Posts Tagged ‘Breast cancer’

Pink, Seriously…’Pink Days In Bloom’, Part II

Hi Dear Friends! Welcome!

I’m happy that you came by again today for a visit.  Would you care for a glass of pink lemonade for a change?  Or, maybe pink tea? It’s a beautiful sunny day here, and I could really use the company.   I am off work in misery with fractured ribs from coughing – the leftovers of a nasty flu virus that had me literally seeing double for 5 straight days. It’s just been an unbelieveable time.

I promised you  a second part to the ‘Pink Days in Bloom’ post…I’ve had this current post prepared for several months.  Some of you have been asking about it and so I thought that I would release it today.

What does it really mean to ‘Think Pink’?

There was a compelling interview on Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Radio on Friday, January 27th with National Film Board (NFB) Producer Ravida Dinn who is challenging the iconic Pink Ribbon movement, its unending conglomerate fundraising, and where all the money goes. The interviewer referenced that despite billions of dollars raised every year to fight breast cancer, it seems we are no closer to a cure, prevention or, more importantly, finding the cause.

The pink ribbon is not new to controversy.

Some think it’s more about support and less about the solution. Breast cancer is an epidemic around the globe and, despite all that we are doing, we still have no idea what is causing it! 59,000 women in North America die each year from breast cancer.  The disease incidence remains high – I am ONE of 23,000 women newly diagnosed each year. (I was diagnosed in 2010 – 1.5 years after first seeing my doctor about the lump in my breast).

Women ARE living longer but , it seems, we still haven’t figured IT out. Currently, the biggest risk factor is just being a woman, and that’ a scary thing.  NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Listening to what Ravida Dinn has to say – maybe we aren’t doing enough of the RIGHT things in waging an effective fight against breast cancer.  Maybe there IS a SMARTER way to engage in the battle?! This is, after all, a WAR.  Maybe we SHOULD be asking more questions.  Maybe we SHOULD be demanding more answers…

The business of the pink ribbon…

An NFB feature documentary called “Pink Ribbon Inc.” produced by Din and directed by Lea Pool opened in select Canadian theatres a week following Din’s CBC interview.  On Sunday, March 11th, I trotted off to the LSPU Hall to view the film hosted by the St. John’s Women’s International Film Festival.    It was the quickest 90+ minutes I’ve ever spent.  I was captivated from the start and the time flew – by the end of the film, it seemed more like only 20 minutes has passed!
Pink Ribbon Inc. observes the amazing staying power of the “ultra-feminine dream cause” thousands of corporations align themselves with each year and use as a powerful marketing tool, important in looking for new markets and branding themselves as good citizens.

80% of household decisions are made by women…

Pink is presumably soft and safe – a surefire way to reel in the corporate dividends. Breast cancer is the “cross-marketing poster child” for everything from airlines, car manufacturers, credit cards and cosmetics to time management, teddy bears, fashion and food products. KFC in the U.S. even has a pink bucket that has many scratching their heads! Chances are if you can think of it, there is likely a pink ribbon attached to it – legitimately* or otherwise!   Potential profits in the breast cancer marketplace are steep since 80% of household decisions are made every day by women. Breast cancer, undoubtedly, is BIG business and it’s everywhere – just like the disease…
Ravida Din, herself treated for breast cancer some years ago, admits that she has never identified with the pink ribbon  and questions our naive willingness to get into bed with companies whose goal is profits over health. The film speaks to the hypocrisy of large conglomerates who profit from the disease.  There are several riveting issues addressed in the film that are sure to stir emotions and get everyone thinking and re-thinking about the unstoppable mega PINK fundraising machine and the glitzy business giants who stand to profit from it.

What is “Pink Washing”?

