Thursday, 26 November 2015

Employment as an Antidepressant



The ads pushing pills are everywhere, and on every channel on tv.  It's difficult to avoid them. Images of what we're supposed to believe HAPPINESS looks like.  A pill a day keeps depression away!  I wish it were so simple.

For many of us, a pill a day keeps other things away.  Enjoyable things, necessary things, normal body processes even.  For some of us, the side effects from these pills are too much to handle, their ill effects negating any good the pills may do.

I just left my new Doc's office with a feeling I've rarely had.  You see, pills are not the only way to beat the blues.  Not that Big Pharma would have you believe that.  I guess they call them Alternative therapies.  Alternative to the norm~ the norm being man-made tablets?  Okay.  This feeling I have is a mixture of gratitude, relief, and hope.  I think I finally found a healer.  I finally found a great physician.

You see, I don't fear Doctors.  I fear their prescription pads.  I fear the pills they prescribe.  I fear the pressure to agree and to comply. No matter how much sugar my old Doctor spooned in, those pills just never felt right.

But Dr. P is different, he's like me.  He sees the need to dig deeper and find the root causes. Rather than feeling like your thoughts are in mental quicksand, as they did when I was on pharmaceuticals, alternative measures to depression and anxiety can be a life line to pull you out. Rather than feeling like failure grips your throat, the many talk therapies out there can ease that grip, putting you back into the driver's seat of your life.

The spectrum of therapies alternative to the norm is wide and far-reaching.  From Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Yoga, and everything in between.  But Dr. P and I agree we need to add another one to that list, that one being Employment.

Many years ago, I thought the depression had won.  I was out of work and broke with bills piling up.  I needed income but felt too depressive to work.  My then Doctor tried to convince me that work was good for me.  But knowing this truth in a world where jobs are few is a cruel cruel joke.

Let's face it, we have too many employees and not enough jobs.  It is now an "Employer's Market" where employers can pick and choose, this employee or that.  If we can agree that employment is an antidepressant, then you can see the dangers in this fact.

Employment as therapy hits many chords in me.  The routine, the purpose, the pay check at the end of the week, these are all beneficial in some way.  Being surrounded by people to connect with may be even more beneficial than we suspect.  I mean, even in my darkest hours, a smile or kind gesture can be like a sunrise on a dark morn.  We are pack animals~ we work better in a team.

Every single one of us is unique and one pill will never fit all.  Which is why we have to keep searching, learning, inquiring of the pack to find the therapy that makes each one of us tick. 

Surrender to the darkness is not an option.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A Reply to "Hello" ... From the Other Side


Adele's new song titled "Hello" is gripping isn't it?  Could she have found a more haunting tone?  It almost seems like she's saying hello to someone on the other side of the universe.  I love it.  But I don't like it.

The timing of the release placed Hello right in my lap.  A big steaming pile of nostaglic shit that stained me with more than a few moments of self-loathing.
I experienced my own Hello and it didn't hit a good note in me.  Let me explain.

About two months ago, an ex decided to Hello me by commenting on one of my blog posts.  He asked me to get in touch with him, and he left his number for all of the world wide web to see.  This is a mistake from over a dozen years ago.  This selfish, self-serving individual that I thought was a part of my history reached out to me.  I thought I was free of that memory, never to be seen again. Never to be dreamed of again.  Some reminders can rip a person apart.

Knowing this child better than I care to, I knew not to answer that call.  No doubt he ... 'was wondering if after all these years, (I'd) like to meet and go over everything.'

No doubt, this big baby dressed up in adult clothing is ... 'dreaming of how we used to be'.  He likely believes that like Adele, ...'time is supposed to heal', likely thinks he ... 'ain't done much healin'.'  

Funny that.  In my memory, it wasn't him that was broken.  Did HE dream about me for years and years in dreams of searching that kept on living in waking moments?  Did our time together demolish any of his relationships the way it did mine?  Does HE have scars that change how he sees himself the way my scars leave me?  

I doubt it.  He went on with his life.  And he left me picking up the pieces of mine, and seeing that they didn't fit together anymore.

Talk show hosts are saying that "Hello" is making listeners feel nostalgic for their past loves.  If this is true, I doubt it was Adele's intention.  What good can come of that I ask you?

Let me reiterate that I love Adele and her voice is just incredible in this song, but if we could look at it from another angle, we'd see that calling someone who's heart we've broken, is not conducive to sunny days for the one receiving that call.  And furthermore, that feeling you have that you just must reconnect, is guilt.  Pure and simply basic guilt, and the only reason for that call is to appease said guilt.  It is for your good only;  never for the good of the person answering your selfish Hello.

Now, when I hear "Hello", it's not Adele's amazing voice I hear. Instead, it's the voice of that big baby trying to suck me back in.  It's his voice telling me ... "I'm sorry, for everything that I've done."  It's him imploring ... "Can you hear me?" ... I'm sure he's ... "dreaming about who we used to be."

But he's wrong because I am not that person anymore.  And to anyone who's feeling nostalgic from these haunting lyrics, I have some advice as someone from the other side.  Let me respond to some of these lines:

"Hello from the other side." >>> back away from the phone.  If this person needed to hear your voice, they would have called you.

"I must've called a thousand times." >>>have you always been a slow learner?    TAKE THE HINT!!!    A non-answer IS your answer!

"To tell you I'm sorry, for everything that I've done.">>>too little too late.  My grey matter has swallowed that nightmare of an affair so that I don't have to care anymore.  Your apology, though 14 years too late, is not for me ... have you apologized to your wife yet douchebag?

"But when I call you never seem to be home.">>>Once again.  We're home.  We just don't want to open up that poisonous BPA-lined can of worms.  What's done is done and hopefully forgotten!

If you too get stuck with the uninvited Hello, do as I did and don't be fooled. Time does heal, but time also schools.  We are constantly growing, constantly evolving into something more than we were. Cherish this knowledge and keep it safe so you don't get stained with someone else's nostalgic pile of steaming merde.


"What you allow;  is what will follow."

Friday, 23 October 2015

Non-Vax Kids are Healthier?



Do you vaccinate?
Do you follow the schedule like a good citizen?
Did you know the schedule is different from province to province?
Did you know that you don't have to follow that program?

Many of us refuse vaccinations.  Many of my friends have refused to vaccinate their children and babies because we've read evidence to make us worry.

I have a friend in her 20's who has never had a vaccination and she is the picture of health.

There is mad evidence now that Vaccines damage our biology and a German researcher did the work.

Would you like to read about that?

Ok, but only on one condition:  you treat this info like it's a hot potato.

HERE IT IS ~ read, understand, and now share.


Last week I read a blog post by a mother who's child was suffering from Pertussis which is the whooping cough.  She said that as she typed, she kept her sweet boy in full view as he played and coughed and then played some more.  She didn't vaccinate him for Pertussis.  Do you know why?
Because her sweet boy was not her first sweet boy.  She and her loving husband buried their first born the year before.  He died in his sleep the very night he was given his DtaP vaccine.

As that mother worries as mothers do, sitting up night after night with her wee boy struggling to breath beside her, she doesn't wonder if she made the wrong decision about the vaccinations.
At least, she assures herself, this child is still breathing.


