Friday, December 25, 2009

Here's wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!
Amongst all of the hustle and bustle, I hope you've remembered to stop and think of the real reason for the season. Hope it's a good one, filled with love and peace.
Myrna

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top 10 Everything!

I really am a sucker for lists.

So, I thoroughly enjoyed going through THIS LIST at Time Magazine online.

My personal favourites for 2009?

The top 10 New Species
The top 10 Children's Books
The top 10 Pictures

Friday, December 18, 2009

20-odd Things about My Christmas!

There's another of those Christmas question/answer thingies going around. I saw it at http://www.newfie-girl.blogspot.com/. So, I figured I'd join in the "fun"...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I can't say that I've ever tried egg nog. I'm sorry, but the idea of anything relating to eggs in a DRINK, just kinda grosses me out! Hot chocolate, on the other hand, is everything good in a mug. My favourite? Second Cup's with whip cream on top OR, at home, I use Carnation Rich made with milk...yum!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? My goodness, of course they are wrapped! The only time I've ever seen presents left unwrapped under the tree is AFTER Christmas morning.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Our house has red and white lights outside. And our tree has coloured lights. I really love white lights, I think they look very elegant especially on a tree trimmed in metallics, but I don't want to buy a new set when mine are still perfectly fine.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. We used to do that at my old work...got fairly interesting on times. And not always good interesting either!

5. When do you put your decorations up? I love Christmas decorations and think they look absolutely gorgeous but I'm terrible at putting them up around our house. We cut our REAL (for all you fakers out there!) tree just a couple of days ago. It's up with lights on but that's just about it right now. Everything else is still sitting in bins cluttering the hallway. Can someone come and decorate for me?

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish? My husband makes the most delicious potato cakes with our turkey dinner - those are definitely my fav!! And I'm all for the desserts after dinner, of course!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? At the time, it wasn't a favourite at all! My parents would always make us wait...ugh!... in extreme suspense on Christmas morning to open our presents. We would wake up super excited and they would tell us to stay in our rooms until dad had lit the fire, until mom got her housecoat on and turned the lights on the tree, until my little brother was awakened, until we read the Christmas story from the bible, until we said a prayer of thanks for all our wonderful gifts...and then we could rip into our presents! Which, by that point, we literally did! It seemed like torture at the time but now, I know they did it to make everything that much more exciting and to try and bring some focus on the true meaning of the day.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was just a little girl, about 6 or 7, I'd say, and I had my suspicions about the role my parents played as Santa. My sister and I still shared a bedroom at the time and we were awake and giggling on Christmas Eve after we were supposed to be sleeping. And I decided to sneak out of the room to investigate the noise coming from the living room. And there were my PARENTS...gasp! stacking gifts under the tree. They saw me and drove me back to bed, my suspicions confirmed.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Jamie's family always had that tradition but not mine. And because Jamie is such a huge kid when it comes to getting presents, I absolutely refuse to accept the tradition. I much prefer the joy of making him wait in agony (must have learned something from my parents about that).
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I wouldn't say that I hate it, per se. However, I much prefer the warmth of summer. Or, the warmth of inside on a snowed-in day. If it were up to me, we would have beautiful snow falling on Christmas Eve and by boxing day, it would be all gone again.
12. Can you ice skate? As a kid, we used to skate on the bay when it froze over. No joke! Those were the days! And there I go aging myself again! After the arrival of our arena, skating kinda lost its charm. We went every year for a family skate and our school booked skating for a couple of gym classes too. And I have to say I was pretty darn good. I could never skate on figures, like a lady, but preferred "hockey" skates, skidding to a stop, ice spraying everywhere, like a boy. However, the last time I skated, many years ago, with my friend Vicki, I could barely stand up anymore, and spent most of my time crashing into the boards. They said it was like riding a bike...they lied!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I was a very fortunate child and got lots of fabulous gifts for Christmas. My most memorable was probably the year I got a plane ticket to fly to Ontario. I was 17, my sister (only 22 herself) had just left her husband and couldn't get off work to come home. So I asked my parents for a plane ticket to spend the holidays with her. I didn't get many presents otherwise but I'll never forget waking up Christmas morning, just my sister and I, sitting cross-legged by the tree in the tiny living room of her basement apartment, and opening our gifts together. That was a truly wonderful Christmas for me.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? With a family of my own now, I realize so much more the importance of family at Christmas. The gifts are fantastic, the chocolate is FANTASTIC, the meals are fantastic. But without such a wonderful family to share it with, what would be the point? And without the birth of Jesus in a manger thousands of years ago, born to become our saviour, we would have no Christmas, no joy, to celebrate. And so I try to keep the meaning of Christmas real in my heart despite also enjoying Santa and the lights and the hoop-la this time of year brings.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I love the abundance of cookies, cookies, and more cookies. Cookies with chocolate chips, cookies dipped in chocoate, cookies layered with chocolate. Oh How I LOVE cookies!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? As stated above in the excruciating tale of my parents making us wait through the Christmas story, that has now become one of my favourite traditions I share with my little girl. But instead of reading "and it came to pass..." from the KJV Bible, we read one of Sarah's books about the nativity, so it's easier for her to understand. Also, every year I bring out the old record-playing stereo (handed down to me from my parents) and listen to Christmas records over and over and over. Love that! Always have!
17. What tops your tree? An angel. My tree is all angels.

18. Which do you prefer - Giving or Receiving? The selfish part of me immediately says "receiving"! Terrible, terrible, selfish me! I'm just being honest, I do love opening my own Christmas presents. But I do so love to buy things for my family too. I've always been the one to get the extra list from my mom and my grandmother and my dad to pick up extra things for everyone else. And I've always really enjoyed searching out the perfect item for everyone. I try to keep in mind little things they may have mentioned throughout the year to buy for a nice surprise. When my sister had her kids, it became even more fun to buy gifts. And now, with our own little girl, it's that much more fun all over again!
19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? I'm mediocre on the candy canes. I could take 'em or leave 'em...so I usually just leave 'em.

20 Favorite Christmas Show? I know it's new and not traditional at all but I love love love "Elf"...Buddy is awesome! hehe! Cracks me up! And I also really love the old cartoon version of "The Grinch" and try to make a point of watching it every year. But my FAVOURITE of all time is probably the old black and white version of "A Christmas Carol".

21. Saddest Christmas Song? Sad Christmas songs drive me crazy. I understand there are losses that are most felt this time of year. But hearing Elvis's "Blue Christmas" just makes it so much worse! I swear, listening to a tune like that over and over alone in your living room could make you want to share Elvis's fate!

22. What is your favorite Christmas Song? This year I love Chris Tomlin's "Glory in the Highest" CD because it has so many traditional carols on it, performed in a more up-to-date way. But in my usual tradition, my favourite is bringing out the old stereo and cranking Charlie Pride and The Smurfs Christmas. And who can forget, "There was my mommy in her nightgown, she was jumping all around, twisting with old Santa Claus...his belly kept a shakin', Mommy kept a makin' jokes about the looks in his eyes...I'll make a little bet, I'll never forget, Momma twistin' with Santa that night". You should see Sarah and I dancing around to that! (Jamie thinks we're crazy!) It's Awesome!
Only ONE WEEK to Christmas Day!! Yay!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa IS Real!

Last night we had our annual Christmas concert at the church.

This year the theme was "The Jesse tree", which is named after a verse in the bible:
Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots."

The Jesse tree is a symbol of God's great love and compassion for his people and how he never gave up on the Israelites, even tho' they gave up on him!

The shoot (baby) that would spring up (be born) from the stump (lineage) of Jesse, King David's father, would be Jesus - the new King, the Deliverer, the Messiah, the Saviour, Prince of Peace, Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

And so, as each person read a bible verse with a "name" of Jesus, an ornament was hung on our (Jesse) tree.

It was a nice idea interspersed with some singing and reading of the Christmas story.

