The voice of Baby Boomers from a woman's perspective

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Whew! I’ve finished.

eternity In case you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted any book reviews lately it’s because I’ve been ploughing through Edge of Eternity, the third book in Ken Follett’s Century trilogy. There’s nothing I love better than a great big fat book but at eleven hundred pages this one took some time. Follett’s epic fictionalized accounts of real life events are always educational, entertaining, tantalizing and engrossing.

winterThe first book, Fall of Giants was, I thought, the best. Covering world events from the beginning of the twentieth century to about 1925, we are introduced to approximately one hundred and seventy-four characters all of whom are fascinating and relevant. Winter of the World takes us from 1925 until the beginning of the Cold War and this last installment, Edge of Eternity covers world events from construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to its fall in 1987.

Reading about the race riots in Birmingham, Alabama in the sixties, the escalating Cold War, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Bay of Pigs debacle, Russian dissidents covertly releasing books describing life in Siberian gulags and other historical events fictionally recreated in the pages of this book was a trip down memory lane. Boomers will clearly remember the black and white pictures of race riots on the front pages of newspapers and the sanitized scenes of the Vietnam war that appeared on our television screens every evening. These events will all be recalled as part of lives our growing up. Some of the dialogue was a bit corny this time and the placing of characters a tad contrived, but that’s the nature of fiction.

giantsBecause I read all three books over a period of about three years, it was hard to keep track of the characters, particularly by the time I got to Edge of Eternity. At first I found myself scratching my head searching for the details and course of events that made the earlier characters so fascinating. Follett helps the reader somewhat by providing brief backgrounds but I found the earlier characters much more interesting, perhaps because I’m a fan of the earlier history. I plan to re-read Fall of Giants again some time as it was my favourite of the three.

What struck me most as I wrapped up this reading marathon was how little our world leaders have learned as a result of their twentieth century mistakes. Thanks to Comrade Putin, Russia is regressing to Cold War status. The current racial tension in Ferguson, Missouri and its ripple effect is tragically similar to events in Birmingham, Alabama in the sixties. Sadly, this time there is no Dr. Martin Luther King to calm the protests. And the bad guys are still engaged in pissing contests. Perhaps they should all take a break and read the century trilogy. We’re supposed to learn from our past mistakes.

Order your copy of BOOMERBROADcast, the book:


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My 15 minutes of fame became 45 minutes

What she saidYour Boomerbroadcaster recently guested on Sirius XM satellite Radio show “What She Said” on CBC Canada Talks Channel 167. I was contacted by host Christine Bentley (formerly newscaster for CTV television network) and interviewed on November 12, 2014 by Christine and Kate Wheeler about my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. My segment was scheduled for fifteen minutes but it seems they couldn’t shut me up and the interview lasted for forty-five minutes. The entire experience was a quite a thrill for this Boomer Broad.


Sharon Caddy, Kate Wheeler and Christine Bentley have been trusted news sources for Canadians for decades. They interview people for information not sensation and they let you know why you should care about the topics of the day. Whether it’s finance, family, health, estate planning, tech or sex, drugs and rock n’ roll there’s no topic that’s off limits for What She Said! Join us at 10 ET on SXM Canada Talks.

Coincidently “What She Said” is one of my favourite radio shows as they cover a variety of issues often related to women specifically. As a result of previous interviews on the show I’ve purchased several books that turned out to be great reads.

49301906Here’s the link to download and listen to an audio replay of the entire interview:

CBC Sirius Radio Interview

And don’t forget to order a copy of the book:




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BOOMERBROADcast is now available on Amazon!

xmas tree1Just in time for Christmas and for your shopping convenience, BOOMERBROADcast has now been released on With a few clicks of your mouse you can wrap up your Christmas shopping by ordering copies to be delivered to your door or directly to your gift recipients within a few days.

Enjoy the advice, humour and frank opinions of this Boomer Broad in my first book. Packed with valuable business advice, astute observations on contemporary issues, book and movie reviews and commentary on fashion, mind and body, BOOMERBROADcast provides insights into what makes boomers tick. Reflections on life growing up in the sixties are juxtaposed with the realities of life in our sixties.

Click on the link to order directly.Surprise your friends with a copy of BOOMERBROADcast.

They’ll be glad you did.

