Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Here’s a First

I never thought I’d say this, I of the 10 times hourly email check; I of the “what, no one has commented on the post I shared on Facebook? It’s been at least fifteen minutes!”  Yes folks, “I” did not ONCE check her WordPress stats yesterday. No, not once, and as of this writing, “I” STILL has not checked.

Hm. I better lie down.

Hm. I better lie down…

Weekends are getting tough. Blogwise, that is. I’m having trouble writing for some reason. Weekdays, no problem, but I will admit that I’m not putting my whole self into the daily effort either.

It must be because it’s summer. Well d’uh, of course it is, in this hemisphere at any rate. Not nearly as much to read on the blogs. People have posted “Gone Fishin’” and “See you in September” notices.

I understand completely. I’m feeling the pull to be anywhere other than behind a computer keyboard, which trust me, is a novel experience.

This weekend in particular is tougher than usual. In part it’s due to the full moon. It has kept me awake two nights running. If that was not bad enough, raucous neighbours a few blocks over partied to the wee hours. That’s nice. I’m glad that they can gather and enjoy each other’s company, but the braying laughter… the constant shrieks of delight… forget trying to sleep through that.



So, I’m sleep deprived. I’m also a wee bit Reiner deprived. I miss my hubby, his company. I sent him several emails yesterday. Nothing at all important. Just random thoughts that, at the time, felt like they needed sharing.

For example:

How are things with you Sweetie? I see you’ve been posting on Mindat – are you getting some time off this weekend? 
I had a poor sleep last night – noisy traffic and the full moon, I guess. Anyway, today I’m not too energetic. I took the empty booze/beer bottles to the Greens yards sale and mailed the packages at Sobeys. Then home – tried to nap but noisy neighbours. Ah well, nothing really going on, so that’s good. 
I did some social media* stuff. So far, so good. 
Other than that, not much to report. It’s a nice breezy day, but warm. 
Hope you are doing OK. 
Miss you a bunch.

Followed later in the day by:

Well, that was annoying
and loud
 and long
 about a hundred motorcyclists, all on incredibly loud choppers just passed by the house. What a racket! When a full minute or more passed by and the sound still didn’t end, I got off my seat to check it out. Turns out all of the other neighbours on the street were rubbernecking, too!

And five minutes later, I sent this very important update

I forgot to tell you… when I was at Sobey’s I checked to see if they had any cat food on special.
Guess how much they are asking for a standard tin of Friskies – the little tin.
 Go on, guess.
 OK, I’ll tell you.
 EIGHTY-FIVE cents. That’s correct. $0.85 per tin. The large tin is a buck forty-nine.

So, now you too are up to date on the minutia of my life these past forty-eight hours. Scintillating, no?

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Considered the founder of the Women's Institutes that spread across Canada and the world, Adelaide Hunter Hoodless (1857-1910) was a prominent figure in local and national women's organizations. It is said that her grief over the death of her infant son from contaminated milk led her to campaign for the improvement of women's education through the teaching of domestic science. Hoodless opened her own private school, the Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Art in Hamilton prior to co-founding Macdonald Institute in 1903.

Considered the founder of the Women’s Institutes that spread across Canada and the world, Adelaide Hunter Hoodless (1857-1910) was a prominent figure in local and national women’s organizations. It is said that her grief over the death of her infant son from contaminated milk led her to campaign for the improvement of women’s education through the teaching of domestic science. Hoodless opened her own private school, the Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Art in Hamilton prior to co-founding Macdonald Institute in 1903.

*In other news, I do have something exciting to share. I have joined as a volunteer with the Federation of Women’s Institutes of Canada. I am, ahem, the new Social Media Coordinator. This means I must get up to speed on Twitter and Instagram! Stat! Pinterest and Facebook? I’m good. Click on any of these links to learn more about the FWIC.

And by all means, I welcome any ideas you might have about women’s institutes, social media, or the price of cat food!






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71 replies

  1. If you’re going to be on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, you’re not going to have time to check blog stats anyway. Good luck!

