Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Three Of Thee... Plus Me!

Today was one of those days that I could NOT have planned... even if I tried.

I spoke with my quirky sidekick from Nashville (twice), my zany bench friend for almost an hour, and had an unexpected face to face meeting with my favourite consultant. All three are men. All three are very important to me. Not just because we're friends but because we all function easily at a high level in business.

If you're an avid reader, you know I have been kinda stuck in a rut since late August. Wanting relief, I decided to look to my personal panel of three for input. ALL three understand both my good and bad qualities, and all three know me well enough to know that they can be totally honest because I completely trust them.

No wonder I have always been obsessed with my hair!
Taken: December 24th, 1969
So here's the deal...

For as long as I can remember I've been very comfortable in the presence of other people.

One of my earliest memories is of me step dancing in my Dad's parents tiny livingroom.

As my Pepere stomped his foot and played his fiddle, all hands were clapping, and the positive accolades my bounty.

All these years later, I can actually close my eyes and be in that moment. I can still feel the energy in that room. Hard work equated to reward, it was a simple as that. Point in case, from a very young age, I have always tried my best.

Genetically hardwired? Who knows, who cares. Much to my dismay, lately I've adopted an "I don't give a rats ass attitude" for the very first time in my life; and, for the last couple of months I haven't given a 120% every single day. 

This afternoon my confused mindset came to a screeching halt. By the time I arrived home, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. Not because I had dealt with my reality at hand but because my tightly knit group of three confirmed what I have suspected for months.

Question: Nice slippers eh? What do you mean you can't take your eyes off that sexy lamp behind me?!


Sunday, November 24, 2013


As expected, I went to bed late last night and woke up way too early this morn. I wanted to sleep in but of course my mindset had other plans. As a result, by eleven this morning I was absolutely stir crazy. With an outdoor temperature of a balmy -12C (and a light dusting of snow on the ground) I headed for the cottage with the dogs.

I had hoped to stay there last night but I ended up working far too late into the afternoon. I suppose I could have pushed ahead and gone in anyway but the truth is I worried that I would be pressed to be comfortable inside by dark. I knew I had to get dry wood in this weekend because let's face it, from this point forward every journey down our private road may require snowshoes and a toboggan!

Driving out today was especially quiet. Probably because it was a task I had to do, not one I was energized about doing. After turning off the highway I lowered the windows for the pups and could instantly feel the dampness in the air from the water. It's like the chill entered at the back of my neck and ran straight down my spine. Then... all of a sudden I was hyper-spaced onto high alert.

What an amazing Fall afternoon in Muskoka.
(Just click on my pic to see her beauty...)
Taken: November 24th, 2013
I have been crossing the bridge to our cottage since the Fall of 1999 and never once have I noticed/witnessed the intimate beauty I did today.

I quickly pulled over and parked the pups; then, camera in hand, I proceeded to make my way back across the bridge.

The sun was so bright and the sky so blue it was like I was on a movie set. The rushing water had placed an amazing layer of ice everywhere. At least ten degrees cooler with the windchill I was completely warm and fuzzy inside. It was a moment that fed all of my creative juices.

Thank you Mother Nature. I needed a friend today and you generously stepped up to the plate and hit an outta the park homerun. SANKS... SANKS BERY MUCH. Please accept my formal apology for calling you a fat hairy bitch 1,473,987 times previous to our very cool bonding moment today. was never my intent to be mean!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Anyone Have A Bench I Can Borrow?

Funny how it's the little things that end up meaning most...
Taken: Saturday November 23rd, 2013
When I was at work this morning it was particularly quiet and for whatever reason I found myself gazing out the front window. 

In the distance I spied my lunch bench. I walked outside and snapped this pic. Frankly because it looked as cold and isolated as I have felt here for quite some time now. Both of us just existing really.

I have said it before and I‘ll say it again... I hate this time of year. But this year has been especially hard for me because I can feel myself transitioning. I know where I am going and I am OK with all of that, I just hope I have the endurance to see my plans through. 

