Rain

Rain

It looks like April’s weather has come early this year, and has decided that March Break is the time to dump precipitation on us all here in southern Ontario.

I’ll be the first to say that I love nothing more than a warm, sunny spring day, especially when I have a week’s vacation from work, but the rain is soothing and calm, and I really need it right now; my entire body is craving rest. I have worked long and hard since my last week off from work, back in August.

Do you find that rain helps you to sleep better? Do you find it calming? The rhythm of the rain falling and hitting the roof, the ambient noise? It’s days like these that I imagine grabbing a book, a blanket and a cup of tea and settling on the couch… the tea will go down nicely, warming my insides, and my eyes will fight to stay on the page as they droop sleepily. It’s the perfect formula for a nap… and National Napping Day was yesterday! (Let’s extend it by a week, ok?)

It’s perfect weather for getting things done in the house, or not.

Maybe it’s a board game with the kids kind of day! We shall see where this rainy day takes us.

Where will the rain take you today?

Drop

Money For Nothing

Money For Nothing


I have spent a lot of time over the past few months rethinking what I do for a living.

I don’t have the job security that I once had, despite having spent nearly fifteen years with the same company. I’ve often thought about leaving, but I have excellent benefits and the paid vacation time really can’t be beat. I have some fantastic co-workers, but overall, I don’t think I would miss it much if I left.

Then I began this blogging thing back in August. I had done a lot of reading about how people can make money from it, but I soon realized that no one will pay me for what I write about, at least not right now. And I am okay with that… I’m still a new blogger, still feeling my way through this, still evolving. One day, I may be able to help others with my blog, but for right now, I think it’s okay if I’m just testing the waters.

But my dream of working in my pjs, not leaving the house on -30°C days in sleet and snow has all but died. The dream is still very much alive, because in my search for at-home work, I’ve come across an idea that really excites me. While I’m not ready to share the idea with everyone yet, I’ve already taken the first steps towards my dream of working at home and made some powerful connections to get started in the direction I want to go. (Sorry if I’m being coy… I don’t mean to be… I just can’t bring myself to say it out loud yet – or in this case, type it out loud!)

This new venture won’t allow me the freedom to leave my job for awhile (I need to make sure I’ll earn enough before I walk away) but I know that I can do it. I know this because my confidence has grown with blogging, something I wasn’t entirely positive I could pull off, but here I am! I know I need to do a lot of work to kick this off, and build up contacts and clients before I’m financially secure enough to walk away and be the stay-at-home mom I want to be.

What I love most about this idea in my head is that blogging and promoting my posts has given me the building blocks and skills I need for this new venture. Even though I didn’t plan it that way, I am so glad things worked out the way they have. I’m thankful to the people who have already reached out to help me on my way.. bless you and thank you!

What is your dream job? Is it possible for you to take the steps necessary to make it happen?

Are you already working in your dream job? What steps did you take to get there? Were you afraid to take the leap of faith? What advice do you have for those of us wanting to take the plunge?

Money for Nothing

The Stat Connection

The StatConnection

Today’s writing prompt is about going over some of our top blog posts and writing about what made them so popular.

I’ll start with Hello, It’s Me. This one is obvious to me, and probably to you as well! This post was popular because of the hit song by Adele. I went above and beyond with putting it out there on Twitter because I knew people would be looking for it. I LOVE piggybacking on a hashtag like that! 🙂 Sure, it’s a little sneaky, but hey, it did what it was supposed to! I loved writing this piece!

Next is probably Coming Out – A Mother’s Story – Part One. This one was popular, and I think it may be because it’s hard to find a mother’s perspective out there. I know, because I looked. After my son told us the news, I went looking to see if my feelings about this were normal, or if I was just losing my mind. This post proved to me that no, I was not alone. Just last week, another mom messaged me through Facebook, talking about how she feels a lot like how I felt. For the record, we are all doing great… I think the next hurdle is when my son brings a boyfriend home. In due time (although I’m sure it’s going to happen sooner than I think!)

Lastly, one more of my top posts seemed to be the one about our vow renewal with It’s My Party, when we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I can picture everything so vividly, and I tried to give everyone else that same vision! I am still excited about this upcoming event, and I’m truly glad my readers enjoyed the post.


The Stat Connection


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On another note, I’ve been a bit on the quiet side with posting lately because I’ve been catching up on some reading… I rarely have time to read anymore, but I started reading Stephen King’s Under The Dome (epub). Have you read it? Did you enjoy it? I know it’s also a tv series, but I haven’t watched it. No spoilers please! I’m only about a third of the way through it because…

I found some books at the library that have been on my Goodreads To-Read list for-EVER, so I borrowed them, and since I have a deadline with these books, and not the Stephen King one, I’ve set that one aside to read these. I borrowed Ghost-Boy (what a great story, what a terrific and brave young man!), and I’m currently reading Grace of Monaco. We have the movie, but I know if I watch it before reading the book, I won’t be interested in reading it anymore… lol… so I’m trying to hurry with it because I really want to see Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly!

