Friday, September 30, 2016


Yesterday I ran across a really heartwarming story that I shared on my Facebook page. Today I am sharing it with all of you.

It's the story of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel who despite the devastation in Syria is staying in his war-torn city of Aljaleel "no matter what happens" to take care of more than 100 stray and abandoned cats. He is known as 'the cat man of Aleppo'.

I was really touched by this man's kindness and reminded once again that there are really good people in this world doing good things.

In the video he says "Someone who has mercy in their heart for humans has mercy for every living thing". It is the best thing I've heard all week.

Read the rest of the story here: The cat man of Aleppo. And watch the video below.

The world needs more kindness and less judgment.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

All Peopled Out

I have days like this:

Today is one of those days. My introverted blogging pals will understand this and the need to be absolutely in hermit mode for as long as it takes to recharge the internal batteries. Yesterday I had my fair share of people-ing. I spoke to people, I smiled at people, I circulated with people. Most of them were nice. Some of them were not so nice. And some wouldn't smile if their life depended on it. How do people go through life being so miserable and nasty? I just can't understand it. It must be utterly exhausting.

Anyhow, today is summarized by this:

People, people everywhere... I don't have the energy for them. So I'm not going to people today. I'm battening down the hatches and shutting them all out. Maybe I'll hang some garlic around the windows and doors in case they try to force their way in.

Ever have days when you just can't people?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fill In The Blank

Blue. I love the colour blue. It's the colour of denim, as you all know; my favourite type of clothing.

When I was a child, the answer was purple. And when I was in high school the colour blue was still tops but black was a close second and at times it even surpassed blue, especially on days when I really wanted to demonstrate the angst and hormonal agony of the teenage years.

How about you?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, everyone. How is it going? What are you up to these days? Not much to report on my end. It's been fairly quiet. Today is going to be a cooking and baking day. I have a list of recipes I want to tackle like applesauce, apple butter, broccoli cheese and potato soup, fudgy brownies and a couple more. Will I make everything today? Probably not; that would be overly ambitious. But I'll cook and bake until I can't cook and bake anymore. 'Cause there's nothing like homemade food.

Shall we laugh now? Let's...

Have a great day ahead!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Everybody’s Got A Story

Late Wednesday afternoon as I pulled up to a red light, I noticed a young man holding up a sign asking for donations. It went something like this: “Please help. I will take anything.” He was going from car to car showing his sign, barely making eye contact, his head down, his shoulders slumped as if they were carrying the weight of the world, his clothing dirty and faded, his eyes haunted.

He looked to be somewhere around my own children’s ages (19 and 24) and at the same time around 100. As if life had beaten him down so much that it had aged his very soul. I’ve never seen a sadder sight in my life. I’ve never encountered such a level of despair and helplessness in a person so young, someone that under other circumstances could have been a friend of either of my daughters; going to school with them, working with them, hanging out with them. It pierced my heart.

Living on the street under the constant threat of illness, exploitation, drugs and violence is no picnic. No one is born wanting this. Most youth are there because they have nowhere else to go. And I wondered what had transpired in his life that led to this. Was he a runaway? Was he suffering from a mental illness? Was there abuse in his home (a primary reason youth end up on the streets)? Was he dealing with a drug and/or alcohol addiction (self-medicating to cope with abuse, neglect, stress, traumatic experiences)? What was he eating? Where was he sleeping? Was he lost and confused and afraid? Was there anyone that worried about him? Missed him? Loved him? Where was his family? His parents? These and a thousand other questions went through my mind.

I was heading home with a car full of groceries that I’d stopped to pick up after I finished my hospice volunteer shift that afternoon. I was wondering what the most amazing man in the world and I would have for dinner. What movie we’d watch later that night. I was listening to music, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and singing along. I was thinking that I should call my mom later that evening and text my brother to say hi. I was wondering what my older daughter was up to and wondering how the younger one was doing in her new job, her first couple of weeks of school. And then I saw this young man, this broken spirit, and the contrast between our lives and his could not have been more striking.

By the time I retrieved some money to give him, he was too far back, the traffic light had changed to green and I had no choice but to move forward. But I couldn’t go home. I circled through the neighbourhood and turned back to where he was, hoping for an opportunity to give him something and say a few words. Thankfully, the timing was right and I rolled down my window, waving to him. He ran over and I handed him a few dollars. “Please take care of yourself” I said. His eyes lit up as he smiled and said “thank you so much thank you so much thank you so much”. For a few seconds he stood up straighter and about 80 years seemed to melt right off his face. I could suddenly see the young man he was meant to be, hope struggling to stay alive inside him, a tiny flicker of light in the darkness that has swallowed him up.

