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Memories from the Toronto ComiCon

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on March 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader, 


Last weekend my husband Matt and I attended the Toronto ComiCon (comic themed convention). Matt had a booth to promote his recently published graphic novel. 


Here are some of our photo memories. Enjoy!


A movie prop from Star Wars...


The Ghostbusters vehicle!!


My hubby at his booth with his published work on display...



Canada's superhero, Captain Canuck...


A Lego Batman!!



Thanks for the opportunity to share these memories with you!


Sincerely,

Catherine

Happy New Year

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on January 6, 2016 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Happy New Year from Catherine, Matt, “Olaf” the snowman from the Disney movie “Frozen,” and Rhino our wee hamster (in the hamster ball).

 

Many best wishes for 2016!!

Christmas Video: How the Beagles Helped Santa

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on December 25, 2015 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Merry Christmas from Catherine, Matt, and all our "paws-itive" pets!!

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Photo Greeting: Bear Wishes Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on October 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,


It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, and we just wanted to say, "Happy Thanksgiving!!"


Here is a photo of a bear that visited our property in the summer-time... 




This bear sure enjoyed the bird seed in our feeder.


A Quick Photo Tip: I got this bear photo "safely" from my office window. My office is upstairs on the second floor of our home, so this photo was taken "very safely." I opened the screen of my window and took many pictures to get at least one image that turned out well. I'm grateful this photo turned out and that I can share it with you now.


Sincerely,

Catherine, Matt and all our Paws-itive Pets!

Beagle Wins the Super Bowl of Dog Shows

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on May 19, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,


Hello. It's Daisey, the Paws-itive Beagle. Earlier this year, a Beagle – yes, a Beagle!! – won Best in Show at the world’s most renowned dog competition - Westminster Kennel Club Show.


This competition is described as “winning the Super Bowl...”


Hurray for Beagles!!


Now, I think all dogs are beautiful in their own unique and wonderful ways. But since I am a Beagle, well, I just had to tell you about this great news!




You can see the full article from Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/beauty-and-the-beagle-canadians-beaming-after-dogs-westminster-win/article23069241/


Sincerely,

Daisey, the Paws-itive Beagle

 

Matt Holds Ice Cream Upside, Down on Miracle Treat Day 2014

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on February 10, 2015 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,


Last summer, I did a post about Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day. It’s a special day when participating Dairy Queen stores donate the proceeds from every Blizzard Treat purchased to help your local Children’s Miracle Network member hospital(s).


Time since Miracle Treat Day has zoomed by and it’s already a new year. But I wanted to follow up and share our photo memory of the day. (The photo is at the top of this blog entry.)


You can stay up-to-date on what Dairy Queen is doing here on Facebook – in hopes that you can participate in the next Miracle Treat Day when it arrives.


Of course, you don’t have to wait until Miracle Treat Day arrives to help children in need. Our nearest Dairy Queen location (in Huntsville, Ontario) has a big container where you can donate money to this good cause all year round. I think other Dairy Queen locations might have something similar. If you’re aware of one in your location, please feel free to share (below) in the “Comments” section.


Thanks so much!


Sincerely,

Catherine

 

How the Ice Cream You Can Hold Upside Down -- will Help Kids in Need this August 14th

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on August 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,


More than “$100 million.”


That’s the amount of money Dairy Queen (DQ) has raised over the years to provide hope and healing for kids who are ill or injured.


The DQ brand has sponsored the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals (CMN hospitals) since 1984. That’s thirty years. That means, for most of my life (I’m 35) DQ has “sprinkled goodness” and helped kids in need -- through charitable events like their upcoming Miracle Treat Day. (Yeah, DQ!)


Miracle Treat Day is a perfect opportunity for you to treat yourself to your favourite DQ Blizzard – and know the money you spend will go towards helping your local Children’s Miracle Network member hospital.


I became aware of this example of goodness in our world when Matt treated us to dinner recently at Dairy Queen. I got their meal combo of chicken fingers, fries, a drink, and I chose a Skor Blizzard for dessert. The milk chocolate-covered buttery toffee pieces (of Skor) – mixed into vanilla ice cream – is my all-time favourite Blizzard flavour.


