Oct 30, 2013

Scribbles Video

We Love Halloween

In Memoriam

Rosie the Lovable "Rascal"

Our deepest sympathy to Tony and Bev St Louis on the loss of their dog Rosie. Although Rosie was apparently not very photogenic and as a result there are few pictures of her, what there are plenty of is memories.

Tony and Bev told Scribbles, "Rosie was a shih tzu cross. We got her from the Lincoln County Humane Society [LCHS] exactly 3 years & 1 month ago. [Our daughter-in-law] Julia spotted her on the LCHS [website] page on a Sunday night. She called us and we were at the Humane Society at 9:15am Monday morning."

A rare pix of Rosie with her "mommy" Bev
We spent time with her and when I asked her if she wanted to come home with us, she jumped on my lap and licked my face.. I think she said YES! We had to wait over a week to bring her home - she had to be spade.

Our vet in St Catharines said she didn't know why such a "sweet" dog had not been claimed by her owner. She thought Rosie was close to 10 years old.

Rosie loved the car, which was a blessing when we went back & forth [from Niagara] to Winnipeg. Our last trip when we were moving to Manitoba, we stayed in a motel in Iron Bridge, ON.

It was pouring rain & we didn't want to go any further. We got our room & went for supper at the attached restaurant. [We] came back to our room and there was Rosie, standing in the middle of the round [dining] table..

Apparently she had done a similar thing at my friend Marie's, where she stayed when we were away. Marie came home to find Rosie standing in the middle of her dining room table, looking out the window. Rascal!!"

Bev, Tony, I am truly sorry for your loss. Although we don't know what Rosie's life was like before she adopted you as her new parents, we most certainly know she had a wonderful life from that day on.  I believe Rosie has joined our other departed furry friends in Pet Heaven, where she is telling them all about her adventures with the two of you, the countless travel miles and how amusing it was to plant herself on dining room tables.


Spectacularly Speckless

It's been a while since we've seen Laura DeGraaf in Scribbles (or in person), but thanks to the over 500 photos on facebook, we can always find out what she's been up to.

When I met Laura, she wore glasses, but now our recently engaged friend has 20/15 vision, thanks to lazor surgery.

Above, Laura is seen sporting some rather funky eyewear and blowing bubbles.....no, those were not the glasses Laura used to wear, they're actually novelty glasses worn at a friend's wedding reception. In the larger pix, Laura poses with her BFF Christine Mantej (my "Angel" from Talk Wireless) in a photo so full of beautiful girls, it almost makes me want to "switch teams".  LOL.

I miss you both very much and it is great to see those big smiles again.

Oct 27, 2013


Cottage Canines

Well judging by our crisp, cool and wet weather these days, it's fairly obvious we are a bit tardy with the posting of these delightful pix.

Here we have our friend Becky Lee's Frenchie's Preston and his older sister Raina having fun at the family's cottage on Pappineau Lake.  Preston's really stylin' in his oh-so-cool life jacket, while Raina seems content to chill out and take in the scenery.

Oh the dog days of Summer, let's start counting down until we can enjoy them again.


New Scribbles Pal Calls Los Angeles Home

We met her through a posting on our pal Megan Fox's facebook page and soon you will be seeing and reading more about our amazing new friend Rene who lives in Los Angeles.

Rene is an animal lover, a musician and has a very unique form of art which we will share with you soon.

Welcome (officially) to Scribbles Rene, I can't begin to tell you how exciting it was to have spoken with you the other night. Fate has brought us together and friendship will keep us there.


Holy Cow!

It's no bull. Our Renfrew, ON pal Erin Dick, her son Dylan and her boyfriend Ian Brooks are 'udderly' acting as surrogate parents to a baby calf named Nick.

Nick's momma cow died while giving birth and now these young farm folks are taking moo-velous care of him.  Boy when it comes to being corny, we really can milk a story.

