Strong Women – not because of smell or muscle :)

Hi peeps that read my scribbles and bibbles.

I am often not a very peopley person .. in fact I often post this pic on Facebook:


That being said I realize the need for a network of people around you for support, assistance, to laugh with or just to have a quiet coffee with – more so now than ever before for sure and I have slowly but surely building this network and appreciating that they are in my life and why they are in my life.

I met a lovely lady – like twice – through another person and that’s how she came into my life.  She has some very special things about her and I immediately felt “at home” around her.   She and her friend elected to run a Women’s Retreat Weekend this past weekend – there was some agenda but in the end I could do as little or as much as I like – and somehow I felt the need to “retreat” and pretty much immediately signed up – then instantly regretted it as I am wont to do – because – you know peopley and strangers to boot.

I arrived with a friend whom I do know fairly well – beautiful cottage on the water that is very calming and peaceful and I’m often drawn to nature or just sitting listening to the vibrations of the water so I was quite happy to have arrived.


And then settled into chatting to some of the quirkiest but strongest women I’ve met – open, forthcoming, not afraid to share whatever the topic is.  The feeling of warmth and comfort and ability to be ME was almost overwhelming – and you know I had found myself prior thinking prior to arriving that geez they will be all thinner, fitter, healthier, younger than I, they all know each other — what will we talk about ..

Nevertheless we all chatted away almost like we were old friends strangely.  And these women were very cool and open – and I’m going to give you a sample of what I heard (and not because I want to call out anyone or really out anyone’s secrets here):

  • One woman had had brain surgery at a very young (to me) age and she was happy in her own skin and with her life for the most part.  The bravery of this individual was amazing to have withstood this and be so matter of fact about it.
  • One woman was working to find her “business” be it fitness or nutrition or whatever her passion was but to me her gift was her saving of poor unloved dogs from Cuba and giving them the love and attention they deserve and have never experienced by finding them homes or having them herself – and this one dog she has now has hind leg and bottom motion impediments but this dog does not know or care about his issue and has so much love to give and she is in turn learning so much about care and self care/sacrifice from this dog.
  • One woman is facing a biopsy and possibility of breast cancer which is a very scary and paralyzing thing because you don’t know what you don’t know until the procedure is done; yet she spoke openly about what was happening and some other women with experiences with this situation came forth with help as much as possible to allay the fears and assist with any preparation.
  • Several women spoke about breakups and marital breakdowns with such knowledge and wisdom of what they learned and strength in moving forward in creating their life they could be proud of that involves taking care of themselves.  So many of the women have been in this boat in this group – likely larger than the divorce statistics which I think are less than 50%:
    • According to the latest Statstics Canada date, approximately 38 per cent of all marriages end in divorce .

See .. strong women.  All in a room (or cottage) .. some know each other, some know of each other, some know only one or two of the hostesses, some we found out know people we know .. all coming together to have a retreat weekend without expectations, judgement or hassles.

What did we do?  Did we just cry about our situ and bash men? Did we sit around in sexy pajamas and pillow fight (insert man brain here)? What was this women’s retreat? We participated in whatever we felt like or retreated to a swing chair or a dock or went for a walk on our own if need be –

  • We received T shirts which we all loved in a gift-bag with other cool things in it – with a saying/comment personally chosen for you and taped to each bag:
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  • We watched a movie entitled Embrace – you will recall this lady posted a fit picture of herself as before and a less than skinny picture as after and caused a stir as it was the opposite of expectations:
    • Embrace follows body image activist Taryn Brumfitt’s crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.
  • We walked in a provincial park and spent time on a lakeside in the wind – and ate a cool lunch and had snacks (mmm .. power balls)
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  • We climbed trees
  • We took pictures
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  • We ate delicious food, planned and prepared by the hostesses and anyone else that wanted to help with no expectations there (the pampering promise was real)
  • We had a yoga nidra session – all laying down on mats or in chairs in a small living room – head to toe, or side by side – snoring optional
  • We had therapeutic touch or emotional release sessions from one of the hostesses
  • We tried out face soaps and cleansers that we don’t know about
  • We tried stretching in the morning, I think there might have been yoga
  • We read books we brought or books others brought, discussing them sometimes
  • We talked in groups of 2, 3, 4, 10 .. whatever worked at the time
  • We sat in the dark due to the power outage and made bead bracelets by candlelight
  • We burned bay leaves on which we had written those things we needed to release (the Friday the 13th Harvest Full Moon IS the time to do this thing)
  • We learned about essential oils and smells
  • We learned about USANA products like smoothies and face masks
  • We watched the rain and embraced the winds
  • We allowed a dog to love us even though we were strangers
  • We learned what strong women look like


So grateful to have had the experience and taken the chance to spend the weekend with essentially 10 strangers 🙂 who are no longer really strangers but are such strong and inspirational women!!!

thanks for reading my scribbles.







