Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Well, it went from sunshine to sub-zero in a flash... Via a flash-freeze that is!

A couple of days ago, I was bragging about how I hardly needed a coat, then this morning I awoke to the mercury dipping to a chilly -20C. I’d like to be able to report late January Florida temps here at Orillia Lake, instead Muskoka has snow squall warnings on the horizon. As a result, I'm headed home at dawn.

Imagine witnessing ice being made... and not via my ice maker!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 30th, 2014
It’s been an interesting day for me. It’s the first time that I've actually been here to witness the ice form and winter take shape. Yikes, does it ever happen fast!

When I was up in the night stoking the fire, I noticed patches of ice forming in the moonlight. By dawn, I could hear a distinct crackle of the flowing agua and the newly formed ice arguing... Like an old married couple.

Bundled up (in the amazing company of my one daily cup of coffee) I cautiously watched the pups on the hill out front and listened. Not to the pups silly but to the immediate climate changing around me. Then I realized how great it felt to be here all alone. After being here for almost a week, I feel normal again. 

To quote a very wise man, "one person's normal, is another person's absurdity" and he's exactly right. Who the hell would think that standing outside, in sub-zero weather, listening to ice freeze, was normal?

Apparently, both he and I do. Because I just emailed him this picture!

Sunday, December 28, 2014


If this year produced the quietest Christmas eve and day of my life, then Boxing Day definitely rated as one of my busiest. I posted, showered, packed, and landed at the cottage all by mid-afternoon. It was so mild outside that within the hour I was shuffling about the woodstove in my really ugly and over-sized slippers. I may have been tired... but I was certainly glad to be back.

I hadn't intended on coming in Boxing Day but the long range forecast (not that the weatherman is ever right) gave me the feeling, that if it did in fact drop to -10C, getting it heated and the beds cozy for New Years Eve would be a much bigger task. So, I figured I'd stay here, enjoy my three days, then make the ten minute trek home until Spring.

This is what I call... Lake Effect SUN!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 28th, 2014
Well, today's is my third day and I did in fact head home. I quickly showered, picked up more supplies and returned. I've landed back out here until the cold, or my lack of Mott’s Clamato juice, eventually ushers me home.

As I was carrying my bags down the stairs, I stopped in my tracks and rummage through my coat for my phone. As I stood in this moment it felt like the 28th of September, not the 28th of December as the calendar reminds. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday and I immediately knew I wanted to share it with you.

As I look past the holidays, the one thing I do know for sure, is that I have some solid personal goals and serious hopes for the new year. Just so happens that this little piece of not so flat land, is my truly amazing glue that will hold all of it together.

What more can a girl ask for?

Friday, December 26, 2014


What can I say? All of that hype and today is the infamous Canadian Boxing Day.

 I just saw a neat American cartoon that read: When I was little I always thought Boxing Day was a holiday when you piled up all the boxes from Christmas presents, set them on fire, and danced around the flames. I also wondered why we never celebrated Boxing Day! Good One!!

My Dad loved the holidays. His steadfast sense of family, the food, the cheer. More food, more cheer. Anyway, I know that I’ve shared stories about my quest to keep finding those silly Petro Canada Olympic glasses. Just so we’re clear, my obsession is exactly that, which is ongoing and very real. (Read: HEY DAD... GUESS WHAT I FOUND?)

TAKEN: DECEMBER 25th, 2014
Just as I would if he were still alive, yesterday, he and I shared a Christmas drink.

As I was sitting there staring out the window & sipping, I wondered if he’d have any solid words of advice for what I have going on in my life right now. 

I envisioned him sitting on the sofa next to me. He’d listen to what I had to say and be non-judgmental. Then, I suspect he’d rattle the ice cubes in his glass signifying it was empty and tell me everything would be fine.

You want to know something? I don't think my father ever once asked me for a second drink. He’d just rattle the ice in his glass letting me know that his first one was finished. That was his cue. Life is funny like that; how certain moments ignite specific memories.

