Showing posts from 2013

Things I Learned In 2013

As 2013 draws to a close I look back at it with very mixed feelings, it was not an easy year for me by any means but I learned a great deal.  So here, for your reading pleasure is a list of things I learned in 2013. 1) Appendicitis does not always happen like people say it does. 2) Kindergarten is just as boring now as it was 28 years ago, only now I'm the one having to explain to MY kid why she HAS to go. 3) I don't drink enough water. 4) I hate water. 5) If I block out the little perfectionist voice in my head that wants to edit everything as I go I can do an incredible amount of writing in a short amount of time. 6) Writing is still my greatest passion. 7) Things don't have to be perfect and that is okay. 8) Time spent with the people who are important is worth more than any gift. 9) There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. 10) There is still stuff that can give me nightmares. I'm sure there's more but it slips my mind i

Welcome To December

Ah, glad I am to have found my way here.  It seems like November went by in such a blur of running around doing too many things, not getting enough things actually done, being sick, sick kids, disappointment and oh yeah my first NaNoWrMo.  Can't tell you how glad I am to see the end of November.  Where to being, firrst of all, I am still, teetering on the edge of sick.  Do you know that feeling?  I hate it.  A runny nose here, a sore throat there, it makes me want to just curl up in q little ball and cry.  But I can't cause you know work, kids, life. Then of course there was my first attempt at yeah.  Next year I am booking my entire month of November free of social obligations rather than attempting to keep them and write.  I did not hit 50,000 words.  But I am pretty impressed with my 29,670 that I did get.  It is, after all, a huge start on something that I am so far pleased with in a short amount of time.  The key is of course to keep moving f

Procrastination...The Greatest Teacher

So yesterday rather than doing the productive thing I was hoping to be doing while I was listening to the phone drone on in my ear at work.  (work on my NaNoWrMo of course) I decided to pull out a sheet of stationary and doodle on the back of it.  This happened because one of my super awesome pen pals is forever sending me letters with all these lovely drawings and I feel bad.  I mean all she gets from me is plain boring old stationary.  Maybe some stickers if I am not writing on the fly, which sadly I usually am.  I am actually quite proud of how they came out.  I mean not only can you tell what they are, they are actually quite cute.  Except the cat, that just looks kind of evil, which I suppose cats are prone to doing.

Happy November

Only four days in and already November has proven to be one of the busiest months I have encountered this year.  I decided to finally take on NaNoWrMo this year for the first time...not connecting in my head at the time that the first weekend in November was Reverse Polarity, our local con celebrating the Doctor Who 50th. I manage d to get my writing off to a healthy start, currently sitting only a few hundred words behind of my 1700 words a day goal.  Not due to the con but because Cat was fighting being sick all week and it chose Saturday night to peak and we spent some time at the doctor.  After which, of course, we were all a bit tired.  Reverse Polarity itself was brilliant, T-con puts on a great convention.  We went to some excellent panels, and Ace was entranced with the find the clues around the con games which were included in the program.  We didn't solve either puzzle but we had great fun seeking out the clues.  Hope everyone had a great start to their month.   

Hammer Town Comic Con

As said I did make it out to Hamilton for  Hammer Town Comic Con  on October 5.  In the end it was a bit iffy if I was going to get out there or not as Ace bailed on me last minute but the friend I was originally supposed to go with decided they could make it after all and off we went.  Unlike Fan Expo I was feeling in good health and with a grown up so I did get some good shots of my Fluttershy cosplay as promised.  For a first year con Hamilton was pretty fantastic, a great crowd, a lot of excellent cosplayers and some pretty cool stuff to see.  We went to a panel on Canadian comics and learned a lot of really interesting stuff.   I will say one thing though...walking around Hamilton dressed like a pony, not as easy as doing it in Toronto. You kind of feel like everyone is staring at you.  And I heard a lady tell her daughter I was a then of course I felt self conscious about my ears for the rest of the day.  My favorite picture of the day was taken by


Impossible to catch in a photograph but I sat down to wait for the bus and looked up and the sky looked like it was breathing.  Positively breath taking.  And inspiring as well, time is ticking down to the beginning of November and the start of NaNoWrMo and while it seems I am doing much more reading than writing these days sights like that remind me why I write to begin with.  To hopefully be able to give someone that same lost in the moment feeling as I had sitting there watching the sky breath. 

