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Theses are my thoughts and ramblings as I forge my way through this thing they call life.
These are my thoughts and ramblings as I forge my way through this thing they call Life.

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October 20, 2017 at 3:31pm
October 20, 2017 at 3:31pm
Blog City - Day 1314

Seven wonders
Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

What would my seven words be? A good question. One must always remember body language first and foremost.... I believe a smile is universal in being welcoming and friendly and that is where we all must start if we ever what to understand one another.
I also have an image of breaking bread and sharing a meal... much can be said of sharing and food as feeding and sustaining the development of connections.
Being Canadian I am also thinking politeness comes into play - please, thank you, excuse me, sorry.... and that is 6 words right there. The last one.... try. Being open to others and trying to experience a little bit of shared community goes a long way to connecting and understanding each other. The rest can be done with gestures that include others in your group and making them feel welcome and accepted.
I am curious what others would have to say about this topic.
October 9, 2017 at 3:13pm
October 9, 2017 at 3:13pm
Blog City - Day 1303

Prompt: What do you think about ESP, in general? Do you know someone who has it? If you are the one with the ESP, do you sense things that happen either before they happen or after when you had no inkling about them happening? If you do or did, is this a regular occurrence or a random event?

I am not so sure about ESP. I think some people may be more open to the 'frequency' of that kind of knowing, while other are totally oblivious. Some of us may be open to moments, particularly those with intuition. Intuition can guide you if you listen. That gut reaction is trying to tell you something. It may be that still small voice of God guiding you through life. If you tune in and take the time to listen and follow that guidance you might be able to steer clear of huge drama... if you don't listen, bad things could happen. I have found it is better to sit still and listen for that guidance. Slowing down and taking the time to make a purposeful decision on the next step of your life is probably a good thing anyway. Jumping head first into the jumbled mess that is the world is not something I prefer to do.

I have been known to go through periods when Déjà vu. They have sprung up on occasion. That is the weirdest experience, going through the world like you have been there before, thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things again. I am not sure what triggers these events.

Either way I see this sense as a gift. One given, but one that must be activated with awareness. Anyone can do it if they can still themselves long enough to listen... and do what they are told.
October 6, 2017 at 7:30pm
October 6, 2017 at 7:30pm
Blog City - Day 1300.!!

Create a list of 13 favorite things in your life in honor Blog City's 1300th day. What makes them special and why?

Cosy woollens and chilly evenings.
Writing & WDC
Teaching and learning from students
Long nature walks
Walks in the neighbourhood when the night has fallen and you can see and hear what's going on in other people's houses.
Coffee shops and cafés to wire and read
Having a roof over my head and food in my belly
Family gatherings
Time to sleep in
September 27, 2017 at 11:13pm
September 27, 2017 at 11:13pm
Blog City – Day 1289 - yesterday's prompt.

Prompt: “A screaming song is good to know in case you need to scream.” -- Maurice Sendak
What do you do when you feel like screaming? What kind of things make you want to scream?

This was yesterday's prompt and I really liked it so I started the blog, but did not get a chance to finish it. So I will try again today. I decided to take this in as a form or theme... a theme that when challenged rises the hairs of my body and rumbles my soul. The theme is for woman to stand up for themselves... to fight against oppression and battle whatever tries to hold them back. Staying silent makes me want to scream... to scream for them... but I think these songs can do a much better job.

The first song I chose has to do with fighting cancer, but I also find it is a way of taking back a life that has been 'dis-eased' by letting others have power over you... stepping up and taking charge of your own life takes courage and this song speaks to that.

This is my fight song -

Song is by Rachel Platten
Lyrics - only some of the lyrics are posted here.

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn't say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

Brave by Sara Bareilles

The theme is be who you are and stop letting others take your power. Don't give it away. Embrace it and scream if you need to.... you deserve to be heard. You are enough, just as you are. Be brave!
September 4, 2017 at 4:05pm
September 4, 2017 at 4:05pm
Blog City - Day 1267

Prompt: What is beauty to you? How would you describe beauty?

Beauty runs deep.
It is not just surface, which can blind others to true depths
Looks, even lovely looks, can bind
Hold one back
And even deceive.
True beauty defies time and flows from the heart
It is goodness and compassion
It is loving and acceptance
It is unbiased and does not even realize the beauty it holds
It just is.
Like a mountain; it can stand the test of time
Like a lake; it can refresh and revitalize
Like a meadow; it can bring peace and calmness
Beauty is a well lived life
It is life lived in the present
Heartfelt and alive
But it is also beyond the here and now
Enduring and lasting
Beauty Just Is.
August 13, 2017 at 11:17am
August 13, 2017 at 11:17am

Blogging Challenge - Day 13 - Argentina

August 13th
I'm Not Anybody's Ghoul had us up early this morning. We were off to a full day tour to Mundo Marino - a theme park. There is little time to grab much breakfast, but I manage a small bit and a coffee. I even managed to get a coffee to go. Some of the group managed to snooze on the way and I will admit I do nod off for a little while.

