Movember & Sons ~ Changing the Face of Mens Health! Repost ;{

Movember is here and if you don’t have at least a 5 o’clock shadow you better get on it! On your mark, get set, grow! Get ready Ladies, we are going to start seeing a plethora of handsome moustache adorning men walking the streets! What can I say I love a good porn moustache especially when it’s worn for such a great cause.

I LOVE Movember because it shows that our men care about being here. This year Movember has added another very important element to their campaign against Prostate Cancer, Mental Health!

I somehow got bamboozled into wearing a moustache for a day through a Facebook comment…Drew ~ “Do you wear the ‘stash’ in public, lol” Me ~ “I could if you send in a written request.” Drew ~ ” I Drew formally request that One, Tracy Westerholm wear a Cheesy Moustache while out in public…” We agreed on 1 day for a $100.00 donation to Movember via my friend Steve McLay. I would have done it for 20 bucks! I am to take pictures throughout the day in public places so stay tuned because of course I will be sharing them at a later date. If YOU want to buck up and put in a suggestion of where I have to take a pic, I will for a donation!

Get involved and Register or Donate!

“Over the past two years, Movember has paid homage to the Modern Gentleman and Country Gentleman, exploring his appreciation and penchant for luxury items, etiquette, craftsmanship, pride and honour.

In 2012, we are getting down to the raw hard truths of the past two years and taking a look, quite simply, at what it means to be a better man. 2012 is the year of Movember & Sons.

Knowledge shared from one generation to the next and wisdom passed down by one’s dad or father figure, plays a meaningful role in shaping who we become. This learning continues throughout life, but also reaches a point at which the exchange is reversed and insight is passed back up the chain.

The collective knowledge of generations gives us great power to avoid mistakes of the past, plan thoughtfully for the future and to become the best version of one’s self.

This Movember, we will encourage all men to seek and share knowledge and wisdom with loved ones, to learn their family health history and predispositions and to understand the risks they face. These simple actions can have a significant impact of the quality and longevity of your journey through this life.

Last year, Movember had its most successful year to date with over 850,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas across the globe raising a phenomenal $CAD 125.7 million for prostate cancer. The hairy movement will continue to grow in 2012, as 21 countries across five continents unite to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. Knowledge is power; the time to learn and grow is now. Prepare yourself my son.”

How one moustache has changed the face of Mens Health!


Svaha Spirit Series ~ Glaucus Atlanticus

If you have kids, a boy specifically you know what a Pokémon is. I came across this picture and thought it was art. Fascinating don’t you think! Who knew a small sized blue sea slug could be so interesting looking. They can be found throughout the worlds oceans in temperate and tropical water specifically the East and South Coast of South Africa, European water and the East Coast of Australia…oh and in Pokémon comic books!

Isn’t life fascinating! Who knew a slug could be so stunning!


High School Years in Australia

Last week I wrote about being in elementary school in a suburb of Sydney, Australia.  The time I spent in Australia was short, only 4 ½ years, but those years had a profound effect on who I am today.

High school begins in grade seven in Australia.  I was very fortunate to be chosen to go to St. George Girls High School.  It was, and still is, a selective high school which means students write a particular exam and are accepted into the school based on their academic merit. (Did I just hear you utter a confused “huh”?  Whatever! They let me in!)

St. George Girls High School has a reputation for excellence and a proud heritage since it’s beginning in 1916 and I was very proud to have been a part of it while I attended.

A highlight of going to that school was the close bond made with the other girls.  We were all so terrified on our first day.  We were entering into unknown and apparently quite strict territory and I believe this helped form some of our close and lasting connections.  I’ll never forget that first day of school.  My classmates and I all arrived in our crisp full summer uniform with our hems at the specified “knee” length and our high white socks pulled up and our black shoes polished.  If our hair was past shoulder length then it was tied back, off of our faces and pulled away from our wide eyes.  We were eager to please.  By the next year we had relaxed a little. You can see in our class photo that we had found ways to push the boundaries a little.  Our skirts were shorter and most of us had chic new short hair cuts.  We’d also plucked the hell out of our eye brows and were wearing a small amount of subtle makeup.  Mascara and lip gloss was about all that we could get away with then as I recall.  Still, we wore our uniforms proudly.  We were lectured on how we represented the whole school when in those uniforms on and off the school grounds.  The same concept would appear in my life again when I worked as a flight attendant many years later.

I'm second row from bottom and fourth in from right

I'm second row from bottom and second in from right

We moved back to Canada when I was just starting my 9th year.  I had a wonderful group of girl friends at school that gave me a fantastic going away party.  On my last day of school everyone signed their name on my white uniform shirt. What the heck, I was never going to wear it again.  This made me both sad and thrilled at the same time.  I had such an amazing time at that all girls’ school and I will always cherish the fond memories I have of that time in my life.  Memories like singeing off my eye lashes and arm hair when lighting the gas ovens in cooking class, memories of going to swim meets where one of our students, Michelle Ford, won everything because she was a future Olympic gold medal winning swimmer, memories of competing with the gymnastics club, of buying those delicious vanilla slices at the canteen, learning Indonesian and Latin (I remember learning but I forget all of it now), of the horrible bloomers that were part of our sports uniform, and of hiking our uniform up and pouring baby oil all over our legs to tan during lunch hour.  Yes, it was the seventies and we loved our baby oil no SPF anything for us!

I can’t help but wonder how my life would have been different if I had stayed and graduated from SGGHS.  Who would I be today if I had stayed?  Would I have had an influence on the friends I made there and if so would their lives be any different today?

I’ve recently been able to re-connect with a few of these girls through the magic of Facebook (I love you Facebook!).  My closest friend from those days and I have been chatting up a storm on FB.  We’re even planning on how we can get together in person.  Thirty four years have melted away and we are giggling fourteen year old girls again.  Sweet!


Who Would We Be Today?

When I was fourteen I moved back to Canada from Australia. I enjoyed a wonderful 4 ½ years in the land-down-unda.  I miss it still.  I have relatives and friends there but also, sadly, many forgotten friends.  Who would I be today if I’d stayed I wonder?

My school years spent in the suburbs of Sydney were full of experiences that I will never forget.  It was all so strange and different when I first arrived.  Kids mocked my accent and called me a Yankee in the beginning, but it didn’t take me long to develop an authentic Aussie drawl and fit right in…kind of.

We wore school uniforms, which I loved.  You could fit in a lot easier when you looked like everyone else.  We all carried school cases – mini brief cases, and I recall that I placed a sticker of a flag of British Columbia on the outside of mine; forever a proud BC girl.  I’m sure no one understood what the heck it was and that was ok.  I knew.

The school ground had a line painted down the centre of it.  One side was for the boys to play on and one side was for the girls.  At ten years old that suited me just fine.  Boys were not that interesting at that stage.  The next year however, saw us take turns to cross the line and run behind the dunny (bathroom) out of the Prefects range of sight… to kiss each other. So really the painted line wasn’t like barbed wire or anything.  Prefects, by the way, are mall-cop-like kids that teachers appointed to watch over the rest of us – they wore a special pin that gave them way too much imagined power…and they liked to use it.  You may have guessed I was never asked to be a Prefect.  Damn, I wanted that pin!

Before classes began each day we lined up (and I do mean lined up) with our bags in front of us. Each line represented one classroom. A teacher or the principal would take the microphone and bark, “Att..en..tion!” and we would jump to attention and stand as stiff as a board with our arms at our sides.  You could hear the black school shoes click together in unison.  After a pause, he would say, “Stand at ease” and we would relax slightly while sliding one foot out to shoulder width and clasp our hands behind our backs…in unison, of course.  If there were any special announcements they would be made then followed by us all murmuring the Lords Prayer together.  Then we were asked to stand at attention again, then told to bend to pick up our bags, then stand upright again, then “right turn!” and finally “march!”  At which point we marched like good little soldiers, knees high, and arms swinging to our class rooms.  We did the same thing after recess and lunch.  I believe it was after lunch that we sang the national anthem and God Save the Queen as well.  Every. Day.

