Wednesday, April 30, 2014

XXL Sweater

One of my most favourite things is going second hand store shopping with my sister. We spend hours in VV Boutique searching for amazing finds. Even if it takes three hours and we only leave with one or two items, we're happy. Because it's the hunt we love. And probably the quality time with one another. 

Two visits ago, we went to Value Village and I found this XXL sweater.  There was nothing remarkable about the garment whatsoever, but I kind of fell in love with it. I put it on and it was basically a sweater dress, but not a trendy one. A horrible one from the early nineties. I can't exactly say what drew me to the thing. It's blackish and greyish, a rough sort of material, and definitely not something I could ever wear out of the house. 

Still, I bought it. And it's one of my most favourite finds. I wear it all the time. It so big I don't have to wear pants! I'm not wearing pants right now! Does that make this post more or less interesting? 

Anyhow, this XXL sweat, that I imagine some large gentleman once wore, is seriously the most comfortable article of clothing I wear. You know when you're a child and you have your favourite outfit you want to wear everyday? This sweater is it for me. I get sad when it stinks and I have to wash it. Sometimes, when I'm at work, I think about this sweater, hanging in my closet, waiting for me to get home and put it on. 

Now the warm weather is approaching, and I wonder how this will impact our relationship. 

Guess who didn't make their bed this morning! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Five Random Things

My brain isn't working properly. Too much on it. Last night it started thinking right when I was going to bed. Just clicked in and the wheels were turning. Now, my eyes are tired. Not enough sleep, I think.

So, I'm coping out on a thoughtful post and just going to write five truths about life as I see it today.

1. Money is the biggest stress ever. The amount of people brooding over their finances is staggering. This world is so consumer driven and designed to keep us in debt and unhappy. We all hope to win the lottery, but the chances of that are so slim. It's sad, isn't it? Being so preoccupied with money, letting it control our lives, when we really can't take it with us. All these things, our homes, our cars, televisions, clothes, toys, none of it is coming with us when we leave this place. So, why not let it go in advance?

I am thinking about doing some spring cleaning this weekend. It's going to be like the movie The Purge, but instead of committing crimes and getting rid of people who annoy me, I'm going to be downsizing my book collection and donating clothes I don't wear.

2. Life isn't easy. It's hard and defeating. Things are constantly up in the air. Even if you are happy enough and working your hardest, there are bumps in the road. Trials. Pains. Heartaches. And sometimes it feels like it's just too much to handle, you know? Like you're just waiting for the good parts and they never really come. Everyone I know has gone through it. The what is this all about feeling is a hard one to shake. Sometimes I'd love to say we are all here for a purpose, but that's just wishful thinking. Maybe this is all a mistake.

I think I'm taking things too seriously.

3. Pets make things easier. Oliver is sitting on my right side here. He's sleeping. But even in the toughest of times, he can pull a smile from me. I'm glad I have these boys. They remind me there are great things, even when it seems like there aren't. Wet noses, soft ears, and cuddles when you need them the most. It's nice to be needed. Wanted. Sometimes I think this is what people with children feel like about their kids. Like they are a reason to keep on keeping on.

My dogs are my children. Thank God they don't speak English. Oliver is already mouthy enough as it is.

4. The best way to stay healthy and happy is to maintain a positive outlook on life. This is easier said than done. It's hard to constantly keep your chin up, especially when you feel as though you are floundering. Everything will be okay is a lovely way to think, but believing it is another matter altogether. We know other people have it worse. We know life isn't all that bad. But when you're down, you're down. And sometimes it's hard pulling yourself up the mountain again when it feels like you just trudged up the bloody thing not that long ago.

Don't worry, I am not thinking about becoming a motivational speaker.

5. Writing distracts me from life. This is probably why I love it so much.

We all need distractions sometimes. Or to stay focused. I'm not too sure which right now.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Tiny Loaves

It's been over fourteen years since I turned vegan. One of the best parts of eating this way is experimenting with food and trying to create amazing things to put in my mouth. You really have to appreciate food and cooking to love being vegan. One of my passions is baking. I always wanted to open a tiny vegan bakery or cafe of sorts and show the world vegan food is amazing. Even baked good.

Don't get me wrong, it's totally hit and miss. The other day I bought a vegan, gluten free cinnamon bun from a local spot and it was terrible. I have dabbled in gluten free baking and it can definitely be denser, but this was a cinnamon bun, most of which is yeasty awesomeness. I think the main problem was that it was frozen and they heated it up for me. I had a bite and actually threw the rest of it out, and we all know how I hate wasting food.

Anyhow, because of this horribly disappointing cinnamon bun, I decided to try my hand at making cinnamon swirl bread, something I'd never tried before. Bread can be intimidating. Mostly because it's time consuming. There's something terrible about not having your loaf rise when all you want if fluffy bread to stuff in your mouth.

After combining and altering three different recipes, I had success. And it wasn't even all that hard. Yes, it was time consuming, as all bread recipes are, but it had very few ingredients and turned out beautiful. And also delicious.

