Doggone Heaven


Our neighbour has a brand spanking new pup. A Shih-Poo. Nine weeks old, button eyes, curly black fur with smatterings of dark gold across her paws and a curly white patch on her chest.

Within four days of moving in, she’s gone from a timid waif, barely able to look you in the eye to a bouncy spitfire with a ‘look at me, I’m tough’ baby bark.

Would cute describe her? She is so cute it makes one itch to talk baby talk to her.

And she’s smart. Three days to settle in and she’s going to the door instead of using the floor. Imagine if children were that easy to train—we’d be in a world of problems. We’d all be producing like rabbits on steroids. Thank heavens we’re as pooped as the messes we had to clean by the time our precious babies were trained.

And speaking of pooping—the neighbour told me that during the first night home they made a soft cage of pillows between them so they could keep an eye on her. That was their first lesson on just how clever she was. Somehow she escaped long enough to scoot to the foot of the bed, poop, and then crawl back into her cushy cage and flake out till the alarm rang.

What wouldn’t we have given for our offspring to poop in one far corner of the crib and then scoot to the other until we got there? There is nothing quite like finding your offspring grinning like a banshee under a world of brown goo after discovering they could get inside their diapers.

So all this cutesy cleverness oozing from this pup now called Bella, was making us wonder if it was time for us to get another dog. Our answer came when another neighbor (isn’t everyone in a small park?) happened by with their own dog tale. Poor Mags,  their  West Highland terrier, was due to have her second hip replacement as well as another piece of minor surgery. They are looking at a bill of around $5,000.00 by the time she’s back to good.

That awww-let’s-get-a-pup feeling disappeared like smoke from a money-fueled bonfire. We’ll just stick to packing a pocketful of dog treats for the canines we meet on our walks and for the little bundle of fur next door.

In a way, it’s like being a grandparent—‘Love ‘em and leave ‘em’ before things get ugly, or expensive.



The Ick Doth Stick

Memories are like unexpected boogers —the more ick involved, the more stick involved.

Here’s an example of a memory that won’t quit. We watched the movie Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamond Pike. Suspenseful. Good enough to snag you and with enough ick and dark to leave your brain so itchy its begging for a Disney movie shampoo.

Then there’s the wisp-of-smoke memories. Like me starting to write about our latest walk but coming to a standstill when I couldn’t remember where we’d been. I knew it had been a good walk; I knew it was worth remembering. Only I couldn’t remember why. Or where.

It wasn’t until my left arch cramped up that the missing bits of gray matter snapped into place like they were on military roll call. The foot cramp reminded me of the calf ache, which reminded me of the thigh strain, which reminded me of the hip. . . well, you get it.

We’d walked to town (3 ¾ miles, and don’t ask whose idea it was because that would force me to lie and say Man-Wonder’s). Then we walked the railways tracks (3 ¾ +) back.

Why was it longer going home you ask? Because we come across two different junctions. And twice, we picked the wrong track to follow. Which meant doing some painful backtracking. Which led to two new discoveries:

  • No matter what he says, Man-Wonder can whine louder silently than I can out loud.
  • Walking on legs like numb tubes of quivering jelly is infinitely better than humping along on nerve-banging stumps of cement.


So there, you see . . . without the sticky icky bits this blog would have been nothing but a very short movie review.


Cleaning up my drawers in 2016

So, okay, I’m doing the same thing six gazillion other humans are. I’m de-cluttering. Again. And I’ve gotten one file cabinet drawer sort of sorted out.

I knew tackling that drawer first was a mistake but I could hear those used and abused books calling me. Softly. Lovingly. Yoo-hooing in sweet, dulcet tones until I couldn’t ignore them. Look at us. Hold us. Read us. Run your hands over our cracked spines and remember. . .

That drawer was tough to open. I had to keep pushing down the heaps of old drawing journals, sketchbooks and doodle pads mingling with the piles of ‘daily’ notebooks. You know the kind—where you write the date followed by a list of things to accomplish that day followed by criss-crossy Xs and scribbled notes on why you didn’t get around to doing them. The next dated page lists the not-dones plus a few new hopefuls. . . and so on.

That drawer also holds a mess of books brimming with quotes I couldn’t let pass by. And there lies my biggest (okay, aside from me personally) problem. I love quotes. They’re little jewels, polished, sparkly and like magnets to my crow-brain. They need to be savored, pondered over, smiled at, or held in loving derision. And some just make my brain buzz.

