Tag Archives: Hallmark

Valintinus, Hallmark and a Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Valintinus, Hallmark and a Crazy Little Thing Called Love

It’s a funny thing: I haven’t received a valentine in years. It used to be that every time Feb 14 rolled around I’d get at least one or two valentines, but for some time now they’ve stopped. I wonder why? In any case the approach of Feb 14 besides setting me to wondering where my valentines went also set me to pondering the origin of Valentine’s Day. We all know that it’s really St Valentine’s Day and so presumably it’s named after a saint named Valentine but who was Valentine and how did he get his name connected with flaming romance?

I’m indebted to Hallmark Cards for supplying me with the answers and the movies I cry through each week.The first valentine it seems was sent many many years age away back in the third century as a matter of fact. The sender was a young Roman named Valentinus.The story doean’t say that Valentinus was a Christian, but it does say that he made friends of Christians and aided them in those days that was a mighty dangerous thing to do.

And so first thing yon know poor Valentinus ran afoul of the Emperor Claudius II and ended np behind bars. While he was in prison Valentinus met and made friends with the blind daughter of his jailer. Their friendship blossomed and — so the story goes — Valentinus restored the girl’s sight. Even this miracle wasn’t enough to turn the heart of the emperor however and Valentinus was sentenced to die for his assistance to the persecuted Christians. On Feb 14 he was put to death and his body was buried in what today is the Church of Praxedes in Rome.

However on the night before he died Valentinus wrote a farewell message to the jailer’s daughter which he signed: “From your Valentine.” And so it all began and flowered until today the name of Valentinus has come to be synonymous with affection among friends and love among aweethearts. Well it could be that love and affection are the dominant feature of Valentine’s Day.

Yes, that was a Hallmark card!

But do you remember the days of the “funny” valentines? When I was in school the humorous valentine was all the rage. And truth to tell some of them weren’t really funny at all SOME WERE CRUEL. I can still remember the outrage that some cards aroused in their recipients Even worse were the ones which didn’t outrage but deeply hurt the person who got them.

“Roses are red violets are blue all skunks stink and so do you” was a particularly obnoxious valentine verse which I recall. Then there were the ones featuring a grotesque character wearing a dunce’s hat or a big fat lady trying to squeeze sideways through a door. The main thing about these “funny” valentines was trying to guess who had sent them to you, And then — if they weren’t too big — beating the living ‘be jabbers out of them. They tell me that “funny” valentines are pretty well passe now,and I am glad to hear it. Today it seems that sentiment is back in style although not to the extent of earlier days when some of the verses were enough to turn your stomach.

Whether valentines are sentimental funny ridiculous, or even cruel, they all have one purpose in mind and that is to deliver a message And, the message practically always gets through in spite of all difficulties There is the story of a painfully shy soldier who wrote a valentine letter to a French girl. The letter was in English and the girl spoke nothing but French, but it hardly seemed to matter since the boy was too shy to write anything but comments on the weather. Imagine his surprise when on their next meeting the girl rushed into his arms and smothered him with kisses They got along fine after that and in due course were married. After they’d been married awhile the soldier got up enough courage one day to ask his beloved what it was in his letter that had aroused her.

“Why it was the kisses you put on the envelope” she replied happily producing the envelope for him to see. Sure enough there were the kisses — a whole row of x’s made by the post office cancelling machine.

Unforgettable — Waterside Retirement Community –Valentine’s Day

Only Got My Love to Send On Valentine’s Day—Readers Comments

Let Them Be Little— Then and Now

What I Learned From Rhoda Morgenstern

And They Called it Puppy Love

Would You Duel Anything For Love?

Alternate Ending to The Last Duel?

The Tale of the Valentine Love Spud

“Cry Me a River’ Movies Shot in Our Area Thanks to Tiffany Maclaren

“Cry Me a River’ Movies Shot in Our Area Thanks to Tiffany Maclaren

Updated May 2021

Thanks to Tiffany we will be getting updates to keep this current.. Thanks Tiffany!!

