Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jalen and Lexi

Look who has finally learned how to sleep? Just kidding Lexi actually does sleep - now and then! One of Jalen's Christmas gifts was a return trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame so I really must make that happen soon. He absolutely loves it there and would stay the entire day if he could.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Expedia - Cruise Ship Centers

Hi there - I will be heading to the West coast soon for a few days in Richmond BC. I will be speaking at an event hosted by Expedia Cruise Ship Centers and I am very excited about this opportunity. If all goes well, this could result in a partnership with Expedia that will put Comfort Hearts in the hands of thousands of people all over the world. I am thinking big - I am a dreamer after all. Dreams come true and underdogs come through ... wish me luck!


Carol Ann

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Richard Moore and the Good Neighbours' Club

The lead story on the front page of today's Toronto Star shouts "Rare guilty verdict for cops in doorstep beating" with the larger photo of the two officers and the victim, Richard Moore, given a smaller photo - albeit still on the front page. Page A19 has a larger photo of Richard as he sits in front of his apartment where he was beaten.

I met Richard on February 3rd 2010 when he sat down with me at the Good Neighbours' Club to dictate his letter to our Canadian soldiers. Writing his letter was part of GNC's 'Writer in Residence' project and Richard was one of the first GNC members to sit down with me. His thoughts and words kept going back to this beating and, like others, I wondered how factual his story might be. At times his mind would wonder to his youth, his father who had served in World War 1, and numerous stories about his family - and often back to this particular beating at the hands of "Toronto's finest" as he would call them.

After our first meeting Richard often came back with another story, many pictures of his family that were wonderful to look at and his small computer where he was capturing so much detail of his life. I looked forward to seeing Richard each Wednesday at the Club but one day he disappeared and until this morning's article I have heard nothing about him. I hope he is okay this morning.

The Good Neighbours' Club offers a day shelter to men like Richard - men who need a place to go during the day where they can be with their friends, have a good meal, have a shower and do their laundry if necessary and know that there are people who care about them and can help them. I worry that GNC is not receiving sufficient funding ...I am all for helping other countries but when we have children who go to bed hungry, seniors who can't get their meds and homeless who need our help maybe we should be sharing our funds right here in Canada before we help others. I'm just sayin....

Carol Ann

Monday, January 24, 2011

Canadian Women in Business April 13 - 14th Toronto

I will be speaking at a conference in Toronto on April 13 - 14th for those of you who have asked to be kept informed re when I am speaking at a conference locally. You can go to for all the details - click on "Events." Perhaps I will see you there.

Carol Ann

Latest picture of Lexi taken January 23rd

That is Mummy's right hand in a cast you are seeing along with beautiful Lexi. (Mummy being Tracey of course!!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jalen and his little sister

Hi there everyone - just spent a few days with James, Tracey and family. Lexi is one week old now and commanding considerable attention. She is definitely a beautiful little girl.
Jalen is a wonderful big brother. He dotes on his little sister and looks forward to playing ball hockey with her and skiing too! At the moment, both Lexi and Jalen are missing their two front teeth!
Have a great weekend..........Love Carol Ann

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's funeral for Sgt. Ryan Russell

On this Tuesday morning in downtown Toronto it is difficult to write about anything other than the funeral for Sgt. Ryan Russell at the Metro convention center taking place this afternoon. The coming together of the police brotherhood is well documented and today is no exception. Some 10,000 police and others are expected to stand tall and strong in support of Sgt Russell's family - in particular his wife Christine and his two year old son Nolan. Like all of you, my heart goes out to them.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lexi in her "going home outfit!"

Jalen and Lexi

Lexi is two days old now and as you can see Jalen is a proud big brother! I promise to not post pictures every single day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Here she is....

