Book Brag- December *14!

If there has ever been a month built for reading, it has been this past December. 

While weather in Edmonton hasn’t been cold, its been fractious. All I want to do is curl up on my couch and read. Luckily for me, I have eyes that see, legs that walk me to the library down the street and my very own borrowing privileges. Life is good.

A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness was a fun read! I see that it’s #1 in a series of 3, and that has me all excited because I really liked it. It’s a book about witches and demons and vampires. It’s romantic and fantastical…and problematic at points- my feminist side was cringing at times- but over all it was a quick and engaging read and I didn’t hate the characters by the end for any of the things that made me cringe, ha! 

When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a true accounting of a dying man’s life. Dude is a young doctor and he’s diagnosed with cancer. I was excited about this one because a. reading about death is my jam b. it had gotten rave reviews c. it sounded like it would be touching and thoughtful. I mean, just look at that title! Unfortunately for me, while I felt sad at times, this book lacked depth and emotion. Perhaps I should not listen to hype. May he rest well, at any rate. 

Now this one, was very different. The End Of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe is about the books Will and his Mum read and discuss while going to Mum’s cancer treatment appointments. Its the story of a life, a family. It was thought provoking and tender. Honest and human. I liked it a lot. Twas a good read! 

Ugh! Look! A movie scene cover. I hate that! But I read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, anyway! And you know, it was good. At first I really found the odd format tedious but after putting it down for a bit and coming back to it refreshed, I found it easier to get into.  After that, I was fine. I don’t want to wreck the story for you so I’ll just say this is in an interesting, quirky read with memorable characters. It made me think and want to delve into the history of certain things more. I love it when books do that!

 I know right? Whaaaaat?! The Pornographer’s Daughter by Kristin Battista-Frazee was not nearly as salacious as I’d hoped for. Which I suppose is precisely the author’s point. Its the story of her childhood that wasn’t really all that special except for one thing: her dad distributed the movie Deep Throat, had some legal troubles and then later went on to work further in the industry. This was an alright read. There was some magical thinking at work here that I wasn’t able to connect with but it was written well enough and now I know a thing or two about the movie Deep Throat. Ha. 

What To Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapely is a little book, likened to something written by Nicholas Sparks. I didn’t find that all. The first chapter was great but then it just got complicated and hard to follow. I had to set it down *gasp! 

I’ve been watching The Crown so when I saw this book – 99 Glimpses Of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown- on a book list somewhere, I quickly added it to my list. It came in and I read it in one day. It.was.good! Not your average biography and what a relief at that! This book is such a breath of fresh air in the genre and I really hope other authors follow suit. The author paints an honest picture of a complex person and makes them seem all too human, the good, the bad and the ugly. It pulled me straight through til the end. 

The Wizard And The Witch by John C. Sulak was weird. I guess that’s no real surprise considering the subject matter. More than that, it was boring to read about two assholes who thought most highly of themselves and treated other people like crap.

Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman WAS weird but delightfully so! I enjoyed this book so much, my only complaint being that it was scarce in details I wanted to know more about! A quick and entertaining read.

I had such high hopes for The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD. It was a little long and technical for me although it tried not to be. Clearly a ME problem 🙂 It held a lot of vital information within and I’ll probably pick it up again sometime.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is not my usual jam-mystery- but I really liked it. It has a twist that I didn’t see coming at all and deals with a matter that is quite alarming and leads you to think all kinds of things. Love that!

From The Corner Of The Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein was a fun and entertaining read. I blew through in an evening- New Year’s Eve to be exact-and found it well worth my time. It’s part insight look to a way of life I knew nothing about while being a personal memoir. I liked.

Heart-Breaker by Claudia Dey was a total train wreck of a book. In the best possible way. I don’t know how the author took such a strange and twisted story and made me fall in love with it, but she did. A quick read. A read that will stick with you long after you’re done. Go get it!

Becoming by Michelle Obama. I want to be this woman when I grow up! Do you think she’s really as awesome as she seems to be? I hope so. This was a great read! It was honest and inspiring. She just makes me want to be a better person on the whole. Entertaining and enlightening, this was a great read.

Not too shabby for a month, hey?!

I’ve got one book down for January already and of course, a HUGE pile just waiting in the wings. I’ve signed up for the GoodReads Challenge again but that’s Friday’s post. Until then HAPPY READING!

January Ramble

Happy Monday!

