Thursday, 31 March 2011

Nancy’s Quick Book Reviews vol.1

Two thousand and eleven has brought on an interesting challenge and resolution.  The first book I read of this year was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. 

 It was a suggestion from my beautiful sister in law, Caitie.  Caitie could be a motivational speaker she is so awesome. She is great at saying what needs to be said and yet making you feel good about yourself. When she suggested this book, I went out that week and bought it right away because Cait is wise beyond her years!  The Happiness Project is a great book if you want to make a few changes in your life to perk it up a bit. It’s not life altering changes like in the story “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth gets divorced and travels the world to find happiness. That's a lot of changes to make just to find some happiness.  In The Happiness Project, Gretchen is a happily married woman with two children who has decided that it couldn’t hurt to have a little bit more happiness in her life. So she researches many different theories on happiness and tries to incorporate them into her life. I thought the book was brilliant and have utilized some of her “resolutions” in my own life.
 One of my 'resolutions' was to read a book a month for the whole year. This resolution has been pretty easy so far, as I am not working and often find myself with time on my hands. It also doesn’t help that I am in a doctors’ office every single week, sometimes several times a week, and I suffer from OCD. This means I am chronically early for absolutely everything and often find myself waiting in the waiting room with lots and lots of time on my hands! So I read A LOT!! 
In the Happiness Project, Gretchen makes being happier seem easier by breaking down life into small, manageable tasks that, if done, will make you feel happier. Even if it’s only a little bit, trust me when I say an organized closet does actually make you feel better. Another resolution she had that I find helpful is to change the way I view chores. Instead of thinking, “ugh, I hate laundry and I really loathe the idea of doing these 18 loads of kids laundry” I, instead, think to myself, “won’t it be nice when this laundry is done?” I will feel so much better when this chore is complete”. I know that sounds completely hoaky but it actually works for me!! Especially when it comes to the laundry which is my most hated chore! I’d rather clean the toilet with a toothbrush!
Blogging was another task that was on my nagging-to-do-list. When the opportunity arose (thanks, Stacey!), I grabbed the bull by the horns and got started. I got this resolution from The Happiness Project, as well; DO IT NOW!!! I had been putting of learning to blog because I was afraid it was too complicated. Sometimes, you just need a push to get started, however, and here I am!
Now that I am blogging, and reading a book every  three weeks (getting a bit ahead of myself), I thought I would come in here and let you know what I am reading. You can have a look and see if maybe you’d like to read along as well!
So get ready to do some reading!! And by that I mean reading my BLOG about reading books...LOL! Next post will be about the book "Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Travelling Tuesday

Well, HELLO TUESDAY!! Oh's Wednesday, isn't it?? Crud. Ok, so I'm gonna do an episode of Travelling Tuesday, even though it's not Tuesday anymore.

This week, let's start in my favorite place in this house! Every year, Kirk and I work on our gardens in the front and back yards.  I don't exactly have a green thumb.  I will try and grow anything, but I get most excited about the things that can survive me. I have this one wild rose in my backyard which I have had for years. It not only will NOT die, but it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's perfect for me because I don't have to do much for it, it just keeps on growing.  It's perfect!  I'm also a big fan of my peoni (is that how you spell that?? LOL). Here's a pic of my perfect peone and my perfect White Nancy (yup, that's right. That cute little grown cover thingy is called a Nancy. In case you were wondering, yes, that is why I bought it!).
And this next pic is a butterfly on the Nancy. Damn, that just sounds weird, doesn't it!! HA!

Ahhhhh, the kidlets in the backyard (my kids and thier cousin and my Goddaughter!)

Ottawa is a beautiful city. It's surrounding areas are filled with wonderful places to visit.  Here is a pic of me going into the Bonnechere caves; my first time spelunking (again, is that how you spell that??)

