Archive for the ‘Posts’ Category

You Are My Sunshine

Few things invoke memories to the level that music can. The first couple of notes or bars can transport me back to happier times, sometimes sadder times, or just to a memory I don’t want to lose. This particular song will always bring me straight back to my Mom.

I suspect it is a familiar song to most and probably from your childhood. In my case I have surpassed the required number of years to be officially a “Senior” and my Mom passed more than 50 years ago. There are times when I find it difficult to remember things and I have siblings who will always tell me I have it wrong. I was young and I remember her with a little kid’s heart. I see her with a little kid’s eyes. I grasp at those memories and hang on as tight as I can for fear of losing them forever. I remember she was beautiful, I remember she had the voice of an angel and a laugh that could make you cry. She was adventurous at a time when a single mom with four kids was not sociably acceptable. She worked hard to give us everything she could. She was strong and battled cancer at a time when the only course of action was barbaric. She hung on as long as possible to try to make sure we would be ok. She could hug the hurt out of anyone. I remember the last time I saw my Mom was for my birthday in the hospital stairwell. In those days kids weren’t allowed inside. The nurses dressed her and wheeled her right to the door of the stairwell. They helped her stand and she insisted on pushing the door open and greeting me under her own steam. She hugged me, told me she loved me and gave me a birthday present. And then she was taken away. A little over a week later she was gone.

When I hear this song she is right there beside me singing it. I remember the hugs, the joy, and the love she gave me. I will always remember the love.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, and thank you.

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One of the first things I do every new year is look up the “Pantone Colour Of The Year”. When I am working on a project I will always try to incorporate that colour. It isn’t always easy. With each colour comes an explanation as to what that colour means. Usually it is lengthy and more than a little pretentious. People interpret colours in different ways. Some people think red is fiery, sexy and hot. Others consider it a warning of danger or an indication to stop what you are doing. Blue is supposed to be calming. I find it cold and standoffish. Yellow is associated with warmth, sunshine and happiness. It also symbolizes cowardice and betrayal. You get the idea. This year the Pantone Colour Of The Year is called “VeryPeri”.

Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.”

That’s the short version. You can find the long version here.

Most people know that I am a fan of shades of purple/lilac. To me “VeryPeri” is a purple colour but they say it is blue. My other favourite colour is green, but not emerald or forest, I love a good olive green. You probably could have guessed my colour preferences just by looking at the top of this page, my logo, or my avatar.

There was a time when purple wasn’t all that popular. I didn’t really care. I love purple. When I was in my twenties I was walking by Le Château (a trendy clothing franchise that is now defunct) at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario. From about 20 feet away I saw purple squished in one of the racks of winter coats. Curiosity got the better of me so I ventured inside and found this beautiful (in my eyes) purple wool coat lined with a shimmering purple satin. It was $50, a small fortune for me at the time. As soon as I put it on, I had to have it. I wore that coat with everything. It worked with jeans, it worked with dresses. It work over a t-shirt and it worked over six layers of sweaters. It served me well for many years and I was always sad when I had to put it away for the summer. I loved my Big Purple Coat.

When one of my sisters was nearing the end of her pregnancy she was freezing with the winter weather and did not want to invest in a maternity coat to wear for only a couple of weeks. I offered her my Big Purple Coat for the duration. She wasn’t thrilled, but when she put it on she and her big belly were warmly wrapped and comfortable. My Big Purple Coat was returned but it wasn’t long before a friend borrowed it to keep warm during her pregnancy.  After that it became the Big Purple Pregnancy Coat. Friends, family and even my boss used that coat when they were pregnant.  It got passed around more than a bottle of rum at a pirate’s convention. I can’t even tell you who had it last. It always perplexed me when someone would look at me funny and hesitate before they would accept my treasure to keep them warm. I loved that coat and always felt special whenever I wore it.

Recently, I shared these thoughts with someone who had actually borrowed my Big Purple Coat. After all, purple is the colour most often associated with rarity, royalty, magic and mystery. Her reply left me speechless.