I know perfectly well that my inner philosophy of “I think I can endure therefore I will” some days will test every single bone in my body. Not that it’s the bones in my body that keep my mouth shut but I think you know exactly what I mean. Which is why I couldn't help but stare at my bench.

Oh how I sat out there every single lunch hour last summer. Catching some rays, chatting and laughing on my cell phone. That bench, as well as the person on the other end of my cell phone, made all the hard work and sacrifice worth it. Funny how everything can change in a heartbeat…

It’s to be hoped I will always have that special someone on the other end of the phone but it saddens me to know I'll never spend another summer with my bench. I know, I know, at the end of the day it’s all stupid shitty silliness - just like everything else I write here.

I get that!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy 2nd Anniversary Everyone

Did you know that today is our Anniversary? 

Not my husband and my wedding anniversary but your and my personal milestone as a group. Today, Ya Gotta Laugh About It has turned two. It's official; we lept from being an infant, and blossoms into a toddler with cartoon colourful pull ups!

What the firetruck? I can not believe that my electronic journal is two whole years old that may soon be ready to post its crap into the big people pottie!! I am serious when I share that it seems like only yesterday I decided to give this medium a shake and posted my first entry. Boy, has my life changed since that fateful night. Two years later I am proud to boast that both my life and my mindset have blossomed.

In celebration of last year's common thread of 3 word sentences, I would like to pay tribute. A day later and a thirty five cents wiser, here are five (very important personal three word sentence) steps in surviving any brutal mid life crisis:

Happy Anniversary To US!
Here's embracing the 58 people that read my first post.
1. Have No Regrets!

Thank you everyone.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you for listening.

Because let's face it: "life's too short to let the glass half empty win..."

CHEERS PEEPS... Now pass the freakin' cake. I'm starving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Did You Say 'Employee Discount'?

Breakfast at Fran's in Barrie!
Damn you silly iPhone filter...
Taken: November 17th, 2013
So, I travelled to Barrie this morning to have breakfast with my totally amazing daughter. 

We'd conjured up a plan for me to arrive before 10am because she was scheduled to start work at 11am. What can I say? She arrived for her shift 10 minutes late.

In our defense, it wasn't because we were chatting, yet we tried to dine with every single person that had been to a church service within the city limits!

So, once I dropped her off for her shift, I parked the car and ventured into one of my very favourite stores to shop. Wait, allow me to back up. I should share that when she moved south at the end of last summer, she left with a full time job in place. 

In turn, she took a part time job to ensure she could cover her expenses (not to mention a lifestyle she'd become very a custom to). Well hog tie this Momma and tell her she'd won the lottery... because my youngin' dum went n' got herself a job at WINNERS!

GIDDY UP... She'll work over 60 hours this week!
Taken: November 17th, 2013

I can sniff out one of them thar stores easier than a drunk can sniff out a bottle of Old Spice tucked waaay in the back of a medicine cabinet!

Last weekend in Montreal? It was the first store I found, and the one I spend the most amount of time in.  

Funny part is that it isn't about the labels for me. I actually had someone ask me last weekend if I was carrying an Anne Klein bag. I said "I have no idea. I liked it, I bought it... At WINNERS!" That said, I do love Deloris Claiborne... I mean Liz Claiborne stuff... but it too can get pricey, so I tend to pass. It's not that I am frugal, I just pride myself on being practical.

To accentuate my point, I went from WINNERS to the Goodwill. Browsing in total comfort, the Barenaked Ladies came on over the loud speaker. I sang aloud with the couple of ladies near by, and without missing a beat I sang the unspoken solo.

♫♪♫ If I had a million dollars... If I had a million dollars.... ♪♫♪...If I had a million dollars.... I wouldn't be shopping at the Goodwill in Barrie ♪♫♪... We all a laughed and individually kept browsing. 

