Sunday, 31 December 2017

Caught in the Act

And they say cheaters never prosper, well, I managed to score, but was caught in the act.

It's all about cookies.

Last summer I bought a package of cookies from Walmart. They were pricier than most, but were baked fresh in the store and looked tasty. Of the many flavors offered I chose the salted caramel chocolate chip, which became a family favorite, a treat I often picked up for my son.

Occasionally, I bought a package for myself,  with the intention of sharing.

My brother likes sweets as do I, a trait we inherited from our father. Because his wife, (and we love her despite this strange quirk), doesn't like sweet treats, I often baked for him before we met for lunch. I figured, since he drove across the city to meet me at a half way point between our homes, he deserved having something to nibble on for the drive home. You know, in case he got stuck in rush hour traffic.

Back to cookies. I don't bake as often anymore, so when I purchased these very delicious cookies, I filled a container and gave them to him.

I got an e-mail that night, asking where I bought the cookies, did I bake them? The cookies were as big a hit with him as they were with my family. But the big surprise was when he went to have another, he found crumbs. Lo and behold, we had finally discovered a sweet that his wife couldn't resist. Which only proves that she is human after all. Just joking.

Oh yeah, cookies and cheating.

As a last minute Christmas gift, before we were meeting for lunch, I purchased a container of these cookies, for my sister-in-law, and some prize winning butter tarts from a local bakery for my brother.
But the night before we were to meet I had a sugar craving, and the cookies were sitting there on the counter, begging me to do a taste test.

So, thinking of others, I unselfishly decided I had better check out the quality of these cookies before gifting them. Selecting a couple at random, I conducted a taste test and found this batch to be worthy of my sister-in-law and wrapped the remainder in a clear bag.

We did our gift exchange and imagine my embarrassment when I opened a gift to find a package of our now favorite cookies. Obviously I got the whole container and had to confess I'd opened theirs and sampled.

Caught, with crumbs on my face. I did the right thing and tried to trade the full container for the bag of cookies, but she would have no part of it.

How was I to know that they had become regulars of the salted caramel?

It was a lesson learned. If you're going to share such a find as this, be prepared that others will adopt it as their own. And thereby know how it comes, the package and the number.

They understood, as these cookies are simply too good to resist. 

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Christmas, Over for Another Year

I, for one, am glad to have the holidays over, or at least the Christmas portion of it. There is too much tension surrounding this holiday and it always seems a relief to have it over.

We celebrate our family gathering off the actual holiday day, as it makes it less stressful and reduces that push and pull you get from family. With my two kids married, they have familial obligations with their in-laws, and in some cases, a second separate set of in-laws.

A number of years ago, with my separation and divorce, the kids might have felt torn, felt they had to choose one parent over the other. As I worked weekends and holidays it was an easy solution for me to volunteer to work Christmas, to make New Year's our special holiday, and let the kids go to their grandparents' place as had been the norm before the divorce.

Moving ahead, same kind of scenario, the kids had to juggle the holidays with exes of their own. It works, with the parents coordinating schedules so we could have all the kids together at the same time. It took some quick talk and careful planning.

Aren't they lucky that I am so flexible. Tell me where and when is my attitude.

I think Christmas is so much more than just Christmas Day. I like to do a month's worth of celebration. When my kids were small we did the parade, breakfast with Santa at the dept. store, the party at the library and of course, dinner at Swiss Chalet with the free chocolate. It was Chinese dinner for New Year's.

This year I did 'Purses for Sisters' with 2 of my granddaughters. This is a charity event for women, homeless and in a shelter. We shopped to fill a couple of purses with much needed items and the township distributes them to those in need. We delivered the purses to a drop off location that just happened to be a deli, and had a nice lunch while we were there.

We all need those feel good moments, knowing we've helped others less fortunate than ourselves. And it was nice to see the girls so enthusiastic to help.

Celebrate the small things, make the holiday special. Like putting up the tree, decorating the house, wrapping gifts and of course, baking. The holidays are more than big dressy parties, large gatherings and gifts. The holidays are about those special moments shared and remembered.

The holidays are what you make of it, so make it count.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Navy is the New Black

The other day I was out shopping and as I walked to the store in the bright sunlight I noticed that my T-shirt was navy and my fleece jacket was black. I thought I had selected a black T out of my pile of black T's but guess was navy.

This happened to me once before, but was more distressing as it was a dressy occasion. I had on my beautiful soft gold jacket, one of those fooler things where the top underneath was attached. It was creme colored and designed to look like a vest. There was decorative braiding with pewter colored studs. It was one of my favorite jackets.

That day I had worn it with what I thought were my dress black slacks, which turned out to be navy. I was self conscious of it the whole evening though I don't know if anyone else noticed in the soft lights.

The same thing happened to a friend of mine, so I was glad it isn't just me.

From mow on I'm going to have to separate my navy from my black, or quit wearing navy altogether. No way will I ever give up black.

I guess I need to institute a window test. That's standing in the bright light from outside to determine whether what I've chosen is really black or the navy. I'll have to find a substitute light if the day is dark, dreary or deep into the night.

And people wonder why I wear so much black. But, have you noticed how many shades of black there are? Sometimes you have to match the blacks. What a conundrum.

This is one of the reasons I wear denim, other than the comfort and ease, is denim matches everything.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

I like a white Christmas as much as the next guy, but I prefer it not snow until I've completed all my holiday shopping. Then as nice as it is to see the snow on the actual holiday, I hope it holds off until people can get to their destinations safe and sound.

So we've had a lot of snow, and I am once again without boots. Or running shoes, or anything that could be deemed winter footwear.

I wear a plain pair of black crocs as I find them the easiest and most comfortable. If it rains, or like now, snows, my feet get wet.

I actually had thought ahead and ordered this neat pair of boots on line, for $20. I was willing to chance it as they were on sale and looked great. They came, as advertised, but were too small. My granddaughter liked them, and they fit her so all was well.

I dug around in my closet and found 6 pairs of sandals and one pair of leather backless shoes but with too much of a heel. Then I came across a pair of black suede moccasins. I wore them one day and found my toes cramped. They went to the same granddaughter and I am again bootless.

If I get out shopping it will be to buy boots or a sturdy pair of running shoes, and a small shovel to clear the path to the car door. I'm tired of my feet being cold and wet. Good thing the path to the road and the circle drive are shoveled and plowed, but the space between cars is never done, hence the need for a shovel.

I better get out this week, but first I'll check the weather forecast. It might be calling for freash snow and I have nothing to wear. Typical woman's complaint I know.

Here's wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

"Good Morning"

I was watching television the other day and there was an orange juice commercial on and I recognized the music, a cherry song singing Good Morning".

It struck me that a good percentage of viewers might not recognize the music, or know of the movie from which it came.

"Singing in the Rain" made in 1952 was a musical starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. You may not be familiar with the movie, but I bet you've seen bits and pieces, remakes etc of one of the most famous musical numbers ever made.

That scene..."Singing in the Rain" is well known, and deserves every accolade its received.

Here is a clip from the movie, another musical number with the three stars, singing you a Good Morning.


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Love a Duck

I love making new traditions, and have started a number in the last few years. One that is fun is the joke gift.

The first was an outhouse, occupied with a singing outdoorsman that just had to go to my son. I can't remember the song, but it made everyone laugh. I loved the detail, like the roll of toilet paper hanging outside the door.

The next year it was a Lego type Zamboni, in a 109 pieces, but the best was it had the Toronto Maple Leafs logo on the side. This went to my son-in-law, one of their most die hard fans.

Last year it was a very pretty frame, for selfie pictures, with the title Queen of Selfies in pink, and when you shook it, there was a flutter of sparkles. Perfect for my granddaughter.

About July or August, my nine year old granddaughter starts asking who is getting the joke gift. I always give her the same answer. "I don't know until I see it."

As she is the most ardent of fans for this new tradition, I had to give her the joke gift this year. But what?

Somehow, in conversation, I found out that a duck is her favorite animal. Really, a duck!

It has been the root of many other jokes since that time. When she got her new winter coat, purple in color, I said I would make her a duck hat, but it had to be purple to match. I did make the hat, but it was bright yellow, and she loved it.

When I saw a soft velour house coat, in bright yellow, with a duck head hood, I knew I had my joke gift.

Yesterday we had a family gathering for Christmas and she was given her 'joke' gift and she loved it. The other tradition I started a few years ago was the making of one item, crocheted, for every member. It was hats the first year, then slippers, hats and mitts and last year socks. So what to do this year.

I decided to surprise everyone by making them stuffed animals, and they were delighted. Now I have to think what to do next year, whatever it is is x 13, so I have my work cut out for me.

Thursday, 30 November 2017


Tuesday nights, when my granddaughter plays indoor soccer, we gather here for for dinner and travel together to the game. My old Velma, being a van, holds us all and I avoid night driving by having a designated driver.

As we we going out the door, my grandson looked toward the bookcase and said that's a something, something pentagon. What he was looking at was a very pretty candle holder/vase/bowl in a mottled gold. It looks very pretty at night when lit by one of my flameless candles.

The shape is made up of joined pentagrams, five sided shapes for those of you not up on your math. t

I was impressed that he noted the shape as said object is tucked in with my books and other collectibles on a very full wall of shelves.

Then he noted the ceiling fan and said the fans were elliptical in shape.

Now I was duly impressed. Not only had he obviously listened in class, but he had taken that information and applied it to real life, recognizing how those shapes were used not only in creating something artistic, like my candle holder, but also functional like in the blades of my ceiling fan.

So there, Dad, that talk about paying attention in class and applying himself to his studies paid off.

Toilet Paper

A few days ago I was in the bathroom and used the last of the roll of toilet paper. I picked up the new roll and left it on the counter, too lazy to make that supreme effort of changing the roll. The curse of living alone.

Next time in I changed the roll and thought about why the toilet paper companies went to the mega make life easier for people like me.

It really is cost saving to buy the big rolls, as they seem to be more tightly wound. The smaller rolls I purchased, on sale, are so loose I could pull the cardboard tube out with ease.

All this heavy thinking about toilet paper reminded me of that old cartoon from For Better or For Worse about the Mom yelling at the kids for not replacing the roll of toilet paper when they used the last of it. The answer was...because she did, as most mothers would probably agree.

The new roll of toilet paper could sit on the counter for days until Mom comes along and puts it in its proper place.

I know this for a fact as I had the toilet paper sitting on the counter when the family came and after one of the grandkids used the bathroom it was still there. Whereas, when I have used the last sheet of toilet paper at someone else's home, I change the roll. It's a Mom thing.

And as I have a touch of OCD, and I like the toilet paper to hang over rather than under, I sometimes change the roll to my way of thinking. I wonder if anyone ever noticed or if it even matters to anyone else.

I do think from now on I'll continue to buy my toilet paper on sale, but from now on I'm looking for the mega roll.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Window Painting

We were in the car at the gas station, waiting for my son to pump the gas and his wife in the attached Tim Horton's getting coffee. We could see the windows had been painted with bright holiday designs.

"How do they do that?" my grandson asked.

I told him it was painted on, but as we looked at the designs I thought I could see a faint clear edge around the design and wondered if it was actually a vinyl stick on.

Yesterday I was in a different Tim Horton's (yes, we drink a lot of tea and coffee) and I saw a woman on a ladder, outside, painting the festive holiday designs. I was wrong, it was painted after all. I watched and was amazed by how sure her stroke was, and was envious of her skill.

I paint, paintings, not windows, and I have never had that sure and easy of a stroke. For one, I need my hand supported and have never learned to do what some artists do and rest my hand on a bat sort of thing, when working on a easel or vertical surface.

I went outside to speak to her, and relate our conversation from earlier in the week about how these windows were done.

She was glad to talk about her work. Apparently she went to school to learn the lettering for sign painting, and for painting large scale murals, like what you see on the side of buildings. She said she used a non reflective paint, so the design was not lost in the refection of the sky that was obvious in the glass.

She also told me that when Tim Horton's redesigned their old coffee shops, they went with the double paned windows with special glass which distorts the designs if painted on the interior of the window. So all the designs are painted on the outside.

We had an interesting conversation, and I think she was pleased to talk about her work, and to know it was appreciated.

Funny, I was in a store after that and saw a man painting his holiday cheer, on the inside of the store window. It was an older building, and obviously did not have the more efficient double pained windows.

The things you learn when you ask questions and have a friendly chat.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Project Runway Finale

Project Runway is the only reality show I watch, and I watch because I love to see what these talented designers can come up with, week after week. This year has been a bit different as the models range from size 2 to 22, the first time plus size models have been used.

There was one designer that caught my eye from the beginning. Every look he put out on the runway was very distinctively his, where other designers did not have an established branding.

Last night was the final show, when the four finalists sent a 10 piece collection down the runway for their own show at New York Fashion week.

One woman, from Puerto Rico, sent a colorful collection, full of bold fabric designs and of course sparkle. I liked a few of the designs, but found it all too wild and full of pattern. I thought, as did one of the judges, that she could have used some solid pieces to offset the bold. She was the first designer eliminated.

The three designers left included a young man from Utah, my fave from the beginning. Next was a woman who designed for the modest market, namely those women of Muslin descent who followed their religious and cultural customs, who covered their head and did not expose skin. The last was a Japanese man who I felt was hit and miss throughout the competition. I think there may have been some language problems in his understanding and in making himself understood.

The woman put on an interesting show, including an absolutely beautiful wedding gown. Though she had some good designs, I think her collection might have been stronger if the show was 7 pieces instead of 10, as a few of her designs were not as strong as the others. She came in 2nd.

I was disappointed in my fave. He chose a colorful fabric as the basis of his collection and used it at full strength, and after he'd faded the colors to create a new look. He added a coordinating solid for variety. But here's the thing, the collection may have been full of fantastic designs, but it was lost in the repetition of color and fabric. There needed to be some pop of other color, some solids, to accentuate the design. He came in third, where I thought he would be a runaway winner. His disappointment was hard to watch. He is young and was very humble throughout, one of the only designers that did not get sidetracked with the drama between the group members.

The Japanese man won, and I can't quite figure out why. He felt he had nothing to lose and went with his own ideas, ignoring any advice, a basically black and white show with a few pops of red. He had some good designs, but I didn't think they were as exceptional as some of the others.

So, I'm disappointed in the outcome. I'm sure that all these finalists will have a future in fashion design and we'll hear about them in the future.
Apparently there is to be a reunion show, like what they do after the Survivor show's winner is announced. I'm sure it will be full of drama, as was this, the 16th season of Project Runway.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Goodbye Lily

It is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Lily, my daughter's family pet.

It was recently discovered that she had cancer and knowing allowed the family to prepare, but today her suffering was too much to bear.

My daughter and I lived in a sort of duplex arrangement when we got Lily, so as a pup she was my dog more than anyone else's as she spent all day, every day with me.

For rhe last few years, Lily was again my dog for one week a year when the family went to Florida. She was old like me, so easy to care for. I never had to worry about her running off, especially as it was cold weather. I did create a bit of a monster though, as I was heavy on the treats. After the first time she never saw me without looking for some sort of doggie biscuit.

Many times, after she had returned home, I'd find myself talking to her, to only remember she was gone.

Well now she's gone for real, the tears have flowed and we've all shared a hug.

Goodbye Lil, you will be missed.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Name Calling

So, a few years ago I named my van Velma. I thought if I was friendlier, maybe she would be friendly back and we could build a relationship of trust, in that she would run smoothly and not leave me stranded on the side of the road. In return, I would give her more frequent visits at the spa, namely Uncle Brad's garage, for routine maintenance.