What's better than a loaf of bread? Eight loaves of bread. This recipe will make one big loaf, I imagine, and eight small loaves, like the ones I made in the pictures below. If you don't have a mini loaf pan, go get one. Seriously, they are the cutest things ever and you will use it all the time.

The recipe: Voluptuous Vegan Cinnamon Bread

1 Cup very warm water (not hot or you'll kill your yeast)
2.5 Tsp yeast (not instant, regular old yeasty poo)
2.5 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs oil (I used canola)
1 Tsp vanilla
1/2 Tsp salt
3 cups of flour (I used all purpose organic)
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar (brown, white or both - I used white)

First, like all recipes, you proof your yeast in a big bowl. Combine water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Once dissolved, add the yeast, but don't stir. Let it froth, foam and become fabulous. After about 7.5 minutes, add in the oil and vanilla and give a little stir. Now you add the salt and flour. You will need to knead. If it is too tacky/sticky, make sure you add a bit more flour until the dough is elastic-like and not too wet, you don't want it sticking to the counter.

Now you coat a large bowl with oil or margarine and  let it rise for an hour in a warm spot. I put it in the windowsill on a sunny day. If you aren't blessed with nice weather, inside the over with the light on will do. (Not the oven. Do not turn the oven on for rising. I feel stupid telling you that, like you should know better, but what if you don't?) Oh, I also cover my dough, mostly because I have dogs and don't want hair or dust getting in it, but also because I believe it traps the heat so it rises better.

Once it has risen, divide into eight equal blobs. Flatten these blobs out on the counter making them about four inches wide and eight inches long. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl, then sprinkle this mixture over the dough. Carefully roll the dough up and place in a greased loaf pan. (You only have to do this once if you are making one loaf, but the measurements will be different.)  Once the are all done, set them back in a warm place for half an hour or so, until you are happy with how they look.

Back at 350 degrees for about fifteen minutes. You will know they are done when the tops are brown and they sound hollow when you knock on them. In order to make sure they aren't too hard, brush them with margarine to soften the tops. Then eat all the mini loaves because they are amazing.

Aren't they cute? 

 See, palm sized!

My Tiny Loaves.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Water Droplets

For some reason, I was fascinated by the water droplets in my garden this morning. So, I took some pictures and am sharing. Just because, it's nature and it's the beginning of a new week. And things are beautiful.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

And So It Begins ... Again

Last night, I couldn't sleep. At four, I was wide awake, but knowing I had to work, I hung out in bed. Hoping to drift in and out, so not to be a zombie while interacting with the public. From what I hear, no one like chatting with a drooling, lurching, unkempt woman with dark circles under her eyes.

In order to take my mind off what was keeping me awake, I started thinking about these ideas I have for books. There are these two I've been mulling over in my head for a couple months. One of them actually has been simmering in my brain stew for close to two years. Crazy, right? 

So, anyhow, last night at half past four, I came up with the first line to the one I've been thinking about the longest. Now, I was going to share it here, but I suddenly got all weird about putting it out into the world. As if someone is going to steal the first line to the book I have only penned a thousand words of. Sometimes I'm so silly. Besides, what's the chances the first line will even stay the same. Unlikely, right? I mean, none of my books have the same first lines they originally had! And yet, I'm still here waffling. 

Moving right along.  

Here's the thing - it's a vampire novel. Yes, vampires. You don't have to say it. I already know what you're thinking. I am thinking it too. There's this feeling at the nape of my neck and it makes me feel as if I'm wasting my time. Vampires are overdone, right? Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Anne Rice's books, Bloodlines, Marked and it goes on and on. Still, there's this little, tiny, mouse-like voice that is saying this will be different. My humblest opinion - the idea is rather ingenious. Not to pat my own back or anything, but there will be blood and darkness and true vampire lore. 

So, I started writing it. Mostly because I had a first line, but also because my early morning pondering finally made it clear where the beginning is. Honestly, I don't know what this is going to turn into - what with not plotting - and that excites me. I think this will be another 'for me' book, much like my pirate novel The Reign of Billie Blackwater. This will be something I write just for myself with the hopes someone else will see the beauty in the darkness. 

And so it begins ... again. 

If you are a writer, how long do you mull an idea before beginning? Do you wait for a certain point to start? Are you a plotter? And if you are a reader, do you like reading about people who are writing and their creative processes? 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Don't Tell Me Your Secrets

Here's the thing about secrets, no one keeps them, except my friend Rae-Anne (who I call Bots). She is, literally, the only person I know who can keep a secret. When my ex and I broke up we only told a select few people. Mostly because we didn't want to have to deal with all the questions and people prodding into our private lives. My ex, we will call him Jay, had this crazy group of friends who were pretty close. They told each other everything. Even things they probably shouldn't have told people.

For some reason, Jay didn't tell his friends we broke up. Trust me, I understood why, it was a really hard breakup and even I only told four people. We didn't want to go through it, let alone talk about or post on Facebook for all and sundry to comment and query over. Bots happened to be one of the four I told about the demise of one of the most important relationships of my life and she happened to be dating one our other good friends, Nick. Off the cuff, I mentioned to her that Jay wanted to tell his friends himself, so not to say anything to Nick.

