Monday, January 30, 2017

A very real book review

This was originally written on my YUPPYDOM blog from WordPress.




Good Reads

 it is .... I used to go to Amazon to look up a book that I had read, really enjoyed, and see what recommendations they suggested be explored: a new Author or a new genres.



Seriously, I would never have found my favorite author Michael Connelly if I hadn't gone through this process.  Although I did this review for John Grisham which is self-explanatory as you read it as to the why.  



Without John Grisham I would never have picked up a David Baldacci (which I think I still have a book to the right on my sidebar as a book I recommended).



You'd almost think that I'm a legalese thriller genre fanatic.  Unless you've read Connelly or Lee Child for that matter.  In any of the genres you are rooting for someone, cheering someone on against very large obstacles.  They're not always the little, downtrodden either.  



Victims of Unfairness

Maybe that is the common denominator that all the authors I enjoy share:  writing stories about overcoming failure, sadness, corruption, bad bosses, bad companies ::..... basically, so many of us deal with that every day, it is nice to read about someone else's problems for a change?



I don't think that is the reason.  However pact and simple an explanation it sounds.    It could be turned around as a perception that if you enjoy that sort of thing, you like to help people, you want to be optimistic?  How about trying that on for size?    



Similarly, I did go through a long phase of reading Steven Koontz paranormal physic benders.  Now I cringe when I pass one of his books or a suggestion or review that comes across my vision with his name on it.  Similarly to the memory still fresh of an 8-year-old Kelsey (now 22) cringing and gasping out loud: "no corn" after picking her up from the airport to return home from 2 weeks with Grandad and Grandma and corn on the cob every day.  



But there was a real reason I wrote the review.  I was trying to escape from all the BAD NEWS I've been hearing lately.  How many more people have lost their jobs at an alarming rate in the city and province where I live.  Rarely do my online and real world collide at such ferocious impact!  



If you've read more than one blog, and are not my mother (who may stop reading it AND talking to me after she sees her darling granddaughter's reaction to her visit 14 years ago that I wrote and shared with the world, who could clearly pick her out from a Grandmothers lineup for 1000s of miles around!) ... I have written before about causes I care about besides fashion, beauty, career, social media and writing .. on the milder side ... to more serious meanderings about things that I care about.



I don't believe that people want to read about anyone ranting about anything on social media.  If they are just waiting to pounce on a cause or a trending hashtag to join in with being HIP, that is their business.  That is the disappointing side of social media.



You cannot know, understand or have an opinion about anything based on 140 characters or less people!  OK, oops, that was a bit like a burp, sounding almost like a rant.  It is a very difficult exercise and mindset to stay the course on motivating, uplifting and inspiring stories when there are so many injections of rants.  I am trying VERY very hard NOT to be one of those people.  




Having a gratitude attitude is not as hard as it sounds.  Some days you have to dig deeper to find a seed of optimism.  However, if you hang on and scour everywhere to find something to be thankful about, you can surely find it.



So in a way to escape from what I live in every day, where I live, where the majority of my city earns an income directly or indirectly because of the oil industry, one cannot turn a blind eye or tune everything out when it crosses over into your chillax time.  






Our Canadian Prime Minister announced the approval of a couple of less controversial pipelines this past week.  It was about where I live, about people I care about:  my neighbors and community.  


Sound Bite
The largest, resounding quote or sound bite came from a politician in Vancouver (who I cannot remember the name and don't want to sidetrack writing to go sleuthing to fact check, so I will omit intentionally).  What was said was to the effect that after a lot of careful assessment, scientific input, community say, the pipelines have been carefully evaluated based on the risk, that the environment is very important, but so is putting people to work so that they can put food on their tables, not lose their homes, be able to afford to send their kids to school.  That had an amazing profound impact.  It was so true!



Taking care of our citizens is now.  Taking care of our world is now.  However, with all the protests, fear mongering, and I'm going to say "politic'ing" by Obama, there bodes a question:  what is more important?  Taking care of the future of our world and our indigenous people OR giving our communities back by helping people work who want to work to put food on their table, pay for the roof over their family's heads?  People working for a living can afford to buy Christmas gifts to loved ones.  People who are unemployed or underemployed (working as a security guard when they are educated and experienced as an engineer) deserve to live their lives today.  



