Acrylic Paintings By Maureen O’Shea

I bought some paints, brushes and canvas originally to paint a red Saskatchewan Pool Elevator as there were hundreds of them in Saskatchewan when I was young. Now they are becoming obsolete being replaced with mega grain terminals. I wanted to take a picture of one of these elevators to paint and it was a few years before I was able to find an elevator. I just happened to see this lone elevator a mile or so off the highway west of Rosetown, SK. A left turn and I had pictures.

However, since I had the paints I decided to try painting a golf course hole before I attempted to paint an elevator. Here are some of my paintings.

My first try at painting. Hole #4, Sky Mountain, Hurricane, UT.

Saskatchewan Pool Elevator at Ridpath, SK.

Saskatchewan Pool Elevator, Ridpath, Sk

On The Shore At Maui, HI

Murray and Jesse in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.

Norquay, Saskatchewan Elevators

Lake Abraham, AB on the North Saskatchewan River

Abstract Pastel Colors

Angry Bull

Spirit Island, Maligne Lake AB

Spirit Island is the last painting I have done which was in 2010. Then my writing for the blog has taken over since June 2015. One day I will get more canvas and paint again. I’ll never be a famous painter but I enjoy trying to be creative.




Artists and songs

Thanks to my IPad I can watch/listen online and sing along to a variety of songs.

My favourite band of all time is The Eagles and leads the way. 

1. Hotel California 

2.  Frank Sinatra – (1) The Way You Look Tonight, (2) My Way

3.  Anne Murray – Someday

4.  John Denver – Country Roads

5.  Garth Brooks – The Dance

6.  Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

7.  Celine Dion – The Power Of Love

8.  Johnny Cash – Sunday Morning Coming Down

9.   Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

10.  Willie Nelson – (1) Always On My Mind and (2) City Of New Orleans

11.  Willie Nelson and Ray Charles – Seven Spanish Angels

12.  k d lang – I Wish I Didn’t Love You So

13.  Gordon Lightfoot – Early Morning Rain

14.  Ella Fitzgerald – Someone To Watch Over Me

15. Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson – Just A Closer Walk With Thee

16.  My Dad, Peter Stone loved to sing. This was his favorite song

On Moonlight Bay

Voices hum, crooning over Moonlight Bay
Banjos strum, tuning while the moonbeams play
All alone, unknown they find me
Memories like these remind me
Of the girl I left behind me
Down on Moonlight Bay
Candle lights gleaming on the silent shore
Lonely nights, dreaming till we meet once more
Far apart, her heart, is yearning
With a sigh for my returning
With the light of love still burning
As in of days of yore

We were sailing along
On Moonlight Bay.
We could hear the voices ringing;
They seemed to say,
“You have stolen her heart”
“Now don’t go ‘way!”
As we sang Love’s Old Sweet Song
On Moonlight Bay




Blogger Of The Month – March 2019

To my surprise last month I had an email from Into Real Pages. Read on.

Since that time my book “The Swedish Pioneers” has been printed. I’m putting together the next book to be printed about the O’Shea family and my 28 years with Doc.




Planning An Afternoon Seniors’ Bridge Party

It was a dreary Thursday in April 2019 when three of us headed out to the southwestern town of Bragg Creek, Alberta to play Bridge at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. The weather forecast was for overcast skies and the possibility of snow later in the day. It is a short drive on Highways 8 and 22 to the town and soon we were there!

Organizing a ladies and gentlemen group to play Bridge is not an easy TASK an any age but seems to be more of a challenge as we get older. There had been a large contingent of players originally in this group but the number has dwindled as participants have left the area. Bridge players had come from near and far to the community center and often there were three, four and even five tables playing the game.  Back a few years ago there were many players from Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows, Longview, Turner Valley, Cochrane, Airdrie as well as the former residents who now live in Calgary.  It was easy to attract volunteers back then to bring the coffee, dessert and to set up the tables.  The hall was booked the second and fourth Thursday each month of the year and very well attended.

You would think that with modern technology it would be easier to organize such an outing but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The number of bridge players has decreased as the seniors have aged and young people have not taken up the game.  Now there is a challenge to get two let alone three tables of participants. 

