October 20, 2014

Whispers Behind Her Back

You can barely hear them.

She can't hear them at all, and I like it that way.

They're soft and intermittent and I can almost always ignore them. Sometimes I can even silence them with a look or an explanation or sometimes with just a tiny amount of snark.

Mostly they're the whispers of strangers and who cares what they think? She doesn't notice them and even if she did, she wouldn't understand them. If she did, she'd probably just smile and reach out her hand because she's gentle and kind and forgiving like that.

Sometimes I too want to reach out my hand. But in more of a "come over here so I can slap your head" way.

Though my daughter has many friends, last year she made a new friend and this relationship was special. This little girl had just moved to Canada with her father while her mother was remained overseas. Her new friend came over to our house often to play and attend parties and she called Avery on the phone. How proud and excited my little girl was to have the phone ring—for her. Between Avery's delayed speech and her friend's broken English, it was the game Broken Telephone—IRL version. It was both terribly sweet and ridiculously funny.

Now well into Grade three, Avery has gotten over the disappointment of not being in the same class as her bestie. I have tried since the beginning of the school year to arrange a play date, but our invitations have been repeatedly declined. I've come to learn that the mom is here now and Avery's friend told me she will not allow her to come to our house.

I can't name the reason why, but in my heart I know. Perhaps I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe they are just extremely busy? Or there's something else going on that I don't know about? But the thing is, even if they're faint or spoken in another language, I can hear the whispers.

October 19, 2014

Want To WIN A $500 Shoe Shopping Spree?

Winter. That word gets stuck in my throat like a warm tongue to a frosty fence. But winter is coming my fellow Canadians and we need to be prepared. Or least have cute winter boots. My mom bought these waterproof insulated Rieker Tex boots. Love 'em and wish we had the same size feet. 

I'm a stunningly indecisive shopper. I have my eye on these black Cougar pillow boots but wonder if I really want to walk around sporting "Cougar" on my person at this stage in my life?

Did you have a pair of the originals? Bet you let the tongue hang out and refused to do them up. I also bet you didn't pay $220 for them. Yup. That's what they cost now. I bought my first pair from K-Mart back in the day and I'm sure I didn't pay more than $20.

So IF I decide to go back and buy them, you can bet I'll protect them! I wrote all about how to do that here. Them's some pricey kicks but so cute. Gotta say, winning a shoe shopping spree would help.

Shoe Shopping Spree You Say? (Check out THAT seamless segue. Heh heh.)

Come (twitter) party with us and *fingers and toes crossed* be eligible to WIN the Grand Prize of a $500 Shoe Shopping Spree, or one of the secondary Tana prizes!

When: Wednesday, October 22, from 8-9pm EDT

Where: On Twitter of course! Follow the hashtag #TanaLovesShoes and be sure to follow our host, @MoeTurner, and shoe-loving moderators: @Mom2Michael, @MrsLouLou, @Kidsumers and me, @LisaThornbury.

October 18, 2014

Giving Old Skin The Boot — Tana Loves Shoes

My poor neglected boots...

You thought I was talking about my 40-something skin? That's okay. My skin is starting to resemble a potato, but it has to do with hormones and over-tanning in the 80s.

My leather boots have also seen better days—but due to harsh Canadian winters and dehydration. Like our skin, leather boots (and shoes, purses and belts for that matter) need cleaning and moisturizing.

My husband scoffs when I refer to my boots as an "investment." But they are! Take the classic Frye boots I'm saving for—my family might have to eat baked beans for awhile, but these boots will be an integral part of my wardrobe for many years to come. So I need to protect them or my family will give me the boot. So to speak.

My current foot faves are these browny-grey Fossil boots. I've had them for three years and they're starting to show their age.

Why yes, I AM aware these descriptors also describe the boot wearer. Ha, ha, sob.

A little TLC up front would have helped to preserve them, but thankfully there are ways to bring them back to life.

Following in his father's footsteps (literally), Paul got his start in the shoe biz over thirty years ago. Manager at our local Walking On A Cloud store, he agreed to share some of his tried and true shoe care tips.

Hallelujah, I'm 'heeled!' Clearly Paul is some kind of shoe shaman.

Paul showed me how the simple 4-step system works.

