Wednesday, June 29, 2016

On Holiday

Hello my loved ones. I have been helping a friend lately celebrate her 50th birthday.  She rented a car and I have accompanied her on day trips to various beaches and other interesting places. We've been to Pt. Dover and Pt. Stanley, Bayfield and yesterday we went to Pt. Pelee - the southern most point in Canada!

Today we are off again to Sparta which has a number of fabulous places to visit - tea shops, candlemakers, museums etc. I'll update when I can with photos etc. Now I need to eat breakfast and get dressed.

Talk to you again soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June Bug...err...Budget!

Probably June bugs are a more interesting topic than my budget! Or the weather, or the democratic nominee! Well, maybe not that hee hee! Oh Bernie, I was rooting for you!

So...the budget...

Hey, speaking of budgets, I thought Trump was made of money?! Why did he only have around $7 million to spend compared to Hillary's $700 million?? Or thereabouts. Yes, I know my figures are wrong but not far off. He hasn't paid for a TV ad in a month and a half while Hillary has spent millions! You know, I thought our federal election was a tough choice - I'm sure glad I don't have to vote in the U.S. election! Wow.

Oh yes, my's been raining here off an on for about 3 minutes. The rain drops didn't even get a chance to join together and create a wet spot before they evaporated in the sunlight. To say it's dry as a popcorn fart around here would be no small exaggeration! WE NEED RAIN!

I've got the figures right we just found out our Ontario "leader" is coming to London today so we've put a flash mob together and we're going to ambush her!! Apparently there was a flash mob outside her office in Toronto earlier and several people were arrested! That would be fun, right?! No, I'll be a good girl...maybe...

Oh! Here comes 27 more raindrops! Should I get excited yet?

I spent a lot of money this month...and I'm so glad I didn't go to the beach today!! I was going to go with a friend but she ended up having too much work to do (she's a supply teacher but has been working a long term temporary position and has to do report cards etc etc) but that turned out to be a good decision as clouds are looming heavily and occasionally dispersing a few drops of rain.

Well, I'd better get ready to go flash the mob hee hee! I think I've pretty much covered everything I wanted to cover...umm...yeah...
Life's a beach! Hopefully tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Today is the first annual Aboriginal Solidarity day in London, ON. Trust our native Canadians to be the ones to extend the olive branch of peace and solidarity to us whities. We stole their land, we oppressed them and stole their children and put them in horrifying residential schools, we've lied and not honoured land treaties and still they extend their hand in peace? It really makes one think.

I can't help but compare this to the Orlando mass shooting. It seems that when a group of people become oppressed, abused, beaten up and killed amazing activists rise out of the ashes. In the movie "Pride" the "gays" helped the Welsh miners and then the miners helped "the gays". I really really hope that a reciprocal relationship can be built between our First Nations peoples and the rest of us. 

Part of that is including each other in cultural rights and rituals. 

The day began for me at 4:30am though I was awake before the alarm went off. I had to leave my house at 5am in order to get to Wortley Village  where a sunrise ceremony was going to take place. I am riding my bike everywhere these days so I have to allow more time to get to where I'm going. Sunrise today was at 5:46am.

A fire was being worked on as I arrived. There was singing, chanting, passing of the peace pipe and thanks and acknowledgement given for our ancestors and things we were grateful for.

 We all had the opportunity to take some fragrant bits of cedar pulp and add it to the fire giving silent thanks to what we valued in our lives. I acknowledged and gave thanks for my grandmother and my parents who have passed on, my ancestors, my child, my family and friends, good health, trees, deer, turtles, birds, and my love for nature which links me to mother earth.

I have been back to the park a second time to see some dancing and singing - I haven't uploaded those photos yet, and I may go back again as there are some bands playing. So far I've travelled 37kms on my bike. Why oh why am I not tall and thin?? Oh well, I'm thankful for strong legs!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Foto Friday and Dougie the Dodge

First let's look back at one year ago today...

Sorry I didn't rotate this photo (if you get a kink in your neck you could try out this nifty product!!) ....I think she better be careful her head doesn't pop off! Just one more squeeze....!!!

 Nothing new here, Luna trying to use my phone, drink my tea and generally take my spot on the couch! Whenever I get up she moves right in.

 The beer/manly festival is going on again this weekend in celebration of Father's Day. Last year I sampled the wings...

 ...and washed them down with a cool beverage :)

All must bow down to the giant can of Labatts Blue!

 Troy and I managed to get a table in the VIP lounge!

A great spot for checking out the hunky men!

 Did I really think this guy was red hott with 2 "t"s last year? I suppose after enough beers...

Now THIS guy I remember! Cute in a greasy hairy kind of way :)

 Luna decided that if she couldn't use my phone or drink my tea she might as well be recycled - perhaps she can find a nicer family...

