Khaldie’s AMAZING pictures of deer allowed Bambi to recognize her lost relatives. The aim of this post is twofold: (1) to share those pictures with you; and (2) to offer Khaldie a song to thank her for reassuring her friend in Sackville.
Share a Smile Day is meant to foster the spirit of joy. Yes, it is about encouraging “us to be a little bit more joyful” (https://shorturl.at/beloR). This may come naturally to some of us, and not just on this day. Indeed, we even smile sometimes when we are upset. However, at other times, it may be challenging to smile when we are distressed or when our hearts are aching.
Regardless, the heath- and social benefits of genuine smiles are numerous. For instance, our brains’ neurons may release more chemicals, called neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine, endorphins and serotonin), which make us feel good. In turn, our smiles can be contagious, spreading joy and positive affect to others. This may contribute to increase a spirit of friendship and a sense of social cohesion. The beauty of a smile is that it is free-of-charge. Yet, it is a rich universal language, which is understood by everyone. More importantly, it is random gesture of kindness, which can make a big difference in people’s lives.
Bearing all the above in mind, may your day be filled with smiles and moments of joy!
This post is extremely tough to write as Bambi is still under the shock of the HUGE loss of her friend and former colleague Donald (https://shorturl.at/eijkt). Indeed, tears are now running down her cheeks. She does now know from where to start to try to pay tribute to him and to find comforting words for Anne, Philippe, Mathieu, Andrea, Natalie, Luna, Noah, Edith, and all his beloved friends, especially Daniel. Bambi is also thinking of you Jacinthe. Same for you Louis. She is also thinking of all his former colleagues. She cannot name them all here, but they are crossing her mind now. She wished she had a magical stick for everyone, and especially for you Anne to remove your unbearable pain.
Yes, everyone loves Donald (and Anne), not only in Montreal, Québec but also in New Brunswick and abroad, including but not limited to Lebanon. This is not surprising at all given that Donald was not like any man. He was a gentleman. A true universal man with a big heart and a very broad mind. A wonderful spouse, dad, grand-father, friend, colleague, and fellow citizen.
Donald was a highly educated man who was a much talented developmental psychologist or psychoeducator [“psychoéducateur” in French. A clinical profession that exists only in Québec]. He loved people and especially youth. When Bambi met her colleague Donald, about 27-28 years ago, he was a big data specialist IT researcher responsible for large datasets stored at their research centre. She remains grateful for the organization of her SPSS dataset that she used for her PhD research.
Of note, about a week ago, Bambi had to search this dataset and provide some basic data, related to one of the publications on conduct disorder and cortisol levels to a colleague in the Netherlands for a meta-analysis (in progress). She could not help not to be impressed, again and again, with the quality of the organization of the dataset. She found herself smiling to funny memories with Donald. She recalled when they sat together for long hours to check the file for the first time. Because she had a lot of interesting variables, at one point, she thanked him by teasing him with Mr. Daniel Boucher’s famous French-Canadian song, of course changing its lyrics from “Ma gang de malades” [My Gang of Insanes] to “Ma gang de variables” [My gang of variables] :).
At work and beyond (pre- and post-retirement), everyone respected and loved Donald. He also has a way of making everyone feel respected and appreciated. When Bambi had her censorship saga because of her blog, she received incredible public support from across the country (and abroad), especially from Québec. Of course, Donald supported her. This warmed her heart beyond words, even if it was not surprising to her because Donald had an open-mind and was a free spirit: he respected the freedom of expression and academic freedom of everyone, including herself.
In addition to this, Donald embraced life. He was a bon vivant who enjoyed great food and wine. He loved to travel around the world with his beloved Anne. They even travelled domestically and they visited Bambi and her spouse in both Toronto (Ontario) and Sackville (NB).
Bambi will always remember Donald’s accurate description of “Sweet Little Sackville”, which reminded him of New England: “timeless and spaceless“, to use his own words :). Louis and Bambi had unforgettable times with you Donald and Anne in the three provinces we lived in, including “our” beloved Québec. Indeed, they will both always cherish ALL the incredible memories with you everywhere, and especially in Montreal. Many of them are related to summer parties in your lovely garden. You even kindly honoured Bambi by inviting her parents to a delicious dinner at your place once when they visited her. What an evening filled with laughter and lovely moments!
