Welcome to Notable Quotes May 2018 Part One. Hope you all had a wonderful day with your mothers or honoring and remembering them and their influence in your life.
My family took my Grandma for an early lunch at a restaurant. Her seniors residence was close to it, and it was a beautiful day to wheel her out in the warm weather and to have us all to visit.
Even both my brothers made it. Grandma had a small pizza, salad, and a Diet Pepsi. To you and I this seems like a normal take-our or eat-in meal, but menus in seniors homes don’t vary, so regular fare such as this, is a treat for Grandma. We picked her out a new outfit too. She misses shopping, and such as the food, the same clothes each week, all the time, can become boring.
We try to buy and find her things that make her place more homey and comfortable. So, she can still be her and feel herself, even though she has lost a great deal of control in life.
After, we brought grandma back to for her nap, we all went home for cake. It was my Dad’s 61st bday yesterday, as well. My brother purchased the gift and presented it all balled-up to my Dad. He’s not much for wrapping but, he did buy the gift this round. So, it evens out.
Dad is a runner and N bought him some socks for that and other athletic pursuits, and a new run shirt. I did tell him to pick-up a gift bag, but I think he ignored that part of the conversation.
Enjoy the quotes! They’re Alice and Wonderland themed! I think last month I had a post of the same theme, but these quotes are different ones. Some with neat illustrations.
For the “first time in more than 130 years” there are more young adults” choosing to live with their parents among people “18 to 34” years old (Domanski). Although I’ve been out of school for over ten-years now, I do think there are excellent reasons some Millenials are remaining at home. It isn’t just to mooch off their parents or cases such as in the movie Failure to Launch. For me personally, it’s been bad health.
When I finished university, moving out right away wasn’t an option at 22. Earning $34, 000 dollars a year as a receptionist wasn’t going to pay for rent and food, despite my BA in English. Moreover, I noticed a common trend, especially among young women, who chose to stay home and develop their careers before moving to their own place.
Many friends, and acquittances tried to earn enough money to live on their own first. They stayed home to pay off debts, earn a down payment for a house or condo, or waited until they eventually found the person they wanted to marry an or move in with.
This is what I want to focus on, in this post, those Millenials who have lived with their parents through University (or moved back in) to establish themselves in life and their careers. Sadly, it takes time and money for most of us to create the house or home of our dreams so beware your dream kitchen or living area will probably take a while to create.
8 Things You Should Know or Own After Establishing Your Career Before Moving Out
A Decent Sized Bed and Bedding such as Sets of Sheets, a Duvet, and a Duvet Cover
Hopefully by the time you’re in your mid-twenties the twin-bed has been upgraded for a Queen-sized or King- sized bed, whatever fits in your bedroom. But it’s often better to buy this ahead of time as it’s a major expense you don’t have to worry about later on.
As well, having a couple sets of nice cotton sheets for your bed is a wise purchase. Ensure you’ve bought a couple of regular cotton sheets that match your duvet cover or are neutral colored; as well as, a couple of sets of flannel sheets made of cotton for places with a cold climate. Although cotton costs more than microfibre, it’s much better for your skin as cotton breathes and will not cause you to break out or sweat to death in warm or cold temperatures. Check out these Solid Flannel Sheet Sets preshrunk, made from cotton, and on sale now at Simons.com. Also, take a peek at their Cotton 600 Thread Count Sheets in White or Gray which is an awesome start for sheet set colors as they go with pretty much any duvet set for spring, summer, and early fall.
Moreover, a decent duvet (whether it be goose down feathers, microgel, or polyester filled) is a must. Although goose down feathers will keep you warmer, many people can be too allergic to the feathers. In this case, a well-made duvet filled with polyester or microgel is the way to go. Also, if you’re a person who becomes too hot when they sleep having a non-feather filled duvet is cooler.
Furthermore, you can find a mixture of goose down and microgel duvets which I find work well, despite having allergies to goose down. As well, purchasing a nice duvet set, something casual and elegant, a more ‘adult set,’ is recommended for your new bedroom. Then, you can blend sheets, decorative pillows (etc.) all into this theme or your chosen color scheme.
2. Crystal Wine Glasses, Your Own Wine and Liquor, and an Elegant Bar Cart.
Moreover, large wine glasses will do for any kind of wine white or red until you have the cash to buy smaller glasses for white wine or champagne. Having these around at home is wonderful for friends who come over when Mom and Dad are away and also for yourself on Friday nights. They’re one less thing you have to buy when moving out because they aren’t the cheapest thing to buy either.
