Five Fun Facts For Friday February Fifth

writing mother blogger plan SAHM WAHM

Hi!

How are you?

Missed you!

Love you lots!

What’s new?

I have been crazy-busy and I haven’t been managing it very well.

However, I am a smart person and one of my strengths is knowing my limits. That is a very good thing. In the spirit of self preservation I allowed myself to not post here. (I was still posting there, and everywhere else, mind you. What am I crazy?!? Of course I was still posting. You should just go ahead and follow me in all the places that way when stuff happens you will know where to find me. You never know when you might need a little dose of silly and I carry it with me wherever I go. Picture a little jar of glitter or cupcake sprinkles. Yeah. Like that! I am armed and ridiculous. So… find me. We have all the ways to connect. Connect, people!)

December was when my last post went live.

Suddenly that seems very, very, long ago.

Meh.

In the grand scheme of things it’s not.

Anyhoo!

Here I am. Hi! waves

It’s Friday and I am happy and life is good. I have lots to be grateful for and I am really looking forward to the weekend!

This is my Birthday Week and since Monday was kind of a ridiculous day (notice a theme?) we are having a bit of a do-over before next week begins. The plan is to go out for burgers with the Things and then maybe catch a movie. (Ooh! That reminds me. I have to pick up movie admissions at Costco. That is quite the savings, isn’t it? I love Costco.) I know we’ll have fun! Who wouldn’t have fun with M&Ms in the giant bag of popcorn?

All this to say, all’s well. I’ll write more. I will.

I have plans.

So, without further ado, here are Five* Fun Facts For Friday February Fifth!

  1. Once again, for the third (?!?!) time since starting Tempered With Kindness, I have a new blog host. (This, in part, is why I have been reluctant to publish here.)
  2. It is Black History Month and there is a new Heritage Minute featuring none other than Nova Scotia’s own Viola Desmond. You learned all about her here, remember? Check out the new Heritage Minute here.
  3. I still do not have my 2016 Mom CPU! Oy. Not good. I cannot find one anywhere. Someone suggested ordering one online in January and that seemed silly because how long would it take to arrive, blah, blah, blah… it’s just a simple calendar… I’m sure I’ll be able to pick one up. How hard can it be to find a big magnetic Mother Word calendar for my fridge?! Well who’s the silly one now?! Derp. You all must have the exact calendar I want because there are exactly ZERO in my orbit. harumphs
  4. I have once again resurrected my CD collection and this time I am on a mission to keep them in my space. They need a proper storage solution, mind you, and I am accepting suggestions on this front. Do you have a CD collection? How do you keep them? Are they out of sight, out of mind or welcome in your world?
  5. I was featured in a BuzzFeedNews listicle (Great word, Joe!) and I almost died laughing about it. You can check it out here and in 14-16 months you are welcome to come shopping with me at Halifax’s new IKEA and we can BUY ALL THE FLEUFEGNUUGEN! Deal?

Thanks for reading and sharing and engaging. You are all my favourite!

Happy Friday!

Have you read any fun facts lately? Have any to share? Feel free to leave a fun fact in the comments. I will respond to every single one with another fun fact. We will all be so smart by the end of these shenanigans!

*Bonus fun fact: I love Frente! (The exclamation point is part of their name. What’s not to love?) Best Bizarre Love Triangle cover ever.

**Extra bonus fun fact: That first fact up there just will not format properly and I want to throw a tantrum. I am going to hit publish instead. Grr! shakes fist in technology’s general direction

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.

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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

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!

Permission

Yesterday Thing 2 was hanging out in my room with BB, reading to me, doing a bit of homework, and – after she finished that – watching Disney Channel Canada on our TV.

I was in and out doing things that need doing on a Saturday. You know. The typical things. Making meals, tidying up, putting away laundry, the usual.

At one point I popped in to check on my daughter to see if she needed anything and she was gone.

I found this on my desk.

notes remote control change the channel Things

So I wrote a reply.

change the world Things permission

Then I brought it to her.

Things message received smart girl wise kid world changer

I think she got the message.

I’ll keep reminding her though because apparently nagging mothers get decent results.

For the sake of the world, I hope so.

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.

Christmas, Naturally.

It was a very rainy and windy weekend, but for a little while today the rain stopped and I went out to run a few errands.

First stop was at the local farmer’s market which is undergoing major renovations, so it looks at once dilapidated and delightful. It’s confusing, really. I can no longer even imagine what it will look like in the end.

There was a point last year around this time when it stared to feel cozy and nice, but yesterday the makeshift roof was leaking and dripping rainwater on all the things.

I looked around for a minute at the nice, simple homemade, natural wreaths, with their red ribbons and berries, then at the winter holiday planter boxes filled with evergreen boughs, glittery twigs, ribbons and bright red ornaments (which I was coveting, if I’m being honest) and pickles (yes, that’s right) and it just felt odd, but I digress …

Where was I?

Oh, yes.

Outside, where I parked the car on the new makeshift (?) parking lot there was a table filled with plain evergreen wreaths. They were so festively fragrant I wanted to just stand there the whole time. I took a photo to try and capture it. Can’t you just about smell Christmas?

Then just before entering the building there was another table covered in these gorgeous, bright red, bunches of berries. I don’t know what these berries are, but I know I want all of them. They look so festive, don’t they? These were used in some of the wreaths and planter boxes inside the market.

I have always found the idea of a simple Christmas very appealing.

Every year we say we will keep it low key and simple and we typically do a good job of not going over the top, but when I see things like naked Christmas wreaths and – what I am going to call – winter berries, I am convinced that I would love nothing more than a house in the middle of the woods, filled with the people I love, a real Christmas tree decorated with our treasures and memories and a few homemade additions from nature, and an honest-to-goodness old fashioned Christmas.

That’s the problem with simple. It never really is, is it?

Wordless Wednesday: Advice From A Children’s Book Edition

15 Things In 15 Minutes (and not a minute more)

15 in 15 fifteen minutes

It’s 11: 44 and I have to hit publish by 11:59.

Here goes!

I am exhausted.

We were away for the weekend and with the exception of one thing I simply couldn’t get done most of the things that needed doing were completed.

We didn’t turn the radio on for the entire drive to New Brunswick.

We arrived in the dark on Friday.

We managed to take advantage of not one, but two BOGO Starbucks Holiday beverages. Oh yes! Today there was a Peppermint Mocha and there may or may not have been a Cranberry Bliss Bar. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.

The Things were thrilled to spend some time with their cousins this afternoon.

We celebrated a special Birthday today!

We were extremely entertained by our nephew and his mad candle lighting skills, but we especially appreciated his Dad stepping in to really get the show started. (Have you ever seen a musical candle that blossoms with fire and sparklers? We have!)

I think our gift was a hit (though who can ever be sure, really?).

We were treated to an amazing feast of Persian food and I really would like to learn to cook all the Persian things right now.

We left for home in the dark tonight.

It was completely and utterly pitch black out. No stars to be seen, yet the cold night air was crisp and seemed to make the visibility better than usual. There was no haze or fog at all. Unheard of!

We made it home in record time because all the traffic seemed to be going with the flow in the same direction as us and there was nary a dingbat on the highway the whole way home.

Thing 1 managed to study for a science test and upload a video to YouTube after we arrived home. (Motivation is a wonderful thing.)

Thing 2 didn’t get to share her violin playing with her Nanny, even though she made a point of bringing both her violin and her music with her all the way to Moncton. (She will just have to book some time in December. Maybe by then she will have a Christmas carol in her repertoire.)

C’est tout!

Goodnight!

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