Category Archives: Tournesol dans un jardin

YES! I found my eyeliner!!!

Let my fingers do the talking...Last week when I was visiting my mom at the nursing home, I was a bit early for her dinner, so I decided to go to the local drug store and check out the make-up.  At my age, I CAN use all the help I can or perhaps it is all an illusion on my part…I think that black, blue or charcoal eyeliner makes my eyes “POP” and no one notices all my other aging features.  Oh, yeah??!! {Starting to wonder and get that confused scary look on my face.}  Well!! it works for me and the multi-million dollar corporations who sell the darn stuff, so there!…moving on along…

I went in there with the intention to purchase ONE eyeliner but a salesgirl…this bubbly, young, skinny {skinnier than Twiggy, so yeah, that’s skinny!…I should know, I used to be skinny back in the stone age} comes up to offer me help. “Bonjour, je peux vous aider?”  After I explain I need an eyeliner that goes on nice and smooth but stays on regardless of my teary eyes {ummm, yeah, the dry eyes are part of aging too…go figure…sheesh! But I can pretend I wear contact lenses with my drop dead gorgeous blue eyes, right?!}

So she shows me one brand that is just 6.99 (a steal!!) I should have taken that one and run out…but no, she keeps talking to me and moving demurely   effortlessly {not a term fitting for her…how can you be demure and that skinny and young?…dosesn’t demure mean Dorothy Lamoure  curvy look? Hmmm, will have to edit that and think of another word later.}  She brings me towards another section of VERY EXPENSIVE products. There are names I have never heard of and can’t even pronounce, so I guess they must be very hip since they are not even close to sounding like Revlon, Maybelline, Max Factor or Clinique (My brand).  Oh, boy, I thought to myself, she is going to con me into buying something…oh dear….not to worry, I straighten my shoulders to give that assertive stance…and pretend to listen to her spiel…

BUT SHE GOT ME AT,  “Seeeeee, try it….” As the pencil just so friggin glides real nice and smooth…and the colours!! Well, how can one choose??!!”  She continues, “If you purchase $25 or more of THIS product, which by the way is Pupa Milano (what a weird name…I wonder if it’s pronounced Poooop AHHH or Pup AH;  oh well, with the added Milano it does give it a bit of  sophistication, I suppose.  Hey, those advertisers must know something, right?

“….with that purchase, there is a promotion” {bad word bad word!!! Makes you believe you got a good deal, must have, must have situation!} “…of a new voluminous eyeliner with a nail polish of exotic colours and it is a great gift pack originally {another bad bad bad deceiving word} marked at $32.00 for FREE.”

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! She said the “FREE” word…I was a gonner.  So I bought 2 of those nice smooth eyeliners that came out to be $32.00 to get my FREE $32.00 mascara and nail polish and STILL purchased my original eyeliner at $6.99 brand Personnelle which is, by the way, excellent!!!…  “smooth and affordable” (the mantra for low budget peeps like me).

I felt a bit guilty as I always do for spending $$$ that I cannot afford but kept telling myself I really got it for free since the promotional package was worth the same thing …spent $32 to get another $32…okay…boy, it’s a good thing I don’t live in a big city where there are so many swift, crafty and devious people marketing their wares! But then again, I usually get caught in the smaller towns thinking these people are so much more honest and caring like me!!  Well, she was a good salespersons…good for her!!

That original black eyeliner was what I originally wanted and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went on…I used it that evening to go to work after visiting my mom.  That was last week…I could never find the darn eyeliner afterwards.  I searched in every make up kit I could find  {I do have several…well, I have years and years of wisdom to cover!!}.  Every day for the past week I would look in purses, back packs, coat pockets {Oh, well, living in Quebec one MUST have several winter coats …so I do have many pockets to go through} and could not find it.

I kept closing my eyes and visualizing my putting it in the zippered pocket on the inside of my HUGE black purse.  Then I emptied the contents of said purse AGAIN for the 20th time, on the floor.  Nothing!:(  then I placed my hand on the inside and smoothed my hand on the lining to feel for something…a bump or something and VOILÀ!!! I felt the form of a pencil inside the lining of my purse.  There must have been a wee hole in the zippered section…YES!!  And I found my eyeliner!!  made up eyes

So don`t give up, readers, when you are searching for something not too big, not too small, but small enough to slip through a tiny opening in the lining of a coat pocket or purse…you just may find something you have searched for a long time…happy treasure hunt.

Montreal City Lights…an amazing Band!

Last week I had the opportunity to see an amazing band perform at Café Campus, Montréal, Qc..  To see these guys perform…to hear the depth of their talent was awesome!

Montreal City Lights
Montreal City Lights

Here is a little bio I got from their website that YOU should all check out

Founded in 2010, Montreal City Lights is the result of individuals who have one thing in common: a strong passion for music. The band is composed of Alexandre Lavoie (vocals, guitar), Jean-François Nadeau (drums),  Philippe Pilon (bass), Sébastien Fournier (trumpet) and Dominique Moisan (voice). The group takes us on a musical journey with their songs that contain a wide variety of colors. This blend of talented musicians results in a Folk-Rock-Pop-Blues festive ambiance with plenty of nuances. Right from the start, the band performed on many stages including Club Soda, Le National and Le Petit Campus. Launched in February 2012, the first EP of the band is called “Sing for you” and will soon be sold on

I always feel so privileged to be in the presence of creative talent. Not only is this group a great musical band, the singer, lead guitarist is a composer too!  Yep, and he devotes probably most of his free time to his passion. I should know [rubbing my fingernails on my shoulder and blowing on them, with a bit of pride…I work with this guy!].

So when I say work, I mean Alex works full time on a counselling crisis line for youths besides his creative

Alexandre Lavoie
Alexandre Lavoie Taylor

job. Every day, at each break he wolfs down his meal so he can take advantage of the rest of his spare time to sing, pratise and sing some more in a back room of our counselling centre.  Our clinical manager appreciates his talent and found him a place that does not disturb us while we are working.

But I gotta say, I like to sneak over to a couch that leans against the wall of “that back room” and just relax and unwind listening to that acoustic guitar and strong rich voice…oh yeah, feels nice to unwind like that.

This band plays a mix of so many styles that are true to my heart like folk, bluesy, rock and I guess like most folks, when you aren’t sure you just catagorize that as “alternative”.  They just completed their FIRST CD and this is a BIG DEAL…really!  Each song was created with the passion, talent and tenuous work of this band and especially….Alex!  It IS clear that this is a labour of love.

The thing that struck me last week was just how much all these bands put so much of themselves AND their hard earned money from their “day jobs” to pay to be able to perform at such venues as Café Campus.  My measly $5 cover charge was nothing and since not many peeps showed up in the middle of the week…blame it on winter, University reading week…whatever…these bands still have to cough up several hundreds of dollars and I did NOT see one band member complain…they perform to the little crowd as if we were a thousand groupies and fans cheering them on. What respect they have for an audience just astounds me!!  Really!!

I cant wait to purchase a few CDs of Montreal City Lights and lucky me, I can even get them autographed!!! YAY!!

I am willing to have some friends have a listen to a song or two but NO WAY do I allow them to copy…pirate any music that I purchase.  It stands to reason, that any kind of pirating is not only illegal it is also so friggin unethical…it is pretty darn despicable, I say!  Did you know that Canadians…yep, people known for being so polite and mild mannered…” on a per-person basis, dowloaded nearly two-and-a-half times as many unauthorized songs as Americans in the first half of 2012 (23.95 million in Canada, versis 96.68 in the U.S.).”  Ouch!! Not something to say you are proud to be Canadian, eh?


