Friday, July 29, 2011

Heading home tomorrow morning

Linda got to meet Lexi for the first time.  She is a good friend to fly to Toronto so she can keep me company driving to NS this weekend.   We are looking forward to a bit of a road trip.  Not sure how much I will blog while I am on vacation during the month of August but I will have pictures to share whenever I log back on.  Take care of CA

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beautiful family

Spent the day yesterday with family before heading off for a month - I am sure that both Lexi and Jalen will have grown and changed while I am away!  Had a great day with everyone.  I am blessed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Heading home after a few more sleeps!

Ah, the Halifax harbour - I call it the working man's harbour because there is something happening on the water 24/7.  I will be in Halifax by August 1st (leaving on the weekend) and can't wait to sit, write and simply watch the world go by.  And, I have been invited to attend a wedding my first weekend home. Doesn't get much better than that, especially since the wedding reception is at the Lord Nelson hotel - my mother's favourite hotel in all of the world.

Halifax fundraiser in September

On Sept 8th I will be speaking at a fundraiser in Halifax for the Ovarian Cancer Society.  The event is being sponsored by the Four Points by Sheraton Halifax and will be held at the hotel which is located at 1496 Hollis Street in Halifax.

I will blog with more detail between now and then as things take shape but for now if my Halifax and area friends are interested you can go to to review details.

It will be an exciting and fun event so maybe I will see you there?


Carol Ann

Sending lots of positive energy to Jack Layton

As Jack Layton steps aside to battle cancer I can't help but worry for him.   As positive as I am at all times (or most times) when a fellow cancer survivor is called to battle one more time it scares the beejesus out of all of us who have walked the freaking cancer plank.  This is such a bitch - pardon my language but in my head the language is much worse believe me!

Yes, at yesterday's news conference Jack looked gaunt, he had a very hoarse voice and as he shared that he is facing this killer disease again you almost knew immediately that photographers would all scramble for the best/worse picture they could get of him.  And, sure enough papers today confirm that gaunt expression. 

I hope that in the weeks to come we hear more about how Jack is doing but can we leave him with his dignity and not publish pictures unless he or his wife give them to us?  Please.

We are all pulling for you Jack and look forward to seeing you in full recovery mode in the fall. In the meantime, we send love, positive energy and all the support you need.

Carol Ann

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A visit with James, Tracey plus "The Boy and The Girl"

Brother and sister at day's end
A bit of down time after skating practice and a new game of"Beyblades."  Who knew?
Shades of James' dad helping him with his hockey skates came to mind as I watched James help Jalen.  Jalen is planning an NHL career so learning to skate is critical!
Lexi is sitting up on her own now, but there are times when she needs a bit of help

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Boy and The Girl

Jalen thought it would be funny if Lexi tried his hat on. Clearly she didn't mind at all!  We had just picked Jalen up from Soccer camp and they were both buckling up in their car seats for the ride home.  What a joy they are!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I seldom speak of political issues but....

I have often thought that a politician will tell you what you need to hear in order to vote for them - once they are elected all bets are off.  In October of 2010 our mayoral candidate Rob Ford promised us that services would not be cut. In fact, he said he "guaranteed" it.

Now he is proposing cuts to :
Police Services
Riverdale Farm (to close)
Bus routes
Snow Clearing
and on and on and on.

I have worked with several homeless people in our great city and, in particular, cutting bus routes will be very hard on these individuals.  On the rare days when they can afford to ride a bus it is often on a less travelled route and off-normal times.  Someone needs to care about these people.

I suspect Ford will indeed have to break some promises he made to us - hopefully not all of them.  Perhaps I don't quite grasp his definition of gravy.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My wonderful friend Carol Bond

There are so many things I miss about Halifax - like my friend Carol Bond.   And, I am so proud of her in this picture! 

