Friday, June 10, 2011

I've Moved!!!!!

Come see me at my new home on the Internet! It's mine, all mine! My first little Domain...sigh.

All my stuff's already been moved over. You can subscribe to it as you did to this one. You can also use RSS if you know what THAT is all about. I didn't till now (thanks Caitlin!).

No need to call first, just c'mon over!

I have a new name for the blog. Here's the link to take you there: Hete Bliksem. All will be explained at my new place.

The door is open and the welcome mat is laid out.

Hope to see you soon!

April 11, 2014 - I've moved yet again! Come see me at The Widow Badass Blog. Lots has happened to me as you can imagine from the title of my new blog. I'd love to see you there. Door is still open and welcome mat is always laid out!

Friday, April 8, 2011


JD's Auntie Hazel passed away last night. And, unknowingly, JD and I visited with her just before she died.

We arrived at the hospital just before visiting hours ended. We had been trying to pay our respects to an acquaintance who lost his brother, but the receiving line at the funeral home was so long, we left so as not to miss a visit with Auntie Hazel, who was recovering from surgery from the broken hip she suffered on Sunday. We are so thankful now that we did this.

When we entered her room and greeted the departing, exhausted immediate family members, we were shocked to see how much she had deteriorated from our visit the day before. The day before she had been so bright and lively with good colour, and was quick to demonstrate how she was able to do all of her rehabilitating exercises - moving her legs and arms, and rotating her feet. An unsettling thought went through my mind at the time: "a candle burns brightest just before going out", but I quickly pushed it away.

Yesterday a whole 'nother Auntie Hazel greeted us. She was uncomfortable and restless. I asked her repeatedly if she wanted me to get the nurse but the answer was always no. As visiting hours ended, I disobeyed her and went to the nursing station to get them to check in on her and investigate her discomfort. Then JD went back to her room to let her know a nurse was coming and away we went after kisses and proclamations of love.

A few errands later, we arrived home just as the phone was ringing - JD's dad calling to tell us the sad news that his sister had passed away. We were shocked. I was overcome with guilt - why hadn't I been more forceful, both with Auntie Hazel and the nurses. Why hadn't we risked a scolding and stayed beyond the visiting hours, to make sure she was looked after properly?

Today I researched signs of dying to see what we had possibly missed. What I learned actually gave me more comfort than I had thought it would. What we didn't realize, was that Auntie Hazel had been showing signs of dying for days already, perhaps the process had started even before she broke her hip. I think the hospital staff knew this, as she had been moved to a private room the 2nd day after her surgery (another little "uh-oh" thought that I had at the time, but also quickly pushed away).

She had no appetite, she was having trouble swallowing, she had that burst of energy and liveliness the day before...perhaps there really had been nothing we could have done. Perhaps the last natural process of each life had begun and couldn't, wouldn't be halted. I try to take comfort from that.

Auntie Hazel would have turned 88 later on this month. She was a truly great lady and an inspiration to me on how to grow old. She was an avid and talented oil painter, a long-time member of the choral group: the Sweet Adelines, a homemaker, a gifted writer, and that all-too-rare someone who really believed in AND exhibited Christian values. She really walked the talk of compassion and kindness and love. I have never met anyone more humble than she. Auntie Hazel saw the absolute best in everyone, and, in the nine years I was lucky to know her I never heard her complain about her circumstances (not always great) or speak ill of anyone she knew.

These characteristics meant that more than a few people commented negatively on her "rose-coloured glasses" approach to life. Auntie Hazel chose to focus on the cup half full rather than half empty. She chose to focus on the good bits in everyone she met, rather than the faults. She believed in the power of love and family and thus was rich in both.

A brilliant mind, Auntie Hazel had to leave her beloved school by grade eight to keep house and raise her younger siblings when her mother had to go to work. (Her brother - JD's dad - also left school and got a work permit at the tender age of 11 to keep the family going, when their alcoholic father was kicked out of the family.)

