Sunday Smiles and inspiration

by Aug 15, 20218 comments

Just for fun

Recently, I visited a local farm where I met, among others, a curious mama goat with her kid, some other fun goats, and a rooster with attitude.  They made me chuckle so I’m sharing them with you.  All pictures were taken by me at the French Duck in West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia.

Still Standing (Business Insider Today)

This week, I discovered a series promoted by Business Insider Today that profiles small businesses around the world that have found ways to survive in the face of big issues like climate change and political conflict.  They are short profiles, most in the range of 8-10 minutes and very informative.  Each one teaches about the makers and the ways that they are keeping their craft and business alive.

The profile that introduced me to the series was shared in a textile art group I participate in on Facebook.

Indigenous Mayan women in Guatemala have passed down the tradition of weaving for over 2,000 years. But when a 36-year-long civil war in the late 20th century threatened Mayan culture, wearing traditional clothing became dangerous. In the 15 years following the war, groups of women have banded together to sustain themselves and their families through weaving. We visited a group in San Juan La Laguna to see how it is fighting to keep the craft alive.

The weavers sell their products locally and through Trama Textiles’ website


Still Standing (CBC)

Canadians may be familiar with the CBC comedy series of the same name that features Newfoundland comedian, Jonny Harris.  That series is also worth watching.  It is a more light-hearted approach than the other series and focuses on communities in Canada – from coast to coast to coast.

If you have not seen it, do yourself a favour and check it out.  Full episodes are available on CBC Gem, perhaps only if you are in Canada. They are also available on YouTube. 

Still Standing follows Canadian comedian Jonny Harris as he sets off across the country once more, veering off the main highway to discover the hidden comedy in Canada’s far-flung small towns. Each week, Jonny takes a hilarious and heart-warming journey to find humour in the unlikeliest of places — small towns on the ropes. After immersing himself in the lives of local characters and unearthing the tall tales in these tiny towns, Jonny delivers a rousing original stand-up comedy routine — a toast, not a roast — for the whole community.

 Here is a little taste:

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


  1. Laura Orsini

    Wow – what a thing, for wearing one’s traditional garments to be life-threatening. Such a reminder of how many, many blessings we take for granted, and how many of our problems truly are first-world problems. Gorgeous post, thank you, ME!

    • Mary Elizabeth

      It is a powerful story isn’t it? And such an important reminder to appreciate what we have. I am so impressed with these efforts to keep or rebuild traditional skills. The entire series is moving and inspirational. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Rachel Lavern

    I find that animals can be fun to watch…they can be so entertaining with their cute personalities.

    • Mary Elizabeth

      I am with you on that. The goats were so curious about everything and they climbing all over everything. Very entertaining for sure!

  3. Kebba Buckley Button

    Mary Elizabeth, what beautiful weavings by these Guatemalan women! So good to learn more about them. As to Jonny Harris’s shows, yes! I’ve seen a few of those, through Prime Video, no extra charge. He is such a good-hearted person. He really lifts the spirits of those in the small towns he visits.

    • Mary Elizabeth

      The weavings amazed me and I have been enjoying other videos in the series as well. They are short and fascinating. I really enjoy Jonny Harris – and you are right, his kind nature and humour make all the difference. Thanks for the tip about finding them on Prime. I never even thought to check there.

  4. Angel Lewis

    There is nothing like playing with baby animals. Also thanks for sharing the Business Insider video. Keeping their art and culture alive is so important.

    • Mary Elizabeth

      I have had a chance to see baby goats in a few places this month and am starting to think that there is nothing more entertaining. And I am with you on the importance of keeping art alive in special ways. I have been enjoying the other videos in that series as well. So amazing what people can make and the unique ways that they make them.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This