First of all, a big happy birthday to my marvelous momma Brennie the Babe!
I apologize for the pixelated mess that is this picture but I feel like this picture appropriately captures my mother‘s spirit. Yes, we were born a mere day apart. I’m sure she wanted to make it a same day event but considering she had already been in labour with me for 16 hours, she probably couldn’t hold out another 11 hours. It’s OK mom, I forgive you. I won’t reveal her age because she doesn’t look it, so I will leave it up to you to guess. I love my Brennie very much and I hope she has a beautiful day being the beautiful creature that she is.
Not only is it her day of birth but this post would not be complete without talking about my mom because when I reflect on what I’m thankful for in my life, my mom and my family are a huge piece of the gratefulness pie. I haven’t blogged in a while and I didn’t have a lot of desire to do so until a couple of things happened. One, I have not been feeling so hot these days with my pregnancy. Physically I’m a disaster and still have 10 weeks to go. Two, for some reason I’ve found myself doing a lot of ‘Facebook comparison creeping’ lately. Both of these things have resulted in me being a little down. However, after having a fabulous birthday dinner with all of my friends and reading these amazing and kind words by my buddy Evanoff (which also depict my birthday festivities), I realized I really needed to snap out of it because I have nothing to be down about. Interestingly enough, while I thought about writing this post, the episode of Friends is on where Rachel turns 30. They do a flashback to all of the ridiculous things that the friends did while turning 30. I came to the conclusion that a) they look like they’re 40, not 30 and b) I’m much happier with the state of my life than any of theirs and they’re on TV! So, I must be doing something right.
I’m going to make a little list and if it bores you, please stop reading and start reflecting on all of the things you are thankful for 🙂
1) As mentioned above, my family is numero uno. My mom and dad are still a big part of my life and they are both healthy and young at heart. My mom has always been one of my best friends and she still is. I’m grateful that this relationship has remained stable throughout my life and it did not suffer the ups and downs that usually come with being a teenager. I can only hope the same will happen with me and my babe as time progresses. Speaking of babes, I’m also grateful for my sister. Even though we are six years apart, we get along famously. We have the exact same sense of humour and I think we bring out the best in each other:
I am proud of my tiny dancer and am really enjoying the changes that have happened with her over the last year or so. She surprises me everyday, particularly in regards to how good she was with that rifle.
Of course a list of my family would also not be complete without talking about my hubby and best straight, Marko. He really is my soul mate I think. I’m not sure that’s really a concept I believe in, but we’re about as close as you can get.
And dear Doge, he makes me happy. He’s kind, supportive, sweet, thoughtful, hardworking and generally an all around good person. He likes almost everything about me and tolerates the rest with a patience that has gone unmatched. Most importantly, he lets me be me and I actually think he enjoys all of the ridiculousness that comes with it and that my friends, is saying a lot. I am a difficult woman to love and he does a damn good job. Plus he’s kind of a hotdog, so that’s always an added bonus 🙂 I am so, so grateful he is the person that I am bringing a child into the world with because I can’t think of a better partner for what sounds like a biggest roller coaster of life.
2) My friends. For anyone who knows me, you know my friends are a huge part of my life. I am also very lucky because I have had the same group of friends since high school and in some cases, public school. We are hilarious to us. As Lindz mentioned in her blog, we’re not always hilarious to bouncers but for the most part, we are well received. Particularly as we get older. Although I’m thinking that the older we get we may have toned it down just a bit, resulting in a higher acceptance rate. But then when I look at recent pictures like this:
….and maybe not so much. Maybe we are just getting older and people feel sorry for us so they accept us in our geriatric state. I’ll take either.
Not only do I have fantastic friends who have been a part of my life forever, I also have some amazing new ones that have become a part of our ‘group’, as well as some new beauties from the college. On that note, I am very grateful that Durham College started hiring lots and lots of instructors born in the same decade as me 🙂 That’ll do Durham, that’ll do.
I really could go on and on about the topic of my friends but since they are an integral part of my blog, I’ll leave it to you to do some exploring 😉
3) My career. This section is going to be a little long because I’ve never explained how I got where I currently am but it has been a series of really, really fortunate coincidences on my part and I feel they need to be discussed in detail. Yes, I have gone after and taken every opportunity that has come my way but lots of people do this and they have not been as successful. I know how lucky I am. I applied for a job as a learning facilitator at Durham College while finishing my Masters degree in 2011. Instead of being a successful candidate for this position, they hired me to teach. I would be lying if I said my whole life I have wanted to teach. Really, I was out of options in university and so I applied to Teachers College during the double cohort year. Not a wise choice but somehow I got in somewhere. I only got into one out of three choices, but I got in! After this I was again lucky enough to learn of a full time job in Calgary and for two years I taught in the elementary system out West. There were no jobs here and yet I was hired over the phone in Calgary. Lucky, yes. This gave me the experience to get into grad school and the experience that Durham was looking for to hire me. After only one semester as partial load at Durham, I was eligible for an interview for a full-time Communications position. I interviewed being told not to get my hopes up as I had limited experience and at first I did not get the job. However, through yet another series of fortunate events for me, I became the first choice and received full-time within four months of being hired. I’ve been told this doesn’t happen. I don’t know why it happened to me and not one of the dozens of other qualified, hard-working individuals I work with at Durham everyday but I am so grateful that it did. I love my job and I love Durham College. My boss has been the most supportive administrator I could have ever hoped for, not only through my hiring but into my pregnancy. I also have AMAZING colleagues. As I mentioned above the ‘face of Durham’ is changing and I work with so many talented, young and dynamic instructors who teach me new things everyday. Loving the people you work with at all levels is key in job satisfaction and I’m not sure I would be able to top this elsewhere.
