Saturday, December 28, 2019

ROBBLOG #813-What Now?

What now?

How did that happen. We're all having a glorious Christmas Season and then someone goes and spoils the Christmas Pudding by saying 2020.
It sounds perfect- if you're a pair of eyes.

I even woke up in the middle of the night and began to mull this "2020" over- as one does when one is trying to sleep at 0416.

"I guess I'll never see 2050..."- my brain exclaimed. "I'll never write a cheque with 2051 in the top right hand corner."- I moaned.

Will there even be cheques then? I can't remember the last time the Mister or I wrote such a thing as a cheque, so maybe 2050 is already here. H.G. Wells 1984- pissh shaw!
It didn't have anything on 2050.

Maybe'll we'll be taking a Sunday drive in a flying car. Of course, I think I remember it was the "Star Weekly" telling us and showing us in colourful sketches- back in 1960-something, what our world at 2000 would look like with all manner of flying things and electronics.
They had no idea of Alexa though- did they?
Talking machines sitting on the kitchen island or beside one's bed.
Pissh Shaw again Mr. Wells.

If I see 2050 or any of the years after, I'll be doing it pushing around my walker whilst wearing depends and drooling, singing my favourite old 1960's songs. The handsome, angelic, youthful and possibly muscle-bound attendant will pat me on the shoulder with a strong right hand telling me I have a lovely voice and remind me my diaper needs changing.
He'll call me "Mr. Reid".
That's something to look forward too!

A friend reminded me that Prince Philip is 98 and he's still walking around the Palace.
Walking- not driving, thankfully.
I reminded my friend that Prince Philip has better medical attention at his disposal and may have already had several new hearts, kidneys and maybe even a Botox touch-up or two.
I've never been afforded Botox but my dentist offers the service.
Teeth cleaning and a Botox treatment.
Friends would remark-
"Why Rob, such white teeth you have and you look 10 years younger as well- all from a visit to the dentist you say..."
I would smile back at them- if I could but the Botox has frozen my face into a "Grinch-like" smirk. At least the bags under my eyes, my forehead lines and the puppet chin I have is gone.

So faithful readers, I spend my days and nights re-reading Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and thinking about the ghosts that populate my future- 2020 or 2050. I think I should read a different book and get a newer, fresher, less frightening outlook for a new year and new decade.

Happy Holidays and have the best New 366 days possible.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

ROBBLOG #812- A Christmas Talk with the Big Guy

‘Tis the season. Time for another Yuletide Yak with the big guy- upstairs.

~briiiiinnnnng. Briiiiinnnnggggg, brinnnng…~

Voice: Hello, it’s Heaven. God’s Office. Harriet Tubman Speaking.

Me: Harriet Tubman. Wow! Thee Harriet Tubman?

Harriet: Das right white boy. Thee Harriet. What’s ya’ll’s name.

Me: Oh, it’s Rob. He’s expec…

Harriet: Yessir, ya’lls written down here.

Me: Gosh. Harriet Tubman. I mean all you did for the slaves…and you lived in St. Catherines, in Ontario.

Harriet: Fer a spell. I liked dat place. Nice folk. The church I attended’s still there.

Me: So, I’ve got to ask. Why are you answering phones for the big guy?

Harriet: Filling in. Joan Rivers is usually here.

Me: Joan Rivers. Thee…

Harriet: Das right chile. Thee Joannie. She wanted the holidays off- both Hanukkah and Christmas.

Me: Oh, she has seniority?

Harriet: No Chile, she’s just white.

Me: Oh….

Harriet: I’zz puttin’ you through. Youze lucky, he’s in a jolly holiday mood today. Sounds likes he’s got a bunch of mistletoe shoved up his butt. One moment please chile…

Me: By Harriet. Nice chatting to you.

Harriet: Uh-huh…


God: Well hello Robbie. Feliz Navidad!

Me: Yes indeed. The same to you. God. Everytime, I talk with you I think…I mean you’re numero uno. You started this all. Christmas, I mean.

God: Yes siree Rob. I did. Turned out not too badly, wouldn’t you say?

Me: Yes. I like the Peace. Goodwill on Earth part. It happens so little these days. Remember when everything shut down during Christmas. The quiet. The Peace. It was beautiful.

God: Yes. It was that. Soft snow falling- in some part of my world. Sunshine and flip flops in another. Crazy world I made, eh Rob?

Me: I guess. I would have thought this Peace idea would have been universal by now. I mean how hard is it to have fun, enjoy, love your neighbour- just get along.

God: It’s not hard. Some people make it hard. They take things to extreme. Nothing I can do about it. I laid down the blueprints. Now it’s up to all of you.

Me: So are we a failure here on Earth?

God: No. Not really. A bit of a disappointment. Look at the beauty down there. Oceans- which you all are not treating kindly I might add, sunshine, flowers, trees- oh and Mrs. Maisel.

Me: Mrs. Maisel?

God: Yes! I love that show. It’s on the Cloud Channel up here- not to be confused with “The Cloud” where you folks are storing all manner of stuff these days. We’ve had to add extra clouds because of the demand.

Me: Uh...huh…

God: Oh for my Son’s Sake. I’m just joshing Rob! The cloud has nothing to do with us. That baby’s all man-made.

Me: Well, I was going to say…. So, let me throw out a few names here and tell me what comes to mind.

God: Okay Robbie-Bobby. Love your Union Jack flag socks by the way.

Me: You can see them?

God: Of course. I see all and know all. I’m kinda like Lisa LaFlamme- on uppers.

Me: Good One Big Guy. So, names. Ummm...Andrew Sheer, The Queen, Brexit.

God: Andy. Well that boy takes things too literally. He needs to breathe. No wonder they gave him the boot…and that smirk on his face. Even I don’t like that.

Me:  He definitely was in the dark ages.

God: A lot of people still are. Jesus Christ!!....

Me: What happened?

God: Nothing Robbie, Jesus just walked in. ~aside~ What’s up Son…Yes…Yes… That’s a good idea. Are you leaving now?

Me: Where’s he going- if I may be so bold to ask.

God: Oh, he’s going down to see Liz. She has a lot in her head after Boris’s win. Can you believe it? Never underestimate an underdog. She needs some “soothsaying” as the days move forward.

Me: Soothsaying?

God: That’s what we call it up here in Heaven when we put an idea or feeling into someone’s head.

Me: Neat! So I guess Brexit will move forward.

God: Not up to me. What will be will be. Oh Listen, I had lunch with Doris Day and Juliette last week.

Me: You did? You mean Our Pet- Juliette?

God: Yes! I loved her show with the Romeos. Not so keen on your hockey game that played before her show…

Me: Neither am I.

