Story Cube Challenge No 5 – Looney Tunes due March 18, 2018

Story Cube Challenge No 5 – Looney Tunes due March 18, 2018

Story Cube Dice LOONEY TUNES for Story No 5 due Mar18 2018

The Acme Crate sitting on my porch was stenciled just like the one on the Road Runner cartoons.  A big wooden box nailed around the statue of Marvin the Martian I ordered off the internet 3 weeks ago. I couldn’t wait to get it inside and pry it open with my cat’s claw.

Reaching for the front door I  heard a slimy squishing sound as I stepped into what looks like contact cement.  The can, knocked over by my cat while chasing after a piece of Swiss cheese as if it were a mouse, lay on its side empty and I was “glued” to the spot.  Thinking quickly, before the glue had time to set; I grabbed the plunger resting against the porch railing and pushed it against the door with all my might until it grabbed hold of the flat wooden surface.  Now reversing my efforts I pulled, and pulled hard.  As expected the plunger released its grip with such force I broke free of the glue, windmilled backwards beyond the top step and fell flat on my back on the sidewalk.  Dazed I watch stars dance above my head.

I guess this settles the ongoing argument I had with my roommate that weird things do happen when an Acme Crate is involved.

Visit A ‘lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge March 18 2018

Cheryle March 18 2018


STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 2 – JAN 21 TO FEB 4, 2018 – The Life of a Sports Writer

The Life of a Sports Writer

I want to be frank.  I lead a pretty glamourous life.  As a sports writer I get to see all the action. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I have to attend meetings, stand up and talk about what I have been doing, what articles I want to write, and occasionally I have to push my own point of view. Duke it out in the press room, so to speak.  I read a lot of newspaper articles to keep abreast of what’s happening where and who is up against who and when.   I cover the gamut from wrestling, acrobatics, Nordic walking events to community and school intramural activities.

I work for a small local newspaper, freelance on the side and have written a couple of books.  These jobs keep me busy and I skip all the way to the bank.  I can pay my bills and enjoy some of the finer things in life; drive a good foreign car, wear expensive clothes and spend my holidays somewhere hot where the water is warm, the days are long and the nights longer.

On a good day I watch a game, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, from the best seat available or if I’m very lucky, from a VIP suite with the owners and other press reps.  These are usually pretty sweet deals as they are catered and I can scarf down some wings and appetizers and enjoy a beer or two, before I head out to the sports bar down the street from my apartment.  I enjoy taking in tennis, curling or golf on the tube.  I can talk with the armchair critics and get their take on the players, teams and coaches.  The word of the man on the street always makes for good copy.

After the bar I take my notes back to my apartment, write up my article and sleep in my king-sized bed.  In the morning I email it to my boss.  Usually he prints it as it is but once in a while he makes changes, which drives me crazy, it makes be feel like I’ve been burgled, but what’s a guy to do?  It’s my boss.

I love my job writing for the newspaper, it gives me the freedom and the action I crave.  Sometimes it is a little like jumping off a ledge, not always knowing what the day will bring or what I will say before the article is finished.  Writing the books is more like bricklaying.  There is a formula, as long as I follow it I’m laughing.  All in all, as I said I lead a glamourous life and I love it!

Story Dice for Story No 2 due Feb 4 2018


  1. Burglary – stealing
  2. Sleeping ? I’m not exactly sure what this Icon represents
  3. Fighting, Wrestling
  4. Bricklaying
  5. Reading
  6. Jumping or skipping down stairs
  7. Talking
  8. Walking
  9. Acrobatics, Summersaulting or skateboarding

Cheryle – February 2018

THE FIRST STORY from Story Cubes Challenge – January 7 – 21, 2018

Lily Loves Scotland

The iron key, heavy in her hand, slid easily into the ancient lock. Lily cocked her head heard it unlock, turned the knob and gave the wooden door a gentle push. Nothing happened.  She leaned in and pushed with more authority.  The door gave a loud slow squeal opening into the small stone cottage that used to belong to her Great Aunt Flora.

