Sorry I have been AWOL for a while

It’s income tax time. Ulp!

Time to do a year’s worth of bookkeeping in a couple of days—the wages of procrastination.

Every year I make a solemn pledge to post my receipts as soon as they come in, and every year I end up going through 12 months of bank statements at the last moment.

Fortunately, I can download my bank accounts to my bookkeeping program, so it helps a bit.

It has been on the edge of comfortable and uncomfortable all week. The forecast has good numbers, but as usual it depends on what we get with it. A cool breeze can knock a 70-degree forecast down to 67 in a hurry.

Today is not bad, so I am in the gazebo.

Talk about Karma … When I first moved into this neighbourhood it was primarily populated by retired people, and the only young family was across the street. Now I’m surrounded by dogs and kids. There is even a daycare outfit opened across the street!!

The operator is a young matron who did a fine job of spoiling her kid rotten, and now she is passing on her questionable skills to a half-dozen others.

Did you know that a kid can generate a noise level of 110 decibels, which is the same level as a rock conert? It’s true—I can swear to it.

Back to bookkeeping and then writing.

More next time.

Dare I think that spring/summer has finally arrived?…

Yesterday the temp hit about 73 in the afternoon, and today the forecast is for 78. Whoopee!

It was wonderfully comfortable in the gazebo, even as late as 8:30. Mind you, the kids stayed out later, too.

When I first moved into the neighbourhood it was populated with older people. In fact, there was only one family on the whole street. Now, I’m surrounded by ‘producers,’ and when they get outside it’s like living beside a schoolground.

Speaking about annoyances: A while ago I stopped going to a restaurant because of some jerk with a loud, nasally voice, who talked incessantly, and told stupid jokes that he laughed at himself. ‘Cackled,’ would be a more accurate description. Well, guess who’s found my regular breakfast hang-out?

Why is it, that when you get things to be just the way you want them, everything changes?!

Today is book review day, so I had better get at it.

More next time.


Catchin’ up…

Thanks for hanging in. I’ve been on the busy side updating my two blogs and book review page.

This week I reviewed Trails Plowed Under by Charles M. Russell. Charlie Russell, like Will Rogers, are two of my favourite characters because of their raw talent. Given their backgrounds, there was no other reason why they should have become legends in their own time. It was a talent that would not be denied.

A sort of begrudging spring has finally arrived. The tulips are just now beginning to bloom, and the leaves are about 1/3 open. At this rate we will only manage about 4 months of summer-like weather—if that. It doesn’t seem fair given the miserable winter the folks in this part of the country have just come through.

I am slowly getting squared away. I’ve been doing a spring cleaning, the gazebo is re-screened, and I even managed to spend a couple of hours out there, today—the first of the season. Tomorrow is forecast to be wet but warm, so I my be able to spend more time outside. I don’t mind the rain, because I am sheltered inside, but a cool breeze can make things uncomfortable.

I still haven’t made much progress on the writing. It seems there is always something getting in the way, but I’m telling myself it will be better when I can work in the gazebo.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is a photo of when it was first built. (The man with the strawberry daiquiris was my partner Doug, who regrettably passed away in 2013.)

gazebo - Doug strawberry Daquari

More next time.





Where, Oh where is spring?…

There’s an old saying about the Canadian weather, i.e. ‘We have six months of winter, and six months of bad sledding!’ Well, this year it’s living up to that saying. The present temp is 46F, and they are still calling for frost and snow in some places. Ugh!

Needless to say, I’m inside looking out. I’d like to be out in the gazebo (which is presently being re-screened), but that doesn’t look feasible until next week.

Oh, and the furnace is still gobbing up the dollars. The last bill was still in the mid-$300 range. It’s a full-time job protecting what little I have from thieves and government, and I don’t make much of a distinction between the two.

More next time.

It’s amazing…

But quite flattering. When I first started this blog it was a means of keeping in touch with friends while I was away on my winter pilgrimage to the sun: however, recently I have been receiving visits from around the world. Therefore, I would like to say a big HELLO and WELCOME. Please add a comment to let me know something about yourself, so I can acknowledge you.

It is an overcast day with temps in the mid-sixties–a bit cool to get out in the gazebo. However, I really must get back to writing today. I’m roughly about half way, but I am determined to publish it by the end of the year (Christmas market.)

I am at my new breakfast venue, a seniors hang out. Who says there isn’t money in seniors? The place is packed. Mind you, it is mostly coffees and doughnuts, but it all adds up.

I like it because there are no screaming kids (except when the grandparents bring their grand kids), and there is NO BLOODY RAP MUSIC! You’d think restaurants would clue in to the fact that we don’t go there for the music–especially when their taste in music generally sucks!

