Sunday, June 29, 2008


This song pretty much sums up how I personally think life should be lived... and for the most part, I have taken chances, made mistakes and learned from them, loved with all my heart and been hurt, done things I didn't think I could do... and I would not change anything... because everything I have done, no matter how it has turned out.... has made me the person I am today... and I think I have turned out pretty good.

I’d rather stand on the edge of a cliff
And hang my toes over a bit,
And then jump when they dare me,
Even if it scares me and I get hurt.
I’d rather build my wings on the way down,
Do my best not to fall to the ground
and then laugh at my mistakes
‘cause they're only lessons I’ll learn

I’d rather burn with desire deep in my soul,
And love like a fire that’s out of control,
and laugh and dance and fall and chance and kiss
I’d rather live my whole life
with a sense of abandon,
Squeeze every drop out,
no matter what happens.
And not wonder what I've missed
... I’d rather risk.

I guess I could just play it safe
and forget about love, hope and faith,
with my eye on the shore line,
keeping my boat tied and staying home,

ohhh but I’ll never discover new land
by keeping my feet on the sand
No, I’d rather set sail
and get carried away by the storm.

I’d rather burn with desire deep in my soul,
And love like a fire that’s out of control,
and laugh and dance and fall and chance and kiss
I’d rather live my whole life
with a sense of abandon,
Squeeze every drop out,
no matter what happens.
And not wonder what I've missed
I’d rather risk.

I would rather risk

I’d rather burn with desire deep in my soul,
And love like a fire that’s out of control,
Live my whole life
with a sense of abandon,
Squeeze every drop out
no matter what happens.
And not wonder what I've missed
Oh I just can’t resist,
The chance to risk

Ohhh live, and love and laugh and dance and fall and chance and kiss

I’d rather risk...

Words & Music by Paul Brandt
Current Video: Risk - Paul Brandt

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday, I came home from the barn where I board my horse with a cat. One that I felt compelled to rescue (with the barn owner's full consent... just don't tell her daughters - they figure they have to keep EVERYTHING) because she (the cat, that is) didn't seem to have much in the way of self-preservation instincts.

The barn owner's dogs, two poodle crosses (need I say more?) would pounce on this poor little cat, tugging at her hair, chewing on her head, pulling on her ears..... and the cat would cry but just lie there and get mauled! She's got medium length hair so all this poodle chomping matted her hair something awful. So the barn owner took her in and had her body shaved. Needless to say, she's been having a bad hair 'day' for about three weeks now!

When I was out to see Thunder about a week and a half ago, it was still quite cool out and when I picked the cat up (she's very cuddly), she was shivering. That's when the discussion of me taking her home started. But I couldn't that day as I had to do errands after leaving the barn and also didn't have a kennel with me, so we decided I would get her the next time I was out.

Except that every time I was at the barn, the cat was gone.... off hunting, gallivanting about the countryside with gleeful abandon, I would imagine, heedless of the dangers lurking in the great outdoors. Such as coyotes, eagles, hawks.... all of which have been known to snack on little, poorly coiffed kitties.

I would wander around the place, calling her and making all the kissy noises that cats seem to come running to. I'd look in the barn, in the arena, out back in the paddocks, in the haystack, across the road in the bush. All to no avail. So each time I would leave empty handed.

On Friday, I was at the barn with my girlfriend from Texas, who is up visiting her mum. We hung around and visited with Thunder, went for lunch with my friend, the horse trainer, and then came back to the barn to find that cat. Again.... no luck. So I asked my trainer friend to call me the next time she was at the barn (she just works there) and she saw the cat. My Texas friend and I jumped in the truck and drove off.

About 6 miles down the road, my cellphone rang - the cat came back (isn't that a song?.....) so I turned around to go pick her up. I wasn't taking any chances on her disappearing again and possibly getting hurt before I could take her home.

She may be a little thing, but MAN can she holler! What a huge voice in that little 7.5 lb body! She didn't shut up the whole drive home. But you couldn't blame her..... she'd been stuffed unceremoniously into a cage and plopped onto the back seat of a vehicle, which then sped her away from everything she knew.

