Erin's Journals

Monday, May 29, 2023

Join me for a DIFFERENT kind of journal today: it’s a sentimental journey that you’ll need to watch – and it may even include a godwink from my late mother. See what you think….

You can watch it on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Talk to you next week.


Rob WhiteheadMonday, May 29, 2023
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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Just a thought… Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember – the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you. [Zig Ziglar]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

I was writing today’s journal and an email came in from a site called Chartable. Having absolutely no attention span, especially when I’m trying to write, I opened the email. I think I was enrolled in Chartable back when my Drift with Erin sleep stories first came out through another company almost exactly two years ago. Through it, I get reports of rankings of my stories, how many downloads in the past week, if I have risen or fallen in the standings, that sort of thing. So here we are after last week’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Delightful!

Unlike when I was in radio, and where we stood determined whether the show was a success and would keep going, or the powers-that-be would give us performance bonuses or start making changes, the rankings for the podcasts I do don’t really matter. I know the RealTime one I do for the Canadian Real Estate Association is out of my hands, so I can only hope it’s hitting the target: realtors.

Gracefully & Frankly, which I do with Lisa Brandt, is growing now with our 21st episode about to drop on Thursday (we talk about the nudist camp Lisa worked at as a teen, medication for hot flashes and information every woman over 50 should know about a faulty study, plus more). But we saw a bit of a drop last week when we ever-so-slightly dipped our toes into politics and it was heard first in the teaser clip. Just that one segment about passports had a woman posting on my Facebook that she hoped I didn’t support Trudeau as he’s, in her words, a “monster.” I thought: Okay, let’s just not mention anyone’s name again, ever. Don’t want to alienate anyone, right?

With Drift, the steady climb towards 200,000 downloads shows me that I’m going in the right direction and I have numbers and comments like the beautiful ones on Facebook the other day, to confirm that. While I was poking around in Chartable, though, I saw this as my overall ranking: 

There was this lovely recent one that I’m reluctant to share because it’s so nice. But I will. 

Then, because I’m me, and I have to find something to make me feel unworthy, I scrolled the ratings a bit. I found one – yes ONE – from last November. And once I got over my surprise, I thought, oh, you’ve gotta see this.

One star in one review. And that’s the one I gave more time to than any other as I scrolled through. Then I remembered a nasty exchange via email that I had with someone who had seen me on CTV’s The Social at about that time, who called me all kinds of names. I basically told her to go away. I mean, that had to be it, right? Not definitely, but most likely.

It does happen. People who don’t like another’s politics go on to slag their book without having read it. Envious competitors – and to be clear, I don’t think there are mean people in the sleep community – go on the sites of others and try to tank their ratings. In the movie business, if someone has a near perfect ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, some so-and-so will post a negative one, just to keep them from the cherished 100% Fresh rating.

But then again, maybe, this person thought that my telling of, oh, Cinderella, The Frog Prince or Alice in Wonderland was disrespectful and arrogant? What part: the five minutes of relaxation with spa music, the gently-told story or the five minutes of waves at the end, I wonder?

Clearly, I have given this far too much thought. But it happens. Someone will always try to put you in your place. I was inadvertently slighted by a CBC piece I stumbled upon (and since haven’t been able to find again) on sleep podcasts that didn’t include Drift, and as far as I could see at a glance, excluded any Canadian podcasts. That was disappointing, as I’d love another chance to spread the word of our sleep stories on which I spend about 30 hours each re-writing, recording, editing and then producing – all a one-person crew here – but it’s not personal, I know.

What’s important is that you’re there, and I’ll keep putting these stories out as a labour of love. It’s not to get rich, that’s for sure, but because I always wanted to do something like this, and I love it. So, if this person decides she wants to take me down, let me ask you to help me out. It’s easy to leave a rating for a podcast on Apple, for example: just scroll down any show page and select a star rating, then type “write a review.” You can leave one per story if you want. The next tale (tail?) to come next Tuesday is The Little Mermaid, the Hans Christian Andersen version, just in time for the movie’s release next week.

In the meantime, I thank you. For being here, for listening to Gracefully & Frankly and, of course, for joining our Drift sleep community. And I thank Chartable for reminding me “NEVER READ THE REVIEWS!” You’d think I’d know by now, right?

Have a great short week and we’ll talk Monday.

Rob WhiteheadTuesday, May 23, 2023
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Monday, May 15, 2023

Just a thought…If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning. [Catherine Aird]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Now I have a story for you today that, as it was happening, I’m thinking: I can’t wait to tell Lisa about this on ‘Gracefully and Frankly’ this Thursday and I probably will. But then I thought: no, journal readers and watchers deserve to get the full story first…and although Lisa and I have great conversations and laughs, I know you may not be familiar with how to listen to a podcast. Just Google Gracefully and Frankly podcast and it’ll take you there. Or go to Join the over 25,o00 people who’ve enjoyed our first 19 episodes. And they’re all free, thanks to our friends at

Now the story. On Saturday, as our area of Vancouver Island hit the mid-to-upper 20s, our local fire department brought out a truck to cool off residents without AC, and in these parts, there are a lot of them. I thought it’d be fun to take our grandson Colin to run through the plume of spray.

