Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A few posts behind, but still feeling creative!

Hello folks!

Well, I've gotten a wee bit behind on the last few posts of the year in the Kickin' It Old Skool Blog-A-Thon, but fear not! This has kick-started the writing menace in me, so she'll be continuing to kick up a storm this coming new year.

My Day 31 post will be about this past month, and what I thought about my experience writing and searching within. And I still need to finish my Day 29 and 30 posts, but these will all have to wait until Friday, as it'll be a hoppin' few days at the theatre! I hope that my writing will continue to make you smile and maybe kick-start your own writing spree. Who knows what this year will bring??

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Sending love, light and hugs to you all!

Polly  xoxoxo

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Day 28: One Sentence Saturdays - Your Word for 2014

A few words popped into my mind immediately when I saw that I was to pick one word for 2014:

                                     Focus   Serenity   Ease   Security   Health
I also thought about what I *wouldn't* want for next year, and what the antonyms were for those words.  I didn't want to be stressed, tense, burdened by finances, overworked, or sick.

And then it hit me ....

I want to be free from everything that holds me down, belittles me, discourages me, etc.
Could one word hold all that power? Will it work for me?
Only time will tell, and I've got 365 days worth of it to fill up! Here's to everyone and their words for 2014! May you fulfill everything you wish for in the new year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

4000 hits on the blog and counting!

Wow! My counter says that I've just passed 4000 hits on my blog! That's insane!

When I started to write daily for Shannon and Jamie's Kickin' It Old-Skool Blog-a-thon, my counter was at a tiny bit over 2900. That's quite the jump for not even a month later!

This is such fabulous inspiration that I've got some wonderful ideas for posts for 2014. Here's hoping that I stay inspired!

If any of you have a topic that you'd like to hear my thoughts on, I'd love to hear about them! Shoot me a message or comment anytime!

Thank you all for being such an incredible community out there!!

Day 27: Final Friday

On the final Friday of the year, I'm going to share a little bit about the year that was 2013.

1. What will you remember about 2013?

It was the year that good karma came into my life. I hope this carries through to 2014!

2. What are you ready to leave behind?

Insecurities. Doubt. My inner critic. 

3. What's something you learned in 2013?

I was promoted more than once this year, and because of that, I realized that: 
- I really am good at my job
- People have faith in my abilities
- My self-confidence is back bigtime!

4. What would you like to celebrate about this past year?

Becoming aware of all of the things I listed in #3 makes me feel like a million bucks. It's a wonderful feeling, and I hope that I only go upwards and onwards from here. I also celebrate how lucky I am to have such incredibly caring friends in my crazy little world. There's a lot to be thankful for in my life right now, and I don't want to forget to count my blessings when the bad days come around. 


Day 26: Ten Things in Your Fridge

Day 26 is asking about the items in my fridge. Well, it's emptier since we had to throw it all out from the almost 3 days of no power. Here's all the new stuff in there:

- strawberry jam
- bag of Royal Gala apples
- bag of Bartlett pears
- container with Timothy's Hazelnut coffee (fine-grind)
- 1/2 can of Carnation evaporated milk
- 1/2 bag of Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese

And a few items that I just bought last night at a mini-supermarket that never lost power!

- 1L carton of 2% milk
- 2L carton of OJ
- spreadable butter
- eggs

Will be filling it up more this weekend, but right now it seems so empty. A lot easier to find things, though!

Day 24: Holiday Disasters!

**Funny how I had already started writing my account of what we went through with the storm and then found that Day 24's prompt was all about holiday disaster stories! Talk about timing! Here's what I began Monday night and finished this evening (Friday):

Hey everyone!

If you've been paying attention to the news here in Canada the past few days, you'll have heard that we experienced a horrific ice storm. It started here in Toronto and is moving east across the country.
Chris and I worked late Saturday and got home around midnight. We stayed up watching a movie, but at 1:20am, all the power in the area went out. We had passed by other areas that had lost power earlier when we were on the bus ride home, but didn't even think that we'd experience it as well.

We were so not thinking about any preparation the days before the storm, that we didn't stock up on any food or provisions. Hurray for silly people!

Luckily we had enough to scrape by for food, but holy cow, we just barely scraped by! Good thing we love the smell of candles in the apartment - we had those aplenty, so at least we had that going for us.

Here's the breakdown of what we went through starting from when we woke up on Sunday morning.

10:15am - Woke up to find out that not only did we not have any power, but also my cell phone was getting no reception. I saw that my aunt had called and left a message but there was no way to check it or call her back. Chris' phone battery was only about 30% full, so I made a quick call to my aunt. We were supposed to be going up to her place for Christmas dinner, but their power was out as well so we were all out of luck. I called my mom afterwards to let her know that I was okay, and she still had power so I was happy for that. Once I finished the calls, we plugged his phone into our laptop to use what little energy we had from that to boost it into it. We were fortunate enough to get the phone up to 81% before the laptop battery gave out.

I grabbed my camera and took a picture of the tree outside the living room window. We're on the 2nd floor of a lowrise building, and the tree towers over the lawn.

Since the milk in the fridge was slowly going to go bad, we ate as much cereal as we could that morning. It's become our little tradition for Chris to make lasagna for Christmas, so we already bought all the cheese for it. 2 containers of ricotta cheese and 2 big balls of mozzarella sat in the fridge just begging to be gnawed on by us. Add a half a loaf of bread, and that's all we had to last us throughout the day. The sidewalks were so awful, there was no way we could go out and get anything at all. We slid right into the bus shelter when we got off the bus the night before! It was insane that absolutely nobody had salted the walkways. Hunkered down for the day, we paced ourselves with what we had. But wait ... what's that in my bag? A muffin from Tim Horton's that I forgot to eat yesterday? Huzzah! More food! I was so excited by this that I took my time and ate it over the span of half an hour. Talk about being mindful!

Chris and I sat bundled up in our papasan chairs - him reading a book, and me doing crosswords, of course! - until about 2pm when I became quite tired. Since we couldn't have any coffee, I wasn't able to perk up like I always do in the morning. I didn't want to head back to bed when there only a few more hours of daylight left, but I could only fight for 15 more minutes before my tired body had to go and lie down again.

When Chris came in to wake me up, it felt like it must have been at least 10pm. I felt as though I'd had a pretty deep sleep, so I was feeling good. My heart sank when I looked at the digital alarm clock in the living room and it said 6:19pm.
I was only out for 4 hours? Sigh. oh well.

