Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award


Alex from Ma, What’s for Dinner made my day Friday when she informed me I was one of the bloggers she recently discovered and think – wait for it – I am fantastic.

Fantastic.

I am truly honoured I made Alex’s list.

So here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason.

1. Thank you again, Alex. I strive to be versatile so this award means a lot.

2. Seven things about myself…
• I am a mom to an almost 20-year-old stepdaughter and an almost two-year-old son. So I know all about how fast time flies.

• I survived a child in the preteen years and have almost made it through the teen years. I will take a teenager over a pre-teen any day.

• I have dreams of being a SAHM, however, reality forces me to get up every day and go to my job as a copy editor/web writer at a Toronto community newspaper chain.

• It has finally happened. I am officially old. I used to be the youngest person at the office and now I am one of the oldest. The music of my youth is now considered oldies. I haven’t been in school in 14 years.

• Blue and yellow are my favourite colours. I am slowly getting the blue and yellow house of my dreams.

• I have been married for five years, with my husband for 11, owning our current house together for nine.

• Baking bread, the smell of flour out of the freezer, fresh-cut grass and vanilla are smells I never tire of.

3. And the bloggers who I would like to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

http://mz-cellaneous.blogspot.com - From how to prevent sweaty boobs to her desire for a long-horned cow, this blogger always keeps me entertained.


www.honeyandjam.com
– This homeschooled girl takes fabulous pictures.

http://lady-mama.blogspot.com - If I wasn’t afraid of becoming a stalker, I would actually like to hang out at this British-Canadian woman’s house.

http://lindyandree.blogspot.com/
- Food, photos and fun wraps up this woman’s blog

http://me-myself-and-pie.blogspot.com
- I want to live near this blogger’s house so she can make me breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, particularly strawberry shortcake.

http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com - If I didn’t have to deal with tornadoes, I would also like to live near this blogger who bakes bread often. Bread. Yum. Besides, she has a countdown to Halloween on her blog. Bread and Halloween. Perfect.

http://rainforestmommy.blogspot.com
- This blogger lives in the rainforest with her precious boy and tons of animals. Her life seems quite exciting.

http://thekatherinewheel.blogspot.com
- I really like this blogger. Her writing always keeps me reading.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sue This


I heard on the radio this morning two families are suing a local hockey league for the physiological damages suffered by their 15-year-old boys when the teens were cut from their hockey teams.

I think the boys may suffer from more psychological damage when their friends and peers find out who they are and torment them not being able to handle being cut.

This ridiculous story – and I hope the judge slams the parents for wasting people’s time and money – is part of the problem with today’s kids.

Many of today’s youth have a sense of entitlement, a feeling they should get what they want when they want it without having to work for it.

It makes working with these people difficult and frustrating. It also makes for a tough reality when these children realize some people get what they want and others don’t, and their future isn’t as easy as they expected.

This story also angers me because these hockey parents have made it about them. Did it really cause their children psychological damage or are they embarrassed their sons couldn’t cut it?

If these parents don’t think their children can handle the emotional scarring of being cut from a team, then they should not sign their children up for anything that involves a skill whether that is sports, music, the arts or a job.

Case in point. When I worked a newspaper northeast of the city, I hosted contests. As a fan of Halloween, I hosted a writing contest, asking kids to pen a spooky Halloween story.

I awarded the winner and printed his story in the local newspaper. A parent, whose child did not win, called me and proceeded to yell at me, claiming her child’s story was better and deserved to win. She also went on to tell me the other child (please note, child) obviously plagiarized her piece.

Parents were also known to call the editor to ask if their child could work with us. The editor always politely told the women – note mothers – their children should make the phone call if they were actually interested in a job.

Parents, I understand we want to save our children from disappointment and heartache, however, life is not always a happy place. Sometimes it’s filled with disappointment.

Demanding our children never be cut from a team, always win a prize and get what they want creates an unrealistic world, and one where children haven’t been able to really live.

A Special Thank You
Alex from Ma, What's for Dinner awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award Friday. With the short deadlines because of Canada Day Thursday and this story, I haven't had a chance to properly thank her, which I will do tomorrow.

In the meantime, thank you, Alex, I am honoured.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome G8-G20ers


Hello protesters, business leaders and politicians from around the world.

Welcome to Canada and specifically to Huntsville and Toronto.

Make yourselves comfortable, but not too comfortable. We want you to have a good time and check out everything that makes Canada great, but please remember we do not want you to destroy our buildings, damage our homes and turn this country into a war zone.

