Gratitude Sunday – November 30, 2014

Well… I didn’t totally succeed at my NaBloPoMo… I missed the last three days!  Oh well… I did way better than I ever have at anything that lasts a whole month.  I am pretty pleased with the reasons, though!  I was busy with food business, which was a grand thing.  I can’t complain on that one, that’s for sure.

The week was filled with cooking, cooking and more cooking plus entertaining and drinking vast quantities of wine… Not a bad week at all!  I even managed to squeeze in a good walk or two with Zeke – not always easy when there are deadlines…

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Gratitude List

  1. First time I had two orders (besides cakes) for the same day and did all right time-wise!
  2. Make my very first Yorkshire Puddings and they turned out quite lovely and were well-received by all.
  3. I was able to make my Friday delivery with the help of my three guys… made everything so much easier.
  4. Kitchen Stadium was kept spic and span throughout the evening – Hubs did more than his share.
  5. Though I did not do thirty posts in thirty days for NaBloPoMo, I did do quite a few of them and am pretty pleased with myself.

My Own Show

So yesterday’s prompt…

Monday, November 24

What’s your favorite headline/blog post title you’ve ever written? What was the hardest post to title?

…did nothing for me and I so had no idea what to write that I ended up writing nothing!

Insert TExt

Today’s prompt is:

Tuesday, November 25

You are given unlimited funds and a fabulous team of programmers and told to create your own social networking platform. Tell us all about your ideal, fictional social media site.

While not quite answering the question, I will share with you my dream… I joke about it when I talk about it but, if I’m to be totally honest here (and you all know I am no faker), deep down, I really do dream about its possibility!

Now, my unlimited funds and fabulous team – of technicians – not programmers, necessarily, would not necessarily help me build a social networking platform for a fictional social media site per se.

No, no, MY team would help me create my very own Cooking Show!  Which they can distribute via whatever social networking platform! Considering how many are already out there on PBS, Food Network (both US & Canada), Gusto… it’s kind of a silly dream, really.  You can find already pretty much anything or any style of host you could possibly want.  What could I truly add to this mix?  Most of my ideas were suddenly on existing shows! (Rachael Ray’s “Week in a Day” appeared not one month after I thought that would be a great premise for a show!  Dang!)

I have watched “The Next Food Network Star” and frankly, could not imagine putting myself through those hoops (though, congrats to Lenny, I really liked him!)

I look at Nadia G.’s “Bitchin Kitchen” (though not everyone likes her style, I like that she’s Canadian, put herself out there, rocked it and certainly doesn’t apologise for it!) that started on the Internet and ended up on Food Network as a fabulous story.

So… what will MY story be?  Will I come up with a fabulous idea, share it and become a sensation?

Am I dreaming in Technicolor?

Or have I completely lost my mind?

This is the most recent video (another in the loop but having technical difficulties…)

I’ve heard tell I may not be so crazy…

I Could Never Live Without My…

Friday, November 21

What is the one appliance you can’t live without?


Are the folks at NaBloPoMo for real?  Just one?  I dunno that I could live without quite a few of my appliances!!!  Now, should I limit myself to the big ones (fridge, stove, washing machine) or keep with the smaller ones (toaster, blender, food processor)?  I’d think I’d be taking the easy way out with the little ones, eh?

OK, OK… lemme think. Lemme think!!! Washing dishes by hand?  Pffftt… easy-peasy and one that I do often enough.  Dryer?  Nah.. I’ve got a clothesline – mind you, using the clothesline at -20°C may not be ideal…  Refrigerator?  Oh dear.  That one is a tough one.  I think I’m ill-equipped to live like the folk driving across the plains in covered wagons but I supposed I could somehow survive. Somehow.  Washing machine?  Ugh.  I live with two teenagers and a husband.  That can be quite a lot of laundry… Mind you, they could be trained to wear their clothes more than once – especially if I had to do the whole scrubbing with a washing board!

No, for me, I could NOT do without my oven/stove!  I’m a caterer for goodness’ sake!  And let’s just say I wasn’t trying to make a living cooking, I am still an avid cook.  I would simply go nuts not being able to fry an egg or bake a cake!

