for because I know so many people who hate theirs) So I might be short a biological sister but I've got the next best thing.

I'm thankful for my job - but I'm going to take it a step further and say I'm thankful that I was placed at the school I was placed at....because I think that's that big factor in how much I love my job. I like the staff. And for the most part I feel like an equal (there are a few exceptions....one or two staff members who I get a cold shoulder from but I figure meh, their loss)

I'm thankful for the support I've received from so many people with my Papa's Pride venture and the Relay for Life. It might sounds trivial to some - even those who've lost someone to cancer - but this makes me feel like my Dad won't be forgotten. His passing won't be in vain.

And in the words of my Dad....I'm thankful to be here another year - because everyday, good or
bad, rain or shine, is a gift.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beating a dead horse

Yes, I am.

I was just browsing my FB page and noticed a message from my Uncle on the Papa's Pride page. He's offered to match any money raised up to $2000 toward our Relay for Life with the sale of our Papa's Pride merchandise.

I know several of you fantabulous readers have already bought bags or cards or ribbons but I'm putting it out there anyway....for those of you who stop by frequently....and oh so quietly...you know who you are.....

The tote bags make great Christmas gifts.
I have a huge assortment of fabrics (I will post more fabrics on the Papa's Pride blog on the weekend)
The cards are lovely. Think of all those times you've wanted to send a thank you card to someone and didn't have a blank note card lying around. Or you wanted to give your significant other a nice card with a love note written inside. Why pay Hallmark to write what's in your heart? Blank note cards with lovely photos are perfect for that!

You don't have to order through Etsy, you can order via email ( jdonahue1081@rogers.com )but payment must be through Paypal.

And it will do your heart good knowing that you've helped lift us up as well as giving to an incredibly worthy cause.

And yeah, the horse might be dead but I'm gonna keep on beating him.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's all about perspective

I'm compensating for my lack of posts during the week by giving you double and triple posts on weekend....plus this stuff comes into my head and I think hmmm, I should blog that.

Yesterday when I took Em shopping I stopped into the Coach store.

I am by no means a label whore. Mostly because I simply can't afford those finer things but there's more to it that that....I don't really get it.

I have several friends who own one (or multiple) Coach purses and yes, I'll admit they are really nice looking bags. What I have trouble wrapping my mind around is paying $500 for one.

I saw a really lovely purse in the store. It looked something like this (it wasn't this one but similar) It was $475.

The purse I carry is this one.

Sure, part of that is because I made it and it's for charity (yes, I paid the $20 for it) and I can't very well expect people to buy them if I won't carry one myself. But, even before the birth of Papa's Pride I was carrying $20 purses from WalMart or Bentley.

So while I looked at this purse, I wondered to myself.....what does it do? Does it come with something? A diamond ring? A little laptop? Keys to a car? Why is this purse - that is no bigger than the one I carry - so obscenely expensive?

Just for arguement sake - an iPhone or a Blackberry are more expensive than my crappy little Samsung Gravity phone because, well, mine is just a phone. Okay, it has a camera and a slide out qwerty keyboard but really, it's just a phone. And an iPhone or Blackberry - well, they're so much more.

So referring to that above point, I ask again....what does a Coach bag do? It's made of fine leather. It has a Coach label. But at the end of the day....it's still a purse right? It still holds your keys, your eyeliner and your tampons right? Just with a little more style.

I'm certainly not knocking anyone who has one (or mulitple) Coach bags. You work for your money, spend it how you want. I'm sure there are people out there who don't understand why I covet big fancy SLR cameras and lenses when their Kodak point and shoot works just as well (granted there is a difference in picture quality) or why, given the chance, I'd be driving a Dodge Charger SRT8 in Hemi orange

when my 'mom-mobile' minivan works just fine.


And I realize I just answered my own question right there. Because yeah, my Montana SV6 gets my from A to B in a safe and timely fashion.....but I'd look a hell of a lot hotter getting there in a Charger.
Better start saving my pennies....the Coach bag of cars is waiting for me!