Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Butterfly Boys

Every year for Christmas, I buy presents for the ex and he has presents for me.

Some have tags 'From Kim', the others are meant to be for him from the boys.

Same for me. He buys the presents for me that will be from the boys.

This year, something different happened.

They boys used their allowance to pick out my present THEMSELVES!

The ex took them shopping separately.

They had no idea what the other had picked out for me.

From Alec, I received this beautiful silver butterfly ring.

From Adam, this beautiful butterfly decoration.

I don't collect butterflies. I've never really mentioned having a particular liking for them.

But without knowing what the other was getting, BOTH boys chose butterflies for me this year ... all on their own.

Guess my boys are growing up. *sniff*

And I guess I'm starting a new butterfly collection!

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I LUVS Me Some Chicken Fried!

Evening everyone! And welcome to another session of Country Music Edification!

Oh, STOP your groaning! NOW! All of you!

Country Music is good for your soul, and you know it!

A very good friend once told me she thought I "... kept such a good outlook on life, because I listened to so much country music. That had to be the only explanation." And she doesn't even LIKE country!

So, yeah. Country is a part of *me*, so if you're coming here to read about *me* and our adventures, then yes, you ARE going to hear about Country Music occasionally. Deal with it. (she says sweetly) ;-p

There's a new song I want to tell you all about. I've only heard it a couple of times on my favourite radio station, but it caught my attention both times and I was singing along with the chorus by the end of it!

This is the Zac Brown Band.

Pic courtesy of

And this is their hit song.

Chicken Fried!

I Luvs it!

This first clip is just the song. No video. So go ahead, click that little 'ole play button, close your eyes, listen to the words, get in the groove, and get Chicken Fried.

Then, either watch the Official Video


Watch them perform it LIVE on the Grand Ole Opry!

The words in this song seem very appropriate now, meaning both because of 'this time of year', and simply because of the state of our uncertain world.

It's appropriate for many people, for very different reasons.

I have my own reasons, and, well, I just LIKE it. It's got a good Maritimer's feel to it, a kitchen party song ;-)

The other night, I was driving home from work. It was Friday night, and although I RARELY call in to request a song for the 'Drive @ 5', I suddenly had me an urge for some Chicken Fried!

A PERFECT song for a Friday night highway drive home.

So I called.

And, I was DENIED. Denied my Chicken Fried!

My favourite afternoon radio dude said that he had played that request the night before, and according to company policy, he wasn't able to play it two nights in a row(or something along those lines).

I was crushed!

Pic courtesy of Wikimedia

And although I had to disagree with company policy, I simply requested it for Monday night's drive home instead.

Then I stalked messaged him on Facebook, and layed on the guilt trip for my crushing denial ... somewhat like I'm doing here ;-p

Tonight (Monday) on the drive home ...

I got my Chicken Fried! First request played :-)

And did I mention,
I LUVS Me Some Chicken Fried!

Pic courtesy of istockphoto

Thanks Favourite Afternoon Radio Dude! Sniff ... he does luvs me ;-)

Now scroll back up, hit the play button on one of those videos (again) and get Chicken Fried!

Yes, now.

That's it. Class dismissed. Y'all.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

GIVE! It Feels GOOD Dammit!

The first Christmas after my ex and I separated really SUCKED!

I had been laid off from my job earlier that year, and it just so happened I asked for the separation the same month my employment insurance ran out.

Not smart Kim, NOT smart!

I had been receiving calls from my old employer, saying they wanted to bring me back on a new project, but it wasn't ready to start until Jan.

That meant no income whatsoever from Aug- Jan.

Yeah, Christmas was NOT great that year.

If it wasn't for the help of many angels, the boys would have had alot less than what they did. As it turned out, they never noticed anything different that year, with respect to 'how much' was under the tree, than any other year.

I knew the difference. I knew what had come from me, the very little I could afford, and what had come from others.

I knew, and I never forgot.

That January, I went back to work on the promised project, and never looked back. But never forgot the help of all those angels when I needed it.

Now it's Christmas time again, and yesterday I went shopping.

I shopped for about 10hrs. I shopped. Then I dropped!

However, I wasn't only shopping for my own brood, extended family, teachers and friends.

I was shopping for a second family also.

Last year, for the first time, our project team adopted a family in need for Christmas.

This year, the lady who had previously organized the event, was no longer with the company, so by the time mid-November had rolled around, and there was no mention of a 'Holiday Family' yet, I got off my butt and got things organized!

I contacted Feed Nova Scotia and they matched us up with a family in need.

A single mom with four kids. Three girls (10, 5 & 2) and a boy(9).

We got a list of wants and needs, which I distributed, so some people brought in presents, some grocery gift cards, some donated cash.

People brought in things that weren't even ON the list.

For four weeks, I sent out a 'Weekly Update' email with a spreadsheet of the wants and needs, showing everything we had picked up so far, and what we had left to get.

I also sent a weekly update of the funds raised to date.

Our presents are to be boxed up and delivered this coming Wednesday, the 17th.

So, yesterday, I took all the cash that was raised, and went shopping for the things that were still missing on our list.

Over and above the individual presents that were brought into the office, and over and above the $260 in grocery gift cards that were given, our team raised $300!!!

And it was a FUN day shopping, because I could shop for 3 GIRLS! I never get to shop for girls ;-) Pink, pink everywhere!!!

I'm very proud of my team members. They have HUGE hearts! :-) And none of this would have been possible without all of them!

In talking to a few people around the office, I've come to the conclusion that an event like this really hits home for those of us who have 'been there' in one form or another. And believe me, there are even more than we know who have.

I know for me, I don't ever want another mom to feel like *I* did that one year.

Helpless, hopeless and lost.

It's not a nice feeling, and so something like this is important to me.

I'm still a single mom, and I'm still the only one financially responsible for raising my kids. I worry about being in the 'two paychecks from homeless-ness' generation, and know that the hands of fate could rip everything out from under me in a heartbeat.

I don't have alot of money, I live pretty much paycheck to paycheck, but I gave.

I gave my time, and my money, and sore feet from shopping ... and pieces of my heart to those kids and mom, and dammit, if feels GREAT!

If you get the opportunity, over the next week or so, before that big day finally arrives .... try it ... GIVE! It Feels GOOD Dammit!

And I guarantee ... you'll be glad you did!



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Casting Call! - Do You Want To Be On A New Reality TV Show?

Earlier this week, I received an interesting email.

It was from someone who works for a TV Production company in LA. Pie Town Productions

I'm still not sure what her entire message said, because I simply didn't make it past "your writing is great - definitely caught my attention when I was sifting through all the blogs".

Kidding :-) Yes, I DID read her entire message!

And she did actually say that, but whether or not it was the truth, or simply to butter me up so I'd post this for her, I'm not sure.

I'm going with the truth ;-)

She contacted me because she seems to think that other single parents read and frequent my blog.

Doesn't she know my Mom is the only one who reads this?!?!?!

Again, kidding ;-)

I've agreed to write a special post today, specifically for this person.

It's a * Casting Call *

This is for single parents, OR people who are in a relationship, with someone who already has kids, making them an 'Instant Family'.

There are two new Reality TV Shows on the horizon, and this production company is looking for people to appear on these new shows.

I wanted to make sure I described everything they're looking for accurately, so I've decided to simply copy the details of her message.

Casting Notice:

Are you about to or have just become an "instant parent?" A Los Angeles television production company is currently searching for families to potentially feature in a docu-drama. We are in the process of developing a positive, upbeat show (think: "Jon and Kate Plus Eight").

We're looking for LIVELY families with funny stories, big emotion, and great personalities.

Multiple children not necessary, but preferred (the more the merrier!). Do you (or are you about to) have an "instant family?" We're looking for people joining a family where their significant other has kids and they have none.

We're also looking for single moms or dads who are about to jump back in the dating game.

If interested, please email your contact information and your story to:

To learn more about our company visit our site at:



So? Do you (or someone you know) want to be on a Reality TV Show?

If you think you'd like to, give it a shot!

