Friday, December 31, 2021


There is so much emotion attached to the last year that I truly don’t know where to start.

Personally, I decided I would no longer surround myself with people that didn’t have the same core philosophies as yours truly, cleansing myself of a mountain of stress and unnecessary drama. 

Professionally, I decided that health of loved ones and home life happiness trumped making ungrateful employers’ gobs of money without thanks. Who knew that at my age I could still grow a pair? Guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!!

All the best for 2022 everyone. Remember to keep your hands and feet in the ride at all times.

Cheers from Rhondi

Most significant moment (centre): Merry Christmas! My husband and his sister were both given a clean bill of health. What an amazing way to end the year that lasted a century.

Top left to right:

January: Knowing that travel wouldn’t be an option, we decided in the new year to keep the cottage deck cleared of snow so that we could spend weekends there during the winter.

February: Back in lockdown and only interacting with our exclusive bubble, we enjoy an amazing dinner and bonfire to celebrate Jukebox’s birthday.

March: With my husband being fast tracked for surgery, we received our first shot.

April: Rebuilding cottage decks and illustrating the crap we found – including a kitchen sink that had been buried for decades.

May: After we had a new roof installed, we spent the weekend repairing and staining the exterior of our home.

June: Born April 9th, 2021, we brought home the lovely Miya Maria on June 9th (my Dad’s birthday) 2021.

July: After a 7-year hiatus, Goob got me back on the golf links on Sunday afternoons. I had no idea how much I had truly missed it.

August: Stella, our floating picnic table became the go to pup activity (and official conversation piece) on Orillia Lake.

September: I snapped this photo moments before my husband went in to have his life changing surgery.

October: Just eighteen days post op and we attended the beautiful wedding of my husbands brother and his new bride.

November: Mid way though our three-month break, we found a beautiful bouquet of the Petro Canada glasses I collect. Words can't express how I still get excited to find them.

December: Life is good. Though I left my job in October, for the first time in my life I chose life balance over work life which has made a world of difference for us.

Friday, April 30, 2021


Jukebox, Goob, and Sweetie on Huckleberry Rock.

From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 30th, 2020

ZAP... Just like that, the month of April is over!

Having paid homage to the twenty six letters of the alphabet in the last thirty days, my 8th annual A-Z Blogging Challenge is officially complete. As expected, as every year previous, I truly struggled with the last four letters. 

As my readers know, this year has been exceptionally difficult for me to stay focused from a daily post/timeline perspective which is why I’ve played catch up from the start. 

Seriously, with what’s happening around us with Covid-19, I was asked to do an above average amount of website optimization, social media training, and freelance copy writing. Some nights in the last month, I’d still be sitting at my home office desk at 11pm; writing for a purpose.

That said, the other side of this crazy Covid coin is that we lost 3 family members in as many weeks. 

None of us able to pay our respects. None of us able to grieve those wonderful lives lived. Instead, we had to look to each other via Facebook and text messages to process what’s to be considered the new normal? 

Anyway, last week on the local radio station a listener was asked, ‘what’s the first thing you’re going to do when social distancing relaxes?’  Their response was, ‘hug my mother.’

Do you know what am I going to do when we can move freely? Beg my grown children to take a much needed break with us.

With two of my three working as important front line workers (that also live with front line workers) and the third an asthmatic that lives with a front line worker, they will all need and deserve some well deserved TLC.

As I officially finish my 2020 challenge, I ask that everyone hang in there and always remember to be kind and considerate. None of us have a GPS to offer direction for what is happening right now. 

Never lose sight of that.

Thanks again for reading.

Thursday, April 29, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 29th, 2013

Oh, the double edged sword. 

I’m the first to admit you can never go back; but if you could, what’s the one thing that you would change? 

I realize it’s an unrealistic question but deep down inside, I would be surprised if you said absolutely nothing.

April 29th, 2013 - YESTERDAY
Taken: April 1977
If I was being completely honest with myself, there are a few things in the last thirty plus years I would have done differently. Some apply to my immediate family, some apply to me intimately as a person, and some even apply to my married life.

I have spent my entire life as a driving force for everyone else; fiercely competitive with a core focus on progress and success. 

