Hello Winter.

Mother Nature got her winter on, big time, over the last few days. It’s starting to feel like a normal winter instead of a messed up spring. So, I thought I would clarify some Canadian weather terminology.This is the temperature I woke up to this morning. Luckily there’s no wind chill. I recently learned that when the weather people say “wind chill warning” it means that wind chill temperatures are hazardous to life within several minutes of exposure. That’s basically fancy terminology for “go the heck back inside or you’ll get frostbite everywhere”. Welcome to Canada; home of mounted police, hockey and temperatures that can eventually kill you. Despite this, winter is still awesome.

This happened on Wednesday and made me glee and make snow angels and pelt the neighbour kids with snowballs because they’re the only ones who can appreciate it like I do (despite the fact that there was five of them and one of me, and I lost horribly). That’s what makes me love winter so much. That childish feeling you get when snow starts to fall and it makes you think of hot chocolate and warmth and stuffing snow down your friends pants. Winter makes me remember that it’s perfectly okay to be a big kid sometimes. Even if it makes my mother roll her eyes.

I’m going outside now to make another snow angel simply because I can. Have fun, where ever your winter is.

Advertisements

You give me butterflies.

I made a wonderful discovery on my way home from work today. I decided to take a round-about way home, because walking is healthy, and passed under the overpass on the Main Street of my city. I found a bunch of butterflies.

I did a little research about these butterflies, and by ‘research’ I mean I asked my local friends on Facebook about them; as it turns out, they’ve been there for quite a while. Possibly a year or longer.

Personally, I’m not all that knowledgeable about graffiti (unless drawing Ninja Turtles on my bedroom wall, in crayon, when I was five and getting yelled at by my parents counts?) but don’t most places try to cover up the graffiti as soon as they can? Granted, my city is tiny in comparison to some, and I rarely ever encounter any graffiti – which I find slightly saddening – so I’m fairly certain that my city usually covers the stuff up quite quickly.

Maybe they left this one alone because it’s tasteful and positive? Or perhaps the people in charge of painting over the graffiti in my city really like butterflies and decided not to cover them? Either way, the butterflies are still there and will, most likely, stay there for a good long while yet. I feel kind of proud that my city decided to keep them.

That was totally today’s warm fuzzy.

Bonjour world!

I was apparently Freshly Pressed yesterday, but I was at work and missed it. I got home and was sorely tempted to call my best friend and have her double check the numbers coming up on my blog because they were a bit ridiculous and shocking. I’m still trying to get to all the comments!

So… I guess that really did happen then. Wow. I didn’t know that could happen to normal (sort of) people. That was surprisingly exciting.

I’m feeling very humbled and slightly intimidated right now.

Book babbling.

As a budding novelist and an avid reader I usually find myself picking out phrases that really speak to me in someone else’s writing. I’ve taken to tabbing those phrases within the book so I can go back to them again and again. Trying to work out how the author made me feel that way, what words strike me and I try to learn through their writing how to better myself, in my own style. I enjoy it – it’s quite fun and the books I own are more colourful for it.

When I started reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, I had to stop tabbing because there ended up being two to three tabs per page. I decided not to tab-attack TFIOS because the whole book was simply amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me borderline hysterical and I frightened my cats with my laughing/crying madness.

It was wonderful and brilliant and I was an emotional wreck for two solid hours after I was finished reading it. I am recommending this book, with great love, to everyone reading this humble little blog. As an adult who reads Young Adult literature, I can absolutely say that this book will be greatly enjoyed by anyone who picks it up.

Reading is one of life’s great adventures and goodness knows I wish I had the time to read as much as I did in Middle School. If I spent that much time reading now, I’d have no job, money or food. Darn those necessities of life.

And it goes on, and on, my friend.

I’ve managed to get the winter blues this year and it’s a first for me. I think Joline’s death is (obviously) the main reason for that and the fact that we’ve barely had any snow this year. I love winter and I love snow. My parents used to joke that I was the only true Canadian in the family. This year I’m having a lot of trouble keeping my optimistic personality in place without it cracking.

I dislike negativity and people who always focus on the bad things that happen to them. There’s a woman I work with who can’t stand to see other people happier than she is, and she’ll go out of her way to drag them back down to her level. I’ve never let her get to me before, but recently she’s just been driving me up the wall. I’m more than sure that I’ll be fine, but I don’t like the idea of someone else thinking they can control how I feel. She’s so negative it’s incredible. She enjoys seeing other people’s pain and it’s slightly disturbing.