By this time, our best friend Shaun had made it back home (he lives in the apartment next door). He came over and we decided to play Scrabble. Our combined flashlight inventory would help the candles out in seeing the board and the Scrabble dictionary better.

Just before we started, Chris and Shaun decided to each drink the wines they had bought for Christmas dinner presents to help keep them warm. Since I don't drink, I ended up breaking open the box of Pot of Gold chocolates I had bought as a gift as well. 

SIDE NOTE - Many of my friends might be questioning how I could eat chocolate when they know I can't eat it. A few years ago, my doctor told me that the reason I was having pain in my right breast was the result of too much caffeine and chocolate. It happens to a lot of women when they get into their late 30s, especially if they have dense breast tissue. Well, there was absolutely NO WAY I was giving up coffee, so ... bye bye chocolate! Back to the outage ... since I couldn't have coffee that morning or afternoon, I could have some chocolate. It really perked me up and filled my tummy, but you know what? I haven't missed eating it at all. I thought it would be glorious to be able to enjoy it again, but it really didn't do anything for me. Ah, well.

Let's get back to Scrabble and the fabulous hand I had at one point. NOONEE!!   :)

After I demolished my competition (I sprang ahead by placing TOOTSIES on a Triple Word Score and then adding 50 points for a bingo), we brought out the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit board and played a round of that. Yes, we are huge nerds! The guys retired rather quickly after the game, but I took a picture of the aftermath. Couldn't believe how great the flash worked on my camera in the dark! 

Before Shaun went back next door, we came up with a plan. When the other people on our floor got home around 9pm, they told us that there was power up the road from us in the next grid (Victoria Park and Eglinton). We decided to get up at 4am to head up there and fill his tank up with gas. We'd also see if the Walmart that's open 24 hrs around Christmas was indeed open so we could stock up on supplies and food. 

We then put my present to him to use. A set of walkie talkies from Canadian Tire. I thought it'd be a funny gift seeing as how Shaun loves gadgets, and we live right beside each other. It seems kind of eerie that I had the foresight to somehow know we would need these! 

4am came rather quickly (we hit the hay around 11pm, but I couldn't fall asleep), and we got ready to hit the roads. It was so nice to see power on up there, and comforting too. There was no way we could be without power for too much longer if they had all of this still working right here, right? We followed the plan to a T. Getting gas was a breeze -there were hardly any cars out! And Walmart was open. I hope nobody judges me on shopping there. Yes, the way the workers are treated is horrible, but there were much-needed supplies to get. And get them, I did. When we walked through the door, my mind instantly went to candles. I asked a few people who were near the door where they were, and they pointed right behind us. "That's all that's left." We turned and saw a half-filled shopping cart and a box next to it, that was only about 1/4 filled. I grabbed 2 boxes of 3 candle-sets with a couple extra. Shaun grabbed 2 large candles. He then decided to go back to the car since he realized he could charge his phone in there. I continued on to the grocery area and grabbed what I could to last us a few days. 

When I was finished, we loaded the car up and then had the best moment ever. We drove across the street to Tim Horton's and got fresh, piping hot coffee. Aaaahhhhhh! It was the best! We got back home around 5:30am, and put all my shopping just outside the kitchen for yet another picture.

Think ahead next time, silly girl! :)

I was still not tired at all (even though my body felt exhausted), so I borrowed Shaun's radio to listen for updates and stayed up 3 more hours til I had to wake Chris up for work. We both worked 12 hours on Monday! As fate would have it, we were showing free Christmas movies all day, so we ended up being an unofficial warming centre. Though we were a lot busier than we were expecting, the most wonderful thing about Monday was that in lieu of charging for tickets, we were collecting donations for the
Stop Community Food Centre - both monetary and non-perishable food items.

We had such an outpouring of love, that we filled 10 huge boxes of food and raised over $1300!!!

Halfway through the evening, I found out from Shaun that our power was still out. He got an offer to stay at a friend's place, so I decided to book a hotel room for me and Chris. We couldn't really afford it, but we couldn't really afford not to, so I got us a room at the Courtyard Marriott downtown. When we finished work, we bolted down, got the room, grabbed a couple of Subway subs for dinner, went back and inhaled them, and then had THE BEST SHOWER EVER!!! We may not have had clean clothes to put back on, but feeling fresh again was the greatest early Christmas present we could have received.

I took a photo of our view the next morning. Hey Toronto!

We found out that our power came back on at 10am Christmas Eve morning - just 2 hours before checkout at the hotel. Huzzah! We grabbed a bunch of fresh food and then Chris went right home, while I went back to the theatre to grab more last-minute change to get through 2 days of bank holidays. Coming home to our apartment was a wonderful feeling. The supers had cranked the heat, so it wasn't freezing in there anymore. We made some dinner and later that night we *chose* to turn off all the lights and watch Alastair Sim's "A Christmas Carol" by candlelight.

It was quite the experience to go through (and sadly, some people are still without power now), but it was wonderful and humbling to see friends offering their homes and showers to us in our time of need. Seeing people come together during this ordeal really brought home what this time of year should really be about: being there and spending time with loved ones, and telling them how much you love them.

I hope this long and rambling story finds you all warm and happy and in the company of those close to you! Hugs galore to you all!
xoxo   :)

Day 23: Books

This is a good one - books I love. Here are my favourite books of all-time. Ones that made me think and opened my mind to a whole new world.

I actually can't seem to think of what to write under them as little blurbs, so I think this time around, I'll just let the covers speak for themselves!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Playing catch-up!!

Just as I started to type this, I thought of Andrew from the last season of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" doing his recording and saying "Oh hello there, gentle viewers ..."

Well, it's funny if you're a Buffy fan.  :)

Anyhoo, the power outage from the ice storm has me playing major catch-up with writing and posting. I've decided to write and save all my updates and then post them all at once. I should hopefully have everything up by Saturday. Hopefully you are all doing well and are back to normal if you went through all the chaos like me.

Stay tuned for some fabulous stuff! And stay warm! Here's a roaring fire for you to cozy up to in the meantime!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day 22: Wee Me

Trying to play catch up with the Blog-a-thon now that the power is back on! Luckily these next two posts are easy ones - my Day 24 post is a looooooong one that I haven't finished writing yet. Far too many details to fill you all in on!  :)

These 2 photos I've got side by side are ones I really like of me. The first one is from 1975 and there's an Elvis special on the tv. Looks like I'm enjoying it, but my mom was always the Elvis fan of the family - I'm a true-blue Johnny Cash fan myself! The second one is the year before ('73) and it's me looking all cool and hip on the Toronto Island ferry. If you look carefully, you'll see that that's the CN Tower being built right behind me. Growing up, I lived on the 9th floor of a highrise that looked south from Davisville, right over Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and all the way down to parts of Lake Ontario. The skyline was incredible as a child. I feel so lucky to have had that view before we became Condo City of the World.

And this is a picture of me from 1974 and it captures the wonderful, mischievous little girl who still exists.  

I think I need to make it my mission to find a red and white checkered dress this year and matching red shoes with white laces, so I can recreate this photo 30 years after the fact! Challenge accepted!  :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Day 21: One Sentence Saturday - I Love This Quote!

An easy one today as I knew immediately what my favourite quote was:

I heard this while I was nearing the end of my marriage and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I understood it and felt it with every fibre in my being. I thought of this quote a lot when I made the decision to walk out after a decade of being in an unhealthy relationship.

It's also a quote I pass along to other people to help them get through difficult times. Beautiful and powerful at the same time.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Day 20: My First ... (the Meme Edition)

More firsts to talk about today!

1. Your first job

My mother was a registered nurse in a nursing home, so that was the environment I grew up in. Since I was always around for events and holidays, helping out where I could, when I turned 14, I was asked by the social convener if I wanted to start working as a server in the dining hall and get paid for it. I already knew all the residents so it wouldn't be too much of a transition. My mother thought it would be a good idea, and thus began my start in the service industry. I gotta tell ya - if you want know how to tackle/ condition yourself for the pickiest and grumpiest customers ever, then start your career in the same fashion as me! Here's an example of something that happened one day.

Me: Here's your coffee, Mr. Reid!
Him: I want tea!!
Me: You don't like tea, Mr. Reid. You drink coffee.
(5 minutes later after going to the kitchen to change his order)
Me: Here's your tea, Mr. Reid.
Him: (scowling at the cup and then back at me) I don't drink tea!
Me: Yes, I know, but you asked me to bring you tea instead of coffee today, Mr. Reid.
Him: I WANT MY COFFEE! (he screams, and then smacks the cup and saucer off the table)
Me: Okay, Mr. Reid.

And ... scene. It wasn't always like that, but when I look back on it, I couldn't have wished for a better way to be prepared for what has ended up being an almost 30 year run in the (customer) service industry.

2. The first thing to your left

My oversized Neil Diamond tour mug. You better believe it!

3. Something you remember about First Grade

A lot of my childhood is blocked from my memory, so I sadly can only recall one thing about the First Grade. The school I attended was Davisville Public School / Metropolitan School for the Deaf. One end of the school was dedicated strictly for the MSD, and just because I lived across the street, I was fortunate enough to attend a regular public school that just happened to start teaching French in Grade One, and also a bit of Sign Language once a week. I only remember how to do a handful of sign language (excuse the unintended pun there), but having access to realize how many forms communication takes at a very early age was an absolute godsend, and it's yet another thing I am grateful for being exposed to as a youngster. 

4. The first book you ever read

The first book I remember loving was one that my cousin Alan gave to me as a present. The two of us eventually ended up in the comedy world, so it was an extremely fitting gift at the time.

For far too many years to count, I would run around at holiday family gatherings, reading all the jokes from the book until one of the adults had had enough and took the book from me. Slowly figuring out that I didn't need the book, I began to memorize chapters at a time, so once the book was removed from my hands, it didn't matter - I could still tell all the jokes, whether they liked it or not. And they most certainly did NOT! I still have this book on my shelf, and am so happy I got to talk about it today, that I think it's time to start annoying people once more! Here are some of my favourites from the well-loved pages of the "Daffinitions" chapter (that are quite witty when I reread them now!): 

Advertising - The art of making you think you've longed all your life for something you never heard of before

Tomorrow - One of the greatest labour-saving devices of today.

Synonym - A word you use when you can't spell the other one

World - A jigsaw puzzle with a peace missing

No wonder I ended up loving words and puzzles so much!  :)

5. The first thing you do in the morning

Go pee! Seriously, I had to be honest here! Then I quickly scan regular and work emails, and Facebook before making coffee. 

6. The first food you knew you didn't like

Turnip. My family is Scottish and I would eat everything with the exception of that horrid thing. The smell of it being cooked in the kitchen also made me ill. Blech! 

7. Your first memory

My mom took me to see "Bambi" when I was 2 or 3 and when (SPOLIER ALERT IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM) Bambi's mother dies, I was crying so hard we had to leave the theatre. Maybe that's the catalyst for me turning into such an emotional and sensitive person: I've never gotten over Mrs. Bambi being murdered! Damn you, Disney!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day 19: 10 Things In My Bag

You don't know how thankful I am that Suzie and Shannon are only asking about 10 things in my bag! There are far too many items swimming around in there (and every bag I switch around), but there's a standard set of items I cannot leave the house without.

In the spirit of this festive season though, I thought I'd come up with an updated version of the 12 Days of Christmas song that we all know and love. Starting from the last day, sing along with the countdown of everything you can find in my bags on any given day of the year, not just holiday time!

On the 19th day of sharing, Polly showed her bag to me:

12 Used Kleenexes
11 Bucks In Loose Coins
10 Pens That Don't Work
  9 Random Crosswords
  8 Reactine Tablets
  7 Squished Maxi-Pads
  6 Packs of Mentos
  5 Coffee Sleeeeeeeves!
  4 Burt's Bees Lip Balms
  3 Half-Used Notebooks
  2 Day-Old Muffins 
and An Inhaler That Has Almost Run Out!


Day 18: Make A Wish

"As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you also."

I sat for a few minutes thinking about doing a list of what I wish for. After I typed the first line, it dawned on me that I didn't need to do a whole list. What came out of me as the first line, is really all I need to focus on, and wish for not only myself but everyone out there.

I wish to focus more on positive news than negative news.

Kinda sounds too easy, but holy cow, it's a lot more difficult than it seems! When I was a teenager, I used to get up at the crack of dawn, make a pot of coffee, and read the newspaper cover to cover. I had been through some traumatic events in my life, and as a result, became obsessed with all the negative stories and events taking place throughout the world. Funny thing is, even though it wasn't the last one, I always left the entertainment section as the last to read. I may have concentrated mostly on bad news, but made sure that I cleansed my palate with some fun after it all.

I don't read the paper like that anymore, and have to admit that I'm quite happy being ignorant in a lot of topics because I just don't want to be inundated with so much negativity. If you want to call me stupid for being that way (and trust me, people have - my exhusband called me that every day for a decade), then that's your problem, not mine. I've talked about how sensitive and emotional I am on here a few times, and I can't just turn it all off with a snap of a finger. When I read about something horrible going on in the world, it kills me that I can't help in any way. I try to compensate by doing as much for charity that I can here at home, because I love helping people, and I can see that what I'm doing is contributing a lot (even in small doses).

I'm very thankful I stopped watching tv almost 15 years ago too. If there are shows I have heard about that I want to watch, I either do it online or wait for the dvds. The amount of bad news is overwhelming. Every year I go to the hospital for my mammogram and sit in the waiting area for my name to be called. They have a tv mounted high up in the corner across from the nurses desk and it's always on CP24 (a Toronto news channel). In the past, they had the sound off and had the closed captions on the bottom of the screen. Now the volume is turned way up. So I'm sitting in a hospital and report after report of awful news is being spewed at me. I can't go anywhere because I have to be able to hear my name, but people think I'm nuts when I pick up a chair and move it to the completely opposite side of the area, far away from the tv. I'll take a bunch of weird looks any day if it means I can keep a clear head, thank you!

The choice I make to not pay attention to all the bad stuff means that I have all that more time to look for the GOOD stuff. The links below are some of the sites that I look at semi-regularly for positive news.

Good News Network
Daily Good
Good News Yahoo
Huff Post Good News

Do you know any sites for positive/happy newsstories? I'd love to hear them!

Bad news/issues still affect me, and for 2014, I'd like to focus more on not only paying attention to more positivity, but also doing more positive things. My wish from that, is that it will pay itself forward and help others feel better and do the same. I can't ask for anything healthier than that!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Day 17: Free Association

Ah, free association time! I get a list of Inspiration Words, and I share what they inspire in me.

What's interesting is that each of these inspired new goals for 2014. Hopefully I'll stick with them!

1. River

Spending more time walking in nature, especially in the good weather. I love to go down to Harbourfront, but I didn't make it down at all this year, and I haven't been to the Toronto Islands in years. We managed to walk along the boardwalk in the Beaches once this summer, and did a stroll all through High Park two summers ago. Will rectify this for sure next year.

2. Fresh

Fruits and vegetables. My diet tends to be good only a wee bit of the time, so it's essential that I get better at eating more from these two food groups. I feel really good when I get enough of them in my system, but it's easy to buy cheap and fast unhealthy foods, and that's what I ingest mostly. Time to make the time for quality! 

3. Escape

Books. I was reading quite a number of books a couple of years ago, but haven't done so lately, and I miss it. I've gravitated towards only reading non-fiction, and love learning about other people, cultures and events. I want to get back into reading the excess stuff on my shelves, and keeping up with new and exciting books that come out throughout the year.

4. Moment

Being in the moment. It's been a few years since I've practiced meditation. It helped me tremendously before - it's time to stop getting worked up so easily.

5. Night

Health! I usually get home from work after midnight, and as a result I tend to hit the hay with a bunch of clothes in a pile, and my face not properly washed. Neither of these are any good. I'm trying to get into a set of routines where I wouldn't miss anything major at both the start and end of the day. In addition to simply putting clothes away (which I just seem to be so bad at!) and cleansing my face, I want to do at least 15 minutes of writing to just get stuff out. Writing down all the crap that floats around in my head really settles me down, and if I can do it right before I lie down, I might actually get better sleep.

Day Sixteen: Favourite Songs

Some of the prompts I'm getting from the Kickin' It Old Skool Blog-A-Thon are coming at the perfect time. Today is asking for our favourite songs. If you remember from an earlier post this month, I was talking about us doing mix tapes at work for presents. I wasn't able to finish mine by the Staff Party date, but my recipient was more than happy to hear that she'd get it on Christmas Day at work. Today was the day for me to finalize the content for it. Well, it's actually turned into a bit of an anthology - it'll be 3 cds! All songs that meant something to me at some point in my life, or got me through tough times.

With that being said, here are a select few, with videos attached:

Marianne Faithfull - "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"
A song that I truly connected with while I was in my bad marriage. The lyrics really hit me.

Cyndi Lauper - "Money Changes Everything"
My favourite song of the woman I've loved for 30 years.

The Cranberries - "Ridiculous Thoughts"
A song that makes me dance like crazy!

Polyphonic Spree - "You Don't Know Me"
This song pulls my spirits up if I'm feeling stressed or tired.

Liza Minelli - "Cabaret" from "Cabaret"
Another song whose lyrics mean the world to me. Stuff to live by.

Johnny Cash - "Hurt"
It may be a cover of a NIN song, but it could really have been written by him. So moving and heartbreaking, the video touches you even more.

"Book of Mormon: The Musical" - "I Believe"
Saw this when it opened on Broadway and this song (about finding one's faith) is another one that lifts me right up.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Day Fifteen: Who Do You Love? Part 1

This is my favourite of the posts so far - I get to show pictures of those I love!

I've just changed the title so that I could add "Part 1". Going through photos, I realize there are far too many people I'd be leaving out! My friends are my family, so here's the first lot.
Hope you enjoy them! Maybe after Christmas, I'll do Part 2! :)




Eric, Matt, Chris, Marc, Bob!

Remo, Hellboy and Bonnie!




Tracey with an E!


Daniel (with the latchhook rug hanging I made for his store)!

                                            Si├ón (I had to copy and paste to get the accent)!


And then of course, there's my fella. Best thing that ever happened to me!

Day Fourteen: One Sentence Saturday - From a Book

As per our instructions for the day, the third book in on the top shelf of books starts as follows:

Ask people to name the most consequential inventions of world history, and you'll hear a list probably including the wheel, the telephone, the atomic bomb, the first computing machine (comedian Mel Brooks, in his 1960s audio skit "The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Man", claimed the greatest invention was Saran Wrap).

This is the start to the book "Language Visible - Unraveling the Mystery of the Alphabet From A to Z".
I won it in a raffle at a Pen Canada event years ago, but like many of the books on my shelves, I have yet to find the time to read it. My prize was an entire bag of books that had to do with language and communication - could you get anything more perfect for me??

