Monday, May 29, 2006


"Above our garage is a beautiful one bedroom apartment. The first wo years we lived here, our son had it as his place. Last September after our daughter moved out, our son took over her room in the basement and we rented the apartment to a lovely young woman who is taking law at the University of New Brunswick. She moved out this month. She loved the apartment but found it too far from town for getting together with her friends. She was an excellent tenant except for one wee thing. She left the heat on and the windows wide open all winter. Boy does that put up the hydro bill! (It is included in the rent.)

We rented the apartment to an exceptionally polite man, a single dad with 2 daughters who visit him every other weekend. We traded two weeks of rent for him painting our living room while I'm on holiday next month. I can't be around the smell of paint, it makes me ill. Now he is having trouble with his car, doesn't have the money to fix it. I am wondering about the rent money due in 3 days. Will he have that?

It is difficult when people are so polite and friendly, like both of these tenants. It makes it hard to stand up to them and tell them what is acceptable and what isn't. If they were horrible people I would have no problem saying "Close the windows when the heat is on", or "the rent is due NOW!". But when they are nice and polite and friendly, you hate to appear pushy or bossy. At least I don't like to. It can be hard to stand up for yourself and it doesn't get any easier the older you get. Having a daughter who has had problems paying her rent this past year, I am also sympathetic to someone who has problems. But if the rent isn't paid on time where do we get the money we need to pay our bills? This being a ladlord is hard'" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday's Woman

"Today's link to a site about women is Distinguished Women of Past and Present a site with biographies and links to other information about women from around the world.

This Friday's Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft. This remarkable lady has been called the first feminist. She penned her book "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" in 1792, long before women had any rights at all. She fought against a "social situation in which some improperly privileged and educated men systematically denied education and autonomy to women." In a period where women were suppose to deny their sexuality, she had relationships with 2 men. She believed that women had a right to education, legal and political roles, as well as sex, affection and esteem and she was willing to defend her believes. In the 200 years since the publication of her book, women around the world are still having to fight for these same rights. We really haven't come very far, have we?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Red Hats

"When I started this blog back in November I was searching for ways to enrich my life, to find people to be part of my life so I would not feel so isolated and alone. I have been very successful I think. One of the groups I have become connected with is a delightful group of women called the Divine Divas of the Red Hat, a local chapter of the international group the Red Hat Society. Although the Red Hat Society is for women age 50 and above, if younger women want to join (like me, only "48"), they can, they just wear pink hats and lavender clothes instead of the red hats and purple clothes. There is no point to the group except to have fun. That is what makes it so nice. Women have a tendency to always be helping others, doing very little just for themselves. Well this group isn't like that. We do things just for fun. Tonight we had a potluck supper at one of the members homes. It was delicious and the company was wonderful. Lots of good conversation and laughs. I am very glad I found this group of women." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Clothes Shopping

"I am going to be attending a good friend's wedding in June. I wanted to wear a dress and as I don't have one (I am basically a jeans and t-shirt kind of person), I decided to check out one of my favourite stores Coldwater Creek. I have loved their clothes for years, the arrival of their catalogue always a source of joy. It is beautifully put together and I can dream for hours over the pages. I have never had an occasion I thought was fitting for their clothes. Now I do and I thought I was worth the money and so would indulge.

Imagine my disappointment, when after spending hours perusing the pages, learning about different body shapes and what type of clothes look good with what type of body, after finally making a decision and picking up the phone to order, to find that my body dimensions wouldn't fit into any of the dresses I had chosen. If they fit in the bust, they wouldn't in the waist. If they fit in the waist, they wouldn't in the bust. I don't think I am odd shaped, in fact I look alot like most 48 year old women, a little on the plump side, but not fat. My problem is I have both hips and a bust! If I was smaller busted I could find a dress to fit. If I was smaller waisted I probably could. The fact that I take a petite doesn't help either. There is not as much choice if you are 5'4" and under.

There has to be a dress out there somewhere that I could fit but I guess I won't find anything before I leave for B.C. so will have to settle for pants and a top, at least that way I can get something that fits both halves of me. Now of course the question will be, can I find something I like? Oh it is hard being a middle aged female who NEVER finds clothes she likes that fit", I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday's Woman

"I am always learning things and one of the most important things that I have learned is that women don't get the credit they deserve for the things that they have done. So as my little way to help educate the masses about the wonderful and courageous women that have dared to push the boundaries of what is acceptable for a woman to do, I have decided that each Friday I will post something about a woman I consider worthy of recognition. I will also include a link to a website that has to do with women. Today's link is to a Canadian website CoolWomen, a site about women who have "played a part in shaping Canada".

