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Whoomp!

Hello Readers!

Whoomp! There it is.  (I am ageing myself.)

After I had written P.C. Post, Ben S. Harper tweeted, No MacDonald No Canada.  Yep, thanks to this MacDonald guy from Scotland, Canada is all about the beaver, the BB-Q, the burger and the beer.

Image result for sir john a macdonald

I’m not sure the person who tweeted this message is Ben Harper, the son of former Prime Minister (and Conservative extraordinaire) Steven Harper, but I instinctively knew and felt there would be a backlash by the recent push of taking down statues, changing signs, names of schools, etc.

I don’t even think it’s a Conservative / Liberal / NDP thing.  I think it’s a Canadian thing.  And sometimes, it’s an Immigrant thing.

I was recently having a conversation with a group of people, of various backgrounds (mostly Canadian) and someone said, “They (Aboriginals) do not pay taxes.

I let out a sigh…I had just finished watching the series 8th Fire hosted by Wab Kinew, where he said, “I pay taxes.”

All things considered, it was actually really good timing.

I related this little bit of truth to the group and encouraged them to watch this CBC series.  8th Fire is Native prophecy that says we (Natives and Non-Natives) must come together in this time to make peace with one another.  (I am paraphrasing from memory, so apologies if this is off a bit).  I’m not sure the series says what will happen if we don’t reconcile and make peace with one another, but I’m going to safely assume that it’s not going to be pretty.

Maybe we should start by stating the obvious.  The one thing we can all agree on, whether we be Natives, Canadians – old and new – is that we really love this country and believe that we can do AMAZING things.  We can show the world what reconciliation and loving your neighbour looks like.

I have to believe that the majority of Canadians are decent, and that our comments and beliefs are simply based on ignorance and lack of education on the subject of Native peoples in this country.   I sincerely hope that these beliefs are solely based on our lack of understanding, and not our lack of care, compassion or empathy for the First Peoples.

That said Canada, I would encourage you to watch the series, 8th Fire, see link below, and give these few books a read.  I know we’re all busy, but instead of watching brainless reality television, why not try something different?

Here’s my suggestion list:

  • Keeper’n Me (Fiction) by Richard Wagamese (My absolute favourite Aboriginal writer!)
  • The Inconvenient Indian (Non-fiction) by Thomas King
  • A Coyote Columbus Story (Fiction) by Thomas King
  • An Army of Problem Solvers (Non-fiction) by Shaun Loney and Will Braun

Link to 8th Fire:

http://www.cbc.ca/8thfire//2011/11/tv-series-8th-fire.html  (You’ll have to scroll down to the bottom to watch the four (4) episodes.)

I really hope you’ll consider reading and watching this series.  It’s an important first step to understanding.

If you’re hesitating, my question to you is this:  When has the government ever really gotten it right when it comes to reconciling Aboriginal peoples and Canadians?

I think it’s up to you and me. Or, as Ms. Piggy would say,

You and…

Image result for ms. piggy moi

Blessings,

Ellie

A World Without Borders

Hello Readers,

I’ve been pretty annoyed by everything that is happening in the world.  (But, at least it’s got me blogging again!)

Given my annoyance, I have some suggestions on how the world would be a better place. Here they are:

  1.  My first recommendation is for world leaders to stop acting like they’re 12-years old. I’m not just talking about Donald Trump, here people.  What about Vladimir Putin and his, ‘Oh yeah, you’re going to kick us out of our diplomatic posts in San Francisco, etc., Well, we’re going to kick the same number of American diplomats out of Russia + 1.  Take that Donny.’  Really?  And, then there was the American-Russian race to the moon. Don’t even get me started…
  2.  My second recommendation is to erase all the borders on the planet. Everywhere.  Just take a giant erasure and go to town.  Let the kids do it. It’ll keep them out of your hair while you’re watching Game of Thrones.  Here’s a picture of what that would look like:

Related image

The reason I would argue for a world without borders is this:  If we continue to look at people as being from this place or that place, different from ourselves, and not as human beings, we will NEVER get anywhere.  We are inter-connected, whether you like it or not. We share the same universal need for unconditional love, acceptance and are likely in need of some form of healing.

