{July 31, 2011}   Congrats Kyle!

Guys! Today was the North American piping and drumming championships in nearby Maxville, at the Glengarry Highland Games. The grade 1 competition was won by the Peel Police Pipe & Drum band, of which my brother Kyle, a tenor drummer, is a part. They’re off to the World Piping Championships in Glasgow next month (August). Congrats guys and all the best through the rest of the season! 🙂

{July 26, 2011}   Mean – Taylor Swift

{July 26, 2011}   Norway and other sad news …

I know these thoughts are dated – I became ill overnight Friday, spent Saturday in bed, and we have been passing whatever bug it is around since, pretty much – and/or I’ve been working.

But I have found the news of the terrorist attack in Norway – and no mistake, just because it was only one person, and (gasp!) a non-Muslim, it was just that, a terrorist attack – incredibly sad. This peaceful nation where even the police are unarmed (firearms are kept in a lockbox in their car, which they require permission to retrieve) was nowhere near prepared for such a tragedy and the loss of life in such a small country – or any country – is painful. For Glenn Beck yesterday to have compared the youth camp that was attacked to the Hitler Youth, simply for being a politically-engaged group of young adults and teens, was obscene and tasteless. A young generation of people engaged in the public life of their country, an active citizenry, is something we in North America can look toward with envy … another thing robbed along with innocence there.

I find myself oscillating between whether this nutcase – whose name I will not publish, nor links to his manifestoes, as if there is anything that has become clear, it is that his ultimate goal is not only the ‘revolution’ he is attempting to start in Norway, but also attention, whether for himself or for his cause – deserves an open trial as all citizens do, or whether that would simply give him the attention and platform he so craves. The democrat in me of course cries out for an open trial, for the process of justice being done to be transparent … on the other hand, he doesn’t deserve a blessed thing he wants, and he wants cameras and tape recorders on him. This is what terrorism does to democracy, to justice … it makes us doubt the very foundations of who we are as a people. Sad.

Also sad was the news here in Canada that Opposition Leader Jack Layton would be temporarily stepping down to battle a new cancer – not the prostate cancer he was diagnosed with about 18 months ago that he seems to have under control – one, judging from the look and sound of him, which is infinitely more severe, and yet, judging from his optimistic tone, one he remains confident he can battle and win over. There are conflicting signs – a previously very open Layton playing specifics very close to the vest; an optimistic tone contrasting with a very poignant visual. But reality is reality and for better or worse this will play its course – we hope for, and plan, for the better.

As a Liberal whose loyalties are currently shaky in the light of years of corruption, arrogance, and the lack of a leader to whip those elements back under control and take the proper lead of Canada’s Party, I have looked to Jack as the best leader on the national scene right now – the leader of a party who I agree with 80-90% of their platform if not 100%, and the best voice to counter the new Conservative majority. We need him – and on a more personal note, after years of hard work, he deserves the chance to do this job – once thought to be the highest he could even in his wildest dreams hope of achieving. He’s a hair’s breadth away from the Prime Ministership; he – and Canada – deserve that chance. Our prayers are with him and his family for his continued health, and his return to leadership when the house resumes in September.

{July 20, 2011}   Where have I been?

Dear all,

The answer to the above question is, BUSY!

Working two jobs – even jobs that I’m reasonably enjoying – definitely drops the blog on the priority list; hope that’s understandable. But I want to say we’re well, we’re happy, and our time has been well spent as we hit up Ogdensburg NY this past weekend for some cross-border shopping (and to take Little J’s passport out for its first spin), as well as a beach day Sunday. This coming weekend the boys have a birthday party to go to, before getting some babysitting around their bedtime (so we don’t miss out on their company – one of our biggest challenges especially both working full-time-and-then-some, is having couple time, without being away from the kids more than we already), so we can have a date night (thanks to our lovely neighbours T&C).

We’re a month to the day away from our vacation. Can NOT wait – two days in Kitchener Ontario, our hometown, for Little J’s ‘naming’ and birthday celebrations, before heading down to Wildwood, New Jersey, for some family friendly Jersey Shore time. 🙂 We’ll be heading home by way of New York City so we’ll get to catch Ari’s aunt, uncle and cousin then also.

