Sunday, 21 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Christmas Blessings

As we commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in a manger in a lowly stable in Bethlehem, I would like to  wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a year filled with many blessings. May you all truly experience the true "Joy to the World" just as did  His Blessed Mother and the shepherds and the Wise men on that day so long ago! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Dream

My Dream

I dream of a world of plenty
I dream of a world of peace
I dream of love unbridled
I dream that wars will cease.

 I dream of a world of caring
For all of God’s creation
Of harmony and freedom
For each and every nation.

I dream of a world of sharing
All good fortunes we receive
I hope and pray that this old world
Will PEACE - someday - achieve.

That “color” will not matter
And religion will not divide
That “right” and “wrong” will triumph
As we all stand side by side!

Friday, 5 December 2014


Managing Stress and Impatience

What I feared did not happen
What I imagined did not come through
What I dreaded did not materialize
All my lists just followed queue.
 I suppose I should be grateful
I know more that I thought I knew
This time my apprehension
Failed to raise a coup!
It stressed me out for nothing
It frazzled me to no end
I could have stayed unruffled
But I failed to comprehend
Life is what we make it
We fear what we don’t know
If we face it with timidity
It’ll defeat us just to show
Fear cripples our capacity
To be the best that we can be
It limits our potential
And zaps our energy.
It makes us question everything
We used to think was right
It makes us fear the future
And makes us run in flight.
We multiply the negatives
The bad things that could go wrong
 We cripple that great spirit
That used to be so strong
We conjure up scenarios
Of catastrophic mayhem 
It cripples our potential
And serves as our REQUIM!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Remembrance Day ---Still

Late Tribute to Our Veterans

This poem is two weeks late, however it is still relevant since November is still with us and our wounds, like our memories, are still open and raw.  Please forgive my  "harping" on a theme that can never grow old. This poem  "wrote" itself in my head the other night and did not let me sleep so I had to just get up and put my pen to paper.

 Another  Tribute to Our Veterans 
No one stops at that graveyard now
No one stops to stare
At those endless rows of  crosses
We're so used to seeing them there.

We gather there just once a year
A tribute for to pay
To thank them for their sacrifice
On each Remembrance Day.

But those crosses keep on reminding us
Of the souls we can't forget
Those strangers who gave up  their lives
For folks they had never met.

Those souls were someone's brother
Those souls were someone's friend
Once they held a baby
Once they held a hand.

But that heart  has now stopped beating
That laugh is forever still
That mind has now stopped dreaming
Of goals they'll  not fulfill.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Dreams Do Come True

Big Day Coming

Our Writing Group, called Blue Pencil Cafe, has published a book called "Out of the Blue".  It is a compilation of the writings from our members and we are having a book launch on  Monday, November 24 from the SAGE  site (15 Churchill Square,  corner of 102A   Avenue and  100 Street) in downtown Edmonton.  There will be readings by our members as well as a chance to meet the authors and see displays (and even purchase if you wish)  some of their other writings.

 Refreshments will be available on site.  Come and meet our writers and perhaps even join our group for the next season.  I am certain you will get (as I did) much inspiration from this  group. Many of us are now "living our dream!" We come from all walks of life but we all share a common dream and this group lets us live it!  Come and join us.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


A Final Tribute

T'was a day to remember
That his mother could not forget
A day that’s still so painful
That haunts her nightmares yet.

An agonizing, poignant sacrifice
Was demanded of her that day
When her only son was taken
To fight a war so far away.

He was just such a young lad
So innocent, naive
But he died before he had a chance
His grand dreams to achieve

Now strangers tend his gravesite
With grateful hearts overflowing
For a life that he gave up for them
Thus peace on them bestowing.

But his mother and his family
Still mourn his untimely passing
As they stand there on Remembrance Day
His final tributes now amassing! 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

New Horizons


I have been reading  a new blog   Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life recently and although I I have not been able to get all the way through it yet because of overriding previous engagements, I have found much inspiration and insight there that has been helpful to me in my own life.  I guess we all struggle with some kind of problems, whether they be insecurities or 'writing blocks' or what ever else it is that creates those stumbling blocks that make us question ourselves and keep us from  performing at our optimum level. Or perhaps it its just me. Brenda seems to have all her ducks in a row, while I am still trying to round mine up.  (Sometimes those ducks just don't herd well.) Many of my questions are still unanswered.