Are you a reader? What types of books would you recommend to me based on these?

A Bird! A Plane! Me!

A Bird! A Plane! Me!

You get to choose one superpower. Pick one of these, and explain your choice:

  • the ability to speak and understand any language
  • the ability to travel through time
  • the ability to make any two people agree with each other

This is today’s daily prompt…

If I were being honest, I would say that I think everyone in the world should understand every single language. We usually know when two people speaking another language are talking about us, don’t we? I mean, it’s common sense. If you’re talking about someone, you’re usually looking at the person at different points in the conversation.

I have a pretty diverse work environment, and it would be nice to be able to understand what people of different nationalities are saying. It would reduce confusion, and likely reduce hurt feelings (because let’s face it, we all want to be understood).

My mother told me, growing up, that it was considered rude to speak another language in front of people who don’t speak it. So, if I were to go to France tomorrow, I should be brushing up on my French and making every attempt to speak the language while I’m there. The same is also true of people who come to the Americas. Learn the language. I sometimes find it frustrating that others have not been taught this simple act of politeness.

But if I were to choose a superpower, this wouldn’t be it, because I think it would be more beneficial for EVERYONE to know every language. Who knows? It could reduce violence and war on an international level.

Moving on, have you ever watched the movie, The Time Traveller’s Wife? It stars Rachel McAdams, and Eric Bana (yum). Henry travels through time, at a moment’s notice, with no warning whatsoever. He meets Clare when she is a little girl (because he travels back through time to meet her), and their paths intertwine. I won’t give the rest of the movie away, but if there were no way to control travelling through time, it wouldn’t be as fun as if you had control over it.

You could go back through time and meet relatives, famous poets and artists. You could meet Jesus, if you so chose (wouldn’t that be something!?) You could travel to the future and meet your great, great, great grandchildren. The problem with time travel is what a lot of books and movies show us; if you change one thing, it has a ripple effect and changes the outcome of the future.

Maybe we should just leave time to be linear and not mess with it.

I think, if I got to choose one of those superpowers, it would be to make any two people agree with one another, for the sake of peace.

Peace in my own home when the boys get into an argument. Peace between my teenager and either of his parents (hi!). But beyond that, think of how helpful this superpower would be in every day dealings. Traffic squabbles (is your signal light an option?). Shopping (I was in line next!). Work (less inequity).

But think of this on a grander scale. In politics, debates would be more fair. Laws passed would be agreed on by all parties. It would end wars, because the two sides would agree on everything they were fighting about. There would be no adversity between countries, religious parties, political parties, and it would restore world peace, and we could accomplish a great many things because we would agree on what the important issues were, and how to come to terms with each one.

Yup! That’s the superpower for me!

If you could pick one of those three powers, which one would it be and why?

A Bird, a Plane, You!

The Eighth Sin

The Eighth Sin


Today, I’ve been given the task of adding a deadly sin to the list. So far we have: pride, lust, greed, envy wrath, gluttony and sloth.


I work in retail. I have spent most of my work life dealing in retail of some kind, and I’ve witnessed some pretty nasty things. It always blows me away how poorly we will treat anyone, in order to get what we want. We will even resort to tears if it means we will win this one. I’ve seen angry outbursts, and people swearing at complete strangers, all in an attempt to get what they want.


I have noticed how impatient we are as a species. Everyone seems to believe their time is more important than anyone else’s. In today’s society, everything is moving at an incredibly fast pace, and no one has time to wait for someone else to move out of the way, in their own time. I speak for myself on this one… I can be incredibly impatient… I’m working on it!


I have also witnessed the difference in how a lot of teenagers treat people, of any age. I’ve become exasperated and vented on Facebook about how a group of teenagers will walk side by side and take up the entire sidewalk, and not one will move over to let me pass. I’m expected to walk around them, in the mud, like they are royalty. One of them walked directly into me and, very vocally, gave me a hard time about it, because she felt I should have moved. Swearing and all.


It really surprises me that people are raising their kids to be this way. Everyone seems to feel self-entitlement, their needs are more important than anyone else’s. As a society, we need to practice more love, less hate. Live life with more kindness, and less indifference. Open our eyes and see that we NEED to be nicer to one another, we all need each other. We need more generosity and less greed when it comes to others.


After much deliberation and consideration, I’ve decided that RUDENESS will be added to the list of deadly sins.


When you head out today, for whatever reason, I challenge you to be kind to a stranger. Open a door for a senior citizen. Help a person out who is clearly struggling with their bags. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line. Sometimes, it’s as simple as giving a smile. Let’s all be kinder to each other. Today, and always.