We seniors often need reminders.  A sticky note put in an obvious place in the kitchen is my favorite reminder. It needs to be in sight for me to see upon arising each day. This really helps me to know my plans for the day. I even put alerts on my IPAD for the day before AND the day of my engagements.

Back to the party. We arrived around 12:30 p.m. to set up the tables with playing cards, Bridge tallies and pencils. When we walked up the stairs to the loft in the Community Center where we were to play there were two ladies there who had already done all the set up.  How lovely.

The tables were set

I met the seven others who I didn’t know and we waited for two gentlemen to arrive from Cochrane. This would make three tables, four at each table. By 1:20 p.m. there still was no sign of these guys.  A search by one lady in her purse produced a cel phone and the men were called.  No answer, no message manager, and no call waiting. So we went ahead and played with nine people. Turns were taken as to one “sit-out” for each four hands.  (One gentleman decided to make things easier and he said he had some chores to do and went home.)

The “Bragg Creek”

I had a few good cards and had a great time.  Everyone was so friendly and for sure I would go again, if asked.  There on the counter was “help yourself to a pineapple/ginger loaf and coffee” and I sampled both.  When we finished six rounds of Bridge it was time for clean up. All cards and tables were put back in place. We said our good-byes and headed for home. Just as forecasted the snow arrived and we drove through a spring snowstorm back to Calgary.

Thanks to my friends who invited me to join them for the day.  Planning for group activities is not easy at anytime but with seniors there is just a little more to making sure we all “remember” what is planned.




Once Upon A Cheater – Exposing A Fairy Tale

Remember at the end of my post “There Is Love And There Is Blinded By Love” I asked if any of my readers had stories to tell that could help other people. This is the second of two true stories that I hope will be a valuable lesson learned in the pitfalls of relationships

Beware Of Cheaters

Whether you meet a stranger through a chance encounter in public or through an online dating site, keep in mind that some of them will be cheaters. They may already be married or in a committed relationship, and it is highly unlikely they will admit that to you. Everyone reading this will soon know just how much a cheater will lie about his history, present status, where he was yesterday and where he is right now. If you are the person being used by the cheater, you will feel confused and frustrated before he (or she) is done with you (or until you discover the whole truth and you are done with them).

This is the true story of a cheater who went to epic lengths to conceal the fact that he was married. Looking back, it is mind-blowing just how thick, fast and effortless the lies flowed from that cad. Eventually I had to admit to myself that he was basically using me for sex for as long as he could get away with it – six months, as it turned out.  

Rapid Romance

Here’s how his elaborate fraud scheme unfolded. I am a single woman who met him in a retail store where he was working. He approached me in a very friendly, chatty and flirtatious manner. We clicked right away. Soon after that we were meeting for coffee and getting acquainted. He told me that his wife had died a few years ago, but he still wears his wedding ring. Sure, in retrospect, that could have been a red flag. However, I also knew that it was possible for a grieving widower to have a sentimental attachment to a wedding ring. He claimed that wearing his ring also helped ward off unwanted advances from other women. That part seemed a little far-fetched, but I shrugged it off.

We seemed compatible in so many ways, including our religious faith and spirituality. We had long conversations about everything and anything. Those interactions may have been sincere, or he may have been grooming me like a predator. At the time though, I was happy to include this man in my life. Although the relationship was moving very quickly, I reasoned that, at our age, why should we take things slowly? That turned out to be unfortunate thinking on my part.

When he bought me a gold promise ring, I was thrilled by that romantic gesture of commitment. It seemed like proof that we were a real couple.

The (fake) widower told me that he was living with his disabled adult son in a condo. Since my condo was more private, that became the hub for our relationship as it progressed to an intimate level. I was flattered when he came to my place and would immediately mute his phone so we wouldn’t be disturbed. Sure,today I know cheaters use that trick to hide communications coming from their spouse, but back then I didn’t think twice about it.

There are many reasons for muting a phone — not all are innocent.

