Like a Boss

My Parents came home yesterday. They sold everything and left for Europe for an undetermined amount of time. They aren’t really home, they are visiting.

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I hadn’t spoke to them in 106 days. Apparently I am bad at email. My sister emailed my parents 104 times. That is 1 for everyday they were away except for the 2 she was on the plane to England and didn’t email them because she was sitting beside them.

Apparently that makes me a bad daughter.

I’m better at texting.

This was the first time since the ‘DARK TIMES’ that I had been separated from my parents.

  1. Yes I am 47 years old
  2. No it doesn’t make me an insecure baby
  3. I do not have a dysfunctional relationship with my parents
  4. we just actually like each other.

I haven’t felt like crying so much since my parents left in July, 106 days ago.

I called my dad this morning and I instantly cried. Damn I missed them. It’s not even like I am the favourite child. That would be the sister. And rightly so, she takes care of them in ways I just don’t. Then the next favourite would be the brother. He is dependant on them in ways I am not. As a mom, I know there isn’t a favourite, they just like each of us for different reasons. I happen to be the most independent of the lot. I keep to myself, hold my problems in and try not to worry anyone. I took care of everyone when I was younger, now I let my sister do it because she loves it, I just did it out of a sense of obligation. I have a hard enough time taking care of myself and my offspring. I have learned a long hard lesson about self-care that I need to be cognizant of. People call it selfishness, I call call it survival. I always seem to be on the brink of disaster and I manage to hold it off.

That gets exhausting and it is exhausting talking about it.

So, I didn’t write about it. Mom didn’t get to hear about my days or the weariness in my bones, or the times I felt like I was a total an utter failure. As a mom, I know she wanted to hear those things….but I don’t do that. I don’t share. It’s easier to stamp the feelings down and swallow them.

After lunch, I packed up the FamJam and we drove out to my Grandmothers where my sister and my parents are currently living while my sister’s home is – for lack of a better word – being finish. My parents will have a home base/in-law suite where they can have a home base while they travel the world being gypsy hobos.

I walked up the steps to the house and right into the arms of my daddy. I cried inside where no one saw. I stuffed the tears away because I didn’t want to be teased or have my emotions get in the way for visiting. I didn’t want it to be about me. I wasn’t the one who left. I wanted to hear about them.

We stayed all afternoon and caught up on their zany adventures. I learned a lot of things about my parents.

MOM: The Woman who faced her fears until Hell Froze Over

  1. She went topless on the Mediterranean (My mom has always been modest to the point almost to the level of Prudish)
  2. She drank beer AND Scotch (Alcohol always scared her and for good reason)
  3. She smoked a cigar
  4. She likes my dad – and not because he is her husband. They spent 106 days together ALONE and enjoyed their time together. They have been a couple since they were 14. Liking each other is an important part of that.

DAD: The Man who doesn’t give a crap about what people think

  1. He sat on a bus tour and gave people hell for being late – they never showed up late again (Who else has the balls to call people on their shit?)
  2. He naps whenever he damn well feels like it…and like a boss (In Kensington Palace he was bored, so he laid down on the sofa and slept…in the palace… In London)
  3. If he thinks something is outrageous, he says so. (I always thought I took after my mom, but really, I am like my dad. People annoy me and I call them on it. Just like he does. I also expect people to call me on my shit – I respect them if they do. I think they are weak if they don’t)
  4. He likes my mom. They laugh together and have a good time. He lets her baby him and he humours her by letting her plan everything. Compromise is important.

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I also learned my siblings and I are more alike than we are different.

My sister wore a fancy hat on the plan home because she didn’t have a hatbox. She owned it like a boss. It wasn’t that much different from the time she wore a Sombrero home from Mexico because how else would you get it home?

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I am pretty much the same. I have learned that life is too short to waste time doing what bores you or is annoying or out of obligation. I am busy. I have very little time for my family. They come first. Everything else second. Don’t like? I’m cool with that. I cannot please the world.

As my dad is known to say, “If someone doesn’t like it, they can go down the street to find something they do like. Don’t break your neck trying to please because only you and your family matter in the end anyways.”

Amen Dad.

Welcome home, I’ve stopped crying now, so maybe we can hang out later.

I see Susie and Bobby and Timmy and Mary…. but never Robyn

I am invisible.

I grew up with a name that no one ever had and people often told me they hated my name…Thanks?