Ian, a local hairdresser in Halifax, who owns "Imagine" hair salon is putting together a 15 months calendar featuring breast cancer survivors as models.  Carol had her hair trimmed today for her photo shoot next week and she suggested they put pink streaks in her white hair - and as you can see they did exactly that!

The calendar will be out in September and sells for $20.00 with net proceeds going to Run for the Cure in October.  (I am thinking Carol should be Miss October don't you?)

Let me know how many you would like me to order for you!


Carol Ann

Monday, July 18, 2011

Leader of the pack

I should have given you stats with this picture.  While Jalen is now learning to skate better so he can play ice hockey he is already a ball hockey star.  (I know that sounds like a Nana talking............)  Jalen often scores a hat-trick and then moves to defense and assists on another goal or two - honest to God I am telling the truth.  He has 26 points while his closest competitor has 17 points. 

With 17 goals and 9 assists - in a fairly new season - my wonderful grandson is off to a great start and I am so proud of him. I will be at his game this Friday evening and will take pictures to share with you.

Jalen is a well balanced little boy. He does supper well in school and plays many different sports - all very well.

Okay I will stop now.............

Friday, July 15, 2011

Christie's Mill - Inn & Spa

If you are looking for a get-a-way about two hours north of Toronto check out Christie's Mill Inn & Spa  in Port Severn Ontario 1800 465 9966.

Their brochure boasts that you can, "Enjoy the tastes and flare of Muskoka in the dinning room ...."and I can tell you they have reason to boast. The food is exceptional, as are the surroundings.

I didn't try the Spa this trip but I will go back - they have Spa packages as well as individually priced treatments available.

Have a gentle weekend.

Carol Ann

Summer camp!

Jalen is loving his summer camp program and Lexi is now six months old.  They are very busy children which means, of course, their parents are equally as busy (or even more so!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Your smile for the day

So, imagine you are driving down the road to your friend's home - about an hour and a half to get there and just as you turn on to the very street you need to be on you see - can it be?  Yes.  It is. A house on the road in front of you. Actually it was a shed but it took a considerable length of time to move it from the flatbed truck (are they still called that?) to the forklift of sorts and from there to the side of the road so traffic could pass.

Actually it was funny and I was not late so it was all good.  Are you smiling?


My friend the Pilgrim!

Yesterday Gwen and I had a wonderful lunch (that lasted for several hours) with our friend Michelle Pilon (yes that Michelle from Bell!) and Michelle had an incredible story to share with us.

Late in August Michelle and a friend will head out on a pilgrimage of the Camino (a route in Spain.) She is currently in serious training mode.  During the pilgrimage they will walk some 26kms per day over a five week period. Can you imagine?  I am so impressed and equally proud of her.  Camino means the way and I guess you could say that walking the Camino helps one to find their way but it is also Michelle's way of saying she is doing it her way.  The dictionary defines a pilgrim as "a person who travels to a sacred place as an act of religions devotion" but this is not the case here. It is not a religious pilgrimage for Michelle but rather something she wants to do to test herself in many ways. I have no doubt she will pass every test.

One thing though Michelle - the bubbly in the glass on the right will have to give way totally to the water glass on the left during your pilgrimage.  We will save the bubbly for when you come back home and we will plan a celebration for you then!! 

Michelle is going to set up a blog and when she does I will share it with you and you can follow her journey. She has a fundraiser connected to her pilgrimage. I will let her explain that in her own words when her blog is in place.

Travel safe my friend - and keep up the training between now and end of August.  I am already impressed!


Carol Ann

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Last year at this time I was heading home for our MRHS Reunion

July 23 - 25th, 2010 we gathered in Middleton for our Middleton Regional High School reunion.  It was the 60th reunion of the school and, for me, it was my 46th year reunion and I loved every single second of it.

We spoke fondly of those who had passed away and we gave thanks that we were together one more time.  Recently yet another MRHS grad, and Middleton resident, has been diagnosed with a form of cancer - we are all pulling for her and we know without question that she will beat it and return to being 100% healthy.

