NaBloPoMo v2.0 (Or November is NOW!)

Today is November 1st and with the groggy brain of a tired Mamma – after Halloween and a time change – I put this little bloggy woggy into the Blog Roll on BlogHer for November’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).

Some of you may recall, I did it last year. It was great, actually.

Sure, there were nights I wanted to cry because technology plotted against me or the Universe appeared to be determined to pull a prank. There were days when I felt like I was really doing something great and was exhilarated by the exercise of posting every singe day for the whole month.

I feel that in the end it really was a terrific learning experience. I wrote more than I had up to that point and I learned a lot of little things about how this whole blogging gig works. I learned to think on my feet and keep a deadline. I learned that sometimes the silliest of posts will garner the most attention. I learned that, despite the fact that living a part of my life online means every single post needs a photo or pin-able picture to be easily shared, some posts will never have a photo because intrinsically, I also know that sometimes the words need to paint the picture.

I learned a LOT. Much more than I will share here at the moment because the hour is getting late and I will be darned if I am not hitting publish on day one!

Over the next 30 days I will post every day.

Some posts will be rushed. That’s life.

Some posts will be well planned and thought out.

I plan on brushing up some really good drafts I have waiting to be set free.

NaBloPoMo is just the push I need!

I hope you will visit, read, comment, and chat when you have something to ask or say or share.

If you happen to be taking part, please let me know*. If there is one thing I am good at, it is cheering others on and supporting writers!

Let’s make this a great month, filled to the brim with learning, leaping outside our comfort zones, and personal growth!

Onward!

*Feel free to share your blog or NaBloPoMo Blog Roll number (I am #596!) in the comments! I love reading new (to me) blogs.

On The Double!

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Okay, okay. I know. I know.

I promised a post every day all month, but you know what? I simply couldn’t deliver one every single day, in order, on the actual day. The actual days were jam packed with events, meetings, planning sessions, absolutely-have-to-be-present school related stuff, a fun dinner date on a Saturday night to meet new people and reconnect with special friends, a narrowly avoided parenting sit’i’ation, an awesome launch of an awesome national program, drop-offs, pickups, and mix-ups, musical instrument acquiring, a whole heck of a lot of form filling, and I even managed to somehow squeeze in a lot of extra hugs, get two gigantic yellow Fall Mums,  and have a coffee date with some of my peeps and a couple of tweeps who are now included in my #tweepstopeeps people I have met in real life (IRL).

I will however reimburse you with an equal number of posts by month’s end because, as I have said before, you just don’t show up with a problem. When you are able to do so, you show up with a solution (or two), too!

Welcome to my solution!

My last post was Friday, September 18. It was a photo post because by then the pressure of September was already starting to squeeze me like a Boa Constrictor. Oh well. At least I know better than to stress myself out over a blog post – for Tempered With Kindness.

Oh, I totally stress out over blog posts for other people’s blogs – like, 13 revisions and a near panic attack over photographs stress out, followed by a sanity-stealing screen shot scenario that really was quite the comedy of errors (that I am still not quite sure has worked itself out – whoopsiedoodle!). Thank goodness no one is here at my desk with me as I am giving a colourful language peppered, colour commentary on just exactly why computers are the ruination of all good things in the world.

Ha ha! Hee hee! No worries.All in good fun! I feel much better now.

You have to go through it to get through it and all that jazz …

Anyway, here I am. I am going to post this and then I will somehow post another. I am not sure the second one will be posted tonight, but by the end of September I will be all caught up. I will! I know I can do it.

I hope your September is going well!

Let’s catch up soon!

How has your month been going?

Are you Crazy-Busy?

How are you handling it all?

*Never Google images of the phrase “double header”. You’re just going to have to trust me on this point. Scarred for life, I am!

**Does every single blog post really require an image? Really?!

 

Peak Performance Day: Dance Edition

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Sometimes bloggers like to talk about music (some of us a bit more than others) and when two people who happen to love the same tune find each other, well, it’s a bloggy goodness match made in heaven!

A while back, Becky – Hi Bitsy! – over at A Little Bit of MomSense began sharing what she called “song obsessions”. Well, I was all over that because it is very happy-making to learn that a person you enjoy in the Twitterverse is really that cool/nice/kind/friendly IRL (or as close to RL as we can get – for now!) Facebook is not quite IRL, but it can be close, especially when people are themselves and not trying to make everything all shiny and perfect. Becky is one of these real people.

