Where this week is nuts

I’m in the middle of a pretty insane week. It’s nuts at my Day Job because our boss has decided to do an indoor activity outdoors…and invite other centres to boot. Never mind the fact that Mother Nature may not comply and rain on all of us, we have to prep this new idea of his and it’s…well, it’s nuts.

To add chaos to madness, I’ve decided to create a welcoming, food area for our clients at work. We’re going to have hot drinks, cookies and light refreshments…thanks to my wallet and my insane mind.

Finally, at home, my lovely hubby is leaving for one of his therapist conferences and the house is in total chaos thanks to his way of packing (throw everything around until it falls into a suitcase).

I told him to take this joke with him.

(credit:iFunny.com)

He didn’t find it funny, but I thought it was hilarious. Some times, if life gives you nuts, you have to act like a chipmunk…and enjoy a nut or two.

Best posts of all time

Well, I was curious. Just what do my readers like best about this blog? Well, I looked. Here are the top 5 posts of all time in this humble little blog.

(credit:All Things Curly)

5. Snow is coming…and I’m not happy. – Where I ramble about snow and winter.

4. 5 Worst things you can do if your internet is running slow. -True and still appreciated by readers.

3. #1000 speak for compassion. -Wonderful and still loved.

2. The amazing abilities of akitas. A ramble about doggies I had no idea would be so well received.

1. The importance of tags: for bloggers. The best of the best, this one still gets viewed, years after it was written.

There you go, the top 5. What do you think? Are they overrated or justified?

Of permits and frustration

We’re trying to build a garage for our house.

When we moved, almost two years ago now, we noticed our new home didn’t have a garage. This didn’t seem to bother us at the time. The bliss of the new house erased any and all doubts about a missing part. Who needs a garage anyway? Why bother with one?

Turns out garages are incredibly useful in winter. And, since we live in Canada, winter happens every single year. In spades.

(credit:The Globe and Mail)

After living through two winters without a garage, we’re adding one to the house.

This doesn’t happen easily though. First, we had to have a permit. To get that small piece of paper we had to meet with the council of our city (aka: tiny country town) and try to convince them that we were only building a garage and it was not going to destroy the look of the countryside or hurt any animals in the construction.

The council was made up of a gaggle of old men that reminded me a lot of the dwarves from The Hobbit but, in my wisdom, I refrained from pointing that out to them. They spoke for incredibly long period of time, were older than Methuselah and seemed in no rush to grant us anything from permits to permission to leave. It took over an hour to get them to agree to let us build a garage.

(credit: TheOneRing.net)

Once the meeting with the Council was over, we still had to get all sorts of papers, forms, drawings, drafts and money to get the elusive permit. Still, months later, we finally have a very red piece of paper that now has to be placed outside to be seen by anyone who passes by. A permit? Well, not exactly.

This permit isn’t final. A fact that was made abundantly clear by the grumpy teller who dealt with me last week. There are to be at least 5 different inspections at different times by different people at ‘the site’ to ensure that we’re not building a chicken coop instead of a garage on our property. If, and only if we pass all those inspections will the permit be finalized.

It occurred to me that by then the garage would be finished and the permit might be as relevant as a phone booth to a teenager but by this time I had been standing for more than half an hour listening to the growling of the teller and I wanted to go home. I nodded and practically ran out of the town’s office.

Obviously, you’re going to hear more about this delightful adventure.

 

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee I’d moan about the fact that, even though it’s Saturday, I have to go to a DayJob thing all day. I know there are jobs out there that do this regularly and I’m lucky that mine doesn’t…but I still like to moan about it.

To compensate for this tragic beginning to the weekend, I’m going to have a second cup of coffee as a treat–hopefully the size of a large bird bath. 😀

If we were having coffee, I’d explain to you that we’ve literally gone from winter boots to sandals in under a week. In true Canadian form, the weather has gone from freezing to boiling∗ in less than 5 days. (*Boiling = Canadian expression meaning anything warmer than freezing.)

My dogs are completely unhappy about this change in the weather. The mosquitoes, on the other hand, are delighted and have appeared by the gazillions∗. (Gazillions = Taylorism meaning a number so large it’s ridiculous).

(credit: pinterest)

How are you? How are things with you? Are you enjoying your cup of coffee?

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster and is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain.

Review: Victoria

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is not my usual genre of books. It’s the story of Queen Victoria from the time she became Queen to when she married Prince Albert. It’s written by Daisy Goodwin who has a degree in history from Cambridge and has written other New York Times bestselling novels all about historical figures. I have never read a book by Daisy Goodwin and I rarely read nonfiction. I picked this one up for a moment, read a paragraph and was hooked. I tried to put it down, I actually did slide it back on the shelf, then I walked away and I knew that paragraph would be haunting me for the rest of the weekend and I’d have to return to find out what happened.

I bought the book instead.

I’m glad I did because Victoria was just delicious. I’ve gone and done a bit of searching since just to see if it was accurate and the truth is Daisy Goodwin got all the facts straight. On top of that, she wove them into a wonderful story. That certainly takes talent.

One of my favourite parts about this story is the transition of Victoria from the shy, protected girl we meet at the beginning of the book to the Queen we have in the end. It was quite the transformation. Her mother kept Victoria ‘protected’ while she was a child by not allowing her to see or meet anyone. She was carefully schooled by people she chose and saw only those she approved, which meant that, by the time she was eighteen, Victoria was so sheltered she was very ill equipped to reign.