Is it our age that makes us question ourselves, or it it our bad experiences from the past? Because I honestly cannot say that I have taken such 'beatings'  in the past, but I have to admit that I miss that self-confidence that once came so naturally to me.  I find myself questioning many decisions that would never have worried me in the past.

Perhaps I should just finish reading the rest of Brenda's blog.  Maybe I will find the answers there.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Autumn Splendor

Autumn Splendor

Autumn’s flamboyant landscape beckons to me
With brilliant golds, rusty reds, bold burgundies
Stately oaks, aspen, birch and cherry
Flaunt their splendor with sheer abandon.

Those branches, once were a verdant green
Now display their new attire with bravado.
 Like outstretched arms, they reach out
Lacing their leafy fingers high above
As though embracing one final time
And form this lovely tunnel for my passage.

Not to be outdone,
Even stately Lombardy poplars join in the fun.
Like slim golden sentinels they stand
Overlooking this gaiety and pomposity
And boldly join this carnival of exuberance.
As they sway in the gentle breeze.

With one final display of boastful daring
The trees obscure the sun’s fading rays
With their own supreme display of glory!
Before shedding this magnificent garb
To don the barren nakedness of winter grey
And sink into a long and peaceful slumber.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Giftware and More

A Literary Festival

Getting ready for Words in the Park in just over a week, at Sherwood Park on October 25th. Please take note of this "Fall Feast of Words" at the Strathcona County Library, which will include a great selection of literary events. There will be a variety of books from various authors, plus many other items  suitable for yourself or as Christmas presents for friends and family.  It should be a great social and noteworthy experience for presenters and consumers alike .  If you require more info, check out the website:

Hope to see you all there! 

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Thanksgiving  Ode       

For friends who’re there that really care
Who’re always willing their love to share
Who’re tender, thoughtful, good and kind,
The kind of friends that’re hard to find.
With judgement sound they hang around
And fill my life with peace profound
I am so very thankful!

For the the splendor of our nation
My heart is bursting with adulation
O'er all the grandeur  and munificence    
Of God’s creation, its magnificence.
He entrusted us with our free will
To see the greatness of His skill
How can I not be thankful!

For our good health and rich full life
For protecting us from conflicts, strife
For His all His blessings, His benevolence
That keep enfolding with such prevalence
For all the joys and carefree living
For all our wrongs  God is forgiving
I bow in humble praise, thanksgiving!
Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Golden Leaves of Autumn

Golden Leaves of Autumn 

Like the golden leaves of autumn
So our years of youth fly  past
Leaving naught but poignant memories
Of good times we wished would last.

Like the golden leaves of autumn
We lose the resolve to hang on
Forsaking all life's daily struggles
Youth delivered on the run.

Like the golden leaves of autumn
Now we languish, reminisce
On those years when life was pleasing
On those years of youthful bliss.

Like the golden leaves of autumn
We're still wishing to explore
The summer of our youth now fading
To face those glory days once more.

Like the golden  leaves of autumn
We must let go of that hold
Sailing on to eternal slumber
Accepting that we're growing old!

Monday, 22 September 2014

My News

My Newest Book

I just received the shipment of my newest book called Mushrooms, Mini-cars and Welsh Mead.  This new book is a compilation of memories of experiences from my life and is a follow-up to my other two memoir books,  Roots - A Life in Review  and Small Beginnings.  It is the final one of this series.


I am now working on  a sequel to my fiction novel called The Secret in Her Heart,  and, if I can, I hope to someday publish another collection of poetry.  Wish me luck folks! I will need it.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Peace One Day 2014

Peace One Day

I just realized that today is  designated as "Peace One Day 2014".   How wonderful it would be if for just one day - today - we could have total peace in the world?!!!!
Here are the words I heard sung over the internet.  What a wonderful idea!!!!!
I just could not resist adding this post today.

If I could write a magic song
That everyone could sing
I'd write of love and hope and joy
And things that peace could bring
And when we sang that magic song
All hate and war would cease
One song could bring a miracle
And fill the world with peace!
One song for all of us.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Journey of life

Journey of Life

I woke this morning thankful
For the time that I was given
To enjoy this wonderful new day
Cause my life is so worth livin’!

I cherish every moment
Every miracle of each day
Not wishing to waste its merits
Like some worthless castaway.  

We humans are so lucky
We can look ahead and back
We can study every blunder
Then improve on traits we lack.

