Friday, 30 September 2011

Silver, Linens And Crystal Make Me Swoon!

For the last twenty odd years I have been conducting a love affair with the trappings of elegance.  My stingy practical side completely disappears when I am in front of an Irish linen triple damask tablecloth.  I lose my head over an oil painting offered at auction.  Waterford crystal dazzles me.  But, sterling silver is the thing that may ultimately be my downfall!  I covet it.  I must have it!

It all started sometime in the late 80's with this ~

I've kept every issue of Victoria magazine.  When I lose myself in these pages, I'm having high tea at Balmoral, lunching with the Vanderbilts, spending the summer of 1910 in the Adirondacks or writing poetry in an Irish farmhouse.

I feed the flames with a healthy dose of this ~

I will be ready to serve a perfectly elegant dinner to my Mr. Darcy when he arrives.  He will be just like Colin Firth and he will be madly in love with me and with my beautiful table setting.  We will decorate his manor house with the finest accoutrements his vast wealth can buy!  Did I just lose it there?

In the meantime, I haunt auctions, consignment stores and thrift shops for fine things at way below value.  They turn up surprisingly often when you know what you are looking for.

Silver is a complicated study of hallmarks, styles and grades but here is a quick Silver 101 course.  Silverplate is a base metal coated in a thin layer of silver.  It will say silverplate, EPNS or tripleplate to denote the means of coating and thickness of silver.  It has very little resale value.  Sheffield plate  is a base metal coated with two sheets of silver and is quite old and valuable.  But, don't confuse it with a brand name for silver plate called Sheffield.  Confused yet?  The really wonderful stuff is sterling!  A sterling object is 925 parts silver to 75 parts base metal.  Pure silver is too soft to hold a shape.  It is always hallmarked as sterling and with a makers name.  The easiest way to recognize it when you can't easily find the hallmark is to rub your thumb across the tarnish.  It will wipe right off, unlike silver plate.  It is light in weight and dents easily.

This week, at a favourite consignment store, Decor On A Dime I found this beautiful pair of sterling candlesticks.  The price was $15.00 and should have been at least $100.  The melt down value of the silver is that.  New, they would have been several hundred dollars.

These may have slipped by because the bases are weighted.  That's to prevent them from tipping over and setting the lovely linen tablecloth on fire.  Mr. Darcy hates having his dinner disrupted by firemen!  These had the look of Birks and I knew the hallmark wouldn't be in the usual places of upper rim or the bottom.

Sure enough, right where I thought it would be ~

A little clean up with a gentle silver cleaner (don't even bother with the stuff that starts with S) and I am ready for the queen to sit down to tea.  They say she uses this brand but I can't imagine her giving the silver a 'rub up' while she watches the telly.

I really hope the owner of the shop doesn't read this post.  She's such a lovely lady and I would have told her what they were if she had asked.  They're mine now and nobody takes away my sterling!

Let me know if you stumble across any sets of Waterford crystal in you local Goodwill and I'll gladly take it off your hands.  Te he.

Happy treasure hunting!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

You Are Someone's Angel!

I love Kiva!  It makes me happy!  It connects me to people all around the world who are trying to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities!  Kiva means agreement in Swahili and is a way for someone with limited means to get involved and give assistance to people struggling to feed and house themselves and educate their children.

I urge you to swing by their website Kiva and see what's going on.  Founded in 2004 by newly weds Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley, it was conceived as an on line way for us to make business loans to entrepreneurs  who would have no other means of borrowing.  This has grown to function in 216 countries and made loans totalling $246,775,850!

We can choose the person or group we wish to donate to and follow their progress as they pay back the loan.  You are limited to a $25.00 investment in any loan.  A $3.50 donation towards operating funds is optional.  Paypal donates their service to Kiva.  The repayment rate is 98.87%, far above usual business loan rates.  When your $25.00 is repaid to you, you can withdraw the funds through Paypal or re-lend them.

After hearing about this programme on Oprah (of course) I made my first loan.  I chose a woman from Togo in Africa who supported herself, her children and her sisters children by selling cooked rice on the side of the road.  She hoped to build a shed as a cooking space.  That's not a lot to ask for.  She looked so sad that I didn't mind that she would likely never repay the loan.

This is Abla ~

She never missed a payment and I was paid back in full!  Abla would, I'm sure, be shocked to find she has made a difference in many, many other lives.  She is responsible for me re-lending twenty-one more times.  She is responsible for three of my family/friends lending twelve times.  She has encouraged me to make loans in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Burundi, Cambodia, Lebanon (love Chamel the interior decorator!), Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru and the Philippines.  If she can have impact on people in so many other countries, with her willingness to try and a sense of responsibility, what can the rest of us do?

We all have some talent to donate.  We all can give time.  Some of us can give money once.  Some of us can give money more often.  Do you have IT skills to donate to a struggling charity?  Can you drive someone to a cancer clinic.  Can you serve meals to the homeless or collect blankets and sleeping bags for them?  Could you donate pet food to a sanctuary or foster a litter of kittens until they find homes?  Can you swing a hammer  for Habitat For Humanity?  Can you mind a young mother's toddler for an hour while she rests?  Can you donate your business clothes to a woman's shelter for job interview attire?  Can you shovel an elderly neighbour's sidewalk?    

I say to myself, "If Abla can do it, so can I!"

"He who waits to do a great deal of good all at once, will never do anything."  ~ Samual Johnson
Let's not wait for Christmas to do our little bit to change the lives of others.  Let's celebrate the bounty of harvest time and our great fortune in living when and were we do by connecting with someone who needs us!

Ralph Waldo Emmerson says it best,
"It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself".
I know my life is enriched by my involvement with my new friends around the globe.

Have a generously happy day!  

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Wreath Started It!

It all started with an old wreath that had definitely seen better days.  I've used it off and on for years outside.  Birds loved it!  They used it like a bird Home Depot and took whatever materials they needed for their nest renovation projects.  One lazy clever bird built her nest right in the wreath!  I suppose she found that easier than hauling it all off to another site.

Since I'm practising thrift, gift, reworked and found this year, I thought I would give it an overhaul.

This is the before.  I chased the bad cat, Maeve, out of it ~ 

Then the good cat, Sarah, got in it ~

Then, they both started eating it.  Like this wreath hasn't had enough abuse?

Everything I tried as trim looked odd on such a mangled simple wreath so I decided to go with something as understated as a bow.

I had three small rolls of wired ribbon that I picked up at Michael's for $1.00 each and a large roll of ribbon that I picked up somewhere for under $5.00.  Several years ago, I bought a Bowdabra at Michael's for $17.00.  That seems like a lot of money but I've used it a zillion times decorating client homes and tour houses at Christmas.  I also have the most excellent bows on all my gifts!  You have to get one of these things!

It's easiest to spool all the ribbon off the roll.  I started with the large roll, moved on to the two small rolls of brown and used the orange roll for the centre, decreasing the size of the loops as I went.  It was wired to the wreath with florist wire (another essential for seasonal decorating) and I tucked four dollar store silk maple leaves in behind it.  The total cost was $9.00.

This is the finished wreath ~


That led to washing the siding, window cleaning, cornstalk cutting and a general frenzy of filling baskets with pumpkins, grapes and flowers!  And, that's just the start of what I will put myself through this season.  It's all okay, though, because this is my very favourite time of year to decorate!

Decorator tip:  When working with outdoor spaces, you need to "go big or go home".  This is going to be viewed from a distance and little things just look like clutter.  Fifty little garden ornaments don't have the impact of one large one.  If it's going to be a bow, make it as large as you can!

Here's the start of the harvest themed front porch ~

Try not to envy my undersized, corroded exterior light.  I want to have the porch made into a sun room and the light fixture will become redundant.  In the meantime, I simply don't look at it.

Have a bowutiful day!

ps ~ Since you all liked the wreath revamp so much (thank you) I put it on the linky party at  No Minimalist Here.  Great site!

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Sequel to Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.

With a film that great you know a sequel has to happen!  This, however, will not be a trilogy.  I promise this is the last post about tomatoes.  That's because this is absolutely the last day I am messing around with these things!

My fingernails are turning orange.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm eating so many of them or from being up to my elbows in them as I peel and seed them.  Whatever the cause, it's not an attractive look.  There goes my hand modelling career!

I did want to get a basic spaghetti sauce done for the freezer.  I made one batch with about 12 cups of tomatoes and a second batch with half as many tomatoes.  Using the same amount of spice in both made the second batch much stronger in taste and I'll use it for pizza sauce and any dishes that have cream added to the sauce.  For the last couple of years I've used a recipe from and it freezes very well.