“That may be so, but it was also the colour of Barney, the big purple dinosaur. You looked like Barney.”

Image from Wallpaper Safari

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There’s no way of getting around it. The last couple of years have kicked our collective butts. One might say, “to hell and back”. It’s entirely possible I’m the one that would say that. OK, yes. I am the one. Things had deteriorated so badly by the last day of 2021 I found myself holding my breath waiting for it to be over. We made it through the morning of, but by late after noon we all had heard about losing Betty White. It felt like a kick to the butt, stomach and face. It was a big loss for humanity. B Mo The Prince pretty much summed it up in with this…


I’m sick. Rest in ALL the Power Betty White. 2021 can eff right off… 🥺🥺🥺#RIPBettyWhite #BettyWhite #Comedy #ComedyVideos

♬ original sound – Brian Moller | B Mo the Prince

It felt a little like joy, laughter and light had been sucked right out of us. As the day went on I kept looking over my shoulder for some other bad news to catch up. Then it occurred to me. Had this happened on the first day of 2022 it would have been a foreshadowing of what lay ahead for the rest of the year. Definitely a year I wouldn’t want to actively participate in. In my head I started thinking…

Betty White was always very positive… By all accounts she was not afraid to meet her maker and was looking forward to being reunited with the love of her life and husband, Allan Ludden… Perhaps she chose to give us this final gift… To exit stage left at the end of a very bad year and leave us with nothing but a bright shining New Year ahead…

As I mulled over the possibilities (yes, that’s how I mull), a post popped up from my Blogger Buddy, Elyse. As soon as I saw it, I knew it to be true.

All day, January 1st, 2022, I waited to see what would happen. The earth did not implode and take us with it. It was a very quiet day. On this second day of this new year I have decided to give it a chance and hope that joy, laughter and light will become more dominant in our lives. So…I will try again…

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Have you ever had the honour of seeing the Golden Bear? Legend has it that the Golden Bear had no equal. The Golden Bear is believed to be a symbol of strength, wisdom and good fortune.

Here is my story of my encounter with the Golden Bear. Although he didn’t look like this one, in my humble opinion he has no equal and definitely is a symbol of strength, wisdom and good fortune.

Back in the ’70s…yes, I do remember parts of them but some dates are a little foggy so I will just say mid ’70s I went off to college for the first time. I had enrolled in the Professional Photography Program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. I moved to Oakville early in the spring so that I could get sorted and find work before the school year started in September. I found a place to live behind the Towers Plaza (it isn’t there anymore). For the next several months I worked three jobs. Mornings I was a chambermaid at the Holiday Inn (it isn’t there anymore), afternoons I was a cashier at Dominion (it isn’t there anymore). In the evenings I babysat (those kids are long gone). Eventually I settled into the mad race between jobs. As anyone will tell you being a chambermaid is not very glamorous and there are times when things get a little…oh, those are stories for another day. However, occasionally rarely you found a room that was actually a pleasure to clean. This room, or perhaps I should call it a “den” was occupied by a nice young fellow who was a “permanent” resident  for a lengthy period of time. One day he asked if I would mind if he stayed in his room while I made the bed and cleaned the facilities. I didn’t see it as a problem. You can tell a lot about someone from cleaning their room and his lack of mess and general politeness was good enough for me. After that, he would stay in his room while I worked and he would chat about what he was doing there, far from home and his family. He had the most amazing drawings and plans all laid out and he would show them to me and explain. He was a wonderful man and I looked forward to that part of my work day.

At one point I went home to Niagara to visit my family for a couple of days. Most of my family were golfers. I am not. Dad loved the game and always enjoyed playing with my brothers even though they were all better than him. One of my sisters was really good. She could beat them all and could have gone pro but in the end she preferred the 19th hole to the other 18. My strategy was to watch golf with him on TV. In reality I watched him watch golf. I didn’t have a clue. This visit was going to be different. I was going to talk “golf” with him.

Dad and I watching golf in the ’70s.