I could be convinced to change my gas stove for the beauty just above, mind you…


The Funny One… Yeah, That Would Be Me

Wednesday, November 19

Are you the funny one in most groups? What kinds of things do you find funniest?

You know how it is considered somewhat egotistical to admit that you are gorgeous?  Well, somehow that does not apply when it comes to humour.  Or does it?  No, I won’t play the false modesty card on this one.  I am funny.  I am.  It’s in my genes.  My sisters are funny.  My Dad was funny.  Some of our kids are pretty funny (so far, anyway).  Even Mom has her moments – being the more reserved one, she hides it more.  Me?  Not so much.

How do I know I’m funny?  Well, I do know I’ve made at least one person snort and spew their coffee onto their screen and keyboard, desk and bathrobe… and that was on our first “meeting”! (Me, leaving a comment on her blog.)

I am often told “Your (sic) so funny” by my not-as-grammatically anal as I am friends.  Must be true then.  I mean, how often does one have to be told to believe it?  No worries.  I’m there.

To tell you the truth, I don’t go out there and try to be funny.  I could never have the cojones to do like a friend and take a stand-up class and then go up on stage and perform. Oh no!  I like my audiences small and intimate.  Though I may have been obliged, as part of my “initiation” in a former company I used to work for, to dress up as Cher to another’s Sonny and sing “I Got You Babe”… Well that’s what we were supposed to sing (as I am quite a bit taller than he) but they (the buggers in charge of said “initiation”) could not find a recording so we ended up being two members of the Mamas and the Papas singing “California Dreaming”. In. Front. Of. Everyone.  I can tell you this now because no one who witnessed it actually reads this little blog so, just take my word for it.

And just so we’re clear:  the whole going up on stage and making a fool of myself is not my M.O.  A Jim Carrey  I am not!  No physical contortions will be coming from me!  I am more of the witty, sarcastic, in-the-moment say-something kind of funny.

Oh, and don’t play jokes on me.  That does NOT get my funny bone.  Ask my husband.  He’ll never play a trick on me again like he did waaaaay back in the beginning before he knew better.  Oh no.  That is when I lose all sense of humour.

Kindness of Strangers

20140707_150747Tuesday, November 18

Tell us about one time that you benefitted from the kindness of strangers.


I’ve been lucky enough to experience little kindnesses of strangers on more than one occasion – and I always try to pay it forward whether it is giving the missing change, holding open a door, paying a compliment…

I have a most fabulous story to tell but it is already past midnight and I’ve a big day tomorrow.  I’ll need my readers to remind me to tell them of the story of the Three Daves….

For now, allow me to tell you a nice short and sweet one that happened to my mother.  This was years and years ago when we three girls were surely under 10 years of age. It was pouring rain; car full of us kids (and probably an extra one!) and I think we were driving home from my grand-mother’s place up north (a two hour drive).  Not the ideal time to get a flat tire, needless to say.

Before Mom could consider what to do – this was WAY before the age of cellphones and we were probably stuck in the middle of nowhere with no lamp posts to light our way (and, if this is not the case, then pretend it is for the sake of adding drama to my story!) – a gentleman with his wife stopped their car and the man took care of my mother’s tire.  Would not even let my mom out of the car as he told her she would get too wet!  Got the necessary tools out of the trunk, jacked the car up and did the old switcheroo.

I tell you, two shakes of a lamb’s tail and it was done.  Guy got soaked to the skin and would accept nothing from my mother besides a “Thank You”.  And barely that at that.

Would you imagine?  He said he was in a rush to get to wherever he was going!!!  Yet he stopped to help out a woman with a carful of kids.

There are definitely beautiful people in the world, don’t you think?



What Skills Do I Lack?

Thursday, November 13

What is the one skill you see in other bloggers that you wish you had?


