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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqkXhKpnJbM

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.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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 taste...it'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 pictures...now 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 little...you 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 say...to 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

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00M4RQOH0

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.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl4GWOkvDeM


"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.

"What?"

"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

Kittens

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

Ouch!




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.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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 results..like 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.

Monday, 12 June 2017

To the Rescue

My daughter was doing her run yesterday and that route takes her down streets and into the woods near her home. As she ran in the woods, she crossed paths with a man walking with his two dogs, and later came upon him, collapsed on the path.

It was a hot day, and he was wearing a vest, too many layers for the heat. She was fortunate that the dogs let her approach, but maybe they knew it was okay as she was there to help.

I think, from what she said, that he must have passed out from the heat, and he came to fairly quickly, and she assisted him to his car and made sure he was all right before she left him. Her run was much longer as she'd gone away from her usual route, but what can you do?

She joked about it after, but these things leave you shaken. There was an episode like this a few years ago when she found a man collapsed outside a restaurant. I think he was diabetic and it was low blood sugar that time.

Last year I blogged about an upsetting episode with my granddaughter. She was working in a hall, serving dinner, and one of the patrons had a heart attack and died. It was a long drawn out evening because of the legalities of an unattended, unexpected death.

That same girl was to be in a showcase at the local theater, but backed out, just couldn't do the dance thing in public she was to do for school. As it didn't affect her mark, her Mom allowed her to bail. Good thing, because someone in the audience collapsed and the medics were called, but to no avail.

This sensitive young girl didn't need to witness this twice, so was it fate, karma, what? that she wasn't there.

Bad things happen, that's a fact of life. I just hope if it's a family member in need, someone will be there for them, as my daughter was for that man on her Sunday run.

Monday, 29 May 2017

"They F**K You in the Drive Thru."

Do you remember those old Lethal Weapon movies? In one, I remember a scene where the detectives, played by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, have Joe Pesci's character in the back seat and they take him through the drive through for something to eat.

The restaurant got the order wrong and Joe's character is very verbal about it. "They fuck you in the drive thru," he said repeatedly. And it's true. You pick up your order, drive away and after, when it's too late, find there was a mistake and you didn't get what you ordered.

I've been through the drive thru at Tim Horton's twice this week and both times the order was wrong.

I order a medium black tea, two sweeteners, bag out...as I like a weaker tea. That's not a complicated order, but they can't seem to get it right.

Last week I got a large tea, bags in. I ask them to remove the tea bags because the water is really, really hot, and it's awkward to do in the car. This week they got the right size, but no sweeteners and again, bag in.

I didn't realize they forgot the sweetener until I was on the highway and my first thought was Lethal Weapon's "They fuck you in the drive thru."

I don't care what job you do, whatever it might be, I think it's worth doing well. And when you work in a service or hospitality industry it pays to be pleasant. I'm tired of staff looking so put out because they have to remove the tea bag that wouldn't be there in the first place, had they got the order right to begin with. And I love how they check the order board, as if I'm asking for something really ridiculous. If it didn't say bag out, would they refuse to do that one little chore for me?

Who knows, I still believe in service with a smile, but it's been missing of late.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Sunset after the Rain

Every Thursday my grandson plays lacrosse, and every Thursday for the last 5 weeks, we've had to make the trip home in a torrential rain. The kind of rain that has you nervous, at times unable to see the road.

After the last game the rain let up as we were nearing home and I was able to get a few shots of an incredibly beautiful sky. Had to share.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

In the Garden

My garden has been a family effort this year. My son did all the weeding, turned up the soil and planted my new plants, plus he took me shopping for the baskets. My daughter and her husband laid down the mulch and put up the fairy lights. Or, to be truthful, My son-in-law put up the fairy lights, all 72 feet of them, attached with zip ties to the trio of trellises.

I went out that night to see how it looked and was disappointed to find the lights didn't work. I wondered if there was a problem with the lights, and wasn't looking forward to taking them down to return. Then I had a thought, did I turn the solar battery on? No, I didn't. Glad I thought of that before I undid all that hard work.


I don't have the right kind of camera that can take pictures in the night, without flooding the area with the flash. But, let me tell you, it looks great. Just enough soft light to be pretty without being overwhelming.


This wall is in shade most of the time because of the large overhang, so it's perfect for hosta. I have two black stands to hold some pots and add some color.

