The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

And Other Stories


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Happy Birthday to You…

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(Photo courtesy of Michele’s birthday in 2015)

…Mummy!  I know that it may be awhile before you read this, but the sentiment will keep.  If I ever had any doubt about the type of person that you are (which I never have), the outpouring of love and affection from your family, friends, doctors (who else can charm the uncharmable into loading them up with pastries) and even the people who work in your building are a lesson to me on how to live a good life.  Whenever people talk about you to me, it’s always about how wonderful you are, what an inspiration you are, how sweet, and how you never complain.  It’s all true (except you, sweet?  Please.).

I’ve seen first hand your triumphs and your challenges.  Your triumphs are usually winning a bet with me like our Super Bowl bet.  In my defence, I know nothing about football, but at least I never welch when it’s time to pay up like some people that I know.   Nothing makes you happier than beating me – luckily for me, I don’t lose often.  Although you may lose the odd bet, you are one of the sharpest people that I know.  You are also quite a little socialite.  Your phone never stops ringing – another testament to how much you are loved by your family and friends.

I admire you for so many reasons, too numerous to count really, but watching you face adversity this last while has really shown me what you are made of.  You never quit, you never give up, and I’ve never been prouder of you.  Whenever I was sick as a child, you would come into my room as I lay in bed, checking on me, taking my temperature, or just trying to comfort me.  You looked down at me, and I looked up at you, reassured that I would feel better soon because you were there to take care of me.  I know that it’s frustrating to now be in a position where the roles are reversed, but I still look up to you.  That won’t change.

You are still the strongest, smartest, funniest woman that I know.  You have a curiosity and interest in so many different things.  You have the best sense of humour.  I’m glad that we still have moments where we can laugh.  I’m grateful to be your daughter, and I’m so grateful to get to celebrate another birthday with you.

 

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Happy Birthday Barb!

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Yes Blimi, that’s your jacket!

I grew up with 3 older sisters, two, by birth and one by proximity.  I met Barb when I was about 3 years old.  Her parents were my parents closest friends in Sydney, Nova Scotia where we both grew up.  Not being a true Cape Bretoner, unlike my good friend, I didn’t have any family in the Steel City, and Barb and her family, became that.  Even our beloved grandmothers knew each other and had tea together every time they were in town for a visit.  My first memory of Barb is a day that my big sisters took us to see Blackie and Brownie – the friendly, neighbourhood dogs.  That started Barb’s love of animals – especially her gentle giant of a German Shepherd – Kyla.  Ok – maybe just a giant – that dog’s bite was worse than her bark – sorry Babs, but Rascal was the best!  I digress, but even though that was the first time I met Barb – we ended up spending a lot of time together over the years.  From Mrs. Simson’s plays at Hebrew School to Susan Ross’s Dancing School (best show I’ve ever seen in CB), we both got to wear some flashy costumes.

Barb was the one who prepared me for the departure of my sisters when they had to leave me to go to school.  She understood what it was like to be the abandoned, youngest child.  With my sister’s being one year apart, and each being six and five years older, I just got used to one being gone when the next one left.  It was pretty devastating for this baby of the family, but Barb was still going to be there for two years.  She was the one who drove me to school and home again, because my mother just wasn’t a morning person.  She was the one who introduced me to two songs (they were the only songs I heard in her car) – “I’m Your Man” (Wham!) and “How Will I Know” (Whitney Houston).  Sometimes, we did get to hear “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” but it sounds almost identical to “How Will I Know”.  She drove me to GA’s Dairy to get magazines, and she generally just helped me get through a couple of tough years.  Eventually, Barb had to move too, but that didn’t mean that would be the last that I would see of her.  I still got to see Barb during the holidays, but it was a couple of tough years for me without my other sister.

When I moved to Toronto, Barb once again took me under her wing.  She spent a lot of time with me at school and became a fixture in my residence.  She gave me the tough advice that no one ever really wants to hear, but you need to listen to.  She moved me in and out of residence 5 times.  She was the one who checked in on me my first summer living on my own.  She was the one who walked the long halls of Yorkdale from Roots where she worked, to Wishful Thinking where I worked, to make sure that I was doing my job.

