Thursday, April 28, 2016

So We Finally Settled On A TV Series

As I've stated before, I haven’t watched anything on TV at its scheduled time since my younger daughter was a year old. That was almost 18 years ago. The most amazing man in the world and I typically enjoy movies or binge-watch long running series, many times older ones; the most recent one being the X-Files right after we wrapped up Seinfeld.

But we've been searching for something more recent and exciting and captivating to tune into. And after much consideration, we finally settled on one. I'll let you guess which one (for those who have been following it).

Here's a hint:



Here's another one:



And here's what we established about the character, Joffrey Baratheon, within a couple of episodes:



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we decided to watch every episode of every season of Game of Thrones until we've caught up to the rest of you who are tuning into this. Only two shows in and we're already hooked. It's not like we (especially me) didn't know about this. My two daughters have read the fantasy novels by American author, George R. R. Martin, that this TV series is based on.

And my older daughter even named her cat that she adopted from the local humane society when she stayed with us for a few months in  2012, Daenerys.

My daughter's cat, Dany (short for Daenerys)

But now we're actually seeing what it's all about. And enjoying it. We are just at the starting line but we'll catch up to the rest of you in no time!

Are you a fan of this TV series?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cell Phones

Up until last February, I had a basic cell phone with limited capabilities. You couldn't even really text with it; that was a struggle. It was so outdated that people were really curious about it; they'd never seen that style before or they hadn't seen it in...like...forever.

Then my daughter upgraded to a new phone and new plan and I offered her some money for her old one. And I became a smartphone owner; part of the modern world, albeit slightly outdated.

Even so, I still barely if ever use this new gadget and only a handful of people have the number, mostly family and a couple of close friends. I don't even have a data plan on it; I pay as I go (only 10.00 a month!) and use free Wi-Fi when I'm outside of the home.

Something to make you smile!

I admit that having this phone is certainly handy for texting my brother and two daughters, especially the one that's away for university, but even that only happens occasionally. I'm determined not to get caught up in this cell phone addiction that seems to be plaguing humanity. There is a beautiful world out there and I don't want to lost sight of it!

What about you? Do you have a cell phone? Do you text a lot? Are you addicted to your phone?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Asked, I Answer (Déjà vu, All Time Favourites and Dangerous Things)

Another week, another bunch of answers to questions from this year's 'Ask Me Anything’ post.

And away we go...

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Ron asked:
Do you ever have "deja vu"? with smells/sounds/tastes and if so one that is so prominent that it appears in dreams and every day life!!

It only happens occasionally now but earlier in life, from my childhood up until my late thirties or so, I used to have déjà vu experiences quite often. It was especially prevalent during my teen years, and although certain smells, sounds and tastes would trigger it, it would happen mostly in the outdoors. For example, I’d be walking down a street and WHAM déjà vu. Or I’d be opening a door to enter a building and BAM déjà vu. Sometimes it would happen when I was riding the bus or talking to someone on the sidewalk or hanging out with friends. There were many moments and places and conversations that seemed familiar and repetitive. And sometimes these unusual and peculiar experiences would occur while I was asleep. I’d have dreams that didn’t feel like dreams but rather like memories, and I’d wake up feeling like I’d been at the place I’d dreamt of before. Logically, I knew that I hadn’t been there before, but the place was inexplicably familiar, and the dreams would reoccur and continue, adding to the story. The one thing that does stir something deep inside me is being near the water, especially big bodies of water like the ocean. The sounds, sights and smells of these locations awaken emotions in me that I can’t quite define and try to bring memories to the surface that I can't quite reach. They seem to transport me to another time, another place.


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Bethany asked:
What are your all time favorite tv series, books, and movies?

Since the mid 90s, I’ve rarely if ever watched live TV, so whatever I’ve seen since then has been done by binge-watching series. But there are shows from my youth that stand out. For example, as a child I was head over heels in love with the dog, Lassie; watched every episode, cried a river of tears whenever that beautiful animal was in any kind of danger and would have taken on every chore in the house if only my parents would have allowed me to have a dog like that (it never happened). I was also a huge fan of Sesame Street, The Flintstones, Romper Room, The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour, Mr. Dressup (Canadian show), The Pink Panther, Spider-man, Batman and The Friendly Giant (also a Canadian show); just to name a few.

