Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Second Breakdown

The second breakdown was a direct result of the first. Again , it involved my older daughter. A few days before , Dawn had mentioned Christmas stockings. I said I just can't do stockings without Natalie here this year. I should have mentioned that fact earlier as she walked in Christmas morning with a bag of goodies. Just before we sat down, my eldest made her signature Christmas morning coffee laced with orange liquor and orange garnish. Being that I had just laced myself with orange juice a mere hour before that made the coffee drink all that more poignant.
As I began to open the stocking bag, I heard my own voice crack up "I never got you a stocking. I am such a bad mother ..". It did not matter to my daughter one way or the other but I felt it was an issue worth crying over and I did. I blubbered throughout most of the stocking stuff. My saving grace was the waterproof mascara. To make matters worse inside the stocking was an orange chocolate, orange bubble bath, orange lip gloss, etc etc . That set me off again. I was in my own personal citrus hell.
As the gifts unwrapped and the dinner came to a close , I finally felt more relaxed. The wine helped me reach that mellow yellow stage.
Screw Oprah. Screw Martha Stewart. It was over.
Until ...
Just before my daughter's boyfriend left the house he said these parting words ,
"Orange you glad we're leaving .."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ma's Christmas Morning Meltdown

I lost it at approximately 10:15 Christmas morning Eastern Standard Time. I lost it and I blame Oprah for it. Let me backtrack. I like to be organized , and I was. The house looked festive. The gifts were all bought and wrapped. All the extra food necessities were in the cupboard. I had printed off the cornbread, vegetarian stuffing recipe for Dawn recommended by Oprah instead of the sausage stuffing. The bird had been defrosting for 2 days in the refrigerator downstairs as per the health guidelines. The turnip and potatoes were prechopped in cold water the day before. I had made my list and checked it twice. All was well.
I woke up rested and ready for Christmas Day feeling prepared for the annual holiday dinner. There would be no nuking today. I relaxed , had my coffee, and fed the dogs. I was ready for Oprah's recipe. It was fairly simple to do, a little chopping, and it would be in the oven for 45 min at 350 in plenty of time for the turkey around 11am . Let the games begin. Rereading the recipe , I noted the ingredients were maxed on the plus side. Getting my chopper out , I thought to myself no wonder Oprah is gaining weight. Two minutes into the chopping , the chopper broke. Not a problem . Get the knife out. I had plenty of time. Chop.Chop.Chop. Lots of carrots in this stuffing. Chop. Chop. Wizzy was barking for a treat so I threw him a teeny piece of carrot . Healthy for growing puppies. Chop.Chop. Next came the celery. Stalks up. There were plenty of those too. Wish the chopper had not broken . Chop. Chop. Onions. Sliced . I should have halved this recipe. Watching the clock. Continued chopping and slicing. Wine ? I needed a cup of white wine. Found the bottle . Got out the wine opening gadget . Threw Wiz another a piece of carrot. Opened the bottle . Measured and poured . Resisted the wine taste temptation. Wizzy barking . Threw the little bastard a carrot. Got out my pan to saute the veggies. Turned the stove on. Added my ingredients. The pan was too small and ended up in the sink . Found a larger pan. Barking. Threw some carrots on the floor . Sauted the rest . Four cups of broth ? In the cupboard. Checking the time, I knew I needed this stuffing in the oven pronto. Hurry it up. Spice it up. Read , read. Chop, chop, saute and bark. Wizzy shutup .
I needed a cup of orange juice . How will all this liquid ever absorb? Oprah must have drank that bottle of wine . I debated that same thought. Pushing Wiz off my slipper, I reached for the orange juice . That is when it happened. In slow movie motion the box of Tropicana fell over. It poured onto the glass shelving. The orange juice flooded the food below like orange lava.
And it fell over me ...over my hair, my new gray , satin , la Senza jammies , down my top , in my pants , my slippers, onto Wizzy and the clean Christmas floor.
The phone rang . It was N@. "Merry Christmas Mama !" .
That is precisely when I lost it. I cried . I laughed . I cried again. Uncontrollably. I was juiced, sticky from head to toe. Between sobs, I explained. N@ kindly understood the stuffing saga and agreed to call later on that night.
Things did eventually right themselves . After all, it was the happiest time of the year. The kitchen got cleaned up . The stuffing for 50 servings and the turkey made it into the oven in time for Christmas dinner.
I showered ....and no one even knew about the acid rash on my chest.
The lesson learned: Be prepared for the unexpected and most importantly , what I know for sure ... always opt to drink the wine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Christmas Wish List

