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TToT: Just a Storm Before the Calm – “Fa La La La La”

No, it’s not from a Christmas carol that I’m singing: Fa La La La La – it’s only August.        
But come on – just try to make that sound and not smile.


“We didn’t set out to become super heros but life doesn’t always go as planned.”
–Big Hero 6

No, life certainly does not.


This week is full of quotes, music, and one photograph. This week:

I heard of the passing away of someone an old friend of mine will dearly miss. It’s tragic that a thing like cancer exists and that it took the life of someone who was only starting out in her life really. No twenty-five-year-old should die.

On the other end is former president Jimmy Carter, who announced his recent cancer diagnosis,

with a press conference,

this week and things look pretty grim for him as well.

He seems at peace with it, at his age, and still continues to do his beloved charity work, but who knows how much time he’s got left. Who knows how much time any of us have though.

Which leads me to my theme for the week:

Ten Things of Thankful

For The Diary of a Young Girl. Yeah, for the actual diary, which I finally have as a part of my collection of books on the shelf now.

It took me a while, simply because I feel so silly buying books I won’t be able to read, even books I love so much and that mean so much to me.

But I went to listen to the woman who is playing Anne Frank at the Stratford Festival this season. I saw the play a few months back and wanted to take this opportunity to hear her speak about the role.

It’s extremely interesting to hear her thoughts and feelings on playing such an iconic girl, big shoes to fill, but she does a fabulous job.

Stratford’s Diary of Anne Frank is hard-hitting and deeply enriching – THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Check it out, if you can.

Afterwards I decided to go for it and buy the diary. Seemed fitting.

“He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery.”
–Anne Frank

For birthday parties, with candy bars, delicious cupcakes, and children playing.

My nephew had the big party, compared to the small family one we had on his actual birthday.

This time my sister did a great job at throwing him a Big Hero 6 themed bash. All the various candy she had for the candy bar (the best in latest fads and I’m not complaining) represented something from the Big Hero 6 universe.

I don’t recall what the Sweet Tarts were supposed to represent, but they were damn good.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place called San Fransokyo?


My nephew knows every word from this super hero animated film, even as he is learning what each word means – “fa la la la la” is a line, if you can call it that, from the movie.

For time spent at the beach.

I spent the entire time in waist-high water. It was warm and calm. All the waves were in the shallows, but truthfully, the water stayed shallow for a long, long way out.

I have a continual fear of undertows, but I was able to relax and enjoy the sunshine and the peaceful floating I did.

I brought my friend along. I hoped the beach might help, somehow, because it always helps me.

For seagulls, a flock of them..

This one is for my brother, who visited Prince Edward Island this week.

I love the sound they make, the cry, the squawk. To me, that sound is pure bliss of the ocean/lake, even if I hear one in a parking lot, far from the water.

Even for the 80s band. Okay, sure – let’s include them in there also.

For the Great Lakes. I am lucky, although I do not live near the ocean, I do live relatively close to the next best thing to it.

A Great Summer Adventure

I wrote this story, last year, about my visit to all five of the lakes in one summer.

I thought the play on words was pretty clever obviously.


For World Photography Day.

Well, actually, for my brother’s love, passion, and gift for the art of photography.

In reality, these days never stop coming and this is the first year I’ve heard of this one in particular.

Honestly, they do just make some handy suggestions for the TToT I’ve enjoyed participating in here. I texted my brother a Happy Photography Day and he, too, had never heard of it.

But the spirit of it is his ability to take beautiful photographs of the people he loves and the things he finds interesting. It is a part of what makes him who he is.


Should be a picture of me, but I can never be sure. Okay, so I probably sound a little bit like I am bragging, saying what I just said, then using a photo of myself. The truth is that this was the only picture I had on hand of his, but I thought I needed some visual representation to go with this Thankful.

For the creation of Winnie The Pooh, which would only be possible with the birth of the boy who inspired the loveable cartoon bear that my nephew loves so much – hell, that I love too. He’s just so darn cute.

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
–A.A. Milne

For Pinterest because it brings happiness to one who totally deserves it.

It was nice to hear the laughter. Life and storms can be rough sometimes.

For a friend who sent me some new music.

Ioana Grandrabur

I guess he thought I’d like this guitar player because she is a blind guitarist from Canada. Well, she does play some beautiful music, I must admit, she lives in Canada and I do too.

If you are a fan of classical guitar I suggest you give her a listen.

For my father and his continuous concern for me and the things I need, the way he takes care of me, and for his thoughtful gesture of stopping by to check on me.

