Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Phillip is home from his six week Block 2 Cook's Apprenticeship course. He enjoyed it, learned lots of new things but is very pleased to be going back to work. He received 81% on his exam so he is now officially in the 3rd year of his apprenticeship!

A week ago I dreamed that his shift was changed from evenings to daytime. He was scheduled to work at 2 pm yesterday but called home to say his shift had been changed, he didn't start until today and yes, my dream was correct. He now is on 8am to 4pm. Ah, the power of mothers!

Wonder what other things I can dream into being," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, March 27, 2006


"As I have mentioned previously I tutor a young woman in English, who is from Libya. I decided I should learn a little about Libya so I would understand her and her background better. I visited my favourite source of information, the public library. Unfortunately, the library had only two books on Libya, both children's books, published in 1987 and 1993. I did though, learn a number of interesting things about this country.

The Barbary Coast, a name which I remember clearly from my childhood, but never knew where it was, was Libya. In 1987 the life expectancy was only 37 years of age. The Bedouin are the nomadic people of Libya, while the Tuaregs and Berbers are semi-nomadic. Camels carry 50 gallons of water in their stomachs and can go for 2-3 days without water once that is gone. The official religion of Libya is Islam. Quaddafi was only 27 years old when he became the ruler of Libya by overthrowing the King. Sabha, a city in the interior of the country, is considered the driest city in the world. The Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Turks and Italians have all ruled over this part of the world and left their mark. Marvellous ruins can be found in various parts of Libya.

The information I found in these books makes me more interested in reading about this fascinating country and it's history. Ah, the power of books," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Friday morning I woke up to no electricity. It was out for an hour and a half. That is an inconvience for just about everyone. But for my household it has an added seriousness. We are on a well, which means no electricity, no water. This means you don't run the taps or flush the toilets. This can make time without power seem very long, for inevitably as soon as you know you can't turn on the tap, you get thirsty and as soon as you know you can't flush the toilet, you have a desperate need to go. It's like when your hands are covered in something yucky or you are carrying something, your nose immediately begins to itch! The human body is a source of frustration, it always seems to know when you can't give it what it wants.

No electricity has some good points too. The house becomes quiet. I mean really quiet. No hum of lights or motors, no led lights glowing on all the electrical equipment, nothing. Just quiet and an opportunity to get in touch with the very essence of stillness. It is like stepping out of time for a moment and then . . . . there is a beep somewhere in the house, the noise of the pump in the basement and the led lights flashing and we are back in time. It actually went by really quickly," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Isis - The Lady of Ten Thousand Names

" A beautiful very old poem I read today. Makes so much more sense than a male creator.
I am the goddess, mistress of the land.
It is I who created the unbreakable laws.
It is I who divided earth and the heavens.
It is I who charted the stars.
It is I who set the moon and sun overhead.
It is I who ordered the tides.
It is I who brought men and women together
and I who created all the mysteries.
It is I who made justice stronger than wealth,
and I who designed penalties for evil.
It is I who first created mercy,
and I who metes it out.
I am the queen of earth and wind and sea,
queen of the thunder, queen of the sun.
Only I can overcome fate.
Only I can overcome death.

Song of Isis, from Egypt

Isn't it beautiful?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mourning Doves

"Today, I really know it's spring. I was awakened this morning by one of the loveliest sounds there is, the sound of a mourning dove, oo-ah? cooo-cooo-coo. You know that spring is on it's way when you hear the sounds of birds again. Mourning doves are a beautiful, but soft colored bird. I love to watch them pecking up the corn and millet I scatter on the ground for them. I love the sound of their wings as a flock of them take off into the bright summer sky. And I love to see the odd pair over winter silently sitting on snow covered branches. But I love them best in the spring for they tell of the renewal of life, that the spring flowers will come, the leaves will bud out and soon the summer birds will return in all their brilliant glory." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, March 20, 2006


Today, on this first day of spring, I think of daffodils as I do every year. I associate these beautiful yellow flowers with spring. Living in New Brunswick, they are not as cheaply, nor as readily available, as they were in Victoria. In fact the daffodils that are sold for the breast cancer fundraiser are grown a few kilometers from where we lived in Victoria. Here, to go with these minature daffodils, is one of my favourite poems.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

by William Wordsworth

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children - but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born.

