Friday, December 26, 2014

The "Tim Bits" of Life

I've recently heard rumblings about Tim Horton's in the rippling affects of the Burger King takeover of our beloved Canadian "Timmy's", that suggest they plan to discontinue the creation of Tim Bits; those yummy little donut holes welcome at any gathering and especially endeared by children everywhere!

Hoax or otherwise one just keeps hearing about it.   I wonder how many of you in fearing this true added "Tim Bits" to your Christmas wish list.  If it is true we will miss those little balls of dough, but if you're acquainted with other fine coffee shops that make donuts then you'll be o.k. .   It's well worth the drive to get the cadillac of donut holes at Dooher's in Campbellford, not to mention the other decadently tasty treats available; ordering ahead is recommended.

Doesn't this just seem symbolic of life and how all too often the little or especially lovely
 things we often take for granted suddenly disappear from our lives.  The sometimes cruel hand of change, like snatching a shiny new toy from an adoring child, comes along and "changes" everything. This year and of course over the years it seems any changes of that year are revisited as we gather with friends and family over the holidays.   Life is change but sometimes it's difficult to accept some of the changes, especially when it comes to the heart and all we have held dear in our lives.

What "Little Things" or "Lovelies" do you long for and perhaps are reminded of in sharing holiday memories?   Treats from a favourite general store; we used to rejoice in gathering pop bottles from the shed to cash in for penny candy such as marshmallow strawberries and bananas, licorice babies, and more!  Many are at this time of year sure to be reminiscing about grandparents, or your parents, siblings etc., be it a time together or something they did that was memorably amazing, humorous, or heartwarming.  In our family we are reminded of one particular Aunt and Uncle no longer with us, of Grandparents and many others not here to join us in our celebrations.

I wish you many more wonderful "little things" in life and hope you are surrounded by many "lovelies" you are making memories with!   

We only lived in Garden Hill for one year but there are so many great memories from there.   This photo taken on Christmas Eve at Garden Hill 1971.

About Those Little Pauses...and Just a Few Kind Words.

This woman looks to us and asks if we would like to move ahead of her just as the woman who just whisked past her had; in a hurry to place her order.   This kind woman; as told by her beautiful accent, is originally from Brazil and moved to Canada 13 years ago.  We're at Tim Horton's to purchase a couple of gift cards.   The "whisking" woman was ahead of us in line and looked to the other cash register when she realizes it is available to place her order.    The lovely woman with the accent had actually apologized as she suddenly realized she was perhaps taking longer than she should in the placing of her order.   She was traveling with her mother and young daughter; approx. 10 -12, and we were behind her.   We weren't in any hurry and then while waiting began to talk with her.    She and her family were heading to Ottawa to see the sights.
In speaking with each other she then tilted her head to one side, smiling and said to me, "You remind me very much of a friend of mine.", then turned to her daughter and without saying anything her daughter said, "I know who you mean!" and said a name but I didn't catch it and her mother agreed and they both smiled. She then said, "Sadly she isn't with us any longer, but oh you have the same smile, you're so like her, so sweet.".
In just a few moments, a little pause of sorts, a few kind words and patience afforded us the chance to make someones long and tiring road trip a little more bearable as well as adding additional travel conversation between them and a christmas memory.    Stress averted and kindness shared.  Something to learn from if we allow it to teach us.

Teenage Palpitations! ...And They Call it Puppy Love!

Well, one of those moments I have day dreamed about in my younger years has actually come to pass!   LOL, yes, it's true while I met and married the man I love who fills my heart there was another (young) man who made my heart swoon and whom I am certain I daydreamed of quite often as a (young) girl...Donny Osmond!    I recently met Donny and his beautiful sister Marie Osmond!   While a very brief few moments, it REALLY happened!  

It seemed a little surreal just viewing this dynamic duo from my seat as the Princes of Wales Theatre, as opposed to viewing them from the cozy comfort of my then living room at home way back in the 1970's on the new Sony Trinitron!    I owe the live experience to my In-Laws, who in seeking out a birthday gift for me back in October thought this was the ticket!    In presenting my gift my Mother-in-Law was rather concerned worrying the "ticket" may not be the thriller now it once would have been!   Well she needn't worry, though at first it didn't really seem possible or exciting because it just couldn't be, could it ...that I was going to SEE in person this gentleman who; he and all of his family, I crushed on so!   Initially I thought I would take my sister with me; also a fan, but when she felt she couldn't my darling Hubby jumped in; an evening out and a stay in the city.

The evening was fabulous!   They sure do put on a great show, both old and new material in the songs sang, photos and video shared and of course it was a Christmas show so helped get us into the spirit and oh the memories it brought back!    It was a little emotional too when finding yourself and all those around you singing along to the songs, word for word and with as much enthusiasm as you did as a young teen completely smitten with Donny (or Marie) and crushing hard!   Hubby was surprisingly enjoying it all as well; minus the "crushing" or word for word affect!   We both enjoyed it so much and the connection these two have with their audiences and make with their audience is so heartwarming.

Following the show we went 'round the corner to the backstage entrance; a little side street, where indeed the security fellow assured us they would be coming out and take a moment or two; thank heaven's to meet and greet everyone!    Hubby smiled and waited at the side of the building waving for me to go on ahead and not miss out!    I have to admit I was shaking slightly and the sometimes achy "old" feeling of my 50ish body instantly gave way to the dizzying internal feeling of being a teen at a much desired pop stars concert!    I look around me to see about 20 teens gathered; 40-60, immediately in the back stage corridor; not much room!  I notice two other teens, one actually about 19 and one in her 70's!   One fan in front of me began telling stories of seeing the Bay City Rollers and I caught myself excitedly responding with, "Exhibition Grounds!", she laughed and nodded and we both laughed in that we both were there and about almost falling from our seats in the stands; not made for standing on!    Another security fellow; working closely for Donny and Marie, steps up to the rail and in his most serious "security guy" face says, "We are going to be bringing them through very quickly and there are to be no photographs, you won't likely have time for autographs and they have a very tight schedule!"!

