Just DO IT Already!

The other day, my friend The Reader put this on her facebook wall:

So yesterday I found the most amazing bathing suit… called the ‘miracle suit’ and it was pretty miraculous. But it’s just over $200 😦 I’ve put it on hold, but am having a very hard time justifying that kind of expense. What do you all think – buy it or not?

First of all, typical gal, needs her friends to help her decide. Secondly, why do women have such a hard time justifying purchases that are good for them? The Reader easily spends more than $200 in books a year. Of course we are trained into believing that books are good for the mind and soul. They help create thoughtful conversations and can be enjoyed over and over. The list goes on.

Books = Excellent Purchase

And I might add, none of us lady folk ever call a friend to help us decide if we should buy a book or not, but we do lend them out as we read them. The gift that keeps giving!

So why is it when there is an item of clothing we want/need/desire, we have a hard time allowing ourselves to buy it? I think it’s moms that tend to be guilty of this practice. We make sure our young cubs have everything they need before we do. This practice isn’t just for cash, it is other things too, like:

1. Sleep – Moooooooommmmmmmm, I forgot I signed you up to bring cupcakes for the party tomorrow. I know its 10:00 PM but I prooooooooooooomised! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase????  And so we do it.

2. Movies – Mom…no one wants to watch stupid Tom Hanks, lets see yet another Transformer/Star Wars/Sci-fi anything instead! Won’t that be waaaaaaaaaaaay better?

3. Dinner – Gross mom, who wants to eat sushi when we can have Steak and fries? mmmmmm

I use to be guilty of indulgence as was my mother before me. I now practice what I preach.

1. You need cupcakes? Well you better get out of bed and get baking! I will pre-heat the oven for you.

2. Here (gives them a movie ticket) – you go see that movie and I will meet you out front when it is over.

3. Then stay home. There is chicken nuggets in the freezer.

Giving in is not the same as compromise. With compromise there is negotiation. This is not to say I don’t occasionally spoil and treat my kids, because I love too! I just do it less and I now have children who rival some of the best litigators in the world with their negotiation techniques! I look at it as a win/win.

I am liking this middle-age thing. I am feeling it – maybe its mojo. Or maybe its entitlement. Or maybe its because it feeeeeeels goooood. I read this the other day by Andy Rooney:

Andy Rooney says:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

My Life Coach said to me yesterday, “The best part of being 50 is when someone asks you to do something and you say – hmmmm I don’t think so, or better yet – no. My answer usually is – now that I am 50 I don’t have to do that. It is kind of like when you were facing off with a bully and would say – You aren’t the boss of me!”
So why does it take us so long to figure that out? Some women are pleasers all their life, I can’t be that person. I like making choices that are right for me. So my Reader friend, buy the damn bathing suit! Wear it proudly because you earned it and after all your hard work this year, you will look FABULOUS in it! Meanwhile, keep this in mind:

Not Your Average Paint by Number, It was the Mona Lisa

It is no secret how I feel about Art. Great works of Art move me like no other. When I had the opportunity to stand in the presence of greatness, I JUMPED at the chance!

When my merry band of Muppets and myself were in Paris, we had ONE day. ONE DAY! I know people who had FIVE days and did not see everything that Paris has to offer. I had to think and plan very carefully about what was important to me. I polled the Muppets, and asked what was important to them. To Genetic Offspring, the architecture of Paris was key. The Eiffel Tower was such an important piece for him. The structure itself helped change the way bridges around the world were made. So Eiffel Tower – CHECK! Chatter Box was DYING to shop. Clearly she has my sister’s Shopping Gene. CHECK! Honey was excited to see PARIS! Check! The rest of the crew were happy to see what Paris had to offer so off we went!

After Notre Dame, we walked along the Seine to the Louvre. Just so you know, it isn’t all that close. Google Maps said it was less then 2Km. We didn’t follow THAT route, not us! We went the long way. The long way included the views of the Seine which were gorgeous.

When we arrived, my mom and I made arrangements to split the group. Those who did not wish to see the Louvre left for an afternoon of lunch and shops and would meet on the bridge covered in locks in TWO HOURS. My offspring did not have a choice. I imposed a ban on free choice. We were IN PARIS standing in front of THE LOUVRE. Leonardo De Vinci and Michelangelo had some of their pieces in that building! Although the Offspring may not appreciate it today, I knew years down the road they could say “I stood in front of the Mona Lisa and looked upon her with my own eyes”.