You want to know what else is funny about life? That it's bat shit crazy hard, right up until the moment it isn't.

SO spark up them boxes, control the flames and have a really great day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


It's Christmas Eve, so naturally my quirky sidekick and I chatted this morning.

He was pleased to report that he'd accomplished all of his holiday shopping, and I was excited (that he was excited) about his countdown to putting on the fat red suit for his two little girls. The only thing that I had to report, was that he had delightfully interrupted a really sappy Christmas movie that I had stayed in bed late watching.

GOOB & Jukebox rockin' a Christmas hug yesterday for their Momma!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 23rd, 2014
This is the first year that I can actually admit that because our children are now young adults, today has truly felt like any other day for me. 

I’m not sure if it’s that the boys and I took a road trip yesterday, or because I didn’t have my daughter reminding me (every single day) of every single thing on her wish list; I suspect it's simply a combination of both.

Gone are the traditions for the young and excited, ushered in are the making of their own individual traditions. This year, it won’t be me that entertains tonight, it will be Goob and his room mates that open their home to greet family and friends.

Gone is the anticipation of trekking to grandparents to exchange gifts, ushered in was the formal gifting of money. I am okay with all of that, as it truly is the most practical thing to do for them. I’ve always tithed at Christmas. However, the needs at home this year are so much so, that what normally would have gone into the community, have been invested to those equally in need (...that just happen to possess my DNA). 

I am sitting here typing and thinking of the way we use to spend Christmas Eve and that those days are officially gone. I was struggling with that so much this morning, that I had a mini meltdown and uncontrollably burst into tears. My personal Jukebox immediately opened his arms and wrapped them tightly around me. 

"I love you Mom..." was what he whispered in my ear. He just held me and let me cry. Words cannot express just how grateful I was. In this Xmas instance, receiving was far better than my giving. 

What is it that I am always saying on this silly little blog? That you can't stop change, only manage it. Well, today was a really big reminder of that specific wee ditty for yours truly!

Merry Christmas Eve to all… And to all a good night. 

Monday, December 22, 2014


Well, it’s that time of year again. When everyone breaks for Christmas and I start obsessing about the weather. Not in an 'I'm Dreaming of White Christmas' kind of way, matter a fact the opposite. You see, though purchased in 1999 - in 2007 we started a fun cottage tradition.  We’d pack up the toboggans, strap on the snowshoes, and head into Orillia Lake for a few days to ring in the New Year. 

Puddin' showing Annie the view. PRICELESS!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 21st, 2014
I’ll gently remind everyone that New Years Eve 2013 dipped to a chilly -21C outside, so our cottage trek was not even remotely an option. The year previous, we were in South Carolina. So suffice is to say that I've had my fingers, toes, as well as my eyes crossed since the beginning of December!

Optimistic that it's going to actually happen this year, I headed in with the pups yesterday. I was a tad worried how itty bitty Annie would make out but figured worst case scenario, I'd have to pick her up and carry her. Not even close. She was a compete and total ROCK STAR. That said, I have Shelly to thank that her little legs didn't have near the expected trek to travel.

You see, I was pleasantly surprised and exceptionally fortunate that my BCF (Best Cottage Friend) has kept our private cottage road open. When I saw her brand spankin' new truck parked at the top of our first hill I was thrilled. (Not gonna lie, that truck keeping our road open just may rate sexier than she and I scooting around the Lake on her three-seater SeaDoo!) 

Anyway, as my title infers, yesterday was my dreamboat Annie's very first cottage adventure. She's doing well. Just like me, she's very open minded and curious about trying new things. Yesterday, I especially loved watching how the other two pups made sure she was safe at all times. They have truly embraced her and are always scurrying to make sure she's okay and content. After all, that's what best cottage girlfriends are for right? Right!

Uh-oh, gotta run. Annie is pulling the bows off the presents and the shims out of my crooked Christmas tree. It's not good. Matter a fact I can read the headline now…

Crazy Dog Lady Arrested... As Crooked Tree Pummels Innocent Pup!

