Wednesday 14 December 2016

WWW: The worst Thanksgiving Meal I've Ever Had

Well, I've hosted and cooked the last seven, and they've been awesome. That's not me being all arrogant. That's people coming back every year, and for Christmas, and for Easter. So either my cooking is super awesome, or no one else wants to host.

So I can't really think of the worst Thanksgiving meal--my mom and Grandmother always made stellar meals, so it wasn't one of those. I even ate the Brussels Sprouts as a child. I also loved spinach and liver, so take however much stock you would like to in that last statement.

I imagine that the worst TG dinner I've had would have been any I've eaten in camp. Because really, when any meat hangs out in a steam tray for hours, it's pretty gross and dry.


Wednesday 7 December 2016

WWW: What can happen in a second.

Everything can happen in a second. Life. Death. Love and hate. You can win a race in a second. Or, by a second. You can win a race by a tenth, or even a one-hundredth of a second. 

Everything can happen in a Blink of an Eye. And since you can probably blink a few times in a second, lots can happen in a Blink.

Take your eyes off the road for one second, maybe because you hate the song that's playing, or maybe because your kids are screaming at each other and you turn your head for just one instant, you Blink your eyes only once, to yell "Shut up!", and when you turn your head back around, you don't have your second left.

You can't react in a second. Your second is already used up. No more blinks. Just eyes wide open in fear, and that sickening feeling of sliding into nothing.

Okay, somebody's in a dark mood.

Next week's topic: The worst Thanksgiving dish you ever had.

Monday 5 December 2016

Monday's Muse 2016-12-05. And Some Random Shtuff.

I have nothing snarky, today. Probably because for once I'm not tired, exhausted, fatigued, or bitchy. Yes, I need that much redundancy; it all applies equally and differently.

I was cleaning off my dresser yesterday because I thought that maybe it's a bit unfair to require my children to keep their rooms clean when mine is a disaster. I mean, washing, drying, and folding-ish my clothes is sometimes too much, never mind actually putting it away.

That, and my blouses were getting wrinkly. And, I couldn't find a pair of socks. I mean, sure, I could find 15 socks, but none of them actually matched. Although there were a couple days that I didn't care. Okay, more than a couple.

I digress.

I found a book called 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers' Grotto.

I bought it in either February 4th or April 2nd, 2015. The receipt's still in it. I think I've looked at it every now and then, and probably thought, "these might be good writing exercises." At least someone else would be coming up with the ideas.

All I seem to be able to think about lately is kid stuff, like laundry and lunches and getting out the door on time in the mornings and seriously if you don't stop wrecking your toys I'm going to give them all away and what sticky mess did you just touch me with?
Except for when I'm driving. I come up with some pretty cool writing ideas when I'm driving, but I can never remember what was making me laugh out loud all by myself in the car. Or, maybe I'm just crazy. Whichever.

So then I thought, since my usual Muse seems a bit busy lately, and even though I could go on and on and on and on and on about some of the really bad writing I've had the gag me pleasure of reading (BMBR's coming to a computer near you real soon. Or not. You've seen my track record!) lately, how about I use this book as my muse for a while?

642 things. One thing a week. That would only take - -no that can't be right - 12.35 years? 😅😭

Oh. No. Not Monday's Muse.

Wednesday's Writers' Workshop.

Because I could go on and on and on and on about some of the "SRSLY" how the eff did you get published? crap out there. (And yes, seriously must be spelled this way in this instance.) So I don't want to get rid of Monday's Muse just yet.

Topic One, from Page One: What can happen in a second.

See you Wednesday!

Monday 21 November 2016

Monday's Muse 2016-11-21 almost 22

'Tis the season for buying festively themed romance novels. 

Let's all create some down-on-their-luck characters who need to smooch under the mistletoe!

Yeah, that's all I can come up with at quarter to midnight after a hiatus of holy-cow-it's-been-a-while.

Friday 19 August 2016

Drumheller Day 6

The kids look like zombies, ha ha ha.

But I'm not laughing. We had a lazy start to the day, and headed off to the coal mine again. K2 didn't make it. Meltdown city squared! Hubby took him to the truck to cram some food in him while K1 and I continued on.

We then went to the Royal Tyrell Museum. Do not take your kids when they're tired, hungry, and whiny. I enjoyed the museum. I did not enjoy the tantrums.

