Monday, August 13, 2018

YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS?!

My breaking the news we are staying in town.
TAKEN: AUGUST 10th, 2018
After a really great weather weekend in Muskoka, I am in the process of working toward getting my pups off suicide watch, as I've moved back into town with them for the week.

You see, with my commitment to doing yoga twice a week (and the days getting shorter) this last round of heat last week made it apparent that I have lost my stride. Time to re-calibrate on all levels and get some much needed deep and uninterrupted sleep.

I know it may sound exciting to own a home and a cottage that are a fifteen minute drive apart, and 90% of the time it is. The other 10% of the time you worry how you’ll get the lawn at home mowed, floors washed, not to mention the very large doghouse properly cleaned that three very hairy canines rule from Monday to Friday. For me, the latter is nerve-wracking and a burden.

I honestly make lists to find an ease to the order but it never fails, items are missed and unexpected things take priority which frustrates me to no end. If I am being honest, I don’t think my frustration is due to being unorganized, more because I am a tad embarrassed to admit that the happiness of three dogs rule my day to day life.

At the end of it all, they are like any over stimulated toddler. The more they get, the more they want. Hell, isn’t that the rule of thumb for most greedy people in your life? You will always have givers and takers, the hardest part in finding a balance that works.

Could that be why I love yoga so much… because it offers balance?

That, and the fact that there's no dog hair to be found?

Peeps, that right thar is a dead nuts draw!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

HAIR TODAY. GONE TOMORROW.

Last Thursday I had a planned lunch date with someone I hadn’t seen face to face since May of 2017. Unfortunately, we discovered the night before there was a calendar conflict,  so the easiest thing to do was reschedule for this coming Friday.

My first world problem was I wanted to surprise him with how I'd grown my curly hair to the middle of my back. Not because he'd give a shit, but because there is always a bit of a tell when you haven’t seen someone for an extended period of time. And for me, I knew the length of my hair would've been a bit of  jaw dropper.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not vanity on my part, more a sense of personal pride.  From the time I was a young girl, my mother kept my hair cut short for the ease of getting me to school in the morning. Then, as I entered my teen years, I didn’t have the knowledge nor understanding on how to manage naturally curly hair, so as it grew out, the frizz always outweighed the future fashion potential of it all. That, combined with a barely there A cup, I ended high school looking like a boy that was trying too hard.

Well, thanks to the internet and a kick-ass hairstylist, I figured it out. It was expensive in the beginning but I justified the expense by telling myself I was worth it. As I aged and truly understood how one treats grey hair, I took the matters of the management of it into my own hands and the very large bills disappeared.

Hair's looking great. Shame about the face!
TAKEN: August 2nd & 7th, 2018
So here you have it. A picture of the longest my hair had been in I don’t know how many years, and me headed to work yesterday shortly after 7am, with uber curly hair!

The dead nuts honest truth is the 99.9% of the time I'm away from work or alone, my hair is either up and off my face, in need of some root touch up, or simply a dogs' freakin’ breakfast. So much so that when I landed for my cut Friday lunch I was wearing a Taylor Made ball cap & looked like a super serious paper bag hag.

Glass half full? She made me look and feel beautiful for my trek into Toronto, and I have told her that I will always pay her serious money to never allow anyone to see what I look like when I land at her shop.

How serious am I? When my buddy Barbie spied me up in Instagram at the concert she asked, ‘when are you gonna start aging like the rest of us?”

My response... “Hopefully, never!”

Which is partially thanks to the hush money I will always pay my hairdresser!

Monday, August 6, 2018

MY ULTIMATE LOVE

Downtown Toronto...
MY ULTIMATE LOVE
TAKEN: AUGUST 3rd, 2018
Do you ever make plans, then as the date draws near, drag your feet because you know getting there and back home will be nothing but a great big fat pain in the ass? Well, that was me last Friday.

I was ecstatic in March when my boss gifted me two tickets to see my very favorite performer, Bryan Adams and his Ultimate Love tour in Toronto.  So excited, that when I got home that night, I headed over to Expedia to book my room.

Suffice is to say that shock ensued at the rates coming through. The best deal I could land was on The Esplanade for just shy of four hundred bucks for the night (and that’s because I paid upfront and bit the bullet for it to be non-refundable)!

Ready for my trek and right on schedule, I left Muskoka shortly after lunch, yet getting into the heart of the city was nothing like I'd ever experienced before. As I checked into my hotel, the young lad serving me asked if I was downtown to see Taylor Swift at the Rogers Centre?

Bryan Adams at the ScotiaBank Arena, Taylor Swift at the Dome AND Caribana on for the weekend instantly explained why the best deal I could get on a room (almost six months prior) was more than double their standard price.

As expected, the concert was the most amazing I have seen to date. The last time I’d attended one of his offerings was in spring 2012 (and I immediately wanted to jump a plane to Winnipeg for a do-over). This show put that one to shame. From start to finish, I kept feeling the need to pinch myself to prove I was actually in the moment.

As the show wrapped and I wandered into the streets the energy was over the top. Tens of thousands of us just embracing another fantastic moment that Toronto has been made famous for. You felt safe and realized you're just one person bringing positive personal energy for Toronto to stay strong.

As I sit and sip my coffee this morn, I must admit that right before leaving town I purchased the piece of costume jewelry I am wearing. It seemed the perfect accessory, as I headed into the city with my heart on a string for my ultimate love.

Three days later, I know I had a great time because my voice hasn't returned from all the singing & screaming that ensued Friday night. Voice or no voice, this past weekend will most definitely be filed in my very special bright green file folder marked...

