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My mother is celebrating a birthday today…halfway around the world and, no doubt, in fine fashion! Mom is such a role model for all of us when it comes to having a zest for life. She is well into her seventies, and continues to approach everything she does with enviable energy. My dad’s efforts to keep up are admirable, and would have felled a lesser man long ago.

Two summers ago we drove to Cape St. Mary’s in Newfoundland for some sightseeing, and on the way back to St. John’s we stopped at a playground to let my nephews stretch their legs and get rid of some excess energy. It worked for Mom, too:

Mom on teeter totter 2006

Mom on swing 2006

Note the buff arms. Mom has been exercising since 1966, and it shows. She rarely misses a day of lifting weights and doing her workout.

Which is why it was no big surprise when I visited my daughter’s friend Rachael in Ottawa and saw that my mom (Ida) was featured on Rachael’s awesome wall of quotes:

Ida quote at Rachel's

Mom, you crack me up!

Love you.

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My sister Deanna is celebrating her birthday today. She is a very special person, and we are all much better for having her in our lives. She also just happens to be the mother of my adorable godson, Elliott, and it is no coincidence that he is a remarkably intelligent, expressive and loving little boy. (Sorry, Shane, but on this day, you get no credit for your son’s genius.)

Happy Birthday, Dee, and thank you for being you. Oh, and sorry for all those things I (supposedly) did to you when we were little. It’s always good to humour the birthday girl. Tomorrow I will revert to complete denial and vows of innocence.

Since you probably won’t receive your card on time, here are some birthday flowers (from our yard) for you:

Purple campanula glomerata 2007

Grammie's bush 2007

Elliott Johns 2007

Oops. Another gratuitous Elliott pic. Can’t help myself.

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I'm reading:


Emotionally Weird
by Kate Atkinson

The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor
by Sally Armstrong

Creative Time and Space
by Rice Freeman-Zachery

Some recent favourites:


The Book of Negroes
by Lawrence Hill

On Beauty
by Zadie Smith

Small Island
by Andrea Levy

Tales From Firozsha Baag
by Rohinton Mistry

Take The Risk
by Ben Carson

Purple Hibiscus
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Behind the Scenes At The Museum
by Kate Atkinson

Human Croquet
by Kate Atkinson

Blindness
by Jose Saramago

White Teeth
by Zadie Smith