Tag Archives: linda-seccaspina

Spittle Spatter and Dirty Faces of Yore

Spittle Spatter and Dirty Faces of Yore

Mrs. N. C. Waugh states that it is quite commonly believed
on Manitoulin Island that the mother’s saliva is good for certain
minor troubles of babies; for instance, inflammation of the eyes

Dirt was always my grandmother’s enemy. Mary Louise Deller Knight could never tolerate a child with a dirty face or a runny nose. She always said that under her watch I would never look poor or uncared for. When you walked in the house graced with dirt and she spotted it– you never ever pulled away. Even if you thought it wasn’t there, trust me Grammy Knight found it.

I was never the neatest kid in the world and I’m still a messy eater. I don’t think I was ever around for hand to mouth education. There isn’t a meal where I don’t drop something on me and my husband agreed while I was writing this– so no wonder she was busy all the time scrubbing my face and various food spots on my clothing.

Thankfully she was not like some parents I had seen who would have their kids stick their tongue out and then their mothers would dab it with a napkin or tissue. Then there was the dreaded spit thumb which thankfully I never saw. The worst was when I was with a school friend and Grammy tackled something on my face she didn’t care for. I remember that particular friend telling everyone at school what my grandmother did— so I responded that she got her freckles from standing behind a cow when it pooped on a rock.

My mother was nowhere as bad as my grandmother and at least she used a damp washcloth, but my grandmother had the enthusiasm of a carpenter sanding a large two-by-four. To this day, I would swear that I have one less layer of skin because of her. I am so pale and glow in the dark thanks to my grandmother and her persistent scrubbing.

My grandmother like myself always had something to clean with. I have heard people tell me they always will remember me having a tissue in hand or always able to pull one from the sleeve of any garment. I learned from my Grandmother that it was a necessary life accessory and sometimes Grammy stuffed her ‘cleaner’ in her corset bra.

People of  a certain age will all have one distinct memory that no self-respecting lady of any age ever left the house without a hanky tucked into her purse, a dress pocket or her cleavage. Goodness knows, one couldn’t be seen putting a finger anywhere near one’s nose without a hanky.

Really a  bit of spit on a hanky never hurt us, but there had to be some health and safety regulations about this horrible habit. Wasn’t there? All I know is in those days there wasn’t an antibacterial wipe in sight! According to my Grandmother I was given life out of my mother’s intestines (?), and the salvia/hankie ritual wasn’t going to kill anyone.

Did these “unsanitary” actions help us build our immune systems?

Now they run around with antibacterial this and antibacterial that and kids have colds, flus, pneumonia, and other illnesses that only have letters. I read there was a new cleaner called Mom’s Spit and that it was great for faces, necks, clothes, shoes, floors, counters, bathrooms, automotive degreasing and more. I thought it must be amazing, and then I found out it was just a funny ad for 409. 

In 2018 news reports from  KXAN in Texas reported that mother’s saliva helped stop allergies and people argued that kissing your baby too frequently could pass on a mother’s oral decay. In the 50s and 60s mom or grandma’s spit was an all-in-one cleaner and we never thought anything about it. It was always on hand in an instant for dirty faces, Formica counters, mirrors and even spit shined shoes. My grandmother always warned me however if you were going to spit clean like she did, never spit up because whatever goes up always comes down.

Does what Happens During a Zoom Meeting stay in a Zoom Meeting?

Does what Happens During a Zoom Meeting stay in a Zoom Meeting?





For many of us, the coronavirus reality will have some memories of: “6 feet apart or 6 feet under”, “the toilet paper panic” and– you may found yourself entering the world of video conference calls.

Years ago as a child I used to watch the Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday night without fail. Walt was always full of surprises, and one evening in the 70s he showed his viewers a telephone that one day would show the caller’s image while talking. Sure enough he was right, but what he didn’t prophesize is how everyone’s live image would adding a continuous element of self awareness. In fact each time I am on a Zoom meeting I remember the old popular TV show Hollywood Squares and am grateful I am not Paul Lynde the centre square.


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Disney’s telephone models were career gals dressed to the nines even though we could only see them from the waist up. You knew they were not looking like they had just been a cast member from Survivor or the film Castaway. So what do you wear to a Zoom meeting? The good news is you only have to dress the upper half of your body as it’s really what’s showing above the desk that counts, and pants are optional.