Moreover, if you’re like me, your wine and liquor stash at home was in your bedroom so if you know you’re moving out that year, collecting a few kinds of wines and liquors is a great thing to have for both you and the guests you will have at your new place. Also right before you move out, if you can find yourself an inexpensive but elegant bar cart, or piece of furniture that can be turned into a bar cart, this is an excellent purchase.
3. Bathroom Items – A Couple Full Sets of Soft Towels Good For Yourself and Male or Female Company along with Basic Hygiene Items for Guests
Hopefully, if you’ve made some money from working a couple of years, you’ve had enough of it to invest in a couple full sets of towels thinking of your color scheme. For instance, my duvet has colors of blue (as do my sheets) so I have purchased a couple sets of towels (4 of everything) for myself and in the future, for guests. You don’t have to use them all at once but if you see the right towels in your decor colors, at a good price, they’re wonderful to pick up and stash away until you’re moving out.
If you know you’ll be leaving home soon, having other basics such as a matching shower curtain (if needed), a tooth brush holder, foaming hand soap, and spare hygienic items for guests such as body wash, toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, and deodorant, are great items to have. They do not need to be the most expensive brand but nice smelling drugstore brands. Extra face clothes are also items that are always needed!
Furthermore, ensure you have the cleaning products you like using, if you’re moving out soon. Choose ones that are environmentally friendly and won’t cause you to be choked-up by noxious chemicals. CLR Kitchen and Bath is a good bet for the main product to use in the Kitchen and Bathroom areas. It works for dusting too.
4. Dishes for Your Kitchen & Basic Kitchen Supplies
Some KitchenSupplies you can buy as you go along, each month, adding to your kitchen stash. One of the best things to have first is a set of dishes. They can be new, old, or inexpensive but having dishes and having enough of them so that when family and friends come over you have a full set of dishes ( 8 to 10 places settings) is important.
Additionally, if you’re getting married you might wait and ask for these on your Guest Registry; however, if you’re single and making enough money you might want to choose more affordable dishes for now. For instance, you can look at these place settings made of bone China called Wedgewood Butterfly Bloom 5-Piece Place Setting found at BedBathandBeyond.ca, better for wedding presents and special occasion dishes.
If you have your grandma’s or mom’s old dishes you might consider matching these with more modern dishes. For instance, my Baba gave me her old dishes that have bright pink flowers on them and gold around the edges. Finding white dishes with a gold trim to match with these dishes might help them seem less gaudy when an entire table is set.
Also, consider going somewhere that sells quality but not too expensive glasses that will last. You can go to IKEA but every time a glass slips or falls, it will shatter. Better to buy more durable glasses to start out with and not have to buy more later. As well, I find myself, often larger glasses or better than smaller ones as they encourage you to drink more water and are better for larger portions or alcoholic drinks.
Also, although my Baba’s set includes these, serving dishes are important to have. They can be plain white and inexpensive and are significant along with cutlery (enough for company 8 to 10 people and doesn’t have to be pricey). Moreover, knives, mixing bowls, whisks, serving spoons, tea towels, oven mitts, spatulas, a kettle, a microwave, and other common kitchen items you’ll use often need to eventually be purchased.
They could include a Tassimo coffee maker, toaster oven, hand blender, mix master, and other items. You’ll probably need to buy basic items first, and add more expensive appliances to your kitchen as you live in your new home.
5. Painting Your New Place
Whether you’ve bought a new condo or home or are living in an apartment you plan to remain in a while, painting your new home can really make it feel like home. There is nothing more calming and homelike than having your rooms painted on your own, with friend’s and family’s help, or professionals, to make your place feel as if it’s yours.
If you have an apartment you’ll need to talk to the manager first before painting so they can approve the colors. Lighter colors that are more neutral in this situation are better choices as they’re easier for you or your apartment manager to paint over (if needed) when you move. Paint before you move everything in. Check out the article 10 Paint Colors That Will Never, Ever, Ever Go Out of Style on the House Beautiful Website.
Moreover, if you own your condo or home, paint your home whatever color you choose, but remember that once you paint the walls, it’s harder to paint them a second time when you have to move out all the furniture again or cover it up so it doesn’t get paint on it. Consider a color scheme that you will not become bored with. Feature walls (painting one wall a vibrant color or say covering it in a nice wall paper) is a good idea as you only have to change one wall later and not the entire room or space.