Here in Canada, we welcome you to share your stories and demand change but we think you can make your point without being violent and destructive.

I thought our boss should give us today off because I traffic would be dreadful. It actually wasn’t too bad this morning, likely because anyone who could avoid working today took the day off.

I am not sure if it will mean the drive north will be awful as people who couldn’t leave yesterday will make the trek to their cottages tonight.

Let’s hope not.

While I don’t like being stuck in traffic coming to work, I really hate it when I am stuck in it driving home.

I am fortunate to not have to cover the summit for work and am extremely lucky not to live in downtown Toronto. However, a small part of me thinks it would be fun to be in the thick of it. If I lived downtown, I think I would park my car and watch the action unfold.

A special thank you

And a special thank you to designer Jo from Coconut Palm Designs. I was surprised to see my new header on my blog this morning.

It looks great. Thank you so much.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Earthquakes and Tornadoes


It was interesting weather in Southern Ontario yesterday.

At around 1:45 p.m. I was working on my article when I heard people saying the building was shaking. I then felt my legs moving.

One coworker decided we needed to leave the building.
Now.
So I grabbed my wallet and purse, unplugged my digital frame and headed outside.

People started receiving texts from loved ones saying they felt their buildings move.

The earthquake, the first I have experienced, hit Ottawa and was felt in Quebec and the northern States.

Last night, a tornado hit Midland, Ontario, about two hours north of my home.

I am terrified of tornadoes, likely dating back to being in girl guide camp when the 1985 tornado swept through Grand Valley and Barrie, killing a number of people.

A police officer came to our camp and told the leaders, my mom included, that a tornado was heading our way and we needed to leave.

In hindsight, that was likely the wrong way to handle the situation. Worse, we actually got into our car and drove home.

Since then, hot weather and thunder storms make me head straight for the computer to check out the Weather Network to see if we are under a tornado warning.

I also tend to spend a lot of time looking at the sky, checking out its colour and wondering if I should take the baby, and now the kitten, and hang out in the basement under the stairs.

With a hot, muggy summer predicted, there is more of a chance of severe weather.

It might be time to create an emergency kit and make the area under the stairs a more comfortable place to be.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Colours of My Dreams


For as long as I can remember, my favourite colours have been blue and yellow.

I have always loved the magazine Victoria and for years saved each copy I purchased so I could flip through its pages and dream of my perfect house.

At least once a year, the editorial staff would dedicate their issue to blue and my eyes would feast on the possibilities.

We have lived in our house by the lake for almost 10 years.

For the first eight years, the only room that was painted was my stepdaughter’s room, which eventually became our son’s room.

This year for Mother’s Day my husband gave me one of the best presents ever – he was going to paint our bedroom in the colour of my choice.

The pick was easy. I have been carrying around a paint chip for years and I simply had to pull it out of my wallet and give it to my husband.

The bedroom is lovely. I never tire of the colour.

My husband recently painted our living room, which holds my library, the same colour, and on the Saturday before Father’s Day painted our hallway muse, which is a yellow colour.

Slowly, my house is becoming a place of my dreams.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kitten Tales


Cosmo the growing kitten, bites.

I have been trying to stop it because kitten teeth hurt, however, the husband thinks it’s cute when Cosmo attacks him in play.

I don’t think it’s so cute when any flick of your hand, twitch of your face or nudge of your foot gets a running, jumping, attacking kitten on an unprotected body part.

I particularly don’t like it when I am attempting to sleep.

I do, however, enjoy the distraction of Cosmo.

If my son is fussy in the car or at home, I can usually just mention Cosmo’s name or ask where the kitty is and my son will stop what he is doing to chat about him or call his name.

It’s also great fun to watch them play, although perhaps not always for Cosmo.

This morning, my guy was throwing Cheerios at the kitten and the kitten was chasing them, batting them and eating them.

Cosmo may soon have a weight issue because we have also discovered he likes milk and cheese and if my guy has his way, anything he doesn’t want to eat, the kitten is more than welcome to enjoy.

My little guy also kisses Cosmo good night, good morning and goodbye, giving him a kiss on the nose and a wave.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nighttime Ride


Last night my husband and I went for a quick motorcycle ride after the baby was asleep.

For the record, his 19-year-old sister was at home listening for any sound from his bedroom.

I really haven’t been on the Harley since the summer before I was pregnant. My husband tells me he thinks of that summer often.