Mundo Marino is one of the most important entertainment complexes in Argentina, It is the first Theme Park installed in the country and it is also the largest Oceanarium in South America. It is located in San Clemente del Tuyú, Partido de la Costa. It hosts wonders of nature and skills performed by dolphins, sea lions and orca, as much as penguins, birds and fishes, all located in areas that recreate their natural habitat.

With my coffee in hand we manage to meet up with your guide in downtown area of Buenos Aires. The trip is three and a half hours. The scenery is magnificent.

There was so much to see. Our guide took us inside the park and we were able to explore the sea world, where many attractions are available:

- Sea Refuge : An Orca and Dolphins performance where caregivers will show us the world of cetaceans and the work of the Mundo Marino Foundation.
- The Sea Lions Island : A performance of Sea lions along with sea elephants, trying to save the island from an evil business woman who wants to build a hotel complex in their habitat.
- Penguins shelter: A breeding Penguin Colony inside a recreation of their natural habitat.
- Sea lions bay: In this representation of natural their environment, between rocks and waterfalls, we can feed and watch sea lions.
- Submarine encounter: Enjoy a cetaceans watching through a panoramic window of a sink of a diameter of 30 meters. This pool hosts dolphin pups born each year in Mundo Marino.
- Terrestrial Safari: guided expedition into the wild natural world to discover how animals, plants and the environment are related to conform a rustic habitat.
- Paradise Lake: magical lake and waterfall hosting colorful birds, flamingos, fish and flowers.

There were also different kinds of food available within the park. There were even places to shop.
After hours of fun and animal discovery, we met up again with your guide to get on the bus and return to Buenos Aires by the same route.
It was early evening when we arrived back at our same starting point.

Lyn left the evening as yours to rest up and get ourselves organized before heading off in the morning to Uruguay and the capital city of Montevideo. Apparently it revolves around Plaza Independencia - which was once home to a Spanish citadel. It leads to Ciudad Vieja (Old City), with art deco buildings, colonial homes and Mercado del Puerto, an old port market with many steakhouses. La Rambla, a waterfront promenade, passes fish stalls, piers, and parks.

In real time, I am off to Scotland tonight so I don't know if I will be able to keep up with the virtual trip. Have fun everyone!
August 12, 2017 at 9:15pm
August 12, 2017 at 9:15pm

Blogging Challenge - Day 12 - Argentina

August 12th

Hit the showers because we’re off to see a Tango Show.

Lyn had organized a day on an authentic estancia (ranch) and see Argentina’s legendary gauchos (cowboys) demonstrate their unique horsemanship and wrangling skills. I was not as interested, and besides the group was supposed to keep to only 15 people.
I decided instead to take on the free walking tours of Buenos Aires. This allowed me to meander through the beauty of the city and still feel like I got a sense of the place. I knew the group would have interesting stories to tell, but so would I. And besides I would see them tonight at the dinner and show.
I actually took two tours - a morning one - from 10:30 until 2 and another in the afternoon - from 3 until 5 pm. I saw great architecture and lovely parks. I sampled various food from various cafes.... and made sure to have plenty of superb coffee. Both guides had a real passion for their city and were both very knowledgeable.


I had plenty of time to get ready for our 7:30 pm dinner. All the walking I had done all day made me hungry for the delights of the evening.
I'm Not Anybody's Ghoul had planned a memorable night out in Buenos Aires. We were to experience the passion of the Argentine tango at an evening La Ventana tango show. There were live tango and folk bands, a gaucho demonstration and a moving tribute to Eva Perón. The evening started off with a delicious 3-course dinner.

We got picked up at our hotel and whisked off to the cobblestone streets of San Telmo, the birthplace of tango and the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires. We arrived at a conventillo, a historic tenement restored and now used as a restaurant-theater, where La Ventana takes place.

We strolled through the theater’s preserved architectural interior, and in a sense got to travel back in time to the tango grandeur of the early 1900s. Dinner featured a wide array of Argentine and international dishes, accompanied by Argentine wines. We even got to enjoy more wine with the performance.

