Share Your World 2015 – Week 8

As I was having my coffee this morning, I was surprised to find myself listening to birds chirping. They weren’t singing the most beautiful song, but it was a sound I realized I had been missing. It’s hard to believe we are 8 weeks into the New Year already and spring is just around the corner. Anyway, here is week 8 of Share Your World. Thanks to Cee for doing this every week.

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

I’m going to have to go back and look at some old posts. I’ve been blogging for almost a year which isn’t that long compared to most, but long enough for me to forget what I’ve written. I’m going to go with this one from last year’s A to Z Challenge: L is for Love. It’s about how Hubby and I cope with with my mental health issues as a couple. The accomanying doodle is kind of blah though. My favourite doodle is probably this one. Hands are difficult for me and these actually came out looking like hands (probably because the dirt is covering them) but hey, I think it counts!

give seedling

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? Why?

If I were given some extra cash like that, I would spend it on experiences. I think I would divide it into two. The first part of it would go to a geek day with Hubby. We could go to one of his comic book or toy conventions. The money would cover admission, whatever autographs or toys he wanted and maybe a piece of steampunk jewelry for me (hehe). The second part would go to an art workshop with my aunt. There is an art store near by that does classes. We could take a mixed media class. I could learn something new for my art journal and she could learn something new for the cards she makes. We could spend any leftover cash on art supplies. That would be a valuable way to spend $500 for me.

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

What should I do with my life in order to be happy? I don’t mean crazy happy, I mean content or at least apathetic. I’m tired of feeling unappreciated, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and inadequate (among other things). There are so many things I could do. It would take a lifetime to figure it out. I wanted to be an artist or a writer, but I figured I wasn’t good enough to earn a steady paycheck or a secure job. I went into sciences and tried a few different things, but never felt like I was contributing enough. For example, one job was identifying enzymes in fungal genomes. In the big picture, this would contribute to making the use of biofuels from organic waste more feasible but, it’s hard to see the big picture when you spend all your time on the computer staring at genome sequences. From there, I went into vision science because it meant something to me. I had my Strabismus experience and there was Gran with her Macular Degeneration. I thought working directly with people, I would be able to help more. I am helping more but I am burning out. Managing the lab, the research, the teaching, the patients, it’s a lot. My brain is on 24/7 and I don’t think I can go at this rate for the rest of my life. Maybe I should have just done the art thing in the first place. Argh!!

Where do you eat breakfast?

Most of the time breakfast is consumed standing in the kitchen. I know, that’s bad. Work mornings are usually kind of hurried though. On weekends, I usually sit at the coffee table to have breakfast with Hubby and Ewok. Ewok hangs around until I finish my yogurt. She likes to lick the left overs out of the container.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last Week: I am thankful my presentation went well and that I got that travel award!

This Week: I was looking forward to some paper ephemera arriving in the mail, but it came while I was writing this post. Now I need another idea…..I am looking forward to using the goodies that came in the mail in my art journal!

If We Were Having Coffee….

2015-02-14 14.51.37

If we were having coffee, I’d want to get all caught up on the happenings in your life since I missed last week. I’d explain that I was away, in Toronto, for a long-ish weekend. I had planned to still participate in the Weekend Coffee Share, but time got away from me. It seems to be doing that a lot lately. A slippery thing, time.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a Happy Valentines Day! I know there are several Valentines Day grinches out there…yes, Happy Valentines Day to you too. Don’t worry, I’m not going to shove how wonderful Valentines Day is down your throat. I’m not an advocate for Valentines Day, but I don’t hate it either. With days designated for the celebration of everything from your nationality to crunchy peanut butter, you can’t go without a day for love. Love is something that should be celebrated, but not on one specific day once a year. It should be celebrated everyday. If you love someone, you should show them as often as you can. That, I am an advocate for.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you had any big plans for today? Hubby and I are staying home today. We both have a lot of work and chores and such to catch up on. Hubby made Finish pancakes this morning for breakfast. He doesn’t make them often, so that is my Valentines Day treat. I call them Finish pancakes, but they are really called lettues. They are thin, like crepes, but are more buttery in texture. They are good both hot and cold. We usually spread jam or Nutella on them and roll them up. Yum! We have some left over, would you like to try?


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you work is really stressing me out. I got the stomach flu…again, so I haven’t even been in. Being ill never stops the phone though. So firstly, we’re working on a new grant application. This one is only available to Quebec researchers working on Age-related Macular Degeneration. We applied last year and didn’t get it, so this year we have to be more cutting edge. The boss lady described a vague idea for the grant that she and a collaborator have been talking about. I don’t really know what to think about it because it is already part of my dissertation! If she applies for a grant with it, does that mean it is no longer my idea? Does that mean I can’t use it towards my Ph.D.? That would be really bad because this part was one of the more simple experiments I had planned out. I called her yesterday to discuss it, but she didn’t pick up. I hope I am jumping to conclusions here. As a person, I can’t imagine her doing that to me, but I have to be certain. I don’t want to sound like a b*tch fighting over intellectual property, but I have to make sure she remembers it was my idea and I’ve been presenting it as part of my dissertation plan.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the second reason work is stressing me out is the new Ph.D. student. He started last September. I thought he was an angel sent to help relieve my work load. As the only Ph.D. student in the lab, I was running everything which was wayyy too much for me. Having someone to share the load would have been awesome. Then I found out he was only going to be in town part of the year, doh! He is in his 40s and works for a low vision organization in the USA. His job is sending him here (with full salary I might add) to get a Ph.D. in order to fill a promotion when he gets back. Sweet deal right? Anyway, I’ll spare you the long story but, the problem is he can’t handle it and the boss lady is going to ask him to withdraw himself from the program. This doesn’t really affect me at all, but the boss lady has been really upset and stressed about the whole thing. I feel awful for her. She has to tell him to leave without crushing his confidence, but making sure that he understands what went wrong and why he’s not cut out for this. Can you imagine how difficult that would be? This is someone she has known for years and has to continue working with in the future. Even worse, I don’t think he knows what is coming either. In fact, I’m not sure where his brain is at the moment. The way he is handling the situation has left all parties involved (and me) scratching our heads. The boss lady is going to make it look like it was his decision to leave to help him save face going back to work in the US, but I don’t envy his position at all. *sigh*

If we were having coffee, I’d say it’s time to stop worrying about work. It is Saturday after all. It’s time to do something fun…not laundry! Maybe I’ll try to catch up on my art journaling. Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend. Eat some chocolate! Catch you next week!

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

Self-esteem Challenge: Day 19

This blog challenge was developed by If you missed the introduction or want to see a summary of all the questions, go here.

Day 19:
Is there a particular outfit/article of clothing/accessory you like on yourself? Why or why not?
Do you have an activity that makes you feel alive and good within yourself?

There is definitely some repetition going on here. I already talked about how new clothes make me feel good and I posted a pic of the shirt I currently like, so I’m going to try to come up with something different here. I like when I get a chance to wear my Steampunk jewelry. What is Steampunk? It’s basically Victorian science fiction. It’s a combination of the classy and frilly from the Victorian era with the mechanical, bad ass, futuristic cyborg type stuff. I like wearing this stuff because it’s unique. Since I’m shy, starting small talk is often difficult and anxiety-provoking. When at conferences I try to wear something steampunk because it’s a conversation starter. Someone always asks about it and once I get talking, I focus on the conversation and I’m ok.

As for an activity that makes me feel good…..I’m not sure. Hiking maybe? There are aspects I don’t like about it….like the bugs, bug spray, sunscreen, sweat and lack of bathrooms, but I’m outside and it’s good exercise. Getting exercise makes me feel good because I know I am doing something good for myself. The problem is, most exercise is torture, or just feels like a real chore. Hiking is neither. It’s nice to be outside, away from the city and crowds of people. It also brings back good memories. The hiking I’ve done has usually been while I’m on vacation, so times of less stress. Also, Hubby and I got engaged on a hiking trip. This is the card Hubby gave me on our hiking trip. I thought it was cute, he really REALLY likes french fries.

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What activity makes you feel good?

My Batman Wedding

So I took a few days off. I’ve been feeling bad and just didn’t know what to say. Nothing is really wrong, nothing worth complaining about at least. I guess it’s just the accumulation of little things and all the bad news I’ve had recently. Anyway, I wanted to take the time to remember something good. I’m a day late, but oh well. Hubby and I got married a year ago yesterday! It’s been a rough year for family, friends and finances, but we’re still great as a couple. We celebrated yesterday by having a low key day doing some artwork and going to Pizza Hut for dinner. Haha. Yes, we went to the nearest pizza joint for our one year anniversary.

