Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things: June 28 (Let "My Life: A Whirlwind" Begin)

I've been Celebrating the Small Things with VikLit and the other awesome bloggers linkup up on the hop for a month now! I've even recruited a few people too. You could be next, just add your link and start celebrating every Friday!

First, a little fun - I am celebrating the fact that I have a spare deodorant in my office because I sure forgot to put some on at home this morning! (I was starting to smell myself.)

Moving on...

Speaking of moving, we did. We're done. We're not totally unpacked, but yay anyway!

My bestie's bridal shower was a success! I have yet to get her to send me the photo of the absolutely ridiculous outfit that I put together for her to wear. That'll teach me for not taking a photo with my own camera. She got a lot of swag, she had a lot of fun, and the guests enjoyed the games and prizes I came up with. Next up, the bachelorette party! Can't wait!

The faculty I work for at Brandon University is hiring another office assistant so I will have less running up and down between department floors. Yay for a little more organisation around here for my final two months of employment.

Today marks the beginning of one heck of a whirlwind that is otherwise known as my life and that is worthy of the biggest celebration for this week. First stop, Calgary and one of my beautiful best friends! There are more details on My Life: In Countdowns and even that post doesn't include the fact that my best friend (the same one that I had the bridal shower for) is getting married at the end of September. I'm moving to New Brunswick at the end of August. She gets married here, in Manitoba, at the end of September. That means I have to fly back before I even really even get settled in. Totally insane! Totally worth it!

Cheers to you and your celebrations this week!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Life: In Countdowns

Sadly, I have given up on the June: Photo-A-Day challenge. I kind of sort of made it to Day 17 and then my life just caught up to me and something had to give. You'll understand in a minute. Fat Mum Slim just posted her July: Photo-A-Day challenge if any one is interested. I'm not even going to attempt to take part for the month of July because my life is even crazier this upcoming month than it was this last month. Now to the understanding part and the title of this post...

My Life: In Countdowns

In 2...Calgary, Alberta and a long weekend (Monday, July 1st is Canada Day) with one of my brilliant besties. It will include wine, Sex and the City re-runs, and endless hours of catching up. It has been too long!

In 6...Leduc, Alberta and a week with my gorgeous sister. We're doing the Color Me Rad 5km in Edmonton on July 7th. It'll be, well, RAD! I'm raising funds for a charity that is near and dear to my heart if you're interested in contributing. I'll send you a ridiculous before and after photo of me at the race if you do! It'll be worth it; I promise!

In 12...A Skype interview with World University Service of Canada for a volunteer Regional Coordinator position.

In 14...My going away party at Brandon University (that's where I work). I've worked here for 9 years so it's going to be very strange not getting up every morning and following the same old routine. Strange, but fantastic!

In 16...Epic Road Trip (yes, it requires all caps) from Brandon, Manitoba to Fredericton, New Brunswick (3500 km a.k.a. 2175 miles) to check out my soon-to-be new home as I work my way through a Master of Arts in English. We're stopping in Montreal, Quebec and spending a day with another one of my beautiful besties and then coming back through Niagara Falls, Ontario. I absolutely hate driving, but I am actually really looking forward to this adventure across the Eastern "half" of Canada with my hunny (Farmer Joe)!

In 43...I defend my Creative Writing Thesis. I have so much work to get done on it at this point that I am kind of freaking out a lottle (it's like a little, but a lot).

In 50...Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau, Quebec for the WUSC Leadership Meeting, but this one is dependent on the success of my interview (referred to above).

In 57...I will work my last day at BU.

In 65...Fredericton, New Brunswick for keeps! (and I still have to figure out what to pack)

In 72...Master of Arts in English begins!

Somewhere in all of that I have to plan a a bachelorette party for my best friend and a going away party for myself with all of my close friends. Those things will occur sometime after my Creative Writing Thesis defense and leaving for Fredericton for keeps!

