Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Truth About Santa

Last Friday night, I discovered the truth about Santa.

We had been in all day and I was relieved when M suggested going out for a late dinner.

After ordering pizza at a restaurant in the mall, we started talking to a man at the table opposite us. We commiserated about the freezing weather. He offered us the use of a portable heater which the restaurant had provided.

At the far end of the mall, a choir was singing. "That's Charlie Brown's Christmas Theme," I said to M. It was one of the few Christmas songs I like. (We actually avoid the mall as much as possible at this time of year because of the repetitive holiday music.)

Our neighbour finished his coffee and packed up his laptop.

"Time to go home to my family," he said. "Keep warm and have a very happy holiday!"

We wished him the same.

After we finished dinner we asked the waitress for the bill. She said that we were only being charged for M's dessert. The rest of our meal had been paid for by the nice gentleman with the laptop!

Santa isn't that guy in the red suit at the other end of the mall, where the kids line up to ask for presents and to be photographed.

He's a middle-aged guy with a laptop and a family, who showed kindness and generosity to
strangers who don't even celebrate Christmas.

Warmest wishes for the holiday season!

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1, 1983

34 years ago today

I interviewed James Houston

at the Glass Art Gallery...

and sold my profile of him
to enRoute magazine!

It was also the day that

M secretly bought

Houston's "Snowy Owl"

from The Yaneff Gallery next door

and hid it for seven months

to give it to me for my next birthday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Leaves and A Lesson in Persistence

Before the month is over, I'd better post these photos of October's leafy extravaganza.

That is what we expect from October in southern Ontario.

What I didn't expect was this renaissance of the purple mums we planted back in June.

They flowered for about a week. Then, despite my constant watering and fertilizing,
I didn't see any more flowers. Lots of leaves, but that was it.

About Labour Day, I stopped watering the planters.

A few days ago, the purple mums came back to life.

Mother Nature is reminding me to keep watering, keep believing, even when it seems that flowering season is over.

You never know when that mum plant--or that sleeping manuscript--will have a renaissance.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

TB Thursday - Mom

100 Years Ago Today...



photo taken in 1924, when she was seven

We gave her this restored photo for her 80th birthday.
She said, "I feel like you've given me back my youth!"

Kudos to MacCrae Custom Colour Studio and its magicians
who worked many, many hours with PhotoShop's cloning device
to eliminate the rips caused by a straight pin.

Also, my grandmother had scrawled the date and my mother's age in blue pen on the FRONT of the photo!

The linen dress and matching hat were the height of fashion which my grandfather had brought back from Paris. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Here's Looking at You, Sun!

Eclipse glasses from
Eclipse Kit by AstroBox

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mercury in Retrograde Strikes Again

Mercury is in retrograde between August 12 and September 5.

 two retro cars (old MGAs)

If you've followed this blog or its predecessor for long, you've probably noticed that
 Mercury has it in for me.

So far, this is how Mercury has tripped me up:

1. Mattress Snafu

We ordered a new mattress and box spring  set (before August 12). We did NOT order a metal bed frame because the one we had was fine. The comfy new mattress arrived on August 15. With a new frame.

"We didn't order a frame," we told the delivery men.

"It's here, so we're setting it up," they replied. They dismantled the old frame, set up the new one, plunked the mattress on top, and started to leave.

"Take away the old frame," we said.

"No, we can't do that."

So M and I schlepped the heavy, unwieldy thing to the recycling room on the main floor of the condo.

"You've just done your aerobic exercise for the day," M told me.

Five minutes after we got back to our suite, we got a phone call from the delivery men. "We're coming back to pick up the new frame you didn't order or pay for."

They took away the new frame and plopped the mattress and box spring set directly on the floor.

The next day we returned to the mattress store and told them what happened and asked whether the warranty was voided by not having a frame. "No, you're fine with the mattress set directly on the floor."

Miscommunication at its finest.

2. False fire alarm

Last night the fire alarm went off. 

At 1:45 am.

Panic ensued for 15 minutes until we heard the announcement that it was a false alarm.

