Five Blondes in London

Five Blondes header

Erica grew up on a farm in western Ontario with four younger sisters – they are all blondes. Throughout their childhood, they’ve always been ‘the family of five blonde girls’ and that fact defined them. Today things are different. They don’t live together in an old farm house and share one bathroom anymore. Now Erica, Micaela, Kate, Leah and Lauren share their lives online. This is how they stay in touch with each other.

Erica BlondeFive Blondes was born in July 2007 in a Facebook message from Erica asking her sisters if they would like to contribute to a collaborative blog. Over the course of the next two days, the clan picked a project name (that wasn’t hard) and registered the domain. Erica promptly installed a WordPress engine, and in just over one year they’ve all worked together and built a terrific portal that’s both entertaining and informative. The writing is as diversified as the authors, Kate might post about assembling a new barbecue, while Erika describes innovative cell phone marketing strategies. Michaela and Lauren might write about fashion and new social trends in university, and I wish Leah would update us on her life in Calgary more often.  The comment box echoes a chorus of questions and opinions, and evidences a wide readership – sometimes mom and dad chime in to offer insights and support.

I read in Micaela’s First Week of School where she describes her anxiety at the prospect of starting teacher’s college in Windsor, alone.  But she goes on to describe how today that loneliness is mitigated by the popularity of Facebook.  Imagine that – now its easy to hook up with old friends on a new campus. How has Facebook changed Frosh week? The internet keeps all the girls together. Sometimes the group meets in chat rooms to play Cheeky Bingo, or other games of skill, with strangers. There are 12000 winners every week on Mecca bingo in the UK.

The five sisters’ blog contains a wonderful flickr widget that showcases some genuinely proud moments in their lives. Readers will notice engagement rings, fiances, lemon blueberry muffins and hay bale athletics. The Flickr photos contain descriptive text. Each sister has a slightly different writing style, and it takes a while to figure them out and put them into perspective. Flickr helps, and here’s what I get:

Erica is the oldest and the leader of the pack. She has a degree in film theory, and is scheduled for marriage in Spring 2009. She lives in London Ontario and rides a bike to work everyday. You can find her on Twitter.

Five Bloneds familyMicaela just entered teachers college at the University of Windsor.

Kate is the middle child. She went to the University of Guelph and studied agriculture, following in her mom’s footsteps. Kate married her sweetie Scott in October of 2007 and together they bought a farm. Kate is also on Twitter.

Leah moved to Calgary with her boyfriend and relies on the blog for updates on her sisters back in Ontario. She works in the non-profit sector and has a degree in Gerontology.

And Lauren, the youngest of the five is a criminology student in Ottawa.

Five Blondes is a fascinating look at the lives of five farm girls filling a technological conduit with fragments of the Canadian female experience.

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Cariboo Ponderer in Northern BC

Cariboo PondererVic GraceVic Grace is an expert on many subjects relating to life in Northern British Columbia. She lives in a very remote, ultra scenic region of Canada; her blog posts are filled with gorgeous VIA Rail quality calendar shots of rock strewn rivers under the Rockie Mountains.

Cariboo Ponderer chronicles the life of Vic Grace, a charismatic sixty year old woman with an enviable life spent sailing, hiking and taking pictures of rare plants and animals found in northern BC.

Vic Grace map interior BCIts obvious from her writing, Vic Grace is enjoying her retirement.  She puts a particular emphasis on time spent with her older husband.  In one post earlier this spring she worries about their health and the prospect of living alone. To reaffirm her independence she recently bought a laptop, and then traveled alone to Calgary.

Vic is a wise woman and speaks with some authority on taxes, travel, kitchenware, nature photography, insurance and municipal politics. She’s an artistic woman and is now collecting beads in preparation for a big necklace? Each entry this month has been an update on her gadgets as she documents her own technological evolution into a first rate blogger.

fireweeedUnique to Cariboo Ponderer is the site banner. I expected cariboos. Instead I was presented with the pictorial representation of Vic Grace’s own quest to winter in Mexico. A collage of assorted winter activity contrasts a tranquil beach scene – its obvious what she wants. Her opening profile lists the extreme winter temperatures (-22F) and her deep freeze phobia and continues on, almost suggesting that it might be possible for her to escape her surroundings by blogging and sharing her life online… No, this is not the prelude to a John Chow affiliate program, but rather the digital manifestation of a retired woman’s plan to escape Canada in the winter. Will she blog from Mexico? on her laptop? I’m looking forward to that.

Cariboo Ponderer is Vic Grace’s observations and reflections on nature photography, indigenous animals, local cuisine cooking recipes, scrapbooking, and seniors issues steeped in BC politics.