As a person never wanting to stop moving forward, I can’t believe that in this very moment I am thinking about what could have been.

It’s not because I am feeling especially reflective, it's just the word itself planted the seed. As soon as I chose 'yesterday', my imagination literally ran. 

My childhood, sports, teen years, discipline, marriage, small children, grown children, career. The reaction was swift. 

That said, I am going to go there just the same. 

If I could venture to any given yesterday, what's the one thing I would change? 

It's more of a wish really.

I simply I would have been free to be ME.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 28th, 2018

I would be remiss if I didn't pay homage to the x-ceptional relationship I have with my daughter!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Spit polished, loaded up, and ready to GO!
TAKEN: APRIL 16th, 2016

From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 27th, 2016

The weekend before last I did what any avid golfer does in the spring. I hauled my babies out of the laundry room, took their protective gear off and gave them an exclusive spa treatment. 

What can I say, I love this time of year. For me, it tells me to put away my snowshoes, gather with friends, hit the snot out of a little ball & swear a lot. I'm kidding; I really only ever swear a little!

I'm not a great golfer but I love to golf. The sad truth is that I never got in a single round last year. It was a very transitional spring for me and I lived at the cottage all summer. I find I'm in a different mind space when I live at the cottage full time. My chair on the dock rides shotgun and my golf clubs tend to occupy the backseat. 

Well, with me working full time again, I am excited to get back to my Friday night ritual of walking 9 holes. Not only because it helps me decompress from the week I've had, walking gives me the much needed workout I crave from having a desk job.

I understand the sport isn't for everyone. It's usually something you either love or hate. I was asked by an engineer at work the other day why I'm so drawn into the sport and I think he was surprised at my response. 

"Golf is one the rare sports in which you truly compete against yourself," I said.

"When I run into someone that cheats at golf," I continued, "I know I've met someone that doesn't hold themselves accountable but more importantly, they're not being honest with themselves about their surroundings."

Some would say those words seem full of wisdom. 

Guess it depends how you play golf!

Sunday, April 25, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 26th, 2016

I know I've written here before that I remember the first time I fell in love with the music of The Eagles. 

It was 1976 and if I close my eyes I can see my oldest brother setting the needle down on his new turntable to hear Hotel California for the very first time. If I focus on that moment, we were in his room. I can see his bright yellow t-shirt and he simply dropped the needle. The rest is history.

I think I have been very fortunate to have had a mother that embraced vinyl, as well as to have lived within a generation where some of the best music of all time was produced. 

My mother was extremely proud of her collection of 78's and 33 1/3 albums. Yours, truly?  At best, I was always glued to a sparse 45rpm budget. One at a time with big breaks in between purchases. 

As I got older, my money went toward the purchase of a Walkman and the trusty cassette tape, then its CD compatible counterpart, eventually graduating to downloading. 

Yes, I also have a satellite radio subscription and a kick ass pair of computer speakers should I like to watch and listen on YouTube BUT...

The honest truth is that vinyl owned my childhood and my will always have my heart.

We've just acquired more than 600 vintage vinyl records. It's going to be a GREAT summer!

Saturday, April 24, 2021


Happy 10th Anniversary Mikey Mike!
Taken: April 2017 

From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 24th, 2017

As I have said before, I don't like to be surprised. Yet for some strange reason, I love surprising people. 

I'm sure it has something to do with the unexpected look on their face, which is kind of funny really, because that's one of the reasons why I hate being surprised!

Anyway, my most recent coo was when a good friend and coworker hit their 10 year work anniversary milestone. With everyone gathered in the conference room, out of the blue, I busted out a cake.

It may not seem like much but this fella is never one to get the props he due and he was so caught off guard that when I handed him the cake he almost dropped it. Even funnier is that because we can tend to be a couple of pranksters, when I went to take our selfie, he held the cake away from himself for fear that I would put his face in it.

Though I have only been with the company for a couple of years (Click here to read: Mikey Mike & The Funky Lunch) I have been work friends with young Mike since 2010. The one thing I will admit is that the only thing that isn't unexpected about my post is that everyone knows I think this fella is a keeper. 

