Monday, May 31, 2010


For those of you who have known me since I was a delightful child (yes delightful I said!), I have had an affinity for pickles, and as I have gotten older, this affinity has turned into an obsession and passion in finding the perfect pickle.

Over my life I have been accused of hiding pickles, drinking pickle juice, eating part of the pickle and putting the “bum” back in the jar, and even eating the last pickle and leaving the jar in the fridge.  But I am here to set the record straight.  Yes I am obsessed.  No, contrary to popular belief, I do not drink pickle juice (although I may have had a shot or two of it when I was child).  No, I never stole that jar of pickles at my childhood friend’s home and hid it somewhere (come on, even I have some decorum people!).  No, I don’t leave the bums in the jars (good lord, I like the entire part of the pickle).

While yes, I will admit that it is true that I like to put mayonnaise on my pickles, cuts the acidic content and provides a very creamy pickle flavour. And Yes, I have pickles in my potato salad, egg salad and tuna salad.  And yes I like a good crunchy pickle on my plate with dinner almost every night. And  I can confirm, I have been known to cut up pickles and sprinkle them on my chicken.  Bizarre? Well of course!  But most obsessions are.
A perfect pickle to me, is like a great glass of wine to someone else, and while most people realize that pickles come in many flavours, sizes and brands, I’m here to tell you that not all pickles are made equal.  In fact, I have become quite the pickle connoisseur.  I have tasted and tried practically every brand of pickles imaginable, from the local store shelf, to your rare speciality brands, to the grandmother down the street sporting her bread n’ butter version at the community craft fair.  Yes my friends, I have tried and done them all!  I even love the word pickle.  Say it with me “pickle”.  Pickle, pickle, pickle!!! Isn’t that a great sounding word?

However, there are times that I feel much like Goldilocks:  This pickle is too small, this pickle is too big (yes while some things are much better bigger, I can attest that a pickle too large is not one of those items), this pickle is too tart, this pickle is too soft, this pickle is too sweet, where’s the pickle that is just right?

It’s taken me years to find the perfect tasting pickle and I am happy to report that I have finally found it.  A delightful (there’s that word again), crunching, exhilarating to the senses, absofreakinlutely perfect brand of non-local Gherkins.  Ahhhhhhh, just the sheer thought of a good, crunchy gherkin puts an ear to ear smile upon my face.  Oh the complete joy of it all.  My better half calls them the “crack” version of pickles, and I tend to agree! Of course, I have spent a lot of time scouring the local farmer market’s store to get it as you can’t buy it in your grocery store, but it is so worth the drive my friends.  Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to locate them as it seems others have stumbled upon this quest for the worthy pickle.  And once I have that jar in my greasy little hands, I can confirm that I can deplete it three days!

The other day however, I wondered if my obsession had gone too far.  I had sat down on a Friday night and scarfed 5 pickles down in one sitting.  I couldn’t stop, they were so good.  It didn’t seem to matter that the juice was pouring down my chin or that I swear I could hear the pickles screaming “oh my gawd, here she comes again, duck for cover... oh gawd, she got Edgar..  Rest in Peace Edgar, oh gawd she just downed baby Huey, will this madness never end!!”  Nope, I just sat there greedily sucking them back like I had never had one before!

You will be happy to know that the pickles got there revenge as I woke up on Saturday with a pickle sized canker on the side of my tongue.  Unfortunately, I was born with a cow-sized tongue in my mouth, the kind that I could stick out and send you flying with one good lick!  And therefore, this canker was housed on the side of my rather large tongue where my teeth rest and I spent the next two days in agony and slathering on copious amounts of Oragel to numb the pain.  I suppose that this should teach me a lesson, but I fear it hasn’t!

However, I do hope the pickles have appreciated their two days of respite because I am happy to report that my tongue is satisfactorily healed and I have a feeling that tonight, I will exact my revenge back...!  Mwaaaa haaaa haaaa....

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Today was a day of discoveries, better described as hanging out in my home town of my childhood.  I have spent years viewing my town thru the eyes of a perpetual twelve year old, and never quite being able to conceive that there might be beauty beyond those of the memories of an adolescent. So I decided to challenge myself today by wandering the streets of my youth and finding things that maybe the person I was in the past would miss, but that the person in the present may find and appreciate. These are the small joys of being an adult.  Realizing that time is fleeting and that sometimes you must stop and really, deeply inhale the scent of the roses.  And although I think it is safe to say that at this point in my life, I would never move back, I will concede to that saying "never say never".  