My wedding day was fun and unique. Thinking about it makes me forget how bad I’m feeling for a little while. I’m not the kind of girl who had dreamed about her wedding since she was a kid. I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted it to be classy. Like pearls and lace for example. My husband had a completely different plan though. What he described sounded like an MTV video party or an eight year old’s superhero birthday party. I cringed as I imagined a huge screen playing music videos in background, a black and yellow colour scheme and us dancing to the Batman theme song. Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana BATMAN!

In the end, we ended up with something that made everyone happy, but totally didn’t go together; green, hearts and Batman. I know, you’re thinking What?! That’s what we did and we made it work! 🙂

Green: We picked out dresses in varying shades of green for the bride’s maids. The bouquets were mostly white and green, with a touch of pink.


superhero converse


heart ornament example

The Hearts: The hearts doubled as table decorations and the little thank you gift. We spent a whole year collecting heart-shaped Christmas ornaments, one for each guest.

Sneak Peek - 8

Batman cake

The Shoes: Hubby hates dressing up, so to make him happy, we let his side wear converse sneakers. One sister-in-law was very pleased with this as she was 7 months pregnant at the time! We found special black batman converse for hubby and superman for his best man. My Gran would have rolled her eyes and laughed if she were still around. She hates those rubber toed shoes, but Hubby was ecstatic.


escort cards

The Cake: We opted for cupcakes and a mini cake as the top layer. It turns out the cupcakes are several hundred dollars cheaper than a wedding cake. Awesome! The cake and cupcakes had white icing with leafy greenery and decorations. I had to sneak Batman in there somewhere, so we had him being squashed by the cake, haha. From one side, it was a beautiful cupcake tower and from the other is was a silly Batman cake. Perfect compromise!

Escort Cards: This was new terminology for me. It’s the way you tell people where they are sitting during the reception. We made green Bat Symbols and wrote the guest’s name and table number on each one. The Cricut which is a major scrapbooking tool has a Batman cartridge, so that’s how we got the Bat Symbols cut out.


The Batman card for Table 1

Table Numbers: Hubby had fun with this. He made a card for each table with the table number on one side and a superhero on the other. He used characters from the CD Comics Justice League mostly…except for Catwoman, he had to get her in there somewhere. He spent hours making these in Photoshop. They turned out pretty well. 🙂

Photography: Creative Perspectives



The Best First Date Ever!

I wrote a series of posts ahead of time to celebrate my husband and I knowing each other for ten years and being married for one. I feel a bit silly posting this happy little story with all that’s going on right now though. I don’t have time to write a post to explain everything, but I will tomorrow. Maybe a happy little story is what’s needed right now……

Ten years is a really long time. Why did hubby and I wait so many years to get married? It took us a really long time to get it right. We attempted dating three different times. Having met at 19 and 22, we both had a lot of growing up to do, but we stayed true to the old saying “third time is the charm”! Our first date is something I’ll always remember though. Appropriate that it was my husband who took me on the best first date ever!

Our first date was Saturday, July 24th, 2004. I had to look that date up. I can remember birthdays quite well, but anniversaries always escape me for some reason. The plan for the date was dinner and a movie, your typical first date. When he picked me up from my parent’s place, he gave me a bouquet of flowers! They were really nice. I found out later that his mother and sisters had been teasing him about the flowers. This was the first time he had bought flowers for a girl. That made me feel special.

So anyway, he told me that he had a surprise for me between dinner and the movie. He wouldn’t give me any hints. After dinner we got back in his car and he drove us to a park I had never been to before. He said we were going for a walk. The sun was setting and he started walking me towards the forest in the park. It was dense with trees, so the further we went in, the darker and quieter it got. Eventually it was pitch black, it was a little eerie. I started to wonder what kind of a surprise was waiting for me in a dark forest?!

I relaxed when I started to see the little lights. As we walked further, more and more of them appeared. Fireflies. There must have been millions of them. They looked like the stars in the sky except they were all around me! It was beautiful! I have been back to that spot several times over the years, but it has never been as awe-striking as it was that night. I guess you could say he swept me off my feet with that one!


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