I put on the top to a tankini: one that used to fit, but is now too big. What to do with the sad little cups up top? I popped in two silicone pads known as chicken cutlets… 

…and away we went. It was great fun, although that water was COLD. But when we got home I had an awful discovery. Sometime during this…

…one of my bosom buddies fell out on to the grass. We searched the car and retraced my steps in the house, but no cutlet. So yesterday Rob and I went back.

The pools of water were gone and so was the cutlet. I did find this mask…

…which might have fit poor tiny lefty, and some kid left a jacket and another, a hat.

I thought I saw it, but it was just a wrapper…

…and here’s a juice pouch which might have worked for me in a pinch, I suppose.

There was this t-shirt…

…and the makings of an entire outfit or two left near the Buddy Bench.

But alas, none of them was my boob enhancer. So I guess it’s a mystery as to what happened. I can only imagine some child finding it and the mother yelling, “Hayden! Graydon! McFayden! Kayden! Braedyn! You put that down NOW!” or – and this comes from puppy experience – the more likely scenario: some happy dog like ours…

…(and there are a lot of them that play on the school field) found it and proudly brought it back to its mom or dad or kid. Whatever happened to that little bit of silicone? I guess we’ll never know. But if I do learn, I’ll keep you abreast.

New story tomorrow for you on DriftAlice in Wonderland with no flying boob replacements – and don’t miss Lisa laughing with me and at me this Thursday on Gracefully and Frankly. Talk to you then!

Rob WhiteheadMonday, May 15, 2023
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Monday, May 1, 2023

Just a thought… Hope is being able to see that there is light, despite the darkness. [Desmond Tutu]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Now, in case you think “sadness” is that feeling, you’d be right, but it’s not strange to us. Plus, we’re fighting off the May 11th and Mother’s Day emotional minefields in a different way (or ways) this year. Stay with me – this’ll be fun.

So Rob wakes up yesterday morning and says, “I had the most vivid dream: I dreamt the Leafs made it into the second round of the playoffs and beat Tampa Bay to get there.” Of course I laugh with him, because being the Leafs fan he is, there have been plenty of nightmare scenarios. And given that he remembers their last Stanley Cup win, back when Canada was celebrating its Centennial, and the most recent elevation to the second round, which was in 2004 before I even started working with Mike Cooper, it’s been a long time.

Superstitions are a funny thing. Rob isn’t overly cautious, but he does make a point of wearing his hockey fan gear – a shirt or fleece Giant Tiger pyjama pants – each game.

But on Saturday night, as the Leafs and Bolts were getting ready for overtime, he chose that break to take Dottie for a quick walk to relieve, well frankly, both of them of the pressure they were feeling for entirely different reasons.

The walk wasn’t so short after all. When he hadn’t returned, but overtime had started, like a good wife, I paused the game. While I continued to edit my Drift with Erin sleep stories on my laptop, he kept walking. And then, the final score popped up on my screen via a Toronto Star breaking news tweet:

They’d won. I got up and ran to the door, looking for Rob to return. When he finally did, I had taken away his phone in case he was texted (which, it turns out, he was, by his diehard Habs/Leafs fan brother in Montreal). But the surprise was not ruined and Rob hooted loud enough for all of the neighbourhood to hear through our screen doors when the Leafs scored to win the first round.

But here’s the very important realization that Rob came to: having gotten out of his jammie pants to walk Dottie, he watched the extra minutes in his street clothes. And guess what? They still won.

This is quite a revelation.

It turns out – and hear me out here – that it doesn’t matter if we have jerseys or pants on, hats backwards, inside out for a rally or no hat at all, the game is going to go as it goes, without any interference or help from those of us urging our team onward.

It reminded me of a tweet that Jamie Campbell, who is one of the Blue Jays Sportsnet team, put out a few weeks ago after someone tried to lambaste him for saying the Jays could sweep. They did not, as it turns out, and this chucklehead blamed Jamie, since his mere mention of the possibility obviously affected the outcome LOL. I tweeted in response that if Jamie had that kind of power, would he please just say “lottery winner Erin Davis” and I’d be grateful. Now, I could meet him halfway and buy a ticket, but if Jamie truly has those kinds of powers, he can make a ticket fall into my wallet.

Sports fans are weird. We are. We plan our days and weeks around game schedules and try to stay in a cone of silence if, by chance, the big game is on the PVR. But here’s where we kind of messed up: we are going away tomorrow for 8 days to a place with lots of TVs but too many distractions to watch them. Yes, Las Vegas. It’s been a long, long time, and with our travel schedule being curtailed in the most delightful ways by lots of summer fun here at home, we decided to bite the bullet and go. So, before the win Saturday, I tried to calm Rob’s nerves saying this: “If the Leafs lose, you still get to go to Vegas. And if the Leafs advance (which they have) your biggest problem will be finding the game. Poor you.” Maybe they’ll even have the coronation on somewhere, too. After all, people will bet on anything.

