thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit
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I can’t have anyone over. I can’t go anywhere to visit. My 76 old Dad spent Christmas alone rather than with us. My daughter is badly in need of some new pants but she grew and I’m not sure what size. I can’t take her to a store to try on new ones. I’m not […]

person ice skating

Unless you’ve been living under some sort of ice covered rock in Canada this weekend, you’ve probably heard about or seen the video of the two female officers arresting a young man for ”skating on an outdoor rink”. Here’s the link if you want more detail. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-skating-rink-arrest-1.5848904 It’s an interesting situation for a number of […]


My family keeps asking me what I want for Christmas this year. Without sounding so annoyingly like my dad when I was a kid: ”I just want everyone to get along”, I finally, really, really get where that comes from. Assuming that no one I know can actually get me Jason Momoa and also convince […]

brown book page

On Saturday, a judge decided that Springs Church in Winnipeg didn’t deserve special treatment after all. I couldn’t be happier. And let me be perfectly clear, this is not because of an aversion to religion, or Christianity. As a life long member of the Anglican community, I grew up on hymns and fellowship and Bible […]

adult blur books close up

Are the rest of you as tired of this fucking shit as I am? The half truths, the NO-truths, the misleading statements and the seemingly outright manipulation of data in order to prove the same tired narrative? Listen, it has been a long lifetime ago since I worked in the research and pharmaceutical industries, but […]

cutouts of letters

I don’t know about the rest of you Bitches, but I am starting to feel really worn down. Parenting in the era of Covid is fucking exhausting, and levels up every skill and tool we have to keep our offspring happy, healthy, entertained, occupied, and most of all, safe. There was a glimmer of hope […]

Last Christmas was my first one without my mom. Not exactly a milestone me or anyone else wants to reach. The weeks leading up to the holiday season were mixed with sadness, grief, a desire to keep it as normal as possible and the hope that I could feel like she was remembered.

I try to make a conscious effort each year to do at least some of my shopping locally. Toy stores, artisan sales, and local shops are all on my list of places to visit. Part of that is to support the small businesses financially instead of making the rich richer, but a big part of it is personal connection.

That had never been as apparent to me as last year.

There is a wonderful little family owned shop here called Toad Hall Toys. It has been open since I was a kid. I remember going there when my brother was all about becoming a magician and needed new supplies and tricks. I’d tag along to browse and they always had the neatest things that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Fast forward to last December. I had just finished helping my Dad go through the house I grew up in. Packing, donating, deciding what memorable things to keep for myself as I went through a lifetime of memories and my entire childhood in the span of a few weeks. It was emotionally draining. When going through the dining room hutch, I came across a Christmas candle set that my mom would always light on Christmas Eve when we got home from church. It’s a simple little metal charm set, where you light the candles and the heat from the flames make the hanging angels spin and cast shadows on the ceiling. Every Christmas of my childhood is for some reason represented by that set.

When I found it in the hutch, it was missing pieces. I was so sad. Of all the things that had huge sentimental value to me, that dumb candle set was of the highest regard. Putting it in the trash just felt like the proverbial nail in the coffin.

And then I went to Toad Hall Toys.

As I browsed things for the kids and made my way to the lineup at the cash register, I passed a shelf that contained a box of the exact candle charms that I had mourned a week earlier. In the same original box design from fifty years go that my moms set was in. For TEN DOLLARS. There was only one set there. I stood there and felt a huge wave of emotion run over me. Whatever your belief system is, I do believe that those we have loved and lost find ways to reach out to us once they are gone, and this moment sent chills down my spine.

I picked up the box, and waited my turn to pay.

When I got to the counter, the older lady who owned the store started to ring up my items, and commented on the candle set. I told her about my mom, and the house, and the candles and started to cry. It was such a moment full of grief and sadness, but also a weird release.

And you know what she did? She took my hand, and cried with me. In the middle of her store. On a Saturday afternoon in the heat of the Christmas shopping season. She took the time to see me, and understand why it was such an impactful moment. Her reaction validated me and made a difference for me.

I will never forget it. I will forever support this business, because of that small moment and what she did for me that day.

And that, folks, is why small businesses are important. Yes, economics, yes community.

But in a world where human connection and empathy and understanding seems to be on the endangered species list, people like her help us feel connected to each other.

Now, more than ever, those connections are invaluable.

mountains nature arrow guide

Yesterday, most reasonable humans that live in Manitoba watched in horror as a rally was allowed to proceed in Steinbach protesting the requirement to wear masks. “Hugs Over Masks” has been a popular slogan for selfish people screeching about their rights while their nonsense continues to trample on the rights of others. Now, with new […]

smiling woman with a sign

It’s been a really interesting week, and by interesting, I mean emotionally exhausting. And I am upset. Really, really upset. Never in my life did I expect to find myself so heavily invested in politics or social issues and yet here I am. Seemingly being forced to pick a team. I had meetings with representatives […]

leadership lettering text on black background

Dear Ms.Gordon,As one of your constituents, an educator, and a parent, I am writing to voice my concerns over several issues.  As an educator and parent I am disappointed and appalled at the lack of ingenuity, planning and proactivity from the Conservatove government in terms of education during the time we have been dealing with Covid.  […]

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