Two of my very favorite Christmas Wishes .

Each of us has a list . For some the list is long , lengthy and often expensive . For others , it is simply a warm place to sleep and a hearty meal . When my daughters were young , their Santa lists consisted of easy bake ovens and cabbage patch dolls. As parents , we always did our best to make their dreams come true. Late night wrappings and baking frenzies took up a lot of my time as a young mother. I was always lucky that every year, I had my children safe beside me. This is the first year that one of my daughters will not be home for the holidays. I am not sad although I will miss her presence and her ability to make me laugh against all odds . I am not sad for many reasons . My sister has a son in Korea who will not make it home for not one but two Christmases. They plan to use skype to stay connected over the holidays . There are other families whose children are stationed far away in war torn lands with no connection at all. Still others have someone in a hospital that they visit though the parent cannot connect to who they are. There are those who only have a picture to remind them that someone once sat in that empty chair . That is why I am not sad . There are so many families who through no wishes of their own cannot spend the holiday together.
I am very blessed.
When I think of my list, I think of things I cannot touch. Things like love , health, hope and peace.
Today, you may read the words on this page , but more than that , my Christmas wish is that you feel the words.
Merry Christmas to You and Yours ,
Love ,
Ma

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bing Crosby - I'll Be Home For Christmas

This Christmas song takes on special meaning , as we watch the many news reports of weary travelers looking for any means possible to beat the cold and wintry weather to be home for the holidays. Looking exhausted after many flight delays , a young man lifted his luggage and muttered one word "Home ."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Fetish

There are those of us who are upfront and honest about their snow fetishes . There are others who continue to deny that shoveling snow has always been one of their hidden passions .
I heard that Montreal is in snow dumping as I type this . The falling white stuff continues to mesmerize one certain someone who is at this moment licking the flakes off her patio door with her two chihuahuas.I only have one thing to say to you ..
"Let it snow . Let it snow . Let it snow !"

Gene Autry - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

We love the concept of reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh . The story of Rudolph leading the way despite his disability proved that no matter what others thought , you could end up a leader in life . In reality , most red noses during the holidays are directly related to hangovers.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jimmy Boyd - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

When my Dad would play this old Christmas song , we would laugh and snicker but never quite understood it until we got a little older. We all knew what mistetoe was but I mean , how could our Mommy kiss Santa Claus ?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dedicated to My Friends Shawn and Didier

Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full - we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care,
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!!
But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew,
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children:, "don't come when they call",
we "bark when they leave us", "climb over the wall."
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they'd trained us, if only we knew,
we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse - left to roam,
now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye,
"Maybe someone else will give you a try."


So now here we are, all confused and alone,
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer,
we know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads,
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears,
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.


If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn ,
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year,
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.


___________________________________

Please, even if you can't adopt a kitty, cat, dog or pup from a shelter, TRY to bring something to make their holidays a little more special. They are there all alone, probably in the cold. Bring some old dog food or cat food, or an old leash from one of your dogs. Make their day a lil' extra special. They deserve it!




__________________

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee

As a teenager, this was the song we danced too around the Christmas tree. I was on my itunes the other day and noted that Brenda Lee's song is still played by a new generation of holiday downloaders . Of course , it could be the baby boomers still rockin' after all these years .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gene Autry - Frosty the Snowman

When we were kids we never had much of a radio. One old record I recall my Dad putting on for us was this cowboy singing about that snowman that could walk and sing . My brothers , sister and I would all dance around the house just like Frosty.
Still a classic after all these years .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bing Crosby-I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

My Dad loves to sit with his walkman , relax on his lazyboy , and listen to some Christmas music . He has always loved Bing Crosby and this song in particular .
I am gonna play DJ for a day and dedicate this number to my Dad .

