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Don’t Forget to Remember, Canada

Remembrance day is tomorrow and I hope that we aren’t so anger fueled by our southern neighbors that we don’t stop for a bit and think about our own country. I get insanely nostalgic for this day, from birth to now as it holds so much significance. Adding to that, 8 years ago tomorrow, I gave birth to Finn, so it’s a pretty important date in the eyes of an 8 year old as well as to me. No less important, in fact it’s even more so as I reflect on this world and the things our ancestors went through to make it so amazing for my kids to grow up in.

Let’s backtrack for a second. I’m sure most of you know I was born into a military family. A base brat through and through for nearly 2 decades of my life. So much so that when I thought about my future I almost enlisted to remain in the military circle. See we moved every 3 or 4 years, we were far from actual relatives, we only had each other but I never once felt bad about that. In fact, I remember with such distinctness all those faces that were always popping by in civilian clothes but then seeing those same faces, dressed in their crisp uniforms when I woud visit my dad – Sarge – in his office. I recall very clearly spending some time there, but it could have been just a handful of times.

From the terribly painted hallways, an extremenely shiny paint, everything was always so similar, gleaming in this whitish paint. All furnishings had a purpose – utilitarian but always clean. From base to base, it remained the same, but then again maybe that happened for alternate reasons – maybe it was a way to make it feel familiar, so that you didn’t get homesick. You were there, after all, for more important reasons. It wasn’t just a job to many. It was a way to give back, serve your country, but to me it was all I ever knew. To me it was my whole universe, or so it seemed in my kid brain.

Those faces, I recall so many, and really it was the best life. THE. BEST. LIFE. I never felt strange always moving, it was part of it and every one I met, every new kid, was living the same life – we had free reign of the base, or again, so it seemed.

My favorite place to live was located in northern Alberta, close to the B.C. border. It was a tiny speck of Canada, the smallest base perched on a hill, neslted in Albertan trees and rough terrain. We woud ATV around the woods, play tennis in a court in our backyard and then they would flood it in winter to entertain us during all those frigid months. No one was worried about strangers taking us, my best friend, Erica, and I would roar around on bikes, playing spies, organizing wee baseball games due to the miniscule amount of kids – the ages ranging from very young to teenagers. We all had to play together as there was no one else but it was fine, no one seemed to be too bothered by it. We’d head to the Canex for 40 cent candy bars, and there was even a small theatre on base that showed all the best movies on Sundays.

As a kid it was amazing.

I don’t know if my parents would agree with that, I mean we had to live in a tiny trailer to start with. There was one channel and it was blurry at best. Although we did get our first VHS there which led to my obsessive watching of The Lost Boys to the point that I could recite it. Sigh, my first vampire love…

In order to get to town for groceries or a Zellers fix, my mom had to brave countless winter storms and always that winding hill going up the side of the mountain was a freaking nightmare. My older sister has since lamented on how awful it was to be a teenager there, I mean, parties in ‘Beaverlodge’ were impossible to get to and she had to deal with me all the time. Sorry Laurie, I love you!! But for a little kid, I just needed a bag of chips, Corey Haim movies and I was content. There would always be parties for the kids, it was extrememly family oriented. Military life was, in my mind, the very best way to grow up.

Sure I missed out on being close to biological family, but I also learned from birth to adapt. I could move tomorrow and be ok with that. I’ve lived all over Canada, my appreciation for this country is vast. It was tough but being forced into a new class every few years sure makes one self-sufficent, and making new friends was old hat. I didn’t have to sit with the same people for years, growing up with the same circle, I had new ones every couple years. Perhaps it makes me flippant about relationships a tad, I’m not sure, but it’s given me the ability to walk into a new place and quickly turn around a social life.

This isn’t saying that I don’t care about the ones I leave behind. I care greatly, I miss them all very much, but I can also see the possibilities of gaining new people to excite me, entertain me and add to my life. I view it as a gift. Something maybe my parents know about, maybe not. If you’re reading this mom & dad – thank you!

