Monday, October 31, 2011

Just a reminder

I am still collecting money either in cash form, cheque, money order or Paypal to help a disabled man move.

I am very touched by the goodness shown by Hamiltonians and one friend from Toronto. Woodstock, and Ottawa.  Mostly the money has been raised here in Hamilton.

We are nearing our target of $800 to move him.  Isn't it odd, that it is Hamiltonians who have helped the most as this gentleman lives in Toronto and the move will be in Toronto.  Even the people will will help him move are friends of mine here in Hamilton.

Check out for the appeal.  I have been raising it in small increments among many people who are compassionate and want to do something to help another  human being.  None of them know him, but they know me.

I have an order for a pair of earrings which I hope to get done this week.  I will add the amount of money that I make from that onto the fund for Wes as well.

If each person reading this, gives a few dollars, they will not miss it and it will help another human being.

The best way is to go through if you are reading this blog from outside of Canada. They are set up with Paypal.

Please consider doing this.  I have learned that one can never out give God and many blessings will come to a generous soul, whether it is in material things or in the spiritual.

For those of you who have sent donations, thank you.  We are getting there and now are waiting for Housing to find him an accessible one bedroom apartment.  The movers are all set and I have arranged a ride in with the movers on moving day.

My next plan, once the apartment is found, is to go into Toronto and pack his place.  I need one helper for this, preferably a woman.  With two people working, it will take less time.  Once we get him into the new apartment, I will need help with unpacking as well.

It is a tall order but a noble cause.  This man needs a hand up.  Are you willing?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Once a year, the ladies of St. John's prepare a scrumptious dinner to raise funds to help various charities.

This year was no different.  These hard working experts in the kitchen outdid themselves once again.

Their skills in the kitchen have brought them faithful followers throughout the year.  The room was filled to capacity and a table for twenty more was set in another area of the church.

It was an excellent opportunity for people to socialize and to get to know newcomers.  Although the services are held in German and in English, there are many different nationalities who attend this very loving church.

St. John's Lutheran Church in Hamilton, once again have held a successful fund raising dinner.  Congratulations to the ladies who worked so hard to make this a fact.

Thanks for dropping by and drop by again, should you have the time.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tower Poetry Society's 60th Anniversary

On October 23, 2011, the 60th Anniversary celebration of Tower Poetry Society was held at the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton which is on Dundurn Street South here in Hamilton, Ontario..

The Organizing Committee is to be commended for their hard work and the excellent job they did!  Tables were decked out with cloths and each table had vases filled with delicate red and white roses.

I liked the room they held it in - it was a very good size with a lovely kitchen attached to it.

60th Anniversary cake
The groaning board - a great variety of food
It was very well attended.  The room was full of appreciative guests and poets..  The President of Tower, Valerie Nielsen gave a welcoming speech and George Down introduced the guest speaker, Dr. John Ferns..

Brett Nielsen and his daughter Jessica Nielsen

Valarie Nielsen - Tower's President.

This afternoon went by very fast with a twenty minute break between the first set of poets and the second set.  One poet, Mr. Dinh Le Doan,  had even driven here from Beaconsfield, Quebec and I was fortunate enough to catch him before he and his wife left to drive back.  We had a nice little chat about familiar spots to all of us. .

Jeff Seffinga - Editor-in-Chief
Mr. Dinh Le Doan 

This was his first time reading before an audience from what I understood and he did very well.

Another poet from Sri Lanka who also was in the book was unable to come due to the distance.

I mention this so that my readers understand that poets from all over the world are able to join Tower Poetry.

My pictures did not turn out as well as I had hoped, as the light from the window was at the wrong angle and thus my shots were not as good as I wanted.  My camera is a great little camera, but it is not a miracle worker!  I was a little disappointed.

However, it was a splendid time and several of my friends whom I had specifically invited came out which pleased me.

Thanks for dropping by and have a good day.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I had a touch of flu on Thursday night and did not sleep until 5 a.m.   Needless to say, I slept until 11:30 that morning.  I still did not feel overly peppy but managed to get a bit of housework done.