Well, weeks past. A month. And one day Jay and I decided to go shooting guns with Nick. As we were sitting there, we realized ... Nick didn't know! He had no idea we had broken up. Bots never told him! That's hard to believe, right? I mean, we both thought she would have said something. When it finally did come out in the wash that Jay and I hadn't been together for over a month, it was mighty awkward. Probably something Nick will never forgive. I always joke with Jay if we ever got back together we shouldn't tell Nick. Just because it'd be hilarious.

The point is, Bots can keep a secret.

For the most part, other people don't have that kind of tight-lipped-ness. I certainly don't. Truthfully, I don't have a lot of friends. That said, I tell my Sidekick and sister everything. They know all your secrets. Probably. Sometimes things just don't come up. If your secret is amazing, they will know about it. Even if they don't know about you.

Sorry, it's just the way things are.

And if you want to be sly and get up to something, don't involve me, especially if you are trying to be sneaky with someone else I know. Because they are probably going to find out. Either by me hinting at it, or by me accidentally messing up and telling them about it. Like the time we were throwing a going away party for Claire and we were all exchanging emails and I CC her in on them. What's wrong with me? I don't know.

Just don't tell me your secrets.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Mysterious Cave

Our landlord was showing the place yesterday, so I took Doolittle out for a walk while Doofus stayed behind with Dad. Oliver (AKA Doolittle) has stubby legs, so I knew we shouldn't go very far. For some reason, I decided to take him into the Secret Woods. In hindsight, this was way too far away for him.

The secret woods is this confounding place at the end of Maryport street.  There's a twisting trail off the roadway and, if you walk far enough, you'll find this strange quarry like place with a graffiti covered ruin of sort and old cars that have been smashed to smithereens. If you go to the right, past the ruins, you'll find this jagged hill. And if you climb that hill you'll find yourself in this wide open area of nothingness. I am guessing there will one day be a housing development here.

Yesterday, I didn't go right, I went left. Because I hadn't explored left before and there were trees there. Past the wrecked car were three paths - one on each side and the last straight ahead. Just before submerging into the super secret forest within the secret woods, I thought to myself how I wished I'd brought Doofus and left Dolittle at home. Here's the thing about the secret woods, no one knows what truly exists there. Unlike Dolittle, Doofus has a big old bark and the legs for running away, if need be.

But I ain't no chicken. So we went into the super secret forest within the secret woods.

The straight trail led up a hill to a little lookout and a makeshift fire pit. So, this territory had obviously been explored before. After all, there was a trail. Then we decided to take the trail on the right and, rather awesomely,  it actually wrapped around and brought us back to where we started. Drenched in rain, covered in mud, we decided to head home.

This is when we found the mysterious cave that looked man made and gave us the creeps.

If we had of seen the mysterious cave in the secret woods before our expedition, would we have ventured forth? Good question.  We aren't sure. I have some pictures of the mysterious cave/fort. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


No one has ever described me as 'neat and tidy'. But I like things to have a place and for them to be put in that place when they are done being used. This doesn't change the fact my closet looks like a clothes bomb went off in it. A scene from Clueless just popped into my head. The one where Alicia Silverstone's character, Cher, is trying to find an outfit for school and she has the computer to help her match her clothes together.

And because the intersnacks is awesome, the clip is actually on YouTube and I can embed it here:

My life would be so much simpler if I had this computerized wardrobe selector. I don't, though. I have a tiny closet and not enough hangers. Still, I like to keep things together. Cleanish. In place. Sometimes I think of cool ways to display things. Like a vase holding all my driftwood pieces or reusing a little glass jar of face cream by washing it out and putting all my earrings in it. Speaking of which, I have stretched my ears to zero gauge, rendering all my old earrings obsolete. Yet I can't seem to get rid of them. I guess if I ever downsize I can use them again. There is a bit of debate over how big you can stretch and go back to normal after. Word on the street is 00. So, all things point to downsizing is possible in my future.

Anyhow, the other day a light bulb went off in my head. Ding! (That's the sound my idea light bulb makes) I had these old shower curtain hangers and a bundle of necklaces that kept getting all tangled up. So, BAM, I combine the two and now have an awesome way to keep my necklaces organized.

I took a picture so you can see my ingeniousness.

This might be the most boring post I've sent forth into the virtual world, but at least there's a Clueless snippet in it. What are some of your idea for keeping things organized and awesome? I need all the tips I can get. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Five Years Ago

Five years ago, I penned my first novel, Seeking Eleanor. In my haste to show the world how brilliant I was, I sent it out to agents, made my friends and family read it, and sat back with a smug satisfaction over finishing a 170,000 word novel. Yes, you read that right. 

170,000 words.  

Turns out, my celebration was a bit premature because, as it goes, the book wasn't great. In fact, it was a bit cliched and overdone.

Oh, I know, it's a faux paus to say this, especially about a book I am going to start querying again, but I'm a rebel, and we all know about my affection for honesty. Don't worry, I'm not being down on myself, I don't think I'm a terrible writer who has no business being creative. For the most part, I'm a good writer. I can totally craft an appealing sentence from time-to-time and created some rather dreamy characters, both male and female. 