If anyone goofed off during this whole procedure you could bet they would be called up to the front of the room for a couple of strikes across their palms with the cane.   It happened all the time.  No big deal.  Certain boys must have had some pretty calloused palms because it never seemed to deter them from goofing off that much.  And this is where I stood out because I’m sure my eyes were wider than dinner plates the first time I saw this happen.  I was never caned.  I’m a rule follower.  March you say, then march I will.  Happily.  (I’ve just had an ah-ha! moment.  I understand now why I get so freaked out about breaking rules.)

Every experience we have in life helps to shape the person we become.   Perhaps if I’d never lived in Australia and had stayed in Canada I’d have been arrested for trespassing or walking on the grass when the sign clearly states not to.  We’ll never know.

High School Years…to be continued.  Join me here next Friday for a look back at how going to an all girl’s high school in Australia helped shape me.


Friendship…to the Tenth Degree!

Bonnie’s post Confessions of a Killer, her being the killer, made me laugh and think about our friendship. Since Bonnie selected the word Friendship when she created this months header I thought I would relate at least one post this month to just that…Friendship! (beautiful header by the way Bon) My Red Flags post will have to wait until next Wednesday! 🙂

Bonnie’s post reminded me that I know EVERYTHING about her. The flip side of that, she knows EVERYTHING about me. There are no secrets! I react to spiders like Bonnie reacts to cockroaches. I’ve said to her son James that if he ever does something questionable and gets the stink eye for it, I would tell him a story or two about what she did that I am sure would equal what he might have done. Yes, he’s a boy and boys usually take things a step further but I can recall a time or two when Bonnie behaved like a boy! (giggle) This is where is gets tricky, I was probably with her when she did, doing the same thing, with a huge smile on my face to boot! We’ve lead one another astray on many occasions in our friendship! *wink*

I understand the cockroach fear and think I may have been the reason it became embedded into her psyche. Back in ’83, we lived in Australia for 6 months, it was 4o+ degrees 80% humidity. We had to sleep with all the window closed because there were no screens. The cockroaches in Australia can be 3-4 inches long. There were so many skittering on the street late at night it was hard to avoid stepping on them. They made a crunch sound if you did which still makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. Somehow they entered our room even though we shoved towels under the doors, we woke up in a sweat every morning because of it!

One day Bonnie entered the room and she had the Grand-daddy of all roaches on her chest, the look on my face said it all and she reacted by running at me screaming “GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!” At the time she thought it was a Huntsman spider which were the size of your hand splayed out! I freaked out and ran away from her screaming and locked myself in the bathroom letting her fend for herself…she banged on the door for quite awhile! lol I am still sorry about that, but can’t help but giggle at the thought of the look on her face!

This post is about friendship…no really! It’s about give and take. And forgiveness! Mostly forgiveness! And Karma, we can’t forget Karma, it can apparently follow you for 20 years or more! I agree that might not have been a best friend kind of thing to do, but you need to know that I’ve never told any of Bonnie’s secrets. And I have a brain full of them!

Each year we visit Bonnie and John and before I arrive Bonnie sprays the cottage we stay in with spider spray so I can sleep at night! My Karma finally arrived, 20 years later. We went out on the boat and no exaggeration a million spiders came climbing over the edge of the boat to MY seat like it was a James Bond Movie Trailer. If you listened closely I think you could actually hear the theme song playing in the background! I think they were all packing heat if my memory serves me right! Bonnie didn’t jump over board like I almost did, she stepped TOWARDS me and helped swat them off while I literally freaked out jumping up and down like I was being electrocuted. They were climbing up my legs and I could feel them in my hair, and we all know I have a head of hair you don’t want to lose a spider in! She mention later she wished she had video taped the episode so she could post it on YouTube. The perrrfect friend in my eyes! The next night on the doc watching shooting stars and comets, you could only see my eyes and nose through my draw string hoodie, she was in flip flops without a care in the world…my hero! She told me I was missing a life experience because of my fear. Yep!

Friendship is about making sure you’re with your best friend when they do something questionable so that when you do something questionable they have no choice but keep your secret! And if you can still be friends after 35 years, you don’t have to worry about who did more questionable things, because you can’t remember. Sweeeet!

