Monday, June 23, 2008

The cycle of life























A couple of days ago, I noticed that there were three birds, (I think they were Morning Doves) sitting on a bush outside my office window. Two of them appeared to be checking out a vacant nest while the other looked on. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of family this was; could it be a husband and wife with the mother-in-law in tow, or perhaps a young lady with two gentleman suitors? In any case, I noticed one of them sitting in the nest today for a while, at which time another one came along to relieve her; I guess she had to go out and do some chores, or maybe meet up with her other "friend". Who knows, these days nothing surprises. While the nest was empty, I took a picture, and what do you know - there were a couple of fresh eggs. (Good thing I'd already had my breakfast). All day one or the other bird has been sitting patiently to unwittingly bring another couple of beatiful lives into the world - pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. Maybe a birds life beats a dog's life, flying, singing as opposed to barking - not bad - maybe a consideration for my next life. Also pictured above is my latest little niece posing with several of her cousins - no shortage of girls in this family, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sophie's got a boyfriend!




Week after week I am given something to rant about, or postulate on, but alas, this week I have nothing. As I sit here at my desk, trying to conjure up something clever to say, I'm afraid that I may be suffering from blogger's block. I suppose I could tell you about attending Sophie's internal exam. I found a beautiful Friesian stallion who is willing to commit to a very short term relationship with my mare, so it was strongly advised that I have the vet check her parts out to make sure she would be receptive to this proposal. Not a very amorous affair, to say the least, but everything was in order, so in about 16 days we'll be calling on King Tys for a sample of his DNA. Sophie, I really wish this could be more romantic for you, but King Tys is afraid of getting kicked. I guess I could also tell you that I've decided to take a break from riding Sophie - she is still a touch temperamental - in horse circles they call her hot blooded and too smart for her own good - I call her a less flattering name and choose to ride someone else for the time being. David decided that he would give Sophie a try and true to her reputation, she gave him quite the ride; nearly threw him off not once but twice in fact! I'm not sure how keen David will be to get back on Sophie this week. A very dear friend of mine who has a huge heart is heading into the hospital this week to allow his doctor to have a closer look at some of the pipes supplying his main pump - please say a prayer for him. To my dear father, recovery from a nasty bug whilst away on the emerald isle, I send this Irish Blessing: May the Irish hills caress you; May her lakes and rivers bless you; May the luck of the Irish enfold you; May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The price we pay for vanity



It was finally here. June 11th - my date with my dentist. I had postponed it once, now the time had come to face the music. As I made my way along the 401 headed for Toronto, I couldn't help but ask myself "What are you - crazy? You're actually willingly delivering yourself to a procedure that you know is going to be uncomfortable at best, and potentially painful, all for the sake of removing the last bit of amalgam in the very back of your mouth to replace it with a white composite material - why?" I also made a note to myself while driving - this is why our guests at Ste. Anne's Spa are so stressed when they arrive. The fast pace of the 401, which is made even more frenetic when you tune into 680 News to check for traffic snarls, is stressful - I think they must speed up the radio announcers a bit, probably with copious amounts of coffee, they make you want to go faster. I guess I'd read or heard somewhere that a mouth full of amalgam could potentially leach mercury, and somehow became convinced that removing and replacing it was the right thing to do. I started this process a couple of years ago, but there was one last hold out at the very far reaches of my big mouth that neither I nor my dentist were looking forward to working on. Really, it was my dentist who had to do all the work, so what am I whining about? I just had to lay there and stare obligingly into the white light, grunting out my best response to any questions thrown my way, and stand ready to put my hand in the air if I felt any pain. But, true to form for my dentist, aside from the little pinch of the needle administering the local anesthetic, the whole thing was quite painless, for me that is. My dentist performed some near contortionist type moves to get at what was left of this once mighty molar, and at one point muttered "you're not paying me enough to do this", and "a root canal might be in your future", but in the end she did a bang up job, as she always does. I was a little worried when the somewhat nervous dental assistant told me that she was the new girl in the office, but she also performed exceedingly well, under the circumstances. My dentist brings her entire team to the spa once a year, so they're all very appreciative and enthusiastic when David and I come for our visits. I don't know how David gets any dentistry done though, he spends the whole time laughing and carrying on with his hygenist. He must have mastered the art of laughing and talking with a mouth full of fingers and stainless steel instruments. Thanks to modern dentistry, I now have all white fillings, (or something close to white), with just a hint of gold, from a crown I had put on years ago, before the price of gold went crazy. David tells me that if I smile really hard I look like a gangster from the hood. So, next time you see me, make me smile!

Monday, June 2, 2008




For as long as I can remember (although I really couldn't say when it started), I've had a mild obsession with Sunday morning breakfast. When I lived at home in Nashville, mom used the smell of bacon cooking and wafting up through the house to encourage growing teenagers to fight the desire to continue sleeping. Later, as a young man living in Toronto I had several favourite haunts that served up lip smackingly good morning meal (Mars on College street is one, but there are many, many more). And now, as I approach the 1/2 century mark, one of the moments I most look forward to each week is when my waitress pours that fresh cup of coffee (I only drink this one cup of coffee a week) and asks "would you like to see a menu". Of course I don't need to see a menu - I'm a terrible creature of habit - 2 eggs, over easy, bacon and sausage, rye toast, home fries and orange juice will provide the fuel I need to face another day. You might think that I'm a little heavy on the protein, but keep in mind that Massie loves breakfast just as much as I do. I always take him a sausage and a piece of toast, which he of course gulps down without even tasting it, but none-the-less, he appears to relish this moment almost as much as I do. We bounce between a couple of spots for Sunday morning breakfast - The Grafton Village Inn puts on a nice spread, albeit quite pricey and just a little precious, as does the Bullpen, (more down to earth and reasonable), also in Grafton. Once in a while we'll prolong the experience by making the drive up to Pitcher's Place on Rice Lake (nice Eggs Benedict), but our all time favourite is Kathleen's Kountry Kitchen (formerly known as Scenery Drive Restaurant), in Centreton. (The pictures above: a fellow diner enjoying a sip of sweet nectar, as seen from our table at Kathleen's, and my breakfast)