Thursday, March 27, 2008


Posting will return shortly. I've sprained my wrist somehow and typing hurts!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Market: Best Health Mag

Reader's Digest launches new healthy lifestyle magazine for Canadian women

Best Health puts well-being in the spotlight

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - Reader's Digest Magazines (Canada) Ltd., Canada's most trusted publisher, is proud to announce the launch of Best Health, a healthy lifestyle publication geared to today's savvy Canadian woman. This new magazine, which makes its debut on newsstands across Canada this week, is designed to feel like a day at the spa, not a trip to the
clinic. Best Health is supported by its online counterpart Best Health Mag which offers regularly updated healthy living advice at the touch of a fingertip.

Day Care Cam

I can't watch this from work, but because I'm working from home today, I can watch my daughter having fun at day care:

They are playing at the water table, E has her back to the camera and is wearing a white smock to keep dry. The lady sitting next to her is the teacher in charge of the room.

She's the sweetest little lady, only about four-foot-nuthin' and E quite likes her.

E has so much fun at day care that even though I'm home working today, I didn't keep her at home. She saw her dad getting his jacket on and she ran to her jacket saying "on? on? on?" and then as soon as she got her jacket on she grabbed her stuffie and waved at me, saying "bye!", then proceeded to knock on the door so we'd let her out.

Yeah, day care is horrible for children. I'm such a mean parent for subjecting her to institutionalized day care. And even worse, a 'big box' day care like this one.

It's done horrible things to her like send her home singing and dancing and learning to share. What was I thinking?


You know, if at some point I did find myself working from home, I think I'd still send my daughter to day care in the mornings. I get a lot of work done and she has FUN!!

News from the crazies...

Ok Demi Moore.

I don't care how nice you look or how healthy you are.


Friday, March 21, 2008

When I'm feeling judgy

Have you ever had a moment when you are just feeling judgy? You know, when you just want to smack someone or your eyes are rolling so far back in your head that if the wind changes they'll stay that way?

Today was one of those days.

We went to the zoo. (Note, brother carrying his sister's coat and sister saying "get me out of this flippin' contraption, there are animals to squeal at!!)

We did have fun, we had a lot of fun. The kids wore themselves out and they both love the zoo now. M was never a zoo kid, but in the last year he's started to love it. E is a total zoo kid because there are Animals! With fur! And they are cute! Her favourite is the warthog, I swear. She goes nuts when she sees him.

It would have been perfect if it weren't for ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE. I don't mind the kids running around, it's just some of those parents. The lady yelling at her son because he wasn't pushing the stroller right ("you just about ran into that lady!") who five minutes later nearly ran over E with her crazy stroller-pushing-while-dragging-kid maneuvers.

I did feel bad for the one mother who was trying to jam her stroller up a hill and thought she was ramming it over a bump, until she realized that the reason it wouldn't go forward was her child's leg was caught against a fence. Yeah, that sucked for her, I did feel bad.

And the people who STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD or, in the middle of an exhibit without pulling over to the side. What is with that? You are not the only person in the zoo today.

But the zoo was fun for the kids. It was a bit chilly off and on, about 6 degrees celsius. Even I needed a nap when I came home.

But the judgy feeling was still there.

I was watching a show, one of those reality shows where contestants try to lose weight. (It's called X-Weighted, I tried out for it once, but was rejected because there wasn't enough conflict in my life!) This woman is stressing about going back to work after her maternity leave (which in Canada is one year).

She's crying and saying "I don't know how people do it! I don't want to leave my baby!" Which translates to me as "all you other women must be heartless". Which, let's face it, probably wasn't what she meant.

But my inner judge said "suck it up princess".

Which I find really sad! I find it sad that when I'm in uber-PMS, judgy mode because it means that my capacity to love anything and anyone is compromised. And my capacity to receive love is compromised.

So this is what I do:

I clear my mind and pray, asking that the spirit of strife leave me.

