Don’t Let Your Clarks Mules Lie In Closet

I’m very disappointed as I had to throw three pairs of my Clarks clogs/mules in the garbage. Yes, I had them about 10-15 years but they were new and hardly worn. I think I will wear out all my shoes and not buy any for another 10 years. I contacted Clarks but no help in getting the shoes fixed or no replacement given. The glue breaks down eventually and the shoes come apart. No recycling of the beautiful leather or swapping for another pair. Clarks, I think you owe me big time! Your image is forever tainted in my eyes.

When I was teaching I wore Clarks a lot. My feet were comfy until I got spur heels and bought Naot and Finn and Birkenstocks.  The Clarks did not offer enough support. My doctor said “You’re too  old to be wearing clogs!” I was not happy coming home with that idea in my head. I continued to wear them in school.

The embarrassment of wearing my new red mules to a Christmas party and after 5 minutes looking down to see them in shambles!

If you have any old Clarks you should take them out of your closet and walk around in each pair for an hour. Hope yours are still held together.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Think Outside The Box-A Unique Craft and Gift Shop in Torbay NL

The address is 1521 Torbay Road in Torbay, Newfoundland and if you are coming to St. John’s, the oldest English-founded city in North America, you have to take a 10 minute drive on Torbay Road to find this unique shop. Don’t let the exterior of the building scare you off. I’m betting that the interior is nothing like you’ve ever encountered. The owners/operators Ted Muise and Ray White work in the business and they are there to answer your every question. I found Ted to be a very patient and upfront entrepreneur. He took the time to converse with each potential buyer/visitor.  Let me say and I’ve heard others say that this shop is ‘one you come back to again and again.’ Having spent almost an hour in the place I can see myself returning often.

The newly defined spaces include an antiques/vintage room, a Christmas room and an Ends and Bits room plus  other spaces. It is a bungalow with each room defined by different treasures.  From the rock pictures on the walls to knitted gloves by a skilled knitter to classy earrings done by new vendors and many other unusual items, there is something for everyone.  I was surprised by the wreaths and wooden art. They made me laugh out loud at times.  There are paintings by Brenda Rowe, art prints by several Newfoundland artists, books by Newfoundland writers and sweater sets for children. I loved the way the items are tastefully displayed! There are two very large display cases for some of the more valuable items such as sealskin earrings and bracelets. A fake tree holds many ornaments in the Christmas Room. In time I would like to see beautiful handcrafted ornaments made by Newfoundlanders.  There are many possibilities for a business such as this kind. The table runners are beautifully done. I’m sure tree skirts and placemats are in the works already!

Yes, there are items that are like flea market finds, some made in China, but it is a place for everyone. You’ll find boxes, racks, shelves, tables, hooks and many neat ways of showing off the wares! There are costume jewelry and silver rings, picture frames and candles. There are fun playful items and stuff you might not give a second glance, but the vendors who take pride in their workmanship- their work is displayed here tastefully.  Your eyes and brain will be challenged to see everything! Having visited hundreds of craft establishments, and seeing Newfoundland gifts and crafts all over our island,  I promise you that you won’t be disappointed! Ignore what doesn’t appeal to you and focus on the unique dish or scarf or earrings.  The shop is your oyster and finding the pearl may take much exploration!

Drop in if you are in the area. You will find it difficult to walk out of the shop without acquiring an original craft or piece of art. If it’s depression glass you like or Norman Rockwell plates you desire, you may find more than you imagined! You may need to go back often once you find this little gem of a shop. Happy exploring!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Read An Ebook

Ebooks are popular by many readers these days. They are fast to select and pay for. You can download them on many devices and you do not clutter up your home. Did I mention that they are also cheaper and environmentally friendly? So you have a fatter bank balance and a cleaner planet!  Not bad for readers and ultimately writers.

Ebooks are great for new writers who like to be creative and express themselves. A friend on my blog helped me choose a cover.  She helped format it too!  My daughter-in-law edited it.  My son uploaded it.  So the final copy was a joy for me. Over 200 people downloaded the free 15% part so far!

My 2014 ebook is found at http://www.smashwords.com and it is about an adventure I took on Camino Frances and for this week it is half price. I left my home and travelled to Bayonne in France by myself. I found the place where most pilgrims start the 790km walk and walked most of it. I started solo but met up with amazing people along the way.  The title is Strong Camino Woman. Hope you try it and let me know what you think. You can also google it and buy it many other places, including Apple iTunes.

This Camino is the one Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez walked in their film  called The Way.  I hope you take a chance and spend the $1.50 learning about my journey.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Get Scammed Like Me!

Just pay the postage and you can get tubes of skin care of Angelina Jolie’s line. Like a fool I believed! When the box arrived, I was on my way to Halifax so I didn’t open it.  But a few days later, I got billed $99.95 US. Quickly I called my bank and had the Visa cancelled. Pearlyskin, Abellamayfair, and perhaps many other names owed me $135 Can dollars. Boy, was I mad!