Afterwards the grandparents took us for dinner to Bernie and the Boys restaurant, a haven for burgers and hot dogs etc.  It was a busy place for sure.
If you love greasy, salty, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen burgers, you'll love it. I feel like I've gained 10 lbs in water retention myself. I'm also hoping that the kitchen is cleaner than the bathroom. . .

As tired as the kids were, they still played hard at the playground until bedtime, and they still crashed hard regardless of the three marshmallows that they each had.

K2: Can I have some mushrooms?
Me: We don't have any mushrooms.
K2: Oh. Um, those white things that we had the other this morning?
Me: Marshmallows?

Thursday 18 August 2016

Drumheller Day 5

Had a wonderfully lazy morning. Played cribbage on the giant board by the playground while the kids played.

Went to do the interpretive trail by the Royal Tyrell. Ended up climbing across the valley, up some ridges and to the top of a mound. K1 learned all about the prickly cacti. Jeans recommended!

I learned that some leafy looking plants actually have a million little invisible-until-they-stick-in-your-fingers spines. I got all but one out and guess who doesn't have tweezers? Oh! Will check first aid kit shortly.

Continued on hiking up a narrow crevice. Beautiful views of the valley. And of the trail that we're not on, tee hee.

Eventually got back to the museum and drove to the coal mine trail.  Instead of taking the actual trail we followed the less-beaten path up on to the fields above. Tip: Learned that it's easier to come down when K2 holds the back of my belt vs holding his hand.

Walked back down and literally walked the kids in to the ground on the way to the coal mine (turns out we could have driven to it), which is another half hour hike. Tomorrow. As it was even K1 put himself to bed, which is a miracle unto itself.

Made pasta, and the sauce was the best I ever had. Fried ground turkey, onions, garlic, and some kind of Newman's Own pasta sauce. So good! Possibly helped that I was very very hungry. . .

Debated the feasibility of campground sex again.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Drumheller Day 4

Decided to hike the hoodoos today. Instead of getting up early to beat the heat, we slept in a bit. By the time we ate breakfast, which was pretty much a wine fest, and left, it was hot.

Hubby decides to stop at Mark's Work Wearhouse to get boots. A delay, but turns out to be good call. Go in to the Co-op mall to pee and get water. Drive 2 minutes and realize that I forgot my phone in the bathroom. Go back. It's exactly where I left it.

Finally get to the hoodoos and the people coming off the hill look like they're going to spontaneously combust. It's HOT.

K1, who's 6, and hubby climb all the way to the top. K2 (3yo) and I go up as far as my knowledge of being able to get back down will allow, which is still pretty far. Down is definitely scarier than up because  of the fear of sliding on loose rocks and not stopping.

Make it down safely and rest with well deserved ice cream bars.

Stop on the way back and cross an old suspension bridge across the Red Deer River.

Kids are now super tired and whiny, buy all attempts to get them to rest are futile and they're trying to kill each other.

Have a classic camping lunch of wieners and beans.
This may backfire on me. Literally. All night long.

Go to the pool, only to find out that a. the pool is closed to swimming for another 2 hours because of lessons, and b. K2 is not tall enough to go down the water slide by himself--and they won't let him down with a parent--and that was the whole reason for going.

So go to the water park and splash park. Come back for a snack. Have supper with Grandma and Grandpa. Kids want to go to the playground but we convince them to watch a movie instead. (What would we do on a real camping trip to the middle of nowhere?)

K2 falls asleep. Hoping K1 will easily because the movie is over and I'm tired.

This day has been an exercise in flexibility  (mine, mentally) and calmness when dealing with the champions of whine.

Drumheller Days 1-3 Continued

Day 2:

Leave Banff at a reasonable hour. Stop five times for bathroom breaks, including a complete bypassing of an actual rest area and instead pulling off on a freeway ramp.

The iPads are dead, so set the boys up for colouring. Listen to them scream at each other because they each have a fistful of pencils but K1 has the gold pencil crayon and therefore is BEING A MEANIE FOR NOT SHARING! Give back some partially charged iPads. Stop crying inside (me).

Get in to Drumheller for an early dinner. Set up camp. Grandpa takes the kids to the playground. Mom has a shower!

Go to bed. Fall asleep 2 hours later. For an hour.

