Happy Canada Day!!

A chalk art drawing in red and white. There are two concentric circles and in the middle of the smaller circle is a Canadian flag. In the space between the two circles, at the top of the image it reads, "Happy Canada Day". At the bottom it reads, "Share Hugs Here"Happy Canada Day folks … to all of those born here, and to all those who have found their way to our shores. Remember to hug the ones you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!!


P.S. A shout-out today to our wonderful friend Glennis, who wrote this beautiful poem back in 2019: Free Hugs

P.S. II, the sequel – a reminder that next Saturday (July 6, 2024) is International Free Hugs Day! Let your hugging inhibitions go and embrace the love!!

Happy Father’s Day!!

This is the final image of the completed chalk drawing. The spiral pattern is at the top of the frame. Under that it says, "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" and "HUG YOUR DAD"Hi Folks:

All of Marcia and Mike’s parents are gone now, but we have two sons and a son-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren. We are Grandy and Grandalf! 🧙‍♀️&🧙‍♂️

As with those who are moms, Happy Father’s Day today to all of the strong, loving men who are fathers, to those who are chosen dads, surrogate dads, step-dads, adoptive dads, and to the women who are also dads.

Special thanks to all those who love and support them.


P.S. For anyone who’s interested in knowing how the spherical pattern was made, click here:
Father’s Day Hugs (behind the scenes)

Father’s Day Hugs (behind the scenes)

Hi Folks:

This is a short post that covers a bit of what went into making our latest chalk art drawing, for those who might be interested…

To start with, credit and thanks to @the.world.of._drawing on Instagram for the design! Much appreciated.

Now, if only sidewalks came with grid squares we would have been all set. Unfortunately, they typically don’t. So, in order to create the design in sidewalk chalk, we had to get a little inventive. The first step was to create the pattern in CorelDraw, like this:This drawing can be viewed as an angular two-dimensional sphere, but upon closer inspection it appears 3D, like a bagel bending around itself.The second phase was to take that pattern and cut it into 12 pieces. Each section is contained with an 8″x10″ rectangle so as to fit on a sheet of letter-sized paper. An X-Acto knife was used to cut out the red lines in the paper, leaving gaps at the junctions to hold the template together. The next step was to assemble the cut-out pages of the template into three strips of four images, using painter tape to hold them together:This image shows all 12 pages of the template with the cutouts held together with painter tape.These strips were reassembled on the sidewalk, and a piece of white chalk was used to transfer the cutout lines to the sidewalk. After that, coloured chalk was used to complete the pattern. The final result looks like this:This is the final image of the completed chalk drawing. The spiral pattern is at the top of the frame. Under that it says, "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" and "HUG YOUR DAD"That’s it!

Hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!


A Very Special Free Hugs Day

Hi Folks:

Today (June 8) is a very special day for us, for three reasons:

1) It’s World Ocean Day! As Sylvia Earle said, “No blue, no green.” Oceans are vital in so many ways that we can barely begin to comprehend.

2) On June 8, 2002, Marcia proposed, and we continue to celebrate Us every day.

3) AND, our first Free Hugs adventure was on June 8, 2010! You can read more about that here, but when we set out we were – in a word – terrified. Excited, but terrified. We had no idea what to expect, and we stood there with our FREE HUGS posters for what seemed like an eternity until a little girl saw us and came running over. The rest, as they say, is history. Eleven years, thousands and thousands of hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, smiles, stories and more shared with people from (at least) 88 countries. Our thanks to each of you – every hug is unique and special.

In honour of the occasion we updated our Hugging Spot in front of our house:

a chalk art drawing on the sidewalk in front of our house. Encased within a large circle are a fluffy cloud, a rainbow (although Mike managed to reverse the colours) and the words HUG HERE, in multi-coloured chalk.

(No you’re not allowed to point out that we got the rainbow colours reversed – purple is such a lovely colour and it called out … and it went downhill from there. Think of it as a sunrise instead. A new day. Yeah, that’s it. 🙂 )

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


Happy Mother’s Day!!

This is an image of the latest chalk art drawing in front of our house. The main part of the art is a series of circles ranging in size from 6 " to 12" o 18" to 36", all drawn in different colours. Across the bottom of the pattern reads, "Happy Mother's Day" and on each side it reads, "Share Group Hugs Here".Happy Mother’s Day to all of the world’s Mothers and to all those who fulfill the role … step-mothers, chosen mothers, adoptive mothers, surrogate mothers, soon-to-be mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, brothers, uncles, dads and more. And let us not forget the Earth, the great Mother of us all. 🌏

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


P.S. As Marcia’s dad used to say, “Remember Father on Mother’s Day“!

2024 Hug Zones

This is a chalk art Hugging Spot made with sidewalk chalk in front of our house. At the top and bottom of the image it says, "Share Hugs Here". In the middle is a large circle, and within that are a series of sinuous lines all made with different colours of chalk.Hi Folks:

2024 marks the third year we’ve been creating Hugging Spots on the sidewalk in front of our house (and occasionally elsewhere). Last year I believe we made 11 patterns and about the same in 2022. We’ll see what this year brings! The image above is actually our second pattern for this year; the first was for Valentine’s Day. To keep all of the patterns in one place we’ll add that to the bottom of this post. If you happen to be walking by our little corner of Victoria feel free to share a hug with those who are accompanying you. If you’re nowhere near us, feel free to create your own Hugging Spot! All it takes is a little chalk, a little time and a little love. Many thanks to the wonderful people who stopped to chat while work was in progress and special thanks to the young woman who offered a hug before the artwork was completed!