I have named her Pips, which is short for Pipsqueak, because she is the smallest cat I have ever had! My old guy, BB, weighs 9.9 lbs (officially as of yesterday, because he went to the vet's for his annual checkup and shots) and up until now, he was the second smallest cat that had lived with me. The previous record holder had been a mere 8 lbs.

Pips is extremely friendly and loves to rub her face all over you, get scratches all over, be rubbed and hugged and generally loved up lots. She purrs like an outboard motor and chirps and meows when spoken to. She's not at all perturbed about Zoe and the first evening was sleeping on the loveseat with the dog.

There's no love lost between the two black and whites at this point in time. And no, I was not trying for a matched set.... But whereas yesterday they hissed and growled from across the room, today they are down to about 2 feet between them before they begin the pleasantries. I am confident that in a couple of weeks they will be snuggling together on the bed for naps and cleaning each other's faces, as only a cat can.

Friday, June 20, 2008

SHE'D BE 54...

June 21st would have been my oldest sister's birthday. Laurel was four years older than me and a solid rock of love and support in my life. And her untimely death was the result of two druggies getting behind the wheel of a big SUV and taking to the highway, in no condition to even walk, let alone drive.

She had a wonderful career. Her education was exactly that - education. She had her B.Ed. and spent her career working with young single women who had not finished high school, who usually had kids but not always, teaching them life skills, basic accounting and budgeting, interview skills and building their confidence in themselves and their abilities.

She had the most amazing talent with people - she was supportive, loving, firm, kind, encouraging and empathetic. She has been a single mum herself, when she got grants to attend the University of Manitoba's Education program to become a teacher. She worked hard and was on the Dean's Honour Roll every single semester, all the while juggling school with raising two young children by herself. So her career direction came as no surprise to any of us in the family when she told us of her new job.

She eventually met and married Les, who was her best friend and soulmate. He even adopted Laurel's daughter when they married, as her biological father has skipped out when she was about one year old. He became 'Dad' to Laurel's son, even though his biological father was still in the picture but not much of a role model. My nephew had the intelligence to realize a good father is not the same as a biological father, so HE adopted Les as his Dad and called his bio-dad by his given name.

Laurel was always there for me. Even as teenagers, she was my friend and as we became adults, we also became best of friends, not just sisters. It isn't every 20 year old who wants her 16 year old sister hanging around. But Laurel welcomed me into her social circle and I became friends with her friends and saw them almost as much as my own circle of friends.

Throughout my life, through all the ups and downs, joys and hurts, she was someone I could turn to at any time, to laugh with and cry with, to ask for advice and support. And she was always willing to do what I needed, even if I didn't know what that was. She was wise beyond her years, full of insight, love and kindness.

So on October 19th, 2005, when I got a phone call at work in the evening and heard that she had died in a car accident, my universe shifted. My heart was torn, my soul shrunken.... a huge part of my life was left in limbo, because there was no way to keep that part of the path open, without her to walk with me through life, sharing and caring, each with the other.

She would have been 54 today and would have been in the prime of her life, enjoying a rewarding career, a loving husband, and two wonderful children, who had grown into amazing young adults. Her two grandchildren, only one of whom actually knew her, will have to grow up without their Nana. Her son and daughter will have to go through life's minor and major events without their Mum. I have to go through the rest of my life without my Sister/Friend.

So, Laurel, wherever your energy is now, soaring through the universe, I am thinking of you, on this, your birthday, wishing you were still here to celebrate with, to talk with and laugh with, to love, to just be with....

Thursday, June 19, 2008


A warm voice through the atmosphere... intriguing conversation... distance in the present.... commonalities... interest... emotions beginning to stir... will this one fly?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I wasn't sure I would put anything up on here today. My dad's been dead for 19 years and my stepfather for 13 years. My parents had divorced when I was 18 and both remarried so for a while I had two dads.

But only one father; only one who was a person I truly cherished. My step dad was a good guy but because I lived away for the entire time my mum was married to him, I only knew him from visits. So not all that well.

Dad, on the other hand, was a great guy. My parents were very different from each other - my mum was the gregarious, social butterfly; Dad was the quiet, reserved guy who took a while to get to know, but once he was your friend, you could count on him for life.

He was tall, slim and handsome, with piercing blue eyes and a ready smile that lit up his entire face. He loved to play with us kids, horsing around until Mum would tell all of us to cut it out. He was stern when he needed to be, but loving and warm and cuddly as well.