After a somewhat Dickensian childhood, she fell in love and married, and she and her husband Jack spent 11 years sleeping on a pull-out couch in their living room so her mother could have one bedroom and the kids the other in their tiny war-time home (the same home she left on her final journey to the hospital this past Sunday).

And still later she spent many years nursing her beloved "Jackie" through his final illness, learning to feed him through a tube and ensuring his comfort at all times.

These things I learned, not through any complaining on her part, but through her simple story-telling, describing her life and its "happy" memories. For she really did have so many happy memories, as that was always her focus, her choice.

I am the better person for knowing this extraordinary woman.

I try to comfort myself in thinking that Uncle Jack was waiting in her hospital room last night, waiting for all of their kids to gather to say goodbye (and they did all make it there in time, amazingly), so he could gaze on them gathered together once again, and then finally bring his Hazel home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring is finally here?

Mizz Lucy, before

Spring IS here, as evidenced by the change in Mizz L's appearance.

Mizz Lucy, after

My little puppy is now 11 years old and still spry and active as ever. I hope to have her as my running coach again this summer because......

....I'm getting the fever to start running again....I already have a fall half-marathon race picked out:

Currently on week 2 of a Couch to 5K running plan to get back into form enough to start training later this spring...Wish me luck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What I have been doing instead of blogging...

Ahhh me. I suppose the correct answer is living my life. But that might not be quite correct, if by living life you mean doing a lot of enjoyable and exciting things.

But it hasn't been all that bad either. I am working away at my 2011 goals, and although I am not making progress as quickly as I would like, I am making progress.

Still aiming towards that MBA program starting next fall...however I made a major shift in the way I want to do it. Instead of attending a "bricks and mortar" school part-time in the evenings, I have decided to apply to an online MBA program. It's even more highly regarded than the bricks and mortar program, and I will be in class with other students with similar background to me in terms of managerial experience. (And I don't have to write the GMAT for this one either - WOOO mean, that's cool...ahem.)

Still trying to live a healthier lifestyle too, and incorporate more physical fitness into my daily life. That is proving to be quite challenging, especially since we are having such bitter temperatures this winter, and my inner diva just wants to curl up under the blankets and nap and eat carbs all day!

So I keep trying, and keep trying new stuff. My latest thing is to have my little personal DVD player set up in my office at work, so I can follow some 10 minute strength workouts during my lunch or after work before I go home. Ten minutes might not sound like much, but if you are 100% focused on the exercise it's worth much more than 20 minutes of half-a**ed lifting at the gym, while chatting to someone or watching TV.

My focus on creating and maintaining a healthier lifestyle is such that I have come up with an idea for a new blog that I hope to set up within the next couple of months. This has stopped me from more regular blogging here, funnily enough. I get an idea for something I want to write about, and then think - hey, that would be great for the new blog! So, since the new blog is just a gleam in my eye at this point, I do nothing. Hmph.

I've also been stretching myself somewhat. I did something I've never done before. I entered a recipe into a contest. I saw on the Eat -Clean Diet website (my new role model, Tosca Reno's website) a promotion for the "Good Morning Eat-Clean Diet Contest", asking for breakfast recipes. So I submitted the recipe I created for making a mixed whole grain porridge with fruit in my rice cooker. And today I found out I won!!!! By next week I will be receiving an autographed (by Tosca Reno herself!!!!) copy of her Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. Swoon.

Me, and my Overnight Sensation Breakfast. The photo I had to submit with my recipe.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Ruts. I hate 'em.

Time to get out of mine.

I started climbing out of my rut with a visit to the Village's brand sparkling new Shoppers Drug Mart - "the biggest in the Province", I was told.

Big it is. With an impressively large section devoted to the art of Bew-tay! My thought was to check out my new fave line of cosmetic miracles, Smashbox, to see what they had to deal with my even-darker-than-normal under eye circles (thanks Holiday Season!).

I wasn't there long before one of the beauty advisors, a male (a new experience for me), came up to assist. Mr. Beauty Advisor, upon learning of my quest, implored me to stop looking at Smashbox because Benefit Erase Paste was the "Greatest Cosmetic Product of ALL TIME" and I "Must Try It!"

