Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dec 26-27 2012

Yesterday our crazy hammer-town received its post christmas gift... 3 feet of snow!
It snowed all day, and snowed all night and didn't stop til this morning. All the houses and cars and plants and Christmas lawn ornaments were covered!
Since my family is so busy for the christmas holiday, we usually post-pone our gift exchange/christmas morning until the week after the christmas festivities have ended. So yesterday my siblings and I went to the mall- because we're insane!- and shopped for one another.. we always like to take advantage of the boxing-week deals... I managed to pick up a few things for pretty cheap- dresses that would normally cost $150 reduced to $30, electronics all $100 off or more.. the savings were beautiful! But the chaos of the mall was the ugliest thing ever! My sisters and I observed that not only did we all look like little capitalist aunts feeding the machine of greed etc, but furthermore, if someone pulled the fire alarm we would be unable to locate or get near an exit. My brother was probably thinking that we'd be sitting ducks if there ever a zombie apocalypse was to break out. Gah!
Anywho we made it back home from the mall, over the treacherous fast blowing snowy drifts and through the un-ploughed streets after about 5 hours of boxing day madness... but our anger was yet to be quelled. After going out to Kelsey's for dinner, we wrapped up our preciously sought out bundles and put them under the tree.. then at around 12:30am, my sister and new bro-in-law left for their own home. They drove up a street to the next intersection, and got stuck trying to turn the corner. My bro-in-laws front tires had no tread left and he didnt have a chance to change them before the snow came... So at about 1am, we get a chilly phone call and a summons to shovel. So my brother and I dressed warmly and set off with the shovels to see about getting them out. My other sister came shortly after with boots for our married sister - she was in pointy toe pumps naturally and freezing in 3 feet of snow...
By 2am we were back home- we had pushed the car safely back into a parking space on the left side of the road and left it there. Then my sisters, brothers and father went out in my dads new car to the other house because my sister needed her meds and we figured they might as well sleep over so we could have our pseudo "Christmas morning" with them. Then I set to work changing bed linens and finding enough pillows to accommodate everyone and by 3am we were all nicely tucked away in bed.
Luckily, no one was hurt last night- besides my sister getting a little cut when we were wrapping gifts- and no frost-bite to be accounted for. We woke up this morning to find a tree full of gifts and the world full of fluffy white stuff.
Christmas miracle of the year I suppose :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Today for YOU a Savior is Born..and His name Is..

Christ the Lord... You will know it is He- For you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a major"

Merry Christmas to One and All!!!
Buon Natale a Tutti!!
Feliz Navidad a Todos!

Joy to the World!! The Lord is Come! Let Earth Receive Her King! Let every Heart, prepare him room!!

Good Tidings we Bring, to You and Your Kind- Good Tidings for Christmas and  a Happy New year!

Silent Night.. Holy Night.. Son of God, Love's Pure Light.. Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face, With the Dawn of Redeeming Grace- Jesus Lord at Thy Birth!

Come They Told Me pa-rum-pa-pum-pum- A new Born king to See!!

O Holy Night, the stars are brigtly shining- It is the night, of Our Dear Saviors Birth.

He can turn the tide and calm the angry sea... He alone decides who writes a symphony.. He will take the time to hear a childs first prayer- Saint or Sinner Call and Always Find Him There! He'll Always Say, I Forgive.

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him- Christ The Lord!!!

The Newly Arrived Baby Jesus in our Family presepio (nativity scene)

  Merry Christmas  and A Happy New year!!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Positive reinforcement from Halls..

My sister gave me a package of Halls honey-lemon cough drops to help me get through the dry cough my cold has left me with, and upon opening the package I was pleasantly surprised.

When I pulled out the first wrapped losenge, I read the following message.. "keep your chin up". That's right, my Halls was giving me some positive reinforcement. I thought this was the neatest idea ever so I took some pictures of the other wrappers I've encountered in this package for you.

Thanks Halls, for reminding me that I can overcome these physical obstacles that come with a cold :)

Definitely helped me feel better :D


P.s in case its not too clear, the first picture has the messages "you've survived tougher." And "you can do it and you know it". The second pic has the messages "march forward!" and "don't try harder. Do Harder!" . Cool right?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You know its almost Christmas because...

In our family, we know that we are nearing Christmas because the masses double, everyone gets sick and my mom remembers that we misplaced the "capanna" (manger) for our "presepio" (nativity scene) :D

We went to get our Albero di Natale (christmas tree) last week and it sat ourside for 6 days.. which is fine because trees belong outside, except as usual my dad decided to do the fresh cutting (means taking an inch off the end of the trunk so it'll drink water)on day two and then leave it outside 4 more days.. Which is exactly what he did last year and our tree barely have any pine needles left by Befana (January the 8th).

