Monday, April 30, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, blogging pals! How is everyone doing? What have you been up to? Was the weekend good to you? We've had really gloomy weather for the past few days with cool temperatures and rain. But at least there's no snow. So there's that.

Yesterday we went to Ottawa to visit my daughter and her boyfriend. We ordered in some food and had lunch at their place. And then we drove back home with this little lady:

She's my daughter's cat and her name is Obi, short for Obsidian. This beautiful little furball will be staying with us for a month while my daughter and her boyfriend travel. And where are those lucky young people going for a month? To three different destinations: Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Isn't that amazing? It is a trip that they will never forget! While they're away, Obi will be safe and well cared for by us. And maybe a little spoiled, too.

Isn't she precious? I certainly think so.

Obi is the important visitor that I mentioned on Friday. Now you know.

Time to get to the funny stuff!

Have a good one!

Friday, April 27, 2018

This Week

Well, here we are again, blogging friends. How has your week been? I hope it’s treated you well. Ours has included mild weather. And sunshine! Can you imagine? I think spring is finally here. So much so that I even put my boots away. Again. But I truly believe that this time it’s for good. Look at me being all optimistic and stuff. Go, me!

I made another batch of soup yesterday and it turned out a-ma-zing! This is the fourth one in the past 10 days, and even though I planned to only make four to fill our freezer, I picked up some lentils a few days ago, so I’m going to prepare one more. And then that’s it. We have enough soups in the freezer to last us until the world ends for a while. Anyhow, I’m boring you with details. But before I move on, here’s the link to another great soup: Veggie Dumpling Soup

Today is the last Friday in April. And you know what holiday is on the last Friday of April? National Hairball awareness day. That’s right. And I can honestly say with utmost confidence that I am very aware of hairballs. Very. My slippers were quite aware of it, too, a couple of days ago. I’m sure my blogging pals who have cats can relate. Anyhow, help your cats reduce the amount of fur they ingest when they groom themselves. Regular brushing is great, but there are also lubricants that help fur to pass through the digestive tract and even foods specially formulated to reduce hairballs. Kitty will thank you.

I’ve been busy with other things lately and my drawings have been simple ones. But despite that, I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying that simplicity. At a ridiculous level, actually. I feel like a kid again having fun with coloured pencils.

The first drawing (I followed along on YouTube) was centered around the letter j. The artist drew the letter, which starts as her head, and built on that. Do you see it? Pretty cool, no?

And then I had a delightful time working on the drawings below. So basic and yet so enjoyable. But isn’t that what art is all about? Having fun?

It’s time to put an end to this post. We're expecting a very important visitor on Sunday and I've got to prepare for that. Who is this mystery visitor, you ask? You'll find out on Monday. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!

Oh, and enjoy this cool song called “How To Save A Life” by the rock band The Fray.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

You Asked, I Answer (Funny Stuff, TV, Books and Quotes)

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another round of answers to your questions! Today I will finish the rest of Bethany’s questions.

And we’re off...


Bethany asked:

1) How do you find new content every week for Chuckles and Chortles?

Some content comes from Facebook pages, some of which I’m following. But I find most of my images by searching on Professor Google; the place we all go to when we need answers. And funny images to share with blogging pals. And even funny cat videos (although that superpower belongs to YouTube).

But no matter where the silliness comes from, I work hard at gathering it up. Just so you know. Because I expect to be praised Not that I expect praise or any such thing.
2) What are your favorite TV series?

I can't say I really have any favourites since we don't watch a lot of TV. And since we have no cable or satellite subscriptions we're kind of lost about what's in or out these days. But we did finally join Netflix in January, which offers quite a few decent choices, and we've gone through a few series and even enjoyed some movies there. Right now we're bulldozing through 'Grey's Anatomy'. We're a little late since this has been around since 2005 but who cares? We watch things when we feel like it.

3) What book has made the greatest impression on your life?

This is really impossible to answer because I have read so many books in my lifetime that I can open a library with those titles alone. I’ve loved reading since I could barely put a sentence together. Nevertheless, I’ll list three of my favourite books that were introduced to me during my teen years by teachers.

- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This timeless and deeply moving classic, narrated by a six year old, is about potent prejudice in a sleepy southern town. It is gripping and heart wrenching and absolutely remarkable. I’ve read the book a few times and watched the movie based on this story more than once. I can’t say enough about this book.

- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This is a coming-of-age novel written when the author was in high school, which may be a huge contributor to its success. It was very controversial at the time of its publication, often challenged and even banned. Thankfully that wasn’t the case in my school and I was able to enjoy it. I even have the copy that my English teacher handed out in the classroom way back when.

- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This is the story of a group of young schoolboys who are left to govern themselves after an airplane crash. Without any rules in place, their orderly world is replaced by a more primitive and barbaric one. This riveting novel explores the dark side of humanity and the ugliness that lies beneath the most civilized of us. It begs the question:

Without enforced rules and regulations, how many of us would succumb to savagery in our quest to survive?

And there you have three books that were introduced to me as an adolescent and continue to rank as favourites because they stirred many emotions, made me think about very important social issues and had me questioning them, as well.