Some comedies that come to mind from my young(er) days include The Munsters, Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Carol Burnett Show (LOVED THIS!), The Brady Bunch, Get Smart, Green Acres, Monty Python's Flying Circus, All In The Family, Happy Days, Diff'rent Strokes, The Jeffersons, Sandford and Son, Three's Company, The Facts of Life, One Day at a Time, Taxi, Laverne and Shirley, WKRP in Cincinnati, Chico and the Man, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Family Ties, Who's the Boss?, Mork & Mindy, Soap, Ellen, Night Court, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Night Court, The Odd Couple and Welcome back, Kotter, etc.

A few other shows in my earlier years include Bonanza, Adam-12, Charlie's Angels, The Waltons, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Twilight Zone, Batman, Star Trek, Ironside, Miami Vice, Wonder Woman, MacGyver, The X-Files, Knight Rider, Thirtysomething, Moonlighting, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky And Hutch, Emergency!, The Streets of San Francisco, The Incredible Hulk, Kung Fu, Quincy, M.E., Columbo, Night Gallery, The White Shadow, The Bionic Woman, Kojak, The Littlest Hobo, Hart to Hart, Falcon Crest, Dynasty, Highway to Heaven and so many more.

I can list a whole bunch of others but let’s stop here because this is spinning out of control!

Although I’ve seen many, many movies in my lifetime, I can’t say I have any favourites, although films like The Green Mile, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, To Kill a Mockingbird, Schindler's List, The Godfather, The Shawshank Redemption, The Matrix, Back to the Future, The Silence of the Lambs, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Beautiful Mind, The Sixth Sense, 12 Years a Slave, Rocky, The Ten Commandments and The Life of PI are some I’d watch - and have watched - more than once.

As for books, that’s like asking me which is my favourite child. I read books at the rate that I inhale oxygen. Often and out of necessity. I can’t get enough, and although I could probably list some recommendations, it would take several pages. And who has time for that?


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Birdie asked:
What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done.

When I was about 11 years old, a man in his middle years had been following me to and from school one day. And on my way back to class after lunch (we used to go home for lunch), he walked up quickly to me, crowding me, saying things like “Help with the baby” and “We must hurry” and “The baby is sick” and on and on and on. As he spoke rapidly with desperation and nervousness in his voice, he also corralled me in a certain direction, right toward the entrance of a multi-unit building. Next thing I knew, I was walking into this triplex with this man right behind me. The door slammed shut, the world was left behind and the sudden understanding that I was in danger was so blatant, I struggled to breathe. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more terrified in my life.

The rest of the story is for another time but needless to say that since I’m in the here and now, things turned out well for me. Following that man into that building instead of running away screaming and calling for help is the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done. It is also the darkest and most haunting moment of my childhood. And something I kept secret until I was much older, mostly because I was afraid I'd get blamed (kids think it's always their fault) and also because I suppressed the memory because it was so traumatizing.

Every day since that day is a gift. Because I might not have been here.



And that wraps up another week of questions answered...save for one. Because I always save the most thought-provoking one for last. Check back next week for that. And if you haven't seen your question addressed, it may be because you haven't visited when the post for it was uploaded (shame on you! haha). Check the original post for a link to it.

Thank you to everyone for stopping by. Have a great day!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone. Here we are again. Can you believe it's another new week? What have you all been up to? I spent a good chunk of time packing up the remainder of my daughter's stuff this weekend. She's moving into her new apartment this coming Sunday, which is exciting for her and bittersweet for me! The most amazing man in the world and I are truly empty nesters now. We joke that perhaps we should start looking into getting into one of those adult lifestyle communities. But then again...maybe we should wait a few years because sometimes the fledglings return home.

Now, how about some funny stuff? Here we go...






If you've been following the news, this will make sense!

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

You Had One Job

(Image found somewhere on the internet through a google search)

Oh, the irony...

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Question Of The Day


I love homemade food (there's nothing quite like it), so I don't mind putting in the effort to be able to enjoy that. In addition, I like finding new and interesting recipes, and then going out to shop for the ingredients.

Speaking of which, here is the most awesome lentil soup recipe in the history of awesome lentil soup recipes. Very easy to prepare and extremely delicious. Lentils are something I wouldn't touch as a kid but have grown to really enjoy as an adult. Maybe because I found recipes that work for me.

FAST AND FILLING RED LENTIL SOUP

Ingredients:
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 (796ml 28oz) can whole or chopped tomatoes
2 potatoes cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pepper to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro, minced

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a large pot, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add minced cilantro and serve.

** Here are some things I change/add: **
- Instead of three carrots, I often use 1 carrot (chopped) and 1 sweet potato (cubed). Yummy!
- I use fresh tomatoes (chopped) instead of canned (a noticeable difference in flavour!).
- I add additional broth to make the soup more watery (1/2 or 1 cup at a time until it's exactly how I like it).
- I usually skip the rosemary or just add a pinch (that's a bold flavour that not everyone likes).
- I also just add a pinch of thyme instead of a whole teaspoon or skip it altogether.
- I have never added cilantro to the soup.

