Neon Mamo

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Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 |

I would like to start this blog by offering the most heartfelt  “I’m going to miss you ” to the Wonderful owner of Nuts & Bolts Media,  Andrea.

As many of you now I was lucky around this time last year and won a total Blog Makeover through a contest on Facebook, and had the pleasure of  ‘meeting’ Andrea through texts, emails and the web.  We worked together patiently as she answered my myriad of dumb questions, as I was new to blogging, assuring me each time that no my question wasn’t dumb (trust me I know a dumb question when its asked!  I have worked in Marketing a large portion of my adult life), I waited patiently while she herself was taken down by a flu that took over her home…and joyously we celebrated with the chat and exchange of colours, fonts and decals.  Sadly, after putting a year of hard work, dedication and commitment to her clients, and friends…someone decided it would be funny and she was struck down by a virus or DDos attack (yupp, I copied that from an email because I have no idea what that is!).  Sadly over a week I watched my email as she graciously attempted to keep us all aware of what was going on, apologizing for the inconvenience, the loss of revenue for some, and working diligently at restoring our sites and trust in her and her company.  While I am aware, she was attacked professionally as well as emotionally…I took the time to remind her that HER level of professionalism was unwavering.She herself remained calm in the time of duress and struggle, I was encouraged by her willpower, her loss of revenue, which has resulted in the breakdown of her company….her baby which she dedicated so much time and Energy to over the past years.

SHE herself never failed to encourage us, when we were down, or at a loss…and yet we stood by not able to help her save for following her instructions on backing up our data (Note to self…ask Jesse what that is!). Sadly, she was forced to admit defeat, and with a heavy heart she made sure we were still protected from the wolf at the door and we were transitioned without much fuss to another reliable host.  (That poor boy has no idea how dumb the questions can be 😉 )

Sadly, the door was forced shut on Andrea, yet I am positive she will rise above this challenge and find herself in a brighter environment with stained glass windows…letting the sun shine in and offering her a rainbow on her future.  She taught me many things this past year…she taught me strength, character, fonts, publishing rights, laughing at the little things and embracing the possibilities. She was and will remain a valuable resource in my conquest of the blogging world.

 

Many times throughout my life, I have heard the statement made “When one door closes, another one Opens…” , and I must admit there have been times when I silently shake my head, and think “Sure…sure it does…”, and in my own self pitying state I sludge forward, make a plan…and then suddenly remember that another door did open. I was reminded of this this past week, as I watched in silence from the sidelines, while I embraced the challenges before me.  This is a new beginning for us…Andrea and I both…and we will do amazing things each on our own, but with the memory of the lives we have touched!

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Quirks and Quarks a Generation Apart…Welcome to MY World

Posted by on May 15, 2013 |

Some of us may remember the show that began “Earth, the Final Frontier…these are the voyages…” , this was admittedly, the one show that could grab the imagination of millions world wide.  This was a show that stirred not only the imaginations of dreamers alike, but so embraced a belief that tomorrow could be the day when the hover car would be owned by all.  Gene Roddenberry certainly captured the heart and soul of people all over…and many years later I married one of those.  As mentioned in  previous posts we are  now divorced, but every once in a while he loves to remind me of the similarities between then and now…and I chuckle as I begrudgingly admit it is possible.  He never fails to remind me of the introduction of the automatic door on the Spaceship…each and every time we walk through a Walmart…Nor the funny similarity in the flip phone with a communicator…the” trouble with Trebles “was alluded to when I allowed one of our daughters to obtain a massive guinea pig…for weeks while it resided in our home, he would pass and smile and tell them about one episode or another.  His laughter rings out when one of the kids yells innocently enough “I am not a …” as he recalls an episode with Scotty or the good Dr.  He is that man who can recall every episode of Start Trek, or M*A*S*H…he can compare events to episodes…and the children all humor him.