'Memories of a lifetime.' 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

LIFE LESSON #997

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a really wonky summer for me. The weather’s been amazing, yet my disposition has generally stayed in the average range of fair to partly cloudy. I have theories as to why, but if I were being honest, I would have to admit that in the last few months I've had to do so much ‘on the spot’ emotional juggling, that I swear I’ve heard circus music whenever I've daydreamt.

Specifics as to why aside, I will weight in with the opinion that the strange part about juggling emotions, is it feels like a catch 22. Just like any over achieving circus juggler knows, it’s not as simple as making it look easy (whilst keeping all the balls in the air) it’s also about simultaneously keeping track of which of the balls are made of rubber, and which of them are made of glass.

Though we tend to lean on intuition to tell us which will bounce and which will break, I've often wondered... Do we ever really know?

For yours truly, it’s about finding a balance that works. I'll admit I fret most about the same rubber balls I've dropped time and again, that have always bounced back and wonder how long they will. With the other side of that reflective coin being, sometimes, a glass one that's cherished so dear, needs to be dropped for ones personal health & well-being... Which leads me to my next question. 

Have you ever allowed someone to hold you as their emotional hostage?

I know you know the type. If you'd intelligently step out of and looked at the toxic relationship, you’d discover that you were doing all the work and they were taking all the spoils; always expecting more while you are expected to accept the status quo. 

Embracing that philosophy, I was shocked to discover that by letting that aforementioned cherished glass ball drop, though it shattered the loudest, it offered the most relief and left the least emotional mess to clean up. 

#WordsToLiveBy
Image Courtesy of : Smile Again Ministries
(All Rights Reserved)
So there you have it. My life lesson #997 has taught me a couple of very important things...

One, that some things are meant to be.

And two, that I am a dead-nuts, no circus would ever want to hire me, piece of crap juggler!

Glass half full? Circus recruiters have told me I have what it takes to be the perfect sssnake charmer!!

...Ba-dum-bump 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A LITTLE MORE EXTENDED FAMILY

I was working away at my desk this past week, when my phone alerted me that I had a message via Facebook Messenger. When I opened it to see what was up, I was a tad surprised as to whom was sending me a note. Don't get me wrong, it was a pleasant surprise, and the photo she sent me was an even bigger one; she had found five Petro Canada glasses at the Muskoka Lakes Re-use.

Her note was similar to all the others I regularly receive. "Thought of you... maybe they aren't the right 'shape' but if you want them, I will get them to you." My heart instantly filled with gratitude.

I have known Miss JJ since we both hit high school. Though we lived in different towns within the District of Muskoka, our paths always crossed on and off the ice at the Gravenhurst arena. Once we both moved onto post secondary school, we never got in touch with the other again, until we found each other on Facebook.

Looking forward to seeing her again, she took the glasses home, washed and wrapped them, then personally delivered them to where I work. I was so glad to see her that I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a hug, then gave her the 10 cent tour of the amazing company I work for. I was ecstatic, not to mention it was like we'd seen each other yesterday.

After she left, I felt the need to share with my 3 new administrative coworkers, who she was and that I hadn't talked with her face to face since high school. That lead to why she'd stopped by and a quick explanation about my asinine glass collection. In the end, they seemed happy for me and thanked me for sharing.

Walking back to my office, I realized that I stopped blogging around the same time a coworker I was close with left our team. She was the only one that knew about or ever read my blog, probably because she and I had so much fun together outside of work that she regularly made character appearances in my posts. Unfortunately, we have lost touch. But as I have pontificated  here several times before, you can't stop change only manage it.

So, just as I have opened and welcomed these five new and unique to me gems into my extended family of kick ass Petro Canada glasses, I have to remind myself, yet again, that life is always gonna be tough, right up until the moment it isn't. Which is why I always strive to keep an open mind, as well as an open heart.

Thanks again Miss JJ... As promised, my new extended family members fit in perfectly!

ALL HAIL CAESAR.... and my newest extended family member!
TAKEN: JULY 21st, 2018

Thursday, July 19, 2018

MY PERFECT TRAVEL PROJECT

As you can imagine, as your family grows & leaves the nest, you end up holding onto a wide range of crap you'll never use again. In this particular instance, it was a 10-seater picnic table we'd acquired when the kids were small.

It always came in handy for family gatherings at the cottage, but for the last 5 or 6 years it simply became an over-sized eyesore. So much so, that last summer my husband asked me if he should just cut it up and burn it. Not one to ever throw baby out with the bath water, I asked him to cut it in half because it I thought it would be neat to have it by the fire whenever we had friends over.

Well, a year later, we'd always used lawn chairs to bask in the glow of a great fire and sat on the stupid thing a grand total of once. With the 2018 cottage season starting late, he once again asked if he should just take the chainsaw to it and get rid of it. I agreed but like most handy-person chores in my life, it never got done. (Yes, that was a direct jab at my husband and his inability to manage his time.)

Anyway, a week or so later, out of the blue I had a light bulb moment and I headed straight over to YouTube. About a half an hour later, I knew what I wanted to do with this neat gem that had so many family memories attached to it...I was going to build a floating picnic table!

As I started to make a shopping list of items that would be needed, I discovered my task could be accomplished with 100% recycled material we had at the cottage, meaning zero dollars spent. The one thing that was alluding the project moving forward, was time: I had none.

Then, last week when I'd finally accomplished what I needed to from such a late cottage season start, I asked my husband if he would help me with my project. I know most of you are wondering why I'd have to formally ask for his help, and there are a number of reasons. First and foremost when it comes to any type of honey-do construction, he tends not to measure twice and cut once, more like cuss loud and cut twice... But with both of us on the same page, and all the supplies gathered and a plan ready to hatch, we began in the rain.

Working together, we started framing for the billets and finished by cutting off the legs to the table which would ultimately reduce resistance as I moved around the lake.

Total time we invested: an hour and a half.

