Thursday, December 24, 2015

When You First Took My Hand On A Cold Christmas Eve, You Promised Me Broadway Was Waiting for Me

It's that time of year, which means I have to post my usual Christmas post - the same one I post pretty much every year, complete with the same song I post every year - because I'm big on traditions.

So there ya go.

Tree's up, presents are wrapped, and I baked enough to make my family gain 200 collective pounds (sorry, and also not sorry). It sometimes surprises people that I love Christmas so much, but I really do - it brings a different feeling for a few days. Hard to verbalize, but maybe you know what I mean by that.

I know it can also be a stressful time. People who have experienced loss over the year, those who don't have the means to give gifts or provide the holiday meals that so many families enjoy... even people who suffer from depression and anxiety, as I do, can have a hard time with a holiday that focuses so much on joy. The world isn't always a joyful place.

But you see a lot of people helping others around this time, and that's something to be glad about. I'm not at all religious (all hail pizza! does that count?), so Christmas has nothing to do with that side of things for me, but it's about family, friends, food and giving - whether it's that awesome gift you got your crazy Aunt Mabel, the time you give those you love, or giving in some way to people in need. It's about that. Simple stuff.

So, to everyone... Merry Christmas. I hope you find some happiness in whatever way you can.

And it wouldn't be a Christmas blog without this song. I think I've posted this each year since 2007 - it's never gonna change, and neither am I.

Merry Christmas, all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Some Speak The Sounds, But Speak In Silent Voices

The beginning of last month marked one year since I moved back to Niagara. Holy crap, does time ever move fast. The older I get, the quicker each year gets - five years ago feels like last week. And weren't the 90's just a year or two ago? Yikes.

But I digress. So I've been  back for just over a year. I can recall all the reasons I made the switch, and they remain relevant. Some even more so now (especially as I continue to get new doctors here. Cross your fingers that they're magical and not evil assholes, please). For the most part, things aren't the way I expected them to be, moving back. It's really not at all how I pictured it. Some plans and goals haven't yet panned out, and it can get frustrating. But I don't regret it. People ask me that often, if I regret leaving Toronto, leaving my beloved neighbourhood and High Park. And while I miss all of that everyday and wish I was able to visit weekly, the answer is still no. I don't really regret it, even when I'm sad about it. It was what I needed to do. I needed a change, and I needed a support system. Hopefully in the new year I'll be able to spend more time in Trawnna, as originally planned.

But enough of the vague paragraphs and sentimentality. Since I don't post my constant minutiae like I used to, what the crap have I been up to all year? Well, me and Netflix have spent a lot of time together (it's my idea of a stable relationship; we're in love!), but there's been more to my year than that. I've attempted to be a tourist in the region I grew up in, go see the sights I never bothered to before. When I lived here before moving to Toronto seven or eight years ago, I could tell you what kind of beer they had at all of the bars, but I couldn't tell you where any conservation areas or scenic parks were. That stuff didn't matter then - it does now. It matters a lot. And I'm sure having a dog made a big difference in that respect (but who the hell remembers life before Daisy?). So I've made an effort to see what this place has to offer beyond the obvious.

Lemme try to break it down, photo-stylez (in no particular order, with no particular rhyme or reason):

Niagara Falls, frozen. Pretty cool to see, other than the fact that I was also frozen.


I mean, uh... Tawse Winery.


...Megalomaniac Winery.

WINE.....related. Grape & Wine Festival. Chicks laughing while dancing to Magic Dance.


Charles Daley Park.

Montebello Park.

Pretty sure I have this exact photo for every season.

Also in Montebello, where Daisy learned to play the flute.

Gotta love a bitch with talent.

Morningside Mill at Decew Falls.

My pictures don't do it justice, but my dad took some good ones.

Um... this... place... (?). I can't remember.

The view from a winery. Would you like an apartment on the escarpment?

Waterfront trail.

I spend a lot of time on this particular one. It's good for clearing the brain while the dog pulls me around and tells me what to do.

Also the waterfront trail. Another time, another part of it.

The Niagara Falls (Canadian Side) from the top of the Skylon Tower.

Extreme fear of heights be damned.

What? Another winery?

Yeah, Angels Gate. It's the Niagara way, guys. I'm not even a true wino.

A waterfront trail (do you sense a theme, other than wine?) at Happy Rolph's.

People who aren't from Niagara must think Happy Rolph's is a nutbar name. Damn right it is.

Can ya guess? Can ya?!

A waterfront trail! Huzzah!

The 9/11 Memorial Walk.

I went to the beach on Thanksgiving. For the weather, I guess you can give thanks to global warming.

Niagara has more beaches than I realized. This one was Municipal Beach, now named Sunset Beach. Personally, I called it Steve.

Mary Malcomson Eco Park.

Craft Beer Fest. 

Somewhat unrelated, but I figured that beer should be better repesented in a heavily-wine'd post.

 I also went to the beach in November. Again, not really related to this post, but it's almost braggable.


Another nature trail.

Oast House.

I mean... that kinda goes without saying.

St. John's Conservation area.

The pond at St. John's Conservation Area. Look at those little buggers. So cute.

So there ya go. Proof that going backwards isn't always going backwards, that having a dog changes a chick, and that posting too many pictures is a good way to lose readers. All good lessons to learn.

What did I miss?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

If You Don't Make A Friend Now, One Might Make You

It's officially December, so that means everything is now getting Christmas-ified - it also means it's giveaway season. So, I'm sure no one is surprised that I have a giveaway for my fellow pet obsessors owners.

Our favourite four-legged jerks deserve presents too, right?

PetSafe is setting up one of you lucky fur parents with a pretty sweet prize pack valued at $125, featuring each one of these items:

· Busy Buddy® Waggle™

· Busy Buddy® Tug-A-Jug™

· Busy Buddy® Bristle Bone®

· FroliCat™ Pounce

· FroliCat™ Dart Duo

· Egg-Cersizer™

Daisy has an extensive collection of PetSafe toys and treats, so you know it's all Piggie Smalls-approved.These toys are for cats and dogs, but I don't know your pet hamster/turtle/pygmy three-toed sloth personally, so who am I to say that you shouldn't enter if you don't have a dog or cat? And maybe you just want the toys for yourself. I don't judge.

Enter to win below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
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