WEEK: OCT. 31 to NOV. 7 Events

WEEK in a WINK OCT 31 to NOV 7

Posted in WEEK | Leave a comment




HALLOWEEN, according to Celtic beliefs, is the single night in the year when spirits and the dead can cross over into the world of the living.


Trick or Treat?

People decorate their homes and yards with objects relating to the dead, graveyards and dungeons. The phrase “trick or treat” comes from the superstition and fear associated with the unknown of the spiritual world. When a doorbell rang, people asked, “Trick or treat?” to insure that the outsider was not going to play a trick on the home residents give them a treat instead.



There are some special types of foods associated with Halloween. Toffee coated apples, protectively coated fall harvested apples, pumpkin pie from pumpkins harvested late in the fall and candies and chocolates packaged in decorative Halloween symbols. The Pickering Library “Do anything” event even had samples of pumpkin beer brewed specially by the “5 Paddles Brewery,” a surprisingly good tasting beer for a such a unique brew where pumpkin and spices have been added to the mash before the fermenting process is complete.



The numerous symbols which are associated with Halloween; symbols include animals, such as black cats, bats and spiders, and figures, such as ghosts, skeletons, witches and wizards. Pumpkins, graveyards, cobwebs, haunted houses and the colors green, orange, grey and black are commonly used in association with Halloween. These symbols are used to decorate homes and yards and are seen on costumes, gift paper, cards, cookies, cakes and candy.


Safety precautions

In the past few decades, malicious people have tampered with kids’ treats. If you are a parent or grandparent who will be assisting children with trick or treating, safeguard your child or grandchild by taking some precautions. Discard homemade treats. No matter how safe they seem to appear, they may have been tampered with in some way. Unless you know the ‘giver,’ throw the treat away. Ditto with fruits or baked goods which could have been altered in some dangerous way. Keep only those treats which came in a sealed container which cannot be tampered with. If the seal is broken or if the treat is vulnerable to handling by someone, throw it out. If you have doubts, DISCARD.

It is a sad comment on our society. Perhaps these kinds of people have always been around and the media is the culprit in that it publicizes the incidents but no matter, placing blame or culpability is not the intent here. We just want our kids and grandkids to be safe. So again, if you have any apprehensions about a treat, THROW IT OUT.

Be safe everyone.



DESTINATIONS: Ghosts, ghouls & galleries of Guanajuato

A mysterious  and magical city


Heard the one about the invisible spirit singing ‘Cielito lindo’ in the Mexican moonlight in Guanajuato? Visit the UNESCO World Heritage mining town of Guanajuato and you just might hear the singing but I guarantee you one thing, you will NOT see the singer!

Guanajuato, a city of about 150,000, is located about 200 kms northwest of Mexico City. From the surrounding hillsides, the splashes of pastel washed buildings in the valley below look like a child’s primary-colour painting or somewhat like an urban mural painted by the city’s famous artist, Diego Rivera.


Some Guanajuatons claim there is a legend that spirits of the city’s deceased artists roam the city at night looking for victims who are real life artists. They then enter the body of the visiting artist while they sleep and implant something which brings the artist back Guanajuato after they die to join the legion of artistic spirits that inhabit the city now. I didn’t see myself as an artist so the legend did not frighten me until someone reminded me that writers are considered to be artists too. Now the ghoulish legend took on a new life.

Whether you are artistic or not, Guanajuato really is a Mexican city worth visiting; it has a wide range of tourist attractions: more than 50 hotels, varied shopping, excellent dining and pleasurable entertainment. In October, during the Cervantino Festival, university music students don medieval troubadour costumes and serenade strollers nightly. Very romantic!


We toured the entire city, seeing the majority of its tourists attractions. We visited the Boca Mina San Ramon Museum, a memorial to the silver mining days of the 16th century. Visitors are provided with a hard hat as they enter old shafts with displays and props depicting the early mining days in the region: mine buggies, stuffed donkeys and costumed miner mannequins realistically portrayed the mining methods and working conditions of the bygone era. An artistically constructed bar gave you an idea of how miners spent their free time and their newly acquired wealth.

