If we were having Coffee: Guest Post From Paul.

If we were having coffee – July 27/2014

Of butterflies – of happiness – of aircons –and raccoons


Hi there, my name is Paul. Willow has graciously asked me to serve up tea and coffee here today– and that’s new to me, so I’m a bit nervous. I’m hoping that you, her readers, will drop by to chat and have a cuppa while we share stories.

Welcome and come on through to the garden – we’re having our coffee and tea back there where we can enjoy the flowers, watch the butterflies and have a biscuit while we chat. What is your favorite kind of tea or coffee? We have quite a selection, so just name your brand and I’ll prepare it. The cream, sugar and honey are on the table.

Beautiful day isn’t it? Where I’m from – Ottawa – we’ve had some hot days this week, over 30 Celsius, but it’s cooled down now and is quite enjoyable. That is significant to me because you see I’m pretty clumsy and when I tried to install my window air- conditioner recently, I accidentally dropped it out the window down two stories. No  casualties except the air con but I think I can fix it. I’m sure it would have been amusing had anyone been watching.

Well, what has been happening in your world this week? No topic is off limits. Me? Well, quiet for now (except for the crashing of an air conditioner) – the way I like it for the time being. Are you ready for another cuppa?

I’m often taken aback at where I get good life advice when I’m open and listening. Does that happen to you sometimes too? Just Wednesday this week I was resting for a moment on a concrete bench outside the hospital before I went in for dialysis and a young woman of about 16 years asked if she could sit beside me. I moved over to give her room and she sat down. She had a round and cheerful face and was dressed in a pink hoodie with matching sweat pants and sneakers. She told me that she was 17 days sober today and I congratulated her. There is an addiction inpatient program there as well as a mental health inpatient facility. Most are allowed out around the grounds when they are deemed

safe (for others and as a flight risk). She introduced herself as Karen (name changed) and then asked if people as old as her could learn to speak French.

It is Canada’s other official language and around the capital here much is bilingual and some is uni lingual French or English.

Karen told me that she had been accepted into a rehab facility but it was French. She also told me that she had a learning disability. From her logic and conversation I had suspected she might be challenged. I assured her that she could learn French a long as she practiced it – and that she could learn a new language with practice no matter how old she was. She then turned to me and said; “You know it really doesn’t take much to be happy does it? I’m happy with a safe place to live, people who will help me, enough food to eat, and some sunshine.” I agreed with her and then had to say Good-bye and go in for my treatment. Life really is that simple isn’t it? What do you think? What makes you happy?

Can I refill your cuppa? Another biscuit perhaps? You know one of my English friends described meeting a hedgehog recently. I’ve never seen one – they don’t live here in Canada. We do have a small woodland creature though that causes some havoc and survives well in urban areas – the raccoon. I understand that they have packed their little suitcases and emigrated to the European mainland but haven’t gotten to England yet. I suspect they’d enjoy the British countryside. They are very cute   read about  them  here.  but terribly curious. They are quite smart, can get into any containers, and are a pest. One of our major retailers –Sears – has produced

a commercial using a raccoon to sell their glasses. It is hilarious (and only 33 seconds)

The moral is: Don’t forget your glasses. Raccoons generally don’t get that aggressive but if they are used to humans they can. When my ex and I were still together, we had a raccoon family of four arrive on our back step one evening. They discovered a tub of jujubes that the kids had left there and were busy chomping and slurping the candies. We tried to shoo them away but they were not going until the jujubes were finished. It was too funny watching them get the chewy candies stuck between their teeth.

Well, it’s been great having coffee and tea with you today. I enjoyed our chat and hope you’ll come back again. Any comments or suggestions or just a “Hi!” are greatly appreciated. I will respond to them all. And a special thanks to Willow for providing the forum.


‘”The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:…”’ – The Walrus and The Carpenter, Lewis Carroll

If we were having coffee I’d ask  you : would you like another  cuppa, or  a biscuit . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to here  what you would  tell me , If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

152 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 01:17:17

    Thanks so much Willow for providing me this opportunity to guest post. I hope that your readers and you enjoy.


  2. The Blue Madame
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 01:47:57

    I just had a couple of coons behind my work place the other day, One of them started marching over towards me, and For a moment I thought it was going to come inside. My job is near a wooded area and we keep the doors open in summer to keep from roasting alive. 😀 I convinced him and his friend to keep a safe difference, and they scurried off. Oh, I like Harney and Son’s Cranberry Autumn tea 😀


  3. cordeliasmom2012
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 02:04:14

    Nicely written. I can picture having a cuppa and a biscuit, and chatting about this and that. Let’s do it again sometime.


  4. tesscol
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 04:45:14

    If we were having coffee I would tell you about the evening I spent in very pleasant company on the occasion of my son and daughter in law’s 25th wedding anniversary. It was great to see people we hadn’t seen for many years. All so happy and friendly. My patience was tried by my husband of 55 years who seemed determined not to enjoy the evening. It was hot and sultry……We are having an amazing Summer here in the UK
    I would definitely enjoy a cappuccino with you and that would remind me to tell you about my eldest son and his wife and youngest daughter who are in Italy on holiday.
    I would also probably tell you that I often wish that we could be more spontaneous and get out and about to visit places.
    But no I should enjoy the butterflies and flowers in you garden and thank you for the invitation!!