  • The concept of ‘Pink-Washing’, i.e. companies who promote themselves as looking for a cure, making money off the disease while selling products that could be hazardous to women’s health.   The film’s makers allude that many well-known ‘Pink Ribbon Companies’, including popular cosmetic giants, according to environmentalist claims, refuse to sign a safe cosmetics agreement continuing to produce products that contain known carcinogens. Reportedly, car manufacturers, too, are riding the breast cancer bandwagon while vehicle emissions are to be a known cause and many of the companies’ employees who happen to be women have been diagnosed with the disease.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which began in October 1985, has its origins with a pharmaceutical company now known as AstraZeneca, creator of the anti-breast cancer drug Tomoxifen.  Shockingly, the company is reportedly the leading manufacturer of crop pesticides!
  • DID YOU KNOW?  The first pink ribbon was actually salmon-coloured, the invention of 68-years young Charlotte Haley.  Charlotte was fed up watching many of her close family members battle breast cancer, so she decided to take matters both figuratively and literally into her own hands, cutting peach ribbons from cloth while sitting at her dining room table.  Her genuine intent of this simple gesture was to protest to her government the shameful lack of money being invested in finding a cure for breast cancer.  The original ribbons were affixed to a card that said, “The National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5% goes for cancer prevention.  Help wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.” When asked by Estee Lauder to share her ribbon, Charlotte denied the request refusing to allow it to be used to impact the company’s bottom line.  On the advice of its corporate legal team, Estee Lauder simply changed the colour and, before long, pink ribbons adorned many of the conglomerate’s products.
  • The point  that Din and Pool are making is that if companies TRULY care, there is no room for hypocrisy in this fight of our lives. Period.   The purpose of their film is to challenge us to be more demanding in that focus be on the cause and prevention of breast cancer – on saving  the lives of women.

Pink is everything cancer is not!

Pink has always been my favourite colour since I was a little girl. Pink is beautiful, calming, feminine, joyous… Ironically, pink is everything breast cancer is NOT. Sadly. Breast cancer is far from pretty, feminine or pink! There is nothing pretty or warm and fuzzy about breast cancer. It is a horrible, lonely disease. Like a thief in the night, it robs precious, irreplaceable time.  It robs women and their families of any sense of bliss or peace.  If you are lucky, it causes you to be constantly on alert, always looking over your shoulder and around the corner.  If you are unlucky, it steals your life. Women, indeed, have a right to be sad, angry, demanding, even militant for God’s sake.  Insightfully declared by feminist Barba Ehrenreich, it’s not Welcome to CandyLand, it’s “Welcome to CancerLand!”  She is author of a book of the same name.

“Do Everything!”

So here we are. We started out decades ago walking for the cure.  Now, in 2012, we find ourselves en masse running, jumping, dancing, shopping, cooking, kissing, pouring, ‘busting a move’ and more…all for the cure.  The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s (CBCF) own marketing campaign suggests:  ‘DO EVERYTHING’ for the cure!  Is anyone getting tired here?!
You know that well-known adage, “It’s not time that heals all wounds, it’s what you DO with that time…”  What have we been doing all this time in searching for the cure for breast cancer?
As the producer of the film, “Pink Ribbon Inc.”, Din challenges that it is difficult to dissect where the entire pot of money goes. So, why is it that after millions of people volunteering trillions of hours and raising billions of dollars, are we not seeing any improvement?  The film asserts that a lot of money goes for treatment and control, and less is focused primarily on prevention and disease origins. Is there an untold story here?  Din is using her thought-provoking film as a mechanism for social change and it just may be the spark to ignite the fire. Her film takes a critical approach in getting people to REALLY look at the ways in which the fight against breast cancer is being waged and where it is headed down the road…

CBCF is not impressed with the film.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) feels that the film is not an accurate portrayal of their organization’s goals or reflective of their commitment and the work that they do.  A representative of the organization stated in the same January CBC interview that there are many untruths presented in the film. CBCF reports that of the funds raised in support of finding a cure for breast cancer, 65% goes to research and, of that percentage, 10% goes to projects focused on risk factors and risk reduction.  They refute the film’s claim that new instances of the disease are up, while not enough is being done to actually STOP the disease in its tracks.  They counter that although the rate of incidence ( 1 in 9 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year) has not changed in 25 years, survival rates ARE, in fact, up and treatments have improved and are most effective.  Women ARE living longer with a better quality of life than decades previously.  CBCF further argues that the alarming rate by which cancer is increasing as presented in the film, is somewhat misrepresented countering that it is a global number and that developing countries account for much of the increase.
CBCF defends its record in investing in cancer research.  The organization cites references to significantly funding a number of life-changing medical breakthroughs in recent years, and believes that corporate support and fundraising is a WIN-WIN-WIN for all. CBCF suggests that no one is forced to buy pink products. *And, if you are in doubt about a company’s claims about its product and support, you are encouraged to contact CBCF for validation.  Their message is simple:

“Donate wisely. Think Before You ‘Pink’.”

