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Reflection and The Biggest Lesson

September 10, 2011

With September 11 th being tomorrow, and it being the 10th anniversary, of the fall of the twin towers I have been a bit reflective.

I have thought about what it has meant personally. What it meant to my family, to us as a nation, and to us as global citizens.

Fist I remember well where I was when I heard the news. I was standing in my kitchen and had just turned on the radio, yeah back then most of us still listened to the radio. The first tower had been hit, and I turned on my tv just unfortunately as the second tower was hit. I thought of my cousin who worked nearby. Thankfully they were safe. I was glued to the tv so much that I wasn’t watching my then young daughter.

My dear daughter swallowed a toonie, it got caught in her lung pipe. She was suffocating to death slowly. I called 911. The ambulance took 15 minutes to come. We went sirens blaring to McMaster Hospital in Hamilton where for 7 hours she was in the emergency cardiac care unit with a private nurse watching her every labored breath till we could get an operating room and a pediatric surgeon. She was operated on at 2 am. Thankfully she was ok, but what a scare.My daughter almost was a casuality of 911.

I have thought about the costs to friends and family in the days since. My friend  was killed in Afghanistan. His father later died personally I think from a broken heart. My cousin who lives in England served in Iraq not once but 3 rounds of service. My brother in law also served in Iraq twice. Has there service and loss of life really done any good? Personally I think not.

Afghanistan is still a tribal country, with its own internal issues. The radicals use the war to fuel more hate. In Iraq you don’t have peace either just a mounting loss of life. Will the loss of life end anytime soon. Unfortuately not..trillions have been spent for naught. We have not helped.

Muslims have been put on trial, and not just the radical thinkers but mainstream progressive ones as well. If a woman wears a headscarf even here in Canada still she gets comments, or the look. If a man wears a beard he must be conservative, radical. A religon has been put on trial day in and day out.  For me personally that trial got me wanting to know more, understand more and lead to my conversion to Islam, as the faith at its very core teaches submission to the Creator, and a direct connection to him.

Canadians are no longer free to travel as we once were, border restrictions, passports needed, no longer is travel fun.

Globally there is fear and unrest everywhere.In the Middle East right now many are losing thier lives for simple human rights. In Africa there is famine and then the theft of the aid, in the Asia Pacific they are still rebuilding, In Haiti we have not come far enough, and then in North America we have this war on debt that no one seems to be able to fix.It can become overwhelming when we look at the state of the globe 10 years later and all the events that have happened in those years.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and think about it, and then think about what we can do individually. So what can you do today as you reflect?

What change can you bring to the table? What solution, what answer?

For me I think the global solutions start with each of us caring, with each of us sharing, with each of reaching out in love, in faith, in understanding. A revolution could be begun. A revolution of kindness and compassion but it needs to begin in each of us. We need to teach it in our homes, in our families, in our schools, in our religious institutions, we need a revolution of action that matter.


The Flying Machine Review and Giveaway

September 8, 2011

  Do you love Chopin or animation? If so then one of the movies being screened at the Toronto Film Festival will be perfect for you.

The festival tries to bring us the best from around the world, films we might not of heard of other wise.The Flying Machine come to us from Poland.

I was fortunate to get a sneak peek and a DVD of the movie to giveaway on this blog.Academy Award® winning Hugh Welchman and famed pianist Lang Lang introduce Chopin to new audiences in this modern fairy tale.

The Flying Machine’ is a 3D live action/animation family feature film about a stressed out business-woman, Georgie (played by Heather Graham), who takes her two children to see the animation film ‘Magic Piano’ –a wordless film, to which  world famous pianist Lang Lang performs Chopin live. Georgie and the kids view  The “Magic Piano” which is a stop-motion animation tells a story of Anna, a girl whose dad had to leave Poland to work in London. Anna and her cousin Chip Chip find a broken piano which magically transforms into a flying machine and takes them across the Europe. The girl hopes to meet her longing dad whom she is reunited with at the end of the movie.

As the “Magic Piano” ends Georgie loses track of her kids and they end up in the magical animated world and she has to pursue them.

I watched the movie with my 13 year old daughter, and then with a 4 and 5 year old. All liked the animation but not especially Chopin. I loved the marriage of the classical music with animation and I think if you have a music student in the family they will enjoy it greatly.