“Hey, Dad…”
“Uh, huh.”
“They’re building a new golf course in Oakville…”
“Uh, huh.”
“It’s supposed to be the permanent site of the Canadian Open…”
“Uh, huh.”
“and they’re making it crowd-friendly so you can actually go and watch them play…”
“Uh, huh.”
“It’s to be called Glen Abbey.”
“Uh, huh.”
“It looks really cool.”
“Uh, huh.”
“Yeah, I know the designer and he showed me the drawings and the plans…”
“What do you mean you know the designer?”
“Yeah, his name is Jack and he’s really a nice guy and he showed me the drawings…”
“Yeah, Jack.”
“Any chance he looks like that guy?”
Dad pointed to the golf game on TV and looked at me. My gaze followed his finger and sure enough there was Jack on TV. My Dad was incredulous. He was more shocked at the fact that I didn’t know who Jack Nicklaus was than that I knew Jack. The rest of the weekend was pretty much him looking at me and laughing and shaking his head.
The next time I rapped on Jack’s door and said “housekeeping” he let me in and I gave him a swat on the shoulder. “You could have told me who you were!” I explained that my Dad had outed him, much to my embarrassment. He laughed and all he said was, “I thought it was kind of cool you didn’t know who I was.” I guess celebrity can run thin some times.

Jack Nicklaus at Glen Abbey before it was completed

Jack Nicklaus & Dick Grimm survey the land before Glen Abbey was completed

Many years later (about 30), I was invited by the Toronto Star to golf at Glen Abbey. At this point I was well aware of the caliber of course it was and had seen it on TV. I now lived in the “The Abbey” as they called it and had driven by it many times. I certainly knew that it was the first solo design of the legendary Golden Bear — golfer Jack Nicklaus. I offered my spot to one of my higher-ups (wow, was I good for brownie points on that one) but explained that I would really like to join them afterward for dinner in the Club House as I had never seen Glen Abbey from the inside. I told them my story and we all agreed to meet later. When I arrived someone from Glen Abbey greeted me and whisked me away in a golf cart for a private tour of the course. My colleagues had shared my story and arranged for me to see it. It was wonderful to remember all those years ago those lines on those big sheets of paper and see them here come to life.

Glen Abbey

More recently I found myself signing petitions to save Glen Abbey. One of Canada’s most famous golf courses and  home to Golf Canada and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. It has also hosted 30 Canadian Open Championships! It was slated for demolition by its current owners. In 2017 they proposed transforming the 80-hectare golf course into a subdivision with office buildings. Oakville council unanimously rejected this proposal and designated it a heritage site. Finally, after years of back and forth between the town and the company, on July 9, 2021, Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced that Glen Abbey will be preserved and continue to operate as a golf course, and the company withdrew its development application.

A few years back Jack’s face showed up on my screen. He was in tears. Oh no, what could have happened to this lovely man? Then I read what it was about. He had just witnessed what he called his “#1 Masters moment” when his grandson Gary aced the final hole of the 2018 Par 3 Contest and it brought him to tears. Yep. He is still one of the nicest guys I have ever met, and “The Golden Bear Legend” lives on.

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The promotion game can be a tricky one. No one really appreciates the intricacies until it goes horribly wrong. I have spent a good part of my life working in promotion of one kind or another. Television, Radio, Print, Billboards, Publishers, etc. You name it and I have promoted in it or for it. Some are big and well know places. Others, not so much, but they realized the need for good promotion.

In fact, those are the ones that I took my name from. One of the fellows who brought me some of these clients use to refer to me as “SPP”. One day I finally asked him why he called me that. He chuckled and explained, that it didn’t matter how little or how bad the material was he brought me to work with I was always able to make something good out of it. He went on to explain that SPP stood for Silk Purse Productions, like the old saying of “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.
He got it.

Now, I am not going to brag…ok, maybe just a little. I’m pretty good at it. I’ve won International Awards for Promotion in New York City (twice). I have trained and mentored people in the field who have gone on to do big things. Unfortunately, now that the internet exists a lot of people think that all they need is on-line social media accounts for promotion. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to name just a few, are all incredibly useful tools for promotion but you still have to have some skill to navigate the ins and outs of promotion. Even a little common sense can help.

