Wednesday 18 December 2013

The Elf n' Mrs. Claus - A Love Story

Ever wonder what happens after good ol' St. Nick kisses his missus and heads out for a trip around the world?

Personally, I think it kinda sucks that Mrs. C gets left alone on the one night of the year everyone else in the world gets to spend with family.  She's a damn good woman in my book, being so understanding after all these years!  But what if she found something or someone to fill the emptiness?  What if she let her hair down and threw caution to the wind...

I took some creative license and have a little story for you to ponder...and please note, this is not to offend anyone.

The last box was place in the sleigh as the first snowflake of the night fell.  It was time.  The journey would last almost 24 hours and it was a welcome break from the busy year behind them and the one that lay ahead of them.  But these 24 hours were difficult for her.  Christmas Eve was the culmination of all their hard work throughout the year.  She could do anything she wanted, anything she desired, but all she wanted was to fill the void that was left in his absence.  All she wanted was to spend a joyous night with him to celebrate what they had accomplished during the year.  When that sleigh floated back, the whole process would begin all over again.

She sent him off with a kiss and a wave.  He winked with a smile and a hearty, HO HO HO. Little did he know. 

In a flash, he was gone. She pulled off her cap, undid her hair that was so tightly wound up and let it flow down her back. Time was ticking and she didn't want to waste a single moment.  She knew where he'd be waiting for her. Same place as last year. The same place as always.  

The room was dark but she could make out the faint outline of his elfin cap and shoes. His name was Elliot and they had been lovers since the beginning of time. That first year was difficult, newly married to a man that the rest of the world relied on. She understood the magnitude of the importance of his job but she had needs too. Not able to contain her sorrow, her heartfelt tears flowed endlessly. That is, until Elliot sat with her.  

He listened to her, really listened.  There was no list he had to keep checking or toy truck that needed approving.  His attention was hers and it filled her up.  They spoke for hours that first night, sharing stories no one else knew, laughing at the antics of the other inhabitants of the North Pole and crying about the life they marvelled at and were burdened with at the same time. But for that, they had each other, and after spending almost the entire night talking, they realized that. Looking into each other's eyes, the loneliness that filled them before slowly dissipated and they gently kissed. It was sweet and innocent and natural. One kiss that led to a wonderful night of togetherness. One night that they had been re-living every year. 

Tonight was no different. It had been a year since they felt each other's companionship, a year that they had to think, to dream, to fantasize about being with each other again. Rushing over to him, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. They knew that this would never amount to anything more than exactly what it was.  Mrs. C., despite her sadness, loved her husband.  Elliot gave her the one thing that Santa couldn't on this eve. He filled a void that she felt so profoundly. 

Elliot was a tender lover. Looking deep into her blue eyes, he saw and felt her loneliness. Through the year, Santa and the Mrs. were a formidable team. They worked side by side to ensure that every boy and girl around the world would have a merry Christmas. Where Santa got frustrated, she showed patience. When a new name appeared on that naughty list and Santa huffed, she told him to have faith. She truly was the woman behind the man, keeping him balanced and happy. It pained Elliot to see her that first Christmas Eve all alone, crying. He admired her strength so much and to see her like this was absolutely heart wrenching.

Their kisses were hopeful and warm, ones that filled the emptiness. They helped Mrs. C. forget about the solitude of where they lived and her loneliness tonight. Elliot always took care to never cross that line and fall in love. As he helped her out of her velvet, red gown, the stars twinkled above. Santa was making his way across the world, bringing joy to mankind and Elliot was here, bringing joy to her.

He lightly kissed her neck and the heat from his breath made her gasp. She loved the dampness it left on her skin. The cold, arctic air on that damp skin only intensified this electric feeling. Elliot undressed her with such gentleness, as though unwrapping a porcelain figurine. He took his time with this, ensuring that every gesture left her feeling appreciated and desired.  It was about her, all about her. It always left him breathless when that last piece of clothing came off. Her inner beauty shone through her with such intensity that when fully exposed, naked to the world, one could only stare in awe. She was magnificent.

Elliot continued to kiss her naked skin, finally finding her lips. Their naked bodies pressed up against one another, the rhythm of their hearts beating completely in sync.  Theirs was a perfectly choreographed dance that they had practiced for years.  Elliot could feel her breath become quicker and her body slowly tighten.  In a quiet, tearful gasp, Mrs. C cried out, "Nick!"

It was always Nick, where her heart belonged.  In her mind, Elliot was Nick and Elliot knew this.  He had always known. The 24 hours was nearly up.  Nick would be home shortly from his voyage around the world and everything would be back to normal.  But for one moment, Elliot could hold her and make the emptiness vanish.  Holding her in his arms, he kissed the top of her head and slid out from beside her.

She would never cross that line but he had crossed it long ago. 

~The End~

Merry Christmas everyone and see you in the New Year!!

Thursday 12 December 2013

Married Twice...Proposed to? Never! Part DEUX

Fast forward a couple of years...

Needless to say marriage number 1 failed miserably.  And yes, the proposal should have been a tell tale sign.  I distinctly remember saying that to my best friend and yet, I fell into the same predicament with the second proposal.   

