Thursday, September 10, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I use to be much more of a saver. I'm finding as I get older and more practical I can let go of certain things easier. I cleaned out my closet the other week. Four large garbage bags later I felt lighter, relieved, and refreshed. Rude awakening, it was. I was holding on to skirts and pants about 3 sizes smaller than I currently wear, "I know I'll get back into these someday."
I then went about the house with a box, filling it with useless or unused items. I mean how many vases do I need ?? I never get flowers. Sorry Clicker but you know it's true. I saved one vase for Jessica, (she and her boyfriend are still in the romance stage).
I opened boxes that I've managed to lug from house to house since I was first married. Must-have's of long ago are the trash of today. Time to purge my junk to make room for other's junk! (Thrift Shopping has become my passion.) But not just junk, useful, purposeful junk that I can make my own, craft into something else, paint or just enjoy in the right spot in my home. I'm just not interested in my own junk anymore.
I even tackled the garage. I was on a roll. I felt good! Energized. I organized a spot for garage sale items. Yes, my first garage sale will be upon us very shortly. The chance to rid myself of my rubbish and make a whopping $30 in the process excites me! Yes the bargain hunter, dumpster diva that I am will be on the other side of the table shortly. Haggling for the other team.
I can't explain the feeling of joy that overcame me just knowing I'll be rid of all these useless things. My closet was clean! I kept going back and opening the door. Smile. Close the door. Shelves were organized. Laundry room organized. I couldn't believe how marvelous I felt during this purging process.
And then it hit.
Jessica's Room. (da da dummmmmmm...)
My euphoria came to a screeching halt.
I stood at her door. My face blank. Silence all around me. Bottom lip quivering. Tears welled up a little. In the midst of my newly cleaned and organized home was this landfill. This dumping ground for clothing and 'stuff'. As if a laundry truck exploded in there. This kid saves everything. You can barely enter the room without tripping, you certainly dare not enter in the dark. Somehow it's inconceivable to me that this flawless, perfectly put together, beautiful girl emerges daily from this room.
Why do we keep things thinking we'll always need them later on? I kept things with the thought that someday ,when I'm older, I'll want to see them, I'll enjoy the nostalgia. Well....... I'm older, and I still couldn't care less. I rummaged through these articles, remembered the times when it was important, then tossed it.
For me... I feel liberated. As for Jessica....... well, I've decided to find it charming.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This fear is so great that even the word bothers me. The the sight of it paralyzes me. A mere photo creates such anxiety that I couldn't even post one in this blog.
I consider myself a logical person. Level headed and intelligent. I have overcome much in my lifetime. I have undertaken projects that aren't for the faint of heart. I have actually watched a filmed autopsy without flinching. What is this phobia? The thing that horrifyingly nauseates me, renders this able-bodied, independent woman to a lily-livered coward??............... spiders. Just typing that brought water to my mouth.
I've always thought my ideal home would be in a country setting, with acres of land and stable for horses. Of course in this dream I am independently wealthy and employ a team of Insect Assassins.
Once when I was first married and my husband was working out of town, I was getting ready for bed and spotted 'one' on the bedroom wall. As expected, arachnophobia prevents me from getting close enough to kill it (like I would want to anyway??) I sat and watched it........... for hours. I knew I couldn't sleep in the same room.. GOD No! I couldn't leave the room... it would disappear and be creeping through the house somewhere and I'd have to sell and move. So I sat and watched. Eventually, after a few good shoe tosses from across the room, I managed to slay the beast, got the shovel from the garage and walked it outside to the curb. Even now in my home I am the head of the house, but by no means the fearless one. My courageous youngest daughter does the deed. The sad thing is, if Nadia's not around, myself and my other daughter, (another arachnophobic) are doomed.
House protocol states that when the monster is exterminated, it must be taken outside, at the very least, disposed of in the toilet which must be flushed at least twice. At work, after the guys chase me around the office with it, I make them flush it in the men's toilet.
As I sit and type this, I have the feeling of something creeping up my legs. It's terrible.
I know, I'm gutless. I would feel so much better if I were afraid of something substantial; large man-eating snakes or crocks, maybe large sewer rats. But they just don't bother me at all. Will I ever conquer this fear? I doubt it. I'd gladly trade it for doughnutaphobia (?)
Perhaps I suffer from just plainwierdaphobia.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
In case anyone is wondering why I'm M.I.A., I'm on holidays this week.
As I don't really take holidays to enjoy the overwhelming hot weather (eyeroll), I have taken this week to do some very much needed work around the house.
Will return next week with something new and exciting.
Well... something new anyway.
Ta Ta !