The icing on the dream job cake was when I happened into a sessional instructor position at the university. This occurred a year after I received full-time at Durham. I will not go into detail but landing this was even more coincidental than Durham and it is pretty much my dream job. I teach teachers, how to teach. Somehow they let me do this. It’s pretty mind-blowing for me. I have been doing this in conjunction with Durham for a year and honestly, if it stayed like this for the rest of my life, I would be happy. Sometimes I complain about marking (really this is the only downfall to the job) but I know how lucky I am. Sometimes writing it out though really fills you with a sense of gratitude. I think more people should do this and they might realize things are a little better than they perceive them to be. Our generation LOVES to complain about their jobs and I really think this attitude is only going to get worse. Flashback 100 years ago to these children in their coal minery best and I think we can probably put it into perspective:
I am going to stop my list here. There are other things I am grateful for but I read a quote the other day, “If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy” and this list pretty much sums it up; Fab family, amazing amigos and a satisfying career.
And just to round it out because this post has been far too serious, lately I’ve been thankful for:
Just look it up. Having a little Shiba ourselves, Mark and I are dying right now for this somewhat despised meme. It’s been around for a while but all of a sudden it’s exploded all over the internet.
Home Alone 1 and 2:
I love Christmas and I love hijinks. These movies bring together the best of both worlds. Somehow I can pretty much find one of these movies on TV everyday in the month of December. It makes my heart happy. Side note: Ignore Home Alone 3 and 4. They are terrible and I pretend they don’t exist.
This music video makes me want to die. It’s old, I know. But Mark and I didn’t even discover it until a year or so ago and it is my go-to whenever I need a pick me up. I’m sure we all have that picture, image, song, etc. that can take us out of any terrible mood, this my mine. I love The Lonely Island and Michael Bolton is a straight up joke bag, so much like the Christmas/hijinks combo of Home Alone, this video does not disappoint.
Anyway my dears, that’s all for today and probably for a couple of weeks. Although I do have my next blog floating around in my head which makes it much easier to write. Perhaps I will surprise everyone, including myself with another posting soon! Thanks for reading and a question to prompt your genius; What are you most thankful for?
I have to give my mom credit for the title of this post. When I found out I was going to Atlanta, Georgia for the Teaching Professor Technology Conference, I invited her along with me. For the next couple of weeks her email titles were very similar to the one on this post.
First up though, I wanted to show you this:
Pretty exciting! Not really sure what is going on here, I know it has something to do with Miss Evanoff’s postbut a lot of the views and visitors are random today. This little notification reminded me of playing the Sims and something like this would pop up:
Unexpected but always delightful.
Anyway, any traffic is good traffic, so keep it coming! Now let’s talk about some Atlanta adventures! I’m not going to tell you from start to finish because:
…but I will tell you some highlights.
When we first arrived in Atlanta we headed on over the Georgia Aquarium, which was the largest aquarium in the world when it opened. I am a poisson lover, with my very own tank of beauties, so this was very exciting for me. We immediately started off with the Dolphin Tales Show which we were told was a ‘must see’ by the front desk. I was expecting a lot of dolphins doing flips and shit but it was mostly this:
The creature in the middle singing with his merry men at his side. The highlight is when he dances out and twirls around the stage in an LED cape. My mom and I were laughing so hard we were crying. My initial impression of the aquarium was that it was ridiculous. It totally redeemed itself though when we got down to business and found the actual sea creatures that I hold so dear. The picture-taking was impressive:
They also had a gigantic aquarium with thousands of fish in it, including whale sharks, nurse sharks and the biggest sting rays I’ve ever seen. They built it over a tunnel so that you could go underneath and literally feel like you are swimming with the fishes. Luckily we were there during feeding time so we enjoyed the added bonus of scuba divers.
With the Aquarium under our belt, we felt we had a good start on the ‘touristy’ aspects of Atlanta.
Another obvious highlight for me and the whole reason I was able to go to Atlanta, was my presentation at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference. On Friday night, I did a poster presentation on my look at using social media in the college and university classroom. While it may sound like an obvious idea to use Facebook or Twitter with students, I’m finding there are only certain subjects and even certain programs that really adapt well to the use of these tools in an educational manner. Being the tech wizard that I am, I set myself up in e-poster form and the finished product looked like this:
I made a lot of interesting contacts that night and absolutely loved talking to my fellow instructors in America about our Canadian education system because talking to Americans, about anything, is always a good time:
I kid. No one at the conference thought we live in igloos.
On Saturday after the conference, we decided to do a little shopping. We also decided to take public transit. First step in the journey was this escalator:
It was the longest and steepest escalator of my life. I hated it. I had to close my eyes and Brennie told me when we got to the bottom.
We then encountered the issue of buying a ‘Breeze pass’ to get on the subway. As I stood there trying to use my credit card, the machine rejected me multiple times. I became pretty frustrated and complained loudly for a couple of minutes to my mom until a heavy set lady beside me started mumbling to herself about ‘all my noise.’ She then progressed to half facing me and saying, ‘You’re making all dis noise and nuttin’ happenin. Nuttin’ happenin!’ It was perhaps my favourite line of the trip. I wonder how many times random strangers have wanted to tell me and my friends and family members off when we randomly wail about something not working correctly or make way more noise than is necessary when something ‘bad’ happens. Good for this lady for finally telling me to shut it.
My mom and I made our way down to the platform and spotted an empty space on a bench. However, part of the bench had a piece of half eaten cake on it in a plastic container. Immediately my mom and I saw the cake and said almost in unison, ‘Oh look, cake! I sure am hungry.’ Which prompted the questionably homeless man beside the cake to put his hand on the plastic container and ever so slowly slide the cake over beside him. We’re still not sure if it was his to begin with, but we saw him get off the subway several stops later cradling that cake like it was his newborn child:
Later that evening, we decided to continue on with our public transit party and take it all the way to Marietta, Georgia, as we were booked for a ghost tour. By taxi, Marietta is about 25 minutes away. By public transit it is one subway, two buses and a short taxi ride away and boy was it a good time! People really were quite friendly and helpful but at the same time, I did fear for my safety when I was told that they only way to get off of the subway during peak time was to, ‘duck my head and charge through the crowd like an Atlanta Falcon.’ Now six months ago, they would have had me at using my body as a weapon but nowadays, it really isn’t a viable option.
Marietta was darling and the tour was pretty good. It was a little over the top, as I highly doubt that every store and street corner in the town is truly haunted, but you never know. The creepiest part of the tour for me was definitely this guy:
He was sitting in a window display in one of the hundred haunted stores in the town and I really just wasn’t liking his vibe. He had a couple of other buddies in the window that were not my cup of tea but he was the worst.
