Dec 31, 2014

PETS | Introducing Snuffles


Our Toronto friend Bill Barrs and his dog Stewie are happy to officially welcome their new addition Snuffles to their home.

BCSF Director Bill was fostering Snuffles and it didn't take long for both he and Stewie to realize this was meant to also be Snuffles "forever home".

Congrats Bill (& Stewie)  Look what an adorable family you make?  WOOF! WOOF! 

PETS | Sick Kitty

As suspected, JJ (seen here after arriving home from the vet's today) had some crystals in his urine, on the plus side, he was not blocked. He was given a shot of Convenia and a weeks supply of a pill called Teva-Prazosin (to be given twice a day)

Prior to today JJ was fed one serving of canned cat food and 3 servings of IAMS Dry food daily. Now he is to eat canned food, available only at the vet's and coming in at almost $50 for 24 cans.

Even with the treatment, the pills and new food, there is no guarantee that he won't get this again or if this will even fix the problem he is having right now.

Something tells me JJ is going to be a STK. What is a STK you ask? A term I created this morning while waiting in the examining room with the patient. STK stands for "Short Term Kitty".

Before you jump all over me for projecting negative thoughts, therefore causing negative things to happen, I look at it as being realistic. The second day after adopting JJ, I found myself holding this 2 lb nothing ball of fur in my hands wondering if he would live, as he was very sick. Now at just over a year old, he starts developing crystals and it is costly. .

This would be a good time for someone to throw out there...."Then why did you get this cat?"

My answer is always the same "Because he saved me from doing something brutal", as in....well, on a day when taking my life sounded like a good plan, I instead came home with a new little life to care for.

Even if he ends up being a STK, JJ paid his dues in full the very second I met him.

But here's hoping JJ turns out to be like my old cat Emerson, who had similar problems which thankfully never returned, in part to another early detection and treatment.

Thanks for all your support with this.

DEC. 31
JJ's meds and new food are helping greatly. He is peeing better (not quite the quantity it should be yet, but definitely better). Plus, he hasn't been repeatedly going back into the littler box trying to pee more.  

PICTURE PERFECT | Christmas Eve Sunset by Angela O'Neill-Whiteley

Dec 30, 2014

SCRIBBLES VIDEO | Francesca's 50th Birthday

To say I am a bit late with this video would be an understatement.

Our friend Francesca Mackie celebrated her 50th birthday all the way back on May 18th! It was the "May 2-4 Weekend" and to ring in the big 5-0 Francesca hosted a grand party catered by our pal Terry at Maid in Toronto. There were bartenders and lots to eat and a cake created by Terry 2 that was worth waiting 50 years to be eligible for.

I spent the night in Toronto with Terry & Terry and their dogs Caleb and Dane and had a chance to visit with them and enjoy quite possibly the best hamburger I have ever eaten in my entire life at a restaurant in the village, before heading back home.

Francesca, you have always been someone I admire, but this year you just blew me away for many reasons. I don't know why I kept putting off creating your birthday video. It's the least I could do after all the effort you made towards getting me to your party.

But like you once mentioned, getting the video later gives you a chance to relive it again.

And that I hope my ever so tardy efforts do just that.

Dec 28, 2014

YOU | Just 364 More Sleeps

Here's our pal Angela's final countdown for Christmas.  I like the one that says 364 days until the next one, which as we all know, can often be here in what seems like a heartbeat.

Dec 27, 2014

KIDS | Baby's 1st Christmas!

How proud baby Vincent's parents Meghan and Joe must be of their adorable little boy,  seen here in this photo from Meghan's facebook page.

Melts my heart.  So darn cute!

ME | "One Man's Garbage..."

This is very odd.... On Christmas Day, my family gathered at my mom's apt to exchange gifts and pig out. On our way in, as we passed the garbage bins, there was an office chair sitting there. It was in perfect shape and about a million times better than the duct taped thing I already use. Not wanting to wait until AFTER we were going home later to see if that great chair was still there, I went back for it right away and locked it in my car while we did Christmas festivities.

It was an added Christmas surprise, gotta love that. Only thing I did wrong was not ask for assistance dragging and carrying in the chair. My lower back paid for that today, which is like a double whammy day...your usual shoulder/neck mess and the added fun of lower back and into right leg a bit.

No pain, no gain. I got's me a nice new chair and if someone could come over sometime and take my old chair to the road for me on trash day that would be great.

To give this lighter, more solid feeling chair more back support, I have brought out my trusty Obusform (not seen in pix above).

HEALTH | The Bipolar Express

ALL ABOARD!!.....I wish that one Christmas I will make it through the festive season without a gut-wrenching ride aboard the BIPOLAR Express.

This is for those of you who "know what I mean" & may live with some form of clinical depression and/or anxiety. You know who you are. You know what it's like to sit on that choo choo. It can be scary.

It's not that you aren't appreciative. Christmas really lets you see the best in those around you and take stock in what you have. But all the "hoopla" and expectations can be difficult to keep in check for those with some form of mental illness.

To my fellow riders of the Bipolar Express, come sit up here with me and the others, it's a bit warmer and less frightening together in these seats.

The train is scheduled to get you home sometime after Jan. 1st.

Please have your tickets ready.

Dec 24, 2014

YEAR-END EDITORIAL | Another One Bites the Dust

Hello Friends:

As I sit here looking at this blank page, I find myself asking “Didn’t I just write my holiday message a few months ago? How is it possible that another year has past?”

Whether I believe it or not, the reality is that 2014 is indeed coming to an end very soon and as I ponder the events of the past 12 months, I have to say, maybe that’s for the best.

For on both a personal and global level, there have been many things that occurred this year which found me slack-jawed, staring in disbelief, or crying over yet another change or loss.

Senseless deaths dominated the headlines, with brutal acts of terror occurring around the world and even in “our own backyard” with soldiers and police gunned down on Canadian soil. “This is Canada, those kinds of things don’t happen here”, sadly no longer rings true.

We lost Robin Williams, who was legendary for making us laugh out loud, but could not do the same within himself.  It still seems surreal that he is gone and by his own doing, when it appeared he had so much to live for.

What should have been a routine surgery, unexpectedly took the life of comedian Joan Rivers, who I’m sure walked right up to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, somewhat pissed off that she had arrived there and asked “Can we talk?”

We said goodbye to my aunt, Connie Farquharson, a remarkable woman whose influence and presence continue to be a part of Scribbles.

I, the guy who requires sedation and a support team whenever I relocate, found myself moving not once, but twice, with my stay at one place lasting a mere 2 months (the banging and tapping sounds just made it seem longer.)

And as usual, I continued coping with chronic pain, depression and anxiety, all of which have had their share of outstanding moments.

“Gee, was the entire year all gloom and doom Ken?”

Of course it wasn’t. 

For the more horrible and unbelievable all the “bad stuff” seemed to be, the more amazing and touching all the “good stuff” was.

I have always been thankful for the great number of close friends in my life. This year my friends were there for me so many times. I shudder to think where I would be without your support and if my back was in better shape, I’d bow in front of you, lifting my arms up & down, while chanting “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy”.

You obviously thought otherwise as you helped me out time and time and time again, in ways that still amaze me and blow my mind.  What did I do to deserve such kind, caring friends? I truly don’t know, but I appreciate it more than I could ever put into words....and for someone who is usually long-winded, that’s actually really saying a lot!

There are many of you whose holidays will be quite different this year, some in good ways, others not-so-good.  My wish is that each and every one of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, no matter where this season finds you.

This chapter in our lives known as 2014 will soon be over. 2015 is eagerly waiting around the bend, sure to be filled with more highs and lows, laughter and tears.

Here’s to us continuing to ride through it together.

Happy Holidays,

Ken Leavoy

SCRIBBLES VIDEO | "It Was a Few Weeks Before Christmas"

Here's a true original. 

See what happens when Santa's Helpers pay Ken, Timmi and JJ a visit.

[I wanted to point out that "Santa's Helpers" referred to in the video above, is not Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold]

coming up after these holiday posts

YOU | Remembering Connie

As I mentioned here before, I have a Christmas cactus that belonged to my aunt Connie. I brought it home with me after returning to Renfrew to attend her funeral this Summer.

About a month ago one pink flower bloomed and later fell off.

A few days ago I looked over at the plant and there are two new flowers preparing to also make their debut. I wonder if it will be on Christmas day?

KIDS | "All He Wants For Christmas..."