Tie Dye – Still A Thing

Recently the local Library had a free class on learning to make Tie Dye Shirts:

It’s been 50 years since the Summer of Love! Bring back the love and the tie dye and learn to make your own hippie shirts. Please bring a t-shirt and/or item you would like to tie dye. Registration is required. July 23, 2019 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM @WPL.

FOR FREE.  How can I resist?  I like to try things . . new things .. fun things .. free things.

So I signed up.  While waiting on the class day to arrive I researched tie dye – I haven’t had an experience with this since the kids did pillow cases one summer while at a trailer park – when the kids were like 11 years old and down – and even though I’m 50 plus I’m not sure I ever did this type of thing.

I found some cool things and was hoping mine might turn out as lovely (FYI .. this has NOT been my experience LOL).

I wonder what I might bring – aha a White MANS’ XXL T shirt would do the trick – if it’s ugly it can be a sleep shirt or run around the house shirt – if it’s nice it can be paired with stuff or go on my body when I go to the gym .. so this could be cool.


So off I go.. T shirt in hand.  The teacher was lovely – and all the dyes were premixed AND warm.  Woot.  She had dowels, plastic bags, dyes, elastics, patterns, suggestions, gloves and anything else you really really need to do this without getting it all the heck over yourself and your hands (because like dye = stay so hands in dye = purple hands).  All things you don’t think of when you say “hey I’d like to do this” and do it in your kitchen on your new kitchen counter that isn’t quite as stain proof as you think 🙂

First she gave every person a lovely square chiffon like scarf to try it out on – an unexpected surprise – so you get to fuck that up first :>

SO .. I pick a circular type pattern, stand the dowel in the middle of the scarf, roll and twist the scarf around the dowel and try my hardest to put elastics on over the dowel in a tight enough manner to avoid the wet water and dye from running.  I do remember that from the one time I helped the kids.

Success!!! … I pipette the dye (or spoon it or dip it whichever alleged circle you are doing), hoped for the best and then put it in the plastic bag to soak/seep.  No dye on my shirt – disposable gloves are awesome sauce!!

Armed with that success (and in reality I don’t know if it was truly successful yet because it needed to set) I pick an interesting cross body pattern that might be cool – like zebra or like something was clawing through my skin sort of – not the regulation circular pattern you see in so many places.  This involved accordion or napkin folding the t shirt across the body and then trying to put on very TIGHT elastics.  I chose to start at the lower right side hem and work up and across so in the end there are very fat areas and some not so fat and some that looked decidedly lumpy.  Regardless, I dipped, pipetted and spooned a pattern with colours I thought would work, dumped it in the second bag and left with a smile.

So we are told to leave them in the bag to soak/set at least 24 hours.  Off I go home and leave them on the kitchen table – not leaking thank goodness but they were very interesting to the cats and my son.  Squishy bags of something colourful.  Poke poke poke – but happily not poked through the bag.

Fast forward slightly more than 24 hours – because you know .. work – and I have to rinse them until they no longer run dye out.  I choose the stainless sink because – remember – dye – and go to it – and I don’t have gloves this time so I’m very delicately handling it and snipping off the elastics.  No I didn’t untie the elastics – they got cut with the kitchen scissors.  Then I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed.

The scarf turned out ok but in the end the colours didn’t quite work.  I guess my pipetting and spooning didn’t quite avoid bleed or maybe the elastics were not quite tight enough for such a light/sheer material which allowed bleed and I’m not sure the colours should be next to each other. Not sure where I will wear it being like square and all but I think it will work somewhere where I need something to set something on that I don’t want to mark the surface.  Plant or beads or crystals or something.  Future project.  Still  needs to be washed.

So now I’m afraid that the T shirt would be unappealing or just MEH.  However, the T shirt I like much better.  I liked those colours, that the pattern wasn’t the “regulation” circle pattern, and that the fat sections and bleed made for interesting obviously not professionally done rigid patterning. I suspect the material being thicker and more absorbent helped in getting a nicer pattern differentiation or maybe I was just that much smarter.  More white in spots than I was expecting but I’m pretty happy with it.  Still needs a wash.  I’m haven’t put it in the machine yet – you know dye = permanent .. what if I colour my delicates in weird pinks/purples? But then who would know.

Would I do this again?  Absolutely?

In MY house?  Absolutely not.  Hello – Dye = permanent.  I did have a pinkish finger that took weeks to be “fixed”.

BUT .. I say go for it if you get the chance as you meet interesting folks and get outside your comfort zone .. and  .. a) free b) fun c) fabulous 🙂





Meal Kits – fresh and yummy – Nailed IT

Hi folks

Today’s scribbles and bibbles is about a subscription service .. yes those horrid words subscription service (cue horror music).

I’ve been watching what I eat – and trying to learn how to eat better – for a very long time now and I’ve often wondered what would happen if I pre-ordered food boxes – I mean everything comes all at once in the right quantities and you don’t have leftover ingredients of foods right?  I mean let’s face it, I’m a poor planner for weekly food and menus and that leads you straight to the pizza place, right?

