Friday, November 29, 2013

And That’s A Wrap For November

This is the last post for November. Can you believe that this month is coming to an end? It just zipped right by. Time seems to be speeding up now that I’m older. Does it feel the same for you? Or are you still young enough that you don’t notice?

Last night I decided to go through the Christmas decorations to select a few items to add around our home and make it more festive. And of course, my cats – like always - had to help. By jumping in and out of the storage boxes and running away with things and sitting stubbornly on top of stuff and chewing on everything. Anyone who has – or has ever had – a cat understands very well the way cats "help". It was the most excitement they'd had all day. Probably all month.

Anyhow, I finally managed to do what I set out to do, and the cats went back to doing what they do best: sleeping. And this morning when I woke up, all the decorations were still in place, and in one piece, so my cats aren't that bad...the little stinkers.

And that’s a wrap for November, folks. I wish you all a lovely weekend!

I've included a silly video that pretty much summarizes what Christmas means to kitties.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Speaking Of Snow

So this was my backyard yesterday:

The garden is buried and everything looks clean and bright. It looked like this in the front of the house, too, when the snow first came down. Since then it’s been plowed, shoveled, stomped on and driven over, so now it looks like crap.

I spent some time outdoors shoveling, and let me tell you, it was very hard work. The snow was the wet kind; the kind that is extremely heavy to push or lift. By the time I was done, I’d had one heck of a workout. I guess that’s not such a bad thing.

I had this little critter watching me for awhile as I worked:

Isn’t he cute? It looks like he has a look of disgust on his face, doesn’t it? I’d have that look, as well, if I had to live outdoors this time of year. I sympathized with the critter, so I put some food out for him later on.

The first photo was taken through my kitchen window that I had opened up wide, which my cat took as an invitation to head outdoors, so she came darting towards it. I grabbed her just as she was about to go through it. She’s an indoor cat, and she’s never been outside. Since she’s so eager to get out there, I’m going to grant her wish and take her out in her harness. She’s never put paw to snow, so it will be interesting.

Speaking of cats and snow, below is a funny video about a cat discovering snow for the first time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Have a great day, everyone. And happy Thanksgiving to my southern friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You’re Never Too Old To Build A Snowman

"So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us."
- Gaston Bachelard -

It’s been snowing since last night, and my beautiful city looks like a winter wonderland today.

When I was a kid, the first snowfall was one of the most anticipated moments of the year. And if it was a result of a snowstorm, it meant school cancellations, which meant a whole day of playtime!

Kids didn’t spend much time indoors back then, and winter was no exception. As long as it wasn’t dangerously cold, we bundled up and got outside where, amongst other creative fun, we built snow forts as defensive structures for the major snowball fights we planned.

Oh, the fun we had! Snow was our friend, and in addition to snowball fights, there was sledding and snow angels and snow ice cream and the catching of snowflakes with your tongue and igloo building and, of course, the building of snowmen!

What’s not to love about a snowman? It’s been years since I created one. And I think I’m way overdue. This year, I’m going to awaken that snow-loving child in me and get out there and build a snowman.

Because just like you’re never too old to play on the swings, you’re never too old to build a snowman!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Photo Dump

“As long as you're having fun and you're doing what you want to do, who cares what everyone else has to say?”
- unknown -

Like anything else, photography comes with a slew of rigid rules and criticisms; from how to carry your camera to avoid looking like a tourist to how to hold it when you snap a photo so that you don’t appear to be an amateur, and on and on.

You know what photography is? It’s about capturing moments. Being creative. Relaxing. Enjoying yourself. And you won’t be doing any of that if you waste your time worrying about the way you appear to others. So stop that. Get out there and take photos. Have a good time. And carry your camera around whatever damn way you please.

Here’s another round of photos taken while I walked around looking more like a tourist than a ‘real’ photographer...

After autumn splendour comes autumn decay.

Perched up high to watch over his kingdom.

Driving through the downtown area of Peterborough, Ontario. We visited the area in early August.

Enjoying a little quiet time by Lake Ontario in September.

Looks like this place needs a paint job. Or a wrecking ball...

My favourite backyard critter posing for the camera in exchange for peanuts.

Jones Falls, one of the most beautiful lockstations on the Rideau Canal, was completed in 1832.

One of the many sunsets we encountered this summer at Lake Ontario Park.

Because sometimes you just have to park on the wall.

"No, please, go on. I find your story riveting."

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, folks. Was the weekend good to you? Were you good to the weekend? It was a cold one here. And we had some snow on Saturday, but it melted quickly. This time. Next time it might decide to stick around. Aside from some shopping, I didn’t do all that much. It was one of those kick back and relax weekends. Sometimes I need some of that.

The most exciting event of the weekend was probably the flat tire we got on Friday evening. I was out with my daughter, and a fellow motorist who was next to me at a light pointed out that the rear right tire was quite low. By Saturday it was completely flat, and it had to be taken in for repairs. The tires on the car are brand new, so that totally sucked. Who the heck needs unexpected expenses this time of year?

Anyway, enough of the bellyaching. Let’s get to the funny stuff...


Enjoy the day, and have a great week ahead!

Friday, November 22, 2013

For All Their Arrogance, Cats Can Be Such Goofballs

Do you have a cat? Have you ever had a cat? Do you even like cats?

No matter.

I’ve had a few in my lifetime, and every time I think it’s the last time, I find myself at the humane society adopting yet another and starting all over again. The two I have now are pretty amazing. They don’t cause much trouble or do much damage, and they’re fairly quiet. This is a huge contrast to some of the live wires I’ve had in the past.

