Fruitcakes and Snowflakes…and late breaking news!

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Well, well, well now, hasn’t it been a busy week.  AND, it’s only Wednesday.

First off, I was busying myself with a little Cyber Monday shopping, (which I detest), but in the end, only opted for something crazy ridiculously expensive, which may end up being returned if my PPD (post purchase dissonance) kicks in!

But, let’s get serious.  We all know the real news that took our attention away from Cyber day ~ the Royal Wedding announcement.   Seriously, it’s about time.  All their flitting about town, holding hands and exchanging glances.  I’m just feeling a little anxious.  I’m totally booked up most of May, and for sure the long weekend.  I just hope and pray I get the “save the date” sooner than later.  I do hope they have a vegan option on the menu, and that wedding hats are optional.   I’m so not good in a pill box style, and really want to get a hair coloring in before my roots start showing.  And then there’s my dress…I need time to get my dress designed, and of course the fittings….  ok ok. I’ll stop. You get my point….

Then there’s Matt Lauer… buddy, Seriously!?  For heaven’s sake….

AAAAaaanyway,  just wanted to share my latest article from December’s Neighbours Magazine.   #25moresleeps

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Fruitcakes and Snowflakes ~ The Real Christmas Truths

I’m giddy like a school girl. Once again, Christmas has crept up on me just like the cat I don’t own! But that’s ok because I absolutely adore this time of year. I’ve been prepping for the festive season since I tossed my moldy pumpkin curbside. The minute I slammed the door on Halloween, I immediately began turning my home into a slightly modified version of Santa’s workshop.

I have had Bing Crosby singing carols in my home since early-November. Bing and I have a special bond, as he has been serenading me with White Christmas since I was a toddler. Christmas most definitely takes me back to my childhood, and everything wonderful ~ Barbie’s, pretty velvet party dresses, and shiny shoes. Or better yet, how about that highly coveted Easy Bake oven. I mean, come on, what’s better than a wee little cake baked under a 60-watt bulb on Christmas morning? Nothing, I say.

What does surprise me is how much shopping for Christmas gifts has changed. Gone are the days of leisurely cruising the malls, finding that special someone the perfect gift. It’s bad enough that people are fighting for parking spots like it’s the apocalypse, but now more than ever, we are all on-line shopping and having things delivered via a Drone no less. What fun is THAT! Unless this Drone can prepare my Christmas feast, and bring it to my table, I’m not biting.

Personally, I still love heading out to the mall rubbing elbows with the rest of the gypsy’s and tinkers and not above taking out anybody at the knees should they come between me and my Elf on the Shelf. That dude is creepy, but always a fan favorite.

I must confess that I stopped writing Christmas Cards. I never did the long letter inserts babbling on about how wonderful my family is, while making yours feel slightly less than adequate, but always liked to insert a pic of my kiddies on faux Santa’s lap! Alas, now my social media takes care of that for me. People are so busy Pinteresting and Instagramming their life away, that there seems no need to waste any small amount of spittle on a postage stamp.

So, let’s be clear my friends, I decorate my tree alone. I don’t need help. They do it wrong. I don’t eat fruitcake. It’s gross. And, I truly still believe in Santa. Of course, I do.

If you need to find me anytime between now and Christmas, I’ll be on my sofa, feeling accomplished, most likely tuning into The Sound of Music or Charlie Brown’s Christmas, beer in hand, because well, even Mommy’s have their traditions!  

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

leslie-ann2

 

 

Green Jello

greg

Just because…

So, I just spent a full weekend at our new and improved Oakville hospital.  Yup, that’s right.  It most definitely wasn’t how I wanted to spend my precious Friday or Saturday night!  Let’s face it, we all love the weekends, and when things don’t fall into place exactly as planned, it can make one a tad cranky!

The whole process was a bit comical, as are most things in my life once I start spewing all the random details.  That being said, unlike the little magazine I write the odd giggly article for,  I can really say anything I want here, nice or not so nice, but…I’ll spare you the gory details.

So yes, to say this new hospital is a bit better than the old one, is an understatement.  It’s a further drive now for yours truly, but that’s ok.  I was too busy trying to deal with the fact that I had to miss my Friday “one and done” to worry about the commute.  I felt like I was at an all inclusive, so no biggie.  I just waited patiently for my bags to be taken to my room, and shown where the pool facilities are.  (I really have to get a life)….

