Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Psst, you gotta "J"?

Words...big words, little words, me likes words!   During the past couple of years I've really gotten into playing Scrabble on the computer.  Last summer I scored a Scrabble game at a garage sale for $1.00 so Eric and I have spent countless hours playing out on the back patio, enjoying the summer days.  I'm not going to be modest here, I've gotten somewhat good at it.  Finally having figured out the strategic moves that land me the most points, utilizing the bonus squares and high point letters.  I'm also secretly enjoying that Eric is figuring it out as well.  Makes for a much more challenging game.  And who doesn't love a challenge?  I bring all this up because I'm gearing up to fill you in on my latest craft project. 

Sometimes when I craft I amaze even myself.  I stumbled across this idea on, you guessed it, that "P" website a few months ago and pinned it to my board immediately.  I loved the idea for myself but most importantly it immediately made me think of my friend Tess.  I just knew she'd totally appreciate the idea if I could find all the components.  I wasn't quite ready to sacrifice my $1.00 Scrabble score just yet.  So this summer I've kept my eyes peeled at garage sales in hopes of again stumbling across a Scrabble board.  Last weekend my luck came in.  I found a decent (doesn't even look like it's been used) set for $2.00.  This new find was going to replace my old set from last year that was now missing an "i" tile.  So that now left a whole bunch of wooden tiles to be creative with.  This is probably my favourite project to date.  If not my favourite it's right up there in the top 3. 

I was able to buy a sheet of cork for 50 cents at a garage sale in the spring.  I knew I would eventually get all the components together so I snagged it up immediately with the idea that I would make this craft eventually.    And since then it's been patiently waiting amongst my crafting supplies for the right moment.  That right moment came on Saturday when I was finally able to donate my $1.00 Scrabble game to the cause.  I had some glue left over from a previous project so I immediately got to work cutting out squares of cork from the sheet.  I had enough letters to make 6 coasters.  Once I had everything ready to go, I started gluing the tiles onto the cork.  Upon completion (about 20 minutes) I clamped them all together between two boards of wood so they'd dry flat and straight.  The next day I went out and bought some high gloss shellac (I can't remember what it's really called but you know what I mean) in a spray can and went to town covering them in two coats.  What I was left with is a pretty awesome pack of coasters, all shiny and amazing. 

This entire crafting project cost me $1.50 for the supplies and $6.00 for the spray coating which I'll be able to use on future projects no problem as there is tons left.  Pretty decent if I do say so myself.  I'm actually kind of sad to part with these but I know Tess loves Scrabble probably more than I do, so I hope she'll actually use them.  If she doesn't use them I hope she'll at least put them out so other people see them.  Cause they are that great.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Boys into Men

I was inspired after reading a blog to share some of her ideas of what things of importance should be discussed with growing boys.  And because I too have procreated and spewed forth (probably not the best way to describe it but whatever) two boys into the world I suppose it's best if I parent them to be contributing members of society or at the very least decent human beings.  I continuously feel like I'm participating in an up hill battle with the ex because he's probably not what one might consider the world's best role model.  Two steps forward, 3 steps back seems to be my mantra lately when it pertains to the father of my boys. 

These are some things that the parents of boys should discuss with their kids.  Some of these I've voiced already to my own, and some I really need to get a jump on quickly.  I can only hope that in that glazed over look of theirs, they've heard a portion of what I've said to them. 

1.  Your son should play a sport.  Even if it's not the traditional sport in the sense of the word.  Being part of team shows him how to work with others and be responsible with time management.  In a round about way it's introducing him to work ethic (if he commits to a team he must show up for the game).  He'll learn respect for authority (those coaches, refs and umps can be harsh!).  Most importantly put him in a sport where there are still wins and losses (these helicopter parents and the "everyone gets a medal" mentality is doing us no favours).  Hopefully he'll learn how to lose with style  and win with modesty.  But most importantly, statistics show that those involved in team sports are less likely to be out causing trouble in the streets.  Food for thought. 

2.  As the male, your son will essentially set the tone for the sexual part of his relationships.  He should know it is not his place to take something away from a girl that he doesn't have the power to give back.  He should learn to ask himself questions like, is this how I'd want someone to treat my mom or sister?  He needs to be aware that his actions have consequences, both good and bad.  Teach your son that everyone has a voice, even a mate.  Respect in a relationship is critical and starting young will teach him to be an amazing man.

3.  A foundation of education can never be taken from him.  Being too smart will never be a detriment.  He should never want to stop learning.  Show him that knowledge is power.  Try your best to instill the desire to learn.  Show him with education, good things will eventually come his way (even if it's just always winning at mindless bar trivia nights - free drinks and food are an added perk for being smart). 

4.  Boys are never as particular with their appearance as girls, but he should take pride in his.  Personal hygiene is one of the first things girls notice (ya we're vain like that).  Start young and teach him how to match clothes, wash his own hair, brush his teeth, etc., and help him understand why he should want to do these things.

5.  The art of urination.  It is supposed to go in the big porcelain bowl, yup all of it!  I suppose there is no real proper way to teach them how to perfectly aim that stuff, but make sure you stay on him until he masters it.  Sometimes boys don't understand that it doesn't get cleaned up all by itself.  (A mother's work is never done.)  Maybe if you make him do it once in a while he'll master the art much more quickly.

6.  It's going to prove fruitful if you can teach your son to be a leader, not a follower or bossy.  Far more success is accomplished with a good teacher who shows his group how to work together to get the mission accomplished.  Peer pressure is less of an issue with a leader than a follower as well.  And we all know peer pressure causes poor mom's to lose sleep at night.

7.  Learning how to save money is one of the hardest things to do but something that habit is best taught at a young age.  Your son needs to understand that saving when he's young is required for him to have money when he's old.    It sucks but one day he'll be glad he has those skills.  

8.  Teach your kid to never be a bully or pick on another human being.  But at the same time teach him to stand up for himself, his family and his friends when he needs to.  Make sure he knows the difference.  I also told my boys I'd have their back every step of the way as long as they weren't the instigators of the fight and they were doing it to protect another person or themself.  I have no regrets having said that to this day.

9.  How he treats women will be a reflection of what he sees and lives with.  Teach him to treat women with kindness and respect.  Being alone in life can feel like an eternity, but being with someone you hate or who hates you can feel even longer.    Be kind. 

10.  Teach your son housecleaning skills as soon as you think he's able to not break your washing machine, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, toilet brush, etc.  In the event that he moves out and gets his own place he needs to know how to keep it clean.  And more importantly he needs to want to!

11.  There is still no sweeter sound than manners coming out of someone's mouth.  Please and thank you still takes you pretty far these days. 

12.  Fart and poop jokes shouldn't be the only funny thing in his repetoire.  Teach him to find humour in lots of other stuff too.  There's not much better than a great joke with awesome delivery. 

13.  Help him understand that a woman can do everything that he can do.  This includes, but is not limited, to her having a successful career and him raising the kidlets.  Mutual respect in a relationship is key.  Everyone has different skills and different roles, embrace them all.