I met husband number 2 while doing some temp work one summer.  Teaching only took up 10 months of the year and I hated staying home during the summer months.  Usually, I volunteered to do one month of summer school but that year the school I taught at was renovating, so this wasn't an option.  I asked around for some occasional work and found some clerical work at a reputable company.

The work was easy and it kept me busy two to three days a week.  It was here where I met "him".  He did some contract work for the company and would drop into the office at least once a week. It was his sense of humour and sarcastic wit that I found charming.  He made me laugh and I hadn't laughed in a long time.  One afternoon, he asked me out and I said, sure.

Now, I should have known from that first night out that it wouldn't work.  The lack of effort he put into this first date was astonishing.  He showed up 45 minutes late, in sneakers, sweat socks, wrinkled jeans (that looked like they had been forgotten in the dryer for weeks) and a sweat shirt.  Yes!  A sweat shirt!!  Who wears one OUT on a date?  I was being critical, I knew it, so I decided to take a deep breath and turn a blind eye to the catastrophe that was in front of me. 

And a blind eye it was!  Somewhere during our meal, I thought to myself, I could go out with him again. He had me laughing...a lot.  And so, the courtship began and within a couple of years, a wedding was being planned.  How did it happen, you ask?  

Well, I'm gonna tell you...

One Saturday morning, "he" can home after a motorcycle ride.  I asked how it was.  He said fine, he went to drop something off at my parents.  

Then he proceeded to tell me that the topic of destination weddings came up.  "Why?"  I asked.  "Someone is getting married on an island," he replied.  

In my mind, I was trying to figure out who my parents knew that would be getting married on an island?  All their friends were already happily married.

"So," he continued, "I asked your parents what they thought if we got married abroad."

"Really?"  I was surprised.  "What did they say?"

"Your mom is fine with it but your dad says he'd rather we did it here," he informed me.

"Good to keep in mind," I replied.  That was the end of the discussion.


Over the course of the next month, things like, we need to book a venue, what about an officiant, how about getting married in your parents garden, came up.  We had begun to plan a wedding without him ever really asking me to marry him.

I mentioned this to him. 

His reply to me was short and curt. "It'll happen when it happens!  I haven't got the ring yet!" I told him the ring didn't matter. "Don't ask me when, it will happen, don't nag!" was his reply.

What the...?!?  Talk about putting the horse before the cart!  Pretty presumptuous of him to think I would have said yes.  And nagging?!?  He really didn't know me at all! I couldn't have cared less about a ring.  I wanted the words...

And so, 24 hours before our pending nuptials, this is what happened...

'Twas the night before our wedding and all through the house, 
Plans were being made by my future spouse.
When over a bowl of my mamma's spaghetti,
He pulled out a box and asked if I was ready.  
With food in my mouth and lead in my heart
This proposal was too lame to leave a spark
All the plans were complete, the wedding's tomorrow
I had to say yes and hide all my sorrow
Guests were arriving, the gifts were all bought
This second proposal didn't go like I thought
Not sure how this happened, my story of woe
Two husbands, two marriages and proposals that BLOW!

Talk to me!  I want to know about your proposals beginning to end?  I am still a hopeless romantic and maybe, just maybe, my girl Noelle has it right with her "eternal engagement"...there is something so absolutely perfect about that phrase -- makes my heart swell with love!! 

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Dear Santa...

The holiday season is upon us now.  Trees are colourfully decorated, lights shine bright, mistletoe is strategically placed and gifts are tucked away in closets and under beds, hiding from curious eyes.

All letters have been written and sent to that jolly, old man, with the white beard, who resides at the top of the world, in a toy factory.  Every year countless children, eager to make their letter just right, compile a list of things they want and a multitude of reasons why their little souls deserve them.  They place these letters in the post with hope and a dream in their hearts.  Christmas morning arrives and tiny feet charge down stairs and across hallways, to forage under the pines for their treasures. 

So it got me thinking...why not write my own letter?  Couldn't hurt and it would be a way of paying homage to the innocence of my youth and belief in this fabricated man who dons a bright red suit.

Dear Santa,
So what gives?  I've been a good girl all my life and never really wanted anything special.  Yet there are countless letters you have filed away under my name that go unanswered.

There is a lot to be thankful for and not much that I want.  I have two wonderful children whose never ending questions fill my ears and use up a lot of my bandwidth.  I have a wonderful family who keeps me youthful by insisting that I am still a child. And my closest friends have kept me laughing 'til my cheeks hurt or I almost pee my pants.

I have left you homemade cookies and milk every year.  When I ran out of milk two years ago, I upped the ante and left you a nice glass of Bailey's, a tradition that continues to this day.  You must have enjoyed it because unlike the half glass of milk you always left, the shot glass was licked dry.  Hell, I even left food for your reindeer!

Well, this year I have taken another approach.  You won't find me on that damn "nice" list.  I should be right at the top of that naughty list and I am proud of it!!  You see, this year, I put my needs and wants first.  Did things that I wouldn't normally have done.  I stepped out of the box, pushed the envelope and created a new me.  This year was the year of Audrey and I came out soaring!  Yes, it has been one hell of a year and next year will exceed all expectations.  

BUT in light of the Christmas spirit, I still have a list.  A simple list.  One that I am hoping you will be able to help with.

  1. Mornings are troublesome.  Two tired kids that seem to think that they have to wake up fighting.   I need tape.
  2. Bath time...mine, with no one trying to barge in, no knocks at the door, no interruptions.  I need a good lock.
  3. Sitting in front of a computer all day leaves me with stiff shoulders and neck.  I need a good pair of hands
  4. Bedtime is just as troublesome.  Maybe some more tape.
  5. And lastly, I want my life to continue to be filled with love, joy, happiness and lots of hugs and kisses for all...with or without the mistletoe!
  6. (and if you are really feeling generous, a sexy drink of something tall, dark and dreamy would keep my nights warm and make my little heart skip a beat too!)
A girl with a hope and a dream...

Here's a photo of the keeper of all my secrets, in her favourite spot during the holidays...

Friday 6 December 2013

Married Twice...Proposed to? Never! Part 1

Depending upon how you view this, I have had either the luck or misfortune of being married twice. 

This was not part of my life's vision. I fully expected to be happily married for many, many, many years, following in the footsteps of my parents and maternal grandparents, who made being married look so flawlessly simple.  But, hey, life doesn't always unfold the way we expect.

I met my first husband in my last year of university. He won my heart by taking my hand and kissing it, telling me he thought I needed that. That was all it took, an innocent gesture that I thought showcased his true self.

The courting ritual was pretty standard; meals out, a movie here and there, the occassional flowers sent, a gift for this or that, meeting friends and being introduced to family. Normal stuff.

He was a bit of a rebel and his sense of adventure drew me in. It was exciting and titilating! A couple of years older than me, he had his own place that he shared with two female roommates (think Jack Tripper a la Three's Company) and worked full time. Very different from the university boys I had been dating. Things were going well and he began to talk about travelling the world. I was TOTALLY on board with this! So, off we went to Australia!

I thought he was my prince charming! Whisking me off to a foreign place, half way around the world!  I won't go into details of how blind I was to the reality of our relationship (saving that for another day and another post) but I did move in with him.

As a young girl, I can remember dreaming about the day the man of my dreams would propose.  In my mind, there were rose petals scattered along a path in the park next to where I lived.  Candles would light up a spot under a beautiful weeping willow, where the man in front of me would be down on bended knee, proclaiming how I was his world and professing his undying love for me.  There would be tears in his eyes as he takes out a little blue box and says, " complete me.  I can't imagine my life without you, will you marry me?" 

I remember that day like it happened only yesterday but there were no rose petals, no billowing trees, no vanilla scented candles, no man on bended knee with a little box and no "I love you more that the sun, the moon and the universe".

Wanna know what I got? Well, I'm gonna tell you...

It was early evening and we were sitting on our futon, eating noodles from the local Thai place.  We had just gone for a roller blade in the park (yes, so close to my dream but yet so far away!) and were famished.  As we stuffed our faces, he looked over to me and said, so matter of factly, "I guess the next step would be marriage, right?" 

Looking up from my plate of noodles, I replied, "I suppose", wondering why he would ask such a random question, out of the blue.

Taking another bite of his dinner, he continued, "Ok, how does March work?"

"For what?" I asked, completely confused.

"To get married. This way you can take March Break off?"

"Sounds ok," I muttered, completely horrified and disappointed that I had just experienced and witnessed the most pathetic marriage proposal of all time.  That is, until husband number two...

Wednesday 4 December 2013


I have spent the last few days thinking about what to write.

It has been an emotional week for me.  A girl I knew very well in high school passed away.  Taken suddenly, unfairly and so sadly.  She was in her prime -  her life ahead of her, a family who loves her and two small children who need her. 

My heart absolutely breaks for her family.  I cannot imagine the void.

This horrible news made me start thinking about my own mortality.  People always say that you need to live your life to the fullest everyday because you never know what tomorrow brings.  How do we do this when we get bogged down with the everyday minutiae that clouds all the possibilities?  How do we realize all our potential, all our dreams and all our hopes?

We never think that tomorrow will be our last day.  We never think that we should be enjoying today and forgetting about yesterday. 

Perhaps instead of planning our life, we should look at this differently and prepare for our death?  Maybe assuming that there won't be a tomorrow will give us permission to truly and fully enjoy today? 

If we know that our time is limited and we all have an unknown expiration date, will that force us to make walking through this life more interesting? 

A lot of questions and I just don't know the answers. 

But I am going to try to figure them out.

Saturday 30 November 2013

Dating 101 - Take a Deep Breath and Stay Calm

I'll let you in on a little secret about myself, I do not have nerves of steel.
Although I may look all calm, cool and collected at any given moment, I am a bundle of nerves in every new situation.  And because of this, I cannot be held responsible for anything that happens.

