Archive | January 2012

an apple a day!

christmas 2010 my husband reneged on our ‘no $$$$ present’ agreement. he bought me something shiny and new, a little practical, but without doubt a present so divine it sparked an ongoing love affair.

it was cool to the touch, sleek and understated–aesthetically beautiful.  i lifted it reverently from it’s box. it was weighty but comfortably so.  it was the apple of my eye.

it was my gateway to the world from my corner desk. it was a utility to organize our lives in black and white type,  but also a place and space to capture and display our lives in vibrant colour, capturing, holding and projecting the magic and the minutia of every day in photos and video. it connected to a vortex of everything and anything. it was both a toy and a tool, all wrapped up in one 9 x 13 box.

unlike other new additions to my wardrobe, it  needed for nothing (desired maybe, but needed–NO). i plugged it in, the apple glowed and smiled for me, and with a few clicks i was hooked.

i had been patiently waiting to replace my beaten and battered blackberry. without trepidation or trial, i purchased the iPhone and as though destined to have a partner in life, my phone and and computer connected. our household fate was sealed.

2 iPads, Apple TV, iTunes and an iMac later, i often thing about how much easier life would be if more companies were visionary like Apple.  in the world of an Apple customer, everything works and comes together? it is almost mystical. sadly it shouldn’t be. but the service Apple provides is amazing. every touchpoint has left me further impressed.

the other day i misplaced a receipt my husband needed to expense. normally this type of oversight sends me into a mild panic, where did it go, did i throw it away? how long am i going to have to spend chasing it down. but today i didn’t bat an eye, because it was an iTunes   receipt. i relaxed, after all i was in the land of Apple. one email and the missing receipt was delivered pleasantly, seamlessly and immediately. yes, apple people love apple. it shows. that is what belief and vision can do for a person and for a company.

it got me to thinking, have faith it what you do. love your choices, love where you are going and own it.  you will be happy and you will make other’s happy. if you are not where you want to be–find a way to change it.

all in all, it’s just an Apple but it really made me ‘think different(ly).’

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the agony and the ecstasy of craigslist

i have a love hate relationship with craigslist.  i am guessing i am not alone here.

i love when i find something pre-loved that i can make my own–less full retail price and taxes.  i feel an immense sense of accomplishment/relief when i send a cherished but no longer needed piece to another home.  i feel better about myself, i feel responsible, i am able to espouse the principle of reuse, recycle and reduce.  it alleviates a little of my guilt over driving an SUV…ah but i digress….

the ecstasy…my fellow soulmate who loved the goods, but loved a deal more…cheers to the buyer of my $$$maternity wardrobe ( my Sevens, my Citizens and my cute cocktail dress) who arrived on time and in her BMW X5, and paid full price. cheers to my fellow connoisseur of modernism and fellow mom–she knows the silliness of holding onto the notion of a contemporary glass house with toddlers. so she happily lightened my load and took my beloved glass and chrome lamps…but not without assuring me that in 5 years i would get to go back.

i like to think of myself as a seasoned craigslister, i have a tried and true, and what i believe is a reasonable approach. i believe in:

1. 50% off the retail price--it is pre-loved but really means used…well taken care of but used nonetheless thus the discounted price. i have taken into account what i think it is worth.

2. a picture is worth a 1000 words and dimensions help make the sale.  unless you are brilliant writer, and i mean brilliant, why would you not post pics?  the dimensions….well not too many people have esp, so unless you want to answer a gazillion emails over and over…

3. I MEAN WHAT I SAY,  firm means firm not soft, squishy or swiggly. when i post a price that is firm, it’s rock solid. please don’t show up and try to negotiate after we’ve discussed firm. it’s awkward and weird. negotiate if it is not what i posted or if the condition is crap…but don’t embarrass me or yourself. when it’s $15 bucks, pull out the finnegins, take your prize and say ‘sayonara.’

apparently these principles can be very confusing for some…a sample of my recent inquiries.

Q. will you take $10 ? (for a $75 item that is already more that 50% off).  Well, if i wanted $10 then i would have listed it for $10. right?

