Wednesday, November 16, 2016


A pox on my Christmas?

Say it ain't so. If I were counting- and I am, this season was been wrought with electrical problems. No less than four strings of white mini-lights have burnt out. The last set- last evening, on a wreath that hangs above our "shed-mahal" door.
That's our garden shed.
We call it the "shed-mahal" because we got carried away with the design many years ago and from the street it looks like a small house, hence the "shed-mahal". The wreath made of grapevine requires a 14 foot ladder to reach it. So, last evening when the lights came on, a string of white lights on the huge wreath were dark.

A year ago I had also wrapped the wreath in a set of red LED lights. The red/white combination looked brilliant! Last night was a warm evening and it sure didn't feel like mid-November as I dragged the wooden ladder from the "shed" and propped it up against the door. As usual, I had to stand a couple of steps from the top on the ladder to grab the wreath from its hook and take it down. Luckily, I had found another set of white LED lights in the garage loft so I set about replacing the one that had turned black. I wonder if there had been a brown-out? I have noticed the lights dim during the evening a couple of times in the past week.
I dunno...

I set about removing the offending lights but the wire was entwined around the red light string and an artificial garland of green fir I had wrapped around the wreath, so, I got the pliers out and cut the wires! A "Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor tip"!  I mean that Tim Taylor knows everything about Christmas decorating and yes- I unplugged the set first before I cut! After removing the bits of severed light string, I wrapped the new LED set  around the wreath an  climbed up the ladder to hang the wreath in its place. At least I would be using less energy with the new lights but I still wonder why I have had so many sets go dark this season. The wreath looks great once more.

Now, I have to tell you there is a  fine line between classic decorating for Christmas and "tacky".
Tacky, as an example, would be those plastic, blow up figures once sees in some neighbourhoods- not ours thank goodness, around the city.

Now, don't judge me but I am a little hesitant to tell you this. You see, the past couple of holiday seasons, I have seen an Eiffel Tower up at the Home Depot that lights up and sparkles. Now, keeping in mind that not only have I seen the "real" Eiffel Tower "sparkle" on the hour a couple of times at Christmas and climbed to its very top, I had been tempted to buy this 7 foot replica in previous years. Well now, earlier this week when I was at what my husband and I refer to as "The Homo Depot" buying paint, I saw the replica tower again.
What can I say?
I had a weak moment and shelled out a hundred and thirty-nine bucks for this sparkling white version. I mean the lady at the cash said it would look beautiful with a bit of snow falling.
"Maybe so."- I said, "I just hope it doesn't look tacky."
"No. No. Not at all!"- she replied scanning the bar code on the box.
I noticed she couldn't look me in the eye.

Hennaway, last evening as well as dealing with the light string outage, I also put my "EffelTower" together and plugged her in. She looks good and to tell you the truth, her lights sparkle in the same manner as the lights on the "real" tower there on the right bank in Paris.

Here's a pic of the "real" Eiffel Tower sparkling a couple of years back
Now, this tower is treading the fine line between "classy" and "tacky" but I think I can handle it. My husband Tom's reaction was simply-
"Oh, Honey..." so, that's good- isn't it?
A neighbour from France saw the tower twinkling away last night and said it looked nice.
No, he's not from Nice.

Now, onwards and upwards and here's hoping my seasonal lighting problems will end and I'll "sparkle" through the season.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Ohm, Boo Hoo Hoo.
America got "trumped".
I figured it would happen. I watched it happen here in Canada when Harper won big.
Grow up America!
You've got muscle.
You've got power.
You've got Hollywood.
You've got our "Will"- Eric MCormack I mean...and
You've got a plethora of memorials to sob over from Pearl Harbour to The Trade Centre.
This is just one more disaster.

So what if your country is being lead by a right-wing, racist, bimbo millionaire. At least, that's what I hear and believe me I don't read or watch that much associated with your magnificent country, so there must be some credence there from what I say because I pay such little attention. Besides, you people have gotten rid of Presidents before- haven't you? Or in some cases- attempted to. It right there in your history books.
I say "your" because you all tend to paint the world's history with your own brush. Give it an American spin if you will.
Now, I am not suggesting that something might happen but you have to be the first to admit with all the guns in your country it's not exactly off the list of improbabilities now- is it?

