Free stock photo of three girlfriends hugging. Photo courtesy Pixabay.


NATIONAL GIRLFRIENDS DAY – According to Webster Dictionary, a girlfriend is a female friend.

I would define a girlfriend as more than just a female friend. A girlfriend is someone who understands your sense of humor. She tells you the truth about herself and respects your truth.  If you don’t see each other for six months, a true girlfriend would never bring guilt into the equation.

I don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends. They keep me sane and have been there for me in really tough times. Fun gatherings for coffee, wine or dinner are perks but my real girlfriends are the ones who have sat with me in the hard times, dropping everything for each and every funeral, phoning just to ask “how are you today”, bringing me a much needed glass of wine while I melt down on my front porch. They don’t  try to fix me. They are there when I need them.

Not surprisingly, I would miss the hugs from my girlfriend of 48 yeas. She is cheerful, matter-of-fact and laughs loud. She is one of the smartest and most loyal people I know.

Vacationing with one of my favourite women in the whole world is the absolute best! She and I are two peas in a pod and we laugh, swear, finish each other’s sentences and share companionable silences (and Smarties … lots of Smarties).

If I didn’t have girlfriends, I would miss the biweekly Thursday night phone call with my longtime bestie  in Pembroke.  She and I have spent many weeks together.  Unfortunately, one week was for radiation road trips, but the rest are fun cottage getaways.

Planned marathon phone calls known as The Debrief would be greatly missed if I couldn’t talk to another dear girlfriend.  She makes me laugh and we always hang up having decided which sayings we would put on t-shirts.  My favourite to-date quote of hers is “I don’t need friends.  I need a debate team.”. Still makes me laugh.



Free Stock Photo of Book with string heart. Photo courtesy Pixabay

JUL 21st | TODAY IS:

BOOK BUYING DAY – Although this designation is not an official one, it is a day that I observe every year.  On July 21st, I always buy at least one book in memory of my older brother and best friend, John.  He would be 57 years old today and would surely be reading as much now as he was when we lost him 14 years ago.

John devoured the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Steven Hawkings, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and anything to do with Mount Everest. He loved books by Isaac Asimov and Charles Dickens, as well as cartoons by Gary Larson and Charles Schulz. He and I would spend hours laughing at Far Side and Peanuts comics.  They are still my favourites.

My brother gave me books constantly.  He would show up at my door with a pile in hand.  Alternately, I would buy him challenging classics like War and Peace or Moby Dick, only to have him read them in short order.

Today, John and I would have lively discussions surrounding the brain books that are my current study choices.  He would love the world of computers and electronics and would still be touring the outdoor world, books in hand. His library would be ever expanding.

I look forward to this day every year as it is about honouring happy memories and remembering, with gratitude, the wonderful people with whom I was incredibly fortunate to share my family life.  Although my heart has mended a little, I will always miss that tall drink of water with the big laugh who was one of my favourite people in the world.

I wonder what book will catch my eye today ….

Photo of man with fish.  Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity


Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity - Photo of the Confederation Bridge from BordenCarelton in PEI

JUN 13th | EMBRACE YOUR GEEKINESS DAY – First, my engineering degree provides me automatic entrance in the Geek Club of the World! Second, I own an “I Love Algebra” t-shirt. It is pink and depending on how it sits on my body it sometimes looks like it says “I Love bra”. Either way, it symbolizes my nerdiness. Third, I own a VCR tape of the making of the Confederation Bridge … and I LOVE it! Not surprisingly, there are a million other ways that my dorkiness is evident but I am going to focus on the bridge.

On July 13th | Embrace Your Geekiness Day, it was incredibly fortuitous that my friend Rosalie and I visited the famed Confederation Bridge.  It was every bit as spectacular as I had hoped.

Finding a clear view of the bridge from the Prince Edward Island side was more challenging for us than expected. It’s a 13 km bridge from PEI to New Brunswick … how hard can it be to find a bridge that long?