Is it tempting to download music for free? I suppose it could be because you think no one sees you and you are not hurting anyone…but aren’t you?   It is not any different than photocopying a book (and alas, there are peeps who do this too, I know)…I love to write and I would sure not want peeps copying my stuff…share at will, sure!  But give credit where it is due!

As for artists like Montreal City Lights

Montreal City Lights
Montreal City Lights

and the band I was also swepted away with Bright September   

Bright September check them out
Bright September check them out

…I can think of other bands I enjoy like Free Press in Toronto

  or Take the Boys here in Montreal  and I would never think of copying or downloading their stuff…if everyone does that, how are they able to create more amazing music?

When you are paying your measely $6 or $10 or $20 for a CD…you are just paying for the plastic and the cd…you are not even beginning to cover the cost of the time and time and time they have invested in their passion.  So some of you may say, “So what! It’s not my problem…they like jamming so who cares.”

Well I CARE and you are being selfish and inconsiderate peeps.   Imagine you have saved up for a real nice PS3 or an amazing new home entertainment unit…you have worked your butt off for a year to get these and one night you come home and you ‘ve been robbed!! OMG!! You say, and you feel violated.  Well, that is exactly what  you are doing to these artists every time you are pirating.

If you really can’t afford it…check out websites that let you have a sneak listen or borrow it from your local libarary…no one is asking you to pay pay pay…hey!  I get it!! Just don’t steal cuz that is basically what you’re doing. I hope  you think twice the next time you are tempted.

Go go go Montreal City Lights…the world is your oyster and all those clichés…I feel so proud seeing you guys blossom…I am your new groupie!!

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

Happy Valentine’s Day

Caroline Michaud Photographie

Caroline Michaud Photographie
Remember that card “unsigned” that said, “I LOVE YOU”?
It was so darn simple as kids
It was so darn simple as kids

It’s that time of year again… I do remember as a kid of 8 or 9 and Valentine’s was slightly different and yet…so simple…I remember how special I used to feel on this day. I would bring my carefully chosen and signed Valentines to share with my classmates and the fuzzy feeling I felt in my tummy along with tons of butterflies when someone special gave you a nice card “unsigned” but saying how you are special to him/her…{Heart throb…thump thump…sigh!!}

Moving on to Valentine’s Day and grown-ups…that special day…you know when couples look into each other’s eyes with a twinkle…or with that GaGa look.  It is a time when lots of guys feel the pressure to get something and aren’t “all” sure just what will put that sparkle in his partner’s eyes…or have his partner’s heart melt.


It is a time that some partners just don’t bother and give the excuse that it is “a lot of crap and only to make money”.  Hmmm, okay, I get part of that comment but what about just a little special something…does not have to be an expensive gift or that box of chocolates or the flowers you always forget which one your partner prefers…What if it is not purchased and you show her/him…MORE THAN WORDS to express the love you have for this special person in your life??!!

What about just being more attentive that evening?  You know, like clearing off the dinner table; or folding the laundry (kids clothes) together!

What about having a babysitter stay

Preferably a human babysiter over 14!
Preferably a human babysiter over 14yrs!

with the kids so you can go out for a nice walk…or just go to the movies together after dinner.  Can`t afford that…that`s just fine…then have the kids play at your friend/neighbour`s for 2 hours and you and your partner have a REAL early dinner …tête à tête on the living room rug with candles of course and soft music…ya see, it does not have be much to be turned into something special!

No neighbours but lots of children…have the older children go out for at least an hour or so to a park, a mall, a recreation centre…it may not work Feb. 14th…so plan it for a few days later.

In addition to words…What if you just looked your partner in the eyes and said just how much she/he is meant to you?  Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?  An extra stroke in the small of her/his back…a light touch (minouche)  behind the neck…a little pat on the butt…just little loving nudges that say it all so well, “I love you”.32179_300751003381322_603805519_n

Remember that song  by Extreme “More than words”?  Well, that is one of my favourites and I find it so darn fitting for Valentine’s Day.  Not everyone has the gift of the gab or Blarney; not everyone is a poet and not everyone can afford a gift expensive or not.  But showing your special lady how you feel can mean a lot and the results, believe me, will linger…for a while anyways.

{I still do not know how to embed this lovely video so kindly click on this link…the images speak wonders….the lyrics!  Well, listen and you’ll understand why it’s been one of my favs for so many years}


More Than Words

Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
‘Cause I’d already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away
Then you couldn’t make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words

Now that I’ve tried to talk to you and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands and touch me
Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all I ever needed you to show
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
‘Cause I’d already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away
Then you couldn’t make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words

Here are images professionally photographed by a Caroline Michaud who totally knows how to communicate in “more than words”…

Caroline Michaud Photographie

Caroline Michaud Photographie
I could think of several stories to write about this image…{heart thump}
Can you "see" feel the love...?
Can you “see” feel the love…?

What are things that make YOU feel special?…that make you feel like a woman… like a desired human being in every sense of the word.  I wrote a personal blog a while back on things that make me feel good, that make me feel desired and that make me  truly “Feel like a Woman”…and literally sigh with contentment…feeling like a feather fluttering on your skin or the nice feeling when draping a silk robe on your body…nice, smooth and special, right?

In closing, allow me to share what I wrote in my personal blog…in a slightly edited version of course 😛  

Special things that make me feel like a woman …Sooooooo… add to the list or pick one or two for Valentine’s Day  Loving yourself and making yourself feel good is KEY:)

53348_401761603228304_1176255263_o–         Finding that special sexy dress that makes my body look amazing and shows off the curves in just the right places…

–         those high heels or pumps that make those calves feel firm and allow me to walk with confidence when strutting down the street (or dance floor, club etc.), hips swaying, head up high, shoulders straight…feeling like taking on the world …bonus if my guy is next to me, gently placing the palm of his hand on the small of my back now and then.

–         Walking into a fancy restaurant, dance club or bar with the above outfit and attitude and feeling some eyes notice me as I proudly hold onto the the arm of “my guy”.

–         Dancing with my girl friends and just enjoying the music…not a care in the world…feeling eyes on us which does not stir my curiosity but just adds to my confidence.

–         Nice silk stockings that feel soft on my legs

–         A soft silk nighty hugging my body…

–         A nice feeling after a workout especially feeling my tummy muscles start firming…

–         Soaking in a bubble bath, the bathroom lit ONLY with candles and listening to jazz

–         Having my special person,  put sunscreen on my shoulders…my back…and yup, you guessed it the neck and small of my back feel extra special

–         Swimming in a lake on a deserted beach…nude…feeling light and free

–         Floating on a boat…catamaran …raft……hearing nothing but the ripple of the water and fish tails flapping the water now and then…feeling the soft breeze on my face, through my hair and on my body.

–         Feeling the breeze on a hot summer night on my body…lying on a sandy beach or on a boat…

–         Feeling the palm of  that special person`s hand gently support the small of my back as we walk into a room together

–         Touching the small of my back while dancing or on a slow walk outdoors…

–         Passing his fingers through my long hair…starting from the top of my head, gently going down to my neck massaging the scalp gently, gives me goose bumps just writing this

–         Those special eyes that look me over slowly with some subtlety …eyes telling me I look amazing…worth more than words!

–         Being pulled into his strong arms and kissed (“ardently” the cheeky novels say) on my lips… breathtaking…

–         Minouching /stroking my neck and gently towards the nape of my neck.

