Monday, 24 December 2012

The Christmas Conspiracy

So here I sit, in a room lit only by our Christmas tree and a couple dozen strings of mini-lights hanging is loving loops around the ceiling and railings. I am cuddled up under a quilt with a cup of coffee and a couple homemade cookies. The cats are curled up around me and my man is nearby puttering away, making homey little noises. I really do have to say that life doesn't get much better than this.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything about it; the lights, the decorations, the baking, the gifts, the food, the gatherings, the camaraderie. This is the only time of the year that I actually like shopping and that I can tolerate the mall and the crowds.

I love to decorate for Christmas. A tree (or two or three) loaded with sparkling ornaments and lots of shimmering lights. Some greenery, tables filled with delicious goodies, Christmas quilts and pillows, stockings on the mantle and snow globes on the piano. Wreaths and packages adorn my front step. Stuffed animals line the stairway to the second floor. A roaring fire and a glass of wine or eggnog. Maybe an Irish coffee or Mimosa. Christmas towels hanging in the bathrooms. Strings of lights hanging around the room and across the mantle. (And when the cats have grown out of the 'I'll destroy everything by playing with it' stage, I shall bring out my Christmas village with its houses, shops, lights, snow and wee little people.)

I have Christmas bracelets, brooches, hair clips, necklaces and a big box full of earrings. There are T-shirts, sweaters and vests. Cats wearing antlers or jingle bell collars just for fun.

I love any event that draws my family close to my side. Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Sunday dinners, and weddings; to me, all these events have one thing in common … there is great joy and happiness for me when everyone comes together. Family gatherings (also known as family rebuttals), are always a hodge-podge filled with food, fun, bickering, snide remarks, anger, teasing, joking, jesting, hugs, kisses, and loud voices but most of all, laughter and love.

For me the Christmas season brings the best of these things together for an extended time. November and December are filled with sneaky trips to the mall, hastily hidden bags and parcels, text message conspiracies, gift plotting, and quick gatherings to plan, shop, wrap or celebrate. I love planning and scheming with my daughters on what trinkets to buy or make for those we love. What gift will bring that treasured smile to their faces?

It isn't about money, or consumerism. It isn't about lights and shopping and commercialism. It is about expressing the deeper, tender emotions that we feel for our families and friends that we aren't always comfortable sharing. It is an excuse to hug friends and strangers to make them, and us, feel good.

I believe in Santa. There, I said it. Mock me as you will, it doesn't bother me one bit. But before you do, let me explain. For me Santa Claus is a symbol of all that is right and good in this world. The loving, caring, sharing, and kindness. He is the embodiment of what we could be, what we should be year round. For this one month, he reminds us to be better, kinder, more generous and forgiving. Walking the mall, I see smiles and hear manners being used. I hear excuse me, please and thank you. I see random acts of kindness. Someone buying a stranger's coffee or running down the mall to return a dropped glove or scarf. For me, Santa is a symbol of a conspiracy ... a conspiracy of kindness and good deeds. And that my friend is a good thing.

I hope for all the best for you this holiday season. May you be blessed with love and happiness. May you find a moment for a random act of kindness or giving.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the conspiracy!

Christmas Hugs

Friday, 7 December 2012

I’m Coming Back: So brace yourself.

I saw a little poster on the internet the other day that made me laugh. Of course now that I need it, I can’t find it. But it basically said I’m going to be busy when I die, haunting the people who piss me off now. This got me thinking and I was lying awake in the middle of the night last night thinking about people I have met that deserve haunting. Keeping in mind that this is mostly tongue in cheek, here goes.

·         High School Biology Teacher: For telling me that you could get STD’s from sitting on the floor naked after 9 at night. I’m still not sure why she was telling this to a room of 16 year old kids.
·         My Uncle: For telling me (when I was 18 and weighed 95 pounds) that I was getting fat and men didn’t like that.
·         For My High School Social Studies Teacher: For giving me endless information on Papua New Guinea but none on Canadian politics or world events.
·         The Asshat that cut me off on my way home from work: Stay in your own lane when you turn a corner.
·         My Darling Daughters: They will get haunted just because I can.
·         My Sisters: Really, what fun is it being dead if you can’t haunt your sisters and pull naughty pranks on them.
·         My Brother and His Wife: They already think I’m evil and going to hell, so why not?
·         The 27 Year Old Young Man Who Asked Me Out: Yup, going to haunt him. Wanna know why? Just because he’s super-hot and way too young for me. If I haunt him and watch him getting changed, that’s not creepy--right? Right?
·         A Bookstore: I would love hanging out in a bookstore all the time and ‘helping’ people select books. Maybe I could float a few books around a bit, or knock them off the shelves. Hmm, the idea definitely has merit.
What about you? Should I come back and haunt you?
Would you enjoy haunting someone? Maybe me? Think of the revenge, the games, the fun and the mischief. 


