Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Proud to be Canadian

In August 2007, 174 kilometers of the Highway 401, the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway, between CFB Trenton and Toronto was officially renamed the Highway of Heroes in remembrance of Canada's fallen soldiers. Since 2002, 134 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died during the Afghanistan mission.

On Wednesday, December 23, 2009, Lt. Andrew Nuttall, 30, of Prince Rupert, B.C., was killed in southern Afghanistan. He belonged to the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton. His body arrived at CFB Trenton on Monday, December 28, 2009 and began the journey to Toronto for the repatriation ceremony.

My husband and I had the unexpected honour of preceding the procession while we were on our way back from holiday festivities in Ottawa. Words cannot adequately express the profundity of this experience. We had seen videos and news reports over the (too) many years of the Afghanistan war but were not prepared for the flood of emotions evoked by this sobering trip.

Every one of the entrances, exits and overpasses was filled with fellow Canadians waiting in the extreme cold to honour one of our heroes and to support his family during their mourning. There were flags, banners, salutes and flashing lights everywhere. The lumps in our throat barely allowed speech. We were choking on a mixture of sadness and pride. The poignant outpouring of love was incredible.

I'm so proud to be Canadian.

I also salute and honor the thousands more who have returned as the walking wounded. Some are physically maimed but many more are emotionally scarred from their tours of duty; wracked with survivor guilt or unable to banish the horrific memories and trauma they have endured.

They are also our heroes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Forever Marked: A Dermatillomania Diary

My niece wrote this book. It's a heartbreaking 2006 diary of Angela's struggles with a disorder causing permanent mutilation.

Her purpose for sharing was to reach out to others suffering in silence because very little is known about Dermatillomania besides that it falls under the impulse control disorder umbrella. Unfortunately, those who practice this usually cannot find the proper help, if they seek it at all; their shame isolates them.

If you are interested in reading it, you can contact Angela through her book's Facebook page or email her at

Updated: March 9, 2013
20th Annual National Conference on Hair Pulling & Skin Picking Disorders - April 19-21, 2013 | Renaissance Newark Hotel, New Jersey

November 25, 2012
Niece officially launches Dermatillomania website

Updated: February 3, 2011
Scars of Shame

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pure, simple art

I received this truly delightful holiday card from from a friend of mine's daughter. The cards were made for raising funds for her primary school. This is her creation.

Children's art is so pure and affect free. Their offerings come straight from their imaginations with no filtering.

I love this card and intend to frame it and put it on permanent display in my dining room, where we can enjoy it at every meal.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A message from Santa

A friend of mine sent me this link today of a personalized video greeting to her little girl.

This Portable North Pole message from Santa is brilliant!

It does give me pause to wonder just exactly what Santa's secret ingredient is for enabling those reindeer to fly??!!

Just press on the button 'refer a friend' or use this link to personalize your own, free greeting to send to the special people in your life.