Life in progress


SoCS & JusJoJan the 22nd – the icing on the cake

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday today.

It was a lovely birthday, all said and done, thanks to Alex and his teacher at school.

He had his cooking exam last week, so he cooked me a wonderful dinner in class on Friday of roasted chicken and potatoes and vegetables, which he served to me tonight.

The cake he baked in class on Thursday, and yes, there was extremely sweet icing on the cake.

I’d say he passed his exam with flying colours!

I’m going to miss having him go to school next year, now that he’s aged out.

And the t-shirt he gave me! “World’s Best Mom” in his own handwriting. It made me cry.

I think I might adopt his teacher.


This grateful post is brought to you by SoCS and Just Jot it January. Click the link to see how you, too, can join in! It’s fun!


2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!


#JusJoJan the 14th – Freckled

A lot of people know of my struggles in life.

Single with two disabled adult kids.

Two full-time jobs (which I’m blessed to be able to do from home).

An only child whose mother is in a long term care home, who I don’t see nearly enough (her home has been in outbreak status since before Christmas, though none of the residents are sick—staff in the home tested positive).

But with all this and more (did I mention housework? It’s the bane of my existence I tell you!)…

My life is freckled with moments of joy.

It finds spots in my day through the laughter of my children,

the occasional sale of a book,

something online that makes me smile,

the coming together of this blogging community …

These things (and more) make everything worth getting up in the morning.


This day-late (sorry, Maggie!) stream of consciousness post is brought to you by Just Jot it January and Maggie, with the prompt, “freckled.” Check out Maggie’s post here. Thank you so much for the prompt, Maggie!


I post this hesitantly …

I’ve been putting off posting this because I don’t want to jinx it like I did last time, but Alex is home from the hospital and he doesn’t seem to be suffering too much.

The doctors did every test they could–xray, CT scans, colonoscopy, checked every fluid in his body, but we never did get any answers why his stomach hurts. As one doctor said, they’ve ruled out the scary stuff, so there’s that.

Hoping now it just goes away.

Thanks so much for all your comments and prayers. Though I haven’t replied, I’ve read them all and taken them all to heart.

Fingers crossed this is the last update I’ll need to make.


#SoCS – Misty

As I come to the end of a full year of being sequestered in my home with my three kids, I’m looking back and thinking never has there been a year so slow and yet so very focused. So focused, in fact that there aren’t many moments I think I’m forgetting. It’s the least misty year in my existence.

Because I haven’t done anything. I can remember details like beginning the year going to the grocery store on Fridays, and gradually working all the way back to Thursdays, Wednesdays, Tuesdays, Mondays and now Sundays. I haven’t been inside a store on a Saturday all year.

Imagine remembering that kind of thing in a normal year?

I’ve written stories–books, even. I’ve published two books and one short story. I’ve moved from sitting on the couch to a desk in the spare bedroom. I’ve been to two–count ’em–TWO live concerts in Japan without leaving my house. And I’ve learned that “zoom” isn’t just what cars do as they go by. I’ve walked more than a million steps without leaving my neighbourhood.

And I’ve had the honour of spending more time with my kids than I knew I could without going insane.

How has your year been?

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This very late, decidedly unmisty post was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the prompt here and join in!


#SoCS – The Year 2019

It’s been a long year. Normally I’m wondering where the time has gone, but this year–2019–has been extra eventful, it seems. Thank goodness the hospitalizations of my mother and Alex, my youngest son, ended by the spring. My mum has fallen a few times this year, but (touch wood) she hasn’t broken her neck again. The smoking is usually the culprit. She always loses her balance outside.

On a personal note, the year has been productive. I’ve either written or finished two novels and three novellas over the past twelve months, on top of my job as an editor. It’s nice to have that sense of accomplishment.

Today I accomplished tripping up a curb while out walking with Alex. I managed to get my hands out of my pockets before I faceplanted on the pavement, thank goodness. But I have a goose egg on my knee, a nice bruise on one elbow, and my knuckles look like I’ve been in a fistfight.

And I don’t even smoke.

For those wondering if I’m doing Just Jot It January 2020, the answer is yes. I’ll post about it soon, I hope. The busy-ness of 2019 continues, and not having had a break from Alex since the beginning of July (aside from my weekend in Kingston when I was as sick as a dog) and no idea when I will again, I tend to be tired most of the time.