This is from our gal .Tiffany MacLaren in Almonte– Thank you!!HI LindaI hope you are well! I noticed you shared a post with an article about Movies in Almonte so I thought you might in interested in this list. The Evil Twin was on Lifetime this weekend and can be watched on YouTube for free also. Pretty cheesy but lots of fun local sightings.Often the titles are only working titles and change before they are released (I imagine there is a lot of duplication) so the titles in my list could be wrong. I update when I get new information

Watch Hallmark Movies? Writer? This is What You Get….

Les Portes Tournantes Film Almonte 1987

The Rooftop Christmas Tree in Carleton Place (2016)

Seeds of Love–Almonte Cinema – Then and Now

What You Didn’t Know About the House on High Street

We Don’t Live in Lanark County — We Live in Hallmark County

The Seven Wonders of Lanark County

What do the IDA and Hallmark Have in Common? by Glenda Mahoney

I Always Wanted a Hallmark Moment — Thanks Joanne Henderson

Lost Family Art Found Creates A Hallmark Moment

What do the IDA and Hallmark Have in Common? by Glenda Mahoney

What do the IDA and Hallmark Have in Common?  by Glenda Mahoney




This is Farah Merani -the beauty with the long dark hair wearing the red pants – in the Hallmark movie The Magical Christmas Ornament. Farah is the daughter of Esmail and Mina who have a business in Carleton Place.  Esmail and his son Karim are both pharmacists and the owners of the Carleton Place Stittsville Richmond and Greenbank IDA stores.

It was a few years ago, but the movie is part of the Hallmark Christmas movie line up. I knew about it but I have never seen the movie. I was researching the movies filmed in Almonte and Carleton Place for my sisters and randomly came across this still with Farah in it. She is an actress and has been in plays, television commercials and lives in Toronto.

Esmail and Aziz had always brought all of their children in to the Carleton Place IDA to work when they were young. Those kids worked all of the positions in the store and they were not treated with any special privileges and did everything. They stocked shelves and price ticketed merchandise and worked at the front cash wherever they were needed.. They are a wonderful family and very modest and unassuming. Farah had come home that year for Christmas and Esmail was joking around that throughout the entire Christmas holiday week the movie was played non stop. Lol. Over and over and over.

Glenda Mahoney






My First Hallmark Hippie Kiss — Who? What? Where?

I Always Wanted a Hallmark Moment — Thanks Joanne Henderson

Hallmark Moments Around Us This Week

Lost Family Art Found Creates A Hallmark Moment

Watch Hallmark Movies? Writer? This is What You Get….

We Don’t Live in Lanark County — We Live in Hallmark County

Once the Ship Has Sailed Don’t Hold on to the Anchor! Linda Knight Seccaspina

Once the Ship Has Sailed Don’t Hold on to the Anchor! Linda Knight Seccaspina
Harry’s Pool room Cowansville

Once the Ship Has Sailed Don’t Hold on to the Anchor!–Linda Knight Seccaspina

One day in the 60s sitting at the Riviera Cafe on South Street in Cowansville, Quebec Buffalo Springfield’s new song “For What it’s Worth” began to play. That particular song immediately became a huge turning point in my life about standing up to what I believe in and attempting to become a weekend hippie.

The year before, The Byrd’s had been my big influence. I remember my father told me if he so much as saw me wear the Ben Franklin glasses Roger McGuinn wore, well, there would be trouble. In my life if people went left, I always went right, and right I went the next day to The Treasure Chest on Main Street to buy the glasses. Of course I was wearing them as soon as I got out of the store, and who drove down the street but my father beeping his horn and shaking his fist at me. Arthur J. Knight eventually got over it, just like he got over the acrylic polyester bell bottom pants from Eaton’s.

When I turned 15 my friends and I took the bus to Montreal to hand out flowers for peace at the Place Ville Marie Plaza some weekends. People would come up to the girl with the flowers in her hair and ask me if I was from San Francisco. I would just smile from ear to ear as that was the highest compliment anyone could give me. Even with all the peace and flowers it seemed like I was still missing something. You know, maybe a boyfriend, living a hippie lifestyle — wearing their long hair in braids, playing guitar, preferably living out of a Volkswagen van, protesting violence, and spreading peace and love.

