Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A FRIENDSHIP FOREVER IN BLOOM

Well, it’s that time of year again. When I crate up the crap from the previous business year and haul it out to the garage. I have a teeny section out there dedicated to what’s left of my consulting business and I go through what’s there a couple of times a year to ensure I’m not hanging onto anything I don’t absolutely need. You see, I am anything but a pack-rat. 

Anyway, by the time I was done this morn, my desk was cleared, and the hanging folders housed in my drawers were pretty much sparse. The last thing I had to do before I could cross the completed task off my list, was tend to my dried office flowers. Those I deal with weekly, and have been doing so for about five years.

...I love you Don-igan!
(TAKEN: DECEMBER 29th, 2015)
It was the spring of 2011 and a co-worker (with a prize winning green thumb) brought them in as a gift.

I wasn’t surprised by his generosity, rather more accurately moved by the beauty of what he'd been able to nurture and grow. 

I remember that they were bright white and smelled amazing. I recall asking what type of flower they were but as quickly as I asked, I had forgotten the name. When they dried, I brought them home. To this very day, I still have them. 

Matter a fact, I am pleased to report that they aren't the only thing I still have: I still have both of them. The wonderful flowers that were gifted to me on that beautiful spring day, as well as my friendship with the gentleman that so generously gave them to me. 

Both are the only things I truly cherish from that specific journey and time in my life. I am so glad that that ours will be a friendship forever in bloom. So, here's to an amazing 2016 for both of us...

Lord knows, there's a boatload of people that understand we've definitely earned it!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

When a coworker asked me what I was looking most forward to about the holidays this year, I gave her a very honest answer. It's not the food and reactionary weight gain that automatically occurs, because lets face it, I was heavier than I like to be in August so an extra splash of gravy behind my ears made no matter. With our children grown and having their own busy lives/traditions, I've finally conditioned myself to that. Shopping? Nope. Because I do very little (and I gifted mine to myself on Boxing Day). I told her that was so looking forward to the lights that shine bright on the tree. 

Getting to watch the lights at night is only reason I even put a tree up this year. Since I was a kid, they've always mesmerized me with their beauty. When I came downstairs this morning, I was going to take the ‘holiday tree’ down, yet decided to enjoy the lights at night a smidgen longer. As you can see by the photo I am sharing, other than a star on top, there wasn't a single decoration on my tree this year, only lights.

Thank goodness my amazing poinsettia hides my lack of decorations!
THANKS CHRISTOPHER...
(TAKEN: DECEMBER 24th, 2015)
That’s because when I finally forced myself to put up the thing up a week and a half before the eve, I went to work the following morn and left the box of decorations on the  living room floor. 

Suffice is the say the dogs puked and shat their spirit all over the house, which had me not bother to finish the task. Didn’t matter to me though, because as I said, the lights are my very favourite thing.

As you know, 2015 has been a year of personal change for me. I guess that’s why I shouldn’t be remotely surprised that the holiday season unfolded in the same manner. As one of my very favourite Facebook friends headed down the east coast to celebrate the season, I honestly wished that I could have been a Thelma to her Louise. Even sitting here now, I know that I am going to work towards renting a beach house for two weeks and taking my dogs to the ocean for 2016 Festivus.

You see, as my girlfriend and I exchanged niceties Christmas morning, she posted this message. 'Merry Christmas Rhondi. All these years I've seen your winter trip pictures and wondered why. Now I get it. There's nothing like spending the entire morning walking on the beach wishing people Merry Christmas.'

I couldn't have said it better myself.... The only thing she's forgotten?

How pretty the Christmas lights are with the sound of the ocean as their background!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

MY QUEST FOR CHRISTMAS

I had a great time Friday at our afternoon company luncheon, so I started my little bit of holiday shopping Friday night. Then, when I woke up yesterday morn, I opened up some very specific dialogue with my husband, that I feel the need to reiterate every single holiday season. “Please don’t buy me anything,” I said

We've never really exchanged gifts, yet I was sensing he was feeling obligated to put something under the tree for me. The truth of the matter is that it’s not a bah-humbug thing, I simply don’t need nor want anything. What I want, I have. If I don’t have it, it’s probably because I don’t want it.

As parents, we’ve never put a material emphasis on this time of year but our kids are human and tend to get wrapped up in idea of it all (no pun intended). As a result, I do what most do. I buy far too much wrapping paper and tape, then say that I'll save it until next year - which I never do!

Anyway, with all of us working until at least noon Christmas Eve, this past weekend was literally our last chance to get what shopping done that we needed to do. I have always shopped locally, so I knew there would be no big shopping mall crowds to tend with, just the challenge of hiding what was purchased... As the four of the five of us that were together, were totally guilty of last minute shopping.

The Corner Cabinet in Bracebridge ROCKS!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 19th, 2015 
That said, before I started shopping for my family yesterday morn, I had to hunt and find a very personal gift for a special someone in my life. 

I’ve known them professionally since 2008, yet none of my holiday shopping buddies know them personally. All they know, is what they’ve heard me share of them. 

When I explained my challenge, I was truly amazed how they all helped me in my quest for the perfect gift. Schlepping from store to store, in a blizzard no less. Not gonna lie, it made the perfect purchase that much more personal. Makes no matter that the person receiving our effort's the epitome of  'someone that has everything', I know they'll hug me with sincerity and appreciate the sentiment.

So, with my shopping done & Sirius cranked on the oldies Christmas tune station, I type. 

I am so pleased to report that the only gray in my life this season is the colour of my hair, yet I still feel the same way about Christmas that I always have.

Unless there's a trip around the world under the tree for me... Hold onto your cash!

Monday, December 14, 2015

MY BABY NEEDS HELP!

I had to zoom into the cottage the Sunday before I left for my trip to pick up a few things I was missing. A couple of them were personal items but more importantly, I’d discovered I left a large media storage card behind that is dedicated to one of my favourite cameras.

As I sat and sipped my hot cup of coffee this past Saturday morning, I decided to take a boo at what I'd transferred off my card before I left. Much to my surprise, I found a folder with a series of pictures I had taken outdoors during one of the last summer downpours I endured. The last pic discovered in the folder was the one I’m sharing now (if you look closely, you can see the raindrops that remained on my lens after entering the cottage).

Came in from the storm and there she was... Proud as a Peacock!
TAKEN: AUGUST 11th, 2015
As you know, I am a “...I'll proudly own a Blackberry phone until the company officially..." fill in the blank, kinda Canadian.

What can I say, I love my Q10 and its very sexy buttons. The sound of them clicking at the speed of light, is like music to my ears.

That said, I’ve never considered myself a technology follower, yet I would be lying if I said I hadn't looked at other products on the dark side.

I may have looked but I've never truly entertained abandoning my best friend. I guess the truth of the matter is, I know I never will. Like I said, my Blackberry has always kept me totally satisfied; that was, until I decided to take my latest BFF on a late night November swim.

Yup, since she went swimming with me, she's really been hurting. From the morning after I bailed us us out of that frigid Muskoka water, she can’t hold a charge like she use to. To magnify her woes, this past weekend a tell tale sign that the end is near appeared; she was officially unrecognizable by any USB port I tried to connect her with. Now, I don’t know about you, but when one gravitates to and financially supports a company whos name is RIM, any/all USB port insertion & connection most definitely become critical for personal user satisfaction!

As I look to pull her SIM card and trade her in on a new Blackberry PRIV, I can only hope she's been as happy with me, as I have been with with her. Here's hoping that during that last summer storm, her USB connection threw her a little extra jolt and tiny power surge of satisfaction. On second though, nix that somewhat playful and sexy thought.

...I'm sure Ontario Hydro wouldn't be able to deliver that right either!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

MIKEY-MIKE & THE FUNKY LUNCH

As you know, I returned to work the first of the week after a really great trip to Mexico. As I finished packing my suitcase at the resort last Sunday afternoon, I admitted something to my husband that took him a little off guard. "I'm excited to get home and get back to work," I said.

The truth of the matter is, that until this past vacation, I have always hopped a plane feeling frazzled and returned more anxious than when I left. Not because I am incompetent, rather, in 99.9% of any work environments that I have worked, I've been very hard pressed to find a core group of coworkers that haven't had their own agenda.

The honest reality is, until I started my current job last September, I'd never experienced working with a true team. Don't get me wrong, I have worked for employers that pontificate they embody a 'team philosophy'; yet in all my years in the workplace, this is the only employer that personally sets the tone and follows through.

Meet Masterchef Mikey-Mike...
Always providing amazing internal customer service!
TAKEN:DECEMBER 11th, 2015
Even though the company may be one of the largest employers in the district, our specific group is quite small. All hardwired to go that extra mile, we work through our lunch most every single day. When I joined, I was pleasantly surprised that (as a team) they strive to eat their lunch together every Friday noon.

Why? It not only officially gives everyone a chance to catch up, it gives us all a chance to laugh as a group, which as you know I always deem... 'the best medicine'.

Okay, so here comes the point of my post. When I snapped Mikey's pic serving lunch today, my core thought was that my post was going to be about our odd ability to BBQ and suntan at work (in Muskoka) in December.

Then, after we scoffed down our food, I headed to my desk and looked up a personal tidbit. I surprisingly discovered via my blog, that today marks exactly 2 years since I handed in my letter of resignation and keys for what I'd previously referred to as my "Dream Job".

When I clicked on my post titled "Christmas Came Early For This Cat"... My reaction wasn't what it had been in the past; which was that I missed and longed for those days to come back. It was simply... HOLY BOATLOAD OF PRECIPITATION BATMAN... LOOK AT ALL THE SNOW!

I guess time, and really amazing internal customer service, truly does heal everything.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

NEVER? ...NOT IN MY VOCABULARY!

I’ve been lucky enough over my lifetime thus far, to have had a plethora of travel experiences. I have seen my homeland coast to coast; rented beachfront homes, high rise condos, as well as embraced some amazing resort living. All have offered great memories, so I really don’t rank one above the other on my preference scale. The way I see it, all have happened for a reason, at a certain point and time in my life.

When I started seriously looking at Cobo San Lucas as a resort destination, even my travel agent warned me that there was no swimming in the Sea of Cortez because of the undertow. Once I landed on the bus to the resort late last Sunday night, that specific point was once again reiterated. 

Do YOU always do what you're told?!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 1st, 2015
“DO NOT swim in front of the resort, unless you want to end up in Mazatlan," they said.

“DO NOT buy any silver on the beach, unless you want to give it to someone that you really don’t like” was the next point.

And, "NEVER go into Town when the cruise ships are in Port”... was definitely the loudest warning of all!

I don't know about you, but as a grown adult I've never done anything I don't want to do. I didn't buy any silver simply because someone told me not to, I didn't buy any silver because I didn't have a need, nor a desire to do so.

As far as swimming goes, there are flags everywhere and watching the tide is definitely a key. That said, some of the stuff I have seen this week is mind boggling - so the warning truly has a place. Also, though I say that never is not in my vocabulary, when I traveled to Lands End to dip my toes in the Pacific for the very first time, it took all I had to keep my footing in place and NOT end up in Mazatlan!!

That leaves me with the cruise ships. How they navigate the bay is truly something to see. The people head off the ship for the same reason that I walked into town. To embrace the culture and beauty that surrounds them. I guess I just feel blessed to have stayed 7 days, where they got to stayed a mire 7 hours!

At the end of the day.... I'll never say, that I'll never return again!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

LIVING ON THE VACATION EDGE!

I’ve blogged it before and I’ll blog it again, I am not a very worldly person.

Like most with an active imagination, can close my eyes and see myself basking on a yacht in Greece but at the end of the day, my boat that floats and a set of ear buds take me just about as far away as I need be. My understanding of the difference between want and need, followed by a somewhat limited amount of disposable income, has always kept me very well grounded. The other side of that coin is, having my feet firmly planted, gives me just enough curiosity to want to live a little on the vacation edge.

My room with a view!
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 30th, 2015
Speaking of  'vacation edge', I posted a new cover pic on my personal FB page (I've attached a link here)... I took it at dusk on the second night I was here in Cabo.

I had to scootch my ass out a 30" window & shimmy 25ft, across a 4th storey wall to get it done.

You see, that specific view belongs to the elite staying at the resort. You know, those girls I met from California that paid $300 USD for a cab into town. My view is the one I am posting. I love it and feel it provides me with all the luxury I need. (Not to mention, the added bonus of tossing down cans of beer to the fellas hauling the huge bins of towels, uphill, to the laundry; as well as watching & listening to the horses that move tourists up and down the beach.)

For what it's worth, I have always been of the opinion that individual wealth is relative. The challenging  part for me has always been, because they've attained or inherited it, they feel they are better than others. I suppose I can process that ideology, yet I struggle to understand it. Especially in a place like this, where people travel to relax, then insistently complain about small silly shit!

For this cat, as I walked into town yesterday, I realized one thing better than the majority of the peeps that are here.

...I am definitely richer than most think!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A VERY BRIGHT FUTURE...

Join me this post in wishing my newest pup a happy ANNIE-versary. You see, it’s a year ago today she joined our family.

I’ve never really written about that time before but let’s just say, as I boarded a plane to the Caribbean, my daughter boarded a Greyhound bus with her then boyfriend, to return to Alberta. It was a very emotional time for our family, as she'd dismissed us from her new life for being vocal about our feelings about her idiotic shithead, I mean future 'husband'.

