Sunday, 24 September 2017

Book ~ "The Secret" (2016) Rhonda Byrne

From Goodreads ~ Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.

In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life - money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life. 

 "The Secret" contains wisdom from modern-day teachers - men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

I read The Secret around the time it came out in 2006.  While I didn't buy into all of it, I liked a lot of the principles like positive thinking, being in control of your future, etc.  Gord's reading it now so I thought I'd reread it.

The premise of the book is about the laws of attraction and that thinking about certain things will make them happen in your life. According to the author, all you have to do is ask for what you want, believe and be open to receive.  The author stresses the importance of gratitude and visualization in achieving your desires, along with examples. Later chapters describe how to improve your prosperity, relationships and health.

As when I read the book originally, I took somethings away that I found useful.  Rereading the book was a good reminder.

Le Vieux Dublin Pub & Restaurant, Montreal, QC

I had supper this evening at Le Vieux Dublin Pub & Restaurant.  Apparently it's been around for about forty years and is one of Montreal's oldest pubs.

Mount Royal, Montreal, QC

I climbed to the top of Mount Royal this afternoon (I've done it a few times in the past).

The jewel of Montreal’s city parks is, without question, Mount Royal. This 200-hectare park occupies part of the mountain that lies in the midst of Montreal island, and includes the highest spot in the city (234m). In the 1860s, mass cutting of trees on the mountain for firewood outraged the populace and led to the area’s designation as a park in 1876. It was originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, perhaps best known for New York City’s Central Park, although not all his proposed plans for Mount Royal were eventually carried out.

The lookout facing over downtown towards the river was first built in 1906 and is now officially known as the Belvédère Kondiaronk, named for the Huron chief who signed a major peace accord with the French regime in 1701. 

Mount Royal is where Montrealers go to get a breath of air on a hot day, to cross-country ski without leaving the city, to walk off a hangover or a bad mood, to picnic, to jog, to ice skate, to look out over the city, rest their eyes on the horizon and dream.

The stairs are at the top of Peel Avenue.  It's not an easy climb up!

To avoid the 400 steps to the top, you can take the windy path ... I didn't

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, Toronto, ON

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail opened a couple months ago.  I walk there and back on a regular basis (about a 20 minute walk from home).  Gord hadn't been yet so we headed there today.

We parked near Coronation Park and walked through it.


The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail is the province's new landmark park.

Previously a parking lot, the park and trail is 7.5 acres of public green space on a spectacular part of Toronto’s waterfront.

The design is inspired by Ontario landscapes and is the culmination of discussions with people from across Ontario, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. As a result of public consultation, key features are included in the final design, including a pavilion and washroom facilities.

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail is a first step in transforming Ontario Place into a vibrant, year-round waterfront destination.
  1. William G. Davis Trail 
  2. The Ravine with Moccasin Identifier 
  3. The Pavilion 
  4. Romantic Garden 
  5. Fire Pit 
  6. Bluff
  7. Summit

It's a lovely park and the trail is about 1.3km, which loops back.  We did the loop and the turned around and did it the other way.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Book ~ "Say Nothing" (2017) Brad Parks

From Goodreads ~ Judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life but the evidence is clear: A prestigious job. A loving marriage. A pair of healthy children. Then a phone call begins every parent’s most chilling nightmare. Scott’s six-year-old twins, Sam and Emma, have been taken. The judge must rule exactly as instructed in a drug case he is about to hear. If he refuses, the consequences for the children will be dire. 

For Scott and his wife Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror. Through it all, they will stop at nothing to get their children back, no matter the cost to themselves ... or to each other.

Scott and Alison seem to have it all ... great jobs, a nice farmhouse and six-year-old twins.  But that all suddenly comes to an end.  Just before Scott is to preside over a case, their children are kidnapped.  If Scott rules the way he is told, the twins will be returned to them.  Scott does as he's told, against his better judgement and to everyone's surprise, but the kidnappers renege on their promise and Scott finds out the real reason his children were kidnapped.

I liked storyline of this book.  There were lots of possible "whodunnits" and we don't find out who is behind it all until the end.  I enjoyed the writing style ... at times it was funny and sarcastic.  It is written in first person perspective in Scott's voice but also in third person perspective from the kidnappers' point of view.

I found at times, though, there was too much information ... the details of the court cases was too much, especially the last one.  There were a lot of characters involved in this case that I started losing track of who they were.  Plus it got too political at times (as a Canadian, I didn't understand the American system).

I saw the ending coming and had hoped it wasn't going to go that way.  I wasn't crazy about the ending.

I've read all of Brad Parks' books in the Carter Ross series and liked them.  This was a stand alone book.

Best Western, Smiths Falls, ON

I have client meetings in Smiths Falls this morning and I spent last night at the Best Western.  I spent a night here last month and thought it was okay.


This time my room was on the second floor.

Looking down the stairs at reception
Looking down at where free breakfast is provided

Here was my room ...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Pizza Hut, Smiths Falls, ON

I'd flown from London to Ottawa this evening and then drove from Ottawa to Smiths Falls (about an hour).  I was hungry when I got here so as soon as I checked into my hotel, I headed out for supper at Pizza Hut.


I ordered a small pepperoni pizza.  It was okay.  It's been a while since I've had a Pizza Hut pizza.


I got there about 8:40pm and found out after I ordered they closed at 9pm.  Angie, my server, was cleaning up but let me know there was no pressure on me.