Happy Anniversary buddy... Here's to 10 more! 

Friday, April 23, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 23rd, 2015

As my daughter returned home to us today, I thought the quote below fitting when trying to understand the timing in ones life. 

I know for a fact that these very wise words will resonate with so many in my life: both past and present, near and far. 

May my timing find each and every one of you healthy & happy. 
~ Your friend, Rhondi

“Sometimes the best and worst times of your life can coincide. It is a talent of the soul to discover the joy in pain - thinking of moments you long for, and knowing you’ll never have them again. The beautiful ghosts of our past haunt us, and yet we still can’t decide if the pain they caused us outweighs the tender moments when they touched our soul. This is the irony of love.”           
                                                                                                                         ~ Shannon L. Alder

My Sweetie and me... Never to focus on the past. It's not the direction we're going.
TAKEN: MARCH 11th, 2012

Thursday, April 22, 2021


My Sweetie and me enjoying a Cafe de Monde beignets in the French Quarter, NOLA.
TAKEN: MAY 30th, 2019

From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 22nd, 2020

It was five years ago this week that my Sweetie moved home from Calgary. It pains me to remember just how emotionally spent and somewhat broken she was when we picked her up at the airport. 

She’d invested her trust and love to a person that was not only mentally unstable but extremely abusive. As silly as this may read, as a mother, the first telltale sign for me how lost she was, was that she’d dyed her beautiful long curly hair jet black.

Five years later, she's working hard at a full time job, made some exciting new friendships, not to mention nurtured and re-established solid friendships she’d left behind. More importantly, she's finally let certain people go. Those that have ultimately lied and betrayed her over and over again.

So many things come to mind for me when I look at the picture but first and foremost it tells me just how far my daughter has come. The quite, teary mouse, that returned home, has now reverted in the firecracker we know and love. 

Though there are (and probably always will be) scars, I think she realizes that her future is much brighter than the darkness that surrounded us five years ago.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 21st, 2016

My heart is heavy and my eyes are damp with the news that Prince left us this morning. 

As most of you know, I have a serious relationship with music and Prince Rogers Nelson has been on this amazing journey with me the since the very first time I heard Little Red Corvette.

Allow me to clarify. By the time I left for college, he’d made the movie Purple Rain and he had hit the road touring. When I was going to school in Hamilton, he landed at Maple Leaf Gardens (December 2nd, 1984). It was a very low budget deal, sound was poor, yet his talent and stage presence told everyone that night that he was born to be a rock star. He proved all of us right!

Prince at the ACC. SECTION 107 ~ ROW 16
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 25th, 2011
I am a firm believer that some things are meant to be. For me, it was a hankering to reignite the aforementioned concert experience of my youth. 

It was November 25th, 2011 and I had just taken my grown son for a nice dinner in downtown Toronto. 

Once we hailed a cab, I instructed the cabbie to head to the Air Canada Centre. Goob questioned the fact that we didn’t have tickets but I had a mitt full of cash and I was on a mission.

As I write, I just can't explain how glad I am that I made that impulse purchase to see him again in 2011 with my son. It was truly amazing. 

My most vivid memory? 

When he began to play Purple Rain. From the first strum of his guitar, the ACC began to rain purple tissue paper. Immediately following that, my eyes filled with tears. It was absolutely moving; the sound, the visual progression, his vibe.

I think Eric Clapton said it best. When he was asked, what does it feel like to be the greatest guitar player on the planet? 

His response: "I don't know - you would have to ask Prince."

Thanks Prince. You may be gone… but you will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


My quest for a greater QUANTITY continues
TAKEN: APRIL 17th, 2018

From the April -Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 20th, 2018

One of our employees walked into my office on Tuesday morning with a list of specific work related questions for me.

Mid conversation, he noticed one of the glasses I collect next to my monitor that an architect had delivered to me. It was neat to observe his general curiosity as he asked, “is that one of them?” 

He then continued to tell me that he thought he had come across an older one on the job site he was working on (inside a garage we're going to tear down). So I asked that he snap a picture of it, and send it to me when he landed there later that morning. When his email arrived, my heart filled with love as I discovered another one was finding its way home.

