Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reading Material

The days just march past me, one by one, until I finally sit up and notice that tomorrow is AUGUST! Whaaa? Here are some tidbit reading material. Happy Last Day of July!

Cocktail Commandments for the socially inept.

So THAT'S why they looked at you funny in Italy.

Learn about muscle memory and how to help it along.

I'm a little late to the festival game, but festival fashion is what we enjoy all summer long.

Writing doesn't HAVE to consume your every waking moment.

Flea market finds are the best.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kindness is Key

When we arrived home after nearly a week of camping and volunteering at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum, I was mysteriously brimming with energy. But instead of focused movements, I was running all over the place and after putting most things away back in their proper place, I went out into the garden to take stock on what was happening with our vegetables.

The peas were more than ready to be picked and there were two overgrown zucchini calling my name. After plucking the food from their vines I weeded in between plants until I got bored, then brought everything indoors. After panicking for a single indecisive minute, as I didn't want to let the vegetables just sit there on the counter, I decided to bake a chocolate zucchini cake and cook a cauliflower salad.

After checking to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients (I did) I set about boiling the cauliflower and eggs as well as getting the cake batter ready for the oven. I don't know what possessed me to do all this. I was in a tizzy! Between my time in the kitchen, taking care of Little C and trying to catch up on blog posts, the whole day was frazzled, the total opposite of relaxing.

Truth be known, I love to cook and bake. It's a creative outlet that many people enjoy and it's something I do for myself. Big C is a picky eater and is known for rejecting many a culinary masterpiece if it's not plain steak and potatoes. Although I am slowly and gently nudging him toward a more open mindset, sometimes just by adding herbs and spices to otherwise mundane dishes, he does not eat anything 'mixed' like casseroles or anything with a sauce. Gravy or soup is OUT. How crazy, right!

With all this baking around the house, I've been snacking unnecessarily on junk food. To my shame I've been ignoring the delicious fruits and vegetables in my fridge in favour of cookies and brownies. I am not happy with the way I am acting. Treating myself poorly is not the way I envision living. I know I will have to make a conscious effort to be kinder to myself. Perhaps I will document this journey? We will see.

This isn't a food and exercise blog. I am by no means an expert. Ha! Not here! This is my beginner's guide, my buckling legs, if you will, to treating my body kindly. I am not rigid, of course not! I seek pleasure all the time, which is why I am in this predicament in the first place. Somewhere along the way my brain decided cookies and other sweets were the answers to my pleasure prayers. And although it's perfectly fine to indulge once in a while, everyday three times per day is not an indulgence, it's a bad habit!

So, Kindness is Key!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reading Material

When the heat wave rises against us, and when the temperatures dip dramatically, I often remember the movie 'Cool Runnings'. The first time I saw this movie was in school, and although for the life of me I can't remember why our teacher let us watch this in class, I am grateful she did! A stand out moment in the movie is when the character Sanka Coffie (I know, right!?) declares that he must delve into his reading material...which happened to be comic books/magazines.

So, for the love of all kinds of reading material, here are some links to enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Musings

After putting the baby down for his nap I walked into the kitchen to continue doing the dishes (housework is a never ending story). All our windows are open to let the breeze flow through the house. There's a storm brewing, I can smell it. I can hear my husband mowing the lawn and as I put our cutlery back in the rightful spot a breeze carries the scent of freshly cut grass. In this moment I feel pure pleasure. This life of mine may be quiet, but I am content with it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday Musings

On Saturday Big C and I spent the morning relaxing indoors with Little C in our air conditioned house. We dressed for the day, tidied the house then packed our car and drove to the next town over for Big C's Grandpa's (we'll call him GB) 80th birthday party.

It was a backyard affair, with 2 tents erected for shade so all of GB's friends and family could visit as pleasantly as possible in the searing heat (+38 C with the humidity). I enjoyed visiting with my sister-in-law, and watching the little cousins play with the sprinkler and the slip n slide. Little C got passed around so often, that besides feeding him indoors and glancing around once in a while to see where he was, I never saw him! Babies have that effect on people ;)

On Sunday, again we relaxed in the morning.The heat wasn't too bad, or at least not as bad as Saturday. We are a bunch that is used to cold weather 6 months out of the year, so when it changes dramatically for the other 6 months, we're not used to it! People talk about the weather here a lot, because it is certainly not constant. Heck, in one day it can go from snow to rain to sunny skies and bathing suits (mostly in the springtime this happens, and I'm not exaggerating). So it is a wonderful ice breaker, because there's so much to talk about!