So far, it's been a win win situation.

Everyone in the family calls the van Velma, as in can I borrow Velma on Saturday, or will we take Velma or my car. It's fun and has become a family joke. Especially the talk comparing Velma's rust status with my bad back, both of us showing our age.

Yesterday we, five of us, piled into Velma and drove to my granddaughter's indoor soccer game. There was my daughter-in-law, me and the three grandkids, my son working until 7 P.M. As it was his birthday we were going to meet at Dairy Queen to celebrate with ice cream instead of cake.

The smaller kids have a bit of trouble with Velma's side door, as it tends to stick. The adult of the three grandkids, a mature 19, pulled the door open and made a comment about my dear Velma.

I was a few feet away, but I was sure I heard her call Velma a whore. I mean she's old, and is showing signs of wear and tear, but to call her a whore was...just rude.

"Did you just call Velma a whore?" I asked, and was given a shocked look in response.

"No," she replied. "I said I'd get the five hundred pound DOOR."

It was a joke for the three adults, one that I presume went over the head of the younger kids, and became a source of much kidding for the rest of the evening.

It's a good life lesson though, because what you think you hear, may not actually be what was said. It's always good to clarify.

I love you Velma, we have a few more roads to travel.

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Need to Chat

I need a friend who has the same interests, so we can talk about the same things.

Like crochet. I find a new pattern, with some interesting new stitch or way of doing things and I want to share. I want to talk about it, but for those that don't crochet...boring.

The same can be said for my other creative efforts, like my art or other craft projects. For people who don't do those things, they find it hard to feign interest.

I need a friend who is as keen on the J. D. Robb series of books as I am. I absolutely love these books, how the characters have been developed over 45 books and still remain as interesting as they were in the beginning. I am fascinated, as a writer,  at how the author creates a mystery/murder story for each book and at the same time shows a new side to the main groups of characters.

I also like the minor secondary characters who come and go, like the young street peddler, the computer whiz. I like the closure you get as a reader when the author brings back, for a minor role, a character from a previous book.

But I have to wonder how the author does it How does she keep track of all these people she has created. Like the baker who was kidnapped and tortured, rescued by the star character, the homicide cop. Her last words, on being rescued, were about the special cake she was going to bake, in thanks. That cake was delivered a couple of books later, and was a crucial part in helping the detective solve her current case. How did the author plan that, or make that happen? I need someone who reads these books and wants to talk about it.

And then there's Project Runway, the only reality TV show I watch. I love the creativity of this show and often design outfits in my head as I watch. This year has been particularly interesting with the emotions in the sewing room. But I don't know anyone who watches this so I could talk about it.

Maybe I need to find some chat rooms, there must be one somewhere that has "like" discussions, but I'd prefer an animated discussion over coffee.

Oh well, at least I have my son-in-law to talk to about the recent sporting events. But he's more into hockey, or golf, and I need someone who also likes tennis.

Funny, but if I got out more I might find that person of "like" interests, but if I got too social, I wouldn't have time for all those interests.  Is that as confusing as I think it is? Have to go, my programs about to start. LOL

Friday, 3 November 2017

TV Guide

Do you remember the old TV Guide, the one you picked up weekly at the grocery store check out?

It had the listings for the week, interesting articles, sometimes a recipe and a crossword puzzle on the inside back cover.

I liked to read through, see what was on. I especially liked the fall issue that gave you a rundown of new and returning shows. Here it is fall, and I'm confused with the number of shows available.

With the number of channels now available, the TV Guide would be too big to be useful. Scanning the listings offered by my cable company is bad enough.

The one thing I do with the listings, is read the caption about what happens in each particular episode. You don't actually have to watch the show, to stay current, or almost current.

I have a DVR, PVR, or whatever you want to call it, and record ahead of time,  save to watch later. I have a number of my favorite movies recorded, and a number that sounded good, but I've yet to watch.

I like the crime shows, NCIS, in all its locations, are my faves. So, I have episodes recorded in lump showings, not individually. When the daytime programs are not appealing, I can go to the PVR and put on 2, 3 or 4 hours of shows, and let it run.

The thing is, I don't really pay attention, as I'm usually doing some kind of craft project. It's background noise, and when I watch it's to give my eyes a rest from doing close work.

 I like the reruns, the repeats, and I find it funny that sometimes, I can watch a show I've seen before and see something new. Not a surprise as I don't always wear my glasses at home, and am hit and miss with my view of the screen.

New shows, old shows and hundreds of channels and we still complain that there's nothing on.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Velma...Good to Go

Velma, my van, is back from the spa (the garage), and with a good to go report. I know her time is limited, but like most of us good old girls, we're toughing it out.

I was afraid of a big bill, too many costly repairs, but other than the rust issue, she's working pretty good. We'll see how she makes out in the spring after a winter of snow and salt.

I joke around and say that when Velma is ready for that great big scrap yard in the sky, my driving days will also be done. But I know if it happens next year, I'm not ready to give up my independence.

I got a lecture about this in the summer from a neighbor, who had to make the drive or not drive decision. He's thirty years older than me, and though he has some health issues, his mobility is better than mine.

His car was old and rusted out and he was told that it was not safe to drive. So he faced the dilemma, to drive or not to drive. He chose drive and bought himself a little red car, a Sprite I think it is.

Like me, he doesn't go out a lot, but when he wants to go, he wants to go right that moment. If you don't drive it's the bus, so a walk to the bus stop. It can be Community Care car service, but that has to be booked 3 days ahead of time. Wheels, the bus service for the disabled is also a book ahead service. As a last's a taxi...$$$$$.

I know my kids would be there for me, a trip to the grocery store, a doctor's appointment, but what about that spur of the moment trip to Walmart or the dollar store. The sad thing is, if your friends are of the same age or condition, they are not driving either.

I take my 90 year old neighbor with me when I go shopping, as she otherwise has to book a ride. She appreciates the opportunity.

I have another friend who is at that point, that decision making point, of whether to drive or not to drive. I feel for her, for by the time that decision has to be made, there have been a number of losses that have come before.

Independence, or the loss of independence, is not an easy choice. I'm not ready to make that decision, let alone live with the negative, the loss of my freedom to go out, to do as I please, when I please. Let's hope I have time before I have to face it.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Women Drivers

I took Velma (my car) to the spa for her pre-winter check up. I usually leave her there for a few days, a test for me to what it's like not to have a car. Velma may be old, and showing her age, but she's good to go for a while yet.

The spa is north of town, on a dead end country road, so there's no handy pickup service as I might have at a dealership. I got a ride out earlier this week and a free lunch.

Today I called my daughter-in-law for a ride, which worked out as she wanted to borrow the van for tomorrow. I hadn't driven her car before, hadn't driven anything but a van in almost ten years, but I figured it would be ok, as long as it was automatic.

The garage was closed at noon, but I had told them I was coming and asked they leave the key for me, and the bill.

We arrive and items were moved from the car to the van, all we needed was the key. We looked in the obvious spots, over the visor, in the cup holder, in the basket between the seats. No key. Not under the seat, under the mats, not in the glove compartment.

I figured the guys had forgotten to leave it. No problem as my daughter-in-law has the spare key. So we were good to go.

I get in her car, and looked about for the necessities. I adjust the seat, the steering wheel and the rear view mirror. Then I try and change the gear and get a spray of washer on the windshield. Oops. My car has the gear changer...the gear shift? the steering wheel, the car's is on the console.

Laughing, my daughter-in-law realizes what I've done and we laugh about how silly it was, but old habits die hard. I remember when I made the change the other way, was always reaching beside me used to the gear shift being on the console.