..and don't worry Dad , our Christmas will most definitely be white .


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merrick Alexander

... came into the world this morning at 7 pounds , 5 ounces . The new and only grandson of my best friend. She has not one but three grand daughters so this little fellow will have to find his place amongst the alpha females .
N.B. Looks like he might have red hair !

Monday, December 15, 2008

How Ma Crashed A Toddler Christmas Concert

Toddlers a toddling ..
Proud Daddy and his girl .

My best friend's grandaughter was in her first Christmas concert on Saturday. I was invited to attend and take a few pictures of the prestigious event. It seemed like yesterday my own kids were singing Christmas carols and reciting poems. The concert was held at the Y.M.C.A. building and by the time I arrived ,there was not a parking spot to be seen. Every proud parent and their relatives had been there earlier than I. No need to rush. I knew I had a seat saved for me. I turned around up the street and came back again and lo and behold I found a parking space. I pulled up in front of a driveway and put my vehicle into reverse. Checked my mirrors , looked back , and proceeded to back into the space beyond the driveway. Crunchy crunchy bang bang. What the fa la la was that? I got out of my truck and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a little beige Jeep and a very irate ( but later quite nice) black man.The headlight on his Jeep was broken .The irate, but later quite nice black man , bellowed at me "I was honking . I was honking" . I quite calmly replied "I am deaf, and you can't just honk and move behind a moving vehicle just because you want to use the driveway to turn around .. "Later on he admitted he was late and thought I was already parked. We exchanged numbers and names and walked into the concert together. No one was hurt except for a little injured pride on both sides. As we went to our seats, you could almost here the whisper * the accident people *.
The law says I am at fault for backing up even though he cut me off from behind. Rightfully so.
Good news is the Ho Ho Hoe was not damaged ( I was going very slow ..)
The kids were excited and happy. The grand daughter was cute. The parents were proud. The lunch was yummy. Santa & Mrs Claus gave out presents.
... and that is how I crashed the toddler Christmas concert.
The crunchy crunchy bang bang .

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Go Fa La La Yourself

The Sears Spring & Summer catalogue came today in the mail . Will you please let me get through the jolliest time of the year before you do this to me ? I and the rest of the consumer world have been jingling our bells at both ends. All we need to see is your new bathing suit line when we are digging out from 25cm of the white stuff. Hola . You can't shovel in strappy sandals and a parka .
I am putting this reading material away at least until mid-June when hopefully, but not necessarily, we get some summer buying clothes weather .
Oh yeah , right ..... the Christmas Wishbook comes out then .
Fa la la yourself .

Monday, December 08, 2008

For All The Folks At Home

Grandpa Horton is thrilled to get Don's debut CD autographed by the man himself .
Saturday Night Party Girls
The Sons of Maxwell , Don & Dave Carroll
Don , the romantic brother ,who has always loved the music of the swing era .
Dave , who will be a new Dad , is well deserving of the the many accolades for his beautiful song "Now."

Martha , Don , & Dad ...all share beautiful smiles .
Don autographs his solo CD for Ma while Don is wondering where his CD is ....

