Friday, January 25, 2013

100 question meme

  1. Are you young at heart, or an old soul? I think I am young at heart.
  2. What makes someone a best friend? Someone who sticks with you through thick and thin, no matter what. Someone you can laugh with.
  3. What Christmas (or Hanukkah) present do you remember the most? I remember getting a bike from my grandparents when I was a kid because my uncle told me I was getting it before Christmas and I told my nana I knew what I was getting and my uncle got into trouble.
  4. Tell me about a movie/song/TV show/play/book that has changed your life. I would have to say the song that I listened to a lot WHEN my life was changing was Ghost by the Indigo Girls. It didn't exactly change my life but it gave voice to the things I was feeling at the time.
  5. Name one physical feature that you like about yourself, and one you dislike. I like my height. I hate my weight.
  6. Would you like to reconnect with any friends you've lost contact with? I think there are three I would like to reconnect. Laurie-Beth, Linda J. and Homa.
  7. What's more important in a relationship: physical attraction or emotional connection? Emotional connection.
  8. Name a movie that you knew would be terrible just from reading the title. Snakes on a Plane. Never even watched it.
  9. What holiday do you most look forward to? Easter. It means winter is over.
  10. How is the relationship between you and your parents? I have an amazing relationship with my mother and a questionable one with my father  - his choice. 
  11. You've got the TV on, but you're not really watching. What channel is the TV on? HGTV or Disney junior.
  12. Name a song that never fails to make you happy. I LOVE music. There are a lot of songs that make me happy. I am struggling to come up with just one. Men and Work, Land Down Under - How could a song with vegemite sandwiches could NOT make me smile?
  13. You know at least one person named Michael. Tell me about him.  The kids caseworker. We didn't really hit it off well at the very beginning, he wouldn't take his sunglasses off to talk to us. I know a lot of "douchy" Michael's.
  14. Have you ever read the "Missed Connections" on Craigslist? Have you ever posted one, or wanted to? I don't think I I have ever been on Craigslist because it isn't that popular up here where we live, but I will obviously have to check it out now. 
  15. If you could pick anywhere to live the rest of your life, where would it be? I am tired of the cold. I would have to go somewhere warm. I used to want to live in Seattle again, but even that isn't warm enough for me. 
  16. Can money buy happiness? I'd like to have some to try it out. 
  17. Do you drink? Smoke? Do drugs? Why, or why not? I don't drink, but have had a drink on RARE occasion (less than once a year). I smoke sometimes at work and I shouldn't. I have never done drugs. I was raised not doing any of them and some of my upbringing stuck with me.
  18. Is there anyone close to you that you know you can't trust? You don't have to give names. Yes.
  19. Where was your favorite place to go when you were a little kid? The library. The place was absolute magic to me. Or maybe my grandma and grandpa's house.
  20. Have you ever spent a night in the hospital? Yes. I don't like staying in hospitals.
  21. Do you enjoy being with only one or two friends, or with a large group of people? I prefer a small group of close friends. 
  22. Do you like the type of music your parents listen to? Do your parents like the type of music you listen to? I think I like the music they listened to but I don't know if they even know the music I listen to. 
  23. Have you ever been bullied? Have you ever bullied anyone else? I have both been bullied and bullied someone else.
  24. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pasta.
  25. If your partner wanted to wait until marriage before having sex, would you stay in that relationship? Probably?
  26. Do you believe in a god? I think in a very abstract way. I was raised extremely religious and I am just not certain what I think anymore. I am teaching my sons about Heaven though.
  27. Of all the social networks in the world, why use Twitter? I don't really use it that much. just hasn't caught on with me.
  28. What's your favorite hashtag to track? I don't track any.
  29. Would you call yourself/your family "middle class?" Yes.
  30. Name a TV series you didn't enjoy until after it ended. I didn't watch 24 until it was already a  few seasons in. Shel and I bought disk sets and we watched them back to back and really enjoyed what we saw. I've never watched Sex and the City but I think I would be interested to see it.
  31. Have you ever bought a product from an infomercial? I think I have but I don't remember what it was.
  32. If you could give up your car and never have to drive again, would you? This would not be possible living in Northern Canada. If it were possible I would consider it.
  33. If you go back to one point in time to give advice to yourself, when would you go and what would you say? I would go back to myself when I was taking my master program and say "TAKE THE FINAL AND DO NOT WRITE A THESIS."
  34. What's your "quirkiest" habit? I don't care if my socks match.
  35. What is "normal?" Are you normal? Because I am a woman, only speak English and gay I would have to say I am in a minority of the population, so no.
  36. Someone close to you is dying. You have the choice to let this person live for 10 more years, but if you do, you cause the death of 10 strangers. You don't have to see them die. Do you take the offer? No.
  37. What is one thing you could never forgive? I think I may never forgive my dad for some of the choices he has made. I don't know.
  38. Would you rather be in a relationship after the honeymoon period ends, or be single? In a relationship after the honeymoon period ends.
  39. Is it possible for guys and girls to be just friends? Yes.
  40. Where do you and your friends go to hang out? We don't. I live too far away from my friends.
  41. Write the first sentence of your obituary. 
  42. What is the best TV theme song ever? Wow. Maybe the Muppet show? Gilligans Island?
  43. When you were young, what would you dream you would be when you grew up? I thought I would be a teacher or a librarian. When I was young I didn't think I would live to be the age I am now.
  44. When you're alone in your own home, do you walk around naked? yup.
  45. What gets you out of bed in the morning? my kids.
  46. Do you want to have more friends than you have right now? I like the number of friends I have now. I just wish we lived closer together.
  47. What part of the past year sticks out in your mind? Getting a tattoo. Seriously, I love it more than I ever thought possible, and can't wait to get another one.
  48. You win a scratch-off lottery game that gives you $2000 a week (after taxes) for the rest of your life. Do you keep your job? For a while I would keep my job yeah.
  49. Could you be in a long-distance relationship? If you're in one, what makes yours work? I would prefer not to be.
  50. What's the best route to your heart? I will ask my spouse and tell you the answer to this question.
  51. Have you ever met someone through the internet, then met them in real life? Absolutely. Several times. It's the best part of the internet.
  52. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
  53. What has been troubling you lately? Too many things to mention.
  54. Did you enjoy your high school prom? If you haven't gotten there yet, do you look forward to it? If you didn't go, why not? I didn't really. I had no date so I took a friend from another town. We weren't close enough friends for me to enjoy the time we spent together. It was awkward. I did win a bike at the prom after party and that was a real highlight.
  55. What do you use more often: your intuition or logical reasoning? Logical reasoning.
  56. Do you know what makes you happy? I really don't. My friends and family, certainly... but I can't think of any overreaching "thing" that will ultimately make me happy.
  57. Tell me about the last book you read. I just finished a book by Janet Evanovich that I read in one day. I like her books for the humour.
  58. What is the nicest compliment you've ever been given? When my sons say "You are a good boy momma" that is the best thing in the world.
  59. Who was your first crush? Simon Taylor.
  60. Do you believe that there is life on other planets? Yes.
  61. Predict what your life will look like a year from now. Probably much the same. That wouldn't be a terrible thing.
  62. Often, people will ask how your last relationship ended. I want to know how it began. We were both serving missions for the Mormon church in the same Mission is how we met. How we began our relationship is murky and I wont share that here.
  63. Where is your favorite place to go out and eat? There is NO place in my town where I like to go out and eat. NONE.
  64. What is something you want to change about your current situation? Our house needs a new roof and we need a tractor.
  65. Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
  66. Are there any childhood possessions you still hold on to? Yeah. I'll have to go see what they are.
  67. Give me an unpopular opinion you have. I believe in the death penalty but I also believe that guns should be registered. I think Fracking is destroying the environment. I think the Oil Sands are Evil. I have a number of unpopular opinions apparently!
  68. What was the last song that was stuck in your head? P!nks "Just Give Me A Reason feat. Nate Ruess"
  69. Where do you live? Be as general or specific as you want. I live in my home.
  70. Do you believe in giving kids medals and trophies for participation? I think kids should get a certificate or something for participating, not a medal or a trophy.
  71. What was the longest car ride you've ever taken? I have driven from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Washington DC. From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Provo, Utah. From Odgen, Utah, to Fairview, Alberta. I think the last one might be the longest.
  72. Have you ever taken part in a protest? No but I would like to.
  73. Would you ever use an online dating service? I used an online dating service to find sperm donors. I wouldn't use one to find a date.
  74. What is your ethnic heritage? Irish, English, Afrikaans.
  75. Describe a person that inspires you. My mom is inspiring. She is a hard worker and extremely charitable.
  76. If you earn minimum wage doing what you love, would you? I don't think there is anything I love enough to do it for minimum wage.
  77. Do you believe in luck? Sometimes.
  78. Describe the last time you were very angry at someone. I was angry this weekend, but what I REALLY was was overwhelmed at the situation and I acted in anger. This is less effective.
  79. Do you want to live until you're 100? no
  80. Do people change? If so, how do you keep a relationship together when both of you start to change? Yes I believe people change. I HOPE they change! Keep a relationship together by keeping similar goals.
  81. Have you ever risked a friendship by telling someone you liked them? No, but I risked a friendship by asking my best friend for his sperm. He said no. I'm still sad about it, but the friendship didn't suffer for the question.
  82. Would you rather be alone doing something you enjoy, or doing something you don't like with your best friends? I don't really get any alone time, but my friends live so far away if I could be doing something I don't like but be with them it would be cool.
  83. Do you practice what you preach? Not always. But boy do I ever try.
  84. If you take precautions to stay safe, do you ultimately act more recklessly? I don't know. Maybe?
  85. What do you value more in a significant other: Attractiveness or intelligence? Intelligence.
  86. Are you hard-headed? Some might say that I am, but I really try not to be.
  87. Have you ever laughed uncontrollably when it was socially inappropriate? Yes.
  88. When have you felt most alive? laughing with my kids.
  89. Would you prefer to live? A city? The suburbs? The countryside? The mountains? The city... if it was the right city.
  90. Do you often skip breakfast? daily. 
  91. How do you know what true love is? You feel it.
  92. Would you want to know the exact date and time you were going to die? No
  93. Where is "home" for you? Zimbabwe.
  94. What song best describes your life right now? The Puking song by the Dead Milkmen.
  95. Do you want to be perfect? I would like to be closer to perfect than I am now. I would like to be a perfect partner and a perfect mother.
  96. What have you never tried, but would really like to someday? What's holding you back? I cant think of anything off the top of my head. 
  97. How do you express your creativity? Drawing, singing, playing with my kids.
  98. Describe your neighbourhood. Rural. 
  99. Name something you only liked because it was popular. Isn't that why we like everything we like? We are programmed to think things are great so we like them.
  100. Give me the story of your life in six words. Listening. Learning. Trying. Traveling. Doing. Growing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