4) Do you have a favorite quote?

You bet. There are several and one of them applies to – surprisingly enough – the need for death. Let me explain...

It seems like every generation complains about the upcoming one, believing that there is a decline in morals and standards. My parents complained about my generation (they still do) and now my generation is complaining about my children's (and it's increasing as I get older). And you can bet that when that generation grows up, they'll start to complain about the next one.

Ad nauseam...

Are all older folks cranky and snippy? No. And are all younger people full of sunshine and rainbows? No way. There is positive and negative in every generation. Each one ends up doing its fair share of damage and fair share of good. But I do believe that new generations bring fresh ideas and energy and optimism and hope, and that as we get older we become so comfortable in our routines (oftentimes to a lethargic level) and so dogmatic that we sometimes get in the way of necessary progress and change. I’m often heard saying that “sometimes entire generations need to die off so we can evolve”. And I stand firmly behind this opinion.

That being said, this is one of my favourite quotes:

That does it for this week! A happy Wednesday, to all.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? What did you do? Share anything you'd like in the comments. It's always fun to hear what you have to say.

Our weekend was glorious. Full of sunshine and mild temperatures. Just like that the weather has changed and it finally feels like spring. Finally. I. AM. SO. HAPPY. And I hope it continues to get better and better. We'll be on our bikes before we know it.

And now, let's all laugh together!

Have a great day ahead.

Friday, April 20, 2018

This Week

Happy Friday, everyone! Here we are at the end of another week. How has yours been? What have you been up to? How is life treating you?

My week has been very productive. I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom and squeezed in time to make three amazing soups. Our freezer was getting low on them, so I stocked up. Soups make for a terrific quick and light lunch, and they go well with a sandwich. I always keep a big batch in the freezer and when there are about three servings left, I restock. I’ve completed three out of the four soups I selected for this round and I’m sharing the links for them for anyone interested.

Mushroom Barley Soup

Italian Sausage Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup
( this one ever good! I can’t say enough about it. Also, I made it on the stovetop instead of my slow cooker.)

Okay, now here’s one of my weird habits. I stick out my tongue when I’m concentrating hard on something. I don’t always notice it but when I do, it makes me smile. Because sometimes I’ll do it around other people. In public. In front of strangers. Does anybody else have this crazy silly habit? I’ve caught my brother doing it, which is kind of funny. All in the family!

I even squeezed in a little time for drawing. But I kept my sketches simplistic. That’s okay, though, because that contributes to me practicing this new hobby. I couldn’t be bothered I’m too tired to photograph my latest art, so here are some oldies.

Both Christine and Rain have invited me to join a drawing group, which I really appreciate. It’s not that I don’t want to; it’s just that I haven’t felt like committing yet. But I will eventually join because it’s fun and because it will motivate me to draw regularly. So thank you to both these lovely people. I’ll get there!

Oh, and speaking of art, most of my drawings are done by following along on YouTube videos. There are some amazing art teachers online and I am really grateful to them. They make drawing look very easy. So, thank you to all these nice people who are generous with their time!

The month of April’s weather has been really sucky so far but next week we should start seeing some spring-like weather, which will include sunshine. Sun? What is this sun you speak of? Fingers, toes and eyeballs crossed that this happens. Or else I’m going to lose my mind. How’s your weather been?

Now here’s a lovely song called "Breathe (2 AM)" by American singer-songwriter Anna Nalick. It’s the type of music I play in the background when I’m drawing or doing photography or exercising. It’s relaxing and meditative. Do you know it?

Okay, so that’s it for this week. I don’t want to keep you here longer than necessary. No matter how much I love you all. Now beat it!

And have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

You Asked, I Answer (This, That and the Other)

Here is another round of answers to your questions!

And away we go...


Ellen asked:
I have an odd question- how many little people do you have? :)

I’m sorry I didn’t notice this one, Ellen, when I was searching through the list of questions last week to choose a few to answer. This inquiry was tackled last week and you can find the post here. But to give you an immediate answer, I have roughly 720 wee folks. Give or take a few. I am a little people fanatic!


Bethany asked some questions. Today I tackle the two below:

1) When was your proudest moment as a mother?

This is next to impossible to answer because proud moments seem to be a bottomless pit. There is no end to them! But I have to say that my heart gets squeezed a little bit harder when my two girls extend compassion and empathy towards others or to a cause. Moments like that make me extra proud.

2) How did Miniaturopolis begin?

I enjoy all types of photography but I really wanted to focus on one theme that could be easily carried out throughout all four seasons. Then one day I ran across a website with the type of photography I now do for Miniaturopolis and the inner child in me fell in love. The rest, as they say, is history!


Robyn asked the two questions below:

1) Favorite musician or group?

This is impossible to answer! I honestly don’t have a favourite musician or favourite group. I just like music. One favourite style is classic rock, but I’m open to just about anything. If I like a song, I like it. Makes no difference what genre it is.

2) Favorite comedian?

You are asking the tough ones, Robyn! This, too, is almost impossible to answer because I really don’t have one favourite. But just to zoom in a little, I’ll choose one male and one female that rise to the top.

Ellen Degeneres (She is a real hoot!)
Robin Williams (The world lost one of the best when he died!)


