Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Dress of the Century

(The 19th century that is.)

This is Tanya.

She is a care giver to artifacts.

She works way, way down in the basement

 of the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3.

Right now she is putting together an exhibit about

wedding dresses!!!

When I saw her with this dress I begged to be allowed to blog about it

- just to get everybody in the right mood for the

Windsor Nuptials

on Friday.

I mean


who cares about Prince William,

the Queen,

the guys with the big furry hats

 or the wedding ceremony itself?

We're all going to get up at 3 a.m. to see





won't be any lovlier than

this amazing creation.

It was worn by a bride in St. Catharines, Ontario



Could Kate Middleton's dress possibly be this beautiful?

The back of

the dress

includes a bustle and this beautiful train.

I picture a big hat with lots of feathers and things on her head,

but truthfully,

 I don't know

and I haven't seen Tanya unpack a hat box yet.

Maybe she wore a veil,

or she was bare headed

or the hat was lost ...

If you look closely you can see the hand stitching, particularly around the yoke.

The neckline is low, but there is an extremely modest insert

that buttons right up to the top.

I wonder if

The Dress


will be half as demure.

The Royal wedding is on Friday,

The Museum Wedding Dress Exhibit will be in June

and you won't have to get up at 3 am to see it!

St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3
1932 Welland Canals Pkwy
St. Catharines, Ont.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Best o' the Blog List

If you haven't checked out any of the blogs I follow, this might a good day to do some investigating.

The weather is crappy and hopefully you are all warm and snugly in bed with ... your laptop?

Anyway, go to either of my blogs and check out the sidebar on the right.

Click on any blog or blogger  that looks interesting.

Here's a hint of what you'll find:

TBTAM (The Blog That Ate Manhattan)

Dr. Peggy's blog post is called "The OBG Why Me Blues."

Funny song involves stirrups, an examination table, doctors in latex gloves - all the things that make you shiver.

Heinous hats

If you haven't checked out her tri-weekly assortment of unusual, bizarre, cute and just plain odd hats this is the week-end to dive in.

It's all about bunny hats!


Well somebody had to give us the final answer.

This week Doug Jamieson learned which day will host the end of the world!

Read this blog and prepare to face your maker or makeress!

She Who Seeks

Funny/sad savage chicken cartoon about Earth Day was posted by Debra yesterday.


Anyway I'm off to do some Green stuff this morning and my poor dog has developed sore hot spots on her paws so I'm going to be scouring pet shops this afternoon.
(If anyone knows of a remedy PLEASE pass it along.)

Have a great Easter Sunday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dinner for Six, A Challenge

A dinner party?

For six?

It is a challenge making its way through the blogisphere these days.

List six people with whom you would like to share a meal and include the menu.


I didn't think I was interested in blogging that topic at first but the longer it rolled around in my head the more I wondered if I could come up with six. 

Believe me, the possible guest list was stupendously long, it was the narrowing down that was difficult.

I decided I wanted a mixture of past, present, men, women,  good,  bad and questionably human.

Here is the mélange of dinner guests that I chose:

1. Molly Brant (Konwatsi' tsiaienni)

Leader of the Iroquois clan matrons at the time of the American War of Independence, she was also a business woman, a mother of eight, and a Loyalist who brought her people to Canada.

She will sit on my right.

The place of honour.

2. Osama Bin Laden

Hard to imagine what he will be like as a dinner guest.

I would like to hear him defend his treatment of women.

He will sit next to Molly Brant, the woman who was trained to lead from an early age and could control a thousand angry warriors.

3. Harriet Tubman

The former slave who risked her life and led so many blacks along the underground railroad to Canada will sit between Rick Mercer and Osama bin Laden.

I think she and Rick will have a great time, not so sure how she will take to bin Laden, the man who treats women as slaves.

4. Rick Mercer

Canadian comedian and political commentator, his job will be to keep the conversation and wine flowing at my dinner party.

I'd also like to find out how he votes.

5. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, having done so much for the chimpanzees in Africa, is a woman I admire enormously but she does look as if she needs a good belly laugh.

She's sitting between Rick Mercer and Julian Assange.

Hopefully she won't get into a quiet little tête-à-tête with JA.

Must warn Rick not to spend all of his time yukking it up with Harriett.

6. Julian Assange

SEXY wilileaks bad boy is almost a living archetype of the hero with the fatal flaw.

He sits next to me!!

If I ply him with wine what secrets might he reveal???

That he likes older women? (dream on) Or that Stephen Harper was born in Kenya in a hut next to Barrack Obama?

 Can't wait for all of the gossip!

The second part of the challenge is to come up with a menu.

I will serve baked wild Pacific salmon with Ontario asparagus.

I will serve only Niagara wines of course.

(And lots of it if I want to find out how Rick Mercer votes.)

For dessert, butter tarts in the most delicate of pastry shells.

Butter tarts were invented in Northern Ontario in 1915 by the way. 

I just learned that today.

So there you have it.

My guests and my menu.

Now consider yourself tagged.

Your turn.

PS The painting of the Iroquois woman is not Molly Brant.  I took a generic photo from American classrooms on line, the other photos were from a free online service except for Rick Mercer's which was a publicity shot.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What the Dickens, It's April!

"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go;

it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow."

Alice M. Swaim

I found these brave fools on April 1st.

"Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;

To-day the glint of green is there;

Tomorrow will be leaflets spare ..."

L.H. Bailey

This tree stands in in a clearing that overlooks Swayze Falls

in the Short Hills Provincial Park.

Last week

I was happy to see some green poking through the pine needles on the ground.

Ecstatic, actually.

"First a howling blizzard woke us,

Then the rain came down to soak us,

And now before the eye can focus,


Lilja Rogers

This poem always makes me laugh.

How April!

"Spring, slattern of seasons

you have soggy legs

and a muddy petticoat


is your hair your

eyes are sticky with

dream and you have a sloppy body from


being brought to bed of crocuses

when you sing in your whisky voice

the grass rises on the head of the earth

and all the trees are put on edge


E. E. Cummings,

Spring Onmipotent Goddess Thou

These guys and gals were having a great time last week.

Full of chicken lust

they chased each other around in the muddy April ditch.


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Dickens' words could very well have applied to April,

it is such a month of contrasts, although I must say

this week the weather has seemed more worst of times than best.

Last year we had a dreadful calamity

 when an April storm blew the purple martin house down

 and killed one of the birds.

 Today is mid month and it has been cold, wet and windy

for at least a hundred years

and I heard the TV weather forecaster use the 'f' word tonight,




Hurry up, May!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

A new Blog

I've started a new blog to showcase some of my artwork.

You can check it out at

Otherwise I'll see you back here hopefully!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Authentic Old White Woman

There are a lot of evil-looking, bloated things floating to the surface during this election campaign.

Much of it alarms me and for what it is worth I do find myself making outraged tweets and posting blogs every few days.

But on twitter I usually feel a lot like my family's late, much loved, old beagle.

Banjo liked to think he was in the thick of things.

If bigger, younger dogs were roughhousing, he would bark and run along beside them pretending to himself that he was part of the action.

I post the same things I say on twitter to face book, but I have a completely different feeling about it, mainly because on fb more people read my blogs.

Worse still, people I know read my blogs.

The result is that while I feel like a non-player on twitter, on face book I feel like a political zealot, a crazed Louis Riel raving away at the Federal government issuing fatwahs every second day and I always suspect that people think that I have gone over the edge.

I worry about that.

A lot.

Probably more than I should.

This morning I read Geezeronline's blog about being authentic.

Heaven knows most women spend their lives trying to please other people - unless they are as rich as Oprah or on anti-depressants in which case they don't give a flying fig about anything.

(Speaking from past experience.)

