Friday, March 30, 2018

This Week

Happy Friday, bloggers! How’s your week been? Mine has had a little of this, that and the other. Monday evening we went to dinner at my husband’s cousin’s house. She and her partner are retired archeologists and they have lived in this small city for 35 years. Not only was the company great but the food was out of this world! They chose a Mexican theme for the meal and everything was so incredible my taste buds almost exploded. I’ve always thought of myself as a decent cook but I am an amateur compared to these two. Anyway, it was a lovely get together and because they’ve been here for so long, we got some useful information about our new city.

After two social dinners in close proximity, on Tuesday the most amazing man in the world and I hid from the world. We are both introverts and being with people for extended periods of time exhausts us. So we took some time to re-energize…


...by doing what introverts need to do for the battery to fill up.

And yes, what kind of monster shows up unannounced and rings the bell or pounds on the door? There’s a thing called a phone, you know. Although we often don’t answer it. *tee-hee*

By the way, if you want to know how to handle introverts and phone calls, here’s some help:



Okay, I’m being silly today. That’s because I’m in that type of mood. Let’s move on to something else. Like art. Since I haven’t done any photography yet, here are some sketches. Nothing fancy but it’ll help fill up a blog post.





Now here’s a music video for you and the story behind it. A certain Google ad has been playing a lot lately and it features part of this song. Apparently, if you type into Google search “play that hipster song with whistling”, you get this. Of course, I couldn’t help myself, so I did just that and this was the first hit. I shouldn't be surprised because I was a computer programmer for years and understand the mechanics behind this kind of stuff. And I should even know better. But here I am being a puppet on a string. Along with many others, it seems, since the video has gotten over 11 million hits! Anyhow, try to enjoy. The tune is actually not bad.




And make sure to have a wonderful weekend. Happy Easter to those celebrating!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

You Asked, I Answer (Luck, Compliments, Favourite Smells)

Another week, another set of answers to your questions. These are all from one of my favourite bloggers.

And away we go...

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Christine asked:

1) What's the luckiest thing that's happened to you?

The short answer: Staying alive.

The long answer:

When I was about 11, a man that had been following me to and from school, walked up to me quickly on my way back to class after lunch one day (we used to go home for lunch), crowding me, saying things like “Help with the baby” and “We must hurry” and “The baby is sick” and on and on. As he spoke incessantly, he also corralled me in a certain direction, right toward the entrance of a multi-unit building. Next thing I knew, I was inside a 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’ve never felt more terrified in my life. This is the darkest and most haunting moment of my childhood. Since I’m in the here and now, it turned out fine. I might not have been here if things had gone differently.

So getting out of that situation and being here to write about it today is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.



2) What's the best compliment you've ever received?

I had to think really hard about this one. As an introvert, compliments have never been at the forefront of my life. I’m usually in the background, quietly doing whatever I do and hardly ever getting noticed. Even as a child, I lived in the shadow of the older of my two brothers who was (and still is) so extroverted and personable that every single person who knew us, our family, sang praises about him. They still do.

So I thought and thought and thought about a very significant moment and suddenly BOOM this came to mind:

When I was a teen, I raged against the unjust rules imposed upon me by an oppressive cultural and religious upbringing that didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t just reinforced by my mother in our household, it was also supported by the entire community I lived in. So I was angry and depressed and rebellious and desperate. And suffocating. This affected my schooling. I cut classes, didn’t work as hard as I could and my grades dropped. I wasn’t a troublemaker who drew attention, so no one really bothered with me.

Except for my 10th grade English teacher.

I’d been skipping at least one of her classes a week and one day, finally fed up with me, she took me aside and gave me a stern talking to. But she didn’t just threaten trouble. She said that she was upset that someone as highly intelligent as me was wasting her life. That she was frustrated that one of her most gifted students was not reaching her full potential. “You are exceptionally bright and talented, and you have the ability to be at the top of this class” she said to me. “Don’t throw it all away.”