–         Watching a movie and gently feeling my guy’s hand cover mine…stroking ever so softly now and then…

–         When talking or watching t.v. or a movie, gently stroking my shoulder or my neck or my hand or my knee or thigh…ever so briefly…that’s telling me that you’re thinking of me …you’re glad to be near me…

–         When among people in a discussion or at a party and my special person looks at me casually and winks…or raises their eyebrows…means so many things 1) This is cool but I’d like to be with you right now 2) miss you 3) won’t be long so we can be together and ….cuddle…take your pick…they are all signs of wanting to be intimate (talking, touching or just holding each other and relaxing)

–         Sometimes, taking me by the elbow to make sure I don’t slip or fall…

–         Feeling his hand around my shoulders when walking, …just feeling his presence…

–         Those are just some things I like…Oh, oh, and lest not I forget…slow slow dancing to soul music…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, February 13, 2013

WoW!! How windy was it today???

 7857205Walking to work today was certainly a challenge. The winds were so strong, I felt literally “blown away” on more than one occasion.   As I was pushing against the wind to get to work early this afternoon, I thought to myself, “Geez, I know I lost a few pounds but this is ridiculous!  I am not a skinny person and a far cry from slim…so how come these gusts are so darn powerful?!!”   I am not kidding, so many times as I was getting closer and closer to work near St-Viateur + Bernard, I could not help but hear this faint voice in my head, “Auntie EM!!! ”  it literally felt like, any minute, I was going to be knocked off my feet and soar through the sky…

Well, reading the Montreal Gazette tonight confirmed the winds were certainly out of the ordinary.  If the winds this morning at 11 am. Succeeded in knowking down a truck…I guess I was lucky at 2p.m. to be still standing!  A roof blew off in Pincourt; tempos (tent style car shelters) were blown away like “kites” . 

Over 100,000 residents without power and traffic was even banned in a quadrant downtown (that happens to be my travel route to and from work).  And Highway 25, between Joliette and Mascouche was closed at 2:15 (minutes after I arrived unharmed at work) due to too many cars taking the ditch! Reports, Anne Southerland, of The Montreal Gazette

Walking home tonight at 11:30 p.m. was even more challenging as the temperatures had dipped another 12 degrees, so it was windy and brrrrrrrrrrrrr very very cold.  For me to have to keep my scarf over my face…it WAS cold!

I certainly cannot complain because I did not get hurt, I did not take my car and have to worry about icy roads and I was not deprived of electricity.  Here I am snug as a bug in a rug (well my comfy housecoat) blogging.

I’m taking a 3 day weekend starting tonight and hopefully the wind calms down a little so I can travel to visit friends in the Eastern Townships…

me jan 2013 B & WHave a great weekend everyone…drive safely and check out my previous post on what to do with young children if you are stuck inside all weekend.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts   Tao2Oat    January 31, 2013

How have you been coping in this bitter cold weather?

1270317843i7t8u91.jpgHow are you all enjoying our lovely COLD weather these days?  It was bad enough to have been snow bound for h0w many days?  How many centimeters?  Breaking records since 197what?  And yes {sigh!} I am old enough to vaguely remember.

images (3)

Initially, when I started writing this blog, I had young children in mind who were cooped up in the house due this cold weather and I was thinking about what parents and stay at home moms/dads were able to come up with as resources to occupy their offsprings {good word…springing up and down and going bonkers from not enough to do!!! if you can’t diffuse that pent up energy outside.}

I was fortunate enough to raise my children at that age (under 5) in Suburbia and I also had an amazing neighbour/friend who rescued me from shere insanity many a times…”Bless you Janet, and thank you! Paul sure helped too by being more of a kid than our kids:)” …but for those families living in condos and apartments…not as well acquainted with their surroundings, neighbours or community activities I thought I would share a few ideas that worked for me.

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOGCAST  FOR THIS  IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  ON THE COLD FRONT…I was also thinking of adults…like me and not so fortunate individuals who had to brave this cold snap we had last week.   It is true, that we are now enjoying a balmy -6C today, so that cold stuff  has already passed as you read this, yet,  Winter is NOT over and more COLD {brrrrrr} is sure to return and maybe even with fury… So…BEWARE!

ALL last week,  I kept telling myself, “It’s gonna get warmer tomorrow”…but nope, it got colder and windier each  day.  So how cold was it? -26C but factoring the windchill made it rise to -40!!  I was pretty proud of my 2003 Hyundai Tiburon though;  it started at the first try after being id0l for 7 days…good lil’ shark that she is:)  We shall NOT talk about the lost air in my tires…that could be for another blog and I am starting to see more and more that helium inflated tires may be a good idea…but moving on…

2003 Hyundai Tiburon
2003 Hyundai Tiburon
A cyclist is braving the cold as he is cycling on Rachel street in Montreal on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 on a very cold night. e temperature will dip to mid minus-30s Celsius with windchill.
Photograph by: Marie-France Coallier, The Gazette

I have to admit that I have not seen7857200 7857402 7857202 this cold weather last so long since a long long time;  I thought of less fortunate folks who could not brave this cold weather such as homeless persons, people who did not have warm enough winter clothes and   some residents who went  without hydro who, hopefully some  had warm wool and down blankets to keep warm for a while. The homeless may not all have had that option…

Back to this Cold weather … There were several weather warnings and here are a few that the media advised the public about:

  • Hydro pleads to residents to reduce Power during peak hours.

  • Protecting pets: Take precautions to keep dogs and cats safe as temperatures dip. My son and daughter-in-law went to see the strays on Ile Charon yesterday…Why isnt anyone doing anything about those poor strays?   To make matters worse, the hotel (I wont mention since I don`t want to give it a good rating since management warns employees of expulsion from their  jobs if they feed the strays!) If you want to spread the word to get some people involved here is a link about these strays

Strays at Ile Charon...
Strays at Ile Charon…


Cold weather also means icy roads…black ice …watch out folks!! Slow down!!!

  • Shelters gather homeless during cold snap but what if some do not make it the shelters?  I finish work late and get to the Bonaventure Metro Station about 11p.m. every night and I see many homeless huddled in warmth, trying to get a few hours of “warm” sleepy time before being sent out to the streets (and sometimes they may choose not to go to shelters).

“The Welcome Home Mission works with the Old Brewery Mission and Maison du P’ere toprovide a shuttle service between shelters.  When on reaches capacity, the shuttle will drive people to another shelter which has vacant beds.  Altogether the three shelters can provide beds for 600 people.  On Thursday, 573 were in use.”…  read more

It’s a good thing, I had the day off last Sunday, so it gave me the opportunity to shop and I found a really warm “pilot” style winter hat for half price.  And it IS very warm.  By the time I end my shift and leave the centre, it is close to midnight and the wind-chill is excruciating.  All I have to do is lower that furry flap over my forehead, 20130128_041555pull down the ear flaps and tie this lovely invention under my chin and I am snug as a bug…well, you get my drift.

I doubt many people could do much “outdoor” sports this past week either.  Maybe some brave soul got to do some cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing…at least within a few minutes you get into the woods and are protected “somewhat” from the cold.  Other than that, it is time to find things to do inside. I don’t envy families with young children who really need to be entertained and busy busy busy. Some have houses and so, the children can probably expend some of that energy indoors; some are in daycares and the workers have lots of tricks and things they can do…but for the apartment or condo sheltered little family or single parent family, it might get a tad challenging.