If vaccines were about OUR HEALTH, they wouldn't be such a profitable industry that no one is allowed to question.

Question it .... please.


Friday, 16 October 2015

A Clear Path to Democracy



Well THAT was inspiring!!

I had my first volunteer meeting with my local Liberal Member of Parliament.

There I sat with about 25 fellow Kingstonians listening to a Queen's Law student in her early 30's who has been thru 30 or 40 elections in her life.

Holy moly .... inspire much?

Other than a few young peeps on the phones, I was the
youngest in the volunteer pack.

We'll be canvassing our areas of the city on Monday
encouraging our Liberal neighbors to vote.

As our speaker so eloquently said (and yes it brought tears to my sappy eyes) ...

we want to make the clearest path to democracy.

And ... by doing this, I am now a part of the super awesome victory party where I'll sit around with fellow Liberals and await the election results.

This is my first time taking part in an election, and it's a monumental one to say the least. If I could feel more patriotic, I'm not sure how.

Thank you to MP Mark Gerretsen and his team for making this Canadian feel connected once again.
Now .... let's get things done eh?

Do you want to vote, but can't get a ride?

We have volunteers to drive you there. There's no reason to not fill out that ballot. You might as well .... it's there waiting for you!

#ygk
#kingston
#canadavotes

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

'Tis the Season for Theft



I watched a tv show yesterday called "Storage Wars".  It's a canadian show about people who buy the contents of storage units after the owners default on the rent.  So often during the show, the potential buyers would look into that cluttered unit hoping it contained something valuable.

I see a correlation here, as I'm sure there are many individuals and groups out there who drive down the road and upon seeing a greenhouse, wonder the very same thing:

"Is there something valuable growing in there?  And how do I get my hands on that?"

Because I speak so openly about Cannabis, people like to tell me their "big fish" stories.  I know that 'gardening pride' feeling, as my one hot pepper plant yielded more than thirty peppers this year!

People tell me about their past grows, their current grows, and the grows they just happen to find.  "Find" being the operative word here.  I giggled and growled inside a few months ago while a friend's husband boasted to me that he's really good at finding other people's outdoor crops.  'What do you mean you're good at 'finding' people's crops?' I wanted to ask.  Were they lost?  Were you part of a search party?

Nope.  He means he's good at thieving other peoples' medicine. What often amazes me, is that these very same people would never risk  stealing from a store or a bank.  Oh no.  But they'd steal months and months of work and worry from their neighbor and their fellow citizen.  Those plants didn't fall down from the sky you dick!  They didn't root themselves, water themselves just so you can come and cut them down like a thief in the night!  They were likely planted for a very good reason!  Whether that reason is illness or strife matters not.  Some people kill deer to fill their freezers with meat;  others grow plants to fill their medicine cabinets with medicine!  Would you steal a deer carcass from your neighbor's back yard?

There's a societal lesson here.  We're supposed to be a team!  We're supposed to have each other's backs.  I get that times are tough.  But I also get that what goes around comes around.  Karma is real.  I'll even admit that in the past, I may not have felt this way.  I too have dreamed of finding a flowering goddess with red hairs galore. Would that not be a destiny of perfect timing?  If I ever had, I may have justified it with that cop-out: "if we don't take them someone else will".

Many of these thieves will appease any small sense of guilt by telling themselves that whomever owns the plants, should have been smarter.  Or maybe they're simply too busy doing the math in their shitty little heads to even consider why the person ever planted those ladies.

I know a guy right now who has some plants somewhere out there. He's growing them to make brownies for his terminally ill brother. Would you take his plants if you happened upon them?

I know a woman in Oregon who legally grows Cannabis bushes in her back yard to keep Leukemia away from her daughter.  Are those plants a lesson to be stolen and bragged about?

I know people who coddled sprouts to plants to bushes all spring and summer only to have them stolen.  That's how many were going to pay their rent,  buy their food, live their lives, cure their ills.

Now what?

Many many years ago, this guy from my hometown bragged to me about he and his buddies finding a crop on the mountain. They went up at night, bags and snippers and shovels in hand.  He said the plants were THIS BIG!!  So big that they had to use a chainsaw to cut them down.  What a dick.  He said that they went home, dried some colas out in the oven, and smoked a few big doobies.  They all had the worst headaches of their lives that night. At the time, I wondered why that was and I often remember that story when trying outdoor.  Ain't nobody got time for a headache! But now I know exactly why the dicks got a headache that lasted all weekend long.

Karma baby.

Autumn is the glorious season of harvest.  Every gardener looks forward to this time of year.  One final push, and then the chance to reap the rewards of your hard work and gardening skill.  As the hairs on the flowers darken from white to yellow to orange to red, the chances of your Cannabis plants being stolen rise significantly. Hide your love away.  Hide your crop away.  Don't tell a soul.  Sad I know, but until the world pulls it's head out of it's ass and finally legalizes personal cultivation, we must hide from thieves.

I'm proud to be a part of a movement of faceless humans who want to have each others' backs.  The majority of us try to live with a one love mentality where we will help one another even if it's just through fb.  We feel the love.  We push the love forward, outward, to anyone who will receive it.  So to steal someone else's Cannabis is simply against our motto.

Happy Harvest to all of the gardening geniuses I know, and of course all of those I don't yet know.  Kudos on your hard work. Know that I have your back.  And if you're out on a lovely autumn walk, and come along some ripe and ready Cannabis plants; admire, sniff if you wish, but walk away.  Turn the other cheek.  And never tell a soul what you saw or where you saw it.




Friday, 4 September 2015

Walking the Bar Tending Tightrope


Last night at work, six bottles of Labatt Blue showed up in the liquor licensed establishment wherein I work and I didn't sell them.  My smart serve secures that liquor license.  I've been stewin' about it ever since.  It took several doobs last night to get my mind to shut down.  Yet every time I start to write about it today, I lose the spark about two sentences in.  So I decided to go light on the wordage in this one and show you my night using pics from one of my favourite television series Deadwood.

I really felt uneasy last night.  Uneasy as walking a tight rope.  And yet that's what it is sometimes ... this dual role of being sweet and polite so you get a tip, but being responsible and law-abiding so you don't get sued by the customer or the bar owner.

I  started the shift like this:



Then very quickly became this:



And my anger escalated it to this:


and this:



What they saw though, was this:


What I was visualizing was this:



As a bartender, it's a fine line between this:



And this:



So I've decided that the next time some little weenies decide they wanna screw with my smart serve and the liquor license under which I work, I'm simply going to take their booze and do this ... right in front of them:


And allow my friend Karma to do the rest :)




Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Investigation of Freedom of Speech in Canada

re-blogged from thecouchactivist.com

I recently blogged on my new site about "Harperman", the little diddy that a
gaggle of proud Canadians put together to show their disgust for Stephen Harper.

You can read it here :)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Calling For a Referendum To Aid All Veterans


I have a friend who is a veteran.  He fought in the Bosnian War.  Usually, the war itself doesn't phase me.  I mean, which war that is.  There are so many, and in my opinion, none of them warranted.  But this one is different.