Though she’s still in transit, I have to admit that this one looks like it has had a good run. I will say that my guess is that her previous owner used the dishwasher to keep her clean, which is why the paint is so worn.

I will admit that years ago when I began my collection I use to put them into the dishwasher as well, but it seemed they were meeting an quicker than normal death; so now I wash every single one used by hand.

Curious where I'm at in the quantity department with these beauties?

Last count was 126. This gals makes it 127, with no end in sight!

Monday, April 19, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives
This was originally posted April 19th, 2016

One of the field supervisors cheerfully wandered into my office this morning, and after we finished talking business, he asked how my recent trip to Mexico went. Though I quickly acknowledged it was amazing, I instantly pointed to my second computer monitor to show him the pic I am posting of where I am headed at the end of November.

I could tell by the look on his face that he was a tad surprised that I’d just gotten home and that I was already mentally packing my suitcase again. I explained that I’d come across renting this house  before we'd ever left for Sayulita and expanded on why (when it comes to life & travel) my timeline for adventure has a true sense of urgency.

“My mother passed away when she was 57,” I said, "...and it’s like I'm in a competition with myself to experience as many destinations as I can in the next few years; just in case.” He immediately nodded and told me that he understood.

The beachfront at our rental home in Elbow Cay, Abocos, Bahamas.
(Photo credit & rental heads up to my very good buddy JCW)

So, it’s official. The last week of November we’re heading to Elbow Cay, Abocos, Bahamas.  I really wanted to wait to decide, in hopes I could score a really great price on 10 days in Aruba (but it was my husbands turn to pick, so off we go).

I’d be lying if I wrote that my deep yearning to head to Aruba was just for the stamp in my passport. Though that’s definitely part of it, when I was young my parents always said 'when they took their first trip to an island paradise, they'd be walking on the white sands in Aruba.' Suffice is to say my mother was gone before they ever had the chance to take that trip.

Who knows, here's hoping I'll get to take them both with me in spirit next year.

Saturday, April 17, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 17th, 2014

Let’s just get the white elephant out of the room on this one. 

I wanted to choose orgasm, yet I didn’t register for adult content so I moved on. Opinionated was a close second, you all know I am so why bother. Orillia Lake is something I've already beaten to death: next? 

Outgoing, I am. Obese, I am not. Offensive, I try. Considered, once; “once was lost, now I'm found” ...Pffft, I’m blocked.

April 17th, 2014 - OPTIMISTIC
I am overwhelmed at work but who gives a crap? I don’t eat organic so that's pretty silly. 

Oh Henry? Oh My God? How about obedient? Don't answer that. BLOCKED!

The object of my affection? The occasional off colour joke? Well, it's never occasional, which leads me to obnoxious.

One-horse, one-sided, old, only, onward? Nope!

Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Officially blocked, I am optimistic one word will come to me by the end of the day. Who says "more isn't necessarily better... sometimes it's just more?" 

Oops. Obviously? That would be me!

Friday, April 16, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives
This was originally posted April 16th, 2013

In early May we are having a High School Reunion.

It is being planned in a rather unconventional way, which is via Facebook. There are three that have a vested interest in the event, but it is Tony’s (oldest & bestest long lost) buddy Doug that has been the driving force from the start.

April 16th, 2013 - NOSTALGIC
Taken: June 2012
The last time Tony saw Doug was 1987 and we were merely dating. We were in the city with another couple & spontaneously ran into Doug at an upscale shopping mall.

We partied until almost dawn.

I remember there was dancing involved, and arguing about who knew more about The Beatles. (Doug won!)

Flash forward: Doug and I add each other on Facebook. The next time he and his wife travel into Canada, we arrange to see one and other again. 

I can’t explain the emotion Tony and I felt when Doug and Amy walked down the stairs at our cottage. It was like time had literally stopped. Amy was instantly comfortable, and it was all very crazy familiar. 

Meant to be comes to mind. Watching Doug and Tony together, was like they’d seen each other a month earlier. They talked and talked and talked; I honestly believe that it was that weekend, that Doug knew he really wanted to come home again and see everyone, not just Tony.

