Maybe it’s just me.
I am so happy today is Friday.
This week has been so weird. I didn’t know what day it was, we had some crazy windy and rainy weather, and I was working really hard on being healthier and more productive.
I was halfway through Thursday when it was brought to my attention that it was, in fact, Wednesday. Blarg. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? That set off a whole well-if-today-isn’t-Thursday-then-that-means-tomorrow-isn’t-Friday general malaise and it went downhill from there.
The upside of the confusion was that I gained a whole day. The downside, obviously, is the exact same thing.
All in all, it was a good week. It was 14 degrees Celsius on the Thursday that was really Wednesday. In February. In Canada! It also rained an insane amount overnight Wednesday into Thursday with high winds and it was a hard wake up for early band. We made it, mind you.
The rainy day was dreamy in a way though and after work and school when we’d all normally be doing typical after work and school stuff – like making dinner – we all fell asleep! That hasn’t happened in a very long time. I guess we needed a little rest. It was kind of nice, actually. I am a terrible napper, so it was nice to snuggle with Thing 2 on the couch for a little while. The fact that I zonked out and actually slept was awesome. Then I made dinner while everyone else snoozed.
Before Friday becomes Saturday (I have had enough of days becoming other days for one week!), I give you five fun facts for Friday.
It sometimes feels like no one cares in this world, but we can’t let that be the norm. We really have to seek out as much good as possible. It sure is nice when the good is present during stressful times. I really appreciate kindness.
*Also known as Leaplings. How cute is that?
**That’s Family Day to some of you. The February, Monday holiday. In Nova Scotia this year it was Joseph Howe Day.
How are you?
Love you lots!
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.
In the grand scheme of things it’s not.
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!
Thanks for reading and sharing and engaging. You are all my favourite!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
I am definitely making this side dish next year.
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.
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.
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?
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?
It’s 11: 44 and I have to hit publish by 11:59.
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.)
It is Remembrance Day in Canada and I have already observed my 2 minutes of silence, as I do every year – twice actually – here in Bedford, Nova Scotia and again with my Ottawa, Ontario observers just a little while ago.
It is a really important observation, this silence. We remember. We stop – for a scant two minutes – to show respect for fallen soldiers, for wars long since ended, for living veterans.
Two minutes is very nearly no time at all. Yet for some, apparently, it is a torturous two minutes of wasting their time. Can you imagine? Someone who has absolutely no clue what actual torturous things are, complaining about having to be still for 2 teeny tiny minutes? Unreal!
So what would you do when faced with such a person?
This is what singer/songwriter Terry Kelly did.
He carved in stone an experience from his life where this exact situation occurred.
Isn’t this brilliant?
I love when a person takes a negative situation and not only finds a way to turn it into a positive, but goes a step further and creates a beautiful thing that can at once tell us what happened and remind us to never be that person or allow that situation to happen again.
From Terry Kelly’s YouTube Channel:
“On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a drug store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the stores PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.
Terry was impressed with the stores leadership role in adopting the Legions two minutes of silence initiative. He felt that the stores contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.
When eleven o’clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the two minutes of silence to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.
Terry’s anger towards the father for trying to engage the stores clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, A Pittance of Time. Terry later recorded A Pittance of Time and included it on his full-length music CD, The Power of the Dream.
Thank You to the Royal Canadian Legion Todmorden Branch #10 and Woodbine Height Branch #2 for their participation in the Video.”
Isn’t that awesome?
I think so.
Even though I have heard Terry Kelly songs for most of my life (He’s an Atlantic Canadian, too!) I hadn’t heard this song or the story behind it until a Remembrance Day Ceremony at my son’s school in Ottawa. (I appreciate the irony of this.) Since then, though, it has become one of my favourite ways to commemorate the importance of those two minutes.
We also wear our poppies, of course.
Since Remembrance Day in Nova Scotia is a day off school and work (so that people can observe and take part in special ceremonies all over the province), schools usually have a special observation a day or two before November 11th.
