Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Soup Fest, January 27,2009

This year, Soup Fest was held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, as it had outgrown its Liuna Station locale.

Living Rock Youth Ministries hosted this annual event to raise money to support their programmes for youth at risk.

Local restaurant chefs and musicians donated their talents.

It seemed to me as if it was a never ending stream of people coming in for this event. We had thought that perhaps the crowd might be lighter when we went in the evening.

The various restaurants had decorated their booths and served up two different types of soups for this occasion. There was a competition between them to see whose soup was voted the most popular. It was up to the patrons to decide this! It sure was difficult to chose as they all looked delicious!

Local musical talent,who donated their time and skills, performed to enhance the event.

The price was reasonable, for seniors it was $8.00 and for that money, one could get four- 4 oz. cups of the soup of your choice. Twenty six restaurants participated.

The entertainment was provided by 13 different groups and was spaced out so that those arriving at different times would have something to listen to as they sipped their choices of soup.

All in all, SOUPFEST was a great success, with one of the volunteers telling us that this was the biggest crowd they had ever seen.

The work of the Living Rock Ministries deserves a mention here in more detail.

Many of the churches here in Hamilton support their work. Their office/house is situated at Hughson and Wilson, in the downtown area.

Their mission is to help youth who are in trouble or likely to be in trouble, turn their lives around. There is a book, by authors Suzie Chiodo and Al Craig, which can be purchased for the sum of $20.00 plus shipping and handling.

Al Craig and his wife Karen founded the Living Rock Ministries, a non-profit, interdenominational Christian outreach to street-involved and at risk youth.

For much more detail, please see their website at

Time well spent for a very worthwhile cause!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A nice way to spend the day

Whitehern Historical House is one of my most favourite spots to go in Hamilton, Ontario as it brings back so many memories of things I remember from my childhood.

It is located on Jackson Street in the downtown area, right across from the YWCA.

It is also quite easy to get to if one takes the city buses, as the McNabb platform is just down the street from it. Also, if one drives, there is City Hall parking next to it.

This wonderful old house was willed to the City of Hamilton when the last of the McQuesten family died off. It is well built and is now maintained by the City.

In the summer, there are free concerts in the wonderful old gardens once a week. In the winter, they decorate for Christmas and today was a free visit to the home plus 1930's games in the Stable which is right near the garden. One could purchase a bottomless cup of delicious hot chocolate for $1.00 while in the Stable.

They have a very nice event coming up which will be held on Valentine's Day and I hope to be able to go.

It was nice to see a fairly steady stream of visitors come to this old house, especially young people bringing their little ones to see it.

Down below, you will find pictures I took today with some notations


Note the wonderful old cookwear on the stove!

I love this little table - it reminds me of one my aunt had when I was a little girl.

Milk bottles - I remember them as a child. The milkman always used to come to the door with the milk. My mother would always put the bottles out and the tickets for the milk and he would come early in the morning. At that time, it was quite safe to do that.

The 1930's kitchen


What a lovely way to spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon with the very nice staff dressed in period costumes and a friend.

After that, went to the Open House at Whitehern and took lots of pictures. Two friends were supposed to come but only one did.

However, we had a great time and both of us took lots of pictures.

Whitehern is planning many lovely events at very reasonable prices and some are even free. I plan to attend when I can.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tragedy in Belgium

The horrific events in Belgium yesterday have touched me deeply, particularly as I worked for the Toronto School Board in their LINC programme for five years. Our programme consisted of infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Even after the children graduated from our programme, they oftentimes would come for a visit at lunch time and I remember one dear little boy called Ibrahim sitting on my lap on the rocking chair just cuddling. I remember another little angel jumping into my arms when he saw me at Center Island. Children are such a gift from God and adults are given the responsibility of caring for them.

I remember sounding the alarm when a man came to our back door, then peered into our windows. He was not one of our parents and I reacted immediately. I called the Principal and reported it.

The Principal shut the school down immediately, all classroom doors were closed, and no students were allowed out of the classrooms, even to go to the washroom. Three hefty male teachers patrolled the corridors and the man was located. It was a frightening experience as children are very vulnerable and cannot defend themselves. Since most day care workers are women as well, strength to fight off an intruder is somewhat limited.
I recall another time when all teachers and children had to go into the gym as there was a take-down just outside the school and shots were being fired. That also, was a frightening situation.