Liebster #3

Because I have yet to acquire 200 followers, people are still finding me and bestowing these Liebsters on me and who am I to refuse an award (a.k.a. blog love) from a fellow blogger? So, thank you to the lovely Sunni from Surviving Life for this award. Sunni actually told me that I could choose either the Liebster or the Very Inspiring Blogger, but I'm going with the Liebster because I think the reason she picked me is for my lack of followers. I also enjoy answering the questions that people pose as part of the Liebster so that's another reason for my choice. I am, however, going to display this award logo as a way to kind of, sort of accept both awards. I'm a free spirit who lives by her own rules, so it's all ok!

So these are the typical Liebster rules:
1. List 11 facts about yourself. 2. Answer the 11 questions given to you. (Sunni said that I could do one or the other so I am ignoring Rule #1 and just moving on to #2) 3. Ask 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer. 4. Choose up to 11 up-and-coming blogs (with less than 200 followers) to nominate. 5 Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award. 6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

So these are the questions that Kristen from Random Musings from the Kristenhead provided to Sunni. Sunni, in turn, has passed them on to me. 

1. What is your favorite video game (if any)? This can include mobile games and Facebook games. Well, I am currently fighting an addiction to Candy Crush. I have been stuck on level 347 for eons now to the point that I am quite annoyed at the game in general.
2. Do you like to sleep on a very soft surface, or a harder surface? I am definitely a feathery down-filled bed sleeper-on-er. 
3. What is the most unusual food you have tried? I'm going with cow intestine on this one. It's a delicacy in Botswana.
4. What is your favorite odd food or meal? Perogies with mayonnaise.
5. What is the first sense you turn to when describing something in your writing (taste, smell, touch, sight, sound)? I typically discuss how things make me feel which isn't technically one of the 5 senses. If I am going with one of the 5, it would be sight, I think.
6. What is one of the cutest things you have ever seen in your life? Hands down, baby elephants playing in the muddy banks of the Chobe River. Here's a video I took of it!
7. What is the ugliest thing you have ever seen or experienced (this can have to do with feelings, or inner ugliness, etc)? I honestly think that the ugliest thing I have seen in this world is the treatment of homeless people. I will openly admit that I am as guilty as the next person for simply walking by them and pretending they don't even exist.  
8. Do you prefer typing or writing with a pen or pencil and paper? The short answer is typing, BUT when I journal I use pen (what ever colour feels right) and paper.
9. What is your favourite thing to drink? Definitely soda, usually Diet Coke.
10. Do you prefer road trips, airline travel, train travel, or other (when going long distances)? It's air travel for me. I adore reaching my destination, but absolutely despise the time it takes to get there. With that said, I'm planning a 14-day road trip beginning mid-July...go figure!
11. What is your favourite way to watch TV, movies, and videos? For example, do you watch everything on your computer or sling it to a big TV? Do you use a Tivo, a DVR, or Netflix? What is your set-up? To be totally honest, I download everything off of the net, plug my laptop into my tv and watch it like that. I haven't used my dvd player in ages, in fact, I don't even know where it is and I have never, in my life, paid for cable or satellite tv.

Now, here are the 11 questions that my nominees can answer (or not). I tried to make them simple, but interesting and I like to theme my question sets so I'm going with "Summer" for this one since the first official day of summer was June 21 and summer is my favourite season.
1. What is your favourite outdoor summer activity?
2. What is your favourite thing to BBQ?
3. Do you enjoy camping? If yes, do you tent or do you have a camper?
4. Do you use a push lawn mower or a ride-on tractor?
5. What is your favourite fresh summer vegetable?
6. What is your favourite cold drink?
7. What level spf sunscreen do you use most often?
8. What water sports (if any) do you enjoy?
9. What is your favourite ice cream treat?
10. Finish this line: Sunshine, happiness, and _____.
11. What is your favourite thing about summer?

Finally, it's time to share the blog love so my nominees are:
Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
Writer's Mark
Diana Wilder ...about myself, by myself...
Life, yoga and other adventures
The Literary Pig
Rossandra White
Life Cherries
The Speculative Salon
What I Learned Today
Deb's Writing Room
Cross Planes
I hope you'll pay them a visit and take a minute to comment and tell them I sent you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - June 21

I've had such an insane week that I almost forgot to post about my celebrations. Hop on over to VikLit's blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author to get all of the details for this wonderful Friday theme.

I met with my Creative Writing professor on Monday and her feedback on my thesis doesn't require me to do nearly as much editing as I thought it would. I'm not off the hook and I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but it's well on its way.

On Wednesday, I said goodbye to some fantastic people as I served my final day as a member of the Board of Directors for The Marquis Project. Because I am moving away to Fredericton very soon, I can no longer volunteer here in Brandon on the board. While that may seem like a sad thing rather than something to celebrate, it's all part of moving on with my life and starting a new adventure. I am celebrating the fact that I have spent the last year volunteering with this organisation rather than the fact that I am saying goodbye to it and the people involved.

On Thursday, I celebrated the upcoming birth of my coworker's baby with a baby shower. It was a lovely afternoon during which the mommy-to-be was showered with practical and adorable gifts.

Throughout the week I have been running around getting everything together for my best friend's bridal shower on Sunday.I finally have it all set and I am excited to spend the day with her. She may murder me when she is presented with the bikini full of all of the ribbons and bows from the gifts that I am going to make her put on over her clothes, but that's what friends are for!

Today, I had the day off of work to pack my country home and prepare to move myself into the city. I am celebrating the fact that despite my feet being in a constant state of pain, I have almost my entire house packed and ready to move tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 15/16/17: from above / family / centred

Yep, so much for keeping up with June: Photo-A-Day. As you can clearly see by the fact that I am posting three photos today, I am not keeping up with the challenge. I could blame it on the fact that I spent the weekend at my Mom's, but I don't really fancy excuses because one can always make the time for things if one really wants to. So, without further ado, here are my shots:

I was going to go outside and play around with the 'from above' prompt by taking pictures while standing on my truck box or on my front step or on my deck, but the mosquitos are so awful out there that I decided to make my Winston be a model once more and I stood on a chair in my kitchen.

I'm breaking my own rule on the 'family' prompt and using a photo that I didn't take myself. This is a photo from last summer at my family reunion. Our entire family and I do mean everyone got together with my 85-year old Baba (grandmother). Her brother and sister and their families. Her four children, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. At the time of this photo there was even a seventh great-grandchild waiting to make her entrance into the world! There are no words to describe that happiness that was embodied in this day.

I pressed down the 'T' key on my vintage Corona so that the type bar would raise up directly in the centre of the type guide. Pretty cool, right?!

Hopefully, I'll be back to posting daily now, but I'm not making any promises. My life just got all kinds of hectic and blogging is, unfortunately, taking a back seat.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Celebrate The Small Things - June 14 & Photo-a-Day - 14: texture

It's Friday, the end of the work week and the start of the weekend, those things alone are cause to celebrate! I do have a few more things to add to VikLit's Celebrate The Small Things blog hop. It's really quite lovely to make a point, every week, of reflecting on the reasons, no matter how small, that give me cause to celebrate.

This week I'm celebrating the receipt of two more donations to the WUSC Student Refugee Program after re-launching my fundraising website. In connection to my fundraising efforts, I ran/walked 5km 4 times this week. I'm up to solidly jogging 2.5km which is somewhat disheartening considering I used to be able to run 17km with little issue, BUT, we're celebrating, right?! so I'll focus on the fact that I am slowly rebuilding my endurance.

I'm celebrating my contest win and associated feature blog post over on M.J. Joachim's Writing Tips.

I'm celebrating the honour of representing WUSC at the Manitoba Council of International Cooperation Annual General Meeting. In direct connection with that, I am celebrating that I am part of a generation of youth that is dedicated to making this world a better place. The youth panel included young men and women who have done volunteer work and/or research in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Nicaragua (to name a few). Perhaps the most empowering statement that I took with me is the following: "The youth in developing nations know what they need; they just need to be asked." Brilliant!

Finally, I am celebrating the fact that I am sitting and writing this blog in the comfort of my Mom's living room. I got to eat her scrumptious chilli for dinner tonight and tomorrow I'll be spending time with some of my family at a cousin's wedding. I really needed this "break from reality" so I intend to cherish it!