Recently I came across a small company that totally blew me away in how poorly they handled their promotion and customer service. I won’t name them. I didn’t name any of the big companies I spoke of above. Consider this a mini case study.

The pandemic has been very hard on a lot of businesses, especially the small family owned businesses. Some have not survived, others have actually flourished. He-Who and I tend to eat out a lot. When we like a place we are loyal customers, we write good reviews and we promote the place to friends, family and readers.  No one was looking forward to being able to eat inside again more than we were. When it finally happened we made a point of visiting one of our favourite places 125 km from where we live. We had visited during lock-down and were able to go inside and order but had to eat in the car. We aren’t really great at eating in the car.  When we got there this time we found there was no access to get inside. They had put in windows to order from outside and there were picnic tables outside for eating. We were not best pleased and I confess a little confused. We ordered and ended up eating in the car. Unfortunately, this was the first time that I can say the food was not good. More of it made it to the garbage than to our tummies. We were really disappointed.

When we returned home I went to see if there was a reason they were not letting us in. There was a post.

There were a couple of red flags here…

1)There should have been a better way to let people know

2) “We are too busy with lineups (daily) to be able to follow safety guidelines for COVID.” Ummmmm, there are still plenty of “guidelines” to follow even for just take-out. There were lots of lineups when they were busy before COVID, this implies to me that their cleaning of tables etc. was not being done because they were too busy. (Anyone else feeling a little queasy?)

3) I’m not sure I want to know that their sanity is in question while preparing food I am going to eat.

As I felt my food coming back up on me I wrote a note just to let them know we were disappointed. The response was…let’s see what you think.

I came out of my office and read this to He-Who. He was…not pleased (I’m trying to keep this PG). I confess, I had to calm down before I responded.

That was the end of that conversation. He-Who and I both had the same thought. We had been frequenting a place in another town. Family owned and operated. A husband and wife team that were killing themselves to keep customers happy throughout the pandemic. No excuses, no bad food, no poor service. When they were allowed they put tables on the sidewalk. When they were allowed to serve indoors I am happy to say their excellent customer service had them at capacity all day, as loyal customers kept coming. We both decided that we would rather give them our business and that we would not return to the other place.

This morning I got a private message from the offending place.

This person should not be handling the customer service or the promotion. To tell a client that they “mentally can’t handle it” is beyond my comprehension. But wait, there’s more. The following is what put me over the edge …

Never in all my years…I know I sound old, but seriously…never have I ever heard anyone use menopause as an excuse for them not being able to respond to a customer in a proper manner. This person has sent feminism back at least 40 years. I am torn between laughing my butt off and disgust.

The lack of professionalism from the business was astounding. They need help. I almost felt sorry for them, briefly. Very briefly. Had they handled this differently from the beginning I might have even offered to help them. As it is, my cousin saw the public posting and asked me on there where this place was located. I gave him directions and then added, “however, I can not recommend them at this time”.  

I’m not sure anyone can make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear.

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In June of 2017 I wrote this…

“There’s a lot of hoopla going on in Canada right now. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy good hoopla especially about this country I know and love. I am a proud Canadian. Born and bred. I have always been grateful that I was fortunate enough to be born in Canada. Everyone loves Canadians. By reputation we are friendly, polite, clean and relatively quiet. The kind of neighbour everybody wants. We do, however, stand on our moral high ground and make judgements about other more despicable countries. Unfortunately, just like every other neighbour we have our share of dirty little secrets behind closed doors.”

The “hoopla” was about Canada celebrating its 150th birthday. At the time I had mixed feelings about it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In 1967 Canada celebrated its Centennial year. It was one of the best years of my life. I have nothing but fond memories of my great nation celebrating being 100. I was a child. My Mother was still alive. In fact, it was the last great year with my Mom. The next couple of years would be filled with hospitals, chemo and radiation, only to lose her in 1969. 

Centennial year was filled with celebrations and endless activities across the country (I went on to tell you all about them here).  We didn’t miss any of them when they were in our area. 

