Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ched at Chow Time, the Video!!!

My first attempt at videos woo hooo... Mr. Cheddar in (in)action. LOL

I was trying to get him to do his fabulous "vib-ro-tail" routine, it is soooooooooooooo funny. He shakes his tale really, really fast when he is waiting for the kibbles to be poured BUT only when he wants to. That day, well you guessed it, nada, no way, no matter how much coaxing I did. Even the camera strap dangling didn't work, again only when "his majesty" wants too!!!

I hope you enjoy this Ched debut video and DO share any tips, how-to's for filming videos with a regular digital camera, if you have any suggestions. I used the default settings. I know this isn't the best picture quality (better viewed in the small window, not full screen btw) but even so, isn't Mr. Cheddar just the cutest? I am such a proud Meowmie LOL, no matter what he does or doesn't do! 

Wishing You a Very Happy Day from Me and Video Ched!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Word of the Week: Manifest

Make a wish.
Align it with your life.
Never give up!
Imagine and savour the outcome. 

Feed your dreams with optimism and light.
Expect the unexpected.

Seek like-minded people.


Manifest: Also my suggestion for this week's OSI prompt.

I hope you will also stop by over at OSI  to enjoy all the other interpretations of this prompt.

                Manifest: one of my favorite words and things to do!                   

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Bun Dance!

I love the word "abundance" and all that it brings to mind.

I've previously featured Abundance as my Word of the Week over at My Poetic Path, you can read that post here and also another post here at Happy Break.

I also think it's kind of cool to break down the syllables in a word such as abundance to see something entirely new, in this case:

A Bun Dance!

Conjure up that picture in your mind! Wouldn't that be a hoot! A room full of dancing buns!!! Now that's my kind of party. LOL

Unfortunately, I didn't have a picture of a bunch of dancing buns of any kind to share but I do have this one from Not Just for Vegetarians, featuring a rather nice burger bun and some other summer favorites too.

I'm including the links to two of the recipes in this photo if you want to check them out and/or give them a try: Veggie Chick Burgers and Bread-Machine Rosemary Flax Buns. All the recipes in the photo are featured in Not Just for Vegetarians. And another favorite summer recipe you might enjoy: Simply the Best Potato Salad.

Here's to dancing buns!!!! And delicious buns.

And summer days, filled with good food and fun!

Wishing you all kinds of abundance too.


PS: And some new posts at my other blogs:

At My Poetic Path: Haiku Reflections: A Dash of Color in the Rain

At My Real Life Reviews: Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo

At Veggies,Yarns and Tails: Summer Craft Projects: Dishcloths and Washcloths

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Cherry Blossom Time Again!


This lovely cherry tree on one of our main streets had a late start this year.

It is finally in full and glorious bloom now.

And what a sight to behold!

I always stop when passing by to savor a moment of beauty.

The pink blossoms are so delicate and dazzling. Then gone until next year, much to soon.

For now though, wow!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do you have one BIG dream...

....a wish, a desire, a goal for something that you always wanted to do and perhaps never really thought was possible?

I do!

My one BIG dream is to complete my degree. A goal never realised, that started way back in the 70's.

Yes, I know it's a long time ago. I've managed without a degree all these years (sometimes quite well financially, sometimes not, especially when I was living on my own at times). But it isn't just about the better-paying jobs that may have been missed along the way. Things were different back then. The job market in Canada was flourishing. Often times, I had to decide between jobs to accept and many were good-paying jobs. No, it's so much more than that.

I had been fortunate at that time, to be accepted into the Journalism program at one of Canada's top schools for this degree: Ryerson in Toronto. I was honored, but really didn't take it for what it was, a huge opportunity that could have had life-long benefits.

And for someone coming from the "hay-seed" Prairies of Canada (or so I felt about Saskatchewan at the time) to the publishing center of Canada and the BIG city (yes, I was the only Saskatchewan student in my classes!) it was heady stuff indeed.

At 18, I thought I knew it all and would conquer all. Can you relate?

Well, as the saying goes, life happens...I won't bore you with all the details. Suffice to say, my parents were furious with me when in my second semester (and coasting along with a 75-80% average with no problem) I decided to throw in the towel/degree for several reasons that I thought were valid, with the intention to go back to school after a year or two off. That never happened.

I got married (for the first time) and my husband fell in love with the Prairies and wanted to live there permanently. He was from Ontario and found the change to a slower pace etc... refreshing. For me, it became more and more obvious that I had made a very big mistake, leaving school and all that course of action would have meant. But I lived with it and didn't do anything about rectifying my feelings of failure in  other ways. After all, Ryerson and Toronto weren't the only places I could go to school. I didn't see it that way at the time, or for a long time.

So, here I am...all these years later with a dream to get that degree. It won't be in Journalism now, I'd like to pursue Art History as a major, one of my passions for a long, long time. I am still trying to work my way through the maze of online options and perhaps will combine these with a real classroom setting somewhere, depending on where we move (yes, that's something in the works too). So much to consider. The good news, I've been advised that as a mature student, I will be allowed credit for life skills, work history, even my past enrollment at Ryerson counts. So that's all good. But still, it's daunting in so many ways.

But the time to hesitate and debate is long over. If I am ever going to put a check mark beside this big "to do" on my life-list, it's got to be soon.

To quote one of my own favorite quotes: "the best way to begin, is, to begin."

And as my wise and dear friend Sandy Carlson said recently in a comment here:

"I wouldn't turn the clock back for anything. I like to believe (and hope) that I've made my biggest mistakes and can start getting things right."

Here, here Sandy!!! I couldn't agree more.

Do you have one really BIG dream that you still want to see come true? One that you perhaps thought was now unattainable but still, it lurks in the back of your mind? Do share. I would appreciate the inspiration. 

To be honest, I am scared of failing... really really scared. That's part of all the years of delay and procrastination. At the same time, I know I have to do this and want to try to make this one big dream still come true.

Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Word of the Week: Halcyon

warmth of summer sun
butterfly basks in the glow
breaks free, flies alone

This photo and haiku always brings to mind "halcyon days" for me.
The warmth, the calm and tranquil beauty of a butterfly, basking in the sun.
I was not aware that halcyon also referred to a type of bird.
I hope you enjoy this word for the week.

And a week filled with halcyon days!



1. A kingfisher, especially one of the genus Halcyon.
2. A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice.
1. Calm and peaceful; tranquil.
2. Prosperous; golden: halcyon years.

Definition courtesy of : The Free Dictionary

Butterfly photo courtesy of: Flickr

Friday, May 20, 2011

A " Monk" Joke

Warning: Goofey joke alert!!!

On the plus side, it's still funny I think and definitely suitable for all audiences LOL

Here goes:

A young man became a monk, with a religious order that only allowed very limited speaking in the monastery. For every 10 years in the order, they were allowed to speak only 2 words.

After ten years, the young monk was called to the office of the Abbot of the monastery to see what he had to say:

"Food bad."

The Abbot dismissed the monk and told him to return to his work.

Ten more years went by and the same question was asked by the Abbot. This time the reply was:

"Bed hard."

Again, the Abbot dismissed the monk, and told him to return to his work.

After 10 more years, the same question was asked and this time, the monk's reply was:

"I quit."

The Abbot, quickly replied:

"I'm not surprised. All you've done is complain for the past 30 years!"

Wishing you  a wonderful weekend filled with laughter and fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Tanka Poem: The Beckoning Spring


Tree on the hillside

barren branches, wait for green.

Sun to warm it's boughs

and as in life, will renew.

For now, the whispering winds.


This is my second attempt at tanka poetry.

Tanka is the oldest form of Japanese poetry, you can read more about it here.

My first tanka poem: Spring Thaw is posted here, I wrote that one quite a while ago.

 I still prefer haiku but I've enjoyed trying tanka too.

What is your favorite form of poetry?

For me, writing poems is so relaxing and rewarding. Succinct and timeless forms of expression. Reading and writing poetry is a true joy in my life. I hope that's the case for you too!

Photo (isn't it wonderful) courtesy of my blog friend: Jason Evans.

PS: It's been a very busy day in Blogland for me!

Here are some new posts at my other blogs:

My Poetic Path: Rainy Days and Monday...

Veggies, Yarns and Tails: Save a Bundle, Make Your Own Sprouts 

My Real Life Reviews: Breathe Right nasal strips

And a couple more in drafts!!!LOL

Time to call it a day on the computer. Happy Wednesday and see you soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Simple" Acts of Kindness Haiku



Sometimes, we may never know, the far-reaching branches of one simple "act of kindness".