With just Scott (my 20 YO kid) and I home now, I started to look and see what’s out there.   A friend had tried a sort of “healthy eating” site (the name escapes me at the moment) and she wasn’t enamored of the resulting foods that arrived and they did send foods on her restricted list.  Not boding well.

However I thought I’d give it a go and .. being me .. research ensued.

OMG there are so many of these types of services out there right now .. and that’s not JUST in the family meal category.  Where to start?

I read this Chatelaine Blog … and found MORE kits I hadn’t even heard of … take a read .. I doubt Chatelaine will mind that I included this link:

OK .. so too much choice, all roughly the same price and roughly the same foods/options – all allow you to not get stuff you hate or won’t eat, all have roughly same portions or commitments to their plans, all get you in with free meals in the basket for the first box or two.  So minimal variations.

What to do .. well .. GROUPON of course.  I got the most amazing Groupon and basically paid eight bucks for my first week.  This IS the way to go if you want to try and you can cancel anytime and the one company I chose don’t lie about the cancel anytime thing.

I went with Miss Fresh – at that time the menu looked the most appealing and like something I’d eat.  Ordering was easy – the box arrived at a pre-ordained time (Tuesday AM before noon).  The packaging was MOST IMPRESSIVE – insulated box, everything wrapped together so you can just pick out what you’re making and don’t have to refer to the menu list to see what you need.

When it came to cooking, I was very impressed with the quality and size of the foods sent – I mean you may assume they might think a medium onion is really what YOU  would consider small but that was not the case.  The meat portions were in some cases larger than I would have chosen, the portion sizes were clearly more than needed for the two persons it was for, and the vegetables were crisp.  The red onion in fact was so big I did not use the whole thing for fear of being onioned out of the house and get heartburn 🙂

Things I’ve gotten and made – and of course I’ve posted on Facebook as “nailed it” lol:

  1. Thai Green Curry – I wanted to experience this because my son likes spicy things and this is not something I’d make.  Preparation was very simple and it looked delicious.  It wasn’t as spicy as I thought it might be and in truth since I don’t like coconut milk, it isn’t a favourite.

2. Creamy Herb Chicken Pasta – again I wouldn’t have used or experimented with these herbs in the past and I love pasta (as does my son) so I tried this one.  It turned out so lovely and with an arugula salad which I’d not made before.  Win.


3. Orange Pork chops with Spinach Orange Salad – never had orange pork chops nor would I put oranges in my salad.  This also was delightful but the orange juice and wine used in the pan for the chops gave it a tendency to burn.  Salad contained too much red onion and Scott didn’t like the oranges in it (but he did eat the spinach).


4. Tomato and Beef Casserole – ON POLENTA  – hm .. polenta – again something I’d not made or would have eaten that I wanted to try.  It was ok – polenta not my fave – but this is a 9 x 13 inch pan and clearly more than two folks would eat.  The tomato and beef casserole was very nice though.52769414_10161573835110438_3962626600696020992_n

5. Chicken Burrito bowls – I do eat burrito type bowls at work periodically when they have them in the cafeteria thingy and I love them so why not try it at home.  I will definitely make this again but Scott didn’t like the beans much.



  1. Recipes easy and short prep/cook time
  2. Ingredients fresh
  3. I tried things I would not normally (Trout coming next week as well as Pho)
  4. Full ingredient and recipe cards are unexpected win – make it again yourself and tweak it as you go (Scott had many suggestions for what he would change in them which is showing an interest)
  5. Maybe more expensive than you would do if you’d shopped for yourself – but in the interest of new things I’m prepared to take that on the chin for now to widen my palate
  6. Super fabulous service – stopped boxes when I was detoxing or following a specific meal plan or was away – no fuss – change boxes when that recipe didn’t make me say WOOT – AND warned me that I’d chosen something that was on my restricted list and offered to drop or swap it (so no wrong food I guess)

Anyway .. give it a go if you’ve been thinking about it – not necessarily Miss Fresh because there are a lot out there.

Widen those palates





Jewelry with Intentions

Hello all

Today’s scribbles and bibbles are about something that I’ve been exposed to especially in the last few weeks and that is making me feel such peace and happiness I felt I must share.

I go to the gym – the Wreckroom here in Kitchener – HOLD ON this is not an exercise blog – don’t tune out.  One of the trainer’s there is often there in the mornings doing her thing with her clients when I come in to do my workouts (at 7:30 am .. uh huh) and we’ve been talking back and forth and getting to know each other and be friends.

This is Wendy – she’s the most lovely soul and she has her own training business – Tiny N Tuff Fitness | 1-on-1 Training | Olympic Lifting | Powerlifting  – operating out of the Wreckroom (I stole this pic and description from the Wreckroom website – I’m not sure she’d mind – she’s gorgeous).

HOWEVER, what we’ve been talking about recently is the most beautiful jewelry she’s been making with love and intentions.  We sometimes talk about our spirituality even though she is TINY and TOUGH but this is the most loveliest of soft sides that I’m starting to see and now I see her also as #wanderingwendy.  I mean I’ve seen her deadlift like crazy weights etc but that’s not all she is.

I’m not sure how public her beadwork album is on Facebook but here’s the link and a pic of some:


Now .. I have been going through some “stuff” and I just adored the lovely black and pink Heart Strength mala .. so I asked her to make me one .. and she did customized with a bit more green and replacing the fringe with black.  It turned out lovely and the meaning to me  is amazeballs and something I need in my life.

Now . .what made it all the more personal is that she told me that when she was making it for me she set some intentions to help me with my heart strength and asking to reduce my negative energies from a certain person.  I felt the love for sure.

Imagine someone making something so heartfelt just for you .. no mass marketing,  no mass production, no giant price .. just someone doing something they love for someone who appreciates it at a reasonable price.

Naturally I went back for more … sending her some pics of things that I would like and that spoke to me . ..shamelessly getting ideas from online about what I could do (I’m new at the whole stone thing).  She and I had a laugh because she says she has been spending a lot of time recently at the bead store .. but I don’t think she minds truly 🙂

Imagine .. the next two (yep I couldn’t decide – hence two) bracelets I asked for she made this week – with the same love and intention as before and with me in mind as she worked – AND she let them bathe in the recent full moon to cleanse.  WOWSERS – these stones should be so perfect, right?

The pink one:  Self Love Intention Bracelet – For love, self love, healing, acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and kindness. Has Rose Quartz, Electroplated Rose Quartz and Hematite I think.

The Multicolored one: Dream Magick Intention Bracelet – For intuition, prophetic dreams, imagination, lucid dreaming, sleep, calming and magick.  Has Amethyst, Onyx, Agelite, Sodalite and Hermatite I think.

I picked them up this morning and clearly am wearing them now AND my mala – and I had to laugh because coach Luke wanted to wear the pink one becaue he wanted heart strength also but he was told “nope .. made for Barb with intentions for her”.  HA. You must appreciated what that does to my soul.

OK . so this is what I’m playing with currently .,., and shameless plugging for a very talented person who deserves all the good coming her way.  Love and thank you Wendy.

Of course if you need jewelry AND fitness she can take care of the second part also.  Check it out.






Snail Mail Pen Pals .. Still a thing

Hello everyone .. this blog’s ramblings go on and on about a thing I found fairly recently (well started last summer) that I didn’t know was still a thing .. Pen Pal.

Remember when you were a child and you had a pen pal …. didn’t almost everyone have one at one time or another – or at minimum you wrote to another kid in another school?  I can’t imagine I’m the only one and that I’m that old.

I remember writing to a girl (now a lady) called Debbie Nelson in Westland Michigan for years .. before losing touch.  It was quite interesting to learn about others, see what they were up to and imagine what their life is like being different from yours.  I don’t even know how I came across her name – maybe a balloon thing where you send it up and see where it goes?  OF course you often write to cousins who live far away but somehow it wasn’t the same as writing to a .. gasp .. stranger.

Fast forward MUCHO years and I’m an adult now and mother to adult children who might have had a pen friend when very small but really not – and now in the age of technology and the internet – who really writes letters?  We don’t even get bills in the mail anymore and even if we still do that’s the only thrill we get these days from the mail person right?  Just the odd bills and a weird pizza flyer sometimes.  I mean, I have heard they don’t even teach cursive anymore these days so how can a person “write” a letter …

Imagine what your kids now think when you might say …. hey I’m thinking about getting a pen pal?

roll eye

I accidentally came across this website on the Facebook – and in truth I hadn’t thought about a pen pal or getting one – like everyone I communicate via email or text and I hadn’t thought about pen palling for EONS or a donkey’s age as my mom would say.


I joined and lurked for what felt like forever . .because you are supposed to introduce yourself and seek pals so I wanted to see what it was about.  I noted that a lot of people do crafts on the envelopes or send special trinkets or flip books (?) in the envelopes which was new and made me a bit fearful since I’m not crafty that way.


I eventually waded in when I saw an ad I enjoyed or thought “that could be fun”.  Incoming – Treena from the UK.  I have traveled there once and I thought that it would be interesting because the cultures are different enough and they have that whole Brexit thing going on and the Queen stuff.  Different perspectives you know?

Turns out she was lovely – has been to TORONTO – and we did make it past ONE letter (my fear is that when she found out how boring I was she’d bail – true story).

It was so ridiculous how excited I got when I saw the letter in the mail – curling up with a tea/coffee and enjoying the letters.  Been so long since I’ve done that 🙂

Incipit of a letter to a friend

SO .. that went well right?  Let’s see what else?