On Sunday afternoon I packed up Little C and I in the car and we drove to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum (MAM) to help out my mom and sister gather vintage clothes to prepare for the fashion show that they put on during the Threshermen's Reunion. Big C was helping my dad work on the 110 Case steam engine that they run during the Reunion. I used to help operate it as well, before I had Little C. Now I'm not sure when I'll go back to it, as I don't want the baby around all the wood/coal smoke and hot boilers. Maybe once Little C is not dependent on me for food someone else can look after him while I have some fun on the 110. But until then I am trying to find my niche in the Ladies Building.

Big C and I in front of the 110.

Sunday was a special day, as it was my parents' 40th wedding anniversary! My sister and I walked with my mom to the little chapel where our parents were married, she walked down the aisle and reminisced about her wedding day.  We ate supper in the open shed beside the steam engines and my parents talked about their wedding, which was the first one to take place on the museum grounds.

All in all, it was a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

Right now the house is quiet. Both Big and Little C are still sleeping and I get a few hours all to myself! I was up late last night preparing for a small dinner party that we're hosting today. My sister and her fiance, and my parents are coming over to help celebrate Canada Day! Not sure if there will be fireworks tonight, as the weather is still wet and rainy, but nevertheless we will have fun together, we always do!

I will post a few pictures of our party tomorrow. It's not super fancy or impressive, but that's not the point of having a party. We're just here for a good time :)

Happy Canada Day! We're so lucky to live here in this diverse, bountiful, peaceful country.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Funday

Whew, we are being Rained. Out. here in what is typically Sunny Manitoba. Since this spring was such a slow melt (ie. the snow took it's time to melt in slow stages) we had minimal flooding and everyone thought they were off the hook. Now we've been deluged with stormy weather and these prairie plains are not equipped to handle this much moisture in one weekend. Between the wind and the rain there's been quite a lot of damage around these parts.

The City of Brandon was hit with 117mm of rain over three days, causing overland flooding.
Just outside of Brandon, MB
Cottonwood Campground (Treherne, MB)
Outside of Virden, MB

 (source: Facebook)

Although Manitoba does have many freshwater lakes, these areas are nowhere near them. This is all farmland that has been flooded.The wind has been clocked at everything between 74 to 96 km/hour all over the south of the province. Rural homes everywhere have been without power for a few days now, Winnipeg homes are experiencing brown water problems, Brandon is declaring a state of emergency, and it's all just a big wet mess.

However, Big C and I are very lucky compared to some. We are experiencing wind and rain, but it's relatively 'dry' here (our village is located in the hills, not a valley), we have no water in our basement, our power stayed on and we're snuggled in our home, safe.

On Saturday, Big C had plans to help my Dad get the steam engine he adopted ready for the Threshermen's Reunion at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum (this is a whole 'nother blog post) but when the rain started, they decided to postpone until it was dry. We stayed indoors and just hung out for the most part, watching movies and playing with Little C.

That evening the rain had let up and I took Little C with me to a book party. It's like a makeup or jewelry party, but for book nerds! A friend was putting it on for an acquaintance of hers who is selling children's 'Barefoot' books. After ordering 6 books (and winning one more) I had to curb my shopping impulse, chat with the other women who came, thank the hostess, and leave. It was a fun evening and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

On Sunday it was storm day, so Big C and I hung out inside. He parked his bum on the couch to watch an 'Animaniacs' marathon (even 30 year olds need to revisit their childhood!) and I caught up on some blog posts. We played with Little C while he was awake, and while he was napping, brought out our new juicer to learn how to make fresh orange juice (FYI it's really easy). Using the juice, I whipped up 2 different concoctions for us to enjoy! The night ended with us starting to sleep train Little C (which basically involves not rocking him to sleep anymore, just cuddling for a bit then putting him down and letting him go to sleep on his own). We're very lucky with Little C, he's an amazing sleeper and he just talked to himself for about 30 minutes and then fell asleep. No crying involved! Still, it tears at my heart that our little baby is not so little anymore. Every step of independence is a step away from me, and I'm not quite ready to give in to that yet!