As well, many people become sick of walls that are too bright quickly, especially in colors such as red or bright green. Keeping your paint color neutral or light, allows you to play with your home decor in other ways — with interesting artwork, dark or colored furniture, and decor items that are more unique and bright. Remember to buy good paint. Some of the best I’ve used is the Behr Paint from Home Depot that comes with a built in primer. Benjamin Moore is also a wonderful brand but more expensive.
Ensure you buy enough paint to give the walls two coats if needed, or to go over spots that get scraped off later accidentally. Also ensure if you paint different rooms diverse colors, the colors flow into each other and do not create choppiness in your home. Warmer colors will also make a room bigger while cooler colors tend to make rooms smaller. Also painting the ceiling a dark color is not recommended as it causes the ceiling to ‘come down’ and make a room significantly smaller.
6. Displaying Art Work and Photographs
Additionally, for those of you who read my last interior design piece HERE, you’ll know I’m a big fan of purchasing art you like that is also more unique. I enjoy buying prints off Etsy.com because far fewer people will have these prints and because you’re supporting local and home businesses. Here’s an example of OldStyleDesign’s Alice and Wonderland Themed Prints and Frames.
As well, LauraRowStudio’s Hollywood Icon Prints are made from paintings of actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Additionall, events such as Art Walks, craft shows, MakeIt.ca ” The Hand Made Revolution,” and other craft and design shows are fantastic for finding authentic art.
Moreover, if you’re a decent artist yourself it’s also more inexpensive to buy canvases, brushes, and nice paint to paint more impressionistic or modern pieces of artwork such as flowers, shapes, or picture’s you’ve seen but can easily mimic in your own artistic style. Also on Etsy.com I found some paintings of wonderful abstract art by MichelleDinelleArt on canvas. Below is an example of one of her works in a purple color scheme.
As well, consider that when buying prints and works from local artists, you do not have to spend a great deal of money having them framed. Often, you can find beautiful frames yourself at the various home decor and craft stores to create a photo wall with various kinds of frames. In Canada, you can look at HomeSense in store or Winners in store to find various frames along with your local craft store. Another wonderful place to check out would be Ikea.com as they carry many kinds of frames instore and online.
Also, you want to think about what family pictures you want to show off and how you would like to frame those photos.
Since we are such a technologically based society and we’re always taking photos on our iPhones of our latest get-togethers, you can keep in mind an awesome concept for a picture frame below. It’s an intuitive frame I enjoy myself!
The first thing I loved about this frame was that it downloads your favorite and ‘best’ photos from your iPhone and Ipad. The pictures in your frame alter as you take new photos everyday. Moreover, what I adore about this frame is its unique technology that ‘curates’ your photos, meaning that none of your flawed or embarrassing photos will appear on the frame’s screen in your new home.
In addition, I adore the frames sleek elegant design found in three colors including Ivory with a Rosegold trim, Charcoal with a Black trim, and Crystal Blue with a Silver trim. The first color combination is my favorite! As well, the frame uses ‘smart technology’ so that along with photos from your Iphone, the best pictures taken by your friends and family, on their Apple devices, will appear on the screen of your frame. The current frame I have is about 10 inches high and almost 12 inches wide, but I’m hoping bigger frames become available.
Moreover this exquisite and modern frame, from Auraframes, is designed to be a classic piece of home decor to exhibit the wonderful times you’ve had with friends and family, as well as, the special moments that have, recently, occurred in your life. More information about the tech aspects of the frame are available on the products site. You can also watch the video about Auraframes and/or purchase a frame right here.
7. Changing Lighting and Hardware
Some of the most worthwhile changes you can make to modernize your condo or new home are to change your lighting and hardware before or while you’re moving in. You can change lights in the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom; as well as, faucets in the bathroom and kitchen.
7. Repurposing Old Furniture and Buying New Hooks and Handles
Another great thing to do when first moving out is to find old furniture relatives don’t want and repurpose it. Paint it and replace it with new handles that give the piece a whole new look. Changing hardware on old furniture passed onto you or that you’ve found, is a wonderful way to reuse it and change its design along with new handles on drawers and closet hooks throughout your new place. You can also find interesting hooks along with new handles for the kitchen and bathroom as well.