My mom read Angel Unaware by Dale Evens before I was born. She loved the book and named me after the baby Robin.

In the 60’s, there sure weren’t a lot of girls named Robyn. I watched Romper Room every day hopping Miss Susan would look in the mirror and see me. I would sit up close to the TV and say Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease say my name.

It never happened. Not once. Ever.

Thus began my years of hating my name.

My first Husband, whom I fondly refer to as Idiot Stick, told me he hated my name.  Nice….Jerk. But the good thing is I have met plenty of other Jerks since him so he seems normal now.

My point being….Romper Room broke my heart.

Now Coke is doing it to me.

 

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Ouch.

My Pal Tammy from over at Jibber Jabber Happenstance  is in Ireland and posted this on Facebook.

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Orla gets a coke and so does Eweline but ROBYN DOESN”T?????

How is this even fair?

I could never get a key chain, or a mug. Never was there a pencil with my name on it. Now Coke is mocking me.  Ewelina is a regular name? Nice Coke…just nice.

My life sucked enough as a kid,  because of this now I need to take matters into my own hands.

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When I was 4, I became Danger Girl. I know that speaks to my sense of self. I was not Batgirl or Spiderman, I created my OWN Super Hero Name. I was the hero in my own life. I took control and I lead my friends to adventure and mishaps. I still rock that confidence today with some minor exceptions. Girls bring me down.

I hated the girls who got the boys. HATE them. I never played into that game of whatever it is they did that made a boy’s head turn. I was that gal who talked hockey smack, smoked cigars and played double dog dare. It still hurts a bit today. I always used my sense of self to pull up my boots (wellies) don the terry towel and safety pin and have an adventure of a life time. I was Ellie from Up. The fun kid. Lonely, but fun. Perfectly fine in my imagination and preferred it because people were nice and never hurt me.

I never had that inseparable other person who was my other half. The person who gets me. Does everyone get one of those or is it just a myth?

At any rate, SCREW YOU COKE and ROMPER ROOM. I have my imaginary side kick who loves me unconditionally. Who would move mountains for me. Who likes popsicles and will play Double Dog Dare. I don’t need you to call my name.

I am Danger Girl.

Hear me Roar.

And payback is sweet.

Here is Mom’s Coke can:

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Is it STILL a Man’s world?

suffragettes-300x227I had the worst time trying to fall asleep last night. The last conversation of my day was with Trusty Steed. I was telling him about my day at work – at my new job (which is awesome!) and how yesterday was particularly tough. I am being tested from a management perspective. The people I supervise are pushing limits to see where my threshold is.  I expected that. That isn’t a problem at all. I have no trouble expressing myself or my expectations. I explained about the issue I had with head office and how I dealt with it.

And Trusty Steed said – I am worried you may be shown the door because that would happen at my office.

WHAAAAAT????????????????

Apparently he works at an ‘old boys’ club where –  the generation gap exists and strong women are not strong but ‘pushy’ or ‘dragons’ and women are ‘just’ in the office typing pool.

WOW.

I thought it was 2013?

I was hired for my organizational skills, my people management skills and to create change. I am doing that. I have handled easy problems and terrible problems. I have protected staff from violent vagrant street people who have threatened them, I have managed issues from clients demanding unreasonable things and resort to name calling of my staff.

I cannot imagine trying to do my job where I need to be subservient. Impossible.

For one – I couldn’t work there. I am not a subservient kind of gal.

And two – what the hell is wrong with a world where women can’t portray themselves? I come from a very long line of strong women. They were strong when it was impossible for men to take them seriously. Yet they did it and changed the world.

I am teaching my daughter to be the same strong woman. Her brother thinks women ARE strong and his choice of companionship proves it.

At Christmas time, my daughter heard her Grand Uncle use a phase that was offensive to her. She asked him to please refrain from using it. He continued. So did she. She did it in a way that require no man to stick up for her. She was clear, concise and polite – some might say bold. I wouldn’t, because if a man said those words he is just expressing himself. She was too. I couldn’t have been more proud. At the age of 15, my daughter is strong. She is the type of person I appreciate and want to spend my time with. So that brings me back to my work place.

I work for men. However, it is not a male dominated work place. It is an equal opportunity one. Changes are happening to better serve the female clients who are the majority. My workplace understands they need a female perspective to better serve these clients. I disagree on that score. If people are treated equally – then there is no gender requirements. We are slowly achieving that perspective and I am happy to be apart of it.

The ‘Man’s World’ is on its way out. Sure there are still pockets of it all over Canada – but the up coming generation brings me great hope. They see a woman or a man in the same light. Someone who is capable because of skill, not gender.

Amen to that.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who could make babysitters cry…

06443029462bcbe897d59a3467928dc4_answer_6_xlarge10 o’clock at night and my girl is upstairs blasting Time Lord Rock while baking Rose Tyler esc cupcakes for a dear friend and fellow Whovian’s birthday. I have been told that she is quite capable of following the instructions and baking on her own. Agreed.

Then I hear “Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom, can I have your opinion on these cupcakes please? They are giant but liquid in the middle. How long should I put them back in for? And why do they taste like Cherry Cough Syrup?”

Good Question… Ask Grandma.

My mom was a good egg in lots of ways. She always let me listen the radio station of my choice when we were in the car. She didn’t care. Dad on the other hand would say “This stuff is utter crap, I can’t listen to this.” And the station would change to some oldie station playing Peter, Paul and Mary or the Limelighters. This would account for my obscure and amazing talent of knowing every song ever written between 1948 and 1989, this includes jingles and TV theme songs. It’s a handy talent for some great trivia games and for radio quiz shows where I get to win tickets to The Who and The Rolling Stones.

Mom would also encourage me to experiment in the kitchen. I learned the basics from her and my Aunty Mary Poppins, but the fine tuning I did on my own. I dad would eat ANYTHING I put in front of him and he would always say, “That is the best I ever had! Did I make it?” Between both my parents, that made me fearless in the kitchen. I am not a swell cook – but I am an AMAZING baker. There is a difference. I think some people can be great at both but often they are only good at one or the other.

My girl is a self proclaimed distraction in the kitchen. I let her do all kinds of baking and cooking experiments but there is usually some disaster that happens and we need to figure out how to fix it. To be honest, it isn’t always fixable, so we pack it up and give it to her Grandpa (my dad) who will eat ANYTHING and say it’s the best ever.

I remember baking on Friday nights when we had a babysitter because Mom and Dad were off Dancing  – I know…it was the olden days when people went dancing at the club – (as in country club) It sounds fancier than it was, but my parents loved it. We went through babysitters like some people go through socks. My brother and I were THE WORST KIDS EVER – not true  – were only bad if we didn’t like the babysitter. I liked the weak ones. The ones that were nice on the outside but I could make them cry in an instant. One time we had this gal, a neighbor of my grandma, she came over and wanted to play games or watch TV and I would say – no. I am baking cookies.

“Are you allowed to do that?”

Me: NO – are you kidding? Mom is going to kill you. “Yes, my mom lets me all the time.”

“Okay – call me if you need help”

Me: pfffff whatever – “okay”

I went into the pantry and pulled out all the ingredients for Quaker Oatmeal Cookies. The Just Add Water kind of cookie mix that mom would buy and add a billion things to for granola bars. I used an entire package (enough for 1000 cookies) and a gallon of water. I think it said one cup but the measuring cup was really big – I think it was 8 cups. But I filled it because it was still only one cup.

I had made cookie cake. It was liquid porridge. I couldn’t spoon it onto a cookie tray, it would run all over the place. So I left it in the bowl, put all the dirty dishes and baking garbage into the oven and shut the door.

I went to join the babysitter and my brother and said I changed my mind. I didn’t want to bake.

Later while I was fake sleeping, my mother called me into the kitchen.

She had the keen sense of Sherlock Holmes. There wasn’t a dish left out, yet she knew.

“What happened in here tonight?”

Me: I was fake tired and said “What???’ in my sleepy fake voice.

“This kitchen is a disaster!”

Me: What are you talking about? I hid the evidence. I knew I needed to stay silent.

“Were you making cookies?

Me: How does she know this stuff? Silence…………

“Where did you hide the stuff?” She looked around and likely saw a fingerprint on the oven door.

Then I remember the oven door opening and the angry voice lecturing me for what seemed like a week. But thankfully dad came home and sent me to bed.

