My new acquaintance -a lady without a home.

My new acquaintance has beautiful silver hair and blue eyes. One thing she doesn’t have is a home.I first became aware of her when I was waiting for one of the six courtesy buses that service the community to take me home after a mini shopping spree.The six buses meet on the half hour at an entrance outside  the local mall after driving their respective routes There is a ten to fifteen minute wait before they depart again. This gives passengers  time to hop on one of the other buses to reach their destination. This also gives the bus drivers a chance to stretch their legs and kibbutz with each other.

At this particular time on this particular day the drivers were laughing and looking toward the two benches where passengers wait for the buses to arrive.I  heard remarks in between their snickers such as “ maybe today you will be the lucky one and she will ride on your bus” and ‘’Where do you think she came from? Probably Jail” I walked over to sit down. One bench was crowded with a couple adults and a few kids. The mother motioned for me to sit down and said her son could sit on her knee. she gave me a knowing look as she glanced over at the other bench where a slight older woman was crowded into the corner of the bench. Her belongings were beside her on the ground. Nobody else was sitting there. I declined the offer of the mother on the first bench and sat down, beside the older lady. She appeared  to be clean and well groomed.She was sitting with her head down and her eyes closed. She looked frail.I didn’t know if she was asleep or sick. I asked her if she was okay. She gave me the most delightful smile.  she said she  thought she was fine and that she was anxious to go to DSW for a special pair of shoes that she needed because of a foot injury . I wished her luck and asked if it would be okay if I gave her a few dollars. Once again she flashed me her beautiful smile and thanked me.

I thought about her that night. It was cold and it was rainy.I was hoping she had a place to sleep other then the bench. The next morning I had to return one of my purchases. sure enough she was sitting there wrapped in a smart looking warm sweater. I asked if she had a place to sleep at night. She said yes but didn’t elaborate. I asked if she was able to get her shoes. She said she wasn’t. We chatted for quite a while. She told me that she had just spent three weeks in the hospital for a lung condition and a heart condition. When she was discharged she attempted  to get in to her rented apartment. Someone else was inhabiting it. According to her the squatter refused to leave. Proper eviction procedures to remove a person must be followed. Unclear laws make the procedure difficult.

I don’t know if her story is the whole truth. but it doesn’t matter.  Homeless people have feelings too. They should be treated with respect and kindness. Any one of us or a member of our family could find ourselves in this horrendous situation.




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I am not superstitious but found the three following events that recently happened a little unnerving.

FIRST EVENT-A couple weeks ago I was at my local Florida flea market with relatives. The day was sunny and hot, albeit a a trifle humid. We were standing at a booth that sold watches and batteries.We were there  to buy new batteries for our old and ailing watches. Suddenly the beautiful blue sky was replaced with menacing black clouds, the winds roared and the clouds emptied their moisture in torrents. Things were flying every where. We were invited to come inside the booth, where we helped the vendors cover the displays with heavy plastic and then weighted the plastic down with bins filled with merchandise. The canopy and sides of the tent were shaking uncontrollably. The centre  pole that supported the whole structure  and was imbedded in a pail of concrete was wobbling precariously. As we tried to hold down the pole and swayed with it we were sure the whole thing was going to collapse on us. When I told my friend she said “ don’t you think that you are a little old to be a pole dancer.”  As suddenly as they appeared the menacing dark clouds disappeared and the blue sky was back .Birds started singing. and the rain stopped.We were unscathed except for ruined shoes and drenched apparel. We were unable to get replacement batteries for our ailing watches so they are still ailing–and to add insult to injury I ruined the watch I was wearing from all the water that it encountered.We later learned that tornadoes had touched down in surrounding areas.

SECOND EVENT-Yesterday evening. I returned home from a wonderful film “Apples in the Desert” I pushed the elevator button. One of the three elevators arrived to carry me to my floor. It was a very shaky and bumpy ride and when it arrived at my floor preparing to stop the shaking increased. It seemed like the elevator was possessed the lights overhead flickered and rattled  and the ceiling and walls shook so badly I thought it was going to collapse. When the doors opened I quickly ran out and thought I was going to collapse.I didn’t. I reported the malfunctioning elevator to security.