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 06:59:43

      as I am here too enjoying the coffee I shall ask you to pass on my love and good wishes to the lucky couple and say hi to all your friends and family. It is lovely sitting here among the flowers and butterflies while Paul entertains us. I am not quite sure about the Raccoons they look cute but those teeth look sharp. I would also say I envy your eldest son and co for Italy is my favourite place after home. I’d also whisper in your ear if you feel trapped escape in your mind that’s what I do. Right I have to set up my own If we were having coffee so I shall love you and leave you to enjoy your cappuccino and the butterflies with Paul. Xxx


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 09:01:42

      What a pleasure to hear about your children and your granddaughter Tesscol. It must be so relaxing and satisfying to sit down and help celebrate your son’s 25th wedding anniversary. Such a joy. I hope your cappuccino here with us is relaxing and enjoyable, You are always welcome to drop by, we love hearing from you. You’ve been married for 55 years?! Wow. That is wonderful Tesscol. No doubt your good example helped your son make a strong relationship too. It is such a breath of fesh air to see a marriage valued this much when so many are giving up today. With your knowledge of your husband perhaps you can find out why he was uncomfortable. I’m sure it wasn’t the company.

      I’ve only ever seen pictures of Italy but it is one of the places I’d love to visit. Would it be possible for you to travel more or is it unavoidable circumstances? Even some short trips can be invigorating, exploring new territory. And nothing beats sitting down with friends and a cuppa to chat about what is, was and could be. Your children and grandchildren are an obvious source of pleasure and you sound so happy when you discuss them. There’s something to be said for soaking up the sun in a relaxing environment.

      It’s been such a pleasure having you here visiting and talking with us Tesscol. Please come back again at your convenience. We’ll keep the cappuccino hot and the conversation ready for you.


  5. Trackback: If we were having coffee. | willowdot21
  6. Deborah
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 09:36:54

    What a lovely story about the simple things that can make us happy. It’s nice to have you hosting the coffee and tea time from time to time, Paul! Lovely to meet you!


  7. idiotwriter
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 09:45:00

    Would you pass the milk? ..oh no, no thanks, no sugar…but that slice of cake sitting all alone there looks like it needs a great big bite of attention! 😀

    You know…I have never met a raccoon…oh my…would you look at that??!!
    A butterfly just landed on my cheek!! 😀 Oh and there it goes to fly off to you and be free 😛

    Your stories always have something special to give…tea in a garden of butterflies…
    Who could want for more?


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 09:47:40

      I agree , it has been great fun with Paul in the driving seat! 😉 look out here comes a flock of butter flies .. is that a Raccoon over there? ………. 🙂


      • idiotwriter
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 09:55:39

        lol…Paul is really quite the story teller – he has many many tales to tell hey! Some of which can truly make one smile…and/or send a shiver down the spine.
        Thank you for letting us chat with him willowdot 😀

        Those butterflies…where’s my net? I am not letting THIS one get away, no time for it to be free yet 😀

      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:55:06

        Yes Paul is a great story teller and a brilliant host! Careful with that net we don’t want any breakages! 😉 xxxxx

      • idiotwriter
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:57:45


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 10:25:53

      IW! What a great pleasure to have you visit! Welcome, welcome. The cake is yours, it was just asking us where IW was as it was getting lonely. Ha! 😀 I love the butterflies here in Willow’s garden. They are so much fun. It doesn’t surprise me that one would choose to land on you – they are good judges of character. 😛 Actually it was your mention last week of meeting the hedgehog that got me to thinking about raccoons. A refill? You’d love raccoons, they are devious, independent, smart and funny. When they get older they get fat and roly ploy, sort of rolling as they walk like a sailor on shore leave. I have a friend on a farm who had a couple of raccoons doing damage (being curious they will tear things apart) so he got a humane trap and managed to trap one. He saw it unharmed in the trap and decided to get it in the morning. By the time morning came, the other raccoon had managed to find a way to get his buddy out of the trap and they were both gone. Ha! There’s more cake if you would like it. You’ll need the strength for packing and moving this week. We need to beef you up a bit – you’re too skinny.

      Thanks so much for dropping by for a cuppa or two and some of Willow’s delicious cake.Please come by again IW, you’re always welcome. Remember: Cake!


      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:51:42

        I second that IW your’re always welcome and there is plenty of cake!