Now for today's June: Photo-A-Day prompt:
The stitching on a dress that I purchased in Botswana - so delicate, so soft, so comfortable. 

Photo-a-Day - 12: 11 o'clock & Photo-a-Day - 13: kitchen

Well, I actually did take photos on Wednesday and Thursday for the June: Photo-A-Day challenge, but due to the fact that a) I had to travel 250 km to and from a meeting on Wednesday night and b) my internet access has been very intermittent at home of late, I am just now posting for Day 12 and Day 13. I am so far behind with everything - with life in general - that I think I actually might be first again!

As I said, I had to travel the 250 km (give or take) from Brandon, MB to Winnipeg, MB for a meeting on Wednesday. I missed my chance at 11 o'clock a.m. to snap a candid shot, but I diligently watched the clock on our truck as my fiance did the driving so that I would be ready when 11 o'clock p.m. rolled around. As you can see, in the lower left corner, this shot was taken at 11:01. I love the reflection of the dash in the window and the fact that you can see the highway's yellow line. The tail and headlights of other vehicles doing some late night traveling is a nice touch as well.

This one is pretty self-explanatory except for the fact that I used the "cartoonify" feature on my photo editing software to give it a slightly different look. The cookie jar (doll face) has been in my family for a few generations now. She isn't really usable because her seal is non-existent, but she sure is cute to look at!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 11: something funny

I carried my camera around with me today in the hopes that something funny would happen and I'd be lucky enough to capture for today's June: Photo-A-Day prompt. Today was just a regular run of the mill day, though, and I got nothin'.

Then I remembered this photo that I took to incorporate into work-in-progress calendar for my family.

It was self-defence!

In other news, I've been featured over at M.J. Joachim's Writing Tips because I was the winner of one (well, two actually - the other post is coming soon) of her totally awesome Blog Hopper Marathons. Check me out!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 10: You!

We're 1/3 of the way through June: Photo-A-Day and today's post is You! as in me as in I am supposed to post photos of myself.

In the age of facebook, I think it's safe to say that we are all more narcissistic than ever before. I'll admit, I often find myself thinking or even saying, "that will make a great profile pic." So for this prompt, I went back through my profile pictures and chose a few of my favourites!

This is the one I chose to showcase in the FMS Photo-a-Day facebook group because it's kind of abstract and I like that sort of thing. I also took this photo myself and that's something I'm trying to hold true to throughout this challenge.

Then there's this one. That's little me - in the fish net.

This one's me after I shaved my head in 2010 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation
Here's the video link too if you're interested.

This one is Me! or You! or whatever makes sense, in a nutshell. I took this one myself too!

If I had to choose one, just one photo, that is my absolute favourite of me, though, I would go with the photo that appears above every single blog post. Me and Africa - Africa and Me. That photo was taken as part of a photo shoot for the Women of Distinction Award in my community in 2010. The same day of the award banquet (which I didn't win, btw) I also found out that I was the successful candidate to do a volunteer placement in Botswana. That photo symbolises all of that and I'll cherish it forever.

Whore It Up Award: Guilty Pleasures

Starr over at The Insomniac's Dream created her own blog award (because she's cool like that) called the Whore It Up Award. During her second round of award presentations, yours truly made the cut!

So here's how the award works:
1. Upon receiving the award, you receive a prompt. You are to write about said prompt (whenever you feel like it).
2. Link back to who gave you this award and include the picture of the award in your post.
3. Pass it on to five bloggers (you can tag back if you want to read what your presenter has to say about the topic you come up with.)
4. Come up with a prompt for the five bloggers you chose.
5. When you finally do get around to writing the prompt you were given, let the blogger who presented you this award know so they can read it.

My prompt: Guilty Pleasures

I'll start with the most risqué and work my way down to the tamer pleasures.

I've already admitted that I enjoy watching porn and masturbating. I own a rabbit (yes, that's the one that Charlotte must be pried away from in SATC) and an egg (every woman should own one of these) and I enjoy spending time with them very much.

Moving on to a GP that is only slightly less inelegant, I have a thing for really raunchy music, played really loud, especially when I am running. Some examples would be most songs by DMX and Eminem and then there's "Shots" by LMFAO. It never fails; when one of these songs comes on, I can always kick up the energy a bit and run further faster.

