Flowers and the Homo Sapien, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario



Decided to make a trip to Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. We've been going there for around 25 years now. Each time we arrive it's like a breath of fresh air. Why's that?  Because of all the beautiful flowers! Whoever the gardener is, he or she, does a splendid job.


You can't help but take pretty photos!  Even on a cloudy day, the flowers simply leap out at you with their vibrant colours.


There's a great variety of displays all along the main thoroughfare. They remind me of all the people you see here in Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls. So many different nationalities, different languages can be seen and heard as you stroll along admiring the flowers.



Wouldn't it be terrific if all of us, regardless of nationality or language, could get along without going to war, without torturing others?  Wouldn't it be for the best if all of us, throughout the world put on a display of empathy and compassion as beautiful as the flowers in Niagara on the Lake? Together, we could make the homo sapien something to be finally respected


Is Your Privacy Private?

I never used to think much about my privacy. In the 'old' days here in the suburbs, hairdressers would ask all sort of questions.

"You're not from around here, are you?" If they weren't chewing gum, they'd be licking their lips and looking at themselves in the mirror, hand on hip as if posing for a magazine cover.

Before I could answer, they'd add, "Are you married, or anything?"

I would nod my head as best I could  while they'd be pushing it down deep into my chest as they chopped away at my hair.

"Where did you meet your husband? Where does he work?" The questions were endless, and at times I felt as if the whole salon were listening with bated breath as the hairdresser extricated the intriguing details of my life.

Sometimes I thought I would make up stories. Maybe even allude to the fact that I'm a spy or an eccentric millionaire. But I never did. I always told the truth.

In the 'new' days, there are so many more issues of privacy that have to be reckoned with.

You give your credit card number over the phone and the person at the other end repeats out loud every number. Who can hear her? Who else is there? Dunno.  Similar things happen when you check in at a doctor's office or pick up a prescription at the local pharmacy.

"Date of birth?" The person with the large glasses gazing at a computer screen doesn't even look at you as she asks this personal question. You speak softly so that people nearby don't hear.  Heck, one's date of birth is a security question at many online accounts.  Do you REALLY want to broadcast your date of birth? Since the person with the large glasses gazing at a computer screen seems to be hard of hearing she asks you to repeat your date of birth. You look around to see if anyone is paying attention and then raise your voice a teeny bit, just to be on the safe side. Then, you just know what happens. She repeats your date of birth in this huge sonorous voice as she enters the information into the computer.

What about those so-called social websites where you're supposed to list the names of schools you attended?  The name of your high school is a security question online sites asks for. Then, there are the internet groups which discuss the good old days when you were a child. They post photos of the area you come from. Oh, you lived on such and such a street as a child?  Really? Me too. Maybe you knew my grannie?  Oops. The name of the street you grew up on is yet another security question that online banks often ask.

With knowledge of your credit card number, your date of birth, the name of your high school, and the street you grew up on anyone with nefarious expectations can quite possibly enjoy surfing through your bank accounts.

But, nobody would really do that, would they? Dunno. They could, if they wanted to.












Allergies? Get a Dog and Take up Smoking!!

A few years ago I wrote a short post about allergies:
 http://sandrastaas.blogspot.com/2011/03/colmans-mustard-and-indian-chutney-and.html

I really can't stand the fatigue, the chills, the stuffed up nose, the pain around the eyes. Oh, woe is me!  I could even fall asleep standing up.

I was first told I had allergies back in 1984 when a doctor looked up my nostrils. Brave him! I'm so glad he did, however, for he did come up with a diagnosis. Prior to that, I had no clue why I was constantly sneezing, why my nose was always stuffed up, why I was cold, and why I felt weak. It was almost as bad as having the flu.

Well, that doctor back in 1984 sent me off for tests. Turns out I'm allergic to everything except for dog and tobacco!

I know, I hear you.  "Get a dog and take up smoking!"

Ha ha. If only it were that easy to get rid of allergies.

I was prescribed two little bottles of the antigens which were to give relief, whole relief and nothing but relief! I placed drops underneath my tongue for FIVE years before finally giving up.

I'm an expert on anti-histamines and decongestants. I really am. Yikes! I keep hoping I'll 'grow out' of the allergies, but I'm not. They always turn up at least four times a year without fail.

Want to know what I'm taking for my allergy symptoms? An antihistamine.



I was told to take antihistamines BEFORE I get the symptoms. Maybe I should. But, since I'm allergic to almost everything, I'd be taking antihistamines every day of the year. Do they work? Sometimes I think they do. But then, just when you feel relief, the very next day the symptoms return! Since I've been down that road all those years I know one's body gets accustomed to the medication, so I just change it. The above one is the generic form of Claritin. When it no longer works I then take the generic form of Allegra. The pharmacy people tell me the generic brands are just as good as the brand names. And, they're a lot cheaper.


I also take a decongestant when desperation sets it. This is the decongestant Sudafed, or maybe it's the generic form of it. Believe it or not it WORKS!! Yes, after just one day I can breathe better. But I don't think it's good to be taking this on a daily basis over a long period of time as it increases your blood pressure. I only take it when I'm desperate. Really desperate. Desperate enough because no air is going up my nostrils.


A nasal spray. Does it work? In the beginning it does. You're supposed to only take this nasal spray for three days. Any longer - and who knows what might happen?!  Maybe your nose will fall off! Oh no!  The problem is that, although it works, the three days are up before you know it and you have to stop taking it. Guess what happens then? The symptoms come right back!

Trying to avoid allergies altogether, I've been taking Quercetin.


It's supposed to be a natural anti-inflammatory.

I also take Turmeric, another natural anti-inflammatory.


And I take a saline nasal spray.


Nothing prevents the allergy symptoms. The best thing that has happened is the possible reduction of the severity of the symptoms.  

Och well. Any lessening of allergy symptoms is most welcome.  And, maybe I could get myself a wee dog. Not sure about taking up smoking, however.




In the Countryside - Where's that Nasal Spray?

One thing about living in the suburbs is that you're not too far from the countryside. Now, if you're a city person, taking a trip into the mysterious, mystical countryside may not be too appealing. But, isn't it always nice to have a change of scenery?



It does seem quite rural. We're heading to Columbiana located in Ohio.


If you'd like a wee barn built then you're in the right place. Not sure that I want a barn. Anyhow, we don't have room for one. Golleee, not only that, we're not allowed one due to the Homeowner's Association's restrictions. Never mind, I don't have anything to put in a barn.



Looks as if it's all happening out here. Big picnic coming up in August. Calcutta Square? Where's that?



A car show as well. Hmm. I did see old classic cars on the way to Columbiana.


This is the American Legion building in Columbiana. Want to check it out?


Looks like a big barbecue. Smells tasty. Wonder what the purpose is of that little fan?


A meeting of Submarine Veterans is taking place. Guess  the barbecued food is for them?


Well, the Submarine Veterans people are based in Pittsburgh, Pa. There's a submarine there, called the Requin that is open to the public. Worth a visit, if you don't mind breathing in as you descend narrow stairs. Ha ha. Imagine sleeping in the tiny, narrow beds? Imagine having to share one of those tiny narrow beds with someone else? Not for me, not at all.


All this excitement in Columbiana is thirsty work. It's a hot summer's day. Me thinks it's time for a wee ice cream.

A couple of hours in the countryside is one fine way to spend a Saturday afternoon, I suppose. I really prefer to be closer to the city. I'm more used to buildings and aeroplanes and lots of people out and about. Even traffic jams are looking appealing after being in the countryside. And I don't know that the air is cleaner in the countryside. Well, it could be. But, I get allergies and right now, my allergies are being real pains. They did go away for one day, but then, after the afternoon in the countryside, they've come right back with greater force.

Where's that nasal spray?!



Happy 4th of July! Leetsdale, Pa


The annual 4th of July parade got started with lots fun food at the wee fairground.


Colourful costumes and plenty of candy being tossed kept everyone enthralled.



What's going on in Beaver Street?!  Must be something important.


I like how everyone in the parade waves. I think they've learned how to do this from the Queen!




Even the politicians were out and about tossing candy. Guess if you get a piece then you have to give him a vote? Ha ha.


The Submarine Veterans strolled along in the parade sporting their amazing vests.

By the way, the man to the left is a volunteer at the Requin Submarine. 



Lots of music!  There were lots of fire engines and police cars from different  boroughs as well. 
Sure hope they're all back ready to chase after fires and any bad guys.

All this 4th of July frivolity just makes you want to sing a wee song.

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy.......



The Fourth of July Sales Sail Along!

The fourth of July is just around the corner, just beyond this present wave of intense marketing.  Today's Sunday papers are full of Fourth of July adverts.


Just can't wait to zoom over and get myself some bargains! Well, that's my first impression.

Here's another ad:


This one has "sparkling" savings.  That must even better than just regular savings!



Now is a good time to get a new telly!





Or, how about a new washer and dryer!  Just makes you want to run out right now and grab some of these bargains.



Need a new fridge? You can save up to 30%!  Notice the words 'up to' are really quite tiny.  I wonder what the real savings are?



Gollee, even stoves and microwaves have special savings. 

I'm getting seasick just sailing over the waves of all these Fourth of July sales. 

So much paper is wasted making all these ads. Normally I don't even read them. I just toss them out.

Now, here's a good thing about the Fourth of July sales - it won't be long now until the summer clothes go on sale. Yippeee!    

Hilton Head Island - One Beachy Trip

We were away for a couple of weeks. Guess where?

Hilton Head Island! Been going there for the past 20 + years.



Why do we keep going? Why do we drive for 12 hours to get there?  Because we're crazy!  Ha ha.
Once you get there you feel it was well worth the long drive.


We like Palmetto Dunes for the beach and biking. The above photo is of Shelter Cove, Palmetto Dunes.


You can't beat biking along the beach at Hilton Head!



Oh well.  We're back home now. That's okay. I'm already researching when and where to go on our next trip to Hilton Head Island!  Ha ha. 

Now, you probably already know that we just moved after living in the same house for 29 years. Maybe you're thinking. Hmm. Why didn't she move to Hilton Head since she loves it so much?

I did indeed consider moving to Hilton Head. But, golleeee. I think the people who live on Hilton Head hardly ever go to the beach. For them it's the mountains that are calling their name. Nope, far better to just visit, have a fantastic time, and then move on. 
Can you believe it? After two weeks at the beach I was already yearning for the hills!  Yes. On our way back north we stopped off at Asheville in North Carolina.
Now, that's a fantastic trip. Beach and the hills. 
What could be better?!