Signs

austin-chan-275638

Well, hello there!

Are you still here?

Wow!

You are a really kind person.

Thank you for that.

I sincerely appreciate your presence.

Obviously, I have been absent from this space for quite some time, but you know what? I miss it. I miss you. I miss this space. I miss being able to simply pop in and say hello, share a part of my day, ask how you’ve been, and wait in quiet contemplation and anticipation for any sign of life.

So thank you for all the times you have swung by.

I am eternally grateful for your silent support. I am also grateful for your LOUD support.

I’m not picky.

Fire: bad. Bread: bad. Support: good.

So maybe I needed a sign.

Maybe I needed to seek one.

Maybe the sign I was looking for was so blatantly obvious that I couldn’t see it.

Sometimes we see what we want and it seems so far away when what we need is sitting right in front of us.

It’s like lusting after a pair of Louboutin’s when what you really long for is a wicked cozy pair of fuzzy slippers.

One might make people go “Wow!”, but will it make you go “Wow!”? No. No it won’t. Well, I suppose I can only speak for myself, but one of those would make me go “Oww!” not “Wow!” and is simply not my style, so why bother? I can’t afford the shoes or to waste a single second of my very limited and precious time on this planet trying to make someone else go “Wow!”. Can you?

Allow me.

No. No you can’t.

So …

All this to say, thank you for reading.

I hope you continue to stick around.

I have vowed to post every day in November with the hopes of getting my groove back and forming a new and improved writing habit.

My sign?

November is National Blog Posting Month. (This is where, if we were cartoons, an anvil – or perhaps an old timey typewriter – would fall on my head.)

Yup.

That – in conjunction with a few other doozies from the Universe – is most definitely a sign.

Do you believe in signs? Does the Universe speak to you?

Feel free to tell me a ‘signs from the Universe’ story in the comments. You know I’ll be replying because the Universe told me I have to be here every day in November. It’d be awesome to have something to do. 😉

 

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Motivation Monday {Silly Saves Me Edition}

It will come as a surprise to no one that I have been having a bit of trouble feeling motivated lately, but this morning I am feeling determined to be the one in control of my feelings – and some other stuff, too. Motivation has come home and, much like the prodigal son, I will embrace it and feed it and give it its old room back, and cherish it like never before in hopes that my appreciation for its return will have some big returns for me! Yay, motivation!This is how I operate apparently, so I had better learn to live with it*, right?I am not leaving this laptop without hitting publish. (Because motivation makes me make promises to myself and motivation also makes me keep those promises. Isn’t motivation rad, you guys?)This will be an extremely short post, but I feel like I am in a rip-the-band-aid-off sit’i’ation and I just have to hit publish. This will hurt me more than it will hurt you. Believe me.My point is, I have so much to say and so many ideas and they have just been stagnating, or being forgotten – because of course I won’t remember that great post idea if I don’t have a pen (mine!) and paper (also, mine!) to write it down in a way that will make sense to me at a later more convenient time! I am busy, distracted, worried for the world. Kids come with outside obligations that require my attention. I have to make dinner. I haven’t had coffee yet… You know? ALL the things that everyone faces pretty much every day and somehow manages to live with.Yeah. When the normal stuff of life gets in the way of happy-go-lucky  I am not – wait for it – happy-go-lucky! I do not like that.So I am fixing it little by little and right about now, just after I rip off this bandaid, I will have fixed it just a little bit more. Thank you for your patience and sense of humour. I am happy you stuck around.My tens of readers are actually extremely important to me. I appreciate you.So, while I work out the rest of my day, this week, this month, an editorial calendar that will bring me back here more often, and my entire life going forward**, I will leave you with this beautiful motivational quote.

You can tell it is inspirational*** because it is a nature photo and there are words on it.

That’s all it takes, right? 😉

How are you holding up? No really. I’m asking. How’s your motivation these days? I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do.

What do you do every day, week or month to keep your motivation revved up? What do you do to spark it if ever it drops?

You should know that Thing 2 just walked in my room *juuuust as I started that second sentence with pen (mine!) and paper (math test) saying, “Sign.”. I replied, “You’re interrupting me.” and explained further, “If you enter my room and see me very obviously trying to do something with this (points to face) look on my face, please do not make demands. Leave your things for now and I’ll sign them momentarily, but going forward this is not ok.”