Here’s a few worth sharing (or re-sharing):


Dear future,

Please save me a place.

Thank you


Isn’t life just the perfect thing to pass the time with?


You know—sometimes I love myself so much, I could just kiss me.


The things I overhear when talking to myself


Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it


Time passes and we say ‘Where’d it go?’

But that’s wrong because time stays—It’s us who goes.


Stop rushing about long enough to ask yourself if you’re actually going anywhere.


Aspire to inspire before you expire


Death whispers in my ear, “Live, for I am coming.”


Dear Diary,

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t expect to be this awesome.

Love Me


I can be changed by the past but I refuse to be reduced by it.


I plan on living forever

Hey! So far—so good!


And since I found two empty spaces inside the one front cover, here are the latest two to my collection:

“I’m an undisciplined, chronic procrastinator who loves finding loopholes in self-imposed rules.”  ~ Ben Huberman

(I think he and I may have been separated at birth.)


And  let’s close with this description of lovemaking between oldsters,

‘The Saggy Bagpuss Squish’

‘Nuff said eh?










A lot of words and a little Christmas cheer



I went plowing  (Oh—ho ho ho) through the multitudes of mayhem online and what to my wonderous eyes should appear but enough of a  well-rounded assortment of Christmas cheer to fill my wee blog will Yuletide quotes. So let’s slide right into them. (Oh, I sleigh myself!) :

The Christmas spirit that goes out with the dried-up Christmas tree is just as worthless. ~ Unknown

“Everyone wants a Christmas tree. If you had a Christmas tree Santa would bring you stuff! Like hair curlers and slut shoes.” ~ Janet Evanovich

Christmas is a baby shower that went totally overboard   ~ Andy Borowitz

032  “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen” ~ from Bobby, who’s seven years old.


“I didn’t feel like buying him the jacket he asked for for Christmas, so I just got him a coat hanger with a sticky note attached that read, ‘Here’s something for you to hang your dreams on pal’. ” ~ Jarod Kintz

Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you’re home.  ~ Carol Nelson

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live  ~ George Carlin

“Oh, look. yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food and beer. . . Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?”              ~ Bill Watterson

Zen Christmas: the gift of nothingness.  ~ unknown

“I haven’t taken my Christmas lights down. They look so nice on the pumpkin.”  ~ Winston Spear


010No pumpkin. Just a little crow angel. . .

“If my Valentine you won’t be, I’ll hang myself on your Christmas tree.”  ~ Ernest Hemingway


007 An artist’s model posing for good cheer.


“There ain’t no Sanity Clause!”  ~ Chico Marx


You’ve been naughty so here’s the scoop, snowman poop. . . You’re getting nothing but snowman poop!    ~ Kathy Rocus


Had enough? Me too!  So, in the words of that wonderful poet Ogden Nash. . .. . . . . ..Merry Christmas, nearly everybody “ 

Here’s to purpose and answering one’s calling

You know, blogging is a way of expression; a way of sharing. I started this blog way back whenever to make sure I wrote. But basically, it’s just me—yabbering.

So, here’s my latest thinks:

I’ve been looking over my life lately and there are a few things I’ve come to understand.

  • I’ve been a loving presence to some.
  • A tragic disappointment to others.
  • An annoyance to many
  • A shameful figure to a handful
  • And a moment of sunshine to some.

In other words I’m human. And after a careful study of my life so far I’ve figured out why I chose to come into this world as me. Not to be a noble example of excellence. No. I’m here as a noble example of  what not to be.

And, strangely enough I’m pleased to recognise what it is that I am really, really good at.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Finding one’s passion, one’s sense of purpose, and becoming the best damn example of it that you can be. So—having figured out why I’m here—I plan to truly enjoy every last moment I have of this existence. Yep—I’m giving it undivided attention from now on.

So ……………here’s to breathing!

Bonjour, Mon Ami!

Life has been quiet lately.


About the most exciting thing we’ve done is to discover Hercule Poirot on Netflix. And with twelve seasons to watch, we’ve been giving it our best attention.

. . . Too much maybe?