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Click here to buy your copy.
Here we go ladies and gents. It has been a long and arduous task for me to bring this story to you. I’ve battled the flu, missing cover files, a hard drive crash, a new job and major writer’s block. Man, I hate when characters won’t go where I tell them to and insist on taking their own path. It requires me to completely rethink the story. Finally, at long last it is release day. Tessa’s Trio is out! 

Tessa is a steamy, hot, erotic romance story about one woman and the three men who fall in love with her. Hmmm, the idea does have possibilities doesn’t it?

You can find her (or should that be them?) on Amazon by clicking the photograph of her cover.

Coming soon, you’ll be able to purchase a paperback copy on Amazon as well. I'll provide that link when the paperback is ready.

Blurb for Tessa:

Tessa Dupree is tired of being burned by love again and again, so she has sworn off men forever. No dating, no relationships and no one night stands. The last thing she wants is a man.

But fate may have other plans. When Tessa isn’t looking, fate thrusts three handsome, intriguing men into her life.

She’s known Rob since she was a little girl, but has been blind to his love for her. Peter and Mitch have been Rob’s friends for years. All in all, they are one smoking-hot gathering of men who make Tessa’s pulse race and her body thrum. Better than that, they’re all looking for their sole-mates. What are the odds that Tessa could fit the bill for them all?

They make her heart yearn for the love she has given up on. Is she ready to risk her heart again? Will she find love with three fabulous men? Is there any way she can open her heart and risk being hurt again? Does this trio hold the secret to love and happiness for Tessa? Or will she have to choose between them?

Excerpt for Tessa:

“Wow,” she exclaimed looking around the nearly deserted lot. “This place is empty.” She gestured to the far corner of the lot and headed that way. “My car is over here.” She waved towards the far corner of the dark, nearly empty lot.

They walked towards the car, side by side, not touching at all. She stumbled a bit on an unseen rock and his hand shot out to steady her. When she had regained her balance he slipped his arm around her waist, resting his hand against her hip and pulled her tight against his side.

The cool night breeze drifted across her skin, carrying a touch of his cologne. Oh, he smells so good. There was a hint of masculine cologne and something she couldn’t quite identify. Pheromones, a distant part of her mind provided the word. Could a person actually smell pheromones? Her knees went weak and she stumbled against him a bit. How could something as simple as his scent make her feel so, so weak and needy?

“Are you okay to drive,” he asked as they reached her car. “Should I call you a taxi?”

Tessa leaned against the car door and he leaned beside her. “I’m fine. I didn’t even finish one beer. In …” she glanced at her watch, “three hours. Holy cow! I didn’t realize we were talking that long.” She tipped her head sideways to look up at him and smiled. Damned if she didn’t love the way he towered over her. He had to be almost a foot taller than she was. She felt small and feminine beside him as she leaned against his side. Her hand snaked around his waist.

She took a deep breath, then another and felt it shiver through her. It had been a very long time since she had been this aroused and all they were doing was standing side by side against her car.

“Time flies in pleasant company.” He slid his arm around her shoulders, and his fingers pulled gently on one of her corkscrew curls, the slight tugging making her scalp twitch and her body feel…squirmy.

“Thanks,” she whispered, somehow touched by the easy compliment. She dug in her pocket and found her keys, extracted them and rattled them gently. “Well, I should go.” She leaned her head against his shoulder, knowing she had to leave, but loath to move from the heady warmth of his side.

“Yes, you should,” he agreed, his chin nuzzling her hair, his hand drawing idle circles on her arm.

She turned a little more towards him, nestling her head in the curve of his shoulder. She looked up at him. He was so handsome in the shifting shadows of the parking lot. She wanted to kiss him; she bit her bottom lip gently and pushed out a soft sigh wishing she had the courage. She wanted, needed, to feel his lips against hers, to taste him and touch him. Her hands itched to stroke his chest and delve under his shirt to trace the plains of his abdomen and to find the peaks of his nipples. She breathed deeply, inhaling his scent, committing it to memory, saving it to savour later.