I guess a benefit of being an old white woman with no addictions at present other than blogging, is that I can be authentic, (online anyway), and say what I really think.

If I could just get rid of my guilt for daring to say it ...
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Secnarf - The Debate and The Constitution

This is the second in my series of interviews with Secnarf the independent Rhino candidate from North Pelham. Secnarf's campaign promises include giving women two votes, taking the calories out of chocolate cake and moving the head office of Bell Canada to North Pelham.

Francie: What do you think about the fact that not all of the Party leaders will be allowed to take part in the televised debate?

Secnarf: I agree with the decision.

It is called a "Broadcast".

Elizabeth May and I are the only broads.

Therefore, although I sympathize with the other parties, the bottom line is that either you have a vagina or you don't.

Francie: You are saying that only you and Elizabeth May should be allowed to debate?

Secnarf: That's right.

Francie: Elizabeth May is the leader of a national party.

You are a candidate for a party that doesn't exist anymore.

You don't even have a riding.

Secnarf: Hogswaddle.

Francie: That's your riding?

Secnarf: That's my response to your nitpicking.

Francie: Fine. Then let's talk about your policies.

What are your thoughts on the idea that the constitution should identify one part of Canada as a 'Nation within a Nation'?

Secnarf: I believe that identifying Rural Canada as a 'nation within a nation' is the right move.

The culture and language of Rural Canadians from coast to coast to coast must be protected from the insidious encroachment of the evil city dwellers in Toronto and Montreal.

If elected I promise to see that the constitution is amended accordingly.

Francie: Which culture and language would that be?

Secnarf: Sorry you've had your five questions for today.

Francie: Hey that was only four!

Secnarf: And don't forget to take a lawn sign on your way out.


Vote Secnarf

The only candidate who looks like a cabinet minister

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Charlie Sheen and the Alberta Tar Sands

Charlie Sheen in March 2009Image via Wikipedia

Two articles caught my eye this morning as I was wandering through twitter.

One was about the fight of an indigenous elder in B.C. to stop a massive new Enbridge pipeline that will transport Alberta Tar Sands oil/gas to the U.s. and Asia through two provinces and six states and the other was about Charlie Sheen.

Not connected one would think.

But Charlie Sheen's life seems to mirror what is happening in North America right now.

Money, power and evil versus ordinary people like you and me.

Charlie Sheen abuses anyone he deems less powerful than himself.

And yet many men and even women identify with him.

Support him. Cheer him on.

Give him their money by buying tickets to his show.

Enbridge abuses the environment.

The pipeline from the Tar Sands will end up in Texas and will put at risk some of the most fragile and important natural areas in Canada and the U.S.

But many men and women support this by voting in governments that support these corporations.

And the corporations, much like Charlie Sheen, seem too rich, too powerful and too above the law to stop.

But maybe the tide is turning.

As I scrolled farther down twitter I read that the audience in Detroit had booed Charlie Sheen and demanded their money back.

And the New York Times editorial was against the Tar Sands development.

In Canada the fight is on to hear the message of the Green Party in the Leaders' debate.

This particular tide can't turn soon enough.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Get sexy, Fight Back, Vote Green

Farmer in North Pelham prunes orchard this week.

Not Sexy:

(Not too likely you'll hear about it.)

Last year the Federal Government set aside $22.3M for Niagara farmers to pull out fruit trees.

This year the Pelham Mayor and Town Council are valiantly fighting a Provincial Bill that will allow more of our prime agricultural land to be given over to developers.


(You might hear about it, but it isn't clear about why it is happening.)

The canneries are closed, family farms are being sold, unemployment is high, food banks are running out of food, 5,400 children in our public school system alone are in need.

Here in the heart of Canada's green belt our grocery stores are jammed with produce from China, Mexico, Argentina etc.


(It's everywhere.)

 The big guys in the  Broadcasting Consortium win.

The Green Party with its ideas about sustainable resources is barred from the televised leaders debate.

Get Sexy, Fight Back! 

Vote Green.

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