God: I asked Doris what it was like working with Rock and James. I think she loved both of them- a lot. I really do. Nice, nice ladies. They volunteer at Heaven’s Humane Society.

Me: Nice.

God: Look Robbie, I have some other appointments and I still have to do some Christmas Shopping. It’s so damn hard to fit the hustle bustle in at this time of year- but I love it!

Me: Me as well. Do you have many to buy for?

God: Dozens but Mary is the hardest.

Me: Mother of God?

God: No. Wife of Jesus.

Me: Whaaat? So….My Gosh- it’s true?

God: Let’s save that for another time- shall we? In the meantime all the best to you and yours this Christmas Season and I am so, so glad you Boyz are enjoying the Island. You both deserve a nice retirement.

Me: Gee thanks. You do see and know all. A Happy Christmas to you and your family in Heaven.

God: Talk to you again- soon. Bye. 


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

ROBLOG #811- A Severn Tale of the Christmas Season

Me: A Dear friend made a comment about the previous ROBBLOG. How dare I post "a re-run!"
Point taken ~smile~
So, here's a brand new Christmas-themed story. It's fresh out of my head.
However, a warning, another Holiday Story I wrote more than 25 years ago will be appearing in this blog soon. Edited for your pleasure. I can't say whether or not I've posted it before. In the meantime come with me, along the Severn Road.

They're a funny bunch out along Severn Road.

The Severn.
Hot as hell in summer with humidity and bugs.
It's like the bloody Amazon fer Christ's sake.

Then, comes winter.
Sleet and snow and cold.
It's relentless but the people of the Severn are a tough, hardy bunch and Christmas helps them through.

Jake Anderson parked in front of Able's General Store right next to the dozen or so cut Christmas Trees and an accompanying sign. The simple sign read: Xmas Trees $18. Jake stepped out of his Ford F150 into the frosty morning and trudged through the snow to Able's entrance, his ears were tingling and he'd only been out in the frosty, Friday air for a few seconds.

"Shit, damn, Mother Mary in a swamp. That's a cool yule today!"
He slams Able's door behind him rubbing his hands together to produce a bit of heat for his frozen fingers.  He had forgotten his gloves.
"Season's Greeting's Abner!"- he cried, "You got coffee on?"

"Always and forever. Where's your damn gloves? It must be minus thirty!"Abner poured a mug of java for Jake. "A bit early for you to be out and about?"

"Yah, well, I wanted to see if that package had arrived from the city with Helen and the kid's stuff in it. I ordered it all online this year." Jake seemed proud that he had sat in his cozy, well-padded office chair and ordered away to his heart's content.
"It was easy-peasy. Damn. Technology sure has come along way..."

"Yup." says Abner. "Look back at the fifties and sixties. We all hustled into Baldston and shopped in what- three dozen shops? I remember as a kid looking all over town for a hair brush and comb one Christmas. A gift for my Dad.

"Did you get one?"

"I did and my Dad really appreciated it. I'll never forget the look on his face Christmas morning. His kid had picked a gift other than a tie- or socks!" Good Gawd those were happy Christmases what with the cold and snow and lights and everyone in town out shopping." He paused. "I miss my Dad. All these years later and I miss him like Hell!"

"Never easy losing a parent. Part of us leaves as well..."

"Indeed." He paused for a minute. "Somebody change the subject, eh? It's Christmas for Gawd's sake!"

Jake thought of something.
"Yes, I remember those kid Christmases well. It was fun and my parents did the best they could with what seemingly little they had. Always tons of presents under the tree. How the hell they did that I'll never know!"

"A Christmas miracle, I guess."- says Abner as he topped up Jake's cup.
"How's the book coming?"- he asked. Jake was an author of books- mysteries mostly. Many made the best seller lists across the country, one year one title won the Canadian Gold Leaf Award for Literary Excellence. The plaque hung on his office wall just above the fireplace.

"Fine, fine. A few weeks and it'll go off to my publisher-finally!" Jake sounded relieved that the end was in sight for this newest of his books. It was getting harder to concentrate on writing as he got older but he was over the hump now and had just a few chapter re-writes ahead of him.

"Let me look for that package Jake. I think it came in yesterday afternoon." Abner, disappeared through the massive red, wooden door at the end of the counter.
As he did so there was the sound of a rusted muffler, a honk of a horn and a metallic thump into a snow bank at the front of Able's.

"What the hell is that?"- Jake yelled.

From somewhere behind the door Abner yelled- "Oh, the Lesbian has landed!"


"Most likely. Sounds like she needs a muffler on that jeep thing!" Abner's voice could barely be heard over several revs of the Jeep's gas pedal. Then there was total quiet.
Harriet Henderson was the local LGBT representative on the county council. She was a tough old bird but she had a heart of gold.

"When the hell is she going to trade that old clunker in?" Jake spoke loud enough for Abner to hear as he sorted through the delivery that came late in the afternoon the previous day. This Christmas season he had seen a definite upswing in local folks ordering gifts on their computers. His box room- as he called it, was full to overflowing. He even had smaller packages tucked under his front counter. Business was good. Abner got a good percentage paid to him with every box he received plus he got to say Happy Holidays to most of the Severn residents.

Then the front door of the General Store flew open and a swoosh of flakes flew in just ahead of Harriet. She Stamped the snow off her Birkenstocks as she entered and called out-
"Dag nabbit. Christ on a Cracker. She's a bloody cold one. As cold as a witch's titty. Abner! Coffee!"

"Coming Harry!"- he spoke as loud as he could from the depths of the hundred or so  Christmas boxes piled all around him.

"Well if it isn't the prolific local writer and media sensation- Mr. Jake Anderson. Howz it hanging Jakey?"-Harriet teased.

"Oh they're hanging. Frozen but hanging!"- Jake laughed. "Here let me pour you a coffee. Abner's up to his knees in boxes. We may never see him again!" Jake and Harriet laughed as they both pulled up wooden stools at sat the counter.

"This" said Harriet, "This is what I love about the Christmas season. This is the spirit. Freezing temps, Abner looking for stuff in that box warehouse of his  and hot coffee in the General Store. It's like our local when you think of it. She turned- "Abner, can I reach over and get a fritter and pour a coffee for you if you ever appear from behind that door again?"

"Sure thing!" A voice came from somewhere back of the red door, "Get a fritter for Jake too and throw them in the micro for about 30 seconds on high! I'll be right out. I think I found your box Jake!"

Harriet threw three apple fritters onto a old Christmas plate she took from the pile next to the baked goods. She looked at Jake- "He said 30?"

"I think so Harry. Give it a go."

Jake sipped his coffee as he heard Bing and David Bowie begin to sing Little Drummer Boy from the Alexa speaker situated on the shelf behind the counter.