I was in high school during this one, and my friend Jane had a boyfriend who was right in the midst of it. I remember she called him once and in the background she could hear bombs dropping.  Now, you must remember that my life and Jane's life revolved around teenage stuff;  her friend's life revolved around survival.

For those inside of wars that's all it's about.  Day by day by day just trying to survive.  And we believe in our western comforts that when that war is over, so is the sentiment of mere survival.  But that's not the case at all is it?  We now know that the war lives on.

The war lives in moments of daydreaming, it lives in the sounds of fireworks.  War comes alive at night in some dreams.  And it stays alive in the scar tissues of the perpetually aching wounds that do heal over .. on the surface.  Prostheses are fitted and when that pant leg goes back down, we believe that life goes on.  We believe that a pension and some flair removes that survival sentiment.  We believe that pride and the societal gratitude for their service fills their heart with comfort.  Out to pasture go our veterans, free to live the rest of their days in peace.  If only that were the case.

School children playing can sound like shrieks of fear.  People rushing, tires screeching can sound like the memory of an attack.  And squares on the calendar that mean so little to you and I, can represent annual reminders of moments of terror.

From time to time my friend the veteran shares with me.  I know not when it comes, the words shared when I least expect them.  But I always lean in, always stop what I'm doing and concentrate on this fragmented testament from a hero who remains to this day, blameless in all of this.  He tells me this time of year is bad because it was September when they came home.  Odd isn't that?  That the date they came home is one that sticks in their grey matter the way a poisonous tick clings to its host. Why do you think that is?  That question comes from another fragmented piece of this puzzle.  My friend speaks of the many ways in which he and his regiment were and still are disrespected by the military. But how they were treated when they came home is for me a mystery, I dare not burden him with my need for clarification.  My role isn't to get the details right.  My role here is only to listen, to apologize, and to offer invisible support or perhaps a doobie when I have one.

I guess now I feel like taking on a role of advocate for him.  I'd like to hug him but I fear that would be too much.  Instead, I just try to support him.  I don't really know how.  I only know to keep the conversation light until he is ready.  I don't dare ask questions.  I don't even clarify details because he doesn't deserve to have to set the scene for any of us.

The platoon, the regiment, the squad or the group ... it has its mindset, it has its orders, it has its own mantra even.  By its own design it is a supportive network of men and women that form a bond over time they say.  That bond no doubt aids in that survival instinct.  But in the moments now, as each of them tries to audit the memories that keep bubbling up, they realize that they are alone.  The support of the squad isn't there anymore.  That web, though invisible was made of the strongest silk.  But is it now gone?  Has it dissipated into thin air?  It feels that way when each year they have to beg and grovel--or so it feels--for their pensions.  Veterans who lost limbs have to prove their limbs haven't grown back in order to get what we all say they deserve.  We all wear our yellow pins don't we?  If pins were dollars maybe we'd have enough funds to give our men and women of the military what they need.

My heart is heavy at the moment for a man I never knew.  Another veteran.  Another soldier from my friend's regiment.  He says now there's only two of them left.  I think he feels the pressure of that to be honest. And in turn, I feel the pressure of worry for this friend of mine.  Last week he received a phone call from a distraught widow.  Her life, shattered.  Her husband, gone fishing but never to return.  How this conversation and many after it went, haunts my friend though he knows he did the right thing.

You see, this widow believes the web still exists.  She like so many of us believe the bullshit Hollywood nonsense that show soldiers selflessly comforting the wives of their deceased brothers, as though they themselves aren't also on the verge.  Hollywood shows strength and valor and unwavering pride.  Is this what veterans feel?  I'm not so sure.  My friend was asked to go down East and bury this fellow soldier from his regiment. And when he hesitated she demanded it of him.  At the moment he told me this, I was so torn between angst for him and angst for that widow.  I wanted to protect him, but I wanted to comfort her.  Her words cut into him, I saw this.  But what did those words do to her as they left her lips?  Did they tear through leaving a mark?  Did she know as they were piercing the skin that she was wrong to say them?  Grief can be the sharpest weapon we have.

My friend told her that he couldn't do it.  Money and transportation aside, he literally could not do it. I fear that at the moment, his own scars of ptsd are held together with white knuckles.  I see it in him some days, the war sits right beneath the surface.  Those are the days that he doesn't share with me. Those are the days that he busies himself with anything that will take his attention away from the ongoing battle in his head.  His decision to put himself first undoubtedly weighs on him too.

As a child, there was this one guy in our small town that went off to the military.  His name was Pat. Pat is older than I am, but we shared a bottle of zambuca once at an outdoor family reunion many years ago.  Alcohol can be like grease on a tire when it comes to words and sharing memories or traumas. While we sat staring at the fire, our faces burning but loving it still, Pat shared with me some of what he saw.  He shared some of what he did.  He shared with me the feelings, the smells, the noises.  I think the noises were the worst and as we sat there, I could tell that he was still in that war. Whichever one it was.  Can Pat ever be free of that survival sentiment?  Can my friend ever be free of his memories? Can any of our veterans for whom we fly flags and wear pins and feel respect, really forget what they went through?  And do we have any right to ask them to do it?

I'm learning that the answer to that question is no.  And that leads me to another question about war and why we keep doing it.  I wonder how parents can push their kids to be in that world, when they know they won't be supported after the duty is done.  You know that right?

This issue is worldwide I think.  If your country has a military, you're in this too.  Your opinion of this is important.  And how you use that opinion could be life shattering or life saving for millions of soldiers of varying ranks, ages, experiences, and disorders.  The citizens of Canada make the rules. Election #42 is going to illustrate this.  So while we're there, choosing a leader, I say we demand what we all know is right.  Instead of building up the military with tanks and artillery and F35's, we need to make sure ALL of the veterans and people who took part in defending our freedoms are supported fully.  Put the military spending where it should have always been!  Otherwise, what's the point of wearing those little yellow pins?

Ask any veteran if those pins help him or her sleep at night.

Thank you to all who have served.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Here's Why Tommy Chong Would Trump The Donald in 2016


My buddy from IllegallyHealed.com made the suggestion that I write about Tommy Chong and Donald Trump in competition for the position of President of the United States.

Check out the article here :)




Saturday, 22 August 2015

Don't Fear the Tear!


Lemme tell ya ... I'ma changin' peeps.

I never used to cry ... cold was a word my mum used more than a few times when I pushed a hug or a kiss away as a child.

But as each year passes, I get warmer.

Now, depending on the day, time of month, or phase of the moon, I bleed emotions out of my eyes.

I hold them back instinctively ... that's what ya do.

We're taught that tears do no good but make you look weak, puffy, and blotchy.

But as each year passes, I lose that instinct.

Holding them back does nothing but ensure they come tomorrow, or next hour, or when another effin' Apple commercial hits a chord ! ‪#‎fuapple‬

So I adapt. Buy bigger tissues. I use tissues twice the size of my noggin these days.
I might bring back the hanky!!

I've even started lettin' them flow in front of my hunni.
All he says is, "aw ... my sweetie's so sensitive".

Even when I get hopeful of future successes, the emotion comes out all salty n' soggy n' wet.

Screw tradition, screw social norms, and screw hiding your tears.

If I can bring back the hanky, I can make puffy & blotchy beautiful too.