I have tons of memories of sitting on his knee, talking to him or looking at things, having him explain how things worked to me. He was very mechanically inclined and fixed just about everything around the house, including the car. He built stuff too. I would hang out while he was working on the engine of whatever car we had at the time, watching, listening to him tell me what he was doing, absorbing it all without realizing it.

As an adult, I lived away from Winnipeg for the most part but would come home to visit whenever possible. I was always enveloped in a huge bear hug whenever I saw my dad, whisker burned from his beard when he kissed me, and just generally loved to bits.

I had been accepted to nursing school when Dad was diagnosed with cancer. That was the summer of 1989 and he was only 56. I came back to Winnipeg to be with him, to spend time with my Dad, because we knew he wasn't going to live much longer. He told me how proud he was of me for (finally!) choosing a career and going for it. I was 31 when I entered nursing because I just hadn't figured out what I wanted to do in life before that.

On his final day, all six of his kids surrounded his bed in the hospital. He was not really conscious at this point but to the end, all he cared about was his children. As he let out his final breath, my oldest sister let out a wail and you could see Dad struggle to come back, to save his baby, his first born. I had to hug her to me and tell her shhhh, to just let him go, that he needed to go.

I don't have anyone to celebrate Father's Day with anymore. But all of you who have fathers, cherish them and let them know how much you care. And for those of you who are fathers, I sincerely wish you a Happy Father's Day and hope your children show you their appreciation for all you do for them, and how much they love you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Yesterday in Winnipeg was the first ever Naked Bike Ride, to protest oil dependency and 'car culture'. A few people doffed their duds in support of this cause, and rode their bikes in the buff.

I certainly hope they had clean bums before deciding to do this. And that they hadn't borrowed a bike for the event..... can't imagine what you would find on the seat after a few sweaty miles of pedalling their asses around town.... eewwwwww! Better get out the Clorox...

Friday, June 13, 2008


That's what I want... to be totally silly.... maybe to get totally drunk, something I have not done in many years.... just let my hair down, so to speak, let it all hang out.... but I need someone to be with me to have fun with.... someone I know and trust and care about... someone who will kinda keep an eye on me and not let me get into trouble.... I am so in need of a stress reliever, it is not even funny... just too many things going on that cause me consternation..... I just wanna have fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Other Life

Living on a single income is at times quite a trial. Finances must be juggled and activities and purchases weighed for importance and need.

I own and board a horse, which is not an inexpensive thing. When I was still married, we lived on a farm and these costs were just part of everyday life. The horses lived on the farm with us, so the cost of caring for them was more a time issue than anything else. We grew our own hay and had a large pasture for the summer.

I sometimes wonder why I even bother to have Thunder. I toy with the idea of selling him and getting out of horses altogether. It is expensive and takes time to drive out to see him, groom him and make sure he is up to date on shots, having his feet trimmed regularly (the farrier comes every six weeks), gets dental care yearly and is wormed every two months. I can do a lot of this myself, except for trimming his feet (that's the farrier's domain) and the dental work and rabies vaccination, both of which require the services (and fees) of a vet.

I sometimes beat myself up that I don't see him often enough. It is time consuming to work, try to have a social life, care for a dog that I have to walk several times a day and then think about driving the 40 minutes (one way) to see Thunder. On nice days, I often want to go for a bike ride instead.

And then I go out to the barn. This is my other life - a different universe totally separate from the rest of my existence.

I brush him and braid his mane to keep it tidy and free of tangles. I get all the knots out of his tail. I spend time just hanging out with him. He is warm and soft. His eyes are large, liquid brown, with such a soft, kind gaze. He has that rich horse smell that is pungent and fresh and wonderful. He is interested and happy to see me. He comes when I call his name. He pokes his nose into his halter before I even have a chance to put it on him.

Then I ride him. He is so smooth and so athletic. He tries so hard whenever I teach him something new. He doesn't get frustrated and hard to handle.... he just keeps trying to figure out what I am asking.... and then picks it up even faster when I reward him for even getting it just a little bit. He gives me his all - his 110% - his full attention most of the time (he's a horse, okay? he gets distracted sometimes).

