Carry a Bag, Doofwad!

Max with bowl July 16 12 adjHey you! Yeah, you. The guy who walks by my house every day with that cute little white-haired doggie. YOU, sir, are the reason why dog owners who walk their precious pooches get a bad rap!

This past Saturday, I saw you walk by my house on the opposite side of the street with your dog. Said dog walked up on the neighbour’s lawn, did the usual ‘circle’ dance, and then proceeded to do a #2 business. Now that in itself isn’t unusual because when you gotta go, you gotta go, right? It’s what happened next that made me want to reach out and smack you – the owner, not the dog!

Did you calmly reach into your jeans pocket to retrieve a doggie doo-doo bag? No… Were you carrying a left-over grocery store bag or perhaps even a sandwich bag with which to collect the afore-mentioned # 2 drop? No… You just calmly kept walking with Fido after he/she/it was finished. I mean, what the hell dude?

Then, to make matters worse, you walked to the top of the street and then came back down on MY side of it. My friend and I were standing in my garage when you and your pooch paused at the end of my driveway. She, being more vocal than myself (yes, folks it IS possible that someone is more outspoken than I am!), hollered out to you, “Hey buddy! Would you like a bag so you can go pick up your dog’s crap on the lawn across the street?” You never even acknowledged her – just kept your head down and walked away.

This morning as I was taking my fur-baby out for our morning saunter, guess who is stopped at the end of my driveway? Yup, you guessed it – Mr. “I-don’t-pick-up-dog-crap” and his pooch. I turned to my own dog and said, “Think we’ll wait a few minutes before walking today, Maxster” and you heard my voice as you looked right at me. (Actually I think you were glaring at me but I wasn’t 100% awake so really couldn’t tell for sure.)

I gave you a good five minute head start, but you and your dog were only about 5 cement walk blocks ahead of me when we set out. And did I see any type of bag in your hands? Nope. Hanging perhaps out of the back pocket of your jeans? Nada.

It’s people like YOU, dipstick, that give dog owners like ME a bad reputation!

I know that Mercury is going into retrograde as of today and perhaps that’s why I’m so ticked off at this common occurrence, but seriously, people. If you’re going to take Fifi or Fido out for a walk, be considerate enough to carry a plastic bag of some sort with you in case nature calls so you don’t have to leave an unwanted ‘gift’ on someone else’s property.

Arrgghh…  Some people’s children…

Here’s to You, Mrs. Karen Robinson!

KarenRobinson2016.jpegBack in 2006, shortly after opening my doors for business, I was invited to attend a networking event sponsored by the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) Westmorland Albert, located in Shediac, NB. The hostess of that event was their Executive Director, a vibrant lady by the name of Karen Robinson. I, being the shy and retiring type of gal I am (NOT!) struck up a conversation with her where she asked me tons of questions about what a “Virtual Assistant” was and the type of services I had to offer to the public.

I was still fine-tuning my offerings as it were, and happened to mention to her that I loved to help other entrepreneurs promote their businesses by writing articles for them to include in their newsletters/ezines, or for publication on the web. Before she walked away, she told me that she’d give me a ring in a couple of weeks as she had an idea in mind of how she’d like to promote the CBDC and thought I might be able to help her out.

Sure enough. Shortly after our first meeting, Karen called me and invited me to come out to the CBDCs office to get together with her and some of her staff to brainstorm some ideas.

And so began an almost ten year work relationship between myself, Karen, and the team of wonderful people at CBDC Westmorland Albert.

Over the years, that initial meeting between Karen and me has morphed into a combination of part business and part friendship, with healthy doses of laughter always included in our conversations and dealings. I’ve watched this dynamo of a lady work tirelessly championing causes for rural entrepreneurs, always believing in that every business owner is capable of success if they have the right tools and training.

Today, July 29th, 2016, at 4:30 pm, Karen is “hanging up her hat” as the saying goes and retiring from her position at the CBDC. I hesitated typing that word “retiring” as that is not a word anyone would associate with this lady.

I’d like to tell her to relax, read some good books at the beach, and enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but something tells me she’s not quite finished with her desire to help others. I highly doubt she’s going to quietly fade into the sunset, never to be heard from again as that’s just not her style.

I do, however, know I’m going to miss her ongoing presence in my life, as will so many others.


“And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey.”*

Enjoy your “time off” Mrs. Karen. You deserve it!

*Lyrics from the song, Mrs. Robinson, copyright 1967, “Bookends” by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Driving With Ms. Daisy

old red carFor years and years I’ve read novels and watched numerous films about the genteel ladies who reside in the southern states of the US. I’ve even had a couple of clients who from the lower 48 and I’ve dearly loved listening to them talk. But the best of them all is a fabulous lady I’ve had the pleasure of knowing while visiting Florida these past two years.

Ms. Virginia as I call her, is definitely a one-of-a-kind lady. The fact that she’s has this adorable Southern accent only serves to make her more endearing… and funny as hell.