The problem was a lack of male hippies back in Cowansville, Quebec. Apparently,there was some sort of testosterone rivalry between the boys in Cowansville vs the boys in Granby. I don’t seem to remember that, but I do remember the cute young men from Granby. However, honestly, I don’t think I knew what testosterone was in those days.

In a Hallmark moment I do remember getting the attention of this very tall lanky guy one night at a concert in front of the Cowansville town hall. I can remember his towering height, the long matted hair, and the god awful smell of patchouli, but do you think I can still remember his name? So, I decided to ask my friend Leslye Wyatt who seems to remember a heck more than I do these days, and she said:

“Oh my goodness you are talking about that guy with the long hair that was from Granby. His name was “Taupe” and  I have no clue what his real name was.”

Leslye went on to say he was part of “our hippie gang” (we had a gang?) from Granby and that there were others called Dylan, Red and “Henthouhuanne”. Henthouhuanne was actually an annoying spelling to make this fella’s name of “Antoine” sound cool.

I can still remember holding Taupe’s hand at that concert and then after one light peck on the cheek I never really saw him again. According to Leslye, after a couple of weeks of the lads spending some time in Cowansville they went back to the girls in Granby.

In the end my memory of him was just like the very end of a Hallmark movie. Their trusted recipe is: take one girl, take one boy, 2 hours of back and forth of mixed conversation, they kiss and get back together in the last 2 minutes. Then it’s over, leaving you unsatisfied most times. This was my first kiss that just whizzed by, and then I never saw him again. I will never ever forget that moment, yet I could not remember his name was Taupe. I was close though– I kept thinking about Ed Sullivan’s puppet Topo Gigio for some reason — so I was definitely in the vicinity. So my advice to you? Write everything down while you still remember. The nice thing about having a bad memory is you can have reruns without commercials.

Hallmark Moments Around Us This Week

Hallmark Moments Around Us This Week

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Number one

On Saturday Stephen Giles, originally from Carleton Place, and who now lives in Ottawa bought an oil painting at St. James Anglican Church Bazaar in Carleton Place. To anyone who wasn’t really looking, it could have been just another oil painting found on a White Elephant Table. But I have personally always believed that everything once had a story, and when Stephen showed it to me I became intrigued. The inscription on the bottom of the painting was signed “Roy F. Fleming” and I wrote it down thinking it might have some local interest.

The old painting might have been used just for the frame until he also showed me a ripped label on the back with only the words inscribed: “it was something grandfather had painted” showing.  When I got home I did some sleuthing and found out the late Roy Franklin Fleming and the late Bertha Elizabeth Hawley were the parents of Bruce Hawley Fleming who passed away in Almonte in 2010.

Bruce was also the husband of the late Agnes Hogarth– father of Ruth and her husband Ed Larmour, Carleton Place. I immediately recognized the last names and wondered if the grandfather of the Larmours could be the painter of this piece of art. The next day I posted the information on Facebook and the artist was indeed verified by the Larmour family as Roy Franklin Fleming their grandfather.

It’s one thing to have found the artist of an old painting, but it is another to have the whole story come 360 with a Hallmark ending. The finder of the painting Stephen Giles and the great granddaughter of the artist Megan Akey were reunited on Facebook thanks to Joanne Morris Samler who caught my posting. Stephen decided to give the old family painting to the great granddaughter as he said it would mean more hanging on her wall than on  his.

With one kind gesture you can change a life and gestures like this could change a world. Remember every act of kindness creates a ripple with no end. Thank you Stephen for helping to keep family history alive.

Author’s Note-sometimes I think things turn up when they do– as  a sign.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

    Stephen Giles

Read the rest here: Lost Family Art Found Creates A Hallmark Moment

So what happened?

Stephen reunited it back with Nathan Akey, Great Great grandson of the artist.– As Stephen says: It’s back in the family where it belongs.


Nathan Akey—Great great grandson of the artist.–Back in the family where it belongs.

Number 2



Sydney Perkins is with Tyren Babcock.

Does anyone know who this lady is? My boyfriend found it in the Tay River over the summer and we have been wanting to get it to the rightful owner, or the persons family!
The name is Maureen Ann Barzey, she was born June 14th 1937. If people could share to try and get this to its rightful owner that would be amazing!


