Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z Is For... ZEST

I have always embraced the zest element in my life. What can I say, my favourite colour is red and I truly am a passionate person. I am first to to put up my hand to admit - I work hard, plays hard,  and follow a very simple life platform. 

Laughter is the ignition switch and sarcasm the fuel. I am drawn to like-minded people (particularly if they can keep up with me) and I whole heartily embrace them. Though I can lead blindfolded, I love fun. It's how I roll.

Yesterday I posted that I wish I could have been free to be me. One of my newer readers commented “all those things in the past, made you who you are today” and I realized that she’s absolutely right. I really am simple. I am just simply ME. Great heart, fun loving, amazing dental plan, and a solid inner zest!

April 30th, 2013 - ZEST
Taken: March 30/13

CHEERS & THANKS FOR READING!
I'm kidding (though dental hygiene is key). The truth of the matter is, if you give off that specific "zestful" energy, with the right connection, you will always get it back in spades.

Like mindedness gravitates to like mindedness. Get it? "We have unmistakable like minded ZESTness!" Okay, that was lame.

That right there tells me maybe my word should have been ZERO. Which is the number of posts I have to complete to finish this blogging challenge. 

Oh my goodness I did it. I can't believe it.

I say we pour me a glass of wine! Better yet? How about we give me a great big hug!

Zest or no zest, this exercise was exhausting, and gosh darn it... I have absolutely and unequivocally earned both!!!



Monday, April 29, 2013

Y Is For... YESTERDAY


Oh, the double edged sword. I’m the first to admit you can never go back; but if you could, what’s the one thing that you would change? I realize it’s an unrealistic question but deep down inside, I would be surprised if you said absolutely nothing.

April 29th, 2013 - YESTERDAY
Taken: April 1977
If I was being completely honest with myself, there are a few things in the last thirty plus years I would have done differently. Some apply to my immediate family, some apply to me intimately as a person, and some even apply to my married life.

I have spent my entire life as a driving force for everyone else; fiercely competitive with a core focus on progress and success. 

As a person never wanting to stop moving forward, I can’t believe that in this very moment I am thinking about what could have been.

It’s not because I am feeling especially reflective, it's just the word itself planted the seed. As soon as I chose 'yesterday', my imagination literally ran. 

My childhood, sports, teen years, discipline, marriage, small children, grown children, career; the reaction was swift. That said, I am going to go there just the same. 

If I could venture to any given yesterday what's the one thing I would change? It's more of a wish really.

I simply would have been free to be ME.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

X Is For... X-CELLENCE


I know, I know, it's not a word but I don't have one (nor do I have the slightest hankerin' to ask for help). That said, there really is a point to my unconventional choice. 

I've had a pretty amazing month of April. The winter has had challenges (both personally and professionally) but I am pleased to report that I made it. I have a great tan, I'm completely rested, and I made it! Well rested aside, just when I was convinced that everything was copacetic, I get another curve ball. It happened yesterday afternoon and it was in the form of an email.

I immediately forwarded it to my friend Zack and asked the obvious question. "Do you think this was sent to be cruel?" It was from someone that's never really been a part of my inner circle, but they'd been corresponding with someone that use to be (and that person had really hurt me professionally). 

Zack's response was not only bang on, as an added bonus it was crazy comical. It made me laugh, and a day later I realize he's right. He's been right about the person for months & months, but it took the event yesterday for me to see it from his perspective.



April 27th, 2013 - Xcellence
Rhondi & Zack ROCK!
As I sit in crappy Super 8 in the middle of Pennsylvania, I have a couple of things to look forward to in my very immediate future:
1) Tomorrow I get to rest my A-Z.
2) I am less than 500 miles away from getting the hell out of this crowded (dog lovin') vehicle.
3) In less than 24 hours I will be sleeping in my very own bed again and...
4) I have a Monday lunch date with my buddy Zack! (I haven't seen him since Cottage Life so it's time.)

