Tag Archives: funny

Live? Love? And Laugh in Fawlty Towers? – Home Edition — Linda Knight Seccaspina – Sherbrooke Record Column

Live? Love? And Laugh in Fawlty Towers? – Home Edition — Linda Knight Seccaspina – Sherbrooke Record Column


I live in an old house. I mean 156 years worth of memories and god knows what else went on between these three foot stone walls. My front yard is a giant urban forest and one day I swear the whole shebang will turn into Grey Gardens. So many things have happened to us in this house whether we caused it or not.

A few weeks ago my son told me we had a small squirrel in our basement. He swore he saw a tail flash, and I said he was dead wrong. Well he wasn’t, and one day I opened the solarium door and something was yelling at me in a squeaking voice. Being the always brave person I am, I slammed that door fast and walked away. There was no way I wanted to come face to face with whatever it was.  In my mind it was Gozilla coming from the depths of Japan.

My husband got a live trap out and put in peanuts and we have yet to catch it, but the peanuts made a tasty meal for someone, and it wasn’t me. All was calm on the eastern Ontario front until two evenings ago. My husband went into the TV room to settle down for the evening when he noticed that some of his leftover Easter candy was eaten. In fact on the top of my lazy boy backing into the Christmas Tree ( yes, the Christmas tree) were the wrappers.

So why do we have an undecorated fake 15 Ft Christmas Tree in the corner of the TV room? My late husband bought it after we had a house fire in 1995 and he kept it up. So after he died the family decision was to keep it up and that night it may or may not have had a squirrel in it. All night long after discovering the foil paper on the top of my chair I had visions that the varmint was going to jump out of that tree onto me a  la ‘Christmas Vacation’. Thankfully it did not happen and he or she has not been seen since.

People often doubt the drama that happens at my home, but in reality it is all true, and sometimes, it goes for the gold. Every single day is like a scene from the film The Money Pit or Fawlty Towers. There does not seem to be a day that goes by that something doesn’t snap,crackle or pop.

One day I smelled what I thought was a gas leak or a backed up sewer line and local superman plumber Blair White was called in to check it out. After examining everything he opened a door and said,

“Linda, what you’ve got here is a dead mouse somewhere under the furnace or in the walls.”

The internet told me it would take 10 days for the smell to go away and no amount of Febreeze would help. My bedroom now smells like a bus station restroom, but, I’ve got a strong nose- I can deal with that.

This afternoon one of the raccoons who has made his home in one of my outside roof peaks was seen drinking and swimming in my fountain like he was at a local spa. He would not even budge when he saw me as– my home is his home- and he does not have to pay taxes, nor does he care.

Tonight Steve phoned me from the kitchen (it’s a big house folks, no one hears anything) and says,

“There’s a bat in the kitchen!”

I told him to shut the doors hoping to trap the little sucker in there. Not likely. Fifteen minutes later the bat makes his way to the second floor interrupting America’s Got Talent. We run downstairs and man ourselves with Squash rackets that were expressly made for swishing bats and not to play the sport.We attempt to find him and eventually see him curled up on the floor. Steve hits him and he misses. I scream,”WTH?” (actually you can probably replace the H with another initial). I asked him what his issue was. Seeing he immigrated here from California he looks at me and says with downcast eyes,

“Well, it was my first bat!”

The bat by this time has disappeared somewhere in that room and no amount of high powered rays from the trusty flashlight could find it. We shut off the TV knowing there will be no watching “Chopped” for us and go down to the kitchen. Sitting around the kitchen island we notice flashlights beaming at us from outside on the other side of the gate and waving hands. 

Was it a neighbour?  

Was it my son Perry, a well renowned bat-catcher, coming to save the day?

Actually, it was our brave men in blue coming to find out if everything was okay. A neighbour had seen the flashlight beams in the TV room, saw the TV shut off early, called 911, and reported something suspicious going on in our house.

So, after having a good laugh and hearing some good bat-catching tips from our friendly OPP we came back in and I told Steve we had to catch the bat in the morning as we have no catch and release program in this house. His response?

“Okay, but I need my breakfast first as I can’t catch the bat on an empty stomach- and I definitely need my coffee!”

Stay tuned for more episodes- as the fun never stops here– and it’s commercial free.

So Where Was this Picture Taken? Springside Hall? Jamieson Sisters

More on Springside Hall– Other Owners

Moving Doorways– How Houses Change — Springside Hall Then and Now — Finlayson Series

The Hidden Dumbwaiter in Springside Hall –Finlayson Series

The Story of a Local Family -Finlayson- Richard Finlayson

The Case of the Disappearing Back Staircase — Springside Hall — Finlayson Series

A Houseful of Whimsy- Springside Hall 1982

Do You have a Hidden Room in Your Home?

What Did Adam Dowdall Find in My Carleton Place Yard?

The Sundial of Springside Hall

Then and Now Springside Hall 1920s-1930s Photos

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

My Neighbours –Photos of the Cliff- McCann House and Springside Hall

Update on the Time Capsule in Springside Hall

The Spirits Are Alive and Well

They Once Lived in My Home– The Cram Children — Margaret — Angeline “Babe” and Arthur

They Once Lived in My Home– Arthur Cram

The Morphy Cram House — Springside Hall

The Hi- Diddle-Day House of Carleton Place – Puppets on a String

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Linda Seccaspina

So Where Does the Water come from Under my House?

The Ghost Lovers of Springside Hall – A True Love Story

Do You have an Archaeological Find in Your Carleton Place Basement?

Feeling Groovy by the Lake Ave East Bridge

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

What if You Had a Fire and No One Came?

Just Another Day in Fawlty Towers — Part 2 — To Hell and Back

Just Another Day in Fawlty Towers

Dumbwaiter Calamities of Crockery

While You Were Sleeping —-The Storyland Bunny Moves to the Hi Diddle Day House

What Do Women Really Want? After Valentine’s Day Thoughts…. Linda Knight Seccaspina

What Do Women Really Want? After Valentine’s Day Thoughts…. Linda Knight Seccaspina


What Do Women Really Want? After Valentine’s Thoughts….