I hope that your weekend is filled with simple joys.
As for me, I was pleasantly surprised!

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I suppose I should start by first apologizing for this blog entry, in case it offends anyone.  And let me make it abundantly clear that I adore the elderly.  In fact, if the stars a line accordingly, I hope to make it to that distinguished status myself one day.

However, the other day I got to pondering away in my never ending chaotic mess of what I term loosely as my brain, regarding the elderly.  I suppose that since my grandmother is turning the ripe old age of 95 years old a week from today, that certain thoughts started to flutter.

I was reminiscing about my other grandmother, who had passed away when I was in my 20's.  She was 78 at the time and had a faulty heart valve.  In essence, the warranty had run out on this amazing device that kept her alive for a large part of her life.  We had a small family inturnment followed by a tea at her retirement complex.  I remember walking into the tea feeling that slight numbness that usually follows after you have just lost someone you loved, but walked out of the tea in complete amusement followed by utter disbelief.  We had just witnessed what I would call nothing short of a full out piranha eating frenzy.  The hall was filled to the brim with a sea of “blue hairs” who had donned on their feed bags and were gorging their selves silly as if it were their last meal.  In fact, we the family, who were mourning my grandmother’s loss, were lucky if we were able to obtain a drop of tea that day.

I would like to think that this was an isolated incident but a few years later, myself and three of my friends had decided to take a long weekend and stay at this lodge on the ocean.  The owner had neglected to advise us that the lodge was also being inhabited by a rather large geriatric card playing Bridge Group. 

The lodge itself was spectacular, and the other inhabitants were deeply and quietly engrossed in their game, and we were free to wander throughout the grounds soaking in the beauty of nature and listening to the lapping of the ocean waves without a peep from another human being. That was until we were subjected to the cattle call being rung, three times daily for meals, at which time the stampede of blue hairs was something to behold.  They appeared out of nowhere from every crook and cranny possible.  Literally, little old ladies who could barely walk one minute earlier were throwing their walkers and canes to the side and sprinting at a pace that would have even impressed Carl Lewis in order to get to that food first.  I actually had one lady take her cane and Tonya Harding my Nancy Kerrigan knees just in order to get one person in front of me.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, let me tell you, you have never seen anything until you have seen some senior citizen at an all you can eat buffet.  The food on their plates were piled as far as the eye could see!  They didn’t care what they put on their plate, just as long as that plate was a foot or more high!  Whether it was meat, salads, pasta, condiments or desserts, if you can name it, it was there teetering precariously on their already over flowed dish.  And if you think it can’t get any worse, I am here to tell you it did.  Crooked fingers were thrust into my face followed by shrill voices that said “move it girly”.  Elbows were thrust into my stomach followed by expressions such as “get it before those young’uns do” and “hurry hurry Esther, those girls are coming, get it now!”  Seemingly sweet looking grandmothers were purposely sticking their canes out in order to trip us on the way to the dessert table.  I spent most of those meals covering my head in order to avoid being beaten by one of the many granny Wal-Mart nylon encrusted white purses that you see everyone over the age of 80 carrying!  Suffice to say that I lost a total of 8 pounds that weekend from the complete lack of food, and I do not exaggerate when I say that I ate so little that a small mouse would have dropped dead from sheer starvation.  Needless to say, I eventually got in my car and drove the 30 km to the nearest convenience food store in order to purchase some severely overly processed sustenance just to sustain my energy from the next elderly onslaught!

I learned a lot that weekend.  I learned that should some serious disaster hit the earth, it would not be survival of the fittest.  It would be survival of the blue hair.  I learned that canes not only assist in facilitating balance for walking but also can be used as lethal weapons.  I learned that you should always take a wide girth around a scrawny but rather fast-moving, sharp, elderly elbow. But mostly, I learned that under every blue hair, wrinkled face, sparkly eyed grandmother lies a most incredibly worthy opponent.

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches

Monday, May 24, 2010


I wish I was a professional photographer as I so enjoy taking photos but I do the best I can with my little Cannon Powershot.

I was on a mission today, to find things that were interesting.  Surprisingly, it was not that difficult and this is how my day of photography went!

Here's hoping that your week is Spectacular.
Thank you for taking the time to view my blog and my photos.

