Friday, 9 February 2018

Technology and booking a room at this unique Ottawa B&B

Well, I don't think Bill Gates is going to be calling me any time soon and I don't think I will ever have bookings online. I'm technologically challenged and yet my friends all come to me to fix their computers and get things set up. ME!! I'm an impostor. I can barely turn my computer on.

I was trying to video chat on FB using my laptop with daughter in Australia. I have never used the webcam before. We were going to both use laptops this time so the grand babies could actually see my face and despite many tries, they couldn't see me. I kept going to the icon and touching the screen until I realized my laptop is 1000 years old and does not have a touch screen which means I also cannot stretch the screen bigger. Doh!
When we were finally connected with audio by laptops, she alas could still not see me. No idea why not until I remembered the FB story I read about a news story recently, (and FB doesn't lie!!) saying hackers could remotely turn on your webcam on your computer AND cell phone and everyone knows hackers want to watch a near 60 year old head bobbing with boredom on the computer. One quick solution was to put some tape over it. I'm naive enough to always do as I'm told and once the tape came off, voila, there was Australia! I was at the phone providers and spontaneously asked, while I was waiting, why I couldn't do selfies anymore. Oh the eye rolling as he took off the tape on the cell. Is that the phone ringing? (

I also suck at sending and receiving payments. New on my bucket list for 2018 is to do goat yoga. I don't even like yoga but it sounds so cute. I saw a meetup for one so I signed up and prepared to pay immediately. It was confusing so I sent an email and received a response to send the E transfer to this gentleman and I would be confirmed. I did and used the password prompt- the animal; they would know I meant a goat, right? Unfortunately, I had been trying to pay for another meetup to learn how to do Dim Sum for the same price. The E transfer wires got crossed and Dim Sum lady suddenly doesn't know what the animal password is. Darn, it's goat. How could it be any easier for a Dim Sum event. So I am now proficient in horsd'oeuvres but still no goats. I should not do technology, ever!

It gets worse. For two weeks, I could not get any sound out of my dinosaurs-walked-the-earth when this TV was manufactured TV. I was furious with my provider giving me a defective box again. I was going to give them the last piece of my mind but maybe I would google it first then I would tear them a new one. One article talked about the top 10 mistakes people make when there is no sound and #1 was, make sure the Mute is not on. Well, that is dumb 'cause I never use that feature BUT, other people use them in this Bed and Breakfast room. Sure enough, it was muted and Rogers "magically must have fixed my box".
I was having countless problems with the PVR and after they were almost all solved, I felt silly getting the specialist come out to 'calm the old lady who has been a loyal customer since the beginning of time". I explained that the box had been rebooted but my favourites no longer came up. He patiently asked if I'd had the box replaced and then ding, ding, ding, the light bulb went on.

Finally I inquired why Netflix wouldn't work. He said that had nothing to do with my provider and as I reached for one of the 100's of remotes from exchanging the box so many times, I realized I had been trying to get Netflix with the wrong remote. Had I only put my glasses on, I would not have this problem again. How much more humiliation and eye rolling can I take.
Wait, I have to go. My phone is ringing and it might be Microsoft after all. I hope it's Bill calling about that emailed resume I texted to his cell number.
(BTW what does 9000 TXT 2 Landmine could not be delivered mean?)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Travel, Workshops, Inspiration and Research

Have you ever wanted to get out of a funk, put an idea out there that was something you haven't done before and another person jumped on board to join you?  As I type this, I realize I have indeed done exactly that but forgot. 

This time I was wanting some new inspiration for spiritual workshops and the guinea pig would be Mike Dooley's Soulapolooza in Florida.  He's most well know for TUT, Notes from the Universe that I have received everyday for years.
I told my friend Linda and she turned my unformed idea into a dream, complete with a ticket with dubious connections and the event pass purchased. 
Holy cow, what on earth had I signed up for November past? I know, like the people who have kids first then marry, I travel, celebrate the months of Christmas then write. 