THIRD EVENT-After an enjoyable and delicious luncheon hosted by a friend and neighbour, I returned to my condo complex and went outside to chat with some of my neighbours before taking one of the two remaining working elevators up to my unit. Just as I was putting my key in the door, an ominous message came over the sound system. “There is a fire in your building .Vacate the building immediately taking the closest exit.” Having lived in high-rises in Toronto as well as Florida there have been many fire alarms, thankfully most of them turning out to be false. I decided to wait a bit to see if they would cancel the alarm, but the message kept repeating and I decided to walk down the 26 flights of stairs to the outside hoping my senior legs and knees wouldn’t fail me.I did have the presence of mind to take a damp hand towel in case I encountered smoke. There wasn’t any. I walked down 25 flights of stairs-just one more flight to go, when the announcement came on that it was a false alarm triggered by dust. We have renovations going on. Oh well It is better to be safe than sorry. Besides I hopefully worked off some of the calories from the cheesecake I had for dessert. I will see tomorrow how the knees and back handled the expedition.







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        Winter has arrived in  cottage country in Muskoka with a vengeance. This doesn’t    deter Stomp from lounging in the snow. We think he may have ancestors who were part polar bear.
            Just a couple weeks ago, Stomp was enjoying a drink and a stroll in the lake where as now people are probably snowboarding, skating  and cross-country skiing on it.
  Jeffrey Kippel's photo.
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A snowbirds arrival in Florida for the 2016 season.


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I AM NOT ALONE–An uninvited guest

My family left Florida to go back to Toronto  after visiting with me for two weeks. It was an empty and lonely feeling after they departed. However I was soon preoccupied with laundry and getting the condo back into semi order. It didn’t help that the washing machine on my floor is broken as well as one of the elevators. It was time consuming  taking my washing down to another floor and back up to use the dryer.

I was also preoccupied with something else. Actually I was not really alone in my condo . I had a houseguest, albeit an uninvited one. A few days ago when I opened my beach bag a gecko jumped out and ran under my dresser and attached himself to the wall. I went to get my son, in the other room to help capture the little critter  but when we returned Little Geckie  had disappeared. He made a brief appearance the next night when he scurried across the hall to a closet and disappeared yet once again.

I googled Geckos and found out they they like warm steamy places. I started following instructions how to make a trap using a shoe box and hot wet paper towels. but I ran into a problem. I didn’t have a shoe box. I had a brilliant idea. I would go buy myself a new pair of shoes. Then I remembered the bad economy and our Candian dollar and changed my mind. So instead I taped two paper cups together and cut out a back door and a front door and  a window covered with glad wrap so Little Geckie could see out and I could see in. I furnished the inside with hot wet paper towels and a piece of cantaloupe.The paper towels  dried , the cantaloupe  shrivelled and I didn’t know where the hell Litle  Geckie was.

I also read that when geckos get upset or feel threatened they shed their tails and the tails keep wagging while the rest of the gecko scrambles away. Now I don’t mind seeing a gecko.They are kind of cute, but if I came across a wagging gecko tail minus the gecko that would really freak me out.

I was  hoping to capture Little Geckie and set him free in time for him to celebrate New Years with his family and friends, but unfortunately my aspirations were shattered . Little Geckies dehydrated body was found in the closet very close to the paper cup trap I had so lovingly prepared for him. I may use the trap for his coffin. He really was a cute little guy for a lizard. I feel like I let him down.

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Heres to 2016

Source: Heres to 2016

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Heres to 2016

I want to wish everybody a Healthy and Happy and Peaceful New Year

Forget the stresses of the past and look forward to the future.

Positive thinking will help your dreams come to fruition.

Cram the year with good thoughts and deeds, laughter and joy.

so that there will be no room for distress or unhappiness.

remember a smile is universal. make somebody’s day a little bit brighter

including your own.

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