Friday, August 28, 2015


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


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!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


This morning I woke up in dire need of a rain slicker/fuzzy socks wardrobe combo.

Then, as my morning coffee perked, I began gathering up all the things that have to head home with me in the morning. While packing things up in the back bedroom (a room where things usually get unpacked) something triggered Dot and she instantly went under the radar.

I think Dot is sensing her summer is coming to an end.
TAKEN: AUGUST 25th, 2015
Not a big deal, because she rarely leaves the property alone but when my calls and promises of chicken wieners and cookies wouldn’t lure her to the top deck, I grabbed my camera. You see, from the time I eventually spied her from my desk, I watched her in the on and off rain, for almost 4 hours.

I know she loves her silly boat that floats but we've never gone out in the morning, so I’m not sure what was going on in the pretty little head of hers.

It’s a given she doesn’t want to leave here, who the hell does?! Yet, as I watched her, I couldn't help but wonder if she’s sensing that this may be her last hurrah: her one last good summer at the cottage. Either way, it was tough to watch her out there all alone in the rain.

I don't think you're human if you don't want what's best for your pets; but like any senior winding down, she has good days and bad days. All I know is that I sense she knows her summer is going to be cut short and it is.

Aside from spending Saturday evenings tooling around in her ride, she’ll be banished back to a life in the gully behind our house. Which leads me back to my original question. 

Who the hell’s gonna tell Dot? Anyone…? …Anyone?

Monday, August 24, 2015


I am feeling a level of anxiety in my life right now that I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I was chatting with my very best electronic friend yesterday and though he was no help whatsoever with my issue, he made me laugh about it. Which, as you know, is simply the best medicine.

I remember the day I took this photo. I was transitioning.
When we checked in with each other at lunch today, I admitted that I was teary.  What I didn't admit, was that  yesterday I led him to believe my angst was being fueled by one simple thing, the honest truth is that it’s more than that. 

My deeply ingrained fear of the unknown has taken over my very active imagination. It's not bad enough that I focus all day on the plethora of variables next week may bring, last night I dreamt about them. For some very obvious reasons, I don’t think that’s normal. So, here's the skinny.

When I left my dream job in December 2013, I really didn’t want to go. The truth of the matter is that I knew I had to; for my personal, as well as my emotional survival. After verbalizing my next move to a friend last Friday, I realized that there is still a very deep hurt inside me, that has yet to heal and it all doubles back to the way I was previously treated. I heard myself admit aloud that I worry that it will happen to me again. I don’t want to think like that but I have a zero sense of trust in a number of areas of my life and this dog infested with fleas is at the forefront.

As I share my feelings, I'm sure it must read like sad case of paranoia on my part but the dead nuts honest truth is that it’s sheer fear. I thought I would end my working career with this other company. I took their results and to a level they'd never previously experienced and in return I was treated like a big fat bag of poo. After such a hurtful experience like that, how does one ever trust again? 

Not sure if you'd agree but I've decided to have faith. At this juncture in my life, my heart tells me that it’s the best place to start.

Once again... Thanks for listening. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Thank goodness this old 12 seater picnic table can't talk....!!
TAKEN: AUGUST 16th, 2015
We knew after spending our first summer on Orillia Lake that we eventually wanted to live out here year round. We also knew we had a major issue. Even though the cottage was winterized, the stairs and long driveway would never make living at the waters edge in the off season practical. So, since 2000 we’ve constantly discussed our options; and proceeded to approach a number of people for first right of refusal if they ever wanted to sell their property.

Well, this spring, my two doors down neighbour Shelly called with the news she was listing her cottage. Immediately interested, we let her know exactly that. Then, within the week, we discovered our beloved next door neighbour Lois had passed. When the sad news about Lois was delivered to us, her daughter let us know that they wouldn’t be making any decisions about the cottage until the end of 2015 season. For obvious reasons, with the other property becoming a summer rental, the one next door makes the most sense to hope for. Shelly completely understood.

As you know, Shelly is the ‘City Mouse’, to my equally charming ‘Country Mouse’ persona. We've always gotten along and I am pleased to report that she's landed here for the entire week. Suffice is to say that as soon as we both realized we were here together, we had to meet in our favourite chat spot; wading in the water on the beautiful beach that lands between us. 

 It was great to see her and catch up face to face. I enjoyed listening to what she has going on and share what’s happening with me. She admitted she wasn’t 100% sure that she wanted to sell the cottage and I can totally relate. Once you’re here and settled, it’s extremely hard to imagine being anywhere else.

After floating together for more than  3 hours, she was reflective and admitted she was torn, “I’ll truly miss it here,” she saidHearing her say the words, my heart skipped a beat. Without hesitation, I made her the unconditional offer to return, at anytime. No charge.

Hell, what can I say? My cottage life won’t ever be the same if I never get to float or drown my sorrows with my superwoman counterpart. So, as promised yesterday Shelly, I'll always leave the lights on for you.