"Oh I love this song!"- Harriet joined Bing and David.

"Pah Rum a Bum Bum".

"Rum a Bum Bum? Harriet.."- He laughed. "What is that? Your own personal version?"

"Screw you. It's Christmas."- she continued her voice getting louder and louder.

"Cripes! Who's stepped on the cat's tail again?"- Abner cried as he came through the big red door with not one but two boxes piled in his arms and held tightly to his chest. "Here ya go Jake. It was two of two according to the packing slip. Two boxes in your order."

"Wow, must of been the order I place on Wednesday! Now that's fast."

Harriet finished the Little Drummer Boy chorus- mercifully, just as the microwave "pinged".
"Nobody ever said old Dykes like me could carry a tune but I don't give a flying fig!"
She opened the oven's door and using the prongs she placed one of the fritters on each of two Christmas plates keeping a microwaved plate and fritter for herself.
"Cripes, these are hot. Watch when ya bite into them!"- she cautioned.

Abner set the boxes on the floor at the end of the counter and joined Harry and Jake at the counter.
For a minute they munched on the fritters and sipped at their hot coffee.

"So Christmas in a couple of weeks. Seems like I just took down the Hallowe'en stuff and now I have
hundreds of lights twinkling out front and that seven foot beauty of a balsam fir sitting there in the corner looking all jolly and bright!"

"It is a perfect tree, Ab. Did you take a photo?"- Jake reached for his mobile. "Here let me. This one needs to go on record." He slipped from the stool and took up a position in front of the tree. Taking three or four snaps he then re-joined Harry and Abner.

"I'll text them to you Ab. So, do you have a tree up yet Harry?"

"Nope. That's one of the things on my list today. Abner, I'll take one of those frozen beauties out front. The one with the blue tag on it. If I'm lucky it'll thaw out by the New Year!"

"Just leave it in your heated porch- it is heated- right?"
She nodded, mouth full of fritter.
"It'll be good to decorate in a few hours. Have a couple of Bailey's on ice and the time will pass nicely."

"I'll do that Ab. Got the nieces and nephews coming over this evening to have a go at decorating. I bought all these new LPD lights..."

Jake interrupted. "You mean LED."

"Do I?" Harriet laughed. "You know an old bird such as myself has a hard time keeping on top of things these days."

"You mean things like that muffler of yours". Jake smiled.

" Jesu Christo. If it ain't one thing it's another. I got Sam down at Village Motors ordering me a new one. Cripes it's been a few weeks and it is supposed to be in come Monday."

"Sleep in Heavenly Peace."-said Jake picking up his cup for another sip of good, strong, morning coffee.

Abner leaned across the counter- "Well, just how old is that four-wheeled monstrosity anyway Harry? It must date back to the Wise Men's time? He laughed.

" Well pretty near but it's got me to wherever I need to be for decades now. It's a part of me she is."

"She's a she?" Jakes asked.

"I believe so Jakey. Boy, she can get awfully cranky once a month!"
They all laughed.

"Harry, you're a hoot."- Jake bit into his fritter again. "Gawd, this is good. Mmmmm.
Mrs. Stephens does your bake goods, eh Abner?"

"She does and hey you remember those two Gay fellahs that use to live out on Hawkins Road?"

"Yes. They moved out west- right?" Jake added.

"Yup, they did. Well I send them a dozen or so of those fritters every month or so. Just sent off another batch the other day. They loved them fritters. Guess they can't find anything as good out there."

"Jerry and Kevin, eh?" Jake was not good at remembering names. Sometimes he even forgot characters names when he was writing and had to turn back pages to refresh his memory.

"Barry."- Added Harriet. "I keep in touch. Nice fellahs. Might go visit them come July."

"Good Gawd, you're not taking that old piece of metal out there I hope."- Abner pointed to the jeep through the frosted window.

"Nope, I'll fly." Harriet motioned to Abner to top up her coffee.

"Well," Jake slid from the stool, "I better get a move on. I promised myself I'd edit two chapters of my book today and I can find a million things I'd rather do instead. Look Harry, a Merry Christmas to you if I don't see you before."

"Merry Christmas Jake. Say hi to Helen and the Kiddies. I'll pop over for a Holiday tipple one of these days."

"You do that Harry. Looking forward to it. Thanks for finding the boxes Abner. Might be another one before the big day."

"I'll be here and keep my eyes open for it."

"See ya."
Jake whipped his scarf around his neck and disappeared through the Store's front door.
Harriet turned to  Abner-
"You got time for a few hands of Gin? Then I gotta go over to the butchers, my Turkey has arrived.

"Sure, why not. It's Christmas and it won't get devilishly busy in this place for another hour or so..."
As he said so, the door flew open and Buddy Turner came in.
"Well speak of the devil!"

Harriet smiled and grabbed a deck of cards from her pocket. "Look after Buddy there. I'll warm these suckers up in the meantime."

Johnny Mathis' It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year began to play on Alexa while Harriett turned towards the windows of Able's General Store where she watched more and more snowflakes fall.

Friday, December 6, 2019

ROBBLOG #810- A Tale of Xmas

Well Dear Readers having returned from Jolly Olde England at this most festive time of year, I am truthfully pooped and jet-lagged. Therefore since my brain is a little mushy- like peas with an order of Halibut and chips, I looked back into the ROBBLOG archives and came up with this little Christmas Tale that I published several years ago when I was but a lad. Well, I wasn't in my sixties as of yet when I wrote it so, a lad I was. Here is a twisted take on A Christmas Carol. It may be a little "dirty" but we are all adults here and I make no apologies to Dickens or to you Dear Reader, therefore, read on...

A Christmas Fable- with some additions and deletions to the original.

You see, the day was Christmas Eve, a few years ago.
By that I mean it wasn't yesterday or last week. That's the idea I am trying to get across to you, Dear Reader. The weather was temperate yet a less than real, potato-flake snowfall clung to the lampposts and the Christmas Shoppers who were scurrying along Bleeker Street in Camden Town.

At the far end of Bleeker Street at number 172B, one found the dismal, store-front business office of Squeegee and Surly- chartered accountants. The sign stating the obvious was hung overtop the doorway. Below, inside the front window in this dismal piece of a storefront office sat old Ebenezer Squeegee. Surly left the company seven years before to become a WalMart greeter and Squeegee hadn't bothered to change the signage. Anyway, Ebeneezer Squeegee sat counting his money.

Not far away in another chilly, dismal office, sat a shivering Bob Scratchit, Squeegee's clark.
At least when Bob told folks what he did at Squeegee and Surly, he referred to himself as a "clark". It was probably just his accent, since in reality he was a clerk.