In my everyday life, I live by the mantra "act like you do, even though you don't". Confidence has a way of making people believe that you are a ROCK STAR!  It's not to say that I am a phony, by any stretch of the imagination.  I am as authentic as they come.
In the aftermath of my divorce, I was faced with the challenge of going back into the workforce. I had been on maternity leave when we split and the prospect of returning to teaching with two small children at home really didn't crank my chain.  Teaching is a noble profession but it also drains a lot out of you and I wanted to be there, physically and emotionally, for my own kids.  So, what did I do?  I changed careers.  Jumped right into the business world...with no business experience WHAT SO EVER.  Fear inhabited ever fibre of my being.  What did I know about business?  I had a liberal arts degree with a double major in Sociology and Languages. 

It was a HUGE curve and I was a nervous wreck every step of the way, especially when I had to stand up and give a presentation (people in the back row could see my hands shake!).  But I did it, with a constant fear of being "found out".  I played the part, learned my role and now am confident enough in my abilities to make me good at what I do. 
Too bad this didn't translate to the dating world.  
Yes, I know that with every new encounter there will be some level of "nervousness" but after being in the dating world for a while now, you would think that I would get a grip!

The proverbial butterflies take over and swarm my insides. My hands shake, my heart pounds, my sweet laugh turns into this creepy, maniacal chuckle. It is horrible!  Where does that confident woman go when in the company of a man???
I was asked out by Mr. Preppy Boy, another online dating prospect.  His suggestion was the driving range. Good, I thought, I can do this, taking a deep breath.  I was a pretty good golfer and I was thrilled that I would be able to showcase my skill in this sport.  We planned to meet one Sunday afternoon.

I sported my best golf outfit and brought out my new clubs, ready to show off.   I inhaled deeply, trying to calm the pounding of my heart. He was waiting for me inside the facility. As I made my way up the steps, making sure my walk was right and that I looked great, my right shoe caught half of the first step and down I went, clubs and all! RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM!  

Great first impression. 

He hurried over to help me out and introduce himself formally.  I was so embarrassed and burst out into that maniacal laugh...could this get any worse?  

Well, yes.  Hold on.
The next hour was spent hitting balls and engaging in some interesting conversation.  That fall became a distant memory in our minds.  At the end of our time, Mr. Preppy Boy asked if I would like to grab a coffee.  Sure, why not?  I told him to lead the way, I would follow.
Sitting inside my car, I mentally patted myself on my back.  This was going well, even after the totally embarrassing start.  My nerves were still a bit wound up but I was sure I could handle the rest of the day without any major faux pas.
Driving out of parking lot, I followed him to the traffic light to get onto the main road. 
BANG!  My car jolted and it took me a few seconds to comprehend what happened.  
I HIT HIM!!  Yup, crashed my car into his back end.  I was mortified!
I didn't know what to do so I just sat there.  I could see Mr. Preppy run his hands through his hair before opening his door.  He walked over to my car, shaking his head with a crooked smile. 
Opening the window a smidge, I looked over and in my sweetest voice ever said, hi.
He was calm.  He was to the point.  "Maybe coffee isn't such a good idea."
At least he didn't ask me to pay for the damages...

First dates are challenging!  Tell me about a first date you had that ended up badly!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Not So Innocent Questions

When I tell people that I am a single mom, the first response I get is, "sorry to hear".

People...there is nothing to feel sorry about! 

I have two wonderful little people who walk through life with me and I am glad that I have this incredible opportunity to be both mom AND dad to them. The relationship we have built among us is strong, solid and impenetrable. We have each others backs through thick and thin.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 (my Dr. Seuss terms of endearment for them) keep me smiling everyday.  Even when things seem daunting and bleak, they keep things in perspective for me.  They teach me something new everyday and keep me laughing when all I want to do is cry.

My daughter, whom I like to call my "flower child", shows me how to enjoy the little nuances that the day offers.  She sees the beauty and kindness in everything and everyone.  Nothing rattles her - although lately, hormones are kicking in and she can become a tad bit emotional! She wakes up with a smile on her face, ready to conquer the day ahead.  Her beauty is not only on the outside but lives deep within her soul!  She is the girl who will go through live with a smile on her face and a skip in her step!  At times, she can be coerced by Thing 2 to join in his pranks but she is the one that keeps it from getting OUT OF HAND!

My son is the quintessential boy.  His quick wit and incredible sense of humour make me chuckle when I want to kick and scream.  He uses his good humour to diffuse any troublesome situation he is in, which means, I often have to hold my laughter when scolding him!  Logic is his best friend and he uses it to keep me on my toes.  He can be a bit (OK...a lot!) mischievous but that is what I love about him.  And even though he likes to think that he is "old enough" to do everything on his own, he always finds a spot to cuddle up next to me when we watch t.v.  I wish the calmness of Thing 1 would rub off on him...just a little bit!

Both of them provide me with enough content to keep me writing for the rest of my life (as you have seen in my post Dating Advice from a 6 year old)!  I never know what to expect and this can be a blessing or a curse!  You see, wearing both the mom and dad moniker grants me the privilege of being bombarded with questions that would be better answered by a male.  And Thing 2 has a knack for putting me on the spot ALL THE TIME.

This past summer, while helping some family members move in to their new place, my son called for me out of the blue.

"MOM!" he yelled, from across the room.

"What is it?" I asked, as I continued to sweep the floor.