With her luggage in hand, Lily steps through the threshold into the past and her future.

The last time Lily stood in this sitting room she was six, preparing to return home to Canada after 3 months running wild in South Ayrshire Scotland. It was the year her mother died.  Her father sent her to Straiton to stay with her mothers’ aunt while he finished his work in Egypt before settling into a new position at Brock University as Head of the Archeology Department. When she received word her aunt had died last winter her mind instantly returned to the last kiss and hug they shared, then through all the years in between that day and the day she held the letter in her hand.

Time hadn’t moved forward in the 20 years since she left.  The room was exactly the same, except the fireplace was cold and an electric heater had been installed on the back wall.

It was late, she could re-acquaint herself with the rest of Rose Cottage tomorrow.

Lily woke to a crack of thunder; a flash of lightning and raindrops sliding down the bedroom window.  She would get wet going into the village for groceries.  Until then breakfast would consist of the 1/2 submarine sandwich she put in the fridge last night and the unused teabag she had in her purse.

During the 15-minute drive into Straiton, the rain stopped and the fulgent sun peeked out to brighten the day as she wound past lush pastures, grazing white sheep and rock fences. Rounding a particularly sharp corner she had a spectacular view of a stunning rainbow shining above Monument Hill.  The countryside colours were brilliant.  Her eyes couldn’t take in all of the shades of green in the grasses, trees and shrubs, or how the blues in the sky and sparkling in the river set off the rainbow like a jewelled setting.  What a sight to see on her first outing.

In no time she was in the village scanning for parking.  Lily had her choice of spots on Main street and parked close to both the fresh market and the pharmacy. Everything was within easy walking distance, her shopping wouldn’t take her long, she could begin the job of sorting through Aunt Flora’s things earlier than she thought.

The bell above the door jingled as she walked into the market.  “Good Morning Miss, how may I help you?” asked the smiling clerk as she wiped her hands down the front of her Kelly-green apron and stepped away from the floral arrangements displayed in the front window.

“Hello, thank you, I am just picking up a few things. I may need some help finding some items, I have a list” Lily replied pulling the list out of her purse pocket.

“Here let me see what you need”, the clerk offered as she reached for Lily’s list.  Lily followed the clerk to the back of the store where the clerk moved in behind the meat counter and selected the chicken, pork, ground beef and bacon Lily had listed.  Each item deftly wrapped in butcher paper, tied with twine then handed to Lily who put them in the handbasket she had picked up by the cash register counter.

The clerk, looked down at the list then quickly but briefly glanced up at Lily and said, “You’re not from around here, are you?  “I’m not being nosy, it’s your accent that gives you away”.  She moved up and down the isles efficiently filling the basket with cans, jars, boxes, fresh fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, bread, juice, butter, oil, garlic, basil, ginger tea and honey.   Lily smiled, “Yes, you are right, I’m not. I’m Lily from Canada, I’m staying at Rose Cottage.”  “Oh, you must be Flora’s niece from Calgary.”  The clerk reached over and took Lily’s hand in hers ” Your Aunt, she spoke very highly of you. I am so sorry for your loss. She was well loved here and is very much missed – God rest her soul.”  “I’m Heather and it is a pleasure to meet you Lily” She smiled again and continued to fill Lily’s shopping list.

As she collected the items and placed them in the basket, she showed each one to Lily who nodded her head in agreement.  Picking up a package of tea Lily commented: “Everything is so different here, even the Tea”.  Heather giggled, “Oh yes, everything is very different here in Scotland, I have a cousin who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario she says the very same thing about Canada every time she comes to visit my Auntie” Gently taking the package of tea the clerk turns the container over and points to the manufacturer.  “See this one, Wee Tea is grown right here in Scotland, it even won awards in Paris” “Imagine that tea from Scotland winning awards”.   She was so happy and proud of the home-grown tea, Lily grinned “That is so awesome! I’ll try the one you have in your hand.”  Heather’s smile stretched from ear to ear.