The night was cool, but she wasn’t chilled. She was warm in the soft cocoon of his arm. “Okay,” he whispered, “you have to go.” He eased back a bit.

She looked up at him again and he smiled that sexy, very slightly crooked smile at her and she knew he was just as loath to separate as she was. There was something going on here, something between them. It was strong, electric, passionate, almost overpowering. She wiggled a bit and wondered if he knew how deeply he was arousing her just by standing beside her. Tipping her head further back she looked at him, her mind screaming for him to kiss her. He moved forward, his head tilting just a fraction of an inch. He smiled at her again, his eyes flashing in the dark as he lowered his mouth and touched his lips softly to hers.

Happy reading.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Honoring our Veterans

Thank You
Today, I stand before you
Thanking our veterans.
Those who serve now, or in the past.
Those that live, those injured and those who died
To protect our freedoms, our rights.
Keeping us safe in our beds.
Sacrificing their lives
Missing their families
So that mine might be safe
From tyranny and atrocity.
I am on my knees in gratitude
For their time, their lives, their effort.
But mostly for their scars
Those we see and those we don’t.
Today, I shed a tear for them all.

In gratitude.
Lest we forget.

Friday, 26 October 2012

A Visit From the Karma Bus

I have a fairly neutral life. Nothing really bad happens to me, but nothing spectacularly good happens either. Things just carry on; always level; never too high, or too low. I have a good life, and try to keep it that way.

I believe in the Rule of Three. That is to say, I believe that whatever you put out into the universe, it comes back to you three-fold. If you do good things, you’ll get better. If you do bad things, your life will go to hell in a hand-basket at some point. The idea is one of the basic concepts of the Wiccan belief system, although I’m sure it can be found in a lot of other religions.

In my lifetime, I’ve made a lot of jokes about retribution and the Karma Bus. Often I have suggested that perhaps someone was due to be hit by the Karma Bus. Generally I was referring to someone being nasty, rude or mean or inconsiderate and I was uncharitably wishing bad luck on them. (My bad!) (And no comments on the brutal irony of my negative thoughts please!)

Knowing that I have a tendency to be a bit nasty myself, I can appreciate that I’ve been way overdue for a visit from that bus. In keeping with this thought, I’ve been making an effort to smile more and be more charitable to others. I’ve even been known to give a helping hand now and then. I’ve been working on being more patient and working on resisting the urge to drop-kick annoyingly stupid people. (We won’t mention that when I’m happy people are nicer to me and I get better service in stores.)

This week the Karma Bus was on my block and it hit me. Big Time!

First: The guy at the sub place gave me my coffee and breakfast sandwich for free, because I make him smile every time I show up; or so he tells me.

Second: Tim Horton’s slipped an extra pastry in my bag and didn’t charge me for it. (Love those mini apple strudels.) Is it bad that Tim’s knows me by name?

Third: I went to the grocery store and the lady in front of me invited me to go before her. I declined and she insisted. She told me that she was certain I had young kids to pick up at school.  Who am I to argue? I went ahead, grinning like a fool because she thought this old gal was young enough to have small kids. Oh and a customer at the shop where I work thought that my granddaughter was my baby. *Snicker and laugh*

Fourth: I checked my sales for Corralling the Cowboy and it’s selling steadily. I’m not rolling in the dough yet, but sales are increasing.
I love this mug!

Fifth and Finally: When I was checking my email, I received a notification that I had been granted my Pro Status from the Romance Writers of America. This makes it official. I am a writer, a PROFESSIONAL WRITER! (While I am already published, this feels extra special because the writing community thinks I am a pro.) Okay, this really isn’t that big of a deal, but somehow it really tickled me and is making me grin like a damned fool. I shared the news with a friend who said, “We need the little positives in our lives, especially the ones that validate our success in our ventures.” You know, he is absolutely right on this!

My point? Oh yeah, I lost track of my train of thought. LOL. I had never considered that the Karma Bus might bring me good things, but I am glad that it has. You don’t suppose that I should have bought a lottery ticket, do you?


Saturday, 20 October 2012

It Kind of Just Snuck Up On Me

Before I begin today’s whine, let me be perfectly clear in stating that I love my life.

As a general rule, I’m a fairly busy person. I work a regular job four days a week. I have a small but thriving home business. I’m a wife and mother and recently became a grandmother and I adore spending time with the new baby. Then there is the whole writing gig which tends to consume a lot of time. Add to all of this cat-sitting two cats in addition to my own two and the accompanying screech-fest fights. Just before Thanksgiving, I dropped my phone in the toilet and last week the hard-drive on my laptop crapped out.  I was unaware of how much stress was building under my skin and how tightly wound I was becoming.

