Celebrating Working Women

Yesterday was International Women’s Day.  I think we should celebrate each other everyday, so although I’m a day late,  I still wanted to share this video with all of you.  It was first brought to my attention by my good friend, Lorellei, who also happens to work for Kronos.  She is herself a hard working woman and someone I admire.

Kronos and Xplane created this video in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8th). The purpose of the video is to provide viewers with a look at several interesting facts and statistics about the changes and developments that have impacted women in the workforce.

Many of the facts shown here really surprised me but also made me smile.  We’ve come along way baby!


Thank you Kronos for creating this fun and informative video!



Svaha Spirit Series~The power of vulnerability

This talk by Brene Brown resonated deeply with me.  It is the spark that ignited me to write Authentically Yours, earlier this month.  Some lines that really stood out for me:

“Courage, the original definition of courage when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”

“And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection, and — this was the hard part — as a result of authenticity, they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection. The other thing that they had in common was this.They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they talk about it being excruciating — as I had heard it earlier in the shame interviewing. They just talked about it being necessary.”



A Day In The Life of ME

Santa reads my posts! I know this because I received a Flip video camera for Christmas this year after posting about it here on Tara Cronica.  Yay!

I’m just getting acquainted with it, but I thought for fun I would post a little movie I just made with my Flip.  Don’t be too critical…it’s my first attempt and I was rushing to get it uploaded for today.  (Took hours to upload – I may be doing something wrong)

This video is just a bunch of clips of me going about my day.  Keep in mind I’m on vacation, hence the very late start in the morning. 😉

John hates that I showed his mug in some of the shots but he was a part of my day and…well it’s too late now.   The weather here in Florida has been crazy cold (for Florida) and although it’s sunny it was actually only about 12 degrees out while we were biking.  Brrrr.

My videos can only get better right?  🙂

I want to wish all of you the very best for the New Year! Thank you so much for supporting Tara Cronica.  It means the world to us. xoxo



I learned that having expectations at this time of year is not wise.  I used to expect that all of my family would be able to get together for Christmas and that when we were all together it would be one giant feel good Norman Rockwell painting.  Everyone would be overflowing with happiness and the house (our house) would be filled with laughter and joy. The meals would be abundant and perfect and effortless.  My home would be decorated for Christmas with artistic flair and the spectacular tree would have exquisitely wrapped gifts under it far in advance of the big day. (Insert sound of record scratching)

After a few years of watching my visions come crashing down around me one expectation at a time, I began to think differently.  I slowly started to realize that the more expectations I created for myself the more open to disappointment I was.  It can get really complicated to organize families where divorces have occurred.  So-and-so has to spend the holiday with his dad and little what’s-her-name is with her mom this year.  I have a son from a previous marriage and his dad and I take turns spending Christmas with him and now my step son has a son from a previous marriage plus his own step kids and so on and so forth.  Not only is it unrealistic to expect to have them all with me but it’s down right unfair too.  I remember my own mother expecting us all to be with her for Christmas and if it didn’t work out I’d feel guilty.  I’m proud of how she has given away her expectations and just goes with the flow now.

There is one expectation that I believe we should never abandon though.  And that is to feel joy.  We should always expect to feel joy and to help others to feel joy.  It’s “joy to the world” time after all.

Why are so many of us stressed out at Christmas time? It’s because we tend to expect too much of ourselves and our families.  Let’s all relax and just focus on expecting to have fun and just enjoy ourselves.  No matter what happens or doesn’t happen.  There shouldn’t be a script. Go with the flow.  Hallelujah!


Just One of Life’s Mysteries

Life is full of mystery.  Or is it?  It occurs to me that maybe there really is no mystery at all.  It just seems mysterious because we don’t understand parts of it.  But that is the fun part really.  If everything made perfect sense to us all the time I think life would be a little boring.  I like to wonder about things.  Roll a conundrum around in my mind and see if I can make sense of it.

