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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

It seems like it was just my last post I was complaining about February never ending and all of a sudden it’s September. Oh, wait…that was my last post. Shame on me. I won’t insult you with a long list of excuses. I’m pretty sure we have all been there done that. It just seems that I have become quite consistent in abandoning my writing. Truth be told I don’t abandon it entirely. I do continue to write. It’s just that I write for other people.  Most of my day is spent in front of the computer writing blog posts, web content, brochures and social media posts for clients. Much like the cobbler’s children not having any shoes, my personal blog tends to be the last thing that gets written.

Some of you may recall a couple of my posts about the area I live. Picking Pickering and Living Next Door To William H. Macey tell you about a couple of my favourite places in the Durham Region. There is, however, so much more. Most of my clients are all over Canada and the US, but I have one, The Stacee-Free Team from Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd., who is local. There is no one in the Durham Region who knows more about their community than these people and they make it their business to be the go-to people about it. Their blog is called “Discovering Durham” and that’s exactly what I get to do for them. Since my last post I have gone to a Maple Syrup Festival, witnessed people Floating Their Fanny Down The Ganny, participated in a Run To Remember, celebrated at a Pow Wow, laughed my butt off at people using a Marshmallow for a Golf Ball and wrote about a family that has made Tree Top Zip Lining a family affair. Granted, I usually end up burnt to a crisp, dehydrated and sore but I have a blast gathering what I need to write about this stuff.

On a personal note, I broke a couple of toes and lost a dear cousin and a lovely sister. None of which I felt like writing about. I also had quite a few visitors this summer. My always whining about no one coming to visit kind of backfired on me this year and I almost installed a revolving door. Truth be told, I loved every minute of it. As you may have gathered, there is no lack of places to go and things to do when company is here. There are beaches and trails to explore, butter tarts to sample and race horses to bet on, but the number one place everyone wants to go is “Primitive Designs“. It’s not easy describing this place. From the second you drive in every one of your senses goes into overdrive. They tell us,

“Our 8000 square foot gallery (as well as numerous outdoor tents), can occupy your time for hours! Our marketplace atmosphere, complete with music from around the globe, takes you on a journey from Bali, Thailand, & Nepal, to Morocco, India, & Vietnam! Everything in the gallery is hand-made, and the company owners handpick every item. In fact it’s rated #1 on Trip Advisor amongst Canada’s Top Roadside Attractions.”

It can be overwhelming, especially when this is one of the first things you see.

1

2

This guy is over 20 feet high, 40 feet long and made entirely out of recycled motor vehicle parts. If a T-Rex doesn’t do it for you…how do you feel about giant robots?

3

Keep in mind we haven’t yet ventured inside. This place is a feast of colour, textures and things made out of other things you would never have imagined.

outside horse

outside tiki hut

outside welcome

Ok, I’ll put you out of your misery. Let’s go inside.

inside 1

inside 2

Let’s face it. There is no way I can show you everything. I’ve been there several times and still haven’t seen everything. You can’t just look at what’s in front of you. You have to look up and down and all around. Here’s a sampling.

A recent news story has proclaimed Primitive Designs definitely a selfie-worthy stop.

Believe it or not I saw Theresa Caputo (The Long Island Medium) here locally, attended “The Queen’s Plate” (picture Kentucky Derby but Canadian) and drove to Connecticut for a few days, where I fell in love with Mystick ( of Julie Roberts’ Mystic Pizza fame). I guess you could say I have managed to keep myself occupied.

So, how was your summer?

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It’s a new year.
2013
I’m happy to start a new year.
2012 was not one of my favourite years but I don’t wish it away for anything because along with some of the really bad things that happened, a lot of really great things happened.

This year for the first time in my life I am making a New Year’s resolution that I know without a doubt I am going to keep. I promise on my honour for as long as I live, I will never, and I do mean never, move during the Christmas Holidays again. If some insane impulse ever makes me even contemplate this I beg all of you to please slap me upside the head. Do not hold back. Just swing back and wallop me with everything you have got!

Who in their right mind would ever decide to do such a thing? Well, I did find someone else who has done it. Amy over at The Bumble Files had a tale to tell in her A Christmas Journey: Ghost of the Past. I am letting her use the “temporary insanity” card.

craycray

It seemed like a good idea at the time and I was excited about being back in Niagara Falls for Christmas. I had a plan. I was organized. I made gigantic labels for everything so there would be no confusion.

1) STORAGE     2) NIAGARA FALLS     3) DUMP

Niagara Label

Big Labels should have worked.

