Category Archives: Scribblings

My motherly musings, raving rants, and humorous humdingers.

New Classroom Rules

This post was written last year by Little Miss Perfect (Abby – a teacher, writer, and grammarian). Her eternally relevant list of Classroom Rules should be posted in every middle school and high school…just so it’s clear…
Check out her latest post about Winnie the Pooh’s stint in rehab…hilarious!

Secrets to Staying Young

Secrets to Staying Young
I hope you are reading this because you are secure in yourself. When you look in the mirror, you don’t worry about the worry lines, you laugh at the laugh lines, and shrug at the cellulite; you blow a kiss at the crow’s feet and give a cheeky wink to the love handles . . . and you’re only curious about the kooky advice I might give so you can scorn it and continue on your happy way.

I wish I could be that confident all the time . . . happy not in the idea of what I could be, but joyful for who I am.

But the truth is we often mourn the years passed, and yearn to look like we did when we were twenty.

We will never regain the firm skin and flashing eyes of youth; but, would you want to if you also had to lose the years that made you who you are today?

Would you erase the flush of first love to be able to forget the lovers’ quarrels? Would you crumple up your wedding photos to be a blushing bride again? Would you dismiss the joy of holding your child for the first time so you could have a flat tummy? Would you trade in the times you cried with your girlfriends for fewer lines around your eyes?

Most of the time I am comfortable in my skin, and thankful for the experiences — good and bad — which made me who I am today. But I have to remind myself (more frequently than I like to admit) that I am beautiful the way I am, and it’s okay to love the body in the mirror with all its perfect imperfections.

My favourite people to spend time with are those who add to my laugh lines. I love being with people who will hug my womanly curves and kiss me when I’m not wearing a daub of makeup. I like people who are more concerned with how they are helping others instead of how they look.

I figured out long ago that it’s how you feel, not how you look, that is important. Even the most beautiful person in the world might not feel beautiful inside. But it takes work to feel young . . . perhaps more work than just looking young.

So, I am thankful for the youthful people in my life because I feel younger when I am with them: my crazy sister and loony kids, my wacky friends and relatives, and the children I once worked with who allowed me to see life through their eyes. Those little people were filled with energy and positivity; they moved bravely forward through each day, never looking back, and found joy in being in the now. They admired their faces in the mirror and loved themselves unabashedly.They learned something new every day and kept their minds active.

We can all learn to live more youthfully — each and every one of us.

So, as women and mothers, let’s celebrate all we have done, and all we have become. Let’s look forward to each moment with joy, without imagining life might be a tiny bit more perfect with a younger face and body. Let’s surround ourselves with laughter, love and life.

Those are my secrets to staying young . . . on the inside where it counts.

Top 20 Most Popular Text Terms (for parents of teens)

When my kids were younger, if I wanted to communicate with them, all I needed to do was slam and lock the bathroom door. They came running…no other encouragement was required.
As they flourished into sunlight hating, moody teens, the only way to reach them was through their cell phones (yes, even when we were in the same building) and I had to quickly learn how to PM and IM and Text. Apparently face to face conversation is ‘Gauche’, or did they say, ‘Gross’? — No matter.
Getting to the point in your message is key, as teens have an even shorter attention span than chimps in a banana boat. I am developing a sort of code which helps express my message and the emotion behind it so my teens know just how irate I am at any particular moment. In order to prevent yet another battle of wits between my teens and I via our service provider, I have agreed to post the text abbreviations below with the proviso that I also declare that the list was not inspired by actual events, and my children are perfectly behaved and rule abiding at all times. I must also state that I am sometimes unreasonable and should not expect them to run home at the drop of a hat when they are having fun, just because the pizza (which was frozen in the first place) is getting cold, for goodness sake!

Use these 20 Useful Abbreviations for on-the-go parents of teens (at your own risk). Feel free to add your own suggestions and comment below.