For the tenth December, The Sons of Maxwell , Don & Dave , traveled back to their hometown of Timmins through a winter storm to perform the first of their holiday concerts for all the folks at home. Bundled up for the cold , we anxiously awaited the music that would warm our hearts for the Christmas season. The boys did not disappoint. From the moment they stepped on the stage to their final standing ovation, it was obvious audience and entertainers alike had connected in a very special way. Their style of music is as individual as the brothers themselves. Together , they can harmonize beautifully to the traditional songs of Christmas as well as their own trademark folksy music. Individually , both brothers have come out with solo CDs showcasing their unique styles of song. Don is the crooner type of guy whose new CD aptly titled "Valentine Delivered" is a collection of swing sounds that appeal to young and old alike. My father is a big fan of Don and his Fabulous Little Swing Band Show. Dave's debut CD Perfect Blue has won several awards this year and if you have not heard the inspirational song "Now " you are truly missing out in a gift to the soul. Their versatility in song choice ranged from the Beatles to Johnny Cash to Christmas in Killarney. In between the singing and the smiles, we were treated to a little brotherly camaraderie as Don & Dave kidded each other on their respective CDs. We had such a fun time. Afterwards , Ma's joyous group celebrated with a little wine , snacks, and autograph signing @ Caseys.
I want to mention the powerhouse behind the boys is their mother , Sharon , who works endless hours of love and devotion to organize this hometown concert every year.
For the Sons of Maxwell , thank you once again for lifting your voices and our spirits right into the Christmas season .
For Don & Dave ,
You Belong to Me , I Promise to Pursue . Now .and I will Go Tell It On The Mountain to everyone ( including Oprah ) .
Love , Ma & Family
http://sonsofmaxwell.com/

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dashing Through The Snow

This is one of the many reasons I love dogs . The pure and infinite delight in the moment . A lesson so many of us need to learn as we hurry through our days missing out in the simple joys of life .
video

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Angels With Snowy Faces

video

Wiz runs with the big dogs and proves that 4 pounds of feisty terrier is not a snow wimp ... so far.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shrimp On A Treadmill ?

Shrimp in a basket deep fried I can take . Surf and turf ... fine and dandy. But shrimp on a treadmill. Why? I am all for the wonders of science, etc etc. For the life of me I just cannot fathom why a jogging crustacean on a teeny treadmill has any warrant in the scheme of all things awe inspiring. Scientists claim that the shrimp never tire . If I had that many legs maybe I would never tire either. Perhaps shrimp will become strong contenders for running marathons in the near future as long as they don't get stepped on or eaten .One saving grace for the little guys is that the scientists claim when the shrimp are sick that no one wants to eat them .
Who cares ?
Let's get physical .......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

33?


" Yeah dude and dudettes ...got sumpin' to say about it ? "

Go celebrate your day baby .... I know I am .
Love ,
Mamasita

Monday, November 24, 2008

N@'s Eve




Birthday bids are open on this authentic papyrus of the famed poet laureate .

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday's Gift


A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for a number of years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like Mother of Pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water" the man asked. Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there". The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."

Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HoSPAtal

I was awake at 5 a.m. and wired up for brain waves by 7 a.m. This time I had the ritz room ( not the crackers ). The bed was a double with a rainbow like comforter. Spa time. All I had to do was read and nap for one half hour every two hours. Sounds simple. It wasn't. I had slept a full 8 hours the night before , had 2 cups of coffee , and trying to make myself sleep again was a chore. I thought of sheep over fences. I thought of waves lapping on some distant shoreline. I thought of black sheets. I thought of blankness. I thought of Brad Pitt in a speedo. I thought of clouds , green grass and mountaintops. There herein was the problem. The thinking thing. Surprisingly enough, my warden, I mean my nurse , said I had actually went into REM sleep 3 times out of four . Obviously I must have been dreaming that I was awake. My father came in for a visit to see his daughter all tied up. I saved part of my breakfast and lunch for him and he happily brownbagged it home .
I don't think that part was a dream.
Results in three weeks .
The only thing concrete is the fact that I do have a brain .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

T.G.I.F.


Thank God I'm Funky .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ma Got Funked Up

I got funked up . Edgier . Sassy. Moussed . Texurized ,tipped , tousled and toned .
Went in for a bang trim and got a new lid. New me .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008

Remember the words and wear your poppy proudly .

Monday, November 10, 2008

We Will Remember Them

World War II and Winston Churchill

For my father , a WW2 veteran , one of the many heroes I proudly wear a poppy for every November .