Upon check-in, 😉  I was provided a #roomwithaview and quickly managed to figure out my television viewing for the weekend, (on the flat screen mounted on the wall, no less).   I watched HGTV My Beachfront Bargain Hunt on a loop.  As an aside, I now want to call my agent, and get him sourcing me some summer homes south of the border.

My mommy arrived at some point with 7 new magazines for me to read, (real treat as I rarely do that anymore), and of course my wonderful hubby arrived baring gifts and a change of clothing.  (He brought my toothbrush sans toothpaste, which I found rather adorable).   My girlfriends were constantly texting me, asking for updates, but my only request was not to come visit.  Just don’t, no need.   They did!  Of course they did.  I’m a lucky girl.  Flowers and a adorable stuffy!  “Try and keep us away” she said!  Awww..

After the visits subsided, it was time to rest.  I was hooked up to an IV, so maneuvering around wasn’t the easiest.  I was on a new and improved ‘moving’ bed designed for people that needed to ward off bed sores, but quit frankly, it was bothersome.  Just when I was about to nod off, the darn thing would start whirring like a blender, inflate, and bam, I’m moved into a new position.  This continued throughout the night, and because you are not allowed to turn off or unplug this expensive unit, my IV pole and I ended up curled in a ball on the green plastic guest couch!

That really didn’t help either because the with no warning, the night nurse would saunter in, and with no apologies, flick on my light, and begin to draw blood.  My beauty rest was definitely taking a beating!

Morning came and I was starving.  I called down to room service (haha) and was about to place my order when she reminded me of what I could and could not have.  Damn, the new hospital and it’s processes are working! I really wanted to order the grand slam breakfast, complete with home fries and bacon, but was delivered a tea, warm beef consommé and green jello!  Stupendous!

Sunday finally arrived, and with a nod from the Doc, I was all systems go!  Ready for check out.  Or was I?

Weird as this may sound, I was secretly hoping perhaps for one more night as I found myself using this hospital stay as a time of reflection.  I guess it takes something scary to make you stop, reevaluate and appreciate what you have.

Your mind can take you to the most scariest of places, so when things turn out much better than you first thought, it really can make for an “Aha moment.”  I’m not screaming anything from the rooftops like Oprah, but just realized that in this life, we are given choices, and chances.  This hospital stay gave me the time to ponder and provided me with that ‘flash of understanding’ in which Oprah speaks of.

I arrived home, and by day two, had more visitors – they were relentless.  I was trying to convince them I was feeling fine, but they didn’t listen.  They came with lunch, flowers, and home made soup.  Again, I’m a lucky girl!

I have so much more I want to accomplish in this life, and although it took a little scare like this to knock some sense into me, I am forever grateful for my life, my family and friendships.

To all my American friends, I do want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and once you give me the go ahead, I will decorate my tree.  Whether or not my house is already fully decorated for Christmas, is not up for discussion.   Please enjoy the bird and all the fixin’s.  You deserve this holiday, you really do!

Count your blessings, not your things, and always be thankful.  I know I am.

With much love,

Leslie-Ann  xoxo

 

 

Writing 101 & Working Through The Fiscal…

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With another Easter in the books, it’s now time to focus on my last quarter.  It seems as though I run my household like a business.  I’m now in Q4 like my work family calendar,  with April being the start.  Most of April is being kind to us, with goodness coming in the form of sunshine, patios, and hopefully for me, a few getaways.

Given I was just informed I still have 6 holiday days that I must take before the end of our “work fiscal,” I now have to think of something to do, somewhere to go… NYC is on my mind.  Not too far for a road drive, and I love everything BIG APPLE!  Any overnight excursions you could recommend would be welcome. I prefer road trips as of late, so please keep that in mind when planning my agenda!

So on another note, a couple of things have happened and wanted to share….

Well, for one, this…

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Picking up my son from college for the summer, and within moments, smarty pants had me on his “snapchat” story…

Arrgh, that sinking feeling you get, when you see the lights flashing, knowing full well they are for you!  I was told I should have said I was driving with the flow of traffic, but I didn’t really feel like messing with Mr. Policeman.  Authority scares me.  I just flashed a smile, and didn’t bother engaging in any witty banter. (Oh, but I was tempted).   He seemed so nice, $63 nice. He explained that it should have been higher, yadda yadda yadda. OK, I got it… just hand me the ticket, and let me get home to my cold beer!

