Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Win a copy of "I am Funny Like That"

Now on Amazon’s Best Sellers list, Helen C. Escott's hysterical blog "I am
Funny Like That" has come to life in this witty book!

If you have thrown your back out taking off Spanx, planned your husband's murder in your head or screamed through a Brazilian, this book is for you.

If you need a good laugh, or need to smile, this book is better than Prozac it will make you laugh out loud for days after reading it. 

119,000 blog readers can't be wrong! Join in the laughter. 

Win a copy on Goodreads

or buy a copy at Bookbaby or Amazon 

Monday, September 5, 2016

“I am Funny Like That” The blog is now a Book!

I am so excited I can’t breathe!! I am walking around my office in my house coat at 3 o’clock in the afternoon because I know if I get dressed my top will be covered in sweat within three seconds.

It feels like Bob Barker just called my name and yelled “Helen C. Escott! Come on down!”

This blog is now a book! The book is a blog! Oh my God, it’s real!!!!

As of Sept. 01, 2016 the ebook “I am Funny Like That” is available on line. The hard copy will be available by mid-September.

Buy it now at:
iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, eSentral, Scribd, Goodreads, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando, EBSCO, Vearsa

I just had the strangest memory. Sister Alphonsis pointing her bony long finger at me in grade three saying “Being the class clown will get you nowhere but the penitentiary.” Boy did I prove her wrong.

I have always seen the “Funny” in everything I do.

In 2012 I had back surgery and was laid up for almost a year. I could not do a lot of things so I would spend my time on Facebook and Twitter making comments about life, new stories or politics and I developed a following.

Then a friend said to me, you should write a blog. So I created this blog called “I am Funny Like That” in April 2012. I honestly didn’t think anyone besides my husband and best friend would read it.

Now the blog has over 118,000 readers. Most of my readers are in Canada and the United States but they are spread out all over the world: Germany, Ukraine, UK, India, France, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

People read the blog because they want to laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

The book is a funny look at life. It’s about being a woman and using my sense of humour to deal with being a mother, wife and daughter while going through menopause and trying to have a career while making supper and doing the laundry.

People who read this blog see themselves. They identify with me.

I chose the title “I am Funny Like That” because it describes me: Sometimes I am funny like that in a humorous way and sometimes I am funny like that in a strange way.

If you need a good laugh, if you need to smile today, this book is better than Prozac it will make you laugh out loud and brighten your day. It also makes a great Christmas gift!

Thanks for being a reader. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

How to travel with other people & not throw them overboard

I love people. Actually that’s a lie. I love my dog. I hate people.

Not all people. Some people are ok.

I may hate them more after I travel with them. It depends.

Traveling with others may be the quickest way to lose a good friend. 

Being cooped up in a car with someone for 10 hours or stuck on a cruise ship with them for 10 days, may test the boundaries of your friendship real fast.

Over the years, I have put together some hard and fast rules about traveling with others. The way I look at it, we spend a year or two sometimes, scrimping and saving every extra nickel and dime so we can take a trip together with our kids and sometimes without the kids. So I am not allowing anyone to hijack our vacation.

Feel free to use these rules yourself:

1.       We are not sharing anything. That means a house, a condo, a hotel room or a car. We learned this one the hard way. We don’t share accommodations because when my kids go to bed I don’t want to deal with yours. Once my kids fall asleep I want to relax with a nice glass of wine. I don’t want your overtired kids running around crying, irritating me. Simply put, I also want to be able to come home from an amusement park or long day at the mall, take off my bra and walk around in my nightdress or nothing (if there are no kids). I don’t want to feel like I can’t unwind after a long hot day in the sun. I also don’t want to have to tip toe around if you go to bed early or sleep in late. I definitely don’t want someone knocking on the bathroom door asking me how long I am going to be!

Sharing accommodations may save a few bucks but it will cost you your sanity in the end. Now I know what you’re saying. “I agree with not sharing accommodations but come on we can’t share a car!” No we can’t. If we get up in the morning and decide we are heading to IHop for breakfast, going for a drive or just want to spend time together, I don’t want to ask anyone if it’s ok for me to use the car I paid to rent.  Or if we decide to sleep late I don’t want someone knocking on our door saying they want the car and then we are without one all day. I certainly don’t want to have to stand in a parking lot and “compromise” on where we are going, how long we are staying or when we are coming home. The solution; rent your own accommodations and your own car. We will meet up with you at some point.

2.       I am not babysitting for you. I learned this one the hard way when a couple we were travelling with asked me if I could take their daughter to the pool with my kids while they were getting ready. Two hours later, they still had not shown up and the kid did not want to swim in the pool that my kids were in and kept running to a bigger pool. So I spent the morning chasing this kid leaving my kids unattended at the other pool. When I finally came to my senses and dragged the kid back to her room, the parents were still in bed because “They were not feeling well.”  It was the third time they pulled this one on me. So I put this rule in effect. I tell people up front, it is great that our kids can hang out together, but I am not babysitting, not for an hour, a minute or a second. I came on this trip to spend time with my kids not yours and I am not being responsible for someone else’s kids.