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Stitch In Time


... saves nine .... puppies and more. Wizzy got his neutering stitches out this morning and what a brave little man he was . Not a peep out of him . I peeped silently. He may have left the animal hospital without his balls intact , but he is a better man ..err ..dog for it . Anyone with a pet must be responsible enough to spay and neuter them. Keep the breeding to the experts who know their lines and their genetics. Beware of so called backyard breeders. Keep unwanted litters out of shelters. Never buy from a pet store if possible . Many of the commercial puppies come from the puppy mills that N@ is so passionate about closing down. Quebec is the leading province in these canine factory farms. Be aware that a cute kitten and puppy grow up. Make sure you can afford this lifetime committment to its wellbeing . Pet overpopulation is the leading reason for needless euthanasia .
Wiz is a happy little Yorkie without having to worry about the mating ritual .
He can just watch Saturday night late movies like the rest of us .

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Hospital BuZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Inquiring ( or nosy ) minds wanna know how my night at the hospital was. Here is the scoop. I slept . I surprised myself that I did manage to sleep considering the amount of wires I had attached to my body. I packed up my little overnight bag and was there by 9 pm Tuesday night . There were actually 4 of us going to be monitored that night for sleep apnea . I had the largest room with the smallest bed . It was half the size of a single bed . I handed in my book like questionnaire , got my jammies on , sat down , and got all wired up. This took over one half hour. The nurse explained what I could expect through the night and the whys and the wherefores of all the wiring . I had glue on my scalp and through my hair in order to hold the electrodes . My legs , midriff , arms and even one of my fingers were taped and attached with wires . The signals reached the adjacent computer room where two technicians would monitor my breathing patterns , brain waves , heart rate , pulse ( and who knows maybe my gas emissions ) until 6 am the following morning . I went for one last before bedtime tinkle , hoping that none of my wires would end up in the toilet water and I would end up as Wednesday's headline . Donut Queen gets fried .
As I settled in for a long winter's nap on my 8 inches of sleeping space , the nice nurse strapped yet another wire package above my chest and one on my waist . If that was not enough two more wires were put into both nostrils. I thought how will I ever get to dreamland in this contraption ? I was also told I would be videotaped throughout the night to study my sleeping positions . Great . My yoga child pose should make interesting film fodder .
The lights went out . Wired up or not , I slept . I remember waking up a few times . I wanted to wave but thought better of it . Before I knew it , it was 6 am and the tech woke me up . Another half hour to unwire my body . I asked why in heck there was not some type of wireless technology happening here yet . The hospital crew wondered the same thing . Another questionaire on how I slept and I was free to go .
I should know the results in about a month .
If my boring sleep tape should ever make the black market (a la Paris Hilton ) , N@ will most likely post it under ....
TMZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.COM .

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

All Wired Up

Last night while I was all wired up at the sleep clinic, America made history . I never found out who the president elect of the United States was until this morning . Like many citizens of the world , I am so much more wired up about this historical event unlike anything before. If you grew up in the sixties , you would remember a humble Baptist minister who had a dream that one day blacks and whites would live as equals and have the same opportunities . Last night that dream came true in a big way . The election south of the border has given the entire world hope for a better tomorrow . The people spoke loud and clear that they wanted and needed change. Voters embraced democracy and non violence to achieve that goal .
If this is not proof enough for you that one person can make a difference , than what is ?
I am so proud today and excited about the global future .
( Now I have to go shower the glue globs out of my hair .. )

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Tuesday Sleepover

Whilst all of you will be glued to your TV sets tomorrow night awaiting the results of the American election , I will be strapped and wired to a hospital bed for a sleep apnea test . I have been waiting for this test since the month of June . You may recall my Montreal bonk on the head episode , this test is to check on my nightly oxygen level to the brain which could explain my fainting spell that fateful first of April . Since that time I have had a barrage of tests ranging from another CAT scan to chest X rays and a few emergency visits to the hospital . I thought my 3rd antibiotic was kicking in and for about a month , I felt almost normal considering I have had congestion and breathing problems for almost a year now . Slowly through the summer , the old nasal thing made a return visit and so I went back to my Doctor once again last week . Our new plan of action is a nasal cortisone spray, my sleep apnea test , and an allergist . Sleep apnea can be a little hard on the old ticker so they say , and I kinda wish to be around a while longer to irritate the masses . I went to La Senza yesterday with my daughter and bought new pair of asexual jammies for the hospital . If I am going to be filmed with my butt in the air , I would like to be at least a little fashionable . The neon orange T shirt says "Silent Nights Are Boring " with matching penguins on the flannel bottoms .
My bet for the election .. President Obama .
Penguins up .