All joking aside, each year I am grateful for the time I get to spend with Bonnie, the confessed killer of small helpless things. I watch and learn and somehow magically or through osmosis her strength rubs off on me making me feel empowered. She is one of the most incredible women I have had the pleasure of knowing. She loves unconditionally, without judgement. She is one of a kind and I love her for who she was and who she has become. She has taught me so much about life and love, neither of which would be the same without her. Just the thought of her makes me smile…and then giggle!

I promise if at any point in the future a cockroach skitters anywhere on or near your body I will step TOWARDS you and start swatting! Love you Bon! xo

This is classic stink eye for those of you who are not familiar with the term. (you gotta love photo booth on Mac)


The Bottled Water Fairytale

Bonnie Johnson's Post

My husband grumbles about how wrong it is to have to pay for water.  “Water belongs to every creature on our planet, it shouldn’t be a commodity that people profit from, and it’s all just bottled tap water anyway” – is his usual spiel.  “No it isn’t! It comes from the glacier fed pristine mountain-top natural springs  of …of…somewhere beautiful and untouched by man” is my highly intelligent come back as I pass the guy over the counter a fiver and get only a few nickels and dimes in change back.

So this post is for my husband.  You are right.  I’ll say it again, you are right and I should not have doubted you, wise man.  Lap it up because this may not happen again.

I’ve just discovered that my beloved Dasani bottled water, that I swore on my mother’s life, was glacier pure and sent from the magic natural spring fairies, is indeed just bottled tap water.  (You may want to be extra careful crossing the street Mom)

There is a small town in Australia called Bundanoon that has gone “bottled water free”.  The town’s website explains:

Bundy on tap

The Australian town of Bundanoon, in the NSW Southern
Highlands, 150 km south west of Sydney, has decided of its own
volition to neither sell, nor giveaway, bottled still water, within the
town precinct.
A meeting of about 20 businesses initially agreed to the initiative.
This was followed by community meeting in early July 2009, where
the packed town hall of 356 residents voted overwhelmingly to
support the initiative. It is believed, once bottled water alternatives
are in place — hopefully by late September 2009 — the initiative
will make Bundanoon Australia’s First Bottled Water Free Town.
(And possibly the world’s first.)
This small town community initiative has generated unprecedented
national and international media coverage and worldwide support.
As part of the initiative, Bundanoon is expanding drinking water
facilities in the town. Indeed, it’s anticipated that access to drinking
water in Bundanoon will be greater than before ‘Bundy On Tap’
began. Businesses will make available for sale reusable drink bottles
and chilled filtered tap water, whilst free filtered water stations or
‘bubblers’ will also be provided for the public and primary school
‘Bundy on Tap’ was Officially Launched on 26
September 2009, with a special event, (which included the Australian
Premiere of the acclaimed documentary ‘Tapped‘)

It was after watching the trailer for the documentary ‘Tapped’ and perusing the movies official website that I discovered Dasani (bottled by Coca-Cola) uses filtered municipal tap water.  As does Pepsi’s Aquafina by the way.  Then they charge us 1900 times the cost of that tap water.  Bottled water costs more than gasoline!! I also learned that only 20% of the plastic bottles used for water are ever recycled and that it takes up to 1000 years for a plastic water bottle to biodegrade in the landfill.  Plus –  BPA (Bisphenol – A) is what those large 5 gallon water cooler jugs are made out of.  Y’all know the danger to exposure of BPA by now I hope.

Enough of my ranting, here is the trailer to the documentary ‘Tapped’.  Cheers!



Spiritual Journey~

TracyIf you decided to go on a “Spiritual Journey” where would you go and what would you do?

“Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
Caroline Adams

Spirituality has long been associated with religion, deities, the supernatural, and an afterlife.  Many equate spirituality with religion, but the two are separate entities, religion being one way man experiences spirituality.  Spirituality may include introspection, and the development of an individuals inner life through practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation.

