Archive for the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

#ListifyLife Spring Challenge – Scents That Conjure Memories

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Sorry for the blurriness in this week’s image:


This week’s theme is Scents that Conjure up Memories

  • Fresh Pastry –> Paris. My then-boyfriend/now-husband and I backpacked through Europe during our university years. Okay, this was a long time ago, and I had never tasted croissants before! For years after visiting Paris, and even sometimes now (despite the proliferation of croissants in my part of Canada since), if I pass a bakery and catch the whiff of freshly baked pastries, I am transported back to memories of the left bank, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sewers of Paris (which was a very interesting tour, although no croissants were consumed during the informative boat trip).
  • Chainsaw Oil or Sawdust –> My Husband’s Early Forestry Days.¬†My husband is now in the business end of the forest industry, but he began as a silviculture field forester plus he logged with my dad for a brief spell. Now, whenever he gets firewood or “prunes” (his term for huge tree haircuts) in our backyard and then comes in the house, when I hug him I breathe deeply of his work shirt. I admit it, I find the scent of chainsaw oil and/or sawdust romantic! (By the by, the hero in WHERE SHE BELONGS, Adam Wright, is a forester–shameless plug).
  • Mothballs –> Visiting Other Granny. My “Other Granny” was my mom’s mom, my maternal grandmother. She always lived in very small houses, and the closets smelled like mothballs. She has been gone a very long time, but I will forever associate the scent with her. And you know what? She’s not the sort who would mind it. ūüôā
  • Scent of Fireplace Burning (well, firewood IN fireplace) –> Watching Movies on TV with my DH and Our Kids.¬†I love the scent of firewood burning in an open fireplace! We are lucky enough to have a wonderful chimney in the middle of our house, in the family room, which is in the basement. My family loves movies, and we watched a lot of movies with our kids with a hearty fire crackling on the hearth. When your fireplace is in the middle of the house, as opposed to an exterior wall, a fire in the fireplace heats the whole place, giving it a super cozy feeling. The scent is “home” to me.

Do you have any scents that conjure up good memories?

#ListifyLife – Weird Talents or Skills I Have

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016


Welcome back to the #ListifyLife Spring Challenge! Weird Talents or Skills I Have…

  • Conversing with Animals and Puppets, Especially Allie McBeagle. Now, I have enjoyed talking “for” animals and inanimate objects since I was around 18 and my then-boyfriend/now-husband bought me a Grover hand puppet. Honestly, creative folks shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near muppets, puppets, and the like. I always talked “a bit” for previous cats and dogs, but Allie McBeagle pretty much jumped into my brain and started conversing regularly with me from the time she was a few months old. She’s slowing down in that department now that she’s 14 and a half. She no longer reports on her earlier¬†entrepreneurial endeavors (like beagle T-shirts, the Beaglah University she started in England, or “Alpha Training”), but we do okay. Believe me when I say, with a beagle around, I am never alone.
  • Predicting Weather with My Knee.¬†Eighteen seems to have been a defining year for me. In 1978 I was in a high school production of Oklahoma, and I had to dance during some dream sequence scene. There was a wagon wheel backstage, and someone (accidentally, I hear) pushed me into it right before I needed to go on-stage. I really REALLY hurt my knee, but didn’t tell¬†the doctor about it for, oh, thirty years. It took several months for the knee to heal to the point where I only have to pop it several times a day. I really don’t know what’s wrong with it, but it’s fairly reliable at predicting rain. It’s really picking up on barometric pressure changes in the air, not actual rain. But if I tell you, “It’s gonna rain,” I usually mean within hours.
  • Objects Fly Off Shelves/Out of My Hands for No Reason. I can’t quite figure this one out. All I know is that if I’m opening the bathroom medicine cabinet, 80% of the time something will fly out at me. Or I’ll drop whatever I’m holding that I just took out. This goes for kitchen cabinets, too. I gather it’s because I’m a klutz or not paying enough attention, or I lack hand-eye coordination, but I’m also the type who gets in an elevator which then refuses to go anywhere, or if I step on an escalator I’m likely to get my jacket caught in some mechanism or other. This sort of thing happens to me all of the time. I’ve just come to accept it, but my husband shakes his head.
  • I Can Put My Foot Behind My…Never Mind. My chiropractor says not to do it anymore, so I haven’t practiced in awhile. It’s just one foot. The other doesn’t work as well. But putting my foot…wherever I can put it just leads to spinal problems, so we’re done with that.

Do you have any weird talents or skills?

#ListifyLife – Words I Always Spell Wrong

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016


This week’s #ListifyLife theme is a weird one for me, because:

  1. I’m Canadian, so if I’m writing Canadian I automatically spell words “wrong,” like colour and theatre. I don’t spell them wrong for Canadians, and maybe not for the British (there is some confusion being Canadian because we spell some words the British way and others American), but I spell them “wrong” for Americans; and
  2. I’m a really good speller, so I had to think extra-hard about words I spell wrong.

