Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Well, it’s that time of year again. When I crate up the crap from the previous business year and haul it out to the garage. I have a teeny section out there dedicated to what’s left of my consulting business and I go through what’s there a couple of times a year to ensure I’m not hanging onto anything I don’t absolutely need. You see, I am anything but a pack-rat. 

Anyway, by the time I was done this morn, my desk was cleared, and the hanging folders housed in my drawers were pretty much sparse. The last thing I had to do before I could cross the completed task off my list, was tend to my dried office flowers. Those I deal with weekly, and have been doing so for about five years.

...I love you Don-igan!
(TAKEN: DECEMBER 29th, 2015)
It was the spring of 2011 and a co-worker (with a prize winning green thumb) brought them in as a gift.

I wasn’t surprised by his generosity, rather more accurately moved by the beauty of what he'd been able to nurture and grow. 

I remember that they were bright white and smelled amazing. I recall asking what type of flower they were but as quickly as I asked, I had forgotten the name. When they dried, I brought them home. To this very day, I still have them. 

Matter a fact, I am pleased to report that they aren't the only thing I still have: I still have both of them. The wonderful flowers that were gifted to me on that beautiful spring day, as well as my friendship with the gentleman that so generously gave them to me. 

Both are the only things I truly cherish from that specific journey and time in my life. I am so glad that that ours will be a friendship forever in bloom. So, here's to an amazing 2016 for both of us...

Lord knows, there's a boatload of people that understand we've definitely earned it!

Sunday, December 27, 2015


When a coworker asked me what I was looking most forward to about the holidays this year, I gave her a very honest answer. It's not the food and reactionary weight gain that automatically occurs, because lets face it, I was heavier than I like to be in August so an extra splash of gravy behind my ears made no matter. With our children grown and having their own busy lives/traditions, I've finally conditioned myself to that. Shopping? Nope. Because I do very little (and I gifted mine to myself on Boxing Day). I told her that was so looking forward to the lights that shine bright on the tree. 

Getting to watch the lights at night is only reason I even put a tree up this year. Since I was a kid, they've always mesmerized me with their beauty. When I came downstairs this morning, I was going to take the ‘holiday tree’ down, yet decided to enjoy the lights at night a smidgen longer. As you can see by the photo I am sharing, other than a star on top, there wasn't a single decoration on my tree this year, only lights.

Thank goodness my amazing poinsettia hides my lack of decorations!
(TAKEN: DECEMBER 24th, 2015)
That’s because when I finally forced myself to put up the thing up a week and a half before the eve, I went to work the following morn and left the box of decorations on the  living room floor. 

Suffice is the say the dogs puked and shat their spirit all over the house, which had me not bother to finish the task. Didn’t matter to me though, because as I said, the lights are my very favourite thing.

As you know, 2015 has been a year of personal change for me. I guess that’s why I shouldn’t be remotely surprised that the holiday season unfolded in the same manner. As one of my very favourite Facebook friends headed down the east coast to celebrate the season, I honestly wished that I could have been a Thelma to her Louise. Even sitting here now, I know that I am going to work towards renting a beach house for two weeks and taking my dogs to the ocean for 2016 Festivus.

You see, as my girlfriend and I exchanged niceties Christmas morning, she posted this message. 'Merry Christmas Rhondi. All these years I've seen your winter trip pictures and wondered why. Now I get it. There's nothing like spending the entire morning walking on the beach wishing people Merry Christmas.'

I couldn't have said it better myself.... The only thing she's forgotten?

How pretty the Christmas lights are with the sound of the ocean as their background!

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I had a great time Friday at our afternoon company luncheon, so I started my little bit of holiday shopping Friday night. Then, when I woke up yesterday morn, I opened up some very specific dialogue with my husband, that I feel the need to reiterate every single holiday season. “Please don’t buy me anything,” I said

We've never really exchanged gifts, yet I was sensing he was feeling obligated to put something under the tree for me. The truth of the matter is that it’s not a bah-humbug thing, I simply don’t need nor want anything. What I want, I have. If I don’t have it, it’s probably because I don’t want it.

As parents, we’ve never put a material emphasis on this time of year but our kids are human and tend to get wrapped up in idea of it all (no pun intended). As a result, I do what most do. I buy far too much wrapping paper and tape, then say that I'll save it until next year - which I never do!

