Monday, June 19, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. And I hope you all have a great week ahead. I've got a very busy day planned, so I'll get right to the funny stuff.

And away we go...

Have a good one!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The First...

...most amazing man in the world in my life.

“That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched.”

Always on my mind. Forever in my heart.

Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This Week

Another week over and here’s some random stuff for you...

I’ve started downloading some garden plans. Our property has zero landscaping. Actually, that’s a lie. It has a little bit of landscaping that will be completely overhauled. There are two flower beds with very little in them and the little that is in them (some bushes and a few dull plants) will be removed. And we’ll add some curves to the planting areas to make them more visually appealing. And we'll plant trees. There isn’t a single tree on this property. We have a good-sized corner lot and I can easily see 2 – 3 beautiful trees on it. There is a lot of work to be done outside but that won’t happen until next spring. I’ve got lots of time until then to plan a nice garden.

Tomorrow is father’s day, which hasn’t meant the same since my dad died in 2007. I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately. He’s missed so many things in the past 10 years, particularly the changes, accomplishments and day-to-day goings-on of his two granddaughters, both of whom he’d be so proud of. He was an amazing man who left behind a legacy of love and kindness, and as the years go by, I appreciate more and more how fortunate I was to have had him as a father. I really hit the jackpot there.

One word that always comes to mind when I think about him is ‘tireless’. It sounds like an odd word to think of but if you knew my father like everyone who loved him did it would make sense. He was...well...tireless with the ones he loved. No matter how busy he was, no matter how far he’d have to go, no matter what was going on, no matter what was needed...he’d drop everything and be there for you. When I was hospitalized with postpartum depression (a story for another time), my father came to visit every single day. Rain or shine. Much to my surprise, he even came one day when there was a snowstorm. When my mother told him it wasn’t necessary to go in that weather and that I would understand, he said “I’m going. I don’t want our girl to feel alone.” I tear up whenever I remember moments like that. The world lost one of the good ones when he died. I’ll never stop missing him.

Yesterday was a busy day for us. I painted the downstairs bathroom and the most amazing man in the world ripped out some of the most disgusting carpet in the history of disgusting carpets. I only have the doors and the trim left to paint, which I’ll do on Monday, and then I’ll be helping out with the carpet removal, which will take some time. We’re moving slowly with these jobs because we’re not spring chickens anymore and neither one of us is in the mood for injuries.

Speaking of getting older, I ran across a great song while visiting one of my favourite blogs that I'd like to share with you. It’s called ‘When We Were Young’ by Passenger (stage name), an English singer-songwriter and musician. Oh boy does it stir emotions in me and bring up a whole bunch of memories. Reminds me once again that we should do what we want to do right now because the clock keeps ticking. Anyway, have a listen.

And that's all for this week. Happy weekend!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

And here we are once again at the start of a new week. I hope it's a good one for all of you. How was your weekend? Whatcha up to lately? Share some news in the comments below if you'd like. I always enjoying hearing from you.

I'm sitting here staring at my screen trying to think of something to say and I've got nothing. Maybe after I have my second coffee and some breakfast something will come to me. So for now I'll just get right to the funny stuff.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

This Week

I swear that I blink and POOF another week goes by. So here we are again. How was yours? Do you have anything interesting, unusual or entertaining to share? I’d love to hear all about it.

As for me, I’m just going to ramble on about this, that and the other. And hope that I don’t lose you along the way.

Have you ever been absolutely convinced about someone’s political, social, environmental, etc. stance only to realize that they are so far from your initial impression that it’s somewhat shocking? That’s happened to me, particularly in the past year, with a few people I know; most of whom I was convinced shared many of my ideologies. Wrong!

Now, I have no problem with differences of opinion. The problem I have is when those opinions are accompanied by derogatory comments. And almost all of these people are behaving this way. Do they really need to stoop to that level? Or do they have to stoop that low because they don’t have a convincing or intelligent enough argument to get their point across? And how can they expect us to be friends or even friendly with each other if they toss around insults like this in the public forum, demonstrating that they are completely disgusted by people like me? How? I know I’ve written about this before but UGH it’s maddening.