The MRHS crest is believed to have been designed in 1951 by MRHS students Neil Fisher, John Sinclair and Ian Cumming.  It bears the Latin motto:  Virtus Veritas: Meaning Truth and Virtue. I try very hard to live by the words of our motto.

 And, I look forward to visiting Middleton once again this summer.

Carol Ann

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mary Rose d'Entremont and the Acadian flag

My wonderful mother grew up in the Saulnierville / Meteghan River area of Nova Scotia - en route to Yarmouth if you are not familiar.  She was a very proud Acadian and in her memory I too love all things Acadian.  This is not the perfect way to display the Acadian flag but I love it - draped over a rocking chair.  I have this picture hanging on my wall.  A stranger who is no longer a stranger because of an e mail he sent to me earlier today sent me this exact picture asking if I had seen it...yes sir, I have! And, thanks for sharing it again today.

Carol Ann

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A shout out to Rita in Gujarat, India

I met Rita Banik last month at the World Conference on Breast Cancer in Hamilton.   Rita purchased two of my books at the conference and yesterday we began an e mail friendship - she e mailed to ask about my first book and shared a bit about what she is doing since returning home to her corner of the world in India. 

Rita has written a handbook on awareness of breast cancer and is working on a full length book now.  We are both hopeful that our paths will cross again whether in Canada or in India!

Thanks for being in touch Rita.

From the heart,

Carol Ann

My little soccer star...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Foster Child in Uganda

Many years ago James and I became Foster parents to a young boy by the name of Atuheire Amos who lived in Uganda with his mother, brother and little sister.  He was not yet attending school - although it was time - so his early letters consisted of drawings only with words written by others.  Gradually he could write notes to me and I was able to correspond with Amos and with his mother as well.  I loved hearing from them. Over time, Amos finished school and for reasons that aren't important here I stopped supporting this particular Foster Parent organization.  My mail exchange with Amos stopped at that time.

This morning I received an e mail from Amos - he is preparing to begin University in August.  I am thrilled for him and am equally thrilled to hear from him. Our only means of communication in the past has been via snail mail so his attempt to connect via e mail is a gift.

You never know what gift awaits when you log on in the morning!

Carol Ann

2011 Ride to Conquer Cancer - my friend Mike Crosby

The 2011 Ride to Conquer Cancer (June 11 - 12) raised $17.5 million dollars and had 4600 riders.  Mike and I spoke via e mail pre race and he followed up to share the outcome.  "Only two riders were hit by cars and neither was life threatening.  I cycled past one as they were placing a neck collar on.  The weather was cloudy and cool which made the ride easier and more enjoyable.."  When you sponsor someone it is always great to receive feedback from them - thanks Mike.

Centreville was a hit

Jalen and Mummy had a great time at Centreville yesterday. On the Ferry ride you can see the condo I once called home (oh-so-many-moves-in my past life!)

Many hours later Lexi cheers her brother on as he scores the first goal at his soccer game.  A long day for everyone but as you can see Lexi is all smiles!  (hopefully pix of the soccer game later)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When grandkids come to visit

Lexi, Jalen and Tracey came to town last evening so Jalen and Tracey could get an early start to Centerville on the Islands today!  Lexi is bunking in with me.  Needless to say I have not accomplished much on my "today list" but it's all good.  In the first picture the kids are enjoying some very-early-time together...and I do mean early!

Jalen is ready to head off for a day at Centerville!  His Grade One report card is excellent and he will be off to Grade Two in September. Such a big boy already.

