Random facts

Why I Love The Comox Valley, British Columbia!!

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I recently spent a wonderful week with my dad and his girlfriend Carol in their beautiful new home in the Comox Valley.  We had a truly lovely time and I got to meet some members of Carol’s family as well.  I previously lived in Comox for a total of 16 years of my life and my husband and I would love to return here and retire.  Here are just some of the many reasons I love the beautiful Comox Valley.

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The mountains and glaciers.

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The beaches.

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The farmers’ markets.

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The food and wine.  There are several wineries and artisanal breweries here in the valley.
The best part about the valley is that we will be able to renew old friendships and make new ones.  I will be able to be close to my family.  And one of the best things is that it rarely snows in the valley as it is a rainforest climate with short rainy winters and long sunny summers.  Here is hoping that the next year or so has my husband and I having a new Comox valley address.  Wish me luck!  Cheers, Michele

Getting To Know My Readers!! A Little Q & A!

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Image courtesy of www.vera-natura.com

I love seeing that people from around the world read my blog.  So I thought I would put out a little questionnaire with my answers right along side.  I would love it if you would take the time to answer and reply to any or all of them.  That way I can get to know you better and tailor my writing to your interests. That would be fantastic! So here goes.

  1. Where d0 you live?   Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. What are your favourite posts?  The refashions from unusual thrifted finds; that perfect much sought after thrift find; a successful refashion!
  3. What would you like to see more of on this blog?  More of the continuing fantastic reading of my posts and comments from my wonderful readers!
  4. What are your 5 favourite places to visit?  Seville, Spain; Brugges, Belgium; Paris, France; Anywhere in Italy; Munich, Germany.
  5. What was the last country you visited?  Jamaica
  6. What is your 5 favourite hobbies?  Thrift shopping, refashioning, sewing, working on my blog and trying new recipes and tailoring them to my dietary requirements.
  7. Dogs or cats?  Dogs
  8. Favourite paid job that you have had?  Forensic autopsy technician
  9. Languages you speak even a little or a lot?  English, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Greek (only swear words)
  10. Favourite book, movie and music genre?  Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen; Love Actually; Eighties music.

So these are just a few questions I thought I would ask.  I would love it if you had thought of your own questions to ask me and I will gladly reply.  I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and my posts.  Cheers, Michele

A Bit Of A Different Find Of The Day!! A Big Surprise!

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It has been a hell of a day today.  We have had some kind of animal burrowing under out house for the last little while and since we have seen lots of rabbits and squirrels in our yard we thought it was one of those.  But then Katie our eldest daughter saw a groundhog in the yard yesterday, so we figured it was one of those.  So we bought a humane box trap and baited it with vegetables and cooked chicken and put it out.

My husband woke me up this morning and said he saw something in the trap and then went off with the dog for a long walk to leave me to sort it out.  So out I went and here is what I found.

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A little skunk!!  He or she was pretty ticked off but luckily I didn’t get sprayed.  I covered the trap with a big plastic bag after tying a rope to the latch of the door and took the whole thing to an open field near my house and let the little guy go.  Be free little stripey friend.  Glad you aren’t living under my house any more.  Hope your weekend was a little less stressful and exciting than mine.  Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with a skunk?  Cheers, Michele

Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks Collection Review!!

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So Katie, my eldest daughter, has a rather healthy or some might say unhealthy addiction to makeup.  And one of her favourite brands of liquid lipstick is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks.  We thought she could share her review of the collection.

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Here from left to right are Double Dare, Lovesick, Bow n Arrow, Lolita,   Mother, Melancholia, Armageddon, Backstage Bambi, A-Go-Go, Bachelorette, Outlaw, Nosferatu, Bauhaus, Susperia, L.U.V., Exorcism, Vampira, and Echo.

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Here are the swatches of the same colours in the same order from left to right.

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Exorcism

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Mother

Here are lip swatches of two of the colours to show the finishes and colours.

The most popular colours are Bow n Arrow, Lolita and Vampira.  Katie’s personal favourites are Mother and Lovesick.
The darker colours can be patchy and need a second coat applied carefully to avoid streaking and cracking from too thick application.  These liquid lipsticks are dry formula so on dry chapped lips it can enhance the dryness and flakes.  Using a thin layer of a waxy balm can help.  They dry down to a nice matte finish.  They are waterproof but will dissolve with greasy food and heavy application of lip balm or gloss will cause it to rub off.
Summary of this product, more is not more, less applied well is more.  Technique is everything with these liquid lipsticks.  A good oil-based makeup remover is a must for removing these products. All in all, very good products with a wonderful colour pay-off and finish.  Kate and I hope you will try these products out.  Cheers, Michele

Things I Love Best About My Husband!! Happy Anniversary To Us!

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My husband, Will  and I are celebrating 30 years together this weekend.   We met on August 14th, 1986 and it has been a wonderful adventure ever since.  I love him more and more each day.  There are many things I love about him, but these are just a few.  In honour of our 30 years together, I have listed 30 reasons.

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Us on our honeymoon in Germany, 1988.