Pizza Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red Lobster, London, ON

I had lunch today at Red Lobster.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London, Ontario

I am spending today with a client in London. I arrived yesterday afternoon and spent the night at the DoubleTree, which is in downtown London.  I'd had the sensation that I'd stayed here before ... and I had back in 2015 when it was a Hilton and they were renovating.


I like that Doubletree gives me a warm chocolate chip cookie (I had it for breakfast this morning) and two bottles of water (which I always appreciate) when I check in.


Here was my room ...

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Morrissey House, London, ON

I had supper this evening at the Morrissey House ... I had supper there three years ago and thought it was okay.  It's near my hotel and was recommended by the receptionist so I thought I would try it again.


It was such a nice night that I sat outside on the patio.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Book ~ "Winter Solstice" (2017) Elin Hilderbrand

From Goodreads ~ Raise one last glass with the Quinn Family at the Winter Street Inn. 

It's been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that's about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they've experienced in years. 

And Bart's safe return isn't the family's only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she's finally found the love of her life; and Kelley is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. 

But it just wouldn't be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly.

Patriarch Kelley Quinn is dying and Mitzi, his wife, is trying to make his last days as nice as possible.  Though their children have their own lives, they are still there for their father.  Kevin and Patrick are married with children.  Ava has made a life for herself in New York with her boyfriend, Potter.  Bart is a former marine, now recovering at home after being captured in Afghanistan.  As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, they celebrate the holidays as they know it will be Kelley's last.

This is the fourth and last book of the Winter series.  Though I hadn't read the first three books, there was enough information to the background.  It would help, though, to have read the first three as I feel I would have been more emotionally invested in the characters.  Needless to say, I'm going to read them.

I liked the writing style of this book and found it an easy read.  The writing is in third person perspective with the focus on the different characters including Kelly, Ava, Jennifer (Patrick's wife), and Eddie (a man who lives in their town), what was going on in their lives and what they were thinking (the chapters are labeled).

There is a sad but happy ending and all the characters get their lives together as the series ends.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Topbox - September 2017

My September Topbox arrived today.

For only $12 a month, you will receive a Topbox with 4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products. Then test the products in the comfort of your own home.


Here's what I received ...


Total value = $58.15 value

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Book ~ "Rescued: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us about Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things" (2017) Peter Zheutlin

From GoodreadsIn "Rescued", Peter Zheutlin interweaves stories and lessons from families who have welcomed rescue dogs into their homes with his own zany experiences adopting one for the first time in midlife to reveal what we can learn from these animals who were once lost and are now found. 

Blending keen insights and advice on navigating the complexities of caring for a rescue dog with humorous (and occasionally heart-wrenching) anecdotes, each chapter reveals important life lessons we can learn from second-chance dogs, such as:
  • The truth about living with a rescued pet: it is not one continuous Hallmark moment
  • How rescue dogs can heal us just like we heal them
  • Surprising new ways they can teach us to rediscover and celebrate our joyous inner child, accept change gracefully, and forgive others and, most importantly, ourselves 

For anyone who loves, lives with, or has ever wanted a dog, this irresistibly charming book will warm your heart and show how the dogs whose lives we've saved can change ours for the better too. 

When Peter and Judy's children were getting older and about to go away to university, he was looking forward to being an empty nester.  For many years, Peter had resisted getting a dog.  Then they dogsat for a friend and that softened him up to get a dog of his own.  They ended up adopted Albie, a rescue dog from a high-kill shelter in Louisiana.  Eventually they added Salina (he fell in love with her when he was with Greg Mahle, who runs Rescue Road Trips) and Jamba to their family.

This book is about Peter and his rescue dogs, with a focus on Albie and Salina.  It's also about different people who had adopted rescue dogs ... why they have done so, where the dogs come from and their past (if known) and the status of the dog today.

Peter discusses that when you are adopting a rescue dog, it is much more than buying a puppy from a pet store (that is probably coming from a puppy mill).  Adopting a rescue dog is giving them a chance for life ... otherwise they probably would be euthanized.  Many dogs have been dropped off by the side of the road, tied up outside 24 hours a day/7 days a week, or worse.  They are grateful to have a loving family, food in their belly and a warm bed, whether it be for 10 years or just a year.  Their last thought is that someone loved them.

Unfortunately we will outlive our pets.  But that opens up another spot in our homes and hearts to rescue another.

"The best way to honor a dog's memory is to get another. For many devoted to rescue, the best way to honor a dog's memory is to SAVE another." Peter Zheutlin

I love reading books about animals and enjoyed this one.  We no longer have dogs but do have two rescue kitties.

Terry Fox Run 2017 - Liberty Village, Toronto, ON

I participated in the second annual 2017 Terry Fox Run this morning in the Liberty Village run (it's close to my 'hood) ... it's the first time I've done it.


Terry Fox (1958 – 1981) was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian and cancer research activist.  In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research.  He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada's 24 million people.  He began in St. John's, Newfoundland, in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day.  After 143 days and 5,373km/3,339 miles, he was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay, ON, when the cancer spread to his lungs.  His hopes of overcoming the disease and completing his marathon ended when he died nine months later.

The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.  Over $650 million has been raised in his name.

I had registered online and raised almost $1,100 (Liberty Village had raised about $32,000).  Thanks to Gord, Trish, Malcolm & Mary, Elodie, Joanne, LeeAnn, Craig & Wendy, Rona, Kevin & Rosemary, Shahid, Franca, Steve, Elaine & Bill, Kim, Jimmy, Chrissy & Dean, Shawna, Jennifer, Darlene, Marianne, Christine & Alfred, Christine, Yvette and Ken!

Here's the line to sign in and sign the waiver.