So thanks to all of you this post was circulated around when I shared it.


Seems that the late Mrs. Barzey sadly passed away  in 2014. She was mugged and robbed in Carleton Place at the Bank of Nova Scotia several years ago. She had her wallet and money taken by a young man who the family searched high and low for it and no luck. Last week I heard from her brother, Ivor Bayley of Carleton Place.

Hi Linda,

Just to let you know the young couple came by on the weekend and returned my sister’s ID. They were such a nice couple and I told them the story of my sister and they were so interested. My sister had quite a life. Thank you for your help– Ivor

Author’s note;

This item had been lost for years, but again, sometimes I think things turn up when they do– as  a sign. This was amazing what happened, and I thank Sydney and Tyren for caring. This was amazing.


Image result for touched by an angel



Lost Family Art Found Creates A Hallmark Moment

Watch Hallmark Movies? Writer? This is What You Get….

We Don’t Live in Lanark County — We Live in Hallmark County

We Don’t Live in Lanark County — We Live in Hallmark County

We Don’t Live in Lanark County — We  Live in Hallmark County

Some days I look at Steve and say that I wished we lived in one of those Hallmark movies, or even in the town of *Middleton where Cassie The Good Witch lives. I guess I didn’t realize it until Saturday that I really do live in the midst of Hallmark emotions and sights. If the Hallmark channel folks had come here Saturday, we could have created a whole movie for them. There would be no script needed trust me.

*Wendy Kennedy Middleville was originally named Middleton. Look no further! 😉



Carleton Place had their Pumpkinfest— To be honest, I have a hard time walking on uneven ground now since my fall so I sent Steve to investigate, and I did see it up closeup and was so happy. Kate Murray, Jessica Hansen & Amanda Blakeley Charania! So well done.. so well done.


Off to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for their Vintage Sale today and picked up an old Captain Kangaroo and some other great things. Stay tuned– something coming up on October 27th that you should be aware of. And I got to see their Chamber of Commerce nomination sign today too. Congratulations!!


We were on our way to Clayton so we stopped for lunch at the North Market Cafe on Mill Street in Almonte. One amazing place and we had the fried green tomatoes and the pekoras and of course their  Nanaimo bars, which the flavour of the week was Pink Peppercorn.


Fried Green Tomatoes with corn relish and spicy crema

Look at the people we met there. People that do good for our community. Can you name them?


Then another smile came…


Then it was off to Rose Mary Sarsfield’s book event today. Rose Mary who also does  the Clayton History Page has been working a long time on this history book and this book can be bought now at the Clayton General Store or email Rose Mary at rose@sarsfield.ca or call 613-621-9300


Then we had to say adieu to the sunshine, the fall colours and the wonderful people.


I said to Steve on the way home:

” You know I miss Berkeley a lot, but today I realized this is where I belong”.

As Faith Hill once said: “I don’t want to sound like a Hallmark card, but to be able to wake up each day with food and shelter, that alone is good. Forget aging and the fact that my butt is becoming a little more familiar with my knees than my tailbone. If you are six feet above ground it’s a good day. So, give me more!”

You gave me so much more on Saturday Lanark County– more than I could handle so I had to share. Thank you.




The Seven Wonders of Lanark County

“The Mounties Will Arrest You if You Step on a Trillium”

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

Don’t Go Searching on Craigslist For a Family on Christmas…



Kory and his mum

I admit I wear my heart on my sleeve, and there is probably no one that watches more Christmas movies than I do. I know from a personal standpoint that a good Hallmark cry now-and-again is a personal form of emotional cleansing–like last night after viewing a movie about a woman looking for a family to spend the holidays with  on Craigslist. In a world where there is so much sadness and so much to be afraid of, good things do happen to people–not only in Hallmark movies like My One Christmas Wish.



In this area if you are looking for a family to spend Christmas day with Kory Earle and the People First of Lanark County have you covered. Come enjoy Christmas at the Carleton Place Legion, and even Santa Claus will be showing up at 1:30. From 11 am to 4 pm there will be food, music, and most of all, a place to feel loved on the 25th.