I don’t consider myself a particularly giving person and didn’t think that I was spending too much time away from my studio which is where I unwind. But in hind-sight it seems that was the case.

Lately, I’ve had this almost uncontrollable urge to purge the clutter from my life. We’re talking major reduction of personal items. Knick knacks, books, games, furniture, dishes, clothing, shoes the whole shooting match. I was even going to sell the piano that hasn’t been played for 15 years, and it was a gift from my Grandmother. I debated starting to purge things from my studio. It takes something radical to make me even consider cleaning the studio, let alone reducing the creative mess. I work best in a cluttered, rather untidy space. It inspires me.

Years ago I was told that the urge to purge or to re-arrange furniture (which I excel at) are signs of stress. When a person can’t control their lives, they try to control their environment. It makes sense to me. For the years I was basically living alone and raising our children while my man worked out of town, the furniture got shuffled a LOT. And I had the cleanest cupboards and closets in the Northern Hemisphere.

I had forgotten this fact until I was talking to my friend Linda about the urge to purge things. She immediately chalked it up to stress and the need to control what’s going on around me. It was a light-bulb moment, I kid you not. Another friend informed me that I need to get out more. I laughed at him, I was certain that I was getting out enough. Then he said that baby time and going to work doesn’t count as “out time.” Their voices echoed in my head and I resisted the urge to fill a dumpster with my possessions and tried to figure out how to de-stress. Frankly, I came up with nothing. So things continued on in the status quo.

This brings us to tonight; I needed to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart to print off some pictures to send to my folks and for my Gramma’s album of adorable shots of the new wee baby. Typically, I wouldn’t be caught dead shopping on the weekend, it is just too busy. But, I’ve been procrastinating printing the pictures and my man needed some cold meds, so off I trotted.

The evening was full of pleasant surprises. First, the snow brushed off the car easily with no ice to scrape. Second, the roads were wet, not slippery. Third, the Wal-Mart parking lot was empty and that NEVER happens. With each little victory, my shoulders relaxed and I felt myself unwind. I do love it when things go right!
I entered the store and it was dead. For the first time in years, the staff outnumbered the customers. Sweet! So I printed my pictures and had a lovely chat with the cutest five year old girl and the lady running the photo studio. Then I started my shopping. My plan for a quick in and out trip receded quickly. The isles were empty as I toured the store. I wandered up and down every single isle; I even visited automotive and sporting goods. I found the things I needed, grabbed myself a couple of cute skirts and some other un-needed things; things just for me!

By the time I got to the line-free register, I was grinning like a damned fool. I was happy! I hadn’t realized the extent of the stress that had crept up on me, or that it was starting to make me feel unhappy. I don’t know how to explain this, if you knew me, you would know that I HATE, DETEST and ABHORE shopping in all its many forms. Yet tonight, wandering around that deserted store with no place to be and nobody making demands on my time I found a strange peace. What should have been 40 minutes there and back turned into almost two and a half hours and I came home smiling and content.

I'm still going to do some purging, but perhaps without so much haste and a little more discretion. The creative items in my studio are safe for a while longer, although I still think the piano needs to go.

On reflection, it’s funny how the stress just kind of crept up on me, and then just slipped away when I took a little time for myself.

Once again, my life is good.


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Lessons From a Chat Room

I spend a lot of time on the internet surfing around and generally wasting time. I have a few places I haunt regularly; blogs, chats, web pages, that sort of thing. I follow a lot of writers on their social media sites and stalk them on their blogs and web pages. I find their successes very inspiring and their disappointments strangely comforting.

I’ve even hung out on POF and some other dating sites, just talking to people. Some folk are reticent and reluctant to share their stories, not that I blame them. Some are clearly making it up as they go along and others will openly tell you anything you ask. Occasionally I use bits and pieces of what I hear as inspiration for a character in my stories. They provide a base or a starting point, if you will, for someone who I flesh out later.

I really hadn’t expected to meet someone whose life story would humble me and motivate me to be a better person. I’m not talking about inspiring me as a writer; I’m talking about inspiring me as a human being.

Over the past few months, I’ve struck up a friendship of sorts with a gentleman who I’ll call Wes. I ran into him in a chat room. What first caught my eye about Wes was his quick wit; he’s fast with the snappy comeback and witty retort. These aren’t your usual cutting remarks, just gentle teasing and good fun. He dishes out barbs and witticisms, but doesn’t mind being the brunt of a joke. He is upbeat and positive and always has a comforting word for people who are upset or hurt. I’m not sure he would appreciate it, but I always think of him as a ray of sunshine.