Enter Teshha – my new pen pal who was looking for folks that had asshats for family and would love to dish dirty laundry and be real.  Pretty sure my current family situation topped her expectations for asshattery and I challenged her to write me – and she did – and that was that.

Enter Suzi from California – a helicopter pilot in the army or navy who is studying and doing school work – who has lived in interesting places.

Enter Nancy from Oklahoma – who sends lovely things in her letters – and who is living and enjoying a retired life

Enter Jane from Scotland – likes outdoors and camping and stuff I liked – who’s writing is so lovely to read.

SO looking forward to seeing where these letters/relationships go.  My writing is atrocious and I always apologize for it .. I’m an accountant – we do numbers on computers and things – we don’t often write.

roll eye

I just hope that we find things to know about each other and it doesn’t just be a short term fad.  Hearken back to the old days my friends – give the idea an explore 🙂

Stay tuned.




Exercise might be ok

For the two lovely folks that read my blogs . .you will note that I blog about how I am exercising right now but that I don’t really want to (I think), I don’t feel I enjoy it (I think) and I don’t ever feel the euphoria that so many speak of.  I imagine it might be like you are so happy or maybe mildly drunk.  This might be a crux though since I often don’t let myself “go” completely – control nut (ahem cough cough).


In the past I have ALWAYS felt like it was a chore – something I needed to do to be “healthy” or “fit” but not something I WANTED to do or something I needed in my life.  Something others did but were they really happy?

I have tried almost everything because if you love some sort of activity it would stick right?

  1. I’ve bounced at Kangoo (I still do actually – maybe that is a “stick”)
  2. 20160109_100315
  3. I’ve a gym membership and I tried to make a point of going there – and I can assure you that this calendar goes back in this manner for months
  4. no workout
  5. I’ve tried boot camps – recently 90 minute ones that were hard and sweaty but well attended and organized
  6. I’ve tried finding friends to work out – not so much – I’m more of a loner workout person
  7. I’ve tried daily walking at lunch so I could eat the lunch as a reward – snow arrived – enough said
  8. I’ve tried hiking – I do love my Merrells – but I’m not that geographically close to nature that would make it fun
  9. merrell
  10. I’ve tried walks with a headset and music – I have adorable cat ears but city streets aren’t fun either
  11. I’ve tried INKING it in my calendars and having reminders pop up – and note as an accountant my calendar is something I maintain – it is so easy to ignore them

Just nothing engaged me I guess .. or as my last psychic reader told me “I don’t want it enough yet .. it doesn’t matter enough yet”.  That’s Paul Pacific – Canada’s Barefoot Prophet / Psychic– highly recommended ..

What else would it take?  Health issues?  I have those.  Feeling good?  I already do.  At a loss here.  I have had a personal trainer (Amber) and I went once a week and that was good and then I found I missed it when we had to stop working out because of work conflicts so I went and found a new trainer last March (courtesy of a very good work friend Kathy who went there and he was her trainer and she highly recommended him) – and 2x a week seemed to be workable and maybe – just maybe- it’d take this time.  I didn’t lose any inches or weight fast – and in truth that wasn’t my goal but what I did learn is I don’t know squat (see what I did there?) about exercising and which muscles need to be in what sequence and the proper form and all that gunk and that’s why the gym doesn’t work for me – what do you do there that would be effective anyway?

I started working out with my trainer Monday to Friday starting in October/November somewhere in there at his request .. remember my trainer Luke .. yeh that’s me pulling him along … I can now do these things … and recently I realized that I was going every day now .. something I said I wouldn’t do because it’s not me – and that a lot of the exercises seem to be in my head now – and sometimes we do the “remember when I couldn’t do a push up or a crunch”.  I am starting to surprise myself with what I CAN do.

Last week Luke asked me if I felt like it was part of my life now and I had to pause and think about it.

  1. How is that I was somehow convinced to come in so often?  What was this magic he had me under?
    1. I really have no idea how he convinced me.  In truth I usually do what he tells me to do with minimal (he’d argue that) push-back so maybe that’s his charm.
  2. How did I feel about getting up by 5:50 am to make it to they gym before work?
    1. I really am not minding the schedule .. the alarm goes .. I get 3 snooze, then I get up – have enough time to prep for the day, eat the healthy meal, take the meds, read the newspaper and feed the two cats.  I’m not really feeling tired from lack of sleep and I really am getting to bed earlier than I normally would and MAYBE sleeping better.
  3. Did I feel differently about myself or my fitness levels?
    1. The scale drives me nuts.  It’s not really moving that much if at all and sometimes goes the wrong way.  However my clothes are looser.  I didn’t really measure myself in the beginning – something I should have done I guess now – but I do have pictures and I do notice some areas are shifting.  Maybe not as fast as I thought I wanted BUT I am in this for slow and steady and sustainable so this is all good.