~Garrett Hardin

I am angered and saddened by the fact that women, in the United States of America in the year 2006, are losing or having to fight to keep, the right to have abortions. No one has the right to tell any woman that she must be a mother. I fear that the end result of this change in policy will be more women dying, forced underground to obtain the abortions that they should have in safe, sterile and legal surroundings. What do you think?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It's My birthday

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

~e.e. cummings

"Today is my 48th birthday. For the first time in my life I feel that I am truly becoming the me I'm meant to be. As a child, I used to believe that this was "old", now I realise that I am still young, that I will grow old only when I let myself give up, give in or cease to believe in myself. I am enjoying the person I am becoming, or maybe who I have always been, deep inside, but couldn't recognise. So for everyone whose birthday is today, Happy Birthday. I hope that you all like the person you are becoming." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Conquering Fear

"Almost 15 years ago I was driving my sister's car in Jasper Park. I had her, my mom and my 2 children in it. It was raining and while carrying on a conversation, I slipped across the centre line and hit not one, not two, but three cars. No one was injured, but our car was totalled. In the years since, I have tried to drive on a couple of occasions, but I have always been terrified.

A week ago I reached a decision. I want to drive again. I don't want to let my fear control me. I have kept my driver's licence current, so that is not an issue. In the past week I have been out driving. Something surprising happened. I haven't been afraid. I think making up my mind that this is something that I really want is the key. If I want it, I won't let my fear overpower me.

Today I drove to the next town, on the back country roads and did just fine. It is a half hour drive and I actually enjoyed myself. My partner says that I am doing fine. It seems that driving is like riding a bike, once you know how, you don't ever forget. What fears have you overcome?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Going Green

"One of my new year's resolutions was to be more environmentally friendly. Well this is one resolution I am having success working on.

I hate all the plastic shopping bags one accumulates on a typical shopping day. We always reuse or recycle the bags, and when we aren't being forgetful, we even use cloth bags. For the grocery shopping though, we have found the ultimate in environmentally friendly ways to carry groceries.

You know how, when you want just a few groceries, you grab one of those convenient baskets to carry around the store with you? Well the store where I shop, the Atlantic Superstore, has them for sale. We bought 3 of them and that turns out just to be the right number to hold a week's worth of groceries. Now when we shop, no more shopping bags. As an added bonus the baskets fit into the car much easier than piling bags in and there are less trips carring all the groceries into the house.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


"Since I was a child I have made lists. Lists of things I like, lists of family members, lists of books I have read, lists of things I have started that I need to complete, lists of things to do each day. I have surrounded myself with lists. Unfortunately, they have all been on bits of paper which subsequently have gotten swallowed by the paper monster that breeds on my desk.

A few months ago I discovered 43things.com and I have since fallen in love with online lists. You can't loose them. You can't misplace them or misfile them. They are there online waiting for you to complete them or add to them.

Along with 43things there is 43places, 43people, allconsuming and
listsofbests. With these online lists you can lists places you have or want to visit and people you have or want to meet. At allconsuming you can lists books you've read, music you've listened to, food you've eaten and movies you have watched.

At listsofbests there are all kinds of lists that you can access and see how much you have completed of said list. Things like visiting all the provinces and territories of Canada, all the States of the United States, watching all the Academy Award Winners for Best Film, or best Actor. I am sure there is a list here to satisfy just about anyone and if you can't find one, well make your own!