 And now to today's photo (new feature, aren't I clever?)...

Dougie the Dodge with his new paint job!!

 Apparently someone thinks I'm a "goof"! Or Dougie's a goof...I'm never really clear on the target of vandalism. I'm just glad they didn't think I'm a "diddler" like my neighbour a few doors down! Way more letters to clean off!

My wonderful neighbour had read that WD-40 takes spray paint off of vehicles and it worked like a charm. So there you go - my tip for the week! I guess it wasn't meant to be funny but honestly I've been giggling all day. "Goof" is just such a funny word!

Happy happy weekend!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gut Wrenching Week

Most of us have gay friends or family members. I'm lucky enough to have 3 gay family members. As far as I know none have been beaten up or shot at. Well, that's not quite true.

I have gay friends who live openly as a couple in the little village where I grew up. I always thought of them as a huge success story as they've been together for almost 50 years (they fell in love as very young teenagers.) High school sweethearts you might say. They have a thriving business, and many friends and family members who love them. I have even felt proud of my little village who have supported their business and were accepting of their relationship. My village of 1800 people wasn't exactly known for its inclusiveness but nevertheless my two male friends have flourished.

Today one of them wrote a Facebook post relating an incident that happened when he was 15 and walking to his boyfriend's house. A car full of teenage boys pulled over and beat the heck out of him, leaving him in a ditch. He never told anyone (other than his partner) about what happened all of those years ago until today. Imagine carrying that around with you for 50 years. And yet he is the kindest, sweetest most gentle person.

There is nothing wrong with being gay, there is nothing wrong with being black, there is nothing wrong with being disabled, old, fat, Iraqi, Jewish or a woman.

But some days it sure is hard.

There's not much I can do about the victims and their families in Orlando. But I am going to go now and watch "Pride"; one of my favourite movies of all time (it's on Netflix). If a bunch of surly, rigid and intolerant Welsh miners and their families could learn to love "the gays" then everyone can! If you haven't seen this movie yet I urge you to - it's based on a true story and shows that if you dig deeply enough you can find the heart in everyone.

My love to you all: ONE Love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summit Energy, BMI

Do you get these people at your door trying to get you to sign an "energy contract" that will freeze your natural gas rate? I just turned away another one and then looked them up online. The word "scam" was repeatedly used. It's not just Summit Energy either; there's Direct Energy, Zia, Dubai(!) etc etc. The woman at my door wanted to look at my last gas bill but I told her I had "paperless" billing at which point she wanted me to go online to see my bill. I said "no, see ya!" I felt sorry for her - I mean how desperate do you have to be to have a job like that? But not sorry enough to sign up for their so-called discounts, frozen rates and rebates.

Well, I spent a whole bunch of money today as I paid for the rest of my upcoming trip to Ireland with Annie! There are still a few more expenses, such as train fares and spending money and other B&Bs along the way but the bulk is paid for! Woot woot! My brother Kim returns from Ireland tomorrow after a 3-4 week vacation. He and his partner go there every year as his partner's family has a house there. It's vacant most of the time so they go and do repairs, clean up the garden and travel all over the darn place.

The cats are staring at me. They want to go outside so badly. I'm waiting for the sun to reach the patio as it was only 10c when I got up this morning. I don't want to sit outside with a parka on. Sheesh...what is it with the weather lately. It's either blisteringly hot or numbingly cold!

Had my physical yesterday. My doctor told me.......drum roll please........that I have the pulse(60) and blood pressure(117/83) of an......are you ready for ATHLETE!!!!!

Even better.....!!!!!......with my BMI I am in the "normal" range (borderline overweight) but I'll take it. She said and I quote "your weight is fine"!!! FINE!!!! Personally, I like to believe that I'm gaining muscle through all of my exercise which as we all know is heavier than fat! Oh the things we tell ourselves!! Truth be told I only weigh 6lbs less than when I gave birth! EEK!! I now weigh 35 lbs more than when I was in highschool. I DO like to eat! Imagine what I'd weigh if I didn't exercise!!
On the bright side I have curves now; in high school I didn't. It's all a tradeoff.

I often consider trying to lose 20 lbs, even 10 or 15 would be good but I only last a day or two on a diet so what's the point? In my dreams I'm skinny :)

She's sending me for an X-ray of the coccyx area from my fall playing volleyball - still having a lot of pain. And, thank you Cindy, for pushing me to have a colonoscopy this year (that might help with the weight, right?)!! TMI!!

Today is a trail running day. And I'll get out for a bike ride. I'm cycling for cancer research this month and raised $510.  My cycling goal is 400km over the month of June and I've cycled 68% of that so far. I won't stop at 400 - I'll keep cycling and see how far I can go by June 30th. I'll probably have massive thigh muscles!!
Imagine what those babies weigh!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Oops, Ouch and Eek!

