A Love of Puff Sleeves and Poetry

As a young girl there was one annual event on CBC that I looked forward to every year and it was Anne of Green Gables. I was swept up the Anne with her love of puff sleeves, the arduous Gilbert Blythe, and her one true bosom buddy Diane. I  laughed when Anne died her hair green, when she got Diane got drunk on cordial, and would sob when Matthew died.

As a I child  I could relate to Anne and was excited that she was only a ferry ride away! She grew-up in a small town just like me and she still dared to dream! It was her dreams, passions, and love of good books that made me want to be Anne Shirley. Afterall, we did seem to have away to finding trouble and falling off things…

The one thing Anne introduced  me to was her love of poetry.  My favorite scene is Anne floating down the river on her sinking boat as she quotes The Lady of Shallot. I wanted to memorize, understand, and love its meaning just as much as Anne. Her melodrama and deep passion for poetry made me love my own books so much more!

She is the one character that stays with me in my heart reminding me to keep my own passions alive. As a young girl when the days where rough and  female role models were  far from near. I could depend on Ann spelt with an E who was always longing for a dress with puff sleeves.

So as the NaBloPoMo month of fiction comes to an end – Is there fictional character from your childhood that stays close to your heart?

The Wrath of the Toot!

I have a love for all things dairy but sadly dairy does not love me.  In fact it hates me! The moment I cave into its wholesome goodness my stomach turns, it aches, and in the end an unnecessary aroma invades our loving home. In all honesty  a crash of gas from me  would force any terrorist from their secret hiding spot…

Last night was no different! It was a lovely meal of savory beans and brown rice. We then indulged with several slices of smoked apple cheddar for dessert. It was heavenly!  It was only within the hour, my tummy began to rumble, “Kids it’s time for bed!”

“Do we have too?”

“Yes! You have too!”

It was with that their father exclaimed, “If you don’t go now I’m sending your mother into tuck you in!”

The littlest exclaimed, “Oh! No! She had cheese! I can smell her farts!”

I looked appalled, “Excuse Me! I do not fart! Ladies do not fart!”

My oldest laughed, “I just heard you two minutes ago!”

I looked at him sternly, “Ladies do not fart. Ladies toot!”

The both ran upstairs laughing, “Ha! Ha! Could you imagine the wrath of Mom’s toot? It’s best we get to bed!”

And with that I tooted throughout the whole evening while my husband covered his nose and retreated to the basement den.

What do you call your gaseous expulsions? Do you admit to your toots?

One Perilous Shopping Encounter

Do you have that one travel memory that sticks with you? Is it a sunset, the joy of making a new friend, or the possibility of running into the unexpected? In a distant time I once lived in New Delhi, India. It is a chaotic city full of life, it is one of those places in the world you will either love or hate. The feeling depends on the day…

I had packed unprepared thinking the weather would be warm for all of the seasons. I was wrong, it was the end of the November, and the evenings were bone-chilling.  I knew it was time to invest in some warm clothes.

I headed to the market in search of the perfect wool sweater. I came across one merchants table, looking up admiring a lovely green one hanging on the wall. I stepped closer, to get a better look.

The Snake Charmer, Mewar Style, by Mr. Gopal

I then looked at the merchant “Kitna?”

The man looked at me “For you only 200 rupees!”

I looked at him “Without the white man tax?”

He replied, “150!”

He assumed I was an easy target. It was then I got swept up in the moment, “Ne! Ne! Ne! 50 rupees!”


“No. I’ll go somewhere else!”

He started to exclaim “Wait! 110!”

I looked at him backing up “75!”

And with that I heard a man exclaim “Snake!”

I thought for a second that wasn’t part of the deal! I turned around,  looking down, and I saw a man crouched next to the corner of the table.  My brain registered and I gasped with the realization that I almost toppled over  backwards on top of a  snake charmer.

He once again exclaimed, “Snake!”

