How to Beat the Blues…During a Global Pandemic.

How to beat the blues…During a Global Pandemic.

Full disclosure, this is my first global pandemic, so I am not really sure what I am supposed to be doing? Except for staying inside; it’s pretty clear that we need to stay home.

Things just seem pretty messed up; we aren’t sure what day it is? What we should be doing with all this extra time that we now have on our hands; and we can’t figure out how doing pretty much nothing is so exhausting??

It’s only been 3 weeks and many of us are on the verge of falling into a funk; it’s official, we have the blues!

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I did my best to give my; I have the blues, but there’s still hope out there face, not convinced that I nailed it?? Plus I was trying not to laugh. 

Please note that I’m not a mental health expert; I am just an extrovert trapped in her house trying not to lose her freaking mind! But I am a sharer, so I am going to share 5 ways to help you beat the blues; and then at the end I have an extra 7 super quick emergency Blues Busters just in case you’re having a really bad day…you’re welcome!! 💙

Just Stop It!

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We need to turn off the news!! I have to admit that I’m a bit of a news junkie; I live alone so I always have my TV on in the background and it’s usually on one of the news channels. I like hearing voices chatting, so it’s not dead silent. But the constant cycle of bad news is just too much!! We need to stop!! I think we’re all on information overload at this point and it’s causing us anxiety.

Last week I decided that I needed to turn off the news; I’m still getting my daily updates from the CBC, but that’s it! I also cleaned up my social media feeds and hid or deleted people who seem to be stuck in a negative death spiral; and its had an immediate positive affect on my mood!!
If you just do one of my helpful hints, maybe this should be the one?? But the others are also good, so keep reading!

I just don’t think that you can immerse yourself in negativity and expect to have a good day? Actually I know for a fact that you can’t.

It may be a good exercise to ask yourself; is this adding to my life or sucking the life out of me?? I’m currently trying to keep all the life sucking things to a minimum these days!

Move It!

Soooo it’s taken me two and a half weeks to jump on the, Move It, bandwagon. I know how important exercise is and how it can help beat the blues, blah, blah, blah; but in my defense, I really didn’t have enough time to exercise, what with all the naps.

I’ve started daily walks, not leisurely walks, they are get out of my way, I’m on a mission walks; there’s a difference. I’ve also set the goal for myself that I need to do 3 different online workout classes per week; I’m being very strict with myself, ouff I can be so bossy, lol.

I’m hoping that this level, of Moving It, will help my body combat the levels of chocolate that I am feeding it? Sure, I could reduce my chocolate intake, but that would set me on a blues crash course. I mean, we need to do whatever we need to do to stay sane; giving up chocolate at this point in time would frankly be reckless.

My two fav online workout gals are Robin and Josette! To workout with Josette go to Bend City Yoga’s Facebook page; and to have Robin, rock your butt off; go to Move, Sweat, Live on Facebook or movewithrockinrobin on Instagram.


Make a Plan 

We are creatures of habit and not having anything to do sounds amazing, until you actually have nothing that you need to do. On day 6, I think it was a Saturday, but I can’t really be sure? I slept in until past 10am!! And then stayed in my pajamas all day; I think I had 7 meals that day and took 11 naps?? I woke up the next day and decided that I need structure; actually my mom told me I need structure, but whatever.

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So I’m working on a new weekly schedule for myself, since I’ll be off work for the next two months. Here’s what I am planning in order to beat off the blues and keep myself sane. The point is to have things to do and structure your days, weeks…and months.