And Miss Lexi is quite content to play and eat and sleep and play and eat and sleep and play and eat and sleep - you get the picture!  She is not quite six months old.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cookies for College

I am always interested in helping our youth -and young women in particular as I look back on my own work experiences and whether or not I might have been one who would benefit by having mentors in my life at that time.  Check out  or e mail Susie Yankou at

Susie plans to study Screenwriting at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts if she can raise the required $55,000.00 to get in.  Her parents will help her, she works part-time at an interior design firm and she is applying for every bit of funding she can think of.  And, Susie sells cookies at the Distillery District Farmer's Market on Sunday and at the Riverdale Farmer's Market on Tuesday.  She bakes the cookies herself - and all from scratch. She bakes The Peanutty Professor, The Old School Classic, The High School Sweetheart and The Gym Class Hero.    As many of you know, I don't do kitchen so all of this is very impressive to me!

Let's help Susie out and help her reach her goal to study Screenwriting.

Have a great Monday.

Carol Ann

Did not mean to upset....

When I blogged yesterday about my "Pride story" I did not intend to upset, offend or anger any gays in town for their Pride week and gala parade yesterday.  One individual who at the very least knows about my blog sent me a rambling e mail last evening suggesting I owe the gay community an apology for my Pride story - I think not.  I did not use words such as (to quote the Star) "We queers have arrived....." etc etc etc.  Many of my friends are gay and I don't treat them, or react to them, any differently than I would to my straight friends.  I do not separate them in my mind - ever.

I suspect your e mail ( Ms Queer as you called yourself) was about something else and I struggle to understand what that is - but I did not intend to insult and I don't believe I did.  So, with all due respect, get over yourself!

Carol Ann

Sunday, July 3, 2011

One million attend Pride parade in Toronto

I didn't go to the parade but I did have a good view from my balcony looking South down Yonge Street.

A funny Pride related story for you.  Yesterday morning I was walking down Jarvis Street to Laura's condo to help her pack for her move tomorrow.  I knew there had been a Pride walk earlier in the day (a fundraiser I believe) so when I passed a woman wearing a bib with her race number I said,  "Great race yes?" to which she instantly replied, "Yes - do you have a date for tonight's events?"  I assured her that I was okay thanks but she turned around and followed me asking me several times if I would please spend the evening, if not the night, with her.  So, finally I had to say, "I am not gay but thanks for asking!"  I have been chuckling about it ever since.

The Royal Couple

No I am not in Quebec City - but like many of you I am watching a bit of the Royal visit on TV. The young couple are heading to my part of the country later today - they will LOVE  PEI and the Maritime hospitality.  Have a good Sunday - Love CA

Saturday, July 2, 2011 is a website worth sharing if, like me, you tend to move your furniture around. Or you might do more than that - you might be in the mood to redecorate, move, buy, sell - any or all of these things.  This isn't a new website but I had not checked it out until this morning. While reading New in Homes & Condos in today's Toronto Star I was impressed with the article featuring Shawn Gibson who happens to be the co-owner of Teatro Verde - my favourite shop on Yorkville Avenue!   Gibson says, "I like old things that have a life."  And, when you view the photos of his apartment you can see that he is true to his word.  Check these websites out - you won't be disappointed.   CA

Faith's birthday/Canada Day party!

We celebrated Faith's birthday, Canada Day and the Royals, William and Kate, in Canada all at the same time.  Pizza and cake - great way to spend the day. And, the birthday cake you see in the photos was so good that I actually ate 1/4 of it myself.  I am not  proud of those details but facts are facts. I was just a tad full for the rest of the day believe me.  Today....on to helping another friend pack boxes for her big move on Monday.  Here we are in July - enjoy.  Love CA

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day to you!

Happy Canada Day to you!  It's a good day to be outside smelling the flowers if you can. I am going to help a friend celebrate her birthday and then help another friend move!  Not a good weekend to be moving in downtown Toronto - from one downtown location to another but we began last evening and will continue over the next few days and so far have been able to avoid the street closures due to Pride events.  On Monday the "real movers" will be on site so we are really only moving valuables and breakables.  Not a tough job and we are having fun getting everything into the Miata - that is what makes for many trips!  Love to you ....CA