Archive for the ‘Reminiscence’ Category

10 Favourite Musicals

What fun! Musicals are a bit of a family tradition. Often times we would watch all together – Aunts, Unlces, cousins, grandparents. So musicals hold a special place in my heart – for all their cheesy too-happy situations and co-ordinated song & dance breakouts.

1. Showboat

Kinda morbid for a little girl but this is my favourite, hands down, since I was a preschooler. Life upon the wicked stage + the water = magic. I wanted to be Katherine Grayson when I grew up. And marry a rakish gambler who would slowly realize I was worth more than his freewheeling life as a broke drunk surrounded by fallen women.

Aim high little girl. Aim high.

2. Music Man

Love, love, love this! There is something so bright and cheerful about this one. Yee gods, it must be the 76 trombones. Hmmm…I grew up adoring librarians, and am one (of a sort) now so…perhaps these musicals were more of an influence than I realized.

also – another charlatan is reformed by the love of a good woman, begrudgingly reformed…theme is emerging…

3. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Ha! Howard Keel is back and he’s looking for a lady – not any will do: Heavenly eyes, but oh that size! He helps his brothers when they steal the women they love and keep them ’til the spring thaw’. Of course by then they love their kidnappers (pretty advanced psychology) and are pleased to all pretend they’ve had a baby out of wedlock so they can be married.

Life lessons are happening all over the place.

4. The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Of all the musicals I’ll list, and they were all watched over and over, this one does make me cringe when I see it today. The heavy handed acting — well, shouting really. But some of those songs are mighty catchy — fave: He’s My Friend…

Even as a kid the money in the stove hurt, physically hurt me — my stomach is tightening just thinking about that scene.

5. Gigi

Oh I thought Leslie Caron was so gorgeous — I didn’t see this til I was 10 or so and my goodness did she impress me. Maurice Chevalier – what a voice.

6. My Fair Lady

Oh! Everyone was so shocked when she said ‘bloomin’ arse. I’m not talking about the upper crust Brits – I’m talking about my family!!!

7. Singin’ In the Rain

So funny. I could watch this any, any time. One of my favourite childhood memories is of accompanying my beloved Grandfather to the bank on a rainy, Vancouver afternoon, and singing the title song together. Tomorrow it will be 22 years since he passed away and I still miss him everyday. What a gentleman.

8. Meet Me in St. Louis/Easter Parade

I really don’t recall either of these in their entirety but they, plus the preceding 7, evoke the warmth and security of my grandparents living room, in pj’s surrounded by family, watching and singing and laughing together. Just sharing.

9. The Sound of Music

Oh boy. I distinctly recall being able to stay up 2 hrs!! passed my bedtime to watch this on tv on a Sunday night – and I had school the next day! I have seen this too many times to count. Including live, with an old, old german couple seated behind us who were singing along but, said aloud in a tone of complete shock at Rolf’s moment of confrontation: Und he’z a Nazi!!!

If I only could watch one musical over and over – I think this would have to be it.

10. The King and I

Oh how I wanted to travel the world and fall in love with the gruff but kind gentleman/barbarian. These shows really weren’t the best example setters! But they sure were a great way to pass an evening.

11 & 12 – yes  2 extra. As a teen I became obsessed with the Phantom. In my college years I saw and loved Les Miserables.

Oh no – 13 (the irony of this ill intentioned number pairing with:) Jesus Christ Superstar!

‘who in the hell do you think you are’ – that’s what i thought the lyrics were! This has to be one of the sing-alongable-est musicals going. I didn’t see it til I was in my 30’s. My mother still disapproves.

Oh. 14. I was blown away by Donny Osmonds’ Joseph – great great talent.

k – i’ll really stop now…


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is the end.



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Prince Charles

Prince Charles was so named because he was a shy rooster that didn’t seem to know he was a rooster at all. He only crowed once, over the holidays, and he was very surprised when it happened! (seeing his reaction was comical!)

The Flock YIP>1/365Though he should have been in charge, given that he was the only rooster, he spent his days being led around by the two most dominant hens in his life. Once and awhile they let him assert himself while they looked on in what appeared to be tolerant amusement.

There his resemblance to his namesake ends, because he was a very handsome rooster. The picture of him, top, is from his brief teenage-period. Prince Charles was robust, very tall and always had his feathers in impeccable array.
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He died in my arms, of shock, this morning – after being snatched by a neighbours dog. He is buried beneath the apple tree.

Awww — look at him – so much smaller than the water bowl! (he’s the teeny one in front)

ETA: I sincerely hope no google searches lead here re: the real Prince Charles!

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‘The Mail is good to me

And so I  thank the Mail

For giving me the things I need

A book

Oh, we're livin' it.

and some prep for emergencies.

Emergency! Emergency!

The Mail is good to me.’

Based on a childhood favourite (which has somehow become censored in my memory from Lord to Earth — not sure how that happened…)

My Grandparents had a copy of this Disney book and Johnny Appleseed was a hero to me. I used to wish I could travel around planting and harvesting. It might have helped create my lifelong interest in gardening actually.

Another inspirational children’s book is Miss Rumphius. Last year I harvested the seeds from our Lupins at work and we gave them to all the children on Earth Day in celebration of Miss Rumphius with a little cup and some soil.

