Sunday, April 30, 2023

Saturday, April 29, 2023


As I’ve written before, it’s not always easy having two places to maintain a mere 15 minutes apart. I’m in no way complaining, rather just pointing out that the weather has so many things happening on the fly. If we stay home there’s work to be done and if we head to the cottage its offers the same loaded buffet of chores. 

That said, all these years later, I have never focused my energy on the work. For me (in either instance) it keeps me outside and exercising, or inside with the tunes cranked cleaning; until I can get outside soaking up the sun.

After the work is done, we literally let the games begin. 

That's fifty points baby!
TAKEN: July 2013
If you recognize game pic I’m sharing, you’ll know it takes little skill and a lot of luck to play. It tends to be what we easily agree on playing first.

It always seems neither of us want to think too much after chores are done. To make it a tad more interesting, we play an entire Yahtzee page, which is six games at once.

The other side to that coin is that I very rarely ever win. It can’t be because I have less skill, because you’ll agree it take none to play. 

My issue is in the luck department I have absolutely none!

Friday, April 28, 2023


Land's End - at the southern tip of the Baja sur in Cobo San Lucas, Mexico
...An amazing place where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.


Thursday, April 27, 2023


March 8th was when we celebrated this year!
Cartoon (c)

In recognition of International Women's Day, I posted this to my personal Facebook page this year with a song link (which I have added to my post at the bottom): 

In celebration of International Woman's Day I am sharing a song that has carried me though a male dominated sector, to which I believe I belong. Truthfully, I've seen it all as a mature woman in Muskoka construction. 

I've been told what to wear, coached on how to manage men that should have been let go, and had my intelligence diminished by bullies that hated the outgoing personality of an well versed woman. 

Most importantly, for being unconditionally loyal,  I was totally gaslighted as the internal political climate changed. 

The point of my story is I have never given up - and I am really very proud of that.

PS: If you truly know me and you've read this far.... AND you've listened to the tune I am sharing; you know who was on the other side of this exit interview!

Sara Bareilles - King of Anything (Official Video)

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


My Uncle Roger and I. One of my best buddies growing up!
TAKEN: JUNE 27th, 2005

I have always loved this photo of my Uncle Roger and I. 

Though we are both smiling in the moment, it was a day surrounded by sorrow. It was taken in my side yard, the afternoon after we buried my dad.

Growing up, I really didn't understand that my uncle had special needs. It never crossed my mind why, as a grown man, that he still lived at home. 

I just knew that I loved spending time with him, and at the end of the day, he has always rated at one of my favourites.

Later in life, I learned that he weighed over ten pounds when he was born, and the home birth had been a hard one. I believe the prognosis was that he would never mature mentally past that of a young tween. Which was perfect for me growing up!

He passed away in October of 2019 at the age of 86 and their is no doubt that he immediately went straight to heaven.

After all, look above his head... He was already boasting his halo in 2005!!

Monday, April 24, 2023



Believe the hype. It really is..."Better in The Bahamas"
TAKEN : FEBRUARY 8th, 2018
Melia All Inclusive Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas

Saturday, April 22, 2023



Helllloooooo Rhondi!

As any of my avid readers know, I live for, and love to travel. 

People often ask how we can afford to hit as many destinations as we do, and it is simple. We set a budget for the year and stick to it. Any online deals I come across are simply a much appreciated bonus.

One of the best deals EVER, was booked on Black Friday in the fall of 2017. 

Five days and four nights, all inclusive, on beautiful Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas. Less than a three-hour flight and an oceanfront king room, for $805pp via West Jet. 

Anyway, not knowing much about the island, other than Baha Mar was usually out of our price range, I figured I should research. My first entry into Google, things to do in Nassau Bahamas included the date ranges of our mid week stay.

I immediately discovered that the filming of the morning show Live with Kelly (Ripa) and Ryan (Seacrest) was being filmed live at the Atlantis Resort while we were there. I filled out all of the online paperwork to get free tickets, including submitting our photo which was a prerequisite; and the tickets arrived via email a couple of days later.

We arrived early, in the hopes to get near the front but little did we know the seats were filled from back to front and we were in the very last row. Not a problem, as that gave me the ability to stand on my chair and take great photos.

As the show was about to start (you can see Kelly signing an autograph above) I held up my camera and began to yell my name.