I feel so much fondness when I think of my life as a military brat that I actually physically miss it. During Air Show days I sometimes feel like bursting into tears. Not that I’m sad, but I just miss that ‘family’ connection with all those people in uniform. I wasn’t a solider, I didn’t do a damn thing, but I was there for the ride and I loved it. I was included and felt a part of something bigger, something amazing.

Every November 11, I attend the ceremony (well aside from that morning I was pushing Finn out), and again I’m close to tears. When I see the vets in their blazers, their medals displayed proudly, many with watery eyes, plus the men and women in their crisp uniforms, their shoes shined to perfection (I recall my dad shining his every single morning…like every day…I even remeber the box he kept with all his supplies, shining a mirror into his toes). Then I see the young cadets and their adorably perfect outfits, I can’t help but feel sad that I’m not one of them anymore. I feel like I should be able to walk up and share that bond like everybody on base had. No matter who you were,  you belonged and you were in it together.

When I think about my job now and how little I contribute to society, how these men and women devote their lives to our country and risk their lives in combat to keep our lives safe, I wish perhaps I would have chosen differently. Not that anyone reading this could picture my hair in such a tight bun, keeping the collars clear of hair and to code! Or see me running through physical training with 50 pounds of gear on, in the pouring rain. Or having to wear the same thing every day, or shoot a gun…although I have been thinking of taking up archery…

Regardless, I think about all of this every single Novemeber, I feel sad but so very blessed to have had that connection…and now I get to add a happy component to the day. I get to watch my kid beam with pride that he was born on ‘Poppy day’. I get to eat cake (Pokemon cake in case you were wondering) and I get to celebrate the day with my new family even though I will always remember my first one. The life my mom and dad chose, I will always be grateful for and I thank them for giving me that. I am also so so beyond happy that they are here for another Remembrance Day, their health still going strong :) They are so important to me and my kids, I just wanted them to know how much their sacrifices meant to me.

I also spend a few minutes of tomorrow looking up to my grandpa in heaven, thanking him for his navy service, and I ALWAYS blubber (espeically with my sister!) during the procession – darn those fecking bag pipes…

Happy Poppy Day :) Cheers mum and dad!


Troy, (Sargeant Lawrence) Dad & Mum 


Live your Dream! Or don’t…who cares

So the other day I read an interview and I can’t even recall where I read it, which I apologize for as it has stayed in my brain for days and this person deserves a shout out :) Regardless it was about following your passion. I typically don’t write about this stuff as I am no expert and I don’t want to sound hokey…I prefer to bitch and moan and make the odd person laugh at the ridiculousness of my life. But today I felt inspired and I haven’t blogged in so long so it brings me full circle back to one of my own passions. Writing.

The quote was a simple one: If you think about your passion every single day then you should never let it go. Never let it die. Never.


Simple right? Simple but not always easy with the follow through. Kids, work, social lives, yard work (RAKING IS MY NEMESIS), house work, yard work (ugh), laundry, crafting Halloween costumes, trying to keep up with the school schedule, yard work (the worst), trying to keep up with some sort of personal workout, keeping up in general … I mean, I pretty much sit on the precipice of ‘failing miserably’ most days.

This past weekend, according to my mum, I should have a scrubber on hand at all times in this house (and javex, and lysol, and sponges, and comet) and I didn’t and I’m thinking holy shit, I can’t even keep general cleaning supplies on hand! I had to throw that joke in there for her … and Kristin :)

Nailed it.

OK, so that aside, let’s get back to your passion project. Hard (impossible some days) to keep that up when you have a life to manage and money to make, right? I’m constantly in awe of those people who pop their kids to bed and write the next best novel all night long. Or work double, and triple, and quadruple time to build their business. It’s unbelievably daunting and I have my own business! I’ve built it to the point that I can manage fitting it in during the school day but once I get those kids, feed them, play with them, organize the school shit for the next day, I’m toast. My success is great for the lack of initiative I have, I’m so very lucky to have this life, but it’s still missing something.

