Day 15: Life Lately.

Life lately is a little bit hectic, a little bit chaotic and a little bit lonely.  
We are adjusting to life as empty nesters again as Ryan has gone back to Thunder Bay, so as much as I love our time alone together we miss having him around.  The house is quiet, neat but quiet. It was a great year having him back in the house.
On the vacation front even though we have a week planned in the Poconos starting the 29th, we took a quick trip to New Hampshire. The opportunity to visit with my parents for a few days was worth the bit of chaos having a mini vacay before a weekly vacay. Boy I lead a rough life.
Purchased a new hot tub this month to extend out water enjoyment all year long.
So life lately has been very good to us I think, I am in a job I love, living with the man I love in a house I love, only thing that would make it better is success for the kids in our lives in what ever form they wish it.

Day 14: React to the word comfort:

Bit late in my post as I was on a mini vaca in the White Mountains, almost zero internet at the rsort oh well.
Comfort: A condition or feeling of pleasurable ease, well-being, and contentment. I decided I am sticking to this particular definition in my post.  Comfort is those things around me that make me feel safe, give me a sense of pleasure.
My cat

and netflix,  both together are awesome.
Foods like, stew and dumplings, chocolate chip cookies, K’s homemade soups.Baking cookies and sharing treats with friends.

 and finally warm fires with those we love, that is what comfort is to me.

Day 13: Write Fiction, I skipped this post and I hope all forgive me.

Day 12, Just Pictures so here is my Day in Pictures.

Day 11: I would do it all over again.

Difficult topic, my first thought was one of the many days spent with my Dad, but most of those I wanted to relive with the knowledge that he would not be around for long and how I would change the day. I do not want to change those moments, each is special for what it was, not what I think it should be now,  so what moment do I want to relive…  The day or memory I carry that I would not want to change but one that gave me so much joy and pleasure.
No Question I would love to relive our first trip to Cancun, the first all inclusive vacation with the Kids.
Bringing Nic, Carly and Ryan together for a vacation was a wonderful experience. The special freeze framed moments in time, the feelings of being together as a family, of realizing that the kids were siblings, family is more than blood. If I could relive any time, that would be the moment for me.

Day 10 Who do ya Love….

 To My Three Sisters.
Words cannot express what the three of you mean to me,  we have had ups and downs and we are scattered all across this great country but the love that I have for you has not changed.  Each of you are three very distinct and unique individuals and you each share a part of me and complete another part. Without the three of you in my life we would not be the people we are today.
You have all brought some very special people in my life, and they have continued to expand the bond that we have.
Over the years we have laughed together, we have cried together, we have screamed and hit each other and at times we have even thought we hated each other.  WE have remained sisters through it all.
 Your presence in my life has made me richer, made me better, and I will always be grateful. 
 Somewhere along the way I believe we found  an understanding for one another and it has made all the difference. I will always take comfort in knowing wherever life takes us that we will have each other. 
I’ll be there for you

Day 9 Vanity thy name is Woman

Wow, I have just spent an hour looking at everyone else’s selfies so I guess there is hope for me yet.  
This topic started me reviewing my love affair with my IPhone.  I keep my iPhone on lock because if anyone ever found it they would think I am one vain chick, and seriously I am not 15 I am almost 50 but the number of selfies on my phone would lead you to believe I was a vain teen.
My love of selfies I think grew out of the fact that 1) I am always the one with the camera in our household and w/o selfies I may forget I was actually there and 2) there is a little bit of vanity but that’s OK.  With some vanity we remain confident, to much vanity we become arrogant ( or at least that is what I tell myself).
My selfies are true selfies though, taken by me, with no filter and no special background.  I wish I had the talent of so many bloggers out there, and the time and assistance to take those great photo shots but then I remind myself I started this to be me and record who I am each day,  just me and my trustee I Phone ( and sometimes that Kodak).
My selfie today is a collage of all the selfies I have taken over the past couple of weeks when creating my fashion collage,  hope you enjoy this little glimpse of me.

Day 8 Social Medias Impact on Society or just me.