My first thought was about getting both of us dressed and out of the building. At least *sigh* we didn't have to carry a 25-pound dog down the stairs, too... :-(

My next thought was: SAVE THE MANUSCRIPT!  (my work-in-progress).

As a result of last night's escapade, I've decided to keep the flash drive containing my WIP in my purse at all times when I'm not actually using it. 

3. Other minor things 

including no sound on my husband's computer and other problems with his new cell phone.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Janet Reid's 100th Flash Fiction Contest

I had fun entering Janet Reid's Flash Fiction Contest and reading all that fabulous writing.

The challenge was to incorporate these five words into a micro-fiction of 100 words or less. The words could be alone or incorporated into other words.

- fin
- scapegrace
- gaze
- forti
- scram

Here are the finalists and their entries:


Congrats to Kate Outhwaite!

Here's my flash fiction story.

Jane looks a right mess, and I tell her so.

"Couldn't sleep," she said. "That bloody scapegrace kept me up, tossing and turning, humming in his sleep. Finally I slipped out to the gazebo to catch a few winks."

She opens two beers. I fortify myself with a gulp before looking for Paul.

He's playing the piano. His eyes are kaleidoscopes.

"Cool tune," I say. "Got any lyrics?"

"Scrambled eggs. Oh, you've got such lovely legs."

I need a place to hide away. "You've been smoking up again. Honestly, Paul, I wasn't born yesterday."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Amsterdam - CBS Sunday Morning, May 21, 2017

In case you missed it, CBS's Sunday Morning program, filmed in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, tulips, canals, Keukenhof, art...it's all here. Enjoy!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Tulips on My Terrace...

Choosing colours was a happy accident. When I bought them, they were closed and I couldn't determine the colours.

I have tulips to look at, so Spring can begin!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

When Felix met Victoria...

In the spring of 1841, Felix Mendelssohn waited nervously in Queen Victoria's court. After his long career as a composer, he was about to receive a knighthood.

The line moved forward slowly. Queen Victoria sat on her throne and each man kneeled before her while she mumbled something and moved her sword from one shoulder to the other.

At last, he reached the front of the line. It was his turn.

Thrilled, he knelt before the queen. This was the most important day of his life. He knew he was supposed to say a foreign phrase which he had memorized, but..

his mind went completely blank!

So he said the first foreign phrase he could think of, which was:

"Ma nishtanah ha lilah ha zeh me chol ha lalot?"

Queen Victoria was not amused but she didn't lose her cool. She replied:

"Why is this knight different from all other knights?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Only 34 More Days of Pre-Spring

In case you were wondering...

Pre-Spring ends February 28


Early Spring starts March 1!

In the meantime, here's some sunshine I imported, just for you.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dancing Down the Freeway of Life (movie review)

Although I love California, I'm not a big fan of Los Angeles. La La Land, the new musical fantasy movie, reveals both the car-clogged side I'm familiar with and a surreal fantasy perspective that lives in the dreams of aspiring artists.

The opening song and dance on the freeway shows the duality of the city and the duality of one's view of life. Most of those people stuck in traffic are on their way to dull jobs such as Mia's (Emma Stone) barista one, but dream of doing something creative; in her case, acting in movies. She meets Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), an aspiring jazz musician reduced to playing Jingle Bells on the restaurant's piano.

La La Land is visually stunning. The director shows Los Angeles in her best possible light, all twinkling lights seen from hilltops, a lonely pier at sunset, or a conveniently empty planetarium. We hardly ever see the traffic and highways and road rage. We do see the rejection and frustration, the conflict between selling out and being true to your ideals.

Most of the songs are forgettable, except for "City of Stars" and the haunting "Audition," which made me cry, much to my husband's surprise. He found La La Land "two hours of nothing." He felt there was no plot.

Maybe you have to be a creative person in order to get this movie. Although it has delightful songs and dances, it isn't as fluffy as it seems. It really made me think.

Is life a daily grind where talent is ignored or rejected over and over?

Or is it a freewheeling dance down the freeway?