Monday, June 30, 2014

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, folks. How is everyone? How was your weekend? Is it hot in your area like it is here? And can you believe it’s the last day of June? Holy moly! Slow down, time, slow down...

We took a walk downtown yesterday evening and it was buzzing with activity. There were people everywhere enjoying the nice weather, and excited about Canada Day, which is tomorrow. But celebrations are already going on. And Canadian pride is everywhere. You can see lots of it at this retirement complex:

Isn’t that really cool? I thought that was a nice touch.

It’s been a little hectic around here, and once again I’ve fallen behind on emails and blogs. But I’ll catch up soon enough. For now, let’s start the week off with a smile...

Make it a great day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

It’s The Little Things: Watermelon

So here I go with another new theme for my blog titled “It’s The Little Things”, which will be all about things that bring me joy. Simple things. Because that’s truly what makes life pretty awesome, no?

The tone of this theme will vary. Sometimes it’ll be serious, sometimes it’ll be funny. It all depends on the topic.

And I’m going to kick-start it with the greatest and most spectacular fruit on earth: watermelon.

I love love LOVE watermelon. It’s filling, naturally sweet, and the most refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

I can live on this fruit. Together with pizza and ice cream and peanut M&Ms. And maybe a slice or two of cheesecake.

Watermelon next to cheesecake. OHMYGOD...yes...

How about you? Do you like eating fruit? What kind?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ten Glorious Years

“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible - it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is
powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”
- Barbara de Angelis -

Today marks a very special occasion in our home as the most amazing man in the world and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” - Plato -

It’s hard to believe that a whole decade has passed when it seems like only yesterday that we said “I do”. Our relationship continues to thrive year after year because of the simple things we honour.

“I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.” - Roy Croft -

We are faithful and genuine and honest and patient. And admire and respect each other.

"When someone else’s happiness is your happiness, that is love." - Lana Del Ray -

We never fight or yell or blame. We listen more than we speak. And never take each other for granted. Each day together is a gift that we cherish.

"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." - Sam Keen -

We play and laugh together. The hearty sense of humour we share keeps us young and vibrant, and adds joy to our lives.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu -

We appreciate our similarities as well as our differences, support each other in every way, and make necessary compromises. We strive to meet halfway when needed, but also go the extra mile if we have to.

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." - Zora Neale Hurston -

We are not just a couple, but also the best of friends. Meeting each other’s needs, and doing things to make each other happy is not a sacrifice, it’s a pleasure.

“True love stories never have endings.” - Richard Bach -

And most importantly, we don’t just love one another, we are also in love.

“Love is when you look into someone's eyes and you see their heart.” - Unknown -

Every year is better than the last, and I am eternally grateful for crossing paths with this amazing man, and for the incredible journey we are on.

“Two souls and one thought, two hearts and one pulse.” - Halen -

I wish you all a beautiful day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hometown Memories: The Abandoned Cat

I’m ashamed to say that my hometown province of Quebec has one of the worst records of animal abandonment in all of North America.  Every year, tens of thousands of pets are deserted, many of them left behind when their owners move. Some of them are dumped outdoors to fend for themselves, others are left at shelters. And in the worst case scenarios, some are abandoned inside empty apartments. Dogs have been found tied to radiators and cats have been found inside boxes; their owners long gone.

I witnessed this cruelty almost twenty years ago when I was a young mom. A seven-year-old child that lived just a few houses down from ours, and who came over regularly to play with my daughter, rang our doorbell one afternoon, and when I opened the door, there she was with a beautiful cat in her arms.

“Can you please take her?” She asked. “She needs a home.”

I told her that the cat was probably just out for the day, and would return to her family eventually.

“No.” She said. “Her family left her.”

“What do you mean ‘left her’?”

“They moved to another house and didn’t take her with them. She lives outside now.”

Oh. Oh no...

I was stunned. And conflicted. I already had two cats, and didn’t want another, so I told this precious child that I couldn’t take her, but I’d help find her a home. She left with the cat still cradled in her arms, heartbroken. And it took me all of 30 seconds to run after that little girl, scoop that cat up in my arms and take her home with me. I named her ‘Hobo’, and eventually she did go to a new home, but not for a few years. And it turned out that ‘Hobo’ was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to a single, white kitten right in front of my eyes, and that kitten, who we named Slushy, is now almost 20 years old. She lives with my ex-husband, and is surprisingly in great shape for her age.

Hobo is a single case of abandonment out of thousands upon thousands of others. And not all of them have a happy ending like hers. It does happen that sometimes circumstances force us into having to give up a pet. In that case, finding them a loving and secure home is the responsible and humane thing to do. Abandoning them on the street or leaving them in an empty apartment is not.

