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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bringing sexy back with lingerie

I love my comfy nightdress. It’s made from soft T-shirt material and has a round neck, so when I am eating chips in bed the crumbs never fall between my cleavage but bounce on the material and fall to the floor. That’s important in a night dress.

One night hubby made fun of my comfy nightdress. I was a little put out. He called it “A nightdress”, “unsexy” and “old.” I inform him, “This is sexy lingerie.”
“A far cry from lingerie” he says.

I was insulted. I thought men liked it when women wore T-shirts to bed. Then I had to think... when did I buy this nightdress? It was about five years ago at a sale at the Gap in an outlet mall. Ok, maybe he was right. My favourite old nighty had to go.
The next day I went to Walmart and bought five new nightdresses. All very sexy lingerie or so I thought. I was pleased with myself and my selection. That night I wore the first one, a little coral number with lace around the bottom. I walked into the bedroom, hand on my hip and said “I bought lingerie. What do you think of this one?”

“That’s not lingerie,” he informs me. “That’s a nightdress.”
“No, it’s not. It’s lingerie. Look at the lace on the boobs and its coral! Coral is sexy!”  

“It’s nice but it’s not lingerie and coral is not sexy.”
“I bought five of these at Walmart today! All in different colours. Maybe the sky blue one is better.”

“There’s the problem. Lingerie doesn’t come from Walmart” he tells me.
Well I was disgusted. When did coral stop being sexy? What about the lace covering my boobs? My God have I forgotten what sexy is? So right there and then I decided to make it my mission to bring sexy back.  

The next day I went to La Senza. I took my time and checked out every rack. A young sales girl asked me if I needed any help. “Yes” I said, “I am on a mission to bring sexy back.”
She looked at me with this weird “You’re as old as my Mother” look and said “Anything in particular?”

“Yes. Lingerie.”
“Oh” she says,” obviously thinking I was some kind of cougar on the prowl “This way.” She leads me to the back of the store where there are two racks of see-through, lacy, sparkly things on display. She pushes the hangers to one side and slides out a little silver, metallic number. “How about this one? This would look good on you” she lied.

It was a shiny chainmail bikini. The type of chainmail that knights in armour wear. Except no knight wore a chainmail bikini like this. Unless he was with the Knights Village People. The bra part was made with two metal triangles and thin cubic zirconia straps that clasped in the back. The bottom was another metal triangle with a cubic zirconia G-string. I had to stare at it for a long time before my brain was able to even register what it was.
“Would you like to try it on?” she asks. My first thought was how many women have tried it on already? I don’t see a protective panty liner on that cubic zirconia G-string. Now I had wished I had kept a tin of Lysol Spray in my purse like my Mother did. I took it from her waiting hand and it was surprisingly heavy. I trotted off into the change room.

I tried it on and stood back from the mirror. My first thought was “Sure I would freeze in this during the night. What if the window gets left open and the metal got cold? Hubby’s tongue would get stuck to it. We’d have to call the fire department to rescue him.” And where would the chip crumbs go? I’d be kicked out of bed for eating chips!
Then I pictured my teenage daughter waking in the middle of the night calling out “Mom, Mom, I am sick!”

I would run to her room, grab the garbage bucket and put it up to her face to catch the vomit before it hit the mattress. Then she would look up and see the metal bikini and think she was hallucinating only to realize that she wasn’t in the middle of some sick nightmare but her Mother really was standing in her room wearing a metal bikini made of triangles with cubic zirconias keeping it all together. The counselling would cost me thousands.
Then the weirdest thought came into my head.   What if one of those cubic zirconias came loose and worked its way up through me? I could end up in the doctor’s office with my feet in stirrups and just before she does the pelvic exam I would have to confess “You may find a cubic zirconia in there... Just saying.”

It started to itch and I had to take it off. Sure I couldn’t sleep in that. It’s too itchy. I put it back on the hanger and passed it back to the saleslady. “How was it?” she asked with a smile. “Not for me I tell her” waiting to see if she was going to spray the G-string part with sanitizer or Febreeze or something else. She didn’t. “I think I’ll keep looking.”
I went down to Sears and found beautiful lingerie. It was made from soft T-shirt material, cozy and warm. It had “Sexy” written on the front of it. I figure if you can’t trust Sears sure who can you trust.

