Wordless Wednesday Cake.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE; DAY OUT,PAUL’S BACK, MIL,NEWBIE

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If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

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Do join in

Come on  in  it is nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: Okay  let’s  start  with  Mother in Law  known  from here on in as MIL. Well  so far  this  week  we  have had her  over  twice ,  the  hubby  has  been over  to her place  and taken  her  to  the  hospital. Tuesday  MIL starts  her  Chemo. I have  absolutely  no  idea  how  this  will pan  out   but  fingers  crossed.

Today is  really  busy  as  we have  two of  our  son’s, daughter in  law , Newbie and MIL   over  for  dinner! So  it is  all hands  to  the pump  or at  least  the oven!

So  it is  leg of  lamb  for us

and  Salmon  for  the  MIL

If we  were having  coffee:  I would  tell  you it has  been  a quiet  week  because  my  knee is  still playing up. I have  not  done  much  this  week  apart  from  housework, washing  ironing  and  blogging!

Talking  of  bloging  we are into  the  last  week  of  Love Is In Da  Blog…. where on  earth  did  February  go?

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Last  week  this  week

Wednesday  my  friend  L  and  I  did  manage  to  escape  and  go off  to Windsor on  the bus  and  and have a  cup of  coffee  and a  toasted  teacake  and  a long  natter  to  set  the  world  to  rights! Unfortunately  we  could  not  walk  too far  , again because  of  my knee!

OH! Guess  What?

Guess  who is  back  among us ! The  one, the  only  Mr Paul  Curran. I have  not  received a post  from him yet  but  as  soon  as I do it  will be posted up on here!!  Welcome  home Paul  you have been missed!

Cake  anyone…sorry I  am forgetting  my  manners!

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Yum Yum.

I had physio  again  this  week  but  to  no  avail if  anything  my  knee is  feeling  worse. In fact  after  hubby  said  he  thought  I  was  wasting  my  time  and  money  I have  cancelled  my  next  and  all visits  to  the  the physio. I hope  the  wait  to  see  the specialist  is  not too long!

If  we  were having  coffee :   I  would  have  to apologize   now  as I  really must  go now  as I have  so much  to  do  and  so little  time!!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gen’O’s Love  you  all

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If we were having coffee: MIL,MIL and Stuff

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

image

Do join in

Come on  in  it is nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

So, If  we  were having  coffee :  I am not  sure  where  to  start I would  say  I  wish I was in my  pajamas ….. but  I  am  not  like  most  things  lately  I  don’t  get  what I  want. I  get  what is  good  for  me instead, or  even  worse  what  others  think is  good  for me!   Every man/woman  and his  dog  thinks  they  know better  than me. From  wrapping  me in  cotton  wool to  nagging  me  to  death!

If we were having coffee: I would  tell you  that  on  Monday  Hubby  and  I went  off  to  a little  town  about  thirty  miles  away  from  where  we live  just  to  get out  and  have  a break  from  the  stresses  of  Mother in  law   being  ill. We  also  took hubby’s  car  along  to  have it  serviced  at a  specialist  garage  there.

We walked  along  the canal  and looked  at  the  beautiful  cottages  and  Narrow Boats! We  found  the  Parish Church  called  St Lawrence, and  spent  a lovely  hour  looking  around inside  and  finding  out how old  and  steeped in  history  it  was! We  even met  a lady  who  was  also  “Just  visiting” and  she  told  us  she lived in  Devon  now  but had  originally  lived  just  three miles up  the road  from where  we live now! Well  what  are  the  chances  of  that!

Some  photos  of  our day.

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After  more  walking  we  found a lovely  coffee  shop  and  had a  cuppa  and  slice of  cake! We both  had  a  wonderful  time  and  we popped in to  see Mother in  law on our  way  home, she is  still doing  well!! Though  very  concerned  about  her  Lymphoma!

If we were having  coffee : Tuesday  I was  at  the  gym  but  I  had  decided  not  to  go  early  so  I  missed  my  gym buddy! Then  after  that  we  went  over  to  see  Mother in law  ( hereafter  to be  known as  MIL ) . Wednesday L, my  gym buddy  and  great  friend , and I  went  to  our  Pilates  class  which  was hard  work  as  ever  then  we had  coffee  and  a long  catch up! Then  again over  to  check out  MIL.

