Summer Words: The Latest 


Usually, I attempt to update you guys in the blogging world, every month but I’m sure I haven’t actually done that in a few months. So, it’s summer words because well, summer is almost over and I never updated until today.

I kind of dread the end of summer as much as I love it. There is a freedom and carelessness to summer, no other season has. People relax in the deck, on the patio; they go to beaches and sometimes house boating; they visit and explore foreign places; and those who never relax stay home and sleep in, get a few things taken care of around the house, or not.

IMG_2348
http://www.thedailyroxette.com

Typically, I take a summer vacation somewhere, but I found out this year I had waited much to long to book flights using my airmiles. And the Canadian dollar was down as compared to the US dollar, so the dollar was too low to consider a trip there.

I wanted to go somewhere fresh this year. Somewhere I haven’t visited or haven’t been in a while. I have never actually visited around Vancouver and it’s been ten-years since I visited Quebec City. I feel as if those are both great options for a fall vacation.

If the dollar improved, Las Vegas is always an option, but sticking with the theme of visiting new places, I would like to go to San Francisco or Seattle. There are a few different places I’ve read blogs on or heard about, which I would enjoy seeing in those cities. Not to mention, pretty much anywhere you go, unique food and shopping are always worth the trip.

SanFran Shopping
http://www.youtube.com

I’m day dreaming of a European trip. I’ve narrowed it down to the country of Italy for now. I know the cities I wish to see. I only have to arrange everything, decide where I’m going to stay, and arrange when and which attractions I want to see — oh and there’s always the money issue too. But minor detail lol.

Because of my health, I think it would be a good idea to spend a week in each city, maybe a bit more so I have days to use to do nothing in case I need them. So, a month to two-months for a trip to Italy, and who to take with me?

Anyways, that’s future dreams. Lately, not feeling as well. All around, I feel drained. Maybe, I’m doing too much? But I don’t think so. Maybe, it’s another slump in my health? Or perhaps, I’m only having a bad week or two? The humidity in the air often makes me tired, almost sick at times. But I didn’t think it was so bad in Edmonton this summer as compared to other summers. However, I get through it because, I always do.

Venice1
http://www.aroundtheworld.com (Venice)

Summer has been spent doing a bit of shopping in July as it was my birthday month. I looked at my finances and have been trying to better arrange them, considering retirement, life insurance, and accidental death insurance. Not that I think anything bad will occur to me soon, but we don’t always know so I’m trying to be prepared as best as I can for my future and my family.

I’m into this application on my IPad called Wattpad. It’s a great way to see what other writers are writing and see the quality or lack there of, for different genres of books. I’m doing the second draft of How Was Last Night For You? on Wattpad. I’m happy with it so far and have had Yinglan’s helpful support as she also has some work on there I’m helping her proof. The newly arranged chapters of my book and the sequence of events so far is available in chapters one through nine, and you can check it out at the above link.

I had to completely redo chapter nine, so it might be a bit sketchy yet, but things are coming. The novel is developing slowly, even though I never even conceived it would get this far when I started writing a couple of years ago.

But due to the novel, and doing a being proofread of my Uncle’s historical book on his family, I’ve been hugely busy. #WordhighJuly was great and well done by our hosts Rosema and Maria; but it was also time consuming.

Moon
Unknown Source (Current Cover for my Novel)

So, I have to apologize, I haven’t been able to read and comment on as many posts as I like. In order to not overwhelm myself, I think I will have to consciously, only comment on a few of your posts, each week. I’m ecstatic to have more followers, but I don’t want to forget old friends. I feel it is necessary to comment but it takes time. I’ll work it out.

Don’t worry. But if you don’t see me, I’m off trying to get more poems and fiction published. And I’m probably, working on putting my novel together so I have a manuscript worthy of a good editor. Lately, as I mentioned, not feeling so well, prevents me from completing tasks, I would like to do as well.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before there’s a masters program I want to apply for. Lately, I’m not sure about it. It’s been a dream for the past few years, but I’m not sure about it. I like to learn, and to build my knowledge of writing. I’m not sure if that’s best done in the classroom or through real-life experience. But just the same, I’ve always wanted a Masters in English or Writing. I think creative writing most of all. Perhaps, I feel, a certificate program such as at University of Toronto online, might be less stressful?

Creative Writing Typewriter
http://www.proessaywriter.net

Fitness is a bust. Sometimes I walk, other times I don’t have it in me. I try to stretch and do a bit of yoga. But it makes me angry and upset I cannot do the cardio I need to do. I complain about this too much, I’m sorry. But I loved the adrenaline rush of exercise, like I love art, and writing. And I miss it so much. I’ve never been able to get it back even wearing myself out. And I know it’s what I need to lose weight. I’m completely confused as what to do for diet right now, probably I will go back on the herbal magic diet, as it seemed to be the diet plan which worked the best for me and the amount of exercise I could do. I’m not signing up again, only following the meal plans.

I’ve been reading a lot on Wattpad. But, it’s frustrating because the authors only update once a week if that. So, I’m reading other books again, with middles and endings, by more well known and accomplished writers. I’m excited to read: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Also, I have some favourite writers, who  I would like to read up on their latest novels.

Pretty Little Liars
http://www.celebuzz.com (Main Characters of Pretty Little Liars – Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer.)

I’m addicted to Prett Little Liars on Netflix right now. It’s a better series than I anticipated. Secrets can be big and convoluted as I’m learning through each season of the show. I’ve only started season three and there are four more to go. Season seven which is on TV now I believe, or just was, is the last season. I’d be happy for Madmen Season 8 to be available on Netflix too. Also, I watch a show based of the Scream Movies once a week, but I think it’s almost done. I watch the Summer Olympics and my Eskimos playing CFL football as well.