I once spoke with a German man, whose family fled Germany after World War II.  He said, “People do not want to leave their homes, families, communities, lives.”    (See all you anti-immigration people, if you just told your governments to make the world a safer place to live,  and did not tolerate aggressive acts, no one would come and live in your WASPy or pure European-blooded country  – Note sarcasm.)

All that to say, people do not want to have their lives uprooted and move to a foreign country.   For the most part, people are forced to leave due to the circumstances.

That’s about all I have to say on the subject.  We’re all in this together, like a sports team, whether it be cricket, baseball, football, American football, hockey, we’re going to have to work together eventually, so why not now?

Otherwise, it’s looking like China is on the cusp of becoming the world’s next super power.  Just look at the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, calling for the U.S. and North Korea to cool it, saying, “Dialogue, negotiations and a political settlement are the fundamental ways of solving the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue” (Washington Post).

President Xi may be our best hope at present for peace.

Until we get our act together, that is.  Come on, People of the World!

Although, there is a little part of my Canadian self that thinks maybe it’s Canada’s time to be a World Superpower!!!    Check it out:

Related image

Clearly a sign from above, eh?*

Blessings,

Ellie

* The question is rhetorical.

The Trumpster

Hi there,

When Donald Trump, let’s call him, the Trumpster, becomes President of the United States of America, the first thing he’s going to do with all that power is to get rid of all the Mexicans, annex Puerto Rico, then deport all the Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. back to their sovereign nation, (you’re welcome Puerto Ricans), and then dump the Cubans off in the shark-infested coast of, well, Cuba or thereabouts.  President Trumpster doesn’t really care so long as there are sharks to eat all the Cubans…

So, when Hispanic Canadians are contemplating making October national Hispanic month, they’re probably looking ahead to the future, the near future, like two weeks into the future, when President Trumpster begins the Great Deportation, (as it will fondly be looked upon by historians when America is actually great again – as in the day when he moves out of the White House).

‘Cos you know, (insert Hitler salute), that it won’t stop there. Next, the Trumpster will have to rid America of the “miscreants” (a word I love! and coined by Major Duncanson in his infamous order of the Massacre of Glencoe, Scotland 1692), also known as the Hispanic population.  But where will all these miscreants go? you ask.

Cana-duh of course!

After all, don’t we have a wonderful history of taking in people America no longer wants, or who no longer want America?

  • Africans – Those enslaved by, hmm….how would I describe the slave owners, miscreants sounds like a decent word.
  • The Loyalists.  Those bloody miscreants, who wanted to remain loyal to Britain, and not rebel in the American Revolution.
  • The Hispanics (Coming soon to a township in Canada near you.)

Oh Canada!

  • Of course, that land stolen from the Indigenous peoples, promised by the British government to the Africans for their support, fell through.
  • Not for the White Loyalists though.  They got their land. And, good land.  Isn’t it wonderful to be White…It’s like a Winter Wonderland throughout all of history.

I’m getting side-tracked.  Back to the Trumpster.

The Trumpster will have to keep going. Next up on the Trumpster’s list – Canadians.

And, I don’t mean Canadians living in America (sing along!), I mean Canada.  the Trumpster is going to annihilate us.

Annihilate:   “to destroy (something or someone) completely” (Merriam-Webster).

But, for what? you ask.

For taking in all those miscreants I was talking about earlier, that’s for what.

So, since we’re all doomed anyway, I figure we should go out dancing and singing and shaking our bodies to the Conga!

Take it away, Gloria!

 

Blessings,

Ellie

 

 

 

Wonder Woman for President

Hi there,

Did you hear? The United Nations has named Wonder Woman as an ambassador for women.  There’s been some uproar over this and criticism of the UN.  I am not going to criticize the UN, as I thought I could use my time more wisely.

Here’s a list of women who I think are pretty terrific.  I am sure some of my choices (or at least one) will be controversial.  (But, hey you need at least one, right?)

1)  Maya Angelou – she’s written a wonderful poem called Phenomenal Woman.  A verse from the poem reads,

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.