Well if ever there was a Christmas song for our friend William Blythin, "All I Want for Christmas are My Two Front Teeth" is definitely it. In fact, that's exactly what William's dad titled this pix when he posted it to his facebook page.

YOUR ART | CLASSIC: Christmas Drawing by Bill Landry

This inspiring picture was drawn by Bill Landry and originally appeared in Scribbles Christmas 1986 edition. We lost Billy in the 90's which is truly sad because he was a very talented and unique man.


This was actually the final page in our December 1988 magazine. Throughout that particular edition I had drawn me talking to the readers. The dog featured in this comic was my first dog Poppy, whom many of you may still recall.

VIDEO | The Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch was an American sitcom created by Sherwood Schwartz that originally aired from September 26, 1969, to March 8, 1974, on ABC. The series revolves around a large blended family with six children.

Considered one of the last of the old-style family sitcoms, the series aired for five seasons and, after its cancellation in 1974, went into syndication in September 1975.

While the series was never a critical or ratings success during its original run, it has since become a popular staple in syndication, especially among children and teenage viewers. The Brady Bunch's success in syndication ultimately led to several reunion films and spinoff series: The Brady Bunch Hour (1976–77), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981), The Brady Brides (1981), and the 1988 television reunion movie A Very Brady Christmas. That movie's success led to another spinoff series, The Bradys, which aired on CBS in 1990.

[from Wikipedia ]

Dec 23, 2014

PICTURE PERFECT | Whatever Floats Your Boat


Seems our friend Lorenzo Cromwell is still getting used to living in the "canal city" of Port Colborne, based upon what he recently posted on facebook.

Lorenzo wrote "I guess I really am living in a port city. I just heard a very loud boat horn as it went through the canal. Normally they only sound in the day not this late."

Boat's sounding their horns in the night isn't the only thing they do a bit differently in Port Colborne.

For the city's Santa Claus parade, the big guy in red arrived on a tugboat, then walked down the street with the children to the Guild Hall where he gave them a treat. Then he appeared in the parade that evening.

Dec 22, 2014

KIDS | It's "Snow" Problem

It certainly doesn't look like Keira and William Blythin seem to have any issues being out in the snow, in fact they seem downright delighted to be playing in the white stuff.

VIDEO | Encore of Dana's Christmas Song

A few years ago, we found some videos of our friend Dana Quinn Slaunwhite singing some of his favourite songs and we instantly fell in love with them. We're not sure quite what happened to those clips, but were thrilled to recently discover Dana had posted a new video on his facebook page.

The song Dana performs is called "It's the Memory of an Old Christmas Card" which we believe was originally sung by Country legend, Jim Reeves. We loved Dana's rendition so much, we immediately asked him if we could share it with all our Scribbles friends last year at this time.

Give this video a listen once again and you'll see why we were thrilled when Dana told us we could go ahead and feature it. If this doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will!

Thanks again Dana!!

Dec 19, 2014

YOU | The Countdown is On

When your cool mom is a body painter and your school decides to hold something called "Reindeer Day", you just gotta know you're going to be the talk of the herd. 

That's what happened to Kayla Whiteley (above) when she  gave all of the other reindeer no reason to laugh or call her names,  cuz when momma Angie paints this wickedly, you know she's not playin' games! 

Angela is also responsible for Santa Claus which is painted on the window and changes daily to let passersby know how many more days till the big guy arrives.

HO HO HO, great always Ang.  Happy Holidays!



SCRIBBLES VIDEO | ENCORE: Your 2013 Holiday Scrapbook

What memories we be sharing this year, we'll see them soon enough. In the meantime, here's another look at the fun we all had last year at this time.


Dec 18, 2014

KIDS | The First Noel

It's Vincent Carlomusto's very first Christmas and already he's stealing some of Santa's spotlight. It's ok Vincent, we're sure the big guy will be as awestruck by you as we are.


Dec 16, 2014

VIDEO | Mrs Brown's Sticky Situation [14+]

PETS | JJ Asks Fellow Cats....

YOU | It's All About the Furbabies at Charmaine's 50th Birthday


Our friend Charmaine Essex recently celebrated her 50th birthday came up with a clever idea. Instead of gifts,she asked her family and friends to bring items for donation at the local SPCA. 

After bringing the donatons to the SPCA, a very excited Charmaine wrote "Finally made it out to the Fort Erie Spca to drop off all of the donations from my party. They were so pleased with all of the donations...they took my pic with them."