We had another laugh when she went to insert her spare key in the ignition and found my key. Who would have thought to look in the ignition? It was too funny and I laughed all the way home.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Kids Will be Kids...Not All Kids

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my car with my son watching his daughter play soccer in an inter-school tournament. There was a group of boys, from a local school, wandering along the edge of the parking lot, eating chips and, seemingly, killing time until their next game.

My son's truck was parked two cars over, where the boys were standing. I was startled when my son jumped out of the car and hurried over to the two boys, the third quickly distancing himself from his teammates saying "I want no part of this."

"What were you doing in my truck?" my son asked. He got the usual 'kid' answer...nothing. He had seen the boys reaching in the open window of his truck, where his phone was sitting on the seat.

There was little further discussion as the boys left, but their greasy (from eating potato chips) fingerprints were all over the window and door of the truck.

We kept our eyes on the group, as they kept their eyes on us. In fact, they seemed to delight in wandering by the car, pointing at us, taunting and laughing. They got others on the team involved and we had a parade of soccer players hovering near us.

I thought this was how mob mentality worked. One person, gets others involved until a situation is out of hand.

We happened to be visited by the coach of our team, a new teacher to the school who came to introduce himself, and told him what events had transpired. We fully believed the first two boys were intending to steal something from the truck...the phone, the smokes, or maybe a deeper search for money. Their efforts were thwarted because they didn't know the driver was two cars away and not down the field at the sidelines.

This teacher drew the coach/teacher from the boys' team aside and explained the situation.

Apparently the boys had told the team that a man had spoken to them and I was glad to be a witness or the boys could have caused even more trouble.

I saw the teacher draw the boys aside and speak to them, but what was said, or what was done as a follow through, I have no idea.

When your kids play on a team, and play with other schools, away from the 'home' field, you can only hope they behave in a responsible manner, showing respect for others, respect for property. It is difficult for one teacher to be aware of each child's behavior, especially when the area is crowded with other teams moving about.

Our kids were from a small country school, and I watched, saw that they stayed together except for trips to the bathroom. These other boys, from a school in town, wandered about, not staying close to their team 'spot', a dining style tent, or cover where they had snacks and could leave their gear.

It was a blight on what was otherwise an enjoyable day, a visit with my son and granddaughter.

It was disappointing to see this kind of behavior, the dishonesty, the bully behavior. But, it said well for the school my grandchildren attend and their teacher who was willing to stand up for what was right.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Memory from 1947

I'm not a very political person, and yet I'm fascinated by US politics of late, as is the rest of the world.

This latest issue with the NFL and its players brought to mind a story my Dad told me from his university football days.

It was 1947, and my Dad would have been 24 years old, finishing his degree at Ohio University. He was married, living in married quarters on campus, my sister born that same year.

The East West Shrine game is a post season, college football All Star game played each January since 1925. It was historically played in San Francisco, except for the game played in 1942. The location was changed due to the war, following the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 on Pearl Harbor.

My Dad was from a small town in Ohio, had been a United States Marine, though he never saw action. All my life I thought of my Dad as a Gentle Giant. He was 6 foot three and weighed 280 lbs. He was a tough guy, but quiet in his ways. I know there had been troubled time in his youth, but he never spoke of it.

I do remember Dad talking of the East West Shrine Game he played in and I was able to find the roster for that game in 1947.


Dad told me of the bus arriving at this hotel, and some of the players got off the bus before it continued on to another hotel where the remaining players disembarked. This puzzled my Dad and he asked one of his team members what it was all about.

He was informed that the, then called, 'colored' players could not stay at the same hotel. A fine example of segregation. This was a new experience for my Dad, one he could not understand. It bothered him a lot for he told this story many times over the years, and as I remember it, it had a great impact on me.

Color meant nothing to my Dad, it was the merit of the man that counted.

I see the happenings south of the border and can't believe, with all that has occurred in the last 7 decades, we have not come as far as we might have hoped. It seems to be a two steps forward, three steps back kind of thing.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Old Blue

Last fall I threw out my old winter jacket. It was pale blue, with a zipper down the front, no buttons. The cuffs were worn, the coat soiled from wear, and no amount of scrubbing would make it look like new.

The zipper broke a number of years ago and I continued to wear it, dressing accordingly by layering it over a sweatshirt or fleece top.

But, I never got around to buying a new winter coat. I do have a 'good' coat. It's mid calf in length and too heavy to wear shopping, so I save it for dressier times.

I made do last winter with my quilted jean jacket. Lucky for me, I could avoid going out on the worst of our cold winter days, and as we had enough days of fairly good weather, I made do.

My jean jacket went from winter to spring and now it's fall and perfect, again, except we're having an unusually warm start to our fall.

That old blue jacket went from my closet, to a bag in the car. I was undecided as to whether to add it to one of those clothing bins, or toss it in the garbage. I wore it in its well-worn state, so maybe some poor homeless person could use it. I was convinced that any clothes added to those big parking lot bins of clothing, were sorted for resale or give away.

But the bag with the coat stayed in the back of my van, as I found myself unable to part with it. Like the jean jacket, with it's frayed and worn cuff, there's an emotional attachment. It will be much harder to give up the jean jacket, and as it has snaps, no zipper, it still works. I love the two breast pockets, with zippers, and the stylish addition of zippers at the cuff.

I'm a jeans and denim kind of girl, old girl, and I would need to replace this jacket in kind before I see it go.

Funny, how some clothes we wear over and over again, while newer and better items hang in our closets, unworn.

Well, my old coat is finally gone.

My son was putting something in the back of the van and asked why I had all these bags. One fabric store bag had an afghan in it, because you never know when you might need a blanket. Another bag had all my store bags, because I try to avoid the plastic ones. Finally there was the bag with 'old blue'.

"What do you want to do with it?" my son asked.

"I was going to take it to one of those clothing bins," I replied.

He tossed it into the back of his car, stating he also had a couple of bags to go, of too small kids clothes, and as easy as that it was gone.

Decision made, action taken, goodbye old blue coat, you served me well.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Pay Back's a Bitch

I volunteered to pick up my granddaughter from school today, and drive her to work. As she would be working over the dinner hour, I went through the drive thru to pick her up something to eat.  I drove around, killing time, some might think, while she ate, but I called it maximizing the visit time.

There was an issue last year when I was at her house, and she needed a ride to work. Her job at that time was in my town, 18 KM away, so I could drop her off on my way home. She commented that I drove too slow, and never took the highway, so she'd never get to work on time.

I never let her forget her comment, called it Granny Driving and punished her the next few times we were out by driving at horse and buggy speed. I even did this in front of her friends. Who knew teenage girls were so easily embarrassed.

After I let her off at work I was driving home and that song from "Flashdance" came on the radio. It was the one where the people are singing the song "What a Feeling" from the movie, their singing very enthusiastic after eating Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Damn, I thought, I missed another perfect opportunity to tease my beloved granddaughter. What if it had been playing as I picked her up at her co-op, or left her at her work.

Here's the link to the commercial. Well, life is full of missed opportunities, I'm sure I will find another way to pay her back for that 'Granny Driving' comment. She hasn't suffered enough yet.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Memory of a Train

I was doing grandma's taxi service this morning, picking up a couple of the grandkids and taking them to school. (After a stop for breakfast, of course).

As we were driving along the two lane country highway, from one town to the next, I noticed there was a train travelling parallel to us.

I reminded my grandson that when he was little, toddler sized, he loved the trains.

There is an elevated track near the town park where we used to go with the kids. I told him that when he heard the train coming he would run around, all excited, telling everyone "The train is coming, the train is coming."

He was quiet in the back seat, and finally spoke. "You mean I went to random people to tell them about the train?"

Random people? What kind of language is that for a nine year old?

"Yes," I answered. "You told all the people, all the random people."

