Sunday, October 6, 2019

REALISTIC RHON2theDEE

I headed south yesterday for some much needed face time and a super-size jolt of retail therapy.

It’s not like I'd put a lot of thought into hatching my Friday plan, because let’s face it, I rarely set time aside for myself and actually follow through. I think it was because I got a random text message from a friend that works in the city that simply read: “You OK?”

At first I wondered if he'd had some insight to my last couple of weeks, but at the end of the day he admitted that he’d checked my blog and noticed I hadn’t posted in almost a month, hence why he was checking in.

Truth of the matter is, during that period, every time I sat down to write there was another item much more pressing on my list of things to do, in need my attention.

Even my coffee was SHOCKED how crazy my summer was!
TAKEN: AUGUST 24, 2019

You see, my husband had surgery the first week of August which was followed by an eight week recovery stint. It was his third procedure for the same ailment, so I knew what to expect as far as him getting back on his feet. Though he’s weathered another storm, yours truly is absolutely exhausted. 

Maintaining a home, cottage, and pack of pups all alone is not for the faint of heart.

Factor in that I’ve had my busiest year at work to date, and the lethargy thickens.

Top it all off with the fact that I am on a mission to lose weight, and I feel the need a power nap just typing the words. What’s a girl to do?

I looked at taking a trip. This time last year I was planning a trip to eat KFC at the pyramids with my girlfriend for her 50th birthday. But almost a year later she was unexpectedly pitched the fastest curve ball ever thrown, so understandably, we've been forced to circle to airport indefinitely.

So I shifted my focus to a Toronto Raptors road trip (Pelicans, Clippers, Lakers) but I know better than most that I am in need of light, not hype. Then, about a week ago I came close to booking a return engagement in Mexico, but talked myself out of it. That point is not moot and entirely another post, so let's move along.

As the seasons change and I prepare to dress in layers, both with my clothing and with as many blankets I can cover myself with as I curl up in a ball in the closet, I realize just how big a realist I truly am. I know what’s coming and I will deal with the hand I’m dealt as I pick up each and every card. 

To shed some light, I read somewhere that realist is someone that has gone through hell and been purified. A pessimist is someone that's taken a similar path and been burned. 

Though I have been burned many times, I feel my purification process has evolved from my ability to understand what’s happening at the time, and my ability to swiftly remove any/all contaminants from my presence.

Just so we're clear... By contaminants, I mean complete and total bullshit!

OK, so writing that made me laugh.

Mission accomplished.

Monday, September 2, 2019

MY CANINE SUMMER SHIFT

Well, I woke up at 7am this morning, poured myself a hot cup of java, then packed the majority of my crap and moved back into town mid morning. 

It wasn’t my general intention when I went to bed last night, but I think I woke a tad panicked that I would come home to certain stresses at dawn tomorrow morning. 

The good news is I didn’t. I’d done all the laundry at the cottage Saturday & Sunday morning, and aside from the lawn needing to be mowed, all my other chores were done and the house clean.

I don’t know about you but I hate a mess. I hate unnecessary clutter, but most importantly, I hate if you walk into my home or cottage and you know I have dogs... Aside from the fact that they’ll drive you crazy with their incessant barking to announce the importance of your very formal arrival. 

Which brings me to my point. I haven’t written here about losing my beloved Spottie Dottie this summer. Truth is, it’s still too raw. What I will admit, is that I never realized how much work three dogs were, until I only had to tend to two.

My Dot never had an issue with the sound of a camera. RIP ole girl.
TAKEN: 2007-2019



The other thing that is hard to admit is how much dysfunction I enabled having an elder dog in long term palliative care.

Eight weeks after putting Dot out of her misery, the realization that she suffered far more than she needed to, and her mood swings (due to her cancer) took a serious toll on everyone, including both my other pups.

That said, I always knew that Puddin’ and Annie would thrive as a pack of two. If not for the likeness of their temperament, then for the unconditional acceptance of the life we have made for them. 

For the last couple of years, Dottie made Puddin’s life a living hell. Simply because she could.

I have spent the past couple of months focused on reprogramming her, yet she still feels the need to be in a constant state of submission because Dot needed to remain in charge until her death.

Anyway, about a month after we buried Dot, my boss cheerfully asked me, “when are you getting another dog?” My response was a quick and very pointed, “I’M NOT!”

The old adages of “once bitten twice shy or three’s a crowd,” immediately came to mind. Like other things in my past, I have no desire to EVER take that journey again. 

Instead, I will just bask in the memories I have of my three and be grateful my boss lets me dog sit his Golden Retriever, Charlie (lower left). Yup, our Charlie only has two angels to lead not three, 

After just spending his first weekend with us since Dottie parted, I'd say it suited him just fine!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A COTTAGE EXORCISM

I took my mother in law out for a bit of retail therapy and a bite of lunch last week, and during our dining experience she asked me how much younger I was than her son; she was surprised when I reminded her that I was in fact older.