I Love You Man. Why? Basic math dude.

YOU + ME ='s  X-cellence...

  Friendship X-cellence!  

Friday, April 26, 2013

W Is For... WALKABOUT


Sun, just like water and fire, have my unconditional respect. All three are extremely dangerous when taken for granted. It was evident night before last around 7pm when the effects of the hypnotic power of the UV rays bouncing off the Atlantic had been ignored all day.

Both my daughter and my sister had suffered a terrible burn the first day in the wind. My sunscreen kept me free from harm yet I was a little bummed that I hadn't really tanned. Each day brought weather challenges but the day before yesterday was absolutely perfect and my skin was more protected than any condom commercial ever produced.

Out and about early, I ventured about a mile up the beach, and swam in the ocean most of the day. My daughter was cautious so that her skin could heal but my sister was another story. Miss "my skin needs to burn before I can get a tan" needed an Olympic size swimming pool of aloe and a bottle of Advil to fall asleep night before last. Man, her skin made fire engine red look pink!

April 26th, 2013 - WALKABOUT
Wailing for the SkyWheel to start. Amazing!
Taken: April 25/13
With an overcast day in the weather forecast, our plan yesterday was to head to the Hub for a walkabout.  

Staci and I wanted to walk the Pier and take in the large Ferris wheel that had caught our attention  last Christmas.

We enjoyed a fun lunch then fed our parking meter just north of Ocean Blvd. We walked and talked heading to our first stop which was the landmark SkyWheel. After five rotations we headed to the Pier, took some great pictures, then shopped until we dropped.

The only downside? Though our walkabout was amazing, when we got back to the house, Puddin' and Dot had been into mischief. In the middle of the living room was our jar of peanut butter open, with about a third of it gone.

In shock my sister yells "how the hell did she get that off the shelf it was on in the pantry"? My response was the immediate and obvious. "She stood on Dottie's back!

"How did they get it open" she continued. Staci didn't miss a beat, "by using their thumbs silly!" 

That's MY GIRL! Why? Because life is short... Ya Gotta Laugh About It. 


As promised, this one's for you Brian Morrison. This one's for you!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

V Is For... VACATIONS

April 25th, 2013 - VACATIONS
Taken: April 22/13







V - VACATIONS:

A - Always

C - Cherished

A - And a

T - Truly

I - Indulgent

O - Offering of much

N - Needed

S - Sunshine, Sleep, Shopping & Smiles....

VACATIONS!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U Is For... UNSTOPPABLE

What makes someone (or something) unstoppable?
April 24th, 2013 - UNSTOPPABLE
Taken: Sunset Apr 23/13

Is it because they were born hard wired that way? Or is it simply a personal life choice that over the years has ultimately defined them?

In this case, I think my Puddin's unstoppable leap of faith is part and parcel a clear lack of fear.  She is surrounded by people that she trusts, and instinctively knows she'd never be put in danger.

If that is her case, what is mine. What makes me unstoppable. Better yet, am I?

Probably a lot of the same factors as my pups, with a sprinkle of internal drive (that was established when I was very young), topped off with a sense of confidence (which I have no idea where it comes from). I never say never and can't is not an option. The idea itself is something I always ponder.

Truth be known is that some days I wish I knew and others I am glad I don't. I am just grateful for the lot in life I've been given and continually strive and push forward. After all, a girls gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Today that would be the laundry.

CHEERS...






Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T Is For... TOURIST


From the time I was a small child my parents puts a strong emphasis on a family vacation. Because my father worked maintaining large machinery, July summer shutdown was when we would always venture away.

Traditions are hard to break. My husband never traveled as a child so when I would share all the photos of the places I'd been he agreed that travel was something worth saving for.  Our own adventures started when the twins were ten months old.

So far this has been an amazing "girls" trip. I did cheat a little this morning. Blocked for a "T" word, I sent my first and only email since leaving home. After a couple of suggested words, I wished them a good day, then fired my  Blackberry back into the night stand drawer and started my day. 