Soon, we will come together to celebrate the Graduation from Elementary school of our final child…and as we talk and hash over timetables, and when he must be here vs. there…I cannot help but laugh at his ability to bring into the light, some minor trinket of useless knowledge…He is the keeper of all facts and follies from episodes gone by.  I am the keeper of events and tribulations of children growing.  I remember the first word, the first step, the first braiding of the hair…he remembers the first time they took a  hammer and pretended to be Bob the Builder, or when we (aka HE) renovated his office and four young women out of five paraded downstairs to assist him in his demolition.  Enraptured with his stories of this episode of M*A*S*H, this Hockey game of A v. B, mixed among commands of “Don’t pull that there,… Don’t hit your sister with that…”  the memories are plentiful.  The laughter was then as it remains today contagious.  He is our Guardian of useless facts…to this day is something comes up they go to him and say  “Hey Dad…is there?…” and off he goes on yet another educational rant of yesteryear.

Graduation in a very few short weeks shall bring with it, yet another child with a mind encased with trivia and trivial…female this time…but a brain stacked with quirks and queries of various topics.  She is the keeper of all that is new, but she can hold her own in the arena that at one time belonged solely to her father…together they may be an unexplained phenomena…lol….for this I apologize now.  There is nothing she finds trivial in investigating or no topic she believes unacceptable in pursuing…if it is out there, she can and will spend ornate amounts of time expanding her own wealth of knowledge if only for her own satisfaction.  She is the new version of Quirks and Quarks her father was before her…lol.  Sh is the one that while very different from all the rest, and different is a good thing…she is the one who is not afraid to embrace the unexplained and say “Come on Mom…it’s just a ….eyeliner, marker, book, spider, bat….”, over the years she has encountered so many things that her sisters would balk at but she “bravely went where no man had gone before her”…at least in this house!

Today Dad is able to say “Hey Kiki…is there?…” and if she doesn’t know she will embrace the challenge and look forward.  Countless hours spent on Google, Wikipedia, books, YouTube (Yes I do Thank the electronic Gods that this form of entertainment was unavailable for the Ex)…she boldly accepts the challenge to obtain an answer.  Sometimes she can get lost in her task…and like years before when she donned the hard hat and entered into the Dark and dank domain known as Dads Office…she tackles it with a humor and smile that infects us all.  We are pleased to see her learn, have been honored to watch her Grow, and have loved without boundaries, as we have her sisters before her we watch her take those last steps towards high school where I will once again have to take a deep breath, and listen to her say “Mom it’s just a….” (I will stand firm in my resolve to lip piercing and eyebrows kid, so back off now!).  Like the bats she spent so much time trying to alleviate my fears on when she was four (yes 4…you read right…and I still don’t trust anything that can squeeze into a room through an opening of less than 1 cm in diameter!), I have no doubt that the next four years will be yet another adventure into ‘the final frontier”.

Not once in this carnival ride called parenting have we stopped to think that maybe one day one of our children will not succeed in what they want, because despite various learning skills, variables in attitude, dreams and illusions…we believed that combined knowledge was going to be the key to allowing them to embrace this new world.  He with his quirks, I with my Quarks…we come together knowing at the end of the day…that this little person like the four before her will embrace this new challenge with laughter, tenacity, imagination and a desire to seek the unspeakable ..their World is the final frontier, this is their battlefield where they will take on the challenges. It is our job to listen and embrace what they can teach us…and over the past 26 years we have been taught a lot…hopefully for the next 26 or more years (if the ex gets his way those cryogenic chambers will become a thing of everyday…and he can replace a bad knee or more) we will continue to share in the laughter and the joy that each tomorrow brings them.  Maybe one day not to far in the future they will say…”we’ll drive, and pull up in their hover car, allowing their dad one more opportunity to say…”SEE!!!”  and I shall chuckle as I do know and say “Yeah…Earth the Final Frontier…THESE ARE THE VOYAGES…”

Till then, I plan on watching them take the ride with joy in my heart, laughter in my soul and a smile that they are not afraid to take on the challenges that lie before them.

