Sunday, 28 December 2014

Was It Good For You, Too?


Was your celebration everything you hoped it would be? Was Santa good to you? He was to me, but then he always is. Though I received many thoughtful gifts, this year my favourites have to be my East Coast Lifestyles hoodie and furry snood (weird word!!).

East Coast Lifestyles hoodie and furry snood!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

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Yesterday, December 21st, was the Winter Solstice. Many festivals and celebrations, throughout history and culture, have been focused around this time of year. It marks the shortest day and longest night, and perhaps because of my Celtic blood, it has been important to me for many years.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice
The house is decorated and ready!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My Annual Christmas Chick Flick Extravaganza!

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*Please note: the images below link to my Amazon Affiliate account. If you click and purchase through this link, I receive a small percentage as payment.*

Each year, the W Network here in Canada shows Christmas movies all through December. There are the famous movies, sure – Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause, Elf, Christmas With The Kranks, Home Alone, Love Actually, to name a few. These are the ones that had some measure of box office success and many are now holiday classics.

The majority of the W Network movies however are of the Hallmark, made-for-TV variety. They are saccharin sweet, formulaic and always, always have a happy ending. And I have a confession to make – I love watching them!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

I Didn’t Win at NaNoWriMo, But Here’s What I Learned

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National Novel Writing Month is over for another year. As I wrote at the beginning of November, I had a plan and a commitment. I was going to kick-start my fiction writing and finally complete the work I have been writing for over a decade.

However, it seems the Powers That Be (The Universe, The Source, God – call it what you will) had other plans. I did well in the first week, my word count was on target. During the second week, despite plotting an outline, the words were not coming easily and I faltered.

I didn't win at NaNoWriMo, but here's what I learned

Monday, 10 November 2014

Of War and Remembrance

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

from ‘For The Fallen’
- by Robert Laurence Binyon

This Remembrance Day, as I usually do, I will take time out to attend a service, honouring the sacrifice of those who have fought and died in the past century. It was instilled in me long ago how important this is, and I have done so every year that I have been able, throughout my adulthood.

Of war and Remembrance-Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Photo courtesy of Mike Riordan

Monday, 3 November 2014

NaNoWriMo: Let the Craziness Begin!

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Part of who I am as 'Menopause Moi’ is a writer. I don’t have any qualifications to call myself this, just a desire (compulsion?) and a brain full of whacky ideas. I’ve always written, even if it was only a journal. As well as this blog, I do have the first draft of a novel complete. It’s currently in ‘editing’ – a process that is almost as much struggle as writing the initial version.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My Lessons From Loss

This post is longer than usual. It is also personal, probably self-indulgent and was the most difficult to write. It is writing as therapy and catharsis. Please bear with me. Thank you.

A lot has been written about loss and what it teaches us. We’re all different, so we all experience it in different ways. Despite being a common thread though, loss isn’t something we dwell on most of the time. Why would we? It hurts. Only when we’re confronted by it do we give it any real consideration -which is where I find myself again. These are not my only losses, but they are the most significant to me.

Like most kids, my first experience with death and loss was that of my pets. My memory is fuzzy on who went first, Freddy the Goldfish or Whiskey the beautiful, blue budgie. However, my Nana was the first person I remember losing, when I was only eight. I didn’t attend the funeral, so didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I have often thought that was a shame, but my folks believed they were making the best decision for me, and I do understand and appreciate that.

My Lessons From Loss
Nana on her wedding day

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Do Men Cause Menopause?

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A while back I wrote a post about a study which theorized that men cause menopause. At the time and given the reason cited, I wasn’t convinced of their argument. Now, and admittedly for completely different reasons, I’m not so sure that men don’t cause menopause…

‘I’m going away for two weeks’

This wasn’t the first time my husband had called me in the middle of an otherwise ordinary day to let me know he’d be going away – like, soon. Such was the case a couple of weeks ago. We had a whole three days notice. And I’m not being facetious when I say this – he’s been gone with three hours notice before now!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

- John F. Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving!

Do You Do Grateful?

