The Warmth of a Sunrise

On vacation I enjoy sneaking out of bed early to take photos of the quiet landscape before the hustle and bustle of the day. It is a magical time as the sunrises and the colors dance across the sky. The landscape turns from dark to light with not a single person around to disturb the serenity of the moment.

secret garden

A calm reminder that each gentle sunrise begins with a fresh start to  another day. You never know what the future will bring but the key is to embrace the little things when other bits of your life turn dark.  A quiet bench were you can sip your coffee as the warm sun beats down on your neck is one of those tiny  morsels of goodness.

Sometimes life brings chaos but with it moments of clarity. It teaches us to grow, not make the same mistake twice, and keep moving forward to reach our goals. I hope in the coming weeks as many of you face the wrath of the White Witch  that you all find a morsel of warm sunshine to brighten your day.

Digging Deep: The Agnony of Revisions

My dog is an opportunist she watches perched on top of her chair and waits patiently as I prep dinner in the kitchen.  She always  knows there are morsels of scraps in the trash bin and will seize the opportunity to raid the bin as soon as I leave the room.

The end result is disaster across my kitchen floor and the only words uttered across my breath are “SADIE!”  She then like any scolded child slinks to her room and hides for the next hour.

idea

The other day as I removed the chicken bones from the stock and threw them in the bin. The girl could not contain herself and within seconds she had lifted the bones from the trash in front of my very eyes.

The NERVE! She didn’t even have the impulse control to wait until I left the room.

In my life I can be just as impulsive!  It is that moment of throwing caution to the wind  with that extra shot of tequila or two  on the beach and  enjoying the freedom to dance all night long.  A good idea can have the same effect and it  strikes when you least expect it!

The next day usually results with a very strong hangover. The spur of the moment of creating and the end result always a  disaster! But the key of a good idea gone ugly is surviving the  hangover.

My routine is to awaken with weary eyes, blink several times, slumping down in my chair, and then force myself into the process of revision.  The room  spins  from the agony of it all but deep down I know there is a story to tell.  Just as there is poutine waiting to rescue my belly from the heaviness of a hangover – there is a keyboard waiting for my fingers to connect to my brain and revise the story.

If you are good opportunist you wait to share that story not at its first, second, third, or fourth draft. You wait until it is perfected and that your words will be understood.  All you need to do is lift the idea from the  bottom of the bin, polish, and then trim it with cautious love. Some days revising  feel like a  spinning hangover but in the end I know with patience I will be sharing my first novel with you.

Falling into the New Year

If there is one thing I am good at it is falling and it is never done with grace.  My fear of falling extends into many aspects of my life and one particular aspect is skiing. My husband and children  ski two runs with me in the morning before ditching me for the call of the black diamonds.

phone home gully

I  don’t mind skiing alone because there is no one exclaiming  “Hurry up, Mom! You are sooo slow!”

On my own I can make my way down the mountain at my own leisurely pace and soak in the views inhaling the fresh mountain air.

The other day as I was skiing I made my way into a narrow corridor  of the run it was then I heard the swoosh of a snowboard right  behind me, a very loud expletive, and a thud.

I knew I was a goner.

My ski was clipped by the board, I went down letting out a very loud expletive, and smacked my head against the snow. I laid there for a moment looking up at the blue sky and accessing the damage. Only one very sore thumb, some stars, and the humbling experience of falling once again.

The young wiper snapper that clipped my skis  was already up and down to the next portion of the hill. I sat for a moment and attempted to pull myself up on my poles. I tried once, “Damn it!”

A large tribe of snowboarders then descended upon the run  and one young man hollered with warning to the ones above, “Mom down! Mom down! Mom down!”

They all swerved past me in a speed of lightning and it was at that moment I made the decision I would no longer be the “mom down.” I pulled up with one ski pole, then pulled up with the second pole, and with an elation exclaimed out loud to myself “This mom is up! Mom is up! I am up!”

As I skied down to the next chairlift   I contemplated going back to the lodge for my traditional  end of the day Bailey’s and coffee sitting in the lodge with all of the other Moms who were ditched that afternoon by their families. Instead, I took a deep breath and knew the coffee could wait because I was ready for my next run.

