Monday, December 31, 2012

A Quick Reflection

In my head, I'm all "whatever, it's almost New Year's Eve again." But if I'm honest with myself, 2012 was a rather intense year and I'm glad it's coming to a close.

2013...I don't know what to say to you except...good luck? 

Yes. Good luck topping what was a very hard and very rewarding year – all bundled into one messy package. I simply resolve to keep going...keep working, keep trying new things, keep meeting new people.

Off we go, my friends. Thanks for keeping me company on the journey, and cheers to a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Print by Flourish Cafe via Etsy

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Do I Dye? Seriously...I Need Your Advice

My first adventure with hair dye happened as a twelve year old in junior in high school. My sister (who is five years older) was in high school and one of her classes was cosmetology. It seemed that I was an easy target, I mean model, to test out her skills on. Tina assured me that after she was had worked her magic (experimented with me) I would look amazing. Yeah...that didn't quite happen. What did happen was that I looked like a perpetually terrified tabby cat sporting bold orange stripes. There is photographic evidence of this but I'm not quite ready to share. Perhaps one day.

It would be two years before I was brave enough to try again. I remember that my friend Tammy and I bought two bottles and quietly tip toed upstairs to my bathroom,  giggling about how "dangerous" we were for buying dye that lasted 24 washes that was pretty much identical to the hair color we were already sporting. My parents couldn't tell...nor could any of my classmates the day after (much to my disappointment), until I pulled my hair up and showed them the one partially discolored section by my neck...but the feeling of change, as minor as it was, felt really good. After that, the sky was the limit. 

Here’s the thing...I've been "off the bottle" for a few months now. It would seem that when one is immersed in fertility treatments...lots of things fall off the rails and my hair was no exception. 

It's been long enough that my natural color of medium brown has actually taken over a majority of my scalp, and the past dye (dark brown) has faded enough to seem agreeable...except...the gray is now taking over! I find it hiding, poking staright up thus giving itself away.
While part of me wants to embrace the gray, the other part of me is cringing at the thought of a full head of gray hair. It all boils down to...I'm just not ready. That by accepting the gray, I am accepting that I am getting older...perhaps even too old to have a baby.
I’m on the fence, I’d love some advice from you – should I stick with what my DNA gave me, or should I embrace a minor upgrade or change? Have you had any misadventures with hair dye? Come on, you can admit it. We've all friends here!
Hair Colored Chalk by Sharee Boutique via Etsy 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Movement of Life

I've been going through a really hard time lately. This last year of my life has taken a really unexpected turn and things just aren't the same. I feel like I've lost some of my spark.

There are many times in life where you’ll be faced with extremely difficult circumstances, challenging situations, or just downright terrible luck, and it’s up to you how it that will shape the person you are. I wholeheartedly believe in the adage that it’s not what happens but how you react that defines you as an individual. So what do you do? How do you handle yourself when shit happens? I strive to hold to my standards, my ideals of the person I want to be, and sometimes that requires a certain channelling of energies. It requires me to take everything that’s bottled up in my head and let it escape somehow.

How do I escape?

Often I dance when angry or sad. That hasn't always been the specific response...generally I need a physical release of some kind for any real catharsis. Moving, exertion, basically giving my mind a chance to inhabit my body is what gets me through it. I feel my body move underneath me, feel the forces pull and tug at me...I need to exist purely in my body.

That’s how I escape anger, pain, stress, heartache, longing...I exhaust myself and inhabit my body...

And I dance with the world in the various ways I know how.

Arise Decals via Etsy

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dream Jobs

It’s really important to aim high in life and set some realistic goals...and some not so realistic goals. When you decide what you want to do with your life and design your ultimate dream job, you must go after it as if imaginary rats are nipping at your heels. You may look a little weird but at least you are chasing your dreams!

