September Reading List

SeptemberAnother summer break has come and gone. The kids are heading back to school in a few short days and I am too. My reading in the next few months will consist of textbooks :(. I am still hopeful that I will get in a little light reading as well. I had so many books (and chores) on my to do list this summer and I only just grazed the surface of both lists. For whatever reason the fall is typically the busiest time of year for me, and reading falls by the way side, but I am planning to do something about that this year. If I write these lists of books I feel as though I am being held accountable, even if only by myself.

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August Reading List

Read Making A LifeI am a little late to the party this month, as I was on vacation for the first week of August. I had four books listed on my July reading list but I only made it through two of the four. As I read a fair amount I rarely buy books instead I rely on my local library which can be hit or miss. Sometimes I can get a book right away and other times I wait months to get my hands on a best seller. I picked up a third book not on my reading list based on a readers suggestion and I was not disappointed.

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July Reading List

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I always read more in the summer months, as the warm weather draws me outside to sit and soak up the sun. Reading is my perfect warm weather activity, where my mind is engaged and my body is relaxed. I am still taking one masters level course this summer so I am quite surprised that I still read three books in June. I am however shocked that June is over. Seems like the month sped by while I had my head buried in a book.

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June Reading List

IMGP0962Today I was out and about with a book, which is not an uncommon occurrence. I read quite often in public, and even more frequently at home. Nothing makes my happier than having my face buried in a book, under a blanket with a glass of wine. Or outside in the sun depending on the season.

To clarify I mean a real book made of paper not an electronic device. I prefer books because they feel better, and I have a much easier time reading outside with a paper book, the glare on electronic devices is too much. The blanket is homemade and the wine is white, just so that you get the full picture. Continue reading

A Year Later, I am a Survivor

A year ago today, on March 18, 2015 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was a very dark day. The ER doc softened the blow as best as he could but I was still in shock standing in the hallway of the emergency department.  I remember walking out of the ER in a daze to wait for my husband who was organizing childcare for the kids. When he arrived I told him I had a brain tumour and he didn’t believe me. He tried to tell me that I didn’t, and I showed him the paper in my hand that said I did.

That was a year ago, and a lot has happened since. There were a dark few days but I was motivated my by children to get my crap together and get out of bed, which is where I would have stayed if I had my way. A craniotomy to remove the tumour was performed in August of 2015. The entire process was terrifying and painful. Six months later I have some very minimal side effects but nothing that stops me from living a full life. Case in point, this past weekend I went skiing (my tumour was in the part of my brain that controls balance).

Last night I read John Grisham’s “The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller” and bawled through the whole thing. If you are interested it’s available for free from Amazon. Thankfully I was reading it this year and not last year because that would have been a disaster. Can you imagine reading a graphic novel about brain surgery the day before you are diagnosed with a brain tumour? Talk about bad timing. If you are going for brain surgery soon do not read this book until you have recovered. After reading Grisham’s thriller I am once again reminded how lucky I was, because it could have been so much worse. SO MUCH WORSE.

Along with the pain and fear of the last year I learned some very valuable lessons.  In keeping with my need to make, I fashioned myself this bracelet just in case I forget that I am a ssurvivorurvivor. Although I am still reminded every time I look at myself in the mirror, and the area of hair that was shaved for surgery is about 3 inches long and sticking straight out. I have started a brain tumour hair trend, I hope it never catches on, I don’t mind being the only one with crazy hair.

It’s fair to say that this was the hardest year of my life to date, but as the saying goes “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It didn’t kill me. I am stronger, but it’s probably just the titanium plate in my head 😉

 

All I want for Christmas…

I know that it’s nowhere near Christmas I’m just getting caught up on a few items on my to do list. This is a project that we (my husband and I) have been working on for a long time. Starting with the day that I first saw our current house 4 years ago. When I first saw what would be Logan’s room before Logan was even an idea I knew that the space would be perfect for a built-in bunk bed. But first we needed to get the house, get pregnant, and have the baby. When Logan was born we put the crib in the “nook” and I patiently waited until he was old enough to make the transition into a big bed which happened this fall. I wanted to build this about as much as a five-year old boy would want it. In September we went to Great Wolf Lodge and the boys spent their first night in a bunk bed.

That sparked Sasha to ask for a bunk bed for Christmas. After explaining that Santa doesn’t have room in his sleigh for a bunk bed, Stanko and I decided that it was time to build one in the “nook” in Logan’s room. We finished building it right before Christmas and Sasha promptly moved into Logan’s room. It took me the last 4 months to get it painted, hang the pictures, hem the drapes, and make more pillows.

I love that we have enough space so that the kids can be sleep together, apart, in the same room or in different rooms. If one of them is sick we can separate them into their own rooms, yet most of the time they opt to sleep together in Logan’s double bed. Sasha’s room goes unoccupied almost all of the time so it’s fair game for visitors.

My kids are my inspiration for most of my projects. The following items can be found in Logan’s room.

Here is the before…

before

During…

After…

If you are looking for me I will be napping in the bottom bunk with the drapes closed.

READ

Recently I hurt my back, and I was very limited in what I could do.  I couldn’t make any crafts but I could catch up on my reading.  I added my Goodreads info on the right side of this blog, so if you are a reader please join me on Goodreads and we can share book ratings and recommendations.

While we have a lot of books, but we also use the library weekly.  I love that I can get books, movies and E-books for FREE from the library.  I have even gone so far as requesting that the library order newly released books, which they do for FREE.  I love the library, and encourage you to use your local library if you don’t already. I also belong to two book clubs in Victoria so if you are interested in joining, please leave me a comment.

We read to our kids daily and both have large collections of books, so I though that these over-size scrabble tile letters might be a good addition to Logan’s bookshelf.

 

These can be made any size you wish.  I made these from 7 1/4″ x 7 1/4″ x 3/4″ pine.

Materials:

  • Pine board (as knot free as you can get) 7 1/4″ x 3/4″ by the length you need depending on number of letters
  • Jig Saw
  • Printer/Computer
  • Black paint
  • Paint brush
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Pencil
  • Stain, or Tung Oil
  • Sandpaper

 

Instructions:

1. Cut the wood into squares 7 1/4″ x 7 1/4″

2. Sand the squares on all sides (going with the grain) using 120-220 grit sandpaper

3. Print out the letters and number using a computer & printer.  I used Century Gothic font with a size of  500 for the letters, and 150 for the numbers.

4. Cut out the letters and numbers

5. Tape the letters on to the wood with painter’s tape

6. Trace the letters with a pencil

7. Using black acrylic craft paint, paint in the letters and numbers.

8.  Once dry the paint is dry (24 hours) finish with stain, tung oil, or leave natural

 

Keep reading, crafting & creating.

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