14.  Beg him, if need be, to choose his spouse wisely (this is one of my biggest fears when it comes to my boys aging).   She will hold the key to how often you are able to spend time with your son and grandchildren.  He needs to know it's extremely important to pick a mate that gets along well with his mom (this will lead to a much happier son and mama!).

15.  Explain to him that private parts are called that for a reason...Because they're private.  Keep the public scratching of said parts to a minimum eh? 

16.  And last but not least, teach him your phone number and the importance of using it frequently.  Somedays you might be missing him more than others and a random phone call is all it may take to make his mom smile.  Boys love to make their mom's smile.

Getting Old

Age is a funny thing.  How come the only times in our lives where we like the idea of getting old is when we are little kids?

If you happen to be less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you actually think in fractions.  Like you are never just four, you're four and a half.   I'm pretty sure I've never once been 37 and a half...but when you're young, you're four and a half going on five!  Then when you  get into your teens, you can't hold you back.  You just jump right to the next number.  You could be 12 but you'll still say you're gonna be 16.  Twelve but soon I'm gonna be 16.   Wait!  Soon the greatest day of your life happens:  you become 19!  Even the words sound like a ceremony - 'become' 19.  YES!  But, then you turn 30.  That one hurts a little.  What happened there?   It kind of makes you sound like bad milk.  She 'turned', so we had to throw her out.  There's no fun now.  What happened?  What's changed?  You 'become' 19, you 'turn' 30, then you're 'pushing' 40.  Make it stop, it's all just slipping away from us.  Then you 'reach' 50 and 'make it' to 60.  That's quite an accomplishment.   So lets recap shall we?  You become 19, you turn 30, you're pushing 40, you reach 50, you make it to 60...then you build up so much speed you hit 70!  And once you turn 70 it becomes a day by day thing.  From there you hit Wednesday and then Thursday.  You crawl your way into your 80's and it becomes a milestone to hit lunchtime and then you turn 4:30.  Some 80 year olds won't even buy green bananas.  It's an investment you know, and it could end up being a bad one.   But it doesn't stop there.  Into your 90's you start going backwards.  I was just 92.  Funny, eventually a strange thing occurs:  If you make it over the 100 milestone, you become a  little kid again and start working with fractions.  I'm a hundred and a half!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Walk'n on Sunshine

Since I started this blogging challenge on July 3rd I have never won so many awards or ribbons!  Not even when I was in  my prime and could destroy you at the 100m dash (well ok, maybe I won more of them at that time).  So as it's turned out I've been awarded another, The Sunshine Award by the lovely and generous Melissa of The Bright Side!  Cause we all know I'm a ray of f*cking sunshine most days!  It seems appropriate me thinks. 

So just like before, no good deed is given without a catch.  In order for me to brag about my Sunshine Award I must fulfill the requirements.  Kind of like those stupid skill testing questions which are super easy but always stress me out. 

So the simple rules for this particular award are: 

1. Post the award on your blog and link back to the person who nominated you.  I did that already!  Melissa of The Bright Side nominated me.  Didn't you see that way up there ^^?  If not, I'm tagged her again just to make sure it's easy for you to go check out her awesome blog if you have a few spare moments. 
2. Answer the 10 given questions below.   Finally, a round number!  A one and a zero always looks more socially acceptable to me than an eleven.  I already feel more at ease. 
3. Nominate and link to 10 fellow bloggers to pass along the honour.   I'm Canadian, see what I did there?  I added the "u" to honour.  Cause I'm a rebel like that. 
4. Don't forget to comment on your honouree's blogs to share the love!   Cause we all love us some comments. 

Ugh, these are the questions???  These seem like they're going to take a lot of brain function.  This might not bode well for me, but I'll be a trooper and give it a go!  Ready?  Buckle up, it's gonna be a, bumpy probably, uneventful ride. 
Who is your favourite philosopher? 
I don't really have a favourite.  I've never given it much thought.  Probably because I'm as shallow as a mud puddle.  But if I must choose then I pick Jean Jacques Rousseau.  Wanna know why?  Cause he's a distant relative.  Fact!  Gotta support the kin yo!  He also supposedly had reckless manner and boundless vanity.  The apple didn't fall far from the family tree. So props and shouts out to JJ Rousseau.
What a stud.  Looks a little like Phil Collins with hair.  I can see how he was thought to be a ladies man.

What is your favourite number?  Has to be 18 and the reason is a total cliche.  It's the date of my birth.  Lame, I know but it is what it is.  It's also a pretty monumental age all by itself too.  My second would be 9.  Now that being said, these numbers have yielded me nothing in my life so I'm not sure they're too lucky. 

What's your favourite animal?  Hmm, probably a house cat.  I definately a cat person and they're within reach and so me affection so they're my favourite.  Unless I meet a friendly elephant I can cuddle with, then I pick an elephant.

What's your Facebook and Twitter URL's?  Well my Facebook URL is    https://www.facebook.com/#!/Missy.Aggravation but I don't have a Twitter account.  I can't be bothered to have to come up with something witty to say in a select number of words. 

What is your favourite vacation?  Hmm, that's tough because all my vacations have been great for totally different reasons.  I couldn't possibly pick one over another.  Basically any vacation is my favourite because I'm not working.  If I'm lucky enough to be able to travel while on said vacation than that's the cherry on top! 

What is your favourite physical activity?   I guess I need to be honest here and tell you that no physical activity will ever truly rank high enough to take home the title of favourite.  So all physical activity that I associate with excersise is out.  I pick sex.  Sex is physical, it's an activity and it's my favourite (sorry mother and mother in law).

What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?  Soda Gingembre.  Hands down.  Nothing beats a cold gingerale. 

What's your favourite flower?   An orchid.  Yes Freud might have something to say about the fact that I picked the flower that most resembles a vagina, but I swear I think they're just pretty.  I'm going to stop now before I open up plenty of opportunties for inappropriate comments

What is your passion?  Currently at the age of 38 years, crafting seems to be my passion (I never thought I'd utter that sentence in any way).  And making sure my kids make it out of highschool alive and well. 

So now I have to tag people who I think are worthy of receiving such an award....let's see I'll do my best.

Anita http://cracksinthearmour.blogspot.ca/
Melinda http://mom2specialneedskids.blogspot.ca/
Michelle  http://wirequeen.blogspot.ca/
Stephanie http://stephseclecticinterests.wordpress.com/
Alana  http://ramblinwitham.blogspot.ca/
Katrina  http://katrinaatkatsplace.blogspot.com.au/
Lynn  http://www.graywolfproductions.com/graywolfproductions/blog-a-journey-through-my-non-linear-mind
Kimberly  http://www.thedailydetails.com/
Michele  http://beinspireddesign.com/passion-speaks-blog/
Veronica  http://www.foodthatsings.com/apps/blog

I think I'm going to start printing these awards off, framing them and hang them on my wall in my office at work.  They'll make me look shmarter.  And if not shmarter, then definately more popular!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tag, You're It!!