As you can imagine, at the time I needed a 3rd dog running around the house like I needed a hole in the head but with my daughter gone, I needed an outlet so that I didn’t focus on what had ultimately unfurled; and Annie was exactly that. Celebratory wishes to my pup aside, I can't begin to describe the joy we felt when she expressed that she wanted to returned to Ontario less than six months later. Once we understood what had transpired, we had her home in a little better than 72 hours, with a promise not to ever dwell on our time apart. We never have.

It pains me to remember just how emotionally spent and somewhat broken she was when we picked her up at the airport. She’d invested her trust and love to a person that was not only mentally unstable but extremely abusive. As silly as this may read, as a mother, the first telltale sign for me how lost she was, was that she’d dyed her beautiful long curly hair jet black.

Well, as the snow begins to fall a year later, I believe that she has made great strides in healing. She's working hard at a full time job, made some exciting new friendships, not to mention nurtured and re-established solid friendships she’d left behind. More importantly, she's finally let certain people go. Those that have ultimately lied and betrayed her over and over again.
Sweetie taking a good look at her very bright future.
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 14th, 2015
(Photo Credit: Our other GOOB)
How cool is it that almost a year after her leaving our home, she posted this photo that I am sharing today. One of her best friends (and someone very dear to our family) had taken it and I absolutely love it. 

So many things come to mind for me when I look at the picture but first and foremost it tells me just how far my daughter has come.

The quite, teary mouse, that returned home, has now reverted in the firecracker we know and love. Though there are (and probably always will be) scars, I think she realizes that her future is much brighter than the darkness that surrounded us a year ago.

As an aside, she allowed me to strip the black hair dye from her hair yesterday afternoon. As I sit here and type with tears rolling down my face, I can assure you my tears a year later are much different. They are truly tears of joy.

You see, in my eyes, something as simple as changing her hair colour... is just another small and simple step to her finding her way back to her very loving and confident self for good. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

A YEAR AGO TODAY

Since starting my work commute with the Sweeney Meister a few months ago, we quickly discovered that we'd both be away on vaycay this month. You may find it odd that I have only been at my new job a minute and a half and I'm packing up to go away for a week; but the truth of the matter is, before I was formally hired in July, I was open about the fact that I needed to travel in November and again after the snow arrives but most definitely before it leaves. Luckily for me, they still offered me a job. 

Well, all these months later, this afternoon I officially wished my carpool buddy a bon voyage. I blew her a kiss from the passenger door and asked her to send word of her travels via Facebook. I am truly excited for her. Though she's never traveled this time of year before (as someone that commutes daily in our Hollywood North winters) I've promised her that she would never NOT want to travel this time of year again. 

Luxury Don Pablo Collection ~ La Romana, DR
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 16th, 2014
The funny thing about that last bit is that when I arrived home from work tonight, I discovered that it was exactly a year ago today that I landed in the sun for my very first November vacation. I truly remember how that trip changed my outlook with regards to my winter life.

I find it interesting how others react when I speak openly about Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some want to challenge me on its validity and look for statistical proof that my happy lights work, others want to discuss how they are personally impacted this time of year. When it comes to yours truly, no matter what the dialogue path, I am open and honest. 

Here's the deal: 
For years I struggled to understand what was happening to me as a person. I had hated the festive season and from the time the clocks fell back until they officially sprang forward, I was not a nice person to be around. I knew by my symptoms I wasn't depressed per say, just always lethargic with a real desire to literally hibernate. The dead nuts honest truth is there were weekends in the winter 15 years ago that I never really got out of my PJ's and tended to entertained the kids with movies/TV in bed. It's like I had to save all of my energy to make the Monday to Friday winter facade exist as if it were July. Suffice is to say that is no longer the case. 

Looking back at my pic from a year ago today, I am pleased to admit that I am happy with how solid my mind set is. Where this time last year I craved a vacation, this year I am feeling blessed and truly looking forward to be able to relax and enjoy one. Life is amazing, the several pairs of cement shoes that were weighing me down have been disposed of, and I am in the best physical condition that I have been in since 2012.

Now, if I could figure out why (as a 29 year old I have so much gray hair) I'd be elated!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A 9.5 FROM THE AMERICAN JUDGE

Last week I discovered a very good friend was unexpectedly going through a very tough patch. So, after texting back and forth all week, we hatched a plan to try and make her feel better. In the end, we decided to head out to Orilla Lake; enjoy a bonfire and ultimately howl at the moon.

Well, the good news is that once we arrived and got settled in we never went back outside. The bad news is that because we drained the pump last weekend, we had to draw our Saturday night dish water out of the lake. No big, that’s how things roll out there until we stop going in at Christmas. The difference being, at Christmas we fill all our buckets in the daylight (not after dark when there’s been a light sleet that’s super slicked the stairs and ramp to the dock). Suffice is to say, imagine my surprise when bucket in one hand and cellphone flashlight in the other, I slipped off the ramp and tumbled into the lake.

Getting water this morning via Toby's Rock...NOT the dock!
Taken: November 8th, 2015
Because it was black dark out and I wasn’t sure what I’d hit nor where I’d land, I relaxed and went into the water so I could get my bearings. Problem was, because I was so heavily clothed (and my bucket was filling fast) I wasn’t floating back up. 

When I finally did head to the surface, it was with a fully stretched arm reaching for the moon that was clenching my phone. THAT's what came out of the water first. 

As a person whom when given lemons always tries to make lemonade, I have a couple of important notables I'd like to report from the events of last night:
A) Since purchasing the cottage, I’ve never swan in November before, so that was a first.
B) I’ve never gone off any dock (at that time of night) wearing a stitch of clothing ever; yet another first.
AND...
C) Using international judging rules, the American judge gave me a 9.5 for my dive.

Not a bad score I suppose. Though when I filed an appeal this morn and questioned why I wasn’t awarded the 10 I felt I deserved... The bitch told me it was because my arm was bent when my cell phone came out of the water and that my reach for the moon was lacking the proper creative emotion. 

I guess I should be thankful for the mark and be glad they didn't hear my language. That shit was full of emotion and the one thing I didn't need last night was to be disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

Peeps.... Ya Gotta Laugh About It!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS!

Like most seasonally challenged people, I totally land on my ass after I "fall back" for the reprehensible time change that's just happened. Just as my doctor ordered, I'd  pre-planned to soothe my severe deep buttocks bruising, with a trip to Cabo San Lucas at the end of the month.

So, with my e-tickets in hand, you can imagine my surprise to once again discover Mother Nature off her meds. Feeling very blessed at her misfortune, all I'll say is that I gladly threw her absentee pharmacist a c-note and called it a win. Why am I feeling so generous? She’s unexpectedly delivered me a much appreciated Indian summer.

