Category: Kindness

Wordless WEdnesday : Announcing That I Am a #WEFamilies Ambassador (Right Out Loud)

WE ME to WE #WEFamilies WE Families Ambassador WE Movement

You may have noticed a little badge down and to the right on my blog. See it there? The one with #WEFamilies on it. Or maybe you never noticed at all. Perhaps you only ever use your iThing and you don’t see anything that resides in the sidebar. You can turn your phone sideways and it should magically appear! (Don’t you love learning new things? I’m a giver! Tee hee hee.)

I’m so excited to announce that I am a WE Families Ambassador!

I decided that today was as good a day as any to announce that, here. I have been sharing all things WE for years now, but I was asked to be a WE Families Ambassador late in November 2016, just before WE Day Atlantic.

Obviously, I said yes.

Then life went a bit sideways. As life is known to do. Sometimes that happens, right? I know you know exactly what I mean.

That being said, I have been working behind the scenes here, (there, and everywhere) and decided that I am going to make WEdnesday* (wordless and/or wordy) a semi-regular thing. Out in the open. See? Right out loud!

I won’t always have a WEdnesday post, but sometimes I will and when I do I will share some of the cool things WE are up to with a #WEFamilies twist.

Now, before this so-called (and lets be honest “wordless” is a pretty glaringly obvious misnomer now) Wordless WEdnesday post gets any longer I am going to hit publish!

I hope this Wordless (Hah!) WEdnesday made you smile and I also hope you will follow along as WE do our best to make the world a better place one action at a time.

I have always loved this Hemingway quote. 

Never mistake motion for action.

Honestly, these days I find it is especially fitting. After all, that is what #WEFamilies are all about.

*See what I did there? 

Birds and Fudge and Cheese and Flowers or Random Tuesday: The “Why The Heck Not!” Edition

Here is a picture of a Blue Jay.

blue_jay_glamour Cornell Lab of Ornithology all about birds jays blue jay Cyanocitta cristata

I did not take this picture because the very noisy Blue Jay that has been visiting my patio is also suuuuuper paranoid and I have yet to be able to capture his image. I found this very pretty photo here. I really enjoy birds and I absolutely love the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is an endless source of information and they are always doing good things for birds and the environment.

Here is another picture of a Blue Jay.

Roberto Alomar blue jays baseball blue jay

Because Random Tuesday. That’s why! Roberto Alomar had his number (12) retired back in 2011. He was an excellent baseball player and as far as I can tell an upstanding gentleman. I wonder what he is up to in 2016.

2016 may be remembered (at least by some members of my family) as the Summer of Fudge. Hoo boy! We ate more fudge this summer than we did all year! This is not a good thing, but in the moment it was glorious. Here’s a peek at a wee sampling. We bought these two at the Anne of Green Gables Chocolates inside Avonlea Village in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. If you head into Charlottetown, PEI, you can watch them making some of the confections through big windows from inside the shop. (Then you’ll very likely need to purchase some “COW Chips”. Consider this fair warning.)

Brown Sugar Fudge ann of green gables chocolates PEI chocolate fudge anne of green gables chocolates PEI

We also had fudge purchased at the PEI Preserve Company. I think it was made by the New Glasgow Candy Company (though there’s no remaining evidence to serve as proof) and the flavour was Turtle Delight. As you can imagine it was – wait for it – delightful.

How do you feel about cheese curds? I mean real, honest-to-goodness, full fat, squeaky, cheese curds. They’re awesome right? We used to buy St. Albert’s when we lived in Ottawa and they were great. This summer my brother had some he purchased at Costco (I presume, as the bag was pretty large) and they were delicious and very real. I’m going to have to get the details before I go next time. Hmm. Or should I not get the details? Cheese can be dangerous. Though, soon it will be playing a substantial role in meal prep ’round here. Actually, as it is Taco Tuesday (but we skipped tacos tonight) there’s usually at least two kinds of shredded cheese on the go. Mmm. Cheese.

Speaking of cheese, do you get all caught up in changing your decor over from Summer to Fall? (Stay with me. This is going somewhere.) (Plus, hello! Random Tuesday!) Do you have a set idea of what constitutes Fall decor? Are you mad about Mums or is Mum the word where your personal plans lie? I ask because I love Fall Mums, (I have written about them here. Several times, apparently.), but it has recently been brought to my attention that some people loathe them. They are cliché and played out as far as some of my Mum friends (that’s mother Mum, not plant Mum) are concerned. They’d rather have nothing than a Fall Mum. I can understand not loving a street full of the same flowers, but I find them to be very happy making. Especially the gigantic ones I get (in yellow, usually) from Costco. (Although, to be honest, I saw one today when I was there and it was looking a little long in the tooth. Mind you, I was practically running through the aisles to get to the checkout to buy movie passes. Jumpins! Costco needs a new system for buying things like passes. * eye twitch * Don’t get me started. That’s an entire (rant filled) post waiting to happen.) Meanwhile, my friend has gotten into my head and now I am not sure I want Mums. Well, I do, but maybe not only Mums.