The show ended around 11 and we made our way back to the hotel. A few members of our group opted to take in a bit more of the Argentina nightlife and I decided to join them. We found a nice quaint bar close to the hotel that served lovely drinks and even had a dance floor to let us explore some of the dance moves we had observed. It was all rather hilarious, but fun just the same.

August 11, 2017 at 10:35pm
August 11, 2017 at 10:35pm

Blogging Challenge - Day 11 - Asuncion, Paraguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Aug 11th breakfast at the hotel ..
We’re taking a mid-day flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Breakfast is included and I’m told the coffee is amazing but not today. Change into casual clothes because we’re going horse back riding

Very good price , good atmosphere , and most importantly flavorful burgers . We decided to get the combo which included a draft beer , burger and fries . Very fair price for a good meal in Palermo SOHO district .
And we’re off to a bit of nightlife

After yesterday's walking tours, I am only too happy to sleep in a little bit. {user: elusive4lyn} has everyone meeting up at the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. I was up early enough to check out the pool and get in a few lazy laps before getting my shower, then heading down for coffee and some breakfast.
I am glad I did the swim because our next hotel is pool- less. *Sad*
Buenos Aires is the capital and most populous city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. . It has a population of around 17 million.

We fly into Buenos Aires during the mid-day and Lyn had us scheduled to learn to play polo. I am not a fan. I like horses just fine, but I am apparently allergic to them so I have decided to beg off. Since there was no pool around I decided to follow my nose. Since Buenos Aires is supposed to be the bookshop capital of the world I thought, why not. Apparently books are exempt from the 21% sales tax!
Walrus Books would do just nicely.I found it tucked away among the old school cafes and cobblestone streets of San Telmo.An English language book store - owned by expatriate - Geoffrey and Josefina Hickman. . Although it was small, this tiny gem was full of new and used quality novels, non-fiction, and children’s books. The atmosphere was just what I was looking for - a neighborhood used bookstore with dim lighting, red accents, fresh plants and rich wood bookshelves full of new literary journeys to take.

There were a few comfy chairs to take a seat while I read through my book choices. This shop also allows you to bring in a book you have just finished to receive a discount on your next purchase - too bad I didn't have one to give up. The shop also offers literature and writing courses. A little bit of heaven.
Since the shop is among old school cafes, you know I had to partake... and get a little writing done.

San Telmo remains a focal point of the city’s tango and art scenes. It is Buenos Aires’ most historic neighborhood has narrow cobblestone streets lined with resplendent, often crumbling buildings, family-owned bakeries, antiquated hardware stores, and an eclectic mix of bars, cafes and restaurants.
Fearless kids play soccer on the streets between traffic, cumbia and tango music waft onto the sidewalks, young couples kiss in doorways and cats lounge in windowsills. If there’s a game on, the screams can be heard every time the neighborhood’s favorite soccer team, La Boca scores a goal.
I just loved the atmosphere of the place.

I made it back to the hotel with enough time to get ready to join the group for the burger joint. Very good price , good atmosphere , and most importantly flavorful burgers. We decided to get the combo which included a draft beer , burger and fries . Very fair price for a good meal in Palermo SOHO district.

Then we take in the nightlife. Buenos Aires is a late night city. Even the shops are open until midnight and dinner is often not eaten until 11 pm. Lyn had us going to a wine tasting. It was nice to savour the various wines and hear about the antics of the polo playing. I got to share my own adventures.

August 10, 2017 at 10:08pm
August 10, 2017 at 10:08pm

Blogging Challenge - Day 10 - Paraguay

Aug 10th Flight to Paraguay is at 6:00am
We’re staying at La Mision Hotel Boutique

Since we are leaving on a 6 am flight, I am so glad I went to bed on the earlier side last night. We are now in Paraguay.... in Asuncion - the capital.

Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay, is a landlocked country in central South America, bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the country from north to south. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de Sudamérica. Paraguay is one of the two landlocked countries outside Afro-Eurasia, and is the smallest landlocked country in the Americas.

We just get our stuff stashed at the hotel and we are off on a tour... a tour of museums. Most of these are for the arts so there are plenty of people in our group that are only too happy to brows and wander.

Because it is a private tour we can take our time. Our first stop is La Casa de la Independencia, where we got at least an hour to take in the sights. Next was the Memory Museum of the City in the Viola House. This was a group of houses of the time. We were able to see some of the objects of colonial times and other relics.

The next destination was the the Andrés Barbero Ethnographic Museum, which is owned by the Foundation "La Piedad" Entity Civil Relief and Culture, administrator of Barbero heritage, and continuer of his family's philanthropic purposes. We did not spend as long at this museum.
Then we headed to the Music Museum. It has been completely renovated and has several rooms where the artists who took their music internationally are honored. Valuable objects are kept inside, such as the guitar that belonged to Agustín Barrios Mangore, harps and other wind instruments. Interesting stuff.