Just a sleeveless Tee, light blazer ... and a 7am smile.
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 2nd, 2015
Not going to lie, it almost borders on bizarre. All week long I've walked to meet the Sweenymiester (a tad before 7am) in some amazing morning light.

With a skip in my step I was in shock that Tuesday morning I was kept warm by only a sleeveless t-shirt, light blazer, and a smile.

No coat, no gloves but most exciting of all, there was no need for an umbrella, nor a pair of snowpants. Crazier than my wardrobe share is the fact that we've had the air conditioning on at work. This week has definitely been a true (gal off her meds) gift!

Calling this HELL YA out to Mother Nature, reminds me that I used to faithfully read a blogger that said she was winding down her blog because she refused to talk about the weather. I was sad to see her stop but at the end of the day, when you keep an electronic journal like mine, you begin to fully understand that at times like these, the weather pulls more strings in your life than you'd like to admit. I'll admit it, I need the light and it's nice to see Mums au Natural play nice with me for once.

Let's face it, at the end of the post, my question has to be... Who is the only woman most perceive to be a bigger bitch than me? ...Mother Nature.

With a close second going to a couple of gals I went to High School with. Just sayin'.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

MY NIGHT BEFORE NOVEMBER

Well, Mother Nature was kind enough to allow me to spend yet another Saturday night at the cottage. I’d had a pretty busy and emotional week, so I was both grateful and excited that with everything I had on the go, things didn’t freeze.

I was going to go in yesterday morning and just shut off the water but the forecast called for a mild rain mid-afternoon so I decided to head in with the intent that I’d be hunkered down inside rather than closing it down. Going in with a plan to keep me busy, I knew there was a kick ass jigsaw puzzle I wanted to sink my teeth into but when I was in the grocery store I decided that the pups and I would carve a pumpkin.

As you can imagine, leaving it so late, my selection was limited. Compounding that, I didn't want to hall a thirty pounder down my 55 stairs, so there was really only one option left. As I picked her up and loaded the bit of a thing into my cart, I was excited about my night before November investment of exactly $1.50.

I hadn't carved a pumpkin for Halloween since 2009... I really did enjoy doing it again.
TAKEN: OCTOBER 31st, 2015


I’ve never spent Halloween night at the cottage before. I wasn’t scared, rather more excited that I could still venture in and be cozy. The wind and rain howled and woke me in the early hours of the morn but I just popped in a movie and waited out the storm.

As I do every year, I hate the thought of closing it. Not because I don’t have other activities to keep me busy but because I feel a real sense of peace when I’m there. So, as I promised myself, I got up this morning and drained the hot water tank, drained the water pump, put plumber's antifreeze in the traps and hauled the intake pipes out of the lake. 

I'm not saying I won't return before the year is over, just resigned myself to the fact that as of last night, the 2016 cottage season is officially over.

For those of you that truly know me, you know I did it kicking and definitely screaming!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

BACARDI ISLAND & COKE

It truly is the simple things.
....Like drinkin' an ice cold coke outta the bottle!
TAKEN: Barcardi Island ~ APRIL 2015
I was emailing back and forth with my buddy Marcus all week. He’s always been an amazing sounding board and as expected, he's encouraged me NOT to curl up in a ball in the hall closet, rather keep dealing with my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) head on. 

As I try to cope with the dastardly time change that hits tomorrow morning, I am focusing on staying in a good mind space until I leave on my November trip. Sitting here typing, I can't help but reflect on how therapeutic getting away this time last year really was for me.

Reinvigorated with vitamin D from that trip, I rolled right into a perfect green Christmas at the cottage, which sparked the decision to wait until my birthday to travel for my next burst of sunlight. The sad part about making that decision, was that in those months that lapsed, so many things in my life changed.

That said, I  refuse to blame those things on why my Birthday trip went south; but I will admit that I believe it was one of bazillion contributing factors. So, in the spirit of good blogging, last weekend (yet again) I went through the hundreds of pics I took last April.

Just like they have every other time, I feel they tell my story. It was a terrible trip for me.

Glass half full? If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since I started this electronic journey in 2011... it's to never say never. I embrace every inch of the good and push through every bit of the bad. I guess you can say that also apply that philosophy to my travel experiences.

After a really rough first trip to Negril Jamaica in 2012 (with regards to my mid-life crisis, NOT the destination) I swore I’d never return to the island. Why is that the perfect example? Because 24 months later I had a great experience in Runaway Bay; and at this point in time, it's looking like she’s shortlisted for a three-peat visit winter of 2016!

So, as I sit here illuminated by my happy light this morn, I will just write and go on record that I’ll never say that I’ll never to a return to Samana DR. What I will say, is that if/when I return, I'll think I'd like to stay on the luxury Gran Bahia resort located directly on Bacardi Island.

Not just because I like to sip a rum and coke (and it's named after my favourite brand of spirits) but because my thought process is why only visit an amazing place for a day... When you can stay a week basking in the brightest travel experience you have stored in your memory bank, from a not so stellar vacation...

EXACTLY!

Monday, October 26, 2015

NOW SCREENING ~ TOTALLY BITCHY!

Okay, so as you know, I blogged last night about my all day junk food marathon this past Saturday and the fact that I definitely paid for that sin yesterday. Well, it seems that not enough penance had been paid forward, because 'big fat hairy bitch Rhondi' boiled over the sides of that thar cauldron and seeped out of my pores yet again today.

My private backyard 'screening' yesterday.....
TAKEN: OCTOBER 25th, 2015
Relax, I wasn't unbearable or rude; simply a just a tad cheerful and extremely quiet. I was so bitchy today that even a bright spark of light (as captured through my my screen door yesterday) didn't help my disposition this eve.

The hard truth is that I knew last night what kind of a day I was going to have today based on a brief conversation I had late yesterday afternoon. That shitty conversation, combined with our blinding full moon last night's, turned me into a totally bitchy bitchin' blogger!

Trust me, I hate feeling this way more than you reading about it; but I seem to be stuck.

As a result, I am feeling so friggin' miserable, that I fear that even if you tied pork chops around my ears, the dogs wouldn't play with me. Hell. I was so short with Twos this morn that I never heard back from him and I had to send an apology email this afternoon. Yup, I had to apologize to my BEB (best email buddy) because I hadn't emailed all weekend. I had to email and explain it was because I am a HUGE bitch and I'd been chewing on a large bag of spiral nails the last 48 hours.

His email response was perfect. "No wonder you had a bad weekend," he wrote

"Those nails didn't have enough bite to satisfy you. They clearly weren't galvanized!" 