  1. He is my best friend…no question.
  2. He has the best twisted sense of humour.
  3. He always has my best interest at heart.
  4. He pushes me to be a better person.
  5. He gets my kind of crazy and weirdness.
  6. I get his kind of crazy and weirdness.
  7. He has saved me from the worst parts of myself, and continues to do so.
  8. He truly likes me.
  9. He loves me through the good, bad and the ugly.
  10. He thinks I am beautiful and tells me so.
  11. He thinks I am smart and tells me so.
  12. He finds me funny.
  13. He can laugh at himself.
  14. He supports me in my choices, both good and bad.
  15. He understands me.
  16. He doesn’t mind that I need time to myself sometimes.
  17. He supports me through my never-ending and ever-changing “hobbies”.
  18. He drives me to the thrift stores!
  19. He buys me important things like new winter boots or new tires for my car or a new computer when I need them, rather than buying me just frivolous things like flowers and chocolates.  (Although a few flowers and chocolates wouldn’t hurt now and again, and he does buy them too).
  20. He is the handsomest man I have ever met.
  21. He calls me on my bullshit.
  22. He understands when I have anxiety or apparently unreasonable fears, and doesn’t judge me.
  23. He is kind and considerate.
  24. He surprises and interests me everyday.
  25. He is open to new adventures with me.
  26. He loves to travel.
  27. He has many similar but also many dissimilar interests than me.  This keeps it interesting.
  28. He remembers my birthday and our anniversaries.
  29. He has the most beautiful smile and best evil grin.
  30. I can see the love in his eyes when he looks at me.

I am a very lucky girl to have such an amazing husband.  I hope that all of you are lucky enough to have someone in your life who completes you and makes you feel as good about yourself.  Have a happy life and I hope you have someone or many someones to share it with like good friends and family.  Cheers, Michele

Why I Love Tuscany!! Travel Photos And Memories!

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We fell in love with Tuscany the first year we lived in Europe.  We visited Florence, Rome and Pisa in our week that we were there, but I featured some of our Rome pictures in a previous post.  So here are just a few of our photos of Tuscany 2006.  Enjoy.

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Florence
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Our Villa on a hill top, an olive orchard and vineyard. I had one of the best meals of my life, cooked by myself.  Wild local boar cooked over burning trimmed olive branches and grape vines, local wine, a fresh tomato salad made with the olive oil from the orchard, lemons from the tree outside our room and basil from the garden.  So amazing!imageimage

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Roccastrata

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As you can see, Tuscany is a fabulous place.  We had a wonderful time and I would go back in a heartbeat.  The food, the people…just everything.  Cheers, Michele

When Will High School Ever End!! The Clique Culture!

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As I said in a previous post about being grown-up and mature, I am at a soul-searching point in my life.  And part of that is trying to still figure out why people tend to behave like they are still in high school.  You know…the cliques…the politics…the meanness…and the pecking order.  I look around at people as an outside observer because I don’t really belong to a group of people other than my family and a few close friends.  I don’t have a larger group…a clique, I guess you would call it…that I belong to.

In school I was always a loner, and not always by choice.  I am socially awkward still and find that I have a hard time understanding the pecking order of our culture.  It is a sad thing to me when I read the paper or watch the news or even just observe people around me in public or at work that we are a very clique driven culture.  If you belong to a certain group due to ethnicity or colour or background or social standing or finances, you tend to stick with your own kind.  Now I can understand this when it comes to maintaining the history and culture of a particular group to keep it alive and growing, but when it is just about keeping like-minded people in and non-like-minded people out, I just don’t understand.  I think I am just too soft and naive and hope that people will like me or anyone else for that matter for the content of their mind and personality and how they treat other people rather than the numbers on their bank statement or where they stand in the pecking order.

I often think back to a summer I spent on a trout farm where I stayed and one of my jobs was to care for the flock of chickens that provided eggs and meat to the farm owners.  I learned very quickly that chickens are some of the least intelligent animals I have ever met.  And unfortunately some of the biggest bullies.  Chickens form cliques or groups based on similarities in appearance or strength and will peck away at the chickens that are different.  Whether those other chickens are weaker or a different colour, they will single them out and make their lives miserable.  I used to protect the loner chickens from the bullies and try to ensure that they got a chance at the food.  The other people who lived on the farm said that I shouldn’t bother because as soon as I left the chicken run, it would all start over again…it was the way of life for chickens…the establishment of the pecking order.  And I know comparing people to chickens seems pretty cruel..but let’s be honest…people as a group are cruel even if people individually can be kind and generous.

I wonder when it will ever make sense to me why people behave the way they do.  I took courses in university studying animal behaviour and I find myself adapting the things I learned in these courses to how I observe and watch other people and their interactions.  We are animals after all.  And even if our civilized brain tells us that we should work together and be kind, our primitive brain wants to protect what is ours…whether it is food, shelter, security, money, etc. So we stick together in small groups and defend ourselves against interlopers.  High school was just a big chicken run and unfortunately, and my observations support this…we haven’t really grown out of the high school clique mentality.  This is a global problem in my opinion.  And it is sad!

I still try to remain optimistic about people, and the people I have close to me show me the positive wonderful way that people can be…kind, generous, considerate, loving and open.  I guess that’s why I keep them close.  I guess they are my clique after all.

Sorry if I seem to be veering off into uncharted territory in some of my posts, but I am more than just a thrifter and a refashioner and a cook, etc.  I have ideas and opinions about things and would like to share them as well as hear what you have to say.   What do you think about my wandering babble?  Cheers, Michele