I bought my new “Sexy” lingerie and wore it that night. I pointed to my boobs “It says sexy” I tell hubby. “Kind of inappropriate don’t you think?” he asks.
“What?” What am I missing here I ask myself.

“Going around the house with “sexy” wrote on your boobs! We have teenagers ya know?”
“But I thought you wanted sexy lingerie?” I am totally bewildered.

“I never said I wanted sexy lingerie. You told me your old nightdress was lingerie and I said it wasn’t. I wasn’t complaining. You finished that conversation in your head without me like you always do.”
I was trying to think back. Was it me or him? I can’t remember.

Anyway, tomorrow I am bringing sexy back... right back to Sears and getting myself a proper nightdress. Do you need a receipt to bring sexy back? Cause I don’t think I kept it. I may just have to donate “Sexy” to the Value Village.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Discovering Cuba: Put it on your bucket list before it’s too late

It has been on my bucket list for a long time to visit Havana, Cuba. I’ve watched every travel and cooking show about this beautiful Island in the Caribbean and I finally fulfilled my dream in December. It was everything I dreamt it would be. We booked a WestJet Vacation and stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero:  http://www.iberostar.com/en/hotels/varadero/iberostar-laguna-azul
This five-star resort was beautiful and the weather was perfect.  When going to Cuba, you have to remember it is not like other Caribbean Islands. There is very little trade with the outside world. So you will notice a difference in food if you have vacationed at other all-inclusive Resorts.

The first thing anyone says when they come back from Cuba is “The food sucked!” And it does. There are no brand names on anything. So don’t expect Heinz 57 Ketchup, Cheerio’s or Diet Pepsi. You won’t find it. Anyone who has been to Cuba will tell you, “Bring Ketchup, chocolate bars, cereal and toilet paper!” Yes, toilet paper. The first thing you notice at meal time is the meat is a mystery but the pizzas are good.
You may think it is a little crazy to have to bring groceries to an all-inclusive, 5-Star resort but if you don’t, you will miss it. I am glad we did or it would have been a miserable nine days. You will need the toilet paper if you leave the resort to go on excursions. Everywhere you go, there will be a lady outside a bathroom asking for a Peso. That will get you about 5 squares of one-ply toilet paper. So bring a few Pesos! Even if you have your own toilet paper, you still pay to pee!
Remember, Health Canada hasn’t set the rules in Cuba. So after you pee you may or may not have water to wash your hands (that includes employees in restaurants). So bring hand sanitizer and Imodium to take if a stomach bug hits you.

Excursions are not that expensive. An overnight to Havana from Varadero is $175 a person. That includes two full days of walking through Havana, an amazing show at the Tropicana and a night’s stay at the National Hotel of Cuba. It’s well worth the money.
Havana is simply the most beautiful city in the world. The architecture is stunning. You can literally walk around staring at the buildings. There is a lot of reconstructive work happening in Havana, but not enough and not quick enough. These beautiful structures are crumbling from age and derelict. If you peek inside the doorway of any building you will see beautiful Italian marble on the floors and staircases, masterfully carved wood, iron railings and colours you can only see in Cuba. This whole city is a museum.