I try to look halfway decent, but again I am dressed from the waist up and no one is really asking me if I have underwear on that day. With me, you get what you see, but since I began attending Zoom meetings I have never really looked at my face for such an extended amount of time. For the first time I have noticed that I do have reminders of my past strokes on my face. I can see how the left side of my lip droops. In reality I never noticed that before Zoom meetings and sometimes I find myself trying to adjust my lips throughout the meeting with no success. No one notices though. But, maybe they have and are just too polite to say anything. Most people have “resting coffee faces” on Zoom,  so my lip droop just adds to the expression list.

I never think about what I am going to wear at a Zoom meeting. This morning I got ready in 5 minutes flat. I threw a mesh jacket over my PJs and topped it with one of my hats and necklaces. If people only knew. I was wearing bright and happy on the top and cozy on the bottom thanks to Hanes. Yes, Hanes.




Of course some feel they don’t need to see the other participants so they put up a virtual background of landscape, or Hogwarts, or just their name. They figure it’s nobody’s business to see the clutter on their desks or have people in the community gossip how bad they look in Zoom meetings. Some adjust their lighting for their best look, and I wonder if my five burnt out lights in the kitchen make me look better with dimmed lighting?  Sometimes I wish someone would just upload a photo of their clean living room to give me some inspiration.

Does anyone notices the crumbs of my mini Ritz crackers I am munching on? What if I suddenly choke while drinking water if it goes down the wrong way? One thing is for sure– after a couple of months of no hair dye the top of my head I sport the same hair colour tones as a Yorkshire Terrier or maybe more like Big Foot.

Casual Fridays have reached a new level on Zoom and every day seems to be just another day, and another Zoom meeting. I just wish I had been clever like Walt Disney to realize all this was going to really happen– that and have the notion to buy stock in Lysol Wipes and Charmin’ or Cottonelle. I guess I just didn’t wish upon a star hard or long enough to know what was coming. None of us did.






Just Another Day in Fawlty Towers

Just Another Day in Fawlty Towers — Part 2 — To Hell and Back

Actually I Train Woodpeckers for Search and Rescue!

Thoughts From the Spandex Queen

Thoughts From the Spandex Queen


aspandexSkateway Fashion Show– Flash Cadilac bathing suits
In 1979 Rose Simpson from the Ottawa Journal reported that my store Flash Cadilac had devoted a lot of their floor space that Fall to ‘seductive spandex’ and Danskins. I told her it was going to be huge for fall, but people must be prepared to lose a lot of weight to wear it properly.


Linda Ducharme was me..The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Aug 1979, Thu  •  Page 48


Was wearing Lycra and Spandex out in public just a bad idea from the start? Spandex is a friend, but not a friend of all times. Women slithered into it, and men didn’t care if their junk wasn’t safe in their trunk when they had it on. Wedgies and cameltoes were the norm, and we had to constantly explain to certain spandex offenders, who were in denial, gold spandex pants could be the wrong bold choice. Some could pull it off, and some spandex abusers looked like an exploding can of Pillsbury biscuits. 

There were male customers that just loved the feel of the fabric, and they weren’t contemplating superhero costumes either. It was never a surprise to see a man in my store try on a full unitard, with no support, trying to pass it off as an ‘athletic thing’. Right! 

 I was among the first group of Canadian fashion designers to use Lycra Spandex fabric for my fashion designs in the 80s. It wasn’t an instant successful thing. We went through a slew of machines and types of thread to find the right process that would create a stretchy garment without ripping. When the film Flashdance and Madonna began setting the Lycra fashion trends I had already been into it for a few years. I still had to buy my fabric in the U.S. as no one was producing the Lycra I wanted in Canada. Occasional letters were received from Dupont Canada expressing interest in what I was doing, but it wasn’t until the early 90’s that I could buy basic cotton-lycra from a manufacture in Granby, Quebec. 

If someone had not invented Lycra-Spandex, women would still be stuck in the medieval fashion era without an ounce of stretch to those jeans, or lost without their Spanx.  As someone once told me: there is nothing that can make 4 inches of fat disappear like Lycra Spandex. Now that is technology! 