Innocent my FAT albeit friggin’ festive ass!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Who's a doormat? Not this cat!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 19th, 2014
I  have to admit when my feet hit the floor last Friday morning I knew it was going to be a great day. As I've shared before, when I know that I am going to have a truly memorable day, I snap a selfie.  Though I had a important one o'clock, that wasn't it. Sorry Pete.

You see, the night before, I pulled up my big girl panties until they hit my armpits, then made some very hard personal decisions. When I woke Friday morning and still felt the same way as the night before, I knew my day would be a memorable one. I'd pulled a plug; a plug that would never allow myself to be a specific persons door mat EVER again!

Locked and loaded I started my trek to my one o'clock. I always shuffle the five hundred plus songs on my phone and I always sing aloud when I walk. That said, I know I only have four good notes, so I am careful who hears my very gregarious performances.  I do keep the volume on my phone low enough that I can hear if I'm in tune but when I hear the neighbourhood dogs howling as I walk by, I immediately know I need to kick my personal volume down a notch. Well, for the very first time Friday, I got caught.

As I was headed down a lane near our local hospital, one of my very favourite songs was selected by the shuffle. Lost in the lyrics and music of Anna Nalicks - Just Breathe, I was totally engaged in the moment. To get the breathing right takes commitment, so I was 100% in. I didn't see any Ambulances or Police cars under the Emergency Room entrance, so I kept my tone and volume consistent.

As I landed at the end of the lane, I instantly (peripherally) felt a woman in my song space. As I quickly pulled my earbuds out, she began to clap. I was in shock. I immediately apologized. "I usually put my vocal cords on mute when I come upon someone" I said, "I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize" she said. "It was really good...!"

 To which I immediately and playfully started to root thought my laptop bag in search of my wallet. "I pay ten bucks for compliments like that" I said. We both burst out laughing and I continued on my trek.I am pleased to report that I sang aloud the rest of the way to my one o'clock.

YUP... Friday was truly a great day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


About a week ago I blogged about struggling to put up the Christmas tree. The bigger shock was that I was generally proud that I didn’t snap during the process. As you all know, I’m not an over the top ‘Tis the Season kinda gal. However, because I’ve had a really great splash of sun and I am still wearing a perma-smile, I decided to go on the record admitting that I'm a tad more tolerant of the upcoming festive season than in previous years.

Then, all hell broke loose. I was venting to my friends on Facebook about this crooked tree I bought. Hang on, let me grab the post. Here you go. It read: OK. I bought the Christmas Tree from HELL. If it falls over one more time, I'm gonna go all Grinch on it and fire it into the gully, never to be rescued or decorated ever again! ...This concludes my Christmas rant at this time. Cheers! Suffice is to say it engaged us in a plethora of comical rant of comments. 

Love may make our house a home....
But this crooked tree is making it hard for me to not turn it into firewood!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 18th, 2014
Well, guess what? 

The stinkin' thing fell over again! 

Did I go all Grinch on it and pitch it in the gully? Nooooo.

Why? Because it's Christmas dang nab it; and I love the look of a Christmas tree all lit up and pretty after dark. 

Anyway, as I was explaining my plight to an electronic friend today, I immediately got a smart ass email asking why I didn't secure it after the second time it fell? Aside from the fact that this specific lad has been crossed off my Christmas card list, here's the deal...

I'm a pretty bright girl and this is a tree. Isn't the normal assumption that they tend grow relatively straight and not on an 80 degree angle? Exactly! I simply figured it was my incompetence rather than a genetic imperfection that was making this puppy fall. At the end of the day, I think I have gravity under control.

What the hell... it's not rocket science is it? Of course not. If it were, I'd be applying Polysporin to the exposed knots on the trunk of the tree and grabbing a set of booster cables to give those Christmas lights an extra boost.