I am sure there are probably more online lists out there. If anyone knows of any please let me know." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, March 13, 2006


"Before my daughter Sarah left home, she adopted a kitten whom she named Molly. This little thing has grown into a delightful cat with a real attitude. She keeps me laughting all day long. You're wondering why, if it is Sarah's cat, it is with me? Well it turns out that not only are Sarah's roomates allergic to cats, but so is she. Gee, all this time (Sarah's whole life) we have thought the running nose and watery eyes were from her plant allergies. Turns out it was also from the cats we have had all these years!

So Molly is now mine and she adds spice to my days, causes Sam, my other cat, anguish and the disciplinarian in Honey the dog ,to surface. Molly does something she shouldn't, I yell "Molly" and Honey comes running to make sure Molly gets the point. It can be rather chaotic at times at our house." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, March 12, 2006


"I have decided to push out the bounderies of my safe zone. In June I am going to do something I have never done. I hate going places by myself, even shopping. I seem to need the comfort and security that being with others brings but now I am going to go on a holiday by myself. A good friend of mine, in Victoria, is getting married and I have been invited to the wedding. I have decided to go. I will take the opportunity to visit my mother in Port Alberni and spend some time with her.

I have been tossing around the idea of going for over a month and finally realised that if I didn't commit, I would loose an opportunity to do some personal growing. So yesterday I took the bull by the horns and bought my plane ticket. At once I felt a sense of relief.

Once I make a decision, I find life so much easier to live. The decision made, I have no regrets or worries. Life can now gone on, I don't have to wonder if I should go or not go. I am going. YES!!! Here's to bravery and pushing on those boundaries we impose upon ourselves. What boundaries will you tackle this year?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quotes 2

" Here are some more quotes that resonate with me.

And the day came when the risk it took to remain;
tight inside the bud was more painful than the
risk it took to blossom"
- Anais Nin

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
- Helen Keller

When one is pretending the entire body revolts.
- Anais Nin

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The perspective, to say the least changes only with the journey.
- James Baldwin

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.
- Albert Einstein

To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway to the human spirit.
- Helen Keller

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
- Amelia Earhart

Travel is fatal to prejudice.
- Mark Twain

There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
- Jawaharlal Nehru

It is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worthwhile the journey.
- Wilfred Thesiger

One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere.
- Willa Cather

The real voyageof discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
- Marcel Proust

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.
- Martin Buber

The journeys that matter most to me are those that we take into ourselves, to discover who we are. What journeys do you take?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


"humor (hyoo-mor)) n. 1. the quality of being amusing. 2. the ability to perceive and enjoy amusement, sense of humor.

Because I have bought tickets to a number of events held at the Playhouse, Fredericton's art venue, we received 2 free tickets to Jamie Atkins! in Typo. This young man is a clown acrobat who puts on a delightful show that appeals to both adults and children. At least it appealed to the people in the audience this evening. I found it interesting what got the laughs. Slapstick comedy of the Charley Chaplin/3 Stooges type has never appealed to me personally. I don't get it. I can admire Jamie Adkins for his physical abilities, he can juggle, walk a rope and balance on a ladder in ways I would never contemplate. As was said in the introduction to the show, "Don't try this at home"! All this I could applaud, the humor behind the show, however, I didn't find humorous.

I sometimes wonder if there is a humor gene that I am missing." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Home Decorating

"When we bought our home, it was and still is, painted peach inside. All of it, every room upstairs is peach. The bathroom, office and kitchen floors had linoleum with little flowers on it. We have replaced the bathroom floor with beautiful ceramic tiles. The kitchen is next and we have decided on cork flooring. I think it will look beautiful. Now it's how to paint the place. Our home is open concept so the kitchen, living room and hall all flow together. I have no idea how to paint it.

To help us solve this dilemma we visited a home show last weekend. I talked to a interior decorator and she said the thing for us to do first is to decide on a new sofa if we need one. Then the paint colors for the rooms can be taken from our choice. Well we do need a new sofa, our was obtained second hand when we moved here. Has worked well, but won't go with a newly painted room, in the colors I would like.