If you want to see our previous patterns you can find them here: 2023 Hug Zones and 2022 Hug Zones.

Remember to hug someone you love today, even if it’s you!!
M&M Continue Reading →

Happy Valentine’s Day! 💗

Hi Folks:

This image shows the latest chalk art drawing on the sidewalk in front of our house. At the top, all Caps, are the words HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY written in an arc in yellow chalk. The main body of the drawing consists of two large intertwining hearts, outlined in pink, red and white. At the bottom, in blue and purple, it reads HUG HERE.Today is Valentine’s Day, an international excuse to be more loving to each other (not that we need one) and a reason to eat good chocolate (not that we need one!) We always think sharing hugs with loved one is a good idea, so we wanted to encourage others to join in the celebration!

NB: While Mike was drawing with chalk, Marcia was scampering around the neighbourhood leaving anonymous valentines in our local Little Library boxes … 🤫


P.S. We’re in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness week. What are you doing to be kind today? Remember to be kind to yourself as well as others!!

P.S. II, the sequel: Apparently in the 17th century it was customary for young gentlemen to write the name of their betrothed on their shirt cuff for Valentine’s Day – hence wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve.

New Day, New Year, New Beginnings…

This is a 16x9 image of the Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens, one of Victoria's famous highlights. In the center of the frame is a red lacquer and black bridge, crossing over a small stream. The bridge is mostly surrounded by greenery from mosses to trees, but there are a few picturesque boulders and in the foreground is some raked gravel.

Crossing the Bridge
Japanese Garden, Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC

Hi Folks:

We first posted this for New Year’s Day, 2013 but it seems appropriate to share again. To start the year off right, consider these words from Howard W. Hunter:

“This year, mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again.”

Have an amazing day and an incredible year!! As Marcia says, may 2024 be gentle with us all.


P.S. This is a message we can all send to each other: Israel and Iran: A love story?

The names and faces have changed in the past ten years, but love remains. If you know of anyone who would like to revive this, please pass it along. And if you want to create your own Free Hugs posters, we’ll happily share our template.

The Reindeer Are Coming! The Reindeer Are Coming!!

Mrs. Claus and Twinkles and Krinkles (stuffed reindeer) are standing in front of a two panel holiday display at Hillside Mall in Victoria. The right panel has a winter Christmas image and the left panel begins with a title of "Once Upon a Time"

Mrs. Claus, Krinkles and Twinkles at Hillside Mall

Hi Folks:

On Friday we took Krinkles and Twinkles over to Hillside Mall; a lot of people lose their smiles this time of year and being happy reindeer, they like to help people get their smiles back. So they peek unobtrusively into store windows, skirt around crowds, and wave to pretty much everyone they see. Mostly people smile, sometimes they wave back (and sometimes they don’t and that’s okay too). T&K like to think that maybe they helped pull joy a little closer to the surface.
Yesterday the four of us walked around downtown Victoria and continued spreading cheer. We went through all four levels of the Bay Centre, the Library, Market Square and Centennial Square/City Hall. They got to meet a new friend (a fairy named Joy) and hung out for a bit with old friends at Market Square and the edge of Chinatown. The final stop was Cat’s Coffee and Cakes for a little refreshment. Thirsty work, waving at all those people… 👋
P.S. It’s quite possible that for at least one person we encountered, a smile and a wave from someone is the best Christmas present they’ll receive this year. For that, we’d like to thank you.


Celebrating the Holidays!

Hi Folks:

This Friday marks the winter solstice; we’re closing in on the end of another year. As the global pandemic has shifted to an endemic, we’re continuing to open to ourselves and each other – slowly and with caution, but still. Last night we hosted our first Christmas dinner with friends since 2019.

As we move toward the vernal equinox we will be entering the period where the days begin to lengthen once again (here in the northern hemisphere, at least). More light, more trust, new beginnings. It’s a choice each of us gets to make in every moment, so if you’re ever unsure how to react in any situation, be kind. It’s good for you, good for the other person, is non-fattening, doesn’t cause cavities and helps to make the world a better place, even just for a moment. And, sharing kindness is often contagious! Pay it forward. 🙂

A Christmas tree decorated largely with twinkling white lights and shiny silver balls, it also displays a heavy piece of cardstock with the message, "Peace on Earth"

Peace on Earth – Festival of Trees, the Bay Centre, Victoria, BC

“We’re all just walking each other home.” ~ Ram Dass

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, the arrival of Sinterklaas or Grandfather Frost, Hanukkah, Yalda, Pancha Ganapati, Bodhi Day, Kwanzaa, Eid al-Fitr (April 2024), Diwali (October 2024) or something entirely personal, from our house to yours, we wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday season! May 2024 find you safe, healthy and surrounded by Love. 💗