Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on March 29, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet





Having time to read is such a gift


I stumbled across this a few weeks ago and thought it was worth sharing.

Simple Formula For Living. Author Unknown

1.Live beneath your means.

  1. Return everything you borrow.
  2. Stop blaming other people.
  3. Admit it when you make a mistake.
  4. Give clothes not worn to charity.
  5. Do something nice and try not to get caught.
  6. Listen more; talk less.
  7. Every day take a 30-minute walk.
  8. Strive for excellence, not perfection.
  9. Be on time. Don’t make excuses.
  10. Don’t argue. Get organized.
  11. Be kind to unkind people.
  12. Let someone cut ahead of you in line.
  13. Take time to be alone.
  14. Cultivate good manners.
  15. Be humble.
  16. Realize and accept that life isn’t fair.
  17. Know when to keep your mouth shut.
  18. Go an entire day without criticizing anyone.
  19. Learn from the past. Plan for the future.
  20. Live in the present.
  21. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

This is a pretty good blueprint for happiness.

Here is my interpretation:

  1. Living below your means as a senior is pretty easy as I have discovered.
  2. I borrowed a hair dryer 50 years ago. Don’t need one much these days. Time to return it.
  3. Don’t blame me. I’m an old goat.
  4. Admitting mistakes has become a full-time occupation.
  5. I tried giving away my clothes to charity. They suggested that I keep them!
  6. Yes. Be kind even when no one is looking.
  7. Two ears. One mouth.
  8. Hardly worth getting out of bed for just a 30-minute walk.
  9. Perfectionists are colossal bores. Do your best.
  10. Punctuality. My pet peeve although I’ve softened a bit in later life.
  11. I have no argument with this one.
  12. This might be the toughest one on the list. There are still bullies in this world.
  13. Unless the person behind you is going to purchase lottery tickets.
  14. Quiet time is a gift, but loneliness is a big problem for some people.
  15. Excuse me.
  16. “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble….” Mac Davis
  17. No one skates through life without an elbow to the head.
  18. My lips have holes in them.
  19. Especially yourself. We all screw up from time to time.
  20. Experience is a severe task master. The ultimate teacher.
  21. Tell that to a baby boomer. Our heads are still stuck in the 60s (the 1960s!)
  22. Don’s sweat the small stuff. Most of it is small stuff. Save your energy for the big stuff.


A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about reincarnation. I was very adamant that I wanted to come back in the next life as a poodle after looking after Cooper in Victoria for a few weeks. I mentioned my envy, that on our early morning walks on the Dallas Road chip trail, people routinely stopped, scratched Cooper behind the ears, told him he was beautiful and often gave him a treat. The last day I walked Cooper before his owners returned from their vacation, my friend, Martine joined me, as she had done several times. After our walks, we often went to a coffee shop to solve world problems. The coffee and croissants were delicious but sadly, none of the world problems got solved. We were exiting the chip trail on the final day, and Martine leaned in. I thought that she was batting away a mosquito, but it was -1 and no self-respecting mosquito would be out this early in the day. She scratched me behind the ear, told me that I was beautiful and handed me an individually wrapped piece of chocolate.

I’m still chuckling.

Have a great weekend.





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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on March 8, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment


Pooch Paradise




The rebirth of a soul in a new body. A person or animal in whom a particular soul is believed to have been reborn.

I don’t know anything about reincarnation, but I can tell you one thing. If reincarnation is real, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I want to come back as a dog, specifically a poodle.

I certainly don’t obsess about death but it crosses my mind with regularity as I scan the obituaries on a daily basis. Admit it, you old farts. You do the same damn thing. God, but we’re hopeless lot! I’m sure we all wonder what happens when we have “slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings”. (JGM). According to many posts on Facebook, that font of inexhaustible knowledge, animals cross over the Rainbow Bridge, eventually to be reunited with their owners.

So here, I unapologetically state my case for reincarnation and why a dog is my first choice as a new and improved entity.

According to many surveys of vets, a poodle is the second smartest breed of dog so it would make sense that if I come back to life, I would hope for vastly improved intelligence, seeing that I might have gotten a bit short changed in that category the first go around. I can tell you from experience, as a seasoned dog sitter, that poodles are very bright.

As far as I can tell, the life of a dog rotates between eating, sleeping and exercising, with a dose of farting thrown in for good measure. I love routines and dogs are no exception. They tend to eat at certain times, go for walks at the same time of the day. As far as sleeping goes, when not eating or walking, dogs have a pretty chilled existence spending the other 22 hours a day resting. Good work if you can get it.

Dogs don’t talk back. You never have to worry about losing an argument with a dog. We humans spend so much of our lives sparring with other people, wasting valuable oxygen in the process. Dogs just look at you with those droopy eyes and respond positively to anything you say especially if the word “food” or “out” is uttered.

A dog has his meals prepared for him every day and never has to do the dishes. Despite the fact that there are now restaurants for dogs, most canines prefer a steady diet of sameness. They never seem to get bored even if they have eaten the same meal 13,000 times. Each meal is a revelation and a bonanza. Some dogs eat methodically and patiently while other approach the dish as if they haven’t been fed in a month, inhaling the food with astonishing speed.

Dogs demonstrate unconditional love to their owners… and to anyone who hands them a treat while out walking. I desperately want to be a dog and go for a daily walk along the chip trail on Dallas Road in Victoria. I am being quite specific about where I want to be reincarnated. This is one of the most beautiful places in the country with the majestic Olympic mountain range across the Juan de Fuca Strait. The Dallas Road chip trail must have more dogs per square foot than anywhere else in the world. Dogs are king (queens) on this piece of paradise, and they are treated like rock stars. I want to spend my days running like the wind and being stopped every 50 feet to be told that I am beautiful, having my ears scratched, and handed treats.

One of the absolute best things about being a dog is that someone cleans up your shit, literally and figuratively. Humans have a way of getting themselves immersed in mounds of crap throughout their lives and sometimes it’s not easy to extricate themselves from the messes they create. A dog, on the other hand, just has to find the perfect spot to do his/her business and moments later, his owner picks it up. That is a pretty sweet deal. Many of you know that I am presently dog sitting in Victoria. I always carry a supply of poop bags with me on our twice daily walks. I have coined a new term for my waste disposal bags: Cooper Pooper Scoopers.

I don’t know much about the sex lives of dogs but when it comes to sleeping around, dogs have it made. No one ever questions a dog about where they slept or with whom. The doggy bed, couch, a chair, at the foot of the bed or in the bed are all real possibilities on any given night. A dog doesn’t have to wake up in the morning and explain his actions. He simply looks at his master and says, “Feed me and take me for a walk.”

I’ve stated my case and I’m sticking to it.

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on March 1, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment



Free Parking


“Falling in and out of love with you,

Falling in and out of love with you,

Don’t know what I’m gonna do,

I keep falling in and out of love with you.”

Falling in and Out of Love – Pure Prairie League

A saga about WestGuess Airlines.

Flying used to be fun.

Surely you remember those good old days when flights were reasonably priced, planes flew on time, unlimited checked bags, you received a nice hot meal and a few free drinks, agents were friendly. You get the picture.

And then, flying ceased to be fun. There are lots of reasons why travel now is as much fun as having a case of hives. In a piece I wrote at Christmas, it took me five days to get home from the north. Most of the issues were weather related so I won’t till that soil again.

Last week, I travelled to Victoria, B.C. for some dog therapy. Very good friends of mine were heading out on a southern vacation, and they asked me to look after Cooper, their poodle. I had done this once before a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. Cooper was good company and we walked twice a day, rain or shine.

My itinerary was very simple. It consisted of a direct flight from Halifax to Calgary avoiding the unfriendliest airport in the world. It is in Ontario. You have three guesses and the first two don’t count. The second leg was a hop from Calgary to Victoria. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t flying into you know where because there was a storm which snarled travel and nearly brought out the army. There may have been 10 centimeters of snow on the ground. The weather in YHZ (I’m so cool using these airport codes) was perfect. I’m hometown proud and think Halifax is one of the friendlier airports in the country, if not the planet.

The plane taking us to the west coast was sitting on the tarmac when we got to the departure gate.

The only smart thing I did prior to departure was to scarf down a massive hamburger. In many ways, it would be “The Last Supper”.

Getting away on time looked very promising and important to me and several travellers who had tight connections in Calgary. The cattle were herded as has become the norm. Our boarding passes indicated the pen where we were to gather before being allowed on board. For some reason, boarding started later than it should have and right away, we were on the clock. It was a full flight, and it took an eternity to get everybody seated with carryon bags in the overhead bins and one other piece under the seat. I checked my phone and by the time they started to show us how a seatbelt worked (really?), we were 45 minutes behind schedule.

The weather didn’t do us any favours. The first three hours, the plane was fighting heavy winds and was buffeted around. It was one of the most turbulent flights I had been on in a long time. This prevented the staff from distributing a gourmet meal of cookies and pretzels.

I checked my phone a few times and I knew that there was a very good chance that we wouldn’t make it to our connecting flight. We landed and once again, time stood still as it took a full 15 minutes before the cattle were released from the plane. All hope was now lost. But wait, one of the flight attendants got on the blower and announced that all connecting flights were patiently waiting for us. There were a few cheers and a sigh of relief from this weary traveler. It was now 11:00 p.m. Calgary time – 2:00 a.m. back home. I had been on the go for 20 hours.

When you’re in a hurry trying to catch a connecting flight, it is almost a certainty that your gate will be as far away as humanly possible and still remain in the province. I didn’t run but I must have looked like one of those race walkers. We resembled a herd of wildebeests crossing the Serengeti. We arrived at the gate and stared in disbelief. The plane had departed. All of the other passengers who had connecting flights suffered the same fate. It was now nearly midnight, so we all scurried to the WestGuess courtesy counter, soon to be renamed the non-courtesy counter.

In fairness to the two agents working the counter, they had likely been listening to a litany of complaints all day long and their patience was as thin as the people in front of them. When they saw hordes of angry passengers heading in their direction, they decided to close the courtesy counter. They instructed us to go down to the baggage level in the airport and speak to the folks at the check-in counter. When we arrived, there was one lonely, haggard agent standing out on the floor fielding questions. The answers that she provided turned a tired exhausted coterie into an angry mob. We were informed that missing our connecting flight was not the fault of the airline and as such, we would not receive a hotel voucher or a food voucher. This did not go over well. An understatement. Where would we all lay down our heads? The agent calmly explained that we could try one of the two airport hotels although she said they were likely full. Had we been so fortunate to get one of these prized rooms to lay our weary heads, we would have had to shell out a measly $400. With many travel delays in the previous two days, she thought that getting a room in Red Deer or Edmonton would be a better option. I’m kidding, of course.

We were then directed to go to the WestGuess check in counter where three agents fought off a barrage of irate passengers. Standing in line, I could easily hear the exchanges between tired passengers and tired agents. Not pretty. I was able to discern that vouchers are not issued for things like inclement weather. The weather in Halifax earlier that evening was perfect so you can scratch that one off the list. The agent then gave us the second reason why we would be spending the night sleeping on chairs or on the floor in the reception area outside of the security area. You see, the airlines have been trying to maximize profits which, by the way, is completely fair. When they started charging for checked bags, the public, being savvy and Scottish (!) decided to circumvent this by not checking bags and jamming as much personal property into their carryon bags. This produced immediate consequences- delays getting all of these carryon bags to fit on the plane. As a matter of fact, airlines are now offering people to stow some of these bags in the belly of the plane at no charge to free up space. Maybe if the airlines in their infinite wisdom would allow one free checked bag (like the good old days) this problem would be eradicated quickly. What the agents explained to every customer was that it was THEIR fault that the flight was delayed. This was not accepted with grace or decorum. There was a young girl standing behind me. She was in tears. I found out during the night that this was her very first flying experience… and possibly her last. I felt bad for her and an elderly couple who were completely flummoxed.

When I got to the counter, I looked at the agent and said, “I am not going to get mad at you.” His relief was palpable, and I thought for a moment that he might leap over the counter and hug me. I simply wanted to know when I might fly the following day and to secure a boarding pass.

It was now 12:30 a.m. My flight to Victoria was for 7:00 a.m., a scant 6.5 hours away. The agent told me that I should be at security no later than 4:00 a.m. At that point, I was very happy that I wasn’t able to secure a $400 hotel room. That would have been the most expensive short stay (3.5 hours) in history. I wandered down to the security area and grabbed a seat. People were curled up on the seat and stretched out on the floor. Charming. The guy next to me was snoring. No. Thundering is a more apt description.

The only good news in this ordeal is that I was the very first person in line when the security area opened up its doors at 4:00 a.m.

My flight to Victoria was uneventful and 31.5 hours after crawling out of bed the previous day in Antigonish, I had arrived in Victoria.

I am a substitute schoolteacher.

WestGuess. You get a big time fail.

“Because I used to love her,

But it’s all over now.”

It’s All Over Now – The Rolling Stones

Have a great weekend.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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