I was a 90 day fiancée

I had grown up in malls in New Jersey, Trevor was a true outdoorsman raised in the wilds of northern British Columbia and Yukon. It was October. I had just driven from Marlton, New Jersey to Whitehorse, Yukon, almost entirely by myself. I was wearing shorts when I left; it snowed on arrival. My paperwork was delayed by 9/11.

"creative borrowing": relax, it's not a caravaggio

Imagine this...you (call yourself @Esteyban) create a meme inspired by something profound your friend said and slap your handle in the middle of it. You appropriately credit your friend for the idea, because you’re an upstanding guy. Someone (@livesosa) comes across your meme on social media. He’s inspired! So he covers your handle - your signature - with his own and distributes it across his social networks as if he made it. But surprise! The meme contains a blatant math error that makes grade 2 teachers cringe. It goes viral, redistributed by other non-mathletes and many others that simply find amusement in other people's mistakes.

Oh, The Things He’ll Know When A’Travelling We Go

I am not well travelled – yet. But for 8, my son James is off to a fair start. As I write today, we are in beautiful Cahuita, Costa Rica. James has been throughout Canada, to parts of the US including Alaska, to Mexico and to Costa Rica (now twice). We have bigger, far aflung dreams. Our dreams never include destination resorts and take us to tucked away places where it’s possible to take in local culture and customs a little ways off the beaten trail.

today, we're almost all on time together

There was once a time when New Year’s Eve heralded the one time of year we were all on time together. My family and friends counted down the seconds as we watched a twinkling “Big Apple” drop. At zero, a cacophony of noise blowers, cheers, fireworks, and even banging of pots and pans erupted simultaneously across our time zone. Perhaps our watches and clocks were synchronized for the big moment, but likely not.

perfect, more or less (aka "a perfect home for tortoise")

The following evolved from a (now bygone) bedtime ritual of storytelling in my home. My husband, son and I would each take turns telling stories of our own creation. Quite simply, this is one of mine. It originated with a visit to Gus, resident tortoise of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. For me, it is a lesson about "stuff", giving, and contentment. I hope that you both enjoy and find value in it. - Laurie


THE NIGHT was filled with thunder and lighting and buckets of rain. But when morning came, the sky cleared. Tortoise awoke to the feeling of the sun’s warmth on her shell. She slowly poked her head out to look around.

It was going to be a wonderful day....

Rosa Parks, Harper Lee, Change is a foregone conclusion

Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ legendary refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. She was perfectly respectable woman, who having had enough of the nonsense, rather politely disrupted the status quo and played a pivotal role in advancing the Civil Rights Movement. 

I am a woman who likes her social media and news feeds. The outpouring of sentiment commemorating the event, as well as current and historic racial prejudices, prompted me to finally dig into something I have been thinking about - pondering, reflecting, chewing on the idea of writing about – for the past few months. It’s amazing the difference in understanding within the same person within the same pages separated by twenty-five years in time.

un-"stuff"-ing Christmas for people, planet and wallet

I bought a red herring. I bought a red cup.
But like the ol' Grinchy, I'm simply fed up.


My mother and my grandmother always made my Christmases special, joyful experiences. I fully intended to carry on all of their traditions (and then some) when I had a family of my own. But when the time came, I developed a much deeper appreciation for all of their sacrifices and the gifts of their time and energies. It was exhausting and not nearly as much fun as I had imagined. I have become a Grinch / Scrooge / Charlie Brown sympathizer. BAH HUMBUG!

Once upon a time, there was a child who would NOT go to sleep. There were tears, and begging, and tantrums – on both sides. Every night was a battle. Until one day, family reading time became a predictable part of our bedtime routine, and then we all slept reasonably happily ever after...

While reading selections have changed over time, we’ve kept up the habit. My son, James, is now 8. For at least half an hour each evening, electronic devices are put away, and I (it’s usually me, though not always) read aloud from my favourite yellow chair. James and my husband, Trevor, snuggle on the couch while our Berndoodle, Charkie, leans against my legs. 

Thank you, Talking Heads. Maybe "Once in a Lifetime" is simply a mid-life anthem standard, and I missed the memo. But my 41 yo self has just taken a hard look at lyrics I remember singing, unseatbelted, in the back of my mother's old-school Toyota Celica:

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself...Well, how did I get here?