On a personal note, I was part of a choir that performed “100 Years in Song” and I was one of the children chosen to sing with The Pied Piper of Canada, when he came to town. 

Bobby Gimby appearing as The Pied Piper during Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967. (courtesy Harper Stevens, Wikimedia Commons)

I went on to write,

“Many years later, when I went back to college as a 30+ year old, I was assigned along with my much younger classmates to do some PR work for a local museum. As we went through the museum there was a display from Centennial Year. My first reaction was one of fond memories. Then I saw the photo of me with the “Pied Piper”. My next reaction was, “Oh, my gosh! I’m so old I’m in a museum!” Then my classmates began asking me what it was all about. They didn’t know anything about Centennial Year. I was stunned that something that had been so important to me had faded in history.”

My best friend in college was Gilbert. He lives in Florida now but I still consider him one of my best friends. Gilbert was a little closer to my age than the rest of the class. As I lamented to him about this time in my life being forgotten, he pointed out that it wasn’t necessarily a wonderful year for everyone in Canada. Gilbert is one of the First Nation people. His talking to me about it was probably the first time that I, personally, became aware of the difference of opinion. In the years since then, a lot of things that we as Canadians can’t possibly be proud of have become more publicly discussed. Our treatment of the First Nations, probably most horrifically concerning the Indian Residential School Systemis a black mark against this country I love. In 1967 Chief Dan George very eloquently spoke his mind. His “Lament for Confederation” is one of the most heart wrenching, eye opening pieces I have ever listened to.

The thing is that at the time, I was a kid caught up in the excitement. I didn’t know about our dirty secrets. Now I do. Now I know how these things have affected friends and family that I care about. Is it any wonder that I am confused about how I should feel about all the celebrating? 

Now here we are. It’s June 2021, just four years later. We as a planet have just experienced one of the worse 15 months period we could have imagined. We as a country appear to be emerging from the grip of COVID-19. We should be celebrating as a nation.

But we can’t.

How naïve of me to think that I had heard the worse. Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, with his dying breaths, tried to make us see in his “Secret Path” journey (well worth the time to watch).

The Secret Path is a powerful visual representation of the life of Chanie Wenjack. “The film is divided into ten chapters, each a song from Downie’s musical retelling of Chanie’s story – from his escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, to his subsequent and heartbreaking death from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather.” Downie left us with his Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund which “aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.” 

On May 27, 2021 the headlines on TV, Print, Radio and Internet were pretty much all the same…

Remains of 215 children found buried at former B.C. residential school

I don’t care what race, colour, creed, age or gender you are you can not turn away from the horror that unfolded from there. Support came from all walks of life. Some simply in the form of this sticker on their Facebook page.

Facebook Image

Some demonstrations included displays of children’s shoes.

Others have been poignant messages.

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Then the tally started…

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Today we are reeling from the latest headline.

751 Unmarked Graves Found at Another Residential School for Indigenous Children

The University of Alberta has offered a free course called Indigenous Canada from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada from an Indigenous perspective. I enrolled and have completed four of the 12 modules offered. My theory is it’s better to know the truth of our history than to find out the same way the rest of the world is finding out about us, in the headlines. So far I’m not impressed with our forefathers and their behavior. That moral high ground I spoke of does not exist and right now we seem to fit the despicable list. As our dirty secrets reveal themselves our reputation has definitely lost its luster.

I still love Canada and will always love Canada. I am still grateful this is where I was born. However, celebrating right now doesn’t seem appropriate and the only flag waving I can imagine is this one.

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There are plenty of things I regret in my life. However, I have a feeling this post will be very “high” on the list. I know I will be inundated with ads that will never end but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. Spoiler alert…I do not have an Aunt Mary.

The Government of Canada legalized, regulated and restricted access to cannabis on October 17, 2018. First, let me say that I am not against that. It really should have happened a lot sooner. In my humble opinion the benefits far exceded the risks. However, full disclosure I do not partake. 