What books from your childhood do you still cherish?

re: mail order goodies – The book is written by this blogger and the Emergency Knitting Kit is available here.

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I love that I can’t ever forget my brother’s wedding date (he just wants to make sure he gets anniversary gifts, I know it). It was hard to cancel my standing plans but…I made an exception for my baby brother.


The ceremony was beautiful and moving. It was a small gathering – all who were there truly know and love them both. The setting was simple and elegant – and the weather co-operated, the rain holding off until the end of the portrait session.


Each time I see this photo I choke up. The love and adoration for his bride clearly evident in his eyes.


We couldn’t love her more ourselves. She is a true sister of my heart.


The reception was a relaxed, fun filled evening of laughter and dancing — and incredible food!


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I have to thank the many generous friends and family members (both new and old) who sent me pictures – as I accidentally hit the format button on our new digital camera and lost all of my pics and film footage of the day. 😦

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I am one of those people who does/doesn’t believe in Faeries. Is that clear?

I want to believe, I find the thought enchanting. But I don’t believe. When I was little I would pretend to believe in faeries, and leprachauns, and elves and such fanciful beings. This is a brillant movie about the Cottingley Fairies – a story about a man desperate to believe.

I am sure I was influenced by the beautiful books my Nana had in her home and that she gifted to me.  Books of fairy tales, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Arthur Rackham. My favourite book was The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley. I actually thought it was a colouring book since some of the illustrations were black and white. Oops. I read fairy tales of all kinds voraciously, my favourite author was Hans Christian Andersen. I also liked Edgar Allen Poe as a child — pretty bleak stuff no?

I still love faery art and remember the tales fondly. They are things that I share with the children I work with and hope to one day share with my own children.

 Do/did you believe in fairies? What childhood beliefs do you hold dear?

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We will be setting sail for Alaska in few weeks – aboard Holland America!

Boarding Cruise 3

This is a trip we have made before, and No: It does not get boring. Cruising to Alaska is ideal because some of our group don’t enjoy hot weather, we have the bonus of leaving from, and returning to, the port of Vancouver. And really, Alaska is beautiful.

One of my favourite stops is Ketchikan. There is an incredible book store — that just happens to be right above a really cool gift shop  — where the owner gets to chatting with you, offers you tea and seats you comfortably with a book. It’s in a cool attic-y space too. So cozy.

Another great spot is Haines. Not all cruise ships stop there, but it is only a short ferry ride from Juneau  — great hikes — or Skagway (definitely my favourite shopping port). Haines is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever visited and well worth the extra travel time.

True story: After our last trip I gave S his present – he was 3.5 at the time and oh so serious. He loved it – how bad is it that I don’t even remember what it was? – and asked me where I got it. “Juneau.” I replied. There was a long pause, as he shifted his eyes side to side and then he slowly said “Noooo. I don’t.”

Cruise 1

We generally see a large number of dolphins and whales on our way back to Vancouver as we travel through some prime feeding areas along the Inside Passage.

True Story: While standing on deck taking photos of dolpins playing in the waves, a woman grabbed her husband, who was leaning out for a better shot, while loudly cautioning him that he “wouldn’t want to fall over when they’re in their feeding frenzy.”

Speaking of the Inside Passage…True Story: An onboard ‘naturalist’ was narrating while we traveled through the Seymour Narrows. She was telling the story of Ripple Rock and introduced the topic like so, in an ominous tone: “Just as all Americans know where they were the day Kennedy was assassinated, so to, all Canadians know where they were the day Ripple Rock exploded.” Hanging out on deckchairs, we all looked at one another and  burst into near hysterical laughter. First of all we had never heard of Ripple Rock (with the exception of our learned seaworthy Uncle D) and 2nd, we hardly thought an intentional blast was comparable to the assassination of JFK. Thirdly, this woman had been prattling on in an inane fashion for hours already. ‘So to, all Canadians’ became a bit of a catchphrase for some of us.

Lounging on deck 

I’ve included some of my pages from a scrapbook of a family trip aboard the Sea Princess. This is my first scrapbook album. I started it about 4 yrs ago – it’s not finished yet. Yep. Startitis is not restricted to knitting projects, well, at least not for me.

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Most of our trips are spent laughing like fools, eating like royalty and shopping like fiends. My cousin M and I are particularly unaware of what spectacles we make of ourselves when we get going.

True Story: M and I have been approached a number of times to be asked if we are part of the onboard entertainment, where we get our material and if we are professional comedians.

M and I

We have taken our Uncle’s video camera on some late night jaunts and filmed hours of ourselves acting like idiots. Priceless those films are – it is a little scary to watch some of them now and realize there actually are other people around us…people we are not travelling with..and yet no one has ever complained…

We have shorthand for cruising related funny stories: What’s a bell pepper, rice is my favourite vegetable, Regeena, dead a**s floating, Oh God we love you!, Whop-Whop, that’s a bit of all wrong, whaaaaale off the port bow, The Quacker…to name a few. (cruise buddies: anybody laughing yet?)


I also decided that I would feature family members whose names begin with the current letter.


Great Mom, wonderful Aunty. Balanced, organized, fit and inspiring.


I’ve known A since he was about 3. He was a friend of my brothers long before he became my cousin’s husband. Gentle, quiet, a talented artist. Super fan of Depeche Mode (that concert was so much fun) and a really great Uncle.

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