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Showing posts from May, 2019

Morris.Feild.Rogers and Mom

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- jim Young 20190529
“There'll be no new tunes on this old piano.” - Johnny Lange & Hy Heath
There was a piano in the first apartment I ever lived in and there was a piano in the house I lived in the day I left home. There was also a piano in the only house I lived in, between those two places.
Beyond a sad rendition of "Chopsticks" or "Heart And Soul", I never learned to play the piano. But my mother played the piano and how I loved to hear those old songs she played!
I remember coming home from school in grade one, hearing the piano playing in the dining room as I walked up the front step and into the house.



My parents’ parties always ended with a group of people standing around the piano singing along to their favourite tunes of the day as my mother pounded on the keyboards.
When it came time to move the old piano from the first apartment I lived in, to the house that my grandfather built for my parents in Painswick, the task of moving the piano seemed m…

Dandelions On My Grave

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- jim Young 20120515

“give me spots on the apples but leave me the birds and the bees, please…
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
- from Big Yellow Taxi – by Joni Mitchell

I want Dandelions planted on my grave.

Not that I want that to happen soon.

But when the time comes, I want Dandelions planted on my grave.

I think the Dandelion has gotten a bad rap.

First of all – it’s a very pretty flower.

Just look at the 2 pictures below and tell me the Dandelion isn’t every bit as pretty as the Marigold.




You can make salad from the Dandelion leaf.
Not that I would ever eat it. (Or any other kind of salad for that matter.)

You can make wine from the Dandelion plant.
That I WOULD drink if someone would put it together in a nice little Dandelion Wine kit like the ones I buy at Costco.

And who among us has NOT as a young child spent time making wishes on the Dandelions that have gone to seed only to watch the fairy-like pods fly away on a gentle summer breeze in search of our dreams?

Can …

My Kijiji Profile

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Living Among The Dead

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- jim Young 20190516

“Nothing on this earth is standing still. It's either growing or it's dying. No matter if it's a tree or a human being.” - Lou Holtz

Mary-Anne Bloomfield was a classmate of mine through most of my high school years. My best friend dated her a couple of times. On their first date, Mary-Anne’s cousin was visiting from out of town so they set me up with the cousin to make it a double-date.

It was just a very innocent high school kind of date and no long term relationships developed from it.

In fact, the highlight of the evening was probably the flat tire we had to change on our way to the park where the high school event was being held.

What was a little unusual about it was that when we went to pick up our dates, we had to drive into the center of the Barrie Union Cemetery.

That’s where Mary-Anne lived. It wasn’t quite as freakish as an Addams Family or Munsters episode, but it was out of the ordinary.

Coincidentally, several years later when Mary-Anne’s …

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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- jim Young 20190513

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” – Andy Rooney

Many of the resorts we have visited in Cuba have a population of cats or dogs roaming free on the grounds.

For My Shirley, an avid animal lover, this is just an added bonus. My Shirley delights in bringing food and treats for the cats or dogs to feast upon in return for their devoted affection.

It’s a perfect illustration of Quid Pro Quo at its finest.

I get that some people are not as enthusiastic about the resident dogs at Marea Del Portillo in Manzanillo de Cuba but I don’t think the dogs could be described as a nuisance in any stretch of the imagination.

I don’t know if they “did their business” elsewhere or if the grounds crew were diligent in cleaning up after them but I never saw any evidence that the dogs were a part of the resort population other than their actual presence. So their hygiene certainly can’t be an issue.

During our last visit to Marea Del Portillo I witnessed one of t…

Cuba 14.2 Marea del Portillo - Part 8 / Going Home Is Such A Ride

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The going away party on our last night was rained out but as we had an early flight the next morning we would likely have passed on it anyway.



When we had booked our trip we had mostly considered our arrival time back in Toronto which was 4:35 pm. It seemed like a better time than arriving home at 2:00 am as we had last time.

But we forgot to do the math to determine what time we would be leaving. Once we realized there would be a stopover in Varadero we checked to note that our departure time leaving Manzanillo airport was scheduled for 11:15 am.

That still didn’t seem too bad until we realized we had to be at the airport 3 hours ahead (8:15 am) and the bus ride is 2 hours (6:15 am). As we were required to have our bags in the lobby to load onto the bus by 6:00 am, this meant, if we were mostly packed the night before, we would still have to get up at 5:30 am.

On the way back to our room on our last night a young couple from Toronto noticed we were struggling to walk along the poorly…

Cuba 14.2 Marea del Portillo - Part 7 / Off The Resort

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Following dinner on our first night, we ventured out the front door of the resort to see if we might find a horse and buggy to take us for a quick ride around the area.

We were pleased to see Juan, our horse and buggy driver from last year who remembered us right away.



For just 4 pesos each (~ $5.35 Cdn), Juan took as on a little tour around the town of Marea down to the seashore where the fishermen had docked their boats for the evening.




It was just getting dark as we arrived back at the resort.

We arranged for several more horse and buggy rides with Juan during our stay, including a trip to the waterfalls and a visit to an agricultural “cactus” farm.

We were greeted at the gate of the cactus farm by a Cuban farmer brandishing a large machete. It was not an intimidating sight as machetes are a tool of the trade that are carried by most farmers.

Juan and the farmer quickly became involved in what appeared to be a serious, although not heated conversation. Shirley and I decided to pass…

Cuba 14.2 Marea del Portillo - Part 6 / The Entertainment

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The house band, which varies in personnel every night remembered us from last year. One of them calls me his “papa”. They are very good when serenading in the buffet, prompting Shirley and I to get up and dance to the amusement of some of the other guests.


Each day that we were not off the resort in the afternoon, we played BINGO. Shirley managed to win 3 bottles of Rum during the 2 weeks we were there.


While checking the numbers of her 3rd win, Maya, the day’s Bingo caller, tried to trick Shirley into believing that she had made a mistake and did not have all the required numbers. The penalty for which was your choice of dancing on stage, shooting tequila or jumping in the pool. But Maya awarded Shirley her rightful prize before making her choose one of those options.

We didn’t make it to a lot of the nightly shows which alternated between our pool bar area at Marea and the Farallon on the hill. But we did manage to see most of the Water Ballet with the swimmers from Santiago de Cuba…