  • I am going to set up weekly chats and Facetimes with friends and family. My plan is to schedule a few different chats per week; Monday evenings at 6 will be cousins video time; and then Thursday nights could be the night I talk to my friends in Vegas? Those will be in addition to my regular daily chats with my mom and my bffs; I don’t schedule those, they are spontaneous.
  • I am going to create a weekly menu; I think this will help me remember what day of the week it is? Tuesday will be Taco Tuesday, obviously. I’ll make my menu on Sunday evenings; I’ll take inventory of my food so that I can go to the grocery store on Monday’s if I need anything?
  • Clean UP! When I was traveling for work, I would come home and tell myself that I should clean x or y, but I just didn’t have the time. It turns out that time wasn’t the reason my cleaning projects weren’t getting done? lol. My new schedule will include 10 to 15 minutes of light housekeeping when I wake up each day; I’m just going to get it over with first thing each day. And I’ll tidy up my kitchen every evening before going to bed; it’s a pandemic mystery how dirty dishes just keep popping up out of nowhere??
  • I am going to set aside one day of the week as my deep cleaning day. That way I only have to procrastinate one day a week instead of the full week! I think it’s a pretty brilliant plan!
  • I’m going to schedule my, Move It, exercise time and will do my best to abide by those set times…ish.
  • Special projects; If I’m going to beat the blues, I’m going to need to have a few special projects on the go at all times. One will be to focus more time on my blog. This blue theme/global pandemic/I have way too much time on my hands post was my special project kick off! See, I’m already being super productive!

Learn Something New

My friend Claudia wants to finally learn a third language, another friend is going to sign up for an online painting class. I think that I’m going to attempt one fancy cooking recipe per week; I’ll pretend that I’m a contestant on Master Chef! I’ll take out one of my aprons, that I never ever use, and I’ll organize my ingredients like they do on cooking shows. The meals that turn out will be divided into smaller portions; some will get frozen for later and I’ll give a few single serving portions to my mom. Those that don’t turn out will quickly be forgotten; like they never happened!!

Take this time as an opportunity to do or try something that you’ve been meaning to do or try…in your house, don’t forget that part.

Stay Connected

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Social Distancing is lonely!! We miss our friends, our family and our coworkers. I have added staying connecting in my, Make a Plan, section, because it’s soooo important to stay connected in these uncertain times.

My friend, Nadine, has been great at scheduling regular  happy hour chat times for us; those seem to be very popular these days. Sign up for zoom, get your friends together and try it.
The other day, I was loosing my mind and going stir crazy; so I called up my friend Kenda and we had a driveway date. She set up lawn chairs in her driveway and we sat 10 feet apart and chatted in the spring sun! So that’s an option if you need to see a face in person and not just on your phone or computer.

I also have walking partners; we meet up in the woods, which sounds a bit creepy. We take our separate cars, so we aren’t contaminating each other and we walk and talk loudly staying more than 6 feet apart at all times.

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In order to stay connected, you’re going to have to be a little creative, but you can do it!!

Quick Blues Busters!

This one is going to sound simplistically dumb, but make your bed every morning. It will start your day with a formal purpose. Think of it, you’ll have already accomplished one thing before breakfast; and it’s less inviting to get back in bed once it’s made…so I’ve been told.

Music/Dance

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Feeling anxious or angry? Crank up the tunes and sing!! My two favorite places to listen to music are my kitchen, while I am cooking, and in my car; drives in the car are allowed by the way, so crank the tunes and go for a joy ride!!

Let it out!

One of my friends, who I would never picture as a crier, told me that she cried three times in one day this week; which reminded me of when I was a little girl and I would get out of sorts. My mom would tell me to go to my bedroom and have a good cry and then come back out when I was happy. And it actually worked every time.
I think the point is to release stress; cry, go for a run….do whatever you need to do in order to reduce a bit of stress; let it out!!

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Laugh It Off!

Nothing beats the blues like a good laugh! Phone a friend or watch some Netflix; my go to comedians are Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. I also get a kick out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars, Drinking Coffee. They aren’t all funny, but lots are; the episodes with Ricky Gervais made me lol.

If you don’t have anyone to call that can make you laugh so hard that you almost pee your pants, let me know and I’ll set up a quick call with my cousin  Brigitte, for a small fee, she’s pretty funny!

Find Your Spirit Animal

I’ve notices that a lot of people are adopting strays or fostering animals lately. That’s because animals are pure love!!
If you’re unable to have a pet of your own, watch pet videos; it’s almost as good as having one of your own? And you don’t have to clean up their poop.

I love Pluto Living on Facebook; he doesn’t think that cats are that important, but I still love him. And my fav singing dog is on Instagram; bee_bee_the_dog. I don’t have any dog pics on my Instagram account but you can still follow me on at: oui-liette; I can be mildly amusing, lol. Oh and every once in awhile I do feature my brother’s cat Roxy, she’s beautiful, but super cranky.