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This particular family function included an Uncle and a cousin from the U.S. It was truly wonderful to see how peoples lives have changed, how they themselves have changed, physically and otherwise. It has to be almost 20 years since I've seen them. It was nice to catch up. It's funny how different people are, yet come from the same family lines.
My parents were both born in Canada. Most of my fathers family up and moved to California in the 50's & 60's. As the story goes, we were set to move to California as well. I would have been under 10 years old at that time.
A technicality stopped that transition from occurring.
So as we sat and chatted about the time they all moved South, I wondered....... 'how different would my life have been?'
I left that afternoon honestly intrigued.
My life, over a simple decision, would have been drastically different. I would have been different. I wonder if I would have looked different? Would I have been well off? Would I have been more successful? Maybe I would have married someone famous! Perhaps I would have been an actor! (OK maybe not). Would I speak differently? Would roof become ruff??.. and creek become crick? Would I never go OOWT, but rather go OAAUUUT? How would I wear my hair? How would I dress? I wonder if my life would have been easier or better.
Questions came flooding to me as I pondered how close I came to turning out completely different.
I wouldn't have been married to the man I married. Certainly I wouldn't have my wonderful children. It was then that it really hit me. These little people that I gave birth to and love and raised and know backwards and forwards wouldn't even be here!
So I chose to look at it this way;
I could have been a celebrity, married to a famous actor, lived in Beverly Hills, had houses scattered in different countries, been filthy rich, (this could be slight overkill), but I'm so glad none of that happened.
I have my kids. My wonderful, beautiful, lovable, funny, odd-ball, filled-to-the-brim-with personality, troublesome, wallet-emptying, drive-me-broke kids.
I wouldn't have it any other way!
(xoxox - love you Jessica and Nadia)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
If you're looking for something different this summer and you are at all curious about things unknown, you might think about a trip to Lily Dale NY.
I made this very unusual road trip last year with my daughter and a few friends . For those not familiar with this place, Lily Dale is the largest Spiritualist community in the world. Now before the eye-rolling groans begin and the mouse clicks me off, hear me out. I too, was quite the skeptic before my weekend in Lily Dale.
This little community is three hours south of Toronto. Lily Dale is full of "Mediums and/or Psychics", In fact in order to live in this small, gated suburb residents must pass a test proving that they are a Medium.
During summer months you can attend the outdoor meetings and have an open air reading done by one of the local Mediums or a guest speaker. Tens of thousands of people flock to this town in hopes of being picked from the crowd to have a message delivered to them from the other side. Although a private reading is really the way to go.
Lily Dale is home to the ancient forest of Leolyn Woods which is thousands of years old. The centuries old, towering trees will leave you speechless. Deep in Leolyn Woods is America's oldest known public pet cemetery and Inspiration Stump where it has been documented that witnesses have seen and felt presences both male and female. This little corner of New York State is complete with their own campgrounds, historic hotels and private houses that will furnish you with the complete ghostly experience. Ensure your weekend includes a night in one of those! For under $60 a night you can bunk in Lily Dale's very own Maplewood Hotel which is listed in America's Most Haunted Places.
My own experience in this town was fascinating. My daughter Jessica accompanied me on this trip and during an open reading was called on by the Medium. She told my daughter that she was being guided and watched over by her Grandfather on her maternal side. She went on with the reading mentioning things that weren't just generic statements but things that truly had meaning to her. She went on to say that she 'saw her Grandfather with animals, perhaps horses.... horses running fast.. racing... wind blowing,' she said, as her arms flowed with the wind in front of her.
My eyes filled and a lump crept to my throat. My father owned a horse that had won the Queen's Plate in 1983. He was surrounded by horses all his life. The reading was short but full of impassioned enlightenment. We then proceeded to our own private readings. Each of us to our own Medium devoid of any contact or association with each other. Our outcomes were both wonderful and accurate.
In truth, I went there in hopes of hearing something about my dear sister who passed away of Breast Cancer almost 3 years ago and instead was surprised to hear that my father, who passed in 1991 was a major presence in mine and my daughters life. With more about my father and bits and pieces of my sister in my own reading (remember that you tell the Medium nothing about yourself other than your name) it was all enough to leave me with a sense of peace and comfort.
Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, you will undoubtedly leave Lily Dale more curious and open-minded.
While I enjoy my yearly road trips here and there, this trip will remain closest to my heart.