I’m not one to give up, so I started a battery of emails to everyone I heard from at abellamayfair. I asked them to refund my money in full.  They offered $30 US. I wouldn’t agree.  They offered $50 but I insisted on the full amount.  I said I would put in a complaint with the BBB and the RCMP.  I pleaded with them to do the right thing.  I told them that they were scammers and preyed on the elderly! They had the gall to tell me it was all legitimate.  The small print said I agreed to the trial and within 14 days my Visa would be billed.  I saw no such thing when I signed up.  I read very carefully. So I would like to inform all of my readers not to give your Visa to pay just the postage.  It is a scam! The two small containers I received are not worth a hundred dollars US.  If I hadn’t stopped them from billing my Visa, they were ready to charge another $90 for the second tubo e!

To bring you up to date, with many emails and calls to the BBB and my bank, I discovered that you can get your money refunded if you are persistent. I received $50 US back and if I had not threatened to go to the police and get my bank to put a claim in, I would not have received another message that they had refunded the last $49.95 owed to me.  They asked me to send back the package and send them the tracking number.  Instead I said I would only give them their own tracking number as I hadn’t opened the products.  I said I was not paying another $20 to send their garbage back to them. I have to wait to see if the second refund is actually done, as it takes a few days for it to show up on the Visa statement.

So I beg you not to be as foolish as I was to try to get Angelina’s skincare line for $13 Can dollars.  I’m sure most of you would not fall for this scheme, but if you have been scammed and are feeling bad about it, contact the BBB and keep hounding the people who email you from the company. Cancel your Visa card immediately and report it in any way you can to keep these scammers from making their money through this tricky scheme.

Be aware that a trial is not a free sample! So I was told by about 10 people from their company. These scammers use many different names.  Their English is not perfect. The ads look legit, and there is a disclaimer that states they do not guarantee that these products will work for you.  Think “Where is the research? Do I want to put untested creams on my face?” Enough said.  If just one of you learn from my stupidity I will be happy.

 

 

Posted in Scams, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving Thanks This Christmas

So much gloom and doom in the news and in the world! Who wants to concentrate on a baby in a manger? Well, I do.  All children everywhere, but in particular the tiny babe born of a virgin and hailed by all as the the one the world was waiting for, to save us all!  I’m not a religious person, I just like to do good to all I meet, but the idea of all the parents bringing children into the world these days, and bringing them up to become good individuals is worthy of my contemplation.  This year I have a new little granddaughter Charlotte and I’m feeling very blessed.

The beauty and loveliness of a tiny baby is not lost on many people in my world.  The tiny fingers and toes and the helplessness of this miracle child fills our hearts with joy.  We wish the best for the little boy or girl.  We offer help to the parents. We pray for all good things for the wee one. We wish he or she had not been born into our troubled environment, with wars and diseases and environmental challenges. Many things are out of our hands, there is only so much we can do and that thinking only gets us so far. We help out trying to improve our world for the next generation, but we often fall short or feel helpless ourselves.

If we can stretch our thinking back to the world of Mary and Joseph, where a single mother was pregnant and was carrying such a special child.  Joseph had to believe Mary, that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  She had been visited by an angel to be told she was the holy woman chosen to carry the son of God. This boggles our minds that anyone would believe all of this today, and imagine how difficult it must have been back over thousands of years ago.  This child must have been so loved by His parents, just as our children give great purpose to our lives.  A small child came to show the way to His Father, and to save us from our sins!

So when you look into the faces of your children and other children, try to see the beauty of that child. See the good in him or her. Who knows what this child will do in our world! Respect his/her rights and do your best for him/her.  Try not to impress a child with material possessions, the nicest jewelry, the fanciest car, the snazziest dress or suit. Teach a child about the simple things, laughter and love.  Provide secure families for our children. Inspire the child with acts of love and charity. Take the child to a homeless shelter and serve the men and women a simple lunch.  Donate to animal shelters. Clean up your neighborhood. Recycle whenever possible. Visit seniors’ homes with gifts of music or baking. Children do not need tons of toys but they do need lots of love and guidance.

If you are not at all religious, think about the children in our world.  How can we best do right by them? How can we use our skills to help build self esteem and self confidence? How can we grow them into empathic individuals? Think respect and responsibility. In whatever way we can, teach them to respect others, all races and colors and languages. Respect jobs people do. We have so many opportunities these days, but we need to teach the responsibilities that go along with our many advantages.

Just do your best! Merry Christmas to all of you!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Latest Travels To Slovenia, Croatia and Beyond

When I met Mira, Ladka and Hermina on the Camino de Santiago in 2013, I had no idea that we would be friends for a long time and three years later I would visit their country of Slovenia.  I invited them to Canada but they couldn’t make it,  so they invited me to their country and I’m one to see new places with great friends. So bring it on! Four countries in two weeks.  Landing in Austria, travelling to Slovenia and Croatia and Italy and spending time with many old friends and new!