This is a great time to have arts and craft instruments on hand.  It need not be expensive either.  I did not always have Play dough…but rather made it with flour. The colour it always ended up being was this turquoise bluish tone…somewhat like that the tones on this website.  So, um, yeah, it is probably because I like those colours. I used to keep a huge suitcase as well filled with clothes for “dress-up”. The kids seemed to have fun with that.  It was my “rainy day” kiddy tool for those cold/rainy days stuck indoors. Board games can be fun but for the little guys under 5 you might consider easier ones that they can WIN 😛 ;  games like Memory, card games (War) or just having them guess (red or black).

My grandson used to love to just do spelling  20130126_141931
or additions 20130126_141856    …I kid you not!! From the place mat that came along with the booster seat. Painting of all sorts is always fun…finger painting for the parent who does not mind messes…”Uh, isn’t that the whole point of this wonderful art form?”;  What else did we do when we felt like climbing the walls…reading stories, making up stories…I like that part.

And switching that around and asking your child to tell YOU a story is pretty  cool too. Working on a puzzle can actually be a seasonal family thing set up in a 20130126_142228 a nice corner reserved in your family room pantomimes are fun for any age, games like Mother Mother May I can be fun and of course baking together can be a scrumptious passtime…licking the bowl and mixing utensils are the best part!!  Watching the baking in anticipation through your not too dirty oven window…kids really don’t care as long as the lights on, they are content. These days, with super smart phones having recorders and video recorders…well, that  can encouarge some form of entertainment and you being the camera person and your child being the singer, actor, lecturer…dancer…the list is limitless. Have your child choose from a list 3 things so it makes it less overwhelming to decide (for some children).

Taking a bubble bath and tricking your child by saying you have decided to invite them to a SPA day…so the bath with those bubbles can last a good 30 minutes (adding hot water now and then of course); then trimming those fingernails and toenails…putting on some nailpolish…do NOT go all weird and frantic if your little boy wants to partake in the Pedi-manicure…hey! it’s a SPA day…chill why don’t you and have fun.  Kids do NOT have biases like us adults do…kids do not care if they wear pink or camouflage green and boys and girls alike dress up to look like other people they have seen or know.  So let them have fun! If your 4 year old starts dancing all dressed up looking like Cindy Lauper or Lady Gaga…get over it…they are mimicking!!! what they see…they are not all of a sudden “premature sex goddesses”  Pullleeze.

If you have a little tent, set it up in the living room and pretend you are camping…lay out a table cloth (or beach towel) and have your lunch there.  That’s pretty cool and kids love it.  If you don’t have a tent…let the kids make their own with couch cushions and sheets/blankets…that’s fun and it may have taken them a good 30 minutes just to set it up…during that time, you can read a magazine or no brainer novel with ONE eye and relax a little too with our cuppa whatever    makes you happy. Have a tea party.  Boys and girls love this too.  There is decaf tea but for the “pure” and granola parent…herbal teas that are fruity etc. can do the trick too.  The point is to have those cute lil’ teacups (if you don’t have that, you may have a few espresso cups that are just the same).  I love this best.

Kids love to pretend they are grown ups, don’t you remember? I used to drink my sugary milky tea when I was under 5 many times and it was a special time for me. As for baking or cooking…if you don’t have too much patience…just asking your child to stir for a while…or set them up with their own bowl of what you are doing…yes, yes, you can do it double…it is a lot cheaper than spending the afternoon at those pricey kid entertaining places, right?  I rest my case. Now if you want to set up your Wii or PS1,2 or 3…set your child on the computer…that’s fine too…but more than an hour is way enough for any child under 5…so try to add to the list of things I just shared…oh yeah, did I mention, “Hide and go Seek”?… And if you are burning to exercise…well, put on some of your favourite dance music and dance away in your living room…the kids don’t car about how you or they look…they just go with the rhythm and the beat.

7857205   I am sure if this weird weather cold to milder to too warm for winter is due to global warming but it sure is unpredictable.  We are aiming for mild mild weather by Wednesday…ok, so today I was wearing my sheep lined boots and Wednesday I may have to wear my rubber rain boots.  Well, it does help to add versatility to day to day outerwear…I hve many many winter coats of varying warmth depending on the roller coaster weather we get. If we are going to suffer through this, may as well do it in style:)

Watch that ice in the meantime…help out someone struggling on the icy sidewalks or parking lots of malls…

especially lil`old ladies like me…565896_321340717981189_727961699_n

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, Tao2Oat, January 27, 2013

2013!?!! I’m richer than I thought!

wpid-20130102_175621.jpgIt seems that I have written a blog not too long ago wishing folks a happy new year…but that was actually a whole year ago. My oh my, how time flies!  Yes, I know we always seem to say this…especially older people like me.  I would like to take a few moments (lines) to go over this past year with you and share some insights I have learned along the way.

This past year started with positive energy.  maria me and BeaI spent time with good friends in Ontario and Quebec celebrating my birthday.   In Toronto, we are 3 amazing women  {umm, yeah, I am including moi in hereJ} who try to keep up a tradition , celebrating Princess Leja  who has a birthday in November, Bella Donna’s in January and  me, Toronto Mamma or Darling (as Bella Donna calls me) in March.

Um, rewind please… Upon arrival in Toronto, at that time, a dear friend, colleague and funny character all around…Pat …{like Saturday Night Live, I’ll let you guess if this person is a guy or a gal:)}  met me at the bus terminal.

I took the overnight bus Montreal to Toronto to save time but not thinking of the wear and tear of my back.  However,  it does give me occasions to spend “awake time” with friends and family. 

Pat met me even if this was a day off from work.  I was treated to lunch and although the food was good, I have to say, the stories this person comes out with can make your sides and tummy muscles ache from sheer exertion.  Yes, Pat definitely missed her calling in making millions on Saturday Night Live.

I`m thankful for friends who make me laugh, who listen when I need to talk and who are not disturbed when I need to shed some tears.

This past year I am happy for turning one working relationship into a close sisterly friendship.  We must have been something profoundly close in a past life.   What a joy to share in her new loving relationship and preparing for her celebration of this promised love…wedding…shopping for her dress…… shopping for more intimate pieces…ahaha taking pics on my mobile for her approval of marie wedding oct 20 2012 and mesaid items!…Oh, yeah,  good times, good times !!..being a part of her enthusiasm that became like an infectious blanket that swaddled me with her new found love and gave me tiny bread crumbs along the way… of hope…even believing in love again or open to give it a chance.

Ah and H**** being there so often for me with dinners at your apartment, brunches at a restaurant and a fun trip to Drummondville where I stayed up most of the night chatting with D***…lest we forget laughing so hard watching Gilles LaTulippe in his comic splendor!

I crossed a major milestone in 2012 and my loving son and daughter in law spoiled me with a feast in their home…almost burned all my hair and their house to the ground blowing out all those damn candles…but hey, ya gotta have something eventful happen EVEN at my age!Oli et Virg march 2012

I`m also grateful to have such a great cousin and his parents…his son whom I love and thanks to that my cousin`s good choice in an amazing woman to be his wife…my friend and sister. Going to Oakville is like going back home to see mom and dad (Ma Tante Mae et Fred); my cousin  is like a protective brother, his father and mother in law feel like family to me too…yup, it`s that wise choice Wardy made again having that amazing wife in his life!Fall2005FamilyMaeFred_12


 I am thankful for many things but an Easter  holiday meal sticks to me,  with my special friends Annette and Yves.  I felt like I had rewound back the time machine last April…sitting with their children and grandchildren too…all of which treated me with as much fondness and kindness as a blood relative… how I am rich with loving people in my life!