Once in the lake, I realized I had a major design flaw. One flat-coated retriever and an over zealous yellow lab (that wouldn't feel a hunger pain if she went a week without food) weighed far more than I combined, which established early that any movement of this new to me contraption, had to include them.

My new means of travel around the lake is PERFECT!
TAKEN: July 15th, 2018
Once I detached from the dock, our first tip into the lake was epic, and Annie was out. Puddin' on the other hand, was more obsessed with my new play thing than ever.

She and I finally determine it wouldn't tip if I hung onto the the top of the picnic table as I let her climb aboard.

By mid afternoon, I had my scuba flippers on my feet and she was ultimately content relaxing on the table top as I continued tooling around the water. 

After a really great day of exercise, curious onlookers, visitors, and laughs, I have decided that I am going to take this amazing effort to the next level.

My upgraded design sees two more billet sections on the sides for stability, and I 'm going to buy an electric trolling motor. I will also make a provision for a small anchor, then stain it my favourite colour red for high visibility. Not because I didn't like being tethered to my dinky floating dock via a 40' polypropylene rope.... but because you all know how much I truly LOVE to travel.

I wonder if Air Miles offers floating picnic table travel points?

Like I've always said.... There's no such thing as a bad question.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

WHO CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH?

I spied a Facebook meme this week that read... "Behind every angry woman, stands a man that has no idea what he did wrong!" I immediately chuckled. In keeping with that thought, I was chatting with a co-worker today.

Long story short, he discovered a couple of things about me that he didn't realize. One, my age (he was blown away when I admitted it, then I gave him 10 bucks for the compliment). Secondly, that I'd recently celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary. Not gonna lie, so many people have asked me, "what's the secret to being married for so long?" 

My answers has always been the same. It's honest, always swift, and injected with splash of humour ..."I'm not giving him half!" 

Chuckles aside, our quick co-worker conversation touched on mid-life and why I started this silly electronic journal. Then, after I went back to my office, I realized I'd said something that really bothered me. I mentioned that I haven't really written since March. Which is bizarre, because I love to write. Admitting I wasn't writing, reinforced that I'd deviated from a long standing & very personal philosophy.

To expand, about 15 years ago I had a conversation with someone in the workplace that asked me if I was 'happy'. I immediately asked them one very simple question. ... 'Do you think I am good at my job?" 

Without hesitation, they said 'yes'. This was my response:

On my list of things that make me happy, work is #5. I place my personal wellness & marriage as #1. My husband & children are tied for #2 & #3. Our home is #4. Work falls around #5. I vividly remember saying, 'if I am doing this well at work, and it's #5, imagine how well everything else is going?' 

I'll never forget that moment. Truth is, it flashed to the forefront of my mind after I told my coworker that I wasn't writing anymore. So here you have it. I admit that this is my first true electronic offering since my Dad had a burger and a beer with a great one I will always hold near and dear. (Posted: March 17th, 2018)

Blog selfie that still appears on my
Facebook blog page. @YaGottaLaughAboutIt
TAKEN: September 2011
Why? Because it's is time to work on what makes me truly happy. That, and the fact that getting great words out of me is really tough; it's sheer exercise and a true workout

Truth? I almost love writing as much as I love challenging myself with the practice of yoga.

So... FYI. Never expect future posts on the two nights a week I work at my practice.

Nameste,
Rhondi

Sunday, May 27, 2018

NOT A TYPICAL MAYDAY

Can you believe it’s the end of May and I haven’t written here in almost a month? I can. It was a long winter and I’ve taken the past month off to try and recover & regroup.

Though I am pleased to report that I did officially complete the April A-Z challenge, posts were regularly late and they definitely crawled up to what I would have to label as 'lackluster'. For the first time since I started this electronic journal, I posted because I had to, not because I wanted to. Suffice is to say, my run in the A-Z department is over; six years was definitely long enough.

For reasons I don’t need to really share, I’ve had a pretty big emotional set back. I can only try to put it into perspective by sharing how things went for me when I was raising three teenagers. I would always try to calmly reinforce a fair & proper approach, but lines continually kept being crossed. I always tried to help them learn how to navigate life, yet I could only be taken advantage of for so long until I’d ultimately snap. Well, I’ve snapped alright, and this time (though it has nothing to do with my children) I don’t think very specific things in my life will ever be the same.

To complicate my discombobulated mindset, it saddens me further to admit that I won’t be spending much time at the cottage this summer. There are a lot of compounding reasons why, but first and foremost my beloved dog Dot is coming to the end of her life.

She struggles to walk and can no longer do the steps nor the hill. Yet, she is such a stoic pup within the pack that I know if I take her out there it will end up killing her. So, I am going to keep her here comfortable at the house, and enjoy my time with her staying very close to home. 

Enjoying Williams Park right before we discovered her hips were a very complicated issue.
(Photo Credit: STACCS)
TAKEN: JUNE 2015


Isn’t it funny how pets make us reflect on our own mortality and overall happiness? It was never my intent to have a brood a pups so large that they accounted for 20% of my weekly grocery bill, but just like when the kids were growing up, I struggle to deny them anything. Truth of the matter is, my daughter comments that they eat better than I do! 

People are always asking for comment on how I juggle and manage three (above average size) dogs... and I tell them with patience, love, and a lot of really hard work.

But, if there’s one thing I’m not afraid of, it’s hard work. It is how I have approached life and the only way I know how to exist; which is to greet each new day, try my very best, and be loyal to those who deserve it.