"Gotta question." Pause. "And you HAVE to answer."

"OK ask!"  And I should've known...should've been prepared...should've expected this...but I didn't.

"What is mas-starvation?" 

I nearly dropped the broom.  Yup, that was his question, in the middle of cleaning up and moving in boxes, he needed this answered right away.


"Um, it is when a lot of people don't have enough food and are going hungry."  I smiled, thinking that I answered that pretty good.

"That's NOT what I meant," he replied dryly.

"Well, until you pronounce it correctly, I am sticking with the definition of the word you gave me."

Needless to say, he was not impressed with my reply and judging from the smirk on his face, he knew DARN well what it was (he has a friend with two older brothers in high school and I am sure this is where this question came from)

So you see, when people say, "Sorry to hear you're a single mom", they have no idea about the joys that being a single mom brings.

Together we laugh, we cry, we conquer, we argue and we love, unconditionally.  Families come in all shapes and sizes.  We are a happy trio and if people looked closely enough, they would see that we are more of a family than most. 

Talk to me!  What comment or question has been posed to you that nearly knocked you off YOUR seat?

Saturday 23 November 2013

An Award Nomination....for me?!?


So I have been blogging for about four weeks now and I must say, I have met some very cool and interesting people doing this.  One very AWESOME and ROCKING gal I have met, Beth, has nominated my blog the coveted LIEBSTER AWARD...HOW COOL IS THAT???

She has been a wealth of information for a newbie like me and her encourgement has been tremendous!! Beth's blog, Writer B Is Me is full of witty, sarcastic and wonderfully written, keep me smilin', laughing off my seat stories that make you want to hold her hand as she travels down her life's road!

The Liebster Award lives and breathes on the internet and is awarded to bloggers from other bloggers - a great way for new bloggers, like MOI, to get discovered (which is always a PLUS!). Liebster is the German word for "sweetest", "darling" for those of you who were wondering.

Part of this nomination, is I get to share some REALLY random facts about myself and answer the questions put forth by my nominee.  But the fun part is nominating other bloggers for this award and asking my own questions. I have to say, that I am loving this "pay it forward" attitude!

So here we go...some random facts about

  1. I am deathly afraid of birds.  Could stem from the chickens my grandmother had when I was young that used to chase me around her house...not fun!
  2. I sing...ALL the time...don't know if I am any good but I DON'T kids do though and they are thoroughly embarrassed when I start singing a tune while grocery shopping. One of the items on my "must do" list is to sing "FEVER" in a smoky lounge, strewn across a baby grand, all decked out in a sexy red dress! (will let you know when this gig is booked..hehe!)
  3. I have been married twice (I will share more in a future post...all part of the evolution of me!)
  4. Spent a just over a year living abroad after university in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia
  5. I speak 4 languages - English, Italian, French, Spanish - and wish I could speak more!
  6. Art is a passion of mine...can't draw for peanuts but LOVE the history behind it.
  7. Fear makes me want to do things even more.  Yes, I am a bit of thrill seeker but what a rush when you conquer something you have feared.
  8. I am a HOPELESS romantic even though I have SUCKED at love!
  9. I was a Montessori teacher for almost ten years, until my kids were born.
  10. I cry watching anything that tugs at the heartstrings...a sappy movie, the news, a commercial, my kids triumphs. 
  11. My dog is the only species alive that I confide in daily and knows all my secrets...

Beth's questions were they are, with my replies!

1. Have you ever seen a ghost? No, but I would love to!  Someone familiar or famous would be great! 

2. If you had to be one, would you be a vampire or a werewolf? Why? Vampire of course!  They are much more sexy than a werewolf...and really, as a woman, would I really want to deal with all the body hair of a werewolf?
3. If you could play a professional sport, which would it be? Soccer, just for the kick ass calves that come along with it!
4. Switch lives with an actor/ess for a week. Who do you choose?  Penelope Cruz...'cuz her husband is Javier Bardem...'nuff said.
5. Do you have any tattoos? Yup...two.  One on my lower back and the subject of my first blog post and one on the back of my neck (a cross between a heart and the Scorpio sign - signifying the hopeless romantic that I am and my zodiac sign, which is just as hopeless!)
6. Tell me something embarrassing.  Hmm, I have so many to choose from and I think I am doing that through some of my blog posts, no?
7. What's the craziest thing (in your opinion) you've ever done?  The craziest thing I've done?? Hmm, well that would have to be a toss up between rapelling down a 20 story building or doing a reverse bungee (both in Australia);at a time where I had no responsibilities and thought I was invincible!
8. Have you ever met a celebrity? Who? Yes, the most recent one was a couple of years ago, at the O'Hare airport waiting to come home...THE CARS! They were playing in Toronto the next night and we were all waiting for the same delayed plane. 

So, since I am still quite new to this fab blogging community, I have been poking around and looking for other new blogs that tickle me pink over the past few is my list of blogs I think are rockin' and a rollin', new or not...(now it does say 11 but I have read elsewhere 5 is good I choose 8...somewhere in between!)

Lazy Sunday Cooking a great blog with fab photos that will make your mouth water!  I want a seat at her table for dinner! Food afterall, brings people together in the most delicious way!