Linda Knight Seccaspina

I’m not anti-love, in fact I watch an average of 5 Hallmark movies a week. I thought Valentine’s Day was romantic when I was in Grade 1, but by the time I got to Grade 3  it seemed that it was nothing but business transactions between the card and chocolate companies. In fact for a couple of decades I decided I didn’t need some popular opinion to tell me what my wants or needs would be for a man. In fact, I had a list. Yes, I had a list and I remember it well.

In the grooming department I wanted no dirty combs growing bacteria in some back jeans pocket. Of course that would be the rule only if the fella had hair. Lessons on “wipe-downs and aim” would be needed, and green things growing in a toilet bowl were not usually the mark of a real man in my mind.

A  generous supply of toilet paper must be available, and stocking the bathroom with paper towels from the gym, gas station, and other such places was a no-no. Pants should not be considered portable hand towels. Having many empty spools of toilet paper scattered as kick-toys is not a big turn-on for many women. Reminders should be mentioned frequently that if there is no toilet paper in the house your sheets aren’t really clean. Also, I would prefer no mockery at all about the 18 bottles of hair products I have in my bathroom.

In his home, decorating floors is not really an efficient shelf. Retro is not cheap furniture, and using a mattress or a futon on the floor?  Listen, if you’re old enough to bend over to change the sheets, you’re old enough for a big-boy bed. In the retro theme of home decorating, Lava lamps are not making a comeback. Black light went out in the 60s and 70s and that spooky velvet paint-by-number on the wall does not make the entire room come together. Even if he passed the test there was a bottom line. If he has a collection of action figures, he better have a law or medical degree, or better yet- a substantial trust fund.

Real dishes in the kitchen are important to me as I don’t care to eat out of containers and use plastic cutlery. (Please note that these rules changed once I was older and had a  big crowd over)  Obviously, a restraining order and messages from your ex-wife on the answering machine are particularly unappealing to me either. If you disagree with some of these maybe you don’t really want me as a girlfriend or wife, and just be thankful you have that internet connection!

Love should not be complicated– but it is. I’ve had my share of doozies and I’m sure I was a real piece of work to some of my dates. The world is a mess but I’m glad my Steve is in it even though we did have to have a chat about his use of plastic cutlery and paper plates in his kitchen. Since there was no taxidermy anywhere on the walls, I gave it a pass.

A few years ago at the local Heritage dinner a beautiful diamond ring from Burns Jewellers was the big ticket. I joked with Steve that if he won, he was going to have to get down on his knees and ask me to marry him for a second time. He might have passed the list, but he had never gotten down on one knee and popped the question. That was still a stickler on my imaginary list that one might blame the Hallmark Channel for.

Sadly we did not win– but a good friend did. I was thrilled for her– but what did she do? She put the ring down on the table and told Steve it was his. We were flabbergasted, just flabbergasted, and I think I was in shock. In front of a capacity crowd at the Town Hall Steve got down on one knee and asked me to marry him again. I could not stand up, I was completely frozen.There in the middle of Carleton Place on a cold winter’s night in February I got my Hallmark moment.

In my confusion I did not realize Father David was there and we could have done the marriage roundup a second time right then and there. When I mentioned it to the good padre after the fact he said,

“Well, we’ve still got the parking lot!!”

My lists are gone forever and I laugh when I think about it today. The thing is: you should love your special guy or gal all year long, not on one

day, and get rid of the lists. But, you can still  buy me discounted chocolates the day after Valentine’s. You have to admit that nothing is hotter than a bargain!

See you next week!

Trying to Put Humour Into Being Sick –Linda Knight Seccaspina

A Town Founded by Women and Gossip

There was No Shortage of Wives in Carleton Place

It Wasn’t Raining Men in Carleton Place!

Funny Friday — “Look Mac, That Ain’t No Moose” — 1966

Funny Friday — “Look Mac, That Ain’t No Moose” — 1966

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Jan 1966, Sat  •  Page 83

THIS is a story of valor. It is the strange but true story of a Hereford bull, a photographer and me. But to fully understand our brave act we must first go back to that day in November when I was called into my boss’s office. “Jim,” he said, “sit down. I have a job for you.” “Great, Chief,” I said.

“We are in the middle of the hunting season again,” he went on, “and at this very minute the woods are alive with amateur hunters who don’t know the difference between a moose and a cow. They keep shooting horses and cows and even themselves to prove it.” “Sure, Chief,” I said. “Well, Jim, you are going to get a cow and . . .” “A COW!” I said. “… or a bull, drive up to northern Ontario, put it on the roof of your car and drive back,” he said. “You should get some great reaction and prove my point.”

And that’s how it all began. That’s why, at the height of the deer and moose season, thousands of people saw Kingston photographer Fred Ross and me driving around with that animal on the roof. Before proceeding further, I think it is only fitting to extend sincere thanks to all those people who saw us; they were a great help. To those who called our passenger a Hereford bull, our compliments. To those who believed it was a moose, we say nice try. To that man in Peterborough who agreed we had been right in cutting the antlers off our deer so we wouldn’t scratch the paint on the roof we say . . . Sorry, I’m afraid we still can’t think of a thing to say to him.

We put the show on the road or, if you prefer, the bull on the roof at Sudbury. The beast, as you have’ surely guessed by now, had passed away. He had been, in case you haven’t guessed, in the trunk of our car, all 400 pounds of him. Our original plan had been to hoist him up on the roof with a block and tackle but it was cold in Sudbury and snowing. It being Sunday, we decided to let somebody else do the heavy work. We pulled up to a service station and I told the attendant what we had and what we wanted. He thought he might be able to help. “But I’ll have to check with the boss,” he said. I followed him inside the station. “George,” he said, “they have this cow …” “Bull,” I corrected…. in the trunk and they wanna put it on the roof.” George looked at his man and then he looked at me. “Bull he said. “Bull,” I replied. “Sounds like a job for the Cannonball,” he said. Cannonball, George’s big, powerful tow truck, handled the job with ease and we were soon headed south with the bull up top.