Do I have the best friends or what?!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

BITCHES OVER BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Sometimes, the best laid plans never work out the way they're supposed to. As you can imagine, I’d had a couple of options for spending this past weekend but at the end of it all, I figured the right thing to do was to hunker down and close the cottage. Well, yesterday it poured rain here all day, so I ended up lounging in some very ugly jammies, eating junk food and watching the boob tube for 99.9% of the day.

I have no idea why I am making it sound like I am the least bit surprised. Every fall there’s always an adjustment when we move home from the cottage. Anyway, as I was curled up in my chair all day yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice how the “art of squirreling” has been refined at the house this fall. Adding another dog to the mix makes the anticipation of a visit and the actual act of being on high alert much more entertaining. As Dot winds down, it feels like Annie is working overtime to pick up the slack. It’s really very interesting to watch the family of three that we have living in our trees, tease three pups we keep living in our home. 

I realize that this is Dot’s last hurrah. Matter a fact, I am grateful that I snapped this pic of the three of them watching their squirrel friends on the trees right outside the window. As you can see, the timing of my picture was perfect.

Larry, Mo & Curly... I mean Dot, Annie & Puddin'
TAKEN: OCTOBER 24th, 2015

Why? Because the rest of the day, Puddin’ just sat there staring at me wondering when my four time an hour encore (every fifteen minutes like clockwork) of chips and dip would yet again appear. Sad part about that statement is that we took a big chunk out of a strawberry-rubarb pie and tub of vanilla ice cream too. Isn't it odd junk food gives us that false jolt from funk to fab?!

As the four of us girlz spent today bloated and cranky, I find it amazing how my funk/false fab yesterday was the perfect segue for my Facebook blog page post earlier today. It read: I put my scale in the bathroom corner today… and that’s where that bitch will stay until she apologizes!

What can I say...Yesterday, for the first time in a very long time, us four bitches definitely did NOT unconditionally choose a salad!

...Ya Gotta Laugh About It

Sunday, October 18, 2015

MY FINAL FALL FLAMES

As you know, I’ve been clearing behind the cottage all summer (& into the fall) one pulled muscle at a time. As expected, it’s been a very long and physically daunting task but as of last night, I’ve officially gotten my project to a place I'm actually happy with.

The good news is that everything that was going to get cut this season was down and moved a couple of weeks ago. The bad news was that burning of all those remnants of brush, saw little end in sight. With the core goal of cleaning that mess in mind, I landed with the pups around noon with a plan. A plan to just keep my head down and the fire stoked until my last muscle was pulled and the great big clutter of crap was gone. Though it started to snow shortly after 1pm, it made not matter. In fact, the odd burst of white precipitation and radio blaring made for great company.

Pleased to report that it snowed for the first time this fall at exactly 1:12pm yesterday!
TAKEN: OCTOBER 17th, 2015

As I maneuvered around my fire yesterday there was lots of time to think. As a result, here’s today’s question… When you look inward at yourself, is there anything your grateful for? 

For example, I am proud at how I’ve raised my children, happy that I have made a comfortable living over the years; but most of all I am grateful that I’ve never been lazy. After all, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

At the end of the season, I’m glad my little cottage project was something I decided to work away at on my own. I was telling my BEF (best electronic friend) this morning that I can see physical changes in my body from all my hard work but it’s more than that. As a goal oriented person, the results speak for themselves.

I guess the bottom line is that I had a vision and I knew it would take a hell of a lot of work to see it accomplished. The added bonus is that I am going to look really good in my bikini next month in Mexico.

A win, win, win, win, win, win for little ole me....Wouldn’t ya say?!

It may not look like much but it was a hell of a lot of hard work!
(...As I proudly blogged about my first phase in July.)
TAKEN: July 21st & October 18th, 2015


Monday, October 12, 2015

I’M OFFICIALLY SPENT!

What a weekend. Though I had the luxury of spending the majority of Saturday with my daughter, I definitely paid for it by trying to cram three days of cumbersome fall house chores into two. I have aches on top of aches and they aren’t what I consider a “good hurt”. I’m not sure if I remember the euphoric kind if pain I’m alluding to that usually follows really great sex; but trust me, these aches ain’t them.

Yesterday was spent inside, cleaning and purging. From moving furniture, to vacuuming the corners of ceilings, to sorting through a boat load of closet crap I no longer need. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s a pack rat. This time last year, I told myself that I would hang onto certain items of clothing until I hit a certain goal size. Well, I’ve hit that goal and all I could do was laugh as I crammed specific residual frocks into garbage bags for donation. Why? Because the I have no idea why I was holding onto the stuff. They was some dat mo-fo ugly kinda stuff!

Anyway, after a Jays win last night, I went to bed early and switched the focus to outside chores today. With my man working his list of things to do, I was really hoping that this would be the last time I'd have to mow the lawn this season but you never know. It’s 22C here today, so I just may need to pull out my bad boy Lawnboy one more time before my snow scoop replaces it and my closest yard work confidant.

I swear we're the only household on our street that doesn't have someone else do their yard work!
TAKEN: OCTOBER 12th, 2015


Speaking of my snow scoop. When I finished the mowing the main part of the lawn, I couldn’t help but notice that we were the only house that was suffering extreme foliage spillage onto the street, so I decided to rake. Though it was still raining leaves as I tackled the task, the good news is that I grabbed my snow scoop and shoveled the suckers into submission. Like I said, I’m spent.

As I sit here in a near comatose state, squinting at the screen, I have no desire to prepare dinner. With the twins engaged elsewhere for dinner and Jukebox working at his computer, I’m contemplating what to prepare. At this juncture, a bowl of Fruit Loops and an ice cream sandwich for dessert seem mighty inviting.

Then again, I’m not sure that I will be able to lift the cereal spoon to my mouth without wincing; so three ice cream sandwiches into the blender it is!

Uh-Oh, where's my straw? Come on.... Has anyone seen my straw?!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

THE WALK OF LIFE

As I sip my coffee in my jammies I find it hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving weekend already. It seems like only a minute and a half ago I was frolicking with the pups in the snow to celebrate Family Day last February. Where the hell has the time gone? For a vast number of reasons, I feel like the 'walk of life' has become a slow jog and Dire Straits is nowhere to be found. Then again, I suppose that's how everyone reading feels about life in general.

A beautiful 2014 fall morning at the cottage.
TAKEN: OCTOBER 11th, 2014
As I looked through my photos this morn of where I was at this time last year, I realized that I was still living full-time at the cottage. Working hard and determine to stay put until at least Thanksgiving (which was a challenge but in the end it was accomplished).

As I admire this picture I snapped exactly one year ago today, like the leaves, I just can’t believe how many elements of my life have changed. All for the good, because for the first time in over a decade, I feel my life has a solid balance.

