Mi Vida Loca · My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures · nonfiction · postaday

My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures ~~~ May 9, 2016

This is an ongoing list I do every now and then. It helps to remind myself that no matter how bad a day I’m having or what worries I have, there are still small pleasures to be found. I just have to look for them.

Feel free to make a list of your own. Let me know if you do by linking to this one. Thank you and I hope everyone has a wonderful week.


The Incomplete



It’s raining here in Alberta, Canada. Finally, we are getting much-needed and wanted moisture from Mother Nature. This is especially welcome news for the Fort McMurray wildfire that has been burning out of control for days now. My heart goes out to all the people affected. If you haven’t heard, more than *80,000 people have been evacuated from Fort McMurray. It’s burned more than *1600 square Kilometers (994 miles) and still going strong. If anyone is interested in donating to the Red Cross to help these Canadians here is the number to call, 1-800-418-1111. (Fort McMurray is about a nine-hour drive north from me.)

Friends who make me smile. I have some of the best friends in the world. I have yet to meet them face to face but I still consider them my best friends. They listen to me whine and bitch and manage to keep me from sinking into the deep black hole of depression with their sense of humor. I’m a better person for them being in my life.

My mom. She is the strongest woman I know.

Electric screwdrivers. Ha! Bet you never expected that one! I put up some mini blinds and it was nice to have one of these babies to help.

Writing. It saves my sanity some days.

Doctors who listen. Finally got the husbands chemo dose lowered. Maybe he will be able to tolerate it now. Only two more months to go.

People who have great hearts. It got hot here last week. I mean hotter than it should be for the beginning of May. It was 90 something in the house. I turned on the air and it didn’t work. Nothing. Nada. Called a friend who sent over another friend who works on them for a living. He was over that night and fixed it. Didn’t charge us anything. Said we could buy him a beer one day. (It was the same kind man who fixed our furnace this past winter) There really are good people out there.

Good neighbors. A neighbor kid, (well I say kid but he’s probably twenty something) cut our grass the other day. I was worried how I was going to get it cut as of course there is no way the husband can do it. I can’t either with my bad knee and asthma. Asked the neighbor kid and he said he would do it. Which he did. Unfortunately, he’s leaving here soon, otherwise, he said he would do it all summer. He has the cutest  man bun too. haha!

Black jelly beans. They are my favorite as they used to be my dads. I can’t have them often but when I do……nom, nom, yum.



*from this news site…..here.





Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · nonfiction · postaday

Sam and Me Comic

Hello, people! It’s been a long time since I did a Sam and Me comic, so I thought I would do one today.

As many of you know, I won a dog house built by Damon Bennett of the DIY network on tv! Well, a few weeks ago (actually more like last month) I got some help in getting it in the backyard.

It weights about 500 lbs and is almost five feet tall at its peak. Well, needless to say, Sam is not exactly thrilled with it. Can you say ‘spoiled’? haha! I have to admit, I knew Sam wouldn’t go in it much as he’s strictly an inside dog. So it was fun to make a little comic about it. Hope you enjoy!


(c) JLPhillips 2016
(c) JLPhillips 2016



This is what the dog house looks like in real life.

Built by Damon Bennett!




Blogging · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · Stories of my life · Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday Whatever!

Another fine edition of Wednesday Whatever! Coming to you from the windblown town that I reside from. Nestled miles from the Rocky Mountains in a low laying valley that the wind seems to favor.

(c) Jeff Swenson
(c) Jeff Swenson

It must favor it because it fricken blows every chance it gets! And I’m fricken tired of it! Ahhhhh, that felt better. #%$&*^@ wind! Yes, that is me speaking not so nicely about a part of Mother Nature that she finds rather entertaining, I’m sure. I’m also sure she will get her revenge in time. Ha! It was worth it! Take that Mother Nature!

As you can probably tell…the wind is blowing here today….and yesterday….and the day before that….and…..sighhhh.

I don’t mind the wind most days, really I don’t. I love a gentle breeze as much as the next person. Even in the middle of fricken January. But, when it blows a gale and hinders me from even walking or breathing is when I get a bit put out. Which is what happened today.

Yesterday I needed to go the grocery store. I put it off because the wind was blowing so fiercely that it was cleaning off my patio for me…and I didn’t need nor want it cleaned off.

Today I got up and it was as calm as one would like. Not a single breeze blowing. Absolutely perfect. It was even warm enough that it was melting the snow. Great! So I got dressed and decided to go to the store. I would have whistled if I could have, that’s how happy I was. I would whistle but I can’t. Not to mention my teeth might fly out. Not a pretty sight. Anyway, I got in my trusty, rusty mini van and tootled off to the grocery store.