To begin our journey, we jumped in our tiny rental car in Charlottetown.  We headed with maps unfolded toward Borden-Carleton, the site where the bridge meets the island. We decided that we would do all of our navigating by paper map rather than by using our electronic devices. That proved to be a challenge at times.

Evidently, either Ontarians need to be spoon fed as far as road names go or Islanders always know where they are going.  Streets names in PEI are either hidden, few, or invisible to the non-native eyes.

After several panicky “we need to turn here” screeches from Rosalie, we found the correct route and navigated through beautiful green potato fields and farmland with colourful clapboard houses. Note: there were many “that was where we were supposed to turn” bellows throughout the day followed by hard braking and three point turns. But road confusion aside, I am totally in LOVE with PEI!


Once we reached Borden-Carleton, the signage for the bridge itself was clear but our search came with new issues.  We didn’t want to drive ON the bridge, just take pictures. Vearing off just before the tolls, we ended up circling a small shopping area near the structure but with no view of the bridge whatsoever. Disappointed, we thought we might need to back track and find a side road leading down to ocean.


Fortunately, I spied a road as we were leaving the shopping village. We followed the quiet residential street and came to a nearly empty parking lot at the end with a PERFECT view of the bridge and a lovely lighthouse. Incredibly, this road was not labelled in any way making me think that the Islanders are actually keeping this view of the structure a secret! Or maybe there really was a sign but we couldn’t actually see it. That was to become the theme of the ten hours that we happily spent touring the west side of PEI.


The Confederation Bridge is an engineering marvel with its 62 massive ice-breaker piers and curved cantilever design. I fullly embraced my geekiness on this day, admiring this structural wonder.  I will hopefully cross the bridge one day on a return visit to PEI as I already know that I WILL return to this stunning island.

Photo of Lisa and Rosalie enjoying the Confederation Bridge. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity
The road trip is just beginning … hahaha!




Free Stock photo of a camera celebrating National Camera Day


NATIONAL CAMERA DAY – I have had the distinct honour of pouring through some old family photo albums over that past few weeks.  I have seen photos that are more than one hundred years old.  A portrait of my great-great-great grandparents and their family is a most precious find.

There is a photo of my grandmother as a baby in a beautiful wicker pram.  One image shows my grandfather and his gunner partner in WWI, shortly before my grandfather’s entire regiment, save my grandfather, was killed. There are a few dozen photos of my father and his siblings in a several albums, mostly at home and at family weddings.

We document every minute of our lives these days (or at least it seems that way) with our portable cameras.  Even though that was not the case with past generations, these precious few photos tell a wealth of stories and I am incredibly grateful to have a tiny peek back in time.

Appreciate your camera today and use it to capture quality memories; memories that will tell a story of a life well-lived.

Remember that possibly one day, a family member may feel the gratitude of gaining insight into their long-gone family generations as well.




Free Stock photo of Paul Bunyan celebrating Paul Bunyan Day

JUN 28th | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL INSURANCE AWARENESS DAY AND NATIONAL PAUL BUNYAN DAY – I could not decide which day to celebrate so I decided to celebrate both.

Paul Bunyan was rumoured to be a gigantic man. It is even suggested that it took five storks to carry him as a baby. Imagine the flight insurance those storks would have needed for that load.

As a child, Paul Bunyan is rumoured to have broken windows just by clapping and laughing, surely taxing his parent’s homeowner insurance policy.

The Grand Canyon was said to have been formed as Bunyan and his ox Babe walked while dragging his axe behind him. Fortunately, he had “ax”ident insurance.

Canada was not to be left out of the legend. Bunyan needed a watering hole for Babe so legend has it that he created our Great Lakes. I am guessing the Canadians’ property insurance went way up after he made Niagara Falls!


Free Stock photo of a pair of sunglasses to celebrate National Sunglasses Day

JUN 27th | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL SUNGLASSES DAY – Thanks Today, I now have a 1980’s Corey Hart song rattling around in my brain (clearly there is great need for a sarcasm font).