Read the full poem here:
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48985

2) Dr. Roberta Bondar –   Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space. This woman has more letters after her name than anyone I’ve ever known –
OC OOnt FRCPC FRSC

3) Mother Teresa – need I say more? Maybe I should.  I would encourage us to read,
No Greater Love.  Women’s Magazine said, “No Greater Love is a passionate testament to Mother Teresa’s deep hope and abiding faith in God and the world….Through her own words, this book celebrates the life and work of one of the great humanitarians of our time.”

4) Buffy St. Marie – I recently had the opportunity to see her perform.  Born February 20, 1941, she’s 75 and still  going strong, speaking out on what she believes in.  Take a listen to her song,  Universal Soldier, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYEsFQ_gt7c

5) Madonna – I warned you! I have loved Madonna since I was in Grade 3. One verse of Holiday, and I was hooked.  She’s strong, smart and seems to be very much in control of her own career.  With all the pressure and negative things the media ALWAYS says about her, she has stayed the course.  The woman is disciplined, and I think must be a woman of strong faith.

See the official video for Holiday, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rswx2Z7SDw

6) Audrey Hepburn – I was going to write a blog about her alone, but decided she needed to be on this list.  I recently read a quote by Ms. Hepburn that exemplifies why she’s terrific! She said, “I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.”  Don’t you just love this woman to bits???

7) Mrs. Balderston – My grade 8 teacher. When Mrs. Balderston learned that I wanted to be a director, she gave me the opportunity to direct a school play. I even got to leave class to go to rehearsal.  (I didn’t become a director (at least not yet), but she helped and encouraged me.)  And for that I am thankful and believe she gets to be on the list.

8) Mrs. El-Y-Ari (really not spelling that one right) – She was the school receptionist/secretary/assistant, who let a couple of us girls go into the office in the morning and answer the phones. FUN!  By grade three we were pretty proficient at using the PA System, taking messages, forwarding calls.  Loved Mrs. El-Y-Ari!!

9) And, no list would be complete without my Mom!  The woman gave birth to me and has loved me unconditionally ever since. She’s always proud of me and cheers me on, telling me I can do anything I set my mind to.  She tells me I’m smart, beautiful and a wonderful daughter. Sometimes, I do not feel so worthy of all this praise.  I know I’m blessed to have a good mom.

10) I also have to mention to my grandmothers, Audrey and Rose.  Two very different woman, who also had a great influence on my character and development. I’m cheeky like Audrey and gentle like Rose.  🙂  These women had such a strong faith in God, that they surely passed that faith onto me.

I would love for you to share your stories of women who have made a difference in your life, professionally, personally, spiritually.  – For real – That’s why it’s in bold!

And, don’t forget to thank a Phenomenal Woman in your life today.

Blessings,

Ellie

Raising Funds of…

“Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.”

Can you guess who said this?

I was trying to think of a topic to write on, and was skimming through my documents and saw, “Quotes by Mother Theresa.”

She was quite the woman.  Apparently, she spent most of her life not hearing from God directly.  It left her feeling quite lonely and I am sure “forsaken” and yet she plodded on, giving us wisdom, encouragement, hope, but most of all, love.

Amazing!

The reason why this quote struck me today was because of ‘”money”.  I know money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy other things and it can be used to help others.  Not such a bad thing.

I was just thinking, I confess, that if God would just drop some cash on me, I could do good things too.  This was  a timely reminder!

We also live in a culture pretty much obsessed with money.  Even  charities – must raise funds, more funds…  It never seems to be enough.

Although, I think pretty much every culture, whether Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern, in every era, in every time in history has held tight to its possessions.

A few years back I went to an Exhibit on Pompeii.  You remember Pompeii, the place buried in volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius (according to Wikipedia) erupted.  It was kind of freaky to think that the hollow shells of people, animals, etc., have been preserved.

I walked about looking at the empty shells of where real, live people had died in 79 AD.