Wes is talkative and open about anything anyone asks him. He’s easy to chat with and conversations with him range from the mundane to the totally bizarre. A few nights ago, Wes told me that he had spent the weekend hopped up on pain meds because he was in a serious car accident. He was very philosophical about the whole thing, saying things like, “My car is probably totalled, but I’m okay. The bruises will be gone in a few weeks.” He sounded quite optimistic actually.

We all know how difficult it can be to settle things with our insurance company; and even here Wes is easy going. He is hoping that insurance will fix his car; rather than pay him out for it. Admitted that this was unlikely and shrugged it off, if they wrote off his car, he would just scrape together enough to get a replacement. What a fabulous attitude!

Somehow, my conversation with Wes took another turn and we started talking about the positive outlook he had. He tells me he’s finding all the happiness and pleasure he can gather. His philosophy is that he works to live, rather than living to work. He no longer works insane hours to buy things he doesn’t really need. He’s taking the time to enjoy his life and his friends, to enjoy the small pleasures rather than working himself to exhaustion.

I was impressed by his attitude. Being nosy, I asked him his age and he told me he was 28. I was astounded, I had assumed he was someone who had lived much longer and had learnt a lot more. I mentioned that his attitude was unusual for someone so young and he told me that it is because he had learnt to take the good with the bad and to focus on the positive.

During our last chat he told me that he has a very aggressive form of MS and some other health complications and that he is unlikely to live to be 40. He said, “Think of me as ¾ dead. I’m not going to live a long life and I’m going to enjoy every minute of this one; so I try to find the best in every situation.”

Holy hell and geez Louise.

I’ll be honest with you, I cried for him. It broke my heart to hear that in a world full of negativity, such a positive man was living knowing that he would be taken away early. He deserved better.

But I cried for me too, for all the happiness I have robbed myself of with my ‘poor me’ attitude. I have a good life, but I’m prone to petty whines and quick to anger sometimes. Wes helped me to realise how good I have it and I intend to adopt his attitude as best I can. I want to find the pleasure in little things and enjoy my life, my friends and family.

I raise my glass in toast to you Wes. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person; and for showing me that the world is a wondrous place if we let it be. The world needs more people like you.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Shit Rolls Downhill: A Thanksgiving Saga

I'm sure you are familiar with the expression 'Shit rolls downhill.' If not, it refers to one of two things.
1. First it can mean passing your bad day onto the next person you meet. The boss gets mad at you, you yell at your assistant, and she goes home and yells at her husband ... it just keeps going.
2. It can refer to bad things escalating out of control. One off thing happens, then another and another and another.
That's how my day started.  Don’t you just love a day that starts out a little off and gets worse?

This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada, and that means family get togethers and lots of fun and bickering. I love it.  My daughters (The Spawn) are grown up and moved out and starting families. This is means that they have lives of their own. In keeping with this, we have chosen to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday this year to allow them time to spend with their new, extended families. We are also celebrating my hubby and one son-in-laws birthdays. Good times!

So, I’m all pumped and ready and raring to go. The cunning plan was to get up early get some writing done and then clean and cook. I’ll just begin by saying … epic fail on that.

I slept in and when I woke up, I lay there thinking that there was something I was supposed to do; but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was. DH joined me in my wee little bed and we talked a bit before he reminded me that I had company to prepare for. I exploded out of bed like somebody shot a load of buck-shot in my ass.

I hurried downstairs to make coffee, proceeded to dump wet coffee grounds beside the garbage, (onto the floor I scrubbed yesterday). The coffee tin was empty and I had to find a fresh can and I couldn’t get the lid off it. Much struggling ensued and I only spilled a few fresh grounds on the floor. Okay. Coffee is brewing, it’s all good now. It should be noted that I am almost non-functional without my morning coffee.

I hear the shower shut off. Hubby is finished, so I open the fridge to get some cream for his coffee. Splat. Yup, you guessed it, I dropped the open cream on the floor. Fortunately only a little bit spilled and it was easy to wipe up. So now a little coffee and some writing. Surprisingly, that goes well. Mission accomplished. J

I decide I had best clean the bathrooms before I shower and dress. I get off my butt (still in my cozy red flannel night-shirt). I slip on a big ole barbeque apron to keep my jammies clean and head into the bathroom.  I spray the toilet inside and out with cleaner and let it work while I clean the counter and mirror. I turn around and bend over to get the toilet bush and sploooooooosh. My cell phone falls out of my pocket into the bowl. Dang, golly gee whiz and gosh! F**K!

Really? L

Right into the filthy toilet chalk full of toxic cleaner. I so didn’t need this! Sigh! I scoop it out and rinse it off. Yes, I rinsed it…figured it was likely buggered already, so a little water to wash off the cleaner and the ick can’t possibly hurt anything. So now it’s in a bag of rice to dry off. Stupid phone is only a couple months old too. Sigh.

Moving on … housework complete. Time to put the turkey in the oven. First we make the stuffing. I open the crisper to be greeted by one completely green, furry and somewhat liquid onion. Thank god there were also a couple of good ones. Shit, I forgot to buy celery. There is no way in hell I am going to the grocery store on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. A little extra onion and some celery salt in the stuffing will have to do. I slap some butter in the pan to melt and drop the rest of the square of nice soft, squishy butter open side down on the floor. Crap. What a mess to clean up. It is amazing how far butter will spread and how long it takes to clean it up; and how much help the cats are.

Next, open the turkey and clean it out so that I can put the stuffing in it before it goes into the oven. WARNING! Raw turkeys are wet and slippery. If you lose your grip, they fly out of your hands; skid across the counter and onto the floor. Did I mention that I had just scrubbed? Ever tried to chase a raw turkey across the floor? It’s kind of curling meets greased calf wrestling. Okay, turkey retrieved and well cleaned. Stuffed and in the oven.

Out come the mop and pail and half a gallon of bleach. Does my house smell of the wonderful aroma of roasting turkey? Hell no, it smells like some jackass went crazy with a jug of bleach.

Is noon too early to start sucking back Scotch? It IS a holiday.

Things went better from here … the family showed up. We had a great dinner and enjoyed each other’s company with surprisingly few arguments. All in all, a pretty damned good day. If nothing else it was entertaining. The only thing missing was a few good friends, old and new.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you have a fabulous weekend with the people you care about. If you can't be with them, hold them in your heart. (I know I am.)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Master Procrastinator at Work

Good Morning Peeps:

I'm glad you found time to stop by.

Let me begin by saying that I am entirely too lazy this morning. I had a fabulous sleep last night; full of sexy, naughty dreams. As a result, I am disinclined to start working this morning.

Over the last few days, I I've been busy working on a real blog post but I didn't get it finished, so I decided to post a collection of things I have stumbled upon around the wonderful world of the Internet. And before you ask; yes I was procrastinating when I should have been writing. I know that doesn't surprise you. I'm lazy by nature and have developed avoidance to an art form.
Lucky for me, I have one of these in my life.

I also have people like this in my life.
Too funny! I snorted when I saw this.

It is possible that I am the world's worst dancer.
After a beer or three I don't even care!

Admit it, you sang it! Didn't you?
Take note boys (and girls.) This is how it should be.
Now, where is MY sandwich!

With these profound thoughts, go forth into your day and enjoy it as much as you can. Know that I'm thinking about you and hoping you get a sandwich.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

My Favorite Things

I should be finishing writing Tessa's Trio. Instead I'm thinking about what makes me happy.  
1.      Hot coffee in bed together.
2.      Fire toasted marshmallows.
3.      Hugs (from family, friends and my man.)
4.      Cuddling on the couch and watching TV.
5.      Long walks in the park.
6.      Singing along with the radio (even when the artist gets the words wrong.)
7.      Sleepy morning sex.
8.      Cuddling in front of a roaring fire.
9.      Long slow kisses.
10.  Phone calls from my children.
11.  Curling up with a good book.
12.  A glass of fine Scotch.
13.  Back rubs.
14.  Uncontrollable passion (when he needs me NOW - no matter what.)
15.  Family dinners (complete with squabbles.)
16.  Someone else doing the cooking.
17.  A text message from that special someone.
18.  Licorice allsorts.
19.  When he tells me I’m beautiful (especially when I look like hell.)
20.  Grandbaby hugs.
21.  Flowers for no reason.
22.  Holding hands.
23.  Rainbows on misty mornings.
24.  Laughing myself silly.
25.  When his eyes light up when he sees me.

I would love to hear about your favorite things. Leave a comment and let me know what moves you, or if you are shy, drop me an email.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Rocking, Rolling and Re-evaluating.

Things are moving and shaking around here. It is a busy time in the world of Katie O’Connor and when life gets hectic, I always find myself re-evaluating my life. Do you ever get in one of those moods when you think about all the things you are doing and wonder how you got so busy? I’m there now and I’m trying to understand what takes up all my time so that I never seem to get anything done. This isn’t complaining it is just my over-active mind sorting things out and figuring out where I am. 

Although I am enjoying it, this having a job takes up a lot of time. Toting around 30lb bags of dog food is definitely going to help get me in shape. I’m also working out again. After seven months of being unable to exercise I am enjoying the gym. Okay, maybe enjoying is the wrong word, but I am getting down there three or four times a week and I am shrinking back into shape again. I really do wish someone would invent a magic fitness pill. This having to find effort, dedication and will power is for the birds. Working out does increase my energy and we all know that my heart and lungs can use the workout and being fitter is never a bad thing. (Please, no lectures please on the incorrect usage of fitter.) 

The other things taking up my time? My quilting business, carting the cat back and forth to the vet. (I am cat sitting my daughter’s cats until the baby gets bigger.) There is always writing, rewriting and editing to be done. I won’t try to fool you by saying housework takes up my time because I only do the minimum. (After all dust bunnies are an endangered species and I like to think of my house as a game preserve for them. I am pretty sure I saw a dust-rhino yesterday.) 

Having a new grandbaby is a wondrous thing. She is a delight and I am spending hours just holding her, feeding her and cuddling her. I’m pretty sure my son-in-law is getting torqued at finding me in his house all the time, but who cares? J 

What am I missing in my life right now? Time for friends, old and new, is lacking. It’s been a long time since I opened a book or fired up my Kindle. There was a time in my life when I finished a book every second day, and I’m missing that, but then again I didn’t do much besides read back then. I haven’t spent much time in my studio lately, and I can hear it calling my name. I’m hoping to make a journey soon to see my folks and my sister in Edmonton. Oh, and a journey to Regina to visit my BFF now that I have enough airmiles. 

Clearly, I need to develop some time management skills. Maybe if I got off my ass in the evening I could spend some time in my studio which is pure pleasure for me. Or maybe I could do some reading, which I love. I have been sneaking in some doodling lately which is nice. I’ll never be able to draw and I’m good with that, but doodling is relaxing and entertaining. 

So after much self-evaluation, I have concluded that my life is good, I am lazy, and I need to create more time for family and friends. Being busy is good it keeps me from getting bored.


Friday, 14 September 2012

That Weird Little Lever

I made a short journey today. It was only about a three mile round trip to the grocery store and back. During the course of that trip, I was cut off three times. Five times I waited patiently for on-coming traffic to pass so that I could turn left. Four of those times the drivers eventually turned across in front of me without signalling.

Okay at this point I would just like to say the next time you get in your car, take a look at the left side of your steering column just behind your steering wheel. There, you will find a funny little lever. If you push this lever up it turns on flashing lights on the front and back of your vehicle indicating to other drivers that you wish to turn right. If you push it down, it shows them that you wish to turn left.

I’m just saying … used the damned thing!


Thursday, 13 September 2012

13 Keys to a Great Relationship.

As I’m sure you already know being part of a relationship isn’t always easy. I’m not just talking marriage; I’m talking about relationships with your spouse, children, parents and friends. Maybe even with co-workers. None of them are easy or strife-free.

Sometimes I am astounded by how easily people give up on what should or could be a great relationship. Too many people run off at the earliest sign of trouble or disagreement. I can’t help but think that nobody ever told them that life isn’t easy, it isn’t fair; but most of all, all relationships take work. Lots of work.

I’m not a relationship expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve been with my man for thirty five years. Life as a couple hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth fighting for. What I have learnt over the years is quite simple.

1.      Relationships are give and take. Sometimes you are doing all the giving; sometimes you are doing all the taking. The best times are when give and take balance. Don’t be afraid to give, it will come back to you.

2.      Never make it personal. When you fight (and all relationships have bickering) try not to attack your partner personally. If your issue is his dirty socks littering the hallway, don’t call him a slob. (That’s making it personal.) Tell him that the dirty socks bother you and you would appreciate it if he could keep them picked up. The difference is slight, but it is easier on his ego and generally causes less hurt and backlash. (And whatever you do don’t say “For god’s sake will you just pick up your f’ing socks?”)

3.      Try to remember that we all have crappy days. Be understanding when he comes home and doesn’t want to interact with you until he unwinds. We all have those days where we just want to kick something, let that feeling pass before you invade his space. Listen to him bitch and whine about things. Yes he is grumpy and venting, but it isn’t directed at you, you are just his sounding board and a way to unwind. It is a sign of trust that he can act this way around you.

4.      Suck it up buttercup. Yes I said it. Sometimes we just have to suck up our hurt feelings and get on with life. In an ideal world, nobody would ever say or do anything to hurt another person: but shit happens! Get over it. Move along.

5.      Never go to bed angry. This sounds like an easy one, but it isn’t. People fight. But there is no sense in going to bed angry, you aren’t going to sleep anyway, and neither is your partner. Spend some time analysing why you are upset and talk it out. Look deep and find the forgiveness that you know is inside. Try to understand his point of view. I’m not saying forget, because that isn’t going to happen, but try to forgive and find understanding. Hash it out before you go to sleep. Kiss and make up. Enough said. (Don’t forget the make-up sex!)

6.      Be the bigger man. Sometimes being right isn’t right. We’ve all been there, having an argument and knowing that we are right and not being able to make them see our side or win the argument. But there are times when it is best to give in and give up. This one is hard to explain, but sometimes the best course of action is to back down and let him have his way. You’ll always know you were right, and I am betting that he’ll figure that out eventually.

7.      Share his interests. This one doesn’t require any explanation. Just spend time doing what he likes doing. Watch him play hockey sometimes, even if it feels like watching paint dry. Learn something about what interests him and try to share his passion. (My man will never be a quilter, but he listens when I talk, asks questions and tries to share my enthusiasm for it.)

8.      Choose your battles. Not every issue is worth fighting over. Remember this, learn it, and know it deep inside. Some fights just aren’t worth the grief they cause. Step back and consider things. Save your fights for the important things, otherwise you could find yourself fighting hard for something that in the long run means nothing and then lacking the gumption to fight for the big items.

For example … our car is butt friggen ugly. It is rusty and crappy looking. But it is mechanically sound and runs like a charm (except the really loud exhaust.) I would love a new car or even to have the muffler fixed so it was quieter. He gets a kick out of the loud sound. Sigh. We really can’t afford a new car right now, so there is no sense kicking up a fuss about it. To do so would just add stress to our lives. Yes, he knows I want a new car; but I’m not going to push for one because it just isn’t worth fighting over. (If it were a mechanical wreck, then it would be worth fighting over.)

I’m not saying be a doormat here, just think about the argument and decide if it is worth the effort and strife. Is this the fight you want to have, or do you want to save the argument for something that actually means something to you. Something big.

9.      Give him space. You have friends, he has friends. You don’t need to spend every waking minute together. Spend time apart too. Do your own thing. See your own friends, let him have time with his. Jealousy has no place here. There is no sense in making him stay home when he really wants to be out with the boys. He’ll just be miserable. Let him go out, let him have fun. He’ll be much happier when he gets back! Give him time to do his thing, it leaves you time to do yours and you’ll both come back renewed and refreshed and happy to be together.

10.  Honesty really is the best policy. No secrets, no lies, no hiding the truth through evasion or lies of omission. Honesty leads to trust. No relationship can survive without trust in each other. There is no way to make it clear how important this is!

11.  Stand up for him. Defend him if he needs it. And don’t be slamming him to your friends. Yes, we all talk about our problems and difficulties. But there is a huge difference between commiserating and just being nasty. Find that line and stay on the good side of it.

12.  Don’t be afraid to show your feelings, to him, and to the world. You love this guy for a reason. Why by shy about it? There is a real pleasure in having someone in your life who isn’t afraid to show the world that you are special to them!

13.  Hug often. I once read that everyone needs three hugs a day to stay happy and healthy. Personally, I don’t think that is enough! I hug my family every time I see them. (Even my son-in-laws and brother-in-laws on occasion, though I think it creeps them out. *grin*) I hug my friends too, but not often enough. Hug, hug, hug. I can’t say it enough. Hug! 

Hopefully this all makes sense. I’m not advocating backing down all the time, or becoming subservient to your partner’s needs with no regard for your own. I’m saying that life is give and take. The more you give, the more you will get. Take pleasure in doing right by your partner and being there for him when he needs you, and in knowing he’ll be there for you when you need him. Work together. You loved each other to join your lives, now you need to love each other enough to make it work. And don’t forget that you are going to have some bitching, screaming, name calling, ugly fights. Those fights are just part of life.