You know what is really upsetting?

This. The picture says it all. Tell me you see it too.

Just take a minute to let it sink in and fully appreciate what I'm saying here.

Just take a minute to let it sink in and fully appreciate what I am sharing here.

And while the picture says it all, I will add (this very long, run-on sentence) that when you are trying your best to be ‘healthy’, going about your business and organizing your vitamins so you may have everything ready in order to get your health goals back on track and some previously un-noticed writing on the side of the organizing case catches your eye and only then do you realize that your handy-dandy vitamin organizers were ‘swag’ from a cemetery, it really sort of, no, absolutely, sucks balls.

I immediately stopped what I was doing (mid-week, even) and asked myself: what are they trying to tell me? Are they mocking me? Goading me even, perhaps? And why are they (the cemetery people) pretending that they are trying to help me stay alive when in all actuality, they need me (and everyone else, really) dead to increase their dirty, dark profit margin and to be able to afford all of this fancy-schmancy swag. Because nothing says “thank you for your business, so sorry for your loss and we hope to see you again too soon” like a medication/capsule organizer, right? And really, what other business can you think of that can get away with wishing their target clientele dead and stay in business? I get they may not get a lot of repeat customers but really, maybe another business plan is called for to create another income stream? Also, whatever happened to a good old fridge magnet or lousy desk calendar?

So now whenever I take my vitamins, I think of death. Well played death expert assholes, well played.

P.S. This vitamin snafu did have a bright side. It served as a reminder to me to spend some time on our estate planning, things like Wills, Powers of Attorney, choosing the correct beneficiary for my one-of-a-kind eraser collection – you know, the important stuff that you just cannot leave to fate. ????

P.P.S. Before anyone asks me just how exactly I find myself the mortified owner of these fine specimens of mixed-message marketing, I’ll tell you. They were a thrift store find. Which leads to the obvious conclusions that 1) I am not the only one who found these of questionable taste and 2) I need to inspect my thrift store purchases a wee bit more closely in the future. ????

Have I been doing it wrong or are they doing it wrong? My world is upside down now. How do you do it? No, not that it.

One of the things that I enjoy about going over the border to the US is that it gives me the opportunity to tour through American grocery stores and snag amazing deals and products that I just cannot get here in Canada. I love going to Aldi whenever I’m in the US. I would love going to Whole Foods and Trader Joe, but I haven’t found those in Buffalo, yet. (I’m sure the stores are there, but our GPS is woefully out-of-date.) But back to Aldi, I find that their prices are generally great and it has rare to find a product that is not as good, if not better than the pricier, brand name equivalent. But there have been exceptions. This newest one is the most disturbing one so far though. Because it awakens in me all kinds of insecurities and conspiracy theories that I spend quality waking hours fighting to deny. Thanks, America.

The problem: I may have been doing raisins wrong for all of these years. How is that even possible? Am I getting mind-fucked by Corporate America (Like I really need them toying with my already fragile mind, right?)? I present the photographic evidence:

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image 1st image: Southern Grove, Aldi’s brand, purchased in the USA. 2nd image: Sun-Maid Raisins, purchased at Costco in Canada.

And why, if both of these companies are claiming to sell California raisins, why do the Sun-Maid ones taste so much better? Why does the Aldi packaging go on and on about no added sugar? And why the need to announce “100% real fruit” in its own text bubble on a canister of raisins? What else would a package of ‘California Raisins’ contain? Just stating that on the packaging makes me think there’s all kinds of stuff in that canister other than raisins. But the really real question, and the heart of my despair is this: Just WHO, exactly, is refrigerating raisins?!? Are people doing this? Is this a thing? Have I been haphazardly storing our raisins in the cupboard, just begging for disaster? Who do I believe? Aldi, a European-owned chain in the USA or Sun-Maid, an US owned company who imports their product into Canada, so must meet Canadian standards. I’m telling you, I am in utter anguish.

And this, my friends, this is an excellent example of why I do better hiding under my desk with a bar of chocolate, a bag of chips, a good book and my iPad. The outside world and I just can’t seem to get in sync. Under my desk, I can selectively avoid these types of life-altering disasters.

