I have always wondered about catnip. Here is an excellent explanation.

Jeanne Foguth's Blog

images-3Catnip has quite the reputation with cats, but did you know that according to scientists, only 50% of cats are susceptible to its influence. Rom was not part of that 50%, which made it nearly impossible to ‘calm him’ to go to the Vet.

The good news is that catnip is 10 x more effective than DEET as an insect deterrent, but is not harmful to your cat.


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A Fabulous Interview by Kelly Bedard

24 MARCH 2015

My Theatre Award Nominee: Q&A w/ Brenhan Mc Kibben

By Kelly Bedard // Theatre (Toronto)

Before we announce the winners of the 2014 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series.

The entire leading trio from Cockfight, Kat Sandler’s superb testosterone-fuelled ode to the makeshift family, is nominated for a My Theatre Award this year (see also: Jakob Ehman and Benjamin Blais). In a fast-moving, hyper-physical, intensely dramatic and wildly funny piece, Brenhan’s quietly heartbreaking performance stood out for its incredible depth and unmatched subtlety.

Can you remember your first experience with theatre?
My mother started a theatre troupe in Spencerville with some friends called the Fencepost Players. She’d direct and produce and illustrate promo material. Initially I was a Fred (usher in tails), but soon I was playing spiders and kumquats in children’s shows. My mother has gone on to start a writer’s guild and a few local magazines. My siblings and I looked up to that artistic initiative. Oh and I also refused to go on as a Shepherd once at St Andrews in Heckston when I was about 5 and watched from the audience in costume like O’Toole.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
My mother suggested I would make a good one on account of my love of telling stories. I took her seriously. She could have had a perfectly respectable palaeontologist for a son, poor soul.

What’s your favourite role you’ve ever performed?
The Howie in Howie the Rookie by Mark O’Rowe is the one I probably go out of my way to talk about. David Ferry directed myself and Tyrone Savage in our production in Benny’s shed which held about 25 people. We were right in their laps for forty minutes of monologue each. The play is modern and mythical and a great example of lyrical storytelling. We had a hotplate roasting onions and cabbage atop a broken stove and jars of piss lining the walls. That was our set. I spent the rehearsal process at a derelict orphanage filling in half a floor with Mac Fyfe and working out on the existing half.

Do you have a dream role you’d still like to play one day?
I have a few up my sleeve most times. I can say I’d rather play Macbeth than Hamlet. Or Malcolm. Ross for that matter. I have nothing against Denmark normally. I just got sick of Hamlet around the time I got sick of Holden Caulfield.

with Benjamin Blais & Jakob Ehman in Cockfight (photo by Chris DePaul)

How did you get involved with Cockfight?
Ben and I needed to come up with a play for June in April. Neither of us wanted to do the requisite reading so I presumptuously suggested that we ask Kat to write us a play. We each sent her a text with the idea and within minutes had about a half dozen others do the same. Later that night, she met me for several quarts of Export and a good amount of whiskey and something caught on enough that she started making notes. That was quite thrilling.

What’s Kat Sandler like as a director? How does working directly with the playwright affect the rehearsal process?
Well, if a playwright marries the first draft that reaches 50 pages, I think it can be difficult to workshop anything in rehearsal. But working on the only Sandler play I’ve done, I found her to be continuously assessing and refining ideas. No matter how different you may feel from your character’s lot, she’s probably inserted elements of your own persona to come into some meaningful conflict for the story.

What would you say is the most important conversation you had with Kat in developing your interpretation of the character?
We’ve made a date to have it over a 26er of Bushmill’s.

Tell us about working with the actors who played your brothers (both also My Theatre Award nominees this year).
I’ve seen Benjamin a few times most weeks for the past 10 years, so our relationship is pretty brotherly as it is. Cockfight introduced me to Jakob Ehman. He’s an intense and honest person which tends to make for an actor I like to work with. And they both tip servers. If you don’t tip bartenders then I can’t respect your work.

You played the quietest brother with the subtlest arc. How did you go about making sure his side of the story came through clearly when surrounded by louder, flashier guys?
The play begins with Charlie (my character) alone on stage and ends with Charlie alone on stage so I would admit to an advantage perhaps. The script might even qualify him as the audience’s guide to Kat’s world, although I would also say that the action is pretty evenly split between the brothers.

Charlie’s arc is more than subtle. He makes a rash decision which brings the brothers into conflict and he makes another rash decision to violently resolve that conflict.

And the audience wonders, “does Charlie leave or does Charlie stay in the shithole apartment to build another pyramid?”

Cockfight was one of the most physical shows of the year. Tell us about working with fight director Jeff Hanson. Did anything ever go awry during that epic brawl?
Jeff is an excellent driver, an attentive navigator and very skilled at building furniture. He’s meticulous when it comes to sorting garbage. Luckily, he brings that care, diligence and a great deal of imagination to our other job in the theatre. He really considers the character and objectives of each player from the entire narrative when choreographing the combat. Throughout the run he would check up on us and tighten up anything we were sliding on. Besides projectile cans, I believe Ben once caught a mallet that I lost in the air.

Did you have a favourite moment in Cockfight?
Definitely the Brad Pitt bit. That was Ehman/Sandler gold.

What are you working on now or next?
My wife, Staceylee Turner, and I just welcomed a son, Fionntán into the world. Her partners at the Storefront Theatre had already named him “Skypilot” and the indie theatre community met his birth with hope and excitement. With friends I started Red One and the Downstage so that little Skypilot will have an arts scene in which he can take pride and if he wants to be an actor, take part. So I’m working on that and I’m glad so many others are too.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Skypilot may become a kick-ass arts administrator like his mother. We’d all be luckier for it. These people facilitate our prancing about on stage.

In: Awards, Contemporary Theatre, Exclusive Interviews, Interviews, My Theatre Awards, New Works, Nominee Interview Series, Nominees, Red One Theatre Collective, StoreFront Theatre, Theatre Brouhaha, Theatre Interviews, Toronto

Kelly Bedard
Managing Editor
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A Winter Sport Poem

2 players_jpgHere’s something for the hockey fans:

Hockey Fans

© 2015 Mollie Pearce McKibbon



O the clacking of sticks

And the scraping of blades,

The shower of ice as

The forward evades

The defenceman.


O the grunting and groaning,

The thwacking of puck,

The audience moaning

As the goalie’s pad’s struck.

The fans are hoarse screeching;

From the seats they arise

Like angry whales breeching

From water to skies.

As the black rubber disc

Slides toward the net

To bounce off the post,

Meaning – no goal yet!

The home crowd subsides

With a corporate sigh

Like the outgoing tides.


There is a whacking of bodies

Against the arena boards

And a fist fight erupts

While the organist chords

Bars from “Rocky”.

The referee seizes

The combatants before

Blood flows freely

On the rink’s icy floor.


The face-off is intense,

But the home team prevails

With a hard slamming shot

And into the net sails

The elusive puck.

There’s a brief pause of surprise,

Then thunder resounds

From the cheers that arise

And quickly compounds.

The other team’s not dismayed,

It’s only first period –

There’s more to be played.

So grab a team jersey

And break out the beer,

The fans are all thirsty

And hockey is here

At last!

Winter Doggerel!


Skating Practice

© 2014 Mollie McKibbon


Thump, bump- I’m on my rump.

O what a place to be,

While all around me spin the ones

So gracefully at ease.


Thump, bump- I’m down again.

Alack and oh, alas.

Doing figure eights on their skates,

I watch those athletes pass.


Thump, bump – I’m such a lump

Of misery on the rink.

If only the ice would crack or melt,

From sight I’d gladly sink.


Thump, bump – it’s such a pain

To be the only one

Who can’t stand up on her skates

And join in all the fun.


Slide, glide – so that’s the trick

To staying on your feet.

Persistence pays in many ways

To make one’s life complete.


Oh whee!  Look at me

Sailing cross the ice.

I’m speeding by so very fast

That stopping won’t be nice.

Push the Creativity Reset Button Every Day

This is a really great morale boost for any artist by Sandy Ackers on her blog “Strangling the Muse”.  I really love this blog entry.

Strangling My Muse

Has this ever happened to you? You’re determined to start writing or painting or pursuing another creative passion on a regular basis. So you sit down to treaty negotiations with your Muse, and the two of you draw up a plan: Your Muse agrees to visit you for half an hour before work every day to provide inspiration, and you agree to show up with paper and pen or paints.

The two of you sign and notarize the document, your Muse flits off to study the funky aardvark dance that’s sweeping Madagascar, and you give yourself a celebratory high-five in the mirror before going to bed feeling great.

Things work wonderfully for the first week. You set your alarm early, get up, and write or paint your heart out.

The next Sunday night, your cat has a hairball emergency requiring your middle-of-the-night supervision. Obviously, after all the midnight drama, you’re…

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Welcome to My World

You have probably come to my page because you are a writer or an artist or just curious.  Please pull up a chair and just relax, because as a rule I’m somewhat laid back.  I tend to be an optimist about people, time and life in general.  At the moment, snow is piled in great heaps outside our door, but under that snow is another spring, summer, and fall.  I love the sparkle of winter, though I’m not so keen about the temperature.  Brr!  As the years go on, the speed at which the next season arrives seems to be much faster, so I just bundle up and drink the hot chocolate while time marches on.

As a writer, I enjoy reading short stories as well as novels.  I presently edit and publish a local magazine called “s.m.i.l.e.” for the residents of seniors’ homes, nursing homes and hospice patients.  Through the magazine I have learned to write articles as well as short stories and the feed back we get from the readers is so far enthusiastic.  We also include humour, puzzles, and poetry.  I like putting all the elements together with photos and art to make an attractive page and a interesting read.  Our magazine is completely filled with volunteered contributions and I send it in PDF format wherever it needs to go.  This way the institutions and groups are able to print up as many copies as they need at the time.

I also write monologue, skits and plays, mostly, but not wholly, for church.  And I have begun to write

hymns and songs in the past few years.  I want to share some of my writing, art and spirit in this blog and hopefully make it interesting enough to get you writing back.  What do you think ?

Paisley Power

Creating textile designs, prints and surface patterns for fashion, accessories, furnishing, homeware, logos, stationery, packaging, theatre and art

My Spirals

• Hugs and Infinities

Poesy plus Polemics

Words of Wonder, Worry and Whimsy

Be Inspired..!!

Listen to your inner has all the answers..

SouL SpeakS

He started Writing, The paper started speaking...

On Art and Aesthetics

Publication + Consultancy. Championing creative talent before a mass audience. Passionately global.

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

Dollar Store Children Sermons

RCL and Narrative Lectionary Based Children Sermons

The doll follies

A continuing story acted out with dolls and miniatures

Take Time To Create

A Creative Blog About Taking Time To Create New and Wonderful Things


Poetry, Journal

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Conversations with Kindred Spirits writing