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i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

farewell to the old me – #thisis40

So, I turned 40 last weekend. I have had lots of thoughts about this throughout the month of January, but I could never find time to write them down. I couldn’t decide if they were good thoughts, or bad thoughts. But I had many thoughts.

And I know that birthdays, new years, anniversaries are really just the same as any other day, but something about that subtle change in a date, or a number, makes you feel like you’re starting something new. When you start a new decade of your life, you feel something. You might not know what it is, but something is in the air, and your mind, that there is change afoot. I get caught up in these silly ideas pretty easily, and sometimes you might need that.

I’m now 40. There are a new set of years ahead of me with 4 as the first number in my age. It’s a different chapter in my life: mostly physically, as ageing is wont to do. I’m not going to lie, I am not really sad to see the 30s go. I had an amazing decade of personal growth and really came into my own and finally was happy with who I am. But a lot of crappy stuff happened, too. And I’m not sad to move on from that.

I’m the type of person who has to look at what’s behind her in order to move forward. Not dwell on the past, but take note of all that’s happened to make me who I am today. And so I make lists. And I have been working on this list for a little while now. It’s more of a highlight reel, but ultimately it shows me what I’ve been through and what I may have accomplished. And it makes me feel good about myself, and ready to start a new decade of challenges and adventure.


  • turned 30
  • offered/accepted new job
  • apartment burns down (three days after job offer)
  • moved into in-laws’ basement
  • start new job
  • celebrated 1st wedding anniversary
  • had breast reduction
  • landlord cheats us and steals our duplex flat when he rebuilds building


  • my favourite aunt (and godmother) diagnosed with multiple myeloma (Feb)
  • bought our first house! (March)
  • my aunt died (within 3 months of getting cancer) (May)
  • my dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer (May)
  • our car died on the way home from work one night (June)
  • bought new car! (June)
  • Dad had surgery (June)
  • started my book blog
  • got my learner’s permit!
  • lots of health issues for me
  • Shawn started a new job
  • had my entire family, plus in-laws’ over for Thanksgiving in our new house!
  • was very happy


  • got my wrist star tattoo (yay!)
  • finally celebrated our honeymoon – at DISNEY WORLD! best trip ever!
  • broke my toe
  • my grandfather died @ 95 of natural causes. A little over a year after my aunt passed away. (June)
  • lost power to the house for 4 days in an unusual heatwave (32C + humidity!)
  • dishwasher broke and flooded the kitchen
  • health issues, health issues, health issues


  • because of a super awesome sale, I was able to spend my 33rd birthday at Disney World! This wasn’t the best trip we’d taken, but it was the first time I’d ever been somewhere else for my birthday!
  • health issues, health issues
  • my grandmother got sick in February, and then passed away in April (for those keeping score, I lost a family member a year for three years: May, June, April. Sigh.)
  • I wrote in a 2010 blog post that 2009 was miserable, but besides my health and the loss of my grandmother, I can’t even remember anything else from that year.


  • I joined highland dancing
  • health issues and financial issues
  • job issues (not mine)
  • saw CATS! (yay!)
  • had laser eye surgery (pew! pew!) and took 3 years to heal =/
  • had our bank account hacked twice, Grrr.
  • went to NYC for BEA by train by myself!
  • entire street, and most of the driveway dug up for all of May because of pipe replacement by city. It was awful (but needed)


  • we lost Annabelly a week before her 13th birthday 🙁
  • “diagnosed” with fibromyalgia in regards to health issues & my pain
  • my parents put my childhood house up for sale
  • drove to Michigan and adopted Sophie (and I got the worst case of food poisoning I have ever had in my life.)
  • failed my first driver’s test
  • Shawn started new job
  • stupid union went on stupid strike for three stupid months
  • medical leave due to my pain problems
  • passed my second driving test! Woohoo!
  • parents sold their house
  • dying tree in our yard broke pipes under the driveway & neighbours had to dig up our driveway & then we had a giant hole for a year & no driveway
  • went back to work in December; morale was LOVELY =/


  • sister & I threw our parents a surprise 40th wedding anniversary-slash-going away party
  • went to Quebec city for the first time
  • my parents moved to Kingston
  • we had central a/c installed (yes, this is a BIG EVENT because OMG cool air in summer!)
  • visited my parents in Kingston
  • went to NYC for BEA yet again, by myself. Hung out with my cousin.
  • realized that Jinx was an awesome gardener
  • got my back tattoo
  • saw The Muppets live
  • dead tree in our yard finally cut down, hole in driveway finally (sort of) filled
  • went back to school for the first time in 17 years
  • visited Toronto
  • visted Ottawa
  • looked forward to 2013… little did I know


  • stupid guy jumped from a stupid building on my way into work for a stupid meeting, and almost landed on top of me and it was the most traumatic thing in my life
  • my husband’s company closed up his department & he was out of a job (two weeks after the stupid jumping guy)
  • started running
  • ended up on medical leave at work because of delayed-onset PTSD
  • found myself attending the first fitness class of a new personal trainer in the fall and thought I’d not like it, but have been working out with this same woman ever since. And found a new, dear friend in the trainer.
  • was oddly comforted by the fact that while I was off on leave, Shawn was also home (looking for work) and that I could be completely broken at home and have him care for me. I am a very lucky gal to have this man by my side
  • I spent a much-needed mental health pre-Christmas visit with Monkey and she let me glitter all of the things to help me heal. She’s what true friends are made of.