In the case of the incident in Belgium, it would appear that it is a private day care. Under normal circumstances, a well run day care center would be very safe for the children, as there are many rules and safeguards in place.

I do find it a little strange that a man made up in such a way, would be admitted to the Center.

Likely the worker thought he was a parent wishing to find out their rates and if space was available and this is why he was admitted. All business affairs would be transacted on the premises. She may have even thought he was a children's clown, just dropping in before going to work.

Can you imagine how she must be feeling now? Can you imagine the horror of the workers and the confusion of the little ones. I can and it breaks my heart. I see my "babies" in my classroom and visualize it all too vividly.

It would appear that this man may have mental health issues. Can you imagine how his parents and siblings are feeling now? I can.

What has caused him to do this horrendous act?

The innocents whose lives were taken from them in such a brutal way; the worker who tried to save them and lost her life as a consequence, the other workers who tried to protect the children, the parents and relatives, the nation of Belgium, all are victims through no fault of their own.

The question here is, how can we prevent such a thing from happening again, in any country in this hurting world.

What is the solution?

Brighter heads than mine have to rethink the safety issues here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My poem, published in the Ambition Newspaper - Toronto, Ontario

I wrote this poem, knowing my own frailties and shortcomings and realizing my own dependence on the Higher Power. This poem will be read by a dear friend of mine, Eleanore Kosydar, at my funeral service. God Willing, that may be a few years hence, but only God knows that.

It is my hope that all people of faith, no matter which religion they may follow, will find something in this poem which they can relate to.

I wrote this poem with thankfulness in my heart for the love that God has shown to me through- out my life. May it bless you as you read it.

My Journey

I live alone, yet am not lonely
I cry out when in pain, my sighs are noted
my innermost thoughts are known to You
Creator Lord, Friend and Saviour God

Each day, I choose to walk with you, My God
Your loving presence is ever close to me
When my heart is sad and I feel “down”
You send an angel, disguised as friend

My confidence rests in You, Oh God,
Your loving presence guides me always
I slip and fall, You give me strength
To pick myself up and begin again!

I have left You behind several times
To do my “own thing”, go my own way
My spirit was distressed, uneasy
Until I returned to You, Living God

My frame is getting frail, with little strength
My earthly journey is almost done
I keep on trying, with God’s loving help
To make a difference before I go

ISSN 1496-3175 (Print)
ISSN 1496-3183 (Online)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

E.L.W. meeting today

Past and newly election Executive for the E.L.W. group for St. John's Lutheran Church in Hamilton, Ontario. Today was a special day for the ladies group at St. John's. They had elections for the Executive positions.

A new position was opened which I was elected to fill, Public Relations. Since I do that in any event, I accepted the position.

It is nice to be recognized in a more official capacity.

As always, it was well attended and as usual, a lovely array of deserts and herbal tea and coffee were served.

The 44th President of the United States of America

A family picture, taken a few years ago. May God keep this family safe and grant wisdom to do what is right.
Today was an historical day in the history of the United States of America.

In my own lifetime, having travelled as a young girl in the Southern States, I have seen the prejudice and nastiness shown to people of colour.

Even as late as 1994, I have heard nasty remarks made about people of colours while in Florida.
It gives me much pleasure to know that the President's Dad was from Africa who, by his own choice, immigrated to the States.

Unlike so many other people of African descent who live in the States, this man was not forced to come but chose willingly to go and take his chances in a new land.

Having come from a family where one of them was an immigrant, it most likely will give the new President a better insight into the problems that immigrants face coming to a new land.
I also like the fact that he has lived in Indonesia for four years, which of course, has one of the biggest Muslim populations in the world. Thus, he will have a more accurate picture of what Islamic life is all about, rather than just what is reported through the media.

My greatest happiness was hearing God's name mentioned and the prayers of two pastors during the ceremony.

I would pray that this signifies a change is coming, that once again, the States will become a God-fearing nation.

As a poet (although not a good one), it pleased me to hear the poet, Elizabeth Alexander, read her work at such a great event. Perhaps people may turn back to language as expressed in poetry and the written word again.
Elizabeth Alexander's credentials are above reproach and I found information on her on the internet which was posted below this article. I think perhaps I may have enjoyed her other poetry better than the one she used today but her credentials are certainly excellent and she is a well known American poet.
Information on Elabeth Alexander.