Here is a list of ultimate dream jobs that me and my voices came up with at 3 am:

  • Wedding Planner for people who want really, really bad weddings
  • Australian Accent Coach
  • A Kardashian – the one that has trouble keeping up
  • Grammar Rodeo Clown
  • Master of the Universe
  • A Manager at a Shelter for Homeless Shopping Trolleys
  • Real-life Dramatic Re-enactment Actor
  • Bingo Caller on speed
  • Monkey Translator
  • Half-Life Coach
  • Inaccurate Weather Reporter
  • Slow Motion Crash Test Dummy

What's your ultimate dream job?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

The high today is -2C.
The low today is when I ate an entire sleeve of Chewy Chips Ahoy before 10 am. 
They are just so damn chewy gooey.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Have you ever just found yourself suddenly asking the universe the ultimate burning question...How did I get here?

What I mean is, you just wake up one day, or it just randomly occurs to you...What frigginhappened? How did I get here?

This is where I am today. 

I'm in a weird place.

Today is 11DPO.

I'm sad at both the thought of not bringing a new life into this world and bringing a new life into this world. 

The world is a beautiful place but the world is also a scary place.

While it may seem overwhelming, I'm at least taking comfort in the fact that I'm pretty sure I am not the only one - I'm not the only person who often wonders...

"What – in this godforsaken world – has frigging happened?"

Stars universe woodland art photograph by LupenGrainne via Etsy

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Black Sweater

You are one of a kind.

You mask sweat lines like none of your business, you are wearable with every color*, you match my best skirt and my crummiest jeans, you are cool in the summer and warm in the winter, you have a subtle yet classic ribbed knit and best of all, you make me feel confident and pretty.

Together, we've traveled and gone grocery shopping. We've gone climbing and watched movies. Together, we've eaten too many cookies and baked bread and signed an apartment rental agreement and gotten a job and hiked slippery muddy trails and I’m pretty sure I wore you while sitting in at least six different doctor’s offices, all of which were insanely chilly.

When my brother was a wee child, he had a blanket trimmed in yellow lace. Day in and day out, my brother carried his blanky, his thumb threaded through the care tag on one corner. It followed him everywhere (at 18 he stills sleeps with blanky and he's going to kill me for telling you this) It probably also accompanied him to the bathroom, I can’t quite remember.

My point - Everybody has their own "blanky" and mine is you, my black sweater.

I realized something the other’re worn out. There are pulls and nicks, not very tiny fuzzy bits all over, ‘fashionably loose’ has become ‘shapelessly baggy’ and an unidentifiable foreign object has stained itself permanently on your left sleeve.

An era has ended. Sure, it sounds melodramatic, but it’s the truth. You have been with me as I've changed from a shy young lady to a strong confident woman.

You’re going to go on the right-middle shelf of my closet, next to my Cabbage Patch twins and my little brown tea set with the cracked plate, because I don’t have the heart to toss you away.

In a few days, I’ll probably go shopping for your replacement. I’ll stand in front of the dressing room mirror and lament that black sweaters just aren't the same anymore. Maybe, if I’m feeling brave, I’ll admit that nothing is the same anymore. Being brave is hard though.

I probably won’t purchase your replacement for a while. Your arms are big arms to fill and, though I may be ready to let one era of my life end, I’m not quite ready for the next era to begin.

Thank you for everything. We've had some good times together, haven’t we? 

Yours truly,

*well, navy blue clashes, but that’s all navy’s fault.

P.S. Today is 10dpo.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yes Ma'am, No Ma'am

How many people like to go on a diet?


I'm going to go with no one likes to go on a diet.

Let's be clear. I'm not a dieter. I watch my diet, but I don't slash it six ways to Sunday to achieve some sort of disillusioned goal. Diets don't even work, do they? Aren't we supposed to just improve our diet habits, not go crazy cutting out staples?

All I've ever wanted was to be semi healthy and therefore feel pretty good about myself. I watch what I eat, but there are no official "rules". I simply avoid shoving a mega-ton of crap into my face on a daily basis. (Weekly, maybe, but not daily.) I like my sweets and I eat them, but I like my veggies and I eat those too. I'm okay with my choices. I usually only feel like a loser when I haven't counteracted the crap with veggies or some type of - uh, what's that stuff called? Oh yeah. Exercise.

None of this was a problem when I was a regular climbing gym-goer. I was a big time rock climber and I loved hiking too. I watched what I ate, but it all balanced out.