As we departed the mine museum, a young man garbed in old and dusty miner duds, well-worn, badly wrinkled, stopped me and mumbled, “Boletos, por favor.” I looked down into my man purse to dig out my tickets, proof of our valid entry, not really surprised at the unusual request. I heard him add, “Vaja con Dios,” as a musty smell of old manuscripts, moist soil and stone dust wafted by me. When I looked up, my tickets in hand, the young man was gone. I looked around but he was no where to be seen. Vanished, poof, into thin air. Very strange.


We learned how three hundred years ago, the Catholic Church tried purging the region of so-called heretics using its infamous Inquisition. Artists who painted complicated, indescribable works were early victims even though many of them were not religious at all. They were tortured cruelly in the clerics’ relentless attempts to exorcise the ‘devils of the possessed’ and extricate understandable explanations of their artistic endeavours. The tour guide at the Museo de la Inquisicion, draped in a Franciscan robe, cinctured with a rough rope, walked about the museum giving his spiel in Spanish accented English. He seemed to almost float as he walked around the room giving his explanations. I looked down at his feet. I did a double take. His rugged sandals seemed to never touch the dried mud floor. I was seeing things…tourist fatigue I thought. We had been driving around central Mexico for weeks and I was the sole driver, so I could understand being tired. But when I looked down at the heels of the other gallery visitors, I saw dust motes kicked up behind every one of them as they walked over the earthen gallery floor but nary a one rose up behind the friar guide. Hmmm!

Guanajuato offers many more attractions: museums dedicated to artists, writers, naturalists and singers like Rivera, Dugles, Arreola, and Negrete; monuments honouring miners, workers and artists; over a hundred splendid churches, from a majestic cathedral to tiny, personal chapels; artisan and boutique shops; theaters and concert halls; and numerous excellent eateries with regional dishes.

In the evening, we were glad to get back to our hotel. We had selected it because it was located right in the heart of the city, making access to our various tours much easier. It was a quaint two story hacienda hotel, probably renovated numerous times as it tried to keep up with the tourist trade over the years. They had done well. Each evening they had linen draped tables set up outside in the front of the hotel facing the central square parkette with its trees and gardens, people sitting and murmuring to each other on the park benches. It was a nice backdrop to our evening dining alla fresco.

Inside, the hotel was decorated with baked tiles on many of the walls where huge painting of the city’s past heroes and important citizenry received their earned honour. Frames and doors, all were trimmed in polished coffee coloured wood which I guess was mahogany or dark oak. The bar was particularly warm because of the expanse of the wood everywhere. Even the long bar itself was a piece of art, polished smooth and gleeming in the low light of the room.

We sat at a table for two, ordered margharitas while I setup the laptop for a Skype phone call home. Tap, tap, bing, bing, click…I had Internet connectivity. Nadia connected with her mom and had a nice ten minute conversation recounting our day’s adventures. When she finished, she disconnected the Skype connection. I thought I would take advantage of our connectivity to check email but then I changed my mind, after all, this was a holiday. I shut off the laptop, surprised at how warm it was to the touch. A bit unusual.

We finished our margharitas and I went over to the bartender for the bill. I saw the two drinks charge on the bill but no charge for the Internet use. When I asked how much I owed for our Internet time, he replied, “Senior, our Internet does not work. We have had trouble with it since it was first installed. So you have no charge there.” When I told him about using Skype very successfully, he added, “Senior, that is not possible. Our router system has been removed because we have had no success at all with our Internet installation. It has never worked in this hotel.” I shook my head in wonder as we walked out of the bar, warm laptop in hand.

Incredibly, Guanajuato has a subway system. As the city is surrounded by mountainous hills, road construction is an engineering challenge in this region. However, the citizens of Guanajuato found a better way; they built their main avenues beneath the city, on dried riverbeds, sunken far below, and now rescued from annual flooding by the construction of a dam. The roadways enter, traverse and exit the city, all underground. It is very eerie to drive about under the city in deep, dimly lit tunnels. Thank goodness traffic was light as a traffic jams down here would have been scary, I am sure.

One more strange thing happened to us on our visit to Guanajuato. My laptop was totally discharged by the last day of our visit there and I thought I would recharge the device when we returned to Mexico city the next day. Mysteriously, the laptop not only sprung back to life when we got into our hotel room in Mexico City but mysteriously, the battery indicator displayed a fully charged reading. I had not charged the device. Yet, somehow the battery had been been fully revived somehow, somewhere after we had left Guanajuato. It was not my doing.

