Women and Courage

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I originally posted this on Facebook, but really should have posted a new blog on International Women’s Day. Better late than never.

On this, International Women’s Day, I salute the fortitude and courage of my Great Aunt Hettie.

In 1927, at the age of 78, she joined four other women (who became known as The Famous Five) to challenge the BNA Act. The case was known as “Edwards vs. Attorney General” because the names of The Famous 5 were listed alphabetically, but became more widely known as “The Persons Case”. These women asked the Supreme Court of Canada to confirm that the word “person” in the BNA Act included female persons.

On April 24 1928, after 5 weeks of argument, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that the word “person” did NOT include women. But the fight wasn’t over and the Famous Five, my Aunt Hettie among them, took the decision to the Privy Council in England and on October 18, 1929 the Lord Chancellor of the Privy Council announced that “the exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word “person” should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?”

Thank you, Aunt Hettie. Happy International Women’s Day.



•June 18, 2011 • 2 Comments

My daughter and I recently debated the concept of “love at first sight”. I believe. She does not. I tried to tell her that she didn’t believe because it hasn’t happened to her yet. She remains stalwart in her belief. Undeterred, she insists that “love at first sight” is a myth. “Only fools believe in that crap.” A direct quote.

I have raised a cynic.

The debate with my daughter sparked memories. Memories of a younger me…an impressionable, unjaded me. I was free to feel and open to accept it. I turned back to the moment, that exact moment I fell in love for the first time and that exact moment when I experienced “love at first sight”.

Shortly after the great debate with my daughter, I flashed back to those memories I had recalled so fondly. It happened at an odd time. During a work trip, of all things. I was in Vancouver for a conference. Interesting course material (if you find dissecting complex litigation matters an interesting thing), full learning days and evenings spent in the hotel catching up on work that I was missing by not being in the office.

I was in a city that I had lived in many years before. A city where I had lived the life of a young, somewhat wild and carefree young woman (although, years of age and experience have shown me that I was more of a “girl” than a “woman”….women of my middle aged years will understand). My hotel was attached to a downtown shopping mall that I had worked in almost 30 years before. After a full day at the conference and after catching up on emails, I was feeling the constraints of a hotel suite and I decided to stroll the mall.

As one would suspect after several decades, the shopping centre was much different than I remembered and as I wandered the halls, I struggled to recall how it used to be. Directionally, I was off kilter and was trying to find a hint of “what was”. Out of the blue I found myself in one section of the mall that despite the different shops, was shockingly familiar. I was immediately drawn to one spot in the mall and instantly shoved by a jolt of emotion and pushed out of real time. I was shocked at my body’s physical reaction to the “place”. I felt like Marty McFly as he walked around 1955 Hill Valley in “Back To Future”. My palms got sweaty and my legs turned to jello. My heart was racing and for a brief moment I felt like I was floating 15 feet off the ground, disengaged from the people pushing past me in the mall. Flashed back 30 years in time.

I saw him again for the first time.

The store where he had worked was not the same (although, ironically, it was of the same genre) and as I flashed back to watching him walk out of the back room and saunter over to help a customer, I noticed a tile on the floor of the mall outside the “new” shop. If I hadn’t know better I would have sworn that tile was positioned in exactly the same spot that I stood on when I saw him that first time all those years ago. One lone black tile in a sea of beige. It was as if there were a million spotlights focused on it.

I did what any self respecting modern woman who carries her Iphone with her at all times does. I took a photo, oblivious to the throngs of people floating below me (some looking at me like I was a complete tool, although, in hindsight, I’d look the same way at someone taking a photo of a floor tile in a shopping mall…).

Photo taken and legs still feeling like jelly, I went back to my hotel and cracked open an obscenely priced bottle of wine from the mini bar. I kicked off my shoes and spent the evening remembering. I remembered talking to him for the first time. I remembered the very first words he said to me. I remembered his amazing smile and his goofy sense of humour. I remembered his smell, his taste and his heart. I remembered laughing with him and crying without him.

Chronologically speaking, I guess we weren’t together for a long time, but emotionally speaking, it was a lifetime. We had the clichéd “good times and bad”, and as is the case with all fires that are started by lightening, we burned bright, burned hard and burnt out. In hindsight, I guess we burnt out as quickly as I remember falling in love. It wasn’t a lack of love that caused the split. It was immaturity, self absorption and youth. We were simply too young to appreciate what we had and too selfish to want to work to save it.