Spiritual Journey’s can change and enrich your life.  Whether you ride your motorcycle down to Monument Valley or Hike in the Himalayan Mountains a spiritual journey is a very personal exploration of ones self.  We usually embark on such quests when we are aware that our spirituality need attention.  It can be described as an “Aha Moment” even.  It’s when you venture out of your comfort zone and look inward for answers to questions we all have.  “What is my purpose or path in life?”

If I were to go on a ‘Spiritual Journey’ I would pick one of two.  I would love to spend time with Buddhist Monks to learn about Meditation, Intention and Karma and I would also like to learn about Kabbalah. I have always believed that meditation is a huge part of being spiritual and can calm our souls and shed light on issues we all have.  Meditation means awareness.  “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation.   As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.  Meditation is not a technique but a way of life.  Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’.  By meditating you are able to let go of your physical self and get in tune with your metaphysical side.  That is the Spiritual Journey I would like to embark on!

Post Insert Jacquie When I was in my twenties I had small kids that needed to be taken care of and the journey I was on was one of survival.  Mine and theirs.  I believed it was my sacred duty to make sure these young souls felt safe, secure and loved.  Now that I’m no longer necessary in quite the same way, I’ve felt the need to find other  ways to feel complete.  I’ve decided for me that means reaching beyond my comfort zone, past established boundaries and out into the community I share with my global neighbours.

I could answer this question metaphysically, but what I really think Tracy is asking in this post is for a literal description of where I want my spiritual journey to begin, or take shape.  I’ve actually been looking into a place in the Kootenays, about 9 hours from Vancouver near Nelson, BC, called Yasodhara Ashram.  I’ve never been anywhere near this area but I’ve heard of it’s natural beauty and peaceful majesty.  Yasodhara offers yoga, meditation and spiritual guidance for beginners like me all the way up to advanced practitioners.  I would love to spend a week or two by myself totally immersed in the everyday Ashram comings and goings and at the complete mercy of the program.  I would arrive with an open mind and heart and actively seek enlightenment or whatever came my way.   My spiritual journey is about enriching my life with experience and knowledge and I know a stay at the Ashram will only begin to heighten my awareness of all the work I have yet to do, but it’s a good start.   Think of it like an all-inclusive for the spiritual cherry-picker.  It may take several pilgrimages to find what works for you, but each attempt brings you closer to your goal.  Keeping an open mind is key.

Bonnie Johnson's Post

There are many places in the world that are considered “holy” or “spiritual” places to visit.  Places like Jerusalem, Tibet, Machu Picchu, etc.  Eckhart Tolle, who wrote “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now” has said he felt that the west coast of North America and specifically around Vancouver, BC had a strong positive energy which he was drawn to in order to write about his own spiritual journey.  I don’t doubt this.  I have been in different places in the world that seem to awaken something deep within me.  But a true spiritual journey is really about going within your Self.  I don’t think it matters as much about the ground beneath your feet as it does about the degree in which you can tune in to your Source (God/Spirit/Universe/insert whichever label you are comfortable with).

I believe a true spiritual journey is one that inspires you to connect with your own spirit.  I have felt that way when sitting on a flat rock beside a babbling creek in North Vancouver, while floating in a canoe in an underground river deep inside a cave in New Zealand, while looking out at the ocean on a beach in Australia, while exploring our beautiful British Columbian outdoors, and even while watching a spider working on its web in my own yard.  If a place inspires and stirs your soul then it is worth a journey to.  It may be its beauty, its energy or simply a memory it stirs up for you.  Wherever that is for you I hope you are able to go there often.


Tag Team Sunday ~ The Naked Truth

Hey Ladies, we’re gonna talk nudity.

How comfortable are you with it?  In movies?  In your own home?

Jacquie dips her toe in the hot tub…

This would be the perfect time to say something titillating and, believe me, I’ve been debating which route to take, but ultimately I have to stay true to my voice. I think there’s way too much unnecessary nudity in movies. Hear me out. I think nudity in porn flicks is necessary; in every movie produced by the major studios, unnecessary! Depends on what you’re looking to watch and what’s going to satisfy your entertainment needs at the time. Both types of films have their place. I just don’t want to go to Blockbuster, rent something and be given a helping of gratuitous nakedness with my romance and action. I’ll allow that sometimes it is important to the story. Kate Winslet in The Reader, for example. That movie needed all that sex and nudity (did I just say that?) in order for the audience to truly feel the awkwardness and passion of the two main characters.