"Thank you again to all who donated to this special cause and for those who are donating. Everyone, furbabies included, greatly appreciate you!" Charmaine said.

The Fort Erie SPCA facebook page posted the pix above, with this message, "Thank you and Happy Birthday to Charmaine Essex for asking for donations instead of gifts for our animals at the shelter. Very nice thing to do. Kudos

Wow! What a great idea Charmaine, you are very good at paying it forward!

VIDEO | A Very Minion Christmas

Dec 13, 2014

REVIEW | GCP's White Christmas

If you needed help getting into the holiday spirit, Garden City Productions [GCP] presentation of White Christmas [Nov. 14 - 30] was an ideal place to start. 

Directed and choreographed by Wendy Leard, White Christmas follows the misadventures of veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who headline a song and dance act  during the end of World War II.  The duo fall in love with two beautiful singing sisters, en route to their Christmas show at a lodge in Vermont^.  But will the show go on?  We find out through music and humour.

There were many familiar faces amongst the cast of White Christmas, who have performed in many of GCP's previous productions. 

Scribbles pal Dean Christopher starred as Bob Wallace where his extensive singing and dancing experience shined brightly.

I shared with Christopher, that he managed to do something only two other performers in live productions had done before......make me cry. Let me clarify that by "cry" I'm not talking about hysterical loud disruptive sobbing, I'm talking about a growing lump in the throat and then discreetly wiping away tears that are rolling down your cheeks....that kind of "crying".

That poignant moment occurred when Dean (as Bob) was singing to young showgirl wannabee Susan (portrayed by Holly Farquharson). The song was "Count your blessings instead of sheep" and something about the scene got to me and brought tears to my eyes (pretty much all happy tears, so it's all good.)

GCP performs two productions per year at the Mandeville Theatre, located at Ridley College in St Catharines and never cease to amaze and please their audiences.  With tickets priced around the $30 range, you can enjoy a top-notch live play without breaking the bank, something else that devote GCP theatre-goers also appreciate.

Thanks goes to my mother for the ticket to see the play, to GCP for another stellar performance and thanks also to Dean for making me moisten my contact lenses. LOL!

^Line from synopsis section of White Christmas programme.

Dec 12, 2014

EDITORIAL | A Large Slice of Humble Pie

Call it irony or perhaps fate, but as I write this, Community Care Niagara is holding their annual “Great Holiday Food Drive”, which is done in association with three local radio stations, NewsTalk 610, 105.7  EZ Rock and 97.7 Htz FM. 

The annual event asks residents of Niagara to drop off non-perishable food items and/or cash, which will be used to help the 10,000 individuals in St Catharines/Thorold currently registered with Community Care.

Perhaps we can revise that number to 10,000 and 1.The additional person being me. For the first time ever, I find myself requiring a little help from the outstanding support group, now in its 95th year.

Had it not been for the knowledge of a good friend, who also turns to Community Care for help, I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to register with them for assistance. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to see how it works, I can’t believe I let pride and prejudice prevent me from doing this sooner.

Going back a few years, I remember several times when I filled bags with canned goods to give to Community Care. Now I’m on the receiving end of this service. It has been both educational and humbling.

I’m not quite sure what I imagined it would be like registering for Community Care’s help, but the caring volunteers on hand to assist me, quickly dispelled any myths or preconceptions I may have had.

The truth is one never knows when they may need the services provided by Community Care, something their volunteers understand quite well as they made me feel welcome and unashamed.

In addition to food, Community Care also has a clothing department. As luck would have it, there was a pair of winter boots that fit me perfectly and I am reminded of this good fortune every time I put them on and step out into the snow.

I’ve always been told it’s better to give than to receive, which is part of the reason I was reluctant to reach out for help. Community Care has opened my eyes, filled my heart with hope and my cupboards with food. All I have to “give” back to them is my sincere gratitude and a promise that if things change for me, I’ll be back with bags filled of food once again.

Thank you for supporting Community Care and thank you Community Care for helping me.


PETS | No Business Like Snow Business

Rich Hunt posted this winter wonderland photo on facebook.

Said Rich, "Yes...dogs can smile. Look at the huge smile on Niko as he takes out Kya in the"

You're dogs are very "pup"-ular in Scribbles Rich!