I sulked and rolled my eyes and resisted. But I heard. Annoyed as I was (how dare she think she knows me), her words challenged me. I’ll show her, I thought. And from that day forward I was determined to demonstrate to her – and to myself – that I wasn’t a lost cause. Like my community thought I was. I could rise to the top. And I did. My marks improved, my projects were displayed in the classroom and I rose to the top. Just like she said I would.

To answer your question, Christine, the greatest compliment I’ve ever received was from my 10th grade English teacher who not only thought I was special. She told me so. At a time when I needed to hear it most.



3) What's your favourite smell?

I always lean towards vanilla. I love that smell. Not only do I appreciate it in baking, but I also like vanilla-scented candles. So vanilla is at the top of the list. And coconut. That's good. Coffee brewing, too.

But I am also drawn to basil for this reason:

My father loved growing vegetables and he was very good at it. He’d be up early morning tending to his garden and puttering around the backyard, something he enjoyed immensely, especially after retirement. He was never much into flowers – that’s always been my mother’s domain – and didn’t bother much with herbs either. But he did favour one: Ocimum basilicum, what everyone knows as basil.

For as long as my father gardened, he grew basil. And every now and then he would lean over and sniff the lovely smell that this plant emits. I came to associate this scent with him and whenever I get a whiff of it, I feel an ache in my heart, remembering his love for it and how much I miss him.



And that’s all for now. I’ll answer another bunch of questions next week.

Happy Wednesday to all!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone! How are things going? What are you up to? Anything you want to share? Do so in the comments section. I'd love to hear all about it.

Saturday I was back in Montreal but this time the most amazing man in the world accompanied me. My best friend and her husband had us over for dinner, the dinner we had planned on getting together for last weekend that had to be canceled due to unfortunate events. But all is well now and we had a chance to spend some time together. The food was amazing, the company even more so!

Today is going to be wonderfully sunny and mild! Spring is on its way and I couldn't be happier. I can't wait till it's warm enough for us to get on our bikes and start exploring our area and the surrounding towns and cities. And taking lots of pictures!

Right now, let's laugh, shall we? Here we go...







Have a great day!

Friday, March 23, 2018

This Week

It’s Friday again! The time just whooshes right by. Is that a legitimate word? I am tempted to look it up but I’ll just assume it is. Anyway... How has your week been? Do you have anything interesting to share? Tell me all about it in the comments below.



Yesterday was sunny and mild. Absolutely gorgeous! It felt like spring and I bounced around joyfully all day. That’s how happy it made me. And you know what else made me happy? Driving to Montreal in the morning and spending a few hours with my oldest and dearest friend. We have been like the sisters we never had since we were four. Almost 50 years of friendship later and we still have so much to talk about. It was lovely to see her. She is the one whose father-in-law suffered a minor heart attack on the weekend. He’s home now and doing much better. All’s well that ends well.

It was her birthday a few days ago and I messaged her this image on Facebook.


I also enjoyed the drive to and from Montreal, which was smooth sailing both ways. I actually enjoy driving on the highway. I plug in my GPS and I play music, sing along and enjoy the scenery while it guides me. So highway driving is good. Big city driving isn’t. Especially on city expressways or freeways or autoroutes or thruways...or whatever the heck you call them where you live. Montreal has some really intimidating ones, some of which you have .002 seconds to get on before an aggressive driver rams into you. And it’s survival of the fittest on roads in my hometown. You white-knuckle it the whole way through. Drivers there are rude and pushy and inconsiderate. If you signal your intention to change lanes, they speed up to block you. And occasionally a car jumps in front of you unexpectedly to keep you alert. Fun times! Not.



I’m not sure how much longer I’ll continue uploading what I draw. Friday’s posts may evolve to something else at some point, especially if I start doing outdoor photography again. We’ll see. But for now, here is me sharing some artwork.