Now that I am a parent myself, these are the thoughts that run through my head:

  1. Why would the babysitter let an 8 year old bake cookies unsupervised?
  2. Obviously mom saw the flour dust all over everything. What is clean to an 8 year old is not clean to a mom.
  3. Why didn’t my parents just lock us up under the stairs to go out? We tortured babysitters for fun. How we make it out of our childhood alive is beyond me.
  4. I always thought my mom was crazy about cleanliness – I still do.
  5. Why did my parents change babysitters so frequently? Did the girls just say no? I would – but to be fair, I could talk those girls into anything and I think they didn’t expect that from a kid. I was the evil emperor of kids needing supervision. Let’s face it, after every girl in Sherwood Park failed and became brainwashed by my charms, there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do. They became powerless. I would put my sister to bed, I would talk my brother into running away or hiding or really – anything to make the sitter never wanting to come back. I’m sure my parents paid well, but sometimes no job is EVER worth it.

Meanwhile, my daughter just made cupcakes that taste like cough syrup and I am proud like I am raising a little me. Luckily her grandfather lives a block from the school, so when her friends don’t eat the cupcakes – he will.

And the family tradition continues….only the dirty dishes better not be hidden in the stove.

Be Amazing

images (3)I follow  my kid’s school on twitter to get regular updates and happenings going on in and around the campus because here is a surprise, I don’t hear it from him until 35 seconds before I need to do something about it. Like bake for the theatre cast rehearsal.

The thing I like about those tweets is every morning they end with “Go out and be amazing today!”

I like that sentiment.

Last week was a hard week emotionally for me. I took the tragedy in Boston hard. I just found it profoundly sad that innocent people were hurt or killed and the bombers had a sucky social life and blamed Boston. I am not a vindictive person, perhaps it is my Canadian upbringing, but wow – that kid put the gun in his mouth on an apparent suicide attempt and karma still makes him face the consequences. I think about how his life might have been awesome last Monday had he did something different.

I am currently reading Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. The premise is the main character dies, the world goes dark and rewinds to the moment before her death with things changed slightly to prevent the death. It is an interesting concept. I think it will generate great discussion as to what moment could you change to slightly alter your life.

What would I do?

Well, I wouldn’t change anything I did last week. The events made me think about my life a little bit harder. I spent time with friends, I ran 33km, I had lots of mom time with my kids, I had a lovely dinner with the trusty steed, I made plans with dear friends, I spoke up when I felt hurt and did nice things to make others feel good. I was grateful, appreciative and thankful for my life events last week.

Weather was another story – But there was sunshine today! That always makes me smile.

So heading out into the new work week tomorrow, I am going to depart this little life changing tidbit:

Go out there and BE AMAZING this week!

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Stupid Choices leads to BAD decisions. Resolve the problem by reading a book with a smart ending and learn from it.

I have a real problem right now. My day started out bad – I mean reaally bad. So bad that I thought about staying in bed with the covers over my head and reading trashy novels bad.

I reached over to the nightstand and picked up a trashy novel that I am suppose to review – and it is bad too. It doesn’t make me feel excited, or caught up in the story…it is bad. An honest to goodness poorly written story that was more boring than Shades of Grey. That’s right, SHADE OF GREY IS A POORLY WRITTEN BOOK AND ITS BORING! You want to read trashy erotica, don’t succumb to media pressure and pay for that book – it truly isn’t worth it. Download it for free somewhere – do not give that author a penny of your money because she may think she has a career in writing.

I am angry. I am so angry I want to spit nails. Why? Why you ask? I WATCHED This:  The Wall Street Journal Video 

Apparently I am not the only one who is outraged that this author has normalized abuse of women and sensationalized it and worse…it is compared with great literature. I read this Times article  and agreed whole heartily. The worst of this is, a WOMAN wrote this book and betrayed us all. We need to rely on each other to stay smart, secure and self-confident.

What is the deal with smart women who buy into this kind of sensationalistic drivel? Why do we (women as a species) do this to ourselves?

I am guilty of not trusting my instincts and getting hurt so badly I am pretty sure you could hear my hear break from New York. Thankfully, that is in the past. I have learned from that mistake and have taken precautions. Where is it in the MAN Book that says it is okay to treat women in this manner, then walk away? Is it the Moms who do not teach respect? Is it the Dads who do not lead by example? Is it the English teacher who failed to teach vocabulary and plot? I am not simply talking about abuse, I think there is a deeper meaning here. One of self worth.

Do you think you are self-worthy of respect and honor? Yes? Then why do you let the media and people in general treat you this way? Why?

