What the world needs now …

Do you remember that Burt Bacharach classic, What the World Needs Now is heartLove?” And, by the way, if you do, Dionne Warwick wasn’t the first to sing it, even though that’s probably who you associate with it.

It was offered to her, she turned it down and it was recorded by Jackie DeShannon on March 23, 1965 in New York.

What you probably don’t know is that, in addition to Jackie DeShannon and Dionne Warwick, the Supremes also recorded it — along Continue reading

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Waiting

It was Christmas time. My mother was in Toronto, visiting me. She was onlytime here a day or two when the call came. My grandmother had pneumonia, bacterial, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

My mother and I left for Montreal immediately, going directly to the nursing home when we arrived.

And there we stayed, all of us, me, my mother and both my aunts sitting there, in her room. Listening. A ragged breath, a beep from the monitor, a ragged breath, a beep Continue reading

Pick your battles

As you know if you read my blog I’m writing a book. It’s about my motherbattle and, to a lesser degree, me. I loved her and we were always close. But what’s fascinating is, in dredging up these old memories, I’m noticing aspects of her personality, her character, her being I wasn’t really aware of before.

Maybe I’d seen it, known it all along, but it never registered with me, most likely because I Continue reading

Whatever happened to love at first sight?

I love reading the Sunday New York Times.  I look forward to it all week.  Sometimes it takes me the better part of the week to tiffany'sget through it all, but I read it from cover to cover.  Every section.  Well that’s not entirely true.  I don’t read the sports section. Occasionally I skim it, but I don’t even do that all the time.

What I never miss, though, are the wedding announcements.  Why, God only knows.  I don’t know any of the brides and grooms.  So why should I give a toss that they’re getting married, where they’re getting married, who their parents are or what any of
them do for a living.

But I do, it seems.

Does this mean I’m a real nosy parker?  A hopeless romantic?  Someone who needs a

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The end of an era …

About three weeks ago, I wrote about my aunt, Leatrice, the last of my mother’s sisters. In my heart I knew, that day, she was not doing very well. I spoke with her every week and when I got off the phone after we talked for what turned out to be the last time, I was really concerned about her. What I didn’t know, BloomSisterswas just how rapidly she would decline. Unfortunately she passed away eight days ago.

She’s the one in the middle in the photograph. My mother is on the left and her twin sister, on the right. The twins were seven years older than my aunt. She looks about six or seven, I’m guessing — the smocked dress is a give-away, don’t you think? So they would have been thirteen or fourteen. Teenagers, although to me, they look older — more sophisticated. It’s probably the lipstick that was added to the photograph later. And the rouge, as it was called in those days.

I love this photo. The first time I saw it was at my cousin’s house, after my aunt’s funeral. Obviously in those days there were no colour photographs, so this was tinted. The three of them look like they’re in a

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Happy now?

Do you ever watch Super Soul Sunday? It’s one of Oprah’s and can be found on the OWN Network. On Sunday’s obviously. Here, in Toronto, where I live, it happiness2airs at 11 a.m. I have no idea what time it’s on anywhere else.

All I can say is, one of my favourite things to do on Sunday mornings used to be reading The New York Times and meeting friends for brunch. Since I ‘discovered’ this show about a year ago (although it’s been on for about 3 years, I believe), everything waits until after it’s over at noon.

Each week Oprah sits down with another “top thinker, author, visionary or spiritual leader and they talk

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Day 239. The Battle

It’s okay. You can put the history books away. This isn’t going to be a post about Custer’s Last Stand, otherwise known as the Battle of 1876. No, this is a story of differencesmen and women. A story that hasn’t changed in generations. A story I’m not sure will ever change.

I overheard a conversation yesterday. That’s what sent me down this road. But before you accuse me of being nosy, let me just say, I couldn’t help it. The two girls in question were sitting right next to me. And they were not speaking in hushed tones. The only way to avoid listening was to leave. And why should I have left? They chose to talk about a personal matter in a public place. In loud voices.

What more could a writer ask for?

Anyway, I figure they were both in their early twenties. What do you think they were talking about? I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the economy, or the new Pope. Boys. They were talking about boys. One was being neurotic, as only a female can be.

She’d recently met a new guy. She liked him. They went out twice. She hadn’t heard from him in four days. He said he’d call and he hadn’t. Now before you pass judgement and accuse him of being a dick, he had told her he

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Day 217. Truly Thankful

My posts have been kind of philosophical lately. It wasn’t my intention. At least not consciously. But it is the way they’ve turned out. I speak from my heart, so gratitude2obviously, it’s how I’m feeling. And clearly, it’s something I want to share. Or need to share.

It’s like I’m taking a moment, to take stock. Of who and what I am. Maybe even checking in, if you will, to see if I should be recalibrating. Or even if I just want to. It’s something I do, from time to time. Most of the time I’m not even aware I’m doing it, until the obvious jumps out at me. Or I have a big AHA moment, or something.

Today, what’s struck me is how much I have to be grateful for. This could be top of mind right now because of a movie I saw Saturday afternoon. A documentary about a musician, with enormous talent, who was never recognized in America. But unbeknownst to him, he was a mega hit in South Africa. Imagine never knowing such a thing. Imagine never receiving a dime of the royalties he was entitled to.

I don’t want to give it all away because I am going to blog about this film. So suffice to say, it could certainly

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Day 192. Love Story

Stop.  No gagging.  Despite what you may think, this post has NOTHING to do with the movie, of the same name.  And this is the one and only time I will mention romanceRyan O’Neal.  I PROMISE.  It’s Valentines Day.  Which I don’t particularly want to discuss.  So what’s left?  If I’m not going to talk about V-Day, I HAVE to talk about love.  Don’t I?

It’s not that I’m anti romance.  It’s just that really, Valentines Day isn’t about romance.  In fact most men’s credit cards probably get more action than they do.  Because Valentines Day is about spending money.  Buying cards.  Buying flowers.  Buying chocolate.  Buying perfume.  Buying lingerie.  Buying jewelry.  Buying champagne.

So nobody loves Valentines Day more than shop keepers, banks and credit card issuers.  It wouldn’t surprise me to hear they love cupid more than they love their spouses.

There’s more to my lack of enchantment with Valentines Day, though.  For a start, who wants hearts and flowers just one day a year?  Do you really thinks a bunch of posies or a box of bonbons or even a little, blue box from Tiffany’s on February 14, gets you off the hook for the rest of the year?  I don’t think so.

I can’t speak for the menfolk, but I do know what women want.  And it’s NOT a guy who waits all year, for Hallmark to Continue reading

Day 143. Love, Actually

Nope.  Don’t go jumping to any conclusions.  This has nothing to do with either Hugh Grant or the movie (in which he appeared) of the same name.  We’re just daysyearning away from a brand new year, and I’ve been reflecting, that’s all.

Thinking about 2012, and how it’s been.  Not the ‘world’ view.  How it’s been for me.  What I accomplished.  What remains undone.  People I’ve met.  Friends I’ve lost.  Frustrations.  Disappointments.  Victories.  Where to go from ‘here’.

That took me to ‘blessings’ I should be counting.  Not that much of a stretch, really.  Which, in turn, led me to ‘favourites’.  Favourite moments, favourite experiences, favourite lessons learned.  Favourite ‘things’.  Songs, films, food, shoes, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Again, not a stretch.

Next thing I knew I was back at Ogilvy, remembering two of my favourite television commercials.  One was for American Express, the other for Jaguar.  Wrong, Continue reading