So it turns out that some people who participate in this blog challenge have created awards and ribbons to pass along to other bloggers.  The idea (I think) is to draw positive attention to other blogs and rewards those writers whose content you enjoy reading.   I've now been tagged in two such examples which have actually proven to be fruitful for me when I've been suffering from writer's block.  The idea behind this particular one is to give others a glimpse into who I am.  I feel like I've never been too shy about talking about myself so I'll give it a whirl. 

I happened to be tagged by the lovely Cheri which was flattering and a nice surprise.  I guess I just figure that even though I read tons of blogs included in this challenge and am starting to go back for seconds and thirds, I just assume that no one is doing that with me.   So thank you Cheri for thinking of me and tagging me in this game of Tagged!  I'll do my best to answer all your questions and give you some insight into who Holly is. 

Ok so the logistics of this particular game are as such:

1.  Post the rules.   Check
2.  Answer the questions the tagger has set for me in her post.   I shall try not to disappoint.
3.  Create 11 new questions to ask those who I'm going to tag.   Wait, what?  Eleven?  Who picks these numbers???
4.  Tag eleven people on the Facebook page with a link to this post.   I hope I can pull that off.

Ok, I think I might have this under control!  Let's rock and roll, shall we?  Here are the questions Cheri posed for me:

1. What is the thing that makes you want to get out of bed each day?

Work ethic.  Having it sucks, yet it's something I'm adament about teaching to my kids.  Go figure. It's a charactor trait that is sadly lacking more and more these days.  But on the tough days where I want to curl up in a ball and die?  Well I suppose my kids are my motivation to keep on keeping on.  (Thankfully that rarely ever happens and hasn't happened in years and years.)

2.  If an alien landed on Earth, what would be your top tip for living here? 
Make friends.  It will make your time here much more bearable.  But always keep in mind, it's still very much an 'every man for himself' mentality.  It's up to you to make your own happiness.  Relish in the little things and find silver linings in every bad situation even when you're pretty sure there can't possibly be one. 

3.  What's your happy song? 
Currently it's Die Antwoord -  I Fink U Freeky.  It makes me want to leave my face on the dance floor and dancing always makes happy. 

4.  Do you have a special place, real or imagined, where you go to in your mind or reality to regroup, seek peace or just be?
A dance floor.  Any dance floor with my ladies where I can close my eyes, feel the music and move my body.  Not ever a care in the world when I'm in my dance floor zone. 

5.  What childhood fable, fairytale, or movie stretched your imagination and sticks with you today? 
Oh man, that's a good one. I've got a few that stand out for me.  Not really in any particular order after the first one I mention.  The first one is my ultimate fantasy and hands down favourite. 
  • Harry Potter (I have wanted to go to Hogwarts and be a witch in training for years now.)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Who couldn't get wrapped up in this fantasy world?)
  • James and the Giant Peach  (How wonderful would it have been to travel in a peach with giant bug friends?)
  • X-men (What I wouldn't do to have super mutant powers...wanting to enrol in that school is right up there with Hogwarts)

6. What's your idea of the perfect evening? 
Spending time with Eric and/or my boys laughing and making memories.  Knowing that I have the following day off work is what makes it perfect!  Not having anything to do or anywhere to be is nice too. 

7.  As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
Hmm, first an archetect, then a funeral director, then a pathologist and then back to a funeral director once I realized I'd have to put in 7 years of school to become a doctor first.  No thanks.  Kind of regretting that decision now, although I don't have any student loans left over at this point in my life and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to say that had I followed through with medical school although my paycheques would be so much higher.  But I digress. 

8.  What's your favourite kind of movie? 
Lately I've been all about the documentaries.  Addicted almost.  Thank goodness for Netflix.  They have an awesome selection of some hidden gems.  I'll give you two must sees (don't rob yourself of the experience, just take my word for it):

I Think We're Alone Now
Dear Zachary

9.   If you won the lottery would you tell anyone? 
I don't think we get much of a choice here in Canada, it's all public record.  But if that wasn't the case and I was left to my own decisions, I'd tell my family and close friends because if it was any sizable amount, they'd be reaping some of the benefits themselves.  If it trickled out from there, then so be it.
10.  If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
There are so many options it's hard for me to narrow it down to just one.  I've been lucky enough to travel a lot in my life but I'm not nearly finished.  Some dream places would be Iceland, Africa (a safari trip), Australia, other parts of Canada and the US, the Caribean, Europe, blah, blah, blah. 

11.  Do you believe in destiny? 
Haven't given it much thought.  I suppose I'd like to believe in it, but I'm a science girl so I don't put too much weight into that sort of stuff. 

Now the questions I'd like my fellow bloggers to answer for little old me are: 

1.  What are your guilty pleasures (you know those ones you love but are ashamed to admit) for the following:  Movie, Music and TV show. 
2.  What's one thing you did as a child/teenager that you know disappointed your parents?
3.  If you could have one super power, what would it be?
4.  What is your biggest fear?
5.  If you could go for a beer or coffee with any one person, dead or alive, living or fictional, who would it be?
6.  What song do you want played at your funeral?
7.  What's one mundane thing you have to day just about every single day that you wish you could do without?
8.  What talent do you wish you possessed that you currently don't?
9.  What did you wear to your highschool prom?  Describe your outfit.
10.  If you didn't require extra training or schooling, what would your dream job be? 
11.  What is your favourite household chore?

And now the lucky recipients of my choosing.  I'm opting to learn more about you because I find your writings entertaining and enjoyable.  Please don't feel pressured to fulfil this request if you don't want to divulge or don't have time or it's not your thing.  No pressure.  No one's going to die because you didn't follow the rules within 7 days or anything.

1. Anita,   Cracks in the Armour
2.  Melinda,  A Mom of Two Special Needs Children
3.  Melinda,  Musings
4.  Paula,  Rock Your Life
5.  Danielle,  Cloakeynotes
6.  Nikki,  It's Simply...Life
7.  Minette,  byDesign
8.  Ally,  Wish Simple
9.  Kina,  Human in Recovery
10.  Rachel,  Suburban Style Challenge
11.  William,  A Healthy Lifestyle for Mind, Body and Spirit

Okay ladies and germ, Tag, you're it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quick! Your Time is Running Out!

I used to belong to a social media group before Facebook ever existed.  In order to be a member of this community you paid a small sum of money and had to have some sort of body modification (tattoo, piercings, etc).  However, the type of group is moot, the reason I bring it up is because it had a pretty interesting feature on it that showed who had been looking at your page and how often.  It made cyber stalking that much more difficult, which I both loved and hated at the same time.  I loved it because I could tell who kept coming back to check out my page (and because of this I ended up meeting new people who I still keep in touch with today), but I hated it as well because I love cyber stalking and didn't want people I didn't know to know I browsed through their entire page (yes what's good for the goose is not good for the gander).  Cyber stalking has combined my two favourite things:  people watching and sleeping (laying in bed rather...thank goodness for laptops).   So now the rumour mill is churning and they say that Mr. Zuckerberg is thinking about adding a feature like this to Facebook in the near future.  So my suggestion to you is to take this opportunity while the anonymity is still there and stalk as much as you can now.  I've tried to come up with a list of the most "important" people to check out before it's too late.  Here goes, they aren't in any particular order.

