Sunday, February 26, 2017

WE WERE HERE



For the record, this is not my footprint. It belongs to someone I was following on the beach who's feet are not nearly as ugly as mine. 

But we were here. 

In Punta Cana, walking the beaches with thousands of other souls in so many different shapes and sizes.

We listened to the waves wash in with a gentle swoosh as they gave the sand a sloppy wet kiss.




We were treated like royalty at the Riu Palace Bavaro, where the staff went out of the way to meet all your wants and needs.




I ate a lot of seafood: Lobster Risotto




Sea bass, cod and Sushi!




I LOVE SUSHI!

The desserts were nothing to sneeze at either!




I spent most of my time by the pool, reading and swimming. Much to my surprise, I usually had the pool to myself - seems most everyone just wanted to dip in for a minute to cool off before they headed back to their lounger and cerveza. Me, I was doing laps: back stroke, breast stroke, side stroke, dives, somersaults. When I get the chance to swim, I'm gonna take it!

We landed back in Canada early Saturday morning around 4:00 am. I thought Lulu was going to pee on the floor she was so excited to see us! 

The opportunity to take such a luxurious holiday only magnified my sense of gratefulness. Not just for going on the trip but for all I have waiting for me at home. Everything from my bed and the big chair in the front room, to the clarity of Canadian light, and for doing the simple things, like walking the dog and baking banana bread. 

So I'm sending up a big prayer of thanks for enjoying adventures in far off exotic lands and for the comforts of home. 

Thanks for letting me be here. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

THIS IS NOT THE BLOG YOU ARE LOOKING FOR

This past week was Valentine's Day so to show the love I made some treats for my peeps at the office.




 Strawberry and raspberry tarts 



And cookies: ginger and some white chocolate vanilla! Because I'm all about putting others first you know....

WAIT.....

I have to be honest..this is not a blog about thinking of others first. If that's what you want, this is not the blog you are looking for..

Cause to be honest, right now I'm here..



Doing this:



And looking at these!



Having a wonderful time, wish you were all here!









Sunday, February 12, 2017

I WON'T JUDGE YOU BY YOUR iPOD.



If I were a betting woman, I would guess you usually have some sort of music floating around in your head. Something you heard on the radio or a catchy commercial ditty. Or, something from your own music collection. 

I know I do. Follows me around while I carry out my morning ablutions, while I'm walking the dog, working, eating- my own personal musical just going on in my head. The song changes up when another ear worm invades and takes over my head space. 

"Ear worm, or brain worm" is described as "stuck song syndrome, a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing." Well, some of them are catchy, some are just plain annoying!

I love music. All kinds (except Country....sorry. Just can't do it).  

Some I love because of the memories they bring. Memories of loved ones or a beautiful moment I can somehow relive while the song is playing. Led Zeppelin always reminds me of my sister Heidi. 

The musician in me will fall in love with the bass or drum line or a gut wrenching solo. The guitar solo in Elvin Bishop's "Fooled around and Fell in Love" nails it.  

Some I love cause they are great work out songs - hats off to the awesome funk of Earth Wind and Fire and Bruno Mars! 

Some, are so beautifully engineered they are works of art in themselves. John Mayer that's some team you got working for you!

I have classic rock, funk, inspirational, classical, jazz, pop, alternative all hanging around on my music collection and in my head space.  

You have yours too - quite likely there's some country in there. hey - to each his own. What happens in your Musical, stays in your Musical.  I won't judge you by your iPod!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

BUT I STILL LOVE GODZILLA!!

On Friday, I was chatting with a coworker about our weekend plans. 

I was pretty excited! Friday night included getting groceries and then home for sushi and opening a new bottle of spanish wine!! AND as a bonus, I didn't even have to pick up the sushi!

WOOHOO!!

My how things have changed...Friday night used to mean heading out on the town for a good time!


This is myself (in the middle) with friends Brenda and Lisa on New Years Eve. I'm 19 at the time...maybe 20. The pic is a little fuzzy cause it's old. Like me -  fuzzy and old.

My favourite food was home made chocolate chip cookies. 

Now it's homemade Granola! A girl at work calls it "white man's crack!"


Front walkovers and cigarettes are definitely out. Pilates and water with lemon are in. Where have I gone?? What the heck happened?? Even scarier....what will I be like in another 25 years, well into my 70s??

But wait....some things have not changed....I still Love Godzilla!


It was on TV last night. A 2014 version and still awesome! I remember back in the 1970s on Saturday afternoons I would watch Monster Movie! Loved the cheesy Godzilla back then, still love it today! You can bet I will be rockin' the rocking chair at 75 watching Godzilla stomping and blowing blue flames.

So take heart all you young things growing up, having babies and adapting your lifestyle. Inevitably, things will change. 

But Godzilla will still be as Badass as ever!






Sunday, January 29, 2017

SUN....SAND....AND.....SPIDERS??!!!

This just in....I'm going on a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny! It's been a long time friends. The last time we headed south to escape winter's icy blast was 17 years ago and I had a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old in tow. 

But, I'm all grown up now, the kids are off and married and there's money in the bank so Sheldon and I are heading to Punta Cana with another couple for a week of sun...sand...and....SPIDERS??? 


