Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pillow Love

“Wonder if pillows fall in love with us as we hold them through the night? I wonder if they get excited being naked on laundry day? If this is true - should I take them to dinner and a movie sometime? Or just break it off - be upfront - it's not you, pillow, it's me...”
- Thom Bierdz

I love reading the tweets and other postings from Thom! Not only is he a talented artist, author, actor and activist – he is a man who speaks his mind and likes to think outside of the box!

Not surprisingly he got some rather interesting responses to this particular post:
- Maybe i should try it and I will sleep better. So when I get a different pillow does that mean I am breaking up with it??
- I don't know if my pillow loves me... but I sure love my pillow... LOL
- Gives a whole new meaning to 'pillow talk' :)
- I think my memory foam pillow forgets my name!
- Never thought of a pillow like that but hey a pillow does give us great comfort, it hugs us at night, and sometimes provides us that soft place to cry on .............:))
- Interesting thought to ponder. Don't know if they'd be down with that. They might think it's just another fluff piece.
- I wonder if they get grossed out when you drool on

Okay, the concept of pillows having feelings may be a little out there, but who knows? We’ve all seen at least one of the Toy Story movies where the toys come to life. There have also been who knows how many cartoons, movies and books about other inanimate objects actually having a life on their own.

So, why not contemplate the possibility?

I don’t know that we need to take them out to dinner and a movie as Thom wondered, but we do need to appreciate them and treat them with more love and respect for all they do for us.

Pillows actually put up with a lot of abuse from us humans. They get tossed, punched and scrunched. We drool, sweat and cry on them. We hold them oh so tight and pretend they are someone we wish were with us. We tell them our innermost thoughts in the intimate dark of the night.

It’s a good job that pillows can’t talk or articulate the experiences they have had with us. It would put a whole new spin on “Pillow Talk”! Not to mention the potential problems if we were to take the lyrics to Hank Locklin’s 1949 hit “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On” to heart!

We humans seem to have a deep affection for our pillows. We spend about one third of our lives with them. Like our human relationships, we get attached to the pillows that give us the most comfort.

Pillows support our heads and help align our bodies for a more restful sleep. They are a soft (or firm for some) yet comforting place to lay our head. We hold them close to our bodies, place them between our knees, or at our back for support, and wrap our arms around them – all to find that perfect feeling of warmth, support, comfort and even love.

If we travel or are without our special pillows for a night or two, our sleep is often disrupted and not as restful as usual.

Many sleep experts suggest replacing pillows every couple of years. Of course, it all depends on the type of pillows you use and their expected longevity. Many pillows (like some humans) lose their compatibility and comfort after awhile. Their initial appeal wears off. The honeymoon is over. The relationship goes flat or gets bumpy – I mean lumpy. You almost dread having to spend time with them. You want to work it out but they won’t cooperate. Yup, it’s time to move on and find a new love – I mean pillow.

I’ve been with several pillows in my life. Some have been here longer than others. I try to take good care of them. I don’t go to bed with dirty hair or an unwashed face. I use pillow protectors, fluff them, air them and put clean pillowcases on regularly. From my own experience, I’ve found that hollow foam pillows are the worst. They seem to lose their comfort level in a very short time. They are okay for a brief fling but just don’t offer long term compatibility.

When I was a teen, I had a foam chip pillow that I used to take with me when I worked at a summer camp or I went on any retreats. It certainly wasn’t as comfortable as my usual pillow, but it was a decent stand in. The advantage of the foam chip was that it could be smushed into the shape that I wanted to rest my head on. Unfortunately, if you didn’t get it “just right” then you didn’t get much comfort from it. It was a love/hate thing.

By far my favourite pillow was an oversized feather pillow. I think I was in my early teens when I got it. It had belonged to an older relative and came from a time when they used to make their own pillows. There was just something about that big lovely pillow that made me feel so comforted when I held it or laid my head on it. It felt safe and supportive. It was like laying my head on a cloud and drifting off to dreamland. It was my first real pillow love!