Do you like to walking thru the woods?  Our kids love playing in the forest!  we make a point of going as often as we can, whenever the weather is nice and we're not working, we are doing cool stuff in the forest!! I think it's a great opportunity for the boys to learn about nature and what it takes to keep our environment clean and safe. 

Well, that's all I got for this Tuesday's episode of Travelling! I hope you enjoyed it!!  We'll see you again soon!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Marbles; Guiness Book of World Records??? Maybe Not.

I have a cat named Marbles. I named her that so that when I can’t find her, I can say, “I’ve lost my Marbles”. I wish I was making that up!  She’s a very old, very fat cat but I love her to pieces.  She used to be such an active cat. If you met Marbles ten years ago, she was so skinny and so energetic. She used to do the craziest stuff, like stick her entire body in a glass trying to get at the ice, or chase laser pointer light all over the house, cackling at it like a witch.  She was so much fun.  Nowadays, Marbles is as fat as can be. She’s almost 18 years old and she rarely leaves my room.  It’s a hardship for her to climb up on the bed. And once she’s up on the bed, she doesn’t get down until she absolutely has to.  I think she has gone a little senile. She seems to forget when she’s eaten. If I go to her bowl and feed her, she eats. If I go to her bowl and ‘pretend’ to feed her, she eats. Perhaps this is part of the fat problem.  But that cat has been on diet food for a decade and it hasn’t done squat! 
Gavin just loves the cat. He loves to sit on her, pet her, pull her hair, and generally maul the poor thing. When she sees him coming, she usually runs as fast as she can, under the bed.  Of course, she’s not nearly as fast as he is so she doesn’t always make it there fast enough.  She takes a lot of abuse from those kids and has never once retaliated. 
I’m often asked if Marbles is still alive and if she is alive, how is she doing. She’s not nearly as spry as she used to be, but that’s to be expected. She walks real slow wherever she’s going. It takes her a few minutes to work up the gumption to climb up onto the bed or couch.  And when she does finally get down off the bed, it’s quite the ordeal jumping down. If you had that ass following behind you, you’d have a hard time getting outta bed, too! LoL!
Marbles! The greatest cat that ever lived!

Marbles and Gavin at 2months old.

She doesn't look so big in this picture. I always thought she had a little head and a big belly and butt....kinda like her Momma! LOL!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Seven Words I hate to hear concerning my condition....

I’ve suffered from mental illness most of my life (please hold the jokes!). That’s right, I am clinically crazy.  There are a lot of people out there right now going, “I KNEW IT!! I knew she was actually crazy”. Most people close to me know the struggles I have been thru, especially since the birth of my first son.  Postpartum depression is no laughing matter.  No, really!!!!  I can safely say I didn’t enjoy any of it and being crazy isn’t nearly as much fun as you’d think it would be. 
I’ve decided there is one thing I absolutely hate about being crazy more than anything else. No, it’s not the insomnia, the nausea, the weight gain,  the constant anxiety and fear. It’s not taking drugs every day or being a guinea pig for the psychiatric profession. It’s not the crying, screaming, freaking out. It’s not the doctors visits or my laminated membership to the RO. It’s not even the worry about long sleeved sweaters with buckles!  It’s none of these things. It’s when someone says seven simple words that my whole body tenses. My mind screams and my fists clench. I want to pound my head against a wall and punch a kitten. The seven words?  “I know exactly what you’re going thru”.
 Oh sure, maybe you know someone with depression. Or maybe you’ve suffered with depression yourself. Hell, maybe you’re crazy right now and you’re so medicated you’ve forgotten what day it is and all you wanna do is nap!  All these are possible. But you have no idea what I’m going thru. Everyone suffers with mental illness differently and my crazy ain’t nothing like your crazy (yes, Mom. I know ain’t is the Dutch word for duck).
I like to have a sense of humour about my condition. I suffer from (are you sitting down) treatment resistant major depressive disorder, mild obsessive compulsive disorder and mild panic/anxiety disorder.  Did you get that? That means that I am mostly crazy every single day and there is very little that can be done about it. And even if you could figure out a cure, it would only last a month or two and then I’d go back to being crazier than Beans’ aunts’ dog, Mikey . And that dog was crazy with a capital K.  But since I’m stuck with this crap, I might as well enjoy it. I might as well get a laugh out of it now and then.
I also like to help other people that suffer from this crap. It isn’t always easy being an advocate for Mental Illness when you’re as crazy as I am. Sometimes I just don’t give a crap what others are going thru. But I like to help when I can.  There’s another person out there who likes to help whenever he can. If you haven’t checked out anything to do with the Royal Ottawa lately, how about checking out what Daniel Alfredsson has been doing lately for them. Go to and have a look. Make a donation or see how you can help fight the good fight against mental illness! Like cancer, mental illness is everywhere and chances are you know someone that has suffered or is suffering with mental illness. Being crazy isn’t all its cracked up to be, so why not see if you can help.
Just don’t tell me you know EXACTLY what I’m going thru.  I’m crazy, don’t you know.