My feeble attempt at Betty Rubble:



My "I don't really feel like drawing but I'll draw something quickly anyway":



My "I feel like drawing so I'll make a real effort":



I’ve been exercising regularly, and while I do, I play songs. This week’s theme has been disco music. Did you ever like it? Do some of you still enjoy some of these songs from time to time? Or is it just a few of us ‘mature folks’ that get nostalgic about this period of music? And the ones that are brave enough to admit it? On Wednesday I was working out to this tune (on a CD, no less):




And now...I will stop right here. And wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

You Asked, I Answer (Blogging)

It’s time to get to the questions my blogging pals asked in this year’s Ask Me Anything invitation. If you haven’t participated and would like to, go here. For those that did participate, you rock. Thank you!

Okay, let’s get to it.

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Terry asked:
How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging since 2009. My first post went live on May 21st of that year. Since then I’ve published over 3,000 posts and had 1,253,739 page views. And counting. That may seem like a lot but it actually isn’t. There are blogs that get far more than that, especially for folks who do this for a living.

So it’s been a long time, Terry. I never would have imagined that years later I’d still be blogging but here I am.


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2) Toni asked:
What inspired you to blog?

All the cool kids were doing it and I wanted in.

Actually, reading other blogs was my main inspiration. It was fun and interesting and a great way to connect with people. I enjoyed a variety of blogs so much that I decided at one point to start my own because, hey, I have something to say, too. And I’ve been yapping away since 2009.

Over the years I’ve met some amazing people from all over. Some have quit their online presence completely, some come and go, and some have been blogging steadily for years. The best of all are those who I’ve been ‘hanging out’ with for a very long time. We’ve traveled together, learned about one another and offered support when needed. I've even witnessed some of the younger ones grow up. It is very heartwarming.

And I never would have met all these wonderful people who are creative and supportive and entertaining and inspirational if not for blogging. People who make me laugh and think and sometimes even cry. So YAY to blogging!

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LL Cool Joe asked:
Have you ever thought about closing your blog? I have several times and I just wondered if I'm alone in this or do other bloggers ever feel that way too.

Yes. And no. I’ve had moments where I feel like quitting but mostly I’ve thought about suspending it, especially during those periods where my motivation to post something – anything - is very low. The past few months have been that way.

I feel like I’m a little burnt out with my blog and I’ve barely been keeping it alive. I’ve run out of things to say and sometimes feel slightly overwhelmed by the prospect of putting together a post. I believe a lot of it comes from how insanely busy we were last year with our home’s cleanup and renovations. We exhausted ourselves and we’ve spent the winter licking our wounds. Plus, I’m not a fan of winter and my energy and motivation are low during that period anyway. Now that spring is here and we don’t have as much to do as last year, I’m hoping to pick up the pace.

So yes, I’ve thought about shutting down my blog. But do I have any intention on doing that? No. As long as my favourite bloggers are still around, I will keep this site live!



And that’s it for now. I’ll answer another bunch of questions next week.

Happy Wednesday to all!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? Did you do anything special? Different? Exciting? Fun? We were supposed to go to my best friend's for dinner but plans were canceled because her father-in-law suffered a heart attack. Thankfully it was a minor one and he is being treated for it. Hopefully he'll get back home within a day or two. This is a reminder of how fragile and unpredictable life is. And to be mindful of every moment.

Now let's get to some funny stuff to add some joy to the day!







Have a good one!


Friday, March 16, 2018

This Week

Happy Friday, blogging friends. I hope life is treating you well. Here I am posting for a second time this week. Fi-na-lly. The funny thing is that I always have a gazillion things going on through my head that I want to share and then when the time to write a blog post rolls in, I draw a complete blank. I tell myself that I should jot down these ideas but I never do. So...I will just fly by the seat of my pants today.

First things first. Kitten Kazee, the newest addition to our family, is doing wonderfully. She is a bundle of energy, talks a lot, follows us everywhere and is as stubborn as they come. She gooses our other cat, Mocha, every chance she gets, but despite being an irritant to the older cat, they are getting along very well. I’d go so far as saying that Mocha even likes the little one. A little bit. Some days.

A bundle of trouble love.