Don't ask... Just smile. Trust me on this one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


To set the record straight, compared to some of my girlfriends, I don’t have anything close to what most consider a shoe fetish. Truth of the matter is that my tender tootsie hobby pales in comparison to my obsession with a first class concert going experience. However, I'm not disrespectful of the process. When I come across a pair of shoes that truly speak to me, I bust open my piggy bank and toddle them all the way home.

Well, this past Friday night was one of the few times this year that I’ve actually gotten dressed up and headed out. Not gonna lie, I had looked forward to the shindig all week. Not because I was excited to be wearing the new dress my husband had bought me, but because I knew it would perfectly complement the sexiest pair of shoes I own.

Let’s face it, it’s mid-life for me. Any function that keeps me awake later than ten o’clock at night is rarely attended. Well, Friday night was a whopper. You can imagine that I didn't make it home by ten, and when I finally did arrive, I was a glittery hot mess!

Glass half full...? The house wine was very nice. Yet, too many glasses half full were savoured and consumed.

My photo does not do my very sexy babies justice *sniff*
TAKEN: DECEMBER 16th, 2014
The moral of my story is… Not only did I pay for it all weekend, so did my very super sexy shoes!

My social media friends know that when I recently returned from vacation I got a puppy (those closest to me understand why). Her name is Annie.

She's settled in quite nicely and I am having great success training her. She's smart but as expected each and every day her teeth get sharper. I really wasn't worried about it as we have a lot chew things scattered around the house... or so I thought.

The sad part of my story is that Annie isn't the one that chewed my shoe. It  was my oldest Dottie that did the deed and she did it slowly and quietly so that she wouldn't be caught. Kinda like me with a Sex In The City marathon and a family size bag of Miss Vickie's Sea Salt & Malt chips. In a nutshell, guess when us bitches have our compulsions, there's simply no stopping us.

The truth of the matter is that I will really miss this specific pair of shoes.

Last weekend's hangover...? Not so much!

Please Note: No dogs were harmed in the making of this Post... Nor were any Miss Vickies chips consumed during and/or after the photo shoot!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


What can I say, since hitting mid-life, there are certain things that I no longer get to enjoy.

For example, gravy use to be a food group for me but now it’s something I drizzle on my food semi-annually instead of drowning it weekly. Any type of fresh bread and soft butter? Not an option. Makes my ass fatter just thinking about indulging in it. 

...Then there are butter tarts.

For me, enjoying a really great butter tart is right up there with truly amazing sex. As we all know, if a man is looking to really get laid on a Saturday night, foreplay usually needs to start with his wife that morning at breakfast. The same goes for me and the indulgence of a really great butter tart. I have to carefully allow myself to be seduced. Eventually giving into the strong, undeniable and very sexy urge. It's most definitely my guilty pleasure.

As a born and bred French Canadian woman, butter tarts (and a plethora of other fresh baked items) were something I grew up with. Thoughout my childhood, every single day that I took a lunch to school, there was something freshly baked tucked nicely into my lunch kit. 

Actually,  my kit always carried the same three things; a processed lunch meat sandwich, a homemade baked goody, and a piece of fresh fruit. Not the best lot to barter with at lunchtime but I always managed to make out okay. My sandwich was pre-frozen and always soggy, so it automatically got tossed. The good news was that my Mom’s baking would more often than not land me a little sum-sum much farther up the lunch food chain.  That said, because the baked offering always rotated, I never knew from one day to the next what I had to work with.

For example, Artje use to offer her entire lunch for one of my Mom's butter tarts. The truth of the matter was she wasn't allowed to have sugar, so by first recess, if there was a butter tart my kit, my lunch was in play. All goopy and sinfully sweet, the butter tarts always brought me the mother load.

A couple of years back, my best electronic friend and I use to talk about the world famous tarts that could be found in my Town all the time. I've never told him about Betty's Tarts (...still weep at night since she's retired) and today's post is the first time I've shared with him about my Mom's yummies. I'm also sure he'll be in shock when he sees that I am now a proud patron at The Bean. You see... for varying reasons, he seems to be infatuated with Marty's.