I guess because of my background in art I feel very comfortable with the naked human body as an object worthy of admiration and adoration. Male and female. I’m too uncomfortable to do the full on nude beach thing (topless in Europe, woo hoo) but I have posed for artists in the buff and felt really powerful and feminine and would do it again.

I love the beautiful lines and curves and angles we possess, but I just don’t think they have to be displayed all at the same time. I subscribe to the ‘flash one great body part at a time’ rule. Think Michele Obama and those incredible arms! That’s sexy! Or J Lo in that deeper-than-deep-belly-button-revealing-cleavage dress that covered her arms and legs. Hot.

While in Vegas a few weeks back I went to a burlesque show at Forty Deuce at the Mandalay Bay. I have to say it was so much fun to watch! The dancers were fantastic athletes, spinning on poles, hanging from scaffolding in the ceiling and twisting and gyrating to the cheering packed house. But there was no nudity involved! As each layer of clothing was removed you could clearly see the skin-toned tasseled bra and panties that remained. The mostly male audience loved it and so did I.

As for nudity at home, nobody wants to see me running around in my meat suit folding laundry and vacuuming!  I take that back, I know one person who would.



Tracy’s naked truth….
Nekid...well half.Let’s get Nekid! I love the naked body! I’ve skinny dipped and suntanned in private naked. I would sleep naked but what if the house caught fire and I were naked with not enough time to put on pants. I’d be running out of the house naked to young in shape handsome firemen! I am okay with the naked part as long as I could move slow but that doesn’t go with”THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE”! (have you ever googled ‘running naked’? Apparently not a fear for most!)

All joking aside, I am fine with nudity in movies but I like it better when they leave more to the imagination. I am not interested in pointless spring break style nudity. The movie ‘The Notebook’ however has every element ever needed in a nude scene. A building climax, a ridiculously handsome guy (Ryan Gosling), passion, soaking wet rain kissing and clothes ripped off. I could keep going) Yikes! I would do that scene for sure if it could be done in one take, maybe two…or three if it was reeeallly needed. I’d like to see the look on my face while watching a good nude scene actually. You know the face people make when they look like they ‘think’ they are in the scene. That’s me.

Getting Naked

I would not, however, run away from someone in bright light buck naked unless my life depended on it. Still then, I think I might first try running backwards or at least try to talk my way out of having to run. My thought process would be this.“Oh no…no, no, no your kidding right, this can’t be happening, oh shit, seriously, oh my god I hope he doesn’t have a video camera”. Admitting that would give the impression that I wasn’t happy with my booty. I am, in the right light.  Florescent tubing or bright spring sun, not doin it! Candle light, all over it! Well, the naked truth can leave one feeling vulnerable and in need of another run! Okay I’m over it. Who wants to get Naked?


Bonnie brings up the rear….

Naked. I love naked. Especially in fresh clean sheets next to my man’s naked body. It’s a sensual sensation.  Ooooh and swimming naked in a warm ocean during a full moon is the best!

I spent enough years in Australia in my youth to feel completely comfortable being topless on the beaches…there. It’s a whole different story here in Canada however. In Australia you felt almost ridiculous as a 2o year old with a bikini top on and more than a string thong on the bottom. Back in Canada I was quick to fall back into the more modest beach attire.

I have to agree with Tracy about nudity in movies. I don’t mind seeing nudity, it doesn’t offend me, but I prefer to have my imagination tantalized.

I’ve been to a couple of nude/topless beaches in Europe and one in Hawaii. Here’s what I learned. It ain’t always pretty, but it is real. And I’m ok with that. I don’t find the human body offensive in any way. What I took away from those experiences was how people, no matter what their shape and size was, were completely ok with their own bodies. How liberating!

When I look in my full length mirror at my naked body at this stage in my life I struggle to accept the beauty of my naked body. I can easily see faults that I’d like to have improved. But you know what, I’ve thought the same way since I was a young woman! When I look back now I think “what were you worried about, you looked great”, and I’m sure I will think the same thing ten or twenty years from now when looking back at the body I wear right now.

Anyway, I promised to bring up the rear…I love a man’s naked rear! Yep, I’m a butt girl. My own rear is not my favourite ‘ass’et, but I’m sure I’ll really appreciate my 45 year old rear when I’m 65.



Tripping for me

I feel compelled to write about travel today because it seems to me that everyone on the planet is going away somewhere warm with the exception of me.  And with our recent snow fall you can’t avoid daydreaming about being somewhere warm and exotic.

Juara Bay Tioman, Malaysia

I’ve had a few Tripping adventures in my life but you can always use another!

By the time I turned the ripe old age of 25 I had explored over 46 different countries in the world.  My parents exposed me to the travel bug at the age of 11. That was a huge chunk of the 46 right there. We sold our house, they quit their jobs and put everything we own in storage including the dog. We gallivanted around Europe and Asia for a year.  Not many families did that in the 70’s!  I was young but still to this day it was the best experience ever!

Villa Margarita Costa del Sol Spain

Travel shows us that, like the universe, there is far more out there for us to explore than we can ever imagine and that there’s no place like home all at the same time. If you love to travel you will agree with me that life experience and memories far outweigh anything you own.

You can travel or vacation. To me there’s a big difference.  Both are top on my list of things you should do as often as you can.  A traveler gets off on going to places they’ve never seen before.  A vacationer likes the ease of planning a trip where there are some comforts of home.  Both have their purpose.  It just depends what your looking for.

Boys will be boys! ThailandTravel (in my opinion) needs to be a visual experience as well as a cultural experience.  I want to meet the people who live where I’m going.  Get to know the locals.  I like there to be a language barrier!  I want to come home with a better understanding of what it’s like to live somewhere completely different, like the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand or The Costa del Sol in Spain.

dirt biking to Burma

Meeting new friends is one of the greatest gifts of travel.  I’ve been writing to Sylvia, a pen pal from the Netherlands, for over 30 years.   We met in Spain where we lived for 5 months and her family vacationed.  Although I still receive letters from her, I miss the letters of broken English because it made me even more aware that she was different.  It reminded me of my childhood adventure every time I received one.  Her letters now are more easily understood and I love receiving them still after so many years.

Bonnie & Tracy down underTraveling when I was younger gave me the desire to continue when I was older.  At 21 I gallivanted with Bonnie through Australia for 6 months.  Now that was a completely different adventure!  I think at 21 traveling away from home is one of the best growing experiences you can have.  You find out quickly what you are really made of.

I  backpacked throughout Malaysia and Thailand in my 30’s with ‘a really good friend of mine’. Scott with Thai boys That trip literally changed my life.  I learned more about myself in 3 months than I thought possible.  I believe I came home a better person.  I came home thankful for what we have here in North America but it also made me realize I don’t really require a lot to be truly happy.

Hill tribe trek in Pai, Thailand

So you see, there are experiences out there waiting for us. We just need to get out and make them happen.  So the next time you pack your suitcase or back pack to travel or vacation, slip out of your comfort zone a little and really enjoy it for what it is~ life experience, memory making and expanding your circle of friends.Tracy


Which Pop star did you have a crush on as a girl?

Before we start we want to wish the world a Happy International Women’s Day!  For a look into the history of this day, the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future, or to see what events are planned for your area, check out the International Womens Day 2009.

Tracy’s take~

The Pop Star I had a crush on as a little girl was between Bobby Sherman and the base player Alan in the band The Bay City Rollers.

I still remember the day when my Mom went grocery shopping and brought home alphabet cereal which had a cardboard  Bobby Sherman Bobby Shermanrecord inside the box.  ‘Waiting at the bus stop’ was the song and I played it endlessly on my K-tel record player.  I also remember being in a movie theater on my birthday where if you just walked up on stage you would receive a real record of Bobby Sherman.  I was painfully shy and still regret not having the courage to walk up in front  of the crowd to get the real deal.

When we went to Europe in 1973 we stayed at the Governor Hotel in Edinburgh,  Scotland.  That’s right, home of The Bay City Rollers.  One morning when we were heading out the hotel entrance for a walk, I almost passed out when I realized walking next to me was Alan and Les,  the base player and  lead singer of,  you got it, The Bay City Rollers.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  All I could do was blush and smile.  Alan smiled at me and I think he blew me a kiss (at least in my mind he did).  I still remember the feeling that went through my entire body at that moment!  It was exhilarating, a feeling I will never forget!   The Bay City Rollers

Such great memories as a little girl.  Kissing posters and album covers,  a pillow here and there.  Some women never get over those crushes.  So Bonnie, Jacquie how about you?  Any childhood crushes you want to share ?


Bonnie’s 2 cents~

I was with you on the Bay City Rollers, but Bobby Sherman? Not so much.  He was too squeaky clean to me which is funny because my very first pop star crush was on Donny Osmond and it doesn’t get any squeakier than that!  I dumped him soon after, however, for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.  He was more like the Squire of Pop at that time.  We were both only ten, and this basically proves what bad judgment I had for boys in my early years.  In my defense, Michael still had his original nose back then.

After Michael I moved to Australia and so for the next few years I was crazy with a capital C for an Australian group called Sherbet.  They were extremely popular with my age group in the mid 70’s.  I was lucky enough to be able to go to a few of their concerts.  All of the girls I went with screamed and cried when they took the stage which I remember kind of embarrassed me.  I mean, I loved them too and had all the cassettes and posters but I was not going to scream and feign fainting unless they actually spoke directly to me and I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  At home alone in my room we had quite a serious relationship, but not in public!  My favourite was Alan Sandow, the drummer.  Always loved the arms on drummers (and eventually log home builders!).

I found a photo of Sherbet as I remember them.Sherbet

Alan (we were on a first name basis) is top left.  Check out the sexy chest hair!  Sooo cute! In my search for this photo I came across another photo of Sherbet.  A picture of them today.  What a shocker! Sherbet todayThat’s my Alan on the far right…the one without hair!

I guess I don’t look the same as I did at thirteen and fourteen so it’s all relative.  Still I find myself feeling a little disturbed by this discovery.  Sigh!


Jacquie, how do you weigh in on this subject? Any pop star crushes you’d like to share?

Jacquie weighs in~

Well, it’s clear my two friends want to publicly ‘out’ me by choosing this topic, knowing full well I’m in Las Vegas and had VIP tickets to see my teen crush, Donny, last Friday night.  Part of me wants to thwart their miserable attempt to humiliate me by going off on a ‘Tara tangent’ and discuss the more esoteric issues about why teen crushes are important to a young girl’s emotional development, etc, but no, I’ll play their game.  I’ll strip my soul bare to reveal the depth and breadth of my infatuation for an idol I knew was forever unattainable.  Laugh if you must, but I know how real these feelings can be.  Puppy love can be ridiculously intense.

I think that women’s collective memories of a teen crush help to bond them later in life in a very uniquely feminine way.  Last year I went to a David Cassidy concert with a group of girlfriends and friends of friends, 14 ladies in all, and, although we agreed the show was a bit lame, we bonded over appies and cocktails and the fact that we knew all the words to ‘I Woke Up In Love This Morning’ and ‘Echo Valley 26809’.  These nostalgia acts bring us back to the days before mortgages and getting dinner on the table and thinking about the economy were a part of our everday lives.  They were ‘no strings attached’ attachments and they were safe.  We didn’t have to worry that these guys would actually ask us out and we’d have to decide whether or not we were going to let them ‘do’ anything we weren’t ready to do.  We could take the relationship at our own pace and rarely did our fantasizing include anything beyond a kiss.   My love for Donny provided the very foundation on which to build my marriage to Gavin and so I thank him for that.  It’s shown me I have the capacity to love hard and to love long! LOLOLOLO

Happy girls?  Embarrassed me enough?  LOL  The gloves are off and I get to pick the topic next week.  How about ‘Famous People You’ve Dated”?  Pretty soon this site’ll start to look like TMZ!