It was just a matter of time before I was labeled The Spandex Queen in the Ottawa area, and the first on the block to create a ‘one size fits all’ clothing line. If I could take that name back today I would, as gradually I understood/got it that some body types just shouldn’t wear one size clothing. Duh! Some of my customers were constant repeat offenders! No matter how honest we were with them we just couldn’t get their “going out in public Spandex card” revoked. Spandex was never ever everyone’s friend. It doesn’t work like that, and never will–buy your size people, buy your size. After all, wearing Spandex is a privilege not a right!

From–Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac


The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Jul 1979, Thu  •  Page 44



Stayin’ Alive — Reconnecting With the Friends of Flash Cadilac

The Story About My Cinderella Hat

Should I Have Done that on Television?

The Stack Perm or the Disco Wedge ? 1970s Hair Fashion

Flash Cadilac -Sex Lies and Video Tape?

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10



                                            The Delivery Man- March 2020

It wasn’t the first time that this delivery man had crossed my door. But, each time he graced my garage door with a delivery he tried to make an impression. Even though I have a sign to leave any packages in the mailbox the driver just isn’t happy with my instructions. Once again I was scolded and told about the right way to do things because he cared how he delivered his packages.

“No problem”, he said. “Once Spring comes the gates will be opened and all would be good”.

A smile came across my face because none of what he said would happen, and I was probably doomed to listen to instructions the rest of my life. After all he said, I could have $8000 worth of goods in that package. I laughed knowing my budget is about 20 bucks and deep inside that box were three BTS K POP figures, two for my grandaughters, and yes one for me.  

If you didn’t know BTS is one of the most popular boy bands on the planet right now and listening to the Supertramp music come out of the delivery guys’ truck I knew this gentleman would not have a clue either. Nor would he care how elated I was going to be soon opening the box to see my fave BTS ‘guy” “V”. I was 14 once again!  


As I signed for the package he zipped his snowmobile one piece up to his neck and adjusted his hood and then told me to have a good day. As the chorus from Supertramp’s song Logical blared out of his truck he was gone. I thought it was nice that someone cared about my package. So remember, not all superheros wear capes, but some play Supertramp.


Scents of the Heart — Evening in Paris


Just about every home in the world had a bottle of  “Evening in Paris” somewhere in the house. Even the perfume machines in women’s restrooms had them. If you put in a coin and pushed the buttons a big squirt of perfume would come out.  My Grandmother would always get a bottle for a gift when I was a kid and she never said she didn’t like it. My Grandfather would always take one of us girls to Varins drug store on South Street on Christmas Eve to but a gift for her. We would come home reeking of many perfumes he had tried on me but he always bought Evening In Paris. You could get the set of powder and the beautiful cobalt blue bottle of cologne for a mere $3.98.

How wonderful I felt when Grammy dabbed it on my wrists and behind my ears before sending me off to school. I also remember her wearing her full length coat when the vial shattered and spilled on her coat —-you could smell her long before she approached you in the preceding months. Evening in Paris will always remind me of Grammy Knight and feeling safe, secure and being loved.

One of my favourite flowers Lily of the Valley grew everywhere around her headstone, and after my Mother died they sent home her belongings in a blue Samsonite suitcase. When I opened it a bottle of her favourite perfume Coty’s Lily of the Valley had broken inside. For years, each time I opened that suitcase, I relived the rare hours spent with my Mother, in the many hospitals she lived in during my childhood before she died.

Nothing is more memorable than a smell, sometimes it’s the key to our memories.

Image result for coty lily of the valley

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1

Since When did the Word “Senior” Become a Dirty Word?

Since When did the Word “Senior” Become a Dirty Word?


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My name is Linda Knight Seccaspina and I am a senior citizen. I am not a perennial, nor a golden ager, and I refuse to “age gracefully”. I dislike all the fancy new words they use to describe what my Grandmother Mary Deller Knight used to call a “pensioner”. Each time I see a new description of a senior I shake my head and wonder who got offended this week that they saw the need for a name change.

None of us seniors describe ourselves as old, even though it is staring us in the face, but these youngsters keep searching for a word that won’t offend old people.There is a 3 decade difference between 60 and 90– I know that for a fact even though I failed math. But alas, last time I asked for help at a grocery store, help was directed over to the ‘old gal over there’. Looks like I am not fooling anyone with the hats and the youthful attire– only myself.  But the fact is we are too sensitive these days and everything seems too politically correct.