Fluttershy's Skirt

I think my favorite part of my Fluttershy cos-play was the skirt.  I am a huge fan of twirly skirts and this one was exactly that.   It was my first attempt at making a circle skirt so it didn't come out perfect but I learned a lot about what not to do next time and I love it anyways. I used  this  super awesome tutorial from Lex at What The Craft.  The things Lex makes are a kind of awesome I can't even begin to aspire to and should definitely be checked out  here.   How great other people's work is really inspires me to keep trying, even when my attempts massively fail because one day I will be able to make what I see in my head come out looking as fantastic as I think it is going to. So, silly butt that I am I got so involved in the actual making of the skirt that I didn't remember to take pictures until I got to the last step. That was the skirt right before the final step.  I think my biggest error was in the material I chose, it was was too light for mak

When Boredom Strikes

There are days at work when it is so slow we are pretty much watching the paint dry.  They say with seniority comes privilege, in some fields of work that is not true, mine happens to be one of them.  So usually when things get to this ultra level of tedious I am the one here, idly doing my routine work without the occasional in flesh person to break up the hours.  Ok, so maybe it was only an hour today but it felt like just slightly longer than forever.  And when you are calling people and no one answers the phone work that would usually take you two hours to do only takes half an hour and the day feels longer.  To keep my mind occupied while I listen to the endless drone.of unanswered phones I like to doodle.  I find it very therapeutic and I would like to think my artistic skills are improving. I mean you can totally tell what this one is right?  Do you get mind numbingly bored at work?  What do you do to combat it?

Thinking About Halloween

So I always have costumes on the brain now due to my new found addiction to cos-play, but along with the two cons I have coming up there is also Halloween.  I already have a pretty good idea of what I am going to be but I love to look at what's available. I got my first e-flyer the other day and these were my favorite costumes from it so far. This is my favorite, I think if I was going to do a store bought costume this year right now this would be on the top of the list. I like this one mostly because I have a pair of boots that would look stunning with it.  And really, isn't it all about the shoes? Now this one I don't actually like that much, however, I like those stockings and the gloves.  The costume isn't terrible but if those were sold separately I would defiantly pick them up and use them as accessories to do my own thing.  Personally though, I think I shall be a fallen angel this year. 

And So School Begins

Somewhere along the way I got lost in the momentum of my kids growing up.  I forgot to get worried about things until they were right on top of me.  Like Cat starting junior kindergarten this year.   All summer we have been preparing for this day, we bought her backpack.  Hello Kitty, just like every other one she has ever owned.  But black and a little more grown up in her four year old eyes.  She picked out a lunch, with periodic table style wording on it. We talked about how different school would be from daycare.  We went grocery shopping on Friday to buy her school lunches.  She picked out all her favorite snacks.  I thought we were as prepared as we could be. On the first day she wanted to wear her Captain America costume to school so she would be brave.  We settled on the shirt with jeans and a sweater.  On the way it occurred to me maybe Mommy should have worn a superhero shirt because she could stand to feel a little braver.  Having both your kids going to

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: Meeting Four

As I actually read more than one book this month picking the best one is a hard call.  A very hard call, so I will just say they are all the best since it's a series.  I finally got off my lazy butt and went to the actual book store at the end of July as we were going away and I wanted something new and shiny to read on the train.  I was going to get 'The Ocean At The End Of The Lane' because I have been hearing fantastic things about it all around but I was wondering around in the fantasy section as I have been known to do on occasion.  And I got into a chat with another patron regarding George R. R. Martin's 'A Song of Fire and Ice' series (which I had not read yet).   It has on my list for a while, really it has, because it has come highly recommend from a lot of people who I trust about these things.  But I haven't had time for reading lately.  However, as I said, I was going on vacation, so based on the insistence of a random stranger in Indigo I pi

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: Meeting Three

First I would like to apologize for being a day late with this, massive migraine yesterday meant I pretty much just hit my bed and curled up like a baby when I got home from work. Anyway, this month I read something that was read by a friend a while a ago and I bought but I was reading something else at the time so it just kind of sat on the shelf.  Now I am a fan of graphic novels (and comics in general) but I am more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan so there is a possibility this is why it took my so long to read this.  Watchman is written by Alan Moore, the artist is Dave Gibbons and the colorist is John Higgins.  It takes place in 1985 in an alternate universe.  At first I actually found it a little dark for my tastes (and that's saying something) but once I got into a little further and started seeing the how and why I liked it a lot more. What I like most about it is that there is a how and a why to it, it goes so much deeper than a lot of the stuff that I have read lat

IggleBugs Photo Challenge: Week 1

So, I am taking part in another photo challenge.  However, this one is weekly so I may actually participate all the way through.  I am not using my camera for this one either, too complicated, I am going to do it using only my phone.  That way I can upload my pictures straight to Twitter. The challenge for week one as you can see  here was a photo of your favorite mug/cup/glass with the beverage of your choice.  So here is my resulting photograph.  