Of course, one could argue that that’s what fathers do, but they don’t, not all of them anyway.

I am just thankful and grateful and wanted him to know that.

Did you know that when you see lightning, it’s traveling at about 227 million miles (365 million km) an hour?

Thanks National Geographic, for that cool little fact to go with my TToT post this week.

Storm Before the Calm

“I am now almost ninety and my strength is slowly failing. Still, the task I received from Anne continues to restore my energy: to struggle for reconciliation and human rights throughout the world.”
–Otto Frank, 1979

Otto Frank died on August 19th, one year after he said these words. Thought I’d end this week’s post with this, as I just wanted to include him, being that I started my week off with talking about the daughter he refers to here.

Life sure can be rough and sometimes the storms are deadly.

Other times, something good can come from the bad and the water will grow calm and still and peaceful once more.

I’m just happy to be here, this week, and to realize how precious life is, even when it takes a few crummy cancer stories to be the reminder of that fact.


17 thoughts on “TToT: Just a Storm Before the Calm – “Fa La La La La”

  1. I’m glad you bought the book.You can touch it, feel it, smell it if it’s an older copy with that old-book smell…

    And it clearly brings you pleasure.

    I love the portrait of you. Your brother is indeed talented, to capture you so well. I love taking pictures of children who trust me enough to reveal their inner selves- kids get posed a lot, and I love capturing the just-as-they-are moments, instead. I’s rather have those than any number of portraits…

    I also have a thing for taking pictures of dead trees, which are like sculpture, to me, and of reflections.

    I grieve with your friend for the loss. I, too, have been thinking of Jimmy Carter and his grace – he’s the first president I remember well, and he’s always impressed me. I’m happy he’s at peace with whatever’s next.

    The laughter and joy of children – nothing like it. ❤ Or parents who still care for you, with actions.

    So thankful you shared your list!

  2. I so enjoy reading your posts. They always have a little of everything. And that makes perfect sense 🙂
    I’m very sorry you lost your friend. Death at any age brings sadness but when it comes to children, to young people, there is a depth to the sadness that stands apart. For the reason you stated – she was just starting her life.
    I love Sarah’s voice. Almost as soothing as the sounds at the beach. Excellent you spent some time there. An absolute favorite place of mine.
    Thank you for the link to Ioana Grandabur. I once played classical guitar and regret stopping my lessons.
    Aren’t children’s birthdays the best! Sounds like you guys had an excellent time 🙂

    • Thanks.
      Yeah, both Sarah and Ioana are very talented. Their music is serene.
      Kid parties are always fun to attend, for the adults as well. My sister is the best at party planning. She is very creative and artistic.

  3. Im With Denise…you put together such an eclectic grouping here…its fun to read….jimmy carter has always been in my circle of those i most admire…i am sorry about the loss of your friend. 25 is just far too young.

  4. dyannedillon says:

    I hate to be a copycat and everything, but ditto what Denise and Ivy said.
    The last time I was at the beach (a year ago) I got crapped on by a flock of seagulls.
    We decorated our nursery with vintage Pooh when my son was born, and that was when it was first coming out as a nursery line and was very hard to find. It was such a sweet, soothing room!
    Some day, I am going to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex.

    • Sorry to hear about the seagull incident. I had that happen to me as a child. We were on vacation and my mom had to take me to a public washroom to rinse my hair. Ah, memories.

      I am going there to someday. I’ve talked to someone who’s been there and she says it is totally silent.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. 25 years old is far too young.
    My dear friend just lost her father to cancer on Thursday and it’s odd because my post is about his death. Cancer is a horrible illness — no matter how old or young you are.
    Birthday parties and cake and cupcakes should be on everyone’s list for all the days!!!
    Your brother has an amazing gift for taking pictures. That photo of you is absolutely stunning. Really. You’re gorgeous.
    PS. I am Canadian too 🙂

    • Actually, it was a friend of a friend.
      Yes, cupcakes are always good.
      I’ll tell my brother you said so.
      Thank you very much for the compliment. Nice to speak to another Canadian.

  6. valj2750 says:

    Ditto and you know I love the beach and your share of the seagulls was very relaxing to listen to. The photo your brother took is beautiful and so are you, inside and out.

  7. Sorry to hear about your friend passing away, that’s always tough especaily when one is so young. Anne Frank’s story fascinated me from childhood, how great that you scored her diary. Also thanks for the lightening tidbit I never heard that one. I love National Geographic but seldom have time to enjoy the TV program.

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