Well now, it does one no good to compare oneself to others now, does it?  That’s why there are so many anorexic young women (mostly, some men) out there!  They’re so busy comparing themselves to these totally unreal images, they wish they are not who they are, want to be someone else, and then starve themselves striving to get there.  Or, why there are so many people who are totally broke because they want to “Be like the Joneses”, not even realizing that the said Joneses are probably broke to trying to be like the Smiths…

That said, it doesn’t mean we can’t be inspired to better ourselves by learning what others are doing/creating/sharing.  We can admire fellow bloggers and think:  “Hmm… I wonder how they do that?”  Or, “Wow, that is something I would like to do”.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I follow quite a few blogs.   It is funny how you discover a blogger, read the comments people leave, like the comments made by others so you go check out what THEY are writing about and you start following THEM and the next thing you know, you are part of a circle, or two or three.  This is great, when the circle is one you actually want to be in!  I have inadvertently landed in some that just don’t fit.  It took me a long time to realize that it’s OK to leave.  If I am not learning or being entertained then, I must move on.  Better to stick with the ones that have inspired me to join in on various bandwagons, such as the “Monthly Mantel” (helps me work on my decorating creativity), or “The Year In Books”,(helps me to take the time to read).  Who knows?  Maybe I will inspire others to join in on something I create one day!

Now, that said, for the sake of responding to this particular prompt, I would have to say that the one skill I wish I had that some other bloggers have is to … um … jeez … I truly don’t know!

I suppose I could be more consistent (not counting this NaBloPoMo thing, I have been erratic at best!) like many.

I could try to write posts that create a discussion, like Eric Tonningsen’s “Awakening to Awareness”, or get others to interact and participate, like Jean Turbridy’s “Social Bridge”, and I could go on and name quite a few others but it is already midnight and past my bedtime…

I could just simply continue expanding my horizons, being inspired, learning as I go and honing my own skills as well as learning more along the way.


Writer’s Block and How I Handle It

Wednesday, November 12

Have you ever had extended writer’s block? How long did it last? What did you do to break out of it, and do you have tips for other bloggers?


Writer’s Block would imply that I am a regular writer.  I don’t think I am a “real” one – yet!   I guess I sort of am as I do blog.  Other than this month, I have not been that organized and consistent.  I want to become more so and for that reason, have joined NaBloPoMo!  I figured I would find the inspiration from the prompts and, so far, have.  It’s been a great tool actually because there are ideas that I probably would not have ever thought of writing about – or even dared.  I would have told myself that no one would be interested in XYZ but, because of this forum, I have given myself permission to go out there and just write it!

I have stories swirling in my head, telling me to go ahead and write them down and become a REAL writer but haven’t decided – yet – to focus my energies on them.  Or maybe, it is just that I needed this month of all-over-the-place writing to test my skills and gain confidence.

As a result, this month I haven’t suffered from “The Block” – not even once!  Encouraging.

At this particular time I am not on a hard deadline schedule so if I sit at the computer and see nothing but a blank page (which mirrors my blank thoughts) I just step away or I go on Facebook and see what others are posting.  Once I’m done with the mostly nonsense on this forum, I then go to my inbox which is overflowing with blog posts to which I am subscribed.  I cannot keep up!  Sometimes just reading others’ posts is enough to give me an idea of a direction.

If all that fails, I go down to my kitchen to cook!  There, I never get “The Block”!

I have read that it helps to scribble whatever thoughts come to one’s head, without paying any heed to syntax, spelling and grammar (I’m such a nerd, I can’t even skip periods!)  I haven’t tried this technique yet but will when all else fails – or when I have a real deadline – or when I have decided to write that novel…


Me? Worry?

Tuesday, November 11

If you could permanently get rid of one worry, what would it be?


Well, this one is a tough one.  I guess, being a mother, there could be a whole slew of worries that would be great if they were non-existent.  I could worry that I haven’t given them the tools they need to move forward, that I didn’t give them enough of my time, that I gave too much; that I was too strict, not strict enough… But that is part and parcel of parenthood.  We worry, we do the best we can, hope for the best and send them off into the world.

I could take the easy way out and say it would be great to have no financial worries but that isn’t one I have.  Mick is a hustler and will go out and find ways to make the necessary cash.  I’ll do what I can.  We’ll always do what needs to be done.  It’s just who we are.