Imagine an entire weekend with my favourite hobby and an unlimited number of like minded people in the bikini heat of Florida.  I would be totally immersed and I couldn't imagine anything more fun... and this is where the story goes downhill as most of my stories do derail.
I got a cold before departure; yes it was the worst sniffles the doctors had ever seen.   They weren't sure if I'd live or die or what to name my plague after AND I had a bad neck issue so for four days plus 2 months after I couldn't look left or right, up or down.   I was coma-like and in great pain despite the continuous pre-departure massages from my masochistic masseuse.  Do you know how much you process with orifices leaking and unable to turn left or right?  Pretty much nothing!!!
I learned I am not a big conference person and I really wish I had known this before I left.  The signs were there, like me not wanting to talk in line at the bank  to draw attention to myself and not wanting to sing to kids in public places.  I don't like people watching me bowl or play pool either.  Maybe if I had not been ill, I would  have loved the constant rah rah session and goofy cheers and the adoration for the cause but alas, as a Typhoid Mary, it just irritated me, all those people having fun with me feeling this way.  It was almost like they didn't even care.  

I was told I didn't have to attend everything though if I didn't want to- I mean who is going to enforce one's attendance?  They already had my money so whether I showed up or not was of no consequence to them so I bailed and went to the beach.  I had left a chilly winter in Ottawa to be in balmy hot and sunny Florida; Clearwater to be exact, and I had lots of sunscreen which was totally unnecessary. 

Before I continue, I feel obligated to tell you, I remember cold and chilly but I'll be damned if I can find any cold and chilly pics.  Honestly, it was chilly but I was determined to get those money shots of me roasting in the sun...then putting my coat back on. Maybe the coat was in the evening- I dunno.  Maybe I was jacked up on cold medicine.

 Florida unfortunately, did not get the memo that they were supposed to be warm as seen by the lack of people sunbathing.  Of course it was warmer than Canada but I had to wear a coat.  A coat!!!!! It wasn't warm enough for a bathing suit but if I'm honest, I was too sick and crabby to enjoy it anyway.  It might as well have been a tornado because that is probably the only thing I would have been happy with.  Any of you who have followed my travels throughout the years would remember that I tend to remember the morbid and it takes me awhile, ok years to look back fondly on my trips.  I have no idea why I'm like that but my next reverie on the Riverboat cruise will confirm this 100%.  

I did get to go to two events that I may one day turn into  workshops.  Soulapolooza is high on "like attracts like", visualisation, and realizing that your thoughts become things so you should not think about things you don't want to manifest. They hosted two events, one called a Heaven on Earth party and Come as Your Future Selfie.   
Ladies in white rippin' up the impromptu dance floor.

The Heaven on Earth party had us all dressed in white, reminiscent of the Ayuawaska party I went to in Costa Rica years ago but there would be no hallucinations this time round.  We played some interpersonal ice breaker games, lit some candles and while I had been told by my team leader that there would only be light food, and I should definitely eat supper before, there was copious amounts of food like what I would picture a buffet in heaven would look like.  I was so sad (hmmm, lets be honest- bitchy as hell) and pre-stuffed like the proverbial turkey. 
I have absolutely NO idea what we were doing with the candles.
 It had been a long day so we cut out early before the booze mixer and went to hot tub (the verb) and watch the stars as we sat on the beach. In retrospect, that does sound like a lovely night. Found out that in the past, the hotel used to be on the beach but someone decided to do some blocks and it was now quite a distance to see the water, so much so that they now had a shuttle.
I'm standing half way between the hotel and beach water.  The little dots in the distance are people standing by the water.

Linda was great at this visualization and play acting.  She was the
perfect traveling companion.  Wish she could have said the same
about me.
It was fun to figure out what I was inspired to be in the Come as your Future Selfie party and visualize every detail of it and talk like it had already happened and I was on the best seller list.  I realized my dream is to be a writer.  Do you know what is salt peter to this dream.... realizing that every other person at the conference                                                                     wants to be a writer as well. 