wordless wednesday

hotel room and city lights

A lady who was once our foster care support worker suggested that when we go to the city we stay at Coast Edmonton House. They have full kitchens completely stocked and with all of the eating quirks with our little ones it suite us to be able to cook if we need to.
Shel does not like to stay on any floor above the third but she was a trooper this time when they booked us onto the 31st floor. Up we went.
We LOVE staying here, but it is expensive. Here are the boys checking out the city lights at night. When they are on the balcony checking out the lights it is one thing, when they are throwing things over it is quite another. You'd think we were raising country bumpkins or something. 

Obviously the kids were super hungry. CJ and Jumping Bean had to use two spoons to eat their macaroni soon after we checked in.


Max and CJ SCORED with a king sized bed in a room of their own. They were super excited to get into bed but when I woke up both of them were in bed with me in the other room and the other king sized bed and Shel had this one to herself. They like the IDEA of things, but when it comes right down to it they want to be with us.

I never thought I would say this but having a television in every room is a dream.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Canadian Book Challenge: Lost in the Barrens

The Canadian Book Challenge
I just finished Book number 8 out of thirteen for the Canadian Book  Challenge, Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat.
I actually read this book in high school. The only thing I remember about the book from the last time I read it was that the two boys who were lost got snow blind in their travels and were in physical pain from the glare of the snow as they travelled unprotected in the winter. In my memory this event was a significant portion of the book, but as I re-read it I found this incident was not the most salient event at ALL in the story of Jamie and Awasin.
It was cool to go back and read something I have read such a long time ago. I enjoyed the story thoroughly, even though it was a very quick read and obviously designed for teen readers.

Here is the story synopsis:
Jamie's parents have died in a car crash leaving him in the care of his trapper uncle, Angus. Angus had supported Jamie's boarding-school fees for a long time, until the fur trade had declined. Angus could no longer support Jamie's school. Thus, Jamie left the boarding school to live with his uncle. Jamie made friends with the Cree Tribe's Chief's son, Awasin. Angus and the tribe chief load up their skins for trading and head south to a more reputable trader who will not cheat them.  Jamie  stayed with Awasin for Angus' canoe could not hold three people and other things. Shortly after the adults departure, some Chipeweyans come to the Crees for help. The Chipeweyans were starving because the deer did not come at its usual time in the year. Awasin's mother was suspicious that the Chipeweyans may just be looking for a free handout, and so the boys agreed to go with them back to the Chipeweyan's camp to prove they needed the supplies. Denikazi wants the boys to go with them on the hunt because they have bertter guns.  This is how Jamie and Awasin start their journey for the caribou hunt out in the barrens.
Travelling further and further north the men do not encounter any caribou. The group decided to split up and Jamie and Awasin stay with two men while the rest of the men travel further.
While staying with the two young Chipewyan hunters, Jamie decides he wants to take the chance and explore. He tricks Awasin into it and they travel to find the  'stone house' that one of the two Chipeweyans had told them about. On the way to the stone house they unexpectedly meet a whirlpool and barely survive, and Jamie is badly injured. Gathering what they can salvage from the water and their broken canoe, they have barely enough to survive. They cannot use the canoe anymore, they are stranded in the barrens.
When the two young Chipeweyans found out that Awasin and Jamie were gone they went on searching for them. Their search is abruptly stopped when they catch a glance of an Eskimo kayak. Fearing the Eskimo they turn back, abandoning their search.
Jamie and Awasin decide to cut across the land and hopefully intercept Denikazi up the other leg of the river. They arrive and set up camp but miss Denekazi and his men travelling through the night with their canoes loaded with Caribou.
Knowing they have no way to reconnect with the Chipeweyans, and no canoe to travel home in, Awasin and Jamie realize their best chance at survival is to set up camp and survive until winter when they can travel south over the frozen ground. The rest of the story is about their survival and their reunion with family when they finally succeed and make it home.