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Thank you for reading, please subscribe below if you haven’t already; and if you liked this post you may love this one: https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/22/5-bad-ideas-to-avoid-during-social-distancing/

Stay safe! Try to see the positive side of things and if all else fails, watch cat videos!!

muah!

Liette

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Oh S*it! I left my phone at work.

Oh Shit! I left my phone at work!

How I survived 16 hours device free!

I had a hellish busy Monday, I have a huge event starting in one week; today was spent putting out fires and coming up with solutions. But I got through it!!

Safely back home, I reached in my purse to get my phone and it wasn’t there!! A moment of panic rushes through my body; I empty my purse, wow! I have a lot of stuff in here, but no phone!

Hoping it fell out of my purse during the drive home, I rush to my car. I actually went twice, the first time I looked on the seat and floor. The second time, I go back because it may have slide under the seat? Nope, it’s not there.

I debate driving back to work, I am now sure I left it on my desk at work. It’s rush hour and I am more than a little embarrassed that I am really considering driving back to work to get it. Not having my phone is, for reals, causing me to hover on the brink of a full blown panic attack.

After a few deep breaths, I decide that this will be good for me, you know, to unplug for a few hours; and really how hard could it be  to spend one evening sans cell phone? Challenge accepted!!

I do log onto Facebook on my computer to let my brother known that I don’t have my phone and he needs to text my mom to tell her that if she texts me and I don’t text her back that I am not dead in a ditch. I log off and decide, no computer or iPad until the morning.

5:30pm

I am going to cook myself a nice dinner, I just need to run to the grocery store to pick up a few things. While I am waiting in line to pay, I automatically dig into my purse to get my phone. I may have a 3 or 4 minutes of wait time until it’s my turn. Oh yeah, I don’t have my phone; what am I supposed to do while waiting?? Just stand here? Ugh, I get through it and make it back home, but I am annoyed. I could be going through withdrawals? Man this is getting serious!

6:56pm

I am eating dinner in front of the TV, I am not a freaking saint, I am not going to give up TV too! That would make no sense.

What an exciting game! The Bruins and Blues are tie, 2,2 at the end of the second period. I reach for my phone to text my friend, we often text while watching. Darn it!! I will have to watch it alone without sharing my witty comments…boring!

7:52pm

The Blues were ahead 3 to 2, but just scored another goal on an empty net with 1.29 left to play. I am rooting for the Bruins so this is no fun.

7:55pm

I go outside to feed the wild tiny bunnies, they are desert cotton tails. I sometimes give the mini carrots. I know, I know, I am not supposed to feed wild animals…whatever. I leave a few carrots on the grass then peek out around the corner to see if they will come and eat them. Yes, my life is this exciting!

OMG, there are 4 of them eating my carrots!!! But am I able to take their picture? Noooo, frig; there goes an Instagram moment that I will never get back!

Below is a fairly accurate portrait of me and the bunnies.

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8:32pm

So many channels, but nothing interesting to watch!! I am going to take a hot bath and use all my fancy oils and creams that I keep buying, but never use. Oh yeah, that will be nice and relaxing!

8:42pm

Done! I smell nice, but now what do I do? Maybe I should re-organize my pantry? Sure, I’ve been meaning to do that for weeks.

I find a pack of strawberry pop tarts in the back corner of my pantry, score! I don’t remember buying them, it was probably when my nephew visited last April? I pop one in the toaster while I proceed to take everything out of my pantry.

Now my kitchen is a mess and I am not in the mood for this shit; what the hell was I thinking? I shove everything back in; it does look a little better than it did…I guess? Oh and then I burn my lip on the strawberry filling of my pop tart, and guess what? Pop tarts aren’t even that good.

9:30pm

I was up and at work super early this morning, I think it’s late enough to go to bed?

Mmm, guess what I normally do while in bed? I surf the net on my phone; I mostly Pinterest and Netflix. I even write most of my blog posts on my phone at night in bed. But not tonight, tonight I have a notebook and am journaling this old school.

Man my penmanship sucks and my thumb is cramping up, I am not used to writing anymore. I hope I can read my notes in the morning when I am back online?