How shocked was I, when he toward me and yelled back HELLLLLO RHONDI

And just like that, I got what I would classify as my only great photo, whilst acting like a member of the crazy paparazzi culture!

Definitely a travel moment I will remember forever!! 

Friday, April 21, 2023


My hubby walking the beach (with me and my Blackberry) taking in this great vibe.

In September 2021, the morning my husband was to be admitted into Toronto General Hospital, he sat on the sofa in our hotel room and sang a loud 'Three Little Birds' with Bob Marley. Needless to say, he was understandably emotional and scared. 

As we walked hand in hand to the hospital at dawn, I promised him that our first adventure once all of this was behind us, would be to get him back to Jamaica; his very favourite travel destination.

I know that yesterday was 4/20 but that has nothing to do with his connection with this beautiful island. He loves the people, their culture, the cuisine, but first and foremost he is truly connected to the music.

The first time we travelled to the island was back in 2012. I was given a $3,000 travel voucher as a bonus at work. We had never been to the Caribbean and decided to spend it toward a destination we had both always dreamed of going.

For the allure of seven mile beach we chose Negril, Jamaica, and the experience didn't disappoint. We returned again in 2014 to Runaway Bay, and he has wanted to return ever since.

But, him dealing with my wanderlust has always been a challenge, as I have always ultimately convinced him to open his mind to new adventures we haven't previously taken. 

Yet, our bond will never forget that life changing morning walk, when a simple promise is made. 

It may be only 5 nights and four days (to celebrate our upcoming milestone wedding anniversary) but guess what?

Weeez a goin' back to Jamaica MON!

And I am pleased to report my hubby is ecstatic to finally to be going back 'yard'... In the non residential sense.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


Great coworkers can transform common days to thanksgiving, 
routine jobs into joy, and ordinary opportunities into blessings.
                                                                                  ~ Google Quotes    
The perfect way to end the day in Beamaris. Skating at dusk on Lake Muskoka.
TAKEN: March 2022

Have you ever had one of those days where you landed at work and you realized two minutes in that you were going to need a do-over? 

Jokingly, the morning I returned from Las Vegas, I asked my leadership team of coworkers (in our Monday morning meeting) for a show of hand of 'who did my job' when I was away. No one raised their hand. 

They did laugh, a lot, which told me what I was coming back to. My glass half full kicked in and it simply reminded me what job security actually looks like.

That said, whining about how far behind I became and time change complaints aside, I chose the word because I work with a really great group of people.  

If there is one observation I will make, it's that we communicate really well, and no one goes rogue to get themselves ahead in the company. In all my years of work life experience, that is a rarity.

Oh, the other thing is that this is the first company that I have worked where the President has surrounded himself with four very intelligent women to help him lead.

Even rarer than no one scratching their way to the top? Zero drama!

All in all, our quorum of leaders loyally serve the greater good of the company as a whole. 

Which on so many levels, makes going to work every day extremely easy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


From left to right:
My beautiful Dottie on Toby's Rock (RIP July 2019) ~ Taken 2014
My Puddin' (RIP June 2022) & my Annie Banannie (11 years old October 2023) ~ Taken 2020
The amazing Miya (Born 4/9/21) and wee Katie (Born 12/5/2022) ~ Taken March 2023

Now I lay be down to sleep,
The king-sized bed is soft and deep.

I sleep right in the centre groove,
my human beings can hardly move.

I've trapped their legs, they're tucked in tight,
and here is where I'll pass the night.

No one disturbs me or dares to intrude,
'til morning comes and "I want food!"

I sneak up slowly to begin,
and nibble on my human's chin.

For morning's here, it's time to play,
I always seem to get my way.

So thank you Lord, for giving me,
this human person that I see.

The one who hugs me & holds me tight,
...And share their bed with me each night
                                   ~AUTHOR UNKNOWN~

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


Leading up to the summer of 2016, my then boss at the time use to brag that he was the 9th Canadian to put his name on the list for the purchase of a Tesla electric SUV. 

Well, the photo shown here was the day it arrived at the office. 

I disclosed that a close friend of mine (also a P. Eng.) was envious at his purchase and he offered to take my picture in front of it for me to share with him. He even offered to let him come to the office and take it for a drive.

After it was all said and done, I praised the ding dong on his new car and his ego couldn't help itself. 

He said, "If you work hard, set goals, and put in long hours, I can get an even better one next year!"