I also wanted to show a picture of their central park. The city does a scarecrow competition around this time of the year and places them throughout their town square. There were lots of amazing entries, but this one was my fave:
Mainly because it reminded me of Mark dressed up like a lady:
Spitting image right?
Sunday was the last day and the conference ended at noon, so my mom and I headed out to another must see, the Ferndale Natural History Museum. I actually love museums, so when this was recommended multiple times, I was down. It was probably the most beautiful and pristine museum I have ever been in.
It had a lot of dinosaurs (a particular childhood fave of mine):
And it also had one of these guys:
….a giant tree sloth. Which unfortunately don’t exist anymore. If they did, I’m pretty sure the panda and baby polar bear would be SOL in regards to being the most sought after zoo animal.
After perusing the museum for a few hours, it was time to catch our flight home. So we sped off to the airport in a fast and furious fashion……only to have our flight delayed by 5 hours due to Tropical Storm Karen.
They closed the airport for 15 minutes because of torrential downpour and during that time our flight came in, circled and went all the way back to South Carolina, hence the rather large delay. On a happier note, my mom and I watched The Heat on the way back with Sandy Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. So hilarious. My mom was laughing the entire time and she has a LOUD, infectious laugh. I loved it. It really kept my spirits up but I’m not sure about the other people around us who were clearly trying to sleep. It was the perfect way to end an amazing trip.
I don’t think I would go back to Atlanta because there are so many other cities in America I would like to explore but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of traveling to the Dirty South:
To end the post, a few other random goodies from the trip.
1) The view from our hotel room:
Yes please! Our hotel was the Westin Peachtree Plaza, which is the tallest hotel in North America and they certainly make the most of their view.
2) The food!
Everyone from Canada who heads down to the States is just amazed by the portion sizes down there. Case in point, my mom’s salad:
It was bigger than her head. However, she dealt with it like a champ. I ordered nachos and the same thing. Needless to say, no dinner was needed that night for either of us.
3) My mom would be very disappointed in both me and this post if I did not mention that at one point on the trip we tried to get on a Japanese tour bus. I have a proud history of getting on tour buses from other countries that clearly are not my own. I will stand there looking around until someone realizes I don’t belong and kicks me off. They laugh at me like I am a silly white girl and send me on my way. I find this very amusing. It’s been a lonngggg time since I did this, so my mom decided she wanted to give it a try. We followed behind a group of Japanese tourists and were just about to step on their bus when one of the passengers looked at us and said, ‘Where you think you going?’ Busted. The bus driver told us we clearly did not know what we were doing, to which my mom slyly lifted her sunglasses and winked at him. Again, we were laughed at and sent on our way but the memory will live on for a while from that one.
Next week I will tell some tales from the Wild, Wild West. But for now, I have a stack of midterms calling my name…..
It’s true – I’m knocked up. My name isn’t Penny, my husband isn’t Robbie, and he really isn’t a creep but I felt this was a fitting way to tell the inter webs that I have a bun in the oven. I certainly thought it was appropriate for Facebook:
As the announcement alludes to, this is from Dirty Dancing, which is hands down one of my favourite movies. Leon, Julie and I can recite it almost word for word. If you don’t at least know the line, ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner,’ you are pretty much dead to me.
Now, I’m 5 months along, which doesn’t excuse my absence from blogging but for some of you out there who found yourselves unexpectedly pregnant, you can maybe sympathize with the fact that I simply have not had the mental fortitude to be able to blog and work a full and part-time teaching job. Pregnancy brain is real my friends.
I’m starting to get my feet back on the ground and get back into the groove of work but the last 5 weeks have been rough. Some nights I would come home so exhausted that I barely made it through dinner before I went to bed. I also became a fan of afternoon naps. However, that seems to be behind me. AND I honestly miss blogging. I can’t say I’m back three or four times a week but I would love to write weekly and put something out on Mondays or Tuesdays. I think that is reasonable….right? Right? Blogging friends, let me know. I feel guilty for giving it up but I just didn’t have the motivation and I didn’t want to be putting out forced garbage. You can always tell when someone is blogging for the sake of blogging. There’s also the little fact that I wasn’t over the moon when I found out I was pregnant. In fact, I probably looked more like this:
Baha, that one gets me every time.
So yeah, I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t excited, I was actually kind of terrified and mad. Odd combination but that’s the best I can identify. The staff at the doctor’s office kept asking me how excited I was and I would respond that I wasn’t. In one case, the medical assistant made an awkward face, turned on her heel and left the room. I don’t think she was used to that attitude from an appropriately aged mother-to-be. Needless to say, for the summer, I didn’t really felt like turning my blog into a baby blog because I didn’t wanted to talk about it. I could pretend it wasn’t a part of my life but it was a BIG part of it. Your whole life changes and your stomach becomes the center of your universe. I knew from June 18th on (my sister’s b-day) that I was rocking a blastocyst and I tried to keep blogging like normal but once I came back from Calgary I didn’t have the heart to keep going and ignoring the game changer growing inside me.
But happy news…I am now very, very excited! One of my best friends and my now sister-in-law, Leon, is having a baby (soon!) and baby fever is kind of spreading in our group of friends. Here is a picture of the two of us crowning at Emily’s engagement party:
This baby love has really helped. With the exception of our friend Lisa, who had a baby when we were in our early 20’s, no one in our ‘group’ of high school friends has a child. We are pretty content to be in our twosomes and do carefree couples things, usually involving alcohol. I was not looking forward to giving this up and I didn’t know how my friends were going to react. However, they have all been gents about it, which shouldn’t surprise me. We have always been supportive of each other and our adventures, whether it be getting a pair of glasses tattooed on our faces, or growing a fetus.
Finally, my blog was also about my attempts to get back to the gym and lighter living and I can’t say that being pregnant really inspires this. I can’t fit into any of my old pants or jeans. I sometimes struggle with the lung capacity needed to teach some of my classes, which clearly doesn’t equate to full-blown gym workouts. My feet are already starting to swell. Today I looked down to my feet pushing up over my sandals. This.has.never.happened. I do not have wide feet. In fact, I quite like my feet. But I have a feeling those days are over. For example I feel like I could be sporting a pair of these beauties:
Fear not, this is not me…but I feel like it could be.