This doesn't change the fact that my first novel wasn't great. Sure, there were parts that were good and, under so much blahness, the bones to Seeking Eleanor were actually really awesome. This doesn't change the fact I didn't understand tense or passive and active voice. I'm embarrassed I actually allowed other people to read it. That I sent it to agents. But that was all back in the beginning, when I was new and fresh on the scene. While there is much to say of my mistakes and stupidity, I was ready to learn. I cannot tell you all the amazing things I've learned form all the amazing people I've met in the last five years.

It is through this learning and the meeting of these wonderful ladies and gentleman that I have grown. I have changed. After five years and countless reviews, I haven't given up on Seeking Eleanor. In fact, I just finished a massive rewrite that kept those awesome bones I loved and did away with all the things people are sick of reading about, like mind reading and an inept heroines. This girl is my baby and I love her more today than I did the first draft. It's been a long journey and she spent a fair bit of time tucked away in a drawer until I understood what needed to be done to make her shine. 

Don't get me wrong. It hurt to come to terms with the fact my first book pretty much sucked, but at least I had a good idea. One I could build off of in the future. Which is now. The future is now. This is getting confusing. All I am trying to say is, sometimes you have to admit something sucks in order to change it into something that doesn't. I'm not saying Seeking Eleanor will be snatched up and loved by the first agent I send it too. I'm just saying it's witty, fun, and I love her. 

We've come a long way and I suspect we have a long way to go still. 

Monday, April 21, 2014


So, I'm sitting here and a ponderous thought popped into my wee head. What are the most popular searches on Google? Now, Google actually has something called 'Google Trends' which tells you what the most common searches that day are. Hip kids call this 'trending' - which basically means when the world is showing interest in the same thing at the same time. Sometimes the most popular thing makes sense. For example, Google just told me Easter is trending! 

Of course Easter is trending! Half the world is overdosing on Cadbury chocolates. Speaking of which, Cadbury totally has the market on Easter goodies cornered. I mean, they have Mini Eggs AND Creme Eggs. The later is a most perplexing invention I never understood or liked. A chocolate egg with horridly sweet insides that looks kind of like whites and yolks. Truthfully, I have never been able to finish one. They are far too sweet and, to be frank, nauseating, which strikes me as funny because they've created more of them to coincide with other holidays. Like the Scream Eggs they came up with for Halloween. No, I'm not making this up!

Literally, the only difference, other than packaging, is the inside is white and green, not yellow like a yolk of an egg. Everything else is the same, like the inability to eat one in a civilizaed manner. No, seriously. How are you supposed to eat these things? 

So, Easter is trending, which makes sense, because it's Easter. 

But Easter Sunday, yesterday, fell on the twentieth. April 20th. 420. Yes, you're right, the second most popular item searched on Google in the past couple days is the term '420'. Now this, this made me laugh. For some reason, I am picturing grandmas the world over typing 'what is 420' into the Google search engine. And what is the first post that comes up? 


And I just loved how 'cannabis culture' is in parentheses and it only gets better as you read (pronounced four-twenty). 

Oh, I'm not too sure why, but all of this just tickles me. Doesn't it seem kind of perfect? Having Easter and 420 fall on the same day. If chocolate and pot smoking don't go hand-in-hand, I don't know what does. Poor Jesus, I fear he is being out shined this year not only by a chocolate wielding bunny, but also sweet Mary Jane. This seems so cosmic. Perhaps even more so than the proximity of Mars and the lunar eclipse from last Tuesday. 

I simply can't wait to see what's trending tomorrow. Some days I'm simply smitten with the intersnacks and all it offers. Hours of amusement, really. 

Anyhow, Happy Easter, my lovely friends. Here's a zombie Easter bunny for you. It's made of chocolate. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Growth

As we tumble head first into Spring, enjoying the warmer weather and shedding the layers of clothing we've grown accustomed to wearing over the last six months, let's not forget new growth. There are buds and green foliage popping up all around us. Life expanding. Trees get bigger. Flowers bloom. Fruits blossom.

This morning, I saw this new growth in my garden:

This makes me think about the importance of growth within myself. With all of us. How we need to flower and bloom and grow to be happy. It happens in many ways. For me, I plan to read and walk an learn more. Growth is essential for living, to develop into the people we want to be. To change and thrive.

It motivates me to be a better person.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Falls

Yesterday was Good Friday, so Sidekick and I went out adventuring. Into the woods we went. Actually, we spent a lot of time in the car, other than a short beach walk and a rip up to Little Qualicum Falls. It made me sad. A whole day wasted driving to Port Alberni and, let me tell you, the town isn't quaint or awesome. In fact, it's fairly depressing. It actually had a ghost town feel to it. And not in the awesome Barkerville way, either. All the empty storefronts gave it this eerie feeling, paired with the fact the community seemed to take no pride in its appearance. 

