Mar 29, 2012

New Dynamic Duo
Shelly Stewart (inset) has a new companion, similar to the dog featured above.

Great news from Shelly Stewart's corner of the world. She now has a new guide dog. According to a friend, Shelly's new partner is a 53 pound female yellow lab named Reese. Shelly refers to her as a "powder puff", our source says.

I'm so excited for Shelly and cannot wait to meet her new four-legged friend!

Mar 28, 2012

A woman pushes her Fiat 500 car as her dog sits inside, in a neighbourhood of Rome March 23, 2012. Picture taken March 23, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A Balmy March Day in Florida?  Nope. It's Ontario!

The farmers might not like it, but you'd be hard pressed to find many others who aren't loving our unseasonably warm weather. It may be mid March, but recent temperatures of 20 celcius and higher have made it feel more like early Summer.

Above is a photo taken in Barrie, ON last week. Barrie is renown for having lots of snow and this time of year the ground is usually covered in the white stuff. But as we can see, it's been perfect beach weather for everyone. Surfs up!

Mar 27, 2012

Mar 26, 2012

Rescue from Gilligan's Island    [G]

Eleven years after the network cancellation of Gilligan's Island, the crew and passengers of the ill-fated S. S. Minnow returned to the small screen in Rescue from Gilligan's Island.

The cast remains the same, with one significant change. Bob Denver plays inveterate bumbler Gilligan, Alan Hale is the long-suffering Skipper, Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer are the fabulously wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III, Russell Johnson is the resourceful Professor, and Dawn Wells, as perky as ever, is Mary Ann. Tina Louise wanted no part of any Gilligan's Island reunion, so her role-perennial starlet Ginger Grant-is filled by Judith Baldwyn.

The premise: a huge tidal wave transports the seven castaways back to civilization. While they're thrilled to be back in the real world, none of the seven are able to adjust to life outside the island....least of all Gilligan, who on top of all his other problems must contend with a pair of enemy agents.

Cuddlin' Cousins

Graham Storie-Clark sure does love his cousin Erin Papple as we see in this photo. This amusing pix was taken in February when my family gathered for yet another birthday bash.

Mar 25, 2012

Monster From a Prehistoric Planet [G]

On a South Pacific island an earthquake opens up an underground cavern reveals a baby reptile inside.

The natives warn the foreigners to leave the hatching alone, but they don't listen. Instead, they take the creature back to a zoo in Japan.

Then it's not long before its mother and father Gappa start smashing Tokyo looking for their kidnapped child
Easy Riders

With an early Spring filled with balmy sunny days, our pal Laura DeGraff and her boyfriend Ryan Haanappel are ready to get back to one of their favourite pasttimes...riding their motorcycles. Above we see the happy couple as they hit the roads last year. And below we find Laura enjoying a recent dirt bike ride.

We hope you have another great year of two wheeled adventures Laura and Ryan, just make sure the alarms at home aren't ringing before you head out...LOL!

Katy Perry: "Part of Me"

Katy Perry and Russell Brand have signed on the dotted line to finalize their divorce. The pair have agreed to split their assets, and her husband of 14 months has waived any claim to the chart-topping singers $44 million fortune.

But despite the sad circumstances, in court papers which emerged detailing the end of their marriage, the quirky pop singer signed the legal documents off with an upbeat 'smiley face.

Read more:
No Rain on Their Parade

Those adorable cousins, Dylan, Jack and Ethan are back again. This time out they're riding in the front of Grandpa Dick's truck during this year's St Patrick's Day parade in Douglas, ON. Grandpa Dick is the owner of Central Stone and the three amigos were only too happy to join him throughout the parade route.
Strong Like Bull
For my birthday last Fall, my mother got me a handy cart, ideal for groceries, laundry and other things too heavy for me to carry. It works great, but as you can see here, it does have its limits. Perhaps next time I'll take two trips...LOL!

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill talk about their new "Soul 2 Soul" Scents...

Tim McGraw singing "It Felt Good On My Lips" from his CD "Emotional Traffic"...

Make some popcorn, sit back and enjoy this horror flick

A perennial favorite of the "Shock Theatre" TV circuit, House on Haunted Hill stars Vincent Price as sinister gent (you're surprised?) Frederick Loren, who resides in a sinister mansion on a sinister hill, where seven murders have occurred. He makes a proposal to several strangers, offtering $10,000 to anyone who can last the entire night. Loren festively gives each of his guests a tiny coffin containing a loaded handgun, designed to protect them from the spooks that emerge in the house over the course of the night. 

The picture hinges on its surprise ending, which packs in several by-now-familiar twists. 

When originally released to theaters, House on Haunted Hill was accompanied by one of those gimmicks so beloved of producer/director William Castle: the gimmick was "Emergo," and it involved a prop skeleton that "emerged" from the side of the screen at a crucial moment to frighten the audience

Mar 24, 2012

Grab your Kleenex and watch John Travolta in:

John Travolta headlines the made-for-TV Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Douglas Day Stewart's fact-based teleplay casts Travolta as Tod Lubitsch, a teenager who was born without disease immunities. Tod is forced to live out his life in incubator conditions; whenever he vetnures into the outdoors, he must be encased in a huge plastic bubble.

When he falls in love with Gina Biggs (Glynnis O'Connor), Tod must decide between staying safe and following his heart, which would mean facing near-certain death.

Diana Hyland won an Emmy for her portrayal of Travolta's mother. Incidentally, Hyland and Travolta became real-life lovers, a relationship that was tragically terminated when the actress died of cancer. Boy in the Plastic Bubble was first telecast November 12, 1976.
Sandy Simpsons
Knowing what a fanatic I am for the Simpsons, our pal Gail Sharratt-Mallory immediately thought of me when she spotted this cool pix on facebook.

I'm not sure who created this amazing sand sculpture or where the photo was taken, but I absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing it with me Gail.

Mar 23, 2012

Harvey Townsend
1930 - 2012 

TOWNSEND, Harvey (Tex) - Passed away suddenly on March 20, 2012 in his 82nd year. Beloved wife of Barbara Ann for 43 years. Loving father of Bobbie-Jo Bond (Tom) and Shirley Townsend-Holak (Russ). Dear grandpa of Felicia-Lyn, Caitlin and Britney, and great grandpa of Codie. He is survived by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Levi and Elva Townsend and by his brother Jerry.

Harvey's family received friends at the ARMSTRONG FUNERAL HOME, 179 Clarence Street, Port Colborne on Thursday March 23.  The Funeral Service was held on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace United Brethren in Christ Church 895 Empire Road (at the corner of Sherkston Road)  Pastor Dan Nickless officiated. Interment followed  at Overholt Cemetery, Bethel.

Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be greatly appreciated by the family. Online condolences available at


"Remembering Uncle Harvey....always the jokester and wanting to make you laugh...he always had a smile on his face and will be sadly missed by those who loved thoughts and prayers are with Aunt Barbara and her daughters...we are thinking of you guys...."

-Heather Dennis

Sesame Street "A Family"
I used to love watching Sesame Street with my little sister Jane and this amusing clip was one of our favourites. Sing along boys and girls "We're a family, a family, a family...."

Mar 22, 2012

Everywhere They Go..the Kids Wanna Rock!

Looking for a place to rock in Niagara?  Bobby Rock and Shane Christopher Neal make it easy to find where your favourite local bands are playing with their website "BS Live with Bobby and Shane". The site features club listings and links to some of Niagara's finest groups web pages. Plus B.R. and Shane feature original video clips and band spotlights.

The Original Cult Favourite:

Perhaps the greatest movie ever shot in two days, Little Shop of Horrors was originally conceived as a followup to Roger Corman's black comedy A Bucket of Blood (1959). Jonathan Haze plays Seymour Krelboin, a schlemiel's schlemiel who works at the Skid Row flower shop of Mr. Mushnick (Mel Welles). Experimenting in his spare time, Seymour develops a new plant species that he hopes will lead him to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, the mutated plant -- named Audrey Junior, in honor of Seymour's girlfriend Audrey (Jackie Joseph) -- subsists on blood and human flesh.

Ignored on its initial release, Little Shop of Horrors began building up a cult following via repeated TV exposure in the 1960s. By the mid-1970s, it had attained classic status, spawning a big-budget Broadway musical (and followup feature film) in the 1980s and a Saturday morning cartoon series in the 1990s

Mar 20, 2012

So When Are You Up for Parole?

Looks like Sensi the cat is behind bars as Smudge the zebra pays him a visit, in this amusing photo captured by our resident shutterbug Bob Miller. Actually Sensi jumped up on the window ledge to check out what was going on outside duting our family gathering at my mom's for my sister Kim's birthday party.
Darlene wins our Come to the Cabaret Contest

Congratulations to Darlene Lonergan of St Catharines. She is the winner of Scribbles Come to the Cabaret Contest and will join me, my mom and her friends at the March 31st live production of Cabaret at Ridley College Theatre.

Can't wait to enjoy the show with you "ol' chum", see you in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, read what it's like to be a part of the live production of Cabaret in the article below.

It's Showtime!
as featured in the St Catharines Standard

Standard reporter Angela Scappatura is playing Sally Bowles in the Garden City Productions presentation of Cabaret. She’s been writing about the experience and process of building a community theatre production...

People often ask if I’m nervous for Cabaret to begin.

I think about it, try to attach a word to the feeling but can’t.

The fact is, performing has been my job for the past decade. You rehearse, obsess about the small details — will my band members arrive on time? Can I stand in four-inch heels and move around without toppling off the stage? You pull it all together then perform. Some shows are electric, others feel like they’re weighed down by an immovable object.

But, all the while, you’re hoping to reach at least one person in the audience — make them feel something, connect.

Two months ago, when I was cast as Sally Bowles in the Garden City Productions presentation of Cabaret I was anxious. I’m a journalist and singer who used to act and dance. How would I measure up to people like Todd Melville, the actor who plays Cliff, Sally’s love interest and who’s been in 33 shows? Would the director regret the decision to cast an awkward-feeling jazz musician as one of the most iconic female Broadway characters? Would my English accent elicit a nails-on-a-chalkboard reaction?

There were certainly moments of ineptitude during rehearsals: elbowing Melville in the face when I tried to twirl and sit on his lap; failing to memorize seemingly simple lines like “What?” “Why? “You’re joking.”

Trying to drink a raw egg (something I have yet to do).

But there have also been triumphs — however small. Like overcoming my fear of leotards and embracing Sally’s less-than-modest attire; mastering the act of singing and dancing at the same time (and on a chair no less!); learning how to pronounce Worcestershire sauce consistently; managing 16-hour days and a four-hour total daily commute without cracking up, losing my job or falling asleep mid-sentence; making new friends.

It’s hard to be in a show without getting close — and sometimes clashing — with the other players. Everyone seems to get sick at the same time (about a week before opening night), all deal with the stress of missing families and social lives. They’re juggling work and rehearsals and trying to overcome their own theatrical insecurities.

But the one thing that seems to trump all that, is the desire to put on a good show.

And Cabaret is a challenging play to do. Set in the late ’20s in Berlin, Cabaret tells the story of people trying to find their way through life as the Nazis rise to power. It’s dark but there is still humour, sass and moments of joy. This is musical theatre after all.

While the show and the role of Sally propelled me far out of my comfort zone, I’m getting that familiar pre-performance feeling. Obsessing, but about different things: Should I use duct tape or electrical tape to secure a mic pack to my behind?; Will anyone see me if I change dresses behind a curtain on stage? How will my parents react to my first, nearly non-existent costume?

And in the end, when the curtain parts and the band strikes that first chord, I know all the talented people I’ve spent the past two months with are working for the same thing. To connect and entertain.

Angela Scappatura is an award-winning Canadian singer, musician and songwriter. She’s performed at Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall and spent the past decade playing in Canada and overseas. Her original music has been broadcast on national and international radio.

Cabaret presented by Garden City Productions
Mandeville Theatre, Ridley College. 2 Ridley Rd., St. Catharines March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 8 pm and March 18, 25 and April 1 at 2 pm.

Tickets can be purchased online through or at the door. Adults $28, students and children $18, $5 for high school students (at the door only with ID). For more information visit

Take two lovestruck sweethearts (in this case Melissa Slider and Andrew MacNeil) add a little too much time on their hands and a computer app that takes a photo of each of them and combines them into one and the results are...well, kinda spooky...LOL!  We snagged this silly pix off Melissa's facebook page.
 From her Blog "Blah, Blah,Blah...SQUIRREL!"
 Angela Whiteley's Vegas Trip in Her Own Words...

Viva Las Vegas ! - Day 1

I’m sitting here on Saturday, March 10th, 2012 in a place that I’d never in a million years imagined I’d be. I’m in VEGAS, BABY !! Wow, it’s all just still so surreal and I feel like someone should pinch me (hard) because this is obviously not reality and I should probably wake up now and get the kids on the school bus.

How did I get here?

It’s been one long journey but one with no regrets. (okay … that’s a lie. So far I have one. I regret not bringing my telephoto lens for my Cannon – BIG mistake on my part)

About 3 months ago, I was simply chatting online with my new found fellow painter friend, Amanda from Calgary when this all started to take shape. It began with a simple invitation. She had decided to go to this year’s FBPA (Face and Body Painting) in Vegas with 2 other painters from Calgary and the moment she heard me say that I only wished I could go to something like that … she jumped on it and asked me to be the forth roommate.

For about 3 minutes, I racked my brain with all the reasons why I shouldn’t go and all the reasons I should.

Could I truly afford such an extravagant trip? (Not really) Are there other things - like bills – that I should be paying down instead of a trip to Sin City?? (For sure) Am I going to feel guilty taking a vacation while leaving my husband and children home? (Absolutely) Am I going to have to work my BUNS off when I get home so I can play catch up after having no income for a week? (Oh my, I’m really trying not to even THINK about that!)

Those were the main negatives of the decision making process. Here’s what I came up with for why I should hit the strip …

Is this an opportunity I may never get again in this lifetime?

Is this something that I can benefit from in knowledge of the trade, making connections with people in the industry, being able to try new techniques and products that I don’t know about now, expanding my professional community, getting to meet and paint with some of the best in the business ?

Am I going to be able to write off 100% of my trip come next year’s tax filing?

Am I going to be able to experience things that I’ve only ever heard my clients talk about or seen on tv?

Am I going to be able to see Elvis?

The answer to all of these questions that I asked myself was without a shadow of a doubt was …..

I instantly got huge butterflies in the pit of my stomach as I typed the next line to Amanda, “Okay! I’m coming to Vegas with you !!! (I had already been saving my tips for ¾ of a year for a vacation which made my decision all the more easy to make) As the young’ins say these days with all the spunk of an 80’s Valley Girl …… O.M.G !!

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. We were packed in like a tin of sardines of course and I rented a movie to keep me occupied for the first couple of hours.

The one saving grace was my little Peek-A-Boo buddy that I had the entire trip. This cute little girl with long blond hair sitting in front of me fought the flights’ boredom by turning to peek at me through the space between the seats and each time I’d look up real quick to catch her, she’d throw me this huge smile and quickly turn back around. This went on for about an hour until one time I caught her peeking at me, she smiled as she slipped a piece of purple paper between the seats for me to take. She had drawn me a picture ! It was of a butterfly with a bunch of hearts and at the top of the paper, she wrote the words “From Courtney”. It totally made my day. I had my sketchbook out already working on some body art designs so I sketched out a large butterfly filling it with swirls and dots.I then wrote a note to her on the back of it and the next time she turned around to peek at me, I slid the paper through the seats for her.

There are some truly pure moments that can make you feel like a million dollars and when she took the picture, I saw her little face light up as though it were Christmas morning. She handed it to her dad who read my note out loud to her, after which she showed it to her mom  and I could here her say in a sweet little voice, “Look mom !! It’s from Angela !”. lol What a nice start to the trip!

I touched down in Calgary and met up with my friend Amanda and her 4 beautiful daughters. We were able to spend a few fun hours getting to know each other until my Vegas-bound flight out. Holy Cow, I was finally on my way !

Walking off the plane in Vegas, the first thing I see is a casino IN the airport! haha I managed to find my bags and my way outside where I hopped on a shuttle to my hotel. I was in awe as we drove along checking out the sites as we went but the butterflies resurfaced in my stomach as I finally saw the brightly lit sign of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. Was I actually here ??

When the shuttle driver stopped to let me off, I grabbed my bag, went into the hotel and waited in line to register for my room. I finally got my key and walked through the smoke filled casino *cough cough* to get to the elevators and up to the 15th floor ... then walked for what seemed like an hour to my room. I opened the door, walked through the room right to the windows, drew the curtains apart and squealed like a little girl with delight as I saw the sights before me! I felt such excitement to be there at that very moment.

Then as I turned around to face the room, suddenly that good feeling instantly vanished as all the blood drained from my face upon realizing I was looking at only ONE of my TWO bags that had left with me from the airport! I had checked my big bag though but kept my walk-on bag with me at all times because it had everything in it that I didn’t want the airlines to lose like my paint kit and my good Canon camera ! OMG what had I done !?! I quickly called downstairs and with the panic of a worried mother, I told them that I had left my suitcase in the shuttle but I didn’t know which shuttle it was ! I thought at that moment, my trip was totally ruined but after going over the names of half a dozen shuttle companies, I finally recognized one of them and they located the driver along with my suitcase. I went back downstairs across the smoky casino *cough cough* and out the doors to wait for him to return to me …. and when he did …. I gave him a big hug and a big tip. NOW, I can start my Vegas trip! I returned once again through the smoke filled casino *my lungs already feel great!*, up the elevator, down the hall and back to my room where I went to the windows, looked out and squealed like a little girl … again.

(and to think this was just the beginning !! ) .......

Mar 18, 2012

 Four Years Later...

 As posted on facebook by Maria Charles -Paula's mum...

"Today it is 4yrs since our Paula was taken from us.. there is not a day that goes by that we do not miss or think of her..they say time heals but i am not so gets a little easier until u hear or see something that reminds u of her.. she was always brave and never gave up. i hope that wherever she is she will always look out for us all, and that she is never forgotten by her children marissa and dylan who she u my darling and always will mum and dad xoxo"

KEN REPLIES: Maria, we share those thoughts. It still seems somewhat surreal that Paula is gone and that it has been 4 years already (certainly does not seem like it.) A little part of her lives on in all those whose lives she touched (and there were many) and we will never forget her.