Good night!

I am awake again! I have to turn on my TV to see what time it is; it’s 1:27am BTW. I toss and turn for what seems like hours. I turn the light on and grab my notebook to journal this. The TV is back on, it’s only 1:53am.

I eventually fall back asleep, but I wake up a few more times. I have no idea what time it is?? I am not going to turn the TV back on. I didn’t realize that one of my fun things to do during the night is looking at the time on my phone and calculating how many hours I have left to sleep before I have to get up. It’s still dark, so I fall back asleep.

Shit!! I am going to be late!

I always, always wake up a few minutes before my alarm, so I thought my internal clock would get me up at my regular time, but noooooo!

7:30am

Ok, I was able to make up some time, so I am still one of the first in the office. As I log on my computer, I realize that another habit of mine is to check emails before I get out of bed. I like knowing what I will be walking into when I get to the office.

There is my cell phone, right on my desk where I left it the night before. I am so happy to see it! Maybe a little too happy? Have I become one of those people? I sort of have and I bet most of you are too!

Did I enjoy my device free night? Not really? I missed Netflix and Pinterest and Instagram… But it was an interesting exercise. I didn’t realize how many times during the day that I reach for my phone out of habit, that was eye opening.

I think I am going to suggest a device free dinner with my friends the next time we go out. But when I am home alone, I want to be able to Netflix on my ipad, while I text and Pinterest, lol. Baby steps I guess?

Do you think you could go a full evening without your phone? How about a full day?

Muah!

Liette

Going Viral, Holy Shit!

Going Viral…Holy Shit

This is a true account of what happens when you put something out there and it goes viral. No names in this post have been changed to hide any ones identities, lol, that’s how I roll!

Sunday

For my second blog post, I am torn between which story to go with? Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, a hard hitting story on how to throw a tea party; or New Brunswick, Canada, You’re Going to Hate It! A fun tongue and cheek story about my home.

Late Sunday afternoon, I decide to go with the N.B. story, I read it one last time, hoping that people will get the humor, but if they don’t, how many people will actually see it?? Probably not many. I hit send and go on with my day.

Monday

By Monday morning I have gotten a few comments, I am excited, the first few are from friends, but sprinkled in there are a few from people I don’t know. I am reaching people I don’t know, how cool is that?

During the day, I periodically check my emails, each time I have a few more views and comments. By the time I get home that evening, I am very pleased with myself. My second post is getting much more attention than my first post; where I explored the controversial topic of how to take the perfect selfie.

My post gets its first share on Facebook from Paul, a fellow Monctonian. I am so touched, that he thought my post was interesting enough to share with his friends. By the afternoon, I have a few more shares. This is turning out to be a good Monday!

After dinner, while looking at my blog analytics, I notice, if I scroll down…all the way down, I can see more numbers; how many people have visited my site and where they are from… those sorts of things. It takes me a few minutes to figure things out, but when I do, I noticed that 2,100 have viewed my post in the last 24hrs!!!

Holy Shit!! 2,100 people viewed my post!!! How awesome! I call my mom, I am so excited, I need to share. After 5 minutes of explaining what a blog is, I am still not convinced she got it, I ask her to guess how many people have viewed my post so far?

Her first guess is 100K…really?? My 2,100 views suddenly feel tiny compared to 100K. When I bark back “mom!” she just laughs. I should note that she doesn’t have a computer, she knows how to text and that’s pretty much it, so I decide to cut her a bit of slack.

By the time we hang up, I have instructed her that the next time we speak, if asked to guess my number she would pick a realistic number, pretty much any number under 100K! She asks how many I want, I tell her that hitting 3K or even 4K would be super cool.

A few hours later I pass 3K, then 4K! I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the following people: Barney, Lynn, Staci, Claudia, Aline, Kenda, Cindy and Guylaine; because for the rest of that evening, they get regular text updates on how many people have viewed me; and by regular I mean every 20 minutes…ok maybe every 15 minutes.

When I surpass 5K and am almost at 6K, the texts are all the same, brief and to the point: WTF???  I start wondering if I am reading my stats correctly? One last text to Barney, who is away with his family, sorry, Barney’s family; he confirmed the stats are correct. Barney has become my unpaid technician and blog expert.