Day in the hospital

We have been waiting a LONG time to get these MRI's on the kids. It feels like forever.
I would normally not even consider travelling to the city in the winter but we were able to get all three appointments scheduled for the same day and changing the appointment would mean waiting another six months or more so we just needed to suck it up and go.
All of the appointments were scheduled for different times beginning at 7:45 so the kids were supposed to stop drinking fluids at different times starting at 5am. We decided it would be easier if no-one had anything to drink so we just packed up and went to the hospital first thing in the morning without food or drink for anyone.
The U of A hospital is something else to navigate. The parking levels are 1-5, the hospital levels start at zero. The pedestrian ramp from the parking lot into the hospital leaves the parking lot at level four but enters the hospital on level 2. There is an MR research center and an MRI center and the two are not the same thing and both are on different levels. I parked on level 2 in the parking lot and had to take an elevator to level four to walk across - note to myself for next time - park on level four!
I had dropped Shel and the two little kids at the door and had the two big boys with me. We got into the hospital and took the elevator to level 0. We walked around on level 0 for quite a while. We were in the DREGS of the hospital. We passed shipping and receiving with huge pallets, we were in VERY dim hallways with barely any light, we saw people prepping meals. The boys were interested in everything we passed so I pretended we were right where we were supposed to be! Eventually we found an elevator and went to a different level and came to the place we were supposed to be. The nurses were ready for us and started getting everything ready right away. They asked if I wanted to go into the MRI room with the kids and I said yes and had to fill out a form. Apparently because of my tattoos I am not permitted into the MRI room. Shel is not permitted because of her previous surgeries. This meant we could be with the kids in the recovery but not in the actual MRI.
The baby was given a mask for anesthesia, as was CJ. We told Max he would get a mask also but apparently because of his size they said he needed a needle. Poor kid was VERY distressed over this. I still don't quite understand because I could swear that as an adult I have had gas for anesthesia before so his size shouldn't matter?

There were no pajamas in Maxies size so he got to wear a gown. 

There were pajamas in CJ's size but he wanted absolutely NO part of them. He was upset from the minute the nurse put freezing gel on his hands and he did not want to be in the hospital at all. He has never read "The Boy in The Striped Pajamas", so I don't know why he didn't want them on!

 Once he was dressed he calmed down enough to make me a snow angel on the hospital floor.
The next part of the day was the most stressful. When they are stressed the boys want their moms. Which one they want depends on which on e they have - they usually want the other! We were trying to trade places to be with whomever wanted us at the moment but with three kids all getting anesthetized and then coming out of anesthesia it was quite difficult. Of course Max was upset at getting a needle and when he woke up he just cried and cried and cried. He also didn't feel well physically and was as white as a sheet the rest of the day. CJ woke up a lot easier than Max but he never did get over his frustration and was grumpy and stamping his feet. I don't know why but Shel deals better with the crying and I deal better with the foot stamping!
 Once all the kids were out and dressed we were able to leave. Even getting out of the hospital was a palava. CJ wanted to ride in the glass elevators and then play with the toys he could see through the windows. I was so hungry I could not take another step without getting something into me, we had not had anything to eat or drink all morning either. Jumping bean and baby didn't have boots on so they couldn't walk out into the parking lot to get the car. All in all it was a very stressful and emotional day that I am glad we will not be repeating :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

long car ride

The roads were terrible and we drove slowly. We have boys that need to use the bathroom with regularity and they are NOT quick about it and so this adds time and stops to the journey.
On the way down we were so tired everything just started to be silly. Shel was trying to entertain the boys with everything she could think of and she asked them the color of the setting sun. CJ started to sing "pink and blue, pink and blue, pink and blue" which he sang for about 2 hours. I was trying to get him to sing different colours by introducung every song I knew with a color in it but he was determined to sing the sunset colours without distraction. Max at one point tried to join in but CJ told him in no uncertain terms that he was messing up the song which struck our funny bones. NOT the most complex words to get confused over, but he insisted he needed to sing alone. 
Of course they asked repeatedly " Are we there yet?" As we drove into Whitecourt, CJ asked where we were and I told him. Then he asked if we were in Edmonton yet and I said no, we were in Whitecourt. Then he asked where we were and I said "Whitecourt" (for the third time) and he said "STILL!!!!????" The entire interaction took place in the space of a minute and a half so I am not sure where he thought we SHOULD be, but he was not impressed we were still there.
Considering how many hours we were in the van they were all extremely well behaved, but I hope to never again travel such a distance in such terrible weather..