I imagine the person I'm judging is sitting in a room with me and it's just them and me... then I try to imagine the words I'm thinking actually coming out of my mouth. I imagine what their face would look like if they heard those words.

I ask forgiveness in my heart for thinking those things. (There but by the grace of God go I.)

I receive the forgiveness (crucial step!!) and I move on.

It can be hard to stop being judgy. I think I mentioned earlier that I was diagnosed with Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD a few months ago. I take a daily dose of vitamins. Or, rather, I am supposed to. But sometimes I forget. Luckily I have a job that has the side benefit of just enough stress to remind me each day to take my Happy Pills.

But more than a physical reason, being judgmental (well, I call it judgy because it sounds nicer!) can be a habit. And I don't want it to be MY habit any more. The first step is stopping the words from coming out of my mouth. The second step is stopping them from forming in my brain.

I'm a work in progress.

Monday, March 17, 2008

YES! This IS what it's like!

From Dooce, who just handed in her book to her editor:

Last night I emailed my finished manuscript to my editor in New York, and then I drove downtown, took off all my clothes and ran naked through Temple Square. There was no other appropriate response. Except maybe I should have taped some sparklers to my boobs. [making mental note for future instances of streaking]

I'm not sure what I want to do with the next hour of my life, or even the next ten minutes. I COULD DO ANYTHING. I mean, this whole process started three years ago, and it got really intense a year ago when the deadlines were written in ink on a contract, and since then every single minute of my life has been heavy with the thought of those deadlines. I felt guilty if I took five minutes to read a magazine because I should have been using those five minutes to write my book. I felt like I was walking around with a 500-pound llama sitting on my face, and it hadn't bathed in several weeks.

Yes. A thousand times yes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New book: Conflict-free Living

I've just started a new book. Conflict-Free Living by Joyce Meyer.

I know, family and friends, brace yourselves...... I am sometimes involved in conflict. But lately I have been calming down. So calm in fact that some of my co-workers have asked what's wrong with me when my righteous indignation doesn't kick in when they expect it to. It's like my own personal overdrive... when things get too tough, I get gritty.

Well, it doesn't work so much for me any more. I feel that I'm called to be peaceful. Shocking, I know.

What I like most about Meyer's book so far is her honesty. Can't have a good Christian self-help book without a hefty dose of honesty. We want to know that the writer knows of what she writes.

Which gets me to thinking... what is my story? What story can I tell? Is it a story of overcoming? Of resuce? Of pain or of joy?

What is your story?

No matter what we think our story is, what matters is what we choose to write right now. Whether or not you are a writer, you are writing your story each day. Every moment is a sentence and a string of them make a paragraph. Every morning a page, every evening the end of a chapter.

What do you choose to write in your book today?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Free Day

It was a day of freedom today... no children around, no husband.... just me in my house for almost seven hours straight.

So, what did I do?

If you voted "cleaned the house" then you'd be right. I don't know why, but I felt the uncontrollable urge to clean. I even cleaned the fridge, which now looks sad and empty now that all the old food is gone. I am amazed at the old food you can have in your fridge without realizing it. That tub of margarine is really a bunch of week old rice and that neatly folded bag is actually a half block of cheese that I forgot about, hidden behind the mustard.

Jeez, I hope I'm not the only one whose fridge looks like that!

I could have been writing, this I know. I could have gotten several thousand words down. But you know, you can only let a house go so far before you start to despise being in it.


Major Man had a Very Important Interview on Friday. This could be a life changing one. This could be The One.

Originally there were 500 applications. They weeded them down to 50 and gave those people aptitude testing. They are waiting on the results, but in the mean time they went through the interview process. There are 14 positions available in the training class and five spare spots. The spares get a guaranteed spot in the next training class. It seems like pretty good odds.

I'd lvoe for him to get it. Love, love, love. And not just because I could gloat and crow about how *I* found the job in the paper and *I* bugged him for a full day saying "have you sent your resume in? This is SO YOU." Because it is simply made for him, it's an awesome job. It's the kind of job he will thrive in.