Wiping her hands on her apron she moved to the register with the basket “Well, that’s the lot. I’ll ring it up and see what the damage is”.  As she tallies the purchases and puts everything into crisp paper bags Lily wanders over to the front window breathing in the heady scents of the various flowers on display.  With a sense of accomplishment, Heather announces “There it is, a total of 50 pounds 30 pence”.  Lily looking confused turns and walks back over to the counter, Embarrassed, she apologizes “I’m sorry I forgot to convert my Canadian money into Scottish money.  Would you take Canadian cash?”  Reaching under the counter and bringing out the calculator, Heather laughingly responds “Oh yes Lily, I will calculate the conversion and sell the Canadian money to my cousin the next time she visits”.  “That works out to 85 dollars 40 cents Canadian.  Is that OK with you?”  Thank you, Heather, I will have to go into to Dalmellington and convert the rest of my cash – I appreciate you taking my Canadian money” “You are very welcome, it is my pleasure to help you out”.

She moves out from behind the counter hands Lily the two bags, picks up a small wrapped bouquet of jonquils pops it into one of the bags, reaches over and holds the door open for Lily, the bells jingling merrily.  ‘Welcome to Straiton Lily – I do hope to see you again soon”.  “Thank you for all your help this morning Heather, take care, see you soon.” Once outside the market Lily turns right down the sidewalk to the Pharmacy.

With her errands complete and ready to return to the cottage, Lily balancing two large fully stocked grocery bags, the aromatic bouquet of jonquils and a first aid kit inside a small handled shopping bag walks down the sidewalk toward her car.  Twenty steps from her car, she is stopped her in her steps by the sweet scent of cinnamon buns wafting out of the Buck Tea Room.  She can’t resist cinnamon.  It is her favourite sweet spice.  Five minutes later she is on her way back to the cottage with a cinnamon bun in a small bag.

Before she reaches the cottage, Lily pulls off the road at Tairlaw Linn, the Water of Girvan runs through the northwest corner of the Rose Cottage property. She was glad she wore her runners it will make it easier to walk down to the beautiful double waterfall. As she had done dozens of times during her Scottish summer Lily bends over and slides smoothly between the fence rails and follows the animal trail down from the road to the meadow and the stand of alders beside the river.  The air cool and crisp after the rain is full of the scent of wet earth, leaves and thistle. She takes it all in, breathes deeply and listens to the laughter of the water as it tumbles over the edge and splashes into the pool below.

Lily’s Aunt Flora died while Lily was in Thailand teaching meditation.  She didn’t learn of her Aunts death until she returned home and read the letter from her Aunts attorney, two months after Aunt Flora was buried.  Flora had left everything she owned to Lily; a few stocks; a large nest egg; and Rose cottage, including the 12 acres of property it sat on.  This waterfall was on that property. How many afternoons had she spent swimming in its deep pools before returning to the cottage for tea and sweets?

Sitting down on a fallen log Lily carefully pulls out and unwraps the still warm cinnamon bun. The icing generously slathered on the glaze is gooey, the glaze sticky in her fingers and palms. The bun is oh so delicious.  Her mouth waters as she eats leaving her wanting more.  It certainly makes up for the poor leftover sandwich she had earlier.  Savouring the cinnamon and sugar she licks and sucks every morsel from her fingers then knees down to swish her hands clean in the bracing water.  Too bad she couldn’t enjoy a quick dip today.  Something to look forward to when she needed a break to clear her head.   Returning to the car she allows herself to make plans to stop by again, next time with a bathing suit and a full picnic.

Back at Rose Cottage Lily unlocks the bright blue door and gives it a hard push picks up her groceries and once again steps into the home where she will discover the secrets of her past and the truth of her future.