Wait a minute....wait just one minute here....most of you know how I feel about Spiders. But I was texting a friend of mine, a well seasoned traveller, who was giving me the scoop. Follow our textorama below:

Me: Here's where I'm going Richard! (I send a link to our Hotel)

Richard (he's pretty excited for me): The junior villa with whirlpool bath on terrace is the type of room you want! Away from the kids over looking the ocean, very nice!! You will love 24 hour room services. I always ordered coffee or tea every morning and I sat on the terrace and listened to ocean and birds!! One thing I really miss about summer are winters have no birds songs!! One of the evenings you need to walk over to the hotel next door and go to the high end casino!"

Now here is where the information takes a quick downward plunge...

Richard: "Also, watch out for the spiders, they are as big as dogs. (sends me the pic above). They come out at night, ask me about a funny story tomorrow!!" Also the kids and people love baseball! The Boston red socks!! I would recommend buying a red socks baseball cap or anything baseball. I gave away my baseball cap and it got us a room upgrade!! Don't buy any tacky things all the stuff on the beach comes from China, rip off." 

Me: You lost me on spiders....SPIDERS!!! I'm not good with SPIDERS!!

Richard: "It's OK, the resort is always spraying for them!! People forget sometimes that they are going to the jungle! With jungle animals!! If you can, stay away from the ground level rooms!!"

Me: "I'm about to hyperventilate...."

Sheldon figures Richard is messing with me so he tells me to send this over:


Me: "Did you google this to freak me out???"

Richard: "No, I'll show you pictures from my camera!! It's OK, they don't bite!! You just have to be aware of them!! Don't just walk around like your at home, be aware of your surroundings and you will be just fine!!, Now if you don't believe me just look up Punta Cana Spiders. I should of never told you!! I am such a dum ass!!"

Me: "Knowledge is power Richard. I'd rather be aware than not!"

So, there you have it. I'm going on vacation! To enjoy the sun....sand...and...(gulp) SPIDERS!




Sunday, January 22, 2017

WINTER CRITTERS


Over the years I've had a menagerie of pets co-habitating with me. Pictured above is Amelia, who I lost far too soon. Also, one of the laziest dogs to grace the earth. This is a rare pic of her standing upright AND in the snow. 

Come winter, the pets in our home take to:

Blankets 


Or the ever popular Sunbeam


This one was getting a little crowded!


Or anywhere else suitable for snoozing.
"Mom! Put the camera away! We are trying to nap!" 


Like some of us, they just want to hide until winter goes away

Sometimes, for giggles and kicks and cause cats don't care, they will re-arrange my puzzle.

There are critters that belong inside, and critters that don't! I enjoy both, in their respective environments. Mice fall in the outdoor category, and when they decide to check out what's cooking in the Crowder kitchen, the pets decide they have a job to do besides sunbeam snoozing.

When mice drop in they usually quickly scamper up the curtain and take to the curtain rods, a nice safe place. My first sign of trouble is the fact that Sasha, swishing her tail furiously, is pointedly looking up. One time this little fella decided to risk it and make his way down the curtain. I, with the container in hand was trying to coax him into it when he took a flying leap directly onto my face and did a quick scamper over my head, down my back and was soon zooming around looking for a safe zone. You know, mice feet are pretty cold....also very glad my mouth was not open...


As you can see, we eventually caught him and I took him out back into the cold winter world where he could take on the owls. 

Once we had a squirrel stop in for a visit. What ensued was utter chaos, right out of the Christmas Vacation movie with cats, squirrel and dog chasing each other and me squealing and running upstairs, hoping the squirrel parade did not follow. The critter took to a book shelf and in a stroke of divine genius I sealed the critter in with a garbage bag and phoned Sheldon to get home RIGHT NOW. 

It's winter, and the critters are doing what they do, snoozing, sun beaming, or just stopping in to visit and see what the neighbours are cooking. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

DOWNTOWN!

I've been on the hunt for a new hat for some time now. I wandered around the mall, checked out Walmart but still, found nothing that tickled my fancy. 

Then I thought - I'll go downtown! 


Our downtown just had a major face lift with new paving, landscapes, seating areas, the works; right down to new pipes tucked away underneath. Believe me, last summer was a mess. 

We have lots of things to offer Downtown, including great hats!


I opened the bell-tinkling door to "Boretski's. It is chock full of vintage clothes, knick-knacks, you name it.


As I was checking out the selection a gentleman well into his 80s asked if I wanted his opinion.
"What do you think of this one?" I asked. 
"I think it's very nice" he responded gallantly. "Isn't this a lovely store? It's like going for a walk down memory lane!"


I have a pretty tiny cranium and this one fit just fine. Besides, the shop owner, Marina, AND the charming gentleman thought it was a keeper. 

The weather was fine so I continued to check out the other shops. At the very end of the north end is the "All Good Things Shop".


It's a great place to go and look for a gift for yourself or someone special. 

I decided to stop in an "Nice, Ice Baby", a new ice cream shop that only opened up last summer.


The hand-made ice cream and gelato is amazing but not what I was looking for on a January afternoon.

This was more up my alley! 

We have a new Casino that has opened up in Belleville, with all the bells and whistles, but let me encourage you to not forget the downtown region. You can eat  authentic Mexican at Chilangos, Italian at Paulo's or find yourself in gay Paris at L'Auberge de France. You can take trips down Memory Lane at Boretski's Gallery and take in a movie at the Empire Theatre. There's Bike shops, kitchen shops, the library, the Market. What more could you ask for?

Come on! I'll help you pick out a hat!