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Word of the Week: Dreams


Sweet Dreams
In my dream, there is a staircase.
Leading up to the sun and warming rays.
There is an answer waiting there.
At the top of the stairs.
But it has not been reached.
Still to be revealed.
It will remain.
A sweet and soothing dream.
Awakening to peace and renewal.
There is hope to be found.
Gazing towards the light.
Hope that sustains on even the darkest days.
And weaves through the longest of nights.
In dreams we travel across time and space.
We draw near to those loved ones already passed.
They are there, always waiting.
Interacting with us in the ways still allowed to them.
And wonders to us, in turn.
Sometimes bringing them closer than even those left behind.
If only we remain open to their voices.
Fragile and fleeting, yet clear.
Sweet dreams.
Keep me moving towards the light.
Still my overworked heart.
Calm my mind from the pressures that overwhelm.
These too shall pass.
And again, I will journey forward.
Safely on my way.
The path, meant to be.
Not those of life’s detours.
Or roads best left behind.
GHH/ 2009
       A "dreamy" poem I wrote a while back.

                     I thought it was a good choice to share with this "Word of the Week".                  

Wishing you a wonderful week, filled with happy day and night dreams!

Staircase photo (I love it!) courtesy of my blog pal: Caroline Brown.

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Inspiring Quote for Friday the 13th!

"There is no digression, only added detail."

Here's to adding the right details, to every day.

Thanks to Brenda for suggesting this wonderful quote.

From the book: Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie.


Happy Friday the 13th!

 Here's to a lucky day for all of us.

Forget about the superstitions.

Heh, Bloggers back (sorta, I lost some comments) that's a start! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

We All Need Heroes!

When I think of champions, heroes or heroines, the first person who always comes to mind is my maternal grandmother.

Big Ma is what we affectionately called her. Physically, she was a tiny woman; who knows how we came up with at particular nickname. Small she may have been in stature but not when it came to character and a very big heart (of gold).

Here's the story of My Hero: Because of You

I can't say it better than I did when I originally wrote this story. I thought it's an appropriate "happy" topic and I hope you enjoy reading this story (or perhaps re-reading). It still brings tears to my eyes, but in a good way.

I hope you have a hero, maybe more than one in your life, now and always. If you do, please share. And let them know they are, if you can...

We all need heroes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Here Comes the Sun!

Found this fun (and very popular) YouTube video featuring the Beatle's :

The graphics on this one are so cute!

It also got me up and moving.

 I hope you are singing and dancing along too!

Wishing You a  Happy Day and Lots of Sunshine too!  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pets Add So Much to Our Lives!


A no-brainer indeed!

I hope you will stop by my review blog to read about a new campaign and website promoting the many wonderful reasons to own a pet.

Make that... being owned by pets (that's how it is for us feline-lovers!)

Sending lots of  hugs to you and your pets today!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Word of the Week: Bliss

This is one of my favorite photos and bliss is one of my favorite words. I hope you enjoy the haiku too.

Bliss...such a lovely state of mind and word to contemplate and reach for. Sometimes it seems unattainable but I don't think that's ever really the case. It's just a state of happiness taken to the next level, isn't it?

I hope you find your own special BLISS this week!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Love and Remembering

It's been four years this month.
Your memory never fades.
I think of you every day.
And send you, all my love.

Dedicated to my dear mom: Helen Ruth Hartman, who passed on May 2007.

She loved to laugh and to sing. I think she would have loved my idea for a happy blog too, that's why I decided to post this tribute here.

Her life was one filled with all kinds of creative pursuits. She brought so much joy and beauty to the world. 

I will treasure all the good times we shared, always. 
Remembering and honoring our loved ones on the other side should be a joyous thing, in spite of the sadness. Holding on to all the good memories.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms. 

Also submitted for the OSI prompt: Love

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Proverb to Ponder

" You cannot stop the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair."

A Chinese proverb that I really like. 

As always, birds can teach us so much, even indirectly.

Thanks to Sandy for the perfect nest photo!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To Be Young at Heart at Every Age

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about age, aging and how different age ranges are often grouped together by companies and by individuals as well.

 I was on a book site last week, signing up for a membership reward program and one of the questions was my date of birth. Then a notation that they wanted a person's age so that they could then send "appropriate" book suggestions based on your age. It was not an option to fill in this space so I decided to "knock off" a few years and change the date as well! Not only is someone's DOB a stat that shouldn't be shared for security reasons, unless it's really necessary; I also don't think it's a company's business to pry like this.  

I think this is just one of many age-related stereotypes that is going too far. To assume that a person in a certain age range would necessarily be interested in the same books that another person in that age group would also be is just stupid, in my opinion. Much like assuming that because of a person's age they are only interested in certain hobbies, sports, music, entertainment etc...it "grinds my gears" seeing this again and again.