Anyway, with all of us working until at least noon Christmas Eve, this past weekend was literally our last chance to get what shopping done that we needed to do. I have always shopped locally, so I knew there would be no big shopping mall crowds to tend with, just the challenge of hiding what was purchased... As the four of the five of us that were together, were totally guilty of last minute shopping.

The Corner Cabinet in Bracebridge ROCKS!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 19th, 2015 
That said, before I started shopping for my family yesterday morn, I had to hunt and find a very personal gift for a special someone in my life. 

I’ve known them professionally since 2008, yet none of my holiday shopping buddies know them personally. All they know, is what they’ve heard me share of them. 

When I explained my challenge, I was truly amazed how they all helped me in my quest for the perfect gift. Schlepping from store to store, in a blizzard no less. Not gonna lie, it made the perfect purchase that much more personal. Makes no matter that the person receiving our effort's the epitome of  'someone that has everything', I know they'll hug me with sincerity and appreciate the sentiment.

So, with my shopping done & Sirius cranked on the oldies Christmas tune station, I type. 

I am so pleased to report that the only gray in my life this season is the colour of my hair, yet I still feel the same way about Christmas that I always have.

Unless there's a trip around the world under the tree for me... Hold onto your cash!

Monday, December 14, 2015


I had to zoom into the cottage the Sunday before I left for my trip to pick up a few things I was missing. A couple of them were personal items but more importantly, I’d discovered I left a large media storage card behind that is dedicated to one of my favourite cameras.

As I sat and sipped my hot cup of coffee this past Saturday morning, I decided to take a boo at what I'd transferred off my card before I left. Much to my surprise, I found a folder with a series of pictures I had taken outdoors during one of the last summer downpours I endured. The last pic discovered in the folder was the one I’m sharing now (if you look closely, you can see the raindrops that remained on my lens after entering the cottage).

Came in from the storm and there she was... Proud as a Peacock!
TAKEN: AUGUST 11th, 2015
As you know, I am a “...I'll proudly own a Blackberry phone until the company officially..." fill in the blank, kinda Canadian.

What can I say, I love my Q10 and its very sexy buttons. The sound of them clicking at the speed of light, is like music to my ears.

That said, I’ve never considered myself a technology follower, yet I would be lying if I said I hadn't looked at other products on the dark side.

I may have looked but I've never truly entertained abandoning my best friend. I guess the truth of the matter is, I know I never will. Like I said, my Blackberry has always kept me totally satisfied; that was, until I decided to take my latest BFF on a late night November swim.

Yup, since she went swimming with me, she's really been hurting. From the morning after I bailed us us out of that frigid Muskoka water, she can’t hold a charge like she use to. To magnify her woes, this past weekend a tell tale sign that the end is near appeared; she was officially unrecognizable by any USB port I tried to connect her with. Now, I don’t know about you, but when one gravitates to and financially supports a company whos name is RIM, any/all USB port insertion & connection most definitely become critical for personal user satisfaction!

As I look to pull her SIM card and trade her in on a new Blackberry PRIV, I can only hope she's been as happy with me, as I have been with with her. Here's hoping that during that last summer storm, her USB connection threw her a little extra jolt and tiny power surge of satisfaction. On second though, nix that somewhat playful and sexy thought.

...I'm sure Ontario Hydro wouldn't be able to deliver that right either!!

Friday, December 11, 2015


As you know, I returned to work the first of the week after a really great trip to Mexico. As I finished packing my suitcase at the resort last Sunday afternoon, I admitted something to my husband that took him a little off guard. "I'm excited to get home and get back to work," I said.

The truth of the matter is, that until this past vacation, I have always hopped a plane feeling frazzled and returned more anxious than when I left. Not because I am incompetent, rather, in 99.9% of any work environments that I have worked, I've been very hard pressed to find a core group of coworkers that haven't had their own agenda.

The honest reality is, until I started my current job last September, I'd never experienced working with a true team. Don't get me wrong, I have worked for employers that pontificate they embody a 'team philosophy'; yet in all my years in the workplace, this is the only employer that personally sets the tone and follows through.

Meet Masterchef Mikey-Mike...
Always providing amazing internal customer service!
Even though the company may be one of the largest employers in the district, our specific group is quite small. All hardwired to go that extra mile, we work through our lunch most every single day. When I joined, I was pleasantly surprised that (as a team) they strive to eat their lunch together every Friday noon.