But I’m getting there. One step at a time.

Trying not to trip and fall.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find all the other posts in the comment section and see how you can join in. It’s fun!


#SoCS – When the Universe Cooperates

Ain’t it great when everything goes as planned?

When everything in the universe seems to cooperate, to get you what you want?

I managed to get out for the evening tonight with my best friend, John. We went to a bar down at the waterfront and listened to live music.

This was our view. Yes, it’s just the moon shining on the water. The picture sucks, but the moon was spectacular.


It’s been a long time since we hung out, outside of one of our houses, without being surrounded by kids. I’d forgotten what it’s like to be an adult. I think we caregivers need that sort of break once in a while.

Time to remember we’re us, that we’re individuals in our own right and not just someone else’s support.

Because it’s easy to get lost in that. The things we define ourselves as are what we become.

Mother, daughter, writer, editor, housekeeper, chauffeur, administrator, business owner …

I’m rarely not wearing a hat. And in that moment of wearing that hat, it’s all I am.

When was the last time you were not what you do?

SoCS badge by Pamela, at

This introspective post was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find all the other posts in the comment section and join in! It’s fun!


As the pneu turns, aka what I’ve been doing today

Yes, I know. Pneu means tire in French and this has nothing to do with tires. It does have to do with pneumonia.

Start from the beginning shall we? Actually, I don’t remember that far back, so starting at yesterday will have to do.

Yesterday afternoon I picked my mother up from the hospital, from a three day stay. The first thing she asked for was a cigarette. I asked her if maybe she thought it would be better to wait a day or two to smoke since she still had pneumonia. Her answer: “I’ve already waited two days!” I then said that maybe waiting another two will mean she can get better and not have to go back to the hospital where she can’t smoke at all.

So she had a cigarette before she even made it to her room in the retirement home. I went off to get her meds from the pharmacy, and when I came back, she wanted another one. I tried again to reason with her, but no. So I sat outside with her in the -20C-with-the-wind cold while she hacked and wheezed through another cigarette.

At 5:15 this morning I got a call from the home. She was having trouble breathing and did I think she should go back to the hospital. I asked the nurse to keep an eye on her and she agreed.

At 4:00 this afternoon I got another call. They were putting her back in an ambulance. I arrived in the emergency room a little while later, and as I stood at her bedside, holding her hand, she asked me why she was back in the hospital. I explained to her that she had pneumonia and smoking had put her back in there. “I told you yesterday,” I said, “that if you smoked you’d wind up back in here,” to which she smiled and replied, “You’re a wonderful daughter.” I couldn’t roll my eyes hard enough.

She seems to be worse now than she was when she went in on the 23rd, to me at least. But they’re not sure they’ll keep her, so I might be going back to pick her up in the dead of night.

I have my doubts.

And that pretty much sums up my day. Nay, my weekend: I have my doubts.


#SoCS & #JusJoJan – Additionally …

When you saw the prompt for today, you might have wondered how you were going to fit AD (Anno Domini) into a post. I know I am. But what I just wrote works.

Additionally, you may wonder if you’re not a math-y person how you might fit in add. That works, too.

As for ads, this one never fails to crack me up.

I’m somewhat amazed at the fact that I’ve managed (with a little help of a few friends on occasion) to come up with a different prompt every week for almost five years. Having a document with a list of every prompt I’ve used helps me make sure I don’t repeat myself. Sure glad I started it early on.

There are so few things I’m organized in in my life. I tend to take things day by day–trying to plan anything usually ends up in disappointment unless I line up every detail far in advance. And even then …

I suppose it’s life with kids for almost everyone. Chaos is the norm and bonus points if everything comes together.

But as in “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and SoCS, the points don’t matter.

I’ve probably already posted this before, but it’s still the funniest thing ever. Don’t drink while you watch it, even if you’ve seen it before.

This post is part of Just Jot it January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday! If you’d like to take part or read the posts by the other participants, click the following link:

SoCS badge by Pamela, at


#SoCS – Fingers

Another day, another failure at blogging. In my defense, I had Alex’s birthday party to deal with. Not that I did much regarding that all day, but it meant having to build his new Lego with him after supper. The good news is he’s getting better at putting the pieces together by himself. He’s much more dexterous that he was a couple of years ago.

