Jul 29, 2012

I sit here after my final night of packing and prepping, in a few hours I will be leaving here and starting a new life in Welland. As I rushed around finishing last minute things tonight, I put one of my favorite movies on ... "Across the Universe". A brilliant choice and one that brings tears of joy and sadness no matter when I watch it....tonight it held more meaning than ever before. All you need is love and I have lots of that.

This will be my last post for a few days, as I await new internet connection on Aug 1st along with a new provider and email address. Thank you to everyone for being there for me.... I shed tears of sadness and excitement as 17 years of calling Roehampton Place home ends tonight and a new beginning starts in a few short hours.

Jul 26, 2012

Jul 22, 2012

Happy Birthday "Sister Jane"

Jul 21, 2012

Reese's Pieces
Although our pal Shelly Stewart got her new guide companion dog Reese in March, it was only recently that I had the opportunity to meet her.  Reese is 2 years old and when she's not "working" and wearing her harness, she's one peculiar pooch.  She loves to lick (and lick and lick and lick) enjoys chewing on pieces of gravel (??) and has made a game out of tipping over her large metal water bowl and playing drums on it to the dismay of her new neighbours.

Reese's Drum Solo....

Jul 19, 2012

The Perfect Way to Beat the Heat

Angela Whiteley and her son Christopher know the best way to beat the heat and humidity....stay wet and cool in their swimming pool.

Jul 18, 2012

Mandy Falls for Randy
We've heard of falling for someone, but Mandy Dick and fiance Randy Todd seem to be taking it quite literally. The happy couple jumped from a plane in Arnprior recently and judging by their smiles, it was worth being a bit scared for. Mandy and Randy will wed in August in a ceremony which we assume will be a bit more "grounded" LOL!

Jul 13, 2012

Readers Find Granny's Moonshine for a Chance to Win Beverly Hillbillies DVD Set

"Well Doggie". We offered our Scribbles kin a chance to win the Beverly Hillbillies DVD set in our latest contest. Y'all had to find Granny's bottle of moonshine which she hid on our home page, then send your answer to Scribbles in order to be entered in our random draw.

Getttin' in on the fun and finding Granny's moonshine hidden in my moving boxes were: Cathy Neil, Connie Bering, Angela Whiteley, Chrissy Snow, Michael Poirier, Tammie Holditch and Merry Christine.

We put yer names in Jed's hat and asked Jethro to pick our winner cuz he's in Grade 5 and can read better than the rest of us Clampetts.

And the winner of this contest is...

Congratulations Michael you will receive your Beverly Hillbillies 5 DVD set soon. Thank you to everyone who entered. Our next contest is coming in September and we have a very special collector's item for our prize.
Steven Tyler Leaves Idol

Steven Tyler is leaving “American Idol.” FOX announced Tyler’s departure on Thursday.

The Aerosmith frontman has been a judge on the show for the past two seasons.

“After some long…hard…thoughts…I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit,” said Tyler in a statement. “I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back – but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

He described his “Idol” stint as “over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it.”

The show’s creator, Simon Fuller, said in a statement, “The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of [Tyler] gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very proud.”

Fuller added, “I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America’s greatest-ever rock band. ‘American Idol’ will miss him!”

Jennifer Lopez Also Calls it Quits

Jennifer Lopez has officially quit ‘American Idol’ a day after rocker Steven Tyler announced he was stepping down as a judge on the show.

After weeks of speculation about the pop superstar's future on the TV talent series, Lopez phoned in to Idol host Ryan Seacrest's Los Angeles radio show on Friday to declare she would not be back for a third season of the show.

The On The Floor singer gave U.S. breakfast show Today a taste of what was to come on Thursday when she said, "I am thinking that maybe it's time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do," during an interview - and she made the news official a day later.

She told Seacrest, "It's just been a really long thought process ... and I really have been torn ... When I signed on to Idol I signed on for one year and I wound up doing two years because I just fell so in love with the show, everybody there... and I didn't know I'd be so moved emotionally by working on the show... It was such a lovely surprise in my life to do it.

“Something has to give ... I really was dreading this phone call ... and you're gonna make me cry. I honestly feel the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I have kinda put on hold because I love Idol so much... I could keep just doing Idol for the rest of my life but that would be giving up a bunch of other things... We had an amazing run.”
Megan Walks Off The Earth with Delight
Our Ottawa pal Megan Fox (second from left above) was indeed starstruck when she met the band Walk Off the Earth at Bluesfest on July 8th. Megan posted this pix along with this message: "Had the absolute, completely most magnificent time of my LIFE today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't think I could become MORE of a fan, but seeing them live, getting to MEET them... AHH I just couldn't be more excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And we couldn't be more jealous.....LMAO...the Earth!
Just a Big Kid at Heart
When Rob's nephew Kade recently completed Senior kindergarten, his school had a graduation ceremony, complete with grad gowns and caps, live music and diplomas.

Later Kade gathered with his family to celebrate his big accomplishment. Judging by this photo, we don't know who was having more fun....the little guy graduating or the big kid beside him, hamming it up for this photo.

Watch for a video clip featuring Kade's graduation and other fun stuff we've been up to lately, coming soon to Scribbles.
 Graham and Uncle Ken's Excellent Weekend
While his parents enjoyed a mini-vaca in Niagara Falls, my nephew Graham and I crammed lots of activity into our weekend. After dropping "Mommy and Daddy" off in the Falls, we decided to take a break from the heat with ice cold raspberry lemonades at Tim Horton's. "It's very delicious Uncle Ken", Graham exclaimed, as he sipped away at his frosty drink.

Next we stopped at a car wash in St Catharines to give my car a much needed cleaning. Graham helped squigee the windows and was impressed by the giant vacuum cleaner that sucked away all the dirt inside my car.

The next day we went to Welland so I could show Graham the apartment building I will soon call home. He also got to meet all of Rob's family before I took him to a local park to cool off in a wading pool and splash pad. We were getting hungry so we used some of the money Graham's parents left us to get McDonalds for dinner (a far from Happy Meal with an order that took forever to get and then was screwed up...and yes I was on the phone complaining before the ice in my pop even melted, and YES, they're sending me coupons ...LOL) 

Graham stayed up a bit past his usual bedtime on Saturday night because like he said we were having a fun sleepover. And when he ate all his snack and asked for more, he told me it was because he's a "growing boy"  (from the mouth's of babes, eh?)

On Sunday, after enjoying one of many sessions at my laptop playing games on Treehouse TV's website, I took Graham to a local flea market. He had never been there before and w he found some cool Scooby Doo cars and even got a free plush Scooby from one of the vendors after she discovered this was his first time at the market.

Another fun visit for Graham and Uncle Ken, although a little bittersweet. This was the last time I will babysit him while we enjoy the convenience of both living at the same apartment building. It will be very different once I move, which made this weekend's visit even more special than ever.

Room With a View
And while Graham and I spent quality time together, "Sister Jane" and her beau Ken enjoyed some cozy time in Niagara Falls.  Complete with a room with a view of the Falls (as pictured above), the happy couple had a great time and Jane even made a new BFF, a large tree frog- which means BFF stands for Best Frog Forever.... (gee, that pun's so bad it almost makes me wanna croak.....groan)
Sensei's Final Place of Rest
As you are aware, my mother's beloved cat Sensei passed away a few weeks ago,
after a brief illness. The loss of Sensei has been rough on my mom, as anyone who has gone through this experience can understand.

Sensei's ashes were delivered on Friday and his urn now sits beside that of my mom's dog Toby, who passed away in 2003. I found a little cat and dog knick knack at the flea market on Sunday which struck an eerie resemblance to Sensei and Toby and are the perfect addition to mom's memorial area in her home.

Mom is going to visit relatives in Renfrew this week and when she returns later next week, my aquarium and the four large koi fish I got from our pal Becky's pond will have found a new home in her living room where I hope they will bring mom some comfort and company.

Have a great vacation mom, I will take good care of your home while you are away and I can't wait to set up the fish tank for you.

Jul 6, 2012

R.I.P. Miss Biddlesworth
Our deepest sympathy to Nancy Erskine on the loss of her beloved friend Miss Biddlesworth (aka "Biddy Kitty") who passed away July 12th.  We know only too well how much losing a pet can be Nancy and may you find some comfort in knowing we are thinking of you at this sad time.

There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth.

It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors

Just this side of the rainbow bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass

When a beloved Pet dies, the pet goes to this place

There is always food and water and warm spring weather

The old and frail animals are young again

Those who are maimed are made whole again

They play all day with each other

There is only one thing missing,

They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth.

So each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly looks up! The nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you will take him or her in your arms and embrace

Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together never again to be separated.

Jul 4, 2012

Chasing Rainbows....
...Kerri and friends Toronto Pride Adventure 
Our good friend Kerri Thomson-Fortier wasn't quite sure what to expect when she was invited to join her friends Marnie and Shawn to take in Toronto's annual Pride festivities this year. In addition to the grande parade, Kerri and her pals also wanted to check out perenial Canadian heart-throb Corey Hart, who performed a street concert on Saturday night. Since Marnie and Shawn already had a room reserved all Kerri had to do was agree to go which didn't take much convincing.

"Not gay but going to Pride in Toronto", Kerri posted on facebook before they left and as she would soon discover, being gay is not a pre-requisite for joining in on the festivities.

The three pals were in the front row for Corey's concert and part of a patient group who gathered afterwards to meet the rocker. Unfortunately, due to security concerns, Hart didn't come out for a meet and greet as promised, but they were given some great swag as a consolation.

On Sunday, Kerri, Marnie and Shawn made sure to stake out a great spot along the parade route several hours before it was to begin. As the video and photo highlights below reveal, the wait was well worth it.

Kerri was eager to share her swag and photos with me the day after she returned. I appreciate her generosity which made it feel like I had been there myself....well...almost.

Here's a video clip featuring some of Kerri's Pride moments....
During a recent visit with long lost friend Leeanne Chamberlain, she admitted her fondest memory of going to high school was hanging out with me. Our years at West Park Secondary School were far from ideal, but thankfully Leeanne and I had each other to lean on during than awkward era.

Given our strong friendship throughout those years, one would think we would have continued to remain close afterwards. Somehow that was not to be. Sadly we lost touch and it was only recently that we reconnected...over three decades later.

With a lifetime of adventures behind us, we spent several hours just catching up and it soon felt like no time at all had passed since we had last seen each other. Leeanne has worked for many years at the St Catharines General Hospital - a place which has had its share of bad press over the years. Leeanne was quick to point out that despite its shortcomings, the hospital is a rewarding place to work and that she continues to do what she can to make patients comfortable during their stay there. 

When she's not working, Leeanne enjoys spending time at her beautiful condo with her dog Zake. Zake is quite lovable and very possessive of his "mommy", who is the only person he'll let touch his head. Prior to moving to her condo last year, Leeanne once shared a home with her now grown children and a menagerie of assorted pets including many exotic birds.

It was so exciting to get together with Leeanne after all these years and we made a vow to get together on a regular basis, something I have every intent of doing.

Leeanne, what can I say.....we sure have had our share of trials and tribulations and my only regret is that we weren't a part of each other's lives throughout them all.  We can't change that now but lets be sure we don't let another 30 years slip away before sharing another visit together!

Jul 3, 2012


A young couple moves into a new neighborhood...

The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

"That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly, perhaps she needs better laundry soap."
Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."

To which the husband replied, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look!
Proud Supporters
photo courtesy Dave Abel -QMI Agency

Rick Mercer and Leafs GM Brian Burke walked in this years parade as roughly a million people flooded Yonge St. for the 32nd annual Pride Parade on Sunday July 1st.

Jul 2, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction or Tanline Tease?

Fusebox lead vocalist Bobby Rock flashes a little T and A during the band's performance at Welland's Rose Festival on June 23rd.

Jul 1, 2012

On the Move

When I watched Dick Clark count down to the new year for what would be his very last time on December 31st, I had no idea just how much my life would be turned upside down within the months that followed.

In February Rob surprised me by telling me he felt it would be better for our relationship if he left my apartment and moved back to Welland (he was right, we're better today than we were then.)

In March I sought protection from my many creditors through a trustee. It resolved my debt situation but meant I longer had the buffer of credit to lean on.

April wasn't fooling when two major repairs to my car meant forking out over $1800 to make it road worthy again.

Of course, we all know what followed. On May 2nd I was merrily going about my work day when the owner and manager of the company showed up to advise me I was being let go effective that very instant. They handed me my record of employment and a severance cheque, gave me a few minutes to gather my personal belongings and escorted me to the door. I was told the reason for my dismissal was not based upon my performance but due to a lack of business, something I'd have less difficulty believing if not for the fact that someone else has been doing my job ever since.

With the sudden drastic drop in income coupled with a massive rent increase, on June 1st I gave my 60 day notice at the apartment building which I have called home for over 17 years.

Throughout it all I have continued to cope with my chronic neck and back pain, depression and anxiety. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think even the strongest of people might have a bit of a struggle coping with all that crap. But somehow, thanks in part to my massive support group and therapy, I have made baby steps forward.

For the first part of June, I became anxious and worried about where I would call home once my time was up at my current apartment. I tossed and turned in bed at night even more than I had been for the past few months. I looked online for apartments, but kept running into road blocks. They were available now or the 1st of July, they didn't allow pets, they were too small or more than I could afford. There always seemed to be some catch and I envisioned myself huddled in a large Maytag box with Timmi and J.R. come August.

Then it happened!  On June 18th Rob was visiting his mother who lives in a 3 storey apartment building in Welland. The landlord happened to be around and Rob asked him if he had any apartments available. The landlord said there was a unit that would be available the end of July. Rob told him about me, got me on the phone, I spoke to the landlord and as of August 1st will reside there. The apartment is a one bedroom, perhaps a bit larger than where I am now. There's no elevator, but it is only 3 storeys and I will be on the top floor. There's no problem with my pets, I have a balcony, there's a laundry room (that costs less to use than here), I'll have a parking spot and the rent is $181.00 a month LESS!! 

Can I get a big "HELL YA!!"  LOL

I am so grateful to Rob for talking to the landlord and his mother for advising him I would be a great tenant ("He's like a son to me" she told him.)

I have to admit, this news has been a great relief, although there's still the stress of packing and moving to deal with next, but at least I know where I'll be going.

I like Welland and love that I will get to see Rob more and will be living in the same building as his mom. Of course there is one sad note and that's the fact that I will no longer be living in the same building as my sister Jane, her partner Ken and my nephew Graham.  We have shared many great moments here on Roehampton Avenue and although I will be only a short drive away, it will be very different not living close to her and in the city where my family and many friends are.

But as I have discovered in abundance this year, life is full of twists and turns and sooner or later  everything changes, in one way or another.

I will need assistance moving once I have confirmed the date(s) and if ever there was a time I need to reach out and ask for "a little help from my friends", this is it. I can pack but I can't lift. I can book a U-Haul truck, but there's no frickin' way I'm going to drive it. I can't afford to pay you to help me, but I can come up with some cornball Scribbles contest and enter everyone who helps.

Speaking of Scribbles, in light of the big move, I'll be taking a brief hiatus mid July to mid August. Updates will resume once I'm settled in.

I want to extend my sincerest thank you to everyone who has offered their support, insight, prayers and a shoulder to cry on over the past few months. There are still hurdles to jump over but there is also a ray of light. A light I may not have discovered if it were not for all of you. Thank you for shining it so brightly through the storm clouds that were in my way.