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Thank you MyBackyarders – by MBY Team

Image: jbrizendine

Hey, we just want to take a moment to thank you for reading us.

We’ve been up for 3 short months with this “starter” site, and we are humbled by your readership! There are more than 15,000 “unique” visits for our 120 posts and (our favourite) 300 comments.

It warms the heart to know that you don’t just visit, you read, then come back.

The conversation has begun and in 2017 we will take it up a notch, with the big site, featuring podcasts and video content.

If you’ve not signed up for our email blast (that happens only when a new post is published.) please visit the desktop and simply type in your email address. We don’t spam.

If you are so inclined, please share with your friends too. Let’s grow this community together. Our promise to you is that there will never be fake news, only real people sharing their truth, facts, stories and points of view.

Last, but certainly not least, we have to tell you that it is downright inspiring to be out and about and hear that you read here, and love it.

With infinite gratitude,

MyBackyard Team.

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#mybackyard, Jody Vance

With Thanks … Lest We Forget – by Jody

img_5070We remember you. You who fought for our freedom. You, the Canadian who represented a nation who champions a better, safer world.

My good friend’s son joined The Canadian Armed Forces very recently. I remember when he first told me about his hopes of becoming a soldier and asked if I might be a reference for him.  (We are rather close) I’ve known him since he was just a wee boy.  When the call came in to speak to his character as a human — one who would put himself in harms way in the name of Country and freedom, peacekeeping — there was no doubt in my mind that this young man was made for this. There was a reason that this was his dream. It takes a very special person to make this sacrifice, to be away from family and work as a part of a collective built around honour and strict lifestyle.

The questions put to me by the CAF were quite simple, yet so telling. My answers, in brief:

He is strong.

He is smart.

He is kind.

He is fearless.

After the CAF call ended, I dialed his mother, that call went something like this:

me: “Are you OK? This is all very real all of a sudden.”

her: “This is what he wants to do. I’m scared……….and yet I am proud.”

This is that young man today:


Brave are men and women who join our Canadian Forces and stand ready to protect our freedoms. Brave are the families who deal with the fear of their loved ones in harm’s way.

Today is Remembrance Day. We remember all of our fallen soldiers — Lest We Forget — while also honouring our soldiers of today.

Thank you. Thank you all men and women in uniform.

Did you know that Claire served? Thank you Claire.

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November 10 Skim.


Image: Le Club Symphonie/Jonathan Knowles

Here’s a bit of social media skim to go with your morning coffee, or coffee break:

THIS JUST IN! BCTF win  — what do you think?

Best thing I’ve read this AM compliments of Vanity Fair.

My sister in-law posted this on her Facebook page  always an interesting perspective The Guardian

How polls let us down in the NY Times

How Americans have no one to blame, but themselves, voter apathy….

PM Justin Trudeau invites President Elect Donald Trump to Canada.

Trump Tower Vancouver story in the Vancouver Sun. There is a protest planned for outside that building today in Vancouver.

Our thoughts are with Michael Buble’s family as his son Noah’s cancer diagnosis is shared.

Sad update: AMBER ALERT — after father Adam Jay Eastman was found deceased, with a self inflicted wounds, his 7 year old’s body has been found.



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#mybackyard, Adopt A Pet

SPARROW – SPCA Animal of the week – by Kristina

img_4875 img_4874 img_4873 img_4872They call me Sparrow (hold the Captain Jack), and I’m a Lovebird!  I’m about 1 year and 2 months old and I’m super cute, don’t you think?   I flew into someone’s yard and simply never left. I think I knew that the nice people there would take me to the shelter, where I’m now, awaiting my forever home.

I was a little skittish at first but I’m learning to trust people more and more. I’d love to snuggle up with someone who has a little bit of patience.  I just know I could become hand-tamed and a lot more social.