Other souvenirs are related to Bambi’s PhD Defence and the following party organized by her dear friend Carla. If Bambi recalls well, you may have even attended the sweet good-bye farewell party her sister Roula (+ Doudou) organized for her, when they returned to Canada for a year, at the time she was about to move to Toronto for her post-doctoral position.
To conclude this tribute, Bambi will say the following: Even if death is part of life and we are eventually all heading to the same place, it is sometimes very hard to imagine people filled with life dead. Donald (or Mr. Morrison) is SURELY one of them. Indeed, we was life itself with its beauty, richness, sweetness, intensity, and sadly shortness. Thankfully, love transcends death.
Yes, love is eternal. Donald, we will forever honour your memory. Count on Bambi et al. As for your dear Anne, please forgive any clumsy word in this tribute. It is hard to know what to write in the tragic circumstances. Bambi just wanted to express her full solidarity with you and your entire family. She thanks you for the INSPIRING love that unites you with Donald. Our troubled world needs more and more pure love like yours. It is her hope to be able to eventually join you all at Donald’s memorial. She will do her utmost. However, whether with you physically or not to celebrate Donald’s life and legacy, she will be joining her heart to yours. Please trust that Donald (and you) will be in her prayers…
Bambi is cheating, she knows. Brittany’s birthday will be upon waking up tomorrow, but she is too excited to go to sleep before highlighting this wonderful day.
Brittany is a DEAR friend of Bambi and Louis as well as of this blog. She has even been a contributor of stunning pictures, which have enriched several posts over the past years.
Brittany is brilliant, resilient, and a lot of fun to be with. She is an inspiring mom. She is a beautiful lady, both outside and inside.
She is more than a friend. She is actually like a sister and all Bambi’s family loves her dearly, not just her and Louis.
That was a brief, and surely insufficient, description of Brittany and her multi-talent in life. This being said, may she have a Happy Birthday filled with love and laughter. May her new year be a beautiful one!
Notre-Dame de Paris is a French and French-Canadian musical comedy (1998), which is inspired by Mr. Victor Hugo (1802-1885)’s famous novel of the same name (https://shorturl.at/arEFR). The lyrics of Le temps des cathédrales were written by Mr. Luc Plamondon and its music was composed by Mr. Richard Cocciante (under the direction of Gilles Maheu). Bravo to Mr. Bruno Pelletier for the BEAUTIFUL performance shared below, which took place at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal in 2020!
In an older post, Bambi once wrote: “Some declared days (no clue by whom) are highly important, raising awareness about this health condition or that historic event. Others seem odd or funny...” Well, today may be one of those strange days as it is the “International I Hate Coriander Day” (https://shorturl.at/gwyZ9).
Coriander, also called cilantro, grows very easily in most of Western Asia and Southern Europe (https://shorturl.at/einJ9). It is very common in Mediterranean cuisine. Even Bambi who is not the greatest, or most diligent, cook knows how to pair coriander with cumin in the Lebanese recipes her late mom gave her over the years. She even learned this trick from the “King of the kitchen”. Yes, it is you “Chef Luigi”, if you happen to be reading :). She considers herself blessed because she happens to adore coriander and especially cumin!
Of course, despite the genetic and cultural influences, taste is a very personal matter. Moreover, taste preferences can change over time. Some people have all the reasons of the world to passionately hate coriander. Maybe it is a bit similar to how Bambi is not fond of cinnamon (and its smell) in deserts? Regardless, she has never imagined we would need to have a declared international day where we hate coriander :).
Regardless of the above, Bambi wishes you a Happy International I Hate Coriander Day with a kids songs on vegetables, which excludes coriander and many other yummy vegetables. Please, make no mistake, this “exclusion” is just for fun and for today ONLY since she is not into boycotting any food, especially when it is delicious!
Music is supposed to assemble people and make them transcend their trivial and more serious problems.
Music helps in building bridges of humanity among individuals.
Bridges, and not walls or holes to be buried in, are badly needed in the VERY troubled Middle East as well as other doomed parts of our world.
When we have been named “UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Middle East” (https://shorturl.at/zCELY), the needs of ALL the children and youth living in the Middle East matter, from Lebanon, to Palestine, to Israel, Syria, Irak, Yemen, Iran Saudi Arabia, etc. You simply rise above the own issue of a community or country to use your fame to speak for all children of this region of the world.