While looking back at the pictures, I realize I must be a very gifted photographer 'cause I look like I was having fun in the sun. 
My favourite time was when the "annoying" guitar singer was playing all my favourite folk music.  I was in heaven altho our working group a few feet away was having difficulty hearing ourselves think.  I was ready to kick our group out so I could bask in the tunes I never get to hear.

Quite honestly, for this conference, I had a plan to find myself, get some sun and start doing yoga daily, (never happened) and get the most out of this conference.  

Yoga never happened every morning.

Feel blessed to have listened to this gifted singer.

I guess some good did come out of this weekend but I still hold that I am not a big conference person.  In retrospect, I realize that I had attended another conference once before to empower women down at Lilydale NY and it was very memorable.  It was a smaller group, more intimate and impacted me greatly.  Apparently small group conferences are my thang.

I can use some of this stuff.  We were given a workbook, Love Your Life in 30 Days.  Upon closer look, I realized I had already done it on my own long before the trip.  Aw well, can't hurt to do it again, can it and I'm sure some things have changed in my life.  Last time I did a vision board, I half finished it and forgot about it.  6 months later, I decided I was going to do a vision board (damn my memory) and it was my sister who reminded me I already had one started.  Told her she was crazy, found it half finished, apologized profusely and realized, almost everything had come true on the board I didn't even know I had.  Maybe there is something to all this cheer leading rah rah sis boom bah "I can do it" routine that I can use at Spoiled Rotten B&B. (BTW, how do you like the new logo?)

So bottom line, I should not pay to attend large conferences no matter what,even though it sounds glamorous and energizing.  I need to look for local, small group workshops to market my place there as these are the peeps I want to rent my space and let me be a fly on the wall. So all you like minded business people, just rent the darn place for your workshop or come to one of my Paint Nights already.  Good space, better food and best price and thanks for coming out.
Forgot I took this so belated Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Workshops at Spoiled Rotten B&B - mine or you renting space

Workshops at the B&B -  yes it's that time again. They start when the people stop coming and Lordy I'm pooped.  This was the longest season in three years and it was maniacally busy.  Being the control freak I am, I did 99% of it myself and that does takes it's toll.

Now I know post about summer stuff seems like I'm a little behind in my musing and you would be wrong.  I am a millions miles from being caught up on writing.  Now is the time to do it...even if I just shoveled my driveway.

It was a great season and except for the scammers and police business, subsequent death threat and the homeless, penniless final guest, it was a good year. Of course it ended with all the B&Bs meeting each other and rallying around City Halls decision to include us with the big hotels and Ottawa tourism.  They are voting now.  Fingers crossed.  If not, I will have infinitely less time on my hands.

I did get organized enough to winterize the homestead and backyard.

This is what I was doing on November 3rd...picking raspberries and they were soooo good.  I was able to gather up many of the apples from the five-in-one apple tree and the apple crisps should be starting soon.  When apples are left in a bucket in the back yard, the animals devour them.  When I move them to the garage, the mice send me thank you cards and shred them.  My apples are safe nowhere.  After my most recent trip, I returned home to find they'd all frozen and turned to mush. Heartbreaking waste.  The tomatoes in the garage were looking pretty grim too and all had to be tossed. 

With all the rain we had, the tomatoes still were thriving even up to the bitter end.  This particular tomato plant was hidden away in a corner.  When I went to investigate, I found it was about 10' long.  So bizarre.    The three tiny basil plants grew into forests.  I actually gave away entire 2 foot plants to anyone who would ask.

I have a huge Canada flag outside but one day I found a huge amount of damage to it. I was worried it was the disgruntled scammer as I didn't know they had been deported. Right after I sent the photo to my daughter, I mean exactly one second later, this rat bastard crawled out on the limb and continued to destroy a national treasure. I shouldn't tell you this but he was delicious.