Even more mysterious, my entire Guanajuato visit was recorded and saved in a single folder titled, ‘Guanajuato’  in the laptop’s memory. Now, I am quite meticulous about recording my trip data using USB storage sticks and SD cards but I had not had the time to transfer any of the files from my USB sticks or any of my camera SD cards to the laptop while we were in Guanajuato. We were that busy. To transfer all my data would have meant a couple of hours of work and I thought best to do that work later on our return to Mexico City where we would have more leisure time. Yet, when I examined the laptop upon arrival in Mexico City, not only was it fully charged but a folder had been created with our entire trip, photos and files, all safely organized in it. And I know I never did this work.

When we got back to Mexico city and I took out a USB stick, to do some data transfer. To my surprise, the stick was blank. In fact, every one of my USB sticks was blank. No files existed on any of them. I am certain to this day that I never erased these files. They were my trip record, for heaven’s sake. Then, I pulled out my camera SD card to examine the photos of Guanajuato. Blank. No photos. What!!!! And all my other SD cards which I thought had Guanajuato photos, all them were blank also. Somehow every SD card had been erased and I know I didn’t do that, for sure.

And yet, I had a complete and very well organized record of my trip to Guanajuato, photos and files, all saved in one folder on my laptop. To this day, I cannot explain this and my wife thinks I am pulling her leg with all this.

I was told Guanajuato had ghosts, lots of them. I did not believe it and I refuse to believe it even now but I remember strange things happened to us on our visit to Guanajuato. Things that I cannot explain. Do ghosts exist? In Guanajuato? I don’t know but one thing for sure, I am not returning to Guanajuato to find out. May you can !


SAVING $$$: Shop & Save tip #20

Knowing your prices is absolute necessity as an advertised deal of e.g. 20% off is not a deal if the original price is out of line ( I have some unbelievable examples of regular price differences on same item between Shoppers, Walmart  and Loblaws especially in skin care dept.)

Marlene B.

Posted in SAVING $$$ | Leave a comment

ENRICHED LIVES: Libraries ain’t as they used to be !


The Pickering Library held a very special event on Thursday, Oct. 23rd. If you could not attend, here is what you missed.

An opportunity to meet Cathy Grant, CEO, Pickering Library Board. Cathy is the hands on CEO of the Library Board, and “hands on ” means she gets directly involved in library activities which means real contact with the public, the patrons of the library.

This is the way I think Ms. Grant

Richard Szpin gives Cathy Tech advice.

The library event was an opportunity for the institution to show off its latest wares and to showcase some Pickering business relationships.

Pie Pickering treated patrons to pizza slices, wood fire baked, thin crust and delicious.


Sam and John (the Aussie) keeping the slices hot !

And then serving…


Then, attending patrons could wash the pizza down with great beer brewed by the 5 Paddles Brewery, a local craft beer brewing company.

One of the five young owners himself, Spencer, opened bottle after bottle of thirst quenching, specially brewed, unique recipe beers. A pumpkin seasoning based brew was ideal for Halloween, and not a kid’s drink either !


Not surprisingly, Spencer had the longest queue of library patrons…


There were more tastes to be tried…soft pretzels, quinoa salads, butternut squash soups…



Hawley Crescent Culinary Services of Whitby had hosting ideas.


Hawley Crescent Culinary Services had chicken nuggets for tasting…mmmm good!

Once your taste buds were satisfied and your thirst was quenched, patrons explored the many other displays set up for the evening…

The green screen photo display which library staffers, Doug and Sabrina demonstrated…was fun for everyone. Patrons got photos taken in world settings like the Taj Mahal in Agra, India or in front of the pyramids in Giza.

what is the man doing

No, no Richard…You cannot be made taller and slimmer !

Green Screeners

More fun in front of Doug’s Green Screen display.


Doug explains the Green Screen technology.

Veridian HYDRO

Veridian HYDRO showed off their SMART METERS.

And library staff were all over, directing, demonstrating, explaining, and guiding patrons around the many displays and demonstration booths…

Two of Pickerings finest ladies...at the library event

Staffer Claire gives local resident, Nadia Girardi, a library CHAMPION lawn sign.