April 23rd, 2013
Taken: This morning...
Feeling great, I proceeded to enjoy a quick shower, then Staci and I ventured out. With no particular destination in mind, we  landed on the Main Street in Cherry Grove to enjoy a morning walkabout. 

Just like the Gorbies that loiter outside of Marty's in Muskoka, Staccs and I jumped at the chance to pose out front of Miss. Vickie's.

As I loaded the pictures off my camera I conceded the harsh reality. I was officially that dreaded "T" word.

Tourist!








Monday, April 22, 2013

S Is For... SISTERS

Here I sit with my only sister.

She has always been my sounding board.

So sincere. So special. So sweet. 

Saturated in constant sarcasm we smile.

So much time has passed.
.
As we sit in the sun we still wonder. 

Where has the time gone?

It doesn't matter - we're here today.

We are sisters.

I love you Andrea... Very much.


April 22nd, 2013 - SISTERS
Taken: Today!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R Is For... ROADTRIP

Just spent two day on one. 
Tonight we relax!

April 20th, 2013 - ROADTRIP
Taken: April 20th, 2013


Friday, April 19, 2013

Q Is For...QUEST



April 19th, 2013 - Q is for... QUEST
Taken: December 2012 
I am dog tired and I am on a QUEST for some rest.

I need it. I crave it. I've earned it. Pleased to report I am close but not there yet. Let's just say I am sitting in a Super 8 (just shy of I95) that smells like dog and the WIFI sucks.

Puddin' looks like I feel. I can't believe how much she's changed since I snapped this pic the last time we took  traveled this route. That said, she and Dot are so much more relaxed than the last time around. Relaxed or not, our adventure has not been without some unexpected challenges.

Like I said, my quest is simple. I'm in search of what I consider to be a Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. For me, it's complete and total relaxation. Glass half full? I know for a fact that I am officially over half the way to Leprechaunville!

Less than 24 hours 'til I take my sister's picture with Pedro and Staci officially pushes the grocery cart with a smile. Can't wait until we're unpacked, giddy, and soaking up the sun.

Cheers!



Thursday, April 18, 2013

P Is For... PUZZLE

April 18th, 2013 - PUZZLE
Taken: On the dock! September 2nd, 2012
My name is Rhondi and I am a puzzle doer. Not sure if that designation even exists, but I'll stay with it just the same.

Crosswords, find-a-word, jigsaws, trivia, and the most fascinating puzzle I work on every single day. That puzzle called "life".

You know the one? It kind of resembles a Rubic's Cube?

You get one area figured out and you turn around and everything else is a mess. You backtrack to try and understand what happened, hoping it won't happen again.

It's truly the hardest puzzle I have ever worked on, and one that I am certain is impossible to master. I don't know about you, but I often ask myself ...how can something that happens so effortlessly for me, be so difficult to figure out? 

My core goal with any puzzle is to keep it progressing. Finding the right answers, which in turn bring me to my next  decision. Just as I was sitting on my dock last summer with my dog, I decided to work on two puzzles simultaneously. One was that puzzle called life. The second? Look at the picture... 21 ACROSS is Adam Levine.

My best guess would be I had to name the group he's lead singer for. Swooosh.... Maroon 5 would have been my answer. Just like that, it was written in ink. It was finished. Never to be looked at, nor thought about again.

One down. One to go!




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O Is For... OPTIMISTIC


Let’s just get the white elephant out of the room on this one. I wanted to choose orgasm, I didn’t register for adult content, so I moved on. 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. Thought about picking once; “once was lost, now I'm found” pffft. I’m blocked.

April 17th, 2013 - OPTIMISTIC
I am overwhelmed at work, but who gives a crap? I don’t eat organic, so that's pretty silly. 

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

BLOCKED!