I also like how the Blizzard is the only ice cream (I’m aware of) that you can literally hold upside, down.



Matt and I are planning to return to Dairy Queen on Miracle Treat Day.


Miracle Treat Day is on Thursday, August 14th, 2014. If you’re interested in being a part of this special day, you can find participating Dairy Queen stores online at http://miracletreatday.ca


Which Blizzard flavour will you treat yourself to on August 14th (knowing you're helping a good cause, too)?


I welcome your thoughts in the comment section of this blog. Thanks so much!


Sincerely,

Catherine

 

Adopting Angel: Over a Year Later

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on July 19, 2014 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:


It’s been over a year now since we adopted Angel, our kitty.


It’s a cherished memory -- going into the Muskoka Animal Centre with Matt, choosing a pet, together. When we met Angel, we knew very quickly she was the right kitty for us.


We were allowed to take her home that same day. 


What a surprise for Buster, out other kitty at home! And, for our beagles, Rocky and Daisey!


It did take a little time for Buster and Angel to fully share the same space. For a little while, Buster would go to another room in our home and hang out in there. Now, he’s back in the office while I work.


Angel is here, too, as I write this.


I’m grateful Angel is in our life.


We tried getting Angel to wear a “birthday hat” on her One Year Anniversary (as seen in the photo at the top of this blog entry). But she preferred when the hat was behind her, like this photo here…


Have you adopted a pet? If yes, would you like to share about your pet? Please feel free to share in the comments section of this blog. Thanks so much.


Sincerely,

Catherine

 



Welcome Wee William

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on July 15, 2014 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:


“Wee William” is here!


My sister, Izzy, gave birth to William on June 22nd.


It’s amazing timing. You see, “wee William,” is named after my dad, “William.” And, our dad’s birthday is June 23rd -- literally, one day after “wee William’s” birthday now.


We are happy for Izzy and Brandon.


Congratulations you two!!


(And, thank you, Sprinkle Goodness readers, for the opportunity to share this wonderful news with you.)


Sincerely,

Catherine


PS: The photo of wee William (at the top of this blog entry) was taken on Canada Day.

 

Izzy's Baby Shower Celebration

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on May 30, 2014 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:


A baby is on its way...


My sister’s baby!


Last month Izzy had her baby shower. Izzy’s fiance, Brandon, helped set up for the day. Here are the happy couple:



And, here’s Izzy holding one of the gifts we gave her:


One thing I learned at Izzy’s baby shower, is, “diapers” are going to be very helpful. I’m keeping that in mind so when we visit Izzy and her family, we can help out with diapers.


It’s only “weeks” now until Izzy and Brandon’s baby arrives.


Stay tuned!


Sincerely,

Catherine

Turning a Gift Box into a Vase for Granny Rea's Birthday Flowers

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on May 14, 2014 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:


“Beautiful.”


That’s the word two residents – where my grandma lives – expressed when they saw her flowers. My grandma loved her flowers, too.


I’m grateful.


You see, I had wondered what to get Granny Rea for her birthday last month.


Before visiting my grandma, I prayed for the right gift for her.


Flowers. That was the answer. (And I am grateful the idea came to me, through praying.)


I chose artificial flowers so they can stay with her longer.


My grandma has Alzheimers. So I know, as I write this, she won’t remember who gave her the flowers or even recognize them in her room. But at least in the moment we were there, and gave my grandma her birthday flowers, she was happy. And, a few of the residents were happier too seeing a beautiful arrangement of flowers.


The two residents were so enthusiastic, that, I wish I had brought extra flowers – to give to them.


The flowers for my grandma came from Dollar Tree -- a store where everything is $1.25 or less. They had a gorgeous selection of Easter and spring flowers and I picked out a variety that went well together. Matt was searching for a vase. What he found was a gold, circular gift box – but it was perfect as a vase.


