Monday, March 04, 2019

Two years later

Sorry for the hiatus. Life has been challenging in the last couple of years. I'm hoping the blog will get me back to who and what I love - me writing.

We sold our house, packed it up and moved to a  heritage mansion two blocks from the Niagara River. I can stand out on the porch and hear the roar of the Falls, a sound that has always soothed my soul, and one I've desperately needed.

Our first summer here was magnificent. Mom had a freedom and mobility on the half acre property that she never had in town. We had barbecues and bonfires, walks down to the river, and so much laughter. It was the happiest any of us had been in a long time. Everything was fun.

Then it ended. Mom fell and broke her leg, developed pneumonia, and died our first winter. That Christmas and the following few months are a blur. Dad and I take solace in the memories we made that year.

The following Spring, I registered for online courses through a nearby college to get another diploma. This one ensures I can be promoted when my coworker retires. As my boss suggested it, I feel good about it. The bonus is that it's making me better at the job I currently do.

That's about the time Ky started having trouble with dementia. He was fourteen and completely deaf. Casey and Finnegan did a great job of keeping him aware of his surroundings but whenever Ky got out of the yard, he usually strolled down to the Buddhist Temple down the street. I don't blame him. It is a remarkably calm place to be. We limped through the summer together. About two weeks after I lost a good friend in a tragic motorcycle accident, I had to let Ky go. My heart is still broken.

2018 sucked dead bears.

It's 2019 now. School is going well. We've all adjusted to our new dynamic with giant holes where Mom and Ky should be. We miss them terribly but Mom would definitely kick our asses for wallowing too long. She visits us in our dreams a lot. Sometimes she has Ky with her.

My goal is to get back to writing. I have two assignments due on Monday. There is no reason (other than a crippling lack of faith in my own abilities) that I can't write for an hour every day. I promised my critique partners I would have something to share with them by the end of this week.

I figure between them and this blog, the need for accountability will keep my nose to the grindstone, no matter how painful that idiom sounds.

See you soon -ish.

Sunday, April 09, 2017


Apparently, Canadians say certain words with a funny accent. It's disconcerting to tell a story and lose the train of thought because everyone is doubled over laughing at your word choices. It was all in good fun with no maliciousness but it did make me hyper-conscious of words.

As a result, I took my time speaking and worked around trigger words (out, about, neighbour and colour even though the u is silent in the latter two). My awareness expanded. I realized how lazy we've become in our speech. We rely on the same group of words and patterns in our everyday speech. Text speak has invaded our vocalizations. I embarrassed to admit I actually said LOL instead of laughing the one day.

Language is fluid. It grows, changes and corrects course all the time. Even churches are moving away from Latin in an effort to reach younger parishioners. It's natural to resist the changes if you're from an older generation and eager to embrace them if you're younger.

In the meantime,I'll take my Canadian accent outside to walk about the neighbourhood.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DAV rain boots

I bought my original pair of DAV rain boots in 2014. I wear them Autumn, Winter and Spring pretty much exclusively. They owe me NOTHING! I love them I have the Bristol solid black but there are so many cute, practical, styles from which to choose.  Go shop. They are comfortable, fun and versatile.

Their customer service is beyond excellent. I mentioned on a Facebook forum that mine leaked. I received an email and credit from the co-founder of the company for a replacement pair. They have never heard of Bristol boots leaking.Considering how hard I am on footwear, I'm surprised they lasted three years!

Plus, they look great with a pair of tights and a tunic.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Sunday photo prompt


Instinct took over the instant the glass slammed on to the table with enough force to dispel the olive from the martini.

"Run Henry, run!" Sylvie grabbed her younger brother and half dragged him out the front door.

"No." He resisted her efforts and dug in his heels.

Their father lumbered to his feet and beat them to the porch edge. "Wait!!"

"Sylvie!" Both of the males in her life impeded her flight.

Henry slipped around in front of her to restrain her with two hands on her arms. "It's okay, Sylvie."

She shook her head. It wasn't okay. It would never be okay. The rancid scent of fear filled her nostrils

"Sylvie." Her father settled his weight on the top step, effectively blocking her path. Henry enfolded her in his arms and slowly lowered the two of them to the porch floor. "It's okay."

Feeling and sense slowly returned to her limbs as Henry gently stroked her hair and whispered assurances.

"She's gone." Her father placed a tentative hand upon Sylvie's foot. The familiar gesture cut across the terror and years. "She can't hurt any of us now."

Sylvie shivered then exhaled a long breath.

"That's my girl." Her dad offered a bittersweet smile.

"How long did it last this time?" She shoved her hand through her hair, amazed as always to see white streaks in the long blonde strands.

Henry smoothed his hands down her arms then set her away from him. "Just a minute. Dad knocked his glass to the floor. Ice cubes went everywhere and you bolted."

Her father patted her foot. "No one got hurt."

She searched her brother's gaze for any contradiction. "Dad's right. No one got hurt. You shut down right away."

Sylvie shuddered. It had been years, decades really, since she'd withdrawn so deep into a memory. Therapy and a wide variety of coping mechanisms made all the difference.

But the sound of smashing glass never failed to strike her numb with terror.

She traced the ropy scars on Henry's forearm and hands. Her kind, gentle brother was the bravest man she'd ever known. The first time she'd lost herself in the rush of traumatic memories she'd knocked over a candle and set her dress on fire.

Henry had reached into the flames and saved her.

As he'd continued to save her from danger, both real and remembered, ever since.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


A friend called me for animal advice this morning. I have a lot of contacts in health, behaviour and rescue. Over the course of the conversation,  she commented on my ability to find the good in any situation.

That's how I cope. I find the silver linings in clouds. That can be as simple as the unusual shape or colour of the cloud. I'm not immune to the fact that there's a severe thunderstorm raging all around me. Instead, I focus on the safety of our shelter,  the electric charge in the air, the way people gather together to share resources.

I've felt unbearably sad today for no discernable reason. The weather was sunny and warm so I played outside with the dogs. I finished reading a good book out in the fresh air. I drove with the car windows down.

And I helped my friend brainstorm a solution to her animal problem.

At the end of the day, helping someone else is a good way to help yourself.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Real Life has been kicking ass and taking names, leaving me exhausted. The constantly changing weather hasn't helped but every single day at least One Good Thing happens regardless of whether I post it or not.

I'm finally back in the routine of writing.I genuinely like both of my main characters and enjoy getting to know them. As a bonus, I watch a lot of hockey -  for research purposes.  Okay, truth be told, I already watch three or four games a week but now I watch teams and broadcasts other than my team.

Life is good. Lots of changes in this household but they are all improvements. No, the toaster oven wasn't broken. I checked the wrong plug. But the new toaster oven was on sale. It also toasts a lot faster and more efficiently than the old appliance. Our smoke detectors work.

I've got a lot of creative project irons in the fire. They make me happy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Middle Niece won four golds, one silver, one bronze and Most Creative at her gymnastics competition in the morning. Her younger sister was the only one in her group at Cheer to perform a back flip without a spotter.  We went for dinner afterward with these two increase, poised young ladies. It was wonderful to watch them go from performance personal back into two under-ten year old who giggle over food and tell silly jokes with no clear punchline.

Still,  it was interesting to glimpse their futures - Olympics 2024.  We're all saving up for that.