So this is more of a squeak.  A sounding board on what others may not be thinking or saying:  what about those people who live in fear of terrorism or losing their jobs, their homes?  Without people working, they cannot buy an appliance from the guy in Canada (I will pull and comment about that at another time) who sponsors and brings 50 Syrian families (not singular, as in persons, but families as in multiples) into Canada through his own philanthropist efforts, out of pocket expense.  It was a moving and inspirational story on CBC this past week.



The guy figured out that he was lucky and helping others was a way of saying thanks and giving back.  



Why don't the rest of us just calm down, relax and sit back and think about it.  I was talking to a client this week who brought up the destruction on the BC coast from the oil spill from the EXXon disaster.  What people are NOT protesting is the fact that it was human error, not the boat, not the ship, and not a pipeline that caused the devastation.



Did you read about the rail car that went off the rails in Quebec carrying oil that exploded, devastated a community and killed too many.  One was too many.  






It makes me think more and more because I do read.  I do try to look from all the points of view.  I think of questions and I look for answers ... until I reach a stalemate where you are damned if you take the stance against the loudest voices.   Those voices only job may be that, lending voice to protest.  They were pretty quiet on behalf of Quebec.  



Then again.  I haven't heard the real reason for why the rail tanker exploded causing so much devastation.  Something tells me that it will be something similar to the person being hungover or drunk.  A grave human error.  That allows the company to have a person to point the finger at.  That allows protesters to protest about.



I'm not going to say it or will I?  How many of the people feel who lose their jobs out of fear mongering and from people joining a cause that is not done in deep rooted knowledge or belief but because they like to fight for a cause.  


 
Yes, the protesters may sleep peacefully tonight at long last.  They won.  That is like it always is.  A contest between winning and losing.  






Unfortunately, the victims in this win are the ones who have been losing all along:  losing their jobs, losing money to buy food, losing the ability to keep their homes, losing income to celebrate the Holidays, unable to afford to contribute this year for great causes like homelessness, joblessness.  Finding themselves among those they helped such a short time ago.



Here is my real book review today on Good Reads: 








I read this book when it first came out, as a devotee of John Grisham's.  His writing resonated with me  by his realistic approach to storytelling:  "believability" in the way that the characters transcend from a character to a person, for that to happen is only possible when the reader is vested in the outcome.  



I apologize for not writing a review for John Grisham until now.  He certainly has earned it and deserves it even more.



Why?  If you have read thus far and care to ask?  I am a fan of John's stories because more often than not, I can relate to them.  They make me wonder who I know that this could happen to?  Would I feel the same if I read it in the news or a friend or associate told this to me as a story, as in realistic, true story!



But I am writing this today is because true to tradition, I have John Grisham's latest novel:  "The Whistler" on my bedside table, anxiously waiting for me, who is binge reading my latest book that I had started to read before buying the Hard Cover over a week ago.  



Even more compelling is the reason for this review. Filtering the noise on Twitter, sorting through the loyal followers from the mutual admiration society, I noticed the Trending Tweet about the kibosh of the Dakota Pipeline Access from protests.  That is why I read:  to escape those crazy tweets that may be shared because it seems like the hip thing to do;  to try to censor and stifle my own reaction and thoughts.



My fingers were twitching .... so I reached deep inside to find something positive to say; which sometimes is difficult to do.  I wanted to rant back and call some "ninkomphoffs" (whatever the right spelling is) as in a tactful way of trying to say, if you have an opinion, at least be informed.



To the haven of John Grisham and Good Reads to see if I'm missing any glorious reads, like "Girl in the Train" not being discovered with out the nice coaxing by Good Reads.  Happy to note that I was on the "train" before the curve catapulted from must read into a must see movie.  That's what sets me apart, perhaps.  I like to find a really undetected, undiscovered gem of an author or book and read it.  Where I am at fault, is not sharing an opinion about it.  I will try to change that.  In fact about 4 months ago I did create a blog, never actually writing yet, even so far as a Twitter handle because I don't want to have a blog name that is not affiliated with a Twitter handle:  big author social media tip::  when you create a title for a book, ensure that you can secure a Twitter HANDLE and create a name first.  Then it will be so much easier to create an online presence.  