We knew we had a winner as soon as we met the first car. We were moving slowly and it slowed down when the driver saw us coming. There were five people in the car and, while we could not hear what they said, there was only one word on their lips: COW. We pressed on. By the time we hit North Bay hundreds of motorists and pedestrians, many of them hunters, had displayed some of the greatest double-takes you have ever seen. So we figured it was time to stop. Ross parked the car in front of a Chinese restaurant on North Bay’s Main street, went in and ordered something to eat. I stayed behind and pretended to secure the ropes. In no time at all there was a crowd around the car. “How was the moose hunt?” one of them asked. “See for yourself,” I told him. He walked all around the car, very slowly, looking at our prize from all sides. “Nice size,” he said.

“Have you ever seen a bigger one?” “Oh, they go a lot bigger than that,” said the man. “You should try your luck up around Mooso-nee. They say it’s real good for them up there. We wondered then and we wonder now whether the guy actually believed it was a moose. Meanwhile, Ross was inside choking on his won ton soup as he watched and listened to the Chinese waiters. I arrived in time to hear one ask: “Bear?” “Moose, said Ross. “Hen!” said the waiter and walked away.

By now traffic around our end of the main drag was hot and heavy; word spreads fast when you have a bull on your roof. We didn’t want to cause any traffic jams so we decided to leave town. Just south of Huntsville we were stopped by the police. Ontario Provincial Police Constable Len Schloendorf wanted to know if we had a bill of sale “for that.” We had one the carcass had been purchased from a farmer at Kingston. We levelled with him. We were, we said, conducting a survey. Schloendorf asked as they always do for Ross’s driving permit, saw it, took a few more glances at the bull and waved us on. But we had a feeling he wasn’t really satisfied. We were right. He wasn’t.

A few miles down the road he’ stopped us again. Would we follow him, please? He wanted to check this thing out in detail. We followed him to the police station at Bracebridge where we met Constable Art Dawson, who was on radio duty that night. He and Schloendorf both wanted to know the story. Schloendorf sat down at the teletype and started to punch out a message to the Motor Vehicle Registration branch in Toronto. He was going to ask them whether the rented car we were driving really belonged to the people we said it did. “Hold it, said Ross. “I think I can save you the trouble. I have a letter here from the police chief in Kingston and . . .

They checked us out anyway but, after they had detained us for about 40 minutes, they were laughing. They explained then that they had heard of us from the Huntsville detachment. We had passed the police station there and I recalled the officer who had been standing in the window, because the double-take he took when he saw us was by far the best of the trip. “He called us,” Dawson explained. “But it was difficult to make out what he was saying, he was laughing so much.

Before we left the police they told us that a few years ago someone had shot a Hereford bull “one just like yours” in their area and, convinced he had bagged a moose, had strapped a moose licence to one of the animal’s hind legs, loaded it on the roof of his car and headed home. He didn’t get far.

We got motel rooms at Bracebridge that night and parked our car out front. There was just enough light to do the trick. A few minutes after we settled in someone rapped on our door. It was Constable Nels Kennedy of the local police. “I have to ask,” he said. “I couldn’t face driving past that thing all night without knowing the story. Did you shoot it?”

In return for the facts he told us the one about a hunter who went out for deer in the area not long ago and saw a white goat. He killed it, thinking it was a white deer. He didn’t get far either. Traffic past our motel was heavy that night. Hunters would come up, stop their cars, get out and take a close look. And just at the right moment Ross or I would open the door and shout: “Beauty, isn’t he? Nine times out of 10 they would agree and walk away doubled up with laughter. At times I would open the door, walk out and say: “The only question now is how to cook it. Do you guys know anything about cooking venison? I hear that red wine …” It worked every time.

The next day we pushed on past the little town of Udney on Highway 69 and didn’t stop until we were forced to by cattle crossing the road near Brechin. Two farmers looked at our bull, looked at their herd and broke up. They were Hereford farmers and their animals looked just like our “moose.” We parked on the main street of Lindsay. Ross got out and walked away. I pulled my cap down over my eyes and pretended to sleep. A crowd gathered in no time and one man’s curiosity soon got the best of him.

He rapped, gently, on the window. “Yes, sir,” I said. “Is that, he wanted to know, “a deer or a cow? “Moose,” said I. “Lovely, just lovely,” he said and walked away. I drove the car around town for a while to let Ross get pictures of the people. We stayed long enough for Stu Mewburn, a photographer with the Lindsay paper, to hear about our bull. He saw me turning a corner and Ross nearby with his camera. “What do you know about it?” asked Mewburn. “Not a thing but it looks like a picture to me,” said Ross, who then got a picture of Stu taking a shot of our bull. Peterborough was really good to us. We hit town just before noon and parked in the heart of the downtown area.

Within 15 minutes the local press, radio and TV boys were on the story. We made page 1 of The Peterborough Examiner and later discovered other newspapers and the Canadian Press had carried the story of the hunters who had shot the bull by mistake. A little later in the day we pulled into the Royal Burger drive-in restaurant on the edge of town for a bite to eat. It is one of those places where you shout your order into a microphone.

We knew they could see us and we knew they could see our bull. “Two burgers, two large milks and an order of French fries!” shouted Ross. The girl on the other end repeated the order. We waited a few minutes and then drove up to the window for the food. The bull was about 24 inches from her nose but she didn’t crack a smile. Just before we left the restaurant a man from inside the place came out to the car and asked what this was all about. He said he had a reporter on the line who wanted to know if there really was a car in front of the Royal Burger with a bull on its roof. We told him we preferred not to comment “I understand,” he said. We left town.