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher born in New York City and raised in Washington, DC. Alexander has degrees from Yale University and Boston University and completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania. She has published five books of poems: The Venus Hottentot (1990), Body of Life (1996), Antebellum Dream Book (2001), American Sublime (2005), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year;” and, most recently, her first young adult collection (co-authored with Marilyn Nelson), Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color (2008 Connecticut Book Award). Her two collections of essays are The Black Interior (2004) and Power and Possibility (2007), and her play, “Diva Studies,” was produced at the Yale School of Drama.Professor Alexander is the first recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship for work that “contributes to improving race relations in American society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.” She is the 2007 winner of the first Jackson Prize for Poetry, awarded by Poets and Writers. Other awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, the George Kent Award, given by Gwendolyn Brooks, a Guggenheim fellowship as well as the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at University of Chicago. She currently teaches in the Department African American Studies at Yale University.

I am so happy to have been able to see the ceremony on my local station and participate, even in such a small way, in this event.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another accident on James South

This could happen to anybody!

This slippery weather is causing problems for pedestrians and drivers alike. A young lady was darting across the street, coming out from behind parked cars, and the silver-haired man hit her accidently.

Of course, that is not the proper way to cross a street, but be that as it may, many, many people choose to do that.

The fire truck came first and two burly firefighters with huge bags went to her aid, then a few minutes later, the ambulance and police arrived.

She was taken away to the hospital.

From the first aid courses I had to take to work in the Toronto School Board as a day care teacher, the first mistake was to move her. Several well meaning people rushed over and tried to help her up. Another by-stander called 911.

They did succeed in getting her up and took her into the coffee shop right there.

However, this can often cause more damage than help, especially when the injuries are unknown.

It would appear that she was not badly hurt but perhaps had some broken bones.

The poor man who hit her, stopped and went into the coffee shop and stayed with her until the Emergency Medical Services people came.

This is the third accident, to my knowledge, just within a few short weeks. One lady was killed, another person was seriously injured and now this young lady hit.

One would think that pedestrians and drivers would take extra care in such weather as we have been having lately!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Tower Poetry Winter Launch

Eleanore Kosydar
Norm Brown, President of Tower Poetry

Ed Wood

Stella Mazur Preda

Jennifer Tan, reading her poetry.

Jeff Seffinga - Master of Ceremonies and Editor-in-Chief of Tower Poetry Society

Carnagie Gallery, in Dundas, Ontario hosted the Tower Poetry Society book launch today.

In spite of the threat of more snow, it was a great day. I was able to get there as a dear friend, Stella, picked me up and brought me home. The weather had improved a great deal as well.
Other poets, whose work was published in the newest edition of the book, and who lived out of town, had their work read by others.
Refreshments were served at the end of the readings.
A very pleasant way to spend a few hours and to chat with compatible people!

Am I going, or am I not??????

I hope to be able to go to the Tower Poetry book launch in Dundas, Ontario today. My friend Stella will pick me up.

Everything now depends on whether or not there will be a storm again.

I hate this indecision - at least in the warmer weather one just goes!

I am turning into a hermit lately with this cold snap and inclement weather! (see above)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Presentation by Eleanore Kosydar

A very special annotation on my copy, which I will always cherish. Eleanore has proven to be a good friend and I appreciate her.

Eleanore talking to the filled room of enchanted listeners. (see below)
She and her husband Richard have published a wonderful book called the Dundas Valley, Visions of Beauty. As a gifted poet herself, she read a couple of her poems during the presentation on the wonderous sites of the Dundas Valley.
For those people who are reading this blog and not from this area, Dundas Valley is part of Hamilton, Ontario and has breathtaking scenery, only minutes away by car from downtown Hamilton.

Hamilton has some breathtaking spots to explore, to hike in, to sit by and to experience the wonders of nature.
It is certainly well worth a visit!

It was such a pleasant way to spend time looking at the wonderous pictures that Richard and Eleanore have taken on the T.V. screens ranging along the wall. Eleanore gave an explanation of each picture as they came on the screen.

Many people who attended were from Hiking groups, some poetry group friends and fellow authors.

