Month: November 2014

Watching Watches

I am away from home and posting from my phone. This is a first!

This might also be a big fat failure, but I am working with what I have.

On the one hand, I really wish I was at home typing on my Mac Mini with all my creature comforts. On the other hand, I’m lying in bed in a cozy guest room, jammified, with TV on, typing on my iThing, after tucking the Things into their cozy guest room. It’s hard to complain.

It’s been a nice weekend. We came to celebrate a birthday and we did.

Family, whether it’s “yours” or “theirs”, is important and should be honoured. It’s in the manifesto!

The Things love birthdays and very sweetly contribute handmade cards or pictures and like to have a say in what the present might be. We all agree that this year’s was just right.

Tomorrow we will be on our way back home to work and school, but for tonight we’ll just be here now.

Relax.

Breathe.

Chill out.

Flip through channels.

Pause.

Flip.

Watch.

Who buys watches from TV, anyway?

Panda Hugs and Electric Cars or Why I Love WWF Canada

I love charities.

I am a fan of fundraising.

I have this cockamamie dream that one day I’ll reach the pinnacle of my career as a volunteer and become a philanthropist extraordinaire and spend the remainder of my days making people’s lives better.

It’s a lofty goal. I admit it.

Oh, but what a great story that would be.

I’ll keep dreaming and doing my part to make the world a better place one little act of kindness at a time.

 

In the meantime I am so glad there are organizations like WWF Canada making steps towards reversing climate change and keeping our planet, our one true home, safe, so that my children (and yours!) will have a home for a very, very, very long time.

Clearly, I am a fan. Yes, of the planet, of course, but also of WWF Canada. I’ve written about it here before. I’ve also written about it there.

 

On Monday, I received the latest “Panda Mail” from WWF Canada and one of the featured pieces was called “First Dates with David Miller”. This is a three part video series wherein Canadian celebrities go on a first date with former Mayor of Toronto and current WWF Canada President & CEO David Miller and chat while riding around Toronto in an EV (Electric Vehicle).

You could go ahead and let your imaginations run wild, but I think it would be best if you checked out the silliness for yourself.

But I will share one.

Enjoy!

Yes, that is Kid In The Hall, Mark McKinney.

I wonder if he tried to crush David Miller’s head.

 

So that was fun, wasn’t it?

I thought so.

But…

Now I can’t get this out of my head!

 

How *can* you deny an electric car?

 

Sorry, Wrong Number.

The following is a true story that happened today.

*rrriiiing*

*rrriiiing*

Me: Hello!

Dude: “HE WON’T BE COMING BECAUSE IT’S SNOWIN’ LIKE A  [email protected], HERE.”

Me: *blink blink*

I’m sorry, but you have *got* to have the wrong number.

Dude: *audible gasp*

*chuckle*

“Oh my God! I’m SOOOO sorry!”

*laughter*

“I am so, so sorry. Sorry!”

Me: That’s all right. Don’t sweat it. I hope you find the person you’re looking for. Bye.

*disconnect*

 

Sometimes you just have to laugh – with a stranger, apparently.

 

I think technology is making us all a little bit .. umm .. well .. to use a phrase Thing 1 might use, “Well, doi!”.

What do you think?

Is technology making us ridiculous?

Has human interaction become foreign, somehow?

 

Do you think we are becoming to fellow humans, as these aliens were to the phone?

 

 

 

 

*This looks identical to the phone that was in my house when I was a kid.

**Little Known Peady Fact: My iThing rings like an old phone because the ring tone is – wait for it – “Old Phone”.

***Full disclosure: We are watching “Her” and I am having thoughts!

Source: http://dnok91peocsw3.cloudfront.net/inspiration/153210-612×612-1.png

 

Do You Have Change For 365?

Never mistake motion for action.

I have a secret.

It’s a really good one.

I have been keeping it since the beginning of October and at first I really didn’t believe that the thing I am about to share could even be real, so there was a lot of “Seriously?! Are you sure? Really?!” going on in my mind.

You see, I am a bit of an activist. Nothing too radical, but it’s true, I am.

It’s small actions that lead me because I believe small acts of kindness or small acts of charity or small acts of love can really add up over time and change people’s lives for the better.

This is a philosophy I have imparted on my children (Daddy-O, too!) and when I see the reflections of my philosophies in Thing 1 and Thing 2 I just want to burst with pride. It’s an amazing feeling when you see your child make connections that show they really get what you have been modelling (read: preaching!). I am sure you know what I mean.

Well, since Thing 1 is in Junior High, I have been extolling the virtues of Free The Children, Me to We and the We Act charities and we talk a lot about the Kielburgers and the extremely amazing things they have accomplished in their very young lives. Amazing people!