To this day, I really do believe in Angels.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here are 10 of mine:
My musical tastes are diverse. I like anything from pop to classical to New Age. Yes, that's right, New Age! There I said it. I am definitely a fan of Enya and Yanni, apparently the musical equivalent of a long elevator ride. People just don't understand. I love Barbara Striesand, Ennio Morricone, oh - and I adore Barry Manilow, (something I definitely keep to myself). I have endured much ridicule over my musical inclinations, and while I delight in this undercover pleasure (alone in my car) with the volume pumped, I still turn down the volume as I approach each stop light.
Donuts. What's not to like about donuts? If it magically turned out that donuts were good for you .. I'd pull up a chair at my local Tim Hortons daily for dinner.
Trashy novels - I mean real 'rot your brain' trash. Guaranteed you'll hide the covers of these books while reading in public. Novels where the nasty, secondary characters outshine the hero.
I'll cough up that I've actually read a Jackie Collins novel or two.
Celebrity gossip. I can't help myself. I read it wherever I can. Standing in line at the grocery store, why pick a short line when you can line up behind the woman shopping for a small army and relax with a few tabloids? Who really doesn't want to know who's boobs are fake, who never showers, or who has injected what into where?
People Watching. Ok this one is ridiculously gratifying for me. It can be done very discreetly and just about anywhere. It's no secret among my friends that I generally find people very perplexing. People really do the most peculiar things when they think no one's watching. Stop lights are great for this. Aside from the familiar nose pickers and flickers you can spot make up appliers, shavers, plucker's and singers. Although I must divulge the absolute best place to people watch is in a shopping mall. Truly the most fun you'll have on a rainy day.
Online Games. An absolute sinful waste of time, but oh so addicting. Crosswords, Mah Jong, trivia, logic puzzles and my favorites.. "Escape the room"games. Oh, the hours I'll never get back with those ones!
Does anyone else feel guilty about this? Coffee in hand, I can curl up on a chair at Chapters, read till I'm dizzy and an hour or two later walk out with nothing. How are these people still in business? As enthralled as I am in my reading, I often find myself wondering that very thing just sitting there.
Sushi. I kid myself here believing that Sushi is the healthy alternative for dinner. I dispense the hard sell to anyone who will have dinner with me... "Well it's not fried, you can eat as much as you want!" I don't think they're buyin' it, and frankly neither do I. But it makes me feel better.
Baked Brie. What can I say here, other than order your baked brie with a side order of angioplasty. I hate that I love baked brie. I hate it even more that it's a hundred times better with puff pastry around it. (wince)
Hot Dogs. Love 'em. Love 'em even more when bought off a cart. Simple, yet satisfying. Brings back wonderful childhood memories. A food that never goes out of style. Do I tell people I like them? Of course not.
**I just looked up hot dogs. " Hot Dog's - usually made from mechanically recovered meat or meat slurry."
(I may have just cured myself of this pleasure)
Oh don't judge me... you know you hide that can of Spam in the bottom of your shopping cart.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Lately, and I use the term lately lightly, I'm always late.
Does that make sense?
I'm one of those people with a necessity for 8 hours sleep. I just don't function with less. And yet, I rarely get more than 6 or 7. Ritually, each morning I stagger out of bed.
Case in point: Must be at work by 8:45 a.m each morning.
(alarm set for 7:05 a.m)
Alarm sounds at 7:05. Radio comes on. If it's a good song, listen till the end -hit snooze. If announcer speaking-hit snooze right away.
7:15 am. Alarm sounds again. Don't care what's on. Hit snooze.
7:25 am. Alarm sounds. It's contest time. DJ announces a listener's name to call in. Listen for name. Name called. Not mine. Hit snooze.
7:35 am. Alarm sounds. Irritated. Alarm annoying. Hit snooze.
7:45 am. Alarm sounds. Fling off covers in a mad dash to get to shower. Turn shower on. Step into shower while still cold. *Profanity*
From that moment on I'm completely frenzied, (although I always make time for the usual analytical face gaze 3 inches from mirror). Dry my hair, paint my face, shellac my hair, decide on clothing and commence with morning ceremonial sock rummaging.
8:20 am. Stand in kitchen wondering why I didn't make a lunch last night. Look at clock. *Profanity*
8:30 am. In line at Tim Hortons drive thru. Line long. People slow. *Profanity*
8:40 am. Slip in a Yanni CD. Enjoy my 5 minute dash to work.
8:47 am. Promenade through front door of office faking the relaxed and refreshed look.
8:48 am. A few jovial 'Good Morning's'.
2:00 p.m Head on keyboard.
Perhaps this is my solution?
Say hello to Mr. Clock Radio.
As if a regular alarm isn't annoying enough,
this creepy looking clock radio has a robotic head that will wake up to 30-odd different voices ranging from gentle to a screaming maniac. You can also get it to tell you your fortune and wink as you undress.
