Thursday, August 30, 2018


It was three years ago this month that a long-time acquaintance took a total leap of faith with this cat and decided to let me carpool with her. Though we’d known the other for over twenty years, our interactions for the decade previous were completely selfish on my part; with my continually tapping into her wealth of compliance knowledge within the construction industry.

As luck would have it, our new found arrangement and getting into the groove of really knowing the other once again, was like riding a bike. That twenty minute daily commute didn’t take us long to realize we had more in common than we could possibly imagine. 

From the get go, our morning routine ranged from both of us yelling at incompetent drivers, to one convincing the other that a death wish drive-thru breakfast sandwich would never in a million years harden our arteries. For forty minutes a day, we quickly and very easily morphed into Thelma & Louise.

As an unexpected bonding bonus, last summer I was ecstatic when she invited me to join in her yoga classes at the local community centre that were geared specifically to municipal employees. Once again, she had taken me under her wing, and willingly toured me around the dance floor.

Our last practice with Ashley this summer.
TAKEN: AUGUST 30th, 2018

Well, it is with a heavy heart that I realized tonight the reality that my SweeneyMeister is retiring at the end of this year. I swear it wasn't until tonight, and the brutal realization that it was her last practice with the lady that made her fall in love with yoga, that the alarm bells went off.

Knowing the great respect she and Ashley have for each other, I felt the need to capture tonight for prosperity. Though I did take a picture of my favourite three at the end of our practice, I will admit  that I like this one the best.

It solidifies, without a doubt, that not only is my my quirky carpool sidekick very serious about yoga.... but that she also makes sure she saves my spot.

I love you my friend. I truly believe we were always meant to reconnect.


Sunday, August 26, 2018


I don’t think I've ever shared this here, but I arrange/prepare/serve lunch every Friday for the core team that works from our main office. My boss started the tradition over a decade ago, with the thought process being that if everyone worked through lunch at their desks Monday to Thursday, the Friday eats would be on him. So, when I joined the company in 2015 I was glad to sit on the lunch committee; which has since evolved to primarily being me.

Anyway, last Friday I went to the local butcher mid-morning to pick up what I was going to BBQ. When I stepped to the counter to pay, I noticed the person beside me was an acquaintance I've known for about fifteen years. In 2014, he opened his own business and hired me as a feasibility consultant for a not for profit project he was involved in. He never paid me what I was owed, instead he kept the money for himself.

Bad debt story aside, when he asked a generic question about my order and I didn’t reply, out of the corner of my eye I saw him turn toward me. Low and behold he was excited to see me. His arms opened wide to greet me, his face lit up, and then with great animation he said… “Well, look who it is!”

“You look great," he continued.  "Is life treating you well?”

Without turning my head to make eye contact, I gave a swift one word answer: ‘very’. (In that life's treating me very well.) To which I proceeded to ask the lovely clerk how much I owed her. Realizing my opinion of him hadn't changed, he simply offered me to have a nice day and went on his way.

Just so we're clear, my reaction wasn't because I’m bitter. The emotion of dealing with him left me years ago when I chose not to take him to small claims court. The point of my post is that in any moments like those, I feel it more important to put forth an honest energy, rather than engaging the other & acting fake.

Let's face it, it wouldn't have done any good to lead this person to believe that anything had changed simply because we’d bumped into each other at the butcher counter. I truly wish him nothing but great success. He’s a very nice person. Just not an ethical business person in my books.

Which brings us around to another basic Rhondi Rule:
My personal life experience is that being honest & true to yourself may not generate a plethora of "friends". But what is will do, is most certainly have you surrounded with the ones you can count on... that ultimately, you know you can trust.

Oh, on the 411? The Morley Burgers that were BBQ'd last Friday were DEEEElicious.

Thanks for asking!

I will take the company of a good book over fake friends... any day.
TAKEN: JULY 8th, 2017

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


I miss ya Super Dave... Until we meet again!

Many moons ago, I remember my boss telling me a story of when he would do accounting audits. He reminisced of how would walk into a place of business (confident, whilst full of business) always packing his must have staples in his briefcase: a pad of paper, his favourite pen, and a couple of really great books.

Upon arrival, when asked where/how he wanted to start, all he ever requested was a quiet space and possibly a door without a window. I distinctly remember him telling me that he could tell within 15 minutes of being put in said office,  based on their body language & behaviour, the exact level of detail that they needed to be audited. Which correlated his two synergies perfectly... A door that needed to be knocked upon, and really great books!

I am sharing that tidbit because this week's reminded me of a couple of really important things. I may not be a rocket scientist, yet I have a keen intellect about people and what makes them tick. Just like my dear buddy Dave, I always watch for the tells that always tell the truth.

Circa 2007, I had assistant that had an issue with a certain ethnicity. I wouldn’t call her a racist per se, because her only vague preconceived notion was that those hired didn't want to serve her at a level she felt she deserved.  

One day, I decided to show her what positive energy looked like. She went to the counter, ordered her coffee, turned back toward me and rolled her eyes. I looked her straight in the eye and said, ‘I need you to watch this….’. 

I automatically greeted the same person that she had deemed disappointing with a smile. I called her by the name on her name tag, which made another girl rally to help her. Without missing a beat, I thanked them both, which led to a third looking to see if I needed anything else. Every single person presented me with a smile and energy that matched mine. I left as a happy customer.

Walking away from the counter, I turned to my assistant and reminded her that any relationship or  interaction's always a two way street. ‘You get the energy back that you give out,’ I said.... We never spoke of the occasion again.

Why all the life lesson reminiscing? 

I got steamrolled by what I would classify as a perfect stranger this week. Completely and totally blindsided by someone that I know was simply mimicking how they thought they should behave. Though I disclosed in the moment that I was really uncomfortable, after the fact I reflected about Super Dave and his books…. And a gal that has gone on to be very successful, embracing positive energy.

