Monday, December 29, 2008

Organizational Theme

I think that my theme for the coming year is organization... everything is pointing me in that direction... what I think, what I feel and what I am given. My favorite Christmas presents this year are plastic containers to organize my rocks and a beautiful bag to house my aromatherapy gear, complete with plastic bags that Velcro to the sides of it to hold oils and a beautiful purple and green box to house all of my essential oils, safely, uncontaminated and easily transportable... and a small penguin change purse to hold my bus tokens.. I am going places and getting organized! (I also got some other sweet stuff like a food dehydrator, toys and new jammies for resting in after I am organized.. hehe)

All this thinking about organization made me think of the most organized woman I have ever met, my, "Everything has a place, everything in it's place", Mother. I remember my Mother saying exactly, "Alright, lets get organized!" before embarking upon any chore. Big or small, it did not matter, she said it. For every job she had a method and system that worked for her. She chipped away at each task methodically and with purpose. I cherish the pieces she shared with me because each gem is totally transferable to my life.. like "clean the bathroom first, it is the smallest room in the house and you fee like you have accomplished something... one room complete". And, "If the kitchen is clean, then the whole house feels clean". She also taught me that some things are necessary evils and the task you like the least you should do first. For each person that evil is different.. mine is dishes.. but when I look at them as a necessary evil the task is less daunting and I am happy to have clean dishes because I love to cook and eat. This logic, applied to my life became, "Change the way you see something and it becomes less stressful and difficult".

My Mother's system was her own, and from the outside it seemed unfathomable. But then, that is the beauty of Mother's. We do not always understand what they mean on the surface, especially when they teach by modeling or through metaphor. Then one day a task presents itself that we do not know how to handle and there is our Mother alive and well in our subconscious saying, "lets get organized" and it all falls into place. I think she was teaching me about controlling what I can and not worrying about what I can not. And that the only thing I can truly change is how I approach a situation. The only real control I have is over me in this moment.

From the outside her system did not always make sense to me, but it didn't have to, it only had to work for her. After all, it was her system. Just like, what became my system did not always make sense to her. She did, however, have the good sense to continue to teach by doing and not by outwardly judging. Even though it sometimes felt like it, I have realized that that part was how I felt about my system not being good enough, not about her or her imposing her will on me.

And for each of us, part of the organizing is finding what works and what doesn't. And that is life, sorting and discarding that which doesn't work anymore and finding new solutions. In this right now, its a black and white case and plastic and wood containers to transport my new career from place to place.

And here I am, 2 years after she died, Mama continues to teach me about how to organize my life. That, my friends, is the mark of a great Mother. My ardent wish is that I can be that kind of Mother to my children. I best get organized!

Mary Robina Robinson Donovan (January 31,1924 to January 4,2007)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joyous Festivus!!

What a year... after 48 of them, most looking similar, I am convinced that I am not to lead an ordinary life... and I have come to see how joyful that can be.... so many wonderful things have happened this year to be grateful for.. my moving to Toronto to attend school and the support I have received around that from family and friends, and Government.. Thank you.... Zechariah finding his profession in plumbing and a great company in Mark Campbell's plumbing... Thank you.... Emma and her job at the Hammond River Market, which she loves... Thank you... Hanna's successful last year at KVHS... Thank you... and Dale's moving into my house to look after things while I am away at school... Thank you... Of course I miss Mary as much as ever and today I began to think about her joyful face and her playing Santa on Christmas mornings... She loved to make people smile.... my Mom and Dad, who I love dearly... remembering all the funny things about them and the holidays and oh how it warms my heart.. looking back at my childhood and the quirks and quarks of my brothers and sisters, all of whom I have the deepest appreciation for and admiration of.. even with all the trials and tribulations, I feel blessed to have each of you in my life.. there is not a day that goes by that I do not give thanks for who I am and who I have become... thank you for your part in supporting the me I am today.

I wish each of you a year filled with Peace and Harmony and Joy!
Love and Hugs

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It may look like a roller coaster from the outside but the inside of me is peaceful and calm and happy. I woke this morning thinking about choices and that it is our choice what we feel when we feel it... it was way more poetic in my dream, of course, but you get the gist. What I have learned to do with thoughts that upset me or are negative.... I hear them out, tell them they do not serve my higher good and send them off... some stay gone and some are a little more persistent, however, most leave and over time it beings to get lighter int here... roomy almost... most days I walk around joyfully experiencing with out thought or judgment.. happily floating in the moment... it really is wonderful... then there are times where I choose to sort stuff out and replay memories or plan for the future, but not while I am otherwise engaged. It works for me and I can not believe how joyful I feel most days.

Then I got out of bed and was singing... Bob Marley "Is this Love that I am feeling"... it is not for any particular thing or person but for everything and this glorious connection to the Universe that I feel surrounds me with love and support and light. I am so very grateful for this internal journey I am on. I feel settled, peaceful and loved... awesome!

The Christmas season has begun. I went to a great party Thursday night with a classmate and then to a drag bar... what a hoot... I love to dance... and today we are having a cookie bake and exchange... Oh what fun it is to ride! I am sure there are a billion other things to say, but for now I have to go and get my self ready for shortbread cookies:-)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

2 years....

