Monday, January 31, 2011

Thank You! American neighbours

Wednesday, my parts of the world are expecting a major snowstorm.

According to news reports, we can thank our American neighbours, particularly Texas, for this latest snowstorm.

So thank you, neighbours, for the likely really crappy commute Wednesday morning.

But on a non-sarcastic note, if the snowstorm pushes out this incredibly cold weather, I really do thank you. I will take a three-hour one-way commute over this bitter cold any day.

Thank you, SITS
Thank you SITS for featuring me Friday and thank you to everyone who popped by. I have responded via email to everyone who commented and plan to visit each of your blogs soon.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Friday (almost) and My SITS Day

I didn't think this day would ever arrive but here it is - my SITS day.

(OK, technically I posted on Thursday but I can't find the instructions about delay publishing my friend Joanne, once provided. I didn't want to miss any of you so I am posting before going to bed. My apologies to Thursday's Featured Blogger.)

I discovered SITS (the Secret to Success is Support) about a year ago when perusing Tales From the Bum Bum Patch. I wondered how my coworker had so many followers despite us starting our blogs at the same time.

I kept noticing 'Stopping by from SITS' in her comments and also noticed SITS' nifty badge. One click later and I learned part of the secret to her success.

In addition to gaining followers and getting some great feedback on my blog, SITS allowed me to find some fantastic gems, bloggers I truly miss when I am not reading their posts.

Here is a little about me: I am a copy editor at a community newspaper chain in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition, I am the online features editor, which gives me the freedom to write and assign anything I like. It's a beautiful thing.

But my real job, one that I would love to do full time, is being a mom to our little miracle. Our son turned two in October and the most you'll see of him is this:

Or this:

Or this:

I have written too many articles about cyber crime to put my little guy's face or any other information online, which makes me a hypocrite seeing as I love reading about other people's children and looking at their photos.

I am also mom to our kitten, Cosmo, who has become a friend and enemy to our little guy, and a stepmom to AD, who is now 20.

My blog was created as a way to make money so I could stay home with our little guy but I soon realized this was a naive dream and one that I gave up quite quickly. Now it's a creative outlet to offer my opinion on This, That and The Other Thing.

Looking through my almost two-years of blogging history, it's hard to pick three favourites, so I cheated and am offering you three favourites - or at least ones that received the most comments - in various sub-categories. And feel free to poke around my blog. I look forward to hearing what you have to say and finding more gems among you.


This, That and The Other Thing

Commentary on the News

Early blogs



You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

I received a parking ticket Sunday morning.

This is not the first one I have received. I used to get them when I lived with my boyfriend (now husband) at his home in Pickering, Ontario.

There were not enough driveway spaces so someone had to park on the road and that person often got a ticket.

I got a ticket in the City of Toronto once. That made me really angry.

This ticket has made me equally angry. Almost a week later and I am still steaming about it.

Last weekend, the babe and I stayed over at my parents’ house in a small town in the Town of Caledon. My parents have lived at this address for more than 30 years. It’s a dead-end street with seven houses on it, including my parents’.

Saturday night I parked where I always park, backed into the end of the street. I went to move my car early Sunday morning because the plow (and not a town plow but a truck with a plow on it) was clearing the couple inches of snow that had fallen over night.

And it was then I discovered the yellow ticket sitting on my dash. The time of issue –about 3 a.m.

Apparently, you are not allowed to park on Town of Caledon streets from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. I did not know this.

I can pay the $30 tax grab within seven days of issue, which assumes I am guilty. Or I can set a court date, spend more than three hours commuting, wasting a day of vacation time and losing a day with my guy to fight the ticket.

I will pay this ticket Town of Caledon, but I am not happy about it.

If I was parked on a main street or in a subdivision clogged with cars, then perhaps I deserved a ticket. But I parked on what could be considered a private road in a spot I have been using for 20 years at a time when no one is around.

Maybe the money used to hire overnight staff can instead be used to place no parking signs at the entrances to the towns and on all roadways.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Do You Explain?

Last week, Toronto police Sgt. Ryan Russell was killed while in the line of duty.

Everyone’s death makes me sad as I think about the loss of life and hope the person who died did so instantly, without suffering or the realization that death was coming.

And then I feel awful for the person’s family. And in the case of Russell, my sadness extends particularly to his wife and their two-year-old son.

According to media reports, the little boy turned to his mother at his father’s funeral and asked ‘Where is Daddy?’

What do you say to a two-year-old about that? Does a child at that age know what death means? How can you ensure he knows Daddy didn’t leave him on purpose, that what his Daddy wanted to do most was come home, scoop up his little guy and hold him tightly? How can you make a little boy who is missing his Daddy understand his Daddy loves him and he wasn’t abandoned.

I have found since becoming a mom myself that I feel this type of pain more acutely.

My condolences to the Russell family

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Tummy Hurting Solution

My guy has a cure for a tummy ache.

For the last two days my two-year-old has said to me, “Mommy, tummy hurt” (and hurt is said with a British accent, which is quite amusing considering we aren’t British).

“Want cookie.”

So apparently the cure for an aching tummy is to eat cookies.
Sound like a fantastic idea.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It’s Friday

It’s Friday.
Do the Happy Dance.
An Alberta Clipper is coming through Saturday, which means snow.

Do the Sad Dance. I was supposed to visit a childhood friend Saturday but if we are getting snow, they are getting a ton of it.
Maybe we can go Sunday instead.

Do the Happy Dance because it means my guy and I can hang out for a day without rushing around in the morning.
Happy Weekend, everyone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate Anyone?

I consider myself a hot chocolate connoisseur.