We moved south on Highway 14 past the little towns of Bonarlaw and Harold and when we got to Stirling we saw a man coming out of the post office. Ross pulled up. I rolled down the window. ‘Tell me, sir,” I said, “do we turn right or left to get to Belleville?” He said left. I thanked him and started to roll up the window. “Out hunting?” he asked. “Yep, moose. And, with one eye on our bull and one eye on me, he asked cautiously: “Get one?” Proudly, I pointed to the roof and volunteered that we hadn’t done too badly on our first time out “for the big ones.”

He cautioned us to stick to the back roads and was still standing there when we went into the turn toward Belleville. We stopped for gas at Belleville. “Nice size, eh?” Ross asked the attendant “Beautiful,” replied the man on the pump. Ross wasn’t satisfied. “Have you seen many coming through?” he asked. “Four yesterday.” “Do they run much bigger than this?” “That’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen.” Ross handed him a $20 bill and we waited for him to go into the station for change. Several men in the window were laughing and we figured the man would get clued in before he returned. We were right

“That’s a steer,” he said with confidence when he got back. “Well, you’re close,” said Ross. “It’s a bull.” “Oh, a bull, ehr “Yep, bull moose,” said Ross. “They say they are good eating.” said the man, confused as ever. “Tender,” said Ross and away we went. After emptying a tavern at Napanee we went on to Kingston, where we parked the car in a shopping centre lot. Ross disappeared and I started to secure the ropes.

I soon had a crowd and one of them, a young man in his twenties, got me over to one side and in hushed tones out of the corner of his mouth said: “Mister, that isn’t a moose.” “You’re kidding,” I said. “Look, I’ll lay you $100 to $1 that that is a Hereford bull. Moose are a lot darker than that and they have long noses.” “You’re sure that isn’t a moose?” “Look, my dad raised Herefords for years and I know one when I see one,” he said. “If I were you I would get it the hell off this lot in a hurry.” When he left another fellow took his place. “What have you got there?” he asked. “Moose; what else?” I replied. “Well, all I can say is it’s a good thing you didn’t go duck hunting.” “How’s that?” “You woulda shot an airplane,” he replied.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Jan 1966, Sat  •  Page 83

Perils of the Cows of Carleton Place or Where’s the Beefalo?

Should Cows and Smart Cars be Tipped?

My Shortlived Bushman Farm Career (Bill Saunderson) — Larry Clark

Trying to Put Humour Into Being Sick –Linda Knight Seccaspina

Trying to Put Humour Into Being Sick –Linda Knight Seccaspina


Today is Saturday, August 6th as I write this and I am back to what one could call normal?

Day 4–a Recap

I am not hiding the fact that I have “the plague” as they call it– as it is nothing to be ashamed about. This is a new reality we have to live with and I know now that I also had it in January of 2020. My doctor could not  put his finger on it because there were no antibody tests then. But, having it now just reaffirms what I had in 2020 before the surge. Instead of a few days, it was two horrid months long. We have come a long way, but these are the facts now. We have to live with it. It is the new flu– and it’s awful–hands down. 

Looking in the mirror this morning I look like Bette Davis on a bad day with a semi swollen face and bags hanging under my irritated eyes. I decided to write a blog called “I Look Like Shrek” and then chose not to share it with anyone. Do I really want people to have that impression of me? If I really was Bette Davis I would have ‘my people’ helping me get through this awful day. But I am not her, so instead I daydream about how I longed to be a movie star when I was very young.

Most of my friends know that my favourite actress is Bette Davis. There is absolutely no one that can get her point across in three seconds or less like she could. As a child I used to buy Popeye candy cigarettes and flash them back and forth yelling in my mother’s high heels,

“It’s going to be a bumpy ride!”– or something to that effect.

But, Bette Davis is not wetting her pants today and doing a laundry load of underwear. The sheer force of nature is running through my body with each sneeze. Only I am feeling the true warmth of being sick and trying to sit in various positions tobe comfortable. I am suddenly longing for the time I can stop crossing my legs when I sneeze. As Bette once said:  “Old age is no place for sissies!” and maybe I would be dry as the desert now if I was 31 and not 71.

But, once upon a time I was young and every part of me worked. My mother Bernice Ethylene named me Linda Susan after her two favourite actresses: Linda Darnell and Susan Hayward. From her hospital bed to her wheelchair at home she commanded my father to enroll me in every dance class known to man. Mother Bernice wanted me to become another Joan Crawford as she was her favourite actress and lived, ate and breathed Crawford.

My mother, who was also tone deaf, thought I was born to sing like Deanna Durbin. Every week Reverend Peacock would choose one person to perform a solo at Trinity Anglican Church in Cowansville, Quebec, and my mother called him and suggested that I participate.

Sunday came way too fast and barely standing next to the choir I began to sing. At the end, I hear no bravos in the congregation, but by verse three people are covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs. At the end of my song Dickie Miner in the front pew breaks out into a fit of laughter and ends up on the floor.

I go back to my seat and see Reverend Peacock look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Watson, age 69, the spinster church organist, stamps on the organ pedals and rolls into the next hymn at death defying volume. My musical career ended that day, but Bernice kept insisting that it was okay because they always had stand-in singers for Joan.

Daydreaming over, I come to the conclusion that I’m going to use up a box of Kleenex every hour and it’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next few days. There is no one that is going to stand in for me like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, but I am lucky it’s only for days and not months or maybe even worse. For the first time in history we can stay inside and watch as much Family Feud (Canadian or American) as we want while chasing it down with a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup. Being sick has made us realize the things we take for granted in life are never to be ignored again, not to mention life itself.

Be well everyone!

Being Old is No Place for Sissies! Part 2

Being Old is No Place for Sissies

This Old House….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

Men that Stare at Balls —  Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102 — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Men that Stare at Balls —  Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102 — Linda Knight Seccaspina


Men that Stare at Balls– Linda Knight Seccaspina

The things I know about football:

My father cheered for the losing Toronto Argonauts until he died and even when comedian John Candy took over as owner, he still could not resurrect their life-force.

There is a difference between the CFL and the NFL and it has something to do with the size of the field but don’t ask me about it.

Upon leaving a Canadian University, my best friend’s boyfriend got picked up to play for the Edmonton Eskimos and after a week of practising with men that were double his size he left. The town of Cowansville, Quebec talked about it for at least a year.

I once was a cheerleader for the *Cowansville, Quebec Colts, who only won one football game in two years. I had no idea what they were doing on that field but I can still remember the cheers word for word.

American lobbyist J. C. Watts once played for the Ottawa Rough Riders and was dating one of my staff at the same time. He came to dinner one night and absolutely hated my Italian soup. Watts played football the next day and blamed my soup for feeling ill. No one else was sick so I cursed his game.

When the clock says there is 5 minutes left in the game you know that it’s really somewhere in the neighbourhood of at least 22 minutes.

                                                             Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102

I have always been on a stadium free diet and knew that “The East Coast Bowl” extravaganza would be on all day.  The only thing I cared about on Superbowl XLVI was the commercials and seeing Madonna. My joys would be the halftime show and eyeing the linesmen bend over during the game. Between you and me there is nothing better than seeing a man in tight pants blocking other players.

If it were not for the commercials and Madge I would rather watch a faucet drip or knit a sweater for the Easter Parade.  Tom Brady’s wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, did send me one of her mass emails begging me to send good vibes and prayers so her hubby could win the game. Stupid is as stupid does.

Of course I have already watched most of the commercials online but still enjoyed watching David Beckham once again for the same reason I like the linesmen. I still think some of the commercials should be more geared to women. Women are the ones who are busy dishing out stadium style snacks with the Slim Jims lined up in the dip like goal posts.

There is nothing worse than listening to hours and hours of male cheering for those on the field that are getting beaten up and tackled. I have also heard them say that the next best thing to being in the stands is sitting on the couch with friends. Their fragile egos are so geared to sports that if they can’t be out there playing then they like to watch. Note to all the women is that particular view on football seems to be the same way they feel about sex.

This year was the best lip synched show thus far, featuring Madonna and friends. The “Like a Virgin touched for the 3000th time” is nothing but an icon to me. People complained that Madonna could have been the mother of any of the players and everyone wanted to hand her a cane. May I remind you of former older entertainers who also did Super Bowl appearances, like Bono, Springsteen, Aerosmith and the list goes on. I scream double standards and age discrimination and was shocked Betty White was not joining her on stage to do squats and ride the male ponies.

If you were not into football there were the alternatives from the puppy bowl to marathons of AbFab and Downton Abbey. Personally I would take Patsy and Edina’s drunken insanity on AbFab over football any day. I did however vote for Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey for MVP.

Does the football game really say that there is less aggression in women or is it really a matter of a man’s dreams and personal glory? I understand men do not like to explain football to women and I have absolutely no interest in asking why the man in my life does the end zone shuffle screaming,

“We’re number 1!” We’re number 1!”

In the end I may not care for the sport, but I do cherish the few moments during a football game when you can watch a loved one “move like Jagger”. Got to love your personal linesman and worth every second of the irritating sporting event.

Notes from the Peanut Gallery:

What “self-respecting guy” would shell out $14.95 for a pair of Beckams briefs? I can get a 5-pack of boxer briefs at Wal-Mart or Target or Costco for about $12.- Walter B

*Yamaska August 8, 1962

Brome-Missisquoi Junior Football League Schedule

Aug 5 Cowansville Colts vs Farnham Frontenac

Aug 11 Farnham Frontenac vs Knowlton Larks

Aug 18 knowlton larks vs cowansville colts

Aug 25 Farnham Frontenac vs Cowansville Colts

Sept 1 Knowlton Larks vs Farnham Frontenac

Seven 8 cowansville colts vs knowlton larks

Sept 15 Playoffs

Sept 27 Playoffs

Oct 8 Playoff

Yamaska, August 29, 1962

Cowansville Junior Football Club, after a long stand, will host its first game in Cowansville on Saturday, September 1st against the Knowlton Larks. This game will be played at the Municipal Playground, located on Bernard Boulevard, and at 2 PM. There will be a parade if the weather is favorable. She will depart from City Hall at 1hr 15p.m. leading Cowansville Youth Harmony, followed by the league, executive club and players in convertibles. If sometimes it rains, there will be no parade but the parade will still take place at the usual time of 2 P.M. The parade will be rescheduled to next week when Cowansville hosts Farnham Frontenacs.

The Colts will try to hold on to the top spot in the league, having a slight lead over the teams.

Come support your local football league.

The Yamaska Sept 5, 1962

Cowansville Colts play their first game at home. Knowlton Larks win 21-18

The Cowansville Colts were hosted by the Knolwton Larks this past Saturday, September 1. The game took place at the Stadium on Bernard Street in C’ville. Spectators witness a football game being held for the first time in Cowansville. Even though the Larks defeated the Colts by a small three-point margin, these teams displayed a well-balanced game.

The ride was preceded by a parade that rocked City Hall formed by the Cowansville Junior Harmony. She was followed by convertibles carrying Brome-Missisquoi Junior Football League executive and Cowansville Colts Club executive, as well as Horseman M. Armand Beauregard reppin’ the city. Plus the Cowansville players in their blue and white uniforms followed.

The referee was under Mr. Hubert Dubois former Assistant Chief of SRFU and assisted by Dick Ferris of Farnham, Rupert Dobbin of Sweetsburg. A large crowd of supporters were present to support the local club, as well as supporters from Knowlton Larks and Farnham Frontenacs. The latter being the club that will meet Cowansville this week on September 8th at 2 p.m. in the Cowansville township.