      • idiotwriter
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:55:21

        I would prefer some more cake if I may?
        Some of that lemony looking one – with the meringues?
        Oh yes – that one! No no…the bigger piece next to it…
        Hedgehogs are very terribly shy carnivorous creatures. They come out at night and forage for their food.
        The slightest movement or sound and they curl themselves up really tight… I think it is due to them being fairly skinny under those exterior spikes…
        Oh yes please – I will have that cuppa now..and you what you having? That chocie cake was fantastic – it would serve you to keep up the roly poly ageing racoon thin you got going on today.
        The only thing with hedgehog is you cannot get too close to them as they are riddled with fleas…dirty beasts. Racoons sound way nicer and funnier too.
        Oh shew – hmmm – not sure I can fit anymore in – but thank you so much! I should best be off to keep up with the packing.
        You take care now…and thanks for inviting me over today! 😀

      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 15:03:53

        🙂 xxxx

      • idiotwriter
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 15:06:56


      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 15:15:35

        😀 xxx

      • Paul
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 22:20:56


      • willowdot21
        Jul 28, 2014 @ 03:51:20


  8. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 12:01:40

    This has been a delightful having coffee with you. I too love the summer and sun because it warms my bones and that feels g-o-o-d.

    Hope a/c is fixed and providing a respite from the heat. We had raccoons in a cherry tree in my backyard once, fighting over the fruit. We had to put the hose on them because nobody could sleep with all the noise.

    Have a nice week. / Tess


  9. MamaMickTerry
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 12:27:26

    Hello Paul!
    So excited to find you here and spreading your wings amongst the WP spaces. Your friend, Willow, is a gem and I already love her site and the chance to have a cuppa with new friends and talented folks.
    I actually read this early this morning when I couldn’t sleep and the thought of relaxing in the garden with a cuppa tea was quite relaxing and soothing.
    I am well acquainted with raccoons and am pretty sure that there’s a least one party/night in my corn patch. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my family will not be eating any corn (despite the 5 long rows I planted). Instead of knocking it down, I decided to leave it for the raccoons to enjoy. Perhaps that’s their own version “If we were having coffee.”
    Again, so excited to see you here. I love what you write and appreciate that you always have something thoughtful to say when you come visit. How nice to finally get to come visit you!!


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:36:31

      This is the beauty of wordpress Mama ( can I shorten your name to Mama) I am so pleased that Paul can host a post ( hey that sounds good “Host a Post” here it is great for him to spread his wings!


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 17:51:35

      Michelle! Awesome that you made it over for a cuppa tea.and a chat. Willow and I are so pleased to see you. Have a seat. Yep, it was corn that attracted raccoons to my friend’s farm where he trapped one and the other set it free. Ha! 😀 You mentioned that you weren’t going to be able to use your corn this year – how come?

      It is nice for me to be able to give something back to you and the other talented bloggers who have been keeping me enthralled for so long. I am pleased to be able to share some stories. You guys are my inspiration. Your Highway series was amazing Michelle. I waited eagerly for each post and got to meet some wonderful writers. The only problem is : how are you going to top it? Ha! You’ve set the bar high Mich I’m waiting expectantly. Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a biscuit or some cake? Willow’s garden is beautiful with the flowers and butterflies – but no raccoons yet. It is so nice to sit and chat with everyone.

      Well, I hope all is well with you and yours and your garden. I take it you’ve healed well from your operation. Please drop by again anytime, we so enjoy your company. 😀


  10. Lisa
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:07:05

    I’m glad you said jujubes were candy. I was going to ask. I’ve never heard of them before. I really enjoyed your post. I know I’m happy with a safe place to live with my family, food to eat and clothes on my back. I wear oxygen, but I bet dialysis is worse. It was really interesting hearing your story. I hope this becomes a regular thing.

    (Thanks, Willow ♡)


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:32:55

      This will be a regular spot as long as Paul wants it to be or gets his own blog even it could easily continue! … We are all blessed in our own ways and we all have our own trials but we can all help each other by chatting ! ❤ ❤


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:48:06

      Hi Lisa! Welcome! Wearing oxygen must be a challenge sometimes. You must have a generator at home do you? Or do you use bottles? Dialysis was tough at first but it does get easier as life goes along for a number of reasons. Some are physical such a the fistula they needle becomes less sensitive and easier to needle. Also some are organizational – life falls into place around the treatments. I don’t let treatments govern my life but rather accept them as an importtant part – like sleeping. I can always find a way to do what I want, it just takes a bit more planning. I bet that’s true for you too.

      Jujubes: yes they are little candies that are sometimes called gummies. They come in various flavors .and are very chewy. We can buy them in packages of various sizes or in bulk in larger tubs of about 1/2 kilo. When there’s kids around, the tub size is best.

      Thanks very much for dropping by Lisa. I’ve read your comments on various blogs before and enjoy them. Please drop by again anytime for a chat.


      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:59:21

        This is so much fun! xxxxxxx

      • Lisa
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 15:07:13

        I have a generator and bottles and I am finding ways to do things I want. I’m getting good at wrangling the hose. I have adopted the same mentality as you that it is something in my life to help me get stronger.
        I suppose dialysis would get easier after awhile. I’m certainly fighting off self pity as often as needed. I’m alive, right?
        Thank you so much for sharing. Willow is right, chatting does help and I enjoy your posts as well. 🙂

      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 15:14:44

        🙂 xxxxxxx

      • Paul
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 18:02:37

        Yes, a positive attitude is important and hard to come by. I still have pity parties occassionally Lisa and it’s been about 6 years. Interestingly enough, the most annoying aspect of the dialysis – the thrice weekly 7 hour round trip visits – actually give me the best perspective. Like the young girl in the story, I need to be reminded of what is important . The other day I was a bit down and when I got in the elevator at the hospital a young man joined me. He was a parapalegic, about 25 years old, and steering his electric wheelchair with his chin. He had a really positive attitude and was full of good energy and smiles. I stepped off elevator with a considerably better attitude than I stepped on. It is hard some times to realize just how good we have it.