Then the Pastor got up to give a brief message, and he closed with a funny little story entitled "The Four stages of Christmas":
#1. You believe in Santa
#2. You do not believe in Santa (because your older sister told you he doesn't exist!)
#3. You become Santa
#4. You look like Santa

The funny part came during point #2 when the Pastor said "You no longer believe in Santa because someone informed you he doesn't really exist".

That is when the Pastors 7 year old daughter piped up loud and clear for all to hear, "OH YES HE DOES!" and the whole church roared in laughter!

The Pastor's wife then said, "I hope he knows he has some explaining to do when we get home!"

And that is how little Caroline will forever remember finding out that Santa isn't real...Oops! Too funny!

Do you remember when/how you found out Santa wasn't real?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Baby Talk

The hubster and I have been discussing the possibility of having another child.

We are both totally freaked out by the thought. More freaked out than when we had our first baby.

We think we're ready.
We change our minds.
We're not ready.
We'll never be ready.
If we wait til we're ready, it'll never happen.

So last night, our discussion went like this...

Some chatting about the "fun" of not using birth control - the details of which you'll thank me for not sharing.

Hubster: Well, if you got pregnant right now, when would the baby be due?
Me: Um, September...?
Hubster: WHAT??!!! So soon??!!
Me: Totally bust-out laugh-my-butt-off at him freaking out.

Temporarily confused my gestational period for that of a blue whale perhaps?

I believe we have reached an impasse.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Wish List

Dear Santa,

I'm fairly certain, even with the occasional naughty moment, I've made the "nice" list this year.
Since I don't have my helper elves (a.k.a. Christa and Jenny) this year to help the hubster shop for me, I thought I'd best send word to you personally.

I would like:

A pair of snowshoes - because I really need to start being more active in the winter. These updated ones look a little easier to handle than the wooden ones with the tail on the end whose only purpose seems to be tangling up my feet and landing me in the snowbank.

A long black trench coat - a down-filled one that comes all the way down to my knees! I understand this type of coats puts me at risk of looking like a big giant puff-a-lump. I am willing to take that risk for the sake of staying warm and toasty.


Flannel sheets for our bed - I like the printed ones like these with snowflakes or pinecones or plaids. Again, I'm thinking about my warmth and comfort since I'm not a huge fan of winter (no offense to you and your choice to reside in the north pole).


Scrapbooking paper like the kinds shown HERE, printed on recycled kraft paper. I love the look of kraft paper right now for my albums and I'm ALL OUT! That's a shame, Santa, you really should help me re-stock.
True Blood DVD in Season 1 to start. Because I hear it's awesome. Because I don't have HBO. And because I feel the need to satisfy my thirst (get it! I hope you have a sense of humour, Santa!) for all things vampire.
And last but not least - a purse! The teal/greenish one I found one at Avon a few campaigns back. I'm hoping you may have read my mind and ordered from our local representative already because it's no longer showing as available on the website. I understand I may have gone a little overboard with the purses last year when I asked for FIVE. I hope you'll forgive my obsession and allow me just this one...pretty pleeeease!

Oh, and how could I forget!!!
Chocolates!! Lots of them. Fill my stocking full, if you wouldn't mind. Pot of Gold. Cherry Blossoms. Ferrero Rochers. Macaroons and Rosebuds. Terry's Orange.....etc.....etc.....you get the picture, Santa. I'm sure you're quite experienced in this sort of thing.
I hope asking for all those sweets doesn't put me on the naughty list!
Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Sincerely,
Myrna Hynes
P.S. Would you mind helping people remember that it's okay to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" or whatever specific occasion they may celebrate? and not just "Happy Holidays" all the time? - that's just getting aggravating!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Have you Read...?



I'm a little behind as this book came out in 2006. I first saw it on shelf at a bookstore at the Toronto International Airport last year in October. I was intrigued by the title and the book description:

Dora Rare is the first girl in five generations born to the Rare family who live in a small Nova Scotia fishing village. Set in the years before World War I, this down-to-earth novel relates the life story of a most unusual woman. In her youth, Dora apprentices to Miss Babineau, an aged Acadian midwife known for her storytelling and herbal acumen. She is also considered something of a witch by those locals most desperate to embrace modernity. The arrival in the village of Dr. Gilbert Thomas, a doctor of obstetrics, sets up the major conflict of the novel as the haughty and presumptuous newcomer quickly denigrates the use of midwives by the local women. McKay has caught the voice of rural Nova Scotia with uncanny clarity ("A breech baby’s just waitin' on trouble") and adds period documents from local newspapers, including an advertisement for an early
vibrator from Sweden. Altogether this is a richly satisfying novel filled with intriguing characters, both good and evil, as well as voluminous lore on birthing traditions, herbs and earthy wisdom.--Mark Frutkin
I am hugely interested in anything to do with obstetrics and midwifery, having felt I may have missed my calling by not pursuing one profession or the other.

When I visited my sister in Ontario, I saw this book on her shelf and immediately picked it up and started reading it. I couldn't put it down and got through it in just over 4 days. What a great read!

I was absolutely fascinated by Miss Dora Rare and her life. Fictional or not, I felt her character true to life, with the author using a great variety or historical references and vintage advertisements to assist in the storytelling.

What fascinated me the most in the book was the struggle women had: to make that crucial decision on the best course to take for the health of themselves and their babies. With the arrival of the doctor in town, midwifery practices were questioned as witchcraft, women were told their pregnancy ailments were the result of over-indulgences of the written word and the failure to obey their husbands, all ending in the freedom of pain-free birth laced with ether and delivered with a scalpel and forceps.

The sad part is how close to reality this struggle still is. I had the priveledge of having a midwife in Ontario attend the birth of my daughter, with pregnancy considered a natural course of life. Since moving home, however, I have witnessed obstetricians taking advantage of the surgical practice of c-sections to accomodate their personal schedules rather than allowing a baby the time it needs to enter the world.
And don't even get me started on the lack of knowledge women have about their own bodies and cycles, pre- and post-natal care, and breastfeeding! Most doctors just don't seem to have the time to answer these questions. Of course, I'm sure this is not always the case, but it seems so common, one has to wonder. And have you ever heard of a doctor coming to your home to help with the baby?! No, probably not!

In the book, as now, I believe midwives truly have the best interest of women and their families at heart. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading about midwife Dora Rare and her life - a story I never would have questioned as real had the front cover stated "based on true events".

So, if you haven't already - pick it up at your local library! Or, Amazon.ca has a great selection of used books at reasonable prices.

Tell me what you think.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WINNERS!!

Yes, WinnerS...as is, plural...meaning TWO WINNERS! YAY!

It seems that people do not necessarily like winning tiny little cards and gift wrap. Either that, or, I haven't attracted all that many readers. Either way, it's A-O-Kay because now everyone's a winner.

For the two who made a valid entry:
Sandy aka Doris the Great (and fellow newfie girl!)
and...
Darth Mama

You have both won 3 packages of wrapping paper and a bunch of mini cards...I hope you enjoy using them as much as I've enjoyed having my first ever blog giveaway.

Please send your mailing address to my email at myrnagoosney@hotmail.com and I'll get your stash off to you asap!

Thanks for entering!

P.S. Vacation was wonderful but soooo short! So happy to spend time with my family...my nieces are all getting so grown up...like, Taylor is a young woman now, my goodness! I got to see Vicki and Christa and meet baby Jesse...oh how sweet he is! But, as always, it is good to be home sweet home after a few days away. Will try and post some pics but, as you know, I'm really bad at that, so don't hold yer breath...;)

Cheers,
Myrna

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

FREE TO A GOOD HOME!!

Holy Smokes! It's been forever since I posted on my blog.


Bad, bad Myrna!


Don't you just hate it when you keep going back to your "favourite" blogs and they've not been updated. Yeah, I hate that too!


To say I've been busy, well, that would be an understatement.


So as an apology of sorts, I'm doing my FIRST EVER BLOG GIVEAWAY!!! Yay!!!


I was reading Dimestore Thrift (aka Sonya) - Oh My! How long ago was that now? when she was writing about her stash of vintage Christmas gift wrap. It kinda got me thinking. Oh Dear! I emailed Sonya about my line of thinking. Here we go:

I own a store.
My family bought that store about 2 years ago.
My store was built in the 50's.
Some items in the store have certainly been there since day one! I kid you not!
There is an old apple barrel - you know, from back when apples were shipped in barrels...? Who knew?
There are ginormous, impossible to move, scales.3 and 1/4 pounds off. Heavy. Metal. Awesome. Scales.
There are coke bottles.
Broken oil lamps.
Cheesy Souvenirs.
And a box of mysterious cleaners my Dad found in the deep dark recesses of the creepy basement/crawl space.


And there is wrapping paper.
To say the wrapping paper is as old as the store would be a big giant lie.
I have no idea how old it is. It might only be, say, 15 - 20 years old.
But it's been sitting there, fading, with the plastic covering deteriorating.


And there are cards.
Little cards.
3 1/2 x 5 (give or take).
Birthday and Wedding and Thank you and Baby Shower.
Adorable and in need of someone to love them.


Sooooo.....


I AM GIVING AWAY THESE CARDS AND PACKAGES OF GIFTWRAP!!


On one stipulation...

You MUST have a reason to use them. They must not sit in a box or on a shelf or in a drawer never to be remembered again.


They must be crafted, scrapbooked, gifted, re-gifted, given away, sold, framed, used to line your junk drawer....something, anything, they MUST serve their purpose in life.


(And in case you're new here, I have a tendency to give voice to inanimate objects from time to time...I blame it all on middle child syndrome *sigh*)


And I get side-tracked easily...where was I?


Oh yes.

Tell me, in my comments, what your plans are for this lovely little collection of cards and giftwrap. And then your name goes in the draw.


Write on your blog about giftwrapping/cards and the creative things you do with them and you get 5 extra entries in the draw.


And if I really like several of your entries, I'll do more than one draw. Oh yeah. I can totally do that. I have 16 packages of paper and 30 mini cards and I totally know how to get rid of 'em!

Here's a sample of what you might get:
(My apologies for the poor photography lighting)

For Your Bridal Shower/Rainbow/white background

"Meilleurs voeux pour votre Mariage"

which in exact word-for-word translation means "better vows for your marriage" but actually means "Congratulations on your marriage"

Silver on white background


For the Bride-to-Be cartoon/funnies/blue


A variety of lots of tiny little cards

Draw will take place on Sunday, November 15th after I return from vacation. That's far away so you have lots of time to come up with some good ideas.
Comment.
Win!
So Easy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I hate the cold.

Not a big fan of winter.

I sometimes wish I could live in a place where it was permanently 25 degrees celcius - just right, neither cold nor hot.

Yesterday was the most amazing fall day one could ever ask for. Sarah and I stepped outside in the morning to go to church and her question (as it usually is) was, "What's that noise?"

In the stillness of the morning, we could hear the soft bristle of leaves descending from their branches and blanketing the ground.

After church, we played in the crunchy yellow leaves and I took a million pictures, as I normally do, sans Sarah looking at the camera because she is sick of looking at me with a big chunk of black lens sticking out from my face.

It was warm even, for fall in Newfoundland, and we needed only our sweaters, and I couldn't even be annoyed that the falling leaves meant the approaching snow.

But this morning, I woke up late. It was so dark outside at 7:30 and I didn't believe the alarm when it sounded. In my sleep-muddled state, I shut the alarm off and fell back into my warm cozy bed. I woke again at 8:10, ran about in a mad frenzy for 10 minutes, and headed out the door.

I opened the door and stood for a moment in shock, as if it were impossible, with the day we had yesterday.

The ground was covered in white. Our trees were covered in white. The car was covered in white. My shoes would now be covered in white. Oh, my shoes! How I dread tucking you away in exchange for chunky winter boots.

And yet, as I sit here in the office and peer through my window, I still can't be upset at this onset of our coldest season. The spruce outside my window is beautifully laden with mounds of fluff and weighted down with its brown cones peaking out from the underside. The snow is coming down in giant clumps, straight from the heavens, like the cloud gods took a moment to weave the flakes together first, before sending them to earth.

Makes me want to sit and write a poem and I imagine it must be how the songwriter felt when he penned "Winter Wonderland". But mostly, it actually makes me want to go outside, spread my arms to the sky, tilt my head back, and taste the coolness of this, the approach of winter.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Look What I Found!

After highschool, I packed up a bunch of boxes of my stuff before leaving home to head off to University.
Over the years, I have unpacked and re-packed, sorted, and gotten rid of all manner of things.

But I am still a pack rat and refuse to part with several items.
Last week, I was at my Mom's house and decided, since a number of years had gone by, to open up some of those boxes again. I found a tiny stuffed Koala from my grade 8 boyfriend, a bead necklace from a trip to PEI, my lapel pin/button collection adorning a giant purple bunny, Biology textbooks (loved Biology!), and several very well written papers on Shakespeare's Macbeth.

I also found this box:
Intrigued? So was I...
It was my eraser collection!!! There I go again re-confirming my geek status. Anyways, I LOVED collecting these erasers, most of them gifts from my grandmother for all of the occasions throughout the year.


There is a clock, roller skates, ice cream cones, a gun, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a milk carton, a rose, a life preserver, a battery, a "working" clothespin, among a gazillion others.

How exciting to go through all of these again. The hubster had a good chuckle out of my fascination, but thought the nut and bolt set that actually screws together was kinda neat.

Then I found my cabbage patch doll and Ernie and Bert, complete with scribbled on faces and cut hair. Sarah just wanted to play with them and wasn't all that impressed with having her picture taken again.


I found my little blue Yamaha keyboard, still in the original box with instructions. Unfortunately it's missing the adapter so we had to find batteries, but it works great. Sarah is having a great time with it.


I was also reminded of the art classes I took. The date says 02/23/94...was it really that long ago? Wow!


Last but not least, some of my favourite books I owned as a child. The "Swiss Family Robinson" was a gift from Mrs. Burden, my grade 2 teacher, for perfect spelling. I adored this book and was reminded of how much I loved this movie as a kid. So much so, that I added it on my Christmas wish list for the hubster to try and find (good luck with that, honey!). And I absolutely adored researching anything and everything about animals, and spent hours reading these "encyclopedia" type hardcovers. And then who doesn't love "The Phantom of the Opera"? Anyone?

As a final discovery, Mom got up in the attic and pulled down my old dolls crib and matching highchair. They need just the teeniest bit of refurbishing, but will be fantastic Christmas presents for my little girl, who is really loving pretend play nowadays with her "babies".

Don't you just love uncovering old forgotten treasures?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Time to Get Moving!

Did I mention I'm starting a fitness class here in my tiny town?

During the summer, after losing a few pounds, I started getting some questions about how I was managing my weight loss. And because we are fairly isolated here with no Weight Watchers, no gym, no Dr. Bernstein or whatever, I decided to try and get something "on the go".

I wrote up a huge proposal to the government's wellness coalition requesting funding, I appealed to our local town council, and I put up notices around the community. And I must say I am very pleased with what's been happening.

The Town Council agreed to purchase some of our small equipment like yoga mats, weights, stretch bands, etc. YAY!!!!

AND, last night at my first official session - no fitness, just info - I had 20 people in attendance. I was expecting perhaps 10 - 12. Wow, talk about overwhelming and exciting! Only one of those people said they were still unsure about actually starting the official fitness group beginning next week.

We talked about how to count calories (some like to count "points"), how to read nutrition labels, how to calculate Body Mass Index, and some tips on getting started. We got weighed in and measured up with the community health nurse taking blood pressure and glucose readings. And I made a point of letting everyone know that I am certainly not an expert - not in healthy eating OR in fitness - and that I am simply facilitating a group to help encourage a group of people with a common goal in mind to become healthier through changes in eating habits and physical exercise. I desperately need this group just as much as anyone, more than some.

So, every week I will be leading the group for a hour. The first half hour will be for weigh-ins and measurements, for those who wish to keep a record of their progress. We'll chat about meal plans, recipes, how to exercise more, and just to encourage each other to keep going! The last half hour we'll be exercising together - that could mean anything from walking to Pilates to aerobics to strength training. A little mix of everything.

I'm so excited to get going with this! It's such an encouragement to see a small town put in the effort to make small changes.

I'm so out of shape, I'm just hoping I don't pass out while trying to "lead" this fitness program! That probably wouldn't be such a great start, now would it? Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

These are a Few of My Favourite (House) Things!

I do realize that material things, in the long run, mean very little.
However, we all know that certain things - be they artsy, family heirlooms, memorabilia - can help make an already happy life even happier.

Here are a few of the little items around my home that bring me joy:

My Scrapbooks! They are made with lots of love and, other than my family, are the things I would wish to grab if we ever, God forbid, had to evacuate our home in an emergency.
Shoes! From my high top Nike's to my blue suede wedges to dollar-store flipflops - I LOVE shoes!
Colourful plates - I got these few odd ones at yard sales, they are lovely for baking berry pies!
Children's Books - I had a TON before Sarah was ever thought about, and now we have many many more!
Seashells...I guess it's my love of the ocean. This particular one sits over my kitchen sink, a gift from Kristen (Christa's hubby) to my daughter from their visit to Cuba.
This old cabinet - It's old and scratched and I love it! Can you believe my cousin's friend was going to throw it out! I got it just in time! Now it's in the corner of my dining room, filling with lots of wonderful goodies and with some of my fav lamps (I love lamps too!) sitting on top.
These little frogs - gifts from my niece, Erykah. who gives me something froggy almost every year for Christmas.
Colourful bath towels! I know Oprah goes on about using ALL white towels, blah, blah, blah...but I just love the option of choosing from a worn trusty old floral or a fluffy green bath sheet.
Cameos - technically, not a "house" item but since I don't wear jewellry all that often, they are more a house item than not. Love 'em! I have a bracelet too that I bought in New Hampshire at an antique shop but I can't, for the life of me, find it...where could it be?
My Junk drawer filled with everything that doesn't have a place - nuts & bolts, batteries, the telephone book, cable wires, etc. etc. etc. I admit it - I need somewhere to hide my mess - this drawer is it!
Teddy bears - so soft and cuddly. Mattie was a gift from my lifelong friend, Vicki, and looks very loved with lots of patched up places.
Call me crazy but if I had to choose a chore, it would be laundry - I find the sorting, and washing, and folding, kinda therapeutic in a strange obsessive way. In my house, the laundry is very rarely left undone. The others chores? Yeah, that's a different story alltogether!
This buffet - it's part of the dining room set but i prefer how it looks in the living room. I love this photo of baby Sarah, love the framed "newfie" postcards by CaraJoy and love my tiny attempt at Thanksgiving decor with the Mickey and Minnie, bought at auction.
(Click to enlarge the pic)
This "Grandpa's Studio" photo of Jamie and I taken on our honeymoon in PEI. It just makes me crack up!
Twilight...
I have all four...love these books sitting on my shelf! Crazy kitties - found at a gift shop in PEI on our honeymoon for only about $4 for the set of 4.
My China set...love the green and gold floral pattern. Bought at a yard sale and has everything in mismatched numbers but no teacups. If you have the teacups, can I have them please?
I love funky whimsical art - these were bought in Cuba on my visit there in 1998 for about $6 U.S. One is called "Amigas" and the other "Paloma", they are both signed and numbered, and I simply adore them!
My nightstand with all the bedtime essentials. Books - currently reading "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell, a trashy romance novel, "Marguerite of the Isle of Demons" by Earle Pilgrim, crossword puzzles, and my journal. I use the telephone as my alarm clock. Still use the monitor to hear Sarah. And MUST HAVE chapstick for my lips or else I just can't sleep!
And there you have just a quick glimpse into the items that make my house a home...what are your favourite things?

Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm on ETSY

Christa first introduced me to ETSY.

I decided I was in love with ETSY.

SO. MANY. AWESOME. THINGS!

And those things are handmade. Or, vintage. Oh my!

I decided to help my grandmothers out a little bit by adding their knitting to Etsy - they make lots of wool goodies - mostly socks (or VAMPS) or mittens. Granny Goosney makes her stuff from Sheeps Wool. Nan White makes her stuff from acrylic wool. Both women are 79 years young and going strong with lots of knitting experience behind them. So, in the efforts to bring in a little loot for them, ETSY it is!

Here's the problem I'm finding - shipping costs!! Holy crazy prices to ship via Canada Post!! To ship a pair of my Granny's wool full-length mens socks, which are thick and heavy, $13 within Canada. But to the U.S. is cheaper - go figure! Oh well, that's all I can really do about that. A few items I've listed are FREE shipping - these items are smaller and can fit into an envelope for shipping, meaning it doesn't cost a lot.

And then my mom decided she had a couple of things as well. For one, a quilt she had made. And a patchwork Christmas stocking.

With all of the Grandma's in on this, I decided to name my shop "Nan's Knits"...I think it's got a cute kinda ring to it. Don't you?

And then I decided I may as well add some of my fabric too, usually sold by the meter. I have lots of great prints but only a couple added so far.

Just five listings right now with lots more to come, I hope! Take a look!
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=8019181

Friday, October 02, 2009

Time for a Change...Perhaps Maybe

Apparantly I'm breaking some blogging rules.

Etiquette suggests that a blog name indicate what a blog be all about.

"Confessions of a Chocoholic", for example. Why yes, I am absolutely a chocoholic...so much so, that I probably SHOULD write about it. With a title such as mine, I should be confessing to every imagineable chocolatey treat I inhale on a daily basis. However, I do not. And that, according to the blog-gods, is terribly wrong.

I suppose I do not write about my chocoholism because my obsession lacks the glamour of "fancy" intriguing chocolate - it's just a Kit Kat or two here, an entire pot of fudge there. Nothing all that attractive about a girl sitting down with a batch of homemade fudge and a spoon.

And so, because my title lacks the obvious, I'm thinking I should change it.

My friend Joann once told me I was helter skelter.

I looked up the definition:
chaotic: lacking a visible order or organization
haphazardly
with undue hurry and confusion; a helter-skelter kind of existence with never a pause

She's known me since...well...forever. And she is an on-time all the time, tunnel vision, get the job done now dammit! kinda girl.

I am an always running late, easily distracted, unfinished project, type of girl.

My writing is definitely more "Helter Skelter" than "Confessions of a Chocoholic".

Should I change it? Would that make sense? Change it hard. But it's good too. What do you think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Birthday and a Funeral

My Nan's birthday was this past Wednesday. She turned 79! Wow! And if she lives to be as old as her mother, she still has another 20 years to go!

The family got together with her for dinner at the "Sunset Cafe" in Trout River. My battered cod was yummy! And then we headed to Nan's house for cake with lots of candles.

When we first arrived at the house, my Aunt Marilyn was outside calling for Pal, their little black dog, to come back inside. He doesn't usually go out of the yard and comes right back to the house if called. This time, Pal didn't show up.

We went in to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake. Nan was having her picture taken with the little grandkids, who loved helping blow out the candles, and telling us how her mother always said you shouldn't blow out candles because of the germs it spread over the icing. Good point. Doesn't make for nearly as fun an experience. But still, good point.

A knock came on the door. It's strange to hear a knock on Nan's door. People normally just come right on in. Nan's house is a tiny little place where you can literally see who's at the front door from every room in the house except the back bedroom and bathroom. Ti-Ny!


Ryan answered the door.


The voice said, "You guys own a dog?"


"Ah,..." Hesitation seems the automatic response when you don't want to know what follows your reply if you answer with a "Yes".


"Cause a dog just got hit by a car on the road."


Aunt Marilyn immediately jumped up, "Oh me dog!"
And if you know Trout River, you know she did in fact say "ME dog" and not MY dog.

Of course I immediately jumped up and ran out to the road with Aunt Marilyn and Ryan trailing behind. There, laying motionless on the side of the road, was Pal. Not a move, not even a nerve twitch. I felt for a pulse. Nothing. I told Aunt Marilyn he was gone. Melanie, Aunt Marilyn's daughter, totally broke down. Ryan got pissed at the driver of the car. I simply picked Pal up in my arms, still warm, expressed my thanks to the driver of the car for coming back to the scene, and walked to the house.


I sat on the porch with Pal in my arms, my hand tucked under his left paw, just hoping to feel his heart start again. He just looked like he was sleeping with not a mark anywhere. No blood. No sign of trauma. Melanie was completely distraught and Nan exclaimed, "How will I ever be able to stay home by myself now?!" There's little comfort in explaining that he died instantly, the impact having broken his neck. No, there's not much comfort in that at all when a loved one dies suddenly, even if that loved one is the family dog.


Dad stayed with me while I held onto Pal. Ryan went to look for a shovel. Aunt Marilyn got a fluffy towel to wrap Pal in. Sadly, we would have to bury the family doggy this night. I suggested Melanie take a picture. Morbid? Perhaps.

We sat there like that, crying, wondering why he ran away when it was so out of character for him, saying all the good things about him in past tense --- "...such a nice dog.", "...never peed on the floor once.", "...always came when he was called.", "...was such good company for Nan."

Finally, after about a half hour, the inevitable. We walked to the backyard and with the help of a flashlight, found a nice spot under a tree to dig the grave. 9 of us gathered around. Nine.

Dad used the shovel to peel back the grassy sod, trying to keep it in tact, so as to place it back on top to look more presentable. I wrapped Pal tightly in his casket made from a fluffy white bath towel. Behind me, Melanie choked a sob when I covered his face, picked him up, and laid him down in the dark hole that would be his final resting place.

Dad spoke of how lucky we were to be able to stand around in our backyard to pay respects to a family pet. "There are people in the world, " he said, "who will never have the priveledge of a loving family or a decent burial."

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We carefully laid the sods back in place. Aunt Marilyn would find something to mark the grave the following day. We walked back inside. We ate cake and spoke of how the crumbs would no longer be so hastily licked from the floor.

While I washed my hands, I looked down and held out the front of my white shirt. A final memory - I was covered in black fur.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Announcing!!

Jesse Blaine Manuel Hann (Phew! That's a mouthful!)
Born September 20th (I got the call around 11:15 - 11:30 NL Time)
Weighing in at 8lbs 4oz

Welcome sweet baby boy!

Congrats Christa and Kristen - you will make marvelous parents!

Can't wait to meet you, Jesse!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Like a Circle Around Me

I heard the office door open. I looked up, and, with the expectation of seeing someone I didn’t know, I actually didn’t recognize him for a millisecond. He was dressed in green from head to toe, a terrible uniform, but a uniform none-the-less, with a face attached requiring no uniform to make it striking. At least in my eyes. Recognition set in and I smiled the kind of smile that comes from deep in your soul and escapes through your eyes.

My heart skipped a beat and I sighed with joy at seeing him in front of me, of his own accord.

I couldn’t help but think back all those years ago to the first time I saw him. We were five. He was wearing a striped shirt and came running around the corner of our old school-house. I was standing by the wooden swing set. His eyes met mine and I never looked away - not for 13 years.

When Chantal Kreviazuk sang "Surrounded", I always thought of him, still do, always felt I could sing those words to him, if ever I were to sing any words to him at all.

I was there
When you shone as bright as
Bethlehem from afar
I was there
When you were young and strong
And perverted
And everything that makes a young man a star
Oh, you were a star
I was there
And I swear to god
And on my mother’s grave
On everything I have
Or ever will embrace
I was there
And I saw it with my own two eyes

My mind swirled - I was there to join his team and gleam in the knowledge that he would pick me every time. I was there among the boys to celebrate his birthday. I was there sitting behind him in class and counting the 17 moles on the back on his neck. I was there to cut his hair, to cheer him on, to drive him home. I was there when he cried over his cat and the girl that broke his heart.

I just loved him until I thought my heart would burst. Not in the romantic sense although my teenage mind tried to envision us that way a thousand times. It just never seemed right. I was just a girl who loved a boy and wanted to ride in his car for hours on end and smell his cologne on the pages of the letter he secretly slipped into my gym bag.

It amazed me how all those years of memories could come sweeping into my head all in one conjoined moment with just a quick glimpse of him sauntering through my door. And there he was standing in front of me making my heart flutter with the sheer pride of just knowing him and having him be as much a part of me as any other person in my past. He sat down, slumped cooly on the chair, with his left leg turned out, fingers fiddling with the fabric of his vest. Same as always.

We chatted about nothing, the way that old friends can and do because they already know your story. And when he said he had to go, he hugged me and I stood on tippy-toes to hug him back. Same as always.

I hope he knows. I’m not sure what. Not to be told directly. I just hope he knows.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Still Miss Buffy Sometimes

Yes, I realize how strange and pathetic that may sound to some of you dear readers. I have never admitted to being perfectly rational in my tastes. I still catch the occasional cheesy re-run and daydream about Buffy and Spike and the rest of the gang. Ahhhh...

Oh well, back to reality, although I do hear Sarah Michelle is expecting a baby with hubby Freddy Prinze Jr.

I'm so easily distracted...have you noticed that?

The point to this post is to tell you how excited I am about this new show "The Vampire Diaries"....yay!! Another cheesy teenage drama intertwining vampire and human love interests. (Can we say "Twilight" in sitcom form?!) Swoon...

Except , I think, after only ONE episode (dare I admit I PVR'd and watched it twice?...eek! In my defense, I missed the first half on night 1, then it came on again and I PVR'd to watch the whole thing through...OKAY!) that Nina Dobrev may have been a better choice for Bella (Twilight) than Kristen Stewart. But then, I'm not much of a Kristen Stewart fan.

For those of you who are interested in a breakdown of episode one, here it is (simply because I cannot resist writing about it):
A few months after a tragic car accident killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena, and her troubled younger brother, Jeremy are still adjusting. Elena must "suck it up" to go back to school, amidst her sadness, but finds some comfort in the pages of her diary, her best friend Bonnie, frenemy Caroline, and Jock ex-boyfriend Matt. Insert Elena bumping into mysterious and handsome new student, Stefan Salvatore, here. Mysterious boy
can't stop staring at Elena during class and they meet again later while she's running from a spooky graveyard visit to her parents, after she is seemingly taunted by a crow. Elena drops herbeloved diary in the frenzy, which Stefan picks up, and while he is holding it for her, we see his bookshelf full of journals dating from many years, one of which holds a photo of "Katherine - 1849" in the front cover. Katherine and Elena look completely the same (what's this?). Elena's journal is returned and Stephan is invited to a school party. At the nighttime bonfire, Elena and Stefan are obviously attracted to one another but Stefan struggles to resist the attraction and bloodlust. While getting
to know each other, chaos erupts after Matt's sister, Vicki, is
attacked and left bleeding from a savage bite to the neck. Fearing that he knows who is responsible for the attack, Stefan finds that his older brother, Damon, has returned to town. Now these two vampire brothers – one good, one evil – begin a battle for Elena's soul.

Intrigued?
If you stuck around for that synopsis, what do you think? Are you watching too?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Beauty

I was taking photos the other day, as usual.


Sarah wanted to look at the screen to see what I had taken. She said, "Das Be-yoo-full Mom".

So, I thought I'd ask, out of curiosity, "What do you think is beautiful? Mommy will take a picture of it for you."


And here is what she pointed out:
A carton of milk I had taken out to pour in her cup


And her shopping cart.

Afterwards, she filled it up with her shoes...that's my girl!!!

I guess it's as they say: "Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder!"

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Wish Your Heart Makes

That's what a dream is, according to Cinderella.

I guess that means Sarah was wishing for a party.

One day last week when she first woke up in the morning, she said something completely random and nonsensical. I didn't get it at first.

Yesterday morning, I woke her up, and after much stretching, she said, "I Yuv Parties."

"You do?" I asked
"Yup"
"And where was the party?"
"At Poppy's House"
"Really? Was Nanny There?"
"Nope"
"Were Mommy and Daddy there?"
"Nope"
"Well, who was there?"
"Maggie and Hobo" (that would be, Marg, her sitter, and Phillip, her little friend)
"I think you were having a dream, yes?"
"Nope"

Of course, she isn't able to understand the concept of a dream versus reality yet.

I remember one of the other moms talking about her little girl waking up one morning and asking, "Where are the kitties?" and I thought it was just so cute. And now Sarah has entered the stage of identifying her dreams. I'm still amazed every day by how she's learning and growing all the time.

What a girl! I just hope she doesn't end up like her father and start literally acting out her dreams in her sleep or she might have to stay in her crib forever!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Zippity Doo Daa

I did some lines for the first time this past Friday. Ziplines, that is. Don't get crazy now! And what a way to start a weekend...woohoo!!!

Marble Zip Tours opened in Corner Brook last summer and I've wanted to go ziplining ever since - especially after seeing how awesome it looked on an episode of "The Bachelorette" - leave it to me to get inspiration from reality tv.

My cousin was home back in July and I was planning to go with him and his fiance. But scheduling did not permit and I was super disappointed. With our (lack of) anniversary celebrations in mind and knowing how saddened I was, the hubster promised he'd go with me later in the summer.

And, of course, I totally jumped on that promise and ran to the computer to book our excursion. If you know Jamie then you will understand my need to IMMEDIATELY take him up on his offer. Here's the guy who wanted me to take a photo of him standing on the first step on a ladder just to prove he's "not afraid of heights"!

I gathered up a few friends (Ryan and Melanie, Autumn, and Dawson - Thanks guys, you're awesome!) and off we went to do the 5pm tour of the Steady Brook gorge with a maximum zipline height of 285 ft overlooking a waterfall. The longest zipline was somewhere just over 400 ft in length. Holy Crap!

When we pulled up to the office, Jamie wouldn't even get out of the truck, said he "wasn't ready yet!" I was pumped and headed on up to sign my life away on the waiver and pay our fees ($79 + tax = not cheap but well worth it!)

We got all strapped in and the instructors did their best to totally freak us out, being sure to let us know that we had every right to be extremely nervous...Thanks guys! That really helped the Jamie situation.

After a bumpy ride to the top, we watched the instructor jump on the zipline and then we were off. Ryan went first, brave soul, and my heart was pounding like crazy. It's frikkin high!! Autumn next, then Mel, then Dawson...next it was Jamie's turn.

He was all hooked in, ready to go, 14 people in line behind us waiting, and he says, "I can't do it!". "Ah, yes ya can," I said.
"No, I really can't"
"You just gotta walk to the edge and go!"
and everyone starts cheering him on.
"But my feet just won't move", he says.
"You have to set your mind to it and go, you can do it, you're gonna have a blast!" I remind him over and over again.
And that was it. He was done. He said his next step was to start crying. I thought it best to save him that embarrassment with all the 8-year olds watching.

I waited with him til the end but he still wouldn't go. And off I went alone. By myself. Jamie was super apologetic and I was bummed. But as I zoomed across I yelled out, "You have to do this, it's amazing!" He wasn't convinced. Apparantly, he wasn't even watching. He said he was too scared to even watch me go off the edge.

Luckily, everyone waits on the next line and I re-joined my group. Yay!! I was excited again!! Holy exhilarating!!

There were 6 lines in total, taking about 2 hours. The zip across itself takes only a few seconds. Unless you get stuck half way across, that is, like 90-lb Melanie. We were told this could happen if you don't have much weight behind you - not so much a problem for me, I was zippin' across in record time. Look out "catch" guy on the other side!

If you're ever thinking about it but aren't quite sure - let me tell you, just do it!! It's not nearly as crazy as I thought. You don't actually feel like you're jumping off and free-falling or plunging to the ground or anything - you actually feel totally stable, like you're sitting in a chair that just happens to have a great view.

And it was AMAZING!! I just wanted to go right back up the mountain and do it all over again. Now I'm trying to convince my brother to go with me while he's home on vacation, minus the hubster, who, in his own words told my parents when we got back, "Yeah, so I basically just paid 86 bucks for a ride up a hill in a Toyoto Tundra." hahahaha!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's Keep it That Way

I've often mentioned that I didn't really know or understand about racism until I moved away from Newfoundland. Prejudices? Yes, because I believe we all have natural tendencies to prejudge people to a certain degree.

But to be racist was as foreign to me as the skin colour many of those "comments" refer to.

I kinda owe it to the fact that I grew up very isolated. We just never saw anyone who wasn't white. Very rarely. In the city, there were a few Asian people and the occasional black person, but otherwise, we were as white a town as any could be. As a matter of fact, the first black person I ever spoke to or saw "up close" was my sister's boyfriend who knocked on our front door to surprise us when I was 16 years old.

That's hard for a lot of people to believe. And, trust me, I'm not saying that's a good thing. I love seeing Newfoundland becoming more culturally diverse. I love seeing people from all around the world on my island.

And certainly that isolation brings about an entire conversation on its own regarding the level of ignorance brought with such separation from the "real" world. But that's a blog for another day.

I'm saying that, for me personally, perhaps a non-issue lent itself to a non-issue. Having no ethnicity surrounding me growing up meant no one could make negative or deragatory statements of such a nature. I saw people as just people. That's it. I never questioned otherwise. Seeing someone "different" - well, of course, I could physically see the difference - but to truly see a person as different, in my mind, didn't occur to me because it was never pointed out.

For that reason, I'm not surprised by this article:

Bill Cosby struck by N.L. rescue story
Last Updated: Thursday, August 27,
2009 12:04 PM NT CBC News
Comedian Bill Cosby is bringing attention to the story of a small group of Newfoundlanders whose actions taught a black American decades ago that racism didn't exist everywhere.
Cosby recently brought Lanier Phillips onstage to tell his story, after he heard about the experience Phillips had in Newfoundland nearly 70 years ago.
It was during the Second World War, in 1942; Phillips was a 19-year-old
African-American deckhand on the USS Truxtun when it and another ship, the USS
Pollux, ran aground near St. Lawrence, on the province's south coast. Phillips, who had known only racism to that point in his life, was one of only 46 people to survive the wreck. He feared he would be lynched when rescuers brought him ashore, but instead, he was taken in to local homes, and the women of the community cared for him until he was well enough to leave.
He said the kindness he was shown when he was hauled ashore taught him that racism could be overcome.
Cosby told CBC News that he was intrigued when he heard the story.
"I wanted to know more because I thought it was the story of this black man and these women who had never seen this colour skin before," he said.
The story of how Phillips was treated in Newfoundland has been told
in documentaries and television programs. One of those programs was seen by
Cosby, who this summer sent a limousine to the retirement home where Phillips
lives near Washington, D.C., to bring him to a show Cosby was performing in nearby Virginia.Cosby then brought Lanier onstage to introduce him to the
audience and tell his story.
Cosby — who was stationed at a U.S. military base in Newfoundland for a brief time in the '50s — said he was especially struck when he heard Phillips say that the women of St. Lawrence tried to scrub him down after he was rescued, because they thought the colour of his skin was dirt from the shipwreck.
"But trying to scrub it off and clean it," Cosby said, "which it turns out to be not a novelty story as much as a story about a change that comes to a human being because of a difference in the way the human being is treated, and how it opens up very positive feelings in a human being."
Phillips is 86 years old now, and he has often said that the people of Newfoundland didn't just save his life, they changed it. "To experience instantly love and humanity that I didn't think existed between the races — it just changed everything for me."
After Phillips was rescued, he had a 20-year career in the navy and became an active member of the U.S. civil rights movement.
He credits the people of St. Lawrence for his success.
Cosby calls it a wonderful story.
"There's no way when you listen to his story there's a superiority of anything except human beings helping human beings,"
Cosby said. "Just about human beings and the power that human beings have when
they work to save each other."
A U.S. film producer is now hoping to turn the story of what happened to Phillips into a full-length film.


I'm so proud of us Newfoundlanders for understanding the true meaning of hospitality. That these women cared for this man with skin colour they had never seen before just speaks of hearts that are pure and kind.

Let this be a lesson to us. And for us to be a lesson for people everywhere. We are not as isolated to the world as we once were. But I hope our minds and hearts can continue to warmly welcome people with open arms, the way that true Newfoundlanders were meant to be. I like to think that we can still make make racism in our province a "non-issue", comparatively speaking. I'm not naive, just hopeful.

Did you grow up in an isolated place like I did? Do you think that isolation made your views of people from other cultures, creeds, religions, etc. positive or negative?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Now Following...

I just started following DIME STORE THRIFT

I'm a sucker for antique shops, garage sales, the Salvation Army store, my grandmothers house....pretty much any place where I can snoop through piles of old dishes in china cabinets, photo albums in huge trunks, and gaudy vintage jewellry in gaudy vintage jewellry boxes.

The hubster? He hates it.

If we drive anywhere and I see a "yard sale" or "Antique store - 1 Km Ahead" sign, he literally speeds up and whizzes on by with me cranking my neck around like an owl to try and see what I've just missed. And then I grumble and complain about him never stopping while at the same time understanding that if he HAD stopped, that would mean us being at least an hour late to our current destination. The truth hurts!

And so I've managed to follow my little obsession online. I haven't actually made any purchases online. I just like browsing.

It works a little better for me to browse without buying, to be perfectly honest. Cause here's the thing - while I LOVE LOVE LOVE so many vintage things, when I take them home, I can't figure out where to put them. And so, for the most part, they sit in a closet somewhere, just waiting for the perfect spot, and then I never find the perfect spot, and the item doesn't get appreciated the way it should. I have great intentions.

Oh, but can I just say how much joy it brings to my heart to find an antique cameo or big gaudy brooch or a worn hardcover copy of "Pride and Prejudice" complete with turned down pages and little asterisks marking the last readers favourite parts! I can just see a little old lady, dressed in her favourite flowered hat, brooch pinned on the side of her cardigan, sipping tea in chipped China, sitting in a wicker chair on her front porch, enjoying an old classic.

See, it's not just about the item, it's about the image that item represents . That image sits in your mind and speaks to your heart and makes you want to own that book, smell the hint of cigarettes and stale perfume, and share in that imagined moment.

With that said, I'm very happy to share Dime Store Thrift with you and her display of found objects complete with little entertaining stories and snippets of her daily adventures.

Do you have a thrift store obsession too?

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Benefits of Being Strange

My friends told me I was a nerd. Okay, so that's probably true.

The hubster simply shook his head at me with a look of pity in his eye. Well, he may have a point there also.

All because I shared the fact that, as a child, I had an imaginary friend.

Yes, I admit it. There! I said it. It's out there. Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Yogurt (or Yogie, for short) - Please, let's not go there over my name choice, my 3-year old self had no idea of the future ridicule I might receive as a result, so let's give her a break, shall we? - Okay, now where was I? Oh yes, Yogurt, my imaginary friend, he was from Ontario (? remember we're giving my 3-year old self a break here!) and he would sit at my little table set and sip tea and listen to my tales of outdoor play and exploration and swimming in the brook.

I blame it all on being the middle child. Seriously.

To cheer me up this morning, as I was feeling quite miserable, my friend Christa (the one who lovingly calls me a nerd) sent me an email with a link to an article which you can read HERE.

Ah ha!! I knew it!! I knew that having an imaginary friend would make me proud one day. It's no wonder I'm so gifted with the art of gab. Ha!...and then the journalling, oh how I love keeping journals!

Makes me want to sit and finally start on that book I've been wanting to write. It's like it was just meant to be, all starting with an imaginative pre-schooler with too much time and a brain overflowing with creativity.

Thanks Christa!

Okay, so now I've taken that load off my shoulders.

Perhaps in a future post I will tell you about how I recently discovered my Mi'kmaq Indian heritage, and, upon reading about their beliefs, have now come to understand why I always felt a need to apologize to a tree when it was cut down. Again, seriously.

I probably just upped my nerd status, huh? Oh well, I am what I am. And now I'm going to figure out how to write the first sentence of that book.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Chocolate Moose

I've officially got my "Chocolate Moose Bakery and Cafe" blog up and running.

I started it ages ago but couldn't figure out how to put the "categories" at the top of the page to make it a little more reader friendly. So there I was working on HTML code when Christa explains that all I need to do is add the "gadget"....well, duh!

Anyways, the list includes: How to Find Us, Contact Info, Menu, Bakery Items, etc...and the Blog section.

I decided the blog section would contain updates, of course, AND the answers to various questions I get asked by the guests I serve. I get asked lots of questions - some out of legitimate curiosity (What are bakeapples?), some I would consider quite strange (Do you actually live here in the winter?), and some I don't know the answer to (What's the story behind the NL flag?) but will find out. And yes, to that one, I should be ashamed of myself!

So, if you happen to have a Newfie/Chocolate Moose Bakery & Cafe question you're dying to ask, go to the blog HERE and heave away.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It Only Took a Month and a Half...

...but I've finally have some more weight loss success.

Since coming back from NB at the end of June, I just couldn't seem to get back on track. Every week I would get on the scales and see NO change.

I suppose I should be thankful there was no change. At least I was maintaining my loss instead of gaining.

And finally, over the past two weeks, I've taken off 3 more pounds for a total of 14 lbs to date! Yay for me!

I have some ladies in the community who have been asking me about following Weight Watchers. I thought I might start up a group. I called Weight Watchers to find out if/how I could legitimately start up using their plan - the nearest "Meetings" are in Corner Brook, over an hours drive away. Unfortunately I never got any response.

I'm thinking I might start a little group in the fall anyways. Once a week. Weigh in. I just wouldn't be able to actually use the name "Weight Watchers". I'm just not quite sure I know enough about weight loss to help other women - I suppose we could just help each other. Having a support system is half the battle. But then there's the issue of charging fees. Do I charge a fee? For example, at WW, when I was going before, you'd pay your membership plus a weekly fee. After you got to your goal weight, that weekly fee was dropped as long as your maintained your weight. If you GAINED, then you had to pay. It was a bit of added incentive. Maintain - don't pay. Gain - pay. How would I keep everyone motivated? Any suggestions on starting an independant weight-loss group?

Anyways, in the meantime, I'll keep plugging away at it. It's hard work and I'm still not eating as well or exercising like I need to. But I'll get there! Thanks - I'm glad I have my readers to share my journey, however uneventful, with!

Friday, August 14, 2009

FT Face Meets Tiny Town

It's not too often we get to meet "celebrities" here in our little community of less than 300 people. And it's much less often that I get to serve them our homemade burgers at "The Chocolate Moose", our bakery & cafe. So please excuse me if I'm a little excited to tell you that I met, had a chat with, and served Jeanne Beker yesterday.

For those of you who don't know, Jeanne Beker is the face of Fashion Television and considered an icon in the industry. She is most recently, a judge on Canada's Next Top Model, which is how I'm most familiar with her. She has a super long list of career info, which you can check out here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Beker
or here:
http://www.fashiontelevision.com/show/personality_jeannebeker.aspx

Anyways, Jeanne Beker is in town right now for the Woody Point Writers Festival, an annual event that began about five years ago at the Woody Point Heritage Theatre to celebrate Newfoundland writers, artists, and musicians. The event was originally founded by Mr. Stephen Brunt, a sports journalist and columnist for the Globe and Mail, who just happens to own a summer home in our area with his lovely family, who...ahem...also like to come out to "The Chocolate Moose" on occasion.

I know, it's a shameless display of self-promotion but I just can't help myself - I have to take advantage of the celebrity visits just like everyone else, right?

Anyhoo - the Writers at Woody Point does draw some very interesting people for a few days in August and certainly adds a boost to the businesses in the area. It's very exciting to see the festival become more and more popular and I, for one, welcome the opportunity to have Bonne Bay South in the spotlight, however small that spotlight may be.

Back to Jeanne Beker. Just like my crazy brain, my blogging tends to get slightly side-tracked. Okay, so one of my favourite summer-people - Yes, "we" (and by "we", I mostly mean "I"), actually term our season residents "The Summer People" - Maisie, opens her gorgeous bayside cottage every August to host a "Writer" or a guest thereof. Last year, it was Gordon Pinsent. This year it's Jeanne Beker. Maisie loves our little cafe, God Bless her, and brought Jeanne and her partner in for lunch.

It just so happened that one of the other summer-people happened to be eating lunch at another table, recognized Jeanne Beker as an old university classmate, and started chatting it up. At another table there was a family with 3 daughters, the oldest of which cautiously approached Jeanne's table and, with head-down, hands shaking, said, "Um, excuse me, but you look just like Jeanne Beker...are you?" and after some teasing about how amazing it was that she looked "just like" Jeanne Beker, she enthusiastically talked to the girls about their interest in fashion and the importance of following their dreams and signed autographs for them. And there I was, in between, cooly noting that I was a fan as well whilst rhyming off the topping choices for her burger, "lettuce, tomato, pickle, cheese, bacon,....". The 6 oz burgers were a huge hit, a fact that I am very proud of, since I am personally responsible for the making of the burger patties from scratch. And I am happy to say Jeanne Beker was a lovely lady to serve.

I even bumped into Jeanne (see how I've graduated to a first name basis...haha) at the Writers meet-and-greet that afternoon and her partner was, much to my delight, telling everyone about our wonderfully fully-loaded burgers. "I love a burger you can wear!" was his actual sentiment. Awesome!

Now back to promoting my business - you can visit "The Chocolate Moose" online at our blog www.chocolatemoosebakerycafe.blogspot.com - it's a work in progress but it's a start.

It's just too bad I didn't get a photo of Jeanne Beker to add as proof for this post. And chances are I won't ask either - I may be a fan of hers but I'm also a fan of letting people eat their lunches in peace, celebrity or not.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Solos are Up



I'm been anxiously awaiting this day. The day when Christa would finally put my solo shots on her blog. It seems like I've been waiting forever but she's actually been very quick getting everything done, in my opinion.

I'd been wrestling with the idea of having shots like these taken. I've always wanted them. So my dilemma was an internal battle with myself. On the one hand, there's my confident inner "sex-pot", if you will, dying to be captured on film so that when I'm a little old lady I can show my grandkids how awesome grandma was back in the day.

And on the other hand, there's the timid, put-on-way-too-many-pounds-to-be-sexy, boobs bursting out of my shirt, don't-even-really-know-how-to-put-on-makeup-properly, girl who was scared to death to even attempt posing for this smokin' shoot.

I knew from my maternity photos (also taken by Christa) that I would gradually shake off the jitters and get into it. And I absolutely love my maternity photos - I couldn't have asked for any better work.

So, I should have known Christa would not disappoint this time around either. Like, talk about boosting a girls ego on a boring Tuesday morning! It's amazing what a great photographer and photo editing can do for a girl, eh?....Holy Smokers! I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!! What do you think?

CLICK HERE to check out the Cyball Photography blog for your sneak peak of yours truly! Mwah!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family Photos

Two posts in one day...Wow! I'm usually a two post per week kinda gal, if I'm lucky.

But I'm too excited not to share our wonderful family photos taken by Christa at Cyball Photography while she was "home" vacationing this July.

I love love love all of our photos, it's so hard to choose, but I think this one of Sarah "driving" my dads old '52 Chevy is my fav!

And this one of Jamie and I - not too shabby either!
Head on over to the Cyball Photography blog to see more. Thanks Christa! Can your services extend to helping me decide which ones to print and frame?

Keep reading: my very own solo shots will be up on the blog tomorrow. It's ridiculous how nervous I am...eek!!

Mars: And I don't mean the Bars

I live smack-dab in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Very exciting indeed!


Quite honestly, I never noted the importance of such status while growing up in small town Newfoundland. It's true what they say - ya know, that stuff about taking everything for granted when it's right in front of you.


....or behind you, in the form of mountains, as in my case.


Then, smack-dab in the middle of all that, lies the Tablelands. According to Wikipedia:

The Tablelands, found between the towns of Trout River and Woody Point in Gros
Morne National Park, look more like a barren desert than traditional
Newfoundland. This is due to the ultramafic rock - peridotite - which makes up
the Tablelands. It is thought to originate in the earth's mantle and was forced
up from the depths during a plate collision several hundred million years ago.
Peridotite lacks the usual nutrients required to sustain most plant life, hence
its barren appearance. The rock is very low in calcium, very high in magnesium, and
has toxic amounts of heavy metals. Peridotite is also high in iron, which
accounts for its brownish colour (rusted colour).

To me, it's an amazing site to see, when driving through the "gulch" to Trout River, how the road intersects what looks like two different worlds: On the right, typical forest and bog and moose, and on the left: a barren brown waste-land of the earths mantle with hardly a spot of green. It's the strangest thing ever.


I can't think of a better way for you to see this amazing place than to pass you over to an old friend, Michael Blanchard, who has taken absolutely stunning images (see below) of the area at http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelablanchard/tags/tablelands/


The hubster prompted this post when he told me about a chat on VOCM radio about NASA being in the Tableland area to take samples of the rock for study in comparison to rocks on Mars. Mars: The earth's neighbouring red planet, that is, in case you were wondering. Apparantly, life on the Tablelands could be an indication of life on Mars. Huh? Yep, that's what they say. Read the article HERE on the Western Star website.


Take it or leave it. Believe it or not. There it is. I just wanted to put it out there.

Personally, I love hearing about research of any type in my community because that means publicity, and visitors coming to check us out. I love research. I love my community. I love tourists. However, I still think searching for life on Mars is a waste of money that could be better spent feeding lives on earth. But who am I?

So, if all this talk of the Tablelands and Mars, the planet, doesn't interest you one iota, you can always go on over to Mars, the chocolate bar, website to try and win some yumminess. https://secure.realchocolate.com/ That's where I'm headed. Quite frankly, I prefer the chocolate over the planet.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Still Got It

I had to go to Deer Lake yesterday. There are always errands to run when you own a variety store, always little things to pick up here and there, bank deposits,to do, office supplies to replenish, etc.

I drove with my Mom and Granny. We pulled into the parking lot of the hardware store - I had to pick up an order the hubster had called in earlier. One of the guys who works there was standing at the glass door. I've seen him before - very lean, average height, sandy-coloured hair, Indian ink tattoos from his early days, neither attractive nor unattractive, but with a glint in his eye that speaks of "bad-boyishness".

I approach the door and it swings open.
I think: "Ah, being a gentlemen I see..."
Forgive me, but I do love when a man opens a door for me.
I look up and smile and say "Thank you".
And he looks back at me as I pass and in response says, "You must have just fell from heaven!"
BAHAHAHAHAHA....I kid you not, I wouldn't lie, that man ACTUALLY spoke those words!
I immediately think: "Oh yeah, angel right here...and you sir, are probably the devil in disguise."
But as I sway by and glance back over my shoulder, all I can do is giggle like a schoolgirl.
I continue on, feeling his eyes on my back. (But then I think: Well Myrna, good or bad, it's kinda hard to miss this "volumptuous" booty...ha)
I walk up to the counter , get my stuff, and leave the store.

Maybe the guy's just a sucker for a girl who can carry a 50lb box of nails.

I got in the truck and cracked up laughing, telling my mom and grandmother how I just got hit on. They both had a good laugh too and mom agreed with my "devil in disguise" analysis. Too funny!

But still, in a strange and twisted way, it sorta made my day.
Singin'...
I still got it
Oh yeah
It's your birthday
Get your groove on

Call me a sucker for compliments.

But still, I think I'll send the hubster to the hardware store himself next time.