We can learn important lessons
From each mistake we make
We can even change direction
With each task we undertake.

Our lives are but our tour maps
Of experiences that we bore
Those events that made us who we are
And they tally up our score.

We can make that score look good or bad
By how we respond to strife
We can make them just our stepping stones
On this journey we call life!!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Age Spots

That’s Not Age Spots

They’re trying to sell me potions
To hide my age spots and my wrinkles
That are part of that living process
Each passing day now sprinkles.

I really do not think it’s bad
To display that confirmation
That I’ve been here for quite some time
That demands corroboration!

My wrinkles are the road map
Of the twists and turns I’ve made
My dark spots are the price tags
Of the penalties I paid.

So I cherish every blemish
Every wrinkle, every pore
And I’m hoping to keep getting  
More – and more – and more!

Cause stopping now means ceasing
To reap benefits that I’ve earned
To enjoy this life of leisure
So long for this I’ve yearned.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Robins' Farewell

Back Again
A few days ago I happened to get a very special treat from Mother Nature.  I was at my daughter's place, sitting outside and enjoying what I now realize was probably summer's last hurrah,  because it was the day before the snow.  Not that we got what Calgary got, though it seemed that different regions got different amounts.  Downtown Edmonton, where my apartment is, the lawns stayed green. The snow melted as it hit the ground but at my daughter's place in the north end of the city the snow covered the ground for a shot while to make the lawn white.  Still, it was too early for snow!!! Anywhere!!!

Anyway, as I sat there, I got the thrill of my life when a flock of about fifteen to twenty robins  arrived in the yard.  They landed in the apricot tree just over the bird bath and took turns taking a bath!!! It was as if they came especially for that specific purpose --- to wash up before their trip south!  I have never seen robins flocking together in large numbers like that, though I used to have many of them come in for a bath at my birdbath when I lived in Manitoba.  This was an unusual treat for me to see them come in like this, as if they just came to bid me farewell.  The next day, we got that early snow!

Were they trying to tell me something????

Friday, 5 September 2014

A Precious Gift


I went to a drugstore with a special request today but they told me they could not fill my order. They advertise that they carry everything so that is false advertising, is it not??? I only asked for one single dose of "youth" and they turned me down.  I was extremely disappointed.

 As a Ukrainian kid growing up, I used to listen to a very melodic and beautiful Ukrainian song about a woman that was  going to go on a trip in search of her youthful healthy years.  I can still hear the melody but do not recall all the words. It was sung by a woman who was going to ask  her youthful years to at least "visit her for awhile as a guest"  The next verse is the reply  from her youthful years who tell her they can never come back because she had not cherished either her youth or her good health when she had them, therefore there was "nothing" to come back to now.

Sometimes it seems to me that song is relevant to some of today's youth who waste their youthful good  health on drugs , alcohol, smokes and and other destructive lifestyles.  Too late, they find that there is no turning back after the damage is done.  Just simple ageing is enough of a downgrade for any "body". And that is even without any prior abuse or addition of destructive practices.

Cherish your youth and your health! They are precious! Just ask any senior.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Just Excuses


Sorry, I have been rather distracted lately and have not been as regular with my blog postings. I am working on getting another book published and it is in the final stages of editing so I am eating, sleeping, living with that book constantly.  I cannot seem to get my mind on much else these days and that is beyond silly.  Guess they call this the "one track mind syndrome" and I have it bad.  It is not as if the book is in "stall motion"! It is just me and I know that!

I do have other very interesting projects on the go. I am just too lazy to get going on them. I know the book is just a poor excuse so shame on me!!!!   You cannot beat time. You have capitalize on every moment you have and make the most of it.    I am just stalling and I have is no decent excuse for  it. Nobody can move my projects for me except me! So bear with me while as I stop making up excuses and get on with living again.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

In Memory Robin Williams

When Depression Wins

He made us laugh all through his life
It was his glowing passion
Yet behind that silly grin there lurked
That demon of depression.

That depression got the upper hand
And he lost all will to fight
All his problems overwhelmed him
When the darkness shut out light.

With age and fate against him
And gloom would not dispel
When the torrents of bleak anguish
Did forever rise and swell.

He tried to hide his feelings
His  problems and his  pain
But gloom and desperation
Had established their domain

He sought relief where ever
Illusive though it be
For just a glimpse of childlike peace
To end the misery.

But it’s really  not that easy
To camouflage the truth
No matter how hard we try
We can’t recapture youth.