Bob's Bic pen scratched away on the paper in front of him.
"Fuck, it's cold in here. So cold that I have to pee again!"- he grumbled under his breath.
Setting the pen down he slid from the wooden stool where he was perched and left his office turning right down the hall to the gents. As he turned he saw Squeegee counting his money.
"Old Bastard"- he thought, even though Christmas was nigh.

After relieving himself in the executive outhouse in the back alley, Bob walked back towards his office. As he stepped towards his desk, he heard an unusually hearty laugh coming from Mr. Squeegee's office. Right then and there, Bob decided to grow a pair and ask for the following day- Christmas Day, off. Hell, he might even ask for the whole week as long as he didn't have to do any special favours for old Squeegee- if you know what I mean. Nudge. Nudge. Winkety-wink!

No! Not those kind of favours Dear Reader and tsk tsk for you thinking that way! It's Christmas after all. Now, pull yourself from the depraved gutter where your mind lives and read on with a light heart. What I meant was favours like washing his car or trimming Squeegee's ear hairs.
Really readers!
You all are disgusting.
May Jesus- if he existed that is, have mercy on your unholy souls!

Now back to this yuletide fable...

No, Bob would put his size 10 and a half down. This year there's be no bullshit favours performed. In that he was uni-lingualy unanimous!
A shoe shine perhaps in the spirit of the season but he wasn't going to look down into Squeege's ugly, old, hairy ears again this year. He still shuttered when he thought about it.
Bob was still shuddering at the memory as he stepped into the doorway of Ebenezer Squeegee's office. He knocked respectfully on the door before he spoke.
"Excuse me. Sir?"
Squeegee stopped counting and turned off his Samsung Pad.

Old bugger probably looking at porn again, I'll wager- thought Bob Scratchit.
"Pardon Sir, but what with tomorrow being Christmas Day, I thought maybe you might just make the decision and close the office down for the next week so as both of us might make merry and enjoy the holiday period"- Bob Cratchit said meekly to his employer.
"Whaat? Who the fuck is this Mary you wanna make?"- Squeegee's tone was gruff and stinky. Actually the stinky part was probably his feet, since Bob could see Squeegee had kicked his shoes off.

'What do you mean Scratchit? Spit it out!"- Squeegee growled.
"I meant, will you be needing me to come to work, sir? and...and...maybe you could take a much needed repose yourself Sir. I mean you are looking rather old and tired."
Bob wanted to say he smelled as well but thought better of it.
"Old? Tired? Screw you Bobby boy!" Squeegee paused and had a think. Well, either he had a think or it was gas.

"So, you want Christmas Day. Christmas Day! Bah, humbug!" replied Squeegee.

Bob Scratchit started to tremble. He pee'd a bit too and just after he emptied his bladder.
Bah. Bumhug!
"I suppose if you must have the day off ya better get the scissors and trim these ears of mine and while you're at it sonny boy you can pluck away some of these nasty nose hairs as well. Maybe even a Brazilian. Now get to work! Heh. Heh." Squeegee started to smile.

Then, as he got up from his chair Squeegee looked Bob right in the eyes and extended his hand.
"Ho Ho Bob. I had you for just a second- didn't I?"
Squeegee laughed an uproarious laugh. You know, the kind of laugh one laughs every single time Andrew Scheer speaks!
Bob looked at Squeegee's strong, hard fingers and said-
"Well now it takes a big boss to offer his hand to an underling. Thankee!"
"It's simply a show of thanks for the season." crowed Ebeneezer his eyebrows twitching like mad as he smiled.

Bob Scratchit felt small and awful. He grabbed Ebeneezer Squeegee's hand and gave it a hardy shake.

As he did so Squeegee cried out- "Ha Hah Bobby Boy. Gotcha! Just before you walked into my office, I just had this hand down the front of my slacks having a good old scratch.
Now you have my plum pudding scent all over your pinkies. Cripes Bob Scratchit! This is the best Christmas yet. Hah! Hah! Hah!"

"Very funny Sir. Very funny. You sure got me this time- didn't you." Bob wiped his palm on his pants all the while cursing under his breath.
"So are we going to enjoy the holiday or not, Sir?" Bob asked again with a weak smile.

Ebeneezer Squeegee looked Bob Scratchit right in the eyes for a second time and extended his other hand.
"Of course. Now have a very Happy Christmas Bob. I mean it. Maybe I don't tell you enough how valuable you are to me."

Bob looked at Squeegee's other hand and warmly reached out to give it a firm Holiday shake.

"Hah and Hah again Bob! You're just too easy. I got my "stuff" all over this hand too.
Hah. Hah. Ho. Ho Ho!"

For Squeegee was a dirty, old devil of a man something like Alberta's Jason Kenny only more centre for Squeegee believed in the Holy sanctity of Gay Marriage. Whereas most Conservatives used stiff-bristled brushes to scrub the filth off their hands whenever they unknowingly came upon a person of the "Gay Persuasive".

Bob pulled back his hand reaching for a wet nappy from a package that sat on Squeegee's desk. Now he knew why they were there.
Yucky he thought!

Squeegee was still chortling as Bob finished wiping his hands clean and then disposing of the wet nappy in the garbage can next to Squeegee's desk.

"Okay, Bob my lad. Sorry. That wasn't as good as last year's Holiday prank when I poured crazy glue all over the toilet seat in the gents but I guess it'll have to do. Look Bob, take a good holiday break and just for being such a good sport and employee I'm going to double your wages but be sure you are here all the earlier the day after the Holidays are through. Christmas is not an excuse for being a lazy clark! It's a poor excuse."

"Yes Sir! Yes Sir! I'll be here and earlier than ever! You'll see!"
Bob was ecstatic. He jumped up on Squeegee's desk and started to table dance to an old Cher song playing on a radio somewhere in Squeegee's office. He looked down at Ebeneezer Squeegee who was shoving his hands down the front of his slacks. Bob soon realized what his dancing was leading to and swiftly jumped to the floor!

Gaining some composure and slicking his oily hair back into place he asked-
"So, Sir. What are your holiday plans?"

Ebenezer removed his panty-hands from his slacks.
"Well you remember that blonde lad Bruce who brought me the prize turkey a few years back?"

"Yes. I do and just to confirm that lad was legal and 19. He also brought the butcher back in record time- if I remember the story. Dickens of a day that was Sir!"

"Indeed." said Squeegee, "but now that lad is a sturdy 24 years old and built like a brick
workhouse. I've invited him over to sample my gruel tonight."

"Oh Sir!" Bob smirked. "Gruel. Is that a euphemism for....?"
Ebeneezer Squeegee scowled and glared at Bobby Scratchit straight in the eyes as was his usual way and said- "Get your mind out of the Christmas Guttersock Bob!" 
Bob smiled a wide holiday grin. "Good one. Sir! Merry Christmas! A very Merry Christmas Sir!"

He turned on his fashionable heels and headed back to his own office looking forward to the time when he could put down his scratchy pen and head home to his wife- Mrs. Beverley Scratchit. Beverley was a cross-dresser and her name was really Roger but Bob didn't mind. He didn't mind one little bit for Beverley could cook a turkey so moist it would make any Queen weep. Also, Dear Readers, her giblets were superb!
Beverley's giblets- not the Queen's, I mean.

That night, Squeegee went home to his huge manor house. He ate a cold supper of salad and oysters and waited for Bruce to arrive.
When Bruce finally did so, Ebeneezer Squeegee encouraged the brawny lad- who in deed was at the age of 24, not to waste a minute of time for the oysters were starting to have their desired effect on Squeegee's manly bits.

Later, in the middle of the night, Ebeneezer was awakened suddenly by a strange noise in his room. It sounded like huffing and puffing. Was it a ghost of Christmas Past?
He sat up in his bed and saw Bruce- who was 24 years old may I remind you, doing push ups on the carpet across the room in front of the roaring fire.
Seeing this vision of a man, Squeegee threw back the bedclothes and hurried downstairs to consume even more oysters. Then, as quickly as he ran down the stairs, he ran back up again taking the steps two at a time.
Silly old bugger. He was past being athletic Dear Readers.
Way past!

Ebeneezer needed to make merry once more- or at least in this case Bruce- and perhaps have a good old game of "Blind Man's Buff"!
No explanation required Dear Readers, if you catch my drift!

As Ebeneezer Squeegee hopped back into bed he began to sing ever so loudly his favourite Holiday tune of all time- O Come All Ye Faithful!

As Squeegee sang every note in the Spirit of the Christmas Season, Bruce- who was 24 years old you will by now remember, hopped back into bed, his massive chest ruddy-red from the exertion of the push ups on the floor before the flaming hearth.
Red just happened to be Ebeneezer Squeegee's favourite colour- the old Queen that he was!

As Bruce set to work Ebeneezer sang out in  the most perfect and wonderful High C ever heard-
"Merry Christmas, Everyone!"

The End.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

ROBLOG #809- Crossing the Pond

We've given the upstairs/downstairs folks a week off.

We're headed- The Mister and I, to Jolly Olde England for a week.
We haven't been over home across the pond since landing on Vancouver Island two and a half years ago.

It'll be fun going back.
London at Christmas.
Oxford Street.
People. Shops. Christmas Decor.
Trafalgar Square's huge tree overlooked by Canada House with its huge Red Maple Leaf Flags flapping in the December Breeze.

Usually, we shop a little. Walk a lot and eat at our favourite pub- The Three Tuns.
This trip after an initial day in London, we'll grab a train from Paddington and rail two hours west to Somerset. There our friend Cate and hubby Steve will pick us up at Taunton Station. From there we'll spend the Week End in and around Hinton-St-George. Lots of historic buildings including manors, pubs and scenery.
I can hardly wait!

Apparently, we are a short drive to the Jurassic Coast and a longer drive to the Cotswolds. We'll see what we see but mostly we just want to soak up local colour and catch up.

Catch up?
Yes, we haven't seen our friend Cate in 18 years!
In fact she kind of slid off the radar for that time.
We simply lost touch.
I can't remember how or why exactly.
Cate- originally from England, lived here in Canada and we worked at the airlines together at Pearson International in Toronto.
The friendship endured and we saw her regularly, even boating on Lake Simcoe in Ontario with her and her second husband.

London at Christmas
A year or so ago, I started looking for her online.
It was on my bucket list.
After several attempts over a few months I found her a while ago- at least I found an address. I wrote a note in a nice card and she responded a week later.
We were gobsmacked!
We've chatted on the phone and e-mailed regularly over the past while.
Now, we'll have a chance to catch up in person and Cate and Steve- he's number three! They can show us their part of England.
It'll be fun and all the shops should be set for the Holiday Season.

Once back in London, we'll shop at Primark- a favourite, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Selfridges- which is owned by the Weston Family here in Canada.
Canadian flags- mixed with the Union Jack, fly proudly from the department store rooftop.
We may even hike it through Hyde Park, past Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace over to Harrods in Knightsbridge. There's usually a huge Christmas Market and carnival in Hyde Park not far from Marble Arch. The sellers in those wooden huts all around the market sell practically the same thing at inflated prices.
Christmas...ya gotta love it.

We'll be back in Canada for St. Nick's Day and the Christmas Season ahead. My Brother is coming for the Holidays and who knows who else. With snow and rain and cold back in Ontario I wouldn't be surprised if half the City of Orillia didn't migrate west this year.

I wonder if we have enough sheets and towels?

Friday, November 15, 2019

ROBBLOG #808- Four letter words: Snow. Cold.

I received photos, emails and texts from friends and family back in Ontario this past week.

It seems something strange happened.
Well, two things actually.
It was even reported in the news.

It snowed.
It got cold.

I'd say the usual.
It's November and it snowed and got cold in Ontario.
People forgot what -15 Celsius felt like.
They do every year.
I used to do that too. I would conveniently forget-
That water freezes.
That driving is awful.
That a shovel is required to clear sidewalks and driveways.

Do I miss Ontario living here on Vancouver Island with the green grass, mild sunshine, occasional showers and no -15 Celsius temps?
I must admit, I miss the "idea" of snow.
You know, that first snowfall when everything is clean and white and the dead leaves, brown grass and twiggy bushes are dusted with the white stuff.
The picture postcard views.
I miss the clear, crisp smell of snow when it covers lawns and hedges but not on the roads and sidewalks.

Our yellow lab Kiki and our mini-schnauzer-Missy, loved the snow when we were in Ontario. Both these girls have passed over the Rainbow Bridge now but we still have videos of each of them frolicking in the snow. It was fun to watch and a brisk walk in puppy coats for them and hats, scarves and gloves for the Mister and I will always be a part of my memories not only of Orillia but of Kiki and Missy.

Once the Christmas Holidays passed, the romantic idea of snow and cold would leave come January when every day was the same- more cold and more snow.
Snow then cold.
Winds, snowsquall advisories and of course cold.

Orillia Downtown in 1952. Snowbanks loom just as large in 2019
It was difficult to go to the grocery store for milk some days.
Driving on slippery roads was a magic trick of sorts. I must say I was pretty good at it but don't ask me to pull a rabbit from a black, felt top hat!
I can remember driving way west out of my normal routing on city streets just to avoid hills in our North Ward neighbourhood. On winter hills in Orillia, cars spun out and slipped and skidded at four way stops.
The city plied sand on top of snow-covered streets.
It never helped.
I know because I drove those streets for decades.
At least driving around and about and taking the less hilly route home, I was able to drive into a convenient Tim Horton's for a large coffee with milk.
My reward.
Then, leaving the Tim's lot I turned left and then right driving carefully down a snow covered hill and left along a one-way street eventually turning into our triple-wide driveway.