Last but not least….I am hungry. I’ve always liked food but now I’m actually hungry on a frequent basis. This is a deadly combination. I wanted to include a picture of a really large pregnant woman to forecast my pregnancy future but when I typed it into Google images of Jessica Simpson kept coming up, so I will save you the visual. You get the idea.
The summation of all of these factors hopefully gives you an idea of why I simply stopped blogging. However, I think I’m ready to get back on the wagon. Obviously the focus is going to change a little bit because my focus is going to be changing a little bit but being able to blog about my life will prove to me that I’m still a human being. Not just a human being maker.
So if you can forgive me, please keep reading. I promise to make it up to you with tales from faraway lands in the very near future.
I have only been blogging for a month or so, so this was really unexpected and certainly gave me the boost I needed to keep going. Not that I wanted to stop…..but last week wasn’t so great readership wise, so it was a little discouraging. This just pasted the smile right back on my face.
To be eligible for this award, I need to chat a little bit about myself and then nominate some more bloggers for this award.
Without further adieu, some random things…
1. Not that don’t already know but I love dogs. They are such a huge part of my life and can’t imagine my life without them. I also love people who love dogs. I think those who run rescue organizations are God’s special creatures.
2. I love to travel near and far. I’m starting to really enjoy exploring Ontario but I can’t wait for my next big trip out of the country. Hopefully Panama is next up on the list 🙂
3. I am scared to death of raising a teenager. I don’t have kids but I suspect one day I will and teenagers are terrible. From age 13-16 I basically feel like you have the spawn of Satan residing in your home.
4. One of my favourite things in life is meeting B List actors. Perhaps that will be a future post?
5. I also love mayors. Big city, small town. All kinds. As long as they’re old and male. Sign me up. (Definite future post!)
The people I am nominating for the One Lovely Blog Award are:
~ Lindsey from Happy or Hungry because she’s my girl, she makes me laugh and she’s my blogging inspiration
~ Melissa from The Tattoo Diaries because she’s my blood and because even though she’s a new kind on the blogging block, she making me laugh hard with her ridiculous posts and pics.
~Jules from Go Jules Go because she’s hilarious, she has amazing pictures with glasses and she’s been so, so helpful for someone I randomly just met on the internet. If I didn’t know better I would think she’s a gentlemen from overseas trying to get up in my grill.
I always enjoy reading all of these blogs, so check them out. Oh and have an AMAZING weekend!
As the title of this post indicated, there were a lot of fireworks this weekend. Which was great because I missed them last year and was quite sad inside. But I didn’t just sit in a lawn chair and watch fireworks for 72 hours, there were other activities occurring as well. On Saturday after a swim and some clean up, Mark and I headed to Khaki and Julie‘s cottage in Minden. Mark put on his best ventriloquist dummy smile for the ride:
Over the years the word cottage has changed to the term ‘cottage cheese‘ and now it is just straight up ‘cheese.’ When you ask Julie what she’s doing in the summer, she is often ‘cheesing.’ Personally the term reminds me of cottage cheese cellulite, so it always makes me laugh when she says that since Julie is one of the fittest girls that I know.
After a beautiful 2 hour car ride with the pups we got arrived and Bolt ran out of the car and took a 4 minute pee. I’m not lying. He drank a ton of pool water when I was swimming and held it the whole way. He may have his faults but he is a champ at holding his bladder.
There were several kids on Khaki’s dock, which I’ve learned is Julie’s nightmare so we took the dogs for a walk. On the way back we met a new canine friend. A big black lab decided to follow us the entire way back to the cottage even though we repeatedly told it to go home. It also tried to be friends with Bolt because all dogs seem to gravitate towards him even though he is pretty antisocial. Bolt is hands down a people dog. He pretty much wants nothing more in life than to be a person. One day Facebook thought Bolt was a person and it was the best day of his life:
Anyway, I was so, so proud of my little buddy. While he clearly wanted to bite the dog’s face, he listened to me while I repeatedly told him, ‘leave it’ which is his code word for chill out. It may have also had something to do with the fact that the dog had clearly just had surgery and did not pose much of a threat but I like to think he’s coming along…..just a bit.
We had a nice family BBQ dinner with Khaki, Julie, Rob, myself and Khaki’s daddio Lane. Lane was a high school visual arts teacher for many, many years, so I found him very easy to talk to. He also seemed to have a million stories about Mark’s relatives because he taught most of them at Port Perry High School. The antics were exactly what I expected; they featured a lot of trouble and even a shot gun.
After dinner I took a couple of pics off of the dock because it was seriously beautiful, this is my favourite:
Dinner was pretty late so by the time we were done it was time for fireworks. Lane and the neighbours put together their fireworks stock pile and we had a good old show. Mark was the firework’s photographer because we decided it was his talent in life.
Then I took a turn because I didn’t want to be upstaged by his talent:
We had a nice little fire after the big show.
Julie is a little camera shy but Hallie is not.
I also enjoyed some fireside snuggles with Bolter:
Apparently fireworks do wonders for my hair.
We went to bed around midnight but I must admit, I got into the book I was reading and was up until probably 2am or so. This led to a little sleep in the next day. After a late breakfast we went for a ride in Lane’s brand new boat. This was a highlight for me. The lake is gorgeous and so are the cottages on it. A couple of beings who did not enjoy it were Bolt and Miyou. Miyou kept trying to run to the back of the boat and walk dangerously close to the motor, while Bolt would not leave the front of the boat and Mark’s side.
After our boat ride we headed into town and then it was time for us to pack up and head to our next event, Emilio’s Canada Day BBQ. We said our goodbyes to the cutest cheese eva…
…and were on our way.
We arrived at Emily’s at 5, only to discover she had been detained at work until 6:15. Poor little gal. Luckily Cork is a hostess with the mostest and entertained Mark and Kris while I went and made myself at home with a little nap.
