uppies are cute, energetic, entertaining, troublesome, and EXPENSIVE! 

“Expensive?” you say. “We got our puppy for free from a friend.”

Whether pup was free or $5,000, pups cost hard earned cash! And, they keep on costing!


(Song to a film clip from Lady and the Tramp)

$3,724 is what Canadian pet owners paid on average for doggy care in 2021. Highest expenses included food, pet insurance, and dental care. Source  Dog owners can easily expect to pay $1,500 to $9,900 per year.

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THE ART OF AGING – Part XIII: Too Much Too Little Too Late

Do you ever have one of those moments when you’re asking why Life has delivered TOO MUCH TOO LITTLE TOO LATE? Check out a terrific rendition of this song by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. Key lines from the song can leave us older adults wondering—

Guess it’s over, the kids are gone

The chips are down

What’s the use of tryin’ to hang on?

Nearly all our bridges tumbled down…

Somewhere we lost the key…

Too much, too little, too late to ever try again!

Lyrics written By Nat Kipner & John Vallins

Considering that too much too little too late happens to most of us at one time or another, then next to explore is to ask what it is that we are hanging on to that leaves us questioning Life in the first place. Are we hanging on to what we think or believe is our life’s purpose? To our relationships? Spiritual teachings? Hobbies? Possessions? The community we feel a part of? Life itself? Have we had too much or too little of any of these, and did they come too late?

Hanging on takes energy. As we age, we become protective of waning energy. Simply put, there are days when we’re just TOO TIRED…

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THE ART OF AGING – Part XII: Power—Want it?

Power . . . the one thing that everyone wants and spends a lifetime seeking!

Power creates and destroys. Power fuses and dismembers. Power is a universal dream and a universal regret.

Dictionaries summarize power to be: The ability to do or act; a particular faculty of body or mind; government, influence, or authority; mechanical force; nature.

As far as humans go, we’re drawn to various types of power, such as —

1. Authority

Battled, balked at, and sought after, authority is an expression of power exercised by politicians and waitrons alike.

One of five gold crowns from the Silla Kingdom 1st Century BCE 7th Century CE

2. Money

Money may be the proverbial root of all evil, but it’s a heavy-duty magnet to those who believe it is fundamental to feeling and being powerful. Did you buy your lottery ticket for this week’s draw?

3. The Helper

Medical personal, life coaches, missionaries, teachers and the like can feel powerful as they come to the aid of others, perhaps expressing altruistic power. Amazing is the self-sacrificing power of those who nurture their offspring, especially young parents whose boldness in daily situations is but a brief reflection of how they hold the future of a young life in their hands.

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No Passport For Étienne




The wooden docks at the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, are saturated with the tears and footprints of children forced to flee their homeland during World War II. Their trip to our fair country is an arduous one, tots and teens enduring unthinkable conditions in the bellies of ships bouncing through turbulent Atlantic waters. Some of these wee ones have their mommies. Most do not.

Sadly, many émigrés never do make it to safe shores. On Friday, September 13, the SS City of Benares, one of 20 ships in Convoy OB-212, leaves Liverpool, England, for Quebec. On board are 191 passengers, 90 of which are children, along with 216 officers and crew.

Before ever reaching the protection of western shores, the SS City of Benares, flagship of the convoy, is fired upon by a German U-Boat, sinking the vessel. Any that do survive are left to face the bitter tortures of a cold and stormy Atlantic Ocean.

RMS Acquitania docked at
Port Halifax, Nova Scotia

More often than not, Halifax was the first stop for ships carrying precious mortals. Passengers would arrive at Pier 21, then have to find their way to their final destinations, wherever that might be across Canada’s immense landscape. One such passenger traveling by himself was a seven year old boy named Étienne, and this is his story.

Inspired by true events, No Passport for Étienne is the fictional account of a child from German occupied France who, in 1941, got on a ship to Canada, leaving behind his mère and père, never to see them again. It’s also Étienne’s exposé of the successes, struggles, and betrayal of his life in Canada since that fateful day.



m so, so hungry. That woman holding a baby. . . will she give me food?

Or, maybe the lady with the big hat beside her will feed me. The lady is not happy. Her boy is crying and stamping his feet. I wonder what is wrong with him. Maybe he does not like his mama’s hat.

The woman. . . she looks at me, and now at her baby. I be good, very good, like ma mère says I ought. I smile. I don’t stare or point, like ma mère says I ought not. Mother Mary will help me, or my angel. I pray, like ma mère does.

I wish ma mère were here. Why did she push me onto this stinky boat? Why did she not come with me? Will she be waiting for me when the boat stops bumping up and down? Why is it jumping so much? And, why does it smell so awful? Where is it going? Where will I sleep?

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It’s amazing how one day someone walks into your life, and you cannot remember how you ever lived without them. — Unknown

Unexpected Song

(Song and Dance)

Marriage, an institution surviving centuries in numerous cultures, is under scrutiny in Canada. The face of marriage, generally defined as the legal and consensually binding contract of spouses, has changed dramatically in my lifetime.

One reason for this dramatic change is the view that marriage is a social construct existing in all societies in one form or another. Cultural norms and expectations determine the definition of marriage and who can marry. Source As social constructs change, so also does the face of marriage.

Canadian law states who can and who cannot enter into the contract of marriage. Learn more Canada’s law is being forced to update because of changing social constructs, many of which are in themselves being challenged in this multifaceted, multiethnic nation.

A 17th Century Wedding Procession In MoscowAndrei Petrovich Ryabush

Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.

Mae West

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