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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A day in the life

NY, 2012.

I once read that to become a writer you have to learn to take pictures. It starts with sharpening your sense of observation. A lot of interesting things happen in the course of a 24-hour day if you pay enough attention.

Whenever you see, hear, read, experience or think about something either beautiful, peculiar, useful or funny, click! Take a mental picture, then come to the page and write about it. Add details. Some embellishment if you wish (writer's license!) Make it appealing.

That's it!

There is no guarantee that everyone who reads it will find it fascinating, but at least some will enjoy it!

In the past 24 hours I decided to play this little game and made a point of noticing potential blog post or conversation starters. Here's what I came up with. (Not knowing where to begin I put the subtitles in alphabetical order.)

Comfort zone is soooo out

Get out of your comfort zone... it could do you more good than you think!

Daughter A received a "poisoned present" for her birthday. Those are the presents that require work from the parents. Some examples include huge Lego kits that you have to assemble, and complicated crafts that the kid cannot do alone. In this case it was a sock monkey kit. (T, if you're reading this, read to the end!!!) I think sock monkeys are adorable, and I can sew, but it's definitely not my idea of how to spend a fun Sunday afternoon.

But you know what they say: what doesn't challenge you doesn't change you (I learned that firsthand when I almost drowned on my first white water rafting adventure!)

After being harassed by A for days, I finally gave in. We sat on the porch in the warm spring sun and started working on the sock monkey. A did most of the stuffing, I did most of the sewing. But mostly we talked... or should I say, A talked, and I listened. She told me all kinds of things she usually doesn't tell me in the course of a normal day. We had a wonderful mother-daughter moment.

In the end the sock monkey (now renamed Rainbow) was a blessing in disguise.

Have you ever experienced blessings in disguise, or magical moments you hadn't seen coming?

My creation! Not bad for a non-crafty gal.
I actually had to unsew and sew back the mouth as it was crooked the first time,
but I think the end result is acceptable! 2013.

Cute child's remark

This morning A ran in the room all excited: "The Tooth Fairy came! Look what she gave me!" (It's been costly recently as all of A's teeth are falling one after the other. Not counting that big sister R has just started her orthodontic treatments.) With a thoughtful look on her face, A added: "She must be very rich, this Tooth Fairy, for giving children all that money all the time... and... you know what? I think her house must be made out of teeth!"

I love cute children remarks!

Have you heard any cute child's remark recently?

Two more of my "masterpieces", 2012.

Drug shortages

A few months ago I translated a document about drug shortages for a big medical association. I will be completely honest, I had no idea such a thing existed in North America. Not enough medication for those who need it, even if it's been prescribed and they have money to pay? Really?

Well, fast-forward to yesterday. I got out of my doctor's office (yearly check-up), prescriptions in hand (nothing serious don't worry), went down to the pharmacy. "Can't fill this one", pharmacist said. "How come", I asked. He said he didn't have that med in stock, that he could call a few other places, but that they would most likely not have any either. "It's been in back order for a while", he added. "No one's able to get it." I asked how long it had been back order. "Oh, about 6, 7 months", he replied.


He gave me my other meds, handed me back my "back order prescription" paper, and said something along the lines of "Good luck with that one".

What am I supposed to do now? Search the black market? *

Has anything like that ever happened to you? (And does anybody have migraine meds they don't plan to use? KIDDING!!! Never, ever share your medication!)

Fitness as a contagious disease

My friend B was remarking that pretty much 90% of the women in our neighborhood either run or do other kinds of demanding physical activity on a regular basis, on top of eating pretty healthy. She's right! It seems like the love of fitness is spreading like wildfire!

Recently, a family member who's planning her upcoming trip here in the summer asked me if we could keep our food and exercise routine as usual, so that she could join in and make her trip a "healthy retreat to Nova Scotia". I love the idea that someone would see our house as a place to reset her healthy habits! Plus, this sounds like a potentially lucrative home-based business!

