Monday, January 1, 2024


 2023 is history and everyone can carry their own version.  My habit has been to start by commemorating people who left us with some sort of connection.  

Joe Ratigliano.  Visited us from Watertown,New York with his wife wife Mary and in-laws John and Joan Oddi just before the Pandemic.  Joe was really a first cousin to my mother-in-law.  Over the years we have visited each other across the border.  That is Joe on the back row to the left.  Beside him is his wife Mary Ratigliano and next to her is Joe's sister in law and Mary's sister Joan Oddi.  In the front row is Sharon and John Oddi


Jeanette Heney was not someone I knew well, but I knew her daughter Susan and her son in law Rob much better.  I supposed I met her at the wedding back in 1977 held in Mitchell, Ontario.  I was pleased to learn she had won an award for her butter tarts as I had been eating butter tarts over a period of years on sales trips through Mitchell.  I believe Susan reflects many lessons her mother must have taught her.  The photo shows Susan, her mother Jeanette and a sister Karen enjoying a laugh together.

 Betty Canavan, the mother to our neighbor Glen Canavan and 3 Facebook friends.  We had visited her a few times at Glen's house.  She made it to 100 about a month ago.  She will be missed.  Her obituary:





This year I would like to include a dog.  Lexie seemed to defy the odds.  She had been through a few medical issues and not too long ago was scheduled to be put down, but she recovered a bit.  But the decision was made that she was suffering too much.  Two photos with Sharon and Peter  from our refrigerator.   Lexie left everyone with smiles.





             Down by Confederation Park

When Lexie visited Peter.





 Rosalynn Carter was one of the best advocates for mental health and one of the most active partners of an American president and carried on many campaigns after the presidency.

 Burt Bachrach--his songs gave a lot of leisure to a lot of people

Gordon Pinsent--The Rowdyman, born in Newfoundland before Confederation.

 Gordon Lightfoot was a favorite singer/songwriter from my youth.  I remember singing (not always sober) the Canadian Railroad Trilogy with close friends.  Many of his songs were hijacked and sold millions.

 Jim Brown known for football and movies and later a social critic.  I loved to watch him carry the ball for the Cleveland Browns.  He parlayed that to a movie career and a platform for progressive causes.

Tony Bennett was a unique singer.   I first heard him on the hit parade.  But really he was a jazz singer and later a supporter of other singers such as Lady Gaga.

Hazel McCallion, long serving mayor of Mississauga.  Met her in a Blue Jay locker room with a few social niceties.  I was waiting to help a newspaper carrier throw a ceremonial ball as was she. 

on the other hand   

        My niece Samia gave the world Kenza Natalia.

  Winter Wonders

The Royal Botanical Gardens puts on a display that helps us get through the cold winter.  This year we went with my sister Rebecca.  Saw Facebook friend, Michael Maguire performing.

A play we went to at the CAA Theatre.

 "Things I Know to be True.

Hiking at the Royal Botanical Gardens  Arboretum Trails


I had heard about Jane's Walks, but had never before been on any.  This year after two years of Covid and management changes they were renewed and I was ready.  Jason Thorne led our group.  On Saturday watched  all the developments on our Harbourfront.  A lot to look forward to.







July 1st enjoyed Canada Day with the Blue Jays.








 A Canadian citizenship ceremony before the Blue Jay Game on Canada Day, July 1, 2023.







 July 11 watched  "Bed and Breakfast" at the Lighthouse Theatre  

Bautista Day August 12





 Serendipitous discovery after Blue Jay Game.  The crowd had its own traffic flow.  A group of 7 offered us a place in line.  Turned out very good and would recommend Scaddabush for food and service



On Labour Day I spent my second year volunteering with Fair Vote Canada with Martin Reid.





 Another convention with a group of Fair Vote volunteers plus a MP from British Columbia.


In mid September we left for Italy.   Check  and photos





















 We like to end the year with a New Years' Eve party with friends.  This year we had an Italian theme.
















 Restaurants are an art form much appreciated.  Some we enjoyed include  Bhindia in Toronto Saigon House,  Mesa, the Bread Bar, Bangkok Spoon, Wild Orchid,  Avani, 211 Main st/Port Dover, Caro,     'Scaddabush (Front and Simcoe, Toronto)

Books   My list of books read:

English speaking films you might also have seen:

Foreign language films: Here are some great films:

For those who think our Canadian voting is fine my most popular blog post suggests otherwise:

My second most popular blog post comes from the movie world:

For all you Trump bashers my third most popular blog: 

If you are interested, last year had some good moments as well

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