Everyone else (including Emilio) showed up around 6 and the festivities were underway. Dinner was delicious. Cork and Emilio made us BBQ, I brought a salad and there were tons of fruit and veggies with dip. However, I must say, dessert was the highlight and I rarely say this. My friend Joanna brought her amazing apple and caramel/Skor dip. There were also cookies. To top it off, Lindz and Evan brought little cakes which were topped with whip cream and homemade raspberry jam. So delicious. We lit those babies up with sparklers and sang a very loud and very patriotic Oh Canada. You can see I’m pretty into it here:
Mark and Corey…not so much.
But just look at how patriotic a dessert can be!
After dinner we had a fire and were treated to the most elaborate fireworks display I’ve ever seen in someone’s backyard, courtesy of Emily and Corey’s neighbours. They had the craziest sounding fireworks any of us had ever heard, ever. They sounded like those sticks that you can buy at the dollar store that when you tip them back and forth they make odd, whiney sounds. This is what a couple of sets of the fireworks sounded like. It was pretty much my dream. It was really weird though. They were having this intense fireworks show, on which they must have spent almost a thousand dollars but no one was making a sound. It was like a ghost was setting them off. Obviously we helped to create the kind of cheering and fanfare that was necessary for such a spectacle but I really just don’t understand some people.
Speaking of not understanding some people…..at one point Corey fell asleep. He had been up for almost 28 hours at this point, so no one could blame him for that. However, Emily took it upon herself to first set a cup on his head and see if she could balance it. Once this was achieved a few times without him waking up, she then took to batting the cup off of his head with a giant stick.
Let’s just say, Corey didn’t stay asleep after this. He was such a good sport about it though. That is true love. I would have thrown Emily and her stick into the fire. I was laughing so hard I was screaming though, so I’m glad someone invited that clown to the party.
This was pretty much our cue to head out and again we got home around midnight. It had been a pretty busy weekend so I don’t think either of us could last much longer.
Then, something incredible happened. We slept until NOON the next day. NOON. It was glorious. Mark was off and this rarely happens, so he really wanted to take advantage and make it the laziest day possible. I think he succeeded. He literally did nothing but sleep and play X Box. I managed to make it outside for a swim and to do a few sets of upper body exercises but overall, it was just a beautiful day.
Around 8:30PM we headed up to the fireworks spot that we stumbled upon last year. At one of the highest peaks in the city you can literally see all of the fireworks shows going on from Oshawa to Pickering, all the way out to Toronto. The peak also looks down in a neighbourhood that is very fireworks friendly, so at any given time you have three or four backyard fireworks going off and one major one on the horizon. We arrived at 9PM and were the second ones there.
By 9:30 there were cars parked up and down the sidewalk and the side of the road. There were easily 100 people there. Obviously it’s not a well-kept secret.
Other than being a beautiful display and a nice night, it was pretty uneventful. However, one funny moment for both of us occurred when an older couple came by with their tripod. The man wanted to take some professional pictures of the fireworks and of his wife with a sparkler. He lit the sparkler for his wife and she literally just stood there with it in her hand. The man had to direct her to wave it around, which she then did but made the most pitiful circles I’ve ever seen. If he hadn’t of told her to do anything she would have just stood there until it burned out. I couldn’t resist getting a picture because seriously…..who doesn’t know what to do with a sparkler!???
I wanted to steal the sparkler out of her hand and show her just what she should have been drawing with it but I didn’t want to get burned. As far as I know she has only ever been trained to use a sparkler as a weapon.
How was your long weekend (or just weekend if your Americano)? What is your long weekend tradition?
It’s been busy up in here. So much so that I will be breaking down my weekend into a couple of parts. It was a long weekend here in Canada land too, so I think that’s OK.
On Friday Mark and I were invited to the 50th birthday party of Marie, the mom of Mark’s friend Cory. There was limited space on the boat so I was pretty honoured to be invited. It was also being held aboard the good old Woodman in Port Perry, which made it even more exciting. While I lived in Port almost my whole life, I’ve never been on the Woodman because it’s a pricey little beast, so it was amazing that Marie rented it out for the entire night. It was all decked out for the occasion:
I also enjoyed Marie’s sense of humour:
Marie was also looking amazing for her big day. She had extensions in and was a total birthday fox. Mark said he may even need to make some inappropriate remarks to Cory about his mom; always a guy’s dream. At the beginning of the night she was going around introducing herself to people because some of the guests didn’t recognize her. I loved that. I can only hope I’m looking that good when I turn 50!
While we waited for the ship to set sail, Markus and I had a little couple time at the front of the boat.
And admired the beautiful waterfront of Port Perry:
The weather was supposed to be a steady downpour, so when the sun ended up shining for most of the night, we were pretty happy about this. It also gave us a chance to admire the effects of the sunset on the skyline:
We headed inside after chatting with some friends and Marie was cutting the cake. I tried to get a picture of her with her family and this is what I ended up with:
So clearly that worked out well. I did do a little better though with the cake cutting picture:
And for a little close up on Marie’s cake, because yes, those are giant breasts frosted on top:
This was totally my kind of cake. I loved it. I had a similar cake for my bridal shower last summer bit it was a little less appropriate, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. Let’s just say it featured a pair of men’s shorts on the beach with a little something peeking out of them 😉
After the cake there were a few drinks for the boys:
Mark enjoys being the meat in a plaid sandwich. Wink Wink.
Then we headed upstairs to get down on the dance floor:
At one point when we were downstairs getting a drink, the dancing upstairs was so wild that the entire roof was shaking. The older folks on the boat looked a little concerned but Mark and I ran right back up there to contribute to the noise.
And this is random but one of my favourite finds of the night….Marie had a bunch of DVDs of pictures that were playing on a TV on the boat. On the front of one of the DVDs is her husband from back in the day when he had a glorious 80’s mustache. I absolutely needed a picture of this:
And you can tell the night then progressed into sloppiness for some people:
I was DD, so drunk fools like this made my night. I also have a beautiful story with this young man from about three years ago featuring a blurry jeep ride, forgotten purse and an old, old man that I will tell one day when my life returns to curriculum and marking and I need to spice up the blog a bit.
