Monday, May 30, 2016


The Annual Brampton Rib N Roll, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brampton, began in Gage Park on Friday evening, May 27th, 2016, with lots to eat, lots to drink, and a great flood of music from the bandstand. I'm sure it was another great success.

This year I had the opportunity to listen to a great band called Absolute Journey. At first, I was a bit skeptic, however, after they sang a few familiar songs, I began to really enjoy them. I'd never heard of them before, but I think they did a pretty good job. Journey was one of my favorite bands back in the day. It's interesting how life just takes things away and then brings them back at about the right time, like music. Before I had my child, who is now 15, I used to listen to a lot of music: hard rock, pop, country. Then when I had my boy all I listened to was what he liked. Now, I am able to listen to what I like and what I used to like--old things become new again. 

We bought our ribs from Louisiana's Bbq this year and they were quite tender, just fell off the bone. Jack's Boathouse, Turtle Jack's, and a few other vendors were also burning up the bbq.

Also, new to me, was another sponsor: Ward Funeral Homes. They have been in the funeral home business for over a hundred years, spanning four generations. Founder W.J. Ward had a personal vision regarding families that resonates to this day, and now Sundays at the Rib N Roll have been named Ward Family Day.

The Brampton Rib N Roll is a great event for the whole family and brings together all Bramptonians, which is a great thing as this city is filled with many different people from all walks of life.

So, if you're around next year, come on over and check it out. 

Here are a few pics from years past and present.

Absolute Journey

Lead Singer, Absolute Journey

Absolute Journey

Fries and Hot Dog for Ma

Ribs for the Man

Funnel Cake for dessert


For the May two-four weekend I rented a cottage on the shores of Rice Lake and didn’t do a damn thing the entire weekend, aside from bbq-ing and washing a few dishes. I worked until 3pm that Friday (20th); my partner picked me up from work. When we got home we packed the cooler, grabbed some blankets and pillows, some clothes and supplies, and headed East on the 401.

Rice Lake is situated just north of Cobourg, just a half hour drive off the 401, which lies within the border of Northumberland County. Beautiful, scenic, serene country awaits you in this part of Ontario, and just a short drive from the GTA.

Muskie Bay Resort is where we booked and the cottage we stayed at was situated in a very secluded area with a fantastic view of the lake. A home away from home, with everything you could need. The best part: no TV!  All I did the whole weekend was lie in the sun, eat, try to beat the guys on Monopoly, and get out in the boat. We didn’t do any fishing, but a day out on that lake was heavenly. There’s just something about the fresh air and spray of water that tickles the soul.

When I’m out of the city, it’s like being in another world. I don’t think about work, I don’t think about money, I don’t think about anything. There’s no stress, no worries, and it seems like nothing can go wrong. And, on another note, my sinuses clear up! It was a fantastic weekend, with great weather, great food, and a great time together as a family. And take it from me, there’s nothing like being with the ones you love.

It was hard to leave that place and head back into the city. On my way back, my sinuses started to act up and that weird smell of the city came crawling back into my nose.

When I got in the house and got settled away, I went online and browsed places for our next trip. Planning a trip keeps my mind constantly going, which is something I need, since I’m a Gemini. And, hey, it’s summertime! After that long winter, I like to take advantage of every day of summer, because before you know it, it’s fall again.

Here are a few photos of our trip. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Jessie Templar searched the bedroom for JJ and found no sign of the silly little creature. She went into her work room and rummaged through the plants and flower shop supplies, moving boxes and crates and looking under shelves and into crawlspaces, nothing. She went into the kitchen and living room and combed the entire area. JJ was nowhere to be found.

Eli had left for an early flight to visit his sister; he would be aboard the plane now with his cell phone off. She felt a tinge of fear creep up her back and headed for the door to the balcony. Sometimes, if the door was open, JJ would find his way to her neighbor’s balcony. She called out to JJ, bending over to see the other balcony. She went back into the aparmtment and went to Rory’s door. As usual, Rory was bushy tailed and bright eyed.

“Hey, Jess, how ya doing?”

“I’m fine, thanks, you?”

“Good, what’s wrong?” He noticed the troubled look on her face.

“It’s JJ. I can’t find him. Would you please look to see if he’s on your balcony?”

“Ya, sure, come on in.”

He ushered her into his apartment and over to the balcony doors. They both had a look-see, but JJ was nowhere to be found. Jess was disappointed and worried. She didn’t want to accept that JJ may have fallen over the balcony and was now lost.

“Ok, thanks, Rory.”

Rory walked her to the door.

“Do you want me to help you search outside?”

“No, it’s okay, I’ll go talk to the neighbors on the first floor; he might have crept into one of the yards.”

Jessie thanked him again and went back to her apartment. She called Denise and Rose to see if they had made it into the flower shop alright and to tell them she’d be late. After a brief conversation, Jessie got changed, printed a picture of JJ, and went to see if any of the neighbors had seen him.

After talking with most of the tenants on the ground floor, she went outside and searched the grounds. There was no sign of him near the pool, the playground, or in any tree or shrubbery. Her heart sank as she feared the worse. She went back to the apartment and just as she was turning the key, the telephone rang. She hurried to pick it up. It was Brampton Animal Services, they had JJ and he was seriously injured. He had been run over by a car.

Jessie fell to her knees, fearing the worse. After a few minutes, she got up and went to Rory's door. She was too shaken to go alone so she got Rory to go with her to the hospital where JJ was going to be sent. They went into the hospital went up to the reception desk, and when Jessie started to speak, she was unable. Rory stepped up, put an arm around her, and led her outside. They walked around for a few minutes, but Jessie could not contain herself.  Rory went back inside and got the details. He came back out to find Jessie sitting in the car drying her eyes.

“JJ’s not here yet. Apparently, someone called to report it, but they didn’t say when. I figured it didn’t make much difference to ask, but the driver is on the way with your cat, Jess. Sorry, but I don’t think it’s good.”

She looked up at him with red eyes and thanked him.

“I can’t go back in Rory, let me know when they get here okay.”

“Okay, sit tight.”

He went back inside to wait and all Jessie could do was prepare for the worse. If JJ was hit by a car then surely he was dead, or he would have to be put down. Her thoughts took her back to when she first found JJ and his siblings in a cardboard box floating down the creek on that cold December day. And when she took him to the apartment after he’d gotten better, the apartment felt like a home. Oh, the times she’d spent fixing up the flower pots after he’d dig it up, and those annoying cries for food. It was so strange not to have him wake her up this morning; he was her 7am alarm clock and he would always sit on her pillow then pounce on her head, digging his claws into her scalp and doing that alien thing. Tears fell down her cheeks again. Her heart filled with grief.

After twenty minutes Rory came back out and clued her in on the circumstances.

“They’re here, Jess, but it’s not good. The doctor hooked him up to some pain meds, but there is nothing they can do for him. I mean, for her, she’s a female.”  He looked puzzled.

Jess stifled a chuckle. “Yah, she is female, but because of the name and the nature of the cat we all got used to calling her a him.”

Rory nodded.

Jessie took a deep breath, and choked back the lump in her throat. She got out of the car, intent on seeing JJ. Rory led her into the office and downstairs to the waiting room. She took a seat. Posters of kitties and puppies lined the walls. The doctor came downstairs and she motioned them into her office. She told them that JJ was comfortable and in no pain, but he would not make it long. Jessie tried to speak, but words would not come, tears filled her eyes, her heart felt like it was going to shatter, and the pressure mounted in her chest. Unable to contain herself once again, she exploded, covering her whole face with her hands.

“I can’t, Rory, please take care of it,” was all she could manage.

She went upstairs, face red with grief and eyes puffy from tears. She went to the car and bawled.

Rory had made the arrangements, based on what he knew about Jessie and what she would have wanted for JJ. He had requested that his body be cremated and the ashes placed in an urn. He also requested a mold of his paw print for a keepsake.

By the time he got back to the car, Jessie had calmed a bit.

“Thanks, Rory.”

“It was the least I could do.”

He drove her home and when they got to her door, he gave her the papers. She thanked him once again and he hugged her.

Entering her apartment was like entering an Egyptian tomb. All was dark and somewhat eerie, but the most horrible thing was the silence. All she could do was go back to bed and grieve the loss of her beloved JJ.

This story is based on true events that transpired on May 4, 2015. 

SEPT. 12, 2013 - MAY 4, 2015

Monday, May 2, 2016


Do you remember when your relationship was young? Remember how much you wanted each other? Remember staying up all hours of the night talking?  Remember all those endless sex sessions? It was phenomenal how many places you could do it—it didn’t matter what time of day—and do it without giving a damn about getting caught. Oh, those were the days. Then years pass, routine comes, careers, kids, you know what I’m talking about. It seems like there’s no time and when there is time, it’s in the refines of your own bedroom behind locked doors or you’re just too tired to even think about it.

When I first started my relationship with my current partner, it was an experience that I had never had before. I hadn’t much experience with men and my teenage and young adult life was spent trying to survive, not much else. I had gotten myself into a very abusive relationship and married young and when I finally got out of that I ended up meeting someone who gave me a very different meaning of sex. It was highly enjoyable and satisfying. Even after having a child, we still managed to find the time and wanted each other.

Along the way something that I never expected happened, and I’m not sure when or how or even why, but it just happened. Perhaps it was because my partner started working the evening shift and when he would get home I’d already be asleep or maybe it was because he was starting to have symptoms of ED. It could be the extra pounds I’d put on or losing those pounds and having to deal with loose skin. I’m not sure, but somewhere along the line, we started having sex in the dark.

Now I don’t think that my partner even realizes that it’s happened, because he’s a man, all he wants to do is release the pressure then turn around and go to sleep. But it’s kept me awake at night. The idea of having sex in the dark has made me feel old.  And now I feel awkward about having sex in the light of morning; it’s not as fun as it used to be. If he should happen to come to bed when I’m reading, I’ll turn the lights out when it starts to get hot. I have gotten so paranoid that I can’t do it unless the lights are out.

I’ve heard it said that you should never make a sex video of yourself and your partner because it’s not the same as what you see on the movies. You think you’re all that, but in reality, it’s pretty lame, and I have not heard anyone say to me, “Oh, we made a sex tape last night and we were amazing!” Actually, I’ve heard just the opposite. Think of that movie SEX TAPE with Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz.

However, on the other hand, one thing that I have noticed is that my orgasms have gotten more intense. They are stronger and last longer and there doesn’t have to be a lot of foreplay. Perhaps it’s like being blind, if you shut off one sense another kicks in stronger. So, maybe I’m on to something here. If it feels good, then maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about it. It doesn’t seem to matter to him, so why should it matter to me? After all, every session ends the same way, he turns around and goes to sleep, and I reach for the latest Stephen King.