You’ve done an amazing job planning this reunion Doug. So many people I run into are looking forward to seeing you (along others that haven’t been in town since graduation). Best part about this event? Thanks to the internet, everyone will feel like they were there, even if they aren't.

Thank you Facebook. We may be 30 years older, but we’re gonna party like we are NOT.

Here's hoping we can all stay awake past midnight!

Thursday, April 15, 2021


Celebrating the culture in South Beach with a Miami Mojito!
TAKEN: APRIL 10th, 2018

From the April A-Z Blogging archives

This was originally posted April 15th, 2018

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


From the A-Z Blogging archives
This was originally posted on April 14, 2013

From a very young age, I could find humour in anything. I wasn’t the class clown, but I wasn’t found hiding in the corner either. 

You know the old saying? “When you meet the one you’re going to marry, you’ll know.” I couldn’t agree more. Because from the very first date we went on, Tony made me laugh and I was smitten.

I am quick to admit that I really do have a pretty sick sense of humour, so for the most part, we've always had a home filled with sarcasm and laughter. Sunday dinners were always my favourite, because one of the five of us would be on the hot seat, in turn it was front row entertainment for us all.

April 14th, 2013 - LAUGHTER
Taken: April 2008
My son has a natural rhythm for delivering zingers. His wit is so sharp that you can’t see the joke coming until everyone around you is bent over with laughter.

My husband tries, so do I, but more often than not my children comment “Ooooh Mom… That was a Dad joke!” Which means I completely tanked in my effort. 

Doesn’t keep me from getting back on the horse. Never has, and it never will.

Kurt Vonnegut said “laughter and tears are both responses of frustration and exhaustion. I prefer to laugh because there is less cleaning up to do afterwards!” I couldn’t agree more. Except for when you make me laugh so hard I cry. Honestly? THAT is the very best cleanup this gal loves to experience.

Have a great day all, and remember to keep that frown turned upside down!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.

This was originally posted April 13th, 2020

I've been diligently following what's been happening with COVID-19 since Monday January 20th, when overnight I got a fever so high and  phlegm so thick, that I cried when my husband went to leave me at 6am to go to work.

I begged him not to leave me alone, I couldn't breathe and I have never been so sick. I discovered later, my teacher for the course I was taking in Downtown Toronto, whom had a cough in class, had been to China over the Christmas break.

At the advice of a well versed office colleague (I infected) we delayed booking my April birthday travel, watching what was happening in China, we began keeping an inventory of our perishable food items. 

For whatever reason, in mid-March I was told to STOP creating havoc... but all I really wanted was for people to understand there's really next to no risk here in Muskoka, if we stay put. Example: If you're out and about, try to stay six or ten feet apart from your closest shopper. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Spend time together with your loved ones you live with and take yourselves back to grassroots socialization. Build a fire, roast marshmallows. Reconnect!!

At the end of the day, I'm positive I'll read what a waste of time all of this was. Those will be from the people that don't venture outside their Facebook page to research the global reality.

Our blessing is that Canada have never stopped investing in research since SARS. I have faith we are well ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to our safety. 

Please... Be kind. Be considerate. Be compassionate; for those that may be in need your help for many months to come.

This isn't going away tomorrow!

Sunday, April 11, 2021


My son Jukebox, singing in the finals of Muskoka Voice!

From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
Originally posted April 11th, 2020.

My oldest son was born in the dead of winter in Muskoka.

He slept in a bassinet beside my bed for the first month or so, then graduated into his very own crib. 

Once he moved into his nursery, I made a personal choice that there would always be a radio playing. Why? Because we didn’t want him to be one of those babies conditioned to total silence.

Always set to the local radio station, it was rarely turned off. He dozed off to the tunes, and woke up the same way. I truly feel that early choice we made for him, has embedded the musical passion he has today.

Genetically, Jukebox has always been completely surrounded by musicality. It’s a very common thread that is everywhere (on all sides of our family).

He is completely self-taught, extremely disciplined, and he has fully embraced music as a craft. 

He is talented. He is extremely talented. Name an instrument, he can play it. 

Keep going Jukebox. 