Monday Money Madness!

I thought this picture was very apropos because I have NOT been keeping track of my money. And that's not like me. But I know why...........................................................................................................!

It's because my bank accounts look like a bathtub with the plug pulled! All swirling away down the drain..glug glug glug. That little metaphor reminds me of a time when Kazi was about 2 and she was in the bathtub watching the water go down the drain. She peered into the drain and said "is anybody in there?" No answer.

Well I DO have answers...I just don't want to face them! I'm in "money denial!" So much so that my dentist's office just called wondering why I hadn't shown up for my appointment this morning! Ooops.

CAA comes off this month too.  Ouch!  Plus I'm going to pay the remainder of my Ireland trip to the company who organizes the B&Bs/Inns and transfers out suitcases from place to place. Eek!

Some of my bills this month have been reduced so the news isn't ALL bad. The city has finally figured out how much property tax I have to pay this year and I'm going to save $3.00 a month!! Big whoop! My Union Gas bill was only $33.00 this month as I turned the furnace off (mostly). The electricity bill was down by $10.00 no doubt due to the extra daylight hours and not needing to turn on the electric heater in the basement TV room. AND because I'm cycling for cancer research this month I still have 3/4 of a tank of gas left in the truck! I won't be putting in any more gas til July and maybe not even then :)

Food costs are UP UP UP!! Cherries are $6.99/lb and I have indulged. Strawberries are $4.75/qt and I have over indulged! Kazi's boyfriend has been visiting so that means buying more meat etc. Oh, and wine and beer. And snacks.

I think I've done a pretty good job so far with my Misc budget line. I'm trying to rein in misc spending so that I can cover CAA and dentist without touching my savings. Fingers crossed. I guess I should check but I haven't because I'm in.......MONEY DENIAL!! 

Okay, I promise myself I'll update my budget as soon as I'm done this post unless I can think of some way to distract myself!

Hmmmmm, I wonder what I should have for lunch...

Oh look, this is how Lily lies in her bed when it's 32c + high humidity!!

 Airing out my tummy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

What the Heck Day is it Today?

I just love waking up with a migraine:(  I've completed Round One of my migraine cure but will have to follow up with Round Two shortly as although it's a bit improved it's not gone. And if it's not gone it will get worse. Bleh...

Part of my headache I'm sure was caused by my "fun times" at the Bell store and Apple store yesterday as I tried to figure out the best option to replace my caffeinated iPhone. Apparently it can handle being rained on all night in the parking lot but draws the line at hot coffee topped with hot soy milk foam! I'm very disappointed.

To make a very long story short the cheapest way to move forward was to purchase the same OLDer model iPhone I had been using (and am used to) and maintain my current contract so that I can get a free iPhone upgrade next year. The Bell guy tried to sell me on the latest iPhone (better camera blah blah blah) but when he topped off his spiel by saying "and then you probably won't need to upgrade next year (thereby saving Bell several hundreds of dollars) I thought I'd go see what Apple could do for me.

They sold me on "recycling" my java phone and replacing it with the same much cheaper and older model which I'd been using for a whole 10 months. Personally I liked the fact that I'd have the same phone which I knew mostly how to use rather than getting a newer one with more bells and whistles that I'd somehow have to integrate with my current level of expertise. It was a no-brainer! Instead of shelling out $800 I spent under $400 which I hope to recoup in next week's yard sale - I am now very motivated to sell sell sell!!

Yesterday was spent reloading all my apps etc and after 48 hours life continues on as before.

Oh yes, it's Foto Friday! Let's see what was going on one year ago...
I caught Lily watching me from the stairs.

I made my healthy version of nachos on a bed of romaine and asparagus.

It was Gathering on the Green  and my brother, Gord,
was selling his birdhouses. (He's the bearded guy
wearing a hat and shades.

The dunk tank was popular!
Musical entertainment

Learning tai chi!

Free and supervised parking for bikes - yup,
mine's there! Look at that sky!

My friend Julie worked with kids
creating crafts :)
Happy weekend my friends - don't drink and text!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blah Day, No, Really

This is insane. I actually put the heat on for awhile today because I was shivering. I had sweat pants on and socks and a the house! We had the hottest May on record and what; now it's winter again??

So, I'm sitting on the couch - fresh cup of coffee in one hand and phone in the other as I was going to check the weather. I can do that with one hand. Well, only sometimes it seems. I can't really describe what happened but in a split second my phone slid into my mug and hot coffee scalded my stomach! I ran to the kitchen and dumped out the rest of the coffee, quickly rinsed the phone in clean water, dried it with a tea towel and slide it into a container of rice I keep expressly for that purpose. I want to check if it works but Kazi said to leave it for at least 24 hours. Oh Lordy.

I have some hope as a couple of months ago said phone laid out in a rainstorm overnight and then worked just fine. I'm hoping it has 9 lives!

Eventually I looked up the weather on my laptop which had been on my lap when the accident happened but only got a few drops on it. It was only bloody 8c!! Feeling like 5c with the strong cold wind that was blowing. Do I really want to go out and rack up some cycling kms today? NO!

So I clocked 25km on my stationary bike today while watching "Aquarius" starring David Duchovny, a sort of fictionalized series about Manson. A little light TV to top off a dark, dull and dank day. And it's only 2pm!!

Just in case I burned off a bunch of calories I'm munching on a few chocolate-covered digestive cookies. I wouldn't want to get any thinner hahaha. Grooooaaaaaaannnn! This is NOT my day! Since I was feeling very glum I thought I would write a blog post and share the pain!

And I'll also share a few birthday snaps which I promised a week or so ago so I can remember being happy!! Here's just a sampling in no particular order:

Me with friends Julie and Troy.

A closeup of my tattoo!

Me eating my cake :)

I don't remember the joke!

My sister-in-law Pat and my brother Gord.

A fit of the giggles!

Drinking tequila shots! YUM! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Blah Blah Blah Bloggy Blah

I'm on a roll right? Hee hee hee...  (I wish it was a Swiss roll!!!)

Sonya Ann - don't you dare stop blogging - you make me laugh soooo hard - you have cornered the market on sarcastic wit and I love you for it. Even if you just blog for me that's something right? (You too, sister dear, you used to love writing!!) never really know who all is reading - sometimes people write a comment because I've struck a nerve (thank you very very much - keep commenting!!!!!) but 99% of people "read and dash!" And that's okay - well, it better be ok because we have NO control over that.

I think sometimes I get too caught up in trying to write with perfect grammar (thank goodness I have a sister who edits my posts hahahaha) and/or a funny story with a perfect ending but that's not always "real life".  I find the posts I get the most responses on are the ones that are straight from the heart and I whip off in a couple of minutes. I need to plan less and just write. Right?

I try to have a format but it never lasts for more than a week or two. And I get sporadic and then try to make up for it with a dozen quick posts. I just need to remember that I blog for me (mostly) so if I take a week off, oh well. If the well runs dry, oh well....hell.

There, that's my little ramble for today. I hope y'all keep blogging for the love of it - believe me - if it gets too boring we'll let you know!! :)  :)

And now...CAT pictures!!! (Because we all know there's nothing better than a good cat photo! I know how to keep you coming back!!)
Can't see the cat? Look closer!

There's Luna!
She loves to hide.
Sleepy Luna

Speak to the hand!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bliggedy Bliggedy Blog

I had such a nice moment yesterday. It was the annual "Gathering on the Green" where craft vendors gather, kids play at a number of free activities, social groups set up tables letting folks know what's going on in their communities, green thumb gardeners sell plants and so on. I was volunteering at the Council of Canadians table - the group I do activism (rallies, sit-ins etc) with when a woman came over to talk to me.

She wanted to tell me that she recognized me from reading my blog - that she had followed my retirement countdown and all the other aspects of my life over the past few years. I was so touched! She couldn't remember exactly how she had landed on my blog but she continued to follow my journey. If you're reading this today I want to say a big THANK YOU!! I'm glad you stopped to let me know - that was very thoughtful and I'm grateful to know I have a friend out there!

When something like that happens it really gives the whole "blog thing" meaning. I mean, here we sit, day after day, year after year, sending our words out into the blogosphere and not really knowing those who quietly read what we write. Many folks read without commenting but follow our stories for years. Fascinating, isn't it? I mean, I'm not exactly J.K. Rowling or Kim Kardashian (thank goodness)!!

My ride yesterday was to the Gathering on the Green and back home for about 23km I think. I'm at 111km pedalled out of my 400km goal for June. Today we've had some thunderstorms and I'll probably ride my stationary bike instead of going out. That way I can also get my laundry done :) I was up and out before 9am today to get a newspaper and some groceries and then I baked when I got home. Some days you just have to stay put and get a few things done. Very few days, thankfully!

Last night I went downtown for another annual event - Nuit Blanche! This is a fairly new event for London (4 or 5 years?) but I love it! All sorts of art projects going on in various locations throughout the downtown area - bands, jugglers, visual arts, performance arts, sleight of hand and so on. Unfortunately it did rain off and on but my friend and I got to experience a few things:
Drama, poetry, painting, dancing about WATER!

A band was playing to the left of the lights.

Pyrotechnics & music 
Not easy to get a photo of flames!
This young lady was rolling a ball all over the place -
she was very good!