The other day I was deep in calculations for a project when Man-Wonder came in and wanted to know what I was doing (mostly because I was being quiet and he was getting nervous). I taped the side of my head and said, “Mon ami—it is the brain, the little gray cells, on which one must rely.”

He made a fast exit. Which I liked. So I was thinking about the next time he annoys me. Which won’t be long. Given that the long, dark, cold-rain seasons are upon us—which means we will be hanging about in each other’s space waaaayyy too often—I’ve decided to have a few more quotes in my ‘Ready Aim Fire’ arsenal.

Like when he really, really pisses me off I’m going to tap the side of my nose and say,’ “I enrage myself with an imbecile. I say, ‘I would like to kick him.’ Instead I kick the table. I say, ‘This table, it is the imbecile, I kick him so.” ‘

Or when he acts like a goon I’ll be ready with,

‘ “Eh bien, you are crazy, or appear crazy, or you think you are crazy, and possibly you may be crazy.” ‘

Or, when I do something daft (yeah, it does happen), I shall simply say, ‘ “I demand of you a thousand pardons, monsieur.” ‘

So let it rain, let it hail, let it snow, this chickie is armed and dangerous, thanks to one little egg-headed Belgium detective.





I wonder if it’s time to find another show to OD on. . .?

Autumn Holiday

We are home after another short (ten days) road trip to and along the  Sunshine Coast, and a stay with relatives.


A ferry ride from Nanaimo to Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay, followed by a highway loop around to catch another ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast’s Langdale, were a delight for the senses thanks to typical BC coast weather. Moody blue, gray, and soft lavender-hued mountains draped in ribbons of thick white clouds.

moody west coast

moody west coast

The Sunshine Coast is a twisting winding ride along the edge of the Strait of Georgia with Vancouver Island as the view. The cabin where we stayed was directly across from home so, like last time, we did a lot of waving to us. . .

This trip we toured the Pender Harbour area—which included Madeira Park, Garden Bay, Irvings Landing and, after crossing a three-second bridge, Beaver Island.

Man oh man—it is a place I would move in a heartbeat. No matter where you drive you are treated to views of tiny coves and inlets, fishing boats moored and homes from the ridiculously-huge to the less-than-elbow-room cabins hugging the shores. Lovely!

008 inlet



Near the end of our holiday, during another day of sunshine (there weren’t that many), we found this delightful park close by. It’s  the Cliff Gilker Park and it’s a delight despite the bear and coyote pack sightings posted.

035 039

I confess, I carried a mucking big umbrella to razzle, dazzle any wild beasties I might run into to.


Which we didn’t . . .They must have sensed the danger aura I carried.


Another thing I discovered on this holiday—aside from the fact that Man-Wonder has a teeny-tiny bladder is that he’s really, really thoughtful. I mean, what else would you call someone has enough foresight to face away from a fire hydrant lest he confuse any poor sniffing dogs. . .

007 Like I said—that’s why I call him Man-Wonder!

Great as the holiday was, I believe the most delightful part might well be the sound of the key unlocking your own door at the end of it. . .

Home sweet home.



Lazy Days

There hasn’t been a whole lot happening around here; other than we began The Plan on October one after weekly reports from our neighbors as they worked their way through it. Weight loss and a kissing goodbye to half his medications for diabetes and all of her high blood pressure medication.

the plan

The Plan, created by Lyn-Genet Recitas, is a way of eating to better understand your body and its reactions. You start off with a three-day cleanse—but a very mild, filling kind of cleanse.

And believe me, it cleanses! I felt like I had a low dose of flu for almost seven days as my body detoxed. Did I mention there is a lot of greens in this plan? Try facing saute, raw or steamed greens with a queasy stomach. . .not for sissies!

You begin by following her plan of the least reactive foods and each day, or every other day, add one new type of food to the diet. This allows you to see and feel how your body is reacting to a certain food.

So far my blood pressure has dropped from the mid 140s to an  average 110-115. Getting off blood pressure medicine is my goal (losing weight a big bonus). Man-Wonder is watching his blood sugar numbers slowly drop too. And both of us feel so much easier in the joints and the mind.


But, as with any high part, there is a low part. I have never prepared so many meals so religiously and washed so many freaking dishes!

On another note:

walking home

Just finished Sonia Choquette’s book—Walking Home. It’s about her life falling apart and how she took a walk to think things clear. An 800 kilometer (500 miles) walk. She walked the Camino de Santiago trek over the Pyrenees and northern Spain.

