Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My letter from Clarence House Feb 26th, 2002

With all of the attention on the Royal Family I thought I would share this letter with you. When Princess Margaret passed away (I had met her as a very small child when her train tour through Nova Scotia stopped in my town) I wrote to the Queen Mother and enclosed two Comfort Hearts. One heart for the Queen Mother and the other for her daughter - Queen Elizabeth.

When this letter arrived dated February 26th, 2002, more than a month had gone by. Sadly the Queen Mother passed away March 30th just around the time her letter reached me. She died less than two months after her daughter Princess Margaret.

I have always felt honoured to have received this letter from the Queen Mother's "Lady-in-Waiting" on their Clarence House letterhead.

Carol Ann

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May 12th if you are interested

Prceeds for a very good cause.

Maybe I will see you there?

Carol Ann

Monday, April 25, 2011

One of many Easter Egg hunts

Jalen and his cousin Andrew enjoy an Easter Egg hunt together. How handsome are they!



Easter Sunday with DJD and family!

I was invited to Easter dinner with Dorothy and family in her beautiful (spacious!) condo- and I truly felt like one of the family. I won't name names because we have a pre-teen (a beautiful pre-teen!) and a giant-sized-pro-in-the-making 14 year old and I didn't ask permission to share their names with you. We had the most wonderful meal and talked sports almost non-stopped - I absolutely loved every second of it.

Dorothy, thanks again for including me.


Carol Ann

PS To whom it may concern - I found the ankle weights if you want them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Home for the summer

It's a bit early to be thinking of summer vacation I know but I have to share that I have just rented my former Halifax waterfront condo for the month of August so "I'm coming home!" and I can hardly wait. (This photo is not from my Halifax window - this is the ocean and I am sure there are many visits to the beach in my future.)

I lived in Halifax from 1996 until 2007 when I returned to Toronto to be closer to my son and his (growing!) family. I didn't leave Halifax because I was tired of it - far from it. It will always be home to me.

Halifax real estate agent and friend, Helen Parker, brought prospective buyers to my condo in 2007 and they purchased it same day. When they were ready to sell and move on Helen purchased it herself and rents it out. It just happens that the young lady who has rented it for two years will be away for the month of August and knowing I was looking for a place Helen called to say, "How about your former condo?" and of course I said, "Absolutely!"

See you on the Boardwalk!!

Colour me happy and to Helen - thanks again and again and again.


Carol Ann

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Memories of Easter past

One Easter, some years ago, Connie's husband John Dea gave me the lovely hand painted blue and yellow Easter egg in this picture. It really is very beautiful and I immediately gave it a place of honour in my Halifax condo.

Over the years JohnD and I developed a bit of humour around this particular Easter egg. I would move it to a lesser place of honour and he would look for it and move it back. For example, one year Connie and John arrived to find it in the bathroom and a second later it appeared on my coffee table in the livingroom. The three of us enjoyed many smiles as a result of this gift -and to this day it brings a smile to my face, and Connie's too I know. We miss him.


Carol Ann

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter to you!

Hey there - nice long weekend for some and even longer for others. Weather is nice in Toronto today - no snow. It was snowing last weekend when I drove to my son's and I was not amused. My car has never seen the snow.

I am in luck - have been invited to not one but two Easter dinners. Today at my friend Barb's home and Sunday and Dorothy's home - a party in the making at each! My son and family are busy this weekend so Jalen and I will have our own little Easter egg hunt when he visits next time. Lexi is making her first sleep-over trip to Nana's in mid May so will share pictures of that major event! Here's hoping she sleeps now and then.

You have a happy Easter weeekend - don't eat too much chocolate....

Carol Ann

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Circa 1992

After reading about my lunch yesterday with Bill Valcour, Rita Humphries shared this photo from her 1992 memory bank. "Fieldway team" Bill, Doug Meagher and Bob MacCallum with their secretaries Gina Del Frate, Joan Fishlock and Rita to name a few.

Sadly, not everyone in this photo is still with us today - a gentle reminder to keep in touch with those who matter.

Rita and I reconnected a few years ago and while we don't get to meet in person all that often we keep in touch via e-mail - the next best thing! Rita thank you so much for sharing this photo. I love these walks down memory lane.


Carol Ann

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lunch with my friend Bill Valcour

I have written about Bill in my books. My Bell friends (many of you) know Bill well from working with him throughout his career. Now that we are both rewired Bill and I work hard to keep in touch. By that I mean we do not let life get in the way of sitting down for lunch or dinner at least once a year. We try for January. It is always easy to say, "I have been meaning to get in touch," but how many times do you find that you just don't make it happen? I am the one who had to postpone our January date - little Lexi's birth took over my life for a bit.

