Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seventeenth Post - Extra

You are invited you to visit my new PAGE gadget called, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" The first entry is about the Holiday Reading challenges I've joined.

What are you planning on reading this Christmas?
Carol - as in Christmas,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sixteenth Post - Magazines

It's true. I'm a magazine-aholic! I don't remember when I first stepped out of denial, perhaps in my teens, but here I am in my fifties still struggling to pass by the display of glossies without putting a little 'something' into my cart. It started with Soap Opera digest. It was my little secret. Then Seventeen, ah the pictures, how they called out to me – "pick me, pick me....take me home, no one needs to know".

I blame genetics. My Omie had her own stash: Family Circle; TV Guide; and under the guise of spirituality, Moments with God. Some stayed hidden discreetly beside her red velvet couch and some were defiantly left out in the open. My mother has her morphed version of the addiction. She buys up to five "Love Inspired" novels per month. Her collection has spread to the tops of her kitchen cupboards.

Recently I felt the need to surrender – to give up my need for the 'zine! I cancelled subscriptions to House and Home, Reader's Digest, Country Home, Shape, Allure, Canadian Gardening, the list goes on. I couldn't go cold turkey; I kept More, Style at Home, and Best Health. On occasion I guiltily place an O mag in my cart amongst my groceries, slyly bringing it home, hoping Jim is too busy to notice.

When I realized that I didn't have the strength to overcome this "habit", I opted for harm reduction. Online magazines…..sent directly to my inbox. Who, but me, would know? Then unwittingly my husband enabled me further by gifting me with an eReader……..from the laptop to the Kobo. Is it a book or a magazine? Another little secret.

There is no happy ending. I have not overcome my magazineism. When pressed I claim I am merely relapsing, it's all part of my recovery. The consequences are costly, but not dire enough for me to stop. The magazines pile up, I can't discard them, what if I want to look at them again. The initial thrill, the adrenaline rush complete with euphoric dreaming, comes crashing down eventually leaving only the remains of wrinkled, used paper. The gloss so quickly disappears.

Christmas comes with a whole new challenge. The recipes, the decorations, the 'to do list of not gaining weight during the holidays', they grip my imagination, I must have them. Chatelaine, like a dealer sends me a free Christmas copy with the price slashed almost to nothing for a year's subscription. To entice me further, it will come with a free stylish watch. How do I resist? Why would I resist? Who am I harming? It's just a little escape now and then. Maybe I'll quit in 2011. But for now, I see an article on NEW FICTION by Steve Martin calling me.

What are your favourite magazines? Could you let them go?

Magazine, or art?

The beginning of the habit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fifteenth Post - Cookies

First Review - Christmas Reading Challenge 2010
The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman
Atria Book @2009

Cookies and Christmas! Pause, breath, dream…..can you smell them? Do you have a favourite? Does it have a story? I recently stumbled across a delicious book called, "The Christmas Cookie Club" by Ann Pearlman. The novel is about a Christmas Cookie Club (I know, the title gave it away). It's about twelve women who meet yearly on the first Monday of December to exchange cookies, drink wine, and kvetch - albeit in a somewhat structured manner. Each cookie 'bitch' (not my word - a bit harsh, I think)  brings thirteen dozen cookies – wrapped festively in one dozen portions. One dozen for each member, with the thirteenth dozen going to the local hospice. There are rules for this club that are clearly laid out in the beginning of the book. My favourites are rule 1 – No chocolate chip cookies, and rule 3 – No plates covered in saran wrap and bows! There are 8 rules in total and I'm sure they could be tweaked to fit your own gathering. The novel includes: recipes; interesting information about ingredients [P. 127 Cinnamon - 'improves attention, virtual recognition memory, working memory and visual-motor speed while working on a computer-based program. So chew cinnamon-flavoured gum when taking tests`.  P.157 Vanilla - `our ancestors thought it was an aphrodisiac and that it cured impotence, making it our first Viagra`]; woven between threads of stories from each of the club members. I love how this author has stirred  a niggling in my heart  to host a Carol's Christmas Cookie Club. I realize this is not a unique concept, but the addition of rules, an annual date, and a prescribed format for the evening, has piquied my imagination. Who will I invite? What cookie recipe will I make? The dreams, smells and `visions of sugarplums` are dancing in my head.

What cookie would you bake and bring to Carol's Christmas Cookie Club?

Time to start baking

A fun Christmas read

The rest of my list......(I may need to check it twice!)
The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times by T.D. Jakes
Grace: A Novel by Richard Paul Evans
An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller
The Christmas Pearl by Dorthea Benton Frank

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fourteenth Post - Five

Today at 11am precisely, Jim and I will have been married for five years.  Five years ago, as I waited outside the ministers office with my husband to be and two close friends, I remember vividly the fear.......I know, fear before a new marriage, not exactly the typical feeling. Jim and I agonized about the perfect wedding. Life experience told us that 'perfect for everyone' was impossible, so we settled on 'perfect for us' and acceptable for everyone else. We decided to have a very small - one minister, one groom, one bride, two friends - ceremony. Ironically, we were married in what was Jim's former office at VAC. Two days later we had a reception for our family and a few friends. Then we parted, Jim to live in Vancouver and me to live in Vernon for the next year. I chuckle in remembrance.
Since that day, much has changed.. We now live together in the lower mainland. I finished my MA in Counselling and am working as a school counsellor, with a private business 'on the side'. Jim has been welcomed back into pastoral ministry from his denomination. My Reverend is currently working on completing a Masters of Divinity degree and going to school full time.
Jim's mom passed away a little over a year ago. She lived to be 94 years old.....what a lady! We've welcomed three more grandchildren into our family bringing the total to seven. Life is BUSY!!!! We continue to love each other deeply....

           My vows to Jim.......(maybe I'll post Jim's on year ten)


  It's hard to believe that I’m here standing with you exchanging wedding vows.  It’s been a long journey. You’ve been a big part of my life for so long and for much of that time you’ve been my best friend. You, more than anyone, know how I resisted the idea of getting married, again. So why am I here today? I need you to know how deeply I am committed to being your friend, your companion, and your wife. I promise to love you with all my heart and when things get tough, I am still committed to love you and be your wife. Both of us know that life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan. Neither of us could have anticipated our marriage, yet here we are today. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know how much you love me and how trustworthy you are. You’ve already clearly shown me those qualities. I hear and see how you care for your mom and your children and I know again that I can cling to your care and love. I also want you to know that I am committed to love your children, and your grandchildren. Our home is a place where they will always be welcome. In that same vein, I trust you to love my children and future grandchildren and I am already assured that you will make them a welcome part of our lives.

            I love  that you love me even though you know me so well. I cherish that you encourage me to pursue things that are important to me. Please know that I will do the same for you. I don’t need you to be anything other than the person you are. If your interests change, I promise to encourage and support you. I promise to remind you to chase down your dreams. The ones you have now and the ones that are to come. My prayer for you is that you will be happy, content, safe and confident of my love, loyalty and life long support. I am so happy to become your wife and have you be my husband. To be with you as long as I live is my solemn vow to you.  

Happy Anniversary!


Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be…”
                     Robert Browning

Waiting to get married

OK, let's do this!

Saying our vows