Winner!

23 Aug

On the 19th, I announced the Hypnotic Eye giveaway: one lucky reader would win the new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cd.

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Jason and I had an amazing time in Winnipeg! We’re back now and it’s time to draw the winning name!

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Congratulations to Ashley! I hope you enjoy the Hypnotic Eye cd!

And thanks to the four others who commented and shared their experiences with me.

Ashley was kind enough to share this experience:

I’m not sure anything will ever top this. Rolling Stones in Las Vegas. I have dreamed of seeing the Rolling Stones since I was about 7 years old and was first introduced to them via a televised ice show set to their music. I might still have it recorded on VHS. In 2013 when they announced a tour I knew I would HAVE to see them. This could be my last chance. Being on the west coast there were several options, a friend’s mum put the suggestion out that I thought it would be better than going alone, my friend joined and her sister-in-law and next thing you know we were in Las Vegas going to see them at the MGM Grand. We didn’t have seats together but I didn’t care. It was very hard to even get one ticket. I remember standing there waiting for them to come out and grabbing the arm of the man standing next to me…I had shivers and tears running down my cheeks, I could see them standing at the side waiting to come out. He told me to pull it together and before you knew I was going crazy singing and dancing. It was easily one of the most amazing times in my life. Their dancing, the singing and the outfits. Even remembering it now gives me shivers.

That definitely sounds amazing! There is something so magical about seeing a band that you’ve loved since childhood

Later today, or tomorrow, I will be updating with an account of our little Winnipeg getaway/Tom Petty experience.

Travel Blogging: What I bought

21 Aug

We are in Winnipeg to see Tom Petty, there’s no doubt about it. But we’ve been having so much fun shopping at all our favourite places here. Some of them had closed down since our last visit 14 months ago, but all our hard earned yard sale money is spent, so we aren’t too disappointed.

We have enough money left for Tom Petty concert tshirts, gas to drive home, and to take my Gramma out for lunch (at the halfway point home) in Dryden.

Check it out!

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Some stuff for the kids, but mostly for me! No pictures of what I bought my brother and mother for Christmas though. And no pictures of the antique doll carriage and beaded curtain still in the car or of the billions (slight exaggeration) of records that Jason bought.

Okay. No more shopping. Time to grab our tickets and binoculars and head off down the street to the concert!

Hypnotic Eye Tour

18 Aug

This contest is now closed.

In June 2010, One of my dreams came true when I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert. Jason and I drove to Winnipeg to see them play at the MTS Centre. It was everything I hoped it would be and more; it was easily one of the best concert experiences of my life.

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I’m absolutely thrilled that we have the opportunity to travel again to see the Heartbreakers on their 2014 tour!

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This time the new album release was included with my purchase of tickets!

Actually…two copies of the album were included!

Whaaaaat?!

It’s true!

Because I’m so excited for my upcoming adventure, I want to give away one of the copies to a lucky reader!

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Who loves Tom Petty?! Who wants a copy of the new album? Please leave a comment below and tell me about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

The contest will close Friday the 22nd (at midnight) and the winner will be chosen sometime Saturday the 23rd!

Tragedy in the City

12 Aug

Yesterday morning, a little girl was murdered. An innocent life was cut short in an all-too-common incidence of mysogynist violence. It’s a tale as old as time: angry man attempts to solve problems by killing his ex-girlfriend and her child, later he kills himself. The mother survived the attack, the poor little girl did not.

I don’t know the exact details and I’m not even sure of the poor girl’s name. I don’t even really want to know. I don’t have to know for my heart to be breaking for the girl’s mother and everyone close to her.

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Social media has been raging.

There was the predictable and appropriate heartfelt messages of grief and disbelief, but there was also a high portion of vitriol directed at the city.

Huh?

Granted, this city has a lot of problems. There is rampant and extremely visible racism (and all the awfulness that comes with that), there is homelessness, there is poverty, there is violence, there is gang violence, lack of funding for various projects, and of course, murder.

Thunder Bay has a population that surpasses a hundred thousand people. It might not seem like a lot, especially because we are isolated from the greater population of Ontario, but we are considered a big city and we have big city problems.

But, alongside the ugly, we also have beauty: Lake Superior, amazing artists, great restaurants, so many local talents (bands, musicians, artisans, crafters, photographers, etc), adorable little mountains that make BC laugh at us, cute little farm fields that make Saskatchewan guffaw, dozens of public parks, and a growing population of diversity.

I’m a privileged person in this society and I know it. I’m white, I’m working class, and I’m educated. I live in a house with my husband and our children and we rarely go outside our comfort zone into the more “seedy” parts of town.

My past employment has given me insight into many different cultures and classes within our borders and I’ve seen what’s “out there.” Despite this, I feel, from my safe house in a quiet neighbourhood, that I still love my city. That is my truth. Someone whose had a much rougher and violent life could feel hatred for this city and that would be his or her truth.