  1. HFS = Have Fun Sweetie
  2. RYM = Remember Your Manners
  3. SHTYF = Say Hi To Your Friends
  4. NNTBR = No Need To Be Rude
  5. DR = Dinner’s Ready
  6. FF2I = Feel Free to Ignore
  7. NAVT = Not Arguing Via Text
  8. NEI = Not Enough Information
  9. NYC = No You Can’t
  10. QYB = Quit Your Bellyaching
  11. OMDB = Over My Dead Body
  12. GYAH = Get Your Ass Home
  13. BBMC = Bring Back My Car
  14. XHH = XBox Held Hostage
  15. WTYGH = Wait Til You Get Home!
  16. YBTDOM = You’ll Be The Death Of Me!
  17. TISYR = That’s It, Searching Your Room!
  18. FYS = Found Your Stash
  19. SYSOC = Selling Your Shit On Craiglist
  20. SYSS = See You Soon Sweetie

Postscript: Please do not comment below with LMAO, as to me it is an insult. In Teen Text, this acronym means Leave Me Alone, Oppressor! 😉 

Why I HATE Root Beer!

So, you read my post about why I hate summer. Summer ain’t got nuthin’ on root beer — that pernicious saccharine bile from hell!

On a sweltering hot summer day in August, as the Abbotsford International Airshow drones overhead, and the lawn mowers sit silent — the owners huddled in the shade with a lemonade — there is nothing quite like an ice-cold shower of root beer.

Let me describe the steps necessary for this refreshing pastime.

  1. Reach into the refrigerator for a cold can of root beer.
  2. Fumble said can which somehow manages to hit three sharp corners before it hits the floor.
  3. Scream hysterically as a fine geyser of syrupy root beer hits you in the head, concentrating on your left ear canal before hitting the pristine white ceiling and EVERY EFFING SURFACE WITHIN A TEN FOOT VICINITY!
  4. Spend a few moments in shock, then try to assess the damage through your tears (or could be the root beer dripping from your hair).
  5. Notice how your yoga pants fit more snugly with a coating of pop. Notice how your hair has a little more curl after adding a spray of sugar. Notice how the brown spots on all your cabinets accent the brushed nickel hardware.
  6. Laugh maniacally when your kids come running, only to point and giggle, then refuse to help clean up. “Hey, Mom, it’s your mess!”

Now, PLEASE tell me someone else out there has spent an afternoon scrubbing their entire kitchen down after an exploded can incident. It can’t be just me and my sister. Hers was worse…an entire keg of homemade root beer…at Christmas…after setting the table…and just before the in-laws arrived. I think they donated the tree, and told the Salvation Army that the tree was a new invention — Shellacked tree with ornaments and lights.

After I spent a couple of hours cleaning up, I looked forward to a refreshing shower to wash off the stickiness. I hobbled to the bathroom (plantar fasciitis, remember?), and leaned over the tub to turn on the water, knocking a large can of shaving gel off the corner of the tub and onto my foot. Yes, I swore. Perhaps winter will be kinder to me. At least there would be none of this leg-shaving, sandal-wearing, pop-drinking nonsense to contend with.

TIP: If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, follow these tips and your heel will thank you:

  • Rest your sore foot on your knee and pull back on your big toe, stretching the tendons through the foot and relieving pressure on the heel
  • Place ice on the sore heel for 20 minutes
  • Wear socks and your best arch-support runners in the house at all times
  • Raise up the foot on a cushion when watching TV
  • Stretch your calf muscles at night and in the morning

Yeah, I know…this post rambles on about all sorts of disjointed crap…blame the heat…I HATE summer!

Why I HATE Summer

Wait, have I posted about this before? Possibly. ‘Cause I sometimes feel so strongly about how much I hate summer, that I just have to vent. Or, perhaps it’s that summer hates me — either way…this is why…

  • I burn, then it fades back to white
  • Ice cream hurts my tummy
  • I hate to sweat
  • My feet hurt
  • Planes are loud

After this month’s events unfolded, I have a renewed hatred of the blasted month of August.

I spent lots of time weeding, mowing and pruning my garden, only to burn so I couldn’t sit out and enjoy the results.