So, to cut to the chase, before I dash out to finish this blog on http://ift.tt/2foMtQv as it may be helpful to write to help authors on their social media marketing efforts, then repost it on my The Publisher blog ..... before kickstarting my reading review Blog :: @readingaficionado 



Reading this book called Gray Mountain opened my eyes to the plight of a community impacted by chopping off the tops of mountains to access highly profitable fossil fuels that pad the wallets of greedy corporations (that are run by executives, not real people).  Without reading this book, I would not have the depth to grasp the other side of the story:  when greed surpasses humanity.



That, in a nutshell, is what this book does.  It makes you realize that harm is caused to innocent children who are born in unfortunate surroundings.  No different if you are in the middle of war-torn Syria, or in the vicinity of progress like we saw in Rio to allow Brazil to host the past Summer Olympics, or to those in the community where a pipeline chugs along or where one is trying to be made.  



It sure sounds like a fantastic plot that neither Grisham nor Baldacci can conjure without a piece of real life, real situations and characters imagined.



an epic ZITcom


A makeover of the RED kind

I haven't appealed to my fashionista persona for a while.  Since this is my third day off in a row, I decided to do a radical makeover and share with you the steps I am taking in case it is something you want to do as well.

Today, I am going to transform from my natural "dirty blond" or light brunette hair color to an eye-popping RED.  I sure hope it turns out well.  

I asked a young gal cashier who had flaming red hair whether she thought it would suit me and she said YES!  (well, she said, with my eyes ... blush, aw shucks).  I've had two forms of temporary red color in my cabinet for quite some time.  Somewhere around Halloween, I think.

This is definitely going for the gusto.  Not something anyone timid would attempt, to be sure.  


What I look like on a "normal" day

A spa day
of a new kind.  I haven't treated myself to a self-pampered day for quite a while.  Thank you for joining me, especially if you decide to try it along with me.

The BEFORE before the after
I apologize if I've scared you.  It is necessary to do the "before" like any other makeover.  I've already forewarned my stepdaughter should the Hunkster Hubster show up on her doorstep with suitcase in tow from the shock.  Guys don't like their women reinventing themselves too often or too drastically.  




Cleansing
is a must in any ritual to keep healthy, happy skin.  Unfortunately, I've had this big zit on my cheek since just before my stepdaughter's wedding last August!  I had to pull out a lot of different concealers for the wedding photos.  I've tried to tackle it for 6 months now, in an epic ZITcom. 




A face masque
After I use the OXY pads (sounds like a home cleaning product I should be using to do chores doesn't it?)





A face mask while coloring




Ruby red
I bought Schwarzkopf's ruby red on the darker side, with my blonde, light hair color, I want to avoid it turning pink.  Also, I am keeping in mind that I have the temporary color as a back up to add later if it does go haywire during the color.  I've kept it on for 30 minutes before I shop into the shower.  (I'm nervous now).



 It's all about the base
Before I get started on any foundation or styling hair (I usually go air dry unless sprucing up for a special occasion).  I have mentioned before that I use Oil of Olay for sensitive skin, faithfully after I wash or shower.  I use coconut oil on my hair while wet to help prevent my hair from drying out from home coloring remedies.



I've discovered this RIMMEL BB Cream since my "ZITcom" erupted a month or so ago.  It gives me a smooth finish and does a fantastic job of covering up the imperfections (which are plenty once you hit 50!)

I use a QUO TM to smooth it on.  It does a decent job of it.  Even though the ZIT is still there, it is less noticeable to my eye.


The red hair doesn't look too bad.  In fact, it did turn out to be the color I expected.  My hair is thinning at the front forehead so a side part comb over helps.  You may have noticed the eyebrows are hanging on to my natural color, but I have a fix it for that.  After I use some concealer under the eyes and dotted on the zits to give a better coverage.  I seal it with a powder to avoid shine or smear marks.  It helps to set the foundation for extended coverage.

Eyebrows framed
I have experimented a lot in this area because I have faint eyebrows.  It is more important than anything.  If I were to stop here and just apply lipstick, I'd be free to accept surprise guests or a shopping trip.  (Do you ever notice how much more attentive boutique sales are when you are all made up?  If you want help, don't go shopping in sweats and looking like you're about to tackle housework).