I decorated up the aged fence in the back yard this year with multicoloured vases with flowers.  It was all very whimsical until today.  Minus 10, the rain that fell into the bottles froze and they all shattered in my garden.  Man, what a mess. 
At least the fruit bat/flies have almost all died off but it was a bitter battle. Having four composters is challenging but having four operational ones year round is darn near insanity, even if I have the best vegetable garden around.   Every time I looked out the window, I'd go to war slapping them to their death but as you can see, they won!  They must have read The Art of War because they certainly know how to corral the troops.
And so now the grounds are done, or as done as I'm going to do, it's time for workshops.  I have hosted a few Paint Nights already and working on the Energy Share and Meditation.  I love painting and am always open to Paint Nights.  I will also host the Meetup, "Not Your Momma's Book Club" or what I affectionately call the Dirty Book Club, two Spiritualist church group sessions, A Spanish Club meeting, a Christmas party and in the new year, Caring for the Caregiver.  I love to use my place of business for other groups because while it's not a get rich scheme, I can participate and enjoy lots of new topics and of course people get to see my place.  This is important because every day in the high season, I hear, "there's a Bed and Breakfast in Orleans?" Yes, I'm here.  Just call me. 

I really want to manifest retreats so if you know anyone wanting to have a meeting here or better yet, a small retreat locally where some participants actually sleep over, well give me a call.  Who wouldn't want to stay at Ottawa's only holistic B&B and I do have the best prices in town for the spoiling you will receive.    

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Tourism for this Ottawa B&B 2017

Tourism was at it’s best this summer 2017 at this Ottawa B&B.
There are some days when this innkeeper wonders why she gets up at 0DarkHundred every day to make the same old tried and true recipes and have the same conversations like the movie Groundhog Day.  
And then there are days like today that energize my spirit.  I had a wonderful family staying with me who were traveling the world to support their precocious 17 year old golfing daughter who was tearing up the greens while they experienced all North America has to offer.  They have put their lives on hold to be cheerleaders and that has begun to make me question my own parenting skills and our lack of family sports photos.  They were here for a week and had seen most of the must see sights that,  I, of course, have seen first and highly recommended to my guests.  Having been there first, I can recommend the best routes, modes of transportation and finer points like don’t drive downtown as they have closed most of the streets. Take a bus and get a family pass; it’ll be much cheaper. 

I encouraged everyone to see what I affectionately called the Giant Chia park altho the proper name would be MosaiCanada.  Imagine the city fathers putting together this gorgeous display featuring all the provinces and wowing the world.  There were over 100 volunteers who lovingly created masterpieces like nothing we have seen in the past.  I’ve not heard one negative comment about the park; 5 star all the way.

My guests were fixed for time and were only to be able to do a drive past for La Machine, the greater than life-size monsters roaming the streets of Ottawa, waiting to do battle.  Again, this is a first for Canada and Ottawa and I was privileged enough to be able to witness this one-time event, well, me and my closest 500,000 dearest acquaintances.  I had the sense to bus but it was a madhouse.  No one on the street knew anything, not even the police security. When the monsters started to wake up, it was happy pandemonium.  Cell phones and tablets could be seen as far as the eye could see.  One young girl climbed a tree to get a better look.  If I weren’t so leery of heights, I would have joined her too.  As it was, I crowded the streets like everyone else and got some spectacular footage. 

I got to try out the free Kontinuum experience near Sparks street and it was an interesting sound and light show in the abandoned metro and it was my favourite cost- free! Everyone enjoyed having their picture appear then suddenly evaporate.

Inspiration Village in the market was ok.  I did get to attend an Ottawa Tourism pre-show of the Canadian Race and even won a Grey Cup concert series prize which I promptly lost when I went to claim the prize.  I bent down to find someone's lost surgical request and I think it fell out them.  If the lucky guy went to look for his paperwork, he was probably rewarded with free concert tickets, bloody hell.  

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Fireworks competitions we saw throughout the summer exploding off an island on the Ottawa river and the subsequent walk to parliament with the masses to watch the light show and story of Canada.

All in all it was a great summer; a bit of solo camping, camper camping in Bon Echo 
A magical place to park a houseboat on Lake Temagami

houseboating in Temagami,

Innukshuks on Parkdale, a Zombie Walk in Almonte, a haunted walk of the Defenbunker and roadtrips.   