Friday I stayed in the whole day just to get rid of whatever the problem was and it was very pleasant to be home.

I had borrowed lots of books from the library and once I get my nose in a good book, it is hard to drag me away from reading!   The really good thing about the library is that you can keep them for three weeks and can renew them for another three if you need to.  I think you may even be able to renew them twice.

Today Carmen and I are getting together and will go to a restaurant to enjoy a nice liesurely lunch.  we haven't had quality time together for a few years now.  Both of us have been so busy, rushing here and there and this will be wonderful to catch up on all her news.

She is a dear young lady.  Tomorrow, of course, is the Gala Event for the 60th Anniversary of Tower Poetry Society with music, poetry and refreshments.  Could that be any nicer?

I am so glad that that little bug or whatever it was, is now gone and I am feeling fine.  I hate to miss nice things.

Thanks for dropping in and please come again if you have the time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What if you lost your leg?

What if you lost your leg?: I am advocating on behalf of a disabled man who has lost the lower half of his leg to that terrible disease - diabetes. He has had several operations, first to take his toes off, and recently to take his foot and leg just below the knee. It is not healing at all.This 55 year old man is trying to survive on a disability pension which is very small ($800 a month). He is currently living in an extremely small bachelor flat and has lived there for ten years. Imagine a small size supply room in an office and you've got the picture. In order to get around in his apartment, he uses crutches with great difficulty. He has fallen twice on his amputated stump due to lack of space in his flat.His new apartment will be a one bedroom, accessible apartment, and much safer for him.

Where he lives right now, there are drug dealers, prostitutes and alcoholics. He is afraid to associate with anybody in there as he is extremely vulnerable.

He survives on donations from food banks.

He has worked hard all his life, contributing to society but due to an accident where he sustained a serious injury, he could not continue to work. My appeal is for some money to help him move into a one bedroom disabled apartment once it becomes available. Toronto Housing has him on their top priority list. I am looking to raise at least $800.00, as it is expensive to move and he'll need various items for his new apartment.

Can you help?

Some wonderful news

Actually, several wonderful things have happened today.  I was amazed to hear that my poem "Floating" will be included in the 60th Anniversary book for Tower Poetry.  I shall be one of the one's reading next Sunday at the Gala event.

Another great thing that happened today was that I have received a ticket for the beef rolladen dinner as the ladies voted that I get it.  How very wonderful!

The third fantastic thing that happened today was that the Vice-President of our ladies group will allow me to make an appeal to help Wes at the group in the next meeting.

Not to be outdone by any of this good news, is that has had three donations for Wes as of the time I left to go to the meeting this afternoon. I have not checked since my return.

I am so touched by all this goodness.

I see the hand of God in all this, blessing Wesley, touching the hearts of others so that they in turn can be blessed by God.  Over my long life, I have noticed that one can never out give God.  The gift you give to others whether in time, talent or money will be multiplied ten fold.  Somehow it just works that way.

I am so touched by all the loving kindness shown to my friend Wes.

Thank you, all of you who have given to help him   Thank you also to for accepting my appeal on his behalf.  Working together we humans can achieve a great deal.  Please check out   It is not too late to contribute a small amount to this worthy cause, either by cash to me, by cheque or money order, or through paypal or your bank account.

These wonderful young men are trying to make a difference. A small amount of donation will make a world of difference to somebody and give them hope to carry on.

Thanks for reading my blog and come back another time if you wish.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New memories in Toronto

We had quite a tour of Toronto as Rahel had an errand to do as a favour to a friend.  Parts of Toronto I had not been in for years.  Nothing much has changed.  Just seems so much busier than I remember it.

They treated me to a restaurant meal which was extremely nice of them.  I wanted to treat them but they insisted.

It was such a cute restaurant and the staff were very nice.  

We got home abut 9:30 which was not too bad.  It was pouring rain out and definitely not good driving weather!

It was a cute little fish and chip place.  I took lots of pictures

A trip down memory lane and new memories made

I asked my friends Andrew and Rahel if they would mind driving down to where I used to live in Toronto.  It was only about 10 minutes away in a car.

