Sunday, December 31, 2023


As the year comes to a close at midnight tonight, there is so much I am very thankful for. So much so, that I have no idea where to start. 

What I will highlight is that our wee, four legged blondie/Oreo filling, simply stole the show (as well as at least a half dozen of my perfectly good slippers). And, that I can finally admit I have discovered a perfect work/life balance; solidifying the saying 'life is short' as my personal mantra. 

Thanks for the memories 2023. They are truly respected and appreciated. I feel blessed that I have such great hope for an even better 2024.

All the best in the coming year everyone. Cheers to all, and thank you once again for reading. 

~ Rhondi

PS: With the past year 99.9% in the rearview, as you reminisce with me electronically you can click links to journal offerings that you may have missed, or wish to revisit. 

Most Memorable Moment (centre): The addition of the beautiful Katie Lulu, that arrived to her new home on January 31st, 2023. She has proven to be a much welcome thread to the newly reunited Oreo Gang and we love her very much. Thanks again @labradorables


January: The unexpected and shocking murder of my former coworker Ashley Milne (top left) in Collingwood. I have spent the year following this terrible and unnecessary tragedy in hopes her amazing spirit didn't die in vain. Please keep her and her young children in your thoughts and prayers.


February: With my sweet Puddin' passing in June of 2022, we thought for sure The Oreo Gang would be displaced for years. That said, with our addition of Katie, Family Furbaby Day was once again a great success.


March: After checking the Salvation Army Store in Gravenhurst for more than twenty years, I was ecstatic to find four more of my wonderful Petro Canada water glasses for the very first time. In a stinking blizzard no less!

April: I always look forward to my birthday trip and this year was no exception. We hit Vegas Baby! What do you do in Vegas if you have no desire to gamble? Guess you'll have to read to find out! (There are also other offering though my April A-Z posts.)



May: For the first time in more than a decade, I moved to the cottage for the summer.  I set up a satellite office and only commuted to work Monday mornings for meetings. I kept telling my husband that we should have named Katie '649'... Because that pup definitely won the lottery.

June: A milestone anniversary had us hop a plane to Montego Bay for the weekend to celebrate. My dad's birthday the 9th and our anniversary the 11th it made for a great reason to getaway. Though we stayed in a much smaller resort hotel than we usually do, we had a great time.


July: July was an amazing weather month. I worked for most of it sitting at my desk in a bathing suit. The only thing I enjoyed more was spending time with Goob in the water. You know, it doesn't matter how old they get, I just love having them around.

August: As reminisce about the year gone by, I think it had to be the 'year of the concert'. I think there were seven in total, with four being my country quartet. From a bucket list perspective, Chris Stapleton won that prize. Man, Budweiser Stage is a great venue.


September: Per the work plan, we added another layer to our estimating team, a new project coordinator. I began her training right the first week of September, so I moved home to have a shorter commute. Labour Day Monday (Lab + Our Day as the photo shows) was my last day living at the cottage full time. Made no matter, it was a really great month!

October: This nod goes to spending Canadian Thanksgiving week in Nashville. Boy, did we cram as much in as possible before returning home. The Mother Church of Country Music left me speechless, as did almost everything about this amazing city - including the Opry.


November: They say some of the best decisions you make are the ones you think about the least. Well, we bought another boat. A 20 foot Doral bowrider that gets delivered the first week of May (weather pending). Can't wait to load up the pups...


December: Well this month is crammed with memorable moments. It closed out another milestone year at work, had us spend valuable time with family and friends, and our home was filling with both birthday and holiday spirit. Not just the birthday on the 25th but the 5th, when Katie celebrated her very first birthday.

Sunday, December 17, 2023


TOP: Our festive holiday view of the falls in our sleepy little town
BOTTOM: Watching the sunset, waiting for my coworkers to arrive.

Last Friday, my husband and I rented a large AirBnB home overlooking the Bracebridge Falls, and hosted an afterparty for fourteen; which included the seven coworkers I am closest with and some of their life partners.

I was pleasantly surprised by the individual reactions I received as they walked through to the kitchen and spied the gaggle of Petro Canada glasses neatly lined up on the counter. There was one on display for each of us.

None of them readers of my electronic journal, I told my story of how my collection of over two hundred glasses came to be, then poured them a spot of holiday spirit.

I explained that whomever enters my home for the first time, always has to raise a glass and have a drink with my dad. Because my home couldn't sleep ten like the rental could, I brought my glasses to them -  as if they were entering my home for the very first time.

 As I told the story, one of the project managers I work with (who is the same age as Jukebox) Facetimed his parents so that they could meet me and hear my silly story about my glass collection. Similar in age, they remembered when my conversation pieces were all the rage. 

Then, as so many do, promised to keep an eye out for them in Southern Ontario and have their son deliver them to me. As it does whenever anyone offers to help grow my obsession, it warmed my heart.

As I reflect on the last year, I am grateful it has been exceptional. I think I finally have this work/travel life balance thing in check. I took the business to the next level at work AND I got to have a drink with my dad in some pretty cool places. 

Under the stars at the Bellagio fountains Las Vegas, in the sun on a beach in Jamaica, rockin' Broadway in downtown Nashville, and with fourteen work buddies overlooking the beautiful Bracebridge Falls. 

Life is really good!

And keeping my pops memory alive with my Petro Canada water glass collection is just an added bonus!!

Saturday, December 2, 2023


Seated in the tenth row, waiting for the BNL to take the stage.
Last night, my hubby and I had a nice dinner in Orillia, then headed to Casino Rama to see the Barenaked Ladies and their Hometown Holidays Show; they are only performing six.

I will start by saying that there was so much musical talent on that stage, it makes you proud that they are Canadian. And though I love their mainstream hits, I really enjoy their holiday offerings, and I am pleased to report that the evening offered a perfect blend of both.

Their comedic banter provided a ton of belly laughs and we headed home extremely entertained.

The buzz of listening to everyone exiting talk of how amazing it was was an added bonus, with both of us admitting it was far better than we were expecting it to be. Once again, money well spent, and another music concert ticked off the list.

My apologies about the photo quality. I left my phone and home and my husbands' needs to be put to pasture - PRONTO!

PS: Here's a great podcast link with Ed Robertson titled Don't Let Revenge Breed Resentment (click to listen)

The amazing Ed Roberton (center) flanked by
Kevin Hearn (l), Tyler Stewart (drums), and Ed Kreegan (r)

Performing my favourite song off 'Barenaked For The Holidays'
CLICK TO LISTEN: God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman w/ Sarah McLachlan

Bringing down the house with Brian Wilson!