OBVIOUSLY, I was an full blown idiot. Why?

This photo was taken in July of 2016, and I allowed his chauvinistic, misogynistic behaviour, to gaslight me until I walked out the door never to return; nor look back and be treated as such ever again.

That life changing day for this cat was September 11th, 2021.

I may be smiling in this photo, but for years I would wake up in the night and suffer panic attacks.
Again, obviously, I WAS an idiot.
Past tense!

Monday, April 17, 2023


 At the beginning of my A-Z challenge this year, I came across a poem by Erin Hanson. 

As an aside, I began never worrying about how I am defined by others after my father died.

Yet, the poem is so relatable by so many, I immediately knew it needed to be my 2023 letter N. 

To my electronic friends... Stay strong and always know your worth!

Reading (with some friendly company) at Poppa's Camp
TAKEN: Lake Temiscamng ~ Summer of 1996

NOT ~ by Erin Hanson

You are not your age,

nor the size of clothes you wear,

you are not a weight,

or the colour of your hair.

You are not your name,

nor the dimples in your  cheeks,

you are all the books you read,

and all the words you speak.

You are your croaky morning voice,

and the smiles you try to hide,

you're the sweetness in your laughter,

and every tear you've cried.

You the songs you sing so loudly,

when you know you're alone,

you're the places that you've been to,

and the ones that you call home.

You're the things that you believe in,

and the people that you love,

you're the photos in your bedroom,

and the future you dream of.

You're made of so much beauty,

but it seems that you forgot...

When you decided that you were defined,

by all the things you're not.

Saturday, April 15, 2023


The statement above is a mindboggling, albeit accurate statement.
...Something I will never be able to laugh about!

Friday, April 14, 2023


 “The line between disorder and order lies in the logistics…” ~ Sun Tzu

The dynamic duo chillaxin' taking in the beautiful topography.
TAKEN: APRIL 6th, 2023

When you’re traveling as far as we did for four nights, to ensure you can experience as much as possible, there needs to be a lot of planning involved. 

Our first step being getting us from the airport to the hotel. When we were leaving LAS and headed to grab a taxi, a group of guys heading up the escalator yelled down in tandem, “YOU GUYS NEED TO DOWNLOAD UBER!”

I wanted to yell back, “didn’t your mother teach you not to get into cars with strangers!?!” Instead, we just smiled and waved back.

Unlike some, I refuse to install apps on my phone that house my credit card information. Therefore, using Uber, Lift, or Samsung Pay has never been something I have ever entertained.

What we did include in our carefully planned trip, was a car rental for the day to take a road trip and save on the large fees tour companies charge. 

We knew we wanted to hike Red Rock Canyon. What I missed when hatching the plan was that we needed a reservation to enter; as they only let so many cars in the park at one time.

Rather than trying to reschedule our logistically planned ‘just in time’ day, we made the best of the situation at hand and enjoyed the views from the periphery, before heading toward the Pat Tillman Bridge and the Hoover Dam.

The fact that when back on the road we went over an hour out of our way, went south instead of north on 215 taking us toward LA... Before my driver would listen to me telling him we were going in the wrong direction?

Not even worth mentioning! #yagottalaughaboutit

Thursday, April 13, 2023


When I returned to work last Monday and was asked about my birthday trip to Las Vegas, I gave a one-word answer: Meh.  (You could also insert a sarcastic shoulder shrug in there for visual effect.)

My underwhelming response was followed by an immediate, "I’ve been to much nicer places, and had far better experiences." 

Reaffirming our thought process which was, "It's VEGAS baby... You've got to go at least once just to see it!"

That said, I did enjoy the varying levels of architecture and attention to construction detail in the grand casinos on the strip, but my solstice of trying to enjoy those few moments was interrupted by the ‘ding-ding-ding’ of the slot machines that were situated absolutely everywhere.

Neither my husband or I have the desire nor ever developed the skill for gambling. We are both smart enough to know that’s it not there for you to win.

I lost everything and my husband did not.
Here's the photographic proof!
TAKEN: APRIL 7th, 2023

My only attempt at the jackpot was a five-dollar bill in a slot machine in the Bellagio. I did get my investment up to $12.95 in winnings and should have cashed out. Instead, I kept pushing the button, rolling the odds, until it was all gone. The entire entertainment experience lasted less than ten minutes!