A couple of Sundays ago when I drove to Montreal to spend time with my older daughter, we had sushi for lunch. For the longest time I was convinced I wouldn’t like sushi, so I avoided it, despite friends and family members going on and on about how great it is. “Nah, it’s not for me”, I said. Then in 2015 (yeah, not that long ago), I attended a wedding for a friend’s daughter and before dinner they offered drinks and hors d'oeuvres that included – you guessed it – sushi. They looked so colourful and appetizing that I figured “What the heck, I’ll try one”. And as soon as I bit into it, my eyes got wide and I thought - HOLY TASTE EXPLOSION, BATMAN – “is this ever good”. And added a few more to my plate. Lesson of the day: give something a taste before you shun it. Well, not everything. I draw the line on some things. Like bugs. And slimy stuff.

Do you like sushi?

This week we went shopping for floors for our lower level. There are approximately 3,916 different options. Or thereabouts. It was hard to count because my head starting spinning at one point from information overload. Anyhow, we did settle on one and will be ordering a few dozen boxes of it later this month. First we have to remove the most disgusting carpets in the history of disgusting carpets and scrape off the endless amounts of glue underneath that would be easier to take off with dynamite. It’s going to be a very messy and aggravating job. I keep reminding myself how gorgeous everything will be after we’re done putting in new floors and painting the entire area. Of course, I’m going to go slow and be extremely careful because I don’t want to get more injuries. Slow but steady wins the race. And avoids hospital emergency rooms.

A couple of nights ago as my husband was backing the car into our driveway when we returned home from shopping, we noticed a lady who lives right across the street from us watching us through the glass panel of her front door. This is obviously one of the nosy neighbours, which, on the positive side, will deter thieves. Because she probably knows exactly what’s going on with every house in the neighbourhood. Anyhow, the most amazing man in the world and I laughed about this and agreed that next time we’ll wave at her.

And that’s it for now. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

You Asked, I Answer (Go-To-Meals, Speeding Tickets, Favourite Toys and Posters On Bedroom Walls)

I know I’ve taken long to answer the questions my blogging pals asked quite some time ago. My motivation for blogging has really slowed down and it’s taken quite an effort to even keep posting. But here I am, finally, with another round of answers to your questions!

And away we go...


Jenny asked:
What's your go-to meal to make when you are having company for supper? (any kind of company - grown children count!)

With so much experience in cooking and so many recipes made along the way, I don’t really have a favourite go-to-meal. The choice of meal depends on who is coming over for dinner. I often ask guests if they have any preferences, special diets or restrictions, but if I know the invitees very well, I just put something together that is a common favourite, not too time consuming and not overly spicy. When the weather is nice, a BBQ is the number one go-to-meal, along with a salad and some veggies.

Having said that, if it’s people I’ve never had over for dinner, one of the things I try to make sure of is that the food I serve is not messy or difficult to eat gracefully. Like spaghetti with sauce. Or corn on the cob. Or sticky ribs. Especially where new boyfriends are concerned. I’ve learned this the hard way. My younger daughter brought a boy over for dinner a few years back and, much to his dismay and mine, I served spaghetti. It’s hard to keep a straight face with a pimply-faced teenager who has noodles hanging down his mouth. Poor kid.


Birdie asked two questions:

1) Have you ever had a speeding ticket? If so, how many?

I have only had one speeding ticket in all my driving years. That was over 20 years ago. My older daughter, who was about 4 at the time, was pulling a fit in the back seat and as I went over and down a hill, distracted and slightly frustrated, I didn’t pay as close attention to the signs as I should have and ended up entering a school zone at 50 kilometres an hour instead of the requisite 30. It took me only seconds to realize my blunder and I immediately started to slow down, but it was too late. There was an officer stationed on that road that afternoon whose job was handing out tickets to anyone going over the speed limit and reminding them to slow down. I was one of them. Totally embarrassed and apologetic, hoping beyond hope that he didn’t think I was this type of driver on a regular basis. That was my first and last speeding ticket, as well as the only time I’ve ever been pulled over.

2) What was your favourite childhood toy?