But I have been working my fingers to the bone, finishing a proofreading job and actually getting some time on my next book. It’s coming along well. I have my plot holes figured out, which is always a good thing. Plot holes tend to slow me down. Knowing they’re there prevent me from moving forward. Good news on that front … it’s all about the fingers. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that means. 😛

The other thing that’s kept me occupied all day is Twitter. I seem to have figured out how to sell books from there, but it’s time consuming. It’s also free, unless you consider that time is money, at least from the perspective of a freelance editor and an author.

I’m still totally motivated, so there’s that.

I’m even thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year. But only if I can finish my third book in my series before the end of the month.

The Magician’s Soul.

It’s gonna be different.

But the fact that I’m enjoying it means, I hope, that everyone else will too.

GAH! I want to be an author.

SoCS badge by Pamela, at

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Click the link to find all the other posts in the comments!


Feeling Lucky

They say things come in threes–I hope my near-death experiences are over for the time being.

Okay, maybe that’s a little overdramatic. But I do still feel lucky to be alive.

Y’all will remember my shocking experience with the power lines at the front of my house a couple of weeks ago. (Here’s a link to the blog post.) It seems that drama hasn’t ended yet, but before I get to that, let me tell you about the storm yesterday morning.

It was the rumbling of thunder shaking the house that woke me up at 5am. A few seconds later there was a flash of lightning with a simultaneous boom. It was close. I lay awake for a while longer, until the storm had almost passed, when I heard my son come in the front door. He works nights. So rather than try to go back to sleep, I went downstairs.

First thing out of his mouth: “Did you hear about the house down the street that got hit by lightning?”

It was a stupid question–I’d just woken up–but I was too stunned to point that out.

He’d passed a guy walking up the street who had seen it happen. Somebody’s house was on fire on my street. On my side of the street. Lightning had hit the roof … I sleep in the attic of my house.

Needless to say I didn’t go back to bed.

Fast forward to a chat I had with a guy from the city who was working on replacing the sidewalk outside my house. I approached him to ask about the giant tree in my front yard.  You can see it here, to the right of Alex.

Alex’s first day of school, Sept. 5, 2017.

It’s kinda buried in the hedge, but it’s bigger than it looks. It stands more than twice the height of my house and looms over my bedroom. There’s a huge dead branch at the top, and it’s actually on city property, so I asked the nice man who I needed to talk to to get someone to look at it. Here’s a better photo.

Anyhoo, the nice man got straight on the phone and told me he’d come and knock on the door when he had an answer for me. Which he did a couple of hours later. The city will come and have a look at the tree on Monday. But that’s not the interesting part.

We got to talking about the house that had been hit by lightning. He’d been working on the street all day–they’re fixing the sidewalks on my side from one major intersection to the next. He told me the unfortunate incident had only resulted in the house’s attic being completely burned out, but that the lightning had shot the electrical panel right off the wall, melted every wire in the house, while causing every outlet to fly out of the walls in projectile fashion. Everyone inside got out safely.

After we’d finished commenting on how scary that was, I asked him if he’d heard about the transformer blowing up.

“The one down by that tree?” he asked, pointing down the street.

I confirmed it was and told him what I’d seen. He then told me that he’d been standing under that very same tree yesterday morning when he heard zaps and pops coming from the wires. So yeah, that’s still a thing.

My final far-off brush with death (both in miles and years) came a couple of hours later. A storm was moving into the Ottawa area. My ex (who had been scheduled to take Alex for the weekend but I made the executive decision to keep him home) said there were trees down and fire trucks and ambulances everywhere in the city where our kids were born–Gatineau, Quebec–where we lived together for more than a decade.

I started watching the news that is, to this moment, still distracting me.

The tornado traveled around the area of Boulevard du Mont-Bleu. My two oldest kids went to school at Philemon Wright High School, about a kilometer away, before we moved to Ontario, eight years ago.

Though it’s a bit of a stretch seeing as we’re now so far removed from the area, I still feel like I somehow dodged my third bullet. I hope so, anyway. We still have the live wire out there until the city comes along and trims that tree down the street.

Watch the video of the devastation in Gatineau under the link below. The one account of the woman sitting in the car, recording the tornado on her phone, was taken on a highway I traveled on every day.

Absolutely terrifying.

So that’s my three, right? Tell me it’s over …