I have no idea. Guilty as charged. I close a chapter, and it gets reopened only apparently it is ME who doesn’t understand and I get hurt. Whaaaat? Excuse me, I am very quick on the uptake. I am pretty sure I was following the program as written.

The worst part? We do this to each other. We can’t even provide a united front. How can we expect the world to change if we cannot respect each other?

I have no answer. All I know is I am tired of women making stupid choices. I am one of them. I can’t tell you why I made the choices I did. I have no clue, other than I was dazzled by illusion. Perhaps that is the problem with fairy tales. They dazzle us with illusion and we set ourselves up for a fall. It isn’t enough to be smart, successful, kind, supportive, loving and human. Well, that is a lie. It is enough.Be yourself.

Love yourself.

Throw away your copy of Shades of Grey and go buy The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch. It is a story about a princess who rescues her prince. He abuses her so she dumps him and lives happily ever after. They way it should be.

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Needy

Have you thought about the difference between want and need? I did, and it got me thinking… more than usual.

Wants are things that bring me joy.

Needs are things I will die without…literally and figuratively.

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I want to say I need Tiffany’s sparkly things draped over me. But that’s not true, I lived this long without – so far so good.

I want to say I need a regular Disney vacation and a trip to the beach to soak up the sun. Again, I can live without it but those do enhance the joy factor.

I want to say I need a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Disney version) but again, that is a joy enhancement.

Wants are awesome but not life fulfilling.

Needs are. I had a couple of lengthy chats with two different, yet very great friends. Both are male and both feed a different part of my soul. One friend I can talk about fitness, family, writing and life’s ups and downs. His friendship has become a need. I feel energized after talking and I have plenty of brain food to think about.

I need Brain Food.

The other friend I talk to semi-regularly and we talk about business, ethics, values and strategy. More brain food.

I need these types of friends in my life. This is why I enjoy book club. It requires the intellect in me to discuss the books we read with insight and awakening. I enjoy the social content of the evening but the book discussion is the pinnacle for me.

I had told my friend my wish for him. I wish that he would get the things he needs to enhance his life life because we all deserve that. Needs are important. Then he said to me, so what do you need. Wow, I hesitated.

For a very long time I didn’t put my needs anywhere near where I could benefit from them. I know this is a problem for lots of women, moms in particular. Although I have learned that I am not alone, there are men who do the same thing. We are nurturers. We give because we love it, it fills us to a certain extent but then we forget to put in the plug and all kinds of goodness leaks out and the well becomes dry.

So what do I need? It is simple. Without these things I shrivel up and die. Not physically but mentally and that is worse.

1.  I need to mom. I am the mom to 2 amazing kids. I need a life that lets me put their needs ahead of mine while they are still minors. I need them to know how important they are to me and that I would move mountains for them. I need to be the dependable one, the one they know will always be there for them without judgement. The no judgement part is hard. My wish is for them to be high end achievers  but nagging them to death to study is not going to get there. I give them space to fall. I am there with a hand up or a band-aid if they require it. They rarely need a hand anymore, this fills me with pride. I see failure in their future. I want to stop it but this is how we grow, change and mature. We need failure to learn. You rarely learn from doing everything right. It will be more painful for me then it will be for them, but I will do it. I need this. I need them to know I am always in their corner.

-I wanted 4 but needed only one. Two was a bonus.

2. I need to run. This means I need the time, the support (don’t nag me that I am gone again – luckily I have support!), the space and the freedom to set goals. I need the challenge of races to shoot for both in short term and long term. I need quiet when I run. Don’t talk to me. This is my meditation. If I invite you to run it is because I want your presence. If I don’t and you ask if you can come with me, the answer is yes. But don’t talk to me. Running is my communion with nature, my release, my thoughts acknowledgement and peace.

-I want to be a gazelle, but only need to move. Gazelle status will be a bonus.

3. I need intellectual stimulus. Mindless, numbing activity is deadly. It makes me create scenarios in my brain. I’d rather live outside of my brain that live in it, but I will do both if I have too. I need to be challenged. I need intellectual conversation. I need the freedom to seek this. I like being smart because the more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing. Therefore learning is a lifelong challenge.

-I want to be a professional student and have long lengthy chats with other academics but having friends who challenge me is a bonus.

