Tuesday, September 30, 2014


My cottage neighbour and I rocking her SeaDoo Sunday afternoon
Taken: SEPTEMBER 28th, 2014

Allow me to introduce you to the back of the head of my friend Shelly. Not only is she a boatload of fun, she's a great neighbour. You know what people say, you should always consider yourself blessed if you have great neighbours. At our cottage, on our specific stretch of the shore, we have only three. Which brings me to that other famous saying ... Two out of three ain’t bad! HA!

Anyway, when I pulled back in the cottage drive mid afternoon last Saturday, I neglected to look down her lane to see if her truck was there. Instead, I messaged her when I settled on the dock with the radio blaring and I was sunbathing alone.

"You're missin' some beauty weather girlfriend... GREAT day" I typed.

"No I'm not country girl. We've been hanging out on the dock all day. It's GORGEOUS" she replied. As soon as I read her BBM message, it was instantly ON. Suffice is to say, we both enjoyed the rest of our weekend.

As Shelly headed back to the City Monday morning, I also headed back into Town. With Monday being another amazing weather day, we couldn't help but touch base. Just like myself, she gets restless when it comes time to leave. It's not because what we have is extravagant, matter a fact it's the polar opposite. For similar reasons, our small piece of waterfront property, offers both of us a sense of sanity and emotional security.

She's back for two week in October but I don't own a wet suit so I suspect that last Sunday was my last ride for the 2014 season. Even worse, I know we won't be able to stand in the water and chat for hours on end. Makes no matter, I only have four words for Shelly.


Monday, September 29, 2014

…Looking Past The Obvious!

A friend and former colleague of mine is leaving the company I use to work for next Friday: he’s also immediately leaving area and eventually the country. I've only seen him once in passing since I left my job last December and we've never spoken. Knowing of his eminent departure, I reached out to him last week, hoping he’d see me to at least say good bye before he goes. I am pleased to report he's agreed to do so.

Short story long, the supply and demand of my construction experience had me back in the heart of my old stomping ground today. It was in response to a last minute call for help from a very well respected Muskoka Builder. As expected, as I put my measuring buddy to work, the Builder and I sat and reminisced.  We talked openly and fondly of our mutual friend and we equally expressed our disappointment that he was leaving. 

When the task was complete. My measuring buddy and I proceeded to take a tour around the Lakes. We unexpectedly ended up at Windermere House on Lake Rosseau for lunch. The sun was bright and the conversation light. As I held up my phone to snap the picture that I’m posting, my lunch date asked me what I was doing.

I shook my head and verbalized why I was going to miss my friend that was leaving next week. I explained that I felt the photo represented where he and I are at (at this exact given time). My glass is more than half full and his is bone dry empty. To which he said something that earned him a hug.

Enjoying an impromptu lunch at Oliver & Bonacini
“Look past the water in the glass Rhondi” he said.

“Now... Look at the view from where you’re sitting” he continued.

“Let's hope your friend is looking to what's ahead of him, not the glass of water right in front of him!”

It was perfect.

My departing friend isn't an internet guy, but when I have lunch with him this week, I am going to show him this picture and tell him what my friend Will said. Looking at the situation at hand (with exactly that outlook) is the perfect way to make best of a shitty situation. 

I guess I know first-hand that starting over isn't easy. Let's hope Sir William is right.

... & my departing friend has enough vision to feel the same way about his future as we do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


This time last year I was the happiest I’d been in my personal life in a very long time.

Everything at home was tickety-boo and I was surrounded by a couple of amazing folks that unconditionally supported me leaving the best job I’d ever had. Even today, reminiscing about their support and friendship keeps me totally content that I've made the right decision in starting over.

I've processed some of my worst moments in this chair.
TAKEN: September 23, 2014
Now that you’re all warm and fuzzy inside, here’s the zinger. Yesterday, the external hard drive (that I consider my daily life line) died. 

Like any death, I am feeling completely alone.

I've never thought of myself as a work-a-holic, I've always preferred focused; that was until I sat at my desk this morning & realized exactly what I had to rebuild. Like any death, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

In order to self-preserve I have always looked to humour. After getting off the phone with one of my two above mention faves I felt better. They listened to me cry but also heard me laugh. Their work ethic gives me the strength to push through and hearing their voice reminded me I’m not alone.

