I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This Sunday, December 5th, at 8pm you can watch another movie I worked on this year, on The Lifetime Movie Network. It's the one I wrote about here called On Strike for Christmas. You can go see a trailer for it here - and again, it doesn't seem to work in Canada. Booooo!!!

I mentioned in that other blog post that I taught several of the ladies with key roles in the movie, including Daphne Zuniga, how to knit and that I had joked with the producer that I wanted a credit as 'knitting instructor'. Well, I talked to the producer, Jim, the other day and he told me I DO have a credit at the end for 'Knitting Consultant'. I was super thrilled to hear it. So my name will appear in the credits twice - the other time as Script Supervisor, of course.

So watch the movie and let me know if you saw my special credit. I don't get that network up here in Canada so I can't see it for myself. Jim did promise to send me a DVD of the movie though. I hope he remembers!

Monday, November 29, 2010


A few months back I worked hard to put together an Amazon Store of my favourite things. It's called Sandra's Selections, and all the things on it are really items I own or just love - kind of my version of Oprah's favourite things!! I am an avid reader and I have many much loved books on there, and I can heartily attest to any one of them becoming a much loved book for the avid reader in your life. I have a dear friend (hi Erna!) who regularly pulls out her little purse sized notepad and jots down books I recommend and I don't think she's been disappointed yet.

There are movies I love, music I love, sailing and travel items I wouldn't be without, as well as a host of other goodies. So go take a look and see if you can't find perfect gift there for someone you'd love to surprise. And if you purchase through my store, I get a teeny tiny commission that will go towards my future adventures with which to entertain you! So it's kind of win-win all around!

If you have any questions about any of the items, just use the comment form on here and I will post a reply.

All orders over $25 available for FREE Super Saving Shipping.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


...and I am finished Christmas shopping!

(this is my tree from 2006, when I had my own home and loved to deck the whole place out for Christmas - I really miss that house this time of year. The kids loved coming home to it.)

It's been a long time since I have been done this early. Back before I was married, I used to pride myself on being all done and all the gifts wrapped by mid November. But in recent years that hasn't been the case. And in the past two years, I was too poor to buy much, thanks to hardly any work in my field.

But all that has changed this year and I am very grateful for it. It's wonderful to be working steady again. And though I am trying to be very careful with my money, I have to say it's been fun to be able to go shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts for those I love.

Two things got me to an early start. In September I was working on a movie called On Strike for Christmas. The house we used was decked out for Christmas as well as a mall which production filled with decorations, happy Christmas shoppers and a tree stand out in the parking lot. Three weeks of being immersed in that really got me not only in the Christmas mood, but feeling like it wasn't long until Christmas got here for real. Then, on my lunch break while shooting that movie, I went to a shop near where we were filming and happened upon the perfect gift for my married daughter. I wasn't going to buy it right then until the shop owner informed me that they only had three in stock and once they were gone, they'd never be found again as the manufacturer was no longer making them because the price point to make a profit would have to be too high. So I bought it. That got the ball rolling.

It's a good thing though because we are celebrating Christmas two weeks early this year. My daughter in Kelowna used all of her holidays this summer coming down here for her friend's wedding events and for the week before the wedding to help the bride out as much as she could. So she can't come for Christmas as that is when everyone wants time off. So she's taken a couple of personal days and will come down the weekend of the 10th. My other daughter and her hubby are leaving on the 15th for England as he is to be best man for his best man, and then they will spend Christmas with his parents. So we are getting together to have our Christmas Day on December 12th.

And me.... I am going back to Palm Springs!!!!!! I can't wait. I had such a great time there last year that just had to go back and do it again. I wrote to Eric back in October and asked him if his parents would be willing to let me stay with them again. He wrote back that the 'red room' was booked for me as long as I wanted it. I was very thankful and happy to hear it as I loved staying with them last year. So I have my flight booked, my room reserved, and a Christmas dress bought. And this time the neckline won't cause a minor scandal.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I found this great website this morning. By the second page, I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. By the sixth or seventh page, I could barely get a breath.

