Friday, June 30, 2006

Holiday 2

"Well, I am almost finished my holiday. I head back to Victoria on Sunday and fly out for Moncton on Monday morning at 7am. I can't believe that I will actually be up that early in the morning, it will have to about 4:30, in order for me to catch my plane. I have had a wonderful 2 weeks here with my mom, have met her lovely friends and will meet my cousins from the states this evening. I am really looking forward to it.

I am also looking forward to going home. I miss my bed, my kids, my partner and my pets, not neccesarily in that order! I will come home to a newly painted living room and kitchen. Can't wait to see it, everyone says that it looks great. Bob has planted some tomatoes and herbs, will be good to see how they have grown. Will have fun catching up with my friends and seeing the difference 3 weeks makes in the landscape. That is one thing I really love about New Brunswick, everyday the countryside looks different, after three weeks it will be quite a bit different.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

On Holiday

"I haven't been posting as I am taking the first holiday by myself that I have ever had. I left Fredericton on June 14th, had a 2 hour drive to Moncton. Saw three deer, one moose and a bald eagle on the way. It was a thrill to see the moose, it was a young one standing just off the road. It made my day. I found the Moncton airport interesting, you can buy live lobster to take with you! Too bad I didn't know my friend Jeanne wanted one, I would have had the thrill of carrying a live lobster across Canada!

The trip across Canada went very well, I wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought that I would be. In fact, I wasn't nervous at all, I should have done this years ago! Though, I might have reacted differently then. Now I was ready for the trip. Most of Canada was covered in clouds, so I didn't get to see much, got some great pictures out of the plane window of various cloud formations though. Missed not seeing the Rockies, I hope that it is clear when I fly home.

I spent 4 1/2 days in Victoria. My friends Jeanne and Jim and their children Erika and Cameron picked me up at the airport and took me to my hotel to check in, then took me out for a delicious dinner at the Strathcona Hotel. It was great seeing them again. Over the next couple of days I saw a bunch of my old friends, took a walk through Chinatown, did lots of shopping and picture taking, attended my friend Carolyn's wedding to another Jim and then had a nice day with my friend Marie, the mother of my daughter's friend Crista that died last year. I have written about her in an earlier posting. Marie has a delightful grandson and is doing well, I was glad to see.

Monday I took the bus to Port Alberni to visit my mom. It has been three years since I have seen her. I can't believe how little she has gotten. It makes her mortality very apparent. I can't imagine life without her. I am so glad I came to visit. I have told her I will come and visit again in January. I hope it gives her an incentive to take care of herself. She really doesn't, as she is alone all the time and gets very depressed and lonely.

I am here until July 2nd. I have cousins coming from the States on the 30th to meet me. I am looking forward to that. Then I will return to Victoria, spend the night at Jeanne and Jim's and then fly back to Moncton, arriving at 11pm. Won't be home until about 2am. I hope I get to see the mountains as I fly across them. They are breathtaking and the real symbol of British Columbia.

Hope you all have a great holiday, whenever you take yours. I sure am!" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday's Woman

"My interaction with the two Muslim women I tutor in English, has given me an interest in Islam. I have been doing a lot of reading as a way to discover why the west has such a negative image of Islam and why most Muslims keep stating over and over, "we are NOT all terrorists, that is not Islam, they are not Muslim." My site of the week is The Muslim Woman's League.

This weeks Friday's Woman is Shirin Ebadi, not only the first muslim woman but the first Iranian citizen to win a Nobel Prize. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. She has worked long and hard for the rights of women and children. After the fall of the Shah and the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, she lost her position as a judge and was reassigned as a clerk for the courts. She retired and was unable, as a woman to practice as a lawyer. Finally in 1993 she was able to get her license and began to take on many social cases involving women and children. Shirin Ebadi is also an author, writing in books on topics related to law and individual rights. Shirin Ebadi is a woman all women can feel proud of," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


"Continuing with my thoughts of yesterday, I got to wondering why it is that the western world reacts so strongly against the wearing of the burqa by many muslim women. I, again, think that as well as the belief that it is a symbol of the subjgation of women, it could be motivated by fear. Why fear? you might ask.

I am going to make a comparision here, that in no way is meant in a derogatory way. To dogs, their bodies are their chief means of communication. Their ears and tails give a great deal of information to other dogs, depending on the position of the above body parts. For dogs that have their ears and tails mutilated in an attempt to satisfy certain reguirements that some humans feel are needed, communication becomes a problem. They cannot signal to other dogs what their intent is, and obviously, other dogs cannot understand their intent. This causes fear and therefore aggression in other dogs. If you don't understand or know what the other dog is communicating it becomes a threat.