…No one knows that better than my beautiful spottie dog Dot.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Y IS FOR YUK-YUKS

How funny is this?! I really do love to laugh!!
#yagottalaughaboutit
(Image courtesy of the Ya Gotta Laugh About It Facebook page)

Friday, April 27, 2018

X IS FOR X-CEPTIONAL

I would be remiss if I didn't pay homage to the x-ceptional relationship I have with my daughter!
TAKEN: OCTOBER 2017

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

V IS FOR VEXATION

VEX-A-TION: (noun)
The state of being annoyed, frustrated or worried.
Feeling all 3 after the mass murder in Toronto this week.
TAKEN: Bracebridge Wal-Mart APRIL 25th, 2018


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

T IS FOR THERMOMETER

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!
Never underestimate to force of snow coming off a steep steel roof.
The kitchen window thermometer is busted and so is the side deck at the cottage (again).
Poor thing. She reads 32C when it's only 10C.
Wait, could she simply be having a hot flash?!
#yagottalaughaboutit
TAKEN: APRIL 21st, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

S IS FOR SADNESS

This editorial cartoon depicts how a country filled with sadness pulled together during
the recent Humboldt Bronco bus crash in Saskatchewan. Too many gone too soon.
(c) www.artizans.com

Friday, April 20, 2018

R IS FOR ROCKSTARS

One of my very favourite things to do is the go to a good concert. I honestly have no real preference to the music I listen to, because I love it all; but I'm sure you'll agree there is something truly special about a great live performance.

I never really got to participate in the activity, until my nest emptied. Once it did, I hit the circuit hard which had an adverse effect on my pocket book. That said, I have zero regrets and explain my spending by saying, "some women like to buy shoes... I buy concert tickets!"

How be we make a list of a few of my favourite rockstars?

Best Concert: Definitely, Prince.
Last time he was in Toronto before he died.
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 2011

Most expensive ticket: Front row for P!nk
TAKEN: MARCH 2013
Best last minute ticket purchase: Garth Brooks
TAKEN: MARCH 2016
Dream ticket: Row 10 Eagles tickets before Glenn Fry died
TAKEN: 
Most disappointing: Alice Cooper (only because he needs to retire)
TAKEN: MARCH 2018
Best Music Festival: French Quarter Festival, New Orleans, LA
TAKEN: APRIL 2017
Bucket list ticket: Front row for Sheryl Crow
Seen more than once: Burton Cummings, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty
First ever attended: Heart at Maple Leaf Gardens
Back to back: Eagles, Thursday in Toronto. Flew to Montreal for Bon Jovi Saturday night
Downright terrible: Rihanna
Most frequent venue: The Kee to Bala (there are just too many show to list).

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Q IS FOR QUANTITY

My quest for a greater QUANTITY continues
TAKEN: APRIL 17th, 2018
One of our employees walked into my office on Tuesday morning with a list of specific work related questions for me.

Mid conversation, he noticed one of the glasses I collect next to my monitor that an architect had delivered to me. It was neat to observe his general curiosity as he asked, “is that one of them?” 

He then continued to tell me that he thought he had come across an older one on the job site he was working on (inside a garage we're going to tear down). So I asked that he snap a picture of it, and send it to me when he landed there later that morning. When his email arrived, my heart filled with love as I discovered another one was finding its way home.

Though she’s still in transit, I have to admit that this one looks like it has had a good run. I will say that my guess is that her previous owner used the dishwasher to keep her clean, which is why the paint is so worn.

I will admit that years ago when I began my collection I use to put them into the dishwasher as well, but it seemed they were meeting an quicker than normal death; so now I wash every single one used by hand.

Curious where I'm at in the quantity department with these beauties?

Last count was 126. This gals makes it 127, with no end in sight!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

P IS FOR PUDDIN'

How did my yellow lab get her name?
When I brought her home, my first thought was she was the colour of butterscotch pudding!
TAKEN: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

O IS FOR OUTSTANDING

Let’s just get the white elephant out of the room on this one. I have writer's block.

I wanted to choose orgasm, yet I didn’t. Opinionated was a close second, you all know I am so why bother. Orillia Lake is something I've already beaten to death: next? 

Outgoing, I am. Obese, I am not. Offensive, I try. Considered, once; “once was lost, now I'm found” ...Pffft, I’m blocked.

I tend to be overwhelmed at work but who gives a crap? I don’t eat organic so that's not an option.

Oh Henry? Oh My God? How about obedient? Don't answer that. BLOCKED!

The object of my affection? The occasional off-colour joke? Well, it's never occasional, which leads me to obnoxious.

One-horse, one-sided, old, only, onward? Nope!

Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Officially blocked, I am optimistic one word will come to me by the end of the day. Who says, "more isn't necessarily better... sometimes it's just more?" 

Oops. Obviously? That would be me!

Because I’m OUTSTANDING!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

N IS FOR NASTY

While vacationing in South Beach this past week, I experienced something that I would classify as amazing.

Not in the whole ‘sense of wonderment’ form of amazing, rather how quickly your day can change without warning type amazing... which borders on down-right nasty!

Just love this photo I snapped of my husband taking it all in.

NASTY storm arriving over South Beach, Miami.
TAKEN: APRIL 10th, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

L IS FOR LIFE

This meme about LIFE speaks to me personally... about a couple of very specific people.
My personal motto?
'Kill them with success & bury them with a smile!'

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

K IS FOR KEEPSAKE

This past February, I hopped a plane and went to Nassau, in the Bahamas, for four nights. I had purchased the trip Black Friday for close to a two for one rate and because I'd never been, I was excited about getting another new to me stamp in my passport.

I'd booked an oceanfront room on Cable Beach that was absolutely breath-taking, yet like most resort/island destination it's known for panhandling, which drives me absolutely bonkers. To that point, my second full day there, I spent the entire day on the beach and not far from me was what (in all my travels) I'd deem the very worst beach side booth full of crap imaginable.