Two Hours, okay I could do it. I needed a plan and I needed to stay focused. Honey and I decided to stick to the Denon wing. That is where Mona hangs out. She is famous enough that my offspring knew who she was. We entered through the side through Cour Carree. It seemed like miles before we saw it. Through the arch way we saw the glass pyramid, the entrance. Famous in it’s own right but for those of you who saw The DaVinci Code, you could recognize it immediately. This thrilled Chatterbox because Tom Hanks was there! YAY Tom Hanks! He was Woody in Toy Story 1,2 &3! Already the Louvre was making connections with my offspring. We stood in the endless line out side, gazing at the architecture of the old palace where one of the Louis lived. Once we went through security, just like the airport, we were in! Down the long escalator into the crowds of tourists all wanting to visit Mona, just like us.

I grabbed a map, and off we went. Ten minutes into our visit, it became clear to me I needed a more detailed game plan. I made a list of the works of art that were MUST SEES for me, I told Genetic Offspring and handed him the map. He studied it for about five minutes. Then folded it carefully and put it in his pocket. “Follow me” he replied with tremendous confidence. Of course we followed, I couldn’t let him get lost!

He led us to several Leonardo pieces including Mona Lisa, Captive by Michelangelo, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon, Psyche and Cupid by Canova and Colossal Statue of Ramesses II. Of course we saw more along the way and wings were closed which made navigating difficult, but Genetic Offspring sees the map in ways others don’t. He knew how to get around unscheduled changes and find uncrowded secret pathways.

The most significant moment for me was to be able to stand before La Vierge a l’Enfant avec Sainte Anne by Leonardo De Vinci. I was 1 foot away. I could reach out and touch it if I wanted to be arrested. I stood in the SAME place the Master himself did as he skillfully maneuvered his brush and manipulated the paint. I could feel the emotion of the painting and witnessed the depth in the background. It was clear to me he was a genius. I witnessed it with my own eyes. His contemporaries all had halos around their subjects. De Vinci painted with knowledge and conviction. He painted for himself and not what others thought he should paint. This is what brought out the emotion and passion. I must admit, I cried.

The Mona Lisa was beautiful, but being famous doesn’t make you the best. She was under glass a surrounded by a million people. I could not feel the same emotion I experienced with Sainte Anne. I was stunned by the volume of people. I am pretty sure it was the same number as the entire population of Canada.

From there we travelled the rest of the Denon Salon, and saw other great works on canvas and stone. None moved me like Sainte Anne.

All of this and more in 2 hours.

Give Me a Wink and a Smile!

My head has been swimming with Mission and Vision Statements for projects in my University Class.  It got me thinking about personal goals. If a business or an organization has a mission statement to remind them who they are and what they do. Maybe I need one to keep my focus and attain my goals too!

I could go to parties and say “that’s right, I have a mission statement”, and be all cool about it. I just reread that last sentence. There is nothing cool about telling people I have a mission statement.

But if I call it a Theme Song, then maybe I am on to something!

So let’s discuss the musical possibilities, shall we? I need to make a list of criteria that is important to me.

1.      The song must have a nice memory attached to it.

2.      The song must be catchy and make me feel like smiling

3.      At no point could the Wonder Girls ever have covered it. It would diminish it in my eyes.

4.      The song must have a good message to share with my Offspring, after all I still strive to be a positive role model and lead by example.

My first thought would be Brian Wilson by the Barenaked Ladies. Most days all I want to do is lay in bed. Let’s look at how it fits the criteria. 1> It has a very nice memory attached to it. Genetic Offspring often danced to it when he was two. He was cute to watch! 2> I only feel like smiling because of the memory – so I need to scrap this one already.

Brightside of the Road by Van Morrison 1> I have several great memories attached to this song. The most fun one is dancing barefoot in the park with several girlfriends on a hot summer evening. 2> I love Van – his music always makes me feel like smiling! 3> The Wonder Girls have never covered it, and if they have please don’t tell me! 4> Hmm This song is either about sharing a heavy burden with your love OR picking up a hooker in a dark alley.  Unfortunately this may be a fail.

Twist and Shout by the Beatles 1> This song has several great memories ranging from High School to Rock Band Friday nights with my family! 2> I always sing it loud and proud while smiling from ear to ear! 3> The Wonder Girls never covered it! 4> Not a stellar message. Just a dancing song. Rats – it’s a fail.

