Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

“Reluctant Dective” by Finley Martin


One of my favorite high school teachers, Finley Martin, wrote a detective novel, so of course I read it as soon as possible. Although I read the story a when it came out a couple of years ago, I only now noticed that I did not publish the review I drafted at the time.

Wilhelmina Anne Brown lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with her 14-year-old daughter and works as an office manager for her uncle, Bill Darby. Just as she is settling back into island life, yes it did take her six years, Bill dies leaving her his Private Investigation Business and a small amount of cash. The story follows her struggle to protect her daughter while serving her new clients.

I loved reading a book set where I live. It is so much fun watching Wilhelmina dash around familiar terrain. I found the pacing of the book was good. The short chapters really made me feel like I was racing through the adventure. Wihelmina is a strong character but with enough flaws to make her lovable and the story engaging. The back story of each character really allows readers to delve into them to understand where they are coming from. I especially enjoyed the conflict between mother and daughter as I have a teenage daughter. Martin gets the complexity and angst of the relationship just right.

St. Patrick’s Day – Family, Fun, & Fellowship

Since it is her school break, this year my daughter came to breakfast with me to support a local charity. She also enjoyed the music and loved the food, except for the blood pudding which she gave to me. Lucky me… will bring her again. Processed puddin’ does not compare to what Grammie and Grandad used to make. I cannot seem to find anything like it today. I may actually have to learn to make my own.

Right after we went to visit my family in Launching Place, PEI. We had a good chat on the way out and another over coffee at my parents. She stayed out for the night. Tim&CherylI enjoyed the rural winter scenery as I meandered back to Charlottetown.

Every year a coreĀ  group of friends gets together at a local pub to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I love this day. Even though we may only see each other in passing or not at all for the rest of the year. It is so fun to touch base and see where everyone is at. Just relaxing in a very accepting environment with some great local music makes for a mini-vacation.

Live life moment to moment

I found out about Aisha Chaudhary at

Fifteen year-old Aisha was born with an immune deficiency disorder and overcame a predicted life expectancy of only one year to have become an accomplished artist today. Despite a serious lung disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis, her persistent optimism, extraordinary maturity in the face of impossible odds, and calm perspective on life’s challenges is inspiring:

She noted “In every difficulty there is opportunity. The power of the mind is limitless. Everything happens twice, once in your mind and once as it happens.” This resonates with me. I believe that living life to the fullest is all about framing.

I just found this draft post, and today it really resonates with me. We spent the last week saying good-bye to my Mother-in-Law, Brenda, who lost her battle with COPD. She was a strong stubborn woman who fought through this horrible disease for many years. I know that I was not fully aware of her battle until I saw her at peace, no longer suffering. The coming together of our family and friends throughout this ordeal restored me. It is amazing how others can give you strength to go on when you are unsure about yourself.

Life is precious, remember to count your blessings.

2013 Busy Fall Semester

Where did the time go from September until now. I feel like we just got back home from our summer getaway in NS. Now, it is almost December.

Samuel Doiron, became the newest member of our family for the last 3 months. I cannot believe that he only has a week left in PEI. We had our last Sunday brunch this morning, and the turkey is in the oven for supper. The first weekend he was here, we went to Anne of Green Gables house. IMG_8495Since then we have been trying to introduce him to various fun things we do I PEI. He evengot to Basin Head on October 5th. I managed to convince Dan and Sam to jump in. Yes it was crazy, but I think they had fun. IMG_8758I know that the other people there, myself included had lots of fun watching them. It is amazing at how close you become living together for a few months. I am sure Dan will have an amazing time in Quebec with Sam’s family.

Work has been busy. I taught Psychology 271: Statistices on Thursday nights this fall. My last class is this week. On top of that my work as a research consultant has continued to be steady. I also started working the the UPEI Psychology Department part-time in September. They have such an amazing team. It has been great getting out of the house a few days a week. I never realized how many social rewards I got from work.

My December focus with be health and balance. I just have to get back into balance, so that I can continue to post to the blog, and have some time with friends as well as work and family. I also need to focus on my own health. January / February is usually when my asthma flairs up, so this December I am being proactive by joining Pam MacDonald’s team to focus on eating well and exercise.

The plan is for me to be posting more regularly now. Talk to you all again soon.

Time to Step Off The Beaten Path

I surprised my husband on his 30th birthday with an all inclusive vacation. I had booked his time off and we left for an all inclusive resort for sun and relaxation. It is over ten years since then. We have stayed at many different resorts in the years since. Moving up the scale from 3 star to five star resorts. I have had my favorites over the years, the following come to mind right now (but I am sure I am forgetting some great spots):

Our first spot Puerto Plata Village. Some great memories and amazing staff in the Playa Doranda complex Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.

The Breezes Bella Costa in Veradero Cuba. We got upgraded to a suite with an amazing balcony and sitting room. I also loved the pizza at lunch.

The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton near Montego Bay Jamaica has an amazing spa and adults only section. We were only able to afford this the year they were undergoing renovations.

This year is our 20th anniversary. I really want to have a vacation that will give me a more local feel. Maybe a smaller resort or renting a villa for our entire group. I may need something that gives me some more local flavor. I am leaning towards Jamaica, as I love the coffee and jerk chicken. Does anyone have a suggestion that might take me off the beaten path but still be budget conscious?

September… My Spring Cleaning

I am not usually on time, so it is not odd that I usually get to my “Spring Cleaning” in September. Just before school starts is a great time to go through the house. It gets us all organized for the year ahead.

Ask my hubby, I kick and scream harder than our children when it comes to spending a holiday day cleaning. Once I get into it, I find it cathartic. I love to share so books that my kids are finished with go to kids who want new stories to enjoy. Clothing gets passed down to the next cousin. I love seeing a clean drawer or cupboard. Even when I know that by tomorrow it will be a mess again. Better get back at it.

One hard “No”

Recently, I was requested to think about an opportunity to work with an amazing team at a local nonprofit. I saw what I could do to help and got really excited about the opportunity. I let my imagination run away with dreams and ideas of what this opportunity could be. Then one night I went to a meeting of a local group. I realized just how much these volunteers did, and how I could become so immersed in their issues. I connected on a personal level with these people. I was not sure that I could disconnect from their needs at the end of the day to focus on my own.

I realized that as much as I wanted to help and be there for the team, this position would take up all my energy. Not just physical energy, but emotions would be involved, and memories that are painful to relive. Not that I would not want to give, but I still have three children at home and a husband that I need to be there for. I have been overwhelmed before by giving too much of myself and could see the potential here, especially when everyone around me would be giving of themselves too.

Even with all those reasons running through my head. I spent a weekend trying to convince myself that I could do it, I was stronger now, and would love to help. Then my daughter had a small teenage crisis, nothing major but she needed mom. Add to that responsibilities of my business and I was swamped. I could not add any additional needs. Especially, a full time position that had the potential for lots of overtime. It was the hardest message I drafted. This person had wanted me to fill this void, she thought I had the skills, and I do. It is really hard to say “N0″ when you want to help. Ultimately, my “no” became about maintaining my good health and my family dynamic.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 969 other followers