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dreamgirl's Living Nightmare

Like all of you , I am appalled and sickened by the shooting deaths of Jennifer Hudson's family members . I have followed Jennifer's climb to fame and amazing vocals since her American Idol days . In one horrible instant, a madman took all that was precious from her. A mother , a brother , and a seven year old boy killed .. for what ? As the weeks go by , I am sure the forces of good will uncover the facts to this atrocity in Chicago . If you had ever had the chance to catch an interview with Jennifer Hudson , you could not help but be swept away with her vivacity and joy .
Her rise to fame and strong voice became a rags to riches story audiences love .
I pray that this talented young singer and actress finds a way to cope with this unimaginable horror .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

99 Balloons

I cried along with Celine and Oprah on this one .

Donut


My paternal grandfather used to call me Donna Donut . A childhood nic name that became more than prophetic . While in B.C , The Sisters took us to a local Farmer's Market where I found( or smelled) a booth reminiscent of my youth. It reminded me not only of my Grandfather but of the homemade donuts my Mom use to make for us on special occasions . Mom had a well worn pot she kept for deep frying and a strange little metal gadget that my Father had ordered for her from a magazine . My brothers , sister and I could smell the dough bubbling away in that old pot and it would draw us to the kitchen and to Mom . There were no donut shops then . As kids , we felt very special that our family could enjoy this donut delicacy in our own home , thanks to our parents , an old pot of oil , and that little metal dough plunger .
That same smell drew me to the little booth where golden , hot sugared, donut rings, made the old fashioned way , lured me to buy and to taste a piece of my past just like Mom use to make .
Like a song remembered , food can recall a long forgotten but oh so fond memory .

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Is For Angels



My little love bird Secuna passed away this morning . He was 22 years old . Another little piece of my heart flown away on the wings of love .

Prayers of Adoration

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Wiz The Warrior


My little studman has had a triumphant return home from the battlefield . With or without his manhood intact, The Wizard Of Paws has proven without a doubt that the bigger they are the harder they fall. He was up and around lookin' for love in all the wrong places before you could say the word gonads .
There will be a few stitches to be removed in 10 days but I am sure Wiz will come through the ordeal in true terrier spunk .
The Wizard is now resting the family jewels and dreaming of Cocoa next door .
P.S. Thanks to Uncle Bobbypupcakes for thinking of him .

The Big Snip

Who me ?

My little boy becomes a man today . I took Wizard in at 8 am this morning to be neutered . How fast they grow . It seems like yesterday he was peeing on the floor and chewing his toys . Oh wait, he still does that . I feel really bad about the big snip because of his size . My vet explains that I have " small dog syndrome "and assured me everything would be just fine . He asked if I wanted pain medication and of course I said yes , because I was sure I would have a headache from worrying about my little Wiz all day . Dr. B said "Donna , it is for the dog not you ." I know this is for the best . Wizzy has been humping his little stuffed weenie dog for months now , lifting his teeny leg whenever he feels the urge and getting himself lost under Karma's tail .
I pick him up at 4 pm . I hope he forgives me .
I miss my little porn star .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Skyrocket Program