Dory
http://www.taormina.it

There are some great festivals in Edmonton during summer. As well, it’s relaxing and fun to be put on a patio with friends and have a few drinks. I’m having a birthday brunch downtown on Sunday, as everyone was busy in July. Also, I’m hoping to get to a farmer’s market in August and to a couple of movies as I have passes. I’m thinking Finding Dory and some kind of action type film?

I’m not entirely sure of my blogging schedule come fall. But tentatively, here is what it looks like:


Sunday – Sunday Photo Fiction

Monday – Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction

Tuesday- Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer

Wednesday – Photo Prompt Fiction\Poetry (Mind Loves Misery’s Menagerie)

Thursday – Three Line Tales (Once A Month – Tale Weaver’s Fairy Tale Prompt)

Friday – Music Prompt (Mind Love’s Misery’s Menagerie)/ Poet’s United Poetry Prompt

Also, Monthly – 15 quotes twice a month, and Writer Interviews every 2 weeks.


wine image
http://www.medicaldaily.com

Also, wanted to let you all know I read: Drinking a glass of red wine a day is equal to an hour of exercise. It could be false, but who am I to say so? It sounds true to me. Cheers!

 

 

 


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Literary Lion: NHL Hockey – Boys and Statistics. 


Yeah! Happy to be doing Literary Lion from Laura of I Smith Words. Turns out Laura’s blog switched from WordPress.com to .com for a while so I wasn’t getting the prompts in my email. The challenge will be once a month now to fit with Laura’s schedule better. This month’s 100 word story prompt is boys.

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http://www.ducks.nhl.com

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Marissa watched the Oiler’s hockey game on her brother Grant’s 60 ” TV. 

McDavid stole the puck and the Oiler players all began cycling the puck to shoot on Anaheim’s goalie.

“Did McDavid score?” Brad asked, returning to the couch after grabbing a beer.

“No, McDavid set up Hall. Hall hit the cross bar.” Grant muttered soarly.

Grant and Brad knew NHL hockey down to the tiniest statistical detail for every team and each of the team’s players.

“Just shoot,” Marissa exclaimed as Hall was tripped, having an open lane to Anaheim’s net.

Brad and Grant smiled at Marissa before exchanging statistics on Edmonton’s power play.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

A List of Delicacies for A Not So Talented Cook. 


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat and her list prompt of our best culinary delicacies.

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1. Perogies  

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http://www.polishforums.com

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For Perogies: I’m one-quarter Ukrainian and we always have perogies at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and every now and then. The secret is to boil the perogies, fry up some bacon and onions, let the perogies warm in the crock pot on low with some becel, and toss in the bacon and onions. The perogies are extremely soft and delicious using this method. Make sure you allow the perogies to warm a good half hour to an hour in the crock pot. Or, you  can visit a local restaurant near us in Edmonton, AB, called Uncle Ed’s, which is a genuine Ukrainian restaurant that has all the Ukrainian food you could ever desire at a reasonable price, with a too reasonable amount of food on each plate.

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2. Pizza – I learned to make this from my Mom, it’s fantastic pizza and much better than take-out. The most important part is the dough:

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http://www.1zoom.net

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To make yummy homemade pizza for a treat:

– 2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

– 2 tsp sugar

– 1 tsp salt 

– 1 tbsp fast-acting active yeast

– 1 cup hot water

– 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Mix  1 cup flour with the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
  • Combine hot water and oil. Add to dry ingredients and beat diligently until smooth.
  • Gradually stir in more flour to make a soft dough.
  • Put out onto a floured counter and knead four to five minutes.
  • Form dough into a ball, place into a bowl with a bit of olive oil in the bottom, so the dough doesn’t stick.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let stand on your ‘warming’ burner on your stove, for 45 minutes or until the dough is double the size.
  • Punch dough down. Recipe makes two – 12″ (30 cm) pizzas or one large one.

Next, you get to make your pizza! 

-We usually make one big round pizza and spray the pan with cooking oil lightly, before spreading the dough out onto the pan pushing it up to make a small rim.

– spread 1/4 cup or desired amount of Tomato Sauce on pizza dough, except at the rim. Sprinkle with oregano, this step is so vital for good flavour!

– cover pizza with grated mozzarella cheese about 1 and 1/2 cups or, however, much you like.

– add your toppings: – I like diced pineapple, thinly cut ham sausage, diced mushrooms, and diced red pepper.

– Sprinkle entire pizza with Parmesan cheese (2 tbsp or more).

  • Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for about 20 minutes. You may want to put your broiler on the last few minutes to brown the cheese a little. 
  • Let pizza stand for 20 minutes. Cut into desired size of slices with a pizza cutter. This pizza is excellent and simple!

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3. Spinach Dip 

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http://www.browneyedbaker.com
 

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I chose all low calorie options for food, obviously. Here’s my family’s Spinach Dip recipe. It’s amazing!

– mayonnaise 1/2 cup

– cream cheese softened – 2 –  8 oz blocks (preferably light cream cheese)

– grated cheddar cheese –  1 cup

– frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry – 10 oz. (300 g)

– chopped fried bacon- 6 slices chopped into small pieces

– finely chopped onion – 1/4 cup

– Dill Weed – 2 tsp

– Garlic Powder – 1/4 tsp or one clove minced.

– sour dough round loaf and additional baguette.

To make:

  • Beat mayonnaise and cream cheese together in small bowl until smooth.
  • Stir in next six ingredients. 
  • Cut top off of round bread loaf. Hollow out loaf with knife leaving a shell 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Put spinach dip inside loaf.
  • Wrap loaf in foil and heat in oven at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 2 hours.
  • Cut up inside of road loaf and pieces of baguette as needed to use as dippers. As dippers disappear, break off sides of loaf for more dippers. Enjoy, this is heavenly and a tasty treat!

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4.  French Toast 

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http://www.julianbakery.com
 

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 Easy French Toast – healthy and yummy!