Baili asked three questions:

1) Do you still have friends from school?

Definitely! Most of the friends I have are long term; many of them go all the way back to elementary school. I’ve known my best friend since we were four!

2) What is your phobia?

I don’t really have any intense phobias but there are a few things that make me uncomfortable. One of them is heights. I’m not terrified of them but I certainly don’t seek them out. Another is public speaking. Just the thought of it makes me ill. And a third one is being out in open water far from land. I don’t know how to swim, so this makes me uneasy. I could still do it (and have done it), as long as there is a life preserver available!

3) Share your exercise routine!

It’s a very simple one. Three mornings a week I go downstairs and work this old body of mine. I put on a music CD (I still have those!), lay down my exercise mat and do an assortment of exercises. When I’m done, I sit still and meditate on positivity, and finish up by writing my thoughts in a journal. I’m good to go for the rest of the day!

During the nicer months, the most amazing man in the world and I do a lot of walking and cycling, which adds to my routine.

And we’re done for today. Come back for more answers next week!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, blogging friends. How is everyone? How was your weekend? Ours was...snowy...and icy. It seems we are experiencing our second winter. It just doesn't want to end. I'm fed up to my eyeballs. Saturday it snowed on and off all day; enough to make us have to get our boots out that I'd happily put away recently. Yesterday we had freezing rain, which turned the city into a skating rink. This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon before the ice arrived:

This morning the streets and sidewalks are icy. It's supposed to warm up a little, so some of it will melt and it won't be as dangerous to walk or drive out there. This is not a typical April for us. Sometimes the month of March can bring this mess but April is often really nice with spring bulbs starting to bloom. But up until now the weather has sucked and some of us that cannot stand winter (that would be me) are losing our minds. I don't know what's up with Mother Nature but she's obviously in a really pissy mood. Maybe I should send her some flowers.

Now let's laugh a little to start the week off right and keep me sane...

Have a good one!

Friday, April 13, 2018

This Week

Happy Friday, blogging friends! How has your week been? Did you do anything fun, special, interesting, unusual, exciting? Share away in the comments. It’s always good to hear from you.

Yesterday I drove to Ottawa to visit with my younger daughter. I left early so I could spend a little time at a nearby bookstore before I was due to meet up with her. Sometimes I enjoy time to myself, and being surrounded by books while I do it is one of my favourite things. After that, I went on an unplanned tour of Ottawa because our GPS, which we’ve named Madge, decided to send me on a wild goose chase on my way to pick up my daughter from her university. I don’t know how many expressways I got on and off and how many suburban areas I drove through and how many different sections of the city I played tourist in and how many bridges I crossed. All this, mind you, being the fastest and most efficient route to my destination. I think Madge was toying with me. Why? Because she’s angry that we leave her out in the cold car and this is her way of getting back at us.

Thankfully, all the roads I traveled on were very quiet. Eerily quiet, in fact. Ottawa’s population is around the 900,000 mark and yet there were very few cars out and about. I kept asking myself where the heck all the people were. Whenever I’m in Montreal, there are so many cars around I can hardly get from point A to point B without my blood pressure climbing up a few notches. So yesterday's experience was...strange. Anyhow, I picked up my daughter and we went for sushi at an all you can eat restaurant. The food was really good and the company even better. It had been a while since we spent some time alone and it was wonderful catching up on her news. She’s an exceptional young lady and I’m incredibly proud of her. We drove to her place after that and I got a chance to see her precious cat, Obi, who we’ll be seeing quite a bit of in the near future. More about that soon...

Earlier this week, the most amazing man in the world brought back a package from our community mailbox and placed it on my desk. I hadn’t ordered anything, so I was confused.

For me?” I asked.
For you.” He said.
I’m not expecting anything. I wonder what it is.

I flipped it over to see who the sender was and then *squeed* out loud. Squeeing is that very excited sound you make when you’re pleasantly surprised. The sender was none other than my blogging pal, Rain! I had entered a contest on her blog and won. But I’d forgotten about it. I’d even said in an email to her that I’d forget all about the contest and one day the package would arrive and I’d be ridiculously happy. And so it goes.

Look at the lovely cookbook I got:

And she included some personal notes and even a handwritten recipe!

And did she stop there? Noooooo. I received a lovely greeting card...

So Canadian!

...some beautiful bookmarks...

...and this set of blenders (to 'encourage me to keep drawing and having fun')! *SQUEEEEEE*

This really made my day! Thank you so much, Rain! Go visit her blog here. You'll be glad you did.

And now this:

Messages/images like this pop up on social media sites often, especially on Facebook, and they spread like crazy. They waste your time and stir up emotions. How people fall for them as often as they do is beyond me. But that's the way it goes. Do yourself a favour (be smart) and debunk those that you suspect are false on sites such as Snopes, Hoax-Slayer and ThatsNonsense. Don't fall victim to stupidities and then go on to share them with others. Do we all not have better things to do with our time?

And that's a wrap for this Friday. Have a wonderful weekend! And don't spread nonsense. If I catch any of you doing that, I'm going to rap your knuckles with my colouring pencils!