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Himalayan Salt ... Switch Over Now!


This is a personal anecdote from a friend regarding the intestinal health of her child.  The process of elimination is a crucial one.  And yet too many of us suffer daily with it, myself included!  To think that integrating something as seemingly benign as rock salt from the Himalayan Mountains, could cure it would shock more than a few.

For one thing, this salt has been purifying it's chemical make up for 200 million years.  Some people claim this is the purest form of salt.  For another, it contains the very same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in our bodies.

For generations, farmers who's constant oversight ensured a healthy flock, knew when mineral supplementation was needed because they would see the animals sucking or licking any metal they could find.  According to my friend, the author of this anecdote, her wee one seemed to crave this salt once introduced to it, even loving it on pb & j sandwiches!  This was written one year ago, and still applies today.

Here is the memory in mom's words ....

I have been anxiously awaiting to share this information with all of my friends... but I had to wait an entire two weeks just to be sure my testimonial would be completely accurate and it wasn't just some fluke.

Little Ryleigh (3 years old) has had digestion issues since birth ... and for over a year they have been awful. The doctors have run all sorts of procedures invasive and non-invasive with no luck on a diagnosis or even a clue as to what is wrong with her digestion tract. We have tried everything we could think of with no success... and Ryleigh continued to get sicker and sicker including puking everyday for 5 weeks in July/August. The doctors had her on a dose of ex-lax and miralax that was larger than an adult dose for a colonoscopy cleanse.... every laxative failed including this huge dose of the two combined. They decided it was time to send her to Seattle Children's Hospital for intestinal motility testing this past June and we have been waiting for that referral to go through and still trying everything imaginable to try and help her feel better and not be in pain everyday.

A friend of ours, sent us a message and suggested that we try to use pink Himalayan salt supplementation for her because it is packed full of minerals and things our bodies need. We decided to give it a shot starting on August 3rd. 

We salt at least one part of each and every meal with pink salt (including her cereal in the morning). Within the first 2 days Ryleigh quit puking everyday (and hasn't puked at all in 2 weeks).... and on the second day she finally (for the first time in over a year) went potty on her own without laxatives or any of the other crazy things they wanted us to try! It has been a little over two weeks now and the benefits haven't disappeared at all! She is still completely regular... everyday with NO extra yukky horrible-for-you pharmaceuticals! 

I called her nurse case manager last week and told her the good news... she had never heard of such a thing and wanted to ask her pediatrician... the pediatrician had never heard of anything like it before so she wanted me to call her GI doctor... called him and he had never heard of such a thing either.

And this my friends is why our medical system is so flawed. Through greed and control we have lost all sights of a balance between natural medicine and conventional medicine. I personally believe they work best in combination. Use pharma when natural fails.

My little girl had to experience so much pain... pain every single day in her tummy and bottom. We have spent the last year coddling to her and cuddling her constantly as she just doesn't feel good. All that suffering and the money spent trying to fix the problem.... I could have bought 20 years worth of pink Himalayan salt bottles with all that wasted money!

DON'T forget this valuable information friends... pink Himalayan salt is powerful and amazing.

‪#‎peaceloveCURE‬


Sunday, 9 August 2015

So Long ... and Thanks for all the Steak!!



My buddy has been working weekends in the hoity-toitiest restaurant/hotel in our city.  I mean, it's the hilt of elitism feeding Himself Mr. Harper when he's here begging my fellow locals for donations.  It's where Seinfeld apparently ate and stayed when he was here recently to perform.  Each break would see my buddy outside checkin' out the crazy electric cars, as his employer allows free charging with a stay.  The coolest was a Tesla no less... worth a lot of zero's.

Employment here, gives you mad discounts to use at this chain in other cities giving you a plush overnight stay for under $50. And of course there was the food.  At this fancy restaurant that boasts $20,000 dinner services, everyone working eats for free.  And I'm not talking eating the mistakes. I'm talking, ordering right off the menu or yes off the special board.  We're talking steaks with red wine reductions and St. Andre's triple cream brie cheese atop prime cuts of beef seared to perfection. He habitually sampled the mashed potatoes every single shift, encouraged by the cooks because they valued his opinion.  Buddy ate some pretty amazing meals .. in between loads .. sweating his arse off.  As enjoyable as it is to rub shoulders with musicians and socialites, the dish room sucks.  It's hard work with a lot of sweating, so it's a draining shift at the best of times.

In addition to this gig, my friend just started at L*blaws stocking shelves on the overnight shift.  It's this new gig that has me writing.  Two overnights stocking shelves and my friend is ready to hand in his dish towel, and I can't say I blame him.  Stocking shelves is a unionized position along with all other positions aside from management, and it pays $1.75 more an hour with a guaranteed raise in three months, and a store discount.  I work with someone who has worked at the same job for six years and is still at minimum wage.  If there were no minimum wage laws, he'd likely still be making around $7 an hour. Being unionized adds a certain layer of security that the dish room in that hoity toity restaurant cannot ever provide.  Hourly waged employment usually means you eventually will find yourself fighting for hours.  A union assures that my friend will get as many hours as he wants along with a whole other level of protection assuring his employment rights are respected.

To his surprise, the shift was broken up into two hour work increments.  Two 15 minute paid breaks during which everyone follows the horn and goes at the same time.  One half hour unpaid break where some people leave for a burger at the nearby golden arches.  The work is physically demanding, but clean, engaging, and somewhat rewarding.  I've done similar jobs, and when you've stocked and faced an entire section of shelving, the results are instant.  It feels good.  Clean dishes felt good to him too, but they get dirty soooo quickly  :)

The point of this post is this:

In 2015, a good job is not necessarily what we thought it was and too often, rights like breaks are forgotten.  I see everywhere, small business owners wanting our compassion and patronage, while they massage labor code to suit their needs.  "Sorry, you don't get your break today because whatshername didn't show up so we're short staffed."  That shit doesn't happy everywhere, but it seems that the tables have been turned by capitalism to forget that this is a team.  The employee-employer relationship is a precarious one.  It used to be more important than it is today.  It has suffered, but nonetheless it is a team.  Or at least it should be dammit!  :)

It's shocking, but in 2015 an example of a reliable job where employment standards are followed, and appreciation is shown, is under the golden arches.  The pitfall is that you're feeding the world crap and you will forevermore smell like a french fry.  But who am I to talk?  I'm a bartender, meaning I sell people poison that tastes good.

I guess, in closing I'll just say that we (myself included) too often dismiss certain jobs seeing the grass greener over there.  But by the time you get over there, that green grass could look totally different.  I guess, don't diss it til ya try it eh?

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Canadian Pride From the Grave


I had to share something that has in mere moments, made my entire day.  The upcoming Federal election in Canada has been described as a big deal.  In my opinion, it's the biggest deal around.  And in these our days of trade deals and corporate deals, that's saying a lot.

I believe this election will decide our future as a country.  I believe that if Stephen Harper is stayed another term, we will surely not recognize her when he's done.  The proud Canadian and poet Shane Koyczan who wrote that amazing poem for our Olympics titled "We Are More", refused to recite that poem this past birthday.  You can read about that here along with his reasons for not reciting his words.

