Possibly the Weirdest Looking Tree in Ontario

This is called a dawn redwood tree. In 2015, it was voted as the most unique tree in the Great Toronto Tree Hunt. Unfortunately this is now 404 on the site and I could not find the photographs of the winning, or nominated trees. This is a very strange looking tree. I hope it is still standing and lasts a very long time. This type of tree has been around from the ages of dinosaurs and it can grow in zone 5 but likes lots of sun and water. I looked for more photographs of this tree. Not all were … Read more

Birthday Cards for the Dead?

Have you ever seen a birthday card for someone already deceased? I don’t mean recently, someone who passed away but people still have a memorial sort of birthday for them. What about when it is your Father, long gone. Today is my Dad’s birthday. I forget how long ago he died, it has been about 15 years, possibly more. I can’t give him a pretty or funny card. I didn’t find any wise or witty quotes. Not a single birthday card found for the deceased. Has no one else ever thought of this? I will see what I can think … Read more

What is the Best White Elephant Gift?

Do you know what a white elephant is? A white elephant is something you’d like to get rid of, its not useful and usually too expensive to use or keep. People sometimes have white elephant gift exchanges, like re-gifting, presents they have been given and would like to get rid of, graciously. The idea is to try finding someone who will love, or at least like, the extravagant, and not useful to most people, gift. What would you bring to a white elephant gift exchange? Coffee table books, they look nice, they tend to be big with a lot of … Read more

How to Have a Happy Birthday When You’re Alone

Your birthday comes around once a year—every year—whether you like it or not. Don’t be in denial; be proud! Celebrate yourself. Age really is just a number; it’s all about how you feel! Choose to feel good, and if you’re celebrating alone, make it special. It’s your day, so do what you want! Celebrating Your Birthday Alone? Make It Special Spending your birthday alone is not a bad thing at all. I have family and a few friends, and that’s more than enough for me. I don’t mind going for a b-day lunch with loved ones, but I also enjoy … Read more

National Dictionary Day

National Dictionary Day is observed annually on October 16. National Dictionary Day was created in honor of Noah Webster’s birthday (October 16, 1758) and was set aside as a day to emphasize the importance of learning and using dictionary skills and increasing one’s vocabulary.  Webster is considered the “Father of the American Dictionary”.  Source: National Day Calendar

A Birthday Cake for 50 Years

Still time left for mine. But found this cake online today, quite pretty. Maybe a bit too pretty, like a wedding cake. But, nice to have some kind of birthday cake I guess.  

I’m the “Oh Canada” Contributor on Squidoo

This was originally posted to the Squidoo network when I was accepted as the “Oh Canada” Contributor.

ohcanadaWhy become the Squidoo Contributor for “Oh Canada”?

First, I am Canadian. Born in down town Toronto, grew up in and around Ontario but mainly in the town of Port Union (which became Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto). I have travelled across Canada on the Via train, Greyhound bus, and by camper van, staying in youth hostels and the odd fancy hotel when the budget stretched enough. I’ve been from the ocean in Vancouver out to the ocean on PEI (Prince Edward Island). I have yet to be north enough to see the Canadian tundra – but I have been to Timmons and Thunder Bay at least twice.

Secondly, I really love to find out about Canadian art, history, culture, people, places, traditions…. all of it. When I see the word Canada on something it pops out at me and I will read whatever it is about. Even something I would otherwise not have an interest in or not even like all that much. I absorb Canadiana, greedily. That doesn’t mean I immerse myself in everything, there is only so much of me I can give, but I like to know the good, bad, and the ugly so I can create a whole picture of what Canada is and who we, as a people in the world, are.

I think it is a shame for people to say they are Canadian if they have not done some travelling to see Canada and meet more of the people than they find in the area they begin in. Canadiansare told we don’t have a real identity so we often defend ourselves with what culture, art and history is uniquely our own. That is a shame too because it just shows how well we know Canada is the country which people think of as nice but don’t really know who we are.

