Daily Quote: January 21, 2021

We are now on the threshold of a newer movement, with a newer hope and a new inspiration.

~ James Larkin (Irish – Activist / January 21, 1875 – January 30, 1947)

Holidays and Celebrations:


Porte Musings:

The day after the Inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America. The speeches and ceremonies viewed around the world were very inspiring. Now back to work.

I’d like to send a virtual hug to all of my family, friends and followers on National Hug Day. Be certain to hug the ones you live with everyday. I used to tell my sons that hugging their Mother daily was proven to make boys grow taller. Recently I’ve read that hugging releases the hormone oxytocin, the love hormone, also associated with growth and good heart health. For this hormone to be released you have to hug for at least 20 seconds.

Red Squirrel foraging at St Clair Conservation Area

Squirrel Appreciation Day was made for my middle son, who has always loved squirrels. Every year his wife gives him another squirrel Christmas Tree decoration. The local news highlighted how COVID-19 lockdowns are affecting the squirrels. With food sources being reduced the squirrels are becoming braver and approaching strangers for a hand-out. Please don’t feed them bread, it tends to ball up in their stomachs and not digest well. Instead get some unsalted peanuts to hand out to these little guys. Local wildlife rescue centres actually advise not to feed them, because we are making them dependent on these handouts, changing their natural behaviours and creating nuisance animals.

Daily Quote: January 17, 2021

Green is the prime color of the world,
and that from which its loveliness arises.

~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca (Spanish – Dramatist / January 17, 1600 – May 25, 1681)

Holidays and Celebrations:


Porte Musings:

Green may be the prime colour of the world, but it is also the colour of Florida. I took the picture for today’s quote in March 2016 in Lettuce Park, Tampa Florida. Florida has been said to be the state of a thousand shades of green. Quiet swamps with danger always present in the still waters. Luckily alligators tend to be sluggish in the winter months and don’t eat until the overnight temperatures reach 60F for about a week. But I still didn’t take Rickie with me for my walks, just in cast one of the alligators thought he was coming for lunch. I always took a walking stick to keep between me and the water. Apparently alligators are very near sighted and at Busch Gardens they said a walking stick is often enough to keep them away.

Benjamin Franklin Day is set aside to celebrate one of the Founding Fathers of the the USA. He was a very industrious person, printer, statesman, scientist and inventor. Coming from a family of modest means and being the embodiment of the American Dream: Anyone can be anything if they work hard enough. It’s amazing to see the new staff and high ranking positions being selected by President Elect, Joe Biden. Many of his introductions for the leading roles include determined people that have overcome overwhelming obstacles to achieve greatness supporting and promoting the American Dream.

The third Sunday of January is World Religion Day. So attend a worship of your choice on line. Don’t forget to support them with your donations during the Pandemic. Pray for peace and the end of this pandemic.

Today is also Popeye Day. So be sure to eat your spinach. Toot Toot.

COVID-19 has had a significant effect on the housing market in Canada. Prices continue to rise and people are paying over the asking price to secure new homes as the “STAY AT HOME” orders are still in effect. My stepson, anxious to have a new home for his new family, sold his 3 apartment live-in residence and hasn’t been able to find a new place prior to the closing date. So he has put his furniture into storage and will be living with us until they can find a suitable housing replacement. Being a trucker, he is only home about 2 days every other week, so the task of securing a new residence is even more complicated.

One of the things I hadn’t considered when he asked to live with us was his guns. I was surprised when he walked in with all of his huge guns (legally licensed in Ontario) and advised me that if the police or RCMP show up at the door I will have to give them access to see that the guns are properly stored. My father always had a gun for hunting in the house when I was growing up, but that was before gun control. I quickly asked that my stepson invest in a lock for his bedroom door to ensure the grandkids couldn’t accidently wander in and start playing with them. Even though the guns are all properly trigger locked, I will feel much better if the room is also locked. It also ensures that no one will be in his room when he isn’t home. Hopefully this is a temporary situation, but at the same time, without having to pay for a room he can save more money to put down on his new home.