Next is a GP that involves clothing - braless and brightly coloured fluffy socks; that's all that's really required there, I think.

And finally some GPs that involve food. Basically, any and all kinds of junk food fit the category for me. Yes, I am that girl that can devour an entire pizza or a large bag of potato chips and a whole container of dip, but here are some of the stranger things I insert through my mouth and into my stomach: perogies with mayonnaise, chicken fingers with corn syrup, Coke and chocolate. YUM!

Now to the pimping out of this award:

Julie from Julie You Jest
Suzanne from Times Squared
Zoe from rewritten
Kirsten from Black Coffee and Cigarettes
Laeli from Words To Live By

...your prompt should you choose to accept it:

The movie of your life: what is the genre? what is the setting? who plays you and why?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 9: from down low

I'm still eye-ball deep in my Creative Writing Thesis so today's June: Photo-A-Day post is a short one again just like yesterday's. This is the view from down low on the restaurant outdoor patio where Joe and I enjoyed our dinner. Our city is full of old character buildings like this one. It was such a beautiful little spot. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 8: animal

I kind of can't believe that one full of June has come and gone and it's already day 8 in the June: Photo-A-Day challenge.

I'm in the midst of finalising a first draft of my Creative Writing Thesis this weekend so I'm keeping today's post short and sweet.

Exotic vs. Domestic - which do you prefer?

An African Elephant in Kasane, Botswana, Africa

A German Shepherd in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

Friday, June 7, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 7: bright

I didn't get the best photo for today's June: Photo-A-Day prompt, but I live by the understanding that every dark cloud has a bright silver lining so that's the shot I snapped.

With 'bright' in mind, I thought back to some of the shots in my photo archives and came up with two that quite worthy of today's theme. I've been on two memorable trips where bright lights meet big cities.

1. The City That Never Sleeps: New York

2. Sin City: Las Vegas

Which bright lights do you prefer? NY, NY or Vegas, baby?! Do you have a bright silver lining experience you're willing to share?

Celebrating The Small Things - June 7

Every Friday a bunch of us bloggers taking part in Celebrate The Small Things hosted over at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author post about the things that we have cause to celebrate throughout the week. Sometimes these things are big, sometimes even huge, but most times they are simple things that make us smile.

The sun is shining today and it shone yesterday making it finally finally finally (yes, 3 are necessary) feel like summer is going to make it to Brandon, Manitoba. THAT is definite cause for celebration.

I am moving into a small house in the city soon so I am celebrating no more flooded basements, no more yellowy brown water, fewer wood ticks, a cold water shower tap that will work properly, having a bathtub (gosh I miss having a bathtub), and high speed internet that doesn't crash every five minutes.

A friend of mine was accepted at her first choice articling position after she graduates Law School next spring. Friends doing spectacular things is one of my favourite reasons to celebrate.

I managed to get eighteen boxes of textbooks packed up and sent on their way to Africa. It's always so much work, but when that stack of boxes is all taped and labelled, it feels great. I've seen the results on the other end of the shipments; it's miraculous and so worth the effort.

Finally, I am celebrating the successful re-launch of my running blog: Running for Refugees, and associated fundraising efforts. Since the re-vamp and minor promotion yesterday, I've received two donations to WUSC's Student Refugee Program, a cause that will never leave my heart as long as I live.

Cheers to you and whatever you are celebrating this week!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 6: transport

It just so happens that on the day that the June: Photo-A-Day prompt is "transport", Farmer Joe and I attended a car show...and a global market...and an art gallery opening, but most fitting is, of course, the car show. The first Thursday of every month in Brandon just happens to be Cruise Night! Four blocks of downtown are sanctioned off and lined with classic and modern modes of transportation (mostly cars, but trucks and motorbikes too).

I snapped a few shots and then decided to play around with them in an editing program. These are my results:

Which one's your favourite?

On another transport related note, I started up my running blog again: Running for Refugees. I hope you'll stop on over and read about the crazy things I do for a cause!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 5: environment

Today is World Environment Day. It is also charity prompt day in Fat Mum Slim's June: Photo-A-Day challenge.