Who's interested in spending wonderful moments eating healthy and sweating with me in beautiful Nova Scotia? (Oops, part of this sounds... errr... oh, whatever.) I can even give you free swimming lessons in the nearby lake, or, if you prefer, in the nearby ocean... in exchange for cooking services, let's say! :-)

Green breakfast and smoothie of the day

I tried a new smoothie this morning, and since I don't follow recipes (I'm a rebel that way) the results are always a surprise. Well, this morning, it was a delicious surprise! Here's what I put into it:

4 short strips of celery
½ avocado
¾ cup spinach
1 cup watermelon
100g nonfat strawberry yogurt
½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup skim milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
½ cup water

Pour about a cup of this delicious, blended, pale green mixture in a glass, and enjoy! For breakfast I had it with a steamed spinach toast (on sprouted bread with a little bit of butter and salt). It was Y-U-M-M-Y:

Today's breakfast. 2013.

Do you have any healthy recipe you want to share? 

Humor starts with H

As is usually the case when I try to call my mom, she wasn't home (still singing away with her choir). The nice part of this is that I got to chat with H, a taciturn but witty Scorpio with whom one is never bored. As we were exchanging pleasantries and the latest news, I mentioned that I had seen a duck in the backyard in the afternoon. It deserved mention as ducks, contrary to foxes, pheasants and deer, are not a common sight in our backyard. H started making extensive "calembours" (puns), playing around the homonymy between the French terms for the feminine form of duck and what blind people carry (cane and canne). We took the pun to ridiculously elaborate levels, laughed, then I added "Oh, and I saw 2 herons fly by yesterday".  H's tone of voice changed to a fake worry: "ducks, and now herons? Have you walked around the house lately? If I were you I would check. Are you sure you're not flooded or something?"

To which I obviously replied: "Now that you mention it, I also saw 2 elephants, 2 giraffes and 2 okapis walking side by side... you're right, maybe I should worry". H went on to ask me who would be responsible for shoveling the manure we would most likely be accumulating.

We were having a grand time on the phone.

That's when I saw 2 more ants crawl on the playroom floor. That makes 6 or 7 in the last 24 hours. NOT a good sign. As I expressed my concern and the need to discover the location of the nest ASAP, H served me his very useful piece of advice: "Well, that should be a piece of cake. You just inject some isotop in a few of them... at the base of the neck should be fine... then wait till they walk back home... D must have a machine that can read that in his lab, doesn't he? You'll find the nest in a minute!" (I only know he has a confocal microscope... I'll have to check!)

Ah, the fun of being surrounded by docs!

What's special about your family, peculiar humor or other?

Sometimes a picture is enough

Now as a crispy conclusion, I want to say that sometimes, you don't even need to write anything. The right pic can speak for itself. Check this out:

How could I not take a picture of this? NY, 2012.

What have you noticed in the last 24 hours that could make a great post or conversation starter?

* Great news! My pharmacist is a magician! He miraculously found my very sought-after meds within 24 hours! (Mind you, he did have to make a lot of phone calls.)


  1. You are a blog machine lately! Love it! I have to say that your breakfast was admirably healthy but - eww! Sorry ;-)

    1. You make me laugh, A! It wasn't "eww" at all! You should try it one of those days! Why don't you come over and I'll make you one. :-)

  2. Haha about "poisoned presents." I never heard that term, but secretly cursed the grandmother who kept getting my kids pull-toys with noisy bells that constantly ring. Did anyone ever give your family a scrapbook kit? Talk about the most tedious gift ever!!!

    :-) Marion

    1. Marion, I see we've been through the same kind of thing! :-) I cannot stand noisy toys either.

  3. So true about presents that require a lot of work on the parent's fault!! I have a friend with leukemia and there are several of her meds that she has a very, very hard time finding. Sometimes she has to wait weeks. Not good.

    1. Drug shortages are not good indeed, Diane! Especially when you have a really serious condition, like your friend does!

  4. I took a video camera around with me for a "Day in the life," project. It was fun.

    Drugs are like "men" huh? Can't live with them and can't live without them...

    1. I'd like to see the pictures that project yielded!

      Yep, both sooo good... AND sooo bad for you. ;-) LOL
      But both worth the "side effects" when they have true benefits. :-)
      Best way to keep a healthy relationship with them:
      1) make sure you don't use them to fill a void or as your sole source of "feel-good" state (hence the need for numerous baskets or legs to your table)
      2) make sure you don't become addicted

    2. There is only one good difference between addiction and love!

      ...That's when "the drug" loves you back :-)

    3. Hmmm... food for thought! :-)
      I so happen to be preparing a post about love. And I did write something along those lines (the general idea anyways).