Always Wear Sunscreen

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Oh sure! It looks all friendly and happy with its toasty rays and snazzy shades, but trust me there’s a burning desire to fry your skin lurking just under those fiery smiling lips.

I just committed a drive-by sunscreening at Thing 2’s school. I’m guilty as charged, but I’m not sorry.

The UV Report is “High” today and in the confusion of the morning rush to make it to the bus on time, Thing 2 – who will spend an hour outside during high noon – did not get her sunscreen. Aack!

What’s an easily scorched, SPF MUD wearing, mother of Celtic heritage to do?

Well, first I consulted social media, because TWEEPS!

Then, I called school to make sure it was okay to pop by, then I brushed my teeth and grabbed my Kinesys and fled.

Because skin is our largest organ and we don’t have a spare.

Summer is coming’ in, but fast.*

Don’t be fooled by our hazy Maritime mornings, either. Those hazy** days can be the worst offenders for sun damage.

My best advice?

Always wear sunscreen.

Och!

 

So, do you have a favourite brand of sunscreen? Do you have a way to remember to apply it – even during the crazy-busy morning rush? What’s your secret to keeping your skin safe?

*Bonus: Natalie Cole because I love her and I used her Daddy’s lyric – and often do!

**BONUS Bonus of Nat King Cole because I said “hazy” and well… just listen.

“A” is for ABBA

This morning I was sitting here (No it was NOT procrastination! It was an exercise in collecting my thoughts. Believe, you, me, that’s a job in and of itself. SQUIRREL!) about to open iTunes and choose my soundtrack for the day. I had this really fun idea to just go alphabetically and see where that led me, when suddenly a tweet popped up over on “the” Twitter that my friend Alex was doing the same exact thing! Proof that there are no original ideas.

Not only was I going to do this, I was going to do the thing I always tend to do, which is skip ABBA because I have the “Thank You for the Music” box set and listening to “People Need Love” every time I open iTunes and randomize it, kind of grows old, so I have taken to just skipping ABBA. I know it’ll come up again when I get to movie soundtracks in the “M”s, so I just wait for “Murial’s Wedding” or “Mamma Mia!” to pop up and enjoy “Dancing Queen” and “Money, Money, Money” like everybody else on the planet who grew up in the 70s.

Well this little twitter conversation made me press pause (heh heh) and reflect on what my plan was actually going to be. Would I skip ABBA (iconic satin pants wearing Swedish band of my youth) and go right to Adele or would I – nay should I – start with ABBA and commit to listening to the very first band in my collection of CDs? (Yes. I own the CDs. They’re all in iTunes now and I have a love hate relationship with that fact that I can tell you all about that at another time.)

The answer was clear. Thanks to that little Twitter exchange, I decided to begin with the beguine. It had to be ABBA.

Do you know how many songs ABBA has? Do you know how many have been enormous hits? It’s astonishing.

Disc 2 has just started. “Knowing Me, Knowing You”. I LOVED this song when I was kiddo and actually I think this section of the box set is my favourite because it brings back the best memories of summers in Cape Breton as a free-range kid. Up and OUT! All day. Biking and swimming and climbing trees with best friends. Or building forts  or walks to “the” woods (like they were the only woods in the world – and when your world is that tiny they are the only woods in the world!) to eat.. er.. pick blueberries. It was the life, I tell you!

Anyway, I am currently on a glee-filled, ABBA induced, high and – quite possibly – couldn’t be any happier at this moment in time. My cheeks hurt from smiling and if it’s possible even my ears are happy right now. Despite the fact that they are being forced to hear me belting out all the songs .

Speaking of singing, can you even imagine a better song than “Thank You for the Music” for a little girl (or boy) to listen to when they have dreams of being on Broadway, or singing at the Met, or playing in Carnegie Hall or becoming a professional musician in any capacity? I defy you to try. It is THE best. I love it. I have loved it since the moment I first heard it, decades ago, and I love it still. I love hearing it and until I breathe my last breath (many, many years from now when I am a crazy old lady who rambles on and on about things) (Which is vastly different than now, when I am young and perfectly sane and ramble on and on and on about Things!) I will love it.

There are so many great, inspiring songs and lyrics in ABBA’s catalogue. I mean, they have had a feature film made about the band, their music has graced a stage on the Great White Way and then went on to become the soundtrack for the movie adaptation of the Broadway production. (“Mamma Mia!” I know *you* know, but I felt that maybe some people might need a refresher.) “Mamma Mia” has been a hit time and time again around the world. That’s some pretty amazing “reach”, wouldn’t you agree?

With lines like, “… try once more, like you did before, sing a new song [Chiquitita].”, or  “… one chance in a lifetime, yes I will take it, it can’t go wrong”, or  “… if you see the wonder of a Fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail..”. (Come on! That is gold!) it is practically a collection of “Life Lessons from ABBA”. In fact if Benny, Bjorn, Agnatha or Frida were to write that book, I’d probably buy it. No. Not probably. I would definitely buy it. *coughs* Pre-order *coughs*

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty, what would life be?

Without a song or a dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music. For giving it to me.

Olympic Spirit: Go Canada Go!

Wow! What an amazing day for Canada’s Olympic athletes and Canadians at large!

Currently Canada has a total of 7 medals – 3 Gold (WOW!), 3 Silver (W00t!), 1 Bronze (Yippity biscuits!) and is tied with Netherlands and Norway for the most medals. That is a great start, wouldn’t you say?

With so much speculation leading up to (and political buzz surrounding) these Sochi games, I am glad that, so far, the athletes have been able to focus on their individual and team events (aside from some funny tweets, a few crazy bathroom photos, a trapped athlete and some judging rumours) without too much controversy.

We spent much of our weekend watching Olympic coverage on CBC (So thankful for the CBC!!) and talking about all the cool and interesting sports with our kids. Watching the Women’s Hockey Team on Saturday was a definite highlight of the weekend and I am so glad that Haley Wickenheiser is playing. She was the flag bearer for the opening ceremonies and is quite the amazing ambassador for Canada and sport. During one of the breaks in the coverage of the Canada vs. Switzerland game, they showed the most awesome clip of Haley Wickenheiser after the Canadian Gold medal win against the USA in Salt Lake City at the 2002 Winter Olympics. This quote has to win something! (Even if we’ll never really know the entire story behind it.)

The Americans had our flag on their floor in the dressing room and now I want know if they want us to sign it.

Whoa! I was amazed at how calm and pointed her question was. It, at once, raised her level of cool while pointing out a pretty awful example of sportsmanship on the parts of the American players. Nothing more needed to be said. She got her point across and her little dig in. I’m sure it’s all water under the bridge by now. Right?

Are you watching all the action from Sochi? Are you lucky enough to be there? Are the games making you feel extra pride for your country, homeland or heritage? Does seeing all the amazing athleticism make you want to go out and play more than usual? How are you using the Olympics to foster the joy of sport or activity with your kids and family?

Me? I got a Silver medal just for showing up today. Mondays are hard and Thing 2 is a very generous judge. Sure, I didn’t win Gold – that was reserved for Thing 2, but I received Silver, while Daddy-O only got Bronze, so, you know …  WINNING!

Silver!

This is *my* Silver Medal. Not too shabby, eh?

You should know I am not competitive at all. Nope. Not one bit. Yup. *wink*

If you are interested in making some medals of your own (or with your kiddos) here is where Thing 2 got her templates. There are also some great activities and printables here, lots of good information here, and some good Canadian stuff here.