But we are no longer an experiment going right.  Our Wheat Board is owned by Saudis though the farmers offered to buy it.  The fish caught down East will no longer hold the guarantee of giving work to locals, now export looms over every fisherman's head.  In fact, almost every resource we have is being shipped away to be processed elsewhere.  Our home on Native land is shrinking from something of great wonderment to mere value in digits with a dollar sign in front. Lands bursting with growth potential are now mud pits of bitumen.  Hurry hurry suck it dry before someone else does!

What has made my day is yet another affirmation that I am not alone in these worries.  I know this, but that doesn't discount the effect it has on me when I see it.   For instance, a fellow proud Canadian has passed leaving us with a eulogy filled with words that stick.  Can you imagine giving those last sacred words to a cause this big?   Now that's pride; the epitome of selflessness.

"Don't weep for me, save our country and the CBC".

Rest in peace Mary Catherine Finn (nee McCormick).  Thank you for being an example of Canadianism that will not die with you.


You can read more about Mary in the beautifully written eulogy here.  Even in her dying words it seems she leaves us with this sense of duty as Canadians.  We cannot idly sit by and allow the rules of our country be decided without us.  WE have the power to make Canada an experiment going right again.

"In lieu of donations, Catherine would want you to do everything you can to drive Stephen Harper from office, right out of the country, and into the deep blue sea if possible.  Also, she would like you to fix the CBC".

Please vote responsibly  :)

Monday, 27 July 2015

Web of Life



The peeps they hang suspended,
Inside your poisonous grasp.

Sycophants and followers,
Unaware of your weakening silk.

Your web it was no doubt a part,
Of this cause we 're soon to win.

But it's simply another off-shoot,
From the one great web of life.

Debates rage on as to whom's this was,
Herer, Hari Krishna, Jesus Christ?

The sum of the web is far greater,
Than each individual part.

There is no room for narcissism,
For ego or for fight.

Personal freedom is within our reach,
Come ALL we must UNITE!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Prime Minister of Canada is the Shark

Source:  "Life on the Reef" ... National Geographic Channel





The Prime Minister of Canada is the shark,
and all We swim in his tide.

Some of us are Pilot by breed,
following, supporting, assisting.

Others are known as Remora,
it seems just catching a ride.

A posse, a gaggle, a group.
Call us whatever you will.

But our purpose to He is tenfold,
a truth I attempt to instill.

Pilot pushes forward,
progress is its cause.

While Remora delays this haste,
for decisions require pause.

Bravest, strongest, proudest,
these are adjectives used,

To describe what it takes to fill this role,
this role that is prone to abuse.

We the posse choose the King,
it is We who make the rules!

For what would he be without us,
But a mason without any tools.

If the Prime Minister of Canada is the shark,
then You and I are the Ocean.











Friday, 24 July 2015

Fun With Fungi in Colorado


This blogpost is more of a photography post featuring pics from my good friend Angie White from beautiful Colorado.

I'm not really up on my mushrooms~ edible, magic, or only edible once.  They intrigue me just the same and let's just give photo cred where credit is due:  Angie has the eye :)

If any foragers are reading this, I'd love to know what each of these Fungi are called.













Lead By Example Parliament ... Join the Paperless Revolution!


I recycle.  You recycle.  We all try to do our part. We all feel our carbon footprint like it's the boogeyman hiding under our beds.  My hunni is especially anal about the 3R's.  Considering the fact that the base components from almost all recyclables is slowly running dry~ the oil and the trees ~we all see the need to reduce what we use, reuse when we can, and of course recycle.

Unless you're in the position to represent the rest of us in one of the 336 ridings of our Country, then it seems that paper and trees and ink to colour them is growing out back of their yards.  I've actually only seen the West Block of the Canadian Parliament buildings, am I unaware?  Is the all-giving, never-ceasing tree of life growing out back and I just never knew?

A friend just brought this to my attention because she knows how much it bothers me.  It's convenient how we're able to set aside environmental protection measures when an election is nigh.  I was furious during our recent municipal election here in Kingston.  My hallways were littered with glossy placards with smiling faces and hopeful promises.  I was published in our local newspaper then regarding the absolute atrocity that was the traffic circle with it's busy collage of election signs.  If texting while at a stop light is distracting, how is reading election signs not?  My beef was more with the fact that several signs lay littered in the grassy patches along my street for weeks after the election was over.

I propose an environmental tax on all partisan flyers, brochures, and MP newspapers. Of course, that's silly, it's not like it's the actual MP is paying for the paperwork or the postage to mail it.  You and I pay for paper and printing while Canada Post is mandated to send anything an MP wants to send out for free.  I've learned that it's all up to each individual member as well.  That's interesting.  Are there any guidelines or restrictions on that?  Or are those expense rules as vague as we're hearing they are in the Senate?  That's a slippery and expensive slope if you're an over-sharer like me, you're going to break the bank in both postage and printing costs.  Not to mention environmental concerns as not everyone has gotten the 3R bug yet.  I just received this from my local MP Ted Hsu.


I've met with Ted before as a not-so-young Young Liberal, and don't doubt that he'd agree it's a bit excessive.  I think that this is a problem rooted in archaic practices that haven't had the sustainability light shone on them.  The above flyer is a season catch up on local Liberal activities.  It's 11x17, substantial stock paper, in both official languages.  All of the above is over-the-top in my opinion, and simply one small example of the over-use of resources in a time of cut-backs to vital programs all over the country.  Also, if I don't speak or read french, why am I getting it?  Don't I tick a box stating I speak English during my elections?

I'm really confused to be honest.  If the banks are going paperless, and they're all about the money, perhaps parliament could take a hint?  I mean, at TD they're actually paying YOU to go paperless.  I know this because my hunni hasn't gotten with the "credit union revolution" and he's still with them. For eight months he was offered $5 to go paperless and last week they upped it to $10.  He says he's holdin' out for a pink $50!!

But my friend has a better example than this.  I mean, at least this is local and up until the signing of C-51, I was a card-carrying Liberal.  But what if I weren't a supporter of Ted?  Would I still get the flyers and the papers and all of the flashy reminders?  I'd surely hope to be able to opt out of that.  I mean, as it is, I'm starting to dislike the colour blue, would I have to see it often in my mailbox if Alicia Gordon had won in Kingston and the Islands?

My friend lives in the riding of Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry which is represented by Conservative MP Guy Lauzon.  If there are guidelines, it seems Guy hasn't read them.  As an aside, would that really be a valid excuse? :)  We'll see when the Duffy trial finally finishes.  Check out her interaction with Guy as a concerned constituent here.  How about this for choking over-use of ink and stock paper and yes ... postage.




The Canadian Lumber Industry remains a profitable and integral part of our economy, and yet everywhere we're told to use less.  Why not follow that same sentiment in Parliament?  At the very least, do you think you could re-think your printing practices to reflect accurate readership?  Only print what you need!  I mean, unless the garbage people possess greater voting power than the rest of us, you're wasting time and our money.

I am a citizen who sees cutbacks but really isn't effected by any, yet I feel this urgency about money and time and resources that Parliament clearly does not.  Money doesn't grow on trees!  As elected members of Parliament, you need to feel this urgency too.  Is it too much to ask that you consider waste?  Is it too much for you to consider excess spending?