I couldn’t stop reading it which means I finished it waaaay before I was ready to. Reading it made my soul ache to cleanse the way hers had by the end. Excellent book.

And finally,


we went to the movies last night and saw The Martian with Matt Damon. We left the theatre feeling thoroughly entertained.

It’s all good stuff eh . . .

Goodbye summer, hello fall.

imagesMB6PPO62 has arrived with its days of color and nights of cool. It’s giving us scattered days of rain showers after months of dry, dry and more dry. Vegetation is coming back for one last fling of energy and color.

It’s a time of cooling down and reflection.

Yesterday, while sitting on the sun porch, feeling a teasing warm breeze floating past made me put my pages down, lean back and drift on memories of summer. Hot days melting together, just like when we were young and our summers felt endless.


This past summer felt like it was on slow dial. The heat settling over us like jelly, slowing our steps and minds. Looong summer days, filled with hot, dusty air, full-of-life neighborhood noises (which is good in a ‘over 55’ park), barking dogs, lawnmowers, people stopping to talk, barbeques burning food.

Days, where, in the late afternoon the small grassy hillside out back called and I couldn’t help but sprawl on the grass and watch clouds drifting by (and remembering to twitch now and then so any one looking out of a windows knew I was still alive).

Some early evenings I’d be joined by my friend from next door and we’d sit on the lawn, chatting about everything and nothing until it was too dark to see the other’s face.

Or waking every morning to throw open the doors and windows. Such a joy even if I did whine now and then, (okay regularly) about the hot, hot, hot midday temps.  Even though this summer was a smoldering heat wave of change for us here on the west coast, it became jammed full of pleasant memories which will get us through the looong short days of winter.

But, before the grayness of winter drops over us, autumn is here, begging to be savored.


On another note—here’s a site I’m still having fun with —




Speaking of gymnastics. . .

Getting older is an unfunny funny thing when it’s happening to you. Kneeling is a prime sample of this.

When you’re younger, it’s down and up with a spring. Middle age is down and up and maybe not so springy; and definitely less quiet. Old age is a whole new experience—it’s more of a cranky slow train of communication between body parts.

Let’s say you’ve just finished painting a bottom cupboard and want to stand up. So your brain tells your knees to hop to it.

. . . The Knees yelp, “Are you shitting us?”

Your brain tries commando, knowing Knees have been a bit whiny lately. “Rise dammit.”

Knees yell back to Toes, “A little help here amigos.”

Toes, sounding apologetic, kick back with, “Sorry Knobs but we’re busy helping Arches. The poor buggers are cramping up with us bent like we are.”

Knees squirm and call up to Brain, “Hey, Command Center, Knees here. It’s a no go unless Arms stop hanging like hypnotized chimpanzees and help. Maybe mouth could give a shout-out for help.”

Brain gives a sigh. “C’mon everybody, let’s try working this out like a team. One for all, all for one, right?”

“Yeah—well tell that to Thighs. A little pushing action from them babies would have us straightened right out. But do they bother to tighten up? No, they just hang there putting more pressure on us. It’s not fair.”

“Yeah,” Thighs jiggle in disgust, “we’d help you two overgrown knuckles  but it’s all we can do to keep these pillowy pads in motion. We’re as overworked as you two.”

Knees snort in derision. “Like roll us in jelly—we wouldn’t mind your cushy positions in this life!”

Brain breaks in with, “BODY! You’re behaving like children. All this sniping and complaining isn’t helping. Let’s try working together. Arms—reach out and grab the counter. Toes—curl back and pull that kneepad in under Arches. Knees—get ready to straighten out. Toes are going to push, thighs are going to lift upwards ,and arms are going to pull everyone forward. Everyone ready now? Okay, on the count of three. . . one . . .WAIT. . . what?”`

Brain is silent for a second. It comes back to tell the others,  “Mouth wants to help by grunting. Kind of like cheerleading for the team. So—okay gang, we’re going for uplift now — one, two, three . . . good. Good! Annnd . . .  we’re up and mobile again. Excellent job everyone! And see, no crane needed.


.  . .Arms, you can let go of the counter and, uh, Mouth—is that heavy breathing really necessary?”




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