That may read like a big bag of hokcum but it's true. After my dad passed in 2005 the direction of my life slowly shifted and changed. Some areas for the good and some for the bad. The only way I can describe it is that it felt like I was frantically jumping from one side of the beamscale to the other in search of harmony. Almost like a decade long teeter totter ride enjoyed alone. Wait, enjoyed is the wrong word, because it's been a hell of a lot of hard work and a very long journey!

All of that said, I have so much and so many to be grateful for this year. As I head upstairs to change over my seasonal clothing to prepare for what Mother Nature is sending my way (and I scramble to find where I've hidden my tights, dress socks, mitts & muffs) I have to admit that I'm feeling truly blessed. Grateful for my health and appreciative for the love and friendships I am surrounded by every single day.

Just so we're clear. The turkey that's sitting in the sink upstairs aligns more on the acquaintance side of things per say. Not that having the odd acquaintance for dinner is a bad thing. An acquaintance just tends not to hang around as long as true friends or family. In this instance, the dude in the sink won't be hanging around for dessert!

From  my home to yours... Keep smiling and Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, October 5, 2015

MY BELATED BIRTHDAY BOY

My man & me enjoying my 29th Birthday trip.
TAKEN: APRIL 2015
As you know, I celebrated my 29th Birthday with a neat jaunt to Samana last April. I never bothered posting an album of the photos I took, because for varying reasons, it wasn’t a very memorable trip for me. Truth of the matter is that I only have myself to blame.

I did the leg work and I picked the destination. At the end of the day, I’m still disappointed that my overall experience was in line with a hot bag of poo landing on my front door step. That said, I know now that my opinion is thanks to outside stresses & my mindset at the time; NOT the destination.

With that personal diabolical misstep behind me, I am pleased to report that my husband was set to celebrate his 29th birthday last July, which presented me with a solid chance at travel redemption. We talked of doing something special but we had also agreed (before my birthday trip) to pull away all of my services from my largest client and start anew. The sad part of the story's that we mutually decided to drop that axe on that client less than 3 weeks before his milestone birthday.

Here’s where my story gets neat. Though I released my client services on a Monday afternoon, by that Thursday morning an amazing opportunity had presented itself. Once dialogue and team interviews were held, I was made a formal offer for my new position on a truly unforgettable day: my husband’s 29th birthday!!

As we cuddled in bed last Sunday morning, I grabbed my tablet and we started to run through places he’d had me previously earmark. Our deal was I’d supply the budget but he was to decide exactly where he wanted to celebrate his belated birthday.

About a half hour into our search, he asked me to go off grid and look at a spot he’s wanted to go the last couple of years. When I did, he discovered that his destination was coming in above our budget. He was disappointed. After confirming this was where he really wanted to go, I announced that I had saved more money than we’d originally discussed, so we went down to my home office and booked his trip together.

What's the first thing he did once we received our travel confirmation? He grabbed his smartphone and checked the weather there. Ya gotta laugh about it because I know he'll continue to do so (multiple times daily) until he has to turn the stinkin' thing off as the plane backs onto the tarmac next month!

Happy Belated 29th Birthday Baby... Cabo San Lucas, here we come!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

MY MORNING MUSIC MIX

For the second time in as many weeks, I had to put my gloves on this morning to head out of my subdivision to meet the Sweeney Meister to catch my ride. She’s willingly offered to come to the door to pick me up and drop me off but for me that's simply not an option. I absolutely love my morning & after work walks. As an FYI, the weather will be never an issue. 

A fitting music choice for this last day this morning.
(Earth Wind & Fire ~ SEPTEMBER)
CLICK HERE to watch, listen & enjoy!
PHOTO TAKEN: SEPTEMBER 30th, 2015
When I hit the pavement at 6:45am, you'll be pleased to know I'm packing better than Clint Eastwood in any Dirty Harry movie ever produced. Yup, my handy dandy shoulder bag is packed to answer to each and every weather mishap that my occur from my hair, to my make-up, and/or outfit in transit.

More important than that, each and every time I head up the drive (and shuffle my 600+ songs on my phone) my first music pick automatically compliments my morning energy level and mood. As quirky as it reads, that part of my routine literally defines how I prepare myself for my day. The more rested I am the more upbeat the song. Then again, if I’ve stayed up passed my bedtime the night before, I refuse to choose a song that has me lollygagging. I always pick something that will give that push to get me where the hell I'm going. 

As you long term readers know, I’ve never worked outside my sleepy little town, therefore I’ve never commuted. That, my friends, is no longer the case. Though I'm still lucky enough to get to have an amazing morning walk, I hop a ride in the coolest car ever. We laugh, we sing, we talk, and we totally relate to one and other; but that’s just the Sweeney Meister's dog Coop and I on the way to her dog sitter.... Otherwise, the car is completely quiet. NOT!

Joking aside HSW, not only do you make our morning travels bat shit crazy fun, they're both reminiscent and will always be memorable. As I progress through my career transition, I only have one word for you.

Thanks. xo

Sunday, September 27, 2015

IT’s NOT EASY BEING GREEN

It's not easy being green. Especially when you're a red like me.
TAKEN: SEPTEMBER 27th, 2015
Well, as I promised my dogs, we landed at the cottage just in time to start dinner last night. Then, after the kitchen cleanup was complete, the four of us burned brush until well past 10pm. 

You know what they say about your eyes being bigger than your appetite? Well the same goes for me when I take on a task that requires more than my delusions that I can get things done all by myself.

As a result, I stayed in bed this morning and watched a movie. Partially because of the single digit morning temperature but mainly because I know I have to do more of what I was doing last night and my lower back and arms have little motivation to do so. If I could simply win the lottery and be able to afford flat land in Muskoka....

Anyway, as I sip my coffee and pop an Advil, I can’t help but look at the beautiful day ahead of me. The leaves haven’t really started to change and I have to wonder if this may be a year of light yellows and browns rather than the oranges and vibrant reds I really love. The truth is everything here is still very green.

If you think Kermit has it bad being green, think about the poor trees. The expectation for them to change is never ending. We clearly embrace their presence but always have an agenda that pertains to their future. They do their best to please us but never seem to hit that specific mark when it comes to our personal satisfaction. I know a couple of people that I allow to treat me like that.

My point, in a very roundabout way is that the trees don’t have a choice which colour they become or at the speed in which they change and grow, Mother Nature is driving that bus. I on the other hand, know what makes me happy and at this juncture it’s starting to look like it won't include those that play silly games.

Unless of course it’s Canasta, Yahtzee, Scrabble or a solid match of Trivial Pursuit. I love to play those silly games all day long.

Silly little head games disguised as caring for me? Not so much!