Every couple of years, I’d part with it for a few days while it went to the dry cleaners to be properly cleaned and have new ticking put on. I missed it terribly while it was gone. I had other pillows – feather even – but they were a bit thinner so one was not enough but two was too many. When I’d get my best pillow back home, I’d give it a big hug and tell it that it had been missed!

I don’t know how many years I used that pillow but it was at least 25. Eventually, it too lost its tender loving comfort and I had to think about finding a new one. I tried other kinds of pillows and other feather pillows. At one point, I took three regular sized feather pillows into a dry cleaner and asked them to make the three into two. I felt like Goldilocks telling them my wishes: “One is too thin. Two is too thick. But one and a half is just right!” They thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care. The result was the closest I ever came to duplicating my beloved oversized feather pillow.

About 4 1/2 years ago, I switched to a Homedics Micropedic Pillow that is promoted by Tony Little. It is an ergonomic pillow that is filled with micro beads that conform to your head and neck that allows your body to be more aligned as you sleep. It took a few nights to get used to, but I do find it comfortable.

It certainly isn’t as great as my first pillow love, but alas, life goes on. Besides the Homedics pillow, I also use a cylindrical like pillow that is also referred to as a neck roll. I don’t use it for my neck though. I sleep on my side and hold it against my chest and stomach - then rest or drape my arm over it. I’ve tried body pillows for this – and even used other regular pillows but they seemed a bit too large most of the time.

The body pillow was nice – at least for awhile. It made a great slow dance partner when a good song came on the radio. It has since moved on though as I found it hard to clean and it also got a bit lumpy.

I saw an intriguing pillow on the web recently. It is called a full body pillow and is shaped like a giant U. It can be adjusted into a variety of positions depending on your sleeping habits and needs. I think I’d like to try it for a night or two but I doubt that I’d want a long term relationship with it. I suspect that it would also get lumpy or flat and also be hard to clean. Some relationships just aren’t worth the extra effort – especially if you do all the work to maintain it.

The boyfriend pillow does sound more appealing though. It is shaped like a male torso with an arm attached on one side so that you can rest your head on the “chest” and have his arm around you. The really great thing about this one is that it comes without the furry chest, snoring and morning breath.

Yup, pillows are a complicated lot. A must have for most of us and just like our human relationships they are a very personal choice. Thick or thin. Soft or firm. Feather, foam, micro beads, or any other materials – they fill a need for comfort, support and even companionship in the sometimes lonely hours of the night.

Sadly, pillows – not unlike some humans - just aren’t cut out for long term relationships. We need to appreciate and enjoy the comfort and support while it is there and realize – and accept - when it is time to cut our losses and move on.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go spend some quality time with my pillows....


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grilled Asian Pork Tenderloin

A few months ago, I saw a recipe on TV for a Grilled Asian Tenderloin that sounded really good! Now that may have been a problem for me to make as it was done on an outdoor grill – which I don’t have. Luckily, I do have a George Foreman Grill and many recipes for the outdoor grills can be converted to an indoor grill with adjustments in cooking times. The original recipe used two pork tenderloins but I cut the recipe in half and also tweaked the ingredients slightly by adding garlic and then cooking the leftover marinade to pour over top of the cooked meat.

So now that we are well into summer, here is a recipe that you can do on your outdoor grill or any time of the year on an indoor grill. I’ve included the directions for both methods. Please note that I have not personally used the outdoor method but am including it as it was written in the original recipe.

Grilled Asian Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin, well trimmed, about 12 oz (0.375 kg)
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger root*
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed (bottled type)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

Place pork in a zip lock bag. Combine the next six ingredients and pour over pork, turning to coat. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours to enhance flavour. Note: Depending on the size of the tenderloin, I’ve often cut the tenderloin in half and placed the pieces side by side in a loaf pan (rather than wasting a zip lock bag) and then poured the marinade over it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge – turning the meat two or three times during the marinating time.

Indoor Grill:
Preheat an indoor grill such as the George Foreman and grill the meat for 5-7 minutes or until internal temp reaches 155ºF/68ºC with a meat thermometer. Do not overcook! While the meat is cooking, pour left over marinade into a small pot and heat on medium heat to the boiling point. Boil for about a minute, then reduce heat to simmer and let cook another 3-4 minutes – stirring occasionally. Remove meat from grill and tent with foil for about 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch medallions, then drizzle the cooked marinade over the meat to serve.

Outdoor Grill:
Preheat barbecue on high; reduce heat to medium. Grill pork on a lightly greased grill for about 20-25 minutes to an internal temperature of 155ºF/68ºC. Turn once or twice. Remove to a cutting board or plate. Tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes. To serve, slice pork into half-inch medallions. Makes 3-4 servings

Note: I have also made this recipe using two large boneless skinless chicken breasts - about 6-8 ounces (170g-224g) each. I marinated the chicken breasts the same way as I did the pork and grilled them on my indoor grill. They were fairly thick so they took about the same amount of time to cook as the pork. That time may be different with an outdoor grill. I also cooked the marinade as I did with the pork. It turned out just as delicous as the pork tenderloin!

*I buy a small piece of gingerroot, peel it and then wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer until I need it for a recipe. You don’t have to thaw it to grate it. It grates quite easily while frozen. Got this tip from Rachael Ray.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

TSC And Me

Last week, I wrote about The Shopping Channel, the changes over the years and how it fills a need for those of us who don’t like to face the crowds or don’t have access to a variety of stores. Today, I want to tell you about my experiences with TSC.

It took me quite a while to really start watching TSC. I’d flip channels and occasionally stop there for a few minutes, but I just wasn’t that interested in anything they seemed to be selling at that time.

Somewhere around 1997, I actually started watching once in awhile. It took me till August of 1998 to finally make my first purchase! I’m not sure why it took that long, but I think I was just plain skeptical and I knew I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of returning a product that I didn’t like. After all, returning to TSC was a bit more complicated and expensive than returning an item to the local Sears Catalogue Outlet! (FYI: Returns are much easier now!)

Well, as any of my friends can tell you, after that first purchase, it didn’t take long for me to make a second, third and who knows how many more since then! I’ve become a fan and have even managed to get a couple of my gal pals hooked on shopping with TSC! One of them actually calls me “The Jewellery Devil” as I email her whenever I see something I know she would love!

My purchases varied greatly in those early years. Some were more successful than others. It was more by trial and error that I learned what lines that I liked and which ones to avoid. I rarely ordered from a first time line unless I’d already heard of it and knew about the products. I’ve pretty much kept to that rule. After all, only lines that are successful are even given a second chance or invited on a regular basis. Being on air every few weeks or months generally signals a level of quality and a good viewer response.

There have of course, been some glitches along the way. On a handful of occasions, I received damaged items and a couple of times got the wrong size/colour. There were also a handful of return billing questions and errors. However, when I called customer service and explained the situation they have always been more than willing to work to make things right. I know from reading others comments online, that isn’t always the case, but I am only speaking from my own experience here. (I’m linking several of my product purchases here to either a previous blog post of mine or a TSC page.)

For the most part, I’ve loved the purchases I’ve made. Bedding wise, I bought my down duvet, a down blanket and throws from Westex! The first set of Jersey Knit sheets, I ever bought was from TSC. I’ve bought several sets retail since and wouldn’t sleep with any other kind now! I bought pillows from Tony Little a few years ago.

Speaking of Tony Little, I’ve bought two Gazelle’s (wore out the first one) and go 3 miles every 2 days. Just bought my second Easy Shaper Bar - wore that first one out too! The first fitness equipment I bought, over 10 years ago, was a Body Break Bike which I still use every other day. Have gotten a few other fitness pieces from other vendors over the years – some more successful than others!

