I was dripping with sweat, wearing a plastic garbage bag for a skirt, with gold sparkles stuck all over my face, neck, arms and legs that were digging into my skin like thousands of tiny sharp needles, getting high from smelling all the pot in the air, taking the occasional sip of rum from a flask that was being passed around.
There were hundreds of us there, maybe thousands — all of us having joined mas bands — waiting for Caribana (as it was called then) to start (it was already more than an hour late and we were baking in the extreme (30+) heat and humidity. An annual event, Caribana is a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions and the parade — which is a highlight of the month-long festivities — is always held on the Saturday of the August long weekend.
I came across this Eckhart Tolle quote this morning and I can’t get it out of my mind: “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Never has it had more meaning than it does now. The last year and a half has made it so easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves — not necessarily to wallow in self-pity constantly, but it has been difficult and challenging and scary and our lives have been turned upside down and inside out. We’ve all had to make changes and sacrifices. We’re justified in being out of sorts, I’m not criticizing. And frankly, just between us girls (and boys), the Trump years weren’t exactly a picnic either.
I was reading a piece about Alyssa Milano in Sunday’s New York Times and came across this quote, which I love: “Each day is a blank canvas…go and make some marks.” I so agree.
In this particular instance, it’s related to Milano’s political activism. But I think the sentiment — or call to action — can be applied to anything. We no longer live in a world where it’s okay to just “be.” We do have to get involved, to participate, to do something for the greater good, to make our mark. How we choose to do it is up to us.
Given the state of politics globally, being an activist may be the first thought that pops into your mind, it’s Continue reading →
Today is the last day of Rosh Hashanah. It’s the Jewish New Year and the first of the Jewish High Holy Days. For this holiday, the meal includes apples dipped in honey, to symbolize a sweet new year. But for me, this holiday has both sweet and bittersweet memories.
My family was not particularly observant. We followed some traditions and didn’t follow others. But when it came to the holidays, we were all in. Not as much for the religious significance as for the Continue reading →
Believe it or not, it’s been several years since I’ve been behind the wheel of a car.
It all started back sometime in 2009. I was at one of those speaker events. This was a breakfast and the speaker was an author whose new book had just been published. I honestly can’t remember his name, but the book title is The Green Metropolis.
The point being made in the book is that big congested cities are more environmentally conscious and successful then more rural, less densely-populated areas — which is the opposite of what most Continue reading →
We’ve been having a heatwave in Toronto. I’m not complaining. I promised myself, during the endless deep freeze that was our winter of 2019, that I would not complain of the heat ever again, no matter how bad it is. So I’m merely stating a fact.
This past Saturday was particularly oppresssive, with not even the merest hint of a breeze. My apartment is air conditioned so I could have busied myself at home. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be out, doing something. “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself. This is a perfect day to go to a movie.
Much as I love movies, I tend not to see too many of them in summer, it’s too nice outside and we have Continue reading →
My mother once told me that when she and my father got married there were 200-plus people at their wedding, most of whom were family. Like most children, I never thought about a time when our family would stop growing and start shrinking. Children assume everyone they love will be around forever.
In actual fact, I’m lucky. Most of my family lived long and full lives. I was 15 when my great grandfather passed away, in my 20s when my great grandmother passed. One grandmother lived to 98, the other to Continue reading →
If you follow my blog or regularly read my posts on my social media you know I’m a fan of Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. She always blows me away because she consistently writes about issues that are on my mind. But just as important, if not more so, she also talks about matters that should be on my radar and should concern me — this past Sunday’s essay being a perfect case in point.
In it she talks about reactions to medication, women’s health in general and the gender gap in medicine — and then she segues to the allergic reactions we also have to people, what those reactions tell us and how we should handle them. All of it very important, so here’s a link. While you’re there, take a minute and subscribe.
I know to some degree we all suffer from information overload, but trust me when I tell you that the Continue reading →
When my mom decided she wanted to move from Montreal to Toronto, she came and stayed with me for a month, while she looked for an apartment.
The area where I lived at the time, Av & Dav as the locals call it (Avenue Road and Davenport), was and still is known for a one-block-long strip of shops selling flowers and plants and a diner, the Avenue Diner. They’re landmarks, and not just in that specific ‘hood. Cars are double and triple parked outside the flower shops on weekends, people come from all over the city. And the diner, which has always been owned by the Continue reading →
I don’t have a sweet tooth, never have had, even as a child. Apparently, as far back as when I was two or three instead of reaching for the platter of brownies, I’d be reaching for the olives and pickles. Odd, because both my parents liked sweets.
My father was discriminating. Way back when there was what would now be described as an artisanal chocolatier in Montreal — Andrée Chocolate. They had a small store on Park Avenue, in an area of the city called The Plateau. I can still see their boxes. White, with “Andrée Chocolate” written in script, in black.
They only used dark chocolate and my father loved their almond bark, chocolate-covered ginger and Continue reading →