Take the salmon run for example.  Last week I was invited to join friends on a canoe trip down the Shuswap River.  It was a glorious sunny fall day with temperatures reaching 27 degrees.  The river was gentle, although I was still nervous in the canoe and nagged my dear friend Barry to “keep us from tipping!” …constantly, which he did.    🙂

The river was full, and I mean full, of salmon that were making their way upstream to their spawning grounds; to the exact spot that they were born four long years ago.  How do they know how to get there and how do they know “yep, this is the spot”?  These fish are on a serious mission, I mean, they are not fooling around.  Many even die trying. They travel 480 km from the Pacific Ocean on their 17-day journey to the spawning grounds. Travelling at an average speed of 30 kilometres a day, the salmon do not slow to feed. Instead, they live off the fat stored during their time in the salt waters of the Pacific. As their upstream battle consumes their body fat and tissue, they undergo a remarkable transformation. Their deep-sea blue-gray bodies gradually change to a brilliant crimson in their battle against such well-known obstacles as Hell’s Gate Rapids on the Fraser and the many whitewater rapids on the Thompson.

By the time the Adams River sockeye reach the mouth of the stream in mid-October, the transformation from blue-gray to crimson is virtually complete. In addition, the male of the species now has become grotesquely distorted with a humped back and a sharply hooked nose on his gray-green head.

Wow! What inspires them to make the trip and how do they know how to get to that exact spot?  And why do they need to change colour and…?  It’s a mystery.  Well it is to us anyway; perhaps it’s obvious to the salmon.

Scientific research indicates that salmon may use currents as well as an orientation to the earth’s magnetic field and celestial (sun) navigation. However, once they enter the rivers, it’s thought that the sense of smell is their guide home. Each stream has its own characteristic scent developed from the vegetation along the stream, the rocks that the stream covers, and the water entering the stream from small streams and springs.

But you know what? Nobody really knows for sure.  It’s one of life’s really cool mysteries.

This is why I was inspired to create this months Tara header with the word “mystery” in it…and because it looks kind of spooky for Halloween too.

Here is a video that my friend Lorellei took at the spot we stopped for lunch.  Very cool.  I was on the opposite side of the stream while she shot it.


Brilliant Marketing

I am always fascinated by the art of marketing.  Yes, I said art.  I think you have to be very creative to come up with a brilliant marketing campaign.  You may have noticed my interest in marketing by the fact that I’ve written other posts highlighting well done commercials.  The one by Old Spice and another by Kotex stand out for me.

When I come across good marketing (which is rare) I feel a surge of excitement.  I guess I’m just weird like that.  But if you’re attempting to persuade me to buy your product then I appreciate it when you’ve put some real effort and creativity into it.  When you treat me with respect and play to my intelligence instead of the other way around, then you know what? I’ll probably buy your product and try it out.

I’ve discovered another gem of creativity in marketing and I think you’ll agree.  This one is very interactive.  Smart! I can see future advertising becoming interactive with its audience.  Play along with the video below.  Click on “shoot the bear” or “don’t shoot the bear” and see what happens.  It’s fun and funny and it’s perfectly directed to their target consumers (students in this case).  I wrote about a dozen options in the space and laughed with the results of each one.  Way to go Tipp-Ex.  White and re-write.  Brilliant!


Svaha Spirit Series ~ I Am Everyone


This little video was a commercial for Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators.  It is really simple and so is the message but the truth it holds is quite profound I think.

Allow this thought to roll around in your mind for a bit and see what I mean.   “I am who I am because of everyone.”


Svaha Spirit Series ~ The Story of Cosmetics

I’m just going to say it – I have issues with my hormones right now.  I’m dealing with it.  I’m determined to normalize my hormones naturally; without the use of synthetic drugs.  I’m at the beginning of my treatment so I’ll have to let you know how it goes.  Through all of this, however, I discovered that certain substances in the food we eat and the products we lather ourselves with can have a detrimental effect on our hormone levels.  Interesting.  The video below did not come as a huge surprise to me then.

After seeing Annie Leonard’s latest “The Story of Stuff” series entitled “The Story of Cosmetics”, I began searching through pages and pages of Health Canada’s website to see if we in Canada are any safer than our southern neighbors.  The good news is, I think we are. The bad news is, I don’t think we are.  It sounds like our government is strict about what substances are allowed but then it gets really wishy-washy about what they consider are safe levels of toxins.  And when I really think about it, I just don’t believe that Pantene and Estee Lauder recreate their products and then import Canadians their safer versions.  Tell me if I’m wrong…please tell me I’m wrong.  I do think we should all question these products and as powerful consumers, we should demand safe ingredients for ourselves and our families.  Awareness is the first step.