3.       I am not lending you money. When any family is traveling budgets are tight. Food and eating out take up a big part of your budget and we have to watch every dime. So every $20 I lend you I have to take away from my vacation and I am simply not doing it. Now if you get mugged or you lose your wallet then I will help you out but don’t look at me in a restaurant and say “You get this bill and I’ll get the next one.” Because that never works out. Pay for your own meals and I’ll pay for mine.

4.       Your agenda is not my agenda. If we want to go see a show or a concert and you don’t, do not expect us to cancel our plans. Why, would you? If we want to go to an amusement park five days in a row, don’t look at me and say “I am sick of the parks we are doing something else.” Go do it and we can meet up for drink later. Don’t pick out a list of shows, restaurants and malls you want to go to and expect me to stick to your schedule and don’t criticize me if I want to go shopping several days in a row. Do your own thing and meet up later.

5.       I am not dumbing down my vacation for you. We once traveled with a couple who kept saying “We can’t afford that restaurant, why can’t we go to McDonalds, and we don’t want to spend that much on  a hotel, let’s get one a few miles away from the beach, it’s cheaper.” No way, no how! I can eat McDonalds at home and I came for the beach.

I don’t mind saving a few bucks and I don’t even mind going to McDonalds when we are on the run, but I am not eating there every night to save money. I am also not staying in some flea bag $35 a night motel to save money. When I am traveling, especially with the kids, I want a hotel that’s close to everything and has security. A $35 a night does not offer security or clean beds.

I know what you’re thinking “She’s brilliant or she’s a bitch.” Maybe, but I am a brilliant bitch that’s going to have a great vacation! The bottom line is you don’t save your money all year round to take a vacation then let someone else hijack it. It’s ok to speak up and say thanks but no thanks.

Having said that we have had some amazing vacations with friends. Once you respect each other’s boundaries, it is really fun to have them around. The secret is sit down with those friends beforehand and say “These are the things we are going to do on this vacation if you want to come great, but if you’re not interested that’s great too.” Plan to meet for breakfast before you start out, meet for supper at the end of the day or meet for a drink when you all get back.” Chances are if they are close friends they will want to see most of the shows and events you want to see.

Don’t get miffed if your friends don’t want to go to every show and restaurant you want to. They may have dietary restrictions. For example, my son has a life threatening allergy to all nuts so we are not eating in a Chinese restaurant where they may or may not use peanut oil.

Like I said, you save your money all year round and use your precious vacation days to spend time with your family, not to be at someone else’s beckon call. Don’t feel bad about saying “Thanks but no thanks. We’ll meet up with you later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

That social media over reaction

This week I became Alice in Twitterland. I got sucked down the social media rabbit hole and ended
up in the nonsensical world of Twitter-rants.

I am not proud of it.

I try hard to keep my social media feeds full of funny thoughts and memes. I pry my hands from the keyboard when things become too political because I know you can’t solve or help the world’s problems in 140 characters. But this week I chased that White Rabbit down the hole and gulped from the bottle labeled “Drink Me” until I became as small as the rest.

I told a Monk off. I told you I am not proud of my behaviour.

I made the mistake of thinking Twitter was like Facebook. Then I realized to late that it wasn’t. Twitter is the Wild West with outlaws and gunslingers and makes Facebook look like Downton Abby.

My crime? I Tweeted “For those who convict Police officers without seeing or hearing facts from the investigation, Lord we pray @UnvirtuousAbbey”

It began an avalanche of hate Tweeted back at me. I had no idea what I did wrong. I really didn’t get it. I also posted it to Facebook and received nothing but love.

Apparently you can support cops on Facebook but not on Twitter.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a mean spirited person. I don’t take joy in anyone’s pain. I am active in my church, all about family and spend a lot of time helping charities. I try to be a nice person.

I am also the wife of a retired Police officer and I am a retired Civilian Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During my career 14 of our members were murdered across this country. I lost track of how many died due to accidents or other means. Three people I worked with committed suicide.

I know what it is like to get out of your car in the morning and look up to see the flag at half-mast then wonder “What happened overnight? Who’s dead? Do I know them? Was it here?” I know what it’s like to sit through the funerals and memorial services and hear the muffled crying of those around you. I know what it’s like to see a tear roll down the face of a man you though was bullet proof and feel the chill going up my spine when you know everyone in the room is thinking “There but for the grace of God go I.”

I know what it’s like to get a call from the Communication Centre at 2:00 AM telling me my husband is in the Emergency Unit again. I know what it’s like to watch your husband leave for work then have your heart jump out of your body every time the phone rings or someone knocks on the door because you know you have to be ready for the worst at all times. I know what it’s like to tell kids “You can open the big gifts as soon as Daddy gets home” or “I am sorry I missed your concert I just couldn’t leave work.”

I get passionate when it comes to standing up for Police.

I made a simple statement that those in policing would understand… wait until the investigation is complete and then decide who is right and wrong. I was called “racist”, accused of “praising murders” and interfering with the grieving process.

I did not know any of these people but they felt entitled to spew their hate and anger towards me. I felt like deleting my Twitter account and felt deflated and attacked for days. It really affected me.

These people felt they had a right to say whatever they wanted on Twitter but I didn’t. I think it is indicative of the world we live in. Where people feel they have a right to walk up to a Police officer trying to do his/ her job, hurl insults at them and then record it on their phone so they can post it to social media to gain sympathy.

What if I went to their work place and hurled insults at them and recorded it and posted it to my social media accounts. That would be called harassment, wouldn’t it?

The Police are held to a higher standard. I know. But maybe the public should be held to a higher standard too.

When it comes to issues and problems, there’s a right way and a wrong way to solve and deal with them. Then there is that social media over reaction where ever armchair critic in the world can hide behind their keyboards and belittle celebrities for being overweight, athletes who drop a ball, parents who look away for a second and cops who are trying to do their job.

We all take a slug of that “Drink me” potion every now and again, making us too small.

Mahatma Gandhi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

I am not deleting my Twitter account. I am also not going to get caught up in the social media over reaction anymore. It is a nonsensical world and not a world I want to be part of.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We’re going to Vegas Baby!

Vegas.com is looking for new style inspiration and invited me to participate in their search for the #UltimateVegasOutfit. If you have Vegas style I would love to see it. So feel free to use this hashtag, too! Let's see if you're a Vegas showgirl!

What do a gal pack for a week of fun, food, drinks, world-class entertainment and pure decadence? I picked out a couple of outfits to wear when I am spending the day in Las Vegas! Well as it turns out I just booked a trip to Las Vegas for October to see Jimmy Buffet at the MGM Grand. So I am already thinking about a week’s worth of outfits! Check out some of the great Las Vegas deals if you’re planning your Las Vegas getaway because I would definitely suggest going to a show.”

So take a seat ladies the show is about to begin….
The Roller Coaster at NY NY is on my list! I am an adrenaline junkie so I will be riding this baby with heights of 203 feet and drops of 144 feet. At speeds of up to 67 miles per hour I will need an outfit that defies gravity which is why I will be wearing these comfy and practical white painter-pants. My cell phone stays in the pocket even when I am upside down.

Next stop the Stratosphere Observation Deck. It is the tallest observation tower in the United States and has an amazing panoramic view over Las Vegas and the valley.

At 1,149 feet it’s the tallest building in Vegas and west of the Mississippi River.

The double-decker elevators travel at speeds of 1,800 feet per minute (that’s three floors a second!) and pop your ears along the way!

 I want to be at the top when the sun goes down and the lights on the world famous Strip come up. I also want to stand out so I will be wearing this bright yellow leather jacket over my black Michael Kors sundress just in case it gets chilly.

No trip to Vegas is complete without seeing the Fountains of
Bellagio. It is  a spectacular show of water, music and light designed to mesmerize its admirers.

It is called the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived and it’s absolutely free for any visitor to enjoy.

It never gets old. I have seen this display several times and I am still in love with this show. You will want to take a seat with someone you love and watch together. I always get this feeling that someone is going to get down on one knee and propose as soon as the fountains start. It's the number one place in the world to ask someone to be with you forever.
The Bellagio is bling! This plaid Michael Kors dress is great for Christmas, New Years or a night at the Bellagio. It shimmers in the light and gets lots of compliments. As a matter of fact, if I don't bring this dress with me to Vegas, it just may book its own vacation!

Our main reason for visiting Vegas is to see Jimmy Buffett live at the MGM Grand on October 15th.

Where ever Jimmy plays it is a tropical paradise.

His fans are loyal and they bring casual to a whole new level.

When Jimmy hits the stage with his Coral Reefer Band they bring the beach and Margaritaville with them.
I will be wearing a grass skirt and coconut bra to the concert but I won't be posting pictures of that! As soon as Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers start to play, in my mind, I will be on a beach, soaking up the sun and drinking a nice cold Land Shark beer, wearing a bikini and my favourite red hat.

We are staying at the MGM Grand so having supper at Tom Colicchio Craftsteak is a must!
Top Chef personality and James Beard Award-winning chef Tom Colicchio uses only the finest ingredients to create dishes bursting with flavor.
I know hubby will order the 18 ounce Ribeye and I'll have the 18 ounce New York Strip medium well please.  
I love hats! So in Vegas I am wearing my black top hat of course! Where else could I wear it and fit in?
I am not much of a gambler I like to spend my money at a good outlet mall and Vegas is the Holy Grail of shopping. My favourite is the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. It's an outdoor center with 175 designer and brand name outlet stores. It is conveniently located minutes from the Strip and is serviced by taxis and the bus.
If you are going shopping at the outlet mall, dress comfortably because it is going to take you a whole day to see everything.
My go to outfit for shopping is jeans, a comfortable top, shoes that are easy to take off (to try on more of course) and my Michael Kors big bag to store the tiny shopping bags (like jewellery).
I better hope my airline carrier eases up on the luggage weight and size requirements for my suitcases because I got a feeling I may need a whole section for myself.
There's no vacation like Vegas. Its Disney Land for adults. It has to be on your bucket list. Check out Vegas.com and plan yours!
See you in Vegas Baby!