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter travel oh how I loathe you


See that GIANT GLARING RED LINE in the top left hand corner of the map?
The red line that means roads are in poor condition? Yeah. Thats the one I'll be on with my WHOLE FAMILY tomorrow. Thank you mother nature. Thank you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

To fill a spot while I draft other posts.

What eye color do you find sexiest? Blue
  • White, milk, or dark chocolate mocha? Milk Chocolate
  • If you could get a Sharpie tattoo on your back, what would it be? A tree
  • Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it? A medium sized town? I loved it.
  • Your favorite adult as a child? (and not your parents, if they were your favorite) Probably my Aunty Brenda.
  • What kind of smoothie sounds really good right now? Pineapple-Orange-Banana
  • Most embarrassing moment from your elementary school years? When we moved back to Zimbabwe I had to swim in class. I started on the side of the pool and swam and swam and ended up right where I started.
  • Most embarrassing moment from your middle school years? Getting called up to be hypnotized on stage at the school and not being able to be.
  • Most embarrassing moment from your high school years? Tripping over a speed bump in the parking lot while I was walking backwards talking to my friends.
  • Pirates or ninjas? Why? Ninja's  - because I am one.
  • Have you ever climbed a tree more than twenty feet off the ground? Yes.
  • Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing set? I had a swing made by my grandfather and I LOVED it. Now I get motion sick on swings. I get motion sick WATCHING swings.
  • If you could have any pet in the world, illegal or not, what would you get? When I was in university I wanted to get a monkey. Now that I have kids I don't need one anymore. I would like a Great Dane and a Sphynx cat.
  • What's your most favorite part of your body? My brain.
  • What's your most favorite part of your personality? My sense of humor.
  • Madonna or Lady Gaga? Neither? Both? Who cares? Both.
  • Have you ever watched the Superbowl all the way through? Yeah I think so, but I don't remember it and it was more than ten years ago.
  • Have you ever watched any major sporting event drunk? No, I don't drink.
  • What's the most delicious food you've ever eaten in your life? Mango Sticky Rice in Singapore and Tahdig ( I think that's what it is called ) its Persian rice.
  • Margarine or butter? Which did you grow up with? I prefer butter, but don't have it at all in my house anymore because of my sons dairy allergy.
  • Whole, skim, 1%, or 2% milk? (Did you know they make 1 1/2% milk?) We buy 2% but I don't like milk and rarely do anything other than use it on cereal.
  • Which continents have you been on? Africa, Europe, Asia, North America.
  • Do you get motion sickness? Any horror stories? I get WICKED motion sickness as an adult.
  • Backpacks or satchels? Backpack.
  • Would you wear a rainbow jacket? A neon yellow sweater? Checkered pants? Sure. I care not what I wear truthfully.
  • What was your favorite cartoon growing up? We didn't really have cartoons when I was growing up - tv was only broadcast from 4 or 5pm each day. I liked Spiderman, Underdog and Hercules when we came to Canada and I watched Saturday morning cartoons. I used to read comic books and liked Asterix and Tintin.
  • If you had to have a cow or a pig, which would you take? Why? I'd like a cow. Pigs are mean.
  • If you had to look at one city skyline for the rest of your life, which would it be? Seattle.
  • Longest plane ride you've ever been on? Vancouver to Hong Kong I think would be the longest for me.
  • The latest you've ever slept? It's been a long time since I've slept uninterrupted for very long, but I have probably slept into the afternoon. Maybe 3 pm (when I worked nights)
  • Would you buy a sweater covered in kitten pictures? Would you wear it if someone gave it you for free? I would wear it to an ugly sweater party.
  • Do you pick at scabs? Absolutely. Are scabs not meant to be picked?
  • Favorite kind of bean? Kidney? Black? Pinto? Black or Garbanzo even though that wasn't offered as a choice.
  • How far can you throw a baseball? Not very far.
  • If you had to move to another country, where would you move? New Zealand.
  • Have you ever eaten Ethiopian food? Vietnamese? Korean? Nepalese? How was it?  I have had Vietnamese but don't remember it well enough to comment on how good it was.
  • Small, liberal arts school or public university? Why? Either one. I like things about both of them.
  • A relationship with love or one with sex? Yes.
  • Do you eat enough vegetables? I LOVE vegetables.
  • Do you like horror movies? How about thrillers? I don't watch horror movies and never will. I like thrillers.
  • Would you scratch a crotch itch in public? Maybe?
  • Do you swear in front of your parents? If I do it is an accident!
  • Coolest thing you've ever been for Halloween? A bunch of grapes.
  • If you could change your natural hair color, would you? To what? Back to the original colour of my childhood - Blonde.
  • Do you want to get married? Have kids? I am married and I have kids and I like both.
  • Do you use a reusable water bottle? If not, you should. I have one, I use it sometimes.,
  • City or nature person? City all the way, but I live on an acreage?!
  • Have you ever used something other than "makeup" as makeup? (Like paint? Markers?) I don't even use makeup as makeup!
  • Can you walk well in high heels? Even if you're a guy? No.
  • Post 5 awesome things about yourself. BRAG AWAY! 1) I have 5 tattoos and I will get more. 2) I am good at cross stitch 3) I am a good singer 4) I am always trying to be a better person. 5) I am a loyal and devoted friend.
  • Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Thursday 13: books that disappointed me