Today is like any other day. I missed her yesterday, last week and 2 months ago. I miss her today and will, most probably, miss her tomorrow and next week and the week after that. Nothing has changed except how much I feel it physically. What was once a sharp stabbing debilitating pain in my chest has been replaced with numbness. I breathe in and out, just like before. I breathe in and out. It is only when I think about it too intensely that the pain of my broken heart resurfaces. It is more like a memory than an actual pain. Maybe I am suffering from phantom heart pain, like those who loose a limb. You still feel it energetically even when it has left you. Maybe that is why anniversaries are worse, because we think the pain back into being. It is our designated day to talk about our losses. We have set this day aside in our calender to feel. We prepare ourselves for the worse, and then everyone feels it with us. We become united in that memory of pain and relive the day, over and over. Nothing has changed, except the scope of our memory. Details emerge, but are they real or created?

We do that with more than grief. We hash and rehash life's minutiae daily. As if looking at it, yet again, will bring us this desired clarity or ending. Reality is that the only thing that keeps it alive is our capacity to regurgitate memory and manipulate it to either make us feel better or worse depending on our point of view at the moment, or the trigger. History is subjective.

48 years and a trillion memories. The choice is mine what I relive. I choose this moment with a heaping helping of fresh out of the oven hot bread, thick butter, smiling hungry faces and laughter. And I continue to breathe, in and out.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


2 years ago tomorrow...

DONOVAN, MARY (May 28, 1991 - November 30,2006) Oh my darling girl, you are missed today and everyday with an intensity that defies description. Your courage strength and sacrifice continue to teach us about love, joy, friendship and family and we are grateful for having had you in our life. Love Mom, Zech, Emma and Hanna

Friday, November 28, 2008


Let go

I feel stuck, stalled, unable to move.
Located in my gut is a petrified place.
A dark dull grey room that threatens to topple if I move.
I am trapped in the middle, with a foot on either side
trying desperately to find the right balance.
The look of desperation on my face is alarming.
Nightmares are made of this.
I am a lone performer on this internal stage.
The curtains are drawn, and yet, the show goes on.
I am trapped in balance and it is exhausting.

I want to let go.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


2 years... doesn't it go by in a flash... it seems just like yesterday I was walking the halls of Sick Kids not sure of out comes... not much has changed, except I know the outcomes of that situation.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spiral Tattoos and other things.

There is no beginning, no middle, no end. Existence is one continuous, ever changing dance. Peace is, learning to flow with that dance. There are maze-like twists and turns, corners of confusion, slides and gentle slopes. There are many layers to grow through and ancient wisdom's to uncover in the spiral of a single breathe. There is that which sustains human life; land and sea and sky. And in that human life, there is birth, death and rebirth. There is pain and sorrow and hope. And nothing looks like what we think we want. That which sustains us while learning to dance is a belief in continuity and reason. We start out slow and as our soul gains momentum it widens and exponentially increases speed ( ). Our size changes until our soul is one with all that is. We are, at the same time, nothing and everything in an eternal dance of Love. Peace is surrender to the joy of the dance.

Hanna arrived yesterday. What joy it is to have someone to take care of. I do love being a Mom.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The day loss began...

I had never been close to child death, I was not even sure how one managed it really and 2 years ago today, with the loss of our darling little friend, Zoë I began to get a sense of not only what was to come in my life, but what was to be the most painful thing a parent can experience, the death of their child. Today feels different than last year, I am not as tied up in knots. I am not as apprehensive about what is to come and I am not running from my emotions. Hold on for a bumpy ride. The up side this week is that in 6 sleeps Hanna comes for a week and I am ecstatic, over the moon like a flying loon... hehe We have a whirlwind week planned that includes dinners with family and friends, new tattoos, a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum and to the opening of the next big movie thing, "Twilight". Like this last 2 years, it all goes by in the blink of an eye.

My love and heart is with Jenn and Chris and Jaxon today as they spend the day with family and friends making sense of their loss. I will be with you in spirit my dear friends.

GUIMOND, ZOE- In loving memory of our princess Zoë who passed away November 9, 2006 after a devastating battle with cancer. You taught us the meaning of life, the breathtaking depths of love, the power of courage and the importance of hope even in the darkest times. Love you forever and ever and ever... MOMMY, DADDY, JAXON, AUNT BETH and UNCLE PATRICK

GUIMOND, ZOE - Tomorrow it will be 2 years since your spirit journey began. May you float on fairy wings Princess Butterfly. Love Patty, Zech, Emma and Hanna Donovan

Friday, October 31, 2008

Human on hold..part 2

I am struggling to accept my humanness and would rather be spirit.. that is not to say I would rather be dead... leaving those I love behind would be too painful.. but the draw of divine with one of my children on the other side is very desirable... I think I am supposed to learn balance in this too... how to be both fully human and fully spirit... equally... not being consumed by either at the expense of the other.

Balance has been a major theme in my life. It is always balance I learn.. not to be consumed by any one thing and when I do the Universe pulls me back, sometimes aggressively, to teach me about balance... in the deepest pain and the darkest hour I learn... When my heart is broken and my anger is great I learn compassion and love... sometimes in giving and sometimes in receiving... when Mary died, for example, at the darkest part of my grief I was overcome by love... love poured out at me from even the most unexpected places, and I relished it... I reveled in it and my heart mended... I was once again a work of Joy... when I thought my whole world would come crashing down because I could no longer cope in my work that I loved... and I could not take it any more.. a door way opened and I learned... and I continue to learn.