Day 3:

Climb the BIGGEST dinosaur in the world! Go to the water park and the splash park. Climb the dinosaur again, but this time Daddy challenges you to do the stairs two at a time. You do it, and your quads do not thank you for it later. Ungrateful little bitches.

Roast potatoes and veggies and salmon in the coals. Best meal ever! (Except hubby wanted some sweet Tai chili sauce and didn't realize that I'd packed some. Oops.)

Kids learn the hard way that metal weiner roasting sticks get hot on the fire end. K1 has a nice cross-hatch pattern burned in to his finger, but that doesn't stop him from playing tag in the playground for an hour before bed.

Catch some marshmallows on fire. Shower while the kids fall asleep.
Debate the feasibility of campground sex.

WBPHMD: Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters by Alan S Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa


I'm camping, and in the interest of not using my phone I'm reading a real book. With real paper pages and everything.

I'm reading WBPHMD (as per the title of this post), a book written by two evolutionary psychologists who explain why we do what we do.

In the interests of BMBR's, I'll most likely give you the important bits. You may have to read the book to get a better explanation.

Warning: this book is not politically correct, and I won't be sugar coating anything.

Here goes.


1.  2 errors in thinking to avoid: the naturalistic and the moralistic fallacies. Naturalistic philosophy says what is, ought to be, IE if people are genetically different than they should be treated differently, whereas moralistic philosophy says what ought to be, is, IE everyone should be treated equally so therefore they are genetically the same.

2. Stereotypes may suck, but they're usually stemmed from true general observations, and shouldn't be biological prescriptions.

Monday 15 August 2016

Drumheller Days 1-3

Day One: driving from Home to Banff, specifically Johnston Canyon Campground, which according to Google Maps is a 7ish hour drive.

Google does not have kids, nor do they have to drive around town for an hour looking for those last minute camping items. They don't have to stop to pee every hour. New travel rule: if Mommy has to pee, everyone pees no matter what.

Saw some beautiful sights along Hwy 93--Ice Fields Parkway. Drove past the glass lookout that juts out over a valley, and it's so high that I was freaking out in the truck. I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, but that part of the highway was just freaky.

The rivers are the prettiest colour green.

Rolled in to the Campground about 8pm. Or so. 9 hours later, anyway. Just enough time to roast some hot dogs and to try to convince the kids that yes, Mommy really does mean it when she says that she gets cranky when she can't sleep. And to take K1 to go pee. Then an hour later to take K2 to go pee.

Note to self: get out the driveway on time so that we have time to run the kids in to the ground at some point along the way.

Saturday 30 July 2016

You're Making Me Feel Stupid

This is what my 6yo told me today.

I asked him how, and he said that I was telling him what to do.

In other words, I was micro-managing him while he folded towels.

I learned how to do that from my own mother. I listened to how I talked to my kids a little more closely after that.

I'm thinking maybe I could be a little bit nicer when I'm angry.

I'm not saying that they didn't deserve every punishment that they got for breaking up a large piece of Styrofoam ALL OVER THE FREAKING HOUSE, but I probably didn't have to yell so much.

Sunday 6 March 2016

BMBR: Love Muffin and Chai Latte by Anya Wylde

It started out a bit slow, and after a bit you figure out how it's obviously going to end (and it does end that way), but I'm glad I stuck with this one. There were good parts where I laughed my ass off, and it turned out to be a great read once it got going.

Bottom Line: it was free via BookBub, but I'd spend 3-5$ on it.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Miss Fortune series by Jana DeLeon

I picked up the 1st 3 books in a box set for free. Or maybe 99cents. Regardless, the box set is now 99 cents and the 1st book is free on Kindle. Go get it.

CIA assassin goes into hiding in Sinful, Louisiana, and  she's completely out of her element. She unwittingly teams up with a couple of cute little old ladies to win the after-church-race-for-the-banana-pudding, and I haven't stopped laughing yet.

In spite of a few spelling and minor grammatical errors sprinkled throughout, and a few awkwardly written sentences, they are more than worth it.

Definitely an improvement over the last box set I tried reading. Each book so far is one week full of so much actionable conflict that I'm tired just thinking about it. Maybe a little  because I can't stop reading it.

Bottom line: I'm on book three, and I don't plan on stopping. I will even get book six at its higher price because I know it will be awesome.