Until the whole "trying for baby JaAdam, failing miserably over and over again, losing a loved one, having surgery" thing.

When all of this first hit, I couldn't eat anything, and then I ate everything in sight, and now as much as I try to be active, motivating myself is problematic. I'll get there. I'm on the right track. But in the meantime, I still eat all the same crap and I've lost all mycounteractivity.

So I'm trying something new. I downloaded a calorie counting app for my beloved iPhone. Based on my weight and my beach vacation exercise goals, it sets a daily calorie limit. I track my food intake and energy exertion and then it shows how well I'm doing.

Or in my case, just how badly I'm doing...

Thanks to this jackwagon app, I get to see that even a glass of milk (which I always loved) is a "problem." Milk. Which is good for me. Healthy milk. Milk that prevents Osteoporosis. Milk that lovely Canadian cows make for me. Milk that provides a cute moustache. Milk, that I used to like, has become the enemy.

So I need your advice, pretty peoples.

Should I...

a) keep counting the calories for a few weeks to achieve my bathing suit health goals and to become more aware of what I'm eating (knowledge is power, and all that);


b) stop adding apps to my beloved iPhone that essentially just make me ornery?

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Vintage Dictionary Southern Manners Print by The Salvaged Sparrow via Etsy

P.S.   Today is 6 DPO in my first TTC cycle after surgery. Can test the same day that I found out I was pregnant a year ago.  Scared.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

*Pushes door to walk out but it doesn't open*

Stranger - "You gotta pull"

Me -"Oh thanks. My next option was to lift from the bottom"

via Ornate Signs Direct

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pick One

Rolled or folded?

I stared blankly at the nice lady with a confused smile on my face...I was experiencing a moment of sheer perplexity. My conversation at the till in a card and gift wrap shop at the mall had been very interesting and going well until it came to a sudden and abrupt halt. I was asked a question to which I was struggling to find an answer. The question was this…

“Would you like your wrapping paper rolled or folded?”

I'm sorry, what? Can you not start me off with something a bit easier like..."if a one legged hen laid an egg and a half in a day and a half, how long would it take a monkey with a wooden leg to eat a packet of Skittles?"

I felt unprepared for such an attack on my grey matter. After a long pause of bewilderment, and with a fleeting evil grin, I turned the question back onto her...

"Well, I really don’t know. What would you recommend?"

I could see her brain short circuit as she stood there with a blank, confused look. It appeared that no one had ever turned the question back onto her. After a moment of silence, she replied...

"Do you know what, I never can decide that myself" 

So, what should one answer? Well, let’s look at the options available in the world of gift-wrap...
  • I could choose to have the wrapping paper rolled. I could then carry it home, wielding it like a weapon, tripping people over as I walk by. I have discovered on previous occasions that there’s something special about carrying it like a baton that gives one an incredible sense of power. I suddenly transform into a superhero, ready for a robber to run out of the nearest bank so that I can whack him into giving up with my Christmasmey wrapping paper roll. I can take anyone on…oh no, it’s started to rain.
  • The alternative option is for the shopkeeper to fold the wrapping paper. That’s much more sensible, allowing me to easily fit it into my bag. However, when I go to wrap the gift, it’s going to end up with great big folds in it. Still, if I have it rolled then it’ll end up battered anyway. So, maybe it’s the best of a bad bunch.
Do you know what though? The real reason I can’t ever come with an answer to the question "would you like your wrapping paper rolled or folded?" is because I don’t care. That’s right, I don’t give a flip whether they fold the paper, roll it or make it into a giant paper hat so that I can wear it home. I mean, sod it, come up with something creative...“Would you like your wrapping paper rolled, folded or crafted into an origami swan?"

Which option would you choose?

Krismus Presentations via Etsy

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Recap in Pictures

Friday night we had an annual dinner for the Alpine Club. Food was fantastic, speaker was amazing kick ass woman climber that inspired me to get my ass back to the climbing gym! 

