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.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Super Bowl Antics

It is totally wrong to laugh, but I can't help it. My brother, the die hard football fan missed the third quarter of the Super Bowl...the Super Bowl...the third quarter where the New England Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit to challenge the Falcons.

Apparently my brother and his wife were watching the game with relatives out of town. After the half time show, which is all she would have been interested in, his wife wanted to go home, as the game would not finish until late and she had to get up early Monday for work.

So, while they were on the road home, the Falcons' game sort of fell apart, or the Patriots' game came alive. When my brother arrived home he couldn't believe what he had missed. "WTF?"

What I was finding so funny, in the E-mail he sent me, was the fact he blamed his wife for the Falcons eventual loss. Into sports superstitions, he blames his wife because she wanted to leave. Apparently, you don't leave, change, or whatever, when your team is winning.

This reminds me of my husband's superstition about hockey, and how it was bad luck to wash his long underwear during the season. I made it a rule that the hockey equipment stayed in the trunk of the car or in the garage.

I like how my brother phrased this laying of blame. He prefaced it with how dearly he loves his wife, but, as she wanted to leave, it was therefore, all her fault.

Ipso-facto, blame her he said. This is a man who was really, really really cheering against the Patriots.

I guess they will survive this episode, she can make it up to him during the upcoming hockey playoffs. Married for 40 years, they'll weather this incident as they have many others.

I'm sorry Bro, but I had to laugh. Here I was sitting home, thinking of calling, but knew better. Next year I won't hesitate to interrupt the game, actually may feel it's my duty as your doting sister.

Just wait. I should mark it on my calendar, Super Bowl LII....call your brother.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Art of Being Creative

Art has always been a part of my life, my mother was a gifted artist, my grandfather a painter and photographer. My home growing up was full of their creativity.

When I was married and my husband and I bought our first house, he asked me if I was going to fill up the walls with art like my mother, and of course I said yes.

I wish I had kept a record of all the art work I've done, if for no other reason than to see the change in styles or technique. I do have some photos, and I look at the pictures and can't remember where or what I did with it all.

When I moved, my daughter inherited a box of art work, supposedly to store for me. When she moved, she pulled the box out and hung what she liked. Sometimes I feel like her house is my personal gallery, and I feel very honored that she has hung so many pieces.

My son also has a number of my pieces hung, but more importantly, he has hung the pieces from my mother and grandfather that were stored at his place.

I did personal pieces for my daughter's girls last year,for their rooms when they moved to the new house. And that was the last art I managed to get done for almost a year.

I pulled a canvas out to do a painting for my grandson. He likes anything country, native, and is partial to wolves. I had something in mind, but that canvas has sat blank for almost a year. Painter's block, you might say.

A good friend once gave me some encouraging words I've never forgotten. It was at a time when I was struggling with my art after a long time away from it. I couldn't seem to do the same style as I'd done before. "Maybe that's not your style anymore, and you need to find your new style." Wise words, Jane, thanks.



I finished this piece for my grandson, though he hasn't seen it yet. Knowing I was going to try something for him, his sister chimed in that she wanted a painting for her room. "What do you want?" I asked, and she said Fairies.

So, the wolf is gone from my door and I'm in a fantasy fairy frame of mind. We'll have to see what happens.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hand Gestures and Their Meanings




I received this statue from my brother and his wife at Christmas, and my immediate thought was "I'm OK".

I looked at it, and continue to look at it throughout the day and remind myself that I am in fact, doing OK, relatively speaking. Those of us who suffer from a chronic illness, have good days and bad, and that becomes our way of life.

I remind myself, often, that for people with my disease, Multiple Sclerosis, I am fortunate to still be ambulatory, though that can be a struggle some days, still live at home and independent.

So, I was surprised to learn that my ceramic hand has a specific meaning in yoga language.

In yoga, this gesture is the GYAN MUDRA, the mudra of knowledge.

It is used to increase our knowledge, and improve memory and concentration. It stimulates the pituitary gland and helps with insomnia.

I have never practiced yoga but it is said to be beneficial to mental well being for such concerns such as anxiety, depression, concentration and memory issues, and the list goes on.

Yoga is not just about posing and twisting the body into impossible shapes. Above all, it's about meditation, and using simple hand gestures can increase your awareness.

The specific hand and finger gestures are called Mudras and are used during meditation or breathing exercises. They direct the flow of energy to the body and stimulate certain areas of the brain. They are used to maintain health and improve certain ailments.

Each finger corresponds to a natural element...air, water, earth, fire and ether (space).

Here's the link to the article I took this information from...  http://theheartysoul.com/yoga-healing/?t=THS&W=CON


Monday, 16 January 2017

Lunch with the Girls

It was my week for lunch dates. Friday I had lunch with my...dare I say it...eighteen year old granddaughter. I recently looked through a box of photos and can't believe so many years have passed.

She is attending university, and is a poised and beautiful young woman, quiet and contained, almost shy.

She laughed when I admitted I was jealous of her sense of style. She always looks so polished, even in leggings and a hoodie. The hair, the makeup, the nails and the clothes. It helps that she has a Mom who works in the fashion retail industry, and joked about growing up in the mall.

I'm jealous, and mad at myself, because I have let myself go, weight gain, always needing a haircut and my fashion statement involves denim and the color black. I lost a lot more than a career when I left work, I left the me that was keen on fashion, who, heaven forbid, wore skirts and heels. In my own defense, I left work not because I retired, but because I went on disability, heels will never be part of my wardrobe ever again, they don't go with the cane.

Saturday I had another lunch date. This one was spur of the moment, so was a brunch/lunch. This time I was with my next to oldest granddaughter, the fifteen year old cousin of the first.

This girl has a ready and open smile, complete with dimples. She talks in a rapid sling shot manner, often laughing at herself, using her hands to punctuate her conversation. Openly affectionate, she has a kind and giving heart.

I love both these girls, and my other five grandchildren, three more girls and two boys. They are great kids, and I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

This Thing Called Trust



At Christmas my friend was given a Lotto Max lottery ticket and, as she doesn't play, she didn't know how to find if out if the ticket was a winner. I told her her she could check the winning numbers on line, and offered to do so when she gave me one of those "yeah, right" looks.

I looked up her numbers, but alas, she was not a winner. The big prize that week was 60 million, plus forty, one million dollar prizes.

I often take my neighbor shopping, as she is approaching her 90th birthday and no longer drives. I'm also her go-to person when she has problems on her computer, which is funny, as I have my own go-to person.

Maybe she didn't trust the online check, but she mentioned that there was a machine at the lottery kiosk where she could check her number.

Since we were going to the store, I put her ticket in my pocket so she could verify the numbers. Unfortunately, when we got to the store, I didn't have it.

It did cross my mind that maybe there was the slightest bit of worry on her part. The next day we were talking and she said she'd had the weirdest dream the night before.

She had her ticket and lost it going in the store. A man found the ticket in the parking lot, took it to the kiosk and found it to be a big winner. Obviously my friend has trust issues and I should not appear to have landed a windfall or she would think I'd swindled her.

Luckily I later found the ticket by my bed, where it must have fallen out of my pocket. It is in her possession and I am not a member of the nouveau riche.

I think she would be upset if told I'd felt she didn't trust me, but given her age, it's the internet and computers she has no faith or trust in.

Still, it's a good thing I have no big expenditures in my future.