He is sweet and funny and cute. And since last year, he has taken to nickering at me whenever I go to get off. I don't know what or why this started, but he is very consistent. It is a very friendly sound, like he's thanking me for a fun ride. All I have to do now is drop my right foot out of the stirrup and he lifts his head and nickers. It is so hilarious!

And today, for whatever reason, he started doing this whenever I would ask him to back up. Then I know, deep in my heart, why I struggle to keep him, to find the dollars to have this special soul in my life. He loves me.... there is no doubt about that. And he enjoys my company. And he is willing to try anything I put to him. He trusts me to keep him safe, which I will always do, to the best of my abilities. It is the least I can do for a being that doesn't speak the same language as me but tries so hard to communicate with me and let me know everything is just fine. A heart that belongs to me, and mine to him.


Starting early this year with a new fly sheet for Thunder. This one covers him from the top of his neck to his butt. Even has a belly band to protect his tummy. Just what every stylish young horse should want!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008








Sunday, June 8, 2008

PS - I Love You

I just watched that movie.... a few of the women I work with have seen it recently and kept telling me what a good movie it is... a real tear jerker, so have a box of kleenex handy... oh, how I did not need to watch that movie....

In 1992, the man that I loved and was married to killed himself. It is bad enough when someone you love dies of a disease, or in an accident. It is hard enough to deal with the loss under those circumstances, but it was not their choice.

But how do you deal with it when it IS their choice? When he decided that life was not worth living, and that the people who cared about him were not enough to keep him with us, how do you deal with that? How do you cope when you find a note, that leads to a tape recording, that leads to a search with the police and family and friends and eventually the RCMP to find him?

I never had any say in it... he would not let me help him. He would not let anyone help him. He once told me that he had never been happy before, so why should he be happy now. This was in the first year of our marriage. I was so devastated. I was in college, studying nursing, taking psychology, learning the signs and symptoms of depression. I was living with all of them. The most resistant kind. But I had no idea he was suicidal. He gave no indication. No call for help. No failed attempts so that he could get help. Because he didn't want to be helped.

He felt he was beyond help, I suppose. And that the only way out was to end his life. Those are the ones who don't let you know they are going to kill themselves. Because there is no doubt in their minds that this is what has to be done - that this is the only thing that will banish their pain and anguish forever.

So he went fishing in the mountains, which was a favourite pastime of his. Something he did often, so I thought nothing of it. He stayed overnight, which he did often, so I thought nothing of it. He told me he would. So I thought nothing of it.... until I found the note... that lead me to the tape recording.... of his sobbing and breaking voice, telling me he would be dead when I found this, that it was for the best... that he would be happy when it was done....

But what about me???? What about my happiness??? How could he do this to me, and to his family, and his friends? HOW????

I have a span of time where there is no memory... just snippets of events... like my mum, come from Winnipeg, sitting with me at my mother-in-law's house.... like carrying his urn of ashes down the aisle in the big Catholic church.... like being at the place in the mountains where they found him and burying his ashes there.

They say time heals all wounds. But that isn't true. When you lose someone you love, no matter how, when they die, that wound never heals. Over time it is no longer fresh, but the scab is fragile and easily torn away. I have several of those wounds, from losing him, losing both my parents, and losing my sister.

There are things that freshen those wounds - songs that make me cry because they stir up emotions that I tend to keep under wraps most of the time. This movie tore that one scab right off.... ripped it from my heart, so that the wound is fresh again and bleeding freely... and my heart is broken again... and I am alone.... again.

PS, Ron - I love you still.....

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I am about to give up. This is just stupid.... how difficult it is to meet someone. I have been on several of the online dating websites now, and have become just as discouraged with them as with meeting a decent man anywhere else.

You register, think up what you hope is a good profile to attract some interest, post a few recent photos of yourself, and then start fishing. You read through zillions of horribly written profiles, full of terrible spelling (ever hear of Spellcheck, buddy?) and worse grammar, trying to weed out what seem like losers.

Then, you come across a few hopefuls, profiles where the man can obviously string a few words together to make an intelligent sentence, where he has pictures posted and doesn't look too heavy or neanderthal. Face it - women are just as attracted to a pleasant face as guys are - especially in this medium, where that and those few words are all you have to start with. Physical attraction has to be one of the starting points - at least for me. You can be as witty as you want with words, but if you are 450 lbs with a huge nose and a unibrow, I am afraid there won't be a first meeting with this girl.

Now, I am not at all shy, and will definitely be one to make the first move if I see a profile that looks interesting. So I have sent emails to quite a few men, and most often hear nothing back. I have hit the instant message button when they are online, and most of the time, nothing happens. They are either away from their computers and didn't log out, or more than likely chatting away with someone else and ignore my request to chat. Or they just decide they don't like my face (cuz your pic shows up in that little IM box) and close it down.

The thing that bothers me is this: when someone emails me, saying hi and wanting to chat or meet, I think it is common courtesy to reply. Even if just to say 'I'm sorry' and that they aren't my type for whatever reason. I believe in being polite. I believe in wishing them luck in their search. Because we are all in this for the same reason - to try and find someone we can relate to, get to know and fall in love with, hopefully for the rest of our lives.

Now, I have a fairly attractive face. I am a nice person. I am intelligent, have a decent sense of humour and like a variety of activities. When I read profiles, I try to make sure that the men I contact have a few of the same things on their interests list as I have on mine. Because there has to be something in common to get you started.

So why is it so hard to locate a man who will actually contact me back? Why do so many chose to ignore an email and not bother responding? And why are some of these guys (and I am sure there are women who fit in this category as well, although I don't go looking at THEM) on these sites for years, on 112 favorites lists and yet still seem to be looking?

Here's a run-down of what has happened with me since I started this venture into cyber-datedom:

The first guy I connected with online last summer turned out to be working in a different province for most of the year and only made it home every few weekends, with the occasional week or two at home in between being sent on the road again. We met for coffee occasionally, and still do, and have actually got along quite well in person as well as online but mostly just chat once in a while online. He won't commit to even a real date, because, in his own words, he is all f**ked up in the head. He doesn't seem to be when I talk to him and I like him. So that has gone nowhere, although we have become friends and just yak at times.

Another man, only 5 years older than myself, which to me didn't seem to be much, turned out to be from another generation (like... my parents'). We started seeing each other early last winter and it became clear to me in a few short weeks that this simply would not work out. Nice guy and everything, bright and articulate, but it felt really weird to me to be cuddly with a guy who acted like my dad. This guy, it turned out, was the youngest of six and his oldest brother was 18 years his senior. And there were 8 years between him and the next sibling. So he grew up old. Not his fault, really, and he came from a small town down East, which added to the oldness, but it was just too disquieting to me.

I spent some time offline, deleting my profiles from the sites I was on, but in January, I decided to try again. So I found another site, recommended by a guy I work with (he met his girlfriend on this particular site), and went through the rigmarole of writing another profile, taking more pictures and posting them.

And then the fishing begins anew. I cast my line in a pond with a few nice fish and huge schools of sharks. I started getting emails and IMs from all kinds of guys - but not the kind I wanted. The young guys - in their early to mid 20's - looking for a 'cougar' for sex. For some reason, really short men seem attracted to me (I am 5'9") and there were emails from men not even 5'6". I can go my own height but I have to be able to look the man in the eye. It is just a personal preference for me.

Then there was the guy who was married and looking for someone discreet to have an affair with. No thanks, bud. I don't do married. And I also won't keep emailing or IMing if I don't know what he looks like. I need to see a picture. Some of the guys who don't have a picture on their profile, do that for good reason - they are scary looking!!!

Then there are the guys who can't spell, can't type, can't string together a sentence if their life depended on it. That, to me, is an indicator of intelligence. And I need the man I interact with to have a good brain in his head. Cuz no matter how good looking you are, if you're as bright as a sack of hammers, it just won't work.

I cruised through profiles, cruised through who was online at the moment, read their profiles and emailed them if they read/looked promising. That was how I met one hell of a great guy - he was witty, funny, had a great command of the English language, wrote a wonderful profile and had some great pictures up on his profile too. I only found him because I went cruising, because he was a smoker and I had my list of requirements for contacting me to be set as non-smokers only. So I contacted him.

We hit it off pretty quickly - the sparks few and things got intense very fast. Too fast, actually, and in the long run (well, two months' time), once we got to know each other better, it turned out that he felt I was not the right kind of woman for him. In all honesty, he was very sensitive and fair about the break-up, but it was still difficult. Better sooner rather than later, though, so we both moved on.

So online I went yet again.... emailed and chatted with a guy who one day seemed to freak out on me when we were chatting - all of a sudden was just sending me silly little icons and then 'I have to go, I can't do this anymore' appeared on the screen. Never heard from him again. I don't think I would have continued anyway after that fiasco. Don't really know what went on in his mind, but best leave it where it is.

The next contact turned out to be extremely anal and so uptight about things that I knew, after just two outings (one was a bike ride at Birds Hill Park) that there was just no chemistry at all for me. Nice looking man, seemed bright, but just way too hung up on some things.

Last week, I contacted someone who seemed promising. A fair number of things in common on our profiles, close in age, decent pics. We chatted and then talked on the phone and made arrangements to meet the next evening for a drink and to see if a first date would happen. Sounded cool. Well, I got home from work the next afternoon and logged on to my computer. Shortly thereafter, I get an email from him stating this: a woman he had met online last week, who hadn't seemed too interested then, had emailed him that day and wanted to get together that night. When we had made plans. So he was going to meet with her instead of with me. But did I want him to contact me after if things didn't work out with her? (This happened about 2 1/2 hours before we were supposed to get together.)

Not bloody likely, a$$hole! I may be naive here, but I was right pissed off at him. I felt he was rude and inconsiderate. Now, I can understand wanting to meet with her and see what happens there. This is dating and that is how it works. But when you already have made plans to meet with someone else, would it not be common courtesy to say you are busy that evening and make arrangements for another time????

I was pretty angry about that but, being the nice person that I am, I took the dog for a nice, long walk while I contemplated the situation. Then I emailed him back and told him that I thought he was rude and inconsiderate (politely) and that no, he couldn't contact me if that fell through. And then deleted him from my favorites list, which is where I put men I have contacted and that have potential.

So back to square one. Which is where I am at today. It is frustrating and daunting to be back in the dating game at the age of 50. I won't go to bars... and who wants to meet some drunk guy anyway? Most of the guys I work with would not be the type I would date either - besides which they are all spoken for. The horse activities I participate in attract mostly women and the few (single) men I have met I wouldn't date if my life depended on it. So I think I am going to just call it quits on this cyber-dating crap. If there is someone out there for me, he is just going to have to find me on his own.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Life is short, so....
Forgive quickly.
Kiss slowly.
Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably.
Never regret anything that made you smile.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Live like there's no tomorrow.
Always be honest, with everyone... including yourself.
Practice random acts of kindness.
Try to find the positive in every situation.
Say 'I love you' to those who matter - you may not get another chance.
Smile often - it's contagious!
Be kind to animals.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I was supposed to meet someone this evening, for the first time. Not a first date, per se, just a meet and greet and see if there is any chemistry to actually go on a first date. We had set a time and place.

When I got home from work this afternoon, there was an email from him that a woman he had met last week who hadn't seemed too interested then, was now wanting to get together with him tonight. So he brushed me off.

Which I thought was rude and inconsiderate on his part. I can understand wanting to get together with her and see where things go, but to brush me off a mere 2 1/2 hours before we are supposed to meet just doesn't sit well at all.

Where are people's manners? Why do they think it is okay to make plans and just toss them away with no regard to anyone else involved? This guy even asked me if I wanted him to contact me if things 'didn't work out' with that woman! Well, I don't think so, buddy! Not when you are that inconsiderate of my feelings, and just having the common courtesy to go through with your original plans. It's not like a family emergency or something understandable like that.

I think I will go read my book and see if there is anything decent on TV tonight. At least I know I won't get the brush off from those.... ((sigh))

Sunday, June 1, 2008


How moronic do you have to be to let someone punch you in the side of the head on purpose????? After watching this video - and all the people are willing participants - I can't help but wonder what kind of neck pain and headaches they all suffered after this sheer stupidity!

Would you let someone do that to your noggin?? Cuz when you watch it is slo-mo, you can REALLY see how whacked out of shape their heads and neck are from the force of the blow. All I can say is (besides IDIOTS!!!) is yeeoooowwwww......