The Torture and Temptation of the Lust for Really Good Chocolate

I’m having a small problem with chocolate… I want it! I want it often and I want it served warm and tasting like real chocolate with cream to smooth it out. I want it every day, more than once.

But, I’m trying to ignore chocolate and cheesecake and ice cream and all those soft, warm or chilled, yummy things. I lost almost 20 pounds but last month I put back two of them.

I blame chocolate, whether the chocolate truly deserves the blame or not.

I Know it will be Warm, Rich and Creamy – Everything I Lust for in Chocolate

Did you know how nice and easy it is to order chocolate to be delivered to your door? I ordered a box of chocolates from a Canadian chocolate company out on the west coast, Vancouver, British Columbia. To get to my house that chocolate had to travel across thousands of kilometres, several provinces and it made the trip a day early. I opened the box, reverently. I tried to be mindful and enjoy every moment and each nuance of chocolate. But, I had eaten three of the milk chocolate bars before I could make myself put the box away.

So, ordering chocolate is not the best way to deal with a craving for chocolate.

I’m still looking for alternative ideas. Today I noticed this Bialetti hot chocolate pot, mostly for the photo. I can taste that chocolate. I know it will be warm and rich and creamy… Everything I lust for in chocolate. I haven’t decided whether or not to order the machine. It’s a risk. What if I like it too much?!

Then I started looking at other well known (to me) chocolate companies who will send packages of chocolate to your door, via Amazon. Oh, the torture, the temptation… I can taste it and it tastes GOOD!

The best I can do is give in to the craving for chocolate but moderate it. This means letting myself have the chocolate but only once a month and then making sure the chocolate I have at that time is the best possible chocolate on the planet at that particular place and time. No supermarket chocolate bars. No packaged hot chocolate mixes. Only the best, real chocolate and I want it smooth, rich and creamy. A chocolate pudding, but not something out of a cardboard box.

I’m adding the hot chocolate maker to my list of things to buy, along with a bathroom scale. Next month there will be chocolate! Better chocolate.

I’m the “Oh Canada” Contributor on Squidoo

This was originally posted to the Squidoo network when I was accepted as the “Oh Canada” Contributor.

ohcanadaWhy become the Squidoo Contributor for “Oh Canada”?

First, I am Canadian. Born in down town Toronto, grew up in and around Ontario but mainly in the town of Port Union (which became Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto). I have travelled across Canada on the Via train, Greyhound bus, and by camper van, staying in youth hostels and the odd fancy hotel when the budget stretched enough. I’ve been from the ocean in Vancouver out to the ocean on PEI (Prince Edward Island). I have yet to be north enough to see the Canadian tundra – but I have been to Timmons and Thunder Bay at least twice.

Secondly, I really love to find out about Canadian art, history, culture, people, places, traditions…. all of it. When I see the word Canada on something it pops out at me and I will read whatever it is about. Even something I would otherwise not have an interest in or not even like all that much. I absorb Canadiana, greedily. That doesn’t mean I immerse myself in everything, there is only so much of me I can give, but I like to know the good, bad, and the ugly so I can create a whole picture of what Canada is and who we, as a people in the world, are.

I think it is a shame for people to say they are Canadian if they have not done some travelling to see Canada and meet more of the people than they find in the area they begin in. Canadiansare told we don’t have a real identity so we often defend ourselves with what culture, art and history is uniquely our own. That is a shame too because it just shows how well we know Canada is the country which people think of as nice but don’t really know who we are.

So, that is why I have taken on the challenge, the project, of being the Contributor for “Oh Canada”. I want to teach the world (at least those who stop by here) about Canada and Canadians.

I Really do Love the Canadian Flag

February 15th is National Flag of Canada Day

What is the Canadian National Anthem?

Listen to us sing it!

(The original post had videos here).

The Canadian anthem is “O Canada”. Here are people singing it, making their own versions. One of these is a video without singing, but I remember watching this as a kid.

My Background (like an About Me).

I am a proud Canadian and I do like to write about, research, and teach the world about Canada and Canadians.

I photograph abandoned, derelict farm houses. I like the history, the feeling of something surviving in spite of time and neglect. I like the way old buildings give us so many links to both our past and our culture. Travelling around Ontario (day trips and some over nights) I take a lot of backroads, get coffee in local restaurants and I keep in touch with other explorers across Canada through the groups I founded and moderate on Flickr.

I especially like Canadian music, literature and movies/ TV shows. Here we get so much media from the US it can be overwhelming. I make a point to support our own Canadian media by watching and listening to CBC, the oldest Canadian broadcaster and the most Canadian focused of them all. If you want to know about Canadian music, writers and others you can count on the CBC to have current news and old facts in their archives too.

I studied Canadian Literature as a course in high school and college. I do read a lot of everything, not just Canadian, but I am aware of Canadian writers and did belong to an online group (until it folded). I had thought to start up another group but that does take a huge amount of time and energy so it on a project on the backburner. Meanwhile I continue to write my site for writers and it does have some focus on Canadian resources (just because that is what I find most useful for myself, as a Canadian freelance writer).

