The Love of a Good Dog


My heart is heavy this morning as my 'niece', Lexi is very sick and in the hospital. 
Some 12 years ago, my dear friends made her a part of their family after she had been found in the rain, abandoned.
They have always treated her like the princess she is.
A sweet girl, always obedient and smiling..
She had my heart from her first 'woof'.
 Here's wishing her a speedy recovery.

Just Put The F*cking Turkey in the Oven


Ted & Marguerite Young
The 'Chefs' in our family were great at what they did. Dad was in charge of the main course, Mom was all over the pastries. It made for a stress-free holiday kitchen and a great Thanksgiving dinner. Trouble was, it wasn't until I was in my 30's that I decided it was high time I learned how to cook a f*cking turkey.

Single and living in Dallas without any family, hosting Thanksgiving in my apartment for other single, family-less friends would be a cinch. No big deal.

Until I found out that roasting a turkey was not so simple. "Will you be cooking it with stuffing inside or out"?, "Don't forget to take the bag and the neck out", "Try cooking it in a paper bag", "You've got to roast it upside down", "Deep-fried is the only way to go", "Just smoke it", "You're going to need to cook it at least 4-5 hours".

Who knew?

Thanks to the advice of an experienced patient, I opted to stick the un-stuffed 20 lb. bird into a Reynolds Turkey Oven Bag. Done. 3 hrs flat.
It was the least complicated method of turkey cooking, decreased over-all cooking time and clean up was made easier as the sticky stuff didn't stick to the pan.

There you have it. A totally un-endorsed review of the oven bag.

If only Mom & Dad could have witnessed my first Thanksgiving Dinner. I feel certain they would have cringed at the thought of my using an oven bag but I am confident the turkey would have met their high standards none-the-less.

How I wish Tante Marie was around when I was looking for advice...

Toronto ...and it's Mayor


Toronto, Ontario Canada.
My home town.

First, I'm going to write about the wonderful things that I love about Toronto (aka T.O), and then there is Mayor Rob Ford...he comes later.

When I get the opportunity to "go back home" between the months of May and November, I'm all over it.
Bluffers Park Marina Houseboats

If there is any advice I can give to a Toronto Newbie...

Save yourself the headache and don't rent a car. Learn the Toronto transit system (TTC), a city wide subway, bus and streetcar system and the GO Train system. The Go Train connects at Union Station and takes you to places the TTC doesn't.

Both are safe, clean, relatively cheap and easy to navigate. For TTC travel, buy your tokens/Day Pass from real live people at any subway station or use the automated token vending machines.
$3/ride - exact coin change
TTC Tokens - about $3 each
Day Pass for $10.75 .
Canadians have coins that are called "Loonies" ($1) and "Toonies" ($2) so the exact change issue is not so problematic but if you happen to arrive at Toronto's Lester B Pearson Airport and want to travel into the city via TTC...
1. Stop off at any Currency Exchange booth in the airport and exchange cash for a couple of "Loonies" or "Toonies" or purchase TTC tokens there.

2. Go outside of Baggage Claim and look for a TTC bus stop. You are looking for the '192 Airport Rocket'. It is outfitted to stow travel luggage and will take you to the 'Kipling' subway station. From there, you're on your own. When making your hotel reservations, just ask what subway station is closest.
Note: You won't always need it, but when traveling around Toronto (without a Day Pass), get or ask for a "transfer". It's a paper ticket that ensures you can get on to the next bus or train without having to pay again.

Soon, (2014?) Toronto will have a train that will take you directly to Union Station from the airport.

Toronto's amazing Subway ...
The GO Train service is separate from TTC but as effective for travel outside of the city boundaries... Look for this logo...

Back to "What I love about Toronto"...

"Butter Tarts".

Mr Something thinks "they taste like Pecan Pie without the pecans" but he is wrong. "Butter Tarts" are in a class of their own. That is all I have to say on that subject.


Tea in Toronto is generally flavoured with milk (not cream) and sugar. Lemon? Not so much. Be aware that if you order tea in Canada, you will get hot tea - not iced - unless you specifically request it.
Toronto has been defined as a "Mosaic" and not a "Melting Pot".

A "Mosaic" is a city where the many cultures have been encouraged to maintain their 'roots' through their art, culture, music, religions and food.

The 'sub-cities' within Toronto include Little Italy, China Town, Greek Town, Little India and a host of others. Visiting these neighborhoods are a feast for the senses and make dining as authentic an experience as one could imagine.
The Royal Ontario Museum  -  'Museum' Subway
Outdoor markets - 'Jane' Subway
Chinatown - 'Spadina' or 'St Patrick' Subway
World Class Theatre - 'St. Andrews' Subway
Scarborough Bluffs - Take the "GO Train"
...High Park, The Science Center, The Planetarium, The Kensington Market, Casa Loma, Yorkville, Yonge Street at night and Toronto Island.

- Toronto Island
- Casa Loma
    - A real castle in the middle of the city.
- Black Creek Pioneer Village
- High Park
    - It's got its own little zoo, great place for a picnic. Beautiful gardens

- The Toronto Zoo

Canada's Wonderland
   - might be too far outside of the city - its like Six Flags

Will appeal to adults..not so much for kids
- The Ontario Science Center
          Very cool place devoted to Science
- The CN Tower
- Rogers Center
           Home of The Bluejays
- The Royal Ontario Museum


I'm certain I'm forgetting someplace spectacular. Any fellow Torontonians out there want to add a place not to miss?

Mayor Rob Ford
...and then there is Toronto's crazy-ass, Mayor Rob Ford who refreshingly admitted to smoking crack cocaine last year but defended his actions by explaining he was in a 'drunken stupor' at the time. Despite his honesty, there comes a time in life where self-examination and reflection are warranted. This looks like one of those times for Mayor Ford.
Photo Credit: Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS
His televised tirades, sophomoric antics, public use of foul language and disrespect for city council protocol combined with his drug use tells me he is in serious need of counseling. Maybe he is receiving it. Maybe not.

What can I say about the mayor of a city I love?

An expression used in the south fits nicely..... "Bless his heart".

Paranoid in South America

Anticipating travel to South America was both exciting and scary. Admittedly, reports of muggings, kidnappings and police corruption go...