So where did this new identifying of seniors come from?  Well, rumour says it stems from the 50 year-olds who do not want to be known as senior citizens. Really? Yup, they kicked the name ‘senior” to the curb and people listened. They did not want to be identified with the images of nursing homes, dentures and The Golden Girls. Speaking of the Golden Girls every week I go visit my mother in law in her senior residence they are constantly playing reruns of that hit TV show. Honestly, does changing the name from seniors to something else stop us from being on a loop of Estelle Getty reruns?

Some of the ladies were trying to bolt on Tuesday (one might think from those reruns) and the emergency door of course would not open. My mother in law pointed a finger at me and told them: 

“She’s young, she thinks she knows everything, she probably has the key!”

With that I was faced with a circle of angry faces of people actually older than I am. I don’t know everything, and certainly don’t have a key, but I also don’t have an answer to what is going on right now. Is it up to us latter 60 year-olds to begin a revolution against all these fancy names that mean nothing to us?  

I worked hard to get to this age and mentally feel young. Aging happens to everyone. The problem about changing the name from Senior Citizens to anything else is just another way to confuse us, and euphemisms will not slow the march of time.

I can’t remember giving anyone permission to speak for me, and as long as I get my senior discounts I’m happy. I have a lot of vibrancy and being called a senior citizen does not make me feel old. We are all individuals no matter what age we are. How about the younger folks adjust their mind to think about “senior citizens” and becoming one in a positive frame of mind. I don’t need to be referred to in another way so I can remain in a safe zone– it seems all too PC to me.

Thank you!



I do believe there was an almost senior citizen performing here LOLOL — Thanks Terry Poulos:)

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Part 9



January 8, 2020

I enter the fast food emporium and see a line ahead of me that stretches around the store. I have never seen it that busy and realize everyone is clutching a coupon that was in today’s mail. I judge the line of families wanting multiple subs, and then there are the kids not sure of what to get. After three minutes of standing very still with no movement in the line I decide to go to another location.

In reality I should have changed my plans at that point being coupon day, but you have to understand Steve and I have been basically on a soup diet for weeks being sick, and he craved a sub. So when someone is asking for food that isn’t liquid or warm you do your job.

Arriving at the other location there was still a line but nothing like the one I had first encountered. So I decided to suck it up– and be patient, as Steve would do the same for me. 

An extra employee comes out from the back and stands by the cash. He rubs his eyes and looks like he just got up. He then adjusts his company headgear and runs his fingers through the long locks of his hair many times. Am I seeing this right? Should I clean my glasses? NOOOOOO! Please do not touch the condiments please; I plead silently in my mind. The very efficient young ladies process the line very quickly and I am about to checkout with no coupons, unlike everyone else.

Suddenly….Silence…Cash Register opens..Employee looks at cash register and scratches his head.

I suddenly ask myself if he knew how to make change as the change machine was down. I mean, no one is take cursive writing anymore, and I ask no questions about everything else going on in school. Everything now is a possibility.

Change machine is definitely broken and employee has a difficult time with a key and lock. By this time I wonder if I am ever going to smell fresh air again, or even worse–Steve may never see the light of day of his requested sub for his supper hour.

After success with the lock and key the proper change is given. Or was it? Frankly, I was so frustrated I never even looked. The sub is finally delivered and as I drive home I think about all these clipped coupons. Coupons are not income, and coupons exist to get you to SPEND your money at their establishment when the thought had not even crossed your mind. Was tonight’s excursion really more trouble than it was worth? 

At home I sat silently and kept sipping my hot soup hoping to combat illnesses and ease symptoms.  I was enjoying the tartness of the tomato soup with tiny Ritz crackers and made a note to self. Was there any was nobility in cutting those coupons today to save 50 cents? After all I already had a wallet full of expired ones I have forgotten to use. I  suddenly realize I am overthinking everything again. I don’t really need this—-plus I don’t have a coupon:)


The Strange Tail that Came at Dusk–August 3rd, 1997

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On August 3rd, 1997 at dusk I met a furry stranger on my porch. It was twenty years to the day that my sister Robin had died at the age of 40. Was this a coincidence?

The cat jumped on the railing and stared out at the birds that were still chirping in the trees. Turning around, he looked at me and meowed loudly. For the next fifteen minutes he sat quietly like nothing else mattered in the world. As I talked to him like I would any other living thing, his eyes blinked slowly while I spoke. He jumped off the railing and followed me when I got up to go inside. Stopping at the door, he turned around and left as quickly as he had come.