A trip to Havana is not complete without a visit to The Floridita, the bar Ernest Hemmingway hung out at. Cubans refer to him as “Papa.” A huge brass statue of Papa sits at the bar waiting to see you and discuss the politics of war. Then you can wander the cobble stone streets over to Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Papa lived for years and wrote many a story. His room is kept the way it was when he lived there with some of his personal items on display.  I am huge Hemmingway fan and seeing where he lived and worked was worth the trip to Cuba for me.
The National Hotel of Cuba is a treat. It’s like walking onto the set of a 1959 movie. You expect to see Humphrey Bogart smoking a Cuban Cigar in the main lounge while Bette Davis sashes across the marble floor in her silk gown dragging her feather boa behind her. A Door man is waiting to direct you to the check-in area and a bell boy is waiting to carry your bags. The elevators are the old kind with the collapsing doors that you have to push open and the floor indicators are located above the elevator doors. They are the old fashioned ones with the arrow pointing to numbers. My daughter says “Mom, we are in the Tower of Terror!” The rooms are beautiful but old. There’s a weigh scale in the bathroom. I haven’t seen that in years. The plumbing is old and you have to run it for a few minutes before you shower to let the rust run through. It’s all part of the experience. We wander around the main floor to admire the collection of Grandfather clocks on display in the front lobby. Each an antique made from the finest workmanship. The building is grand. You want to wear three inch heels, a pencil skirt and a big swagger hat with a brim that covers most of your face, only showing the deep red of your Chanel lipstick, just in case you run into Frank Sinatra in the lounge.

Your excursion to Havana includes a show at the world-famous Tropicana. You have never seen a show like this in Vegas. Just a pale imitation. Cuban dancers bring it to a whole new level. The costumes are simply breathtaking. At one point the ladies walked out with full lit, crystal chandeliers on their heads then danced in Cuban rhythm not missing a beat. Your visit to this show includes free Cuban Cigars and a bottle of Cuban Rum. You can drink it there or take it home as souvenir.
When it comes to all-inclusives, they are not my favourite thing to do. I am more of a cruise person. I can lay on a beach for an hour or two but that is the extent of it. I want to get up and explore. Cuba is a great place to do that. We went to the Bellamar Caves http://www.cubano1.com/the-bellamar-caves-in-matanzas-cuba-2/  The caves have been declared a national monument and are a very interesting excursion trip for the family. There is a lot of walking so be prepared. One of the highlights of the caves is to dunk your hands in The Fountains of Youth and Love. I haven’t seen a difference in myself yet.

You can’t leave Cuba without a piece of art. There’s nothing else to buy. It’s available on every corner. The art is beautiful, true works of masters. The paintings show Cuba’s past, the religious and political influence. They combine the old cars, dilapidated buildings, school children in uniforms, the flag. They scream “This is who we are.” You don’t see any outside influence, any view beyond the Cuban horizon, just the isolation of being a Cuban artist. Paintings can cost anywhere from a few Pesos to a hundred Pesos. I bought a beautiful piece for $50 Canadian and second for $25. My husband bought a hand-carved Teak wood saxophone for just $35.
The Cuban people are very nice to deal with. There is no crime against tourists. They would not risk it. Unlike other Caribbean Islands, the Cuban’s are very educated. School is mandatory up to grade nine and after that it is free to the Degree level. So there are no, or few illiterate Cubans. After attaining their Degree, Cubans have to work for the government for two years, or they take the Degree back. After that, they can work where they want. Our Taxi driver told us Cuba’s biggest export is intelligence. They send doctors all over the world! A doctor in Cuba makes about $1,200 a month; a police officer makes $800. Those are the highest official paying professions. Working at the resorts is a prime job, because of the tips on top of their salaries. So the lady cleaning your room may have a PhD in nursing or your bartender maybe a lawyer or doctor. All the resort staff speak up to five languages. They love to talk about their country and learn about yours.

Now that the United States are beginning to lift trade sanctions with Cuba, you will slowly see it change. But in speaking to Cubans during my trip they are not fussy about the American’s coming back. What Cuba does not have is organized crime, drug problems among the youth or the crime stats of an American State and they don’t want them. I did hear a lot of talk about the Arabs who built Dubai rebuilding Cuba and turning it in to the Monte Carlo of the Caribbean. If that happens, in ten years, only the very rich and famous will be able to afford to go to Cuba. So if it is on your bucket list, I suggest you go now, and bring toilet paper, Diet Pepsi, Cheerios and for God sakes, don’t forget the Heinz 57 Ketchup!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hubby asked “Why do you let Christmas stress you out?” So I killed him


Hubby is sitting in his comfortable chair, playing solitaire on his iPad and watching the Sports Channel out of the corner of his eye.