Painting with good wall paint works on furniture but you might want to consider the finish of the paint, whether you want the paint finish to be shinier or more eggshell and easier to clean. You can rub away some of the paint after it dries to give your repurposed or refinished furniture more of an antique and worn look. Remember to stay within your chosen color scheme and use colors of paint that are neutral or match this scheme when reprinting wood furniture. Also, sand your furniture down before painting it so the paint sticks.
Additionally, you can use these beautiful delicate feminine handles for repurposed or refinished furniture called Entomology Knobs here with different knobs for different finishes of gold, silver, and bronze. Also, these Galaxy Knobs are more angular and geometric but still interesting and not so girly. Moreover, these Gardening Indoors Knobs are great to add color to a more neutral furniture piece.
For interesting and beautiful hooks you might consider these Pronoun Hooks or you might consider simpler hooks in either silver, bronze, or gold in these Harvey Hooks or consider this Fretwork Hookrack as a sturdier piece near the door, in your bedroom to hang clothes, or in the bathroom to hang towels. These Glass Etoile Hooks are both pretty but sturdy as well.
There is also a plethora of handles available for making armoires, dressers, kitchen, and bathroom cabinets more interesting such as the Hammered Serina Handles in gold, silver, or bronze. As well, the Tangier Ceramic Handles in blush or turquoise are superb. Also lovely clear handles with silver called Glass Bubble Handles are pretty but less girly handles to choose. Especially, at Anthropologie.com there is such a variety of these hardware items to pick from in all kinds of fabulous designs and metal finishes.
8. Ensure Your Furniture Fits Into Your New Space: Measure 3 Times to Make Sure it Fits
When you move into your new place, you should make sure that any furniture that’s been passed down, found at garage sales, flea markets, or other places will fit in the rooms you want to put the furniture in. If you think it’s going to be too big, better to wait and not purchase the piece than to refinish or repurpose it and not be able to get it through the door or into a room.
Measure where you want certain pieces of furniture to go 3 times to get the correct measurements,jot the measurements on your phone and carry a tape measure with you, wherever you go, to ensure you don’t purchase the largest furniture in the store when your condo is a mere 800 square feet.
As well, when you measure for curtains measure 3 times as well to make sure you have them sewn the right length and width or to ensure you buy the right length of curtains and panels and only buy decorative items you love 100 percent and pieces that represent you, just as much as your artwork or photography does. A wonderful place to purchase fabric for curtains and have them made is Chintz.com. You can choose from an array of fabrics that suit your decor colors.
Throws, candles, cushions for couches and bedrooms, pillow cases for cushions (and the insides), can all easily be found online and in stores, or on places such as Etsy.com.
If you plan to replace these items often don’t throw away your money on items that have little meaning to you or that you don’t like but buy because they are cheap. Wait to buy items that you love unless they’re inexpensive festive items such as for Christmas.
Also, remember you’re the one dusting your entire place now so don’t clutter it with too many knick-knacks, you’ll end up hating yourself later.
Remember to check out some of my past interior design posts under the category of the same name. Thanks for reading!
Welcome to my regularly scheduled bi-weekly interview series. I am pleased to share with you the blog of a talented writer, photographer, and world traveler. I have blogged with Yinglan for a while and am pleased to call her a good friend in the blogging world. Please visit her blog here: This is Another Story – About Life, Fantasy, and Everything In Between.
1. Hi Yinglan, Please tell us About Yourself?
Hi, my name is Yinglan Z. and the name of my blog is This is Another Story because isn’t every day in life another story?
I recently completed my second academic degree in Accounting and am currently spending a brief four months in my hometown of Zhongshan, China to get reacquainted with my relatives as well as the place I lived during the first decade of my life. When I am not in China having an adventure, I lead a pretty boring life in the suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.
At the moment, I am a self-employed translator, working with my mom to update the Chinese version for a software guide widely used by schools around the world. However, my personal goal is to either become a full-time writer or find a job where I’m applying what I’ve learned from my two degrees because isn’t that why I got two degrees?
2. Please Tell Us About Your Writing and Blogging? What do You Hope to Accomplish in Writing?
I began writing in 2013 and the purpose of my blog (at first) was to post the speeches I’d written for Toastmasters, an international club for public speaking. Then, I fell in love with storytelling; thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.
Once I began participating in challenges the readership for my blog grew and in 2015, I made the decision to make my blog both a fiction and lifestyle blog to add more variety and so I could write what about whatever I wanted to write about. In late 2015, I made another decision — to change the name to something more fitting: This is Another Story.