CBCF expressed it is most concerned about the impact of the NFB film on people who, together with their families and friends, are very involved in raising monies to find a cure,  especially those who are experiencing breast cancer.  According to a CBCF representative, those people said the film made them feel “sad”.
The timing of this film coincides with my desire to grow Garden Pink Days here in this province. When producing the inaugural Pink Days event at Pat’s Plants and Gardens last July while still on medical leave from my work recovering from cancer treatments, I was approached by CBCF-Atlantic who asked if we would support the organization in our fundraising efforts.  I immediately raised some of the same questions being asked in the film and that I am just plain tired of raising money for breast cancer year after year, when it seems we are no nearer to reaching that illusive cure. So at the very least, we would wish that monies stayed in our province to help with equipment and treatment programs for our ‘sisters’ living among us….The Coordinator offered to send me CBCF-Atlantic’s annual report so that I could see for myself where the monies are being spent and how the dollars are being used in this province.   I was convinced that we should support CBCF-Atlantic.

“WHEN YOU DO nothing, you feel over- whelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” ~ Unknown

After all is said and done, I welcome the film and subsequent debate that surrounds it. Din takes a hard-nosed, critical approach in getting people to really look at the ways in which the fight against breast cancer is being waged and where it is headed.  It gets people thinking, questioning, and putting everything under the microscope at all levels.  There is always room for improvement in everything; and if this film serves as a tool to do that, then it’s all good. Right?
DID YOU KNOW?  Run for the Cure was held at  60 locations across Canada in 2011; 170,000 people participated and raised $30 million. Family, friends, neighbours and co-workers have run in my name and have raised thousands in the past two years. This event, along with other mass fundraisers, often have been labelled  as ‘cult-like’.  Well, from my perspective, anything that brings people together in the neighbourhoods and communities where we live, and inspires hope and support, and makes us all feel good while raising monies together in the quest for a better quality of life – free of breast cancer –  is a good thing.  To know that we are not alone is a good thing.
I encourage you to see the movie. Open your mind, start new conversations and thinking about how things can be challenged with a purpose for improvement and ultimately swifter action in finding a cure.  In the meantime, I am not discouraged and will keep on with Pink Days in Bloom – any collective action that inspires women and their families and that can help even in a microscopic way is well worth the effort.  We cannot underestimate even the smallest efforts.  I am proud to support CBCF-Atlantic Region.
I believe that while there may be lots of room for improvement in coordinating research efforts around the globe, increasing awareness is a positive thing. Some may argue that we are already aware. I can attest there were many things I did not know about the disease before having been diagnosed with it.  Anything that helps women feel empowered in the face of this dreaded disease and that supports survivors and their families is a good thing.   My dear friend Connie wrote to me in an email once, “Leave it to you to make from lemons, pink lemonade!”  It has buoyed me in a tumultuous time in my life and keeps me going…
I’d love to hear your ‘pink thoughts’.  Thank you for dropping by today.  And, I hope you’ll come back again soon.  Wishing you a beautiful day!
Check out the great video in this post:
Check out Pink Days in Bloom on Facebook here:
This is my favourite of all Pinks!  Doesn’t this beautiful sight just make your heart go pitter patter?!  Gardening season is just around the corner…Come on out to the Spring Landscape and Garden Show on April 28-29 at the Jack Byrne Arena and talk with volunteers at the Pink Days in Bloom space to learn where there’s a Pink Day happening at a garden centre near you this summer!  We can’t wait to see you there!

Source: via Peggy on Pinterest

Pink Reigns! We Shared. We Cried. We Laughed. We Can’t Wait To Do It Again…

Rose-patterned teapots filled with a steaming brew await...