I finished off the season with the Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau park and even used the free shuttle from downtown.  Learn from me, check the last shuttle or you will be like me on my first date, stranded in another province, wondering how the hell you are getting home.

Saw Petrie Island perhaps for the last warm day of the season cause Halloween came and now it's November so the snow has fallen.  It was a good tourism year.  Can't wait to see what 2018 will bring.  

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Concierge Service of B&B Accommodations Over a Hotel in Ottawa

All the really good hotels in Ottawa have excellent concierge service and a great Bed and Breakfast accommodation is no different. An exceptional concierge can make the difference between a 2 star hotel rating and an intimate 5 star home experience; taking a ho-hum experience and turning it into lasting memories. That's what I'm going for here at Spoiled Rotten Bed and Breakfast.  

Since March, when I joked I made the top 10 Trip Advisor list, I have actually surpassed 13 and made number 9 in Ottawa out of 54, AND in only three years of opening! I've had 29- 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor, 79 on Airbnb and 17 on Google+.  What an honour.  

I used to think running a B&B would be so much fun but striving for #1 is hard work.  If you are doing "it" right as a B&B host, you will not only be a the chief, cook and bottle washer, but a housekeeper, translator, shopper, educator, social director, adventure sharer, organic gardener, travel agent, maintenance person, chauffeur, masseuse, and life coach.  Doing it solo makes it even that much more challenging.

In the last two weeks I have learned basic Mandarin, practiced my French, and spoken to guests in a variety of languages that quite honestly, no one understands. I coordinated a first doctor's visit for a man with a pinched nerve, planned for the doctor to speak the same language, and chauffeured him and his translating daughter to explain the issues to the doctor. It turns out, Vietnamese doctors don't necessarily understand Mandarin. Who knew? 

I am all about healing and health. I run bubble baths to ease guests' aches and pains (or for photographers who rent my space to photograph their models). 
I have voluntarily rubbed more shoulders and given more Indian head massages to more headache ridden people than I can count. Most everyone walked away happier, feeling better; human touch can heal so much.  I offer full massage (sorry, no happy endings) with my 40 years of giving massages.

I've educated people about medicinal marijuana, patiently hung people from the inversion table, and talked up the benefits of the bed of nails (see photo) which they all must try and most do purchase from me afterwards, even if they have grumbled the whole time about the pain. It does work.

I've even helped a young lady dye her hair.  I do virtual reality for all my guests.  Give me a challenge and I am up for it.

I am quite good at fielding troubled situations with Airbnb. I know better than the average Joe how the system works and if someone comes to me from another place who "dun them wrong", I will intercede, especially if their English is rough.  I will do my best to get them their refunds and make the changes. It's what any Superhost would                                                                    do. :) That's me! 

I always whisk the younger children away to the basement for a surprise photo shoot (with the parents' approval). We go to the upsidedown room and I have them lie on the floor, strategically below the palm tree and raise their arms and legs. When the picture is taken, I invert it and it looks like they are hanging from the ceiling. Cheesy but cute and they love it

The parents and families also get another photo shoot by the VIP/ Mugshot wall, complete with their name and number and stipulation that they cannot smile on the second shot. All these pictures get sent to the guests when they arrive home. Only two people have refused to pose and it was only because they were in the Corrections department and thought I would use it on the web. Nope, so one relented and he and his wife enjoyed posing. 
(Thanks Brent for posing here.)

I have taken guests needing maps to my local CAA for some free ones on me and then to the only open car shop to get their brakes fixed before it closes. We've taken random buses home and they were given detailed information about what's to see and do in Ottawa and where they should have supper within walking distance as their car's tied up. Afterwards, I draw up a map where they should go with my business card so they can get a small discount.

I have even gone so far as to lend out my underwear to needy guests. Let me explain. She was an elderly woman going to see a wedding and forgot her dress slip which flustered her immensely so I lent her one of mine that I haven't worn in 40 years. Thank gawd I'm a hoarding pack rat. Later on she was heard to tell a group of family 'how wonderful an experience it was at this bed and breakfast where the lady even goes so far as to give you her underwear'. Good Lord, the old time rock singers are going to be lining up for miles to get my underwear. Maybe now would be a good time to buy some new non maternity stuff that doesn't look like granny came to visit.(sorry no picture with this one.)

I'm hyper-alert to the cues around me to make every experience special. While my guests are out smoking I will hear one of them say, “its cold out here” and before they can get the word "here" out I'm already outside with the blanket to wrap around them. They are torn between thinking, wow, that was nice, to is that weird lady never going to stop skulking around and listening to our conversations? (I was working in the kitchen with the patio door open). Often, guests will arrive after a longer trip or camping/biking journey and want their clothes washed. I offer to do it and mix them with mine. I don't charge but occasionally they will make a monetary donation which is nice.  

My house is full of maps of downtown, the key hotspots of Ottawa and I have lists for everything from what to do this weekend to what to do in general and what are some free must see events.  I will mail these to you after you book.

Now the stuff you don't know...
Make no mistake, being a concierge is great but what's tough about running a B&B is you are always "On". You give up your freedom to a personal life if you're doing it solo and you find it's a solitary existence because you can never attend the parties and the outings with your friends.  Spring, summer and fall no longer exist in your world unless you find a balance. It sounds sad but once you accept you're not entirely in charge of your own life, you enjoy the guests and the laughter and the impact you have on their lives. The hugs and the promises to see them again and stay at their places always make the visits memorable. Maybe one day I will even make a cross country “Where Are they Now” trip to see all my wonderful past guests.

Running a B&B is part therapist, part life coach and a huge part concierge; definitely not the life of service for most people. You have to be a special breed of life-form or a little insane, but a darned good mix of both works best.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Gardening in Ottawa, Oldtimers Moments, Pool parties and Psychics

Spring in Ottawa is so nice and at Spoiled Rotten BnB, in the garden, even better but now it's in a moping stage...full of weeds that might evolve into pretty weeds, and all kinds of green that no one wants to look at yet we're "enjoying" the wettest summer in history..or what we Ottawaians (yes, I know it's not a word) claim as summer.
 All the millions I have spent up front to attract and feed butterflies has been for naught.  They do not come.  The milkweeds are spreading and taking over but still they do not eat or lay eggs.  At least my organic veggie garden in the back is flourishing, or it was!!!  Until HE came along.

I just discovered the world's biggest and most well fed groundhog coming daily to my smorgasbord of a garden.  When I so much as take a silent picture, it's like he feels like he's being dogged by paparazzi and he high tails it out of there like a bat outta hell.  His feet don't even touch the ground. Oh the stews I am planning.  I have an over abundance of basil but nope, he won't touch that.  Loves my tomatoes, ate my only purple cabbage, and as many of my yellow squash as he could stuff in his fat little self entitled belly.  It's like he has been told he has only two minutes to shop til he drops and he is good.  He has analyzed the garden and knows the money food and the best aisles to shop in.  Oh, I detest this little monster.  Yes, I'm off to buy the epsom salts but where oh where can I buy black market landmines and hand grenades?  Is there something that spontaneously bursts into flames?  Heeeeellllp me.  The Roadrunner Acme company is fictional, it turns out.  I'm at my wits end, becoming obsessed.

After son in law ripped out the interlocking full of weeds patio stones and replaced it with the worlds biggest deck in a postage stamp yard, I realized how fabulous it was.  My yard now looks elegant and huge.  Oh the parties I could have but alas the weeds still appear thru the slats- that is to be my eternal curse.

 I couldn't believe just how many stones made up a patio.  Billions piled everywhere for so long in my back yard.  I asked 5 contractors advice and to do it and nary a one would step up to the challenge. One said he would take all my stones away to the landfill and resell me $4000 more worth of better stones.  Screw testosterone!  I'd do it myself but gawd I'm awful at traditionally "blue" jobs, esp if I don't read and follow directions, which I never do.  I even googled the best way and then promptly forgot everything.

