Baby it’s cold outside


Yesterday I watched golf.

It’s a thing I do in the depth of winter. And I don’t even play golf. It is a substitute for the beaches I will not be visiting. A reminder that somewhere, in real time, the sun is a warm presence inviting short-sleeves and sun-screen.

IMG_4583How I yearn for summer now – when the temperature is minus 40 with the windchill (let’s not forget the wind chill!).

IMG_4585And my arctic view is a reminder that venturing outdoors requires the same preparation as an astronaut suiting up for space.

And yet, there are people who seek out cold climates. Adventurers trekking to the North and South Poles, climbing Mount Everest, competing in the Iditarod.

Crazy people?

Ask me when the pavement is a fry pan and the humidity has reduced me to a sodden puddle.

Ask me then.




Super Bowl – an alien perspective



February 1st. Afternoon, Southern Ontario. Winter storm watch. Waiting for the approaching Colorado Low (vs our normal Alberta Clipper) to dump 10 to 30 cm of snow on the ground. But it is not only the weather our southern neighbours are sharing today. Over 112 million people will be turning their collective gaze to a stadium in Arizona to observe what is the highest holy day in the American worship calendar – the Super Bowl.

So in celebration of this great event, here is a link to last year’s post. The contestants may have changed slightly, but the aliens are still watching…

Try Writing



Creativity knows no grammar…as might have been quoted by Huckleberry Finn…

Originally posted on Storyshucker:

“Thousands of people who write believe they are better than thousands of others. They believe they will pen the next great American novel but their writing is dull and full of grammatical errors. Why do they write anything intended to be read by the public? Why do they write?”

I read those lines and was impelled to respond. The blogger’s entire post was arrogant and sarcastic, but those lines were the cherries on top. After I acknowledged that he can post what he likes on his own blog, I then asked if rather than squelch ambitions with a negative message about imperfection, he could instead applaud people for their attempts, for our attempts because I am one of the imperfect. But, we still try.

I don’t necessarily like being serious because, well, it’s not funny. I love a little arrogance and sarcasm as much as anyone, maybe more than…

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Oh the pressure!



I received a pressure cooker for Christmas. Why you ask? Because I had it on my Santa list.  At this point you must be thinking — really? Who asks for a pressure cooker?

Pressure  cookers are kind of old fashioned. My grandmother used one, my mother used one. But they are having a resurgence! And although I am not the best of chefs, I thought why not add this new pot for the kitchen… especially if it is a gift and I don’t have to pay for it  (I am not proud).

Eco friendly, energy efficient, nutrient preserver. That should say it all.

So tonight I am watching hockey (Bruins vs Habs) and chowing down on my 30 minutes pressure cooker ribs.

Go HABS — after all I am Canadian.

I am my refrigerator


Like with any work of art, what starts out as a blank canvas somehow over time turns into…IMG_4414

This is my refrigerator door. I must confess it was much more cluttered, but I did a rigorous purge and re-org to get it to its current state.

Standing back and taking a look at my work, I thought, what does this refrigerator door say about me?

In our society, where we seem to be pigeonholed into demographic and behavioral segments, I am sure there is a paper or study that has sliced and diced the physiological and psycho-graphic characteristics of people who use their refrigerator doors as bulletin boards, and those who do not.

On the one side, the RAP or Refrigerator Adornment Personality.  RAPs use their fridge as a multipurpose centre on which notes, family pics, art galleries, inspirations and silliness are posted. It is indicative of behavioral clutter tendencies and relaxed rules of housekeeping.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the ADD or Appliance Decor Detractor.  ADDs do not suffer even a tastefully decorative magnet on the pristine plane of any appliance. They are the scourge of clutter and fingerprints — easily identified by the spray bottle in one hand and dust cloth in the other.

I am sure such a study does exist somewhere.  And when I find it, the statistically significant conclusion will be:

I am my refrigerator.

When did I become my grandmother?


I am going to Cuba in three weeks which has necessitated shopping for a swim suit. It is too bad that I do not currently live in the era of the early 1900’s. I could get by wearing a garment akin one of these styles that would hide all the bumps and flabby bits.


But no, none of these looks are currently available (and believe me I searched). Since I was in desperate need of a new swim suit, and Sears was advertising a 50% off sale, I plucked up my courage, selected a few styles and entered the fitting room.

The tags boasted tummy tucking, hip trimming, bosom enhancing styles. Ha! Talk about deceptive advertising.

This was not how I looked (although perhaps… if I had struck this particular pose in the fitting room…oh, who am I kidding!!).

Really - how old?

I realize my youthful ambitions to grace the front pages of a fashion magazine or strut down the runway as a Victoria’s Secret Model will never happen. My only hope would be if they came up with Victoria’s Ancient Secret Catalogue.

When I entered into that fitting room cubicle with its cruelly revealing every flaw lighting, it was a bit of a shock that my once youthful bikini body was long gone. Instead it has been replaced with skin and muscle that bears the marks of childbearing, surgeries and of years of gravitational pull.  I saw that, dear God, I had become my grandmother!

Then I thought, really is that such a bad thing?

We are all so obsessed with youth, but I would not go back to that time with all its awful uncertainties and anxieties. No. I am much more comfortable and confident in the skin I am in now.

So when I am in Cuba, I am going to don my bathing suit, hit the the beach and proudly display all those  bumps and flabby bits. I earned them.

Who’s the pretty kitty…



I am woman, single, of a certain age and sharing my home with two felines. For some people these facts place me into borderline cat lady territory – although I believe that 3 or more cats officially crosses the line from pet owner to collector.

In a world that seems to be divided into those who love cats and those who don’t, for years I was in the latter category. I grew up with dogs and large dogs at that. Dogs that knocked me over with their over enthusiastic greetings, yanked me off my feet during walks, and slobbered into my shoes when at rest.

I did not come over to the cat side until I was in my early 40’s and I was given a ‘free’ kitten by a neighbour.  Of course that word ‘free’ excludes the costs of vet visits, shots and neutering.

Elmo was the first. A black and white beauty that acted more canine than feline. He came when he was called, fetched balls of paper, and was an adept escape artist that went missing for 2 weeks once. He returned in the middle of a thunderstorm. It was a Hallmark moment.

Elmo sickened suddenly and had to be put down at the age of 9. Who knew you could get so attached to a cat?

Once you lose a cat, it is amazing how many people have kittens to give away. Finn was left at my doorstep in a box. Jem followed a few years later. Due to her owner’s allergies, it was my house or the local shelter. What could I say?

So here I am. A woman of a certain age. Living with cats.

Do I dote on my cats? Not extraordinarily – unless you think the occasional treat of bacon is an overly affectionate gesture.

Do I talk to my cats? Yes I do. I converse on many levels with my housemates, and they are always harmoniously agreeable to all my opinions and views. I also sing sometimes, and they do not cover their ears and tell me to tone it down.

Do I sleep with my cats? Yes I do. And besides sometimes laying on my head in the middle of the night, they are very accommodating bed mates –  never hogging the blankets or taking up most of sleeping area.

Am I a cat lady?

Just maybe.