Shiny Report and Whiny Report

Dear Readers!

I do my very best to focus on the positive (read past blogs for context) and there are times when even the best spin doctor has to say, you know what, I just need to whine right now.

I have dubbed this- The Shiny Report and the Whiny Report.

I think that boundaries are crucial when talking to a friend to gain context on their situation or problem or what the goal is in the interaction.

As I said to friend a few weeks ago, “I am just venting and venting” and she said, “I know, but I don’t want to leave you here” and then we started to figure out solutions.

A good point because while whining, moaning, and venting absolutely have their place, it’s not a real productive place to be. Or as my Mom puts it, “You can absolutely have a pity party, just don’t stay there.”

These are some questions I ask-

“Is this a poor baby?” (You want sympathy and to be told what a jerk that person is and how right you are and how wrong they are or something similar)

Is this a vent session? (You want to just yell and moan and whine and curse the fates that have led you here?)

Do you want my advice? (Self-explanatory, but usually this is where people start and the other person doesn’t feel heard and is worse off than they were before.

The truth is, most of the time, all three are desired, it’s just knowing the answers.

I have heard “I want your advice but let me vent a little first?”

This is not to say that if someone is crying and upset that you interrupt them with this barrage of questions. First, be there, then try to build the boundary of how you can best serve the situation.

This is my approach, it doesn’t have to be yours. I offer this advice because first, it’s our job to take excellent care of ourselves so we can truly BE THERE for other people.

Don’t mix up that order or disaster will result.

Think About It.



Blurring the lines between fiction and drama

Dear Readers,

Yesterday I watched “The Greatest Showman” and loved it just as much the second time as the first time. As I understand it, the glamorizing of the life of PT Barnum does not sit well with some, and so doing my best to understand the objections, while retaining my own opinions I thought I would talk a bit about this topic today.

Alfred Hitchcock said, “Drama is life with the dull bits left out” and I really enjoy watching the drama that Hollywood puts forth so I tend to be a little more forgiving if the facts aren’t 100% followed when watching a movie.

I did some reading and rather than ruin the movie for you, I will just say, Hollywood did what it does best, it heightened the story line by exaggerating some details and changing some others. I was inspired by it, and loved the music and the message about imagall the ways imagination can help us be more, do more and have more. and to quote it here. For the moment, we will pretend it says “A Woman’s” but that is for another time.


To bring things a little closer to home with this, I will talk a little bit about this picture. I took this picture in 2014, it has some airbrushing and some edits and I love this picture because it’s how I see myself when I think of myself as my most awesome and fully realized bathing beauty from the 1940’s that I was born too late to be a part of.. except through the magic of photography.. now I can.

The truth? I was really scared and intimidated at the thought of wearing a bathing suit and had a very different image in mind when I started out with this idea, but when I did my dry run and checked out the costume closet, that’s all that would fit me, so that is what I had to work with and that is what I did.

It turned out great and I look just like a pinup (HOLLYWOOD version)

So the truth is always a little more complicated and nuanced, which also means it’s more interesting so in truth, I really go back and forth on this. When viewing cinema, does it matter more to you that it be accurate or entertaining?


This may be a black and white line for some, but for me it remains a murky gray.

What do you think?

Think About It…


Poor Baby…

PoorBabyDear Readers

My mom introduced me to a writer whom I adore. She writes romance novels, and her name is Jennifer Crusie. She is a great writer. One of my favourite devices she uses is the “Poor Baby”.  Check out “Bet Me” and “Faking It” if you are curious about her books and want a good writer who writes strong resilient female characters.

A poor baby is when someone is unhappy about a bad day or something and you say, “Poor Baby” and though you may be TEEMING with advice, you just focus on comforting the other person.

I don’t know about you but when someone tells me about a problem or they let me know something is going wrong, I have to hold back all my instincts to start solving the problem.

This is very useful as a device in my life, so I am telling you about it in the hope that you can use it the next time someone tells you, I am hurting and just want comfort or maybe you can ask them, “Is this a “poor baby”? Or do you want my advice. You will have to explain it, unless they read the books or read this blog.

I have used it, and have started using it as a code with other friends. It’s a great way to stop the other person from giving you advice that you really don’t want. Most of my friends (and you know who you are) are incredibly smart people and don’t need my advice, they know the answer and they know what they need to do, AND when you are in “poor baby” mode you just ask for comfort. Solving the problem comes later.

Think About It….

Using technology to get more “now”

Dear Readers,

This week I was visiting a dear friend as she made a very creative and lovely snack for her son who had requested, “I want a plate full of fruit that looks like a flower but make it pretty and a flower of green beans in the middle”.  Simple, right?

As a great mom and friend, she did this as we talked about the things of our lives since it had been a month since we saw each other last.  As I watched her put this together and as I watched, she noticed that one thing led to another. Getting a dish for said display, involved figuring out that there was NO dish and she had to improvise with pyrex which turned out to be dirty so then she had to wash it, and on and on.

It occurred to me that this happens to most of us when we set out to accomplish a task.

Case in point, I need to go to the store to get yogurt, I go to the refrigerator to see how much I have left, what is the expiration date etc and when I was in there, I noticed we were low on milk, so I made a mental note to ask my husband (who so wonderfully does all the grocery shopping) to get more milk, I then notice the expired items that we need to throw out but trash day was yesterday, check to see that the bags were emptied and no remnants remain and as I am in the pantry my eye is drawn to Vivienne’s bottle collection and I make a mental note, we really need to start weaning her off those, we should ask the pediatrician, and then I see that there are some dishes in the sink and start working on them, completely forgetting that I went in the kitchen to check on our yogurt supply!

So there I am working on dishes and making a grocery list (thank you Jeremy) and thinking about all the things that need to get done and getting frustrated with my lack of focus, since this problem is really isolated to home items.

At work I don’t have this issue because I time-box and set priorities each day and use Agile to the fullest.  In case you have no idea what I am talking about, ask me, I am happy to rhapsodize about it, at length.. You have been warned….

But back to my at home dilemma. I definitely don’t think you can schedule everything but there is a way to bring some “method to the madness”  For me, I use technology (Alexa) to help me remember things. I resisted at first, mainly out of vanity. I wanted to think I would remember ALL the things I have to remember. Yeah, not so much.

I realized I wanted to work smarter, not harder, so I gave in (after some trepidation about having a machine in our home) and we got an Alexa in December, it was our Christmas present to ourselves, and I am very happy with it.

It’s very nice not to have to stop what you are doing to grab your phone and put a reminder into it. For instance, in the example above, I asked “alexa” to remind me to buy yogurt, when in reality, that was me adding it the list that Jeremy will use to go shopping.  It’s also a fun way to send little messages to each other through the day when I am not there, to remind them that I am there.. (sort of)

Bottom line, I use technology to help me stay connected to my family. Put another way, if I can use Alexa to remind me to do something later, I can focus my “now” on my daughter or my husband or myself and my goals.  See below— 🙂 takeapicturemom

For those wondering, I still prefer face to face over a phone call, and a phone call over a text message, AND I realize sometimes it’s just a more expedient way to communicate for both parties due to kids, work, pets and other life things, well like life.

I think that it’s a heck of an evolution when you consider I used to resist text messages.

Think About It.