My husband tried his luck while we waited for our table at Tony Roma’s in the Golden Nugget. His investment was in the three singles he had in his pocket and his chit shows where he landed.

To which I immediately told him, ‘I thought he may have developed a gambling addiction and may want to seek out help’. We both burst into laughter and headed into the restaurant.

On a scale from one to ten, the moral of this post is... Our knack for gambling, negative two. Our knack for investing in great running shoes,  positive twelve. We walked and walked and walked. 

Thanks goodness there wasn't a charge for that. After all, we lost a whopping $7.83 USD gambling.

Which is like $117.45 CDN these days!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023


When I look back at how dark I was when I started this journal, all I can say is “you’ve come a long way baby!”

That said, even when I am not participating in the April A-Z Challenge, I try to set a little time aside to write something every single day. 

Sometimes I vent about things I can’t share with anyone. Sometimes I type until I cry, then generally feel relieved.

The accomplishment comes in the times I actually a finish my initial thought process, and post the crap to this silly electronic journal.

More than ten years later, I still find it empowering at how my looking inward (smashing these little black keys) can still produce something creative and free. 

No matter what, I believe it all comes back to mindset. I swear a solid and clear mindset is the ultimate ignition switch to accomplishing whatever you put your mind to.

That, and a true desire to share mumble, jumbled, gobble-de-gook, with the masses! #yagottalaughaboutit

Puddin' and I zipping around the Orillia Lake in the bowrider.
Coming up to a year without her, and I still ache because I miss her so much.
TAKEN: JULY 6th,  2015

Tuesday, April 11, 2023


When the kids were growing up, there was never an abundance of extra cash lying around for me to get to celebrate my birthday. So, when the nest finally emptied, I decided that every year I would take a birthday trip.

The first couple were week long jaunts but then I discovered I could have a higher end experience for less if I crammed everything into a long weekend. 

Below is a neat snapshot and snippet of the my born day adventures since 2015.

2015: A quaint cliff top resort in Samana, Dominican Republic

This Gran Bahia was an amazing experience but not a resort meant for those with mobility issues. 

One of the main reason I selected it was to walk (daily) the "Bridge to Nowhere" seen taken from my poolside deck chair. 

Great food, Salsa dancing at night, and loved experiencing the beautiful Barcardi Island with friends.

Great shot of the 4 km Bridge to Nowhere 
2016: Wanting to learn to surf in Sayulita, Mexica

Sayulita is a village on the Pacific coast backed by the Sierra Madre mountains, known for its beaches and strong surf. 

For this bornday trip, we rented a house with an infinity pool and were joined by friends as well as Jukebox. To this day, my husband says it is still his favourite spot. I snapped this pic in the morning after hiking to Playa de Los Muertos.

In all of my adventures, this is the most time I spent in the ocean. Almost all day everyday. My son was the only one that really got the hand of surfing. I traded my surf board in for a boogie board mid week, 

A great time was had by all!

Heading back from Playa des Los Muertos.
What a view!
2017: French Quarter Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana

This was the first of the 'long weekend' celebrations. With Architect friends living in New Orleans, one if the French Quarter, they thought I would really enjoy the festival, and I did.

Landing Thursday, flying home Monday, I got to experience a weekend of music in the French Quarter with seven hundred and fifty thousand of my closest friends. Stages set up everywhere with all genres of music imaginable.

My buddy Darin took me out for my birthday with all of his coworkers at his firm, and though he only joined in the festival festivities Saturday afternoon, we got to spend a lot of quality time together. 

If you've never been GO. The pic I am sharing I took at the big band stage. On the plane ride home, I met the trumpet player for the band Chicago, which began my quest to see them perform live.

... But that's another post!

Darin, my hubby and I enjoying a bevie at the Big Band Stage.
One of my favourites for the entire weekend.

2018: The NBA, South Beach, and Burgers - Miami, Florida

This trip was planned with the intent of seeing the last regular season Toronto Raptors game (so grateful we went, because Demar DeRozan was traded to Houston that summer). 

The photo I am sharing is a storm moving in on game night, and I said to my husband, "something is coming though South Beach." He is laughing because I continued with "we both know it's the Toronto Raptors headed in for the Miami Heat tonight!"

In the days we were there, we walked the beach for miles, and I headed into the art deco district on my birthday to celebrate. I chose to have the best burger in South Beach. 