Thursday  I had  to  go  and  see  a  specialist , I have  been  having  a  lot  of  stomach  troubles  and  I  am  now  being  sick  a lot. I  have  had  all types of  exams and  finally  I  had  an ultrasound  scan  which  showed  that  I  have  a  lot  of  debris  in  my  gallbladder ………. I  was hoping  that  they  might  remove  my  gallbladder  well  after  three minutes  of  prodding  I  was  told  that  the  gallbladder  was  not  bad  enough  to remove……… What?  do  Drs   have  Xray  enabled  fingers …how  did he  know  from  poking and  prodding  me?? Apparently  all  the pain  and  sickness  and  discomfort  is  referred  pain  from my  back!  (  spine  now  curved  after  breaking  back  )…….. Yes  okay   so  I  suppose  I  just  have  to  get  used  to  that  all  too now!  Hey  Ho!   In  the  evening  we had  MIL over  to us  for  dinner .

If we were having  coffee : I would  tell you that on Friday nothing  much  happened , apart  from  washing , ironing   and  cooking. Saturday  core  class and  then over  to  see  MIL with  middle  son!

Today,  Sunday  we Have  MIL  over  for  dinner  again. As  you can  see it has  been a MIL week.

If  we  were having  coffee :  I would  have  to  apologize and  ask  where  my  manners   are  can  I  get  you  more  coffee,  tea, something  to  eat  or  an alcoholic  drink?

Well  Having  finish JuJoJan  organised  by  Linda G Hill  at  Life in  Progress February  has  brought us  Love Is In Da Bog  organised  by  Just fooling  around  with Bee  Imaagine  a whole  week  done  already!

I must  dash  now  loads  to do. Sorry  if I  am not  commenting as  much  but my like  does  mean a lot I promise. I shall be back  to  normal as and when.

If we  were  having  Coffee:  I would  have  to  say  we  are  all  sill  waiting  patiently   for  our  dear  Paul  Curran   to  rejoin us here at  the  coffee  share   but  until he is  well enough  and up  and  running again  we  shall  have  to  bide our  time!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gen’O’s Love  you  all

 

If we were having coffee:Deaths, classes visits

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If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

image

Do join in

Come on  in  it is nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we  were having  coffee : I would  have  to  say  what  a sad  week  this has been  in the  music  and  entertaining  world . Both David Bowie  and Alan Rickman  dying  of cancer  at  the  age of  69yrs with  just a  few  days between  them.

David Bowie  was a huge influence  and icon  to  me in my  youth  and  still was up until his death. His music, clothes, lyrics are  what have coloured  many  decades of  my life. Enough  has been  said  about  him  to  fill several books  so I  shall let his  music  speak  for him!

 

 

He was my hero.

Alan Rickman  a  wonderful   actor  who  went  from  stage  to  screen, Shakespeare to  the  silver screen with ease. Truly,deeply, madly, Die Hard, Harry Potter, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves  to name but  a few!

Truly  he  was  a lovely  man.

If we  were  having  coffee :   I would  offer  you  another  cuppa  or  a  treat  of  some kind  would  you  like  something  stronger  maybe  it  is  very  cold here  today we  even  woke up  to  snow and  the  temperature  is   a very  chilly  2c/ 36 F so  come on  lets  get  nearer  the fire.

What  have  you  been up  to  this  week .  I have  been very  busy  shopping and housework. I have been  to  the new  class of  Pilates  again  and  this  week  my  friend  L  came  with  me  she  found it  very  hard  but  also  excellent   so we  shall both  be  doing  the  course  together. As for  my  core  class on Saturday  …my  that  is  so hard . I think  the two months  plus I was  away  from the gym is taking it’s toll. I am hoping  for improvement  soon!

 

If we were having coffee: Sadly  I  still have  not  got  to see Star Wars yet! I don’t  think  there is  much  chance  of  me seeing it  this week either. Monday  the  men are coming  to  refit one of  our kitchen worktops (  they have  made  a  holy  mess of  the  long run under  the window  and  put  an abysmal joint  by  the sink! Right in  eye line as  you  enter  the kitchen). Also  I have  a scan  at  11am and  so  the  hubby  will have  to  stay home  and  make  sure  all goes  well in  the kitchen. In the  afternoon  hubby  has  to take his  mother  for  a hospital  appointment so I  shall be on  workman supervision  if they  have not finished  the task!  Tuesday is  a possible  but  Wednesday  is Pilates  in  the morning  and  we have  a funeral  to  attend  in the  afternoon. Thursday  we have  an upholsterer   coming  to fix  one  of our  sofas.  I am annoyed  about  this  as we have not had  these  a year  yet  and  the stitching  is  coming apart  on a part of  the sofa  we hardly  ever sit on!! Friday  though I  am looking forward  to as  hubby  and I  are  going  for a  tour of  Parliament  !! WOOHOO ! a  day  in London.

So Star Wars   has  to wait and  goodness only  knows when I  shall get  to  see  The  Danish Woman!