Orillia never seems to get the hang of winter and the fact when it snows usually the flakes cover the streets and sidewalks. Maybe Orillia should pick up and move the city west where umbrellas and mud and snow rated tires are all that's requited. That's the tires with the little triangle on the side and sometimes the letters "M&S" or a snowflake logo.
I mention this because these tires are required to be on vehicles October through April when crossing over the Malahat to Victoria. The Malahat might have snow at it's 1200 foot summit and it's good to have the required tires.
If you don't there's a large fine waiting for you.
Of course you can refrain from driving over the top until spring.

Back to Orillia.
My brother was complaining about snow-covered streets this past week even though I read in the hometown "online" newspaper that the city had bought two new plows and hired more snow removal people.

Maybe Ontarians get a little too anxious to have the snow scraped from streets immediately after it falls. It takes time and a lot of patience.
Listen to that...
Wise-winter words from a westerner who lives just about as far west as one can get in this country.

Oh, in case you were wondering.
I still have three pots of geraniums blooming at the front of the house and a huge fern enjoying mild, light-filled days on the Lanai.
The magnolias, laurels and palms are still green and the Oregon Grape, Camelias and Heather are all getting ready to bloom soon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

ROBBLOG #807- Hexit

Oh for Fuck Sakes!

Now, Alberta wants to leave Confederation!
Is there a #Hexit on our country?
First it's the French, now the cowboys and rednecks- acknowledging that not all Albertans are Rednecks and Cowboys. Not that there's anything wrong with a cowboy in a nice pair of jeans.
It's just that...really.
I mean really- Wexit?

You folks can't even come up with an independent sounding name.
You have to steal from the Brits!
I expected that Justin would have said something by now like-
"You folks realize you're using the Canadian Dollar and you have Canadian Passports and all the old folks get paid Old Age pension from Federal coffers?"
Quiet on Parliament Hill but I expect Justin is going- "For cripes sakes- what now?"

Both Quebec and now Alberta have to realize this leaving nonsense doesn't help CANADA on the world stage.
It's bad.
As a matter of fact, here's a long email I received. Most of it is here verbatim from a fellow by the name of Jed Cockburn over in “Scheer Country”. It's more of a media release of sorts. Jed's from Ropeburn Alberta and he's sent me his words of wisdom before- back in the Harper Years.

So, Jed says- allegedly...

"Let me tell you Easterners and BC'ers about us God-Lovin’, golf-fearing folks who live in the wide open spaces the way nature intended."

Note: Some of this email sounds vaguely familiar and I have a feeling Jed didn't do much of a re-write from the pissed-off piece he sent back a decade ago when I had posted a Blog about good old Stephen.

He continues:

"I live here in Ropeburn. Ropeburn, Alberta. Population 1,002.  That's a tad down from 1,112. Some of them dang fools took off to Ontario and BC looking for a better life. Hoping the grass is greener. I can tell ya- it's not. Everyone knows that God Blesses Alberta- and that's a fact.
He said so straight from the pulpit last Sunday and he's no liar.
The Reverend Hodges I mean- not God.

Anyhow we still got a few of them “Mary Worshippers” living here and they have my blessing to leave this golden province whenever they want and they can take their beads with 'em!
Bunch of hippies!

Ropeburn’s located a yank of a cord and a hop, skip and step in a southerly direction from the big city and is known for it's fine “Western Hospitality”.
Y'all can probably feel that from these here words I am writing.

Now look.
This Wexit stuff.
It's fer real.
Here in Ropeburn we got a community centre, library, a nice downtown filled with shops, a dozen or so churches- albeit mostly Baptist ones.
What we don't got is Liberals.
I know Jesus says we gotta love everyone but for the love of Christ those folks that follow every word that that Trudeau fella preaches. Well, they oughta take a good look at themselves and see that it's just not right following one person like that believin' every damn word they say.
I mean what kinda people do that?
May Jesus forgive me for being so harsh.
I mean the Protestant Jesus not that Pope's Jesus.
Good Lord is it any wonder people pee on the Catholic shrubs at their temple doors or steal the Catholic Baby Jesus from the Catholic Nativity display every Catholic Christmas?
I think I heard it was them Presbyterian Pre-teen Bible Study kids. Doing the peeing I mean.

Now, the Indians across Bone Marrow Lake were here first or so we've been told and we don't wanna rock that totem pole anymore than we have already. Originally they inhabited the side of the lake that Ropeburn here is built on but years ago we very nicely asked them to move across to t'uther side of the lake.
Yes, it is a bit rockier than this side and the water's not as clean and the dump is within spittin' distance. Now don't judge us harshly. We let the Mexicans come north to pick our radishes and move the outhouses on the property encircling all that arable land they work.
That's gotta mean sumthin.
I mean we're not all like them Quebecers and their immigration stuff.

So we got all this goin' on and the rest of this country wanna know why we wanna set up our own parliament? Gives yer heads a shake- especially that Ontario.

Listen, we just wanna have control over our own destinies and by the cripes if we wanna vote Conservative for another hundred years we will- ya gotta know that!

Now as far as them folks who don’t know how to finish the Lord’s Prayer in the proper fashion or them Liberals or NDP folks- that are both one in the same in my mind at least, we say good riddance.
If you can’t stand the right stuff- get out of Ropeburn!

Anyhoo, we proud folks in Ropeburn want you to know that we think your lick-ass treatment of that Mr. Trudeau is wearing a bit thin- like cheap “rubber condums”, especially after this so-called Federal Election.
What a pussy of a vote that was.

Here at our next our Town Council meeting, we're jumpin' on the separation band wagon. We've even named the town park Kenny Green and he isn't even that sure about his party leaving confederation.
Look Mister Kenny- shit or get off the Conservative pot!

Most of us Albertans couldn’t be happier than pigs covered in poo if we walk away from this country.
I can hardly wait to see that Liberal leader’s face when we do. We already got a big banner stretched across the town square saying "Gotta Go Go!". The banner was made by old Mrs. Cutone who went and dug it out of an old chest she keeps in the basement. It was used a few decades ago by the local hockey team- The Ropeburn Rabbits when they were in the hockey finals.

Anyway when- not if, when we leave, it'll be a party. The booze will be flowin' if Billy Parsons gets his contraption repaired in time- wherein he makes a very tasty “communion wine”. Sarah Kuntner will probably make a stack of her famous groundhog burgers too.
But I digress...