Thankfully, the passage of time has dimmed the sad memories, and what I now remember is the goodness, the sweetness and the passion. And, oddly, with all the experience and wisdom that comes with age, I miss that “I’d lay down and die for you” love. I guess age erases the immediacy and fervour of youthful obsession. Perhaps, for the best? I’m open to debate that point.

He was my one true love. And I fell for him. Hard. Instantly. Zealously. It was indeed, “love at first sight” and I will argue the naysayers (daughter included) to the death. If you don’t believe it, you haven’t experienced it.

As for that love of mine…I haven’t been with him in years, but I love him still and I’ll love him always. Standing on that spot in the mall where I first fell for him brought it all back. And it’s all good.


Hello Kelly Falardeau and The World Burn Congress 2010 in Galveston, Texas!!!

•October 19, 2010 • 2 Comments

Hello attendees at the 2010 World Burn Congress!! I hope you’re having a wonderful time and I just know you’re going to enjoy Kelly Falardeau’s presentation on “Journaling and Blogging for Fun and Soul”!! Embrace your creative side and let the world know what’s on your mind through a blog! I hope you enjoy reading mine and I welcome your comments and linking your blogs to mine!!

Do I Care Where My Youth Went?

•September 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I did something last week that I have never done before. I left my keys at home as I went off to work. Not only did I do that, but I didn’t even realize I had done it until my daughter called me before she left the house to ask why I’d left my keys on the front hall table.

I have NEVER, EVER left the house without my keys…what was I thinking…better yet, why was I not thinking??

I also recently blanked out when I bumped into someone I knew well, but could not, for the life of me, remember their name. The name was not just on the tip of my tongue. It was not anywhere. I drew a complete blank. I smiled nicely at the individual (who called me by name) and warped my sentences so as to completely avoid proper nouns.

I have recently been forgetting why I get up to go to another room in the house.

But it’s not just memory that seems to be askew. Other things are happening…

I threw my back out mopping the floor.

When I see my daughter leave the house to go out for an evening with friends, I wistfully reminisce about partying all night and watching the sunrise with a beer in my hand before heading off to work on no sleep.

Not only did I recently “tsk tsk” a lippy teenager on the bus, but I ripped some young man a new one on another bus ride for not getting up and offering a pregnant woman a seat, which I had just done.

I seem to be using the word “lippy” when referring to rude teenagers.

I am now taking fibre supplements on a daily basis.

When I see a nice looking younger man, I don’t turn for a second glance for me. I turn and think that he might just be my daughter’s type.

For some reason, when my left hip is creaking, my left knee will give out every now and then causing me to take a few steps like I’m doing my own Monty Python silly walk.

I offer my opinion on just about anything, whether or not anyone is in the room.

I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

I worry about putting enough money into my RRSPs.

My favourite songs from the 70’s and 80’s are used freely by advertisers to hawk everything from life insurance to tampons.

I shush people in movie theatres.

I can’t drink coffee past 6 p.m.

I have to stretch my arm out full length to read a menu.

A wild night is a couple of pints at the local pub, or better yet, a bottle of wine and my cross stitch at home.

Yet despite these things, I’m enjoying the liberation that comes with getting older.

At the risk of throwing my back out, I mop the floor less…amazing how much time that frees up.

When I see my daughter leave the house to go out for an evening with friends, I smile when I reminisce about partying all night and watching the sunrise with a beer in my hand and am thankful for not going to work smelling like a brewery or suffering a severe hangover at noon.

I am pleased and proud to offer lippy teenagers and thoughtless twenty somethings the wisdom of my words on how to be a better citizen.

I actually like using the word “lippy”. I also enjoy using the word “sassy”, but draw the line at “whippersnapper”.

Taking fibre supplements on a daily basis allows me to avoid eating Activia yogurt on a regular basis, which thrills me as I refuse to buy any product which promotes itself with insipid commercials.

When I see a nice looking younger man, I don’t turn for a second glance for me. I do, however, turn for a second glance when I see a nice looking “older” man.

If my left knee gives out every now and then and I take a few steps like I’m doing my own Monty Python silly walk, I sing out loud and key my silly walk to the music playing on my Ipod. Not only do I seem to make people smile, the silly dance/walk seems to make my creaking hip feel better.

I offer my opinion on just about anything, whether or not anyone is in the room.

I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee. Yah. I can’t spin that one.

I may worry about putting enough money into my RRSPs, but I’m enjoying planning a life beyond the nine to five grind.

I sing along loudly to my favourite songs from the 70’s and 80’s to drown out lousy commercials.

I have been thanked by folks for shushing people in movie theatres.

I can’t drink coffee past 6 p.m.. I miss my after dinner coffee, but have managed to supplement it with an after dinner drink. Win Win.

