Designed and created by a positive minded, Gluten-free, thyroid cancer survivor!

Friday, 21 December 2012

A story has only one master

Almost one year ago to the day I finally finished a book that I just happened upon while scanning the shelves of a local thrift store.

I was just waiting for something to jump out at me as my mind, in truth, really wasn't focused completely on the books. I was focused on memories of my Dad. I was also thinking about the upcoming holidays and how quickly life can change. It was just a couple of months since my father had passed and in that time I had managed to get myself a new job - A job that had so much promise. I was so excited, but just as quickly as the excitement came, it went. Within a week I knew the job was not what I thought it was supposed to be - it was a sham. What was I going to do?! I couldn't go back to my old job - someone else was already hired... I couldn't quit... Who could I talk to? Dad. He would know just what to say, just what to do. He was gone.

Standing there, feeling lost and alone the book I was, and wasn't, looking for appeared. It was called, Ireland: A Novel, by Frank Delaney.

The back cover read:

"One wintry evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller -- a Seanchai, the very last practitioner of a fabled tradition extending back hundreds of years -- arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and some of their neighbors to join him by the fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland's history. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the story-telling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again.
Ronan's search for the Storyteller becomes both a journey of self-discovery and an immersion into the sometimes-conflicting histories of his native land. As the long-unspoken secrets of his own family begin to reveal themselves, he becomes increasingly single-minded in pursuit of the old man, who he fears may already be dead. But Ronan's personal path also leads him deeper and deeper into the history and mythology of Ireland itself, in all its drama, intrigue, and heroism.
Ireland travels through the centuries, interweaving Ronan's quest for the Storyteller with a richly evocative unfolding of the great moments in Irish history, ranging from the savage grip of the Ice Age to the green and troubled land of tourist brochures and political unrest. Along the way, we meet foolish kings and innocent monks, fabled saints and great works of art, shrewd Norman raiders, strong tribal leaders, poets, politicians, and lovers. Each illuminates the magic of Ireland and the eternal connection of its people to the land.
A sweeping novel of huge ambition, Ireland is the beautifully told story of a remarkable nation. From the epic sweep of its telling to the precision of its characters -- great and small, tragic and comic -- it rings with the truth of a writer passionate about his country and in full command of his craft."

I bought the book immediately, believing that it must have a message in it meant just for me, from my Dad. (As it turns out, one year on, I could not have been more right.)

The book was a symbol of something lost. Having found it I held it as if it were as precious as a jewel. I had every intention of reading it, absorbing myself in it and just eating it up within a week. In no way did I think it would take me a year to read! It has never taken me that long to read a book. It didn't even take me that long to read The Hobbit - and I really struggled with that one... so much journeying over and through mountains! Sorry to all the Hobbit fans out there... I am looking forward to the movie.

In the year that it took to read Ireland: A Novel, I found that it became a source of comfort. Whenever I picked it up to read it was like hearing my Dad tell one of his grand stories again. It is my belief that this was the plan. My Dad intended that I find this book and he intended it to be there for me while I came to terms with not having him physically here any longer.

The message of the book was clear. Be yourself and follow your dreams - and your heart. Life and your purpose will fall into place. The last line of the book reads: "... a story has only one master." I, like everyone else, am the master of my own story. If I don't like it, I can change it. It's up to me.

What it was I was searching for as I read the book became clear. I had lost my focus and my passion for life and work. I had become bogged down by negativity - my own and that of others. In the past I had been able to shake off negativity and find new ways to be happy, to focus and to be passionate about what I was doing in life. I forgot to be true to myself. I was way off track... Luckily life has a way of getting you back on track - sometimes in very crazy ways. If you listen to your heart and your gut instincts you will be able to figure yourself out. The trick is learning to listen - if you don't, eventually you will have no choice as life can throw some fairly hefty or nasty things at you to knock you back in line.

Through the ups and downs of this past year, I have come to find that even the "bad" things that have happened - my cancer diagnosis, my poor job choice... have been blessings in disguise. Without having to deal with these troubling things, I wouldn't be where I am today. Happy -  and, despite having Thyroid Cancer, healthy. I am happier and healthier than I have been in years.

Since beginning this blog a year ago and following my passion to write, I again have focus in my life. I am back on track and wonderful things are happening. 2013 will see the publication of my first children's book, the launch of a new business and... I won a trip (well the accommodation anyways) to Ireland because of my writing (my father's eulogy no less!) How much better can life be?! I can't wait to find out!!
As for the story about storytelling, Ireland and finding yourself... it seems unfair to keep it locked up. It had a message for me and I got it loud and clear. Now I think it's time that it find someone else to help out...

