Friday, January 27, 2012

Burqas For Men

Hey my Beauties,

Maybe I should have picked a blue coloured burqa instead of the antique pink one for your dad? He loves pink so much... Not! (See Pink + Pink + Pink = Too Much Estrogen).
Truthfully, I don't even know where to begin with this entry. You see I don't want to end up on anyone's 'hit' list, and I don't mean the top 20 songs list.
"Men should wear burqas," this was the discussion at the dinner table the other night, "so they can see what it feels like!" Kalina, you had  read The Bread Winner by Deborah Ellis at school, and because you have such a deep organic understanding of right and wrong, you could see what burqas do to suppress the women of this world and I was amazed and so proud to be your Mom at that moment. Girls, you are learning so much these days, even about very controversial issues on suppressing a humans right to freedom. It comes in all forms, burqa's is just one of many.
My wish for you is to continue to see the injustices of this world, but use your wisdom to educate (like Deborah Ellis has in written word). Using anger to retaliate is a sign of weakness not strength. Making men wear burqa's would be kinda funny, but it would'nt solve the issue of supressing ones freedom. Education! Education! Education is the answer. (So, going to university is important, LOL! Just putting it out there).

I love you

To read more about 'The Bread Winner' by Deborah Ellis see

Here's a movie Called "The Canvas Prison" for those interested.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Who's Tracks Do You Follow?

Hey my Beauties,

I really enjoyed playing with you guys in the snow last week. It was great! I remember when I was a kid back in Ontario pretending to be an artic adventurer on a quest to find something, can't remember what, just that it was important for a 8 year old. My sisters and I would dig deep tunnels into the snow banks after the plow came around and these would be our igloos to protect us from the elements and enemies (boys). We would have at least 3 dozen snowballs, ready at hand, if one walked by.
Sometimes, when there was a snow storm, the snow would accumulate so high that it was about waist deep (for a 8 year old) and yes, I did have to walk to school, but not bare foot both ways up hill. We only lived about 3 blocks from the elementary school and in these times of deep snow, I remember my dad walking ahead of us forging a path for us to follow. Whenever I veered off course, the snow was too deep and although it was fun for a while to roll about in the snow I fell behind the troop, utterly exausted; it was hard work for my little legs. When I stumbled back on to my fathers path I was able to catch up and the way was a lot easier. Not that I was excited about the final destination (school). Maybe that's why I tumbled off the beaten path often and was late? LOL!

As you grow older, you are going to have a lot of questions about God, Faith and Jesus. When you ask these questions you will get a lot of different answers from a lot of different people who believe in a lot of different things. You may even question the existence of God? There's a lot of different idea's floating around out there and you may find yourself more confused than when you first started asking the questions. When you get to this point, you need to find yourself some stable ground before you sink into a deep icy crevasse.
I believe God sent Jesus to forage a path for us to follow, making life just a little bit easier when we follow and obey His insights, when we follow in his tracks. Just like my sisters and I did when we followed my dad in the deep snow.
When we veer off track, it maybe fun for a little while but we become easily exausted and get stuck in a deeply disoriented place full of the worlds confusion. When I follow His path, I can still ask the questions... and anyone who says he/she is following God and doesn't allow you to ask questions is really following their own legalistic path not Gods, don't follow someone elses messy path. Not mine, not your father's, not your sister's or friends. Follow Jesus and ask the questions. He will answer. He is the way, the truth and the light.

"I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives light." John 8:12

"If you continue to obey my teaching, you are truly my followers. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32

"I tell you the truth, whoever obeys my teaching will never die." John 8:51

Besides... the destination is kinda cool.

I love you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

GripOns - Snow Tires For Your Feet

Hey My Beauties,

Looks like a Winter's Wonderland outside... Not bad for the Wild West Coast (or should I say Wild Wet Coast). I've seen a couple of neighbours putting their Christmas lights back up this week. Looks pretty in the snow. Although it's been pretty cold and icy this week, that Artic Air Flow didn't last very long heh? It's raining again...
"Poo...Poo." I know you're saying. I know you want more snow. Every kid loves the snow, but I want you to know that not every adult hates it. I'm one of those adults who like snow (not for too long though). I love the crispness in the air, the white clean snow, the quiet when snow is falling, but I don't like the ice.
Last Monday, as I walked Angel, I found myself flat out on my derriere. I was walking gingerly over some crunchy ice and snow and the next minute, "BOOM!" I was down.
Now, if I was 20 years younger, I probably would have got up immediately, but I'm not 26 anymore and I found myself sitting there for a few minutes dazed and confused.
You see at 406...I mean 46... my brain takes a little more time to process 'what the heck happened' and then it needed to process what body parts were still working and what needed help. So after a few minutes making sure everything still worked (plus the realization that my bum was getting cold), I slowly got up and thanked God I wasn't 86.
When I told your father what happened he went out and bought me some Dakota GripOns to put over my boot. That's the one of the many things I love about your dad,  he is always making sure his family is safe.
Well, let me tell you... those grippy things really work. This past week walking on the ice was great. Each step I took was solid and sturdy and it gave me confidence. I began to throw caution to the wind and I even ran a few steps on the driveway ice rink.
"This is great!" With no more fear of falling down I power walked the dog around the block.