– 2/3 cup 1 percent milk.

– 2 eggs

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 tsp cinnamon 

– 1/8 tsp nutmeg 

– 4 slices whole grain bread

– cooking spray

– berries or apple slices 

– 2 tbsp each maple syrup (per two slices) 

To make:

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl large enough to dip your bread into but don’t add all your spices at once, distribute with every two slices of bread as the spices have a tendency to end up on the first two slices alone if added all at once.
  • Dip a bread slice into the batter and let it stand 30 seconds on each side.
  • Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook your first two slices of battered bread at a low temperature, flipping your battered bread slices when the first side is browned to your liking. 
  • Continue with your other two slices of bread, spraying the pan with cooking spray again before adding your next two battered bread slices to your frying pan.
  • Divide French Toast onto 2 plates and add fruit or apple slices. Fry up some bacon if you’re ambitious, as an add-on. Add 2 tbsp of syrup to each plate of French Toast. Voila! 

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5. Pineapple Beans 

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http://www.100recipes.com
 

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A health(ish) combination of ingredients for Pineapple Beans, wonderful for a potluck, a party, game day, (etc.)

– Bacon Slices – 6 

– Chopped Onion – 1 and 1/2 cups 

– Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce – 2 – 14 oz. (398 ml) tins

– Chili Sauce – 1 tbsp

– Mustard – 1 tsp

– Crushed Pineapple, drained – 1 tin (14 oz. or 398 ml)

– pepper – 1/8 tsp

To Make:

  • In a large sauce pan, sauté bacon and onions together until cooked. Drain and discard fat.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or more. You can do this on a stove alone, or on the stove then set on the edge of a BBQ grill, or if you are skilled with the BBQ you can cook the entire mixture on the BBQ. 
  • Serves 8 people.

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Thank you for reading my easy list of cooking delicacies. I hope you found a recipe you can use! And to note, I’m not eating any of this right now I’m on a diet 🙂 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.


Echoes of My Neighbourhood:  Organizing Areas of Life


Thank you to Jacqueline of A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for this wonderful prompt each Thursday to share parts of our lives and neighbourhoods. Jacqueline is a talented lady. Take a listen to some of her spoken poetry on her blog from YouTube. You won’t be disappointed.

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When we become a certain age when we are young, most of us get to have our own room at some point. In our room each type of different items have their place, various kinds of toys, clothes etc. As you grow older your room can become an area that incorporates different rooms into one by how you organize your spaces. 

I’m aware I am a bit old to be living at home still and it is my dream to have my own condo someday soon. But my health has made it so I need to stay at home. I cannot be independent enough to be completely on my own. 

Sometimes such as now, I’m doing considerably better then in the past. I do pay rent at home and help out where I can. I still feel I can’t help out as much as I should, but there are times I do not have the energy to do chores. I split up a chore often, so I can do it over two or three days so I don’t become worn out. My parents are extremely understanding, especially at the times when I’m feeling not well and can’t do much at all. I try, I guess that is what counts. Living at home also, allows me to take classes. I’m so happy for that.

Here are a few areas of organization in my room:

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Jewelry Box (Amanda Eifert)
 
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I bought this for $13.00 at Winners, it is a cardboard decorated jewelry box with a Paris theme. I like it a lot. It has small shelved in a areas on top and a couple of drawers underneath. I think it looks pretty and it keeps my jewelry from getting dusty or becoming tarnished. I do have more jewelry not in the box, but hung over a mirror, and a few bracelets where I store my perfume.

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Perfume Rack (Amanda Eifert)
 
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I bought this on the Modclothe website. As some of you know, Modclothe is a wonderful website for woman who are  average and/or plus size to find clothes that have a vintage twist to them. They are a fantastic place for fancy dresses, bathing suites for any body type, interesting accessories, lingerie, and even fascinating items for your house, condo, or apartment. This is a spice rack which I have used for my perfume collection and to hang a few cuffs.

 I’m trying to use up the perfume I have. I have one or two bottles that are eight-years old. I don’t think perfume lasts that long but it still smells good so I wear it. My favourite perfume is by Chanel and is called “Chance eau Tendre.” I’m also a huge fan of Marc Jacob perfumes. I have his original perfume “Daisy” and have used up one or two other perfumes by him. I usually save up my Optimum points until I have $60 or $80 worth and use that for a new scent. But right now, no perfume for me. I need to use up two or three bottles first! 

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Bedside Table/Makeup Table (Amanda Eifert)
 
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Here is an important area, my Bedside table and makeup table. The table is actually a stool from IKEA and it has been repainted a couple of times. The lamp was inexpensive,  I think about $20.00. The storage container my makeup is in, is a file-folder and office supply holder and was about $15.00 at Staples. It works well to organize my makeup and I only have a few items of makeup I have to hide behind it. My rule is to use my makeup up, so even though it appears as if I have a lot, I use it all. As you know from my beauty posts, I adore makeup! 

There are a few items (fad items) such as a bright blue eyeshadow that eventually get recycled but other then that any new makeup I get via Luxebox for instance, that I won’t use or have a similar item, I give to friends who have skin tones that suit the makeup. I also add makeup items in Birthday presents for little extras for girl friends. I should note, the table is near my closet door mirror. I know they are ‘out’ now in terms of interior design but closet door mirrors are extremely handy and a great use of space.

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Magnetic Whiteboard (Amanda Eifert)
 
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I think this Magnetic Whiteboard is a handy item to have in a bedroom/kitchen/or coat room. I write items I need or want to buy on it, for in the near future. I make notes such as what kind of ink cartridge my printer uses. I also post photos of friends and relatives. Currently, the magnetic section of the board is full of baby pictures from friends. At the bottom of the section is a foam cushion I can tac things on. Right now I have that POPSUGAR booklist which I’ve barely started tacked on the board. Hopefully, I make some progress on the list soon.