As luck would have it Kent has sunflowers in planters that basically look like a live bouquet, so maybe I’ll get a couple of those instead. 

What do you keep growing in and around your space when Autumn weather arrives?

I asked Thing 2 to say the first and most random thing that popped into her head this morning and she exclaimed, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” with such glee that I would be remiss to not share this gem right this minute.

Did you hear that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke will have cameos in a new reboot of Mary Poppins? True story.

I liked this Guacamole 101 recipe. Avocados really are a wonderful fruit. They’re loaded with fibre and chock full of good, healthy fat. I vow to add more avocado to my diet. Guacamole ought to be its own food group. Wouldn’t you agree?

We took the Things to see The Secret Life of Pets this evening. Have you seen it? Here’s a Kevin Hart teaser.

He was perfect as Snowball.

Before the movie we saw a preview for “Sing”. I definitely want to see this one!

It looks cute and I love the premise. 

So … how did I do? 

Is this random enough for a Random Tuesday?

SpaghettiOs! <– That’s Thing 2’s final injection of random 

blink blink

 

December Has Been A Blur

Christmas lights music piano sadness blues

This month has flown by and I admit I feel a little bit overwhelmed.

I am finally getting what I want in many ways, and yet I am feeling like a failure because I didn’t have time to do a lot of the fun leading-up-to-Christmas stuff that we usually do.

Right now, as I type, I am having a horrible case of the guilts.

I hate guilt. Hate it. It’s useless. It’s as bad as shame. As a matter of fact, Shame can take a flying leap hand-in-hand with Guilt off the tallest cliff they can find. They need to go away. Seriously.

I am doing the best that I can.

What if it isn’t good enough?

It feels like it isn’t good enough, right now, and that – let me tell you – stinks.

I am here with two kids on their first official day off from school. I should (ugh.. Should might need to grab the ankle of Shame as it starts the decent from that cliff.) be doing something fun with my kids.

What am I doing? 

I am ruminating about things I cannot change.

I am worrying about something that is beyond late that should have been done in November and of letting people down.

I am wondering when I will figure out how to be in three places at once and make all those places the happiest places ever.

I am being stupid because none of my rumination, worry or wonder can possibly make everything perfect.

AND! OH MY DEAR SWEET LORD! Perfect better be the pilot of the leap from that stOOpid cliff because it is the WORST!

Why do I do this to myself?

I know I am not the only one. I know that this, the most wonderful time of the year, can be a challenge to anyone at any given time. I know people are far from family and want to be near or they are near to family and would love to be anywhere but there.

No one has all the answers.

I know this to be true.

I do.

But what I wouldn’t give to be able to control it all.

I would be the merriest of festive fascists, ever!

Everyone would get what they want and need and no one would be without.

Not happiness, or health, or love, or food, or family, or friends, or festivity.

It would be – oh, I hate to say it – perf- NO! I refuse. 

It would be ideal. 

In the meantime, this is today’s soundtrack.

Now please excuse me, while I continue my annual ugly cry at my desk.

It’s okay. I’ll be fine.

Mr. Rogers was onto something. Crying really does get the sad out of you.

So, tell me, how are you holding up?

I know I am not alone. I never am, really.

Go ahead. Let it out.

 

Source

 

 

Five Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration On Giving Tuesday

 

Today is Giving Tuesday.

What’s Giving Tuesday?

Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity. 

Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”

It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases. 

Give $20 and your organization receives $40.

Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.

How cool is that?

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!

Free The Children Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.

David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!

World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it? 

Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!

BIAAG, Thing 2,

Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!

So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference. 

What you do matters.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Thank you!

BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB in the Bucket letter, BBITB, poem, BB Letter

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you? 

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

 

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

NaBloPoMo Deficit (Or I Intend To Finish What I Started)

intention picasso quote doing vs. intention

I am missing 11** days of posts out of the 28 days that November has had, so far.

Am I flipping out? Nope.

Do I care? Yes. Of course. I always care.

Am I in knots like I would have been last year? No way! Life is way too short to be in knots over a fictitious deadline of questionable importance.

What am I planning to do with this knowledge?

That is a good question. I am not quite sure what to do.

Should I try and scrounge up the energy and words to post a decent thing for the missing days?

Should I just brush it off and move on?

Can I find a compromise that makes me feel decent about participating in NaBloPoMo again this year? I am honestly not sure.

It is always good to challenge oneself. Of that, I am sure.

I suppose I am just not sure exactly what my goal, beyond 30 posts in 30 days, is – or was.

Last year it was a challenge that I felt I couldn’t possibly complete and, yet, I did.

This year, I knew I could do it and I was pretty sure I would, but here I am on November 28th trying to figure out what to do.

Mostly, I have written elsewhere. Other things for other people. 