We went out almost every weekend and did several great trips. He figures my motorcycle riding days are done.

They aren’t done, they are postponed until after the boy decides hanging out with friends is more important than mom and dad or when mom and dad can leave the boy to hang out by himself for a couple of hours.

Or when mom is able to leave baby in the capable hands of the Nana and Papa or for the weekend. Sadly, for Nana and Papa at least, I am not there yet.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ah! The Life of a Bug


I am not sure if it’s because we live across the street from Lake Simcoe or if we live in the country, but there are no shortage of bugs at our house – mosquitoes, shadflies in June, spiders and these little annoying, but non-biting bugs that fly into your mouth and nose as you walk or bike

And then there is another type of bug.

They are small and I believe their life cycle must be short because how else can you explain the piles of dead bugs that weren’t there at night, but cover every surface come morning.

I am sure there is a purpose to these bugs but I am not sure what it would be.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beautiful Library


Christina from Write-Brained mentioned in a recent post about her desire to have a library to showcase her books.

My dream was to have a Disney’s Beauty and the Beast library.

The library in that Disney classic was two stories with shelves and shelves of books and a ladder that slid the perimeter of the room so you could get to those classics on the upper shelves.

I don’t have a ladder, but I do have a library designed by me and built by my talented husband.

To clarify, I found a picture of a library I wanted and my husband did the rest.

The end result is a library that covers the entire wall of our living room with shelves and shelves of my favourite books, knick-knacks and picture frames, and cupboards that hold scrapbooking and craft materials, my son’s toys, cookbooks, vases and gadgets.

There are three beautiful glass shelves and pot lighting to accent some of my favourite things – Classic Pooh book ends that are keeping my Lucy Maud Montgomery books together; my Lisa collectable doll, figurines and tins; flowers from the party after our Caribbean wedding.

Originally, some of the shelves held my Disney VHS collection and other DVDs. But when we moved the TV downstairs, it made sense the movies should follow.

I also wanted to bring out and display my journals.

So my husband moved a few shelves and I recently reorganized the library’s contents. I now find myself sitting on the couch and staring at I my beautiful library, my wonderful books, my good-looking family and my precious ‘stuff.’




Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What? Are We In the Fifth Grade?


We were at the beach recently. Despite the cold water temperature, the beach, a grass area, was packed with people enjoying the heat and the beginning of the outdoor season.

My enjoyment, however, was peppered with frustration. There was a family beside me who was talking amongst themselves but at a level loud enough I could hear every word.

And every other word was the F word.

I peaked over and surprisingly, the people were old enough to know better. There were a couple of non-swearing teenagers, but the rest were in their 40s to 70s, using the F word like my son would say ‘again.’

Why?

Why is there a need to swear so much? Do people think it’s cool? Are they trying to impress their friends? Are they trying to return to their youth?

By swearing too much, the words lose meaning.

When people who talk like normal, civilized people issue a swear word, the word actually means something, it has impact.

When people use a swear word several times in one sentence, it upsets me. I get angry and frustrated. I am no longer in the fifth grade. Do we need to talk like that?

Monday, June 14, 2010

She Was Right

My longtime friend, Mundanemomma, told me once my son started walking, he would be bruised and scratched for quite some time.

She was right.

My son was a late walker; only within the last few weeks would I say he is walking – and falling.

I picked him up from daycare last week with a giant bruise on his cheek. He had slipped on a toy and hit the toy box.

On Saturday, he bumped his head on the table and there is a small bruise there. On Sunday, the other side of his head was bruised and scratched, with a few scratches on his nose, when he fell and hit the pavement on the neighbour’s driveway.

This morning I noticed he has a bruise on his chin, a bug bite above the scratches on his forehead and other bite on his eye.

Poor guy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Bits


No response yet
I emailed Air Canada my blog posting and other than a form email saying they received it and I don’t have to write again, I have not yet heard a response.

However, I also haven’t heard the commercial that tells me Air Canada only cares about those who travel first class on the radio again.

Apparently, Air Canada speaks the truth in that commercial as noted by Alex from Ma What’s For dinner, who said she did feel like a star. It does makes me feel better that someone is being treated fairly and kindly by an airline.


Payback’s a…
Cosmo the kitten found a new play-toy – my son’s feet as he bounces them as he nurses. Payback likely wasn’t that great. My son scooped up Cosmo as he was eating and I have a fantastic picture of baby holding dangling kitty. Too cute.