Rest in peace Robin and keep smiling into forever!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Red Sun Phenomenon

A Red Sun in the Heavens

I’ve often watched a sunset
And marvelled at the view
Of clouds of pink and purple
And colors of every hue!

But what I saw last evening
Was a sun that was red! Instead!
I’ve never seen a sun like that
Hang suspended overhead.

Some said it was humidity
Some said it was just heat
Some said it was all that smoke
But I just thought it neat!

For I was watching a red balloon
Hung out there in the sky
An ornament for us to view
Our heavens to beautify.

Amid all our strife and conflicts
We need to sense delight
To know that life’s worth living
And our world can still be bright.

So that red sun last evening
Was a sign from God above
That even when we misbehave
He won’t withhold His love!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Prairie Floods

Flooding Prairies

Those twinkling stars of heaven
That wink and blink and tease
These days just hide in darkness
Determined to displease.

They peer from behind the shadows
Of clouds that make them dimmer
They peek and sneak in secret
With just a scanty glimmer

The clouds just weep in torrents
With tears that will not stop
Raising surging waters
And flooding every crop.

Those raindrops they all gather
In fields and streams and lakes
They have done so  much damage
All earth below them quakes.

They’re flooding every highway
And all valleys in between
In relentless surging rushes
Overflowing each ravine.

How do we save our homes and crops
And end this devastation
If all this rain does not stop soon
We may be asking for flotation

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Paying it Forward


With the weather kind to us, and the sun smiling down on us, and it is indeed difficult to feel anything but grateful for all our blessings.

I watch the news and see people are flooding on the Canadian prairies, burning in the far north and and in the American south, fighting typhoons out in the Philippines and living through horrific wars and strife in other parts of the world.

Here in our peaceful area, I hear our people complaining about oppressing heat! Granted I do not enjoy the 30 above heat either. But I am one of the fortunate ones. I do not have to actually go out and work in this heat.  If I did, I would be complaining too, but luckily, I can hole up in an air-conditioned building and wait it out. So my complaints could easily be classified as "juvenile whining".

Not so for the  problems of the millions of the really unfortunate people who are facing "real" problems. They cannot escape their hardships no matter what they do !!! My heart goes out to them, but that is of no consolation to them! We can only watch their suffering on a TV screen and empathize and sympathize and wish that somehow the world would right itself (but it doesn't!)

So to those of us who can, let's snatch the moment and make something good out of it --- for ourselves, for others out there.  Let's plant our piece of good where we find ground for it. If that stifles one senseless complaint and puts a smile on even one face, then we we have done "our part"!
In this world, that is all we can do. But it is better than contributing to the depression with complaints about things that are of little importance!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Search For Peace

Desperate Search For Peace

Searching for truth in a sea of doubting
Amid the frothy waves of life’s unending trials
I battle fear to maintain confidence
But simple buoyancy evades me still.
Desperately I flounder 
As I sink ever deeper beneath the brine.

The shore of wisdom slips ever further
From sight – and panic now grips the mind
All signs have vanished that had meaning
Survival struggles have lost appeal
It’s just “defeat” that now seems real!

Should I really forego the combat
To maintain serenity, faith and pride?
Is it really worth all this turmoil
This endless strain that just won’t yield?
Would it not be so much simpler
To accept the inevitable and make that the “truth”?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

One More Yesterday

Just One More Yesterday

A head too full of “good times”
A mind too full of thought
A heart too full of memories
Of battles so hard fought.

A life so scarred and battered
With pain and sorrow borne
She spends her time remembering
As she sits there so forlorn.

She has nine children living
In this town (not far away)
But they never come to see her
They’re “too busy” they all say.

Still those times were well worth living
So filled with gratification
When her children all adored her
And showed appreciation

Now she’s lonely and forgotten
And she struggles all alone
To overcome depression
‘Bout the “good life” she’s outgrown.

New friends come try to cheer her
(All old friends have passed away)
So she sits with her heart broken
Wishing for “just one more yesterday”.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Magpie's Lament

A Magpie’s Lament

Somehow I got short-changed
Somehow I was maltreated
When music was distributed
I feel that I was cheated.

The chickadee is just a little bird
Its coat is drab and grey
But it sings a lilting cheery song
As it flits about all day.

The robin only knows one song
But it's music to the ears
It’s a harbinger of happy times
Each time that spring appears

The bluebird has a neat blue coat
And a song that all admire
It sends the hearts of all who hear
To heights their souls aspire.

