Please note that all posts are copyright. Do not reprint in whole or in part without permission of the author. You may refer to one of my posts in your own writing; simply include the link(s) so readers can be taken directly to my work. Thank you, and enjoy! ~Susan

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Right Now

I haven't done a Right Now post since the beginning of the month. I started doing the Wednesday Hodgepodge a couple of weeks ago and that seems to be working out, so I'm going to try doing Right Now on Thursdays. Here we go with what I'm doing right now:
Drinking: I have a bit of a drive ahead of me this morning and the day is grey and grim. I'm drinking coffee to get me going. After that, my goal is to stick to water or herbal tea.

Eating: For breakfast today it's oatmeal with two tablespoons of ground flax, one tablespoon of hemp seed, one tablespoon of coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup and almond milk. I don't know what I'm having the rest of the day. I'll be at Starbucks visiting with an old school chum this morning and at my mom's for lunch and supper.

Reading: I'm reading one of the worst books I've ever read, Gros Morne Justice by Walter Mallery. Very poorly written. I'm only sticking with it because it's set in Gros Morne and the Deer Lake area, Newfoundland, where I'll be this summer. And now that I've started reading the story, I want to see how it all pans out in the end.

I'm also reading Living in the Spirit by George O. Wood and Between Heaven and the Real World by Stephen Curtis Chapman. These are much better books.

Watching: We've watched a few movies recently - one of the best is Hacksaw Ridge and one of the worst A Hologram for the King.

Listening: I borrowed John Mayer's CD, The Search for Everything, from the library, but keep forgetting to stick it in the player. Maybe today!

Creating: Blog posts and novel revisions.

Buying: Still the odd bit for our bathroom reno. Trying to find pants that fit properly. I also need a new lens cap for our camera.

Anticipating: The bathroom tiles finally arrived yesterday. I don't know if my husband will get the job done this weekend, but I'm certainly hoping most of the work will be finished in the next couple of weeks!

Also looking forward to seeing my friend this morning. He lives in the U.S. now and is only up once or twice a year. We've known each other since kindergarten!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?

We have a lot of green and yellow. While I don't mind it, I do find that the yellow can be hard to keep clean. I am thinking about redoing our colours, particularly the entrance-way, living room/dining room, kitchen and hallway. Probably a neutral from the taupe family. My husband just painted our main bathroom in Dulux's tulle white. I love it.

2. What's something you'll NEVER do again?

I pierced my ears when I was sixteen. It was a no-no in my family and I wanted to make the point that they were my ears and I could do what I wanted with them. They ended up getting infected and when the infection passed, I let them close over. For me, it was never about wearing earrings...

3. Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.

I do the traditional things associated with being a 'domestic engineer' - I cook and clean and mother my children. As for how I break the stereotype, I am an equal partner with my husband in family leadership and I tend not to be overly emotional.

4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?

My husband and I owned a motorcycle several years ago - a 1982 Honda Goldwing. So yes, I've ridden one, but never driven it. I would hop on a motorcycle again if the conditions were right. Just for a short ride.

5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?

They should read the Bible, watch Touched by An Angel and The Passion of the Christ, and listen to James MacDonald. Great question!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The on-going terrorist attacks around the world are unacceptable, to say the least. Don't we all feel that Daesh could have been taken care of by now? What's the hold-up? A lack of political will? Why, when so many are dying?

Please join us for the Wednesday Hodgepodge by clicking here!

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Weekly Weigh-In

So I'm having trouble following the naturopath's regimen. There's not a lot he asked me to change (probably realizing it's best to make just a few small changes and add others in increments), but still...

Here's what he wants from me: 

1) add one tablespoon of healthy fat to each meal (e.g. coconut oil, flax seed oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, olive oil)  

2) add two tablespoons of flax seed or hemp seed to each meal

3) ensure that I'm getting protein at each meal 

4) before lunch and dinner take two pills to address a particular issue I'm having

5) continue taking my multi-vitamin and vitamin D supplements

In addition to being "good for you," the oil is supposed to help fill you up so you can go without eating between meals. When I've remembered to do it, it works pretty well. Protein also works to that end, though I often don't get much protein at breakfast unless I'm having oatmeal.

Anyway, my weight remains steady. No changes there. Two weeks to go before I see the naturopath again.

How are you doing with healthy eating/weight loss? Any specific things that are proving helpful?

Friday, 19 May 2017


An attitude of thankfulness is said to increase positivity and happiness. I would add 'joy'. Here's the list of things I'm thankful for this week:

1. My mom and I had an awesome Mother's Day weekend together. I took her to Niagara-on-the-Lake to see 'Me and My Girl' at the Shaw Theatre. It had been years since either of us had been and we found ourselves wondering why. The performance was amazing - great cast, high energy singing and dancing, awesome plot. I'm sure it won't be so long between visits next time!

2. We had a nice lunch at the Sunset Grill. I always enjoy their light breakfast, but ordered the tuna salad plate this time. I wish I'd taken a picture so I could share it here. The food was excellent, the service very good. Great experience overall.

3. We had an enjoyable visit with my mom's sister as well as my cousin's family. We don't see them very often, and it's always great to reconnect and catch up.

4. My daughter made a belated Mother's Day supper for me on Monday. I appreciated not having to cook when I got home from work and for dessert we enjoyed the birthday cake my mom had sent home with me. Happy bellies all around. 