So today we met at Bistro 990 to celebrate too many things to recap here. We talked about anything, everything, and everyone from our Bell careers - such a great way to spend a few hours on a rainy day.

What is the above photo you ask? Bill was always in control of his budget - and I do mean always in control. There were times when Bill was overspent - and he paid his debts each and every time. During one particular meeting Bill was confused. He owed me (a figure of speech since I held the budget purse strings) 595K and he had managed to repay 14K and yet during the budget presentation the numbers showed that he still owed me 594K. He looked me with such a confused look and I could feel him saying, "Do the math boss, 595 - 14 does not equal 594! "It's all in the rounding of the numbers Bill," I explained but clearly he was not buying any of it.

To recapture the moment, at Christmas that year I gave each of my guys on my Ontario South Installation & Repair Tier B team a Birk's ruler and as they turned their ruler over they read, "595 - 14 - 594 NEW MATH ONTARIO SOUTH." I am not sure how funny Bill found it on that particular day but it has made for a great memory for me - and hopefully for 'my guys' too.

Today Bill owns and operates a Web Site Design company. gets you to him so check it out and if you are looking to have a web site developed, refurbished or updated give Bill a call.

And, Bill - thanks for lunch!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Jalen's version of Balloon Volleyball

Jalen can find a sport to enjoy everywhere he looks. For example, with two balloons he discovered Volleyball and as you can see he was moving too fast for me to capture him properly!

Jalen was eager to show me how fast he is on his bicycle, in fact he has outgrown it this year and a new bike is not far off -like his sister Jalen is very tall and tends to outgrow everything very fast.

So, back to work for me after a great weekend with my family.


Carol Ann

Lexi's first trip the Barrie Golf and Country Club

Sunday at the Club and Monday - the morning after!

And, Jalen combining fun and homework before school this morning.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fifth Avenue Collection

It had been years since I attended a Fifth Avenue Jewellery party. My friend Barb invited me to drive to Georgetown yesterday to check out the FAJ party at Lynda Prain's home - and what a beautiful home it is! Not only is it a beautiful home but Lynda's husband John has a 'man-cave' like you have never seen believe me. A putting green (honestly,) a regulation size pool table, photos on the wall of everyone and anyone in the golf business, a well hidden dart board for yet another option and I know I am forgetting other details. But that is not what I wanted to share with you. If you have not been to a Fifth Avenue Jewellery party, or if you have not been for some time check out Lynda's website or e mail her at if you want to ask about the line. I bought myself a pair of earrings and a gift for my great niece Courtney who lives in Grande Prairie but I will see in Edmonton in June. I won't tell you what it is in case she checks my blog. I am off to have brunch with the family! Enjoy your Sunday. Carol Ann

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Downsizing, decluttering and a Murphy Bed

As many of you know I am a fan of minimalizing, downsizing, decluttering - whatever you want to call it. It feels totally liberating once you make the decision to part with "things" whether you share them with family/friends or sell them. I have a few storefronts to share with you if the mood hits you to sell some lifelong possessions, or even not-so-life-long possessions. I have worked with and found them very professional and delightful to work with. Other websites worth a peek are and possibly I am also supportive of in Halifax. I have been checking the above websites looking for a Murphy bed so if any of you know where I can find one please share the information. Soggy Saturday - enjoy. CA

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sarah Jessie Catherine S

Meet my new friend Sarah.

Sarah is ten years old and attends Ecole Holy Cross School in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. I received an e-mail from Sarah on March 31st and in part it read, "Hey my name is Sarah. I am doing a heritage fair project and I have to do it on an invention that was made in Canada..........Guess what I am doing? Comfort Hearts! So in awhile if it's okay I would like to interview you."

The e-mail went on to explain that we are related. To keep it light I will say that my sister's former husband's sister's daughter's daughter is Sarah - I believe I have that right. So you see, we are related!

Sarah and I exchanged a number of e-mails, I mailed her a couple of Comfort Hearts and a bit of media coverage on the fundraiser and she arranged a date and time to interview me via phone. I was totally impressed with how prepared this ten year old girl was the second the interview began. Clearly she had done her homework. Sarah had read my first book and she knew the facts she had in place already and the specific things she needed my help with.

When my package arrived at her door Sarah e-mailed her thanks and shared with me that she felt certain the information would help her with her heritage fair project. She also shared more information about herself and this is great proof that you are never too young to volunteer. Sarah wrote, "I have been doing the Relay for Life with my mom since I was born. Now the moms have given the team over to us kids. We are called the TNT Kids DJ Dynamite..." I love it!!

About an hour ago I received this news from my new young friend,"Hi Carol Ann. I did great on my heritage fair - I even won 1st place! Thanks so much for your help. I am going to Regionals on May 6th and if I win there I'll go to Nationals in Regina - four hours away! Hope you like the pictures. With love, Sarah."