When you are a famous international singer like Ms. Nancy Ajram giving a concert in Cyprus (the only peaceful place in the Middle East), you do not ask your fans for their IDs before a quick chat with them or a fast photograph shot with them. Fans of stars are by definition international. They can come to your concert from any part of the world, even from a nearby “enemy” nation bombarding your country and fighting one of its most powerful groups.
Bearing the above in mind, Bambi was shocked to read in L’Orient Today (https://shorturl.at/chmV7) that “a Lebanese lawyer filed the complaint after Ajram posed for a photo with an Israeli blogger during a concert in Cyprus“. The complaint talks about how “Lebanon adopted a law in 1955 prohibiting contacts with Israelis or individuals residing in Israel, as well as economic relations with Israeli companies. It also prohibits any kind of transaction, whether commercial, financial, or otherwise with the Israeli state, with violations punishable by three to ten years of forced labour“. Is there anything more stupid than a boycott law that tells you with whom to interact or not as a free human being? This is insulting to the free minds of the Lebanese people. The latter are among the most opened minded folks. They adjust to all cultures, to the best of their capacity, and are literally friends of the world.
The L’Orient Today article (https://shorturl.at/chmV7) also informed Bambi of the following rather cute details: “Israeli blogger Itzik Balas posted photos of himself with the Lebanese singer on his Instagram account, followed by 200,000 subscribers. “I was excited to meet the world-famous megastar of the Arab world, the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram,” he wrote in English in the caption of the photos, adding in Arabic, “habibt al alb” meaning beloved“.
May only love have the final word in the Middle East. Not the stupid boycotts, not the weapons or drones, not the massive killings of innocent people, and not the kidnapping of other innocent people in the name of Gods, religions, lands, revenge, or whatever else.
Today, Bambi made a lovely musical discovery. Her name is Ms. Marilyne Naaman. Who knows? Maybe those of you reading this post from out of Lebanon or France, you are already familiar with her talent.
Regardless of the above, this artist’s Youtube page describes her as follows: “Hello, I am Marilyne Naaman, a Lebanese actress and singer, born in 1998 in Beirut. I love Lebanon, flowers, the sun, summer, ice cream, friendships, coffee, music, the jasmine plant, laughter, jokes, the beginning of love stories, Fairouz, films, the kids’ world, the colors pink, red, and green, chocolate, drawings, The Voice France, clouds, tattoos, Paris, parties, socks, and watermelons”.
In this post, Bambi will share with you three songs performed by Ms. Naaman. The first is her most recent one, entitled Masafi [Distance] and it is sub-titled in English. This song was directed by Ms. Lynn Tawilé. Both the lyrics and music are by Mr. Jad Obeid. As for the production, it is by Mr. Elie Akl. The second song is a Standard Arabic adaptation of “Hallelujah“, which was written by Canadian late and great singer Mr. Leonard Cohen (1984). Ms. Naaman performed the latter at the “Shining Stars of Hope” event (December 29, 2023) of the Takreem Foundation. Established in 2009, this organization honours Arab accomplishments by “bringing Arab achievers to the forefront of the global stage” (https://shorturl.at/aiwGV). As for Ms. Naaman’s third and last song, it is her impressive performance in the French La Voix [The Voice] of Dalida’s “Mourir sur scène” [To Die on Stage]. Of note, this song includes a Lebanese-Arabic translation at its end.
Ms. Naaman, please keep singing. Your voice brings both sweetness and depth to our troubled world, which sadly remains filled with senseless violence.
For almost five days, Bambi has been singing an old Lebanese-Arabic song entitled “Kinna Netlaa Min Achiyeh“, which was composed for Fairuz by the late and great, Mr. Elias Rahbani. Why the urge to sing this melody? No clue, but she is now concerned about her spouse’s ears… and sanity :). Of note, this beautiful song, which was released in 1975, is about nostalgia for one’s youth and for an old love. Bambi would like to offer it to her sister because her name is Rania, like the talented Ms. Rania El Hage!
Is there anything more magical than sunrises and sunsets in New Brunswick (NB) and Nova Scotia (NS)? In this brief post, Bambi will share a picture taken by Brittany near Shediac, NB. Second, she will share five pictures taken by Diana in NS, namely in Springhill and Malagash. As for the song, which Bambi selected to pay tribute to the beauty of the Maritime provinces, it is Moustaki’s “Il y avait un jardin” [There Was a Garden], which is subtitled in English for your convenience. Long live the beauty of nature around us! Long live our talented and generous friends!