I clip my eyebrows very short with nose hair scissors (that I don't use on nose hairs, gimme a break!).  I find that if they are shorter, they will grab the eyebrow product much better.  I outline my eyebrows in a color that closely matches my own.  If I am just shopping or going to work, that is suffice.  Today, I'm using the darker product to bring out my eyes.

Green eyes and purple eye color
go hand in hand, according to all beauty reports.  I tend to wear eye color scheme according to the tone of my outfit.  For example, if I'm wearing read, I would use nude tones.  For this make up makeover, I am relying on my trusted QUO palette and dual contouring + eye liner.  There is lots of information out there on what color to use to compliment your eyes.  For example, blue works wonders with brown eyes.   Try it out, and if it works, keep it part of your regular routine.  As you get used to it, you'll become faster at doing a quick brush of makeup before you're off and on your way.  Typically, my makeup regime is 10 minutes max.  If I fuss with my hair, add another 20 or 30 minutes, depending on what I do.  I ventured into a short cut lately, which is easily maintained.  I cropped it short because I was constantly tying it back which wasn't necessarily a good look for me if I wasn't curling, moussing and blow-drying to tendrils.


The cheek bone is connected
to where you put a light dusting of blush.  I don't put much on.  Those eyebrows look too dark to me ... hmmmm.



Bat outta eyelash hell
Thick, full eyelashes is something I grapple with.  I wrote about my misadventures in eyelash extensions before.  I use an eyelash foundation/mascara combination, with the best so far being from L'Oreal.  I tried MAC's but haven't found it as great as MAC mascara-like eyebrow definer.  This is probably what takes me the longest.  My own eyelashes are long, but I have to work at it to make them thicker, fuller.  I learned this trick from my stepdaughter (the other two rarely wear makeup, yeah that's lucky for them, that and youth) to use multiple types of mascara.  I have to use waterproof kinds otherwise they weep and I turn into a raccoon.


I've been framed 
To complete the look, you need lipstick.  You'll notice that I have not been blessed with full, luscious lips like my youngest daughter (I'm still trying to figure out where that gene came from because she was blessed with it).  I really like the kind that are lipstick and liner in one with a sealer over top.  

Similar to mascara, lip liner can bleed on my lips and look like I'm a 5-year-old attempting to use her mom's makeup.  



VOILA!
A beauty queen, I'll never be.  Trying to make the most of what gifts I've been given, I max out on my eyes which are my best feature, or so I've been told.  My youngest daughter and sister have asked me aloud why they weren't bestowed with green eyes.  Well, looking at the pictures with no makeup and a horrible zit, demonstrates a trade off because they both have wonderful skin.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mindfulness mindset



The following post was originally shared on  JMgallery where I curate art, photography, images that speak to me.  Today, these depictions focus on mindfulness which is an art within itself.  The above captures my positive mindset and peaceful focus to allow me to become present in the NOW.  To be appreciative of the WOW!  Yes the quote and the image harmoniously flowed together to create a positive vibe sent out to the universe.  I can't do anything constructive about my woes at the moment so you allow it to drift away.  Efficiently filed to be handled effectively, like you usually do.  



The art of mindfulness
Practicing the art of mindfulness is a lot harder than it sounds.  In principle, you are meant to focus on this minute, this second.  Building awareness of all things, people, events happening around you in the moment for the moment.  Discipline and meditation are definitely helpful to reach this art of being at peace with oneself in the universe.  Forgiving, forgetting and forgoing any despondency or regrets, do differently, and if only I had.



Visually, it is easier to center on yourself in the moment.  I've gathered some art to forget bitter memories, beating up one's self for mistakes and least of all removing worry about tomorrow.  All you have is this moment.  



You ARE lucky.
You are here, you are now.  What you do differently this very second can bring inner peace and thankfulness for what you have.  No allowances for reflections of moments gone past, or fervour on what you desperately want tomorrow.  All you have is today.



What can you do differently?
Discarding annoyance is a favor you gift to yourself.  Opening up your mind and heart to others that may seem different to you is a gift of mindfulness.  


Discover the secret
Let the past melt away.  Forget about goals, dreams, wants, needs.  What do you have in this present moment?  Eyesight to enjoy beautiful images, hands to create beauty, ears to hear melodies that sing to your soul.  