I could say not worry about infidelity but we don’t have that issue.  We are both of the opinion that if the other strays, no amount of acting jealous and mistrusting the other will stop it from happening.  Plus, neither one of us is interested in the “devil we don’t know”!  We’ve invested 19 years in this relationship so far and it is based on trust so… this one is out.

I could say get rid of the worry of getting old but the alternative is not truly an option I would choose!  I know way too many who didn’t even make it to 50 so I’m sure they would have wasted less time on worrying about lines and sags and living whilst they could instead of leaving this earth so soon.

Worrying about not having enough is foolish.  We already have way too much stuff as it is.  We don’t need more to be better people.  Doesn’t mean we can’t strive to better our situation or living conditions, if that were the case, but not important enough to worry about.

So, what worry would I truly like to get rid of?  Have it no longer part of my psyche, my thoughts, my dreams?  My biggest worry is that I will never find myself enough.  I’m getting there.  I’m working on it.  I am trying so hard not to worry about it because deep, DEEP, DEEP down I know is there is little kernel of truth, waiting, for when I am ready to believe it; just waiting to pop so that I know for sure.

What Can I Do?

Monday, November 10

What knowledge do you have that others don’t? Write a “how to” post about anything you’ve got skills for, small or large.

Las vegas 2007 269

Well now… geez… I can do lots of things that lots of others can too!  I don’t have any particular speciality that is out of the norm…  So I left this post behind and worked on another….

Hours later….

While preparing supper, I asked hubs:  “Hey, Babe, what can I do that other’s can’t?”

He says:  “That’s easy!”

“What?  You have got to be joking.  There is nothing in particular that I can do that other’s can’t!!!” I retort.

“Oh yes…. You have that ability to say EXACTLY what I want to say before I do!”

Have I Found My Voice?

Wednesday, November 5

Do you feel you have found your voice on your blog? What techniques have you tried to develop your voice in your writing? What are some characteristics of your personality in your writing?

Dale  l'etude

Yep.. that’s me at 17, taken by a fellow student for the yearbook… just diggin’ the totally Canadian checkered flannel shirt, eh? At that time you were a “Disco” or a “Freak”.  Obviously, I chose “Freak”!  I didn’t do make-up, and hair (barely do today!) and it was a private school without a uniform but a dress code.  Whatever we could wear that bordered on the sloppy, we did!

OK. so enough reminiscing….

Today’s question is another good one.  Have I found my voice?  Geez. I like to think I have.  If writing without pretense, sharing who I am and being authentically myself when I write is finding my voice then I have to say I have!  I cannot write anything if it feels phony.   I know. I’ve tried.

I read a lot – A LOT – of blogs!  I admire those who can write poetry or simply write in a very lyrical way with glorious descriptions and beautiful phrases.  I’ve tried to write in such a way and it just doesn’t come to me.  I have had some fun with poetry (not that it would win any prizes!) but cannot say that I have it in me.   There are food blogs that I love that I wanted to emulate but frankly, it’s not MY voice so I continue doing it my way, fine-tuning as I go, modifying until it feels right.  But the food blog is different than this one.  That one is supposed to eventually generate business (if I ever actually work on it!!)  This one is to share what is on my mind and to work on my writing as that is another of my loves.

I am composing all the time in my head and sometimes it is feels quite flowery and descriptive.  As soon as my fingers hit the keyboard. Nothing.  Those flowery phrases are gone.  Just not me.  I’m too much of a say-it-like-it-is kind of person.  When someone wants something from me but they beat around the bush and try to butter me up or get “all flowery” on me I lose patience.  Just tell me what you want!  I guess that reflects in my style of writing too.

That doesn’t mean that I am afraid to show my emotions or share things that touch me in some way.  Most times I’m funny because, well, I AM funny! I write as I speak, basically.  Even in my “sad” posts, there will be humour.  I can’t help it.  It’s just there and comes out despite me.

If I doubt myself, all I have to do is go back to various posts and read the comments.  It is the boost I need to continue doing what I do with my own voice.