Thursday, November 19, 2009

Have you Read...?

I'm a little behind as this book came out in 2006. I first saw it on shelf at a bookstore at the Toronto International Airport last year in October. I was intrigued by the title and the book description:

Dora Rare is the first girl in five generations born to the Rare family who live in a small Nova Scotia fishing village. Set in the years before World War I, this down-to-earth novel relates the life story of a most unusual woman. In her youth, Dora apprentices to Miss Babineau, an aged Acadian midwife known for her storytelling and herbal acumen. She is also considered something of a witch by those locals most desperate to embrace modernity. The arrival in the village of Dr. Gilbert Thomas, a doctor of obstetrics, sets up the major conflict of the novel as the haughty and presumptuous newcomer quickly denigrates the use of midwives by the local women. McKay has caught the voice of rural Nova Scotia with uncanny clarity ("A breech baby’s just waitin' on trouble") and adds period documents from local newspapers, including an advertisement for an early
vibrator from Sweden. Altogether this is a richly satisfying novel filled with intriguing characters, both good and evil, as well as voluminous lore on birthing traditions, herbs and earthy wisdom.--Mark Frutkin
I am hugely interested in anything to do with obstetrics and midwifery, having felt I may have missed my calling by not pursuing one profession or the other.

When I visited my sister in Ontario, I saw this book on her shelf and immediately picked it up and started reading it. I couldn't put it down and got through it in just over 4 days. What a great read!

I was absolutely fascinated by Miss Dora Rare and her life. Fictional or not, I felt her character true to life, with the author using a great variety or historical references and vintage advertisements to assist in the storytelling.

What fascinated me the most in the book was the struggle women had: to make that crucial decision on the best course to take for the health of themselves and their babies. With the arrival of the doctor in town, midwifery practices were questioned as witchcraft, women were told their pregnancy ailments were the result of over-indulgences of the written word and the failure to obey their husbands, all ending in the freedom of pain-free birth laced with ether and delivered with a scalpel and forceps.

The sad part is how close to reality this struggle still is. I had the priveledge of having a midwife in Ontario attend the birth of my daughter, with pregnancy considered a natural course of life. Since moving home, however, I have witnessed obstetricians taking advantage of the surgical practice of c-sections to accomodate their personal schedules rather than allowing a baby the time it needs to enter the world.
And don't even get me started on the lack of knowledge women have about their own bodies and cycles, pre- and post-natal care, and breastfeeding! Most doctors just don't seem to have the time to answer these questions. Of course, I'm sure this is not always the case, but it seems so common, one has to wonder. And have you ever heard of a doctor coming to your home to help with the baby?! No, probably not!

In the book, as now, I believe midwives truly have the best interest of women and their families at heart. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading about midwife Dora Rare and her life - a story I never would have questioned as real had the front cover stated "based on true events".

So, if you haven't already - pick it up at your local library! Or, has a great selection of used books at reasonable prices.

Tell me what you think.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Yes, is, plural...meaning TWO WINNERS! YAY!

It seems that people do not necessarily like winning tiny little cards and gift wrap. Either that, or, I haven't attracted all that many readers. Either way, it's A-O-Kay because now everyone's a winner.

For the two who made a valid entry:
Sandy aka Doris the Great (and fellow newfie girl!)
Darth Mama

You have both won 3 packages of wrapping paper and a bunch of mini cards...I hope you enjoy using them as much as I've enjoyed having my first ever blog giveaway.

Please send your mailing address to my email at and I'll get your stash off to you asap!

Thanks for entering!

P.S. Vacation was wonderful but soooo short! So happy to spend time with my nieces are all getting so grown, Taylor is a young woman now, my goodness! I got to see Vicki and Christa and meet baby Jesse...oh how sweet he is! But, as always, it is good to be home sweet home after a few days away. Will try and post some pics but, as you know, I'm really bad at that, so don't hold yer breath...;)


Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Holy Smokes! It's been forever since I posted on my blog.

Bad, bad Myrna!

Don't you just hate it when you keep going back to your "favourite" blogs and they've not been updated. Yeah, I hate that too!

To say I've been busy, well, that would be an understatement.

So as an apology of sorts, I'm doing my FIRST EVER BLOG GIVEAWAY!!! Yay!!!

I was reading Dimestore Thrift (aka Sonya) - Oh My! How long ago was that now? when she was writing about her stash of vintage Christmas gift wrap. It kinda got me thinking. Oh Dear! I emailed Sonya about my line of thinking. Here we go:

I own a store.
My family bought that store about 2 years ago.
My store was built in the 50's.
Some items in the store have certainly been there since day one! I kid you not!
There is an old apple barrel - you know, from back when apples were shipped in barrels...? Who knew?
There are ginormous, impossible to move, scales.3 and 1/4 pounds off. Heavy. Metal. Awesome. Scales.
There are coke bottles.
Broken oil lamps.
Cheesy Souvenirs.
And a box of mysterious cleaners my Dad found in the deep dark recesses of the creepy basement/crawl space.

And there is wrapping paper.
To say the wrapping paper is as old as the store would be a big giant lie.
I have no idea how old it is. It might only be, say, 15 - 20 years old.
But it's been sitting there, fading, with the plastic covering deteriorating.

And there are cards.
Little cards.
3 1/2 x 5 (give or take).
Birthday and Wedding and Thank you and Baby Shower.
Adorable and in need of someone to love them.



On one stipulation...

You MUST have a reason to use them. They must not sit in a box or on a shelf or in a drawer never to be remembered again.

They must be crafted, scrapbooked, gifted, re-gifted, given away, sold, framed, used to line your junk drawer....something, anything, they MUST serve their purpose in life.

(And in case you're new here, I have a tendency to give voice to inanimate objects from time to time...I blame it all on middle child syndrome *sigh*)

And I get side-tracked easily...where was I?

Oh yes.

Tell me, in my comments, what your plans are for this lovely little collection of cards and giftwrap. And then your name goes in the draw.

Write on your blog about giftwrapping/cards and the creative things you do with them and you get 5 extra entries in the draw.

And if I really like several of your entries, I'll do more than one draw. Oh yeah. I can totally do that. I have 16 packages of paper and 30 mini cards and I totally know how to get rid of 'em!

Here's a sample of what you might get:
(My apologies for the poor photography lighting)

For Your Bridal Shower/Rainbow/white background

"Meilleurs voeux pour votre Mariage"

which in exact word-for-word translation means "better vows for your marriage" but actually means "Congratulations on your marriage"

Silver on white background

For the Bride-to-Be cartoon/funnies/blue

A variety of lots of tiny little cards

Draw will take place on Sunday, November 15th after I return from vacation. That's far away so you have lots of time to come up with some good ideas.
So Easy!