Anyone who has an iPhone will be able to relate to the total frustration of the auto-correct function when texting. It drives me crazy. I tried disabling it but I like it for spell check so keep it enabled. But honestly, some of the words it substitutes for what you're trying to type is .... well go take a look at the webpage and see for yourself.

I submitted these two just now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


It doesn't seem to work for people in Canada, but for my American readers, you can go here to see a trailer for Smoke Screen (now I can tell you the title!), one of the movies I worked on this summer starring Jaime Pressly and Currie Graham, based on a book by Sandra Brown. It premieres Sunday, Nov. 21 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on Lifetime Movie Network. Please watch it!

I have been kept very busy working on my new show, Mr. Young. What was supposed to be four day weeks with 10 hour days and every Monday off, has turned into four day weeks except for the pilot episode, which we shot last week, and was 5 days, and more like 12 to 15 hour days (not that I am complaining about the extra hours - being a union show, it means a much fatter paycheque). And any time there's a stat holiday, like the recently passed Remembrance Day, then we work the Monday to make up for it. So I have only had about two long weekends so far. Good news is, we are on hiatus this week so I get nine glorious days to recover before we start banking an episode.

Yep, banking an episode. I had to ask what that meant when I first read it on the shooting schedule.

It means that, in addition to our already packed four days, we will now start to shoot one third of another episode per week so that we can cram 26 episodes into 22 weeks. I have no idea how we are going to do this. What's worse, nor does the director who has been doing this for a decade. He says that he's never heard of such a thing and what probably looked like a good idea on paper to someone in an office is going to be next to impossible to accomplish. I say lets not accomplish it.

I remember when MOW's (movies of the week) were shot in 21 days. Then they dropped it to 18 and we all freaked out at first but managed to get it done quite nicely. So the next thing we know, they dropped it to 15 days. We really freaked out at that and yet somehow still managed to get it done. Then I got a call to work on a show that was going to be shot in 12 days - two 6 day weeks. I wasn't looking forward to that schedule but needed the work so took it. It was a total grind but we got it done and, suddenly, what was supposed to be a 'one off' ended up being the norm for that production manager. Then, a year later, I got a call to work on two shows shooting back to back, each in 10 days. Yep - two MOW's in one day less than it first took us to do one. If it wasn't for the fact that we had an incredible director who not only knew how to be very efficient with his shots, but had a fabulous sense of humour that kept the whole crew happy, I don't think it could have been done. Or, maybe it could have but the end product would have been total crap and we would have been a miserable bunch doing it.

***Let me just say here that two of the movies I worked on this summer, the above mentioned Smoke Screen, and On Strike for Christmas were shot in 15 days each. MUCH more civilized and you can actually make a good MOW in that time. Thank you Jim and Damian!!! (I love those guys.)

So now here we are, once again attempting to accomplish the impossible and, if we do manage it, I can just see season two being two episodes per week. We HAVE to stop keeping up with everything producers throw at us or we will all be in an early grave with the stress and lack of sleep... not that it isn't happening anyway. I am shocked at the amount of 'In Memoriam' notices I get from the union and at the ages of those who have passed. No wonder we have a healthy retirement fund - no one lives long enough to collect! I was mentioning it to someone on set and they said that IATSE members have the shortest lifespan of members of any union in North America. That's sobering.

On a much lighter note, look at these awesome candy apples I saw in Vancouver when I was out for lunch with my daughter and her hubby right before Halloween. I didn't buy one but I thought they were great.

And here's three guys from work filling in for cheerleaders while a shot is being rehearsed. Bob - your pom poms are backwards!
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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Here's my Amazon Store called Sandra's Selections, full of my favourite things and constantly updating it as I discover more fav's. It's more for fun than anything as I've never made a cent off of it.