That fucking passion project.

So what do you do? How do you be the person you want to be, put your own dreams first, or basically do anything in the slightest to fulfill your goal when all you want to do is lay in bed, read slutty books or binge watch Misfits on Netflix (I ADORE ROBERT SHEEHAN).

I have no fucking clue.

But still, I hold on to that passion. I haven’t let it go for 8 years. I’ve written almost 3 books which is sad over that amount of time, but I guess it’s a start. And then I think of all the other things I want to do and I tell myself, you are no Printemps Poulet, you need to start this shit before you get too old!


I guess the fact remains that it’s been 8 years and I’m still doing it, that’s something I suppose. I get a high every time I write a great scene, I’m super pumped about finishing this last one, and still, I’m messing with my concept for my NaNoWriMo project (writing 50,000 words in November). It’s there and it makes me so happy when I actually get a chance to do it. Even this morning, I’m pumped to write a blog, it’s been forever! But let’s not stop there.

I want to learn to play guitar – there I said it. My lovely friend Kristin, has graciously cornered a local girl after a workout class and pressured her to take on a number of us for a class this winter. So I guess sharing your passion is key as well. Get others working with you to follow through.


this is mine!

I also want to make t-shirts, like all the other zillion people in the world, I know. But I don’t want to make a million bucks or sell them anywhere. I just want to make my own wardrobe of inappropriate sayings on a t-shirt and then make them for my friends. Valid passion right? It’s very important I do this, so on to buying the press … Christmas Troy?

So my thoughts are this. Don’t get bogged down with the whole passion project. Don’t feel pressure. Don’t worry about it. Don’t feel like a failure if it takes you 7 years to learn to paint, or 25 to become a black belt. As long as you are alive, and not letting it go, that passion is yours and yours alone and no one can ever take that from you.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

A wee tribute to the Dads I know, I know sung to the classic Kids in the Hall jingle. Thank you Dads, for the awesomeness you inject in our lives :) xoxo

These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Barry Lawrence. He is my very own Dad.

He likes birds and sports and cars,

I’m not the son he wished he’d had.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Troy Hogan. He is a smart engineer.

He likes to steal big pumpkins,

And drink a few large craft beers.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Chad Ivison. He lives next door to me.

He tells a story, about Wen-dy,

that almost made me pee.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Wesley Ryan. He is a true A-Dude.

He loves football, and swims in his pool,

but he doesn’t eat cheese, that’s rude!


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Paul Cowan. I’ve known him a long time.

He cut his leg, with a chainsaw,

and now he’s sorta fine.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Andrew Gunby. He works for York Po Po.

He’s still trying to get Troy a duck,

but I always say No No.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Bryan Grenier. He’s a really great cook.

He can mix one hell of a drink,

and he always reads my books!


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Serge Gallinero. It’s hard to spell his name.

He’s a cool actor, but when he drinks rye,

he forgets his own cool name.


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


Craig Cordiner. He’s my bro-in-law.

When he calls me, and chewbacca roars,

it makes me go HA HA!


These are the Dads I know, I know.

These are the Dads I know.


BOOM. Nailed it.