  Anyway we had to wait a week to put the tree in the stand because my parents were getting the carpet professionally cleaned.. but we managed to put the tree up on Saturday without much trouble- although my dad forgot to screw the grate onto the the trunk bottom for the stand... and like always, on Sunday we went to decorate it and we ended up having to pull the tree out of the stand and put the grate on because the tree started tipping forward.

By the end of Sunday we had the tree all decorated and lit up and my sisters and I, along with our new bro-in-law sat in front of it and enjoyed some tea and ginger snaps and christmas records- that's right records! It was really a nice way to end the evening..

We're working on the Presepio but my mom put its together so its going at her pace- pictures to follow!

Below are some pictures of our masterpiece tree- with all the old school mismatching ornaments we've had since before I was born :) and of course the lights that we put on every year after complaining we ought to change them.. enjoy!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

December first and...

There's snow on the ground!!! The end of November brought the first snow fall to our little neck of the "true north strong and free" which has remained on the ground, covering bushes and benches and grass and walkways from one end of the city to the other.
Its astounding how a little bit a snow- we barely got half an inch- makes people forget how to drive and can cause accidents left, right, and centre. Oh Canada, how easily we forget  what this "broad domain"  looks like for 5 months of the year! Luckily, no one in my family had much trouble... although I believe my one of my brothers-in-law couldn't get out of a parkinglot on account of the slippery black ice and did in fact slide right back into the parkingspot from which he was trying to vacate.
Another interesting story I heard among my communication channels last night is about a dear friend of mine who left his place of work in Mississauga at 3:30pm and didn't get home until 10pm because traffic was bumper to bumper at less than 10 km/hr. And even though his unidirectional tires were on backwards, he made it safely- don't worry, he's a mechanic and knows what he's doing about tires, just didn't anticipate the snow...
Anyway, I think the city looks wonderful covered in white- even though I had to shovel it when I got home last night twice over because it was still snowing. The roads were rather icy thanks to the initial icy-rain that had fallen but the city sanded and salted valiantly so I have no accidents to report that I witnessed.
Figured you'd like to see what our first snow fall looks like. Enjoy! Comment and/or email :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

It's the fifteenth day of the eleventh month of the year two thousand and twelve.

An hour and twenty minutes ago today, my mother was in the hospital bringing me into the world.

Today I am 23 years old.  God, thank you for giving my parents the ability and the desire to create a new life.  Mom, thank you for carrying me for nine months and for bringing me into the world.. thank you for your scars and pain. I owe you my life.


I woke up and turned on my computer so I could blog and start writing my novel again... and when firefox opened up I was given a most wonderful and curious surprise!

This is what my Google homepage looked like...


So thanks to the wonders of connected technology, with my gmail and google+, Google in its wonderfully thoughtful (or thoughtless??) wisdom personalized my Google homepage! When I scrolled over the image to see why it was birthday-i-fied, I saw my message! I then proceeded to Google "how to take a screen shot with windows" and then I took a picture. My cell phone just couldn't capture it clearly enough... Anyway its cool and It made me smile!

I also got wished a Happy Birthday by my 3 year old niece- I don't think she's said it herself to anyone of our family members before me so.. GO Me! Who's the favourite aunt now?!?!! 


Well I hope you have a great day, I am going to be writing the day away and I hope I can knock off at least 5000 words. Wish me luck! 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Working 9 to 5"

Last week one of the parishes I belong to celebrated its 90th anniversary.. which was insane!

The pastor and secretary asked me to help out in the office and were willing to pay me for some of the hours which was cool... I ended up working something like 70 hours from Tuesday to Saturday and then on Sunday we had the celebration in church and at a fancy reception hall in our city.. my brother in law sliced his hand before mass started- he was helping the florist bring in the church vases and it was wet and the lady going up the stairs ahead of him stopped abruptly and he lost his grip and the glass vase shattered in his hands... so on top of the hysterical sister I had to deal with, I still had to check with coordinators, help priests with their vestments and sing for the Bishop! My bro-in-law is fine, he went to the hospital that day and got his wound cleaned and all is well. I thought my sister was going to faint on me during the mass- its traumatic for a young bride when her new husband gets injured.. or so I'm told.

So After singing the mass with my sisters, I got roped into helping at the dinner togive ticket holders their table numbers. And as per usual it was chaos! We had 560 people, so of course it was a giant mass of unruly absurdity but we managed to get through it and there were no injuries to be reported there thank God.

Needless to say I had a busy first week of November which hasn't calmed down yet. I've been going into the church office all this week to because the mass book for 2013 just opened and its chaos in there again! We had two funerals and three masses to sing from Monday onward this week which has been great but vocally exhausing. And I also got an interview for a store in the mall I applied for back in early September which was scary but exciting. I'm still waiting to hear from the manager and I can't stop staring at my cell phone waiting for the call.

So because of all this, I've only been able to clock in 4000 words on my novel for this years NANORWRIMO but I'm looking forward to a productive weekend of literary abandon! So though tired and weak, strained and lacking sleep I shall endeavor to write on faithfully- even I don't finish my novel til Feb 21st like my NANO word count tracker tells me!

Happy writing to you all..


Nanowrimo: the first week

We are now just over the first week of NANOWRIMO and I've written 4000 words. Not the best start to my novel but were moving along- even if it has been at a snails pace. I am really beginning to enjoy my novel and while I haven't had much time to write it, I am going to continue trying my best to make it to the 50k finish line...

My novel is a sort of pseudo-memoire/personal history and in it you read about two people's lives that run parallel to one another's. A 25 year old woman receives her beloved and now deceased Aunt's journals and discovers much about the life of the woman she grew up loving and admiring that she never believed could be true. The recounting of her aunts life takes place in journal entry form which is not date or time stamped. The niece discovers that life for a woman in a small town (hers) and life for a woman from the big city (her aunts) are not so very different as she thought with regards to love, emotions, coming of age and change; spirituality, age and sexuality, relationships and the future. She realises that anyone and everyone can have a "tainted past" and still live honestly, in goodness and remain close to God. The young woman also learns that while in some cases (in her life and her aunts) blood runs thicker than water, it is still possible to break the restrictive and constricting ties that bind.

All in all it should be a very rewarding novel and an emotional rollercoaster for this aspiring authoress :D

I wonder if it will be on the bookstore shelves one day...

Forward... write!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Solitary Tea Party . . .

I went out to meet a very good friend of mine the other day whom I hadn't seen in quite some time.  I had been told that I would be receiving a surprise gift and I was in anxious curiosity.  Now, with this friend anything is possible... I had no clue what to expect.  When we encountered one another, my friend had a large lump sticking out of their sweater. I tried to guess as to it's secretive nature but failed.  When we finally sat down, tea in hand, my friend pulled out a medium sized red paper bag. It had a strange little insignia on it.. like someone sitting cross legged on the floor holding a bowl in their lap.  I hadn't the faintest idea as to the surprise that awaited me. So flush cheeked and excited, I peeked into the bag and found two paper sacks and a tall cylinder which all bore this same queer bowl-laden person shape.  Whatever could it be? I asked myself, looking questioningly at the friend opposite me. They smiled and beckoned me to investigate. I pulled out the following: 

small paper bags of??

What could be in the cylinder container?
 I spread the items out in front of me and upon closer inspection, discovered the marvelous nature of the gift I had been presented with. The two small paper sacks were diverse aromatically and when I looked inside, I beheld two very different things.  The first packet, labelled Jade Dragon Mao Feng contained a very large portion of loose leaf green tea.  The second sack was labelled "Pineapple Kiwaii" and contained over a dozen little balls which meant only one thing... blooming tea!!!  I was completely thrown... Never before had I been given such a wonderful gift. But wait.. there was more!

My friend persuaded me to open the cylindrical canister and my eyes beheld a most interesting sight. I turned the canister over and out came the most deliciously red travel mug (of sorts) that I had ever seen.  It too bore the intriguing insignia that the packages and cylinder had. My friend informed me that these items were products from a store called Teavana and had been purchased for me by one of their employees- in fact, my dear friend. I stared, mouth agape at my comrade, not yet fully able to grasp the situation. This friend knows me quite well, and in understanding how much an avid tea drinker I am, came up with the most perfect of gifts for this fine tea-swigging-blogger! Check out my Teavana swag below!!

It is called... the Contour Tumbler

The visual description of the  product inside the cylinder :D

Isn't it just beautiful??!!

The drinking top is a circle with a push button in the middle..
when you push the button, the bottom of the lid opens and lets the tea through.
It's really a neat design! 

A million thank you's were given that day, and a million more to follow throughout the week and even now I have to say.. THANK YOU!! 

I'm currently drinking a "tumbler" full of the tea brewed from the loose leaf green Jade Dragon etc and I have to say, it's very tasty.  I'm not a huge lover of green tea but this one has a very nice subtle flavour to it that is unlike any green tea I've tried. It's like if you took green tea and sweetened milk and blended them together... it isn't very dark but it is rather flavourful. It sits nicely on the tongue and leaves the pallet sort of silkily coated... does that even make sense for a clear liquid?  Anyway, I strongly suggest any tea drinker try this.. even if you don't like green tea- it doesn't taste grass-like or vegetal like some generic ones do... 