1 – Globe – travel

2 – Scarab – death – funeral rites

3 – Flower – nature

4 – Abacus – ancient calculator

5 – Key – Access – secrets – truth

6 – Building – Cottage – Family

7 – Letter L – Lily – Linn

8 – Lightning Bolt –

9 – Rainbow? Waterfall?, River?  (Wasn’t quite sure what the icon was)


Cheryle – January 2018


Today, the last day of April finally heralds spring to our small garden.

As usual, we lived through every season this month.

The messengers of spring nudged their way above the ground in the hope the frost is gone and spring is here to stay.   The sun and the warm wind strengthened their roots and stems so they could push their way up out of their covered beds.  The rich rain and the snow blanket nourished and protected the tender leaves as they slowly stretched their tendrils from the soil to the sky.

April 30 2017_0022

The Peony pokes its nose above last fall’s leaves.  It grows straight and tall preparing for the heavy white blooms of July.

Peony a

The tiny fingers of the tender bleeding heart gather sunshine and air. Growing long and flexible for the pink and white hearts that will dangle there.

Bleeding Heart a

The first blooms of the Silia bring hope to those of us eager for our gardens to grow and blossom with the summer.

Silia d

The alien eyes of the Rhubarb unfurl its ruby red stem and iconic leaves. The perfect harbinger of spring.

Rhubarb a

I know tarts aren’t too far off.

spring baked fresh

In love and light


April 30, 2017

Turmeric: True Gold

The topic for this post was suggested  by one of the members at the Ogden Seniors 50+ Activity Club  for publication in the April Newsletter .  I delayed posting it here until after the newsletter had been printed and distributed.   At the end of the post is a list of the articles I read as part of my research.  I hope this is the proper format.  I’m not a doctor or homeopath or any such person and want to make sure that my research is  available for any one who wishes to check it out for themselves.


Put spice in your life and reap amazing rewards You can improve your health and wellbeing.

Turmeric: True Gold

Turmeric, a rhizome native to India, has taken centre stage in the healing and wellness arena. It has the ability to positively affect more than 160 different physiological pathways, able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and is able to make your cells more orderly

Historically, turmeric was used as a flavour enhancer, preservative, and a food colourant in India, South East Asia and Africa.  Not only yummy it is beautiful too.  Due to its golden yellow colour it has been called gold.  It’s widely believed many of the ancient references to gold actually refer to turmeric, not to the soft yellow metal. Considered to be a holy spice for millennia, turmeric has been used in many religious rituals and ceremonies.  Thousands of years ago, Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners began to utilize and prescribe turmeric for a wide variety of ailments, including stomach, respiratory, blood and inflammation disorders, and to treat ulcers and wounds.

Today, scientists, researchers and big pharma are all investigating the healing and preventative properties of curcumin and turmerone, two of the bioactive ingredients found in Turmeric.  Curcumin, the more widely studied ingredient, has been found to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-spasmodic, anti-flatulent, anti-microbial and anti-mutagenic properties.  Turmerone, a volatile oil, has protective and regenerative properties. Wow!  These are just a few of turmeric’s qualities discovered, so far.

Studies report chronic inflammation is at the root of many illnesses and diseases, including heart ailments, rheumatism, and oral health.  Curcumin and other ingredients found in turmeric have demonstrated anti-inflammatory action, which reduces the pain and inflammation associated with certain types of arthritis. This promises an effective treatment for illnesses in which inflammation is either a precursor or primary symptom.

Of its’ many properties, the two most specifically exciting are turmeric’s neuroprotective and anti-carcinogenic effects. Good news for anyone who has witnessed the degenerative ravages Alzheimer’s disease or has first-hand experience with such cancers as colon, breast, and leukaemia.

Recent research has determined that in addition to anti-oxidant properties, turmeric inhibits the accumulation of the destructive amino acid peptides which form the sticky plaques that are indicative of Alzheimer’s disease.

Due to a process called apoptosis, in which cells literally commit suicide, Turmeric helps to inhibit the growth of abnormal cells which prevents the rapid reproduction of cancerous cells.