So we have…

  • Miniscule or Minuscule? The latter is the correct spelling, but the former is becoming commonplace because it means “very small” and “mini” also now means “very small.” Here’s a link that shows I’m not in the minority getting confused!
  • Barbeque or barbecue? No wonders folks just say BBQ. I use both spellings, depending on how I feel, and I think I can safely blame the barbeque spelling on the fact that Canada is supposedly bilingual and if “barbeque” isn’t French, well, it should be. ūüôā Link¬†that says the barbeque spelling is likely Spanish…
  • License or Lisence or Licence?¬†I spell it the first way, but I often check, because a lot of times the British spelling in certain words will have an S while the American spelling has a C, or vice versa. My auto-correct says that both license and licence are correct and lisence is all types of wrong! it looks like I’m spelling American when it comes to License.
  • Onomatopoeia. I always forget the last O and spell Onomoatapeia. If you look at the photo graphic, it appears I’ve also left off the i, but I haven’t. You can see the dot of the i, but my writing can get pretty messy and in this case I’ve flowed the majority of the i from that weird little E right before it. ūüėČ
  • Supercalafragalisticexpealidocious. I mean, come on, who gets that right? I’m blaming my misspelling on the fact that it’s not a “real” word, but it’s certainly in the lexicon, isn’t it? By the way, the Interwebs¬†says the real spelling is¬†supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, so I confused some As for Is, or the other way around.
  • What words do you always spell wrong?

#ListifyLife – Little Things that Make Me Happy

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Welcome to the first April edition¬†of the #ListifyLife Spring Challenge! This week we have Little Things that Make Me Happy (as a side note, I am completely blanking on whether Me should be capitalized in a title or not…)


  • Blue Skies! So, so important! I am one of those folks whose moods are affected by the weather. I really do not like gray skies. Just a little bit of blue peeking through the clouds can carry me through two days of crappy weather. Blue Skies is a really little thing that goes a long way toward making me happy.
  • Hiking with my Husband.¬†I guess “walking” is a more accurate description. I don’t get to walk/hike with my husband as often I would like, because we have to work around his work schedule and his golfing. ūüėČ But whenever we both have a weekend morning free, we get Allie McBeagle and head off to the nearest provincial park. I walk every day with Allie, but she gets to go off-lease when Steve is around. Now, she’s starting to go pretty deaf, so we have to make sure we keep an eye on her. I think my husband really enjoys these walks, as well. He warns me that when the dog goes to the Rainbow Bridge we will lose our incentive to walk. And he’s right, a dog forces you to get outdoors. But I love the walks and hikes and would participate regardless.
  • I especially love when my husband goes and fetches me a Surprise Latte before one of our walks! I can only have caffeine before, oh, 10:30 a.m. is probably safest. Maybe 11 a.m. if I want to push it. We often have coffee on our walks, but a surprise latte makes me very happy.
  • A Beagle Sleeping on My Lap. Sometimes it’s a PITN when Allie is demanding to rest with “Yap” (beagle-speak for Lap, one of her nicknames for me) and “Yap” really needs to break her brain with spreadsheets or kill her back washing floors or something. But you know what? A beagle forcing Yap to take a break is not a bad thing at all. When my dog is resting with me (on me) and snoring/snuffling away, she’s content so I’m content. One of the simple joys of life. Loving a dog.
  • Hugging my Kids! Anyone with kids, this pretty much goes without saying, but I only get to see Eldest Son in July and August, when he’s visiting from teaching high school overseas, so that First Hug is oh-so-wonderful! And each summer hug is so important because it needs to carry me throughout another year. And then there’s Youngest Son! He gives the greatest hugs. He only lives 90 minutes away, not a 10-hour plane ride away, but he’s over six feet, which is a lot taller than Moi, and I like to stand on this step in our mud room when I hug him. Whenever I hug him, I think of the tiny little 4 lb. 15 oz. preemie born 25 years ago. But now my preemie can squeeze and hug and lift me. I also have to get on the step to hug my DILly, so is also nearly six feet tall.

What little things make you happy?

Listify Life – The Books I’d Want to Live in for Awhile…

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

It’s Week 2 of the #ListifyLife Spring Challenge! I am posting every Tuesday.