If we were having  coffee:   I would  ask  you  how  your  blogging has been  this  week I  have  been very  busy  as it  is  still January and January means  Just Jot It January. This is  run  by  LindaGHill  it  is  hard  but I  do  enjoy  a challenge!

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Never too late  to join in  here 

If we  were  having  Coffee:  I would  have  to  say  we  are  all  sill  waiting  patiently   for  our  dear  Paul  Curran   to  rejoin us here at  the  coffee  share   but  until he is  well enough  and up  and  running again  we  shall  have  to  bide our  time!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s
Love to you all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we were having coffee: Feeling low

Cosy Coffee

If we  were having coffee:The  weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain, frost  and  cold so  lets  all go inside  and  be  comfy by  the fire.  I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

Do join in

If we were having  coffee: Again  I  will have  to  say  there is  no  post  from  our  beloved  Sunday guest  contributor  Paul Curran. Despite  myself , Mark Bialczak     and  Outlierbabe emailing him there has  been  no  word from him  for  at  least  a fortnight. Lets  all  send him  good vibes  and  hopeful  wishes. All Paul’s  readers  are  welcome  to  join  us !

If we were having  coffee: I offer  you  another  cuppa  and  ask  you  to help yourselves  to  cakes  and  biscuits. I  am  keeping  my  distance  this  week  as  I  have  an awful  cold  and  cough  and I  don’t  want  any  of  you  to  catch  it  so  as much  as I  want  to, no hugs  or  kisses!! I am still struggling  and  today  I  have  nasty  stomach ache.

If we  were having  coffee:I would  tell  you  that  the  kitchen is  progressing  and looking lovely here  are  some  more pictures.

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New Painting

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New Blinds open

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Radiator that matches blinds

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Blinds closed

If we  were having  coffee : I would  have  to  say  that  for  many  reasons  I  am  sad  and  unwell  so I  shall write  you  all  a poem so  as  not  to  say  too much.

If we were having  coffee  what would I say

I tell you  that  I wished  all my  ills  would  fly  away.

Would  that I  could  close my ears  to  all the  harsh words

That  flap around  my  head like  menacing  big black birds.

The  world  has  suddenly  become  dark and  evil

Terrorist bombs, bullets  the  whole  world in  upheaval.

In  every   part of  this  tired, old  and  sad planet

Man is  killing  man, evil spreading, it can’t  get worse, can it?

The one’s  closest  to me, who I depend upon

Turn against  me  as  if I am in  the  wrong.

If we were having  coffee  what would I say

I tell you  that  I wished  all my  ills  would  fly  away.

 

If we were having  coffee :  I would  offer  you another  cuppa  and  some cake? Now that  is  about it  for  this  week. Again  this  week we have seen  more  terror  and  anguish.  So  beware, be safe  and please  stay here  and take  your  ease  and  chat . Thank  you  all  for coming  and I will  see  you all next week! I also hope  that  we  will hear  from Paul  this  week too.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: GET WELL SOON PAUL

Get  well soon  Paul

Hello  everyone  I  am sorry  to  announce  that  out  dear  friend  Paul Curran  is  not  well enough  this  week  to  host  his  own  If  we  were having  Coffee get together. I am sure  you  will join  me  in  wishing  him well  and  a speedy  recovery. Now  all of  you  are  very  welcome  to  join  my  gathering. I cannot offer  you  exciting  and inspirational stories  or  the  funny  antidotes  he  comes up  with, mined  from his  rich  and  amazing life. I can however  off you  coffee cakes and  more  and  a  warm  welcome and  chit chat.

If we  were having coffee:The  weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain, frost  and  cold so  lets  all go inside  and  be  comfy by  the fire. Paul  and I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

Do join in

If we  were having  coffee : I would  tell  you it has  been  a very  busy  week  full of  funeral  and  floral arrangements, my  sister M’s  Funeral is  this  coming  Tuesday. It  has  been a  very  sad  time  full of  lovely  emails  and  phone  calls  from all types  of  people  who’s  lives  she had  touched.

If we  were having  coffee : I  would  ask  you  what I can  get  you  to drink or  eat, and  say  lets  change  the subject. As I  was  saying it has  been  a busy  week  but I  did manage  to  take  Thursday  off  and  go into  the  nearest  town  with  my  friend L , we  a  bus ride, and  a coffee  and  cake  and  a long  chat  setting  the  world  to rights. We also  went  to  the  gym  twice  this  week and on Friday  I  went  back  to my  Pilates  class, I  have  missed  two  weeks  ( since M died  I  just  could not  get on  with  the normal ) Slowly  I  am getting  there!

If we  were having  coffee : It was  Halloween this  weekend  and I  can  tell  you now  that  it is  getting  really  big  business over  here. Suddenly  it is  very  popular  and  everyone was  busy  celebrating it ! Here  are  some  amazing  photos from one  of  my  neighbour’ s   garden!

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Scary in the dark!

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Witches to greet you

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Inviting you to lunch!

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I think they have been waiting a long time

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The warthogs look better fed

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Don’t recommend the service here!

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OH! the witch is off!!

On  an  other  more  serious  note ,  some  of  the  costumes  being  sold  for  children  to  wear  are  extremely  dangerous  and  children  have been seriously  burned. So  there  are  campaigns  for  safer  costumes  that  are  fire  retardant. Read  here  and especially  here  . Not  nice  so  be careful  out  there!

If we  were having  Coffee: I would have  to say  that  I really  have  to  go now  as  today  has been  a mish mash  of looking after  unwell cats, and  my  friend  who is having  problems  with  her  daughter. If  you  remember  I have  written  about  her  problems  and  the hospital  she has been in and out of . All I can do  is  listen  and just  be  there  for them  when I can.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If we were having coffee: Lets all go inside.

Time  to  go inside? 

Welcome  dear  friends I  have  been  remiss  these last  few  weeks  but  I  have lost one of my  beloved  sisters. Unfortunately  her  funeral is  not  to be  held  for over  another  week  and  I  am finding it hard  to  get  back  to normal.

M. liked her coffee  just  as I  did, we  would often put  the  world  to  rights, argue, commiserate, or just sit  in  companionable silence in either  the  kitchen or  the lounge. I may  not  of  seen  her regularly because  she did not live  anywhere near  me but  she was always  there at  the end of  a phone or computer.   I miss her  we all miss her  she leaves a huge hole in our  lives.

If we  were having coffee:The  weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain, frost  and  cold so  lets  all go inside  and  be  comfy by  the fire. Paul  and I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster  do join in.

 

If we  were having  coffee:  I would  have to say  that I know I have not  been  posting  as  often  as I usually   but  there is  so much on my  mind  and happening in  my  life  right now. I have  been making  an  effort  to keep up  with  all  your  posts, please  forgive  me if  I  am not  commenting  as much  as I  usually  do  but  I  am still here  and  checking  you all out.

Well that’s  about  all I have to say  this  week so  lets  go  and  see  what Paul  and his  guests  are up  to. I promise  I  shall get  back  to normal  very  soon, please  just bear  with me.

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee – October 25/2015

Sad

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I’m Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul; I’ll be your barista today. I’m happy to see you have come for a cuppa and a chat. I am delighted to be back at Willow’s serving you, our treasured readers, a cuppa and sweets while we chat. Please come into the garden and make yourself comfortable. Willow fluffed the cushions on the chairs and set the tables in the garden so we can have a cuppa and chat as we soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful plants. She has also brought out the heaters so we can stretch our outside tea time further into the fall. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax amongst the flowers while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

I have spent some extra time in the hospital this week. I have an infection that is related to my dialysis and it is proving difficult to address. We’re currently using intravenous antibiotics and have just added a round of oral antibiotics. The infection is under control but is not disappearing as quickly as the doctors would like. The initial visit entailed spending the night waiting in emergency – which then stretched well into the following day – actually about 3 pm before I got home – that’s a story. The antibiotics cause diarrhoea and so on the way home, I had to get off my handicap bus when he stopped to pick up another passenger. The bus would not wait, of course, so I called for another pickup and explained what had happened. They have a policy that they do not pick up after 2 pm for same day calls as it is their busy period – which left me stranded at a mall many miles from home. @#$%^&*! I ended up taking a taxi home. Oh well – insult to injury.

So, I’m limping around feeling bad for myself when my friend John (name changed) drops by to visit. He has picked up some TP and bread for me as I can’t get out – he is a kind soul and always asks if I need anything when he is out. He sits down with a serious face and tells me that he has just come from a meeting with his employer and they are putting him on medical leave. He has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. It is early days yet as the diagnosis just came Friday so much testing has yet to be done. He has honoured me by explaining that he hasn’t told family yet. I have had and beaten colon cancer and we talked about the emotions involved and options available.

I explained to him that I have been told that cancer treatment is very personal – everyone reacts differently. For me, the treatment was completely pain free. It was the side effects that really knocked me for a loop. There are days when I would not go through it again, and days when I would. Each time I consider it I come up with a different answer. My best advice to him was to take it one day at a time by asking himself:”Do I have what I need to get through today?” When the answer is yes, then proceed. In the end it is actually amazing how little we really need.

Suitcases and food

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? Anyway, we spent some time discussing this and John went to leave. He went out my back door which leads to a small private deck and a set of stairs down to the parking lot. Sitting on the deck were a suitcase, boxes and plastic bags. John asked if they were mine. I told him they were not, that I was surprised, and asked if they were there when he came in. He said they were. We checked out the suitcases and boxes and they were all canned food and pasta and pots and pans and cleaning supplies – almost all new. Even the suitcase looked new.

We carted the boxes, bags and suitcase inside. There were no personal clothes or goods with the shipment. Mysteriously, there was one small transparent clamshell fresh food container that had been scrubbed so clean as to appear brand new. Written on the tag was “”Deluxe Fruit Salad – Large” We checked through everything and found canned goods, cereal, some towels, pasts and the like. It’s all piled neatly on my floor now except for a big can of Puritan Beans and Wieners, a package of spaghetti and the mysterious clam shell – which are sitting here on my desk as I write.

After some discussion, John and I have come to the conclusion that one of our mutual friends – Frank – must have left the goods there. Frank is as mysterious as the clam shell. He has a room here in our complex but says he spends time at a rehab centre sometimes in Kingston – about a 2 ½ hour drive from here. One day he showed up at my door with the most delicious homemade soup that I have ever tasted – soup he made himself. Another day he dropped off two seemingly random used books – no explanation other than he thought I might like them. He asked me to help him one day with his computer – a used computer he had gotten as a gift. It worked fine but wouldn’t hook to the internet – we have cable here. I was able to determine that the problem was in the wiring in the wall, not the computer and he had the manager get it fixed. It was about that time that he started dropping off things.

Anyway, John went and peeked into Frank’s window and although the bed and dresser were there, all personal goods appeared gone. I’m not exactly sure what to do with all of Frank’s stuff. There are a few items, like partial boxes of cereal that I will have to eat. I suppose I’ll wait for a few weeks to see if Frank comes back.

On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and enjoy the garden.  Sweets anyone? I hope you didn’t mind the story today, and that you found it a bit more positive than last week’s story. Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all happy that Willow is back and honoured that you all dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

Sergeant Erica Hay bought food and coffee for the homeless man (Picture: TiAnna Greene)

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If We Were Having Coffee – October 18/2015 Guest Post

Pay It Forward

Paul Your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. First of all I would like to offer my condolences and prayers to Willow and her family at the passing of her sister this week.My name is Paul; I’ll be your barista today. I’m happy to see you have come for a cuppa and a chat. I am delighted to be back at Willow’s serving you, our treasured readers, a cuppa and sweets while we chat. Please come into the garden and make yourself comfortable. Willow fluffed the cushions on the chairs and set the tables in the garden so we can have a cuppa and chat as we soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful plants. She has also brought out the heaters so we can stretch our outside tea time further into the fall. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax amongst the flowers while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been? My week was pretty rough but improving, thank you. Last week I told a story here of the last time I was in the terminal where I spent so many years coming and going. I found it to be a sort of fun piece, however from the readers’ reactions it came across as a rough story of screw or be screwed. To a certain extent that is true and it is one of the reasons why I eventually got out of long-haul trucking – I dislike myself when I am always anticipating the worst of people, even though that is what is takes to succeed. That said, there have been some times when I felt good about the role I played in helping people. I’d like to tell such a story here today, with your permission, of course. Perhaps it will help balance the negativity of last week’s story.

This happened many years later when I was driving regional for a gas tanker company, hauling Super-B’s as pictured above. It was a good job but because people drove most on holidays – we always had to work. The pay was excellent – double time and a half on holidays – and the heaviest thing we lifted was one end of a hose. Besides the Super B’s were fun to drive at 80 feet long, 30 wheels on the ground, two trailers, weighing 140,000 pounds when loaded- that’s about the weight of two small houses. We could legally haul about 58,000 liters of gas (a little over 15,000 US gallons – or if you used 10 gallons a week, enough for 28 years). It was a scorching hot 100 degrees F at 7 pm when I finished loading at Suncor’s distribution center in Toronto and pulled out of the loading racks. The sun was just starting to lower itself in the sky on this July 1 Canada Day weekend. Standing in the air conditioned driver’s room signing my bills of lading fresh off the printer, I contemplated my log hours. I could see the heat waves rolling off the tanker outside the window, and unseen, the 58,000 liters of gas inside. I had lots of fuel aboard so I didn’t have to stop for that on the way to Ottawa but I would need coffee and cigarettes and a sandwich about the half way mark – perhaps Kingston. The service plaza off the 401 just before Kingston had all that and was easy to access with the truck.

I swung up into the cab and noticed the A/C was starting to cool the air after being parked for an hour loading. Updating my log book, filling out paperwork and filing load sheets, I then pulled to the exit gate and waited for it to open, spitting my truck and me out onto the mean city streets. Winding the truck through the street lights and intersections, I eventually turned onto the Eastbound 401 highway entrance ramp. Accelerating up to the speed limit, I engaged the cruise control and relaxed in the air ride captain’s chair. The next time I slowed would be to stop for a break and a coffee at the Kingston service plaza three hours from now. The huge Super B was at its best in this world – moving 100,000pounds of gas along at 60 mph smoothly and steadily. Inertia was its best friend. I was along for the ride, just making sure nothing got in the truck’s way. The Jake Brake- an engine brake on large diesels- was even keyed into the cruise, making sure that the weight didn’t push the speed too high running off the hills.

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet or two? So, three hours later the service plaza exit signs came into sight in the dark. 10:15 pm now and traffic was horrendous. Even out here on the big road (trucker slang for multi-lane divided highways) all three eastbound lanes were solid with traffic –although it was still moving at speed. The service plaza had a separate area for tractor-trailers in the rear and I took the ramp leading me down. There were only a handful of trucks parked in an area that could easily accommodate 100 tractor-trailers- it being a long holiday weekend. As I glanced over at the car fueling area, it looked unusual – taped off with barricades and lines of cars. Snapping on the parking brakes, I left the truck running for the A/C and stepped out, locking it up behind me. The air was still sizzling at over 90 F as I hurried to the convenience store in the center block of the fuel islands. Here there were sandwiches to go and cigarettes and drinks. A crowd surrounded the cashiers and I could hear loud and angry voices. Keeping one ear peeled, I poured myself a large coffee and picked up two wrapped chicken sandwiches to go and made my way to the cashier for smokes and to pay. One cash was open and running through non-gas purchases. I could hear the conversations at the other cashes: “I’m sorry but our computers are down and we can’t pump any gas.” Angrily: “What the hell am I supposed to do with no gas?!” “I’m sorry sir, we are having them fixed as fast as possible but it may be tomorrow before we can pump any gas.” “I don’t have enough to get into Kingston, what the hell do you expect me to do?!” Yikes, the busiest day of the year on Canada’s busiest highway on a holiday and their fuel pumps were down? Wow, sure was glad that I wasn’t that station manager. I glanced out the store windows and realized there were literally hundreds of cars outside waiting. Well, time for me to skedaddle.

As I started for the door, my attention was caught by a young woman who had pushed her way through to the front of the crowd. I paused for a minute to see what she was going to say and after she had been told there was no gas she asked if any Kingston stations could bring some out to her as she was almost out. The manager told her they had tried that earlier but because it was a holiday none of the in-town stations could spare anyone to come out. She looked crushed and tears welled in her eyes. She asked what she should do and the manager just shrugged – the crowd ignored her. She turned dejectedly with wet cheeks and walked slowly out the door. No one paid her any attention and my heart went out to her, so I followed at a discrete distance to see if she was with anyone. Had she been with a group or even another person, I would just go about my business. If she was alone, I didn’t know what I was going to do but I couldn’t leave her stranded here in this crowd all by herself. She opened the door on a compact older Toyota that was clean but had obviously seen some years of life. Once I saw she had no one to help her, I approached.

“Hi there. I’m Paul. I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation in the store. You’re short of gas?” Not sure what to make of this she replied simply: “Yes, I’m almost out and I don’t have enough to get into Kingston (about 20 miles) to get more.” As she spoke she was wringing her hands with nervousness. “I can give you enough gas so you can get into the city for more.” I had no idea I was going to say that until it came out of my mouth – apparently I had a plan but had not informed myself. Her eyes lit up and she said loudly with excitement: “You can?” “Shhh! It would not be good if anyone overhears us.” “Oh, sorry,” she whispered. Ha! I hadn’t really meant to come across as so conspiratorial, just for her to keep her voice down. “Look there is an emergency cross over into the truck parking right there,” as I pointed, “Take that and you’ll see a tanker truck parked halfway down. Pull up in front of the truck so the headlights are pointing at the side of your car with the fuel tank. I’ll meet you there.”

The truck area was not well lit and I found myself thinking how brave she was to park in the dark where there was little help. By the time I had walked over she had parked as requested and I unlocked the idling truck, turning on the headlights. There were a few other trucks between us and the car area, so we were not visible to anyone else in the service plaza – thank God. I unscrewed her gas cap and looked inside with my flashlight – sure enough there was a spring loaded safety flap inside the neck of the fill pipe. I told her to stay beside her car while I opened the truck valve compartment and the storage compartment. I pulled out a new large red safety cone that had a hole in the small end – it would do for a funnel.. Putting on gloves I grabbed one of the 5 gallon steel drip pails we used under the valves when delivering, and filled it ¾ with high test gas – if I was going to give away gas, it might as well be the best. That would give her about 4 gallons of gas, plenty to get to town. Bringing the pail, a ground strap, a drip cloth, a new pair of gloves and the safety cone, I walked over to her car. I had also grabbed a big wire tie we used to secure connections when pumping. I stuck the wire tie in the tank neck to hold the safety open, placed the drip cloth on the ground and set the pail down while I clipped the ground strap (to stop any static sparks from igniting the gas when pouring it) to her car and the pail. Getting her to put on the gloves, I instructed her to hold the safety cone like a funnel, and I slowly poured the gas into her car. When we were done, we checked her gas gauge, which now showed ¼ full, removed the wire tie, replaced her gas cap, wiped the few drops from her car with the drip cloth and threw the equipment back into my storage compartment. She was quite amazed and asked how much she owed me. I told her it was free – I just asked that in the future if she found someone who could use help and she felt safe helping them that I would ask her to pay it forward. She commented that I could make a fortune here at this service plaza tonight – I told her to keep quiet, I could just envision a mob. And so we parted ways and I continued on to Ottawa not ever even having known her name or where she was going. As I drove I worried. Basically, I had stolen product from our customer – the gas was not mine to give away. Regardless of the reason or use, it was still stealing and I do not like that. Pondering this for the remaining three hour drive to Ottawa, I came up with a solution. When I pulled into the station to which I was delivering, it was 1:30 am and the site was open but with no customers. I grabbed the drip pail and ground strap and went over to the high test pump. I put the same amount of fuel into the pail from a pump and then went inside the station. I explained to the manager what I had done and told him I wanted to pay for the gas with my debit card, which I did, keeping the receipt. Then I took the pail of gas back over to the station’s fill pipes where I was delivering their gas, and again using the safety cone as a funnel, poured the gas I had paid for back into their storage tank. This effectively paid for the gas I had given the young woman in Kingston. I felt much better.

Finishing up the delivery I returned to the terminal and closed off my shift. After the holiday I was off for three days and I dropped by the office to see terminal manager. I explained what had happened and that I couldn’t leave the young woman stranded and how I had paid for the gas I had given her in the parking lot. I showed him the receipt. My biggest concern was that someone may have seen us and thought I was stealing gas and giving it to friends. I assured my boss that was not the case. It was the only time I had ever done this. He just nodded – I could tell he was split in that it was dangerous to take a few gallons from a tanker (it is called splash loading and is illegal here – because the gas coming from the valve splashes into the gas already in the pail and creates static and potentially an explosion). On the other hand he had a young wife and sisters who were often getting into problems like running out of gas and he appreciated the fact that I helped such a person. He just thanked me for telling him and left it at that –no official positive reinforcement for stealing and breaking the rules but no remonstration for stealing and breaking the rules either. It was as I expected, which was fine.

Epilogue: Two months later I received a letter in my company mail – it congratulated me on being chosen the Sunoco driver of the month and said I could pickup my leather jacket and gift certificates from the manager. No reason was ever given for my selection. On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and enjoy the garden. Sweets anyone? I hope you didn’t mind the story today, and that you found it a bit more positive than last week’s story. Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all happy that Willow is back and honored that you all dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If we were having Coffee : Gardens, News, families

Hello  everyone  welcome  to  the garden  we have a marquee  and  heaters, all the garden  furniture  has  been washed  and  I have put out cushions for your  comfort.

Well what  do  you  think  shall  we  chance  it . Now  as  always  we have  tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having  Coffee: I would ask  you what  has been going on in your world this week, has  anything  deeply affected  you, have  you need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry  on or  just  needed someone  to make  you laugh! If  yes  feel free to talk it out  here  with us. We will all help if  we can.

Lets  join  everyone  here  and  all the  other  “IF  WE  WERE  HAVING  COFFEES”

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster  

If we were having  coffee: I would  tell  you  just  how  much I  would like  to  pretend  that I have  all  the  time in  world  this  week  but  sadly  my  time is  very  clipped  today. We have  the  mother in  law  over  most  Sundays…. for  some  reason  neither  of  the husbands two  siblings seem  to  see fit  to  have  her  over, so  most  Sundays, outings  and Holidays  (  as our  American  friends  say, to  me  Christmas,Easter  and bank holidays  fall to us. ) Now  we  don’t  mind  but it  does  get  a  little  stressful  when  there are  other things  on  the cards  that  need  to be organized!….. Enough  I  am not  moaning   just  stating  facts!

If we were having  coffee:  I  would  tell  you  it has been a  strange  week  as I  have been under  the  weather and  spent  two  days in  bed  with stomach  ache. So it has  not been a normal  week  as I was unable  to get out and  do  most of  the usual  things  that  make  my  week  normal. I like  normal  it  makes  me  feel  safe  anything  else tends  to  upset  my  equilibrium!