The object of my affection? The occasional off colour joke? 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!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N Is For... NOSTALGIC


In early May we are having a High School Reunion. It is for the graduating class of 1983.

It is being planned in a rather unconventional way, which is via Facebook. There are three that have a vested interest in the event, but it is Tony’s (oldest & bestest long lost) buddy Doug that has been the driving force from the start.

April 16th, 2013 - NOSTALGIC
Taken: June 2012
The last time Tony saw Doug was 1987, and we were merely dating. We were in the city with another couple, & spontaneously ran into Doug at Yorkdale.

We partied until almost dawn; I remember there was dancing involved, and arguing about who knew more about The Beatles. (Doug won!)

Flash forward: Doug and I add each other on Facebook. The next time he and his wife travel into Canada, we arrange to see one and other again. I can’t explain the emotion Tony and I felt when Doug and Amy walked down the stairs at our cottage. It was like time had literally stopped. Amy was instantly comfortable, and it was all very crazy familiar. 

Meant to be comes to mind. Watching Doug and Tony together, was like they’d seen each other a month earlier. They talked and talked and talked; I honestly believe that it was that weekend, that Doug knew he really wanted to come home again and see everyone, not just Tony.

You’ve done an amazing job planning this reunion Doug. So many people I run into are looking forward to seeing you (along others that haven’t been in town since graduation). Best part about this event? Thanks to the internet, everyone will feel like they were there, even if they aren't.

Thank you Facebook. We may be 30 years older, but we’re gonna party like we aren't! Here's hoping we can all stay awake past midnight!

Monday, April 15, 2013

M Is For... MARTY's

April 15th, 2013
Taken: October 7th, 2012

Isn’t it funny how you remember some things so vividly, that when you close your eyes and think, it’s like you can be in that very moment again? 

That's me and the day I took this picture. It was just a great day all around. It was Thanksgiving weekend. 

Goob was home from the city, the sun was shining, and the five of us strolled down the entire main street together. In and out of stores, laughing & enjoying an amazing day.

Tony, the twins, and I, accounted for four. My very best electronic friend was our 5th. 

I remember the exact moment I held up my phone to take this photo. I immediately sent a copy via BBM, then I stood there telling my family our story about why Asians don’t eat Marty’s World Famous tarts.

Just like that it was as if the five of us were in the very same moment together. In that specific instant, he wasn’t commenting via text, he was giving my son a high five, and asking my husband how the hell he’d put up with me all these years!

It’s funny how people come into your life. Some stay, some don’t. Then there are those you connect with that you wish you could experience life with but can’t. Friends since around this time last year, by the end of last summer, Tony would ask “is that B you’re chatting with?” Of course my answer was usually "yes".

As expected, the novelty of texting and photo sharing wore off, but we do still correspond via email. Tony and I still speak about him regularly, now a days (when I mention him at home) about the only thing Tony doesn’t say is… "Tell him I say hello.”

Probably just as well he doesn't live around here. Let's face it, Tony has always been way more fun to be around than me!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

L Is For... LAUGHTER


From a very young age, I could find humour in anything. I wasn’t the class clown, but I wasn’t found hiding in the corner either. You know the old saying? “When you meet the one you’re going to marry, you’ll know.” I couldn’t agree more. Because from the very first date we went on, Tony made me laugh. I was smitten.

I am quick to admit that I really do have a pretty sick sense of humour, so for the most part, we've always had a home filled with sarcasm and laughter. Sunday dinners were always my favourite, because one of the five of us would be on the hot seat, in turn it was front row entertainment for us all.

April 13th, 2013 - LAUGHTER
Taken: April 2008
My son has a natural rhythm for delivering zingers. His wit is so sharp that you can’t see the joke coming until everyone around you is bent over with laughter.

My husband tries, so do I, but more often than not my children comment “Ooooh Mom… That was a Dad joke!” Which means I completely tanked in my effort. 

Doesn’t keep me from getting back on the horse. Never has, and it never will.