 

Don’t forget to come and hang out with me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. Some thoughts or moments make it to all four sites, others only exist on the site I post them on, so make sure you’re not missing out on anything (rants, updates, cute moments and homicidal-like rages), like or follow along on those sites too. ????
~A

I’m no design diva or anything but, um, hello?

So, the other day, we took the smalls across the border to Buffalo to celebrate Mason’s 11th birthday. He loves going to Niagara Falls and checking out the Buffalo scene, so we made a day of it. At one of our last stops before heading back to our homeland, (Harbour Freight), I needed to use the facilities (that’s how a lady says I had to pee, I know this because I’m reading up on such things). So I left the smalls under the supervision of the disinterested looking store clerks (or possibly their father, how am I supposed to remember, I had to pee, remember?) and headed on to the back of the store where these facilities were hidden away.

This is the inside of the door. A little dingy, perhaps more contaminated than not, but when you really have to pee, just having a door makes this space AWESOME.

This is the inside of the door. A little dingy, perhaps more contaminated than not, but when you really have to pee, just having a door makes this space AWESOME. Even if there is bubonic plague  covering every surface. ????

And then, after locking the door, I did a quick scan for a place to hang up my coat (and to check for hidden cameras. Yes, it was that cruddy in there). My husband, when I showed him these pictures asked me why I’d need to hang up my coat (he tries to touch as few things as possible in these public situations). All became clear when I said “well, when you need to sit down…” Enough said. He is really NOT a fan of public bathrooms at the best of times. Being able to remain standing for the duration of his visit is likely what makes being there bearable. Anyway, I found the coat hooks here:

Hmmm. Okay, whatever, I REALLY need to pee. Something is screwy, but unless I want to be standing in a puddle, it's time to move forward with things here.

Hmmm. Okay, whatever, I REALLY need to pee. Something is screwy, but unless I want to be standing in a puddle, it’s time to move forward with things here.

Finally, rational thought and sanity regained control of my mind and as I washed my hands and turned to dry them, that earlier ‘something screwy’ observation became really obvious.

Uh, peek-a-boo, I can't see you and I need to dry my hands and rejoin my kids before they tear the store apart down to the studs? Well, shit.

Uh, peek-a-boo, I can hear you working but can’t see you at all and I really need to dry my hands and rejoin my kids before they tear the store apart down to the studs. Well, shit then.

Not wanting to juggle my coat and purse with wet hands (because I am an eff’ing classy and elegant lady thankyouverymuch) I tried out a few solutions, like:

Oh! There you are hand dryer. Now if I could only feel your warm, recycled air just enough to dry my hands, that would be lovely. Oh, I see. Not meant to be then?

Oh! There you are hand dryer. Now if I could only feel your warm, recycled air just enough to dry my hands, that would be lovely. Oh, I see. Not meant to be then?

I can see a little bit more of you now, hand dryer friend. but now, my hands are perfectly dry. My coat, however, is damp. Well, double shit.

I can see a little bit more of you now, hand dryer friend. but now, my hands are perfectly dry. My coat, however, is damp. Well played hand dryer, well played. Fucker.

Moral of this story? That although I hold no formal training in interior design, I do have enough common sense to pull off a better bathroom design that this:

I should probably just learn how to take bathroom selfies instead of spending my time doing design critique.

I should probably just learn how to take bathroom selfies instead of spending my time doing design critique. God only knows what people thought that I was doing in the bathroom all that time (I was taking pictures after trying to juggle my purse and coat without using my hands)

Come and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or all three!) The more the merrier and I promise to report more of my embarrassing moments and tales of my ineptitude in the New Year! ????

 

I was in the middle of another post – confession

Mildred the asskicking peacockI was in the middle of writing a different, somewhat happy post when I had to run across the street to pick up kids after school. Putting on my running shoes, my heel was met with something hard, as it has been for the last few weeks now. Only this time, it was particularly uncomfortable. So I made a mental note to really LOOK at my shoes when I returned.

Now, I should disclose that while they are running shoes, I seldom, if ever, actually run in them. But I do wear them daily (except during flip flop season).  And yes, I’ll give you that they are not terribly chic or fancy (which is completely unlike me *smirk*) but they have been comfortable from the first time I slipped them on so I have remained faithful and true to them in return.

But times, they are a changing, and now, I am forced to conduct an intervention on myself because it’s time. I have to let these shoes go. I was hoping to make it until Spring, because who wants to go into winter wearing shiny new shoes (which I already own thanks to a sale at Costco a year or two ago and they reside in my closet, waiting for me to notice them – ha!)? And I am weak. If I don’t publicly ‘out’ myself on this one, I will keep wearing them because 1) they are already by the door, ready and waiting for me 2) they are familiar and broken in, and 3) we have history, and in this day of throw-away-everything, I’m fighting for that to mean something. I also know myself well enough to know that only the possibility of being on the receiving end of ‘those’ looks while I’m out running errands is the motivation I need to make the change. Yes, I do realize that the fact that the skin is being rubbed off my foot SHOULD be plenty motivation to pitch them, but it’s just not. My loyalty is stronger than physical pain (apparently).

Conclusion: I am left with no choice but to break up with you, shoes. And no, we will never, ever, ever get back together. It's been swell. Thanks for the memories.

Conclusion: I am left with no choice but to break up with you, shoes. And no, we will never, ever, ever get back together. It has been swell, but now you’re making my appendages bruised and swollen, so thanks for the memories. Adios, old friends.

Between Mildred’s no-nonsense stare and this public confession of weakness and avoidance, I feel confident that I’ll be able to retire (read: throw out) these shoes. Finally. But first I have to remove my friendship pin because I haven’t become completely callous in this process, just weepy and blue (and just a little bit excited to wear new shoes *grin*)

Now, back to your regularly programmed Thursday afternoon.

I am living with a serial killer and I have the proof

Totally not a joke. For a while I thought it was just a phase. A passing, twisted, gross phase. I’m not a cat person and I’m not a cat. I don’t pretend to know what is normal for cat-beings, and try really hard not to be overly critical but as the bodies start piling up and the violence escalates, I realize that we have a problem here.

IMG_4318

Lucy is a serial killer. Believe me, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Making excuses for her, steadfastly refusing to accept that the crunching sound coming from her general direction was her gnawing on the bones of some innocent soul who dared cross her path. But no more.

IMG_4311

And, while I honestly do appreciate her keeping our home safe from mice and other small-ish yet terrifying creatures (because I’m not a rodent-y person either), being basically a pacifist at heart means that I cannot accept or stomach violence of any kind. This includes mouse-a-cide, bird-a-cide, bat-a-cide and vole-a-cide.

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But now that she’s had the taste of blood, as far as I can tell, she-lion is HUNGRY for more. Our cat food bill drops to almost zero in the summer and it’s not because she’s fasting to fit into her bikini. She’s eating up a storm. She’s just hunting for her breakfast, lunch and dinner. Honestly, at this point, I’m expecting her to drag a deer up the driveway one day soon. She accepts no guidance, acknowledges no limits and refuses all reason.

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Paxton tried to talk her out of her murderous ways when he was three. She had taken down a huge butterfly or moth and Pax happened to be there when it happened:
“Looooocy! Why you hurt dat butterfly? You not a-pposed to hurt  da butterflies! Don’t eat da butterflies! You don’t do dat again. ‘K, Looocy? Pax was very cross with Lucy, sitting in front of her, nose-to-nose, eye-to-eye, giving her hell. What he didn’t realize was that this was not Lucy’s first rodeo and it was unlikely to be her last, and that really we should just count our lucky stars that she didn’t have a hankering for toddler boy that day.

Last summer was her ‘best’ hunting summer. This summer, either she’s slowing down or taking her murder spree underground. Either way, not having to step over and around mouse organs when I’m half-asleep in the morning and just want to get the bins to the roadside, is a nice change, but I still watch my step and always have something on my feet when I step out the door. ‘Cause I would just DIE, I tell you.

