Electronic gadgets – how many is too many?




2 televisions

2 cameras (never used)

3 iPads

3 cell phones

2 laptops

1 PC desktop

1 DVD player

2 Kindles

1 Paperwhite


Total: 18



2 Grandparents

1 Mom

1 Child








Total: 4

Gadgets win by a landslide. Hardly seems fair. Do we really need that many? I don’t think so, but I know I wouldn’t want to be without my PC, my cellphone, and my Paperwhite. I use all three daily.

We really should reduce our electronic footprint. Looking at this list, I think we could easily cut it down to 6. No, wait a minute, make that 8. Whoops, I forgot the GPS and my Paperwhite—oh, and the printer, which isn’t in the list but probably should be. Still, we could easily cut it down to 10 or possibly 12—I think.

Are you buried in electronic gadgets too? Could you … would you be able to cut down?


Living Language

A friend recently wrote that the day was “dank.” The kind of day she liked, good for thinking. But what is the definition of dank?

Webster’s Dictionary:


Adjective, | dæŋk

Definition of DANK

:unpleasantly cool and humid

a dank cellar

dank rain forests


Urban Dictionary:


an expression frequently used by stoners and hippies for something of high quality.

That borritos was dank, man.
or… That borritos was the dankness


As with so many words, usage changes meaning.

  • “Gay” used to mean happy. I have a cousin named Gay. Imagine how calling out to her now would sound to others.
  • “Fag” was a cigarette.
  • “Friend” and “pirate” were nouns.
  • “Tweet” was a sound birds made.
  • “Cloud” was condensed vapor up in the sky.
  • “I hear ya” used to mean I heard you, now it’s an expression of empathy

And new words constantly add themselves to our language: twerk, memes … and eventually many of them are listed in official dictionaries.

Perhaps, though, it is hyperbole that is the most disconcerting. We so often hear, especially from sports announcers it seems, “He gave 110% in that game.” No, he didn’t. What you saw was his 100%. To give more would not be humanly possible.

Our language will continue to grow and transform. Meanwhile communicating without insulting someone or saying something ridiculous can be like crossing a minefield. So tread carefully.


More art in unusual places – Victoria, BC

These were found under the overpasses on the Galloping Goose Trail – for more about this hiking / walking / biking trail see Here

Under the overpass – one


IMG_20170322_092549253      IMG_20170322_092601941         IMG_20170322_092606384

Under the overpass – two

IMG_20170323_091528931            IMG_20170323_091412151_HDR                                      IMG_20170323_091456585

The winter that won’t quit

Back in February, I moaned and complained about the snow when we should have been enjoying the cherry blossoms.

Well, the cherry blossoms still aren’t here and I’m not the only one impatiently waiting for spring to chase away the dark and dreary days.



“Care to go for a swim?”

“No thanks. The water’s much too cold.”


8 reasons why you should buy a lottery ticket


I buy lottery tickets. Every week. I know that I have an abysmal one in 14 million chance of winning and still I buy them. I know I’m not alone for millions of fellow citizens are right there with me shelling out hard earned money for a chance, however slim, to win.

Why buy?  Here’s my logic.

  1. You can’t win without a ticket.
  2. You only need one ticket to win.
  3. You never know. You could be that one in 14 million this time.
  4. The money is used for good causes – you can check on line for your province or state.
  5. This is my “coffee” money. Since I don’t drink coffee, I don’t feel guilty spending the equivalent of a cup a day on lottery tickets.
  6. I don’t buy the little “scratch and win” tickets. If I’m destined to win, I want to win big.
  7. Its fun to dream about what I could do with the winnings.
  8. The anticipation of a possible win adds spice to my week.


Doing without


Quick! What was the thing you most recently complained about? Got your answer? Hold that thought.

Now read this.

“I am only replying now (it’s around 1:36 a.m.) because this is first time in days that we have had power. Add that to the recession and you have a really “beautiful” picture of life from my end.”

Electricity off for days? Recession? And I’m upset because my WiFi isn’t fast enough.

The quote is from an email my Nigerian friend sent me the other day. I’ve been getting reality checks from him for some time now. I look around my house. What would I be forced to do without if there were no electricity? Lights, stove, fridge, microwave, TV, computer, iPad, Paperwhite, phone, humidifier, heat; even the gas fireplace needs its electric starter.

I’ve a book I’d like to send you, I write. It’s not available in ebook format. What’s your address?

“The post office building is vacant and has been for some time. The last time I received a letter was six years ago.”

Okay, I think. I’ll courier the book. I check with various companies to find that no one delivers packages in his area of the country. Scratch that idea.

Each missive from him jolts me. He rarely complains, but I can sense how hard his life is and how difficult it must be to remain optimistic.

We take far too many things for granted in our cozy corner of the world. Does his plight make me want to give up what I have? Of course not. But it does prompt me to stop buying things I don’t need, to be less wasteful, to “use it up, wear it out, make do, do without.” And, knowing him has prompted me to increase my charitable donations to organizations like KIVA. It’s the least I can do.


A picture paints 300 words for this prairie girl

This story was inspired by Anneli’s challenge to write 300 words about her picture above taken in Montana. I lived in Saskatchewan as a child so this scene is familiar to me.


The Farm

She pulled the wooden chair over to the wall, climbed up on it and turned on the radio. Hop-Along Cassidy, her favorite show was coming on and with her ear glued to the radio, she wouldn’t miss even one word of it.

Suddenly, her dad ran into the kitchen—without even taking his boots off—calling for her mother. She wanted to ask him to be quiet, but knew better and plastered her ear even harder against the radio speaker.

Her mother came in from the bedroom. “What’s wrong?”

“My wallet. I’ve lost my wallet.” She shivered for the voice coming out of her father’s mouth didn’t sound like him.

“Here,” her mother said, shoving the baby into her arms, and switching off the radio. And then her parents were gone. Scared to get off the chair with the baby in her arms, she stayed where she was. She tried reaching the knob to turn the radio back on, but wasn’t able to hold the baby with just one hand.

From where she stood, she could see out the small porch window. The tractor and harrow stood in the middle of the field and her parents ran around madly, with their heads down as if searching for something.

A very long time later, her mother came in and took the baby from her aching arms. She climbed down from the chair and put it back by the table. Then her father came in. He was crying. She’d never seen him cry before and the great sobs tore at something inside her.

“Forty dollars?” her mother asked.

Her father nodded.

“It was supposed to last us the winter.”

Her father nodded again and sank onto one of the kitchen chairs, staring down at the floor. The silence seemed to drag on forever. They went to bed soon after. Her mother didn’t even cook dinner that night.