Not this Cat. I've read his sign in Town that reads his tarts are world famous but I wouldn't know. I haven't frequented his shop since I had to refinance my home after buying four ice cream cones there for my kiddies a decade ago. The honest truth? I have never had a carefully marketed World Famous Marty's Butter Tart. 

Truth of the matter is that I've just never been able to process the fact that his ego felt they were the best. After all, with so many perfect tarts in my life before his, I never truly had the desire to give his a try.

...AND don't get me started on the fact that he charges $99 for an apple pie!!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Day before yesterday, one of my closest friends and I had our very first fight. When it was happening, I was in shock and hoped it was just a silly misunderstanding. The unfortunate part, is that prior to that realization, the super shitty train wreck had already left the station. I guess if there’s a silver lining to our scenario, it would have to be that we know each other well enough that when I called a time out, we both respectfully took it.

Forty eight hours later, what was disagreed upon truly isn't the big deal. The bigger deal is that in the almost fifteen years that we’ve been friends, there hasn't been so much as a harsh word between us; simply a boat load of laughter, interwoven with heartfelt love and unconditional support.

At the end of the day, I suppose the reality is that any/all long term friendships are like a marriage. There are certain elements of give and take and they're a hell of a lot of hard work. I imagine that is why some don’t sustain. It’s easier to give up than to persevere. I am the first to admit that easier relationships always present themselves, so the ones that require investment, generally hit the sidelines. Not every time... but I’m sure you’ll agree, more often than not.

My point (because I honestly do have one) is that you should never focus on the work, only the reward. 

As bizarre as it may sound, after my Quirky Sidekick and I took our time out, I immediately thought of my son and his Quirky Sidekick, that is a girl but not his girlfriend.

She's been apart of our family for-ever (and endured the crap that comes along with that specific badge, with amazing grace and honour). Those two have been through so much together, for them to wake up and not to be friends, almost seems wrong. 

They, just like me, have learned that people will come and go. If you're willing to dig in your heels and invest in someone, it can last a lifetime. (After seeing them together on the day I left on vacation... I may need to call Squid for some advice on my current quirky conundrum!)

Well, seeing as I am being honest, I suppose I should come clean with the fact that I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have little experience in calling a time out. Outside of my marriage, I've always let the train steamroll ahead and dealt with it after that fact. 

I guess I didn't hesitate this time, because I absolutely know we're BOTH worth it!

I love you Quirky... My husband knows you love me too.

Let's really try to never fight again xo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


It’s truly been a very odd week for me. 

The fact that I was giddy when I spent forty big ones on a natural Christmas tree last weekend left me a little puzzled.  Then, after independently hauling that sucker up the stairs, placing it in the stand without complaining, stopped me in my tracks. Even though I was struggling and frustrated, I still had a skip in my step up all those freaking stairs. It was so bizarre that I simply shrugged the incident off as euphoric delusion. 

Then, I awoke this morning and the mercury barely registered a mere -16C outside. I wasn't pissed off about it; which was in itself questionable. Instead, once I discovered the pre-dawn temperature via my tablet, I simply hauled my ass out of bed. Had there been cameras present, it really would have played out like a bad hair/ugly bathrobe episode of The Twilight Zone. So bizarre, that even Rod Serling would have been complaining about the script on TMZ!

I can’t believe the difference in my seasonal disposition since my amazing jaunt to the Caribbean. We've traveled at Christmas before but this trek was completely different. Since arriving home, my mornings have contained some serious gumption, which I have never experienced at this time of year. I love how rejuvenated I feel. I'm not going to jump up and down on a couch like Tom Cruise... but I just may shave my legs more than once a week!  Can I get a HELL YA?!?!

Enjoying the Pineapple Festival festivities

I guess my overall point is that a very old friend once advised me to "travel far enough, to meet yourself.." Who knew that once I'd complete my journey... Everything would be a fifteen minute walk and a five minute drive away.

Here's to officially maintaining rather than sustaining.

...In every single aspect of my life.