Well I thought that she had slowed down until I found this:

IMG_4331

 

Does anyone else suffer from emotionally induced email dependency?

When things go horribly wrong, and someone who is important in my life is upset with me, or we’re arguing or disagreeing about an issue, depending on how much I care about that person, I am prone to falling into what I can only call an altered state of email dependency.

What this entails is me hitting the F9 key in Outlook repeatedly checking for new mail every 60-90 seconds. Looking, praying, and hoping for an a reply to my last email. You know the email I’m waiting for, the one that says that everything is ok, that the person doesn’t hate me, doesn’t think that I’m crazy, stupid or worthless. The email that says that it’s okay that we disagree, and everything is going to be okay, that this too shall pass and I needn’t feel as though my world has ended.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have to really care about or love the person with whom I’m at odds to fall into this state of being. Which is good. Because love. But which is also bad because extreme emotional anguish that may only be relieved by someone else and it really sucks to feel as though I am neither allowed nor able to decide to just be okay again and make my world right again. After all, I am able to make my children’s worlds right all the time but am powerless over my own? Why is that?

And yes, I know that I sound somewhat (??) unhinged. I am working so hard on me and my efforts to be real with myself and others. Learning to be honest and true about my thoughts, feelings, and actions. To stop saying yes when I want to say no. To stop eating shit politely with a knife and fork and smiling whenever I feel like someone is being unkind to me. To stop reacting emotionally to insults or verbal digs (real or perceived) and rather begin to refuse to be diminished into a state of tears and abject sadness as my tears only serve to expose me to further ridicule and disdain.

I have a long way to go on that one.

So, in the meantime, I hit F9 – get up, tidy up a few things, hang out with my kids, prepare a snack for someone and make my way back to my open laptop. Switch the screen over to Outlook and jab at the F9 key again and wait while the program goes through the motions of receiving (or not receiving) email. And more often than not, I go through all of those steps again. And again. And again.

Except this time, I decided to write this post instead, hoping against hope that getting it out ‘there’ will help me to break this cycle and do something different. Something better. Something healthier.

So, here I am. Waiting, wanting, hoping, talking myself off the verge of tears, holding myself together and trying to convince myself that the lack of communication does not mean that I’m nothing to this very important (to me) person in particular and the world in general.

It just means that the internet is broken again.

Damn that Kardashian/Jenner family and their internet-breaking ways.

Truth?

Truth?

I ate this (a blatant display of self-abasement)

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and immediately felt guilty. I felt like a terrible person. I felt like a failure and a loser and bad parent and a poor example and really, quite honestly, worth, well, less.

I ate this. While I was alone. All 400 ml, a mere 100 ml shy of two cups. All 340 calories. I ate it all. And I ate it in the same manner in which I consume the majority of my ‘bad’ calories. Alone. Not in front of my children. And I can honestly tell you that I felt more guilty than I did that time that I snuck into my son’s room while he was eating breakfast to play ‘tooth fairy’ because I forgot to do it the night before. And once switching the tooth for the Twoonie, I casually sauntered back downstairs where he was eating his cereal and I asked him if the tooth fairy had come to our house the night before. He sadly shook his head, no. I told him that he must be mistaken and that he should look again because he probably just missed it the first time he looked. Yes. I did that. It’s a true story. And no, I am not proud of my actions that day. But I felt then and feel now less guilty for lying to my child and making him think that he was unable to find a Twoonie under a pillow than I do about eating less than two cups of ice cream.

But why should I feel ashamed of eating ice cream? Or anything for that matter. Is it illegal, immoral, or completely deviate behaviour? Does it make me a bad person? Does it mean that I am a weak person or worse yet, parent? Does it make me stupid, talentless, worthless or criminal? It can’t. It is impossible for eating ice cream to mean any of those things. My logical brain knows that, believes that, but try as I may, I remain unconvinced. Because it very much feels like it does mean all of those things about me. It very much feels like it means all of that and more.