While the mustache DVD was a highlight of the evening, the true treasure of the night was Barry, who had a real life mustache. Barry appeared to be the captain of the Woodman and I wasn’t too sure about him at first. He looked he could go either way on the niceness scale but he ended up being a gentleman and a scholar. After several attempts to get a picture with him (my camera was NOT co-operating in night mode) I finally managed to snap one of the two of us looking like we’re at prom together:
He did not give me that rose, Marie graciously provided them for all the ladies, but he did give me one of the balloons off of the Woodman. I treasured that balloon all weekend until it lost its air and had to go into the garbage. However, my memories of Barry will never end up in the trash. Mark was a little jealous but I told him, you can’t hold a playa like Barry down.
Tomorrow I will tell you the tale of the rest of the weekend, but it was a beautiful way to kick it off!
Happy Friday! Before I get into the conference I attended a couple of Fridays ago, let’s talk about this again:
It is the lettuce from our garden that I alluded to on Wednesday. And it really is delicious friends. Markus and I have had several side salads in the last couple of weeks and I am so, so excited to be able to pick this out of the garden and eat it…..every.single.time. It never gets old. Emilio also took some home with her, along with some bok choy last week and she was tres impressed with the freshness. It really is good times here at the McCarnaghan residence. However, it is not time to get on to the title of the post.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Innovation Conference at UOIT. Since I already work there, that was pretty convenient for me. I didn’t even have to pay for parking, always a conference plus. I was really hoping to learn about the new technologies that are out there for use in the classroom, so let’s see how that went.
I received a lovely welcome from this bulletin board and made my way to registration where I collected me some ‘swag’. I was a little disappointed here. Usually when you go to a conference you get a mug, some kind of reusable bag, etc but all I got was a pen.
I mean, it was a solid pen and it was a relatively cheap conference fee, so I guess beggars can’t be choosers. However, the day started on a very negative note for some people as there was no coffee.
The caterers did not show up until the first intermission and there were some very grumpy attendees. Yet another instance that I have been quite glad that I am not a coffee drinker. However, they also didn’t have any H2O, so this gave me a slight frown face.
The day started off with a bang in regards to the presenters though. Rejean Bourgault, Vice-President of Avaya, was fascinating. He told us about all of new technologies that are coming onto the market, including robot teachers in Korea. Whelp….that’s not really good news for my job but considering they are creepy as hell….I’m not sure I have too much to worry about.
While his talk was fascinating, this was the only time that education was mentioned during the entire conference, so I must say, it wasn’t really relevant for me. However, since Rejean was so interesting, I continued to tune in. The second speaker was Jerry Boyer, Director of IT at GlaxoSmithKline Inc. He kept making Star Trek inferences, so I was pretty pumped about that. But that was about all I could really get excited about for his particular portion.
After these two speakers, we had break and you could see people doing the fast-walk out the doors to get coffee. During the break, I meandered around and bumped into these young lads who were previewing the latest video game technology.
I even tried it out myself but I can’t say I was very good. I really miss the original Nintendo controller with the two buttons on one side and the cross of buttons on the other side. Simplicity is where it is at for this old broad.
After this, we had another presentation from Susan Dineen, the Executive Director of Fox Group Consulting. While again, she was not related to education, I found her quite interesting, as she was talking about the future of television. Basically, and this should not be a shock to anyone, TV is on it’s way out and what they call ‘over the top programming’ like Netflix, is on the rise. While TV will not be obsolete for quite some time because of news, sports and specialty events, there has been a dramatic increase in people ‘pulling the plug’ on their cable and streaming their TV online.
After this chat it was lunch time and let me tell you….it was terrible. It was advertised as a ‘buffet lunch’ but the only two options were roast beef and green beans (insert vomit noise) or a sandwich station. I got perhaps the worst wrap I’ve ever had in my life and the woman serving it was just as pleasant.
While it doesn’t look too offensive…trust me, it was.
After this I decided to leave the conference as none of the afternoon sessions pertained to anything education related. The timing also coincided with my teacher Ruth’s retirement party. Ruth was my teacher for the College Teaching certificate that I just graduated from in May and she is an absolutely amazing instructor. I really wanted to say my goodbyes because she is by far one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and this is saying a lot because I’ve probably had close to a hundred teachers in my lifetime. I can only think of a couple that compared from high school and obviously this experience was completely different from the experience I had as an adult student with Ruth. I managed to sneak a pic of the guest of honour cutting the cake with her adorable grand-daughter:
The cake was really good too and totally made up for the lunch disaster 😉
After a round of extremely emotional speeches and some crying everyone took a turn signing this giant umbrella for Ruth.
Ruth is moving to the West Coast, so the big joke is that she is going to need plenty of umbrellas because of all of the rain. So along with this signed beauty, several other people got her an umbrella to add to her collection:
I would say she is not going to have a problem locating an umbrella for pretty much the rest of her life! All in all, a good day and I’m really glad I was able to make Ruth’s party because she means a lot to me.
Do you have a teacher that has inspired you past or present? Any favourite memories? Do you like umbrellas?
I feel very, very busy lately and the days seem to pass by in the blink of an eye but I don’t really know what I’ve been doing.
There’s definitely been a lot of this:
And trust me I’m not complaining but I am triste about how quickly summer vacay seems to go. Most of you probably want to kill me since I essentially have three months off but trust me, it goes by faster than I can sing ‘Summer Lovin’. So what have a I been up to? I have found myself asking this exact question.
After the Baby Miyou adventure I took it pretty easy on Saturday night. I was supposed to go to a BBQ hosted by my new friend Cheryl but it was not to be. Markus got called into work, which seems to be an annoying trend these days any time he is on call. Since he doesn’t actually fix the machines anymore I don’t know what good he is during one of these ’emergencies’. I just envision him standing around the factory floor yelling at everyone, but this is not his style, so I honestly don’t know what he does.
Sunday ended up being gorgeous, even though the weatherman predicted otherwise. We decided to have our friends Rob and Julie over for a swim and a family dinner a la Snookie and pals. Mark’s friend Chase popped also over randomly and I felt it was a little reminiscent of Steve Urkell popping in on the Winslows. Although he did not cause any property damage or hit on our teenage daughter.