2012 Spring came in with thunder and fury in other parts of my life…my mixed emotions wrapped me up with much grief and sadness for a while.  It`s almost like the Great Spirit was telling me to take a break and do some Spring cleaning in my life.   And yet, with difficult journeys to cross often come insightful lessons along the way…IF you are open to explore and discover.  And on this bumpy road, I journeyed…but never ever alone.

I learned that to err and be human is okay…to forgive myself is okay…to embrace the arms that want to hold me may be new and strange…but oh so comforting!  And so I allowed special people to enter my life (a few colleagues and former colleagues) support me so I don`t fall, hold me so I don`t break and nurture me so the soul does not starve.  Let me not forget those few special colleagues and a few supervisors along the way that showed compassion and embraced me many times with their flexibility and their concern…You know who you are…merci!

I am blessed to have young and not so young peeps in my life who often walked into my life at the right moment…do I really believe in coincidence?  Well, call it what you want…destiny?…fate?  Nah, it`s simply being open to explore and relish in the comfort of amazing folks…Merci mes amies!

I have fond memories of L**** making a French braid in the kitchen at work one evening.  You listened to my story and did not flee when those tears flowed…ah, the comforting feeling of having someone fix your hair…mom did this so often…how I miss her too.  Oh! And A***** those talks where we both shared profound stories on relationships and life.  Let`s not forget that little trip up North…not too far North however, far enough to get me lost…ahahaha.

My dearest “Sainte Annette”  who took me into her home many many times; Olivier and his girlfriend {who seems more like a daughter to me}, allowed me to share many many Wednesday evenings …little did they know at that time how much those soft ball games and chats with Virg fed my soul with the right amount of love and wellness that this recipe was for emotional healing.  Thank you.

bill trying to find a spotTheir pets became my kids to hug and love…my days pet sitting became a part of my final recovery and

to be completed with a week at my favourite Bed & Breakfast  A & Y, me and annettewith Annette me in dress annette made for mewho taught me to hope again. Spending hours watching her sew with loving patient hands, was like a communion of sorts…how warm and memorable that was for me. I so enjoyed those talks…

I learned that the simplest things in life can mend a broken heart…a loving friend (wife, mother, grandmother, sister) creating a masterpiece out of sheer genius = love + creativity…que tu es bonne pour moi!

I discovered from watching a great Italian chef for a few days in her kitchen was a revelation of sorts…learning how this donna bella put so much time, love and patience in her cookery…for her family, for her friends.  We spent hours commiserating in her kitchen, smelling spices…then feasting on decadence …but that was not merely due to the our tastes buds being quenched but feeling the love among this family sharing a meal…they too embraced my presence as I did theirs.  Thanks, Maria for making me laugh, allowing me space to cry and even debriefing some of our calls that we often don`t get around to at work…I too am a better person with you in my life.

I am thankful for having an understanding and amazing friend, Lise L.,  who coached me and sometimes scolded me to think more about me…so many comforting and soothing phone visits with this remarkable woman, friend, former colleague…I only got to visit in person twice in her home and once in hospital…but those moments were not spared of laughter, deep conversations and mind provoking discourses.

Thanks for all your love and support, I recovered and discovered a new me…I learned to be selfish and love myself anew and want to listen to my inner voice…Hey! I deserve to be happy and maybe it`s time to make time for me also as a woman …a human being…and not only a mother, a counsellor or volunteer and to add more spice and everything nice (sorry for the chiché…groan!) in my life.

I started with baby steps……got me a cat at a rescue shelter last September who I renamed Bette, my mom’s anglo name.  We tiptoed around each other for a few months and now she is one heck of an affectionate love purring machine! Once we were a


good match, I found I was still lacking a little something-something…started dating again…that will be for another blog…stay tuned:)543447_283899118392016_782678981_n

When the soul heals, the heart opens…I am grateful I am giving this journey another chance…and enjoying it day by day, sometimes one hour at a time…and just being.

Happy New Year friends, family and colleagues…you know who you all are…some live far faraway  and some are very close by while others are just in between here and thereJ…thank you for touching my heart…my soul.

I hope to carry some of my new found wisdom over to 2013…and look forward to taste and savour life…

P.S. I`m thankful for friends who make me laugh, who listen when I need to talk and who are not disturbed when I need to shed some tears.  I know I have not named everyone here are a few who have touched my soul….Jason for being a friend as well as a great manager and knowing  how to separate the two, Debbie, Nicole, Pat, Pat T., Patrcia, Maria, Annie, Virg, Olivier, Annette,  Alain, Yves, Val L, Marie, Regine, Laurence, Andréanne, Huguette, Diane, Dianne, Peggy, Jacques, Lise, Bea, JennyO, Michelle D & G, Janice, Réal, Tante Gisele, Noémie, Fred, Aunt Mae, Armand,  Karen, Ward, Rory, Edward, Robin:), Anthony…umm, I guess I AM like Scotia Bank “I`m richer than I thought!!”




Il me semble que j’ai écrit un blog il n’y a pas trop longtemps souhaitant une bonne et heureuse année à tout le monde… mais en fait  une année au complet est passée…wow!

OMG (Oh My God!) comme le temps passe vite! Oui, je sais que nous disons cela souvent; particulièrement,  les personnes âgées comme moi.   Enfin, je voudrais prendre quelques instants (lignes) pour partager quelques impressions que j’ai apprises en cours de route.

Cette dernière année a commencé avec une énergie positive. J’ai passé du temps avec de bons amis en Ontario et au Québec pour fêter mon anniversaire .

À Toronto, nous sommes 3 femmes extraordinaires {euh, ouais, cela m’inclus aussi :D} qui tentent de maintenir une tradition en célébrant nos anniversaires de naissance.  Il y a Princesse Leja qui a son anniversaire en novembre, Bella Donna en Janvier et moi en mars,  la Maman de Toronto ou Trésor (comme Bella Donna m’appelle souvent) …maria me and Bea

Euh, rembobinez le disque s’il vous plaît …((((((((((((( rewind))))))))))) À mon arrivée à Toronto, un ami très cher, un collègue et drôle de personnage… Pat ,{ comme à la télé,  Saturday Night Live, je vous laisse deviner si cette personne est un gars ou une fille :D} est venu me rencontrer dès mon arrivé.

J’avais pris l’autobus de nuit Montréal-Toronto pour gagner du temps, mais ne pensant pas à la cubature de mon dos (Ayoy!!) … mais ça me donne plus d’occasion de  profiter de mes journées parmi ma famille et mes amis.

Pat m’a rencontré au terminus ,(se déplacer pour moi durant un congé de son travail!). Pat m’a traiter à un brunch incroyable …quel délice!   Bien que la nourriture fût bonne, je dois dire, les histoires que cette personne partage ont fait travailler mes côtes et les muscles abdominal tant que j’ai ri!  Oui, Pat aurait fait des millions $$$ sur le programme de télé, Saturday Night Live simplement en partageant quelques histoires et anecdotes de sa vie.

Je dois dire que je suis reconnaissante pour les gens qui me font rire, qui m’ont écouté et encourager, et pour ceux et celles que ne sont pas déranger quand j’avais besoin de verser des larmes.

