Only In Canada…

Okay, I’m officially old. When I titled this post, I was thinking back to this Red Rose Tea advertisement:

I wasn’t particularly surprised to find it on YouTube because after all, you can find pretty much everything on YouTube. But then I looked at the date: 1977.

Holy shit, that was 44 years ago. And I still remember it. Now that’s effective marketing.

But maybe it only worked so well because I was so young and impressionable when I first saw it. (Not that claiming to be ‘young’ in 1977 makes me look anywhere near youthful now. But considering that I was actually a teenager in 1977, at this stage I’d be happy to be considered ‘middle-aged’.)

Anyhow, the “Only in Canada” slogan may not have the commercial snap it once did, but it’s still the first phrase that came to mind when I read this news headline: Band of beavers chew through B.C. town’s fibre cables.

I’ve always known beavers were resourceful critters, but now that they’ve discovered the superior dam-reinforcing characteristics of fibre-optic cable, we might be in trouble. If I suddenly go silent on the internet, you’ll know the beavers are mounting a coup to take control of the country. Send ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’… and lots of fibre-optic cable! (And I just realized that song came out in 1978. Okay, fine. So I’m old.)

Fortunately we don’t have any marauding beavers around here (yet), so here are a few garden photos to brighten up this post:

This little rhododendron, ‘Shrimp Girl’, is so covered with blooms you can barely see the leaves.
‘Golden Comet’ – a beautifully scented deciduous azalea
The orange bells of Rhododendron ‘Medusa’ are a favourite of our hummingbirds.
The blooms of Rhododendron ‘Taurus’ are gigantic – each of the florets in these clusters are a couple of inches across.

Happy Spring, everyone!

All e-book versions of Book 16: SPY IN THE SKY are now released, woohoo! Click here for purchasing links. The paperback edition should be available in a couple of weeks.

36 thoughts on “Only In Canada…

  1. I think that tagline was so memorable because those ads aired so often during prime time. Do you remember the little collectibles in Red Rose? My folks drank tea every day so we amassed quite a few, and I discovered them in a box a couple of years ago. I heard some of them are worth a bit on Ebay now, but just the rare ones. Which are NOT the ones I have.

    I’ll see your cable-chewing beaver and raise you a beaver who stole somebody’s expensive pandemic lumber – lol – right here:

    Those guys. Put ’em on a Centennial nickel and they think they can do anything they like 🙂


  2. I had to laugh at Beavers eating through cable….have to admit that was a new one for me. Love the flowers….stunning!!! Getting ready to start reading your newest book!! Looking forward to it!! Have a great weekend!!


  3. Is this a recent post? I’m all over the place at the moment, it seems. I don’t remember the commercial, have a feeling I should, but wonder if it was available ‘Only in Canada’… I don’t remember the tea however, Diane, which should give a clue but doesn’t.


  4. I recall that commercial too. Sigh wasn’t it just a few years ago? I also read the article about the beavers brining down the internet. Ha! Only in Canada.
    Congrats on the new book. Is your entire series available on audio?


  5. Your flowers are awesome. I will have to show Tanya. And you know the names of them and everything. She does too but I’m pretty limited.
    Sounds like your new book is a hit. Good on ya. I well remember the Red Rose ad and the tiny animal figurines. My favourite ad was the one with the Homecoming theme (I wrote hoecoming, but caught it before it got away). Lawyers, Guns, and Money is a great blog, with several authors. First I knew it was a song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Hoecoming” — ha! I didn’t realize there was a blog titled Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Must go and check it out.