Her last song obsession (or two) was different. For once I wasn’t totally in agreement. I loved one and the other, well, the other I felt wasn’t the best offering from Flo and her machine. In fact, I had moved right past “What Kind of Man” (which I found … umm … yell-y) onto “Ship to Wreck” because I feel it is truly Flo at her best.

So I am here to share it … and a few others … with you and Bitsy. I hope everyone enjoys this random, Peak Performance Day, dance party.

Florence + The Machine = Awesome

Said the Whale -live no less!

And here is the recorded version I dance to on the regular at Chez Peady.

Okay, I can’t really explain why I love this one so much, but I love it! It’s so groovy and melancholy and yet boppy all at once. The refrain “don’t think I could forgive you” over and over through a myriad of scenarios makes it a pretty rad “forget you”, don’t you think? Forgive me the ahem full moon in the video, but hey it’s already so odd you might never even get there. Wait. Did I just intrigue you into watching the whole thing? Tee hee hee. Please enjoy Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz “Prayer In C”.

This Jimmy Eat World song is very catchy and I really love it. I feel like I have been hearing it for many years and that’s because I have, but it seems to get fairly regular airplay, here in Halifax, on one of my favourite radio stations Radio 96.5 FM and every time I hear it I find a new reason to enjoy it. It’s happy-making. The last time I heard it I decided to dig a bit deeper and when I read more about it’s origin I liked it even more. Here’s “The Middle”.

And for awesome, if not obvious, reasons I leave you with this bonus tune from the Foo Fighters, who clearly are amazing human beings as well as musicians.

So there you have it. These are the mind worms that have invaded my brain of late.

I hope you enjoy them.

What songs are on a permanent loop in your brain or on your playlist lately?

Go ahead and share with me in the comments. You can even add a link to your favourites!

Source

A Hot Tip

I have two pretty adventurous kids, where food is concerned, but as any parent can tell you each kiddo always has his and her own preferred tastes.

Thing 1 is my the-hotter-the-better guy. Need I remind you of his little adventure with Ghost Pepper salsa?

Thing 2 used to think ketchup was “tooooo thpicy!” when she was a wee thing (with an ever so slight developmental lisp).

So, in the interest of keeping “thpicy” things out of Thing 2, I always found little ways to distinguish spicy from mild foods – even if they looked remarkably similar.

Picture a food such as homemade burritos or chimichangas. How can you decipher which one is mild and which ones are sweating-from-your-eyeballs spicy?

Well, in each of the aforementioned cases I would place a hint on the outside to remind me of what was on the inside. I bake chimichangas and if there are chilis or hot peppers inside, I always place one on the outside, so it’s easy to tell. Since Thing 2 loves tomatoes, I would place a thin slice on hers, just so she still had the “Ooh! Fancy!” reaction when it was time to eat.

Tonight’s supper was oven fried rice with red peppers and Italian sausages – mild and hot – and as I was preparing to pop everything into the oven I was reminded of this little life saver of a tip. I have been meaning to share it, but it is old hat to me and easy to assume no one would really care.

Then I thought of busy Mummies with little kiddos and how sometimes one little tip can bring joy and decided to make an effort.

I am building this up way too much.

Sorry!

I’ll get to my point now.

So I know which sausages are mild and which sausages are hot I simply place the mild sausage with the curve turning up, like a smile, and I place the hot sausages with the curve turning down, like a frown.

See?

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Can you tell which ones are spicy?

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Mild.

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Spicy!

Isn’t that helpful?

I hope so!

 

Three Movies I Can’t Wait To See

I used to go see every single movie (within reason) that hit the theatres.

Then I had kids and every movie became every children’s movie or every family movie.

I still love the movies, but I haven’t gone to a grown up movie since … ummm … what year is this?

Okay, I don’t know. I really can’t remember.

I haven’t seen an Oscar nominee – save for The LEGO Movie* – in years and years and years.

BUT!

There’s hope**.

The Things are getting older and one of them is definitely old enough to babysit so that maybe, just maybe, the parents can go see a movie that doesn’t have a specially themed snack pack at the concession stand!

Although, if I am being honest, I would totally buy a specially themed snack pack if there was one for “Steve Jobs”.

I can not wait!