Hope everyone has an amazing week! I'm off to plan a little Canada Day party for tomorrow!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Musings

This weekend was all about R & R!

On Saturday the day started out warm, as +30 C temps rolled into our village. Big C and I went for a walk in the morning with the baby and the dog to check out what was new around town. We stopped at the local grocery store for weekend ingredients and then made our way back home to do a few indoor chores.

After lunch we all went outside to enjoy a backyard bonfire while relaxing on our canopy swing. As it was the summer solstice, I wanted to commemorate it with a fire. We managed to weed part of our garden in between enjoying the flames and feeding Little C. As we were up so late the night before, watching movies and eating popcorn, and up so early with Little C, this night we were in bed by 10:30pm.

Sunday we all woke up later than usual and enjoyed a lazy morning. Once we were all up and dressed we hopped in the car and drove East to Ma's Drive Inn, located in Elm Creek. The owner is an acquaintance of ours and every year he hosts a fundraiser, where 100% of the weekend's profits are given to a great charity, 'Children's Wish'. This charity raises money to grant children aged 3-17 who are terminally ill a wish they desire. By far the most popular wish is a trip to Disney World.

 Little C enjoying his first Drive Inn experience with his Grandpa C, who drove out from Winnipeg to lunch with us!

After spending a few hours at the drive inn and visiting with friends, we made our way to my parents' house, as they were puppysitting Peggy Sue. We had supper and visit with my family and drove home at about 8pm. By that time the bathtub was calling Little C's name to splish splash, and then hit the hay!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Positive Affirmation

After reading initial posts, I can see that blogging was my way of writing out my feelings of desperation regarding our upcoming wedding and my fears of dealing with people and my image. One thing that I've been working on is maintaining a positive attitude throughout my day.

To aid me in this, I downloaded an app on my phone that sends me a daily motivational quote. It may sound hokey, but it does help me lift my spirits. Little things happen throughout the day that seem to get me down, so I admit that I need little things throughout the day to help me back up.

I can see that a lot of my desperate thoughts were on an 'all or nothing' line, which is no good when it comes to balance. I find, for me, the key to 'winning' my goals is to remain calm and not over-think things. I can see that I can't have any hard and fast rules, like 'no this or no that' because it creates too much pressure to follow.

Today's quote:

"In the hour of adversity, be not without hope; for crystal rain falls from black clouds."
                                                                                                             - Nizami

Kind of similar to 'Every cloud has a silver lining', it reminds me that there always must be balance. For every good, there is bad. We cannot have one without the other. With hard work accomplishes great things. We cannot have great things without hard work.

Today my hard work plans is to clean house (after such a busy weekend, the house has been neglected!). I will also get my hair cut, and spend some time with my sister (perhaps we will bake something, but more than likely we will sit and gossip)!

So the next blog post I read, minutes after posting this, was this. Coincidence? 

Lovely House

Whew, what a weekend!

Here in Manitoba we have a tradition called socials. It originated with the Ukranian immigrants as way to support an engaged couple by raising funds for their wedding. Usually the wedding party and family host it, although lately the bride and groom are becoming heavily involved as well. It generally involves raffle prizes, alcohol and dancing. It's almost always hosted on a Saturday night from 9pm-1am.

Big C and I got engaged in September of 2011 and had our social a year later in October 2012. It would have been sooner as we wanted a short engagement but Big C's sister was also engaged and was adamant that they have their wedding festivities first. Rather than cause a fuss or rush our engagement further, we chose to prolong it. In the end it was fine, as we were able to save more money to have a big party, which is was Big C wanted.

Our social was held in our local rink, and our families and wedding party did a fantastic job! We had many auction prizes, tons of drinks and a live band. We made quite a bit of money which helped us a lot with our wedding.

My sister (and maid of honour) and I posing before my social. Thunder buddies for life!

Big C and I dancing our first dance at our social at the beginning of the night to kick off the party. It was a 'casual affair' but I chose to dress up as much as I could with sequins!

