Mystery Photo #166

I am very determined this week!  When I started my Mystery Photo Fridays over three years ago, it was quite easy to stump all of you.  However, I have noticed that you are all getting smarter by the week, and I have challenged myself to find a mystery photo that none of you can guess.  Mwah ha ha :).  I think this one might be the one.  Hit me with everything you’ve got.

While I’m waiting for your guesses, I’m going to go and put on my fifty layers of clothing, plus mitts, hatt, and scarf, and get ready to turn into a human popsicle when I step out my front door and head to work.  It’s -31C this morning (not including the windchill), and I’m really starting to think that I will never feel warm again!  It could always be worse though right?  At least we have power and heat, and I keep telling myself that Spring is coming.  Hopefully….

Mystery Photo #166

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Mystery Photo #165

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!!  Yes, it is Mystery Photo Friday as well, but before we get to that I want to show you a funny photo that actually won me an autographed book this week.  Last summer I attended The Word on the Street book festival in Toronto.  I spent a fantastic day with a good friend of mine listening to authors speak and exploring table after table of wonderful books.  One of the most fascinating authors I met that day was Andrew Pyper, whose latest novel, The Damned, was just released this week.  I read it greedily and found it deliciously creepy, so when I saw on Facebook that Andrew Pyper was doing a contest to win an autographed copy, I jumped at the chance!  To enter, I had to submit a photo of myself reading The Damned.  Since it is a creepy book about a near death experience and a psychopathic ghost, I decided a creepy photo was the only way to go.  Here is my entry which I’m excited to say was chosen as one of the five winners:

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Pretty cool eh?  Now I just have to wait for my autographed copy of the book to arrive in the mail.  I’m so excited!!  And now on to the mystery photo.  It’s a tough one.  I tried it out on both my hubby and my son, Daniel, and neither one of them even came close, so let’s see what you can do.   Ok, ready, set, go….

Mystery Photo #165

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Mystery Photo #164

Last Friday was like Christmas all over again.  It always feels like Christmas when new books arrive in the mail.  Yayyyy!!!!  I pre-ordered four books at the end of December and chose the “wait to ship until the last one is released so you get free shipping” option, which meant that they all arrived on the same day.  The funny thing is that the last one was supposed to come out on February 10th and it arrived over a week early.  Score!  I thought I would share my book haul with you (along with the synopses from Goodreads) because some of you may enjoy these authors as much as I do:

1)  The Damned by Andrew Pyper – Danny Orchard wrote a bestselling memoir about his near-death experience in a fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ashleigh, but despite the resulting fame and fortune he’s never been able to enjoy his second chance at life. Ash won’t let him.  In life, Danny’s charming and magnetic twin had been a budding psychopath who privately terrorized her family—and death hasn’t changed her wicked ways. Ash has haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he’s met the love of his life and has a chance at real happiness, she wants more than ever to punish him for being alive—so she sets her sights on Danny’s new wife and stepson.  Danny knows what Ash really wants is him, and he’s prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save the ones he loves. The question is: will he make it back this time?

2)  The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon  (Book 2 of the Bone Season series) -Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London.  As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

3)  The Deep by Nick Cutter – A strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered—a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it’s up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

4)  Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Book 2 of The Red Rising Trilogy) – Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.  A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart.

I dove into The Damned right away and finished it in just a few sittings, and it was totally creepy and awesome like I knew it would be.  Andrew Pyper is an incredibly talented author, and I’m also proud to say he’s Canadian!  Then I immediately lost myself in The Mime Order, and I am even more impressed with this new young author than I was when I read her first book.  This is a series that I can easily lose myself in.  The world building is incredible.

My wonderful books are calling, so let’s get on with the matter at hand.  It’s mystery photo day.  Show me what you’ve got, oh smart ones.  Ok, ready, set, go….

