Sunday, October 30, 2016


Last year around this time, my Boss wandered into my office and announced he was starting to use Instagram. Knowing I'm the social media junkie I am, he was shocked when I announced that it's the only platform I’d never embraced. In hindsight I’m not sure why, because from a very young age I’ve always loved taking photos.

After him coaxing harder for me to step up, I tried to jump start my effort last winter. Yet again, I still didn’t truly grasp the concept and it felt extremely forced. Then, this past Labour Day Monday, I woke at the cottage to watch the sun rise. Just as the sun officially peeked through the trees, I unwrapped myself from my blanket, ran up from the dock, and snapped a picture. For whatever reason, I shared my freshly snapped photo on Instagram. It was like a switch flipped and I realized it was about the moment, and what a specific picture offered me personally in that moment.

Flash forward to the past Canadian Thanksgiving Monday. We get such little time together as a family, I was ecstatic for what the day was going to offer. Anyway, I must have taken 100 pictures that day on our trek of Huckleberry Rock in Muskoka. When I got home, I had so many to choose from I didn’t share any. I did update my personal Facebook page but outside of that, I’ve just sat at my desk since and admired the truly amazing day we shared.

With that, I know my avid readers and friends know about my obsession with the Petro Canada glasses I collect. So none should be surprised at what my favourite Thanksgiving picture is. When we arrived back at the house, I asked my 3 birth children and my 4th child (whom I consider a true member of our family) to enjoy a drink with my Dad.

We did.

My Instagram caption read: My very favourite people on the planet having a drink with my Dad.
Cheers Poppa!! #iloveyou #imissyou #familyfirst #wishyouwerehere
TAKEN: OCTOBER 10th, 2016

For the first time today, I have shared my Petro Canada glass obsession on Instagram. 

Not because they needed to look at a bunch of corny glasses but because my photo resembles the respect we all still have for my father. How even after all these years, he is still very much loved and truly missed. Welcome to Instagram Poppa. I’m sure those peeps will love you as much as my Friends, Tweeps, and Google+ Pals.

Now, if I could only figure out why the bazillion hashtags accompany photos....

I'd be cookin'!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Last week was somewhat of an exhausting train wreck for me. I stayed up past my bedtime four of the five week nights and therefore ended up in bed by 9pm Friday night. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I have some super sexy social life happening that I feel I am missing out on something extra special, I just don’t remember the last time my body and mind felt the need to sleep around the clock; and I did just that last Friday night.

Well rested, I did my chores, packed the pups and headed to the cottage. On the way out of town, we stopped to pick up peanuts in the shell for the chipmunks, a kick ass steak, and a small yet perfect pumpkin. When I put the pumpkin in the shopping cart I knew that I had definitely hit my stride. With my favorite season in full gear I knew I’d proudly gotten my autumn on.

You know the feeling. The grin that comes over your entire face when you put on your favourite old shirt that you refuse to part with. For me, wearing fuzzy socks and carving a pumpkin have the same effect. Both are part on my internal mechanisms that prepare me mentally for the season of hibernation that’s fast approaching.

Have you gotten your autumn on yet?
TAKEN: OCTOBER 22nd, 2016
Yes, that’s correct, I hibernate. It’s usually in the back bedroom with the covers over my head, curled up with my pups, wearing a couple layers of fuzzy socks, and Netflixs playing a loop of the sappiest chick flicks just released. Once winter hits, from Friday eve to Monday morn, I become as anti-social as a Mama Bear hunkered down in her bunker with her cubs. Should I have to exit, my departure is as swift as my return. Which usually involves a baseball cap and yoga pants, which are two defining elements of my winter wear collection. Even when I ski or snowshoe on Sundays both are included and no makeup is ever in place. 

So, knowing that is ever pressing on my horizon, you can imagine the mania and euphoria that Fall provides. It’s almost like I make every extra effort to bask in all the activities that aren’t an option over our long Canadian winters.

As I type this morning I can’t help but stare out the window at my favourite tree on our property. It’s the one behind me in the pic my husband snapped yesterday. I love it because every year, it’s the last one on our lake to give into winter. Like me, it holds out kicking and screaming. 

Its colour remains brightest the longest, and when I return from my vacation mid December it will still have some of it’s red leaves attached as it simply refuses to conform. Just like me, it pays no attention what the others around it think or do. Why would it? Why should it? Like the tree, my roots are strong and my persistence even stronger. 

So, if you haven’t yet, get the hell outside today and get your autumn on.

I promise you’ll love it …and you can thank me later!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


If you're nice to an animal, it loves you for life. 
If you're nice to a person, who the hell know what's going to happen.
~ Higher Perspectives (via Instagram)

Last summer, our eldest pup Dot had an episode. At that point, we knew she was pretty much on borrowed time. Then, about the middle of August, her temperament really shifted and she became aggressive toward the other pups. In hindsight, I believe that leading a pack of three was taking its toll on both her mind and her body.

So, after an aggressive growling and barking stint on a cottage Wednesday night, it was decided on that coming Saturday we would put her down. With no word of a lie, once those words were uttered aloud, she did a complete three hundred and sixty degree behavioural flip. It was almost like she instinctively understood that we’d decided her gig was up.

Well, more than a year later she’d doing very well. The majority of the time she moves slower than molasses in Muskoka in January but she still has an amazing quality of life. We help boost her into her bed in the bedroom when her hips decide to stay in the living room; but outside of that her disposition is great for a senior citizen.

My challenge with her is that winter is approaching and how do I help her manage in the copious amounts of snow that will fall.  I knew I'd need to keep her mind sharp as well as her feet moving in the house because she won't be able to spend an extended amount of time outside. After careful thought I came up with an answer…peanuts. I figured if she can chase the squirrels outside at the cottage, why can’t she chase them inside around the house.
Dottie waiting by the door for her exercise buddies to return.

I started with the back deck. She has a dog chaise by the sliding door but when things are cooking she scurries from the deck to the dining room windows, back to the deck, to the living room windows and so on. (This weekend, I am placing a feeder on the big tree below my bedroom window so they can entertain her through the day.)

Not gonna lie, all the dogs have hopped on the bandwagon. I have been feeding the peanut hoarders for a couple of weeks and they will literally come within a foot of the sliding glass door when the last nut has been squirreled. I know some readers will say they are a menace and that they aren’t very smart; but our deck seems to be the hot spot for their buffet this fall. That said, I think they are anything but stupid.

Didn’t take them-thar suckers long to realize food was coming out but the dogs ain’t!

Annie and Puddin' getting in on the action.
TAKEN: OCTOBER 12th, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Well, it’s that time of year again. When our local economy for tourism dwindles and the plethora of cottagers close up until the lakes open again next year. That said, I think you really have to live here to truly appreciate the seasonality of income and the impact it has on our year round residents.

As you may or may not know, this coming weekend is when Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. As a result, our Oldtimers hockey team held a food drive last night to help feed our families in need. No one gets paid for their time, nor the resources they provided and their only reward is knowing they are providing a very valuable and much needed community service.

2016 Muskoka Oldtimers Fall Food Drive
TAKEN: OCTOBER 4th, 2016

Short story long, when the knock came to our door last night our three dogs went bonkers. Through the glass in my front door, I could see two young girls wearing hockey jerseys with identifying lanyards draped around their neck. At the end of my drive, a pick-up truck to carry the donations they would have to walk to collect. Immediately, I knew it was the food drive being promoted over the local radio station, so I hollered over the dogs asking them to sit tight as we gathered our items.

As we wandered back up from the door and glanced out our kitchen window, we noticed the girls were headed next door. My husband joked that “they’d give way better stuff than us,” so we watched. We could see our neighbour, whom had done an extravagant exterior landscape renovation this past summer, speaking with the girls. Then, for some very personal reasons I’m sure, closed their door and sent them away empty handed. We were in shock.

After about 10 minutes of dialogue, we realized our opinions on the matter had us racing to the bottom. Bitching about what we’d witnessed wouldn’t make a difference, yet packing up another bag of food on our neighbours' behalf, just might help feed another family in need; which is exactly what we did.

We bolted down the street, explained why we wanted to give more, and I asked the girls if I could take their picture. Not to point out the glass half empty but to post and thank all of the students, parents, grandparents, uncles, sisters, cousins, brothers, for their servitude. 

I know last night I announced to my Facebook friends that I was feeling a rant coming on, which is probably what they were expecting to read. Instead, after a good night sleep and some reflection, my mindset has changed. A day later, I have reduced my emotions to a 50/50 race between hope and karma. 

Hope, yes I definitely felt hope last night. Young people giving back, working hard and staying positive and the majority of the community working together. Yet after what I witnessed from my neighbours, the other side of my brain is pulling an equally strong Karma vibe. 

Guess only time will tell on all fronts.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


I was originally suppose to be home staining the exterior of the house this weekend. Then, toward the end of the week, Mother Nature decided to forecast light rain for the entire weekend. Not wanting to lose valuable outside chore time, I figured I could burn brush at the cottage instead.

Well, it became evident early Saturday morning that it wasn’t going to rain. So, we bolted into town to pick up a couple of items we needed for next week. Like I do most Saturday mornings, I headed to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to check for the couple items of crap I collect. No glasses for my Dad, yet I did score another edition of Trivial Pursuit for my Mom. (I think that brings me to 10 unique versions).

Standing at the checkout, I bumped into my high school physics teacher. We had attended an event together this past summer and it was nice to see he and his wife again. They admitted to be Re-Store regulars too, as they refurbish and sell antiques. Anyway, when he noticed I didn’t score any glasses, he asked about the game. I explain that Trivial Pursuit was not only my Moms favourite game but mine too.

That said, I went on to explain to he and his wife that I am the polar opposite to a pack rat. That I do a clean sweep of my home and cottage twice a year and if I haven’t needed or used items in the prior six months I get rid of them. Then I said... “Look, whether you believe it or not, I am very particular about the crap I collect.”

Without missing a beat, he quickly replied, “I can tell. Just look at your husband!”

These are a few of my favourite things!
The four of us immediately burst into laughter. My husband acknowledged the quip as a good one, and I acknowledged that 30 years later, we are in fact the others most cherished collection. 

You know what? It’s spur of the moments like the one I experienced yesterday that once again confirms the notion that I have always believed; it really is the small moments in life that make things memorable. 

That, and if nothing else… 

Ya Gotta Laugh About It…!