I’ve just put together the “Up-side-down tree”... my fifth tree. I spent the afternoon wrapping gifts to give to extended family and friends. After two months of shopping, I have finally found the perfect gift for everyone. I don’t believe in gift cards, it’s too easy.

Sweat is dripping off my brow, turning my hair into a mass of unruly curls. I am wearing yoga pants and I haven’t been to yoga in weeks.

As hubby rocks back and forth in his chair, my mind is racing like a derailed train...Did I forget anyone? I still have to go to the liquor store. I don’t have any scotch tape. Did I put the towels in the dryer? Will we have roast or chicken for supper tomorrow night? Is homework done? Should I buy a turkey this week or wait till mid December because Sobey’s were out of stock a week before Christmas last year?

I can’t breathe. I feel like someone is pushing my head under water  and I am going down for the last time. I feel a pain in my chest and the sweat is stinging my eyes. Hubby is quietly playing solitary “Can you get me a bottle of water?” he asks.

Imagine the scene in the movie Carrie where they pour the bucket of blood over her head igniting the devil in her to come forth and wreak havoc on the town. That’s what I looked like. He looks up at me “I’ll get it myself” he says.  

He asks “Why do you do this to yourself? Every year you stress yourself out over Christmas.” 
In my head I am holding my brass Nutcracker which both hands swinging it like a baseball bat, bludgeoning him to death, while I am laughing, and laughing and laughing. I know I have to be convicted by a jury of my peers, which will be twelve women drove to the brink of madness by Christmas stress. Prison time doesn’t scare me, I am raising teenagers.

Men just don’t feel the stress of Christmas like women do.

Men buy for one person, their significant other.

Women have to buy gifts for in-laws, the out-laws, the music teacher, the dance instructor, the mailman, nephews, nieces, sisters, brothers, not to mention their own children and husbands!

They  take the same budget that pays the mortgage, the utility bills, and the groceries, then stretches it even farther to accommodate the two months of Christmas.

What is it about Christmas that makes women crazy? Why does this holiday make us want to turn our houses into showplaces that would rival the City of Paris at night? Set out tables that Martha Stewart would stand up and applaud?  Bake cakes and cookies when we don’t bake them at any other time during the year? Why?

Red cherries, green cherries, do they taste the same? They do to me, but apparently there are women who can taste the difference. God forbid you make a cherry cake with green cherries because Sobey’s is sold out of the red ones. NO ONE WILL EAT IT!!! I hate those women.

I notice hubby is no longer rocking. He is staring at me with his mouth open like a deer in the headlights. He doesn’t know if I am going to pounce or wait till he is asleep and strike then.

I’ve noticed I have not inhaled in about five minutes. I’ve just been staring at him with my eyes as big as saucers, standing in front of my up-side-down tree holding glittery balls. A bead of sweat falls from the tip of my nose. I finally suck air into my lungs, it sounds like I’ve come up for my last breath.

“Did you put the towels in the dryer?” I ask him. “Doing it now” he answers as he  jumps to his feet. He carefully keeps his back to the wall and a safe three foot radius between us as he walks toward the basement.

I look back at the up-side-down tree and see my reflection in the big silver bulb.  Carrie on prom night. Funny how I can combine Halloween and Christmas so easily. Martha Stewart would be so proud. I continue to trim my tree laughing on the inside because I know hubby will sleep with one eye open while I dream of sugar plums dancing in my head.

Ah, sugar plums. Is that a thing? How do you make sugar plums? I must remember to Google that. They might make a nice centerpiece. Is the cat in? Is the door locked? Is the stove off? Is Christmas over?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tweeting in the 80s


Me at Club Max in the 80's during my Tina Turner phase
Thank God we didn’t have social media when we were teenagers!

We are the last generation that can lie to our kids about our teenage years. Why? Because we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter.

We didn’t keep a daily running log of how much we hated school, who we had a crush on, who we didn’t like, where we went or what we did.

We didn’t take selfies ten times a day showing off our duck lips or take pictures of our lunch to show everyone how great our peanut butter sandwich looked in the wax paper.