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches

Saturday, May 22, 2010


As you have probably already figured out by now, I am a romantic at heart and I find the most enjoyment out of the little things, such as the local Saturday market in my small town.  It brings me to a place of utter contentment and a feeling of community, something that is often lost in this era of the Big Box Stores.

I love the ability to wander aimlessly from stall to stall and unlike the Big Box Stores, I don't feel the need to beeline into the store, grab my items, fight my way thru the aisles and get out quick.

The market is just a moment of simplicity.  Of course, there are some people that are on a mission whether it be fresh bread or fresh produce or plants for their garden beds, but the majority of the people wandering around have that same unabashed expression of dreamy happiness that is so completely plastered upon my face.

It would be no surprise to find out that I utterly enjoy carrying around my basket which is filled to the brim with homemade bread, fresh produce and fleurs.  If not for a moment, I have this sense of living abroad in a small quaint European town where what I get to experience on a Saturday is nothing more than an every day event for them.

I can almost imagine myself in a flowing spring dress with casual sandals and my long hair fluttering upon the breeze.  In reality, I am sporting my usual black pants, a hoody and comfortable pair of shoes.  The only thing that belies my appearance in my handwoven basket.  And although, it is only a small accessory to what I wish I was really wearing, it does provide me that small pleasure of romanticism.

You may smirk at my dreaminess but without the dreamers, this world would be cold and practical and grey and concrete and you would miss the beauty of the smallest of things, such as the simply lovely bouquet of lilacs which are now proudly sitting upon my bistro table with this wonderful wafting scent that forces me to take large deep breaths in effort to not miss the beauty of their lushes smell.

These moments are a true blessing for me and provide me with a much needed respite from the stresses of my job.  I would certainly recommend to anyone feeling the need to reconnect to the slower pace of life to take the opportunity to wander the smaller stores and markets available within your own community.  You would be amazed at the beauty you would find right outside of your front door.

As for me, I am about to prepare a feast for my better half, consisting of a flower salad, a toasted baguette of fresh basil, tomatoes and raclette cheese along with a roasted red pepper quiche followed by a sour cherry tart.  All of which comes from my purchases at the market.  Bon Appetite my friends.  May this Saturday bring you much pleasure.

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I am suffering from a serious case of strange behaviour, more weird than the usual for me!  I have taken on the delightful task of house sitting for my mother while she is on a shopping trip of a lifetime in New York.  Along with her house, comes her spry and notably stubborn 15 year old pooch.  I love her pooch.  She is, in all accounts, my baby too, BUT, she is giving me a run for my money and we, the pooch and I, seem to have fallen into a huge power struggle. If you were to tally up the score to date, it would look something like this:

        Me -55
        Her +75.

Most of our tug-a-war centers around her bathroom breaks.  She has literally a bladder of iron which is unusual considering that most dogs her age have long since lapsed into a state of incontinence.  Getting her to release her bladder has become nothing short of a rather large thorn in my ass!  I suppose that she is doing this as some form of silent protest on the fact that my mother had the “nerve” to leave her behind.  In the meantime, she is, with complete purpose, driving me nuts!

I am ashamed to say that we have gotten down and dirty with each other.  I have subjected her to the ultimate humiliation of picking her up and plopping her down on the grass, and let me tell you something, she is one dog that does NOT like to be picked up.  She, however, has gotten even with me by just standing on the grass doing absolutely nothing and forcing me into an O.K. Corral stare down situation.  In the end, she is the one still standing there calmly and I am the one jumping up and down screaming “PEE DAMN IT”.

Oh, she is a smart and wiley little thing.  She knows what I am up to and chooses to turn a blind eye.  The other day, I had my better half bring up my pooch and I put him in the yard so that he would mark his territory all over the place.  Secretly, I know that drives my mother’s pooch mad.  You can almost see it in her eyes.  If she could talk she would say to my pooch “knock it off you little bastard, this is my yard!” and then she would proceed to go and pee not once but twice on every spot that my little pooch had just marked.  It didn’t work this time though, she was on to me and she gave me that haughty look that said “whatever” and proceeded to retreat to her comfy bed.

Yesterday, I had thought for sure that I would pull a “coup d’etat” and she would break down and give me the satisfaction I so needed.  I had blocked her way from the grass to the sliding glass door, and there we stood for 45 solid minutes. Finally, in a moment of weakness on my part, I had wavered in my stance, and it was just enough for her to get around me and before you could say “Bob’s Your Uncle”, she was through that door and into her bed with an oh so satisfied, smug look on her face.