Ms. V does not swear… at all. She always manages to find some redeeming quality about almost everyone she meets, but if she doesn’t find a person suitable to her discerning taste, she just simply avoids them rather than talk to or insult them. (Wise lady, this Ms. V!)

However, this poor lady didn’t know when she first met me that I tend to pick up accents rather easily and love to do mimicry. I don’t do it to be mean, but rather to relay a story or incident that has happened while I’ve been in Ms. V’s company to others. You see, most of the funny part is listening to her tell a story with that delightful twang of hers adding some pizzazz to the telling.

Ms. V is the only person I’ve met to date who can turn a one syllable word into two and make it sound like a totally different consonant. Her ‘r’s’ come out like ‘e’s, ‘o’s’ sound like ‘a’s’, and there are other letters of the alphabet that come out of her mouth so long and drawn out I have no idea what it actually is!

So far this trip I’ve learned that the number ‘four’ and ‘sh*t’ are two syllable words pronounced like this: “Thare waren’t none but ‘fo-ore’ minutes afore I had ta run to the privy.” And today, when we got lost going to a flea market no more than 15 minutes away from our condo, she said when pulling into the parking lot, “Well, ‘she-it!’ It done looks like thare closed!” (She was right ticked at the fact that only a quarter of the market was open for business when we arrived since we’d gotten lost on the drive, driven up an off ramp, and hit a curb.)

The other day when she dropped by the place where I’m staying to ‘chat a menute’ she came out with one of the best one-liners I’ve heard in a long time. She was talking about her husband pacing the floors and deadpanned “He were jest about climbin’ the walls. Made me want ta cut a hole(r) in the ceiling so he’d have a way to escape!” I almost spewed coffee all over the carpet at that one. She later went on to tell us about someone who’d cut themselves and they were “bleedin’ like a stabbed ho.” What she really meant was that they were bleeding like a stuck pig and the ‘ho’ was supposed to be ‘hog’ but not the way Ms. V said it. Again, I narrowly missed spitting out my drink all over the place.

Today’s excursion, however, is so far one of the best. On the way to the aforementioned flea market, we were driving down a busy three traffic lane street when Ms. V decided she wanted to go all the way over to the left-hand turn lane. With God as my witness, she floored the gas pedal on her Cadillac and cut across all three lanes of traffic in under 30 seconds, and then proceeded to go through a red light. I calmly (not really) pointed out that she’d run a red and she said, “Oh well…I’ll prolly get another ticket in the mail in ‘bout three or ‘fo-ore’ months just like I did the last time.” No sooner had those words come out of her mouth then she jammed on the brakes so hard my seatbelt fetched up against my neck. She damned near ran another red light, but this time she turned, looked at me and said (as I was trying hard to get my breath back from being choked by the belt) “Ha! No sense ina temptin’ fate. Figured I’d best stop for this one.”

The next lane change brought on a retort that was said in such a desultory voice I lost it and almost peed my pants. After she cut off another car (changing lanes again, I might add) she calmly said, “Waell…” (Long, drawn-out version of the word well.) “That thare guy in the ker behind us done just flipped me the bird.” HAHAHA! Imagine that! Someone getting ticked off because this lovely southern belle cut in front of him with about two inches to spare before her Caddy would have ripped off his front bumper.

I’m not going to tell you about the rest of the excursion or how it took us 45 minutes to do a 15 minute drive to the flea market. Let’s just say it was eventful and leave it at that.

Driving with Ms. Daisy is never a dull experience and being in her company is guaranteed to make you laugh until you cry.

I am, however, calling home and seeing if I can the payout on my life insurance… just in case, because she just asked me to go ‘shoppin’ with her again next week.

365 Days

Victory fingers Dec 2 14Today is a high-five, way to go, milestone day in my life. I’m not looking for accolades, congratulations or any such thing from you, my readers.

This blog post is my thank you to me.

It’s been 365 days, or 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes since I last smoked a cigarette.

Frankly, I don’t know how I achieved this milestone as I resisted even contemplating quitting for 40+ years. I expended a lot of energy in fighting for my right to smoke and honed my argumentative skills by furiously debating with those who urged me to quit. (more…)

I Saw the Bogeyman

I saw the bogeyman last week.

All the years of my childhood, I feared that unknown scary person. You know, the one that you were sure was under your bed at nights when you couldn’t fall to sleep, or the one who was definitely hiding in your closet just waiting for you to nod off and would then come out and choke you. Yeah, that ‘thing’ – the one without a face or a name, but the one that scared you silly and caused nightmares.

Guess what? He’s now real… at least to me. And he came out in broad daylight last week and terrorized myself and my city.

Around 7:00 pm, on June 4th, a few kilometers away from my tiny little house in the usually quiet small city of Moncton, NB, he came out of the shadows into the slowly fading evening skylight. (more…)

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