      I’m trying to keep track of all the plant names in my garden, since I’m starting completely from scratch here. If we ever end up sharing cuttings with the Rhododendron Society, it’s important to know the correct names. But Hubby teases me about my anal-retentive tendencies whenever he sees my ever-expanding garden database. 😉


  6. Love, love, love the flowers. The rhododendrons are not blooming at all yet in Massachusetts. Ha. You must have a better climate in VI than here… Hey, I remember that song and I was born around that time. The popularity of ads and sounds might not be related to age. 🙂


    • Oh, good! Now I’m going to pretend that I’m just into ‘retro’ music. 😉 Wow, you must have had a late spring there, too — I thought the rhodos would be in bloom by now. Hope you’ll soon be enjoying some spring colour!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I love rhododendron and azaleas! They look like clouds of color and yours are really vibrant. Unfortunately here mine won’t be looking like that because of the late frosts and snowstorms we had. Even my peonies are sad looking. But soon my lilies will be blooming and they’re massive!! I can’t believe how they’ve spread out.
    Book 16….is amazing!!! Love it love it love it. I have to admit I was a little sad there for a minute. But they’re true to character and since I like their characters I can’t be too sad. Seriously good reading, thank you!! And happy spring!


    • I’m sorry you were sad — what part did it? I’m glad you enjoyed the book overall, though.

      Oh, your poor flowers! We kept expecting late frosts because our weather had been so nice; but they never materialized. I’m hoping that by now it’s too late for frost here, but who knows? We’ve put our tomatoes out in the garden, so we’re probably tempting fate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t want to put it here in case it was a spoiler for someone so I guess I’ll say “spoiler alert” , just in case . It was signing the “papers” when it was all over that made me a little sad for a minute. Ok maybe that was vague enough lol. But seriously it was just for a minute. I loved the book!( Even the part I thought was sad. ) Please don’t think I didn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Aw, thanks — you’re so kind. 🙂 And it’s so nice of you not to write any spoilers! I was guessing that had been the sad part, but thought I’d better check. Sometimes I think I know more than I actually know…

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Loving your garden.
    And hoping for similar displays when spring (the real one not our current fake one) rolls around.
    I am contently old. And the one age I would never, ever go back to is teenagedom (and I was just that when your ad appeared).


  9. We’ve had Red Rose Tea available here for decades, but I discovered within the past few years that the US Red Rose is not the same as the Canadian Red Rose. Same brand, but ours is licensed. So, no orange pekoe variety here.


    We found a figurine in our latest box–they quit the figurines in 2018, but have a limited run of a World Monuments series.

    Loving the flowers! We have none yet–I have to get some annuals for potting, and am waiting for the daylilies to bloom next month. The lawn looks apocalyptic at the moment, thanks to power raking and aerating, followed by some over-seeding to help it fill in, and some patching in bare spots where needed. If I had my choice, I’d rototill the entire lot and plant all new sod–this is the worst lawn I’ve ever had, and I suspect it is quite a few decades old. But we finally have warm enough weather to do these projects outdoors now. And it’s time to get my bulk back onto the bicycle to get some much-needed exercise…


    • It’s good to be outdoors again — I’m starting to feel a little less couch-potato-ish now. 🙂 We don’t have any lawn at all here, and my goal is to keep it that way. Mowing grass is an overrated pastime as far as I’m concerned. But I do love the look of a nice lawn, so I’m trying to plant groundcovers that will give that look but only need mowing once in a blue moon (if at all). So far, results have been mixed, and the grass tries to creep in anyway. Time will tell…

      I didn’t realize that the U.S. Red Rose was different. I just assumed that the “only in Canada” commercial had been made before they expanded into the States. I learn something new every day! 🙂


      • I was similarly confused about Red Rose since my better half’s grandmother used to drink it all the time, which is why the “Only in Canada” bit didn’t make sense. We might be within 20 minutes of Canada here, but we’re on the other side of the border. I don’t know if things have changed in the meantime, but the site at redrosetea dot com shows what we have here.

        Now I wonder if our Tim Horton’s are any different. 😁

        When I was using my power rake, my neighbor and I discussed lawns a bit, and I think we decided that having the entire lot paved with concrete (tinted green, of course) might be the best way to go. Honestly, if we decide to stay here and put money into it, I’d probably have a larger garage built, and have a pad poured for a patio. Which would then take up a good portion of the backyard.

