Neatly Real and Aspiring Awards

real-neat-blog-award Once again, I am honoured to be nominated for another lovely blog award. This time it’s from the Smexy Historical Romance writer, Shehanne Moore and her hosts, ‘The Hamstas’. If you visit her always entertaining blog, you will understand better.


Thanks so much Shey and the Hammies for this lovely award. Below I have answered the 7 questions you posed.

At this time with the passing of my aunt, I’d just like to nominate all my fellow bloggers for this wonderful award to copy and paste it to your own pages, from me. And if you should feel inclined to carry on the protocol of naming others in particular that you would like to personally nominate, just link to this post, copy the award to that page, list 7 things about yourself, and offer up 7 questions for those nominees to respond to. Thank you so much.

1 If you could own a hamstah what would you name them.


2 If you had one second left to grab a possession, what would it be?

My writing journal .

3 We know there’s no such thing as a fav but what painting means a lot to you

The Mona Lisa.

4 And why?

Because I saw it in Paris almost 2 decades ago and I could never decipher what her mysterious expression was denoting.

5 What is your earliest memory?

Nothing so pleasant that I’d like to elaborate on.

6 If you could choose a historical figure to be who would you choose?

Margaret Sanger

7 And why?

Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American birth control activist, sex educator, and nurse. She fought for the rights of choice for women. I’m quite sure in another life I surely would have been an activist.

Now go forth and help yourselves to this lovely blog award.

Aunties Love us Unconditionally – #Grief #Loss

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cherish-1016983_1280 Aunty LeeAunties can see our point of views sometimes better than our moms. They can step outside of the box and see both sides when children are in conflict with their moms. They can nurse the wounds we sometimes feel inflicted on us by our moms. They know best about their sister’s character flaws. They do not judge nor condemn.

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My Aunty Lee. A very clever woman; perhaps not with schooled education, but street-wise. She was a lover of life and her family, a woman who wore her battle scars bravely. She was the second youngest of six siblings. My aunt stood by and buried them all – all much too young to die, including herself. She also buried a husband at a young age and fended for herself and children and only a few short years ago, she buried her son who suffered terribly with Crohn’s disease, a dreaded bowel disease that four cousins, including myself inherited somewhere down the line from dysfunct genes.

I never heard her complain, nor question the griefs she had lived through. A true testament of a woman of strength. Never afraid to speak up when she found an injustice. That was my Aunty Lee. She never condemned, nor condoned me or my siblings for not talking to our mother, her sister, for she had tasted that wrath many times herself, yet never walked away.

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The last brave thing I remember her doing was only a few months ago when we were sitting shiva for my mother after she passed, an old friend of my mother’s had come to pay her respects and when she snubbed her nose at me and my sister as though we didn’t exist for no longer being in our mother’s life, my aunt spoke up. She told her that we are all in mourning together, no matter what our differences were and not to make judgments on us, for nobody else has walked in our shoes. I was touched beyond belief. The woman left.

That was the last brave thing I remembered before my aunt hadn’t been feeling well with stomach problems. She went to the doctor who had ordered up a colonoscopy. That revealed a blockage she went a few weeks later to have rectified by laproscopic surgery. Only then when they looked inside, they decided to close her up when they found a multitude of stomach tumours plus ovarian cancer. The next day they sentenced her with a few weeks to live.

I’d been to visit her several times. To look at her one wouldn’t even know she was sick. Her spirit was good, we shared true laughter – and intermittently we shared tears. “I don’t want to die” she said. In her next breaths, she proceeded to tell me her plans to finalize things and prepare for the next world as though sharing a nonchalant story.

My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015
My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015

Who does that? Who goes in for a test and a minor surgery and has the grim reaper give them a death sentence and yet carry on so stoicly in their moments of fear? My Aunty Lee does, and she did. She was brave through it all, while she kept us sane, always with a smile.

They sentenced her with three weeks to live in January, and she soldiered on until today, Thursday June 4th. The last female standing of the strong matriarchal lineage. Now the torch to keep the family binds are handed down to me, my sister and two female cousins.

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God has rested your soul Aunty Lee. You are with your son and so much family we have lost through the years. We will miss you terribly, but we know you will watch over us from above.