Giong Viral Photographer, Blogger
This is Barney! He is also an amazing photographer!

I decide to go to bed, I wondered if I could possibly hit 8K by the morning? I think that it maybe possible? But then reality sets in, nah, it will die down by the morning.

Tuesday

I wake up early Tuesday morning and the first thing I do is reach for my phone to check my stats. Over 8K views!! And lots of new comments. I make certain to reply to each one of them before I get out of bed. Most are recommendations for places I should visit or things I should try. All are polite and make me feel warm and fuzzy.

By the time I am ready to leave for work, I hit 9K views!! I am not sure why, but I instantly start to feel anxious and actually start breaking out in hives. I don’t know why? It’s such an honor to have people take the time to read something you have written. But on the other hand, 9,000 people have just read something that I have written! I think I am feeling a bit vulnerable, which is strange, since I started this blog and I posted of my own free will.

By the time I get to work, the anxiety is now mixed with excitement, after updating my coworkers with my unbelievable stats. I decide to stop looking, plus I know that the numbers will start to slow down shortly.

At lunch with my friend Staci, I pulled out my cell and see that I’ve just hit 13K!!! OMG!!

At this point, I am questioning what is going on here? Why is my little post about my little province so popular? One more text to Barney to ask: when do you know if you have gone viral? To which he replies, “Liette, you are viral!” Yikes!

Our next stop is Party City, I had joked earlier that if I reached 500 followers, I would do what celebrities do and take my photo with giant numbered balloons. It would be cheesy, dorky and awesome!! I decided that 13K is reason enough to celebrate!

I asked Staci if I should be so bold as to as to assume that I will hit 14K before the next morning? I decide to go for it, what the hell. I pay for a number one, a number four and a letter K; I’ll pick them up after work.

Going Viral Shark Week
Staci and I goofing off at Party City. Side note, Shark Week on Discovery Channel Kicks Off tonight!

Later that afternoon, my friend Michael, asks again if I have started getting any creepy emails yet? “No, just yours” I reply. He had sent me a cranky message as a joke, he says, the creeps will come, just wait. He is more of a glass half empty kind of guy, lol. All comments so far have been super supportive, nothing negative to report.

A few hours later, I get my first angry comment, instead of being upset, I think, wow! I have really made it now! It was someone who didn’t think that N.B. being bilingual is an asset, blah, blah, blah. It ended with “this F#@$ing Sucks”, not my blog post, but the fact that French people have equal rights I guess?? I have to approve all comments before they appear on my page. I considered approving knowing that the general public would come to my defense. I think about it for a moment, then decide that I want my blog to be a positive space, so not approving his rant. I am open to some controversial topics, if you want to debate which is better a sticky bun or a “pet de soeur”, bring it on!

For the rest of the afternoon the views and comments keep coming in. Bloggers are sharing and re-posting, local N.B. businesses are sharing. My friend Cindy sends me a note that her friends, who don’t know me, are sharing my post. I can’t tell if she is annoyed or happy about that? Lol, teasing, I think she is at the holy shit stage. She was the first to read my post, I sent it to her for feedback. She offered up some helpful suggestions, thank you Cindy!

By now, the anxiety is gone, I realize that this has taken on a life of its own and that I am just along for the ride.

When I leave work to pick up my balloons, I am already past 15K. What the hell am I going to do with my number 4 balloon now? I decided to skip 5 and get a number 6 balloon. I figure that by the time I get home, I will be at 16K, which I was; now I was just getting cocky.

Next is the reflective stage; what is it about this post that people connected with? I think that I have tapped into a feeling of pride? By highlighted a few things that make N.B. awesome, maybe it have reminded others how great it is? Or maybe it have given others the opportunity or the permission to boast a bit too? I think there is a feeling that N.B. is ignored by those who have never been there. We have been the drive through province, but those who have taken the time to stop, love it. Maybe instead of being Canada’s overlooked province, we are Canada’s best kept secret?

I make plans to have my picture taken with my balloons in front of the Welcome to Vegas sign the next day. Even after being here for two years, I still pinch myself and think, you live in Las Vegas! So the visual of a girl from Moncton, standing in front of the Las Vegas Sign with balloons that say 16K for a blog post about her home province, seemed like something I wanted to do! So doing it!