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Planning/Colouring Area (Amanda Eifert)
 
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Yes, this is only a place on my carpet on the floor in my room. I sit here and I plan my novel and other pieces I want to write. You can see the notebook with scribbles in the back. I love pretty notebooks or journals too. Coles or Indigo, tempted me with a couple of notebooks the other week — one notebook for me and one for a part of a friend’s birthday present. Indigo or Coles have a great selection of journals, notebooks, and stationary. Papyrus is often good for that as well.

The other itens you see here are the mediums I use to do adult colouring with. It is a relaxing activity to do at night. I have three different sets of Faber-Castell Artist Pen Brushes in Bright Colours, Pastel Colours, Terra Colours, as well as some black Pen Brushes of varied thicknesses downstairs. Also, I have Staedtler Watercolour crayons with a watercolour brush, and a Prismacolour set of twenty-four pencil crayons. It was all art mediums we used to render a room in Residential Design. I recommend all these mediums because they are excellent quality and a much fun. At the least, if you enjoy adult colouring, buy yourself excellent pencil crayons. They have greater blendibility and are better if you mess up and use the wrong shade. You can often work away a misplaced colour with another pencil crayon. Michaels is wonderful to buy nice art supplies with forty-percent off coupons or in Edmonton buy local and get a discount if you are a student at Delta Art. I enjoy Delta Art because for a small shipping fee in the city you can choose your supplies online and have it the following few days. Also, instore all the employees at Delta Art are extremely knowledgable about all their products.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

7. How Was Last Night for You: Screams


Read Chapter 6 here.

Chapter 7: Screams

Nina sat beside John at a table with some of his friends and clients while dinner was served. She had seen Rianne sitting beside Jasper at another table earlier but when she looked again she couldn’t find her anywhere.

Before dessert, Nina told John she needed to find Rianne. John whispered sweet nothings in her ear before she left him. Nina blushed feeling that magnetic pull she had with John. He made her feel fantastic inside and out. Wistfully, Nina left John to his conversations. She walked around the Country club searching for Rianne.

As she looked, Nina almost tripped over a shorter version of John who was half-drunk and holding onto a petite pretty black woman for balance. When he looked at Nina his eyes went big, “You must be Nina,” John told me about you.”But damn. He didn’t say how fine you looked.” He turned back to his date, “Not as pretty as you Carissa.” Then Jordan smiled at Nina and offered her his hand. “I’m Jordan the youngest Eric brother. I’m glad you came. John doesn’t often bring a woman around to work functions, especially with his issues.”

Nina bit her lip. “Well actually, I’ve only known him a little over a week. This is our third date.”

“Only third?” Jordan smiled and kissed Carissa’s cheek. “He needs to keep you. If you can put up with his untimely accidents and break his curse why not? He cares for you he says. He hasn’t cared for a woman since Tia. You never know you could make our lives normal again.” Jordan said barely conscious of Carissa who knew nothing of John’s problems.

“Good to know.” Nina said. Carissa hummed in agitation over Jordan.

“You better slow down Jordan. You look as if you’re going to pass out.” She used the back of her hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. She smiled at Nina and said, “We’re trying to find Jasper and the lovely tall girl he was with tonight but we can’t seem to find them.”

Nina laughed. “Yeah, Jasper is with my friend Rianne. I was looking for them too.”

Jordan laughed. “Well maybe Jasper is getting some if you know what I mean. You’ve got to date again sometime. . . or even be with a woman, in his case.”

Carissa laughed and shook her head. “I’m sure they’re fine Jordan. But let’s help Nina find her friend Rianne. ” Nina was touched.

The three of them walked back into the large venue where the fundraiser was occurring. The band was singing “American Pie” while Silent Auction items were up for bid. Nina spied box tickets to several sports teams in the area. There were priceless paintings and nights out with local celebrities. There were also Ski or Snowboard trips to Banff and Whistler. The crowning item was a luxury trip to Las Vegas staying in the Pent House at the Cosmopolitan. Nina kept searching for Rianne as she looked at the various items up for bid. She should probably go find John as well.

Nina ran into John talking with some women who were editors and writers for  one of Mergers top selling fashion magazinesJohn put his arm around Nina and kissed her hair. He introduced her to the two women and they started to tell her about their latest articles that had been published. The magazine was a women’s magazine and their topics were on the latest looks for Spring and a feminist article on the state of women in the twenty-first century. Nina was intrigued but she wasn’t able to get a word in edgewise.

Suddenly, Nina heard a woman scream and she felt sick to her stomach. Nina was sure it was Rianne screaming. It sounded like her.

John grasped her arm quickly and they made their way to the large patio doors along one wall of the venue. Nina found Jasper and Rianne on the grass beneath the patio. Jordan and Carissa had also found Jasper when Rianne screamed.

Rianne was sitting on the grass holding her arm close to her chest. Her arm looked badly broken. It was bent at a weird angle. Jasper was trying to get her to stand up on the grass but Rianne was in a lot of pain. She had fallen off the balcony — a result of John’s curse, Nina thought sadly. It wasn’t a long drop from the patio. But the fall was enough to break Rianne’s arm badly.

Nina took her high heels off and slipped off the balcony edge onto the grass.”Rianne, are you okay?”

“Fine, I just broke me arm. I haven’t broken anything in a long time Nina.” Rianne was gritting her teeth.

“Yeah last time was when you stopped playing Volleyball in University. I remember Rianne. Can you get up so we can take you to a Medicentre?” Rianne arose slowly holding her broken arm gently and taking Nina’s arm with her other hand. There were some stairs around the balcony and Nina helped Rianne up the stairs. Jasper anxiously looked on and grabbed onto Rianne’s uninjured arm when she had reached the top of the stairs. “Rianne needs to go to a Medicenter Jasper. Her arms broken,” Nina said. Jasper nodded looking at the odd angle of Rianne’s right arm with alarm.