This Friday's Woman is MADGE GRAHAM the first Canadian woman to fly in an airplane. She interests me because my mother's sister Rachel, at the age of 14, was the first female to fly in an airplane in Independence, Kansas back in 1928. She saved her pennies so that she could take a ride in a plane flown by a "barnstormer", a man who flew from town to town offering rides to people in the new mode of transportation, the airplane. Today's blog is dedicated to all those brave women who stepped out of their roles and took on the skies. This photograph is curtesy of the Government of Canada's digital collections.

What brave and wonderful woman do you admire?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Old Friends

"When I rediscover a book or piece of poetry it is like a reunion with an old friend, welcome, comfortable and oh so right. Here is one such "old friend".
The World is too much with us, Late and Soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon
Getting and spending,we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The sea that bares her bosum to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.- Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I ,standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

-William Wordsworth

What old friends do you enjoy rediscovering?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Flower Moon

"Last night was the full moon. As darkness descended over our property, my partner built a fire in the firepit. We sat and watched the moon rise. At first she was brilliant orange, but as the minutes past, she became a glowing white. She came up slowly, moving across the horizon quicker than she climbed into the sky. We sat and watched as she climbed higher, shining through the birches like a beacon in the sky.

The night air was warm and smelled so good. The frogs were singing in the bogs behind our property. As the night progressed the whip-er-wills began to call, their eerie song slipping through the night. I watched the fire, the sparks dancing up into the darkness like little bits of the sun from whence they originally came. The fire crackled, hissed and roared intermittently, the smell of cedar scenting the night air.

Our dog Honey pushed deeper under my chair, not liking the nights sounds, probably wishing she was in her bed, wondering what we were doing out in the dark. She is a real scaredy cat when it comes to the night.

Finally, as the fire died, the moon was high above the horizon sending a beam of wonderous light down the path through our woods. We followed the light until we could see her, no longer blocked by the trees, but riding high in the sky. It sends a thrill through me, to know that no matter how long this patch of earth is ours, we will always be able to see her, she will never be blocked by buildings, her light denied us.

There is a secret hour of the night
when the goddess rises in the moon,
the great queen of all humanity,
full of power and majesty.
She shines on us, and all of us
are enlivened by her. All of us:
animals, both wild and tame,
and plants and trees, and even
rocks and clouds and oceans,
for everything has its rhythm,
everything has its ebbs and flows.
Whether in the air, on earth, or
beneath the sea, everything is hers.

-Apuleius, The Golden Ass

Do you watch the full moon rise?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, May 12, 2006

New Life

"Yesterday my friend from Libya gave birth to her baby, a 7lb 4oz little boy. He is beautiful. For those who haven't read previous entries my friend is a 23 year old girl who is here with her husband who is going to university. I have been tutoring her in English. She is making remarkable progress in a very short time. She has taken an English class at the university so she knows grammer etc. So she and I talk about all kinds of things instead of me having to teach her. She had expressed concern over the fact that she really knew nothing about what went on when one has a baby. Unfortunately, she was in labor for 14 1/2 hours and had a very hard time. But like mothers before her, she survived and now has the reward that is worth all the pain and anguish, her beautiful, healthy baby boy. What a perfect Mother's Day present. Congratulations Ahalm and welcome to the world little Ayoub. May your life be filled with nothing but joy", I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, May 11, 2006


"I love this time of year. I keep track of when I start seeing different birds and animals. It is amazing how close to the exact day they appear every year. Two days ago I looked out at my feeder and there were the first American goldfinch of the year! I love seeing their beautiful yellow bodies flitting around the yard. This time of the year they are instantly recognizable. In the fall, they can be mistaken for falling leaves. Sometimes I have dozens of them clustered on the niger seed feeder. Their little bodies crowd against each and jostle for a place on the feeder, falling off and pushing back on. Right now though, there is only one pair.

There has been the sweetest little brown rabbit in the yard munching on the delectable broad leaf plants that invade the grass. I love seeing the various things that come up so I don't use herbicides on the lawn. I leave the dandilions, johnny jump ups, plantains and other things to grow, knowing that they are a source of food for various animals that come and share themselves with me.

For 3 days now a little groundhog has been making an evening tour of the yard. It starts off next to the fence, but the pickings are slim there, mainly moss, so it works it's way closer to the house. The dandilions seem to be it's favourite. I don't mind, as long as it leaves a few so I can pick the bright yellow flowers to give my budgies as a special spring time treat. They love to eat the stems.