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Celebrate the Laughter…Embrace the Memories

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 |

“Sometimes we are only given a few minutes to be with the one we love and a thousand hours to spend just thinking of them”

Maya Angelou

 

Soon it will be that time of year, where thousands upon thousands will gather and celebrate that one special person who makes us smile, who taught us to laugh at the little things and embrace the impossible dream and make it a reality. Known by the simple name of Mom, Mother, Mama, Mommy ….she is the nurturer, Our care giver, Our holder of all secrets, and the hoarder of Love.  We will embrace the memories of our younger years spent worshiping their existence, and reliving the one single memory that above all else is ours alone.  If you are a single child, those memories will be yours alone, however, if like myself you have siblings…those memories will be shared, but you will still retain that one special memory that is yours and yours alone.  You will have a moment in time that is forever branded in your brain and heart…be it the early morning chats while getting ready for school, or the long car rides from home to work, be it the laughter in the car ride on that long road that never ended open route to the family vacation…or even the long drawn out criticisms over a choice made poorly..there will be memories.  Life is like that…there are memories for everything…but the memory of our parentage is one that holds strong.

Memories are the long road trips, talking about life plans, past boyfriends, memories of her youth compared to ours…the endless comparisons of privilege over what they themselves experienced.  The fears of what tomorrow may bring, and the joys of what today does offer…Mom shares them all.  From the simplest touch, to the briefest hug…Mothers offer it all.  They are proud when you succeed…and they are proud when you fail…because they hold on to that dream that you will one day be something, someone larger than she ever thought possible for you.  Mothers are the ones that offer up those unwanted comparisons…sometimes unaware that the psyche is cracking just a little…her goal is focused…she wants you to be all you can be…she wants you to be all she couldn’t be…she wants….

Mothers are memories that sometimes cause stress and anxiety…fears relived as we grow up and embrace the role ourselves.  So many times we say to ourselves…”When I grow up I am not going to be like…” but truth be told one day you will find yourself screaming out in frustration…”Oh my god I have become my mother!”…Some days there will be that moment when you smack your self and say “Whoa…back up a sec…remember your promise?”…and the current stress-or will be replaced with yet another tactic you learned from a friend or  online, or in a group…but nurturing nonetheless…and you will tackle the latest adventure with your child (ren) and hope that tomorrow this small person with eyes like their father, and a smirk like you had when you were that age will survive this thing called life, and aspire to be more than you ever thought possible, more than you embraced…because your faith is that large.  We do this with all the nuturing, angst, laughter, steam and steadfast belief in the child before us….just like Mom did with us.

This year, on Mothers Day, on this fifth year since my own mother passed, I will gather around the table with some of my children…and we will enjoy breakfast and tears as we relive some of the tales of my own misspent youth…the things taught, shared and laughed at with my own mom.  I am sure my sister will remember her her in her own right, as will my brother and my dad…Each of us with our own memory or take on life events, Each of us with our own challenges, each of us with our own regrets, accomplishments and Love…all bonded with one simple thread…the Love that my mother instilled in us.  I will embrace the day knowing that like her, there are regrets, things left unsaid, laughter that was shared, and a Love that encompassed all…good and bad.  I will look upward, and say my Blessings…and remember that although I celebrate her this day…I acknowledge her everyday in my Life, my Love, My Growth and my mistakes…she was the one who would laugh with me when I needed it, and encouraged me when I was down, she applauded me when I succeeded and embraced a dream to be bigger.  The thousand memories I take with me are not overshadowed by the loss of her to cancer, for she is forever with me.

So take a moment to laugh, to share…and remember that the road that leads you here today is because of a woman who never stopped sharing herself with you, your siblings, your family or a stranger. Nothing and no one can take that away.

 

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The Glory is in Not missing the little things….

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 |

Today is a Glorious day!

The Sun is shining, the and windows are open…I am taking a break from the cupcake dedication of this past weekend…and I am catching up on some down time.  Well OK, admittedly, I have done the windows, changed around the kitchen, swept the floors and washed them…but trust me, that is downtime for me!  I have spent a lovely time catching up with some great friends all across Canada on a site I visit daily…and like moms and step-moms alike, we will  share little tidbits of life we have learned.   I never fail to walk away more educated than when I began, and I am grateful for the solace it provides me in times of duress or drama. I live in a house of girls…there is a lot of drama !