It all looks very nice, a great effort by all. I hope the mulch keeps the weeds down and I need to get some Irish Spring soap for the hosta, as it apparently keeps the bugs away. Now it's time to just enjoy, and enjoy I will after those long winter months.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Foolish, Foolish, Foolish

When I stepped out the door this morning I thought it was cool, so I put on a light hoodie, then topped it with my jean jacket. May daughter arrived to pick me up and when I walked out it was too hot so I hurried back inside to change.

If you knew my daughter, God bless her soul, she is not the most patient of people and can have her day jam packed and on a schedule. I was part of the morning schedule.

I hurried to change, and quickly threw on the top I'd worn to lunch yesterday and had yet to hang up. So with the tank and the shirt I was ready to go.

We drove to Canadian Tire to spend my Mother's Day gift certificate on mulch for my garden and a few more plants. As I was about to step out of the car I noticed I had my shirt on inside out. I started to laugh and, literally, could not stop. It was one of those 'laugh so hard I thought I'd pee my pants' kind of things.

Luckily, I had the tank top underneath, and as we were on the outer edge of the parking lot, took off my shirt, reversed it and finished dressing, laughing the whole time.

Now, I'm wearing a T shirt, as the layers were still too warm, I have my flowers planted, the mulch spread and my fairy lights attached to the trellis. My son had previously weeded and dug up the garden, and took me shopping for the flower baskets, adding a gift of Clemantis.

My garden is a thing of beauty, and a combined effort completed by my children for their old Mom.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

90 Years Young

My friend and neighbor celebrated her 90th birthday yesterday. She is, (I hate this description but it does fit), spry and very active.

She can walk a great distance, and does since she gave up driving. She also plays euchre at least three times a week and participates in a diner's club and the meals at the church. We all know how tedious it can be to cook for one. Leftovers last far too long.

I was having coffee with her yesterday when she had a delivery of flowers from her sister, and could see the cards on display on the table. But I had to wonder where any one of her four children were, given their ages and retired status. They may not live in town, and okay, one does live in Quebec and is dealing with the floods, but if it were me, I'd be hurt by their absence.

I couldn't stand the thought of her eating Sunday's leftovers for her birthday dinner, so suggested we go out. She did have a check from the one daughter. I told her the restaurant was her choice.

We go out to Swiss Chalet occasionally, but I knew where she'd want to go, but wouldn't ask...the Chinese buffet in the neighboring town. It's only about fifteen Km away, but I doesn't like to impose. When I suggested Chinese, her face lit up and I knew it was the right choice.

We took the long route and checked out the beach and the river, and saw the water lapping over the dock, the beaches underwater. These little tours are fun, as it gives her a view of town not seen from the bus.

We had a nice meal, and later in the week I'll take her for her free sundae at Dairy Queen.

Situations like this make me very thankful for my family. My children live nearby, and though I don't see them daily, I know they are there for me. My brother lives in the city, so it's a good drive to visit, and we used to do a half way meet and greet. When I wasn't up to the drive, he came to me, same as he did when I needed a drive to an out of town doctor's appointment.

I may never reach my 90th birthday, but I know if I did, there'd be one hell of a celebration. I just hope I gave my neighbor a bit of that feeling, because 90 is a milestone, and should be acknowledged.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Ice Cream Cones

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream"

I know you can have ice cream all year round, but ice cream in a cone is a warm weather treat.

I've been a fan of Dairy Queen cones since early childhood. The family, including the dog, would often go to Dairy Queen. We would sit outside at the picnic table and eat our dipped cones,. The dog got a baby cone of his own, but his was plain because, you know, chocolate is bad for dogs.

I like the cones you get at the corner store after the grandkids sporting events. They also have picnic tables because cones in the warm weather are a messy thing, best not eaten in the car.

It was a strange thing, sharing ice cream cones with the grandchildren. I realized this is not a natural talent, but a skill that must be taught. You have to show these youngsters how to keep licking, to turn the cone, to stay ahead of the drips.

 It's a skill I've acquired over the years and with much practice.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

French Fry Trucks

French fries are not a seasonal thing by any means, but french fries from a roadside truck certainly are. It is a personal rite of spring that I start the season with a brown bag of french fries. Nothing tastes better.

It's already May and I haven't welcomed spring yet, so I need to get out and around, and find a truck.

The trucks used to offer fries and a variety of drinks, but so many have added to their menus to where you can get a meal instead of just a snack.

For years our favorite spot was at a four corners north of town. It was only open on the weekends, situated to catch all the cottage crowd, coming and going.