Her mother’s plan had been to make her daughter dependent on her and so reign through her, but Victoria refused to become her mother’s shadow and to bow to her wishes. Instead, she tries to do things on her own. How she manages to not only succeed but to do so well is the meat of the story.

Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch in England until Queen Elizabeth II just surpassed her only a few years ago. She also married Prince Albert not out of necessity but out of love, something unheard of in that time period and had 9 children with him though she hated being pregnant. She was an incredible queen, something that was due to her determination, perseverance and talent because she started off with odds severely against her.

This isn’t a romance story, it’s historical fiction. But I was looking for something different. I like women’s lit and, in spite of the time period change, this is certainly the story of a woman coming of age and finding her purpose and role from a very challenging set of circumstances. It’s incredible how fast those pages turned when I read this book. It seemed to end too quickly.

I would absolutely recommend it. It’s got a fantastic story of triumph over adversity, historical facts, a love story and historical kings and queens all in one great book. Plus, it has a ton of intrigue but not a lot of fighting, which I adore. If you’re a fan of fiction or history, this one is a great one to try. If you do, let me know what you think of it.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m worried about Ocean. My littlest dog has been puking lately and I don’t know why or how to stop it. In other ways, she’s actually doing better (she had an allergic reaction to a food change) and I think the allergies are going away but the tummy troubles are still there. I don’t like it one bit. If she doesn’t get better…well, I just can’t imagine life without her.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that this week has been insane mostly because my lovely hubby ended up in the hospital after losing a fight with a gall bladder stone. Long story short, he still has his gall bladder but it has to go. Next week, he has tons of meetings with different doctors and we’re going to see what they all say. Thank goodness we live in Canada and all those appointments are free.

I don’t like to be negative on this blog, so I’d probably tell you that this morning, it was so cool and fresh, the air was just gorgeous. I stood outside freezing my tail off but loving every breath. It just felt clean and beautiful. I love spring.

And I’d ask what’s new with you. How are you and how are things at home with you? How is work?

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster and is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain.

An inspirational Canadian

Malala Yousafzai just became an honorary Canadian. She’s also a Nobel Prize Winner and a United Nations messenger of peace.

I think she’s one of the most inspirational people in the world today.

Every quote I find of hers just moves me.

What an incredible, inspirational person…and she’s only 19.

 

If we were having coffee

If we were having coffee I’d rant about what a glorious day we had yesterday. It was sunny and warm. There wasn’t a snow flake in sight. I was so excited, I grabbed my fluffy pooches and out we went for a walk.

(credit:Robin Loznak Photography)

It was still below zero, this is Canada after all, but it was gorgeous. I had this smile on my face that didn’t dim as we walked. Everything seemed a miraculous gift. I was so excited, I managed to lose the two extra collars (gentle leaders) I bring for just in case situations.

If we were sipping coffee, I’d tell you my cell phone died a water death this week and now I’m in the middle of trying to get the insurance that I bought for the phone to actually replace the thing. Easier said than done, because they want everything from birth certificates to proof of clean breath before they will let another phone out of their grasp. Still, I’m hopeful I will eventually be able to have a working cell.

I’d also tell you I’m looking for a new book. I know, I’m always looking for a new book but this time I’m looking for a different new book. I don’t know how it would be different either. I’ll know when I find it. It will obviously require many hours spent at the bookstore. 😀

And we have a four-day weekend here. Isn’t that incredible? I know it’s only four days but right now, at the very start of it, it feels like there are endless supply of days and possibilities.

How are things on your end? How was your week?

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster and is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain.

Review: Waiting on you by Kristan Higgins

Waiting on you is the third Blue Heron novel by Kristan Higgins. It’s still a complete stand alone story and well worth picking up by anyone interested in contemporary romance. It’s the story of Colleen, one of the two twins who run their own little business in the tiny town.

Waiting on you tells the story of Colleen, a happy, beautiful girl who specializes in giving advice about love. She has made matches around the little town she lives in and they have all ended up at the altar. However, Colleen stays away from matching herself. She was burned years ago and once was enough. Now she’s happy with helping her brother run their pub and keeping others happy. Herself? She has her big, silly Rufus, her adorable Irish Wolfhound, to keep her company.

Lucas is our hero and the man responsible for Colleen’s heart break all those years ago. Lucas has been glad to stay away from the only girl who’s ever mattered to him. Years ago, life made him leave and he’s not one to ignore duty. He’s been dealing with it, working away for years.

Life, however has other plans for both Lucas and Colleen and suddenly, Lucas is back in town. Neither is prepared for what meeting again face to face will do to them. Easy-going, never quiet Colleen is at a loss for words and Lucas can’t seem to find his reasons for leaving the town again.

These two have a history, a beautiful delicious history that we get to see as the book goes on. They also have more than one reason to be together but they seem unable to see it.

Colleen and Lucas have to work out their history, unravel what happened to mess up their first attempt at love all while surviving the issues of their quirky families. The story of how they do just that is hilarious, touching and beautiful. I loved it so much I had to go back to the store to get the next book in the series. I just couldn’t go without another book by Kristan Higgins.

This one is certainly one I’d recommend to contemporary readers of romance but also to those who would like a book with humour and a great family story. Kristan Higgins’ secondary characters are absolutely a delight and in this instalment they certainly don’t disappoint. This one is a great read and a keeper on that wonderful keeper shelf.

(credit: kristanhiggins.com)

(credit: kristanhiggins.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.