Thank you to Cowansville Junior Harmony for showing out during the parade as well as at halftime convertible owners who provided their free help during the parade. Thanks also to Mr Hubert Dubois of the QRFU Montreal has provided his good competition in terms of professional arbitration and it is understood that he will come for future parties. Although the Cowansville Colts lost this game, they are still a great team in the league, and that will be proven at the next game in Cowansville Saturday, September 8th at 2 p.m. vs. Far Frontenacs. Lava.

Come along and support our local club.

The Yamaska 19 Sept 1962

Farnham Frontenacs defeat Cowansville Colts in the last minute it was a surprise 21-19 definite record

COWANSVILLE – In a surprise final, the Farnham Frontenacs lined up to make the winning touch over the Cowansville Colts who will play strongly into the end of the game or the Frontenacs made the final touch to do so win the game. It was apparent that near the final minutes Cowansville’s defensive line was considerably weakened and Farnham’s backfield used a bit of strategy to lock in all the winning points. Colts scored 6-0 in the 1st quarter, 7-6 in the 3rd 19-15 But in the end, the Colts just didn’t look like they were able to go ahead enough to stay near a touchdown margin.

While it was another disappointment for the Colts who just missed a loss to the Knowlton Larks last week, the Colts will play next week for a semi-final first leg, the first ever will be held in Knowlton next sat 15th sept. The second leg will be held at Cowansville, the semi-final will be the series total points between the two clubs. The semi-final winner will play first place with the Farnham Frontenacs in a 2 of 3. Today’s points were counted for Cowansville by: M. Liberty (13), D. Peacock (21), each having a touch, and P. Jordan scores a hit. Farnham was G. Harrison (31), one touchdown, R. Pie (25) two touch, D. Root (27) and H. Takeda got one and two points, respectively.

Colts cheerleaders supported their club perfectly like Farnham’s well organized. M. H. Dubois de Montreal QRFU referee was umpiring the game with the help of Dick Ferris from Farnham and Rupert Dobbin from Sweetsburg. M. A. Just from cowansville was taking minutes and M Ray Tetreault of Farnham was the corrector on these. Young football fans are invited to go to Knowlton for English school semi finals.

Come and support your local club.

Yamaska Oct 17, 1962

In the Brome-Missisquoi Junior League Farnham’s young representatives finished their season in style by winning the Grand Final at Knowlton Larks 24-19

Outliving the Warranty–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Outliving the Warranty–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Outliving the Warranty–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Everything I do these days seems to get a roll of the eye from the younger generation. I honestly don’t know how I got this old, but it beats being dead.  I’ve been told by my sons on previous birthdays the candles on the cake cost more than the birthday cake itself now. So what?

Of course it is a different world these days, and there is no just turning on the AM radio in the morning, or listening to weatherman Percy Salzman at night on the black and white television with only three channels. Now we have computers, social media and cellphones to babysit until we doze off in our living room chair at night.

According to my sons I drive way too slow and should not be on the road. Well, there is the fact I drive only in the radius of the county, but either I am not pushing the gas pedal hard enough, or I am talking and pointing to something without checking what is coming my way. Yes, sometimes that can be a problem, I admit it.

Then there are my oversize glasses. I bought them specifically for style as it hides the bags under my eyes and I am getting more bang for my buck with large lenses for vision. Yes, it is one step under needing a seeing eye dog. However, one day my eldest drove by me on the road and my glasses were way down on my nose, and he said the next time he saw me like that he would disown me. I told him someone must have sent out a memo stating that after 65, wearing huge glasses is in.  I reminded him that people start to shrink as they get older, and glasses need to grow in the opposite direction. He wasn’t buying it!

I have also learned that in most cases if you call your kids and leave voicemail, good luck to you. If you send a text you should get a return message in 3-4 working days if you are lucky. It’s similar to laundry: washing- 30 minutes, drying-60 minutes and putting it away-7-10 working days.

How can you convey to your kids that we are now older? It takes longer to get out of the chair, or off the couch with possible sound effects. They need to understand we have aches and pains and maybe cleaning my fridge is not at the top of my list.  Yes, I am not a young Mum anymore— but that’s the journey talking and one day their strange noises will be a lot louder than ours.

Then there is the debate about Instagram and Facebook. Yes, I am on Instagram so I can see my grandkids photos where the younger family hangs out, but I am, and have always been, an enthusiastic Facebook user. Instagram just doesn’t seem to have my age-group variety of Memes, photos of other folks’ grandkids and funny cat photos.

Bottom line is, even if my kids think I am old and out of touch, that’s nonsense. In our heads we are anything but. We are just all enthusiastic, and just love remembering and telling stories about our childhoods:

“Jell-O moulds with fruit trapped inside, and drinking out of the hose and the outdoor street lights being our guide to go home at night. Those are experiences that kids today just won’t have”.

At my age I am going to continue to fumble and mumble and tell people to speak up for the rest of my life. Criticisms of me slowing down will not bother me at all either. Last week I wore my underwear backwards all day for some reason, but I knew in my heart it didn’t matter. That’s because I still remember the old days of  being told to make sure you have clean underwear on– no matter which way it faces. In the olden days it was the fear of accidents, now it’s the possibility of meeting up with a full body scanner somewhere. It’s cheaper anyways to go through the airport than setting up an appointment with your doctor.

That Four Letter Word.. Linda Knight Seccaspina

That Four Letter Word.. Linda Knight Seccaspina

That Four Letter Word.. Linda Knight Seccaspina

I have a love-hate relationship with IKEA. Whether you’ve just moved into a new place or are planning on renovating, you have to admit that IKEA has just about every piece of furniture you’ll ever need–if you can make it out of the store. I can sit for hours and read their old out- of- print catalogues at home and never get bored. Yet, when I enter that store I have to walk miles through areas I have no interest in. But, as I stroll casually through each department I realize the place is nothing but an obstacle course and somehow I find myself yet in another dead end. A dead end I don’t want to be in.