Doing this post today (which is technically a day late - oops!), reminds me how many books I have on my shelves that remain unread. I used to have a LOT more books, and have given away approximately 700 of them away over the past 7 years. It's crazy to think how it all accumulates! What I have now fits perfectly onto 2 large bookcases, and my intention a couple of years ago was to try to read what I have instead of going out and either buying more. I started using the library more and that was great, but it made me read all new books as opposed to tackling what was waiting for me at home. Maybe 2014 will be the year I get back to going through the shelves! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day Thirteen: My First ...

Today on the blog-a-thon, we're to talk about a first. I have to admit that I looked at a bunch of the posts already submitted for today to get an idea of what to write about. They were all great! It was about a first car, first dog, first kiss ... but nothing was popping into my head. Then I realized it was staring me right in the face.

This is my first consistent blog post run!
And the first daily ritual I've followed religiously!

I started this blog a few years ago in the hopes of writing more. Well, writing PERIOD, to be honest. I've always wanted to be better at writing, but keep getting into my head and not following through. Friends have repeatedly told me over the years that they love my stuff, and think I should do more with it. Easier said than done!

Not sure if I'll explain things clearly enough here, but I'll give it my best shot:

I started writing a one-woman show earlier this year, but haven't written anything to do with it as of late. It's about how I have gotten through life since I was raped at the age of 14. I've been through more than one person should ever go through in their life, but therein lies the writer's block. Where am I going with this? And what's the purpose of this play, or to an even greater extent, my life? Not to freak anybody out, but those who are close to me know that in the few years after my attack, I attempted suicide 4 times and had 2 breakdowns. Something that only a small handful of people know on top of that, is that twice in my life (and only in the past 10 years) I have heard a "voice". I have no idea what this voice was, but they were very life-changing moments for me, and to this day, I don't know what to do with what happened. I was hoping that once I started writing the show, it would finally dawn on me, but alas, not having an epiphany about it has created more doubt in my ability to write a show that anyone would care about.

Bottom line (and what I'm not sure I'm explaining properly) is that I've always "gotten through" life. I've always somehow arrived at a certain place in my life and figured out either easily, or through great difficulty how to get through whatever it is, and then move forward. I've never had any Life Plan Objective. Sometimes I feel like that's a good thing, while other times I feel completely lost. I don't regret not knowing what I've wanted to do with my life since I was a child. I used to feel insecure when I was around people who knew what to study and devote their lives to at such a young age. It took me til just before I reached this 5th decade of life (!) to appreciate the fact that I am what I am, and that's just fine as it is.

I, like many people, have bad days and good days. There are days off where I have grand plans to clean up the apartment, and then fail spectacularly as I just sit in front of the computer all day long. Then I feel horrible when I go to work the following day, as I'll be returning home after my shift to a messy home. And then it's an endless cycle. It's my goal one day (or year) to get into daily routines. I've tried numerous times, and most of those times, I feel like "this is the one!", only to not follow through a few days later.

This blog-a-thon is the first time I've followed though on something ... anything ... for more than a week straight. And it feels so frikken good. The thought of what I would do on January 1st popped into my head yesterday - what am I going to do when there are no more prompts for a creative outlet waiting for me when I look at the computer screen? My heart sank as I thought about losing this drive again.

But it doesn't have to end. I'm not sure what my new goal entails, but if any of you reading this are interested in continuing with this incredible creative flow, I'd love to keep going with a weekly project. No pressure to do anything on a daily basis, but maybe one person of the group comes up with either a theme or a task for the week, and then if we want to, or have the time to devote to it any of those days, we post about it.

Like I said, it's the first thought that popped into my mind, but I love being a part of this wondrous community of writers now, and would love to do more within it.

Um .... I had no idea that this was all going to come out of me! Not like this is my first ramble ever, but I guess I needed to get a bunch of stuff out there. Maybe I'm just supposed to write whatever in the hopes that other people out there don't get in their heads like me? Are we all in the same boat?

Maybe there's a second show in me that will talk about that ..... ?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day Twelve: 10 Things I Know For Sure

I'm finally sitting down after redoing the entire storage room today at work with Chris and Ron. This came on the heels of working an entire day yesterday with our holiday staff party rounding it out (and ending at 3am!).

To state that I am tired is the understatement of the year.  :)

Since I have an hour to wait for Chris to finish work once the late show gets out, I figured I'd get crackin' on my post of the day. Let's see if any of this is coherent - I've been chugging coffee and sprite all day long.

1. I can't do accents to save my life, but at least my pathetic attempts are funny enough, so I'm still entertaining.

2.  Chris is always instantaneously pulled out of a bad/grumpy mood when I pull out my recorder and play it with my nose. How can you stay upset or angry when *that* happens?

3. My metabolism is not what it was when I was 20. Or even 30. I have finally come to terms with it.

4. My hugs are full of healing energy.

5. Quite a few of you I'm already talking with (and others I'll be connecting with soon) here in this blog-a-thon will become friends for life, and even possibly close confidants.

6. The best late night snack is a bowl of Bran Flakes (or All Bran Strawberry Bites) with soy milk.

7. Throwing on episodes of "The West Wing" boosts my mood like nothing else!

8. I will never, ever, ever, ever run for any level of political office.

9. I am damn good at my job!

10. When I reach the 10th and final spot on a Top Ten list, I either struggle to figure out what I'll put down to finish the list, or I have to whittle down 5 different items to just one. Both ways drive me mad!

Hey, I made sense in all of these. Huzzah!  :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day Eleven: Weepy Wednesday

The question today is:

What makes you weepy?

Oh my frakken god ... EVERYTHING! I cry at the drop of a hat, and then I'm most likely crying because the hat has been dropped in a puddle or got coffee knocked all over it.

I cry at sad movies. I cry at happy movies. I cry when one minute of a really crappy film turns out to be the one moment of goodness that restores my faith in everything. I cry at an emotional event. Then hours, days, even months and years later, I cry remembering it all again. I cry when I see a couple being affectionate to each other on the bus. I cry when I hear certain pieces of music.
Actually, I bawl my eyes at music a lot.
I think you get the point.

My fella was joking when he first said it, but I think he might actually make it official - I'm banned from watching the finale of Battlestar Galactica ever again. I won't reveal any spoilers, but if you've seen it, you know how much happens in that last hour of the show, and I pretty much have a nervous breakdown watching it.
Every. Single. Time.

Being a recovering alcoholic, I've had to confront a lot of my demons and issues and work them out. It's been 6 years, and though I've made great strides in certain areas, there are still quite a few that need constant work. I used to go right to the bottle to hide from everything, but handling situations sober now has made me so much stronger than I could have ever imagined.

I'm a very sensitive person, so now when I'm faced with something that would make me drink years ago, I tackle it head-on .... yet I can't stop the wave of emotions that still sweep right over, under, and through me.

I wouldn't change it for anything in the world, though. It brings me back into the moment and makes me fully aware of being alive and grateful for all that I have. I'd rather be full of feeling than absolutely dead inside.

Great ... writing that last sentence has made my eyes water. Sigh.

Day Ten: Show and Tell

It's Show and Tell Day! It took me a really long time to figure out what I was going to post today, but when it hit me, it hit me hard.

At the end of September, I went to Word on the Street here in Toronto (the national book fest). In my wandering around, I met a guy running a table and we got to talking. His name was Harrison (his website is Harrison Wheeler) and he was one of the funniest and most creative people I'd met in ages. He told me that he thought my energy was fantastic and that I seemed very creative too, so he gave me a project to work on that he would eventually take over. He looked through a bunch of cards on the table and handed me the one I've posted below.

I was to write a story to go with this image, and then in turn, he would do the illustrations for the rest of my story.

At least, I *think* that's what I was supposed to do! As most of you are well aware, time is a harsh mistress, and almost 2 1/2 months after the fact, the card has resurfaced. I think the Show and Tell prompt for today was quite fitting as I wrote the start to the story on my subway ride last night. I messaged Harrison through Facebook to 1) apologize for the delay, and 2) ask if I had remembered the project correctly.

We'll see what he says (if I hear back from him, that is!), but what better way to show and tell this story than to post it here. Go back up and take a look at the drawing on the card, and then read what I've done:


He doesn't remember much of his childhood. Just scattered bits and pieces here and there, like a jigsaw puzzle that will never be completed. Come to think of it, he doesn't remember a lot of his past ... but it's not like he had a traumatic accident that caused him to lose his memories.

No, he's just never had that much of an interesting life. And that's how he came up with his name.

Always feeling detached from the goings-on of the rest of the world, he found it quite fitting to forego the name bestowed upon him at birth. There's really no point to bring it up now either, seeing as how we are in the here and now.

And so begins the journey of Miles Away.


Funny how after staring at the card for about 10 minutes, the next 10 were spent writing all of the above rather quickly. I'll see if anything else pops into my mind, but I thought I'd see what you all thought of the start of this story.

Has it grabbed you at all?
Shall I try to see if there's a Chapter 2 inside of me somewhere?
Is it Fate that I wrote this the day before today's prompt?
And while I'm at it ... how *do* they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar????


Monday, December 9, 2013

Day Nine: Favourite Movies

Whoops! Looks like I inadvertently listed my favourites early as part of Day Five's prompt.

Guess I'll have to come up with some different titles, so here are other comfort films of mine (in alphabetical order) that practically live in my BluRay player:

As Good As It Gets (James L. Brooks - 1997)
The Apartment (Billy Wilder - 1960)
The Aviator (Martin Scorsese - 2004)
Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks - 1991)
Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot - 1999)
Hot Tub Time Machine (Steve Pink - 2010)
The Impostors (Stanley Tucci - 1998)
Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg - 1993)
Lake Placid (Steve Miner - 1999)
Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris - 2006)
Oceans Twelve (Steven Soderbergh - 2004)
Office Space (Mike Judge - 1999)
The Shawshank Redemtion (Frank Darabont - 1994)
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Trey Parker - 1999)
Star Trek (JJ Abrams - 2009)
The Time Machine (George Pal - 1960)
Wet Hot American Summer (David Wain - 2001)
The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi,
the Christopher Guest trilogy (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind),
and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended versions, of course!)

Wow - looking at this list, there are a LOT of comedies! Pretty neat when you look at it all at once!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day Eight: Share Where You Blog!

Wanna see where I type all my posts from? Ta da!

I raised the monitor up with a few encyclopaedias (a trick I learned in AJ Jacob's book Drop Dead Healthy) so as to not strain my neck. Marianne Faithfull has been one of my muses for decades and that poster was the only poster up on the wall at that concert. I kindly asked the security guard standing beside it if he'd mind if I took it, and to my surprise, he said yes! Been framed ever since. The top left photo is of me standing in the legendary Sun Studios in Mephis, Tennessee wailing on Elvis' mic. I'm not so much of an Elvis fan, but that's where my other muse, Johnny Cash recorded as well, so being in there was magical beyond belief. Can't believe that picture was taken almost 15 years ago!

It's right across from my Creative Corner. Lots of crossword items, of course! :)
Snow White was cross-stitched by my Granny and I love having it on the wall in this area.
We did latch hooking together, and I started up again about a year and a half ago, but haven't had the time for it in the last 6 months. I'd love to get back to it in the new year. I've never been a gal with routines, but it's something I've been slowly working on and hopefully in the new year, I'll be able to get into rhythms and pace myself better to fit in everything I love.

And when we have the curtains open, these guys are right beside me.

From left to right, they are Alison, Jimmy Olsen, and Regina.

I look forward to seeing where everyone else works from!  :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Crossword Superstar!

Doing an added bonus post today!

There's a huge 3-page article on the 100th anniversary of the crossword in the Toronto Star today, and I'm featured right at the very end.
Check it out:

Toronto Star: The crossword is 100 years old

And there's a huge picture of me as well - I'm picture #2 in the photo gallery (under my other name, of course).


Day Seven: One Sentence Saturday - Your Day

As best I can, I'm to capture my day in one sentence, so ...

Today is neither yesterday nor tomorrow, so it can be ANYTHING!!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Day Six: Friday First - Share Your First Blog Post.

This was not my very first blog post, but I can't remember what it was sadly, as I deleted all my first ones. I believe there were less than 10 posts, but after reading this "new" first post, you'll understand why I started fresh on this day back in 2010. Here's what I wrote:

Starting anew.

It's November 25th. I haven't posted anything since August 29th and that's pretty bad. If you try to find those posts, I'm afraid they are not around anymore. Time to start fresh ... again.