Et L****, tu te souviens la dernière fois tu m’ a offert ton écoute…en me faisant une belle tresse française…travailler dans les cheveux est aussi thérapeutique, comme maman me faisait si souvent…qu’elle me manque!  Et A**** nos échanges très profondes sur les relations et la vie. Notre petite balade dans le Nord…mais pas trop loin mais assez que je me perds…ahahaha

Je suis heureuse aussi,  d’avoir transformé une relation de travail  à une relation profonde et sincère. Tu te reconnais sûrement ma belle M***** et je dirais même que cette amitié est quasiment fraternelle.  marie wedding oct 20 2012 and meNous devions avoir quelque chose de très proche dans une vie antérieure.   Le penses-tu aussi?  Quelle joie de partager ton nouvel amour et la préparation de cette célébration de cet union… Oh que le shopping pour ta robe et accessoires tel que des morceaux plus intimes…ahaha, tu te souviens que je prenais des photos sur mon mobile pour ton approbation de dites items…ahahah  good times, good times !!   Et, tout cela en  faisant partie de ton enthousiasme exubérant m’a apparue comme une bonne douillette m’emmitouflant  avec ton amour pour la vie et ton amoureux 😀 ;  ET,  t’a  même laissé des miettes de pains minuscules tout au long de ce trajet, Merci M!!… des miettes d’’espoir … des miettes pour me faire croire en amour de nouveau.

J’ai franchi une étape majeure en 2012 et mon cher fils et belle-fille aimante m’ont gâté avec une célébration pour mon anniversaire de naissance à leur maison … où j’ai presque brûlé mes cheveux et leur maison en soufflant sur toutes ces maudites bougies !! Il y en avait dont ben !!   mais bon, il doit arriver quelque chose spectaculaire de temps en temps, MÊME à mon âge!

Ma belle H**** huguette 2011 dec 29qui ma accueillit pour mon anniversaire et bien d’autres soirées…merci pour ton écoute, me faire rire et m’avoir accompagné l’or de notre visite à Drummond…D**** et moi nous avons jaser comme des ados jusqu’aux `tits heures du matin ! Qu’on a ri comme des bonnes au spectacle de Gilles LaTulippe dans son humour magnifique!

Je suis reconnaissante d’avoir un cousin gentille ainsi ses parents, son fils que j’aime  ET, mon cousin qui a choisi une si bonne épouse, qui est devenue mon amie comme une sœur ; aller à Oakville,  c’est comme aller « chez nous » pour voir maman et papa (Ma Tante Mae et Fred) leur fils, mon  frère protecteur, son beau-père et sa belle-Rorymère aussi qui m’accueillent toujours comme le leur … eh oui, c’est  que Wardy a fait un choix judicieux en incluant cette femme et sa famille dans sa vie!

Je suis comblée d’avoir pu partager et de célébrer des repas de fêtes extraordinaires avec des amis fabuleux,  Annette et Yves. Je me sentais comme si je rembobinais arrière d’une machine à temps (time machine) .

.. assis avec leurs enfants et petits-enfants … qui m’ont accueilli avec tendresse autant comme si je serais de la famille pour vraie ! … my oh my, comme je suis riche d’avoir des amis si aimants dans ma vie.  Quel plaisir!

Printemps 2012  est arrivé avec tonnerre et fureur dans d’autres parties de ma vie,.. mes sentiments bouleversants m’ont enveloppé avec beaucoup de chagrin et de tristesse pour un certain temps. On dirait que le Grand Créateur me disait de prendre une pause et faire un ménage du printemps dans ma vie.  Et pourtant, avec les voyages difficiles à traverser les leçons pertinentes viennent souvent en cours de route … SI,  vous êtes ouvert à explorer et à découvrir.

J’ai appris que l’erreur et d’être humain c’est ben correct ; me pardonner, c’est très bien aussi … de m’entourer des bras qui veulent me tenir même si c’est nouveau et étrange …c’est tellement consolant! Et si j’ai le droit d’avoir des gens spéciaux pour entrer dans ma vie (quelques collègues et anciens collègues) me soutenir et je n `automne, serre-moi si je n` ai cassé et me nourrir si l’âme ne meurt pas de faim.

Je suis choyée d’avoir des gens, jeunes et moins jeunes dans ma vie qui sont arrivé souvent dans ma vie au bon moment … dois-je vraiment croire à la coïncidence? Eh bien, appelez ça comme vous voulez … le destin? … Non, je crois que je suis enfin ouvert à explorer et à savourer dans le confort et délisse de ces gens incroyables … Merci mes amis!

Mon amie, Annette qui m’a accueilli dans sa maison;  annette and me sept 15th2012Yves, qui a pris soins de mon véhicule à plusieurs reprises pour me dépanner; mon Olivier et son choix judicieux d’une partenaire! aa belle Virginie , qui est devenue comme
ma fille, m’ont permis de partager de nombreux mercredis soirs après ma thérapie à la clinique … ils ne se
Oli et Virg march 2012doutaient à l’époque à quel point que ces jeux de balle molle et ces causeries avec Virg, m’ont nourrit l’âme avec leurs cœurs généreux et le bien-être qui se produisait de cette bonne recette de bonté ; c’était un genre de guérison émotionnelle. Je vous remercie mes enfants!

Leurs animaux de compagnie sont bill trying to find a spotdevenus mes enfants à flatter et à aimer  … mes journées en gardant les animaux sont devenues en partie  ma consolation et que finalement en séjournant chez mon Bed & Breakfast  A & Y favori … Annette qui m’a appris à espérer et donner la vie une chance.  J’ai passé des heures en l’a regardant coudre avec des mains caressantes   et patientes ;  c’était un genre de communion de sortes … comme ces moments chaleureux et inoubliables me in dress annette made for medemeurent chers en moi. J’ai tellement aimé  nos entretiens, parlant de la vie et les relations humaines.

J’ai appris que les choses les plus simples peuvent réparer un cœur brisé … chez Maria une amie aimante (épouse, mère, grand-mère, sœur) la création d’un chef-d’œuvre d’un génie passionnée = amour + créativité = Annette … que tu es bonne pour moi!

J’ai découvert en regardant un grand chef italien pour quelques jours dans sa cuisine a été une révélation en quelque sorte … d’apprendre que cette bella donna a mis tant de temps, d’amour et de patience en cuisant  pour sa famille, pour ses amis. Nous passions des heures commisératif dans sa cuisine, les odeurs des épices … puis se régalant et dégustant … mais ce n’était pas seulement à cause de nos goûts étant éteint mais le sentiment de l’amour au sein de cette famille de partager un repas … Eux aussi embrassé ma présence que je leur fait.

Ma Bella Maria qui me fait rire, parfois nous partageons nos sentiments pour notre travail et notre famille.  Certains de mes collègues et superviseurs qui m’ont offert leur amitié et leurs soutiens.

Il ne faut pas oublié mon amie , Lise L*,  qui m’a coaché ​​pour que je pense plus à moi .tellement réconfortante et apaisante visites de téléphone avec une femme remarquable, une amie et ancien collègue … nous n’avions pas la chance de se voir souvent,  mais ces moments n’ont pas été épargnés des rires, des conversations profondes et les discours que provoquent l’esprit.

Merci à tous pour votre appuie et surtout votre amitié;  j’ai récupéré et je suis à la découverte un nouveau moi … J’ai appris à être égoïste et m’aimer à nouveau et que vous voulez écouter ma voix intérieure … Hé! Je mérite d’être heureux et peut-être c’est le moment de prendre le temps pour moi en tant que femme … et non  seulement une mère, une intervenante ou une bénévole,  pour ajouter plus de piquant dans ma vie.