Beauty: from within
Is harmony between the heart and the soul, joined in symphony to bring inner peace.  The best thing you can do is listen to your favorite music and gaze upon and marvel at the little things that center you, dissuade you from dwelling on the past or striving for that which is beyond reach.






















Thursday, January 26, 2017

Oh dear, oh my .... my give a damn meter has been turned OFF!


This post was originally written on  The Publisher blog where I've tripped over and trickled past some interesting things to write about or share that is off the radar usually.  I decided it was worth a share here.  I see where the insight can be used in sales and business scenarios to which I will expand and explain better in a sales-oriented blog.  I still dream in sales and think of ways to sell better.  I just have expanded my interests and want to test new theories or ideas.  Stretching my creative scope even farther than I thought possible.  I referenced my optioneerjm.blogspot.com already and meanderingsabout.blogspot.ca before, now I guess I'm flogging The Publisher (link below) because what I wrote really spoke to me and about me.  Thank you for reading if you are still with me this far.  I owe you my gratitude.
Sincerely.  Jeannette 


SOURCE

There are a few things that are really annoying me, but I am really trying to focus on trying to withdraw something positive from this whole experience.  One of the gifts wisdom has so wonderfully bestowed upon me is to try to turn EVERYTHING from wine (or whine) to vinegar (rinse out the anguish) to champagne!  (Pop, let it out.  Let er RIP!)  

Well, giggle, snort ... very few people even read my blogs.  Like today, for instance!!  Geez, what a day of a hell on a week bouncing around WIRED.  This really young chap where I work came sauntering in today (yes, that is a great word even for someone not writing a novel or a script ... to be made into a play or a movie ... where she stars opposite that guy who plays the latest Superman and Man from U.N.C.L.E. dreamboat of "if I were 10 or 20 younger....).  I complimented him on his advancement which his chest puffed right out of when he then introduced his brother, whom he was escorting and showing around his new workplace.  Timing is everything ... timing things right is a gift isn't it?  

He said:  "Ah, yes, and Jeannette is a writer of a blog and has many many followers on social media."  WOW, I got a zinger:  "I said, aw, thanks, so you've read it then?"  This young whipper-snapper politely referred to as a chap.  (NOW, you GET IT).   He was too young, and still blinded by the glory of the compliment, through the glow came the honest answer:  "Uh, no".

Someone older and wiser would giggle, snort or gleefully snicker at the big trap the chap had just handed to them.  Like forcing a speeder with a strong tendency to get off on police car chases, disciples of Fast and Furious fame to go lay a tire popper track thinga majiggy then back his car up a few blocks away, start a cop car chase, being hunted and pursued.  Then go exactly the familiar way, and driving over that popper track thinga majiggy that blows up tires contraption.  

I was forced to exude my frustration and humility in writing here.  Unencumbered.  Fairly alone with my harmonious strokes of my thoughts, my fingers, to the keys.  Hardly read.  Maybe there is freedom in that.  I admit, I've been peeking around writing about nothing more than experimenting with styles and topics that appeal to me.  Even for me, it is getting a little confusing.  

SOURCE


I trust a champion will emerge or a gust of more than a few readers, or maybe five on a good day.  I know it can happen.  It has happened to me a couple of times on my optioneerjm.blogspot.ca blog where a particular post would bounce around a lot and jiggle with some spikes in readership.  It was a glorious two times that resonate.  The elusive reward of actually resonating with a certain group of people, under any number of topics, or a singular interest or passion shared.  A nice feeling when you're more used to a horseshoe curve, more like a wish or a hope to be blessed with a little traction.  It is really great.

I couldn't imagine being one of those bloggers who just blogs, turning a passion into writing or writing into a passion with uninhibited ability to express oneself in whatever fashion they want.  I got a hint last weekend, a great weekend.  In fact, one of my greatest or most favorite weekends I can remember from a very long time.  Maybe it WAS 10 years ago when I got married to the love of my life, Rob.  My affectionate version being "the Hunkster Hubster" mostly in my tweets as @optioneerJM .  My whole family was together.  It has been only since August when we were all together, but for a wedding, it was clouded with intricacies of varying family dynamics is not any definition of quality family time!

