BOOMERBROADcast

The voice of Baby Boomers from a woman's perspective


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Here we go again ladies

victoriaIt seems they’re not listening to me so I’m going to keep condemning companies that continue to glorify grossly Photoshopped, tall thin bodies as being the ideal. Not surprisingly, Victoria’s Secret is taking a lot of heat about their new campaign entitled “The Perfect Body” that shows unrealistic body shapes as being the standard perfect body we should all strive for. While I never shop at Victoria’s Secret as I’m not a fan of their frou frou frillies and the uncomfortable fit, I think they’re losing hundreds of thousands of potential customers by focusing solely on young women who are thin and tall with weird globe-shaped surgically enhanced breasts. I know many Baby Boomer Broads who never enter their stores because they know they’ll never find something that fits and is flattering.

There are millions of women out there would like to find nice lingerie for real bodies.

There are millions of women out there would like to find nice lingerie for real bodies.

While it’s tempting to say that portraying these so-called perfect bodies in advertising is understood by consumers as not being realistic and are designed to enhance the products, I don’t “buy” it. Dove soap has done very well by featuring real women in their advertising.

As a retired corporate marketing professional I would like to make a suggestion. Imagine if Victoria’s Secret marketed to every woman regardless of skin colour, weight, length of hair or height. Imagine if they said whatever your size and shape we can make you feel beautiful. It’s not a radical theory and I’d love to see it in advertising. Maybe then the hundreds of thousands (or more accurately millions) of Baby Boomer women might be inclined to walk into a Victoria’s Secret. It’s harmful to all women and we don’t want our daughters and granddaughters to be constantly told they’re not good enough unless they are tall and thin. I urge you to speak up and let them know they’re way off base and we don’t like it one little bit. Here’s a link to a petition to get them to stop the ads. http://www.change.org/p/victoriassecret-apologise-for-your-damaging-perfect-body-campaign-iamperfect

Christmas coming

Click on the link to order directly.

Click on the link to order directly.

And don’t forget to order BOOMERBROADcast for yourself and as gifts:

Baby Boomer reflects on the journey from living life in the Sixties to living life in her Sixties, at

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=boomerbroadcast&type= or

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQH2DCG for the Kindle Edition

Get a head start on Christmas shopping.

 

 


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Canadian sacrifices at Beny-sur-mer still inspire

This prayer was left by Canadians on a tree in the gardens.

This prayer was left by North Nova Scotia Highlanders’ Memory Club on a tree in the gardens.

After my recent post about the murder of Canadians at the Abbey d’Ardennes monastery near Caen, France on June 7, 1944, I received the following note from another member of our tour group.

For some reason, when we were leaving the garden area, I stopped by a tree that had a Nova Scotia flag and a piece of paper in a plastic sleeve pinned on it . I was so surprised to see a copy of a prayer delivered there in 1967 by my uncle, Maj. CF Kennedy. My cousin, his daughter, had no idea how it got there. She did find the same prayer, beautifully printed, in her father’s scrapbook. He was a Nova Scotia Highlander and lost his arm in a battle near Caen. She remembers him talking about events at the Abbey.  He was a Member of Parliament  from 1957-67 and we wonder if he visited the Abbey on an official visit in 1967.

We have learned there was a visit to the Abbey this past June by the Nova Scotia Highlanders Memory Club, and they left the copy on the tree.  Lyle took a picture of it at the time, I have attached a copy.

We went to London after the tour and a highlight was a visit to The Tower of London where there is an amazing art installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies in the moat, the last one will be placed November 11th. There are many pictures of it on the web.

The memorial garden and monument to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders who were murdered there on June 7, 1944.

The memorial garden and monument to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and other Canadian soldiers who were murdered there on June 7, 1944.

The events of this past week have shaken us all and make us even more grateful for the sacrifice of our military, past and present.”

Thank you so much to Carol Bryson for sharing this very special story.


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It pays to make beautiful silk purses from sow’s ears

The restored Britannnia copper mine in B.C. has turned a former eyesore into an educational and visually fascinating source of income for the community.