So here is an idea I’d like to share with you: If you too, like the long lasting specialness of artificial flowers...


...Instead of a traditional glass vase, look at gift box options. It can add that extra special touch. Here is a close-up of the flowers and the circular gift box (which we turned into a vase simply by removing the lid and arranging the flowers inside it)...

 


 

I know it's a bit hard to see with this smaller image. But I hope what I shared can help spark ideas.


Or, if you have ideas on creative flower arrangements, I welcome your thoughts in the comment section of this blog.


Thank you so much.


As for my grandma – it really is a wonderful feeling seeing her – and the residents brighten up – from something as simple, but special as flowers.


We watched one of my grandma’s favourite movies – Alexander's Ragtime Band... enjoyed chocolate brownies and another chocolate treat. Drank apple juice. And, had a nice time with Granny Rea on her birthday weekend.


When it was time to go – I must admit, I always find it hard to leave my grandma. But in “sprinkling some goodness,” through birthday flowers – it invited a few of the residents to talk with us and spend a little time with us.


And upon leaving, one of the residents, seemed to sense I was having a challenge parting with my grandma.


And, she said she could take care of my grandma. As we left, and I looked back, there she was, sitting with my grandma. Keeping my grandma company.


We do let the nurse on duty know we’re going. But, it meant a lot to me to see a fellow resident with my grandma, wanting to be by her side.


Sincerely,

Catherine

Farm Trip in March

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on May 13, 2014 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:


In March, we visited Matt’s parents at their farm.


We got to meet the new lambs. They weren't recently born. They had grown up a little. But they were still young and I am grateful we could see them.


Here are a few of our memories seeing the lambs and their moms:




Sincerely,

Catherine


P.S.: Here is another memory of seeing Star...



5 Cherished Memories: Reflecting on 2013

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on January 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:

Do you find 2014 is flying by?


I sure do. I can’t believe February is only days away…


But I’d still like to take a moment to reflect on 2013 and share with you 5 memories I’m most grateful for.


1) The Most Special, Heartwarming Gift Matt Gave Me (and our Little Family -- Rocky and Daisey, our Beagles, and Buster, our Kitty)...


Matt sold a number of his Transformer action figures (that he collected over the years). But instead of going out to spend the money he earned on other products, he did something wonderful – he put the money towards adopting a kitty for us. We went to the Muskoka Animal Centre and found our little “Angel.” Now our family includes Angel and Buster, our kitties... and Rocky and Daisey, our beagles!




2) My Most Priceless Moment...


Matt’s parents have a farm, where they raise sheep. We went down to visit earlier in the year. And, I got to hold this baby lamb. It was born that same day. Not even a day old yet. Sooooo amazing. What a beautiful thing – the miracle and gift of life.




3) Our Biggest Family News...


Izzy, my sister, got engaged!! I am grateful Izzy found her “Mr. Right.” His name is Brandon. Izzy and Brandon are already starting a family of their own. This summer, they will welcome their first child together.




4) Our Best Journey...


I’d love to see Paris, France… go walking in New York City’s Central Park with our dogs, and see the statue, Balto (the heroic sled dog)… go on a Caribbean cruise… and more. But the best journey of all – is my journey of faith.


Since my mom passed away (and is now in Heaven) I’ve had to re-find myself in some ways. Life is different. But I am grateful I have Matt to share my life with, and that we are growing in faith, together, as a couple.


5) Seeing Family and Friends...


Although last year (2013) was one of my busiest, freelance years, I’m grateful we could still fit in visits with both sides of our family, and see some friends too, throughout the year. Here is one of my memories with my Granny Rea…




Here is a photo of my niece and me in October...



What are you most grateful for? Would you like to share some examples in the comment section of this blog?


If yes, thank you for what you’ll share.


Sincerely,
Catherine OKeefe


PS: Here’s one more. I’m also grateful for all the wildlife we see living out in the country -- like this…


 

Hop on the Train to See Santa this Dec 21, 2013

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on December 16, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,


If you're visiting or live in the Huntsville, Ontario area...