“Then, I fell in love with storytelling and, thus, my blog for fictional stories began. I wrote fiction and participated in flash fiction challenges during summer of 2014 and discovered fiction writing was a way for me to relax.” – Yinglan Z
3. When did you really begin writing and blogging? Why is Writing Meaningful for you? Do You Find You Are Able to Help Others Through Your Blogging?
I began writing after I joined Toastmasters in 2011. That’s when I discovered my love for storytelling. Before that, the task of sitting in front of a computer typing and writing an essay or a story seemed daunting to me, although, I don’t know why.
Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.
When I was attending school full-time, working multiple jobs, I would come home to write because it would mean I was able to let my mind drift to another reality even if it was only for a few minutes.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Why is Writing and Blogging Significant to You?
A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from around me – television shows, movies, current events, (etc). There’s always a story going on in my head and if I let it stay in my head, it’ll drive me insane. Maybe it goes with my stubborn personality? Also, it’s important to record my thoughts and feelings because bottling them up won’t help me or anyone.
“Although I wasn’t diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) until early 2016, I’ve always known I have anxiety issues. I’ve tried various methods to relax – yoga, meditation, music – but none is more relaxing than writing stories.” – Yinglan Z
5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Ever Had Any Writing Published?
I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel. Both of those things are progressing slowly due to the number of events I am attending in China but they are coming along.
I published a story in an online newsletter for NLSC – National Language Service Corp – a few years ago about the Mid-Autumn Festival and that was the only piece I have ever published other than blog posts. My future are noted above, to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. Who knows, maybe I’ll submit a piece to a magazine or something when I have time.
6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas if Writing and Reading Genres?
I’m still trying to figure out my writing process. I write whenever a story pops into my head which is usually night time. I’m not sure why, but my imagination feels blank during the day. Maybe it’s the fact I’m tired and my mind is getting ready to dream?
I am also a huge fan of the suspense and thriller genres because those are the stories that keep me at the edge of my seat. I also enjoy investigative and crime-solving stories. I used to like to read Young Adult fiction and the supernatural genre but lately, not so much. Maybe I’m growing up?
“I am currently finishing a few short stories for my collection called: A Light in the Dark. I am also in the process of expanding a short story into a novel.” – Yinglan Z.
7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers?
My advice for new writers and bloggers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying. Also I encourage you to visit other blogs and comment on other bloggers’ posts. Participate in challenges and sooner or later, other bloggers will pay you a visit and almost always this starts a chain reaction. You discover new blogs and bloggers and their followers may also follow you in return. As well, leave your link and some information at blogging parties and learn to network through and with other bloggers. Be willing to look at other blogs and learn from them as well.
8. For fun, do you have any particular blogs you follow? What Do You Like About Them?
Oh wow, that is difficult to choose since I follow thousands of blogs. I will say my favorite kinds of blogs are photography, travel, and flash fiction. I like these kinds of blogs because I can often learn a thing or two from them.
“My advice for new writers would be to don’t give up. Keep writing! Most people do not become famous with their first story. Keep trying.” – Yinglan Z
9. Can You Please Share With us a Few Favorite Links from Your Blog?
I wrote this poem a long time ago (about 14 or 15 years old) and decided to share it about two years ago. It was written during the phase when I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.
By Yinglan Z.
Your yesterday is gone But your today is here sooner than you think You wish you haven’t gotten everything wrong And you wish you can make all the bad go away And you say
Tomorrow Things are going to be okay Tomorrow It will all change
Your today is gone And you have made no commitment To bring changes Oh and you just kept on saying that
Tomorrow Things are going be all right Tomorrow It will all be bright
Day and day went by You just sat behind your table Waiting for changes to come to you You say, “It’ll be okay” And I say “it’ll be okay when you start making changes for yourself” And you say starting tomorrow
Things are going to be all right Tomorrow It will all be right It will all be bright It will be the day when I set thing right
Thank you to Yinglan for agreeing to be interviewed and for sharing about her writing and her life.
Just to note: Yinglan has returned from her relatives in China and has been visiting my home country of Canada in Alberta checking out The Rocky Mountains in Banff and around Lake Louise. She was recently in Yellow Stone National Park in the U.S. and if you follow her blog, Yinglan’s photographs of her travels are also a huge highlight when you read her posts. She is talented at taking beautiful shots of scenery while traveling and finding interesting places abroad and from around her home.
