Saturday, November 28, 2015


My dad had a way with words. He wrote beautifully. I use to think I took after him. Now I think my brother inherited that. Last year, my brother wrote this. I love it. And it took me a long time to find it on Facebook, so, without his permission, I'm sharing it here, so I can always find it.

You are my biggest fan, my biggest supporter. No matter what I did, you always told me you loved me. You always made sure I knew you were proud of me, and that meant the world to me. I miss you dad.
I've done so many things you never imagined your child would do, good and bad....ya mostly bad...but you've always been there.
I got a job working bar at 18 and told you this is what I wanted to do with my life, and you loved me, even when others wondered what was wrong with me, you gave me the love, freedom and support to live my life.
I'm covered in tattoos, and while you tell the world you can't stand them, you always ask about what new ones I have and what they mean.
I told you I was going to school to drink wine, lol, you told me to have fun and always asked how it was going. You always encouraged me.
I'm so sorry it took me so long to understand you, but dad, I do. I get it now, have for awhile. It's not about me, just like it was never about you. It's about those that are important around you. It's about your wife, your kids, your family. It's about making things better for them. That's what you were about, that's who you are.
I've learned so much from watching you dad. We are from different worlds, different generations, but we are the same, for once, take some credit, you did it! Give yourself a good pat on the back dad. Your daughter and your son are strong, and your grandkids will be strong. More importantly they will be raised with same love, respect, support and understanding you showed us.
I'm hurting right now dad, but my family has a new angel watching over us, and that brings the biggest smile to my face.
I promise you dad, I will do my best to be as great as you were. I will give it my best, just as you always asked I did. I love you, I miss you. I know you miss us too, but you can now see your parents, and I know how much that will make you smile.
Oh dad...I am so lucky to have had you for a father. I wouldn't be who I am without. Thank you. I know I always told you I loved you, and even when I didn't I know you knew it. But I never said thank you.
Thank you for always being there. Thank you for the words of wisdom, thank you for knowing when not to say something, thank you for the guidance, thank you for showing me how it supposed to be and thank you for showing me what is real.
I'm smiling dad, and you made me this way. I love you.

Friday, November 27, 2015

One Year

November 28th, 2015

Dear Dad,

It's been a year since your accident. A year since I got the call to go to the hospital. A year since I last saw you. A year since I never got to say good-bye.

Yes, dad, I'm still angry. Not as much as before. But still angry that you left. But.... this is not a letter to yell and scream at you. No, this is me, your loving, yet ever-so sarcastic daughter (by the way, who did I inherit my sarcastic nature from? You are the complete opposite of sarcastic) here to let you know how you made a bad choice. By leaving us, you missed a whole lot of goodness that 2015 brought.

So where do I start? Go month-by-month and tell you what you missed each month? Or maybe I should bulk the great events? Well, while you were not a fan of crowds, you were always there for family, but this year, you missed out on some amazing events.

In May, Jamila got married. I know you got a chuckle out of her choosing the 23rd as her wedding day. I mean, I got married on her dad's birthday, so it's only fitting she got married on your birthday. I'll be honest, this one made me bitter. Mum felt she should be there, and I disagreed, but let's not argue about who's right (cos in case you've forgotten, I'm as stubborn as a mule). And while you missed out on a gorgeous wedding, Karima spent the day with mum. She took her shopping and they spend the day talking about you. Karima sent me this picture. She takes after you, and takes care of her family.

In August, Zahida got married. While we missed that wedding, Rasool went and kept mum company. I'm told it was a lovely wedding. And you missed it!

 October was the best though. The first great niece/nephew got married. Granted Rehanna is a niece not nephew, and she is your first great niece. She had a simple yet gorgeous wedding. Ethan and I made it there. I know how close you were to Shelina, she really could have used your support. But I was there. And Ethan had so much fun.

Speaking of which, here's another great you missed in October. Being in Canada with Ethan. Did you know he had never seen autumn colours before? He was in absolute awe at the colours and the leaves and the crunchy sound the leaves make when you walk on them. 

Oh, and before you go on thinking that that was the end of the year of weddings, well, you'd be wrong. In December Amin-Mohammed gets married. See dad. That's four weddings you missed out on. And four weddings where you were missed.

But weddings weren't the only thing that 2015 brought. There were babies too. 

Gulla and Mohammed gave Amira a little brother. And the best, is just this past week, Faiza had a gorgeous baby boy. Rashida aunty is a proud grandma to another grandson. There seems to be a lot of boys in this family!

Your grandkids have also had a great year. Ethan turned 9. We took him to Disney as part of his birthday. Hailey turned 2. She's quite the chatterbox. She knows her way around the condo too, which is quite cute to see. 

Now I know, that biologically these two are your grandkids, but let's be honest, you have two others. Imaan and Afraaz have grown and it's scary. They are no longer in boarding school in India. They are in Canada now. Afraaz is in Nova Scotia  and Imaan is in Toronto. 

Imaan would like you to see her new haircut.

While we're on the topic of grandkids and school, your great-niece Haseena is spending this year in Denmark. She got into an amazing Masters program. You'd be thrilled with her accomplishments. 

Karim, is still quite the character. I sometimes wonder if he and Ethan are in competition for funniest relative. He thinks it's very important that I share his newest tattoo (because he knows how much you loooove the ink)!

He says to tell you the birds can either be he, Aneez and Faiza,
or the 3 grandsons of Rashida Aunty.
You'll be happy to know, that your sister has cut him out of her will for this latest shenanigans.

Now, I should be honest, Karim isn't the only one to get a new tattoo. I got one too. It's a Lily of the Valley. Your birth-flower. The whole time I got it done, I wondered if it was an oxymoron to get a tattoo to commemorate you, while you were not a fan of them!

2015 was also a great year for me too. Guess where I went this summer? Boston. Well, to be honest, I didn't really see much of Boston. I spent most of the week in Cambridge. Harvard to be exact. Yes dad, your daughter spent a week at Harvard. I thought of you all week. I especially figured you'd come for the weekend, and we'd go the walking tour together. You would have loved that.

Canada also had a great year, or will have some great years ahead??? In October we voted in a new Prime Minister. There's a Trudeau back on the hill. The Harper years are over. And you're going to miss Trudeau2.0!

I know you can't come back. And as angry as I get, I'm also still sad. I miss you, dad. Everyday. I wish you'd stayed. I wish you were still here. Ethan and I talk of you often. You'll always be a part of our lives. You'll always be in our heart.

All my love,


Writer's Workshop - So Very Thankful

It has been too long since I last participated in one of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshops. So to celebrate my return, I've chosen her So Very Thankful Tag!

1. Name a color you are thankful for.
Black. Ok, ok, it seems obvious, but it's true. Imagine life without black. 
* There would be no night. That beautiful black sky that enhances the sparkle of the stars. 
* The little black dress. Nope, would not exist.
* Bright pink gets toned down when mixed with a little black. 
Black is awesome!

2. Something your spouse does that you are thankful for.
He puts up with me. No seriously. I joined the Panto this year. Which means I've been at rehearsals almost every single night. I've hardly seen him in the last few weeks. And he's rarely complained.

3. Something your kids do that you are thankful for.
He makes me laugh. Ethan has a great sense of humour. You have to admire that in a kid. I'm thankful for a son who laughs. I’m thankful for a son who loves to get goofy.

4. A food you are thankful for.
Granted, I had to think about this. There are so many choices. Pizza, coffee, ice cream. But then I realized chocolate is the key. Chocolate comes in so many shapes and forms. You can have chocolate chip cookies, chocolate ice cream, chocolate milkshakes, a mocha coffee has chocolate. You can’t go wrong with chocolate!

5. What recent good news are you thankful for?
Good news…. We’re off to Rome for Christmas!!!!

6. Name a drink you are thankful for.
Hmmm….. another tough one. Those who know me well, know it’s a toss up between coffee and wine. But, I think I’ll surprise everyone and say water! Cos you need water to make coffee, and ….hmmm…. do you need it to make wine?

7. Name a restaurant you are thankful for.
Salt. Hands down. Katy serves the best breakfast in town. She makes a mean cocktail. Ethan loves going there for milkshakes. And it's a great place to go for coffee. 

8. Talk about an animal you are thankful for.
We do have a fabulous dog, Butch. So it wouldn’t be right not to be thankful for him.

9. Name a beauty product you are thankful for.
MAC. I love their eyeliners and lipstick. Never leave the house without it on, so what would I do without it?

10. Name a cleaning product you are thankful for.
An actual product or type? Laundy soap is high on the list. Need clean clothes, right?