Ice is not the only thing that's going to make you fall in life. Someone we love says or does something that hurts our feelings; in anger someone we trust lashes out; circumstances seem negative around us and people we love get sick and die.
 Physically, mentally and spiritually we need GripOns to help us get through life. Keep us sturdy and to walk with confidence through the icy conditions life throws at us. Good friends to trust and talk to who keep us accountable with the actions and choices we make, loving mentors that hold us when we need a hug and a shoulder to cry on, but also let us go to explore and learn, and the knowledge that someone (no matter what we've done or bad choices we've made) loves us as we are.

By the time you actually read this blog, I'll probably be 86.
Can you do something for me girls? Bring two pairs of Dakota GripOns to the nursing home where your father and I are living. The one I have now will probably be worn out and I'd rather not fall and break a hip.

I love you!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shaping What We Think

How we think about our situation will usually end up shaping what we think about it. 
Daniel A. Brown

Positive or Negative...
I know you've heard this many times before beauties... but I have to say it again. This is one life lesson you need to 'get' before you go out into the world.
Attitude is everything.

"I can't do it."
"This is too hard."
"I'll never make it."

All negative attitudes. It won't get you very far in life.

"The pessimist's cup is half empty, the optimist's is half full, but the Christian's cup should always be full and running over." Rob Buzza

That was the lesson last Sunday at church. I though being an optimist was good enough, but it's not. The optimist may think his cup is 1/2 full but we still hold onto the liquid that's left and we don't give any of it away.
"Keep it, just in case. You never know when you might need it again."

Jesus taught us to, "...give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

Maybe our attitude should be to give that 1/2 away? And when we get to the point of being able to let go, that's when our cup overflows? Maybe the trick is to be in the attitude of giving, even when we don't think we could give anymore? Maybe that's when our cup will runneth over?

I love you

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Worth Knowing

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

So, my beauties... what is worth knowing? Why can't it be taught? You're probably thinking if it's worth knowing and it can't be taught then why do I have to go to school? LOL!
I will not be writing about how to skip school and still have an education. No this blog is not about dissing school or any other forms of education.
Today's blog is all about experience.
Look at the picture. You know this cat, don't you? Pharaoh, our bi-polar cat, has been with us for about 7 years now. Remember how cuddly she was at the SPCA? She would crawl right into your neck and purr in your ear; warm and friendly, we thought she was the nicest cat in the bunch. Then we brought her home.
"Help!" You would yell out while she backed you into a corner and bit at your ankles. Her looks and her actions at the SPCA were deceiving, she was a different cat at home.
We could have given up on her, like her last family, but we didn't. You guys worked out a plan to help each other out when the cat was on the prowl. If one of you was backed into a corner or being chased the other would throw a blanket over Pharaoh so your sis could get away. It was challenging at times, for there were moments when both of you were backed into that corner at the same time.
You know? You hugged each other a lot back then.
Pharaoh has changed over the years. We continued to love her, and take care of her, even though we didn't want to sometimes, because she could get pretty ornery. We had the scratches to prove it! So what made her change? I know age has a mellowed her out but, I believe unconditional love has played a major role in her turn around. We have changed as well. We learned to read her body language. We got to know when it was safe to touch her and when to let her go (when her teeth have a hold of your nose, it's a good sign to let her go). The two of you learned to work together to get out of a sharp situation.
Some things can't be taught, it is only through experience that we learn them. So, what is worth knowing? A great many things, and you have your whole life ahead of you to learn them. At least, thanks to Pharaoh you have had a good start. Helping your sister in times of trouble and loving someone who is unlovely at times.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hemlock Valley - Don't Follow Me... I'm not Jesus

To My Beauties,

I write this for you... my memories, my thoughts... just for you. As you and I get older, it seems the less time we spend together; which is normal, friends and activities are more important than hanging out with the folks, but lately, questions, I can't answer have plagued me and I end up wondering, " Have I taught them everything they should know? Have I equipped them to show courage and strength in this unforgiving world? Will they remember their manners when they go for a job interview? Will they  have compassion and a giving heart for those in need? Did your father and I do a good job in raising you? I know we've made mistakes, every parent has, but are you ready to go out into this world?
These questions and more I ask myself constantly. So my dears, this blog is for you. Memories of the adventures we share together, and all the other little insights and things I may have forgotten to teach you along the way.