 Order now:


If I had a hammer . . . I’d have a job

Skilled workers are not limited to construction.

Skilled workers are not limited to construction trades.

Our over-educated and under-employed workforce would do well to consider what the son of business friend chose for a career. At a time when parents and educators are force-feeding young people a steady diet of university fare, our friend’s son chose to become a plumber. He’s been fully-employed in this line of work for more than ten years now, progressing through a four-year apprenticeship that included college courses, job training and practical experience. He’s now a Project Manager for a mechanical contractor, responsible for overseeing and managing the work performed by others.

We’ve been hearing for years about shortages in skilled trades. It was a constant concern when I worked for EllisDon and time hasn’t improved the situation. Anyone who chooses to become a plumber, electrician, carpenter, mechanic, bricklayer, painter, drywaller or other skilled trades person can be assured of full-time work for the rest of his or her life regardless of where they live. These jobs are important in the world of business and are not limited to large urban centres. Skilled workers can work full-time wherever they live, in small communities or large cities. Their skills are always in demand and in short supply.

worker2One of the major benefits of employment in the skilled trades is financial. Just consider what you have to pay a plumber to visit your home to replace the seal on your toilet, a painter to redecorate your main floor or an electrician to install a new ceiling fixture in your diningroom. And we’ve all had heart-stopping bills from the mechanic who maintains our vehicle.

Isn’t it time we stopped funneling everyone into university and directed them instead to the many options available in skilled fields? Consider the benefits:

  • Full employment, either with an established firm or self-employment.
  • Mobility, whether the individual prefers small-town life or life in the city, across the country.
  • Financial security. Hourly rates are lucrative and if unionized, benefits are plentiful.
  • Flexibility in working hours.
  • Flexibility in type of work, whether you want to work indoors or outdoors, on commercial or residential, on production or custom projects.
  • You’ll be everyone’s friend. We’d all love to have a plumber, electrician, carpenter or mechanic in our circle.
  • Mate bait. Having a skilled trades person as a partner makes for a happier home life.
  • Growth potential. Whether working for someone else or self-employed, opportunities are abundant for bright, ambitious individuals to advance their careers into supervisory, administrative or entrepreneurial positions.

Ask your under-employed friends and relatives to give it some thought. And skilled work isn’t limited to the construction trades. Wouldn’t it be great to have a baker, a hairdresser, chef or telecommunications person in the family? The benefits are undeniable and last a lifetime.

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Victoria’s Secret yields to customer demands – sort of. . .

victoriaThanks so much for your support of the petition (here’s the link to my earlier blog criticizing Victoria’s Secret for their recent ad campaign glorifying skinny female bone bags with fake surgically enhanced breasts as being the perfect body. While we didn’t achieve one hundred percent success in getting them to pull the ads, they still acknowledged that they heard their customers and modified the wording somewhat.

Nov 16, 2014 — Victoria’s Secret changed the wording of their advertisements for their bra range Body from ‘The Perfect ‘Body” to ‘A Body For Every Body’. They changed the wording online, and in stores they took down posters bearing the original wording.

Victoria’s Secret listened to the public and made a positive change, although we received no apology or statement. This is still an incredible achievement! We are overjoyed. Thank you so much to every single person that signed this petition, shared it and helped the spread the message of our campaign! Let’s hope advertisers get the message that body-shaming is never ok!

In this world of eating disorders, crazy diets and dangerous surgical procedures aimed at acquiring the so-called perfect skinny body, it’s irresponsible to encourage women to harm themselves in pursuit of an unrealistic goal. See ladies—we can make a difference when we all gang up on them. Onward and upward.


Internships should not be a free ride

intern3Like many people, I was appalled by the comments made recently by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. He suggested unemployed young people should seek out free internships or volunteer work while they’re looking for employment. Who else but an out-of-touch well-off middle-aged white guy could make such a stupid statement. Let me state right now that I am strongly opposed to unpaid internships and here are my reasons why:

  1. I believe it’s a form of slave labour and is exploitative. I think it’s shameful for employers to expect human beings to work in their money-making enterprises without compensation.
  2. Employing free youth labour deprives workers who need even minimum-wage jobs of the opportunity to fill those positions in order to provide for themselves and perhaps their families by earning a living.
  3. The unemployment rolls are perpetuated by this practice which ultimately costs our economy and taxpayers.
  4. Young people from rural communities and small towns do not have the advantage of parents living in the city who can provide free room and board.
Interns should receive minimal pay and perform meaningful work.