This past weekend it was my little sister's wedding social! It was held in her fiance's hometown, not far from mine. The whole Saturday was so busy, as her shower was held that afternoon and then my parents hosted a picnic-style supper for 40 people consisting of sandwiches, cheese, salads and for dessert...cookies in pails! Afterward Big C and I rushed home to change and drop off Little C with the babysitters (Big C's mom and step-dad), then drove to the hall. We had every intention of volunteering our time to help out, but each offer with shot down with a friend saying 'go have fun!' So that's exactly what we did!

 Big C and I, getting our fun on.

Me and my sister...She's making a beautiful bride-to-be!

It was a fantastic night full of friends and family, and we finally tiptoed into our house at 3am.

On Sunday morning we woke up late, around 9:30am, which shocked me. Little C was still sleeping so I made coffee and visited with my mother-in-law. When he woke, I fed him and then made a simple brunch for the family of bacon and fried eggs.

After the in-laws left, I proceeded to bake a chocolate cake (which later my dad was shocked to learn meant 'from scratch') and around 4:30 we left to go to my parents' home for Sunday supper. This was an extra special supper because we had friends from Fargo who came up for the shower and social, and it was Father's Day!

We arrived home after a long weekend around quarter after 11pm, put the baby to bed, and proceeded to get ourselves ready for bed to prepare for another week! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Here's the thing...

I read a lot of blogs. Like, a LOT of blogs. I've got a good 20 on my roster and I try and read each article the day it's posted. And sometimes a blog will lead me to another blog and I spend a day or two catching up on the last 6 months of their stuff, and so on and so forth. I love to read, I'm fairly quick at it, so it's something that doesn't take up a lot of my time and I enjoy it. But there is one thing that annoys me.

Out of all these beautiful blogs, there is only one that is even remotely close to where I am geographically. All these other blogs are based in California or Texas or Alabama or New York. Big places that are totally different from what I experience everyday. I don't have a guide for experiencing my area. And I feel like this is something that people need to be aware of. Manitoba is considered back-country, basically boring. We're not cosmopolitan like Toronto, Ontario or terrifyingly unique like Vancouver, B.C...But it's not! I mean, it can be, but boring is a state of mind, rather than a social death sentence.

Being on Mat Leave until next February means I have quite a bit of time to spend with Little C. I'd like to show myself and the world that there are fun things to do and pretty things to look at here in Manitoba. This will most likely be a slow and arduous journey for those who are way more technologically advanced than me, but be patient, because I'm going to learn the ropes!

I think this will help create momentum for myself to become the person I want to be, so I'm thinking this will be an educational journey as well as a personal one!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thoughts on Glamour

About a week after I gave birth to Little C I developed a blood clot in my thigh. It's a risk of pregnancy and was brought on by the trauma of delivery. I was more prone to the risk because I have one copy of factor V, which is a blood clotting disorder. I had gotten phlebitis about 7 years ago when a friend of mine died and a bunch of us drove out to Alberta for the funeral.
(I live in the MB part, basically where the blue dot is)
 Being stuck in the back of a truck for 19 hours there and 19 hours back brought it on. With the drama of that experience, I learned what to look for in case it ever happened again.


Ok, so when I saw the red circle and felt the sore leg, I called the Dr's office immediately and was brought in same day to get an ultrasound done. It was a bit of a runaround, 20 minutes there, an hour and a half here, an hour back, but the long story short is the clot was 1 cm away from being a DVT and I was put on warfarin pills and fragmin shots. It was very dramatic at the time but things have settled down now. I go to the hospital and get my blood INR tested monthly to make sure my blood is therapeutic (ie. not too thin and not too thick).

Today I hadn't showered, I wore pants that hadn't been washed in quite some time, a shirt that 'fit' (although it feels too short) and a teal sweater. I only have one pair of black flats that feel comfy so I wore those (carrying a baby around is hard work). My hair was down except for the front part being pinned back. I felt frumpy but I was in a hurry.