That said, after watching this poor man for hours, I realized absolutely no one had bought a single thing. I knew I wasn't going to spend any of my hard earned loonies on his treasures but being the nice person I am, I went into the resort and returned with some lunch and two bottles of water for him. He was visibly moved by my gesture. So much so, that as I packed up my beach chair for the day, he approached me holding something.

Keeping in mind that because I was staying at an all inclusive resort, providing him with a meal cost me absolutely nothing, so I was a little shocked that he wanted to offer me some sort of payment. In the end I greatfully accepted his keepsake, packed it into my suitcase and gave it a home on Orillia Lake when I returned to Canada.

From now on, every time I look at it, I will think of this elderly entrepreneur and the hug he gave me for simply being what most Canadians are: kind.

Thanks for the memories and this very unique KEEPSAKE Bahamas!
TAKEN: FEBRUARY & MARCH 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

J IS FOR JERSEY

Every Toronto Raptors SUPER FAN has to proudly wear a custom made JERSEY!
TAKEN: AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA, MIAMI BEACH ~ APRIL 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

I IS FOR INVIGORATING

So, as most reader already know this is my birthday week.  This year's been exceptionally special for me because I finally did what I have wanted to do for years. To celebrate my day, I went on a Toronto Raptor Road Trip!

If you love watching the NBA and especially the Toronto Raptors, I know that we could very well end up best of friends. If you don’t, I still think we could be great friends as long as you allow me to indulge in my love of the sport and simply talk about it with me. If the above two are not options, am a still confident we could be good friends, as long as you aren’t embarrassed to be seen with me wearing the custom made jersey that my son had custom made for me a few years back!

When it comes to my Raps, there is nothing more invigorating than hearing the announcers get you ready for a televised game, or the crowds' energy getting you pumped for a live one. How big a fan am I? I am investigating seasons tickets and selling of the ones I can’t use!

Playoff bound this coming Saturday, join me and holla really loud and clear...

LET's GO RAPTORS.... LET GO! 

(Left) Sunday night in Toronto playing Orlando
(Right) Wednesday night in Miami against the Heat.
#torontoraptors #wethenorth #northoveryerthing #playoffbound
TAKEN: APRIL 2018



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018

G IS FOR GIGGLE

Oh, the power of social media, and just one way to give back!
TAKEN: March 17th & March 19th, 2018

The morning of St. Patrick's Day, I text my daughter and asked her if she wanted to join me for lunch. As expected, she said yes. It was originally just to be the two of us but right before I left the house, my husband decided to come with. I was a tad surprised, because he awoke that morning feeling under the weather.

Short story long, when we arrived at the restaurant I snapped their picture and posted it onto my personal social media platform. As soon as I did, the comments started to roll in with regards to the general lack of enthusiasm on is face. Going with the flow, I decided to let the thread of discussion ensue.

Well, when he arrived at work the following Monday all hell broke loose. No matter where he turned he was being asked why he had a great big bug up his ass!

Because I had no feel for what kind of day he'd had, I was a tad surprised when he picked me up at my carpool stop and asked if anyone had mention the picture I had posted from our lunch the previous Saturday. I started naming names of the instigators, then thought nothing else of it. UNTIL... we arrived at my daughters work and he grabbed her and immediately asked me to take their picture.

I'm laughing just writing about it. Look at my goof... Making a point for all to see.

Ya gotta GIGGLE... I mean laugh about it!

F IS FOR FOCUS

How many chicken wieners does it take to get them to focus? 
Four dozen a week!
(l-r: Charile, Dottie, Puddin', and Annie)
TAKEN: FRIDAY APRIL 6th, 2018


Thursday, April 5, 2018

E IS FOR EXHILARATING

Well, it’s that time of year again when I jump on a plane and tackle something on my bucket list for my birthday; and for the very first time since I began this indulgence, I was torn about how I wanted to celebrate.

My last birthday was perfect. It was spent in a great hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans with the perfect tour guide, my good buddy Darin. It was amazing but crazy expensive. Totally my fault, because I had waited until the last minute to decide it’s what I wanted to do. So, just before this Christmas past I booked the same hotel I had stayed at last year and marked my calendar for an even longer 2018 birthday stay.

As the date grew closer, I began to worry that returning to the French Quarter Festival so soon would be disappointing because my last visit had ticked every single ‘amazing experience’ box imaginable. Then, when I returned from Bahamas in February, something equally amazing as my passion for everything music surfaced on my radar: the Toronto Raptors.

They had so much momentum going in their favour at the time that I started my research. Where would they be playing my birthday week? As soon as Google fed me my info, I knew I had to make a choice. I costed taking in their last season game & then flying to New Orleans for the weekend but I only had so many Ben Franklins left in my jar. So a decision had to be made. 

Peeps, check out my kickass tickets and where I'm jetting off to...!

Two Toronto Raptor games, a killer oceanfront suite at the Grand Beach Hotel,
& evening dining in South Beach, Miami. Giddy UP!
TICKET PICS TAKEN: MARCH 10th, 2018 

Seeing the Toronto Raptors play at home on Sunday, hopping a plane the next morning to land in my oceanfront suite on South Beach on Monday. Relax and watch my team officially win the Eastern Conference Championship on Wednesday then head back to Canada with a suntan and a smile. How cool is that?

Not gonna lie… Bucket list excess once a year is absolutely exhilarating!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

C IS FOR CARPOOL CHARLIE

As my regular readers know, I am social media junkie that's rockin' a small Canadian town, absolutely love where I work, and what I do for a living.  So as an added bonus, I was  flattered last fall when my boss asked me out if I would entertain helping him out by keeping his dog (our company mascot) for the weekend. I instantly said yes!

Charlie never complained once about the carpool chit-chat.
TAKEN: APRIL 3rd, 2018
Periodically since our first canine sleepover, his pup has returned to visit my pack of three, as well visited me at the office, continually reinforcing just how 'swell a pals' we truly are.