Q. what are the dimensions? trying to be polite i respond…”please see the dimensions posted in the ad”  far toooo polite. but hey my mama taught me manners.  what i want to say…well that isn’t printable!!!

Q. do you deliver?  or, can you meet me 5 mins from where i live?  yes it is an hour from where you are but…well last time i checked i am not a delivery service, so respectfully NO.

and the agony… in my real life (not cyberspace) you don’t mess with me. but here my manners are my downfall.  i do NOT tolerate DRIVEL but much to my chagrin i find myself slightly taken aback and appalled, yet still responding to emails from these guys.  oh to have more gumption…

you know the ones, they are the:

1. No Showers they email and text, arrange a time and don’t show AND then drop off the face of the earth.  well, being a mom and someone who can absolutely know things go amuck, i don’t judge immediately.  instead i often flip this email/text

“best and worst part of craigslist…arranging the p/up and then something comes up.  i totally understand if the time didn’t work, please just let me know if you are still interested and another time works, or if you are out.”

radio silence. no response. even with a gracious out hand delivered to them.  well these people are now just RUDE! Impolite! and disrespectful. enough said!

2. Grinders, they are relentless.  they just don’t stop!  i was selling an iPad for $400 bucks ( really a good deal at the time) . they offered $250, i declined. 15 emails later he was still trying to negotiate $5 at a time. i dropped $50 and then was firm on price and pick up at my convenience was a must. but he kept emailing.  i ceased to response after a while but the emails kept coming…..

3. the Commitment-phobe. they are the hanger-ons. they email, they ask questions, (multiple questions), weird, strange and repetitive questions, it seems as though they are in and then they disappear…. a week or 2 later they are back. you still have the item so you are torn…they are flakey but do you put the effort in? are you wasting your time? then after 3 weeks they offer you 50% of what you are selling for. you hesitate….you almost would rather give it away for free than deal with the hanger-on….

4. the Ill-Mannered. Mr. or Mrs. RUDE….they are demanding and rude via email but they want the item.  do i really want to meet this individual in person? how much do i want to live with the purple albatross? not enough to meet them in my home… this is where the coffee shop is a MUST.

as i reflect on the agony and ecstasy of craigslist i know despite my ups and downs it is still a website that i cherish. i will continue to browse and to sell.  yes, i am eternally grateful it exists so i can practice what i preach–REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE.

fellow readers, what unexpected travails or adventures has craigslist led you on? do tell.

oh my, the agony and the ecstasy, and yet  i ♥ craigslist.

karma saved my butt…literally

yesterday nature delivered.  a little icy white paired with the winter sun made photographers fingers jittery and set their hearts aflutter.

it wasn’t a blizzard, it wasn’t blustery,  the sun lit the snow.

i was benched for the morning, i had an RSVP…so i sat in my living room, savoured my coffee and enjoyed the view.

next stop ‘go bananas’ (literally)–a kiddies birthday (enough said).  expecting a lot of chaos and craziness,  i was unexpectedly rewarded by a fantastic morning– 3 & 4 year olds listening, laughing and eating cake without incident.

homeward bound, i checked in … my husband and my sister had both already hit the trail.  i was solo for my run.  so i layered up,  laced up my shoes, donned my toque and gloves. pulling out of the driveway i saw my husband and son playing street hockey.  awesome…my phone came out, snap, snap. upward and onward.

lungs burning, fingers tingling and feet sashaying through the mud whilst slipping across pockets of packed snow i ventured forth,  to my trail.  fellow travellers offered a ‘hello’ and a secret smile as we inhaled the cool air and drank in the views.  yes, my trail is arresting. i have been up and down countless times and have stepped, jumped and rocketed over every root and whether in the misty rain, torrential downpour, first sun of spring, summer’s warm evening air, or the hot dry dust of a mid-summer’s day, this trail delivers. up through the forest to a rock in the sky.  it takes ones breath away, (sometimes the futile breath of hikers), it’s a catch at the back of your throat–pure opulence.