Now, I have two confessions to make.

1. I am really not much of an environmentalist. I recycle, but that's about it. I tend to catch a lot of flack when I admit that the environment is quite low on the list of things I care about, but haters gonna hate and I'm going to continue caring about things that I deem more important.

2. I didn't take this photo today and although I have noticed that a lot of the photos being posted by other participants are old photos, I wanted to do this challenge right and take a new photo-a-day throughout June. Then life got in the way and that didn't happen. It feels somewhat odd to post this photo today since it was so beautifully warm and sunny here, but it's one of the best photos of the "environment" that I have on my computer right now and I wanted to post something.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 4: after dark

One of the reasons I love Manitoba summers is the fact that is stays light outside until 10:00 p.m. Today's June: Photo-a-Day entry was taken shortly after dusk on my farm.

By the end of June, I'll be moved into the city and no longer have these beautiful country skies to admire. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we're moving (our basement floods, we have yellowy-brownish water, our cold water tap in the shower is temperamental , our kitchen sink is constantly plugging, our lawn mower is broken, and our landlord isn't the best at getting things fixed in a timely manner), but I will miss the peaceful serenity of this place.

In other news, this is a typical scene on our couch after dark:

Winston, Chewie, Joe

Blog Hopper Marathon Scavenger Hunt

I'm participating in another one of M.J. Joachim's Blog Hopper Marathon events. This one is a scavenger hunt that involves finding at least 5 bloggers who maintain 3 or more blogs, commenting on each of their blogs, and then highlighting one special blogger.

I'll push off from the starting blocks with M.J. herself, well, because she's the genius leading this hunt!
Here are M.J.'s 3 blogs:
M.J. Joachim's Writing Tips
Being Catholic by M.J. Joachim
Effectively Human

Rounding out the second lap is Kirsten Hart who manages to update 3 blogs regularly:
Just Ermie
Black Coffee and Cigarettes
Short Story Ideas

A third time around the track brings me to Sandy who maintains a whopping 5 blogs (I think she may have super powers):
Sandy's Space --Stories, Stitches, and sometimes Silliness
Flat Stanley and Friends
Oozing out my Ears
Bridge and Beyond
Traveling Suitcase

Coming up on the last lap is Bill Nicholls who I discovered because he promoted his multi-blogging skills on M.J.'s post:
Spud's Daily Photo
Spud's Rural Explorations
A Grave Place
Cholsey New Pavilion
Forgotten Fairmile

I'm crossing the finishing line and giving big ups to Laeli:
Travel with her: Into The Great Wide Open
Live life with her: Words To Live By
Run with her: The Super Shiny Amazing Real Life Adventures Of A Fat Runner
From the first time I stumbled on to her three blogs, I felt that we were cyber-soul mates. She loves travel. I love travel. She loves life. I love life. She's a fat runner. I am a fat runner. We belong together! Laeli's birthday is in June and she has renamed it Lune (because she's a bit of a loon - her words, not mine). The celebrations she has in store for her birthday month are outdone by no one. Take a peek at her blogs and you're sure to love her as much as I do!

Laeli's "Lune" Cake

Monday, June 3, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 3: on my table

In addition to providing you lovelies with today's June: Photo-A-Day, I'm going to tell you about my day. Here's my photo first:

On my table at any particular moment of any particular day you'll find a collection that looks something like this: my laptop with a bursary application form open, a scholarship application, forms to confirm my attendance at a meeting, always a notebook, and always a pack of coloured pens. I'm a busy person...

...which leads me to the events that occurred throughout my day today (and most days). Keep in mind that while all of the upcoming things are happening, I am also at my full-time day job as an Office Assistant at Brandon University.

