To Jennifer O’Brien – The Deepest Sympathies

What lovely words to a mother who has lost so much. My prayers are with this family. Please read this post.



Jennifer O’Brien – I’ve never met you.  I don’t know anything about you or your family other that what I’ve seen on the news.  I’ve never had the pleasure of interacting with your gorgeous boys; never got to personally tell you how much I was thinking about you and your family; never gave you a hug and told you I was praying for you.  And yet I am deeply affected by the news today, of your family’s situation and the horror you are going though.  Jennifer – I’m a mom, too.

I bawled during your press conference when you talked to your superhero Nathan and told him to stay strong.  Actually, I bawled every time I heard about him and your parents on the news.  I know I’m far from the only one.  We are all crying with you.

I have been obsessively following your story, praying hard for a miracle. …

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Neet Stuff – Norway for a Day

The Norwegian flag flying high above the town hall in Olds, Alberta

The Norwegian flag flying high above the town hall in Olds, Alberta, Canada.  Olds proclaimed Norway for a Day on May 17, 2014.                                                                        

Last weekend I celebrated Norway Day in Olds, Alberta with Grandma.  The country of Norway celebrates its national holiday on May 17th every year.  The Norwegians refer to this holiday as “Syttende Mai” which means ‘May seventeenth’ in Norwegien.  It is Norway’s Constitution Day and this year’s celebration was extra special because Norway’s constitution is 200 years old in 2014. On May 17, 1814 Norway was declared an independent kingdom.  The Sons of Norway‘s  local lodge called Fjellsyn in Olds put on a fine Syttende Mai event to celebrate Norway’s national holiday.  Grandma was the first President of the Fjellsyn lodge over 30 years ago and I was happy to join her on this special day.   The day started out with the Norwegian flag being raised at the town hall then a fine Norwegian feast to follow at the Faculty Lounge at Olds College.  Grandma was seated at the VIP table (of course) with the Mayor of Olds.  It was a very nice way to celebrate Norway Day 2014!


Members of the Sons of Norway at the flag raising ceremony


The event program at the VIP table


Grandma’s Golden Membership certificate


Grandma cutting the cake after lunch



I had the honour of spending the day with this fine Norwegian lady who is 99 years young! She was quite the celebrity at the event!

This is an excerpt from the May 13, 2014 edition of the Olds Albertan newspaper:

Olds Proclaimed Norway for a Day May 17, 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution which was adopted on May 17, 1814  (Syttende mai) at Eidsvoll, Norway.  At the time it was considered to be one of the most radically democratic constitutions in the world, and it is today the oldest, single-document national constitution in Europe and the second oldest in the world, still in continuous use.  (It is based on the American constitution). Syttendae mai is a festive and colourful holiday in Norway.  Norwegian people parade through the streets with flags, wear traditional clothing, sing, visit, eat hot dogs and enjoy ice cream cones! Each year, members of Fjellsyn (which means mountain view) Lodge, Sons of Norway, Olds, also celebrate in a special way.  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the constitution, Olds Town Council proclaimed May 17, 2014 as Norway for a Day.  Members of the local lodge will be celebrating with a small parade at Olds Town Hall to raise the Norwegian flag followed by brunch for members and invited guests.  Local author, Noreen Olson, wrote an inter-active play about the signing of the constitution which will be presented that day. Fjellsyn Lodge has been in existence in Olds for the past 30 years and members live, in and around Olds as well as Trochu, Bowden, Innisfail, Didsbury, Carstais, Sundre, Red Deer, Three Hills, Airdrie and Calgary.  Lodge members volunteer and provide support in various ways within the Town of Olds and County of Mountain View.  Its first lodge president, Ruth Dodd, who is 99 years young, is still an active member. Sons of Norway is an international organization and lodges meet in Canada, Norway and the United States.  It began in 1895 by 18 Norwegian immigrants who realized there was a need to help others in times of distress as well as to gather for fun and fellowship.  The mission is to promote and preserve th heritage and culture of Norway and to celebrate our relationship with other Nordic countries. During the month of May, plan to drop in to the Olds Library to view a display of Norwegian items.

Photo courtesy of

Clipping from the Olds newspaper on May 13, 2014 – Photo courtesy of

Happy Birthday Grandma Dodd!

Grandma Dodd is 99 years young today. Here’s a flashback photo of Grandma with some of her kids. Looking forward to seeing Grandma and family this weekend.

Here’s a photo of Grandma and my cousin Lindsay at her wedding last year:


This is Grandma enjoying her drink of choice (rum) last summer at Lindsay’s wedding:


Dear Proctor and Gamble, Where are all the dads?

Very good point here. Where are all the fathers?

rogue cheerios

17 days until the Winter Olympics begin.

Several weeks ago, I saw murmurs about this Proctor and Gamble Sochi ’14 ad. I ignored them.  As we get closer to the lighting of the torch, however, this ad will start making the rounds:

This ad is a follow-up to an earlier P&G campaign during the London summer olympics in 2012. A brief skim of tweets using the hashtag #ThankYouMom, I see the ad is getting great reviews. People called it great advertising. They’re calling it a tearjerker.  I didn’t like that one either. I ranted about their ad over a year ago.

But I KNEW that I would just hate the ad when my husband came home last week and asked me if I’d seen it. I told him that I hadn’t and asked him if it was more of the same.

He surprised me with his review. He told me that…

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Exploding Chestnuts, Sprinkles and Other Christmas Traditions

We decided to stay at home during the holidays so we could establish some holiday traditions.  I love to cook and I was looking forward to the holidays so I could spend the time to cook and bake.  With a toddler, I think it’s important to establish some Christmas traditions.  I have great memories of spending time with family during the Christmas season and recall many fun traditions.

One of the traditions I wanted to try was to make gingerbread cookies.  I

First attempt at gingerbread cookie dough - Martha Stewart's recipe.  Needless to say it didn't turn out well hence the wine.

First attempt at gingerbread cookie dough – Martha Stewart’s recipe. Needless to say it didn’t turn out well hence the wine.

always loved gingerbread cookies and I thought it would be fun for my daughter to decorate them.  I just needed a recipie so I found one in my Martha Stewart baking cookbook.  The first batch was very crumbly mainly because I think my baking assistant was adding more flour.

The second batch of gingerbread cookies turned out much better.

My baking assistant with the second batch of gingerbread cookies.  You can't see it but there are more sprinkles on the table than on the cookies...

My baking assistant with the second batch of gingerbread cookies. You can’t see it but there are more sprinkles on the table than on the cookies…

My baking assistant was very good with decorating the cookies although she ate most of the sprinkles.  Sprinkles are a food group according to some… including V.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the Food Network and saw the Gordon Ramsey Christmas special.  He made his version of Beef Wellington.  I was inspired so I decided that his version of this traditional English fare was going to be our meal on Christmas Eve.  This is an intersting recipie because if you watch the video, Gordon talks about adding chestnuts.  However, if you Google the recipie, there is no mention of chestnuts.  To make sure that I am true to the chef, I bought chestnuts at the grocery store. We didn’t have a nut cracker so I decided to roast them in the oven so they would be easier to open.  I forgot to score them and they exploded.  Needless to say I had to clean up the mess in the oven.

Exploding chestnuts and sprinkles.  Great Christmas memories in our household.

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