1.  Your frenemies.  Remember that friend who always made you feel shitty about yourself?  Don't lie, we've all had them.  They judged us or came up with things about us to constantly critique.  They put us down, they always suggested that they were better than us and would be more successful than us, blah, blah, blah.  Well go sneak a peak and see if their predictions were right.   Did they actually end up with the richer, hotter  spouse?  Are their kids cute enough to model for Gap or Gerber?  Did they end up with a better job than you?  Odds are, not likely.  And it's an added bonus if you've aged way better.  It's a comforting feeling to find out the tables have turned even if they never know it's happened (but you can bet your bottom dollar that they've stalked your page once or twice as well).  It's good to know your life has turned out better in some cases.  But on the off chance that they've come out far better then quickly leave the page, do not pass go and block them immediately (no one needs constant reminders). 

2.  You ex.  I mean that's a pretty obvious one isn't it?  Don't even try to pretend that you haven't already done this.  Sometimes it's good for the ego to pop on over to see them now to help reassure yourself that the break up was the best thing that could have ever happened to you.  Find satisfaction in their lame status updates that no one cares about or that they aren't aging as well as you.  But, on the flip side if they are doing well for themselves and looking amazing take comfort in knowing that you were all over that yourself at one point! 

3.  Your old school bully.   Turns out there is some truth to the theory that all bullies come from an unloving home and have deep rooted issues to contend with.  So statistics say that if that's the case they're likely going to turn out two ways:  They have either given in completely and gotten married and had kids (probably bully them too), ended up fat, stuck in a job they hate and drinking away their failures OR they are super arrogant, asshole, adult bullies who have too many opinions and waste their days away making sure everyone hears them.  They probably work in a position where they can spend their daylight hours pushing around the people weaker than them and their nightlife dropping shwarmy pick up lines and committing date rape.    Don't be surprised to see bullying and ignorant status updates because most often, things just don't change.  I'm pretty certain you'll never leave these pages wishing, "Why oh why wouldn't they just be my friend." and if you do, then maybe you, yourself, have some deep rooted issues to contend with. 

4.  Your high school crush.   Remember that kid who just never knew you existed?  The one you thought about while falling asleep and then thought about as soon as you woke up, but you were too afraid to talk to them?  Ya, go check out that one!  With any luck they are hotter than you remember and you get to fill up on some eye candy.  If they are single, you can resume your place of swooning over them like no time has passed.  But, if they're just gross then be glad you never wasted your time with them.  Sometimes things happen for a reason.

5.  Famous or attractive friends of friends.  Come on we all know that our friends have friends that aren't friends with us.  Some of them are crazy hot and some are even famous!  Go on, stalk away.  Take a few moments to envision what it would be like to be part of their worlds.  Picture what it might be like to live their life.  We all know the grass is always greener on the other side, right?  Riiiiiight.  So for 10 minutes live in the fantasy.  Enjoy it without being that random creepy guy who keeps looking at their photos.  Your time is running out.

So those are some of the peeps I like to check out when I have some spare time.  Have I missed a great stalking opportunity?  Leave it in my comments so I can waste away my lunch hour with new prospects.  Happy anonymous cyber stalking!! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's the Little Things

As a parent it really is a nice feeling to hear stories about stuff your kids did and understand that you've done all right raising them.  To learn that they actually are picking up stuff you think you're teaching them is rewarding.  I stress the importance of finding the 'little things in life', and by appreciating them, they will make you smile.  Here are a few examples of the little things in my life.

Gage loathes onions and green peppers (well peppers of any kind except hot peppers).  Like seriously, he's a pain in the ass at dinner picking through his food looking for these hidden critters.  The other day he was telling me his boss made him an omelet at work because they were too busy to get their breaks.  I asked what kind and he said a Western.  I looked at him sideways and questioned how he handled that.  He said, "I ate it anyway.  He was nice enough to make it for me, so I choked it down.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."   Eureka!  Proof number 1!  I have always hoped that they would behave properly when out in public without me but since I'm not there (hence the without me part) I figured I'd never truly know. 

And here's another example from Gage.  He borrowed my computer last week and inadvertently left his Facebook page open.  Now I'm a mother of a 15 year old boy who I know dabbles in the marijuana intake once in a while so of course I perused his messages.  He's smart enough to have deleted his history, but luck was on my side as one of his friends had messaged him recently and therefore all the past messages from that particular kid also showed up.  At one point in the stream Gage was explaining to said friend how I busted him for something and he was in trouble.  His friend's reply went something like this, "Why is she such a bitch lately?" (About me!  I mean really!) Now Gage could have agreed in his answer but he didn't.  His reply was, "She's not being a bitch at all.   It was my fault for not following her rule."  D'aw, my kid has my back!  That's the best feeling ever, even if he had to break the rule (and the fact that I went snooping through his stuff) to find out. 

And finally, on the weekend Roan was helping me make Guacamole for the first time and while we were chit chatting he mentioned that he liked avocados.  I found this strange because aside from this moment and one other time I haven't fed him avocados or really even had them in the house.  So of course I inquired where he'd tried it.  One of his best friends (J.H) is a vegetarian, his whole family is and he mentioned that J.H's mom cut up some avocado and gave it to them to eat with spoons right from the skin as a snack.  I never thought in a million years my kid would eat that.  While I love it myself, he's a stickler on things that are different.  Out of my two children I'd have thought Roan would be the one to unknowingly be tactless and tell her he wasn't eating it.  He proved me wrong.  And for once, I like being wrong. 

I know there are tons of bloggers out there that post weekly or monthly about the things they are grateful for.  I've always thought about doing that myself but it's been shelved somewhere in the back of my mind.  Some weeks are harder than others to find anything to be grateful for and some weeks it's just so super easy.  So I guess consider this my post about some things I'm grateful for.  I make no promises that this will become routine.  I do hope my kids continue to give me reasons to be grateful though.  It's not too much to ask is it?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Please Don't Make Me Hate You

It's been almost 20 years since I decided to go through with getting a tattoo.  I don't have the best first tattoo story and frankly if my kid copied me, I'd probably want to kill him.  It was in the backroom of a sketchy house (sorry Dave) with a bunch of people around and a friend with a tattoo machine and very little experience.  Thankfully it was small and future coverage was an option and I didn't contract any infection or disease.  Phew!   But despite that shoddy first experience it was from that moment that I was hooked.  "They" say that once you get one, you'll just want another.  Wasn't sure if I believed that or not, but it really is true.  I've had a lot of experiences in life (both good and bad) because of the art I've chosen to put on  my skin.  I've had the privilege of being tattooed by some fantastic, artistic people as well I've had conversations that I would rather not have had with rude, arrogant strangers.  So here's my take on my life with tattoos...