The topic this week? The Books I’d Want to Live in for Awhile… My picks, in no particular order but with some degree of rationalization, are:


When I thought about this topic, I decided to go with the books¬†that most enthralled or otherwise inspired me as a child. The ones I identified with. I didn’t read Gone with the Wind until I was 21 or so, but I chose it as my most “adult” book, because I’d love to stand near Scarlett O’Hara and whack her on the head every once in a while. But I’m getting ahead of my nominations…

My list is missing Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Nice Fat Policeman. I (well, my older sister but I stole them) had 5 or 6 in the Raggedy Ann and Andy series, but the one starring the Nice¬†Fat Policeman really piqued my interest. Who doesn’t want to live the life of a rag doll? I had my own Raggedy Ann and Andy, and I remember declaring to my dad that I would name a kid Andy, which turned out to be his middle name (Andrew). Years later, I actually DID name my first son Andrew, after my dh’s brother, Andy, who passed away at 25 from an asthma attack. But we didn’t actually call our son Andy, because that was Andy’s name. His legal¬†name is Andrew, though.

Hmm, why isn’t Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Nice¬†Fat Policeman on my list then? Quite simply, I ran out of space in the cute graphic box. This is the book I also read to my grade one class, so it stuck in my memory.

Back to my nominations:

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. This one is simple. I’m Canadian, and so is Anne. Anne is a little quirky and odd and has great friends and great adventures. Plus, I’ve never visited Prince Edward Island. Living in Anne of Green Gables for awhile would give me that chance.
  • Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. Hmm, I seem to have a penchant for stuffed animal stories, but, honestly, stuffed animals come to life? I’m there! Not scary like Chucky. Being a Wednesday’s Child, I always identified with Eeyore, although others might classify me more like a Tigger. But really I want to steal Winnie the Pooh’s honey while he’s stuck in that hole.
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I could have chosen any of the LIW books for this “living in awhile” list, but I didn’t really want to be caught in a long, cold winter and On the Banks of Plum Creek left a lasting impression on me as an 8-year-old finally realizing ¬†actual people actually wrote actual books. That writing books was actually something an actual person might actually get to do some day. This blew me away! I learned to read peeking over my older sister’s shoulder when she was in grade 1 (we didn’t have kindergarten or more than 2 TV channels, and the family lore goes that perhaps I¬†was bored – or a genius; the jury is still out). I was 4, maybe closer to 5 because it would have been in the fall. I learned to read via Dr. Seuss and likely my sister’s grade 1 readers, but our grade 3 teacher read us the LIW books every day. Laura had dark hair and always had to wear pink, like me (honestly, my mother!!) whereas Laura’s sister had blond hair and got to wear blue (like my sister – Mom!!!). Laura had an adventurous life, and she got to live in a sod sorta house in this book. This greatly appealed to my imagination, because until the age of 5 I grew up in a tiny farming community where 95% of the residents were related to each other (but not intermarried – we had scruples), and my grandparents were pioneers. Laura’s dad was a pioneer. One + one = Budding Writer whose first attempt at a novel was a grade three project, a little paper pamphlet book I called “On the Shores of Mable Lake.”
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I doubt this one needs an explanation. I mean, come on, a wardrobe with a magical passage to another world where you get to ride a huge lion? The wardrobe itself is reason enough. I spent an inordinate amount of time as a child trying to figure out what a furniture “wardrobe” was.
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.¬†I had some hesitation choosing GWTW because although it’s one of my favorite character reads, it’s set during the U.S. Civil War, which feels like an odd¬†era to want to “live in for awhile.” As a Canadian growing up in a not-very-diversified period of time, GWTW captured my imagination and enthralled my emotions. I wanted to know the characters, to whack them on the head if necessary, to see what it was like to sew a dress from curtains, to learn the history of our neighbors to the south, to find out what grits really tasted like. In other words, the world of GWTW was as different and foreign to me as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I didn’t identify with Scarlett, but she was spoiled and headstrong and fascinating to explore through Margaret Mitchell’s writing….

What books would you choose to Live in for Awhile?

#ListifyLife Spring Challenge – Spring for Me Is…

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Week 1 of the #Listifylife Spring Challenge presents that most perplexing of issues…. What is Spring for You?


To me, Spring is…

  • Birthday Season! Between March 31st and June 3rd we celebrate at least eight family birthdays I can think of, between parents, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son, niece and my DH.
  • Planting Flowers I’ll Forget to Water¬†Last summer we did masses of outdoor renovations, completely tearing up our “Fred Flintstone” driveway (complete with decades of frost heaves), taking away loads of natural clay, replacing with clean fill, paving with asphalt, and replacing our old¬†carport with a beautiful new one that goes much better with our house. Along the way, we lost the two gardens outside my kitchen door. We have a nice new pathway I’ll line with flower pots this spring. Let’s see if I’m any better at remembering to water pots than I am at gardens….
  • Counting Down to Seeing my Eldest Son Again in July!¬†I only get to see E.S. in the summers, because he teaches at a B.C.-curriculum high school in Shanghai. I try to forget the countdown from September until March, because otherwise it gets too depressing. But now that spring is upon us, I’m counting down to early/mid-July when he’ll be home for his annual visit.

What is Spring for You? 

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