People You Will Meet in Your Life

·         Someone who makes you feel like 2 cents.
·         Someone who makes you feel like a million dollars.
·         A friend who never grew up.
·         A friend who never had the chance to be a kid.
·         Someone more successful than you.
·         Someone in need of a hand up not a hand out.
·         A co-worker who makes your life impossible.
·         A co-worker who enriches your life.
·         A mentor.
·         Someone for you to mentor.
·         A teacher who changes the course of your life.
·         A lover you are addicted to and can never have.
·         Someone who will hurt you because they have been hurt.
·         Someone who teaches you how to love yourself by loving you first.
·         An offensive, unpleasant, aggressive individual who upsets you to your very core.
·         A warm, engaging soul who nurtures you in every way and makes you whole.
·         Friends who are there at the beginning and the end of every beginning

                               And those who love you 
                                 enough to meet you  
                              somewhere in the middle.
                             Wherever that may be...

You will meet so many different people in your life. Some bring positive energy - others not so much. Focus on the people who are by your side when you are down on the floor - broken and spent assuring you that everything will be okay even if they are not sure of that themselves. 

It only takes one great person to remind you why you are here and that is what keeps you here.

Who is your great person?

Why More Women Should Shake Their Booty Like I Shake Mine

Let’s be clear on this – I have no booty. I wear men’s “Low Waist Levi’s” and I don’t have a waist.

My pants therefore fall down. I wear belts but they are of little use – sort of like carrying a goldfish home from the pet store in a plastic bag – that’s not what the bag is for and that’s not where the fish is supposed to live and that has no relevance to anything I am saying.

Here are the Top 9 (couldn’t think of 10) Tips on how you can shake your booty like I shake mine and I strongly advise you do not follow any of these suggestions.

9 – Ditch those big leather purses with the studs and giant zippers and put on a knapsack. It fits conveniently on your back and you can carry it without carrying it. Also you can fit a lot in it because of its depth and you can even have a water bottle handy.
8 – Stop with the make-up, most especially the lip liner and the lip stick. It’s a mess. It ends up all over your coffee cup and other people’s faces when you kiss them. Your kids have to wipe it off like when those old relatives kiss them with all that spit and saliva and bad breath oozing from their orifices. Simply rub some Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Lotion into your pores and your skin will glisten with delight.
7 – The most important items in your wardrobe should not be dresses or skirts or panty hose (those are just awful especially the way the feel at the waist – it’s like those bean bags you wore in bean bag races – you wanted to drop them but you couldn’t until you reached the finish line (and that makes no sense whatsoever in the context of # 7 which we are now on). That’s right the most important items are graphic Ts, Hoodies (Are those great or what and they come with hoods?), Levis red tab button downs (you bet), Blundstones (thank you Australia for these incredibly comfortable and great looking boots and for Keith Urban and The Great Barrier Reef), and a wonderfully fitting cotton exercise bra (keeping things on one level).
6 – What’s with all the brown and black hair – get some pink or orange or something funky going while you still can. There are so many colours out there to try and think of it this way – you’ll be doing your lover a great favour because it will be like sleeping with a different woman every week. I’ve gone all over the rainbow – sporting a little reddish pinkish right now and I look fabulous.
5 – Your perfume is too strong - you are wearing way too much of it. Everyone wants to tell you this especially your co-workers but they don’t know how so I am putting it out there and helping them and helping you and helping anyone breathing in the same air. Once again, just lather up with Vaseline and be on your way.
4 – Stop wearing glasses unless you actually have a prescription to wear glasses and you therefore need to wear glasses. At some point someone decided to sport some really large glasses as a fashion statement and then their friends decided to do the same and now I am so confused because all of these people are walking around wearing glasses and I can’t tell who is supposed to be wearing them and who isn’t and I find that troublesome.
3 – How can you possibly walk around in those heels? Do you realize how bad they are for your back, your ankles, your knees, and your entire lower body? Put on some sneakers or some Aussie boots or even do that flip flop thing in the summer (although I am not thrilled about seeing other peoples toes) but do yourself a favour and throw off those heels. I see you wearing them in the winter in the snow. What on earth are you thinking? Is it really worth cracking your ankle or falling into one of the broken bursting Montreal underground pipes or potholes that we pay to have repaired with our taxes that are higher than any other province and where corruption is the norm in construction. I am completely off course now – do you see what your heels have done to me?
2- Stop wearing jewelry that weighs more than a garbage truck. I have seen you with earrings that are heavier than a set of Janitor keys and necklaces that hang lower than breasts that are not in an exercise bra. Take all of that gear off – you’re not going into battle – you’re just going to work or to drop your kid off at folk dancing. Get yourself a nice delicate chain and go to the nearest Tattoo parlour for a set of permanent titanium studs and while you are at get a few more holes pierced to go with your pink hair.

And the #1 Fabulous Tip That I Offer you free of charge on how you can shake your booty like I shake mine...

Remember when you were 3 yrs. old and your mother dressed you in all these different outfits and you really didn’t care what you were wearing because for the most part you just wanted to tear it off and run around naked? You didn’t care what you looked like because the only reason you ever looked in the mirror was to check what your twin was up to (which was really your reflection unless of course you had a twin). You probably weren’t even sure if you were a boy or a girl or if you liked boys or girls or both (not that there is anything wrong with that)and all you wanted to do was have fun and yell and scream and sing and laugh and dance and meet Kermit the Frog.

Well actually that has nothing to do with #1 – so here is #1:

1 – Go ahead and  LET IT ALL HANG OUT because sooner or later it’s all going to hang and when it does you are going to want to shake your booty like I shake mine.

Thank You – KC & The Sunshine Band for the song– Larry Wexler for my first pair of Levis – Mark Zuckerberg for always wearing a Hoodie even though you can afford a suit – my mother for accepting me for who I am and sewing me a ballet outfit even though i tripped and fell during recital and lastly to Vaseline (for so many reasons).

What Going Down South Meant When I Was 18 and What it means NOW!

First of all, I am not 18 or even close. I am just shy of 50 years of age but when i was 17 - going down south meant going to Florida for spring break and partying my small, tight ass off and when I was 18 going down south meant.....never mind.

And now? Well now it means my entire body is going down south as in my boobs are hanging, my small ass is no longer tight, my eyes are puffy and I am pretty sure I am slowly shrinking (which is especially scary given I am only 5'1").

I use to look in the mirror all the time when I was younger and the reflection was average to good. Now I look in the mirror and hear my late, great, grandma Mary saying "OYE" (which is Yiddish for "Oye").

Do you want to hear the truth? Sure you do - here it is...

You look in the mirror. If you gained weight - you will look heavier. If you lost weight - you will look thinner. If you rarely sleep, you will have bags under your eyes. If you took too much sun you will have lines and freckles on your face. If you have smoked your whole life, you will have red vessels popping like veins and yellow teeth and bad breath.

If you took care of yourself and worked out and ate right and got your sleep - you may look good although lots of people who do all of the above actually look tired and spent and too thin.

If you have good genes and your 76 yr old mother looks like she is still 66 - well then you have it made.

The thing is - you look the way you look - your body is a result of the way you treat it and beyond that - there is the "gene thing" going and there are the various stress factors that life throws your way.

So how about focusing less on the physical stuff and focusing more on the fact that you have made it to middle age while many of your friends and family have succumbed to Cancer or car accidents or heart attacks?


                                   Our dogs love us even when things are going down south. 

What are we middle aged women supposed to do?

Accept and love ourselves for who we truly are and all that we have accomplished - being a great life partner to your soul mate - being a great mom or step mom to your children - being a great dog or cat parent - making a living when it is so hard to do so out there - getting through the most painful experiences and the toughest of times because you persevered - taking care of your aging parents and being by their sides when they left this world - laughing your ass off at yourself - caring for a friend in their time of need without asking for anything in return -holding a door open for someone in back of you - letting someone switch lanes in front of you - 

And if the pants that use to be loose are too tight - get another pair - if the bra that use to hold up your boobs no longer holds up our boobs - get another bra - if you have lines on your face or bags under your eyes - get out the Preparation H and start rubbing - if your hair is turning gray - head to the hair salon and go pink or green - that's right - be a rebel - if you are a nervous wreck obsessing over everything and unable to relax - have a glass of wine or two - read a book in complete silence - take your dog for a walk at sundown and find a place to sit while the world stops spinning; bless the day you just had especially if it ended with everyone you love in one piece.

And when you finally get under the covers at night whether you have a husband or wife or dog or cat next to you in bed or even if you are going through a period where you are alone and scared - remember that you are middle aged - meaning you are in the middle of your life and you got yourself there.

It's the place you stop to hear the spirit of a beloved one  whisper in your ear:

"The middle is in-between the beginning and the end.
And if you  turn off all the  noise in your head and you are conscious of the moments that will pass like seconds; you will realize the middle is the best place to be."

Now if only I could find my Preparation H.