Up here in Canada...
Now, I have to laugh here. If you take the time to look at a map you'll soon see that a great bit of our beloved Canada is actually south of your Un-unified States.
Go ahead.
I'll wait..............................................................................................................................
.......................Oh, you're back.

A Typical American Family at Christmas

As I was saying, up here in Canada we had his royal dictatorship Mr. Harper for 10 years before our "Saviour" Justin Trudeau came along- handsome devil that he is. Fortunately for us he has a brain as well. You didn't hear us whining and crying and saying "Oh woe is us!" when we had to endure Harper's right-wing kingdom.
Okay, we did whine a bit but we still have a Queen to pledge our allegiance to so hah-hah to that one.

My advice kids?
Pull up your big boy panties and get on with it already.
I don't know Ms. Clinton or really anything about her except for the fact her husband in his "randy" elected years spewed sperm on an office gal.
Who knows?
Maybe sperm is thicker than water and people just can't forget about that tainted, painted rose and the painted and tainted "Mrs."
I mean honestly? Are you like me?
Every time I see a photo of Mr.s Clinton I think of that sperm stain- and it wasn't even her little dark dress. It was some strumpet's-wasn't it?

Maybe you'll all feel better about "Thumper" once he's hosted Saturday Night Live a few times or sends all the blacks back to Africa or the Mexicans to Canada. I mean really, the Mexicans don't want to go home to Mexico. That'll all happen before he builds the walls of course.

Did you know we have Mexicans in our area? They work the huge produce farms just east of Orillia  along Lake Simcoe's shoreline. They also work the fields of Holland Marsh to the south of us too. These hard-working folks can be seen strolling along Mississaga Street- our main street, on summer nights. A chance to leave the fields behind and come into town to have some fun.

So, that's about all I got for you. I don't really pay much attention to US Politics that would allow me to expand on what I've written here.
WTF you say?
"Yes", I say, I can still live in Canada and ignore your news and sports and political goings-on, if I choose to. Any Canadian can but some of us just get caught up in all your nonsense, just like the rest of the world.

Honestly, I can't wait for our PM Justin Trudeau to send an invite to Trump for a State Visit. By that time her Royal Maj- Liz, will probably get around to doing it too. I think she's just waiting for Justin to go first!

Sunday, October 30, 2016


That's it folks!

Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak has had it's closing night at the newly renovated St Paul's Centre in Orillia and now this fellah is done.
I bid a fond farewell to Orillia Theatre.
Double R Productions will continue for my Online stations Swisssh and Starlite- but not for theatre.

Why I am "retiring" from theatre?
Cripes, I could make a list.
Money, gossip, backstabbing, Divas, Diva -Dons, little support, few bums in seats...
I could go on and on but why?

I did a bunch of shows over the past decade or more and now it's time to bring down the curtain.
$27 dollars was our ticket price this season for both "All for Nun...The 2nd Coming" and Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak" and yet it was a tough sell. Cheaper for groups.

We took All for Nun...The 2nd Coming to Beaverton as well as Orillia. The Beaverton shows did us in revenue-wise. We barely made what one bus tour would have given us. My Husband Tom and I are in the hole several thousand dollars. That comes from our own pockets and being retired that comes off the top of our fixed income. Not to worry, all our theatre bills will be paid but at a cost.

Advertising tanked- both on radio and in Newspapers. It cost us plenty but it didn't give us the return we expected. For a small not-for-profit theatre company who donated to non-profits, we spent a bunch. I could count on one hand the sales radio brought and the newspapers maybe- maybe, a dozen ticket sales.

Now with another summer theatre company moving in to our former space next summer, I knew it was time to quit.

No tears.
I do feel defeated however. The support in the community just wasn't there. Now, someone else can worry about getting the "bums" in the theatre.
I am through.

A big thanks to the casts and crews and the volunteers and the freebees we got from local media over the years. It was a valiant effort. Sometimes we won. Sometimes we lost.
This time...we lost.

So, with a stiff upper lip I am looking forward to spending more time with my radio stations Swisssh and Starlite and of course there's Christmas coming and travelling a bit. I gotta get back to Paris. It's been a couple of years. London's Oxford Street and Christmas Shopping is calling me as well as the quaint Christmas Market of Mainz in Germany.