She will be having one more reading in February.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Looking forward to the weekend.

I would imagine that most people look forward to the weekend, especially if they work all week long!

As a retired person, the weekend does not mean as much to me as it did when I was still working.

This weekend, I have two lovely things to look forward to. I am getting a ride to both of them. I would not go otherwise, as waiting for a bus in this frigid weather would not be a healthy choice for me. All of Canada right now is in a winter cold snap and Hamilton is no exception.
I ventured out today, but just to the mall which is only about 5 minutes away. I needed to be around people again. I also stocked up on some food as they are calling for snow on the weekend.

I only bumped into one person I know, Herbert, but did not intrude as he was sitting with some friends at Pam's Coffee Shop in the Food Court.

A brief wave, a smile and I was off to the library to return some videos, then on to other bits of shopping.

I am so fortunate to live so close to the mall. In the winter, it is somewhere to go without getting too cold, in the summer, it is airconditioned!

It's a great mall with some interesting shops in it. Unfortunately, some of the higher end shops have left the mall but it still remains a good place to go to people watch and do little bits of shopping.

Ah, the weekend, two nice events to look forward to with two friends. How lucky can one be!
In fact, there were three things to look forward to, but one I would have had to take a bus to so that cancelled that idea. I went to Dundas last year and really felt the cold and decided against going again this year.
What a real blessing it is to be retired, to have friends and family who care, and to have life!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Howling winds assail my ears

Today is a concert at Central Library which a group of friends and I go to each month. However, as I look out of my window and hear the wind howling, I have to wonder if anybody will go!

The library concerts are wonderful, and I enjoy them very much. Oftentimes, we go out to a Chinese restaurant for lunch after the event, but I have my doubts today, whether any of the group will go!

Brr, makes me shiver just to hear the wind!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A wonderful visit to a friend's place

Actually, we don't fight! Rosie would not be comfortable with having her picture on the internet so I have substituted this pictures signifying our good friendship.
What a lovely day I have had today. Went to my friend Rosie's place for lunch and we spent a great time together, lots of talking, lots of food, and she makes a wonderful cup of coffee!

Not only did I get a ride up to her place, she insisted that she drive me home.

I really appreciate that as I do not want to fall and break any bones!

I am so blessed to have her as a friend. She was my first friend in Hamilton.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A poem about Housekeeping - published in a Toronto Newspaper

A lick and a Promise

Finger prints on bathroom mirror
water marks on tiled floor
the hiss of Windex on paper towel
a wipe, a swipe - and all is right.

The old wet mop dragged from hiding
to perform its mighty job
the smell of pine now scents the air
a rub, a scrub - the task is done

Feather duster at the ready
dust bunnies skulk and hide
taunting me to catch them
A whoosh, a swoosh – chores are done.


An accident - people's kindness shown to victim

I happened to look out my window at noontime today and saw a young man lying still on the cold, icy pavement in the middle of James Street South.

It appeared like he may have been hit by a car but I did not see that part. I did see that he was lying so still and that by-standers came running over to surround him so that oncoming traffic would not run over him.

One man directed the buses and the cars as they carefully steered around him.

One woman took off her coat and put it over the young person. The ambulance, fire and police people soon came and took him away to the hospital.

It reminded me of the time I had the stroke and fell on the streetcar tracks on Dundas Street in Toronto. If it were not for Somali women in their bright clothing surrounding me, the streetcar which was rapidly coming at me would have killed me. A bicycle policeman, a wonderful young man, took off his police jacket and covered me with it and a woman put my purse under my head. I needed stitches over my eye and my arm was broken but time and rest restored me to my old self.

It just shows that there are good people out there and when the need arises, people will come forward.

In the case of the young man, thank God that it was day time and there were lots of people around to help.

Our Home

Daddy Long Legs spider.
Old Lachine, P.Q. style of house

Our Home

White lacy curtains graced the four windows in my little room. Green shutters kept the summer sun out as if to protect the inners of the house from the sun’s ravages.

Little hairy spiders hung about as if they owned the place. I did not mind them so much. I did not like the great large ones with the huge body and long legs! Somebody once told me they were called “Daddy Long Legs” but they sure did not resemble my Daddy!