Years ago, I bought talking phones and loved them! I still use my Sharp Mini System and I love my Clickfree!

I’m not sure where my buying habits would rank as in many ways I’m not your typical female or shopper. I don’t wear makeup or use beauty products due to skin sensitivities and allergies to scents/chemicals. I’ve never been a fan of pinks, reds, prints or frills. I wear as close to 100% cotton as possible but finding clothes that fit right is tricky when your arm length and inseam are about an inch or so longer than the average gal! I couldn’t walk in heels to save my life! I don’t have a huge collection of purses although I do have 4 Hey’s Travel Mates and 3 Buxton Bags along with a couple of denim purses I’ve had for eons!

Jewellery wise, I have to stick to a minimum of 10K gold, 925 sterling silver or stainless steel. Have never been a fan of costume jewellery or anything ornate. I like to keep to genuine gems but have never been fond of diamonds! Yes, I know I am strange but that is what makes me unique!

I’ve been lucky enough to buy a few pieces of Ammolite. For the most part I stick to sterling silver now and I probably have more jewellery than I really need but that doesn’t seem to stop me for long! I prefer simple designs and buy the most from Silver By Sajen and Himalayan Gems collections. I love the knowledge and folklore that is also provided by guests/hosts. (Note to self: write a post on jewellery!)

Kitchen/Household products is another area that I’ve had fun shopping in! Years ago, I bought a Daily Blender. Phil Parker - the man who demonstrated it - was such a character! You never knew what he’d say next and his appearances were a must see! I bought a Deni Scoop Ice Cream Maker years ago and have been making my own ice cream, sherbet/sorbet ever since – although now I use the attachment for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer - both purchased from TSC! Foreman Grill was another great purchase! You can get some great ideas and tips from watching the cooking segments!

If I could talk to the buying department at TSC:

I’d BEG them to bring back Orange Clean! I LOVED the products and really wish that they would be back on air. I can’t find the Orange Clean Multi Purpose Concentrate anywhere around here! Even with the S/H it was worth the money for me – especially with my allergies! I’ve never been able to tolerate the smell of bleach so I can’t live without my Oxy Clean! Luckily, I can find it locally!

Ott-Lite is probably the best product I EVER found through TSC. I have two desk lamps and three floor lamps! ( “You Ought To Try Ott!” ) I only wish they would carry the bulbs that are equivalent to the incandescent 40/60/100 watt ones that screw into the standard size light sockets. They are very difficult to find and I usually have to get mine from someone visiting the USA.

I’d ask the jewellery buyers to bring in:
- solid bands (sans metals) - smooth and/or faceted - in various colours of agate and other gems. There have been several agate necklaces and bracelets offered through various lines and during Jewel Of A Deal over the last year or two and I like being able to match my pieces. In particular, I’d like blue, purple, green and black/white agate please!
- I’d also like a green chalcedony ring to match the Himalayan Gems Pendant #443-168!
- a snowflake obsidian ring in a very simple bezel setting to wear with any of the snowflake obsidian pendants that I have from Silver By Sajen.
- Would also like a very simple sterling silver blue jade pendant to match a ring I bought a few years ago.

As someone who doesn’t really enjoy shopping in stores, I am grateful that there is a place like TSC that I can watch on TV or browse online to make my purchases.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see what’s new on the website....


July 3 - Meeting Norm
July 10 - The Shopping Channel

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Shopping Channel

The Shopping Channel is celebrating its 24th anniversary on air this year.

I wasn’t watching in those early years – and frankly never really understood the fascination or appeal back then. But, when you stop and think about it, it did make sense that a TV station devoted to shopping would be created. After all, we Canadians had been shopping through mail order catalogues such as Sears and Eaton’s for decades. For those of us who grew up in rural areas/small towns, catalogues were the only real option to make many purchases. So, why not a TV station devoted to the shopping genre? That way we could get more details and views of a product we may be interested in.