Burger and a Mojito, $125 USD is not for the faint of heart.

Out on our balcony, we were joking that there was a storm coming. 
I said, 'it was the Toronto Raptors landing!'

2019: We did so much that I had to rest from my vacation in New York City, New York.

What a whirlwind birthday vacation. Landed in Newark NJ and took the train in Thursday afteroon.

1. Headed to Brooklyn Thursday night to see the Nets vs the Heat. Dwayne Wades last game before he retired. LeBron was there. What a night.

2. Live with Ryan and Kelly at ABC Studios in the morning, Central Park in the afternoon, Book of Mormon on Broadway Friday night.

3. Statue of Liberty, Wall Street Bull, 911 Memorial all day they I headed solo to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.

4. Slept the next two weeks to recover!

Jukebox taking in the eerie surroundings of the fallen twin towers.

2020: Lockdown had me having coffee for my birthday at home in Muskoka, Ontario

A photo to capture the exact morning birthday moment in a global pandemic

2021: Still unable to travel, I bought myself a dog for my birthday ~ in Muskoka Ontario

Born April 9th (seen here at 4 weeks of age) I named her Miya.
Because she was Miya Birthday Present!

2022: Roadtrip to the Southernmost point of the USA - Key West, Florida

The price of the post pandemic Air Canada flight was so good we decided to land in Miami and drive the Florida Keys. 

What we didn't know is how expensive the birthday weekend would be. For starters, our hotel room at the Almond Tree Inn was just shy of $1,000 CDN.

A great experience all around but something I have no desire to do again.

Me standing on the retaining wall at the Southern most point.
Too impatient to wait a couple of hours in line!

2023: Per my letter D. D is for DECISION. We did Las Vegas Baby!

Thousands and thousands of steps later, we did the Strip, Freemont Street, and drove to Red Rock Canyon, walked the Pat Tilman Bridge, and toured the Hoover Dam. 

NEVER going back. 

We work to hard for our money to gamble it away... and that is primarily all that people did.

By 6pm we had walked well over 24,000 steps.
Highly recommend staying at Paris. We received 5 star service.
Thanks Air Canada!

Monday, April 10, 2023


As we approach the first anniversary of my best friend Smarties' death, I can't help but focus on our last phone call. 

He loved Earnest Hemmingway's writing and made me make him two promises before we told each other we loved each other and hung up that very last time:
1) That I'd go to Hemmingway House before I left Key West (and)
2) That I would read EH's offering titled Africa; as it was his personal favourite.

I did go to the home/museum the very next day, and it was an amazing step back in time.

From the approximately sixty six toed cats (descendants of his originals) that the estate caters to, to the luxurious inground pool that cost $20,000 to construct in 1938, to the wide offering of historic Hollywood memorabilia on display; I was in awe. 

Once again, Smartie was right. I needed to go. 

Not only was it $9.00 very well spent, I can always look back at my photos of that day and hear his voice kicking my ass to reassure him that I would go.

With regards to the book. I haven't read it yet.

... But I have promised myself I eventually will. When I'm ready.

One of the six toed cats at the ticket booth.
TAKEN: APRIL 8th, 2022

Only so many were allowed in at one time.
As you can see, there are cats everywhere.
TAKEN: APRIL 8th, 2022

I didn't pay to tour with a guide. I started by walking the grounds.
Yes, there is a pet cemetery for his cats.
TAKEN: APRIL 8th, 2022

A portrait in one of the many rooms displaying memorabilia.
TAKEN: APRIL 8th, 2022

Some rooms are dedicated to his specific offering and the history behind it.
TAKEN: APRIL 8th, 2022

I found his writing studio the most interesting. 
TAKEN: APRIL 8th, 2022

A statue of him in a park in Mallory Square (with other famous settlers)
TAKEN: APRIL 7th, 2022

Saturday, April 8, 2023


Seen here with my dads parents, my truly amazing grandparents.

My Mommy knit my sweater. I LOVED that purple thing.
This photo confirms that I was clearly born to be a Prince fan!
TAKEN: Spring 1973

I was born in a very small town, just across the Ontario border, in western Quebec. 

It was a small pulp and paper town, where the majority of my extended family grew up. More importantly, it was where both sets of my parents parents lived only a few miles apart.