As the Oh Canada Contributor at Squidoo I would be happy to bring some niches of Canadian culture, history and art to light.

Canada Day in 2017 Will be Canada’s 150th Birthday

1867 – 2017

Canadian Heritage
The Canadian heritage site from the Government of Canada.
Canada 150
In 2017 Canada will have it’s 150th birthday.
Flickr: Canada Day
Canada Day photographs on Flickr.
Imagi Nation 150
Canada’s Sesquicentennial from Calgary, Alberta.
Explore 150
Explore150 is a uniquely Canadian project that brings together mobile technology and youth engagement inviting young people to discover, celebrate and share the beauty and inspiration offered by natural, cultural and historical sites across Canada.
The CBC Digital Archives
CBC is the Canadian media and broadcaster. There is more than one, but CBC is across Canada and (as far as I know) has the most history.
The Canadian Encyclopedia
Today in Canadian history.
These were the comments with the original post on Squidoo. Also the poll.

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What Brain Quadrant Are You?


You Are the Upper Left Quadrant

You are logical and analytical. You truly enjoy learning how things work, and you want to know every detail.

Complexity doesn’t put you off; it thrills you. You like to delve deep into a subject, even if it takes years to master.

You are very realistic. You are neither unduly optimistic nor unduly pessimistic – you see risk clearly.

Some may think that you are too critical, but you are good at anticipating (and solving) problems before they become serious.

What Planet are you From?

Haven’t you secretly always wondered?


You Are From Jupiter

You are exuberantly curious – and you love to explore anything new.Enthusiastic and optimistic, you get a kick out of stimulating, intellectual discussions.Foreign cultures and languages fascinate you. You love the outdoors, animals, and freedom.

You tend to exaggerate, but no one really believes your tall tales. Hold back on stretching the truth.

If you do, you’ll continue to be known for your confidence, generosity, and sense of justice.

No Canada for Häagen Dazs

Canada is not a small place. We may not have the world’s highest population but, I can assure you, we are here. Why then, do so many businesses, companies, corporations and etc. skip Canada? I can see Australia, Mexico, and assorted other countries in Europe, South America and Africa and so on. Not Canada.

This especially bugs me when it is a US business selling to Canadians. Or, any business which sells to Canadians and includes many other countries but just didn’t get around to adding Canada. As if we are some tiny, little place, hardly a dot on the map at all.

Is it because we are polite? Often polite, nice people finish last because no one bothers to actually count them. The polite people could actually win the entire race but go unnoticed until someone louder claims to be there first.

Today it’s Häagen Dazs. I bought the ice cream at the grocery store today. Thought I would look for the site and send a note about my favourite ice cream flavour. Well, I would have done that but, it seems Canada does not exist on any of their sites. It does say pick your country, right there at the top. My country just isn’t there. Not even on the US site (but Mexico is). I’m glad enough to see Mexico and other countries get noticed and included. However, Canada is bigger than they are. Maybe no one has noticed.

One funny thing I noticed… on the US site where you can search for locations from over 900 shops in more than 50 countries… you can only search using US postal codes. How does that work for you?

notincanada nocanada

The Polka Dot Door

the polka dot doorDo you remember The Polka Dot Door?

The Polka Dot Door was a children’s television show which began in the 1970′s in Ontario, Canada. TV Ontario broadcast the program 1971 to 1993.

Songs and stories and so much more at the Polka Dot Door!

Every show had a man and a woman as hosts and Polkaroo, a life sized polka dotted kangaroo, would appear for a few minutes on almost every show. They played in a play house which had a polka dot door, of course. Educational videos would be shown through one of the polka dots on the door.

The house also included a large indoor space where the hosts would have tea parties and birthdays and everything else. Outdoors I remember the playground with a sandbox and swing set.

I liked the toys: Marigold (a doll), Bear, (a stuffed teddy bear) and Humpty and Dumpty (two stuffed characters with round egg-like bodies) as if they were real but could only talk to the hosts. Often the host would pause, say “What was that Marigold?”, or “Bear says he…” and so on. Usually they would pick up the toy as they carried on a short conversation between the toy, themselves and the children watching the show.

Each show had a theme which would fit into the day of the week:

  • Monday was Treasure Day
  • Tuesday was Dress-Up Day
  • Wednesday was Animal Day
  • Thursday was Imagination Day
  • Friday was Finding-Out Day

Tanya Petrova, a Canadian soft sculpture artist, created Polkaroo.

Later Polka Dot Shorts began as a spin off from the original show. This show featured the toys as life sized soft sculptures having educational adventures.

Marigold the doll

Marigold was my favourite. I tried to find a sewing pattern to make the Marigold doll but did not find anything.  I did find this photo which shows more of her design so I could make a pattern myself.