There was this delightful chocolate shop in Harbour Quay where Sidekick got these caramel graham cracker marshmallow chocolate things called Scoobie Bites, which he loved, and I got this necklace:

Other than the treats, the falls were the best part of the day. It was a quick five minute walk up to the top, then ten more around the loop. It's a fairly easy walk, but there are a few stairs involved. So, if you have an aversion to stairs, maybe just go up to the upper falls and don't worry about the loop. 

I took some pictures. Because nature is beautiful.

Breathtaking, no? 

Remember That Time

I post dated the blogs I wrote for the wrong day, so I was actually not posting on time? But a day later for the previous day's?

I do. It was recently. Like right now. Today. Yesterday. The day before.

Sad face. Mistakes happen to human people like me.

Don't worry. I have rectified the situation.

No, wait. I will have after this. There will be two blogs today. After today, things will be smooth sailing. Everything will be corrected and posting on proper days.

But they say two is better than one. They say that about heads, but I'm pretty sure that it applies to blogs. Especially my posts. I mean, check out the quality of this one!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worry Wart

It's easy to say, don't worry about that, you can't change it anyway. But it's harder to execute such common sense thinking. After all, if we had the ability simply to turn it off and shut it own, wouldn't we all opt to do that? For the most part, we worry. Whether it's about money, our homes, jobs, children or partners, we are worrying. Is this going to work out? How are we going to get through this? Will prostitution be involved?

These are the thoughts going through our heads on a daily basis. Well, maybe not the prostitution one. We don't want to become a walking advertisement for STIs. It's still hard for me to adapt from calling them diseases to infections. 

That being said, I have a really difficult time spelling diseases without the help of the intersnacks. 

Now, back to worrying. 

While I certainly was kept awake last night due to financial concerns, this isn't a regular occurrence. Granted, money is pretty much the biggest worry in my life, but I am hoping that comes to the end when I sell my condo. I blame this all on my Realtor. She just told me that it is the 'slowest spring she's ever seen'. Like, how encouraging, right? So, if you know anyone looking to purchase some real estate in the suburbs of Greater Vancouver. Please, let me know. 

If you don't, I seriously appreciate your cares and concerns, but this will pass. It always does. Things will, eventually, work out. I just can't be sure when and I am worried about where I will end up if I have to shell out both mortgage and rent money. It's a realistic worry. A matter of fact one. And one so many people face on a daily basis. My troubles aren't unique to me. 

As for the lack of sleep, don't worry your pretty heads about it. I was, literally, an insomniac for five years, sleeping no more than 3-5 hours a night, and that all worked out okay in the end. I wrote some amazing novels. I use the term amazing loosely. Besides, even when I am not worrying about dollar dollar bills y'all, I'm kept up by grand ideas for books I will never get to write. So, not much sleep either way. 

Onward and upward, positive vibes and good thoughts.  

And please stop dreaming about me so I can sleep. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Take Me Home

One of my most lovely friends posted an interesting blog about home. How he longs for home, even when he is in the house he is living. In all my wisdom, I replied with my own thoughts on home. How it's more a feeling than a place. They, whoever 'they' are, have two different sayings.

Home is where you hang your hat.

This isn't the case. We can have an apartment, house, or basement suite and still not feel at home in our space. Because our hearts long for something more. If you are alone in your dwelling, or if there are toxic vibes or ill will from those you live with, well that space can be very un-home-like.

Home is where your heart is.

This is more apt, I think. I remember growing up and well into my twenties, my home was where my parents were. In the beginning, it was because that's all I knew. When I got older, it was because they offered me a space where I could simply be and not be judged or have anyone expect anything from me. I loved them. They loved me. Being in their presence was my home because they gave me peace and safety and a comfort zone. Nothing was ever going to happen to me while I was with my parents.

You can find this peace, safety and comfort in the presence of other people. Like your Sidekick. Or, for instance, friends and family. My sister is most definitely home for me. When I'm with my sister, there is this overwhelming home feeling. There are other people too, like my ex-boyfriend, which seems kind of weird. Still, when I am around him, in his space, at his house, in his truck, I am comfortable and at peace and loved. So I am home. Friends like Rebs and Bots and Leppy all extended themselves to me for such a long time that I will never be uncomfortable around them. They have offered me their homes and made it my own.

So, I truly feel home is where your heart is.

Even more, though. Home is where you are. I think you carry your home within you. I am at home in the woods and at the beach. I am at home in my truck driving down island. I am at home in my bed with my boys. I am at home wherever I am.

Maybe that's because I love myself. Accept myself. Enjoy my time alone. Because my heart is inside me and it doesn't want to be anywhere else.

Regardless, home isn't a structure in my opinion. It isn't made of wood or brick. The amount of rooms or type of flooring do not matter. Sure, you can build a house and raise a family in it, you can fill it full of the most wonderful memories and that house can feel like a home. But those memories will still exist if the house doesn't. Don't get me wrong. I want that sort of home too. A safe haven where everyone I love can come when they are broken and I will heal them with baked goods and magical forest walks.

