Saturday, January 31, 2015


Like most kids growing up, I went to a boatload of Birthday parties. The downside to my point was that my Mom didn’t necessarily believe in the whole Birthday Party scene. Because her claim to fame was that she could consistently make a dollar from a dime, I suspect it had something to do with the overall expense that had to be incurred. 

Actually, that's not entirely true. I do have several photos from my very fan-tab-u- lous seventh Birthday party she threw for me. I think every single girl in my class attended. I should clarify that it's not like she had some big plan to throw me that party, it was simply the first birthday that arrived after we’d moved to Town and I enthusiastically announced (at school) that I was having a party. It was the last one I ever had.

So, in an effort to experience something I never did, I've always over compensated when it came to my kids birthdays. Well, after much discussion and contemplation, I broke my piggy bank and gave myself a gift. I officially booked my 29th Birthday trip yesterday!

Unpacking my very colourful 'Blogging Suits' in La Romana...
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 16th, 2014
Happy we’re leaving on a jet plane & headed to the sunshine; while making dinner last night, the hard reality set in.

For the second time in as many years, I'll be away on vacation while participating the in annual A to Z Blogging Challenge.

The last time I had to juggle both events, I was on a road trip down the coast, so I could Blog at night after I took a hotel. This time will be very different. To throw a fly in the ointment, right in the middle of the trip it's my Birthday.

Because I absolutely and unequivocally hate surprises, I just did the math, and my Birthday day letter will be the letter "I". In 2013, I chose to my mothers name (INEZ) and in 2014, I chose the word IDEA. I am honest when I say that I don't try to pre-plan my posts but there's really only one word that immediately pops to mind for my 2015.

I'll be in the Caribbean, in a bikini, basking is the sun, swimming up to the bar and celebrating my 29th Birthday. What would be a more celebratory Birthday word for me to choose... than the word INEBRIATED?

You're absolutely right. INTOXICATED  may be an extremely viable word option as well!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Does anyone truly know you? How’s that for a loaded question on this brisk winter day?!

I believe we only allow people to know the parts of our personality that suit/compliment that specific friendship (Business or otherwise) and its synergy. To totally oversimplify, I often choose the easiest route to get to know someone. Then, over time, I decide if they are a long term fit to remain in my personal life. I don’t know about you but for obvious reasons, I treat a true friend, an everyday friend, an electronic friend and an acquaintance very differently. 

So, having said that, other than my husband and children, I have a very small handful of people that truly know me. You know the type? Those that can ask and/or say anything to me and I will be completely honest and myself in my reply. Those I can share my fears, my excitement, my passions and my dreams with. I can do that, because over time, they have earned my trust. When tested, they were loyal. When challenged, they were honest. 

No hair, no makeup, no problem... He loves me no matter what!
TAKEN: DECEMBER 27th, 2014
So, back to my question. Who truly knows you?

Though a few come in a close second, my husband really does know me best. We’ve always got a lot on the go, yet still find the time to unconditionally be there for one and other. 

It's not like we discuss every little thing, we can just simply sense when one needs the other and we step up to the plate!

For instance, we were walking into the grocery store this weekend and my mind had been elsewhere for a couple of days. I was very quiet and my brow was heavy. I could feel that my shoulders were curving inward and my thought process 100% negative. Less than a dozen steps in, and without hesitation, he grabbed my hand. We simply looked at each other, smiled and continued walking. It felt amazing not to have to talk about it.

I'd like to think he grabbed my hand because he wanted to... but I'd been a pretty big bitch, so it could have been self-preservation on his part. At the end of the day (Cole's Note version) I suspect he didn't want to have to sleep with one eye open for fear I'd kill him in the night, so he gambled and went for my hand. I also envision him thinking, if  he grabed my hand, there'd be an outside chance he might hit the jackpot and get laid.

To put your mind at ease peeps, I am pleased to report he happily went to work this morning. HA...Told ya he knew me.

Ya Gotta Laugh About It!

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I may be extremely outgoing but believe me when I reinforce that I am the least spontaneous person you'll ever meet. I guess that's why I can’t help but wonder if that’s why I compartmentalize so well. Everything is neatly packed into silos before I ever start tending the farm. I'm not sure if anyone can relate; but for me, everything is very black and white. Occasionally, a splash of grey may creep in. Unfortunately, a sexy fella named Christen is no where to be found when it does show up!

Oh, the childhood memories I have. What a great place to live!
TAKEN: JANUARY 23rd, 2014
For a reason (beyond silly) I got 'stuck' this past Friday. I guess you could say I got stuck in the black and white of it all.