While I was out west , I am proud to say that I was a contributing member of the local Skyrocket program on a daily basis . I had never heard of the particular program before this trip . There were no official documents to sign nor was there an initial training course. Luckily for me , I was able to give without too much strain or upheaval . I usually contributed in the morning . I think a lot of people gave after their morning coffee intake . There was the odd time , I was feeling overly generous and gave twice . In the beginning , I had to wonder if I was in some sort of covert operation and would be canned for smuggling illegal contraband . The Sisters quickly flushed that thought away explaining that the program was all on the up and up . I was aware that sheep and cows contributed but I have to tell you that this the first time ever that I thought humans could give so freely and openly . If you haven't already guessed , this is a unique program to the Comox Valley where human feces , and to be less technical , poop , is recycled into a nutrient rich mulch for the purpose of growing bigger and better flowers , lawns , trees and shrubs , and yes ..... vegetables . They call it a soil conditioner not a fertilizer . Who knew I had this in me to grow crops and gardens of amazing proportions ? I have never had a green thumb ... or bowel . Skyrocket is actually made at a facility beside the Comox Valley Waste Management Center where woods chips are mixed with biosolids ..a nice word for sewer sludge .
It is baked for two weeks until it is pasteurized . Marketing strategies promote this soil supplement as safe and odourless . Supply and demand is at its peak .
I have to tell you that I did see some very big plants at the local Farmer's Market . Gourds of massive proportions and eggplants as big as stools .
When The Sisters mentioned Skyrocketing to me , I had imagined myself as participant in a novice asstronaut program . With my newly found knowledge , I now know that it is the plants that are reaching for the stars and not me .
Waste not want not .




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cathedral Grove


The beginning .
Choose your path and begin the journey .

Two tourists and a sister .

Secret world in the moss .

Come on in .

The enchanted forest .

Let there be light .

One of the most beautiful and peaceful places I visited in the Comox Valley was a protected wooded area known as Cathedral Grove . When 'The Sisters ' first announced that they were taking me there , I was not quite sure what to expect . I actually thought it would be a religious , artifactual building . In a way , it was . God's cathedral of ancient , majestic trees in a ethereal forest of moss and greenery. Cathedral Grove is a protected parcel of land on Vancouver Island . The trails lead you through a pathway of an endangered forest ecosystem . The pictures do not do the woodlands justice . In my mind's eye , the forest is much more breathtaking and surreal . One almost expects a secret elfin entity to peer at you across a fallen log. Who knows , maybe one did .
As you walk through the trees , hundreds of years old , one cannot help but wonder if you are walking in the footsteps of early settlers or the warriors of the Cowichan First Nations.
From the moment we entered until the time we left , the absence of sound was loud and clear . Not even a bird interrupted the sacredness of the grove .
Stillness speaks volumes .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Michelle & Ma's Excellent Adventure In Beautiful British Columbia


We went west . In fact , we were so far west , if we had gone any farther , we would have been in the far east . My friend has two sisters in the Courtney \ Comox area who kindly invited us to spend two weeks in the quiet of their scenic community . It was the first time , I was able to finally meet first hand most of the family that Michelle had talked about for so many years . From the moment of our arrival to the last day , I was treated like the lost fourth sister . I slept well . I ate well ( more on this one .) I hot tubbed under the stars . I drank wine on their balcony overlooking the Rockie mountains . I walked in ancient forests . I saw the Pacific ocean . I had the best massage of my life . Can it get any better than that ?
When you come back from a trip rested and ready to take on the world , you know it was time well taken .
To be continued ....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

On Giving Thanks





When we were kids we use to recite this simple prayer around our dinner table each night . We would take turns saying grace . I am not sure just where this particular phrase ever originated . As children do , we would often recite the words without a real understanding of what the words truly meant to us . In retrospect , I guess we were just anxious to get to Mom's meal . As one gets older , words and phrases take on a deeper meaning as prayer does for me . Not only does it remind me of a more innocent and sweeter family time from my past , but in its simplicity exemplifies the meaning of giving thanks .
Think of your own life today and give thanks .
Happy Thanksgiving everyone .

" Thank thee Father for thy care ,and for thy bounty everywhere ,
For this and every other gift ,
Our grateful hearts to thee we lift . "
Amen .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Daring Episode of ...