Meanwhile though I’m still kickin’ and thanks for bearing with me; I will do my very best now that I’ve gotten out from under a bit of a backlog in my one job, to keep up here. 🙂 If not, hey, it’s the summer – everything slows down except life itself apparently. Hope yours is going well!

XO Sarah

Please CLICK HERE for an amazing article by my friend Kate over at – amazing.

{July 5, 2011}   Summer Reading …

I finished up “Last Night at the Chateau Marmont” earlier this week and thought I’d take a moment to share my thoughts. It was a long enough book I felt it not cheating too much to replace a book below with it. So BEGONE Paradise Lost … OK yeah so it’s a superlong classic being replaced by a 300 page chick-lit novel … and I debated long and hard whether or not to replace it, but realistically it’s not one I’d have gotten through in the allotted time anyway … so I feel a bit less bad about it I think.

1. Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris
2. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
3. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
4. The Year of Living Biblically – A.J. Jacobs
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong
6. Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
9. The Host – Stephenie Meyers
10. The Constant Princess – Phillipa Gregory
11. Wicked – Gregory Maguire
12. The Six Wives of Henry the 8th – Alison Weir
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine – Alison Weir
14. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
15. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
16. The Two Towers – J.R.R. TOlkien
17. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
23. Dracula – Bram Stoker
24. Last Night at the Chateau Marmont – Laura Weisberger
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian
27. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks – Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
30. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
31. This United Church of Ours – Ralph Milton
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
36. The First Christmas – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
37. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
38. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
39. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
40. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
41. Deception Point – Dan Brown
42. Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
43. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
47. Under the Dome – Stephen King
48. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
49. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
50. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
51. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
52. Scarlett – Alexandra Ripley
53. White Noise – Don De Litto
54. Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
55. Primary Colours – Anonymous
56. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
59. Misquoting Jesus – Bart Ehrman
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser
61. My Years as Prime Minister – Jean Chretien
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
65. The Secret Mulroney Tapes – Peter C. Newman
66. Why I Hate Canadians – Will Ferguson
67. Planet Simpson – Chris Turner
68. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
69. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams
70. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams
71. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
72. Mostly Harmless – Douglas Adams
73. Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
74. The Manticore – Robertson Davies
75. World of Wonders – Robertson Davies
76. The Donnellys – James Reaney
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
79. Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
80. Not Wanted on the Voyage – Timothy Findlay
81. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
82. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
83. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
84. Mirror Mirror – Gregory Maguire
85. The Emerging Christian Way – Marcus Borg et al
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman
87. What Happened to Anna K – Irina Reyn
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland
90. Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland
91. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
92. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
93. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
94. Interview with the Vampire – Ann Rice
95. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
96. The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
97. Guys and Dolls – Damon Runyon
98. Good Book – David Plotz
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik
100. Undisputed – Chris Jericho
101. Jesus for the Non-Religious – John Shelby Spong

So … as stated above … chick lit … and not even quite the same quality chick lit as The Time Traveller’s Wife. But it was such enjoyable fun! 🙂 The characters make you mad sometimes – you want them to just stop and actually talk to one another instead of bottling everything up. You can’t help but think, if they had such a great relationship, they’d do so, and be more considerate of each other’s needs – make plans and compromises before things get out of hand. Still, then there would be no book, would there? It’s an easy read, fast-paced page turner. Don’t read if you are looking for anything particularly deep or thought-provoking; any conflicts or ‘villains’ are fairly superficial and never quite feel like real threats. But for a fun romance that won’t take you more than a few days to read – excellent summer beach/camp/cottage reading fare – I still recommend it, and don’t want my cynicism about the literary quality of the book to reflect at all on the fun and enjoyability of the read.

{July 4, 2011}   Happy Long Weekend!

To my Canadian friends: Happy 144th birthday Canada! Did you see the Royals this weekend?
To my American friends: Congratulations on the 235th anniversary of getting those pesky Royals out. 🙂

For real: I hope all my my American and Canadian friends and family have had/are having a fabulous long weekend celebrating the wonderful things I strongly believe both of our countries stand for. God bless us, every one.

et cetera