I’m not sure why, but I get that quite a lot. I think it’s partially because I have an abundance of daily energy, partially because I  strive to stay healthy, and partially because I've inherited some exceptional DNA. 

For example, the week my mother passed, her doctor commented on her flawless skin, to which she attributed to soap and water.

Though I do spend extra funds over and above her two-step process, I must admit that I have been very blessed to be in the skin I’m in.

That said, as much as DNA comes into play, a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude are also much haves to staying young at heart.

My biggest health challenge has always been the emotional eater that lurks under my surface and attacks when I’m at my weakest. I’m working on it, yet suspect it will remain an ongoing challenge for the rest of my life.

From the inside looking out, I don’t think am any different than most. Everyone has personal challenges, everyone has an approach as to how to manage them.

In this instance, my tipping point came after the long weekend in August, when I found myself eating and I wasn’t even hungry. It was in that very moment that I identified that there needed to be another cosmic shift; my last one was in 2011.

Thank goodness for the pedal 'boat that floats.'
Diet & exercise has me down 10 lbs so far.
TAKEN: AUGUST 4th, 2019

Short story long. After a full cleanse, and two weeks at home working inside and out, I landed at the cottage for the first time again yesterday. I was immediately horrified I'd fall back as the place was filled with absolute crap.


So, I immediately open the trash can and began an official exorcism. 

Out went the red licorice and wine gums, which were replaced by almonds and Greek yogurt. 

Potato chips and various buns and breads and cookies were tossed to make room for fruits and vegetables and lean cuts of meat and fish.

I must admit, you have no idea how cathartic it was to toss the enabling Miss Vicky out the door. 

It was like that scene from Night in Rodanthe (with Diane Lane & Richard Gere) when they took shots of tequila in the kitchen getting snookered while cleaning out the pantry of expired can goods... It was extremely exhilarating!

Though no tequila was consumed during my purification ritual, I do have to go on the record with something I recently discovered and consider to be a small blessing in this time of very important change.

…It’s that GIN contains zero grams of fat!

Ya Gotta Laugh About It!!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

MY COFFEE CONSTERNATION

Snapped this right before I hit the reset button!
TAKEN: JULY 13th, 2019
Ever wonder how you were handed your lot in life?

Because you weren’t. The only person responsible for where you’re at in any given scenario, looks right back at you in the mirror!

As I truck along through this little thing called mid-life, occasionally, I feel I need to shake my head to get all the crazy out that’s going on around me.

So, this morning over a quiet cup of coffee on the dock, I shook my head so hard that it felt like my eyeballs were going to end up in the lake. Officially reset, I did my chores then decided to write about it.

In this instance, the crazy was a swift one-two knockout punch of ego and greed that ultimately took them down for the count. Leaving me dazed, as the referee announced the fight was officially over.

For those that know me, they understand first hand that I am a lover, not a fighter. Should I decide to battle, I’m a tad embarrassed to admit that I generally wipe the mat with you, then embrace personal victory.

However, in the fight analogy I’m skating around this post, I wasn’t in the ring. Just simply given a front row ticket to the main event; hence why I had to shake all the crazy out this morning.

Not gonna lie, I’m happy the prizefight hype and overall anxiety surrounding the bout is over. Feels good to exit the arena and move forward knowing the result.

Because in the end, the fella that had labelled himself the favourite,  showed up for a gunfight with nothing more than a plastic pocket knife!

Which leads me to Rhondi Rule #177: Choose your battles carefully.

If you don’t give a shit about how you treat people, you will ultimately end up being treated like a piece of shit. 

As you know... Karma can be kooky that way.

Monday, June 24, 2019

LOCKING 'ME' UP!

It’s that time of year again, when I endlessly search for enough time to get done what's expected of me.

For example, when my daughter asked me to forward her pics from our recent trip to New Orleans, it took me onward of a month to find the time to get around to doing it. 

Anyway, as I perused the hundreds of photos I'd taken, I ultimately became fixated on a series of one in particular, which I'd snapped at a city wharf along the Mississippi River. 

Though I am pleased to report that I managed to send my daughter a few dozen really great photos, the LOVE WINS one I am sharing today lingered in the forefront of my thoughts for the few days that followed. 

Not having any understanding of the symbolism it portrayed, my architect friend Darin sent me a Google link explaining that sweethearts' typically inscribed names & dates on a padlock, and its key's thrown away (often into the nearby river) to symbolize their unbreakable love.

Like most people I know, I have felt & nurtured a number of great loves in my life. Some are now associated more with loss, but for the most part I feel the majority of my life I’ve had an open heart & given generously.

Over my coffee at the cottage Sunday morning, I messaged another electronic friend explaining how my photo had further inspired me. Which ultimately had me search the cupboards for a lock with a key & a permanent marker.