Recently we started on this 60 day challenge – we eat the menu plan he has worked on with other professionals and we do a 30 minute what he calls Incinerator Video every day on a schedule – videos which he’s perfected.  They aren’t easy for sure .. you sweat, you curse, you want to give up. My newest friend Amanda is a HUGE cheerleader here and in truth quite inspirational with watching her commitment to this program.  Always can count on her to push me to be my best for freesies.

I AM finding them doubly hard because I workout M-F in the mornings, so SOMEHOW now the workout wizard trainer has me trying to workout 2x a day.  Feck.  I have managed to do many of them although not all . .sometimes hormones, emotions and just being me gets in the way.  In speaking with Luke he is OK with this sometimes ennui as long as I push myself to go further than I would normally and when I don’t do them the day before he ramps up my morning gig (as punishment?).  AND – shock – he would tell you he often doesn’t want to work out either and the videos are hard when added in to his working out like 3x a day.  Huh.

BUT when I was just thinking about the video I did on Tuesday this week – I went in for my normal 7:30 am workout, felt I had a lot energy when I got home (Tuesday’s are my morning off) and cleaned the kitchen, my bedroom, did laundry, wrote 5 letters to pen-pals (another blog coming), and then did the 30 minute video so I could then shower and go to work for 12:30 pm – I actually – SHOCK – didn’t mind doing it and felt I did better at it than I had in the past.  WHAT?  Is this the magic I’ve been looking for?  What was this energy and feeling good?

Anways .. (that’s not really a word) . … I thought it only fair to verbally spit out there that exercise isn’t so bad since I have been disparaging it for like ever.  Shh .. don’t tell Luke .. he’ll add on more weights and reps LOL.







Guitar Lessons … Amazing

I have always thought about taking guitar lessons .. I took music lessons for piano as a child and the children have done music lessons on piano .. AND we’ve had a guitar in the house (hub’s) but I haven’t really messed with it.

And my daughter can totally play stuff and that’s something I always admired .. just picking it up and picking out something to play.


SO .. I haven’t taken lessons before .. for a variety of reasons (some self inflicted obvi) but I decided that the time was right.

I found a coach (more on him below) from someone who recommended someone that would be good with adults (yay) and contacted them about pricing and timelines and so forth.  As luck would have it it wasn’t that expensive AND the timing he had worked because I can just go from work on the way home.  WOOT seems serendipitous, right?

So I signed up before I could change my mind .. every week for 1/2 hour.  I rented a guitar to see if I would like it before committing to buying something (thanks Long & McQuade).

First lesson was November 7 – to say I was nervous was a complete understatement.  I got the beginner book, he gave me a pick, we talked about how to go forward and I got to find the first note. My choice of guitar rental was a good one apparently, coach tuned it up and away I went.  WOOT.  Success.  I felt so proud as the blurry picture below shows 🙂


Did I go back .. oh yeah.  I liked it.  My fingers hurt .. apparently you need to develop some calluses.  Since I’m also lifting at my workouts that is two sets of calluses I will develop I guess. So bye bye girl hands 🙂

So I’m working through the book and other pages supplied by the coach for a month.. learning notes, some chords – and I’m starting to explore what else I could play that I loved .. like Tom Petty like Johnny Cash like BeeGees even.  Coach told me about a website where you can find amazing music that you can print off/download and find stuff for novice and find stuff that will challenge me.. oh yeah.  It’s called so if you guitar but don’t know of this site check it out.



SO .. after a month of lessons I think yep this is something I can and want to do longer term and even though remembering and having the discipline to practice is hard (remember being told to practice something as a child?  no changes here) I found myself enjoying playing various things and trying to work them out.

I then decided that my Christmas present to myself was a guitar and went on Black Friday so obtained a sick deal.  Purchased a Washburn accoustic guitar with a cool bag and a stand.  Happily it has a tuning feature so I don’t need an external gadget – just need to learn how to use it 🙂  Apparently according to coach it’s a great guitar and a great deal and he’d take it off my hands if I wanted to sell .. so that says something.  I just felt that when I was handed it by the sales guy it felt RIGHT like .. yep that’s the one.

Purchased at the Guitar Corner from a very knowledgeable guy who didn’t scoff at my clearly newbie queries.  So many lovely guitars and dudes just sitting around noodling on their instruments – such a cool space – and a perfect store recommended to me by a good friend.

At The Guitar Corner we cater to the music lover offering everything you need when it comes to guitars. From repairs to lessons and custom design, The Guitar Corner is your Kitchener area guitar experts. If your beloved guitar has seen better days The Guitar Corner can help. We offer the guitar repairs and refinishing services you need to bring your guitar back to its former glory and have you strumming your fingers again in no time.


1883, Chicago. George Washburn begins a legacy of greatness with the first Washburn stringed instruments, bringing quality instruments priced for home musicians. In 1889, Washburn becomes the largest mandolin maker in America.

