Happiness Is…


We trekked up to Parliament Hill last night to take in this year’s Sound and Light show.

Was I ever glad we did.

What an outrageously awe-inspiring feast of creativity, culture, history and high tech wizardry.

If you are in Ottawa this summer, go.

It’s free. It’s on every night ’til September 12. And it’ll make your spirit soar.

We’ll be there as often as my chemo’d foot will take me.

Cottage Dreams, Cottage Reality

Growing up, vacations typically meant travelling to discover branches of the family tree. In adulthood, most of the vacations I took involved running from one tourist site to another with stops at cafés and bistros for something good to eat. Actually, the cafés and bistros only came about in my thirties. Before that it was fast food.

So, summers have always been packed and rushed with me arriving at September feeling as though I never caught my breath.

Enter summer 2010.

Andrea’s journey to survival has been therapeutic for our family. A big part of that has been making time for us. Evenings are about being together. Vacations are about connecting and relaxing.

Last week had us immersed in our second amazing spa-like vacation (the first was at the end of June, read Good Times, Noodle Salad). We spent the week at a cottage on Beaver Lake, just outside Kearney, Ontario. The cottage was made available to us through Cottage Dreams.

Cottage Dreams connects people who have been through cancer treatment with cottages that are vacant for one week periods. It’s simple. It’s genius. It’s mighty invigorating for the recipients and mighty rewarding for the cottage owners.

Besides being an amazing advocate for people who need the decompression time, Cottage Dreams is one of the few organizations I know of that you can call and always get a real person answering the phone — a real person who is passionate about helping people. And, their screening process is thorough to ensure Cottage Dreams finds amazing cottage owners who believe in being a part of this process, and guests who can be trusted to take good care of the cottage.

Our cottage hosts were committed to ensuring we had the best vacation, and they succeeded.

For six glorious days we enjoyed a view of the tops of trees leading down to Beaver Lake, went swimming, kayaking, read, played Euchre, picked (and ate) berries, listened to music, ate and slept — lots. We also hung out with Hummingbirds, Blue Jays, Loons, Merganser Ducks and one type of duck we weren’t able to identify but that can run very fast on water! Being the geek I am, I audio recorded a lot of sounds and will release them as part of my summer soundtrack later this month. At the end of the week, we managed to clean the cottage without any disputes (unlike being at home).

This summer is the best summer of my life — and there’s still a few weeks to experience.

Thank you

Last month, I invited you to join me in my effort to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by sponsoring me here.

In the 3 weeks since, you’ve raised over $3000!

Huge, huge thank yous to:

Bob Ledrew
Tanya Snook
Robert McCarty
Richard Christie
Chris Brogan
Tom Tentoglou
Mary Lee Hahn
The Gupta/Gustyn Family
Andrew Quayle
Glen McGregor
Carla Howatt
Anne Wiltshire
Jan Annino
Zetta Elliot
Mitch Joel
Sue Murphy
Carolyn Dittburner
Linda Corsini
Corinne Demas
Kaveh Adel
Heather Jopling
Barbara Reid-Crysler
Geoffrey Butler
Bert and Rhoda Blevis
Armeda Vanderwoude
Wilf and Barb Clavette
Clare Rogers
Denise Doyen
Garry and Kathi Tysick
Stephanie Calmenson and Mark Goldman
Carol Heyer
Diane Greenseid
Cathy Arneson
Nancy Pevey
Lane Smith and Molly Leach
William Flanagan
Orit Fruchtman
Diane DeGroat
Sally Ito
Hugh Brewster
Paul Zelinsky
Tania Carriere & Gerry Gaetz
Marla Frazee
The Sinanan Family
Carol Grannick
Coreen Corcoran
Rich Cantrell
Patricia Kahn
Sriram Venkatarman
Stacey MacNevin
Ebony Haywood
Joan Buzick
Tanglewood Books
Mary Antolovich
Jay Schmidt
Daniele Rossi
The Bonsall/Small Family
Joanne Lennon
Greg & Andree O’Donnell
Betti Stiff
Cher & Mo Willems
The Giassa/Whammond Family
Whitney and John Hoffman

You rock!!

What generosity will the remaining 56 days of sponsorship bring?