4. I need chocolate. Not everyday but when I need it, look out – it isn’t pretty.

-I want only great chocolate but any chocolate when I need it is a bonus.

I am lucky, I have my needs met. Now – on to the wants…lets start with that vacation to NYC…

The Edmonton Tourist’s Favorite Alternative to Oprah’s Favorite Things 2012

Appreciative Audience

Appreciative Audience (Photo credit: freelancing god)

Let’s be honest here for a minute Oprah, you know I love you but unless I am part of the studio audience that gets the lovely gifts from your favorite things episode, we both know I ain’t gettin’ any of those things under the tree this year NOR am I gifting them. Why you ask? Well Sweetheart, I don’t have sponsors (yet – I am leaving my options open) and I am not on Forbes wealthy women list either. I will give you this, you have fiiiiiiiiiine taste and I will leave it at that. I decided to give my readers some Tourist Options when it comes to your Favorite Things List 2012

  1. Lafco Soap Set for $238. Ummm no, it’s soap and ONLY 14 bars of it. for the same amount of money I can get a lovely key pendant from Tiffany &Co. Soap that smells nice is lovely. Dove smells nice and for $1.99 you can have a bath size bar! Dove also sends a positive message to women. Now I love Dove but for that special occasions when you need a little pampering? Put Bay leaves in your bathwater. It is relaxing and I am sure your granny will let you take one when you are at her house for Thanksgiving Dinner this week.
  2. Octane Fitness Q37ci Elliptical Trainer
    $3,099, now $2,789 with coupon (expires Dec 31, 2012) That is an awfully expensive clothes hanger. Walmart sells a bundle of hangers for $3.99 – plastic and functional.
  3. Jetson E-Bike $1800 but there is a coupon code if you click the link. It is a very nice bike. I like my bike to be a bit more functional and less pretty. Who are we kidding, I won’t ever ride the thing in the first place. I’d rather swim, walk or run. Bus pass is a nice green alternative $89 for the month depending which city you live in.
  4. Giro Sport Design Reverb Helmet $48. Now IF you give a bike as a gift, give a helmet. It is the law here but maybe not where you live. Safety First People! However, a bike helmet will look stupid with your bus pass so may I suggest a toque? My family’s toque of choice is the Jayne Hat (Firefly Geek alert) but any great hat will do! My sister will knit it for the cost of a ball of yarn slightly more maybe depending on how happy she is when you ask her. Let’s say $5.00, I am sure she won’t mind.
  5. H2O+ Marine Spa Gift Set $98  with coupon code. I think it is worth it. I use this stuff because when I stayed at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel it was the hotel soap and shampoo. This stuff is so fabulous I paid $40 for shampoo when I left (after hoarding all the samples they leave in the room – and chocolate) So I will take advantage of this deal. the only alternative I can think of is actually going to stay at the Hotel in Disneyland and if you factor in airfare, theme park tickets and food, $98 is looking like a sweet deal! Buy it.
  6. Ralph Lauren Cable V-Neck Sweater   First of all, this is SUCH an Oprah sweater, don’t you think? For $198 I can buy 4 sweaters from the Gap, but they say GAP not RALPH LAUREN. That is a big deal to some people. I will wear a sweater forever and I am sure it feels fabulous. But I think no, not this year. Gap it is! $50.
  7. Coach Puffers  $458 for a Coach jacket. I am all about Coach but I shop Factory Coach because I can get 3 purses for $199. I don’t think $500 for a down jacket is that bad, except it better be rated for -40 and I think it’s not. I mean it’s Coach. It’s not meant to be functional. Down Jacket at the Sport Check $200 AND rated for cold Canadian Winters.
  8. Bougainvillea Bangles $31 sure they are nice but my sister can get those at the dollarama 4 for $1. How often are you going to wear them anyways?
  9. Tory Burch Michelle Tote $395. A great bag is worth it in my books but you can always get great bags at Winners. They had Tory Burch Michelle last week for $125. It’s Winners, go often.
  10. Julep Nail Polish Set $168? I don’t pay that for a mani AND a pedi. OPI $25 set of 5 colours you will only use once.
  11. Tusk Capri Double Zip Checkbook Clutch $138 for a bag that holds your wallet stuff and your phone to put in your bag? Whaaaaaa? If your purse is that big, re-think OR only buy bags with pockets on the side for your cell phone and wallet – all great bags have them! If yours isn’t a great bag, dollarama has makeup bags for $1 AND they come in fashionable-ish patterns. The best part? It holds your wallet, your phone and lipstick! You still have to fish around for it, but you were anyways for $138!