J’ai commencé avec des pas de bébé en sauvant un chat dans une refuge…un coup qu’elle m’a accepté dans sa vie nous nous sommes devenue un nouveau couple qui se collait en masse:)  Mais il semblait manquer un `tit qqchose…j’ai commencé à sortir…eh oui, fréquenter un homme…à suivre dans un autre blog bien sûre!!:)543447_283899118392016_782678981_n

Quand l’âme guérit, le cœur s’ouvre … Je suis prêt à donner la vie une autre chance de me surprendre,  et de profiter d’un jour à la fois, parfois une heure à la fois …

Bonne Année mes amis, ma famille … vous savez qui vous êtes tous  … certains vivent très loin et certains sont plus prés… merci pour avoir touché mon cœur … mon âme.

J’espère  de transporter mes nouvelles connaissances et inspirations au cours de la nouvelle année 2013 ……

wpid-20130102_175917.jpgP.S. Merci au gens qui m’ont tendu la main, écouté, offert ta sagesse, ta flexibilité.  I sais que je n’ai pas nommé tous et toutes, mais bons en voici qquns:   Debbie, Nicole, Pat, Pat T., Patrcia, Maria, Annie, Virg, Olivier, Annette,  Alain, Yves, Val L, Marie, Regine, Laurence, Andréanne, Huguette, Diane, Peggy, Jacques, Lise, Bea, JennyO, Michelle D & G, Janice, Réal, Tante Gisele, Noémie, Fred, Aunt Mae, Armand,  Karen, Ward, Rory, Edward, Robin:), Anthony…umm,  Eh! c est comme l’annonce de la Banque Nouvelle Ecosse “Je suis plus riche que je pensais (“I`m richer than I thought!!)”


The last school shooting in Newtown, Ct. of Friday, December 14, 2012 has left the world shocked.  No words can comfort the parents, family, friends and especially the surviving students of this tragedy.

Even saying “students” is not fitting…these were little children!  To fathom such an atrocity makes me shudder.  No doubt, as millions watched CNN last Friday, our hearts went out to this wounded community.

I worried when my children were in high school and college of school shootings. Now my children are adults, I thought, I was free of worrying…but Friday was a wakeup call that the unthinkable can now occur.  I can’t believe that we  have to consider the ultimate safety of elementary schools from such tragedies.  How I worry for the little ones…my 8 year grandson …

As we are wrapping gifts, baking for the holidays and preparing our homes to celebrate life, love and peace, this community is mourning the worst possible grief any human being can face. 20 little innocent angels have been robbed of this right as well as 7 adults who were parents, friends, relative and colleague,  will never be a part of any celebrations.  Surviving children from this school will not be able to grasp this calamity and they have been robbed of their innocence and trust.

It may be healing or cathartic to express anger and blame this murderer; it may be help to shed blame on society, gun control and governments.  It may be therapeutic for many to put all energy and focus on problem solving and more finger pointing…but for now, that anger, that guilt, that heart wrenching sadness are part of loss and grief.  Feeling it and acknowledging it are the first steps of living and walking through this painful journey as this community mourns.

Praying…whether you regularly pray, or it has been years and you forgot the words…just allow your hearts to focus on the innocents that were robbed of their lives…of the parents, family, friends and a community that will never be the same. Leave the advocating, the proactive stances and blaming for now and give this community your love and your prayers and hug your children.

As this community begins to say goodbye this week you can also donate in memory of the victims:

The holidays already?!!

The holidays are quickly approaching…already!! Why do we always say this?  It is the same date every year, should not be a surprise there, right?  Adults don’t seem ready but the kids sure are!!! Youths expect this time of year months ahead of time.  Sometimes it would be nice for adults to feel more like a kid to feel that joy, that mystery, that wonderful blanket of comfort tuck you in the mystical wonder for several weeks.

That said, I am not a kid but thank goodness I have the next best thing…I am privileged to be speaking to kids/teens every day of the year on just about every topic.

The holidays is a topic youths of all ages call about and one that hits home with parents as well is often…”It’s coming so fast…I don’t know if I’m ready!”  Well, we hear enough about the holiday stress and we often lose sight of what the holidays really should be: fun, joyful, and a little bit of enchantment.

How can we get into that holiday spirit? A great way is to have everyone participate in the holiday preparations which allow everyone to be involved and engaged.  For instance, we know that there is often baking, cleaning up to do and decorating.  Why should this just be the adults /parents responsibility?  Okay, so now the perfectionist adult may have to bite their tongue now and then and allow everyone to take part.  So what if a ribbon is not perfectly set, who cares if a pillow is not centered…they are supposed to be “throw pillows” right?

How about seeing the end of December, the birth of a new season “winter” and that includes preparation for weather, outings, hosting parties and enjoying family fun.  Rather than focussing on ONE day, how about centering on this season.  If the word holiday gives you a panic attack, change it to winter fest.  Festivals do not last simply one day…and they are enjoyed by May for weeks…now that sounds a bit less daunting, doesn’t it?  Knowing that you have more than ONE day to make it all right.


Here are some ideas to expect a Seasonal mood:

–        Looking forward to something fun helps to get caught up in good feelings

–        When you feel happy and excited, you can actually create a good experience.

–        It makes it easier for positive emotions to build and grow and that’s one reason the holiday spirit can be so contagious.

–        So what mood do you want to create this holiday?  Do you want it to be fun, peace and love or giving and sharing?

Now how are you going to make it happen?

–        Think about activities that make people laugh like picking a name in a hat and each family member (or your group of friends) has to give a holiday token.  Notice I said token…not gift.  It can be something you made, a special scarf of yours that your friend likes and you are ready to give it to her, it could also be promising to do certain chores at home, offering to give a friend a manicure or doing her braids; for the guys out there, it can be offering to coach someone in a sport, skating.  It helps if you are a group to brainstorm different ideas as well and that puts everyone in the seasonal mood.

–        Take part in preparing the home for the season too.  Rather than dwell on how it sucks to clean up your bedroom, why not put on some favourite music to get it done?

–        Happiness is contagious…just think about how you feel when you see the little guys so excited during this time of year…why stop when you get older.

–        Brainstorm with your friends /family going to a shelter to sing some songs or help out to serve meals.  There is no better feeling you feel your heart when you give in these situations…really!

Here are a few ideas I have told youths during this time of year: 

–        A young teen called wondering what she could give her family this year. She felt she was old enough and had this urge to give back.  We talked about whether she wanted to buy gifts or make them.  She said she had $20.00 for the whole family (2 sisters, one baby brother and her parents).

“Wow!” I said, “You have a lot more than you realize…$4. Per person and you can combine your parents and make it $8 for them or if your siblings gifts end up costing less…well there you go more for your parents!”  After a long talk, she decided she was going to make photo gifts… purchasing frames for her parents and making frames for her siblings. The money would go for enlarging some favourite photos she had of special moments with family members.  How cool is that?! 

–        One child called because he did not know if he was going to see his dad this holiday season because he was in the military and may not be able to make it home on time.  We talked about his family members, extended family and he was very close to his uncle, (dad’s older brother) and how he could arrange ahead of time, some fun things to do with him.  If his dad was coming later, maybe he and the family could arrange to have second holiday feast and gathering when he got home.  “I bet your dad would really appreciate experiencing that and not feel as if he missed that day.” 

Sometimes I get calls from youths whose parents are working throughout the holidays and barely any extra time to spend with the children.  