I love Mondays. This one in particular because it’s the start of the first full week in January and the first full week of 2019. ( Technically, Sunday is the first day of the week, but whatevs! )

I feel like I need a rest from all the resting I did over Yule. The Hubs and I became one with the couch and it was AWESOME! I’ve never been able to just be so this was HUGE for me. I finally learned how to rest. A great achievement.

Did you make any intentions? I have two:

  1. Stand Tall.
  2. Be Kind To Myself.

I’m pretty awesome everywhere else so that’s all I need.

Ha Ha Ha!

Ok. I’m pretty average. The truth is I view this time of year with mixed thoughts. On the one hand I like the idea of a fresh start. As humans, we love our clean slates, the chance to symbolically start anew. On the other hand, sometimes this time of year can feel like an assault.

YOU ARE FLAWED. YOU NEED TO FIX SOMETHING!

Meh. I’m just not about that. It encourages perfectionism and I’m not down with that. Perfectionism is anxiety in disguise. I have enough of that on my own. I don’t need to willfully add anymore.

So. Today I bring you this:

I’m going to celebrate learning how to rest and making it through my yearly dark days. How about you?

Trust-2019

Every year I choose a word or a phrase to use as a short of guidepost and inspiration for the upcoming 365 days. 

In the past my focus has been on love and truth. One year I did fun and last year I chose a phrase – I don’t know- to help me with uncertainty.

This year I choose trust. And as soon as I choose the word, an opportunity to practice it was presented to me.

Two, actually. I just LOVE that!

I was in the mall, one frequented by the elderly.( You know the type ) When a slightly unkempt man started to make a fuss. Talking to himself in distress ” This is JUST great!” he says, throwing his hands up in the air. I kept walking, ignoring him because the dude seems a little unhinged. Something was off. 

Well of course dude approaches me. They always do. I’m a magnet for weirdos. ” Excuse me?!” Fuck. I keep walking but raise an eyebrow at him and off he goes! Into a long spiel about how he’s called the police numerous times and is getting no help and he’s lost this and he’s lost that and he really needs help. Its a bullshit, cockeyed story. Dude is trying to scam me for money. I cut straight to the chase ” You want money?” Yeah, he nods at me. “Not gonna happen. The bus driver might let you on for free if you ask nicely though” and off I go. Trusting in my wisdom and not falling for his nonsense, I alerted security and they called the cops, so yay for that!

Now, I’m used to trusting my wisdom when it comes to situations like that. I have plenty of practice! ( The stories I could tell … ) What I’m not skilled at is trusting in the opposite direction. Trusting that other humans mean well. 

Enter opportunity numero dos!

I’m sitting at the bus station, minding my business when the older lady beside me strikes up a conversation. We start yapping. Soon we’re fast friends,  older versions of drunk girls in bathroom bars. Ha ha!

Her bus comes and she reaches into her bag and pulls out another bag, filled with obviously homemade doughnuts. ” Take these. I made them this morning and tucked them in my bag to give to someone along the way” she says to me kindly. I graciously accept, touched by sweetness and pop them in my own bag. Off she goes. Her name was Olga.

Now OLD Lael, would have tossed that bag of treats straight in the garbage. How would she know if they were safe to eat or not, right? Yeah, Olga seemed lovely and kind but could I really be sure? Nope.

Here’s the thing though: We can NEVER really be sure. About anything. Or anyone. Nothing is in our control. Nothing is certain. Now was I going to toss the doughnuts OR use this neat encounter to practice my 2019 word?

Enter … New Lael.


Being the bad ass soul warrior that I am, I leapt at the chance to trust. Also, doughnuts! 

They were delicious and perfectly safe. I didn’t die. I didn’t get food poisoning. I enjoyed a treat from a new friend and felt the shackles loosen a bit from around my heart.

So yes, I engaged in an act of trust with another human but more importantly, I engaged in an act of trust with MYSELF.

I trusted that I was a good judge of character in that moment. I trusted my instincts and I trusted my intellect. I trusted my HEART.  

I aim to do more of that in 2019. I’m just so curious to see where else this word takes me.

How about you? Do you chose a word for the new year? Do tell?! 

Happy New Year! 2019

We made it! Well, some of us. Its such a gift to live to see another day.

I honestly feel really uncomfortable saying that. I know for a fact a lot of people don’t think another day is a gift. Another day of suffering. Woohoo. *eye roll. Shelter, food and safety would be the real gift. Good health would be another.