Cheers to all for a very Happy Christmas and a joyous New Year!!!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Kiss my Ass: My Rant of the Day!!

It's crazy some of the things you end up inexplicably watching on a Sunday morning. 


Here's the thing, and I'm going to take a stand here and you can hate me for it if you want to - defriend me or whatever... If being a "Christian" means being judgemental, preachy and rude - then I am not one. 

If you are not hurting me I could give a flying *bleep* what you do or what you believe in - black, white, red, yellow, gay, straight, trans or sado-masochistic, 50 shades of grey loving s.o.b., Christian, Muslim or Buddhist - whatever!!! I don't care.

Just be good and kind.

Fact is, you're not going to be good and kind 100% of the time... that's just the way it is. We are human and not perfect. But just do a decent job of trying - and, I can guarantee that whoever is awaiting you in the great beyond - even if it is nothingness - will envelope you without judgement or penalty.

So, to quote the immortal words of Clark Griswald... "Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah." and don't forget Kwanzaa and Ramadan - "Hallelujah! Holy sh!t! Where's the Tylenol?" :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A Wish to build a Dream on - For Lily-Mae

One early winters night a wish went out that was heard around the world.

A wish is a very powerful thing, especially when it's full of goodness and hope. This wish was exactly that and not one soul who heard it, could ignore it.

Who sent this wish you ask and why? Well, it was a little girl in Ireland whose name is Lily-Mae and her wish is to be healthy and happy.

Lily-Mae is a child, much like many others; She is bright, beautiful and full of life... but unlike other children, she must fight for her life every day. You see, Lily-Mae lives most of her life in a hospital where she is surrounded by her parents, doctors, nurses and sadly, other children who must also fight for life just like her.

Lily-Mae's days, just like yours, are full of tests, appointments and meetings. However they do not take place at school or work - they take place in the hospital.

Lily-Mae and her parents try to live life as normally as possible. They have love and they have hope. Most of all, just like you - they dream!

When Lily-Mae and her parents are fast asleep they dream of wondrous things and far off places.

Lily-Mae dreams of things that you and I might take for granted or have maybe never even thought of. In her dreams she runs, plays and goes on trips with her parents to places like the Zoo or to the Ballet. She dreams that she is healthy and has overcome disease and cancer.

At night Lily-Mae's dreams take flight and she is transformed into a beautiful fairy, dancing pirouettes across the sky!

Tonight when you lay down to sleep, think of Lily-Mae and her parents. Think of how lucky you are... and send out a loving and thoughtful wish that just might make Lily-Mae's dreams come true!!

A Wish for Lily-Mae

we hope and pray
for you to enjoy
each wonderful day!

Across the miles
we're sending you smiles.
Our love to you
in all that you do

Your Strength and courage;
your love and light.
It brings us hope
and sets dreams aflight

Believe, keep faith
and make a wish.
May every dream come true, 
for an angel like you.


Lily-Mae is battling for her life against Neuroblastoma … a rare and extremely aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system and is currently in Our Lady’s Children's Hospital in Dublin following surgery to remove a tumour last week.

Lily-Mae’s only hope for survival is immunotherapy but that’s not available in Europe because it’s still on trial. It’s available in the US but it’s very expensive so a trust has been set up to help raise the money needed.
To find out more on how you can donate to help Lily-Mae and her parents please email Madeleine at Send whatever you can … a dollar, a euro, a pound … anything. Donations can be made through Paypal with the registered email address being or, if you don’t have a Paypal account, send Madeleine your email address and she will send you a Paypal invoice with instructions on how you can pay as a guest.Please visit - for more updates on Lily-Mae and how you may help!!


Saturday, 1 December 2012

My Christmas Wish

It truly amazes me sometimes when I log into the back end of my blog... People are reading it. Lots of people - people from everywhere; from Texas to Reykjavik to South Africa and Australia. I may not average the kind of visits that some sites do, nonetheless you visit and I am truly thankful for that :) I hope that when you visit you find something helpful or positive and that you are able to take it with you when you go. I also hope that you will come back again!

In one month I begin my official countdown to treatment. January 9th is the day - and I can't wait! I look forward to having this journey through thyroid cancer behind me and I look forward to what life has in store. I wish and I hope that it will all be good things. It has been hard to keep positive of late... and I am cracking under the weight of it all. Still I try. All I can do is try - to keep on keeping on. Things are bound to look up - right? This is what I tell myself everyday. I keep on smiling :) Even when I'm told otherwise.