This incident has haunted me ever since. Everybody’s got a story and there is no doubt that he has a very heartbreaking one.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. And count your blessings.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

And So It Begins...

Summer has come and gone, ladies and gentlemen. It is now time to enjoy the autumn season, which can be incredibly beautiful when the weather cooperates. The leaves haven't changed shades yet nor have they started to fall (well, maybe just a few here and there), but it won't be long before we are enjoying the most magnificent display of colour.

I love this time of year as long as it isn't rainy and cold. Some years it is that way and others it's an extension of summer. It is completely unpredictable from year to year; you just don't know what you're going to get. I'm hoping the weeks ahead are glorious, so I can snap some photographs.

Do you like this time of year?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Question Of The Day

(1) I studied Russian in college and after only one term I could read, write and speak the language, although to a basic level. I never had anyone to practice with, so it's all forgotten, save for a few words.

(2) A very close friend and I wrote a book together in high school. It fell under the Young Adult Fiction (YA) genre and it was so much fun developing it. Sadly, we lost it over the years.

(3) I have spent time in a psychiatric hospital ward. (Aren’t you just dying to know what this is all about? I will post about it in the future...for all you snoops!)

Your turn!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, my friends! What's going on with you? How was your weekend? Mine was very nice, thank you for asking. Yesterday morning I went for round two at the local book fair, which takes place for two weekends a year. It was the last day and on the last day the blowout sale happens. You have two choices that day: 1) you pick up a few books at half price or 2) you grab a box, fill it up with as many books as you can fit into it and pay only $10. Well... What do you suppose I chose to do? Yeah.

And because it was such a beautiful day, the most amazing man in the world and I headed downtown for dinner and stopped in at the new restaurant, Score Pizza. You get to choose the ingredients and the pizza is built right in front of you and cooked within minutes. It was so good!

Then we took a nice long walk and stopped in at White Mountain where you can get the most delicious homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt that is made with natural ingredients. Delicious!

Well, enough about all that, let's get to why you're here...the funny stuff!

Have a good one, everyone!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Blogroll Cleanup

This morning I spent a little time cleaning up my blogroll on Blogger and on Bloglovin'. I use the latter to check for new posts on blogs I follow but I have lists on both. I unsubscribed from blogs that are no longer there, blogs that seem to be abandoned and blogs whose owners never followed or stopped following mine. How anyone can leave this lovely blog is beyond me, but alas, sometimes we are just not compatible. If you are a follower of mine and I've deleted your blog by mistake, please let me know!

Do you follow a lot of blogs? My list is not terribly long, and because not all of the sites I visit post often, it's fairly easy to keep up with all of them. Plus, I don't comment everywhere. I typically do that on blogs whose owners comment on my posts regularly. I consider these individuals blogging pals and I enjoy the exchange with them. Leaving comments can be fun but receiving them is even more so. People write the most interesting things sometimes. So, if you are a regular commenter here, you'll find me doing the same over at your place. If not, well, no need to explain...

Have I missed any of your blogs? Perhaps you are following privately or have never commented or there is no link to your blog from your profile picture on my 'followers' list. If that's the case, step forward and leave a comment below so that I can visit your blog, even follow it. Go ahead; don't be shy. We're a friendly bunch here!

Do any of you ever do blog cleanups? Do you enjoy leaving comments?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

When You Want To Relax...

...but you've got housework to do:

I laughed more than I probably should with this video. But I can't help it. Maybe it tickles my funny bone because my older daughter and her boyfriend have one of these robotic vacuums that they love. And maybe it's because they also have a cat that looks exactly like the one in this video, which they love even more. Either way, it just gets to me.

Do any of you have one of these vacuums?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Questions, Questions...

I’m stealing borrowing this set of questions from Debra because it’s lots of fun. Debra is one of my favourite bloggers. If we were in high school, I’d want to sit at her table in the cafeteria. I’d even share my cheesecake with her. And that says a lot. Because only a select few have that privilege. Anyhow, go visit Debra’s blog if you haven’t yet. But wait! Do it after you read my blog post.

Okay, here we go...

1. Are you named after anyone? My maternal grandmother.

2. When was the last time you cried? I’m all choked up right now as I watch - and listen to - the video below (for the gazillionth time) while working on this blog post. It’s about my favourite sanctuary for farm animals. And it's run by two of the most wonderful Canadians! My eyes well up with tears every time I view it.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. My handwriting is quite nice. I went to school at a time when penmanship was taught.

4. What is your favourite lunch meat? I’m not really a fan of any.

5. Do you have any kids? Two amazing daughters.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends? We’d be like two peas in a pod.