Now if you would love to see this movie in your own home you can win a copy of the DVD, here as I have one to giveaway. Simply leave me a comment on this post.



When Social Media Leaves You in Tears

September 7, 2011

  Have you ever had your words twisted online, so much that it left you in tears?

Have you ever felt under attack because of something you posted online, whether it be a Facebook update, a post, or a tweet?

I have.

Literally now more than once now, I sat at my computer in tears.

So many times words, inside jokes, something meant in jest can be taken and made into something it is not.

So how do you handle it, when your words get twisted?

Here is how I handle it:

1. First I breathe and let the tears flow. Sometimes I have even been known to go take a hot shower, a walk, or make a cup of tea.

2. I don’t get defensive, and if it came across and was misinterpreted I apologize quickly and get my real point across as quickly as I can. Words are easy to twist. The emotion and intent behind the words are not always at the surface, unless you know the writer very well.

3. Sometimes I realize it is okay to take a break away from Social Media, in fact on this blog I have taken long extended breaks when I needed to step back, look after stuff that really mattered to me and then was able to give back in the blogosphere.

4. Surround yourself with real people who know you both on and offline, so when you say something, they know how you meant it, and know your heart. They can be great friends and supports especially when you feel already bad enough.

5. Remind yourself to think twice about what you tweet, update, or post as how you say it, that joke, or tease, may seem hurtful to some and those harsh words of criticism they too can leave someone in tears.

These are the ways I get through those moments when people think I am rude, unkind or even worse, because if you know me well you know my heart and intent is never to be unkind, because in my opinion kindness, consideration, thoughtfullness all matter. Just sometimes it needs to be applied a little more. How do you get through them?

How to Connect Your Computer and TV for Optimum TV Watching

September 6, 2011
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Two weeks ago I wrote about all the free websites where you can watch TV in Canada for free. So this week wanted to share the How. I decided that video tutorial would  better so went to You tube and found this to share with you.

Have you tried hooking up your computer and TV? How easy of a process was it?

Coming Apart At the Seams-Depression Kills.

September 6, 2011

Have you ever felt like your life was coming apart at the seams? I have.

Every year millions here in North America will suffer episodes of depression. The fact is 1 in 5 of us will go through at least one episode of depression in our lives.

Many that struggle with the illness, and yes it is an illness, get help and  many that struggle with it do not. Many decide that suicide is the only way out. This week alone I know of 3 suicides all after struggling with the disabling  depression.

I have struggled with the illness myself, so much so that I asked that question Why Me? and even planned my own death.

I was 33 pregnant with my daughter, and going through a very messy divorce. When I had been married I was step mom to 3 amazing kids, I thought we had a good family thing going and then in a heart beat it was gone. Not only was my marriage in ruins but I was also ripped out of these kids lives. I cried for weeks. Sobbed. Wondered why me? It came to a head that Thanksgiving Day 1997. It was Thanksgiving and I saw nothing to be thankful for. I was house sitting for friends who were away for the holiday. I sat there and thought about it all day. I thought my life was over, and I simply wanted an end to the pain, to the sorrow, to the grief.  I thought about how I could do it. How I would do it. I lied on the sofa thinking it through and then I thought of the unborn child I was carrying. I would be committing murder if I killed myself.

As I thought about my unborn child that gave me the courage to do one of the hardest things I have done and that is make a call asking for help. I went to Mental health clinic in the state where I lived at the time. I was offered meds to help regulate my body but because I was pregnant I refused the drugs, but took advantage of the counselling, of the talking. I need that most of all. I have had depressive episodes since as well but none as bad as that day, and I am thankful for that.

For me what keeps the depression at bay is rest, relaxation, time with God, walking and talking.

Depression is an illness and someone you know could be suffering in silence today.

In this rush rush world are we each taking the time to reach out when we know a friend is going through a rough time, and I mean really reaching out?

If you are suffering from depression let me tell you I know what it feels like, I know what coming apart at the seams is. I have been there and let me tell you help is out there. Please reach out for it.