On second thought.... I think not.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Or how about the Drive-In and Fly-In of Asbury Park, New Jersey which had the capacity for 500 cars and 25 airplanes. An airfield was placed next to the drive-in and planes would taxi to the last row of the theater. Yes, the Drive-In has a lengthy and interesting history.
The Drive-In's peak popularity came in the late 1950s and early 1960s when they were named "Passion Pits" due to the privacy it afforded its patrons!
With something for everyone including playgrounds, miniature railroads, merry-go-rounds and patio chairs, why then did they die off?
Unfortunately, over time land became far too valuable for drive-ins to operate successfully when in most cases business was summer-only.
As I stated in a previous post, nothing beats a large screen and surround sound for the big budget action movies, but a part of me still longs for the old time fun and nostalgia of a Drive-In.
Thankfully they're not all gone. Granted, it's often a lengthy jaunt out to the nearest one, but that pleasant summer's night drive just heightens the experience.
No need to line up at the concession stand; The Clicker and I have taken in a few Drive-In's and delighted in preparing our own banquet for the occasion.
Ahhh yes, nothing quite like dining alfresco on pre-popped microwave popcorn, pizza or sandwiches, juice boxes and a thermos of coffee. Life is good. Bring along a blankie to cuddle up and munch by. (Some insect repellent doesn't hurt either).
The price is still good considering you'll be entertained by a double-feature.
Get there a little early and people watch. I like to see who the Drive-In's attract. People with dogs, people with small kids, people with frisbees, people with lawn chairs, people in trucks and vans and people in pyjamas.
Do yourself a favour and take in a Drive-In this summer.
Watching a double feature under the stars is an enchanting cinematic experience.
The disturbing dancing weiner and bun are gone, but you can still steam up the windows!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
What if cars had built in Breathalyzers?
What if your refrigerator made your shopping list for you?
What if your car had feelings and actually caught a cold in the winter?
What if you heard your GPS voice huff and puff every time you made a wrong turn?
What if phones had monitors, would you ever answer it?
What if your kitchen cupboards were all mini dishwashers and you could just put dirty dishes back and have them washed where they came from?
What if we could invent a lawn that didn't grow but stayed green?
What if a marriage license was only good for 4 years like a drivers license?
What if mobile phones had Breathalyzers to prevent phone calls from Ex's at 3 am?
What if buses and subways had "sick" areas so all the infected people could cough and sneeze on each other and not spread their germs?
What if you could control your spouse with a remote control?
What if the Government just printed out more money and gave some to everyone?
What if you could pick the perfect hair day and hit a stop button to have it look like that forever?
What if we could sleep hanging upside down to reverse gravity and aging?
What if Polygram Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler Crackers merge to become -
What if Federal Express and UPS merge to become - FED UP?
What if Honeywell, Imasco, and Home Oil merge to become - Honey I'm Home?
*Ok, enough of that....
What if all parents cars had Taxi meters in them?
What if you talk to your plants and get an answer back?
What if all roads had a second level so that all trucks could drive on the bottom?
What if all vehicles were made of a flexible plastic that just bounced right back after an accident?
What if the Coyote actually bought food instead of all those ACME products?
What if Grey Poupon and Docker Pants merged to become- Poupon Pants?
(I had to)
Monday, May 4, 2009
When your day job is not your passion, giving it your best takes discipline, commitment and focus, while your passion simply requires focus and time. It's not far from the truth to tell you that the money probably lies in things you aren't interested in.
Admittedly I am not occupationally adventurous. Professionally speaking, I have been at the same day job for 20 years. Part of me feels proud to have the stability and longevity in my employment, but most of me feels irrevocably adrift.
Don't get me wrong, in many ways I love my job. The people here are great, it's close to home, I'm treated like family and have settled into a comfort zone that makes going to work daily virtually stress free.
I have a great office. A large window taking up an entire wall of my office baits me with views of beautiful days that I can only appreciate from my chair. I suppose I have freedom in my job. I can go to the kitchen for a drink anytime I like. Then there's those exciting jaunts to the photocopier daily which provides a well needed change of scenery. Occasionally I'll venture 3 steps out the front door to grab the mail. Once in a while I'll snag the pleasure of opening the warehouse door to accept a delivery. And then there's the days when I acquire true variety in my job and clean the inside of the microwave and the espresso machine. Good times.
Oh.. in between all this lavishness I manage to run an office and oversee (to some degree) management of our 4 branch offices. Is this where I thought I'd be at 40somethingorother? Unquestionably not.