In those early years, TSC was known as The Canadian Home Shopping Club. They didn’t have live action as they do now. When I was speaking with host Norm Murray recently, I asked him about that. Norm said that if he were selling – say a coffee cup – he would hold the cup and a photo would be taken. He’d set the cup down and another pic would be taken. This would be done in a series of positions and then put into a slideshow on screen while the host would do live voice-overs to sell the product. TSC was finally able to do live motion video after a change by the CRTC in 1995.

Being an on air host wouldn’t be an easy job! You certainly have to have the gift of the gab. I’ve occasionally been told I talk too much and that I could sell anything, but if I don’t believe in a product or like the item I could never sell it. I did home sales with Regal and a couple of other small local area businesses years ago and I used to tell my customers the stuff that I thought was crap or not worth their money even though I was on a commission. Also, I have to be in the mood to shop and I can be a picky shopper.

A good host knows how to draw out the information from the vendor without over-talking them and does their best to prepare ahead with understanding the products and knowing the history, folklore or other pertinent info of the items. The host must also find a way to keep a presentation fresh for new viewers - yet not alienate those who have seen it several times before. That is a real balancing act and not easily accomplished.

Each host has their own unique style, but they do their best to keep it real and sincere with the items they sell. They often let us know if they use a certain product, but sometimes the up-sale or push for the product comes across a little too much. Too much gushing or sugaring of a product is a turnoff. A savvy shopper will see the difference and learns to see past the sales pitch to the sincerity and honesty of the host, the vendor and product. Granted some customers are more willing to take a chance on a new item and/or have more discretionary income to spend than others, but we aren’t fools and are all looking for a deal.

Several years ago, TSC embraced the internet and set up a website for customers to browse all the available products and order online. Too be honest, I wasn’t pleased when that first happened, as it felt like an unfair advantage to those with computers. Those of us without would lose out.

I’ll admit that I did miss out on a couple of things over the years as I didn’t know they were available in time to add it to an order. I’m too cheap to pay more S/H than I have to so multi-pack whenever I can! So five years ago, I went to a local library and asked them to log me onto the site and show me how to use a mouse so I could browse collections a day or two before air. I learned a lot about surfing over the next few weeks by doing that and had acquired my own gently used PC by that fall!

The web site has undergone a lot of changes – and in my opinion, not all are for the better. I find the pink and red lettering very hard to read – not just because I don’t like those colours – coloured lettering is harder for many of us to read. A simple black (not grey or charcoal) font on a white/off white background is by far the easiest to read. That may be boring for many, but it is the most accessible! I also find that the dropdown boxes tend to overlap in type and by clicking on a link that way, you don’t always get the page you wanted.

The program guide has also been changed. Rather than a new full page opening for listing products in any one program, it is now a small pop-up window that you must scroll down to view the items. This is much trickier to navigate. If you click on an item in the pop-up window it takes you to that page, but when you click to go back it goes to the general program guide and you have to reopen the pop-up for the hour you wanted. The only way I’ve found to avoid that is to right click the item and open in a new tab.

Even with modified screen settings/fonts for my PC, the site is still a challenge for me:

There used to be mini-bios of the hosts and some of the guests on the site, but that feature appears to have been dropped. It should be brought back as well as encouraging hosts, models and vendors to add links to follow them on Twitter or other social media.

There are a couple of things that I really like about the newer site though. The ability to view larger images of products and to read real customer reviews is great! It really helps to get a better sense of the product and whether it is worth the purchase. I’ve added reviews to several products in the last year or so.

For many years, the daily Showstopper would begin airing at 7AM eastern. That meant that those on the west coast had to get up at 4AM if they wanted to be among the first to get it. Then a few years ago, TSC switched the 24 hour special to begin at midnight eastern. That was better for the west coast who then saw it at 9PM eastern, but lousy for the east coast who had to wait till 1AM or 1:30AM in Newfoundland. Neither of these really bothered me too much as I only got up/stayed up if it was a product line I was interested in.

Then, in mid June, they did a weekend experiment where the Showstopper started at 10PM eastern. That meant that the west coast saw it at 7PM and the east coast saw it at 11PM or 11:30PM. It was a pretty good compromise to satisfy all time zones and was a real hit with customers! So much so, that as of July 1, the new launch time for the Showstopper is 10PM eastern! Great solution TSC!

Though I know there are those that would disagree, in my experience, I’ve never had an issue that TSC hasn’t been able to resolve in a timely manner. They do their best to meet the needs of their customers and make things right if an error occurs.

TSC certainly has come a long way since January 1987. It’s programming, presentation and hosts have changed and evolved over the years. They’ve adapted to new technology and have embraced social media like Twitter and Facebook. They can’t please everyone, but they really do try to fill the needs of the customers with unique and innovative products.

Thanks TSC - and here’s to at least 24 more years!


July 3 – Meeting Norm
July 17 – TSC And Me

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meeting Norm!

Have you ever watched The Shopping Channel? Ever wondered what it would be like to meet one of the hosts?

Well, a little over a week ago, host Norm Murray set out on a cross country adventure to see the country and meet customers and fans.

But, there was a catch! As his bio on Twitter stated: “Norm is as proudly Canadian as The Shopping Channel...follow Norm's Great Canadian Adventure - you never know where he'll show up...and neither does he!”

His two travelling companions from TSC, Mary (Public Relations Coordinator) and Lia (Promotions & PR Manager) were the ones holding all the secrets – and the plane tickets!

Norm packed his Hey’s luggage, grabbed his pal the Travelocity gnome and headed for the airport. His first destinations turned out to be Halifax and Peggy’s Cove. Then, back to Toronto before heading to Winnipeg, Calgary, Lake Louise, Edmonton and finally to Vancouver. He tweeted his adventures and posted pics as he went. Updates were also posted on TSC’s website, Twitter and their Facebook Fan Page.

Sunday afternoon, Norm was wondering where his next destination was. All he knew was to be at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 3 at a certain time! Later that afternoon he tweeted “WINNIPEG!!!!”

I should point out here, that I’d been following his updates over the previous days and replied to several of his tweets. I was hoping that Winnipeg would be one of the stops. When I saw he was indeed headed to my city, I wondered what would be the chances of meeting him?

Norm asked his tweeps where to find good places to eat in The ‘Peg and I replied that there were a LOT of great places - even supplied him with links to a couple that were near where I lived. He did pass through my area that evening and even posted a pic of himself and the gnome – but where they finally ended up eating was too far for me to get to on foot that night. I sent my regrets and said maybe Monday I’d get to meet him.

Oh, I guess I should also mention here that I’d offered to bring him some of my homemade chocolates if we did cross paths.

Well, after a few more tweets from The Forks and The Royal Canadian Mint on Monday morning, he tweeted that he would be at Moxie’s at the MTS Centre around noon – and specifically suggested that I come and bring the chocolate!

Now, I’m not sure if he really wanted to meet this crazy woman who had been tweeting him with smart remarks or just wanted the chocolate. After all, if you have ever watched any of TSC’s cooking shows where Norm is the host, you’ve seen how that man loves to eat - and yet never gains a pound! But, I thought – why not? I’ll go say hi and maybe get a pic or a gift card that they were handing out to the fans.

I tweeted that I’d be there and to watch for a 50-ish gal with a white cane. I arrived a few minutes before Norm & Co got there so waited by the entrance. When they walked in, Norm immediately came over to me, gave me a big hug and said he was really glad that I’d made it! Mary and Lia introduced themselves and they asked me to come sit with them and chat for a bit.

Before we sat down, they asked if they could take a pic of me with Norm and the gnome. Um, I’ve never posted my pic online and I really wasn’t comfortable putting my pic out on the web ... but, what if I held the gnome in front of my face!?! Sure why not! So Norm held the chocolate ... and I held the gnome!
Norm posted this comment with the photo:
"Meeting our favourite fan in Winnipeg.. @dnsyl57.. thank you for spending time with us,it was a pleasure!"

We ordered beverages and started chatting. They asked where I was from, how long I’d been in the city, my family, work and more. They asked about my vision loss and I showed them my magnifying lenses that I use for reading. They thought that was cool!

I assumed I would only stay a few minutes, but time flies when you are enjoying the company you are with and before I knew it, I was being asked to join them for lunch – their treat! Surprised and flattered to be asked, I said yes! Come on, who wouldn’t want to spend some time with this great group? We ordered lunch and quickly resumed chatting.

Not surprisingly, they wanted to know how long I’d been shopping with TSC (13 years this August) and what lines I bought from. Well, let’s see... I’ve bought from Westex, Hey’s; Orange Clean (wish they’d bring that line back!); Ott-Lite; Kitchen Aid; Foreman Grill (am now on my third!). I’ve bought: a Body Break Bike; some resistance fitness equipment and two Tony Little Gazelle’s! I filled them in on some of my weight struggles and blogging about it.

There have been several jewellery lines that I’ve bought from – a few gold at first, but almost exclusively sterling silver for the last few years. By far the most I’ve bought though are from Himalayan Gems and Silver By Sajen collections. I didn’t admit to how many pieces I had from those two collections alone but if I wore only one piece/day, I could go several months without a repeat!

I’ve gotten a couple of friends hooked on TSC. One of my pals even refers to me as “The Jewellery Devil” as I email her when I see something I know she would love!

We talked about writing, cooking/baking, food, Winnipeg and more! Turns out we are all fans of Y&R so dished about the storylines, characters and actors. Several of the cast have visited TSC over the years to promote product lines – most recently Tracey Bregman (Lauren Fenmore Baldwin) with her jewellery line. She is also the new spokesperson for the Jabot Cosmetics line.

The ladies asked me who my favourite host(s) were and I said that I enjoyed Norm and Richard the most, but also liked BJ, Greta and several others! I follow TSC through social media and shop way more than I should!

I also got to ask lots of questions about products, hosts (past and present) and the goings on behind the scenes. We talked about the technical changes in the 18 years Norm has been there. I also asked, if he truly didn’t know where he was headed next on this trip and he swore he had no clue! He had tried a few times to get the ladies to tell him or slip up but no way! I razzed him that the women having the power was as it should be. Norm was smart enough to know that he was outnumbered by us women, so agreed!

The time flew by as we ate and talked. It was both entertaining and relaxing to spend the time with Norm, Mary and Lia. I honestly did not expect such friendly, open, genuine people! It was a true pleasure and honour to spend the time with them - especially when they were on a schedule.

Before I left, Norm signed a photo and gave me gifts for a good friend who is a huge fan of his and TSC! (She was over the moon excited and grateful when I gave them to her!) I was also given an autographed photo and gift cards.

But, by far the most surprising gift I received, was a very limited edition TSC apron signed by the on-air hosts and models!! Only a handful of these were done and one would be given in each town/city they travelled to. Norm signed a personal message on mine! I’m kicking myself that I didn’t have Mary and Lia sign it as well!

They asked if I would wear it?


I love to cook/bake and spend a lot of time in the kitchen - wearing an apron ... BUT, a legally blind woman wearing an autographed white apron? I think not!

The apron and the time I got to spend with my new friends Norm, Mary, Lia (and the gnome!) is truly a gift to be treasured!


You can also read more on The Shopping Channel Blog

Upcoming Posts:
July 10 2011 - "The Shopping Channel"
July 17 2011 - "TSC And Me"