I'll still be writing here on my Rob Blog. Not to worry.

Hennaway, I just thought I would let you know what's up and now as the lights dim and the curtain falls, I bid Orillia Theatre adieu.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Busy. Busy. Busy.
Did I mention that I am busy?
It's October and our final Orillia Theatre show of this 2016 season is in production.
Rehearsals now and then our show- Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak" opens October 27th at the newly renovated St. Paul's Centre in Downtown Orillia.
This is exciting- partly because of this new space created by St Paul's. Double R Productions/Orillia Theatre will be the first "theatrical group" to use the new stage and space- and as Orson Hubble in "Sadie Flynn" would say- "It's big, right?"
Sure is.
Huge stage and a big, cavernous hall to fill.
We could put up to 400 bums in seats.
Now, that won't happen unless there's a miracle but we are hoping for a hundred or so at each of our six performances.
The cast comes includes Jim Dwyer, Gayle Carlyle, Teal Cochrane, Laurie Herd and yours truly. The cast comes from near and far- Huntsville, Bracebridge, Washago and of course Orillia.
Tom Ruechel is our Stage Manager and is assisted by Michael Abernethy, who you might remember from our fall show in 2015- The Importance of Being Earnest.
That show was performed at St. Paul's too, only in the "old" space.
So, if you are reading this and are close to or in the City of Orillia, come see our show and support our not for Profit Theatre Company- and St. Paul's Centre.
Opening Night October 27th we donate part of our door receipts to Green Haven Shelter. Friday Night the Cast & Crew is raising funds for "Dress for the Cause" (Breast Cancer).
Saturday night we offer our audience prizes for Best Costume- if they come in costume that is.
That should be a fun night preceding Hallowe'en on Monday.
Come and see the show and have dinner on Thursday October 27th and Saturday October 29th.
Our Lunch and Show is Friday October 28th at 2pm.
Our Box Office can be reached at 705.242.4092
Come and see Sadie Flynn. We'll be waiting for you!

Friday, September 23, 2016


Over the river and through the woods,
To Grandma's House we go...

or is it? Grandma's I mean.

M. Night Shyamalan's movie- The Visit, is about just that. Grandma's House and Grampa's too.
It's a goodie. It was released last year about this time

I always enjoyed going to my Grandma's House back in the 50's and 60's. It was a white stucco, two-storey home right next to Davey Park's barn. Sounds like it was in the country but it wasn't. It was right in Orillia where the Thor Motor's Service Department now stands. The house was bulldozed down- and the memories along with it, about 3 years ago.

Going to Grandma Reid's for Thanksgiving, Christmas and a assortment of other special occasions was a big deal. Not so much with the kiddies in "the Visit" who leave home to stay with their Grandparents for the first time- sight unseen, while Mommy buggers off for a week on a cruise with the new boyfriend. The kids video the whole experience.

The house is set in the pastoral countryside. A real charmer both inside and out. It's what happens inside and out that makes this M Night movie such a creepy thriller. Oh there are a couple of laughs too but when the unexpected happens look out. Grab your chair's arms and hold on for the ride.

You shouldn't be surprized at the tension in The Visit. It is M. Night Shyamalan after all.
I thought I had the movie figured out.
I didn't.

We watched it at home on our big-screen. I thought it would be safe.
I jumped about three times and my heart beat faster than a turkey's arse at fly-time.

It warmed me up for the Hallowe'en season I suppose.
I can't say too much because I will give the creepiness away and you should experience it on your own. I will say there are several bits when a hand-held camera gets to be a bit of a bumpy ride and because of my inner ear imbalance, I have to look away. I should make you aware of that. No need to get motion-sick watching a movie that is meant to scare you not sicken you.

For the most part you won't really recognize the actors in the movie. Makes it more real I suppose.

So children, stay out of sheds where creepy old Grandfathers go.
Don't crawl under your Grandma's house.
Keep your bedroom door locked after 930 pm.
Follow these rules and you'll be fine.

Or will you.....

Saturday, September 3, 2016


I've been busy the past few days.