Going Viral Balloon Selfie
Trying to wrangle my giant gold balloons!

 Wednesday

I wake up to discover that I am at 22K views, so my 16K balloons now seemed silly, there goes $30…US!!

Going Viral Balloons
I flip my 6 to make a 9 and take a picture, but I am already at 22K! #balloonfail

By the time I leave for work I am at 23K & 25K after lunch!

My friends back home are telling me that they are seeing my story all over their Facebook feeds. It feels strange that I am getting my 15 minutes of fame for a story I wrote about my home province, while I am living in Vegas.

I decide to call my dad, I am almost positive my mom hasn’t told him about my budding fame. He is a fairly popular guy in the area. He’s sort of like Madonna and Cher, he only needs one name…Tilly. I didn’t want people to tell him that they saw his daughter on the internet, without knowing what I was doing on the internet, lol. So I explain to him what a blog is and tell him how many views I have gotten, his response is “ya ok”. I hang up telling myself that I am sure he is really excited…on the inside.

By the time I go to bed, things are starting to slow down a bit. My daily total for Tuesday was 13,268K, today my daily total is only 9,645. As soon as I say it, I see how crazy of a statement it is; only 9K today, oh no, am I becoming jaded…already? This week has been crazy and it’s only Wednesday.

Thursday

My morning total is 27,899, I am confident that I will hit 28K in the next few hours. I am a starting to feel a bit detached; it’s difficult to wrap my brain around the reality of this number.

It’s hard to believe that 27,899 people have taken the time to click on my link and read all of, or part of, my little story about N.B. To be honest, I would have been thrilled with 500 views and blown away by 1000 views, the higher the numbers get, the more surreal all of this feels.

By the time I get home from work I have hit 30K! Feeling so thankful and blown away, my brain hurts!

I call my parents and speak to my dad, he is starting to take interest; he asked and I quote: “how is your thing with the people going?” I feel like I am making progress on the parent front!

Going Viral Las Vegas Selfies
Cindy and I make a quick stop at the Welcome to Vegas Sign, sans balloons, lol.

Friday

I think I am suffering from a blog hangover, lol, it’s too much!

I feel that I inadvertently accomplished something that I suspect most bloggers never get to experience. When you start a blog, you want people to like your content and you want to build your followers; I was expecting a slow build. I didn’t expect this and to be honest, I wasn’t ready for it, I was still working out the kinks for gosh sakes!

On my drive home from work, I catch myself making a mental list of all the people who have reached out and sent me a quick email or text and those who have shared my link. And for the first time this week, I get a bit of a negative vibe as I take stock of those who are close to me, who haven’t said boo. In the grand scheme of life, this isn’t such a big deal, I know that, but it does make me think, maybe a bit too much??

I check my stats one more time before bed; my daily numbers are slowing down, it has been a hell of a great ride! But this train is approaching the gate and to be honest, that is fine with me.

Saturday

 I am up early to catch a flight to Oklahoma City for my real, paying, job. Wow, what a week! I have stopped checking my stats every 20 minutes. It was fun, but a bit exhausting.

My daily total on Friday was a little over 2K, my grand total by Saturday night is 33,740. I am going to put it out there, that I will hit 35K!

If someone had told me last Sunday, when I hit send, that I would be sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma City writing that I want to hit 35 THOUSAND views on my second blog post, I would have laughed my head off. But here I am!

Here is what I am going to take away from this experience. Ready or not, shit happens, you may as well enjoy the ride! That sometimes failure is easier to wrap your head around than being successful. And that one should not underestimate the power of their community, correction, my community! New Brunswick, maybe small in size and in population, it may have its economic struggles, but the people kick ass! Although I have had views from around the world, the majority are from Canada and of those, I suspect a large part of fellow New Brunswickers.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to read my posts, if you like my style and my swagger, please subscribe; if you do, you will receive an email each time I post something. Which will be once a week. I am pretty sure you won’t want to miss my next post, which will most likely be how to throw a tea party! I bet you can hardly wait, lol.

Thank you! Merci!!

Muah!

Liette