Anne of Green Gables at Christmas

L. M. Montgomery can’t be here to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. But, Anne of Green Gables continues to bring us kindred and Christmas spirits in this book of Christmas stories. Anne is not in every story, the book is a collection of short stories in the Christmas theme, all written by L. M. Montgomery, two of them are taken from the Anne of Green Gables series.

I have loved Anne of Green Gables since I read the first book as a little girl. Every book in the series continues the story of Anne. Starting as an orphan sent to the wrong home. Then going to school and meeting her best friend, Diana and her nemesis (at the time) Gilbert Blythe. Later Anne and Gilbert marry and have children and a home again at Green Gables. But, it is a long journey from her early days as an orphan beloved by the old brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla.

L.M. Montgomery wrote more than the Anne of Green Gables books. This Christmas collection gives a glimpse of her other characters and stories. Each of the stories can be read by children or adults but Lucy Maud did write some stories for adults, people already grown up and facing the world and life as an adult. I hope more of her grown up stories get into reprints.

One thing I always like about reading classic stories is the history taken from life at the time. Not imagined or recreated but actually lived. Life before computers and technology. When cars were new and phones were not something you carried around in your pocket. More than just technology has changed our modern life, however. Before people had so much less and had to make more of what they needed versus getting it replaced at the store. I like reading about such a different life, written by the woman who lived in those days and that age. Classic books not only give us a story but a record of history and life in the past.

Start the New Year with the whole Anne of Green Gables series.

Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa  was a blog I kept (beginning in about the year 2000 and ending in 2002) while my husband and I were going through the fiancé Visa process. I’m Canadian, he is from the US and now we are divorced and I’m back in Canada and he is still in the US. Anyway, I am keeping these old posts – just moved them to a new location. 

Some of these were originally written by my husband, Todd. He wrote his name at the end of the post. I have included them because they were part of the old blog I copied all of this from. Part of the adventure. 

Following is the checklist:

  • Petition sent.
  • Medical Appt.
  • Consulate Interview.
  • We’re married.
  • EAD
  • Advanced Parole
  • Fingerprinting

The following are from the CanAm Couples Club where Todd and I have found great advice and support for our adventure.

Note: The CanAm Couples Club was part of Yahoo Groups. I can’t find it (at least not still active) so I am not giving the link. 

This list of posts is in reverse order. Start from the bottom if you want to read them chronologically. 

The End

Fingerprinting in St Louis

Got the Parole

Got the EAD in Chicago

Chicago INS Office

Re: Needing Patience

Hello CanAm Club

EAD OS?

Seasons Greetings!

Crossed the Border

THE Interview

Re: Leaving for THE interview on Tuesday

Leaving for THE interview on Tuesday

Night Before Rant Part 2

Yet Another Moment of Panic

December 6th, 2000!

Wait for Interview

Between Checklist and Interview

Re: Medical Experience

First NOA Received

Return Receipt Returned!

We’re off and running!

SheDragon in Toronto

ADIT pics

Reading (even skimming it) has made me feel sad. I can still clearly remember all the emotions that went along with this adventure in my life. It didn’t end the way I thought it would, the way I wanted it to or expected. But, I’m still going, having adventures and finding new things to learn and do. 

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.

My Mother is an Extrovert

How do you deal with an extrovert when you are an introvert feeling drained of everything and yet still being given lists of more stuff to do as if you are a bottomless well unable to run dry?

I’m an introvert. The bus is one of my favourite things to do because you can be out of the house and lose yourself completely for an hour without having to do anything at all. No matter what the bus will go along and eventually take you back to where you started from.

No Young Person Should Feel Unloved or Unwanted Because the World Needs You

Words for Teenagers

 

I found this on Facebook and I love it! This is what I wish I could say to every young person from the age of about 10 up to the age where they understand and believe these words are about themselves. People may be 90 and still need to hear and understand these words. Teenagers may be those this was directed to because they are at a time of life where they don’t have a set purpose yet like children to look after, a house to pay for, or a job to show up for everyday. These are the burdens, challenges which scare us and yet give us a purpose and direction – something we have to do each day.

Young people can be in a middle ground which can be an oasis or no man’s land. (Look up no man’s land if you haven’t heard that phrase before). Just because you don’t have a purpose yet does not mean you are not needed and can not find yourself a unique purpose and direction each day. Choose something and do it. Choose something wisely, something which will make your world a better place, something which will make you happy and feel accomplished. Little things mean a lot so you don’t have to reach far to find something valuable to do.

The world loves you, especially you, our teenagers who have so much to give, so much life and so much greatness yet to come.

This post dedicated to Zack (my favourite teenager of them all).

If That's Life, I Guess I've Had It

I wrote this about my Dad, so long ago I had forgotten about it. Originally published to BackWash.com on May 28, 2004 and written when my Dad died.