She sent me an application for the America's Most Wanted, Parking Wars, SuperNanny, 'Single Parent' show, and told me she thought I'd be a good candidate ...

Who knows ... maybe I'll even send in the application and instead of just reading about all our adventures, you'll be able to WATCH them!!!!!

Good Luck to all those who decide to give it a shot!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Easy To Assemble, My Ass!

It's not even Christmas morning yet, and I'm already assembling!

I have also learned something from this most recent project. I have discovered Adam is the only System Engineer in THIS house!

He is SO his father's son! In all those 'building/construction/anything that takes a hammer' kind of ways ;-)

Earlier this week, we had our Holiday Party & Secret Santa Gift Exchange at work.

I came home with an 'Easy to Assemble' Gingerbread house.

I stole it from a co-worker during a gift exchange game. Yeah. I'm a nasty little Elf that way.

It was perfect. Adam had been asking for one of these for the past couple of weeks, everyone else seemed to be concentrating on stealing the presents that contained bottles of wine, so I zeroed in on the CANDY.

Sat afternoon, the boys, one of their friends and I began what I had thought would be a simple house construction. An afternoon of fun and creativity.

How hard could it be? The pieces are all pre-cut, they give you a mold to stick them in, icing to hold it together and decorate with, and enough candy to bring on a three day sugar buzz if consumed all at once.

A little tree here, a little man there ...

I'll admit, I'm no Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen, but I think I can handle a little Gingerbread House


This is the type of house my ex builds our boys ... tree houses ... or is that houses in trees?

Remember, I'm just trying to get one of these babies standing!

And it was clearly labeled!

Key word here People ... EASY!


Not so much.

After the roof collapsed, and the sides imploded, for the SECOND time, we decided to go to Plan B, and move on to Gingerbread Slab Construction & Self Decoration.

Alec's Slab & One Legged Man
(yes, that IS the Dude from Shrek!)

Adam's Slab is under that candy somewhere ...

Alec's friend's Slab Creation

When they started decorating, I started cleaning, so I decided to hire a decorator, and asked Adam to surprise me with my slab.

For some reason, I seemed to have gotten short-changed in the icing department, compared to the others!

I suppose that's not necessarily a BAD thing ;-)

And no, they didn't sit down and eat it ALL in one sitting. Alec's friend slept over that night, and they ended up eating about half of it over the course of two full days.

The fact the house never turned out like the one in the picture didn't seem to stop them from eating it.

And we still had fun making it.

But, if I was stopped in the grocery store, and asked to give my opinion on the product? My only comment?

'Easy to Assemble, My Ass!'
But still an afternoon's worth of fun ;-)


Monday, December 8, 2008

System Engineering, 3rd Grade Style

Over three weeks ago, Adam came home from school excited about a bridge.

He announced that he had a project due. The Structures project.

He had to build a bridge out of paper or cardboard products and he could use tape, glue, staples etc to hold the parts together.

He started it that night.

It wasn't due until today. Three weeks later.

I'm glad he was excited about it, and wanted to work on it. I wasn't as excited about my living room turning into Craft Central, with my coffee tabled morphing into a drafting table.

After he had started the main structure, I took a good look at the instructions.

'It must span a space of 30 cm between two desks.'

'It must be strong enough to hold two dinky cars.'

I took out the ruler and checked out the bridge. Almost double the requirement.

Last Tuesday night, after adding the on/off ramps, he was finished.

Here is his masterpiece.

3rd Grade System Engineering at it's best!

Those white marks are skid marks from cars lol.

He did the entire project on his own. Everything came from his own brain, and through his own hands, and hard work.

I knew I saved those toilet paper rolls over the summer for a reason!

We brought in an outside contractor to give a true test of the bridge's strength and endurance.

The other night, I walked around the corner, into the living room and found her hard at work ...

The Kitten Stress Test

I have no fear that it will meet the 'Must hold 2 dinky's' requirement!

Here's the kicker.

He didn't get to present it today. We had a storm overnight and school was cancelled due to icy roads this morning.

He was really looking forward to showing that bridge off too. Not often you see a kid bummed about getting a snow day!

Hmmm ... maybe I should've put him to work, instead of letting him playing outside all day.

Wonder how he'd make out building me a new room in the basement!

My little System Engineer in training ;-)

Now where'd I put that 'Child Labour Laws For Dummies' handbook?


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Now THAT'S a Care Package!

When I was in University, I LOVED getting care packages from my Mom and Dad.

Many girls on my floor loved it, because there was always homemade goodies in there from Mom that I would share :-)

Whenever I've gone home over the past 20yrs, Mom has always sent me off with more 'stuff' than I arrived with.

Even as a 'grownup', I still always leave with a care package. Stuff for me. Stuff for the boys. Stuff for the house.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit my Mom.

It was just me and an empty vehicle. Kids were at school, I had the day off.

My Mom has recently sold her three level house, and built a one level condo.

She's down-sizing.

THIS is what I returned home with.

Not only the back was filled, but both back seats had to be put down for more room.

And there was even stuff in the FRONT seat! LOL

Now THAT'S a Care Package!!!!

Thanks Mom!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

That Little Old Lady Just Called Me An ASSHOLE!

So, I mentioned I was at this great Johnny Reid concert last week.

And it was.

Overall, he put on an awesome show, sang his heart out, and we all loved him.

However, (you knew that 'however' was coming didn't ya!), as with many of my concert experiences, it didn't quite go as smoothly as planned.

I bought the tickets shortly after they went on sale, and after the first show had already sold out. That meant we were going to the Tues night, 8pm show.

We agreed Cass would meet me at work, we'd leave from there, grab dinner at
the bar, and be there in lots of time before the doors opened for the show.

Since we'd be there so early, about 3hrs before start time, there was a good chance we'd have good seats too!

Yeah. That was the plan.

Late afternoon, I heard on the radio that the doors were going to open early, 5pm.

Apparently there had been a HUGE lineup at the Friday night show, so they were trying to move the lineup along a little easier by opening the doors earlier.

OK. According to the original plan, we'd still be there in plenty of time.

Cass met me at work, we left on time, got to the bar on time. It was 4:40 and there were about 20 people or so lined up waiting to get in.

It was a crappy day, cold and drizzling, so we decided to wait in the car. Not even five minutes later, the doors opened.

Once we got in, and handed over our tickets, we set off to find seats.

And AWESOME seats we got!!! Almost front row centre!

We managed to grab two seats at the table centre to the stage, three seats in. WOOHOO!

This was our Pre-Show view

Where those three women are standing, that's the front of the stage.

Yeah! Showing up early paid off! Three hours until showtime and the place was already starting to fill up.

We DID get awesome seats!!! I was ecstatic!

Until showtime.

First, I have to point out that rope going along the length of the stage. Along the whole row of tables.

On the other side of the rope, is the dance floor. We expected people to be standing on the dance floor.

However, because there was a 'Please Do NOT Stand HERE!' sign along the rope, (not visible in pic above) we knew that we'd have a clear view of the stage, over the heads of the people on the dance floor.

For FOUR HOURS (yes FOUR HOURS because the show started an hour late!) the Bouncers were moving people who blatantly ignored the sign, and stood by the rope.

They moved people along who stopped by the rope to have a chat, and scope out available seats.

They moved people who supposedly didn't see the sign, and stood there anyway.

Not only our table was affected by the 'rope view', but all the tables along the front of the stage, so we were ALL very pleased that the bouncers were doing their job of keeping people out of our way.

We had made the conscious decision and EFFORT to show up there three hours early, which turned out to be FOUR hours early, specifically to get GOOD seats.

THAT'S the point of going early. Not for the pub food! Not to chat with the strangers at the table! Not to get loaded in the three hours beforehand.

To get a good freakin' seat!

For four hours the bouncers did their job, and they did it well ... when the show began, all hell broke loose!

It started with only a couple of women. One in particular who decided to plant herself in front of the rope, centre stage ... right in our line of Johnny!!!

Then a few more moved on over to the rope.