A wonderful place to bring up children

Took a picture of the rental sign 

I lived there for 27 years and have so many happy memories of the area.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What if you lost your leg?

What if you lost your leg?: I am advocating on behalf of a disabled man who has lost the lower half of his leg to that terrible disease - diabetes. He has had three operations, first to take his toes off,  then another to take his foot off, and the last to take his leg off to just before the knee.  It is not healing at all. This 55 year old man is trying to survive on a disability pension which is very small ($800 a month). He is currently living in an extremely small bachelor flat and has lived there for ten years. Imagine a small size supply room in an office and you've got the picture. In order to get around in his apartment, he uses crutches with great difficulty. He has fallen twice on his amputated stump due to lack of space in his flat. His new apartment will be a one bedroom, accessible apartment, and much safer for him.

Where he lives right now, there are drug dealers, prostitutes and alcoholics. He is afraid to associate with anybody in there as he is extremely vulnerable.

He survives on donations from food banks.

He has worked hard all his life, contributing to society but due to an accident where he sustained a serious injury, he could not continue to work. My appeal is for some money to help him move into a one bedroom disabled apartment once it becomes available. Toronto Housing has him on their top priority list.

At the time of writing this appeal, I have raised $210 dollars and am looking to raise at least $800.00 more, as it is expensive to move and he'll need various items for his new apartment.

Can you help?

A visit to Wes

Wes and I visiting at his place - Andrew took the picture

Smiling buddies
Wes, in his small bachelor flat
My friends, Andrew and Rahel, were kind enough to bring me to Toronto.  We left here about 1:15 to try and avoid the heavy traffic.  We were fortunate that the traffic was not too heavy at that time.  Although it was raining lightly, that did not impede our progress.

Upon arrival in Toronto, we went straight to where Wes lives in North West Toronto.  The nurse had already been to dress his wound and happily we were able to spend a couple of hours just chatting with him in the privacy of his own bachelor flat.

I will be adding more shots in due course to this blog, as Andrew took some as well, particularly of the smallness of his apartment.

Wes was a little nervous meeting new folk, I could tell by his body language.  However, he soon felt more comfortable and we had a delightful visit.  He even felt comfortable enough to share a small photo book with pictures when he was younger.  I was touched by that gesture.

As per instructions from Engiver.Com and my son, we took many  shots of him.  That is the real blessing of digital cameras, the ones that don't turn out, can be deleted and another taken to replace it.

The purpose of our visit was to take pictures for the appeal to raise money to help him move to an accessible one bedroom apartment when Housing finds it for him.

Wes, trying to get around in his apartment

I'll try and describe Wes's apartment in words.  As you come in the door, there is a bathroom on the right hand side.  In the bathroom there is a steel walker like they use in the hospitals after a hip replacement.  You move it by lifting it inch by inch.  There also is a bath board on the bathtub and a raised toilet seat.  It is a very small bathroom, a wheelchair or even a walker cannot fit into it.  He cannot be alone to have a shower as it is too dangerous.

The main part of his room is filled to capacity, a desk, a bureau and his single bed, a tiny two seater kitchen table, turtle tank and on the other side, if my memory serves me correctly, his scooter and his wheelchair are near the galley kitchen.  The kitchen has a stove and a frig in it and a little bit of counter space.

In order to get in and out of bed, there is a standing pole somehow attached to the ceiling and the floor. I don't know how that is done.

As I remembered him, he continues to be as neat as a pin, a place for everything and everything in its place as the old saying goes.  I don't know how he does it!

Wes and I in his flat, taken by Andrew

Wes showed us the meds he was on, told us about the different jobs he had held before he broke his back on a construction site (no Workers' Compensation Insurance) and spoke about his happy times.

It was a good visit and he knows that he is not alone to face everything by himself.  He needs to go back to see the surgeon to discuss his options on Friday since the stump is not healing at all.

All through our time with him, he was cracking little jokes and trying to make our stay as pleasant as possible.

