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Happy Father's Day!!

Hi Folks:

Today is Father’s Day, and as such today we celebrate fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, as well as all of those men (and women) who have stepped in as surrogates to fill the roles left open for them. We salute you all. Being a dad isn’t an easy prospect…nor is it meant to be.

Today is a bittersweet day for us as both Marcia’s father and Mike’s dad passed away last year, within a couple of months of each other. As such we were struggling a bit to come up with a way to honour our dads and all that they’ve given us over the years. We came across the following poem from Terri St. Cloud and it says it better, perhaps, than we could:

honoring you

honoring you

We do our best, every day, to do just that. Embrace those you love, today and every day. Let them know how important they are to you!!

With love and hugs,
Grandy and Grandalf

Hidden (photo by Marcia)

P.S. We live in a society where people are fearful of death, and (unfortunately) where the last act for most people is toxic to the planet on which they lived their entire lives. There’s an interesting TED talk on the subject, here: When I die, recompose me

Hugs With Brad

Hi Folks:

Well, it’s only mid-June but we’ve already done eight hugging sessions this year! We started on April Fool’s Day, after all. As we’ve mentioned, this is our 8th year of doing this, and so far we’ve hugged ambassadors from 57 countries (that we know of), including 21 countries so far this year! Every hug is unique and special to us, but we continue to have new experiences, like our first 3-time hugger, random hugging experiences (two strangers hugging each other, spontaneous group hugs, someone making an image of someone they don’t know hugging us, etc.)

In our last hugging session on Sunday we had two women tell us that they had already been hugged by someone else! Curious, we had to check this out for ourselves, so one at a time we went down along Wharf Street, around the corner onto Government and there we met Brad with his own Free Hugs sign! Such a treat! Brad’s been traveling to different places around the world, and wherever he goes he creates his own Free Hugs sign. At the end of each session he leaves the sign behind as incentive for someone else to pick it up and continue the tradition. We’re not sure how long Brad is in town, but we’d be more than happy to see him again and share more hugs!

Today is Victoria’s Ska & Reggae Festival, and last year it was our busiest hugging session of the year. We had line-ups of people wanting to share hugs… it was wonderful! Looking forward to a repeat this year. 🙂 Tomorrow is Car Free YYJ; maybe we’ll bring our posters down there as well! 😉

Remember to hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!!

Hugs,
M&M

Alike

Hi Folks:

We’re stealing this short video link from Kalebra Kelby’s blog; we do so unabashedly for two reasons. First, it’s a wonderful  film, and well worth 8 minutes of your time. Second, it gives us the opportunity to introduce you to Kalebra’s blog, which is filled with insight, humour and warmth (to name a few).

Enjoy!

Alike

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. After viewing this you may wish to visit our ‘Finding Validation‘ post for more feelinggoodness. 🙂 (that may not be a word, but it should be)

P.S. II, the sequel. Mike’s sister Liz passed away 22 years ago today. She would have Loved this movie!

Photo of the Month - Big Skies

Hi Folks:

We thought we’d do a themed post for May’s images. Although Marcia is mostly renowned for her flower photography, she does in fact shoot a wide variety of other work as well! As we’re both big fans of clouds and cloud watching, we thought we’d use clouds as the basis for our photos of the month. Marcia’s first.

Continue reading “Photo of the Month – Big Skies

Having Brunch Out for Mother's Day(s)

Hi Folks:

For Mother’s Day this year we traveled up to the Okanagan to celebrate with Mike’s Mom. We had two days together so we got to treat her to two different places!

Continue reading “Having Brunch Out for Mother’s Day(s)

Photo of the Month - April

Hi Folks:

Eek! Already mid-May and we haven’t done a Photo of the Month post for April yet! Just so much happening in this town… At the end of April we had the opportunity to go out to Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria and wander around for a couple of hours. We had a great time. There’s one place in the gardens where four saplings have grown together, and where the stems join they form a perfect bowl. Victoria’s spring rains filled the bowl with water, and falling camellia flowers completed the scene. Here’s Marcia’s image!

Treebowl

Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,
M&M

Just Singing, and Hugging... in the Rain!

Hi Folks:

Last Saturday was our fourth Free Hugs session for 2017, and it also marked a number of firsts! Our usual procedure is to arrive at the Homecoming Memorial, doff extraneous gear, coats, etc, retrieve our Free Hugs posters from their tube, then Marcia assumes her (most glorious) hugging position while Mike makes a few images. That done we wait for the first huggers to arrive. The intervening time has ranged up to several minutes, but in our last few sessions we’ve broken records for the time it takes for our first hugger. At our last session we had someone stop within seconds of getting ready, and we joked that the only way to beat that would be for someone to show up before we were ready. Well, it happened! Not only did we have our first hugger arrive before Mike had a chance to make any photographs, we had someone waiting in the wings so to speak as well! After that surprise we joked that the only way to beat that record would be for people to be there waiting for us before we arrived!!
Continue reading “Just Singing, and Hugging… in the Rain!

Victorious Voices, 2017!

Victorious Voices 2017

Hi Folks:

Last week marked the 8th annual Victorious Voices Festival here in Victoria! We missed the first two years, but we’ve been stalwart supporters of the event ever since. If you want to read our previous posts on this amazing creative blending of people and talents, you can find them here. Back in 2013 Mike wrote his first (and so far, only) slam poetry piece in honour of the courage of the many young people who perform during this event. If you’re interested, you can find that here. Continue reading “Victorious Voices, 2017!

Hoppy Easter Hugs!!

Hi Folks:

Hoppy Easter Hugs, 2017

Hoppy Easter Hugs, 2017

Saturday of this past weekend was the second chance we had to go out hugging this year, and the weather was perfect – both for those out and about enjoying the day and for us! We were out for about 2½ hours and hugged people from an additional 5 countries! So far this year we’ve met hugging ambassadors from 15 countries – 56 countries in total over the 8 eight years we’ve been doing this. In addition to the hugs we continue to appreciate the smiles, the waves, bicycle bells, car beeps… even the neighs of the carriage horses! And this past Saturday another first, as one man came running forward, arms wide, and jumped up into Mike’s embrace, allowing himself to be spun around and around!! We do so love our hugging sessions. Continue reading “Hoppy Easter Hugs!!

Photo of the Month - March

Hi Folks:

Under the ‘better late than never’ category, we wanted to present two alternate views of spring here in Victoria. We had a late spring this year; our own personal Flower Count at the beginning of March was about 3% of what it was last year. However, as the month wore on the weather improved and we’ve been able to enjoy our ‘normal’ plethora of sights and colours and sounds!

Marcia’s image is first. This is one of our flowering plum trees, growing downtown on a very lucky street corner!

Flowering PlumEntire neighbourhoods of the city are thus transformed every spring. It’s quite a sight to see!

Mike’s image for March was made in Mount Work Regional Park, just west of Victoria, and shows how the warmth and rains of spring transform the wild landscape as well.

Spring Glow

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,
M&M