Enjoy!

So, do you like to cook?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

You Asked, I Answer (Favourite Photographs)

I am really pressed for time this week, so today I'm going to answer a single question from this year's 'Ask Me Anything’ post.

Here we go...

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Kay asked:
I wanted to ask you Martha, you are a FANTASTIC photographer. What is your very FAVORITE photograph, or maybe the top 5 that is on your blog? I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos!

First, thank you, Kay! That is really kind. But that's the way you roll.

Second, I have taken thousands of images over the years and there are so many that I love for one reason or another that it's next to impossible to choose the top five. So instead of narrowing it down to that small a number, which will take me forever, I'm going to share twelve photographs that rise to the top. I hope you like them!

Autumn Scene

The Duck

In The Country

In The Garden

"Ribbit...Ribbit"

Across The Water

Autumn

Abandoned

Reflections

Under The Bridge

Project 366, Day 43: The Clock Keeps Ticking

At The End Of The Tunnel

I could easily have added another dozen but I think this is more than enough for one post. Over the years I imagine there'll be a lot more photographs to share.

And that's it for today. Short and sweet. Thanks to Kay for her lovely comment and interesting question, and thanks to all of you for stopping by. More answers next week!

Have a great day, everyone.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday! How are you all doing? Good, I hope. And I hope your weather has been good, too. Ours has been ab-so-lute-ly beautiful and I couldn't be happier. I squeeze in as many walks in the morning as I possibly can and then I get to do it all over again in the evenings with the most amazing man in the world. Good stuff. And when we finally get our bikes out, it'll be even better. Do any of you enjoy walking or cycling?

While you think about that, I'll load up some funny stuff for you.







Have a good one!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Question Of The Day


* Receiving a letter, card or package in the mail
* A quiet spot by the water
* Freshly washed sheets
* The sound of crickets at night (and cicadas during the day)
* A big bowl of watermelon chunks!

How about you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Weather Mania


This is what it's been like for quite some time around here. Technically, spring has sprung but it means something different every day. We don't know whether to put our boots away or leave them by the door. Welcome to Canada in the spring...

What's it like where you are?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You Asked, I Answer (Secret Wishes, Ah-ha! Moments, Eras I'm Drawn To)

Another round of answers to your questions on this year's ‘Ask Me Anything’ post.

Away we go...

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Baili asked:
What is your most wanted thing in the world, any secret wish?

Aside from the obvious, which is for the people I love to always be healthy and happy, and how thrilled I’ll be if I ever have grandchildren, there is nothing more that I’d like than to be able to travel and see as much of this world as I can before I die. Nothing. I don’t care about big houses or flashy cars or expensive jewellery or a fancy wardrobe or showy furniture or the latest trends or anything like that there. Just give me some airline/train/bus tickets, a place to sleep, a suitcase, a camera and set me free. With the most amazing man in the world by my side. Because he is a wonderful travel companion. Plus, he doesn’t mind carrying some of my photography equipment... *snort*


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Jim asked:
What 'ah-ha' moment that you have experienced stands out the most for you?

Well, Jim, since you’re one of my blogging friends that knows the story of my first marriage, which was an absolute disaster, you will understand when say that when I finally saw - with absolute clarity – the mind games, emotional blackmail, psychological torment and emotional abuse I’d lived for years during that period (written about here), I can honestly say it was one of the biggest “ah-ha” moments of my life! And that moment led to my emotional and mental liberation, which placed me on a healing and empowering path that eventually led to meeting the most amazing man in the world. The rest as they say is history...


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Toni asked:
My question is, have you ever had a past life regression or do you have any feelings about what age or time you might have lived in, in the past? Is there a place or time you are drawn to?

I have experienced some incredible things in my life but it would take several posts to describe them. For today, I’ll keep it short and simple, so my blogging pals don’t zone out.

For whatever reason, I am drawn to the medieval period. Not only am I fascinated by it, but it stirs powerful emotions in me that I can’t explain or even understand. In addition to the emotional stirrings, I’ve had the most mind-boggling dreams on and off throughout my life about that time. The dreams are always crystal clear with vivid details and remarkable experiences that seem so real it takes me awhile to detach myself from them when I wake up and feel like I’m in the present.

But that’s not all...

Even though the medieval period has a strong pull, the biggest draw is to the future. How far? I don’t know. 500 years, 1,000, 10,000...I’m not sure. There have been more moments than I can count where this world seems so primitive on so many levels. There have been more moments than I can count where I feel that if I jumped hundreds or thousands of years ahead, I’d fit better. Do I feel misplaced because I’m too sensitive and empathetic to the problems of this lifetime? Does it come from my desire for a more peaceful, more unified planet, and my hope (and slight conviction) that many generations from now we might be a more evolved species? Finally get it right? Stop acting like we're still dragging our knuckles on the ground? Perhaps. But these feelings are extraordinary, nonetheless, and since I'm always open to possibilities I think about this sometimes.

Having said all that, if I was given a choice, I’d jump thousands of years ahead and see what’s going on! Now, if only time travel had been invented by now…


And that’s all for this week! I'm down to the last few questions, so if you haven't seen yours yet, it'll be coming up very soon. Also, head over to the original post to check and see  if your question has already been answered in a previous Q&A.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday. How was the weekend? What did you all do? Did you go anywhere? Do anything special? Or did you enjoy a quiet couple of days? Whatever your weekend consisted of, I hope it made you happy.

And I hope today's humour puts a smile on everyone's face...







Have a great day!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Remembering My Brother

Who died five years ago on April 09, 2011  at the age of 47. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him. Thankfully time has helped heal the wound that was once so deep and so raw and so painful I could barely stand it.

Always on my mind, forever in my heart.

As the years go by, I've gotten used to a new normal even though I've never stopped wishing things could have been different. Most importantly, I have reached a point in my life where I've accepted that the questions that once threatened to suffocate me  will never be answered. That there is truly no way I could have prevented his death. And so the pain has subsided with the passage of time even though the ache remains. But an ache that I can live with.

One thing that will never change is my determination to keep his memory alive for as long as I live. And so today I remember my beloved brother, Steve, who left us much too early. The world became a sadder place when he left it. But I am forever grateful to have been given the time I had with him. It was an honour and a blessing.

Perhaps we'll meet again one day...


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

You're Probably Around My Age If...

...you've ever used one of these:

By George Chernilevsky (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The good old floppy disk. Once upon a time we thought this was a great invention, and I suppose it was during that period. How far we've come since then!

Have you ever used one of these?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

You Asked, I Answer (Quotes, Blogging, Photography and Canada)

Here we are with more answers to questions you had on this year's 'Ask Me Anything' post.

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Bethany asked:
What's your favorite quote?

How much time do you have, Bethany? Because there are so very many that I like. And that list keeps growing. But since we all have lives to lead, I will share a handful.

Like this one:

"If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart." (Lao Tzu)

And this one:

"Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out...and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man"---with his mouth. (Mark Twain)

And especially this one:



I’m often heard saying that “sometimes entire generations need to die off so we can evolve”. And I truly believe that.

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Tina asked:
Martha, why did you start blogging? How did you get into photography?

It took me awhile to discover the blogging world but when I did I was intrigued by it. I thought it was a wonderful way to connect with people around the world and share thoughts, ideas, photographs, recipes, silliness, creativity and anything and everything in between. I secretly followed a handful of blogs for a few months and decided at some point that I, too, wanted in and that I, too, had something to say. Nothing earth shattering or life changing or award-winning, but still, something. So I dove in and have never looked back.

Photography, on the other hand, has always been a favourite pastime. I’ve been snapping photos since as far back as I can remember but didn’t take it to a higher level until I got my first DSLR in 2012, which I fell head over heels in love with. A few courses and thousands of images later and this passion is not only still going strong but there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. It is my number one stress reliever and get-away-from-it-all hobby. And I hope to go even further with it after we sell our home and settle into our new one; perhaps try to sell a few images. We shall see.




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Deb asked:
Are Canadians really as nice as they appear, or do they secretly go back home and swear like sailors at the stupidity of some people?

Like any other country, we have our fair share of racist, bad tempered and small minded people. Because there is no place on earth that is free of assholes. But for the most part we are generally good natured and well mannered, which has earned us (and continues to earn us) a favourable reputation around the globe.

However, if you want to get under the skin of a mild-mannered Canuck, call Canada the 51st state or America’s hat. Keep snickering about how we pronounce about as “aboot” (something that doesn’t make sense to us) and watch our eyes roll back into our heads. And don't be surprised if the gloves come off if you insult the sport of hockey. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Cause you just might get “a boot” up the ass. And we’ll be sorry. But not really.

And oh, by the way, Canadians drop more f-bombs and other curse words than people in the U.S and Britain. Maybe at the same time as they give someone “a boot” up the ass.



And that's all for now! Come back next week for more.