After my blood was taken, I walked down to the nurses station to say hi to my mom (she's a nurse there), and one of the nurses complimented me on my outfit. Something 'are going somewhere fancy? You're all dressed up' came out of her mouth. I kinda didn't know what to say, so what came out of my mouth is "umm, these pants fit. And this shirt is clean. I don't know why I'm wearing a sweater, it's hot outside har har har...but thanks for the compliment!".

So I guess it just goes to show that glamour is in the eye of the beholder. She thought I was dressed up fancy and I thought I was dressed 'ok'. I made a conscious effort to wear makeup (which I will try to do more often) and that's just a confidence booster.

Glamour in Manitoba is almost laughable. Canada is such a multicultural world that it has no place for a one size fits all, pigeonhole 'glamorous' model. Manitoba, especially, seems like a big fashion drought. We're not Parisian, we're not beach babes, we're not boho-chic, we're not exotic. But... somehow we take a smidgen of this and a dash of that and accept everyone's style with a grain of salt. I imagine most of our style is 'American' but even that's not entirely true. Canada, especially the Prairies, should, and does, have it's own unique brand of style and I hope I can find it.

A month without...

I love chocolate.
I love it so much.

All those eecards about chocolate and food? It's like they're talking about me. I just freakin love food, and if it has chocolate? I'm stunk.

A little bit of chocolate is never a bad thing. Hey, I love dark chocolate and 2 squares with some almonds and coconut oil? Delicious!


Lately chocolate has become a burden on my back. And stomach. And thighs.

It's no good.

I have a sweet tooth that's the size of Quebec.Quebec

It's huge. Fruits, candy, and baking, oh my! Although I hardly ever eat packaged junk food anymore (thanks primal blueprint!) I have a weak spot for baked goods and fruit. Fruit I can handle because it's hard to overeat, but baked good? Feh, I could eat 4 muffins before I realize I feel sick and back off. It's not healthy.

And now I'm starting to do the same thing with chocolate. It's gotten so bad that I'm melting a small bowl of chocolate chips and eating it straight up, with a spoon.

So, considering that this is totally unhealthy, and I don't want my son being around someone who does this repeatedly, and I would like to lose weight, I've decided to go without chocolate for a whole month. This is mostly to prove to myself that I can.

I already have instigated a 'no wheat' diet to stop binging on bagels and other delicious baked goods that are terrible for my skin and waistline, so I'm adding chocolate to the ban. I'll be talking about this quite a bit, I'm sure, since I tend to obsess about food. But hopefully it's a funny obsession and not the 'boy, she is sure loser-bait' obsession...

So. It is 2:51pm Thursday afternoon, June 5, 2014. No wheat and no chocolate. God and Goddess help us all.
Goodbye my love...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Making the best of things

When I first moved here to our little village, it was a hard transition because I missed my dream job (in a library), I missed my friends and I missed the convenience of city life. My new job sucked, Big C was working a ton so I hardly saw him, and I'm pretty shy so it was hard to make friends. Plus, I grew up in a small town and had no intentions of going back to that kind of lifestyle. 'WHY THE HELL DID YOU MOVE THEN?!' is the question I can hear being asked. The answer is as lame as it is a classic. I was in love with Big C and I wanted to be with him. We'd been dating for 2 years and it was time to commit to each other. I had just graduated and now had the freedom to move. He has a great job out here that paid more than mine, so it made sense for me to come to him, rather than the other way around. Etc, Etc.

So, after a few months of moping and getting used to my sucky job with my sucky supervisor, I decided to get over myself and make the best of things. I drove to the nearest city once a week and had some cafe au lait in a coffee shop. I spent time in craft stores and looked at pretty things. I went to the mall and bought nice clothes to wear at the office (because the first step to feeling good is looking good, or so they say.) And I scrapbooked. I scrapbooked the shit out of my life. I took a picture a day of something good (or funny, or meaningful, etc) and I scrapbooked. It forced me to focus on the good in my life and it marked many a special occasion that I can look back on with alarming accuracy.
My scrapbooks (under a beagle calendar, of course)!

This is something I want for Little C. I want him to be able to look back on his life and see happiness. I want him to know without a doubt that we cared about his life and experiences. That we love him. I mean, I know he'll know that, but I want him to have something tangible to remember us by. Having Little C shoved my own mortality in my face. Someday, if the gods are kind, he will bury me and his dad when we die of old age (rather than the other way around) and rather than have 'stuff' (ie plates, knicknacks, etc) to remember us by, I'd like him to have our memories. I already write letters to Little C, but sometimes pictures are easier to trigger memories.