Wikipedia says this, “Details of everyday life are preserved. For example, on the floor of one of the houses (Sirico’s), a famous inscription Salve, lucru (Welcome, money), perhaps humorously intended, indicates a trading company owned by two partners, Sirico and Nummianus (but this could be a nickname, since nummus means coin, money).”

Ahh, the love of money!  The sad thing was that some people might have survived if they had not returned home to get their money, coins, valuables, etc.

I wondered at myself.  Would I run back to get my purse?  It not only has my bank card, credit card, but also my ID, my driver’s license.  How could I prove that I am me without that information?  And, why do I need to prove that I am “me”.  To get my money out of the bank of course!!

But, what if I died, like the people in Pompeii, because I was so concerned about those things?  Seems like they’re not so important, and yet as human beings, these are the things most of us probably think of in emergency situations.

And, how did they even know the decision to turn back was going to lead to death.  They probably didn’t.

And,  so now back to Mother Theresa, who grounds me and reminds me that there is real value in things that have no monetary value.  Kindness, a smile, love, understanding, peace.

These things probably have more value than any of the rarest minerals, jewels, bars of gold each of us could store up.

How much would I have spent to have someone be a little bit more compassionate toward me in the past when I have been hurt, low, depressed?  I am sure a lot!!

Here’s the challenge.  You could see it coming, couldn’t you?

Try it.   When you are going into your office building, wait for a second, and hold the door for the person coming in from behind you.  Try and be a bit more understanding of that hormonal teenager, who is driving you completely nuts.  He or she will grow up eventually – I know I did, and look at how well I turned out!!  You’ll have to take me at my word on that one.  Smile -:)

And, please let me know how one day of intentional kindness,  understanding and peace made a difference in your day or someone else’s.  I would love to hear from you!

PS- If you want to read or learn more about Pompeii, just click on this link:   http://www.history.com/topics/Pompeii

 

 

 

The Apple Blues

First off, I am happy to confirm that Frankie can act.  I watched High Society with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
He was good too.  I can safely recommend a Frank Sinatra movie to you!

And, now onto the Apple Blues. I have just recently gotten rid of my land-line and cell phone and merged them into an I-phone.  For most people this might be an exciting venture.  Unfortunately, I am not like most people.

One downside is that I am hooked in for a three-year contract (Yikes), but figured I needed service anyway.

The other downside is this:

Once you go “Apple” or “Android” or “Whatever” you are now linked to “Those” people.  It’s like the marriage vow, “For better or for worse.”  In this case it is the latter.

I have to endure little “friendly-fire” jokes like, “You Apple people” to, well, for lack of  a better word, disdain to my I-phone.

For me, the problem lies in that I have never been one to buy into something because it was popular or cool.  My mother told me a story once about how I bought a pair of shoes and said, “I don’t care if no one else likes them, I do.”

That said, I am not a person to purposely go against fashion or the tide of what is currently popular.  I just like to do my own thing.

Needless to say, all of these boxes people put us in given our buying preferences drive me up a wall.

I discovered that artsy people are supposed to like Mac, not Microsoft, which is what I own.  I tend not to follow these types of ‘trends’.  I am clearly not in “the know”.

As a consumer I like to spread my money around a bit.  Not giving all my hard-earned cash to one company, but sharing the love and prosperity.  I don’t like the thought of one person/company getting all my money.  (Psychoanalysis welcome.)  It just feels wrong.

Plus, there are many good companies out there making great products.  Why stick to just one?

That said, when my three-year contract is up, I think I’m going to go Android, and maybe run out and buy that Mac computer, just ‘cos I do kind of like messing with people’s heads a bit.  🙂

La famiglia

I am now Italian!  Thanks to Google Translate.

I do have some Italian background in me – on my paternal mother’s side.  I find myself doing the “fingers crunched together, hand waving in the air emphatically,” which is crazy because the Italian bit is 200 + years ago!!

Someone at work said, “Sorry, it’s in the blood”.  I’m good with it.
I like the Italian people.  Who couldn’t like a people who invented pasta  and gelato?  Madness,  I tell you!!  It just amuses me!