In case you don’t know much about my kind, lovebirds are small parrots so we can be a bit noisy.  (Well, you call it noisy, I call it communicating.)   I need lots of stimulation and play/interaction time because I’m really smart!  And because I’m single, I’d like to spend a bit more time with my humans than if I was paired up with another Lovebird like me.

There’s also a pair of bonded Lovebirds at the West Van shelter, Peach and Blueberry.  But I’d like to move out of here first, I’ve been here the longest! for more information on adoption.  Remember, pets are NOT presents.

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Being a great fan.


Image: Chicago Tribune

Here’s a Thursday “feel good” Coffee Break for you.

Last night I let my almost-9-year-old stay up late to witness the end of a classic World Series Game 7 between the Cubs and Cleveland.  Epic doesn’t begin to explain the suspense.  One absolutely did not need to be a baseball fan, nor have “skin in the game”, to get caught up in this extra-innings game winner-take-all game 7.

Watching “the thrill of victory (love this interview) and the agony of defeat” is what me and my boy do when watching big games in any sport.

We always talk about how fun it is when your team wins, but also we watch the pain that comes with losing.  In every big game there is a losing side — and it’s an immensely important piece of sport to take defeat with grace.

While many of us were cheering hard for the Cubs, we all imagined how awful this was for the Cleveland players. (The mom in me imagined how their mom’s felt.)

It’s remarkably easy to celebrate a big win, it’s tough to take a loss with class — like King James.

Cubs fans waited 108 years to celebrate last night’s massive win…… are a few that we found to be most heartwarming.

Skimming social media, and the web, for cool reactions and bites for you:

This guy…. is my favourite, I think.

This….is Bill Murray


Him….grab kleenex

“Go Cubs Go” mash up is pretty cool….

Nike nails it….. 

As you were.  Make it a great day.

MyBackyard Team.

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#mybackyard, Adopt A Pet




Hi! I’m smiling Sawyer and I’m a six year old pit bull terrier. I’ve been in foster care with a family with three dogs since January. I love those guys but I’d really like to find a place of my own.

I can be exuberant and playful, but I’m mellowing out every day. I love my humans, but I also love my canine brethren. Like a LOT. Getting my exercise is the best, so what I really enjoy is going on sniffy walks, following my nose and just trotting aside my humans, soft-leashed.

They say I’m pretty smart, and who am I to disagree? That means I need to keep my brain sharp. I’ve learned to swim, fetch in water, run calmly alongside a bike, and I can do a whole bunch of tricks, provided there’s a treat at the end, of course.

Because I’m a bit excitable, I do best with humans who get me and have experience with pups. While I love my doggie pals, I don’t think I’d like to live with cats or young kids.

For more information about me please contact and note that you’re trying to reach Sawyer!

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#mybackyard, Claire's Unexpected Adventure

CLAIRE IS CANCER FREE!!! An UPDATE and some back story….

Hi, it’s me, Jody.  I’m writing a forward for this Video from Claire.  (she’s reading it as you do, I’m not sending it to her first…)

I will NEVER forget the day that my girl came by my place, my backyard, to “drop a cheque” for our little adventure here.  It made me think, “hello? E-transfer? Plus, it’s not urgent….I can front this….” NO…she “had” to come.  I made tea.

As soon as she walked through the door, that fateful spring day, I knew something was wrong.  MY pillar of strength, the woman who (in 2011) I barely knew…handed me a key to her house…seeing me go through life drama…. was in need.

She uttered the words “f*ck, I have cancer, it’s cancer…I could lose my foot, I will never run again.”.

I was in shock, she was in shock.  I didn’t know what to say — so I hugged her.  We cried.  Then we talked.  We really…really talked.  I said, “let’s put the website on hold.” she said “I think, instead, I want to talk about it.”

She did.  She is.  We are.  I’m so proud of you Claire.  We are.  WE ARE ALSO SO GLAD YOU ARE CANCER FREE!!! as of today….

Love your people….like we love Claire. THROUGH IT.

Jody (and Sarah…and our every-growing #mybackyard family)


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