That does not mean I’ve never tried it. It was a regular part of my “youth”. I just didn’t enjoy it. Because of that I usually volunteered to be designated driver and had a good excuse to pass the joint away from me. Most of my friends and family indulged. It didn’t bother me. We were actually taught the “dangers” of marijuana in health class, where we were shown a film that was produced in 1936 called “Reefer Madness”. There is no way to tell you how hysterically funny this film was. By the time I saw it in the ’70s it was a cult classic and everyone would get high and watch it at the theatre while laughing our butts off. This is the trailer for it …

If you have time and need a good laugh, watch the whole film. It’s on YouTube.

It was definitely a different quality of product then. We would roll joints and carry them in a pack of cigarettes (I know! We all smoked cigarettes then, too!). As an adult, but before weed was legal, well-meaning friends and family convinced me to try it again while I was undergoing chemotherapy. Let me tell you, the only thing worse than chemo is being high on chemo. That was my personal experience. There were all kinds of fellow cancer patients who used it and it helped them a great deal. I know people who would never have gotten through without it.  Now that it’s legal you can smoke it, drink it, and eat it. Not too long ago I was having some health issues and I was convinced to try an edible “to help me sleep”. I had some chocolate. Apparently, I had way too much and wound up wide-awake in the wee hours of the morning…panicing. I woke up He-Who telling him I was dying and couldn’t breathe. I made him wake up our house guest to help. She explained to me that I wasn’t going to die and that I was just really, really high and that there was nothing to be done but wait it out. The two of them sat there with me for several hours. Every once in awhile they would look at each other and giggle, which in turn would have me screaming at them to stop laughing and that I was going to die. Another spoiler alert: I survived and have sworn off the stuff for life.

Ok. So now it’s legal. They have practically replaced our maple leaf on the flag with a cannabis leaf. 

It has also become quite pretentious. It is available in high end, designer boutique stores! They are very much like the Apple stores — expensive and swarming with a Cannabis Geek Squad to educate us.

Heaven forbid you should slip up and call it anything but cannabis. With one quick search I found a list of 41 names that apparently are no longer acceptable. Although I am not familiar with all 41, I admit to have used several of these in my lifetime. Marijuana, Weed, Pot, Grass, Dope, Mary Jane, Reefer, Ganja, Blunt, Aunt Mary and my personal favourite, Skunk. I say my personal favourite because to me, it’s the most appropriate name. There is no getting around it. It stinks!

He-Who and I have been confined to quarters because of the pandemic for 14+ months. In this case, “quarters” are 900 square feet on the 30th floor. We do not know any of our neighbours but in that 14+ months we have come to know an awful lot about them. Number one on the list is that it seems everyone in the building partakes of cannabis. When a neighbour sparks one up, I get the munchies. Two, they never partake at the same time. First our neighbours on the left will spark one up, then the people below us and then the ones to the right of us. They finish just in time for the cycle to start over. Needless to say, the munchies are a permanent part of my evenings. The uncontrollable weight gain is tolerable. Disgusting, but tolerable. The smell is not. Our apartment permanently smells like Pepé Le Pew and not in a cute way. The hallways smell like skunk. Every time we get on the elevator someone who has skunk odour clinging to them always ends up sharing our ride. How on earth can they not smell it? 

With all the money and research they are throwing at the cannabis industry you would think they would figure out how to make it smell better. For the love of Aunt Mary, someone please figure out how to make it smell better! 

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It seems like a lifetime ago that we started sharing Kate’s Glorious Northern Canada with you (Follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.)

Of course our Kate is home in Ontario and riding out the pandemic like the the rest of us. Our Photographers were sent home from various locations immediately and travel between the Provinces pretty much came to a halt. After more than a year of this, it occured to us that we could still share Kate’s route through Northern Canada with you as she has done it many times and alway brings back breathtaking images. That being said, let’s “join” her in Igloolik, Place of Igloos.

“Located north of the Arctic Circle, between the Canadian mainland and Baffin Island, Igloolik is situated on a small island in Foxe Basin just off the northeast corner of the Melville Peninsula.