And now I struggle to accept my humanness when we human's are raping the earth, killing one another for oil and power and when money and ownership is the measure of a person's worth... I struggle to understand slavery... Oh, we do not pick them up in boats anymore or trick them with our wampum.. well not as openly and conspicuously... we enslave with labels and consumerism.. we are all slaves to corporate greed.. selling us those things we just can not live without.. creating a false self-esteem in ownership... if you act now, you too can be the proud owner of this 2009... bla bla bla... marketing selling us an illusion of happiness... and I struggle to find that balance between my spirit of love and light and the earthly body of greed and gluttony... I struggle to make sense of it all... I struggle, but I am winning and I can taste the balance.. it is near at hand... and I am grateful.

PS- Universe/Love/Divine/Goddess/God/Creator/Self... I want to learn... I am open to learning... I just need a little gentle learning now :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008


LOVE is the only answer... and each of us finds our path through a different guide.. for some it is Jesus, Oh man if we really listen he is love... or Buddha... or whatever... but it is being open to love... for me that is to accept everything as it is.. that includes ourselves... in this moment... the only thing that is real is this moment... and we must learn to flow with it, through it.. and yes sometimes it is like riding a huge wave that you feel will certainly be the end of you... and sometimes we want it to be the end of us, especially when grieving or in deep deep pain... connection to the divine in all of us is essential for self love and having the ability to recognize the divine in others opens us to that deep spiritual love our souls crave... that does not mean I have to walk a path another sets... because that is not my path.. sometimes my path is to open myself up to the living earth and feel the beat of Nature.. the divine is there.. Nature is my church and I do not walk alone... I feel the angels walk with me.. I feel my angel guides like they are another me..but reality is I am them.. we are all one from the same source... open to that learning.. I have long ago stopped imposing my will and allow right action to flow through me.. it is always the will of the collective universe... it is always the will of Love.... and love has many names... Goddess, God, Creator, Universal Protector... he/she/they said "I am who I am".. just accept what is and learn to flow with it... As Toni Morrison says.. "You got to free yourself from the shit that weighs you do in order to fly"... stop thinking.. just be with things and see where it goes... and feel your spirit soar! :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Human on Hold!

Yeah.. the Mary Fund site is back..

I have felt like my humanness has been on hold, until now... I feel alive.. I feel my breathe... I have been holding it for 2 years and 6 months... probably longer, but that is how long I have been aware of it... feeling my physical body has been on hold... I was numb... and finally I feel! but what I feel is a mixed bag of emotions and memories and pains and joys and losses... I have been on hold and now I no longer fell like I am drowning... so why am I crying so hard.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week end Thoughts....

1. Why is Turkey so delicious stuffed?

2. Why are people so loud when in Nature and why do parents let children rip leaves off trees instead of teaching them respect? Can they not hear the trees talking?

3. Why are polluting fossil fuels still allowed on our planet when we have the technology to move way beyond?

4. Why do some people minimize another's contribution to how smoothly things run and how do the contributors stand that minimization year after year without going insane? Or does a little bit of us die each time we do not defend the self?

5. Why is it that I never spill hot coffee on dirty slippers, just new laundered ones?

6. There is a time and place for Pink Floyd, just not when I am held captive in the back seat without sedation.

7. No matter how hard you try, some people just will not engage you in conversation, even if you are together for hours and hours and hours.

8. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and joy comes from beholding all things as beautiful.

9. Club House sandwiches really are fabulous.

10. Gratitude everyday, for everything, that is the key to unlocking the inner child and not taking our lives for granted.

11. When we stop taking our lives for granted, then others follow suit. "It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." W. Somerset Maugham

12. I am grateful for all learning, even the hard stuff, because I have been shown both the light and the dark, and now I know how to choose.

13. Trees heal the planet, and if you listen, can heal your soul.

14. Apple juice running down your chin is funny and tasty.

15. Not everything is as you think, then somethings are exactly what you thought. Wisdom is knowing the difference and then letting go of that outcome, after all how people are just tells you about who they are, it is not your problem to do anything about it. The only thing you control is you.

16. Leftovers are an effortless way to remember.

17. If children's laughter is annoying, then you need to figure out why because that is the purest source of joy.

18. Listening to old music can transport you back in time, momentarily. But why live in the past? We tend to mostly think of what was with sadness and longing in a way that stops us from loving the present.

19. Bliss can, on occasion, be found in getting lost in a biscuit covered with strawberries and whipped cream. It can also be found in pure unadulterated living in the now.

20. ("There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." - from Hamlet, Wm. Shakespeare; Act II, scene ii) Working on losing my need to judge has released me from societal and self imposed shackles.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

High Park among the trees...

I am listening to Fiest eating an omelet and thinking my happy feet need to be among the trees so off I am going to High Park. I am thinking about Thanksgiving and what I am thankful for. I am thinking today and will let you know what I thought.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

letter to the Premier and to the Telegraph Journal!