I often went alone, but of late find that the grandchildren are ready and willing to celebrate spring, summer, and into fall with me. Sitting in the sun, enjoying hot french fries smothered in brown vinegar and Cajun salt (ketchup for the kids)...tasty, so tasty.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Spiders in the Night

I hate spiders. I dislike most bugs but as the majority are outside, I can deal. But spiders come inside, so they get on my hate list.

The other night I was up late, just had to finish that one chapter, which turned into the next and the next. I happened to look up and saw a spider in the corner, at the ceiling. He seemed to be moving, and I wondered if I was wrong in assuming ‘he’ and maybe it was a female, and she was making a web out of the dust up there to make a nest. I had an immediate vision of the wall being covered in baby spiders.

Seems strange, but it was four in the morning and I had just read a book on the supernatural.

I got out of bed and grabbed my broom. Problem is, if I wiped the wall with the broom the spider could fall into my bed, and then what would I do?

I took a wad of packing tape, sticky side out, and stuck it to the end of the broom. Reaching the end to the corner, I aimed for the spider. I thought I got it and immediately wrapped the tape in toilet paper and put it in the garbage.

But when I lay down again, I saw a small black spec on the wall, and suddenly it seemed bigger, and had legs. Crap!

I tried the tape thing again, but this time I taped it to the broom handle, for a better and more solid hit at the spider. He moved down the wall before I was ready and I aimed, but missed. The spider dropped down, missed the bed and ended up in the corner behind the bed.

I moved the bed away from the wall, just a few inches, found dust, a couple of crochet hooks, and a pen. I also saw the spider moving along the baseboard and got him with my sticky broom handle and disposed of him, after making sure, this time, I had the spider.

Since I was up anyways, and had the broom, I swept along all the edges where the walls and ceiling met, getting rid of any dust or cobwebs.


Finally, I was ready to go to sleep, my night adventure over and done.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Fascination With Poop


I've noted these crazy commercials on television of late, all about Poop and can't help but wonder if these ads really help sell their products. I don't know, but I still like the old style commercials, you know the ones, with the cute little all white kittens used to sell toilet paper.

Take the Charmin bears ad. First it was all about bits of toilet paper sticking to the bears butts, but then it became all about the "enjoy the go". Really? It's a biological function, and the only time you enjoy the go,so to speak, is when you're constipated and finally get relief.

Recently there was an ad about a woman, loving her bathroom, except that sometimes it stinks. I think they were selling a bathroom spray for bad odors. That's how little I pay attention to the product names.

This morning I saw the silliest ad, and I admit I sort of watched it, this first time, but not again. It had a princess type diva carrying on about having a poop and being embarrassed by the smell in front of whoever followed her into the bathroom...like her boss, or her prince charming.

The product was a spray she used in the toilet before she pooped, that created a barrier between the air and her 'business' in the toilet bowl, thereby leaving no bad smells. Who thinks of such things, and who wants to carry a spray container around...just in case?

Myself, I think the scientific brains that create such a product could put their intelligence to a better use. Think of the 'non poop' possibilities?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

We're Back

I have been without a computer for a week now, but tonight, my baby is back, no more quirks or funny aches and pains.

I don't know exactly what was wrong, the important thing being I didn't lose anything and learned a valuable lesson about backing up my work.

I don't have a cell phone, so was entirely without internet connections for the week. So many times I wondered about something and would have googled it, but couldn't. A couple of times someone with a phone did it and I have seriously reconsidered my ban on cell phones.

But, if I get a cell phone, when the initial text crazy phase passes, I want the ability to take pictures.

It is so great being back on line, I think I should name my laptop, as I did my car when it became difficult and was acting out. I'll have to think on that.

So, hello, how was your week?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Spring Cleaning

Some women have a very steadfast list of chores to do every spring, probably those same women who do their cleaning on a regular daily or weekly basis.

My mother was not one of those women, and that's my excuse for why I'm a lousy housekeeper. Sorry Mom.

I've listened to women talk about taking all their curtains down to wash, shampooing their carpets, emptying out all their kitchen cupboards, washing their windows, and the list goes on.

I do this on a needs basis. Like when I cleaned the kitchen cupboards after finding the shortening I had for baking had melted. It was a hot summer and the shelf was over the light. When my cupboards get cluttered I clear out, sort, make everything neat and tidy, and hope it will stay that way for awhile.