So, what is wrong with me? Why is my moral compass so skewed? Am I the only one who can bend or break the rules with little remorse but then eat something unhealthy or fattening or calorie-laden and instantly feel completely unworthy of love, respect or kindness? Why do I use food to punish myself, reward myself, comfort myself and hurt myself? I know I’m not the only one who does this, there are lots of us around, but why?

And why, does every, single calorie I eat triple the second I swallow it?

My issues with food make me a hypocrite. Because I do not eat what I feed my children. Or, more accurately, I would never allow my children to eat as I eat. Their diets are over-flowing with fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade this and chemical-free that. Low sugar whatsits and naturally coloured whosits. They drink WATER or plain milk. No juice, iced tea, pop, energy drinks or Sunny-D for them. And all this means? It means that I know better but somehow, and for some reason, refuse to DO better for myself. I do it for my children. I do it for my husband. I don’t do it for me.

I do not drink, not even casually, haven’t in over ten years. In part because I don’t understand my unhealthy relationship with food and really do not want or need to find out how easily I could develop the same unhealthy relationship with alcohol and in part because I’d rather use those calories for chocolate. I do not do drug because I’m scared of them (even if they do make you skinny) and I have no idea where to buy them anymore (teenagers always know the hook up to buy drugs, even if they never do it themselves). Oh, and of course, I’m too cheap (read: frugal) to add ‘recreational / life-destroying drugs’ as a line on my budget.

So why do I feel this compelling need to eat? It is beyond a survival. It is beyond emotional. It has become my sport. And my head knows that my choices are excessive and unhealthy and I definitely know how to make healthy choices vs. unhealthy choices. But even a healthy choice, at 6 times the serving size becomes a problem. Because ya’ll know that I’m not eating six servings of steamed broccoli.

And don’t be a smartass. You know that I’m too full for broccoli. I just ate 340 calories of ice cream. Houston…We have a problem.

P.S. I post a lot of nonsensical blithering on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s worth ‘Liking’ ‘Following’ or just checking out The Keswick Blog on those sites as well. I’m not always a debbie-downer, I promise. Sometimes I’m ridiculously happy, sappy, ranty, braggy and occasionally funny. Unfortunately, micro-blogging is all that I can squeeze into my day at the moment far too often. 😉

 

 

Dear L.L. Bean, I am sad. And it is your fault. Again.

llbean

Dear L.L. Bean.

I am a long-time admirer of your store. Since childhood I have coveted your monogrammed backpacks, warm sweaters and sassy summer fare. And as a child, you knew nothing of me. Just another Canadian kid with the L.L. Bean dream. But I knew of you and I would, on occasion receive a Christmas gift from one of our American relatives, purchased from your store and wowie wow wow, was I the Queen of the street in those years.

But alas, I am no longer a child. And my relatives no longer send me your lovely goods. And I am no longer Queen of the street.  As an adult (apparently, that’s what I am now) I have some buying power in my own right. And I have exercised that power and purchased online, from your very enticing website on a few occasions in past years. With the promise of free shipping and 10% discounts and the possibility of having my coveted L.L. Bean merchandise in my own home, I purchased. And each and every time, it cost me an arm and a leg. But this year, this year is the last year that I will (almost) fall for your shenanigans.

So this week, here I sit. Another Christmas season is upon me and your emails are flooding my Outlook inbox daily. Your offers of discounts, bonus gift cards, free shipping, and more dance before my eyes, more appealing than the Magic Mike dancers and more palatable than my beloved Snickers bar. So I fall for your sweet words again and I click on your latest link.

And in no time at all, I am adding an ultrasoft this and a Scotch Plaid that and one of those scoopneck whatsits, those tights and that tote to my online cart, while remaining mindful of how my credit card company will violate me with their criminal surcharges and inflated exchange rates. But the promise of FREE SHIPPING repeats in my mind and soothes the impeding sting of my credit card’s slap.

I too quickly reach my spending limit. I have some lovely gifts for others and maybe something for myself in that light-as-a-feather shopping cart you have so helpfully provided to me. I check it twice (it is Christmas after all) and I gingerly click the ‘checkout’ button. I enter my login, and yes, I’ll have a chance to review the order before it is submitted. Yes, I understand that.