Friday, September 25, 2015

I LOVE 'EM ALL ANYWAY

When I got home from work tonight, I instantly heard a faint sobbing coming from the front hall closet. As I opened the doors and leaned in, I realized it was my set of Rocketballz making the unsuspecting racket. As I wrapped my arms around to soothe them, you can't imagine my personal relief realizing my crying towels kept things under control until I got home.

One of my very faves... The 8th Tee at South Muskoka
TAKEN: JUNE 2013
Not gonna lie. It's after a great week like the one, that I realize how much I missed their Friday night company. In the old days, ending my work week with them made life just right.

I guess looking at the calendar and noticing the leaves changing I can't help but wonder where the heck the bulk of the golf season has gone. Not only that, talking my clubs off the ledge today made me realized, not only did I miss a great season but I missed that exciting euphoria every single golf course offers me. Even more so, I regret saying no to my Goob all summer. I've missed that mom & son quality time (that has effortless competitive sarcasm folded in) we always share on the course.

You know what else I miss? My pitching wedge, my heaven wood, and my putter. I truly do remember them fondly as we use to be the best of friends. As an aside, can you please not tell the others that my pitching wedge is my very favourite? Before you know it, the political infighting amongst them will have my short game disappear for good and my driver and other woods on strike for insubordination.

Ah hell, who am I kidding. This time last year, none of the above mentioned peeps in my golf bag ever listened, nor did what they were told. Yet, as I lovingly addressed them tonight I realized the obvious; I love 'em all anyway.

Afterall, they're family!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

MY DOGS BREAKFAST!

When I call myself the “crazy dog lady” it paints somewhat of an inaccurate picture. Crazy implies that my behaviour may be erratic and not conscious. When the truth of the matter is that I know exactly what I am doing when it comes to my three dogs. One of my interesting tidbits is that I’ve trained them what meals we eat.

This mornings dogs breakfast... Toast, peameal bacon, egg & one hash brown!
TAKEN: SEPTEMBER 20th, 2015

Over time they have come to understand how their breakfast meal and overall menu differs from their supper one. Since Dot arrived almost 10 years ago, I’ve never prepared a meal for myself that I didn’t intend to share; and as a result they tend not to mooch. They wait patiently knowing they will always be rewarded. That said, snackage is treated in an entirely different manner.

As we all curled up in front of the big picture windows yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the cottage rain, I realized the four of us darn near polished off an entire bag of Cheetos. As I put the bit of remaining crumbs back into the cupboard I realized the damage to my fat ass wasn’t as bad as my guilt originally assessed. You see, when I only ever get every fourth bite of any snack I eat, it tends to seriously minimize my overall calorie count. 

Though the saying has them as man’s best friend, I’ve very carefully swayed their opinion of me via their stomachs. The one thing I find odd is that best friends usually cook for each other and they’ve never once offered to cook for me. A good thing I suspect, there’s enough dog hair hanging around that I’d hate the thought of having to pick it out of my food.

Then again, if I thought they could manage the BBQ without burning their fur, I’d give ‘em a shot. As you can expect, I’m generally pretty resistant of the idea. Not because I think the thought of it’s silly... But because nothing takes away my appetite more than the smell of burnt dog hair!

OK, so a little crazy just crept in right there. 

At least I’m willing to admit it!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

THE EPIC TEST OF EVERYONE

“...Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer care.” ~ Brock Napier

When I logged onto my LinkedIn at lunch today, I came across a post that read:“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” I’ve only ever really worked for men, so I ended up sharing it with the simple caveat that I'd wished it was worded toward leadership rather than gender.

What a day. If I could give you a glimpse, I would have say that it felt like I took a trip in a time machine. Twos and I talked about my heading to New Orleans via Nashville, one of my favourite former clients sent me a two word text message that simply read CALL ME, and my buddy Brock stopped by to give me a hug and check out my new employment digs.

As I was explaining how my newly developed role came to fruition, I could tell that he was truly happy for me. I explained the differences in Leadership from my last experiences and he reminded me of something that made my heart skip a beat. “As I’ve always told you Rhondi, it starts at the top!”

Leave it to Brock to have the ability to reinforce the obvious with such eloquence. Matter a fact, hearing his voice took me back to him saying those very same words to me in the early Fall of 2013.

Anyway, after an uber quick parking lot visit, I sent him on his way and made him promise to bring my pal Wendell (his basset hound) by his next time through. He hugged me, agreed and got into his truck. I returned to my desk and began to cry. How the hell did I get so lucky? Not just for my friendship with Brock but for this amazing career opportunity?!

I know my personal confidence had most definitely taken a hit in the last year. Truth is, I'd known it for a while, yet only admitted it to myself for the very first time today.

Honestly?

I'm sure my emotions were compounded once I sat at my desk and his final words truly hit home. 

“You were meant to be here…” he said; and he's right.

Read my graphic... This most definitely feels like my perfect time!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

MY BEAUTIFUL EXTENDED FAMILY

For all of my high school summers, I spent my weekdays in a rink and my weekends on an amazing lake with my parents. They occupied a neat stretch of waterfront, where I was lucky to be surrounded by cousins and family. To this day, I feel so very blessed how those aunts and uncles influenced my life; yet my post is even bigger than that.

Throughout my formative teen years, I was never allowed to date. So, with only a radio and/or a book to keep me company, I’d take the mini-bike up the road to visit my father’s sister, or made myself a fixture next door at my very favourite spot. As I type, I am remembering how fun it was to spend time with the girls next door, yet the reality at hand was my cousins just simply got stuck with me. They were a smidgen older and far wiser to yours truly, so naturally my attachment to them was much stronger than their's to me. All these years later, I am still very grateful for their unconditional patience.

As we aged (and I matured) we all became very close friends. So much so, that I consider them sisters and not simply my cousins. One was in my wedding; and I cherish the other girls children as I do my own. Truth of the matter is that I've always wished I was a part of their immediate family. Not because mine was any worse than any other teen train wreck that was coming through, my wish simply stemmed from the fact that their Mom was freaking bat-shit crazy cool!

The moral of my post is that one cousin I am closest to and her family are coming to Muskoka this weekend for a celebration. As I chatted with Nan's daughter this morning on Facebook, I went searching through my scanned photos to find an appropriate picture to share my good news as well as my excitement about their visit: this is what I found.

My MAN hugging my Nan. Oh, that's her Dad, my Uncle Vic in the back... Totally stealing the shot!
TAKEN: JUNE  1989

Taken at my cousin Tootsie’s wedding in June of 1989, it serves as official proof. Not just proof that my beautiful extended family still loves my husband more than me but that I believe timing is everything. Just look at my Uncle Vic in the background (who passed in October of '99). In that specific moment, while watching our keen camaraderie, he totally photobombed us!.

As soon as I looked that the photo I knew it was perfect. With them arriving tomorrow night, it gives them all a little reminder that he too will be watching over us for his great-grandson Noah's weekend celebration.