But isn't that wherever I am. Wherever I go. Which is why I say home is a feeling. You should be carrying it inside you every day. Whatever place you live in. There is this world. Our world. And everyone you love lives here, or has lived here. Isn't that comforting? Space and time are inconsequential when love is involved.
You are home because you are here. Because you exist and the word is yours. As it is mine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lunar Eclipse

Some people couldn't stay awake last night to watch the lunar eclipse. It makes me sad they missed it. Even though I worked in the morning, I watched it all. The covering, the uncovering, how bright the beacon was after it was all said and done. And through the hours I stared out my bedroom window, I thought to myself, I'm lucky.

Lucky to have a bed, in a room, in a house and to be watching this spectacular event from the comfort of my home, warm under blankets. Lucky to be alive to witness it. Lucky enough to understand the importance of standing still and taking notice, even if it is at three in the morning.

I never want to miss out on that child wonderment. Eclipses, shooting stars, seeing Mars with the naked eye, these things invoke those feelings of awe. When the 'blood moon' was hanging up there and the stars around it glowed so much more brilliantly, I felt small and insignificant but a part of something grand and amazing. Everything in nature is bigger than I am. Space, forests, ocean. Limitless.

But whenever I am experiencing it, I feel big and strong and limitless too. Like I can do anything.

Those times are special and I wouldn't trade them in for a few more hours sleep.

I took a picture of the moon through my window, but it does it no justice. Still, it's worth a chuckle:

Yeah. I need a better camera.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Musical Memories

No less than an hour ago I was in the worst funk. It came out of nowhere, side swept me and left me with a tiny storm cloud over my head. Instead of writing an angst filled post here, I decided to put my laptop away and work on the candy puzzle I picked up from Too Good To Be Threw, a local thrift shop. Anyhow, I started singing 'Pretty Fly For A White Guy', that abhorrent song by The Offspring. I am not too sure why it popped into my head, but when I stopped after the 'he's getting a tattoo, yeah, he's getting ink done, he asked for a thirteen, but they drew thirty-one' verse, I asked, "Why I am I singing this?"

The Sidekick said, "I have no idea." It was clear by the tone of his voice he felt the same way I did. Then we started discussing how The Offspring's music went downhill as time went by. We both distinctly remember Smash being one of those front to backers. You know, an album you could listen to without skipping a song. Then we started talking about other albums and bands from our pasts.

Here are eleven albums that came out when I was much younger than I am now, but which have, for me, withheld the test of time. I can still listen to these front to back, not skipping a song. Kind of like nostalgic songs of my wasted youth, I suppose.

Nirvana - Unplugged

Rancid - Out Come The Wolves  

The Cranberries - No Need To Argue

Green Day - Dookie

The Offspring - Smash

Portishead - Dummy

Tegan and Sara - This Art of Business

Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle

Sublime - Self Titled 

Garbage - Self Titled

Ani Difranco - Not A Pretty Girl 

As you can see, I've always been a bit of a varied girl. They are all linked because YouTube has all the full length albums up there, for anyone to listen too, if you want. Truth is, there were tons of amazing albums from my youth that I really got into later on in life as my music nerdiness truly developed. I am grateful I remember these. And also, that I can still sing them word for word. I now know what my brain cells are being used for.

What about you? What are some nostalgic albums from your youth?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beach Kitty

One of my most favourite things is going out adventuring. Exploring places unknown. Since I didn't grow up on the Island like most of the people around here, every day can be a new experience. I say 'can be' because some days I'm tired and want to warm my weary bones over the fire of lethargy. That gave me a chuckle. It seems oxymoronic, doesn't it? Fires of lethargy. If anything, lethargy would be ice, I'd think. 

There's a sense of wonderment adventuring brings. The discovery of new things is rewarding, feeding your heart, soul and body. It's so simple too, just checking out beaches and picking up rocks, wading in the water. Some might think when you've seen one beach, you've seen them all. Not so. Each beach has new things to be discovered. The other day we went to Rathtrevor beach, and it was a fabulous one for finding funky pieces of drift wood.

Today, we went to Williams Beach. 

Lovely rocky, sandy expanse of land with the mountains standing watch as a backdrop. I even went in the water, it was that warm. Up to my thighs. Maybe a bit higher. I found a couple of sand dollars too! But, as it turns out, they are very fragile and I broke them. Clumsy fingers. Sadness. 

It's been an ongoing search to find one too. Last year, I was out with the Sidekick and found one washed up on shore, but it was a bit chipped and not so fancy looking. He reassured me we'd find out down at Rathtrevor but we didn't. Keep in mind, this was a year ago. And then, on Thursday when we were there, he found one, but it was alive. So, obviously, I didn't take it.

Some of you might be wondering how I knew it was alive since I am, by no means, a sand dollar expert. First, the colour, it was a dark purplish colour and all the ones I'd seen in gift shops had been white and the flower on the skeleton more prominent. After looking at the little guy and flipping it over, I noticed the fuzz on the underside of its body. Those fibres are what catch the microscopic food in the water, feeding the sand dollar and, if you look closely, you will see them moving. Cool, right? Now, if you find one that is bleached a light white colour and, when you turn it over, there are no fuzzy parts and you can see a hole in the middle, that's a dead one. 

And also, today there was a beach kitty. He showed up out of nowhere. Let me pet him and take a picture, then wander off to find another person to get pets from. 

Here I am with the beach kitty:

Anyhow, adventuring proved a success today, though I didn't find one piece of beach glass. What's up with that? Sometimes I wonder if people are ever as amazed by the world around them as I. Today I am sun-kissed, salty legged and blessed. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fortune Cookie

There is something nice about thinking the cosmos sends out reassurance in the form of messages. That might sound kind of crazy, but people love the idea of signs. Whether astrology, horoscopes, palm reading and psychics are fake or not, it doesn't matter. Because reassurance from a greater power is a comforting thought.

Haven't we all been there? If this is a right move in my life, show me a sign, then a bird poops on your shoulder. Okay, I added that last part to be cheeky, but haven't you stood there, looking at the great sky and feeling connected to something bigger than yourself. I get that overwhelming sensation whenever I step out in nature and I truly believe I am never alone.

And prayer? How many people believe in the power of prayer? Or the secret? There are all those people out there going on about the secret, which is really only positive thinking. So, yeah, I think most humans like the idea that the universe will direct us if we listen. That it will provide what we need.

Where am I going with this? Chinese food. Tonight we ordered Chinese food because we are lazy and it was gorgeous outside and who wants to cook every night of their life? It was pretty tasty, not exactly cheap, which is one of the highlights of Chinese food. Still, all things considered, it hit the spot.

Fortune cookies are my most favourite part of greasy take out. I've had some pretty good fortunes in my day, but tonight there seemed to be a bit of relevance to them. One kind of has to wonder if the universe is saying something, or if it's just a random coincidence.

Here is the Sidekick's:

Seems kind of sweet, right? Yeah, I was sitting across from him.

And mine:

All I can say, is I hope this is true. I really need some extra money these days. Not for anything frivolous. Just for living things, like a roof over my head and food in my belly.

So, positive thoughts and chin up, right?

Friday, April 11, 2014

I Collect Rocks

Remember when Bill Nye collected rocks? He sang a song about putting them in his socks and how he gained weight every time he took a walk. Well, I'm not that cool. I don't have a song about the rocks I collect. Whenever I am out adventuring, I keep my eyes open for heart shaped rocks. Rocks that are in the shape of hearts. 

Apparently, you have to train your eye to spot them. 

There isn't really a reason why I do this. It's just one of those weird quirks I have. For the most part, I will pick up any heart shaped rock I find, but I really like looking for them at the beach. Yesterday, I played hooky from work and spent the day with the Sidekick. We went down island, to Rathtrevor beach and we found the most fantastic driftwood collection I've ever seen. 

Oh, yes, I also collect cool looking driftwood pieces and other things I find fascinating, like beach glass. You might be sitting there, thinking to yourself, what the heck is so amazing about wood that's been kissed by the salty tongue of the sea? And I don't have a great answer for you. Mostly, it's smooth and the inner nature of the wood is tumbled out. Think about what the ocean does to glass. It takes the edge off. The same thing applies to wood. 

Like this amazing horn I found: 

But this isn't about my wood. Err ... I mean, this is about my rocks. My heart shape rocks. And how I refuse to leave the beach until I have found one, or two. Never three though. I can't explain why I do this. It is just something that calms the tempestuousness that brew in my heart. Sometimes there are so many feelings in there, vying for attention, trying to get out. A nice walk on the beach and a three hour search for a heart shaped rock is all I need to settle the storm. 

Here are some of my hearts: 

And here are the ones I've found most recently: 

Heart shape rocks. They may seem a weird thing to be grateful for, but they remind me of the love that exists in the world and myself. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 10th

Is anyone amazed by how fast time goes? It completely baffles me how much of my life simply passes me by.

Today I have noticed my inability to slow things down. In the face of the world, I am not afraid. The thought of no longer existing doesn't hamper my breathing. Doesn't frighten. Because this is all so fleeting. This moment. This day, week, month and year. A blink of an eye. And then what?

I am determined to experience it. And when it gets hard, I promise to ask myself how much it truly matters?

A dream within a dream. We are the cogs in the machine. We are what is right and what is wrong. We are distracted. And tired. Sometimes we are broken.

Which is why it is important to play. To stretch wings and hearts alike. To stand atop the mountains. To swim in the ocean. To sink into the earth. To kiss often and firm.

I am grateful for adventures. The outdoors. Salty seas. Wild winds. Dirty feet. Cold water. Tasting life on the tip of my tongue. Existing exquisitely.

I am alive. And if just for today, okay.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Random Gifts From Lovely People

Last week, I received a random gift in the mail from a very lovely gentleman over the pond. There was no reason behind the gift. Not really. Just a 'keep your chin up' sort of thing, but the fact that someone thinks enough of me to send something via post to little old me is quite unexpected and wonderful.

I am grateful for the friendships I have cultivated. Without them, life would be a lot less interesting and a fair bit more crappy.  

And the gift was totally badass. 

Don't mind my hair, I'm just getting ready for bed. 