I live with someone who thinks his life has gone on way too long and considers death, the real gift. The impulse to scold him or try and “inspire” him to change his mind is strong. I’ve since learned its actually pretty fucking hurtful, annoying and not the least bit helpful to do so. Not to mention totally disrespectful and reeking of my good privilege. Gah!

How’s this: If you’re happy and grateful to have another day, YAY! Let’s do this!

If having another day brings you nothing but sorrow and suffering. I’m sorry. May you be free from suffering. I love you.

You all know what camp I’m in! I am excited and grateful for another day, another week, another month , another year. Hopefully I get all those!

You see, I’ve got some plans 🙂 Some things I’m looking forward to.

  1. Its six months until Lune, my birthday month. One whole month devoted to Moi. An entire month of intentionally devoting my days to the joy of being me in this world. I highly recommend all people celebrate themselves this way. 1. its fun 2. the very act of doing so shows others that you know you are worthy of respect and love 3. you get to act the fool for a month and GET AWAY WITH IT 4. you totally deserve it! 5. It really fosters a loving relationship with yourself, over time. You might feel silly at first but it wont be long before you’re planning fucking trips to Europe for your 50th. 6. It spills out positively in other areas of your life.
  2. Planning my garden. I want to grown some more unusual -for me- things this year. And I cannot wait to eat the shit out of my asparagus patch ❤
  3. Being all creative. I’ve got an idea for some paintings and some bracelets and some scarves and some decorations and some rocks…
  4. Book Club! We’ve got some good books picked out and the ladies in the club are just the BEST. I’m excited to get to know them better. I’m excited for more fun and shenanigans!
  5. Mr. OV and Ms. Sassafras turn one and five. I’m excited to watch them as they grow and develop further.
  6. Walking and hiking in nicer weather. Our winter thus far has been lovely! If only people would CLEAR THE FUCKING ICE OFF THEIR SIDEWALKS! Ahem. Sorry. I’m looking forward to stress free walking and hikes in the woods.
  7. Our road trip to a little mountain town and a couple of zips on a coaster!
  8. Getting back on my Hubs motorcycle. It feels so good to zoom through the warm air with nothing between me and the sky but my clothing.
  9. All the little holidays and celebrations that are coming up.
  10. Family dinner, lunches and brunches.
  11. Meals out with friends.
  12. My big solo trip to one of my favourite places on Earth. Just me, my ocean and my trees. Back to my Sea Witch roots 🙂
  13. Opening up my big jar of good memories for the year.
  14. Becoming my own boss. I mean I am, already. I just don’t get paid for it. Ha ha. I’m talking about earning all the moola as my own boss.
  15. More bird song. Kinda like more cow bell.
  16. Every new recipe I’m going to try.
  17. Every new drink the coffee places bring out this year.
  18. More time with the people who love me.
  19. The funny memes that make me laugh, the inspirational quotes that shore me up and the poems that empower me.
  20. The moments of wonder in Nature that stop me and fill my heart and soul.
  21. Lazy days of reading.
  22. Hectic days of doing ALL THE THINGS!
  23. Camping. Hopefully. If we get a new hoopty or fix the old one.
  24. Becoming stronger, stable and more bendy.
  25. Those weird little moments in life that make you think and feel.

Geesh! I could go on and on 🙂 Now, its your turn! What are you looking forward to?


The Best Of 2018

We’re almost there – 2019.

How has your 2018 been ?

Mine was simply put, awesome. 

OK.

Spectacularly awesome.

This is not to say I didn’t have low points . A LOT of people I knew died in 2018 and that is always hard for the living. I quit my beloved job due to stress. Stress caused because I was not able to positively affect change in a hostile environment, even though I tried so hard. So BOO! to that.

I lost some friends and that altered my social scene greatly. All because of a meme, a shitty reaction and my rigid integrity. ( My integrity was also a factor in leaving my job too. I don’t regret either but there is a cost, to be sure. ) 

Then there is all the family stuff. Not my stories to tell but I can say they involve a major break up and a major break down. All on the mend now, positively. I’m very relieved and happy to say.

Now! On to the spectacular.

In February, the Hubs and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada! Where we took the best selfie in the history of selfies:

Enjoyed the champagne a little TOO much:

That is what I look like after drinking an entire bottle of champagne minus one small glass, ha!

Drove to the Grand Canyon!!!

And took another great selfie. Soon to be the cover of our next sick album:

Total Dorks.