When I shared my second photo with him, I explained that I had effortlessly penned my thoughts on my lock, then threw the key as hard as I could off the end of the dock; realizing only after the fact that I had missed the critically important step of linking it to a chain-link fence!

The impact I felt at the Toulouse Street Wharf (NOLA), truly followed me home to Canada.
TAKEN: MAY 30th, 2019 
& JUNE 23rd, 2019

Not to throw baby out with bath water, I decided to bring the lock home and strategically place it on the desk in my home office. Primarily, as a constant reminder that the most important relationship I will ever be in, is the one I am in with myself. 

As you can imagine, it’s taken me decades to be in a place where no matter where life takes me, or whom crosses my path, I truly believe that everything will always work out for the best. That said, I feel I should ask the obvious question....You know that there's nothing wrong with loving & putting yourself first, right? 

If you struggle with the concept, think of it this way.

You're the one person you'll spend the majority of your lifetime with. Why wouldn’t you want to ensure you're always surrounded by the very best possible company?!

Which brings me full circle to my very long winded point, which is to do yourself a favour and make yourself a priority.

Trust me. My life experience is that no one else is ever going to do it for you!!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

COLOUR MY WORLD

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘your best laid plans never hatch?’

You see, I was supposed to go see Chicago (the band) Friday night but folded like a lawn chair because I just didn’t have any fuel left in my tank.

Though my plans had been in place before my birthday trip to New York, I had no idea my precious Toronto Raptors would win the NBA title, keeping me up until 2am and have me sitting at my desk less than six hours later.

So, I abandoned the tickets but managed to keep my end of day hair appointment.

My plan was to simply pop in for a trim, but when I sat in the chair & spied myself in the mirror, I instantly knew I needed some sort of a change.

Truth is, in the moment I wished I could instantly drop 20lbs & be 21 again; but changing my hair colour seemed like an excellent starting point at 4pm on a quiet Friday afternoon.

Excited that my rainy day photo wasn't a selfie...
TAKEN: JUNE 15th, 2019

Change. Such a big word.

As I sit here and type, I know one thing to be true. I’m not looking toward any type of change to be able cope, rather because I need to shift and move in a different direction.

Now, don’t for a minute imagine that I’m stupid enough to think that a few highlights in my hair are going to somehow verbalize that a new Sheriff's landed in town and things are gonna change... Rather, I guess I’m hoping this small tweak might give me a wee bit more confidence, to start saying DON'T when I need to.

My rant complete, my biggest regret is that I need to make up for missing an amazing show Friday night with another road trip. So, as I listen to Chicago II cranked on vinyl, I realize that not only do they ‘Colour My World’, my kick-ass hairdresser does too!

The moral of my story? If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous; don’t do it, don’t buy it, don’t wear it, don’t eat it, don’t keep it.

Much easier said, than done.

...If I do say so myself!

Monday, May 20, 2019

WHEN LESS IS MORE!

(l-r:) Wonder Woman, Smartie, Bestest Bee, Darin & Me
TAKEN (l-r:): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016



I read somewhere that distance can be the perfect messenger to help one understand who is worth keeping in your life and who is worth letting go. No matter how you slice and dice it, keeping in touch with anyone is tough, no matter what the geographical distance.

Most people, myself included, make excuses. There's work, home, dogs, family, work & work, not to mention life in general: the circle of actual excuses, are in fact the vicious circle that kills most efforts.

As a result, when I began carpooling in 2015, I started using that time to connect with people I truly missed and never got to see. Four years later, I can honestly embrace that I've worked harder to reach out to the people that mean the most to me. 

How? Sometimes I might might voice text, singing to the other, or simply calling because I'd just heard a song on the radio we both love. Sometimes, I'd get so carried away with swearing about my situation at hand, that they burst into true belly laughter.

My favourite are the times when one calls me. Simply because they feel we just need to hear the others voice.

Best part are the chats that end with an ‘I love you’, my second are those that end in laughter at a joke only the two of us get. Most importantly, I always ensure I tell them that I’m very glad they’re in my life.

I don’t know about you but I feel that truly great connections will always allow you to reach out, offer to hop a flight & grab a hotel, simply because you need to be near their energy. Those are the one’s you’re forever grateful for.

Honestly, when you understand a person that well. You can handle whatever plethora of bullshit, life is gonna serve ya!

PS: Jo, NannyF, B-Rad, Sweenymiester, SBM, Tim & Twos, Lady Di... Thanks.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Z IS FOR ZIP

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes. (With the odd electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Y IS FOR YEARNING

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes. (With the odd electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Friday, April 26, 2019

X IS FOR X-AMPLE

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes. (With the odd electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

W IS FOR WONDER

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)


Thursday, April 25, 2019

V IS FOR VARIANT

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

U IS FOR UGLY

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

T IS FOR THEORIES

 My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Monday, April 22, 2019

S IS FOR SEXY

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 


Saturday, April 20, 2019

R IS FOR RESPECT

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 


Friday, April 19, 2019

Q IS FOR QUOTES

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

P IS FOR PRIVATE

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

O IS FOR OPTION

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

N IS FOR NEGATIVITY

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)


Monday, April 15, 2019

M IS FOR MARRIAGE

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)


Saturday, April 13, 2019

L IS FOR LAUGHTER

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words & corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Friday, April 12, 2019

K IS FOR KNOCK KNOCK

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I IS FOR INSIGHT

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

H IS FOR HEARTFELT

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

G IS FOR GENEROSITY

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

F IS FOR FURBABY

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.)