Then, late yesterday afternoon, after careful planning, Charlie hopped in the carpool car and landed at the house for a week long sleepover. 

Just like I always have, I brought him back to the office today, so that my pups could watch us leaving and arriving together for a second day, which seems to easily solidify he's in fact a part of the pack.

Just before 7am this morning, for the better part of a kilometer, he ran circles around me, chased a red squirrel on a neighbours lawn exuded the kind of energy I remember having in my 20's. 

He enthusiastically hopped in the car, rode to the office, & stayed by my side the entire day.

As 'Hallmark' a picture as that may paint, the truth of the matter is he knows I keep cookies in the upper cupboard of my office.... and for some strange reason sleeps all day at my feet; which just happens to be next to the cabinet where my lunch bag is stored.

Story of my life. They tell me my mom had to tie pork chops around my ears so the dog would play with me.

… And I thought I had greasy hair as a kid because of overactive sebaceous glands!

#yagottalaughaboutit

Monday, April 2, 2018

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A IS FOR APRIL ADJUSTMENT

Well, I'm definitely making an adjustment this April and I will go on the record with the fact that it's not the kind of forceful treatment you get when you land at a Chiropractic office. 

You see, it's that time of year again and I had quietly convinced myself that I wasn’t going to participate in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge again. Yet, when I got home from the cottage this morning and it was actually April 1st, I realized I truly wanted to.

So, even though I missed their master list registration (that closed yesterday) I figured I would once again forge ahead and play by my own rules; which coincidentally work especially well in my favour!

As I have in the past, I am going to post everyday. I will post where expected for the challenge (email  subscribers & Google+ peeps will be updated in real time) but I am only going to post to Facebook & Twitter once a week.  That way, you can easily scroll through the posts weekly, eliminating the feeling that you are being hammered with my challenge posts daily.

It's hard to believe that I was eighteen months into this silly electronic journey before I decided to register and get in the ring with this specific group of writers five years ago. In that moment, I had been seriously motivated by a couple of people (that no longer blog) and decided to challenge myself. 

Here's to my one hundred and thirty first consecutive April posts and my to extremely late decision to jump into this difficult challenge again. Here's hoping my minor 'April Adjustment'  in the sharing  department keeps my readers both interested and engaged this month. ~ Cheers, Rhondi.

Admiration. Ambition. Absenteeism. Adios Amigos. Amazing... Resulted in an April Adjustment!
TAKEN: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017



Here are the pictures from my last five April 1st posts.
2013: Admiration    (As you can see I hadn’t embraced how my camera truly fit in yet.)
2014: Ambition        (Dot proving to me that ambition is a true key to success.)
2015: Absenteeism   (Reflective that the two bloggers that got me started, had quit.)
2016: Adios Amigos (Starting by saying goodbye, as I'd fled to Mexico to learn to surf.)
2017: Amazing          (The selfie I shared was taken the night before my very first April A- Z post in 2013. What an amazing outlet this has truly become!)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

MY CUP RUNNETH OVER

This morning I awoke and decided to stay in bed simply because I could. You know those kind of days, when you wholeheartedly embrace being a fornicating canine? Anyway, as the morning progressed closer to the noon, I text my daughter and asked if she would like to join me for lunch: she said yes.

As I landed at her apartment to pick her up, she appeared to be walking toward me carrying a relatively large cardboard box. I knew it wasn’t her laundry, because that is usually presented to me in a very task specific kind of basket, not a box. So, with my curiosity piqued and her wearing a cat shit eating grin, she arrived at me and announced, “...I have something for you.” Inside were more of the very treasured Petro-Canada glasses I obsessively collect!

Thanks to everyone for every effort
to help grow my special collection. *hugs*
TAKEN: MARCH 17th, 2018
Being in the middle of town and opening that box today made me realize that my more than decade long act of collecting these beautiful holder of anything liquid (in memory of my father) has evolved into a true tag-team effort. 

This lot came from a blog reader and personal friend of Staccs that I don't really know. So I want to say, yet again, that I am truly grateful to all that call, buy, deliver, and even text message location deets; while truly remaining on the lookout.

The interesting twist to this post is that when I got home and sat down to begin to write this one, I did what 99% of us do when we sit down at a computer, I checked my Facebook.  As soon as it populated, I discovered it was the anniversary of the death of a man that I spent a phenomenal amount of time with he and his family during my teen years.

Looking at the photo she'd posted and reading her tribute to her dad, embraced everything I would say to mine if I could. That I love him, and miss absolutely everything about him. Every... single... day.

I know there are so some naysayers out there may think the glass collecting obsession is silly, but it doesn't phase me. Instead,  if I could offer one vantage point of logic to their negativity it's that what they don’t know is, in the very minute I hold one of these new to me special treasures in my hand, I'm in a wonderful moment with my Dad. Today I could hear his laughter in the car with my daughter and I; and there's nothing even remotely silly about that.

Cheers to both these awesome guys today. Hope they are sharing a burger & a beer.

Not to mention having a good laugh about my asinine glass collection!

Friday, February 23, 2018

MADE YOUR APPOINTMENT YET?

So, it’s been a little over a year since I began my quest for a clean bill of health. It started in my family doctor's office with a clear vision of me needing to establish a starting point for my mid-life body, giving me the ability to embrace it for the next twenty five plus years.

It immediately kicked off with a ton of blood work that quickly led to a series of ultrasounds, smears, specialists & 'oscopy procedures; and although it took longer than I'd ever imagined, all have proven to have been very necessary.

My point is that I had an outpatient procedure yesterday in hospital about 30 miles south of me. It was at my request, as we had ruled out the medication dealing with what was a definite growth wasn't having the overall impact that was expected.