One of the WUSC students comes into my office and needs help printing off some resumes. At the same time he tells me that his brother who I am helping to put through Kenyan boarding school because he cannot get a decent education in the refugee camp where he lives, wants to fast track his education and attend a British boarding school (still in Kenya). The cost is about three times as much, but if he can fast track his high school education, he'll be able to apply to WUSC's Student Refugee Program and hopefully come to Canada (just like his brother who is sitting in my office). If he can't fast track his education, he'll be too old to meet the requirements for the program. He needs 2100 CAD. I currently have 700 CAD set aside for him. Like I said, three times as much. I'm going to be a broke ass graduate student in a few short months; how can I provide someone with what is likely the only chance he has to better his life? How can I not?

As I am packing up text books to send to schools, orphanages, community groups in Africa through Better World Books and Books For Africa (This shipment will contain approximately 25 boxes of approximately 20 books each. I do this at least once every two months.), another WUSC student comes to me because he needs my help finding the book he requires for the Spring Session class he just started. At around the same time, another friend of mine comes to my office because she needs help printing her thesis. I tell her to hold on a minute while I go with him to get his books. I help him find the textbooks. I print her thesis. I continue packing textbooks...

...and that, my lovelies is #justadayinmylife.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 2: a moment

Fat Mum Slim holds a Photo A Day challenge every month and I'm finally taking part in one!

This moment occurs daily, often multiple times a day. My Winston loves to cuddle, but more specifically, he loves to rest his chin on the couch or my arm or my leg in anticipation of a rub or a scratch. Just look at that face, so full of the love that only a dog has for its owner. He's stolen my heart. Just one of those looks and I forget all of the shoes, socks, etc. that he has destroyed!

Blog Hopper Marathon Weekend Triathlon

M.J. over at M.J. Joachim's Writing Tips holds these super swell blog love challenges themed mostly around track and field events (marathons, triathlons, long jumps, sprints, to name a few). I'm participating in her latest endurance event: Blog Hopper Marathon Weekend Triathlon.
Here's what I had to do:

Part 1: Visit and Comment on 25 blogs...DONE! (I didn't actually have to list and link to all 25 blogs, but I needed to keep track anyway so I figured, why not?!)

Laeli from The Super Shiny Amazing Real Life Adventures of a Fat Runner
Me from Scribblings
The Ramblings of a Multi-Tasking Mama
Mel from The Drafty Garret
Julie from Julie You Jest
Suzanne Lucas from Times Squared
Debra Giuffrida from The Reluctant Author
Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
Rhonda from Laugh Quotes
Fe at Felicity Writing Away
Ellen from Bad Word Mama!
VikLit from Scribblings of an Aspirting Author
Sherry Ellis from Mama Diaries
M.J. Joachim from Effectively Human
Rebeccah Giltrow from Rebecca Writes
Melanie Schulz
Marjorie McAtee from Don't Call Me Marge
Kirsten from Black Coffee and Cigarettes
Tonya Kuper's post from YA Stands
A month of....Blog
Starr Bryson from The Insomniac's Dream
Laeli at Words to Live By
Barbara Mizzoni-Young from all my lives now...ChChChChanges
Mark Craddock from Cross Planes
Barbara from March House Books Blog

Part 2: Promote 15 blogs via social media (cannot be the same blogs as Part 1)...DONE! (Again, the listing and the linking was not required, but again I figured why not?!)

Pinned Fat Mum Slim's June Photo-a-Day Challenge.
Shared Bridge and Beyond's facebook group on my profile.
Shared Kevin's Day 152 post from 365 Random Acts of Kindness on facebook.
Posted Kate's Reading Outside The Box challenge from ..... Musings of a Book Lover to facebook.
Tweeting Ida Chiavaro's blog link: Reflex Reactions.
Posted Kirsten's Short Story Ideas blog to facebook.
Tweeted Alana's writercize blog.
Pinned vvb32 reads' review of Bright Young Things.
Tweeted Rebecca's How to Put Links in Blogger Comments post from The Bexter Review.
Pinned the Dream Office photo and post from Shayla's TeaGarden.
Tweeted Jenn's Some Friendly Advice for Amanda Bynes.
Pinned Letters to my Someone.
Pinned King James Moneego.
Posted Maria Garcia's My Jane Austen Book Club to facebook.
Tweeted Suzy Turner's free offer of her novel Raven.

Part 3: Write a brief paragraph about any 1 blog and link to it in your post...DONE! (This is the required part!)