We had a delicious BBQ. Rob and Julie (or Khak and Kenny…long story) brought some meat and we had a salad…FRESH OUT OF OUR GARDEN!!!!! Yeahhhhh. So proud of our urban farming success.
Julie also insisted that we add a decoration from our tiki hut to the table to make it more authentically tropical.
While we set the table, Mark and the boys were the grill masters.
I really, really wish Mark had been wearing his grill apron. Which I think you will agree would have been more appropriate for this occasion than his Larry Bird shirt:
Here our friend Khalil models the apron, as well as an inner tube and someone’s training bra. I think you can agree it is quite fetching. I also see a Troy Juniorphotobomb in the background.
After dinner we lounged around and Khaki and Ken’s pup Hal romped in the backyard with Bolt and Miyou. Meaning we tried to keep Miyou calm and not rip a stitch, while Bolt mostly ignored both of them when possible.
Julie said Hallie is terrible at posing for pictures but I seem to have the dog photog touch. Isn’t she a sweet pea?
Monday was another one of these with this gal:
I apologize I recycled the pic but it pretty much was exactly the same. It rained for a wee bit and we headed out to Ardene to get our shop on. Seriously….that store is my dream. It it the cheapest thing ever. Their clothes literally cost 5-20 dollars and will last you a couple of seasons. I feel like I completely freshened up my wardrobe for my upcoming trip to Calgary and it was less than $100.
Monday turned into Tuesday and besides reading a mind-numbing ‘female friendly’ book called Unsuitable Men, I didn’t do much until the afternoon when I decided it was time get off my ass and clean the house. Which is what I did for a solid few hours. Mark was working a shut down so I headed over to my friend Sherrie’s house with Emilio and we immersed ourselves in a delightful BBQ. While it mostly looked like this outside:
….it didn’t matter. We were all smiles as Sherrie regaled us with her antics from her recent trip to Thailand:
I was enthralled as Sherrie told us about ‘Thai showers’, lady boys, ping pong shows and all of the international friends that she made. I was also a little jealous and definitely wish that I could have gone with her. I was seriously, seriously considering going with her but her timing coincided with Focus on Learning and that was one professional obligation that I definitely had to keep. The pictures were beautiful and I can tell she had the time of her life. She is a very brave soul. There is no way I could backpack by myself through the US, let alone somewhere like Thailand but good on her!
After this little love-in I headed to the movies with Marks (remember…Tuesday’s cheap night) and met up with my sis and her boytoy Kyle.
As you can see, I was definitely a creeper with this pic.
We went and saw World War Z, which Mark and I had both been dying to see since we saw previews for it a couple of months ago. I totally enjoyed every minute of it. I’m pretty easy when it comes to movies but this was definitely a winner for me. I liked Star Trek a lot but this movie was in a different category all togetha. I love zombie movies and apocalypse movies, so this was a beautiful combination, particular since good old Brad Pitt makes a delicious appearance. While he has certainly aged and is not physically the divine specimen we knew and loved in Troy, he is an amazing actor and I think this is what made the difference for me between this and any other zombie movie I’ve seen in a while. All in all, I clearly recommend it if this kind of movie is your jam.
Today is another beauty. However, instead of lounging on my chair like a lady or leisure, I have decided to get acquainted with my good ol’ laptop and not just for blogging purposes….although I am acutely aware I’m currently blogging instead of doing my work…BUT I think this outside office thing is a step in the right direction.
I even added our little tiki hut friend for that fun office vibe.
On that note, I’m going to get back to writing up my Pearson Publishing chapters and see where the afternoon takes me but I must say a big thank you for the distraction!
Just wondering: do you ever get to work from home? Do you have a job with flexibility? If so, do you often waste you time like me? (Shame on us.)
I put up an old post about a week ago that I wrote last year about our rescue pup Miyou.
If you didn’t read it and want to catch up, read all about it here.
Our darling has been with us for a year now and I must say, she has really grown on me and particularly Mark. She really is daddy’s little diva. You will see a lot of her on my blog and even other people’s blogs, as she is always a requested guest at our many get togethers. She is super social and loves any gathering in which any and all food tidbits go directly to her as resident cutie.
Some examples of her partying hard:
I’m not 100% sure what’s going on in the second picture but it appears she is enjoying it. Needless to say, I was sad and a little anxious when it came time this Thursday to drive little Miyou up to Guelph to get spayed. Her situation was unique because when we got her last year we thought she was pregnant. However, this sadly proved not to be the case. Her belly was simply distended from lack of nutrition and as she stayed with us and received proper nutrition, she just kept getting sexier and sexier. By the time we figured out she was not expecting any Baby Miyous of her own, summer was over. Myy schedule would not allow me to get her to Guelph to be spayed by the rescue organization from which we got her. It had to wait until this summer. Unfortunately, this resulted in Miyou going through heat twice and dirty, old man, Bolt getting in on that action.
Yes, they are stuck together. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be their mother that day at the dog park.
As much as I think Miyou would have had some excellent babies, the right thing to do was to get her spayed, as I truly believe in rescues over breeding. So this leads us up to Baby Miyou’s Excellent Adventure. I think I will now let Miyou take over and tell her side of the story.
Hi I’m Miyou. I like food. And dad and mom and Bolt. In that order. Sometime someday (remember I have no sense of time) Mom and I got in the car. I like the car but it doesn’t like me. Sometimes I vomit during long any car ride, so I get spoiled and get to sit in the front. See.
No, that wasn’t comfortable, so I tried this.
Alright, finally, I found the right position. I like to rest my head on mom’s arm when she drives. Makes it just a little uncomfortable for her and that’s OK because I know I’m a babe.
We arrived at this place.
And I’m thinking there’s going to be some food because I haven’t had any all day. So I’m excited to all up in these people’s faces. I know once they see how cute I am they’re going to feed me, right? Wrong. They tricked me! All of a sudden, bam, I’m asleep, without any nourishment! I wake up and I’m stoned as can be. Those sadists cut my toe nails too! Then I was MAD. I decided to go haywire and crap myself and try to bite everyone around me. That will show them. Feces and fierceness, a potent combo. I succeeded in my mission because they ended up calling mom early to come get me. I could hear them on the phone, ‘Miyou has had enough of our company and you need to come get her.’ Damn right I had, you didn’t even give me food.