Big Batch Spaghetti Sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups tomatoes, peeled, cored, chopped (6 cups for the pizza sauce)
3 12 oz. cans tomato paste (I used my home made paste and dumped about 4 heaping tbsp. in)
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dried oregano (twice that if using fresh)
4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp dried basil (twice that if using fresh)
a healthy dose of fresh ground black pepper (because I'm a pepper fanatic!)

1. Heat oil in large pan and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent
2. Add all other ingredients and heat to boiling
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, partially covered, stirring occasionally

This smells heavenly as it simmers ~ 

One jar for the fridge and the rest in the freezer for wintry day comfort food ~

I was at a loss as to what to do with all the grape tomatoes from the plant that seeded itself in the garden and decided to try freezing Bruschetta mix.  Last year I discovered that the trick to not having basil turn black in the freezer is to cover it in olive oil.  I may be the last person on the planet to discover that but I am rather busy saving you all from killer tomatoes.

I diced the grape tomatoes and chopped the onion and basil in this dandy little chopper I bought at Zehrs for $10.00.

I mixed the onion and basil with the tomatoes and put it in freezer containers.  Then, a friend dropped in and reminded me I had forgotten the garlic.  Sigh.  I put it back in the bowl, added minced garlic and put it back in the freezer containers.  Cover generously with EVO and freeze.

I discovered that little kids love macaroni, hamburger and spaghetti sauce casserole.  I grate a little cheddar cheese on top but the kids are fine without any gussying up.  How easy is that?  With seven grandchildren I need all the simple recipes I can find!

For one more day, my neighbours are safe from finding bags of grape tomatoes on their doorsteps.


Saturday, 24 September 2011

What's In A Name?

A monogram is in a name!  I freely admit I have an obsession with things that have my initial on them.  I don't think I'm narcissistic.  I just love the personalization of a monogram on household items.  I don't wear a big L on my sweaters as Laverne did.  That would be tacky and really weird since my first name starts with an M.  

I also thank my parents for that M because my last name starts with a W.  That doubles my chances of finding something with my initial.  It's the same upside down!  How cool is that?  It makes up for having a dumb name like Maureen when all the bicycle licence plates and key chains had names like Suzie, Patty and Vickie when I was a kid.  I sooo wanted to be and 'ie' or a 'y'!

I make up for that childhood trauma with sticking my initial on things like my doormat. ~

Monograms where important, historically, when things like linen and silver were an important part of a wealthy family's assets and the mark was a means of identifying one's property.  Because this was a mark of status, monograms convey a sense of importance to this day.

While I was out buying neat things for myself shopping for clients yesterday, I came across a glass etching kit at Michaels.  Armour Etching Cream was marked down from $21.99 to $10.00.  Armour re-usable Stencil set was $12.49.  I thought it was a great way to personal some glassware.

I use ordinary wine glasses that I pick up at thrift stores and big box stores.  After running through a couple of sets of crystal glasses it seemed the best route to go so my incredibly clumsy  dear, accident prone friends and relatives don't have to worry about taking a glass out to the patio.  But, the glasses are ugly!

All I needed for the project was this ~ 

You also need running water.  If you don't have running water, you should probably focus on correcting that and leave personalizing your glasses until later.

Make sure the glass is clean and dry.  Position the self sticking stencil letter on the glass.  Tape the outer edges of the stencil so no etching cream gets on parts of the glass you don't want etched.

Use a brush to apply the etching cream.  You really have to gob this stuff on and it should be thick enough that you can't see the stencil.  It's really caustic and you should wear gloves and goggles.  I couldn't find any gloves so I was very careful not to get it on my hands.  I figured my reading glasses were enough eye protection.  Then it occurred to me that, if it had splashed on them, my glasses would have been etched!  Dumb!  As you know, I'm always in a hurry!

Leave the cream on for exactly 60 seconds.  Rinse the area under lukewarm tap water until all traces of the etching compound are gone.  Peel off the tape and stencil.  Do like I did and get really peeved that it didn't seem to work.  Follow the rest of the directions and clean the area with glass cleaner and leave to dry.  See that it did work!  The etching is dishwasher safe.

This was kind of hard to photograph but gives you the idea. ~ 

I'm going to look for a stencil that is a little more bold.  I have cases of these glasses so there's plenty to experiment on.

Thanks Mom and Dad for invertible initials so I can hang these upside down in a wine rack!