No, we didn’t drink when we were teenagers! We never spoke back to teachers; we treated them with the utmost respect. I never smoked a cigarette in my life. I was home every night by 7 o’clock except on Fridays and Saturdays when I was allowed to stay out till 9.

What! You don’t believe your own Mother!!! Prove it. Show me the evidence… that’s right. There isn’t any because my generation never had to deal with social media or the internet!

Google meant going to the library. Inviting people to you birthday party meant knocking on their front door and handing them an invitation that you wrote by hand. Expanding your knowledge meant reading a book.

Thank God too! Can you image if Facebook and Twitter existed when we were teens?

Still, I can’t help but think… what if social media DID exist back in the 80s… what would a week of my Tweets and Facebook updates look like?

Let’s see…..

Monday morning:
 “Attention Holy Heart gals, Sister Furey & the Penguins are on patrol – hide your smokes in your leg warmers.”

Monday night:
“Dance at HH Gym Friday night with the Brother Rice boys. Hide your flask in the lining of your purse. Mr. Byrd will never look there.”

Tuesday morning:
“2 for 1 at Club Max this Friday night.  Can’t wait to disco! Got the biggest shoulder pads you’ve ever seen from Dalmys in Atlantic Place. Looks like I fell off the set of Dynasty. Will post a selfie later”

Tuesday lunch time:
“Sister Furey forgot to pluck her chin hairs today. L
ike, grody to the max!

Wednesday morning:
“Are you supposed to mix Lemon Gin with anything? Been throwing up yellow gall since Saturday night.  So grossed out“
Yes, I really did get to meet Bon Jovi in the 80's.

Wednesday after school “Crazy Bart just asked me out! Like, I am sure! Like did you see his mullet? Gag me with a spoon.”

Thursday morning:
Picked up the latest Tiger Beat last night. Jon Bon Jovi is on the cover he has a bodacious bod. No one is asking him “Where’s the beef?”
Thursday evening:
“Loves Princess Diane’s black ribbon tie on her frilly blouse. Can’t wait to copy that Friday night for the dance. I am going to be so Bitchin’. Still don’t know what she sees in Big Ears.”

Friday morning:
“Rice’s is selling smokes 3 for 25 cents. Anyone want to go in on a butt & a half with me?”

Friday lunch time:
“Dying for a DeMaurier extra light and Pepsi. Can’t wait for school to end.”

Saturday night:
“In the lineup at Club Max. Air head in front of me is wearing a skirt to her knees. Like barf me out. Who does she think she is, Olivia Neutron Bomb?”

5 minutes later:
“Mall chick standing behind us in the line is freakin’ because our cigarette smoke is blowing in her face. Like don’t have a cow lame ass. It’s a free world!”

5 minutes after that:
“Dipstick on the door is checking for IDs. Brenda is shitting bricks. I told her take a chill pill. We’re totally rad.”

20 minutes later:
“Finally in. Fixed our faces and we’re already on the disc floor. Can’t wait to show off my Moon Walk.”

20 Minutes later:
“Some dudes are doing the Worm in the middle of the dance floor. This place is totally off the grid!”
Last Tweet:
“Word up! We’re totally baffed. On the way home.”

Ya. I am so glad Facebook and Twitter was not invented in the 80’s. My children will never know how cool I really was. Word to ya Mother.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The best way to lose weight… the "Dog Diet"

The best way to lose weight is… dog! No, you don’t EAT it, you WALK it (that’s WALK not WOK). It’s called the “Dog Diet.”

Over the years, I have tried every diet known to woman. From Weight Watchers to the cabbage soup diet. They all work for a week then I just gain it all back once the diet is over.
There are so many crazy diets on the market if you Google weight loss. For example the “Cotton Ball” diet. Yes you eat cotton balls to fill you up. It’s a real thing but no thanks, I have enough stuffing that’s why I am Googling weight loss. Or how about the 30 day cleanse where you don’t digest anything for 30 days except juice and water. A better name would be Anorexia 101: an introduction to eating disorders.
I just want to fit comfortable in my size 10 jeans, I don’t want a role on the Hunger Games. I like food. Food is my friend. So don’t tell me to stay away from my friend.