Then, I developed plantar faschitis. I had to Google my symptoms. The articles might as well have said, “You wore sandals, didn’t you? Then you walked for miles in the heat, ignoring those little twinges. Serves you right for ignoring your arches!” Now I hate Google — so self-righteous!

But, then, on the other hand, Google DID help me connect with a wonderful writer who shared her post on “How to choose running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis” — so…WIN!

Really, though, you DO need to treasure those tootsies. Take care of your feet, because they have to carry you through the rest of your life… even if it means putting up with miserably hot summers.

Next, the Abbotsford International Airshow flew into town. It has been loud planes practicing all week overhead, and this weekend the traffic is busy…and it’s HOT! I do enjoy watching the planes, but I have seen so many almost accidents with distracted drivers slowing to view the planes overhead. And they are LOUD! So, I hate the Abbotsford Airshow too…okay, I admit that’s probably because I’ve never actually attended a show.

This weekend is a stinker; so, I tried to cool off with a refreshing drink, and ended up scrubbing down my entire kitchen. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

So, yes, right now I’m hating summer, but the year ain’t over. Come winter, I will be sharing how much I hate slipping on the ice, burning my mouth on hot chocolate, and fighting crowds in the mall.

TIP: If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, I feel for you, but there MAY be relief in sight and an end to your suffering if you follow these tips — your heels will thank you:

  • Rest your sore foot on your knee and pull back on your big toe, stretching the tendons through the foot and relieving pressure on the heel
  • Place ice on the sore heel for 20 minutes
  • Wear socks and your best arch-support runners in the house at all times
  • Raise up the foot on a cushion when watching TV
  • Stretch your calf muscles at night and in the morning

UPDATE: after wearing supportive footwear (outside AND inside), doing my stretching exercises, and getting back to walking as soon as possible, I am practically cured. Heels get sore once in a while, but that’s because I wore high heels or walked barefoot too much.

Summer Photo Horrors…Wait…That’s Me!

Exposed By My Children for What I Really Look Like (excerpt from Bridgetteblog.com)

“Flipping through the pictures on my phone, I see it.blogpic
My first reaction is shock. Who took this hideous picture of me?

Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.

Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.

“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.

I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.

“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mom.”

“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.

“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”

I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.”
To read the rest of the post by bridgette tales Click Here: http://bit.ly/1qI7Kqt

I confess I HATE to be in pics, and avoid it at all costs!

It is true that we emerge blinking into the sunlight after a long winter hibernation with our pearly white thighs and our winter pudge, taking photos willy-nilly, expecting to look as tanned, slim and perfectly put together as the women and men on the covers of the magazines and in the ads on TV. Our delusions are shattered when we get home from the summer outings and view the ream of pics we shot over the course of the day. Red, sweaty faces; wrinkled shirts with pit stains; sunburned bodies which have no business being in a swimsuit; scars, stretch-marks, freckles, wrinkles, cellulite; frazzled hair scraped into a top knot and…and “Delete, delete, delete!”

After reading Bridgette’s post, I shall endeavor to look beyond the pasty, chubby momma and remember the glorious day in the sun with friends and family. “Save, save, save!” because I don’t want to miss a moment and I don’t want anyone to forget that I was a part of it also.

I shall try to remember that the way I view myself is not what I want my kids to remember about me. And I shall try to see myself through the eyes of others, who are way less judgmental. Get over yourself, Cate, and get out there and enjoy the summer!

IMG_20140728_143809IMG_20140728_114805IMG_20140728_111316IMG_0108

 

Sorry, no bathing suit photos of me…yet!

Bogged Down With Blogs!

image: jeremytreece.deviantart.com

The BLOGGING BLITZ I began earlier this month with such fervor has quickly fizzled. I find I can’t find the time to complete the quota. I kicked myself at first and flushed with embarrassment when I thought of the promises I’d made to myself and others, and then went and dropped the proverbial ball.

It was a time, however, to contemplate why I was blogging and what I wanted to blog about.

I spent some time reading other blogger’s posts, reading over my own, and re-evaluating where I actually want to go with my blogging.