Spelled ‘Iglulik’ in Inuktitut, this vibrantly artistic community is considered to be a cultural epicentre for the Inuit people.

Although it is part of the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut, the community has a mix of cultural traditions from all three regions, including Kitikmeot and Kivalliq.

This gifted little island is an ideal place to visit for an authentic arctic adventure: to go dog sledding; to view whales; to visit an iceberg; to experience the Inuit way of life; and to enjoy the Northern Lights.”

Our Kate in Igloolik — Place Of Igloos ᐃᒡᓗᓕᒃ

If you know Kate, you know she will find the Inuksuit in any community. These ones are actually just outside of the community on their way to the airport. It’s a bit of hike, but Kate is up to the challenge.

Night falls on Inuksuit in Igloolik

When we visit a community we usually have to set up somewhere that everyone can access. In this case, Kate was set up at the Co-Op behind this church.

One of Kate’s favourite memories of the people here happened while she was on her way to the school to work one morning. I’ll let her tell you…

“I was on my way to the school one day and there were crowds of people all along the beach and tons of boats in the bay. There were beluga whales coming through and people were hunting.
They would bring the beluga back to the shore and anyone there that wanted some meat would cut the Bulaga right there and share it with the entire community. It was pretty awesome to see and I was disappointed I had to work that morning.”
Throughout the community you will find beautiful murals and colourful buildings.
Not to be outdone, Mother Nature contributes colours of her own even when the Northern Lights aren’t turned on.
One of the most interesting buildings in town is the Igloolik Research Center.

Igloolik Research Center

It definitely looks like a spaceship of some kind. If you want to have some fun check out their website. It’s interactive and full of information about terrestrial wildlife and habitats, climate records and ecosystem modelling to name a few.

Before you know it, it’s time to head to the airport and the next community. We’ll see you there!

Igloolik Airport

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Bloody Hell!

Let’s face it. If you live in Ontario, lock-down seems to be the new norm. We are now in the middle of our third lock down. The reality is that my particular area never came out of the second lock-down before the third one was announced. However, fewer and fewer people seem to be adhering to it. You could have hurled a bowling ball down the highway on my way to my weekly appointment at the hospital during the first lock down. It was like a ghost town out there. Now there is so much traffic it’s as bad as it was pre-pandemic. He-Who and I are still trying to follow all the rules and protocols, venturing out only for my appointment and for food.

The boredom is overwhelming sometimes. I continue to fight the #Wordpress fight without really seeing any progress. It’s so frustrating. I have finally given into the lure of Instagram but mostly I just read other peoples’ posts. I don’t contribute much. There is now a game on my phone that I am not only active in but I am Leader of my Team. And occassionally (rarely) I will answer a question on facebook.

A few weeks ago there was a facebook question that seemed simple and I thought it might be fun.

This facebook question seemed harmless enough.

Now before we go any further I should tell you that I finally clicked on Birch + Fog and it turned out to be for “CBD Calm Capsules” which may explain what happened next.

My answer was …

“A Bloody Caesar is an appropriate cocktail for any time of day. Especially breakfast. “

Caesar – Pinterest Image

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with a Caesar, it’s a cocktail made with vodka and Clamato juice. It was cleverly created by a Canadian in Calgary. It is usually seasoned with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces to taste and the glass it’s served in is rimmed with celery salt. Celery or lime are the standard garnishes. Over the years there have been many incarnations but the original was created in 1969 by Walter Chell. The Caesar is absolutely delightful and everyone should experience it. Unfortunately for my American friends, Clamato juice is not sold in the US (and a lot of other places) making it a uniquely Canadian treat. I use to attend NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) in Las Vegas every year. Each night after the convention the Canadian magazine Broadcast Dialogue would host a “Canadian” cocktail party. All that was served was Caesars and Molson Canadian Beer. It was packed every night. I once asked Ingrid, the publisher and owner at the time, where she found the Clamato juice in Vegas. She didn’t. They shipped in cases of it ahead of time from Canada.