When I open the door to my closet I start to hear Whitney Houston’s song “I am Every Woman” because I have been every woman over the years. My jeans start at a size 8 and go up to a 12 and I wear them all depending on the month, my mood, whether or not I am retaining water, pregnant, bitchy, menstruating, ovulating, going through the change, happy, sad, or somewhere in between.
Recently I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. It seemed like a good idea at the time. This buff 20 something year old and I sat down and went through my wish list: I want to be toned not muscular. I want to look good in a bathing suit not compete in a weight lifting competition. I want my stomach tight and my arms toned. I told him “When I am wearing a T-shirt and I wave at someone I don’t want the turkey skin under my arm waving twice as fast as my hand. You know what I mean?”  He stared at me blankly. I don't think he understood.

I made it through two of six sessions with him. During the second session he showed me how to do a Turkish sit up (you’ll have to Google it). You lay on the mat with a 10 pound weight in your left hand then you use your right hand to arch your body off the mat and put the 10 pound weight in the air over your head. I did give it shot. I got to three and sat down.
“I don’t like this.” I told him. He assures me this was the best way to get my core in shape. I reminded him about my back surgery and limitations and I could tell he was getting frustrated with me. So I finally said, “Look I have about 30 years on you. I have given birth twice and I have made peace with the fact that my hips are never going back to where they were 20 years ago. I am going through a change of life and could start to cry at any moment so don’t pressure me and I would much rather be going through McDonald’s drive thru right now than doing Turkish sit ups with you.”

He looked at me like he knew he was getting dumped.  So I felt obliged to say “It’s not you, it’s me. I have fear of commitment when it comes to gym memberships that’s why I only bought the month.” He started in on the “Don’t give up on me” speech but my mind was made up when I hit the mat on the third try. “It’s over. You’re too young for me. Isn’t there a personal trainer who is in their 50’s or 60’s that I could work with?” He assured me he would design a plan for just for me and age didn’t matter. Like what am I a gym cougar? I could feel the muscle in my neck going into spasm.
“Ya know what. This is just not working for me.” I cancelled my membership on the way out. Went to McDonalds and got a low-calorie Egg McMuffin and ate it in the car. Weight watchers says it’s only two points so I am good with that.
I have realized that the only six pack I am going to have is in my fridge.

I went home and threw my gym gear back in the closet. Minnie, my dog and BFF (Best Fury Friend) was whining to go out. I put on her leash, put my ear buds in and walked her around the block. It was a good 35 minute walk and the “MyFitnessPal” App on my iPhone says it gave me back 273 calories (it allows me to have 1200 a day). So the egg McMuffin was already gone. I walked her again later that night and lost another 273 calories. After a week of walking Minnie twice a day, I lost 3 pounds and didn’t change my eating at all. After three weeks I was down 7 pounds and that was the only thing I did different. (I also drink 3 bottles of water a day anyway). As it turns out, Minnie was the perfect personal trainer for me.
She is also a great listener. I could talk to her about anything. She never lets my secrets out or talks about me behind my back. She agrees with everything I say and follows me all over the house. She doesn’t judge me when we go through McDonalds drive thru and encourages me to have treats throughout the day.

It’s the “dog diet.” It’s the latest celebrity craze or at least that’s what I am telling everyone one. Who knew walking everyday could make you lose weight? Crazy right?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Six and a baby

We went to Mexico in early March with our whole family. I was so excited to go but not just for the hot, sunny days and clear, blue oceans. I was excited because our three kids, future daughter in-law and our seven month old grand-daughter were coming with us.

We were blessed with three great kids. They all get along, they are all funny and they love to hang out with one another. We went to an all inclusive resort in the Mayan Riviera called Occidental Grand and spent seven wonderful days playing in the sand, sitting by the pool, drinking spiced rum with pineapple juice (That one was mostly me)and even visited one of the seven wonders of the world, a Mayan temple called Chichen Itza.

Every day I would look out at our three kids and our two newest family members and say "Thank you God for this wonderful family."