This Christmas, more than anything I may wish for me, I wish that my Mom could have her health - I wish her the ability to enjoy the season and to be able to have some comfort. 

This has proven to be the most difficult Christmas to come to terms with. Even last year, the first without my Dad, was easier than this year. Last year my Mom was "well", I was "well" and our family was together. This year it's a fight to find that same semblance of balance and comfort. It hurts. It's been hard and I am struggling to keep hold of the light, the peace and the joy that this time of year usually brings.

Through it all there are still bright gleaming moments of great things to be thankful and happy for; Friends and family; the sights, sounds and smells of the season; a warm loving home to come home too and the joy of being able to see family who live far away. 

Compared to many, I know that am very lucky indeed and I am grateful for all that I do have. I wish everyone the ability to see the wonderful things that they do have already... be grateful for the little things you have. Those little things may very well be more than some could ever hope for.

Things will get better - I hope... I believe... I have faith. I know. :) They just have to!

I wish one and all, all of the happiness that this season has to offer no matter where it is that you come from or what it is that you believe.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Pay it forward - the whole year through!

I watched the news this morning (as I normally do every morning) and I was sad to see a segment on "Pay it Forward Day." A day when people in a variety of communities do nice things for other people and then hand them a card and tell them to pay it forward. They suggest doing things like opening a door, letting someone go first or ahead of you in line... businesses like dental offices give aid to those in need and without dental coverage... This makes me sad - should this not be things that we do the whole year through!!
It reminds me of why I put up my Christmas decorations so early every year...

Reconsider Christmas

Maybe you think I'm crazy...
Maybe you think I'm nuts.
Why is my tree up so Early?
Christmas already comes too soon – why all the fuss!?

If at all you think this, perhaps I can change your mind.
Perhaps I can inspire you to leave your worrying thoughts behind.

So, if you think I'm silly
Or if you think Christmas is much too much;
Too much headache,
Too much stress.
Much, much, too much,
Stuff, stuff, stuff.

I'll have you reconsider that there's more, much more to Christmas
And it should run the whole year through.
It's heartfelt joy and cheerfulness
It's peace and understanding too.
It's hope, it's faith, it's friendship
It's love everlasting and true.

Christmas is more than gifts.
It's more, much more than getting.
It's the warmth and the light,
that throughout the year we're forgetting.

Let the joy of Christmas be with you,
Let it fill your heart.
And when you feel that smile cross your lips,
Know that now is as good a time as any to let Christmas start.


*Pay it forward - THE WHOLE YEAR THROUGH!!!*

Sophia Sneak Peak

Ta da!!...
Cook in the kitchen with Bridget the maid... a place Sophia is not supposed to go!

Eek! Sophia & Minnie hiding in the cupboard with some furry little friends.

Papa's study... shh, we mustn't disturb him while he is working.

Sophia is coming folks :) Soon you will be able to purchase your copy of Sophia Takes the Cake in either ebook or hard copy!!

Sophia is coming to life thanks to to Michael Marcotte and his wonderful imagination and his skills as an artist... if you haven't already, be sure to visit him at

 Stayed tuned for more...


Monday, 22 October 2012

How to do a Thyroid Neck Check

Just thought I would share something that could be helpful in diagnosing either Thyroid Disease or Thyroid Cancer, something I was diagnosed with myself this past summer. Last summer thyroid cancer wasn't something I had even considered or thought I would have. Last October my family doctor did an examination of my neck and found that my thyroid was enlarged. Now a year on I live with Thyroid cancer. After initial ultrasounds, blood work and biopsies cancer was not found and I was told I did not have it. Then I had my thyroid removed - and there it was...

It all started with a "Neck Check."

According to the American Cancer Society:

"about 56,460 new cases of thyroid cancer (43,210 in women, and 13,250 in men) will be diagnosed in the United States in 2012. The likelihood of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has been on the rise, and is now more than double than in 1990.
An estimated 1,780 will die of thyroid cancer during 2012. Thyroid cancer is, however, considered one of the least deadly and most survivable cancers, and 5-year survival rates for thyroid cancer are almost 97%.
Thyroid cancer is more common in younger people, and nearly two-thirds of those diagnosed with thyroid cancer are between the ages of 20 and 55.
Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise in recent years, with a growth rate of about 6% a year since 1997. Many experts believe that the increase is primarily due to greater use of thyroid ultrasound technology, which is better able to detect previously malignant thyroid nodules that, in the past, likely went undetected. Some of the increased rate is, however, due to detection of an increasing number of larger thyroid tumor."