I had a great childhood. With such vivid memories imbedded in my head before we moved to Ontario. Oh the wonderful memories I have of 222 2nd Avenue.

Spending time in the lane with my Pepere as chickadees landed on his hat and then he ultimately had them eating from his hand. Him teaching me to stepdance as he played from a fiddle he had in fact crafted himself. 

And that my Memere, always let me stand by her side at the stove explaining her process for what she was making. Her letting me shake the flour mixture to help her make gravy stands out the most. 

So much so,  that every time I watch my mother-in-law embrace the same process, my childhood in that kitchen comes rushing back to me.

Let's face it. I know those things may read as simple, but their love was heartfelt and I think they are one of the reasons that I have never had issue showing affection as an adult. 

I suppose there is a possibility they were just pacifying a gregarious kid - but if that was the case, they never let on. 

And for that... I have always been truly grateful.

Friday, April 7, 2023


There are a lot of people that have opinions about social media. Some embrace it too freely, while others wear a tin foil hat to ward of the evil of it. I guess you could say that I fall somewhere in between.

Anyway, back in July 2007 I connected via Facebook with one of my oldest brothers' best friends. 

Though growing up I was nothing other than the annoying little sister, as adults, I was happy to find someone that effectively wrote for a purpose and shared their thoughts with the masses just as I do.

It didn't stop there, I loved experiencing the travelling he and his wife did together, and each year I looked forward to his annual Christmas countdown of song offerings on his saxophone. 

Once his countdown started, I found myself logging on from my desk at work to see if he'd posted yet. Such great fun.

Then, via Facebook, I saw he and his bride were heading to his old stomping ground (where I still live) for the weekend for our Fire and Ice Festival this past January. Trouble was my hubby and I were headed into the city for the concert in Toronto that Saturday night. 

After a quick exchange, I was excited to discover that they would be in town the night before and wanted to get together for drinks. I hadn't seen him face to face since my fathers funeral in 2005 (and only knew what his wife looked like via Facebook).

Anyway, that Friday, he kept me posted on their timing. They'd eat dinner with friends in the centre of town and we'd plan to meet at a local pub later in the evening. Goob lives just down the street, so I invited him to come meet his uncle J's childhood friend.  

My husband (in red) really didn't know what to think of this group of extroverts!
TAKEN: JANUARY 27th, 2023
Well, suffice it to say, we closed the place. Walked them to their hotel, then walked ourselves home.

In this instance, though social media reunited electronic friends and turned them into new friends. Our evening confirmed that face to face friendships are the best ones to appreciate. 


Thursday, April 6, 2023


Editorial cartoon from the Toronto Star that is even more applicable in today's economy.
JANUARY 24th, 2016

After our roadtrip/beach house adventure to the Outer Banks with the pups last fall, I started grabbing US$'s from the Royal Bank ATM whenever I thought of it. 

You know, twenty bucks this week, forty bucks the next. Not because I want to be carrying a lot of cash around when travelling, but on our last trip I noticed the steep premium I was paying to use my credit card out of country. It was an eye opener that pushed the limits to the budget we had set because we used the card for everything.

So, when I selected Las Vegas as my next passport stamp, I knew cash would probably be the way to go, hence the Andrew Jackson currency hording that's been happening.

Then, when packing the weekend before takeoff, I said to my husband 'maybe we should save the cash, and use the card' (as we have an anniversary trip booked in June where American cash will be King). 

To explain my methodology, not using the card is kind of a double edge sword for us. We pay our credit card off every two weeks and use it for absolutely everything, including household bills. In turn, with the mountain of points we earn, we redeem them every quarter and it's like found money we apply to our balance.

Anyway, that thought quickly passed when he returned with our next couple of twenties for our piggy bank stash and I discovered we'd paid $1.40930 Canadian for a single American dollar. 

At $1.40930 for a buck, I only have one last comment. Thank goodness for the secure hotel safe. 

In their wee safe space, those twenty dollar bills will blanket our passports better than us fattening the already fat fee fellas at credit card company hands down!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023


Well, a killer Black Friday deal made my birthday trip decision a no brainer this year. With the intention of only ever going once, I landed in Las Vegas today.

For just over six hundred dollars each, a suite with an Eiffel Tower view overlooking the Bellagio fountains was the purchase, and for the second year in a row I have Air Canada to thanks for a crazy amazing birthday deal.