1. Clean Remove loose dirt with cloth or brush. Then apply a small amount of Tana Cleaning Lotion to a soft cloth and work into the leather. Allow to dry. *Use a solution of 1 tblsp white vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 drops dish soap to remove salt stains from your Uggs.

2. Polish Buff with the Tana Polishing Cloth. *Restore the luster (I love that word) to your shoes/boots simply by buffing.

3. Shine & Protect Squeeze a bit of Tana Self Shine Cream/Polish onto the built-in buff and apply evenly in a circular motion to revive the colour. The cream comes in several shades s including neutral, brown, and black. Paul used dark brown for my boot heels and I used neutral on the leather. This product is a three-in-one. It shines, colours and protects.  *Spot test all products on an inconspicuous area before applying all over.
4. Protect Hold about 20 cm away from the clean, dry shoe/boot/purse. Apply regularly throughout the season—just like our skin, leather loses moisture. *Paul says a family should go through about two cans of Tana All Protector in a winter.

Hey, I wonder what would happen if I sprayed my face with the Tana All Protector? Kidding. Do not use these products on your skin. However, Paul told me you can spray the cuffs of your pants in the winter to keep the salty slush from staining them. Told you he's a Shoe Shaman.

Pssst....Tana wants to help protect YOUR footwear "investment!" One lucky Canadian will win a grand prize of $2000.00 in the Weather the Winter with Tana contest. There are also 5 bi-weekly prizes of $1000.00 each. Enter HERE until December 10, 2014 for your chance to win.

I am taking part in the Tana Shoe Care Blog campaign. While I have received compensation as part of my affiliation with this program, the opinions shared are my own.

October 17, 2014

Honk If You're Hornet—A Rant About Wasps

Alternate titles for this post include: 
Thugs Of The Insect World
We Don't Like You, So Buzz Off
Get Off My Apple Arsehole
You'll Never Make Honey. Get Over It
Wasps Are Wankers
Go Back To Your Own Planet
Wasps. What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing.
I decided on the hornet inclusive title because a) LOL! and b) Hornets are jerks too.

So are wasps good for anything?

They're part of our ecosystem (though I stand by my claim that they are invaders from another planet. Magnify them about 1000x and you can totally imagine a wasp-alien eating Sigourney Weaver).

Wasps eat pests like aphids and other creepy little insects. They also act like tiny vultures by eating and disposing of dead rotting stuff. I know this is a helpful thing; the circle of life and all that, but why do they have to be so annoying about it?

Go ahead and eat my apple core, but can you at least wait until I put it down? And when a raccoon has a tantrum and hurls my food waste bin across my lawn, do you really have to swarm me like that? I'm merely trying to remove the potato peels and avocado pits from my lawn.

Wasps sting when they feel threatened and I guess I'd feel threatened too if somebody hit me with a badminton racket or swatted at me with angry flailing arms. So as much as I don't care for them, I try not to kill them. Unless they fly into my car window or come inside my house. Then the truce is off.

Last week, an unsuspecting wasp paid the ultimate price by flying down my top. I know my shirt was somewhat low cut but this doesn't mean I was asking for it. I felt him crawl down into my cleavage and heard his muffled buzzing and I panicked.

I screamed. Of course.

And jumped around flailing. Obviously.

Then I leaned forward and tried to shimmy him free, but he was hopelessly trapped. I can't believe he didn't sting me. And this is why I feel guilty about what happened next.

I tore my shirt off over my head. Did I mention I was standing outside my house in my driveway? I didn't expose my 'uppers' to the neighbourhood because I was wearing a tank top underneath my shirt, but in my struggling to get my outer shirt off, I exposed my 'lowers' as my tank rose up under my bust (Yup, I just said bust) and I revealed my entire lily white, untoned midriff.

But it had to be done. Wasp stings, sting. 

So there I was, standing in my driveway, exposed midriff heaving. All because of a tiny insect. A tiny insect who was now lying limp and partially squashed at my feet.

Little wasp, thank you for not stinging me. And sorry about the, you know, killing.

To summarize—What are wasps good for?

1. Eating other gross bugs.
2. Disposing of dead stuff.
3. Providing entertainment for a two block radius of my neighbourhood last Wednesday.


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