Doug shows off his artwork to Fran and Richard

Doug explains the process to techies, Fran and Richard.

Electricity from a banana…no way !!!


Nordic Pole Walking explained the health benefits of walking, but how these benefits could be enhanced tremendously by kicking the walk up a notch with Nordic Poles…


Then, as Pickering is in the middle of an Election Campaign, one of the local candidates, Doug Dickerson, attended the DO ANYTHING event. Good for you Doug !!! Nice to see a candidate supporting our library events.


Local candidate, Doug Dickerson listens in.

Then, the CARP organization, (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) a strong supporter of the library and all its endeavours, had its executive manning a booth where they distributed CARP pins and CARP wrist bands. All we needed was Susan Eng there to top off their station !

Keith and Randy, CARP execs

Keith and Randy, local CARP execs manned their display.

Finally, you would not have seen it ALL, unless you saw the library’s technological pride and joy, the 3D printer. Staffer Kayhan really enjoyed showing off this unique piece of technology and both goldsters and youngsters who were awed by the products that this printer could make. Just imagine, instead of producing a 2 dimensional copy of something, this printer produces a 3 dimensional copy. Now if it could only operate with tomato sauce, pepperoni gel, and mozzarella ink…I would be buying one of these printers in a flash. Instant PIZZAS…on demand !


Kayhan awes some of the onlookers !

Joe's gotta know how it works

Joe Sancroft’s gotta know how it works!

kayhan shows of the 3D printer

It was a stupendous evening at the library. More than hundreds of local residents attended and each of them reinforce that the library did an outstanding job in hosting this unique event.

Our local library has been winning awards for its innovation and modernization. It really is meeting the challenges and needs of its local patrons with innovative and leading edge technology. Patrons of libraries of bygone eras would be speechless seeing what the library does today, especially the Pickering Library. Book lending is no longer its raison d’etre. Now it is a movie centre, an audio music centre, a learning centre with numerous classes teaching a variety of topics. The leading edge technological thrusts taken by the Pickering Library just reinforce its deserved reputation of being an outstanding facility…and it’s here in Pickering.

Cathy Grant, CEO, and all her staff are to be heartily congratulated on hosting such a marvelous event and for making our local library one of the very best in the entire province.

Bravo Pickering Library!!!











Current read

NEXT MEETING:  Friday, Nov. 20
Time:  2 pm

Location: VIVA Residence, Pickering

Heartbreaking and funny: the true story behind Jeanette’s bestselling and most beloved novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

In 1985, at twenty-five, Jeanette published Oranges, the story of a girl adopted by Pentecostal parents, supposed to grow up to be a missionary. Instead, she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.

Oranges became an international bestseller, inspired an award-winning BBC adaptation, and was semi-autobiographical. Mrs. Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over the novel and the author’s life: when Jeanette left home at sixteen because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: Why be happy when you could be normal? This is Jeanette’s story–acute, fierce, celebratory – of a life’s work to find happiness: a search for belonging, love, identity, a home.

About a young girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night, and a mother waiting for Armageddon with two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer; about growing up in a northern industrial town; about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. She thought she had written over the painful past until it returned to haunt her and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother. It is also about other people’s stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.

Watch for my review soon.

Posted in BOOK CLUB | Leave a comment



Late in September, I entered a writing contest the theme of which was “best friends.” The contest was sponsored by the VIVA Residences (one exists in Pickering). Thinking that most written submissions would be about human best friends, I chose to write about my Scottish Terrier as being my best friend. My entry must have been received well as I was one of the 9 finalists in the contest. I lost, by the way, probably because my entry concerned a dog, rather than a human. No matter, I still think of my dog as my ‘second’ best friend. He relates with me as if I were his best friend and I feel great about that. Here is my entry, which I believe came in SECOND.


My best bud, Fermo

Fermo‘s my best bud, save for my other bud, Nadia. Height challenged and with a face, no, a mug, maybe even a muzzle, only Nadia and 1 can love.He’s not the handsomest fellow around with his wavy black hair, disheveled at the best of times, always looking like he’s been bested in a battle with the hairdryer, an engagement he’s lost.


How he looks isn’t important. I still love him anyway because he’s a stalwart, so dependable, so lovable, a real buddy. No matter how long I’ve been out, he greets me at the door as if I were the Reader’s Digest prize bearer; super glad to see me, a Superman of excitability.

Still he’s my emotional bulwark, never depressed, never down, never despondent. He has all his buttons pushed to “ON;” willingness, ON, enthusiasm, ON, happy, ON, and eager, ON. Watching TV with me, 1 think he’s snoozing; no way, an ear twitch here, another, there; attentive button, ON.

Whenever I nap on the couch, he saunters into the room; tic, tic, tic, his little feet click on the floor. Then, prrrloomph, he plops down against the couch and seems to doze off; the moment I awake, his “ready to go” button clicks to ON. He’s up by the couch looking into my face, with his “1’m ready. What are we doing now?”mug! Whatta guy!


Not sure about going out to do his business…too cold !

You may have guessed, my best bud, Fermo‘s a dog, a very lovable Scottish terrier to be exact.

Posted in ENRICHED LIVES, SHORT STORIES | Leave a comment

GARDEN: Eight women strip in Richard’s backyard !

You can’t believe it. Eight women came over to Richard’s home, to his back yard and began to strip. Richard was mesmerized. What an incredible surprise. Not one, not two, but eight women, and each one stripping, all in one place, all at the same time. Richard had his camera ready. Richard was ready! This was incredible. You have to see the photos.

The eight women stripped, stripped in Richard’s backyard that is. Like real pros! Snip, snip! Another vine stripped. You should have seen the dedication, the seriousness, the focus. There was no diverting these women from their appointed task. They were collecting the raw material to make wreaths,  cutting down the grapevines and stripping away their leaves, for wreaths they were about to make over at club member Barbara Rivett’s home. Snip, snip,… small branches cut away to get an ideal piece of vine for the start of a wreath.

Yup, these strippers were grapevine leaves strippers. Now, I want to know what you were thinking.


In any case, on a mid-October Monday morning, with the rain doing a two-step dance of showering these vine strippers, one moment on, next, off, the eight garden club members came over to Richard’s back yard to harvest some grape vines for their wreath making workshop at Barbara Rivett’s home.

Vine stripping lacks the inherent excitement and fun of other kinds of stripping but it got done, in short order, in about an hour. Fermo, Richard’s rambunctious Scottish terrier, greeted and growled at everyone, assaulted shoes indiscriminately and just added to the fun of the whole endeavour.

Trish Stephens, Garden Club convenor, tried keeping everyone on task though her greater priority was simply to permit everyone the opportunity of socializing and integrating with everyone else. She succeeded. There was laughter, giggling, and lots of camaraderie as the ladies cut, and cut, and cut. Richard’s wife, Nadia, was pleased as punch that much of her work of cutting down the vines for the winter was being done as a group effort. Kudos to Trish !

The finished products were still a while away during the photos session but watch for the finished products hanging in club members’ homes in the very near future.

Once again, the Garden Club scores with another enjoyable event where there was a lot of enthusiasm, energy, fun and productivity for every participant.

Check out the photos of how serious an endeavour this was for all the Garden Club members involved. Bravo ladies !!!











Posted in GARDEN | 3 Comments


  1. Become a “flyer fiend” and use them!
    Collect flyers all the time and bring them with you when you shop 2014-10-19_17h56_59
  2. Comparison shop to see where the deals are.
  3. Know your prices to pay the lowest price.
  4. Stock up on non-perishables when the prices are good.
  5. Mark price on purchased products to avoid paying higher prices in future.
    shopping list
  6. Shop with a list and stick to it.
  7. Avoid buying every bargain in sight…do you really need it?
  8. Try the “house brands;” sometimes they are as good as the name brands at a
    much lower price.
    (PC Plus, Select)
  9. Share membership at places like Costco; why pay for unnecessary memberships.
  10. Consider buying in bulk/larger sizes when advantageous; buy by the case, box, etc. but only ‘non-perishables.’
  11. Avoid shopping when you are hungry.
  12. Reading weekly ads; doing price comparisons.
  13. Buying small portions of meats; having veggie only dinners more often.
  14. Freezing leftovers into meal sized portions for quicker meal preps later.
  15. Prepare weekly menus in consultation with the published specials of the week.
  16. Comparison shop and buy in bulk whenever a product you use regularly is on sale.
  17. Ask about senior’s discount if it applies to you.
  18. Certain stores,certain day discounts: Bulk Barn, WED, Shoppers Drug Mart, THURS.