Pretty Tree...too bad I disrespected her...
You can dress us up pretty but we will still find a way to embarrass ourselves
Sorry Tree...I simply could not resist. As always...I'm keepin it classy

Saturday evening we had friends over for wine/cheese/Reel Rock movie night. The films were outstanding but I'm still convinced that Alex Honnold is absolutely insane!

Honnold 3.0 - Reel Rock Tour 7
Sunday morning Pumpkin Banana Granola

It was a pretty good weekend indeed. How was your weekend?

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Eight thousand seven hundred fifty five point eight one two hours hours ago we transferred two beautiful embryos

Little did we know what was to follow...

It was heartbreaking...

But oh how far we've come in a year...

Perhaps a year from this day the outcome will be very different.

One Year by Romantica Home via Etsy

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

We finally did it...decorated our Christmas tree that is.

The poor thing had been standing in the corner, pretty much naked with all of her branches hanging out wearing nothing but a star on her head for over a week. It was about time we showed some respect!

This is our fifth Christmas as Janet & Adam (yes, Janet must always appear first when referring to us as a couple)  and we have yet to...

a) Agree on a real tree versus an artificial tree
b) How we would like said tree decorated
c) The perfect location for the tree

In short...we've both compromised on all three of these points and when I say "we" what I really mean is Adam seeing as this year and last years tree was artificial, decorated with my stuff and where I wanted it...but anyway...last night as I was putting the finishing touches on the tree, Adam excitedly remembered that he had some decorations in the basement in a bin. This was news to me and now I was interested.

Downstairs he ran and up came "The box"

From left to right...Lightbulb Nanny, Coca-Cola polar bear, Daffy Duck, Mr. Frog, Ms. Fish...who I LOVE...I mean those lips and wee little mailbox hedgehog.

I must admit, at first I was judgey and harsh but as we pulled them out of the boxes and placed them on the hit me...we have found the theme for the "JaAdam Tree". 

Tacky & Ridiculous

It's now our mission to find the most insane, out there and all around silly, wild, tacky and ridiculous ornaments. Next years tree is going to be awesome!

Oh Christmas Tree
What about you...what's your Christmas tree theme?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Broccoli: "I look like a tree" 
Walnut: "I look like a brain" 
Mushroom: "I look like an umbrella" 
Banana: "Dude?!"
Change the topic.
One Banana by Dan Holm Photography via Etsy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Truth

The best and most important gift you can give anyone this holiday and any time of year...a hurting friend, your family, your spouse, the needy, the suffering, your best friend, your mother, your co-workers, and the world around you ~ is what you have to give. Simple as that.

My truth ~ I don't feel like I have anything to give. 

Surgery was a month ago. We can start trying for baby JaAdam now. This should fill me with excitement...but it doesn't.

Why am I feeling this way? Why, when opening the ovulation kit last week did I burst into tears? 

Is it because this time last year I was on the cusp of our embryo transfer? This was the cycle where I did in fact, finally get pregnant. We were elated...Christmas was going to be amazing! 

Oh how naive I was.

Sadly, Christmas Eve brought the devastating news that I was going to miscarry. Those nine days between that Saturday morning phone call and losing the pregnancy were horrific. I was sad, hurt and angry. I did everything I could to disappear. Christmas with Adam's family was not the way it should have been. I spent the day in relative silence, curled up in bed with the blankets pulled over my head trying to block out the world. 

I missed out. 

I lost precious time with R who we then tragically lost in June. This was to be my last Christmas with her and I let it slip away. 

I'm struggling.

I want to be excited about the gift that we've been given. The possibility of what "might be". 

I want to...but I feel lost with no idea how to find my way back.

Lost by Labyrinthine Nature via Etsy

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend Recap in Pictures

This weekend we spent some time at my sister's as well as making the trek into the Big City for the annual Adam's family Christmas get together. Sadly, we've missed the past couple of I'm very happy that were able to make it this year. 

As always, it was a pleasure to spend some time with family that we don't get to see often enough.