Kurt Vonnegut said “laughter and tears are both responses of frustration and exhaustion. I prefer to laugh because there is less cleaning up to do afterwards!” I couldn’t agree more. Except for when you make me laugh so hard I cry. Honestly? THAT is the very best cleanup this gal loves to experience.

Have a great day all, and remember to keep that frown turned upside down!


Friday, April 12, 2013

K Is For... KINDNESS


Since starting this whole A-Z challenge thing-a-ma-hoochie, I am absolutely gobsmacked at the volume of messages I have received; each and every one overflowing with encouragement, not to mention words of kindness.

I've pushed through a tough couple of months. Lately, a lot of people (unbeknownst to them) have reached out to me with a random act of kindness. They probably think I'm being silly thinking that they were being kind; but trust me, in my hour of need, they absolutely were. 
April 12th, 2013 - KINDNESS
I truly appreciate any kindness paid toward me and I believe you get back the energy you personally exude.

If you're there for someone, there's an above average chance that they will be there for you.

You have no idea how much it means to me that someone will walk up to my desk and tell me to stand up. "Stand up and give me a hug" to be exact. Completely and totally random, yet appreciated because they knew I really needed it. Amazing!

The biggest act lately? Last weekend. I left a very good friend waiting around Toronto for hours, for the silly opportunity of having a late dinner with me. Why is that one of the nicest things anyone has done for me in a very long time? Because I know they were going above and beyond.

We both knew there was going to be a lag, but the later I ran, the worse I felt. Nothing can describe how great it felt to wrap my arms around them saying “thank you so much for waiting”; to which they responded, "it doesn't matter... we're here now". 

Being a kind person isn't rocket science, it's a mindset. I can get grumpy, I can be stern, but I honestly understand the importance of expressing true kindness. It's simply a life choice you choose to embrace.

All of that goo said, I want to go on the record with: JDK may have inherited her K by marriage, but I am sure it was meant to be. She is the kindest person I have ever had the privilege  of knowing my entire life.

You are ALL really more important (to me) than you realize. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J Is For... JUKEBOX


My oldest son was born in the dead of winter in Muskoka; he slept in a bassinet beside my bed for the first month or so, then graduated into his very own crib. Once he moved into his nursery, I made a choice that there would always be a radio playing. Why? Because we didn’t want him to be one of those babies conditioned to total silence.

April 11th, 2013 - JUKEBOX (Peacock)
Taken: December 31st, 2010
Always set to the local radio station, it was rarely turned off. He dozed off to the tunes, and woke up the same way.

I truly feel that early choice we made for him, has embedded the musical passion he has today.

Genetically, Jamie is completely surrounded by musicality. It’s a very common thread that is everywhere (on all sides of our family).

He is completely self-taught, disciplined, and he has fully embraced music as a craft. He’s talented. He’s extremely talented.

I remember the first time I watched him perform live I was in awe. After working with the acoustic and bass guitars he moved to the drums. We were always supportive of his passion; in fact we used to leave the house Sunday afternoons, so he and his band could practice. At the time I didn’t really understand the genre of music they were perpetuating, but it was keeping them off the streets, and they were having a blast.

Now a days, I just simply admire his evolving talent from afar (YouTube mostly).

Keep going Jukebox. We know you can accomplish whatever you put your voice and self driven talent behind!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for… INEZ


Growing up I remember always thinking what an odd first name my mother had. It had so many pronunciation options; to this day, I am not really sure which is correct.  Just like her name, she was unique.

I know that a lot of people reading this will have mixed emotions about my mother. At the end of the day; she was just that, my mother. You always look to both of your parents to understand how you've evolved into the person you are today. When it comes to my mom, I know that I have inherited some very specific traits.

My mother loved music and books. I was lucky enough to get her amazing 78 rpm record collection, and my brother Pierre was gifted her wall of books. Just like her, I too love both very much. She had an amazing ability to manage and save money, complimented by a very astute business sense. Ding, ding, ding, I lucked out in those departments too. Then there's my smile. I have been blessed with my mother’s smile.