      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 18:04:46

        well yes that certainly puts it into perspective !

  11. Gibber
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 14:53:38

    This is absolutely great! I’m a fellow Canadian! My mother fought kidney disease, went through dialysis and then had a kidney transplant. I’m sorry that you’re battling that. What kind of dialysis are you on?


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 15:00:24

      hi there Gibber welcome to the party! 🙂


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 18:46:36

      Hey Gibber! Welcome to the garden – your weary soul and have a cuppa – what would you prefer, coffee or tea? You name it and we’ve got it -and there are biscuits and cake too. Yummy! Thanks so much for dropping by. I am waiting for your new site to get up and running. My fellow Canuk – I have been enjoying the soul bending honesty of your blog for a while now and didn’t realize you were Canadian. That’s great! I love the interaction of all the different cultures, it is amazing how similar the problems, challenges and joys of people around the world are. Still having someone like yourself from the same culture feels good too – a shared experience. I had a friend in university who kept arguing that there was no common truth across humanity and I always argued that there was. There was, of course, no way to prove either position. Now, having interacted with people from dozens of countries I am comfortable saying that I KNOW there is a shared truth. And nothing exhibits it better than Willow’s garden here and our sharing of stories over a cuppa. Speaking of which, would you like a refill Gibber?

      I do hemodialysis. I’m glad to hear that your Mom got a transplant. How long has it been and how is she doing? As I’m sure you know, until recently Canada’s transplant efforts were regional. I’m lucky that way because my blood type is the most predominant locally and they offered me a transplant after only a 2 year wait. Sigh. The problem is that I have a small amount of functonality left in one kidney (believe it or not, it was radiation treatment for cancer that zapped my kidneys – not disease or genetics or an accident). Which means I am not on a renal diet and don’t have to be too careful with my fluid intake. A transplant would mean losing that functionality. And transplants are notoriously unpredictable – one guy in Ottawa just had the 35th anniversary of his transplant and is going strong, another has had 3 transplants in 10 years and all have been rejected. The doctors said my functonality would degrade over the years, so I put the transplant on hold to wait and see what happens. If I get a transplant now and it is rejected, then I am left far worse off than I am. Better the devil I know than the devil I don’t – so I do dialysis. Plus, of course there are the anit-rejection drugs and I’ msure you know the issues with those.

      Anyway, I’m doing all the chatting here – not the purpose. Thanks again Gibber for honoring us with your presence. I hope you will continue to grace us with your visits whenever you have the time.


      • willowdot21
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 18:54:40

        Yes visit often! I will wave the flag!!

      • Gibber
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:55:12

        Go Canada! lol
        Although I’m estranged from the parents, I do know that the mother is doing well. Before I was estranged I was there for her battle. She was in complete failure for 6 years. Honestly she did not deserve to have a transplant. (Long story) She started on dialysis at home and it eventually failed so then it was hemo. I’m sorry you’ve battled cancer and I hope that you’re free of it now. Wow what a dilemma with a fine line you have to deal with. I’m glad you don’t have to worry about the diet or fluid intake. I know that was really hard for the mother. So many battles with kidney failure eh? Thank you for the wonderful welcome!

      • willowdot21
        Jul 28, 2014 @ 03:57:26

        🙂 x

  12. Doobster418
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:16:23

    Well, Paul, I’ve learned that you can be rather chatty while hosting a coffee klatch. Everything from learning French to racoons. When we lived in Massachusetts, my wife used to leave cat food for the strays and if she forgot to take it up at night, the racoons would come up on our porch and feast. I would attempt to scare them away, but they were not intimidated. In fact, I think I was more afraid of them than they were of me.
    Anyway, I enjoyed your meandering post, even though it was totally devoid of controversy, which I guess suits a nice time in a garden with coffee, tea, and biscuits.


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:39:51

      Hi Doobster glad you could make it your always welcome. Great story about the Raccoons… I still am not sure I want to meet one! Paul should be by soon I am off to bed so I reckon his day on his side of the world should be beginning. 😉 I am sure if you ask Paul can do controversy.. I know I do. 😀


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 22:01:32

      Haha! Welcome Doob! What do you mean no controversy? I beg to differ : Woman sleeps with racoon; Walrus initiates discussion on meaning of life; Raccoons emigrate to Europe (invasive species); Flying Air Conditioners (Enquirer front page); 16 year olds with learning disabilities as alcoholics (this one is serious); What is happiness to you? (can’t get any more devisive than that – that can go into religion, wealth, family, etc – no end) and so on. Jeez Doob, where are your finger nails that you can’t find the edge on at least one of those topics? Ha! Actually, my mandate was to establish the atmosphere for a coffee and tea break in a garden where discussion was light and varied and everyone felt welcome to join. I’ll save the vitriol for your site – Ha! I need the practice and it is great to see how many have come to visit . I am so happy as I was a bit nervous – first time and all – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Ha! Thanks for the visit Doob, you’re always welcome here so feel free to drop by and see us anytime.