I grew up in a poor, working class family, so there weren’t that many toys. Also, we didn’t care all that much for them because we preferred to spend our time outdoors. Rain or shine, winter or summer, all the kids played outside. However, there is one toy that I absolutely adored. This one:

My parents surprised me with this doll named Dawn on Christmas morning when I was about five or six years old. I shrieked with delight when I ripped open the wrapping paper and saw her beautiful face (a little heavy on the mascara) and silky hair. She was a favourite toy as a child and became a favourite memory as I got older. Because in order to purchase this toy, which was a luxury, my parents had to scrimp and save over a long period of time. That makes this extra special.


Debra asked:
When you were a teenager, what posters did you have on your bedroom wall?

When I was a preteen (or tween) I, along with most of my friends, started reading Tiger Beat magazine (I wrote about it here) and I plastered my walls with eye candy that I found on those pages. Some of my favourites included Shaun Cassidy, John Travolta, (OHMYFLIPPINGGOODNESS) Andy Gibb, Leif Garrett, Robby Benson, Rex Smith and (IWASABSOLUTELYNUTSABOUTTHISONE) Matt Dillon, amongst others. And even though some of these crushes carried well into my teen years, by the time I was 14, I stopped putting up these types of posters on the walls in my room.

By then I was a full fledged philosophizing, hippie-loving, liberal-minded, rebellious and angst-filled adolescent struggling to rise above the extremely conservative community I was immersed in and rebelling against it with every ounce of my being at a level of fervor that only a teen can emanate. Therefore, instead of putting up posters of (OHMYFLIPPINGGOODNESS) Andy Gibb or (IWASABSOLUTELYNUTSABOUTTHISONE) Matt Dillon, I began hanging philosophical sayings, some of them serious, some of them humorous, like this one:

I was also an avid reader, poetry writer and journal keeper. All this to say that there were no heartthrobs on this girl’s walls at that time. I was too busy trying to find myself, too busy trying to stay afloat in a suffocating social environment, too busy fighting oppression and too busy thinking of ways to save the world. And myself.


Did you enjoy my answers? I sure hope you did. I'll be back again soon to answer more. Have a good one!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, blogging friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I'm a little late with my blog post today and I'm sure you're all chomping at the bit waiting for this week's funny stuff. Because without me, you wouldn't laugh today. Amiright?

No need to fret. Here you go...

Wishing you all a great day!

Friday, June 2, 2017

This Week

Happy June, blogging pals. I hope you all have a great month ahead. And I hope your weather has been much nicer than ours. We go from hot, sunny, summer-like days to cool and rainy ones. It’s been a very wet spring this year. I hope June proves to be better.

I’ve been visiting two websites a lot lately:

1) Bookoutlet. This is one of North America’s largest seller of bargain books. The selection is great and the prices are even better. I recently made an order for 10 YA books that cost me a total of $22, tax and shipping included. Can you believe that? Incredible. Once I’m done with all these books, I'll offer them to my kids.

2) This is an online Canadian company offering more than 40,000 products, including the country’s largest assortment of green and natural brands. I love this place because I can find all the healthier products I can’t find in most local stores, many of which cater to the big name brands that poison us and the planet. For the past few years, I’ve been replacing products that have nasty chemicals in them with products that are non-toxic and cruelty free. Because shampoos and toothpastes and cleaners and dishwashing liquids and hand soaps should not poison people or blind some poor bunny or other helpless animal.

These two websites are both great. And one of you for sure (could be more than one of you) is responsible for introducing/mentioning Raise your hand if you think it’s you and leave me a comment to let me know.

(Added: After thinking about it, I realized that I know one of you for sure mentioned the website The other one I'm not sure of. I can't quite remember who it was. Please weigh in if you know the one for books.)

In other news, aside from typical chores, we haven’t done anything with the house for at least a couple of weeks. One, I think we burned ourselves out a little and stepped back. And two, this one being most important, I injured myself. For weeks I’d been feeling a lot of pain and discomfort on my right side around the chest area. Long story short, after a visit to the hospital emergency, two blood tests, two EEGs, a chest x-ray, a mammogram, an ultrasound (all tests came back negative ) and meeting with three different doctors, it was concluded that I’d injured my chest muscles. I was prescribed pain and anti inflammatory medication and sent home. The last doctor I met with told me to take this medication for a couple of weeks, be careful when I’m doing things and be patient; this can take a long time to heal and it may occur again. Sigh. All this made me realize that I’m getting older. Well, at least there’s nothing seriously wrong. And I discovered what an amazing hospital we have. I was given the whole spa treatment and the service was impeccable.