Today we discuss the impacts of Social Media and/or Blogging,  has it changed me?  I would not say it has changed who I am but it has changed how I am.
Breaking it down:
Social Media:  Facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, tumblr, four square you name it I have tried it. I am a bit of a social media addict. There I have said it, that is the first step to recovery isn’t it?? Actually I do not want to recover yet so let’s move on to how it has affected me.  The down side is I do spend a lot of hours each day on the various forums but on a very positive side it has allowed me to maintain contact with family, friends and even acquaintances.  I was the worlds worst letter writer, actually I was not bad at writing the letters but I was god awful at mailing them, now I just have to hit send…. yea
Facebook  is my game friend but I limit that now to Castleville and Bubble Safari, my life was becoming consumed with crops, cafes and puzzles…. and best of all it allows me to keep in touch with  everyone. I also find it a great way for my world to keep up with me,  all my fb friends will tell you I am genius at keeping my life out there.  I am not a creeper as I post more then I look most days.  Instagram was my fashion and shoe blog for the longest time until i realized not everyone wants to see what shoes I am wearing on a daily basis so now I have switched that aspect to my blog.  Twitter is how I maintain contact with my celebrity side and send random thoughts out to the world.
Pinterest  is a blast for me and again it reflects all of who I am and who I want to be, it is as eclectic as I am
As for blogging, originally I started a blog as a way to keep me honest on my diet,  well that lasted like a week.  Fast forward another year and I tried again, diet monitoring is not a good reason to blog at least not for me. The I tried using it to vent at people, those I did not really want to yell at in person due to the more acquaintance type of relationship we shared.  That worked very well, venting over the blogsphere allowed me to release some frustrations although most of those posts have been deleted in case they stumble upon my musings now. I moved past the rants and decided that I would make a concentrated effort to maintain a blog, Most people will tell advise you to pick your issue/topic and stick to it, more of a specialized style well not me,  I want a blog that represents all of me.  Take a meander through my pages, union rants, social rants, fashion, shoes music and just random thoughts that pop into my head.  My blog is my diary, but one that I am willing to share.  There is no lock on this diary of mine.
So has all of this changed me, only in such a way that I take a whole lot of selfies.

Day 7: On Line Shopping

shopping, no question one of my favourite activities. Doesn’t matter the where… On a serious note I am a bargain hunter, I love nothing more than finding great deals and thus travel to the US of A several times per year to hit Premium Outlets in various locations.  

I do however  have a few favourite on line shops though starting with Shoe Dazzle, I love shoes, in fact I have a whole page dedicated to my love of shoes.  

J Crew Factory and J Crew are also favs

Factory 5" chino short

Bought these shorts in yellow, blue and plaid, love the fit, love the look
Bath and Body Works, a not to be forgotten on line shop.
Chapters – I love books and Chapters is a must on my list.
Vista Print – no-one can beat Vista for promotional items, love the selection, love the ease of ordering.

Life’s Defining Moments

Your life will come down to a few defining moments. When those moments come I hope you make the right choices and leave with no regrets.

The Annual General Meeting of my Union when I decided that it was better to get involved if I believed I could do it better. I believed it was better to act instead of standing around complaining. I will never regret that decision. My involvement in the union not only helped me change the workplace for my co-workers,  it brought so many special people into my life, including my partner.  The union has given me an extended family that I trust with all my heart, those that I will stand by and who will stand by me no matter what happens. That Day January 20th, 1992 is a defining moment in my life, one that has shaped not only who I am but whom I am with as well.
It was definitely the path less traveled at the time but it has given me the love of my life, the career of my dreams and opportunities that many will never have. As an individual I have grown into a much better person, understanding how the world around me is so dependent on all the pieces coming together.
The education and experience that I obtained led me to the career of my dreams that pays me far more than I ever expected. On a non-monetary note my life is also so much richer because of those who are around me.
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Friends who will always have my back
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A family to be proud of, whom I love with all my heart
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Opportunities to meet and work with people I admire
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Volunteer opportunities that enrich my life, give to the community and expand my friends/family.

ENFJ Personality Test

Ironically I just took this same personality test and posted it on my blog not that long ago.  I did retake the test and once again come out as a ENFJ.
 Only 2-5% of the population is this personality.  Looks like I am in some really great company, Obama, Winfrey, Lincoln…
Some very interesting reading and I can see myself in this personality type. 
Getting ready for Bluesfest
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 Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ENFJ Success 1.     Feed Your Strengths! Make sure you have opportunities to involve yourself with others in situations where your input is valued. 2.     Face Your Weaknesses! Realize and accept that some traits are strengths and some are weaknesses. By facing your weaknesses, you can overcome them and they will have less power over you. 3.     Express Your Feelings. Understand that your feelings are as important as others are in the overall situation. Without your feelings and needs being valued the best result is not realized, so value and speak to your own feelings as much as you value those of others. 4.     Make Decisions. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. You need to know show others the qualities and potentials you can see are worthy of action. 5.     Smile at Criticism. Try to see why disagreement and discord indicate the differences between people, and use this as an opportunity to make your value judgments useful for growth, because that’s exactly what they are. Try not to feel responsible for another’s criticism, but try to hear it and understand the feelings and images it engenders within you. Then you may see a path not only to agreement but to a shared and truly valuable end. 6.     Be Aware of Others. Remember that there are 15 other personality types out there who see things differently than you see them. Most of your problems with other people are easier to deal with if you try to understand the other person’s perspective. 7.     Be Aware of Yourself. Don’t stint your own needs for the sake of others too much. Realize you are an important focus. If you do not fulfill your own needs, how will continue to be effective and how will others know you are true to your beliefs? 8.     Be Gentle in Your Expectations. It is easy for you to see the value in others, but stressing this too much can drive them away. Try to show that you understand their fears and limitations and lead them gently to see how you feel: lead them gently into understanding and love. 9.     Assume the Best. Don’t distress yourself by feeling that your values are lost upon others – they are not. Perhaps it just has to sit with them too. Let the situation resolve itself and never stop believing that love is the true answer. 10. When in Doubt, Ask Questions! Don’t assume that the lack of feedback is the same thing as negative feedback. If you need feedback and don’t have any, ask for it. 