Saturday morning peppermint mocha
I love, love this family tradition! Everyone has their name attached to a ribbon that's attached to a bag of goodies in the box. On "Merry Christmas" everyone pulls their ribbon at the same time and out pops your bag of treats
I woke up Sunday morning to this...
So I crawled back into bed
My brother in law hard at work in the pouring rain...mean while...Adam & my sister were hard at work shopping online
Baron wonders "Are they shopping for my Christmas treats?"
Wet drive home...
Bubble baths and roaring fires...It feels so good to be home

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Down The Rabbit Hole

“I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it”

This is one of my favourite quotes from Alice In Wonderland. It is a very special quote because it rings true in several areas of my life.

I recently read Alice in Wonderland again, and afterwards watched the Disney version of the movie. If you've never watched it, I would suggest it. Sure there's a hookah-smoking Caterpillar, Alice eating mushrooms and chasing the White Rabbit, and what many would describe as psychedelic trips –  but there are quite a few lessons to be learned. Here are my favourites.

Always Remain Calm - Alice falls down the rabbit hole and has no idea where she will end up, but she remains very calm. As you watch her descend, she never really seems to become unnerved. She even takes a moment to take in the oddness of the things around her. When faced with this matter she adapts quickly and forges forward into the unknown and rolls with the punches.
~ I need to remain calm this cycle.

Know Where You Want To Go - One of my favourite scenes in this movie is the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat when Alice comes to a crossroads. Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should go and the cat responds by saying, it depends on where she wants to go. When Alice responds that she doesn't care where, the Cheshire Cat simply replies “then it doesn't matter which way you go”. This dialogue always reminds me to have a plan. If I don’t have a destination or goal in mind, I have no directions and without directions, I get nowhere. 
~ I need to remind myself of the bigger picture whilst in the midst of TTC.

I think we should all have the courage to be like Alice. Some may argue that Alice didn't speak up enough...allowing her self to be pushed around by talking doorknobs, eating mushrooms under the directions of others, and being told what to do by the mysterious creatures of Wonderland. I think Alice just went with the flow, allowed her curiosity to be her guide, didn't sweat the small things, and enjoyed the ride.
~ I need to just go with the flow.

We should never take life too seriously. We should take the time to live in the moment and enjoy all experiences as they come. The truth is we all have had and will have rabbit hole days because life happens.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Humans should be eternally grateful it wasn't me who was in Newton's place. If the apple hit me I'd be like "Nice!" & eat it. End of story.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Girl. The Mall. A Wedgie

I was at the mall the other day. Bad idea. 

You see...I have been in a bit of a bubble all month and I was blissfully unaware that the Christmas shopping season had descended upon us. At any rate...I was the mall when it happened.

The Wedgie. I panicked a little on the inside before calming myself and regaining my senses. There must be a way out of this...I thought. "Think Janet" and I did...

Here’s how you can pick your wedgie without detection.

Change Your Stride - Pretend you’re doing some sort of stretching/lunging exercise and make your stride much longer than normal. People would never guess you had a wedgie, they would just think “Wow this person is really into working out while shopping. Look at that stride.” They’ll be amazed. 
Another option is to make your stride extremely short, if you think that’s the best way to fix your dilemma. Going the short-stride route, however, might require a bit more creativity to make it look like a believable exercise. To add some exercise flair to your short stride I suggest developing a small hop or prance-like step by walking on your tiptoes. The short stride is a truly elegant step, one that should be used wisely and sparingly. So, I recommend saving it for fancier events.

Wedgie Wear - If you suffer from wedgies too frequently to constantly be changing up your stride, you’re going to want to conceal your wedgie pick. You might need to change up your wardrobe to arm yourself with cover-up option. Use a purse as a shield against watching eyes. You can also use a shopping bag. I do believe though, that backpacks offer an even better solution. Backpacks not only cover the whole wedgie area but they also have the added bonus of weight and security. By making your backpack extra heavy by buying and adding more purchases to your backpa, you are adding an extra layer of immovable coverage. To take your backpack to the next level of security, fasten the backpack buckle around your waist real tight. Now that backpack won’t go anywhere, but you know who will? You wedgie-free.