I have been encouraging him to join his school’s We Act Committee since last year because what better way is there to put theory into practice than, well, by putting theory into practice?

Have you ever seen the work that goes into organizing a bunch of teenagers to do anything? It’s not easy, is it?

Well, the amazing thing about the kids that choose to take part in the We Act Committees in their schools is that they are the ones organizing everything. They are self motivating. They know they are doing good things.

They know they can be the change they want to see in the world and furthermore they are being that change.

Isn’t that amazing?

So, I am very proud to say that Thing 1 *is* a part of We Act – and he’s very proud to say it, too. (That’s one win for the Mom, in case you are keeping track!) Yay!

Of course, there are those who might think these kids are working only for We Day and all the amazing celebrities they might get to see, should they get to go (there are no guarantees!), but the work the kids do is happening all year long. That’s right. 365 days of the year, teens in Canada (USA & UK, too!) are taking action to make this world a better, safer, more educated place.

Pretty cool, right?

365 days. That seems rather ambitious, doesn’t it? I mean, you can imagine how difficult such an undertaking might be. It could be overwhelming to try and keep track of a year’s worth of actions.

It could be, but it isn’t. Why isn’t it? Well … because … there’s an app for that! (Yeah! I said it!)

TELUS (a proud sponsor of We Day) created We365, a free mobile app that enables youth to use their phones for good and propel social change through the power of technology, every day of the year. I downloaded the app when it was first released and played around with it. I may not be the target market, but I know a good app when I use it.
The new and improved We365 app will help youth do even more to help their communities. Using the app, tweens (like Thing 1 and Thing 2) and teens can rally friends around causes they support, share their accomplishments, and earn badges and points. Parents of students who must complete “mandatory” volunteer hours (Ontario students, for example) will also be happy to hear that the app tracks volunteer hours, which can be shared electronically and remove the need to keep track of all that oh-so-easy-to-lose-track-of paperwork.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Here’s a glimpse of a challenge you might see when you use the We365 app.
World Kindness Day? Oh, you get me We365 app. You really get me.
Or how about this?
Wait. You mean Craig Kielburger himself uses this app? Yes. Yes he does. Come on! That’s cool.
How about some badges to reward you for completing challenges? Fun, right?
It can be very motivating to get this simple feedback and motivated people do wonderful things!
Obviously, I am a fan of this app. Can you tell?
I love the idea of tweens and teens cutting their social media teeth, if you will, in such a positive environment. I am encouraging Thing 1 to use the We365 app as a way of introducing him to the brighter side of social media. He is well aware of my perspective on using one’s powers for good. He knows how much of my time is spent online using social media. He knows that for the most part I really do practice what I preach. See the good, be the good!
We often hear about creating a positive electronic footprint. What a great place to start!
Now, about my little** secret. I am going to tell you, but you have to promise not to tell Thing 1, because he hasn’t a clue.
I have been invited, by TELUS, to attend We Day Atlantic, on November 28 at Scotiabank Centre (along with a few of my blogosphere peers) to take in all the awesomeness.
I am so grateful.
I believe so much in this initiative and kind of activism.
Oh, and I’m still kind of freaking out.

 

*That Ernest Hemingway quote is one of my all time favourites. This is kismet! So excited! Like, *happy jumpy claps* excited!

**It’s HYOOGE right?!? So happy!!

Me and My Little Brain.*

Sometimes my brain makes me sad.

I have eluded to this before. It’s just a part of my life.

Someday I’ll delve deep, invite Oprah and her purple sofa over for tea, have a nice chit-chat and get to the root of it all.

But!

Sometimes my brain makes me ridiculously happy and that is what I am talking about today on I Don’t Blog in Alex’s blog series called #BlogSmallJoys.

I would love it if you popped over there to read my post and stuck around long enough to answer the burning question, “What’s that sound?”.

 

I’ll be back here tomorrow with a new post.

You know I will because tomorrow is day 13 of NaBloPoMo and I haven’t missed a day** yet!

Apparently, I love a challenge!

Who knew?

 

 

 

*Have you read the J.D. Fitzgerald series called “The Great Brain”? This title was one of my favourite books in the series when I was a little kid.

**Including today, because this totally counts!

Source: http://crooksandliars.com/files/primary_image/14/02/hat.jpg

And In The Morning, We Will Remember Them.

 

Today, November 11th, is Remembrance Day in Canada.

In Nova Scotia it was a day off from school, for all children, and work, for many adults, so they could reflect on the many sacrifices that have been made by soldiers of the Canadian Military so that we can enjoy our many freedoms.

It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up this morning.

One of the ways we chose to reflect, pay our respects, and express our thanks, was to attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony at our local cenotaph.