Welcome, Friends!

It’s been much too long since we’ve visited! There’s a deck chair all plumped and just waiting for you to sink into. Put your feet up and have a cuppa, won’t you?!  Today’s brew is perhaps my favourite – Kyoto Sandcherry Festival.  I’m sure I must have served you this before. It has mild fruity flavour and the longer it steeps in the pot, the more pinky it looks – and it makes a lovely iced tea, too.  Or, would you prefer a cold glass of lemonade?  I have so much to tell you!  I hope you can stay for awhile and relax under the sun…

Many of you may know that I’ve been busy as a little bee in recent weeks planning a beautiful “Pink Days” with my good friend Pat at Pat’s Plants and Gardens in Bay Bulls.  Well, the ‘Pink Weekend’ that concluded on Sunday, July 17th is now a lovely memory.  Thank you to all of you who came out – many of you came a long way – to demonstrate your support for someone affected by breast cancer.

Welcome to "Pink Days" at Pat's Plants & Gardens in Bay Bulls - a mere 30-minute drive from the City and a must-visit destination if you're a gardener. We're so excited, we wet our plants!

Where else can you shop for plants for your garden and watch whales but at Pat's Plants & Gardens in Bay Bulls?! This is the view from the greenhouses on the upper level of Pat's garden centre. You can sit here and sip a soda while taking in the breathtaking sights...That gorgeous red house on the point of land in the distance is the lovely Bread and Cheese Inn - check out their website in the sidebar of my blog. Another must-experience place! Some lucky person won a lunch for two at the Inn...

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.  ~Author Unknown

Guests were greeted by an 'Angel of Hope' gifted to me by Christine of Alderberry Blum Gift & Country Store just next door to Pat's Plant's & Gardens - where there's always smiles, fresh coffee & treats! When you visit Bay Bulls, plan to spend a lovely afternoon...

Pink watering cans decorated with ribbons and flowers put a smile on our faces and were scattered throughout the greenhouses for that extra-special festive touch...

Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal.  ~Jerome Fleishman

'Pink entertainment': plate spinners, fire jugglers, clowns, musicians...The volunteers were phenomenal. We can't ever thank you enough for the gift of your talent! WOW!

A 'pink serenade'while overlooking the ocean...

“Pink Days” volunteers made ice-cold pink lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons – a thirst-quenching treat and such a pretty colour
Intoxicating ‘pinks’ as far as the eye can see…Pat most generously donated 10% of all her ‘pink plant’ sales during ‘Pink Weekend’  to CBCF-Atlantic! Thank you, Pat!

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”  Christopher Reeve 

Vendors really got into the 'pink of things' with their wares!

Lulu's jewelry is stunning created from cultured pearls and Swarovski crystals. This bracelet's a beauty. I love the antique-pink colour, so sophisticated and just as pretty with a jean jacket as with a little black dress!

The greenhouses looked fantastic dressed in pink!  As did we, when we all donned the pink tees that arrived in our ‘Pink Days’ kit from Proven Winners – along with other accessories…Too much fun!

Thanks to volunteers who sold tickets on a luxurious pampering prize that any woman would love compliments of supportive donors Lindor, Signature Salon, A Special Touch, The Tea Garden...valued at over $550!!! What a gorgeous waterfall of pink petunias!

Despite having to cancel ‘Day One’ of our fun-filled three-day “Pink Weekend” due to torrents of horizontal rain, and getting off to a rainy start the following day (Saturday July 16th), the sun finally shone on us around Noonday and the people came.  Yay!  In the end, we could not have asked for a better day!

Do not try this at home, folks!

There was something for everyone during “Pink Days”.  On Saturday, Wonderbolt fire jugglers and plate spinners entertained the young and young-at-heart!(Did you know they have summer camps for kids where they can learn magic tricks, silks, juggling, and more?!  What a great gift!)

Sugar Mama’s cupcakes frosted with ribbons of pink icing spoke to us all! Some of us had more than one! After all, a girl’s gotta balance those hips, right?!  Hot dogs, pink cotton candy and freshly squeezed pink lemonade fed the crowds.