The next museum was the Museum of Fine Arts. We got to see art of the seventeenth century and early twentieth century, as well as Paraguayan Art from the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.

We gravelled a little farther outside the city, to our last museum - the Visual Arts Center Museo del Barro,. We spent the longest time here, probably around 2 hours. There were exhibits of contemporary art {Museum des Arts Contempo Contemporanea) There were also exhibits of Indian art (Museum of Indian Art), and the Museo del Barro with 4000 pieces.

Our tour was scheduled to end around 2pm, but I am sure we took much longer. I was all museumed out by the time we were done. We were given the option of returning to the city center or staying in the area of the Museo del Barro. I decided to hang out for a time and see about finding a café of sorts. I needed coffee and sustenance.

But I'm Not Anybody's Ghoul was on a roll and she did not want us to get too comfy. She had more plans for us - a 6-hour evening package designed for people with little time during your stay in Asuncion. I was glad it did not start until around 7 pm. That gave us time to recoup and rest up. It also gave us time to check into our hotel room. We were to tour the capital of Paraguay at night and then be whisked away to a typical restaurant where got to enjoy dinner accompanied by a live show.

The city tour kept us hoping. My feet were starting to hurt. Luckily we were able to fortify ourselves at the various pubs along the way. We got to see the spectacular lights of the Government Palace, the promenade that is a popular the meeting point for hiking, leisure, and recreation. Then, cross the main avenues of the capital, visiting New Asuncion, where the night comes to life with the shopping center, casinos, pubs, and bars.

We dinner was delectable. There was beef, alongside various other meats which are cooked on a grill, called "parrilla" in Spanish, or an open fire. The Asado were accompanied by salads and manioc or yuca, similar to the potato. I tried a little of everything. I was nice to just sit for awhile.

It was midnight before we headed back to the hotel. I was almost asleep on my feet.

August 9, 2017 at 11:01pm
August 9, 2017 at 11:01pm

Blogging Challenge - Day 9 - Rio De Janeiro

Aug 9th our final day in Rio de Janeiro
Angra dos Reis Day Trip and Schooner Cruise
Dinner is at the hotel this evening because we depart early in the am.
RISTORANTE ALLORO Traditional Italian recipes with the healthy and light flavors of the Mediterranean. An extensive cellar with worldwide selection will delight wine lovers. HOURS Dinner: 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm (daily)

Today is a five hour cruise with stops to swim and snorkel. Now that is my kind of day. I am up and ready to go for our 7 am pickup. Though the cruise is 5 hours, the day is full with all the stops. We are not due home until 9 pm. My kind of day. Natural and swimming... now that, is heaven. I will most definitely need my sunscreen, sunglasses and hat today. The weather was perfect.

Our tour guide, TT aka Tina Turner was very entertaining. The bus ride to Angra Dos Reis was about 3 hours and she made the ride fun and entertaining by providing historical information and showing off her singing skills. Many of us joined in. She speaks good English and since our group was all English she did not have to incorporate any of her other languages. We took turns teaching her some new phrases and she taught us some of hers as well.

Lyn had assured us there would be a hot and cold buffet lunch on board the boat and I am grateful because I did not grab much for breakfast. The buffet we enjoyed had steak, fish, chicken, rice and beans... all onboard our schooner.

The views were amazing. It felt like we were in another whole world. I think the best part was being able to plunge into turquoise waters around Angra dos Reis for a relaxing swim. After yesterdays walking and dancing, this was a blessing.

The scenery was amazing. Did I say that already. Our guide told us that there were around 300 scattered islands that make up this area. That is just... too wonderful.

We got to stop at the Ilha Cataguases (Cataguases Island), a gorgeous spot with white sand beaches and clear, blue-green water perfect for water activities. Water polo anyone?! After that we continued sailing to Lagoa Azul (the Blue Lagoon), Praia de Freguesia de Santana (Freguesia de Santana Beach) on Ilha Grande and the pier on Piedade Island. So beautiful. So peaceful.

When we returned from our cruise we were returned to our hotel. After such a sun filled day everyone seemed quiet and happy.
Dinner was at one of the hotels restaurants - the RISTORANTE ALLORO - which served traditional Italian food and some amazing wines. I sipped and savoured; only to happy to sit back and enjoy the company, before I toddled back up to my room and wrapped myself in my cosy bed for the night. tomorrow is supposed to be an early start.... and possibly a new country.

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