It was there I saw his beady eye snake peering at me. I  was within less of a foot of a cobra. I screamed, and jumped fifty feet away. I screamed again, and only mildly recovering!  My heart was racing the thought of being  that close to a snake unbeknownst to me sent shivers down my spine.

I have always had a  phobia of snakes and this one was within striking distant of my covered calf. My heart was racing, I blushed, everyone within the distance of the commotion was staring at the crazy white woman who almost walked into a snake and screeched like banshee.

In order to save face I  recovered from my panic attack, ” 80 rupees! And you have a deal.”

Have you ever been startled by the unexpected?

The Cougar on Display

It was a hot sunny day and I opted for the coolness of new maxi dress. It was the best option for a lady who did not want to shave her legs and look  somewhat  put together. I put it on, grabbed my sunglasses,  wrangled up the kids,  and  off we went for a family road  trip to the zoo.

As we drove along my husband gave me a wink, “Nice to see the girls!”

Every once in a while a gal has got to flaunt it...


“The girls!”

I looked in the mirror and didn’t realize how low-cut my halter dress  actually was and gasped! My girls were giving a show and it was not appropriate  zoo attire. It was also too late to change!

It was when we arrived to our destination I  ran to the bathroom, to double-check the girls were staying in place, and then headed out to admire the call of the wild.

It was when as we came across the crowded cougar domain  my son looked up with a mischievous grin, ” Mom shouldn’t you be in there?”

I paused, “What?”

His voice carried loud, “Well! You are a cougar! Shouldn’t you be in there?”

It was with that the cougar exhibit went quiet, my face went red, the girls felt like they were on display demonstrating my possible cougar prowess.  I calmly looked at my son, “Why would you say that?”

His eyes lit-up “Isn’t that what dad calls you?”

I looked over to my husband who seemed to mysteriously move twenty feet away from us. It was from the safety of his hiding spot he felt the burn of my stink eye through my glasses.

I then looked at my son and sternly replied, “No Darling. I’m a puma! I still have a few tricks to learn before being called a cougar!”

He looked at me puzzled, we then looked up, and watched the cougar seductively move for the audience…

What do you think of the term cougar? How do we explain the meaning to our kids?

The Reflection of Bloody Mary

After reading As I was Singing’s post “Unwelcome Visitors and Candy Men” it brought back my own childhood memories. You know the one where you take the dare, walk into the dark bathroom, turn on the tap water, repeat bloody Mary five times and wait to  see if her morbid face appears…

Mary, Queen of Scots

The coward I was I never tempted fate, I always said her name once, and then ran out the bathroom in fear of that face appearing in the mirror.

I would then have a restless sleep for the next week.  I would lie awake wondering  “What if she did appear? Would she haunt me? Would I face my death?”  It is all of these nervous thoughts that would run through my brain as a young  girl with an over active imagination.

That was until last night, I decided to tempt fate, I walked into the bathroom, shut-off the light, I turned on the tap water and went to say, “Bloody Mar…”

And then is when I heard the knock on the door, “Honey! Is everything alright?”

“Yes! It’s fine. I’m just washing my face.”

“You are washing your face in the dark?”

“Yes! The dark! Could you give me some peace and quiet!”

It was with that I waited and heard foot steps slowly walk away.

I started again, “Bloody Mary.”

“Mom! Can you open the door I need to go to the bathroom!”


I open the door and the little one does his business. After he leaves I try one last time. I turn off the lights, turn on the tap water, look in the mirror…

“Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.”

“Honey! Are you sure everything is okay?”

It’s with that I exasperated “Bloody Hell! What does it take to get some bloody privacy?”

It was then I sauntered out of the bathroom  deciding it was best not to tempt fate. The gods must have been telling me something!  Sadly, my husband is still perplexed as to why a grown woman was in the bathroom with the lights off and tap water running. Sometimes some things are best left secret…

Have you ever tempted fate by putting a superstition to the test?