If you are worried about lack of transportation –as in previous years, Buds Taxi is providing free transportation to and from the dinner in Carleton Place.  Meal delivery is also available, and anyone that can’t make it to the Legion for the dinner is invited to call (613) 451-0051 to have their meal delivered.

I know I am lucky – and I am sure most of us, no matter what, wouldn’t change ‘our people’ for the world. Like everyone else we have had our disagreements, but through it all we are family, and we stick with each other – through thick and thin. Whenever you need them, the people you call family will be there for you.

Go spend some quality time at the Legion with Kory and the crew.

Author’s Note–And may the internet give you comfort when your family gets a little out of whack this holiday season. After all– we have all become family….even if we are not related.

Calif. woman who tries to rent family via Craigslist gets so much more

My One Christmas Wish



Thanks to the Free Community Christmas Day Dinner Committee  all the folks and businesses like Valley Granite & Tile who have donated food and money.

The Skinny….

Celebrating 10 years of giving – the Free Christmas Day Dinner is back in Carleton Place— Lake 88

People First of Lanark County and the Free Community Christmas Day Dinner Committee are hosting the 10th annual Christmas day dinner at the Carleton Place Legion on Dec. 25.

The tradition started in 2006 and has been a success for the past 10 years feeding more than 1100 people since it started, involving 400 volunteers and 200 sponsors.

This year, the day-long event featuring live music is being held at the Carleton Place Legion from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and as always, everyone is welcome!

Famous for coaxing smiles out of her listeners, Arlene Quinn will be sharing her voice and music at the gathering starting at 2:00 p.m.

“We even got a call from the North Pole that Santa Claus will appear at 1:30 p.m.,” said Earle.

Again as in previous years, Buds Taxi is providing free transportation to and form the dinner in Carleton Place.  Meal delivery is also available and anyone that can’t make it to the Legion for the dinner is invited to call (613) 451-0051 to have their meal delivered.

“So what are you doing on Christmas Day,  why not come along for the ride and join us… this fantastic event is open to everyone!” said Earle.

While we are at it……



As we get closer to Christmas Day we are short Hats and Mitts… Dollar Tree has a box setup where you can purchase it there and put it in box… Our thanks to the Dollar Tree and the Customers for there support and Donation… Dollar Tree has agreed to keep the Box until Friday December 23, 2016

We do accept Gently Used with thanks:) Please drop them off on the deck at 131 Santiago St Carleton Place

Lets ensure everyone is kept warm these holidays! Many Thanks




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

The Rooftop Christmas Tree in Carleton Place (2016)



Photo by Linda Seccaspina


November 28 Update— I saw the movie on Showcase this weekend.. LOVED it!!

The film The Rooftop Christmas has been filming in Almonte for the past few weeks. Today they were filming a “courtroom” scene in the council chambers inside the Carleton Place Town Hall. I posted a snippet of their last Christmas movie at the end of this blog, and most of their films (Johnson Production group)  are seen on the Hallmark Channel.

The star Michelle Morgan is best known for the series Heartland and was also in Supernatural as Jemma Verson. Tim Reid is also in the movie and known for many popular roles, especially That 70s Show.

The Rooftop Christmas Tree

By Johnson Production group


Credited cast:
Michelle Morgan Michelle Morgan
Sarah Wright
Tim Reid Tim Reid
Dale Landis
Stephen Huszar Stephen Huszar
John Keaton
Roger Dunn Roger Dunn
Judge Sam Conner
Alison Brooks Alison Brooks
Abby Wright
Peter Michael Dillon Peter Michael Dillon
Frank Wright
Krista Morin Krista Morin
Jessica Keller
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sean Tucker Sean Tucker
Mr. Huber
Eddie Guillaume Eddie Guillaume
Danny Landis
Shannon Lawson Shannon Lawson
Mrs. Costello
Julia Scarlett Dan Julia Scarlett Dan
Young Sarah
Toni Ellwand Toni Ellwand
Marcie Whitcomb
Roseline Mouana Roseline Mouana
Mrs. Landis
Jacob Williams Jacob Williams
Young Danny





Release Date:

1 December 2016 (USA) See more »