Hello to everyone, and I hope to hear from you. 🙂

More next time.

Just finished my weekly book review…

I always hated it when the teacher asked us to write a book report now and then, and now I write one once-a-week.  How times change. 🙂

It is trying to rain, but until now it has been quite pleasant with temps in the low 70s. However, the remainder of the week is predicted to be wet and cool.

Steve cleaned out the gazebo today, and hooked up the power, so if the weather cooperates I should be able to make the trek outside, shortly. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining so long as it’s not blowing and cool. In fact, I like working with a gentle rain falling outside. It’s relaxing.

I’m still getting settled. I’ve only unpacked the essentials–toilet gear, etc.–but most of the clothes will go straight into the laundry, anyway. At the last hotel I didn’t have anyone to do my laundry, and the machines were all front-loading. That made it really difficult to get the clothes out–being low and at the back–so I just washed what I needed in the bathroom sink.

Fortunately I live directly across the street from the laundromat, and so the owner both washes and folds everything for me. Moreover, he is a perfectionist, and so no one could possibly do better.

I haven’t done much writing lately, and so I must get back at that tomorrow.

More next time.

At home and getting settled again…

It’s remarkable how quickly one forgets little things after a while … Things like, where is the pug-in cord for the cellphone? Eventually I remembered that it’s attached to a charging-cradle on my desk. However, I am starting to get back into my old routine.

One of the things that has changed is my breakfast venue. I had been going to Burger King, but one of the managers is a pushy broad who is always lording it over her staff. Moreover, she is one of those types who is right even when she is wrong. Generally these types suffer from insecurity, and so they have to put others down to feel they are in charge: A ‘Queen of Hearts’ complex.

Anyway, I’ve had run-ins with her previously on account of the music. Before 10:00 AM there is no one under the age of 50 in the restaurant, and  yet she has rap music blaring from 4 speakers. I’ve explained to her that I don’t go there to listen to music–and in particular that sort of mindless crap–but Friday morning it was blaring again. Ergo, I shook the dust off my feet as I was going out the door.

I also caught up to two long-standing friends. One is 94, and as vibrant as a fifty-year-old, and the other was in town from his residence in Kirkland Lake.

Otherwise, I’ve been hearing horror story about this past winter. One couple had to call out to get someone to dig them out from the outside. Another arrived home from a five-week vacation to  find their car buried and totalled from the snow. Also, the hydro had been off for much of the time, and so their recently-installed, $15,000 septic system had frozen. Now, the cost of plumbers is about $60 per hour! Moreover, I doubt the insurance company will settle because they didn’t have someone monitoring the house.

Fortunately, I found everything in order at home–except a water stain where the roof had leaked. It was only a couple of screws that had been raised by the frost, and so my friend’s son-in-law tightened them down. No big deal because ceiling tiles are only about .75¢ a piece.

Thursday and Friday were quite nice, with temps around 70F, but today a chilly wind (25 mph) cooled things off considerably, and next week is predicted to be wet. I am waiting to get out into the gazebo, but it may take a while before that happens.

The tulips are up, but no blooms yet.

More next time.

At the airport…


Every trip I take seems to have it’s adventures (challenges.)

The  hotel I stayed in last night was shades of Faulty Towers … Plus!

It was going through renovations, which was the least of the problems. The washroom was so small that I had to go outside to change my mind; plus, the ONE overhead light was so dim I couldn’t see my face, let along shave it.

Then, the people next door–including a woman who never stopped talking –played a movie until midnight with the volume turned up so loud that the sound was distorted. I couldn’t even blank it out with a pillow over my head.

I would have called down to the desk to complain, but there was no telephone.

As  Charles Kerault used to say, I wonder what lies around the corner?

Another ‘Faulty Towers’!…

Seems I’m back to another ‘absentee landlord’ hotel in Jacksonville, and fighting with the wifi again. (It’s taken me nearly an hour just to get a net connection.) However, it did look good from the online hype it came with, and it was cheap.

It’s 96 degree here, so why am I coming back to 56? Apart from government regulation, I can’t think of an answer, either.

Albeit, I’ve found a nice shady table by the pond, and I’m content for the moment.

I’ll keep you informed.

It’s a beautiful day…

Second-last day here in St. Augustine, and one of the nicest days we’ve had yet. The forecast is for 85 degrees, but here beside the pool it’s beautifully mild.

It’s book review day, so the rest of it I will be working on this.

I see  back home we have our one day of spring scheduled  for Friday-the-ninth, so fortunately I will be there to enjoy it. One has to be quick about the weather up there or you’ll miss the good days!

Well, I’d better get to work on this week’s featured novel.

More next time.