Mystery Photo #164

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Mystery Photo #163

Do you know what the absolute best moment of my week was?  It was the moment that my boss crossed over the border from Canada to the USA and couldn’t use his cell phone anymore!!  His vacation started yesterday, and before he left he made our lives a living hell.  Everything was left until the last minute, and I mean everything, and then suddenly he thought that all his employees had turned into machines and that each of us could do the work of 10 people. He’s gone now though (phew!), and it’s time to start methodically cleaning up the mess.

I’m not very often at a loss for words (ask my husband LOL), but that’s about all I have to say about this week, probably because I’m simply exhausted.  Bring on the weekend!!!  Now, let’s see how smart you are.  Can you figure out this tricky mystery photo?  Ok, ready, set, go…..

Mystery Photo #163

 

P.S.  I’m 2/3 of the way through my 30 day exercise program, and I’m feeling great :).  I have kind of stalled at 7 pounds in my weight loss, but I’m not giving up!

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Mystery Photo #162

It’s Friday.  Yahoooooo!!!!!!!  This has been a very long and busy week at work, and I am really looking forward to the weekend because I’m feeling kind of brain dead at the moment.  I think a little fun and relaxation are in order, don’t you?

After watching the Golden Globe Awards recently and then hearing the Oscar nominations, we are hoping to catch a couple of movies over the weekend, specifically American Sniper and The Imitation Game, which will both appeal to my guys. Have any of you seen either one?  I also plan to enjoy some reading time, and my son, Daniel, and I are going to make it official and accept his offer of admission to Wilfred Laurier University and start his application for residence.  It is a very exciting time for him!!

Now before we let our brains recharge, it’s Mystery Photo time.  Give it your best shot.  Ok, ready, set, go……

Mystery Photo #162

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Mystery Photo #161

So, how is everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions?  Did you make any?  I don’t usually bother with them much, but this year I overindulged well before the holiday season, during the holiday season, and even afterwards.  I stepped on the scales and realized that enough is enough.  Not only do I love food far too much, but my addiction to reading and electronics, along with my desk job, means that I also sit on my butt for far too many hours each day.

I recently started reading a book called Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White which is all about a form of exercise called Essentrics.   According to the website, “Essentrics is a dynamic workout that simultaneously lengthens and strengthens every muscle in the body, resulting in greater joint mobility and lean, long muscles”.  Miranda explains that aging happens in our cells and shows how to maintain and repair those cells and roll back joint pain and muscle loss at any age.  So, I started a 30 day challenge on her website, doing one of her 30 minute Classical Stretch workouts every day, and even though the workouts look really easy and gentle, I am exhausted (in a good way) by the time I’m done.  I’m also using an app on my iPhone to count calories, and I have really made an effort to cut out the crap and make healthier choices.  It has now been 10 days, and I have lost 6 pounds and I feel great.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up!

Now that I’m done talking about resolutions, let’s get to the mystery photo.  I will give you a hint – it has nothing to do with chocolate because of course I’m trying to stay away from that evil substance for the time being :).  Let’s see what you can do.  Ok, ready, set, go…..

Mystery Photo #161

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Mystery Photo #160

I’m a little apprehensive about posting today because I’m afraid some of you might be mad at me :(.  I mean shame on me – I missed TWO Mystery Photo Fridays!!  I do apologize if it caused trauma for any of you, but the Christmas holidays made it harder to find time to blog.  The funny thing is that for the first time ever we actually spent a quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home with just our boys, so you would think I would have had lots of time to devote to blogging since I didn’t have to entertain a houseful of people.

However, as I’m sure many of you who are parents will understand, I am starting to realize that Christmas mornings with my boys at home won’t last forever as they will eventually start their own traditions when they get married and have families of their own, so I said the heck with blogging and concentrated on enjoying every moment with my hubby and my kids.  We then enjoyed another turkey dinner with Mike’s family a couple of days after Christmas and afterwards headed to Kingston, Ontario to spend New Years with my family.  We had a great time, but there is something about getting back into the normal routines after the holidays that is always a relief.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season too and are ready to get back to exercising your brains.  Not only is this a neat mystery photo because I think it resembles a few different items, but I also love this shot because of the clarity in the middle and the blurring around the edges.

Mystery Photo #160

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