More money saving tips coming SOON.

These tips come from Shopping PRO’s:
Dolores F., Kathy W., Barbara T., Judy H., Patricia S., Barbara R., Maureen M., Nadia G., Jan M. and Joanne B.

Posted in SAVING $$$ | Leave a comment

APPS: Inaugural meeting of the PROBUS BOOK CLUB


The location: Viva Residences, Pickering
The Convenor: Mary Leigh
The Book: ROOM by Emma Donogue
The Date:  Oct. 17th
The Time:  2pm

The Verdict: Well written, lukewarm approval


The Probus Book Club met for the first time ever on Friday, Oct. 17th to discuss their first book. Mary Leigh, the club’s convenor was superbly organized with a book return bag for transporting the books back to the local library, a laptop connected, Internet connected, so that club book kit reservations could be done immediately once the five members in attendance decided which book they would read next.

Two members, Sue Baron and Fran Sancroft, brought their personal copies. This has to be the epitome of dedication. Sue even read the book a second time to refresh her memory about the story.

Convenor Mary had a set of questions to kick off the discussion, which became quite lively when two of the members passed a less than favourable acceptance about the book. Nancy Cooper and Richard Szpin both felt the subject matter of this book made it into a disturbing read, not readily acceptable as good entertainment. However, the entire club agreed that the book was well written and the plot situation was very true to life, maybe even very current. The plot in short, is about a mother and her 5 year old son being held captive for many years in a single room. The group underlined how the story was not so fictional as there are cases from the USA and from EUROPE of these things happening in real life.

The discussion detoured into sociopathic behaviour and psycopath guilty of similar crimes. Commentary also included how the media reports the news today, sensationalizing and titillating its viewers to keep them possibly more entertained than informed.

Though the book was not an upbeat story, the group turned out to be a very lively one. Now, the next book has a plot which is more in tune with the personality of these very energetic and well opinionated members.


Discussion became quite pedestrian at times as you can see !

Check out the club’s next read….soon !

Posted in APPS, BOOK CLUB | Leave a comment

WEEK: OCT. 17 – 24 Events


Posted in WEEK | 2 Comments

POSITIVE THINKING: A dog is a booster cable to your life…

IMG_0266Diamonds, a girl’s best friend? What nonsense! They obviously never owned a dog.

Do you have pets? The unconditional love of a dog is just so awesome. I have a Scottish Terrier called Fermo. It’s Italian for ‘stop’ and he does stop, but only when he’s napping on my couch in the office or at my feet while I am watching TV. He brings a smile to my face whenever I see he ‘spring’ across the back yard or on a walk when he may see a rabbit or a squirrel. He is a coiled spring bouncing into life and makes me laugh out loud when he does it. Fermo brings much pleasure to my life, and now I can’t imagine a life without him.

If you don’t have a dog, consider if your life would accommodate one. He can be a rescue, or a pure bred, a mongrel or a crème de la crème. They are all incredibly lovable. If you can’t have a dog in your life, buy a fluff toy dog. It will comfort you as you watch TV, nearly as much as Fermo comforts me.


The joy of a dog is priceless. I am sure cat owners would say the same about their cat.

Posted in POSITIVE THINKING | Leave a comment

BOOK CLUB: Isabel Allende talks about “Aging” in TED Talk


Isabel Allende is a Chilean journalist and author born on August 2, 1942, in Lima, Peru. Her best-known works, which include the novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts, are written in the style of magic realism, which uses fantasy and myth to override time and place.

Several months after her uncle’s assassination and the overthrow of Chile’s coalition government in 1973, Allende left Chile and found refuge in Venezuela. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits (1985), which arose directly out of her exile, became a worldwide bestseller and critical success. Some of her works include Of Love and Shadows (1987), The Infinite Plan (1993), Daughter of Fortune (1999) and Zorro (2005). Allende’s work is written in the style of magic realism, which uses fantasy and myth to override time and place.