The big spiders terrified me, as I valiantly tried to catch them with a dust mop to put them outside. When one escaped from my mop and started to scuttle across the wooden floor, I don’t know who ran faster, it or me!

Sometimes when I would awaken in the middle of the night, and put the little lamp on near bed, I would see a cobweb which was not there before I went to sleep.

I was afraid to fall asleep then. I could imagine a giant hairy spider peering down at me from the corner of the room. He was just waiting to pounce once I let my guard down. I needed to sleep with one eye open, ever alert for the danger of a spider web growing until it engulfed me and took me prisoner

My room was my castle, and my throne was the captain’s bed. From there I could survey my subjects. Stuffed animals and dolls looked back at me from their shelf.

I arranged them all in a row, their faces looking so earnestly at me. I loved my black doll the best. She had such expressive eyes. She always sat with my dear old teddy bear with no name.

He was the worse for wear, missing an arm and an eye but he was the king of my heart. Perfect in my eyes in every way.

The side windows in my room showed nothing but the neighbour’s grey stucco wall.

No, it was at the front windows where I did my best day dreaming. It was in this room where I could let my imagination take flight and soar up to the heavens and beyond.

My room was my own little space, just for me and me alone. How I loved that little room!

Our Mom ran our home like a well ordered ship, everything in its place and everything on schedule.

She was the captain and we were the crew. She was the queen bee and we were the workers.

The room next to me was shared by two boys. Their view was even better than mine and their room much larger.

Bedtime did not mean sleep time, at least to my little brother and I. It meant time to whisper to each other from the adjoining rooms, to sneak our flashlights under the bed sheets and to read comics without getting caught. It meant sharing secrets with each other which nobody else knew.

When we would hear footsteps coming up the stairs, it was a sign to turn off the flashlights and pretend to be asleep. We were the great pretenders! Grannie was always the next one in bed and that would be the end of the whispering and giggling.

Our Grannie’s room was bright and spacious and faced the neighbour’s side wall. When the light purple lilac tree was in bloom and a slight wind would blow, the heavenly smell of the lilacs would permeate not only her room but also the dining room downstairs.

In the time of the greatest bloom, lilacs would grace our dining room table and share a spot of honour with the Lilies of the Valley which grew in the hollow near the Victory Garden behind our house.

Our house was so modern that we even had a chute which fascinated me. I could imagine myself and my dirty clothes tumbling, tumbling downward. In my imagination, I could feel myself falling, falling surrounded by the dirty clothes.

It was an open space ready to devour me as I leaned over it to put my clothing into it. It fascinated me and at the same time scared me.

The last room upstairs, except for the old fashioned bathroom with its wonderful old tub with high sides and claw shaped legs, belonged to my parents. Their room even had a little balcony which nobody was allowed to use. I always wanted to go out on that balcony. Out there,I could see who was coming down the lane.

However, I never did get out on that little balcony.

My parents’ room had the commanding view of who went up and down the stairs and it was never possible to sneak in unnoticed when we were teenagers!

As for the main floor and the basement, ah, that is another story all together.

The kitchen, the pantry off it and the back porch all were one large space. Oftentimes we would go out through the back porch, down the few stairs, into the back yard with its Victory Garden and wooden swing set.

On Wash Day, we would have to be careful to avoid the large white sheets on the clothesline which flapped in the wind, wet as can be, ready to slap any unwary person in the face who came too close.

Just in case you think that nothing ever happened when I was young, read on and see for yourself.

A little poem I did compose to bring to your attention, an event to remember.

“ A mouse in the house, my dear, what can you mean?
Alas for us, he came to call quite late in the night
finding us asleep in our beds
A scratch on a match
a small fire he did set
lucky for us
we all woke up in time

The scene of the crime
was not the fanciest room
where jewels and gold could be found
rather, the humble pantry where food did abound.
an intruder, who was there on a mission of his own.

No cat in sight to keep him away
alas, he did his damage and went on his way!

that event was traumatic as I recall
the smell of smoke still brings it to mind
even after sixty years have gone by
a mouse, my dear, who caused quite a stir! "

Ah, but lest you think that all was traumatic, let me tell you about our little playhouse which stood in the corner of our garden. As children, my friends and relations spent many happy hours imagining everything from a house under siege from “bad guys” to playing house and making tea.

