The Daily EO: February 6th, 2016

I received a response from a very old friend to our Christmas letter email just yesterday. Jason is not very old I suppose, and I suspect I’m not very old either at 41, (though feeling it right about now), but he is a 20 year friend.  That’s 1/2 my life – and unless I end this friendship officially because of some “event”, it’s just going to be more and more of a percentage of my life.   So “very old” seems appropriate.

One of the things that Jason updated me on is that his Dad died just before Christmas.  Jason shared with me that although their relationship had been tumultuous, over the last number of years they had repaired it and he greatly missed his dad now.

I used to live with Jason for a while and so I knew first hand that his relationship with his dad was somewhat strained, and I am glad they had been able to put aside past problems to become close again.

Jason really liked rice krispie squares, and 20 years ago, Mars Bars Rice Krispie Squares were all the thing.   People! – this was before pinterest, food blogging, and food porn being recognized as real thing that was acceptable in polite company.

(An aside here – can anyone else not say pinterest correctly?  My brother just spent 1/2 hour making fun of my inability to say this right.  I say “Pin-interest” because my brain just does not seem to think there is a word that rhymes with interest and starts with a P.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.)

Back on point . . . Jason wanted to share the joy of a Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square with me – and so therefore he WROTE down the RECIPE and GAVE it to me.   Yes, he used a PEN and a SCRAP PIECE OF PAPER and everything.

Through the years, I kept the recipe and many others that were near and dear to me – especially the ones hand written, particularly good and with stains on them.  I had actually organized my recipe collection during my last bout of unemployment – so they were all in good condition and easily located.

Many times, I looked at this passé recipe (one that was not shaped into cute caterpillars to try to one-up the mommy next door or made “healthy” with puffed quinoa) and considered throwing it out.  But it was nostalgic for me – hand-written and a throw back to another time and place.  One in which a bunch of university students procrastinated studying to either clean their houses (“I can’t possibly study in this mess.”), call home (“I don’t want to disappoint mom.”), or cook something (“I have to eat to be able to concentrate.”)  It reminded me of my relationship with a good and kind man that I only have fond thoughts of now.  And it was a small piece of paper that took up little space despite my multiple moves.  And who knows – perhaps it would be the perfect potluck item one day – everything comes back they say.

And so it stayed through 21 moves with me.  So, I have it so I can pass it back to my friend.

February 6, 2016 Extra-ordinary:  On the back of the Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square recipe was a letter that started with “Dear Jason” and ended with:


And for those of you who want this recipe (complete with margarine and microwaves and PAM cooking spray, here it is – I will not vouch for it – afterall, I kept the recipe, I didn’t say I’ve ever made it).



The Daily EO: March 15th, 2014

Grandpa Les  1914 – 2014


My beloved grandpa Les has died.  I’m sad and the normal contentment in my life is darkened.  It’s hard to believe that he isn’t here to provide the foundation to our family.  His life overflowed with laughter and love but he knew loss and grief too.


Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm at First Memorial, Boal Chapel, 1505 Lillooet Rd. North Vancouver, BC.  Donations may be made in memory of Les to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, himself a contributor for over 25 years.  You are welcome.

Extra-Ordinary March 15, 2014:  Grandpa’s unconditional love permeates our family.  His gift of knowing what love is passed from him and his wife to my mom and uncle.  From my mom to my Dad.  From my mom to me.

From me to my husband.

Grandpa’s love comes full circle.

photo 2

The Daily EO: April 17th, 2012

It’s mid April already.  May is coming.

I don’t like May.  Although relatively superstition free, a part of me believes that if something bad is going to happen to me, it is going to happen in May.  I’m quicker to tell Emile to drive carefully, less likely to engage in risky behavior (um, well. . . not that I normally do, but the likelihood of it goes down even further), and generally try to keep my head down until month end.  You see, my dad died in May and my mom fractured her skull – almost dying – in May.  And along the way, other bad – but less defining for me – things have happened in May.

When I lived in Midland and driving to Port Carling for work, there was memorial to a young man on the side of Highway 10.  I don’t know the story, only that there was a graduation picture of him and the name “Benny” written on the 10 inch cross.  I assumed he died in a car accident on that spot.  There was a large collection of things – weather worn, but changed seasonality.  At Christmas, a wreath showed up, in the summer flowers came.  A laminated poster board with pictures wilted in the rain.  There even was a little bridge built to enable people to walk across the ditch.

Occasionally, I’d see his mother (presumably) maintaining the area.  Every time I saw her, I wanted to pull over and talk to her.  But frankly, I didn’t have the guts to.  I didn’t think she’d want to hear what I had to say – or whether I would have the words to say it.   Because I wanted to tell her that her son didn’t live here on the side of the road, this is where it ended.  Create a memorial where he lived, a scholarship, a new facility, something that others could remember how he lived.  Not where and how he died.  If you need to know he will not be forgotten, then work towards that in the way you think Benny might have.

And as I thought of the impending start of May this year, I realized to a certain extent I do the same thing.  I worry about May, relive all those bad things that happened to me, worry about what will happen next and on focus on the worst parts.  I know I always will think of my Dad on the day of his death and I don’t want that to change.  From all the stories and memories of my Dad, he was interested, engaged, social, and appreciative.  Why do I not celebrate that?  My mom believes that people are the most important thing in life.  Why not remember that in May?

It is time to Take Back May and with a 30 day challenge and try to associate it with some positive memories.

I have some ideas on what this challenge will be, but I would love to hear your suggestions on what I could do!

April 17th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Realizing that the lessons I have to teach, I need to learn myself first.