Do you remember those scenes from old black and white movies, where the woman is beating a rug outside, clothes and linens were washed and hung on the line? That's not something you see much of anymore, but that's changing because of the cost of electricity in Ontario.

I've managed to clean out my closet, and got rid of items I don't wear. Did the same with my drawers, pulling out the T's and hoodies that I've stored and never worn.

When I reached for something in the fridge the other day I saw it had a long ago expiry date. I ended up cleaning out the fridge, and followed that up with a check of items in the cupboard.

Needing to find a space on the bookcase for a recent gift, I sorted through my books and cleared out a number that's I'll never read, or never read again.

See, on a needs basis. Slow but sure I get the job done, at my own pace, at my own timing.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. Although planting in my area of the world is unofficially the long weekend at the end of May, some hardy perennials may make their appearance early.

We had our share of rain during the winter, freezing and otherwise. And just lately, we've had gray skies and more rain. Although it's spring, the rain brings the dampness, and it's still cold enough I feel the chill that brings an ache to my bones.

from incredible cuteness.com


I see the kids outside, wearing their boldly patterned and colored rubber boots.I watch as they stomp in the puddles, laughing and so carefree. Puddles are meant to be splashed in, as are puddles that freeze overnight with that thin layer of ice. Have you ever been able to walk by that bit of ice without stepping on it?

My puddle stomping days are over, and some of that may be that I don't have my own pair of brightly colored boots, but I always step on the ice.

Some things are ageless, and a rite of spring.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Baseball

Take me out to the ball game...

I'm not a big fan of baseball, but I am a Blue Jays fan. I may watch some of the games televised, but only if my Jays are playing. I got interested a few years ago when the Jays were in the finals.

Baseball is like hockey for me, background noise. I cannot sit and watch TV and do nothing, so I read, crochet or do some other crafty thing.

I may not pay attention, but you can tell by the announcer's voice when happens, and there's always an instant replay.

My Dad used to say baseball was a great sport to nap to, something he passed down to his son.

I think I like baseball because I can track the action. Someone hits a ball, the batter runs to first, maybe further. The action is not as intense as hockey where the players are skating all over the ice, too many players, moving too fast for me to track.

This is that funny time of year, baseball season starting up, hockey and basketball heading into playoffs, and then there's golf, with the Masters this weekend and don't forget tennis.

I grew up in a sports family, raised a son who played hockey, and now have grandsons into hockey and lacrosse. If I didn't keep up with sports, what would I talk to all these guys about?

So it's one...two...three strikes you're out...at the old ball game.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Gray to Green

In Canada, in this of Ontario, our winter landscape can be so very dull.

The fields are brown, the bare branches of the trees gray. Though the snow, when untouched, brightens the scene, on the roads it is a gritty, dirty looking mess.

I love watching everything green up. The grass changes from winter brown to green, the trees bud, some flower. Before you know it, the landscape has come alive with color.

The birds will be back, singing their song in the early morning hours, as they fly across the sky of bright blue. The days are longer, and when sunset finally comes, it washes the sky in a showcase of color.

I know, I know, all that green grass will need to be mowed, and those gardens full of blooms will need to be watered and weeded. But I can't wait, and the effort is worth it to be rid of that cold, the dreary, dull and colorless world that is winter.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Blast From the Past


I was sorting out the photo boxes in my storage closet and found a box of photo CDs, and couldn't resist sharing this one, Christmas 2009. 

Look at my little Munchkins, love them all, including number 7 not in this picture.







The Empty Storage Closet

My daughter dropped by this morning, with her usual type of question. "What's going on in here?"

I'm spring cleaning and have everything pulled out of my storage cupboard, and am sorting through all my craft supplies. There are piles to organize, and piles to get rid of, so far.

I thought I was very organized when I moved in, and even these years later, am not inclined to give up anything that I deemed worth keeping when I moved.

I have 23 photo boxes that hold all, okay, some, of my craft supplies. Things like crayons, markers, colored pencils, then there are the art stamps, collage items, styrofoam balls and three of ribbon. I also have fabric paint and glass paint, and a wood burning kit.





I have a tier of plastic drawers for my sewing supplies, and one for scrap booking, plus a few containers of paper. I'm not doing scrap booking any more, but the paper can be used for art projects.



My art supplies are kept in another spot, as is my file of past projects, to be completed and paper.

I absolutely love paper, and, being a mixed media artist  collecting paper suits me. I just haven't done very much art this past year.

I've been more into crochet, and don't want to talk about my stash of yarn. Let's not go there.