The first time I read this it was back in 1999. It was my old friend Jordan's copy. It was wonderful. Don't think I've read it since. Well, until right now. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Internet Displays Of Affection

As some of you may know, I am not a huge fan of IDAs - Internet Displays of Affection. For the most part, I like to keep my private life ... well, private. And yes, I do understand the irony of that since I am posting this on my blog, which anyone can read and will probably be floating around forever. Regardless, I believe in respecting personal boundaries and not strewing names and pictures and proclamations of love all over cyberspace. Don't take this the wrong way, either. I mean, what doesn't work for me might be fine for you. If that's the case, so be it. But there are three reasons why I don't write a bunch of gooey crap about my Sidekick on my Facebook or blog or twitter. 

1. It doesn't make my love truer. I don't need to write how much I love my Sidekick on the Intersnacks, plaster it all over our Facebook walls, or post a hundred selfies of us to prove how much I love him. He isn't a secret, by any means, but he also isn't a trophy for me to brandish. Sometimes it gets to the point where other people talk SO MUCH about their partner that you have to wonder if they have their own identity. Mushy back and forth posts ad nauseam often tend to look like overcompensation to my cynical mind. Don't get me wrong, a well timed birthday post is more than acceptable, but daily accounts of your undying love is a bit much. 

2. He's a fairly private person. Sure, his Instagram isn't private, but the guy isn't a 'look-at-me' kind of fellow. While I tend to put a fair bit about myself out into public domain, I understand other people don't relish in these sorts of inter-webby reindeer games. That being said, whatever I do click 'publish' on is usually a slightly distorted version of true life accounts and often do not include names and/or pictures. I have been known to lie from time-to-time for the sake of someone else's privacy. 

3. Things end. No, no, no, I'm not dooming my relationship with the Sidekick. Not at all. If anything, not blabbering on about it and posting ridiculous 3 month anniversary photos is protecting it. Keeping it safe. From personal experience, I've found, dragging more people into your relationship only strains it more. Once other opinions are involved, you are less likely to know what you feel yourself. All it takes is one flippant comment like 'why doesn't he care?' on your Twitter account and you will have half the world, or at least your four hundred closest friends and family members telling you how HE doesn't deserve YOU. I say 'no thank you' to the peanut gallery. 

Now, that I have said this, what I am grateful for is the utter cuteness I get to wake up to every day. Every morning the boys all gather in the bed for pets and snuggles. Dixon, Oliver, Bruce and the Sidekick are all there, vying for attention, being lazy, and it is basically the highlight of life. The other morning, I actually took a picture of some of what I get to be a part of. My Sidekick is in the picture, and my little man. It makes me smile. So I am sharing it. This one time. Because I do love the Sidekick. And you all know how I feel about Oliver. 

It's hard to handle this sort of adorableness. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wasabi Eye

Since moving to Vancouver Island, I have cultivated only a handful of friendships. By a handful, I mean no more than five and most likely around three. Don't get me wrong. I'm friendly with a lot more people, it's just hard for me to bridge the gap between 'being friendly' and 'being friends'. Maybe because I think things should unfold organically and, though it may come as a shock, I'm actually fairly introverted and, even more telling, I have a fondness for being a lone.

Because I work and interact with the public every day, I don't need anymore time with 'people'. After hours and on weekends, I go home and read, write, edit, do a puzzle, bake, knit or watch bad television. This is in fact ideal for me. Going out once a month isn't a problem for me because I'm a low key lady with a predilection for being alone. Also, I really like my Sidekick, so when I'm at home with him, I feel as if I am with a friend and socializing.

Still, it's nice to have a friend or two in real life, other than the Sidekick, that I can chat with and knit silly things for. So, in an effort to be more social, I had a date with two feisty females last Friday. We had sushi, watched Divergent (it wasn't the worst movie ever) and went to The Whistle Stop for drinks. No worries, I stuck to water with a bit of lemon and didn't force myself on anyone unwilling.

It was nice and very revealing.

See, by some weird twist of events, I ended up with wasabi in my eye. The right one, if you must know. Now, I was wearing glasses and a hat and I can't honestly tell you how it happened, but I'm pretty sure magic was involved. All I can say for certain was it hurt like all kinds of hell. If I had of been alone, this would have been a horrible memory for me shudder over in the future. I would have had to stumble to the bathroom, probably ram into the table of the people behind me, and chances are I would have tripped and fallen flat on my wasabi stinging face.

As it was, I had friends with me. One of those beautiful individuals took it upon herself to help me clean the wasabi globs out from under my eye and off my lashes, while I remained seated. Oh, don't think I was composed. The tears were flowing and whines came forth.

There is a lesson in this story. Don't eat sushi alone. Or maybe that it is nice to have friends.

Did you know wasabi looks like this? 

I always thought it looked like this pretty flower of green paste. 

And did you know there are wasabi Kit Kat bars? 

Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about this either.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


The other day I saved another bumblebee from the salon.

This time I took a picture.

You're welcome!


Saturday, April 5, 2014


This morning I took the big guy for a walk and along the section of road were a hundred daffodils. 

I am grateful for that splash of yellow on an otherwise grey day. 

Even when things are hard, nature can pull a smile form me.