I had been purging for weeks and thought I had it all figured out. “Ha!” I say, “Ha!”. Let me just say this, the move began Friday Dec. 21st. Never in my wildest imagination of disasters did I picture us having to drive back to Oshawa everyday (including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) except for Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Pieces of furniture were missed that were to go in storage and we were unable to get them in the car so we had to rent a vehicle. A lot of things were missed with the load that went to the dump and the Christmas presents I had carefully labelled with the children’s name that were to receive them and set aside somehow ended up in storage. I hope. Yes, we were the last ones to leave Walmart on Christmas Eve trying to not disappoint a little one. Did I mention that we finally got the winter storms that had been predicted? The driving back and forth was pretty nerve wracking.

We had made arrangements in advance for some temporary measures to be taken both with Canada Post and with our internet provider as this location was not to be our final destination. When it came time to implement these plans all of a sudden we were told, “you can’t do that”. In the panic that ensued (admittedly more from me than from He-Who) tears were shed (yeah, me again) and we had to figure out a new plan. Needless to say we were off-line far too long. Somehow I am no longer getting all the notifications for the blogs I follow. It may take forever and a day to catch up on my reading and commenting but I am trying. If I miss any please forgive me in advance.

That being said I do have to acknowledge some awards bestowed upon me before the big moving fiasco.

Thank you Lisa from Life With The Top Down for “passing forward” the Liebster Award to me and to Meredith at The Wanderlust Gene for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  I have come to admire both these women for their writing and feel that I have come to know them well from our “comment” conversation.  With each award there is always a criteria to follow for passing along the honour so here we go.

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

According to Lisa, Liebster (pronounced: leeb-stir) is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.  The Liebster Blog Award recognizes up and coming bloggers and winners are asked to “pay it back and forward.”  The award is given to those bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The Rules for the Liebster Award are as follows: 

  • Link back to the blogger who gave you this award
  • Post the award to your blog
  • Post 11 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions asked of you, plus create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer
  •  Nominate 11 people you think deserve the award and link them to your post.
  • Go to their pages and tell them they have been chosen

Rules of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  • All recipients need to thank the giver
  • Post 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog

 

I’m going to do a little cheating here and answer the 11 questions Lisa asked me and hopefully you will accept that as the “things about myself” for both awards.

1.  What is you favorite song of all time?

It’s A Wonderful World – has to be Louis singing it.

2.  Boxers, briefs, boy shorts, granny panties, thong or the universal choice of Commando?

Boy Shorts – To be honest it depends on who is doing the wearing.

3.  Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Without thinking twice.

4.  Would you go back to being a teenager, without the wisdom you have now?

I was much wiser as a teenager. Also, I could always use that I was “young and stupid” as an excuse.

5.  What are you most grateful for?

The short period of time I had with my Mother.

6.  Are you a beach or mountain kind of person?

Beach. Beach. Beach.Beach.Beach.Beach

7.  Reveal one of your guilty pleasures?

American Hogger fascinated me.

8.  Are you a dark, milk or white chocolate lover?

I know I will never hear the end of this but I am not a fan of chocolate. Give me butterscotch or caramel. If I had to choose chocolate it would be white.

9.  If you could give a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be kind.

10.  What is your best childhood memory?

Listening to my Mother sing.

11.  Do you act your age or your shoe size?

Neither…lately I have been acting way older than my shoe size.

I am passing forward the Liebster Award to:

Woggins Writing •  Twenty8 • Meredith With Her Mouth Open • There And Back • My Ideal Woman • Vyvacious • Edith Levy Photograpy • Cowboys and Crossbones • Matterings of Mind • Bohemian Sentiments • Personal Perceptions

The 11 questions I have chosen for the above bloggers are …

1) What is your favourite line from a movie?

2) Name three songs you have sung most recently.

3) What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

4) Dog or cat?

5) Name your top five TV shows (past or present)?

6) When you walk with someone you love do you hold hands or link arms?

7) What is the one thing that will bring a smile to your face even on your darkest day?

8) Would you rather walk through a garden or on a beach?

9) Have you ever worn socks with sandals?

10) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

11) Have you ever laughed so hard something embarrassing happens?

Here are my seven nominees for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award:

IfYouNeverTri • Life On A Silva Platter • Words We Women Write • Jean Day Friday • A Londoner From Afar • Articles of Absurdity JavaGirls Life

One other honour I would like to mention is that I was “Freshly Pressed”. Being “Freshly Pressed” is something I think we all would like to happen whether we admit it or not. Le Clown On Fire actually campaigned to have it happen to him. In my case the post that brought me the honour was actually written on another blog I am a part of called Canadica.  It is a collaboration of  a group of American and Canadian bloggers pretty much poking fun at each other’s country. If you are looking for a good laugh I suggest you check it out.