I scroll through my order (sounds longer than it really is, but I scroll slowly, so it feels longer than it really is too). I look to the right of my screen, where the charges are laid out and there it is – 10% discount code applied! Shipping $0.00! Yay! I’m so happy, your products are within reach. I can almost feel the fabric of softest flannel shirt in my hands. I hate to pay shipping and it is always grossly over-inflated and who can help but love a discount code? But my list of charges doesn’t end there, does it? No, L.L. (may I call you L.L.?) You know that the list does not end there at all. HST? Duty? What the what? No. No. NO!

I do not want you to collect HST and duty for my government. I would prefer to pay it directly to the CRA myself, at the post office when I pick up the package (for Canada Post will not deliver it to my door anyway). And, in all honesty, I do not believe that all of the items that I am (trying, well, begging really) to purchase are privy to duty charges. NAFTA, maybe? I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that having the HST and duty come to more than 35% of the total charges, and having to pay them, at a premium in US funds at higher than bank rates just made the entire order outside of my financial grasp.**

So I close the browser window. I close my laptop. I walk away from my desk feeling so sad, disappointed and unfulfilled. My family will not get to experience the joys of L.L. Bean monogrammed backpacks, most excellent gadgets, beautifully soft and well made linens. And that makes me sad. So very, very sad.

Yours truly,
A.B.
The Keswick Blogger – wife, mother, and 2014 unfulfilled L.L. Bean so-badly-wanna-be customer.

P.S. I think that I should get brownie points for this letter. I did not swear, curse or use a single inappropriate word. Not even once. I think that alone should earn me a break on all of those charges. I mean honestly, take a look at the rest of this blog, this place is riddled with profanity and inappropriate use of the English language. Wouldn’t you agree?

P.P.S. Despite it all, I still love you. I can’t help myself. xoxo

P.P.P.S. I’m sorry if my letter was mean. Please don’t ban me from your website or your Albany store. xo

Mostly a true story.

Mostly a true story.

** In the name of full disclosure and clarity, the subtotal for my most recent order was for four items and the subtotal was going to be $85.43 USD – ‘you have saved $39.37’ between ‘on sale’ items and the 10% discount code, free shipping. Duty and HST was going to be $29.45 USD or 34.5% of the total order price 🙁  My credit card would have been charged $114.88 USD.
a.

 

One high speed car chase does not a vigilante make. It takes at least two.

Once, years and years ago, my son Declan and I were dropping off a bunch of things for donation at our local Goodwill. It was a Sunday, so they were closed, and so as per usual, we left our things with the other donations piled close to the entrance. We unloaded the car, hopped back in and left, hanging a left out of the parking lot which lead us to drive past the Goodwill once again.

As we were driving by, I saw that a nicely kept, newer minivan was parked in the space we just left and that a woman and her son were going through the boxes and bags that Declan and I had just unloaded. I swung into the parking lot across the street and watched for a few moments, because I could not believe what I was seeing. I could feel my blood pressure rising, watching this woman load the items that Declan and I had JUST DONATED to charity into her newer-than-mine vehicle. I decided that I had to try to confront her.

Now, realize that this was before everyone and their grandma had a cell phone, smartphone, digital camera, dash cam, YouTube, etc. We had brickish, heavy, blocky cell phones that only stored a few numbers and dialed and received calls – no pictures, no texting, no internet, no 24/7 connectivity with the rest of the world. So, thusly disconnected from our friends and family, off we drove back into the Goodwill parking lot, and rolled right up on her. She knew she was busted. She knew that she was stealing, that she was doing the wrong thing and that I was ANGRY.

She took off. I took off after her. I got her license plate, but I still followed her to just shy of the airport (from Scarborough, for any of you familiar with the area). For those not familiar – that is fuck far. And she was scared, driving erratically and I was single-mindedly in pursuit. What was I going to do if I actually got her? No flipping idea – I was just do infuriated that she would take her kid and STEAL from the GOODWILL, items that MY KID and I just DONATED. You know, TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE.