OK! Them's mighty big words for a little pot of concealer, a product I've never had much luck with. I was hoping to try Smashbox's under eye brightener, to avoid the whole concealer route entirely. My past experiences with concealers have all been dismal failures. Yes, the dark circles are minimized, but only by accentuating every wrinkle and line on top of the offending area instead.

So, in choosing between looking tired or ancient.....tired wins by a landslide every time.

But he was so insistent that I found myself in his chair and at his mercy as he dabbed and chatted away..."There, now look. No, don't look that close. I would only be that close to you if we were dating. Here, look from here. What, now you can't see? Put your glasses back on. Now look. What do you think?"

Well, I thought, looking close up, that once again the dark circles were being downplayed at the expense of the wrinkles being played up....but I figured he was right about looking at myself too closely. I remember reading somewhere that people over a certain age should never use magnifying mirrors and that's pretty sound advice. Our vision starts to fail at around the time our looks do, and if that isn't proof of the innate kindness of Mother Nature, I don't know what is.

I bought the Erase Paste.

And I am now loving it. I put it on, blend well, then cover with what I think is the Greatest Cosmetic Product of ALL TIME (and which has largely replaced foundation in my makeup box), Smashbox Halo, and then.....I stand BACK from the mirror and I think I have improved my situation, yes I do.

Next up in my rut-climbing activities was a much needed haircut. I hadn't had scissors taken to my head in at least 6 months, I must confess. For the past two years, the only thought in my head had been to have a long mane to put up for the wedding. Now, it seems weird to spend 2 years of your life growing out your hair for the 6-8 hours it will be on display on your wedding day, but I really don't think I am alone in this.

At any rate, it was beyond time for a change. I called my hairdresser and told her I wanted my hair chopped off. She counselled me to be prepared for her visit (she comes to my house - I love it!) with pictures of styles I liked. So, off to the interwebs I went, hunting for my new look.

I found it on the head of a certain Helen Mirren.

My hairdresser agreed I could pull the style off. The cutting began. Piles of hair cascaded to the floor of the kitchen. Then the highlighting began. Then more cutting. Then, finally...the styling.

My head felt so free and light! All my dead locks and split ends were gone, and replaced with bouncy, wavy full locks again! The styling, well....I love my hairdresser...she's cut my hair since I was pregnant with Mizz J (23 years ago)...and she's masterful at cutting, but she styles my hair in a way I can't replicate and a way that's not me to boot. Every hair artfully and lovingly subdued into a smooth, controlled style.

JD's first comments: "Well, it's certainly short." After my hairdresser left: "You look older. About 10 years."

Oh NO! I wanted to channel Helen Mirren's beauty and style, but not her chronological age!

I was a bit concerned but not overly as I figured there was still hope I could style it myself in a way that could put me back at my own age. So off to the shower I went. I was really hoping I would have some sort of hair-stylin' muscle know, from back in the day when I used curling irons and opposed to the past two years, when I used only a hair clip and a blow dryer.

I producted (I think I just created a verb), I fluffed, I blow-dryed, I finger-styled, I tossed, I hairsprayed.

I emerged.

JD took one look, his eyes went wide and he said "Sassy! How'd you do THAT?"

"I sassified it" I said.

"You look like that girl in Sleepless in Seattle" he said, obviously pleased with the result.

The look I was going for was Helen Mirren but I wound up channeling Meg Ryan. I'll take it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Have the Audacity to be Remarkable"

Bowl symbolizing my love of cooking good food. GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) study books symbolizing my goal of entering an MBA program this year. Vision Board symbolizing my health and fitness goals.

Post title taken from an article in Oxygen Magazine, and most recently clipped and taped onto my this year's Vision Board (obscured by my nifty new yellow melamine mixing bowl).

I staged a little photo shoot this morning, after I assembled my Vision Board, to become the picture for my first post of 2011.