One final thing I would like to mention as we start burning through another year. He-Who has decided that he is no longer “He Who Shall Remain Nameless For His Own Protection” and has taken to calling himself  “He-Who Must Not Be Blamed”. This is going to be an interesting year.

Silk Purse Productions

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Recently …  oh my! I can’t say recently.
A few months ago …  how can that be … has it really been a few months?
It has been a few months, the 25th of July to be exact, since I was so graciously named by Traci of the Silva Gang over at Life on a Silva Platter 
for the 7 X 7 Link Award. She wrote this hysterical piece “I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Drivers Test” that had me laughing so hard I almost missed that I was mentioned near the bottom.

Well, I thank you Traci. Please don’t think that I am ungrateful. I really am. Grateful that is. When I looked at what was required to keep this award moving I thought I would need to think about it. Well, apparently I think very, very slowly.

7 X 7 Blog Award

Here are the things that must be done as a recipient of this award:

1) Share something about myself that no one (in the blogging community) knows.
I just wrote about how I stuff my bra with all manner of paraphernalia, really, there isn’t much I haven’t already shared here.

2) Link to 7 posts of mine that I feel worthy of the pre-determined 7 X 7 blogger award categories:

• Most Beautiful Piece – A Breath of Fresh Air  Beauty is in the eye of of the beholder and I say this is one beautiful air freshener.

• Most Helpful Piece – What the “Duck”!? There are things people should know about ducks. Just sayin’.

• Most Popular Piece – These Redheads Do Not Tread Gingerly According to WordPress stats the world is secretly fascinated with Gingers.

• Most Controversial Piece – Has Anyone Seen Herb?  People are still asking me about Herb. It remains an unsolved mystery.

• Most Surprisingly Successful Piece – The “Other” Michelle  Yes, it turns out we all still like to “google” ourselves.

• Most Underrated Piece – Oh, Christmas Tree…or Not  I laughed, I cried. I cried a lot.

• Most Pride – Worthy Piece – Winnipeg: The Centre of the Universe  Come on! I bit the bullet and actually went there, not once but twice!

Well, wasn’t that fun, going back and reading old posts to pick out some of these. It was also a little harder than I expected.

3) Pass it along. Traci described it as a “hot potato” but, as I let this one get so cold I like to think of it as potato salad. It may be cold but it is really tasty, so share.

Here are seven of my favourite bloggers as tasty and shareable as potato salad.

Blurt

Hippie Cahier

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Meredith With Her Mouth Open

My Ideal Woman

The Big Sheep Blog

A Window Into The Woods

Silk Purse Productions

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Back in October 2008 I finally took a trip I had been trying to avoid since I met He-Who. I went to his birthplace. Yes, folks, I went to Winnipeg, aka: The Centre Of The Universe.
As it turned out I had a wonderful time. I met some lovely people who all treated me like royalty and made me feel right at home. Friendships were formed that will always be with me. The strongest bond was with one new friend in particular: Sammy.
Sammy was great fun. A little messy. A little noisy. But quite amusing. I had never met anyone quite like Sammy. It’s quite possible it was because I have always lived in the city and Sammy … well, Sammy was a pig. I don’t mean Sammy was a slob. Sammy was a real honest to goodness pig. Like in the book “The Three Little Pigs”. Except Sammy wasn’t little. She wasn’t one of those miniature potbelly pigs that celebrities make popular. She was a real, full size pig. A pig’s pig so to speak.

I fell in love with Sammy the first time I saw her. She was just that kind of pig. Her family was quite amused at my insisting that I be able to go out to the pen and feed her while I was there.

Truth be told … I hadn’t packed for slopping pigs. My clothes could be washed but my shoes were an issue. By the time I reached Sammy at each feeding my shoes would be caked in stuff I don’t want to think about and often became stuck firmly enough that I walked out of them. It became my mission to find the perfect pig shoes to sport while spending time with Sammy. It took me days to find them but I knew them the instant I saw them. I was so proud the first time I put them on to go feed Sammy and I couldn’t understand why everyone looked shocked. I could hear them laughing all the way to the pig’s digs. I didn’t care. That meant I could spend more time with my swine friend.

There was just something about Sammy that made you want to spend time with her. Personally, I think Sammy was a natural Shaman, a healer. When I met Sammy she was about 2 ½ years old. She had come to live with her human mom, Susie, in early spring of 2006. She was just a few weeks old and weighed only 10 lbs. Susie has a great love of animals, especially pigs. While recuperating from an injury, Susie was pretty much housebound and was becoming quite depressed. One day, her husband, Craig, just after arriving home, asked her to retrieve something he had forgotten in the truck. Susie wasn’t impressed but begrudgingly went out to the truck, opened the door and found a tiny piglet wrapped in a carpet. Susie’s story…

Instantly I was excited but full of wonder as to what I was going to do with her. I then grabbed her and ran into the house, happier than I could have imagined. I had Craig go out and build her a house and a fence. From that moment on you couldn’t keep me in the house. Craig, at this point, thought he would eventually be making bacon and chops! Boy was he wrong. He thought I’d get over the thrill of the pig. After about a week I had picked her name. You see, in high school, I had acquaintances that knew my name, but for some strange reason called me Sam. So Sammy it was. I would buy jarred baby food and cook oatmeal twice a day, mixing fruits and veggies for her. She would get so excited! It was fun to feed her good stuff. People around me commented on how ridiculous I was being for spoiling her, but I didn’t care. I found it funny when I’d get the odd inquiry about her favorite foods. Not long after, Craig began buying cheeseburgers from McDonalds for Sammy and soon it was ice cream. A neighbour would bring black forest cake right from the bakery for Sammy. I had started a spoiling trend. I had naps with her in my lap out in her pen, sat with her through storms and did whatever I could to give back to her what she was giving me. She gave me reason to start my day and look forward to the next one. Over the years Sammy became a special part of many peoples lives. People would pop in just to see her, whether to give her a treat or just to pet her. She was so playful she would run and push toys around. She would roll over for a belly rub anytime! She had this hilarious wiggle when she got super excited. I called it her “dance”. I’m smiling just picturing it! My dogs at the time, Harley and Rocky, would stay by her pen at night and were always pleased to clean her snout after her meals. They loved her. As Craig continued to expand the farm, Sam would check things out with the other animals! She had a few more buddies, too. She and one of the horses would kiss over the fence and walk along beside each other. It was adorable! She was ready to babysit waterfowl and shared her mud bath with them when they were too young to head out to the pond. And I would often see this cat sitting on Sammy’s back. She was just all around a genuine, healing angel!

When it was time to leave my newfound friend, my hosts suggested that I leave my “pig shoes” behind and promised they would be there the next time I visited. When I came home, He-Who heard all about my adventures with Sammy and all about my pig shoes. The following August (2009) we were able to return to Winnipeg together. I couldn’t wait for He-Who to meet Sammy and was pretty excited to see her again. As soon as I got in the door and introductions were made, I asked if I could go out and see Sammy. Surprisingly I was told my pig shoes were right where I had left them. He-Who followed me out to the garage and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me retrieve my pig shoes and proudly model them for him.

“But … they’re WHITE!” he said, shaking his head. “I thought they would be some kind of boot or something. NOT white sneakers.” I grinned and said, “They work for me” and dragged him out to meet Sammy. It was wonderful to see Sammy again and I know she knew who I was and was appropriately impressed that I came back to see her.

Sammy was about 600 lbs. when she passed away from pneumonia in March of this year. She is dearly missed by Susie and all those whose lives she touched. Suzie tells me the farmyard has not been the same without her. She was truly loved and led an amazing life in the little menagerie.

I still have my pig shoes and think of my friend Sammy every time I look at them.

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It’s not easy being a blogger.  People blog for all kinds of reasons.  Some have a “cause”, some have an expertise and some have a story. I started blogging for several reasons.

When the big wipeout came in the TV industry we were all sent to “coaches” and seminars and networking groups and they pretty much all had the same list of things you “have” to do…

• you have to tweet  (check)

• you have to join linkedin (check)

• make sure you are on facebook (check)

• you need to blog (huh, what the heck am I going to blog about?)

I didn’t really feel I had a lot to say, and I didn’t really feel that anyone would read it.  Somewhere after the first couple attempts at being brilliant and profound I decided I really enjoyed writing again. It occurred to me that if no one was going to read it anyway I could write what I wanted to write and that’s what I started to do.  I have no children or grandchildren so I couldn’t join the ranks of the Mommy/Daddy/Grandparent bloggers. My bout with cancer is long gone and although I have a couple of stories to share my “journey” with it is over. I haven’t done any photography in years so that was out.  In the end I just decided to write about stuff I cared about, stuff that made me happy, stuff that made me laugh and stuff that made me cry.  Once it was posted it would be out there … forever… and whether I had kids or not someday someone might read it and know I was here. Not to mention as I get older it makes it easier for me to remember if I can go back and read about it.

So, I write.  I don’t write every day like some.  I like to write weekly but sometimes that turns into bi-weekly and occasionally monthly.  I don’t have a huge following. I don’t even have a little following. In fact I pretty much have no following – 35 as of this writing. I do know hundreds of people actually read the posts and I get a lot of emails commenting on the posts but for some reason even my family and friends have not figured out how to push on that little button that says “follow” or to actually comment on the blog and not send an email.  I read of other bloggers who are “new” and have hundreds of followers and are gushing with gratitude. Who cares? Right? Well, apparently I do.  One day after a particularly long spell between posts I received a comment on my blog asking if I was OK because they had noticed I hadn’t posted for awhile. This comment came from someone I have never met, who lives in another country and who’s work I admire a great deal. Now he is a blogger! You can find Otto von Münchow at his blog Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog or at his most recent adventure  Øystein og Otto’s Blog

That one comment changed everything and I realized that I was a part of this community. This community of bloggers.

He has been encouraging and supportive and has twice named me for an award the most recent being the Angelika Award.  “The Angelika Award is for those who have touched my humble life, like a book, like a teacher, like a master.” That is quite the statement and I can honestly say that statement best describes Otto.

As part of The Community of Bloggers (see how that just became an official name?)… membership has its responsibilities.  You must read and support other peoples blogs. Now, the support part is not that difficult but the read part can wear me down.  I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. Some of them are amazing!  However,  it is hard enough to keep up with daily posts, but some people post 2, 3, 4 times a day or whenever a random thought crosses their brain.  I keep saying I have to stop following them, but then I hit one of their gems that had me follow them in the first place and I say, “Never mind!”.  Seriously though, the number one reason I don’t blog more is that most of my spare time is taken up by reading blogs.

Another way we, The Community of Bloggers,  support each other is to share blogging awards and promote each other’s blogs.  I have been fortunate to receive some of these awards from my fellow bloggers.  Each of these awards comes with instructions some of which are simple, some of which … well, not so much.  Some bloggers throw caution to the wind and don’t follow the rules or make up their own as they go along.  One of the common rules is to nominate other bloggers for the award. It could be 5. It could be 10. One blogger totally threw out any and all rules and just pointed to 100 blogs. Yes, I said 100!  I am still working my way through that list. Why you may ask? Good question.  Although 75% of those blogs may not interest me, 25% will and I will be glad I read them. I will probably end up following about 10% of them.  That is exhausting!

My latest nomination came from Cdn Stormlover (Lee), over at Life In The Dash Lane.  She is funny,feisty and fierce. Thank you Lee for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am not necessarily a fan of rules but I do believe in following tradition so I will adhere to the instructions:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

• Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy. (Check…please see above)

• Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it. (Check…please see above…easy peasy)

• Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)

• Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.

• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Here are the 15 Bloggers  I nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award.  All are worthy of a click through and a follow. 

Fabulous 50’s

The Middlest Sister

JavaGirl’s Life

The Byronic Man

Sweet and Weak

GINGERFIGHTBACK

Life With The Top Down

Woggins Writing

Experiments in Experience

Mostly Bright Ideas

The Good Greatsby

The Big Sheep Blog

Merrily We Roll Along

Speaker 7

Journalist On The Run

Ok Lee, here are 7 things about me…

1) Green is my favourite colour, but not emerald or forest green. I really like Olive green.

2) I don’t know what “Freshly Pressed” is. Anybody?

3) The best St. Patrick’s Day party I ever went to was in Maui.

4) I hate green tea. It tastes like dishwater.

5) I organize my computer files into so many layers you need a treasure map to find anything.

6) I like to name inanimate objects. I once had a Christmas tree named Ralph but changed it to Irving after reading a story about Irving Berlin.

7) I really like my last list of 7 better than this one.

I will write it. They may not come. You can lead a reader to a post but you can’t make them follow.

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Margaret and Helen

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embrace life :: explore design :: live simply :: laugh loud

julienoblog.wordpress.com/

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Wayne Paget

This blog is dedicated to my life as a photographer. I am a Denturist by trade, and a hobbyist photographer. I will be travelling to Nunavut to combine these aspects of my life. In 2015 I will document my travel experiences and the making of dentures for our Inuit communities.

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