Having said that, there’s something I’d like to point out: Thunder Bay is not the first city in the world, or Canada, to have problems.

My friend John has given me permission to use his words:

I can’t believe the ignorance of some people in posts that I’ve read today about how awful Thunder Bay is – and how the city is falling apart etc etc… I’ve read nothing but negative commentary about the city and how Thunder Bay is such a terrible place etc etc etc.

If you think that this awful tragedy is a Thunder Bay issue, clearly you don’t have a clue. Crime as a whole, specifically domestic abuse and violent crime is NOT specific to Thunder Bay. If you have cable tv you know that. But to go on and on about how its “typical” Thunder Bay makes me crazy. Have you ever thought for one second that cultural issues, poverty, addictions and any other underlying issue in any of these crimes happen everywhere? Do you honestly believe that this is the worst place in the world to live? If so, you’re clueless. There are people that have it far, far worse than we do every day.

I hate Thunder Bay bashing. Especially from people that do absolutely nothing to change attitudes, lend a hand, or offer sound solutions to help… Even more so today, I hate the fact that people would actually use this tragedy as an excuse to bash the community as a whole. But stop the fear mongering that our city is turning into the most violent place on earth.

One tragedy, like today, does not define our community. None of the awful crimes that have taken place over recent weeks define our community. Hiding behind a keyboard and stepping on a soapbox to preach about how awful “YOU” think our city is doesn’t help anyone. Instead of sharing your uneducated views about cultural issues, domestic issues and crimes as whole, get off your keyboard and lend a hand… Stop making this about Thunder Bay and YOU and start thinking a little more about a family that is dealing with devastation today. They need the support. How can you help?

I don’t know if John’s views are popular, but they do seem to be shared by several others, including myself.

That’s all I will say about this incident.

Though, I will mention another bit of sadness from yesterday:
I’m very saddened to hear about the death of Robin Williams. I wish peace and comfort upon his wife, children, and loved ones. So many of his movies have made me laugh and cry; so much of his work has had a huge impact on my life. May he rest gently and be surrounded by light In the afterlife.

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Busy!

11 Aug

It’s been quiet around the blog for awhile. We just had a yard sale (fund raising for an upcoming vacation – more about that later) and there was a lot of prep involved in that particular endeavour.

On top of that, RJ decided he was ready to move into a big-boy bedroom. When we first moved into this house, JP wasn’t born yet. We put RJ’s crib in a curtained off corner outside our bedroom. When JP was born, his crib went into an actual bedroom. RJ, being a child who takes a long time adjusting to change, was happy to stay in his little corner. We told him he could move into his own room when he was ready. In the meantime, the other real bedroom became Jason’s office.

Well, last week RJ decided he was ready. So on top of trying to organize the yard sale, we were moving furniture around and getting the kids adjusted to sleeping in close proximity to one another. I felt like the walls were closing in on me. There was stuff everywhere and the house was starting to feel oppressive.

The yard sale was Saturday and we took almost all the leftovers to a second hand shop. The house is starting to clear out and all the furniture is finding a home. Jason’s office space is in limbo right now but he will attempt to turn RJ’s former sleeping area into a place for all his music and computer paraphernalia.

The summer is more than half over and I have things to blog about, but the problem is, finding time! Hopefully I can find some time this week!

A Birthday Winner!

4 Aug

It’s my birthday today!

It’s time for……

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I was thrilled to see so many people enter my contest, even two men! Often my contests are an (unintentional) ladies only affair!

See all the people who entered….

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Shall we get to it?

Into the hat…

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Can you pick a name, JP?

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Oh dear, JP threw a fit about something that only he could perceive and threw the name back in the hat. Sorry to whoever’s name was on that piece of paper.

Take two:

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Who is it who is it who is it?!?

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Congratulations to Devon!!! You are the winner of the awesome birthday giveaway!

This was such a cool contest, I’m going to start gathering stuff for next year!

Yard Sale Finds

2 Aug

We’ve found a few lovely things over the past few weeks and we even managed to drag ourselves out this morning, despite finishing up a second week of being sick.

Nearly new Nintendo DS with a Star Wars game: $40.00. I think RJ is a bit too young for this right now, but we have it for a future birthday or Christmas gift. We will be on the lookout for a few more second-hand games now!

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Ridiculously high black and white shoes: $1.00. I actually cannot walk in these (not even a bit) but I bought them because they match my black and white corset and though my 30th birthday boudoir photo-shoot was cancelled, I still have hopes of rescheduling.

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Retro wood and orange fabric chair: $30.00. More that I should have spent, but I really love this chair. It’s the perfect combination of retro and eclectic that I love so much.

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Lego game: $1.00. The perfect game for a child (RJ) who is just beginning to understand board games and is obsessed with Lego.

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Assorted toys: $2.50. Does JP really need more little cars and Polly Pocket? Yes, apparently he does.

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