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Most Helpless

There is no other time as a parent that I feel the most helpless then when my kids vomit.  I can handle the poop, the boogers, the snotty colds and flu, but when they throw up I just don’t know what to do with myself. Their whole little body convulses and they whine like you’ve never heard them whine before. Dogs have heard it, but I haven’t. Today, Gavin is having some stomach issues. I’m not the least bit surprised. Isaac was sick a few weeks ago and Abdellah from daycare was sick last week. It never takes long at the daycare for the illness to spread around and get to each one of them. Kirk and I had to pick up the little munchkins from daycare today so that mommy could take care of her little baby.
Gavin is my baby. He was born premature and I often treat him like my baby.

When Gav was 14 months old, he got the Norwalk virus. It was so awful. He threw up constantly and was so miserable. At that young an age they have no idea what is going on and they are terribly frightened.  One day, he not only threw up all over himself, but he managed to cover me in it from head to foot! For once in my life, the smell of vomit didn’t make me wanna yak as well.  All I cared about was taking care of my little baby.

Now, he’s miserable and vomitty, but at least he’s older. He’s managed to make it to the toilet a few times instead of just puking all over himself!  Ah, the joys of parenthood. There’s nothing quite like cleaning up puke from the floor, the entire time heaving because you can’t handle the smell yourself!!  Now I know what my Dad was talking about when he said the kids diapers used to make him heave! There is nothing harder than standing over the toilet with your toddler wondering if you’re gonna join the little bugger.
(Look at that pouty face!!!)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sh*t my Mother In Law Says

Every now and then something will come out of my mother in laws mouth that just blows my mind, so I thought I’d start a new segment chronicling all the hilarious moments involving “Grammy”.
My in laws live with us. They moved in with us last summer and have a big a huge help for us.  My mother in law and I spend a great deal of time together. She doesn’t work and is home with me most of the time. So I have a lot of material to choose from when I am looking for hilarious things she says and does to tell you about.  Today her and I were shopping at Walmart (yes, again).  She had bought a few things and I had got a few things. We were in line and she was ahead of me. The cashier asked Debbie for her postal code. Deb looked at me a little stunned, so I gave the cashier our postal code since it was obvious Debbie had no idea what it was.  The cashier entered the code in the cash register and Debbie says (to me), “Yah, do your job!.”  I look at Debbie and then I look at the cashier. The cashier looks a little stunned now, so I say, “just so you know, she was talking to me, not you.”  I don’t think Debbie had any idea what she had just said and that the cashier may have taken offence to it.  Once I said it out loud to the cashier, Debbie laughed and said of course she was talking to me and not the cashier.
Dang, I hope you thought that was as funny as I did, cuz I dang near pee’d my pants.    I made fun of her the whole way home!  When I told Kirk the story, he was so shocked that she would say something like that to someone else in public! With witnesses!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Broke down and bought him a Barbie.