The more I looked, the worse it got. I simply couldn't find, yet desperately needed, about fifty splashes of grey. 

Finally, filled with angst and totally exasperated, I bundled myself up and went for a walk. Half an hour later, here's where I ended up.

Coming down the hill I couldn't help but notice the vibrant leaves that had held on and made it until the January thaw. The closer I got, the more the burst of red stayed with me. When I hit the bottom of the hill, it was like my life flashed in front of me. 

I pictured Kelvin Grove in it's original state. I imagined the gang of us teens swimming to the famous sandbar (that the RMS Seguin got hung up on during it's last trek up the Muskoka River). My eyes and thoughts moved to the the far right where our wedding party stood to have our formal pictures taken. Then, they shifted to the far left and to my quirky sidekick. I imagined he and I eating lunch at our favourite picnic table more than a decade ago. Oh, the Canada Day fireworks with the kids, the risky swimming at the base of the falls when I was a kid... The pond hockey surface. Then, it hit me.

The boulder in front of me is really nothing but a pebble. I'm not lost in the forest, because a forest is very deeply rooted and unable to change. I see the one tree in front of me as a survivor. Some days, I am sure it sucks that it doesn't have other trees around it to talk to but let's face it... Trees don't talk.! (Well, maybe if they are on a really great acid trip but not in everyday life, which is my very round about point.)

At the end of the day, life really is very black and white. Yesterday only proved to me that it's each and everyone of our jobs to find the colours, embrace them...and stay the hell out of the forest.

It's just as silly and simple as that!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


A couple of summers ago, we had an Africa hot early pre-summer Muskoka heatwave. It wasn't the elevated temps that made it memorable, it was that our next door neighbours were expecting their first child. I was living at the cottage and doing the ten mile commute, while Goob worked and lived at the house in town. At home for the day (late in her pregnancy) I innocently asked her if he was behaving.

GOOB n' ME. Love that he's rockin' his classic Raptors Jersey!
“Other than the weekend pick-up games of basketball at 2am in the morning, I wouldn't think anyone was over there,” she said. 

"I can sleep through loud music” she continued. “It's the thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk of the ball on the driveway... It's like a slow drip to the forehead when you can't sleep!.” 

Naturally, I apologized.  Told her I’d speak to him and without hesitation, gave her very some very sound advice; if it happened again, simply go to the nearest open window and yell... "GOOB! PUT THE BALL AWAY AND GO THE F*CK TO BED!!” 

Taking the 'unconventional parenting approach' made no matter. The competitive, testosterone filled young men (we totally consider family) let it happen again. The net was taken down the next day and eventually disposed of. That said, though a childhood relic was put to pasture, we've never waivered  as a die hard basketball family.

I am officially going on the record that I am NOT a hockey fan. If you want to know why I don't 'bleed blue' the answer is simple. I bleed basketball. At this particular moment, I just can't confidently attach a colour to my passion. You see, not only can the Raps NOT decide on a logo; they seem to be a tad confused on which uniform colour to wear. Makes no matter. My philosophy has been deeply routed and totally ingrained since my children were small. 


Sunday, January 18, 2015


The picture I am sharing today was the one the Bank took in December of 1999 when they appraised our cottage on Orillia Lake. All these years later, though the landscape has changed, that photo is still pinned on the fridge with a magnet. As you know, this neat little haven has served us well as a family.

That very first winter we spent many enjoyable days there, yet didn’t spend the night until the snow was totally melted in the spring of 2000. About three weekends into full-time enjoyment, we arrived that Friday night to the realization that we’d been robbed. I remember feeling a tad scared, not to mention really fecking mad! How the hell could someone be so self-serving?
The structure remains the same... But the landscape has definitely changed.

Well, this week I discovered we’ve been robbed out there again. This time, by Hydro One!

As you all know, I obsess about my Lakeland Power bill for the home in town. That said, all these years later, I have never really bothered to take a good look at the cottage hydro bill. 

So, when I opened the current bill for $158.36, I thought my Christmas cottage romp was generally pretty affordable. Then, I started to think about it; I only used three small 110 volt heaters and barbecued (mostly) because it was so mild. It was then, I decided to really look at it. The bill was for the last three month billing period,  ending December 25th.

Last fall, in the 90 billing days, I used a total $14.03 in hydro and none of it was in On-Peak time. Keeping the HST,  their debt retirement out and grabbing my bullshit Clean Energy Benefit... 897% of my bill was delivery!