Father Time and Lady Luck

As father time passes us and presents us with opportunities do we reach for them? Or do we let them slip out of our hands? Many of us work hard, make plans for the future, and hope one day our dreams will  one day come true. It’s how we make those dreams come true is what I wonder is it with the help of lady luck, sweat and tears, or a combination of both based on the limits of time.

Father Time by Lina Basile

If Lady Luck and Father Time had were looking down at us oblivious individuals. I suspect they would have an interesting conversation about how we use the hands of time. It may sound like this:

“Hmmm. I  see Martha has another goal list. I wonder if she will make the most of her time instead of tweeting it away?”

Lady Luck looks at Father Time with an eye roll, ” Doesn’t she realize that she has to do something before I can grant her an opportunity. It’s not just going to fall in her lap!”

“Very True! I see in five years she is planning on moving to the Caribbean with Fabio.”

“Did she really write Fabio?”

“Umm! Well No. But you get my drift!”

They both chuckle looking down at poor Martha her list and wondering how she will achieve it if she doesn’t put in the effort or time…

It’s our dreams which inspire us  for a brighter future. How we plan our dreams is more systematic it is by sitting down, writing out a well-scripted plan, and giving each dream its own specific timeline. We do this either through goal-setting or financial planning. We tell ourselves we will move to that tropical island in ten years or retire in twenty with the home of our dreams.

And then we see people reach the attainable the tri-athletes who race across the finish line, the dreamers who reach the top of Everest, or even the small steps children make growing up as they enter another year of school.  We know if we work to these goals with sweat, patience, and time we will see the fruition of our hard work.

We have to make use of the gifts from Father Time gives us because no matter how much time there is in a day. We never seem to accomplish everything we started.  However, it’s up to us to create the time to work towards our goals which will then lead to living our dreams.

Have you written a timeline for your future dreams? Do you believe in lady luck and father time?

Nose in My Kobo

I cursed the arrival of the E-Reader! If I could I would have sputtered and spat on it! How dare technology take away my paper back novel to save a few trees. I love the smell of a new book, or a dusty book! The texture of the paper, the ability to pencil my thoughts next to authors very own words, and admire my own little collection of books that invade our basement wall.

I’m sure if a minimalist designer would scoff at the eclectic arrangement of my living space. Books in baskets, covering the coffee tables, beside my bed stand. It is these books that allow for me to pick them up and escape whenever I need a break from my real life. It’s an escape where I can muse over the story line, get swept away with a character, or throw it across the room when I am uncomfortable with the story line. It is all of these reasons that I love a good paper back novel.

That was until this Mother’s Day I was given the gift of a Kobo! I never thought I could love such a sleek and modern device. I now have books 24 hours a day! I don’t have to wait to go to the library or the book store. I can access it all at the tip of my computer.

It with this new-found love that I  have made some adjustments to the way I read…

I can no longer take to relax soaking and reading  in the tub,  or throw it across the floor. I must now treat my e-reader like the princess it was meant to be…

She graces me with her royal presence, her sleek build and has me on my toes with the constant fear of losing her or letting her battery wear dim…

It wasn’t until I realized on my camping how dependant I was of my Kobo. I did not pack one paper back novel. I forgot! Afterall, it was all on my e-reader. A lesson I will never forget, the unforgiving wilderness, living off the land, and I forget to shut off my bloody e-reader.

It was if my paperbacks were teaching me a lesson. A very important lesson in the art of books and reading! As Blog as my witness I will never be so enchanted with my e-reader again!

Which do you prefer your e-reader or a good paperback novel? How has the e-reader shaped  the way you read your novels?

The Open Road, A Station Wagon, and a Cassette Player

The  beginning of our family vacation was when my Dad came home the purchase of a shiny gray station wagon. He beamed with pride over his investment and knew it would be the icing on the cake for our summer road trip with two spirited teenage daughters, and me. It was one of those moments I wonder what my parents were they thinking as they packed up the Belfond Bus and sent us on our cross Canada journey.

