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Snowbirds

  The Snowbirds came to town this weekend. And no, I am not talking about the senior migration coming home from Florida. I am talking about the jets. The Snowbird jets that perform their rounds entertaining crowds and wowing us with their aerial acrobatics and stunt maneuvers with an aplomb and finesse that would make anyone with anything less than ice running through their veins faint. There's a reason Val Kilmer's character in Top Gun was called ICE. And it doesn't stand for In Case of Emergency.  Or Internal Combustion Engine. None of the above. It stands for the ice ice baby, ice cold, cool as steel, cool runnings, laser focused and dead centred concentration required to operate a vehicle travelling hundreds of kilometres an hour at a fairly high altitude while in a formation with your fellow pilots who are sometimes just six feet apart from each other's wing tips. How is that for nerves of steel. It is quite a sight to behold. They fly their j
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Two Cents

 Another letter came in the mail the other day. Another notification from the TD Bank regarding my father's estate. He had passed away more than two years ago, and yet these letters still arrive in the mail. After having closed everything out, completed all the required tasks of his estate, carrying out all the executrix duties that I was appointed with, this one last account keeps on keeping on. Every few months I am notified by this letter that there are $.02 cents left remaining in this RRIF account. An account that I know that I closed down and dispersed. An account that should have long ago been shuttered and done away with. But no. There it is. A constant reminder that my dad has passed away, and that there are $.02 cents left remaining in this particular RRIF account. I have tried calling and emailing the bank, to no avail. This notice persists on being mailed and delivered. And so I have come to think of it as my dad's two cents. He is still gi

Tornado Warning

  Chester the cat hid under the bed. An appropriate place, since tornado warnings suggest covering oneself with a mattress. I grabbed Princess, the other cat, and we headed into the walk-in closet where we could watch the storm through a window. The thunder roared so long and loud outside that I wasn't sure if it was thunder or the freight train type roar of an approaching tornado. I wasn't taking any chances. The winds had picked up, as had the lightening and rain. The tornado warning on my phone had made it quite clear that something was on its way. The tornado warning on the tv cemented it. We had to take cover. No ifs, ands or buts. The skies were so dark it was like there was an eclipse. And it was only 6 o'clock on a long July evening. By 6:30 it was almost over. The winds had stopped. The rain had diminished. And the thunder had become low growls as opposed to full on roars. Perhaps we were through the worst of it. Perhaps a tornad

Just Jump!

  The goslings weren't having any of it. There were three of them, too young to yet fly, but big enough to give their parents a hassle. The two parents, large Canadian Geese with an even larger honk, were on a mission to jump the falls at the Bolsover Lock dam. That was what they needed to do to get where they needed to go, for better food, better rest, better anything. But to do so meant taking a leap of faith. A giant leap of faith. Through a dam, and down a waterfall that could possibly, surely, crush them to death. They were, after all, just kids. With tiny bones, and fluffy feathers, not yet fully greased to withstand heavy water. Some other families had already taken the leap. What started out as a grouping of three families, was now only one. Two of the geese families had braved the potentially deadly plunge and ended up just fine on the other side. They were now enjoying a grassy lunch on a lower embankment further down the river. But not this fa

They're Not Pets, They're Weapons

  I watched as the Rottweiler crossed the road in front of our house. And I can still remember the cold fear that shot through my body. The neighbours across the road had let their dog out again. Or perhaps it escaped. I can't say I had ever seen them walk it. So perhaps it took it upon itself to go for a walk, to do its business. Luckily I was in my car. And when I pulled in the driveway, I couldn't get inside the house fast enough. I was scared. There's no evidence that the dog was vicious, or would have attacked or bitten me. But I had this perception, this pre-conceived stereotype notion, that it would cause some harm. The same chill courses through me when I see people walking certain types of dogs. Dobermans. German Shepherds. Pit Bulls, or American Staffordshire Terriers. Boxers. Cane Corsos. I find myself asking, why? Why have a dog, that is essentially a weapon? To show that one can be the boss over such an aggressive creatur

I'll Have The Kids Meal Please!

 "Is the toy for a boy or a girl?" the faceless speaker-voice asked me as I went through the drive through. "Uh - for a girl...?" I answered, not sure what the person would think when I pulled up to the window to pickup my takeout meal - as there was no child to be seen. I always feel a little guilty ordering the kids meals at fast food joints - especially when they come with a toy.   But they are the only portion size I am comfortable eating. I love the un-supersized fries, the smaller burgers, the snack sized (should be normal sized) wraps, the sides of yogurt, fruit bars, or a choice of apple slices, and a small juice or a milk.  The bright boxes or bags.  Not to mention, sometimes a toy! And then there's the good that comes with ordering some kids meals, in that a portion of the proceeds are donated to charity. One fast food server even asked me if I minded that it came in a brightly coloured "kids" bag.  Oh, no, I don't mind at all

Obsessive. Compulsive. Definitely!

 "Did you put the remote control in its proper place before you left the house?" my mother-in-law asked me as we arrived at her place for a visit. "Yes!" I said!   I was pleased she had asked. She knows me only too well. You see, I have this little ritual before I leave the house. Not only does the remote have to be facing the TV, but it has to be parallel on the living room side table. And not only that, but the beds have to be made, the kitchen has to be clean, the dishes put away, the litter boxes cleaned, the slippers out of sight, the floors swept, the dining room chairs aligned straightly, extending approximately six inches from the table, the towels hanging straight. You get the picture. I feel it is a projection of Feng Shui, the ancient oriental art of energy orientation. There must be something to it. The belief is that good energy swirls around order and cleanliness. And that bad energy is brought forth by clutter and disorganization