–        One girl called wondering how she could spruce up her home without it costing anything and doing something so she and her younger siblings whom she was babysitting could have some fun.  I suggested she check out the malls that are selling trees and pick up the fallen branches on the ground…put together, you can create lots of nice decorations. Popcorn and cranberries are beautiful and inexpensive decorations! Have the siblings create decorations as well.  Going to the dollar store and getting a few items if you can afford this.  But, even more fun, if she could take a few days with her siblings and make some holiday gifts to give each other and their parents.  The biggest gift to her parents would surely be her organizing this time and creating a holiday mood that may be contagious. 

Tips for parents:

–        Develop traditions by creating activities that are special to your family.  That can consist of holiday meals created from parents’ childhood recipes.  Traditions can be preparing the home for the holidays as well, making it special and not a chore.

–        Keep your plans within your resources. It can become double duty for parents…delegate and accept nice and not best from your family.  If you do it all, chances are you may be short tempered with the family…

–        Be sensitive to your children’s wishes.  Communicate with your child how the time off school will be spent. Often we get calls from youths who are bored…plan activities ahead of time.

–        Try to communicate with your teenager and discuss how they want to spend the holidays…encourage them to plan things ahead of time and share your plans too. Often when teens get older, parents may feel they don’t want to take part and that could be far from the truth…everyone wants to feel included.


Make connections: this time of year is a great time to reconnect with family and friends…Can’t afford big feasts…pot luck is even more fun! The importance is having a place to gather.  Your gift is offering your home so this can happen.    Volunteering at a local charity with your children is a great way to teach your kids about the value of giving.  Inviting a neighbour over for tea if you know they are alone.

–        Help your children understand the value and the meaning of the holidays.  For some it may be religious, share that with your children; it may be a sharing experience, offer your child opportunities to share; if it means more family gatherings, give your children roles in hosting these gatherings

–        If you have teens and there will be parties, talk about drinking and what your expectations are.

–        Be available to do some car duty sometimes but set limits so you can relax too.

–        Have fun yourself, parents!  Don’t expect perfection …just has fun.

Tips for kids and teens:

–        Plan, plan and plan some more.  If you have some image of what the holidays should look like or what you are hoping for…talk about that with your parents.

–        If you want to get together with some friends, this has to be planned before the holidays because chances are; your friends have plans too.

–        Lots of fun can be had just doing fun winter activities for ALL ages, not everyone can get to snowboard or downhill ski but sliding; skating or making a fort can be a blast.

–        No snow this time,  just means dressing warm and skateboarding, roller blading or finding indoor areas to rollerblade, or why not try out bowling!  Call to check with days or times there are reduced rates  at some of these locations.

–        Board games are often only brought out at parties and the holidays…why not choose 2 or 3 board games that will become your holiday games.  You’re allowed to tell your parents that you prefer different ones now if you feel you’ve outgrown one or two.

–        Don’t’ worry so much about giving gifts, instead give of yourself and write in a homemade decorative card what you will do the help with chores, teach a sibling something, etc.

I could go on but I think you get the gist of what I am trying to convey.  This year, I decided to have family over for a late dinner December 24th.  I’m going to make sure beddings are ready so they can sleep over if they’re too tired to drive home.  I even am dusting off my vinyl records to play some 70’s music.

I will be working the following day, Dec. 25th.  I can’t wait to talk to kids and teens on that day and share with them my winter fest mood.  And if theirs is not so upbeat, I’ll be there to listen, comfort and offer some insights to lighten their mood.   Happy winter fest!!

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, 2012/11/28

“Yes I DO!”

Once upon a time a princess (and dear friend) named Marie-Hélène went to  Valérie`s wedding.  Valérie & Rosemont knew this handsome prince and he was introduced to the lovely princess. Well, he charmed the princess the entire night.  Marie-Hélène and the handsome prince danced and laughed in the midst of this magical romantic air.

Il était une fois une princesse (et cher amie),Marie-Hélène qui est allé au mariage de Valérie & Rosemont.  Les mariés ont présenté un beau prince charmant à cette  princesse.. Eh bien, il l’a séduit toute la soirée.. Marie-Hélène et le beau prince  dansaient et riaient sous un atmosphère féerique et romantique.

Say, “YES to the bouquet!”

Valérie threw her wedding bouquet to the crowd of anxious ladies….

Valérie a jeté son bouquet de mariage à la foule des dames hâtives ….

And, yep, you guessed it…the princess caught the mystical bouguet…we all know  what that means.
 As luck or fate had it, the handsome prince also caught the bride`s garter!   And of course, the princess, having been raised withgood etiquette ,  by Queen Danielle, she kissed and  thanked  the bride for she was so overjoyed!

Eh, oui, vous l’avez deviné … la princesse a attrapé le bouquet   symbolique;  nous savons tous ce que cela signifie. Comme par hasard ou le destin, ce beau prince a également attrapé la jarretière de la mariée!! Et bien , la inévitablement, la princesse, ayant été élevé avec la bonne étiquette, par la reine Danielle, elle a embrassé et remercié la mariée car elle était si enchantée!

But that is not what really

brought these souls together…

 Great Spirit works in mysterious ways!

Mais ce n’est pas ce qui s’est réellement porté ces âmes ensemble …

Le Grand Créateur agit de façon mystérieuse!

Souls do not measure time nor distance and these

two souls were meant to

 unite some day…

this princess, from Montreal,

that prince,  from St-Lucia…

to finally connect and become true soul mates.

Les âmes ne mesure pas le temps ni la distance,  

Et ces deux âmes  avaient pour but de s`allier un jour

cette princesse, de Montréal,

ce prince, de St-Lucie …

pour finalement s’unir et devenir

des âmes sœurs authentiques

Watching Donnell’s face when Marie-Hélène walked up the aisle with her father…his enthralled expression looking at     this vision…Marie!…so intense were the emotions, we could see and feel how moved he was by his love for her and her beauty inside and out:)

En regardant le visage Donnell quand Marie-Hélène marchait dans l’allée de l`église avec son père, … son expression semblait captivé par cette vision … Marie! … Si intense étaient les émotions, nous avons pu voir et sentir comme il .était touché par son amour par sa beauté à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur.

As I watched and admired Marie-Hélène at the reception…the entire lovely sunny day…clapping her hands together like a young princess who was celebrating her first communion…truly, her joy was so raw and childlike…no  pretenses among these lovebirds!

Je regardais la belle Marie-Hélène à la réception et j’étais émerveillée la voir si enjouée de sa belle journée ensoleillée … en tapant ses mains comme une jeune princesse qui fêtait sa première communion … vraiment, sa joie était si tendre et innocente… sans prétention entre ces tourtereaux!

Both are bursting with joy…giggling like kid                         Les deux pleins de joie rigolant comme des enfants

I sat and watched her kiss and hug friends and family, dance and her eyes glitter with joy, it warmed my heart to see my friend and her Donnell so happy!…one could see they were truly meant to be.

Je me suis assis et je regardais Marie-Hélène embrasser sa famille et ses amis, le voir danser les yeux brillants et rayonnats…et cela me faisait chaud au cœur de voir mon amie et son Donnell si heureux! C’était clair que ce couple était censé être!

Congratulations my friends…be well…enjoy each day…one day at a time…don`t worry about tomorrow because you will miss out on today.


Ton amie…cl

Félicitations mes amis … alors… profiter de chaque jour … un jour à la fois … n `inquiétez-vous pas pour demain car vous allez égarer aujourd’hui.

 Gros Câlins,

Ton amie … cl

Désolée, s’il y a des fautes d’orthographe dans la traduction française. Je les fais vite pour la famille à cette princesse ainsi ses amis:)

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, October 2012