Happy Birthday sweet Noah.We'll see you all tomorrow. 

Let the fun begin!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

LEAPIN' LABOUR DAY!

When I was having lunch with my American friends on Saturday, they asked about this being a holiday long weekend in Canada. I explained the reason for it was derived from its name but continued to tell them of my most memorable Labour Day holiday Monday ever; which just happened to be in September of 2012.

My husband and I got up early, completed our daily chores then headed to the dock by noon. Mid-afternoon we looked at each other and realized that for the very first time in almost 20 years, there were no school supplies to buy, no rent cheques to write, no backpacks, no driving and that our nest was officially empty. So, we cheerfully progressed to break out the blender to celebrate our new freedom, as well as our new found wealth!

As you know, as the kids grew and left, my dogs became an extension of who I am as a person. I joke that I am the “crazy dog lady” but the truth of the matter is that I speak to them as people and don’t know what I would do if something ever happened to them. My husband jokes with me that he’s going to get rid of Puddin’ (because she tends not to listen to him) but I immediately ask him, “…where are you going to live?” The immediacy of my question and tone of my voice always makes him laugh. Truth is, I’m dead serious. He’ll be going before the dogs! They don't argue with me!!

My best friend and I taking a dip. This is how we roll EVERY single dive!
TAKEN: SEPTEMBER 6th, 2015


Chuckles aside, I am sitting here thinking about my summer of 2012. How I lived here with the pups and just how much I’ve evolved personally since. With two of my three children living back at home, I am grateful that the pups and I have this haven to escape to. Oh, and I am grateful for my husband too. 

Not just because he can rock a Labour Day blender, his mad photography skills are high on my list as well. Among a bazillion other things!

Here’s hoping you enjoyed this past weekend as much as I.

Seacrest OUT!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

HAT's A FACT!

I don’t know about you but I always find the best times happen when there’s no planning involved whatsoever. As someone that over analyzes everything, I’m pleased to report that yesterday proved my silly little theory to a tee.

As the proverbial ‘old gray mare’ I’m pretty routinized. I’m serious. I had a friend that use to come into my home and move things around to see how long it would take me to put them back where I felt they belonged. Anyway, when I got a last minute message that my very favourite Architect was coming into Muskoka from New Orleans this weekend, I sprang out of my routine and had to say only four words to my husband; “I need a favour!”

With my man covering off our long weekend chores, as well as my thinking cap firmly attached, I needed to quickly hatch a plan to show them around. So many ideas and so little time. Do I have JJ tour us in his Porsche? Do I ask Paul to take us out in his fastest boat? At the end of the day, even with all of my connections, such little notice had me singing solo. So, I decided to do a couple of things with them that I have never done before. In turn, I officially became a tourist, which is something I swore I’d never do.

Darin, Me & T, rockin' Port Carling!
TAKEN: SEPTEMBER 5th, 2015

You see, when you live in Muskoka, you generally hide on the weekends, as small hamlets turn into bustling cities. Hell, I swear we circled a parking lot a dozen times to find a spot. Partially because Darin wouldn’t illegally park but mostly because it was jammed like a can of sardines. I honestly had no idea the volume of people that landed in such a small space on a Saturday afternoon. Better yet, that I would concede and be one of them!

As Darin and I paid for our new hats, the clerk asked me if I had found everything I was looking for. My response was swift and a matter a fact, “I wasn’t looking for anything”, I said. “...The fact that I found this very sexy hat is definitely an added bonus!”

Though our visit was short and generally lackluster, I am writing this morning feeling blessed. Blessed that I got to finally meet someone that I never thought I’d get to hug face to face and blessed that I got to meet (and hug) the newest member of his team.

As I plan my 12 month vacation schedule, Darin tells me that New Orleans just has to be on it. After yesterday, I couldn’t agree more.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I CAN SEE A RAINBOW...

Can you see my rainbow?
TAKEN: AUGUST 28th, 2015
Well, after a couple of whirlwinds days at the house in town, I landed back at the cottage late yesterday. I wanted to wake up here this morning, as this is my final few days here before I start my new job and cottage life as I know it changes.

Not gonna lie, knowing today was my last day alone with my pups, I hatched a very specific plan. I decided to pack us a picnic, grab my favourite blanket, bathing suit & book, and head across the lake; to the private beach I stumbled upon almost a decade ago.

Showered and raring to go this morning, I loaded up and grabbed my camera. I am pleased to report that throughout the day I took some truly amazing photos. My only disappointment was that I tried for over an hour to get a good pic of my three pups together, only to discover when I returned to the cottage, none of them turned out the way I'd hoped. What I did discover, was the selfie I took of myself before I left, was accompanied by a beautiful rainbow. I know it’s not a real rainbow but for me the timing's personally symbolic.

You see, there are only four more sleeps until I hit what I have to deem my “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow. (The pot of gold being my new job.) I am fortunate to be joining a team I have a great respect for, which sees my well rounded skill set as a fit for their multi-million dollar business. 

As I started getting dinner ready this evening, something silly entered my mind. If my rainbow equates to the proverbial pot of gold, I automatically had to wonder whether or not I’ll have the Lucky Charms leprechaun as a coworker?

Guess I’ll find out Tuesday morning at 9am!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

HO HO HOLD THE SNOW!

When I hopped out of bed at the house this morning, it was so damp and cold the my teeth were close to chattering. After I covered myself with my warmest bathrobe, I wandered and clicked the button on the coffee maker and let the dogs out. My immediate assessment was that it felt like a late fall day that was going to turn into a winter one at any moment.

Bound and determined not to whine out loud, I grumbled under my breath about the cost of hydro, which instantly rationalized my refusal to turn on the heat. Then, I put my slippers on over my fuzzy socks and grabbed my morning mug in anticipation of that very first sip of coffee.

Come here Santa. DO YOUR JOB!
TAKEN: AUGUST 27th, 2015
Just so we're clear, my mug choice for today was a conscious one. You see, my waking to the gloom that summer as I know it is over, I needed a push. A push toward the biggest false sense of phony euphoria and shameless cheer that exists: SANTA CLAUS!

Anyway, as I share that last comment, today proves me one of the masses. Someone trying to feel joy and a keen sense of love for this jolly ole man and his ability to give. You see, as I picked him up out of the cupboard, I decided to share my expectations with him and as I walked him over to the coffee pot, my words were very specific.

"SPREAD SOME GOOD CHEER,"  I yelled. To which, in that moment that I burst out laughing, he most certainly did.

Having said that, maybe I've been a tad tough of the fat little dude. After all, not only does he have an amazing memory and sense of direction. He doesn't bitch at his wife and follows instructions really well. Don't know about you but I've yet to meet any other man that remotely resembles that.

What? You know you were thinking it!!