The restored Britannia copper mine in B.C. has turned a former eyesore into an educational and visually fascinating source of income for the community.

Derelict buildings, ruins and architectural salvage are valued in Europe to the extent that fragments of crumbling Roman walls or centuries-old buildings are rarely torn down but incorporated into new and attractive projects. In North America it seemed until recently we could hardly wait to tear down classical Georgian architecture or turn-of-the-century industrial buildings to replace them with characterless glass monoliths designed with minimal imagination and no personality.

I was reminded of this recently when we visited The Britannia Mining Museum, a rehabilitated copper mine near Squamish, British Columbia that has been restored and opened as a museum in 1974. The original Britannia copper mine employed 60,000 people between 1904 and 1964. Until 1958, when a road was built to link the community on Howe Sound to Vancouver, all access to the site was by water only. When we visited the site I was unprepared for how interesting the experience would be. Climbing new wooden steps up the side of the mountain, we then took a small train into the tunnels where the guide demonstrated the working conditions for miners who drilled, blasted and loaded carts with raw materials. A vertical processing facility used gravity to funnel materials through the various processes to produce pure copper powder ready for smelting. The facility sat derelict for a number of years before it was restored and environmental remediation began on Howe Sound. What a great way to recycle an old eyesore and at the same time create interesting and productive jobs for the community.

Old schoolhouse in Bracebridge has been refashioned into modern condos.

Old schoolhouse in Bracebridge has been refashioned into modern condos.

It’s always gratifying to see projects such as The Distillery District in Toronto become vibrant and colourful destinations in our community. Or the refurbishment and gentrification of such former industrial neighbourhoods as Liberty Village or The Brickworks alongside the Don Valley Parkway. In St. Thomas, Ontario, a handsome old railway station in the centre of town is being restored to provide commercial space. This past summer we attended a wedding reception in the grand hall of the former Hamilton, Ontario railway station that had been carefully and tastefully restored.

Just this weekend I read in the newspaper about a condominium project in Bracebridge, Ontario created from an 85-year-old brick schoolhouse that no longer met modern requirements.

Additional buildings adjacent to old school offer a variety of living spaces.

Additional buildings adjacent to old school offer a variety of living spaces.

The developer, McMurray Street Investments retained the main structure and added architecturally compatible new elements to create a beautiful low-rise residential complex within walking distance of the downtown shops, library and the waterfront.

Beauty can be achieved in the most unusual places. I’m always encouraged and delighted when I see these old buildings dusted off, tarted up and given new life. I think that’s justification for Boomer Broads buying a new pair of shoes or that colourful winter coat you’ve had your eye on, don’t you. When we were in France, my honey bought me a vintage crystal brooch at the Marché de Puce, the Paris antique market, but I can’t wear it yet because he’s earmarked it as a Christmas present. So when I do get to show it off during the holidays you can be sure this old sow’s ear is going to sparkle like never before with a little help from some fresh paint, some new highlights on the roof and a little wine to loosen up the creaky old joints. It’ll be worth the investment.

 

 

 


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Boomers pay their respects at Beny-sur-Mer 70 years later

A circular patch of grass in the garden adjacent to Abbey D'Ardennes marks the spot where the remains of murdered Canadian soldiers were found.

A circular patch of grass in the garden adjacent to Abbey D’Ardennes commemorates the spot where the remains of murdered Canadian soldiers were found.

In September my husband and I spent two weeks in France and Belgium feeding our appetites for history, French wine and travel with the emphasis on history. Until this year I had been unable to source a tour that offered visits specifically to Canadian memorial sites related to World War I and World War II. The river cruises didn’t meet our criteria. After I mentioned my requirement to Lola Stoker of Cruise Holidays.com (lstoker@cruiseholidays.com)  she called me several weeks later to inform me of the perfect tour. It began with a few days in Paris followed by eight days touring Canadian war sites in northwestern France and Belgium by motor coach and returning to spend a few more days in Paris before returning home.

In addition to visits to the usual Paris landmarks, our itinerary included stops at Monet’s Giverney, Caen where the Canadians traveled inland within twenty-four hours of landing on Juno Beach on D-Day, Juno Beach and Gold Beach, Dieppe, Pegasus Bridge, Honfleur, Amiens, Somme area, Vimy Ridge, Ypres Belgium, Passchendaele, Essex Farm Cemetery (where Dr. John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields), as well as numerous Canadian war cemeteries, museums and monuments. Many people on the motor coach with us were Canadian Baby Boomers who had a grandfather, father or uncle who was a veteran of one of the wars who had a personal stake in what we were witnessing.The trip included many memorable moments but with Remembrance Day approaching, I would like to share one particular event that deeply touched each of the forty-two people on our tour.

Pictures and details about each murdered Canadian soldier are permanently installed on the wall of the monastery garden.

Pictures and details about each murdered Canadian soldier are permanently installed on the wall of the monastery garden.

One of our first visits was to the Abbey D’Ardennes near Caen. Making their way inland on D-Day, the Canadian North Nova Scotia Highlanders were the only Allied forces to achieve their objective but when they reached the Abbey they did not have the backup support they expected. The Abbey was occupied by elite Nazi SS soldiers under the command of Kurt Meyer SS-Brigadeführer Generalmajor der Waffen-SS who captured the Canadians in a section of the monastery. Meyer ordered the illegal execution of the prisoners and their bodies were not found until after the war when the wife of a neighbouring farmer turned up the remains while planting flowers in the abbey grounds. Each had been shot in the back of the head.

As we were walking from the monastery to the adjoining garden, the lady walking beside me, quietly said, “My husband was one of those soldiers who was in the area that day.” She then went on to describe how her husband, along with other Canadian soldiers hid in the wheat field next to the monastery while the German SS soldiers scoured the fields looking for them and shooting and bayoneting them until there were no survivors. Her husband, one of three soldiers who survived by playing dead for three days, then worked their way slowly through the fields until they encountered a British transport.

The monument in the garden at Beny-sur-Mer to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.

The monument in the garden at Beny-sur-Mer to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders murdered on June 7, 1944.

When they asked for a ride, they were informed that there was no room. The transport proceeded without them and was blown up further along the road killing everyone aboard. It took a few days for her husband and the other two soldiers to regroup with the North Shoreman division as the North Nova Scotia Highlanders had been decimated. He went to the padre to see if they notified his parents. The padre said no but if he  hadn’t shown up by that evening they were going to send a telegram . Her husband had planned to accompany her on this trip but passed away earlier in the year, so one of their five daughters traveled with her mother on this special journey.

As the story was related to the group, a spontaneous silence descended over our group for several minutes, followed by the placing of poppies and Canadian flags on the memorial. The owners of the adjoining farm are the same family who lived there on June 7, 1944 and who found the remains. They fly a large Canadian flag at their gate and still tend the gardens and monument. The spot in the garden where the bodies of the murdered Canadians were found is now sacred ground and there is memorial to them as well as pictures of each soldier permanently mounted on the wall of the monastery.

Kurt Meyer was eventually tried in a Canadian court for the murders and served eight years of a life sentence before he was released and returned to Germany.

 

 

 

 

 


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Plugging small businesses by women

When I come across small businesses run by women I’m always happy to endorse them and support their growth. Therefore, today I’m introducing you to four businesses that you may want to consider using:

  • Lola Stoker

    Lola Stoker

    Cruise Holidays, Luxury Travel Boutique: I first met Lola Stoker at a presentation for European river cruises when I was shopping for a tour of World War I and World War II Canadian war sites. While none of the tours she presented that day were what I was looking for, she remembered my request and e-mailed me a few months later with news of a special “Great Canadian War Memorial Tour, BME 919″ being offered by Globus. It couldn’t have been more perfect. For any cruise, river or ocean, or another specific tour or independent vacation you are considering, I highly recommend Lola Stoker who can be reached at lstoker@cruiseholidays.com or Tel 905-602-6566. Her office is in Mississauga.

  • Vanessa Baillie

    Vanessa Baillie

    MYpoint5  is a business belonging to the daughter of a friend.When first described to me I had no idea what she was talking about. MYpoint5 provides administrative services “virtually”. To use an old-fashioned term that Baby Boomer Broads understand, it is a twenty-first century high-tech version of a “Girl Friday”. Many of the services are provided via the internet. Vanessa Baillie is the proprietor and she’s based in Ottawa which is no obstacle to providing services to clients anywhere thanks to e-mail, internet, Skype and all those other new-fangled business tools. Whether you need business event planning services, customer support, social media updates, travel arrangements or calendar management, Vanessa Baillie would be delighted to help. She can be reached at vanessa@mypoint5.ca or Tel 613-884-8832.

  • secretIt’s Our Little Secret is an upscale consignment shop located at 62 Lakeshore Road East (west of Hurontario) in Port Credit, Ontario owned by Kym McKinnon with some early marketing help from Danielle Goreski, the niece of a friend and cousin of Brad Goreski, stylist-to-stars in New York and Los Angeles. Danielle is another hot entrepreneur you can learn more about by visiting her website at www.getleashedmag.com. When I visited Kym’s shop I was impressed with the quality and merchandising of the clothing, purses, shoes and accessories she carries. While browsing her shop I saw such high-end brands as Gucci, Betsy Johnson, Christian Loubitan, Chanel and Manolo Blanhik as well as Coach, Guess, Joe Jeans, Michael Kors and other familiar names. If you’re looking to score a designer item at a bargain price or you have quality items to sell, contact Tammy Mifsud at 905-274-2121.
  • Donna Kakonge

    Donna Kakonge

    Donna Kay Kakonge is the person who helped me through the process of self-publishing my book, BOOMERBROADcast. Donna has authored sixty-six books herself and provides a wide range of language-related services including editing, publishing support and writing. With numerous degrees including her Master’s Degree, Donna Kakonge has taught at University of Toronto, Ryerson University and Humber College. As a freelance communications consultant she provides services to corporations as well as individuals and is extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of media and communications.

For links to the website for each of these businesses, simply click on their company name above.

To receive BOOMERBROADcast automatically, click on the little box on this page that says “FOLLOW”.

Click on the link to order directly.

Click on the link to order directly.

 

And don’t forget to order your own copy of BOOMERBROADcast,

Baby Boomer reflects on the journey from living life in the Sixties to living life in her Sixties, at

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=boomerbroadcast&type=

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQH2DCG for the Kindle Edition

Get a head start on Christmas shopping.

 

 


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Microsoft’s CEO should know better

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

When I read about Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella’s comments last week about women in high-tech asking for raises I nearly choked on my Geritol. According to him, women shouldn’t be asking for raises. Instead, they should simply trust in the system that there’s more coming their way. I’m so apoplectic I can hardly articulate a response. If I learned nothing else during my forty years in the corporate world it’s that no one is going to walk down the hall and pat you on the head for being a good girl and back it up with a nice raise. If Nadella had his way, women would toil silently and blissfully alongside men doing the same work while watching the men reap the benefits while the women wait for a few crumbs to be thrown in their direction, if they’re very good girls.

Women's work according to S D. Keep your mouth shut and keep working.

Women’s work according to Satya Nadella.  Keep your mouth shut and keep working.

If I had taken his advice I would have spent my entire career on a reception desk, making a subsistence salary while probably simultaneously running the entire office, directing sales, handling P.R., keeping the company solvent, setting corporate policy and generally doing the work of three or four people. I’ve watched mediocre, poorly qualified men rise to the top simply because they were great self-promoters while brilliant, hard-working women are passed over. You know what I’m talking about don’t you Boomer Broads. We’ve all witnessed the subtle discrimination over the years and while the business world has improved, Nadella’s comments demonstrate there is still an underlying layer of prejudice. Not all CEOs think like he does but these dinosaurs still do exist.

Here’s an excerpt from my book, BOOMERBROADcast on the issue:

Take care of yourself in business. We’ve watched men to do it without hesitation.  If I’d taken better care of myself, I’d have had more job satisfaction, a fatter pension and much lower cortisol levels. Do not be the dutiful, hardworking girl waiting for a pat on the head. Set your goals. State what you want and if you deserve it, ask for it. The worst they can say is no. At best, you’ll be able to buy a condo and take a vacation. You’re worth it. And buying your own diamonds proves it.

Protect your interests and take care of yourself first. We’re all familiar with the airline safety procedure telling us to put the oxygen mask over our own face before that of children. The benefits may seem obvious to most of us but not everyone gets it. This metaphor applies to life in general and in my experience no more so than in the business world. Boomer Broads were raised to be dutiful, considerate, self-effacing models of compliance. In a generation of women who were now expected to also hold our own in the working world, we carried these values into the workplace. As a result, we were easily taken advantage of and not always given our just rewards. How many Boomers and other women do you know who worked their asses off and never received the recognition they deserved.

. . . . . What I learned is that it’s the responsibility of each one of us when we are doing an excellent job to insist upon the commensurate rewards. That may take the form of a higher salary, a promotion, an extra week of vacation or some other type of recognition. I worked for a very enlightened employer who would probably have complied if I had raised the issue of higher salary or more staff. The fault was my own. Instead of asking for additional staff, my way of coping was to string yellow “CAUTION” tape up around my desk and work until midnight.”

How can a man achieve the level of CEO of Microsoft when he has the temerity to say something so patently stupid. I hope Melissa Gates had a word with him. While Nadella later apologized for his comments, the damage has been done. As a result of his Freudian slip we now know what he’s really thinking.

Click on the link to order directly.

Click on the link to order directly.

 

And don’t forget to order your own copy of BOOMERBROADcast,

Baby Boomer reflects on the journey from living life in the Sixties to living life in her Sixties, at

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=boomerbroadcast&type= or

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQH2DCG for the Kindle Edition

Get a head start on Christmas shopping.

 

 

 


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Ann-Marie MacDonald opens up

Adult onsetLet me begin this review of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s newest book, Adult Onset by stating up front that I’m a huge fan of her writing. Fall on Your Knees was an incredible and unforgettable read. The Way The Crow Flies fictionalized a very tragic event in the history of Ontario law enforcement in a way that kept me reading and trying to predict the outcome through every page. I love the way she paints the scenery, gives life and depth to her characters and spins a yarn that keeps me engaged throughout. I’ve waited for her newest book with such anticipation that I pre-ordered it on-line so I would be at the front of the line to read it when it was published, rather than wait my turn to download it from the library.

Adult Onset is transparently autobiographical. It covers a few days in the life of Mary-Rose MacKinnon, mother of two children who has taken a sabbatical from her life of writing Young Adult Fiction to be a stay-at-home mom. This gives her wife, Hilary the freedom to bring home the bacon while traveling and working as a theatre director. While she clearly loves her children and wife, Mary-Rose chafes under the drudgery of everyday life focused around raising small children, maintaining a relationship with her parents and siblings and caretaking the homefront. Reading between the lines, we can speculate about child abuse and the normal disillusionment surrounding family relationships.

The book has been on the market for only a few days now so there’s not much feedback yet. My own reaction, whether I’m in the minority or majority remains to be seen, was disappointment. While the writing is beautifully crafted the content is too personal to be of interest to anyone but the writer. In the way that cat or dog owners (and I’m one of them)  think the pictures and antics of their pet are fascinating to other people and therefore Facebook-worthy, MacDonald is a mother who is so profoundly affected by motherhood that she assumes the rest of us also care about the small dramas that constitute her daily family life. That may be harsh but I feel she turned her massive talent into a Dear Diary of boring domestic voyeurism. She’s a brilliant writer and I have no doubt that as her children grow older and less dependent on her, she’ll be able to once again cast a wider net and reel me in. Not this time, though.

 

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