So, that is why I have taken on the challenge, the project, of being the Contributor for “Oh Canada”. I want to teach the world (at least those who stop by here) about Canada and Canadians.

I Really do Love the Canadian Flag

February 15th is National Flag of Canada Day

What is the Canadian National Anthem?

Listen to us sing it!

(The original post had videos here).

The Canadian anthem is “O Canada”. Here are people singing it, making their own versions. One of these is a video without singing, but I remember watching this as a kid.

My Background (like an About Me).

I am a proud Canadian and I do like to write about, research, and teach the world about Canada and Canadians.

I photograph abandoned, derelict farm houses. I like the history, the feeling of something surviving in spite of time and neglect. I like the way old buildings give us so many links to both our past and our culture. Travelling around Ontario (day trips and some over nights) I take a lot of backroads, get coffee in local restaurants and I keep in touch with other explorers across Canada through the groups I founded and moderate on Flickr.

I especially like Canadian music, literature and movies/ TV shows. Here we get so much media from the US it can be overwhelming. I make a point to support our own Canadian media by watching and listening to CBC, the oldest Canadian broadcaster and the most Canadian focused of them all. If you want to know about Canadian music, writers and others you can count on the CBC to have current news and old facts in their archives too.

I studied Canadian Literature as a course in high school and college. I do read a lot of everything, not just Canadian, but I am aware of Canadian writers and did belong to an online group (until it folded). I had thought to start up another group but that does take a huge amount of time and energy so it on a project on the backburner. Meanwhile I continue to write my site for writers and it does have some focus on Canadian resources (just because that is what I find most useful for myself, as a Canadian freelance writer).

As the Oh Canada Contributor at Squidoo I would be happy to bring some niches of Canadian culture, history and art to light.

Canada Day in 2017 Will be Canada’s 150th Birthday

1867 – 2017

Canadian Heritage
The Canadian heritage site from the Government of Canada.
Canada 150
In 2017 Canada will have it’s 150th birthday.
Flickr: Canada Day
Canada Day photographs on Flickr.
Imagi Nation 150
Canada’s Sesquicentennial from Calgary, Alberta.
Explore 150
Explore150 is a uniquely Canadian project that brings together mobile technology and youth engagement inviting young people to discover, celebrate and share the beauty and inspiration offered by natural, cultural and historical sites across Canada.
The CBC Digital Archives
CBC is the Canadian media and broadcaster. There is more than one, but CBC is across Canada and (as far as I know) has the most history.
The Canadian Encyclopedia
Today in Canadian history.
These were the comments with the original post on Squidoo. Also the poll.

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Indoor Playground for Sale (Ontario)

Have you always wanted to run or own an indoor playground, games for kids with prizes and birthday parties every week? If you want it, you can buy it from my sister. Would help if you are somewhat local to Newmarket, Ontario. She has been the sole owner/ proprietor for about 11 years. Opened a second location in Barrie, laser tag, mini golf and likely something else I’m forgetting. A Mom with 4 kids ranging in age from 18 to 4 herself she has done a lot. Time to focus her energies and she wants more time to play some … Read more

Only Other People Turn 50

I know how to count, 45… 50. I’ve been counting 50 for a few years. 50 is coming… 50 is coming… warning… 50 is closer than you think. But, in spite of that, when I see something for people who are turning 50 or 50 plus, I don’t think it’s about me. Only other people turn 50, not me. I remember my Dad’s 50th birthday party. We gave him a home party with a bowl full of colourful Jello to smush his feet into. Dad was the grumpy sort, it really didn’t have much to do with being 50, he … Read more

Red Green’s Guide to Women (for Men)

The real joke behind Red Green’s book about understanding women is that Steve Smith (the author) has been with his wife, Morag Smith, for over 45 years. Her 16th birthday was their first date. Now, over the age of retirement, they are still together. During the TV show, “The Red Green Show” Red would mention his wife, naming her Bernice, but no wife ever appeared on the show. At the close of each show he would tell Bernice he was coming home after the meeting (with the Possum Lodge members). Usually something was added about what he wanted, or hoped … Read more