Beth introduced me to this one and I have to say...I am loving it!  Hacker, Ninja, Hooker, Spy 

Just found a really sweet "new" old blog...redone, revamped and really inspirational Apple Dumplings and Lace...a little bit of girl next door mixed with grace and elegance and inspiration!

Muddle Headed Mamma great blog on motherhood!

And from the male point of view Joe Floggers... love this one too!

The Psych Scrivener a blog that blends Liisa's love for writing and the psychology of the mind

Madeleine of Matilda All Grown Up is a great blog on book reviews! 

Lost In Cheeseland about an ex-pat in France...exactly what I want to do....NOW!
To all my are the questions I pose to you...
  1. What is your guilty pleasure?
  2. Friday night is here...Wine or beer?
  3. What is your biggest regret?
  4. What is your happiest moment?
  5. Would you rather live in the mountains or by the sea?
  6. If money was no object, where would you vacation?
  7. Are you a risk taker or do you play it safe?
  8. It's a rainy Sunday afternoon, do you go the cinema or do you curl up on your sofa and read?
  9. Do you prefer jazz music or the blues?
  10. Have you ever broken the law?
  11. You are moving to a remote, secluded island next week - what would you bring with you?

Once again, a big shout out and HUG to my gal, Beth, who has been a wonderful source of encouragement throughout my short time blogging!

Thursday 21 November 2013

Three Little Words I NEVER Want to Hear Again!

Getting old sucks...a lot. 

Not that I am OLD by any stretch of the imagination (although my kids would beg to differ!) but as the years pass, I find that it is becoming more and more difficult to keep that youthful spring in my step.  Could it be because my life has become a bit more sedentary than years gone by?  Or is it because these bones of mine are becoming more frail? 

Answer is .... I DON'T KNOW!  All I know is that I need to get up off my ass and start doing things...anything.

Exercising alone wasn't an option.  If left to do this on my own, I knew that I wouldn't make it out the door.  So, I volunteered my friend. Susie Q to join me in this endeavour.  We worked together so doing something after our workday just made sense.  We searched the internet for activities that would get us moving and shaking.  Boxercise, salsa dancing, hot yoga, bikini booty camp...that's it!  An 8 week course called BIKINI BOOTY CAMP caught my eye.  It was offered at an outdoor downtown location, twice a week.  Autumn had just started and the weather was still nice.  I loved being outside so why not kill two birds with one stone? This would get me outside and moving.  Couldn't hurt, right?


Susie Q and I arrived for the first class really early (yeah...keeners!).  We walked around downtown, taking in some of the fine architecture that dots the landscape of our beautiful city, when we were suddenly hit in the face with the tantalizing aroma of what we like to call "street meat" -- sausages!  The smell brought me back to my university days and hanging out around campus. I would indulge in one of these sinfully good meals at least twice a week! Just the memory made me drool!  But surely we couldn't eat this before our class, right?

I still remember our discussion, pondering if we should or shouldn't.  It was a series of statements that really didn't leave room for the option of "no". 

"We haven't eaten since noon, we will need the energy to get through the class"
"Whatever calories we eat now, will will burn up later"
"It smells so good and it's not like we eat this everyday"
"What else are we going to do for another 45 minutes?"

We were doomed from the first waft of air that floated into our nostrils, carrying the smell of barbecued meat.

The sausage was cooked to perfection and the bun was heated just right.  Together they formed a perfect blend of carbs and protein (maybe) that was so hard to resist.  I didn't know what I loved more -- the warm bun or the hot sausage.  All I remembered was, when the two combined, my taste buds were doing a happy dance.  Next came the toppings, ketchup, relish and hot peppers for me.  It. Was. Delicious.

Back on the grassy hill, where our class was taking place, other women starting convening. There were young women, older women, fit women and the not so fit women (us!).   We all wore the same look of panic, after all this was boot camp.  Our worried faces relaxed as we saw the cutest and most dainty gal walk up the hill with her ipod and speakers.  The instructor looked so sweet and nice!  This was going to be a piece of cake!


This delicate looking flower morphed into the meanest and nastiest drill sergeant that would make a 6' man tremble in his boots.  She pushed and yelled and screamed and got in our faces.  "You wanna get in shape?? Then no stopping unless you die!"  She made Jillian Michaels look nice!  


Every muscle I knew about was screaming at me and the muscles I didn't know about were angry at the rude awakening from their eternal blissful slumber.  But the worst part, the part that I had complete control over, was my full stomach.  The street meat I had eaten not 2 hours before was making me sick!  What had tasted so good, so savoury, was now causing the most horrific heart burn.  With every push up and burpie, I had to fight the urge to throw up.  My body was at it's breaking point and just when I thought I was ready to pass out, the class was over.

Sitting on the grass, I looked around at the women.  There wasn't one smiling face in the crowd.  Some were panting, some were bent over heaving, some were strewn across the lawn gasping.  All were ready to die. Everyone, that is, except the drill sergeant, who, not two seconds after class was over, turned back into that perky, sweet angel from before. Her deafening, commando voice that yelled obscenities and really mean things at us for the past hour disappeared and back was the slight twang of her delightful southern accent.