I was scrunched between my two older sisters, high on Gravol, unable to read due to car-sickness, and remembering everything in a sleepy haze.  I always looked straight ahead in the off-chance that I would lose my cookies. I instinctively knew  I would face fear of death if by chance I accidentally vomited on one of them.

We made that  long two-week journey on the open road. No we didn’t have movies  in the backseat, no Nintendo DS, and there was  no luxury of air conditioning.  Most days traveling down the long stretch of highway it was hot and when my Mom drove it was nauseating.

The only saving grace was oldest my sisters tape recorder it was there in the dusty back seat we listened to our favorite cassettes Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Footloose, and my favorite Julian Lennon.

Now looking back we always seemed to play “Too Late for Good-Byes” over and over again at the very end of the day. It seemed we may even have been testing our parents last straw of patience. We would  hit the high pitch notes with gusto seeing how high we could actually go with our screeching voices.

That is until my Mother could no longer take it!  She would look back with fierceness in her eyes and holler from the front, “Turn that bloody thing down! I can’t take it anymore!”

I guess it took my own long drives with my own children to realize how brave my parents actually were to take all three of us on a cross-country adventure. I wondered how they stood sane in some of those more hairy moments. But then again they are what family memories are made of and we will always them have for a lifetime.

Is there a song that  evokes a memory from one of your family vacations?

My Shoes

I look down at my shoes they look smelly, battered and worn. They have run errands, made trips to the  park, traveled far and wide. They are not pretty but they are sturdy. The enable me to run, chase after the kids, and catch the dog. It’s my shoes that make me who I am and what I hope to be…

A Pair of Shoes, Vincent Van Gogh, 1886.

We trudge along paths, wide open roads, some of us with dreams without limits and other finding solace in the quiet of a book. If the shoe makes the man what does it say about me? I prefer the road less traveled and the adventures of life.

I always wonder what it would be like to walk in another shoes. Would they feel like home? Uncomfortable? If there was one shoe I would walk in who would it would be? In my books it would be  the trailblazers  who fought for  women’s equality.

I think of Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. Trail blazers of the past and icons for the future.They soldiered forward and put up the good fight! It’s them that I can thank for being a woman comfortable in my own shoes.

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? And where are your own shoes taking you?

The Imaginary Cat Burglar

As I sat sipping my tea, enjoying the silence of the house, and at the same time cursing at two semi-written blog posts that refused to come together. I sighed, I took deep breath, and went to NaBloPoMo for  writing prompt inspiration. It was there I heard a noise!

It sounded like someone was entering the house! I listened was someone quietly creeping across the floor? I felt a flush of panic! What do I do? I had to inspect but I couldn’t go upstairs unarmed. It with that I did what any reasonable person would do!  I grabbed the first two things that were in my reach a candle stick and a bottle of Windex. Yes! I was armed and ready to face that noise!

As I crept up the stairs, I let the dog run ahead, I slowly turned the corner the living room discovering it was empty. I then investigated the kitchen.  I sighed there was no sign of anyone on the main floor. I quietly moved upstairs gripping my Windex bottle. Ready to Squirt! I held it out inspected the bedrooms and opened closet doors with trepidation.

It was  only after throughly investigating my whole home I came to the conclusion my mind was playing tricks on me. It was just me, my dog, and an imaginary cat burglar.It was at that very moment I realized I needed to stop reading Jame Patterson novels three nights in a consecutive row. It had turned me into a paranoid creature.

It was then I looked down at my hands clutching the candle stick and the bottle of Windex. Really? How was I going to defend myself with these two objects? I think the absurdity in my selection of weapons of self-defense would have made any hardened criminal run!

What would be the first thing you would grab from your home office/desk if you thought your home was being invaded by a cat burglar?