    85 cents for a small tin of cat food?! That’s outrageous! But I’m a Whiskas girl, myself.

    Women’s Institutes……. nah, I got nuthin’.


    • As for the lack of time, so I am told! For the moment, I’ve been given carte blanche for how often and which platform I use. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, for several reasons. The biggest, given the insomnia, is I haven’t got a creative spark this weekend.

      85 cents for a small tin is obscene, especially when you consider we paid 50 cents just a few months ago. Fortunately, we only feed Oscar wet food. The two “barn” cats (they live in the garage over the winter) get dry. As do any of neighbour South’s three that might pop by for a visit. Oh, and the Blue Jays. They steal the dry stuff, too.


  2. Um … you’re leaving me in the dust if you Tweet, Link, Pin, Instagram etc, etc, etc. But once you “know it all” I’ll hire you as my communications agent (I don’t need a social agent because I rarely socialize).

    Please don’t stop blogging ‘cuz I’d miss you too much. But your affiliation with the Institute sounds quite interesting and I imagine you have more ideas than you realize. Once you jump in with your associates, all kinds of interests will develop. Keep us posted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thanks for your sweet remarks. 🙂 I’m here for the duration, I think.

      I think you are right about the ideas that will open up. I plan on visiting the head office this week.

      On reason that I answered the ad for the volunteer position is that I am socially isolated. That’s partly self-imposed and partly circumstantial. I too rarely socialize. So I think this gig will be a nice blend of some social, but mostly online, writing, and for a cause that I can get behind stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I laughed at everything but the cat food. That’s just outrageous! Of course with 4 cats I buy it by the case. Perhaps the motorcyclists will return brighten your day.


    • I know! IF I bought my food here, which I don’t (Sobeys is an expensive store – it just happens to have a post office that is opened on Saturday) I’d have to budget about $350 a year for one cat. I buy at “No Frills” by the case when it’s on special, too.

      Fortunately, the biker parade was one way, thank’s be to whichever deity responsible!


  4. Know nothing about Women’s Institutes and never check my blog stats, so I’m no use to you. Enjoy your blogs though!


    • Thanks Helen. 🙂

      When I was in my early 20’s, I lived in the country. A new friend took me with her to a meeting at the local chapter of the Women’s Institute. So, I’ve been aware of the institution, but no more than that. I expect that this will be an interesting learning experience in terms of social change and history. Not to mention recipes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, yes. I most definitely see you as the Social Media Coordinator. Takin’ names and kickin’ butt. Go, Maggie! This opens you up to a ton of blogs–please don’t forget to do that! I would so miss you!


  6. Social Media is going to leave you no time for checking stats…. but when you do, let us know your count!! 😀


  7. I’ve never heard of a Men’s Institute. Does Canada have one? Why should we be disadvantaged? Of course we may be better off without.

    I don’t know the price of cat food. Only dog biscuits. I thought cats ate mice. And birds. And small children ( big cats that is). Why do they need cans? Seems a bit OTT. Like a WI.


  8. I’ve bought some Apple stock, hoping the price goes up enough to pay for the amount of cat food I have to buy. I recently had to mortgage my house to pay for the cat food I have to buy for four cats. They just don’t understand the words, “I’m broke.” Thinking of starting a Kickstarter campaign. For the person who donates $1000, I will gladly send them a cat. Figure if they are donating that much to feed my cats, then they are bound to have a soft spot for cats.


  9. That’s awesome about your news! I know how it goes, some days I just don’t feel like blogging. I still check my stats, but to be honest I can never take away anything good from them. On days where I have high traffic, my posts don’t seem any different and if I try to emulate it again, I definitely don’t see the same amount of traffic. So I gave up trying to figure it out, now I just go, blue bars! 😀


    • Hey Bradley – I’ve always been about gold stars… and doing “better than” and feedback and tracking and such. But it can be discouraging, not to mention, as you say, meaningless in terms of blog stats.

      I think I’ll take a page from your book – instead of gold stars, I’ll go, hey! Blue bars!


  10. Glad to know I’m not the only hopeless media addict. Sometimes I feel that WordPress is as addictive as crack cocaine.