Turmeric, on its own is difficult to absorb into the body, therefore, unless prescribed or taken by supplement, make the most of Turmeric in your cooking by heating it, eating it with piperine – an ingredient in black pepper or with healthy fats such as Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut oil.

In conclusion, Turmeric is a versatile spice with a long history as a trusted remedy for a wide variety of ailments.  I suggest you look into the benefits of turmeric.  Talk to your doctor, your homeopath, or healthcare practitioner. 

References: include but are not limited to:
Turmeric: Doctors Say This Spice Is a Brain Health Miracle – from live in now Joshua Corn, Editor-in-Chief
-Turmeric and Curcumin: Biological actions and Medicinal Applications – Chattopadhyay, Ishita; Kaushik Biswas; Uday Bandyopadhayay; Ranajit K. Banerjee. Current Science (Indian Academy of Sciences) ISSN 0011-3891.
-Role of Curcumin in systemic and Oral Health: An Overview – Nagpa M. Sood S. 3 Nat Sc Biol Med 2013:4:3-7
Turmeric: How to Whiten Your Teeth –
This is A Must Read before Ever Using turmeric Again – Feb 22, 2016 – Healthy food House –
Turmeric – Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia


April 2016 – Cheryle




Fair in Full Swing 4

Saturday, November 21st, 2015, was the debut of a new healing fair and trade show “My Circle of Friends Healing Fair and Trade Show”.  I believe it was a success.

The event provided my friends an opportunity to “Dip their Toes into the Water” of the healing fairs and trade show experience. Many had never before hosted a table where they promoted themselves as a healing practitioner, an artisan or an entrepreneur. One or two participants, extremely experienced, generously helped out their newly befriended colleagues with advice and gentle support.

Held at Ogden House Seniors 50+ Activity Club the market vendors discovered new friends whose interests complemented their own, met with potential clients and introduced them to the many services and products being offered.

Fair in Full Swing 6 Qi Gong

We had an eclectic group of presenters; Brenda Harll, Senior Move Management Specialist II at Boomers & Zoomers Inc., explained how you too can be a “CLUTTERBUSTER”, Yvette Falconer, a Qi Gong Master and Instructor from Qi Gong Wisdom, led the audience in a series of Qi Gong movements and Heather Driedger, an Angel Empowerment Practitioner of Heathers Health Coaching, gave an inspiring talk on how to invite and Connect with your Angels every day.

The guests who joined us were also treated to:

  • The beautiful and unconventional live pine bough and copper ribbon wreath designs and jewellery fashioned by Jenniefer Milot Pickup of Designs by JMP;
  • The colourful and thoughtful paintings, the nature sourced necklaces and earrings created by native artisan Lee Deranger;
  • the soft tactile Fabric Creations designed and sewn by Brenda Cullum;
  • the gentle touch of Sara Dishke of Libra Wellness Inc., a Certified Bowen Therapy Practitioner and the glint ‘n’ glitter of her pendant jewellery;
  • the Intuitive Spiritual Guidance and Energy Balancing and Steeped Tea offered by Deirdre of Gaia’s Natural Therapies;
  • Food Allergy Testing by Kinesiologist Jackie Hooton of Heavenly Healings; and
  • The insightful artwork of Kim Szuta of inspiredART.

Jackie Hooton

Ogden House, a private members club located in the community of Ogden in southeast Calgary, hosted, “The Fare Café” in which 100% of the revenue will be donated to support Canadian Veterans. The Fare Café served several selections of sandwiches, including the most popular Egg Salad, Veggie and Fruit Plates and of course a plate of sweet shortbreads, Nanaimo bars and Gingerbread men, and coffee and tea. The Ogden House volunteers worked diligently setting up the auditorium, making, serving food and beverages, and cleaning up after the event.  I am sure Canadian Veterans will be grateful for this unexpected donation.

Fair in Full Swing 1a

Over all everyone received what they needed and more.  Some learned lessons in order to grow and others earned and gained new clients.  In general everyone enjoyed the event.