So yesterday we went furniture looking/shopping. Most of the furniture stores in town were closed, it being Sunday and people here believing that Sunday should be a day of rest. However that didn't stop us and we found a lovely sofa that we could both agree on, that in itself is a minor miracle. The difficulty is not only did we like the sofa, we also liked the chair, coffee table, end tables etc. You get the picture. We want to replace our whole living room!!

Of course that is easier said then done. I need to work out whether or not we can afford to. Will the income tax refund be big enough? Can the credit card hold it? We need to buy wood for next winter, and I am planning a trip back to British Colunbia this summer. Will I feel guilty letting go of my solid maple furniture? Do I care? What about curtains? This home decorating appears to be a bottomless pit. All I wanted was a can of paint." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Saturday, March 04, 2006


"Sam's favourite perch. He likes to face the other way and look out the window and watch the world go by. He gets more use out of my bike than I do." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Taiko Drumming

"When we lived in Victoria we saw Taiko drummers from Japan. They were fantastic and when the opportunity came to see this group of drummers from Toronto, the Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble, I jumped at the chance. Wow, Canada should be proud. This group is great, the power of the drummers incredible, the music powerful. Well worth seeing if you get an opportunity.

For those of you who don't know, taiko drumming is from Japan, they were first used as battlefield drums. Their deep voices could be heard for great distances. Some of these drums can be meters across. I would love to hear this kind of drumming done outdoors, in the moonlight, on a warm evening. It would be the kind of experience that one would never forget." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, March 02, 2006


" I have loved reading and studying history since I was a little child. Anything from the past has always grabbed my attention. I spent 4 years obtaining a degree in Modern European History for no other reason than that it had captured my imagination like no other subject, and today, reading "Knocking on the Moonlit Door" I found the best explanation as to why.
..... those other shards of past worlds that linger, inescapable presences in the modern life of the Old World, still have a role to play. They assure us that we come from something, we are the product of centuries of beating hearts, not lonely castaways on alien shores. They are grappling hooks slung out by history to snag our imaginations and hold us fast, so that we may claim the solidity of the past to balance the incalculable future as we tread our small span in the march of time.

I satisfy my thirst for history these days by uncovering my past, hidden in the lives of my ancesters. They tell me who I am and where I come from. They are my roots and my soil. They anchor me in a world where I continually feel I don't belong. What anchors you?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

When I'm down 2

"As I mentioned yesterday there are a few songs that really resonate for me when I am feeling down. One is by a Canadian Artist I first heard a couple of years ago, Susan Aglukark. I love her music, the rhythem and the words stir my blood. Her songs are full of sadness and pathos.

Breakin'Down is a place I am sure most of us have spent some time. As a teenager I can remember thinking that either my whole family was crazy or I was. (I have since decided it is they who were extremely disfunctional!) I would lie in bed afraid that I was so lost that I couldn't possibly live anymore. The only solution I could think of was to go mad and then I wouldn't have to cope with anything. I thought that if I was just strong enough I could wall my mind off from the world and stay hidden inside of myself forever. I would imagine building a wall of bricks to surround myself and seal me inside. However I could never quite build it high enough to block things out. My natural tendancy to optimism would prevail and I would find myself back in the real world.

Anyway, Susan Aglukark's Breakin'Down reminds me of that time of my life and is a surefire way of getting me back into a good mood.
'I hide for days so comfortable
Within my lonely self
The world outside's too hard to take and here there's no one else
I'm fighting hard to keep these walls from tumbling down
Rock bottom's where I wanna be it's closer to the ground

And I'm breakin' down
Let me cross that line
Let me lose control
Go out of my mind
I've finally admitted that I just can't take it
I've reached my limit and I'm breakin' down

It's mind over matter
Which way do I go?
And do I trust myself enough to journey alone
And do I know which way to turn
if I'll turn at all
I've travelled down this road before this time it's my call
I don't know if others use forced sadness to regain hope but it works for me . . . Leonard Cohen, Susan Aglukark and The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan all serve me well. What helps you to go on when your life has no incentive?" I whisper.

Are you listening?