#Taxi Wars, #Uber and the Cost of Living — My Two Cents

My two cents

The battle of the taxis are going on in Toronto. The taxi companies want to get rid of Uber. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uber, they are an alternative taxi service whereby, you download the app on your phone, fill out your info, insert a method of payment, and when you need a taxi you go to your app and order someone to pick you up, and pay a lot less than you would for a regular taxi. There are also bonus promo codes which can get you free rides. In fact, at the end of this post, I will advertise my coupon code if anybody would like to look into signing up for the service (available in many countries), and you can plug in my code and get $20.00 free added to your account.

I drive my own car, so I don’t find these Uber wars particularly bothersome, although Uber comes in handy for quick jaunts to the subway – cheaper than parking my car there. But I thought I’d offer my two cents about the situation.

Let’s face it my fellow Torontonians here, the cost of living here for everything from food to housing is getting out of control. The price of food, which I can justly speak out on, has gone up so much in just this past year alone. Some products (such as my favourite, almond butter) HAS DOUBLED! It makes me wonder, is there suddenly a shortage of almonds? I don’t think so! But people are learning about getting healthier and almond butter has been given a lot more publicity in the last few years, so of course, the greedmongers have to capitalize on it.

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Contents of groceries have shrunk dramatically, yet the prices keep rising. Foreign investors have driven up the prices of real estate here so much that they aren’t even realistic. Starter homes are a thing of the past, or one would have to move to the far north outside the city to find something for under a half a million dollars! A new couple just starting out in life together, barely have a chance to get involved in the housing market. The banks have been very cautious, holding off from raising mortgage rates for an unprecedented amount of time, oddly, for a city with everything going up, up, to avoid a situation like what happened to the United States, not so long ago.

At a ridiculous rate of under 2%, mortgage rates fluctuate, depending on lock in term. That is the enticing feature for those who have managed to get into the market. People have stretched themselves to the max just to jump into the market and have a home at a half decent rate. The banks know very well, that many people are at their max budget currently, to enable them to keep their homes. If rates even double to 4% or less, which is still ridiculously low, for an average person paying $1000-2000 dollars a month, their payment will double! Many would have to sell their homes, which in turn would create the overdue bursting of the real estate bubble, and the banks would have to start owning many homes, all of which they are avoiding doing by leaving the rate alone. But seriously, it can’t go on much longer, and once again we will have a housing crash.

And so, now we have the taxi wars.


Taxis are ridiculously expensive, our streets are over-populated with cars, not enough highways to accommodate them, construction closings on a daily basis, which leaves an overflow of traffic scouring for alternate routes and therefore cluttering so many streets. These taxi meters click away at lightning speed as they endeavor to take us to our destinations at a snail’s pace. Enter Uber. In many cases, a fare will cost almost half of the price of a regular taxi. I say Uber is a smart commodity available to those drowning in expenses and have to get around.



Greed has taken over so largely in this city, it’s almost as though we may soon have to pay for the polluted air we breathe. If corporations don’t want to stop gauging consumers, we have every right to get the best bang for our buck and if I need a taxi, I too will be using Uber.

It’s not up to us struggling tax payers to worry about corporations making enough money. It’s up to our government to stop the greed. They need to stop taxing companies to the max, so they in turn can stop gauging the consumers.

Anyone like to add their two cents?


PS: My promotion code for Uber is debbyg44ue if anyone signs up to Uber and uses my code, they will get $20 added to their account. As well, once you sign up, you will get your own promotion code that you can share, and the people who use your code, you will in turn get $20 added to your own accounts for every person who joins and enters your code!

Now that’s what I call good business sense!


The Sunday Show – A Funny Thing Happened to Author D.G. Kaye

Thank you

The Sunday Show – A funny thing happened to author D.G. Kaye

I’d like to thank Sally Cronin  of the esteemed blog Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life for inviting me to and interviewing me for her series, The Sunday Show.

Once a week Sally interviews writers and artists for some in-depth interviews, and as part of the interview she leaves the interviewee with a question to elaborate on: A funny thing happened to “. . . ” for the artist to share a poignant, humorous, or in my case, a story about serendipity.

I have reposted the interview here from Sally’s page.

My guest today is Canadian memoir and nonfiction author and blogger D.G. Kaye (D.G.). It is clear that D.G delights both the women she writes for and I suspect the men who sneak a peek with her down to earth and often humorous look at life. There is also a serious side that comes across in D.G’s books and in her blog posts that strips back the layers that are formed in relationships. Those that are good for us and those that are harmful. I will take a closer look at her writing later in the introduction.” . . .