  • started the year still on leave for PTSD
  • spent the week of the traumaversary in Kingston with my parents. It was comforting.
  • completed my first (and only!) Spartan Race. It was hard, and emotional, and I did it but never want to do it again. It was a huge deal for me to get through and I’m proud of myself.
  • we lost Jinx to cancer. Surprise cancer. It was a shocking, fast 4 weeks. We still haven’t really recovered from it.
  • husband started a new job
  • had to take year off from school because of the depression/PTSD stuff. could not focus.
  • we drove to Memphis, TN at Christmas time. We adopted Yoshi.


  • ended up on leave again for the PTSD crap, which was re-triggered by things in my life. Big, scary things. Yoshi helped me a lot.
  • my dad had major surgery, I stayed with them for a little under 2 weeks to help out
  • Celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Without Jinx. It was difficult.
  • got my nose pierced
  • got my arm tattoo
  • job searching, financial issues, fun things like that
  • had my job first interview in 10 years. Did not get the job. Was depressed by this, but knew I shouldn’t be.
  • new form of health issues resulting in extreme fatigue. Can’t drive due to exhaustion. Can hardly stay awake for dinner after work. Going to exercise class. But started back at school in the fall.
  • depressed about turning 40 next year. nervous about turning 40 next year. excited about turning 40 next year.
  • Tired. Exhausted. Sad. Restless. Ready to start over.

Add in a bunch of health issues that have continued over from one year to the next, I’m ready to just say toodles to my 30s and hope that the next decade has a little more to offer on the happy side.

One thing I am so thankful for from the last 10 years of my life is the amazing group of friends I now have in my life. I am very lucky to have the sort of friendship ring I have right now, and I think that’s really what helped me get through the worst times in my life. Those friends, and Shawn, of course. I have an amazing husband who gets me, and heals me, and makes me laugh.

So, hello 40. I plan to rock this next year of my life. So get ready.

so, thirty-eight happened

Unusual for me, I didn’t chronicle my birthday this year. A lot of it has to do with what’s going on in my life (and my head) these days, although I can’t really say why I haven’t blogged in 20 days. I guess I’m just not feeling it much lately.

On January 23rd I turned 38 years old. What a strange age to be. I find it very surreal to be closer to 40 than to 20. In my mind, I’m still closer to my teens than I am to being a grown-up. I’m not sure when this feeling will change, if it changes at all.

I woke up on my birthday and came downstairs to find a hand-made card waiting for me and a gluten-free birthday cake. These wonderful items were both courtesy of my amazing husband. Since it was my birthday, I was turning old, and I have been home on medical leave and feeling sort of out of sorts, I decided that my fancy party t-shirt was the appropriate attire for the day. Shawn got me that shirt for Christmas. Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is?

In a surprising turn of events, I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday this year. It had nothing to do with age and everything to do with the PTSD crap I’m going through. I didn’t want to see anyone, go anywhere, do anything,or even really talk about my birthday. Two days before my birthday I woke up feeling excited that it WAS ALMOST my day. That was the first sign that I was starting to feel better and I have medication to thank for that.

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a birthday person I am. Generally I start counting down the shopping days until January 23rd in November. I used to write these helpful countdowns in my friends Val’s and Jill’s agendas. I’m helpful like that. This year I didn’t even tell new people I’d met that it was going to be my birthday. I realize this probably doesn’t matter to most of the world, but it’s a huge sign of how Not Myself I have been. I’m getting better but I still feel like I missing a big chunk of myself and I’m a little bitter about that.

So my birthday was spent with my husband and it was pretty quiet. We went to a movie during the day (Frozen) and then we had take-out for dinner. I braved the world and went downtown the next night to have dinner with my boss because I wanted to see her and I miss her a lot. That was nice and it was nice to know I could actually hear about work and not have a major panic attack start. Again, medication to thank for that. Not a huge dosage, but enough to erase the anxiety and fear I have been living with for the last handful of months.

I didn’t even see my in-laws until the start of February. I just wasn’t feeling like being around people or having any attention paid to me. Heck, normally I love attention. heh… I just wanted to be quiet this year. Reflect. Spend time with Shawn. The fact that we’ve both been home for the entire duration of my leave from work has been a blessing in disguise. I don’t know how I’d have gotten through what I was going through if I had to be alone with my thoughts all day.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to digest the fact that I’m two years away from turning 40. It’s not that I think 40 is old, except in my head, I do think 40 is old. I know it’s not. I know more people in their 40s that I would think were in their late 20s if I didn’t know their real ages. I guess the idea of 40, the one that I grew up knowing, my parents’ 40.. or my grandparents’ 40… is still stuck in there somewhere. I have all these questions – when I’m 40 am I too old to keep having rainbow coloured hair? Am I too old to have pigtails when my hair is long, or too old to get more tattoos? Can I still wear t-shirts with cartoons on them? Will I still be cute? Hmm.