Dear Premier Graham,

I am writing to you today about the banning of pesticides in New Brunswick. I am sure that you and your appointed members of the consultation process will be inundated with information on both sides of the issue. And I am also sure this will be a difficult decision for all of you.

For the past 15+ years I have been an outspoken activist on the subject of toxics in children. I was forced into the fray when my son, who is now 20, was poisoned by toxic cleaning products used in his elementary school. He became hyper sensitive to all chemicals, which included perfumes, solvents and pesticides, to name a few. When this happened to him he was an exemplary student in Grade 2. Within a few months he forgot how to read and write, he developed body rashes, nose bleeds, cracked and bleeding skin… there is a list! For 4 years he was in and out of the public system until the school was rendered chemically safe. But his issues did not stop there. Through out his academic career he struggled, eventually leaving school during grade 12. He is currently apprenticing as a plumber.

I worked extremely hard to create a non-toxic, safe and healthy home and environment for he and his 3 sisters. In 2006 I was asked to participate in a study of toxins in families and to my surprise; my family was the least toxic of all the families in the study.

I wish my story stopped there. I wish my story had a happy ending. But also in 2006, my youngest daughter Mary was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia. The cause was investigated by the IWK and Toronto’s Sick Kid’s Hospital. There was no genetic cause, possibly a virus but they could find none. The third cause of this disease is pesticides. I was shocked and disheartened by this news. I had worked so hard to raise healthy non-toxic children. I had worked so hard to educate and advocate for change in how we look at toxins and children. Mary died November 30th, 2006 at the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

I wish my story stopped to, but it didn’t and each day I think about Mary and how much I miss her. I think about my remaining children and my yet unborn grandchildren and what legacy I am leaving them. I think about how angry I am that no one has done anything substantive, in my life time, to protect children from unwanted exposure to environmental toxins. I think about how many other children I have seen die in the past 2 years, and those who are still fighting with all their little might. And I wonder who will be their champion? Who will be brave enough to stand up and say no more toxins in our children!

And now you and your government have the unique opportunity to bring in a piece of legislation that could save a child’s life. I urge you to make the right choice and ban pesticides for cosmetic purposes. I implore you to be Mary’s champion and make the elimination of harmful toxins a priority for this Government.

Monday, October 6, 2008

a day close to the earth

There is something amazing about a big old tree... the energy around it is so gentle, knowing and grounding and this week end I had the pleasure of communing with an old growth big redwood tree at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario (Martha will know this place well)... I had thought, for some odd reason, that I was going to Niagara, but this marvelous place was closer than I thought. What beauty, what amazing energy and what a joyous labour of love. And even though summer is winding down and change is happening, there was plenty to see and touch and smell and yes even taste a little. This place is so large that it will take many visits and seasons to see it all, and because nature is constantly in a state of change and flux, this feat may not be possible. But oh, what a joyous attempt that will be to try, the joy is in the trying I would think. The cacti and succulent growth was amazing.. huge palms with leaves the size of me, Aloe Vera that stand taller that an adult and a cork tree, I never knew. I felt blessed to see an endangered wollemi pine behind iron gates, which sent a chilling message about the fragile state of our planet. Along with the dark green pine were ageless ferns and others that have been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Outside, in the Hendrie Park Gardens we were treated to a expansive Environmental Art display from multiple artists, that ran on as we strolled the gardens. Sculptures of all shapes and sizes, molded copper statues and cut tin scenes; wood carved faces and huge pots, art of all shapes and sizes and textures that refract the light and create a barrier to it... sights and simulations that illicit deep emotions and stuck a cord of frivolity and lightheartedness. All of this intermingled with herbs and flowers and brush and trees, that in itself is a brilliant work of art everyone should see.

Towards the end of our stroll we ventured out onto the spacious deck of the garden tea house and were delighted by a hot pot of tea and black current scones with Devon cream and jam. There was a wonderful folk singer, lulling us with a soothing melody of a dulcimer that felt brogue, but was entirely modern.

Maybe it was the cool fall air, maybe it was the abundance of living things in a state of change that reflects my own or maybe it was the scones, but one thing is for sure, I felt happy and contented and joyful surrounded by the simplicity and deliciousness of the day.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

the days stroll by...

The psychic told me that the money is coming, only slowly, that my heart belongs on the west coast and I should open my retreat there, and there is a man in my near future... Ohhhh my!! (insert fanning here) hehe

This week has been trying, when things happen to the kids while I am away it stresses me, Zech wiped out and took out a few front teeth and yesterday, Hanna fell and got 4 stitches in her leg.. ugh I am glad their dad is there with them, I am not sure I could manage this without that. The other trying thing is that my massage class is always chaotic and the energy is not conducive to being mellow and learning. I have had to take drastic measures and become very insular so that the exterior chaos does not impact the lesson, I am grateful that I can do that, but it is exhausting. My new purple massage table arrived and I am very excited to begin to practice what I am learning. And I had my first psychotherapist visit and it seems like it could be great... it is part of the program and I think at some point we could all benefit from a little therapy. Letting go of big chunks of grief has already happen for me and that has been a blessing.

Today Julie and Gerard and I spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon at a huge Ikea store... I got some very interesting Christmas and Birthday gifts... and just loved everything that I saw.. lovely!!