My Dad would sometimes say, “If that’s supper, I guess I’ve had it.” This past week after his death that phrase has caught in my mind only I’ve adapted it to, “If that’s life, I guess I’ve had it.”

My Dad was 71 years old when he died. He was born in South Shields, Scotland in 1932. He had one sister who also came to Canada (the whole family did when he was in university). My Dad was an electrical engineer though he didn’t have the actual engineer stamp due to not finishing that last year of university. He could have many times over, but he chose not to bother. He chose not to bother about a lot of things.

Anyway, he married my Mother in 1964. They lived in farm houses and city apartments for awhile, back and forth until one run down farm in a town called Kincardine where my sister was born. She was the third of four kids. We moved back to the city from there cause the farm house had no running water and my brother and I were having asthma problems with the country lifestyle. Two more moves and we ended up in The Rouge. It was the town of Port Union then, later it became part of Scarborough and thus part of Toronto. When someone asks where I grew up I think of The Rouge. It was a very white middle class place. Nice though a bit sheltered.

Dad always loved jersey cows. He kept buying the Jersey Breeder magazine long after we had seen our last farm house. While I was growing up in The Rouge he was daydreaming about a jersey farm. He made lots of plans on paper and now and then we had family trips into the middle of nowhere Ontario to look at a farm he could buy. By that time Mom was pretty much prepared to veto them all. No more run down farm houses, no more him expecting her to run a farm and cows while he worked in the city and came back on weekends to supervise.

Dad liked to sing and whistle while he worked. Often the same old songs about ‘stay home and mind baby brown eyed girl, captain brown being down amongst the dead men and tally my bananas day o’. I’m not even sure what the names of the songs are. But I’ve heard them over and over all my life.

We started looking through his things, picking what to keep, what to display at the service and what to toss. There is a lot to toss. He wore his clothes till they were worn out, he was no fashion plate though he liked to think he looked good. Sometimes he did. Among his things I noticed an old program from a theatre performance of ‘Man of La Mancha” that he went to with my sister and myself a very long time ago. I was surprised to see that. Also one Father’s Day card from all the cards I had ever given him. Usually he left them sitting right where he had opened them and let Mom eventually toss them into the garbage. I put away the one card that he kept. There were also more pins and badges from the local Lions clubs that he had yet given to me to sew onto his Lions vest. Between my Mom and I we had kept them sewn on for him for the past ten or so years. He also had pictures of golf games and events with business associates and sometimes my brother or his current son-in-law too.

He had his first small heart attack while we lived in The Rouge. After that they came more frequently, over time, slowly. He ignored them. Even though his own Dad had died at age 65 from a heart attack which he ignored until he died in the hospital that same night. That just proves you can’t help people who will not help themselves.

I remember being in the hospital up here in Alliston with my Dad just a few days before they took him down to Newmarket for the quadruple by-pass operation. He wasn’t sure about having the surgery and I can see now that he was afraid. That makes me feel very sorry for him. But, I don’t see how we could have done differently at that point. It was likely already too late. Anyway, he had a very bad heart attack right before the surgery but they went ahead at that point cause he would have died anyway I guess. Either then or the next attack. Surgery seemed to at least give him a chance to survive. He did pull through for two more days and seemed to be feeling pretty ok for someone who has just had his chest opened and adjusted. But two days after the surgery he didn’t wake up. He was in ICU and stayed there. Being worked on, his body kept functioning with life support. The hospital staff seemed to think his chances were not too bad at that point. But he never got better and last Saturday, the very day they were going to pull the plug he died himself sometime before 6:00 AM.

Maybe it’s having the distance of time and now death, but I do feel less angry about him and things he did and said. In the end it doesn’t matter. It’s up to me to get on with my own life. On Monday we are having the memorial service. Mom is bugging me about what I will wear. I am not looking forward to having to make chit chat with people who think they knew him. Cause they didn’t really know him. Dad liked to make a show of his life. He was always Mr BigShot and we were holding him back, picking on him and making things difficult in general. He would tell his business associates, the local Lions club which he joined and others all about us, as he chose to see us. So, no, I’m not looking forward to two hours of hearing about what a good guy he was. But the service is for them I think. For me, I don’t care. He is dead and it’s over.

Right now beside me I have an old rolodex of his business cards which I’m sorting through for valid names to add to the guest list. If he could be there for the memorial he would be happy with the show put on for him, because of him. His due I expect he would think. For me it’s just something else I have to do. I wonder if I will think of him much after the wind down of everything. It seems as if we’ve been expecting and waiting to put on this last show since we were kids and here it finally is. Now we can do the show and put it into the past and leave it there. All the build up and the suspense will be gone. Just like Ian N. Brown himself.