  11. Mazel Tov on the new position! I am glad you have carte blanche and think maybe it should be “cat blanche” after reading the hysterical email to your hubby. You’re too much, Maggie. No! Strike that! You’re never enough. You always leave us wanting more. Like an amazing writer naturally does, of course. How long can you go without checking stats?? Or did you do it already after this post because of the many “notifications” you got from all of us LOVING this one??!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I rarely check my stats. To be fair, I don’t really understand the stats, so that might explain it.
    I’m sad about the cat food. We’ve got to start buying larger tins, with our two additional cats. I don’t suppose I will like paying $1.30 a tin, but we can’t have hungry cats. I will see what the pricing is here.
    I have ignored Twitter for the better part of Summer. I don’t seem to have time. I have two children at home and they keep me pretty busy, let alone the events and whatnot. Some of Twitter has unfollowed me since I’ve been slacking, but the good ones have stayed on, and even some new people have followed me, so I don’t understand that anymore than the WordPress stats, haha!

    Your notes to Reiner are simply fascinating brimming with passion and pining. 😉


  13. You are going to have your hands full! I don’t know anything about the Women’s Institute short of the small amount they had on their website. Your learning curve is going to be adventure – best wishes! I’m sure they have the best volunteer for the job! I’m confident that your creative muse will be back with you soon 🙂

    Cat food? – yes, I grind my teeth everyday I have to buy it – especially with a big boy like Theo and his big boy appetite.


    • My step-son and his girlfriend were here today. I had hoped they could give me a Twitter/Instagram 101 intro course. No such luck. One of the other volunteers at the “homestead” is a pro. I’ll book some time with her.

      Another wrinkle with the cat food is that, as you know, cats are prize-winning fussy eaters. Now, I have my eyes, fingers, and toes crossed when I say this, for I do not want to jinx it: for the moment, Oscar is on a good long run with two varieties that he likes, and he eats it all. We used to give away a good portion of his uneaten food – perhaps a quarter of a tin every time. Can’t afford that any more.


      • Good to hear that Theo isn’t the only really spoiled cat. Gilles keeps insisting that a hungry cat will eat. Theo clearly isn’t hungry enough.
        I have a shelf full of different types and flavours of cat food. On any given day, I have no idea if he’ll eat or not. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much.

        The real issue is that some time ago, Gilles started to treat him like a dog and would feed him food off his plate. Theo has discovered our plate is a much better option. Why eat canned cat food when we’re eating salmon, halibut or shrimp? … not to mention ice cream. Theo is no fool.


        • I’d like to agree with Gilles. It makes some sense. BUT! I used to have a cat, Heidi. She needed some treatment at the vets. They were concerned that she wasn’t taking food.

          “What are you feeding her? ” I asked. Turns out she was turning up her nose at the good stuff. I brought her some food from home and she dove in and inhaled it!

          Oscar is the first cat I’ve owned who hasn’t developed a taste for people food. Joey, on the other hand loved his ice cream, just like Theo.


  14. Congratulations Maggie. The job is in safe hands.


  15. Good job. This will keep you off the street and out of trouble…maybe.


  16. When you learn more about Twitter and Instagram, please share (or at least share your sources). The sites I’ve found were too confusing in that they assumed basic knowledge I guess I don’t have. Wow, Social Media Coordinator… very impressive!


  17. Sometimes a break from social can be a good thing. But don’t go too far – I enjoy your blogs a great deal! And good luck with the volunteering. Sounds like a great organization!


    • Aw, thanks Nan! I appreciate the support! I’m looking forward to learning more about this group. I get the feeling that they are less well known that Rotary, for example, but that the mission is the same: to make effective and meaningful social change.


  18. Right, i’m going now. I didn’t know you had a page. I promise to check and comment or like as I know the disappointment when you put up an awesome post and no one responds. deal!


  19. Dear Maggie, I admire your ability to understand all of these new social media sites… I think you’ll do a fantastic job in your new role. Sorry you’re missing hubby though.


