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Friday, July 29, 2016


People often comment how lazy cats are. Never have I heard someone say how patient they can be.
While it’s true that cats sleep a lot, if awake and they’ve spotted a fly (or another bug) I’m amazed at their perseverance to catch the intruder.

Yesterday a fly zipped past my nose, but by the time I swatted at it, it was long gone. The fly kept pestering me again and again, and while at one point one of my fingers did make contact, the fly kept coming back for more.

It didn’t take long for Holly to spot the fly too and she made it her mission to be its terminator. She positioned herself on a side table near the sliding door, ready to attack anything that came in or went out.

At first the fly stayed out of Holly’s way, but eventually his curiosity or foolish playfulness got the better of him and the fly did a fly by right under Holly’s nose.

Holly’s attention which, after half an hour of no action, was slacking, was suddenly on high alert. Her head turned from left to right and up and down, following the fly wherever he went.

A few times, when within reach, Holly made a grab for it, but came up empty handed. Still, she didn’t give up. Again and again and again she tried to catch that buzzer.

At some point, she almost succeeded. She sat on the floor by the door, the fly flew over her head, Holly reached up with both paws and … while failing to catch the fly, she did manage to throw it out.

The fly, clearly knocked senseless and perhaps suffering a headache, sat on the tiles for a few seconds before taking off.

We thought that was the end of it, but we were wrong, today the fly (or another fly) was back. Holly, who so far had slept peacefully, woke up and kept an eye on her fast food (or afternoon snack). She sat on the table, followed the fly with her eyes wherever it went and waited patiently. So patiently in fact that I started to wonder how much longer she was going to sit there, not moving, not even her ears or her tail.

Having practiced her swing the previous day the fly didn’t stand a chance. After having buzzed around the chandelier for a while, it came down for landing and … zap, Holly’s paw shot out, she grabbing it out of the air and smacked the fly on the table, covered it with her other paw and bend down to eat it.

Unfortunately, the fly was no dummy and it played dead under Holly’s paw. The moment Holly bend down and lifted her paw slightly to eat it, the fly flew away.

While I can only imagine that Holly said “STOP THAT FLY!” the fly from his side shouted “SEE YA!” 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Spinach anyone?

After surgery last week, it was up to Dieter to do the cleaning, the shopping, cooking, and dishes. Breakfast and lunch was no problem, as we usually stick to something easy, but since his culinary skills are limited we had to be creative for dinners.

I suggested hash browns with lettuce and tomato and steak; spaghetti; rosti with mixed veggies sausages; and fries with an omelet.

Everything went fine until last Monday when I suggested hash browns with baby spinach leaves and steak. I’d read that the iron in spinach is good for recuperation (providing the spinach is combined with tomatoes), so that’s what we would have.

Dieter went out to the store and came back with a big bag. Considering that he only needed a packet of baby spinach, two tomatoes and a tray of meat, I wondered what was in that bulky bag.

The mystery was soon solved when Dieter pulled out a box of baby spinach leaves that made my jaw drop. Just how much spinach had he bought? The box carried the label “11 ounces/311 grams”.

“Why such a big box?” I asked him.
“A bag of spinach was $2,99,” he explained. “This box was only $4,99. So for $2 more you get way more spinach.”

I couldn’t argue with his reasoning, but who was going to eat all this spinach? It’s just the two of us and we don’t have a rabbit.

Sprinkled with salt and pepper, and drizzled with olive oil (we had to forego lemon juice because of my low blood pressure), the baby spinach was delicious. And because we had so much of it, we had it the next day again.

As much as I enjoyed the meals, two days of baby spinach in a row is enough for me, tonight I would like something different. I was thinking peas or mushrooms, but I’m afraid to send Dieter to the store. Who know what he’s going to come home with.

If you like my blog, maybe you will like my books.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Toronto thunder storm

Just the other day, a friend and I were talking about thunderstorms. She loves them, I’m not keen on them. I don’t mind a gentle rolling thunder, but when it comes crashing down with a bang I’m like a dog who flattens its ears and crawls in a corner. Lightning I find entertaining, but at the same time scary, considering the damage it can cause.

Yesterday night, or shall I say yesterday morning, as it happened around 5:00 a.m., Toronto experienced one of its worst thunderstorms: pelting rain, one thunder bolt after another and lightning that set the sky on fire for close to an hour. And what did I do … I slept right through it.

When asked whether the storm had woken me up, I asked “What storm?” I hadn’t heard or seen a thing.

This was not the first time this happened. Many years ago, while still living in Johannesburg, the city was rocked by a tremendous earthquake. When it hit, the house shuddered on its foundations, chandeliers trembled, and books and ornaments fell off surfaces. Or so I was told. When my friends and neighbors discussed the event the next day, I had nothing to contribute as I never stopped catching zzzzzzzzzs.

I’ve also been known to sleep through a fire alarm. How this is possible is a mystery even to me. The fire alarm in our condo building produces a piercing sound. Every condo is fitted with a unit, with an additional two units in the corridor. It is so loud that I often wonder if it endangers our hearing.

That particular night though I wasn’t bothered at all. When asked later about the alarm, and I stated that I hadn’t heard anything. A building official came to test the alarm to see if it worked. It did indeed. He gave me strange look and commented “You must be a terrific sleeper.”

A terrific sleeper? Not really, in fact I have problems sleeping. Most of the time I only go to bed when I feel dead tired and can hardly keep my eyes open. Once in bed though I’m wide awake. Then I lie there, gazing up at the ceiling, tossing and turning, eventually switching on the light to read a book.

With a book it can go either way. Either the story is boring and after a few pages I feel tired enough to give sleeping another go, or the story is captivating and I keep turning pages.

Once I’m asleep though everything changes. A proverbial cannon can go off next to me and I won’t stir. 

If you like my blog, you might like my books.

Monday, July 4, 2016

My left foot

I was born in Aalst, Belgium where I spent the first 21 years of life. Shortly after I got married I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where I lived for 15 years. Shortly after I got divorced I decided to come to Canada and have been in Toronto for 18 years. Yet when the 4th of July comes around, I celebrate the American’s independence day.
If I go out, I dress according to the holiday. This year I spent the day at home, but I still “wore” the colors red, white and blue, only not in traditional way.

Here’s what happened …

After Dieter came home from work and we’d had coffee, we went grocery shopping. Halfway through, and this is something I never do, I asked for a can of pineapple. Dieter picked up said can and put it in the trolley.

Once home we did what we always do … I unloaded the shopping bags and Dieter put the stuff away. To save time, I first gave him all the cabinet items, followed by deep freeze items and lastly fridge items.

Dieter opened the fridge, positioned himself in front of the shelves, and I put things on the edge of the door which he took and gave a place.

Things went fine until I placed the can of pineapple on the edge of the door and then it went wrong. The can slipped off, not that I saw it, but I certainly felt it. My left foot exploded with pain.

For minutes I couldn’t move. I stood there, doubled over, groaning with pain, thinking I was going to pass out, and feeling more nauseous by the second.

Eventually, I was able to shuffle to a chair and sat down, my foot throbbing with a nauseating pain.
Of course, this had to be documented, so I took a picture of it. And that’s when I saw it … my foot was white, the bruise was blue, with a nice red stripe in the middle.

Okay, so there were no stars, but one can't have everything.