Don’t Call People Out – Call Them In

Hi Folks:

We came across this video the other day (presented at TEDMonterey 2021) and had to pass it along. This is the best forum for us to do just that! If you’ve read other of our posts this goes without saying, but we love this woman!

Loretta J. Ross - TED Monterey 2021

Don’t Call People Out – Call Them In (click on the image to see the video)

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Four health benefits of hugs – and why they feel so good

Hi Folks:

We came across this article recently and had to share it with you. We’ve known the truth of this for some time (of course) but now you do too!

Four health benefits of hugs – and why they feel so good


Remember, if you can’t hug the ones you love, hug the ones you’re with!

Happy International Free Hugs Day!!

Hi Folks:

As you all know, the first Saturday in July (today!) is International Free Hugs Day!! Normally (what does that even mean anymore?) that would mean we’d be downtown, by our Hugging Tree, sharing hugs, smiles, waves, handshakes, fist bumps and conversations with locals and tourists alike. Not last year, however, and not today… but soon! The world is starting to re-open, slowly. In the meantime, to paraphrase the song:

If you can’t share hugs with the ones you love, hug the ones you’re with!!

Hugging a Chinese lion, 2019


P.S. We have a late entry in this year’s Creampuff Derby: our granddaughter, who was born this morning. A most auspicious day!!

Ladybugs and FREE HUGS!

Hi Folks:

A very special day for us, for several reasons. It’s World Ocean Day, and since we’re lucky enough to live within 300m of the ocean, we’re privileged to see her in all of her moods. Nineteen years ago today Marcia asked Mike a very important question; we say YES!! to each other every day. And today is also the anniversary of our very first Free Hugs campaign: June 8, 2010. Below is a re-post of our adventures that day.

image © Aaron Licht, 2010It’s been more than a year since we’ve had to (temporarily) suspend our Free Hugs campaigns; we miss it every day. In 11 years we’ve shared hugs, smiles, waves, handshakes, high fives, conversations and more with tens of thousands of people from at least 88 countries. When it’s safe for you and for us we’ll welcome you to join us once again. In the meantime, wherever you are today, we offer you (two – at least!) virtual hugs. We wish you peace.


Hello Dear Ones!

It’s been my hands meandering today – over poster board with glue and markers, 3″ diameter paper ladybugs and brightly coloured flowers.

Tomorrow, June 8th, 2010, Mike and I celebrate the eighth anniversary of the day I proposed to him. Yes, I did! Down on one knee, rocks and all, by our favourite river. June 8th, 2002.

In honour of the day, Mike and I shall be down at what is referred to as the Inner Harbour here in Victoria, British Columbia at 4pm …. the same approximate time that I popped the question and Mike responded with a resounding YES!

Mike and I are both dolling up these placards to say, simply, FREE HUGS. Yet they are decorated by each of us individually – so each is unique – as are we! Mike’s has a butterfly, hearts and bright colours. Mine has ladybugs and huge flowers.

We’ll be giving out free hugs to any willing participants and we certainly hope there may be a few daring souls. Should you happen to be in the neighbourhood, come join us – even if it’s just to watch two mature adults make absolute fools of themselves – enjoying and savouring every single moment of it! There’ll be ample supply of laughter, hugs, smiles and yes, even free hug certificates as giveaways.

If you’ve not yet checked out our Hugs Certificates page, take a moment to do so here. Mike and I carry a stock of these business card-sized certificates which we delightedly give out to: cashiers; people we see sharing hugs with a friend; as bookmarks in magazines and books in the stores we frequent; on the seats of buses; anywhere we happen to go and someone either gives us a reason to smile or really needs one of their own – which we happily oblige by giving them one of ours. What a joyous adventure this has become – such fun!

An exceptionally BIG thank you to Mike for this marvellous idea, for providing the materials and for the inspiration to make this a play day! A lifetime supply of HUGS, just for him and him alone …

In Light and Laughter,


BTW: we’re not the first to do this and hopefully not the last! Check out the Free Hugs Campaign that inspired us to do the same.