Every night we would all go to supper together, each one a new culinary adventure, each one felt like Christmas dinner. We would walk in as a group to the buffet or al la carte restaurants. The maitre d' would come out in his crisp white uniform and ask "How many?" in his thick Mexican accent and we would all reply at once "Six and a baby."

For seven days, for breakfast, lunch and supper we would all say "Six and a baby." By the end of the week it became an inside joke.

During our seven day adventure we got to know our beautiful new grand-daughter Sophie. It was love at first sight. This beautiful little creature came at a time in my life when I needed her most. In February of 2013 my Mother passed away leaving a hole in my heart that I thought I could never fill. In July of 2013, Sophie was born. We finally got to meet her March 1st, 2014 at the start of our Mexican vacation. She looked at me and smiled a shy sweet smile and my heart was whole again.

She took to me right away. Constantly saying "Nana, Nana, Nana." Which the rest thought was just gibberish but I knew she knew who I was. Late  morning she would take her hour long nap and she got in the habit of falling asleep in my arms. I would lay on a chaise in the shade, put her on my chest and she would drift off, occasionally opening an eye to look up and make sure I was still there. It was the best part of my vacation.

One sunny afternoon while Sophie and I napped in the shade I woke to see hubby and our two boys playing water polo with strangers in the pool. They were laughing and shouting and splashing each other. Our daughter and future daughter-in-law were tanning in the sun a few chairs down. I looked out at the water and seen the most handsome man staring back at me, smiling. I felt a little uncomfortable at first and I couldn't help but smile back. His dark wet hair was dripping water down over his tanned face and I wondered why this man was watching me sleep with my grand-daughter. My eyes finally focused and I realized, it was my husband. For a second I fell in love with a man that I had already been in love with for 20 years.

Life is good. I closed my eyes and again said "Thank you Jesus. Thank you God for this wonderful family." And just when I thought life couldn't get much better the pool DJ announced it was "Elvis Hour" and "Hard Headed Women" blared across the resort. I knew it was God's way of saying "Right back at ya Kid. You did good."

Saying good-bye on the last day wasn't easy. Putting Sophie back in her Mom's arms, knowing the next time I see her she would be walking and talking, took the good out of Hubby and me. We cried all the way back to Newfoundland.

We arrived home Sunday night and like good Newfoundlanders our first stop was Ches's. Our daughter decided to stay home, so when the maitre d' asked how many, it broke our hearts to say "Two."

Every day we miss our "Six and a baby."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

We just don't don't support each other like men do.

Why are there more men's sports teams than women's sports teams? It's because men are better at playing on a team that women are.

We just don't support each other like men do.

I have always worked in a male-dominated business and I am not going to lie. I like it that way. Men are easier to work with.

Men never come to work and say “Look at what he’s wearing today. What a tramp.” They don’t attack each other on a personal level. When they do argue, they have words, then go about their day and forget it. Men don’t hold grudges like women do.

I am not speaking for all women. I am only speaking from "my" personal experience.

Women criticize other women more often and are more severe with their criticism than any man I’ve ever known. Let me give you some examples of criticisms that I have experienced over the years from other women:

A woman is over weight – She is lazy, she will always be looking for excuses to get out of work
A woman has gray hair – She is old and don’t care about herself
A woman with dyed hair – Thinks too much of herself
A woman wearing make -up – She’s advertising herself
A woman without make-up – Lesbian
A woman in sweatpants – She’s on welfare
A woman well-dressed – She slept her way to the top
A woman not well-dressed – Will never make it in this business
A woman who is pretty – Is stupid
A woman is plain – Is smart
A woman who is young – Don’t trust her around your husband
A woman who is old – Useless, just wants to gossip all day
A woman who is assertive & sure of herself – Bitch
A woman who is in charge – Bully, not very lady like
A single woman – Slut, can’t focus on her job
A married woman – Good candidate for the job, will be responsible
A woman who is a Mother – Will want too much time off to deal with her kids

Let’s look at the male version of this:

A man is over weight – Hard working man who loves to eat. What a partier. Look at Rob Ford.
A man has gray hair – He is so distinguished. A real George Clooney!
A man with dyed hair – You got to do what you got to do to stay young!
A man wearing make -up – It’s called being “Metro-sexual” It’s all the rage
A man without make-up – Manly
A man in sweatpants – Coming from the gym or doing work around the house
A man well-dressed – Every girl crazy about a sharp dressed man
A man not well-dressed – Down on his luck
A man who is handsome – Tall, dark and handsome what a bonus to have around
A man is plain – Works too hard to care about himself
A man who is young – Good prodigy! Let’s teach him the business
A man who is old – An incredible amount of knowledge, we’ll never replace him
A man who is assertive & sure of himself – Is in charge
A man who is in charge – Is expected to be assertive and sure of himself
A single man – Lots of time to focus job, maybe he’ll join our hockey team?
A married man – Good candidate for the job, he is so committed
A man who is a Father – Good man, his children are so well-behaved. He did a great job raising them.

I think we have evolved into a culture of people who feel it is their right to say what they think about everyone and everything. The old motto of “If you can’t say something nice don’t say nothing at all” just doesn’t apply anymore.

There’s a difference between making fun of a celebrity who continues to make themselves the butt of all jokes and a person who earns their seat at the management table, or a job of their choice or the Premier’s job.

A friend told me when she hears a person criticizing another person what they are really saying is “There is something about that person that I don’t like about myself.”

Think about it.

The next time you feel the need to criticize a woman because she “Has a Witch’s nose” or she is “A bad example because she is overweight” or “Thinks too much of herself” maybe you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself “What is it about that person that makes me hate myself?”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Power Outage Parties!

My kids won’t live through the apocalypse. They will die from hunger and cold… because I am a bad mother.
During the recent winter storms and power outages I have discovered that my children’s high-tech lifestyle has taken their survival skills away. I have only contributed to the problem because I am the one who keeps buying the electronics.
I am always “Power Outage Ready.” Believe it or not I have a fear of power outages. I have a plastic box in my basement full of candles, batteries, lighters and matches. I have a battery operated radio in my kitchen, an old-fashioned stove top kettle, propane stove and fireplace, and a stack of board games to keep the kids busy.
I am Survivor Woman!
During the outage I filled the kettle and put it on the stove. I asked my teenaged daughter to let me know when it was boiled. A few minutes later she called out to me and said “There’s lots of steam coming from it but I didn’t hear the click.”
The click? What’s “A click?”
The sound the kettle makes when it is boiled… the electric kettle. My daughter’s generation never had to boil water for tea on a stove. It got me to thinking; I need to educate this girl on the basics of life. I picked up a Bic lighter and said, “Light this stove with this lighter.” At first she protested until I said “What happens if you’re lost in the woods and need to start a fire to stay warm? You need to learn to survive.” She said she would use the GPS on her phone and get out, plus she would never get lost in the woods because she didn’t know where that was.
She tried and tried but couldn’t get the lighter to work. This generation is just not a “manual labour” type of generation.
Then I tried to teach her how to work a radio that runs on batteries. You wouldn’t know but I asked her to change the tire on the truck. It was a new world for her. “You have to unplug it from the wall then switch over to battery mode.” She had never seen this strange animal before. I know she longed for the continuous stream of info from Facebook to find out how her friends were all suffering from the outage. This listening to information from a battery operated radio and not being able to type “LOL” or “LMAO” after each comment the reporter made was killing her
Now at the same time, I couldn’t survive in her digital world. My phone died and I was willing to wait for the power to come back on to charge it. My daughter said “Mom, charge your phone in your car.” I never would have thought of that.
By day three she had enough “My hair is frizzy because I can’t use my straitening iron and all my clothes are dirty” she screams.
Still the Premier refused to call it a crisis!
I have been living in this province for 50 years. I know when winter comes there will be power outages. That’s guaranteed.
As a parent it’s my job to make sure my family is ready for one. We call them “Power Outage Parties.” We play Monopoly, go for drives and boil water on the stove.
I forgot how good tea tastes when the water has been boiled on the stove. We’ve had our power back for a week now and I am still using the “old-fashioned” kettle.
So calm down people. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a power outage. Have fun with it.