I should say we.
My retired husband and myself have begun to de-clutter and purge- again.
From the house.
From the garage.
From the garden shed.
Oh and in the midst of all this purging and renewal I had to take my new Samsung Notebook 7 phone back to Best Buy- seeing that it had the capability of not only writing on the screen but blowing up and setting itself and our house on fire when in the charging mode.
I have another Samsung now. So we are safe. Friends were calling, warning me of the imminent danger of my Notebook phone.
How nice!
This time I have the Samsung Edge 7. Almost the same as the Note 7- without the explosions- but I have to write on plain old paper with a plain old pen instead of on a mobile screen.
Technology, eh?

Hennaway, back to purging and renewal, we put a bunch of stuff to the curb and a lot of it has been picked up for free by those who are hoarders. I had to move off the front veranda to the side veranda because I was making the punters nervous wondering. I guess my face was saying- "So, that's the kind of people that pick up another person's junk and take it home".
For free mind you.

We have a loft in our garage and once emptied, we had so much stuff it covered the garage floor and spilled out onto the deck.
There is still two Christmas trees in boxes, toilet paper and paper towels from Costco and a couple of bins of Hallowe'en decorations up top but I managed to use the shop vac and vacuum the rug and the bare floor up there. That's the first time I have vacuumed the floor in the loft. You know,  I think there was less dust there than what I see on tables and TV screens in the house in a normal week.
Dunno why but that's what it seemed like hennaway.

There are a dozen bags of clothes and comforters and stuff from past theatrical shows that are all stuffed into clear lawn bags and packed into the van. A trip to Value Village will soon rid us of those.

I have gone through a bunch of CD's and I have one more cabinet to go. I am however, still clinging to a stack of albums that I just haven't been able to rid myself of yet. Perhaps another day. Some of this purging it hard because the items being purged hold a bunch of memories. For instance, there is my Zenith Allegro Tuned Port speakers I bought- on time, from West End Radio back in 1972.
I loved to listen to CKFM 99.9- The Sound of Our Toronto on those speakers. The base was amazing and so was that radio station.
~heavy sigh here~

So, I thought I would update you on what is happening in my life right now.
Purging and dreams of moving to Vancouver Island- Parksville to be exact. More of Parksville and getting away from Central Ontario winters in another blog. Right now I have that stack of CD's to go through...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


August Days and Nights.
From heat and a drought that lasted from May 11 until August 12th, today we find ourselves trying to remember how many cubits wide and long were the instructions that Noah was given to build the Arc.
I have a Wooden Arc. Not a full sized Arc but one I bought years ago at Wal*Mart, just around Christmas. It was there in the Christmas Decorations department at the "old" Wal*Mart in Orillia- before they built the super-sized version on Murphy Road.
I had always wanted an Arc.
Dunno why.
I did see Arcs in many Home Decorating magazines over the years and that piqued my interest. I thought it was quite the good fortune when I came upon this one at Wal*Mart.
They were never to be seen again,
Strange that it appeared at Christmas. The Noah story didn't involve Christmas since Christmas hadn't been invented yet.
This Arc has tiny, hand-carved and painted images of Noah and the animals. Yes, Noah is alone in my hand-carveds version of the story. The wife must have been shopping and the boys off pissing around instead of helping Dad sort out the animals.
Noah is a good story except for all the "bad" people who came to their deaths by drowning.
That couldn't have been much fun but you know God.
God likes to configure these huge disasters and get rid of a bunch of folks who don't see things quite his way.
Wouldn't God have a field day today?
I wonder who he would target first?
Women who mix various different fabrics together to make a Sunday outfit?
The Jews for killing his Son?
Gays for being Gay or the Lesbians for wearing too much plaid?
Ford for smoking crack/- although that one has resolved itself.
The list would be a long and involved one and any decision would require much thought and study.
Why, I imagine God would get such a headache from all the business going on down here on earth that he'd resign and concentrate on another planet that might only be half as much trouble as Planet Earth. Either that or he'd just take a day off to have fun and go to the CNE in Toronto where he'd eat a bunch of Candy Floss and stare at all the boys in tight, white tee shirts as they passed him by.
Oh. Wait.
That would be me.
Not God.