Here’s the thing: whatever the Leafs do, they’ll do without us. Fortunately, this means that Rob won’t have to wear his pyjama pants when we’re out seeing the town. I mean, he wouldn’t be the only one in ‘em, but still, not my husband.

So, enjoy your May and I’ll be here on Facebook, Insta, Twitter and the usual haunts while we’re gone. It’s all good. The delightful Winnie the Pooh is the latest story on my Drift with Erin sleep podcast and this Thursday, Lisa and I have a fresh episode 18 of Gracefully and Frankly for you, so yeah, I can use this break. And thanks for being here one more time. Talk to you again soon! GO LEAFS!

Rob WhiteheadMonday, May 1, 2023
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Monday, April 24, 2023

Just a thought… The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. [Carl Jung]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Thank you for coming in today…and I wish I could tell you that this is easy. A man who was a big part of my past (and my beginning) has left us.

After a long illness, Don Daynard passed away last Thursday at the age of 88. I can tell you his age, his birthday without a pause, because I had them tattooed on my heart. He was a year younger than my dad, Don Davis, and you know, this man, Don Daynard, also had a role in raising me to an adult.

You see, I began with CHFI in 1988. Don had been there for a year, having been lured over from 99.9 CKFM.

It was a year later that CHFI management decided Don would flourish with a co-host at the older-skewing also-ran station. I’d been doing news in at another Toronto station, and then I’d moved into being a music host at 97.3. CHFI picked me and I picked them: the same week in August 1988 I was offered morning news jobs with either Don Daynard or Wally Crouter on CFRB. I chose the show that I thought would be the most fun.

I was right. Almost immediately, we had that most precious of radio team rarities: chemistry. He was 54, I was 25…separated by a generation, but also gender. See, Don came up in a time when women on the radio were rare, like Betty Kennedy or “promo girls” and giggling traffic reporters. I was none of those. He was John Wayne to my Jane Fonda. (Or in my dreams, Oprah.) Despite my ambitions, I was never going to be his equal, and I knew I’d have to earn my time there. Still, we had that magic. He knew it, I knew it, and the listeners really knew it.

Soon we had catapulted to the top. I remember clear as day the moment when I asked him in passing if I could have “co-host” printed on my business cards (remember them?) and he shrugged and said, “Why not?” And so, I was. Management did his bidding, and what Don said went.

After all, he was the star of the show. Don had his own vast and loyal legion of fans. My job was to soften the edges while bringing in and keeping the younger listeners. When Don brought up movie stars from the black and white era, I was trying to balance things out with Seinfeld and the Spice Girls. But together, somehow it worked: in a demographic that exactly mirrored the 25 and 54 that we were, our show was more a family reunion than a marriage. 

Add a tremendous producer, first “Cousin Dave” Creelman, and then Ian MacArthur, my big/little brother, and you had a winning team. 

It all could have been upended when we announced my pregnancy, but I wasn’t going to step away from this magic! So we made it work when I did my part of the show from home for three months in 1991.

But, in a sad twist of fate, Don lost his son Britt later that very same year at age 33.

I had no idea how to approach that kind of grief, sit beside it, or help ease it for him. He didn’t talk about it; we just did the show and he battled through. But he did ask me on a flight en route to shoot one of our many commercials featuring TV icons whether I thought he should talk about it. I asked if he worried about being associated with that sadness, when he was known for making people laugh. But, thankfully, he did the interview which ended up in a front-page story in the Saturday Toronto Star.

It was a rare moment of vulnerability that I think only helped him connect with listeners and loss parents everywhere.

Later, when Rob and I suffered the death of our own child (who funnily enough, went to high school with Don’s grandson), I was touched almost beyond words when Don called us at our Ottawa motel to offer his support. Then in 2019 when I went into rehab, it was his loving and caring wife Lynda who reached out to Rob. Don and Lynda, married 31 years, stayed in the periphery of our lives and Don was often on my mind. I knew they lived here on Vancouver Island, and that Don would spend hours listening to old radio tapes, or so we were told when we ran into Lynda’s daughter Jewel.

Now, “looking back” (the name of one of Daynard’s biggest radio shows, along with his Saturday Night Oldies when he brought it over to CHFI) I have the hindsight to understand that my star shone bright because of him: this life we have now in retirement is partly because he and I made it work. I’ll forever be grateful for having the chance to soar with him. As a young “broad” in broadcasting, I learned more in 11 years with him in mornings at CHFI than 20 years in an easier position could have taught me. And I will forever be grateful.

Rest well, Don. I loved when you called me “kiddo,” just as my dad still does. I’m still thrilled that the station went along with my crazy idea to have a horse take you out of that Sheraton Centre ballroom on your final show, Dec. 10, 1999! Yeah, and the drum kit was also my idea – sorry, Lynda!

May you be reunited in spirit with Britt. May you know peace at last and, oh, lots of that wonderful wheezing laughter. Goodness knows you gave enough laughter to everyone else, for a good – a very good – long time. Thank you.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, April 24, 2023
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