So, I’d like my adulting sticker and a gold star, now, please and thank you.

**No pressure.

***Source: Deviant Art.****

****Full disclosure! Inspiration for this inspiration: A silly, yet completely honest, conversation on Saturday with a dear friend wherein I succinctly ahem nailed my annoyance with certain habits of certain online presences.

 

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

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!

Super Fly!

So one night early in November I was sitting here trying to write when I heard the unmistakable sound of a housefly buzzing agains a window.

You know that irritating buzzing and flicking sound?

I loathe that sound.

Anyway, I was here attempting to get a post written and published and the sound, for some reason, was more irritating than usual.

It was the first week of November. The Halloween jack o’lanterns were still on the patio and I had gone outside to turn off a little reusable candle that had been inside Thing 2’s pumpkin.

I got it into my mind that I must have let the fly in then and that it had to be a super icky kind of fly. Maybe the kind of fly that enjoys hanging out with decomposing gourds. The kind of fly the might have been Jeff Goldblum in another life.

Oh my gourd!

It was grossing me out.

You know how sometimes you can habituate a noise or a pest?

Yeah? Well I don’t because that flipping fly was going to drive me mad.

It was him or me.

It was being bold. At the very least it could not be allowed to stay in my bedroom. I’d never sleep. Yuck!

My poor husband was none the wiser (Poirot was on), but that damn fly was buzzing around him as he slept. I couldn’t let that happen. So I jumped up and quickly turned off the lamp on his bedside table.

Now my desk lamp was the only source of light (aside from the glow of the TV and my monitor) and you know what obnoxious flying insects love? They just can’t seem to get enough of light sources. Especially light sources with boxy shades so they can bounce off as many surfaces as possible and thusly gross out their unsuspecting human hosts.

I tried to shoo it away and do you know what that fly did? It flew right at my head!

Inside my head, my brain screamed, ” Oh no you didn’t!”

There was but one choice.

I needed hairspray.

Don’t tell me I’m the only one.

I can’t be the only one!

In the end I bested the demonic creature.

Then I laughed out loud because I am fairly certain that I must have looked at least a little bit like this.

We all have our straws.

What drives you a little bit (or a lot) crazy?

Source

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.

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!

Source

 

The More We Get Together The Happier We’ll Be

We are not at home this weekend, but we are together and that makes me …


We are spending our weekend in Moncton, NB to celebrate a birthday and since it is pretty chilly outside we are making an effort to thoroughly enjoy …


We made an effort to get out for a bit today and wound up at one of our favourite places – Chapters!

With a new Star Wars movie merely weeks away from being released into theatres, the merchandising is at its peak. Chapters has a tonne of fun new things for Star Wars fans – young and old – and a really cool selection of Star Wars themed books. There is even an adult colouring book! I mean really. How awesome is this?

Light Sabre Mandala Star Wars
We found what we wanted and needed. Then we bought what we needed and left the Millenium Falcon Bluetooth speaker and somehow bid the two foot tall talking Yoda adieu.

Daddy-O took our purchases to the car (along with Thing 1’s hoodie and my fleece jacket, because it was a thousand degrees in this particular Chapters today) and we went to find a spot where we could sit inside the very crowded Starbucks.

We walked to the back of the store to where Starbucks is located and we all agreed it was very strange to see the windows which used to gaze upon Crystal Palace – and a whole lot of natural light – completely blackened by the walls of the gigantic retailer that now occupies the space. That’s going to have to be fixed because holy darkness! It didn’t help that there were also a couple of lights out.

We found a table and asked our table neighbours if they could spare a chair. They were happy to oblige and we were very thankful. So we sat and waited for Daddy-O to return.

As soon as he was back we ordered two for one hot chocolates for the kiddos and two for one Praline Chesnut lattes for the parents. The hot chocolate was a hit as usual and we liked the lattes which we were trying for the first time. Yum!

This was supposed to be a coffee date. Just the adults. An hour or so alone with decadent Christmassy coffees. Solving the problems of the world. Making plans. Just the two of us.

You know what they say about plans …

Oh well.

After recent world events (that I definitely cannot solve alone) I could instantly think of about eighty-seven things worse than our date turning into a family affair.

One coffee was all I needed.


Two made it a date.


Four made it family fun.

Who am I to argue with that Math?

How was your Saturday?