The Thyroid Neck Check

To underscore the importance of early detection, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) encourages Americans to perform a simple self-exam they call the "Thyroid Neck Check." Examining your neck can in some cases help you find lumps or enlargements in the neck that may point to thyroid conditions, including nodules, goiter and thyroid cancer. To detect a thyroid abnormality early, or lumps that may indicate potential thyroid cancer, follow these steps to perform your own "Thyroid Neck Check:"

1. Stand in front of a mirror
2. Stretch neck back
3. Swallow water
4. Look for enlargement in neck (below the Adam's Apple, above the collar bone)
5. Feel area to confirm enlargement or bump
6. If any problem is detected, see an doctor

Note: The "Neck Check" is not conclusive. A thorough examination by a physician is needed to diagnose or rule out thyroid cancer.

***Please visit to read the full article by Mary Shomon and to find out more about thyroid cancer and disease.***

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dummy up your Children's Book - Danu

Creating a dummy of a children's book you have created is a good way to get an idea of what your book should look like when it's complete - well, sans illustrations. You can create a dummy using scrapbook papers and really dress it up or you could just use plain paper and paste in the text, leaving blank the areas where you would wish illustrations to go. It's pretty simple to do and can add some dimension to your idea - it can bring new life to a project because lets face it, waiting for a book to be published (if you are going the traditional route) can take a long time. Even if you are going the non-traditional, self-publishing route it can take a while. 
If you are not artistic or you just don't have the time to make your own illustrations, it can be time consuming to find someone who is. This is the point that I'm at right now... I could do the illustrations myself but I was hoping to have another perspective on the story and the images. I guess it's also a lack of confidence in my own ability to draw everything out. Plus, when I was considering going the traditional route of publication the author is asked not to source their own illustrations. That is something the larger publishing houses want to do on their own because they employ a number of illustrators to do that work - this all goes hand in hand with the fact that in traditional publishing (should you be lucky enough to get a traditional publishing contract) they work for you and with you on marketing your work. They want your book to sell just as much as you do, maybe even more so, because they are paying all the money out to publish your work. If they take over more creative control of you work, like the illustrations, then they may be able to boost sales and achieve a greater return on their initial investment. Hopefully the illustrations meet with your approval because if they don't you may no longer have a say as you have signed over some of your rights to your story. In a way it's not really all your story anymore if you go the traditional publishing route, so be careful and choose wisely. Make sure that you are comfortable and happy with your choice of publisher before you sign a contract. Do your research before you submit to a publisher - you can view their previous works and see if they are a good fit with the vision you have for your book. If they do not meet with your approval through your research, move on and see what the next one has to offer.

Below is a simple dummy outline of where I would like illustrations to go in my story, Danu...
DANU (Dummy)
Nature’s Fairytale
(Cover Illustration 1)  

***A Children’s Storybook/Picture book***

(Illustration 2)  
The world is changing.  It’s growing and flowing and people are moving to live in places they never have before.  People move so quickly that it seems they have no time to see the beauty that is nature. 

Instead people today seem only to tear down nature. They cut down trees and pave over meadows that were once full of flowers. 

(Illustration 3) *This could be the only image to have a "fairy" in it. The rest could just give the illusion through light, shadow, beauty or air of mystery.*

Forests are much smaller than they used to be.  A world of beauty and wonder is disappearing – but you can help me protect it! My name is Fae and I need your help to save the land where my family and I live.

(Illustration 4)
Long ago the world was covered in green. There were no houses (at least, not any houses that look like the ones you live in) no skyscrapers and no cars.

There were forests and jungles; Flowers, animals and sparkling waters as far as the eyes could see.  My family called this place Danu, and it was beautiful.

(Illustration 5)
Danu still exists but sadly many people don't believe in it anymore.  People have forgotten what it means to care for nature and they no longer see the beauty that is so close to them. They have even stopped looking for me – they don’t even try anymore.

(Illustration 6)
When you are walking in the forest or playing in a stream you are in Danu.  The next time you go for a hike remember that if you are very quiet and kind to nature and to everything that lives in it – and if you believe – maybe, just maybe, you will see me or one of my friends.

(Illustration 7)
You will know that we are nearby when you see the bright coloured flowers, lush green plants and trees that bloom and grow in the spring and summer.