I stole this photo of Skip from Zoe's blog.
For the home stretch of M.J. Joachim's Blog Hopper Marathon Weekend Triathlon I am showcasing the lovely and talented Zoe from rewritten. I met Zoe through the A-Z Challenge in April and we've been frequent visitors to each others blogs since then. I actually think, Zoe may very well have commented on every one of my posts since she found my blog. Those comments wouldn't be a huge deal if I hadn't blogged almost every day in May. As I move on to a new challenge for June, I am sure I'll be able to count on Zoe's wise and witty words in the comments of most, if not all, of my posts. She blogs about her abundance of animals, namely her adorable poodle, Skip. She's working on a miraculous book that I cannot wait to read in its entirety. Did I mention she's sending me (or so she says) a copy of her brother's graphic novel, King James Moneego?!

...and FINALLY, that's it that's all folks! Triathlon complete!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Photo-a-Day - 1: B is for...

I've wanted to do a Photo-a-Day Challenge for a long time. I've been watching Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim post her Photo-a-Day prompts for some time now. I've decided June is the month partially because of the first prompt!

As you can see today's prompt is B which just happens to be my favourite letter - can you guess why?!

B that's me. It's B - well, Brandy really, but if you really know me it's B. Really.
I live in Brandon, work and school at BU, and really like the letter B. I volunteered in Botswana, because it starts with B, not really.
B that's me. Really.

B is for...

B is just for so many things that I love:
and best of all...
B is for ME!

Celebrate The Small Things - May 31 (Graduation Edition)

 Every Friday, a list of really cool people powered by VikLit over at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author write a blog post about Celebrating The Small Things. This week, my post is a day late, but I have a legitimately good excuse. I GRADUATED yesterday - with a Bachelor of Arts Honours, to be exact.

I suppose you can guess what I am celebrating this week:
7 years
40 classes
132 credits
30(ish) research papers
a 37-page undergraduate thesis
all adding up to - Brandy Robertson, B.A. (Hons)

I am celebrating... the Silver Medal in English in my right hand
and the Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in my left!

I am celebrating... moving my tassel from the right to the left.

I am celebrating... these two women; I wouldn't be here,
be capable of any of this, without them!

I am celebrating... my bestie who I can count on
any time, any where, for any thing!

I am celebrating... this guy, Farmer Joe, my fiance
because he's just enough to want to marry crazy me!

I am celebrating... these two cute brutes because
they'd love me whether I was smart or dumb as a post!

As you can see, I have not-so-small things to celebrate again this week. One small thing I'll mention, though, is the Mindfulness Workshop that I was able to attend that helped me to embrace every moment of my wonderful Friday!

Zero Tolerance and Zombies

Every 'Z' post must contain reference of some kind to Zombies; it's one of those unwritten rules (or something), so...

Holy zombie balls, The ABC's of Swearing is over (and my final post is only 2 days late); now what excuse will I have to use profanity in my everyday writing? But that's precisely the point, right?!, that we don't need a reason or need to make excuses for what we write. We shouldn't have to put disclaimers on everything that might offend someone if it's supposed to be free speech (or writing). Open up your minds (but be careful, because that gives the zombies easier access to your brains).

If you've been following along at all or even stopping in from time to time you should have picked up on the fact that I have absolutely zero tolerance for the reality that almost all terms that are used to refer to the parts of the male and female anatomy used for sexual acts are deemed "profane", "vulgar", "offensive". Get a brain (for the sake of the zombies), people! If you haven't already, take a look at Penises Can Be Poetic and Voicetrous Vaginas for a look at the magnificent multiplicity by which male and female genitalia can be called. The title of the project showcased in those two posts is "Dispelling the Taboo" - how do you think I did?!

You may also have noticed that I have zero tolerance for slut shaming and suppressing the female orgasm.

In short, I have zero tolerance for a lot, including irrational fears of an impending zombie apocalypse. Just embrace that shit, people and if you can't kill 'em (because you aren't on MM's MoFo-in' Zombie Apocalypse Survival Team) then join 'em. Stay away from me though; I'll shit stomp your zombie ass!