Three Things Thursday: Egypt, Blogging and Friends

1. The Practice Run

When we went to the Toronto airport to pick up Abby, we happened to see the Egypt Air flight leaving Toronto bound for Cairo. As my husband watched it go down the runway, he decided he would do a practice run to see what this will feel like when we fast forward to August when Jade and I are actually on that flight.

After the flight took off and was out of sight, Chris reported that the practice run didn’t go too well. 😦 On the positive side, we know that we will be dearly missed and loved while we are away. 🙂

2. Abby’s New Blog

My stepdaughter, Abby loves photography and has just started her own blog Just A Quick Snap. This means sunsets, sunrises and a whole new view on looking at the world. Special moments like eating sub sandwiches by the waterfront as we look for photo opportunities make life extra meaningful. Doesn’t the small and simple stuff always stand out in the end? Even if it has to take place at 5 AM in the morning?

2015-06-25 04.44.17

3. A New Friend

When did making friends become like dating? I am sure when I was in school, there was zero thought about how to make friends. As you get older, this becomes more complicated. Will we have anything in common? What should I wear? What if I get something caught in my teeth while I am eating? What if we have that awkward silent moment? Anyway as I was going to meet a new friend yesterday for lunch, I realized that my students have it so much easier. Oh to be back in grade 3!

(A special thanks to the wonderful blog, Nerd in the Brain who is the mastermind of Three Things Thursday.)

Why I Feel Thankful Today

The first day of school.

Nervous, anxious, excited, overwhelmed maybe?

Lots of feelings erupt as we reflect on many of our firsts.

The first day I began this blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I had never followed a blog before nor had I read one on a continual basis. I was a “search for travel destinations for families with teens” kind of Internet person. That was it.

I didn’t understand the bare bones of writing a blog, never mind the intricacies of the blogging community. But what a find this has been.

This is a real community of people (strangers who become “friends” so to speak) who support and encourage each other right in my own kitchen. An unbelievable way to use technology to learn and step outside my box; at least vicariously.

Since I began to blog a couple of months ago, I have met people from around the world and learned what makes them tick. I have an Icelandic recipe that Jade and I have to try, I have a ghost town I need to see, I have a south Indian route I need to visit, I have wildlife I want to see in South Africa, I am learning how stigma affects people (people with mental illnesses, people who are single parenting, people who are widowed etc.), I have a new appreciation for Canada and dogs that are cutely dressed but most importantly I have learned that I am not alone in wanting to share and connect with others.

There is a world of talented, witty, creative people awaiting me and I want to thank you, my readers and all those blogs I read, for all that you share. In particular, I would like to thank La Sabrosona of My Spanglish Familia who recently nominated me for The Encouraging Thunder Award which I really appreciate. Even though I don’t feel comfortable passing it on to only one person, I would like to say, anyone who reads what I write, is deserving of being recognized as being encouraging. Be sure to pop on over to La Sabrosona who is a very talented, creative and witty writer who shares stories of her bi-cultural family (Mexican and Canadian) and mental illness. I learn something new from her daily!

20150429050517119This is what the award looks like. Just so you know 🙂 Muchas gracias La Sabrosona.

Reflecting on the A to Z Journey

A to Z took the

Best out of

Cheryl and the Family C who were

Determined that

Every post be obsessed with travel and

Finished oh so timely.

Grateful to

Hear from you who were so very

Inquisitive, interesting,

Joyful and






People who were

Quick to

Relate and respond with a clever dash of a

Sense of humour.

Though A to Z is


Verboten as of now,

We can hope to

Xtend our blogging friendships until next


Zee ya later and all the best 🙂

From Cheryl and The Family C who enjoyed travelling from A to Z.

The Family C – Somewhat Divided by A to Z

(Jade, my teen daughter/writer, shares her point of view on the A to Z Challenge that I signed up for.)

No one told me that this challenge would be hard, nor did they say it would be easy. Though the most important thing that was left out, was the fact that this challenge involves me.

Shouts and calls heard from the kitchen are met by impatient groans. I rise once again to help my mother with her challenge, as she presents a poem she has written. I make a deal with her as I read over her poem that lacks poetic characteristics. If I help her, she will go to the grocery store and buy me some snack food.

I don’t believe you understand just what it is like to live in the “Family C” household at the moment. I sit on the couch, writing stories on my computer as my mother sits in the kitchen, writing entries to her blog. Of course, every time a post is soon to be published, I am called.



“Can you come here please?”


“I want you to read this before I publish it.”

I groan and walk over to the kitchen, sitting down on the chair to read her story. I correct her work as she has given me the fun job as her editor. Unlike an actual editor’s job. Not only do I correct her pressing grammatical errors and misunderstood attempts with English punctuation, I also get to explain each time why I removed that semicolon.

At this point, when my mom has returned from her part of the deal and has read to the point of my last paragraph, I know what she will say.