Lexis Ann Sydney  (we will call her Lexi) was not quite an hour old when this picture was taken earlier this afternoon. She weighs in at 7 lbs 2 oz and is perfect in every way. Mom and Dad are both doing well - Jalen's reaction to follow in another update.
Nana X 2

Monday, January 10, 2011

Heritage property

Those of us who live in downtown Toronto love living here. I totally get why it is only us who understand the reasons we do so. You have to live downtown to love it!
I have always been interested in antiques and in heritage buildings. As I have become less and less materialistic over the years I have shed many of my pieces of antique furniture - albeit family and friends now have some of my antiques so I can "visit them."
It seems that heritage buildings carry minor importance in the big scheme of things. Case in point, the beautiful building that sat at 335 Yonge Street since sometime before 1847. I have walked past this address for many years and saw one corner of the main floor operate as a hot dog restaurant, a shoe store, a salad restaurant and a Tatami restaurant....and I am probably missing a few others. In April of last year a section of this building, the only surviving 19th century commercial building along the east side of Yonge Street in the block between Dundas and Gould Streets, colapsed onto Gound Street. Not much seemed to be happening over the next several months. Then, as 2011 began, on January 3rd a six-alarm fire engulfed the building and virtually destroyed the landmark.
Shame on us Toronto!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When mink coats become mink bears....

For a reason that I do not recall, during my last day on the job with Bell Canada I went shopping in the downtown Montreal meca and purchased a green mink coat. I was not comfortable wearing it from day one and for years it sat in my closet begging for a good home.
A number of years later at a reunion of sorts in Kitchener at my friend Shirley's home I spoke with Mary about the terrible loss of her son and how making bears offered a form of therapy for her. We talked about the possibility of Mary turning my mink coat into bears - and the rest, as they say, is history. I mailed the coat off to her and it came back to me in the form of seven perfectly created mink bears!
The pictures above are of the bear I kept for myself. Green (that's his name) sits atop my antique suitcase that proudly bears a Halifax sticker. I like to think I am somehow connected to the suitcase, and to the bear, in ways I don't even understand - yet.
If you have a coat that you would like to turn into memories you might share with others I highly recommend the bear route... create your own "This little bear went to ....." story!
Carol Ann

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pat Legg is on the road to recovery

It will be a long and hard road to full recovery but if anyone can do it, this lady can! I got to spend the day with Pat yesterday and I am so impressed with her attitude - the way she is dealing with a pelvis broken in FOUR places is incredible - honestly. She has physio each morning and much of the balance of the day she does small things to help herself in her recovery. She is working at getting better all day long.
Pat will likely be in the long term rehab world until late March at the least but I am convinced she will recover 100%!
Pat, you go girl!
Carol Ann

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Meet my friend Kirby!

On October 27, 2007 I received an e mail from Tanya who lives in Port Maitland Nova Scotia. (this is very close to my favourite beach in Mavillette.) Tanya wrote to share her mother's successful battle with cancer - yes it can be beaten!
Last summer while my sister Lois and I were vacationing at home we set out to meet Tanya - meeting via e mail is not the same as meeting face to face. Tanya immediately invited us to her home and we had a wonderful visit. Her son Kirby joined us and his love of hockey (and mine) gave us something to discuss instantly.
I was so impressed with Kirby - a wonderful young man with many interests, very polite and - I am sure - a great future ahead of him. Tanya recently shared these pictures and I thought I would begin this day by saying "hi" to Kirby via my blog! Have a great day my young friend.
Carol Ann

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Comfort Heart sales....

Each year end I balance the Comfort Heart books and see how many Comfort Hearts we have "out there" in the hands of people all over the world. The number as of December 31st 2010 is . . . . . . . 244, 187! That number represents many many sales at $10.00 per heart. We have had some wonderful group and corporate sales but, for the most part, it has been people like you buying one at a time that has helped raise so much money for cancer research.

I am always interested in your Comfort Heart stories so please continue to share.

I am working on an opportunity right now that might result in large sales numbers so keep your fingers crossed. I will be in Vancouver later this month to speak to one of the two audiences I hope to convince that a partnership would be a great idea. The second audience will be in Toronto in February.

Thank you, from the heart, for your continued support for this fundraiser in memory of my mother.


Carol Ann

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My son - James

Today is my son's birthday. I am sharing pictures taken when we were living in Montreal in 1982 - James was 13 years old! So, do the math and my "little boy" turns 42 today. These were the first professional pictures we had taken and I remember my boss at Bell asking if we were wearing the same shirt for the photo shoot....not funny.
James and I have grown up together. I am more proud of my son than of any accomplishment I may have been credited for over the years.
We have both come a very long way from that small hospital in North Bay where James was born just about this time - 8 30 in the morning on New Year's Day in 1969. While he was the first boy born in North Bay there was a little girl born before him so she got the "loot" and James (he was Jamie then) was given a new pair of blue jeans and his parents were given a free tank of gas. Go figure!
Happy Birthday my son.
Carol Ann/Nana/Mom