It's not too much to ask, but the sacred cow is difficult to slaughter.  Maybe she should get recycled instead. :)


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Cannabis Oil, Dosing, & Dogs


We pet owners are crazy.  I mean, most of us eat absolute nutritional garbage when compared to what we feed our pets.  Most of us choose the most nutritionally balanced, grain-free, hormone-free, additive-free, preservative-free kibble.  I'm raising my hand as one who has done that for years.  I think it's a parent thing, as I know many single parents who buy baby or child's food first, and make due with whatever is left. So though I've been writing and raving and telling everyone I can about the marvels of Cannabis oil, tinctures, and emulsions, it took my arthritic kitty to push me to actually make some cannabis olive oil.

You see, I had a pack of animals at one time.  It was like a revolving door for a while there.  I swear people dropped pets off nearby for a reason.  And then there were the ever fertile kitties who were just suckling last week, but were soon welping their own litter under the shed.  It was crazy, I had horses, dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, and lovebirds.  In fact, on that little trailer turned hobby farm under the hydro towers, every single mammal got pregnant but yours truly.

But death is a part of life, and after many years, my furry sister India, was all that was left of my pack.  As you can imagine, I would have ground up fresh liver if it would prolong her life.  She was 17 and getting feeble.  I knew that cannabinoids could help her mobility, pain, and likely stimulate her appetite.  Plus any kind of oil had calories and the fats her brain needed.  She'd always been a picky eater so I chose light tasting olive oil and with a double boiler, a thermometer and whatever scraps of buds and shake i could find, I made my girl some cannabis oil.

Long story short, though she fought me and my squirt of oil for a long time, she eventually gave in. Animals are incredibly in tune with their bodies.  It didn't take long for India to realize that this shit makes her feel good!

Well India lived another two years getting squirts of oil every few days then every day.  She played with our dog Molly and she'd play with her own little tennis ball.  The poorly shot video below was filmed about four months before she passed.  You can see that she was medicated prior to the filming as her pupils were huge, and she's moving really well.  When I'd see her doing the robot-walk I'd give her a little squirt.  India played a brisk game of floor hockey with herself and a crumpled up piece of paper a mere week before she passed over.  Cannabinoids helped her agility and her sense of humour, and definitely prolonged her life.

video

This whole time we soon realized that our Boston Terrier Molly's fear of thunder and fireworks was getting worse.  We had been giving her an herbal tincture called Bach Rescue Remedy but eventually tried the kitty's cannabis olive oil.  Let's just say that dosing is crucial, and you should always lean more on the safe side as in less than you think.  I felt her pain as my first few times smoking weed weren't all that enjoyable to be honest.  There was no one to advise me, we were the blind leading the blind with the one girl's hippy mother's stash.  I have felt the anxiety, though only once and I handled it well.  So basically Molly was uncomfortable for the first few times until sedation took over.

Signs of over dosing in my experience is the inability to sit still.  They will sit and kind of wobble back and forth, not wanting to give in to sleep.  But eventually she did, right from the very first time. But tonight has confirmed for me that I not only have the dosing down, but Molly's cannabinoid receptors are accepting the medicine well.

First off, I keep the oil in a certain spot on the counter, and as soon as the thunder started tonight she went over there and stood licking her lips.  She must've been there for a few minutes before I noticed. Regardless of her fear level, she will lick this stuff up.   I dosed her, and about an hour later I saw her jumping at her ball all by herself.  She was feeling good!  Every single time I walked down the hallway, she took it as an invite to play.  Cannabis olive oil took away her vibrating, panting, nerve-wracked fear and made her want to play.

video

I've learned a lot from this experience.  This dog is my adopted child.  I guard her with my life.  So while experimenting with this medicine, I noticed something that I myself have noticed when ingesting this oil.  You may have heard about these things in some teas called "adaptogens".  These are substances, sometimes herbs that are said to stabilize the body on a cellular level.  Check out this Medicine Hunter site that explains these compounds well and offers some examples.  For me, I find that taking the oil makes my body and my brain do what I want them to do when I want them to do it.  For instance, I can sit and watch a movie while medicated on 2-3 gelatin caps full of this oil and not fall asleep ... until I go to bed.  It's better illustrated by my pooch and my handy camera.  The poorly shot video above of Mollyplaying fetch was taken about 75 minutes after she ingested about a teaspoon of cannabis olive oil with her dinner.  You can see that she is fit for the rodeo, and not impaired at all. Yet .... not 15 minutes later I snapped the shot below:


And now, about 2.5 hours after ingestion, she's waxing philosophical and trying to be the furry version of the couch activist :)


And ... about 3.5 hours after ingestion, Molly has the munchies :)



Dosing in medicine is crucial whether your medicine is natural or synthetic.  Cannabis oil is no different.  I urge you to experiment with this oil if you have a pet in pain.  Metacam is hell on the kidneys and ... well as I keep repeating ... cannabis has a zero death toll so it's ideal for long term use. And if the oil is already made up and you have an ache ... you should experiment with your proper dosing levels too.

RIP all my furry children  ... until we meet again :) and we WILL meet again.

The Measure of a Man


Guest piece by my friend Kenneth McGrath, continuing with more poignant poetry.


I found the moving, hollow place
Within my fragile soul
The missing piece of masculine
Whose measure was untold

Beneath the surface part of me
Behind the masks I wear
It carried whispers to my ear
That roared like silent stare

I asked the depths of what it was
Inform me - I am here
But nothing answered audibly
That answer was sincere

I lost the sadness of my youth
When questions led to truth
The missing-ness had missed the point
Of a wakeful dreamer's sleuth

Beneath the surface waters still
Behind the waves that crash
Like oceanic tapestries
The mystery depths did splash


This is but one of many many other poems by my friend Ken.  Check them out here!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Stage Set


A guest blog post by husband, father, brother, son, and friend Robert James Bouchard.


Life is perception, what i feel and see may differ than your feelings and your sight,

We are all living this life together so how can either of our views be wrong or right,

Communication is the key to unlock our inner thoughts to put us on the same page,

Our view of this page may be different but honesty and respect will set the stage,

For a gracious life for all to enjoy and be a part of,

All that is required of you , is to not fear love,

Change must happen to bring the basics of life to everyone for free,

You have more ingenuity inside you than that of a seasonal tree,

Life is but a dream where nothing can forever exist,

The toppling of Capitalism is futile to resist,

The ideas of the East shall blend with the West,

The belief in our one source will be put to the ultimate test,

Will we learn we are one race and only when united we'll stand,

Or do we allow ourselves to continually be divided across this land,

Insanity is living the same as before,

Expecting a new result to wash ashore.


This piece is one of many poignant poems written by James and published in his book
"Awaken My Angels" and you can watch a video with his prose put to music here on youtube.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Taking Back Our Bodies

A guest blog post about Feminine Hygiene Products by angel, goddess, mother, wife, sister, and my good friend Tarah Milsap

Acronym of the day:

RUMPS -- Re-Usable Menstrual Products

Types of RUMPS available:

Cloth sanitary napkins in various sizes, shapes, colours, and fabrics.
Cloth tampons in various forms such as knit or crocheted.
Sea Sponge tampons.
Menstrual Cups in various sizes, shapes, and materials.