Interns should receive minimal pay and perform meaningful work.

While I do appreciate the naive good intentions in Poloz’s comments, his perspective reflects a very narrow demographic, that is, people who live in urban areas and have families with the financial wherewithal to support their offspring while they do this free work. I truly understand and endorse the value of internships while students are attending school as it provides valuable on-the-job experience but it should not be an opportunity for employers to snag some poor soul to fetch coffee and dry cleaning while reducing their labour costs.

What about the hundreds of thousands of young Canadians who come from less-affluent rural and remote communities across Canada whose parents do not live in the city and do not have the ability to provide room and board during these unpaid internships?  These young people have left their small towns, farms and homes to attend university or college in the city and absolutely must generate income to allow them to live where the jobs are. They do not have the option of free room and board. Would Mr. Poloz be willing to open his basement for these people while they do unpaid volunteer or intern work? He has displayed a total lack of perspective and understanding of life as lived by the ninety-nine percenters in our population. Quite simply, most young people need to be paid in order to put a roof over their heads, buy food and ultimately pay off their student loans.

I’ve read of young people having as many as eight or ten unpaid internship positions with still no hope of a permanent job in sight. Why would employers want to pay staffers when they can get slaves for free? I think the unpaid internship system is wrong and should be illegal. If the work has value, the workers deserve to be paid when it’s not part of their regular school curriculum requirements. Young people should not be expected to work all summer without pay under the pretense of gaining experience. Plain and simple. Employers who engage interns outside of school requirements without compensation should be ashamed. There. I’ve said it.

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Never cry rape

abuse2Reva Seth and Lucy DeCoutere deserve a medal for their courage in coming forward with their accusations about Jian Ghomeshi. Recent evidence indicates Ghomeshi’s behaviour had been witnessed by many people over the years and for various reasons they chose to remain silent or no action was taken. The ensuing media attention has heightened awareness about the frequency of assaults on women and men and I can only hope that our politicians and law enforcement with the support of citizens in general start to do something to correct the situation.

The number of women, children and men who are abused every day is far higher than anyone imagines. In my own lifetime and within my own circle of friends and acquaintances I know only a few people who have not been sexually abused. The good guys out there find it hard to believe that it’s so rampant and the bad guys have enjoyed decades and centuries of protection by a society that trivializes the incidence and impact of the attacks. Everyone has their own particular reasons for not pursuing legal action to stop their attackers. It could be fear of reprisal, fear of not being taken seriously, lack of emotional stamina needed to see the process through, embarrassment, humiliation or sadly, reversal of blame. Most often, they want to simply put it behind them and hopefully in time the pain will go away. But it does not.

There is absolutely never justification for one human being to hurt another.

There is absolutely never any justification for one human being hurting another.

There is simply no excuse for one human being to hurt another human being under any circumstances. But every second of every day, women, children and men are emotionally and physically abused by relatives, friends, husbands, wives, protectors, acquaintances and strangers. And most victims never report it.  I was recently made aware of a poor immigrant woman who is forced by the manager of the factory where she works to provide sexual services for him every day. If not, he will fire her and she needs the money she earns as her language and job skills are limited. She is also afraid that if her traditional husband finds out, he will blame her and divorce her. She lacks knowledge of and confidence in the Canadian legal system to support her if she reports the abuse. This is not uncommon. Even those of us who were born in Canada and are familiar with the legal processes lack confidence in its ability to provide justice and ensure our protection.

It will be interesting to see how the Jian Ghomeshi story develops. One upside of the controversy is that perhaps it will remind abusers that the tolerance for their behaviours is slowly being eroded. I sincerely hope that our lawmakers and enforcers will undertake a review and implementation of new laws that do not further victimize the victims. The bad guys don’t deserve to get away with their actions and the only way that will happen is to treat the victims with the respect and care they deserve. Violence has no place in anyone’s world, least of all the vulnerable. Reva Seth and Lucy DeCoutere are just two women who said “I’m not going to take it anymore” and they should be commended for their courage. Perhaps this awareness has brought us two steps closer to action.


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