I'm an open minded gal but nothing pisses me off more than getting truly screwed and no one buying me a drink first. Wait, could that be what my Clean Energy Benefit credit is for? A drink, so that I can get up the nerve to pay my bill? Hell, the value of that is so small, I wouldn't even be able to fill a thimble with rubbing alcohol. Whatever, all I can do at this point is express my frustration. So here's a visual...

All you need to do is imagine me cheering. Imagine that you can hear my voice enthusiastically saying "I'm your number one fan Hydro One... I'm your number ONE fan Hydro One..." really loudly and over and over again.

Now, picture me waving my extremely outstretch middle finger, whilst gloriously chanting it!

Ya Gotta Laugh About It...!!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Thank God it’s Friday, because I’ve had a very emotional week!

So, to always strive to remain self-aware, I'll admit that I know it’s the accumulation of a number of different things. The fact that I can both realize and admit that, helps me understand why I broke down and cried right before I left to come home this afternoon.

Since my feet hit the floor Monday, I've been on this roller coaster ride. A ride that has had me mired in the feelings of fear, shock, elation, sorrow, frustration, angst, happiness, laughter and love. I was telling Pete this afternoon about my deeply rooted quirks. I could see by the look on his face that he wasn't sure if he should think I’m brilliant, or bat shit crazy. As a true Entrepreneur, I can assure you that I am a solid balance of both.

Like most people, I have triggers. It's just that this week decided to serve each and every one of them suckers daily. (All-inclusive and as a three meal a day 'buffet'.) As a result, each day moved several different emotions within me depending on what that buffet was serving. Because I've conditioned myself with internalizing, my tears were just simply a release telling me I made it.

So I have to find my glass half full.... Let me see. It can’t be the wine I’m sipping, because my glass is more than half empty. It can’t be that the Raptors play tonight, because they always make my glass overflow. I think my moment will come tomorrow afternoon; when I strap on my snowshoes, grab the pups and trek over to the eighth tee on the golf course.

If I position myself right...?
My voice will go over the 8th green, right up the 9th fairway, then into the curling rink!

It will be there, that I scream extreme expletives at every single one of the emotions I have felt this week. If I do it right, one of two things will happen; I’ll either lose my voice, or I’ll get a round of applause from everyone at the curling rink participating in this weekends bonspiel.

She's a no-brainer. Ya gotta shoot for the round of applause… Right?

Because most people would give up once they've lost their voice. 

That's my glass half full.... I'm truly grateful that I'm not like "most" people!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


PEEPS... Meet my winter BFF!
TAKEN: JANUARY 10th, 2015
As I mentioned in my last post, this past week has been brutal for l'il ole me in the snow removal department. 

When I woke up yesterday morning, the plow had passed twice in the night and the snow bank at the end of the driveway was more than four feet high. Armed with my trusty scoop, I bundled up and headed out. When I got out there, I was simply gobsmacked. 

NEVER, in all the years that we’ve owned this home, have I ever had to tackle a bank that big. The hardest part was that I literally had no place to put the friggin' crap.

So, I ended up having to cart all of it across the street and load it into the ditch. The worst part was, because there had been so very much accumulation, I had to make some major scoop trails in order to make room for the snow I was moving. Suffice is to say, by the time I finished yesterday, my arms felt like they each weighed a ton.

After a hot bath last night, I woke up this morning feeling like a million bucks!

Got the laundry done, groceries done and had a solid plan to build the annual 'dog trails' with my snowshoes before I put supper on. Well, let me tell ya something. Once I got going, that million dollar feeling I woke up to this morn, turned into a $1.99 K-Mart blue light special!

About 45 minutes in I started to head down the hill toward the railway tracks. Thirty feet in from the top of the yard, I hit (what felt like) an air pocket. Down I went. The worst part was I was facing downhill and the snow had me immobilized. I was totally FUBAR’d!

I called for my husband, nothing.  My arms felt so heavy I could barely support myself. I kept stepping on my snowshoes and I could feel the muscles in my legs straining. With three dogs trying to help by jumping on my back, I just let all my muscles relax and started laughing. I am very pleased to report, that I eventually regrouped and got myself back up the hill.

You’d have to think that the worst part of the last couple of days was that my legs now feel as heavy as my arms; that’s not it. The worst part is that three neighbours offered to loan me their snowblower yesterday morning as I dug out of that stinking snowbank. 

My response to all of them? “No thank you, I really do like the exercise...” 