Every day after that, at the exact same time he just seemed to find me. He expected nothing, and I slowly grew to love him despite my allergies. One afternoon I told him a story about why I was cautious of strange cats. Peering at me closely, he looked like he was actually listening to my every word.


One weekend I had to look after a neighbour’s cat when they went away. I was excited to look after their pet anticipating all sorts of “rub against the leg” love. When I walked into their apartment and called him their cat peered at me from the kitchen doorway.


I went into the living room to water their plants and noticed the cat had moved to another doorway and was still eyeing me. It was not the first time I had seen him so I thought it was playing a game with me.


Thinking nothing of it, I went into the kitchen and opened a can of food. Within a very few seconds I felt something like sharp needles on my legs. The cat had attacked my back legs and his claws were actually glued to me at that point and I was going nowhere without a furry body hanging on me.


Trying to shake him off my tights, his claws dragged down the back of my legs until he hit the floor. Blood was oozing everywhere and I ran out of there faster than felines after a can of tuna. The next few days that I fed him I walked in with a cardboard box around me for protection. When the neighbours came home they had a good laugh when they saw the tattered box. I on the other hand, was nursing sore scratched legs and very fearful of their cat.


So after I finished telling the strange “porch cat” my story, he looked at me with a Cheshire cat sort of smile, and gazed out at the street. He did not seem to have a homem, nor did he ever leave anymore.


Sometimes I would see him stretched across a small hill of sand in the corner of the yard or sleeping in the garage. He seemed to know I needed him and was always around. Then as quickly as he had appeared, one day he just vanished into thin air. 


I never questioned why he had left as one really owns a cat. I smiled and thought that maybe I had been followed for weeks by a strange moon shadow– maybe one that I missed very much and was still watching over me from above.


Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1

Are you a Klutz?

Are you a Klutz?

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I was born on the 24th day of July, which according to family legend, was the hottest day of the year. According to the “stories” of Arthur J. Knight, it took my mother a couple of days to try and force me out into the world. Other old wives tales debate this fact, but the general idea is trouble always finds me. I was supposedly born a perfect sized child with green cat eyes, blonde hair, and a streak of klutziness that has followed me for years.

When I was 5 after hearing stories of cold weather, tongues, and steel posts, the dreaded deed was done. Do not attempt this at home kids, and yes, warm water works best.

At age 6 I didn’t see a car coming and got hit by a car trunk. Arthur Knight’s stories say I flew up higher than neighbour’s roof, and I put one hell of a dent on that trunk. I woke up on the couch with Dr. Roy telling everyone I would be okay and my grandfather offering me a Davy Crockett cake and some Classics Illustrated Comics about Jesus. I was “Queen of the Wild Frontier” with biblical tones for a few days.

At age 7 I put a Quebec tin license plate on the back of my tricycle and fell off the sidewalk while speeding up the street. When I got back on my bike I noticed I could see my leg bone. The license plate corner had gouged a huge hole in my thigh.

“No stitches were needed”, said Dr. Roy.

They were trying out new special bandages and I was basically first on my block to try them. It was such a wonderful idea they did away with them within the year. To this day I have a huge scar that looks like a pair of lips on my inner thigh.

Skateboards became the rage and I owned a wooden one with tin wheels. I have vertigo, yet I went up and down that almost 90 degree hill with the best of them. I fell a few times, but received only small scrapes. My neighbourhood friends thought it was funny to see this chubby kid with the blonde flip hairdo going down that hill at death defying speeds. That was because I kept my arms out straight screaming at the top of my lungs as the skateboard travelled downward.

One day Reverend Peacock’s handsome sons came to skate and I got on my board humming “Jimmy Mack” and awaited my turn trying to impress them. I had no idea that childhood friends Russell and Randall were hiding in the bushes that day.

No, not one single idea at all.

Days later our  parents had just settled the “snake incident” and I thought the two of them were finally going to leave me alone. Half way down that hill they jumped out of the side bushes screaming at the top of their lungs. Needless to say I fell off, rolled down the rest of that hill and took half my knee cap off.

End of skateboard career.

End of impressing the Peacock boys.

End of my life I thought as people talked about this for months.

Years pass and every second day seems to be filled with stubbed toes, bruised elbows and paper cuts. Yes paper cuts. They can be quite painful you know.