I have a love/hate relationship with sunglasses.  I love to wear them because, even on cloudy days, my eyes are super sensitive to light.  I hate them because I look really bad in most styles.

Whenever I have to buy new sunglasses, I end up feeling depressed because most styles are just not flattering to my face shape.  I have been wearing the same Ray Ban small Aviator style for what feels like decades.  My only hope of variety is buying different colours.

If you are one of those lucky people who can wear virtually any shape of frame, treat yourself today to a new pair.  I will just stare longingly at all the beautiful sunglasses out there.



Free Stock photo of chocolate pudding for National Chocolate PUdding Day

JUN 26th | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PUDDING – This past weekend, for the first time in ages, I had chocolate pudding.  But it wasn’t classic pudding … it was made with avocados and other healthy stuff.  Surprisingly, it was quite delicious!

Chocolate pudding has come a long way from the parfait glass desserts that lived in the refrigerated display case in Mom and Pop restaurants.

There are so many recipes that use chocolate pudding: pudding pie, pudding-filled cupcakes, pudding pops, pudding trifle, pudding cake, pudding s’mores in a jar, and yummy sounding Mexican hot chocolate.  What a versatile dessert!  And the word pudding is awesome.

Mmmmmm ….. I need a snack!  Pudding anyone?




JUN 25th | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL CATFISH DAY – When I was a little girl, my father took me and my brother mudcatting, a term for cat fishing commonly used by my folks. On a dark night, we travelled to nearby Lake Scugog to meet with my mother’s uncle. We climbed into his tin can (a small aluminum boat with an equally small outboard motor) and headed into a swampy bay of the lake.

Once there, we dropped our worm bobs over the side of the boat. A worm bob is a collection of worms on a string that is tied into a ball. My mom was a bit of a tomboy and had no problem making these ball o’worms with my dad. The bobs were tied to a rod and used as bait.

Mudcat, as we called them, live on the floor of the lake in the mud. They are bottom feeders and therefore have wide mouths to hoover up their food. I assume their cat-like whiskers were to avoid obstacles like a real cat. That may or may be true but that has always been my story and I am sticking to it.

Dad would put an empty bucket in the middle of the boat. There weren’t any hooks in the bobs as the catfish would just suck onto the worms. Dad would give us a quarter if we could get the fish into the boat and drop it in the bucket. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded as most times the fish would let go as soon as we got it over the edge of the boat. We were lucky if we got one or two quarters in one night.

Mudcatting was mostly exciting for me as it was late at night and we were never awake when it was really dark in the summer.

Good times, good times.


Free Stock Photo of chocolate and walnut pralines celebrating National Praline Day

JUN 24th | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL PRALINES DAY – I am confused. I have always believed that pralines are pecans that have been candy coated in a delicious sugary concoction. I think that I learned from Baskin Robbins’ Pralines and Cream ice cream flavour.

According to my research though, pralines wear many disguises. Belgian pralines have a hard chocolate shell with a soft centre, French pralines are almonds coated in caramelized sugar, while American pralines more resemble a softer creamy fudge with pecans or ground pecans.

The switch from almonds to pecans is said to have occurred when French chefs brought their almond recipe to the US where Pecan trees are plentiful.

No matter the recipe, pralines are delicious and should be celebrated today!


A stock photo of pink lychee fruit for National Pink Day

JUN 23rd | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL PINK DAY – Pink is a colour with some history!

Pink is the name of a flower, a rock star, flamingoes, pigs, and the type of slip one is given when being let go from a job. If you take hallucinogens you might see pink elephants. There are pink foods, pink drinks and pink cars.

Pink was primarily worn by boys in 19th century England but is now associated more with girls.  It is the colour of innocence, femininity and tenderness.

FUN FACT: Madame de Pompadour was the mistress of King Louis XV of France in the mid 1700s.  She had her very own shade of pink!

It was also the colour of my bedroom in my parents’ house.  The walls were pink, the carpet was bubble gum pink and the bedspread was fushia.  Although I love the colour pink, I am happy that my bedroom is no longer pink.

Happy Pink Day!