Friday, April 5, 2019

E IS FOR EXCELLENCE

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

D IS FOR DISTANCE

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

C IS FOR CHANCES

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

B IS FOR BROADWAY

♫♪♫ Hello... My name is Edler Price! ♪♫♪
Headed to see the Book of Mormon on at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Broadway this month.
As I say... I love to laugh at anyone's expense, including my own.

Monday, April 1, 2019

A IS FOR ACCEPTANCE

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of words and corresponding quotes.
(...With the odd opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

FOR THE RECORD

My motto in life?
Kill the assholes with kindness!
TAKEN: April 1978
I don’t care who you are, when your feelings have been deeply hurt, there is nothing more exasperating than being told you’re overreacting.

As a matter a fact,  I am a firm believer that the only reason they play that super stupid lame card, is because on the surface they want the brutally honest conversation to stop. Simply because they've realized, deep inside, what they did to you was wrong and you are speaking an absolute truth.

Have I ever mentioned the fact that I’m often teased in passing that my cheerfulness is silly, or labelled as something it isn't?

Part of me thinks those being aggressively passive and judgmental about my very fashionable rose coloured glasses are that way because they've never met anyone like me; which is someone that would rather instill confidence over conflict.

I am honest when I write that I wake every day in hopes of making someone else’s day better. I think that may have  something to do with my being bullied as a child, in that I learned very early that my extroversion categorically opened my mind and spirit to a commitment to never stop setting goals nor letting others tell you that you didn't have great worth.

As a result, I have always worked to give my best. Which may read an an oxymoron seeing as over the years I've written here that the best I could do was barely crawl out of bed...Yet even then, I always did it and smiled.

As I process all of this, my biggest discovery this post is that once you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Which is the realization I had yesterday, and is naturally attached to what feels to be a bit like a broken heart.

Glass half full? It isn’t the first time my ticker has been less than stellar, and it most certainly won’t be the last. As a matter a fact, a wise and amazing friend sent me a text message this afternoon that read… ”Remember you are worthy of all the great & amazing things in life.”

She continued with, "these things and people far surpass the other people & events around you that can create inconvenience & negativity.”

To which I replied: "Agreed... The loss is theirs & bigger than they can ever imagine!”

Once again, I have my big girl panties pulled up and I am moving onward & upward.

Thanks again for reading.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

HASTA LUEGO, AMIGOS!

If you happen to follow me on social media, you are well aware of the treacherous weather I endured to ensure I made it to the airport for my jaunt into the sun in the middle of February.

The roads were so bad, it took four hours to get the airport, with the last hour being a slow crawl from the top of Toronto into the parking lot of my airport hotel.

Once finally checked in and cozy, the freezing rain arrived in full force. Fully expecting my flight to be cancelled in the morning, when I rose at 3:00am the following morn to prepare for my 6:15am flight, my Sunwing app pleasantly alerted me to a fight delay rather than cancellation.

Knowing full well that I was faced with a kick-ass first world problem, I was still excited that the flight had only been delayed and not cancelled. A little better than four hours late, the plane was barreling down the YYZ runway & I was getting the hell out of dodge!

Landed, took a quick bus to the resort, suited/lathered up and immediately headed onto the beach & into the sun. Suffice is to say that by dinnertime I was totally bagged from my 'hurry up and wait kinda day' whilst soaking up the spirits that compliment an all inclusive vacation.

So, for a combination of reasons (including sheer stupidity) I took my designer handbag with me into the dinner buffet. Inside was my wallet, my underwater camera and uber expensive cellphone; all of which usually stay under lock and key no matter where I travel.

After meeting the serving team and leaving a generous tip for their amazing service, I was off to see the 9:30pm live show. Thank goodness I got waylaid in the lobby bar listening to the house band, because after the dining room closed, I got an unexpected tap on my shoulder from the gal that was my server earlier in the evening. She could barely speak English but managed to act out that I had left my handbag in the diningroom.

I rushed back with her to retrieve it, hugged each and every one of the servers that worked in my Diamond Club section and was grateful beyond belief. As I type, I am amazed that though they didn’t have to return my bag (and my valuable contents) they ALL went above and beyond by wandering through hundreds of people in the busiest section of the resort to find me and do the right thing.