The whippoorwill just sings at night
Still it fails to aggravate
The folks don’t seem to mind at all
Cause its call they so appreciate

Even crows do not irritate
The folks the way I do
And jays don’t really sing, I know
And pigeons only coo.

But I’m dressed for the party
And I’m sure I sound conceited
But my tuxedo coat does not impress
Cause my squawk  has me defeated! 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014



I'm really not a procrastinator, but I have to confess that I am somewhat scatterbrained. (And those squawking magpies outside my window certainly don't help my concentration process at all either!)
But excuses don't cut it, so I better just bite the bullet and put the blame where it belongs - right here at my own feet.  I  have too many projects on the go and cannot do any of them any justice until I prioritize them properly. It all boils down to "put your money where your  mouth is!"

Yes, I write!  But what am I writing???  Well, I finished a novel lately but it is in first draft stage and still requires alot of revision. That is one project. Next project: A friend finished his book and I struggled through it (I can read  normal print for very short periods of time and it was not a big book).  It was a collection of short stories and it triggered  many memories for me.  I enjoyed those stories and was so inspired by the book that I started jotting down some of my own somewhat self-buried adventures - actually some rather self-deprecating confessions, I must admit. (Well I never did claim to be "smart")!

I have also started another novel, a sequel to my already published "Secret In Her Heart". That is project #3. And now that I have my MP3 player working, I would like to listen to some more audio books.

Who said retirement is boring??? I have not learned the meaning of that word! Will I live long enough to complete all the things I'd like to do?  I can only hope!!!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Family Problems For Birds

Even Birds Have Family Problems

This spring a pair of magpies set up their home in a tree in our back yard.  Having been part of this kind of scenario in the past, I was expecting a raucous summer once those eggs hatched, but even I did not expect the piercing mayhem that has been inundating our eardrums for the past three or four weeks - at at all hours of the day and much of the nights as well.  Obviously even magpies have problems with their kids  -  well into their teens and beyond - according to the "bird time frame" that this piercing squawking has has been going on for - like - forever!.

Those young magpies have to have entered their "teens and beyond" by now but they must be worst "problem children" of the  bird kingdom because, surely by now, they should have grown up so that their parents can relax in peace! This has obviously not happened and those young magpies  are like some people's families.  These "bird kids" just refuse to "fly the coop"! Their poor, haggard, parents are still trying to teach them how to fend for themselves and they are apparently failing miserably at that task. It sounds to me  like  those young magpies will never, ever, grow up and will forever be depending on their parents to supply them with all the basic needs of life!

I think this family of magpies is the perfect example of  the "true dysfunctional family" of the  bird world!!!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Anxious Aging

Anxious Aging

She leans heavily on her walker
As she shuffles slowly down the hall
Uttering moans so barely audible
Moving toward an end as yet unclear.

 Searching for peace in a sea of doubting
Amid obscure objectives and dim reflections
Of days so quickly fading from her mind
And she wanders, fearful, anxious
For that certainty she can no longer find.

Youth and vitality have vanished forever.
They slipped right out from her last firm grip
Now from beyond they taunt and tease her
With tormenting visions of yesteryears
When confidence was but a simple concept
 And life was such a breeze to live.

Passing time brings fading images
Of a life that can no longer be
And she ponders this new prospect
Of  “Old Memories” as her destiny.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Vacation Time

I'm Back

I'm  back from a a wonderful  little mini holiday spent  in the tranquility of the beautiful little town of Canmore, Alberta, where Rockies tantalise you with with magnificent vistas of majestic peaks that reach up into the heavens and beautiful clear waters of the rivers and lakes below.  We spent the days sightseeing and enjoying the fresh mountain air and the beautiful scenery and I could not get enough pictures to capture the attraction of the area.  It is really gorgeous country out there and seems to have all the amenities of  a city with the atmosphere of  wilderness beauty and serenity.  Just a couple of hours outside of the bustling city of Calgary, it is the perfect escape into peace and perfect calm. What a wonderful world we live in!!!!

Sunday, 8 June 2014


Blessings Around Us

I find myself meandering
My heart  heart so full, replete 
As I marvel at the blessings
That God has laid here at my feet.