If you would like to be a part of my bi-weekly interview series please let me know via my Contact Page. See you in two weeks with another exciting interview 🙂
“Madam, you and your children need to come with me,” a police officer stated. He was from the police nationale.
Mom gazed up at him and asked: “Why, what have we done? We’ve only been sightseeing here on vacation. We have our passports and travel Visas.”
“If you come with me, right now, this will be much easier,” the officer said. I shivered at his cold impersonal accented tone.
My Mom attempted to speak but the officer squeezed her arm tightly and picking her up, deposited her in the back if his police car.
My sisters and I peered up at the officer scared spitless. “We didn’t do anything,” I said. “I’m twelve and my two sisters are ten-years old twins. We aren’t bad kids.”
The officer nodded at me. I could hear my Mom crying and banging her hands against the window in the police car. My sisters Paige and Monique were crying silently.
“What’s your name Cher?” The officer asked me. His French accent was thick when he spoke English.
“I’m Brianne, what did my Mom do?” The officer didn’t say anything, but he nodded to one of his fellow officers.
“We need to talk to your Mom about some things for a while. This is officer Carson, he’s going to take you back to your hotel. You girls can watch movies and swim in the pool. Don’t leave and always ask Carson when you want to do something. He’ll take you for repas du soir later on,” the officer said. He smiled at me and I could tell his smile was forced.
“But our Mom . . .” Paige and Monique whined. It was no use. Officer Carson herded us into his vehicle and drove us back to the hotel we were staying with our Mom.
We played in the pool, pretending we enjoyed it. We watched three movies on pay-per-view and then some cartoons on TV. We played on our Mom’s tablet, emailing our Uncle Reese and asking what we should do. The message always came back to Mom’s email, saying the email address was wrong, but we knew better.
At 4:00 pm Officer Carson came back from the gift shop with chips, popcorn, pop, and chocolate bars. Paige and Monique were happy to eat what they could; mom didn’t let us have much junk food, even on vacation. I had a square of delicious Belgian chocolate and almost threw-up.
Later around 8:00 pm, Carson told us to put on nice clothes for dinner. We dined at a trendy restaurant and the food was magnifique. By this time the smell of the delicious food in the restaurant and my hunger had surpassed the twisted and nauseous feeling in my stomach.
“My Mom, what if she can’t afford all this?” I asked Carson referring to all we’d done so far. Our family had scrounged and saved to travel to a few countries in Europe this year. Mom thought it was vital for us to have the experience traveling to see history, and other cultures.
Officer Carson appeared thoughtful. “It’s okay Brianne. Ne tu inquites pas. We’ll take care of things until your Mom returns. I nodded. I didn’t know what else to say.
That night we went to bed sleeping fitfully. The next morning Carson awoke us and told us we would be sightseeing today. He told us about various places we could visit and let us choose a couple of them to see. We went to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. We didn’t have to wait in line at all; we immediately were able to see what we wanted first.
The four of us continued site seeing for the next week, never seeing our Mom. We always went out to dinner at a different restaurant each night to dine. Carson enjoyed eating well.
One day, Carson even took us to H&M and some clothing stores for girls our age and let us each have one-hundred-and-fifty Euros to shop. We didn’t question Carson on this, even though it was a lot of money to us. We decided to spend eighty Euros and save the rest of the money for emergency.
Caron seemed to know, “Vous etes des files intelligences pour economiser de l’argent. Bon les files.” He smiled at us, a rare occurence. We understood a bit of French from school and found ourselves picking it more with Carson. He brought us back to the hotel to spend the rest of the day watching movies and swimming.
Three-weeks later our Mom returned. We cried when we saw her. I thought I’d never see her again and I gathered Paige and Monique thought the same.
Mom appeared awful, unkept, and waif thin. She immediately went to bed, waking up in the middle of the night to shower. A wardrobe of various designer clothes and shoes was later delivered to her that week and Carson handed her a cheque for a large amount of money. My Mom’s eyes nearly popped out of her head.
“For all your troubles Madam,” Carson told her and disappeared; we never saw him again.
After Mom recovered for a couple of weeks, she decided we should continue to travel. A Doctor which had come to see her every two-days declared her fit and well.
“Now that we have the money, we can travel throughout Europe and see many countries, not only three,” Mom told us. She smiled almost like her old-self and arranged for us to go everywhere we wanted and stay in nice hotels.