It's late now, and I need to go read a little bit more of Ms Jackson's newest novel!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Love Thursday

There's this Love Thursday thing that I learned from Mir. I've always seemed to miss it, but here I find myself on Thursday with a few minutes to kill before LOST starts and I zone out and let my inner couch potato out for... a sit on her arse.

I'll start off my first Love Thursday with an easy one. I love my kids. And I really love my kids together. I didn't have the greatest relationship with my brother when I was growing up, and it's been a goal of mine to raise my kids to trust and depend on one another. To appreciate each other and look out for each other.
I've told M every day that this is HIS sister. She is his. And when E grows up, I'll be sure to tell her that he is HER brother. They aren't adversaries (yet...), they don't need to compete, they are each unique and I want them to know that about themselves and about each other. But there may come a day when they only have each other. When other family members have fallen away and they are the keepers of each others' memory.
M is very protective of his sister. When she was just a peanut he'd hover around her bath and say "keep a hold of her mommy", "don't let her head go under mommy", or he'd make faces at her and then laugh hysterically when she giggled back at him.
I can remember him cupping his hands and yelling into my belly "Hellloooo baybeeeee!". I can remember him pressing his ear to my belly and E kicking him in the side of the head. I remember being in labour with E and looking up to see M sitting at the foot of my bed, right beside the midwife, watching his sister being born.
This is why I wanted children, to see love grow and grow and become something real that they could put their trust in and know it would be safe.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

One more time. Nice and Slow

I'm going to type nice and slow so that the people who don't get it might finally understand.

As writers, we MUST respect the copyright of other writers.

That means:

1) No posting articles anywhere in any forum, online anywhere, photocopied for your whole class to read, or used in any public forum at all. Yes, that even includes Yahoo Groups.

2) Just because the article is helpful and good and inspiring and wonderful... doesn't mean you get to give it away for free without the RIGHT to do so. Only the author has that right. (Oh and by the way, just because you like a picture doesn't give you the right to repost it either... go find a free photo site... see that pic up above? Free photo site.)

3) All those wonderful stories that you forward on, beautiful poems and essays.. they were actually written by someone. Take the time to either ensure that you have the RIGHT to forward it on or that the author has allowed it to be forwarded at will by people who can't come up with something that briliant. Oh and pegging "anonymous" on the end does not absolve you of the responsibility of respecting another writer's copyright. I can forgive Uncle Larry and Sister Sue and Papa Fred for forwarding something on... they aren't writers. It's like if you hear of someone forging cheques... how much WORSE is it if that person also works at a bank? (Now, forwarding jokes is another matter... see below... but you have to ask yourself, is this a funny essay that someone deserves payment for, or is this a joke. Here's the test: can you memorize it and retell it at the water cooler? No? Then it's an essay.)

4) Learn the proper definition of PUBLIC DOMAIN. It does not mean "out there in the world". It means "Material that is uncopyrighted, whose copyright has expired, or is uncopyrightable" this includes government publications, many jokes. Here's a refresher for you.

5) Know the different between copyright and assigning rights. When you create a work, you always have the copyright, UNLESS you are an employee and creating that work for your employer. If you are not an employee, then the copyright is yours to ASSIGN THE RIGHT TO COPY. That's where we get into first rights, all rights (which isn't giving away your copyright, you've just given them the right to do what they want with the work, but the copyright is still yours... think of it this way: You own the cow, but you've sold all the milk), web rights, archive rights... and while we're at it... that copyright only passes to the purchaser (the publication) when they PAY YOU.

6) Plaigiarism = BAD WRITER. It is defined as taking anything that you didn't write YOURSELF and claiming that you did write it.

Ok. I'm done my rant. I was just set off once again today by seeing yet another writer copy and paste an entire article in an email and send it to a list of writers.

WTH People?!?!