Now, Sam Two Rivers from the Chacahatcha Indian Reserve across the Lake isn't too happy about this Wexit. He says why should the tribe give up a good thing just as the money is flowing from the feds and the water is almost worth drinking.

You lefties out there better be prepared to show your Canadian passports at the BC or Saskatchewan border depending on which direction you're comin' from. In the meantime I want you to know we are all prayin' as hard as we can and we think that Jesus and Mr. Scheer are on our side.

Just keep your F’in eyes open and don't cry too much when we're going.
Yours in separation-
Jed Cockburn


There you have it Kids. A #Hexit is afoot with #Wexit.
I think Jed's email speaks for itself and even though I don't believe in her-
Gawd Help us!

Friday, October 25, 2019

ROBBLOG #806- Memories of Childhood

Have I written about my Gramma Reid before?

I am sure she has been mentioned, if not written about in detail. After all I can't remember all that I've
written in eight hundred blogs. In fact when I go way back and read what I posted years ago, it's like reading the writings of another person.

Anyhoo, my Gramma Reid.
My dad's Mum. Lillian.
She left this world on a cold January day in 1965. She actually froze to death because she fell from her back stoop while hanging out laundry.
My Grandmother hanging out laundry on a cold, clear end of January day.

The oil man topping up the tank found her in the snow and carried her inside. I was walking along the street from school minutes before intending to stop in and say hello but my Mum came rushing along just as I reached Gramma Reid's front sidewalk and urged me to go home.
Home was a block and a bit away.
As I walked along clutching my schoolbooks, my Dad came running up Poughkeepsie Street and barked further orders- "Go home and stay there, your sister and brother are there with Mrs. Dwinnell!"
She was a neighbour and lived next door.
I knew something was up.
I just didn't know what. I knew my Gramma had a ticky heart.
Maybe that was it.

Her husband my Dad's father and my Grandad- Norman, had died two days before Christmas in 1963.
That was tons of fun...
I remember that sad Christmas and the prevailing gloom.
My Gramma was so sad. My Dad was quiet and looked down at the floor a lot.
Fifty years Gramma and Grandad had been married now she'd be alone- without "Shorty" a nickname that was attached to him for most of his life.
Being alone happens to all of us- sooner or later.

My Gramma Reid taught me a lot.
Some things she taught me without saying a word.
I wish she were here this minute.
I have a couple of questions for her and I need her advice. I think she pokes me from the next plane of life from time to time. I hear her voice.
I am a lot like her.

Gramma Reid probably put the "Gay" in Gay for me- even before I knew it.
I wonder if she knew I was different?
I loved to go to her house on any holiday or special day.
Around Hallowe'en, I think of the times I'd walk into her dining room and she'd be there making up individual treat bags for all the kids. She'd have "special bags" set aside for "special" kids- like her grandchildren.
She'd have all these treats in bowls on the walnut dining room table and she'd carefully pick a treat from each bowl and tuck it in a little black and orange Hallowe'en bag with a witch or moon or ghost on the side.
All the time she'd spend doing that every year.
Beside her, on the big hutch with the mirror she'd have a Hallowe'en display. Pumpkins, a black cat or two and other spooky stuff. There was usually a centrepiece on the huge dining room table that sat a dozen or more of us at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I wonder where all those decorative items ended up? I didn't get any spooky figurine as a remembrance of her.

50th Wedding Anniversary. This is how I remember my Grandparents.
Christmas was the same.
I'd look in the dining room to see what special display she'd have on the hutch or on the table. It was Gramma Reid who started me collecting my first Nativity set. I still have several pieces that I remember buying at Woolworth's in downtown Orillia.
The price sticker is still on the bottom of the figurines.
It says:
"Woolworth. 29 cents. Hand-painted in Italy"
I chose one of the kings wearing a robin's egg blue robe and gold crown as well as a couple of shepherds. I don't remember what drew me to these specific figures.
Noticeably missing was the Holy Family but in the seventies I bought a stable and enough pieces to complete the entire set. I display it ever Christmas.
It reminds me of her.

She also bought me a Santa Claus figurine one Christmas.
It stands about 10 inches tall.
Santa has a fuzzy red coat, black plastic boots and belt and a fuzzy, white beard.
That was Christmas 1963 and I still have it in a display cabinet.
The one boot has part of a toe missing. Back in the 80's I sat it on the top of a metal fireplace for a minute while I decorated a tree nearby.
The boot's toe melted quickly.
I love that Santa and it started me collecting Santa's.
I have many and I still add one each year.
Don't get me started on who I am leaving all these memories to once I shuffle away from this mortal coil. I have no idea and some nights it keeps me awake thinking about it.
Lillian and Norman.
Other Holidays were well represented on my Gramma's Table and Hutch including St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter and Thanksgiving.

I am sure that's the reason I do the same all year through. Our dining room hutch and table always reflect the season with bunnies, hearts, autumn leaves, pumpkins and more displayed.
In a way I am honouring my Gramma Reid's memory.
It keeps her close and I thank her for all she taught me whether she was aware of the lessons or not.

Even today a charcoal photograph of her- and her brother, looks down upon the dining room table from a ornate golden frame hung on the wall near our hutch.

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy...

Monday, October 21, 2019

ROBBLOG #805- Fah Lah?

Okay. Enough.

Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Fucked up Federal Election and
Hallowe'en (if you're reading this prior to October 31st).

I've had enough. Did you know I practically got thrown in jail while casting my vote on
Auchinachie Street.
Pronounced "Otch in notch ee" you say?
Not on our Island.
It's Oh-hann-a key"!

Anyhoo- A privilege you say?
Only if you can get past the old poussy-faces at the polling station.
My Aunt Mable used to use that term.
Poussy. It fits.
Look, I can't go into detail since Elections Canada has a hot rod shoved up their ass about election protocol and I don't want to be thrown into a Cuban jail.
I think that's how it works.
Canadians who trifle with Elections Canada rules get sent to Cuban jails. I think the People's Party or was it the Communist Party who told me that?
There are double standards in this country and I got caught in the middle.
Onto other happy thoughts- like Christmas.

Just a day or two ago- I thought I'd take a ride and soon Miss Fanny Bright was seated by my side. 
I digress.
That's a partial lyric from Jingle Bells.
Centre Rob.
Centre yourself.
That polling station lady can't hurt you anymore. You have the Liberals on your side. Maybe the NDP- if I had of voted for them.
A day or two ago I purchased my first two Christmas Magazines. Well, you have to buy in October or you miss the entire season. If you wait until December, you'll be buying the spring edition.
What the F**K is it with magazines and their printing dates anyway??