I suppose I have to be, as I don’t drink much of any thing else – hot or cold.

However, unlike coffee drinkers, I seldom go out for hot chocolate because it annoys me to pay more than $3 for a small hot chocolate when it costs pennies to make.

In my richer days, I would treat myself to a hot chocolate now and then and here our my recommendations:

Both Second Cup and Timothy’s make a great cup of hot chocolate, sweet but not bitter. Timothy’s makes good varieties as well. Mint and raspberry are my favourites.

I dislike both Starbucks and Tim Hortons, which are similar in taste. Both are too bitter for my liking and the Tim Hortons' variety isn’t made with milk.

I don’t understand making hot chocolate without milk.

Without milk, you are having a beverage without any nutritional value. And with milk, the drink is richer and more delicious.

As far as hot chocolate mixes go, my mom made one with cocoa and milk powder that was pretty good.

I also enjoy Tim Hortons and Timothy’s but my favourite has to Carnation milk chocolate. It has the best taste and is not lumpy because while I enjoy hot chocolate, I don’t enjoy hot chocolate chunks.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Hate the City Of Toronto’s Snow Policy

I left my house before 6 a.m. and more than two hours later, I made it to work – really angry.

The drive down to and on the highway was as expected – slow but moving, with drivers packing their patience and leaving lots of room between cars.

It was as I turned off the highway and onto a six-lane road that I began to curse.


The City of Toronto has a snow policy that won’t have it plowing its expressways until 2.5 cm of snow has fallen; five cm must fall for its main roads to be plowed; and eight or more cm must come down for the city’s side roads are plowed, but in this case removal doesn’t start until the snow has stopped.

I hope each person who gets in an accident in the City of Toronto because the city thinks it’s not its job to plow streets until these magic numbers are reached should sue.

Whenever it snows, that six-lane road is not even track-bare, cars are spinning and it’s hard to break through the snow to turn onto even worse ‘side’ roads.

I don’t think I should have to purchase a truck with four-wheel drive to navigate City of Toronto streets when it decides to snow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Chocolate Record?

My husband bought me a one kilogram Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar for Christmas this year.

In less than two weeks, we have eaten that chocolate.

Am I embarrassed? No. Could I eat more? Oh yes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Use for A Potty

My guy is not interested in the potty. He has had a potty that goes on the toilet for more than a year now. He sat on it once in a while, but recently he seems a little fearful of it, backing away and refusing to go near it.

At Christmas, my little one received Cailou DVDs and books, one of which showed Cailou using a freestanding potty. Since then, E has asked me for a ‘potty like Cailou’s.’

I was really hoping to avoid the potty like Cailou’s as I think it will send my weak stomach over the edge.

However, for the ease of toilet training I thought I would buy a potty like Cailou’s with the added bonus of my guy being able to go when the urge strikes.

He understands what to use it for. ‘Baby Goshua’, my Cabbage Patch Kid, pees and poops on the potty all day long, and E even knows you take the bowl out, run it to the bathroom, dump it and flush the toilet.

However, he isn’t interested in using it himself.

Instead, there are other ways to feel you got your money’s worth from a potty:

Friday, January 7, 2011

What’s In Your Purse or Better, Your Grocery Cart?

Many bloggers recently have emptied their purses and shared its contents with others.

I find it interesting to see what woman carry in their purse, but what I find even more fascinating is what is in stranger’s grocery carts.

For the most part I only peer inside people’s carts while waiting in the checkout. I am ashamed to admit it, but do pass judgment on carts filled with processed foods and white bread.

And I can’t help but comment under my breath when people buy ridiculous snacks/meals for their children.

It usually sounds like this: ‘Don’t buy that crap for your kids.’

People please, I beg of you, don’t buy Lunchables for your children. Have your read the nutritional label on these things? They are full of salt and fat.

Make your own. Low-fat whole wheat crackers are better full-fat, no-nutrition white cracker.

Lunchables make me shutter as does juice cocktail (code: not juice) and other sugared drinks and single-serving oatmeal with cookies and other treats inside.

I like looking in people’s carts, seeing something I would never buy and getting information about it. I learned about lychee nuts after seeing the fellow shopper put them in her cart and I have been stopped on many occasion to ask about the variety of produce that finds its way into mine.

So let’s start a new blog trend. What’s in your grocery cart or equally as exciting, what’s in your fridge?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy 2011

Happy New Year, everyone.

I had a fantastic vacation and came back to a busy Tuesday and Wednesday. I am saddened Christmas is over for another year and even more saddened there isn’t a week of holidays to look forward to until the summer.

However, I had a fantastic holiday that included lots of visiting, lots of playing and lots of hanging out with my little guy, who loved his Cailou DVDs and books, which I have read enough that I have memorized most of them.

Yesterday, was the first day he actually played with his Cailou doll; he seemed more interested in ‘Baby Goshua,’ or Joshua as the Cabbage Patch doll is known to those who watched me play with him for years.

This, That and The Other Thing Resolutions

At some point last year, although I can’t find that posting for whatever reason, I believe a SITS guest asked bloggers to state their New Year’s resolutions for their blog.

I had, at that point, given up the naïve hope of making money from my blog and commented I hoped to have more followers and more comments.

I have done well in that regard.

Do I have a goal for my blog this year?

I have discovered I am a comment junkie. I love when people comment – good or bad – on my blog. I am interested to read people’s reaction to what I write.

My goal this year is to continue to write interesting posts that have people popping by to read what I think and hopefully comment on them.

I currently follow dozens of blogs and I hope to be able to read – and comment on them – often. And I hope to discover more gems.

Happy New Year, everyone.