Afraid:

Turning my mind to a time when I was afraid,  should I describe a situation where I was seriously afraid or a more lighthearted afraid…. Hmmm how does one describe a moment of fear, the fear you feel when first riding a roller coaster or the fear you feel when your father is diagnosed with cancer. Am I ready to put those feelings into words.. I think I will stick to the lighthearted fear of riding my first roller coaster.  
In 2006 we went to California to visit family and that of course must include a visit to Magic Mountain.  I had never been on a roller coaster but I promised I would try it,  I mean how bad could it be.. The viper was to be my first, what a feeling, as the line got shorter, my nervousness increased.
That feeling that you want to be ill, the shortness of breath, the feeling that rolls around in your stomach…. all the while I kept telling myself, it is only a ride..  The fear intensified on the ride, when that roller coaster took off for just a moment I thought I am going to die… then the exhilaration of what I was actually doing took over, I love roller coasters……and today I still feel that small bit of fear in the lineup but when we take off…….
Just a few hours later, I shared that same ride with my step son who at the time was 12.  Nic had spent all day avoiding the rollercoasters and then after a ride on a wooden roller coaster he realized he wanted to try more,  we chose the Viper again.  As the line got smaller I watched him go through the same emotions that I had,  then we got on the ride and as we took off and started slowly up the first incline he was terrified to the point that he turned and you could see that look of I hate you on his face, then over the peak and he screamed ” I Love you this is awesome”.  That moment of fear turning to joy.

 Don’t Eat Yellow Snow:

Starting with the sarcastic , never eat yellow snow to the helpful -the width of my thumb is one inch so I always have a measuring tool, what should I use today.  I think I will stick with something simple but meaningful, ” at times you must let others make their own mistakes”.  
Having children in your life illustrates the importance of this piece of advice. No matter how much you want to protect them they must lead their own life’s.  This is also very helpful in recognizing that they are not going to believe you until it happens to them.  It is hard to stand by and watch someone make the same mistakes that you made but you have to keep reminding yourself,  you too made that mistake and look where you are today.  Let them move on, let them experience the ups and downs of what is to come, they will survive and they will prevail, and they will be stronger for it.  Be there when they need you with a shoulder to lean on and not an ” I told you so”.

Almost Famous:

Three months to do what ever I want, such a quick response on that one.  I would take the next three months of my life to focus on the career of my step sons.  The opportunity to dedicate three months to RM & The Honest Heart Collective is something near and dear to my heart.
The music that they make should be shared with the world.  I believe in their talent, in their aspirations and most importantly in their dreams.  
After Ryan’s CD arrived and I started quickly planning a CD release party for him I realized that I loved what I was doing,  almost like the words in his song “A Little Time“. I love what I am doing…..
Watching Nic and Ryan play at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa showed me they were doing exactly what they needed to do,  so yes given the chance to spend three months to help them would be a dream for me.
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 Me, Myself and I

he easiest response to that question is I come from Saint John, New Brunswick and I live in Ottawa.  That is a far to simplistic response to where I come from,  I come from all that surrounds me.  The aspects of my life that have created the person that I am today,  The Union being UTE ( Union of Taxation Employees)and PSAC ( Public Service Alliance of Canada), the volunteer organizations( Ottawa Comic Con, Animation Festival, Cancer Society, Free to Breathe, End Cancer, Children’s Wish Foundation), the music festivals ( Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa FolkFest, Westfest), the people I have meet and my family.  That is where I come from.
I am a union activist that loves volunteering.  I am also a spouse, a step-mom, a daughter, an aunt ( long on the u sound not like the insect) a grand daughter and a friend. 
I come from the spirit of volunteering, of helping others of trying to care for something other than just myself.