Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Vacation in beautiful NS

Very early tomorrow morning I will officially be on vacation and en route to Halifax.  I am going to let my heart talk and my mind listen which means I likely won't blog or be on facebook until sometime late in August.  If you have my e mail address you can find me though because I just can't leave my Blackberry at home!

Have a great summer.


Carol Ann
PS Yes the picture is an old one!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lunch with a friend

My friend Sarah Armstrong was in town to visit with her son and his gal so we carved out some time together - which clearly included lunch!

Sometimes it takes an out of town visitor to explore things right in your own backyard.  Scollard Street is literally behind my building and I had not walked the length of the Street until  we strolled through the neighbourhood taking in the sights....and we saw lots of sights!

Sarah and I have a health history in common but that is only one of the things we found time to talk about. The day was over before we knew it.


Carol Ann

The Tall Ships have started to arrive in Halifax

And I will be there in two more sleeps. When my sister and I planned our trip home this summer we didn't even know the Tall Ships would be there!  An added plus for this year's vacation.


Mavillettaville . . . .

Following  a week in Halifax this will be me - at Mavillette Beach for a week with my sister Lois and lots of friends visiting us hopefully. 

I hope to make new friends as well - fishermen and fisherwomen who are going to help me develop a character for my novel.

We will be in Mavillette for a full week this year before heading back to the city for another week.  I do hope the weather holds.  Mavillette has not seen fog for over three weeks so far.  That never happens when I am visiting so maybe this is the year?  I will let you know.


To pack or not to pack

Ah, ten years ago the answer would have been "yes!"

Today - not so much!

Mortgage Interest Rates

The quote may not fit with my comments but imagine for a minute that I am talking about big banks and mortgage interest rates. We are being judged by big banks, especially if we are not rich.

Yesterday's paper carried a story about billionaire Mark Zucerberg.

Zuckerberg recently refinanced a $5.95 million dollar mortgage on his Palo Alto home with a 30 year adjustable-rate loan starting at 1.05 percent.  Really?! Is that not kind of like borrowing for free? And, this is a man who can afford to pay the going-rate don't forget. At 28 years of age and the 40th wealthiest person with a net worth of $15.7 billion, yes that is billion with a B, Zuckergerg negotiates a loan rate of 1.05 percent. 

Many individuals in the US where all this went down are forced to leave their homes and part of the reason seems to be that their banks won't lower their borrowing rate to make payments affordable.

Where is the fairness in this?  I suspect similar stories could be told in Canada too.

I wonder if there are enough of us who would be willing to take up this cause?  Fight for the little guy?  Take on the big financial institutions?    What do you think?


Carol Ann

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh I just couldn't resist.....

Chez Christophe restaurant

Paul Comeau, owner of Chez Christophe restaurant recently lost his fight with cancer.  Paul was one of the most amazing cooks I have ever known.  His restaurant was on the 'to eat at' list of people from all over the world when they came to Paul's corner of rural Nova Scotia.

This year my dining-out will be very different while I am home on vacation. Not only has Chez Christophe closed but so has the wonderful restaurant within walking distance of the Motel/Cottages where we stay for at least a week each year.  Lois and I have some additional exploring to do.  Will let you know what we discover.



So close to vacation time for me

My mother's maiden name was d'Entremont. Mary Rose d'Entremont.  

This summer when I am in my mother's neck of the province I hope to meet some people with the d'Entremont heritage that I have not met to date. I am working on characters for my novel and a few of them (two at least) will be from Mavillette and from Church Point.

d'Entremont will also be the middle name of my main character. 

All falling in to place..............

Carol Ann

Monday, July 16, 2012

Toronto's busy waterfront

You can actually forget how peaceful and quiet it can be at our downtown Waterfront unless you spend time there.  I had Sunday brunch with a friend and we watched the ships and folks go by - all seamless and done without noise or fanfare.