I leave behind the tribulations
Of  days so filled with care
That trip and trouble daily life
There is no reason to keep them there

I stop, inhale the peace of nature,
It sends my heart to throes of bliss 
I feel the cool of still blue waters, 
Where true presence of God exists.

I hear the hiss of breezes sighing 
They fill my soul with serenity
I sense the aura of nature's splendor
Etch indelibly into memory

I bid farewell to strife and worry
Of days and nights so fraught with fear
There is no reason to be worried
When all God's  blessings are so near !

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Technology IS okay!!!

Awe! Success!!!

For those of you who thought I was a lost cause, this is my note of jubilation!  (I may rant and rave and complain alot, but I never give up on a challenge!)
I did get my MP3  player going and I have been enjoying my audio books as I do dishes, and bake my muffins and go for my walk along the river valley promenade.  I love it!  Technology is okay for those who are young at heart --- and those that are too stubborn to give up!  Us old folks may be slow but backing down is harder to do at our age!    

Monday, 26 May 2014

Summer's Revenge

Rehabilitating That Incapacitating Drag

For months I have been deliberating
Cause winter was so aggravating
Its dismal gloom was so exasperating
That warm sunshine I’d been anticipating
Was just nowhere to be found.

Then suddenly temps were graduating
Sun’s rays their heat disseminating
That sunlight was so liberating
That excuses for procrastinating
Had lost their bitter edge.

So the garden needed cultivating
For veggies that we were propagating
But dandelions were proliferating
They actually demanded eradicating
We really did not want them there.

On horticulture we’d been educating
As exotic plants we kept incorporating
Joy and labor we were integrating
Cause Eden’s garden we are recreating
Right in our own back yard.

We sat there planning, contemplating
Those plots that we are allocating
For seeds that we had germinating
In peat flower pots originating
To give them a good start.

Good weather we’re appreciating
The warm days are so invigorating
We find them so intoxicating
All old grievances we’re repudiating
With sighs of sheer delight.

So we sit there prognosticating
Cause we find it so exhilarating
New ideas we’ll be coordinating
Make us really feel like celebrating
Cause it truly is so validating
And we’ve earned this sweet revenge!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Technology Woes


Instructions are redundant
If the print is way too small
For I cannot see the letters
I can’t read them at all. 

I don’t understand this gadget
I don’t know how it works
Oh for youthful savvy
 I could really use those perks!

I struggle and I try so hard
I really work to train
But knowledge of these gadgets
I just cannot obtain

So I bug and pester and implore
My kids until they’re blue
They’re convinced that Mom’s a nuisance
With no patience and no clue.

This technology’s moving way too fast
For this brain to comprehend
 For no sooner as I think I got it,
New technology they expend.

Life used to be so simple
When we simply met and talked
There was no frustration
And our brainpower never balked!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Downside of Modern Technology

The Downside of Power

In addition to my frustration with this new technology, I have a bone to pick with companies (Philips, at the moment), who seem to assume that instructions for the operation of their gadgets are unnecessary (redundant?) perhaps.  Seems to me I used to hear the term "user friendly" once upon a time.  I guess the company has now become so big and powerful, that they no longer care about "customer satisfaction".

Because I am visually impaired (not blind)! I cannot read books, (a very important passion of mine.) I  do, however, have one alternative.  I can still access the literary field through audio books which I truly appreciate and thoroughly enjoy. I have downloaded audio books to my computer and listened to them that way but that harnesses me to my computer, and even my laptop  cannot go everywhere  I want to go.  I have also used audio cassettes with my Walkman and those help, but some cassettes are so old that they skip or distort sound, making listening to the book extremely frustrating. A further disadvantage is that cassettes have to be physically picked up and returned to the library (26 blocks away).

Somebody suggested an MP3 player.  I bought one.  But the instruction sheet on it has printing the size of the little toe on my flea's left foot.  If they made that writing any smaller it would totally disappear into the paper!

With an ageing population, Philips could have a lucrative business catering to seniors if they were just a little more savvy with the basics of supply and demand.  Some of us still require instruction sheets    ---  readable ones!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Searching For The Sun

Sunshine Blues

I hate being indoors these days. I've had more than my share of it this winter (it's like that every winter and spring)! I just wish I had a balcony so I can get outdoors into the sunlight without all that terrible MOVING! - special table, chair, umbrella, extension cords, laptop, keyboard, mouse, etc. etc. (I can't stand the laptop keyboard or mousepad, so I bought an external keyboard and mouse). So anyway, I get out there on that public balcony, and I get myself all set up to work. Then either the weather changes or someone comes to visit and I've done all that work to get organized and I accomplish beans! Still I don't want to be imprisoned indoors forever and I will not give up writing. That computer is my lifeline! Guess I just have no hope of winning this battle!

