Thursday, November 27, 2014


As soon as I arrived home this week, I promptly received a text message from my very favourite Coffee Buddy. He told me that he didn’t want to see me until my tan had faded, so I immediately replied, “…See you next April!” 

Oliver's Coffee... Where well groomed women frequently get stood up!
Knowing we had million and one things to discuss, we decided to meet at our favourite table this morning at 8 o'clock sharp. I arrived on time and HE stood me up!

When I realized it was happening again, I instantly grabbed my phone and sent a text to one of my closest confidants.

I explained that it this was the third time in as many coffee dates that he’d forgotten about me and that I was beginning to get a complex. Then, I proudly confirmed his pressing questions; that I had in fact showered, brushed my teeth, and combed my hair. He in turn told me to sit tight.Which I did, smiling.

Some days I find it hard to fathom how much my life and personal direction have changed since quitting my job last December. The one thing I do know, is that when I was transitioning this time last year, it was this mornings texting buddy that unconditionally supported my decision (and somewhat fragile state of mind). Matter a fact, I posted a year ago this past week, that I wholeheartedly hoped when I landed, they would remain in my life. They have. (CLICK TO READ: ANYONE GOT A BENCH I CAN BORROW?) 

Speaking of last year, once my coffee date finally arrived, we got straight to work. I was telling him about a gentleman within his industry that had left his long term place of employ and started over because he could no longer work for his Boss’s son. I didn’t so much as have the words out of my mouth, when who the hell wandered into our java hut? My old Boss’s son!

Because Pete had his back to the door, I carefully watched as Junior noticed me, then proceeded to try and make eye contact. I have no desire to ever speak to him again, but I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of emotion which accompanied my seeing him for the very first time since resigning. Even now as I type… Nothing. 

My anger and hurt have subsided, but more importantly, I have moved on. The even better feeling is that I have taken my passion, work ethic, and business knowledge elsewhere. This time, I have entrusted them wisely: I’m happy.

That said, I’d be gloriously ecstatic if he’d quit standing me up!

Naaaw, waiting for him gave me a minute to catch up with others that really matter too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I’m the first to put up my hand and admit that I’m a pretty complicated chick. The dead nuts honest truth is that I have a list of things that I am deathly afraid of; and the dark is most definitely number one. It truly took me until my mid-twenties to understand why I'm so afraid of the dark. I  believe it stems from an instilled fear as a child of strange men.

Apparently, I am hardwired to believe that really bad men were lurking in dark corners waiting to steal me away from my family. Now a days, we teach children a “safe word”. In the olden days, you just simply frightened your daughters/children into submission using an overall fear of the unknown. 

My point is that when my 2011 New Year’s resolution of self-discovery began, I made a personal commitment to get back into shape (which would eventually give me the confidence to get the hell outta of an enabling shroud of comfort) and try new and exciting things. My intent was to leave the past in the past; and I must admit, three years later, I've definitely exceeded my personal expectations. 

My very first reverse Selfie.
SEE... I wasn't the only one needing a life jacket!
Taken: NOVEMBER 20th, 2014
My foray into snorkeling happened very unexpectedly. We were with Heidi & Brian in Negril Jamaica (Feb. 2012) and our day trip to Rick’s CafĂ© included a snorkeling stop. 

I remember when they announced where we were headed, I was both excited and terrified. I wanted to experience new things but this wasn't something I'd ever considered. All this time later, I'm glad I didn't back down. It made no matter that there wasn't much to see that day, I am still proud that I actually got into the water and persevered.

Well, this week, I actually enjoyed a real snorkeling day trip. (Like I always do, I researched the shit out of what the choices were and went for it.) Upon arriving to the first drop site I noticed people swimming freely in about 20 metres of water. The waves were high and the water rough, so I immediately began to panic. "I need a lifejacket" I blurted. I was literally shaking in my swimsuit.

Once I knew I was going to be offered a safety net I was fine. There was so much to see and so many vibrant colours that my brain wasn't sure which to absorb first. It was like I was floating on a bed of various marine life, yet none of them actually touched my body.

...Ultimately creating another very memorable moment for this somewhat quirky soul.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I have always been a huge music fan. A true fan, not a fussy music fan like some people I know. As long as there’s a half decent beat, I’m into it. Hell, hand me a pair of spoons and I’ll always get the party started. That love of all things music has transformed me into a concert going junkie. As a result, once the kids left, I went on an amazing magic carpet/concert going bender.

Truth of the matter is my husband and I were in different lanes at that time, so it was Goob that convinced me that going to any concert alone would be a blast. I remember him telling me “everyone around you is there for the very same reason you are. They all love the music as nuch as you do.”  Guess I realized that if it didn’t bother him to go to events alone I should give it a try. I decided to start planning my solo treks. More than three years later, I have saved every ticket stub and I've loved each and every experience.

He loved his Birthday seats!
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 15th, 2014
Other than his obsession with The Band, my husband is a huge CCR/John Fogerty fan. Last winter he’d mentioned that he was coming to Canada. He also admitted that he was worried that at sixty nine years of age, this may be his last touring hurrah.

I had told him that I had tried to get tickets to three of his closest stops to us but hadn't been successful. He was disappointed, yet never worried too much about it. Then, for his birthday last summer, I presented him with the tickets I'd purchased the day they went on sale. He was ecstatic. 

Never the fan of his magnitude, I suggested he take one of our sons; he insisted that I accompany him. When all was said and done, I had a blast. I am so use to attending alone that I got in the zone and stayed there from the time he came on the stage until he finished. Walking back to the hotel, I admitted to my husband that I enjoyed the John Forgerty show better than the Eagles. He agreed. It wasn’t just the seats, the Show (not to mention the overall vibe) was just top notch.

It was neat to hear him talk of his experience to fellow Canadians the following morning as we waited to take off at YYZ. As I listened to him chatting, I was glad that he'd finally jumped on my really great bandwagon. After all these years... He finally gets it. 

As I listened to my husband chatting about, I couldn't help but think of my good buddy Zack. He's the only other person that has lived vicariously through my experiences and loved each and every one of my concert going outings as much as yours truly. 

I worry. He's in such a bad spot that I didn't have the heart to mention what he was missing. Not because I thought he'd be angry; it's just with the death of his Dad and other really big life changes I know he's spending his time on a very different bandwagon. 

Kinda sad really... but I know he knows I'll always be here for him no matter what!

Monday, November 24, 2014


The funniest thing about typing that post title was that I didn’t. I literally cut and paste it from a Google English/Spanish translator site. (It means the perfect vacation for those of you as challenged as yours truly ...)

A good book, a cold drink, lots of sun... and a great photographer!
Taken: NOVEMBER 21st, 2014
Not gonna lie, after a week away, the only word I can express confidently in Spanish, is Ola. Yup, pleased to report that I nodded a lot: and said Ola a lot. 

I did sign up for a Spanish class (by the pool). Upon its completion, I immediately swam up to my man at the bar announcing that I was NOT going back to school the following day.

"Who knew they really wanted to teach me to speak Spanish" I said - like I'd been exposed to the Ebola virus. He'd had much more fun with his pool side event participation. Mine actually had a test. Hard to gravitate to a Prof that doesn't speak Ingles (in 90 degree weather) when I could be floating in the pool, drinking a Cuba Libra!

Smiles aside, I've been blessed to have experienced this beautiful country we live in from coast to coast, not to mention my fair share of States belonging to our neighbours to the South of us. I have also been fortunate enough to get to travel in the Caribbean; yet prior to this past week, I’d never experienced this type of serious language barrier. (I was shocked to meet only a dozen English speaking peeps.)

We stayed in an Adults Only Resort, so I found it interesting to watch how other couples communicated with each other without the distraction of the English language filling in the blanks for me. At the end of the day, everyone was truly there to reconnect, with their only distraction being the partner that they were there with. Hence my photo.

My husband isn't a book worm like me. I knew the library was closed once he sat up and said "Whooowkaaay...". It was code that I was to stop reading and that we were to head to his favourite bar on the beach. Just our luck,  our British friends from our sister resort were waiting for us for Tiffing Time.

Ya gotta love it. They'd be having a blast with Dire Straits cranked and blaring. Johnathon would be right lit, telling everyone how much he loved Canada. For the record, Sultans of Swing has always been (and always will be) one of my very favourite songs!!

Really, really, grand times.... All of which, ultimately weave, into the perfect vacation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Throwback Thursday, or #TBT, is a neat photo sharing activity that’s really popular on Instagram. For personal reasons, I refuse to get an Instagram account, so I thought this was a neat way to post the very throwback picture that made my day. It was taken at Busch Gardens on our very first trip to Florida (about three months before we were married).