The To Do List

I am not usually a list maker, I am one of those people who is convinced that I will remember the important things and if I don't remember it it probably wasn't that important.  A theory that usually works for me.  Every now and again though life gets so busy and stressful that I would forget to put on my glasses in the morning if I didn't trip over my feet getting out of bed.  This summer with the kids scheduled to do so much stuff separately, the things involved with that, our mini vacation, Caribana, and Fan Expo.  Plus the course I am taking, Cat starting school in September and oh yeah the things I have to do anyways I have things slipping my mind all over the place.  There's permission slips for every second thing the have to do at camp, things to get together for various trips they are taking, notes to be signed by doctors etc.  How does mom keep it straight?  A to do list that's how! But to tell you the truth, to do lists bore me to tears.  I have trie

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: Meeting Two

So this month I actually went out and bought a book from the thrift shop by my work on my lunch.  I ended up with another collaboration, 'The Wrecker' which is written by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott.  I read my first Clive Cussler book (Atlantis Found) on a trip to the cottage when Ace was a baby and he quickly made it to my favourite authors list.  His books are like Lays, you really can't have just one.  He writes the "Dirk Pitt' novels as well as 'The NUMA Files'.  Dirk Pitt is one of my biggest fictional character "crushes" in fact I would go as far as to say if I had to choose just one fictional (book) character to moon over for the rest of my life it would be Dirk Pitt. Back to this book though, 'The Wrecker' follows a detective from the Van Dorn Detective Agency as he races to find a saboteur on the Southern Pacific Railway before he succeeds in bringing to it's knees.  It is a well written action adventure novel that

Game Night: Cards Against Humanity

On the Friday nights before I work on the Saturday it has become a sort of running tradition for my friend to come over and we would watch a movie or play a game.  Last night my best friend and her boyfriend (who is also a very close friend) joined us and we played Cards Against Humanity. Now, I have been dying to play Cards Against Humanity since I bought it before Christmas last year, but it has just been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust because I never had enough people to play.  Imagine my excitement last night when we sat down to play.  (It was pretty through the roof) I don't have many as we were playing pictures of this, I was going to do live action tweeting of me losing and the smack talk that goes with that.  Like I usually do on game night, but CAH was actually too much fun to spend time doing that.  There were some hilarious combinations I wish I had gotten shots of for the post but I sadly only came away with one picture.  I was particularly proud of my an

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: Meeting One

Last month during the A - Z Challenge I wondered my way into joining a blogger's book club over at The Armchair Squid .  I have never belonged to a book club before, mostly because between the kids and work and classes and stuff I don't have armloads of time to show up for meetings and talk to people.  Which is why this is awesome because as anyone who has ever been in my house can attest to, I love books! For the first month we got to just pick a book and that was super exciting as I have a whole shelf of unread books in my hallway of books.  This was my chance, but the question was which one did I want to read most?  In the end I choose "Good Omens' which is a collaboration between Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.  (now if that doesn't make you want to read a book what would?) Now, I am a big (HUGE) fan of both of the above mention authors so the fact that I have owned this book for I don't know how long and haven't read it is actually a shock to m

The Month So Far

This month kind of got away from me pretty quickly.  I had all these inspired plans and mostly I just continued to feel crappy and fight against that.  As I am sure you noticed the Photo Challenge was a pretty big fail.  Yup, and I can't even say it was because me and photography are not friends.  It was just one thing too many for the time.  On the plus side I am finally, for real, feeling better.  I am still dead exhausted but now it is because I am in a dead race to get everything done for Cat's birthday on Friday not because I feel like I am dying.  I have some pretty interesting crafts that will be posted over the next few weeks that I got up to in prep for Miss Cat's birthday.  She asked for a Maplelea doll for her birthday so to go with her new friend I 'spruced up' an Ikea doll bed.  As well there is her requested cake which was a project and a half and of course the loot bags, which at least I think are super cool.  Another bright spot this month was