"See y'all Thursday for another BIKINI BOOTY CAMP class!"

BIKINI BOOTY CAMP = fear and PAIN!!!! (and really bad indigestion!)

Talk to me!  What three words scare the bejesus out of you?  Share your thoughts! I would love to know!!

Sunday 17 November 2013

Shaved Legs...again!

And so, there I was, back in the world of dating again and boy had it changed since I last dated.   Gone were the days of men picking up a phone and calling you.  Dating websites provided the platform for brief, yet interesting ice breakers that could or could not lead to something more.

Let’s go back to the Balkan god I mentioned in one of my earlier posts.  He was, for all intents and purposes, perfection.  Tall, dark, slate blue eyes and muscles of steel.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven when we first started chatting online.  He was one of many that I had sent a wink to on the dating website…and he actually replied back!  He was interested, damaged goods and all.    So I said let’s meet.
We did.

And…he made me feel desirable, sexy and interesting! I started to feel good about myself again.

What a night! 
But the night didn't start out with the same good feelings. 

Let’s discuss the pre—work to that night.  It was a challenge.  I had been single for a while and the reality of what my wardrobe looked like hit me hard (including underclothes!)  Crap!  I had nothing sexy to wear! No short skirts or tight fitting tops, just a pair of jeans and tee shirt that I could possibly work with.  The only acceptable lingerie I owned was a black bra and something that very loosely resembled sexy panties (just because they are lace, doesn't make them sexy!)

Then I looked down at my legs, horrified.  I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE ENOUGH TIME FOR A WAX!!!

Did I worry about these things when I was married? Not so much.
And so, I searched for a razor.  I found one nestled behind a whole bunch of other toiletries, tucked away under the bathroom sink. There was a bit of rust on the blade but I was desperate and it was worth the risk.  

I had never seen so much blood before. But whenever I look at these scars, I remember that night, with a smile on my face. 
From ear to ear!
(NOTE to all single women out there...laser hair removal...WELL worth the investment!)

Thursday 14 November 2013

Accessories....Not Baggage

So what have I learned so far since being on my own?

I learned that I was wasting my “sexual peak” years.
I learned that in terms of quality of men out there, it stunk.

I learned that some things are best left in the past where they belong. 
But I learned one very important lesson and carry it with me always.

My kids are NOT BAGGAGE, they are ACCESSORIES.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

You Can Never Go Back

It finally happened.I met a man whose mouth was larger than his penis.

I know that this must sound absurd since men like to think that their penis is larger than life, but believe me, it happened.By the time I uncovered this truth about him, it was too late.Funny thing though, I had known this man for years and this was a new discovery for me.
You see, somewhere along the way of searching for “perfect partner”, I had decided that perhaps finding that lost love from years gone by would be the answer.

Was I ever wrong.

My intention was good and the thought of reuniting with my first love was, oh so romantic, no? Twenty years prior, in the impetuousness of my youth, I had captured the attention of an older boy and we spent years flirting back and forth with nothing ever transpiring.

Now I know why.
Some memories are best kept guarded in the deep recesses of our minds - that place where the innocence of young love lives and still shines brightly.These memories are no longer there for me to draw upon in my future as an elderly woman.They disappeared…gone forever…after only 4 weeks with this man.

His attention became too consuming and concerning. Actually, creepy would be a better way to describe it. His idea of "relationship" was so far from my definition. He had such a warped sense of reality and voiced it at every possible moment.

This was not going to work.

Things fell from his mouth like an uncontrollable case of verbal diarhea. He had no filter and thought he knew it all 'cuz HE WAS THE MAN.

He just didn’t know when to shut up and I couldn’t deal with it, nor did I want to.
So, the inevitable moment arrived when I knew I had to end this. I asked him out to coffee, figuring a public place would be best to do this and we could avoid any sort of scene. I told him that this wasn't going to work, stressing that my life had no room for someone right now due to my responsibilities. I tried to handle it tactfully, making it about me and not him.

I had expected a bit of disappointment but this was a shock.I told him to have a good life and walked away.
Words have a tremendous impact on people. And those words still haunt me.

Friday 8 November 2013

Monogamous Non Relationships

I have an old friend who is a bit of an enigma.

I love him dearly and he has seen me through the good, the bad and the ugly.  A sounding board for all my daily wins, losses and catastrophes, he has been a constant for me in a forever evolving path.

He is the first one to say I should be out there having fun, that I should be focused on that and not falling in love.  As much as he professes he won’t settle down, he has gone through his share of what we like to call “monogamous non-relationships”.  I love the fact that he views this as a happy alternative.  Don’t get me wrong, he is a kind and gentle man who always treats a woman right. 

But I want to know, what the hell is a "non-relationship"?!? 

If you are spending intimate moments with only one person, isn't that a relationship?  He thinks he is fooling the system but I think he is knee deep in it! 
He has been blessed with the knowledge that a lot of men lack, how to make a woman happy and keep her happy.  Every woman’s best friend and a man true to his word, he makes every woman feel special and inspires her to do things she never thought possible.  He sees her potential, not her limitations.