I'm quite pleased with how far tattoos have come in society.   They are almost mainstream now so I'd think that the shock of seeing one should be wearing off at this point.  I feel like the stigma behind tattoos will become non-existent over time.  Slowly we're getting there, but there are still hurdles to jump.  I guess I just want people to know that I'm not a bad girl.  I'm a good girl with tattoos and while I may regret the actual design (see very first tattoo) of the odd tattoo, I will never regret getting them. 

As part of the human race I'm ashamed to admit that I have often been left speechless when a random stranger will tell me outright that they do not like my tattoos.  I can't get over the gall but most importantly their ego, because their opinion of my body and the art I've added to it never once crossed my mind while I was making the choice to get a tattoo.   So while I may be frowned upon for what I've chosen to do to my body I will never give someone the opportunity to frown on me for my lack of tact and decorum towards a complete stranger who was merely minding their own business.   I'd much rather make it through my day without being told that my tattoos will look ugly when I'm old.   I don't wear crop tops and shorty shorts now and I am pretty sure I won't be sporting them when I'm 80 either so who cares?   Besides I'm going to have some great stories and conversations with my grandchildren and I'll have pictures to go with the lines in my story. 

Also being tattooed is not a crime, nor does having them make me a criminal.  Frankly I feel like I'd be less inclined to commit a crime as my modifications would make it easier to describe me to the police or for someone to recognize me once the APB went out!   Tattoos are so mainstream and modern now (unfortunately there's a shop popping up on every corner) that the idea that only criminals have them should be obsolete. 

And for the love of whatever entity your self righteous ass follows please don't feel like you are entitled to touch my tattoo or me, ever.  Similar to a pregnant belly, my tattoos are 'out there' but not as an invitation for you to touch my body, especially when you are a stranger or just plain sleezy.  You would never dream of walking up to someone and just randomly grabbing their arm or pushing their shirt up to 'get a better look', so don't use my tattoo as an excuse or an invite.  It's rude, violating and frankly abusive.  Stay out of my personal space.

Believe it or not, I'm not always so eager to tell you the story behind my tattoo design.  There may not even be a story behind it!  GASP!  How can this be?  Sometimes I just pick a tattoo because I like the picture.  But maybe on the other end of the spectrum one is so personal to me that you don't warrant the explaination.  All those damn tattoo shop tv shows are ruining it for those of us who would rather not discuss the choices we make in life that don't impact anyone else.  And trying to pick me up by telling me my ink is awesome isn't going to work.  I already know this plus I don't need your validation in life.   (I've actually had a guy go the complete opposite way by telling me that I ruined my beautiful body with all those tattoos, but he'd try to look past it and we should still go out.  Oh yes, you had me at the insult.)

How much I paid for my work is business between my artist and me and doesn't concern you.  If you are merely looking for a ballpark figure on how much a tattoo costs, go into a shop and get a quote because prices vary depending on the experience of the artist, your history of making or breaking appointments, the size of tattoo, the location on your body, the amount of colour,  the actual design and prep work require and how smelly you are (probably not, but maybe so).  Besides, unless you are getting the exact same piece as me in the exact same spot (which better not be happening) then it's redundant anyway. 

Staring, snickering or talking about me within earshot is rude.  Plain and simple.  It doesn't matter if you are attacking me personally or my selection of body art - shame on you.   I would hope your parents taught you better manners.  If you genuinely have something nice to say then say it, if you don't at least wait until I'm out of earshot before you make your snide comments.  I do have feelings.  It speaks volume about the charactor of person who simply cannot let another human being live their own life.  The stuff that is tattooed on my body will never be of any relevance to you, I promise.  Please don't try to sneek a photo of me.  I would never fathom doing that to you for any reason.  It's a violation and disrespectful and I believe your instincts would kick in if I was doing the same stuff to your kid.  So unless I'm wearing an outfit worthy of posting on the People of Walmart website, back the 'F' off!  (It's probably not really ok to take a picture even then, but I can see how it would be really tempting.)

Don't copy someone elses tattoo design.  It's insulting.  Feel free to use someone's design as inspiration but ask for an artist to do a rendering completely for you.  Unless you're getting a painting or picture replicated on your body I can't understand why you'd want the exact same piece as someone else, unless that's agreed upon by both parties.  Some people put a lot of time and effort into picking art for their body or getting the image in their head onto paper and then onto their skin.  Don't take the easy way out.  You have your own brain, use it.

Tattoos do not make me a less kind person.  And while I personally am not religious, having tattoos doesn't and shouldn't rule that option out. Someone with tattoos can still have faith in a higher being or be very spiritual (I've seen some pretty amazing religion inspired tattoos).  I'm pretty sure your God wouldn't smite me because I put some drawings on my body yet forgive you for adultry, bigotry, abuse, etc.  I am a wonderful human being with tons of great qualities to offer the world.  Which takes me to my next point.  Don't assume I will not be able to find a good job with all these tattoos.  I have a great job, and I've done extremely well for myself. I work in a conservative field where visible tattoos are not permitted but because I strongly felt this was the line of work for me, I was willing to make the sacrifice of wearing long sleeves at work and consciously thinking through the placement of my tattoos.   

I'm only getting one chance at this life (and even if I believe in reincarnation, I'm going to have an entirely new pallet to work with) so I'm going to have as much fun with it as possible and not be so aloof and stuffy that I find fault with what other people do to make their days brighter.   I like tattoos, on me and on other people.  I think they are fun and I genuinely think they make the human body better looking.  They add physical charactor and are usually appealing to my eyes.  And you know what?  My parents and kids still love me even with the alterations to my natural appearance.   They understand that having pictures on my body doesn't change who I am on the inside.  They love me unconditionally and while I'm not asking the public to love me unconditionally I guess I'd just prefer if they minded their own business and refrained from passing judgement on something actually quite trivial in the big picture. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The High Cost of Low Living

Old wives tales or tried, tested and true?  Most everyone (with the exception of a small percentage of the population - and kudos to you all) have experienced a hangover or will experience a hangover of epic proportions at some point and time in their lives.  The question remains, are there actual remedies to 'cure' a hangover? 

So lets look at some known facts about this nasty ramification of a fun night out drinking shall we?  I would assume that most people know a hangover is brought on mainly as a result of dehydration.  There is not a lot of research out there on hangovers and potential cures because the main focus of studies on alcohol is the addiction and chronic symptoms and how to treat those.  They say that as we age the frequency of hangovers will increase because the enzymes in our bodies that metabolize alcohol diminish with age.  If you drink dark alcohols (rum, wine, bourbon) you are more likely to suffer from a hangover than someone who consumed a lighter variety (beer, vodka) all night. It is also thought that around 25% of the population are 'immune' to hangovers for the most part.  They aren't clear why, but consider yourself lucky if you fall into that group.  And of course, there are several different symptoms of a hangover:  headaches, nausea, dry mouth, thirst, body aches, flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting, and increased urine production. 

So back to the point of this post.  Are there any remedies out there to cure a hangover?  Are these legit or just rumours?  Will they work for you?

Some that I've come across on line, through living life and as well as questioning other people for their opinions are as follows.  I haven't tried all of them, and frankly I'm too old to voluntarily put myself in the situation where I know I'm going to wake up with a hangover, but should I find myself in bed with one in the future I'm going to start proving these theories.  I figure if I do all of them at the same time I'm bound to be successful in wiping that hangover out of here, right? 

Some theories:

  • Let's start with the most obvious one and probably the most frequently turned to one -Rehydration.  It's pretty simple.  Replenish your body with fluids to help counter the dehydrating effects alcohol has on your body thus diminishing the effects dehydration has on your body!  I like simple. 
  • While you're drinking said water, pop at Vitamin B tablet too.  What the heck, it's not gonna hurt you either way but it could help you!
  • Consume more alcohol.  Yes, brilliant thinking I know, but there is a theory behind it.  The thought process is that a hangover is an acute reaction to your body withdrawing from alcohol so the theory is if you don't allow your body to withdraw, then you won't have the symptoms.  I will say, the last thing I'm thinking of during a hangover is more booze.
  • Fresh air!  Increased oxygen flow will help to speed up the breakdown of toxins in your system.
  • Smoke some ganja (marijuana).  THC is known to ease the physical symptoms of a hangover and increase your appetite (hello, munchies?).  Once you get some nutrients in your system your acid levels will uhm...level out! 
  • Exercise.  What?  Ugh!  The body physically moving gets the body microbially moving?  Is that the theory?  Hmm, there might be something to that.  I bet the first 10 minutes will be the worst ever though. 
  • Pedialyte.  Water and electrolytes.  Makes sense. 
  • Tylenol, Advil, Motrin right before bed (with a glass of water to swallow it, not a beer).  I'm going to be honest, this is my go to remedy every single time I go drinking.  I like to think I'm being proactive. 
  • Eat some fruit (particularly a banana).  Bananas are extremely high in potassium, which you've basically peed out all night, plus I'm guessing because it's got natural sugars that will help to replace lost nutrients, and (with other fruits) it's juicy which will help offset the thirst and dry mouth? 
  • Sleep!  Probably my favourite option but sometimes we aren't lucky enough to sleep the day away.  By sleeping, you're not conscious while your body tries to rectify itself. 

So while I'm not suggesting you live your life in a bubble and refrain from partaking in any alcohol consumption (nor do I judge if you do choose that lifestyle) maybe you can figure out when you're starting to cross that line where the odds of a hangover reward are probable.  The obvious answer to avoiding a hangover if of course, no drinking or drinking in moderation.   But sometimes it's fun to just let off steam with your ladies, dance your face off and have a few drinks.   So tell me, what are your tried, tested and true remedies? 


An adjective which also means uplifting, encouraging, exciting, moving, affecting, stimulating, rousing, exhilerating, heartening. 

I've been called many things, but rarely has it ever been "inspiring".  I'm a pretty rad person and up until about 5 years ago I would have never said that.  But I am.  Oh please understand I do have my faults and there are things about me that I would love to change or alter, but after this many years of doing it those habits become hard to break.    Seeing where I was 10-15 years ago and looking at how far I've come and where I've landed, I cannot help but think I'm pretty amazing, in fact one might consider the road I've traveled and the end results 'inspiring'.  But that's not why I was told I was inspiring tonight, and not by one person, but by two, on two entirely separate occasions. 

I'm not going to lie, it is pretty nice to hear that I've inspired someone to do something that causes no one any harm, makes people smile and brings out another person's artistic side.   And inspiring others was never my intention or goal.  It's just an added bonus. 

Tonight I was rewarded for my crafting efforts with a craft of my own!  Yup, one I didn't even make myself (ya, I've rewarded myself with crafts, so what?).  Someone I've paid it forward to sent it back around my way. 

Andrea showed up at my house tonight after dinner bearing homemade gifts.  A twine wrapped vase (and a sample pack of Nutella cause she thinks it's repulsive and she knows Roan will eat it).  Check it peeps, it's her first attempt and I'd say it turned out pretty awesome.  I'm going to put it in my new den with my yarn wrapped bottles.  It matches perfectly. 

And because most of us know I'm all about finding ulterior motives, I've decided I can never stop crafting if it means occasionally someone will feel inspired to make something themselves and then gift it to me.  Cause what girl doesn't love unsolicitated gifts? 

Thanks Andrea!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Remember to cross you T's and dot your i's.

Remember pen pals?  Remember when we were kids and part of our school curriculum was to write letters to other kids, thus making them our pen pal (and far away friend for life, or rather just that school year)?  They could have been children from another country (even half way around the world) or just kids from another town in our school district (the school board's way of saving stamps probably).  It didn't matter to us kids though, because even the other side of town was pretty far to a 9 year old. 

Looking back, I understand the thinking behind it.  This project teaches the young students how to write letters, work on their penmanship and spelling, and of course reading, in a much more appealing approach than just writing mock letters.  We also learned about other lifestyles, cultures and countries (cities and schools even) and creating relationships. 

Is it wrong that I find it sad that the art form of pen and paper writing is quickly dying off?  The idea of pen pals loses some of it's appeal when it's done via email (cause isn't that just online dating now?).  It saddens me that the youth of today will never understand how thrilling it can be to receive something in the mail with their name on it.  Something specifically for them, not just a random credit card application form that they aren't even legally allowed to have.   I remember trading sticker sheets with my pen pal in elementary school (don't ask me her name, I just know I got some sweet stickers and sent some sweet stickers).  It was cool to get random stuff from another place in the world.  You can't do that via computer now can you??

I kind of wish I had a pen pal right now.  Someone I could babble on to (I guess I'm redirecting my babbles through my blog) and send stuff to and vice versa.  Wouldn't that be fun?   So much so, that I researched the Internet looking for pen pal sites (after a brain cramp where I momentarily thought I might be on to something here - clearly millions of others have had this thought as well).  There are actually lots!  I'm contemplating joining one and finding myself a pen pal.  Like in Switzerland so I can go visit, or somewhere warm and far away.  Yes, ulterior motives always.  Unless you, dear reader, wanna be my pen pal! 

Anywho's here are some sites I found:


And my absolute favourite two are listed below.  I know I'm going to lose countless hours just going through these next two sites.  Most prison pen pal sites offer full disclosure of the inmates crime(s) and they offer additional advice when deciding to be a prison pen pal (probably like how to convince yourself to marry one).  I'm a great listener and advice offerer and I love juicy gossipy details, oh and crazy people's ramblings....this could be a wonderful union. 


Maybe if I persue this I'll get some great letters and future blog posts.  A two for! 
Writing pen pals AND crafting?  Look at me becoming all well rounded. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yummy in My Tummy!

Today I walked into my office to find a lovely basket of the freshest, sweetest smelling peaches I've seen in an uber long time.  I was puzzled because when I left work yesterday I did not leave any peaches on my desk, but lo and behold here they sat!  I'm kinda digging the food fairies.  Turns out they are a gift from a family I took care of in January.  The gentleman who died tragically ran a hobby farm and while his brothers are cleaning it out to ready it to sell, the fruits of his labour are coming to harvest.  It was so kind of them to think of me (of all people) and go out of their way to bring me some.  I decided since I had this extra ingrediant lying around I'd make some peach cobbler.  But not before making some crustless broccoli and cheese quiche and some crispy balsamic brussel sprouts and carrots.  It was a delicious and seasonal meal, since I used all Ontario fruits and veggies! But the best part was capping it off with some fresh, sweet, Ontario peach cobbler.   Here are the recipes if you are so inclined to try them.  I never post recipes unless they're amazing. 

Crustless Broccoli and  Cheddar Quiche

Butter, for pan
2 cups broccoli florets
6 large eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
Ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a square glass or corningware pan and set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain well and chop coarsely.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in broccoli and cheese.
  3. Pour broccoli mixture into pan. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and a mixed-green salad, if desired.

Crispy Balsamic Brussel Sprouts and Carrots

1/2 pound Brussel Sprouts
3 Carrots
2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
Cut the brussel sprouts in half and and slice carrot into chunks.  Toss all the ingrediants into a bowl ensuring everything is adequately covered.  Spread onto the cookie sheet and place in over.  Bake for 30 minutes making sure you flip them at least twice to avoid burning. 
Peach Cobbler
1 cup of Bisquick
1 cup of Milk
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 cup of melted butter or margarine
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of fresh sliced peaches
Heat oven to 375.  Mix dry ingrediants with milk and add melted margarine.  Once combined, pour into ungreased corningwear dish (Square or round).  Blend peach slices with sugar (adjust sugar if your peaches are already really sweet) and pour on top of batter.

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!  Yet another reason to love summer. 

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4 Ingredient Dessert

Like to have baked goods in your house?  Work full-time and can't be bothered to bake most days?  I've got the solution for you.  A four ingredient dessert that's easy peasy!

1 instant cake mix, any flavour.  (I happened to use marble as that was what was in my cupboard.) 
A can of fruit pie filling.  (Any flavour)
3 eggs
1/2 brick of cream cheese

Mix the dry cake mix with the eggs.  Add in the can of fruit bit by bit while mixing on high speed.  Pour cake mix in a rectangle greased baking pan. 

Cut up cream cheese into small cubes.  Push cubes into the cake mix so they are buried sporadically throughout the pan. 

Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Use a toothpick to test doneness if you are uncertain.

Once cooled, ice with an appropriate icing that suites the cake.  I happened to use cream cheese icing for this particular cake.

**Some combinations might be Chocolate or Devil's Food Cake with Cherry filling, or Spice cake with Apple filling, lemon cake with Raspberry filling, Vanilla cake with Strawberry/Rhubarb filling.  My suggestion is, of course, to try them all!  You kids will love you for it. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stray Cat Strut

Everyone who knows us are aware that we are most definately cat people.  We recently had 5 cats but unfortunately lost one to illness in the spring and lost another just prior to that because she was being picked on and targeted by the other cats.  We were able to find her a lovely home where she is queen of the castle and spoiled rotten, so I'm content with that decision.  I'm not going to lie, the silver lining in these two heartaches was that we were now down to 3 cats.  A managable number. 

Fast forward to a little over a week ago when that kitty up there ^^ roamed up our driveway straight into Eric's cat loving heart.  It didn't help that she was a "tortie" which happens to be his favourite kind of kitty.   She was underweight, clearly starving and probably dying of thirst (quite literally) with this heatwave.   So we've been feeding her and giving her pets.  She's super friendly and affectionate once she gets past the initial fear.  She's a talker too, which I love.  She's got some battle scars so we've been worried about her.  Thank goodness one of  my best friends happens to be a vet tech so, like usual, I called upon her expertise and help. 

Today, LB took Sputnik (as Eric has taken to calling her) to her work with her and had the vet check her over.  She was tested for Feline leukemia and HIV, thankfully she was negative to both.  She was treated for ear mites and fleas, microchipped, vaccinated for rabies and given antibiotics for an eye infection.  She was just about to go under the knife for a spaying but it was discovered that she was already fixed.  What?  That means she's someone's kitty yet I haven't seen any posters up or anything.  I can't believe someone would just dump a cat.  That breaks my heart.  Anyway, we've agreed to foster her for the time being so someone is around to give her her meds on a regular basis and get her used to living in a home, other people, cats, etc.  We're secretly hoping she's going to adapt to the other three cats and if so, then we can outright adopt her.  However, if she doesn't we aren't on the hook to find her a home on our own.  She will be returned to LB's work and they'll adopt her out.  Win-win! 

So I guess the point of my story there is to bring me to the controversial subject of whether or not it's good to feed stray cats.  The opinions probably sit around 50/50. 

I believe the answer is yes, of course it's a good idea.  That poor cat didn't choose to live out on the streets and be a rebel.  It was dealt that hand and any help to give it some fighting chance isn't a bad thing.  I've learned recently how important it is for cats to eat and drink with frequency or their liver starts to shut down.  I can't imagine living on infrequent meals from a garbage can or the odd mouse or bird is beneficial and during the winter those options minimize even more.   I would think most stray cats are suffering from starvation. 

I understand there are several different reasons someone might be hesitant to feed a stray.  One fear is that they'll continuously procreate.  Well just because they have a full belly doesn't make them more inclined to find a tomcat and "do it".  It's called animal instinct for a reason, regardless if they are hungry or not.  You feeding a hungry, scared cat isn't going to drive them into the arms paws of another. 

Sometimes people hesitate to feed a stray because they fear the cat will never leave.  This is probably true, but who cares??  Are you that insensitive and yucky that a kitty won't make you smile?   Cat food costs so little in the big picture.  I get that you don't or won't want to take on the expenses of maintaining a cat with a vet, but just to put some food out each day?  Really?  That's hard?  Think about the difference you'd be making in that cat's life.

People might worry about attracting other wildlife by feeding these cats and that could also be true too if you leave the food out over night.  My suggestion is to merely bring the food and water dish in during the night.  Simple as that. 

I guess one of the biggest drawbacks to feeding a stray is that your neighbours often won't be on board with you.  We're quite lucky in our neighbourhood.  Everyone around us seems to love cats as well.  Last summer our neighbour across the street was feeding a stray and eventually found him a forever home.  So that's not a huge concern to me.  And frankly if that's all your neighbours have to complain about regarding you and your household, then they can suck it up.  You could be doing far worse things. 

My hope is if you see a kitty who is clearly in need, take time out of your day to try to win its trust.  Put some food out for him.  Talk in soothing tones.  Sit quietly with patience and maybe he'll approach you and allow you to show it some compassion.  Once you've acquired his trust, you'll be in a better position to capture him and take him to your local shelter where he will hopefully be adopted out to a forever home. 

There are so many other species sharing this world with us.  We happen to be the dominant one so why shouldn't we do our best to make things easier for the others?   If you see a dog wandering free, do it a favour and call the local humane society to come pick him up before he is hit by a car.  Animals do quite well on their own for the most part, but we live in a part of the world with dramatic weather changes and sometimes it's just too hot or cold to be subjected to the elements.  As the 'smartest' inhabitants on this planet, lets do our part! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

You like me. You really like me!