Like it or not, we inherit the good and bad from our families.  Sometimes, I tend to focus on the bad things, like my flat feet.  Or, if I am really going to be honest, my temper.  It’s what I learned, but as I have “grown up”, I have realized it is something that can be tamed.  This is good news.  🙂

What I rarely focus on are the good things my family have given me, like my off-beat sense of humour and wit.  I also received another gift from my mom, for which I am thankful.

Cooking and baking.  I love eating, and conveniently enjoy the process of cooking and baking.

On a side-note, allspice is amazing.  Add some (along with a pinch of nutmeg) to your banana bread, blueberry muffins, and the like.  Deliciousness!

Today, my mom told me that it was her father who had taught her to cook.  When she was about 13-14 years old, her mother was away over night babysitting.  Her dad and her were on their own, so they made chicken stew for dinner.

They threw in all sorts of spices from the cupboard.  When they were cooking the chicken, my grandpa added wine.  He gave my mom strict orders, “Do not tell your mother.”  She kept the secret.  When my grandmother, surprised that my grandfather quite liked the stew, asked what my mom had put in it, she feigned ignorance.

I wondered if it was my grandpa’s French/Italian background that made his culinary taste and ability superior to that of my Scottish grandmother.  Sorry Scots!  I just pose the question.  (The shortbread cookies are absolutely delicious though.  I will grant you that, but not sure if cooking in Scotland is similar to the Irish’s boiled potatoes.)

In defence of my grandmother, she was a good cook.  I cannot for the life of me make her ‘Smelts’ (little fish, which are called by different names depending on your region).  She would coat them with cornmeal and fry them up in butter.  So good.  Sounds simple, but mine never turn out.

And, her cornbread.  I finally succeeded in making cornbread, but hers, “Oh, melt in your mouth goodness!”

Maybe I just take after my grandfather and mother?  Throwing “random” spices in a pot of whatever masterpiece I am attempting to create.

The problem with being a renegade cook is that we can’t really duplicate it.  So, if it’s good enjoy it.  And, please don’t ask us for the recipe because there isn’t one.  Sorry!

To recap then – the secret cooking ingredient  – wine.  I think pretty much anything will taste good if you add wine to it.  Just don’t tell Grandma!

Oh, and one last thing. Open up your cupboards. Don’t be scared.
I dare you to become a renegade in the kitchen!

 

 

Fidelity in a Mate

Well then.  Yesterday I received positive feedback (from a writer) about my blog.  I was appreciative, but she said something to me that made me think, “Well then”.

She liked the blog, and in particular my post about singleness.  It was the second time a writer has given me such feedback.

I think in one sense I fight the whole, writing about singleness, talking about singleness (I may be available for some public speaking on the subject of singleness – or possibly not when you read the rest of the blog!)

That said, yesterday I was listening to the Jewel – John Tesh’s program is on in the afternoon.  It really is chock-full of information and knowledge.

He was talking about a study done where historically women have chosen the Alpha male – strong, muscular – in order to protect her.  But as times have changed, women have begun to choose ‘weak’ men, the scrawny men, because they offer something the Alpha men don’t – FIDELITY.

I do get a bit concerned about studies – they are generalizations after all.  Just a good thing to remember.  I find that in our culture we tend to base a lot of our beliefs on studies, which I think could be a dangerous thing.  (More to come on this topic.)  Back to singleness.

I have also heard it said that poor men are faithful.

And, my good friend Jimmy Soul sang, “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife…”  It could translate to women, “…never make a buff guy your husband…”  Doesn’t quite sound as lyrical, but you get the point.

I was also just thinking about brains.  On one hand, I would hope for a man with a good brain.  Makes for better conversation.  But, in terms of fidelity, which is the key here, I wonder if a dumb guy might be better.

Let me explain.  A smart guy might be too smart to get caught cheating.  But a dumb guy, well, he’s dumb, so might not cover his tracks as well.  You know, just in case the scrawny ugly poor guy gets up a bit of nerve to cheat.  I think it’s best to cover all of one’s bases.

As for me, well I have chosen plain, poor, scrawny-ish men, and they have been unfaithful.  This is why I am not at all certain that the study is 100% accurate.  No study is. It can’t be.  But I digress.