...You can hop aboard a steam train to see Santa Claus!


This Saturday, December 21st, the historic steam train (known as The Portage Flyer) at Muskoka Heritage Place, takes you on a one-kilometer trip along the Muskoka River to the “North Pole.”


Once you arrive at the “North Pole,” you’ll see a festively-decorated cabin, and inside, you’ll wait in line, for your turn to meet Santa. Bring your camera. The last time Matt and I went there, there was no photographer. There was however, one of Santa’s helpers. She offered to take our picture with Santa, using our camera. You can see our memory of meeting Santa here.


The event is called a “Portage Flyer Christmas.” It’s a wonderful experience. It changed me and warmed my heart.


By this I mean, I did feel a little odd (at first) being an adult, waiting in line to meet Santa. Most people had children with them. But us? Just Matt and I, both in our 30s. And, the rational “grown up” side of me was saying something like, “It’s just someone dressed up as Santa.”


BUT when it was our turn to “meet” Santa, and he greeted us, I felt something change inside of me... All that wonder and belief I had as a kid came bubbling back. Here I was meeting Santa!!


If I remember correctly, I even had tears of joy filling up in my eyes. “The kid in me” was back!! I felt… really felt… the spirit of Christmas. I was reminded how magical this time of year is.


(I’m reminded too, by a mass we attended, that the reason for the Christmas season is Jesus. And, as much as I enjoyed meeting “Santa,” it is important for me to humbly remember that the birth of Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas.)


In the spiritual sense, I also believe that Santa represents Saint Nicholas (a Christian Bishop, known for his generosity in helping those in need).


Christmas is a special time of year, and we are hoping to take our niece to see Santa Claus at the “North Pole.”


The train ride to see Santa is only happening for one evening though. (Because, Santa, after all, has lots of work to do, as he prepares to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve!). So, here are more details if you’re interested in traveling in a train to see Santa:



  • WHEN: Saturday, December 21st, 2013

  • TIME: 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. (NOTE: The last train leaves at 7:30 pm)

  • PRICE: $5 per person; taxes included. (It’s the same price for kids and adults.) Matt paid by cash, for us. Also note – you can only buy tickets at the event. Just look for the line-up of people (it’s possible the line-up will already be so long, people are standing outside the train station).

Stand in line. And once you get inside the building, you’ll have an opportunity to buy tickets. Once you’ve got your ticket, it’s just a little more waiting until it’s your turn to board the train!


Here too, are...


5 Tips for a Memorable Train Ride to


See Santa in Muskoka -- a.k.a. the “North Pole”


1) Dress very, very, very warmly. Temperatures are expected to get as low as -11°C on Saturday (and since this a popular event, with lots of people attending, you might need to wait in line, outside, for a while). The train also has open-aired coaches (meaning, no glass windows; it really is cold air circulating through the sitting areas). So although it is a short train ride (maybe 5 minutes, or even less, in one direction) it is chilly.


2) Show up early. The first train leaves at 5 p.m. on December 21st. And, we plan on arriving for 4 p.m. I’m not even sure if this is enough time. I thought we were doing well for time the last time we attended. And, I was surprised to see a super-long line of people. But as a rule of thumb – showing up earlier = better!


3) Bring your camera. There was no photographer on site when we went previously. Just Santa’s helper. So, having your camera means Santa’s helper can use your camera to snap a great memory! (No camera means no visual memory.)


4) Love hot chocolate and cookies? If yes, this is another good reason to show up early! It is only right to take one (complimentary) hot chocolate and one cookie (okay, maybe two cookies) so there’s enough for everyone who attends.


5) Keep an eye out for the guestbook. Shortly before we entered the train station, we saw a guestbook outside and we signed it. Not sure if Santa saw it. But, it was fun signing it, proving Catherine and Matt really were going to the “North Pole!!”


This event is fun. If you go, I hope you have wonderful memories. And, if you’d like to share what your experience was like, I welcome your thoughts. You can comment on this blog or reach me here on the contact page.