A Long Way from Me to You

It's a long way from me to you

Use to be so many ways 

From me to you

Now there's just one way

There's just you

There's just me

And there's really no way

From me to you

There's this long country road

I'm driving down with the window open

I smell the air and I feel the wind against my face

There's that crossroad you see in all the movies

And you hear about in all the songs

And as I stop the car, get out and look around

I see the road I can continue heading down

The other roads I can take

To the left

To the right

To somewhere

To nowhere

I wait there in the hot sun with the wires buzzing and moths flying through the air

I look over my shoulder

I listen for any hint of the sound of your voice

A sound I would know anywhere

I stand there alone

I realize it is our crossroad

And that everyone must have one of their own



I stay there until sundown

I stay there alone

Every hope, every wish, every dream of you suddenly appearing and telling me you love me and you miss me and you want me back


I get back in the car and as I start the engine I look at the road straight ahead

I look at the road to the right

The road to the left

And I have no idea which way to go

I have no idea how to move on without you

So I stay there at that crossroad while the engine hums and the darkness surrounds me

The only light I see is the dancing of fireflies playing like a slide show across the windshield

And as I put my foot to the pedal

I realize the only way I can go

Is the way I've never been

There's no way from me to you

There's only you

And there's only me

Driving down different roads

Into the darkness

Into the light

When Your Dog Visits You in Your Dreams

Last night my dog Buddy came to me in a dream the way sometimes dearly departed souls visit you when you least expect it and the experience is so visceral, so deep that it both hurts and heals.

I was in the country with a friend checking out a farm for sale. I exited one of the many tattered barns and as I came around the bend Buddy was just standing there.  He appeared as a hologram floating in the mist, in the fog.

It had been 7 years since we last were together. I thought of him every day and while most of the thoughts were happy and provided me with wonderful memories of our life together; there were always those waves that washed over me at night - a tide burying me somewhere in the sand.

But now he stood in front of me and the hologram transitioned into all of Buddy and his beauty - just the way I remembered him -- healthy, handsome and goofy of course.

Buddy was quite a character. He was my birthday present when I turned 30 ( a Flat Coat Retriever we adopted from a shelter) and shortly thereafter I received a diagnosis that rocked my world. I was sick for years and Buddy was right there with me all the way.

He didn't care that I lost all sorts of weight, suffered from terrible migraines that left me half blind and bedridden. He didn't care that my hair was falling out or I was depressed and barely able to find the energy to go for a walk.

He stuck by me and as I grew better he joined me and his dad on camping trips and hiking all sorts of trails on the Eastern coast. We brought him everywhere with us so he had a solid understanding of people and how they interact and the ways of the world. But like most dogs he had his wild and uninhibited side. He chased a family of skunks into their den and well let's just say they all partook in his communal shower. He got us kicked out of a campground because he decided it would be a good idea to visit each and every site/trailer to say hello and see if the hosts might offer him a hot dog or even better a steak. He ran onto a lake that was thinly covered in ice, fell through and started swimming away from the shore (I snaked out on the ice and rescued him but we both came close to dying). 

He opened a knife drawer, took out all the knives - somehow did not cut himself and then he ate an entire Challah (bread), knocked wine on the floor to wash it all down (hiccups included). The one time we left him at daycare with no choice - he  managed to jump a 6 foot wall and ran all the way home (20 minutes away crossing major intersections). He ate everything and anything - there were socks and underwear coming out of him like a washer/dryer. He farted so bad you had to clear the room and not come back for 30 minutes (and he smiled with pride each time).

But mostly he was a wonderful, warm companion and my son.

One night at the age of 13, in the middle of the night after a great day of swimming in the lake and running in the woods - he collapsed from a massive stroke - no warning, no chance to say a real goodbye (whatever that is ) and he was gone. I remember not wanting to leave him and that given he had not deteriorated from Cancer or some other disease, his beautiful face, glistening coat - were still in tact. The light had left his eyes but his soul had departed to a far better place.

I went through the same process as everyone - wondering if he knew how much I loved him and wishing I had said thank you more - thank you for enriching my life the way only a dog can.

In the dream - he came to me and we hugged - I held him as close as I could never wanting to let go but he was being summoned and I could hear the calls like a whisper in the wind.

He told me he was in a safe and happy place with other dogs. They all watched out for one another and they played and shared their peanut butter/cheese/cookie Kongs.

He told me he loved me and missed me as much as I did him and that although it was rare for him to be able to penetrate the wall between our world and his beautiful place of peace; he was able to do so for fractions of a second from time to time.

