Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year...

Every single time I sit down to blog since Christmas Eve, something has come up. Even now I hear DH in the door with groceries for tomorrow's party. Excuse me a mo...

Okay, I'm back again.

It's been crazy busy. De-packaging toys, finding batteries, working out instructions, eating, partying, watching family movies, phoning family around the world, eating, crying over ice dams, thinking about pilates, walking the dog, clearing snow off the roof, re-installing secondhand appliances (everything except the dishwasher, it's a loooong story), plumbing, praying, and now cleaning. DD is vying for computer time 8-O (Webkinz) and DS is wanting dinosaur books read. All good. All lovely. All a bit frustrating for someone who needs to write more than I need to bathe LOL.

But, there's always a lesson around New Year. It's a difficult time for many. I'm blessed with a happy party animal for a husband, raised in Scotland where NY is a PARTY :) It keeps everyone UP. We have friends though, where the husband/dad has just been diagnosed with a stage 3 inoperable brain tumor. This will be a rather poignant NY for them--it will take a miracle to overcome, but I'm always hoping for miracles, I believe in miracles, so positive thoughts for them, positive vibes and hope.

I hope 2008 is good for everyone.

I have a list of goals I'll post in a couple of days (when we've had the party--with a ROCK BAND no less) and I'm back in the groove. But right now the main goal in life is not to sweat the small stuff.

Love and hugs, Toni.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I had hoped to visit everyone before Christmas but my hubby has bronchitis and hasn't been well for most of the last week. He's getting better so hopefully he'll be good for the big day! As a consequence my time was spent cleaning, wrapping, shopping, dog walking, baking, snow shoveling, etc. Pretty busy around here :)

Merry Christmas if you celebrate and Happy Holidays if you don't. Oh, I haven't been out much, but I did met a billionaire and his wife the other day--at a party. Now I just need to interview them both for that Presents novel I want to write...

Friday, December 21, 2007

How to make a man happy...

7 Layer Cake (I posted it last year too--it works :)

#1 Melt stick of butter in a 9X12 inch pan
#2 Sprinkle Graham cracker crumbs to soak butter (1-1.5 cups).
#3 Spread choc chips all over (1 bag 8 oz)
#4 Spread butterscotch chips all over (1 bag 8 oz)
#5 Spread crushed walnuts all over (1 bag)
#6 Sprinkle shredded coconut all over (1 bag)
#7 Pour over evenly 1 small can of condensed milk.

Pop in oven at 350 for 20-25 mins until top browns.
Take out. Cool, put in fridge for a few hours, and cut into squares.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

From FreeWill

Verticle Oracle card Taurus (April 20-May 20)
"Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices," said author Laurence J. Peter. One of your top assignments in 2008 will be to prove him wrong. I hope that you will aggressively pursue a more authentic form of higher learning in numerous ways, from exploring the frontiers of your world to reading more good books to seeking out the company of original thinkers. I trust that as you expose yourself to novel data and expansive perspectives, you will get your mind blown over and over again.


I love this. I am as educated as most people wish to be (although hopefully not prejudiced), but like most things the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. I love original thinkers--bring 'em on!!! I want my mind blown :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Suggestions please...

I can't settle to a book right now. Nothing is holding my interest. So, suggestions please. I want a really intense story with a happy romantic ending. Not erotica. I don't want literature. I don't want a kid's book. Any era is acceptable.



Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Toast to Writers...

JK Rowling is responsible for me having a very distracted husband and an equally distracted daughter for most of this year. Lots of disturbed nights and yawning children before school. DH waited until near the publication date of the last book before he started reading the series because a) he isn't very patient, and b) our daughter was only seven this year.

DH and DD were/are totally absorbed in the story (I feel slightly ashamed to say I haven't read them, but I love the movies).

I admire Joanne Rowling immensely for many reasons. First she was a single mom when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Secondly she supports some of my favorite charities and thirdly, she has dealt pretty well with the publicity considering the unprecedented amount of fame and fortune the Harry Potter books gave her.

Could any author really have expected just how huge those books were going to be? I don't think so. I think Dan Brown is still in hiding after his success--DH also loves his books and there must be huge pressure on the guy regarding his next story. I think JKR had the advantage in that regard because she'd very carefully planned the seven book series.

So what makes JKR and Dan Brown such huge success stories? What pinch of magic did they put in their writing? Some people say none at all, it was just marketing and good luck. Well I'm sure that plays a part, but they both tell excellent yarns. Is it following the hero's journey? The classic storytelling structure of old? Maybe. We humans definitely seem to identify with it. One thing that always makes my forehead knot in confusion though, is that both these authors have such rich detail that sometimes slows the pace. I'm told, again and again, that this is an absolute no no. So again I ponder the mystery.

I'd like to propose a toast to the success of writers, famous and unknown, okay we can't all expect the fantasy careers of JKR, Dan Brown, Suzanne Brockmann or Nora Roberts, but we can all aim high, and we can all wish upon our own magical stars.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I've kind of been in a whirlwind, like some screaming dervish lately, not really connecting with anyone online, more putting in time and effort for all the Christmas preparations that have to happen, all the kids parties for various events. I expect everyone is the same?

So anyway, I was thinking about what I was really looking forward to doing over Christmas.

We are far from our family but we have retained a few family traditions, like mince pies and sherry on Christmas morning. DH cooks the roast so unlike many women I have a fairly relaxed start to the day (which reminds me I must buy the bird:). We visit friends for a drink after we've unwrapped our gifts, eat around 2 p.m. and watch a movie. Maybe go for a nice snowy walk if it isn't too cold. And we usually have someone over and play board games with the kids.

My favourite day is Christmas Eve. When I was a girl my granny made the best mince pies ever. She'd even make me batches when I was at uni, and post them up :) Anyway on Christmas Eve she'd bring her presents over. I don't know why those evenings by the fire were so special because I saw a lot of my grandparents when I was growing up. But it sticks in my memory. Christmas morning we'd visit all my elderly relatives, all gone now, except for Grandad. Now we go sledding with friends on Christmas Eve and usually try to find a carol concert. I guess for me Christmas has always been about connecting with family. Reaffirming family bonds.

It is a shame I can't do the same thing for my kids, but that is life :) Take care--especially if you got caught in that ice storm.

I will come visit soon--I promise :)

Monday, December 10, 2007


When we were in Banff back in September and checking out the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (which is a beautiful Gothic structure and features a real pub in the grounds, BTW), my daughter and I just wandered (accidentally on purpose) into the jewelery store there. The lady behind the counter was lovely and asked my seven year old what she'd like to try on. DD picked this--the biggest most 'in your face' Stephen Webster ring in her favourite colour, turquoise. Isn't it cool?? When I grow up, I want one of them too :)

PS. I checked the price tag when I got home--$7,500

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Did you all see this controversy? I saw it on the cover of People and then checked out Jennifer's blog.

This makes me so angry. The woman is gorgeous. No one in their right mind would think she was anything but. I'd like to see all the photographers/critics standing in bikinis next to her--all rowed up. Cheeky sods.

What are they trying to encourage? Tooth picks? Unhealthiness? Positive body image? Not the latter, I don't think.

Or are they just trying to belittle people with more integrity and confidence than they'll ever have?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Past

Oh my goodness. See this? One of those kids is me :) That igloo was built in a field behind our house down the Barrowyard, Ironbridge. Look at all that snow. Look at our winter gear LOL. How times have changed!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I've just blogged over at Killer Passion. Check it out and give me some hints :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

A funny

Those bloomers are looking mighty tempting up here in Manitoba :)