We had a great time, and we gave/ received over 200 hugs in 3 hours.  Our friend Aaron came by as well and made some photographs.  Here are a couple of the best of them (more are available here):

Anticipation Group Hug

P.S. Be sure to check out our International Free Hugs Day 2012 and International Free Hugs Day 2011 posts!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Hi Folks:

Today we celebrate all those who are mothers, all who have been and are no longer with us, and all those who have served in that capacity – fathers, aunts, grandparents, foster parents, siblings… anyone and everyone with an abundance of love to share. Today we honour You. (but Marcia’s still my favourite – Mike 💗👨🏻‍🦳👩🏻‍🦳💗)

Happy Mother's DayIn 2010 Marcia wrote a tribute to her father: Remember Father for Mother’s Day. Since then, Marcia’s mother and father have left us. Mike’s mother, dad and sister (herself a mother) are also gone, and Mike’s father passed away yesterday. We remember them in our hearts. However, we are blessed with an abundance of other family and we’ll be welcoming a new granddaughter this summer!!

Sending love and hugs your way!

P.S. Let’s not forget the Mother of us All…


Hi Folks:

We’re now closing in on the end of January so it’s a little late for this post. However, we didn’t want to put it off for another year, as we have so much for which to thank G.L.I.T.T.E.R. By now (almost?) all Christmas decorations have been taken down, artificial Christmas trees have been returned to storage and most live trees have been chipped for mulch. A few, although growing in number, are kept in pots as live trees and then planted out in the spring. And then there’s G.L.I.T.T.E.R. You see, G.L.I.T.T.E.R. is not only our Christmas tree, ‘she’ has been our tree for the past 12 Christmases. G.L.I.T.T.E.R. is a Norfolk Island pine tree. We brought G.L.I.T.T.E.R. home in 2009, and at the time she was barely a foot tall. From the floor, she’s now approaching 6 feet. We believe she’s got a couple of more years before we have to cut a hole in the ceiling… 🙂 Our first tree was F.R.E.D., then F.R.E.D.E.R.I.C.A., F.R.E.D.D.Y. and then F.R.E.I.D.R.I.C.H. You can read more about their varied history, here. We were away in 2013, but here are some images of G.L.I.T.T.E.R. over the years.

So, our thanks to G.L.I.T.T.E.R. for 12 Christmases together! We’ll look forward to celebrating with you again come December!


Tree Hugging🌲

Hi Folks:

This seemed like a good idea for the first post of 2021… Have you hugged your favourite tree today?

Enjoy this short video from Sarah Wallace Scott:


P.S. Also check out our post, Telling Tales (“it hugged me back”). 🌲

Who Were Those Masked Reindeer? I’d Like to Thank Them…

Hi Folks:

Last Sunday Twinkles and Krinkles decided it was time for their annual festive walkabout downtown. This is the sixth year in a row they’ve done this; their reasoning is that a lot of people lose their smiles this time of year and so Krinkles and Twinkles like to help people recover them. These energetic reindeer have huge hearts and they love nothing more than to share that with others.

We set off from our home in James Bay, and stopped first at Cora’s restaurant on Douglas Street for a fortifying breakfast. Twinkles and Krinkles were welcomed right in (our host has a soft spot for reindeer, especially around Christmas).

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Cora's

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Cora’s

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Happy Holidays!!

Hi Folks:

Well, it’s been a year, to put it mildly. Ironic perhaps that in many ways the very things that have kept us distanced have brought us closer together. We’ve learned that while we see this planet as a huge place, it’s just a tiny blue ball in the vastness of space, and yet all of our loves and losses and hope and history are caught up on the surface of that little blue ball. In David Suzuki’s book, ‘The Sacred Balance’, he asks us to imagine a sphere the size of a basketball. Lay a sheet of tissue paper over the ball. All life on this planet of ours exists in that layer of tissue paper. As the Lakota people say, “Mitakue oyasin”: we are all related. The coming year promises to bring its own share of joys and challenges, but together we can build something beautiful.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, the arrival of Sinterklaas or Grandfather Frost, Hanukkah, Mawlid Un Nabi, Yalda, Pancha Ganapati, Bodhi Day, Kwanzaa or something entirely personal, we send you love. Create an amazing 2021!!


P.S. So much of Christmas seems to be about gifting. We offer two thoughts from others on what gifting really means:

from Burning Man (click the image or the caption to go to the article – image © Jane Hu (2018)):

from Robert Lee Fulghum: The Orange 🍊

Thank you, Charles…

…for the love of Snoopy. 💗

For everyone who needs an extra hug today:

Hugs from us too!