Tonight we are having a strawberry daiquiri and chocolate night and watching sex and the city with friends... tomorrow I am off to the Niagara region to look at the fall colors.. brilliant!

What I know to be true... childhood shame can make you become an overachiever.. which is good, but not when it is exhausting!

And oh did I enjoy the Leaders debate.. my dear friend Elizabeth May took the night and was brilliant... I hope she gets elected!! In Fundy Royal I am voting for Rob Moir (NDP) he is by and large the BEST candidate for the job and I hope that he gets elected... check out his site...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Fair...

Off to the Psychic Fair with Julie and Classmates this afternoon, I wonder if a palm reader can tell me where my Government money is? Fredericton, in all of their wisdom, have decided that the school is not registered, even though I gave them all that paper work.. now I need more paper work, I just found out about it on Friday... weeks after I should have gotten my money for books and school supplies... sigh Pray for me!!

School is great, I am learning lots but struggling with emotional issues that keep cropping up as I hurl towards the 2nd anniversary of Mary's death.. however, I am in the right place to grow through everything that comes up. I will see my new Psychotherapist sometime in the next 2 weeks (25 hours of therapy is required for the program) and will begin to unravel some of this mess I call my internal life... I am really looking forward to the peace that will come with that. I have finally started dreaming again, I haven't since Mary was diagnosed, so that is nice even though some of the dreams are freakish, it is cool to have a dream state again.

Everything else is grand, I am learning how to make bread with a bread maker... not as easy as it sounds.. so far the only bread that has turned out is New Brunswick Molasses Brown bread, and Oh is it sweet... I had it with fried potatoes and molasses beans the other night... ah childhood memories! Remember that on Friday nights of no meat! I will write more later after the fair!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Round pegs and square holes.

Ever felt like you fit in, like you were meant to be with someone or at something? This is how school is for me. As most of you know, I have always been a round peg faced with square holes, and most of my life has been either to change me or to change the holes. At School I am a round peg and I am surrounded by round holes and other round pegs... it really is wonderful! This past week has been exhausting and exhilarating; it has been both a journey within and a connecting with something larger. I feel plugged in, separate and unique, yet connected to that which connects us all, Universal Energy (God/Creator/Goddess). It is amazing to be able to talk about what you think and feel, and your spiritual experiences without censorship, without fear, with only openness and acceptance. Don't get me wrong, I have had a lot of acceptance in my life, more than most people, most especially through my environmental work and my experience through non-profits, but even then I felt like I was keeping part of me a secret, part that was conspiring to break free. I have been very lucky to have many amazing individuals come and go in my life, to teach me, guide me and support me. I truly feel loved and supported in what I am doing and that makes such a huge difference when embarking upon a new course. Each day I am filled to the brim with gratitude!

The one upside/downside of all of this is the emotional work, is that it opens up my Mary wounds and illuminates my broken heart. Well the broken heart, of course, is from more than Mary, but all of my brokenness is over shadowed by her loss. The good news is that when I went within it was not as bad as I feared. Over the past 2 years (OMG I still can not believe it has been 2 years in November, it still feels like yesterday) I have done a lot of healing work with therapists and Elders and have let go of a great deal of emotional baggage in the process. I can now come to this work prepared to break free and really experience gratitude for Mary and for what she has taught me and gifted me with her death, and for the other teachers who, for better or worse, have impacted my journey. It really is like the Universe is conspiring to bring me to this place of healing so that I can channel that healing energy for others. And I am so very grateful for this opportunity.

Each of my classmates comes from different places and with a different set of experiences to share, some corporate, some questioning, some from other healing professions and some from pain and suffering, and each time they share they teach me with their point of view and I am so very grateful for them and their willingness to share with me.

This past week has also had some fun times. On Friday I went to the Carrot Common on the Danforth with 2 classmates, Val and John Paul and we had a blast shopping for healing crystals and massage oils. Then we went to Kennsington Market which is a mirage of funky stores, organic food and vegetarian restaurants. Another place for round pegs! hehe I have put some pictures on my facebook!

Also this week end Julie and I finished up the canning with cabbage rolls and stuffed peppers both smothered in homemade tomato sauce, and Salsa with lots of coriander. Well Back to my studies, of Anatomy and Physiology and shopping on Ebay for a massage table.

This week end also marked the leaving of our dear friend Luke Clark who is going Overseas to serve in the Army, Good Luck Luke, you will be in our thoughts and prayers for a safe return!

Happy Birthday Ronnie and Teresa!

Big Love

Monday, September 15, 2008

School Daze!

It was a whirlwind of activity and I loved it... I am where I am supposed to be! Right now I am studying holistic perspectives, Chakra Studies and meditation and anatomy. Everyone is very kind and helpful.. it was a great first day!

I am exhausted.. last night I barely slept.. I was too excited... so now I am off to bed early.. night.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

food glorious food, and other things!

On Thursday I fasted and then went to my friend Asma's house to break my fast and learn about Ramadan and the Muslim faith. I met Asma at Sick Kids, her darling son Adam died just before Mary and I arrived. We are part of a group of Mom's who have connected and get together for dinner and evenings for healing. Anyway.... I had an amazing time... Aisha, her beautiful daughter, spent lots of time answering my questions and explaining things to me... who better to do it then someone learning... darling girl. And is she so gorgeous, dark skin and hair and the sweetest open face. Oh I love them both! Asma gifted me this beautiful embroidered deep burnt orange Salwar kameez a traditional dress. (Salvars or shalvars are loose pajama-like trousers. The legs are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. The kameez is a long shirt or tunic. The side seams (known as the chaak) are left open below the waist-line, which gives the wearer greater freedom of movement.) It was amazingly comfortable, however, there was one minor issue, it was quite form fitting, which made me a little uncomfortable.. hehe So the next day Asma let out the seams on the side so I do not look all boobs in it. :-)

The food Asma cooked was absolutely divine; Pakora, fried potatoes battered in chick pea flour and dipped in a yogurt, coriander and mint chutney; Dahi Barry, fried sweet lentil patties in yogurt and chick peas; Chicken Curry; and Chicken Paalak, chicken cooked with spicy sweet spinach. I do believe an angel sat on my tongue that night, absolutely amazing. And the hospitality. Asma's sister Nadia and her 2 children joined us and we had a great evening. I can not wait to go again. I love learning about new culture's and faiths and I have had so many questions about the Muslim faith, and I am very excitedly learning!

And no it did not escape me that Thursday was September 11. I have had so much loss in my life these past few years that I knew that on this day of mourning I wanted to do something special, something spiritual and who better than with those that I do not understand and Asma is an Ahamdi Muslim and they practice non-violence. She is a kind and beautiful woman and so is her family. I felt like an honored guest in her home, and it was wonderful. I am going again during Ramadan for a Bazzar in her building... hummm do I see some lovely bangles in my future!

This week end Julie and I are harvesting the back yard. Beets and carrots are ready as well as 100's of pears. Yesterday we canned 3 types of pears, gingered, spicy chutney with cranberries and currents, and pears in extra light sauce... yum! I also made New Brunswick oatmeal molasses brown bread in a bread machine and Oh was it good... we had it like I used to as kids with Molasses beans and fried new potatoes... it was heaven. Today more of the same, and adding Zinfandel pears and pickled beets. I love fall!

As I said in my last post my dear friend Gianni died on Wednesday, his funeral will be in Saint John on Monday. I will miss his laughter, and his positive sense of humor. I will miss his friendship. I think what makes it hard to loose someone close is partially the loss of their love. For over 35 years, Gianni loved me, and as we grew older that love became deeper, of that I am sure, and I will miss having that love confirmed in this earthly realm. I know that he has gone home. I know that he has his legs back. I know that he is pain free and for that I am grateful. But, I also know that I will miss him until I am with him again. But with each loss, I think about other losses and as I cooked and canned I imagined my Mom kneading brown bread in our kitchen and the smell of newly risen loaves. And I imagine my Dad peeling the hot skins off boiled potatoes for us kids and the eager faces awaiting the hot steamy goodness with a dollop of butter dangling from our forks. And my darling Mary, who is in my thoughts constantly, her crookedy smile awaiting whatever I was dishing up. They live in my heart and my mind, and are as close as my thoughts. So there I will store Gianni and my memories of our childhood and the stories of growing together.

School starts on Monday and I am really excited. I have everything ready and, of course, organized and labeled. I will post again to let you know how my first day was. And Oh yeah, yesterday I drove around Toronto for the first time and I did alright!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sad News :-(

Today my darling sweet friend, the first boy I ever kissed, my best pal, the person I shared a May 18th birthday with, and lifelong friend, Gianni Govic died this morning. He went peacefully in his sleep. I am so very glad I got to see him a few weeks ago on my way to Toronto. He is my profile picture. I will miss your weekly phone calls, your amazing wit and your love. Say hi to Mary for me!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Canada's broadcasters will not allow Green Leader Elizabeth May to participate in the leaders debates during the federal election campaign, the networks announced Monday afternoon.

'The notion that I would go into debates as someone to cheer on one other party leader is absurd.'— Green Leader Elizabeth May

The consortium of networks, which includes the CBC, said three of Canada's parties were opposed to May's inclusion, but did not give more details.

In recent days, the Conservatives, Bloc Québécois and the NDP have all expressed their opposition to May joining the debates.

"It became clear that if the Green party were included, there would be no leaders' debate," the consortium said in a press release.

"In the interest of Canadians, the consortium has determined that it is better to broadcast the debates with the four major party leaders, rather than not at all." from CBC.

I am dazed and confused, do we live in a democratic Canada or a communist regime? They will boycott if Elizabeth joins in the debate.... WTF.... talk about not playing nice in the sand box! Please write the CBC, or CTV, or Global and tell them what you think! And PLEASE vote GREEN!

Monday, I think I can do that!

What a week end... I thoroughly enjoyed the Veggie fair and art show... At the Veggie fair we talked to people about where the best place to buy veggies at and organic stuffs, drank from a coconut with a straw and enjoyed interesting vendors and sampled many varieties of food, from all manner of ethnic and religious backgrounds... the Hare Krishna's were there with yummy Karma free cooking... what a thought cooking that builds no Karmic debt... I did not think that eating organic, ethically raised and killed meat could increase my karmic debt load... this is food for thought.. pun intended.. I wonder if many of us give thought to how our food was grown, harvested and cooked and how that impacts us spiritually... I wonder if that is why saying grace originated to wipe out the Karmic debt and blessing of the food to make sure it did not impact our spirit. To give thanks, does anyone do that any more before a meal, give thanks to the earth that grew it and to the workers who harvested it and the people or person who toiled to make it... I wonder.

Each day brings me a new series of thoughts and things to be grateful for... at this moment I am grateful for you, the sun, warm Organic Gluten free multi-grain bread from Molly B's kitchen... hot fair trade coffee... yummy!

At the Junction Art show we enjoyed amazing organic beer and were treated to wonderful music and buskers and art... I got my hand painted with henna again and enjoyed a free David Usher concert... he was, as usual, energetic, connected to the audience and in fine vocal form. I saw the most awe inspiring pink Jesus in an art store, it was loud and huge and the carved face had a level of depth that I have not seen in a carving in a long time... I had to touch it and Julie caught that shot.. I was enthralled.

Today Julie and I are off to the Toronto Islands for an adventure in the sun... this is my last week off before my classes start.. I plan to make the most of it each day with new and exciting adventures... I am especially happy to be breaking my fast on Thursday night with my dear friend Asma and to participate in Ramadan prayers with her family on Friday. I live to learn!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

depends on your point of view

How you experience the world is created by your point of view.
How you see the world creates the world you see.
How you fill yourself, and with what, adds to your world view and ultimately your self-image.

I am off to a Vegetarian Fair, like a home show for eggplants, and then to hear David Usher at the Junction Arts Festival, weather permitting!! Buckle down and take care.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Journeys, some more painful than others...

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my good friend Doreen at Sick Kids where her son Ben, who also has Aplastic Anemia, had surgery. The first time I went back to the hospital, which was earlier in the year, my heart skipped a beat and fear was in the pit of my stomach, but yesterday I had none of those same feelings. I was so happy to see Doreen and Ben that I never gave it much thought. And maybe that is the key to healing broken hearts, just choose not to dwell on it. Thinking about something negative over and over definately makes any situation worse. I know that the first time I went back I thought about it a lot, that Mary died there, that I had not been back since then, that I would be scared when I went.... every time I thought about Sick Kids it was in the negative, it was about me and my loss... if I even pictured the hospital I would get all in a twist, and now all I focused on was Ben's surgery and his healing. It really is amazing how powerful a change of mind can be. I felt free to walk about and support my friend and listen and send healing light to she and Ben without thought to my loss. There were a few times I did think of Mary, of course I would, when I washed my hands with that dreaded Bacti-stat soap that I had to wash me and her with day in and day out... the smell triggered memories and I let those memories flow, did not fight them, did not stop them, just watched them play out like an observer, and giggled at the memory of the funny things Mary would say about the soap.

Doreen's husband was there with her, so that free'd us to go out to supper together and back I went to the Elephant and Castle, cold beer on tap with many to choose from and the best roast beef and yorkshire pudding this side of my kitchen, you may remember me talking about it before, but this time I got a Club House sandwich, which was also good and a cold Stella! hummmmm Stella!

I am finding my way via the subway and buses and am enjoying each day and the adventure it brings.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gelato and all that tastes good in the world

The world is filled with stark contrasts. Beauty and ugliness juxtaposed, and both are subjective to ones point of view. So how do we know right from wrong when that too seems to be subjective?

I remember as a young woman thinking that children with half their teeth missing and coming in as hideous and in need of dental care. That was until my children began to loose their teeth and I understood that transition. It became a thing of beauty to me and now when I see a child with missing teeth and tooth nubs I think, "Oh how wonderful" and look upon them longingly.

For me understanding seems to be the key to seeing beauty... and if that works for me then it makes sense that it could be that way for others. The question then becomes, why are so many closed to understanding?

My friend Michael has this quote from my favorite childhood author of "Charlotte's Web" as his status on facebook.... "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." E.B. White Yesterday I savored and enjoyed a beautiful art show, pushed aside any thoughts of poverty and pain, a world that needs healing, allowed myself the splendid moment and the day slid across my tongue like the cold coconut gelato I enjoyed the sun. I experienced the art with all of my senses and it was glorious. And I am left with the question how do I balance the two and yet be consumed by neither?

Another day, another day to learn and understand.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the world we live in and other mind blowing things

I feel torn between worlds. I have always subscribed to the belief that the world inside of me does not have to reflect the world outside, and I work really hard to create an inner world of peace and love and joy.... but lately the world outside is changing something within.

Confused yet, welcome!

Everywhere I look there is a propaganda machine saying that we should hate anyone or anything that is different from us; who subscribe to a different belief system, who walk to the beat of a different drum, who look different than it's ideal, who are just not us... well it is not actually said but insidiously implied by the sound of dropping bombs on our collective enemy, who in my life time has changed multiple times, "Ah, lets turn to page 2 to see who the enemy flavour of the week is." And how do you know who is NOT us, is it the color of their skin, their religion... how am I supposed to know? Oh wait my TV will tell me, the newspaper will tell me... the machine will tell me and then keep me safe from harm as long as I keep consuming in the name of peace. I feel like I am trapped in an underground war bonds drive and no one is calling it what it is. And before I know it we have National buy in. How did this happen? Was I asleep? And now that I know, what can I do about it?