Then he walked away and vanished into the white, into the blue, into a place I have never been.

Maybe forever but I hope not because forever is far too long.

Dogs are a gift. They are only with us for a short time but in that period they teach us what it really means to love and to be in the moment. They make us better people.

Bless you Buddy.

And to my readers everywhere - Bless the precious souls you have lost. I hope they visit you in your dreams if even for a second.

Who Will Take Care of My Dog If I Die?

It's a sick, haunting thought but we all know someone who has passed suddenly, tragically and unexpectedly. 

And if you are single and you have a dog - at some point you have to ask yourself - - 

"Who will take care of my dog if I die?

Having volunteered at a dog shelter, I often came in touch with dogs who had been left behind after their owners had passed away.

There was no succession plan like people have for their kids. These dogs were instant orphans missing their home and their human mom/dad.

Dogs suffer in silence. The deep sadness and confusion is difficult to alleviate because we can't explain to them what has happened and they can't ask any questions.

I'm alive and I don't leave my dog with anyone. I have had dogs my entire life and they have accompanied me on all my vacations (camping, hiking, no planes - car rides - anything for my pooches).

My whole life has revolved around my dogs and my present dog has only been with me for 7 months. He was given up by a family not once but twice and I promised him I would never give up on him.

But can I really keep that promise? Not if I am in a sudden accident or given a terminal diagnosis.

I worry about him when I bring him to the groomer and they ask me nicely to leave (I have sat outside in my car) so I can't imagine any other scenario.

I do however understand and appreciate the importance of a succession plan. Something would have to be drawn up in the way of a will and I would have to choose the best person to take care of my dog for the rest of his life.

 As a shelter volunteer I did weekend fosters giving dogs a break from shelter life and a chance to unwind in a calm, quiet environment. 

The first dog I fostered was an 11yr old toy poodle named Chai. The morning after her father suddenly died of a massive stroke and fell to the floor in front of her, the man's daughter dropped Chai off at the shelter.

She said her kids were allergic to dogs and she had no one to give Chai to so she was hoping we could find her a home. Poor Chai had been with the same person since she was 4 months old - a life partner - day in - day out.

There were always various dogs to choose from in terms of fostering but my heart sank for Chai - given her age and the story. I held her in my arms as she shook and licked my fingers - her sad eyes glazed over and looking into mine for a twinkle of hope.

She arrived at my house and started looking all over for her father. She cried in a low tone and found a corner of a room where she rolled up into a ball in clear pain.

I brought her into my bed and held her until she stopped shaking. Then she fell asleep next to me and finally stopped crying.

The next day she seemed to be happier and more animated.

But by Sunday night I had to return her to the shelter.

 I kissed her and hugged her and then had to put her back in her cage. She looked at me as if to say "Please don't leave me here" - I felt sick to my stomach. I wrote her evaluation and then her bio for the website and I left.

The next day I was at work and I could not stop thinking about her. Then on a whim, on an instinct and with a pounding heart - I left at lunch and went to see her at the shelter.

I had no idea why I was going or what I could possibly do but I needed to hold her in my arms.

Thankfully a retired couple who had taken in many senior dogs - had adopted Chai a few hours before I arrived. I was so happy for her especially for her father who could not have possibly rested in peace until that very moment he knew she was in good hands.

Chai will never forget her father and probably still waits for him; looks for him around every corner. 

My dog is my boy - my son - my best friend - my co-pilot.

I am making plans for him because I love him more than I love myself and it is my responsibility to ensure he is cared for whether I am here or not.

And because  - if I suddenly vanish I don't want him to vanish too.

What have you planned for your dog?


Since you left
I have been crashing into furniture in the dark
I have been waiting to feel something for someone else

I've re -examined the whole thing
Taken it apart piece by piece
Argued to the left
Argued to the right

I'm afraid to go to the places we use to hang out
Afraid I may see you - Afraid I may not see you

I come home at the end of the day
hoping you will be here
hoping you've changed your mind
about me
about us
about everything

I pray for amnesia to dull the pain
I fear that without you there is no me

I lay awake at night
Waiting to hear your key in the door
Waiting for you to come back
and tell me that everything is alright
that  you never stopped loving me
and you will never leave again

I need to see you
I need to hear you speak my name

And I promise you this...

 I will wait here
A few more moments

And if you do not show up
As difficult as it may be

I will wait here forever

I'm sorry

Come find me


I know you love me more than you love yourself.

I know that you think of me all day when you are at work and I am at home thinking about you.