I left St. John’s on September 8 and flew across the Atlantic to London and on to Vienna.  There were some funny incidents and I will share these with you now.  I carried a small Heys suitcase and a tiny knapsack, as I was trying to travel light. I carried with me my ipad and my iphone6, but could have left the ipad home as my phone is my number one little computer.

I had a few worries leaving home.  How do I get from Vienna to Maribor? Then Hermina found a Mr. Declan who would pick me up at terminal one and drive me for 20 euros. I thought that was a bargain and I took it.  But where was the place to meet him?  I could find terminal 1 but the board Hermina mentioned was no where to be found.  Oh, my!  I had a three hour wait which is very tiresome after taking two flights already. The terminal had a few benches to sit on, but they seemed to be   reserved.  It was a hot day so standing outside was uncomfortable and not being able to find the sign was disconcerting.  I knew the taxi was a big black newish car, so when I saw the first black car, I asked but the man was annoyed and didn’t even answer.  The second black car had a driver who was eating his sandwich and didn’t seem to be looking for a Canadian woman!!! But I was looking for him.  I asked if he was waiting for a Canadian woman.  My friends Judith or Donna would have a good laugh at that!  The man kept on eating and shook his head.  But he didn’t know my pigheadedness! I asked if he was going to Maribor and he nodded yes and produced a sheet with the names of all his passengers, and there was Hermina’s name! That’s me, I said.  All of a sudden I had become Hermina.  My second worry was that What if I have to use the washroom during that two hour drive?  We had a two hour wait for the other six passengers!  And Mr. Declan could speak not a word of English and I could speak no Slovene!

With the very tight driving and  manoevering through the busy streets of  Vienna, I was feeling quite anxious and tired.  I was freezing with the air conditioning and wishing someone else was cold too.  I was offered gum by the driver and to calm my nerves, I chewed to beat the band. When we got close to Maribor the driver stopped at a small store and I hoped to use a washroom but none was visible.  I bought some wine and got back into my front seat, hoping I could make it before I made a fool of myself by wetting the new seat.

I got a little worried as I thought the driver was dropping us off at our destination at various addresses, but no, it was a bus stop.  I didn`t have a chance to worry too much as a tiny lady was running towards me and I thought it was Ladka.  But as I tend to do, I got the names mixed up and it was Hermina.  I had them confused in my mind.  Ladka was the mountain climber who had 300 euros stolen on the camino. Hermina was the lady who lived alone and was a tiny little woman who was very friendly and accommodating. Mira was the retired nurse.  I was elated when I saw Hermina`s face!  Was I glad to finally arrive at Maribor and use a washroom at last.

I was welcomed by this small lady and given her huge bedroom with a view of the city and the biggest meal I`d ever eaten! I couldn`t consume it all but I put a good dent in it.  I was so happy to start the two weeks in this wonderful country, the land of 100 castles and 265 churches.  It was the best holiday ever, with each day and meal planned by my three friends.  I visited four countries and stayed in a resort town for four days , and viewed Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia.  I saw the salt flats, the wonderful cities of Piran and Pontorose and many other places. I walked around Lake Bled and Bohinj, visited a Dahli display, got tours of many ancient cities, stayed in an apartment in Croatia and swam in the Adriatic Sea,  picked mushrooms on a mountain, visited caves and castles.  I attend opera and ballet, tickets provided by friends of my friends.  I will fill in much more detail in future posts. But all in all it was a wonderful holiday with the best of friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In Da Loop Pub and Restaurant, Fermuse

After the beautiful views all along the shore I was famished for fish and chips in Fermuse. Did I mention that I’m obsessed with finding the best fish and chips in Newfoundland? Service was a little slow due to several people arriving within a 15 minute time frame. I found a menu and then after 10 minutes asked to be served. The welcome was wanting but the gentleman came and took my order and was chatty enough then. I kept imagining the decor without the flashy red mirrors and the multicoloured wall lights, and more of Newfoundland artifacts for decoration. I could imagine nice Newfoundland vests or aprons to add a touch of nostalgia. I wore tartan uniforms at Xavier HS in Deer Lake for years! The framed and canvass pictures, nice dark hardwood floors and beautifully chosen tables and chairs were very tasteful. I didn’t realize there was a deck or I would have eaten there. It reminded me of how I paid more to eat outside in Spain. 

The one piece of fish arrived and it looked like three pieces all in one huge piece! Homemade tartar sauce would have impressed me a lot. The fries and fish were greasy which I remedied with my napkin! But the taste was awesome. Kudos to the cook!

I asked to pay immediately and was presented with my bill. No surprises there. So all in all the server was stretched thin although two ladies did help with bringing out the orders. I would have liked a little more conversation but for $10.40 what can one expect? The service was respectable but I did not feel overly welcomed. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is top notch customer service, this place gets a 7! 

Pauline is a Camino walker and author. She has walked three caminos de Santiago with over 2000 km hiked. Her book Strong Camino Woman is available at Smashwords and Apple. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment