Tag Archive for: Canada

Fall — And More New Beginnings!

Author Kay Kendall & her bunny Dusty
I wonder if you, dear readers,
are old enough to recall an expression from back in the day—sometime in the
80s—when we said this: “Well, color me _____.”
That saying no doubt linked to
having your colors done. When this was all the rage, I’d walk into a clothing store
and a saleswoman would often ask or state…”Are you a summer?” “You must be a
Myself, I skipped the color consultants, figuring out my best colors were
those I wore when friends said, “You look good in that.” (A magazine article
advised that was the easier way.)

I hark back to that time now,
and to that expression, since I wish to state two things:  
Color me thrilled + Color

My name is Kay Kendall, and as a debut mystery author, I’m thrilled to be joining the
Stiletto Gang and doubly delighted that two previous posters were
rhapsodizing about my favorite season, fall.

Last week Dru Ann Love asked what
readers’ favorite things were about the autumnal season. I will share mine now,
if a bit belatedly. It is the colors of fall that most beguile me.

Oh my, there is that word again. Colors. The trees are
vivid, in some falls more than others of course, but their leaves seem to come
alive in the crisp air and in the slanted light. Sunshine itself has a
different radiance in the fall. The sun’s light is not harsh, not coming
straight down from the sky but aslant. This light is softer and bathes things
in a kinder glow.

Even in south Texas where I live, where signs of autumn aren’t as profuse as in other parts of the US, fall is still my favorite
season. The light changes even here; the air cools some, gets a bit less
humid. The trees, however, rarely turn to orange and red. It’s estimated that once every seven years or so this corner of Texas will have some
fall color. That happened my first season here. I thought it would happen each time October came around thereafter. But nope, no such luck.

Fall of course is a prelude to winter, which I no longer
dread. Being married to a Canadian, I spent fifteen long winters in Ontario.
Not for the faint of heart. And mind you, those years were before global
warming altered things. Now in Texas I can look forward to the dark velvet
nights of winter when holiday lights shine, and they do not bounce off snow
banks down here. Hooray. As The Husband is fond of saying, “
You don’t have to
shovel heat and humidity.

My having lived in Canada explains why my debut mystery, Desolation Row, is set in Toronto. I
learned a lot about our peaceful neighbor to the north and in my book treat it
as a foreign country, not the fifty-first state that Americans often assume it
is. But I have plenty of time to get into all that in the months to come.

With my first post this fall, I start on my journey as a
member of the Stiletto Gang and look forward to many, many seasons to come of
sharing thoughts with you and the other gang members.

I’m just glad that it’s not a requirement that we wear
stilettos. At five foot ten, I’ve no need of extra height, putting it mildly.
My poor toes seem to shriek in horror whenever that Stiletto Gang logo pops up
on my computer screen. I assure my feet that never again will they be stuffed
into a tortuous shoe, a pointy-toed, high-heeled stiletto, all in the name of

Have you given up anything since you left your teens,
twenties, or so on, and thereby become more comfy—if a pinch less glam?
propose a new expression. Instead of saying “sadder but wiser,” let’s say “more
comfortable and wiser” as our years progress.
What do you think?

Lessons from the Road

By Evelyn David

The vacation was wonderful. But I’m happy to be home. The
place where the shower has real water pressure, the mattress already has lumps
in the places I like them, and I have access to a refrigerator for a midnight snack
that doesn’t cost $20. Forgive me if I sound a bit like Dorothy when I say
“there’s no place like home.”

We traveled over 2,000 miles, all the way to Halifax for the
enchanting Tattoo, a cross between a military exhibition, complete with gunfire,
and Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. This year’s dual theme was a commemoration of
the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, as well as a
celebration of the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen
Elizabeth II. A little schizophrenic, but they made it work.

Actually the Titanic was a major theme throughout Halifax, the city where
they brought the victims of the ship’s sinking. We even ate dinner in a
restaurant that had been converted from the funeral home that had been used in
1912. You could order items from the First Class Menu that had been served on
the ill-fated trip (which seemed a tad morbid). We passed and settled on fish
(actually fish was the theme of the vacation, as we only ate items from the sea
for the entire 10 days).

We wandered through Canada, gorgeous landscape
everywhere. We visited every historic site my husband could find (the family
calls him a Kamikaze tourist). But a couple of chance encounters stuck with me,
reminding me again of the journey we all make in life.

To set the scene: We’d taken a three-hour ferry ride that
included whale watching on deck with sea spray everywhere; driven with the
windows open for hours at a time; and there had been a heavy mist in the area
for two days. Result? I know I’ve used the metaphor before, but I resembled a
Chia pet, an unkempt one at that. I had an unexpected break in the tour
schedule my husband had plotted out for us and decided to treat myself to a
salon visit.

I love tea and collect teacups. Was it serendipity or just a
crazy coincidence that the hairdresser had a tattoo of a teapot with a stack of
teacups running down her arm? She was young. She came from a small village
about an hour outside of Halifax,
and loved living in the “big city.” I’m from New York, a metropolis of 8 million, so I
know from big cities. She was now living in a municipality of less than
400,000, but since her hometown had less than 1,000 residents, it’s all
relative. She needed to move to the “big city,” she explained, because
there was no future where she was from.

But she had one regret. A major regret. She’d promised
herself that she’d visit New York City
before she was 21, and her milestone birthday was in just a couple of weeks,
with no money for the trip. Living in a “big city,” you know, is
expensive. Specifically she wanted to come to New York
and stay at the Chelsea
, where Bob Dylan,
Janis Joplin, and Iggy Pop used to stay. She reminded me it was the hotel where
Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found stabbed
to death. Doesn’t sound like the typical Holiday Inn to me, but it broke her
heart that the hotel had closed before she could get there.

And I smiled because she doesn’t know that there are second,
third, and fourth acts in life. There will be other Chelsea Hotels,
and if she doesn’t get there by age 21, with the drive she has already shown to
leave her small town behind and move to the big city, I had no doubt that she’ll
get there in time.

A few days later, we were in Digby,
Canada, a small town of
under 20,000, where the ferry for Saint
departs four times a day. We had about an hour to
kill before we were due to board and so looked around for somewhere to have a
“cuppa.” Couldn’t resist the small restaurant called Mag Pyes Bakery
Shoppe and Café (spelling correct) since I often refer to my darling daughter
Maggie as Magpie. Plus according to Trip Advisor, this place was a gem. There
was tea served in a ceramic pot, china teacups, and a strawberry cheesecake pie
that was to die for. In a vacation replete with memorable meals, this afternoon
delight ranks near the top.

Owner and chef Margaret Grey chatted with us, while I tried
not to lick the plate. She told us that she had grown up in the area, gone off
to the big city, Toronto,
with her husband and worked for 20 years in marketing. She then saw an ad for a
bed and breakfast for sale in Digby (http://www.holdsworthhousebandb.com),
and just down the street from the B & B that they fully restored, was a small
restaurant for rent. Her comment to her husband summed it up” “Why
not.” Margaret and her second act dream was what I wanted to tell the
hairdresser from Halifax.
If you don’t get your dream at 21, you can have another dream at 40, 50, or
more. The important point was to keep dreaming.

Before leaving Canada, we stopped at a local
supermarket. I bought the brand of tea that I drank at Mag Pyes (King Cole,
produced in the maritime provinces of Canada, http://kingcole.ca/) I’ve already started
scouring the Internet for a recipe for strawberry cheesecake pie. I suspect
it’s a specialty of Mag Pye herself.

As for dreams and imagination, I brought mine with me on
vacation and they’re even more fired up now that I’m back home.

Sweet dreams to all.

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David


Zoned for Murder – Kindle (Exclusive at Amazon this month)
Trade Paperback

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries – e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- KindleNookSmashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah – KindleNookSmashwords
Lottawatah Twister – KindleNookSmashwords
Missing in Lottawatah – KindleNookSmashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah – KindleNookSmashwords

The Ghosts of Lottawatah – trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
Book 1 – I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 – A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)

Sullivan Investigations Mystery
Murder Off the Books KindleNookSmashwordsTrade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake KindleNookSmashwordsTrade Paperback
Riley Come Home (short story)- KindleNookSmashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) – KindleNookSmashwords

Love Lessons – KindleNookSmashwords