I may have to stretch my arm out full length to read a menu, but it has allowed me to listen to waiters’ recommendations more. I have broadened my culinary tastes and sampled dishes that I otherwise wouldn’t have given heed to because I never used to really pay attention to the waiters specials as I was too concentrated on reading the actual menu.

A wild night out is a couple of pints at the local pub, or better yet, a bottle of wine and my cross stitch at home.

I guess I don’t care where my youth went. Old age, here I come and I think I’m going to enjoy it.

Need A Good Workout?

•August 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

Need a good workout? Simply lift and put down a 50lb bag of dog food 23 times in the span of 15 minutes.

Lift 50lb bag of dog food into shopping cart. Wheel on cart breaks.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food out of cart and place on ground. Get new cart.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food into new cart.
Lift 5lb box of dog cookies into cart.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food and 5lb box of dog cookies onto checkout conveyor belt.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food again because clerk can’t find barcode and she only weighs 50lbs herself.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food and 5lb box of dog cookies off conveyor belt into cart. Go to car.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food, out of cart (while holding purse and 5lb box of dog cookies) and put on ground. Trunk to car opens.
Start to lift 50lb bag of dog food and drop purse and 5lb box of dog cookies on ground.
Put down 50lb bag of dog food.
Pick up dropped contents of purse and 5lb box of dog cookies. Place purse and 5lb box of dog cookies in car.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food in order to place in trunk. See keys on ground.
Put 50lb bag of dog food down. Pick up keys.
Pick up 50lb bag of dog food and drop keys.
Put 50lb bag of dog food down and pick up keys again. Place keys in car.
Pick up 50lb bag of dog food and place in trunk. Go home.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food out of car. Put 50lb bag of dog food down and close trunk.
Lift 50lb bag of dog food, hoist onto shoulder and carry up front walk.
Put 50lb bag of dog food down on front step and return for 5lb box of dog cookies and purse. Rummage for keys and open door.
Push back two hungry dogs (whose combined weight totals 250 lbs and who have clearly noticed said 50lb bag of dog food).
Pick up 50lb bag of dog food, purse and 5lb box of dog cookies from step and bring in house.
Put 50lb bag of dog food, purse and 5lb box of dog cookies down and close door.
Pick up 50lb bag of dog food and take to kitchen.
Put down 50 lb bag of dog food. Open 50lb bag of dog food and dog food container that is empty.
Pick up open 50lb bag of dog food and empty same into dog food container.
Pour a scotch, wipe brow, go to sit down and realize you’ve forgotten to feed hungry dogs.
Put down scotch and fill two dog food bowls.
Pick up scotch and realize you’ve forgotten to put away 5lb box of dog cookies.
Put down scotch and fill empty dog cookie jar with 5lb box of dog cookies.
Pick up scotch.
Who needs a gym?

I Love TV and I’m Not Ashamed To Admit It…Most Of The Time

•July 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

We were only allowed to watch a restricted amount of tv when I was a kid (not necessarily a bad thing), and the viewing choices were limited at best. We only got three channels. But I fell in love with the tube nonetheless. From the very first moment I laid eyes on Jerome and the Friendly Giant, I was spellbound. Even the test pattern was mesmerizing. Who was that indian? What did all those numbers mean?

At the end of our alloted tv viewing one of my parents would come into the room and shut off the tv. I insisted on waiting until the tiny little spot on the tv got smaller and smaller and smaller and then finally disappeared and dissolved into nothingness before I left the room.

My tv viewing has become decidedly more selective over the years, but I still enjoy the good, the bad and the ugly that transmits across the airwaves.

There are certain things that I always watch out of habit:

THE NEWS – While I’m not a news junkie, I do like to be informed.
Old episodes of SEINFELD – Because they still make me laugh.
THE WEATHER NETWORK – Every good Canadian turns to the failsafe for conversation whether in line at the grocery store or riding the elevator up to work – the weather. Thanks to the Weather Network, I’m able to discuss the latest high pressure system or offer a concise and precision-clear response on the chance of rain or snow later in the day.
Old episodes of BUGS BUNNY AND THE ROADRUNNER – Because there is a part of me that is still five. And because it’s still funny.

