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Posted by on May 20, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

By Gary Chalk


Sometimes we are as dumb as a box of Smarties. Case in point…


Years ago, during the week leading up to the May 24th holiday weekend Jan said, “Gary, let’s go camping.” I was shocked! “Jan, are you friggin’ nuts?”


I asked Jan what her attraction to camping is. Back flies the size of Buick Enclaves? Does she like to reek like a California wildfire? I even reminded her that we won’t have colour-coordinated decorator pillows to display on the air mattress. No luck.


Before you could say, “There wasn’t a river gushing through this campsite when we pitched the tent in the dark last night,” Jan and I spent the next seven days preparing for three days of insect bites, ants in our food, and packing flip flops, running shoes, rain boots, even nice shoes for the days it rains so hard you go into town for Chinese food.


Jan and I had different perspectives about our camping trip. Jan took a more practical view and was concerned about disgusting cobwebs in the communal washroom. Me? I took a more liberating perspective dreaming of peeing … Read the rest here

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Posted by on May 13, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘Dumb & Dumber’

Living Retired — ‘Dumb & Dumber’

By Gary Chalk.

I am relaxing on our patio writing this week’s Living Retired column. It feels good to set up the lawn furniture and be outside. I have a cool drink and my iPad.

Things just changed…

The next-door neighbour started his lawnmower. Then, Jan called me from over near the garage.

“Jan, I cannot hear you over the loud lawnmower. I am here on our patio.”

“Well Gary, it seems to me that if you couldn’t hear me, how did you know I said something?” Hmmm, I was, well, dumbfounded.

Jan explained, “Gary, I need you to please open the lid on this can of spray paint. You place your fingers on the cap where the arrow is. I can’t open it because I have a dumb finger.”

I can count on my fingers the number of times I have heard having a dumb finger — none. A numb finger, yes, but not a dumb finger.

A few minutes later from inside the kitchen Jan muttered something to me. I called, “Jan, how do you expect me to hear you when you are in the kitchen?”

“Gary, if you couldn’t hear … Read the rest here

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Posted by on May 6, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘Foot Stool Meets Etch A Sketch’

Living Retired — ‘Foot Stool’ Meets ‘Etch A Sketch’

By Gary Chalk


Jan and I suffered a moment of weakness doing our spring-cleaning last week. This is what happened…


Similar to saying wedding vows, I held Jan’s hand and looked into her eyes: “Jan, I take you to be my wife, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until bedroom decorator pillows squeeze me out.” With that we agreed once and for all to go through ‘stuff’ we have been meaning to throw out ever since we got married!


Some of the stuff is mine. It came with me when we got married. One piece of my stuff goes back to when I attended public school. Jan picked it up, shook the dust off, and said, “Gary, what on earth is this?”


“Jan, that is the foot stool I made at woodworking. I was in grade six.”


“Gary, please explain to me why are we keeping this thing all these years?


There is a story behind my foot stool. I knew it would get a rise from Jan.


“Dear, it did not … Read the rest here

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Posted by on Apr 29, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘Guys & Grills’

Living Retired — ‘Guys and Grills’

By Gary Chalk.

It is Spring: lawns are greening, flowers are blooming, and men are drinking beer before they ignite their gas barbecues. What can possibly go wrong!

I was in elementary school when my father taught me all about barbecuing — which created my craving for steak that tasted like Zippo lighter fluid.

Saturday evening was always barbecue night at the Chalk house. Dad would haul his heavy black beast of a barbecue to the breezeway. There was a small milk box by the side door where the milkman left milk bottles and the mailman stuffed the Eaton’s catalogue. This is where Dad stored his one quart can of lighter fluid.

Dad taught me the ins and outs of holding tongs in oversized barbecue gloves. And when Mom wasn’t watching he would demonstrate his technique squirting lighter fluid three feet away from the briquettes until they were soaked. Then he would add a bit more lighter fluid for ‘good measure’ and throw a match. BOOM!! Such fun.

I remember Dad saying, “Gary, a barbecue is not a toy. It is especially important to always remember that when you strike the match and … Read the rest here

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Posted by on Apr 21, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘This Doesn’t Make Sense’

Living Retired — ‘This Doesn’t Make Sense!’

By Gary Chalk.

I learned something about myself last week: I am a clean linen guy. Oh, I am not talking about our bed sheets. I am referring to Glade Clean Linen Room Deodorizer. Here is what led to my newfound sense of smell…

Tuesday, Jan was at her morning fitness class, so I made egg salad sandwiches for lunch. When I finished, the kitchen stunk like, well, our family room many years ago after the kids left Tyler’s kindergarten birthday party. Peugh!

How to get rid of the egg smell in our kitchen? I had a choice: I could light a fragrance candle — ‘Tropical Fruit Medley’ or spray ‘Clean Linen’ room deodorizer. I chose the ‘Clean Linen’ spray.

As soon as Jan walked in the house she asked, “Gary, did you add too much Downy Fabric Softener to the wash? It smells like clean linen throughout the house.”

“No dear. The kitchen smelled like the egg salad sandwich I made you, so I sprayed Clean Linen room deodorizer. The other choice was to light a ‘Tropical Fruit Medley’ candle.”

The next morning, I burned our breakfast bagels. I reached … Read the rest here

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Posted by on Apr 15, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘We Camped, Once!’

Living Retired — ‘Wasn’t That A Party’

Living Retired — ‘Wasn’t That A Party!’

By Gary Chalk.

I must tip my dorky solar eclipse viewing glasses to the astronomers — those fun-loving, party animals sure know how to toss a party! Think about it…

They convinced the teachers to send the kids home from school three hours before the three-minute solar eclipse! They also scared the bejeebers out of Niagara Falls officials who didn’t know what the eclipse may do to Barbara Walter’s wax figurine, so they declared a state of emergency a whopping two weeks before the eclipse! What’s more, those merrymaking astronomers even coerced us to use the word ‘totality’ in all our conversations — which totality blew me away!

So, it is time to toss our wonky eclipse viewing glasses where the sun doesn’t shine.

But wait…

May is approaching and other professionals, envious of those party-going astronomers making Pi Day jokes — ‘What do you get when you cut a jack-o’-lantern by half its diameter? Pumpkin Pi’ — want in on the fun.

The shoe manufacturers are first out of the box. You won’t believe what the shoe crew have up their sleeves — get ready for it! — ‘National Two Read the rest here

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