The sun wasn’t shining, but it was calm and pleasant. I might have even smiled at a perfect stranger. I might have, but I don’t remember. Old age you know. I get to the store and amble inside enjoying the day. I push my cart up and down the aisles, just enjoying being by myself for a while. It doesn’t happen too often folks, so I was enjoying the novelty. I finally get to the check out with my few items and smile at the cashier. She’s a nice lady that often checks me out.

We chat for a few minutes about this and that and of course, the weather. We both comment how nice it was to have calmness after the terrible winds we’ve been having. I glance out the big windows in the front of the store and notice it’s still calm. I smile. I’m happy. I finish paying for my purchases and walk toward the exit. I don’t even mind waiting behind the lady that decided she needed the whole doorway to stop and put on her coat. Slowly. To tuck her scarf just so around her neck and pull on her gloves. While I’m patiently behind her just wanting to load my groceries and go home.

Finally, the lady is done getting dressed and we proceed out the door. At my store there are two doors you need to go through to reach the outdoors. They have doors on both ends of the store. Well, the lady in front of me goes off one way and I go off the opposite way. I go through the next doors to what was a nice morning into Mother Nature’s perverted sense of humor. The wind threatens to knock me off my feet while it steals my breath away. Literally. I couldn’t fricken breath the wind was that strong.

I hang on tight to the cart that wants to turn around and go back into the store. I push it to my van and open the back-end all the time trying to breathe while the wind rams my breath back down my throat. %#(%&^ wind! I get the back door open (it’s the kind that opens upward). I grab my bags and stash them as quickly as I can. Suddenly I feel this large thump on the top of my head. The wind had pushed the door closed on top of my head! Ouch! Dammit! I shove it back up and stow the rest of my stuff in the back and quickly close the door.

images (2)

I let loose of the cart for a second! Just a split second! The wind whips it toward the parking lot and almost into an oncoming car. I grab it in the nick of time while still trying to stay upright in the battering wind. If I could have had enough breath to curse I would have! The wind didn’t give an inch.

I manage to push the cart back to the store and walk against the wind back to my van. I get in and narrowly miss getting my leg crushed by the door as I scramble inside. That’s when I start to curse. In between panting. Not my finest moment.

I drive home and hope the wind is a bit calmer by the house. Yeah, who was I kidding? It wasn’t. If anything, it was worse. I get the back-end of the van open once more and the gate so I can tote my bags in. The wind pulls the gate out of my hands and drives a sliver into my finger. @#%^$*# wind!

I pile my bags on the porch, fight the wind to close the gate and open the house door. I manage to get the bags of groceries inside, fighting the wind all the while. I collapse in the kitchen chair and try to catch my breath. I swear I heard Mother Nature chuckling as I rubbed the top of my head and sucked on my sore finger.

#^@%#^$& wind!



How was your day?



Blog challenge · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · NaBloPoMo · Nano Poblano · postaday

Sam and Me Comic

Hello people!

I do hope your weekend has gone well. With our crazy weather, we’ve been having recently (last week snow, today it’s 14C/58F), I’ve decided to do a Sam and Me comic about it. I haven’t done one in a while so why not….




How’s the weather where you are at?




Blog challenge · Blogging · NaBloPoMo · Nano Poblano · nonfiction · postaday

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~ Day 12

Hello, people! The week is almost over with so let the fun begin!

As most of you know, I live in Canada, the province of Alberta. I’ve been here for almost fifteen years now. I’ve come to love this country and consider it my adopted home country. I’m originally from the US. I find the people very warm, friendly and adaptable.

So for today, for all my non-Canadian friends, I am going to list some little-known facts about Canada. Just in case you want to come visit, you will be informed…maybe not well informed, but informed none the less. 😉




  • Thirty-one percent of Canada is taken up with forests. Now for me that’s one of the best reasons to love this country!
  • Caribou (reindeer) live in Canada
  • Macaroni and cheese is the number one purchased packaged grocery item!
  • St Louis du Ha! Ha! is the name of a real Canadian town and is the only town name in the world that includes two exclamation points.



  • Canada is the best G20 country in which to be a woman.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the world’s Maple syrup is made in Quebec
  • 15,500 of the world’s 25,000 polar bears live in Canada
  • 130-km north of Winnipeg is the Narcisse Snake Dens conversation area, where each spring, tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes slither out from their dens for a few weeks from mid-April to early May. Fortunately, there are viewing platforms set up so you can watch them from afar.
  • There are million-dollar highway overpasses in Banff National Park which were built just for animals and have been used by grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, wolverine and lynx. We love our wildlife and try to make it safe for them and people.
  • Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National park is bigger than Switzerland and it was created in 1922 to protect world’s largest herd of roaming Wood Bison, and the park is also home to the last known nesting site of whooping cranes.



There you have it folks. Some interesting facts about Canada. Hope you enjoyed it!




Blogging · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday

If We Were Having Coffee


If We Were Having Coffee


Hello! Come on in. Let’s have a nice visit, shall we?

Whatever you would like to drink, I’m sure I can find something to suit you. As for me, I’ll have my usual coffee.

It’s been a while since our last coffee clutch hasn’t it? We will have to catch up on each other’s news. Sit, please, make yourself at home. Don’t mind the cat and dog hair. It’s been too long since I vacuumed. I try to keep up with the housework, but when I’m the only one able to do all the house chores I fall behind sometimes.

Also, housework equals boring. 😉


If we were having coffee, I would first share with you the news that today is Dave’s (Rara’s husband also known as Grayson Queen) memorial service was this morning in California. Sadly he passed away way too soon. I still am not quite over the shock on how fast it came about and that he is really gone. I do know of a few bloggers who will be attending the memorial. One for sure is DJ Matticus who has asked fellow bloggers to wear blue today in honor of Dave and Rara.

Rara, I have heard will be attending the memorial. She won’t be shackled (thank goodness), but she will be wearing her prison blue uniform. So, I have worn a blue blouse to show support. We love and miss you Rara.

If we were having coffee, I would also like to mention Mental Mama’s (Erin) Summer Drawing Contest. I completely forgot about it for Friday and I feel terrible about it. So I did a quick and badly drawn J for her contest. I haven’t drawn anything in many years. So I hope you forgive how bad it is. Next time I will be drawing a flower and hopefully it will turn out better.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you what glorious weather we’ve been having in my little corner of Alberta, Canada. Wonderful spring warmth and plenty of sunshine. The flowers are in full bloom and the grass is getting tall.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I am enjoying writing and interacting with readers on my story ‘The ABC’s of Death’. I’m up to chapter 39 and getting closer to the ending. I love how my readers get into it and root for the good guy and boo the bad. You guys are the best!

If we were having coffee, I would update you on my mom and brother’s health. The last we spoke my brother survived a brain aneurysm and my mom thought she was having more heart problems. I’m happy to report both are doing fine now. My brother is back home and taking care of his cats. My mom doesn’t have any extra heart problems. Although the doctors did find her extremely anemic. That is being taken care of with medication.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am planning on adding to my very bare Pinterest boards this weekend. I have read some really good advice on setting up boards on there for writers. I know, I know, it’s a major time suck, but it is a lot of fun. Wish me well and if you hear me yelling for someone to save me, throw me a lifeline will ya? LOL

That’s about it for now. I do hope all those that are celebrating Memorial weekend have a safe and wonderful holiday. Please, don’t forget what the holiday stands for. Even if you aren’t celebrating it, give a moment of silence and thanks for all our men and women in the armed forces throughout the world. They deserve our respect and more.


Weekend Coffee Share is the wonderful idea of Part Time Monster. Come and see what it’s all about and read other Coffee Share’s.  

Blogging · Humor · postaday · Sunday Smiles

Silly Sunday ~~~ Groundhog Day Edition

Hello people!

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. For some of you it’s already Feb. 2, but just bear with me. 😉

I don’t believe that the groundhog can tell whether we will have 6 more weeks of winter or not. But it’s a cute little critter and there are some that do believe. So who am I to say nay or yay? So for all of you here is my Silly Sunday Groundhog Edition. Enjoy!












Cee's Share Your World · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday

Baby, Let’s Do It One More Time! ~~ Share Your World, Week 48

Hello People!

So, you want to know more about me. Good grief! Don’t you know enough?? Ok, ok, my fans awaits! Onward!

You can blame Cee over at Cee’s Photography for this! She’s to blame! She twisted my arm into doing this! Well, ok, not really, but I thought you all could do with a bit of drama today. No? Hm, everyone’s a critic.

Yeah, yeah, I’m getting on with things.



What are your favorite toppings on pizza?

I’m a classic kind of girl. (Not to be confused with classy, HA!) We have a place here called Panago’s Pizza. They make the best pizza. My order is always the same. Panago Classic, which has sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, and black olives. I always order extra cheese too. Yummy! Oh, on a thin crust.

I want to learn more about …

Writing, painting and anything else that sounds interesting to me.