(Illustration 8) 
In the fall we are in the changing colours of the leaves.

(Illustration  9)
In winter we take shelter in the hollow of trees and dance when the snow flutters and falls on the breeze.

(Illustration 10) 
You can help me save the land of Danu by caring for nature.  When you are at home you can recycle or grow a garden. My friends and I love roses and sunflowers and if you plant them we may come to visit. 

(Illustration 11) 
When you go for a walk in the forest, play at the park or go camping make sure you don’t leave any garbage behind.  It could hurt the animals or plants that call that place home.

(Illustration  12)
The most important way you can help me is by telling your friends and family to care for nature too.  Together you can all learn to recycle, reuse and create your own gardens. By doing so you will be helping to protect the forests, jungles, deserts, tundra and swamps of the world for many years to come.

(Illustration 13) 
You can also speak or think this simple wish the next time you are outside; 

Friend of Fae I am, I may,

Save Danu for me and you.

Your words will carry through the air on the wings of butterflies and I will hear you and know that you are a friend of nature, a friend of Danu – a friend of mine.

(Illustration 14) 
The more people who do these things will mean that my home of Danu stays healthy and strong.  I will continue to have a place to call home and you will forever have beautiful places to visit and care for.

Why just visit though! Danu is, after all, your home too.

 File:Falero Luis Ricardo Lily Fairy 1888.jpg

(Illustration 15) 


Monday, 17 September 2012

Wish for Danu

Found @:

Sometimes one simple wish can be all that is needed to put into action a change that will be good for everyone.

One person, or one fairy, can make a difference and on this night, one little fairy was hoping to do just that.
Fluttering through the sky at twilight Fae looked as though she were dancing among the stars. Fae is a fairy from Danu - Danu is a beautiful, natural place that exists right here on earth, but sadly it is a place that seems to grow smaller and smaller everyday.
While fluttering through the sky, swishing past the leaves of trees and sweeping soft clouds from her cheeks, Fae tried hard to concentrate on the stars in the sky. She was trying to find the perfect one to wish on.
A wishing star is sometimes hard to find, especially in these times when there is so much pollution from cars and factories. Fae had to strain her eyes in search of one that twinkled, or better yet, one that went shooting across the sky. Shooting stars were considered the best to wish on because it seemed that every time you wished on one of those, your wish was certain to come true.
Finally as the sky was becoming darker and darker Fae saw her perfect shooting star. She rested down on a nearby rose and stared at it for a moment. She closed her eyes and said;
“Oh little shooting star
On this night I wish to you;
Please send a dream near and far,
To every child and grown-ups too!

Let them dream of Danu.
So full of beauty and of life,
A place where love is renewed;
Where there is no worry of ruin or strife

And when they wake
Let them remember to be true.
Let them save this land for their sake,
And for mine too.

This little shooting star,
Is my wish – my wish to you.”
Fae opened her eyes and to her surprise the star was still shooting through the sky.Surely, she thought, it should have gone from sight by now?! But it hadn’t and instead it seemed to stop moving altogether. The star began to shine brighter and brighter until it was so bright that Fae had to close her eyes. Even with her eyes closed she could still sense the brightness of the star growing ever more. Just when she thought she could take no more, she heard a popping noise and the bright light faded. Then something fell at her feet. When she opened her eyes she saw the most beautiful blue crystal and as she went to pick it up a hand appeared and took hold of hers. Fae stopped in surprise.
“Hello Fae” said a strange voice. “I’m Zack and I have a message to share with you.”
Fae sat back in her flower seat – Zack was a fairy that she had never seen before. He was tall for a fairy and he was dark, with a silvery blue colour to his skin, hair and eyes.
“My message” he said, “is one of hope. I heard your wish and I am your star. That crystal is a part of me and I give it to you so that you may wish upon it whenever you like. As long as your wishes are true and pure they will always come true.” Zack’s eyes sparkled like the night sky and Fae thought for a moment that he was kind of cute for a star.
“Thank you Zack, I will be sure to only use my best wishes for this wonderful gift you have given me!” As Fae said this she held out her hand and let the crystal shine. Using magic Zack made the crystal into a necklace and fastened it around her neck. Fae held it between her fingers and again said “Thank you.”
“I must be leaving now.” Said Zack, “but I will return to visit you Fae. Please know that you are not the only one who wishes to see Danu strong and healthy again.” He smiled and then in a flash he was gone, shooting across the sky once more.
The next morning when Fae woke-up she wondered if the night before had all been a dream. It was then that she remembered her new necklace and she smiled as she held it in her tiny hand.
Yawning and stretching, Fae peeked out the window of her humble fairy home high atop an evergreen tree. On this bright and sunny morning Fae noticed that she didn’t see quite so much smog as she normally did. She couldn’t hear the rumblings of the nearby city and when she looked down she saw people! She could see children, their parents and grandparents. They were enjoying the nature that was all around them.Fae could hear these families talking about the future and how they would be more kind to nature – they would recycle, drive their cars less and the children even said that they would watch less TV and go play outside more.
Fae even heard a young girl named Maya as she wished with all her might, “Friend of Fae I am I may. Save Danu for me and you!”
Fae’s heart filled with joy as she and her other fairy friends gathered together at the top of their evergreen tree. They smiled as they felt stronger. They could see all the colours of the earth growing brighter all around them.
Fae held tight to her necklace because it was then that she knew that her wish had come true! She also knew that she had many more heartfelt and pure wishes to make so that Danu would be safe forever - for everyone!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Dear Wal-mart...