So .. four months in .. still loving it .. haven’t gotten the routine practice down yet and haven’t fully developed the required calluses.  Coach has been amazing – we’re working through the book (3 strings now woot – songs like Yankee Doodle and Ode to Joy) and some chords (some Tom Petty and some Prince), some cool riffs (I don’t know if I knew that was a thing  – things like Serena Ryder Stompa or Johnny Cash beginning of Folsom Prison), some picking patterns and some strumming patterns, finding some songs that have only the 3 or 4 chords I can get at.  Wherever my questions take us .. some book stuff and some “fun” stuff.

It is so cool that coach plays along with me – better and more intricate obvi – but it makes me feel like I’m doing it – and in truth I am doing it but I am hard on myself and a bit of a perfectionist.  Loved that I found a piece of music – Prelude in D – that I wanted to aspire to play – and coach tried it out (made a few mistakes .. woohoo human) and then wanted a copy for himself.

About my coach – shameless plugs of course – He is Joel Morelli

He teaches and also plays professionally – he’s super patient, friendly, knowledgeable and fun – something you need when you’re very nervous about what you are trying.  I go to the Uptown School of Music in Waterloo. I feel a neat connection so that will bode well as I learn and he does teach adults so even though the student after me is 1/2 my height I don’t feel weird 🙂

We go wherever the music takes us – things like we see a police car pull over a speeder and he plays “Bad Boys Bad Boys Whacha Gonna Do” or we go down a rabbit hole playing Mario Brothers riffs.

He does tune my guitar for me prior to any lesson and the sounds he gets out of it is amazing and I’m always wondering how he does that .. and then remind myself I totally can if I let myself get into it and stop being so tentative.

PS I didn’t get permission to post his pics but somehow I don’t think he’ll mind.


So .. my advice … go for it .. do what you heart desires and try whatever you wanted to try for a very long time you almost forgot you wanted to try it.  Then keep it going.

Embrace your inner guitar nerdie or your inner child and noodle away.



Life is Weird Right Now

SO .. I been going through some stuff and haven’t always had my balance or been very cheerful,  but I am making it work and finding my bearings ..

And then I did something weird – SO you know those Facebook things that you click on and it reveals something amazing about you?

I clicked on them today … you know like you do … for fun .. to see what things it will reveal about my inner self ..

  1. Liking that I’m a panther as my soul animal.  I love cats and I have two black (mostly) cats at home.  Mrow.
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2.  Hm.  Wondering of the alleged 700 people that I know .. WHO are the 8 that hate me . . hate is a strong word .. can you please identify yourselves .. why? Sniff sniff.

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3.  So this was weird but really I loved the words written in it .. Lately I’ve been saying to myself Life is Short and I need to live it out loud and try new things..  Win.

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4. I actually found this pleasing .. I feel like a warrior right now .. I’m fighting a battle that I never thought I’d fight (not an illness .. don’t worry folks), and it’s completely true that my confidence, if you see it, was hard fought and doesn’t come easily in my life – but I am ready to see what will come my way .. Kudos.

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5. So . this I can use and is right up my alley for being ready for antying that might come my way .. if only it would .. if only I played Lottery games .. if only ..  Should I try to play more often .. one of these “things” that I didn’t post said my lucky day next year is June 22, 2019 – stay tuned.  No you can’t ease my burden by taking this one off my hands.

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So there you go .. stay tuned for which of these might come true if they haven’t yet, or go ahead and comment if you think the feelings and spirit animal describe me (or not), and for those 8 of you .. sup with that?  Why you be hating?





Poe & Vincent Price Film Series – Experienced at our local KPL

Disclaimer – I do not own these pictures, logos, descriptors and I don’t profess to

Hi all

Our local Library – Kitchener Public Library –  recently posted they were hosting a free three movie event on three Wednesday’s in October ..

logoJust in time for Halloween, join us for a spook-tacular film series featuring three classic adaptations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe starring the inimitable “master of menace” Vincent Price.

So I thought three things:

  1. Hey free .. can’t beat that right?
  2. I’ve never seen EA Poe’s films (the three precede my birth but everyone knows the Raven and especially since it was featured on a Simpson’s episode)
  3. I liked Vincent Price (remember this?
    1. “The castle lights are growing dim – there’s nobody left but me and him,
      next, you will meet him, Frankenstone, don’t come alone…”
    2. hqdefault

So  far I’ve gone to two of the three but I thought I’d put in my observations at this time.


Wed. October 3rd: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960)

When Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) visits his fiancée Madeleine Usher (Myrna Fahey) in her crumbling family mansion, her brother Roderick (Vincent Price) tries to talk him out of the wedding, explaining that the Usher family is cursed and that extending its bloodline will only prolong the agony. Madeleine wants to elope with Philip, but neither of them can predict what ruthless lengths Roderick will go to in order to keep them apart.



Frankly because this was filmed so long ago in a horror genre but before any really cool effects were developed, I didn’t hold out much hope for “horror” or fear, not like movies like The Nun currently out – no walk-by shock horror.  Yet the poster says THE UNGODLY.. THE EVIL, so let’s see where it went.