This week we cleaned up our nest. Everything is dust free and shiny. Do I like cleaning? No. Would I hesitate to pay someone to do it if I won the lottery? No. Will I ever win the lottery? No. Because I never play. Therefore I’ll be doing the cleaning for a long time to come. Unless the most amazing man in the world wins the lottery. He plays occasionally and maybe he’ll get lucky, which means we both will. But I’m not holding my breath. Look at me all glass half empty and negative stuff like that there. *snort*



I recently treated myself to a beautiful set of coloured pencils. I couldn’t help myself; the temptation was too strong. And I blame thank blogging pal Rain for pushing me over the edge encouraging me to do so by sharing her beautiful purchases on her Instagram account. Now I have two sets of pencils. The cheap ones to scribble and practice with on cheap paper. And the higher quality ones to use on higher quality paper for when I’m feeling more artistically inclined. And speaking of art, here are some older drawings (because I’m really behind in sharing).




And here’s Kazee helping me photograph my artwork. Because she’s helpful like that.



Now here’s my pet peeve for the week...

You know what I cannot stand? Beauty commercials/ads. You know what I’m talking about. Those commercials/ads where they show some miracle product...anti age cream...anti wrinkle moisturizer...perfect skin mask...youth enhancing serum...blah, blah, blabbity blah. Why do these things annoy the living daylights out of me? Because the companies selling these products pile on six inches of makeup/foundation on the models/actors they hire and Photoshop the hell out of them. To the point where there isn’t a single line, wrinkle or pore visible on their faces. Not one. No one looks like that. No one. You seriously expect me to buy into the product you’ve sold your soul to peddle, Jennifer Aniston, when you don’t have a real face in these ridiculous ads/commercials? Do I have gullible written on my forehead?

End of rant.



Not too long ago, blogging friend John shared the song Una Paloma Blanca by George Baker. It had been years since I’d heard it and it took me way back in time. It’s an upbeat, catchy tune that makes me want to skip along a white sandy beach with it playing in the background. Ah, the beach, if only...sigh... Okay, enough with the pity party. I’m now sharing the tune with you. Enjoy.



And that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by and have yourselves a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, my friends. How was your weekend? How are you all doing? What's new in your part of the world? I'm still not in the mood to blog, so I haven't been. But that's okay. For now I'm enjoying visiting your sites and everything you have to share. Eventually I'll create some posts with before and after photos to show you the work we did on our home last year. And I'll even share some drawings and thoughts and opinions. And, of course, later this month I'll answer the questions you recently asked. So it's not like I have nothing to write about. I do. I'm just not motivated to do it. At some point I will be.

For now, I don't mind if I post just once a week to keep this blog alive and make you smile with some funny stuff. And speaking of which, here is this week's silliness...







Have a great day!


Monday, March 5, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, bloggers! How is everyone doing? Did you do anything special on the weekend?  We went out for dinner Saturday night, which was good and bad. Good because we enjoy getting out and bad because the restaurant was super busy and super noisy. We could barely hear each other, so it wasn't the most relaxing meal. Ah well, at least the food was good.

Hey, thanks to everyone that asked some questions on Friday for this year's Ask Me Anything post. They're all great, even the silly ones (and I won't name names or point fingers). I won't be getting to the answers until later this month, so if you want to participate, click here or click on the link on the sidebar -->

Now let's get to some funny stuff, which is why you're here...






Have a good one!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Ask Me Anything

Today, instead of my usual 'This Week' post, I'm going to invite my blogging pals to go ahead and...


That's right, for the fourth year in a row I am inviting you to ask whatever strange, random, personal, absurd, silly, weird, wacky, serious and even creepy questions you may have about me. I will happily answer everything you throw at me. Mostly. Because I also reserve the right to tell you to mind your own flippin' business give vague responses to anything that is way too private or uncomfortable.

So fire away with as many questions as you want. I can take it! I'll let this run for at least a couple of weeks and then begin posting answers soon after.

Ready, set, go...