Eventually everyone grows up, and sometimes, things change, but Barb and I were tied together because of the deep friendship between her Mom and Dad, and my own Mother.  They all eventually moved here, and once again, the holidays were spent together.  I had the privilege of holding Barb’s twins when they were born.  I loved them from the first time I held them – they were as light as Tom Brady’s footballs.  I’ve watched them grow from adorable, funny little girls to gorgeous,  funny young ladies.  They are still, like my own little nieces even though they too are ready to move on to university.  As time has moved on, Barb and I have drifted here and there, but somehow, like family, we always manage to find our way back to the comfort that you have when you know someone almost as well as you know yourself.  In fact, I think that we are better friends because of it.  I trust Barb to keep my confidence, and I know that she feels the same way.  You can’t put a price on a friendship like that.

We have each had some difficult times over the last few years, but have been there for each other.  It’s brought me so much comfort.   It’s knowing that there is someone in the world who knows your whole history.  It’s knowing that no matter what happens, you’ll always have an extra older sister, but knowing that I may be able to step in and be the same help to Barb that she was to me.  It’s knowing that someone can keep a secret and never hold a grudge.  It’s laughing at the stupid in-jokes that we find so hilarious and that no one else would get (Second Noah).  It’s the interesting way that Barb has of reading and observing people, pointing out things that I would never even notice.  It’s knowing that wherever life may take us, we’ll never be far from each other’s thoughts.

Dr. Oz would approve of this message of gratitude – today, I’m grateful for you, Barb – Happy Birthday to You.  I wish you a lifetime of health and happiness.  I leave you with this reminder – no matter how old I am, you will always be older than me : )

Gratefully yours and with much love,

Jillsy xoxo


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Happy Birthday Mummy! Welcome Back to Ottawa!

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Mummy – age 5

Mummy – I wanted to do something a little more special than just the usual “you are wonderful” blog (although you are) to help you celebrate your birthday.  I did a little digging, and here are some pictures of you, your family and some memories from Ottawa.  The little girl in the front row of the picture above to the far left is you!  You are still a brat : )

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Your Uncle Morris’s wedding invitation

When you said Uncle Morris was the oldest – you weren’t kidding!  Here is his wedding invitation…from 1912.  Zaidie was still in the Shtetl then.

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Auntie Irene on her wedding day to Uncle Wally.

I thought this was interesting!

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Your favourite place for Challah, Rye Bread, Cinnamon Buns, and everyone’s favourite – Seven Layer Cake.

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Zelikovitz Bros. and their wives circa 1936

If you look carefully, you’ll see our favourite Zelikovitz’s – Bobbi, Zaidie, Auntie Becky, Uncle Dave, Uncle Max – only Auntie Tessie seems to be missing!

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Remember how Bobbi used to have crates of Pure Spring in the basement?

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Painting of Zelikovitz Bros.

A painting of Zelikovitz Bros.  You must be so proud of your father!

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Mummy and her cousins – Purim

Whose the little princess, or should I say Queen, in the front row?  Why, that’s you!

Mummy – I hope that you liked your little photo tribute.  Dr. Oz always says family is so important and that you should tell them how you feel.  You are the best mother in the world.  You have handled all of life’s challenges with a sense of humour and more bravery than someone of your little stature should. Lately, especially, you have been the epitome of grace under pressure.  There is nobody that I admire more.

Love to you on your birthday and always,

Your very proud daughter xoxo


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Happy Birthday AK (AKA Frousin)

Aaron Blog

Who doesn’t love AK?

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The Glacier we hiked to in Norway!

You may remember some references to AK/Frousin throughout my blog.  He is my brother from another very nice mother (and father).  AK – two of my very favourite words in the English language are “YOU’RE RIGHT” (does a contraction count as more than two words?).  In honour of your very special birthday, I thought I’d share a few things that you were right about: 1. As you breathe you need – or should I credit this to Auntie Tessie? 2. Killing people’s dreams can be very funny – in fact, they are some of my favourite stories of yours. 3. Sea days are the best days…ever 4. Pizza Libretto isn’t bad, but it isn’t the best in Toronto 5. Sting is amazing in concert 6. Concerts are amazing in general 7. You should be able to sit in the Maple Leaf Lounge if you buy a Rouge plane ticket – maybe I shouldn’t bring up painful memories 8. Some people can be very annoying (especially at tea time) 9. Starbucks can be a beacon of hope when you are lost and afraid in a foreign country 10. Having a pedicure is a G-d given right! 11. So is wearing cashmere – scratch that – you can’t wear it and that is one of life’s little tragedies 12. You should always, always take your glasses off before getting your picture taken 13. Marrying your cousins should be illegal even if others think “It’s allowed” 14. You should always have another cookie 15. Angela Lansbury is a living legend Today, if you haven’t guessed, I am so grateful to my frousin, the birthday boy.  It’s so great having you as not just a likeable family member, but a true friend as well.  You are the best of both worlds and I am so happy to have you as one of my closest friends.