As for my passion, I can best describe my passion as pretty much anything other than being an Office Manager. Sitting behind a desk in the same chair day after day succumbing to 'Secretary's Spread' wasn't in my top 5 aspirations.
Oh, I could beat myself up about not pursuing a creative avenue after high school, (and I have, many times). But I suppose I should concentrate on how to pursue my passion in the present.
I've often thought of buying houses, renovating then selling them. But that takes money. I have, in the past, channeled my creativity in many different outlets. If I had to pick one thing to aspire to, I believe that would prove to be a difficult decision, but one I would gladly make. Thankfully I have been able to dabble in all of my passions in my spare time.
I guess what it comes down to is Pay vs. Passion. The feat for many of us is how to balance the love of our life with food on the table. The trick is in the timing. I believe the time to make the choice between passion and practicality is right after graduation. Granted, I'm a 'couple' of years past graduation, but it's never too late.
I'm going to hold on to that thought.
As adults we don't stop enough and think about where we are going. We're sometimes too busy thinking about our family, our current job and our businesses.
Obligations prevent me from taking the big plunge, but it doesn't mean I cant splash around in the shallow end in the meantime!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
While I realize that it's nice to be different and unique in some ways, some carry 'different' a little too far.
My search has brought me many unusual cakes.
In other words... WHAT WERE THEY THINKING????
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
While I am most content to sit at home and view an exceptional oldie, most films today require a large screen to be truly appreciated. For the sensational visuals and panoramic filming, a movie theatre is a must.
Aside from the draw of the big screen, there is another very notable justification for attending a movie theatre, the popcorn. Simply put, I am a popcorn junkie. An authentic, genuine cellulose, fructose, carb aficionado. If I know ahead of time, I'll skip dinner to indulge in a large, hot buttered popcorn. Oh, but not just buttered, no-sir-ee. It then has to be delicately and systematically adorned with a powdered topping. A high sodium, zero nutrition topping. Of course anyone who knows anything about sprinkled toppings knows for certain that you need butter to make it stick to the popcorn.
Concession Person: "Would you like butter on that?"
Me: "Yes please, and can you layer that for me?"
What am I thinking ? Have I no respect for my body?
Now I make my way into the theatre where I scan for the perfect spot. I don't need to be dead center to the screen. I prefer to be off to the side where a select few are seated. I make sure I get there early enough because I simply can't see a movie without viewing all of the opening credits. If I walk in during opening credits, I'm late and the movie is ruined for me. (see Anal Retentive post).
I settle in, remove my coat, turn off my cell and eagerly dive into my indulgence. This is my Eden. Euphoria sets in and all is right with the world.
Ok, so here's the downside to my delight.
Ready for some staggering stats? A large UNBUTTERED popcorn has about 80 grams of fat, more than 50 of them saturated. That's almost three day's worth of saturated fat, that's like eating six Big Macs. Succumb to the butter on your large popcorn and you'll raise the fat to close to 130 grams. (Add another 2 Big Macs.)
So whats a popcorn enthusiast to do? I think I'll consider an alternative the next time. Perhaps I'll bring apple slices, low fat granola or dried soy beans or maybe a bag of grapes!
I know it's wrong. I'm so ashamed.
But I'm honest. I prefer junk food at the movies. There. I said it.
All I need is a little excercise.
Monday, April 27, 2009
She looks bored enough.
It's my shade of lipstick.
I like the hair. The hair is good, but I'm not much into the sensible shoes.
Notice the health food in my hand. Notice the snarl on my face, the two go hand in hand.
Maybe I can use one of these. You can help me decide.
Oh yeah, and if I were an M&M , I'd be...
Thursday, April 23, 2009
But never, ever in my wildest dreams did I ever think she would be online.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
From my early days as a fumbling mother of a newborn I have vowed to be the very best parent I could be. From my perspective that meant caring for, loving unconditionally, teaching right from wrong and of course setting a good example.
It all seemed so easy. But as they got older, curious and inquisitive, things began to get a little more complicated.
It just wasn't so black and white anymore. So this good mother turned into a good liar.
The catalogue of falsehoods:
1) Until my children we're well over the acceptable age of believing, they believed in Santa Claus. My eldest would go to school and INSIST there was a Santa, years after most kids gave up the ghost.
7) All the vitamins are in the crust.
8) The ice cream truck only plays music to let the children know its run out of ice cream.
9) Spinach gives you muscles and carrots make you see in the dark.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
You certainly don't need an expensive machine, this little guy does the job just fine.
1. Combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, mixing well.
5. Slice rolled dough into 1 inch pieces. Place on greased baking pans or use parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place about an hour.