Daily Quote: January 14, 2021

Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame.
When you put four edges around some facts,
you change those facts.

~ Garry Winogrand (American – PhotographerJanuary 14, 1928 – March 19, 1984)

Holidays and Celebrations:


Porte Musings:

Happy New Year to all my Orthodox friends.

I’m not certain if I agree with Garry Winogrand on this quote. I don’t think you change the facts, but you can change the perception of the story illustrated by the photo. So for example, this picture is of a family walking near Pincombe Mill Pond and feeding the geese/ducks. The reason it caught my eye was the contrast of the orange hats against the foggy background. You can take it at face value, or you can add analogies and a story line. Such as the hats represent hope bright and radiant; the family is the isolated group with stronger inner bonds; and they are reaching out (feeding) to change their surroundings with nurturing and caring; during a time of extreme hopelessness (pandemic/fog). So it is the importance of the story telling that can change how a photograph is perceived. The facts didn’t change, just how they are interpreted/presented.

The celebration of International Kite Day is better in Southern Climates than those of Canada. Much better on the beaches in Tampa, Florida or on Padre Island, Texas. I usually go out to fly kites on Easter Monday. My one diabetic sister-in-law used to give kites instead of candy at Easter, so I try to forward her tradition in her absence.

Medical advances are always changing the course of history, but probably none has had a bigger impact than the Caesarean Section. It has saved so many women and children from death during childbirth. Unfortunately it has also been used in recent times to guarantee a certain date for future birthdays and so that births occur on schedule, so staff can get back to more important things and free up the facilities for the next in line. The rates of Caesarean births has climbed over the years. When I had my children in the 1980’s (really dating myself) there was a huge movement to go natural (vaginal births without medications). Recovery is much faster without surgical intervention. I was lucky enough and healthy enough to have all 3 of my 9 pound sons naturally. Prenatal classes were attended and breathing techniques taught. But if my babies had been in any danger I would have gone under the knife and had a caesarean section without a second’s hesitation. That’s where mid-wives and doulas play such an important role guiding the mother through the experience of childbirth and ensuring the mother’s wishes are followed.

And not to be forgotten the Feast of the Ass. So keep your little asses safe at home during the pandemic. (sorry can’t pass up on the Little Ass jokes)

Daily Quote: December 29, 2020

Good laws make it easier to do right and harder to do wrong.

~ William E. Gladstone (British – Leader / December 29, 1809 – May 19, 1898)

Holidays and Celebrations:


*As the end of 2020 is getting closer it’s time to review the year and finish our 2020 goals. Since I’ve been retired I’ve made a habit of not making any goals for the next year, but I think I’ll review that habit and try to make some goals for 2021. Some should be the SMART ones (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time) and some should be just general or yet to be defined. My financial one always is to have less debt than the year before. I’ve managed to achieve that one this year due to travel being restricted by COVID-19. I’ve stayed in my budget for gift giving and paid all my bills on time. Now to continue my financial goals for 2021. I always ensure that I go into the new year without any bills outstanding or due. It’s my own superstition that if I start the year not owing, I’ll end the year not owing. It’s a SMART goal and a self-fulfilling prophecy that I hope to continue every year.

Daily Quote: October 10, 2020

From your parents you learn love and laughter
and how to put one foot before the other.
But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.

~ Helen Hayes (American – Actress / October 10, 1900 – March 17, 1993)

Holidays and Celebrations:

World Mental Health Day

World Migratory Bird Day


What better way to celebrate World Mental Health and World Migratory Bird Day than a visit to Point Pelee National Park.

10.10.2020 is the date chosen by my nephew and his fiancée for their wedding. The COVID-19 pandemic second wave is producing higher numbers than seen in the first wave. The good thing is the death rate is much lower this time around.

Strict restrictions are being imposed by the Ontario Government as medical experts recommend we don’t spend Thanksgiving with anyone outside of our immediate household. Luckily the restrictions for weddings doesn’t come into effect until October 13, 2020. Weddings at organized facilities can occur. So their wedding service will have 150 people in a building designed for 500 occupants. The meal and reception will be limited to 50 people.