There are shows that I watch that stir emotion and intelligent thought and spur discussion. Shows with substance and chutzpah. Shows that I am not ashamed to admit I watch:

MASTERPIECE THEATRE – Whether I’m watching the Brits pull together a brilliant adaptation of a classic piece of literature or watching Miss Marple solve the latest murder, I’m fully involved after the first few minutes. Everytime. Call me a nerd.
JEOPARDY– Some days I’m amazed to realize how smart I am. Other days I’m amazed to realize how stupid I am.
DEXTER – I’m a bit disturbed that I actually feel sorry for a serial killer, but that’s the genius of Michael C. Hall’s performance. Dark, deep and disturbed and highly watchable.
MYTHBUSTERS – Pulling apart urban legends and debunking popular myths – coolness.

Shows that I’m ashamed to watch, but make me feel morally superior to those on or involved in any way whatsoever with the show:

TODDLERS AND TIARAS – Seriously. I have yet to see one parent pushing their child into pageants that doesn’t need a smack upside the back of the head. I have been known to yell, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” at tv pageant moms.
The BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE – the definitive thing to watch to learn how not to meet that special someone. Case in point? Jake and Vienna.
INTERVENTION – I’m conflicted on this one as I genuinely feel for some folks struggling with their addictions. It may be wrong that I usually watch this while drinking wine….
TMZ – I’m ashamed to buy into the media’s obsession with celebrity which does nothing other than feed celebrity ego and self-importance, but where else can one watch Lindsay Lohan melt down or watch (or listen to) Mel Gibson spontaneously combust?
JUDGE JUDY– I relish watching Judy Judy tear the litigants a new one. WHERE do these people come from and do they seriously think they’re going to walk away from the show looking like anything other than giant tools?
DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER – Taking down the bad guys while wearing a braid, the longest mullet I’ve ever seen and a plethora of tattoos. The family that bounty hunts together stays together. I admit to not being able to look away when Dog’s wife, Beth, is on-screen. She must have the largest breasts I have ever seen in my life. They start at her chin and end at her belly button. Seriously. I cannot look away.

Shows I am proud to say I have never watched (and strike me down if I do):

JOHN AND KATE PLUS EIGHT/KATE PLUS EIGHT – Or any combination therein.
GREY’S ANATOMY – I hate Sandra Oh. Don’t know why. Just do.
OPRAH – Okay, I used to watch Oprah years ago, but I now REFUSE to watch this self promoting, egomaniac and her simpering, brainwashed audience.
HANNAH MONTANA – A) I’m too old and; B) to quote LaineyGossip, “Sit down, Miley Cyrus”.

Guilty Pleasures:

HELL’S KITCHEN – I’m in love with Gordon Ramsey.
SAY YES TO THE DRESS – I have long since given up on picking out a perfect wedding dress for me, but I do imagine my daughter and I at Kleinfelds picking out her gown. Oh, and my cousin has partied with Randy. Enough said.
CORONATION STREET – I have watched Corrie for many, many, many years. Will watch for many more years to come. Go ahead. Judge me.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW – who knows, perhaps I have the next million dollar artifact tucked away somewhere in my home.
GLEE – yes, I’m a gleek. And a more entertaining hour of tv does not exist.

I have to wrap up this blog now. Bugs Bunny is on and it’s the episode where Bugs is a bullfighter in Spain after taking a wrong turn at Albuquerque. (TV also taught me geography all those years ago….)

Oh, Canada

•June 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

I am lucky. I am Canadian.

I am not defined by war, I am defined by peace.

I can speak “Cereal Box” french.

I can hide away in wide open spaces.

I can buy a two four of beer that doesn’t taste like cricket pee.

I can go to the hospital if I have to and not worry about how I’m going to pay for it.

William Shatner might become our next Governor General.

I worship how, when, where and if I choose.

I have seen the Northern Lights.

I put salt and vinegar on my fries. I can call fries “chips” if I want to.

I have seen a wild bear.

I see lovely colours in my wallet . Oh, and I spell “colour” the way it should be spelled.

I have tasted lobster fresh from the ocean.

I know all the words to “Snowbird”.

I sit on a chesterfield, not a sofa.

I grew up watching “The Friendly Giant”.

I say please and thank you. And mean it.

I have had a Jiggs dinner.

I write a cheque. Not a “check”.

I celebrate Thanksgiving a respectable distance away from Christmas.

I can eat butter tarts.

I know that the “Musical Ride” is not a midway attraction.

I use a serviette, not a napkin.

I eat the red Smarties last.

I cry and am grateful for sacrifices made on Remembrance Day.

I saw Bryan Adams perform in a bar before he was famous.

I call Kraft Dinner “KD”, not “Mac ‘n Cheese”.

I have heard a loon.

I watch CBC.

I have an appreciation for humour. Oh, and I spell “humour” the way it should be spelled.

I am free.

Happy Canada Day!

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