For many years, the norm has been to purchase and use chemical-laden feminine hygiene products and then throw them away.  This has created many problems for a few aspects of the planet.  There's an ecological problem, all of these sanitary products go into landfills where their synthetic design prohibits breakdown as well as leeching chemicals into the ground.  There's the economic problem. Let's say I spent $20 a month on tampons and pads, depending if I was postpartum or not.  So I have been menstruating for about 17 years.  That would bring me to around $4080 already spent on toss away products!!!  If a woman tends to menstruate for 30+ years.  That's close to $10,000 I will have spent!!!   WHAT THE HELL!!?

However, my main focus is what I have learned that is MEDICALLY wrong with these items.  What these items can do to our most delicate areas as women.  There's a few reasons why disposable menstrual products are terrible ideas for the human female body.

Perhaps the most terrible reason is the use of chlorine bleach to make the materials uniformly white.  Personally, I don't think I would care if my items were unevenly coloured, it isn't like they will be seen anyway!  Not only does this seem like an entirely wasteful process, it also sets we females up for terrible problems internally.  The bleach can leave behind a by-product called dioxin.  This chemical is a known carcinogen.  Why are we exposing such a delicate place and organ to such a thing?

Another well-known reason (at least about tampons) is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This condition occurs when a tampon is left inside for too long and bacteria grows.  It is common in younger women as their bodies haven't had time to build up antibodies to this rare but potentially fatal condition. Disposable items contain fibers that are entirely too absorbent.  Yes, women are advised to use a tampon with the lowest reasonable absorption to help lower the risk of TSS but every manufacturer tends to have a different absorbency level for each type (lights, regular, super etc) as there is no industry standard to adhere to.  The materials used also tend to leave the vagina feeling dry and irritated.  The use of natural cotton tampons help reduce the fibers left behind but still reduces the natural moisture level of the vagina.  Disposable pads can contribute to rashes, infections, and burning.

On a personal note, before I realized what could be contributing to it, my menstrual cramps were horrendous.  I'm talking curled up in the fetal position, move-and-I-will-barf cramps.  Debilitating.  I also had 20 to 23 day cycles, 10 to 12 days of which were menstruating.  I probably went through about $20 a month in hygiene products.  Now however, after I decided to make the switch to R.U.M.P.S. , my periods are 5 to 7 days and although my flow is still heavy (thanks to the Diva menstrual cup I know how much fluid I lose per month) I don't have to worry about running out of supplies!  My cramps are still painful but not to the point of making me vomit.  Big improvement and I attribute it entirely to not inserting chemicals into my body.  It is not scientifically proven that using reusable feminine products reduces cramps and flow, however I do know many women that would attest to this being true for them.  For me as well, rashes, irritations and things like bladder infections that always occurred for me during my period have disappeared!

WHO CAN USE RUMPS?

Anyone who menstruates can use RUMPS.  Pre-teen, teen or adult, virgin or not.
Anyone who experiences bladder incontinence of any level.
Anyone who experiences excess moisture.

WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?

Reusable menstrual products have a few different materials depending on which type of reusable you choose.  Cups are typically made from either food or medical grade silicone, or a material called TPE (thermoplastic elastomers).   Medical grade silicone is generally recommended over food grade as it lasts longer and is actually designed for use within the body.  Menstrual cups also have a range of sizes and firmness.  Knit and crocheted tampons are made from a natural fiber wool/yarn.  It is not recommended to use acrylic yarn.  Cloth pads and tampons are made with a variety of textile materials ranging from cotton to polyester.  Cores that make up the absorbent layers range from ever absorbent Zorb to Hemp.  Zorb is a specially designed fabric with incredible absorbency.  It consists of tangled cellulose fibers from bamboo/cotton/viscose/poly micro fiber.

It really depends on how organic you want your pads to be.  Sea sponge tampons are naturally sourced and I feel unbleached versions would be healthier.  However, Sea sponge tampons have a shorter life as they naturally disintegrate through use.  Cloth pads are a very popular choice among RUMP users.  Perhaps it is the cute fabrics, or the incredible diversity in sizes, materials, widths, and absorbency available.  Or perhaps it's having comfortable items that don't even fell like you are wearing a pad or liner!

I love that there are so many WAHM (work at home moms) turned entrepreneurs that take the time to create comfortable personalized cloth pads for each customer.  No two makers are exactly alike, and I love putting money back into the economy and NOT into the pockets of companies like Playtex and Always.

WHERE CAN YOU GET THEM TOO?

RUMPS and the health of my delicate system has been my passion for a while now.  Research is easy when you're interested in the topic.  I would like to give credit back to the many small companies and the women who started them.

One of our faves is a Canadian company from Winnipeg Manitoba named "Tree Hugger Cloth Pads" .  Their product is so great, the Dragon's Den peeps declined saying they were already on the right track.  And the best part about them is they plant a tree for every pad sold.  Being the change is awesome to see :)

Working our way across western Canada, another favourite from Saskatchewan is called "Homestead Emporium".  This company has you all covered.  They put the O in Organic and even sell hand made underwear, nursing pads, and other reusable cloths.  Check out their facebook page.  The website is extensive so have fun, poke around, and learn how to be a part of lowering all of our carbon footprints :)



Equally impressive are the reusables from a more local home-based business in Cambridge, Ontario called "Handmade by Alycia", this is her Etsy store.  She also has a facebook page you can check out. By the sounds of things, Alycia will custom make almost any reusable you could need.  She's working on new products as we speak :)





Last but not least, I'd like to introduce "Harp Diapers" from beautiful British Colombia. This is their Etsy store and their facebook page is here.  You think you know what cloth diapers are in 2015?  It's quite impressive.  No safety pins required!  Once again, like the others, INGENIOUS.  Harp will custom make your items in whatever fabric your heart desires.  Check her out too :)


Still others include:

"Looper's Luffs" from Newfoundland, see her facebook page here.

"Princess Flow" from Manitoba, see their facebook page and Etsy store .

"Modern Wednesday" from Alberta, see their facebook page and website.

"Empire Lush" also from Saskatchewan, see their very informative facebook page.


"Pretty Eco Intimates" from PEI, see their facebook page and website.


Let me know in the comments if you'd ever consider using RUMPS.  If you already do, share your experience with us.  Many voices can change even our environmental problems ... one disposable at a time :)









Thursday, 16 July 2015

Willie Nelson as a Way of Life


Some of my favourite books are the ones from which I learn.  I’ve learned from fiction and non-fiction, autobiographies too.  Learning equals evolving, in theory at least, so with more reading comes a better understanding of the world around us.   To say in my thirty plus years of reading, I have evolved is an understatement.  I used to know so little about so few things.  I remember hearing about Willie Nelson evading taxes and judged him without any idea of what the real story was.  I’m sure though that Willie would forgive me my harshness, as one of the many things that I learned from his autobiography “It’s A Long Story” is that Willie is all about forgiveness.


With wit and the rawest of honesty, this book at times reads like a candid confessional.  Willie puts it all out there, as though he has something to prove.  But you soon learn that throughout Willie’s life, nothing he did was to prove anything other than music can heal the world.  You learn that his odd sense of musical timing was a pattern in his life, where he was on no time schedule.  What will be will be.  He loves Jesus and his faith is something that doesn’t have to be renewed with sermons or rosaries, it’s simply a part of his genetic makeup living inside his blood and in his every cell.  Willie is a good Christian.  He reminds me of my Daddy in that way. 


I’ve seen interviews recent and past and his whole demeanor, his wording, the colloquialism of his storytelling is reminiscent of how people in my own small town spoke when I was a child.  Is “small town” a universal way of being as though with its own behavioral dialect?  What do I mean?  I mean if you were to drive through most small towns and wave at people like you know them, they’ll wave back.  They’ll likely be talking about it for a week, but small townism is like a literal neighborhood watch program.  What city slickers might call nosiness, small towners simply consider to be watching out for your fellow citizen.  At least I hope most small towns are still like this everywhere.  Is Abbott, Texas still like this Willie?


Stress is killing us all they say; take this or that to deter it.  But you wouldn’t really know that if you talked to Willie.  Oh sure, he was moving here or touring there, always on the go.  He had some romantic issues, some legal issues, and some income issues too.  But he was never stressed about it because he was doing what he loved.  Reading about his all night jam sessions with his fellow “pickers” reminded me of Bob Marley who was much the same way.  Like a truly amicable and beneficial addiction, this playing music thing was also a part of Bob’s genetic makeup.  They played, picked, and jammed because they couldn’t not do it.  Playing music together and the camaraderie that it wove is for many its own way of self- expression.   For Willie and his friends it was like a group therapy session where the therapist is the music.


Willie Nelson’s life up until now is one to emulate.  As colourful and unconventional as it was and is, there are lessons in his way of thinking that changed me.  In Yoda-ish fashion, Willie shows us that there is no try there is only do.  And that the try IS the do, for what really is success?  Willie would say living, loving, and picking.  He redefines faith for me.  He doesn’t write about praying very much, perhaps because praying would infer doubt or impatience.  He’s just always known that it’ll all be just fine in its own time.  He speaks with so much love when he speaks about his family, and yet he will tell you that for him family and friend are of the same meaning.  We are all his family he says.


I consider myself to be a writer in the making.  Willie and I are alike in this way, except he’s more than made it.  Has anyone else written as many songs as Willie Nelson has?  And highly successful ones at that!  There’s a genuineness in all of his words that tells me they were chosen because they fit the feel of the song, rather than chosen because of their hopeful success.  So many of his albums were predicted to be flops but that didn’t stop Willie.  His artistic expression and the freedom to pair it with any genre he fancied could not be hindered by mere capitalism.  Perhaps his label’s reasons for being in the music industry were financial, but Willie’s were not.  And they’re still not though he likely spends half of the year touring.  And everywhere he goes, he’s giving voice to the voiceless, his music like a megaphone.   


I could go on and on comparing Willie to other great humans.  But I would be entirely remiss if I neglected to mention Willie’s love for the Cannabis plant.  So in closing I’ll make one more comparison with Willie, and one that I think he’ll appreciate.  Willie Nelson is like the flowers of the Cannabis plant in all of its various forms.  They’re both medicinal don’t ya know?  They both give us comfort when we’re down and both easily ease our pain.  Willie oozes loving compassion like a sticky bouquet of buds.  To me, his life can be described to look like the curing process for Cannabis Sativa or Indica.  The sticky resins in the flowers contain sugars and terpenes that ripen over time and convert into nothing short of magic.  Willie is like this, simply getting better with age.  Willie like Cannabis is the great uniter, because as anyone knows if you want to make a friend you offer them your doob and crank up some Willie Nelson tunes.

Peace, Pot, and Prosperity to you Willie and all of your family too :)





Sunday, 12 July 2015

Canadian Parliamentary Games



Rona Ambrose is Canada's Health Minister.  Impressive title isn't it?  One would think that an equally impressive CV and education would go along with that too.  But it doesn't.  In fact, Rona has worn more hats in the eleven years she's served under emperor Harper, than most British royalty!  She earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Vancouver, a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta.

Lets see, she's worn hats belonging to all kinds of departments!  Rona has been:

Minister of the Environment
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Minister of Labour
Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada
Minister for Status of Women

Now that's what I call a "Jack of all trades".  Unfortunately for Canadians, Ambrose is a master of none.  She does though have the "stone-face" mastered.  Perhaps with the thanks to botulism not skill.

What is this sillyness we have in Parliament where we allow people into positions of authority and influence without proper education?  A health minister should hold some degree in healthcare.  A minister of environment should hold a degree in environmental science.  A minister in economic diversification should hold a degree in economics.  A minister of labour should hold a degree in employment laws among other things, and a minister in public works and government services should hold a degree higher than Arts!  And finally, a minister for the status of women should not change her views once she joins a certain political party.

Rona was involved in many action groups working to end violence against women before dawning any of the above hats, and ironically most of the non-profit women's groups have distanced themselves from Rona based on her staunch anti-abortion stance.  And yet, in 2005 Rona made headlines for saying that "working women want to make their own choices, we don't need old white guys telling us what to do."  Unless they're talking about our uteri Rona?

Oh but she's adaptable.  I guess that's what Parliament requires nowadays?  If you can read a script, keep your nose clean, and swallow all of your integrity you're hired!  Heck that beats any chance of higher employment around these parts.  To push paper at Queen's U I'd have to hold a university degree.  To assist shoppers at Home Depot, I have to go through a five interview process!  The real world sucks when it comes to job searching.  No wonder Rona does what the master tells her to, no thought required. Seriously, you ask her opinion, and she has to check her notes to see which words she CAN use and which words she CAN'T!!

Climate Change: never
Terrorism:  daily

I love my country fiercely and the last time I visited Ottawa and stood on the grounds of our Parliament, I felt a connected desire to protect her.  It was early summer last year and they were playing a projection on the great stone face of the building.  A single tear escaped from my eyes and traveled down my cheek as I watched with pride. This is greatness, this country of ours.  And we have uneducated dumbasses running the show.

Our members of parliament have a role to fill.  That role being to represent the opinions, beliefs, and desires of their riding and we the people.  Their influence has never been more important as stated in this article , "Some argue, and I also agree, that MP's have a new class of fiduciary duty to their citizens and constituents to act ethically, and within the scope of reason." Their role is not to simply regurgitate what the master of the day tells them to.  Each riding is unique, as each great province is unique.  There is a beauty and a certain comfort in knowing that my perspective is being represented in the big house where rules and laws are decided.

This upcoming Federal election is going to be huge.  Honestly, you and I are living in a crucially decisive time right now.  The outcome of our collective vote in October could leave our country crumbling further around us, or rebuilding what we know is still alive.  We are more than exporting toxic substances so someone else can process them.  We are more than dollar signs above murky polluted waters.  We are more than our GDP.

As Shane Koyczan says in his incredible poem 'We Are More' ....

"we are an idea in the process of being realized", that idea is FREEDOM.

Let's make a concerted effort to prove to himself and his minions that we are more and we demand more of our government.  If many hands make light work, then many votes can make us more again.


Please vote Red, Orange, or Green  :)