So that is exactly what we did.

 

It was a gorgeous Autumn morning, so we decided to park a fair distance away and walk along the Bedford Highway and Shore Drive to the cenotaph in Fish Hatchery Park. We were not alone. Many people chose to walk and it was so moving to enter the park from Shore Drive and see a sea of people already there. People were even lining Sunnyside Bridge above the park. It really made me feel so proud.

The ceremony was beautiful and I shed many tears thinking of all the Daddies and Mummies who were lost and the ones who are still offering up their lives to go on dangerous Military missions. Then I thought of all the little children who were without those Mummies and Daddies. It was too much. When “The Last Post” was played I could no longer hold back tears. It’s just such a sad and meaningful piece of music.

I very conscientiously did not touch my iThing for the entire ceremony out of respect for those we were honouring. I chose to remember the ceremony for myself. There were many families present and the children were so respectful and extremely well behaved. It was another proud moment.

After the Act of Remembrance was complete and the many wreaths were placed at the base of the cenotaph and the ceremony was complete we removed our poppies and, along with many of the other attendants, added them to the wreaths.

I felt this was an acceptable time to take a photo (once all the people had gone). I just wanted to capture how lovely the cenotaph looked with all the bright poppies in front of it.

Thing 2 can point out where her poppy is in this photo. It was important to her to choose the right spot. It was sweet to watch the Things taking all of this in this morning. It’s important for children to learn their history and why we do the things we do when it comes to historical events. I am glad our kids are curious and interested. It makes talking about tough topics a lot easier for the parents.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 after removing their poppies and placing them at the cenotaph. They insisted on dressing up this morning. Thing 1 wore dress clothes and, to me, Thing 2 was like a poppy personified.

It was a wonderful morning. We walked back to our car and I noticed these huge poppies on the Mosque on the Bedford Highway and had to take a picture. Isn’t that nice?

We were trying to think of something nice we could do with the remainder of Remembrance Day and we decided to visit Video Difference to see if there was something we could watch as a family. How nice is this “Feature” section for Remembrance Day?

We had a hard time finding something. I mean, let’s face it, war isn’t exactly a topic we want our children exposed to in movies, so it makes sense there are not a lot of selections, but then I spotted “From Up On Poppy Hill”. We have enjoyed many of the Miyazaki films, so we thought we’d judge a book by it’s cover – just this once – and give it a go.

We are just about to watch it, actually.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

It has been a nice day, all-in-all.

Even though it is sad to think about war (and all that goes with it), it is very important to stop and remember all of the people who sacrificed so much, so that we could have the freedom to enjoy a sunny day in November with our families and communities sharing expressions of those very freedoms.

So, how did you spend today? Did you visit a local cenotaph? Did you attend a Remembrance Day ceremony?

Was this Remembrance Day different than last year?

 

 

 

 

The Act of Remembrance is generally performed by a solo reading of the poem extract, with a response by all assembled. The exact wording of the Act of Remembrance is:

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kcmjRlmg-BE/UJi-5g4KxPI/AAAAAAAACrM/7eygWHEQsIc/s1600/for+everything+there+is+a+season.jpg

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Remembrance

Fudge!

Oh, I’m not upset. No, no. Not at all.

I just cannot stop thinking about fudge.

You see I was supposed to be going to a Christmas Craft Show on the weekend, but due to circumstances beyond my control it didn’t happen.

That means, that besides all the cool unique crafts and handmade stuff that I missed out on, I also didn’t get to buy fudge from some of the amazing fudge making folks that tend to frequent the Christmas Craft Show circuit.

*sigh*

I will also be missing another local Christmas Craft Show next weekend.

*siiiiiigggghhhh*

It’s not like I need fudge. I mean, really. Does anyone need fudge? No. Of course not.

But!

Oh man!

Christmas Craft Show fudge is so good!

 

I could just make some fudge, I suppose.

I can never make it the way the super fudge makers make it, though.

It’s just not the same.

 

I have a decent recipe. A few, even.

There are plenty of recipes online.

There is no shortage of recipes, really.

There is merely a shortage of fudge.

 

I should just forget about it.

 

But I can’t.

Because FUDGE!

 

 

Help me to feel less kooky.

Is there a treat-y food that you have very rarely, but that when you do have it it has to be made a certain way? Or come from a certain place?

Do you like fudge?

(Do you have some? Because seriously, I have needs!)

Feel free to share a recipe or your thoughts on fudge in the comments.

 

I will share my best fudge recipe here with you all another day, but have you seen this*?

Have mercy!

 

 

*A very funny tweep – @evilpez4 – shared that and will be blamed in absentia for any and all fudge related weight gain this upcoming Holiday season.