I think I’m going to make it after all.

It is the almost the end of September, and my 13-year-old leaves TOMORROW for a week in Quebec. Mostly – MOSTLY – I am very excited for him and this excellent travel opportunity, the ability to see a unique and culture-rich part of the country, and the chance for independence and growth. But also I am a little bit internally breathing into a paper bag.

It’s all going to be FINE.

These PRETZELS…are making me THIRSTY.

Meanwhile I have a 12-year-old who has never been apart from his brother, not for a single day of his life. He will be kept busy with friend hang-outs, violent action movie nights, a father-son barbequed meat night, and putting the winter tires on his dad’s car. Not to brag, but that kid can change tires like nobody’s business, which is a lot more than I can say for myself. I have never even opened the hood on my own car, so I am very impressed by him, as well as enabled to be as useless as I am with vehicular maintenance. If my husband can’t do something for my car, I can easily get my son to do it. I shall never have to learn self-sufficiency, and I like it that way.

As a long-time blogger, I receive pitches every single week to promote a particular product, cause, and/ or business. I use the word “pitch” loosely, as there is never any compensation involved; generally the pitch involves me promoting the said product/ cause/ business on my blog and in return, my readers can receive a coupon code for 10% off. What a deal. Who could turn that down. Well, obviously I never do this, unless it’s for a book review, because I am, apparently, a whore for free books.

Often the pitches will reveal that I have somehow gotten onto the world’s strangest mailing lists, and that the sender has never read a word I have written. Once I had the great opportunity to receive free venison jerky in exchange for a glowing review about this amazing new product, and just recently I received a media pass to sample all different kinds of duck at Duck-Fest, which takes place somewhere in Ontario. Normally I just delete these emails but some I hang onto for the pure entertainment value.

For example, in early August, I received this:

I DO need Christmas ornaments from the internet and I cannot wait to get my lucky deer, snow house, and etc.

Today, I came across this gem:

My favourite part is that the sender assumes I am a purchasing director. I guess I kind of am a purchasing director for the Boyhouse, at least as regards groceries and other household items.

Oh! But you may be wondering, how is that one year shopping challenge going? Well, I can tell you that it has been almost two months and I have purchased nary a clothing item for myself. In fact, if you follow me on Instagram – and why wouldn’t you, my feed is almost entirely baked goods, Barkley, and my outfits-of-the-day – you will know that I have been enjoying creating new outfits and combinations from my overflowing closet. I think I’m going to make it after all. I’d also like to take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile, but that might take more than just an outfit-of-the-day post. It might involve cookies.

This week has been busy, busy, busy, with a cross-country meet and preparations for my child to actually go across the literal country*, teaching and shopping for non-Nicole-clothing-items, and it always makes me feel happy and productive to be so busy, not unlike a bee or hummingbird. I like having lots to do. However, yesterday I found myself to be pretty blue. When I’m feeling blue, I always feel a bit like I SHOULDN’T be blue, not with all the things going on in the world today, not with an entire country without power and the world going to hell in a rocket-powered handbasket, and people who have health issues and financial issues and family tragedies and one of my Facebook friends posted a photo of a DEAD RACCOON SHE FOUND IN HER WALL. I mean, nothing like that has happened to me and why should I feel blue? EVERY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY, PRINCESS, JUST ADJUST YOUR TIARA AND MOVE ON. Ah, but even princesses have problems sometimes and those problems are still problems, and it’s okay to be sad sometimes, as I tell the kids all the time. It is OKAY TO BE SAD.

Well, today my tiara is adjusted and I’m feeling like my normal, cheery self, ready to turn the world on with my smile.

Do I need a beret? Maybe. But it will have to wait another ten months before my shopping challenge is done. xo


  1. No one’s very mechanically minded around here, but I can turn to Noah when Beth’s not available for computer trouble-shooting and he’s nearly as good as she is.

    Speaking of my eldest, Noah went a 5-day class trip to NYC when he was in 8th grade. We (parents) were nervous but he had a good time and all was well.

  2. OK I’m sorry but I’m going to have to take a minute with the horror that is finding a dead raccoon inside one’s wall! YIKES.

    Neither of my parents could do anything mechanical with cars so I can’t either. So we all religiously subscribe to AAA and hope for the best…

  3. Dee in Texas (natch) says

    I found a rattlesnake coiled up on my deck steps, but a co-volunteer at the library knew someone who heard a noise in the night, and turned on her bedside lamp to find a raccoon (live) perched on the nightstand, looking at her. It came in through the dog door, I guess, and then waited for something to happen.

  4. I don’t even know HOW to open my hood. True story. And I will buy you a beret. Black, obviously.

  5. I just met Rob’s doppelganger at Aldi. I wanted to take a photo. Same hairstyle, glasses, everything. This guy might have been a bit younger, though, and he had gray, almost white, hair. No worries: Rob’s going to look good with gray hair.

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