Proving, yet again (what I unconditionally believe) that you get back the energy you ultimately exude. To expand on that, it's always been my personal travel belief that no matter where one lands or where one roams, you are the the one responsible for the outcome in the overall experience department; which is primarily why I ignore 99% of the negative input on Trip Advisor, focusing only on what may impact my ability to enjoy my adventure.

With any/all political views aside, there is truly something special about Cuba. They boast some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever had the pleasure to walk along & enjoy, which pale in comparison to the attitude and passion of the people that live there.

They personify that you should ALWAYS treat people the way you want to be treated. It's that simple... To which I will be forever grateful.

Gracias y hasta luego, amigos....

Thank you, I will see you again, friends.

Sharing more of the love the following evening with these amazing peeps!
Memories Flamenco Beach Resort ~ Cayo Coco, Cuba
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 14th, 2019


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

MY UNEXPECTED VISIT

I came home from work last night & climbed straight into bed. So weak with fever that I never bothered getting out of my dress clothes.

I just plopped my snotty self under the covers in an effort to achieve a level of complete relaxation that would ultimately lead to the comatose state I’d been craving all day. Those two hours of deep sleep were heavenly.

When I finally woke up, I managed to haul my ass out of bed long enough to get my jammies on, yet by 8pm I had called it a night. When my alarm went off at 5am, I text my boss and went back to sleep for another four hours. It was in those four hours that something extraordinary happened: I dreamt of my Dad.

Words can't accurately describe how glowing & vivid my dream was. I could actually hear his voice. I recognized the clothing he was wearing and navigated his surroundings like I was actually there. The scenario was as if he'd never spent is last months in hospice with me, rather been placed in a home for palliative care.

Though it was a sunny spring day outside, I was anxious when I was dreaming because his level of care was not what I thought he was entitled to. When I awoke (after what felt like spending the day with him) I was in the midst of dreaming that I was trying to locate my cellphone in his room; which was actually my cellphone signalling me notifications that my boss needed my assistance with something at the office. Just like that, our visit was over.

As I greeted my day still groggy, I realized it was just my fever breaking. Yet, because we had such a vivid visit today, as I sat at the computer sneezing like a poltergeist throughout the day, it felt like he was there with me. 

You see, once I'd get my snot & sneezing outbreaks under control, I'd sit quietly and listen for my Dad to acknowledge me with a kleenex box and his standard… ‘Gesundheit!

Fever breaking or just a silly dream, I love that my mind had us enjoy today together. 

As always, I'm forever grateful for him stopping by.

There is NEVER a bad time to get a visit from my Best Friend...
TAKEN: MAY 1985




Sunday, January 27, 2019

THE SKIN I AM IN

Relaxing on the beach
in Cayo Coca
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 2017
As I do when I prepare for any trip into the sun, I always throw out the old & purchase new sunscreen products. With my goal to better understand online shopping in 2019, I headed over to Amazon.

Wasting more time than expected trying to find the crap I was looking for, I received a personal message about a picture I posted to Facebook yesterday. They continued to comment that, 'I am looking better with age'.

After I made my standard offer to buy them some glasses, I stated the obvious. I matter a factually text back, ‘you know that’s a big fat lie, right?’

The messenger conversation continued as I expressed  that I wished I was still in my 30’s. Then, after looking back through that time via my photo albums this afternoon, I realized that I honestly never really hit my stride until my 40’s. 

That decade offered it all. Ranging from undeniable heartbreak, to the euphoric sense of being surrounded by true & unconditional love and personal happiness. 

Though it was the decade I achieved the most financial success, it was also the one where I suffered a full blown mid-life identity crisis. Year for year, there were very important life lessons in all of them; and I understand that I got to today, being grateful for each & every one of those lessons.

Be it my 30's or my 40's, I was appreciative of the kind words of my friend today. We both know I need to lose some weight, yet he chose to not focus there. Instead, we focused on the journey of our friendship. The truth is, we've always been good friends to each other. Comfortable, never confrontational. At times we've agreed to disagree... like we did today. 

I find it interesting what men typically disclose they find sexy in women. I work with a gaggle of men, and always find it intriguing to listen to them talk on the subject of perceived female sexuality around the water cooler.

It always warms my heart when they try to shock me with their antics. Yet, at the end of the day, they always set up the perfect volley for my spike. The key to saying anything that may be shocking and of a sexual nature is timing. Timing, and that you know you believe what you're saying.

Part of me thinks they have a pool going, as to if I'll bite on the bait they are serving me. What can I say? I try not to be predicable. I am always just me. That said, there are three things about myself I truly wear as (what I consider) badges of honour.

Though I do take pride in my appearance, my first badge is my powerful confidence in knowing the person I've truly evolved into. My generally warped albeit very witty sense of humour comes in a close second, and the fact that I am completely & totally comfortable in the skin I’m in completes my personal trifecta.

As I hope I age with grace,  I never want to get disconnected from the above three identifiers. Because let's face it, beauty fades.

...And I hear that Botox, as well as any/all other age averting enhancements hurt like hell!