Now, back to humans and burqas. Body language is equally important for us humans. A lot of non verbal communication goes on when we are having a conversation. We watch each others faces, hands, shoulders, in fact the entire body, to also decifer what someone is trying to communicate. If you can see nothing of the person, how can you know what she is thinking? It is the unknown that people fear and a woman completely covered and invisible is the unknown and therefore to be feared.

I believe that all people need to realise that most dislike and anger is rooted in fear and that fear is caused, most often, by the unknown. Once you understand this you can then begin to put aside your fear and anger and hatred and begin to see that we are all the same under whatever we might wear. We are people, living our lives the best we can, under whatever circumstances we might find ourselves, believing whatever we might believe. We are really no different, one from another, whether we are in a bikini or a burqa, whether we are Muslim, Christian, Jew or Pagan.

Do you represent the unknown? Could someone be afraid of you?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

"Last night I went to the movies and saw "The Da Vinci Code". The reaction by the Catholic Church to this book and movie has made me think about what motivates people and organizations. I believe that when anyone has a over the top reaction to something, like this book and movie, it is genearally motivated by fear. I believe that for Catholics, and other christians that might come out against this work of fiction, who have a strong and tested belief in their faith, this should in no way pose a threat. If you really believe something, then you should be able to be exposed to other ideas that might be different from yours and retain your beliefs. It is only if your belief is shaky, founded on "truths" that cannot hold up to scrutiny, that you can be moved.

I believe that if your beliefs are never tested, you cannot truly believe something. You are just accepting what you have been taught without thought and without effort. It is only through close examination of both your beliefs and alternative ones, that you can really KNOW that you are correct. It is like saying that chocolate is the only/ best flavour of icecream, if you have never tasted anything else, how can you know? That might be a simplistic example, but I think it makes my point.

If the Catholic church is so afraid of "The Da Vinci Code" that it sees it a as a threat, that can only mean that the church itself feels on a shaky foundation." I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, June 04, 2006


"It has been raining for two days. I don't mean a gentle spring rain. I mean a downpouring of endless rain, hour after hour, pelting against the roof, the windows, the ground. The kind of rain that no one wants to be out in, not even our dog. The rivers and streams are swollen, pregnant with the runoff from upstream, flooding their banks, encroaching on fields and roads. This is the kind of rain where you wonder if it will ever stop. It is like the heavens are crying and cannot be consoled. I watch the news and it is not just here, in parts of China the roads are flooded 4 metres deep with water. If it flooded that much here, I would not be writing this, my home would be under water. Where would I go, what would we do? We are so lucky to live where we do for we are safe here. It is only rain, that will end, the ground will dry and live will go on without disruption. Not so for the thousands in China who have lost their homes. May they find a safe haven from the heavens," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday's Woman

Today's link to a site about women is The Celebration of Women Writers, a site that "recognizes the contributions of women writers throughout history. The Celebration provides a comprehensive listing of links to biographical and bibliographical information about women writers, and complete published books written by women."

"This Friday's woman is the first woman historian, Anna Comnena. Anna, the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, lived from 1083-1153. She was a well educated woman, learned in the classics, music, science and mathematics as well as astronomy and medicine. After her husband's death in 1137 Anna moved to a monastery where she spent the rest of her life. Here she wrote a 15 volumn work, The Alexiad, on her father's reign, that included information on medicine and science as well as information on other women of the period. Anna lived in a time where women were expected to remain secluded, taking care of family matters only, so to write a great work, commenting on the political and scientific accomplishments of the time is an incredible accomplishment. The Alexiad was first translated into English in 1928 by Elizabeth Dawes. As a lover of history, I intend to read this book and learn about this marvellous woman," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Today is the first day of the month of June, named after the Roman Goddess Juno. Juno had many names, among them Moneta or "warner". She protected the city by warning of times of danger. Because of one of these occasions she was made the matron of the Roman mint and her name "Moneta" gave us the word "money". She was also the goddess of time, she was a symbol of the menstrual cycle as time's indicator. She was the ruler of femininity, its very essence. June is still the most favoured month for getting married as Juno ruled marriage as well as all aspects of the reproductive live of women. A perfect goddess for a woman to worship", I whisper.

Are you listening?