I know you would skip a weeknight out because I have been alone all day and weeknights are for me and you.

I know that if I wait on the floor beneath your chair that sooner or later you will drop some food and I will grab it and gobble it down before you can take it away from me.

I know all of your pain and have counted all of your teardrops and I don't like anyone who has hurt you or anyone who may hurt you.

I know you made sacrifices when you rescued me and that you gave me a second chance.

I know that when you came to the shelter I noticed you right away and I wanted you to take me home.

I know that when you saw me in the shelter, you thought I was cute and you heard my story and you felt badly and as much as you wanted to save me you were concerned as to whether you would be the right parent/home for me but you decided to throw caution to the wind and take me with you instead of leaving me behind.

I know that I will be forever grateful for that and your most loyal, loving friend for as long as I live.

I know that I shed all over the place and you have to vacuum every day and wearing black is not a good idea even if you like to wear black.

I know that you like to see me first thing in the morning when you awake as much as I like to see you and I know that I wait for you to come home when you are away and it feels like a million years have passed and when you return it is quite simply the greatest thing ever.

I know that when you fill my Kong you fill it not only with cookies and cheese but with love.

I know that the day will come when we will have to part and that where I am going you cannot join me.

I know that I will watch over you and when you pass to the other side I will come and greet you if only for a moment to give you a kiss and thank you for the wonderful life you gave me and then I will return to Rainbow Bridge.

I know that one day we will find ourselves in another place and time. You will be walking along a long and winding country road amidst the fog and I will be there at the next turn and will run into your arms and you will hold me forever in a world where forever exists.

I know that I am in your heart and your soul as you are in mine and that our love began the moment you walked me out of that shelter into the fresh air and rays of the sun that I thought I may never feel again.

I know that you saved me and I know that I saved you.

And that is all I know.

What My Dog Taught Me About Living in the Present

My dog is brilliant and so is yours. Yeah they chase their tails and steal your socks and smell people's butts but they are still far more advanced than you and me in terms of their perception of time and life itself.

 So I  was watching this series on Showtime called "The Big C" (actually quite good) and the main character decided to participate in a "make my life better" type weekend conference (led by the amazing Susan Sarandon).

The metaphor/mission/message was delivered at the start of the weekend with participants receiving knapsacks that they had to fill with large rocks.

They then had to wear the knapsacks on their backs over the course of the weekend until they were able to prove that they had let go of the past - stuff like regrets, broken relationships, money not well spent.

I thought it was kind of cliche until that very night I caught myself doing the usual staring at the ceiling obsessing about the past - break ups, losses, failures and what should I eat for lunch tomorrow  and I realized I myself was carrying around a knapsack filled with rocks.

I needed to figure out a way to remove that knapsack from my aching back so I turned to the source of my joy - to the happiest - go lucky - soul I know - my dog Whisky.

"Whisky - how do you and all the dogs out there manage to live in the present? I mean you are a rescue/shelter dog with a painful past yet you are as happy go lucky as you can get."

First thing he did was open his soulful eyes and look into mine - then he slanted his eyes, showed his teeth and tilted his head (that's his smile), then finally - he spoke:

"Listen you need to chill and enjoy every moment as it comes. Look out the window. Savour every morsel of your food. Play with your Kong and try to get the cookie and peanut butter out of the center. Stop looking in the mirror at your wrinkles and the bags under your eyes and instead chase your tail or get really excited when you come home from work and see me - act as if you have not seen me in a year and every time you see me is an amazing thrill. Love your family and show them that love. Be a loyal and compassionate friend. Be thankful for every morning that you wake up to - run circles around the bed - throw me a high five! And most importantly - forget the past because you are no longer in it,  you are never going back and it has forgotten you."

Then he kissed me, turned over, farted the most wicked fart (I am sure he was smiling although I could not see) and as I lay there, my face covered by the sheets in an attempt to breathe without smelling - I reailzed he was right - I had to start living my life as if each day was my last.

And you know what? The next morning I woke up fueled with a new sense of energy, I chased Whisky around the bedroom, I joined him looking out the window (he kissed the glass - I didn't). I really savoured the taste of my toast and jam as if it was the best food I ever eaten.  I called my Mom on the way to work and told her I loved her. I sent texts out to friends making plans for the weekend and I felt lighter, I felt refreshed as if I had been given a second chance.

The knapsack had been removed from my back. The weight of each and every rock gone.  I was living somewhere between the present and the future where if you think about it; everything really happens.

Moral of the story - Listen to your Dog - he's brilliant.