Best/Worst Movie Remake Blogfest

I thought long and hard about what movies to write about for this blog fest.  The worst one was easy for me, the best one came a lot harder, I mean it took a lot of soul searching before I could come up with a remake I even liked.  And then I had to debate whether or not it could even really be called a remake.  I voted yes because otherwise I wouldn't have a best remake, just a slightly less worse remake and also because I really love the movie.  Plus it does tell the same story so...  Anyways, on to my choices and I will you judge for yourself.  My vote for worst movie remake ever goes to The Parent Trap.  I loved the original movie, it was fun and cute, so (for some strange reason) I thought that I would like the new one when it came out.  Boy oh boy was I wrong.  I mean ok, they changed the story up so it was a little bit interesting but it kind of made me gag a bit in spots.  (a lot)  I don't know, it just didn't do it for me at all.   Now as for

30 Day Photo Challenge Day Two: Your View

So, the topic (is that the right word for it?) for day two of the photo challenge is your view.  I picked the view I look at most often.  It's the view from my desk, which I look at for almost 50 hours a week.  Charming isn't it? I took a bonus picture today as well as my neighbor's yard is blooming and it is a lovely view. 

May The 4th Be With You

To honor my love of Star Wars, much to Ace's delight, I made up some of these adorable Darth Vader hair clips.  I'm thinking next some Stormtroopers so I can wear one and one. 

A To Z Challenge Reflections 2013

So I made it out alive but barely, really I kind of limped out the end.  I was a day late finishing overall and I am in no means proud of my last few posts but I finished.  I think all in all for being sick and just winging it I feel good about how I did with it. I found some awesome blogs to follow this year.  While I didn't make it to many in the last week I made it to a good number in the first few weeks and way more than I did last year.  I still need to work on my commenting as sometimes I just don't know what to write.  (sometimes I just don't know what to blog either so I guess that makes sense) I am already looking forward to next year, especially since I already have a theme, almost all my topics and a couple of posts written.  Now quick, everyone cross their fingers that I don't get sick. 

Z is for Zamboni

This last post is in honor of the Leafs making the playoffs for the first time in forever.  (Go Leafs Go!)  Zamboni is a brand name for an ice resurfacing machine.  They drive around the ice and put down a thin layer of water which then freezes and makes the ice smooth again.  Neat huh?  Now I always thought that they were melting the ice until I looked it up.  You learn something new every day! When I was looking through my son's cars for the Zambonis to get a picture I was hoping to find the Leafs one but I didn't.    

Y is for Yoga Booty Ballet

As I was saying in my W post, Yoga Booty Ballet is one of my favorite workouts.  I find Gillian and Teigh to be entertaining and easy to follow along with.  (unlike a lot of workout videos I have collecting dust on my shelves)  Also the workouts are challenging and fun at the same time. I also find the workouts very calming.  Lots of stretching and breathing with gentle cardio.  Probably what I will start up with when I am allowed to exercise again. 

X is for X-Files

In my opinion the X-Files is one of those super awesome shows from the 90's.  (and there are so many of them)  I will admit, I only watched it through the seventh season and then I kind of lost interest, but it still ranks as one of my favorite sci-fi shows. (from the 90's anyways) If you haven't seen it (get your ass on NetFlix and watch it!  Watch it now!) it is about two FBI agents, Mulder and Scully, who investigate the paranormal.  It's one of those shows that has a wonderful blend of stand alone episodes and an over all story arc.  (this is why I love rewatching old shows, real story arcs)

W is for Workout

Since I developed the habit of doing it, one of my favorite things to do is workout.  I get up extra early in the morning before the monkeys just so I can get one in before I start my day.  (it's what keeps me from going crazy) Like anything I do (slightly addictive personality) when I first started I went a little crazy with the workout videos.  I tried everything that looked even remotely interesting.  But I have now settled into a few favorite workouts that I just rotate through. Not being able to workout because of this whole stupid appendix thing has left me feeling a bit on edge.  (psychotic)  It's terrible and I can't wait to get back to my early morning workouts.  I have been walking but it's just not the same.  Favorite Workouts: 1) Turbo Fire 2) Yoga Booty Ballet 3) Turbo Jam 4) Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred 5) EA Active 2 6) Hoop Dancing What's your favorite workout?

V is for Verbatim

I am a huge fan of things that are fun to say, (dinosaurs on spaceship anyone?) and one of my favorite fun to say words is verbatim.  Meaning using exactly the same words. Repeating your remarks verbatim is something your children are particularly talented at doing when you you wish they wouldn't.