Today it dawned on me that I am only at the half way point of this little excursion, and she, my formidable frenemy, has already broken me!  Yes, she is that good.

I am already in the process of donning my boxing gloves as we enter into the 8th round of this battle of the wills.  Who will come out on top tonight?  God only knows.  What I do know for sure, that purse my mother is bringing back for me from New York City better be damn good!

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I am probably one of the most fortunate individuals you will ever meet.  My mother has been my best friend since I was the ripe old age of 4.  I even remember the moment that I knew she was my best friend.  It was a beautiful sunshiny day and the doors and windows were wide open at our house.  My mom was the ripe old age of 29 and she was singing her heart out, like she always did and still does.  She was dusting the house and singing Que Sera Sera in that clear, lyrical voice of hers.  If she wasn't Canadian, I would swear she was Irish because when she sings, her voice always has this beautiful harp like lilt to it.  I remember her bending down and singing the song right to my face, and I dutifully followed her from room to room singing along with her, albeit, sadly out of tune but nonetheless trying as hard as I could to sound as beautiful as her.  She kept looking down and smiling at me and encouraging me to sing with that gawd awful singing voice I was cursed with.  I knew then that only a best friend would tolerate something so horrible!

Thirty-seven years have passed and nothing has changed.  I still sound like a choked crow when I sing and she still tolerates it.  She was my best friend as a child, my best friend as a teenager, my best friend as a young woman and my best friend today.  I have shared every secret with her.  Good, bad, shocking or ugly, she has heard it all and not once served up any form of judgment on me.  I have never felt the need to hold back from her nor have I wanted too.  She listens when I need her to, she offers up advice when I ask her to and she tells me under no certain terms when I am being a complete fool.

We are the goofiest of friends and the best moments of my life, which always included lots and lots of laughter, have always been with her.  Whether we are shopping our faces off, going for long walks, taking photographs of nature together, going to movies, trying out the next crafting fad or just sitting outside in the sunshine, each moment has been memorable and for lack of a better expression:  hanging with her is just plain fun!

Don't get me wrong, my mother is not up on a pedestal.  I know her faults and she knows mine.  But the fact remains that there is a complete ease in our relationship, whether good or bad.  She doesn't feel 24 years older than me, nor do I feel 24 years younger than her, there is real friendship connection, something that neither one of us have ever taken for granted.

Today, she flew out for New York and I already feel this odd sense of loss simply because I won't be able to share every hair brain idea that pops in my head for the duration of her holiday.   I could share it with my better half, but he just rolls his eyes and gives me that odd smile that says he thinks I am nuts.  I have this feeling that it is going to be a long ten days for me without her and it makes me think of friends of mine whom have long since lost their mothers and my heart goes out to each and everyone of them.

I love my mom and everybody should be as lucky as I am.  I hope that whether you are a grandmother, mother, sister, daughter, aunt or niece that you find some solace in that special female connection.  I know that I found it with my mom, and no matter what happens to me, in that part of my life, I am and have always been blessed. 

Happy Mother's Day Sunday to all of you.

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Why is it when you have a problem and you go to explain it to someone that they come back with “My mother’s sister’s son’s friend’s mother has the same problem as you but much more severe than yours!”  When I hear things like that I just want to say “oh brother, give me a break”.  I once had this Acupuncturist tell me that I did not need to justify my problems.  That yes there are people out there with bigger problems than mine, but that my problems were no less important.  I was grateful for that statement although I might have taken it too literally.  As there are times, unfortunately, that I love to hear myself talk and I could really care less if you are listening, just as long as I can whine and whine.  In fact, slice me up some of that delicious smelling cheese to go with my whine, won’t ya?  On those days, you might as well get comfy, uncork me, let me breath and dump the rest of my “whine” down the sink before it becomes vinegar!  

It’s sad but at some point in my life, I had come to feel that we had become a society of incredibly self absorbed individuals.  I no longer took much interest in my friend’s lives and no longer wanted to share my moments with them as well.  I had built this nice safe wall, which by all accounts is still pretty much standing.  I had once been this really nice caring person, and at one time, I would have done just about anything for you, made you anything, drove you anywhere, picked you up anywhere, listened to your problems any time of the day whether you were my best friend or just an acquaintance.  I had at some point become the quintessential door mat.