    A group of bloggers dedicate their thursday blogs to making lists of 13 items - the topics can be anything the blogger chooses. My topic for this week is books I was disappointed in, but if you are interested in seeing what other people wrote about you can link to them HERE.

    1. I just saw the preview for the DVD Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts. I love Julia Roberts movies but I did not like this book at ALL and so I am disappointed that Julia is starring in the movie. The book had such great reviews and I was so excited to read it but Elizabeth Gilbert was annoying and got worse as the book went on. I can't imagine the movie could be changed in any way as to make it more palatable. I think I will have to pass on the experience (which won't be hard since I don't go to movies anyway!) The idea behind the story is appealing - change your life and reconnect to the things that are important, but the way this unfolds in Elizabeth Gilberts life sounds self aggrandizing and completely unrelatable to anyone without the kinds of resources she has at her disposal.  
    2. The Time Traveller's Wife. Audrey Niffeneger

    This really could have been a great book, and I loved the premise of it, however it just fell flat. It felt like the author got tired of writing it so she just stopped. I was right into it almost the whole way through and then all of a sudden everything came to a halt. I thought there were a lot of loose strings left in the abrupt conclusion. Have I mentioned I thought it ended rapidly and unexpectedly? I know a lot of people who just LOVE this book, but I got tired of it at the same time the author did.

    3. The Scarpetta Factor. Patricia Cornwell

    Cornwell's books for me have been deteriorating over time, each one worse than the one before. This one seals the deal for me. No more Cornwell.

    4. Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. Jenny McCarthy

    More than anything I wanted this book to be a good one. One of my sons (we are still waiting on an official diagnosis) we strongly believe falls on the autism spectrum. We also know that every single child is different. Our two boys both have one diagnosis that is identical, but they are as different from one another as two human beings could possibly be. So I KNOW that there isn't just a one answer that will solve the problems of every autistic child. I can appreciate the struggle of trying to get support for something you KNOW is wrong, and being turned away at very door you know of to go to. My problem with Jenny's book is that she has a LOT more resources than the "everyday" parent of a child with Autism. She has connections we will never have in a million years. I am extremely happy for her, and I feel her pain as the parent of a special needs child, but I felt she was out of touch with what other parents feel, as if she only got "half" the picture. In addition to that - she is not a great writer and it was a painful read.

    If you want to know of a GOOD book on this topic read -  The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown. Admittedly the focus is a bit different, but the realities of living with a child with disabilities resonates much more in this book tan in McCarthy's.

    5. The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing it all. Alexandra Penney

    This lady is OUT OF TOUCH. First of all she was never a "bag lady", she was an extremely rich person who had to deal with losing a lot of money. she had more money than I will have in my lifetime and she lost it. A tragedy for sure, but she has NO CONCEPT of how people in America struggle every day just to get by. She had to sell some of her houses. Oh my. I couldn't muster up sympathy for her if I tried - even though I admit she suffered a great loss.

    6. The Magicians. Lev Grossman

    I am right in the middle of a kick on fantasy novels. This book was heralded as an adult version of Harry Potter. HA! From beginning to end this book was a failure with one exception - the excursion to the south pole. Literally every page I turned I thought to myself - "if only they had done this instead". It was by no means a book to get lost in. The vast majority of the story was about self indulgent, lazy, alcohol stupefied wannabes.

    7. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. David Wroblewski

    Maybe because the book was hyped so much I thought it was going to be so much more. I like a book with a decent conclusion. This was not it.

    8. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams

    I think I am missing something here. "HHGTG" has cult status among science fiction fans. It was a radio show, it has been made into books, comics, computer games... you name it. I read it for the first time in May 2012. I was completely baffled by why this book is so famous. I thought it was boring, not funny at all and I struggled to finish the darn thing. I guess I can say I missed the plot on this one!