There are a lot of things that help me focus on keeping my positive nature, and I’ve decided to share a few of them.

MUSIC. Loud music. Anything from happy show tunes to kick ass battle sequence instrumentals. If it increases your joy by even a tiny bit – listen to it. Frequently. I walk to and from work everyday so I have twenty minutes to get myself into a positive and motivated mood. If you drive to work, crank that shit up in your car and drum along on your dashboard.

READING. Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction; whatever your favorite genre – read it into the ground. During the days following Joline’s death I’ve managed to finish reading three books and I’m halfway through a fourth. I shouldn’t really promote escapism when trying to deal with the unpleasantness of life, but I’m pretty sure there are worse coping methods out there. An example would be alcoholism or shooting heroin or both. So if you escape into books to get away from life, that’s a-okay in my book. I do it too. (John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood and Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards!, would be good places to start.)

MY CATS. They are ridiculous and funny and they will make me laugh until I, almost, pee three times out of five. If you have pets, let them love you, or watch them do stupid things because they don’t know any better, or let them fight each other for space in your lap because, being needed makes you feel better even though they’re using you as furniture. Having a constant companion (or three in my case) can bring you joy just by scratching an adorable set of ears.

So there you have it. Some tricks for surviving the winter blues, and negative coworkers. Deep breaths probably help too, but I’ve found humming “This Is The Song That Never Ends” under your breath works better.

I’m sane. Well, sort of?

For the record, I’m a relatively normal cat-lady I promise; it’s just that my cats are so darn entertaining. This is the obligatory cat introduction post. All three of my darlings were adopted. My two monster boys from a shelter and my little girl from a friend.

The hulking, dark furred tabby in the above picture is Lord Byron. I named him after one of my favorite poets and because he thinks he’s the Lord of my castle. He’s very distinguished and has a love for all places high. It also adds to his character that when he looks down on you, you feel like a minion. Byron has his aloof moments, although he is capable of great affection, usually at three in the morning, after he’s awoken me from a dead sleep by kneading my breasts. It probably doesn’t help that I named him after a playboy.

The tiny mostly white furred one in the above picture is Bandersnatch. I named her after the frumious Bandersnatch from the works of Lewis Carroll. She was abandoned on my friend’s farm and I took her in. I was only supposed to keep her until my friend found someone else to adopt her, but that, obviously, didn’t work out. Bander got her name after her first bath. She was covered in cow dung, so a bath was necessary, but she’s so tiny and quick that she climbed up my face to get out of the water. She’s also very bossy, not all that affectionate, and is a complete bitch. I love her despite that though.

The handsome ginger fellow in the above photo is Michelangelo. Most people assume that I named him after the Renaissance artist, but the truth is – I’m not that classy. I named him after my favorite Ninja Turtle. It certainly helps that he’s orange. Mikey is a huge mama’s boy and great big sook. When you pick him up he’ll go completely limpĀ  in your arms. I have yet to figure out if it’s because he’s so trusting or if it’s a defence mechanism ingrained in him from living with children before I adopted him. He is ridiculously affectionate (he’s in my lap as I’m typing this) and a complete baby. Mikey would spend every single moment in my arms if he could.

There you have it. My three stooges. You’ll most likely hear about their adventures in driving me mad, at some point in the future.

A warm pair of mittens.

Alright. It’s time to discuss location. This is my province. It’s generally wonderful and it’s shaped like a rabbit which made it super easy to identify when I was seven and learning about my country. I might not have known the difference between Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan but I sure as heck could tell you where New Brunswick was on a map. I remember my teacher being unimpressed with my enthusiasm about us being “the rabbit one”.

I’m proud of my province. I was born and raised here and I still haven’t left, despite my best efforts. I’m fluently bilingual and can transition between English and French without any trouble at all. Something that I wouldn’t be able to do if I hadn’t grown up here.

I’m telling you where I am (sort of) so you’ll know exactly where I mean when I show you what’s been happening outside my window.

Mother Nature has been having more hot-flashes this winter than normal. During the month of January, New Brunswick is usually covered in two feet of snow and it won’t melt away because of our -47 degree celsius wind chills. This January has been virtually snow-less and warm, so I was extremely excited to see the snow start to fall. I took those photos earlier this evening.

Outside now looks like this:

It’s only about half a foot, but it’s so nice to see Mother Nature finally get her Winter on. I’m one of the strange people who absolutely love the cold and snow, so please don’t hold this Winter-appreciation post against me. I’m considered weird, even among my fellow Canadians. They don’t like it either.