Later I thought back to this and realized Mom was running from the demons chasing her inside, from her nightmares, and her flashbacks.
On a beach in Grenada, Spain, Mom finally said: “Girls I suppose it’s time we go home, you’ve missed a month of school already.”
We didn’t want to leave. We were worried about or Mom. She hadn’t been the same person since the police first took her away.
I’d given her space and only asked once or twice what happened to her. She ignored me. She wouldn’t talk to Paige or Monique either.
” I can’t tell you. That’s why we’ve so much money now Brianne,” she finally said to me.
Years later, I’m thirty-six and visiting my Mom. She is paging through a scrapbook of our European vacation.
“You never said,” I began,”You never told me or anyone what happened to you in France. I know the memories give you nightmares still. What did the French police do to you Mom?”
To my surprise she answered me. “Your Dad, you never knew him. I divorced him when you were only three-years-old and the twins one-years-old. He was a bad person, involved in things even in Europe which were awful and illegal.” A tear slipped out my Mom’s eye.
“When we came through France, they thought I was there to see your Dad. They promised they wouldn’t hurt my daughters but treat them well, if I told them everything I knew about your Dad. I told them I hadn’t seen him in almost ten-years that he was a terrible low-life, wanted across the North America.”
“They wanted more. The police thought I had to be in contact with him. They were sure I was here to see him. For a week they tortured me, wouldn’t let me sleep, and other worse things. Eventually, they believed me and promised to let me go if I helped catch your Dad and draw him out from hiding so they could arrest him. Their plan worked, your Dad’s locked up forever,” my Mom said.
“Mom, how could you not say anything all these years? How did you manage to travel around Europe after being . . .”
She cut me off. “Money Brianne. Millions and millions in US funds. Enough to send my three daughters to the best universities and give you everything I couldn’t before. Enough money to wipe out the misery of thattime in my life.”
“Did it work? I asked my Mom.
She sighed tears forming, “It’s money Brianne. It makes things better and hides the truth. But in the end, the truth of what I went through is always there behind my eyes when I close them. I’m thankful Carson took care of you Brianne and Paige and Monique. He treated you well as the police promised he would. Above all, I was grateful and am grateful for that.”
Mom closed her eyes and the tears continued to streak down her cheeks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 Netflixtoo. 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.
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:
Each month I try to give you guys a bit of an update on my life. It’s been a while since I have been able to sit down and think about things.
April was extremely busy, writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month. As I wrote each day in accordance with the prompt provided on the website, I also tried to do various forms of poetry. This is continueous with the poetry journey I have been on this year, learning new types of poetry from Shadow Poetry.
I found my first attempts at new kinds of poetry frustrating at times this month, because I was having to write poems using a prompt, and write on weekends too. I think I wrote the best poetry going back to types of poetry I had used before and had had the chance to refine over the months in 2015 and 2016.
As much as I love April’s NaPoWriMo, I’m glad it is done and I can focus on some other aspects of writing. I was scraping the bottom, the last few poems I wrote for the challenge. Kudos to those of you who both did NaPoWriMo and the A to Z challenge.
I think my biggest concern lately has been with weight put on from medications in the past, which I haven’t been able to lose. I had a good idea I would gain another ten pounds off last July’s medication switch. I don’t regret doing the changes in hospital, but I would really love it if I could even get my body weight down twenty-pounds.
A good friend of mine from university L, started on this new supplement program. It’s not only about losing weight but getting proper vitamins, having more energy, and feeling healthier all around. I’m careful where supplements are concerned because sometimes they react with medication. However, I brought an ingredients list to my pharmacist and he said it was fine. You would hope so, as all the ingredients are naturally sourced.
Initially, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches on what they call an 8 day detox. I was happy with this result, but once I started back on their day 9 to 30 diet, I gained back the weight. Now I find, I have also gained back inches and put on a couple pounds on the weightloss meal plan. I’m frustrated because I actually know many people including my friend, who over months kept losing weight on the weightloss plan and on these supplements.
My friend said try increasing your protein and I tried it last week but as I feared, the protein increase made me put on a couple pounds and inches. So, I went back to smaller amounts of protein except for the last meal of the day, so I remain full at night. I have issues with finding myself ravenously hungry at night. Right around 11:00 pm to 1:00 pm, my stomach thinks it needs food now. I guess, I will have to convince it otherwise.