"Ta da!" We did it! Pat's sister Peggy does her happy dance! Love the 'scarf belt', Peg...You worked so hard to make all the flowers look so beautiful, not sure where this burst of energy came from at the end of the day 🙂

Sky-High Amusements’ pink twisty balloon animals charmed everyone! And, of course, there were cheery clowns to uplift our spirits, as well as creative face painting. Goods tables included crafts, custom jewelry (I bought the most beautiful cream-and-taupe coloured bracelet of fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystals made by Lulu), art prints, home-baked sweets (the cinnamon rolls from Carol Boland’s Ocean View Bakery in scenic Burnt Cove were divine) along with jams and preserves…And, even local musicians brought the gift of song!  Even the bird choirs joined in!

So many businesses and individuals offered prizes beyond our imagination, many of which weren’t even solicited!  It was so heartwarming to have such tremendous support.  To know that you wanted to be part of the First Annual ‘Pink Days’ had us all doing the ‘happy dance’!!!

Baskets overflowing with proud petals of pink...

And, ooh – the pink flowers! Pat’s baskets and planters are the most amazing you’ll ever see! Peggy does such a wonderful job!  Their sheer size and brilliant colours left us all with a lasting impression of what a beautiful place her garden centre truly is….And, where else but at Pat’s Plants and Gardens, can you shop for your garden while watching whales and dolphins frolic in the twinkling ocean?!

During chemo, you’re more tired than you’ve ever been.  It’s like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you’re out.  You don’t know how you’ll answer the door when your groceries are delivered.  But you also find that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been.  You’re clear.  Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception.  Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience.  Now it’s instantaneous.  ~Melissa Bank

By the end of the weekend, pink really did reign!  (A short video clip of how gorgeous it all looked can be found at the end of this blog post.)

Left to right: Garden centre owner Pat Puddester, sister Peggy, sister-in-law Marilyn, staff member Judy and Pat's sister Anne-Marie enjoy the pink cotton candy! How sweet!

A huge bouquet to all the media and many more who loved the idea of “Pink Days” and helped us to promote it.  (You can listen to the CBC interview at the end of this post.)

And, many thanks, too, to those of you who added the link to your facebook site. It was wonderful of you to do that.  We could not have achieved our goals this past weekend without your helping us get the word out.

We don’t have a final tally just yet on the amount of funds raised, but it should be available by the end of the week.  Even if we had raised only $1.00, it was all worth it to know that just one person was helped.  Some of the women who visited told us that they learned much, felt encouraged and left feeling inspired that day, telling us they were so glad they came out and did not miss it.  That pretty much says it all!

“A job well done stays well done forever.”  Anonymous

“Women agonize… over cancer; we take as a personal threat the lump in every friend’s breast.” Martha Weinman Lear, Heartsounds

The English language falls short of the any words to adequately express my gratitude and that of my husband’s to Pat and her husband Reg, their top-notch staff and a team of volunteers the likes of whom we’ve never before met – what a phenomenal bunch of people!  There are no words to do justice to how we feel about you all. WOW!  (Wonderful. Outstanding. Women. (And Men!) You worked so tirelessly and gave it your all. And y’all looked so cute in your pinks!

Sugar Mama's cupcake girl Elise was everyone's favourite person! Of course, she sold out. Don't you just love her apron?! And, oh-so-pretty pink nails...

Awareness.  Hope.  Support.  We achieved all these goals.

We shared.  We cried.  We laughed.  We embraced.  We made new friends and caught up with old friends.  We’re good and tired.  And, we can’t wait to do it all again!!!!  Pat is already planning for the 2nd Annual “Pink Days

When I first approached Pat only several short weeks ago about the possibility of hosting a “Pink Days” at her fabulous garden centre, it didn’t take her too long to respond with a resounding, “YES”.  At first, I envisioned a single day with a few prizes maybe, but the more we talked, the more the seed started to grow and grow and “Pink Days” soon took on  a life of its own!  Before long, it was to be a three-day “Pink Weekend” and Pat generously offered to donate 10% of all her ‘pink plant’ sales during the weekend to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic to be dedicated to programs, research and equipment in this province.
Big smiles from Pat’s sister Anne-Marie!  Did you know she doubles as a clown?!  What a ‘Wonder Woman’- it runs in the family…Thank you, Anne-Marie!