Now  I  have  found  a very interesting   new  blog, on  first sight  it  appears  to be  a  cookery  blog  but  as  the posts  started  coming  to my  email I discovered  that  it is  also about  a  very  brave  and  courageous mother of  nine children’s account  of her  life  as a  foreigner living  and  married  to a  man in Saudi, she  has amazed  and inspired  me, also  I love  her  recipes. Do  pop  over  and  check out  at  Lynz real cooking. here  is  one of  her  triumphs  …go on  let’s  all have  a piece!

  If we  were having  coffee : I would  ask  what  are  the  big  things  that  affected  you  in the  news  this  week. As I said  I have been  out of  it  most of  the week  but  what  has seeped  through  to me is  that  the Number  of  Muslim  women  who  are taking off  for  Syria  to join isis  from this  country,the  UK , is  growing . Well okay  if  these women  feel  they  need  to  dessert  the life  they have  grown up  with over here and  want  to give up  every last  vestige  of  freedom then fine  they make  their own beds  let  them lie in them. But   they are  taking  children  with  them, some very young  children  too. Apparently  these  women are  doing  this  mad  exodus  without  their husbands  or  families knowing ?

It  started  with  young  men  being  radicalized by youtube  and  social media, then it  was young  girls  and  now  women  with  children  are  up  and  fleeing  into  what I can  only  see  as the unknown. Well if  young  men , girls  and  women  want  to leave  here  and  head out  to  join isis  so be it. Now  to my mind  their  actions  do not  come  without  consequences  if  they  go  they  can never return.   Let us  face it  how  could  they  ever  be trusted  not to turn against us? That  said  it is not  fair of  them to take  their children  with them, what  mother  can willing  take  their  children into a war  zone,  a place  where  women  are  treated  a cheap chattels  and  worth less  than  cattle. It pains  me  to say  this   but it  is  wrong . Read  here

Right  If  we were having coffee : Can I  get  you  a top up or  perhaps  you would like  something  stronger.

Now  the moment  you all adore….. Garden  time!!

IMG_20150830_140503124 [183011]

Tomato crop coming on

IMG_20150830_140516748 [183012]

and big

IMG_20150830_140649590 [182516]

Autumn colours

IMG_20150830_140729061 [182513]

Tidied up

IMG_20150830_140747926 [182514]

White rose rising

IMG_20150830_140754921 [182515]

Last splash of Summer

If  we were having coffee : I would  ask  if  I  can fill up  your  cup, or  glass  or  get  you anything  else  to  eat  it is  all  calorie  free!

Let us  go  and Join Paul and the  gang  they  are  all over  at  Mark Bialczak  this  week and  see  what  they are  all discussing  ! It has  been lovely  as always  to have  you all here  and  I  hope,  as does  Paul  that  you will all join us here again  next  week.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

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Lance Greenfield - Night Writer

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Books, Poems, Stories...and a cup of coffee, or two!

Tent Stories

The untold tales of paths trodden, fears conquered and battles won.

Jemima Pett

Writing and reviews with an environmental, science fiction, and fantasy touch

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

Marian Wood

Aspiring Author and Poet

Ritu Bhathal

Author, Poet, Storyteller

besonian

musings on life, love, people, why we're here and where we're going

Author Steve Boseley - Half a Loaf of Fiction

Horror and Dark Fiction, and assorted other topics

Ben Naga

Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. "Laissez-moi vous raconter ma vraie histoire."

A Unique Title For Me

Hoping to make the world more beautiful

Looking For The Light

Keep Moving Forward

M J Mallon YA/Paranormal Author

Kyrosmagica Publishing - The Magical Home of Books, Writing and Inspiration

Jane Dougherty Writes

About fantastical places and other stuff

chuffincat

By popular demand.

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth, but there are facts.

Thru Violet's Lentz

My view, tho' somewhat askew...

The Sound of One Hand Typing

Music, Musings, Memoir, and Madness

Savoring Sixty and Beyond

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

poetry, writings & rants; hope in the margins

SaylingAway

Shorts, Novels, and Other Things

J-Dubs Grin and Bear It

As Always, More to Come

Joy Lennick

Writing and Reading

The Swan Song

Words and Words are all I have!

The Silent Eye

A Modern Mystery School

TanGental

Writing, the Universe and whatever occurs to me

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

Just muddling through life

The ups and downs of a working mum

ThoughtsnLifeBlog

Our Thoughts Influence Our Life.

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

Roberta Writes

How you see life depends on how you look at things

The Showers of Blessings

Giving and Receiving Blessings

TheFeatheredSleep

Tigers not daughters