Rules for the Fabulous Blog Award:

1.  Thank the blogger who tagged you with the award and share the link back to the rewarding blog. 
2.  Name five fabulous moments in your life.  They do not need to be in any particular order.
3.  Name five things that you love. 
4.  Name five things that you hate.
5.  Present the award to 5 other deserving bloggers and include their links. 

So I noticed the other day that I had been tagged in my sister in law's post for the Blog-a-day challenge and once I made my way there I discovered that she had awarded me with the Fabulous Blog Award (along with 4 others, so I'm not that special).   I appreciate that anyone reads my ramblings, so I think it's lovely that she mentioned me specifically.  So thank you Anita for thinking other's (that haven't discovered my mahousive amount of talent already) might like to read my blah blah blahs.  See what I did there?  I strategically and inconspicuously linked to her blog three times, thus fulfilling rule number 1. 

But like most things in life, you never receive anything without there being a 'catch' of sorts.  The catch for me to receive this lovely award is to fulfill the above mentioned rules.  So here goes my obligation:

Five FANTABULOUS moments of my life: 

1.  The break up of my marriage.  I know that seems harsh, but it really wasn't a productive relationship.  It was emotionally draining.  It was one sided and even then only on good days.  It was a waste of time.  When I look into my children's eyes, I'm amazed at how something so wonderful came from something so meh.   I'm grateful that I we are no longer wasting each other's time.  We have been able to move on to better things (even if some of us have chosen not to maintain those better things).  So I think it's fabulous that I've been given another chance at happiness. 
2.  Being with my dad when he passed away.   This particular one seems strange to choose as a fabulous moment as well, but I know my dad and I know he would have taken comfort in knowing the majority of the most important people in his world were with him to the very end.  I feel lucky that we were able to be there to hold his hands, thank him for a job well done, wish him well and tell him we loved him right up to and beyond that last breath.  I will hold with me for ever, the moment when he opened his eyes, looked around at all of us and then passed away (he'd love that he was so cliche too!).  He knew we were there and I know he was content with that. 
3.  The obvious ones, the birth of my children (I'll lump them together even though they were born 4 years apart.).  They changed my life in so many fabulous ways the instant they were born.  Well, I suppose from the moments I found out I was pregnant, but mainly from the moment I met them and they became truly real.  They have shaped me (with the help of my parents and my formative years) into a better person.  I lost my selfishness the moment they entered my lives.  Everything I do is with them in mind.  I would be lost without my boys.  They are my world, my everything.  With them by my side, I know I can concur anything.
4.  Choosing Eric.  The day I knew I was in over my head with Eric was a great day.  The day I knew he too felt the same way was a fabulous day.  Eric has shown me that a relationship doesn't have to be full of resentment, stress, worry, anger, annoyance, and frustration.  He's shown me that two people can have a heated conversation without it blowing up into a fight or requiring wall repair at a later date.  He's taught me what a mature relationship is and it's actually easy.   Oh don't get me wrong, we are not perfect, but it's just so much better.   So that in and of itself is Fabulous!
5.  The moment I was offered my promotion.  I had worked so hard to get where I was in my career.  I paid my dues far longer than I ever anticipated I would have to.  It was all worth it in the end.  My hard work was noticed and appreciated.  It was a great feeling to be offered a job without applying for it.  A job that would erase a whole lot of stress with regards to money and raising my children alone.  A job that still incorporated everything I loved about my career with some added perks.  A position that wasn't normally handed to someone my age or of my sex. It was a fabulous moment to realize things were changing for the better. 

Five things that I love:

1.  Well my family and friends (d'uh).  There should be a clause in there that states you can't mention family and friends as that should just go without saying.  But since there isn't, I suppose I should include them.  Without them, my life would be pretty lame on all accounts. 
2.  High-heeled shoes.  Man, I love me a swanky pair of kicks.  If I could get away with wearing them every single day just because?  Well, I would.  They make my calves look great, and my legs look longer and they make me even taller and man, they are just sexy!! 
3.  My kitties.  Even when they annoy the hell out of me, I just can't get enough of them.  They sure do make me smile. 
4.  Traveling!  I just love, love, love the opportunity to travel to other areas of the world.  Doesn't really matter where, I don't think, just the ability to see different places.   Whether I'm traveling with my friends or my family I just really enjoy it.  I'm blessed and lucky that I've had so many opportunities. 
5.  Fresh, clean, new bed sheets on my bed.  Man it really is a simple thing but it's so appreciated.  I still haven't figured out what the phenomenon is behind it, but it really is a great feeling climbing into a freshly made bed of fresh, clean linen.  Sigh....I gotta get this stuff done so I can change my bed!

Five things that I hate:

1.  Trying to sleep in extreme heat.  I'm not sure why I even bother to try, it just doesn't happen.  And when this girl goes too long without sleep, well she's not happy.  She's irritable and crotchety.  I hate the 'just can't get comfy' feeling.  I hate that you can only take off so much before you're just nekid and hot and sweaty.  Thank goodness for central air and fans!
2.  Prickle bushes.   I hate that it's like dodging landmines to get across my backyard.  And not the dog made landmines, I don't even have a dog!  Those damn pricker bushes/thistle/whatever they are are unkillable!  Like for reals. They are ridiculous and offer nothing to make this world a better place.  Why do they exist?
3.  People who feel they are entitled.   I've posted about this previously and recently in fact.  It bothers me that other's treat people shitty and expect a good outcome.  It bothers me more that they are successful at it.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil right?  What ever happened with "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar"?  Let's try to make our way back to that saying.
4.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or the fact that I suffer from it).  Worst annoyance ever!  I hate that it's unpredictable and can strike any time.  I hate that it makes me hesitate to eat that which I love.  I hate how it makes me feels when it does strike.  I hate that my guts hate so much stuff.
5.  That my dad is gone.    I hate this new normal.  I hate that I can't pick up the phone and call him at the drop of a hat like I used to.  I hate that my kids time with him has been cut short.  I hate that he was in so much pain.  I hate that he was scared.  I hate that he's missing so much.  I hate that I don't really feel his presence around me.  I hate missing him. 

Five other deserving bloggers:

1.  Eric "Ea$y" Clark (AKA Johny Cobra)   http://www.cobrachronicles.com/ 
2.  Taryn Laangeman and the Panda Family  http://www.fetuspanda.com/
3.  Jon Marshall (the fishing guru)  http://www.fishingfury.com/
4.  Lindsay and her secret last name  http://betterafter.blogspot.ca/

So there are my duties, all fulfilled now so I won't feel guilty about pinning that award onto my fridge.  If you're so inclined, leave me a comment (I should have included comments on my blog posts in the list of things I love.  I could probably replace my family and friends with that one, that's how much I love it. ).  Rumour has it, I dig comments.  And if you are also SO inclined, then check out those other blogs I linked to, that's some good, fun reading right there.