Do you list your next of kin address as IKEA on official documents and do you dream of Swedish meatballs? I have literally seen people bless themselves before entering those blue and yellow holy grail gates. It’s a well known fact that once you’re inside it’s fairly hard to escape, and once you do; you end up with a lot of things you didn’t even know you needed.I’ve heard customers complain about this same issue at Costco too: “Just came for milk and eggs” and $800 later, I still don’t see the milk and eggs. Sometimes I just like to stand in the IKEA parking lot and watch people try to fit everything into their small cars.

I must argue with the person who wrote that anyone that cannot assemble something from IKEA should go back to kindergarten. When no text is used in assembly instructions this should be the first warning that the bed you just bought that morning is not going to be slept in that night. I am sure whomever else is assembling the same product in another part of the world is having the same dilemma. Exactly what is that little illustrated Swedish man pointing at? Is he eating Salmon with Wheat Pilaf?  A word of warning to remember is that your completed furniture is only as good as the “chosen one” who has volunteered to put it together. Welcome to IKEA, the people that sometimes throws in extra instructions, or nuts and bolts to mess with you. How about that Swedish plywood? Or is it really Swedish?

IKEA sells over 16,000 products online, of which they say approximately 9,209 items are now being resold on Kijiji. Half are dresser drawers that are missing knobs which have long fallen off and are lost. Most folks lose the instructions, so you know your end result will look like something conjured up by IKEA hackers working solely with tea lights guiding their way.

IKEA started making homes in Europe in 1996 called “BoKlok”. It was a move to allow first-time home buyers to have a chance at a cheaper place to live. What if the owners of one of these homes divorce? Who gets custody of the Allen wrench? Do they share?  Didn’t that Allen wrench once put together the Eiffel Tower?

In the end it’s about who you want to spend the day at IKEA  with, and the ultimate purpose of going to IKEA remains just as mysterious as the little dots they put over those very strange names. Even IKEA knows the struggle we mortals face when assembling their furniture! I would love to tell you more jokes about IKEA, but in the end the setup is too long and the final product is probably mediocre. 

Yes, IKEA is a wonderful place, and no matter how many times we pay a visit, there always seems to be an endless array of new treasures to discover. Our children no longer want our old sturdy old furniture and antiques and insist on buying new things. I keep telling my kids my furniture was new when I bought it. At the end of the day, one does not simply ‘like’ IKEA – you either live and breathe it, or you don’t speak of it at all. I say everyone’s lips are sealed.

When Everything Else Fails… Linda Knight Seccaspina

When Everything Else Fails… Linda Knight Seccaspina

Last Sunday I put a load of laundry in the washer. I am nowhere near Martha Stewart quality when I do laundry. In fact Martha would probably put me in a laundry detention centre if she knew what I was up to. If she saw me folding fitted sheets I would have to explain to her that  I fold sheets similar to fighting a boa constrictor. It’s not that I don’t know how to do things properly as I used to help my Grandmother with the laundry on Mondays. The boiling water was heated up on the stove, and the Laundry detergent was of construction quality. As I watched the old washer toss and turn and groan I listened to her many constant stories of kitchen industrial accidents while the laundry was going through the wringer. 

In fact, even if she had asked me to help with the wringer rollers I wouldn’t  have. There was great fear of ending up with lacerations, hematomas, fractures and potentially complete removal of a hand or arm like some poor children had endured in Dunham, Quebec.. 

Again, I know what I am doing with laundry, but as Frank Sinatra sang: “I prefer to do it my way”. Yes, the first mistake was to load the washer up to TILT. I knew it was just too heavy for the machine– but I moved on. After turning the washer on I realized that I had forgotten some underwear so I pressed the red button so the lid would unlock. Instead of the machine going back on– it decided to have a complete computer meltdown.

What happened to the good old days when the Maytag was a force to be reckoned with? When you could use, abuse, and pretty well do laundry for 30 years without a misstep. 

Not anymore…

So instead of thinking carefully, I took a “how dare you” attitude with the washer and began to twist  the knob to other washes. I kept pressing button after button with all the confidence of a four year-old in a Batman T-shirt. Finally, with a clear mind, I unplugged it and plugged it back in. Isn’t that a quick fix for anything these days?

What I should have done was Google it and find out the correct way instead of acting like Slappy the Clown. Of course it sputtered and struggled and redid “wash jobs” for the next hour and a half. I stood beside it begging it to submit. As I listened to the water going back and forth, and back and forth, through the pipes I had visions that the basement was being flooded. What had I done wrong?

Actually, I had done something right. I unplugged the machine, but what I failed to do was lift and lower the lid 6 times within 12 seconds like they tell you on YouTube. I had to make sure the magnetic strip on the lid went fully down for contact to reset the machine. Who lifts a lid  up and down 6 times?  NO, I do not follow instructions, nor read step by step instructions. Why? Because you never know when you might run into something interesting.

So victory was finally mine at 5:55 Sunday evening. I had fixed the problem and had no qualms about throwing the second load in as my laundry had been breeding while I was trying to fix the issue. As I loaded the dryer the machine became off balance. Okay, dryer, let’s get ready to tumble!  Quickly, I moved the dryer a tad, put some real heavy Queen Elizabeth History books on top and gave it a kick. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself how you expect to conquer the world each day, especially when you can’t even conquer your laundry. There is no doubt that my housekeeping style is best described as:”There appears  to have been a  struggle!”

Jane McCallum — The First Lady of No-Rub Laundry Flakes

I will Wash Your Mouth Out with Soap!

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

As the World Turns in Carleton Place — Soap and Ground Beef

Who was Cody the Kid in Carleton Place? — Soap Box Memories

Laundry Down By the River

Lots of Laundry– Lassie Come Home!!!!