The weight issue is extremely discouraging when I’m doing the same plan as my good friend, but can’t lose the weight. I got into a bad habit after a month and half of trying to lose more weight. I began eating some delicious calorie loaded food because I was not losing weight anyways. But stepping on the scale a moment, changed my mind about continuing this trend.
On a good note, I have found a supplement I take called xyng, to be an extremely excellent product. It actually increases my energy. I take one pill in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is supposed to help with a person’s metabolism and appetite, but I haven’t noticed those effects. But I do notice I have much less energy without the xyng so I plan to keep taking it with a couple of other supplements from the product line I liked for the health benefits. I’m planning on carefully sticking to the meal plan for the next while, to see if it goes better. It may or may not.
Between poetry writing, I have been going full-out trying to finish the first draft of How Was Last Night For You. I’m a chapter or two away from finishing the novel in first draft. Last week I became stuck at a pivotal point in one of the main character’s story. I’m going to think about it a bit before continuing on. The ending needs to be strong as well as set me up for book two in the series. Yes, there will be a second novel, I have been considering it for some time and once this one is mostly complete, I will begin planning book two.
I have been researching and saving articles on publishing books and a generous blogger even provided me with information for a couple of fantastic editors. Right now I have a fellow writer looking my work over, it’s a huge job. When he said editing it ‘line by line’ he meant it. I am hoping I’m able to provide him with the same quality of feedback with his writing projects. Having that feedback has helped me a great deal in regards to writing short pieces of flash fiction, especially with meaningful dialogue.
I’m also participating in a challenge called #Maydays and the generous host K.L. Caley, provides a prompt each day. Thus far, I have chosen to write fiction, heavy on the dialogue as I am attempting to ‘show‘ verses ‘tell‘ in my writing and working on developing better dialogue. I’d be interested to hear what other writers think about these terms. Do you agree there should be more ‘showing‘ than ‘telling‘ in a work of fiction?
Another aspect of my blog I would like to work on is having a couple of guest bloggers a month. I’m interested in people as a writers and I have some interview questions I can email to that effect. Why you write, how you started etc. If you would like to be a guest blogger/writer please comment on this post or go to the top of my blog page, to the contact me page.
As for the rest of life, I’m back to reading a lot again. I’ve forgotten how reading a great book can go quickly and find myself moving through different genres of books with speed. It’s not that I’m not absorbing the books information; I’ve always been a fast reader, when I’m feeling well and can concentrate. I will update you guys on some of the books I like sometimr in May. As well. I will have new beauty posts and some other posts unrelated to writing in the coming months. I’ve been unable to do these kinds of posts lately, due to having to keep up with my novel writing.
I spent a wonderful night out attempting to paint a picture and drinking wine with some friends at a small wine place downtown. It was a lot of fun despite not being able to make my painting look like the one the instructor had painted. I’ve never been an ‘exact’ painter, I go with the flow.
Also, I saw the third movie in the Divergent Series of movies called Allegiant. I’m not entirely sure if this is part 1 or if there is a part 2? I thought they were breaking the third book Allegiant, into two parts for the movie but perhaps I’m wrong? If you know let me know 🙂
I’m looking forward to Alice Through the Looking Glass, this summer in theatres, the new Captain America and Iron Man film, a new addition to The Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Orlando Bloom in it and the newest Harry Potter-like movie coming out in Fall, set in the 1920’s.
As for TV, I’m anticipating a twisty finale for Scandal and hopefully, something big on Grey’s Anatomy since last season was not an exciting ending, more of a tying up of loose ends with McDreamy’s death a few episodes before the Finale. Also, I’m looking forward to watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey and Season 2 of The Fall on Netflix.
As for other things, enjoying walking in the river valley in the warm spring weather. It’s not so hard now without a dog, I’ve grown used to it. Also, doing yoga as always. I think if you have trouble with exercise or are starting trying to be fitter, yoga or Pilates is excellent in keeping your body toned and flexible. Just start at an easy beginner level and repeat it until you can do the exercise pattern for longer or the moves become too easy. Then move up from there. If it is never easier add another beginner routine in for variety and remember even doing a small amount of exercise, you are lapping everyone on the couch!
Additiinally, a quick congrats to one of my besties Tara for becoming engaged in Hawaii last week. Also, since I probably didn’t mention her, congrats to one of my other besties Shannon for her engagement earlier this year! So excited for you both!