Landed about 2p.m. today and home Saturday evening about 10p.m., we have a fun fill trip planned. 

Heading to TopGolf this afternoon, Cirque du Soleil Beatles ONE at the Mirage tomorrow night, renting a Slingshot to head to Red Rock Canyon and the Hoover Dam Thursday, then Freemont Street for the day Friday.

Lots to talk about and some great pics to share the rest of the month for certain.

Another 'Happy Birthday Trip' but more importantly another passport stamp for yours truly.

Feeling very blessed, as life is good!

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, April 4, 2023


A couple of weeks ago I saw this meme floating around the social media platforms and it truly resonated. It was just a picture titled the truth in me, so I must assume the author is unknown.

I have no desire to fit in.

No plans to walk with the crowds.

I have my own mind, heart and soul.

I am me and it has taken me years to realize how important that is.

No matter who you are, you can't be more candid that that. Life is simply too short to worry about what others think; and I don't.

Now when it comes to my dogs? That's another story.

The truth is my goal in life is to always be the person my dogs already think I am!

Big day. Taking Miya Maria to meet her new sister Katie Lulu.
TAKEN: JANUARY 23rd, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023


I have written here several times in the past about the simple fact that I love a great bonfire, as have all of our pups. 

From a very young age, we seriously train our dogs to respect the burning fire with a key word they grow up understanding, which is the word 'danger!'

The word is used in such a tone, when combined with their name, they return to my side immediately. 

So, as expected, we are well on our way to training our new addition; little Katie (who was born December 5th, 2022 - arriving to us January 31, 2023).

This little Blondie is as sharp as a tack and as loveable as a teddy bear.
TAKEN: MARCH 3, 2023

With winter breaking into spring, on the last Friday in March, when I finished work at 4pm then wandered outside and built a killer bonfire. 

Goob came over for dinner and to sip a bevie or two. We watched the sun go down outside and embraced the start of the weekend by listening to our favourite tunes, while basking by the glow of a bonfire.

With full bellies, a cold cooler and a warm fire, I ended up sharing with David that I expect to be working remotely 100% of the time once the lakes open. I told him that I figured I will move my home office out to the cottage as soon as we can put the water on. 

With Katie being born last December, she will be almost six months old when she discovers a couple of very important things about cottage life. 

That when enjoying a bonfire in the off season, there may not be any snow but there will be mosquitos. 

She will learn that just like the other pups, she will be provided her own lawn chair so that she doesn't have to sit on the damp ground at night but her belly will still get bitten.

Oh, and though cottage food may taste better than what is served at the house, the calamine lotion I will be putting on her belly to stop the 'skeeter itch' does not!!

Saturday, April 1, 2023


May my beautiful friend and coworker forever rest in peace.
(Beautiful photo from her LinkedIn profile)

It was the last Friday afternoon of this past January. 

My boss and I had just finished our end of day call, when he empathetically said, “I have some news to share.” Then, after a long pause he said, “Ashley was killed in a car accident early yesterday morning.”

In that moment, it was like I had been punched in the throat. My mind began swirling, and I was in a complete state of disbelief. This girl had the most amazing energy and sense of kindness, I instantly fell into a general state of shock.

Fast forward from that Friday night to Sunday morning. I couldn’t find any information online, other than there had in fact been a vehicular fatality in that area the morning I was told she passed. 

So, by mid-Sunday morning I reached out to a coworker to go fishing for facts. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I wanted to confirm that there hadn’t been some sort of bizarre misunderstanding. She quickly confirmed it was in fact her that had died.

Flash to the next Tuesday, when the rumblings shift to the chatter that her husband was being investigated for foul play in her death. In that moment, all I could do was be angry at the potential small town gossip.

Low and behold he was formally charged that Friday with second degree murder and indignity to a dead body and is being held without bail. 

His charges were then formally upgraded to first degree murder on February 17th, 2023.

Though I want to be angry at the person accused of taking her life, he doesn't deserve any space in my mind. That said, I can’t help but focus my empathy and worry to their two young children, both under the age of ten. Still processing all of this, it is so sad that they lost both of their parents that day. 

Not that I am anyone special in the big scheme of all of this, I am just one of many that is extremely grateful to have been able to call Ashley Schwalm my friend. I will always miss my former coworker dearly.

Rest in peace my beloved Schwalmster

Because if there is one thing you deserve, it's to forever sleep easy.