Although many at our table, and neighbouring tables were muttering about 'people blocking the view', and 'people standing by the 'DO NOT STAND' sign', we waited for the Bouncers to do their job.

And we waited.

And waited.

A few women yelled from tables to 'move!' but of course the Rope Delinquents pretended not to hear.

Halfway through the first song, I'd had ENOUGH!

I got up and went to the Bouncer standing at the rope and asked him what the deal was? Why had they moved people all night, and now, they were letting people line up along the rope and block the view of the people who had been sitting there for .... FOUR HOURS!!!!!

Did I mention ... FOUR HOURS!!!!!

His reply?

'The owner said it was OK for them to stand there now.'

Excuse me? WHAT?!?!?!

Realizing it was useless to argue with him and his 'just doin' what I'm told' attitude, I went back to my table and continued to grumble with the others.

At the end of the second song, when there was a break in the music and crowd noise, I picked that moment to cup my hands around my mouth and yell at the top of my lungs ...

"HEY! People at the rope ... MOVE!!! WE CAN'T SEE!!!"

Cass told me later "At first, I didn't realize it was you who yelled because I was looking the other way. Then, you yelled a second time and I turned around and realized 'Holy Shit! That's Kim!', the THIRD time, I knew you were PISSED!!!"

Yeah. Pissed I was.

I hadn't just sat in the freakin' bar for FOUR HOURS just to watch some chicks shake what their Mama gave them.

I wanted to see JOHNNY shakin' what his Mama gave him!!! How was I going to get any half decent pics through all those freakin' heads?!?!?!

Ohhh I was pissed. Almost walked out right of there.

Of course, I quickly realized that the only one who would lose out on that action was me.

The chicks at the rope didn't care if I left. The bar owner didn't care that the people who had sat in her bar for the last FOUR FREAKIN' HOURS and drank her drinks and ate her food, couldn't see, so she certainly wouldn't care if I left.

And Johnny didn't care! But I can't hold that against him, he was just singin' his little Scottish heart out.

The only one who would have cared was me.

And I didn't care to miss Johnny, for the sake of a bunch of RUDE, INCONSIDERATE, latecomers, who blatantly didn't give a crap that they were blocking the awesome view of the people at the table, who had been sitting there for hours.

So ... what was I going to do now?

I did what ANY pissed off Canadian Chick would do - I marched up to the rope, elbowed my way next to the 'front and centre' Chickie, and took my pictures.

Then I sat down again, so everyone else at the table could see.

Then I got up to the rope again, muscled my way in, and took more pics.

Then I sat down, so everyone else at the table could see.

See a pattern here?

I couldn't simply stand there at the rope for the whole show. I mean, I COULD have, obviously none of the staff was going to stop me. But I couldn't do it simply cause it wasn't the RIGHT thing to do!

Everyone else at those tables had sat there for FOURS HOURS right along with me. I couldn't do that to THEM.

Yes, some people finally did just go out to the dance floor and watch the show from there. But I stubbornly stayed where I was, alternating between the rope and table.

It was at one of these trips to the rope, immediately after I yelled at the Rope Delinquents, that this little old lady, (I'm not kidding, we're talking grey haired granny!) called me an Asshole!

For yelling at them to move.

HUH! ME? The Asshole?

Listen Lady! I'm not the one who ....

Sigh. Oh what does it matter.

I saw Johnny.

And the little old lady? Wasted her breath! Didn't bother me a bit that she called me an ass. I completely ignored her.

For all she knew, I hadn't heard her at all, because I never even acknowledged her.

It might have been her last breath and she wasted it on calling me an Asshole. Three times actually LOL.

There's a pot and kettle phrase that springs to mind here ...

Yeah. Go ahead. Call me an Asshole.

I'll be sure to add myself to my next Open Letter To Assholes.

I did learn my lesson though. That's the LAST time I'll go to a concert early, and waste my time and money on trying to get the 'good' seat.

At least at that particular bar it will be.

Next time, I'll show up late, have nothing to eat, drink only water, and stand in front of everyone else and earn my Asshole title the right way!