Add wine and enjoy!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hail To Vodka And Bourbon!

No, there's no riotous party going on here.  I'm talking about making your own vanilla.  I had to try this when I saw it on The Italian Dish.  Nothing could be simpler.

The recipe ~

Take 1/2 a vanilla bean (I used bourbon natural vanilla because it is simply the best.)
Split the bean down the middle to expose the caviar (That's what you call the mushy stuff inside.)
Place in small bottle.
Fill with vodka (I used Silent Sam because I like that brand and I may have some left over to drink.)
Let sit for 3 weeks to infuse.
When you have used about half the bottle, top it back up with vodka.  (This is a good excuse to keep some on hand.)

I bought bottles at Dollarama for $1.50 for two.  That's empty bottles not vodka bottles.  I wish!
At the same time I picked up some natural modelling clay to make tags.  The tag making was a little messier than I thought and I wound up looking like something from Ghost.  No, I didn't look like Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze did not show up, but I had a lot of clay on my hands.  Then, I turned away and my cat ate one of them.  I am happy to report that clay is not fatal to little, poorly behaved kitties.

This is Maeve.  She loves the taste of clay! ~ 

This is how the infusion looked on the first day ~ 

This is what it looks like after one week with tags painted to look like old Roman coins ~ 

Disclaimer ~ I'm am not an irresponsible pet owner that leaves kittens unattended around clay.  Maeve is two years old.  She's just some sort of pygmy breed of cat.  And, she's very, very bad!


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

If Not Today, Then When?

It's a good question to ask ourselves no matter what stage of life or circumstances we find ourselves in.  It will never be exactly the right time to change jobs, start a family, move to a new home, fall in love, adopt a pet, write a book or redecorate the living room.  Every good thing starts with someone taking a chance and going for it!

Sooooo - with great trepidation  with great confidence I say this is my time to step back from all the busyness of life and follow my heart.  The children are grown, the grand kids are doing fine and my sister and I have decided to cut back on the projects we undertake as interior designers.

I have endless plans waiting in the wings for me to slow down and focus on all the other things I love.  Decorators (at least this one) sometimes neglect their own homes and my 200 year old, pioneer built baby has been patiently waiting for me to pay her some attention. A tale of a tornado, a massive toppled tree and an unscrupulous tree removal guy left the 1/2 acre property in need of an extreme makeover.  Ty Pennington where are you?

I know it will be tough for a single woman to bring it back to the relaxing haven it once was, but I love this little house, the village that surrounds it and the Grand River that runs along the back of my yard.

I'll show you the best and the worst of it for I'll need a little help and a lot of advice. Along the way, I'll share the "tricks of the trade"  from the world of decorators.  I love to talk home decor!

Today is the day I say, "Not when; now"!

Beginnings And Endings

I admit to being a compulsive reader.  I'll read as many as five books at once.  On the go will be a fun novel, a history book, a philosophy book, classic literature and the latest, greatest contemporary writer.  Always, in the mix, is something in the self help category. If it's out there, in that genre, I've read it!  Quiz me if you like. From Dale Carnegie to Eckhart Tolle, Og Mandino to Sarah Ban Breathnach, I have devoured their work.  They all have different means of getting there but the message is always the same.
"Endings lead to something else.  Endings are the past.  The future never comes;  it's always the future.  How you see yourself today and how you connect with the present is all that really matters.  The answer to a happy and successful life lies within you and is not controlled by any outside force.  If you see each day as a new beginning, the past won't hurt you and the future will take care of itself."
My second addiction is biographies/autobiographies.  Again, I read them all from Diefenbaker, Churchill, Ghandi and Thatcher to Della Reese, Goldi Hawn and Keith Richards.  I want to know how they became the people they are/were.  Okay, so I also want to live their adventures from the comfort of my easy chair!  Still, I learn great life lessons from them.  One of my favourite quotes is from Lucille Ball.  She says, "Love yourself first and everything else falls into place."

I don't have a hard time giving up material things or bad relationships, but I do have a tough time giving up ideas!  That a person could love themselves first and not be selfish had never occurred to me.  But, a self loving person won't hurt their loved ones by destructive behaviours.  Martin Luther King had to love himself enough to stand firm for his human rights.  The Wright brothers had to love themselves enough to rise above failure and keep working on flying.  When you love yourself, you don't need to belittle or control others to make yourself feel important and, if children learn to love themselves through our example, loving yourself is the most unselfish act you can perform!