THIS was a GREAT vacation!
Let me step back. It's not like I was having bad day. Matter a fact, it felt like the polar opposite. After waking to our first blanket of Frosty The Snowman snow, I was impressed that the morning rays were so bright I didn't need a boost from my happy light. 

I chatted with both Peter and JJ about business, then got an email from JC wishing me 'safe travels'. It wasn't until I read the words 'lucky you' that my doubts about heading out resurfaced.

I don’t know if it’s because my health's been under the weather for so long, or that I just have so much on my plate, but I don’t feel I’m in the right frame of mind to hop on a plane. 

All the other times we’ve traveled, there’s been that anticipation and chatter but it's different this time. I actually feel so off that I've asked my husband thrice (in as many days) if we can cancel. 'HELL NO' was all he'd say. So we're going. 

I completely understand where he's coming from. I lived at the cottage all summer and other than the odd extra long weekend, he hasn't had a break since Jamaica last February. Honestly? I think my issue is that even though I've been ill and I'm busy, I am coping really well with the time change and I don't want to jinx my ability to cope all season. I almost want to save my chits and hop on a plane when need it most, which obviously isn't in a minute and a half.

Maybe my husband's rrr-rrrr-rrr- correct.

Historically, our best adventures have always happened when we've least expected.

Sooo..... Pass me the suntan lotion Baby.

Mama's heading to the Beach!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


When it comes to my technology habits, I’m pretty old school. I love my Blackberry for its buttons, the same way I love my desktop computer for my keyboard. I love the sounds they both make as I plug along through my day; combined with my mouse, hearing them click offers me a productive feeling that I am accomplishing what I've set out to do. Yet, for some time now, I have been mentally preparing myself for Black Phone Day

You know the day? When Blackberry is either taken over or goes under. Until that day I refuse to make a change. I’m a proud and loyal customer that will remain a customer until it’s no longer an option for me. If I can contribute to saving just one Canadian job… You know the spiel.

Enjoying my one application wonder this morning over coffee!
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 12th, 2014
Knowing that I may eventually move from RIM, I've chosen Samsung as their successor. The practical kinda gal I am, going to that type of tablet seemed obvious.

What made me finally bite the bullet? Well, I gave in for a couple of reasons. Heading away, I thought it may back-fill taking my laptop so that I can still write and fulfill my SM & web obligations.
WRONG on all accounts! 

I don’t like typing on it (...Peter tells me I just have to get the hang of it) and my eyes are failing me so badly that I find the text too small on the social media apps to be truly productive. Suffice is to say, the only thing I use it for is to play Candy Crush. With those three things admitted, it doesn't make the purchase very practical does it? 

That said, neither does the fact that I play Candy Crush. Oh my goodness, I can't believe I just admitted that. It's official... I'm going to hell in a hand basket!

Glass half full?

At least I know my new one app tablet is small enough to come along for the ride!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I had to get a couple of items for my upcoming trip yesterday, so I took a road trip. The weather was crappy and the travel slow going; but I made it there and home, safe and sound. As I was unpacking my goodies this morning, I decided I just might as well pack and get it over with.

I couldn't help but remember that this time last year I was rushing to meet my girlfriend at YYZ to hop a plane to YUL for a last minute weekend getaway. As an avid concert goer, I was lucky enough to catch The Eagles in Toronto on the Thursday night, then Bon Jovi in Montreal the following Saturday night. Hard to believe it’s been a year... A year since my sister decided that because she wasn't the one chosen for the jaunt, she’d stop speaking to me indefinitely. (...In The Long Run POST)

A year later, we still talk openly as a family about her choice. We’re all in agreement it was for the best. If it hadn't been this incident, it would have been something equally as petty, that resulted in the demise. Guess our family philosophy is simple: you can’t please someone who is ultimately unpleasable.

We traveled to Staci last Easter so we could spend the day as a family.
So I flash forward to my own three children.

Because my siblings are all so much older, my biggest fear raising my three would be they would estrange from one and other as they grew into adults.

Well, they're grown. 

I am pleased to report that they have evolved into three very different individuals that are siblings. Varying interests and varying lifestyles. Have they had their challenges with each other over the years? Absolutely.  Have they written the other off? Not a chance!