April 10, 2013 - INEZ (Perrault - St.Onge)

Photo Credit: The North Bay Nugget (circa 1948)
TAG: Raising Awareness About ALS.blogspot.com
You know what they say: A son is a son until he takes a wife. A daughter stays yours all of your life…

I did just that. She passed in February 1987 but I got to spend the last six months with her every single day.

I was her caregiver. We kept  each  other company, and I never once let her know that I was really scared too.

All these decades later I think of her often. How she was so young when her life ended.

There are so many things I wish she could have been alive to witness. She really did have a beautiful heart. I was just the one that got to see it most often; I will always be eternally grateful for that.

Thanks Mom. You did a really great job with me. Just like you taught me... I fight for what I believe in and I've never given up!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H Is For... HAPPY BIRTHDAY


Well, it’s that time of year again. You know "that time"? When your special day rolls around on the calendar to remind you that you're one step closer to support hose, dentures, and really long afternoon naps!

I may be another year older, but this year the day will be considerably different than last. I had a great birthday last year (probably one of the best ever) but my mindset wasn’t as good as it is this year. Like I always say, change is good! 

As busy as I am, I know my day will come and go. I'm hopeful the odd person will wish me all the best; I’ll be grateful, I always am. There will not be a cake. No gifts will be given. That's not true; I know I will give myself one very specific gift. I’ll look in the mirror, thank God I am alive, and pray another year passes, and I don’t fall and break a hip.

April 9th, 2012 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Taken: April 1982
Because I've never really celebrated my birthday, there are very few pictures marking the specific day. 

The photo I am posting was taken thirty one years ago this week. The cake and photo were courtesy of my favourite cousin Joanne, and the pic was snapped at their kitchen counter in North Bay. 

Look at me! Who was that girl all those years ago?

I remember that very day (it was a Saturday). I remember I was happy. It was a very happy time in my life. Better yet? I know that on this day thirty one years later, the answer is exactly the same!

Lastly? The fact that it’s my birthday week means that I get to do my math any way I choose...

This year? I am one very happy 29 year old!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

G Is For... GIFT


Audrey Hepburn once said “you can always tell what a man really thinks of you by the earrings he gives you.” I have only been given one pair of earrings my entire life. They were extravagant solitaire diamonds, and they were beautiful. I lost one about ten years ago, but the other still sits in my jewelry box to this day. They were given as a gift. An expression of love.

I have been married for almost a quarter century, and the earrings were not from my husband. My comment wasn't to share about the earrings per say, but to illustrate the fact that gifting has never been something I have a whole lot of experience with. My husband has never been one to land at home with a gift “just because”. However, I'll jump to his complete and unconditional defense admitting that neither have I.

April 8th, 2013 - GIFTS
Taken: Myrtle Beach SC (Xmas 1997)
In the early years it was a money thing. Today we both just find the whole gifting to each other expectation a little silly.

After all these years together, by refraining from the exercise, sometimes I wonder if that's why neither of us aren't even remotely materialistic people

When it comes to us, there's never been some underlying expectation that the next gift will out shine the last. We need something we buy it. We don't need it, we don't have it.

Both of us were raised to appreciate that the best gifts in life come from the heart rather than from a shopping mall. I wish I could admit that when it came to our children we didn't over indulge, but at least we always tried to make them prioritize what they desired most.

At the end of the day, the earrings may have been the most expensive gift I have ever been given, but they are nowhere near my most treasured by far. That gift, is something that I have just recently given myself.

It's called hope.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

F Is For… FRENEMY


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a good friend. Cross me and I’ll kill ya.

Because I deal with business people all day long, I rarely let them thar folks into what I would consider my "real life". I am very much a “this is my space; that is your space” kind of gal. For the better part of a decade, only twice have I allowed a professional acquaintance to truly (unconditionally) cross over into my personal life.