..... where in the world is Ma ?
Clue # 1 : Play me some mountain music .
Clue # 2 : Nanaimo bars can make you fat .
Clue # 3 : Redwood , red wine , and redheads .

S.O.S . Ma believes she is being fattened up for a sacrificial , native ritual to happen sometime this weekend . Blackberries may be involved .

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ten Thoughts on Whole Living

Learn to receive what others have to offer , and you will enable someone else to give .

Becoming aware of your habits is the key to intentional life .

Your stuff reflects you . As your needs evolve , find new homes for your old things .

True release comes from sustained relaxation .

Worry narrows . Gratitude expands .Find ways to celebrate all that you have .

Redefine your ideas of clean . Focus on removing dirt , not adding chemicals .

There's more than one path to long term health .

Pay close attention to pain . Your body makes its needs very clear .

Savor your alone time . Its restorative power can help you thrive in unexpected ways .

Vital change can't be forced . It begins with embracing where you are now .

Body + Soul ( September 2008 )











Thursday, September 11, 2008

911


To a citizens of the peaceful world , today is a Remembrance Day never wished upon anyone . I know where I was when the planes hit , and I am sure you knew where you were . This dark day in history is one that woke the world up to terrorism on a new level . Heroes who never wanted to be heroes . Angels before their time .
Take a moment today and say a prayer .
Our world still needs it .

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And So It Came To Pass ...



.. that after the death of my beloved cat Redford , that Wiz and I became a team . I had certainly debated the what and the wherefore of Wizzy for a long time . The morning my cat was euthanised I came home , sat on my couch , and let the tears flow to release the pain I felt in my heart . As I sat there with Wizard , he lifted his tiny head from my lap , looked at me quizzically , placed his two front paws on my lower face and with his tiny tongue washed the tears away . I had to smile just then . Either he was a saltaholic or he sensed something was just not right . Maybe both . It was in that moment that I knew his purpose and why he was still with me .
God does work in mysterious ways .

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Remembering Redford








It was much easier to post cute puppy pictures than to tell you that my beloved cat Redford was dying from the dreaded FIP virus . Feline Infectious Peritonitis ( FIP ) is always terminal and there is no preventative vaccination . At first, I blamed myself for being too busy training the new puppy and not noticing that my cat was getting thinner then suddenly bloated . My vet said even if I had noticed any health concerns earlier , there was little we could have done . His age and immune system were factors against him . Believe me when I say I would have spent whatever it took to give him quality of life back . Instead of talking about the virus that took his life , I would rather celebrate the 15 years I had with a very special cat with a personality as big as the sky .
Redford was named after Robert the actor . He was tough , persistent , stubborn and often cranky . Orange and white , cute, with a lower jaw that jutted out like a bull dog . Not much for purring . He loved corn ... and was infamous for running away with the cob and growling to hold on to his treasure . He lived with two German shepherds over his lifetime and dominated both of them . He bit a few people when they bothered him but he was always forgiven because we loved him . When he came to our family as kitten , he looked just like little orange teddy bear with rings on his tiny tail . He loved to sleep under my hair until he got older then he changed sleeping places on a weekly basis . He was declawed and deballed and could not have cared less . He was often trapped in the basement ceiling . When my mother in law came to live with us he was her baby and always smelled of her perfume . In '97 when I lost my own mother , he became my father's buddy and daily shadow . He demanded his meals on time and if you were late , he let you know it in no uncertain meows . He used up a lot of his 9 lives . One of the worst was when he swallowed one of my hearing aid molds and needed a major operation to save his life . He loved to hide in the smallest of boxes and wrapping paper . He knew the English language . He was the only ass slappin' cat I ever knew .
I use to say Redford was reincarnated . So many Redford stories . He was devilish , funny , clever , sneaky , smart ,and never ever took no for an answer . Reminds me of a lot of people ..er ..cats .
We miss the Redford routine every day . He is probably eating cigarette butts and licking beer cans on that rainbow bridge somewhere with Dakota right about now .
God, we miss you buddy .