Working From Home In Heels

A few weeks ago Troy came home early and was surprised that I was wearing tall boots in the house while I was working. OK odd thing to write about but I do have a point today. Promise. Alright, so I work from home. I’ve worked alone in my house with my dog for 10 years. Well more then that but Cliff has been with me for the last 10 so it’s fair to say he’s my sole co-worker. He’s shit at making coffee but I enjoy his water cooler anecdotes. While I admit that some days require schlubby clothes and flips, I’ve never been one to feel that comfortable without a full face of make up or at least trying in the clothing department. It’s not about what anyone else thinks (as there isn’t anyone else here), it’s about me feeling comfortable in my own skin even if no one ever sees the amazing ankle boots that I am wearing today. Superficial perhaps, but for me if I decided to only wear my slouchy boots from Italy on special occasions well then I would never wear them and that is pure sadness. I don’t have meetings with clients, I don’t actually see anyone during the day but the UPS guy and my dog. Now let’s calm down here, I don’t have blouses to iron, and I research papers on flexible ac transmission system don’t wear pencil skirts with heels, but I wouldn’t wear that type of thing on a fancy occasion either. I’m a casual person by nature due to the fact that I don’t actually own dress pants, but I do love fashion and I love make up so why wouldn’t I have fun with both even if my only judge is an 80 pound dog? Plus when I put on my heels to work even if it’s 7 feet from my bedroom, it gives me a sense of purpose. I don’t turn on the TV, I don’t dick around. When the shoes are on, I am working. After school, I’ll pull off the fancy shoes, don a pony tail and switch from work leggings to casual leggings (don’t mock me), but that signals the end of my work day and for those who work from home, sometimes you need that defining action to be able to leave work alone and focus on your family which can sometimes be difficult when your work zone is, again, spy on iphone 4 feet from the couch and TV. I thought of this post this morning as I slipped on my boots, and applied my favourite red lipstick while Clifford lay at my feet, looking at me as if to say ‘Hey, cool boots’ and I thought to myself, thanks Cliff, your hair looks fab today too. aa99ca7c5249354cce2ca37377afacf4 Someday I will own some Louboutins and I will wear them EVERY day.  


Word Porn

Alright, a wham bam post title, but let me explain. So yesterday I was reading this book and one thing I spy app for iphone adore about the Kobo is that when I see a word I don’t know, I can instantly look it up. Boom. Amazing. I looked up 3 words yesterday and each time I was like a kid in a candy essay writing in ias store. For me, reading foreign and well thought out phrases, especially when the books’ characters are amazing … well the title says it all. I get the flutters, heat crawls up my neck, my lips curve into a smile and I giggle like a school girl upon seeing her crush brush past her in the hallway. I probably spend more time on then Facebook. My favourite thing about writing (and probably why I continue to write books even though no one gets to read them) is articulating a funny dialogue or heart palpitating monologue. I tend to finish a chapter, then back track and read it out loud multiple times. When it’s right, I feel it. My excitement brims over my favored word choices. I’m not sure birthing a child held as much buzz for me. Ok that’s extreme but I prefer to be dramatic over prosaic. Lengthy pause… Prosaic: Dull, unimaginative, hum drum. Sigh. I need a cigarette. Ok kidding, but I did become inspired to erase the kitchen chalk board and write out the new words and their meanings so I could look at them all day long. I titled it ‘Word

P*rn’, aversely adding in the ‘*’ because Finn is obsessed with reading the board and it would probably be in bad taste if he went to school and mentioned that ‘Mommy is now putting Word Porn on the chalk board!’ automated essay evaluation the criterion online writing service Also because he would ask what ‘porn’ means in an unending loop, his excitement over dictionary words is teetering towards obsession like his crazy mother. In closing, most of you won’t be able to relate to this, but I felt inspired with the need to share regardless. Incredible vocab is never in vain. Think of the possibilities! Sounding WAY smarter then you are at a work meeting, using big words to cover up that you don’t know crap about what you are talking about, or creatively yelling at your kids without the use of profanity. Calling them ‘selfish little jerks’ sounds way worse then ‘parsimonious beasts’. You’re welcome.   cdcce6d3a168fae89f0ba84746efd1c0 45a2308802880849e7a155487e0c71d8 8f93874552c34a6185f4b9f75c7528d2 4924d6c7ad82a00dcc8e925c698e798a writing research papers&mycomplab acc card e288f40dff2a63ea01afe8827ab1ec28 251d30a5586563e6526fc2331e4207fa 967799711deda4a98fb9c61fd97e20d4