In preparation for the big day the Groom and his Groomsmen had a barber party where a private barber came to their house to trim beards and hair. Luckily they are in the same “inner circle of 10”. What an amazing idea. Add in a photographer and you get some amazing memories captured.

Daily Quote: October 5, 2020

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but tomorrow is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present.

~ Bil Keane (American – Cartoonist October 5, 1922 – November 8, 2011)

Holidays and Celebrations:

World Teachers’ Day

World Habitat Day


Rain, rain go away, little Debbie wants to play.

It was raining on Friday when my sister and I headed off to Point Pelee National Park for a day trip. Luckily there was no rain at Point Pelee, so we were able to walk out to the southern most point of Canada. It was very windy and quite cool, but the sun broke through the clouds. We were able to walk within less than 10′ of these little birds who were too busy looking for food to bother with us. I think they are 2 different species: a White Rumped Sandpiper and a Sanderling (the white one).

Daily Quote: September 15, 2020

If you focus on the things you can’t do, you’ll destroy yourself.
Just remember everything you can do.
~ Giles Duley (British – Photographer Born: September 15, 1971)


Holidays and Celebrations: September 15

International Day of Democracy

Day of Our Lady of Sorrows (Deň Panny Márie Bolestnej) – Slovakia


Focus on what you can do.  During COVID-19 restrictions we’ve been isolated from friends and family.  Churches have taken to the Internet with ZOOM and Facebook services.  More people are using Messenger to see and talk with their loved ones.  A second wave is predicted and perhaps starting as the USA-Canada border remains closed.  So as Canadian Snowbirds heading towards the fall the leaves are changing colour; we may not be able to travel South to the USA and our usual Winter sunshine.  But we can stay and watch the changing seasons at home with our family.  Perhaps even enjoy the isolation that the blanket of snow will provide in the winter and cuddle a little closer to keep warm.

Daily Quote: September 14, 2020

I still forgive him, because by doing what he did, he made it famous.
~ Alberto Korda (Cuban – Photographer September 14, 1928 – May 25, 2001)


Holidays and Celebrations:

Live Creative Day – USA

National Cream Filled Donut Day – USA


Our 2011 Cuba Vacation seems like another lifetime away.  We went on the Havana Walking Tour with my sister, her husband, my son and his girl friend.  Now my brother-in-law has passed, my daughter-in-law has separated from my son and we’ve been retired for almost 8 years.  So if live works in 7 year cycles, it was another lifetime.

Eat a Cream filled Donut, do something creative and enjoy the day.

Daily Quote: September 3, 2020

What has made this nation great?
Not its heroes but its households.

Sarah Orne Jewett (American – Author September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909)

Holidays and Special Occasions:
September 3

Skyscraper Day


Skyscrappers may rise high to the sky, but most of us prefer to live in single family homes with enough yard to grow flowers and tomatoes.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has made people re-evaluate where they live. I watched a news item saying there is a new trend for young people to move back to the deserted areas, to buy “cheap old homes” and renovate. I’ve never understood why people live in ghettos for generations, when there are beautiful countryside homes rotting due to neglect and under-use.

Daily Quote: August 28, 2020

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(German – Poet August 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832)


Holidays and Celebrations on
August 28:

National Bow Tie Day

National Grandfather’s Day 
(Día del Abuelo) – Mexico


During the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve spent more time at home. Many people gardened for the first time. Others decided to do home renovations or learn a new skill. Some of us cooked more…

Return to school has now been delayed for another week by the Thames Valley District School Board, while preparations are being made for a safe return. Criticism of others for their choices has never been greater. Many think children should just be kept at home and home schooled to keep them safe. Some don’t have the ability or knowledge to teach their children at home and want them to go to school. Some can’t afford to stay home with their children as debt loads have been increasing and bills need to be paid.

Our neighbours to the south continue to see horrific demonstrations due to injustices against blacks. The latest and one of the most horrific was a man being shot in the back 7 times while in police custody. Everyone is looking for a solution. How do we eliminate racism?