This week is Suicide Prevention week.Let’s be kind to each other, and reach out. If you need help it is there. Here are some resources if you need them:

Canadian Mental Health Association
Mental Health America
Mental Health Europe
Mental Health Australia
World Infant Mental Health
Sheffield African Caribbean Mental Health Association
Asian American Pacific Mental Health Association

Baby and You Helping Parents Connect and Save

September 2, 2011

Baby and You is a fairly new  program developed by Loblaws, Superstore, Zehrs, Independent Grocers, Valu-Mart and SaveEasy. It offers community and savings through its Facebook commuunity. The Facebook page is a great place to meet other parents who might be in a similair situation as you. You can share your pictures, get advice and save all in one spot.

They have 2 wonderful feature bloggers Jody from Mommy Moment, who keeps the conversation going about everything mom, and Lisa from Growing Your Baby, focusing on all things baby. When I visited the page people were talking about girfriends, diapers, and even nursery decorating. Lots of places the coversation could go.

They also offer a great way for you to save with exculsive coupons and a link to the weekly flyer. Lets just say you want to be a PC Insider if you have little ones and like to save. I know for me as someone who shops to feed little mouths now I am watching for those coupons.

So if you are the parent of a child why not visit this great community, hope in on the conversations and save at the same time.

*“Disclosure – I am participating in the Baby and You program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Loblaw Companies. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.”


The Road to Bliss and Blissdom Canada

September 2, 2011

Me at Blissdom Canada 2010 with Catherine Connors

I had a dream that I actually got to Blissdom Canada and actually got on stage and sang during the final costume party…well that can’t happen if I don’t get a ticket.

My road to Blissdom Canada 2011 began last year before Blissdom Canada. I was on the wait list last year too, but I got lucky and got one of the very last tickets sold but then I had an employer who said NO.

So instead of using that ticket last year I sold it to another blogger who got to go and I know she had a blast.

Now I did get to go to the final event of Blissdom Canada last year.I got to the party and let me tell you those girls know how to throw a bash. It was party time central and I could tell the women there had an amazing time, and even with only a few hours with all these great women in the room, this mom did some networking. Because we know we want to meet the faces behind the blogs we read. I know for me I was thrilled to finally meet Erica, Catherine, Allyson, Laura, Tanis and so many other wonderful women that night.

So becaue I didnt get to go last year and really get the most out of it I planned for this year. I set a budget, I even got roommates, and even blogged how you could do Blissdom Canada frugally.

Then a speed bump happened…Blissdom Canada sold out in 90 minutes! Leaving the frugal planner without a ticket.

Then another thing happened I had been training to do a half marathon —guess when? Blissdom Weekend. So I thought since my good friend and blogger Wendy cant go Friday I will be her for the day (SH!–don’t tell), and then rest Sat and be prepared to do my best in the half..but then because of some medical stuff going on the doctor has said no half for me, so that leaves me really wanting to go and experience all of Blissdom.

I even helped some newbies out who are going for the first time with this post  . You see I am a team player and I like to help, heck that is what this blog is all about.

So that leaves me at the mercy of the contesting Gods as I have also entered the Go Girlfriend contest for a ticket by writing this post about the great host city of Toronto.

Now for the hopefully last stop on the road before my arrival at Blissdom Canada –the wonderful One to One Network‘s contest for a ticket and even a night’s stay as I am a member of thier site. If you are not first of all let me give them a plug. JOIN now! If you are a blogger do check out thier great material in the Learning Resource area. It really is a wonderful resource for us bloggers.

They said to write about why you wanted to I thought about it, even asked the same question on Twitter. What value comes from a blogging conference, especially this one.

So here are my reasons:

  • Last year I met my online friends, I really WANT to hang with this amazing network of wonderful women, I want to get to know them more and guess what this year there are others to meet for the very first time and I am excited about that.
  • I want to take my blog to the next level so I need to learn. I want to grow as a blogger.
  • I want to have fun while learning and networking.
  • I want to be a good hostess, after all this is my city. 🙂
  • I want time away from the day to day grind to be taken to the magical land that is bliss. That land for me is a room full of smart, sassy, fun women who I share the blogosphere with.

I can go on and on but let me just say this I want some BLISS! I need some bliss! and if I win this contest I will come with a bliss Tattoo…yes a BLISS TAT! so if you want to see that..tweet this post and say  “Let’s send @commoncentsmom to #BlissdomCanada so she can have some bliss and an adventure to boot!”