Turn a Blind Eye and Immobilize your Hand - If you don’t have an object you can conceal your wedgie with and if backpacks aren’t your style, then you can always try to ignore your wedgie and just keep on walking. This, however, requires a lot of willpower and I applaud you for your fearlessness. If you choose to ignore you should be careful about running into people you might know. I know the only thing on my mind would be my wedgie. They could be telling me something really important, but in my head all I’d be thinking about was my wedgie and if they had a wedgie, and anything wedgie related. I guarantee the conversation would get weird. So, just be prepared to end your conversations quickly or attempt to dodge them completely. Give this person the same amount of attention as your wedgie. None.

So, with a new stride, or your concealing object of choice or your sheer tenacity you’re ready to walk with pride, with grace, and most importantly worry-free…of wedgies.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Recap In Pictures

I'm still in a funny place. An unexplainable funk that I seem to have fallen into and one that is proving more difficult than I imaged to pull myself out of. 

I'm not sure exactly why I'm in this place. 

I have every reason to be feeling happy and optimistic. I'm healing quite nicely from surgery. Today is CD3 and we have the green light to try and conceive with this cycle. This should fill me with excitement but instead I seem to be feeling rather indifferent about the whole thing. It seems so odd to me that after all that we have been through - all the interventions and medical appointments - that we can now try to make a baby like any "normal" couple. This is so strange to me. 

I'm sure this feeling will pass. It has to. It must.

In the meantime....

It's starting to look a "little" like Christmas in the JaAdam household
Tree is up...but tree is bare...perhaps I'll decorate her soon
Sunday morning pumpkin loaves with pecans...yummm
Sunday evening ribs with Rudy's BBQ sauce all the way from Texas. Thanks to Kelly from Tales From Our Yellow Brick Road. The sauce was amazeballs!

What about you? How was your weekend? How do you deal with the "funk"?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.

You know when people say something hurtful without realizing...and you can't be mad at them because they genuinely didn't mean it the way it made you feel?

Yeah..I hate that.

I want to be mad at the person who just made me feel like absolute crap. But I know that they didn't mean for it to be hurtful to me. Ugh. And then I feel guilty for being mad at them for something they didn't mean to do.

Does anyone else ever feel like this?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

The sign at the coffee shop bathroom I stopped at this morning said...

 "Employees must wash hands"

I waited for them to come wash my hands for an hour. Nothing. So I left.

via Alana Louise

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


*I'm in a weird place lately. I have no explanation. I'm all out of sorts. I hope to feel like me again soon. I will blog about recovery/next steps soon. It's been a much bigger struggle then I was prepared for. I'll get there. Just need time. So while I try and get back to being me and start talking again about the quest for baby JaAdam...I present to you...more of my nonsense*

If you want to know a sentence that you can utter to make me automatically judge the type of human being you are, try this one on for size: “I don’t like the taste of water”. There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don’t know where to begin. It sends my mind reeling and truly baffles me.

Please do me, you, and Mother Earth (love you, girl!) a favour and don’t even go there. Like, I'm sorry? Your body is 70% H2O. It needs water to function – from your immune system to your digestive tract to your skin, water is where it’s at. Don’t get me wrong – y’all know I love my soda and iced coffee like anyone else. But I also realise the importance of proper hydration and am not trying to get kidney stones, either. Water balances the electrolytes in your body, removes impurities and basically without it, you die.

I don't even really get the argument about not liking the "taste" of water...after all, it has a neutral taste at "worst"...unless you're drinking some contaminated junk...and a delicious one at best. There's nothing tastier than a tall glass of ice cold water on a hot day, I don't care what you say! 

Generally, if you live in North America, chances are that you’re lucky enough to have access to clean, safe tap water, or bottled water. That probably doesn't seem like a luxury but really is. Lots of countries are still fighting to provide safe drinking water to its citizens, which is insane, if you think about it. The fact that we have an unlimited supply of this vital liquid that won’t give us cholera or any other bacterial infection is something to be thankful for.

This is a pet peeve that I didn't even realize I cared so much about until I started writing this. Theoretically it shouldn't even bother me as much as it does, especially since I fancy myself a “live and let live” type of girl. But I've become one of those bizarre converts to the power of water since I started drinking more of it myself. Seriously, guys – don’t be a clown, drink it down! (I just made that up, so don’t try to steal it.)