The second more exciting; less traumatic piece of news I have to share, is that I began my new writing class last Monday.  I have always wanted to get this ‘kickstarted’ so a lovely friend sent me a suggestion.  I jumped on it, and so glad I did.  I registered without hesitation.  Brian Henry is the teachers name, and you can read all about him and what he does here.  Brian Henry’s – Creative Writing ~ Quick Brown Fox

Before my first class, as any other 53 woman does, I went school supply shopping!  And, of course, found the perfect Journal to begin my storytelling! 🙂  How great is this… my journal collection continues.

unfinished

Never a truer word spoken…

 

So, I was late for class… *badfirstimpression*  but he did like my journal! 🙂

I walked in to find 14 other people introducing themselves, and sharing their stories.  I made sure I was very clear that I am NOT A WRITER, but hoping that this class can turn me into the next Sandra Brown (before she got all smutty, with naughty sex scenes). We were all checking each other out, and like anybody does, you start guessing what everyone’s true story is and of course, who I will sit with at recess.

We played a game to try and remember everyone’s name ~ I was given Lucky Leslie.  Let’s hope so!  Perhaps a little foreshadowing. Lucky in the form of a book deal! Ha! She laughs.. third person, first person.  arrgh..so much to learn!

We were then given the task to write two fortune cookies with a short inspirational point and then turn them over to to someone else, to write a short piece.   Immediately, my heart sank.  It was like a small exam to me.  Now I had to channel my inner writer, which at this point, was more concerned about whether or not we were going to have to share with the class.  I’m a rookie. Not ready for an official “reading” quite yet.  Writing here is easy.  Nobody is looking at me.  I may sit at the back of the class next time.

I cannot wait for my second class.   He shared with us some books that others have written (having been in his class), so I’m very hopeful!

He has given us all some very helpful hints, including giving ourselves permission to write a shitty 1st draft, but a few stuck out for me.

 Write with fervor; revise at leisure…

puke it out; mop the mess tomorrow

Don’t have Stage Fright

This is good news, because I do tend to write with fervor, and revise/edit to the point, where I think nobody would really read this drivel anyway.  It’s nice to know, I’m perhaps on the right track.

I will keep you all updated on my progress, but for now, I have some homework to catch up on.  Dear Diary….

Yours in writing & travel,

leslieann2

The Sugar Rush and Family Stuff…

v-day

Today we celebrate Valentines Day ~ The busiest day of the year for florists hands down…(although, close second is Mothers Day ~ Which I personally think should take top billing)…

As you will read below from my latest article posted in Neighbours Of Olde Oakville….my better half and I have an agreement.  Don’t fuss!!  I’m not a princess and don’t have the need to be showered with gifts… oh stop laughing, all of you!!!

But, seriously, I love you, you love me, nuff said.  I’m not a huge fan of roses anyway.   I’m more of a pale pink peonies lover, so will wait patiently till the May bloom to fill my home with those beauties.

Don’t get me wrong, when we were dating and well into our first, oh let’s say, 15 years of marriage, we showered each other with presents, big tacky cards, and chocolate O’grams.  Now, as I age, the chocolate isn’t allowed in my “new me” food plan, cards just make me weepy as of late, and I have enough jewelry/bangles to make a guest appearance on the Home Shopping Network.   Please don’t let my negativity hold you back from professing your love.  Must say, I’m a pretty lucky lady myself. ❤  Read on…..

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Ah February, the month where chocolate and sugary goodness is purchased in bulk. We celebrate “le mois des amoureux” ~ because apparently, we fail at this the other 11 months of the year.

Then Family Day ~ Spending more time with loved ones. WOW – Two full days of #forcedfamilyfun?

We survived the January blahs where my Christmas leftovers transformed into everything from a casserole to something resembling “turkey jerky.” I was starting to sprout feathers and walk funny, so it was time for the bones to hit the recycling.

Valentine’s Day is clearly a Hallmark holiday in our family. We both agree… “don’t waste your $6.50 on a mushy card.”  Let’s just go out for dinner, where I can gorge myself on the family platter of pasta and assorted vinos!  A girls gotta eat, I say!

Then, Family Day! Aside from a day off work, for which I am eternally grateful, I just don’t get it. Playing board games or taking part in crafting activities are the recommended “to-do’s.” Come on now!

I have 3 boys.  Let’s get real! Getting them all grouped together just for a family photo gives me hives, and you want me to break out the glue gun!?

My eldest, also enjoying a day off, will have no problem wasting away the day under the covers, watching re-runs of “The Office” on a loop!

My 15-year-old will have his headset engaged and proceed to “game” all day. I could suggest a walk, but rest assured he will still be in his jammies at 3pm, so it won’t happen.  My middle is away at school, so unless I text him incessantly, which will most likely be ignored, we can pretty much call it a day.

As a positive, I do know that come Feb. 15th, all chocolate will be 50% 0ff, and that’s a win in my books. I can navigate a Hershey’s Pot O’ Gold map like Christopher Columbus!  Don’t you hate it when you choose that nasty fruit crème and all you really wanted was a chewy caramel?

Please enjoy Valentines/Family Day and do whatever works for you.  Come to think of it as I write this, I think my son could be onto something. A day in bed with Netflix on a loop sounds most wonderful – surrounded by my family, of course!

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Rose petals optional – if on a budget, beets will suffice ❤

leslie-ann2

Thank-you, Superbowl Sunday and… #amwriting (I think)…

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So we are a week in from saying goodbye to our precious dog Lucy, but things are now slowly adjusting to a ‘new normal.’   She came to me in a dream, and I can’t tell you how WONDERFUL it was.   I was able to give her a big hug, and it felt sooo real. Then she was gone.  Our family is taking it day by day and we wanted to just say thank you to all our friends & neighbors that reached out.  We felt the love and it helped!  You all ROCK!

Then last night, engaging in our ritual of chili cheese Nacho’s, wings, and a couple of cold ones while tuning into Superbowl VI.  We were flinging chicken wings like Friar Tuck and elbow deep in chili grease.  I love eating in front of the television. Feels like we are in a restaurant, but no bill!

Those American’s know how to rock a production, don’t they!  I was torn who I was cheering for.  The adorable 31 year old, Matt Ryan, quarterback from Atlanta, because well, it was his first Superbowl, and I felt this would be a cool win for him!! … or do I want Tom Brady to win, just so I could get a close up look of what his bride Giselle was wearing.

giselle

Let’s face it, this Brazilian could rock a paper bag!

Then the commercials.  I won’t go on and on about what I liked or disliked (mostly disliked this year..a lot of weirdness).  I did however, LOVE Melissa McCarthy and her 2017 Kia Niro ad.  Who doesn’t  love her. She cracks me up.  Laughter is good medicine, I say.

Then, the half time show.  Don’t hate me, I’m not a GAGA Fan, but that WAS pretty amazing.  I didn’t like that when she took her ‘leap of faith’ they panned to the drones instead of watching her flight down to the stage.  I wanted to see that. I’m thinking that was on purpose, just in case things went sideways, and not as planned…If you get my drift! 

She is brave and I give her “applause” for that! (couldn’t resist)   I get vertigo just climbing my ladder to clean out of my eaves. Aside from seeing one of her dancers blow a tire on the slippery stage, it was really quite good.  Loved the “Hi Mom & Dad”… She was the winner in my books…  *(updated info below – I’m firing my sources as we speak ~ heads are gonna roll)!

So wrapping up this Monday madness and speaking of books, I’m taking the plunge and going to attempt writing a fiction novel.  Been on my mind  ‘forever’ and figured it would be a good distraction for me.  I’m slowly losing interest in television as a whole, and don’t even have one Netflix show I can recommend.  My son however,  is pushing me to watch Game Of Thrones – I’m one season in, but need a cheat sheet just to keep all the characters and cities sorted out. One of my fav’s died in season one, so if this is the way every season is going to roll out,  I’m not biting.  I’m a happy endings kind of gal!

So that being said, I’m breaking out my self help books and starting this journey.  I cannot wait.  I was lucky enough to be given a few books as a suggestion from a friend, as she has already written one novel with (I think) another in the works.  I’ll take all the advice I can get.  I  can’t wait to dig in.  I have also ordered a couple off of Amazon.  I think I need a “writing for dummies…” – I feel like such a newbie, but so excited at the same time.

I did start a book years ago called “From Nylons to Sweatpants.” about my journey as a working mom turned stay at home mom, but life got in the way and it ended up on the backburner.

So, now with slightly more time on my hands  (aka: no toddlers),  I’ll have some fun/scary/raunchy/dirty/ fictional novel for you to read.  How’s that for a plot! Can you tell, I have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head!?  AND, if you play your cards right, could perhaps fit you in somewhere. Ahhh, a blank slate.  Where should I begin…”as she feverishly taps her fingers together and flashes that evil sideways smile…”

leslieann2

bluepink

“Once upon a time….”

*Update (cuz I have authority to do so)…- when this blog went to press *wink* yours truly was unaware of the “perfect illusion” that Miss Gaga performed.  Apparently pre-recorded atop the stadium, and no jump; .just a lift up ~ all merged together.  Still pretty impressive non the less.