What a great day Sweetie. Thank you so very much. Not just for being you... but once again proving that the only place where success comes before work is in the Dictionary.

Atta GIRL!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Our 4 Wheelin’ Christmas Elf!

Last night my husband and I got talking about the serious coinage jingle that is fast approaching with the upcoming festive season. Naturally, we began to reminisce. We both immediately agreed on a specific moment that will always be embedded in our book of amazing Christmas memories.

It was 1992; the twins had arrived the June prior, and it was their very first Christmas. Jukebox was totally off the rails with excitement (as every single retailer in North America targeted the wishlist of a child that was two & a half going on twelve). From the time the season started he was locked and loaded with wonderment. As a family, it truly was a very fun time.

Thanks for this beautiful Xmas morning memory Jukebox!
Taken: December 25th, 1992
Knowing his life had drastically changed, we wanted to do a little something special for him, to make this particular Christmas morning memorable. 

As we opened the downstairs door we asked him to lead the way.

His eyes became big as saucers as he tightly clenched his fists in front of his little body.

The look on his face was priceless.

"...HE BROUGHT ME A CAR...”  he squealed!

We can still see him bolting down the stairs, over the back of the sofa, throwing open the door on the sucker and hopping the hell in. As a parent, it still makes my heart skip a little beat. I find it amazing how we wanted to make the occasion memorable for him and in turn he produced exactly that kind of moment for us.

As I asked my son's permission last night to share this photo my husband had a quick reminder for the the not so little lad. "No matter what your mother writes tomorrow, I want you to promise me something" Tony said.

"I don't want to EVER hear you cherpin' me that I have NEVER bought you a car!!"

Typing that last sentence right there... Just made me smile.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Memorable Montreal Minute

Selfie of me enjoying in Old Montreal
Taken: November 8th, 2013
More than 72 hours since arriving home I am still getting text messages asking, 'how my last minute adventure to Montreal was'

Coles Notes version (in no particular order) reads as follows: 
- spontaneous
- emotional
- amazing
- exhausting
- scary
- picturesque
- lonesome
- creative
- social
- electronically/telephonically shared
- much needed
- reflective 
- inexpensive yet expensive
- AND ultimately bat shit crazy fun!

If you would had told me five years ago that I would had agreed to jump on a plane to Montreal to see Bon Jovi (at the drop of a hat) I would have damned you to complete and total delusion. 

That very humourous comedic rant would have been immediately followed by a costume change. A change because I would have pissed my pantaloons from laughing so hard at the idea of it all.

Funny how the last few years have made me realize just how one dimensional I have been my entire life. On one hand, so fiercely creative, yet so ingrained in a specific routine in the other. 

Though I don't have all the answers tonight, I will quickly share that I have always had a lifelong dream to experience the Louvre Museum and the amazing city it is hosted in. 

Tonight, 'Never say NEVER', was all she wrote... Before she ventured upstairs, to climb into her Wednesday night PJ's, and brush her teeth.

That said, I have to close with... ALWAYS say MAYBE!

Monday, November 11, 2013

...In The Long Run

I use to worry a lot, I use to hurry a lot, I use to stay out 'til the break of day.... Well, no, not really the break of day. Maybe once every five years; but when you're as old as I, that constitutes A LOT, so let's all hold hands so I don't have to lean on my walker OK?

My two fave boys - Don Henley & Timothy B. Schmidt
Taken at the ACC: November 6th, 2013
What a ride the last week has been.

For those of you that don't know, I have been an Eagles fan since before the Gods invented velcro strapped shoes for toddlers & seniors. 

Since they ended their 14 year hiatus I have purchased live footage of their concerts all over the world in hopes that one day I would get to see them live.

I am pleased to report they DID NOT disappoint. In few words, their sound and musicianship was nothing less than sheer perfection.

As a total blindside, there was someone in my life that was jealous. Not because seeing them had been their lifelong dream, but more because they felt they were entitled to attend purely at my monetary expense and the credit of my good nature. 

