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.