However, one thing they’ve all had in common is an air of superiority. They are convinced that they’re the most important creatures on earth. Immaculately groomed. Intelligent. Graceful.

But for all their haughtiness, they still manage at one point or another to act like goofballs, which chips away at that image they portray.

I’m ending this blogging week with this silly video of cats doing stupid things. The music is really fun, too.

(My favourite part begins at 0:12 with the rabbit and bunny. I laughed like an idiot at how that turns out. Watch the video and see what happens...)

(P.S - The original video posted was replaced with the one below because it went offline. Therefore, some of the comments on this post may not make sense.)

Debra's comment below is referring to this incident!

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You’re Never Too Old To Be A Swinger

Raise your hand if you came here expecting a post on the partner-swapping type of swinging.

Wow, so many of you?

Well now...

No, that’s not what this post is about. It’s about playground swinging. The kind you enjoyed as a child. And maybe some of you still do as adults.
I love swinging. Playground swinging, folks. Stay focused.

I don’t think anything can bring back childhood memories like a good old swing does. I spent many a days in the park with my brothers and the neighbourhood kids when I was a child. Lots of good times there.

Are you ever too old to play on the swings? I don’t think so. There’s no age limit for that. Just get on, have fun and feel like a kid again. Pump your legs; push them out, pull them in. Reach for the sky. Feel the wind caressing your face and playing with your hair. Close your eyes and daydream. Soar higher and higher. Pretend you can touch the clouds. Smile when you feel those butterflies in your stomach. Be in the moment.

That is the pure joy of playing on swings. There is only you, the wind and the sky.

Are you ever too old for that feeling?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Parents Of Teens Understand Why Some Animals Eat Their Young

the groaning, eye-rolling, mouthing off, know-it-all, frontal-lobes-haven’t-connected-yet period...

Let me start off by saying that my second crack at raising a teenage girl has been pretty smooth sailing. My younger daughter who is 16 is pretty well-rounded; she has a part time job, a healthy social life and very good grades. She makes me proud on a daily basis, and I’ll admit that I have it fairly easy with her.

That being said, there have been moments that can try the patience of a saint. Teenage girls can do that to you. They’re a unique species. For the most part, they have rational periods when you can see the wonderful young adult developing in them. But occasionally, rationality takes a backseat to the hormone-laden emotions that turn them into overgrown, tantrum-throwing, bellyaching toddlers. That want to think for themselves and make their own decisions. In that state.

Sometimes they do things that don’t make sense, which begs the question:
“Why do they do stupid shit like that?”

Well...because we all did stupid shit at that age. How else would we have suffered so many life lessons? How else would we grow out of that trying adolescent period that made our parents want to shake us at times until our eyeballs rattled?

Every time my patience as a parent of a teen girl is tried, all I have to do is remember some of the stupid shit my parents had to put up with when I was that age. I’m sure they had moments when they understood completely why some animals eat their young.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Photo Dump – At The Zoo (2)

“True benevolence, or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence
and sympathizes with the distress of every creature capable of sensation.”
- Joseph Addison -

Last month I shared photos of animals at the Toronto Zoo that we visited in August of this year. Today I’d like to share another round of pictures taken that day, and attach a quotation to each one like I did last time.

"Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers,
or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account?"
- Jean Paul Richter -

"Deliberate cruelty to our defenceless and beautiful little cousins is surely one
of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty."
– William Ralph Inge -

"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo.
We need a boundless ethic which will include the animals also."
- Dr. Albert Schweitzer -

"All beings tremble before violence. 
All fear death, all love life. See 
yourself in others.
Then whom can 
you hurt? What harm can you do?"
- Buddha -

“Now what is it moves our very heart, and sickens us so much at cruelty shown to poor brutes? First, that
they have done us no harm; next that they have no power whatever to resistance; it is the cowardice
and tyranny of which they are the victims which makes their suffering so especially touching.”
- Cardinal Newman -

“It is man’s sympathy with all creatures that makes him truly a man.”
- Albert Schweitzer -

“I will not kill or hurt any living creature needlessly, nor destroy any beautiful thing, but will strive
to save and comfort all gentle life, and guard and protect all natural beauty upon the earth.”
- John Ruskin -

“Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.
We have a higher mission – to be of service to them wherever they require it.
If you have men who will exclude any of  God’s creatures from the shelter of
compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
- Francis of Assisi -

"There is something very foul and evil in the lives of men and women who delight
in destroying helpless life, especially in what is known as "blood sports."
- Rev'd F. C. Baker -

“People speak sometimes about the "bestial" cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive
to beasts; no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky -

Some of the animals at such locations are endangered, and the biggest threat to their survival is humans. We must do better.

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chuckles and Chortles

And a new week begins. How is everyone? Did you all enjoy the weekend? I hope you did. On Saturday it felt like spring in my small city; sunny and very mild for this time of year. We spent part of the afternoon walking around downtown and part of it strolling through Lake Ontario Park. You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Yesterday was just as mild, but it was raining; a perfect day to cozy up inside and relax.

I finished painting my basement, thank you for asking, and I’m quite satisfied with the results. It was worth all the trouble. In the next few months, I will be tackling additional renovations around the house, which have needed doing for awhile. It’ll keep me busy...and out of trouble!

But right now at this very moment, it’s time to laugh a little. Let’s get to that...

Wishing you all a terrific week ahead!