“I’ll drive,” he said to Nina. “Is that okay with you Rianne?” Rianne smiled and whispered to Nina:

“Don’t come Nina.” She winked and moved her body carefully into Jaspers.

“But you’re hurt,” Nina said.

” I want to be alone with Jasper,” Rianne whispered to Nina and winked again.

“Oh, I see. You’re sure you’ll be fine?”

“Yes Nina.”

Nina followed the group as Jasper tucked Rianne inside his fancy red Mercedes. After, Nina took ahold of John’s hand. She looked into his bright eyes and said: “How are you doing with this. I’m feeling a little scared because my bestfriend just broke her arm. It looked bad.”  John shook his head.

“Of all the things that could have happened, this isn’t the worst. But it’s not the best either.” John said distractedly.

“She could have been being clutzy.” Nina said. “She’s broken bones before doing much worse things.” John considered what she said and shook his head. “You know it wasn’t only an accident. It was my curse. Bad things are happening more often when your around Nina.”

” I don’t understand why,” said Nina. “But Rianne’s with Jasper. She wanted be alone with him, she told me. Rianne is fine. Everything is okay.” John nodded at Nina trying to look more cheerful.

” So, do you like our fundraiser?” John asked changing the topic. “Did you bid on anything?”

“Haha” Nina laughed. ” I don’t have that kind of cash floating around to bid on most of those prizes.”

John smiled. “But I do. What do you want to bid on?” Nina tapped her finger against her lip.

” I think an NHL hockey game would be cool. Maybe a Canuck’s game. I saw they were playing Edmonton one night. I haven’t been to an NHL game since I was twelve-years-old.”

John grinned at her, ” Good choice. You a Canuck’s fan?”

“No, I’m an Edmonton fan actually. My Dad was around in the days Gretzky and Messier played and won all those Stanley cups.”

John grimaced. “Edmonton, really?”

“Yeah I know. They haven’t done anything since 2006.”

John patted her arm as if he felt her pain and they went to bid on the box seats for the Canuck’s game. John could have easily procured tickets for Nina and himself but he chose to bid a large sum of money instead. He wanted to give a sizeable donation to the charities this event was held for. Nina gasped at the number he wrote down on the bid sheet. John only smiled and pulled Nina close to him. He kissed her lips hungrily.

“Let’s go have dessert” John murmured against her lips. Nina smiled.

” I hope it’s chocolate.”

Please Read Chapter 8 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Fans and Hands 


I was sitting drinking cold tea from Starbucks, when you breezed past me. You were confident, hot, and you had these wonderful long fingered hands.

Some women think hands are a weird turn on but there is in my experience a dash of creativity and independent thinking in a man with long fingers. I like the feel of those hands as a guy holds my smaller hand.  I like it when he tangles his hands in my hair as he kisses me.

But look at me, I am dressed in comfy sweat pants and a long sleeve running shirt. I have my ugly Uggs on. There is little make up on my face.

 I had ran out the door earlier in the morning when my roommate had broken my favourite vase. Although, it was only a cheap touristy vase it had been a gift from my Dad in his travels in China so I treasured it. 

But an unexpected event occurred as I drank my cold tea. As I was eating my last bites of honey Greek yogurt and granola you sat down in front of me. 

” Hi I’m Dustin” you said ” Is it okay if I sit with you?”

“Oh, Um, sure that would be great” I managed to reply. 

” So, you’re  Clair Williams. I have read some of your books, they’re really good.”

” Oh how do you know I write books? Who told you who I am?” I felt defensive suddenly. 

” Just I heard you talking to the Barista guy a few times here about your books. So, I bought and read a couple of your books on my iPad. Your stories are interesting. Thoughtful but at the same time lots happens and they are not too girly.”

” Well thanks” I say ” I’m glad you like them. Not all of them are like that some are for teenagers and some are romance. But thanks for reading the books you did. I can get you signed copies if you like? Anyways, what do you do?”

” Oh, I’m a CA (Chartered Accountant.) I have my own company. It’s precise work but I’m good at it. Say, would like to see a hockey game with me tonight the Winnipeg Jets are playing the Edmonton Oilers. There pretty good seats, behind the benches.”

I shriek and Dustin smiles. He laughs. ” I’ll take that as a yes, Clair .” We exchange phone numbers. He’ll pick me up at 6:30 pm. And I have to remember to bring him signed copies of my latest series of novels. 

I’m ready when he comes I have my favourite Christmas present on, my McDavid Oiler’s Jersey. He is supposed to be playing again tonight after being out injured. I couldn’t help but think this would be a beautiful beginning for Dustin and I. Maybe our luck would help Edmonton win. 

  
Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting and for the prompt picture. Happy New Year! 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Hair Products and Styles Pallooza


It is always a struggle to find the perfect hair products for your hair, especially if your hair is long. For the last few years I have been using Groupons to find hair salons to get my hair done. Not only did it save money but it was interesting to talk to various hair stylists and finally, find the hair stylist that I was going to stay with. In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada my favourite places to visit for a haircut and/or highlights were ChromeDandy SalonEvelline Charles DowntownFluid Hair, and Icon Hair. I ultimately, went with Icon for my hair. My hair stylist does a fab job and there is also a spa associated with this hair salon. But my second choice would be Fluid because they did a great job on my hair. Unfortunately, there is no spa attached, they’re just a hair salon.

The products that I have been using on my hair have been from Fluid and Icon. I like them because they work well with my hair and address specific issues I deal with.