We know you can accomplish whatever you put your voice and self driven talent behind!

Saturday, April 10, 2021


 From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 10th, 2015.

Here’s the deal. I was born at ten thirty in the morning.  

How do I know that? Well, when I was little, my Dad use to tell me that he dropped my mother off at the hospital on his way to work and he got the call on his first coffee break that I had arrived.

You're only as old as you feel...!
TAKEN: APRIL 9th, 2015
That story was shared in the sun yesterday as I traveled with three other Canadian couples to Bacardi Island. 

We had met them on the first day and instantly bonded over the love of humour and six degrees of separation. Seriously, as our day unfurled yesterday, we realized that we had even more very mutual long term friends.

With an email from my bestie arriving last night (asking ‘how my adventure was’) and no ability to return it... as I began to write this morning, I truly struggled to pick my word. 

Just for fun, this was my short list!

Internet: The service here sucks like a two dollar hooker with a turnstile!
Insane: In reference to the boat ride that almost killed us yesterday!
Incredible: The way the 8 of us laughed off said boat ride and enjoyed our day.
Inspiring: The new friendships you can nurture and completely embrace when you step out of your comfort zone.
Impossible: That at 10:30am this morning I officially turned 29!

Yes, without a doubt… I IS FOR IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Friday, April 9, 2021


 From the April A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted April 9, 2019

My 2019 April A-Z Blogging Challenge posts will primarily consist of corresponding quotes.
(With the flash of opinionated electronic journal entry inserted to keep you on your toes.) 

Thursday, April 8, 2021


From the Aprill A-Z Blogging archives.
This was originally posted on April 8th, 2014

Audrey Hepburn once said, “you can always tell what a man really thinks of you by the earrings he gives you.”

I have only been given one pair of earrings in my entire life. They were extravagant solitaire diamonds, and they were beautiful. I lost one about ten years ago, but the other still sits in my jewelry box to this day. They were given as a gift. An expression of love.

I have been married for almost a quarter century, and the earrings were not from my husband. My comment wasn't to share about the earrings per se, but to illustrate the fact that gifting has never been something I have a whole lot of experience with. 

My husband has never been one to land at home with a gift “just because”. However, I'll jump to his complete and unconditional defense admitting that neither have I.

April 8th, 2013 - GIFTS
Taken: Myrtle Beach SC (Xmas 1997)
In the early years it was a money thing. Today we both just find the whole gifting to each other expectation a little silly.

After all these years together, by refraining from the exercise, sometimes I wonder if that's why neither of us aren't even remotely materialistic people

When it comes to us, there's never been some underlying expectation that the next gift will out shine the last. 

We need something we buy it. We don't need it, we don't have it.

Both of us were raised to appreciate that the best gifts in life come from the heart rather than from a shopping mall. I wish I could admit that when it came to our children we didn't over indulge, but at least we always tried to make them prioritize what they desired most.

At the end of the day, the earrings may have been the most expensive gift I have ever been given, but they are nowhere near my most treasured by far. That gift, is something that I have just recently given myself.

It's called hope.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


 From the April A-Z Blogging archives. 

This was originally posted April 7th, 2016.

For anyone that been reading here for any length of time, you're very aware that 2016 is intended to be about the experience for me. 

So naturally, when we decided to rent a house in Mexico, I immediately knew that I wanted to go way the hell out of my comfort zone and once again looked to my bucket list. This trip, I had set my sights on trying to learn to surf.

Just waiting for the right wave.
TAKEN: APRIL 7th, 2016
Well, I am pleased to report that I've been rockin' a boogie board all week and tomorrow's the day that I officially get on a surf board; yet I'm not sure how it will go.

My eldest boy surfed yesterday and he was amazed just how hard it was. 

After bout an hour, he walked up the beach with what seemed like his knuckles dragging behind him, because he's worked his arms so much. 

Truth? I really don't care if I am unsuccessful catching a great wave. 

For me, it's about setting my sights on something and seeing it through. The fact that I've spent three days in the ocean preparing for this milestone tells me that I have faced my biggest fear of all.

My fear of the unknown.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


 From the April A-Z Challenge archives. 