Like I said in my previous post, I am a helluva starter. Today already I have cleaned up (and out) my spice cupboard in the kitchen. A little end cabinet that was piled to overflowing with some very old (probably older than my kids!) spices and duplicates of spices (half-empty baggies of ground cinnamon anyone?). Now it is tidy and organized (savoury on top shelf, sweet on lower) and I dumped a lot of stuff that was ancient or contained MSG or too chemical-ly for my liking (like artificial whatever extracts).

Then I made the above Board, out of an old bulletin board that we were not really using. I think this may become a new tradition for me, to create a vision board at the beginning of every new year. It was fun to do, though I hated cutting into my Oxygen magazines to do so. But it was a necessary action.

Then I cleaned the upstairs bathroom and, as usual, I had a revelation. (For some reason, I have my best thoughts when cleaning'd think that would inspire me to clean more often'd be wrong, unfortunately.)

My revelation was this:

Lately I've been thinking back on the days when I worked part-time and worked out almost every day and I've been saying I to myself that I had more control of my life and time then and would rue that I didn't have that much time and control in the present day.

But this morning's revelation was that I didn't have more control then. This was just a little bit of Mizz D mythology I was telling myself. If anything, I had less. I was at home, broke, with no car, a non-supportive spouse, and toddler and a baby to look after.

I was just making the best of the situation I was in at the time.

As I could do at any time of my life. Including NOW.

This is HUGE. A paradigm-shift of my thinking.


I am going to become audacious this year. Take the limits off of myself and see where I end up. If I could figure out how to get fit back then, I have no excuses for the present day anymore.

No excuses.

Keep me honest please. If you read anything in this blog in the coming year that sounds like an excuse, call me on it!


Mizz D

Friday, December 31, 2010

As the Year Ends...

Christmas Decorations finally hung on Dec 25th. (Yes, those are leftover Halloween decorations you see in the background. I just put away an Easter thingie too, to make room for Christmas. Sigh. I'd like to say its because we celebrate those holidays every day of the year but I think we all know what the truth is!)

...I get reflective at this time of year. Also at the change of seasons, and especially as September draws closer (like an old firehorse who still charges at the sound of the firebell, I get an itch to start school or something...anything...every September).

OK, so I am naturally introspective and reflective....navel gazing, I think it's called at its most negative.

One of my cousins just started reading this blog and her comments about my...ahem...adventures caused me to go through some of my postings to find out what the heck she was talking about. Um, oh yeah....I did do or say those things...

Anyway, what I learned from my review is that I am a helluva starter of things but not so great at finishing (see Photo of the Day, Getting in Shape etc.). (I take some small comfort in the realization that I am not alone in this.)

Christmas Tree - assembled on the 25th, now destined to stay up till Valentine's Day

However, hope springs eternal (for me anyways) and I am ready to start 2011 afresh and with a new strategy.

I even have a mantra for this year and it is:

Peace & Strength

Peace - to ensure I do the things that bring me peace of mind and body, things that I love, that put me in the Zen Zone and make me feel in control of my life (in no particular order of importance):

  1. Exercise - yes, I am one of the strange and few that actually enjoy exercise.

  2. Cooking - I love to cook healthy foods.

  3. Doing good work - at work or at home, I love the satisfaction it brings to me.

  4. Spending time with family and friends.

Strength - taking care to build and maintain physical and mental strength to get me through the challenges and demands of my life in the year ahead AND to help me attain my goals for this year:

Short Term:

  1. Start Graduate School, specifically an MBA program. Which means I have to prepare for, write and get a score of at least 550 on the GMAT exam. And assemble an application! Deadline: May 1, 2011 for a September start.
  2. Move house! JD and I would like to be moved over by late spring/early summer 2011. This means decluttering, organizing, packing.
Long Term:

  1. Only 1 goal but it's a biggie. LIFESTYLE CHANGE. For the betterment of my health (mental, physical and emotional) and energy levels, I will be focusing on building muscle and stamina through pumping iron and cardio activities. Hopefully, significant weight loss will be a side effect.
Let's see where all this takes me.

Peace and strength to you all in 2011!