One of the things I like so much about blogging is the "level playing field" that I've noted in the years I've been visiting blogs and posting myself. I have visited and enjoyed blogs hosted by people in their 20's all the way up to bloggers in their 80's. If you've got similar interests, who cares what age you happen to be?

I'm in my 50's, I make no secret of that. On a good day, I often have people remark that I look a lot younger than that. That's great, who doesn't love a compliment about aging well but at the same time, what exactly is a woman in their 50's suppose to look like? All wrinkled up, with drab outdated clothes and no make-up on? I think not!!! LOL

In a tennis class I took a few years ago one of the participants after finding out my age said to me:  "Wow, you look great. My sister is your age too and she's all wrinkles!!" The absolute surprise on her face that I shared the same age as her sister said it all.

I have known people in their 20's who in the true sense of the word are OLD. On the other hand, I've known people in their 80's who truly were YOUNG AT HEART, in the best possible ways. Active, up with the trends, interested in new challenges and learning, looking good and feeling good. Still open to life's many adventures, romance, opportunities and new beginnings of all kinds! And not dwelling on what birthday arrived last. 

I don't feel much different from when I was in my 30's. Being in good health certainly helps but it's not the whole story either. For the baby-boomer generation (which I am a part of) there does seem to be a shift in perceptions and many people saying "forget it" when it comes to being pigeon-holed into some age-related categories that were more in keeping with our parent's and grandparent's generation. Not that it was right then either. We don't expect that all woman will stay home and tend the home-fires and the babies anymore (like my mother and most of my school friends mother's did) to the exclusion of much else, why do we still have these misconceptions about aging?

It's changing but I don't think it's changing fast enough or on as far-reaching a scale as it should be.Age and perceptions of a person according to their age is not just a part of society's stereotyping, it's also a mindset for many, many people.  

Well, there's my visit to the soapbox for the week!!!

What are your thoughts on aging and ageism in society? 

On a lighter note, some music to go along with this post:                

Frank Sinatra's singing the classic: Young at Heart .

There are a lot of versions and various artists over there, singing this lovely, inspiring song but in my opinion, it doesn't get any better than "ol Blue Eyes". No wonder he was known for his "one take" recording sessions. His magical voice will live on forever. And what a gift of music he has left behind.

A song that always makes me smile. I hope you enjoy listening too!

Here's to being Young at Heart and the best we can all be, at every age and season in life!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm a Hugger and Proud of It!

I have always believed in the power of simple gestures like giving someone a hug. When the distance makes that impossible, I still like to express the sentiment via a cyberhug or perhaps a line of OOOO's at the end of a letter or page.

Hugs. Such an easy thing to do but they can change someone's day, perhaps more than just the day, in a very positive way.

Many, many times over the years, I've been thanked for giving someone a hug, told that "they needed a hug right about then" sometimes, needed one a lot. I've also been grateful to  receive a hug unexpectedly especially when I was feeling sad or upset. A hug always makes me feel better. Someone took the time to show they cared.

There is some etiquette involved when it comes to hugging strangers of course or even someone you know but not very well. A simple request such as: "I'd like to give you a hug" is a good idea in those circumstances.

 I've yet to have anyone say NO thanks to a hug! LOL 

How pleased I was to find out about this HUG campaign online recently, I don't know how I missed this, even featured on Oprah! Talk about media coverage for a simple act of human kindness and contact. I'm loving it! This is a great site to check out for more about the many benefits of hugging and how this campaign started.

Give someone a hug today. Try to make it someone who looks like they really need one. Instant warmth and smiles, guaranteed!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Desktop Dazzler!

Another photo that recently stopped me in my tracks!

 I love the array of colors in this one.

Amazing what you can find in your photo archives.

Hope you enjoy the view too!


Wishing You a Beautiful and Beauty-Filled Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Word of the Week: Give

Give: of yourself.

Give: your precious time.

Give someone an unexpected gift, for no special reason or occasion.

Give: your talent, skills and experience.

Give: your (complete) attention.

Give: a smile from the heart.

Give: a hug to someone who looks sad.

Give: yourself a gift (and don't feel guilty about it!).

Give: your very best and know that's enough.

Give: and make someone's day.

Give: and make the world  a better place.


PS: This is a poem I wrote a while back. I've reworked the lines a bit in this updated version. Hope you enjoy it. To give is one of the true joys in my life.

PSS: I've decided to "resurrect" my Word of the Week, a regular (kinda, sorta) post series that I had over at My Poetic Path.

 I hope that my word choices are inspiring to you and will be, throughout your week. A mantra perhaps? For myself, I am going to look for extra opportunities to give this week, in whatever ways I can.
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