Monday, April 21, 2014

New rules for drivers over 80 start today

New rules for drivers over 80 start today

One of my dear friends in Toronto is now 94 or 95 and  managed to pass her  driving test.

If she cannot drive, it would make life much more difficult for her for getting her groceries and going to the bank or doctor's appointments.

She only drives around the neighbourhood now but having the car gives her real freedom.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


What an array of varied foods awaited the guests as they came into the club.   The delicious aromas would tempt even the most picky eater.

This year I decided to go to the Club for Easter Brunch and invited my son to go with me.  We had a wonderful time, the conversation flowed well and he met some of my friends there which was nice.

We were there from 11 a.m. to almost 2 p.m. eating and talking.

My son Ken


The Eater Bunny - alias Michael
All in all, a lovely time spent together.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Woke up to snow falling

Along the trail at Princess Point - soon it will be walking time again!

So much beauty, so calm and serene - Princess Point.
It is April 15th, and it is snowing outside. Where are the spring flowers, the birds twittering amongst the tree blossoms? I put some pictures of Princess Point on the blog just to remind me that the snow will pass and eventually nature will spring alive once again.

I feel sorry for the weatherman sometimes.  It cannot be pleasant bringing bad news to people who only want gentle breezes, the smell of fantastic flowers growing in the garden and to wear light clothing when outside!

Today will be a busy day, am expecting a fellow poet for a visit this morning.  This afternoon will be full to the brim, my student for four hours, meet a gentleman friend to help him pick out a suitable cane, then a "date" with a gentleman I have not seen for one year.

I think that is enough for one day!

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A good day in spite of a stressful beginning

I had a call from the States to help a friend and a neighbour who was just being released from the hospital and was on her way home. She had been in Emergency since 10:30 that night after a fall outside.  She hit her head as well as it was feared she may have damaged some operated areas as well.

I was asked to go downstairs to help her out of the taxi and up to her apartment.  It was very lucky that I was home and not already out.

She could hardly walk and needed care even in the home to get up out of a chair.  In my opinion, she should have been kept in the hospital as she lives alone.

I stayed as long as I could with her to assist her and then made sure she got into her bed to rest before I left.

I was expecting a guest from Toronto at 12:30.  My guest came and we had a wonderful visit, starting off with herbal tea at home, then we went for lunch at Toby's (I didn't have time to cook due to the little emergency above) and enjoyed that.  It was a great afternoon and both of us had a good time.

After she left, I checked in on "the patient" to make sure she was okay and then before bed, I called her again as well as this morning.  Things are looking brighter for her, thankfully, and I am relieved.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday's poetry workshop at the Westdale Library

It was a lovely day and I had a poem ready to be critiqued so went to the workshop.  I had not been for most of the winter as I have to take the bus to get there and it is cold, waiting for buses.

It was wonderful to see everybody again and there was a special treat that day.  The Power of the Pen winners were there with their families.  For those who may not know what this is, it is a writing contest for children under 18 years of age which is under the auspices of the Library.  It just was such a treat to see such young and fresh talent emerging.  Some of them spoke so softly that I could not hear when they answered questions and read their winning work out loud, which was a real pity.  I did hear the boy though as his voice was more powerful.

After the young people left, we had our regular workshop.  I brought Pier 8 for critiquing, a poem I wrote last summer.  The group liked it very much and made a suggestion that I move one paragraph up  a couple of stanzas near the beginning of the poem. I could see the point and so I did.

It is always a good idea to get one's work critiqued by a group of seasoned writers. You may think that you have made it perfectly clear what you mean, but somebody else may not understand it at all.

I was fortunate that Judy sat next to me during my time for critiquing, as she was able to tell me what people said when I could not hear.  Another gentleman and I have problems with hearing as well and it really makes it tough to participate.

I hate the thought of having to stop going to groups because of my hearing problems as they are very much part of my social life as well.  My hearing aids no longer work.  I am thinking of going to a place close to home to see if I can get at least one ear fitted with a new one.  They are very expensive and don't really last that long.  Mine are only about 9 years old and considering the price of them, they should have lasted much longer!

I am writing this blog on Sunday morning and today I am expecting a dear friend from Toronto.  It will be wonderful to see her as we have not seen each other for quite some time.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chris Pannell and Mohawk College performing

Central Library, down town Hamilton, Ontario hosted a lovely poetry reading and the  students in Mohawk College Music Department also performed.  Chris Pannell read from his newest book "A Nervous City" which can be bought at the Bryan Prince Bookshop in Westdale as well as other fine booksellers here.