I have started a journal once again (something I did for years in my youth) because I have a very active brain and I reflect on a lot of things. My brain heats up with all this activity and it gets overloaded. Without some outlet, I suspect that these abundant thoughts and opinions and ideas will start to ooze out of my ears because there’s no more room to accommodate them. So I decided to start jotting them down on paper to declutter my mind and free up mental space. I am a minimalist, after all. Do you keep a journal?

So I finally tried overnight oats. This is where you soak oats (usually rolled oats) overnight in whatever liquid you like (I use cashew/almond milk) and eat them the next day. When I took them out of the fridge this morning, I heated them up (you can eat this cold) added half a teaspoon of honey, some walnuts and some blackberries. And OHMYFLIPPINGGOODNESS was this ever good! Very filling, too. Have you ever tried this? I’ll have to do this again. Next time I'll add in a little maple syrup, raspberries and other nuts. The different combos are endless.

And that’s it for now. Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone. How was your weekend? I hope you had a good one. I spent yesterday in Montreal with my older daughter. It made up for not having seen her on Mother's Day. It was a glorious summery day and we had a lovely time. She's such an amazing young woman and I'm so proud of her. I look forward to hooking up with her again.

I left early in the morning yesterday and it was quiet on the highway. The ride in was great aside from the few miles/kilometres of dealing with one annoying driver who kept speeding up and slowing down and speeding up and slowing down. She'd pass me, get in front of me and then slow down. So I'd have to pass her to continue at the speed I was going. Then she'd pick up the speed, pass me again, drive in front for awhile and then slow down. And speed up. And pass. And slow down. You get the picture. There's a thing called 'cruise control'. If you set it, you'll be consistent with your speed and not be a nuisance. She obviously hadn't set hers. I'm not the only one on the road she did this to. There were others ahead and behind me that had to deal with her inconsistency. Occasionally I run across drivers like this. What can you do?

Let's get to some funny stuff.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You Asked, I Answer (Childhood memories, High School Grades, Senior Prom and Car Accidents)

This week’s post is going to answer all the questions that one favourite blogger asked.


Betty asked:

What is your earliest childhood memory?

One of my favourites is when I used to write letters to my dad on loose leaf paper when I was about three or four. I’d scribble rows and rows of squiggly lines, seemingly writing sentences like my older brother who was in school did, and hand them to my father to read. He would thank me, pretend he was reading and then tell me how great my stories were. Not once did he ever dismiss my "writing", or tell me that it was just gibberish. He was special like that. And perhaps this memory has been retained because it conveyed the love and thoughtfulness of his good heart. He was an amazing father and I miss him every day.

The first most amazing man in the world in my life.

What were your grades in high school?

I was a natural in school and up until my early high school years I whizzed through exams and my grades were very high in just about every subject without ever needing to study. This turned out to be a blessing when I started 9th grade and the rebel in me surfaced and I began to cut classes. Because even though I put in little to no effort on many courses, I still managed to sail through them. Of course, most of my grades dropped below As that I could easily have achieved, but at the time I didn’t really care. All that to say that my grades were nothing to brag about while I was dealing with teen angst. Eventually I grew out of that and my college years produced much better results.

Did you go to your senior prom?

Absolutely! I wouldn’t have missed it. If I remember correctly, it was held at the Ritz-Carlton in the downtown area of my hometown of Montreal. The hotel opened in 1912 and it was the first in North American to bear the “Ritz Carlton” name.

My prom shopping budget was very small but I did manage to find a lovely red dress to wear with pretty white pumps. I did my own (80s) hair, (raccoon) make-up and (smudged) nails, of course, and although it wasn’t the most professional job, I think I looked presentable.

It was a wonderful occasion even though I attended with my boyfriend that I’d met six months prior who would become my nemesis ex-husband many years later. Had I known...