One of those two is my very best electronic friend. If I don't hear from them I truly worry.

The other, I met a couple of years ago. They are much closer in distance but that's not my point. We chatted (past tense) all the time, golfed together when opportunity presented itself, and leaned on each other for support as we both worked in the same industry.

At the end of the day, they were not what I would consider a true friend all; turns out they were just simply a FRENEMY. You know the type? Someone that you believe is your friend then they turn around and use you to get themselves ahead in business. A much harsher descriptive word comes mind in this instance, but frenemy will have to do.

April 6th, 2013 - FRENEMY
This eyes wide open moment is exactly why I don’t let business relationships crossover into my everyday life.

Business is business, and friendship encapsulates  a completely different level of my personality mechanics. I know from experience that it's trouble just looking for trouble. Hence the very solid boundaries!

I really hate two faced people, I mean frenemies. They always prove themselves by stabbing you in the back. I know what you’re going to say; in business, everyone stabs everyone in the back.

If we’re friends in business don’t you think I deserve a little respect? For crying out loud; stab me in the front!

At least I would see it coming.


Friday, April 5, 2013

E is For…EULOGY

This post is dedicated to my Auntie Joan Theresa Perrault McNally who passed away January 13, 2013 and her Memorial Service is tomorrow. 
May she forever Rest In Peace.


April 5th, 2013 - EULOGY
RIP Auntie Joan. You were one amazing lady.
It started when I was in Grade 8. It was Labour Day weekend and my Dad received the call. If he
wanted to see his father before he passed, he had to leave right away. By the time he had packed his bag the second call arrived; my Pépére was gone.

That December my mother’s mother passed, and from that point on, death has always had a front seat in my life.

I nursed both my parents to their death by the time I was 40, but I think it was attending the funeral of the first person I ever fell in love with, that made everything really resonate. Life is short.

Because death haunts me to the core; listening to someone delivering someone’s final exhalation, helps me process the loss and aid with the grieving process. What better tribute than to hear the song that reminds you of most of them, or a video they have prepared for their young children to help them say good bye. Just typing that makes me think of how many times I have unexpectedly experienced the ritual, swells my heart and dampens my eyes.

For me any eulogy is a sign of unconditional love. It`s opens my heart as wide as it can go. When it comes to me, my thoughts are few and my wishes fewer; all I can do is hope that when my time comes there is laughter. I don’t want people to be sad. I have worked my entire life not to be sad.

When my eulogy is delivered, just like my Auntie Joan I hope that they start with: I am really going to miss Rhondi. She unconditionally loved life. She never EVER gave up!





Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is For… DRIVE

Drive is one of the most common words in my vocabulary. When it comes to my car; it’s defined by a licence, my overall ability, and a really great stereo. When it comes to my personality; it’s defined by desire, determination, and passion. When it comes to my game; it's my very favourite golf club. Matter a fact, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside each time I step up to the tee.

There is a definite balance of all three in my day to day life. Bought new Taylor Made golf clubs last year and my drive improved so much that when my ball took flight, it travelled so far that thing was showing a movie! I am equally intense about my personal drive; I've always had it, hope I always will. The downside? This time last year I had the burning desire to drive a car as well. Sad fact is that it was to drive really fast, and the hell out of town this sleepy little town!

What can I say, life is tough right up until the moment it isn’t. Doesn’t matter if your golf game has a case of the shanks, your career isn’t where you expected it to be, or your personal life is in the toilet; the only one that can keep your life together is you. Feel free to blame others for your lot in life, but there's no one else but you driving the proverbial bus called life.


April 4, 2013 - DRIVE
Taken: Downtown Toronto January 27, 2013
What a difference a year makes. Seems this year  I just can't get enough of a good daytrip that always leads me home.

I love having my head out the window, the wind in my hair, the bugs in my teeth, with not a care in the world. OK that's my dogs but it makes my point.