Much to Kirk’s chagrin, I finally broke down and bought Gavin a Barbie doll. He has been begging me for months to buy him one. Every time we see one at Walmart he freaks out. When we go to McDonalds he always asks for the girl toy. Sometimes I give in and sometimes I don’t.  I know it bothers Kirk to give his son a fairy Barbie so I try not to push my luck. But the tax return came in and I thought the boys could use a treat. So while I was at Wallymart today, I grabbed my son a Barbie.  I know he’s a boy and some would say that he doesn’t need a Barbie but I figure he should have whatever toy he wants to play with and why does it matter if it isn’t the “usual” boy toy.
He was ecstatic!! I had to unwrap it in the car and give it to him right away. And the first thing that child did with that Barbie was strip her naked. I heard a little squeal from the back seat. I turn around and there is Gavin, stripping that Barbie naked and saying, “Look Mommy! I can take all her clothes off!!!”. He was so damned pleased with himself, too!!  I don’t think I’ve seen him so happy with a toy before. 

I got Isaac a giant blue ball and then bought the boys the Gazillion Bubbles, which they are currently playing with in the backyard.  I like any toy that keeps them busy for a half hour of peace and quiet. It’s so nice to have a backyard the boys can play in. I only wish I had a fence around our yard so I didn’t have to keep such a close eye on them.  The shrubs just can’t contain all that energy without a mommy watching them!

It is so gorgeous outside today. Kirk and I took the boys out for a bit and had a look at gazebos.  I can’t wait until Spring and Kirk builds the deck he has been promising me for so long.  And then I can put a gigantic gazebo on it and have a huge BBQ and invite all my friends. YOU ARE ALL INVITED!
How is the weather where you are today? Are you enjoying the sun as much as we are? The snow is almost entirely gone from our backyard and I can't wait to get started on my gardening. I plan to cover that whole back fence with morning glories!!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Travelling Tuesday!!

Welcome to Tuesday!!!  It’s a beautiful, sunny day outside here so I couldn’t resist going outside. I took my mother in law shopping at a store called Total Home Consignment (check it out  It was quite awesome and I found some great things I really wanna buy at excellent prices.  We have this rickety table and chair set it our eat-in kitchen that we’ve been meaning to replace. I found this nice oak set at the consignment shop for only 500 bucks. It’s was very sturdy and would last us forever, whereas the one we have right now we’ve only had for two years and the chairs are all falling apart.
My mother in law like to take time out of our busy week (yah right) and go shopping at antique stores and such to check out all the cool stuff. A few weeks ago we visited the big red barn (actually named Gendron Antiques)  and found some stunning antique cabinets and bars. I so wish I had lots of money.  Check out the big red bard (
Another place we visited this past week was the Ottawa Antiques Market ( I found the most stunning garnet ring for a hundred bucks which I am very tempted to go back and purchase when I get my tax return. I don’t need it, but I would really love it if I had it!
Also on our travelling Tuesday, we stopped for a yummy, delicious drink from Starbucks. Today I enjoyed a black iced tea lemonade and a small caramel treat. Oh, so good!!  It was a great debate between iced tea or a chai tea latte, which are always scrumptious as well.  Nothing ends a day of shopping better than a trip to Starbucks!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Don't ask me which movie to watch....cuz I suck! My rant on the Oscars.

I have horrible taste in movies.  Don't get me wrong, I love movies. My husband and I own 435 DVD's and I love my collection.  But if you looked at the movies within this collection of films, you'd probably agree that my taste is lacking.  My mother has informed me that the reason for this horrible affliction is because I care only for eye candy, and nothing else. I have always held firm to the adage, "if it's got a hot guy in it, it will probably be a great movie".  Granted, the movies I like best rarely win an Oscar for Best Picture, but I don't do too bad all the time. I mean, I liked Titanic!  I even bought it!!