My fear of falling is big and when I do land on my back staring at the sky I know there is always a way to get up. It just takes humility, patience, and plenty of time. I have no idea what the New Year will bring but I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

Santa and his Evil Elves

Once upon a time I loved the Christmas season, the decorating, the baking, and the good holiday cheer that spreads amongst most people during the season. However, all of that changed thanks to being at the same resort as Santa Claus this summer.  What turned into a simple misunderstanding between Santa and I has opened the gateway of  evil elves attempting to toy with my computer and create havoc in my life.

hh2

I will be honest I had a few too many rum punches when I spotted Santa in an uncompromising position. I thought it was hilarious because he was so red and jolly!

I should have respected his privacy but instead took several photos. I thought they would have made the perfect Christmas postcard for the holiday season.

However, one of the elves spotted me taking the photos, tackled me for my camera, and I socked him in the nose. An elf might be quick on their little feet but they cannot compete with my Jackie Chan moves.  You can only imagine the mayhem at the resort when a full-out brawl broke-out on the beach.

The next morning we were kindly asked to leave and never return to the resort.  Who knew Santa had so much pull everywhere he went?

Once we arrived home there was phone calls from his public relations office requesting the photos. They were very concerned if there photos fell into the wrong hands that it would be a publicity nightmare for Santa and tarnish his name over the Christmas season.

I did what any guilt-ridden person would do and handed over the photos to the elf bureau.  But let me tell you those elves are paranoid and they were convinced I made copies on my computer!  They hacked into my system and planted a virus!

I wanted to sob!  They erased everything! My content Calendar! My drafts! My Photos! Everything!

I have no way to exact revenge on Santa Claus after all he was the naughty one at the resort and if anyone did see those photos…Well lets just say you wouldn’t be very comfortable with him coming down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

I hear a knock at my door! It sounds like elf shoes shuffling in the snow. I better go before they attack me with a candy cane hook and poisoned hot chocolate.

I have to dig back into my bug-out shelter  under the snow before it is too late!  I just wanted to pop-out quick to wish you all a warm holiday season may it shine bright with love and joy. I hope to see you all in the New Year! If not,  you can assume the elves have had their way with me and I am imprisoned somewhere beneath Santa’s workshop.

The Halloween Posts that Ran into the Woods

In the past few weeks all of my Halloween posts vanished into the dark woods never to return. As I hollered  to each one “Don’t go in there!  We must stick together! The delete button will get you!”

One by one they ran off vanishing into the night leaving behind the echoing sound of their words!

halloween1If you come across any of these posts please tread with caution! God only knows what horrors could be trapped inside each post waiting to be unleashed onto your screen.

1)  The Lingering Smell

What happens when your tween brings home their hockey bag after an intense game? A smell that lingers throughout the whole home. It haunts morning, noon, or night.

I am gagging on the smell as I write this and if you don’t hear from me in another week than you know the smell has gotten me.

2) The Diablo Sauce that was not Hot

It is a secret sauce of an eighty year old lady who swears it is hotter than Hell.   No one has the heart to tell her that on tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and garlic does not qualify it to be hot sauce. Unless of course you are the devil!

3) The Haunted Blender

My blender will turn on when you least expect it! It waits until you  have gone into a zombie state while washing the dishes and without warning a loud grinding noise startles you taking you back to Children of the Corn. You know there is no escape!  All you can do is walkover with trepidation and quietly unplug it.

4)  The Howling Coyotes

Bright and early before the sun rises the coyotes howl, they yip, and they feast on their prey. You lay awake dreaming “If only I had a BB gun. “

5)  A Witch Learns to Twerk

Enough Said.

6)  Slacker Mom Creates Stoner Pumpkins by Accident

Martha Stewart would sigh at the sight of my crazy glued pumpkins.  Time was not on my side to carve the perfect haunted house pumpkin but the magic of a glue gun transformed my pumpkins into potheads. Yes. They sit on my step glorified with their hippy wigs, stoned out eyes, and beards. I swear they were not supposed to look like Cheech and Chong!

7) Up comes the Full Moon with an Unnatural Wind

Never wear a skirt on a windy day. That is all.

8) I Never Threw an Egg

I never threw an egg when I was in Grade 7 at that toad of a boy who was in Grade Nine on one dark Halloween night. In fact, I would never admit to it there is no proof.  No proof. Whatsoever. *whistling in the wind*

9)  Halloween Punch Hangover

Halloween Punch is a bad idea. A very bad idea. It’s poison!

10) Rob Zombie’s Dragula Possessed My Foot! I swear!

It’s true! The Moment I hear Rob Zombie’s Dragula it takes over my whole foot hitting the pedal to the metal.  The music  just takes over and I end up going twenty over the speed limit. I can’t be held accountable for it because really my foot is possessed.  But please  Just keep that between you and me. Thanks!

All I know is all of these posts ran and vanished! They are somewhere out there in WordPress Neverland echoing their lost pages one key tapping next to the other key each day.

The Luring Call of the Sirens

I have taken to swimming several times a week which has been great for my aching joints with the additional benefit of the calorie burn.  I also have been very vocal about finding the perfect swimsuit to keep everything in place while attempting to do the back crawl.

mermaid

On one coffee induced sunny morning it dawned on me as I reflected on my visits to several big box sports chains. The recommendations from the store employees were not for comfort or endurance  but advice on  fad colors of the season such as pumpkin orange.

It was at that moment  I heard the sirens call luring me into an over-priced swimwear boutique!

As I walked  in I was greeted by a sales associate, “How can I help you?”

“I am looking for a bathing suit that fits my long torso and holds everything in place so I can have a more comfort when swimming laps.”

“How many times a week do you swim?”

“Usually 2-3 times but my bathing suits seem to want to go in another direction from my body.”

“Not a problem. I have several that might work for you. Lets go one size-up from your frame because the do fit very snug.”

It was within ten minutes that I found the perfect swimsuit and it meet all of the requirements for this curvy girl. A nice fit, high neckline, with a flattering leg line.  I loved the style so much that I purchased a second one in a different color.

The only problem is that I did break my budget by spending  over a hundred and fifty  dreadful dollars. One of the many  treacherous hazards of  caving to the  lure of  the sirens call!

The Legend of the Cookie Dough Tapeworm

It is whenever I bake chocolate chip cookies  I have childhood memories of  trying to steal a taste of the dough from my Mother’s mixing bowl.  The whole process was a very pain-staking  because you  had to watch for her to get distracted  and leave the bowl alone for a minute in order to get a gooey taste of deliciousness.  If she came back and you were caught with the hand in the bowl then you knew you were in for the story about the tapeworm.

cookies

My Mom would glance over “Get your hand out of there! Do I have to remind you of what happened to your Aunt when she was a child?”

“No. I know”

“I don’t think you do. It was one day we were all going for a walk and your Aunt was hit by a drunk driving down the road. Do you know what flew out of her mouth?”

“A tapeworm.”

“Yes. A tapeworm and the reason your Aunt had the tapeworm in her stomach  was because your grandmother would always let her eat the raw cookie dough.”

“I know. But a little won’t hurt.”

“Fine. Have a smidgen. But don’t blame me if you get a tapeworm.”

It was with slumped shoulders defeated I would think of the drunk neighbor that hit my aunt on the side of the road. I would do anything to give him a piece of my mind for ruining the perfect treat which should be eaten by the breakfast bowl.

“Did anything happen to the neighbor?”

“No. He just got back in his car and drove off.”

The lessons my mother taught me from this story was  I was always to stand in a ditch when a car passed us on a country road because you never knew who had too much to drink  after church on Sunday afternoon.  And second the household ban on cookie dough taught me how to bake my own cookies so I could enjoy a taste of dough without my Mother’s watchful eye.

The other day I caught my son trying to put his hand in the mixing bowl trying to sample the  dough.  I looked him straight in the eye ” If you eat that you will get tapeworm. Do you want to know why?”

And that is how legends like “The Cookie Dough Tapeworm”  carry on from generation to generation.

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