Sunday, April 24, 2016


I'm sure many of you are not at that stage of life, where you find yourself moving your son or daughter nearly every spring and fall. 

We've been doing this for over 10 years now. Yesterday was our final "move your child after school trip". Adrian is finishing his Thesis for his Masters in Civil Engineering and then he is off to be married. Rather poignant, to be at the end of this part of our life journey. So for all of you who are not quite there, here are a few pointers!

Start that trip off right! 
Tim Hortons beckons! 

It will make going through Toronto that much more uncomfortable while you are aiming to get to the other side before attempting to get off Hwy 401 to pee!

I gotta tell ya, I won't miss driving through Toronto too much!

Find the biggest vehicle you can and stuff as much as possible into it to limit the number of transfers required. 

Adrian let us off pretty easy while he was in University. For one thing, he's a minimalist so not much to move (not like another sibling, who shall remain nameless..) plus we were only moving him a short distance into another place; a temporary measure until the big wedding day. 

Welcome to the new digs! A great room in a loft, the only problem was the 3 flights up to get to it. My Fitbit was pretty happy with my stair climbing stats.

Sustenance is essential, both to fuel up and cool down any frayed nerves from moving!

Adrian took us to "Williams Fresh Cafe" on the Hamilton waterfront. This sandwich should tide you over. 

And by all means, load up on the sugar! We took a walk down James Street and stopped into a Chocolatier called "Chocolat on James" (

These will keep your motor runnin'

We then hunted down a Portuguese Bakery called "Ola", also on James Street. This has the homey feel of a family-run business. It's full of custard tarts and all things portuguesey. 

They were also incredibly cheap. We loaded up a box full of treats that only cost us $10!

Are you worried about all the calories?? Please....remember, you are walking, lifting, climbing, unpacking all day. Those calories will barely have time to sit for a cup of tea. 

A quick trip to drop off a pathetic love seat for another university student and then to the dump to wait in line for our turn to toss all that particle board stuff.

Then, the long drive home. 

If you are lucky, you will plan these excursions on fine days - not too hot and not too cold with no rain in sight. 

And when you finally turn back into your driveway, your stiff and achey muscles will give an audible sigh of bliss when you slide under the covers and turn off the light. 

That, my friends, is the traditional move your child after (or before) school trip. Depending on how many kids you have will greatly affect your trip numbers. So enjoy the quick hike up your stairs for a bed time story and tuck into bed. You will be heading down the highway before you know it! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Finally....finally we have spring. Temperatures have reached the goal of double digits, sun is shining, flowers are prepping for the big entrance. And most importantly, I'm ready to ride my bike!

But, safety first kids so before you "get on your bike and ride" (for all you Queen fans) it is best to give her a dusting off and good once over. 

I pulled my bike out of the back shed, to check how she faired her winter's hibernation. Already, I'm apologizing to the spiders I know will soon be hanging around in there 

I pumped up the tires.
Added some oil to the chain.
Checked all the nuts and bolts to see if anybody was loosey-goosey.
Checked the brakes. 
All A-O-K. 
Except I needed a new bike helmet so it was off to Canadian Tire for me.

Naturally I started with adult size I am an adult; 52+ years of adult in fact. But what was I thinking...I come from a long line of small headed-humans. Really, you should see my Dad. The outcome being there was no way one of the Big Girl helmets were going to come close to fitting.

So I moved over to the kids section. Hence my dilemma. Choices for helmets were as follows:

There was a minion helmet - I do love yellow...

How about this one? The pink bow and kitty ears would be a nice touch

Olaf? Can you imagine a 52-year-old woman zooming through town with this on her head?? Worse, I must be one of the only humans on the planet who have yet to see this movie!

I'm happy to say, I finally found something in the 8 year old section which was more suitable. A basic black number with no pointy ears or carrot nose. 

My bike is ready to go. I blew the bike seat last year so I fixed it with Skull and Cross bone duct tape (thanks Kelly). I may have to invest in a new seat but I think the duct tape is a nice and very Canadian touch. That's Lulu in the background, pretending she doesn't know I'm taking a picture. 