Yet it was strangely compelling and that is largely down to Vincent.  He is so deliciously creepy that you know he’s evil and that you shouldn’t cross him.  You know the set is fake and likely not a real outside old Gothic castle .. you have to question why the inside is so creepy, full of cobwebs and lighting issues when you know people live there, and you know the dude showing up on his horse is going to get it somehow – yet having never seen it I enjoyed the whole thing.

Before the film the KPL hosted a green screen picture event, so I got to pose with VP



Wed. October 10th: THE PIT & THE PENDULUM (1961)

Having learned of the sudden death of his sister Elizabeth (Barbara Steele), Francis Bernard (John Kerr) sets out to the castle of his brother-in-law, Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price), to uncover the cause of her untimely demise. A distraught, grief-stricken Nicolas can only offer the vaguest explanations of Elizabeth’s death – at first citing “something in her blood”, but later asserting that she quite literally “died of fright”. With Francis determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, the terrible truth will not stay buried long.



Having seen the first one I was interested to see what would be different in this one.  I think the set was very similar and perhaps was the same set, slightly different, than the last one and perhaps the same producer/directors but I liked that the poster said it was THE GREATEST TERROR TALE EVER TOLD.  Bold proclamation but then it was 1961.

Again you have the same model really: protective sadistic creepy dude (VP), weak and silly female(s), and an outsider or two to muddy the works and/or get whacked.

Again was intrigued by the whole film and how it wove itself out – it wasn’t that predictable actually – and loved the ending scene (retribution beeyatch).  VP was deliciously creepy in his weird outfits and collars and as he goes mad at some point that was very well done and I felt more scared of that character.

The KPL pre-event was to make a Victorian ruffle out of paper  – you can see me channeling VP here.



Wed. October 24th: THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964)

While the plague rages outside in the small Italian province, Prince Prospero (Vincent Price), stays confined to the sanctuary of his castle with his aristocratic guests.  Indifferent to the suffering outside, Prospero holds a masquerade ball where the celebrants revel in their debauchery and cruelty, unaware of the mysterious masked stranger lurking in their midst. 



The final movie plays next week and I must say I AM looking forward to viewing it and seeing the similarities of how it is differently creepy than the others.  The poster says to LOOK INTO THIS FACE – SHUDDER – TREMBLE – GASP… so this will be fun too.

Will the set be similar – how might they weave the same creepiness into a masquerade ball – what will Vincent wear this time?

The pre-event will be to create a mask worthy of Prince Prospero’s ball so that also will be fun and I can’t wait to see what they have in mind for the masks and what I might create.

SO .. couple of things to take away from this post I guess:

  1. Vincent Price is and always creepy (did he ever not do evil?) and EA Poe’s work can stand the test of time – still macabre and evil
  2. Search out your local library for free stuff that you will enjoy – they always have something going on.

Cheers all




Another First .. not food or sex related …

Hi  and anyone that looks at my ramblings ..

today i was greeting a workmate who had just been on the most amazing trip that i was so excited for her seeing her posts .. and we talked about my recent first that i posted on facebook ..

i started to reflect on my firsts while i was sitting here reading my yogurt .. i talk about things i try to do and things that are outside of my comfort zone .. while camping last week my SIL appeared very interested in what i was doing and why and how i chose things ..

while talking to her last week i started to reflect on what i could then .. because i had said to her that i tried to seize the moment …

well .. that came up .. we bought a trailer 3 years ago .. it is 18.5 ft long and when on the back of our Acadia is pretty LONG and also about 7000 lbs in total . … i am scared to drive it or scrape off the side of it on a turn etc .. i know i can’t back the truck up and hook it up .. but baby steps right?

since we got the thing i’ve started to think i’d like to take a weekend and camp alone (another first in planning) .. but .. see above re: hook up .. but then i thought i need to first try to drive the thing ..

so the truck looks like this (this is not our real truck FYI but ours looks like this  .. i often think it is very wide when i drive it around town ..

and the trailer looks like this when down (also not our real trailer FYI but identical  … 18.5 feet from stem to stern .. and we didn’t have the bike rack on …

and put together .. this is what i was navigating (our real stuff) .. w/o killing anything (one) or crashing and it was spitty-type raining ..  it has stabilizer bars and it’s own brakes and so you shouldn’t feel too much different or pull … in theory right?

i CAN put up the trailer (illustrative .. not our real trailer) .. it’s quite easy and lovely and takes about 15 minutes .. flip up the top and then flip up the two sides and hook up power and put down the legs and mostly done ..

so .. one step closer .. and i drove the thing for at least an hour I think .. until i reached a coffee stop 🙂 and it was pretty easy but you can’t let yourself get distracted and i suspect i could be more distracted than may be required on some of the windy camping type roads we go on .. more practice needed ..

thanks for reading 🙂

and btw .. here was our view for the week away .. pretty terrible right?

thanks for reading my not about food or fitness or sex blog 😉