Dear Walmart pharmacist,

I know that you must deal with some very difficult people at times. Today... I am not one of those people. I did not call you to get mad and tell you off. I called to find out why my medication was changed, by you and not by my doctor.

You told me that you switched me to a medication that was not any different from the one I was on before - I felt silly for asking you my question. For bothering you with such a silly question. It seemed like a legitimate question to me as I was concerned because my surgeon told me that if I start on this particular medication that I should not be changed to another of its kind. My endocrinologist said the same thing.

When I picked up the medication, as I have before from your location, I did not open the bag because I trusted that it would be the same medication that I had been on so many times before. However it wasn't - you chose to give me something different, because to you it is the same. To you there is no problem and there is no difference.

The problem is... that I do have a problem with your decision to arbitrarily change up my Synthroid to Eltroxin. I have a problem because I have cancer. I have thyroid cancer and while it will be cured I am still scared and I will do whatever I need to do to ensure that that happens. I cling to any sense of normalcy and routine - right down to very small insignificant things, like wanting to stay on the same brand of medication. Maybe it means nothing, maybe I am silly... so be it.

I am mindful that you might have been having a bad day. I ask you to please be mindful that the person you are serving may be having a bad day too and something so small and insignificant to you... might mean the world to them. It could mean, if only for a moment... peace of mind.

Thank you for your time.

Tara Leitch

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Words of Wisdom ~ the Dalai Lama

I love this... so true and relevant to me at this time. I'm sure it will resonate with many others as well, so I had to share.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Happy Heart

Blissful heart
Shine the day
rule the year
and have no fear
Push back the black
Hold the light
Touch the stars
& remove the scars
Love guides the soul
It knows the way
Let it lead
You'll not want
but need
Trust the path
& follow through
Hope lit by sunlight
Believes in foresight

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Time on my hands could be time spent...

with you... no, nope - that's not it. Though you can give me a call, I do have Tuesdays free.

Truth be told, come fall I will have an awful lot of time on my hands. So, possibly time to spend with you - or time to accomplish some other necessary things ;)

I am equal parts happy and freaked out about taking this time...

I'm happy to have the time to focus on being healthy and to have treatment for my thyroid cancer.

I am freaked-out for the same reasons that I'm happy...

To have to even consider taking time off to make sure I'm healthy so that I can recover speedily from a cancer treatment is crazy! How did this happen to me? Don't get me wrong, at least they found it... but really? Old people get cancer... am I old? No... but there are days, like when you are told that you have cancer, that you feel a little older... While I do feel a little older, that statement isn't really fair - cancer is not discriminatory about something so silly as age; or gender, or race, or sexual preference... I mean really if it weren't for the fact that just the word cancer causes fear - it would be a really forward thinking, left wing sort of a thing. But it's not.

Something else that cancer is not, is a death sentence.

Cancer comes in all shapes, sizes and types. Not every one is deadly and with all the new treatments and tests out there, there comes new hope everyday.

Hope - that's a big thing right there. Without hope, what point would there be. Hope is part of being positive and staying positive is worth its weight in gold. It's easier said than done, I know that. Even as an eternal optimist, I have my down days. I just make sure that glass of wine is always half full ;)

I am lucky. So far anyways. Thyroid cancer is highly treatable and based on what my surgeon and endocrinologist say, if you are going to get cancer... it's the one you want. :S Heart warming.

Anyways... I will be fine. However, there are many who will not. They are the reason we raise funds, pray and fight for a cure.

So... as I ponder the new found time that I will have on my hands come September... and having to go on EI for the first time ever in my life :S my mind turns to what makes me most happy. For me that's easy... Christmas! There many other things that make me happy, but they go without saying - my friends, family - my best friend and love of my life !!!:) They know who they are and all that goes without saying.

Anywho - In the fall, Christmas will be just a few short months away - and this Christmas will be thrifty. Thriftymas! - new term, I coined it.

Maybe I should just relax and read a book... well I might do that too. I know I will be (and have been) writing one. This is part of me being well - I keep busy and positive all at the same time. I don't plan on doing anything that will be stress or panic inducing... though I have in the past done that to myself by taking on too much. I promise I won't do that. I also promise that I won't be sitting around doing nothing... I'm not built that way. So I will focus on cooking/baking/eating healthy foods, exercise, writing/drawing, reading, and crafts! :) Christmassy ones ;) A thrifty Christmas doesn't have to be a bad one. In fact I hope it will be one of the best ones yet! and possibly the start of a new tradition.

Here are a few links to some of the crafty things I hope to get up to this fall: (I hope you enjoy them and maybe try a few out yourself!! Post pics and let me know about any crafts that you do that are just too wonderful to keep to yourself!)

A reversible bag!

Cranberry sauce, apple sauce, tomato... yum!



Click to watch the video... crackers are pretty easy though. You just need to save your paper towel or toilet paper rolls, have some wrapping paper or scrapbook papers and embellishments - some dollar store trinkets or goodies for inside - and some snaps. Snaps can be found at Michael's craft stores by early to late fall...

Sooo cute!

So ya... lots to keep me busy, inspired and out of trouble :)

Talk soon!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hear me Roar - Update

Just a little update on my article for the yet to be named (well I know what it's called, but can't spill it yet) or launched magazine that will one day... this fall or winter... feature my article, lol.
Itsa comin... trust me :)
Hi Tara,
I'm so sorry that I've been out of touch. We've just had so many articles to work on and to be honest, yours got lost in the shuffle because there wasn't that much work to do on it! (That's a compliment btw) 
I've attached it here with very few comments and just a few cuts. Please take a look and let me know. It really is a great story and I do love the angle of 'caving to society's expectations' and how now you are in a little more of an unconventional situation and it's perfect for you. 
Also, the site will be launched in the fall but I'm still figuring out when your piece will be added. I'll let you know when that gets figured out. In the meantime, if you have anything else you'd like to submit, please do!
So there you have it... she likes it, will accept more articles from me and there really aren't that many changes - which I like! Nothing like sending something in and have something unrecognisable sent back to you! I've had that happen - back in the good old days of working at the University paper... it was a real eye opener. I saw just how bad I really was... back then. I'd like to think I've improved some ;) In regard to my writing and grammar skills that is... :P

I'm an acquired taste. Don't like me? Acquire some taste.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Business of Pickwick

Now that I have that nasty business of having my thyroid removed over with (and I'm healing quite nicely and feeling well) it's time to either sh!t or get off the pot - lol. My mind (and my body) can't be still and if I'm not writing one story, I'm working on another... or reading, researching or chatting with like minded people. I love the written word and my thinking has always been that what you love, can often be parlayed into a career... where there is a will there is a way!

It's really important to know what you are getting into if you are starting your own business. Even more important is to involve yourself in something that you love and are suited too. I have spent a really long time looking and researching into the various businesses that are out there and wondering if any of them would be a good fit for me. Every time I come back to writing... that or wine.

Ever so slowly and cautiously I am working toward the launch of a publishing website... and business. A new full-time career path - maybe!! Hopefully!!

The domain names are registered as and and I am currently doing my research into how I will model the site and the business. I'm almost there.

I hope to have more to post soon...

Friday, 1 June 2012


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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hear me Roar!

I finished the magazine article that I was asked to write... feels good. I'm happy with it - now I wait to see what "nips and tucks" are made by the editor.