I had the nerve to send this email to an organization, whom I edited out for obvious and legal reasons:


SOURCE

Why do your communications not include a website link what-so-EVER?  Not even a paragraph as to who represents "communications@------------,ca" ? along with an alternative contact internal IMMEDIATE contact encrypted to hide for privacy but also someone where it can get IMMEDIATE attention.  Also include the time frame in which a person can anticipate a reply .. be realistic, but be sure you are really really close to following that rule or you will sink your trust in your attentiveness (or lack thereof), lose loyalty faster than the price of oil, to any messages you send out.  

 ~ Jeannette 
    @optioneerJM
"you need my help" . calm

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Plagiarism rules

The following post was initially shared on Linked In.  I've expanded to post on other blogs to weigh in on public opinion.  Is there any recourse or protection for employees?  Tell me what you think:

Cake wars are on fire:  claims of plagiarism unfold on Twitter.  It is a cake boss of the inauguration kind.  


Sadly, if you are renowned in some way and your craft is shared online you are exposed to plagiarism.

But what do you do if you are not renowned in any way, a mere blogger who shares ideas openly to help others?

What if your blog logo, an orange, is used as a logo for an internal initiative by the company you work for?  How do you prove that the idea stemmed from your own creativity and borrowed or used?  

The same logo I unveiled on my blog was adopted for a corporate initiative:  coincidence?  Recourse? 

Aren't you glad I chose orange?


Does it even matter?   Coincidence or not?  How can one make such claims when the logo is used internally and not for public scrutiny?

I can certainly say that I was not, am not, involved in any form of marketing, messaging or creative for said company.  

Every day I go to work, this logo is paraded in front of me.  In fact, my paycheque depends on that logo.  I've struggled with this observation for a while now.  Perplexed by how anyone can make such claims without coming across sounding like whining?  

Outrage?  Controversy?  Not me.  I probably was naive initially, taking it as a compliment that one of my ideas would be adopted by the company I work for, under the umbrella of my own opinions that I continually safeguard my opinions as my own and not that of my employer.    Do I really own my ideas while earning a paycheque for said company?  

If you are an online personality or enthusiast who's ideas began long before working for the company.  Still, you have to ensure that you remove your opinions from associating with the company you work for ... now or in the past.   What about while various policing by companies to ensure you are not slandering the company, disclosing confidential information, or saying anything negative, they have you on their watch list that you cannot prove, as it is undercover cloaked in disguise.  

ORANGE


Then voila, your idea, information, logo is adopted by the company.  You are really handcuffed to not say anything: avoid appearing negative or open for discipline or loss of job for making claims that would not appear to be obvious, unless one works for said company:  just about everyone employed there has seen such image of an orange.

Intellectual capital ownership really belongs to you or the company you work for?  

There are safeguards in place for artists, musicians, writers for their protection from plagiarism.   Safe to say, it protects their intellectual, artistic capital.  If you read many Code of Ethics you sign with an organization you are paid by, you relinquish any creativity or ideas you come up with.  Doesn't that cover those that are credited, recognized and are compensated for coming up with ideas and not a lowly person on the totem pole who expresses ideas unrelated to the company?  

I'm curious what others think about this?  Would an employee be barking up the wrong tree, be exposed to termination if they disclose such potential controversy?  Try to claim ownership rightfully.  Ask to be recognized properly.  Or, just come across as a whiner or wannabe?


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Friday the 13th



A tenth anniversary too
Life can't get any more interesting than mulling over the fact that yesterday was my 10th Wedding Anniversary .... then it hit me that it WAS Friday the 13th.  My mom questioned the wisdom of getting married on the date with 13th.  

Wouldn't that be bad luck?
I reckoned that since my husband, the Hunkster Hubster, I affectionately call him was born on the 13th of December, you couldn't get any luckier than that, because 2x13=26 so it really isn't bad luck.  If you take his birth month and birth date, you get 25 (12+13) ... with mine as 22 (04+18) making him ODD and me even.



A full moon risen
to add intrigue to the insight, we have a beautiful winter moon.  It doesn't get more surreal than this:  a ghostly moon because of the artic air descended upon us, a fainted white.  From the reflection of the snow and crystals casting about a diamond glow.

The future for sure
How back then I probably imagined what our life would be like.   Because there were a few things we both felt strongly about:

  • our kids
  • making a family
  • home



Blended dreams
folded into goals.  To bring together four really quite bright kids and wish for the best.  We blended more than our kids, we began new traditions that today envelope wonderful memories.  