So, while we’re flying along the 401, I can see her son WALKING around inside her almost brand-new minivan (needs to steal from charity?), playing with a toy that I KNOW that my son just gave away “so another kid who doesn’t have any toys can maybe play with it, Mummy.”

And then, I just stopped. I took the next exit and headed home. Explaining to my child why we would continue to do the right thing, and why when we see someone doing the wrong thing, causing harm, that we cannot sit quietly by and pretend not to see it. That we must act, because it is the right thing to do. Now, I did also explain that typically high-speed highway chases are rarely the exactly right thing to do either, but that because we had her license plate and vehicle information that we could let the store know and they could decide what action, if any, to take. In the meantime, since it’s highly unlikely that someone drove 45 minutes or longer to hit up that exact CLOSED Goodwill, I cost her a ton of gas and time that day (I was driving a little economy car, so it cost me far, far less than it did her ;))

I never much thought about what I now call the ‘Reverse Donation’ before that day, but ever since that day, I have been hyper-pissed off whenever I see someone looting the donation drop offs. I don’t usually have a camera or other means of recording it, but this past weekend, I did have a camera with me, so I did capture what appears to be yet another mother-son team in a minivan doing the Reverse Donation with a Twist – treating it more like an exchange program than a straight up DONATION program.

Stealing sucks. Stealing sucks even worse when you involved your kids. Don’t suck.

If the sun hadn't been directly in my eyes and making it impossible for me to know if I was actually getting the pictures that I was trying to get, I would have had about ten times this number of pictures. Mr. KB told me later that Ms. Reverse Donation with a Twist was waving at me for a bit, but I didn't see that. I wish I had a picture of it though!

If the sun hadn’t been shining directly in my eyes and making it impossible for me to know if I was actually getting the pictures that I was trying to get, I would have had about ten times this number of pictures. Mr. KB told me later that Ms. Reverse Donation with a Twist was waving at me for a bit, but I didn’t see that. I wish I had a picture of it though!

 

My Monday challenge for the week

As I admitted recently, I failed at Lent. I took this failure very personally, because, well, it was my failure and I hate it when I let myself or others down. But then a very nice reader reminded me that it doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing’ and that I could try again without waiting until next year. She also let me know that maybe I don’t have to give something up for Lent, maybe I could DO something instead. I like that idea a lot. Mostly because I’m terrible at giving stuff up (yes, I’m looking at you, chocolate temptress), but also because I can easily identify about a million things that I need to change about myself, habits or my behaviour.

And that leads me here. To my Monday challenge for this week. Weekly challenges may work better for me, since seven days is far less daunting than forty days right off the bat. This week I will be unplugging my internet connection everyday day at 5:30 and will not turn it back on until 7:00 a.m. the following day. If it works out well, and helps me use my evening hours better, I may extend it later, change the hours or even skip days (but I’m getting way ahead of myself here, because I’m breaking out in a sweat just thinking of not being able to look up anything after 5:30 p.m. for the next seven days).  This technology/electronics blackout will include my iPad, laptop and phone (kiddo, if you’re reading this and you need me after 5:30, call the house, I’ll call you back if I’m not home!)

What I’m hoping that this will accomplish is to help give me back the time I used to have to pursue other interests, like reading (alone and with the kidlets), crocheting, photography, journal writing (with a pen and paper!), music (listening and playing), planning and organizing my house and home, etc. I also want to learn new things, like how to sew and re-finish furniture and lay tile properly. I have a list of things that I want to repurpose, refurbish and redo and I never seem to have (make?) time to do them.

So, now that I’ve committed this challenge to (virtual) paper, I refuse to bungle it up and have to confess yet ANOTHER failure. I’m going for the win here people.

And, since it is St. Patrick’s Day, I’m counting on having the luck ‘o the Irish with me today and for the rest of the week while I detox off 24/7 connectivity and re-enter the land of peace.And now, I’m off to try to bake something ‘green’ for my leprechaun minions 🙂

A little reminder never hurt any of us!  Happy St. Paddy's day, ya'll!

A little reminder never hurt any of us! Happy St. Paddy’s day, ya’ll!