Neet Stuff March 2015: “The Melville Boys”

I was looking forward to seeing Workshop Theatre and Green Productions presentation of Norm Foster’s “The Melville Boys” at the Pumphouse Theatres last night. I read this play about 20 years ago when I was a theatre student. I always wanted to see this play on stage. It took me a couple of decades to see it happen and it was well worth the wait.

It’s great to see a classic Canadian play be produced by a local group with local theatre talent. What could happen when two brothers go to a cabin to do some fishing and drink a few beers?  Family relationships are complicated and when you add cancer to the mix, the unexpected may just very well happen.  One of the brothers has cancer and it’s the big elephant in the room as The Melville Boys head off to the cabin. Their weekend plans are taken off course when they meet two attractive sisters. Facing your own feelings can be scarier than cancer.

Justin Michael Carriere played Owen Melville, Jayson Therrien played Lee Melville, Samantha Duff played Mary and Kayte Davies played Lorreta. The acting was very solid. The climatic scene between Owen and Lee is one of the most intense scenes I’ve seen on stage for a while. Well done.

And then there was the music… The play’s soundtrack showcased classic tunes from the 1980’s and 1990’s. I could not help but feel nostalgic for that time.  Come on, who doesn’t remember the song “Patio Lanterns” by Kim Mitchell?! Anyone? Come on! That song reminds me of summer and camping.

Norm Foster’s “The Melville Boys” runs until March 21, 2015 at the Pumphouse Theatres. Limited tickets are available through

Workshop Theatre and Green Productions presents Norm Foster's "The Melville Boys"

Workshop Theatre and Green Productions presents Norm Foster’s “The Melville Boys”


Scenes From “Waldorf Salad” From “Another Evening at Fawlty Towers”

This has to be my favourite Fawlty Towers episode. Scenes From “Waldorf Salad” From “Another Evening at Fawlty Towers”.  #neetstuff #FawltyTowersyyc


New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants

I am so glad someone addressed this very important issue! New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants.

Things You Should Know About Introverts

Things You Should Know About Introverts.

I love this article about introverts.  There have been many people over the years that assume that I am extroverted when in fact I am really introverted.  I remember an actor friend (a definite extrovert) said that introverts could never be good actors.  I disagree.  There is power to being reflective, being an observer and withdrawing from chaos around you.  I like how the article pointed out how being introverted and being shy are NOT the same thing.  Bravo!

Neet Stuff – Norway for a Day

The Norwegian flag flying high above the town hall in Olds, Alberta

The Norwegian flag flying high above the town hall in Olds, Alberta, Canada.  Olds proclaimed Norway for a Day on May 17, 2014.                                                                        

Last weekend I celebrated Norway Day in Olds, Alberta with Grandma.  The country of Norway celebrates its national holiday on May 17th every year.  The Norwegians refer to this holiday as “Syttende Mai” which means ‘May seventeenth’ in Norwegien.  It is Norway’s Constitution Day and this year’s celebration was extra special because Norway’s constitution is 200 years old in 2014. On May 17, 1814 Norway was declared an independent kingdom.  The Sons of Norway‘s  local lodge called Fjellsyn in Olds put on a fine Syttende Mai event to celebrate Norway’s national holiday.  Grandma was the first President of the Fjellsyn lodge over 30 years ago and I was happy to join her on this special day.   The day started out with the Norwegian flag being raised at the town hall then a fine Norwegian feast to follow at the Faculty Lounge at Olds College.  Grandma was seated at the VIP table (of course) with the Mayor of Olds.  It was a very nice way to celebrate Norway Day 2014!


Members of the Sons of Norway at the flag raising ceremony


The event program at the VIP table


Grandma’s Golden Membership certificate


Grandma cutting the cake after lunch



I had the honour of spending the day with this fine Norwegian lady who is 99 years young! She was quite the celebrity at the event!

This is an excerpt from the May 13, 2014 edition of the Olds Albertan newspaper:

Olds Proclaimed Norway for a Day May 17, 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution which was adopted on May 17, 1814  (Syttende mai) at Eidsvoll, Norway.  At the time it was considered to be one of the most radically democratic constitutions in the world, and it is today the oldest, single-document national constitution in Europe and the second oldest in the world, still in continuous use.  (It is based on the American constitution). Syttendae mai is a festive and colourful holiday in Norway.  Norwegian people parade through the streets with flags, wear traditional clothing, sing, visit, eat hot dogs and enjoy ice cream cones! Each year, members of Fjellsyn (which means mountain view) Lodge, Sons of Norway, Olds, also celebrate in a special way.  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the constitution, Olds Town Council proclaimed May 17, 2014 as Norway for a Day.  Members of the local lodge will be celebrating with a small parade at Olds Town Hall to raise the Norwegian flag followed by brunch for members and invited guests.  Local author, Noreen Olson, wrote an inter-active play about the signing of the constitution which will be presented that day. Fjellsyn Lodge has been in existence in Olds for the past 30 years and members live, in and around Olds as well as Trochu, Bowden, Innisfail, Didsbury, Carstais, Sundre, Red Deer, Three Hills, Airdrie and Calgary.  Lodge members volunteer and provide support in various ways within the Town of Olds and County of Mountain View.  Its first lodge president, Ruth Dodd, who is 99 years young, is still an active member. Sons of Norway is an international organization and lodges meet in Canada, Norway and the United States.  It began in 1895 by 18 Norwegian immigrants who realized there was a need to help others in times of distress as well as to gather for fun and fellowship.  The mission is to promote and preserve th heritage and culture of Norway and to celebrate our relationship with other Nordic countries. During the month of May, plan to drop in to the Olds Library to view a display of Norwegian items.

Photo courtesy of

Clipping from the Olds newspaper on May 13, 2014 – Photo courtesy of

Neet Stuff – Spring Cleaning with 40 Bags in 40 Days!

I stumbled upon a great idea the other day.  It was probably one of those days when I was procrastinating and scrolling through my Pinterest.  I found a great website called White House Black Shutters .

The site is featuring a 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. The challenge is about finding the time to do some spring cleaning and using the time during Lent to clean out your closets, organize your space and basically get rid of the crap that fills your home and your mind.  It’s a brilliant and ‘neet’ idea!!

So far I am on bag number 10!  If you follow me on Instagram, you will see my progress so far!  The challenge started earlier in March and I started last week so I am feeling like I am behind and must catch up!

It’s all about getting rid of the clutter.  I really like the word ‘Some of the things I have uncovered and pitched, donated or recycled includes:

  • Bills, statemens and receipts from over 10 years ago (why?!)
  • Toys way past their prime (rattles!!!)
  • Toys that quite honestly I am sick of looking at (sorry my darling, you will find another)
  • Clothes That Don’t Fit.  Don’t buy clothes that don’t fit thinking you will fit into them. Buy right.  Buy smart.
  • A few of my husband’s shirts…. (that’s another blog post on its own so I won’t get into it here)

The decrapifying will continue until about Easter so stay tuned and check out my progress on Instagram!

Neet Stuff – Popular on Pinterest

My Popular Pinterest Pin originally from

My Popular Pinterest Pin originally from

One of my pins on Pinterest is gaining quite the attention.  I never knew when I pinned this pin that it would gain so much attention.  For those of you that don’t know, Pinterest is a visual discovery tool.  According to our friends at Wikipedia:

“Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos.”

Well, this little image with Ellen Degeneres that I pinned to my “People I Admire” board almost a year ago has to date been ‘repinned’ 899 times and has been ‘liked’ 485 times.

I can’t lay any claim to the image.  It was originally sourced from and they should be the ones that get the credit for the image itself.

What I find interesting about the popularity is that it shines awareness on bullying and its impact… or it could be that Ellen is just very popular.  It has also generated quite the discussion on my Pinterest.  Whether you agree or disagree with some of the ‘Pinners’, you have to agree that the pin is bringing awareness to bullying.

No Roses For Valentines Day

Roses are so cliche for Valentine’s Day. I prefer flowers that remind me of spring. Tulips come in such lovely colours. They are simple and not complicated. They don’t try hard and they don’t put on airs. They are bright and promising. Thank you to my hubby!

Exploding Chestnuts, Sprinkles and Other Christmas Traditions

We decided to stay at home during the holidays so we could establish some holiday traditions.  I love to cook and I was looking forward to the holidays so I could spend the time to cook and bake.  With a toddler, I think it’s important to establish some Christmas traditions.  I have great memories of spending time with family during the Christmas season and recall many fun traditions.

One of the traditions I wanted to try was to make gingerbread cookies.  I

First attempt at gingerbread cookie dough - Martha Stewart's recipe.  Needless to say it didn't turn out well hence the wine.

First attempt at gingerbread cookie dough – Martha Stewart’s recipe. Needless to say it didn’t turn out well hence the wine.

always loved gingerbread cookies and I thought it would be fun for my daughter to decorate them.  I just needed a recipie so I found one in my Martha Stewart baking cookbook.  The first batch was very crumbly mainly because I think my baking assistant was adding more flour.

The second batch of gingerbread cookies turned out much better.

My baking assistant with the second batch of gingerbread cookies.  You can't see it but there are more sprinkles on the table than on the cookies...

My baking assistant with the second batch of gingerbread cookies. You can’t see it but there are more sprinkles on the table than on the cookies…

My baking assistant was very good with decorating the cookies although she ate most of the sprinkles.  Sprinkles are a food group according to some… including V.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the Food Network and saw the Gordon Ramsey Christmas special.  He made his version of Beef Wellington.  I was inspired so I decided that his version of this traditional English fare was going to be our meal on Christmas Eve.  This is an intersting recipie because if you watch the video, Gordon talks about adding chestnuts.  However, if you Google the recipie, there is no mention of chestnuts.  To make sure that I am true to the chef, I bought chestnuts at the grocery store. We didn’t have a nut cracker so I decided to roast them in the oven so they would be easier to open.  I forgot to score them and they exploded.  Needless to say I had to clean up the mess in the oven.

Exploding chestnuts and sprinkles.  Great Christmas memories in our household.

Neet Stuff – Fall 2013

It has been a busy fall.  I can’t believe it’s November already!  Here’s some ‘neet’ stuff that I would like to share:

  1. Vanessa is in a play!  I have a part-time gig doing marketing and media relations for a community theatre organization in Calgary –
    Workshop Theatre's production of "Miracle on 34th Street"

    Workshop Theatre’s production of “Miracle on 34th Street”

    Workshop Theatre.  One of their upcoming productions is the classic “Miracle on 34th Street”.  They needed some child extras and she auditioned and got a small walk-on part.

    Now I am sure you are thinking it… Stage Mom.  No, I am not.  I truly believe that you should expose your child to many different kinds of experiences and to share your passions.  One of my passions (and part-time occupations) happens to be theatre.

    I have been involved with theatre since I was in high school.  It was something I fell into after my short run as a figure skater.  After I quit skating (another passion), I was looking for a new passion or interest.  I was not really into sports as a kid and was always involved in music.  One of the music teachers in the small town that I grew up in would put on musicals.  Needless to say, I got hooked.  As a natural introvert, acting and performing on stage made me feel confident.  I appreciated the entire process of putting on a play.  Being involved with a band of theatre people made me feel unique and different.  In a small town where sports seemed to be king, being a drama geek somehow empowered me.  I was not like everyone else.  I was different.

    So, will I be a stage mom?  Sure. I will also be a soccer mom, a martial arts mom, a figure skater mom, a snowboarder mom maybe even a  hockey mom.  I’ll be whatever mom that my kid wants me to be.

    There are many lifelong skills that you can gain in theatre and she can gain confidence. I happen to be involved with theatre.  I want her to see me be involved with something that makes me happy.  There are many other passions that I enjoy and I hope to get her involved with those as well.  My husband has a passion for martial arts and guess what she will start as soon as she is old enough.

    Also, if I am going to be hanging out at the theatre, I may as well have my ‘mini-me’ with me.  My husband will be travelling for work in the latter part of November so I can save money. Babysitters are expensive.  They have ‘rink rats’ and they also have ‘theatre rats’. When I told my mother in law that Vanessa was in a play she said:  “Make sure she doesn’t turn out like Miley Cirus”.  (shudder) Don’t worry.  I won’t.  Please shoot me if it’s going in that direction…

  2. I discovered a great little Mexican food store called Tres Marias in Marda Loop here in Calgary.  It is next to Vanessa’s music school.  They have amazing salsas and the mole is to die for!  They make all their products from scratch and they serve lunch items and have a small seating area.  I have been having their burrittos while I wait for Vanessa on Saturday afternoons.
  3. More date nights!  We have been trying to go on more date nights in the last couple of months.  In October we went out to National on 17th Avenue twice!  Yes, we like that place that much.  Their cocktails are very good.  I recommend the “Hound Dog Hooch” and I think they make the best poutine in the city.  I recommend the duck poutine — very decadent.  My husband loves the beer selection, of course.
    Another place that we went to for date night was Kensington Pub in our ‘hood’.  This is a great little place to go to when it’s cold outside.  You do feel like you’re stepping into an English pub when you arrive.  I recommend the shepherds pie – very traditional and made with lamb. We often like to stick to our neighbourhood because then we don’t have to have the hassle of driving across the city.  Another local find is Brasserie Kensington.  Again my husband likes it because of the excellent beer selection (as long as he has beer he’s happy).  The saffron cream mussles are very good and you can use the pommes frittes to soak up all the delicious juices.  Yum!
  4. I live in an amazing community.  We took Vanessa trick or treating across the street from our condo on Halloween.  There were so many
    Bat girl in the wagon looking for treats!

    Bat girl in the wagon looking for treats!

    kids around the neighbourhood which is very cool to see.  There were people sitting outside of their doors drinking wine around fire pits welcoming everyone that came by for treats.  We were even offered mulberry wine!  (Parents need treats too!)  The neighours are very friendly and inviting during Halloween.  There was a great article I found online about Canada’s greatest neighbourhoods and Kensington was listed as one of them.  No surprise, really.

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