My right foot centre stage at the ACC
History of The Eagles Tour - Toronto
Taken: November 6th, 2013
In the long run, I have no regrets about who is in my life and who is not.

In the long run, I feel that last week played out exactly the way it was meant to be. 

In the long run, I feel I am a pretty good shit. 

Guess the $100,000 question would have be... Who likes a long running shit?

My truthful answer is I don't really care.

Bottom line is I worked very hard to save my money to have the ability to stand in the front row for my very favourite band. 

How be we crank up Desperado so you can come to your senses?!

Better yet, let us not. Too great a song to waste on your unexpected silliness.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One Magic Carpet Ride. Music Included!

I am so unbelievably giddy that I truly need to pinch myself. This time tomorrow night I will be meandering around the Air Canada Centre in Toronto anticipating something that's been a bit of a life long dream. Seeing The Eagles LIVE in concert.

It's a Bucket List thing for me really. Tomorrow night I will be firmly planted in 20th row (on the stage right floor) experiencing what I consider true musical genius. Oh those vocal harmonies, I can hardly wait.

What's that old saying? You're never given more than you can handle? Well, hold onto your hat there Aunt Bessie because my Bucket List just got another little ditty added to 'er this morning. 

After we thoroughly enjoy The Eagles tomorrow night, my husband will proceed to leave me at YYZ Thursday morning. Why the airport you ask? Because I am hopping a plane at noon with Stephanie to see Bon Jovi this weekend in Montreal! 

The planning started last Friday night. The question was posed and I willing gave my standard answer, which was of course... "GIDDY UP!" Without a doubt, this is the most spontaneous thing I have ever done in my entire life.  

Who the hell am I kidding? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I immediately pounced on it. Just like that, Mike and Peter reminded me today, that there will be 20,000 other women looking to 'pounce' on Jon in Montreal.

Oh relax, I'm sure Steph and I will meet Mike at the gate Sunday afternoon from YUL totally unharmed and 100% restraining order free. What do you mean that's nothing but wishful thinking?

All I'll say, is that I am pleased to report, that we're BOTH very fast runners.

WHAT? Why are you laughing?

....and that's all I gotta say about that...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Question: Is It The Five Year Itch?

What a weekend. I had a great time at the Fall Cottage Life Show, yet when I finally arrived home last night I was bagged. Though I love 'Trade Show Rhondi' I am thinking it may be time to put her out to pasture.

The energy, the bubbly appearance, the overall approach, is becoming far more difficult to pull off than it use to be. Ten years ago I use to flip a switch and voila; now a days I basically need to seek out a generator to go the distance.

Because the almighty exhaustion/excessive commerce/ one three punch/ ain't for the faint of heart,  when I arrived at work today I had a crazy long list of things waiting for me to do. Then, after a brief strategic conversation with a colleague, it hit me. I can't believe how much I miss being my own Boss. As my mind wandered I couldn't help but ask myself how long has it been?

Oh how I miss my home Office...
Taken: November 5th, 2008
It's been years: five years to be exact.

Yup, the photo I am sharing tonight was taken five years ago this week.

I truly remember the moment I threw my coat on and headed outside. Oh how I miss my home office.

Nostalgic moment over, I feel almost obligated to admit that I do have a pretty sweet job as an employee. I feel I unconditionally give an honest days work, for an honest days pay. Still, tonight, my mind is wandering.

I can't seem to get the idea out of my head of how great it would be to get up tomorrow morning, pour myself a cup of coffee, then sit at my desk. I know I'd show up at the same level I currently do every single day; I'd enjoy the company of great people, I'd break for lunch at twelve thirty....  All while sitting in my very sexy home office chair! 

Without a doubt I am being reflective on how successful I was personally before the American economy fell.  I look at my picture tonight (the one I took exactly five years ago) and I know one thing was for certain...

I had something both monetarily tangible and strategic to offer, and at the end of the day, and my life was very very good.

Pass the Doritos!