I really do love my apartment but I would so love to have a private, easily accessible, balcony right outside. Unfortunately, few, if any, "Seniors" apartments have balconies. Seems like us old folks are prone to depression and balconies present too easy an access to ending it all, OR, perhaps seniors just forget how to stay safely away from danger. Perhaps the really expensive ones might offer me that option, but my millions have not been printed yet. So I struggle along with the big move each time, and I fail more often than I succeed.

Owning my own home with that wonderful deck was wonderful, but maintaining the place was a killer - much worse than this inconvenient move up to the twelfth floor balcony! 

Them's the breaks, lady! Suck it up!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Armchair Cruising

Getting the most out of your Holiday Buck

Over the years (and there have been many)  I have been fortunate to have tried several ways to enjoy  my "off-time" - travelling, camping, fishing visiting friends/family,  etc. etc. etc... Spring, especially, brings out the wanderlust in me.

Many of my former pursuits are somewhat impractical, improbable, or impossible for me now.  At best, I can still go for some very inadequate facsimiles of each of those most gratifying pastimes, but alas, few can replicate the pleasures that those activities once provided.

I am fortunate, however, to have detailed records of many of the highlights of those most memorable events of those carefree, happy days.  I am now so glad I took the time to record all those very minute details because it is so easy to relive them now.

Luckily, I did quite abit of travelling (one of my foremost passions) in my time, but since I was never rich, I had to stretch every dollar to make it reach the farthest. I loved touring because I got to see much of the world, but it was the cruising that gave me the most value (and comfort) for my money. Each cruise included some sightseeing on land, but it also included  great concerts and entertainment, plus meals and accommodations, (complete with laundry and housekeeping service), and I did not have to pack and unpack my luggage to see a completely different place the next  day!

To me, cruising was worth every  penny! You could be as active or as inactive as you chose to be.  (I liked the "active" part those days!)

BTW my favorite cruise was  on the Sun Viking through the Norwegian Fiords.   What a spectacular cruise that was!!!!!!! With lots of tours on land plus all that scrumptious Norwegian fooood!!!!!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Winter's Demise

Life After Winter

I have been enjoying the demise  of winter lately and to take advantage of it I have forgone the comfortable temperatures of my apartment and gone out walking - down city streets - of course. I guess the city's cement sidewalks are not the most comfortable surfaces to walk on, but for some reason, people get irritated if I walk on their lawns. (There are the city parks , of course, but people look at me funny when I walk in circles.)

Last Monday, it was so nice and warm that I walked for miles and I enjoyed it (till the last few blocks) because the blisters on the soles of my feet hurt so much. Still, I was determined to enjoy that warm weather so I refused to hop a bus and instead, I limped my way home.With all that walking I should have lost at least twenty pounds but all I lost was an earring and that did not even weigh an ounce!  As the pounds, I brought them all back - down to the very last one!

Nonetheless, I am going to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy that sunshine! Heaven knows I have waited long enough for it. So I have earned it!!! For now, I  simply drained my blisters, applied antiseptic to the area and put on bandages where required and I'm back on the sidewalks again.

Mind you, I got pretty cold yesterday and today as the the wind has not yet been informed that winter is done.  Somebody send a memo. Pleeeease!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Spring Hurrah

Spring’s Hurrah

Winter’s over, the snow has gone
My heart is singing, the battle’s won
I meander down the city street
Till I get blisters on my feet.
But I care little about the pain
I’m just so happy to be out again.
Nature’s finally turned the tide
And opened up the countryside.
Life again is full of bliss
As summers breezes softly kiss
My cheeks still pale from winter’s gloom
But now so eager for summer’s bloom.
So I keep walking, though my feet complain
This new-found freedom is worth the pain.
More “cabin  fever” I can’t abide
Those winter doldrums I just can’t hide
I’m ready now for the soft caress
Of summer’s breezes to assess
And catch the zeal of the sun’s bright rays
To counter that “captive” malaise
So burning blisters won’t keep me home
Cause I’m determined now to roam
And if by chance I have to shed
Some skin that blistered till it bled
T’is but a little price to pay
For the recompense of a lovely day!