Blue Water Photography by Carolyn Cochrane via Etsy

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about whether I'm shy or just awkward. Then I was like, “Don’t get down on yourself; you are more than just one thing, Janet! You are a multi-dimensional human being with lots of layers. Why limit yourself? You can be shy and awkward!”

Figuring this out has been really great for me because I've been able to come up with a new phrase to describe myself: shawkward. I know it seems like a pretty simple concept. I know you’re all thinking, “Big deal, Janet, all you did was combine shy and awkward.” But I assure you it wasn't that easy, especially when you consider all of the ways I could've combined shy and awkward. There was shykward but that sounds too weird and I am not that weird. Then there was awkshard, which sounded disgusting and potentially painful. There was wardshy, which just sounded stupid. Not to mention awkshy, shwardy, and shyawk, all of which sound like bird noises and sorry, I don't particularly like birds. But I think shawkward has a nice ring to it.

This phrase has truly transformed the way I feel about myself. I used to get down on myself for being shy and awkward. For example, if I went to a party (being shy and awkward, I go to a ton of parties!), I always had trouble keeping the conversation flowing with people I didn't know. Normally I would go home thinking, “Why are you so weird, Janet?! Why can’t you just talk to a person like a normal human being? Why did you keep saying you were excited? And why, for the love of Pete, did you blush so much? Why? Knowing I am shawkward answered all of these questions. I've been able to take ownership of my shawkwardness. Most importantly, being labeled shawkward has allowed me to feel accomplished and more confident because I came up with such a great phrase.

The best part is, you can do it too! Let’s say you’re also awkward, but you’re goofy and awkward. What about the phrase, gawkward, or awkgawk, gooawk, or gookward? Choose the least stupid or offensive sounding one. Maybe you aren’t awkward at all. Maybe you’re just shy and funny. You could be shunny, fushy, or plain old shyfu. And because everyone is different I urge you to come up with a name completely unique to you. The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blushing Belle

I have this tendency to blush super easily. So easily in fact, that it’s really embarrassing. I will even blush even when I am not feeling embarrassed. What is that?! My awkwardness shows, and I don’t like it.

Also, what the hey is up with blushing? Thanks body, thank you so much, for betraying my feelings to the world. If it was at least, I don’t know, an internal feeling of embarrassment that would be okay. It would be so nice if instead of getting a red face, you could just feel a burning in the pit of your stomach. Uncomfortable, yes, but everyone wouldn’t know that you’re uncomfortable. Of course, we would get off way too easy if that was the case.

Some situations are awkward enough without the added bonus of the other person knowing that you’re embarrassed. Blushing is just life’s way of adding a little kick to humiliation. It’s like - wow, this is embarrassing, here’s some confirmation in tomato red…on your face!

Props to actors and actresses that are constantly being asked embarrassing questions. How do they cope? If that was me, I’d be beet red the entire time. Needless to say that it would be awkward for everyone involved. Then people would start commenting about my red skin and there would be some horrible rumor about a medical condition. On the positive side, my face slowly (or not so slowly) going from a normal color to bright red would be turned into a GIF. I would be immortal on the internet forevermore.

I have a tendency to over-analyze. So, you may ask, does the embarrassment end after you’ve gone through some ordeal? No. You’ll be sitting there thinking about it over and over again, and then you’re going to blush…again. By yourself. Because just thinking about it is going to make your body react. Actually, that’s pretty amazing that we, as humans, are able to blush just by thinking about something embarrassing.

I’m going to develop a steely look that I will be able to conjure when I’m feeling the heat crawl up my face. It’s going to be my antidote to my little problem.

It’s just one of those things about being human, I suppose.

Blushing Belle via Reimers Nurseries

So, how about you? Any blushers out there?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Remember

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Red Poppy print by Susan Nolker via Etsy

10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Canada

Nine - it's been nine days since my surgery. Nine days of chilling at home recovering...which has been more difficult then I imagined (perhaps more on this later). Nine days of mindless crap television, book reading, 3 am cookie eating and endless entertainment that the interwebs has provided me. Take this one for example...