This was originally posted April 6th, 2017.

Headed to New Orleans with my Timmies!
TAKEN: APRIL 6th, 2017
Well, today is finally the day. My day.

I landed at the airport just after 5am and after a quick stop in Houston, I will be in New Orleans just after lunch. I'm really excited. This wanderlust thing I have embedded into my brain never gets old.

I don't know why I make such a big deal about my birthday trip. That's I lie, I most certainly do. 

As a child, birthdays were never something my parents embraced, as a result they were not only a luxury but a rarity. I am proud to write that I broke that cycle for my children but it makes me sad that my husband never followed suit. So once the kids were grown and gone, I decided to take care of the task myself.

I wanted to go to New Orleans to see my friend Darin last year but I hummed and hawed about the exchange rate and went to Sayulita, Mexico to try and learn to surf instead. 

This year, because I went to Cuba in February, I knew I was limited to another weekend trip. I was originally looking at going to see the Toronto Raptors play at Madison Square Garden and decided to hit up last years destination instead; I also decided not to check the exchange rates until everything was booked!

As I sit and hammer out my words on my laptop in the airport. I can't help but smile. I am so very blessed with a great family, wonderful friends and a job I love. All of which support and allow me to head to embrace the Big Easy for a once in a lifetime experience.

Life is very good!

Monday, April 5, 2021


 From the April A-Z Blogging archives. 

This was originally posted April 4th, 2020

I will start by apologizing to my subscribers. 

I've had two unexpected deaths in our family, which has left me a week behind in my April A-Z Blogging Challenge. So, you will receive an entire weeks' worth of posts today and tomorrow. 

Truth is, I considered quitting. Then I realized I didn't want to. I figured I would give it a good push in an effort to get back on schedule by Easter Monday April 13th.

The letter D was harder than I thought it would be, because I'd decided to post a various pictures of myself from each decade. Finding them was the challenge. I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks for your patience,

Pretty Curls

Lake Louise with my Mama

High School Daze

Tampa, Florida

Labour Day Monday at Santa's Village

The summer we lived at the cottage.

Sweetie & Me ~ Westin Harbour Castle

Top of El Arco - Mazatlan, Mexico

Saturday, April 3, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives.

This was originally posted April 3rd, 2013

From a very young age I have always enjoyed photography. 

In high school I use to take pictures with a 35mm Canon my older brother had bought my parents for Christmas;  but if recollection serves me correctly, it was after my mother passed in 1987 that the bug really took hold of me.

April 3rd, 2013 - CAMERA
Taken: March 29th, 2013
The photo I am posting was taken this past Easter weekend while I was out for a toot around the Muskoka Lakes.

When I pulled into the landing (as an avid swimmer) I was thinking my C post was going to be C-C-C-COLD.

As I approached the water (and the colours were so vibrant) my thought process shifted to  CHAIRS.

As I crouched to take this photo, all the bells and whistles went off in my head. 

Ding Ding Ding CAMERA had won the coin toss!

Funny how things happen. I had a friend take a picture of his family in these very chairs and share it with me. 

It was an amazing photo. In fact, I thought of him in the moment as my shutter closed.

I couldn't help but reflect on what a difference the lapse of seasons makes to a setting. When he snapped his photo, the buzz would have been energizing. 

When I snapped mine, I was totally alone in my thoughts. His was picture of sheer camaraderie, mine is one of chosen solitude.

His defined the summer excitement in Muskoka. 


That my intimate spring picture at the landing was worth a very different thousand words. 

Friday, April 2, 2021


From the April A-Z Blogging archives. 

This was originally posted April 2nd, 2015

When on holiday in the Dominican Republic last November, a friend posted the cutest picture on her Facebook of a litter of puppies she was giving away. I sent her a personal message asking for details and less than a week after landing back in Canada, the stork delivered Annie.

Six month since that fateful delivery date, there are times I consider the entire adventure as a total lapse in judgement that regularly borders on 'what the hell!'

Annie watching Puddie & Dot run the golf course.
TAKEN: MARCH 15th, 2014
I'm not kidding, since I started writing this post, I've had to stop and tell her to get the hell out of mischief at least three times. Each time, I've mumbled to word BRAT; both under my breath and aloud.