Oh I'm shaky and then....OMG, Donny emerges into the street and oh my that SMiLe there it ...there he is!   He's beautiful!   LOL, I am 9 years old again; that's when I sent them a photo of me playing the drums!    He touches hands, accepts booklets to sign and suddenly takes mine, "Merry Christmas Donny!", he looks right at me, "Merry Christmas", and in handing back my book touches my hand.   He has touched my hand, the "girl" next to me and I giggle and smile, a long awaited moment fulfilled!     Donny continues to his ride waiting and is quickly ushered to the care, but a young lady darts out AND gets a great selfie with him and then he is gone!   When I  suddenly feel the onset of (very strong) "JEALOUS", I remind myself what a lovely few moments I was just given.  I already have more than most to be so grateful for.
Marie comes out moments after Donny has left and she is so lovely; as beautiful as "Seen on TV" and in her personality!    She talks with everyone and I wish her a Merry Christmas and she returns the sentiment and then she is signing books, sharing photos from her cell phone and then she too is whisked away!    BIG Smiles as I go 'round the corner to return to my hubby and give him a big hug and he smiles back and says, "You won't want to wash that hand tonight will you!", and I say "No" and laugh.   Another great moment for 2014!   We take each others hand and head back to the hotel.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Recognizing the songs your heart sings!

Songs are far more powerful than one can imagine...until of course it's power is realized in our being transformed to a time long past.  A Song/music  finds our emotions quickly brought to life and with those emotions a feeling you think you had outgrown.    Oh music how I love thee and thank you for not ever forgetting the delight song brings to ones heart, even when it has grown to a distant age!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Refreshing Little Pauses

Sometimes we are stopped and unexpectedly our rush to complete a task, get to our destination or carry out our daily routine is thrown off course.    It might only be a matter of a very few short moments; in this case 3 minutes, but we are not pleased and rather impatient about it despite it's briefness!
It is not an unusual occurrence but when it presents itself in an unusual manner it is at first most annoying to us.     In this instance though I was not at all annoyed since it has become "usual" I have chosen rather to embrace it.

For several months as we travel east of Port Hope or travel west to Port Hope on highway 2 we have encountered a delay at the Hunco Farm bridge presently and still under construction.   I'll admit in coming to the bridge the first couple of encounters during this transition I found the delay somewhat inconvenient and time stealing, but after a number of travels back and forth not so much.  Now I rather look forward to and enjoy the delay or shall I say "Pause", a most pleasant pause and with camera in hand it is opportunity to embrace and enjoy!    I've taken several photos almost always as I head west returning home from points east.    I rather enjoy the scenery/backdrop from that vantage point.   Yesterday as we were stopped at the light I couldn't help but notice the person in line behind me in traffic produced a newspaper and embraced the chance to catch up on the news while stopped for those 3 minutes.  

This bridge reconstruction has for some of us become a welcome pause in our day, much in my mind like those at say Glenora; near Picton, waiting their turn to board the ferry.   The Glenora ferry is but a 2 minute ride across but those two minutes afford a calm reprieve from ones possibly demanding day and some great photo opps.

These little pauses we come to are a lesson in ones outlook in life ...grumble and perhaps be agitatedly impatient in what presents itself or embrace the positive in it and go happily on with a new and refreshed outlook!

How much wood?'s giggle!

I was heading out to Gilmer's and called up to my daughter, "I'm going out to get some wood!", I hear , "Bahahaha, o.k!"!


When you laugh like that!!!

We've all heard it said, "laughter is the best medicine" and I'm hoping each and every one of you will have experienced just that!     Not that laughter will mend bones, or cure the common cold; though it may induce a coughing fit,  nor will it cure cancer or other diseases, but it can help lift ones spirit and guide ones outlook in dealing with just such ills.

Haven't we all been there before, feeling so ill and completely drained of all our energy, or just so down, feeling the world is a massive weight of woe upon our shoulders?     When we have fallen into such depths of blues or are struggling so we are often pulled from it by surprise.   It often comes in the form of a caring friend or a loved one who knows us perhaps even better than we know ourselves and manages catching us off guard in saying something most ridiculous but maintaining a straight face until we catch it and share the realization of the humour shared!    Oh and when it happens you and the laughter inducing companion feel the weight lifted, both your faces light up, laughter fills the air and your bellies hurt from said laughter and maybe you even let out a snort or two!    While you haven't been cured, the situation remains or it's only a brief reprieve, it's equal to the most effective prescription ever written!    Laughter is good, it feels good and IS good for you!  
The following from the Mayo Clinic...

We should take laughter more seriously, because it has much to offer us in our well being.   Almost three years ago when diagnosed with cancer, laughter was a very necessary daily dose as important as and even more important than my daily dose of vitamins perhaps!

Go on LOL, a.k.a laugh out loud, we love it when you laugh like that and contagious laughter is the best kind!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Big Reveal

Everything off!

With a diagnosis of Melanoma it doesn't take long to realize just how important it is to be "checked out", scanned, looked at  from head to toe and up close!     You have to pay attention to your skin and any changes that may have or may be taking place.   I'll admit, as I have again and again to the dermatologist, the surgeon, the oncologist and my family doctor that in all of this "checking" and the necessity of doing so I can at times be just a tad paranoid with the possibility of finding something!

In the process of all tests and also treatment there was the photo session in making note of specific skin markings/spots to be recorded and viewed at later visits with the dermatologist in comparing for any changes as time rolls on, but even then one is permitted the coverage allowance of bra and panties and you are relieved for that allowance.

In my Derm's office it takes a very short time with first the assistant; who also asks a few questions,  and then with Dr. G; my dermatologist, to do a thorough going over.   Drum roll please ...and then they concur, everything seems to be fine   Yay, one step closer to the that five year NED marker; no evidence of disease.    As of next June I will be three years NED!

 Driving home I count my blessings once again and even the appointment card reads rather hopeful with the date of the next visit in May, springtime.
Baring it all is just one more step in saving my life from Melanoma, and that's just how I roll now!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Life Remembered; I Will Remember You.

"She taught me how to dance. We actually met at a graduation party. I was the only one not on the dance floor, and her friend bet her that she couldn't get me to dance. I'd already said 'no' to ten girls, but she talked me into it. We were together 55 years. She died eight years ago, but I still dance every day."
(Mexico City, Mexico)

The above passage taken from a Facebook post by Humans of New York, in speaking with a gentleman who every day honours the memory of the love of his life in dancing every day.   What a lovely way he has found to honour her memory and find joy in every day.

In grieving for a loved one lost we all do it in our own unique way and there is no right no wrong, only understanding in knowing as much as we carry on  and  continue with our lives beyond our loss, we always have them with us.    Because we all remember those lost in very different ways there may be misunderstanding in how each of us remembers.    How do you or how will you remember a loved one when they are gone?    Will a song suddenly bring forth a memory of them, perhaps a place or destination where once you enjoyed a wonderful experience together.    Scents, scents are often a very strong reminder of something we recall...a place, a time, a person.  Furthermore, how will YOU be remembered or how would you wish to be remembered?