Monday, January 21, 2019

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

An amazing lady I know was body shamed in an international airport yesterday because she was deemed too skinny; trust me, she isn’t. She’s an established & disciplined life coach, that is ultimately confident in the skin she’s in. 

Suffice it to say that it isn’t her girth that makes me take notice when she posts on social media, it's that she's intelligent and has an amazing energy/outlook on life; which was proven in her response to her followers on Instagram after the incident. 

Here’s a condensed snippet:
@lifestyle.health.travel: I got “too skinny” at the airport today! LOL I was like phewf, I’ll take two muffins today and stop working out so I can gain some weight and start feeling shitty about myself and start making comments to skinny girls too! #goals

Notice that it’s never the people ahead of you who are criticizing you, they are too busy working on their own goals, it’s always the people behind you who are whispering, making comments and wondering how the hell you do it!

There is always one choice between judgement or inspiration.... try on inspiration for a change, trust me, it feels way better. 
(Be sure to look her up and follow to her. You won’t regret it!)

Anyway, as you know, from my quest for my waist electronic journal posts, “too skinny” will never be a criticizing whisper I’ll ever have to endure. Guess you can say, had I not had to travel the road I have, my personality wouldn’t be as outgoing albeit quirky as it is.

I wholeheartedly admit that my personal inspiration's always been one dimensional. The more I was bullied and misjudged, the more I became determine to prove the naysayers & injectors of hate wrong. I took in every single mean word and action, and as much as it hurt, I stood tall.

I stood so tall for so many years, that I eventually ended up in a different atmosphere, which brings me to my biggest motivator of all.

I'm sure this probably isn’t the inspiration that Tina H @lifestyle.health.travel is talking about… But it will forever work for me.

Two words, One finger!

What can I say,  I have always been a true believe that less is more.

While touring Bourbon Street, I met my most inspirational mantra/t-shirt EVER!
TAKEN: APRIL 9th, 2017


Sunday, January 13, 2019

RHONDI's RENOVATING!

Growing up, thanks to having a sister and their parents limited mortgage borrowing power, my boys always shared a bedroom. Then, once we all weathered an unforeseen hospice journey in our new home, that extra room was offered to my eldest son; finally granting him a bedroom of his own. He was in his teens.

A creative soul since birth, Jukebox immediately decided he wanted to redecorate, and asked to paint his new space a very vibrant orange. Striving to prove that I wasn't a total control freak, I simply internalized my immediate anxiety attack, then agreed to his unconventional colour choice.

All these years later, though other rooms have received new flooring & updated colours, what's now my home office remains that popular fall colour that rhymes with no other. I suppose it's because I knew once I accepted the 'ultimate orange room renovation challenge', the rest of the house simply HAD to follow. 

You see, though I love the layout of my home, it's been blessed with 'popcorn ceilings'. An interior design (once considered somewhat sexy) plaster application, that was popular when every kid in the neighborhood had to be home before the street lights came on, and your mama wasn't afraid to spank you.

Though the crap in the home has been painted twice since the its purchase, I've known for years the retro look needed to go. So, with the help of YouTube and an ambitious renovation schedule, the now famous orange room officially lost its 1980's 'early heritage status' yesterday!

Wearing my fancy fur-lined CROCS were just one of my many renovation mistakes yesterday!
TAKEN: JANUARY 12th, 2019

After the experience, I would love to share that my plaster removal video training had me feeling the same euphoria that beautiful puppies & very expensive wine offer, yet that would be a bold-faced lie.

Even with my decision to outfit my chair in the ugliest fitted bed sheet destine for landfill, in a room draped in plastic that I swear could have been prepared by Dexter, things did not go as smoothly as planned.

Though I appreciate my YouTube video schooled me to spray water on the plaster before removing it, it did not warn against the true downside of doing so. Therefore, I gave said training video a thumbs down.

Why? The room, my hair, my clothing, my slippers, my skin were all covered in a paste like substance I magically, albeit, unexpectedly created. 

That said, my reason for my negative review was 100x's bigger than anything listed above.

You see, I always sing when I work.

And that stuff, though generally moist & bad in texture...

Tastes absolutely awful!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

DIAMOND DOG-GONE

In the deep winter of 2017, my yellow lab Puddin’ got the lead from her run tangled on one of the coldest nights in February. As always, I pulled her back in, this time realizing the majority of her 25 metre lead was still stuck in the frozen snowbank. Already frustrated, I became determine to finish the job.

After several forceful attempts freeing it, I backed up, dug in (yelled a really loud expletive) then with all my muscle heaved on that sucker with everything I had.

What happened next felt like I was in a cartoon. My force broke the leash from the ice, then and the slack came zipping my way with a serious zing. I began falling backward the more it let go.

Standing on a small landing at the top of the stairs, I started to lose my balance, realizing I was going to fall down the stairs. In slow motion, I felt my body gracefully tuck and roll, as I absorbed those six oak stairs.