Almost comical
as to what we worried about back then.  Would the Princess eat at the table with the rest of the royalty, whom were never allowed to treat her as though she invaded our home.  Do we really expect to continue to sit at the table for dinner every single night, as he'd observed as our home life.  



Upheaval be damn
was my battle cry.  I would never allow normalcy be invaded by doom.  The best to hang on to are the traditions that were mired in each other's parents homes.  A nightly dinner with a tastefully set table was as normal as it ever has been in years since.  

Soccer teams
and soccer moms.  Lined up on the field, relaxing with a cup of usually Tim Horton's coffee.  Known to be different, mine would be star bucks in a thermos,
a throwback to the days I spent at the arena in my youth, with a sparkle in my eye that I would become a member of the Ice Capades in a few short years.  If I worked hard.  Even after I started to be able to drive myself to those 6 a.m. skates, my mom would always make me some hot chocolate in a thermos to have between figures and free skate or dance.   One of those things you take for granted, become implanted with habits carried into our adulthood, parenthood.



And a dog named Buddy
Our best friend, companion, faithful, loyal, protective guardian of our hearts.  I'm talking about all of us.  Realizing now, how difficult it was to trust again, to give someone else your heart, so fearful of having it trampled upon.  Again.

10 years of craziness
I would be remiss or untruthful if I said anything otherwise.  Yikes.  Three girls in their hormonal prime:  12, 13, 15 years old.  Then the sole boy 17 then.  The girls took their turns with their theatrics and drama a heart beat away.  By the two older girls, not the baby of the family, a girl.   She hung back, took it all in, keen to observe.  And learn.  To be better than them at causing parents heart attacks and heart ache at such potential being thrown away.



How far we've come since
One daughter married, another one kicking ass in university, the other one killing it in Vancouver, starting to really shine.  It is really rewarding to watch how they blossom.  Even the, at times, lonely son.  Such strong character, work ethic and morals gracefully etched into their beings.  The blending together must have really worked.  A bond created among all, including the new brother by married for the son.  

What wasted time worrying is
Try as much as you want, someone else is steering your life.  Is it God?  Is it fate?  Is it by design?  You are on a worldly path, setting strong examples for your children in your own beliefs, morals and kindness you try to uphold.  The Hunkster Hubster is a very strong man.  Not just in stature but in demeanor and presence.  How cool for someone to have such an anchor, from within themselves.



You may wonder what's your path?
..... are you on track, been misguided, failed or succeeded?  Life laughs at its own sense of humor as you discover you already have.  Creating this peaceful, safe, nucleus of family, is a success many dream of.  

Except now the table is bigger
and will eventually grow even more.  As grandchildren and boyfriends and praying for wife and more husbands build and grow from the foundation.  Of two apprehensive in taking a risk on love.  For the most part, our home is still the focal point in most of our lives.  Drifting in importance other times.  



Contentment and peacefulness
is an art of the life kind.  To be home, with just the Hunkster Hubster and our faithful companion, Buddy, the dog.  Is bliss and oasis rolled into one.  I could be at home 24/7.  Without a blip.  Writing and painting, cooking and creating an ever evolving home and garden.  It really is where I want to be most of the times.

Paradise in blue green waters
pull me back in my reflection of the past 10 years.  There have been life events and priorities that have prevented that annual honeymoon in far away places we wanted to explore together.



I worry a little
that we wont get a chance to again, since it was annual up until after the fourth year.  A go at a company, primarily run by my husband, when it was suppose to be forward march together.  I acted on the gleam in my eye that was caused by a great career opportunity so my focus was sporadic.  

If I only I knew then 
what I know now how things would have been different.  Using the internet and social media to market the company since time was a limited resource available for contribution back then.  



Building trust and memories
is never an easy feat.  Yet we have done so together, mildly so since the baby of the family left two years, almost three years ago.  Restored or instilled into sharing our life together.

Now is as important as ever
as we are in our fifties and wise to the twists and turns and speedbumps that can surface unexpectedly.  While firm in the commitment, the contentment found with each other's company.  We like it.  We enjoy it.  I can't imagine spending it with anyone else.


Happy Anniversary Love



xoxoxoxoxo Jeannette