The Lilac tree standing so tall and proud was my favourite spot. I would spend hours with my nose in a book, transported far beyond the borders of Lachine or even La Belle Province.

However, one cannot spend all the time outside in the garden, especially when winter draws near. Our sturdy old house was built in 1925 and was bought by my parents in 1944.

The dining room held a wonderful old solid wood table with ornate carvings on the legs. This table, at Christmas or New Years, had to be extended to accommodate my family and relatives who lived down the lane.

A matching buffet held our Mother’s good Limoges China which was her pride and joy and used only for very special occasions. Silver napkin rings, silver candlesticks and white damask table cloth set the tone for these occasions.

The plate rail high above our heads held many wonderful objects that we could see when we sat there.

Two windows which overlooked the side of our neighbour’s house gave both light and air to this beautiful room.

A little powder room was added during the years when we lived there to accommodate our large family. It was my job to keep it clean for which I earned 25 cents a week. Along with these earnings, I had an allowance of 50 cents a week which had to be budgeted.

Our sitting room, a friendly place, held a fireplace which we lit from time to time. In 1961, a big ice storm hit Lachine and we kept warm because of the fireplace.

Speaking of the fireplace, on each side, a bookcase of glass and wood, stood proudly there to hold our treasures of the written word. Many of my Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames books were kept there as well as the family Bible.

The sitting room windows, with their lacy curtains, offered a cool breeze filtered through our wonderful old tree which stood on the front lawn.

This sitting room saw many a happy time, Christmas presents under a tree, a card table for the children to enjoy their own separate Christmas feast away from the eyes of noticing adults, a cheerful canary singing its own little song and many a game of monopoly played by the children of the family.

Alas, I haven’t spoken yet of our basement which was deep and dark and ran the length of the house.

In it, Daddy had his workshop for his many tools. It was a storage area for out of season clothes, and that is where the chute came down with all the dirty clothing and where the wringer washer stood so patiently waiting for its next load.

One year, Stony Point overflowed and it caused a flood in our basement which was a big problem for my parents. As a child, I found it exciting to wade through the water in my high boots.

I had one area of the basement I was afraid to go in though. The cold storage room with its freezing temperature and pull chain light. The scary images on the wall from the faint light, gave rise to my imagination, and my heart pounding, I would grab what my Mother wanted and race out of there.

This old house which has sheltered so many people over the years, still continues to stand there even after all these years.

Now, I ask my audience, is this an honest portrayal of my childhood home, or is it an imaginary one? It’s your call!!!!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

A bright and sunny day today!!

This, unfortuntely, is more the reality, but she is much younger than I am and my babies are all grown up now. Have a great day and hopefully your own housework will be done by a maid!

This is what I would rather be doing, going for a swim and enjoying myself. Alas, it is not meant to be, and I must continue to work on the house!

How wonderful when the sun is out and brightening things up. It seems to give me more energy to do things and to work on housework.

Housework is something I don't mind doing but it never ends! Wouldn't it be a lovely thing if one could just do the job and forget it for a few weeks and it would just stay neat and tidy????

I live in a dream world!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stormy day again!

Although I am a city dweller, I do love the countryside. This picture shows the snow falling through the wonderful old trees which dot our beautiful country. I have always loved trees since I can remember, in particular, the wheeping willow tree. I once wrote a short story which took place under such a tree. I must dig it out and look at it again some time. Thanks for reading my blog.
This little fellow is walking on the pavement, as the snow is quite dirty and deep. Today, this snow will be covered with fresh snow as the flakes ae coming down steadily right now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An article on my son's business from the Globe and Mail

My son, Kenneth, was photographed recently by a Globe and Mail photographer and an article was written in the business section on his business - Civi-side. Ken has been working very hard on his business which is to match Canadian military reservists with reserve friendly businesses who are looking for employees with good work ethics.

Along with this interview by the Globe and Mail, Ken has had numerous radio interviews which include the Roy Green Show and CBC Radio 1.

Although there have been many nay sayers, his determination and tenaciousness will continue to stand him in good stead as he continues with his business.