The worst part... is that I am a complete and total idiot for not saying ... "Yes, please!" 

I suck!

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Does anyone remember those cheezy ‘I’m with Stupid' t-shirts? They had a big finger that was pointing at the person walking beside them; classic 1970’s. Well, you may not be able to see it by the picture I am posting but my hubby and I are both wearing those shirts. Yup, and the arrows are pointing directly upward toward our chins!

YUP... We're as stupid as they come!
TAKEN: NOVEMBER 19th, 2014
After more than three solid hours of snow shoveling today (for the umpteenth day in a row) I have to second guess the next couple of months. Yes-sir-reeee, we could very well be the two stupidest people on the face of the earth!!

Matter a fact, that is a camera hanging around my neck, which is feeling very much like a noose today!

I was so excited for my buddy B over the holidays. He surprised the very beautiful T with an amazing trip to Cancun as a Christmas gift. She’s so excited and I am really excited for them. When declining his invitation to join them, I was confident I could cope in their absence mid February (as it was raining outside as we sipped our Christmas Cheer) on the 28th of December. Afterall, winter had yet to arrive.

Flash forward to the last couple of days in Muskoka...

We're only a week in and today is the first day I regret telling my husband that the snow blower fund could be utilized elsewhere. For crying out loud people... With it being -35C yesterday with the wind chill, and walk to the office today in blowing snow, we seriously need our heads examined!

With another foot of the white stuff expected to fall overnight, I only have two words for all of you (as I look at us with our tanned skin wearing very little clothing) TRIP CENTRAL!

Can February get here fast enough? Nope, definitely not for this cat!

Sunday, January 4, 2015


While perusing my social media outlets over the holidays, I came across a post. A post, that almost a week later, still stands out. There wasn't a graphic but the overall message was very simple. In 2015 ask someone to take your picture. Put yourself out there! 

ANNIE n' ME in the driveway!
(Photo Credit? NOT ME!)
TAKEN: JANUARY 2nd, 2015
Though the context is about taking selfies, the last thought has burrowed itself my cranium. After much reflection, I realize that I had so much to accomplish in 2014, that I’ve truly isolated myself of who I really am; a full blown extrovert. 

With that admission on the table, you'll be equally surprised to learn that in the past thirteen months (electronic friends excluded) I have spent 90% of my time either alone or with family/pups. Don't get me wrong, I've built something truly amazing but this holiday season made me realize that I've been missing interacting face to face with others for far too long. It's time to 'put myself out there'.

I'm not afraid of what the upcoming year will bring. I enjoy meeting new people, as well as establishing new Business associates. As an extrovert, both come quite naturally. With my lessons learned file folders in tow, I know I'll need to be very careful and extremely selective in whom I trust. With my mind made up, I am hopeful.

As we all know from experience, when any of us sustain any big change, friends and inner circles ultimately shift. Which always bring us back to those handful of people that were meant to be in our lives forever.  For which, I will always be both respectful & grateful.

It's their unconditional belief in me that gives me this strength to continue to build. They know who they are, so I'd like to thank them.

Thank you, for simply being 'YOU'... And loving me, for simply being 'ME'.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Holy Snow Squalls Batman!

As predicted, the land, as far as the eye can see, is a blanket of ‘Frosty the Snowman’ snow. That wonderful type of precipitation, that is all light and fluffy and perfect. The very kind of snow we usually get right before Christmas. Once again, someone needs to check Mother Nature's meds. (Because that perimenopausal bitch is definitely crazy outta whack, not to mention off her rocker. AGAIN!)

It's my hat.
No, it's my hat.
NO... It's my hubby's hat!
TAKEN: JANUARY 1st,  2015
I’m kidding. I don’t mind it. Truth is, I love it.

Matter a fact, once the plow passed a second time this morning, we headed out to clear the freshly fallen snow. 

Not only is it very pretty out there (and the fresh air exhilarating) but today’s snow makes me smile. It signifies that I made it through those awful six weeks after I am forced to "fall back"

As my picture illustrates, like every year, it’s been a bit of a tug of war. However, with the help of a jolt of vitamin D and the ongoing task of keeping my young Anna Lee out of mischief, I made it.

Actually, take a good look at the picture. I have an ever so slight chance of making it until the Lakes open, without the loss of a lot of my shoes and other personal belongings. She's absolutely and unequivocally stolen my heart, let's hope her razor shape teeth can equally respect my crap. Ya Gotta Laugh About It...!

Happy New Year everyone. All the best in 2015 & thank you again for reading.