Let’s see – I have slipped down a back staircase with ballet shoes much like a water ride. Then I tried to tape a 50 pound box on a broken wooden TV table and it fell and broke my toe. Seven months pregnant with son number two I laughed when I saw the 100 foot wall of fabric in my old sewing factory tilt. Forty minutes later I was buried under it with a metal pipe crushed into my back.  Then I once did the splits in my store without warming up and heard a “pop” that broke windows around the world and I could barely walk for days.

The best one was falling down the basement stairs years ago and then finding out that Aleve* was no longer available in Canada. I swear everyone heard my voice for blocks in Shoppers Drugmart saying,

“What do you mean it’s banned in Canada because it could cause heart attacks?”

Yes, I will live another day, another hour, with stubbed toes, bruised elbows or another paper cut as:

My name is klutz and Jimmy Mack is never coming back.  Now I don’t move that much anymore and it’s just the flu– over and over and over LOL


A Trip to the Mad Hatter’s Wonderland — Well Clayton

A Trip to the Mad Hatter’s Wonderland — Well Clayton


“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). —Chapter 2, The Pool of Tears



How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies, I think—” —Chapter 1, Down the Rabbit-Hole



It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not.” —Chapter 1, Down the Rabbit-Hole



The best way to explain it is to do it.” —Chapter 3, A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale



“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” —Chapter 6, Pig and Pepper





Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked.
“There isn’t any,” said the March Hare.
“Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,” said Alice angrily.
“It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,” said the March Hare. —Chapter 7, A Mad Tea-Party



The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming “Off with her head! Off with—”
“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent. —Chapter 8, The Queen’s Croquet-Ground


43454555_10156053035271886_2400756039789051904_n.jpgMoondance Gallery – Barbara Mullaly & Robert Pauly

Jessica Oliver photo
“If there’s no meaning in it,” said the King, “that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any.” —Chapter 12, Alice’s Evidence



“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.” —Chapter 9, The Mock Turtle’s Story



cage skirt


“Really, now you ask me,” said Alice, very much confused, “I don’t think—”
“Then you shouldn’t talk,” said the Hatter. —Chapter 7, A Mad Tea-Party


So what’s in the box?




So what’s in the box? Find out Thursday when I wear an original Robert Pauly to the All Candidates night:)



Linda and Robert Pauly..


How did I get into hats..?Well…I’ve always had an interest in fashion: as a costume designer, a sculptor, a jeweller. I like the world of fashion. I love the exuberant creations that grace the runways at times: Galliano, McQueen, Westwood. I love to see the hats that accompany the dresses, hovering between fashion and sculpture.My wife and I have collected beads and adornments for a long time. It was inevitable that we should eventually be drawn to hats as a form of personal ornamentation, so we began to collect hats. While maintaining our collection, repairing this one, cleaning that one, I became interested in the structure of hats: how they were put together, the materials used, the forms, and started having my own ideas about hats and what they should look like. I started deconstructing some to see how they were put together.. read more here..

Moondance Gallery – Barbara Mullaly & Robert Pauly

Phone: 613-256-3647
Address: 1259 Bellamy Mills Road, Clayton
Hours: By appointment or by chance
Website: http://www.moondancegallery.ca
Email: b.mullaly@sympatico.ca

Jewellers, Millinery (Women’s Hats), Ethnographic Beads, Tapestry Maker, Asian Antiques.

Barbara Mullally is a studio jeweller in Clayton, Ontario who works out of Moondance Gallery with her partner, milliner Robert Pauly.





  1. Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.relatedreading

Bertha Schwerdtfeger — Mother of the Carleton Place Schwerdtfeger Sisters

Mad as a Hatter — Wearing Vintage Hats

Mad For Hats!! Doris Blackburn’s Hat


Wearing Vintage Hats – Blowing the Lid off Katherine Newton

Pour some Feathers on Me


Weird Wendell’s Paperback Writers


Gypsies Tramps and Thieves


What Would You do for a Hat Trick?


Banking the Memories of Aretha Franklin

Banking the Memories of Aretha Franklin




When you reach a certain age like myself and someone famous dies it affects you. Especially if that someone played predominantly from the musical soundtracks of your life like Aretha Franklin. At 67 there is still not a day that goes by that I don’t play her music. I always knew this day would come, but when she died on August 16th I felt that a piece of me had faded away and suddenly felt really old.