Unlike the bunny, the groundhog is very timid and will run at the slightest unfamiliar noise. Boy can it move fast, it is across the yard and under the fence in no time. It stops there and looks back feeling safe with the fence between it and the lawn. If nothing else fightens it, it comes back for more, but if it is still unsure, it is down the hole into it's burrow and I don't see it again until the next day. What animals visit you", I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, May 08, 2006


"Today is a beautiful day, a perfect spring day, blue sky, sunshine and warm temperatures. I worked on our path across the lawn from the gate to the arbor. Yesterday we went to the river and collected river rocks to line it with. Today I laid them out along the path. All that is left is to buy the cedar wood chips or nuggets as they are called here in New Brunswick to make the path. We will gradually do that over the summer as the money is available. Have a bunch of rocks left that will do perfectly for outlining a memory garden I want to build to the side of the house among the pines. A nice surprise, now we don't have to go collecting any more.

My mom called from Victoria to say hi. As seems usually these days we had a few words over political stuff, chief among them Iran and it's quest for nuclear power. She believes what she sees reported on CNN and as that is the only news she watches, she has nothing to compare it with. I, on the other hand watch Canadian news, CNN, read online newspapers like the BBC, Times Online and The New York Times, and various other international papers. I also read political blogs. I get my news from various sources and therefore feel that my opinions are based on a little more sense of the truth than are hers. After we talked, I went online and the first thing I read on Yahoo News was that a British politician might, just might, have been demoted due to his stance against the American and British plan to bomb Iran with nuclear weapons if another terrorist attack happens in the United States. That was not a nice surprise. Made for a rather unpleasant hour or so.

Then my partner Bob, got home from work. He is not the most romantic man in the world by a long shot. He is a good, kind person, but not romantic. I always meet him on the porch as he gets out of the car. And today when he got out of the car he had with him, for me . . . . . flowers!!! This is momentous. In the 14 years we have been together I have received flowers maybe 6 times at the most, including today. But today, when he stopped at the grocery store for lettuce he saw these beautiful yellow tulips, thought he should buy them for me but walked on past. Then turned around, went back and got them! They are beautiful. They were the best surprise of the day, all the more precious because such a surprise is so rare. He made my day.

Wouldn't it be better if politicians and countries could hand each other flowers instead of angry words and threats and guns and bombs and war? Reminds me of a poster from the early seventies, a girl sticking a daisy in the barrel of a gun held by a soldier. Wouldn't humanity have a better chance of survival if we gave each other flowers," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Reaching Out

"Wednesday I visited with my friend from Iran. I call her my friend because she is a lovely lady and I think she will make a wonderful friend. I have volunteered to help her with her English, but what she really needs is a friend. She has found the people of Fredericton very cold and in no way willing to show friendship. I find this so sad, not only for her, but for the people she has tried to befriend. A person grows so much by reaching out and touching others.

Today my partner and I dropped of a copy of The Arabian Nights in English. She was brought up on the stories in Persian, so reading them in English will not be difficult, she will be able to learn vocabulary easily. I had just intended on dropping the book off, but she invited us in and I am so glad I accepted. We spent a wonderful 2 hours talking. She shared a book of pictures of Iran with us and we got to see what a wonderful and beautiful country it is.

It is amazing how little we know of the rest of the world. This was born out further to me tonight as I chatted with a new friend on icq. She is from Guyana. I knew nothing about this country until I started chatting with her a couple of weeks ago. Tonight she told me more and then I googled it. 50% of the population are descended from East Indians brought over as indentured workers to work the sugar plantations after slavery was abolished. Who would have guessed that a South American country would have such a large poplulation of East Indians? I love learning all that I do by reaching out to others. They are as in need of companionship as I am and together we can help each other be not so alone", I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Online Magazines

"I subscribe to a number of online magazines. I love reading them, they offer an alternative viewpoint to almost everything that one finds in our daily newspapers. One of my favourites is Grist Magazine. Today there was an article on an American soldier who studied the birds of Iraq while he was stationed there. Check it out in the article Wing Man.

Another favourite of mine is Mother Jones. Yesterday I was shocked to read this article on American Vets. I certainly hope that Canada's veterans are treated better by their government than American vets are treated by the government of the most powerful country in the world. Did you know that there are 400,000 homeless veterans in America. Men and women who have served their country, given up chunks of their lives for their country and then end up homeless, on the streets without the medical or psychiatric care they require. It is beyond shameful.

I love these magazines. Would love to find more like them. Does anyone have any good links? Please share them if you do." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, May 01, 2006

My Visitors

" I admit I am a naturally curious person. That is one reason I read, because everything interests me. I like to talk to people, find out what they think because people interest me. I am curious about what goes on in their heads, why they act the way they do, what do they think. So it seems only fitting that I am curious about the people who visit my site, who are you, how did you find me, will you be back, what do you think of what you read, do you have a blog, what's it's name, would you like me to read yours?

So in the interests of satisfying my curiousity I would like everyone who reads this entry to please leave a comment, I don't care what you say, just let me know that you have been here. Thank you in advance and hope you have a great day." I whisper.

Are you listening?