Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Blue Jays & Guide Dogs

JANUARY 8, 2021 – Beek Lindsay Seniors Residence recently held their annual Christmas food drive to benefit the Food Cupboard at Trinity Anglican Church. There were lots of food donations. A big thank you to Claudette Quesnel for all her work and to all the residents who generously donated food to help those in need. Kudos.

Photo courtesy of Bob Katz of a display by Claudette of some of the food donated.

During the Christmas holidays when we were kids, we were probably outside making snowmen or forts or skating on outdoor rinks. There were outdoor rinks at Third and Bedford Streets in the Memorial Park and also at Seventh and York Streets in the ballpark. As teens some of us girls wore knitted angora caps, scarfs and mitts which were all the rage then. When it was not a good day or if we choose we could skate at the indoor Water Street arena also. My brother Sonny Herrington’s wife, Vi used to pair skate with her Dad, Sid Lamesse and everyone would stop and watch them as they waltzed around the rink. They were so well coordinated and smooth. When they were skating around the turns of the rink ends we would all hold our breath in case they might tumble but they made the turns so easily and gracefully. Some of us would-be-figure skaters hoped to one day skate as well.

The weather didn’t stop us from having fun or going somewhere because we walked everywhere all the time anyway. If there wasn’t any freezing rain and only a small snow storm, and Mom said we could go out – out we went.

We also could go tobogganing behind St. Columbian’s Church and slide down that big hill. Can’t do it now. The hill is still there but the bottom of the hill is now a parking lot. Sometimes when we dragged our sleigh or toboggan behind us as we walked there would be a spark as it hit the bare payment. Amazing what we remember. We certainly had a lot of fun.

A guy was telling me that when he drove a cab and it was quiet with no passengers he would feed the birds from his car. One time a Blue Jay flew onto his side-view mirror. He put a shelled peanut in his hand and put it on his palm near the bird. The bird grabbed it in his beak and flew away. He was amazed that the Jay was so tame to do it. He said it was a wonderful moment watching this beautiful colourful bird up close grab the peanut and fly through the air.

This photo of a Blue Jay with a peanut in his mouth was taken by a well known local photographer, the late Stu Thompson. Beautiful photo.

The CNIB Guide Dogs Foundation is asking for sponsors for their puppies. According to their web site ( Sponsor Puppies. ca) the need for Guide Dogs has increased 300% due to the COVID-19 virus and there is a shortage of puppies. On line I watched a video by sponsor Ben Maloney which is very informative and interesting. Support is urgently needed for Canadians waiting for Guide Dogs. Call 1-800-563-2642 ( toll free) or go to for more information to help with this urgent national campaign.

A friend sent in this interesting phrase origin:

“Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants too local taverns, pubs and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some ale’ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. “You go sip there’ and ‘You go sip there’. The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to a local opinion and thus the term ‘gossip’.”

The Glengarry Fencibles Trust is a volunteer group of people who are dedicated to renovating the historic Bishop’s House in St. Raphael’s, Ontario. Recently I received their newsletter with interesting articles concerning renovations underway.

Here is their newsletter with photos of some of the renovations.

On page two it tells about the music room and I quote:

” Plaster works leads to discoveries:

“Many Ionians will be surprised to know that a window and fireplace were hidden in the west wall of the music room (as you come in the front door, it is the room immediately to your left).

In 1808, the Bishop’s view through that window would have been to John Sandfield Macdonald’s farm ( the future premier). In 1924 when the wings were added, workers were careful when covering these areas because many heritage details remain intact.”

This is of special interest to me because that room was my first office when I came to work at Mount Carmel House which was housed in the Bishop’s House in 1982 . Later, when the west wing was renovated my office was moved to that area. The ‘music room’ then became the ‘quiet room’ where residents could go and have some quiet time.

The Glengarry Fencibles Board consists of Brenda Baxter (President), Allan Macdonell (Vice President), Dane Lanken (Treasurer), Gabrielle Campbell (Secretary) and Directors Ranald MacDonald, Tish Humphries and Alistair MacDonald. Go to for more information.

Here is cute joke from a friend:

I wish my siblings would stop calling me ‘spoiled’ just because I am the baby of the family. The fact is, my parents kept having children until they found one they liked.

Have a good week, Dawn

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