Most of this is completely in my head and I don’t totally believe it. It’s another one of those “two people in my head with completely logical and true ideas that do not get along” things. Like how I know I can succeed at school and at the same time think I can’t do school at all. Two differing opinions all living in the same space. It’s enough to make a person dizzy, yo!

So, I had a birthday in January. It’s now February and I’m not sure where the time went. I start back to work this coming Thursday and although it’s a progressive return, I’m not sure how I feel about going back to reality. I’ve been pretty happy in my cocoon at home doing things that I feel like doing when I feel like doing them. Alas. I still need to pay the bills.

When I left work in November I was 37. When I return to work this week, I’m 38 and honestly? It does feel like an entire year has passed in the last 2.5 months. I just hope that 38 treats me better than 37 did.

feeding the body & mind

This has really been an action packed weekend!

Last night we went over to my inlaws’ for a belated birthday dinner as I ran out of free time on my actual birthday weekend. They made turkey and all the trimmings, I guess since we didn’t have it at Christmas? Either way it was delicious. And then the big surprise! A birthday cupcake tree!

I was so excited! The cupcakes were vanilla with colour sprinkles in them. Yum! I am a sucker for bright colours – which you can’t really see here since Shawn’s iPhone doesn’t have a flash and I didn’t bring my own camera. And never mind the wall in the background. My father-in-law has a project going on which seems to involve the taking down of the wood panelling that was there, painting, putting up raised panel and cutting a hole through the wall to the outside. Yep. My FiL is AMBITIOUS!

Today, Sunday, Shawn and I headed out for a lunch and museum adventure. We went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to see the Waterhouse exhibition. (Since the exhibit ends on February 6th, I don’t know how long that link will work!). The museum was so crowded with stupid pushy people that it made for poor viewing of the paintings. I was rather disappointed by that. I had thought that before noon most people would be at church or having brunch. Guess not. I did score some cool things from the shop on the way out. My favourite of which is this leather bound, empty book with dried flower petals inside of it. I just adore it. What I’m going to put in it I haven’t a clue right now, and where it’ll go? Beats me. But I don’t care. I love it.

Look how beautiful that book is!

I bought postcards of my favourite paintings in the exhibit. They had them on these neat little class easel things too, but those were $16.95 EACH! So I spent my $1.50 and $2.00 on these post cards and will try and find some easel frames at the dollar or craft store.

After this we went to Hurley’s Irish Pub for some pub grub for lunch. I had a great Beef Guinness Stew and Shawn had this delicious St Ambrose chicken thing. We drove home, by way of Zellers to pick up dog food and I was suddenly feeling very off. My nose and eyes were watering like crazy and my neck was stiff, so at 4PM I went to take a nap.

Now I’m about to watch Legend of the Seeker and then try and get in a half hour of Wit Fit Kung-Fu because I love it so much!

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!!


Well, I’m 34 now. It’s a weird number. I’m out of the “early 30s” and into the “mid 30s”. Something about that bothers me for some reason. I feel like I am losing my youth and the right to be cute. I know that sounds odd and I can’t think of a better way to phrase it. Although people seem to be younger these days than they were say when my parents were my age. Does that make sense? Am I too old for my punky coloured hair and various piercings? I don’t think so, but I feel like mid 30s should be more adult or something. I did mention this before on my blog but I feel like people are actually a decade behind where they really are. 30 is the new 20. 40 is the new 30. Etc. And as long as I feel young then I guess it’s a matter of how a person feels, then? Yes?

I don’ t know. What I DO know is that for the first time in the past 2 years I have actually felt renewed this January. It has nothing to do with birthdays, but the year I think. Last year was miserable for so many people and 2008 wasn’t all that peachy either. But this year? This year I feel like there’s promise. Of what? I don’t know. But I have this enthusiastic energy about me and around me that I think that’s a good thing.

Considering that on my birthday last year I was here:

This year was pretty awesome. Not to mention mild (for January). I even had sidewalks showing!

I spent my birthday festivities with family and terrific friends and have never felt more loved. I have a bunch of photos but I just don’t have the energy to edit them all right now. If you’re on facebook I have uploaded a bunch already. I don’t have to resize those ones. 😉

Thanks to everyone in my life, either close by or far away. I appreciate and love each and every one of you!

best birthday card ever!

This was made for my by my sister and my niece and it just about made my night last night – and that’s even AFTER having a delicious homemade roast beef dinner and then birthday cake all made by my Mummy!

More on birthday festivities later, but I had to share this awesome card with everyone!