The place will look better, as I'm making headway, little by little. Another crafts person would understand. The minute you clean out your hoard of supplies, you get into a project and no longer have that one item that would make it perfect, I've lived through this too many times.

My daughter will never understand. She is not crafty, something that boggles my mind. Growing up with painting, knitting, crochet, rug hooking, sewing and macrame, she has never had any desire to do any of this. I'm holding out for the next generation, to find my artist, my crafter, my writer. Only time will tell.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

20,000 Views

I was one of those kids that had pen pals from all over the world. Unfortunately, I lost contact with those friends, and think how much easier and faster it would be to maintain contact with social media.

It seemed a natural thing, given that history, that I would be amazed and thrilled with having my blog read in so many countries around the world, even though it's a basically one way interaction.

I was excited to see this morning that I've reached 20,000 page views. Thank you to everyone who reads and follows Midweek Musing, it means a lot.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

There's No Place Like Home

My daughter arrived home last night, and after a marathon shopping for groceries this morning, came to pick up the dog.

She knocked and walked in the door, and Lily, the guard dog, barked at her, until she saw who it was and then it was all wiggles and tail wagging.

I had her supplies packed up so she was ready to go. It would have been nice if the dog had spared me a thought, given me the least little bit of a thanks, a goodbye, see you next time. That ungrateful bitch...just kidding.

Lily misses home, misses the kids, and rightly so. She never left my daughter's side and was anxious to get going. We forgot her big bed and I had to rush out to the sidewalk with it so Lil would have a place to sleep tonight. I don't know how I missed it except there was a dog on it when I packed up food and dishes.

Now I need to clean, as I can see the dog hair on my black fleece top, and know there will be more on the carpet and floor. But, it was worth it, as I enjoyed having a pet for a week.

Goodbye Lily, see you next time. Give the kids a kiss for me.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Not a Night for Man or Beast

The winter storm has arrived as predicted. I can hear the winds blowing, the shuddering of the door when it strikes. When I look out, the neighborhood is covered in white, the snow swirling about.

Earlier, I could still see grass, though the roads were covered, and I thought Lily was enjoying this change as she frequently rushed out, ate the snow and ran about. (Lily is the dog I'm dog sitting).

The last time she was out a gust of wind blew the snow off the roof and covered her in white. As I was standing in the open door waiting for her, she shook it off and rushed back in.

It's been hours, and she has slept, often snoring, in her bed on the floor. I figured she needed one last trip outside before we called it a night.

I opened the door and she raced out about two feet and immediately circled back in. No way, no how, I think she's telling me. It's cold and blowing and I guess she's had enough.

Right now, she's curled up on her bed, pretending to be asleep. I'm not sure whether to go out with her, or go to bed and hope for the best.

I've enjoyed my week with a pet. I've had someone to talk to and actually taken a number of walks I most likely would otherwise have avoided.

She's a good dog, but I think she misses the family, the kids. When she's out, she's always checking the parking lot for their return. Only a couple more days, Lil, and they'll be home. And then it's goodbye until the next time.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Bag Lady

I'm a bag lady.

I've joined that group of people who carry a bag around with them, tucked into their pocket until they need it, then, when filled, carry it with finger tips away from the body. You got it, I'm a dog walker and do my civic duty by scooping the poop.

This is a temporary situation as I'm dog sitting for my daughter.

I admit I had a lapse last night, but come on, it was dark, and cold, and I never actually left the door. I picked up the poop this morning, frozen, which is a lot easier than in the summer months.

I have created a monster in my pal, Lily. The first time she stayed with me I was excited to have a pet again and gave her treats, a lot of treats. Now she thinks she deserves a treat every time she goes outside.

I was given instructions, not to give her too many treats, so we have a problem. How am I supposed to ignore this beautiful dog when she sits so nice and polite, patiently waiting for her reward?

I solved the problem, sort of, by breaking the treats into pieces, only giving her half at a time. It's a solution that works for us, I'm obeying orders and Lily gets her treat.

I like these dog visits. I have someone to talk to who doesn't argue or disagree, and I'm the recipient of all her unconditional love.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Having Company

My family would never believe my, but I was outside enjoying the morning sun at 7:30 this morning. I am a die hard night owl and never get up early. My clock runs on a different kind of 24 hour schedule, start to finish.



I was up this morning because I have company, and she needed to go out. Lily, my daughter's dog, is staying with me for a few days. She is used to getting up early, so I'm accommodating.