        Or better yet, we’re talking of relocating in a few years to Arizona or Utah, and in Arizona, a front yard with several cacti (even a saguaro or two) and otherwise filled in with stone seems to be a good idea as well. (I get the cacti; she gets her in-ground pool.) But even with the fuss of weeding, or tending to a lawn here, I’ll take that over condo living and not being able to landscape the yard the way I want.


        • I actually investigated that carpet-like fake grass when we were living in Calgary. We had a hilly lot and the lawn was a pain in the butt to mow; and in the summer the high spots always went brown no matter what we did. It looked bad pretty much year-round except for a few magic moments in the spring. Permanently green grass seemed like a much better idea… until I saw the price. Yikes! But I love saguaros and stonescapes — sounds like a great solution for your future Arizona lot. 🙂


  10. Hi Diane, Stephen Colbert featured the beaver story on his show and also titled it only in Canada. Love your flowers but love your books even more! Your books keep me on edge all the time as I can’t even hazard a guess as to what’s coming next and they’re so well written. Can never decide which man I prefer more, John or Arnie. Re-read them all during the pandemic, am about to read the newest one now which I’d pre-ordered, something I rarely ever do. Keep the books coming please! Gail Radford-Ross Nanaimo Don’t you love VI?!


    • Hi Gail, I’m waving at you! I do love VI. What a beautiful place. I give thanks every morning when I wake up and realize I’m not in Calgary anymore.

      And wow, if Stephen Colbert and I had the same idea, I’m going to claim that “great minds think alike”. (Also, I think he’s the same age as me, but let’s not go there.) 😉

      Thank you so much for pre-ordering Book 16 — I’m honoured, and so pumped that you’re loving Aydan and the gang! I hope you enjoy Book 16.


  11. But do beavers drink Red Rose tea while they watch YouTube videos using the stolen fiberoptic cable?

    My wife and I use to buy Red Rose tea because in each box was a little animal figure. The grandkids loved playing with those little animals so naturally we bought a lot. Sadly, now that the grandkids are grown, we’ve switched to Tetley Tea which reminds Heather of the English teas she drank as a child.


    • Oh, that’s interesting — I didn’t realized Tetley tea was more “English-tasting”. I remember those little porcelain animal figures, too. How time flies.

      As to the beavers’ tea preferences…? Who knows. Maybe we should hook up a little surveillance camera to the other end of that fibre-optic cable. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Just to make you feel better or worse? I was born in ’78 so your advert was before I was born.

    I finished the book today, loved it.
    I also started painting the loft floor. I tell ya floor paint hums to high heaven, I only did a small part but it’s a big floor, it would appear floor paint only comes in 3 colours, grey black or red. I wanted while but I’m sure grey will have to do. I wanted it to reflect the light to make it brighter but we will have to see it does seem quite light, I believe it is called nimbus grey.

    Book 16 had me laughing and crying at times. I wanted it to go on for another 100 pages. But as I flicked to the end I saw those wonderful words book 17 coming soon

    Can’t wait


    • That’s awesome — I’m so glad you enjoyed Book 16! And if you laughed and cried, then I feel as though I’ve done my job. 🙂 Book 17 is indeed coming; but I haven’t started “official” plotting yet. So far it’s just swirling around in my brain waiting to take shape.

      Your floor sounds like it’ll be lovely when it’s done. We ended up painting our upstairs floor, and it turned out okay. The only thing is that chair casters are REALLY hard on paint. If you’ve got a caster chair, best to get a protective mat for it to roll on.

      And about the 1978 thing? Yeah, I know. *sigh* 😉


  13. Reinforcing? I think not. Better reception. In the last year, I’ve noticed that there is not a single beaver lodge around here that still has either a cable box on the utility pole or an antenna on the roof. Faster internet, too, of course.


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