pool-lined-with-palapas

SLEUTHING FROM UNDER MY CUBAN PALAPAS IN VARADERO

What comes to mind when you think of Cuba? Castro, rum, cigars, cappuccino, sun beds sheltered under palapas? What about hurricanes? Devastation by Hurricane Irma is visible all over the Varadero strip, home to more than fifty resorts. Irma gobbled up the beach as we knew it and eroded the sandy shoreline by several feet. Buildings sustained significant damage. At our resort, roofs/rooves blew off and others collapsed. Giant palm trees snapped off like twigs. New ones have already been…

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selling-a-house-with-beautiful-bedroom-fresh-linens

I dislike, no… I detest, no… I deplore, no… I LOATHE selling a house.

SELLING A HOUSE IS DRIVING ME BATTY Let me make myself crystal clear. I dislike, no… scorn, no… detest, no… deplore, no… I loathe selling a house. And just exactly what do I dislike about it? That’s simple, EVERYTHING. And what has caused these strong feelings? Selling three houses in the past. The previous transactions were stress-filled because we were buying another house with the proceeds and could not balance two mortgage payments. That is true for most people. I can vouch for childbirth and…

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cuba-beach-ocean

Moseying Along Fourteen Nosy, Cozy, Dozy Days in Cuba

Today is our last day in wintry Ontario for a couple of weeks. Our suitcases are packed and tomorrow afternoon we are trading the cold of Canada for the warmth of Cuba. for some reason, we are more excited this year than ever before. Over the past forty years, Glenn and I have morphed into boring creatures of habit. You see, when we find what we consider perfection, we stop looking. For us, Cuba’s Iberostar Varadero with its beautiful beach,…

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boy-and-girl-outside-winter

JUST WAIT UNTIL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME

Dad was an inshore fisherman who was away from home most of the day.  Mom,  like most women in the sixties, stayed at home with four kids. Fortunately, the two oldest started working as soon as they could — such responsible young men. That left “Francis the Teaser” and “Melda the Tattler” at home. We were more than mischievous, we were just plain rotten to the core. I have a theory that Mom and Dad ran out of steam after raising…

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Mental Health First Aid with a Side of Thistles

It was November and the grass was as green as ever at our Nova Scotia home. Unfortunately, the pesky thistles were multiplying by the hour in the mild temperatures and I kept digging them out.  I was able to take two long walks each day. The early setting sun was the only hint that winter was only three weeks away. WHO MOTORED TO HALIFAX FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION? On one of those mild evenings, I was scrolling through Facebook, you know, to…

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ROCKIN’ AND ROLLIN’ WITH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID AND THISTLES

It was November and the grass was as green as ever at our Nova Scotia home. The pesky thistles were multiplying by the hour in the mild temperatures. I was able to take two long walks each day. The early setting sun was the only hint that winter was only three weeks away. On one of those mild evenings, I was scrolling through Facebook, you know, to see what was new. Who got a new car? Who sold their house? Who won the GOLDRUSH…

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winter-storm-huge-ocean-waves

An Adventure Whilst House Sitting for Artist-Author, Tomi Ungerer

Mom, Dad, Francis and I had moved into the Nova Scotia home of artist and writer, Tomi Ungerer, and his wife, Yvonne, to care for their property and animals while they spent a few months in Switzerland. We stayed there from January to April. We referred to the location as “down on the island.” Surrounded by beaches, the road to the island was inaccessible during unusually high tides and stormy weather. An old Land Rover ferried us in and out.…

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A PINCH OF CHRISTMAS CHEER GOES FURTHER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE

We can’t wait to have our children and grandchildren on Christmas Day. Glenn is the noisy (read fun) grandparent who fills the children with sugary treats, gets them all wound up and sends them home. I am the quiet (read boring) grandparent who reads, colours and makes sure everyone is safe. Our home isn’t exactly kid proof. And our grandchildren are no longer babies. The youngest one just turned three. Jeremy and Dana and Allison and Ed are wonderful parents. I get exhausted…

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