On this day of the year, when summer ends and fall begins, I accept the present as a wonderful thing!  I accept that I have everything I need, within myself, to make the future exactly what I want it to be!

This old postcard has sat on my desk for many years.  When I look at it, I see adventure!

I congratulate my sister on her new beginning as she opens her Etsy shop 2 be cherished.  Taking her passion for knitting and hand crafts into cyberspace can be a little intimidating.  We all know she is an amazing knitter and her gifts of adult and children's sweaters are highly sought after.  She, however, had to love herself enough to say this was what she wanted to do and she would take the time necessary to make it happen!

Her idea of heaven is the Mary Maxim tent sale ~ 

Here are some angels (otherwise known as my granddaughters) modelling for her shop ~

Here's to new beginnings and have yourself the most marvelously, unselfish, self loving day ever!!!

Note: owl and nest from The Graphics Fairy

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


As I'm spending more time around my home, planning projects, crafting and preserving the produce from my garden, I'm thinking a lot about the women who lived here before me.  I'm canning, pickling and freezing by choice.  I want to have organic food as a health option and as a return to a more natural way of living.  I'm enjoying the aromas that emanate from my kitchen and the comfort of rows of filled jars and a rapidly filling freezer.  For nearly 200 years some woman has done the same in this house.

Those earlier women did this as a matter of survival.  The original pioneer family would have starved without the effort and ingenuity of the woman of the house.  Laura Ingalls Wilder described the preservation of food brilliantly in her Little House on the Prairie books.  I love to reread Farmer Boy, the story of Almonzo's childhood on a New England Farm.  Nothing was wasted.  A full root cellar and groaning storage shelves ensured the family would have adequate nutrition during the winter without the benefit of lettuce, oranges and kiwi shipped from thousands of miles away.  They didn't need to embrace any new fangled concept of eating local.  There was no other option for the the Georgian Era country woman.  Everything was done, laboriously, by hand and in a fireplace!

The Victorian Era woman did have the advantage of proximity to a rail system.  Still, managing the home well was considered a virtue.  She had equipment that helped lessen the load;  hand turned washing machines, ice boxes and coal/wood cook stoves.

The Depression Era woman resurrected those skills to make ends meet when work was scarce and every penny counted.  Gas lights were in this house then and probably a gas stove.  Electricity wasn't installed here until the 1940's and running water not until the 1960's!

All of those women would have been amazed to see the equipment I have from appliances (Imagine what they would have done with a freezer!) to lighting and transportation.  They would have been equally appalled at the waste of today.  Linens and clothing were recycled into children's wear, quilts and cleaning cloths.  What couldn't be eaten by humans went to livestock and compost.  Household goods and tools were repaired, not replaced.  Handles, spouts and lids were repaired or replaced on creamers, mugs and teapots.  Cracks were mended on bowls.  Holes in tin pots and pails were plugged by travelling tinkers.  Socks were darned and tears skilfully mended on clothing and linens. Fancy work often disguised patches on coverlets and table cloths.

I like to collect pieces with obvious sighs of repair.  This beautiful Majolica bowl, made in the late 1800's, has the handles glued and then held with staples.  This stapling technique hasn't been done in over 100 years so the repair is antique as well!

I use it to display soaps in the bathroom.

This Majolica basket has the side glued and the handle stapled.

A bowl set inside holds water for the roses.

If we did not live in a world of mass produced, readily available goods, we would not have to think about land fill sites, blue boxes and green house gasses.  I won't turn down a strawberry in January and I don't want to sew my clothes by hand.  But, I can try to be more conscious of the value of everything I purchase.

After all, the women before me had it all figured out.  Kudos to the real inventors of recycling and conservation!!!

Note:  Silhouette and water ladies courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Monday, 19 September 2011

Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes

If you ever saw the film Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes you will know just how scary they can be!  Well, the movie wasn't actually scary.  A tomato is somewhat limited in the creature taking over the world category.  How that flick was released in the same year as Star Wars beats me.  I'm going to assume it was a spoof on the 1950's sci- fi movies.

Real tomatoes taking over your kitchen, however, is scary.  I have plenty of my own and my sister has brought me bags more!  I know how much I will crave the taste of vine ripened tomatoes in February when all that can be had is a tasteless, rubbery, orange thing trucked from heaven knows where and costing $2.00.