Today we discussed convenience, we shared…and I shared that when we moved recently I did away with the microwave…and I don’t miss it.  That one little thing that offers a promise of convenience…seriously is not missed.  I do not miss having to wipe it down, clean off sticky finger prints, the incessant beeping when a child ‘forgets’ her bowl in it…I do not miss the smells, the wiping down yet again because someone forgot to… because the truth is, I rarely used it!  I reheated frozen vegetables and melted butter…Seriously…that is all I used it for!  The children occasionally convinced me to buy microwave popcorn…but I didn’t cook in it…I didn’t use it for meat (no one has explained to me why it turns it grey!) , I didn’t bake in it…so I don’t need it.  I don’t miss it…

I don’t miss the convenience because truth be told it wasn’t a convenience to me…it was a marketing ploy I was sucked into years ago with my ex husband.  I remember the 400.00 version we so proudly displayed…then the one we bought because it has convection capabilities (long before I understood the benefits of convection cooking  LOL…thank you for the science lesson Dougal), then there was the latest…a 10.00 stainless steel treat that someone bought for their mother for mothers day but sadly she passed…I was in the right spot at the right time!  It was pretty, but it played large into my obsessive desire to erase the fingerprints…lol.  OCD at its finest.

What I would have missed completely is the fine art of standing at a stove with my daughters, cooking supper…sharing in the responsibility of dicing, tearing, browning, sauteing, and boiling …all skills acquired in the kitchen years ago with my mom and grandma…skills I can gloriously pass onto my children because while here they will not have the convenience of opening a can and reheating a chemically enhanced meal of epic proportions ..that proves to be neither filling or flavourful.  While standing at the stove, we regale in tales of ‘cajun’ veggies (OK yes, I looked away too long)…I will have missed the look on one daughters face as she realizes exactly what is in a sausage interior…lol…and I will have missed the reminder to wash your hands, wipe the counters, rinse, repeat….lol.  I will have missed my granddaughter standing on the stool,watching water boil…amazed at the bubbles as they speed up and “pop’.  Gratefully her Aunt took over the role of Bill Nye Science guy and explained it to her…The kitchen is the one room in our home where everyone congregates and leaves knowing they are loved.  Tummies filled, laughter  a plenty and a sweet treat to be had.

The Glory is truly in not missing the little things.

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Embracing the Feelings

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 |

I read this one day online, and was moved by the reality of it all.  Today, I would like to share it with you, and my apologies for not being able to credit the person who speaks with such clarity and wisdom.

 

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived; Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all the others……, including Love.
One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave. Love was the only one that stayed. He wanted to preserve the island until the last possible moment. When the island was almost totally under, Love decided it was time to leave. He began looking for someone to ask for help.

Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat.

Love asked, “Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?”
Richness answered, “I’m sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you.”

Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a beautiful vessel.

Love cried out, “Vanity, help me please.” “I can’t help you”, Vanity said, “You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat.”

Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, “Sadness, please let me go with you.” Sadness answered, “Love, I’m sorry, but, I just need to be alone now.”

Then, Love saw Happiness. Love cried out, ” Happiness, please take me with you.” But happiness was so overjoyed that he didn’t hear Love calling to him.

Love began to cry. Then, he heard a voice say, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he forgot to ask the elder her name. When they arrived on land the elder went on her way.

Love realized how much he owed the elder. Love then found Knowledge and asked, “Who was it that helped me?”
“It was Time”, Knowledge answered.

“But why did Time help me when no one else would?”, Love asked.

Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.”

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Chunky Or Creamy: No-bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Cheesecake

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 |

Chunky Or Creamy: No-bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Those packs with two small cups of luscious chocolate with mouth-watering peanut butter filling inside, those bursting flavors inside your mouth, a pirouette coated with chocolate and peanut butter, that satisfying feeling where you can still taste the goodness even after gulping down water—who wouldn’t fall for this sweet treat by Hershey’s? Aside from being insanely delicious by itself, you can also use this to add flavor to other desserts. In this article, you will know how to make a no-bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups cheesecake. It’s so good you’ll totally forget your name.

To begin with the cheesecake, combine crushed chocolate-flavored grahams, muscovite sugar, cinnamon powder, and butter in a large mixing bowl; mix them until the butter has been evenly distributed to the crushed grahams. In a springform pan, press the crust mixture firmly and make sure the sides are also covered so you can have that crust similar to a cup of Reese’s. Put it in the chiller and let it set for three to four hours. While waiting, you can first play online bingo with your friends at

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