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Happy Birthday to Kiwi’s Mom

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Today is my frousin GK’s (also known as Kiwi’s Mom) Birthday.  Some people may think that aging is for the BIRDS, but not my frousin.  Mysteriously (yours), she thinks that birthdays are a time to SHAKE YOUR TAIL FEATHER.  Well, GK TOUCAN play at that game.  I know, you are all thinking, am I HERON her right, or is this blog filled with bird puns.  Yes, it is, because my frousin loves birds, none more than Kiwi, her little budgie who I affectionately call “50 Shades of Green”, so this is my tribute to you!

It gets HAWKWARD sometimes telling someone how glad you are that they moved to Toronto.  I know it can feel like a BIRDEN to be away from your roost, but you’ve adapted so well!  We’ve all tried to PIGEON and help you get to know the big city, but you’ve managed to do so well on your own, flying here and there without any help from anyone.  You’ve found a lovely NEST to call your own and made it such a precious little palace.  You find fun things to do, and even though you are always out and about, you manage to SPARROW some time for your frousins.  We always have a h-OWL with you!  You are so much fun to be around and a delightful shopper as well.  I never realized how much there was to DODO in TO until you FLEW here and reminded me.

You are always so caring and so PHEASANT to be around and the closeness and respect that you have for your parents is so nice to see!  You enjoy your family and you don’t take them for granted.  You’d share your last worm with them, even AK who is ever so slowly, learning to share.  Sorry AK – not trying to RUFFLE YOUR FEATHERS, just tweeting you, I mean teasing!  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say how much I can admire someone who has made so many life changes in such a short period of time.  You are no CHICKEN – you are brave and capable!  You had to give up FLYING SOUTH FOR THE WINTER (ok, 3 weeks in January) but you’ve really made an amazing life for yourself here.  You’ve been everywhere from FINCH to King Street and back again!  Remember, you aren’t ROBIN anyone, so just enjoy and be happy.  I know winter can be FOWL, but we still have a lot of fun planned.  I promise we won’t ever have to FLY THE COOP at another concert after listening to “Isn’t She DOVE-ly” ever again! Just stay healthy and don’t get the BIRD FLU, but if you do, CHICKEN soup should do the trick.

GK – I hope that you enjoyed this little tribute to you and birds that you love so much!  I WAS JUST WINGING IT!  I could continue RAVEN about you, but that would take all NIGHT-INGGALE.  In case you weren’t HERON me (yes, I know I already used that bird, but sometimes you have to PARROT yourself), today, I’m grateful for GK, the BIRD-day girl : )


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A Special Birthday Deserves a Second Blog

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Maichie, it’s a special birthday – don’t worry – I’m not going to mention how special, but I thought you deserved another blog to celebrate the occasion.  Here are ten more things that I’m grateful to you for:

  1. When I was little, and our grandmother never sent me a birthday card, you sent one so that I wouldn’t be disappointed, and because I was always a little gullible, I thought that the two of you had the same handwriting,  Thanks for that – it was very thoughtful.
  2. I was deathly afraid of Frankenstein when I was a kid.  Up until the time I was 13, I used to think that he was coming over the hills of Cape Breton right to our house to find me.  I spent many a night sleeping on your floor – thank you for not making me feel like a baby.
  3. You are a master when it comes to killing bugs.  No matter how big, or juicy – nothing frightens you.  While I squeal and cry little a girl, you calmly pick up the offending creature with one-ply Kleenex and tell me that I’m an idiot.  Point well taken.  You were especially handy on a bus in Scotland, killing one fly after another with your bare hands while I covered my eyes and wished that I was somewhere else.
  4. When I had the flu a few years ago and was so cold that I couldn’t stop shaking, you covered me with extra blankets and heated up chicken soup for me.
  5. We’ve been through some challenges together Maichie – and sometimes, at the very worst of times, it’s nice to look at someone who knows what your going through and crack up because if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry.
  6. You try every year to get our mother to stop interrogating me about the gifts we buy her.  I always slip and she gets it out of me, and you always say that you are never telling me anything again.  The next year, we go through the same thing again.  Thanks for having faith in me, however undeserved it is.
  7. You are great to shop with – need an honest opinion – ask Maichie.  You’ve saved me from wearing colours that wash me out and for that, I’m grateful.  Plus, you tell me if something looks awful on me.
  8. You always try to take care of me from telling me the weather for the day (no matter how many times I tell you that I check it) to calling me if it’s slippery out and always checking if I need anything.  It’s like having another mother without the guilt trips (just kidding Mommy).
  9. You always try to be kind to the underdog – it shows a sensitivity to people and is a really nice trait.
  10. I know that if I ever needed it, you would give me the shirt off of your back.  If I’m ever in that position, just make sure it’s a tasteful black shirt with a minimum of bling.

Happy Birthday Maichie – I hope that you have a wonderful day and that this year brings you everything on your wish list and then some.

Love your baby sister


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Happy Birthday to My Big Sister Eeyore

Eeyore and Tigger

While you are all celebrating a magical Christmas with your family, my family will be taking part in a birthday celebration for my big sister Eeyore (aka Gigi).  Similar to Maichie’s post, to commemorate the day that you came into a Jill-less world, I’m sharing the top ten things that I love most about you:

  1. You changed my diapers when I was little when no one else would – enough said.
  2. You, like Maichie, were my protector.  When Shawn MacIntyre  bullied me (yes, I’m calling you out online – I can hold a grudge) including running over my feet with his bike, you lay in wait.  When I was playing with my friend, Paul, and you were overseeing, Shawn came by again with the dastardly bike, as always, threatening me and trying to lift my skirt.  You knocked him off of his bike and Paul jumped on his back and that twerp never bothered me again.  Nobody had better protectors than I did with my two older sisters.
  3. You tutored me endlessly in math.  You always learned things so effortlessly.  You were patient with me even when I was a little, shall we say, challenging?  You preserved (and so did my math teacher), and I finished grade 9 with a B (80s in Nova Scotia).
  4. You always did things with me, from the time that I was little to now.  When we were in our teens (while I was in my early teens) we would walk to either GA’s Dairy to get magazines or rent stacks of horror movies from the local video store.  When you moved to Toronto and I came to visit, you took me to everything from museums, to the Eaton Centre to the Princess Bride.  Now, you always offer to take me to Wal-Mart or Costco and it’s also appreciated.
  5. You have infinite patience with everything from baking intricate recipes to being our family’s tech support.  You know a little something about everything from recommending books, to downloading great music to my iPod to getting a Kobo set up.
  6. You have been through the wringer and you are still good and kind and thoughtful.  You don’t give yourself enough credit and are rarely given the credit you deserve for resetting your life and making things better for yourself and your family.  You have sacrificed a lot and you deserve so much credit.
  7. No one tries harder than you do and you don’t realize how talented you are – you are artistic and have a way of doing things your own way when it comes to painting.  You made a beautiful “Tiffany” themed party for your daughter’s 21st birthday and I don’t know how you thought of everything.  You can do anything that you put your mind to and do it well.  Start patting yourself on the back a little – you deserve it.
  8. You get excited over the little things and you aren’t jaded.  That’s a gift Eeyore.
  9. You never pretend to be something that you aren’t – also a gift.  There is no pretence with you.
  10. You are a wonderful mother who always puts her kids (and dog) first.  You are unselfish with them and love them unconditionally.  It’s a rarity these days to see someone who doesn’t expect her children to be anything other than their best and you will spend endless hours on helping them get there.

Eeyore, you don’t hear enough how much you are cared for and admired and loved.  Today, on your birthday and even on days when I don’t seem to think it, I am grateful to be…

Your Little Sister xoxo