Newcomer Stories: Second Year

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Well, the past year had definitely been a year to remember.

Some major "firsts" happened for our family here in Canada:

We plunged into the Canadian mortgage system with our first home...
My eldest started university....(Can't believe I have a university learner. OMG, I am so old...)
I got my Canadian certification...(my highest educational achievement to me!)

On the other side of the coin, a lot of the changes have started to slow down for us. I suppose this is part of the settling process. We welcome routine and normalcy taking roots now. Nothing like stability and peace of mind setting in. To be frank, I have found that we have grown quite old to be too bold and adventurous. The desire to roam and see the world is still there, but the fire...alas, she is contained and not as wild as before.

But who's complaining? The year had certainly been filled with blessings galore. And I can't express the gratitude and pride I feel right now. Two years and here we are. My only wish for the coming year is that there would still be many more blessed years to come for us here in Canada.

And so we go onwards to Year 3 :-) Click here to read how we fared on our first year.

Writer's Workshop: I Made It!

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Instagrammed by jamie250196

2. Something that made you smile this week.

I am rather infamous for my skills in the kitchen. In fact, if there is any volunteering done in a charity bake sale, I am the first one to run away.

Not that I don't like cooking. The fact of the matter is, I'd love to try my hand and be good at it. But the sad truth is that even with my perseverance and enthusiasm, I picked the shortest end of the stick when it comes to food preparation. I know myself only too well.

Just this past weekend, I decided to bake something again. We had a banana overflow and so I thought googling a banana bread recipe was quite a good idea.

To constitute a triumph in the kitchen, I measure my cooking results by 3 very important criteria:

1.) The house is still standing after the event.

2.) No harm came to any of the kitchen equipment.

3.) After the first taste, I get a comment from my child that what I had just done "did not taste particularly delicious, but it was not horrible tasting either."

And I am happy to announce that although it was slightly overcooked, my banana bread passed all three with semi-flying colours.

Success, booyah!!
Mama’s Losin’ It

The Year of the Baa-Baa's

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tomorrow, 19 February 2015, celebrates the start of the Year of the Ram....or the Sheep....or the Goat....whichever animal actually does it for you. For me, I've always identified with the Sheep. So Year of the Sheep it is for me.

Although I have been living with a Sheep for just under 12 years now, I must profess that I do not know much details about the characteristics of this particular zodiac. I have always just been interested in my own zodiac, I suppose. A self-centred trait true of the Dragon..

But I digress. We're here to talk about the Sheep. I would assume being a sheep, that one would have to be gentle, meek and kind, someone who wouldn't hurt a soul. If you have not guessed it yet, then the soon-to-be 12 years old Sheep under my roof is my youngest, Missy.

What a total fascination it was recently to be presented with a Chinese calendar with startling, mythical information about this animal zodiac. This is what the calendar had to say:

"Born under the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac, the Sheep is imaginative and artistic. With a gentle and considerate nature, the Sheep is a compassionate friend that others turn to for advice and support. Blessed with an eye for beautiful things, those under this sign have a great sense of design and fashion."

Seems like it describes Missy to a T, even down to being creative and artistic. That's her alright! Missy is indeed a pedigree Sheep.
Know of any Sheep in your midst?

Check out these other posts where I've showcased Missy's creativity and imagination:
My Kids and The Arts
Pretty Pictures Tell Me...Part One
Pretty Pictures Tell Me...Part Two

Xmas with a Chance

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Are you feeling Christmas lucky???

I must admit that the first year I got it, I found this Christmas gift an oddity. I've never really thought of scratch cards as anything but just play tickets, much less holiday gifts.

But apparently, a work colleague has made it a tradition each year of handing out Christmas cards to all fellow employees with a few scratch cards included in them.

This year was my second year to receive such a gift from him. Even though I was truly grateful for making it onto his "good girl" list, I did not really place a lot of faith in them lotto tickets. However much I professed to be a lucky soul (because I'm a dragon), I did not believe in just pure chance.

Imagine my surprise when one of the scratch cards actually bore fruit and won $200. Yep, you read it right. $200 from a $3 play card. That was some winning indeed. Actually, I should rephrase that and say that it was a great holiday gift! Next thing you know, Mariah Carey could be singing about all I want for Christmas is some scratch cards, LOL.

Have you ever gotten an odd gift that turned out to be the greatest?

A Sneak Peek Under the Tree

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The scene under the tree

Since I never seem to be around during the holidays for blogging (hiatus mode), my Christmas posts all seem to come out after the fact. Here's one now....

I don't know what it is but the holiday season always brings out the kid in me.

Over the years, I have this quirky habit of buying presents for myself, wrapping them up and giving them to myself for Christmas. I know it sounds all weird but it's perfectly normal. To me, anyway.

I don't need the surprise. I've long lived with the fact that to get what I want for Christmas, I must not be shy. I should tell my family members what I want for Christmas. This way there is no confusion as to whose gift it is under the tree, hahaha! In truth though, I just don't want to add to my family's stress on what otherwise could be defined as the best time of the year. If they want to surprise me, then they can do it. But it's not mandatory.

Red jacket, red bag, red iPad cover to match the
red tablecloth - how's that for colour coordination?

This past Christmas was much of the same. I knew all the presents under the tree. I peeked at my gifts beforehand....and just like a kid, still acted all surprised when opening them. I even colour-coordinated my gifts and they all came in red, LOL. Here are some photos of the antics I got up to with the gifts that I already knew were mine :-)

I cannot be surprised....opening gifts with my eyes closed.

Yeehaw! Found more unopened gifts! Let the stripping begin!

She's caught on a little madness....