  13. Barry
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:24:01

    Fancy meeting you here! I’ll have a flat white please, preferably a Robert Harris or Avalanche blend if you have them ☺
    Before human settlement, the only land mammals in NZ were bats. Birds took up all the niches usually occupied by mammals. There are a number of introduced mammals that become established here, most of them playing havoc with the native fauna and flora. Raccoons haven’t been introduced and never likely to. Rats, mice, stoats, weasels, hedgehogs, possums, deer and many more pests were introduced in the nineteenth century either deliberately or accidentally.
    We often hear hedgehogs snuffling about shortly after dark and it is cute to watch the parents guide several young ones around the garden. And they do keep a number of garden pests at bay — especially snails and slugs.
    I agree with you that attitude is important when it comes to getting the most out of life. Life can be as enjoyable or as miserable as you choose. Personally I prefer the former.


    • willowdot21
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:34:14

      Hi Barry I got here before Paul as I am up late. I was very interested to read what you had to say about NZ it was news to me and I love to learn. I love hedgehogs too though at a distance as my love does not extend to fleas. I also agree life is what you make it. Keep well and happy, Paul should swing by soon , he is in a different time zone to me. 😉


    • Paul
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 22:19:47

      Hi Barry and welcome! Absolutely we have Robert Harris and Avalanche, so you choose. We keep a supply of regional brands and blends to best serve our customers from the world over. Would you like a chocolate fish to go with that or if you’ve already eaten and aren’t so hungry, perhaps a sprat?
      That is really interesting information about New Zealand’s fauna. I didn’t know that. I wasn’t even aware that there were any land masses without fauna. So neat. Yep, attitude is critical to happiness and success. I find that I have only a short range of control in that area. You know where this is going, as we’ve discussed it extensively – I find that faith in a higher power does it for me : that gives me attitude control (much like a plane’s altitude control). The stronger my faith the deeper the sense of value, belonging, direction, focus, ad infinitum. And I find faith and science complimentary so I am as happy with a scientific breakthrough as I do with a faith breakthrough. They add to each other.
      Well, thanks very much for the visit Barry and I hope you’ll come back soon. I’m looking forward to your next post. We’ll keep the coffee on for you.


  14. pouringmyartout
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:52:15

    Oh… Ottawa… that explains why this is all so cordial and sophisticated… I have no idea what 30 Celsius feels like, but it sounds very Latin… In America, we tend to shoot people wearing hoodies, even pink ones… We have hedgehogs in America??? Our raccoons are very dangerous… I have a funny story about that, but I might as well save it for my own blog. Good job.


  15. Paul
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 06:29:37

    Ha! Welcome Art! Thanks for dropping by. Save it for your own blog? What?What? But I thought you were boycotting words? If I recall correctly the titles of your last three posts were:”Pssssssssssssssssssssssttttttttttttttt…………….” ; “…ooo000ooo…” ; and “I know that last post I did… the one where I did the entire history of the Jewish people and how we ended up with constant warfare and bloodshed in the Gaza Strip while still making it funny was a lot of words to read… so, instead of doing 2 or 3 posts a day, I am not going to do any new posts… until some of you read that last post… I mean, except for this post… which will have absolutely no words in it at all… to save you time… so you can read that other post…” – in reverse order. Hahaha! You might as well sit down here and have a cup of coffee with us, it could be a bit of a wait until your previous post is read Ha! A wordless blogger. Is that an oxymoron? apparently not.It sounds like you could use a rest and a cup of coffee and a visit in a garden with flowers and butterflys. Ahhh, very relaxing, don’t you think?
    30Celcius is about 86 Fahrenheit. And I am not aware of any raccoon attacks here in Canada, but then our raccoons don’t have guns here. I’m sure the NRA (National Rifle Association) has made sure that all raccoons are armed in America. Sheesh. One spelling mistake has caused all these problems – you know that don’t you Art? “The right to bare arms..” was accidently recorded as “The right to bear arms…” and we were off to the races. I even heard the NRA has a new slogan “Guns don’t kill people – Raccoons kill people.” they are such thoughful people.
    If you guys go around shooting everyone wth a pink hoodie I can comfortably predict that your population growth will slow. Ha! Of course, it would also take care of the Evangalists concern about same sex marriages too. Ha!
    So, come on Art, this is a pretty flower garden with tea and cookies and cake and coffee – didn’t you see the sign when you came in? : “All weapons must be surrendered to the guard before enterning- failure to do so will result in execution.” We had an American write it for us. Helps with the comprehension.
    So have another cup of coffee and relax Art – no M-16 totin’ raccoons here – you’re safe. And please feel free to drop by anytime for a chat, you may find it a change of pace. 😀


  16. markbialczak
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 10:13:37

    Thanks, Willow, for having Paul serve as guest barrista while you took a break. Good choice.
    I had two cuppas, Paul. I enjoyed your good conversation.
    I didn’t know you were on dialysis. Sorry for that, my friend. I hope it keeps you feeling well enough to do what keeps you happy in this life of ours.
    And that ties right in with the young girl you met for the chat. She was an eye opener, illustrating again that we must appreciate what we have, smile about our present gifts, want for just a little more, make plans for how we can reach that goal, and put the plan in motion. And, oh, yes, let’s not forget the lesson that it’s OK to reply to strangers, yes, sure, sit right here and tell me about yourself.
    Have a good day, Paul. I hope you find further forums to share your thoughts about life with us, They’re illuminating.