Svaha Spirit Series ~ Kindness

Remember Amy Krouse Rosenthal? She created the video “The Beckoning of Lovely” which I featured here some time ago.  Amy is a New York Times bestselling author of books for children and grown-ups.

Amy’s web site bio page reads:
“Her books radiate fun the way tulips radiate spring:
they are elegant and spirit-lifting.”

The New York Times Book Review

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things.

Some things she likes to make:
Children’s books.
Grown-up books.
Short films.
Radio pieces.
Connections with the universe via interactive projects.
Something out of nothing.

I find her work absolutely delightful and I’m pleased to be able to share another short film she has created.   By the way, you can make a wish on her bio page blow on the dandelion puff and it will be granted! Very cool!

What a great ending!


This Too Shall Pass ~ OK Go

It’s one of Tracy’s favourite sayings, “this too shall pass” and a very wise one I think.  I find myself quoting it to my son quite a bit when he is going through a trying time and I can’t think of anything else to say he asks for my opinion.  This video does not push any heavy message or sage lecture.  I was drawn to it for it’s pure fun.  Although it amazes me the amount of time and effort that must have gone into setting the whole thing up.  I sure hope it worked on the first take! I also laughed when I discovered that the name of the band is  Ok Go.   I like it! Catchy tune too. Play the video and enjoy…Ok go!



The Story of Bottled Water

Yes, I know I’ve harped on this one before, but I just bought a plastic bottle of water at the gym recently and I need a way to purge myself of the guilt.  I do normally use a stainless steel bottle filled with water from home but my husband was using it and…blah blah blah.  There really is no excuse anymore.

I love this video for it’s simplicity and yet it’s full of valuable information.  For example, I didn’t realize so much of our “recycled” plastic bottles were being shipped all the way to India to pile up.  Geez, you think you are doing the right thing but…

So here is a little reminder to get us all back on track. For those of us who fall off the good-for-the-environment wagon now and then.  Besides, last Monday (when this video was released) was World Water Day and I missed it.  Better late than never!

Creator, Annie Leonard, also created the 20-minute film The Story of Stuff that takes viewers on a provocative and eye-opening tour of the real costs of our consumer driven culture—from resource extraction to iPod incineration.  It has just been released as a book as well,  The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change Phew! Guess she didn’t want to leave anything out of the title so she threw it all in!

P.S.  Don’t forget to turn off all your lights tonight (March 27) at 8:30pm for one hour in honour of Earth Hour 2010!


Do you have a secret?

I think we all have secrets; some we are aware of and keep closely hidden and others that are so subtle we don’t even realize we have them.

I have been a fan of Frank Warren’s postsecrets for some time now.  I have two of his books of collected post cards on my shelves. These post cards are often works of art and always a small peak into the human psyche.  Some are humorous while others will break your heart.  I like that they only tell a line or two of the whole story and yet that combined with the chosen artwork is enough to make a profound statement.

(I love that song – Breathe Me – by Sia.)

So if you have a secret that is burning to get out, why not put it on a post card and send it to Frank Warren anonymously…or you could always share it with us here at Tara Cronica.  We won’t tell a soul.  I promise.


Svaha Spirit Series ~ Inspired Bicycles

This video at once makes my butt pucker and has me ooing and awing.  I’m struck at how amazing humans are when they push themselves to do things others would see as impossible.

Filmed over the period of a few months in and around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby, this video of Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill (more info at www.dannymacaskill.com) features probably the best collection of street/street trials riding ever seen. There’s some huge riding, but also some of the most technically difficult and imaginative lines you will ever see. Without a doubt, this video pushes the envelope of what is perceived as possible on a trials bike.

Credit to Band of Horses for their epic song ‘The Funeral.’ You can find out more about the band and their music at www.bandofhorses.com or you can buy the featured song from itunes.


My Mom’s on Facebook

The other day my son James wrote the following on my Facebook wall:
James – so i was reading this article on msn bc and it was the “top 10 reasons u should unfriend sumone on FB” guess what number 10 was? “If you call her mom” just sayin but most people dont have their moms on facebook (Obviously un-edited by me although it was hard not to fix his spelling)
My response to him:
Bonnie – Only the cool people have their moms on Facebook. Congratulations!

Being the curious type I had to check out this list he spoke of.  Pretty funny stuff actually, especially because we all know some of these characters amongst our own Facebook “friends”.  (Itching to mention names but won’t)

The List:

1. She’s a firm believer that you can learn a lot about your health from your poop — and has the status updates to prove it

2. You’ve only met him once but he “likes” everything you do on Facebook. Uh, stalk much?

3. You’re pretty sure she doesn’t wear her dress and veil everyday, but the girl can’t stop posting pics from her wedding two years ago.

4. He changed his relationship status to single instead of breaking up with you in person.

5. One word: Farmville.

6. She might not be on The Biggest Loser but for some reason she wants the entire world to know what she had for lunch, how many miles she just ran, and when she is sweating it out at the gym.

7. She has a photo album of your days as a teen beauty pageant queen, a scanner, and a passion for tagging.


9. “So-and-So added you as a friend on Facebook” is the most you’ve heard from him in 10 years. Now that you’ve accepted the request you still haven’t connected.

10. You call her Mom.


Obviously I’m not a fan of number 10 for my son, I agree with it in the case of my own mother though. Double standard? Yes! And that’s all I’m saying about that!

Please try to understand that my only child was plucked from my nest in 2007 and traveled all the way to the other side of the continent to go to school and live.  I miss him every day!  Connecting with him on Facebook and having a glimpse into his life through his wall posts and tagged photos is sometimes all I have.   I try to restrain from making comments about the pictures I see of him.  I try even harder after he unfriended me for a month that one time as punishment for a comment I had made. Thanks for friending me again James. I have behaved very well since then.  Now I keep my worry to myself about your debauchery.  It’s just a stage you are going through…right?

At least I never poke and I have nothing to do with Farmville!


Svaha Spirit Series ~ Validation

Bonnie Johnson's Post“Validation” is a fable about the magic of free parking. Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis. Writer/Director/Composer – Kurt Kuenne. Winner – Best Narrative Short, Cleveland Int’l Film Festival, Winner – Jury Award, Gen Art Chicago Film Festival, Winner – Audience Award, Hawaii Int’l Film Festival, Winner – Best Short Comedy, Breckenridge Festival of Film, Winner – Crystal Heart Award, Best Short Film & Audience Award, Heartland Film Festival, Winner – Christopher & Dana Reeve Audience Award, Williamstown Film Festival, Winner – Best Comedy, Dam Short Film Festival, Winner – Best Short Film, Sedona Int’l Film Festival.



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!



500 Years of Female Portraits

Bonnie Johnson's PostThe year my son graduated from high school I put together a video for him of clips from his school years, beginning with kindergarten and set to music.   I began the video by using each years school picture he had and overlapping and blending them from one year to the next.  I kept his eyes at the same place in each clip so that the effect was of his face structure changing and maturing.   It looked very cool to see his baby face develop into the young man he had become by grade 12.

I recently found this video that has used the same concept with portraits of females over the last 500 years in western art.  It’s so well done I just had to share it with you.  The fellow that created it is Phillip Scott Johnson (no relation).  His video was nominated for Most Creative video for the Youtube Awards in 2007.  However, these guys won that year.  Whatever!  I know  from my measly attempt just how time consuming and intricate Phillips video was to pull off.  He would have had my vote.  Youtube – If you are looking for future judges,  I’m available.

The sound track is performed by Yo-Yo Ma and is Bach’s Suite No. 1, BWV 1007 In G Major- Sarabande for those of you who understand that kind of music talk jargon.  I just know it sounds great.  Also if you want to know the titles of the art and names of the artists someone named Boni (again no relation) has gone to the effort to document it all for you on her web site.  And if anyone is interested in the video I created entitled  “James – The School Years”  you can purchase it from me for $29.99 – kidding! $9.99?     – still kidding!