Having said that, I'm not sure if it's because she's had the other pups to mentor her but she has been the least destructive puppy we've ever raised. 

No shoes have seen their death, and our furniture has remained completely in tact this time around. The added bonus is that for being a bitch, she knows to play nicely with other dogs. 

Other than her intense curiosity for mischief, she really is a very good girl. 

Hey... Who the heck else does that remind you of?!  

Maybe my letter B should have simply been for BUSTED!!

Thursday, April 1, 2021


DOT's PIC TAKEN: March 31st, 2014
From the April A-Z Blogging archives.

This was originally posted on April 1st, 2014.

Just so we’re clear...

I’m not talking about the kind of ambition it takes to get the hell out of bed the morning, after you and your best girl friend decided to solve World Peace until the break of dawn on the cottage dock. I'm talking about your internal drive that literally comes from within.

You know, the passion and desire to always keep growing, which in turn has you moving forward and never giving up. The kind of ambition that's really easy to talk about and extremely hard to replicate.

Example: Just look at my dog Dot...

Not even remotely a hope in hell of catching the snowball that she's set her sights on but never once did she not try her very best. 

I guess you can say she trusted the process to reward her, which in her case, (with my shares in Purina Milk-Bone) it always has. 

I am ambitious like Dot, yet she and I differ. You see, I am more an analyst and somewhat a tactician. 

I'm sure it's because I am goal oriented but most of all, I am certain it's because I truly enjoy working toward something great.

What can I say? One post down and twenty six to go. Thank you so very much for having the ambition to finish reading my very first of this challenge.

Dot and I (and the next twenty five letters of the alphabet) are truly grateful that you're reading!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


When riding through town tonight, I spied a familiar face manning the crosswalk at our busiest intersection in town. Though there is a traffic light there, the walk is exceptionally long and the flashing stop sign she holds high most certainly keeps the little ones venturing home from the local school out of harms way. I immediately noticed she was limping.

As we drove through, I physically turned my head to watch her.  Out of the blue, I felt the need to disclose her name and mention the type of wrath she was subjected to when we were in high school. The truth of the matter is that after sharing about her journey, I was embarrassed that I remembered such finite details of how she was bullied.

Though I wasn't the bully, the hard fact is the ones making fun of her were also the ones continually making fun of me. The single difference between she and I was that I got to walk around in their presence. To this day, those that treated the two us that way, are generally still the same;  ill informed, overbearing and insecure.

One of my teen year bullies snapped this pic!
(Introducing my one time blog costar: Dusty)
To let you know where I'm headed with this, I saw a meme on Facebook this afternoon that said “I’d rather have an enemy that admits they hate me, instead of a friend that secretly puts me down.” I see some serious merit in that.

I am embarrassed to admit that in one very singular instance (in fact, with the person that took the picture I am sharing) I occupied that latter lane I am referencing and she willingly did the same.

I use to be remorseful at how I forced our friendship to end, yet everyday I am grateful I finally did. 

I was drowning in her consumption of my good nature, which served as premium fuel for her narcissistic agenda. That was about 20 years ago, and if there is one single thing we now agree upon; which is neither have a single use for the other.

I'm no shrink but I believe because I was bullied in the past, I use to let certain toxic friendships consume me to simply prove that I was worthy. 

All these years later, there's absolutely no comparison to where I am in my life and where they are in theirs. The only way I can rationalize the difference, is that I've never stopped learning and they've always believed they know everything. 

My point tonight is that in watching the local crossing guard limp way, I was offered an instant 30+ year flashback. I instantly envisioned all of us standing in that high school atrium on that very day. 

Reflecting, I immediately had an profound sadness come over me. I suppose it is because I still only keep in touch with only one gal that witnessed what I did on the day I am writing about.

The saddest part to my story?

In mid-life, that gal is still a part of that specific crew. All these years later, she has become the one they STILL secretly put down behind her back.  

They always have and with her BFF's behaviour being deemed acceptable since public school, I suspect they always will.

For the umpteen time I reaffirm this simple life lesson.... Mean people suck!!