While we all have lost and will lose someone near and dear to our hearts, some will have the chance to say goodbye, but sometimes our loss is of a sudden and/or tragic nature.   Out of tragedy many find a need to create small shrines/memorials; if you will, to honour those lost, often at roadside where last their beloved was.   Not everyone feels the need and/nor will everyone feel it is appropriate, but how does one protest a hearts need to remember, to hold on.  Driving along any given road there may be noticed just such a memorial.   I have been documenting these in photographs and feel it is a very personal thing.   Who are we each to judge and perhaps not having been in similar shoes where we have carried the pain of losing someone so tragically.   I lost my niece when she was just five years old to a rare disease known as Histiocytosis.  I remember her every day and think about visits to her at Sick Kids, babysitting with her and her brother and how much fun I had, and how much her brother must miss her and who she might be today, would she be a mom?   Our memories fill our hearts.

One realizes and cannot ignore that any loss, in a sudden accident, in illness or disease,  or simply in having lived a full long life and succumbing to a body weary from such is a great loss.    Any loss brings the realization of the precious gift that our lives truly are.    In having read an article about one citizen questioning the need for one memorial's ongoing existence I couldn't help but imagine how I would feel if that memorial was someone I knew, a close friend or most painful, one of my own beloved family.      I have since that time been gathering information, photographs and right now putting out word for more, from anyone who might wish to share their own words in how you remember someone beloved to you, what suddenly makes you remember that person, what memory reminds you of the joy shared in knowing them.    For anyone who has lost someone suddenly in tragedy and/or having created a memorial to honour them, does that give you comfort and how.   What joyous moments do you take comfort in, in remembering?    

My hope is to create a book; it will take some time naturally.    If you wish to submit information and or photos you are welcome to email me at .    It needn't be a long piece, perhaps a sentence or two, but more if you are so inclined.   We need to be reminded even in unfortunate circumstances, sorrowful times we might need to talk about it, share of it's affect.   Lack of conversation about grieving isn't because people don't care, but because sometimes we just don't know how to start the conversation or even if we should.    

Rolling Rolling Rolling....Over the hill?

I've always been a little worried about growing old because I stop playing, so I enjoy trying hard to remember to play.

I need to remind myself in the winter to go for that toboggan ride, strap on the skates and do that one spin I know how to do, though technically if waiting for the judges score it may not truly be considered a spin; there might be a disqualification involved in a real competition.    I can't remember the last time I ever spent an afternoon playing Barbies with my daughter and it's not likely to happen again.    This IS going to be the year I strap on cross country skis and head into the forest trails once again; something I once did regularly and loved so much.   With much sun caution taken, take to the beach and have a swim in the summer.   Enjoy a long leisurely bike ride on a bright, breezy afternoon!    PLAY, yes play a little!

This past week; as in prior and future weeks, I was afforded the opportunity to work with a group of preschool age children.   While enjoying the daily outdoor time and in supervising the wee little cuties, a few were enjoying the chance to roll down a grassy bank on the play yard.   Watching them I suddenly realized I couldn't recall the last time I had enjoyed the same!    Maybe I should join in.   A little one standing close by raced with me up the hill and watched as I got into position and began to roll down!    Fun and brought back many memories of enjoying much outdoor play and then, I felt something I hadn't at all expected....I felt very ill!!!!    Oh I thought I might puke!    I aborted my "play mission" 3/4's of the way down the embankment and stood up!   Whoa...standing up should be done ever so slowly following the urge to puke!!!!  

Well now, will I do that again?    Crazily of course I will.    I live very closely to a ball park surrounded by gradual and not so gradual sloped banks and will take advantage of the chance to practice this particular play procedure!    I have young visitors now and again and may have grandchildren one day who will require Grandma join in!

I must confess however, I had no idea going "over the hill" would make me feel so "over the hill"!  I'm experiencing "over the hill" both physically and figuratively, but vow NOT to let that spoil my desire to keep playing!   Even while this old gal's body may betray me, my mind will keep me going one way or another!!!!   :)   I will return to grassy embankments!!!    Play on!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Counting Days...and Making Days Count!

I don't know when it happened but for some time following my cancer diagnosis I began adding a count to the days and in posting here included that count.    It seems some time ago I have stopped counting my days that followed diagnosis, but believe now I am more focused on making those days count.   I'm living and embracing EVERY day rather than counting each day that I live beyond the diagnosis.

Just a realization I had while here in the quiet of the evening.   Making the days count makes much more sense!   Imagine the impact on ones thoughts should my time actually come to an end and I will have left a 'number' representing the number of days lived since the diagnosis.   That would be horrible.     No longer counting each day that I live; past diagnosis, but making each day that I live, COUNT!   :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Silence is golden, talking is week of ASL

While away at an ASL Immersion Camp not so very long ago, I faced the challenge of using sign to communicate as opposed to verbal communication.    Now, if you know me you immediately realize the obvious challenge at hand, but it was much more difficult than obviously presumed!

During mealtimes there were writing tablets and pens placed every few feet upon the dining tables.  These tablets were most helpful in picking up communication via written communique, where signing skills left much to be desired or there is a lack of understanding in a mealtime conversation.  While one could also finger spell, that didn't always make for the most fluid continuity in a conversation.

Once we as campers got the hang of signing for the most part but also simply jotting down the misunderstood, it became nerve-wracking at times when you found yourself or someone close in proximity to you actually speaking aloud!   *GASP*s  followed by "Shhhh" in the moment a vocal utterance was released!    I myself felt in fear of "being caught" whether it was actually me or the person I might be in conversation with!    Imagine ME afraid of Talking!!! It struck me as both funny and incredibly WoW, that this experience could have that kind of impact.

"Vocies Off" a rule taken seriously at camp; by most,   to aid in the success as prospective scholars of ASL , in respect of the learning environment and respect for our instructors of the Deaf Community and Culture.  They were all very understanding when perhaps voices "On" happened and I commend them for their incredible amount of patience.   Somehow in my head perhaps I held a vision of having my knuckles rapped for using my voice!    For me silence was indeed golden and while hard to believe YES, talking became a nerve-wracking condition to work at controlling!  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ch-ch-ch Changes....because that's just the way LIFE rolls!

Of recent, of lately, of previously...holy busy, crazy times!    I will come back to post more but just here to say what wild times we've been having.

Last weekend I was very happy to provide face painting for a local fundraiser for a family going through a most difficult time and it was amazing to see and hear of the amount of generosity and caring shown by our community in answering the call to gather in support of this family.

Our son and his roommates had an apartment fire and ever so grateful each of them was fine and as our son commented, people were quick to come to their aide and were most helpful in assuring they had anything they needed at this unsettling time.   He as are we,  grateful to know of such kindness in our community and again and again that is proven and this time for he and his roommates to be first hand witness to.

I had a recent breast biopsy and thankfully can report all came back normal.   The biopsy much like the mammograms undertaken prior to this was more uncomfortable than painful and the markings left behind similar to a small target image.  The tech/nurses and the doctor doing the procedure were all so wonderful and very caring in their approach.   Afterward one is left to rest for about a half hour and that can leave you with so many many thoughts drifting into your mind.   Scary times again but now so grateful for a non-threatening outcome as well as the care I received from those in Women's Health!

A week away to be immersed in American Sign Language brought joy, in remembering more ASL, realizing what I already know`, meeting so many wonderful people, very inspirational camp surroundings  and then too disheartening feelings in realizing how much conversational ASL has slipped from my memory.  For the first time since I was very young I experienced some measure of being homesick.   The experience was amazing, eye opening and I am again so grateful to have been a part of it and there will more about my week at camp soon.

My parents recently sold their home; within a week of being posted, and have settled into a new apartment.   It's quite lovely and one knows there are many memories to be made yet and such a lovely view from their balcony, but one also can't deny the pang felt driving past their former street where their lovely home was and so many memories made and shared.   It's odd the way these changes in life play on your mind and tug at your heart!

Oh so many changes, realizations tucked within each of these events in life and we have to know enough to embrace what was, accept what is and find positives in the changes at hand and know we WILL be fine.   You can't help sometimes to look at these things as part of what is somehow meant to be , at the very least seeking whatever positive may be found in it all even if very small.  Try to remind yourself with change there is always learning, growth and perhaps forces us to rethink, reimagine, remind ourselves, we're still here we still get a chance to make the day count and if we're lucky the day after, the year after!    Change is inevitable and you just have to make up your mind that does not CHANGE everything!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sing(in), Sing(in) a Song!

It has occurred to me that I DO love to sing!   I realize I AM NOT an extremely strong/talented vocalist but I'm afraid that won't stop me from continuing to sing!    While I have not been out to audition for a musical production now in five years, the desire to has not completely gone away and of course one needn't wait for such auditions to come along in order to enjoy the indulgence of simply singing for the sake of singing!  

More often than not I can sing a song in relation to just about any given situation while in the midst of the moment of; not unlike Mac Davis asking an audience member for a topic! I realize I have just aged myself!!  
Sometimes it's just silly fun, sometimes a song invoked by moments in a day or events happening, sometimes inspired by the company of a good friend, etc., just having fun and joining together in song!!!  Whatever the reason I hope you too find plenty of reason, or sing just for the sake of the joy it brings to you!   <3 p="">

While going through some old files of video found just a couple of "songs" and singable moments I have enjoyed in the past; either for fun or with an intention in the making of!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spilling the apple basket well worth the memories invoked!

Tipping the basket over and it's contents spilling out onto the deck, there in front of me I see three words that bring a flood of memories and of course a sudden imagined scent of freshly baked bread to my senses!

With my parents having sold their house and preparing to move soon, they have been sending many items home with each of us in knowing they are downsizing greatly.   A recent acquisition, their clothespin basket and it's contents!    On the surface it just seems like any other old 2 quart apple basket, but upon scanning over the ejected items I see three words staring back at me, "Happy Home Bakery"!    I can't believe it or the instantaneously imagined scent of freshly baked bread, cookies, etc.!

Wow, I feel as if I have suddenly been transported back to a long forgotten time, though will never forget going in there and seeing the delight on my children's faces when always from behind the display case there was a friendly voice to say, "Would you like a cookie today?"!  I haven't many of my own childhood memories there having grown up in the country and only popping in there on a rare occasion.

Remembering the bakery of course pulls me back to a time when we were just starting out, leaving high school, heading to college, my husband and I as a couple, the many other businesses locally which have since changed and you find yourself looking down the street trying to remember where they were and how it all looked and what they sold.    One little clothespin so many memories and another realization of how time transports us from one time to another and how much those memories  mean to us.  I am also now feeling a desire to bake cookies...oven is on!

Spilling the apple basket (cart) isn't always such a bad thing!

I'm curious to know what items guide you down memory lane and to what memories?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Just another mammogram kind of day!

Sent into a rather largish room, standing alone, topless and it's a wee tad chilly.   I don't even have to look down to see that evidence via the layer covering my breasts, because there isn't one.   Yep, we're cold.    I don't know how to stand, where to put my hands or how to position my arms, of course feeling like I should stand with arms folded to embrace my bared breasts.   It feels so awkward here, just waiting, and fidgeting.  I'm just not used to starting conversations with people as they enter a room and I am feeling rather exposed.

That was then, early on in this game of Breast Screening...Mammography.

Fast forward to just yesterday, my second official mammogram since "coming of age".   You've got it, I have passed that magic number of years...50 and have been granted the thrill of receiving a yearly letter inviting me for my annual screening.   How lovely!   Really, it is as now I needn't worry about any lack of memory in relation to this very important task.

Last year I actually had a scare when I had found a lump while standing in front of a mirror after a shower.   Thankfully it turned out to be nothing more than a benign mass .   It was mentioned while not ALWAYS the rule, because it was a mobile lump, that was a good sign.   In light of having dealt with melanoma, surgery and treatments it seems natural to me that whenever there is something I feel alerted to it's because I know melanoma has a pretty good likelihood to recur.   That's unfortunately where my (paranoid) thoughts turn to each time I THINK I feel/sense something unknown.

I've come a long way from standing in the room awkwardly waiting and fidgeting and wondering how to address the technician as she arrives to get things started.  .
I no longer worry because first, it is no longer the large cavernous room you are escorted to for a mammogram and also you walk into  the room with the technician.   I'm now at a point; as I found myself to be yesterday, where I am very relaxed about it all and so much so that yesterday we had barely been moments into the room when I began to remove my upper garments.   It dawned on me perhaps I was jumping ahead and said, "Oh, should I be undressing?  I don't want to embarrass either of us!"!    She laughed, " Yes, that's right go ahead!", and she commented that you always know the ones who have been regularly because the door hardly closes and they begin to eliminate layers!  LOL!   That's me!   With the scare last year and all of the medical tests following the cancer diagnosis in 2012, anything goes; nothing is a BIG DEAL!

Even without all of the medical goings on in the last two years you must believe me when I say there really is NOTHING to having a mammogram!   At worst there is a bit of pressure in the proceeding of the mammogram equipment, but minimal indeed! The tech's are wonderful, gentle and very caring and keeping your dignity intact they'll even remind you to remove the little sticky metal dots.   It has all come a long way baby!

If you are due for a mammogram but are hesitant and perhaps fearful, just do's so simple!
Don't be a boob, get your boobs checked!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ills and the Ill of paranoia!

I lay in bed, nearly all the day with the exception of 15-20 minutes here and there.   I haven't felt "ill" without the influence of a specific reason in a very long time.

As a cancer survivor sometimes the greatest struggle is in not becoming paranoid with "common ills" or pain one feels.   When back in February I accidentally slammed my right thumb in a dresser drawer and it felt like the worst pain EVER, I couldn't appreciate in that moment how wonderful it was to know the exact reason for said pain and nausea.   Funny the things you come to appreciate after the BIG C!

Today not feeling well and not having full knowledge of why and feeling the "spaz" in me consider calling about to see what "ills" are rampant of recent, I know that unwelcomed "Paranoia" is knocking on my door again!    Just when I felt I was doing great, surging ahead with all manner of living and working on the "going forward" bit!    O.K, one day of mindful paranoia and suspicion of ills present isn't so bad....I'll just change gears, or at least hush them once the Daughter comes home.   I'll drive both of us nuts and perhaps hubby too otherwise!

If I were a stove I'd be very hot, because every burner has something cooking-even the back burners are full, with plans, commitment to projects, and just life in general!   I'll  be fine and hope that tomorrow I will feel much better...I have to!   That quick run to Oshawa didn't happen today.  There is much to do and I'm looking forward to all of it!

I'm just feeling blah, have stayed very close to the "facility" and absolutely can't stand feeling ill!   Down with ills!

Keep Calm and Go Forth Feeling Better!   ;)

Getting Carted. Not a typo!

"Carted" is correct, it is not meant to be "carded", which would be a very welcome thing at my age...perhaps a miracle!   I've only been 'carded' once in my life; that I can recall.   I had gone to the drive in with a friend, driving my parents car; Plymouth Volare, and we had to drive right out!   It was a restricted movie and I was too young.  Such a disappointment.   That's CARDED.

Many many years later and at a much different stage of life I am now speaking of being 'Carted'.  Allow me to explain.

Every trip to the grocery store it becomes clear to me that I DO in fact have some OCD issues, perhaps a couple but one in particular.

Groceries purchased and toddling off into the parking lot headed to my car and unloading all of the groceries once there.   Feeling great in knowing our pantry shelves and refridgerator will once again be fully stocked.  Just steps away from the "Cart Shelter", I gasp in the visual that lies ahead of me.   I just shake my head and enter therein.

Grocery carts in all manner of disarray and I just don't understand how this could be.   It takes only moments to put a cart beneath the shelter and to tuck it in nicely nested with other carts; like the very tidy and efficient design of a set of nesting tables.   Perfect!   They should be perfect and since they are not, I take it upon myself to make them so.   Very satisfying I think as I walk back to my car and drive home.    I am not opposed to walking to others cars and upon their having tucked their treasures into their vehicles, offer to take their cart for them, insuring it is properly stored for ease of retrieval by the next would be shopper.

There you have it folks, getting 'Carted' moi!  

Finally the job of my dreams.   If only I could convince the grocery stores they NEED me!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Going to Summer Camp...Words CANNOT express! ;)

Even my hubby has summer camp memories, though he tells me he didn't especially enjoy being there. My brother went to Quin-Mo-Lac and he didn't enjoy his time there so much either, but I am willing to bet things will be a little different for this camper, in the summer of 2014.  Growing up and as adults with children we have certainly had numerous 'camping' experiences and with other families and with the Scouting movement which were greatly enjoyed but the 'Summer Camp' per say was not a part of those memories.

I'm not speaking of some lucky or unfortunate kid I might know; depending on how one sees the impending opportunity, heading off to camp this summer,   I'm talking about ME, yes, that's right, me!!!   This summer for the first time ever in my life, I am going to summer camp and I am totally stoked for the experience!

Now aside from the usual, dorm lodging, swimming, campfires, etc., my experience is going to be quite different in comparison to ones typical camp stay!  My experience will include NO talking, and the use of ASL only in communication!   I can hardly believe it myself!!!

OH trust me when I say I HAVE thought about this a great deal!!!   When I began my two years of American Sign Language at Fleming College back in 2005 the existence of the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, and opportunity to attend a week long ASL Immersion camp was presented to our class and it came up time and time again and I couldn't stop thinking about wanting to attend.   All the while thinking about it imagined how much fun it would be and the huge benefits it would provide in solidifying my training and confidence in using ASL.   I also thought WOW, that would make me very gifted in knowing how to 'Talk with my hands"!   I've heard the cracks about how I might die, not being able to talk...HA!, I say...nope, I would simply have to work at signing more!!    I be takin' the whole "gesturing" to a much higher level!!  

Most recently I completed my course in 'WeeHands", signing for babies and their parents and have begun presenting demo's for parents and their babies at the Ontario Early Years centres with the hopes of bringing interested parents to attend 4 weeks of classes with me in Signing and Singing for Babies-Signing and Singing at Home.   Over the summer I will be doing demo's as much as possible and putting the word out there in our communities aiming for a restart of classes in September!   Attending the ASL camp in Parry Sound will only work to strengthen and add to my skills as well as help me gain greater confidence in knowing I am doing what I should be!   Since I also enjoy singing I look forward to a more fluid skill level of signing that I can enjoy when singing as well.   There is nothing more beautiful than watching the fluid and poignant motion of song in ASL sign.   During our classes our instructor had a friend join us at Christmas and together they signed and sang Christmas hymns and our class was literally moved to tears in awe of just how beautiful it was.   I have a "Living List" wish to sing the national anthem at a public event and perhaps at some point should it happen I might also be able to sign it!!   I'm getting way ahead of myself but there it is, in print and if this is one of my "callings" I suppose it could come to pass!

Well, this is pretty wordy...true to my nature but I had to share how incredibly excited and Fortunate I am to be 'going to summer camp'...which also goes to show, it's never too late if you really want something!    I am presently loaded with a cold and feeling pretty rough, but you can't imagine how exciting it was to submit my camp application today!!!    I have posted my camp "have to haves" on the fridge like any kid stoked to be going to camp...even if it is three months from now!!!!

Sleeping bag...and perhaps duct tape already set aside!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I've never thought I had "pretty" feet, they're o.k. and that's about it.   I think on the movie 3 Weddings and a Funeral, Hugh Grant's character always checks his bedded ladies pedi's and if he doesn't like what he sees then he won't likely see her again.   Good thing my hubby didn't hinge our future on my feet!!!

I recently had an appt. with my doctor to have a look at my right foot, which sadly looked to me to be developing a bunion on the same side as my baby toe.  In discussing the pain, etc., she said, "Yes, unfortunately you don't have great feet.".   While she means from a medical point of view, it's hard not to take it differently, in a more vain fashion and leaving me feeling "De-feeted"!   On to the Chiropodist for further critique, 'er I mean diagnosis.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

If the Glass Slipper Doesn't Fit!!!!

I've never thought of my feet as pretty...well at least not after about grade nine, when it seems I sort of actually began to grow.   I often have "foot envy" when seeing the cutest petite and oft' stubby feet on women; summer making it painfully obvious I was not gifted such visually enjoyable feet.

With a recent visit to my doctor following up on concerns for a possible outer foot "bunion", creating a new and awkward looking shape to the baby toe and along that side of right foot, a conclusive statement was verbalized.

Upon describing the pain and how I felt that outer portion of my foot presented rather oddly, my doctor said, "Yes, unfortunately you don't have great feet.".
Now I know she made this observation/comment from a medical point of view, I couldn't help but take it a little differently...personally!    I might venture to say I felt like one of Cinderella's ugly step sisters! I would not be wearing the pretty little glass slippers!
I left the appointment feeling...well, De-Feeted!!!  

** I see a Chiropodist tomorrow morning...right after seeing my own doctor again for something that happened to my left ear during our flight home from Florida.  Left ear, right foot, ...oh dear, time for a total refurbishment!   LOL!   ;)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

...Going South in a good way, Miss Georgia and Miss Ontario meet!!!...counting down!!!

Seven days from now I will be sitting in the su.... Oh wait, I will be sitting beneath an umbrella or at, oh, maybe "barside" sitting beneath a cabana with feet dangling in the pool!   I might have said "in the sun" and I may be a little but I promise that will happen only after I have slathered myself in spf 60 or greater.   Heading to Florida with two very lovely people we've known for a long time!  They have been kind enough to ask us to join them!
My hubby will be laying in the sun, possibly with drink in hand and any and all tensions slipping away; slathered up well with spf 60 or better of course!

While that alone is amazing and we can't express our appreciation enough and then they kindly offered to make it possible for something really wonderful to happen.
You will have seen the post about "Ruth and I", well one week from tomorrow Ruth and I will be meeting each other after 15 years of corresondance!

Pretty exciting after sharing so much with each other over the years via email then facebook, exchanging mailing addresses and then finally a meet up in Georgia!   Today I went to the town hall and picked up pins from the town of Port Hope to give Ruth and her husband and hope that one day perhaps they'll be able to visit up here!  :)

Well, that's all.  I was just excited to share this exciting news!   John and I are both so looking forward to this trip, especially having never been to Florida and of course all that we will have the pleasure of seeing enroute!  That I will be meeting Ruth is certainly a great pleasure to be looking forward to in addition to all that the trip itself presents and with such lovely friends.
ONE WEEK!   Eeeeeeeeeee; in the words of another lovely I know!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar...Northumberland Players Rock the Capitol!

Jesus Christ Superstar, Do you think you're what they say you are?....Powerful and incredibly creatively well done!   Oh, yes true, those aren't quite the lyrics but the latter my observation and strong opinion of last nights opening show of Jesus Christ Superstar, put on by the Northumberland Players!   If you haven't any plans the remainder of this weekend or perhaps for next weekend beginning Thursday evening, do plan to go see it!
You may purchase tickets by calling 905-885-1071 at the Capitol Theatre, Port Hope.  Tickets are $29 each and worth every cent; or five!!

I have had the great pleasure of working alongside and learning from many of the people involved in this production; last on stage 5 years ago, and was so very proud to be in the audience last night watching them and feeling like any proud parent would in watching their child at their school concert!   THIS 'concert' began waaaay back in September with auditions and coming together over many hours over many months of rehearsals three evenings a week until the week before in what is known as "Hell Week", named for the "hellish" rigor of sound checks, final set build with attention to every tiny detail, perfection of costumes, make up and every move and line spoken perfected during run after run of the entire show.  "Hell Week" means every evening until opening night; beginning the Sunday before.  That Sunday is known as move-in, which involves a very very long day beginning early in the afternoon and continues into the evening!

Even if you are of a similar mind as my eldest son who doesn't care so much for musicals but has actually sat through one knowing so if only to appreciate the great work that goes into the making of just such a show. It is in knowing in it's presentation before you there was a great collaboration and fusing of numerous creatively gifted individuals as a very strong team focused on the common goal of quality and memorable entertainment.   May you leave the theatre with a sense of wonder, in how various actions/outcomes were achieved, discussing the subject matter and your thoughts on such interpretations of and simply in acknowledging how much you have enjoyed this experience and with hopes of returning to take in an additional show in the future.

 I had a very moving experience in taking in Jesus Christ Superstar. I was and was not surprised in how emotional I was throughout last evenings show.   This production is a very moving piece at any rate considering the subject matter, but I do believe credit is greatly due to the Directors in the direction of the creativity in approaching a well told story with a brand new and present day freshness.

You really ought to see this.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kindness in Training. Little Acts of Kindness Not Such Big News!

It begins on the train a simple "hello" or "Excuse me" as one approaches an empty seat and another removes parcels etc. to make room.  Someone makes notice of a scarf on the sidewalk and run ahead to hand it back to the woman who has dropped it.   She is most thankful and says so while also smiling with grateful eyes as well.

Little deeds of kindness.

I am often asked about or practically mocked of my habit of taking the GO into the city when it could be sooooo much easier to drive in.   I digress in pointing out that I recently witnessed a driver stopping to allow pedestrians to cross the street; when it was for them to do so with the light.   The driver took care to allow these people to cross with the light having right of way as they did when the vehicle behind him; obviously agitated by the gesture, laid very heavily on his horn in protest. How RUDE I thought!!!
Yes, I quite enjoy the train ride into Toronto and find it brings forth opportunity to "people watch" and in that, taking notice of a more positive side of human behaviour and allowing one's faith in the good of people in general to be restored.

There IS much good in the world, sadly it isn't pages and pages of "GOOD" that allows the many forms of media to thrive, all too often placing the worst of human behaviour first and foremost, right there on the front page where it simply can't be missed!   It's that place where more of the "good" of people, community, society should; you would think, be honoured and shared!  Sadly and most disappointingly we as humans and in society are often drawn to those the worst of the stories only feeding into the frenzy of media and lining the pockets of the greater magnates in the world of selling "news"; whether in it's true and noble form or  the lesser noble form of.  It's very easy for us to be "SUCKED INTO" seeking out and only making notice of the circus of cheap, non knowledge building and gossipy like news rather than seeking out the positive, the champions in trying to make a difference in the world, simple acts of kindness, compassion, caring, seeing the world past your own immediate needs.

Taking the train into the city gives me the opportunity to witness interaction between people, those who know each other as well as those who have only just met due to their both being on the same train heading in the same direction.   It begins on the train and whether that connection between those people continues upon departing the train and entering out into the streets of the destination city, there will be additonal connections and interactions with others while out and about the city.

The scarf being dropped ...someone makes the connection in returning it.   A simple bumping into someone while hurriedly walking along, when you both apologize while making direct eye contact.  A young tot in a stroller has dropped their soother as you see the child's parent grasp the stroller handle and walk away, unknowing.   You follow after them and when you are thanked you immediately realize just how thankful they are, knowing it is most likely to have presented a difficult and testy situation for the parent in what would likely have been a very short time!    You see someone with their blankets arranged over a grate and what appears to be all and very little in their possession and a sign that says, "Begging sucks, compassion doesn't". You hesitate but realize how small a gesture but perhaps it might mean a lot and think no more about digging out at least enough affording them a hot cup of coffee, paired with a warm smile and a few kind words.

Ah, yes.  It is to start with a few kind words, the touch of a caring hand to ones arm or shoulder, direct eye contact in conveying ones caring.   If you just start with a word.   There is much kindness out there and perhaps we need to be more watchful and alert to it and work harder to turn away from the "sensationalisms" and circus-like stories pasted all about us.   I wish you kindness.

Mission Possible! Appointment, City Run, and a Spectacularly Powerful theatre production!

Yesterday was a very full day with appointments, last minute errands and  powerfully moving production by our very own Northumberland Players, with Jesus Christ Superstar!!!   What a day.

My morning appointment was my one more of my 6 month checkups with the surgeon; a lovely gentleman, who had performed the necessary surgeries in eradicating all evidence of the sneaky cancer that is melanoma.  That was March and then April of 2012.   I have just yesterday made mention of said appointment and the triumph of yet another clean bill of health.   I followed the appointment with meeting up with a lovely friend and fellow Melanoma Survivor for coffee and a catch up, which we enjoyed but both of us with a particular hour of departure in mind.

I was to work in the afternoon, however had received a message to let me know it would not be necessary in reporting for duty since numbers for the Infant care room necessitated two staff versus three.   I had almost left for work when I had a thought..."Hey, I should perhaps check phone messages before I leave!".  I am so happy to continue to have moments such as this that allow me to feel I am at the top of my game!  Sure, I tell myself!   At any rate was very happy for both Shari; the caller, to have thought to let me know in advance and myself for turning back to the telephone before my departure to my scheduled duties.   I love working with the little tots as well as the lovelies who are my co-workers there.

Returning the phone to it's rest place and thinking I would be wise in preparing a bit of snack before sitting down, it suddenly dawned on me that I was to call my daughter in the even I might have time to run to the city and retrieve needed supplies for the theatre production she is working with in doing the makeup for.

With the list of needs in hand and making sure the boys; Duke and Dash, were settled for the afternoon I headed off to the GO station.   I have to admit the adrenaline was beginning to surge!    Zipping along the 401 with the hopes of making the next immediately available train to Union Station I was pleased to have made it in time to catch a train already there and leaving very shortly!   The train ride afforded me time to read what I wanted to of the Toronto Star as well as the always present Metro publication available on the GO.  
Arriving in Toronto I quickly made my way up University, to Richmond, then John and finally McCaul St. to the most interesting shop Malabars!   Wow, costumes costumes and more costumes and very gratefully found they did indeed have the sacred jarsof "Fresh Scab" which was the intended most important treasure of the trip there.   While there I took it all in and was given permission to take a few photos in sharing the additional treasures available upon experiencing their intriguing and resourceful shop.
Treasures in hand I am on my way once again.   I make my way along to Queen St. and continue east while stopping here and there to take a photo or two.   At one point I see the gentleman in front of me standing mid intersection whilst head down checking his cell phone!   *GASP*!  While this is a lesser intersection, thankfully more lacking of constant vehicular traffic I was afraid for him.   Crossing the intersection and having had two more "rapid stepper's" pass said fellow and myself I tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me...", he turned to face me and said,
"I'm sorry but you scared me back there!"
"Yes, I couldn't help but worry when you were part way across that intersection and looked down to check your phone and paused for several moments!".    "You might have been clipped by a car!".
"Oh that...I do that ALL the time!", he grins, "I'm sorry I scared you!"
"I just thought you might have been hurt...just stay safe.".
"Awe, I will.  Bye now!"
...and we both continued on our merry, safe way!

My next stop is at Complections; school of Makeup Artistry and Design.   I actually enter into their store, The Kryolan Store.  The have a partial order prepared for my daughter and I request another item which as it turns out they also had set aside for her.   Packages in hand I make my way along Lombard and head back to Union.   I call and leave a message for her confirming my Mission is complete; wishing the theme song from "Mission Impossible" was playing in the background.

Wow, the adrenaline continues to surge as I make my way  back down Yonge to Front/Union St..  Why is that STILL occuring?...because I need to get back to Port Hope in time to make it to the theatre with my daughter; the Makeup Artist, and my good friend in order that we are in time for the start of the evenings opening showing of Jesus Christ Superstar on stage at the Capitol Theatre by Northumberland Players!

An amazing day leaving me feeling very accomplished, very blessed, and incredibly inspired.  On that note I shall let you know more about the latter adrenaline pumping experience in the next blog entry!!!    Awesomesauce!!!!  ;)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ruth and I*From Ontario, to Georgia, (to Alberta) with Love.

I would like to tell you about my friend Ruth.  Funny that I know a lot about Ruth, her family, some of her triumphs, heart aches, etc., and yet we have never met.   I feel like I have always known Ruth and perhaps somehow we had once met but have been away from each other a long time since.   The fact remains though, we have never met.

We were discussing our friendship recently and agreed we have known each other 14 or 15 years and hope perhaps we might actually meet this year!   It's been especially rough for both of us these last couple of years.

Our friendship began with a message on an online guest book for a little boy who's brother; aged just 2 or 3, had Histiocytosis.  I had been on the website and had signed the guest book wishing the family the best in care and hoping their little boy would be o.k. .   My niece died from this very disease in 1982 at the age of 5 years.   My sisters daughter.   At the time there was much less known about the disease and prognosis may not have offered as many options.  Ruth was looking for information about Histiocytosis in wanting to learn more about it because her little granddaughter, at the time just a toddler had been diagnosed with the disease.
When I began searching for more information about Histiocytosis it was many years after having lost my niece, I was married and had a family of my own.  
Following my post on the above mentioned website I received an email from Ruth asking if I might have more information about the disease..  I hadn't talked to my sister about her daughter's death or the illness itself in some time but in asking her about it all she was quite willing to talk about it with hopes that perhaps we might offer some helpful information to Ruth.  
Ruth lives in Georgia U.S.A and I here in Ontario, Canada.

For twelve years Ruth and I kept in touch via email, writing a few times each year with updates of our family and local happenings.  She has always kept me abreast of what was happening with her grand daughter Kelly and how she was managing.   Her Grand daughter has done very well and is a real trooper in all that she has had to endure in living with Histiocytosis.   There have been many advancements in how this disease is treated and also in the prognosis for patients.

Two years ago Ruth and I advanced our ongoing correspondence with the addition of Facebook!   Now we have a greater glimpse into each others lives and talk often.   Ruth and I have also just this year exchanged mailing addresses and it was pretty exciting to be able to send her a "real time" Christmas card.
Over the course of these 14 years or so we have each been through a lot of ups and downs with our growing families, growing pains, and facing our own health issues.
Ruth has been struggling with Thyroid Cancer and I with Melanoma.

It's amazing to me how many years have gone by since we first connected with each other.  It is wonderful that it began in support for each other and has developed into a long term friendship and continued support for each other as each of us faces new challenges in what we as individuals are going through or other members of our families as well as friends come to face.   Triumphs are supported and shared as well.

This year someone I  connected with on the Melanoma Network of Canada, has now too become connected with my friend Ruth, via facebook, as the result of our shared conversations!   Janet is from Calgary.   Janet also shared her mailing address with me, allowing me to send her a REAL handwritten letter and Christmas card as well.  Our hope is that perhaps at some point we could arrange to meet at a location central to each of our geographic home locations!  Through the magic of Social Media we have created our own triangle of support over many many miles!

Reaching out over many miles as well as with people right here at home
really does help to get one through the rough times and helps build on
strength in moving forward.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Turning the corner and making dust fly...this from Sunday!

  With things going pretty well and a new rhythm beginning to kick in I'm looking ahead while also looking back.

  Two years ago yesterday; Saturday, February 15th, I was diagnosed with cancer, Malignant Melanoma Stage 3.   The great part, I'M STILL HERE!   True that!   Sadly I'm all too aware of the many battles lost  to cancer and close to home.   The plan now is to take every day and enjoy as much as I can, with as many as I can, just in case; heaven forbid, cancer decides to rear it's ugly head again!   As ugly as it is, Hey, it's shown me so much and forced me to sit up and pay more everything, including what I do, what I need, what I want and what I CAN DO!

The day I was diagnosed, a Wednesday, I will never forget and certainly it is made more memorable because it was also my son Chris's birthday.   Well, it took time, tears and loads and loads of support, which includes lots of people to share laughs with, pee your pants laughs and so much more but I (we), made it!  I say 'we' because John, my hubby went through every bit of this right there with me.  He's been my rock, even when I'm sure he was every bit as much worried or scared, as I have been.
The tears, laughter, worries, wonders and quiet the livingroom here at home, at work, at the movies, etc., visits with some lovelies...very special lovelies with "words", words that eased my thoughts, gave me strength, or sometimes who were just there, quietly offering support as friends can, are what has helped to get to this point.  This is the point where I go, "HOLY, it's been two years already?".     It seems like yesterday we were heading into the first surgery AND it feels like a very long time ago all at the same time!!!

Yep, finished one year of treatment in July '13 and have been feeling better and better since!!!   In summary, I'm moving on because while no-one ever knows how much time one is given in Life, having had cancer kind of forces that realization in a very blunt, "Helloooo-oh, we REALLY do NOT know how much time we get!!!", kind of way!!!   Heading off in new directions, facing new challenges and working HARD to be FEARLESS, confident and EMBRACE what lies ahead and make the best of whatever is out there!   (*confidence)

Here's to kicking dust in the face of cancer and making it around the corner confidently!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ceeeelebration anytime!

Early in December we joined friends of ours and headed to the Lowes Christmas Market in Toronto; Distillery District for an evening of fun!   One goal I had in mind was to indulge in the "Pig Candy's"  Belgian Chocolate dipped bacon on a stick!   I would need to wait a little while knowing that as we arrived at the market we would be sporting full tummies of yummy dishes from the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Our dinner at the Spaghetti Factory would be our third visit in 30 years!   The very first time I had the pleasure of dinner there was on my first trip to T.O with my now husband John and his parents after having dated for about a month.    The next visit to OSF was late this fall with our son Christopher who had never been.   He really enjoyed it and was grateful to be dining in such interesting surroundings and to hear our tale of our first visit there.   This most recent visit we were with long time friends from Scarborough and they too had not been in about 20 years.

We were seated way in the back where there were so many full tables; couples, families, groups, etc.!!   Our server was great, pleasant, friendly and giving attention to detail even while running to and fro with other tables to tend to.   Throughout our time seated and enjoying such a great meal, good conversation catching up with each other's goings on and updates about our kids, there were celebrations happening all around us.
Of course the Birthday celebrations were quite obvious with staff coming round to the celebrant's table and singing Happy Birthday and everyone including ourselves taking notice and joining in.   Walking back to our designated table one quickly realized just how very busy the restaurant was and as each "birthday" was celebrated just how much celebration people were doing on that particular evening.

There with our friends Gary and Judy we too are actually celebrating!   Neither of us is celebrating a birthday but certainly as we gather and spend the evening having so much fun together we are celebrating a long time friendship!   Who knows how many others both at the restaurant and at the Christmas market are celebrating too-celebrating family, friends, the coming of Christmas, birthdays, the city, LIVING(another year to see things never seen before)  ; ) !!    Life goes on no matter what happens and we certainly have our up and downs but mustn't deprive ourselves or forget to celebrate even the smallest of joys that come our way and friendship is certainly one of the biggest joys we are afforded.   It was wonderful to experience so much celebration happening in one place among such a diverse gathering of people and all in one single evening!!  
Judy and I found the Pig Candy Christmas booth and "OH YES WE DID" indulge in chocolate dipped bacon!!!   Chocolate dipped bacon?...Sooooooo bad, soooooo good!   Have bacon and fondue chocolate?...go ahead you know you want to!
In light of the year or two behind us and all we've been through we were excited to again step out to try something we had never done before.  Last year we walked through the Distillery District as they were setting up for the Christmas Market and made a pact to see it this Christmas season and now we have!
Well it's the New Year, we've rung in the new and bid Auld Lang Syne to the year now behind us, smooched and are now just watching a few of the various New Years celebrations highlights
Wishing you love, light of heart, the ability to see joy in the smallest of wonderful, friendship and good health!  Take care of yourself and know while to the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world!   Happy New Year!

You're already there.

I LOVE YOU. You don't have to say I LOVE YOU to relay your love for someone.    If someone you are very close to , someone you've ...