My hat is off to one brave man!  I never realized before how horrible diabetes is and what it can do to the human body.  It is a learning experience for me as we walk through this together.

If you should feel like contributing a dollar or two or more, please consider giving to this gentle soul.  It can be done through Engiver.Com, through me at Paypal or through CIBC on-line banking.

By many people contributing a small sum of money, we can achieve a lot and nobody will suffer financial loss by giving.

Thank you so much for reading this blog.  Should you feel like helping, you also could contact me at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waterfront Trail - Burlington, Ontario

Me, sharing a moment with a tree

A more sober look
My friend Jeff picked me up at 1 p.m. in the front of my building.  We had both brought our books and our chairs and I made a thermos of coffee and sneaked some cookies into the bag just for a snack.

He had given me three choices of places to go and I chose the waterfront.  We ended up in Burlington.  There were so many cars there that we were lucky to find a parking spot.

We went for a nice walk first and I sighted the cutest little snail on a leaf.

Jeff's hand is more steady than mine so he took some shots of the dear little thing.

The lovely little snail

Jeff's fingers holding the leaf up so I could get a better picture

As we walked along, we saw many interesting things to see.  It is more cultivated than Coots Drive trail.  We saw grapes vines (now bare), milk pods (now gone) and we did not see a green tree frog.

I enjoyed this place very much but I really loved Coots Drive the best.  However, each area has its own beauty.

Crouching behind an interesting tree.

I found this tree so interesting and a perfect spot to take some pictures.

After our walk on the paved pathway, we walked on the harder sand near the water's edge.  It was unbelievable to see adults and children swimming on October 10th!  It has been Indian Summer here for the last few days and everybody is taking advantage of that.  Children were building sand castles and making paths in the sand for the water to flow from.

Castles in the sand - do you remember doing that as a child?

Enterprising young children - it gladdens my heart to see them still doing simple, enjoyable things.

We saw a fellow on a surf board, lots of motor crafts on the water, a few yachts  but no sail boats.  I found that interesting as on Hamilton's side of Lake Ontario, there are tons of sailboats.  It is such a treat to see them from my window on nice clear days.

Bathing beauties - Burlington style

We sat here for our coffee and cookies and to people watch.

Various beach shots.

It was a most pleasant afternoon but after a few hours, it was getting a little cool so he dropped me off in front of my building.

It was good as I had had no sleep the night before so was getting very tired.

All in all, a nice outing with a friend near the beach.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SPHINX - A short story


     My face is orange and white.  I have green eyes.  I’m ready for action.  I walk, as quietly as a tiger, as I advance on the human figure lying on the green sofa. One leap is all it takes.  He stirs and grunts in his sleep. I’m the dominant one. He’s at my mercy lying there. 

     I lean forward, my whiskers softly brush his nostrils.  Hairy hands swat at me as he grunts and tries to turn. “Sphinx get off me!” Matthew’s gruff voice growls. I ignore him.  After all, I am the dominant one.

     I dip my face down again so my whispers touch his nose this time. That really upset him.  That should make him get up and pay some attention to me!

     “Sphinx, come over here.” Her gentle, sweet voice tempts me to come and cuddle with her. For her, I would do almost anything. She’s always kind to me.

If I am to describe her to you, here’s how I would do it. Soft, gentle, not very tall, but taller than I am, brown hair tied in a pony tail, and a round face with laughter lines around her mouth.  Her blue eyes light up when she sees Matthew or I come into the room. She loves to read and listen to classical music. 

     My other human, Matthew is tall.  He must be at least six foot and he towers over Laura and I.  I call him the “Gentle Giant”. He’s as round as he is tall, has black hair and brown eyes.  Matthew is funny, when he falls asleep on the sofa, he snores.  What a weird sound that is!

     When it comes to giving attention to me, Laura does this the best.  I don’t have to butt her arm or rub against her leg to get her to notice me.  In fact, sometimes she pats me so much that I fear that I will get a bald spot.

     I like both of my pets very much.  For humans, they are the best!