Matter a fact, at times they have been closer to each other than to both of us as their parents. I love that they can agree to disagree but ultimately look out for one and other. As I approach my 50th birthday, I can't help but be reminded that my Mother died at 57 years of age. Here's hoping they will always find a way to unconditionally support one and other. God forbid that Jukebox stops speaking to his sister because she took Goob to a Nicki Minaj concert instead of him.

Who the hell am I kidding? Jukebox thinks Nicki Minaj is a fecking idiot!

Just like that, a silly sibling write off has been averted!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


When we purchased our first home in December of 1988 we were ecstatic. It was three houses up from my Dad on the opposite side of very street I grew up on. We knew nothing about home ownership and had no idea that the math of the investment would have Kraft Dinner and tomato soup be our most cost effective grocery staples (both of which my husband refuses to eat to this day) for a very long time .

Times were definitely tough. To increase that hardship, I unexpectedly got pregnant. I remember the day the rabbit died. I also remember telling our next door neighbours before telling my husband. That very moment came flooding back to me a couple of weeks ago, as I stood in the exact spot in their backyard.

It was actually Poppa Peter's Birthday... But he let Jukebox believe the Party was really for him!
Taken: August: 1992

Nana Anne, Poppa Peter & Auntie Andrea have been in my children’s lives since the moment they were born. They've unconditionally loved all of us and us them. Poppa Peter passed from complications to diabetes seven years ago this month and Nana Anne unexpectedly left us this past summer. That unexpected (very heartbreaking) event has Auntie Andrea & I as close as ever.

A couple of weeks ago, Andrea and I got chatting on a Friday night and she told me a story. After her father's funeral, her sister needed to have had a chat with him and asked him to send her a sign. “Don’t send me pennies from heaven Dad” she asked a loud, “...I wanna see at least dimes!”

From that moment on, dimes began to appear in the strangest places. Since his death, the most poignant spot had to be the morning Nana Anne passed. The pets were on the bed with her, and there was a dime on the floor beside her. 

Do you want to know what's even more amazing? Because 911 was called, the Police arrived before Andrea. She continued to tell me that she'd never sat in Poppa Peter’s chair since he’d passed. Well, unbeknownst to the Police, they cleared the chair off in preparation of her arrival. When she went into shock, that is where she was placed.... Into her father's chair

When I was over to the house that following Saturday & Sunday after our chat... Jacquie, Andrea, and I, lovingly reminisced about them both. As we worked (moving, sorting and loading a trailer for landfill) we talked of the dimes that were being sent from heaven.

When the guys picked up Poppa Peter's chair (the very chair the Police sat Andrea in) there was a dime sitting underneath in full view. What a moment. You know what the dime beside the bed and under the chair signify to me?

Nana Anne wasn't meant to take her journey to heaven alone. I'd like to believe that he came to greet her. Once she passed, he wanted to reassure Andrea that he was there for her too.

I don't know about you... but I'll never look at a dime the same way again.

Rest in Peace Anne and Peter. We will always love and miss you both very much. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Well, as you know, the clocks fell back this morning. So to be proactive, before I went to bed last night I walked around the house and changed them all. I didn't want to wake up to any surprises. As you know, I hate surprises but turning the clocks back is also a chore I dread. It's like Groundhog Day for me except there isn't a 50/50 outcome option. There WILL be six more weeks of darkness!

What a magnificent day to say... "That's a wrap". CHEERS!
When I woke for the day it was game on. Made the coffee, lovingly sipped it, read my email, got myself dressed and we ventured to the cottage. Yes-sir-ree Bob-a-roonie... Today was cottage closing day!

Funny when you've been doing something so long it seems effortless. The only chore added to my list this year was disassembling the additional outdoor shower walls that had to be erected (no pun intended) to block out my creepy neighbour. As the power tool queen, I was on that task like white on rice!

The other nice thing was because I'd lived there until Thanksgiving, everything was much more organized. So much so that we shaved a half an hour off our fastest closing record. The only sad part about completing the task at hand quicker than expected was that we had to leave this glorious day behind. 

Feeling completely and totally gypped of another night in my favourite place, I have to admit that this will be my very last 2014 post from the cottage.

That is unless.... I get what I want for Christmas... Stay tuned!