Outrageous Lies and Excuses

Throughout the months of deception, I gradually started to realize that our relationship was solely based around my home, my meals and my family. We occasionally went out in public, but not often. I wasn’t introduced to his friends, nor did his co-workers seem to realize that I was his ‘girlfriend.’ I was supposed to attend one of his theatrical performances, but somehow he kept forgetting to reserve the ticket and then the play was allegedly sold out and then the venue was allegedly changed at the last minute. It was all getting to be a bit much, especially since I had not yet been to his condo either. He kept saying that he didn’t want to intrude on his son yet, or that the condo was far too messy, or whatever his excuse-of-the-day was.

To be clear, this man was sleeping over at my condo on some nights every week. That was the major reason why it never occurred to me that he still had a wife and a home somewhere else. I would later discover that he lived out of town, but when he had a late shift at work and an early shift the next morning, that is when he would sleep over at my condo. On those nights, apparently his wife thought he was sleeping over at their son’s condo. It was a clever con-job on his part, but not flawless as it turned out.

Too many lies

I’m not sure how much of what this cad told me about his work history was true. However, it’s worth warning others about grandiose claims made by cheaters and/or compulsive liars. He knows his scam will be discovered at some point, but in the meantime he may exaggerate his achievements to impress or mislead you into thinking he is financially secure. Or, perhaps it’s just self-serving fantasy on his part to stroke his own ego.  

Searching For Truth

How did I eventually expose this married fraudster for who he really is? Well I did what I wish I had done at the very beginning before dating him. I, and some friends and family members, used Google and social media to uncover the hurtful truth. Here are tips I can pass along to help others avoid being used by a man who claims to be single or a widower while he is still living with a spouse or common-law partner.

Searching

  • 1. Do a thorough search of his name on Google and social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). If he doesn’t have any social media presence, that may be a red flag. That was true about the guy who deceived me. However, after some digging, my friends and I found his name mentioned in posts or websites relating to his church, his theatre group, his mother’s obituary, etc.
  •  2. If the man has a Facebook account and it doesn’t have privacy restrictions, inspect it very closely. If he has very few friends and few posts and/or there are no comments, that could be a dummy account. Be skeptical and be suspicious! 
  •  3. If your online search comes up with a landline phone number connected to the man’s name, do a reverse look-up of the phone number to see if an address comes up. In my situation, that was how I eventually found out the cad actually lived out of town in a bungalow with his very-much-alive wife.
  • 4. In the case of a man who claims to be a widower, do a Google search on the spouse’s name for the obituary or any other mention. If the spouse is still living, her name may come up in an employment context, an online review, a charitable donation list, etc. In my situation, when I couldn’t locate an obit for his wife, I asked him about it. He claimed she didn’t want a local one, but that there was one published back in the U.K. where her family was from. Here’s where anyone in this situation should hit PAUSE and realize that if it sounds preposterous, then it probably is preposterous!
  • 5. “Before becoming intimate, check on what is legitimate.” That should be the mantra of single women everywhere. If the relationship proceeds and seems safe, be sure to ask for his home address in the early weeks of dating. That way you can check if his residence and alleged single status are legitimate before you become intimate. If necessary, do a search on the address he gives you. If the address doesn’t exist or if it isn’t a residential building, that’s a problem. In my case, the fraudster gave me the wrong street number twice before he gave me a real address – even then, it was just his son’s condo. He tried arguing that he was just bad with numbers, but by that point I wasn’t buying any of it.
  • 6. When doing an online background check on someone you just met and plan to date, follow the clues wherever they may lead. This could prove or disprove if the man/woman is truly single and available. You have a right to know!

Collateral Damage

After the fraud was exposed in my relationship, I was well aware that another person was also hurt by that man’s lies and cheating. When his wife found out the truth, she revealed to a friend of mine that her husband said I was just a disgruntled customer from the store who had a grudge against him. Yes, he actually threw me under the bus with a whopping lie in an attempt to save his sorry ass. Well, it didn’t work!

New Wisdom

As I like to say, knowledge is power. The more you know about a person, the more power that gives you to make the right choices and avoid the cads and players in this world.  

Gone are the days when we can just take a stranger’s word for their current relationship status. Always look beyond their initial best behaviour for proof of what is real or what is fiction. That being said, there are still many good people of integrity to meet in life, if we just take it slow and keep our eyes wide open.  

[Authorized by Susan E., Winnipeg, MB. Written by Kate W.]

The End… and a careful new beginning.