So keep an eye out all you car-driving folks. The bikes are back! We will be manoeuvring our way along side you, and pumping along, burning calories behind you. 

We are ready to ride!

Saturday, April 9, 2016


I really love having a dog! The house just is not the same without  that jingly sound the dog tags make as they clip along on the hardwood floors.

But then....there's Lulu...let me try to explain....

You know how dogs (most) love everybody and are happy just to be in your company? Lulu, not so much..

Here is Lulu when we first picked her up
Look closely into those eyes and there is a hint of "I'm not sure if I like you" in there

Pretty adorable, I know

And you just want to snuggle those ears!

She was a typical puppy looking for trouble

Sometimes dragging Frodo into it

And she's pretty good about greeting me at the door, which I love

But she has her Lulu-Lemon moments.

One time on a dark and early winter's morning we were walking along. Suddenly I'm jerked off my feet and the next thing I know I'm staring up into the morning stars as I lay on the cold ground of somebody's yard. Apparently there was a rabbit, or something. 

She will bark fiercely and randomly at anything. My billet calls them "the bark-ups". Enough to give you a minor heart attack.

She has this incredible ability to want out AS SOON AS I sit down, With a coffee, 
Or a glass of wine, 
And a blanket
And probably a cat on my lap. 

That's when she is sure to ring that blasted cowbell we attached to the door for her convenience.

And she still has that, "I'm not sure if I like you" look in her eyes. Especially when  
a) anyone comes to our door that she does not know or 
b) anyone who I happen to come across when walking her. 
Even though we have done our best to socialize her and give her nothing but love and attention, she is pretty touch and go as she sizes you up. 

In fact, she still gives ME, her Mom and Master, that look. This morning as I'm heading out the door I go to say goodbye to Lu.
See?? She's assessing if I'm going to put her in her kennel before I leave, something I have not done in over a year. But she hasn't forgotten....oh no....I don't get any of that "I will be pining until you return" look!

And here she is staring me down, waiting on the deck. Basically saying "you had better let me in or there will be hell to pay, sometime after midnight, probably close to 3:00 am"

I have a friend and as we catch up I will ask 
"How's your wife?" and he always reply (very tongue in cheek)
"Oh she's better than nuthin!"

I love having a dog...I really do. And Lulu, you're better than nuthin!

Saturday, April 2, 2016


The other day I was at the bank, doing my thing at the banking machine and two people were catching up on each other's news - you know, how's the wife, how's the kids etc. etc. They were wrapping up the convo and the one fella says "take care!".

Not that I was eavesdropping, cause I wasn't, but the ending stuck with me. I heard it again between two elderly folks in McDonald's while I was picking up a latte.

But wait....there's more. I often say "take care" at the end of conversations I'm having with our palliative patients and/or their family members because, well it just makes sense giving their situations. Last week I was talking with a woman who had recently lost her mother. I was arranging for some equipment to be picked up that was still there. As I'm hanging up she says to me "take care." Wait a minute...that's my line.

So that got me musing: is this a Canadian thing? Do we/you often end conversations with a sincere Take Care? 

So I did a little investigating. I checked in with an American friend of mine. He tells me Americans often end conversations with "take care" second only to...actually I can't write what he REALLY said cause there were expletives involved. But I LOLed. 

The on-line community said the folks down south will end with "take care y'all" as opposed to our more northern "take care eh". 

In the UK - "Cheers" or "Tara" is more up their alley. They also mentioned "Catch", short for "catch you later" or "See ya."

Bye, or buh-bye is still pretty popular, especially with those under ten! Haven't heard too many 7 year olds say "take care" lately..

From what I'm hearing around this ole town, we Canadians just want everybody to be OK, to have fun but be cautious about it, to look after themselves, regardless of who ends up being President!

So let me end this by saying, here's a.....

And with utmost sincerity - Take Care!