I lived at "99" for a couple of years following my departure from Bell but then, as most of you know, I moved home to Halifax.  When I returned I did not go back to the waterfront.  It's beautiful but it's not home.

If you haven't bee this summer, it is worth the trip.  Busy, but worth the trip I promise.


Carol Ann

Friday, July 13, 2012

One week from today....

Next Friday I will be flying home for my annual summer vacation.

So excited!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Games to play

This is a great game to play with you children, grandchildren or during family game night.

"Rough on the streets"

Everyone has a name.

Everyone has a history.

Everyone deserves to be remembered. 

My heart ached a bit when I learned how 71 year old Bill Buss died.  He died alone, curled up in a boarded-up cubby hole under a stairwell in downtown Toronto.  I knew Bill from the Good Neighbours' Club. Some three weeks after his decomposed remains were found his identity remained a mystery. 

Lauro Monteiro, director of operations at GNC, says Buss lived the final decades of his life "rough on the streets"- an expression for a homeless person in our city core who does not seek refuge in shelters available to them.  I have spent time speaking with Bill and I know that he was not alone in turning down offers of a warm place to sleep - they would rather be on the streets for reasons of their own.

At the risk of upsetting anyone, and that is not my intent - let's take care of our own right here in Toronto, and in fact right here in Canada and  then look after others.  There is much we need to do at home.

Think of Bill for a second or two today.


Carol Ann

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

40 years married!

I had coffee yesterday with my friend JC Legault and he brought me a bottle of wine from his 40th wedding anniversary celebration with his wonderful wife, Elaine.

I love these people!  Many of you know JC from my last book and/or from our Bell days together. 

Marthe, JC's mother, and I share a birthday so I have many connections to this wonderful family.


Carol Ann

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Be Silly, Be Honest and Be Kind

This could be a motto for any and all of us don't you think? 

There is a time to be silly just as there is a time to be honest.  We can be kind all the time though.

I was a witness to all of these displays yesterday at the eye doctor's office.  A very elderly man  (yes, older than me!) was there on his own and was having trouble understanding what he was being told to do.  The staff was so kind to this man and I can guarantee that everyone in the waiting room was listening and happy to see the man go off with his notes, his instructions and his smile.  It was a good day for him and therefore for all of us observing.

You never know when others are watching and you never know how your kindness affects everyone around you.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Our own version of Lou Lou Lemon

Maybe I should send these photos to the Lululemon folks....a different 'take' on their name.

We sometimes call her Lou Lou and her she is, yes, liking the lemon slice from Mommy's water.  She couldn't wait for her order to arrive and needed something to snack on at lunch yesterday.  Love it!!

My beautiful family

Even the photos that aren't perfect are perfect after all don't you think? 

Great day with family in the city.  Great visit with Miss Lexi.  More pix of her another time.

Have a gentle Monday.


Carol Ann

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunny Sunday morning 21 floors up

First Lexi sang a song to "Baby" and then she proceeded to rearrange a few things on the balcony.  Not afraid of heights for sure - she loves to sit outside - and all of this before 7 am this morning!  Give me energy...........

Fashion sense?

Who says my boots don't match?

Who says it's summertime and too hot for my boots?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lexi comes to the city for the weekend

And what a great mood she is in - on a bit of a walk with her toothbrush in hand this morning but she can't go far in my condo so no problems.

We had big plans to dine out for lunch with a friend of mine but weather not great so we will see.  For now Lexi is reading, playing, dancing, snacking, talking and bouncing on my exercise ball all at the same time it seems. I am tired just watching.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Cross that bridge when you come to it

I have been working with a young man who is just entering the business world and feeling that his soft skills might be too much for the business community he is working in to deal with. 

Over the past several months I have been suggesting he move forward as the man he has become and cross that bridge when he comes to it.  He just left a voice message saying, "Guess what?  I am on the other side of the bridge you keep telling me about and it's all okay."

Nice way to end the business week I would say.


Carol Ann

Show your soft side

Being confident enough to share your soft side is definitely a sign of strength...try it.  You know who you are!



Thursday, July 5, 2012

There was a time when ...

It is fun to reflect isn't it?  Looking back is a good thing - for many reasons.  Complications were few compared to today and when we say "the good old days" those in our age group smile even if not a word is spoken.

Have a gentle Thursday - and reflect just a bit at some point today.


Carol Ann

I often talk about "Taking that First Step"

We take many first steps in life.

First day of school. First day after our education is complete and we move to the real world.  First job.  First love. First marriage. First step following divorce.  First step in a new job. First step after we lose that first job.

And on it goes.  We learn from each first step, and I believe that each day we take another "First Step."

Bridgewater NS

When you live away from 'home' and when that home is close to Bridgewater, this picture is interesting.  For many of you - not so much - but thought I would share just in case.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Son

I don't believe that another person can actually make your "life worth living" but having a son like mine comes close............

If you have a son, and agree, share this with him.................

Wilmot Public School Reunion

I love this sign - it recently went up in front of what was once our two room school house until we went on to High School in Middleton for Grade 7.

The Committee has been working so hard to get the word out - if anyone reading my blog can pass the word please do so.

I will see all of my Wilmot friends at the Reunion. Lois and Connie will be with me.



Best of Times

 Your smile for a Tuesday morning.

Can you find the message in this picture?

Hopefully the message in this photo does not apply to you or to those you love. I found this powerful and worth sharing.

Monday, July 2, 2012

From the Heart

A friend of mine is going through a rough time. 

It is said then we know who our friends are when we have a tragedy happen in our lives (or two or three or more.)

Friends step up to help, they don't judge, they offer advice when asked and most important of all - they listen!

Listening seems to be so hard for us.  When someone is sharing a tragedy in their life, it is important to listen.  Shut up and listen.

Growing up with James

Many of you have heard me say that James and I grew up together.  This is the proof I think. 

I was such a young mother - and we weren't much older than this when we struck out on our own. We had no choice but to grow up!

Beautiful memories with my son though.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Halifax Waterfront Development

In 2007 when I sold my waterfront condo in Halifax that I loved so very much I knew the property right across the street from me would not be a parking lot for much longer.  It was scheduled to be developed as is pretty much every bit of waterfront property in any city that doesn't have a condo on it already. 

I have circled my building in this picture and you can see the plans recently released to build - I would have lost my wonderful waterfront view.  My condo was on the third floor and one of the buildings scheduled to go up will be over 15 stories high.

In a way it makes me feel a bit better for having made the tough decision to sell my unit.

Everything changes.  For the better?  I am not sure.

Our Queen

Who says our Queen does not smile!   As I watch the Canada Day festivities on TV I am thinking about my mother.  She loved to watch events unfold on July 1st - and she loved our Queen.

Her's to you mom - Mary Rose Cole (d'Entremont.)

Happy Pride

I ventured over to the Village yesterday to haved breakfast with a young friend of mine who happens to be gay.  It was interesting to view Pride activities through his eyes.

I was not impressed with the older men who were flirting with him and saying things I thought were inappropriate given that it was assumed I was his mother - and I am no prude!  They were sitting at the table next to us during breakfast.  

However, my friend was not concerned with them at all so I took my lead from him. He is learning more about the gay lifestyle as he experiences things like the Church Street Village and I am proud of him.

Acceptance is the key.  It's working.

Graduation - on to Grade Three!

Jalen's very first day of his summer vacation came with a nice surprise from mom and dad. They took him to Canada's Wonderland for a day of celebration and many rides.  In this photo Jalen and Tracey wait patiently in line for yet another ride.

Congratulations to you Jalen - I am very proud of you.  See you soon.



Happy Canada Day!

If you look closely you will see a Maple Leaf - made from what were once the "blue seats" at Maple Leaf Gardens.  This particular Maple Leaf hangs proudly on the walls of the former Gardens in downtown Toronto.

Happy Canada Day everyone.


Carol Ann