My ability to really deeply care about people came to a screeching halt after living ten years in my favourite city.  It was just a different atmosphere from growing up in a small town.  The mentality was to take and never give back and after years of giving and not receiving, I had enough.  I no longer believed in the idea of a “best friend” and I had long lost the ability to completely trust.  My interest in everyone was just surface at best.  I really did not want to be too deeply ensconced in anyone’s life except my own and my immediate family’s, but even there, I was happy to draw a line.  But on the flip side, I no longer had any expectations of other individuals taking interest in my life.  I was becoming a hermit and liking it.

So imagine my surprise when I flippantly posted a status line on my facebook about an unfortunate diagnosis that I received, and within an hour, I received many many emails and a few really nice status posts on my facebook.  Friends I knew for a long time and new friends that I barely knew stepped up immediately to the plate.  People I had not seen for years, since high school in fact, sent me emails.  I was stunned.  Actually speechless.  And then the flood gates opened.  And I cried.  And I cried.  In fact, I sobbed so hard, that my heart actually hurt. It was almost like I was the Grinch and the narrator had just said: “And what happened then? Well…in Whoville they say, That the Grinch’s small heart Grew three sizes that day!”  I was so grateful for the words that were said.  They were the perfect version of a cyber hug for which I needed at that exact moment.  And because of that, my “oh brother” went to “oh my gosh”.

Today’s blog is nothing more than a thank you to those of you who listened, to those of you who responded, to those of you who cared enough to make me feel not alone.  To you my friends, to my better half, to my extraordinary mother, to my little pooch who sat on my lap and tried to lick my face clean when I was crying, I just want to say Thank You.  My heart was touched.  

And even though the wall around me is still standing, I have notice that some of the bricks have fallen down to expose this amazingly warm sunlight and for that I am grateful.

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches.

Monday, May 3, 2010


A few years back, I had this horrible car accident where I was hit from behind at about 80km while I was at a full stop.  It left me with this never ending problem of my clavicle and my first two ribs popping out of place.  Compounding upon that problem was that I was born a heavily endowed woman whose enormous chest was complicating the recovery process!  Those damn ancestral Scottish women and their big boobs had passed on their unwanted dowry to me!  No wonder the Highlanders were always smiling. After a day of slaughtering a few British, they'd go home to their women and bury their faces into those all encompassing cleavages!

And talking about cleavage, I had the kind of breasts that if you dropped a potato chip down between them, you would have needed an entire search and rescue team to find it!

Now some women, they enjoy their splendors.  I can't say that I was one of them.  They were food catchers at best, I couldn't see my toes because of them, if I rolled onto my back in the middle of the night, I would have to push them out of my face just to ensure that I didn't suffocate.  I could actually beat my better half senseless with them.  And if I stood up to fast, they would spring up and slap me in the face!  Not too mention that they seemed to lead everywhere before the rest of my body caught up.  If I walked thru the door, most likely my boobs would be the first to greet you and often reach the destination five minutes before I did.  If I walked into something, my boobs often sprung me back like a trampoline!  They were a menace, a hazzard and since they were getting saggy with age, they were becoming a bit of an embarrassment.  I had visions of them hanging on the floor by the time I was 80, or better yet, picking them off the floor and tucking them into the pockets of my pants!  Eventually, they would have become my own personal float devices. 

For most of my 20's and 30's, all my conversations with men were with their face to my boobs. Yup, I could see every dirty thought run through their heads.  In fact I actually had a guy lick his lips while staring at my breasts.

So when the time came, I had absolutely no difficulty whatsoever with the decision to have those puppies leveled down from mountains to mo hills. 

The surgery was a very painful procedure and not one that I would highly recommend to anyone.  It was 8 long weeks of recovery along with many more months of complications.  The funniest part of the surgery was that they handed me a sheet that lists all the emotions and mourning process you go thru after your surgery.  Not me, I only had a moment to spare for my boobs.  And as I was rolling into the OR, my last words  to them were "don't let the door hit you on your way out"!

It's been just over three years since I had my reduction from a Double "D", okay okay more like a Triple D, or even an E, to the joy of a small petite "B" and I can tell you I have not regretted it for one day.  I went from a wheelbarrow full to a perfect handful. My small but proud breasts now point in the right direction, instead of being a divining rod in search of water.

Would I do it again, in a heart beat!  And for all you men out there that think that big boobs are the end all be all, I have one thing to say to you:  good things really do come in small packages and my boobs are living proof!

Until Next Time.
Smooches Pooches