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.  ~C.C. Scott

At one point, talking with Anne -Marie, I was apologetic for bringing so much work to her sister at such a busy time of year.  Anne-Marie reassured me that Pat really wanted to do this and to give back to her community in such a a generous and meaningful way.  “You don’t know Pat very well, do you?!” she laughed. “Everything with Pat is: “Go Big, or Go Home!”  I love this tiny woman with a big heart! In fact, Pat told me just today that the inaugural “Pink Days” was one of the highlights of her life.  I couldn’t agree more…Thanks for giving me one of the best days of my life!


The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

‘Pink Days’ is about AWARENESS, HOPE AND SUPPORT; while at the same time, promoting gardening as  part of healthy and beautiful living – both physically and spiritually.  And, of course, raising funds while having a wonderful time is a bonus!

I would so love to see this ‘beautiful idea’ continue to grow…  The ‘dream’ is to see it catch on at other garden centres across the province, so that by next summer, it will become an island-wide happening!  We are encouraging garden centres to join in hosting their own version of “Pink Days” (a single ‘Pink Day’ or  ‘Pink Afternoon’) sometime during the summer – whenever it is convenient for nursery owners.  I hope “Pink Days” will be embraced and celebrated by flower nurseries, large and small.  Please encourage nursery owners where you live to get involved.  It truly is a ‘beautiful thing’…

As an individual – and particularly if you’re a gardener and like to share your garden with others – you might even consider hosting your own Pink Garden Tour and Tea (especially when pink peonies and roses are blooming at the peak of the garden season).  And, if you don’t happen to be a gardener, a Pink Tea is lovely, too.  About six years or so ago, I recall hosting a ‘Pink Tea’ – open house style – in support of my dear mother-in-law who had gone through a mastectomy a few months earlier.  I ordered the hostess kit from CBCF and invited family, friends, neighbours and co-workers. The front door was decorated with pink ribbons and there were fun touches of pink everywhere.  The good people at Living Rooms offered up a beautiful basket filled with tons of useful pink gadgets as a door prize, and even loaned me a pink Kitchen Aid mixer to use as a centerpiece on the kitchen table!!!  Gorgeous!  About 30 people came on that wintry Sunday afternoon and together we raised nearly $500 for the cause just over coffee, tea and dessert!  I remember looking around the room that day wondering how many of us would be diagnosed with breast cancer in the future – it turned out to be three of us…the current statistic is 1 in 8 women.  Visit the link to CBCF-Atlantic below for ideas as to what you can do!

Customers line up to buy pink plants! Everyone was so kind and caring, just wanting to help in any way they could...What a special day!


Even the posters and prizes were trimmed with pink ribbons and roses! The rose photo is from my garden - "Climbing New Dawn" does well in Zone 5...

“The Pink Pampering” ticket prize…  WOW!  We all would have loved to win this luxurious treat for body and soul.
Lots of beautiful prizes to be won to decorate your home, too, compliments of Haywards, Living Rooms, RONA, House to Home and so many more …

We love these tees from Proven Winners - Aren't they the most beautiful shade of pink?! Their 'Invincibelle Spirit' pink hydrangea is in tribute to breast cancer survivors. For every plant sold, $1 is donated up to $1 million for breast cancer research. Did you get your pink hydrangea in celebration and support of someone you love? What a beautiful way to add beauty and meaning to your garden...

Judy is always smiling...She is a long-time employee of Pat's Plants & Gardens and loves her job! She is truly part of Pat's family..."Find a job you like, and you'll add five days to every week." Anonymous

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.”

Lance Armstrong

Awareness and education in the prevention of this dreaded disease is the ultimate goal. We have to believe it can happen in our lifetime and that pink will just be a beautiful colour once again! We can “Do Everything” to change it!  

Thanks for dropping by everyone!  

Reg & Pat with the 'pink gang'. Everybody enjoyed the cotton candy! What great fun we all had! It is something special to always be remembered...We're already looking forward to the next "Pink Days" in 2012.