the energy of the day effused me, my feet moved, my body found its rhythm and my mind wandered. i was reflecting, collecting bits and pieces of the day.  this day, this life, my life, well it’s great. with my head in the clouds my foot slipped, and i yelped, nope –i screamed. miraculously i connected with a rail and didn’t land on my butt.

chances are i should have fallen hard, had my head not been full of happy thoughts. lesson for the day, think happy and keep yourself safe!

kudos to karma.

ps. my happy day via my iPhone

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why mundane works too…

today is an everyday, where life unfolds neatly. the shape of the day includes, returning emails, paying bills, visiting the grocery store, and getting the car serviced.  it will be measured by the check marks against my scribbled list.

practical and predictable, until you add  a 3-year-old into the mix and a 2 hour service window.

the shuttle drops us at the mall full of stores filled with treats and toys, people and more people and elderly people (you don’t want you son to knock down) and doors that open into Indy 500 parking lots. but today the mall has an alter-ego.

escalators and elevators are rides into the sky, the aquarium and tropical zoo (aka the local pet store) are filled with glowing fish, titillating turtles and chatty parrots and lunch served in a pirate pak with a treasure of gold reshaped it all.

and the exploration continues as we make our way back to the dealership–a bus ride, a double honk from the big rig and waving at the freight train rounds out the journey. waiting patiently heedless of the headache i anticipated but unaware of the adventure it afforded, my fixed and shiny clean car.

today was a pretty good ‘everyday,’ masquerading itself as mundane.

a 3 sentence moment…

it’s back to school time for me.

it’s the first day of class, somewhat the same but always a little different. we all enter class with a different energy and allure–whether shy, nonchalant, apprehensive or even indifferent, the  room fills with our bits of inertia. there is a quiet, a questioning of what will unfold.

the inevitable introductions loom. there are words floating through the air but attention is drawn to the markings on the whiteboard.  the icebreaker.

there are 3 sentences….

  1. i think ______is awesome
  2. my escape is ________
  3. i like________

those 3 sentences and how i fill in the blanks will define me.  the words will draw– the who, why, what and maybe the how of me will appear.  so i go where i should, to the simple truths.

  1. I think the smell of fresh rain is AWESOME
  2. My escape is running,  Yoga or a hot cup of mint tea…
  3. I like shoes.
the words tumble gracefully into the air and i pause, and just like that the room breathes a littler easier and the smiles appear. for in so much as we are different, we have bits of ourselves that are the same. we appreciate, we have an escape and we like.  yes, this is the icebreaker.  welcome to my class.
although it may be easier to speak of our jobs, degrees, importance, busyness, families or the cars we drive, are these really the shape of us?  maybe, maybe not…
these 3 sentences won’t make a canvas, but they make a good sketch. what 3 sentences, phrases or words are the make-up of you? think about it.

snuggle up…yes please

mamma can daddy come and snuggle? yep, this paints the portrait of my lazy monday morning.  i am not going to deny it.  on a wintry day with the promise of rain, rain and more rain there is nothing better than a good snuggle.

my husband was prepping for his day…snuggle time over…but  that little voice calling  —“daddy” must have been pretty convincing.  next thing, we were all snuggling…then the tickle monster visited and we were laughing and giggling our way into monday.

a 5 minute snuggle can do wonders, it brought a little something to a grey day and probably a little something more to a monday.

it’s a rare thing where we don’t have to rush, multitask or by-pass the luxuries of a long shower—a full newspaper read instead of a skim.  i suspect, it is more commonplace to be running late, rushing around, and on a deadline.  who’s with me?

but it’s the moments we take to snuggle up, take a 5 minute real break, stretch, connect with someone who makes us happy and whole, that make us real, happy and better.

i’m always going to strive to take up that offer to “snuggle.”

this channel’s pretty good….

rolling, crashing, swirling and smashing. it’s the oceans magic. whether a symphony or a sonata the ocean sings to us all. it has a mysterious allure. it enchants and beguiles.

on a stormy saturday i headed up to our lodge’s lounge and ensconced myself in the coziest and comfiest chair. a somewhat significant hockey games was in progress; however, i decided the highlights would have to serve, as the view was too good to pass up.  the plan–to snuggle up with a hot cup of dark strong coffee and dive into my novel (code for chick lit). i was on tofino time.

comfortably settled in i gazed out and was captivated.  no tv, no book just space, time, and the waves.

as far as shows go, this is one channel that didn’t need changing. yes?