Despite my inability to complete the blogging marathon, I did learn a few things:

  1. Use catchy headings/subheadings
  2. Use bullet lists and bolded words
  3. Keep it short and sweet
  4. Organize your posts
  5. Optimize key words
  6. Be honest

But the most important thing I learned is that if I don’t pick that ball up and start running again, then it was all for naught. My advice to my readers: Have fun with whatever you do, learn from others, forgive yourself for any fumbles, and be thankful for the experience.

And my truth is . . . I need to write about what I am feeling in the moment and not dwell on topics. If I want to share something, I write quickly and honestly and am not concerned about how it is received because it is for me as well as anyone who might read it. So, reader, thank you for reading, and I would love to hear from you too.

Why I Don’t Worry About the End of the World

What if the world ended tomorrow-

As promised, the title I teased you with in the Blogging Blitz Challenge. I don’t worry about the end of the world for the following reasons:

  1. I probably won’t be participating—the chances that the end of the world will occur within the next forty odd years are probably slim to none…but if it did all come to a wrenching end tomorrow, I wouldn’t worry because…

Continue reading Why I Don’t Worry About the End of the World

Canada, My Home

images (2)       shutterstock_1284665181-e1384353431251 I am proud to be a transplanted Brit and a Canadian citizen. I belong to both England and Canada and am lucky to have lived on both sides of the Atlantic. My experiences in each country helped form who I am today, and my memories of both fill me with happiness. England1 My memories of England are of bare-footed, innocent ramblings through ancient woods past waving fields of golden grain and post-war brick buildings separated by cobblestone streets. I remember sitting in front of a fire at granny’s house — my siblings and I still damp from the bath. The firescreen became a rowboat, tossing on treacherous waves. The clothes maiden, turned on its side and covered with a sheet, became a tent in the darkest depths of Africa. The narrow stairs to bed were mountain slopes, and each step a rocky crag that threatened to break if I didn’t make it to the next one. If I dared to peek at the window after lights out, I might catch a glimpse of the giant in the mustard shirt and blue denim jeans that hid behind the poplars on top of the hill. If he saw me peeking…off with my head! The long walk to school in my crisp white shirt and red tie with my imaginary pets, Mischief, the cat, and my little pony, Blackie, to keep me company. I would wait until the street seemed empty, then climb of Blackie’s back and gallop ’til the wind caught my hair and I had to keep checking to see if Mischief could keep up.

Short cut by a church of stone and graveyard full of dusty bones. Basket of shopping from green grocer and butcher as we walk along eating hot steaming pasties.Fish and chips and mushy peas, steak and kidney pies, Blackpool rock, and sweets for a penny. Chucky eggs and conny-onny, sweet tomatoes from Granny’s greenhouse.

My childish imagination helped create a special world that I will always treasure. Having never been back to England, my memories have remained intact, untainted by reality. I do remember some unsavoury aspects — only one bathroom with no shower for six people (unless you include the outhouse), bedroom windows glazed with ice, and hurrying to dress in the morning. The portable washing tub complete with mangle, and hanging the clothes outside to dry. Squeezing into a red phone box on the corner that smelled of urine and lead paint to make a phone call to people who were never home to answer.

We moved to Canada when I was twelve. My only exposure to Canada had been through a friend who wore a first nations style suede jacket with embroidery down the front. It seemed very exotic to my uncultured eyes and I remember staring at it enviously. When I found out we were moving to British Columbia, I imagined evergreen woods, log cabins and teepees and my mind was filled with magic. As I walked out of the airport I expected to see cowboys and Indians, horses and dirt roads. What greeted me was very different. Concrete roads that stretched from side to side, houses big and bright, beautiful mountains and clear skies, and everything so new and clean, clean, clean! People who looked just the same, but somehow bigger and more open, like the roads. I became so small and shy and quiet.

I did find one log cabin! Thank goodness we didn't have to live in it!
I did find one log cabin! Thank goodness we didn’t have to live in it!