In an attempt to prove my mother right (cuz I'm pretty sure she's right), I decided to have a look at the movies that have been nominated for best picture over the last 20 years and see if I had seen any of them, had I liked any of them and did I actually like it enough to buy it. HAHAHHHAAAAA!!  This exercise was quite amusing, actually.  So let's have a look at the best picture nominations (and winners) from the last 20 years. 

Seen it?
2010 (83rd)  
 Black SwanN
 The FighterY
 The Kids Are AlrightN
 The King's SpeechN
 127 HoursN
 The Social NetworkY
 Toy Story 3Y
 True GritN
 Winter's BoneN
2009 (82nd)  
 The Blind SideY
 District 9Y
 An EducationN
 The Hurt LockerN
 Inglorious BastardsY
 A Serious ManN
 Up in the AirN
2008 (81st)  
 The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonN
 The ReaderN
 Slumdog MillionaireN
2007 (80th)  
 Michael ClaytonN
 No Country for Old MenY
 There Will Be BloodN
2006 (79th)  
 The DepartedN
 Letters from Iwo JimaN
 Little Miss SunshineN
 The QueenN
2005 (78th)  
 Brokeback MountainY
 Good Night, And Good LuckN
2004 (77th)   
 The AviatorN
 Finding NeverlandN
 Million Dollar BabyN
2003 (76th)  
 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingY
 Lost in TranslationN
 Master and CommanderN
 Mystic RiverN
2002 (75th)  
 Gangs of New YorkN
 The HoursN
 The Lord of the Rings:  The Two TowersY
 The PianistN
2001 (74th)  
 A Beautiful MindN
 Gosford ParkN
 In the BedroomN
 The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the RingY
 Moulin RougeY
2000 (73rd)  
 Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonN
 Erin BrockovichN
1999 (72nd)  
 American BeautyN
 The Cider House RulesN
 The Green MileY
 The InsiderN
 The Sixth SenseY
1998 (71st)  
 Life Is BeautifulY
 Saving Private Ryan N
 Shakespeare in LoveN
 The Thin Red LineN
1997 (70th)  
 As Good as It GetsY
 The Full MontyN
 Good Will HuntingY
 L.A. ConfidentialN
1996 (69th)  
 The English PatientY
 Jerry MaguireY
 Secrets and LiesN
1995 (68th)  
 Apollo 13Y
 The PostmanN
 Sense and SensibilityN
1994 (67th)  
 Forrest GumpY
 Four Weddings and a FuneralY
 Pulp FictionY
 Quiz ShowY
 The Shawshank RedemptionY
1993 (66th)  
 The FugitiveY
 In the Name of the FatherN
 The PianoY
 The Remains of the DayN
 Schindler's ListY
1992 (65th)  
 The Crying GameN
 A Few Good MenY
 Howards EndN
 Scent of a WomanN
1991 (64th)  
 Beauty and the BeastY
 The Prince of TidesN
 The Silence of the LambsY
1990 (63rd)  
 Dances with WolvesY
 The Godfather, Part IIIN
 Good FellasN

So, here's some fun facts about the best picture nominations for the last 20 years.  Of the 60 movies  nominated in the last 10 years, I've seen on 17, a mere 28% of them.  But in the 10 years before that, I have seen 27 of the 50 movies, or a 54%.  Are movies getting worse or is my taste? Hard to say.  In 2009, I have not seen a single one of the movies nominated and yet in 1994, I have seen all of them.  In the last 11 years, I have seen the winner of best picture four times.  One of the craziest statistics is that since 2000, I own six of the movies nominated for best picture, and yet I have not actually watched them yet.  That seems to happen a lot around this household. We tend to buy movies and then never watch them.  Guilty as charged.

For curiosity sake, I wonder if the movies that I have not seen and yet have one best picture had a good looking actor (or actress, I'll go both ways) in it?  Did that make sense?  I guess the only way to find out for sure is to make a point to actually watch the movies that are on the nominated list. But that sounds like a lot of work! Of course, I'm currently not working.......sooo......