Bombing for Peace is like Fucking for Virginity!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

From white sand beaches to beers from around the world

Imagine a mile of white sand beach occasionally marbled with iron rich black sand, warm summer breezes, dark star-filled nights lite only by candle or fire, scrumptious food, ice cold beer and an ever changing group of amazing women friends laughing, playing word games and telling stories; and you have a glimpse into my amazing week at Debbie Eden's summer camp on Christian Island, Georgian Bay, Ontario. I had the time of my life, lying around on the warm sand, swimming in the unbelievably clear water, walking and hiking, playing bingo in the village, and all the while laughing and relaxing. This is the place the soul comes to sooth itself. There is something spectacular about line dried clothes that had been washed in the water of the lake without soap, only the motion of the waves and the white sand. They were amazingly clean. I met wonderful people, some who live there and some who also have camps and their friends. They all have one thing in common, a love of the pristine beauty of this place and a commitment to preserving it. Glorious!

And yes, I got sunburned... but it was so worth it!

Today Julie and I explored a great organic market. We shopped and ate, sampled all manner of live food dishes, melt in your mouth whole grain bread and settled on a Jamaican Roti and ice cold ginger beer for our lunch. A definite plus was the access to all manner of wholesome foods and knowledgeable people to talk to about food. I also got 4 small bags of unique sprouts to grace my sandwiches, even purple cabage ones. When leaving the market we got a coffee that was uniquely flavoured with mushrooms.... yeah me too!

After the market we stopped at the LCBO and I found the store that has everything for the beer drinker. What first caught my eye was a bottle of Polish beer that, in Ouispamsis, I could only get at the Hammond River Cafe. And there before my eyes was Beer from all over the world and oh was I tempted. We are, at this moment, sipping a cold delicious Mythos from Greece and talking about its flavour and color, it's piquant aftertaste and carbonation. Now to drink a Fiddler's Elbow from the UK.

Could turn out to be a good night.... Cheers!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

dedicated to Lola, goddess of the silver screen

It was a whirlwind of partying, packing and good byes.... Julie and I finally got on the road Monday afternoon... only to realize that the radio was not working... Emma had loaded my new Ipod with awesome driving tunes, and to not have tunes for days.. well that would just not do... so off to Bob Pearson Auto in Saint John and an hour later we were really on the road... also Emma loaned me her transmitter so that my Ipod can run through the car radio... it worked.. and we drove and sang and laughed... wonderful!

We stopped when we wanted to, relaxed and floated forward all under the watchful eye of Lola, Julie's new GPS.... Having her guide us made everything so much easier... and we were convinced when trying to find Gianni in downtown Montreal.... Lola guided us right to his door and right back to the highway... Lola even made the 401 feel more navigable at rush hour... We saw awesome stuff along the way.. rows of windmills, and full fields ready for harvest and lush country side and the occasional raptor of the sky... The Saint John River was swollen at the banks from the heavy rains, it's blue was deep and dark and mysterious, making the verdant fields all that much more lush looking.... I really do love New Brunswick!

In Montreal I went to see my darling friend Gianni and had a wonderful visit with him... I made a picture of he and I my profile picture... it never ceases to amaze me how, even after 5 years of not seeing one another that old familiar comfort was present and we acted like I was with him yesterday... that is what a great friendship is like.... then on to Ottawa and a great dinner and drinks with my dear friend Karl... no matter what he can make me laugh, not a chuckle, but a hearty deep belly laugh and near pee my pants hysterics.... we toured Ottawa the next day.. I took Mary to the parliament buildings (for those who do not know, I travel with Mary's small urn and we call the photos, "the traveling urn tales") and watched the changing of the guard... lots and lots of tourists... then on to Toronto.. but before we got here we spent 2 hours with Julie's Aunt Mildred... a fabulous lady with wonderful stories... be brought fresh roadside blueberry pie and coffee... an excellent visit.

I have unpacked, and not forgotten too much that I wanted to have with me for the year... and I am settling in quite nicely and just finished a tasty lunch of fresh corn on the cob, small new red potatoes and just off the vine ripe tomatoes... delicious! Off to have my tea!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Events leading up to leaving

It is bittersweet, this leaving... goodbyes weigh heavy on my heart because there feels like there is so much unfinished business.... and most of it has really nothing to do with me.. but my role in the lives of others... leaving a gap in theirs leaves a gap in mine... I am really looking forward to Saturday night's party, the band is the Telecasters, the DJ my darling Cody... it should be a blast!

Julie is in Edmundston, NB, hiking today and coming here tomorrow.. I am excited to get on the road and start my journey... and as I think about it.. why I am excited to begin, when it has already begun.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Opening... a new chapter begins.

We all have a before... and only we can decide that pivital moment it all changed.. some more dramatic than others. We use before as a measure of time passing, or as a means to put things behind us... I was skinny before, I was happier before, I was loved before, I was young before, I was blond before... I was whole before... Before, a word that keeps us trapped in the past, not moving forward, not healing... this is a place of healing, of sharing ideas, of moving beyond pain into healing. Welcome to my self-journey.