  1. Davines Strong Hairspray
    http://www.us.davines.com Davines Strong Hairspray

    1. Davines Strong Hairspray – (www.us.davines.com) – $29.00 -Davines Strong Hairspray delivers a fine mist of hairspray that “gives structure, endures humidity, can be worked after application, dries out quickly, and is easy to remove.” The product is paraben free with no added colourings; it also gives extra “moisture” and “bounce.” My own experience with this hairspray has been a bit of a journey. I was not to happy with it at first even though I knew it was a more environmentally-friendly hairspray then the one I had been using. But it grew on me. I learned not to apply a lot like you do with many other hairsprays. A few sprays about 30 cm from your head will do the trick. What I like I about it is that despite the fact that it is a strong holding hairspray it is pretty easy to rework the hairspray if you change your mind and want to do a different hairstyle or redo your hair on the second day. Ultimately, I ended up being very happy with the product. I am almost out and will buy it again. Usually, I go with a more flexible hairspray but Davines allowed me to use it as a hairspray that was flexible and as a final spray to keep my hair in place. They do have a flexible hold hairspray if this is not a flexible enough hairspray for you. This hairspray has lasted me about nine months so it not something you are going to have to be purchasing often.

Davines Moose
http://www.us.davines.com Davines Medium Hold Moose

2. Davines Volume Boosting Moose  (www.us.davines.com) – $26.00 – This moose is a volume boosting moose with the texture of “snow.” It is compact and light to the touch with a medium hold. You apply it to damp, towel dried hair and it and all Davines products are Carbon – neutral/ Zero Impact products to the environment. This is one of the best mooses I have used. I find I need something to make my hair have volume or my long length and large amount of hair weigh my hair itdown and it sits on my head flat and straight. I have been using this moose for several months now and I am impressed by how long it lasts. The container lasts about three or four months. I have long hair but I don’t find I have to spray a large amount of form to keep putting in my hair. One palm full is fine and my hair is good to go for blow drying. The only bad aspect of this moose is that if you want to leave your hair to dry without a blow dryer it doesn’t work that well. Your hair doesn’t looking nice if you leave it to air dry with this moose. However, it does seem to work well when I attempt to curl my hair giving my curls more hold then other mooses have.

Davines Sea Salt Spray
http://www.us.davines.com Davines Sea Salt Spray

 

3. Daven’s Award Winning Sea Salt Spray (www.us.davens.com) – $27.00 – This product is a styling spray that gives the hair “fullness” and “body” with a matte finish.  It gives “texture, extreme volume, light control, a dry effect – tousled and beach like waves, and body minimizing the electrostatic effect.” It is a paraben free product with no added color. You can spray the sea salt spray into wet hair to increase the body or spray it into dry hair to increase the volume and give a matte effect. I bought a travel size version of this product to give my hair exactly what it is says “volume” and “body” but I haven’t been pleased with the results. I thought I was using the product incorrectly so I asked my hair stylist how to use it and she says the best way to use it is to apply it to damp hair and let your hair dry without a blow dryer. I tried that several times and while it did give a beach-like wave it looked like I left my hair to dry wet and that I just hadn’t bothered to do it. It doesn’t work for me well even if I blow dry my hair after using it. My hair ends up fuzzy, dry, and flat because of the salt which can dry hair out. So, perhaps, this would work for people with thinner hair or hair that is less fine then mine. Altogether, was not a fan of this product.

Unite Spray Conditioner 7 seconds
http://www.shop.unitehair.com Unite 7 Second Spray in Conditioner and Thermal Heat Protector

4.Unite 7 Second Spray in Conditioner and Hair Protectant – (www.shop.unitehair.com) – $32.00 for 8 0z.-  I love this product. It smells wonderful and it works great. Within 7 seconds my tangled hair is easy to comb out after my shower. Your hair is nourished by protein and mostirizures after using Unite. It is also a UV and thermal protectant. The product also “locks” in col0r; repairs, protects and strengthens hair; and is free of parabens and sodium chloride. All you have to do is towel dry your hair and spray “4 to 6 times” in your and then you can put in your other styling products. I can’t say enough about this product it is one of my all time favourite products and I would highly recommend  it to anyone whose wants a thermal protectant and also needs a bit of moisture in their hair, especially in Winter.

Unite texturize spray
http://www.shop.unitehair.com Unite Texturiza Spray

5. Unite Texturiza Spray – Dry Finishing – (www.shop.unitehair.com) – $35.00 – I actually came upon this product on my own. I knew I needed a good texturizing spray for some of the updos I try to do from Kate at The Small Things Blog so when I picked up some of the 7 second Conditioning Spray I tried this texturizer and I am thrilled with it. This spray adds “texture, volume, and fullness” to dry hair. It is a dry translucent finishing spray and will add “unbelievable” volume and texture all day and night. It has a medium workable hold. An example of when I use this spray is when I want to achieve an undone bun in my hair. I tease my upper-crown with Bedhead Rockaholic Dry Shampoo and then spray the rest of my hair with the Unite texturizer. Automatically, my hair becomes bigger and poofier and I have great texture to pick my hair up from the sides and twist it into a messy bun. Or I spray some in my hair before I braid it to give my hair texture so the braid sticks together as I braid it. It is very much preferable to me then a texturizing powder. Although your hair feels like it has texture on it it’s not an awful amount compared to the texturizing powder which leaves your hair feeling gross. Pretty much any hairstyle where you want some lift in your roots, this is a great product for. I highly recommend it.

Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
http://www.biova.net Bed Head Rockaholic Dry Shampoo

Also, just a short blip about the Rockaholic Dry Shampoo. If you are like me and have trouble getting your hair to stay volumized at the crown a good salon brand Dry Shampoo is great to tease your hair with  until it gets that bump in the back. I have been using it forever now and it’s about $25.00 to $30.00 Canadian and can be found online (www.ulta.com) or at most salons. I didn’t want to do a separate blurb on it as I already talked about it when I compared dry shampoos awhile back. Look in my beauty blogs for that particular blog.