I only wish that the microphone was a little stronger as I missed some of the words.  During the music part of the programme, I was fortunate to hear the instruments but had some difficulty in hearing the young woman speak and sing.

I arrived early and Chris came over and sat and chatted with me for a little while.We have known each other for many years now.  Two other friends arrived a little late - Mohammad and also Marisol.  We three went to Pam's coffee shop for refreshments after that and enjoyed our time together.

I had to be home to show Andrew's apartment to somebody at 3:30 and then, another lady buzzed me about 4:15 to see it.  I will show it tomorrow morning as well.

It is fortunate that I live here and that Andrew does not have to drive from Toronto each time somebody wants to see the apartment.

A good day indeed - lovely noon hour concert, time with good friends, what more can a person ask for?

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

A beautiful and bright Friday

I woke up to the sun streaming in through the curtains.  Isn't it an amazing feeling when the delicate rays of the sun touch your sleeping face and gently wakes you up.?

It is almost like a mother touching her sleeping child to gently  nudge him into a waking state.   How blessed it is to wake up with such a soothing touch and have things to do which are interesting and fulfilling.

We are so blessed by the fact that God, in His mercy, provides all of his creation with air to breathe, water to drink, the companionship of family and friends and the basic ability to work and provide for our needs.  Even those who cannot work due to disability are provided for by our social system although it is far from adequate for even the basic needs. To live in a country like Canada is a blessing which so many of us do not appreciate.  We have freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of movement, free education up until the end of high school and even student loans to go to College and University.

Our former finance minister, Jim Flaherty, passed away yesterday at the age of 64.  He had just retired a month before if I am remembering correctly. It was quick a shock to the nation.   He steered our country through some tough times and our economy survived. He leaves behind a family and a nation who will mourn his passing.

It shows that we must live each day, being thankful for our blessings, lending a hand to others when we are able, and not take life for granted for it can end just like that.

On that note, have a great and productive day and thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A grand time at the Irish Pub

Our gang (three gentlemen and four ladies) met at the Irish pub on Bowen Street here in Hamilton.

Choices for lunch were varied, the food was excellent and the wait staff were great.  I loved the ambience in the place and we had a ball.

Lots of laughter, some serious moments and much affection shown around the table as we enjoyed each other's thoughts and comments.  It was grand to get together again after a very long and cold winter!

We lingered over our meal for two hours and nobody tried to rush us.  That was very nice, in my opinion.  The prices were quite reasonable as well.

Jeff walked me home and we stopped to rest at McMaster's down town campus where there are nice benches to sit on.  The sun beat down gently on our faces, caressing our brows as we sat basking in the sun.  What a beautiful thing to do, sit on a park bench, cherish time together and just  sit comfortably in companionable silence.

Jeff took some pictures and then I took a couple of pictures of him.

In front of the School

Me and the lovely statue


Jeff, another view

All in all a lovely way to spend a warmish  spring day!

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Yesterday, Monday, was a delightful day for me as a young poet friend of mine came to visit for the first time.

We have seen each other for a few years now at a poetry group we both belong to.  She was having a major writer's block due to grieving for a loved one who has passed away.  It has gone on for 15 months and so we got together and were able to work through things and now she is writing again.

She is a wonderful gal.  Our time was spent very productively and we ate lunch together and at coffee break time, we shared a pot of herbal tea and sweets.  

We will schedule other times together for writing and talking.  I really enjoyed her company yesterday!

Thanks for dropping by.  Today is my ESL tudor job which I also enjoy.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Michael Dennis: 2014 Raymond Souster Award Nominee - BRILLIANT FAL...

Michael Dennis: 2014 Raymond Souster Award Nominee - BRILLIANT FAL...: For the month of April this blog will be looking at the nominees for the 2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award, Raymond Souster Award and the Gera...

The Write Break with Phyllis Humby: Training a Husband and a Dog

The Write Break with Phyllis Humby: Training a Husband and a Dog

I came across this blog through my friend Debbie in Sarnia. I think any animal lover will certainly relate to this article.

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My personal take on a writing workshop

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop under the auspices of GRIT LIT.  The presenter was Catherine Bush, author and Assistant Professor at Guelph University.

Catherine was introduced by Jen Jones, a member of the GRIT LIT committee.

Her presentation was called Writing with Prompts and was from 10:30 to a little after 12 noon.
The time sped by as the group was very receptive to her talk and to her ideas.  She had a wonderful way of making people feel comfortable and welcome to express themselves.

She set three exercises for the group to do over the course of the talk which could only be 5 minutes in length.

One of the exercises I particularly liked.  It was to tell something that was outrageous that you want people to believe.