Obviously I do know a bit about Caesars. My mistake was that when I answered the question I wrote down the first thing that popped into my head and unfortunately I referred to it as a Bloody Caesar. I have been hounded by Canadians taking offense to the fact that I used the term “Bloody” ever since. I have been schooled on the history of the cocktail (I knew it already). It has been explained to me that “a Bloody Mary is American” and that “Bloody” is a British term. My fear is that I have been barred from Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Tire and Hudson’s Bay. I swear I expected a knock at my door from officials demanding I turn in my Canadian passport. I finally broke down and edited the original but the numbers still increased in my comments and “likes” . They still are. I have had to change this image three times since I started writing. Check it out…

If I could get 584 likes and or 74 replies to any post on this blog I would be celebrating with several Caesars. Apparently, my fellow Canadians are as bored as I am and extremely protective of their cocktail identity. Seriously people, at least read the previous comments giving me BLOODY HELL before you repeat them over, and over and over. There is only one thing I can do to prove to you that I really am Canadian and that is to say, “Sorry”.


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There it was, right in front of me. It was an experience of sudden and striking realization, an epiphany, if you will.

Full disclosure here, I am what could be called an extreme David Bowie fan. I could go on about it all day but I will try not to. It usually gets a bit over the top, then turns messy and becomes a little (understatement) embarrassing. Suffice it to say I follow several David Bowie groups/pages on facebook including his wife Iman. Blissfully, I am greeted with photos and anecdotes about him each and every morning. One of my groups posted this recently.

David Bowie – Facebook Image

It struck me like a lightening bolt (that epiphny thing). How amazing would it be for Cameron Monaghan to do a movie along the lines of Bohemian Rhapsody, about David Bowie? He would be perfect! For those of you not familiar with Cameron’s work (I really can’t believe that is possible) we litterally watched him grow up over 10 seasons as Ian Gallagher on Shameless.

Pinterest Image

He is also know for playing twins Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska (eventually the Joker) in Gotham.

Pinterest Image

Monaghan is more than your average chameleon, much like David Bowie.

“Why is this so important to you, Michelle?” You might ask. There is nothing worse than sitting through a bad movie/show about something or someone you care about cringing the whole time. Right now there are at least two really bad David Bowie pieces airing. They are crap. Sorry. That’s as kind as I can be.

My favourite book in the world is Trinity by Leon Uris. It was one of many Leon Uris best sellers including Exodus which was made into a movie by Otto Preminger with Paul Newman as the lead and QB VII which was made into a mini series with Anthony Hopkins and Ben Gazzara.

I first read Trinity the year it was published,1976, and I re-read this book once a year, every March, until recently. I even wanted to name my children after the hero of the piece.

“This book follows the events of an Irishman named Conor Larkin who, by nature, was larger than life.  It is a sweeping and powerful epic adventure that captures the “terrible beauty” of Ireland during its long and bloody struggle for freedom. It is the electrifying story of an idealistic young Catholic rebel and the valiant and beautiful Protestant girl who defied her heritage to join his cause. It is a tale of love and danger, of triumph at an unthinkable costa magnificent portrait of a people divided by class, faith, and prejudicean unforgettable saga of the fires that devastated a majestic land… and the unquenchable flames that burn in the human heart.”

Why this book was never made into a movie is beyond me. It would be along the same lines as Braveheart, an epic historical fiction film based on the life of William Wallace the Scottish warrior starring and directed by Mel Gibson.

At some point Liam Neeson wondered onto a screen I was glued to. I’m afraid I don’t even remember which of his brilliant performances it was (probably Rob Roy) . All I knew for sure was that this was our Conor Larkin, the hero of my favourite book. I obsessed about it but had no clue as to how to make it happen. In my naivete I just knew someone would see what I saw and know what I know and that Trinity would become an epic movie starring Liam Neeson. Needless to say, that never happened and I was heartbroken. Hollywood missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

Liam Neeson – Pinterest Image

Now all I have to do is figure out how to not have this happen again. Is it to late for me to become a casting agent for some big wig Hollywood Studio? Probably. A girl can dream though. Liam will always be my Conor and I imagine Cameron will always be my Bowie.



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