Living Proof 5 in 1 Styling Treatment
http://www.sephora.ca Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5 in 1 Styling Treatment

Another product I use when I get samples is a 5 in 1 hair styling product from Living Proof. It is fantastic to use if you just want to leave your hair down and want it to look healthy, have volume, and sit nice on your head. It is great but I also have blogged about it and it can be found at Sephora for $32.00 Canadian. I would use this more often but such as all Living Proof products they work wonderful but the price for a small bottle that doesn’t last long keeps me from committing to it.

Lastly here are some great hair videos from The Small Things Blog so you can do a few things with your new hair products.

A Twisted UpDo with Glasses:

A Polished and Volumized Ponytail:

Wrapped Braided UpDo:

Lived In Messy Bun:

Thanks for reading!

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

MishMash December


 Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope it hasn’t been a hard start for those of you coming back from Thanksgiving holidays. Last week I had two things to do: Christmas shop online and study for my Residential Furnishing’s Final. I’m happy to say I wrote the final today and although the essay part I found difficult to do, I think I put enough examples and information on Early Moderan furnishings that I formed a good enough essay. I hope so anyways. I received my proposal back and got an A- on that and have an A- on the midterm, so I just need to keep my mark at an A- and I’ll be happy. It would help with some of other courses where I was only able to earn a B-. But it is exciting because my Residential Interiors Certificate is finished and I receive it in June 2017. It’s good to feel a sense of completion, that I was able to accomplish something even though throughout these almost eight years I have been too sick to work. I am still looking into some kind of writing course for the Winter term or Spring term. Now that I have more time tomorrow I can look into what kind of course and from where I want to take it.

My Christmas shopping online was a success, sort of. . . In fact, the only thing I wasn’t able to buy were some clothing I wanted from Banana Republic. But I think I will save that for next pay cheque. Honestly, for the items I had to buy I didn’t find I received that great of a deal. Purdy’s (the chocolate store) had free standard shipping. Indigo books had the best deals. I got three throws for various relatives on sale for $22.50 each and assorted nice looking gift bags all for $2 to $3. They also had an extra 10% off you paid by Visa. As well,  I bought some gift cards and those of course have no money off because they are like cash. I shopped at Lush online but no discount there. Sephora did have some great holiday deals for different sets. I got a Bliss set with hand lotion, body butter, and shower gel for $18.00. The part that was the deal was a ton of free samples from various makeup and skincare lines. Also, they had $13.00 gift sets on Black Friday but none I liked. I really wanted this eyeshadow palett from Tarte but the 25% discount Tarte was offering didn’t apply to their holiday sets. So basically I’m done the shopping part except for some wine from DeVine wines downtown for Christmas Eve, me, and my God Parents. Then I just have to make all the presents look pretty around Christmas time.


I went to a show at the Expo Center in Edmonton; it was called “Make It Edmonton.” The is all about buying local handmade items that various vendors are selling, that have to be of a certain quality. The show goes is in Vancouver too. I picked up some wine tags and a couple of bamboo screened t-shirts with birds on them. They were cute and there were some bamboo scarves with a screened bird images on them that were also nice in several colors. I liked a couple vendors who made silk scarves and dyed them by hand. There was so much beautiful jewelry. A lot of it was simple but I liked this pearl and crystal necklace made out of a piece of an old clock. There were also some yummy chocolate Ganache cupcakes and some gluten free cookies for my Dad. Many of the vendors at “Make It” you might see on Etsy. I am going to the butterdome craft show next Saturday with my Mom and I don’t know how different it will be. Usually, it’s a bit more crafty and has a bit more varied items. Think more wood carving and wool mittens.

Anyway, I came home after my exam today and I felt as if I wanted to clean and tidy things up. I don’t often feel this way so I figured I better act on the feeling. I put all my interior design materials away from my course and cleaned up in the living room where I study. Then I noticed that my room was dusty so I thoroughly cleaned a dresser and one section of my room from expired or barely used beauty products, dust, and clothing that is going to Good Will. I’ll finish off some more cleaning  tomorrow. Cleaning away the old makes me feel as if everything is ready for brand new life events and the holiday season.

In addition,  what came out of my cleaning up are some new beauty blogging ideas over the next few weeks. First, I don’t think I’ve ever done a blog (except on dry shampoo) on my favourite hair products and brands and why I use these particular ones. I also want to link that with The Small Things Blog and include some of Kate’s (the blogger) more recent hair tutorials that I have been doing. So you’ll have access to those YouTube videos.Also, I wanted to share a video on my skincare routine. It’s extremely important to take care of your skin and I am going to share with you the products from Clinique and else where that have worked for me, some since high school and some more recently.Lastly, I have a beauty blog to do on a mishmash of products I have received as larger samples in my Luxebox’s or that I have bought that don’t fit into a particular catagory of beauty products. So, three beauty posts ahead.


Addotionally, I can’t stop being excited about our football league this year, the CFL, and my home team the Edmonton Eskimos who won the Grey Cup (named for the Earl of Grey one-hundred-and-three years ago. He’s also the same earl who earl grey tea is named after). The Grey Cup was Sunday in Winnipeg. The weather was decent. Some years they play in -30 degree Celsius weather outside. But November has been beautiful in Canada. I watched football while I studied and drank red wine to celebrate as we narrowly defeated the Ottawa RedBlacks. It’s also great because my Dad is a Saskatchewan Roughrider’s fan who will cheer for any team but my Eskimos. We beat his team and the team he cheered for at the Grey Cup so that is always a plus.

I know many of you are probably like: “Canada has a football league and it isn’t the NFL?” Yes, we most certainly do and the same way you get many Canadian hockey players in the US, we get football players from some of your universities in the US to come play in our league. Many of our players are Canadian or American and are extremely talented, they have just chosen to play in the CFL out of love. But we also get players who don’t make it on NFL teams or players who are training themselves to be better so they can go on to play in the NFL. Doing this as a player can work but doesn’t always. The biggest difference in the CFL is that we have three downs instead of four. So, what this means is in the CFL you have only three chances to move the football ten yards before the other team gets the ball. There are some other differences too I think some differences with the yardage on the field and number of players but I haven’t looked into it lately. Anyways, enjoy your NFL, many of my friends are in a pool trying to get the most wins from the teams they picked. Let’s just say there is a player with the last name Eifert, and that’s not a common name in Canada or the US, so whatever team he is on, I want my cousin (of however many times) to win.

To end, I will mention that I will as always have other blog topics besides beauty. I am doing a Writing 101 poetry course on WordPress and I’ll just see what happens from there.

Thanks for reading!

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Day 17 – Cab Drivers and Maps. 


Prompt: Write using a map.

I take a cab to several places. At times, the noise and constant stopping and starting of the bus is tiring; it wears me out just taking it. I have met many cab drivers and most of them are nice people. Although, some of them (like in all jobs) are weird. 

I don’t mind if a cab driver is driving you and they talk to you. It’s nice most of the time to make conversation and it’s a way to make social connections and learn about people who are different from you. But certain drivers are so creepy I can’t wait to get out of the vehicle. But the majority of cab drivers are good at knowing when you don’t want to talk and they put the radio on to fill the silence. 

The most unfortunate aspect about a great many cab drivers is the fact that a number of them are very educated in the country they’re from. They have Master Degrees and PhD’s; they were the heads of companies. But somehow there education does not translate to Canadian standards. Or in an entirely different scenario, one cab driver I know, a lovely elderly gentlemen, has his PH.D. from the University of Alberta and he couldn’t get a job in his field (mathematics) so he drives his cab. 

I think are judgement of other places education systems is a bit harsh, we need to look closer at the institutions and places immigrants are schooled at so they can have jobs worthy of their degrees. I know Canada wants to ensure jobs for people who are already Canadians, but I think we owe better to people who are trying to become citizens such as our Great Grandparents or even parents did. Some of these cab drivers like their job and that’s great but I think some of them could use a university program to help them cross over to their occupation in Canada. 

 Another kind of driver I come across, are cab drivers who have lived and travelled everywhere. They have been all over the world and back again. They speak many languages and have chosen finally, to settle in Canada. These cab drivers have excellent stories to tell. They are some of my favourite because you can let them talk and don’t have to say a thing, just nod occasionally. They may not educated in the university sense, but their knowledge of the real world is astounding. They are well read and have seen great art pieces and have been where history is taking place. 

But there is a another type of cab driver I do not like at all. They are a shady type of cab driver. I have learned to tell when a cab driver is trying to rip you off. They will try to take the longest route to where you are going. They won’t ask you which way you want to go. And if you say, they may pretend not to understand you. But that is why you must say go here and here etc. I don’t quite understand why these cab drivers have trouble finding their way. They all have Google Maps on their smart phones and GPS’s in their car. Sometimes you have to say, use your GPS. The best cab drivers know the city, every nook and cranny and even with a GPS, know a faster way to go. Some cab drivers don’t know your neighbourhood well or where you are going and it is okay when they don’t know except that that is what their GPS is for. 

The worst drivers are trying to make it appear as if they are lost. They know their way well but they are trying to make more money off you. The best thing to do is to know how to get where you want to go and direct them; maybe take a look at Google maps on your phone. If they charge you too much, don’t tip. And if they got you terribly lost on purpose and over charged you a lot, call the cab company. Alternatively, you can always refuse to pay the amount they want you to pay if you for certain know how much the trip should cost. That’s what I like about paying upon arrival instead of having your credit card charged whatever the amount the driver drove. 

Another problem with certain cab drivers is they will tell you that their POS system is not working or having problems, when it is working fine. Sometimes they aren’t working, and you have to pay cash or go to a bank first, to pick up cash. But if you are like me and don’t carry much cash on you and you think a driver might be lying,  you can tell him to try your card and often it will ‘magically work.’ Most cab drivers I have met are honest in this respect but I know of a few who always try to avoid credit card and debit fees associated with a POS. 

I have mostly good things to say about the cab company I use. They are called CO-OP. They have an excellent mobile application too which is so helpful when you don’t know a locations address. Yellow Cab in Edmonton is hit and miss. I have had drivers refuse to drive me because I won’t pay cash. I have been sworn at by some Yellow Cab drivers too. But mostly, they seem like a reliable company. UBER is good at peek hours but I find the drivers at least in Edmonton, don’t know the entire city well. They also cost more then CO-OP almost every time I’ve used them (and I was always told their cheaper). The bottom line, I just don’t use them. I like to pay when I get to a place and I don’t like that their drivers don’t have the right insurance if you are in an accident. I also find that their drivers are not as knowledgable. If I was drunk at night, I’d take them, but not in the day. 

This is what came to my mind when I thought about maps. I use cabs to go all over the city as long as the destination isn’t too far. I wish I had the concentration to drive often; it would be so nice to be able to drive to a location, especially ones that are close. 

Photography – Day 6 – Connecting


I love the Canadian Football League (CFL). Not as much as my Dad. I don’t have to watch every game in the League, but I am a huge Edmonton Eskimo’s fan. This photo was taken at one of their games at Commonwealth Stadium. The Stadium at the football game is a place where everyone who loves the sport of football can connect. Fans connect with other fans and players. Teams connect and literally contact other teams while they play. Radio stations, sports stations, the entire city watches while the City’s team tries to beat the away team. This year we’ve been extremely lucky to have a winning team. It took us a few years of building but we again have a team who is going to be holding the Western Final at Home. Even though it becomes cold in November teams and fans gather and are willing to connect, to brave the cold, and become part of the city of champions.

Connection between fans, players, and the people watching at home is all important in football.
Connection between fans, players, and the people watching at home is all important in football.