    • willowdot21
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:09:54

      Hi Mark very glad to meet you . Paul will be visiting barrista again this coming Sunday. Take care and maybe you might like to check out my ‘If we were having coffee’ posts… Not that I am being pushy. Xxxxxx


    • Paul
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:31:49

      Welcome Mark, welcome!! I am so pleased that you dropped by to have a cuppa with us. Journalists such as yourself always have the greatest stories to share. Yes, I’m pleased that Willow has given me this opportunity to contribute back to all those who have shared their stories – the laughter, the triumphs, the tears, the pain, the profound moments that go together to make up their lives and loves. And also to provde a safe peaceful environment here where anyone can come and feel like they belong while they have a cuppa, a biscuit, an interested ear. Yes, you are right Mark, a complete life has more than just happiness; it has activities that keep us engaged and moving forward – different for different folks at different times in ther lives.
      Willow has wonderful, creative, thoughtful posts on her blog and I am happy to contribute even a little bit to her site. I thank you for dropping by Mark and I enjoyed having a cupoa with you. Please drop by again when you have a chance, you are welcome here anytime.


  17. rossmurray1
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:01:46

    A fine chat. I feel for the girl, not so much for the raccoon. You’re a patient soul in both regards.


    • willowdot21
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:21:16

      Hi do call again . Paul will drop by soon x


    • Paul
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:47:58

      Ah, another fine jounalist joins us for conversation this morning – welcome Ross! I’ve been called a patient before. No, wait you mean I have patience. Sorry. Ha! Have a cuppa Ross – do you drink tea or coffee? Willow has created a a tiny bit of safety and warmth and camaraderie where a soul can drop by and relax and just listen or share if they choose. A pool of peace in the turbulent river of life; a few moments in a beautiful British garden with the flowers and butterflies and warm sunshine. I am honored that she asked me to contribute. Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to visit whenever you have the time. Coffe, tea and goodies will be waiting.


  18. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:03:56

    I want a hedgehog and a raccoon…and some kind of redonkulous large wild cat…those simple things would give me much joy…
    I would have sworn you were English – but I see you’re Canadian… and I cannot remember if I knew that or not. Maybe i need more coffee. Or some Chai Tea – with cream and honey, if you please.
    Yes, I do think little things do make us happy – we just forget about them too quickly and feel we need other things for ‘happy’ – things that really don’t matter, in the long run…
    Lovely coffee/tea chat.


  19. Elyse
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:53:04

    Hi Paul,
    I saw your link over at Art’s and enjoyed your post. I’ll have a cuppa coffee or tea, whichever is more convenient. I’ll bring some scones as the bakery near here has the best ones.
    I liked your conversation with Karen. I just love this: “You know it really doesn’t take much to be happy does it? I’m happy with a safe place to live, people who will help me, enough food to eat, and some sunshine.” i hope she finds her way.


    • willowdot21
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 13:13:43

      I hope she does too.


    • Paul
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 13:47:08

      Elyse! So pleased to have you drop by. Some yummy scones are always welcome. I’ll pour the coffee while you have a seat. Yes, the conversation with Karen was eye-opening. The fact that it happened so out of the blue makes a big impact as well. She was obviously just thinking out loud and needed someone to listen. Whether she will find her way or not, I’m afraid the long term outlook is not good unless she finds a mentor or someone who will take her under their wing. We have socialized medicine here in Canada, but it only problem solves acute issues.And we are reducing our mental health budget regularly. It is a sad truth, but her chances of living a “normal” life are slim and she will likely end up back on the bottle when her options are terminated and she is left on her own to sink or swim. That wil pecipitate another crisis or acute issue which will be happily dealt with by the system and then she will be released yet again to start the whole cycle all over again. That knowledge made her comment even more poignant. She is 16 and still a ward of the sate, so she’ll likely be OK for a few years yet – but beyond that, not so much. If she sees her 30th birthday, it will be a miracle.Sigh. So sad thinking about that pretty young child who had some happiness at that moment in time and who will so seldom get to experience that again as the years go by. I believe that the best definition of any “civilization” is found in how the most vulnerable of its members are treated. We still have a long way to call oursleves civilized.
      Anyway, that’s the work of the future – right now she is happy and we have a cup of coffee to enjoy in the garden. Thank you for the visit. Your participation is cherished and thank you for the scones. Please drop by again whenever you have a chance Elyse- and while you’re here feel free to explore Willow’s other posts.