I haven’t spoken nor emailed my other fave. He knows who he is. Always the class clown, he’s forever rationalizing any negative thing in life by equating it to sex.  My best guess is that he would probably playfully remind be that yesterday was nothing other than a really HOT Booty Call. 

Truth? I wasn't ready to hear what he had to say when I asked why LIFE wanted to screw me so bad... Guess it's because I know he would have had me in tears with laughter and I'm honestly not quite ready for that yet.

NOTE TO SELF: Call him first thing tomorrow!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Snow? NO... Frost? YES!

Sweetie full of SNOW
TAKEN: Sep 10th /14
I asked my daughter to take a selfie of herself so that I could appreciate the snowstorm she was enduring last week in Calgary. Actually, I couldn't believe that she was needing to wear her winter coat and gloves a minute and a half after wearing white would have been considered her biggest fashion faux pas!

The dad-gum honest truth is that I felt sorry for her, yet hopeful for us in Muskoka. My thought process being that with all the shitty weather we've  had, we may actually have a shot at an Indian Summer. Right on schedule, this morning, I was given a glimmer of hope.

Not because I was bundled up with a fire on and it was a balmy 5C outside... but because there's a frost warning in effect for tonight. (I'm not sure if you know this; in order to have a chance at an Indian Summer, there has to have been two bouts of overnight frost prior.) Though the leaves started to change earlier than normal this season, they seem to have stalled. Again, more  hope.

The pic I am posting is one I took while sunbathing on Saturday September 14th, 2013. I guess what has me really pissed off is that this time last year I was worried about harmful UV rays... Not getting stinking frost bite!

It is what it is and I will spin it however I see fit. Try and stay positive as I head to the cottage in the morning for what I believe to be my last stretch living there before it gets closed for the winter. I'm not saddened by the thought, I had a great time this year. I simply refuse to say 'this summer' because it never truly arrived.

As my friends start changing their profile pictures to include their skis and sleds I'm doing the opposite. I'm selecting my plethora of swimsuits and the dozen pairs of shoes I'll  need to pack for my trip. YUP, I've cashed in all my pop bottles and heading South in November.  Truth of the matter is I've gone non-stop since I left my job last December.

Leaving on a jet plane may be  the best way for me to embrace my very interesting albeit exhausting year.. She's been a bit of a ride to say the least.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Anyone Else 'Happy Light' Hopeful?

Yesterday morning I sat up in bed to look at the clock. In doing so, my husband awoke. I immediately said… “Boy, it sure is dark out for eight thirty.” To which he immediately said, “…go back to sleep Rhondi. It’s only six thirty!” So I gave him a smooch, rolled over, and did exactly as I was told.

I know it's only September but for some reason I can already feel it coming. Those six weeks a year when 90% of the time I don’t know whether to wind my watch or wipe my ass. Don't laugh: I become totally discombobulated and my cheery disposition all but disappears. It’s absolutely awful.

So, in an effort to cope, last year after Hallow’een I got a ‘happy light’. This morning, with it pouring rain outside and two lamps on in my office, I dug the sucker out and turned it on. I dunno. Perhaps my waking in the dark yesterday (and working in the dark this morn) made me think that being proactive couldn't hurt. Hell, worth a try right?

Some don’t believe in them and others swear by them. I did use the one I aquired a little last year but not enough to form an opinion either way. What I DO know is with the summer we've had, I've got 'er plugged in and on stand by. I've officially decided to use it whenever I need a boost of light. Between it and the tanning bed I might actually make it through the winter.

Speaking of tanning, Goob stopped by this aft. He picked up his mail and I asked him if he'd get on a plane with me in November for a quick trip into the sun. His answer was what I expected. 'I could be down for that' he said. My next invite will be to Jukebox. 

Like I said to Goob... there's something to be said for not knowing where we're going until 24 hours before a plane takes off. I am recommending we pick three destinations and we do some sort of lottery to decide which wins. Either way, I know one thing for sure... I won't need to pack my happy light. 

Just my love for the sunlight & a really BIG smile!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OUT with the OLD!

Let me start by saying the chore accomplished today was something we've pondered doing since before my Dad died in 2005. It's always been in the back of our minds, yet we'd never bothered to conjure up a plan of attack. It’s simply been ‘something we wanted to do.’ 

As you know, my changing jobs last December had me spending 100% of my time at home. By the time the snow left in July, I had a plan and a budget. Having experienced NO summer, and winter approaching faster than Honey Boo Boo on a bowl of ice cream, timing had to be pulled ahead. As a result, "PROJECT TEAR DOWN" was scheduled for this past weekend.