Is that my problem right there in a nutshell? Am I just too dang busy trying to my life through others? Guess my lunch with Jeff Gordon is on the back burner. Pfft... Figures!

If you honestly believe that I don't know who I am and what I want, I have a parcel of swamp land in Florida. I'm in Sales. Any takers?




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C Is For… CAMERA


From a very young age I have always enjoyed photography. In High School I use to take pictures with a 35mm Canon my older brother had bought my parents for Christmas;  but if recollection serves me correctly, it was after my mother passed in 1987 that the bug really took hold of me.

April 3rd, 2013 - CAMERA
Taken: March 29th, 2013
The photo I am posting was taken this past Easter weekend while I was out for a toot around the Lakes.

When I pulled into the landing (as an avid swimmer) I was thinking my C post was going to be C-C-C-COLD.

As I approached the water (and the colours were so vibrant) my thought process shifted to  CHAIRS.

As I crouched to take this photo, all the bells and whistles went off in my head. Ding Ding Ding CAMERA won the coin toss!

Funny how things happen. I had a friend take a picture of his family in these very chairs and share it with me. It was an amazing photo. In fact, I thought of him in the moment as my shutter closed.

I couldn't help but reflect on what a difference the lapse of seasons makes to a setting. When he snapped his photo, the buzz would have been energizing. When I snapped mine, I was totally alone in my thoughts. His was picture of sheer camaraderie, mine is one of chosen solitude.

His defined the summer excitement in Muskoka. Mine? That my intimate spring picture at the landing's worth a very different thousand words.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B Is For… BUBBLE BATH


What do I love more than having a bubble bath? Making it a bubble bath for two!

I’m not talking when the dogs set their chin on the side of the tub, or my husband's standing over top of me asking if he needs to pick up the mail (or something at the grocery store). I’m talking about the very best kind...

You know the one? When you have to add more hot water because the first batch has cooled off, and you're both in such a relaxed state, that you don’t want it to end. My favourite thing? When  candles get lit, and you listen to music together. Better yet, where the mirror gets steamy, and your glass of wine remains chilled.

That right there is what I consider to be the perfect bubble bath. You know the type? The one you never make time, nor ever take the time, to have!

April 2nd, 2013 - Bubble Bath
Taken: Feb 5th, 2012
Hey... Aside from it being by favourite thing to do, I have to ask the question; do I get two points for the double B’s?

Hey look at me go!

Big Boobs
Beautiful Bracebridge
Bad Breath
Ball Breaker
BMLSS Broncos
Big Bird
Blackfly Bites
or
Baby Boomer

Better yet, how about BLISSFULLY BADGERING B for 3?

What can I say? Take the easy points when they're there for the taking! Lord knows that I have worked really hard for every single one I have ever earned and then some!!


Monday, April 1, 2013

A Is For… ADMIRATION


I’m not sure why I picked this word when I could have gone with abstinence, aerobics or even with what I am; which is abnormal. Guess I chose it because all of my life I have been a die-hard admirer.

April 1st, 2013 - ADMIRATION
The people, places, things I admire change regularly; I’d like to think that happens because I never want to stop learning. 

Take this post for example. I admire Arlee Bird for founding the A-Z Blogging Challenge (Happy Birthday Arlee). His commitment and vision inspire me. The more I understand what it is I am participating in, the more it amazes me.

I admire all of you for reading. Just look how far we’ve come in such a short period of time! Knowing that you read, gives me something to look forward to, so thank you very much.

What else do I admire? I admire my husband. I am filled with admiration at the thought that after all of these years (of me being a complete and total bitch) he’ll still reach to hold my hand as we stroll across a grocery store parking lot. I admire our children. Who will look back at the life we have given them, knowing that we worked hard for them, and realize that we really did do our best.

Most of all? I admire that I know I will never stop dreaming (no matter how small my dream may be).

 I admire that you taught me that B. You truly are one of a kind!