The Worth series by Mara Jacobs

I got a 3-book box set cheaply via Bookbub.

I quit halfway through the second book. They were okay, and the writing isn't bad, but for some reason I found them a bit boring, and after a while I realized that I didn't really care much about the characters so I moved on.

It took forever for anything to happen.  Lots of filler. Not a lot of action or conflict.

Bottom line: it's probably okay if you're in the mood for slow and easy, and it was definitely better than a lot of the fluff I've been reading. If it's still free or cheap, decide for yourself, but if not, then please see what I moved on to:

The Miss Fortune series.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

BMBR: Almost in Love by Kylie Gilmore

This was a freebie via Bookbub. I haven't finished it. And I probably won't.

It's a Big Bang Theory-esque plot where the nerdy (but hot and has some money) thinks that the artsy chick with pink hair, and who lives across the hall, is super hot.

What it doesn't have is actual intelligence or hotness.

This version came with a prequel novella (Almost Dating) on how the characters first met, and it ends with them kissing in the building's laundry room. That should have been it, right there. Great short story, maybe not in writing style, but it has all the elements from introduction to denouement. I left there thinking, "great, and they live happily ever after!" Or, at least, imagining that they do.

In Almost in Love, I'm expecting the Guy to get the Girl by being his charming, nerdy self, but the Girl ends up being embarrassed by him, and then the Guy gets the part of the Pirate King in the local theatre, and suddenly the Girl thinks that he's hot and she wants him. Badly. (So does every female and gay man around.) And the whole time (at least as far as I've read) the Guy is thinking back to the other time in high school when he was in a play and his girlfriend thought he was hot until the play ended and then it turned out that, lo and behold, he's just a nerdy Guy, so she dumped him, and the Guy is worried that the current Girl is going to do the same, and the whole time I'm screaming in my head, "Dude! Don't change who you are just to get a Girl who's embarrassed by you! Find the Girl who thinks it's cool that you own a Fro-Yo shop and that you like to dance around in a cow costume for the kids! Because she is going to KEEP being embarrassed by you unless you're the Pirate King!"

I couldn't stop screaming that, so I gave up on the book because if it was a Girl trying to change herself for a Guy, I would hate that story too.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Monday's Muse 2016-01-04 5

Creepy crawly things.

John Saul, Dean Koontz and Stephen King can run with this. And, they're making a killing at it, too (or maybe that's a hopeful writer's assumption).

So, they are actually prepping the grade fiver for success!

Sunday 3 January 2016

BMBR: Come by Becca Jameson

According to the bio at the end of the novel, which, yes, I reached, but no, I probably shouldn't have, I read that Ms Jameson was an editor for years before writing her own novels. She wasn't a grammar editor. At least, I hope not. Maybe it's different when you write your own--you maybe can't see the errors--but wouldn't you therefore have an editor?

Or is this one of many in a long line of "BDSM is really hot right now, so pump them out, and don't worry about using the wrong "your" (and weirdly enough, in this book it wasn't a case of some one writing something like "your running really fast" (the common error), it was more like, "hey, is that you're pencil?") or their or spell that crinkly stuff under your heroine's dress "tool" on one page, and "toulle" on the next page. No one will notice because no one who reads BDSM romance would know the difference." (The tool/toulle error may be from another book, but I don't think it matters.)

Yeah, I take offence to that. Sure, I'm not expecting all of my sex-laden romance to be Giller-prize material, but for the love of my sex life, comma faults really interrupt my foreplay, and I find that really distracting. I'm correcting errors instead of being turned on.

And sometimes I need to read about hot sex, which gets me all hot and bothered and ready to go for when the kids are finally in bed and we're so tired that there is no way either of us has the energy for an hour of actual physical foreplay.

And I know what you're thinking: if I have time to read, wouldn't I have time for actual physical foreplay?

[Snorts.] No. This is what I do when I'm snuggling with the rugrats while they watch Paw Patrol ad nauseum before bed. You know, instead of doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom.

But I digress, so back to the book review.

Girl meets guy, guy introduces her to his BDSM lifestyle while protecting her from a stalker. It was a freebie from Book Bub.

It wasn't horrible, and I did read it to the end, but now that I think about it, I don't remember actually ever feeling like I should drag my hubby down the hallway for a good tumble.

Bottom line: this one made me realize that just because you got it for free does not mean that you have to read it.