I tested for my Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in December 2009. I wrote this essay for Master Lessard, who was one of my instructors. Patrick, Meaghan and I started off as his students, and when he moved to Chung Won Tae Kwon Do, we followed him there. When Patrick and Meaghan tested for their first Dan Black Belt, they had to complete 200 double kicks on the heavy bag, without stopping, and write a 1000 word essay. Even though it was not a requirement for me, I also completed those tasks. I recently found this essay and realized the lessons still apply, maybe even more than ever.
Four years ago, on September 22, 2005, I tested for my orange belt. This was the start of the journey that has brought me to today, a week away from testing for my black belt. Along the way, I have learned a lot about who I am and what is important to me. Continue reading “What it means to be a Black Belt.”
“Travel with your Grown-up Kids” is a new series I am starting. I will be sharing experiences of travelling with our kids and their partners. I thought that by starting off with this “top ten list”, it might encourage some of you who still have “littles” that things do get easier! Enjoy. Continue reading “Top Ten Reasons To Travel with your Grown-up Kids”
It seems that there is much discussion about the Hallmark channel Christmas movies. There are lists of the “best” and the “worst”, though honestly, I can’t really tell the difference.
With hundreds of channels and streaming services, there are more shows available than ever before. I think it is wonderful that technology gives us the ability to watch shows whenever we want, but it’s kind of sad that we miss the anticipation of waiting for a show, or an event.
Continue reading “Christmas shows you may have missed”
This is a sponsored blog post. The content and opinions are my own.
My friend Craig Prosser of CP Real Designs came by recently to help me decorate for Christmas. On his last visit, he had given me homework to declutter my living room and to get rid of some books that had been collecting dust. I was proud of the work I had done in clearing space.
Continue reading “Decorating for Christmas with CP Real Designs”
Whether it’s dinner on Sundays when the whole family gets together, or something as simple as eating the red smarties last. Traditions help to connect us to our past and create memories for years to come. I was reminded of the importance of remembering special times when I wrote A Life in Review
Continue reading “Connecting Traditions with our Lives”
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119: 105 KJV
This is not going to be a blog about religion, but it is going to reference Scripture because it is the place I first found my love of words, and how those words have helped me to continue my journey of healing and growth. Some people find that in art, or music, I heal with words. Continue reading “A light unto my Path”
I have been at a loss for words lately. I’ve had lots of ideas about what to write, but nothing spurred me on to sit and put the thoughts on paper. I couldn’t even come up with the opening line, of any of the stories that swirled around in my head. To be honest, they weren’t even stories, they were “snippets” of stories, in a sea of nothingness.
I had even stopped reading other people’s stories and blogs, because I was afraid that I would get an idea from them, and then somehow pass it off as my own. Even as I was comforted that many of them were telling my story, the fact that they put those thoughts into form and I couldn’t reinforced my “writer’s block”. Continue reading “It’s only words…”
I have always loved baking. When I was 10 years old, I was making cookies and sharing with the neighbourhood kids. I used a recipe that was on the back of a package of chocolate chips. When I was about 11 or 12, I modified the recipe and it became my own.
Once I got married and had children, I was a stay at home mom, and proudly made cookies for my kids’ lunches using the tried and true recipe from my childhood. I “upgraded” my cookies by using mini Rolo®s instead of chocolate chips to great success, and they became the new favorite.
One day a few years ago, my daughter Meaghan and I were talking about cookies and she told me that she had been jealous of the kids at school who had slice and bake cookies in their lunches because of the designs baked into them. She had been out of school for a while and probably figured it was safe to share that information with me.
She is now living in Newfoundland, and when she was planning a trip to Moncton with her boyfriend, she messaged me to ask if I would be making Rolo® cookies. Of course, I did. That’s the great thing about traditions, they are always there for you, bringing you home.
Michelle’s Rolo® Cookies
I freeze the mini Rolo®s at least overnight and preferably for a few days before baking. It just helps the caramel to not melt as much while in the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 F
½ cup butter (Here’s an easy way to measure butter or shortening if you don’t have a package with measurements on it. Fill a measuring cup with water to the 2 cup mark and add the butter until you get the amount you need. Just make sure to look straight across at the line to see the measure)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (the only kind of “brown sugar” we ever used)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
Spoon dough onto a greased cookie sheet
and bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.
I use a scraper to push any melted caramel back to the cookie. Then put on cooling rack.