I'm, also, determined to make as much of my food from scratch as possible.  It's just common sense to avoid anything in a package or commercial can.  If I make it myself, I know exactly what is in it.

I started my counter attack with making tomato paste.  I hadn't made it before and the net is full of recipes for it.  I went with the one from a great blog, The Italian Dish.  This is a beautiful site and she makes everything from scratch with natural ingredients.

I peeled and seeded 6-7 lbs. of tomatoes (about 30).  Over ripe fruit is best for this recipe. The easiest way to peel them is to pierce the skin and drop them in a pot of boiling water. In about 30 sec. the skin will split and then I pop them in an ice water bath.  The skins will slide off easily.  I cored them and scooped out most of the seeds.  You can skip this step if you have a food mill that separates the pulp from the skin.
You could leave them plain or spice them up as follows:

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
2 bay leaves
dash of Kosher salt

Simmer in a large, stainless steel pot for 10 mins.  Remove the bay leaves and chop the rest in a food processor.  I deviated from the other  recipes by putting the chopped mixture in a fine mesh sieve and letting it drain for 30 mins.  This shortened the baking time from 4 hrs. to 2 hrs.

Lightly oil a baking sheet and spread with the puree.   Bake in a 300 F oven.  I used my convection setting, stirred it a couple of times over a 2 hr period and it was done.  If it is very runny, when you put it in and you are using a conventional oven, the baking can take 4 hrs.  The point is to dehydrate the mixture to a paste consistency.

Here's the before ~

You can keep this in a jar with a layer of olive oil on top and it will keep for up to a year in the fridge.  I'm going to freeze mine in an ice cube tray and transfer the frozen cubes to a container for 1 tbsp. servings.

Here's the fabulous after ~

The result was a flavour that is out of this world and a fitting end to the villainous Killer Tomatoes!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Please Don't Leave Me Summer!

With September half over, I'm joining my fellow Canadians in trying to squeeze every last minute of warmth and sunshine out of summer!  I start to panic if I'm indoors for any length of time.  Before long it will be coats, boots and gloves.  Errrrr!

The last two days have been a special treat of activities held out of doors!  Client shopping on Ottawa Street in Hamilton coincided with the Sew Hungry event.  Ten of the tastiest local, gourmet food trucks pulled up curbside to serve lunch to enthusiastic crowds.

I wanted to try the gourmet grilled cheese but the line up was a block long all day! ~ 

Capalansky's was a big hit! ~

Who can resist fresh baked cupcakes when they drive up to you? ~

Here's what ruined any chance of me losing weight this week!  Absolutely delicious soft ice cream made with real cream!  When you see Kool Jim's soft ice-cream at fairs and festivals, run to it! ~ 

I love this trend of mobile gourmet food.  It has become a huge hit all over North America!

Yesterday was a very special outdoor event.  My youngest granddaughter had her 1st Birthday with a pony party at her Auntie's farm!

She has no time for picture taking with Mom and Auntie.  There's a pony here!

We spied this elfin creature peeking out from the pines.  She looks a lot like another granddaughter of mine! ~

I'm off to soak up some sun with a good book and a tea on the chaise lounge.  I just may stay there until November!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thirty Years Of Sisterhood

I'm going to tell the story of tonight in pictures.  I'm too overwhelmed to try to share the Take Back The Night walk with you in words.  This is the largest turnout for the Hamilton walk to end violence against women and the thirtieth anniversary of the walk.

Hundreds of women and children joined together to make a joyous, loud and committed demand for their right to walk the streets of their city without fear of sexual assault or battery.

Mothers and daughters and friends joined in ~ 

Singer Queen Cee entertained us. She is the founder of the Be-You-Tiful Girls Club which strives to give girls of all ethnicities and economic backgrounds self esteem and empowerment skills.  The girls did a flash mob, electric slide dance routine.

The sistahs danced ~

More sistahs danced ~

And more sistahs danced ~ 

Puppets danced ~

Then we marched!  We marched down Main Street!  We marched up King Street!  We marched all over the downtown!

Our Canine friends marched ~ 

The puppets marched ~

 We marched for for blocks and blocks and we chanted and whistled and shouted.

We ended the silence ~ 

Drivers honked their horns in support.  Men stood on the sidewalks holding placards of support.  Men raised their fists, not in anger, but in solidarity.  We had hope that we will, someday, not need this walk.

Until then, I do this for my daughters, my granddaughters and all my sisters!