According to scientific report, our musical idols die young. Many of them die from drug overdoses, drunk-driving accidents and that the average lifespan of  musicians is only 45. So let me get this right– I am going to live longer if I’m not participating in any of the above? Somehow I would like to feel reassured, but I don’t, and I am not banking on many extra years these days.


In 1967 Aretha released the song Respect and life was never the same for me. With ironed hair that I had set on empty orange juice cans and my mini tent dress, I danced to her music on the weekend in the basement of the old bus terminal on Depot Street in Cowansville. Not once did I ever think about getting older and protesting about getting senior discounts only when I supposedly had one foot in the grave at age 60.

In 1968 I became part of the Pepsi Generation and watched American Bandstand on TV in colour dancing to what was called Slo Jams to Aretha singing Natural Woman. Living a few blocks from the Montreal CFCF studios I was a regular audience dancer on the TV show Like Young. When I screamed hysterically when Bobby Darin and Englebert Humperdinck appeared on stage, no one ever told me at age 60 I was going to get a very important letter from my bank.


I had no idea dancing to her music at Snoopy’s on Dorchester Street in 1969 that the very day I turned 60 it was going to be an important milestone for me. I was too busy making cassette mixtapes of Aretha’s songs to even think of gray hair, sore knees and retirement. In 2011 the bank would thank me for being a client for many years. Because I was turning 60 they would give me me a monthly rebate of $4.00 on my monthly fees instead of charging me $13.95 a month. The bank was definitely paying this Natural Woman a little Respect. Or were they? Playing Chain of Fools on my stereo on a daily basis I never thought about the the extra $4.00 savings each month. Would $4.00 buy me a package of Depends down the road?


As the years passed and slowly entering my golden years Aretha’s music was still always part of my life, and so was my bank. The bank seemed to know as I danced around the kitchen in my pajamas to her music last Thursday with uncombed hair that I would need a colonoscopy as part of their cherished older clientele. That’s right, they were Saying a Little Prayer for Me that I would do the right thing when they sent me that letter last week.


Aretha, I  am going to remember every time I danced to your songs on the radio, my transistor radio, reel to reel, 8 tracks, cassettes, CDS, YouTube and now ITunes. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world. The choir upstairs just got a little better. As for the bank knowing my every move all these years? Thanks for always checking up on me, I’m doing fine, but I’m really going to miss Aretha Franklin. But, please send candles next time in your letters as they are costing me more than the cake now. My body called the Freeway of Love is a lot older now– but you knew that A Change was Gonna Come.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte


Mary Louise Deller Knight — Evelyn Beban Lewis–The Townships Sun

The Secret World of Menopausal Mary

Hobos, Apple Pie, and the Depression–Tales from 569 South Street

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 11

Signs Signs– Nothing but Roadscape? A Humorous Look at Election Signage

Signs Signs– Nothing but Roadscape? A Humorous Look at Election Signage


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When the leaves begin to float down this year the local campaign signs will begin sprouting in population. It’s also the season when the partisans of various political candidates agonize waaaay too much over who has more lawn signs. In fact some campaigns think of little else but their signs—at the expense of the actual work of winning over voters.

The annual sign routine is predictable:

    • Candidate Joe gets his signs up first, causing the supporters of Candidate Jane to freak out.


    • Jane overcompensates by trying to put up twice as many signs as Joe, escalating the sign wars.


    • Now it’s Joe’s supporters’ turn to freak out, so Joe orders another 100 signs to catch up, making Joe and Jane roughly even.


    • Both teams suddenly realize that if they put TWO signs on each property, it looks like they have double the support! Then they realize that three is better than two. And four is better than three. (Five, however, makes the property owner look crazy.)


    • Jane’s cousin gets caught with a trunk load of stolen Joe signs, creating a bunch of bad publicity for Jane.


    • Meanwhile, the local zoning enforcement officer (a member of Jane’s campaign committee) decides to enforce a little-known local law, requiring Joe to take down his signs because they are 3.25 inches too tall.


After the first week of this annual ritual, voters stop even seeing the signs, as they become just another feature of the roadscape.

Finally, after months of sign wars, your local election occurs. The votes are tallied. Turns out that having more signs had nothing to do with who actually won. The outcome could be predicted as reliably with a coin flip. Because no one—well, almost no one—decides which candidate to support because of a sign. Or do they?  Maybe yes or maybe no… What’s your comment?




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