  20. Paul
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 13:16:59

    Hi Rutabaga! Welcome to the garden, have a seat and I’ll pour you some coffee or Chai tea with cream and honey. We’re so pleased that you found the time to drop by and chat. I have to confess that I had to look up “redonkulous” Ha!I wish you luck in your quest for a redonkulous cat. The hedgehog and raccoon are easily procured – the redonkulous cat, not so much. Yes happiness can be elusive, can’t it? You do me an honor to mistake me for an Englishman. ( I have to say that sitting here in an English garden – otherwise they throw crumpets and those puppies hurt. Ha! Just kidding!) Thanks so much for dropping by and I hope you can join us here from time to time. Please feel welcome.


  21. Gunmetal Geisha
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 14:09:29

    Finally, I get to see you bog! Congratulations on your guest post. It’s lovely to see you here, and read your words. I saw someone above mention something about spreading your wings — you definitely are a sort of angel, aren’t you?


    • willowdot21
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 14:36:04

      I reckon he just might be . 🙂 x


    • Paul
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 17:53:06

      GG! How wonderful you came to say hello! I assume “bog” is a typo. Of course this could be interpreted as me slogging around in my waders, not sure where solid ground is.Ha! Spreading my wings, huh? More like tipping over the bucket of milk – I’m spreading for sure, just not sure it’s wings! Ha! 😀 After all this time marvelling at your joys and sorrows, your thoughts and adventures, your triumphs and your heatbreak – I finally get to give back a little. Welcome to this tiny bit of heaven in an English garden. Have a seat, let me pour you a cuppa, relax and watch the butterflies in the beautiful flowers. I understand you’ve had a hectic few days at BlogHer14- it must have been amazing being with those thousands of bloggers. And having Aussa as a roommate – Ha! – so brave! I can just imagine the adventures you guys had. You have to let us in on some of the great stories. Thanks for the angel compliment – I’m blushing.

      Thanks again for the visit GG and please drop by again when you have a chance – you’re always welcome here. Please feel free to take a look around at Willow’s work while you’re here – I find it rejuvenating. It’s been great visiting with you GG, we’ll see you again..


  22. Aussa Lorens
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 03:14:30

    Oh I do hope that she continues in her sobriety and is able to get into a good treatment facility. I would think it would be difficult to go in somewhere that you don’t know the language… I wonder what her story is. I am sending her good thoughts!
    And raccoons are so viciously cute– I’m reminded of the scene from Elf 🙂


    • willowdot21
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 05:12:06

      Poor girl not much more than a child where are her patents. I too


    • willowdot21
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 05:17:45

      Sorry cut myself off there I was wondering where her parents are I also hope she recovers and stays clean and sober but without back up it will be hard. Fingers crossed. Xx


    • Paul
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 05:54:40

      Hi Aussa! Thanks for dropping by. It will definitely be difficult for her. We are having a greater problem dealing with the learning challenged here in Canada. Programs are cut regularly and most of the challenged just end up out on the street. It is so sad, because the cost in human life and even the economic cost makes no sense compared to the much lower cost of helping. There are some seriously sad cases out there that just make you want to cry.
      Thanks again for the visit and please feel free to look around.


  23. runningonsober
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 04:00:42

    Ooh thanks for the tea and stories Paul! You’re a natural at this whole blogging thing…great conversational tone, interesting stories, I think you did a fabulous job!
    Really loved the bit about Karen. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a long sobriety for her. It’s the simple stuff that means the most, isn’t it?
    Thanks for leaving the breadcrumb trail at Michelle’s so I could wander over. Have a wonderful day! – Christy


    • willowdot21
      Jul 31, 2014 @ 04:03:53

      Hi yes Paul’s a natural isn’t he xx


    • Paul
      Jul 31, 2014 @ 04:15:37

      Hi Christy! Great to see you here! Willow has kindly asked be to be the barista (I like that) here on Sundays and I’m having a ball. Thanks for the compliment. It’ nice to have a cuppa and discuss what’s happened this week – the garden is a beautiful place to relax. Yes, Karen’s situation is not the best in the long term. Her focus on the right now is definitely the way to go. I’m really pleased that you found the time to drop by; take a look around while you’re here – Willow’s stuff is very interesting. Come back again when you have the time. I’ll be seeing you around the blogosphere. 😀


  24. Exile on Pain Street
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 16:48:54

    Hi Paul. Nice to see you spread your wings a bit. Humm…a biscuit you say? Are you from one of the UK commonwealths? It shows.

    Is your story about Karen true or are you honing your fiction skills? That I can’t tell the difference is a good sign, by the way. Raccoons might be smart but they’re not cute! They’ll scratch your eyes out. At least the ones in New Jersey will. Remember, they’re rodents.