  20. Soon you will be so fascinated with all that social networking that you’ll be at your computer 24/7 …


    • Oh, I hope not! I sit at the terminal far too long as it is!


      • So why in the name of all the gods did you take on all that extra keyboard activity ?!


        • A very good question.

          This position will allow me to volunteer my time in a useful way rather than fritter it away on computer games. My hope is to meet some people, learn some stuff, and have fun.


          • I forgot about your addiction to games. 🙂
            You’ll do all that, but when you come home you’ll be glued to your computer …
            Still, perhaps you can steer them AWAY from some of the social networking.


            • The executive director had hoped to find someone within the ranks of the organization to take on the job of social media whaddyamacallit… but there were no takers… mostly because the women found social media/internet too intimidating. I understand that. I’m feeling it myself at the moment. I have to fight against learning yet another new technology.

              So, it’s not likely that I will convince anyone in that “cohort” to hop on board the social media bandwagon. In the main, my job is to keep the agency’s presence active on the internet and to engage with those who are comfortable with it. This includes the younger set who have grown up with technology and consider it the only means of contact.

              Actually, M-R, having to articulate this here has been helpful for me to set my focus! Thanks!


  21. Great post Maggie – you had me in stitches with the emails — sparkling sense of humour 🙂

    Interesting stuff this WI business — but it always brings to mind the British version and singing Jam and Jerusalem — as well as the Movie Calendar girls.

    And since I’m such good blog reader, I followed your links and then searched out the Quebec chapter — and lo and behold, it used to be literally, in my backyard – I mean 15 minutes away – and I had no idea! Go figure!

    Anyhow … good luck with the new posting — I’m sure you’ll rock it! :0 And there is nothing quite as good as gentle learning curves, yes?

    As for the Full moon in Cap (my sign – what a chance to capitalize on this energy – whoo hoo!) affecting sleep — oh hell – of course! It never ceases to amaze me how much time and effort people and scientists will take on “studies” —- in order to provide “factual data” — when all that would be necessary is to survey a bunch of people, in a very informal fashion, and viola! Info presto!

    I have never understood the absolute need to dissect everything to the Nth degree — let’s leave a little mystic mystery in the world, please?! Lol …. here’s hoping you get some quality sleep soon.

    Cheers! 🙂


    • 🙂 Thanks, Pat! I had forgotten about the movie Calendar Girls! I should watch that again. I have a thing for Helen Mirren.

      I know what you mean about official studies. I cannot tell you how many time’s I’ve read some news release about a “scientific breakthrough” and I said, “Huh, I could have told you that.”


  22. Hahahaha. That is all. And congrats on the new posting to the FWIC!


  23. Maggie – I share your writer’s block. Ah, for the days when the thoughts flowed free and easy! I also share your lack of sleep – I hate, HATE being exhausted and still unable to snooze (or waking up at 4am for no particular reason).


    • Hello sister-in-insomnia! Just this morning? Up at 4. [grumble] Nothing like a good bout of sleeplessness to secure a writer’s block. No energy for creativity, or perhaps, more accurately in my case, no energy to sideline the negative voices.

      You and I probably have another thing going on too… menopause. The joys.


  24. Hooo-boy, yes! Menopause! When I had my ovary removed it really kicked into full force. Luckily, my doctor took pity on me and prescribed some hormones. Normally I would just try to power through – but I was falling apart emotionally (what with my current situation and then my body suddenly in full-blown hormonal craziness). I just couldn’t see making this time even more emotional and stressful than it already has to be. Maybe in a year, I’ll go off the pills and join you on the rollercoaster.


    • Yeah, good decision, I think. given the stress you are under.

      I was on HRT for almost nine years. I weaned myself off, though, because my hormone headaches returned. Nasty migraines. Today insomnia seems to be the only “headache”. That and weight gain.

      I’ll save a seat on the rollercoaster!


  25. Congratulations. I suspect with your quick mind you will soon be tweeting like mad off the job as well, and have a large following. I may finally have to use my Twitter account for something besides feebly tweeting out new WP posts, in order to Follow you there.


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