Sincerely,

Catherine

 

Rocky's 11th Birthday Party

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on October 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader:


Our beagle dog, Rocky, turned 11 this past summer. And, Daisey (pictured on the right) turned 8. To celebrate, we got Rocky and Daisey doggy treats from Pet Valu in Huntsville. The treats looked homemade and smelled so good, they seemed like we could eat them! We didn't, but they smelled delicious.


One treat - shaped like a dog bone (and smelled like a real cookie) was called a "K9 Party Bone." The other treat looked like real mini cupcakes -- called "Pup Cakes." Such great names for doggy treats!


The doggies loved the treats. Matt edited the video I took on Rocky's birthday celebration. You can watch it by clicking right here.


Sincerely,

Catherine OKeefe

Our Photos with Stan Lee and Knight Rider

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on September 25, 2013 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Reader:

 

Last month, Matt and I got our photo taken with a few celebrities.

 

The first, was Stan Lee – the legendary comic creator. Moments before this photo was taken, Matt gave Stan Lee a gift. What was it? Matt gave a copy of his very own published comic book!! (You can see just a hint of the black cover under Stan Lee's hands.) Stan Lee is an inspiration for Matt's comic book creations. So, this is a lovely memory to have. 

 

Where did we get this photo? At Toronto’s Fan Expo Canada last month.

 

It’s an interesting event – one, where you can meet your favourite celebrities and get autographs or photos – or both.

 

Matt and I, for instance, are fans of the show, Knight Rider so we chose to get this photo:

 

This is the high-tech talking car, K.I.T.T. and actor David Hasselhoff – the stars of Knight Rider. Do you see the Knight Rider product Matt is holding with David Hasselhoff? Well, that’s ours. (It's the complete series of Knight Rider. On the outside of the box, it's got the K.I.T.T. light and when you press a button, a brief clip of the show's theme song plays and the light moves just like K.I.T.T.'s.)


Matt and I were going to hold it together, but David Hasselhoff found it intriguing. He enthusiastically gravitated right to it – and held it with Matt.

 

Very cool.

 

I’m grateful we had these opportunities.


Sincerely,

Catherine

 

Our Newest Family Member

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on September 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello!


In June, we adopted a kitty from the Muskoka Animal Centre. We call her Angel.


Here she is sleeping in a dog house we have. Her head is resting on a pillow I made. Welcome to our family, Angel...



This is Buster, our other kitty. Matt adopted Buster from a co-worker, years ago, even before I met him. We think Buster is around 10 years of age. He loves the box Angel arrived in. Buster loves boxes. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share these with you.


Many Best Wishes,

Catherine

Train Ride to the North Pole

Posted by Catherine and the Paws-itive Pets on February 2, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Dear Sprinkle Goodness Reader,

 

I know... Christmas season is now over...

 

But I’m a believer that if the spirit of Christmas lasted all year round – what a wonderful world this would be...

 

...and Elvis Presley captured this beautifully in his classic song, “If Every Day Was Like Christmas.”

 

So, ever since I started the Ontario blog section of my website last month, I’ve been bursting to share my Train Ride to the North Pole.

 

It was a few years ago, at the Muskoka Heritage Place in the town of Huntsville, Ontario.

 

Their Portage Flyer Train (a steam train) was transformed into a festively-decorated train (think: Polar Express!) that took passengers -- kids, parents, grandparents, couples, and anyone else “young at heart” -- to the “North Pole” to see Santa.

 

My husband treated us to the trip.

 

I’ll write more about our experience closer to Christmas 2013 and how meeting Santa reminded me of what the childlike “spirit of Christmas” really felt like again (yes, a little part of me had lost the feeling from “growing up” but seeing Santa brought it all back).

 

I look forward to sharing more, and how you can enjoy this experience too (I really hope the Muskoka Heritage Place http://www.muskokaheritageplace.org/en/ brings this back!).

 

Until then, enjoy the photos!

 

Sincerely,

Catherine

 

PS: Here are the photos...