Family dance party at work
My coworker started singing ‘Everyone dance now,’ and that phrase is now stuck in my head, running over and over as I don’t know any other words.

Self-promotion

I don’t usually tie my work life into my personal one, but I wrote an article on sustainable fishing and I am quite proud of it: http://tinyurl.com/22o7q43

I think everyone should read it and learn how you can help save our oceans from overfishing.

Self-promotion 2:
My second article, which I think will also be fantastic although not as depressing, has been delayed for going on two weeks now. My second source is a busy woman and keeps cancelling. She ensures me it will be today so that article should be up soon and I will offer more self-promotion.

Good-day Friday
I stayed late Tuesday, which means I can leave early Friday to start what will be a great weekend.

My cousins and brother and family are coming over Sunday so it will be a party at the Day house. Three kids under five, crazy girls (boys, except baby, will be out of the house) and a kitten. Can it get better than that?

Happy weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Introducing…


I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family – Cosmo.

After much consideration, we adopted this little guy from our local shelter.

He is two months old, was bottle fed by his foster family and loves to cuddle, play, chase your toes – and anything else that moves – attack diaper bums, lick and purr.

My little guy calls him Kitty and scratches and pats the floor to get Cosmo’s attention. My guy attempts to pick Cosmo up and almost squished him when he lost his balance.

Cosmo, as my husband told him, has big shoes to fill. We put our Sylvester down in August 2009.

Sylvester, who we still miss, was a wonderful pet. I think he would be happy with my son has a new furry brother.




video

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Questions, Questions, Questions


Is it too early to eat lunch? It’s 11:15 a.m. and I am starving. Sadly, my lunch consists of crackers, which I have already eaten, a salad and an apple. I think I am going to be hungry after I eat lunch.

Is it just me or do all women wait until they are simply going to pee their pants before they actually get up from their desks and go to the washrooms? I always wait too long and then I am practically dancing to the bathroom. I am at that point now. One minute please …..

….Isn’t 3:30 a.m. a great time to get up? My son seemed to think so this morning when he played with Spider-Man, begged to watch TV and ran down the hall laughing and falling. I know Rainforest Mommy can relate.

Isn’t Murphy’s Law a pain? I finished my newspaper in record time today and a late-breaking story came in and now I am not only going to miss my deadline, but I am going to have to redo at least two pages.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Well…That Is Interesting


I heard a commercial on the radio today for Air Canada’s business class flights to L.A.
For the first time, I am angry enough to write to a company to complain about the content of its commercial.

The commercial talked about how business people flying to L.A. are Air Canada’s top priority, how all their needs are met before they are even uttered and how the airline thinks these people are the stars.

I understand this commercial was aired on a radio station that targets a certain demographic, however, not everyone who listens to it flies business class, but most people do fly Air Canada.

So if Air Canada only loves those who fly business and treat them with the respect, how about everyone else?

I understand money makes the world go round but everyone who flies Air Canada should be offered the same service and the same respect.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Just Don’t Get It


The G20 summit, where leaders from 20 developed countries talk about various issues, is coming to Toronto June 26 and 27.

As the date looms closer, there are daily news stories about security; inconveniences to business owners, Torontonians and tourists leading up to and including the summit weekend; and the potential for violence and destruction.

It is the violence and destruction by those protesting the G20 that I don’t get.
Can someone tell me how holding a city and its people hostage, destroying businesses and attacking those with money help your cause?

A coworker wrote a story about the Toronto Community Mobilization Network (TCMN), a group of activists fighting for equality for women, the disabled, the queer community, Aboriginal Peoples, migrants, workers, Arabs and other groups. The TCMN hosted a news conference in May detailing their plans for protesting the summit.

According to the story, the group said the G20, as well as the G8, which is taking place north of the city prior the Toronto weekend event, does nothing to help the margalized.

It’s likely a valid point. The G8 and G20 events may not do anything to help those who need help the most.

But is this group, which can’t promise it won’t be violent in its protests of the summits, helping their causes by hurting the very people who can help?

It’s not governments that help people, it’s people – it’s Bay Street bankers who host large-scale charity events to help the United Way; it’s business owners who donate their time and services to raise money to help earthquake-ravished Haiti or war-torn Sudan; it’s downtown residents who participate in Out of The Cold programs to help the homeless; and it’s every day Torontonians, Ontarians and Canadians who believe that everyone has a right for happiness and equality.

Perhaps G8 and G20 protestors should remember that before they destroy the city and hurt the people who actually help anyone in need.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday Thoughts



Yugh traffic
Traffic has been crazy these last few weeks.

Around the time college and university students were saying farewell to another school year, traffic was fantastic – I barely touched the brake the whole way down the highway.

Then a few weeks ago, traffic became worse then it has been since my return to the daily commute. It stops and rarely picks up again.

The great news is there is only one month until the summer travel season.

Great weather

Southern Ontario weather has been fantastic recently – hot and sunny. I spoke to someone from Greenpeace in Vancouver, British Columbia, and she said the west coast city’s weather has been horrific – rain, rain and then rain again.

But rain, I suppose, is better than snow, which is what relatives in Calgary woke up to last week. Hee, hee.

Saving the world

I am feeling the need to do more for the world, which of course can only help us as individuals. I am in the process of doing interviews for a couple of stories, which I am really proud of.

I don’t often link my personal blog to my work site, but I do think I will make an exception for these two stories, which I hope offers people ways they can also help this world.

Homeless pets
I think I want to start volunteering with my son. I think we are going to play with the cats and walk the dogs at our local animal shelter.

SickKids Hospital
I also really want to do something for the Hospital for Sick Children. Longtime blog readers will know this downtown Toronto facility, which is world-renowned, literally saved my son’s life when he was one month old.

I read a lot of blogs written by Americans and it always breaks my heart, and makes me so thankful to be Canadian, to read about sick children and their families, who, instead of only having to be concerned about getting the best treatment for their loved ones, have to worry about raising money to pay for treatment.

Everyone at SickKids do so much, not only for Canadian children, but children around the world.

Ideas anyone?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Children’s Book Recommendations


I am so pleased my son likes to ‘read’ and be read to.

We have been lucky, or I guess I should say I have been lucky, in finding books I don’t mind reading over and over until I have memorized them and I can recite them in the car while driving.

My son is now 19 months and for the most part he has enjoyed these books since he was a baby.

Bear’s Day Out by Michael Rosen. Rosen has another book, Going on a Bear Hunt, that my little guy is just getting into but my son still prefers the story of the bear who takes a trip to the city by train.

Duck and Goose by Tad Hills. Auntie L. and family gave my son these two books. One is a book of opposites – clean and dirty, heavy and light, slow and fast – and the other is a book of emotions. He likes both, although I believe the book of opposites is his favourite and my guy laughs hysterically when I shout ‘loud’ and whisper ‘quiet.’

Maisy’s Fire Engine by Lucy Cousins. We have read many of the Maisy books about a white mouse, but this seems to be our favourite. My little guy can point out the little black cat on every page and help make the water go ‘swish.’

The Ears Book. This is part of the Dr. Seuss board book series. My little one claps his hands, snaps his fingers and taps his toes at the right time. After that part of the book is done, he usually closes it up and goes to another book.

Bunny’s Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown. This wasn’t a hit until I stopped trying to read the actually story, which is long, and make up my own based on the pictures. It’s absolutely adorable to watch my son as he repeats the actions of bunny – eating, stretching, yawning, sneezing, scratching and tapping his feet. Wise Brown is famous for her Good Night Moon book and my son is just starting to enjoy it.

Priddy books. This publishing company out of New York creates a lot of touch-and-feel books, which have always been a hit. We also have their My Little Word Book. At first I thought I would never read this book but my guy loves it. He loves pointing to all of the pictures so I can tell him what we are looking at. He particularly likes pointing to body parts, attempting to eat the cookies on the food and drink page and looking at the TV and computer. Sigh.

I am putting Sandra Boynton's books in here. While my son seems to enjoy Pajama Time and Barnyard Bath (the bathtub version of Barnyard Dance), it's me who picks out these stories when it's my turn to pick a book. These books make me laugh. Pajama Time and Birthday Monsters make me laugh. Snuggle Puppy and the Belly Button book are some of my friend's favourite, but we don't think they are as goods as some of her others.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Morning Writings

I have so much to do at work but I am not sure where to start.

But I know when to start. And there lies part of my problem.

I am a morning person. While I do believe 5 a.m., the time my alarm goes off each morning, is too early, I do love the mornings, any time after 6 a.m.

I get into work at about 7:30 a.m.

If I can begin writing at that time, all is well with the world. If I have to do other things first, I find it’s hard to then sit down and get organized enough to write.
So I may not do any writing today.

I will instead attempt to organize my desk, read through my notes, edit some copy, lay out some pages and gather recipes for upcoming online features.
There is no shortage of work this week. I am a happy lady.