Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jury duty

Have you ever been called for jury selection leading to jury duty? I have not - until now.

Gives an entire new meaning to "Walk a mile in my shoes."

Day one for jury selection was last week, to be continued this week and then the jury will be in place for a first degree murder trial.

The Judge was very firm, educational and professional with us. Makes you think, about many things.

If I am selected (the final selection is via names pulled from a drum so it really is a selection versus being chosen.  I didn't know that.) I won't be blogging about the trial at all.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It is official ...

We have a hockey player in the family!

Love the mouth guard.....

Speaking of time flying ...

It's true - get busy!

Maybe I will wrap a few gifts today!!

JJ turns eight!

I won't share pix of Jalen's NINE friends who came to celebrate with him but trust me they had fun and were very loud.  Tracey and James monitored a hockey game outside and all fights that broke out inside - just kidding about the fight part. 

Lexi couldn't quite figure it all out believe me. She sat on my lap and kept saying "boys." I do believe she was saying it with some confusion in her young mind.  Too funny.

Have a great Monday.



Lexi loves hanging out in Nana's car - we don't go anywhere of course because she needs a back seat but she loves it anyway.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thank You!

My goodness, thank you for your interest in my novel, Paradise Pu'Olo. 

When I blogged earlier today that I am working on a book about Comfort Heart stories many of you contacted me to ask what happened to my novel. Not to worry - it is still on the front burner. Simmering as I type.

It's called multi-tasking and I know you all do it!


New book - From the Heart

For the past few days I have been working on what I hope will be a new book - and a fundraiser at the same time.

I could use your help.  This book will contain stories about what the Comfort Heart has meant to you, or to someone you have given a Comfort Heart to. 

I have hundreds of letters to pour through but some of you may not have yet shared your favourite  "Comfort Heart story" so please share it with me now.

Have a gentle Friday and a great weekend.

I will be with family this weekend. Jalen's birthday party with his little 8 year old friends will be on Sunday so there is much to do!


Carol Ann

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday!

I took my family to dinner earlier this week to celebrate Jalen's 8th birthday. He is wearing his LA Kings birthday-boy hat with is name on the back.

Lexi is all about food so she needed a snack to take with her to the restaurant.  In this photo she waits patiently while Daddy and JJ try out some of his new birthday gifts....all sports related of course.

Great celebration!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Treasure Chest - or Hope Chest?

What do you keep in your Hope Chest?  I don't mean the visible Treasure Chest so many little girls had growing up.  I mean the hope that beats within your chest each and every day.  Hope sustains us all.

Each table at last Saturday night's Red Hat Hoot dinner had a beautiful Treasure Chest like this one proudly displayed in the middle of the table.  I was given the one at our table - fitting since I often speak, especially with women, about what young girls keep in their Treasure Chest these days.  

It is not what is visible that counts.  We need to speak with our daughters more and more about this.


Danica by Dot Vallillee

More on my weekend with the Red Hatters. They gave me this lovely hand made doll....a Red Hat doll of course!  In time Lexi will love Danica - for now she is a bit too delicate for a 20 month old I believe.

Red Hat Hoot

I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Red Hat Hoot held in Dartmouth this past weekend.  Daisy Dwyer (above) contacted me sometime ago and we  became friends even before meeting in person.  Imagine a Dixie Land Band during breakfast, a PJ contest meaning most came to breakfast in their own P J's and looking out at a sea of Red Hatters during my talk. Thank you ladies - this is one I won't soon forget.  More pictures to follow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Heading home to Halifax

It is true that I will be doing a bit of work with my speaking business while I am in Halifax over the next four days. I will also have time to 'be still.'

We live in such a rushed and hurried world.  It is important that we take time to be still.


Carol Ann

Forwarding an e mail

Isn't it annoying when someone sends you that e mail that says you must send it on to ten more people?

I love this joke......


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When a photo says it all

Can you tell how happy my sister Lois is in this photo taken by her daughter Natalie?  They were on a river-boat near Grande Prairie Alberta.  Natalie posted this photo and I love it so much I am sharing it with everyone!

Lois is a happy, positive and caring woman.  She cares deeply about family and friends.  She doesn't gossip about others and can literally stay positive when all around her are trying to share negative stories with her. 

I continue to learn from my sister and am so proud of Lois and all that she has accomplished. (And she has no wrinkles as she approaches her 70th birthday next year  but that is another story.)


Carol Ann

We Will Never Forget

Monday, September 10, 2012


Look who is ready for her big girl car seat!  Lexi was so patient while Daddy made sure everything was working 100%.  She is growing up very very fast indeed.


Sunday, September 9, 2012


I love TIFF and I love being in town during the Festival.

I don't see many of the films but I do glimpse a few of the celebs when they venture into my 'hood for a bit of Yorkville shopping.

I really dislike it when the media seem to go out of there way to capture the less-than-good picture of a celeb who has perhaps fallen on bad times or has chosen to not let us in on his life.

Good example is the oh-so-perfect photo of Ben Affleck and then we have Joaquin Phoenix.  Could the photographer not have waited for 10 seconds to capture a better shot of Joaquin?  Or could the print media have selected a better photo when making their selection for the paper?
No one seems to Walk the Line.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Play Time

Tomorrow (Saturday) I am going to make a day trip to visit with James and his family. 

I love this old pix of Jalen and Lexi - you can't see their faces but you can make the assumption that they are typical children I am sure.  Jalen is watching TV and Lexi is eating. They were not at all interested in having their picture taken.

Next week I will be back in NS for two speaking commitments - more on that early in the week.

Have a great weekend all.


Thursday, September 6, 2012


President Clinton

Did you catch his speech last evening?  Oh my, to be able to stand on stage and deliver like he can!

Obama has his work cut out for him this evening. I, for one, will be watching.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Energy behind a Gift of Flowers

Today I am writing - all day. Noted it in my filofax so had to be done.  As long as the words keep flowing that is.

I am trying to further develop a particular character for my novel. He is coming along but needs lots of work. Normally when I am writing I don't even answer the phone but I saw that the call was from Shallun, our concierge. "Is it your birthday?" he asked. "No, why?" "Because you have flowers here at the desk."

In the elevator I tried to imagine who might have sent me flowers at this particular time. Could not guess - honestly.

I continued the game when I got back to my condo - took this top picture as I attempted to answer my own question.  Finally gave up and opened  the card.

I met a wonderful couple while at home this summer.  We met outside of our hotel.  The flowers are from Brenda - you never know when you take the time to speak with a stranger what kind of a connection you might make.  Brenda and I have so much in common and we are exploring that now via e mail.  Brenda's husband was busy organizing their day so I didn't have as much time to speak with him but I am certain he is equally as kind as Brenda.  Thank you so much for your gift of flowers.  They are lovely.

You can see the flowers proudly sitting on top of an antique piece of furniture in my little office.  They are keeping me company as I continue to work on the character who will become my fisherman.. His name is Alphonse by the way.  Giving him a name makes him more real don't you think?

From the heart,

Carol Ann

To lighten the Mood....

Your smile for a Wednesday...............



A shout-out to a woman I have not met in person and yet we know each other rather well.

She was one of the very first "Holders of the Heart" and recently wrote to share that she had a mastectomy last week and is so ashamed of the scar where her breast once lived.

I know.

I understand.

I too have been there.

You will get past this.  I encourage you to reach out to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They can help you. I can give you a contact name. 

From the heart,

Carol Ann

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2nd Annual Comfort Heart Studentship Award - Jason McConnery

In July while I was home in Halifax I had the pleasure of meeting Jason McConnery. Jason was the recipient of the Comfort Heart Studentship Award this year. We met in the lab at Dalhousie where he explained his work through an excellent presentation. Next, we had lunch with Jason's supervisor, Doctor David Hoskin and my friends from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Halifax.

Jason's project focused on the possibility of using (10)-gingerol, a compound derived from ginger, as an alternative treatment for breast cancer.  The reasoning behind this is that natural products like (10)-gingerol have often been shown to have anti-cancer activity, with very little toxicity to healthy cells even in high doses.

In summary (and I hope I am getting this right) Jason concluded the very first steps in the development of (10)-gingerol as a breast cancer drug. He established that the drug does have killing effects on breast cancer cells and that it is occurring by apoptosis (a safe, natural way for cells to die.)  In his summary Jason shared that he has much more work to do and will be pursuing this through his honours work.

Jason is a brilliant young man. He watched his own grandmother battle breast cancer and is determined to be part of the team to find the cure.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day - literally

I am "Molly the Mover" this morning - in my own condo. 

One thing on the move was my biggest TV - heavy for me to move but not impossible.  In my ongoing quest to minimalize I decided to put the TV on top of a dresser in my bedroom rather than having it in the huge shelving unit it has been in.  Getting rid of the shelving unit will for another day, for now it is safely out of the way in my closet.

So, I got the dresser in place beside the existing TV stand, stood safely on a stool, remembered to bend my knees and Voila! I lifted the TV from one place to another.  Women often tell me their issue is remembering where the plugs all go after they move a TV so here's a tip for you ladies - take a picture!  Makes life much easier after all that heavy lifting is done.  Simply check the picture, plugs in place and sit back and enjoy your work. 

Pat on the back too.  I deserve a treat!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Any Guesses?

Can you guess what I am working on this weekend?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A constant struggle for some

While the above comment is meant to be humourous I am aware that many struggle on a daily basis with alcohol and the effects it leaves behind.  One of my favourite Aunts would tell you that she is an alcoholic. She is a recovering alcoholic and has not taken a drink in many years.

One of my favourite memories of her talking about this struggle with me took place in the Middleton library a number of years ago.  I had just given a talk there and like the proud Aunt she is, she came up and gave me a big hug.  At the same time she whispered in my ear, "My God Carol Ann I wish you were an alcoholic because that would qualify you to speak at one of our monthly meetings." She was kidding but we laughed about her comment through the rest of the event.

It is always good to laugh at ourselves and with those who love us,


Carol Ann

Visiting Hours ...

The Blue Moon on August 31st made me think of Heaven and that made me want to share this image on the left with you.  It is a gentle reminder, I believe, that those who have left us are never really that far away - if we concentrate we might even be able to feel them beside us.

Works for me.  You?



Back to school preparations

Jalen will be in Grade three this year!  He loves school and has loved all of his teachers thus far.