I am not going to go through Oprah’s entire list of 60 items, I think you get my point. Please feel free to contact me if you need an alternative for an Oprah gift, I am only too happy to help! Now, lets look at how much I saved you:

Oprah Top 11 Gift Total = $5787

The Edmonton Tourist’s Oprah alternatives = $516.98

That is a total savings of $5270.02!!

You’re welcome.

Serendipity

I met a man yesterday who made such a profound impact on my soul. He fleeted into my life for a moment and then left as quickly as he came in. His life story was one that was too shocking to tell, but one that had he not experienced, he would not be the person he is today. His presence and story left a permanent imprint on my being.

Throughout his journey he has learned the art of compassion and forgiveness. He understands giving and can accept receiving. These are gifts that not everyone is good at. Lots of people can be paid a complement and the words are deflected instead of received as the gift they are intended to be. I learned many things during my time with this man but the key message I need to take from this experience is this:

5 minutes or 50 years

Think about that for a moment.

If you had 5 minutes to live what would you do? Then why aren’t you doing it?

 

I’m so pretty and that is NOT a good thing

I feel like the stupidest prettiest person ever.

I have too much on my plate and it’s my phone that’s stupid.  My phone is a 3G iPhone, not 3Gs not 4 or even 4Gs. My stupid phone doesn’t even get software updates anymore. I go to type a status and my fingers move faster than the keyboard, letters get missed, end of words don’t appear and my cousin eats me alive. To be fair, it WAS hilarious. My friend started the bashing. But still…. I HATE IT WHEN I GET CAUGHT BEING STUPID PRETTY!!!!

In my family we have a saying when someone does something … not very bright or less than ideal, we tilt our head, say “You’re so pretty” and smile at them. I don’t think I have ever said this to my son, but my daughter hears it, my father hears it, my sister hears it…. then they said it to me. CRAP!

Here is what happened, a student of mine was doing a puzzle with me. A HARD 24 piece puzzle no less, when he commented that I am so smart. This was ADORABLE! You betcha kid! I am smart because I excel at preschool work! So I brag about being called smart and decided to put that in my resume and WHAMO…. I leave off some letters because it’s my PHONE THAT IS STUPID and my friends says “maybe he should read this status and take that title away” HAHAHA …. hey wait a tic…

Then my cousin weighs in and spells smart S M R T…. nice – again I laughed but geeze…..

 

We were all in the car and having a discussion about various sciences – that’s right, I live in THAT family. I had asked my son what science Meteorology falls under and before I could explain what I meant, my son says very dry and very sarcastically… “meteorology” Damn… I was caught with my pretty on.

What I intended and what I said were very different things. I meant to ask him what science class would it be in Chem, Bio or Physics. Ya… too little too late, I was busted pretty and they had the last laugh. For the record I hate kids. Especially mine. I wanted a baby not a teenager.

I work hard at being smart. Smart does not come naturally to anyone. Smart is not a measure of intelligence, smart is thinking before you speak. I got caught being pretty for DECADES, then I started to engage the brain. Some pretty examples for your viewing pleasure:

  1. My Ex father-in-law had a thermometer hanging out his truck window…don’t ask, but I looked at it and asked how could it be that accurate when you are driving? I did not mean the AIR MOVEMENT that creates windchill, I was thinking in terms of vibration. The possibility of the alcohol or mercury vibrating within the tube. Ya… he assumed I meant windchill…and he laughed his head off and I was forever branded the stupid one. Ya well… dude you had NO ROOM TO TALK!
  2. My girl say’s ManScans count as being pretty. A ManScan is when you can’t find something because you don’t look well enough. Therefore that makes me Pretty
  3. My boy claims me not taking the time to set up MSWord and adjust fonts, headers and have him do it makes me pretty.
  4. Apparently, the headset and mouse not working because they are plugged into the WRONG USB makes me pretty. I think that just makes me lazy…not pretty. I also think I am resourceful to make someone else do the work for me. That makes me GENIUS not pretty.

Note to self: Think before you act, proof read from the smart stupid phone and lazy=pretty in my children’s eyes. It’s going to be hard work not being pretty now that my kids are smarter than me.