Because I was the one pushing for the procedure, I didn't find the idea as personally stressful as say if I’d been given less than a week's notice and told it had to happen as soon as possible. In hindsight, I wish I would have been more mentally prepared and done some clear research to understand what I was about to endure. 

Who knew OHIP supplied very sexy paper bracelets
for enduring one of their life changing spa experiences?!
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 22nd, 2018
As silly as this may read, I believed that I was going to pop in and out of the outpatient department as fast as one does locally when they have a mammogram, which wasn't the case.

I should have picked up my doctors' vibe when he asked me, twice, 'if I would prefer to have a general anesthetic' and not remain awake.

I declined because I felt I had prepared myself for having the lump removed, yet what I didn't know was how painful and stressful being awake for the procedure would be. I actually think I went into a little bit of shock... Because by the time I dressed and said my goodbyes, I began to shake all over. I narrowly managed to get into the car before I had a total meltdown. I cried all the way home from the sheer physicality & emotional anxiety of what I'd just endured.

Now that I have had time to calm down, I don't regret going forward with the procedure. I was a tad surprised with the number of stitches I received and that it would take close to a month for them to heal but the experience is all a part of the bigger picture and my own philosophy, which is that no one should ever take their health for granted.

If I have to take a glass half full moment from the experience, it would have to be that I am so very grateful that I have always been aware of my body and any changes that are happening. Between self-examination and the simplistic generality of Web-MD, I hope to have stayed ahead of my biopsy results being cancerous.

If you haven't kept up on your bill of health, make that appointment today. If my post doesn't spell it out, understand that there are a million reasons why you should with the #1 reason being the single most important one of all.

... You're freaking worth it!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

MY BEAUTIFUL MIDLIFE BLANKET

I was texting back and forth yesterday morning with a trusted confidant and we began reminiscing about the summer of 2012. For a number of varying reasons we cheerfully remember that time, most importantly because it was the very first time I’d lived alone at the cottage & commuted to work since its purchase in 1999. In hindsight, I guess you can say that was the summer I officially learned to sew; simply because that summer was the first time I'd ever invested in mending... me.

It’s not like I was broken per se, more to the point that when the twins left for post secondary school in September of 2011, I felt a sense that my life was unraveling. The point being, when the nest empties I don’t think anyone can truly get to know themselves (what they want, nor what they need as a newly independent person) until they make the effort to try and figure it out. Midlife gave me the one thing I’d never had the luxury of before: time.

All these years later, I realize that nothing truly prepares us for midlife. And when that phase crept into my peripheral vision, I honestly would not have classified myself as unhappy. More elated, embracing a feeling of euphoria because I no longer had to focus on everyone around me, and could finally get to focus on my own needs.

It was in that moment, that I looked in the mirror and realized that I had no idea who I was. I remember my immediate assessment on the outside was that I was overweight, yet on the inside I realized I was resentful for being underappreciated. That very harsh personal reality hit like a ton of bricks… and trust me, I did NOT see it coming.

So, as things in my life began to quickly unfurl, I took matters into my own hands. I don’t know what I would have done without my very best girlfriend. She was a lifesaver. She had already survived something similar, so she was my beacon. Thank goodness I didn’t have to pay CJ for all of her hugs and words of support, I would have gone bankrupt!

The summer of 2012. Puddin' was just a wee pup and Dot got to spend extra paddle time alone with me!
TAKEN: JUNE, JULY & AUGUST 2012


The point of my post is that I don't dwell on that time and I have no regrets. I made some big personal moves, learned how to live my life on my terms, and over the eighteen months that followed suffered gut-wrenching heartache I don’t wish on anyone else to have to experience. At the end of the day, I came out the other side more vibrant and exceedingly more comfortable with the skin I’m in. If you’re in my life it’s because you deserve to be, if you’re not, you ultimately know & understand why.

Owning who you are is a lot harder than you may think. For years I just folded like a lawn chair until I would explode with frustration. Now a days, I wholeheartedly own what I want and openly communicate where I’m going: with no regrets.

A wise man once told me that life experiences are the threads that all have a part in our final blanket, which is very true. The other side of that coin is, who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I taught myself to sew a beautiful midlife blanket six years ago... Didn’t I ?!

Monday, February 5, 2018

FEBRUARY, PLEASE BE KIND

FUN FACT #1: Did you know that there are roughly sixty four shades of blue?
FUN FACT #2: In the past, I've suffered a varying levels of many during February.

As I always try and own the second fun fact, I can’t help but go on record with the thought that this past month of January, felt like a really tough year. As we roll into February, I'll enthusiastically start the new calendar month with a smile on my face, simply because I've officially made it. 

When the children left for post secondary school, we originally began travelling in February. Not sure why really, outside the fact that we'd never done so & everybody in our neck of the tundra seemed to. A couple of years in, we took the twins and the pups and rented a pet friendly house in South Carolina. I couldn't believe how that early jolt of vitamin D aided with my symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

As that year rolled into the next, I soon discovered that we could very economically head into the light at the fall time change, skip mid-winter travel, wait until my birthday in spring and essentially get away twice for the price of an all inclusive week in February. So that's what our travel timing shifted to.

Then, this time last year, I took my daughter on a quick 4 night weekend jaunt to Cuba. It was intended to serve as quality time for the both of us, but at the end of the day, those 4 nights made the world of difference for both of us personally. 

By 1 pm that first full day on the beach, I could feel myself awaking from my winter slumber. But it wasn't just me, it was my daughter too. She was participating around the pool, running along the beach, and embracing every single minute. 

A weekend win on every possible level, it was upon my return that I realized that moving forward, some similar type of February mini vaycay was something I needed. So I baked a value into my annual travel budget and Bob's your uncle; I was on my way.