What are three places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

The Rocky Mountains here in Alberta. Amazing, beautiful and breathtaking. New Mexico and any other place I’ve been. I mean each place has its own kind of beauty and interesting places to see.

Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or the cupcake first?

Well, I don’t often have cake or cupcakes. When I want to really treat myself I will buy a cupcake over cake anytime. I love some frosting, some others not so much. I don’t eat one or the other, I eat them together. After all, it’s not an oreo cookie.





So what’s your favorite dessert? 



Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · NaBloPoMo · Nano Poblano · postaday

Finishing The Sentence

Hello People! I hope everyone is having a great day today!

I couldn’t think of anything to write about today. My mind was a complete blank. (Hush those that are laughing!) So, I did what any self-respecting blogger would do. I went looking for a prompt! I found one over at Mark’s. (Mark Bialczak) He put up a list for all us on Team Pepper last month, it’s full of different prompts. So thanks Mark! It’s just what I needed today! Whew, I sure am glad I have other bloggers to save my butt on days like this.

This is the prompt:

Finish this sentence: Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I want to ___________. Now use that sentence to start your post. Extra points if your post is more than 500 words long.

Feeling the way I did this morning, here is my story, finishing the sentence.



Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I want to pack my bags and leave for a warmer climate! It’s been cold here in my corner of Alberta, Canada. Right now it’s -13c (9F). With the sun shining brightly. Now one would think after all my years of living here (13 now), I would be used to the cold.

Nope, I’m not. I hate it. If I remember right, it’s one of the reasons I moved from Wisconsin so many years ago. Because it was freakin‘ cold in the winter! I don’t like being cold, it makes me cranky. It makes my old bones creak, moan and hurt. But, isn’t there almost always a but? But, I love the snow. Go figure right?

I love when the first snow falls and the landscape looks picture perfect. All the dull browns of a frozen fall are covered up. Snow is so pretty when the sun shines on it and it sparkles like a giant white diamond. I even like the crunch it makes when its super cold outside.

As for the cold itself. No, I don’t like it. Why can’t I have snow in warm weather? Or better yet in the middle of summer when it’s 34C out? Now that’s the perfect time for snow! Think how refreshing it would be to jump in a big sparkly pile of snow when it’s hot out.

Sam (my dog) loves the snow too, but like me, not the cold. He loves to roll in the snow, wipe his face in the snow, plow through like a mini black and white snow plow. Now that’s cute!

Here’s Sam and me in the winter snow.


(c) JLPhillips 2014
(c) JLPhillips 2014


**click on picture to enlarge it**


How would you finish the sentence?




Blog challenge · Cee's Share Your World · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday

All Of Me ~~~ Week 41 2014

Hello people!

Another fine edition of Share Your World, hosted by the talented Cee from Cee’s Photography is here once again. Why not click on over to Cee’s blog and see what all the fuss is about? Better yet, come join us!

This is where Cee asks us fellow bloggers 4 questions every week and we answer them. Great fun in getting to know your fellow blogger friends a little better.

So here we go!


Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

A picture of me is a very rare thing, almost extinct. So yes, I would much rather be behind the camera then in front of it.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Taking pictures of my neighbors gorgeous fall colored tree. It’s been beautiful here in my corner of Alberta, Canada. Sunshine, bright blue skies, big fluffy white clouds and this wonderful tree. Sam and I have enjoyed the fresh air and the sun.


(c) JLPhillips 2014
(c) JLPhillips 2014

What is your greatest extravagance?

Besides books or coffee? Well, actually I find books and coffee more necessities than extravagances. So I suppose I am going to have to admit to buying anything arty and colorful. It can be something cheap and easy like notebooks or pads of colored paper, pens, pencils. Pretty much anything I can afford that is bright, colorful and cheerful. I love to have color around me, even in the small things.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

Now this took some thought. I am going to say the letter B. Why B? Glad you asked! I picked B because I’m curvy and have a tendency to run into myself a lot. Let me explain that one. When I try to do something I really want to do, I’m my own worst enemy. So I run into my inner self a lot. I will make excuses why I won’t succeed, or I’ll even find myself sabotaging myself so I fail. I’ve always been this way. I think it stems from being told most of my life, “You can’t do that.” So I tell myself that. Then I have to talk myself into doing what I really want to do in the first place! So I’m always running into myself. Hmm, does that make sense?


Neighbors Tree from my front porch. (c) JLPhillips 2014
Neighbors Tree from my front porch.
(c) JLPhillips 2014


So that’s it for me this week. Thanks for visiting and thanks for reading. You guys are the best!

What’s YOUR greatest extravagance?