Or, shall I say... FOR US!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


If you’re a young adult in Muskoka and working two jobs to get by, you know that the summer tourists and their spending are what keep you warm the following winter. The hard reality is that you work as much as you can whenever you are called upon, because when January hit, there's very little money to be made.

Well, Sunday evening, my daughter hit the wall. She has a full time & a part time job, and when she called me from the house completely exhausted, there were tears. Part of her heartache was a misunderstanding she'd had with her father but most of her emotion was her body telling her it was time to rest. The crux of her crisis was she’d worked 24 of the previous 48 hours (on her feet the entire time) and was in desperate need of her laundry done.

Quickest way to complete cottage laundry? Hang it in the rain to dry!
TAKEN: AUGUST 18th, 2015
Not gonna lie, with me starting a new job in 14 more sleeps, my situation is the opposite of my daughters. If there’s one thing I have right now, it’s a shitload of time on my hands. 

So, I told her to pack it up and I’d do it here at the cottage with my handy dandy washboard & tub & homemade wringer outterer; then, I hang it all out to to dry on my very sexy state of the art yellow polypropylene laundry line that I have tied to a big honkin' tree. 

As I was working my mad cottage laundry skills this morning, I realized I had done it again. I'd said one thing and ultimately done another. You know what I mean, when one side of the mouth scolds… “You have to be more independent and financially responsible,” whilst the other side says “pack it all up, I’ll pick it up, and deliver it home the next day!” 

I guess the simplest rational is that my daughter needed some help and I offered up my mad pioneer style laundry skills. You know what? I'm glad I did. She's working very hard to take her life to the next level and for that I'm truly proud.

As silly as it reads, my only issue was promising her a 24 hour turnaround time. The rain stopped early this morning but you can cut the humidity here with a knife. It's almost eight hours later and her things are still wet. As a result, I've had to jimmy-rig a couple of oscillating fans outside to expedite the completion of my task.

I know what you're thinking, just deliver the stuff home and she can throw it in the dryer. Nope, that's NOT an option.  Why? Because this time next month I'll be bitching about unnecessarily high hydro bills!

WHAT? At least I'm honest about it!!

Monday, August 17, 2015


As I’ve written before, I’ve put so many miles on our five seater pedal 'boat that floats' that I stopped keeping track of the actual mileage when I figured I’d gone across Canada and back again. The nightly ritual started years ago with my beloved Daisy Marie. There were so many neat little inlets I could tour with her, just to help satisfy her keen Beagle sense of smell. At the end of the day, it made our time together very memorable. 

Anyway, with Dot’s hind quarters all but gone, I find myself back in that same routine. This time, we trek so she can comfortably cool off on her own, without confrontation or angst from the other two dogs. She’s never been much of a swimmer but I sense now more than ever she feels relief when I set her into the water. She has a solid trust that nothing bad will happen when I’m the water with her. 

The moral of my post is that this is the 9th summer I’ve headed to this particular spot (at least once a week) and much to my surprise, as I walked along the shore Saturday night, I happened upon some beautiful flowers that I’ve never seen in bloom there before. Aside from their vibrant beauty, I wasn't surprised that it took ten years for them to get there, simply impressed that finally everything around them aligned and they did in fact get to bloom.

With that last comment front of mind, I had lunch with one of my closest girlfriends last week and when I wandered upon this beautiful splash of colour, I instantly thought of her. 

She and I have always talked openly about our journeys of self-discovery. All I’ll say is, though I may not look at life the way I did five or six years ago, I never put a time limit on finding myself; it was never a race for me but a truly wonderful journey. A journey which no one else can pen the ending to... but yourself. 

I really was in awe when I spotted this splash of red. My goodness, just look at these flowers. I wanted capture the moment to remind my friend how amazing is it that we've all blossomed. Everything always does, when all the right element fall in line, in their own time!

I can't speak to what took the flowers so long to get there but in my case I will say this.

...Midlife just seemed like the perfect time to bloom.

PS: Photo cred goes to my husband.
PSS: Wish he woulda/coulda/shoulda mentioned that I was losing my swim shorts.
PSSS: Ya Gotta Laugh About IT! 

Monday, August 10, 2015


It's hard to explain how my mind has been at ease about my new direction since it was solidified almost a month ago. Though I know I can be dominant at times, when it comes to big life moves, I’ve always tried to look at things with a level head and extreme methodical calmness.  In this particular instance, I've evolved to a completely new level of well being; one that I've never experienced in my professional life before now. Could it be because my outlook on life has shifted? By making this small tweak, could all of my stress and angst have absolutely disappeared? The answer is YES!

Don't misunderstand, that doesn’t mean I won’t stand up and fight for what I believe in or what’s rightfully mine. I just know any faint desire I may have to be emotional and/or allow myself to be bullied isn't even remotely an option. You see, emotion isn't what is going to win this specific race; it will be the truth and the very well documented hard facts. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh, the silly little games people choose to play... *sigh*

May I present the only "Flamethrower" we own!
TAKEN: AUGUST 5th, 2015
Disappointments aside, I think most will be surprised to read that it’s my husband that's livid at certain people I trusted. Guess you could say he wants to "take a flamethrower to..."

KIDDING, he doesn't even own his own flamethrower. Unless you count the citronella torch we use when we play Canasta out on the deck & I'm confident he'd never want to give that puppy up.

You see, we need it on over drive to battle the hearty brood of mosquitoes that are still hanging around the cottage in the middle of freaking August!

Ya Gotta Laugh About It…

Friday, August 7, 2015


HELP WANTED: Ball cleats provided to the successful candidate
I am dead serious...

I’m my confident my husband won’t mind my asking the question. Frankly because it’ll save him feeling guilty for not taking care of the task himself.

I’m not kidding.

Just look at the friggin’ task at hand. For what it's worth, more than one mountain goat's admitted to TMZ they've found the task very intimidating, and that footage has gone viral!

As you know, yard work has always been my lane. I am admitting today that I’ve always struggled with tending the yard at the cottage. Going even further out on a limb, it's probably because the only flat piece of land we own (aside from the driveway at the top of the hill) is a 45 x 25 ft patch off the kitchen; everything else is literally on a 45 degree angle.

Early on, when tackling the task,  I did tumble down the hill into the lake. Though my ego was bruised worse than my body, I am pleased to report that when I landed in the water on my ass that the whipper sniper remained high in hand locked over my head and safe from harms way.

One to focus on solutions rather than any problem, from that very day on, I never started the arduous task without stuffing the ends of size 11 steel baseball cleats which guaranteed my perfect traction.

Though I finished the task at hand this afternoon,  inbox me if you'd like to offer your services next time around.

Ball cleats and mountain goat bragging rights will automatically be included!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Last week, my very best electronic friend told me that he loves the fact that I honestly make the effort to greet each new day. It’s true. Though I may immediately end up stepping in dog shit when my feet hit the floor, at least from the moment I wake, I tell myself ‘she’s gonna to be a great day!'

Yesterday wasn’t quite as dramatic as the picture I’ve just painted but it wasn’t great.

Because the cottage is so close to the shoreline, the morn proved exceptionally damp and cold. So much so that I had to put a fire on in the woodstove before I sat at my desk. As I was whining via text about my dismal situation at hand, I was jokingly asked to “try and avoid suicide.” Though reading the snippet made me laugh, it literally had me snap into shape. Isn’t it interesting how certain words put stupid silliness into perspective?

Once again... I cheerfully greeted my day!
TAKEN: AUGUST 6th, 2015
Knowing it was dropping down to a balmy 11C last night, I closed all the windows in an effort to contain what heat I had generated.

When I woke & greeted this new day, there was a fog over the water telling me the water was warmer than the air. I pushed the button on the coffee maker and immediately moved my workstation out to the deck.

"No need to be inside, when you can be outside” my father always use to say.

Truth? The thought of sharing my waterfront office this morning never crossed my mind until I realized just how lucky I really am.

'...Livin' the dream' so to speak.

A dream that DID NOT require my cherished fuzzy socks today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


It’s unseasonably cold, as well as pouring rain outside here this afternoon. As I’ve mentioned before, because I’m living at the cottage and using my Blackberry as my only internet source, there are certain times of day that tend to tether best. Suffice is to say that by the time 3pm rolls around, I am borderline desperate to change gears.

The only minor downside to stopping early, is that there really are no rainy day amenities here. No satellite dish nor Netflixs to stream, just a bunch of well watched DVD’s and boxes filled with VHS tapes the kids use to watch when they were little. I have loads of books but I’ve read them all and the dogs hate board games. As I listen to the loud rain ping the steel roof above, I can feel myself brooding inside.

Why so glum? Well, as I officially transition, I’ve carefully selected the long term projects I am keeping and chosen which other consulting items have to go. As I slowly get my ducks in a row, I am finding myself a tad overwhelmed. Fold in my innate fear of the unknown and this afternoon has me questioning my decision to spend the next month here alone.

Just like with my Annie... Some things are easier said than done.
TAKEN: AUGUST 3rd, 2015
That said, as I confidentially wrap a blanket around myself to stay cozy, I truly feel that if I can simply stay focused and keep my eye on the ball everything will be okay.

Believe it or not, I use to give that advice to my clients/employers all the time. 

“Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing," I'd always say.  "The data doesn't lie.” 

“As soon as you turn your head to look at what others are doing, you lose your lead!”

As I hear myself typing and saying those words out loud, I'm feeling a little of the latter in my personal life. I have so much complete and total garbled bullshit noise happening around me that I’m worried I am losing my focus on what matters most; which is not even remotely an option.

So it’s official. I’m not going to turn my head and I am going to block out all the garbled noise of inconsistency, panic, unnecessary drama and overzealous demands. I am simply just going to keep my eye on the ball and knock it the hell outta the park.

Glass half full? Maybe the Jays will draft me!!

As the sun is now out and the sky is also clear…Thanks for listening.