Amazingly, he is able to keep great friendships with all his past lovers, a feat many men would be reluctant to want to accomplish.  I often envy him for the ease in which he maneuvers in and out of this “non relationships”, although I do feel that in some way he longs to find the “one”. 

So what is making these "non-relationships" work for him?  I think I figured it out.


There are no crazy, honey-why-aren't-you-calling-me-twelve-times-a-day, crying into your pillow, waiting by the phone, nagging demands being placed on either partner. 
Maybe I needed to look at things the way he did.

Maybe he had a point.
(P.S. He is totally in love right now and is IN a relationship!)

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Dating Advice from a 6 year old

Friday night is movie night for me and my kids. Cuddled on the sofa in our pj’s, we watch whatever chick flick is on television.

One particular Friday, about 5 years ago, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING was on. Yes, I admit, I love this movie.
Two reasons I love it.
Number 1, it’s the classic tale of struggling to figure out who you are tossed together with a dash of romance that makes it warm my heart every time I watch it and believe that anything is possible.
Number two, John Corbett.

I have been a fan of Mr. Corbett for years, discovering him and falling instantly in love with his character Chris Stevens, the philosophical ex-con on NORTHERN EXPOSURE. His voice made me sigh, over and over and he is really easy on the eyes!
Watching him grace the screen as the super hot Ian Miller this one evening, I let out a sigh.

“Mommy wants to find a man like that” I swooned.
I don’t think I even finished that sentence before my, then 6 year old daughter sat up and pointed her finger at me, scolding, “Not looking like that you won’t!”

I was shocked! She was 6…and chastising me for my appearance.
“If you want to find someone like that you need to put some lipstick on, fix your hair and put on jeans. You know, make yourself look like a woman!”

I am still stunned by her comment to this day. Maybe she had a point.
As I continued to watch the movie, I began to think that lying around with dark roots and sweat pants with an ice cream carton on my lap wasn’t scoring me any points with the fellows.

I think it was time to shake it up.
Thank you daughter!

Monday 4 November 2013

Does Hair Colour Really Matter?

Faced with the reality of having to actually go out there and date again, I started taking inventory of where to go and what to wear.

I wasn't ready for my discovery.  Gone were the days when jeans and cowboy boots were good enough to wear out and a beer was the drink of choice.

Now, everything glittered and glowed and bubbled with fake enthusiasm.

I did not.

Everyone looked the same.  Men sported the same GQ look and women wore the mandatory 5 inch heels, short dress and red lips.  Authenticity seemed to be lacking.

It was then I knew I didn't fit in and I felt an old familiar feeling creep up inside me.

At a young age, I became acutely aware of what it meant to be different.  Growing up as a first generation Canadian was not without challenges.

I could speak another language, which according to my Anglo friends, was just "weird".   I also ate strange things for lunch. They didn't know what frittata was and they surely didn't understand why my family would spend one weekend at the end of every summer jarring tomatoes.

Then there were the other first generation Canadian friends.  I remember coming home from school in grade one, tears streaming down my face, inconsolable.

You see, I was the only Audrey in a sea of Maria's. The only blonde in a blanket of brunettes.  My light eyes were freakishly bright compared to the chestnut ones that stared back.

I didn't want to be different.  I wanted to blend in.  With either side. 

Funny how things change.

I can't imagine blending in anymore. 

Friday 1 November 2013

So now what?

Fast forward a few years, now divorced, a single mom and still waiting for that perfect someone to sweep me off my feet. I had become the topic of many friends’ discussions.

“Isn’t there anyone we can introduce you to?”
“Have you tried online dating?”
“Being single is better, trust me!”

I always loved the last comment because it generally came from the happiest of couples, who, for all their complaints about one another, still spend copious amounts of time being all lovey dovey. It is easy to say “stay single” when you know that there is someone waiting for you at the end of the day.

But the best comment from loved ones was, “You are at your sexual peak! Go out, have fun! It’s all down hill after this!”

So there I was, past my “peak”. What a waste! In my haste of wanting out of the marriage, I really hadn't given it enough thought. I was 33, divorced, two small children, in the process of building my career…who had time for fun, let alone a relationship. To say that I was frustrated was a complete and utter understatement! I began to frantically search for someone to fill the spot next to me, looking for that perfect blend of Hugh Jackman and Ward Cleaver.
I never did find it.

I can tell you what I did find...I found the unemployed, still living with mama, wanna be Fonz; the sweet but desperate magazine photographer who promised I would have an amazing life with him; the incredibly hot Balkan god; the preppy boy who still wasn’t over his true love; the law enforcement officer who couldn’t make up his mind between being happy or miserable (that one scared me…volatile emotions and a gun, not a good combo!); the latin lover who said I didn’t have enough meat on my ass for his liking (that’s a good thing in my eyes!); the young stud who tried to convince me that age didn’t matter – in his country; and the pseudo intellect who thought opening a door was the extent of what being a gentleman was all about.
You name it, I found it.

So what was I supposed to do? I had hit my peak...all the books and articles said sex would never be as great as it would be now. Yet I was alone.
What had I done?