“Don’t add that, Jade.”

“Sorry, too late. Imagine those words etched in stone, instead of completely removable by the click of a button, Mom.”

But as I did promise to write about my experiences of dealing with her A to Z challenge, and she is being a lovely mother at the moment by fulfilling her part of our deal, I shall write.

Dealing with the A to Z challenge is a pain in my neck.

And I’m not the one doing it.

I come home after school to discover sticky notes plastered on our walls and my mother sitting at her desk, either writing or eating salad while intensely staring at her computer screen.

She turns to face me and asks how my day has been.

This is my moment.

I now have five minutes to squeeze in my entire day before her next inevitable question.

“So, I was wondering if you had an idea for what I should do for the letter …?” or “So, I wrote this today and I want to know what you think.”

What started off as a good idea, something for my mother to have fun with has turned into a full fledged project. My mother working as the leader, while I have a part-time job as the whole committee. I must edit, I must share opinions (but not too many because then I am a teenager with an attitude problem apparently), and I must tell her that I like it.

Though she is having fun doing the challenge and telling me what people from other countries are saying, I am not having as much.

(Jade has now returned to her couch to her own writing and is happily snacking away on her chips. I, on the other hand, am reflecting on whether the above paints me in a bad light 🙂 Oh well and I hit the publish button.)

Revealing The Family C From A to Z

I am a beginner.

I like to take it easy at first. You know the easy runs before the black diamond ones. Just to warm up…

So why did I sign up for something called a CHALLENGE already?

Allyson, officially my step-daughter, but I tend to say daughter, tells me it is because I is for insane which describes my new blogging life.

Well… whether I am insane or not and the jury is out still, I have committed to an A to Z challenge for April; blogging each day on a topic (loosely used term) beginning with a letter of the alphabet.

And hold on to your hats (winter ones still if you live in Canada!), the time for the big reveal is here.

Me (a forty year-ish mom of 4) “Coping” With My OTD (Obsessive Travel Disorder) Through Adjectives 

Hang on for the trip! April is just around the corner and then check in to see what A will be for…

The Blog Meltdown x 100 posts = Not A Fun Way to Celebrate

So I guess things were just going too smoothly or I was getting a tad over-confident. You see, I am  NOT a tech loving or a tech understanding kind of person. That was painfully clear to anyone within 100 miles of me yesterday.

I had just posted 100 posts and it was time to celebrate…Cheryl style. So I began to organize my blog by creating some space by deleting photos that I had uploaded. NOPE, it didn’t occur to me that said photos being deleted were actually linked somehow 😦 to my posts and by doing so, I was basically UNDOING the 100 posts instead.

It wasn’t a pretty sight when I discovered this fact. Kudos to Jade for staying in the same house with me as I began the looooooong (read: 10 hours) arduous process of finding photos again (not too well-organized on our computers.. first mistake), uploading them and then inserting them all over again.

Oh yah, and then I have that slight OCD/perfectionist thing happening, that says – these don’t quite look like they did before. Are they better this time or how did they look last time exactly? blah.. blah…blah…

So the next time when I hit 200 posts (if I survive long enough to get there) I will be shutting down the computer, like normal people, and breathing a big sigh of relief.

Here is to 100 more 🙂

Why I Want To Blog

Having recently begun this blog to share and document some travel memories and stories, I have thought about all the trips I have made a loooonnnnng time ago… the ones I seem to barely remember except for those few details that stand out such as:

Italy – first trip – not our honeymoon ha ha – sleeping inside the Venice train station to save money

Greece- independent trip – dressing in togas and partying (a bit too much) in Corfu

Greece – school trip – sneaking out the hotel window to meet some guys (yup…me… the rule follower) Oops, Jade just read this as she prepares to go on her first school trip to Europe!

Czech Republic – it was called Czhechoslovakia then and Prague hadn’t been discovered yet so was less of a fun zone and more of a sombre zone; everything in the stores seemed like it was under counters and you had to pick by pointing; overall I remember it as pretty but depressing

West Germany and East Germany – taking the train from West Germany into East Germany and being drilled by the soldiers/customs people (?) and their dogs about our purposes for travel

East Germany – going through Checkpoint Charlie and spending the day fending off requests for our jeans and watches

Anyways with digital photos, computer, blogs and technology, it makes me wonder about the travel I did before these inventions – as those memories fade, and the photos can’t be found, and the letters have disappeared… did they really exist if there is no evidence of them… other than these foggy strange memories that stand out from the rest?

For the most part, my kids do not know anything about those trips; just quick references to having been there and the odd thing I can conjure about the place. For that reason, I want to blog about our travel adventures now, so they too, don’t wake up and wonder one day what was so special about Guatemala or what exactly happened on that Sahara trip.

So I am going to blog for them and for you, the odd soul who enjoys a crazy story or two, or just likes looking at pics, like I do.

Hope you enjoy 🙂