Our Grandson, OV was born -whilst we were in Vegas! I was supposed to be there! I’ve forgiven him. It just means we got to meet him earlier than expected 🙂 )

I realized a life long dream and went to Tanzania!

Words cannot adequately convey just how grateful I am for this experience. It was like magic. I do promise to complete my travel posts, in good time. I still have so many stories to share.

And in between the lows and the highs I’ve loved the ordinary too. Nothing beats watching the sun come up, even though I’ve seen a thousand different sunrises. And I do so adore sitting on my couch, hot cup of coffee in my hand, surrounded by pets who think I’m the bees knees, enjoying the peace and quiet.  I think the ordinary is really where life is at 🙂 Its where we spend most of our time after all. And when you think about this:

The ordinary stops feeling so … ordinary!

So, tell me! What were your lowlights and highlights of 2018? What were your beloved in betweens? 

Happy Day, My Friends.

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live with ease.

I wish you all the very best! 

Oh! I got you a 175 lb something!

Ha Ha Ha!

You’re welcome 🙂 

I don’t know what you’re doing right now. Hell, I don’t even know what I’m doing right now (because I am a sneaky post scheduler)  Probably sleeping or opening presents with my man or eating some delicious breakfast or drinking some delicious drink. BUT whatever it is I hope it fills your heart with joy and love.

If that’s not possible for whatever reason just know that I LOVE YOU (yes YOU. Yes, I REALLY do) and that my heart is with you. No matter what. 

Stay safe friends. Be well.

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours?

  1. Name the hardest thing you experienced this year?
  2. Name the easiest!
  3. What friendships inspired you the most?
  4. Where and how were you most helpful in this world?
  5. What brought out a sense a wonder in you ?
  6. What was your greatest mistake?
  7. What was your greatest success?
  8. What scared the crap out of you?
  9. When were you brave?
  10. How did you best love yourself?
  11. How did you best love others?
  12. Name one embarrassing moment!
  13. Brag about one thing shamelessly
  14. What was your biggest lesson in 2018?

I love lists and I love reflecting. Won’t you join me in doing so? Take my questions and answer them here or on your own blog. (Please be sure to link back to me so I can see them!)

  1. Name the hardest thing you experienced this year? Choosing between people I liked, loved even, and my strong moral code. The choosing wasn’t hard, I knew what I was doing was right, it was hard because I went against the wishes of people and that hurt them. My work child and her mum, especially.
  2. Name the easiest! Spending time with and loving the stuffing out of my grandbabies. Enjoying my pets and finally having enough in me to give them their due!
  3. What friendships inspired you the most? I have a friend, I met at work who is the softest, kindest, least judgemental person on the planet. Just being with her, is like being in a perma-hug. We’ve never been close but this year, she really figured prominently in my life with her kind words and her soothing way of being. She inspired me to keep opening myself up to softness and vulnerability.
  4. Where and how were you most helpful in this world? With people. My main agenda in life is to inspire, empower and encourage others. I am your biggest fan. A perpetual cheerleader.
  5. What brought out a sense a wonder in you ? Nature. Always Nature. In particular the sky and the animals I met in Tanzania.
  6. What was your greatest mistake? Staying at my job longer than my expiration date and living in the past.
  7. What was your greatest success? Quitting my job to shock of EVERYONE who knows me and travelling as my weird and witchy self 🙂
  8. What scared the crap out of you? Flying into and landing at an airport in a wee plane, sideways. All skitchy and out of control!
  9. When were you brave? All of last year. Every day. Living each moment. Experiencing the unknown.
  10. How did you best love yourself? I spent the last year, keeping my promises, listening to my body, heart, soul and mind and really cultivating boundaries and a personal code of honour.
  11. How did you best love others? I have tried my best to become a better listener and to love people exactly as they are.
  12. Name one embarrassing moment! Ha! The time I got “trapped ” in a washroom in Amsterdam behind a door I was pushing on when I should have been pulling. It had a very strong magnet as well as a lock so when I did try to pull it, I wasn’t using enough force. I called out to the loooong line of ladies waiting in the common area and they assisted me. *groan!
  13. Brag about one thing shamelessly! I am brave, kind, loving and wise. I am a badass divine being of light. (You are too)
  14. What was your biggest lesson in 2018? You have to take full responsibility for your life and everything in it. Your experience is entirely up to you. You own you. You owe you. Blaming other people is just a waste of your precious time. If you want something YOU have to make it happen. YOU are responsible for your own happiness…your own … everything!

Ok. Now its your turn!