Public Service Announcement

As you may have noticed I kind of took a bit of a nose dive on the A-Z Challenge.  At this point I was debating whether to power through and finish it no more than a day late or to just quit.  I decided to fill you all in on what happened to put me behind, and then buckle down and finish.  I probably will still finish it off a day behind, but I will finish.  Last week I took Ace to the doctor to follow up on some tests that he had done and while I was there I mentioned casually to the doctor (our family doctor) that I was still having a fair bit of pain around my incision sites.  (I still can't sleep on one side because the pressure kills me)  Anyhow, the doctor was concern there may be something wrong, so he prescribed me some antibiotics which have pretty much knocked me on my rear end. I am also being sent for further testing.  (sound fun or what?)  That's why the drop off in posts, it has pretty much taken all the energy I have left to get through my days.  I feel awful

U is for Underwear

Wait, what?  Am I running out of post ideas because I am behind?  (maybe a little)  This is a serious post though.  One of my major goals this year is to finish my sewing course and start working my way through the massive collection of patterns that I have collected over the years.  Mostly I want to start making my own corsets but my sewing skills are not there yet hence the sewing course. You want to know where underwear comes into this right?  Well, one of the projects I have in my current pile of things to be sewn is underwear.  I bought this pattern last year thinking this is within my current sewing capabilities, and I will be able to make myself cute little under things and think of all the money I will save.  (okay, I was really thinking TARDIS underpants) My plan was to make a few pairs from fabric in my stash and then invest in some fabric once I got the hang of it.  Then I hit a snag...finding lingerie elastic.  You see, we used to have this lovely little place called

T is for Toddler Scarf

This is the scarf I just finished up for Cat, I know she's not technically a toddler anymore but preschooler doesn't start with T.  I really love this yarn it is Red Heart's Bikini (weird name I know) and I just love how bright and fun it is.  Cat is in love with it as well and I am thinking about doing a blanket up in one of those wavy type stitches because I think it would look really neat.

S is for System of A Down

I apologize for being late for this post (and the next three or so) I had some things come up that have made life a little (or a lot) crazier than usual. For a while in my early 20's System of a Down was one of my most listened to bands.  They still rank on my have to have on my playlist and I was deeply saddened that my scheduled conflicted with getting to see them play when they were in Toronto for Heavy TO last year as they are awesome live. I think what I like about System is really the same thing I like any artist that I like for more than one song, or one album, they have a range when it comes to their music.   It doesn't all sound the same, there are a variation to the messages that comes across through it.  There's something behind it in the first place.  Two examples of what in my opinion are vastly different songs from SOAD are Aerials and Prison Song:

R is for Random

Sometimes when the kids stay home for the weekend we get up to some pretty random stuff.  Today we joined Richard of Muddy York Walking Tours for a Battle of York Battleground tour.  We then popped over and wandered around Fork York for a bit.  The weather was a bit blustery (or a lot) but apparently that is historically accurate for April of 1813.  The tour started at the western edge of Toronto's exhibition grounds, where Richard explained to us in detail how the American ships landed (west of where they intended due to the wind) in the harbor and around 1,800 soldiers ended up on the shore.   The Americans fought their way Eastward against the British and Canadians from there.  The Battle of York marked the first victory for the Americans in the War of 1812. The tour took us across the Canadian National Exhibition grounds which are littered with monuments.  We got to see Scadding Cabin which is the oldest building in Toronto.  It was originally built in 1794 for John Scaddi

Q is for Quinoa and Turkey

I'm not sure what to call this dish.  It's one of those ones that my kids love that just jumble a bunch of random ingredients together in a bowl. 1 package quinoa 1 can corn 16 oz baby spinach 3/4 cup shredded cheese 1 tbs olive oil 12-16 radishes (chopped) 2 cups cooked turkey breast (cubed) 1 tbs minced garlic Cook quinoa according to package directions.  In frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add radish and garlic.  When radish starts to turn translucent begin adding spinach, stirring as you add.  When you have about half the spinach added to you pan, drain the liquid from the can of corn into the pan, add the rest of the spinach.  When the spinach has cooked down add the corn and turkey to the pan.  Take the quinoa and put it in a large bowl, when the vegetable and turkey mix is heated through, pour it on top and mix together.  Add cheese, mix again and serve.  Chopped Radishes Radishes and Garlic  Cooked Spinach Almost Done Mix