I am so proud of you Sarah! Congratulations on your 1st place award and good luck on May 6th and again in Regina. You are already a winner in my eyes! Keep me posted.


Carol Ann

Jalen enjoys a day in the sunshine

It is snowing in Alberta but at Jalen's house the sun is out and so is his bike!

With a new baby in the house James and Tracey are great about constantly reminding Jalen of his importance too. Being an only child for six years he obviously got all the attention and now that he has to share it is clear there is enough love to go around. He will always be "#1 Boy!" And, Nana's first grandchild too!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Aging curbs ability to multi-task ... "

Have you noticed how often studies are taken to prove what we already know? For example, that as we age we are not able to multi-task as we did during our younger years. I do admit to finding the article in today's Star an interesting one. I have been accused (and rightly so) of multi-tasking my entire life. The Lisa M Krieger/McClatchy-Tribune article begins, "A new university study shows that as we age it gets tougher to successfully multi-task, or remember to complete one task after being distracted by another." All kidding aside, it is a good article - pull it up and see what you think. My six year old grandson is already multi-tasking. He was playing with his DS so I asked if I could turn the TV channel. His reply spoke volumes, "No Nana, I am watching TV while I am playing with my DS - me and dad do two things at the same time." Now, what was I doing before I decided to blog about this article??? Enjoy your Thursday. CA

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leafs GM Brian Burke

If you are a long suffering Leafs fan you have to respect and support Brian Burke. People like to jump on and off the band-wagon I know and it's true that Burke is paid well to be supportive but when he steps up to the podium to address the press he sounds as if he is defending his own family rather than a hockey team each and every time. And, in a way he is. I love the way he calls everyone out if they dare to speak negatively about his team - he could easily say nothing but he comes out with guns blazing each and everytime. I admire that in a man - being supportive is a good thing. Good luck in the off season Mr Burke - you have work to do. CA

3 months old today

April 13th - three months old!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

passing on the tradition.........

Sorry for the duplicate picture of Lexi but I wanted to show the comparision with her brother even though Jalen was older when this picture of him was taken. The point is, Jalen has passed his Leafs slippers on to his little sister ... maybe next year will be the year for my Leafs!


Sunday sharing photos...

Lexi is laughing out loud now and her brother can very easily make her smile and laugh!
We had a summer like day yesterday so we pulled out Lexi's summer hat and walked through the park. It was her first "walk in the park" and it was precious to see her open her mouth as if to gulp in the summer like weather. She smiled each time she felt the breeze on her face.

Jalen had a wonderful story to share with me
...and I quote, "I have technology. I have responsibility. And, I have a baby sister who is a squawk box!" He is such a delighteful little boy.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

A substitute picture...

I had a wonderful lunch with Michelle, Marline and Gwen but forgot to get a picture - when I got home this photo was waiting for me so thought I would share it!

Marline and I were treated to birthday lunches (and treats) and we promised to return the favour in a couple of years or so when it is Gwen and Michelle's ages mentioned here.


Carol Ann

Friends from my Bell Days

Today I will try to get a picture with three of my friends from my Bell days when we meet for lunch. Gwen, Michelle, Marline and I work at staying in touch and it's worth every second we put into checking with each other re schedules and plans. We try to meet at least twice a year but will settle for even once a year if that is all we can manage.

This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago. Diane Cummings has been a dear friend for longer than I can remember. She is one of those friends who seems to always be there and I so appreciate that in her. Diane lives in Niagara Falls (grew up there too) and knows all the best places to check out - including the Danier Leather outlet mall where I bought yet another red jacket. This one is my favourite though.

Friendships become even more important over time . . .


Carol Ann

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Capitals 3, Maple Leafs 2 (SO)

We're done. Hate it when that happens. We gave it our all. Next year................

My year long celebration....

Honestly, pick a birthday that is important to you for more than the years it represents and celebrate it all year long. Those are cookies on the plate you see here - and yet another party. This time it was at Frank in the Art Gallery with my friend Virginia Yule.

Virginia is one very busy lady as the CEO of WILLOW - a breast cancer support group for anyone who needs help dealing with their own breast cancer or help as they watch cancer affect those they love. Virginia and here team are so helpful to so many and we need to continue to get the word out that WILLOW exists. - check it out.

By the way, I ate two of the cookies and Virginia ate one. Wonder if I should go back today for the remaining chocolate?

Have a great mid week day.


Carol Ann

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Invitation to the Royal Wedding!

I have been invited to the Royal Wedding!