My family, like many others, has a tradition at Thanksgiving dinner, of going around the table, each stating what we are thankful for.  Often we are reminded, by the feast and this tradition, that it is the love of those seated with us for which we are most grateful.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Trying to Reduce the Ever-Expanding Book List

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The conventional wisdom is that to be a writer you have to also be a reader.  As I have always been a reader, I consider this an asset, as I pursue my writing dreams.

reducing the ever-expanding book list
Image courtesy of Butterfield

Monday, 22 September 2014

The 5 Best Things About Fall

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Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
from ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats

Fall is officially here, arriving at 11:29 p.m. ADT tonight.  (Yes, I do keep track of these things - a throw-back to my Celtic heritage perhaps? or maybe I was a druid in a past life?).  So here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite things about one of my favourite seasons:

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Hello, Apple? It’s Canada Calling.

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Apple may make good phones, but they are really (really!) bad at geography.  First they had to abandon their Map app due to the large number of errors.  Now they have rearranged Canada it seems!


Monday, 21 July 2014


A few weeks ago I read an article on the blog “An Empowered Spirit” in which Cathy Chester writes about her feelings on leaving the home she has lived in for the past twenty-one years.  Although she is looking forward to a new phase in life, she was reminiscent and rueful about leaving a place that she loved and had provided her family with so many wonderful memories.

Combine this with a trip back to the United Kingdom, from whence I emigrated many years ago, and I started thinking about my own concept of home.  I have to say, I can only imagine what it feels like to live somewhere - not just a house, but a place - for twenty-one years.  My father was in service in the U.K. and my husband has a job that requires us to be mobile.  I’ve moved a few times, to say the least!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Book Review: I Just Want To Be Alone

I Just Want To Be Alone is a newly released anthology by the Super Cool Lady Writers.  It’s a book about marriage - a funny one, snort-worthy even, at times!  But it’s oh so much more than that too.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

161 Tips for Better Blogging – NOT!

Just to make sure we’re clear from the get-go, this is not, I repeat, not a post about blogging tips.  I am so not qualified to write that!

It is a further explanation of my absence from the blogosphere for a couple of months.  A hundred and sixty-one is the number of articles about blogging and social media which I currently have pinned to my ‘Better Blogging’ board on Pinterest.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Menopause (Moi) Health – Don’t Assume You Know What’s Going On!

Now, if only I had taken my own advice (sigh)!

As you can see, I’ve been away from the blog for a while.  There are a couple of reasons.  The main one, and the subject of today’s missive, is because I've felt like crap!

Monday, 6 January 2014

A New New Year’s Tradition – Opening the Good Things Jar

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I know, I know…  To quote myself, New Year’s is so last week!  But this was fun, and I think, worth blogging about!
Having seen the idea on Pinterest, last year I decided it would be fun to start a Good Things jar.  For anyone who hasn’t seen this, it’s a jar that you set up; we kept ours handy on the kitchen counter.  As you go through the year, you write down all the good things, big or small, that happen on a piece of paper.  The paper is folded and put in the jar, with the jar to be opened and all the notes read on New Year’s Eve.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

(Fit) Friday Food - Healthy 'Banoffee'!

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Donna's Healthy Banoffee dessert.

Happy New Year everybody!

Before I get too far into this post, I want to make it quite clear - Martha Stewart has nothing to worry about!!  As anyone who knows me can attest, I cook when I have to, and the odd other, rare occasion. 

However, when I came up with this idea for a healthy New Year's Day dessert all by myself, and it turned out so well, I thought I would share.  There is no cooking involved, and it took less than five minutes to put together!  There is no recipe, merely assemblage!

I put caramel-flavoured Greek yogurt in the bottom of each dish.  I then layered sliced banana over that, topping it all with a couple of dollops of vanilla Greek yogurt.  The 'garnish' was a square of dark chocolate with salted caramel.  Easy-peasy!  And satisfying enough for Hubby's sweet tooth, as dessert. 

Bonus: you could also eat this as breakfast (maybe without the chocolate...?) if you wanted!

Try it and let me know what you think!