Never letting go of the dog lead, the most damage done was when the large metal collar clasp bore all my weight between my middle and ring finger as it passed through with force. To this day, though never diagnosed, I believe I broke my left ring finger knuckle.

Here’s where my story enters into a 'this could only happen to Rhondi' zone.

(Left) A neat shot of us on the lake and the size of the diamond my dog ate!
TAKEN: SEPTEMBER 2013
(Right) Post event picture. My bad for letting the dog treat juice under my gem!!
TAKEN: MAY 2018




Once my hand/finger healed, it became clear I was unable to remove my wedding ring set. Not a big deal, I figured my finger would eventually fully mend yet it never did. My circulation was fine, so I paid no attention; until a fateful day this past May.

I arrived home on a Friday night to greet my pups, when my Annie reaches up to gently tug at my fingers to throw her a stick. In the process, one of (what I believe to be) her incisors got underneath the setting of my half carat diamond solitaire, and in a nano-second it was gone.

I combed the grass for what felt like hours incase it had popped out of her mouth. I went back out the following couple of nights with a flashlight in hopes of seeing a sparkle. I even followed her around with a baggie for a week in hopes it landed where her lunch did: nothing.

Short story VERY long, I came to terms with the fact the diamond was gone forever, and cut off my engagement ring. I did however, leave the wedding band, with the hopes that after more than 30 years it could be salvaged.

Well, tonight I went back into the jewelry store and also had it cut off. As expected, it was an emotional end of an era, but at the end of the day we’d had a good ride.  I told the ladies that once I understood the underlying issues with my damaged knuckle, I’d be back to purchase another ring.

I told them that I’ve already decided on one ring with three diamonds. Primarily to pay homage to my life spent raising my three children, as well as my years with my three pups.

The one 'must have' I guarantee when I buy my new ring?

... A diamond flavour dogs DON'T love!

Monday, December 31, 2018

REMEMBERING 2018

There is no path to happiness, because happiness is the path. ~ Budda
TAKEN: ALL IN 2018
January: My very own ‘Fire & Ice Festival’ at the cottage in an unusually mild month of January. 
February: Four very sexy nights spent in Nassau, Bahamas.
March: Trivia night with coworkers at Kelly’s Irish Pub (Jukebox was our host this particular evening).
April: My birthday trip, to Miami Beach to see the last regular season Toronto Raptors game (and enjoy my first $100 USD hamburger in South Beach).
May: Visiting a job site on Lake Rosseau, proving in the fifth month, winter felt like it lasted forever.
June: Celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary
July: Jukebox busking out his apartment window as captured and posted on social media by Explorer’s Edge
August: Sweetie at Boot’s & Hearts for her second year in a row. I loved enjoying it with her so much (electronically) that I am joining in this year!
September: After months of shopping, I finally found the new car I wanted to purchase.
October: The official end of the perfect cottage season, as I pay homage to the amazing floating picnic that was built and truly enjoyed by all.
November: The snow arrived. Never left.
December: My year closed with a great work year under my belt and I am pleased to report that I enjoyed a holiday season of sheer relaxation with my pups. 

Suffice it to say, this past year's been a very difficult one for me, resulting in a ton of personal change. 
In hindsight: Though I came close a couple of times (only publishing 60 offerings) I’m grateful that I never gave up on my electronic journal. Since it’s inception in November 2011, it's truly been one hell of a ride!

As I reflect on how far I have come, the trash that I took to the curb, and all the tragedy our country witnessed this last year (Humboldt Broncos bus crash,  and the Toronto van deaths, to name only two)... Here’s to a fresh start in 2019. 

At midnight tonight, 2018… 

Don’t let the door hit you too hard on the way out!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

MY PERFECT GLOW

I don’t know about you, but there's a handful of things that instantly remind me of early childhood happiness. Those few things are so vivid, that in a nanosecond I feel four or five years old again. This time of year, it’s the beautiful nighttime glow of multicoloured Christmas tree lights that warm my heart.

All these years later, I recall the longest trimming ritual (aside from placing the single strands of silver tinsel) was putting the heavy tin reflectors on the large string of bulbs. Boy, those large painted bulbs got hot so quickly, that getting to enjoy their illuminated beauty in the evening was always a treat. Simply because they were never allowed to stay on very long. All reminiscent memories but the awe of those beautiful lights remain ingrained in my spirit; all these decades later.

From the time we bought our first home, an artificial tree was traditionally assembled & disassembled using specific calendar days as a guide. Then, when my dad passed in 2005, I didn’t have the energy nor the desire to bother, so a real tree was purchased less than a week before Christmas was set to arrive. I’ve purchased a real tree ever since.

ONLY multicoloured
lights for this cat.
TAKEN: DECEMBER 24th, 2018
This year, I hit the jackpot at my grocery store tree lot. I paid my forty five bucks and brought this absolute beauty home. 