Wink and a Smile by Harry Connick Jr. 1> Again, several great memories from watching Sleepless in Seattle for the first time with my Honey. Going to Seattle with my sister for the best girls weekend ever – and when I say best – I mean I really hope we get to do it again soon! 2> The piano trills make me smile every time! I love how my shoulders keep time and its fun for me to sing!  3> The Wonder Girls have never covered this song!! 4> It fits with my life, from my Honey to my Offspring, from my Parents to my Granny. This song makes me smile and cry all in one. I even loved how it was placed as a theme song to Tom Hanks playing with his son Jonas on the beach in Seattle. It sends the message of family priorities. That will help me find balance. The perfect message for the Edmonton Tourist this year!  I think I found a winner!

Let’s listen shall we?

I want to hear what your theme song might be!


Happy New Year!!  I know think I have gone totally bonkers now. For as long as I can remember, September 1 has always felt like the start of the new year. It  has everything to do with the school year and nothing to do with my fiscal year-end. My house is buzzing with excitement, school bags are loaded and filled with crisp white paper eagerly waiting to be filled by a freshly sharpened HB. Flash drives are empty, waiting for those projects. Most importantly, phone calls are being made about what to wear, in spite of the school uniform rule.  The weather is cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, apples are fat and juicy and hanging on the tree. It is definitely a new year. So Happy New Year!!

Everyone does a New Years resolution, well almost everyone. I never have because I knew wouldn’t see it through. But this year is a little different. I just came off of a really difficult year on a personal front. A couple of things happened that made me turn inward and away from people. I am not going to get into it here other than to say, I am crawling out of it and can see the sunshine at the end of the horizon. Part of that is my decision to be a Tourist in my own life. So far so good! Blogging about it makes me accountable to myself, and I have some loyal readers that privately tell me they are with me for the journey because they need the encouragement too. Well people, its time we make our New Years list – not resolution!

Classic lists are 10 items long. Why 10? I listen to a podcast where his lists are a top 7. That doesn’t seem long enough. I am a little off centre, so I am doing a Top 11 list. Why 11? I hear my friends laughing already because they know. 11 has always been a significant number in my life. The biggest one of course is my not so secret crush on Mark Messier. 11:11 pm always seems to be the time when I look at my clock. The 11th month is when winter really starts kicking in here and I love the change of seasons. 7-11 is the maker of Slurpees and summer memories. I could go on but will just say 11 is my favorite and is my lucky number, so my list will be 11 items long. I shall call it:

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 things that make her happy.

Now at this point I want to add that there is a Buddhist saying that goes something like this; if you want to be something else, act like you are something else. One day it will be true – or something like that. You know what I mean! Coming out of a tough year, I need to act like I am happy in order to be happy. You know what? It works! I have no idea when it happened, but I realized I was happy. Which is great news, because for so long I was not. The other side of the coin is true too. Only YOU can make yourself happy.  I also want to add that it is a given that my family and close friends (you know who you are) are not on the list because you don’t make me happy, you make euphoric and that is a different list. This is a list of  daily things I can do to make me smile. So here we go in no particular order!

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Things That Make her Happy 

  1. Hockey Smack. Nothing is more fun to me then engaging in Hockey Smack with other hockey fans. Its fun, thought-provoking and makes me laugh.
  2. Andy Williams.  As a kid my mom would listen to him all the time. His Christmas music puts me in the mood for Christmas preparations. His specials on TV were fun and so “retro old fashion family values” and his song Music to Watch Girls By just makes me want to shake my shoulders with happiness.
  3. Diet Coke. It is more of an addiction really but the sound of the sffffffffft as you crack it open sends tingles down my spine. I love it!
  4. Facebook. Whatever, you like it too! I have reconnected with old friends, made new ones, learned from strangers and laugh on it everyday.
  5. Hidden Mickey’s. The attention to detail that imaginears use in theming at The Disneyland Parks puts a HUGE smile on my face! Disney Geeks need no further explanation. If you are not a Disney Geek, feel free to pat me on the head and continue to think I am crazy, My DisFriends get me.
  6. Ink. The smell of a new book or newspaper brings back such strong and wonderful memories for me. My family knows why.
  7. Tom Hanks. From Sleepless in Seattle to That Thing You Do and Woody. I love him. Enough said.
  8. Singing. I love to sing always have and I am pretty good at it when I take it seriously. Beatles Rock Band with my family is one of the most fun ways for me to spend an evening. Karaoke with my sister is more fun then should be legal.
  9. Smelling Flowers. I use to have a great big flower garden. I can’t be bothered anymore to take care of it. However, I will stop to smell flowers growing in your garden. So thank you for growing them.
  10. Bubble Baths. I come from a long line of women who have perfected the bubble bath ritual. delightful!
  11. My iPhone. If you own one, you know why. If you don’t, get one.

What is on your happy list? I would really like to know! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!