The Eighth Sin

Photo Challenge – Optimistic

photochallenge-optimistic


January is the month that we have to turn vacation requests in at work. I’m usually excited to do it but it’s getting more and more difficult to work around everyone.


This year, we have a wedding to attend in Ottawa (super pumped about that!) and Tyler’s spending 6 weeks at the military college for cadet camp in Kingston. We’re planning a big camping trip, trying to arrange for several families to attend, while still holding out for Tyler’s return from camp. If it all goes well, I’ll get to see my parents for the first time in person in two years. I’ve really, really missed them. It’s really difficult to be away from them.


So I took on the task of checking the calendar, checking dates and trying to map out how we were going to do this. With Tyler away for so long, we will be putting Caleb in day camp for a couple of weeks and figuring out other arrangements for at least two other weeks. That was our big project this week… and I get pretty excited about planning our family time when it’s still cold and dreary outside.


Devin’s vacation has to be approved first, before I can hand mine in… he has to work around his co-worker’s vacations because they have seniority, but for me, it really doesn’t matter. I am fairly lucky that way!


Yes, I can almost smell the Algonquin pine trees and the evening campfires… I can hear the birds chirping, kids playing and wood being cut for fires. The optimistic was of looking at it is that it’s only 6 months away!


Optimistic

Life After Computers

Life After Computers


I can’t even imagine it. I am such a sucker for new technology… what would I do if computers were no more?


When I was entering high school, we had to take typing. Now, my son, Tyler, looks at me like I have three heads when I tell him about it.


“Typing??” is the comment.


I can see where he’s coming from if you haven’t experienced it (but isn’t that the way with a LOT of things when you tell kids about them these days. Like, WTH is a telephone booth? – and more importantly, why did Superman change in them?).


Nearing the end of grade nine, the BIG THING was the high school computer lab. It was all high-tech, with it’s big, fat monitors, CPU towers and beeping sounds. The computer lab had it’s own SMELL. I can still remember it if I think about it long enough. If you walked me in there blind now, I would know exactly where I was. But the computer lab was for grade tens. We were still lowly grade nines.


Grade ten was a big year! I finally got to try out these new-fangled things. What could you do on it? Type. Maybe play with some clip art, or a couple of games. We could even type a line of text to another computer in the same room – to your friend. God, we were so cool!


By grade twelve, typing class was on its way out… I wasn’t paying a lot of attention but I’m pretty sure the school donated them somewhere.


When Devin and I were living together, he pieced together a computer for us to use. We got to play DOS-based games, with ASCII characters, on a very loud machine. Are you old enough to remember when hard drives were 32 MB? 64 MB? Yeah… not today, my friends. We’re into TB!


A little later, we heard about BBSing, short for Bulletin Board System. If your computer had a modem (the faster, the better obviously, we started with a 14 400 KBs modem, and slowly worked our way up to a 56K), and you had the right software installed, you could have your computer call another computer’s modem, and play games on their BBS, that they would have set up. You could leave messages for other visitors, play games with them, and could even chat with the “mods” or moderators, the owners of the BBS. You made up a handle for yourself and made the rounds to all the coolest BBSs out there (they were local, unless you wanted to pay for long distance).


It was so much fun. We actually met up with a few other users IRL (in real life) and became great friends. We still talk to a couple of them! We upgraded a lot of parts on our computer, got a faster modem and we created our own BBS. We called it Emerald City, like the Sonic The Hedgehog game (we also had two pet cats, named Sonic and Tails).


Everyone’s biggest fear was the big, bad, Internet. It was creeping up on all of us BBSers, and we loathed it. Mostly because we didn’t understand it. We only saw it as the death of BBSing, and it was inevitable.


Fun fact – Did you know the band U2 got together through BBSing? Yessiree they did. Bono posted an advertisement on a BBS in order to put a band together, and voila!


Times changed, the Interet pushed it’s way through to mainstream, and the BBS became a part of history. There are still BBSs out there, but it’s a lot different than it used to be.


Computer technology really took off then, I think. Faster, smaller systems, more memory… the Internet connection itself changed, now it’s DSL and cable.


I think I’ve grown up in the best time though, because my parents were before that whole era… and now, don’t have much use for it. It’s hard for them to learn too, because they weren’t interested in it and learning about it from the beginning. I’m proud that they Skype and email though!


I recently wrote a post about being without the Internet for two days while we switched companies (still LOVING it, BTW), and I know I couldn’t do it. I despise talking on the phone now. Computers, phones, Internet, and Wifi… all of these are major forms of communication these days! And I know the next generation is just as bad! My boys were lost without the Internet for those two days, while I busied myself with watching movies LOL!


So from typewriters, to pagers, from cell phones to laptops, from smart phones to iPads… we have all come a very long way… and it shows no signs of ever stopping.


What would you do with a life after computers?


Life After Blogs