I love Christmas and I love browsing through Christmas Magazines.
I start early- in October.
I always have.
Who am I hurting?- which by the way I asked at that polling station earlier.
I think she thought I was Russian.

I get early ideas for the Holidays when I read my magazines.
I plan decor.
I look for items in stores that mimic what I see in the mags.
I bought Canadian House and Home and my favourite British mag- English Home.
You see, I really want to live in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds.
I am still dreaming of not only a White Christmas but my cozy, Cotswold cottage.
However, if I tried to live in the UK, they'd exit me- as well as Brexit.
Obexit they'd call it.

Anyhoo, I enjoy peering through the pages and drinking in the holiday decorations and mood.
It's never too early.
Whatever gets you through the year-
or the possibility of a jail term.

I hope you'll all bake me Christmas cakes with files in them.
Actually, a key would be better.
I am no good with tools...

Monday, October 14, 2019

ROBBLOG #804- Dancing in The Street 'cause I Gotta Pee

Holy Pissoir Batman!

I cannot believe it!
I have been to Paris many times- not Paris Ontario which is lovely too, minus the Eiffel Tower, I mean Paris, France.
No, no, no.
Check that.
Men, Pee on the streets of Paris. They always have but the intelligent politicians of Paris decided decades ago to place Pissoirs on many Paris Streets.

"A Pissoir is a structure that provides support and screening of urinals in a public space. It is a French Invention common in Europe."
That's what Wikipedia says.

It is there to help prevent French Men from urinating up against building, trees and motor cars.
What is it with men peeing in public?
I expect it's because they can just reach in their pants, pull out a plum, pee and say "What a good boy am I!"
It's a dirty habit.
To my vast international knowledge, I expected that pissoirs could only be found in France- specifically Paris as well as elsewhere in Europe.

Then, a few days ago while walking along a Victoria Street- here on Vancouver Island,  I come upon this structure on the street in Downtown Victoria:

I thought "What a nice green fence!" but why is there a logo of a man on the side. I walked in to investigate and around the corner I saw this:

Obviously not a pot in which to plant peonies but a pot to piss in!
I couldn't believe it. I took a photo.
Imagine, peeing on the street in Victoria, in Canada!
I have never seen this before. Here's what I've seen in other countries:

Here's a Pissoir in Paris, or below that a convenient, manly-looking street urinal in London.
Hmmm, I don't think so. Pizza Hut must love that parked across the street and just where does the "pee" go?

A Pissoir has it's place I guess and with dogs and men peeing willy-nilly from their willies I suppose it's a terrific idea. This Victoria Pissoir was a bright green not unlike the Paris Pissoirs. If you look at the picture, you can see where a gentleman pissing can quite easily look out between the lime-green slats and watch the world go by on a busy street corner all the while pissing to his heart's content. 

There's no roof on this Pissoirs which allows Jesus easy viewing as he watches grown men pee all the way down from Heaven. One walks from the outside of a Pissoirs to the inside via a swirl that resembles a swirl in a cinnamon bun.
That's kinda fun.
I don't know if one can wash one's hands. I didn't check that out. Maybe the silver box on the wall to the right contains wet naps.

The Paris Pissoirs are rather nice and are in keeping with architecture of the City of Lights. The photo that shows the London urinal above is new to me. I have never seen one of these contraptions on a London street. Doesn't it look like it's just sitting there on the sidewalk and maybe the urine just rolls out from underneath the structure into a curb-side gutter.
In Paris you smell the pee on some streets. In London I don;t believe I have.

Now, as for women, I am sorry gals, there is no Pissoir for you and in this day that is well past the manifesto of Women's Lib. There is nothing that I know of that allows you to sit and pee on a busy city street. If I were you, I'd started making signs and arrange a pee protest as soon as possible.
"Equal Urination for Women!"
Pissoirs for Lady Pee!"
"Let Me Pee where I Will!"

Maybe a federal debate in Parliament is not out of the question or a huge, one day march on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Give us our Pissoirs!! Give us our Pissoirs!! Give us our Pissoirs!!
I mean this is perhaps as important as pipes for oil.

I dunno. I could be wrong.
I'm no politician just a concerned citizen who has to pee now and then.

Friday, October 11, 2019

ROBBLOG #803- Turkey Day

Thanksgiving My Dears!

I am sure it was just August yesterday...
Now, when we walk our Island neighbourhood there are pumpkins at doorways.
Colourful Mum pots on  front steps.
Some people add stalks of corn and bales of straw.
Here on the Island Palm Trees are still green as are laurels and magnolias, arbutus trees and more.
Thanksgiving looks different here and I would hazard to say never, ever white like parts of Alberta and especially Manitoba have found this weekend.
I mean they don't call it Winterpeg for nothing- do they?

Canadian Geese are flapping their wings overhead leading me to believe I am still in Orillia, Ontario for a brief moment. The geese are here all year round as are robins.
Sometimes- when it's a quiet morning you can hear the "swoosh" of Geese wings as they pass overhead "honking" directions to each other as they search for the nearest- and safest,  patch of lawn or shoreline.

Flower gardens are put to bed.
Not all. The Dahlias and anemones are done.
Geraniums are still flowering and plants such as Camellia and Oregon Grape are setting buds for January. Winter blooming rhododendrons and heather are waiting to give us winter bloom.
Autumn and "Winter" on the island is much much different than elsewhere in Canada. It's our Mediterranean climate. Ponds and fountains are still active. Muskoka Chairs, lawn ornaments and garden gnomes used to be stored away in advance of winter days. Here they remain in the garden or on our front patio. Tidying up the yard is a chore I never looked forward to back east and now I can enjoy sitting in morning sunshine in my favourite yellow Muskoka Chair all the year round.

This Thanksgiving the aroma of turkey and ham, pumpkin pie and roasting apples are wafting from the kitchen.
I like that word.
Our fireplaces are blazing during cooler, Island nights. I love a fire. It's the centre piece of a room.

We take walks with our schnauzer Koko- not to see the colour change in the leaves because there's not much colour here except for brown and yellow. However, a long walk on sunny Cowichan Valley day is lovely.

There may be a morning visit- not too early,  to the Duncan Farmer's Market an outdoor, year-round Market for a special Jack-O-Lantern that will be carved with care and placed in a front window or on a veranda railing come Hallowe'en at the end of this month.

Elsewhere across this magnificent country friends, families and neighours gather to wish the best of the season and are "thankful" for whatever small pleasures are found in this world today.

There's thoughts of loved ones who are no longer sharing our table but always sharing and holding a special place in our heart.

Here's to a great Holiday.

A Happy, Joyous Thanksgiving.
Just being together.
Good times.
Smiles and
Hearty Laughter.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.