7. Do you use sarcasm? Always. I have inherited the sarcasm gene from my father.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? Hold on while I check... They seem to be there.

9. Would you bungee jump? Over my dead and decomposing body.

10. What is your favourite cereal? Guilt-inducing, sugar-laden, oh-so-bad-for-you Honeycomb.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not if I can help it. I actually have a pair of running shoes that I just slip on and off. Touch the laces on them and I will cut you!.

12. Do you think you're strong? Yes.

13. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Chocolate chip! Nom nom nom...

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their eyes. The windows to the soul tell all.

15. Red or pink? Blue :)

16. What is the least favourite thing you like about yourself? I sometimes procrastinate.

17. What colour pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Black shorts and black flip flops.

18. What was the last thing you ate? Guilt-inducing, sugar-laden, oh-so-bad-for- you Honeycomb. [hangs head in shame]

19. What are you listening to right now? Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding. (see question #2)

20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Turquoise.

21. Favourite smell? Vanilla.

22. Who was the last person you talked to? My husband who also happens to be the most amazing man in the world.

23. Favourite sport to watch? None.

24. Hair colour that's real? Yes. I have dyed my hair in the past but now it’s all natural.

25. Do you wear contacts? Nope.

26. Favourite food? Pizza!

27. Scary movies or happy endings? I love me a happy ending. And if it makes me sob with joy, even better.

28. Last movie you watched? TV mini-series “Kane and Abel”. It’s based on the book by Jeffrey Archer.

29. What colour shirt are you wearing? It’s some shade of orange. Or pink. Or orangey-pink. It's a weird colour.

30. Summer or winter? Summer all the way! Staying true to my Mediterranean roots.

31. Hugs or kisses? If I really like you, you’ll get both. If I don’t, you might get the stink eye.

32. Favourite sweet food? Ice cream. And cheesecake. Ice cream with cheesecake...oh my...

33. What book are you currently reading? I’m 1/3 of the way through ‘A Good House’ by Bonnie Burnard. I’m not sure if I like it yet.

34. What is on your mouse pad? A mouse :)

35. What did you last watch on TV? The first part in a three-part series of the JonBonet Ramsey story.

36. Favourite sound? I love nature sounds, but I'm especially fond of the sounds of the ocean.

37. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Rolling Stones!

38. What is the farthest you have traveled? Greece.

39. Do you have a special talent? Because of some (not very pleasant) past experiences, I can detect toxic people, bullshit and manipulation from a mile away. I consider this a superpower.

40. Where were you born? In Montreal, Quebec; the second most populous municipality in Canada.

That completes this fun set of questions and answers. I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you all join in. Come on, do it. Just do it! I'd really love to read your answers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Scoring At The Book Fair

So last Thursday I wrote about how excited I was heading to the local annual book fair that morning. An event that has me hyperventilating as soon as I step inside the warehouse where it's held. Do you remember that? If you don't it's because you didn't visit my blog that day. Shame on you. Shame.


There were oodles of people swarming around, most of them very courteous. But not all. Some were pushy and rude. In one incident, an elderly lady didn't think I was moving fast enough as I went up and down some aisles, so she kept inching up really close to me, close enough to intimidate me to move along. I am a very patient person but I do have my breaking point. After a few of these annoying encounters of her moving into my personal space, I finally turned around and confronted her as politely as I could. She was slightly surprised but far from apologetic. And nothing changed. *sigh* I dug in my heels and refused to pick up the pace. She had to deal with it.

I wonder if she's been this way her whole life?

Other than that unpleasant encounter, the morning went very well. And I picked up a few new books. I'd like to share three great finds with you.

The first one is this wonderful collection:

All 8 stories for only $6! I've read volume one and two but not the rest. The stories date back to the early 1900s and were written by a Canadian author. I first read Anne of Green Gables (volume 1) when I was a teenager. And loved it. It's been so long that I may start from the beginning and read all 8.

My second big score was 'Lassie Come Home'. I couldn't believe it when I found this! I was a HUGE fan of the television series 'Lassie' when I was a little girl. Remember that? It ran from 1954 – 1973 and it followed the adventures of a collie and her human companions. How I loved it. Loved it.

And finally, this:

It's the 1969 autobiography of Maya Angelou who was an American author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. And a most inspirational woman. I've been meaning to read this for years, and can't believe I haven't yet. So I was thrilled when I ran across it.

And that was my trip to the book fair! Have a good one, everyone.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, blogging friends. I hope you all had a terrific weekend. I'm running late this morning, so I'm going to keep it short and get right to the funny stuff. Enjoy!

It's already here!

Have a good one, everyone!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Question Of The Day

...a container of mixed nuts. At a ridiculously high price.

Here's the story:

Yesterday evening our doorbell rang and when I opened the door a young girl was standing there with a box full of containers of mixed nuts. She was a first-year engineering student, she told me, at our local university and she was going door to door fundraising. I also learned that she's not from around here; her hometown is almost three hours away. She was sweet and adorable and very polite. I would have said "no, thank you" if she didn't remind me so much of my daughter who is attending university in another city. And so I caved. I'm such a sap.

Your turn.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

This Day

This morning I'll be hanging around at a warehouse, checking out what books are available at the annual book fair. It's a fundraising event held by the volunteer committee of the Kingston Symphony Association. The community makes donations and then this event sells them back to the public at very cheap prices. Like a couple of dollars cheap.

I attend every year and bring along a list of books I'm interested in. Sometimes I really hit the jackpot and scratch off many titles. Other times I just come home with a handful. It doesn't matter. Just being there is a thrill. When I first walk in, I hyperventilate for a few minutes. Because I'm a bookaholic and being surrounded by so many books at ridiculously low prices gives me a buzz. I know I shouldn't be feeding this addiction but I'm weak when it comes to reading. Weak, I tell you.

There are always a lot of people attending this event, so it's important to sharpen your elbows before you get there. And practice being assertive for when you need to say "EXCUSE ME". You really want to say "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY". But it isn't polite. And when someone bumps into you or you squeeze into a section to check a title and disturb someone, you find yourself saying "sorry". That's the Canadian way. But your eyes say otherwise. Because in your head you're thinking "you've been hogging this area for too long. GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE". Yes, it's quite a patience-testing event! But no matter what, everyone behaves rather well.

I wait for this book fair all year long. It's going to be a good day. A very good day.

Do you like reading?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

You're Probably Around My Age If... know what 60s television show these sound effect images would pop up on.

Here's a dead giveaway small hint:

My two brothers and I were big fans of this show. We watched reruns because we were a little too young when it aired in 1966. And even though this was a very long time ago, I still remember this series very well. It's a little corny by today's standards but it was pretty cool back then. I started thinking about it a couple of days ago while watching the movie 'Rocky' for the umpteenth time. Burgess Meredith plays the character of Rocky's boxing trainer (Mickey Goldmill) in the film but I always remember him as 'The Penguin' in this TV show (bottom left hand image).

Do you remember this show? Did you watch it?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, blogging pals. And happy Labour Day for those enjoying a long weekend. What are you up to these days? Yesterday evening we went downtown and enjoyed a nice supper out on the patio. The weather was spec-ta-cu-lar. There were many people out and about enjoying the last weekend before the school buses start their engines. Tomorrow the kids around here are heading back into the classroom. And my younger daughter will be starting her second year of university in Ottawa. I wish all the kids a great school year!

Now let's get to some funny stuff...

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Weekend

And so it returns. This thing called 'the weekend'. How many of them have I enjoyed in my life? I'm 51, so if you do the math, the answer will be 'oh, so many'. But that's okay because it means I'm still here in this amazing world of ours. "It's plagued with problems", you say? Well sure it is, but despite what the media may have you thinking, there's a lot more good in the world than bad. With all this technology, the average person has more access to worldwide news and information...instantaneously. And what sells? The bad stuff. That's what we're bombarded with, smothered by, really. Don't let yourself get caught up in that. Step away from that negativity and search for some good stuff. It's all around us.

Any plans this weekend? It's Labour Day on Monday, so it's a long one here. Is it for you, as well? And how has your week gone? Has it been good to you? I sure hope so. And if things have been rough, I hope it all gets better. Here's something to make you smile:

Do you enjoy reading? I've been doing a lot of that lately. Right now I'm zipping through the novel "The Girl on the Train", which has also been made into a movie. So far it's quite interesting, although I do find the main character really flippin' a little annoying. Before this I read "Cell" by Stephen King. It's an apocalyptic horror novel about a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network that turns the majority of humans into mindless, vicious animals...or zombies. If such a thing ever happened, just about everyone I know would be affected. My mother would be spared and so would the most amazing man in the world. Both of them don't have cell phones. I might get away with it since I never talk on my phone. Just do a little texting. But if texting was an issue then I'd be one of the doomed. Anyhow, a movie was made of this book, too. And it's horrible. Not only is it a sucky film but it's much different from the book, making it double sucky. Don't watch it. It's a waste of time.

Well, that's enough rambling. I'll end this post with a song that I've been enjoying these days. I play it while I run walk on the treadmill, which I'm getting ready to do. It's quite an empowering tune. I hope you enjoy it. And I also hope you all have a wonderful weekend, long or not long!