Hemlock Valley - Don't Follow Me... I'm Not Jesus
Climbing the Ridge and Taking a Risk

Christmas 2011 was plagued by sickness. Started with the dog Christmas Eve and ended with Alora throwing up around New Years. Strep throat, stomach flu and whatever the dog had Christmas Eve (she was walking around drunk with a irregular heart beat). Needless to say, this holiday time off was not what we expected. We were supposed to go to Powell River for a 5 day New Years adventure with Nadyne and Joe, instead we had a 1 day Hemlock Valley unexpected risky trek.
"A warm drink in my hands, safely back to the car, beautiful mountain views, nobody dead, and the dog seems okay after that exhausting hike. Now give your mother a kick in the pants for making us climb up that mountain ridge," Rene said after our little trek.
Girls, you may even have heard him relay the biased one-sided details to your Uncle Kirk and Kevin last night at Nana's Party.
"She made us follow her," he told them, "no song or dance just a sweet and innocent 'follow me' and she lead us straight up the side of a massive mountain" he accused.
Before I go on, let me say something in my defense. Firstly, nobody made anyone do anything. Even Adam could have said NO to the tempting fruit, it wasn't Eve's fault that he took it and ate it. Yet for thousands of years Eve has been blamed for the fall of man (a woman doesn't have to be blamed for the fall of a man.... they do that quite nicely on their own thank-you very much... then again we could have been a little smarter?).
Secondly, I thought a walk might be more safe than picking at rocks in an avalanche area. There you were, the three of you, throwing boulders at a rocky overhang. Standing there, out of harms way, I could spot sudden rushes of small pebbly rocks periodically sliding by you. Then my imagination took hold and I pictured the huge mass of rock and shale falling on top, suffocating you. Instead of panic, I chose to aim your attention on a safer activity. Little did I know it wasn't much safer.
Thirdly, sitting inside for the past few weeks with an assortment of different bacteria pushing their way into our household, had left me feeling house bound, and a little cabin feverish. You know what song has been going on over and over again in my mind this past week?
"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere... I want it more than I can tell." sung by Bell in Beauty and the Beast. That's where my heart has been. I have missed our adventures. Life has been too busy, each one of us focused on our own separate adventures (school, work, horseback riding, swimming and volunteer work and then sickness). I have felt out of touch with you guys.
"This life should be our adventure together, not separate." this was my wish as I headed up the seemingly harmless path.
"If we head up this way we'll reach the ski slope and we can toboggan down it." Little did I know the ski slope was behind a straight vertical up hill climb that involved snow as deep as your waist and us lumbering with a sled and no snow shoes.
"This wasn't what I signed up for." Your father huffed at me, digging in the snow jet toboggan horizontally in front of him, giving him a hold to climb a few more steps. Yes, it was hard work, but I could see a twinkle in his blues eyes. Deep down he was enjoying this, I could tell. I was slowing down, but his pace quickened, so I moved out of the way and let him go ahead of me to break the path. Well girls, you followed him quickly and soon I found myself eating your dust, or rather in this case snow.
There I was, all alone, at a 45 degree angle on the side of a mountain, stuck to my hips in deep snow with a rocky canyon below me and a challenging climb above me. In true pacifist action I sat down as best as I could; with my left leg still dangling in a hole, I ate some snow and gave up defeated.
"How could they leave me?" I whined to myself, because... well... no one else was there. I found myself stuck between a rock and a hard place, literally with no one to help me out. I looked down at the rocky canyon below me and felt a moment of panic. It was at this low point when I remembered who was still with me, who in fact had never left my side nor will ever leave me.
"Okay... okay...this was a bad idea Lord. I'm so stupid. I hope my family forgives me. My chest hurts, my muscles ache, and physically I just don't feel like I can go on. Please give me the strength to climb the rest of the way up." I prayed, then I looked up and the view was amazing.
All this time climbing I was so focused on the hard climb above me and the steepness of what I had climbed below me, that I forgot to look up and see the view. It was a hard and tired journey, much like life.
I pictured life as a mountain that each of us must climb and I realized when we focus on how hard it is and continually ask, 'how much further do we need to climb? We concentrate on how steep and scary life is and let fear and resentments take hold. This attitude is enough to make us fall and or give up.
Some people fall and roll back down into the canyon and hurt themselves badly in the process. Some people fall down but sit where they are and give up, never getting back up again. Some people fall, take a rest, eat some snow and keep climbing. It was at this point, filled with determination to never ever find myself in the first two categories of people, that I turned myself around, pulled my leg out of the hole and climbed.
"Thank-you for the beauty,
Thank-you for my life,
Thank-you that I may take part in this adventure." I repeated over and over again as a mantra until I reached the top.
"We waited for you Mom." There you stood Kalina, your smile and rosy cheeks warmed my heart as I flopped down beside you guys.
"What took you so long?"Your father asked me.
"Stopped to look at the view," I felt a small stirring of irritation, a grumble awoke.
"Do you realize that every step I took in your tracks made me sink hip deep? Do you know how much effort it took to pull my legs out of a hole that big? Every second @#$&%#@ step... I sank into a hole!"
"Why did you follow my steps then?" he smiled, "I'm not Jesus."

The Journey

It's good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.
Ursula K. LeGuin

2012 A New Year filled with new possibilities.

Welcome to my New Blog.

Stay tuned... a new blog coming soon.