Uninvited Guests

I wasn’t expecting guests.

But I found this little guy peeking out from under the patio furniture…

Checking out the accommodations for his brothers and sisters.

It’s not that all five of them weren’t welcome, but their mom wasn’t any too pleased that they’d come visiting.

Our young guests rambled about a bit…

And decided not to stay.

I’m thinking they were insulted that we removed the cushions from the furniture.

We’re terrible hosts.

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Hearts and Trees

Trees are like kids or dogs, I like them a lot better at someone else’s house.

Or in the park.

The winding paths of our local park are gorgeous in the autumn, crisp, colourful leaves underfoot. Actually, there isn’t a season when trees don’t look great.

I’m not anti-trees all together, just the ones in my back and front yards. Massive old pine trees that kill the grass beneath them and blanket the yard with pine needles that someone, me, has to rake.

Don’t tell anyone, but I tried to get rid of them.

Nope. The city frowns on tree murder.

I’m stuck with them.

Turns out that might be a good thing. There are a ton of studies claiming that trees are heart friendly. The more trees in your neighbourhood, the less likely you are to have a heart attack. Heart disease, strokes, anxiety, and depression all decrease in areas with trees and green spaces.

Guess I’ll get out the rake 🙂

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Disney Knows

Recently, I read the second book in a trilogy—and quit, not even tempted to read the third.

Had the story gone off, the writing slipped?

No.

I stopped because I was good with the story ending there and then. The couple I had followed through books one and two, had resolved their issues and found their happy ending.

I was done.

I didn’t want to know what problems and pitfalls the author would lay in their path in book three.

There’s a reason for the fairy tale endings in Disney’s animated movies…

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They’re not real.

And we don’t want them to be.

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Too Far

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I’d like to blame it on Covid-19, on two and a half years of restrictions and lockdowns, but maybe I’m just getting old.

There was a time when the six hour drive from Toronto to Montreal was no big deal, when a four and a half hour drive to Ottawa to pick up a jumpsuit at Hudson’s Bay seemed reasonable, and a five hour round trip to see Dracula in Stratford—seven times—made perfect sense.

That time is long gone.

Since March of 2020, my car has barely been out of the garage. Between Amazon, Instacart, and Uber Eats I never have to leave the house—and I don’t.

Now, that restrictions are a thing of the past and shops, restaurants, and theatres are open again. Now, that there are people and places to visit, and drives to take—it’s too late.

There’s a new phrase in my life these days, one I’d never thought I’d say…

It’s too far.

How did this happen? When did I start worrying about things like traffic and walking to my car after dark?

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When did I become my parents?

I blame Covid-19 🙂

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Bereft

I’m in mourning, devasted.

It’s over.

I’ve seen all 20 episodes of Netflix’s Vincenzo.

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I didn’t expect to become addicted to this tongue-in-cheek mafia-inspired drama. While Vincenzo starts off with a bang…

It devolves into silly secondary plotlines and odd-ball characters eking out a living in Geumga Plaza. Comic relief? Maybe, but I didn’t find them funny.

I was ready to give up on Vincenzo about four episodes in, but perving on a good looking actor isn’t a bad way to kill thirty minutes on the treadmill.

And then…

Murder and mayhem. White-collar criminals with blood on their hands. Corporate greed and political corruption. Betrayal and Mafia-style revenge.

As episode built on episode, I started to appreciate the style of the show, the differences between this Korean crime story and the American versions I’m more familiar with.

Two words: dramatic, romantic.

Sweeping shots and grand entrances. Slow motion and a gazillion close ups. The lead actors, Song Joong-ki and Jeon Yeo-been, dressed to kill in great suits and designer sunglasses beat the hell out of Tony Soprano in his bathrobe, chomping on a cigar.

A relationship builds between the two leads, and builds, and builds—and no one gets naked. Cue the close ups and the lingering glances. Vincenzo and Hong Cha-yeong don’t share a meaningful embrace until the final episode…

How am I going to climb on the treadmill tomorrow without this show to make the effort slightly more appealing?

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Best Laid Plans

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While God may or may not laugh when men make plans, Covid-19 certainly does.

You don’t hear the expression much anymore, but some of my older relatives when asked if they would attend a family birthday party or wedding would reply, “God willing.”

More than two years into the pandemic, with flights, travel plans, concerts, theatre performances, and family gatherings being cancelled daily, perhaps we should all be saying, “Covid willing.”

This weekend as we celebrate Ramadan, Easter, and Passover

or the warmer days of Spring,

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I’m reminded of a traditional Irish blessing…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Covid Willing!

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Flatulence Fascination

There are words I prefer not to say, vagaries of the body I see no need to mention.

Apparently, I am alone in this regard because they are mentioned—frequently.

As any five-year-old can attest, there is one noxious noise in particular that is greeted with glee, and awarded with laughter.

Kate Beaton, a Cape Breton cartoonist, has worked this fascination with flatulence into her children’s book, The Princess and the Pony, giving her warrior princess a steed with intestinal issues.

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Based on Kate’s book, AppleTV+ is releasing a new animated series, Pinecone and Pony.

Let the laughter begin.

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Castles in the Sand

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It’s been a while since I was happy to sit on a beach with a pail and shovel. These days, a walk along the shore with water lapping at my ankles is more my speed.

Truth to tell, I never made sand castles. I made piles. Lumps and bumps of wet sand, short on detail and long on imagination.

I was never, and will never be, the artist that Andoni Bastarrika is.

Using just his hands, a sharpened stick, and mounds of wet sand Andoni creates sculptures. Animals so realistic you expect them to leap off the beach.

Depending on the complexity of the sculpture, Andoni can spend two days creating each animal.

Who needs sand castles when you can find these along the beach?

You can find Andoni and his animals on Instagram.

All photos by Andoni Bastarrika.

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