Not the actual wedding itself but, I think, an even better invitation came in the mail today. My friend Phyllis Pedicelli who lives in Montreal (Tony too - hi Tony!) is hosting her sisters at the end of the month and I have been invited to join in on the vacation. These are the White girls from Wilmot Nova Scotia who grew up next door to me. (White is their last name by the way not the colour of their skin - I have been accused of referring to skin color in the past when my friends were in the audience where I was speaking and I said, "Oh I see the White girls.")

So, back to my invitation to the Royal Wedding - I think only Phyllis is interested in getting up with me as early as we will need to in order to catch the pre-pre-pre wedding stuff . Tony can likely wake us up when he gets up for work that morning. In case you can't read the fine print the location is "Phyllis's basement sofa" and Dress is "Fancy Hat, Morning Housecoat or Lounge PJ's." I love it............and I will be in Montreal for the event. My mother would be proud.



Monday, April 4, 2011

April 2 - Power of Women Conference in Cornwall

When Bernadette Lapierre called me months ago to ask if I would speak at their Power of Women conference this past Saturday I quickly said, "yes." I am so glad I did!

I met many wonderful women, and while I can't mention all of them individually I can show you a photo of the Board of Directors and one of the First Canadian Inn where I stayed compliments of the owners Brenda and Jim Heritage.

Saturday's audience had to listen to me in the morning and again in the afternoon and I will admit I had some concerns these wonderful women might be "over me" by the time I took the stage for the second time in the afternoon...however all went well according to feedback (so far that is!)

If you find youself needing a place to stay in Cornwall please check out Brenda and Jim's motel - they are wonderful people and you will become friends before you check out I guarantee you. The rooms are clean, huge, quiet, and have a fireplace plus a flat screen TV(the better to have watched my Leafs WIN again on Saturday night.)

I had a wonderful dinner on Friday evening with a number of the WE team even before the Conference took place. Brenda and I walked from the Motel to the Casa Paolo - a fabulous Italian restaurant. I highly recommend it.

The buzz early Saturday morning as women began to arrive for the conference was electric. Saturday is a precious day to everyone and working women know this all too well. They filed in before 9 am, picked up a coffee and something to eat and we sat down to begin the day... it was non stop until mid afternoon.

I visited the Tradeshow tables that about a dozen women had set up. These are women who are out there as entrepreneurs working at what they love to do, and it was apparent as I talked with them.

I will mention Janet Handy first. Janet is a volunteer and public educator with SASS (sexual assalt support services for women.) SASS has existed since 1994 and is supported almost entirely by volunteers. This is an non-profit organization offering services to women 16 years of age and older who are victims/survivors of sexual assault. Janet is very passionate about this organization. If you would like to volunteer, or if you need SASS to help you please go to Tell them I sent you there....

Check out to learn about 100% organic cotton, fair wage/fair labour handmade in India bags that you can use instead of all of those plastic bags we still seem to be buying.

I have to mention the specialty chocolates - handmade by Niki Fontaine, Chocolatier...oh my!

Carol Grant can talk with you about all of your photography needs and you can reach her at

Tammy Head is a Consultant and her business is called and she would love to hear from you.

Avelina Manoukian is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and you can reach her at - check it out and Janet can answer any questions you may have.

There were so many other women I would love to profile here. I didn't get business cards from all of them but if you go to WE's website I am sure you can find out more about any of these women.

I have made many new friends.

From the heart,

Carol Ann


Judy Charette and her sister Neila came to visit with me Saturday while I was in Cornwall - more about what I was doing in Cornwall in a separate blog later today because I have lots to say about that and it's all good.

Judy and I met and worked together at Bell during my last job there - with the Logistics team. Our working together ended in January 1994 when I left Bell and we have remained friends to this day. Judy is a wonderful friend and someone I value in my life. She and Garry don't live in Toronto so we have to plan our visits - we planned our next visit on Saturday.

I am so appreciative that Judy and Neila made the trip to Cornwall.



Friday, April 1, 2011

Maple Leafs 4 - Bruins 3 (SO)

I fell asleep but caught the sweet goal on SportsCenter this morning -OMG ready-for-prime-time 20 year old Nazem Kadri scored that sweet goal to win it for my Leafs!

I don't understand some Leaf fans. A friend of mine told me yesterday that he is fed up with the team because they do this every year. "Why not enjoy this and support them?" I suggested but no he has to be negative and ugly about the team. So, find another team to support and find another friend - just kidding buddy!

If the Leafs nead a 1959 miracle I say let's go with that miracle. We will take any help at this stage. Reimer is there waiting for the puck.... Go Leafs Go!

Have a great April my friends - don't let anyone April-fool you today unless it's all in fun.

I will be en route to Cornwall today to speak at a conference there tomorrow.

From the heart,

Carol Ann

PS this is a very old photo of Jalen.