I am also really looking forward to seeing Matt Damon in “The Martian”. This movie was first brought to my attention as I was walking down the corridor to auditorium number 17 with Daddy-O and the Things to take in “Shaun The Sheep” (another NOT Oscar winner!). A last hurrah of sorts to say goodbye to summer break before heading back to school for good. You see the Things returned to school before Labour Day along with all the other students in Nova Scotia, but only for 2 days. Then we had labour day weekend and then back for a full … well no … short week. Where was I? Oh yes! Matt Damon, I mean, “The Martian”. The poster is excellent and I was intrigued enough to read it which is how I learned Matt Damon had a new movie coming out. (Reading! So important!) Of course, now that I know about it, I keep seeing ads for it and they have made me want to see it even more.

Look! He gardens!

I think “He Named Me Malala” is going to be really interesting. Do you know the story of Malala Yousafzai? Have you read her book, “I Am Malala”? It is wonderful (if difficult to process in parts) and very important. I think Malala is charming and smart and she has captured the hearts of many who admire her undying determination to fight for the rights of girls (and boys) to be educated in her home and anywhere else they are denied such basic human rights as education.

I seriously can’t wait!

So those are my top three at the moment. I wish I could go right this minute, actually.

I’ll be patient though. I mean, I’ve been waiting this long, what’s another few weeks?

Do you like going to movies?
What genre do you like best?
What is the last movie you saw – in the theatre – that was for grown-ups?
What coming soon movie is at the top of your list?
How do you like your popcorn?
Butter or no butter?

Just kidding. Because butter!

*”Everything Is Awesome” was nominated for Best Song.

**There’s always hope.

Dancing With The Bloggers

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Do you remember the scene from “In and Out” where Kevin Kline’s character, Howard Brackett, is trying to not dance?

When you watched it were you all, pfft “Challenge accepted. No problem. Look. Here I am not dancing.” or, like me, were you physically pained by the thought of not movin’ and groovin’ to Gloria Gainer belting out “I Will Survive” to the point where you had to clench your muscles in the theatre seat so as to not jump up and dance for him?

Furthermore were you practically praying that Howard would just dance already?

Be who you are man – it’s okay we all have a thing. Move! Dance! Embrace yourself in all your glory and for heaven’s sake DANCE!

*If you haven’t seen “In & Out”, I think you should.

**This short and silly post has been sitting in my drafts since April and I am setting it free!

***I hope it made you smile.

****I also hope it made you dance.

Source.

We Will Be Invincible

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I choose to focus on the future and the potential of a world filled with people who are problem solvers.

In our family it is important for us to teach our children not to live in what we call the “Problem Domain”.

Yes. Life can be difficult.

Yes. The news of the world can bring you to your knees.

Yes. Sometimes you will feel scared.

Yes. Sometimes you will feel lonely.

Yes. Sometimes you will not know what you are supposed to do.

It is at precisely these times that you must dig deep, listen to your little voice, and figure out what you should do.

Know that you do have what it takes to get out of your particular situation.

Know that you are loved.

Know that you are trusted.

Know that you have people pulling for you.

Know that whatever the absolute worst thing in the world is (to you) right now, that it will not be forever.

When you bring a problem to someone, believe there is a solution.

Maybe have a few in mind, if and when you feel that is appropriate.

Move beyond that problem domain and realize that the more you begin to move your mind outside of the problem, the more you will actually begin to feel like maybe it isn’t so insurmountable, after all.

You are smart.

You are curious.

You are loved.

You are caring.

You are kind.

Whether or not you happen know it right now.

You are invincible.

Source.

Pretty Much

This*.

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Goodnight!

*At least I posted something. Semantics. FTW!**

**IOU 1 blog post of substance.***

*** If I write 2 tomorrow, will that do?****

**** That just made me think of Wimpy’s, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!”

Source

No Comment!

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It is late and I am talking myself into posting tonight by basically writing this and posting it.

A dose of blog, if you will. You know, like drinking really gross coffee from your hometown because there are no other options and you really need some caffeine so you go to the place that has the caffeine? Yeah, that.

I was rather proud of myself for posting a blog last night and I had every intention of posting earlier today, but guess what! The Universe interjected and said, “Oh! You want something, now, do you? Ha ha! Itty bitty insignificant being. That’s not how it works!”, then proceeded to lock me out of my blog all day long and while I was trying to see the upside – I had posted, after all – it also went one step further and ate any and all comments that nice people left on my post. (There may or may not have been lots of comments. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.)

Regardless, I feel sad. That really stinks, doesn’t it?

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via GIPHY

When I was finally able to access my blog I was thrilled to see that a number of views did happen throughout the day, but not a single comment. The only reason I knew something was wrong with that particular aspect of my blog – at all – is that when I mentioned it to my IT Department he disagreed because, in fact, he had left a comment which clearly was not here. Wah!

Anyhoo!

If you left a comment. Thanks!

If you read my post. Thanks!

If you are reading this now. Thanks!

Hopefully this will be the last major bump in the road.

Speaking of bumps in the road. I didn’t plan on feeling any at all today and as such chose to be car-free for the entire day, but again the Universe chortled (oooh! Now there’s a 13 cent word!), and declared, “Car-free?!? Oh, ho ho! Silly human. That’s inconceivable!” and then went a step further and made sure Thing 1 had his phone with him (I swear he almost never takes that thing to school!) and would be permitted to panic text me from homeroom about forgotten items on this the real first day of school where students were expected to show up ready to start working, which – and call the teachers crazy if you must – involves little things like, you know, having school supplies with you at school.

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via GIPHY

So, my plans were flipped on their head and my extra time was stolen.

I have plans to get it back.

I’ll come back tomorrow with my charts and slide rule.

Suffice it to say that smartphone is currently on my desk. Let’s just call it a tech time out.

That has to count for at least 30 minutes of my stolen time!

I’m feeling better already.

Posting!

 

A Labour (Day) Of Love

Sun setting on summer 2015.

Happy Labour Day! (That’s Labor Day to all my awesome American readers!)

We might have to give up our lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer, but we sure as heck don’t have to let the joy of summer fizzle. We took the weekend and made the most of it and just like we try to do with most of them, we carpe-ed the heck out of this diem!

There was an epic board game last night, a movie in the theatre today — complete with extra butter on the popcorn and peanut M&Ms, followed by a special dinner out and ice cream for dessert. Stick a fork in this Labour Day weekend. It’s done!

We are saying goodbye to our beautiful summer break and even though my Things have already started back to school, I am well aware that lots of children are starting their school year tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Oh, it is never easy, is it?

Even if your kiddos are great students and love all things scholastic and extracurricular, it is still a bit daunting to have to say goodbye to summer.

Of course summer isn’t really over, you still have until September 23rd to check those things off the summer bucket lists. Yes. Yes, I am here to bring you a loophole. sings That’s what friends are for! You’re welcome.

Anyhoo!

Where was I?

Oh yes! Even the happiest little pupil might not be so thrilled with Labour Day and the unofficial end to summer, so I am here to bring you hope! (Also, loopholes. We can’t forget the loopholes.)

You may or may not have noticed my absence here this summer. It was not intentional.

I was on a technology-fails-us-all-just-when-we-need-it-most sabbatical. It was, as you might imagine, not planned.

I will expound on all things technological (I may even have my IT Department contribute to a very techie blog post about the trials and tribulations we have been going through) in the not too distant future, but tonight, dearest, darlingest, readers I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I am here and I am going to be here every single day from now until the end of days. So, I hope you are happy and feeling like some chatty blog action because that is what I am in the mood for and that is exactly what I am going to do. I am sure you will let me know if you want something else. More photos. Fewer words. More words. More cowbell. You name it. I will deliver!

In the meantime, thank goodness for excellent blogging friends who allow me to contribute to their amazing blogs.

Just in time for my kids to start school, I wrote a post for Life In Pleasantville about how we can lessen the stress associated with back to school in a post called “6 Steps to Ease Back to School Stress“. Since many of you have children starting school tomorrow, you might find it helpful. I’d absolutely love it if you made your way over there to read my post. As always comments are greatly appreciated. I make a point of replying because I love the connection and conversation that can emerge from a simple comment. That is the whole point of my being here, there, and everywhere.

So, now that I have written nearly 500 words, I feel slightly less terrified about posting tonight. I will be posting earlier in the day, eventually (maybe), but until I get my blog mojo back, frankly, getting something posted – at all – is way more important than what time of day it is posted. SEO be darned!

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As if I know anything about SEO.

Two questions:

  1. Are you ready for back to school?
  2. Do you want more cowbell?

May I confide in you? I kinda-sorta, really-really, hope you missed me.

There. I said it.

Phew! There goes a weight off my shoulders.

After you read my post over at Life In Pleasantville, why not come back and share something about your summer and maybe a hope for the new school year?

I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.