5. Last but not least, my husband was hard at work while I was away last weekend. The toilet, vanity and sink were all installed and operational by the time I got home. Monday we bought the backer board for the tub/shower space. As soon as he gets that up, the tiling can be done. Hurray! Things are taking shape! 
Join us here for #FridayFive

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...

Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full-fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

We should NOT be celebrating this 'holiday.' I'm a bit of a pack rat, so I can say that, don't you think? I've definitely gotten better at decluttering, but I still have a long way to go before I can enjoy the simple life I long for. Paper is a big problem for me, but it's not the only one.
2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

This is a toughie. There are definitely things I don't know how to do, but should I know? That is the question. I would like to know how to knit and crochet, but by the same token I'm not sure I'm willing to invest the time in learning and being frustrated...

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I wouldn't say I crave sugar. If you asked me about chocolate, I might admit to the odd craving in that direction. I never add sweetener to tea, but I can't drink coffee without something. In the last couple of months I've made the switch from sugar to maple syrup. I tried coconut sugar first, then Sucanat, after learning that there are negative aspects to using Stevia. Now it's maple syrup all the way. My daughter thinks it's gross but my son says, "Hey, we're Canadian. We put maple syrup on everything."
Dessert is not a given when dining out. Usually I'm already satisfied by the time dessert rolls around. But when my hubby and I went out to the buffet Friday night, I did have a small piece of custard pie and half of a chocolate chip cookie.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?


5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

Whenever I hear 'Happy Together,' it reminds me of when my husband and I were dating. And no, we weren't dating in the era the song was released!!
For some reason it became 'our song' during a hike through a conservation area, back in the day. I guess because we were 'happy together.' Still are!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It's very easy to let other people rent space in your head, but doing so only makes you feel miserable. Don't be infected by someone else's bad mood. Do your best to stay calm, cool and collected in the situation and let it pass over you like water off a duck's back. 
Yesterday I had a customer who was unhappy with his experience at the previous service counter. He kept griping to me about it and I did my best to make him feel that his complaint was being heard. I offered him the possibility of speaking to a supervisor as well. When he left, he made the statement that if the woman who'd "helped" him before I did didn't want her job, he would take it. I made the mistake of smiling (his comment sounded like a joke to me, but obviously he was too wound up to find it humorous) and was informed that he didn't need my smiles. I wonder if he allowed the rest of his day to be poisoned... I chose to redeem mine.
Please join us for the Wednesday Hodgepodge by clicking here!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Book Review

Title: The Little Things: Why You Really SHOULD Sweat the Small Stuff
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, 2017
Genre: Non-fiction, Inspirational, Self-help  

First Lines:

(From the Introduction)
Soon you will come to understand how and why a simple adjustment in perspective can produce personal and career results far beyond what most people ever imagine.
First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andy Andrews. I am a Noticer.
It is entirely possible that I am the first professional Noticer you've ever met...
Goodreads Description:

Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time and energy thinking about the big challenges in our lives when all the evidence proves it’s actually the little things that change everything?  That’s right…  Absolutely everything.

New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews is known for his strong storytelling and unequaled perspective on principles that empower the human mind and spirit. The Little Things embodies his own approach to life and work, detailing for the first time some of the exclusive material that he uses to teach and coach some of the most successful corporations, teams, and individuals around the world. In his unique humorous style, Andy shows how people succeed by actually going against the modern adage, “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  By contrast, Andy proves that it is in concentrating on the smaller things that we add value and margin.

“In a world where so many feel powerless, wouldn’t it be great to feel in control? Then know this. Perspective can be more important than basic answers.

“I am more passionate than ever about my search to notice that one thing . . . that one tiny thing that, when understood and harnessed, allows us to create a life of extraordinary purpose and powerful results. It’s less about drive and will power than it is about understanding certain principles and why they work . . . every time.

Andrews provides common-sense perspective and a game plan for meeting various challenges, such as:

  • Managing life in a society that seems to be constantly offended by something or someone
  • Creating change that is permanent and not short term
  • Dramatically increasing results by harnessing the fraction of margin between second place and first
  • Understanding our spiritual connection with God and how that affects planning and outcome
  • Identifying the very moment when asking the question why? multiplies the success of an endeavor
  • Recognizing the smallest details that ensure the greatest success
My Review:

I'm a big fan of Andy Andrews' writing and perspective. He has a way of looking at things that is fresh and different - of making the reader say, "Hmm, I never thought of it like that before. That makes sense!" His style is conversational, as if you are chatting over coffee or tea in a tidy, comfortable setting. 

In fifteen relatively short chapters, Andy addresses a variety of "little things" people SHOULD sweat over - things like taking offense, quitting, change. "Wait a minute," you say - "those aren't little things!" See, you do need to read this book, if only to find out why these ideas are included.

My favourite chapter is on change and the myths Andy refutes: 1) It takes time to change. 2) A person must want to change, and 3) A person won't change until he hits rock bottom. "What? Susan, these aren't myths!" you argue. Really? Are you sure? Again, you need to read this book.

You will definitely learn something new, and it may just improve your life. If you do read it, let me know what you think or what impact it has.

This makes a great gift book too! 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, 15 May 2017

A Few Words About Mothers

Belatedly, in honour of Mother's Day:

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. ~Honoré de Balzac

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go. ~Author Unknown

And finally, a very important question:

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle