Breaks. And Cronuts.

It has been a good weekend.

My daughters, who I love and adore to bits, are away at sleepaway camp and I won’t lie, it’s a good break and rest for everyone. I miss them and think of them, but I am completely enjoying the freedom that comes when they are away. Dinner over the kitchen sink? Why not. Impromptu evening out with a friend? Bring it on. Long lazy evenings on the front porch? Sign me up.

Oh, but that happens even when the girls are here. We know how to enjoy summer.

I even got to try a cronut yesterday thanks to the generosity of a new neighbour. It was sweet, sticky and delicious, but chewy. Why was it chewy? Croissants aren’t chewy. Donuts aren’t chewy. Why is the combo chewy?

And now I’m having coffee on the front porch. The weather has turned cooler after an oppressively hot and steamy week. I have just a few chores to do, but the rest of the day will stretch out and be relaxed.

Breaks are good.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My Daughter Has Been Doing Some Reading

The other night I was tucking 11-year-old Niamh into bed where I found her curled up with my laptop. I’m reading your short stories she said. I like them.

Earlier in the evening I had opened a file containing 5 linked stories about runners in a running group that I had written about two years ago. I’d set them aside at the time, unable to look at them anymore. I was considering going back to edit them with fresh eyes, and so I had left them open on my laptop.

Were they age-appropriate I wondered aloud?

Well, “Martha” wasn’t, she told me. But I really liked the second one. It was sweet.

It’s strangely flattering to have your child compliment you on something you wrote.

I raced through the stories in my mind, and then later on read them all the way through. These quotes were some that she may have flagged as inappropriate.


“It will be all right. You’re a strong girl and you are going to run this marathon and then you are going to kick his ass.

“Damn it,” Tina thought as the tears formed. “Damn it damn it damn it.”

What the hell was I thinking, Martha asked herself as she got off the bus into the cold downtown air. They’re gonna be a bunch of goddamn snobs in their fancy Lululemon clothes…. I should turn around and go home. I can go for a run from there and forget this f***ing running club.

I was back a few times, in and out of rehab, but Jesus I wasn’t there for him. I’ve only gotten my s**t together in the couple of years.

Kyle is a total ass who didn’t treat her nicely and was always late picking her up, or not showing up entirely.


Well, it could have been worse. And then it was.

The following morning Niamh was reading the newspaper and found an article about a horrific court case that just closed in Ottawa. Having already read the paper before she was awake, I had tried to bury the article at the bottom of the pile of papers because I know that she flips through the newspaper every day. I was leaving to go to work when I saw that she was reading the exact article I was hoping she wouldn’t see. I couldn’t tell her to stop reading it because I knew if I made a big issue of it then she would be inclined to hide what she reads. I didn’t have time to stop to talk about it right then either, so I chose to leave her be and follow up with her later.

I had better do that soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Look What We Did Today






She’s eleven going on twenty-five now. We are sending the ponytail off to one of the organizations listed on the Canadian Cancer Society’s website.

Thanks to Stella for inspiring Niamh to grow her hair. It was a great experience.






Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Bird Attack

Remember when birds were attacking runners on the canal last summer?  Yeah, it turns out it’s not as fun as it sounds.

I was walking to work last Friday morning and I wasn’t anywhere near the canal. I was on a bike path though, with a lot of greenery running alongside, when I suddenly felt something hit my head and I felt some scratching too. I didn’t see it coming and it took me a few moments to realize that I had been attacked by a bird.

I ducked and screamed. The people coming from the opposite direction on the path didn’t make eye contact with me when we passed. I played it all cool and acted like nothing odd had just happened because that’s how I roll. Sigh.

My head felt a bit weird when I got to work but I didn’t feel comfortable asking my colleagues to check it for scratches. I’m shy that way. I tried taking pictures of the top of my head with my phone in the bathroom (yes I really did), but I couldn’t get a clear shot. It’s not easy to take a picture of the top of your head, apparently. Or maybe you need to be a better photographer than I.

Now I’m just waiting for the fever and terrible illness to set in. I’ll keep you posted.

No wonder people didn't make eye contact

No wonder people didn’t make eye contact

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments


My eleven-year old daughter wrote a series of poems as part of a poetry project. This was my favourite.


You do not know what it is like to check what is in everything you eat.

You do not know what it is like to sit aside and watch kids eat tasty treats.

You do not know what it is like to refuse a treat that you really want to eat.

You do not know what it is like to have people say “this is the best treat ever” right in your face.

So why don’t we make a rule that stops me and everyone else with allergies from being left out?

If you think this is unfair for everyone else try being me for the day.



Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

This is what Mother’s Day is all about

Eleven-year-old Niamh gave me a Mother’s day poem on Sunday that I loved more than I can possibly describe. It was written in French, and talked about what kind of flower I would be if I were a flower (an orchid), what kind of emotion I would be if I were an emotion (happiness because I make her happy) and what colour I would be if I were a colour (blue because I like blue).

And then this:

If I could give you anything in the world it would be all my love and a new e-reader because you like to read.
Happy Mother’s Day and I love you so much.
P.S. Sorry for the cheesiness. Madame said we had to copy this layout. But I still want you to have a new e-reader.

This girl is so much like me it is boggling.


Half of this painting was painted by Niamh and the other half by Beatrice. It sure does brighten up a government issue pod.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Running Playlist – 2013 Edition

It’s that time of year again – Ottawa Race Weekend is just two weeks away. After being too injured to run the half marathon that I trained for last year, I decided to sign up for the 10K. The really long runs were just too much of a grind, so I thought the 10K would be a nice change.

But I just haven’t been into it this year and I haven’t been training properly. I’m not expecting to be happy with my time and I’m even considering not running after all. I’ll see how it goes.

Regardless though, a good playlist makes a run. So back by popular demand (ha), I’m posting for you my most favourite songs to run to. This list is guaranteed to shave a few minutes off anyone’s time. This year’s playlist will be shorter than usual because it’s geared for a 10K instead of a half-marathon. There’s almost an hour and a half of music here.

As always, I will caution you. If you’re looking for Lady Gaga, you haven’t been paying attention.

Finola’s 10K Playlist

Save it for Later by The English Beat
Your English is Good by Tokyo Police Club
Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry
We Dance to Yesterday by Hawksley Workman
Closing Time by Semisonic
There is a Light that Never Goes Out by The Smiths (you can SO run to The Smiths)
Pretty in Pink by The Psychedelic Furs
A New Day by Mary Margaret O’Hara
Ruby Soho by Rancid
Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes
Vampire Weekend by A-Punk
Closer to Fine by The Indigo Girls
A Girl Like You by Edwin Collins
Punk Rock Girl by The Dead Milkmen
Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure (you can SO run to The Cure)
Supernatural Superserious by R.E.M.
The Passenger by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Ho Hey by The Lumineers
Let It In by Sam Roberts
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men (You will want to do heel kicks to this one. Be careful, don’t fall)
Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman
There She Goes by The La’s
Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins
Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones
Laid by James

Happy Trails!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments