Friday, September 30, 2016

Kindness

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?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Project 366: Week 38

When I first started this project, I wondered if I’d make it halfway. Well, here we are with week 38 completed and into the fall season. I’m glad I stuck with it even during those periods when I didn’t feel like it. Here is another round of photos.

This week's photo theme: Water Views


Friday, September 16, 2016
In The Shade
"Enjoying the view in the shade on a warm afternoon."

Project 366, Day 260: In The Shade


Saturday, September 17, 2016
The Bridge
"Taking a short break before we explore the other side.”

Project 366, Day 261: The Bridge


Sunday, September 18, 2016
Water Meditation
"When I need to relax, I seek water.”

Project 366, Day 262: Water Meditation


Monday, September 19, 2016
Nature’s Beauty
"There is no place quite as beautiful as the land and the water and the sky."

Project 366, Day 263: Nature's Beauty


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Quiet
"A peaceful end to the day."

Project 366, Day 264: Quiet


Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Tucked In
"Even boats need to rest.”

Project 366, Day 265: Parked


Thursday, September 22, 2016
Dramatic Sky
“The view by the water is that much more beautiful with dramatic clouds.”

Project 366, Day 266: Dramatic Sky


What I've learned this week:
Play tourist in your own city and discover new sights.
Some days go as planned. Some days go off course. Accept it and move forward.
Spend time by the water to renew and refuel.
Complain less. Appreciate more.

That’s all, folks. Have a beautiful day!

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!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Project 366: Week 37

The clock keeps ticking and week 37 is done! Here is yet another round of photos for “Project 366 – 2016

This week's photo theme: Random Sightings


Friday, September 09, 2016
The End Of The Urban Road
"Mother Nature is up ahead."

Project 366, Day 253: The End Of The Road


Saturday, September 10, 2016
Tranquility
"Sit for awhile and clear your mind.”

Project 366, Day 254: Tranquility


Sunday, September 11, 2016
Colourful
"And fun on the water.”

Project 366, Day 255: Colourful


Monday, September 12, 2016
Serene View
"A lovely spot in Kingston."

Project 366, Day 256: Serene View


Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Kingstonians
"A favourite hangout of the locals."

Project 366, Day 257: Kingstonians


Wednesday, September 14, 2016
My Way
"That’s the way to do things.”

Project 366, Day 258: My Way


Thursday, September 15, 2016
Late Summer Blooms
“Pretty flowers still going strong.”

Project 366, Day 259: Late Summer Blooms


What I've learned this week:
Mother Nature is wonderfully unpredictable.
Sometimes you need to get out of the urban jungle.
It’s important to clear the mind. Sometimes we think far too much.
Experiences are more valuable than possessions.

And that’s that. Wishing you all a beautiful day!

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.

Anyhow...

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!