11. What social media platform are you thankful for?
Is it a cop-out to say Facebook? I like that it’s a one-stop shop. I can see what my friends and family around the world are up to. I’ve joined groups based on blogs, interests, teaching. I find great articles on exercise, nutrition, parenting, teaching. I know people are getting frustrated, and need a Facebook break, but I’m still enjoying it.

12. Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you.
Last text I got was from my brother. And while we were not close growing up, he’s become this incredible husband and father. I admire him. I look up to him. He amazes me every single day.

13. Name a candy you are thankful for.
Chocolate covered almonds. Chocolate and almonds. What more could you want!!!

14. Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for.
Whatsapp. I get to text people all over the world. I have a family group, where we text all kinds of things to each other. I have a ladies’ night group, where we make plans each month. I even have a wine group, where I just text out and my mates are there waiting with a glass. (ok, they don’t really wait for the text, but you get the idea).

15. What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for?
I’m looking forward to another exciting year with my fabulous family!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Brighter Than the Sun - Darynda Jones

I'm a huge Charley Davidson fan. I mean, seriously, what's not to like about this girl. She's a PI, she names her body parts, she's strong-willed and feisty, and, let's not forget, she's the Grimm Reaper!

For eight books, I've followed her and her antics. And while I love her, I also love Reyes. You know, the son of Satan.

So then here comes Brighter Than the Sun. This is Reyes' story. According to Goodreads, it's book 8.5 of the series. I'm thinking it fits in better after book 1. But does it really matter?

First Grave on the Right introduces us to Charley and Reyes. We see how they meet and as we grow to love Charley, we also love Reyes. But he's always a part of her story. This time, it's his story.

In Brighter Than the Sun we learn Reyes' side of the story. We are brought into his nightmare with Earl. We see his love for his sister Kim. And we learn how Charley saved him from the nightmare that was his life.

If you're a fan of Charley's, and how could you not be, you'll love Reyes' story too.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Five Greats

Another fabulous week has come and gone. We had some great highlights. Check it out.

1. Flowers

Out new house has a little, but lovely garden. This week, I came home to find my housekeeper clipped a few flowers, to brighten the inside of our house as well.

2. Girls' Night

A great evening filled with friends, food and laughs.

3.  Teacher Conferences

Ethan's teacher had great things to say about my boy. So we celebrated with milkshakes. 

4. Blue Jays

We may not be at home, but that doesn't mean we're not as excited as everyone else over our beloved Blue Jays.

5. My Boy

The Grade 4 students had their first Interhouse. This one was on athletics. And I just love this shot of Ethan. He ran the 200m, and even though he came in third, you can see the joy in his face as he crosses the finish line. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Witches of East End - Melissa de la Cruz

Meet the Beauchamp women. They are witches, who are forbidden to use their magic.

Joanna is the mother. She has the power to heal. For centuries she has been forbidden to use her powers, but when a little boy falls ill, she goes against the council's orders, and heals him. Soon, she starts helping others, and even brings one back from death.

Ingrid is the oldest daughter. She has the power of foresight. Having lived a quiet life as a lonely librarian she feels compelled to help her friend, suffering from infertility. Soon, word gets out that she can help, and women come to her for help and her "magical knots".

Freya is the wild one. She's fallen in love with Bran and is engaged to be married. But she's drawn to his brother. And her happiness spills over to her work, as a bartender, where she begins making magical potions that allows others to fall in love.

It would appear all is well, despite them using their magic, until things in their little down go bad. An elderly couple is attacked, a young girl goes missing, the waters are polluted and people are getting extremely sick. Is this the work of the witches? Or is there something more evil out there?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chef Ethan

Ethan has started cooking classes again this term. Last week, they made a fruit salad, vegetable salad and a vegetable soup. It was great seeing Ethan try new foods, and even decide which veggies would compliment each other in a soup.

This week's class was about roasting vegetables. The kids were introduced to herbs and spices. Fresh and dried. They were then asked to choose 3 fruits they wanted to roast and 3 vegetables. These were then split into two, and different herbs and spices were used. I love how the teacher has the students choose the fruits, veggies, herbs and spices.

The next day, Ethan decided he was in charge of the side dish. Ethan decided we were going to have carrots, cauliflower and zucchini. And we would have some rosemary to add some flavour.

Busy chopping

The veggies

Carefully washing the rosemary

Adding the rosemary

Out of the oven. Dinner is ready!

Thank you Ethan. The veggies were great!