Animals aren’t something you just throw away.

Here’s a video that will break your heart, and then put it back together again. Get the tissues ready...

Have you ever witnessed a case of animal abandonment in your neighbourhood?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Diversity Makes The World More Colourful

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand
that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
- Maya Angelou -

What a magnificently diverse world this is...

We live in different areas.
In different climates.
Different houses.

We dress differently.
Look different.
Speak different languages.

We are faithful to different religions.
Walk different spiritual paths.
Or follow no religion at all.

We eat different foods.
Celebrate different holidays.
Enjoy different festivals.

We are a mosaic of cultures.

Isn't it all wonderfully grand?

Diversity makes this amazing thing we call life that much more colourful, and something that should be celebrated and embraced.

Don’t you agree?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone, and happy summer! I hope the weekend was good to you. The most amazing man in the world and I spent the day in Quebec on Saturday. A very good friend of his was having a get-together for his 50th birthday, and he really wanted to attend. I had intended to go initially, but in the end chose instead to spend the day with my daughter and her boyfriend who live about a half hour away from where the party was. I don’t see my older daughter enough and I just couldn't pass up this opportunity. It was a wonderful visit, and I even got to meet the kitten that they are fostering.

If I didn't already have two cats, I would have taken this sweetie home.

I spent yesterday afternoon relaxing, and in the evening, hubby and I went for a long stroll at Lake Ontario Park; one of the most beautiful areas in the city. The weather was spectacular, and we could have kept on walking all night long.

I never get tired of walking through this area. It is very scenic and wonderfully relaxing.

And now here we are with a brand new week ahead of us. Let’s start it off right by tickling the funny bone...

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our Pets Touch Our Very Souls

"Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends,
is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives."
- John Galsworthy -

Those who've never established a deep emotional connection with pets cannot fathom the intense grief experienced at their loss. But those of us who share a strong bond with them, and consider them beloved companions and members of our family, understand all too well the heartache that accompanies their passing. These beloved creatures that bring joy into our lives, and offer companionship, comfort, unconditional love and acceptance, wrap themselves around our heart, and when they depart, they take a piece of us with them.

That heartache is being felt right now by blogging friend, Wendy, whose beloved dog died suddenly, and I would like to end this week by dedicating this post and the video below to her. If you feel so inclined, please head over to her blog and offer her some support as she tries to deal with this unexpected grief. A little kindness and a few words of comfort give us strength as we struggle to make our way out of the dark forest of sorrow.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Wendy. May your sweet Barnie-Boy play joyfully as he waits to reunite with you.

I wish you all a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Your Life In One Word

Over the decades, many words have defined my life. Words like carefree, hopeful, puzzling, demanding, evolving, painful, surprising, hectic, dynamic, transitioning, joyful, educational, frustrating, enlightening, challenging, untroubled, rewarding, disappointing, focused, passionate and pleasant. Just to name a few.

And like many individuals, as the path of my life’s journey changed, so did the words used to describe it.

If I had to choose one word to describe my life at the present time, it would have to be tranquil.

‘Tranquil’ is not an action-packed word, and in my youthful years I would have considered that type of existence monotonous and uninspiring.

But the years went by, my experiences were many and varied, some ups and downs were encountered along the way, and being in a tranquil state is now considered a blessing.

I don’t know where I’ll be in a year, or even in a month, but for now, I’m perfectly content to have my life defined by the monotonous word ‘tranquil’.

What single word describes your life right now?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Keeping The Kid In You Alive

"Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk
about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap."
- Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten) -

I have a confession to make:
I’m not really a grownup. I’m a kid stuck in a middle-aged body; one of life’s cruel jokes.

My inner child is alive and well, which is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because if it hadn’t, adulthood would have dimmed all that is beautiful and awe-inspiring and wondrous and exciting.

I like to giggle and goof around, and I’m married to a man who is the same way. This is fantastic because two goofballs are better than one.

Even though my childhood was over a long time ago, playtime is still going on.

I still enjoy simple acts that brought me joy as a child.

It doesn’t take much to put a smile on my face; it’s the simple things that make me happy.

Airplanes flying by, the striking colours of a rainbow after a storm, clouds floating in the sky, the vastness of the ocean... I still retain a childlike sense of wonder.

This childlike perspective on the world has certainly made this thing we call life that much more amazing.

Is the kid in you alive and well?

* All photos courtesy of the most amazing man in the world...the other goofball. *