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my goopy mess

did you know rice pasta can be very unpredictable?

my pasta was softening and spaghetti sticks were happily slipping into the pot.  i turned my back.  perhaps the pot and pasta sensed my lack of focus and attention. at any rate the they conspired.  my pot took on a life of its own, the boiling water gurgled and bubbled and dispensed a white, frothy goopy mess!!  sensing opportunity, the open flame of the stove top curled and licked up some of the mess and deposited another layer of clear gum beside it.

“oh, no look at this big goopy mess,” i exclaimed in dismay. my husband concurred and my son, clearly fascinated, came running around the corner. he was happy to see that moms can make messes too.  he wholeheartedly  agreed it was definitely a big goopy mess and suggested a timeout….

clean up was going to be arduous, it was going to require elbow grease, but  it was, after all, my mess to clean up.

make a mess clean it up…simple enough…yet my big goopy mess hammered home the audacity of those who don’t clean up their own.

earlier in the day i had a heart to heart with my girlfriend who had done everything in her power to resolve issues at her work. she is  positivity in a bottle but there were issues with a capital ‘I’ that were dragging her down. simply stated she didn’t make the mess and unfortunately didn’t have the power to stop it.  but she was valiantly making every effort to slop up the spil, but it was like holding water in her arms—impossible.  yep,  a goopy mess was splattered everywhere and no one wanted to clean up.

sadly some of us forgot what we learned in kindergarten, yep. that’s right, clean up your own mess, (and warm cookies and cold milk are good for you) thank you Robert Fulghum!

so next time you make a mess or if you see someone making one, give a little encouragement, but ensure they clean it up. and if you can help prevent a big goopy mess, well that would be pretty ok too.

skinny legs and all

i need to give up my quest for ‘skinny jeans.’ wishing is about as close as i am going to get to the perfect jean. first there was denial, a little bit of anger and now pure acceptance.

today i revisited my need for the skinny. i do not have skinny legs thereby these jeans aren’t really my thing. so here’s why the skinny isn’t for me.  my legs are athletic.   these legs whip me down mountains, trek through the mud, triumph in the trails, criss-cross up mountains, power me up the hills on my bike and carry my son. they take me to the most amazing places!

so i am following my own advice, i’m accepting and embracing my ‘me.’  beyond the silliness of the fashion quest there’s a deeper truth.  i am really taking my own advice to heart to be kinder to myself in 2012. i am a little older and perhaps a little wiser and now find myself resculpting and reshaping not remaking.

i am accepting and acknowledging the athlete in me makes my legs stronger and maybe even a little sexier.  so here’s the skinny–be your best self.

is there anything you’re embracing a little more of today than yesterday? perhaps you are loving your curly hair,  your height, or your ability or inability to sing out loud?

skinny legs and all…well they are just not me.

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a little sparkle

the holiday season is full of traditions and tribulations.  whether we have a love or hate relationship with the holidays, we can count on:  carols, lights, the tree,  santa suits, reindeer’s, hot chocolate and marshmallows, yummy food and chocolate (lots of chocolate).

my fascination is with the christmas lights. whether perfectly strung or in mad disarray, when darkness falls and the lights shine, i smile. i can’t help it, they make me happy.  the lights unite us, they bring streets and neighbourhoods together to cast away the grey and dark of our winter weather. people slow down and look and more often than not, they notice. some smile, others may critique the messiness of the display in the light of day, but when the darkness falls there is nothing better than a light show–static, multi-coloured, pure white or a complete mish mash.

when the holidays are over and the new year is upon us, i am  saddened to see the lights disappear.  when dusk has fallen, the drive home gets a little darker as one by one the lights are packed away.

my tree is gone and the lights are dimmed–doomed actually, for they will be packed away by Saturday.

i know i am a little mad to be so sad.

what , if anything do you miss about the holiday season?