CBC "Morning Show" Interview - Beautiful Pink Days
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Beautiful “PINK DAYS” At Pat’s Plants & Gardens…

This beauty of a teapot was a gift from Brittania Teas, 199 Water Street for a 'once-upon-a-time' fun'draiser. Watch for an interview soon with 'The Tea Lady'...

Glorious Bright Sunshiny Day, Everyone 🙂

At long last, we are seeing the SUN – the first time in a very long time, maybe even weeks.   Doesn’t it just put a skip in your step when the sun shows its face?!   I am so excited that you are here and am just about to prepare the teapot to brew some delicious Darjeeling tea.   I would love it if you would sit with me awhile to share a steaming cuppa…Do you have time today?  Even though it is sunny outside, it is still not warm enough to sit out on the deck and sip iced tea…Sigh.

Pink 'New Dawn' climbing rose and clematis embrace one another on a garden gate post last summer...It will be awhile yet before we see these darlings!

BEAUTIFUL IDEA:  One of my many favourite local garden centres is Pat’s Plants and Gardens, Bay Bulls, about a 30-minute drive from where I live.  I am thrilled to tell you that Pat is generously hosting a “PINK DAYS” at her amazing garden centre to help raise funds to support breast cancer programs, research and equipment in Newfoundland and Labrador.  So, if you live near, we’d love to see you there and join in the fun!

Come on out to “PINK DAYS” at Pat’s Plants and Gardens, Bay Bulls on Friday through Sunday, July 15th-17th.  A percentage of all Pat’s ‘PINK PLANT’ sales during this entire ‘PINK WEEKEND’ will be donated to this very important cause.  Thank you, Pat!!! We hope that this first “PINK DAYS” fundraiser will be so successful that it becomes an annual event!!! AND, We need YOU to help us do that…

Click the link below for a recent interview re “Pink Days”, Scroll down to Pink Days cancer fundraiser


“PINK DAYS”, PAT’S PLANTS & GARDENS, BAY BULLS, FRIDAY – SUNDAY, JULY 15th – 17th (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. all 3 days)

Different things will be happening on different days but Saturday, July 16th, will probably be the best day to bring the kiddies!

Enjoy sweeping ocean vistas, Sugar Mama’s Cupcakes,  ice-cold ‘Pink Drinks’, Pink Cotton Candy, Sky-High Amusements twisty animal balloons, Wonderbolt happy entertainment, pretty ticket prizes, glorious give-aways and special surprises!

To tempt you, here’s just a sampling of the many beautiful things you could win during ‘Pink Days’ at Pat’s Plants & Gardens:

  • “Tea-by-the-Sea”:  A tasty lunch for two from the nearby Bread and Cheese Inn, just mere minutes from Pat’s Plants and Gardens – check out the awesome view from their dining room in the sidebar of my blog, or better yet in person!
  • Gift certificates from Alderberry Blum Country Gifts right next door to Pat’s Plants and Gardens!  Be sure to drop by this beautiful country store and say, “Hi!” –  Christine and Sandy would love to see you!   And, there’s always fresh coffee brewing and sweet treats.
  • “Tea Garden Lunch”:  A lovely dining experience for two from The Tea Garden in Holyrood.  Their fresh panfried cod, ‘secret-recipe’ house salad dressing and homemade chocolate cake is devine…You’d better make reservations!
  • “Ice-Tea Time”:  “Santa Fe style” pitcher, beverage ladle and delicious pomegranate ice-tea mix – Bring it out when guests arrive!
  • “Tea-for-One”:  A fine bone china floral-patterned tea set beautifully presented for gift giving, wrapped in cello, trimmed with lifelike roses and even a gifttag…Just perfect for the tea lover or gardener! 
  • “Fun-in-the-Sun!”:  The softest, prettiest beach towel you’ve ever seen, a cute thirst-quencher ‘takeaway tumbler’ with straw and pink lemonade mix – the perfect ensemble for “Me Time”!
  • “Coming Up! Roses”:  A gorgeous rose-covered  serving tray, coordinating theme napkins & the sweetest floral tea lights – all from Bowring and  simply perfect for garden entertaining!
  • “Lunch for Two” from Pasta Plus, Avalon Mall – Enjoy their yummy panini sandwiches and strawberry spinach salad!
  • A fabulous home decor item from Hayward Interiors
  • Something wonderful from House to Home
  • A special gift from Living Rooms 
  • A hair care basket, including straightening iron, from Chatters, Mount Pearl
  • $50 gift certificate for a yummy meal at Bagel Cafe, 246 Duckworth Street, St. John’s and the list goes on!
  • And many, many more beautiful things, so be sure to stay tuned… 