That is a really cool turn of events that might never have happened if I didn’t start writing a little bit here.

Can.

Will.

Did.

They are interesting words, aren’t they?

I guess what I am saying is that when the intention is clear the accomplishment often seems clearly attainable. The opposite is also true. I think I may have proven that this time.

Maybe the trick is to set a clear intention, no matter the task, in order to reach one’s goals.

Why then, does this not work in all the things I intend to do?

What am I missing?

Are my intentions not good enough? Are they not focussed enough?

Is there something pertinent I am overlooking?

Am I paving a road to H-E- double hockey sticks?

For example, take my weight. No really. Take my weight, please. Ba doom tsh!

Why can’t I intend it away? Wouldn’t that be something!? I wish I could. I really do.

Alas, wishing won’t make it so.

sigh

I am tired of it and I intend to do something about it.

I won’t be coming back here to whine about it. I promise. It’s just that I think I believe that a written intention has more power than one I secretly wish inside my head.

Just like I am fairly certain one spoken out loud is more powerful than one written.

Although, I am sure it depends on the person and the intention.

For instance, last Friday we went to see The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show at the Scotiabank Centre, here, in Halifax. As many of you know by now, Stuart McLean cancelled the remainder of the tour because he has been diagnosed with cancer and was strongly encouraged to begin treatment right away. What many of you may not know is that the show ended with a “Hey Jude” send off and after the “Na na na nanana naaa nanana naaa” part we didn’t sing the words “hey Jude”. No. Instead, we were all singing “Next year” in place of “hey Jude”. We didn’t know Stuart McLean was ill. We did know that he was in fine form, that we were thoroughly entertained, and that we absolutely wanted the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show to come back to Halifax next year. We wanted Stuart McLean to come back next year. 

The phrase “next year” in and of itself isn’t all that special. In fact, it might be seen as a mostly innocuous or even negative thing. Kind of like the elusive “someday” we often utter when making plans to travel to an exotic location or treat ourselves to a fancy something-or-other.

But I am telling you, last Friday night in the Scotiabank Place the phrase “next year” was most definitely an intention. I felt it then and there as I sang it.

It was confirmed on Saturday when I read the news.

So, here’s hoping there’s something to all this intention stuff because I have things I want to do and seeing Stuart McLean is most definitely on my list.

So, tell me, do you believe in intentions?

Do you have a word you focus on to help you get through your year?

Do you set an intention?

How do you make your intentions a reality?

 

 

**And you can bet your britches I just changed that to 10.

Source

 

Thankful Thursday: American Thanksgiving Edition

coffee cup thankful Thanksgiving Fall decor

Happy American Thanksgiving Day!

I know it’s late, but I have been busy celebrating.

If you want to know how we spent the day I think the quickest way for me to show you is by directing you to this post, “How To Celebrate American Thanksgiving In Canada”, I wrote for Life In Pleasantville. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Tom Turkey

It went pretty much according to plan, except we didn’t eat any pie! That is a travesty!

I have a friend in Texas who hosted a 100% pie Thanksgiving today. How amazing is that?!?

And here we are stuffed like the turkey with no room for pie. Oh! The shame! 

We’ll have to train harder for next year.

In the meantime, my unending quest for awesome American side dishes (You know they are amazing, right? Oh, you really must go read my post!) I asked my very best imaginary friend, Sheila (Hey Sheila!) for a recipe to share with you and being the awesome friend that she is she came up with this gem!

 

Sheila’s Corn Casserole
Shoepeg corn, 2 cans, drained
French cut green beans, 1 can, drained
Sour cream, 8 oz.
Slivered almonds, small pkg.
Chopped onion, half – whole (depending on your tastes)
Ground pepper, to taste
Grated cheddar cheese, sharp or mild,
1-2 cup Cream of something** soup (celery, mushroom or chicken.)
Mix it all up in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam
Topping
Tube of Ritz crackers, crushed.
Stick of butter, melted.
Blend crackers and melted butter and spread mixture on top of casserole.
Cook 350 for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbly and top is browning.
(Brown to your liking.)

 
Ta daa!
I am definitely making this side dish next year.
 

Pumpkin Patch turkey thanksgiving wreath

It’s late and I must sleep because Friday will be a very busy day.

I want to tell you a bit more about our Thanksgiving dinner conversation with Thing 1 and Thing 2, but it will have to wait until I have a bit more time. I wish I could tell you right now! I assure you I will share as soon as I can.

Thanksgiving dinner turkey stuffing dressing mashed potatoes carrots turnip rutabaga gravy peaches and cream corn

I will tell you all about Friday’s busy-ness tomorrow night. Promise!

Meanwhile, pie for breakfast!
I kid. I kid.****

How did you spend your Thanksgiving?
Did you double up on this holiday of gratitude?

What are you thankful for today?

 **Can you see now why I love Sheila?
***They all work. Celery is what original recipe called for.
****Kinda sorta.