Here is what I wrote just for the fun of it.  Remember, it was only a five minute exercise

"I'm falling, I'm falling, I cannot stop myself.  I see them, wreathing and hissing in the pit and taunting me as I fall.  My mind is shrieking "stop", "stop", but no sound comes out. I don't want to die but how can I get away?  My eyes, wide with terror, my head reaches the outstretched form of the hissing, weaving cobra.

I wake up, covered in sweat - terrified - unable to sleep again tonight,

Obviously this is not too likely to happen in a cold country such as Canada, as fortunately Cobras are not native to here!  While reading aloud, the group was believing that I was in danger up until the last sentence where I let them know they could breath again, as it was just a nightmare.  Of course, this could not be read in a monotone voice, it had to be dramatized a bit!

Another of the exercises was using a lipogram. For those of my readers who do not know what this is, take heart, neither did I until she explained what it meant.  It means leaving out a letter such as "i" and writing a scene, a paragraph, a poem etc. etc.  That was quite difficult.

It was great fun though.   Here is what I wrote and I had to change it so often until I finally managed to ditch the letter "i".

"A cat, whose face was orange, pushed through the crowd to see what  he could see."

I was so sorry to see this workshop end, I could have gone on for much longer as it was so very enjoyable.

Here is a picture of our presenter and then one of us together.

Catherine Bush - our presenter

Catherine Bush and myself

I also have written a more formal article about this workshop on my Writing and Publishing blog.

Thanks for dropping by and come again soon if you are able.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A wonderful way to spend a noon hour

Today, in honour of Poetry Month, Hamilton's Central Library held a poetic reading with Gary Barwin and The Hess Street Public School with its band and choir.

This is a free event at the library and I am happy to say there were so many people in attendance.

It was a real delight to see and hear the work performed, by the poet as well as the students.

An hour in the day, but a wealth of experience and joy brought to others.  Thank you, Central Library.

After that we went for coffee to Pam's Cafe which has moved to another spot in Jackson's Square.  I think I like the new place better as it is more cozy.  I like the ladies that work there as well, so will return from time to time.

We must have chatted for about an hour at the cafe and then we all went our separate ways.  A wonderful way to enjoy a noon hour on a cold and wet day.

Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Canadian Authors Assocation

Last night, the Canadian Authors Association held a reading event at Artword/Artbar on Colbourne Street.

I was fortunate enough to be included in the invitees and naturally, I said yes to the invitation to share my work.

I chose to bring poetry as we had only a ten minute slot for each performer.  In my case, I find it easier to read a story in a book by myself rather than hear it read aloud. If I don't understand something,I can leaf back into the book and reread it again until I get the author's point.

I thought about a short story though and had quite a few I could have chosen from, but am glad that I went for narrative poetry instead.

It was a very pleasant evening  both inside Artword/Artbar with a very appreciative audience, and also outside where the weather cooperated beautifully.   We were most fortunate that Artword/Artbar had a spot open in their busy schedule, especially as we had to cancel the day of the big storm.

Winter performances are always "iffy" as one never knows what the weather will be like.

Inside the venue, it is quite dark although very cheery but pictures do not turn out as well as I would like them to.  I will post a few here.  My camera is a good one but very simple so perhaps a more powerful one could have taken better shots.

Me - reading one of my narrative poems

Chris - reading a short story

Ellen - reading some of her marvellous poetry

David Haskins - reading from his new book, "This House is Condemmed."

Mony reading from her book.  Did not catch the musicians name but he played beautifully.

It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Things to do, places to go, people to see

I will be editing a lady's life who lives in Toronto.  Her first language is not English nor French and I would imagine that this job will be time consuming but interesting.

When I edited the African lady's book, I learned so much about the plight of African women and how they managed their lives.  What a blessing for me to have had this opportunity.  After the book was edited,  she died and her family could not find her manuscript.  I no longer had it on the computer.

The good thing is that it gave her so much joy and happiness that her book was ready for publication and if the cancer had not got her, she would have searched for an African publisher.  Who knows if any publisher there would have published it, but the main thing is that it gave her a purpose to her life. She left behind a small daughter, a dear teenage boy and her husband.

It is GRIT LIT starting tomorrow and running through Sunday evening.  I plan to attend several of the events.  I will be blogging about the ones that I attend.

Tonight should be a good night as well.  I have been invited to perform some of my work for the Canadian Authors Association and it starts at 7:30 at ArtWord/Artbar. There will be other people as well, of course, some I have met and others I don't know at all.  It will be interesting to hear their work. The weather seems to be co-operating today which is great!

Have a great day!