As I began to string the lights from the inside out, I had to make an additional trip to Canadian Tire for more lights. In total, I managed to load my tree with close to 600 of one of my favourite things.

Running on a timer at dusk, from the time I turned that last corner on my street before landing at the house, I could see the glow of my lights in the living room window. 

Then, each night until the Christmas break, I would finish the dinner chores and settle into watch my evening episode of Jeopardy. I would find my channel, stretch out & admire my beautiful tree.

Then, every night, something always made me stop and reflect.

It wasn't because the kids are grown and gone, doing there own thing, there wouldn't be much under it. It was that my Dad wasn’t sitting on the couch next to me...

Enjoying my beautifully lit tree.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

THE GIFT OF GUILT

My daughter & I headed out yesterday morning to tackle the tail end of our holiday shopping. This time of year, I always shop locally to support smaller merchants, bolstering community sales whilst staying out of Walmart. All comments aside, due to something very specific on my shopping list, I entered the corporate vortex.

That said, the point of my post has nothing to do with the Walmart business plan, more that if I go shopping hungry, I generally buy a bunch of crap I'd never purchase nor feed to my worst enemy.

Truth is, I generally overload my cart & overspend on comfort food. With the subliminal thought process that I'll be able enjoy my sinful spoils when I get home.

My next confession is that our timing yesterday had us land at the Walmart McDonalds to avoid the  previously mentioned shopping threat; which in itself was an epic fail.

Now, I truly try to avoid all fast food outlets. Simply because since midlife, I swear my well established fat cells expand the instant they smell french fry grease gurgling in any nearby deep frying vat. The second reason for my general fast food boycott is the toll a single experience takes on my wallet. Man, that place in particular's expensive.

As I paid what felt like a small fortune for our lunch (and waiting for it to arrive) I had my Sweetie and I pose for a picture together. Though we see each other at least once a week, we rarely make the effort to capture the simple milestone moments we may share; like gorging on 30+ grams of fat and over indulging on carbs & sodium.

Last minute shopping with my Sweetie. Embracing a glamour shot under fluorescent lights!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 22nd, 2018

I’m laughing at writing that.

I am laughing because I tend to always focus on the negative rather than the positive. That, and because I know more than most, that guilt is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.

Yup, yesterday I did Walmart.

Yup, yesterday I ate fast food.

Yup, yesterday I had to spit on my hand, calm down my out of control bangs and retake the picture I'm sharing. 

Seeing as I am sharing about guilty pleasures, last night I proudly watched a Hallmark Christmas movie I’ve seen a couple of time before and got just as emotional as I did the last time I watched it.

Glass half full?

Yesterday confirms my Sweetie is definitely my daughter (replace a Hallmark movie with How I Met Your Mother). Except for her hair.

It was perfect in her hat and didn’t need any of my impulsive spat for the retake.

Felt the need to clarify that.

Just sayin'

Monday, December 17, 2018

NEVER LOSE HOPE

I don’t know about you, but I am one step away from being downright giddy that there’s only a handful of sleeps until the upcoming holiday break. Frankly, I feel I am bordering upon exhausted; but pleased to report that I am managing far better than initially thought in the seasonal affective department.

Not gonna lie, I am NOT going to miss 2018. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster that ended up with me hitting an all time low the middle of May. If it wasn’t for the Sweenymeister talking me off a ledge or two, my life would be drastically different than it is today. So, as you can imagine, I am very grateful to have her in my life. 

Anyway, as you may or may not recall, I apprehensively posted (in real time) about a weekend jaunt to Cuba I took with my daughter in 2017. I disclosed that I'd never had any desire to visit the island but when the need for a 4 day jolt of vitamin D called it became the obvious choice. We booked, kept our fingers crossed, and had a blast.

On our first morning there, I heard a familiar voice tell her party by the pool, 'I know those people!" 

Low and behold, we ran into this lady & her husband, that I use to babysit for when I was a teen. An EPIC holy shit moment at its best.

As I share this photo of us from 2017, I will also share that she and I have been chatting about the islands' recovery since Irma decimated it, and that I have decided to go back. The resort has been completely rebuilt, and you know what they say, the second time's a charm.

Quick photo with our Muskoka friend before heading to catch our night flight back home.
No hair. No Makeup. No worries!!
Memories Flamenco Beach Resort - Cayo Coco, Cuba.
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 13th, 2018
The second time's a charm. I was thinking about that very thought before I began to write tonight.

Taking any chance in life is never easy, so most don't do it twice. Well, my year has proven to me that I am most certainly NOT a once bitten twice shy kinda gal. I have proven to myself that I will push myself harder than most, simply because I know what success feels like.

In turn, some will call me a bitch. To which I will gladly counter and describe myself as focused. Reminding all, that our most important & valuable life experiences happen in real time and never happen on a beach.

Except this time. This coming February. In Cuba!!

WOOT.

“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences - be they positive or negative - make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.” ~ B.J. Neblett