Scribbles Video

The Making of "My Mexicoma"

I fell in love with Tim McGraw’s song “Mexicoma” early this Summer after buying his latest album ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’. In addition to it being sung by my all time favourite Country superstar, its upbeat tempo and identifiable message made it an immediate smash hit in my books. It was released at a time when its lyrics could easily be applied to my life and I quickly came up with the notion I wanted to pay homage to the song with a video.

As with most Scribbles Videos, what takes mere minutes to enjoy, actually took a crap load of time to produce and “My Mexicoma” would prove to be one of my most challenging and frustrating to date.

I originally hooked up a camcorder and recorded the entire song numerous times with me dancing around my apartment in various cowboy hats and outfits. That effort would prove to be a huge waste of time when I discovered the camcorder was not compatible with my laptop and I could not transfer the recorded footage to make my video. I was pissed off and retired the video idea.

Later, when a second heartbreaking “life event” once again found me singing along to Mexicoma’s meaningful words, I decided I would give the video another try. The footage of me lip synching was shot on location in Welland and St Catharines. It was quite a challenge as there was no back track for me to sing along to because you can’t play music and record video at the same time on an iphone. I had to estimate the timing between lyrics while holding my iphone in one hand and checking that no one was watching me laying on the lawn, sitting on my car or walking through the park, singing to myself.

It would be several months later before I got around to actually putting the video together. To get my lips to move in time with Tim McGraw’s singing, I had to speed up and slow down various portions of the clips, over and over (which my Movie Maker program hated, crashing several times.)

The footage of me dancing and jumping around in my old apartment were actually rehearsal videos for performances I did at The New Vouz about 15 years ago. The songs were ‘Sundown’ by Gordon Lightfoot and ‘Pink’ by Aerosmith, meaning matching my lips to the lyrics of an entirely different song would add another challenge.

But as with all obsessive compulsive people, once you get an idea in your head, you go to any measure to bring it to life. “My Mexicoma” is the result of that disorder and I hope you enjoy it.

Scribbles Video

Little Angel JJ

As I fondly remember my cat J.R. who left us last Oct 24th, I have created a new video featuring my new kitten JJ.  He is getting bigger -a good sign, considering he was a sick kitty when I adopted him and it was several weeks before he started feeling better and eating more.

Of course, with his improved health and appetite comes increased energy and curiosity. I don't recall J.R. being quite as mischievous as JJ but maybe that's because it was over 12 years ago since I had a little kitten roaming around my home.

The fun part is adapting them to be a big lovable suck, just as I did with J.R and prior to him Emerson (who was also a gray tabby.) The not-so-fun element would be their ability to get into anything and everything. To a kitten 4 months of age, everything is a toy or worthy of investigating and JJ has sometimes had to squirted with water from my plant mister or get a time out when even that proves ineffective.

For better or worse, I love the little guy and he has added great joy to my life.

Enjoy this new video.

Oct 26, 2013

In Memoriam

Marcia Wallace, actress from 'The Simpsons' and 'The Bob Newhart Show', dies at 70


As Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, Marcia Wallace may be the only 4th-grade teacher to have the same student for 24 years. Before that, she was beloved as Carol Kester, the lovelorn, wisecracking secretary on The Bob Newhart Show.

Wallace, who was a breast cancer survivor for 28 years, has died at age 70, according to the showrunner of The Simpsons. “I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace,” producer Al Jean said in a statement to EW. “She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”

It has become a sad tradition of the extremely long-running show to simply cease using characters whose voice actors pass away. The first instance was when Phil Hartman died in 1998, and the show retired his sleazy attorney Lionel Hutz and desperate pretty-boy actor Troy McClure.

The program, which began in 1989, had recently announced it planned to end the life of a veteran character. Producers previously killed off Ned Flanders’ wife Maude in 2000. But Jean said today that Mrs. Krabappel was not one they had planned to eliminate. “Earlier we had discussed a potential storyline in which a character passed away,” Jean said. “This was not Marcia’s Edna Krabappel. Marcia’s passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

Reps for The Simpsons said they were aware, however, that Wallace had become gravely ill, although her exact cause of death was not revealed. The news of her death began to spread virally on Twitter late Friday after a friend, comedian and radio host Frank DeCaro, broke the news. Grief over her loss was also tweeted by several other friends, including Yeardly Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson and Cathryn Michon, who directed her in the upcoming movie Muffin Top.

Wallace’s work as the cynical, abused, and sarcastic Mrs. Krabappel won her an Emmy for outstanding voice actress in 1992, and was nominated for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for Murphy Brown, playing the most efficient of the journalist’s constantly changing secretaries — reprising her role as Carol Kester. Adding to the joke, Newhart also made an appearance on that episode.

Born and raised in Creston, Iowa, the daughter of a shopkeeper, she moved to New York after college to pursue stage acting. She started her onscreen career making regular appearances on The Merv Griffin Show, and in 1971 had bit parts on Bewitched, Columbo, and The Brady Bunch.

A year later, The Bob Newhart Show made her a star. Her flame-haired, feisty, and free-spirited receptionist was a counterpoint to Newhart’s buttoned-down psychiatrist. She played the role of Carol Kester in 139 episodes from 1972-1978.

After that, Wallace became a regular on a litany of gameshows such as Match Game, Hollywood Squares, and The $25,000 Pyramid. She guest starred on single episodes of Magnum, P.I., Gimme a Break!, and Murder, She Wrote, among many others, and had a recurring role as Mrs. Caruthers on Full House. She also had a small role in the 1989 film Teen Witch and became a popular voice-over actress in animated shows, playing characters on Darkwing Duck and Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Later, she also co-starred as the housekeeper on the short-lived 2001 Comedy Central spoof of President George W. Bush That’s My Bush!

But it was the droll, chain-smoking, semi-defeated Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons that would give Wallace her defining role. Originally set up as a Nurse Ratched-like nemesis of trouble student Bart Simpson, she evolved into one of the richest, and most nuanced characters on the series.

In episode 16 of season 3, “Bart the Lover,” the showrunners turned a sympathetic focus on the character. Bart discovers the lonely teacher had posted a personal ad, so he begins writing her bogus love letters, accompanied by a photo of hockey star Gordie Howe. After setting her up on a fake date, he cackles to himself as he looks in the restaurant window and sees her sitting by herself. When she’s still sitting there hours later, he’s no longer so amused by his prank and sets about trying to make it right.

This was the episode that won Wallace her Emmy.

The actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985 but fought it back and became a prominent activist and advocate for early detection procedures. In 2007, she won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute for her decades of work for the cause.

She was married for six years to hotel owner Dennis Hawley, until his death in 1992 from pancreatic cancer. The couple had one son, Michael Hawley, and Wallace wrote about her illness, the loss of her husband, and the challenges of motherhood in her 2004 autobiography Don’t Look Back, We’re Not Going That Way. Despite tackling dark issues, readers acclaimed the book for its sense of humor and optimism.

The subtitle for the book was “How I overcame a rocky childhood, a nervous breakdown, breast cancer, widowhood, fat, fire and menopausal motherhood and still manage to count my lucky chickens.”

Given her love of a laugh, there may be no better way to remember her than this:


One Big Happy Family!

After several weeks of leaving you pondering the future of Scribbles and if indeed it was even going to have one, I am happy to announce that we are still with you and perhaps even stronger than ever.

When I announced Scribbles was going "bye bye", you responded in droves, asking that I give the idea more thought, reminding me just how much you enjoy our very unique bond.

Even I questioned my decision, after remembering the fun I have coming up with new ideas and having Scribbles to express myself in words, videos and photos. Surely there had to be a better decision than saying goodbye to all that.

My main reason for considering Scribbles demise stemmed from my physical limitations that sometimes make it difficult for me to sit for extended periods of time working on our site. I also had the notion that because we are on the world wide web and so many others constantly add new content, Scribbles should also keep pace with those popular sites.

What I failed to acknowledge is that these sites whose rapid fire changes I so admired, are manned by a staff of many, not a lone webmaster with a bad back. In fact, the only person who found fault with what we added and when it made it online, was me!

If I am up to it and able to add new posts to Scribbles, I will, and if I'm not feeling all that great, I won't. It really isn't rocket science.

I also wanted to redefine and redesign what Scribbles is all about. I truly do feel like we are like a family. I can still say with relative certainty, that one way or another I know each and every person who reads Scribbles.  In fact, this is something I hope to elaborate on in the not-so-distant future.

Scribbles is not a news site, a celebrity gossip site or a place to shop. We utilize facebook and You Tube, but we're not those sites either. Scribbles is a very special place where you are the stars and I'm the facilitator. With that in mind I have "tweaked" our post headings to better reflect what you come here to see.

Our sidebar section has been squeezed into a smaller column which will act solely as a place to locate past posts, videos and other popular content. This makes more room for our posts section, meaning we can include even larger photos, videos and so much more.

Our new tagline says it all. Scribbles is indeed more than friends, we're family. And whether we see each other here often or occasionally, we always will be.

With Love,

Oct 23, 2013


Let the Buyer Beware!

I specifically went to Food Basics, after seeing sale items in their weekly flyer. The main items I was there for (Timmi's dog food) was not available. No, not 'sold out'....not available, period.

I had brought flyers from No Frills and Freshco with me and put several of their sale items in my shopping cart to be price matched at the checkout. But when I got to the checkout, there was a TINY HAND-WRITTEN notice the size of a playing card indicating "We do not price match". 

SERIOUSLY??? This is how you tell your customers your store has chosen not to be competitive like all the other major chains? Why not post a note at the entrance, instead of hiding the fact and wasting customers time?

I ended up rummaging through my cart removing items I knew were on sale elsewhere. It was upsetting and embarrassing. I almost felt like just walking out and not even purchase the other items, but I didn't do that because I felt sorry for the little elderly lady who was working at the checkout.

To add insult to injury, I ended up going to No Frills to complete my shopping, where I then discovered the Folgers coffee I had purchased "on sale" for $7.99 at Food Basics was $6.88 at their store. WTF!

As you have probably assumed, Food Basics was sent a letter via their website and I will never EVER step foot in their stores again.

City TV Video

This Just In!

Teeny Tiny miracle baby Rachel Blythin and her family are really making headlines.  First they were featured in the local newspaper The Standard (and its sister publications across Niagara), and now they have been featured on City TV.



Oct 22, 2013


The Birthday Boy

My nephew Graham was joined by family to celebrate his 8th birthday on Oct. 20th. Scribbles will be featuring a video of the big event soon, in the meantime, here's the birthday boy with his awesome Lego cake which was created by his cousin Erin.

Oct 20, 2013


Beautiful Bride #1: Meghan - PHOTO COURTESY EDDY ODORICO
Wedding Day | FIRST PIX

Sat. Oct 19 was a big day for Meghan Mcewan who became Mrs. Joe Carlomusto Jr. and for Judy Quiring who became Mrs. Dale Teigrob.

Here's some initial photos as found on facebook.



In Memoriam

JJ looks up at the memoriam I have created for J.R. - Oct 22, 2013

One Year Later: Remembering J.R.

It's hard to believe, but it will be one year on Oct. 24th that I said goodbye to my beloved cat J.R.

Almost 2 months ago, I adopted a new kitten, JJ, who reminds me very much of J.R. when he was little. I have bonded with JJ and love the cute little guy and his mischievous antics, but he will never replace J.R.

Anyone who has loved a pet knows that they are very much like people, each has their very own distinctive personality. When we say goodbye to a pet, we can eventually make room in our heart and home for a new furry friend, but that doesn't mean we have replaced or forgotten them. 

Even as I type this, little JJ is nestled on my desk between my chest and my laptop, almost as if to know I am writing about him and his "big brother". He is certainly quite the wee character.

But for this moment, I would like to say hello to J.R. up in pet heaven and let him know daddy has not forgotten him and I never will.

CLICK HERE if you would like to revisit our J.R. Memorial Page.


Together...At Last!

Just a few days ago we featured the story of the remarkable Blythin twins (as featured in local paper The Standard).  Now here's all four of the Blythin offspring together at last.

To read the miraculous story of the Blythin family, scroll to the next post....

Oct 18, 2013


Miracle Babies

Neil and Ginger Blythin are names you have seen in Scribbles many times over the past few years.  I met "Gingee" when I had the pleasure of working with her when she was expecting the couple's first child William. Not long afterwards, baby Keira came into their lives.  We've featured both of them on Scribbles many times, most recently in a pix of them in their "cars" as they prepared to go to A&W (seen here.)

Last year the couple discovered Ginger was pregnant again and this time it would be twins. As revealed in the article and photos featured below [courtesy of the St Catharines/Niagara newspaper and website: The Standard] the joyful news would be short lived, when complications were discovered with the twins development.

Ginger & Neal, I have to tell you, this brought me to tears, both happy and sad. I am touched by your openness and willingness to share your story with Niagara and the world wide web.

You have both been inspirations to me and if anyone ever needed an explanation as to why, all they need to do is read the story below.

I love you both so much and all my prayers are with you, today, tomorrow and forever!


McMaster's tiniest baby to go home to Falls
by Grant LaFleche, The Standard

There isn't much Neil Blythin likes about the metric system. A blacksmith by trade, he prefers to work in the old imperial system of feet and inches.

But now he knows that grams matter. That tiny metric measurement has become a constant in his life. It's how his newborn daughter Rachel is measured.

When she was born 19 weeks ago, Rachel was a mere 330 grams. That's less than a pound. Less than a block of butter.

She was so small, Neil was able to fit his wedding band around her tiny leg.

"She was so small at first she didn't wear children's clothes," says Rachel's mother Ginger Blythin. "She wore doll clothes."

Rachel and her larger but identical twin sister Evelyn, are doing well. Both were born prematurely — a necessary step to save their lives — but Rachel was the smallest child ever born at the McMaster University children's hospital in Hamilton.

The Niagara Falls couple's odyssey began on April 10 when they were informed there were some irregularities on ultrasound scans of the twins.

Scans at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto revealed potentially lethal complications. Rachel and Evelyn were locked in what is called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.


Identical twins share a single placenta while in the womb, and so share blood circulation from their mother. Each baby has her own connection to the placenta to get critical nutrients, but their shared connection can mean one twin will get more of the blood flow and nutrients than the other.

"Essentially, Rachel was acting as a pump for Evelyn, passing everything to her," says Neil.

Without that critical blood supply from her mother, Rachel wasn't growing properly.

"You can think of it like this. Imagine they are both eating a pizza," says Ginger. "One of them is eating all the good stuff in the middle and the other is just eating the crust."

Moreover, Evelyn wasn't just getting better food, she had more room to grow.

"Rachel was sort of just saran wrapped against the side of the womb," Ginger says.

The risk to the babies was severe. While Rachel was effectively being starved, the greater flow of blood to Evelyn was stressing the larger twin's heart. Without medical intervention their chances of survival were low.

A relatively rare laser surgery could cauterize the shared blood vessels, giving Rachel and Evelyn their own independent source of nutrition. But the Blythins said their doctors wanted to wait and see if the condition of the babies changed.

"There really isn't anything you can do at that point," says Ginger. "One of the things I was told early on by people who had been through this was that Google is not your friend."

While the Internet would connect her with support groups, it was also filled with misinformation and bogus treatment ideas.

"You really have to know what you are looking for," she says.

On May 2, doctors at Mount Sinai decided they couldn't wait any longer. They had to do the laser surgery to give the twins a fighting chance.

After the operation, it was a waiting game again. Ginger was only in her 23rd week of pregnancy. Birthing the babies at that point was inherently risky. So the doctors decided to wait and see how the babies progressed. By the end of May, the Blythins case was moved back to McMaster, where they would have to drive to from Niagara Falls once a week for a check up.

The plan didn't last long.

On June 3, they discovered that Evelyn's heart was in distress. The twins had to be delivered.

Evelyn was 1,260 grams at birth, a mere two pounds. Still, she seemed a giant to her sister Rachel who weighed in at 330 grams. Rachel was so small she could be bathed in a small ice cream container sized bucket. Ginger could not hold her daughter for more than 11 weeks after her birth

The girls have gained considerable weight since June. Evelyn has been home in Niagara Falls for a short and the Blythins said Rachel is scheduled to come home Wednesday.

Neil said it will be some time before they know for sure if there will be complications from the early birth. Rachel still has a surgically implanted tube that will be used to feed her until she is big enough to eat on her own. And it won't be until the girls are about two years old before it will be clear if there are any developmental issues.

For now, they are looking forward to having their family all in one place. For months before the birth the couple has been traveling from Niagara Falls to hospitals in Hamilton and Toronto. Even after Rachel and Evelyn were born, the Blythins life was far from routine. They had to make regular trips to McMaster, while managing the other two children at home in Niagara Falls.

Neil's parents would take turns visiting the twins or babysitting the other kids, Ginger said.
"We had just tremendous support," Ginger said.

Although regular check ups will still be part of their lives until the twins are little older, Neil says he is looking forward to a sense of normalcy.

"We haven't slept since April," he said.

Rachel and Evelyn a timeline:April 10 - The Blythins are told there are problems with the twins Ginger Blythin is carrying. They first go to McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton and are quickly sent to Mount Sinai in Toronto. The babies are diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

May 1 - Doctors decide laser surgery is needed to save the babies.

May 2 - Ginger undergoes surgery.

June 3 - Evelyn's heart is in distress and the babies have to be born.

Oct 16 - Rachel scheduled to go home to Niagara Falls. Evelyn has been home for several weeks.



Humourous Tale of Sex Education [14+]

Oct 15, 2013


Lovely Lucy

Our pal Katie Lacey's canine companion Lucy is seen here doing what many of us like to do after a fun-filled long weekend, enjoy a well-deserved nap.

Lucy is lovely Katie, she takes after her mommy, I see  :)


Family Ties

Gathered together at the family farmhouse for Thanksgiving, great grandmother Connie Farquharson is seen on the far right with her children and their spouses and THEIR children and their spouses AND their children too!

WOW!  That must have been one helluva big turkey!

 Table for Two 

While many gathered in large groups for Thanksgiving, things were much more subdued in my family this year. My sister Kim & her family, who often host our Thanksgiving dinner, were in Turkey Point closing up their cottage.  My other sister Jane had a quiet dinner with her husband having held a pre-birthday party for their son and some school pals, the day before.

With Timmi by my side, I went to my mom's new apartment for a quiet dinner for two. Afterwards mom came back to my place to enjoy a few days in Welland and where mom got to meet JJ for the first time.

Oct 14, 2013


Graham (in baseball cap)  poses with his young birthday party guests.
Birthday Party #1

Graham Clark was joined by 4 of his classmates at Club Jump for a uniquely active birthday party.  The kids played on exercise equipment, trampoline and more, before the more tradition birthday rituals of cake and gifts.

Graham will celebrate again this coming Sunday with his relatives. Hard to believe my little nephew will be turning 8...WOW!


 Animal Appeal

Thanksgiving weekend, I went to see my friend's Doug & Heather for a few hours at their campsite. They were having a farewell get together with their fellow "seasonal" campers, who spend most of -and in some cases, all of - Spring & Summer at the campground (until this weekend, Thanksgiving, after which the campground closes till next May.)

This dog's name is Mitch and he is very timid, having been badly abused by his previous owners. He came right to me and let me pet him for a long time, which was a shocker to his owners and others at the gathering.

One guy said it has taken 2 years to get Mitch to even come over to him, which explained why everyone was surprised that Mitch was so calm and relaxed with me.

Later that night, back at home, I watched a silly horror movie called "Curse of the Cobra" about a woman who turned in to a killer cobra.

That night I dreamed about a burly bouncer that I had noticed this Summer at Pride in the Park. In the dream he was very smitten with me (obviously a dream, as he is straight) and he had a secret, he could turn into a dog, which just happened to look just like our buddy Mitch here. Woof, woof!

Who says our dreams aren't influenced by real life situations?