I learned the last time she was here that I couldn't change her routines. I figured if I let her out later than was her norm at home, she wouldn't need that early trip out, but it didn't work that way.

So I was out last night and saw the stars, and this morning saw the sun rise. Good thing this is temporary.

Otherwise, we have a good time, she's old like me and spends her day happily doing nothing, as long as I give her some loving attention, which is a plus for us both.

Pet Therapy works for a reason.

 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Remembered Recipe

A number of years ago, I took all my tried and true recipes and made them into scrapbook pages, copied them x6 for all the grandchildren. They each have a binder, with all the recipe pages in plastic sleeves, divided into sections. Each year I tried new recipes and if they were ‘a keeper’, added them to the books.

At a family gathering on Sunday, when looking through old photos, the kids remembered a recipe I made often, bananas with caramel rum sauce. I haven’t made that recipe in years, had forgotten it, but knew exactly what cook book it was in…Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook…published in 1980.

I’ve packed and moved this cookbook many, many times throughout the years.

Here’s the recipe. It’s a nice fruity dessert after a big meal.

CARAMEL BANANAS WITH RUM

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 TB whipping cream
1 TB margarine or butter
3 TB rum
4 medium bananas
½ cup chilled whipping cream
1 TB packed brown sugar
¼ cup sliced almonds

Cook and stir 2/3 cup brown sugar, 2 TB whipping cream and 2 TB margarine or butter over LOW heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in rum. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Cut bananas crosswise into halves; cut each half lengthwise into halves. Arrange in serving dishes; top with caramel sauce.

Beat ½ cup whipping cream and 1 TB brown sugar in chilled bowl until stiff. Spoon whipped cream over bananas and sauce, garnish with almonds.

I’ll admit, when it was just the kids, I made this with milk instead of whipping cream, and didn’t bother with the added garnish of whipped cream and almonds.

Yesterday I bought some rum to try this again, and will be adding it to the cook books.


Rum…another rum recipe…remember Bacardi Rum Cake? Wonder if I can find the recipe for that one.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Two Tales About Trains and Marriage

Many, many years ago, when I was married, I left my two children in the care of their father and took the train into the city to visit my parents.

While waiting at Union Station to board, the passengers around me were upset with the porter, on behalf of one traveler. I guess the railway rule was to put the passengers into specific cars, based on their destination. But there was a woman in her eighties, traveling with her daughter and son-in-law who had come straight from the airport, making the final leg of their journey home after a trip to England.

Their stops were not the same, and the porter would not let them stay in the same passenger car. It caused quite the uproar, and for a group of us, that uproar lasted as the train pulled out of the station and headed east.

The woman I was sitting beside got upset when she thought I was missing my stop, so I rushed to gather my stuff and hurriedly got off the train...one stop too soon. I can understand where the mistake was made. That stretch of the tracks travels through one small town after another before it hit some bigger cities going east. The stop at the small town, 15 Km before my stop, had been discontinued for a time and only recently reinstated.

So, I walked into town, grabbed a taxi and headed home. I was upset because I pictured my husband and kids at the station, waiting for me, upset when I didn't depart the train. The taxi took me to the train station, and I couldn't see the familiar truck waiting for me, and then I remembered it was Thursday. "Take me to the arena," I said.

My beloved spouse had called my parents, and was told they had, indeed, dropped me off at the station. Now my parents are worried, wondering where I could be, but my husband had other priorities.

At the arena I found my kids playing the rink rat, and my husband on the ice playing his weekly hockey game. To make a sad story short, is it any wonder we ended up divorced?

Then there's my brother and his train tale. His wife drives every day to the GO station and takes the train downtown to work. I don't know exactly where she gets off the train but assume there are subway trips and a walk before actually arriving at her office. I've never had to do that kind of daily trip as I've lived most of my work life in small towns or had a car and could drive directly.

Last week we had a terrible ice storm...power outages, trees downed, the roads chaotic, accidents...a Canadian winter.

After all that walking, the subway, the train ride, my sister-in-law was faced with clearing the ice off her car before she could make the final drive home. A long day at work made even longer. When she arrived at her car she found it cleared, when all the cars around her were still frozen under a coat of ice.

At home, she noticed her husband's coat was wet, as were his clothes and his hair. He had ventured out in that freezing rain, to clear his wife's car of ice and snow. Is it any wonder that have been married for more than forty years?

A tale of two trains, and very telling examples of  relationships, love and marriage.