Kid's got smarts.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Remembering 9/11

Firefighters of Station 9/11

Amid the rubble and the dust

Men did, as such men must,

Fought back their fears,

Choked back their tears,

And went forth, to who knew what.

And from that day each found their way,

From a man; -into a hero,

And time stood still

As it ever will,

At that place

That is Ground Zero.

Deborah Lean

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Wake Up Call

It's amazing how we can get so self involved that we form opinions, hold grudges and can be unthinking, uncaring, about other people's feelings.

I have, for the most part, accepted the limitations of my disease, my Multiple Sclerosis. But pain has been an issue for months now, and my ability to do things greatly impacted. Strangely enough, the pain is not all MS related, but due to the arthritis that has screwed up my back and knee.

I have had to face that there are things I will never be able to do again. Travel is out of the question, even day trips are too demanding. I walk best with a walker, but use the cane more as it seems easier when getting in and out of the car.

This summer I was feeling down, and feeling sorry for myself because I spend so much of my life flat on my back due to back pain. New medication brought new side effects, and some relief, but for the nerve pain only. I have worried that my MS is progressing and have been afraid of what is to come.

So, I admit, I got to feeling sorry for myself, and resentful that people seemed to forget I exist. When you spend too much time alone, that can happen I guess. At any rate, let me say it was a long and lonely summer.

I know my kids are busy with their kids, with juggling their jobs and their own responsibilities. I say I understand, and yet I feel that I was too self absorbed to realize they were dealing with numerous issues of their own. For that I am sorry.

I let small things become big issues, and didn't get out of my bubble of self pity enough to see that other people were dealing with a lot and maybe counted on me being there for them, emotionally, if not physically.

I let a shit load of old stuff affect my thinking, and that is so wrong.

So let me say, I've had a wake up call, and apologize to my family, most sincerely that I was not supportive, understanding, and there for them. I have leaned on my brother and his wife, peers, same generation, as I have avoided leaning on my children. The word BURDEN comes too easily to mind.

I have looked out, and see it's a beautiful day, and we may not have these nice days for long. So like I have to do with my life, I need to enjoy the nice days when I can.

 Love to everyone.

Hurricanes We Have Aplenty

I have a fascination with hurricanes. It may seem strange, but it started years ago when I did some research, after all, I had family living in south Florida and it was a constant threat to them.

I found the National Hurricane Center website, and it became a habit to watch the progression of storms across the Atlantic Ocean.

At first storms are noted by a colored 'X' in yellow, brown or red, depending on their strength. Then they can become a circle of red, then a solid circle that designates hurricane.

Some 'X's make the change, some disappear before they make it across the ocean. For a storm to be given a name it has to reach specific wind speeds.

The names are predetermined, and there are a couple of lists that are rotated every year. If you see or hear of hurricanes and you think they skipped a letter, no, it just means that a storm given a name faded away to nothing.

If a storm is of major consequence, like Katrina, the name is removed from the list and not used again.

Right now we have Irma, making a destructive path across the Caribbean Islands, and Jose still making his way, following in her wake.

I was watching this yellow 'X' that headed toward the Gulf of Mexico, and next thing I knew it was hurricane status and given the name Katia. That's how fast things can change.

Texas is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, and I don't think New Orleans ever made a full recovery from Katrina. I wish these storms would all veer off into the ocean and leave land, the people and their communities alone.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, flood and fire...what is Mother Nature trying to tell us.

Here's the link to the National Hurricane Center, and the map that tracks the hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Drip, Drip, Drip

Isn't it amazing, that despite the usual noises, television, the wind in the trees, the noisy neighbor banging in his kitchen (what is he doing over there?) you can hear and be totally annoyed by the sound of dripping water.

We'd had some rain, but it was now clear, not exactly sun shine, but clear. I could hear this ongoing drip, water on metal, and knew it was the air conditioner. It was cool enough I didn't have the unit running, and it wasn't raining, so what was dripping? My place has a deep overhang, and eaves troughs, so water should not have been hitting the metal top of the air conditioner, but it was.

It was early morning, which might account for my crankiness, and my lack of tolerance for the repetitive sound. I threw some clothes on and went to investigate.

The complex where I live have four units in each separate building. Two front doors on one side, two on the other, then the corresponding two back doors on the third and fourth sides. There is a nice little patio at the front doors, that face and join with the next building of four.

The back doors lead to the grass, maybe a bit of a garden against the wall. I never use that door, and as I stepped out realized I should have been sweeping out that small area.

The drip was coming from the fascia and dripping on the air conditioner. Not sure what that means, as water should not be dripping from that spot, so I'll mention it to the maintenance guy when I see him next.

It finally quit dripping so I could finally relax. My bed beckoned, but as I was up, and dressed,so I made an early start to the day. Apparently I should have been sweeping out that back door. It was covered in grass from when the guy ran by with his giant whipper-snipper thing. I guess the bugs like that safe corner and didn't like my disturbing their early morning.

I got a bite just above the wrist, and it itches like crazy and I now have a quarter sized welt, all red and raised.

I had put baby powder along the edges of the patio where I could see ants and that worked like a charm, I wonder how that would work at the back door, on whatever bit me? First I need to sweep.

Best be prepared, as there's more rain in the forecast, and I just know, no matter what, that drip will come through loud and clear.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Moron...My New State of Being

The other day I was challenged by the door to the nursing home. It took me four tries to get in the door. One..I didn't punch in the code. Two...I didn't see the star after the numbers. Three...I accidently put a hashtag instead of the star. Four...code numbers, star....and I'm in. Later that same day I screwed up the portable card reader at the restaurant.

Today, what I did beats all of that.

I hadn't yet decided on what I was going to do today, but my actions have now decided for me.

I have porridge every morning, the instant kind you can do in the microwave. I poured the package into a small bowl, added the water and stirred it up. Then I pushed the button to open the door to the microwave and it swept the bowl of porridge right off the counter and down the front of me to land, open end up of course, on the carpet.

I now have oatmeal down my T shirt, my jeans, all across the fridge and cupboard doors, and of course...the rug and floor. What a mess.

I tossed the rug out the back door to hose off. It took the rest of my roll of paper towels to clean up the floor, the cupboards, the fridge. That stuff really flew.

I guess this is a teaching moment, about keeping my kitchen counters clear, because if I had taken the container to the compost yesterday, the counter would have been clear and I would have fixed my oatmeal beside the sink instead of in front of the microwave.

I'm at the computer, obviously, and have stepped away from the final cleanup, just taking a break until I get to it. Now I can laugh at the sillyness of it all.

But, let me say, I'm ready to go back to being a sane, smart and fully functioning adult.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Feeling Stupid

I went to the nursing home yesterday to meet my daughter-in-law. First time at her work place.

I walked through the outer door and into a small vestibule, grabbed the door...and it wouldn't open. I should have realized there was security. Had I not spent the majority of my nursing career in long term care?

I found the key pad on the wall to the left, down low so not immediately in view. The code was noted above the keypad. 1 2 3 4. Simple. I tried it and it didn't work.

Leaning down I gave the code a better read (didn't have my bifocals on). 1 2 3 4 *. Okay, so I missed the star. I punched in the code again. 1 2 3 4 #. Door still didn't open.

Is this like what they call muscle memory? How many times are you directed to give the hashtag sign, like on the phone when talking through a sequence of directions? I pushed it without thinking.

Let's try this again. 1 2 3 4 *. Yeah, break out the balloons, throw the confetti, I managed to open the door.

As I stepped inside I realized there was a woman watching at reception, watching my moronic moment. We laughed, and she was very nice, trying to reassure me that many people have trouble with the door and its code. So there are other morons out there, wonderful.

Later, I was at lunch trying to pay the bill. Another machine, that I managed until it came to the tip. Percentage, amount or no tip at all. Somehow I pushed the wrong thing and ended up with the No Tip choice. If I'd had cash for a tip I could have left it at that. As it was I called our server over and had to get her to fix it, so I could tip her.

As this is a regular lunch, and we always have the same server, I was not about to stiff her on the tip.

It was my day for feeling stupid. And the day wasn't over yet.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Strange Words

My daughter-in-law was borrowing Velma (my van) for an outing with the kids, and dropped by this morning to make the vehicle exchange. She knocked softly on the door, and when there was no immediate response assumed I was still asleep.

I was up, but moving much slower, but I caught her as she started to drive away.

"There's a coffee on your window sill and a sweet potato on your door," she said.

Such strange conversations we can have. The coffee, from Tim's is self explanatory as my family is well addicted to their brew, but the sweet potato?

After a few minutes conversation she was on her way. I received a phone call after that from my neighbor. "I left a sweet potato on your door," she said.

Now I get it.

My neighbor is going away, and was giving me a vegetable that might spoil in her absence. My daughter-in-law was just letting me know it was there.

Funny, but it all made sense to me. I put the veggie in the fridge and sat down to play on the internet and enjoy my coffee. I don't need it by any means, but a donut would have been nice. Just kidding.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Recycle, Reuse

I'd had a late lunch and didn't feel like cooking dinner, but later that evening, found myself hungry. Looking in the fridge I saw the Becel container I use as a replacement for Tupperware. By the light from the open fridge door, I looked at the contents of the container.

There were peas, leftover from the night before, and some sort of white stuff in a sauce that I thought must be the chicken, also from the night before. I grabbed a fork and had a taste, cold, trying to decide if I wanted it bad enough to 'Nuke' it warm.

I didn't find it real appealing, and was surprised because the chicken was real tasty the first time.

Oh, no. I suddenly remembered what was in the container. Ugh, and I'd eaten it, well tasted it at least.

A couple of nights ago I had soup for dinner. The ready-to-eat kind that is chunky, a meal in a bowl. I only had a bit and put the rest in a Becel container, and into the refrigerator. Two days after that it was still there, and I'd known I wasn't going to eat it.

Then when I had the chicken, with peas (that had been in the freezer too long) I tossed the leftover peas in the same container as the soup. I figured I'd make that my compost type container and left it on the counter, then tossed it in the fridge in case it would start to smell.

No wonder it didn't taste so good. I know now why they sell those plastic containers with a dial-a-date on top to show how long the contents have been stored. A strip of masking tape to note the contents would also work, but, as I live alone, you'd think I' remember.

No more late night foraging in the fridge, unless it's for fruit, something safe.

Needless to say, I'm off peas and soup for awhile.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Poor Velma

My poor old Velma, she's definitely showing her age. She's got a new ailment, something that occasionally knocks, or goes thump and twack.

I need to get her to the spa (the garage), but as quiet as my life is I don't seem to have had a few consecutive days free to take her in and leave her.

For those new readers, Velma is my old van. She's much like me, showing her age, heart and mind still willing but the body wearing out. I figure we just might end our driving days together.

My daughter-in-law borrowed Velma last week for a road trip, as she and a friend wanted to do something with the kids, too many to go together in any one car. I was okay with that, as Velma likes a day out every once in a while.

I have a neighbor across the way, who also had a old car that he gave it up for safety reasons. He's a small man, in his nineties and was proud as punch with the car he purchased to replace the old. It's a bright red Sprite? a very small car that almost seems more of a toy than a car for real.

He gave me a talking to one day about cars. He told me the story of his old car, and his decision to buy another. He wasn't quite ready to give up his independence. Like me, he isn't out and about on a regular basis, but, when he wants to go, he likes having the ability to go on his own timing.

My other neighbor, also in her nineties, gave up her car a few years ago. She's quite mobile and does manage to walk downtown and to the pharmacy. Other stores are out of her range, especially if she's buying groceries.

Walmart, No Frills and the dollar stores are across town, so not as convenient. I take her with me when ever I'm going to any of those type of stores, or to the next town to hit Giant Tiger.

I hope Velma passes her physical, as I still want and need a car. Looking at my neighbors, I see the things I'll have to give up if I don't have wheels. Like the run out of town to visit my son, my doctor, the lunches out with my brother and my friend.

I couldn't even start with the bus, and I haven't ridden a bus in twenty years, because the bus stop is too far for me to walk. I have been paying attention, and know there's a bus for the disabled, but it has to be booked in advance, so there goes any spontaneity.

Hang in there Velma, we old girls need to stick together.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

That's Nice

"That's nice."

Are there any more disappointing words to hear than "that's nice" when someone looks at one of your creative endeavors and that is their only response?

You know immediately the person doesn't like it and are, maybe, trying to be polite. I think, deep inside, they know their response is lacking in any sincerity.

When I visit someone's home, and see changes, like in paint color or furniture, I give a better response than 'that's nice'. Someone put a lot of thought, effort, and most likely money, to make those changes, and though the change might not be to my's not my house...and their efforts should not be dismissed or disparaged.

I comment on the color, or the comfort of the sofa, or how much I like the light fixture. Something, anything but "that's nice'.

I'm writing and I probably shouldn't be. I'm writing because I feel hurt, because 'nice' was the comment to what has been three days of effort. I think I was basically told my work is old fashioned, out of date and therefore not appealing to the next generation.

It is a sad thing, that hand made gifts, made with caring and effort, have lost their appeal.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Could You Hold Please?

Sometimes being on hold can be a pleasant thing, a chance to sit for a minute and listen to some music, if the station is right. I was calling my doctor's office and got the usual message..."Can you hold, please?"...and found myself on hold so fast I couldn't even reply..

My doctor doesn't have music when you're on hold, just silence, which always makes me think I've lost the connection. Last time I disconnected, and called again, but as the office has call display, they knew it was me who'd hung up. This time I waited, and waited, and listened to the quiet.

For something to do, I went to Google, opened Pinterest, and checked out my board of 'My Knit and Crochet'. There were lots of sweaters, and a slew of scarves and hats that should be on my other crochet board..'Winter Crochet'. I like to keep things organized, so I also have boards for slippers, bags and amiguruni.

I decided to create a new board, as I was still on hold, and called it Novelty Crochet. I started moving all the non clothing pins to the new board. I could see all the ideas I have played with in the past, like the kitchen towel holders, the coasters, the mug warmers and the scrubbies, for the kitchen and for makeup removal.

These are things I have as gifts, for family, for friends and for teacher gifts for the grandchildren.

As I moved the pins to the new board, I deleted them from the first board...while still on hold. The receptionist did come on the phone once, but I was quickly back on hold waiting for the nurse.

Finally, I got my business done and hung up. But I wasn't finished with the OCD organization of my Pinterest pins. I finished it off and felt a sense of accomplishment that I could check something off my To Do List.

And while I was doing all that organizing...I found all these new projects,  nicely saved and now I'm thinking I may give them a try.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

When a Dime is Worth More Than Ten Cents

A number of years ago my daughter started finding dimes, in different and unusual spots. At first she thought nothing of it, like when she found a dime on the floor of her car. That coin could have been dropped anytime, like on a trip through the drive-thru.

She found them in her office, at home, even in the street. I know that may not seem of any consequence, as people keep change in their pockets and change could easily have been dropped and lost.

She found it curious and discovered there was a deeper meaning to finding a dime.

It is considered a sign of communication from someone who has passed on, letting the person, the finder of the dime, know they are not alone.

I think she considered the dimes a message from her father, as this seemed to coincide with the 10th (that number 10 again) anniversary of his death.

I did some research and found it could also be considered a message from beyond that the finder is on the right path...or a reminder that you are loved and valued...or a reminder to pay attention, keep watch, keep your eyes open.

The number 10 is a symbol of a circle. 10 is reduced to 1, a reminder we are at one with the spirits, or that there is to be a new beginning, a start of a new chapter.