Thing 2’s school had a Remembrance day ceremony on Monday and she was excited to get to sing a beautiful song*** with her classmates. She wore a red dress and had her poppy on. The ceremony, which was scheduled for 9 a.m., was mainly for the students and a few guests. I was happy to hear that Geoff Regan attended. It’s nice when politicians keep their feet firmly planted**** in their communities. She reported that the 2 minutes of silence were successful – except for some cute Grade Primaries who felt compelled to clap for their Music Teacher’s rendition of The Last Post on his sax – once settled though, the silence was observed well.
Thing 1 also took part in his school’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Tuesday. He told me (without my asking) when he walked through the door after school, still in Band Concert dress – complete with poppy – that their 2 minutes was the best yet. He said it was eerily silent and that you couldn’t even hear people breathing or shuffling in their seats. Not a single cleared throat, cough or sneeze broke the silence. He seemed particularly pleased, actually.
My kids get it.
I am so thankful.
We Shall Keep The Faith
Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew;
We caught the torch you threw,
And holding high we kept
The faith with those who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ Fields.
And now the torch and Poppy red,
Wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught:
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders’ Fields.
– Moina Michael
With that I will leave you for today.
How do you observe Remembrance Day?
**Please visit http://www.terry-kelly.com.
**When she came home all excited a month ago to tell me they were singing I cried. Not just because she’s adorable and because the song was beautiful, but because I know the songwriter! She is amazing! *tears This could be a whole post on its own.
****I believe this to be true of Mr. Regan because he has been present at so many community and school events. Why, just last spring I was slinging BBQed sausages and hotdogs with him at Thing 2’s former school Spring Fair.
Behold, the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Moon!
Oh? That’s not what it’s called?
Well it should have been!
My photos – hard earned, mind you – don’t even come close to doing this situation justice.
If you could know how long it took to get one half-decent photo, you would laugh. Or cry.
I nearly did.
Mostly because of the beauty of the night, though.
Did you go chasing after the perfect shot of the amazing Super Blood Moon in September? How did your photos turn out?
Why is it that our eyes can see it so clearly and so gigantic and yet when we look through the lens of a camera it is suddenly puny and not at all the image we are trying to convey?
Do you know?
It is all an illusion. Isn’t that amazing?
Our brains want everything to be awesome! Logic doesn’t always provide what we want.
Here is an explanation of why we can’t capture the Moon unless we have very fancy photography equipment.
Oh well. Even though I know it is an illusion, I am sure when the next Super Moon event rolls around, I’ll be excitedly rounding up the Things, checking the moonrise times, charging my iPhone, grabbing my camera, and trying yet again to capture the moon.
Maybe it’s the romantic notion that I can get something really special if the conditions are just right. Maybe it’s all my exposure to George Bailey and his promises of lassoing the moon. Maybe, every now and then, I simply must give in to my childlike wonder of celestial things. Maybe the (somewhat futile) exercise of photographing the moon is about more than the final product.
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps …
Oh, science! You may be right. I may be crazy, but (as Billy Joel sang) it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.
Did you know you can cut an apple almost all the way through, pop out the core, let the flower petals fall open, then add a dollop of peanut butter and a few mini chocolate chips, to make a delicious and nutritious sunflower?
Isn’t that fun? It is a favourite around here, especially in Fall, when the Nova Scotian apples are at their absolute best. Delicious!
You can use what you like best, of course, but I tend to use a Golden Delicious Apple, Natural Peanut Butter*, and gluten free mini chocolate chips. You only need a few chocolate chips. They are chocolate chips! They seem to have a magical power over kids. If they find 2 in a mini muffin they’re thrilled, so I just go with what I have worked so hard to achieve. Happiness!
So, what do you think? Do you think your kids would like to try a Sweet Sunflower Snack?
I am willing to bet they would.
What is your favourite snack food? Do your kids have special snacks after school?
Let’s talk about it!
If you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.
Oh, just one more thing! I nearly forgot!!
It’s a teeny tiny Thing 2 enjoying a Sweet Sunflower Snack a few years ago! Aww!
This small Corelle bowl might be the ideal serving dish for this snack. Notice how it helps the apple slices keep the flower shape, while containing the Peanut Butter? That’s better than the larger plate for presentation. (Though the larger plate was best for an after school snack with extra Things!) I also like the mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate chips here. It seems more flower-like, to me.
*Of course, if you have a peanut allergy you can use another nut butter or a soy butter in its place. Still yummy!