  25. Paul
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 17:37:06

    Hi Mark! Yep, Karen is a real person and those were her words. It surpised me as most around the hospital are of a more negative view – naturally. The biscuit reference came with the setting – we are in a British garden my friend after all. When in Rome… But if you want a cookie, that can be arranged. We got a chocolate fish for our New Zealand visitor so I’m sure we can find you a cookie. Ha! Thanks for the compliment, Willow has kindly supplied the venue for my first guest post. I’m so pleased that you dropped by Mark and thank you for the comment. Feel free to take a gander at Willow’s other posts, her stuff is very well done.


  26. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 03:54:55

    Nice to see you writing something longer than the usual comment box! I feel like I have a clearer picture of the person behind the avatar now – I didn’t even know you were on dialysis, for example.
    Funny how a chance conversation can really give us a new/renewed perspective on life. Sounds like one of those moments you can both be glad you found each other for a chat.
    Great having coffee with you (I liked the biscuits and you know how I feel about tea).


  27. Paul
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 06:51:13

    G’Day Bronwyn! Great to hear from our Aussie in Singapore! Yes, yes, there’s lots of tea, help yourself. Perhaps an ANZAC biscuit with that? You know I had never even heard of those until your post on Australian cuisine. Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes,the short chat with Karen was thought provoking. I find stuff like that is more common when I am open to it – which I try to be but don’t always succeed. I hope to be able to show you a bit more of myself as the weeks go by – there’s plenty of me to go around – Ha! Thanks so much for dropping by Bronwyn and I hope you come to see us again.


  28. barbtaub
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 18:23:04

    Love the tea, and the raccoon guests! As you know, I enjoyed Rocket, the super raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. But I wouldn’t make the mistake of thinking of raccoons as adorable. Up close, those claws are scary. They roam in family groups in our neighborhood in Seattle, and no amount of bungee cords could keep them from the trash cans. There is a group living in the alley of my daughter’s apartment in Upper West Side Manhattan. Their patriarch is named Ben, and nobody messes with him. Here in Glasgow, there are packs of urban foxes roaming around. They’ve been here for generations, and do help to keep down vermin. So the City Council periodically reminds citizens politely to please not shoot them in the parks.
    We do have hedgehogs in our garden, and they are about the cutest things you could imagine. I kind of feel myself going Beatrix Potter whenever I spot one.


  29. Paul
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 20:35:13

    Hey Barb! Welcome to the garden, have a cuppa. Yes, raccoons can be argumentative when challenged. I haven’t seen the movie, but I would guess that the character of raccoons would fit a fighter to a T. I didn’t realize that the west coast had hedgehogs – that’s great. The perfect environment – raccoons and hedgehogs too. Ha! I also didn’t realize that raccoons also inhabited the alleys of NYC. The little masked guys would make the perfect criminals for the city.

    You have foxes too? Neat. Sounds like nature has moved right into your neighborhood.
    Thanks for dropping by Barb and for the great comments. Please come by again to see us and we’ll keep the coffee and tea on for you.Willow posts all week and you’ll find me here every Sunday.


  30. Blog Woman!!!
    Aug 06, 2014 @ 20:39:09

    Hello Paul, and hello Willow, nice to meet you.

    Well Paul, that was a really nice chat. I really liked the chat you had with the young girl about how easy it really is to be happy. I think most of us learn that as we get along in years, eh? It’s nice she’s got that down this early in her life. Maybe the rest of hers will be that much more successful.

    I didn’t realize you were on dialysis. I hope that’s going as well as it can for you. I do understand what it’s like to have to be tied to medical assistance. I don’t talk about that much, mostly because I already know my own story and I think it would bore most people. Although, sometimes when I read about how someone else is dealing with something health-wise, I realize that it’s been helpful in some way.

    Anyway, I am right now, at this very moment, sitting in the best Bluenoser household on the east coast (I hope you noted the correct ‘noser spelling this time 😉 ), watching the fog roll into the cove at a fast clip. We’ve been here for one week now, and even though we still have two more weeks to go, I’m already dreading the idea of leaving. If only I could move my community to this piece of heaven. *sigh*

    Again, nice to have met you Willow, and take good care Paul. Nice talking with you, and thanks for the coffee!


  31. Paul
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 02:37:15

    Hey Robyn! Wow, you’re down home? Yep, you got the spelling right. Brings back memories watching the fog roll in. One of my favorite poems is “Fog” by Carl Sandburg: “The fog comes on little cat feet.” It is a slice of heaven, isn’t it? I miss the East Coast and the ocean – at least I miss the ambience.
    Yes, the dialysis is a large concept to work into life – but like a lot of restraints, accepting it eventually brings a sort of peace. I am lucky to be here where our health care is covered. Typically dialysis costs about $60,000 per year for those not covered.
    Thank you for dropping by Robyn – it is wonderful to see you. I hope you’re enjoying your cuppa and biscuit and your visit to the East. Willow was so kind as to host me here each Sunday, so I hope you’ll drop by again and take a look around at Willow’s posts – I find they touch my heart.
    Have a great vacation!


  32. Blog Woman!!!
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 09:44:18

    Absolutely. Looking forward to reading the both of you. What a great idea, and offer to Paul, Willow. So many people enjoy his humour, thoughtfulness, and wisdom in his comments to our posts. This is really lovely to see all around.


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