Oh well, at least the party was very nice.

Been in any car accidents?

When I was about 27, just a few weeks after giving birth to my older daughter, I rear ended someone on my way home from the pharmacy. Thankfully the driver I hit and I were both just strolling along and it turned out to be a minor incident. I was relieved that I was alone in the car at the time because if I’d had my newborn with me the stress would have skyrocketed.

But many years earlier...

On my way home from work one evening in my first (used) car that I’d had for a relatively short period of time, a city bus driver failed to notice me when he left his stop sign and crashed into me. Thank goodness it was on the passenger’s side of my vehicle because the damage was quite extensive. The hit from the bus was so forceful that it pushed my car across the road into some parked cars, two of which retained damage. First responders arrived quickly and an ambulance technician gave me some type of medication to calm me down because I was in shock and my heartbeat was dangerously fast. I wasn’t hurt physically but the accident scarred me mentally and emotionally. For a very long time after that I was afraid of driving. It took a long time to shed that trauma. I had no light or stop sign that day and the bus driver was 100% at fault. But that made no difference with my insurance, which skyrocketed after that because of the huge claim I made. No big deal. At least I was unharmed.

Thanks for all the great questions, Betty! I’ll be back with more answers next week.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone. How are you all doing? I hope you had a nice weekend. It's a long one for us here in Canada, so today is a day off for many people. There is a city planned event going on today called the 'Mayor's Picnic' in a park near the water. There will be games, a car show, food, a kite festival, and much more. There is even free shuttle service across the city, so people don't need to take their cars. It all sounds wonderful, doesn't it? The problem it that it's raining today. Hiss. Boo. We were keen on going but the weather is not inviting. Who wants to stand under an umbrella the whole time? I'm hoping beyond hope that the rain stops and the sun comes out. Chance of that happening? Zero. We will see.

Let's get to the funny stuff to make us all smile.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 19, 2017

This Week

Has it been a couple of weeks since I uploaded this type of post? It certainly has. I’ve been completely slacking off on blogging. Sometimes it goes that way. I haven’t been sharing much but I have been enjoying your blogs and keeping up with them as best as I can.

This week was a little quieter than usual. We actually didn’t do very much and that’s okay. The good news is that our upper level is completely finished. We now have a kitchen, dining area, bedroom, office and bathroom spotless and freshly painted. And not only is the cleaning and painting done but we’ve also changed light fixtures, door handles and hinges, kitchen cabinet knobs, blinds and curtains. The entire level has been given a complete face lift and it looks great.

Our next stop will be the large storage area that will also serve as a workspace. We’ve going to vacuum and TSP the cement floor, paint it and the surrounding walls, put up shelves and add a workbench. And as soon as we’re done with all that (who knows when), we will finally tackle the area I’m most eager to tackle: the lower level. I cannot wait to rip out the most disgustingly grungy carpets in the history of disgustingly grungy carpets, scrub everything down, add new floors and paint from top to bottom. It’s the dirtiest section of the house and I’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief when it’s finally clean. That’s the house stuff.

I didn’t get to see my two girls on Mother’s Day but figured I’d book a separate date with each of them on another day. Yesterday was one of those days. I left around 9:45 AM and drove to Ottawa where my younger daughter lives, works and studies. We spent the entire day together and it was wonderful. My daughter has grown into an amazing young woman and spending time with her is an absolute joy. I also got the chance to once again see her newly-adopted cat, Obi, who is happily settled in her new home and treated like a queen. She is friendly and energetic and very talkative. She greets everyone at the front door when they come in and then flops on the ground so they can rub her belly. She is the cutest thing in the world. I wanted to scoop her up, sneak her out and take her home with me. daughter.

Anyhow, I left Ottawa around4:00 PM, which is not a good time to leave. If you’re not out of there by 3:30 at the latest, prepare to crawl through traffic, which I did. It cost me an extra half hour on the road trying to make my way home. But that’s alright. Spending time with my daughter made it worth it. I’ll be booking a date with my older daughter next. Probably the weekend after. It is sheer bliss being able to visit any time we want now that we've moved closer to everyone we love most in this world.

And that’s all I have to say for now. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!