I'm also very happy to say that I made the tea about an hour and 20 minutes ago, and the tumbler has kept it very hot - though I burnt my tongue in anticipation-  while the outside of the container is almost cold to the touch.  All in all, I am quite pleased with this gift and I hope to get into drinking more loose leaf along with my bagged teas.  

Something else worth mentioning... when you take out the tea basket post steeping you have to find a place for it and now it's wet and will be dripping tea from the steeped leaves until it is emptied.. but never fear!  The makers of this innovative travel companion intelligently created the basket bottom and the stainless cap to be complimentary. Which means that when you pull out the dripping be-leafed basket, it can rest inside the upturned cap (if desired). I thought it was a pretty neat invention... I'm the type to pull out the tea bag and leave it sitting atop of a napkin for hours. Now, no mess and no fuss.. just pull out the basket and sit it into the upside down cap in wait for re-infusion or cleaning. Check it out.. soo cute n'est pas?

The stainless cap.. and the tea basket

The tea basket sitting in the stainless cap :)

So now I sit completely contented... laptop in front of me, Anne of the Island to my right and my new Teavana Contour Tea Tumbler in my hand as the perfect tool for my Tea Party of One :D 

I'm going to review the tea i'm drinking on and see what the folks are saying tea-wise on the world wide web.  If you want more info on this tea drinking experience feel free to comment or e-mail.. 


Less than 24 hours until...

It's Finally Upon Us Literary Friends :) Let's hold our heads high and keep our pens strong, for in less than 24 hours We Write!!!

Can't wait to officially start writing my NANOWRIMO 2012 Novel.. WOOOOOOOO!!!!

                                                 !!WRIMO'S OF THE WORLD UNITE!! 


P.S still not sure which of my two novel ideas i'll be choosing for the 50K.. wish me luck!!

This is Hallowe'en.. 2012..

My family and I traditionally gather on every holiday of the year, so naturally Hallowe'en would be no different... family filled fun as usual.  We decided it would be best to move our gruesome feast to the Sunday prior though as everyone has to work or attend classes tomorrow.. My sisters and I got together on Saturday evening and baked up some goodies at our newly married sisters beautiful new house where the family fright-festa would be held. Everything went wonderfully well... we made cookies that kinda turned into caramelized hunks of goodness, brownies with and without nuts, peanut butter cookies and a cake- almost all of it from scratch cuz we cool like that- and astounded ourselves with our baking prowesses :D

On Sunday we went to do our usual church thing and then off to grandma's for normal communal family pasta lunch.. we planned to meet at my T&P's house for around 5 and my aunt would be bringing the fixings for homemade pizza- our All Hallows Eve traditional food of course! Everyone arrived in an untimely fashion as per usual and you can bet your bottom dollar that we "Colombian shuffled"** our way out at the end of the night!  Allow me to share some pictures of Sunday evenings festive frivolity with you:

A deliciously frightening feast indeed!

Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere!!

Don't you just love Hallowe'en themed candy? We Do!!

Creepy Cake Anyone?

A motley crew if I ever saw one ;)

Traditional Hallowe'en 'za.. yum!

C&E... best of all our prior  Hallows Eve mugshots !! <3
See the person on my sisters right?  That's what happens when you show up t
o our family's Hallowe'en shin-dig without a costume...
It's the sparkly spider witches boa trimmed hat for you sir!
Mr & Mrs T & P.. I now pronounce you cowboy and devil?? hmmmm
E and her Mama.. my cousins average height, her Ma is just slightly below it ;)
My cousin D and one of his many crazy masks
Superman's actually Moses?? Love it!!

What do you think?? We had a pretty successful evening i'd say! I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my crazy family as per usual :) 

So Happy Hallowe'en to one and all.. I hope its warm and not stormy where you are and that you don't forget your deceased loved ones on this All Hallows Eve..

RIP all the deceased of our Sorgente, Angelini, Mleczko, Bilich, & Smith Families <3
God Bless You on This Years Eve of Hallows... I light a candle for all our gone loved ones

 Riposano In Pace;  Nonno Gianni... Grandma Mleczko.. Mauro Piccari - Gone but not forgotten!


**NB** no offence intended to Colombians... our grandparents, mothers, aunts etc lived in Colombia and were born there, immersed in the culture and language.. The Colombian Shuffle is our family's term for the prolonged good-bye and exiting of any and all gatherings...