I am a Laundry Girl

Musings about Vibrating Appliances and Other Dirty Laundry

Tales From the Chinese Laundry on Bridge Street

Tales of the Queen’s Underwear and all those “Accidents”

Ashes to Ashes and Spins of the Washing Machine

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10



                                            The Delivery Man- March 2020

It wasn’t the first time that this delivery man had crossed my door. But, each time he graced my garage door with a delivery he tried to make an impression. Even though I have a sign to leave any packages in the mailbox the driver just isn’t happy with my instructions. Once again I was scolded and told about the right way to do things because he cared how he delivered his packages.

“No problem”, he said. “Once Spring comes the gates will be opened and all would be good”.

A smile came across my face because none of what he said would happen, and I was probably doomed to listen to instructions the rest of my life. After all he said, I could have $8000 worth of goods in that package. I laughed knowing my budget is about 20 bucks and deep inside that box were three BTS K POP figures, two for my grandaughters, and yes one for me.  

If you didn’t know BTS is one of the most popular boy bands on the planet right now and listening to the Supertramp music come out of the delivery guys’ truck I knew this gentleman would not have a clue either. Nor would he care how elated I was going to be soon opening the box to see my fave BTS ‘guy” “V”. I was 14 once again!  


As I signed for the package he zipped his snowmobile one piece up to his neck and adjusted his hood and then told me to have a good day. As the chorus from Supertramp’s song Logical blared out of his truck he was gone. I thought it was nice that someone cared about my package. So remember, not all superheros wear capes, but some play Supertramp.


Scents of the Heart — Evening in Paris


Just about every home in the world had a bottle of  “Evening in Paris” somewhere in the house. Even the perfume machines in women’s restrooms had them. If you put in a coin and pushed the buttons a big squirt of perfume would come out.  My Grandmother would always get a bottle for a gift when I was a kid and she never said she didn’t like it. My Grandfather would always take one of us girls to Varins drug store on South Street on Christmas Eve to but a gift for her. We would come home reeking of many perfumes he had tried on me but he always bought Evening In Paris. You could get the set of powder and the beautiful cobalt blue bottle of cologne for a mere $3.98.

How wonderful I felt when Grammy dabbed it on my wrists and behind my ears before sending me off to school. I also remember her wearing her full length coat when the vial shattered and spilled on her coat —-you could smell her long before she approached you in the preceding months. Evening in Paris will always remind me of Grammy Knight and feeling safe, secure and being loved.

One of my favourite flowers Lily of the Valley grew everywhere around her headstone, and after my Mother died they sent home her belongings in a blue Samsonite suitcase. When I opened it a bottle of her favourite perfume Coty’s Lily of the Valley had broken inside. For years, each time I opened that suitcase, I relived the rare hours spent with my Mother, in the many hospitals she lived in during my childhood before she died.

Nothing is more memorable than a smell, sometimes it’s the key to our memories.

Image result for coty lily of the valley

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1

The New Year’s Present



Photo- Linda Seccaspina


For anyone that has a dog or had one or knows one

The new after-Christmas rug was Wedgwood Blue and bristly in touch, almost like the back of a porcupine. In the centre of this spectacular piece of decor that everyone hated but me was a delicate white snowflake. I cherished this new acquisition and opened the door several times to gaze at my precious find. This rug would last for many years I thought to myself. It seemed to be invincible, and better yet was on sale.

The next day I could immediately smell what was on that festive mat before I opened the door to admire it. As I walked to the front door in slow motion, my nostrils filled with a scent so putrid that I immediately threw on the exhaust fan on my way over. Sitting in the centre of my inexpensive prize was “a pile of joy” the size of metropolitan Toronto.Who and what created this perfect masterpiece perched on top of the delicate snowflake? Did this animal not share my thoughts on the Holidays? The rug now had no where to go now but the dumpster. Who would ruin my treasured mat? What or who could do such a thing?

Ten minutes later I saw HIM in the hall running without a care. A dog, visiting my neighbour, sporting a fashionable festive hoodie had to be the culprit. As his collar jingled like Santa he stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me. We both spoke silently with our eyes locked, and suddenly I found myself filled with angry vocabulary not suitable for any time of the year. The dog now with downtrodden eyes, sucked himself closely to the wall as he passed by me. I glared at him as he walked by with apprehension and screamed,

“You little ^&*&$% !!!! Don’t do that again or Santa is not going to buy you any treats!”

Not wanting to have yet another disappointment over a door mat I found something suitable at a second hand shop. Costing more than my Walmart special, it was plain, brown, and obscure, and should last me through the next decade.The top of the mat read:



THE DOG – DAY 751–My captors continue to torment me with bizarre rubber squeak toys. They eat lavish meals in my presence while I am forced to subsist on dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of eventual escape–that and the satisfaction I get from occasionally ruining some piece of furniture.I fear I may be going insane!

Yes, I thought to myself, this new rug will last at least through to the next Christmas season. It has no colour, or feel of the outdoors. It is a rug that does not tease or beckon anything on four legs. It is fool proof! The next morning the replacement rug was ceremoniously marched to the dumpster. Once again the bladder and bowels of the visiting creature had hit the mark and I no longer cared.

A $2.99 Ikea green and black stripe door mat found on page 39 of the Ikea catalogue became the final replacement. I seriously considered putting a “No Dumping” sign by my door. The next day I spied my furry friend running through the hall once again sporting yet another odd-ball hoodie. Our eyes met instantly, and after I slammed the door, I silently thought that no matter what I put out for a rug, this dog would always be “a rebel without a Claus”.


Related Reading

Till Milkbone Do Us Part

Dogs on Film at Walmart

And They Called it Puppy Love– The Waterside Story

A Message from the Rainbow Bridge

Because You Loved Me –In Memory of Bluemist Volker Aksel

In the End –All that is Left are Memories and Paper

Memoirs of a Doggie Blogger from The Valley Veterinary Clinic

Collecting Your Dog’s Urine Sample– Dedicated to the Carleton Place Valley Veterinarian Clinic

Dogs in The Pool – Girls and Boys Just Want to Have Fun!


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News