Some believe that after the loss of a loved one, or when struggling or feeling alone, finding a dime is a reminder that one is not alone. It is a reminder of our power to begin fresh and tackle anything that comes our way.

I've had some struggles lately, new medication, adverse effects, more new medication, all while dealing with a chronic illness. I got wondering about this whole dime stuff because after a visit from my daughter not too long ago, I found a dime on the floor. No one had a wallet out, so where did this dime come from?

I'll take that this was a sign...for a new beginning...for feeling better.

I'm going to keep my eyes open from now on. You never know what signs I might have missed, that I won't be missing from now on.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Congratulations to Me

I'm very excited to celebrate 25,000 views on my blog. Thank you so much for your continued support.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sleeping With the Enemy Flashbacks

Big Oops. When I originally posted this I had the movie as Pretty Woman...what was I thinking? Thanks to my brother for pointing out my mistake. 

Do you remember the movie "Sleeping with the Enemy"? I haven'y see it in years, but strangely enough, think of it quite often.

The movie starred Julia Roberts as an abused wife, who faked her own death to escape her rich and powerful husband. Of course, he found her, and she had to escape once again, but this time she had someone on her side to help.

Her husband was very demanding, and anything, like the towels hanging crooked on the rack, could set him into an abusive rage. When he found her, he stalked her first, giving her little clues, just enough to increase her fear.

There was a scene when she was on her own, where she straightened out the towels, then laughed at her self and messed them up, just because she could.

My towel rack, with the hand towels, a match to my shower curtain, is situated on the wall to the left of the toilet. Out of habit, I straighten the towels when I'm sitting there, and than laugh at myself, remembering that scene from the movie.

I'm not all OCD about it or anything, and probably wouldn't bother at all if I had a magazine rack or a book nearby.

That's one of my paintings, by the way, and have a close up for a better view.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Spelling Mistakes

My nine year old granddaughter is arts and crafts crazy.  When she was here the other day she borrowed my laptop and was researching  'How To' art videos.

We didn't have a lot of time together that day, and I wasn't prepared to get into a larger project, so I directed her to Pinterest, and told her to look at my board of painted rocks. I knew there was a pile of washed and ready rocks in the corner of my garden.

She found my board and I could see her interest was piqued. I suggested she do a search...painted rocks...where she would find even more inspiration.

I glanced over, saw a confused look on her face and looked at the screen. Oh No! How did you get there, I asked, and quickly corrected her mistake.

Her search was for PANTED rocks, instead of PAINTED rocks. A simple spelling mistake, and this is what her search came up with.

She found my stash of acrylic paints, my box of brushes and went to work. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture when I had the chance, but she did a great whale, in blue of course, her favorite color, and a Minion.

"Did you know you have black board paint?" she asked. 

"Yes," I answered, "did you want to try it?"

She selected a large flat rock and went home later with her chalk board rock. I kept the others, and put a coat of Modge Podge on them to preserve her work.

I see some art lessons in my future, and love it. Finally, I have found someone in the family with the art gene.

 My grandfather was a chemical engineer, but also a painter and gifted photographer. My mother was a very talented artist, oils for the most part but she tried many other mediums.

My brother also went the photography route, and in this modern era, has further developed that talent with digital art and photo shop.

I paint, mixed media collage, crochet like a demon and write, both this blog, one other and works of fiction.

I'm delighted to see these artistic endeavors come to light. Who knows what the future holds, I have six other grandchildren. Their inherited artistic talent may yet come to be.

Prenuptual Agreements

I had the opportunity to read, more like scan, a bunch of those trashy, full of gossip, innuendo and absolute lies kind of magazines. I like to look at the isn't that the opposite of what men say...about only reading the articles?

I like those pictures about who wore it best, or the series of women wearing similar outfits and the rating given from sloppy, to sexy, to too get the idea.

I came across an article about Miley Curus and her fiance Liam Hemsworth. This is the second engagement for this couple, and they may be heading for a breakup for the same reason they broke up the first time, according to the magazine.

The article states that Liam was insulted that he was asked to sign a prenup. The people managing Miley's money were trying to protect her, and her assets.

They broke up, got back together and now the question of the prenup raises its ugly head again.

Miley is worth, estimated in the article, something like $160 million, if I remember correctly. He's worth a measly $19 million. I suppose, if they marry with no prenup, and later divorce as celebrities are known to do, he could claim a portion of her assets. And that's not chump change.

If he loved her, I think he should sign, no hesitation, no qualification.

I am a big fan of the 'In Death' series of books, which now number over forty, written by J.D. Robb, otherwise known as Nora Roberts.

These books are about a New York city homicide detective in the late 2050's, married to one of, if not the richest man in the world. A couple of years after their marriage, the subject of prenups comes up in a discussion related to a current case.

Roarke, the husband, says something about lawyers having reviewed the prenup before marriage, assuming his wife had done so, as had their suspect. Eve, his wife. tells him she never had a lawyer review their prenup, she just signed it unread.

As a very successful businessman, Roarke is stunned that she would sign any kind of legal document without reading it. Eve had the best explanation. Roarke Industries required the prenup as there were a countless number of businesses, with countless employees that needed to be protected.

She goes on to tell him that they, Eve and Roarke, didn't need an agreement, and as she had no interest in his money, or in taking over his empire, she signed the needed document.

She did clarify that if she didn't have a lifetime supply of coffee ( the real stuff being very expensive in the future) that she wanted an amendment to their the prenup.

I like her attitude, and if two people love each other I think the signing of such documents should not be an issue. If one person is richer than the other, I would be making an assumption to say that the other would be provided for in the event of a divorce. But then you you what they assume is to make an ASS out of U and ME.

When divorce is an issue, previous good feelings and intentions go out the window.

This is the first book in the series. It's best read to read them in order as then you get to see the growth in the characters and understand new characters who are introduced and become regulars.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Beer Pong

I know I may be old, but then so is my brother, and he knew what beer pong was. How did I miss this in my misspent youth?

I have to admit I gave this some thought and realized how this came about.

Going back many years, decades even, I remember a party where my spouse got very inebriated and got into a fight with his good friend. In the course of this fight, outside in the winter, he hit me across the face and knocked my glasses off and into a snowbank.

After that, our party habits changed. We might still go to a dance where, when he got inebriated, the worst thing he did was roll up his sleeves and pant legs when he danced. Those country dances can be wild. LOL

I never realized until now, but we avoided the big, wild parties where anything can happen. And as we got older, had the kids, it was more a case of a few drinks, (okay, sometimes a lot of drinks on his part not mine, the Mom, watcher of the kids and designated driver).

So, I missed out on this game called beer pong. Glasses of water set up on opposing ends of the table, teams at each station. The goal was to get a ping pong ball in one of the cups. If you did, someone drank, I got confused with the details of whether you drank when you got a ball in the cup, or when you didn't. It seemed to me that people drank whichever way it went.

I can now say I've seen beer pong, though I have yet to experience it.

Must say, when my daughter was in the store with me Friday looking for ping pong balls, this was not the game I imagined. My first thought was drinking with a ball in the glass, or heaven forbid, in your mouth. Then the idea of tossing them in a cup of beer just seemed...a waste of beer.

Should have know these beer drinkers wouldn't waste their brew.

It was a good party,pong and all.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Free Book Offer

I was visiting me daughter, and heard the gentle coo of pigeons, and found her neighbor has a coop in his garage.

I once did a great deal of research about pigeons, for a book. The idea came to me when I was driving through Oshawa, along Bloor Street when I approached the light and saw a house with its roof covered with birds.

Of course the movie The Birds came to mind, but then I saw the very large pigeon coop in the back yard. Pigeons, I thought. And didn't that old coop look like a very good spot for a murder.

I thought about this all the way home, and immediately researched about these birds. Afraid the only real thing I remember is that pigeons can't poop when they fly, so that bird crap on your car window is not from them. But, they can and do poop on window sills, which is a whole other issue.

The book I wrote had me doing research for another topic, PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The book I wrote is titled Hiding from the night. Thanks to John Kerns for the cover art.

The book is free for Kindle readers from July 11 to July 13. Don't forget there's an app so you can download books to your computer.

Here's the link

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Tennis Anyone?

Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal

It's no secret I love tennis and am right now watching the Federer/Zverev match.

I am a Fed fan, love that he is a family man, with eight year old twin girls and maybe four year old twin boys.

I also like Rafael Nadal, another well known player. I like that both of these men have won so many tournaments and have fought back from numerous injuries to have a magnificent year so far.

But, I have to say, after watching the Murray/Fognini match yesterday...there's another player I will keep my eye out for and that is Fabio Fognini from Italy.

As I'm watching all I could think about was he was perfect for a handsome, brooding, leading man type character. I may just have to study him some more (and the naked fund raiser picture he did for Cosmopolitan magazine) and create a story worthy of his dark and dangerous look.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Wimbledon and Memories of Dad

I watch tennis quite often, but always at this time of year when the Wimbledon Tournament is played in England. This tournament is filled with a sense of history and tradition, and 2017 is the 140th year of this Grand Slam event.

Grand Slams are like majors in golf, there are only about 4 a year and they are not easy to win, so, if you do win, it has special meaning. Not to mention the points and winnings.

I like all the pomp an ceremony with Wimbledon. The players all wear the traditional white, which was the norm for tennis many years ago.

My Dad played tennis, and was a member of a club that had a grass court, and celebrated their own Wimbledon tournament, ending with the traditional strawberries and cream, champagne tea.

Dad was a big guy, and after a few rounds of tennis he could be...sort of ripe. Mom refused to do his tennis clothes as they were a damp and sweaty mess, so Dad did his own laundry, his own load of whites.

I used to laugh to see him come out of the laundry with his T shirt, shorts and socks all neatly folded for his next match. But, being a thoughtful guy, he'd throw in whatever other whites were in the laundry basket, to make a full load. Usually that was Mom's unmentionables, that he would fold and leave on the foot of her bed.

I can remember all those players from that time spent watching tennis with Dad, like Connors, Bjorn Borg and Agassi to name a few.

Today, my faves are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Both of these players have been plagued with injuries, and both have made a fantastic comeback this year. I watch tennis, or have it on in the background, and feel like Dad is right here with me.

Roger Federer

Game, set, match. Good luck guys.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Name That Tune

I was out with my granddaughter today, and as we pulled into the restaurant parking lot she stopped and listened to the music that was playing. "I know that song," she said.

It was not the radio, but a CD, playing one of a Canadian group's best known hits...American Woman.

"Who is that?" my granddaughter asked. "I know that song."

"Guess Who," I said.

"I'm trying," she said. "It'll come to me."

"Guess Who," I repeated.


"Guess Who is the name of the band," I said as I handed her the CD case.

We started to laugh, and laughed so hard I was afraid it was going to be a pee my pants kind of hysterics. It was one of those iconic "Who's on first?" comic moments.

She informed me I better settle down, as we were about to go in for lunch. Some decorum was called for after all.

It was a great moment, worth sharing, much to my granddaughter's chagrin

Sunday, 25 June 2017


My son has a new pair of kittens, brothers, and though they have the same coloring, one is more short haired and the other has a flare of hair about his head like a halo. The kids named them Luke and Jake.

I was on a country tour with two of my granddaughters and a friend of theirs when we visited my son, to the delight of the girls...kittens.

They are so cute when this tiny.

But these little balls of fluff have claws, which my granddaughter quickly found out.

Hey, careful


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Hurricane Season

I know I talk about this every year, but the hurricane season fascinates me. I have the site on my list of favorites, and check it frequently.

I like to track the path of a storm across the Atlantic Ocean, see how it might fizzle out to nothing, or build into a storm of adequate strength as to be given a name.

The other day there was a tropical storm Bret, that I thought was in the Gulf of Mexico. Then it seems to be off the coast of South America, and another storm named Cindy is in the Gulf. Things can change quickly, and become deadly as we've seen over the years.

Today, Bret is gone and Cindy has made land fall. Changes come so fast.

There are several sets of names, for topical storms or hurricanes. The lists are repeated over and over again, a name only being removed from the list if it was a storm with catastrophic Katrina.

A storm might build up in severity to be named, out in the Atlantic, only to fade away and be of no consequence. Which is why you might hear the names, and feel you missed one. Like I didn't hear of a storm starting with 'A'. The season is 10 days old and already we're three names in.

The announcer on the weather channel showed a doppler rendition of the heat of the ocean's surface. Apparently the large areas of red and yellow do not bode well for a quiet hurricane season, and seem to predict there will be more than the usual number of hurricanes this summer.

As much as I'll watch, and track the storms across the sea, I'm hoping this is a safe summer for everyone

May all the storms fade away, far from your shores.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

It Just Figures

This is the fourth year I've lived in this place, and each summer I have suffered with the heat. I get full afternoon sun on my big window, and morning sun at my door, so there is little relief there. You'd think as the building is on a cement slab it might be cooler, like a basement, but that only holds true in winter.

I've made do with fans, fans on a stand, big square fans and little fans to blow in my face from the side table. Nothing made much of a difference unless I sat perfectly still. I can tell you, I really came to hate sweating.

Last year my son got me a better fan, and for my birthday my daughter got me a ceiling fan (yet to be installed) because I dislike air conditioning. It doesn't matter whether it's a house or in  the car, I like my windows open to the air.

I knew I would have to give in, as most of my neighbors have, and get a window unit. The way I looked at it, I didn't have to run the damn thing unless it really got unbearable.

Luck was on my side, a friend of a friend bought one of those free standing air conditioners, and gave me her old window unit, free of charge. I finally had it installed in the window yesterday, and as it was a hot day, played with the remote, trying out all the options.

The one thing I don't have is a proper window covering that allows for the unit in the window. I have a 'thing' about windows being uncovered at night. I can't stand seeing the reflections in the glass, unable to see what's going on...on the other side. I notice that many of my neighbors have a split blind on their big window. One smaller section covers the section that opens, the other the larger glass window. I may just make do with a short curtain over the top of the window where the air conditioner sits, hung by a spring tension rod.

Today was not a hot day, humid maybe, but not uncomfortably hot. I didn't need the air conditioner, and it would be par for the course that I now have that ugly thing in my window and won't need it.

Still, it's early in the season and who knows what the summer months will bring. But it it's hot and humid, I'll be ready, with my air conditioner and my dehumidifier. I still like the windows open and the breeze blowing.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Fashion Comments

My son and I were at the local Tim Horton's the other day, and as is normal, watched the people as they wandered in and out.

I noticed a very attractive woman, tall and slim, but still very curvy enter. She wore a black pair of leggings and a short sleeved black T shirt. An attractive look, I suppose.

Another woman came in wearing similar black leggings but with an entirely different body type. She was sort of square in the body, a solid square with size but little shape. She had no butt what so ever and her leggings rode in the crack, not a complimentary look.

My son noticed both women, and you can guess who got the second look.

Before you think I'm being mean, I know I'm overweight, and for that reason I will never wear leggings, and try to wear longer shirts, to hide some of my figure faults.

I just don't get why people wear leggings, with short tops, because some leggings show every little ripple, ridge and roll, especially when moving. Who would ever have thought one's ass jiggled so much with every step. One might as well be naked, or is that the idea?

Leggings have taken over from the skin tight jeans that everyone wore a few years ago. Don't get me started n short shorts.

I know, I know, I'm showing my age.  But I just don't see the need to see so much uncontrolled shimmy and shake, but then I'm an older woman, not a guy.