Please keep your eyes open for the next  “Circle of Friends Healing Fair and Trade Show.

Circle of Friends Fair 2014 logo small

Cheryle L. Baker – Author, Photography, Creator and Promoter of My Circle of Friends Healing Fair and Trade Show

November 23, 2015




A Day at the Zoo

Summer is here.  I know we haven’t yet reached the solstice, but the weather is summery and so are the outings coordinated by Ogden House 50+ Seniors Club.

What says summer better than a day at the Zoo?  On June 11th, a group of 50+ members journeyed through, the Canadian Wilds, Eurasia and Africa.

It was a sunny day.  A light breeze batted around the white seed packets of fluffy fuzz which fall from The Cottonwood and Poplar trees prodigiously growing around St. Georges Island.

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Upon arrival, our little group of 17 was dwarfed by the sheer number of school children, all walking in orderly lines holding hands while being directed by teachers and volunteer parents.  Their excitement was palpable, it propelled their tiny bodies forward so fast they appear blurred in some of the photos I took.

Zoo w Ogden House_0007

Our first stop was the Penguin Plunge, where we enjoyed the antics of the Penguins playing in the outside pools while we waited in a short line to get inside the Penguin enclosure.   Lucky us.  Once inside we were treated to the overwhelming smell of fish and the chaos of feeding time. They don’t receive all the nutrients they need from the lifeless fish, so are given daily supplements to compensate for the lack of nutrition.

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The sleek black and yellow birds swam, jumped and vocalized as they enjoyed their lunch of dead fish.  .

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After the cool air of the Penguin Plunge the heat of the sun felt extra hot, as we trundled our way across the bridge to the picnic site.  Happily, we picked out two green tables shaded under the protection of the huge fully leafed trees.

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Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0031

We sorted ourselves and took a few moments to decide where we wanted to visit first.  We had an hour and a half before lunch.  Everyone set out on their own adventures, some with buddies others on their own.  I was on the lookout for possible Calendar shoot spots. I had no preconceived plan of action, just to wander where my whim and the animals led.

The surprise of the day were the Peacocks.

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They were everywhere.  Each and every one was displaying their beautiful plumage fans. Everyone once in a while one would call, that eerie piercing caw of theirs, sending shivers down my back.

One in particular was a camera star.  He must be in love with the camera.  I observed that as long as a camera was focused in his direction, he flaunted his feathers. At one point, I put my camera down to change the lens, he brought in his fan and dropped the feathers into the beautiful trailing train.

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When I had finished the lens switch and brought the camera back up, he turned toward the camera, fluttered and fanned this tail out as wide as it would go.

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He was such a poser I had the best time snapping more shots of him than I should have.

As I travelled the African continent I encountered many of the favourite animals taking naps in the shade, walking about, relaxing with their babies or working on fixing their homes.

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0079      Resting Hippo

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0075   Red River Pig Mother with spotted baby

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0063       Sleeping Gorilla

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0086   Zebras strolling around their enclosure

Zoo w Ogden House_0035          A  Misty Waterfall in the Rain Forest

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0108       Yellow Bird tending to its’ home

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0107          Turtle taking a stroll

It was hot on my journey through Africa, so I was happy for the break when lunch time came around.  Back at the picnic table, we were treated to Subway sandwiches, chips, cookies and Juice.

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0112

It was a yummy meal and a welcome opportunity to sit in the shade, catch up on where the others visited and what they saw.

After lunch we had another hour and half to explore more of the micro world of the Zoo.  Since being out in the sun walking around is not my natural habitat, I chose to stay and chat with a few of the others who also enjoy a quiet visit in the shade.

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0136

By the end of the day we were tired but satisfied with our adventures.  We piled into our vans for the short drive back to Ogden House.  Everyone had an exhilarating summer day at the Zoo. One I am sure we will want to repeat next year.

Cheryle Baker   June 2015