Why? It not only officially gives everyone a chance to catch up, it gives us all a chance to laugh as a group, which as you know I always deem... 'the best medicine'.

Okay, so here comes the point of my post. When I snapped Mikey's pic serving lunch today, my core thought was that my post was going to be about our odd ability to BBQ and suntan at work (in Muskoka) in December.

Then, after we scoffed down our food, I headed to my desk and looked up a personal tidbit. I surprisingly discovered via my blog, that today marks exactly 2 years since I handed in my letter of resignation and keys for what I'd previously referred to as my "Dream Job".

When I clicked on my post titled "Christmas Came Early For This Cat"... My reaction wasn't what it had been in the past; which was that I missed and longed for those days to come back. It was simply... HOLY BOATLOAD OF PRECIPITATION BATMAN... LOOK AT ALL THE SNOW!

I guess time, and really amazing internal customer service, truly does heal everything.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


I’ve been lucky enough over my lifetime thus far, to have had a plethora of travel experiences. I have seen my homeland coast to coast; rented beachfront homes, high rise condos, as well as embraced some amazing resort living. All have offered great memories, so I really don’t rank one above the other on my preference scale. The way I see it, all have happened for a reason, at a certain point and time in my life.

When I started seriously looking at Cobo San Lucas as a resort destination, even my travel agent warned me that there was no swimming in the Sea of Cortez because of the undertow. Once I landed on the bus to the resort late last Sunday night, that specific point was once again reiterated. 

Do YOU always do what you're told?!
“DO NOT swim in front of the resort, unless you want to end up in Mazatlan," they said.

“DO NOT buy any silver on the beach, unless you want to give it to someone that you really don’t like” was the next point.

And, "NEVER go into Town when the cruise ships are in Port”... was definitely the loudest warning of all!

I don't know about you, but as a grown adult I've never done anything I don't want to do. I didn't buy any silver simply because someone told me not to, I didn't buy any silver because I didn't have a need, nor a desire to do so.

As far as swimming goes, there are flags everywhere and watching the tide is definitely a key. That said, some of the stuff I have seen this week is mind boggling - so the warning truly has a place. Also, though I say that never is not in my vocabulary, when I traveled to Lands End to dip my toes in the Pacific for the very first time, it took all I had to keep my footing in place and NOT end up in Mazatlan!!

That leaves me with the cruise ships. How they navigate the bay is truly something to see. The people head off the ship for the same reason that I walked into town. To embrace the culture and beauty that surrounds them. I guess I just feel blessed to have stayed 7 days, where they got to stayed a mire 7 hours!

At the end of the day.... I'll never say, that I'll never return again!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I’ve blogged it before and I’ll blog it again, I am not a very worldly person.

Like most with an active imagination, can close my eyes and see myself basking on a yacht in Greece but at the end of the day, my boat that floats and a set of ear buds take me just about as far away as I need be. My understanding of the difference between want and need, followed by a somewhat limited amount of disposable income, has always kept me very well grounded. The other side of that coin is, having my feet firmly planted, gives me just enough curiosity to want to live a little on the vacation edge.

My room with a view!
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 30th, 2015
Speaking of  'vacation edge', I posted a new cover pic on my personal FB page (I've attached a link here)... I took it at dusk on the second night I was here in Cabo.

I had to scootch my ass out a 30" window & shimmy 25ft, across a 4th storey wall to get it done.

You see, that specific view belongs to the elite staying at the resort. You know, those girls I met from California that paid $300 USD for a cab into town. My view is the one I am posting. I love it and feel it provides me with all the luxury I need. (Not to mention, the added bonus of tossing down cans of beer to the fellas hauling the huge bins of towels, uphill, to the laundry; as well as watching & listening to the horses that move tourists up and down the beach.)

For what it's worth, I have always been of the opinion that individual wealth is relative. The challenging  part for me has always been, because they've attained or inherited it, they feel they are better than others. I suppose I can process that ideology, yet I struggle to understand it. Especially in a place like this, where people travel to relax, then insistently complain about small silly shit!

For this cat, as I walked into town yesterday, I realized one thing better than the majority of the peeps that are here.

...I am definitely richer than most think!