    9. Why Men Lie.
    Why Men Lie
    I tried to read this book because the author is Canadian and I am trying to read 13 books by Canadians in one year. I HATE this book. it was boring and completely uninteresting. I tried to hard to read this book that I basically didn't get anything else read for almost a MONTH while I tried to slog through this one. I have to say it is one book I did not finish and I finally accepted I would never finish and returned it to the library. I honestly don't care why men lie, but the book never provided me with any earth shattering information either. Maybe if I had made it to the end it would have been better but I doubt it. I am primarily disappointed that the rest of me reading was affected by this book and that I was not able to count it towards the challenge.

    10.The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

    I absolutely detested this book. Abel is a teenager caring for his sister after the disappearance of his mother. Anna is a student in his classes who is "mysteriously" drawn to him. Abel tells his little sister a fairy tale with characters representing people in real life - a lighthouse keeper who is a teacher, a cat as his missing mother and so on.
    I found for a teenager who is caring for his sister and supposedly doing all he can to provide, the fairy tale, which is a KEY part of the story is a dark and disturbing tale and one that I would never tell a small child.
    Much of this book was disturbing to me, including how Abel rapes Anna - yes I said rapes, and how disconnected her parents are from what is happening in their daughters life - especailly as it is an apparent dramatic shift from who she normally is.This is a terrible book!

    11. A Prison Diary. Jeffrey Archer

    I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Archer and this book was a complete disappointment.
    After being sentenced to prison basically Jeffrey wrote notes on eveything that was happening to him. He didnt eat prison food and.... yup thats about it.
    This is a terrible book!

    12. and 13. Making Toast. Roger Rosenblatt AND Two Kisses for Maddie by Mathew Longelin

    I am grouping these two books into one because I was disappointed in them for the exact same reason. They are both autobiographical books and in both storeis the young moms have passed away due to some medical tradgedy. One  is told by  the father of the deceased and the other by the husband. In BOTH stories the writer seems completely detatched from the story as if holloly recounting details of the events without making any connection to the reader or to the people in the story. I think the potential for these stories is IMMENSE and they both fell completely flat for me.

    Canadian Book Challenge: Magebane

    The Canadian Book Challenge
    This is the SEVENTH book out of 13 that I need to read for the Canadian Book Challenge.
    It was a total accidental addition to the challenge, it was a book I wanted to read and it just HAPPENED to be written by a Canadian! BONUS! Lee Arthur Change was born in the USA but lives in and is married to a Canadian - so I'm counting it baby!


    This is Change's first book and I wish he had written more already.

    In the kingdom of Evrenfel, MageLords rule. MageLords are a powerful magic wielding race who have fled to Evrenfel from an older kingdom where they were under attack. In order to protect themselves in this new world they have created impermeable magic "barriers" for borders.
    Like all kingdoms the political system is corrupt. A group exists whose purpose for many years has been to destroy the barriers and take over the leadership of the kingdom. Within the group the motivations for tearing down the barrier are varied and the leaders begin to doubt the commitment of one another. As the day draws near for the final plan to be set in motion this lack of trust deteriorates and pits MageLord against MageLord in a series of events that threats the success of the plan.
    In the middle of the treason and plot all off a sudden from over the top of the Barrier arrive two men in a balloon - not powered at all by magic, but by science.
    If the plan to remove the Barrier exists - what will the MageLords face?

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Canadian Book Challenge: Cures for Hunger

    This is the SIXTH book I am reading for this challenge - even though I STILL have not been updated on the book page itself!
    The Canadian Book Challenge
    I just read the book "Cures for Hunger" by Deni Bechard. This is the true story of a young man who grows up in BC and is taken with his siblings by his mom when she leaves his dad and returns to the USA. Deni learns about his dads criminal past as he is growing and becomes captivated with finding out who his dad "really is". I dont know who was hungry or what the cure for it is either.
    I absolutely hated this book. It was a pain to get through and I found it tedious and boring. One of the reviewers commented that the book made readers want to explore their own relationships with their parents - I certainly didn't come up with that through the story. I am glad I read for book for one purpose only and that's because the author was Canadian and I can cross off another book on my list for this challenge. That's it - and to be honest it may not even have been worth that!
    Cures for Hunger: A Memoir

    99 things to do

    In 2011 I decided I would track my journey to accomplish 99 things.
    I love to make lists and I had seen this somewhere and I thought it was a good idea. I made the list at the beginning of the year and added to it as I went along. I enjoyed it and I was looking back at past blogs and thought I would do it again. I laughed because I had some things on my list in 2011 that I have still not completed and it is 2013. Dang procrastination! I want to start out the year with 99 things. So far I have 66 so I am off to a good beginning. The first part of my list are things from the 2011 list that were never completed.

    Oh the shame!