Thank you, too, Tony and the Print Shop Ltd.; Paulette, Margaret and Alyssa at Sky High Amusements  (they have great ideas for children’s parties!); Beni Malone and his Wonderbolt Circus – check out Wonderbolt’s Summer Camp for kids!  and Sugar Mama’s Cupcake Bakery – YUM! YUM! 


Be sure and get your tickets on this  fantastic prize  “The Pink Pamper” valued at over $550!!! You won’t want to miss out on your chance to win this beauty:

  • Signature Salon – “The Signature Look”: shampoo, scalp massage, cut and finish style, dimensional colour, eyebrow shaping, make-up application and manicure   WOW!
  • Lindor-Avalon Mall – Gift certificate (Check out their gorgeous pink dresses!)
  •  A Special Touch  ‘Kameleon’ pendant and jewel pop (It’s all the craze!)
  • Guess Fragrance – ‘Wild Summer’
  • Jeanne Lottie clutch purse
  • Estee Lauder ‘Tea Rose’ lipstick
  • Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ bath and shower getl
  • The Tea Garden Restaurant – Lunch date for two

Presented in a gorgeous floral bandbox, wrapped in cello and trimmed with roses!  A beautiful, luxurious treat for any woman!

  • Tickets:  $2  3/$5
  • Draw Date:  Sunday, July 17th
  • Draw Location:  Pat’s Plants and Gardens

And, of course, there will be lots of ‘pink plants’ (lilies, astilbes, roses, hydrangeas, to name just a few) to select from for your own garden during “PINK DAYS” at Pat’s Plants and Gardens!  Pat will be donating 10% of all pink plant sales during this pink weekend to help fund breast cancer programs, research and equipment in NL.  And be sure to get your “Invincibelle Spirit” pink hydrangea to add true beauty and deep meaning to your garden (read about it further below)…

Ooh, “PINK DAYS” at Pat’s Plants and Gardens – What a beautiful idea!

Talk with the owners of garden centres where you live about hosting a “Pink Days”…

INVINCIBELLE SPIRIT:  Get your ‘Invincibelle Spirit’  PINK HYDRANGEA during “PINK DAYS”!  The grower of this wonderful plant, Proven Winners, has hybridized the world’s first-ever PINK ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea.  This gorgeous, show-stopping shrub reportedly grows on new wood, can withstand heavy rains and high winds, tolerates poor soil and drought conditions, and blooms and re-blooms all throughout the garden season.  And regardless of soil pH, it maintains it beautiful PINK colour all season long.  Even if due to extreme weather, it is reduced to the ground, you can take heart – it will return!!!  It is surely a true survivor plant – hence, its name ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ in tribute to breast cancer survivors!  Proven Winners is donating $1 for each of these hydrangeas sold to garden centres up to $1 million to help fund breast cancer research.  It’s a beautiful thing! I’ve got mine already and you won’t want to miss “PINK DAYS” at Pat’s Plants and Gardens so you can get yours, too.

If you’ve never visited Pat’s Plants and Gardens, you’ll want to see these images of her glorious flower nurseries and grounds. Click the slideshow below.   These photos were taken several years ago, but the views are still just as beautiful today as then.  I hope to take more photos this season to share with you in a future post.  Turn up the volume and enjoy the music, too!

Mark your calendars in PINK and bring your family and friends to “PINK DAYS”, July 15th-17th!!!!  Be inspired to host a “PINK DAY” or “PINK WEEKEND” where you live and help make PINK just a colour again…Wish you were here, so we could all go together!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone.  Wishing you a beautiful day!


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