Tag Archives: Canada

National Truth and Reconciliation Day

Today – September 30, 2021 – is Canada’s first Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Here is the information I found about it:

“This solemn day has been established to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, and to ensure public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools as a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

The inspiration for Orange Shirt Day (also September 30) came from Phyllis Webstad who is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). On her first day of residential schooling at six years old, she was stripped of her clothes, including the new orange shirt she had picked out and her grandmother bought for her. She never got it back. The orange shirt now symbolizes how the residential school system took away the indigenous identity of its students.

What this day symbolizes hurts my heart. It is hard to grasp that children could be given no love or tenderness by adults, but instead were handled with cruelty and degrading, inhuman treatment – just because of who they were.

I’ve noticed that a few people around here have hung out orange t-shirts or orange somethings, so I attempted to shape a heart and hung it on my weathered deck railing.


There are many posts I want to add to my blog but this one takes priority today.

Have you done anything special for this important day?

Thanks for reading, … and keep in touch!


Did you remember to spring ahead?

It’s always a good sign of spring when we get to move our clocks ahead one hour to enjoy more daylight hours.

Did you remember to set yours ahead – either last night or this morning?




I know not everyone has to do this, and it can be a matter of heated discussion as many don’t see the need of it anymore, feeling it is a system that has outlived its usefulness. It was put into place 100 years ago in Germany during WWI, but they weren’t the first to do it.

You can read about it HERE.

From that article it would seem daylight saving time began here in Canada, but if you read all the way to the end you’ll see it was actually in effect in some way thousands of years before in the Roman empire.


How do YOU feel about Daylight Saving Time?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Saving Thunder the Great: the true story – by Leanne Shirtliffe





Title: Saving Thunder the Great: the true story of a gerbil's 
rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire
Author: Leanne Shirtliffe
Illustrator: Georgia Graham
Publisher: Boulder Publications
Date: November 2, 2016
Genre: nonfiction picture book; ages 4-8
Pages: 32, hardcover
Price: $21.95
My rating: A child-friendly telling of a traumatic true event 

Saving Thunder the Great: a true story of a gerbil’s rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire, written by Leanne Shirtliffe is a story children will enjoy reading.

It was May 1, 2016, when a fire started outside the northern city of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada.

Jackson was visiting his grandparents in Newfoundland, the farthest eastern province of Canada, and had left his pet gerbil – Thunder the Great – in the care of his mother in Fort McMurray. His mother, Julie, was a young woman working nightshifts, trying to support herself and her son.

On the afternoon of May 3 Julie was wakened by a friend urgently telling her they had to get out of there, the wildfire was spreading so that all 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray had to be evacuated immediately. The fire was moving so quickly she had time only to throw some clothes into a suitcase, grab the gerbil in his cage, and head her car – low on gas – out of the city.

It was a terrifying experience. Along the way Julie stopped to pick up a few people who were walking in the choking smoke and let them out where they needed to go. Julie is the person who took a photo of a woman, Karley, riding her horse and leading her two others to get them out safely. That photo went “viral.” Georgia Graham‘s illustrations makes the reader feel the urgency.

The Fort McMurray wildfires were very dangerous and destructive. Author Leanne Shirtliffe, talked with Julie several times to get her personal story of the events, and through Saving Thunder the Great: the true story of a gerbil’s rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire, her story is told on a level suitable for children to read while not ignoring the real-life drama. 

Although the beautiful illustrations by Georgia Graham show how close the fire was to the thousands of people escaping to save their lives, they do not make this book too scary for young readers. Her work is impressive and realistic.

In the back of the book you’ll find two pages of Author’s Notes about Fort McMurray and Julie, who is referred to as Mama through the story. Also, in case you read the publisher’s information on the last page and wonder about it … when I inquired about Saving Thunder the Great: the true story of a gerbil’s rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire being listed as a fiction I was informed by the publisher “The book is non-fiction; the cataloguing citation is an error.”

You can find Saving Thunder the Great: the true story of a gerbil’s rescue from the Fort McMurray wildfire by Leanne Shirtliffe on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Today Canada is officially 150 years old!

In the emblem below, the thirteen diamonds of the maple leaf represent the ten provinces and three territories that make up Canada. The four red diamonds represent the four original provinces at confederation in 1867. Nova Scotia is one of those four.

There is much griping going on in some minds about it’s not being 150 years for all parts of Canada (and there are other reasons) so it’s not everyone’s celebration. In my opinion (for which you didn’t ask) that is hogwash! Canada is Canada. There will always be naysayers, no matter what country or reason of celebration. I get it that many feel because of some shameful and horrible historical events and practices and situations it’s not a happy celebration for them. I get that. And I understand that indigenous history goes back thousands of years before this, so let’s celebrate that, too. Can’t we come together and work on it? Can’t we make it better? This is a great country! Many nations have things in their history, much are ongoing, that are not celebratory, but that doesn’t mean hope is abolished or abandoned.

Canada is a great country in size, too, second in land mass only to Russia. Just to give some comparison – the United States is fourth in size, after China. 

In celebration of 150 years, Parks Canada is making available – until the end of 2017 – free passes to Canada’s national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas. This is a good year to follow through on your plans to visit Canada. Also, the tall ships are going to be visiting 11 different communities in Nova Scotia throughout this summer. All across the country there are special events taking place this year.

Currently, in Halifax harbour here in NS, the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier is anchored. Hopefully you can access this webcam view of the harbour, and this you tube video of the Eisenhower.  

And look at this flower! The Canada 150 tulip, also known as the Maple Leaf tulip, is the official tulip of Canada 150. It resembles the Canadian flag through special breeding of two different varieties of tulips. Isn’t that fabulous?

Canada’s contribution is significant in helping during world crises; my own father was a soldier in the Canadian Army that Liberated the Netherlands during World War II. Canada does have its problems and contradictions (who doesn’t?), but we are unified more than many other nations, and basically we are peace-loving. In fact, we’re mostly looking pretty good. Out of 155 countries we have been rated as the 7th happiest. (Below, I’m including only the first 20 on the list to show you.) Canada has been known as the best place to visit, to live, and to learn.  🙂  I love it here. 

1. Norway (7.537) 2. Denmark (7.522) 3. Iceland (7.504) 4. Switzerland (7.494) 5. Finland (7.469) 6. Netherlands (7.377) 7. Canada (7.316) 8. New Zealand (7.314) 9. Australia (7.284) 10. Sweden (7.284) 11. Israel (7.213) 12. Costa Rica (7.079) 13. Austria (7.006) 14. United States (6.993) 15. Ireland (6.977) 16. Germany (6.951) 17. Belgium (6.891) 18. Luxembourg (6.863) 19. United Kingdom (6.714) 20. Chile (6.652) 

So, HAPPY NATIONAL BIRTHDAY TO ALL MY FELLOW CANADIANS, AND THOSE TO COME. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says, we welcome you!

Are you doing anything special this year to celebrate Canada’s birthday? (I’ve just done it — this blog post. 🙂 )

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

A Footnote:  A dear friend in the US sent me this music video, very moving and beautiful.













It’s a beautiful Autumn day here in Nova Scotia … well, if you ignore that it’s overcast. I don’t mind because we enjoyed a fabulous September, and so far October isn’t even as cold as in many past years.

There is much for which to be thankful.  A few for me:

  • My husband entered early retirement October 1;  Yay!
  • He is stiff and sore but no serious injuries to himself or his vehicle when another vehicle hit him from behind after the one behind it didn’t stop;
  • All our girls are living not far from us again, at least for awhile;
  • Dad is still with us at age 90, still knows us, and is in good cheer most of the time;
  • We’ll probably have 15 at our Thanksgiving table today to share a meal together.
  • There are SO MANY more things I thank God for I could go on and on and on.


How about you? What are you thankful for today?

How cold is it? Celcius vs Fahrenheit

It seemed to me that we have had a very cold winter here in Nova Scotia this year. The weather has been varying a lot but when it was cold it was COLD. And windy. And snowy .. yes, lots of snow, even with a bit of a break because of our January thaw. There are some who love it, but I .. I? .. not so much. This winter I bought myself a very good pair of snowpants so I can be comfortable when taking my puppy, Meyya, out every day. Even she, although loving to bounce around in the snow, cannot tolerate it when it’s crunchy cold under foot. She refuses to walk in it, trying to hold up first one tiny foot then another because it is way too cold for her. A friend of mine knit Meyya a sweater since she outgrew the little red one, and so she wouldn’t shiver as much, but the little socks I bought Meyya wouldn’t stay on, so she goes .. um .. barefoot? Well, without the socks. 🙂 (I know, I never thought I would try to put socks or boots on a dog but it was worth a try. And cute while it lasted — all of a few seconds.)

Having said all the above, apparently our winter is warmer than usual this year. *sigh* I guess I must just be getting older and don’t appreciate the season as much anymore. And it could be that since we got her on November 30 I was out every day but two because of Meyya, so I notice the winter chill more. I do remember years ago the snowbanks being very much higher than we get now, and more blizzards. It is true our climate is changing.

Talking about cold, I found this information I thought you might be interested in seeing. It shows temperatures in Celsius which is the metric measure Canada uses now, … well, most Canadians, I suppose. I still refer to old standard measure in most things since that’s what I grew up knowing, so I included the Fahrenheit, too, for comparison. Very interesting, I think.

2º to 3º Celsius is the average temperature inside a refrigerator. That’s 35.6º F.

-10º C to -20º C is the average temperature inside a household freezer. That’s 14º F to -4º F.

– 38º C is the freezing temperature of mercury. That’s -36.4º F.

– 63º C is the coldest temperature recorded in Canada. (Feb. 3, 1947 at Snag, Yukon) That’s -81.4º F.

– 79º C is the temperature of dry ice. That’s -110.2º F.

– 89.2º C is the coldest temperature recorded on Earth. (July 21, 1983, at Vostock II, Antarctica) That’s -128.56º F.

– 150º C is the average night temperature on the moon. That’s -238º F.

– 196º C is the temperature of liquid nitrogen. (perfect for freezing liquid metal Terminators)  That’s -320.8º F.

– 218º C is the freezing point of oxygen. That’s -360.4º F.

– 228º C to 238º C is the average surface temperature on Pluto, the planet. That’s -378.4º F to -396.4º F.

– 270º C is the estimated coldest temperature in deep space. That’s -454º F.

– 272º C is the freezing point of helium. That’s -457.6º F.

– 273.16º C is absolute zero. (meaning it is exactly the same in Fahrenheit.) All atomic motion comes to a standstill. In 2003, MIT scientists cooled sodium gas to the lowest temperature yet recorded – only a half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero.

Amazing, isn’t it? Yep! There’s no convincing me this all happened by chance.

How cold was your winter? What’s your favourite winter pastime?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