His blog address is:

Please click on the link below for the article in The Globe and Mail.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Freezing rain forecast - a Canadian perspective

Rain frozen on overhead hydro wires, slippery roads, lots of fender benders as automobiles go too fast for the slippery conditions, breath freezing as one speaks - all this is part of a Canadian winter. Many people who come here from more tropical climates have a very difficult time adjusting to the long cold winter which can last for six months. Plans have to change, oftentimes, in the winter months due to weather conditions. It gets dark here about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and the sun does not rise until after 7:30 a.m.

Walking on a Canadian frozen lake. People even go ice fishing on our lakes in the dead of winter sitting in little huts to keep warm. I have never done this, but I believe that some people drink alcohol to keep warm.

One must exercise caution when one goes out on a frozen lake, it may look solid but there may be patches of ice which are not as frozen as others.

Freezing rain in Canada is not a rare thing at all! This picture, taken off the internet, shows what happens when the rain falls and the temperature drops drastically. I can remember as a young girl, looking out my window in Lachine in the Province of Quebec, and seeing the trees like this. Alas, at that time, the rain had frozen onto hydro lines and all electricity was off for an indefinite time until the workers could restore the power. We were lucky, we had a fireplace and a gas stove so could keep a little warm and cook warm meals. This was in the early 1960's, everything was at a standstill. People could not go to their jobs and the city was at a standstill.

I thought about Canadian ice storms as we had a freezing rain warning today, which means that one should be extra careful walking or driving as it is very slippery underfoot. My daughter's area, Kitchener, Ontario had to cancel some transportation forms due to the freezing rain but here it seems to be okay so far.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It could be a better day for me!

This is how I will feel tomorrow after a good night's sleep! Something to look forward to.!
This is a perfect picture of me, but far too young a person. I have finished complaining now and will now find a happier picture to end this segment of the blog.

This is how I feel today! Frustrated and cooped up! It doesn't happen very often but I think I need to do something really different in order to get back to myself! Lack of sleep is the reason! I did not sleep at all last night.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day 2009

Today, New Year's Day is very, very cold but the sun is shining and coming through my window which makes it much more cheerful! As I sit here at my computer, my mind reflects on my beloved Country Canada and the people who live here in freedom. Canada is so beautiful with its distinct four seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. All of which have their own special features. Below is a winter scene, note the ice laden trees, the banks of white snow and the street lights shining. Darkness comes early in the winter months.
Winter in Canada. Yes, beautiful to look at from one's cozy apartment, but not so beautiful to have to huddle outside in it, with the winds whipping the snow into one's face, a cap sitting in front on the ground, begging for money. There are many homeless people in Canada now, having to somehow survive our harsh winters, humid and hot summers. and all the other variations of weather we have. Even families are without shelter due to the high cost of living which includes high rents, especially in major cities such as Toronto, Ontario or Vancouver, British Columbia.
Yes, there are shelters for people to go into for the night, but there are some people who. for their own valid reasons, will not go into a shelter,and who chose to sleep on a hot air vent in cities like Toronto.
Life in Canada is good, if you have a well paying job, money in your pocket, and a warm and cozy home. Many people who come to this country as refugees and landed immigrants have a very rough time of it, trying to learn English or French, depending on which province they settle in, trying to get used to very different customs and culture, and far away from loved ones back home. Working in very low paying jobs, far beneath their abilities, they struggle to bring up their families and make a new life for themselves.
The working poor, often times has to use food banks just to get by. This includes Canadians born here, as more and more people are losing their jobs due to the economic difficulties that Canada is facing.

That is the downside of Canada. The upside far outweighs the downside but one must work hard here to succeed.
One of our most precious things we have is Freedom of Religion. It does not matter if one is Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist etc. etc. as long as one lives in peace in Canada, one can practice their own religion without fear.

To get back to our theme of New Year's Day let us hope the caricature below is not on how you feel this day! Let us hope that the coffee in his hand helps him get over his excessive partying last night! Many people may be having headaches today if they went out to celebrate bringing in the new year.

I felt this little bear might just express a good and positive feeling for the beginning of the new year.

No matter what path we choose, what we do each day, with every thought we think, we are making our own futures. Let us, in this beginning of a new year, work towards establishing justice for all, lending a hand when we can and in general, being good to our fellow creatures on this planet.
Happy New Year from the cats and I, dear reader! May your new year bring you joy and happiness, enough to eat, enough to share and the ability to remember others and their needs.
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R!!!