    1. Write monthly letters to my sons.
    2. Finish my thesis.
    3. Graduate with my masters degree. Hopefully people will start calling me "master" - especially my sons...
    4. Do at least ONE cross stitch project.
    5. Renew my first aid.
    6..Make myself a bookmark.
    7. Work on the boy's baby books.
    8. Get the boys passports.
    9. Take a trip to see family in the U.S.A.
    10. Take a family picture at Lake Louise.
    11. Finish at least ONE of my cross stitch nativity people for my mom's cross stitch nativity and send it to her.
    12. Send out a family letter.
    13. Stain the deck.
    14. Fix the barn windows.
    15. Install new screens in windows.
    16. Install new screen doors - front and back.
    17. Plant a garden.
    18. Get a tattoo.
    19. Make curtains for the bathroom.
    20. Make curtains for the back porch.
    21. Make curtains for the upstairs hallway.
    22. FIX the sewing machine and mend some clothing.
    23. Pay my 2012 taxes EARLY!

    Here are some things on my list that I am adding for the first time this year.

    24. Re roof the house
    25. Paint the rooms that need it the most.
    26. Read 52 books.
    27. Finish the Canadian book Challenge before July 1 2013.
    28. Figure out what is happening on my spouses immigration.
    29. Take the family camping.
    30. Get motorcycles for my sons.
    31. Fix Tinkey Winkey
    32. Finish my drawing blog challenge.
    33. Start taking more photos.
    34. Learn ONE new thing about my camera and use it.
    35. Knit squares enough to make a blanket for CJ.
    36. Have a birthday party for Max
    37. Do some kind of dog training with Rescue Puppy.
    38. Get boots for Shels snowshoes.
    39. Get snowshoes.
    40. Fix the tire on the snow blower.
    41. Start writing in my journal again.
    42.  Send a "for fun"care package to my mom.
    43. Send more of the kids artwork to granny and gramma. At least ONE thing per month.
    44. Send had written letters to my siblings telling them why I love them.
    45. Hang photos of our family in our house.
    46. Update all my legal paperwork to my correct last name.
    47. Get Shel a new pair of glasses.
    48. Plant flowers.
    49. Participate in 12 of 12 each month (even though Chad Darnell doesn't do it anymore!)
    50. Finish a photobook for each of the boys for 2012.
    52. update the memory on the computer
    53. Download the photos from the computer to an external drive.
    54. buy some BC cherries and can them with mom.
    55. Move the fire pit.
    56. Buck up the dead trees in the yard.
    58. Put up a fence.
    59. Give a thank-you gift to the Weeninks.
    60. Put up the new bookshelves.
    61. Sort the boxes in the playhouse.
    62. Fix the windows in the playhouse.
    63. Fix up the kids playroom at the top of the stairs.
    64. Get an electrician to wire the back porch, and our bedroom. (phase two)
    65. Send the bumbo chair to Jared.
    66. Get new Wedding rings for our 15th anniversary!
    67. Participate in Thursday 13 regularly.


    Thursday, January 3, 2013


    Yesterday I thought I had a crappy day. I guess I should say I had a crappy day yesterday - until I thought about it today.

    I am RIDICULOUSLY busy at work. My kids are all sick and needed immediate care. I had to leave work to take them to the doctor with Shel then entertain two of them while the others were at outpatients. I got further and further behind at work, the boys were acting out, the prescription cards didn't work to pay for the meds we needed. The outpatient visit took more than 4 hours. The babies had to have tests that were painful. Jumping bean did what three year olds do best and had a tantrum in the waiting room. Shel and I had a "whisper" argument in the hospital. Max and CJ acted out HORRIBLY in their appointment at the medical clinic with me. Max had a VERY sick stomach and we had to keep stopping and taking him to poo in public bathrooms and he is neither a speedy, nor a quiet pooper and requires someone to remain in the room with him at all times.

    The day just seemed to get worse and worse and I was mad, sad, grumpy, who knows what all else by the end of the day.

    Then I couldnt sleep and woke up with a headache.

    Today I saw this photo on facebook on the Emilie Parker Fund page.

    Emilie Parker was a 6 year old girl killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This is a photo of the employees of the Salt Lake Airport who stood to honor Emilie as she arrived home in Salt Lake City.

    I am so humbled.

     Photo: We wanted to give the most sincere thank you to Jet Blue Airlines for their pure motivation and intent on helping the family travel in privacy and respect.  They showed love and compassion on a personal level, and we think "thank you" just isn't good enough for what you have done for the family.  

We want to thank US airways for the tender care in the transportation of sweet Emilie to Salt Lake City. We want to thank the Salt Lake City airport employees, who so kindly stood to honor Sweet Emilie.  This picture is precious.  Thank you for your kindness.

You all have served the family so kindly.  We just can't thank you enough.

    Hug Your Kids. My day was not such a bad one after all.