At the urging of her three grandchildren, Allende wrote her first book for young adults, City of the Beasts, which was published in 2002. Her next books for young readers, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2003) and Forest of the Pygmies (2005), soon followed. Along with fiction, Allende also delved into her own life with several memoirs, including Paula (1995) and My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile (2003).

View and listen to her talk given at TED. The link below should take to the talk automatically:




BILLIARDS: Convenor Don considers biweekly meetings


Club meeting dates possibly to be rescheduled.

“Attendance at weekly meetings is erratic. We may have to change our schedule,” says club convenor, Don Voorhees.


Dolores gets coached on the importance of smoothness in cue movements.

Don has found participation at weekly club meetings has been up and down, some weeks many attendees, others, fewer. He believes PROBUS PICKERING members lead very busy lives with involvement in many activities, events, trips and outings elsewhere also. He himself has found his schedule jammed with golf games, billiard club meetings, and consultancy work in his own professional life. He feels other people must have full calendars as well. Hence, Don is considering Billiard Club meetings be every other week, so it is easier for people to fit in a game every second week, rather than every week.


Richard is trying to relax while very serious with his playing.

Even stalwarts like Doug Hines, normally a regular attendee, have been unable to come out every week. Therefore, Convenor Don will be conferring with participants to consider the possibility of revising the Billiard Club schedule.

Stay tuned and visit back to the Billiard Club page for updates regarding the club meetings.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone !



Posted in BILLIARDS | Leave a comment

NEWS FOR SENIORS: Time for Seniors to act … unitedly ! This is a political message

This is a political message

Larry Smith   –   Conservative Party of Canada
Province:   Quebec
Senatorial Designation:      Saurel
Appointed on the advice of:         Harper (C)

Larry Jeff Smith, a Conservative Senator from Quebec, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared “Social Security ” to a Milk Cow with over a million teats.

Here’s a response in a letter from Patty Johnstone in Ontario …. I think she is a little ticked off!  She also tells it like it is!

Oh sooo true!

“Hey Jeff, let’s get a few things straight!!

  1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (tit) for FIFTY YEARS.
  2. I have been paying CPP & OHIP for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).
  3. My Canada Pension payments, and those of millions of other Canadians, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
  4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and “your ilk” pulled the proverbial football away from millions of Canadian seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age, 67. NOW, you and your “shill commission” are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.
  5. I, and millions of other Canadians, have been paying into OHIP & CPP from Day One, and now “you morons” propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because “you idiots” mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal our money from OHIP & CCP to pay the bills.
  6. I, and millions of other Canadians, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you “incompetent bastards” spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the Canadian taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.

To add insult to injury, you label usgreedy” for calling “bullshit” to your incompetence.

Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU:

  1. How much money have you earned from the Canadian taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?
  2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the Canadian taxpayers?
  3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?
  4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co- conspirators called Parliament who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcase thieves who have bankrupted the Canadian

Pension, OHIP and stolen the Canadian dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.

And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security at our expense, you lunk-headed leech.

That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted our benefits for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic, political careers. You know it, we know it, and now you know that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you arrogant son of a bitch. And NO, I didn’t stutter!

P.S. And stop calling CPP & OHIP “entitlements”.


I have been paying in to the CPP system for years.

“It’s my money”- give it back to me the way the system was designed and stop patting yourself on the back like you are being generous by doling out these monthly checks.

If you are a senior, collect a CPP and OHIP benefits, heed the message and act accordingly. Any federal politician who argues for changes to the CPP, OAS and OHIP benefits for us seniors, is trying to exploit us. Re-read what Ms. Johnstone has written, then act on it when you hear a politician trying to alter our benefits. Voice your opinion, write your MP, email him or her. If us members of the “Grey bloc” do not act together, as a united front and with out votes, we are going to see our benefits, our money, slowly eroded away till each of us lives below the poverty line, on dog food ! Act! Get angry! Dont just sit there. We need you to join in into making our government, OUR government working for OUR benefit and in OUR interests. Enough of sending aid to countries who bite the hand that feeds them. Enough going to wars where reforms we have affected for sake of human rights and democratic equality, get altered the moment we leave. Stop OUR govt from wasting our money and then digging into the CPP, OAS, OHIP till to re-establish national solvency.

Posted in NEWS FOR SENIORS, RANTS, SENIORS Scene | Leave a comment