Below is a sneak peak at my unedited - well not counting my edits - version. Later when the final comes out I will post that too, so as to compare :)


Modern woman; I think I am one – and I’m sure that many of you reading this think that you are too. But are we really?
Where does this idea of the modern woman come from? Society of course. We listen to our family and friends, we watch shows on TV and we read articles in magazines; all of which portray what the “modern” woman should be. The idea of the modern woman really hasn’t changed that much over the years. If you watch Mad Men you see modern women of the 1960’s venturing out into the work force, seeking independence from men – all while trying to land the right one to marry so they can settle down and not work anymore. Flash forward to Sex in the City in the 2000’s and you see Carrie Bradshaw expressing her modern womanhood. Working and writing about the trials and tribulations of a single girl, living and dating in New York City. Through all her modern ways and desires… she still wants to find the right man and so do her friends.
What of the woman who doesn’t want to get married or have children? It seems that even in 2012, she’s an oddity. Women are allowed to be modern, just as long as they still fit within the idea of the societal norm.
In my twenties the idea of getting married and having children wasn’t on my mind, at least not in the sense of, “Oh how complete my life will be to have a husband and then a baby.” I felt quite the opposite of that and I endeavoured to put all serious thoughts of marriage and having babies on hold until I was thirty. Surely by thirty I would have my career set and would have found a serious and committed relationship to settle into.
Before I knew it, the impossible thirty arrived. Impossible because when you’re twenty, thirty seems very far away – old even. When you actually are thirty (now I’m almost thirty-five) you see just how ridiculous that is! For one thing, thirty is not old and for another I wouldn’t go back to being twenty for anything, except maybe for my tighter abs… Anyways, I feel much more comfortable in my skin at thirty-four, than I did at twenty-four. I digress.
At thirty it seemed that all my friends were getting married and I felt like Bridget Jones in the scene from the first movie where she goes to dinner at her friends place only to find that she is the only single woman there. I began to feel like I was part of a dying breed. I tried to get into the whole weddings are fun thing – But I just couldn’t do it… I hate wedding planning and showers. I hate all the formalities and protocol of wedding do’s and don’ts. Most of all hate all I hate those silly games that are played at showers – they make me want to run for the hills. To this day, if I am invited to a shower I do my damndest to get out of it. Invite me if you must, just know that I have something else to do that day… Best of luck though!! And don’t worry, I will still get you that blender or diaper genie thing you have on your registry.
Now that you know that I hate wedding pomp and circumstance you may be surprised to know that I did it all myself. I’m a hypocrite. Well not quite… I did refuse a shower and I turned my nose to having a receiving line. Nonetheless I caved. I caved to my well meaning friends and family who asked why I didn’t want to get married or have kids. I caved to the images that the media fills the airwaves and magazines with – happy families and married couples. I even ditched my commitment phobic, late night booty call “boyfriend.” I had purpose!
In no time I hooked my fish and I turned a flicker of a flame into a full blown house on fire. In less than two years we were married because we loved each other and we had potential.  Everything would be great! But, it wasn’t and in less than two years we separated.
I sent him packing and I sat in the house - the house that I had bought on my own, and cried. How stupid I had been. All the signs had been there before we were married but I refused to acknowledge them. My ex talked a good game but never had any follow through. He talked about wanting to get a better job to help support us but it was me working full-time with an extra job on the side trying to keep it all afloat. He sat home playing video games, working a part-time job and building debt that I didn’t even know about until it was too late.
My stress level went through the roof and we argued constantly but I kept hoping that it would get better. Until then I could hold it all together because that’s what women do. I could work two jobs, keep the house, keep the man and have kids. I plugged ahead, until one day I just couldn’t do it anymore. Enough was enough and my life flashed before my eyes. There I was, stressed out with bills mounting, barefoot, pregnant and trapped with a man who loved playing games and spending money without regard for anyone else.
It was right then and there that my marriage ended.
What was mine before marriage became “ours” and what was my ex’s (including his hidden debt) also became “ours.” Every step I made to make things right and not lose everything resulted in his gain and my loss. I was forced to sell the house - it was the “matrimonial home.” It was the one thing that made me feel that I had earned something, that I could do things on my own. I felt like a failure but I moved forward - It had to be done.
Never to be one to stay negative for too long I began to think of the positives. While I had lost a lot, I did still gain back myself and I discovered what it was that I really wanted all along from a relationship - a partner. Someone who would stand by me through thick and thin, washing dishes, health scares, financial woes, and episodes of
Coronation Street
Three years on, I have found my partner and though he may not openly admit it, he enjoys watching
Coronation Street
. He puts a good face on about it anyways, just like I do when we watch football. That’s what it’s about though - give and take. He is his own man and I am free to be as modern a woman as I want to be.
If I had known that I would live happily ever after as the childless, common-law wife of a separated man with two kids (teenage girls no less) I would have done it long ago.
I am a modern woman – hear me roar!