The common denominator of these men – ARROGANT.  Yep, for some reason, these poor, ugly, out-of-shape guys, still seemed to think they were God’s gift to the world.  I couldn’t understand it.

So, to recap then ladies.  Here are some combinations of what you are looking for in a mate (according to Ellie).

Scrawny, poor, plain, low-IQ, humble
Scrawny, rich, plain, high-IQ, humble
Scrawny, poor, good looking, low-IQ, humble
Scrawny, rich, good looking, high-IQ, humble
Buff, poor, plain, low-IQ, humble
Buff, rich, plain, high-IQ, humble
Buff, poor, good looking, high-IQ, humble
Buff, rich, good looking, low-IQ, humble

This is not a complete list, but I think you can see a pattern developing.

So Single Ladies, get out there and find yourselves husbands.

I love when a blog ends on a very Austenite note!

 

The 4th of July

Happy 4th of July, American Friends!

Being a tea drinker, I will say I am still a bit miffed over all that tea you wasted in the Boston Harbour.  I’m trying to get over it…

Americans in Canada/my city have been pretty quiet today.  Maybe they all headed south of the border to celebrate with family and friends?  Since I did a list celebrating how wonderfully awesome Canada is on our day, July 1st, I thought I would provide a list of some American inventions.

Not sure how reliable my internet source is, but here are a few things we have to be thankful to Americans for:

the Magnetic Stripe card – you know we use this a lot, Canada!!

Microwave oven

Chocolate chip cookie – Oh yeah!!  I may head over to the bakery and celebrate your Big Day with a chocolate chip cookie.

Sunglasses

Potato Chips – another personal favorite

The Suspension Bridge – I can take it or leave it…

Airplane

Mousetrap

Disposable diaper

The blood bank

Microelectrode

If I’m not mistaken, I think you also invented pizza, for which I am eternally grateful.

and last but not least,

Personal Computer!  YAY!! Very helpful to us aspiring writers!!

Enjoy your day!  God Bless!

PS- Really short blog because I cannot stop thinking about that chip cookie!  It will go well with the movie I bought today – Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in High Society.  I sure hope Frankie can act as well as he can sing.  🙂

 

 

Happy Canada Day!

We are officially 146 years old today.

Due to a bit of a sore throat, I have decided to stay in and not participate this year.  But, felt that I should at least blog about the awesomeness of Canada.

Yeah, I said it, “We’re awesome.”  We’re not perfect.  We could use a little improvement here and there, but overall, it’s a darn good place to live.

I get to go to church without fear.  Thank you, non-believers!  You might think I’m crazy, but you let me live in peace and security.

So, what else is great about Canada.  Well, since I’m your typical Canadian girl, I have no clue.  See, we don’t boast about our accomplishments or achievements, so I had to “google” it.

While exploring the Internet, here is what I found at http://www.canada4life.ca/invent.php:

Superman

Anti-gravity suit

The Zipper – very important

Avro Arrow

Balderdash

Chocolate Bar

Basketball

Electric wheelchair

Cystic Fibrosis Gene

Table Hockey

Birchbark Canoe (thanks to the Natives)

Five pin bowling

Ginger ale – yummy – especially with rye

Green garbage bag – it’s way better than the white or black versions.    Random!!

Ice hockey

Insulin

Imax film format

Java

Newsprint

MacIntosh apple

Pablum

Pacemaker

Panoramic Camera

The paint roller

Popcorn – again, thanks to the Natives for that delicious and nutritious snack

Retractable beer case handle – gotta love my Canadian men!

Snow blower – well, we probably could have guessed that

Standard Time

The Speed of Sound

The stol aircraft – Not a clue what this is, but it sounds impressive, doesn’t it America?

Synchronized Swimming – didn’t we also invent that Cirque de Soleil thingy?

Now, who wouldn’t want to live in a place with so much diversity?

Oh, Superman!  Sigh….

I think I’ve also come up with a new slogan:

Canada:  From popcorn to anti-gravity suits, we’ve got you covered.

HAPPY CANADA DAY!!