I received a scrapbook from one of Big C's cousins, so I'll start with this. When Little C is napping, and when Big C is spending time with him in the evenings, I can use these minutes to scrapbook. Here's hoping we get some decent pictures!

Wedding Memories

So Big C and I were featured in a wedding magazine! How GLAMOROUS... (see previous post). I would suggest to anyone to check out Wedding Bells, there are some pretty unique and beautiful weddings to gather inspiration from!

Go here if you want to see more pictures of our wedding by the amazing memories by me photography!


So...despite the title of this blog, I'm not actually crazy. At least not certifiably or anything like that. I don't think I ever clarified that. I'm just zany. Like an old black and white comedy.
Some people just get those movies and others are like 'I don't understand...Is this art?'

But the one thing I wish, like REALLY wish, is that I was glamorous. I'm not sure why. I'm the most low-key, low-maintenance person I know. It might be a grass is greener thing. But I wish I could look at pictures and be like, YES. THAT IS ME! GLAMAZON AND PHYSICAL BEAUTY EXTRAORINAIRE.

But other times I realize that's not me. I mean, my feet really hurt after walking a mile in sneakers so how could I possibly wear sky-highs? I'm really overweight and doughy after having Little C on March 1 and I can't seem to get my act in gear to lose the fat.
 Mr Little C (and my chicken giblet)

 And in order to afford the cosmetics one would need to be a glamazon, one needs to have a steady income which, being on Mat leave, is something I don't, and won't have until February 2015. I suppose Big C could be my sugar daddy for a few months, but that just seems wrong.

Since having Little C, I've realized that I want to be the kind of mom that is above all, a mom. I put him first. But it's all very complicated because I am not his only caretaker. I mean, yes, I'm with him all day, but Big C is an excellent Dad. I have no qualms about taking an hour or two in the evening and doing my own thing because I trust Big C with our son, absolutely. I guess what I mean is, I want to be the kind of mom that makes sure her kids know that I am there for them 100%. No matter what I'm doing I will drop whatever it is to help them. Is that unhealthy? Maybe. But there it is. to find balance through all this? I want to be there for Big and Little C, but I want to fulfill my wishes as well. Is there a way to do both? I think so, but I haven't figured it out yet.

Maybe I need to come up with some flexible 'rules' to live by that will enable me to reach my goal of becoming a glamazon. (I think this whole 'glamazon' thing is sort of like reaching a number on the scale. It's fleeting, but satisfying at the same time.)

The problem is, I don't live a glamorous life. I'm not a model. I don't live in a city. One of my idols is Dita Von Teese, but we couldn't be more opposite. I am a work horse and she is a show horse. And there's no way I can be a show horse. But maybe, just maybe, I could be a work horse disguised as a show horse?

  (Not a show horse...But not a race horse either...)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...

Big C and I started dating in 2008 and were together 5 years before we got married. We had a long distance relationship for the first 2 years, as I was still in Winnipeg attending the University of Manitoba and he was working in a village about an hour and a half away. Once I graduated, I got a job in said village and moved in with Big C, since he was totally NOT going to move back to Winnipeg. He grew up in Winnipeg and just didn't like city life. He much prefers small towns and the country.

That same year, in autumn 2010, we moved into our new house. It is small (only one bedroom at the time) but since it was just the two of us, we certainly didn't need big. It has a beautiful backyard, where we cultivated a fair-sized garden and I often read under the big willow tree.

Our house during the Holidays

Picking radishes from our garden

Right after we moved into our new house, we adopted a beagle puppy! We named her Peggy Sue and we spoil her rotten.


Then on Mabon in 2011, Big C proposed...

Yes he really did put the ring in a kinder surprise. I had a sneaking suspicion of what what happening but I went along with it, because who the heck is lucky enough to have a man propose with a kinder surprise!?

And on June 1, 2013 we had the most awesomesauce wedding.


Like most people say, it was truly a wonderful day and I'll never forget it, hopefully, for as long as I live.