I appreciated — and still do — a bathroom with a shower, and a dryer for clothes. I jumped when the phone in our home rang for the first time and admired the brand new television with more than two channels. I slowly forgot the comfort of the row houses and the coal-fed fire, and fell in love with the warmth of the people, the unique houses and the big, beautiful wide open spaces where I could stretch and let my imagination soar even more. It took a while for me to feel like I fit in — to grow into Canada. I learned to love this country after craving my homeland for so long. Now Canada is home, and I could not imagine living anywhere else. Canada means snow-capped lavender peaks, moisture sodden air and moss-covered everything. Gray ocean depths, mountain streams and icy puddles. A myriad of cultures, races and beliefs, all people free to speak and live and love. Canada, my friendly giant, welcoming the world. And everything so green, green, green.

Stanley Park, BC
Stanley Park, BC

Happy Canada Day!

Other great bloggers to follow: twoteensandtheirmama.com   http://www.ofeverymoment.com/

It’s ON, Baby! Blog Blitz Challenge!

Blogging Blitz

I attended social media seminars, watched tutorials on how to build websites (gave up on that torture for a while), perused posts of popular bloggers, and studied how to market myself (I am, after all, trying to sell a book and garner more writing/editing/social media clients). I have come to the conclusion that it is time to stop procrastinating with questions about how to blog and build a support system, and learn by doing. So, at the suggestion of many other bloggers, I set myself a challenge. But that wasn’t good enough for me. I also had to drag my sister into it as well. Misery loves company, and so do social experiments. Helen is also a work-from-home entrepreneur who finds little time for self-promotion and sharing stories and information on her website. The answer – bully her into it!

We challenged each other to a blog blitz for the month of July. You may join us if you wish! Here are the criteria:

  1. Starting July 1st (Canada Day) post 100-500 words about Canada Day. It can be a past memory, a funny story, or tips on how to BBQ the perfect wiener. Include picture and share on your social media channels.
  2. Note your followers and visits per day, and watch through the month. Notice when they peak and which posts are working best for you.
  3. Every other day in July, post 100-500 words on any subject you wish. You can share personal stories, but alternate with helpful tips about your specific business or hobby. Don’t forget to share on your social media!
  4. Directly after you publish each post, visit 2-5 other websites that relate to you or your business and comment, like, or share one of their posts. If they have a “Follow Me” button, make sure to click it if you find their content interesting or relevant.
  5. Make sure you respond to all comments and emails from followers. If someone liked your post, or followed you, make sure to visit their blog or website.
  6. Include invitations on each post. “Comment below”, “Share a link”, “Ask me a question”.
  7. If a reader does ask a question, try and answer question through another post.
  8. Use catchy titles. Some examples:
    • I was a Stripper Mom (Post was about me accidentally exposing myself after breastfeeding)
    • Before You Publish, Edit That Shit! (People get edgy when you swear at them, and might click just so they can reciprocate in kind)
    • Why I Don’t Worry About the End of the World (Fake Post – STOP clicking it! – but who wouldn’t want to know what you have to say?– Hey, I may have to actually do a post about this now!)
    • What Type of Omelette Are You? ( Helen and I spoke at length about how popular those info-gathering, time-swallowing, soul-sucking posts are, so why not jump on the bandwagon of insanity? Ooooh, another great post title!)

This posting challenge should only take an hour a day, and once you are more practiced, should take less time. This challenge is not about breaking your spirit and filling you with self-doubt and denial, causing you to collapse in a puddle of tears (but if this does happen, please post pics); it is about empowering each other to celebrate accomplishments and learn from mistakes.

If you are techy at all, try and make a short video or podcast, adding it to Youtube and sharing it on social media. If you share a video/audio post, BONUS POINTS to you! That means you can skip a post day and wallow in your brilliant success.

Please share your stories, advice, successes and failures (Helen and I love a good laugh, and it would sooo boost our self-esteem). And please visit Helen’s site too and see what she’s got going on: www.armyofevilrobots.com 

Now, do YOU accept this challenge?