Mom came and got me and she looked pretty sad. Perfect, I’m going to play this up like nothing she’s ever seen. The whole way home I cried in the car like a dying monkey. Really, I was so stoned I didn’t feel a thing but I really wanted to make sure I got some cuddles. And I certainly did. As soon as we got back to this weird house we were staying at, I got wrapped up like a little baby and I’ve never gotten so much attention in my life.
I also wasn’t hungry for the first time in my life and didn’t even eat my dinner but that’s OK, I could stand to lose a few ounces for bikini season. I literally slept all day and night and when I woke up the next day, Stella had her groove back!!! I decided to wake mom up properly by licking her face and scratching at her with my newly trimmed racoon’s paws. Considering I also now get carried up and down the stairs like the princess that I am, whatever they did to me, they can do it anytime!
Thanks Miyou for that informative narrative. I must admit, she has been bugging me to guest blog for a while, so that should get it out of her system for a solid month.
While my little darling was sleeping the sleep of the truly drugged I met up with my friend Anja, one half of the dynamic duo that Mark and I met while in Belize last year. We instantly hit it off and have been lucky enough to meet up a few times since then. They even came to our wedding in Jamaica.
Anja is a beauty. The first time my friend met her there were lots of questions surrounding her possibly being a model. Nope. She has brains and beauty and holds down a smarty pants job I could never do. She is one of God‘s special creatures. We met up at a restaurant in Guelph which coincidentally ended up being only a one minute drive from my parent’s rental property, which is where Miyou and I crashed for the evening. It was called Cusina Mediterranean Bistro and it was GOOD. I’ve travelled to Greece before and therefore have a hard time thinking any Greek cuisine here is comparable but this place was really close. I got the Tyropitakia Platter and it was massive.
I ate the fries and salad because those things are dirty leftover and took the rest with me. Anja also ordered chocolate cake, which you can see was bigger than her.
Unfortunately, she said it wasn’t so great and most of it went home with her but everything else was fantastic. The restaurant has really great reviews and I can understand why. After a lengthy catch-up it was time to say our goodbyes but I’m really hoping she and her boytoy Jordan buy a house of their own in Guelph so we can become frequent house guests 🙂
Anja said she was excited to be part of the blog and that I had popped her ‘blog cherry’. I’m pretty sure statements like this could really inspire more men to become a part of the blogging community.
After dinner I headed back to my parent’s rental property and helped them with some clean up. Even the living room was filthy, so I attempted to remedy this. It wasn’t much but the tenants have left to much stuff in the house it is hard to work around it. My solution would be to hire a cleaning company and charge the clean up fee but sometimes Brennie is far too nice and she doesn’t find this appropriate. She is a kind soul and also one of God’s special creatures. We went to bed relatively early for a Friday night and headed back home on Saturday morning.
All in all, it was a good few days and Miyou has come through with flying colours. Her incision looks beautiful and she is back to her food loving ways. My prognosis is a speedy recovery. Before I depart I’ve gotta ask, how much do you love your pet? Does anyone out there have a positive vet story? What about just a pet story?
Yes, there are a lot of birthdays going down these days. As I mentioned yesterday, it was my sister’s b-day and obviously that needed to be celebrated.
To get a little healthy eating up in this blog, I started my morning off with this little gem:
I didn’t want to eat a lot because I knew the food consumption that evening was going to be spectacular.
Melon came over and we hung out a bit in the sunshiney weather for a while before my parents arrived around 5:30. As predicted, the food was dericious. That is not a typo. This is what we envision our dog Miyou thinking while she chows down her dinner in 9.7 seconds.
If you look to the left you can see that little pig. I know she was sniffing the air thinking, ‘dericious’.
It really was very, very good. We got it from Thai Hotspot, where I went with Mubeen and Alex last week. In fact, I think it is better than Azian, which is our usual standby. Sorry to rain on your parade Azian but it was cheaper, fresher and we had more leftovers when we were done.
We then got down to present opening because we wanted to delay the birthday cake serenading until Melon’s man arrived at our house.
Mel got some real gems, including a bacon card from my mother:
Because she knows that Melon loves bacon:
My mom and dad also gave her some moolah and a gift certificate to her favourite boutique in Port Perry. I gave Melon the stupid part of her gift on the weekend, so tonight she received a very serious Kitchen Aid hand mixer, a book on the psyche of dogs (because she’s as much of a dog lover as me) and a BBQ lighter. She was the most excited about the lighter. Haha. She is afraid to use the mini lighters to light her candles so she was pretty excited about this easy to use version. I told her it was from the Dollar Store and I’m pretty sure I can afford to give her another one in the future.
At this point Kyle arrived and gave Melon two gifts, one thoughtful and one hilarious. He gave her tickets to Medieval Times because she has never been; thoughtful. He also gave her this little beauty:
Hilarious. It is an inflatable pirate ship for the pool. It has a gun on the front that collects water from the pool and shoots it out at all unsuspecting bathers. Kyle topped off the gift with a couple of swords. This was basically Melons dream.
Once we got finished singing Happy Birthday and Melissa did an attractive job of blowing out the candles on her Dairy Queen ice cream cake:
…..Mel decided it was time to test out her new water vehicle:
She is the most beautiful pirate I’ve ever seem.
Now on a final note and perhaps my favourite picture of the evening, we also celebrated Father’s Day with Melon’s b-day, as we have often done in the past. My parents were in Guelph this weekend and it just seemed like a good idea to do a combo. My dad removed his hat to be a gent during dinner and he revealed the most gorgeous tan pattern I’ve ever seen on a semi-bald head:
It looks like an arrow! We were all dying. The picture really did it justice too. I want to convince him to keep it up and perhaps make it even more prominent. What do you think? Is there another pattern you would prefer to see on my father? I’m sure he could do something in a diamond or a flower.
I love my little Melon and she loves moustaches, so this makes her a girl after my own heart. I’m glad I got to celebrate her b-day twice this week!
Do you have any siblings? Are you super close? I’d love to hear some sibling stories if you’re willing to share with the world.