Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas Traditions

Though it is still November, for a few hours at least, some people like to get their Christmas decorations up early. When I've been out at night, I can see the many windows lit up with trees or other seasonal ornaments.

Saturday I was at my daughter's home and it was tree decorating day. She did call all the kids together, but she didn't do it with the party atmosphere that I did in the past.

When I was a single parent, a working nurse, I had to work weekends and holidays. At the time, my parents were wintering in Florida and my brother lived in the city. But my ex had a big family that all came home for Christmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great grandparents. That had been our holiday go-to place since the kids had been born.

I volunteered to work the holiday and sent the kids off to have the holiday that was full of love and family, not to forget Grandma's post dinner bingo, complete with prizes.

Christmas is not just a day, it is a season, a month long celebration. So the kids and I did everything in party mode. I made snacks and special treats, put on a Christmas movie or music for tree decorating. Gift wrapping was something else we did together, with snacks again.

We attended the party at the library, had breakfast at Zellers with Santa, saw Santa at the mall, went to the Santa Claus parade and walked through the park to see the lights. Oh yeah, we had the Festive dinner at Swiss Chalet, and got the free pack of Lindor chocolates, an annual event.

Who needed the day, when you did all that. Though, some turkey would have been nice, do love that turkey, with dressing and all the other fixings.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Velma...Back from the Spa

So, I got the call from the spa, Velma was ready to come home. It turned out her few days away did wonders for her disposition, she has lost the whine, the squeak the whatever. And my bill for her stay was less than fifty dollars, so win/win.

A friend dropped me off, and I followed her home so she could drop her car off and go out with Velma and I. We took a little run to the neighboring town, did some Christmas shopping and had dinner out at the Chinese buffet.

I don't like driving in the dark, but must admit it wasn't too bad last night, at least it wasn't raining, or snowing.

It's good to have my girl back, to have that sense of freedom that I can go anywhere I want, when I want. I did get a few things done while I was home. Some crafts, some reading, but, alas, not the laundry.

It's mind over matter, I know. When you don't have the car there are suddenly all these things you need, places you need to go. Not really.

I like being home, with days on end to do the things I want and like to do, having the car or not having the car shouldn't matter. Like I said, mind over matter.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Velma...That Whiny Bitch

A few years ago, in the dead of winter, my car decided to take on a cantankerous and uncooperative nature. My way of sucking up to her was to try and get on her good side, by buying her a new battery. Seemed to work for awhile.

Trying to be friendly, I gave her a name, Velma, and hoped we could be friends, good and reliable friends, with stress on the reliable.

But she's old (like me) and it has taken more and more to keep her happy. Things like trips to the spa, which is what I call the garage where she occasionally takes a mini vacation.

For the last few weeks, Velma has been making her discontent very clear...with a loud whining noise. Not all the time, just when making sharp turns. Maybe a bit of joint pain, and if so I can sympathize.

Yesterday, I dropped her off at the spa, to the care of Uncle Brad and the boys. Even brought them a Tim's coffee, just to sweeten the pot.

Here's hoping Velma enjoys her little vacation, and doesn't add too many charges to the basic room rate.

While she's gone, and I am home, it's the perfect time to get a few projects finished.

Behave Velma.

Saturday, 12 November 2016


I have a grandson who lives and breathes hockey. At eight years old he can spout off names and teams like any die hard adult fan.

The house is, for the most part, Maple Leaf fan based, though his Papa cheers for the Black Hawks and his uncle the Habs. Cole is a St Louis Blues loyal supporter.

Being a hockey fan, he loves to play, and plays at the rep level, which means home games, away games and lots of practices. His Mom has become the typical Hockey Mom, cheering loud and proud.

Just noticed the logo on the hat. LOL Maybe he's all hockey, nondenominational I guess.

So, this cute little guy you might think is a normal eight year old, all about sports, but Cole is different. He's a thinker, a reader, and he notices things.

Like when I got my hair cut last week. He not only noticed, but complimented me on the new look.

But this week, I'm really touched. He read my story about his uncle that was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas. He was first, impressed that my story appeared in a real book, and second, liked the story.

So, thank you Cole, for those positive comments. Your grandmother appreciates it, and loves you lots.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Need for Continuity

When I'm writing a novel, I keep notes on my characters and locations, as I don't want to rely on my memory to keep the facts straight. And you just know, a reader will notice any missteps and take note.

This happened to me when I gave a book I had just finished to a friend to read. "Why did you change the dog's name?" she asked when she returned the book. I remember writing after a break away from it and obviously renamed the dog. I did look up the neighbor's name in my notes when it didn't come to mind.

This is one of the reasons you have readers to read the book and give feedback before the final edit. They often pick up mistakes, in the plot, phrasing, or names etc.

I believe there is a person in the movies and television whose job it is to look for those little bits that don't fit, that break up the continuity of a scene. It can happen easily if you knew the way shows and movies are made. Scenes are not filmed in the order they appear in the finished product.

I was watching reruns of NCIS Los Angeles, and decided they need a new person for this job.

The one today has Detective Deeks gunned down in what was first thought to be a store robbery. They quickly realize he was not an innocent bystander, but was the intended victim. When they tried to figure out who had it 'in' for poor Marty, the comment was made he had no next of kin listed.

Turns out he did have a father, not the best of dads as Marty shot him when he was a kid. I didn't get what reference might have been made about his mother. But moving forward, there's a show where Deeks introduces Kensi to his mother. It would appear they had a close relationship, so where was she when he got shot? Continuity.

Same show, not a character's history this time. A woman Callin knew from his CIA days comes back seeking help. They set her up to meet a rogue CIA agent, at the beach. Being a suspicious kind of guy, he has her walk into the water, to short out any listening device.

She would have been the winner in any wet T shirt contest, as was obvious with the comments Deeks made. But only moments later, she shoots the bad guy, and lo and behold, her shirt is dry. I know it's hot in California, but I don't think clothes would dry that fast.

It's all in the details, and when noticed, whether in a book, a movie or on television, they distract the reader, the viewer from the story. Not a good thing.