I stopped writing because the last post I had up talked about how depressed I was at my job and how I was basically bullied by my boss while working in an extremely toxic environment. My boss started treating me worse and I realized that she had stumbled upon my blog and read my post. Then it got even worse at work.

Luckliy I found a new job in September and handed in my immediate resignation. No goodbyes for her at all.

I am beyond happy at my new job and cannot tell you how amazing it is to be treated as a human being again, instead of a mindless machine. That being said, it's time to start writing again and get back into a positive mindspace in my creative life.

I promise to keep writing here and am also thinking about writing about the unsung heroes in the film industry over the years, and am wondering if I should do so on here or try another blog stictly for that.

Me thinks I should get cracking on maintaining *this* blog first and then ... well, we'll see won't we?

I'm very thankful to be away from that job. I have no qualms letting you know that it was for (the online dvd rental site). I'm not attaching a link as they don't deserve it. The concept of it is good for the customer side of things, but the work side turned into a slave labour sweatshop. It stripped me of my dignity and self-esteem, but luckily it didn't take too long for me to get those both back after I resigned.

When I started my blog, it was great as a forum for me to share my thoughts. Once I realized that my boss could find and read my blog, then I felt trapped and didn't feel safe at home in addition to work. It made me ask myself what I truly wanted out of the blog. What purpose is this serving me? What purpose is it serving to the 10 people out there who are reading it? And why is one of them in Russia?????

If you look at all my posts, you'll see that I really have done much - just creative spurts here and there. I can't give any advice to anyone out there who wants to start their own blog, but I will say that you shouldn't put too much pressure on yourself to get something out every day. This Blog-a-thon is different as it's a way for new friends to take part in a creative monthly community event. Once January hits, I think I'll post whenever I feel like it, but will do so at least 2 or 3 times a month, no less. It feels good to get stuff out again, and since I'm not at my horrific old job, I shouldn't feel bad about what I write. I'm not hurting anybody with what I'm saying - just getting some things off of my chest, and talking about things that maybe other people are interested in, or have gone through something I went through and can finally speak up about it.

I can say one thing for sure - I'm so very glad that I started this blog, since I'm meeting so many wonderful new people through this Old Skool exercise! Three cheers to Jamie and Shannon!  :)

Day Five: 10 Things About Me

1. For some reason as a kid, I thought that people were scooped up into cement mixers, and were then churned out into new sidewalks. I have no idea how this notion got into my head, but I seriously thought this happened and that I was walking on top of dead people when I went down the street. I was terrified of cement mixers for years because of this.

2. I am obsessed with Orson Welles, and almost equally as obsessed with Ernest Shackleton, and anything to do with the scaling of Mt. Everest.

3. While working at Cineplex as a teenager, the staff at my theatre got invited to a midnight sneak peek of "Die Hard" at the Pantages Theatre (now the Canon Theatre) before it opened to the public. After the screening, 2 of our ushers (who also happened to be actors) were quoting the movie like mad. I was mesmerized by how they remembered so much and asked how they did it. Little did I know that it was to become a major turning point in my life. Because of what they told me, films took on a whole new meaning for me. I watched the film between 50 and 60 times in its release, and in a way, Bruce Willis was the catalyst for me eventually getting into performing.

4. I collect old typewriters.

5. I read Shirley Maclaine's book on the Camino de Santiago in the middle years of my marriage and it's been my dream to walk it ever since. I've read about 6 other books on the Camino since then. If I had had the money, I would have done it for my 40th birthday, but now I'm hoping to do it for my 45th or 50th. Want to focus on getting healthy first and I've almost taken care of all the major dental work I needed done, so that's a huge headstart!

6. Watching breakdancing excites the hell out of me.

7. I'm a recovering alcoholic and have been sober since Oct 13th, 2007 (just over 6 years now). The inscriptions on my medallions are Latin phrases:

One Year Medallion - AD ASTRA PER ASPERA  (To the stars through difficulties)
Five Year Medallion - LUCEAT LUX VESTRA (Let your light shine)

8. A lot of people know this already, but since I have new blog friends here I'm including this one: 
I've been a puzzle fan since I could read and write. There's a documentary called "Wordplay" about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament I watched it on dvd in 2008 and have been going down to New York to compete in it every year since. It's only 3 months til the next tournament and it will be my 6th time! I consider New York to be my second home now, and all the people down there to be my family. I have such a wonderful time!

9. I have quite a large number of stuffed animals and they are my family, not just inanimate objects.

10. These are the lists of my Favourite 5 Films and Favourite 5 Documentaries:


1. Contact (Robert Zemeckis - 1997)
2. Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope (George Lucas - 1977)
3. Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby - 1971)
4. Passion Fish (John Sayles - 1992)
5. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey - 1962)


1. Battle Over Citizen Kane (Michael Epstein, Thomas Lennon - 1996)
2. Man on Wire (James Marsh - 2008)
3. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia - 2003)
4. American Movie (Chris Smith - 1999)
5. Bowling For Columbine (Michael Moore - 2002)

** I'm not sure why #1 and #5 are showing up weird in the posting, but will get my fella to help me fix it later tonight. Hope it doesn't throw you off! Thanks!

Catching up now on my daily posts!

I missed writing up yesterday's post due to a busy work day, and then feeling ill at night. I'm going to post Day Five's post in a few minutes, and will then get to work on Day Six's post.

Sorry I was out of touch! I promise to get back on the horse and keep riding!

Thanks to all of my fabulous new blogger friends who are keeping the creative juices flowing in me!
You're the best!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day Four: Weather Wednesday

The Kickin' It Old Skool Blog-a-Thon prompt for Day Four is all about weather!

This is what the forecast looks like today:

It's not bad for the start of December, but tonight at the theatre (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema) it's our monthly series Doc Soup and I'll be dealing with lineups around the block, so rain in the forecast obviously concerns me. Hopefully it won't be an all-evening long bout and I'll have enough dry patches to keep the patrons happy. Fingers crossed!  :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day Three: Sharing Colours

Lots of questions for me to answer today. I answered them as best I could, and usually with whatever popped into my mind first. Always go with your gut instinct!  :)


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of red?

2. Closest red thing to you?
      The hearts on my onesie!

3. What is the last thing that made you angry?
      I honestly can't think of what that would be. I get upset, but I haven't been livid at anyone or anything lately.    

4. Are you a fan of romance?
      Yes! And as a funny side note, Chris and I started what we hope will become a new bimonthly event: The Romance Read-Off! While waiting for people at our favourite pub for Chris' birthday shenanigans in June we found 2 Harlequin romance novels on the shelf and started reading from them. As our friends slowly showed up, everyone took turns reading and making the rest of us laugh. By the end of the night, it turned into a competition on who did the best reading. A couple of weeks ago we held our first official Read-Off (prizes and all!) and it went smashingly! We'll be doing it again in the new year for sure!

5. Do you have a temper?
      Don't ever cross me or you'll find out the hard way.


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of green?
       Kermit the Frog!

2. Closest green thing to you?
      The cover of the book I talked about yesterday.

3. What's your favourite green environment?
      Walking through any park or across the Toronto island.

4. Are you jealous of anyone right now?
      Not now, but I get jealous of people in specific situations. It's something I'm always trying to work on, but being such an emotional person, it can be difficult to keep my feelings in check.

5. Are you a lucky person?
      I've been through a lot in my life and I honestly don't know if I have made it through traumatic times as a result of luck or fate. I think your life turns out the way it does by the choices you make, but I'd have to say this: I don't wish what happened in my past on even my worst enemy, but I wouldn't appreciate anything today if I hadn't gone through what I did. I guess I could say that I feel lucky I lived through it all because I'm able to help others, and that is the greatest gift to be thankful for.


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of purple?
      Sadly, it's Barney the Dinosaur. Watching the video of Barney deflating at the Macy's parade last week was quite satisfying.

2.  Closest purple thing to you?
      One of the pillows on the papasan chair beside me.

3. Do you like being treated like royalty?
      My goodness, yes. But I wouldn't want it all the time, as I'd become far too cocky.

4. Do you like mysterious things?
      I like learning about how a mystery of an ancient culture was solved. The mystery of why my ticketing system at work chooses to not function properly from time to time .... well, I could do without that, thank you!

5. Are you intuitive?
      I knew you were going to ask that!


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of blue?
      My bedroom growing up. It was blue everything in there!

2. Closest blue thing to you?
      The Dancap pens on the desk in front of me that I got from my former job up at Toronto Centre for the Arts.

3. Are you good at calming people down?
      I can be, but I don't succeed as well at calming *myself* down.

4. What's your favourite body of water (ie - lake, ocean, etc)?
      I'd have to say Lake Ontario.
5. What was the last thing that made you cry?
      This is a pretty funny question to me because it should really say: "What DOESN'T make you cry?" I cry at the drop of a hat, so I'm emotional every day. The last thing that made me cry was an episode of Star Trek: TNG that we watched last night - it was about Spock's father and how we learned that he was suffering from the Vulcan version of Alzheimer's. The writing and acting were superb, and the subject matter handled with delicacy. A very poignant episode.

6. Are you a logical thinker?
      After mentioning Vulcans in the answer above, this was the only logical follow-up question! I tend to focus on the big picture when it comes to figuring out problems and issues, but my emotions frequently pop up and make it difficult to arrive at a definite conclusion.


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of yellow?
      The sun or a smiley face.

2. Closest yellow thing to you?
      My dvd copy of "Little Miss Sunshine".

3. What was one of the happiest times of your life?
      The first thing that pops into my mind is from 1985. I was 14 years old and a huge baseball fan. It was the last weekend of the season and the Blue Jays were playing the New York Yankees for those games. Whoever won that weekend would win the American League East pennant and then go on to the semi-finals before the World Series. I remember watching from the bleachers and the entire Exhibition Stadium was on their feet from the 6th inning, counting down the outs til the end of the game. When it got down to only 1 out away, the energy was insane! The batter hit the ball and you knew it was turning into a pop-up, so victory was now mere seconds away. Being right behind George Bell in left field and watching him fall to his knees as he caught the ball was one of the most exciting moments I've ever been a part of. I'm all tingly writing this, as I can remember it all like it was yesterday. Sharing that much joy with tens of thousands of people is one of the best memories I hold dear to my heart.

4. What's your favourite holiday?
      I honestly can't say that I have a favourite holiday, but I enjoy getting away ON a holiday to New York every March.    

5. What makes you happy?
      Spending time talking the hours away with very dear friends. Watching "The West Wing" would be a close second.  :P


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of pink?
      Pink the singer.

2. Closest pink thing to you?
      My Betty Boop travel tumbler.

3. What sweet things do you like?
      Does tiramisu count?

4. Are you sensitive?
      To say that I am sensitive is the understatement of the year!

5. What is your favourite flower?
      The daisy. Simple and beautiful, and very underrated.

6. Do you have a crush on someone?
      Meg White of The White Stripes.


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of orange?
      The first dress I wore when I was back in the Pillow Fight League. It became my signature outfit with my black apron that had Polly Esther cross-stitched into it.

2. Closest orange thing to you?
      The cup that I'm drinking my morning smoothie from.

3. Do you dress up for Halloween?
      I don't like to dress up, but for work I usually do my face up like Paul Stanley's Starchild from KISS! And any chance I have to crimp my hair is a total WIN day for me.

4. What gives you the warm fuzzies?
      Hugs! Also sitting in my papasan chair in my pjs under a blanket watching a comfort film.

5. What would your superpower be?
      When I hugged people, it would make all of their suffering and worries disappear forever.


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of brown?
      Poo. Yes, I went there.

2. Closest brown thing to you?
      The frames of the papasan chairs.

3. What is your favourite type of chocolate?
      I used to love eating Mirage chocolate bars.

4. What makes you feel grounded?
      When I feel in control of a chaotic situation.

5. Paint the wood or always leave it au naturel?
      I like the look of it stained - would that fall in the middle of these two?


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of white?
      A blank sheet of paper taunting me as I sit with no words coming out of me!

2. Closest white thing to you?
      My Neil Diamond tour mug.

3. Do you always try to keep the peace?
      If it doesn't involve my family, then the answer is yes.

4. Do you like to play in the snow?
      No - I'm an indoor gal.

5. Are you afraid to go to the doctor or dentist?
      Not anymore! YAY!


1. What's the first thing you think of when you think of black?
      Cocktail dresses.

2. Closest black thing to you?
      My onesie (without the hearts, of course).

3. Are you sophisticated or silly?
      Silly with a capital S!

4. Do you have a lot of secrets?
      Not as many as I used to have back in the day. I'm very open about things now.

5. What's the new black?