10 Things You Might Know Have Known About Canada

1. Our Parliament Has a Sanctuary for Stray Cats
Really? How did I know not this? This is in my city!! I should be ashamed of myself. I am a bad Canadian but more importantly a bad Ottawaian. The wee cats live in little wooden houses and even have their own blog and facebook page. No kidding!

2. One of Our Prime Ministers Used a Crystal Ball
William Lyon Mackenzie King (he’s the one on our $50 bill. If I had a $50 bill I'd show you who am I kidding, I never have a $50 bill) also tried to get advice from his dead mother at séances he held in his home. You can still see his crystal ball in the library of Laurier House in Ottawa. So you see...we have nut jobs here in Canada too and they've even run the country. are not the man I was always taught to believe you were. I have to admit...I like this about you.

3. We Launched a Secret Project To Build an Aircraft Carrier Made From Ice
Wait...what? This is awesome. How did I not know about this? Patricia Lake, just ten minutes outside of Jasper AB, was the site of 'Operation Habbakuk' a bizarre top-secret WWII military experiment. The 1943 mission was to build a 1-to-50-scale prototype of an aircraft carrier using ice and sawdust. The site is now marked by a roadside plaque and submerged monument. Really Canadian and sawdust?! 

4. Our Beavers Built a Dam Visible From Outer Space
This one I am happy to tell you, I did know about and's cool. It was first discovered by an environmental researcher using Google Earth in 2007, the dam is located just inside Wood Buffalo National Park, the 2nd largest protected area in the world. The dam stretches 2,790 feet. You should check it out. Go beavers Go!

5. Have a Taste of Home When You Travel
Order a sandwich with Dijon mustard in France or a dressed hot dog in a US ballpark and smile with some national pride: the mustard was likely made with seeds from our Prairies. Canada is the world's largest exporter of mustard seed, 80% is grown in brilliant yellow fields in Saskatchewan which just happens to be the province of my birth. If you ask my Dad where his 3rd (and most amazing) child was born..he'll tell you “6 feet from a Moose's ass”. I was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and yes, that really is the name of a canadian city.

6. Iceberg Vodka? How about Iceberg Wine?
One of the best places in the world to view icebergs is in the village of Twillingate, NL, and it’s a winery in this community that is now using Iceberg water to make wines: Black Currant Iceberg, Bakeapple Iceberg, etc. For fun you can track icebergs by satellite at As a Newfoundlander, this fun fact makes me very happy indeed. Icebergs are way cool.

7. You Can Drink a Toe Cocktail in Dawson City, Yukon
It’s true! If you make up to the land of the midnight sun drop by the Sourdough Saloon at the Downtown Hotel and for $5 you can try the Sour Toe Cocktail yourself. This bizarre ritual began in 1973 with a miner’s toe that had been amputated in the 1920’s. So ummm...yeah...I'm from a family of Newfies and we have a tradition called "Kiss the Cod". This is done as part of getting "Screeched in". And here I thought the Newfies were the strange ones!

8. Just Think, Being Canadian Means You Could Be From...
Climax, Conception Bay, Snowflake, Moonbeam, Likely, Pooh Lake, Ripples, Paradise, Punkeydoodles Corners, Eyebrow, Elbow, Dildo (a friend once programmed my GPS to direct me to Dildo), Happy Adventure, Love, Snafu Creek, Garden of Eden or Brilliant!

9. Leave Your Door Unlocked in Churchill Manitoba...or Else!
Canada is home to about 15,000 polar bears, and every autumn a few of big white guys wander right into the town of Churchill, MB. Doors are left unlocked so you can duck in if you have an unexpected encounter. Watch the autumn migration on Awww...polar bears are just so darn cute and cuddly!

10. We've Minted Many of the World's Coins
Carry coins in Cuba, Yemen, Columbia or Iceland and you could be more in touch with home than you realize. Our Royal Mint has produced coins for more than 60 other countries. And, we are known for being innovative: this year we are producing a ‘glow-in-the-dark’ dinosaur quarter which in my opinion will never be quite as cool as out loonie or toonie.

Pride of Canada the Maple Leaf by Bruce Stanfield Artist via Etsy

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