     Can you believe that some humans think black cats are bad luck? Some even have the audacity to say that black cats ride with witches on brooms. Now I ask you, don’t you think that’s a silly idea?

     I’m one of the lucky cats.  I have a roof over my head, food in my dish and water in my bowl and I never need to scrounge in garbage pails to find my food.

     There is no little human in the picture yet.  I do dread that if that ever happens.  I don’t want to be replaced in their affection!  I hate it when their niece and nephew come to visit. I try and hide, but little hands reach in to my hiding place and yank me out. I arch my back and look as frightening as I can. You’d think they would get the hint and leave me alone.  I’m always glad when they go home.

     Another time, if fact, last week before the “event”, I saw them kissing and snuggling together on the sofa.  I tried to pretend that I was not watching but, of course, I was They left the sitting room  rather hurriedly, almost glued together.  Humans are such strange creatures!

     I hear noises coming from where their bedroom but I choose to ignore it, as I stretch out on my cat bed ready to snooze. One last stretch, and I’m off to dreamland where I am king of the cats, everybody bowing to me. I am served the most delicious morsels as I sit on my throne amongst my adoring subjects.  All females of course! This must be what cat heaven feels like!

     From far away, I hear a crackling sound.  My sixth sense wakes me up. My orange ears perk up.  I look for the source of the noise and I see a glow in the corner beside the sofa.

     It’s getting bigger and bigger and the crackling is getting louder and louder.
 I must awake my pets.  The door is closed.  What shall I do? 

      BANG, BANG, BANG as I plunge against the resisting door.  Again and again, I bang against the door. 

     My meows and the bangs should wake up the dead!  Why won’t they hear me?  I’m getting hot and the glow is getting bigger.” 

    "SPHINX, GO AWAY,” bellowed the gruff voice of Matthew.

     I keep on banging and yowling as I try to alert them to the danger of the growing glow.  Why hadn’t that thing in the ceiling gone off, like it always does when Laura cooks?

     Heavy foots steps meet my ears, as Matthew flings open the door.  I race back and forth, meowing for him to follow me into the sitting room.  He finally gets the point in his half awake state. 

     “LAURA, LAURA, wake up!  Both of us race into the bedroom.  She is just lying there, dead to the world.  She must not have heard my attempt to warn them.  I lick her face, usually that wakes her up.  Matthew calls her name and tugs her up to an upright position. 

     “Please let me sleep”, Laura mutters in a slurred voice. Her chubby arm flings itself around my neck.  Now I’m a prisoner.  I need to wriggle out of there pronto!

     “Wack,” the sound of it echoes in the bedroom, as Matthew tries to rouse his wife from the effects of the sleeping pill.

     Her feet drag on the ceramic foyer floor . He half drags her out into the carpeted hallway and pulls the fire alarm.

     I was not quick enough to beat the automatic closure of the heavy door.   Smoke and flames leap at me as I yowl for help. This is the last I remember before the smoke got  me.  Will I be remembered as a hero?



Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pam and Brian's visit October 8, 2011

Add caption

This is the better shot that she took.
What a wonderful time we had all together.  We had a nice little visit at home and then went to the Indian restaurant for a meal.

They don't get different foods in Cape Breton so it is a real treat for them to eat something different.

We had a marvelous visit.  I took a few shots which I will send them.

Pam and Brian - Pam was 18 when she married Brian who was 21

This was in the Taj Mahal.

We all chose the buffet.  It was a lovely choice and we ate to our fill. I particularly enjoyed the Nan and the deserts!

Our lovely waitress took a picture of the three of us.  We spent about 3 hours together and then they had to be on their way to London to see their daughters.

They need a rugged car as Cape Breton winter's are fierce

It could not have been a nicer visit.  Next time they come, we will try to spend more time together so that I can show them around a little bit.

The weather was summer like and we didn't need any jacket.

Thanks for dropping by and please come again when you have the time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

John Terpstra's poem immortalized at Sam Lawrence Park

Mayor Bob Bratina (left) and Poet John Terpstra

What an amazing event that was.  I was thrilled to see so many from the Poetry Center there supporting John.

Unfortunately where I was standing was in the full sun and my shots did not turn out as well as I would have liked them to.

Mayor Bob Bratina was there as well as other dignitaries.  It is a great honour to have one's poem on public display like that. Congratulations to John!

It was a pleasure to see so many poets and writers of other types of work, turn up to support John.

I was lucky that I could change my appointment with my podiatrist, as I was up close to his office, and he fit me in rather than have to come back later on in the day.

It was Ontario elections today as well, so Andrew, Rahel and I went together.  It was a very difficult location to get to, almost at the waterfront.  There was hardly anybody there except for the workers.

Since we were so close to the waterfront, Andrew dropped Rahel and I off to do a little walking at Bayfront Park and came back for us later on.

They were kind enough to invite me to stay for supper at their place and we had an enjoyable meal together and evening.

All in all, a busy but productive day.

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TheStar TTC driver pulls ailing man onto her bus, drives him to clinic

TheStar TTC driver pulls ailing man onto her bus, drives him to clinic

This driver deserves a medal as does the woman who gave the couple $77.00 for cab fare home.

I know that I am finding out first hand that people can be wonderful in the case of raising money for my friend so he can move into a one bedroom disability apartment.

It restores my faith in humanity when I see good people step up to the plate and help others.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mexican Night at St. Paul's

Our hostess - Carmen
Colour was every where.  Red, white, and green.  The colours of Mexico proudly displayed.

Carmen and Wally had organized this special event to show the guests a little of Mexican culture and traditions.  Tickets were very reasonably priced at $15.00 each.  This included an entre, black bean soup, chicken and rice with plantain and potatoes  there were also nibbles on the table with home made salsa.
At the center of each table, there was a basket tied with ribbons of the national colours filled with  candies, nuts, chocolate and caramels.

Mexican dress on display

Two of my friends at the table
We had six people at our tables, all friends of mine from outside the congregation.  They all enjoyed themselves very much.  We were a mixture of nationalities, Colombian, French Canadian, Ethiopian and English back ground people.

Some of the very colourful displays done by Carmen and Wally
We had some interesting discussions at our table and people got along very well even though some of them had never met.

Carmen and Wally showed a Powerpoint presentation of the  history of Mexico. It was interesting to hear of the Aztec civilization.  They were a very advanced society even before the Spanish arrived.

Mexican music was played so that Carmen could give a demonstration of one dance.  She then called for three volunteers to come up to learn the dance.  They were really good sports to do that.

Breaking the Pinata

For desert, there was a delicious orange cake with coffee and tea.  This colourful event ended about 9 p.m. with everybody pitching in to help to put the tables and chairs away and pile the dishes for the dishwasher.

A very successful evening.  Kudos to Carmen and Wally and all those who lent a hand.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September 30, 2011 - Arts Hamilton Literary Committee Reading Salon

Mary Anderson
It was a very cozy event.  Stephen Near, the Programme Manager, had transformed the art gallery section of Arts Hamilton into a well lit, inviting area for members of the Literary Committee to read their work. The breathtaking art work on the walls, the chairs set up and the tea lights shimmering, made the area seem like a fairy land.   I found that I could hear the readers very well which was a real treat for me as I usually have trouble hearing in other venues.

Stephen Near - Arts Hamilton Programme Director

Wilma Seville
The first readers were the Co-Chairs, Susan Evans Shaw and Jean Rae Baxter.

Susan Evans Shaw

Jean Rae Baxter
Poet, George Down, favoured the group with some of his lovely poems as did James Deahl.

James Deahl

James Deahl, reading for the last time as a Committee member and Hamiltonian poet.  He has moved to another city and will be greatly missed.

The event went very smoothly with each reader taking about 10 minutes to read.  The audience seemed to appreciate the event.  Light refreshments of crackers and cheese and various soft drinks were served.

It made me so happy to see so many of my good friends come to this event.

All in all, a very worthwhile endeavour for Culture Days.

Thank you for dropping by.