The moral of my story? As cliché as it reads?

…You truly never really do get a second chance at first impression.

No matter how much you try to back-peddle after the fact!

Monday, August 13, 2018


My breaking the news we are staying in town.
TAKEN: AUGUST 10th, 2018
After a really great weather weekend in Muskoka, I am in the process of working toward getting my pups off suicide watch, as I've moved back into town with them for the week.

You see, with my commitment to doing yoga twice a week (and the days getting shorter) this last round of heat last week made it apparent that I have lost my stride. Time to re-calibrate on all levels and get some much needed deep and uninterrupted sleep.

I know it may sound exciting to own a home and a cottage that are a fifteen minute drive apart, and 90% of the time it is. The other 10% of the time you worry how you’ll get the lawn at home mowed, floors washed, not to mention the very large doghouse properly cleaned that three very hairy canines rule from Monday to Friday. For me, the latter is nerve-wracking and a burden.

I honestly make lists to find an ease to the order but it never fails, items are missed and unexpected things take priority which frustrates me to no end. If I am being honest, I don’t think my frustration is due to being unorganized, more because I am a tad embarrassed to admit that the happiness of three dogs rule my day to day life.

At the end of it all, they are like any over stimulated toddler. The more they get, the more they want. Hell, isn’t that the rule of thumb for most greedy people in your life? You will always have givers and takers, the hardest part in finding a balance that works.

Could that be why I love yoga so much… because it offers balance?

That, and the fact that there's no dog hair to be found?

Peeps, that right thar is gosh darn truth!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Last Thursday I had a planned lunch date with someone I hadn’t seen face to face since May of 2017. Unfortunately, we discovered the night before there was a calendar conflict,  so the easiest thing to do was reschedule for this coming Friday.

My first world problem was I wanted to surprise him with how I'd grown my curly hair to the middle of my back. Not because he'd give a shit, but because there is always a bit of a tell when you haven’t seen someone for an extended period of time. And for me, I knew the length of my hair would've been a bit of  jaw dropper.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not vanity on my part, more a sense of personal pride.  From the time I was a young girl, my mother kept my hair cut short for the ease of getting me to school in the morning. Then, as I entered my teen years, I didn’t have the knowledge nor understanding on how to manage naturally curly hair, so as it grew out, the frizz always outweighed the future fashion potential of it all. That, combined with a barely there A cup, I ended high school looking like a boy that was trying too hard.

Well, thanks to the internet and a kick-ass hairstylist, I figured it out. It was expensive in the beginning but I justified the expense by telling myself I was worth it. As I aged and truly understood how one treats grey hair, I took the matters of the management of it into my own hands and the very large bills disappeared.

Hair's looking great. Shame about the face!
TAKEN: August 2nd & 7th, 2018
So here you have it. A picture of the longest my hair had been in I don’t know how many years, and me headed to work yesterday shortly after 7am, with uber curly hair!

The dead nuts honest truth is the 99.9% of the time I'm away from work or alone, my hair is either up and off my face, in need of some root touch up, or simply a dogs' freakin’ breakfast. So much so that when I landed for my cut Friday lunch I was wearing a Taylor Made ball cap & looked like a super serious paper bag hag.

Glass half full? She made me look and feel beautiful for my trek into Toronto, and I have told her that I will always pay her serious money to never allow anyone to see what I look like when I land at her shop.

How serious am I? When my buddy Barbie spied me up in Instagram at the concert she asked, ‘when are you gonna start aging like the rest of us?”

My response... “Hopefully, never!”

Which is partially thanks to the hush money I will always pay my hairdresser!

Monday, August 6, 2018


Downtown Toronto...
TAKEN: AUGUST 3rd, 2018
Do you ever make plans, then as the date draws near, drag your feet because you know getting there and back home will be nothing but a great big fat pain in the ass? Well, that was me last Friday.

I was ecstatic in March when my boss gifted me two tickets to see my very favorite performer, Bryan Adams and his Ultimate Love tour in Toronto.  So excited, that when I got home that night, I headed over to Expedia to book my room.

Suffice is to say that shock ensued at the rates coming through. The best deal I could land was on The Esplanade for just shy of four hundred bucks for the night (and that’s because I paid upfront and bit the bullet for it to be non-refundable)!

Ready for my trek and right on schedule, I left Muskoka shortly after lunch, yet getting into the heart of the city was nothing like I'd ever experienced before. As I checked into my hotel, the young lad serving me asked if I was downtown to see Taylor Swift at the Rogers Centre?

Bryan Adams at the ScotiaBank Arena, Taylor Swift at the Dome AND Caribana on for the weekend instantly explained why the best deal I could get on a room (almost six months prior) was more than double their standard price.

As expected, the concert was the most amazing I have seen to date. The last time I’d attended one of his offerings was in spring 2012 (and I immediately wanted to jump a plane to Winnipeg for a do-over). This show put that one to shame. From start to finish, I kept feeling the need to pinch myself to prove I was actually in the moment.

As the show wrapped and I wandered into the streets the energy was over the top. Tens of thousands of us just embracing another fantastic moment that Toronto has been made famous for. You felt safe and realized you're just one person bringing positive personal energy for Toronto to stay strong.

As I sit and sip my coffee this morn, I must admit that right before leaving town I purchased the piece of costume jewelry I am wearing. It seemed the perfect accessory, as I headed into the city with my heart on a string for my ultimate love.

Three days later, I know I had a great time because my voice hasn't returned from all the singing & screaming that ensued Friday night. Voice or no voice, this past weekend will most definitely be filed in my very special bright green file folder marked...

'Memories of a lifetime.'