This year my daughter isn't coming with as she's spending this weekend in Ottawa with friends, skating on the Rideau Canal and enjoying the city in general. Instead, I am taking my other Sweetie; my husband, and we are headed to Bahamas for the very first time.

Photographic proof of my daughter kicking February's ass....Old school!
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 2017 & FEBRUARY 2018


I booked it Black Friday for less than what it would have cost us to return to Cuba for that same four day stint I did last year. The only downside is that I had to take a hammer to my piggy bank this morning.... Why?

Because when doing my due diligence, I figured out why it's "Better In The Bahamas." Everything has at least four dollar signs attached ($$$$) even the Starbucks in the lobby. With my birthday trip booked and the planning of our 30th anniversary in June underway, I don't care. We are totally worth it and we are gonna have a blast.

Not to mention... I get yet another brand new stamp in my passport!

Giddy UP!!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

ONLY YOU CONTROL YOUR SHINE

I am a firm believer that only those whom truly care about you can hear you when you’re quiet.

I  also wholeheartedly believe that great friendships, and relationships to some extent, never actually end. Instead, it’s like they go into hibernation until both are ready to participate again. That, or until the overall effort is placed into a folder labelled life lessons learned; only for you to reflect upon when your life calls on you to verbalize to yourself about what NOT to do.

A cool streetlamp pic as I am walking to carpool
TAKEN: JANUARY 23th, 2018
My point is that I was sitting across from a co-worker today, sipping a bowl of soup, watching her describe a very unique and special friendship she'd had. It was amazing to watch. I'm not kidding, her entire face lit up and she was excited to be reminiscing.

In the end, she'd shared that her relocation & personal injury meant they had lost touch about two years ago. We finished our lunch, returned to the office and went back to business.

I couldn't help but continue to think about what she'd said. I grabbed my phone and walked over to her office. I showed her this picture, telling her its premise was to compliment a post I have been working on that speaks to exactly what we had discussed at lunch. I followed that with a very enthusiastic (picture the pompoms and cheerleader outfit folks)... "Get in touch with your friend. You never know where they are at in their life."

Any/all friendships & relationships are about finding a balance, and more importantly trust. I have a plethora of acquaintances in my day to day life, too many to name, and just a handful of true friends. You know the ones, that would unconditionally do anything for the other?

That may read a tad arrogant but I think Ed Sheeran explained it best in an episode of Carpool Karaoke, when he admitted that he had a cellphone for a about two weeks then no longer bothered to charge it. He said he would wake in the morning to fifty plus  messages and none of them would simply say: ‘hey, how are you?’

Instead, they would all be asking, ‘can I have this, can you lend me this, can you do this, can I get this?' Which he described as incredibly draining; and believe it or not, I can totally relate.

I have honestly stopped communicating with certain people because it became all about what they needed and nothing about overall balance. All they seemed to do was take take take. There would always be bait disguised as care, but their personal agenda was very evident.

In the end, I share with those I surround myself with something called 'my shine'. Truth be known, I stole the label about a year ago from my lunch mate today.

Though her personality makes mine look like an introvert, she's taught me a number of very valuable life lessons in a very short period of time.

I'm not bragging or anything but she & I are in true friend territory!

...and it's not just because we both like soup.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MY BEFORE THE SELFIE… SELFIE!

This coming March it will be 11 years since I formally became a social media junkie. As far fetched as this may read, I remember the day I got an official FB login and that’s the one I still use today. You see, the twins were barely teens and were telling me they wanted join this really neat thing called Facebook: my fixation kicked in.

My eldest was already online with My Space but when the twins were looking at jumping onto a bandwagon I knew nothing about, I decided to start to do my due diligence. Once I became a member, I remember that the pioneering group of us locally was small. All these years later, most of those folks still hit my newsfeed on a regular basis. 

My point is, this past week I sat with someone on our leadership team at work and had a great discussion, breaking down the aspects of social media and how said pieces fit strategically into our overall marketing approach. Explaining why I approach our/any audience the way I do, led to comment that he considered my mind a ‘vault of media marketing knowledge.’

After I quickly ran to my desk and returned with a ten dollar bill to thank him for his amazing compliment, we continued our discussion on how I handle privacy settings and how I approach individual platforms from a personal level. You see, he has discovered he’s resisted long enough and it was time he joined the masses.

I have about 5,000 people I interact with personally on Facebook alone, which doesn’t include the many businesses that have contracted me to optimize their online presence. Though I have shifted my focus in the last year, I am pleased to report that my strongest presence and best results comes from this electronic journal that went live November 20th, 2011. First and foremost because Google+ is my friend, blossoming primarily because I feed it content, to which I am pleased to report my views are in the millions. 

My 35mm picture taken with a timer.
(TAKEN: MARCH 2007)
CLICK HERE TO SEE MY FIRST SELFIE
As I sit here and think of how the blog content’s evolved since its inception (I chose for it to become more image driven) I decided to share the first profile picture I posted before selfies filled that space. It was taken with a 35mm camera, in my home office, with a timer. I needed a head shot for my business blog and I thought this was a valiant effort. 

Almost 11 years later, I had to laugh when I went back into my archived pics and noticed the cat on the desk behind me, the lamp on my assistants desk is missing its shade, and media clutter is stacked on the ledge; however, I absolutely love that I captured the picture of my dad and I in the top left.

Though I am pleased to report that I managed to crop the light bulb out of the photo for the blog: Facebook got the Full Monty!

More than a decade later, I was notified this week that 32,000 people have 'liked' my personal posts on Facebook... and it all started at this desk.

Wowza! Followed by a who the hell knew?

Not me, but I am certainly glad I've embraced all of the groundbreaking platforms.