Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kim-dred Spirits

There are few times in life where your path crosses that of another that offers the kind of friendship I share with my friend Kim. This week I realized just how much I miss her.

It's been nearly two years since Kim moved to Winnipeg with her family and this week drove back to Ontario for their spring break. When I answered the door and saw my old friend, it was like pulling on my favourite sweater on a cold day.

Kim knows me. She knows my story, my back story and the story of my family. We haven't been the best at keeping in touch but we instantly picked up where we left off. We can laugh and we can cry. When it was time for her to leave, I was sad... but also realized just how much I love my dear friend.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pink Washing

This weekend I watched an eye-opening and interesting movie. It's called Pink Ribbons Inc. and as you can guess from the name, it explores a phenomenon labelled "pink washing".

In the past 15-20 years companies have been capitalizing on the colour pink in the name of breast cancer. You have certainly seen these items in various stores...everything from a pink hammer, vaccuum cleaner or food products with a little pink ribbon on them.

When you stop to think about the money that is raised each year for breast cancer research (or just cancer in general) it is mind boggling. From selling these pink products and donating a pittance to research (usually 10 cents or so) to the various runs and walks in support of the cause, millions of dollars are raised and donated to research.Why then, is the risk of getting breast cancer increasing rather than decreasing? In the 1940's ...the chance of a woman getting breast cancer was 1 in 22. Now the risk is 1 in 8.

I can understand the draw to participating in the walks/runs. Survivors and their families feel empowered and a sense of belonging. It would be very easy to get caught up in the hype that inevitably accompanies these events. But, I ask you to stop and question just where the money is going. Only 5% is going towards research on prevention. It's interesting that so much money is being spent on research to find a cure for something that we cannot prevent. Very little, if any, is going to support those that are directly effected by the disease. To me, it is unthinkable that someone can be diagnosed and sent on their way with little more than an appointment for chemotherapy and a free wig. This is a life changing moment for these women and they need support. They need someone to talk to about so many aspects of what they are about to go through and they need direction in regards to what resources are available to them. And they need resources to be available to them.

What is certainly puzzling is companies that "support" breast cancer with these campaigns but also sell products that are known to be linked to the disease. Avon, and Estée Lauder have pink campaigns and yet they sell products that are hazardous. Check out websites like this one for more info.

The colour pink was chosen for this cause because it is associated with comfort, feminine, soothing, warmth, tender and affection. People get a warm fuzzy feeling when they support the pink ribbon campaign. However, there really is nothing comforting or affectionate about getting a breast cancer diagnosis. Consider seeing this film or at the very least, think twice before you purchase a pink ribbon product.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Hangover

Today is the day after St. Patrick's Day and I cannot believe the aftermath we are dealing with in London. St. Paddy's revellers in the Fanshawe College area got completely out of hand last night with what started as a mattress burning in the street and ended with a CTV news truck overturned and torched and 11 people being arrested.

I tuned into the story about 1:30am on Twitter. I had been "unplugged" all night and before heading for bed, I checked my email. Some of the tweets that were popping up on my screen caught my attention and as I started to read more of the story I was shocked and disgusted.

Following up on the story today made my stomach turn. As I watched the visuals of people hurling 2x4s, beer bottles and anything else they could get their hands on at police while dancing around a burning vehicle in the street, it made me question where society is headed. These types of destructive mobs have popped up recently in Vancouver and the other London. These people are not even protesting an oppressive government or abusive power...they are simply self indulgent, privileged and ignorant.

Why do people of this generation feel they are entitled to act however they desire with no consequences? It is time for people to take responsibility for their actions and grow up. I sincerely hope that anyone caught on camera (or otherwise identified) are charged and reprimanded appropriately.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I forgot to mention that I ran into Dolly Parton on our road trip. I had to get my picture with her...she's one of my faves!

Road Trippin'

Yes, there has been a hiatus in my blogging. Sometimes life gets a little busy and blogging doesn't find it's way to the top of the priority list. Last week I headed to the sunny south for some fun in the sun with my sister & co. I did check my email while I was there but made a conscious effort not to sit on the computer the whole time. That meant no social media updates and very brief if any replies to email!

Anyway, after spending a week in Florida we spent 2 days traveling the highways and byways of the US of A. I'm not sure why, but there is something about the "road trip" that is so appealing to me. Passing through major cities and we noted all they are known for and sang songs associated with them. (WKRP in Cincinnati, Nashville Cats and Midnight in Montgomery were all sung on this journey)

One of the stops on the trip home was in Montgomery, Alabama. What a beautiful city! The reason we stopped was to see where Martin Luther King Jr. lived. It was a bit challenging to find (come on Montgomery, better signage needed for such historic landmarks!) and it was closed to the public while we were there, but it was a moving experience. I saw where they marched from Selma to Montgomery and imagined what it was like that day. I saw the church where MLKJ was the pastor and just up the street I also saw the house where he and his family lived. I would love to return someday when I can spend more time exploring.

Also on the way home, Connie and I kept seeing signs for places we visited on family vacations when we were younger. One sign in particular made us both burst out laughing! The Mammoth Caves in Kentucky was an excruciating afternoon with the family where we wandered far beneath the earth looking at stalactites and stalagmites. The proverbial light at the end at the tunnel was the "snowball cafe" where we were going to have lunch. LOL...the snowball cafe ended up being styrofoam bowls of chili served at picnic tables. We still lament the Mammoth Caves so when we saw the sign on the highway he had to snap a pic. Unfortunately it was at night so it's not the best but we needed to capture the memory.

Do you enjoy road trips? Have fond memories of family vacations? Share in the comments!

Thursday, March 01, 2012


As promised Peggy and I recently spent the day together working on her quilt. At this point it's not so much a quilt but rather 12 squares of embroidery. I wasn't quite sure how to embroidery when I got there but it didn't take long to pick it up.

We had such a nice time chatting and stitching our needlework. Yes, I realize this makes me sound like an old biddy ...but for an afternoon, I was! We stopped for lunch when my cousin Esther showed up with buns and sandwich fixings. Peggy had a little cat nap while Esther and I watched Whitney Houston's funeral. Well, I was watching and embroidering!

Little moments like these spent with people we love are the best moments in life. I hope you have many of these!