 After a few failed attempts and too much rain, then the crumbling walls, I finally created my raised beds and retaining walls, complete with a walk thru, (sure, if you have tiny bound little Asian feet, which I do), used almost every brick for show, and it looks just shy of gorgeous.   I do think my neighbours will all be following suit shortly and the contracts will be pouring in for me to plan their gardens.

I refused to fertilize until I did all the dirty work and last night, I felt like a farmer, spreading poop, (yes, store bought- what kind of weirdo do you think I am?), everywhere.  Next comes the calcium, bat guano and seaweed.  I love Jurrassic park.  Realized my magical fertilizer stock was low so imagine my shock when my fav specialty gardening store informed me I can't get my Bat poop anymore because of the pesky Ebola.  Whatever- stoopid bats!    I hope you weren't downwind last night or after bat poop day, although I'm sure you've smelled more interesting smells coming from here, from my crazy workshops on alternative medicine for healing, and smudging drumming howling at the moon ceremony to burning toast smells followed by much cursing from my breakfast kitchen.

Just had some more much deserved time off to go to some odd events like a clothing optional pool party and strange camper Poly festival. Sorry no pics of either! I truly believe you should do something everyday that terrifies you and these two events certainly qualified.  The 3 meter walk from the table where I left my towel and my dignity to the pool stairs was the longest mile, and don't forget the friends in attendance dressed in their parkas, watching and judging.  Oh I'm so glad it's over with.

My favourite time off found me lounging at the lake of a friend,  Claire, who insists I decompress, meditate and relax and she pampers me; well she did, for the first day.  After that, I have to drag home trees and cook and pamper her.  It took me two whole days to decompress enough to relax and read.   After 4 years, I finally finished reading my travel blog that my daughter turned into a one-off copy book.  I refused to read it unless I was in relaxation mode and yes, that is rare.  I only read it while on time off, at the lake, on a train, at the beach, in the back yard, and camping.  Truly, it's my favourite book and I wish everyone had their own life book.  I want to start reading it all over again.  

I'm still attending some Meetup events and having some workshops but there is a drawback in my world.  I still have no face recognition which was one of my many downfalls in Travel.  I herd hundreds thru here but remember so few, I'm ashamed to say.  One of the most embarrassing was the lady at my workshop who I smiled and asked if this was her first time here.  The long silence that followed and the head shaking look of disbelief told me I had created another social faux pas.  She told me she had been to my place on 3 other occasions.  Oops.  It wouldn't be so bad if that were an isolated incident but sadly, it's not.  Now it's almost the running joke.  One new friend was raving to a small table full of people about how we met and how I helped her.  I just looked at her and shook my head, saying "I have no idea what you are talking about".  It took an entire conversation of you said this and I said that and remember doing this....Ohhhh, yes, I finally remember. I met her a mere week earlier.  The last was a lady who has painted at my place but was so not amused that I have not remembered the last 3-4 times she has come by for massages and a workshop.  This is my life.

I have actually embraced it.  When I wake up and sit at my computer, I will suddenly remember I have to get the blue envelope upstairs for my budget.  Once upstairs, I realize in the office, I have a ton of clothes to hang up so I start and then I see that I have run out of my special multi-hangers so it's off to the master closet storage where it too is a disaster, thank God for locked doors, so I start picking up the abandoned jewelry there to bring it to the office where I find that book I wanted to put in the basement when I see that I'm missing mints on the pillows so its upstairs for me to the office where I notice some stray laundry which I bring downstairs and remember I'm doing laundry.  Whew, I'm tired so I sit down to relax at my computer and realize I'm in the middle of budgeting and need a blue envelope.  EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE IS LIKE THIS!!! Menopause? Old age? ADD? Probably all of the above but a very trusted source has told me I emphatically do not have Alzheimers and psychics  do NOT lie.
All I know is that something needs to desperately be done in every room of my house but preferably more than one minute at a time.  Well, it's time to beat the hell out of the groundhog...or try my best to catch him.  GTG.