DOT checking out the new view. I LOVE IT...
Let the expansion begin!
With a great plan in place, our Muskoka Room was demolished today in record time.

Here's the after pic... and the new view of our backyard.

For whatever reason, this was really the first project Jukebox has been involved in at home for quite some time. I have to admit, I forgot the balance he brings. It was truly nice to have a third opinion.

I know, I know, I know; I was just a labourer moving the crap they destroyed... BUT, I didn't just get to move crap (she said with a sinister laugh) they let me burn stuff..... REALLY BIG STUFF.

What a totally exhausting, albeit rewarding day. Who knew all these years later Poppa's vision for our yard would finally be coming to fruition.

Once again.... To his credit...He was totally bang on!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Happy Hoarding Habit

Well, it’s that time of year again. When my short sleeve shirts and tank tops, get replaced with a variety of fleece hoodies or my favourite rain slicker. That change in weather tells me it’s time to start shopping and hoarding specific items for the winter. 

In an effort to offset our increased household bills like hydro, I've always religiously bought in bulk after Labour Day. If it’s on the list, and it’s on SALE, I’m buying a boat load of it. Sounds good in theory right? But, in an effort to hunker down for the winter, I tend to get lured into the biggest bargain bin of them all: the MOVIE bin!

Imagine that....
Went shopping for dryer sheets and came home with a bunch of movies!
Taken:  September 6th, 2014
I've been been hoarding, I mean collecting movies for years. Matter a fact, I'm not exactly sure how many titles I own.

I think if I counted; the number of DVD's vs. the number of VHS tapes, would be very close in quantity.

Though the VHS flicks are tucked away into small dressers and boxes, the DVD's you see on display come with a very specific road map. 

Those out front of me are the "newbies". Purchased last Saturday, their home has yet to be determined and delegated. The ones on the rack to the left are the ones my husband refuses to watch. Put one of those on puppies on and he's either already asleep OR he expects something in trade. His policy? No rain checks allowed!

The ones to the right, above the DVD player to the ceiling, are in our neutral zone. We both like them all, and no matter which is chosen, we both enjoy watching. The lower right section in the orange, has been split into two sections. The first two rows below the player are a mix of 'shoot 'em up and scary', to which I demand something in trade, AND I will take a rain check! Seriously? Who could be in the mood after one of those movies?

Anyway, that leaves us with the bottom two rows. Those are just simply what we've put into the 'epic fail' category. Some of the absolute worse movies we've ever seen. Some we pop on just because they're THAT bad, others we just enjoy saying their title aloud for a good belly laugh. 

For those of you whose first reaction to to my photo was ‘WOW... That’s a lot of porn!”

Not gonna lie. I like how you think!

WHAT...? Kill me because I'm happy those very few that weren't expecting I'd post a pic of the eight 1.18L bottles of Tide laundry detergent I have stored in the hall closet!!

Holy Doodle. What the heck were you thinking? ... Is my halo on?...Nice and bright?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

...She SUITED UP One Last Time!

What a beautiful day today turned out to be. Hell, with only sixteen days left of the season, both yesterday and today were a couple of much needed compensating days for the lackluster 2014 summer record books.

My weather celebration started yesterday by spending my lunch hour on the dock and in the sun. Then, when Timmy buzzed me at 2pm today (and I hadn't stopped) I decided to round up the pups & take them on my very favourite outing.

The land you see in the distance marks our 1/2 way point.
Taken: September 4th, 2014
While peddling about the Lake a few summers ago, I stumbled across a piece of vacant land. Actually, it was its small beach that caught my eye. 

Always looking to extend my daily intake of UV rays, I decided to snoop. Turned out it’s a piece of Crown Land that I suspect very few realized was there.

Normally, it's usually a pretty quick trip. Yet, today the sun was so hot, that I had to stop halfway and cool off the dogs. (Boy, they may not be able to speak but they can sure make themselves understood: especially Dot...) With both of them refreshed and watered we continued on our trek. 

It really is a little piece of a Shangri-La. In the very centre of this plot of land there is a large spot cleared that gets nothing but direct sun. Today I let the girlz enjoy themselves while I spend an hour in the sun basking on my very favourite blanket and in my very favourite suit. 

There’s a really cool rope swing there that we enjoy too… But THAT’s another post!