All posts by Elizabeth Potvin

About Elizabeth Potvin

Elizabeth was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Growing up on a dairy farm gave her plenty of opportunity to develop an imagination, and an appreciation for cheese. Currently, Elizabeth is seeking representation for a screenplay called, Cornelia Mews and the Apostle's Scrolls, an action adventure set in Turkey. She is also working on a second project called, The Great Divorce, about a woman, who discovers her husband is a descendant of the infamous Dunrobinson clan! Will their marriage survive a 400-year old massacre?

A Boy Named Kim

Hi there,

Like you, I’ve been keeping an eye out for the latest in the threat of nuclear war.  Terrorist attacks seem to pale in comparison to the thought of complete annihilation of a country, namely, Japan.

A good friend of mine is from Japan, and she has family and friends there still.  The world seems to be getting smaller.   It feels like we have more contact with people from all over the world.  (Maybe that’s a Canada thing?)

It suddenly came to me that the threat of dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan is doubly-cruel. The Japanese know all-too-well of the effects of a nuclear bomb.  This is a mild image compared to others.

Related image

I don’t really understand the thinking behind these weapons. Well, I kind of do.  Fear. If other nations have nuclear weapons that can be used against us, we need to protect ourselves by having nuclear weapons too.

The military know that if you go into a hostile situation with your weapons raised, it’s going to escalate the hostility and lead to violence, greater violence.

There are some that believe the best way to kick-start the economy is by war.  I most definitely disagree with this belief.

I don’t really know how to kick-start the economy, but I’m 100% confident that we, as human beings, can come up with something a hell of a lot better than war!

Or, maybe the solution is much simpler, stop giving boys girl’s names.  Kim?  Maybe if he had a strong name, like, oh, I don’t know,  George, David or Donald,  the world wouldn’t be thinking and worrying about nuclear war.  (Okay, maybe not ‘Donald’)

My theory may have a few wrinkles in it.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m just going to keep praying.  I think of a Rohingya man in prayer (having to leave everything behind due to heavy persecution) praying, they can only look to Allah to save them.   Agreed.   So we too, must look to God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahwey…

God is our anchor, hope and peace in all of this uncertainty.   There’s always been conflict in the world. Europe has apparently not been gone without a war for more than a seventy (70) year period.

It’s baffling really.  Do we continue to fight wars because we don’t know anything else?  Are we really that greedy?  That fearful?

Human beings have created the need for soldiers. We’re the problem and yet we do nothing …

Well, I’ve really backed myself into a corner. This subject is quite depressing.  I would welcome any thoughts. Maybe we can start a forum – Ideas on how we can really put an end to war, and create sustainable peace.

To lighten the mood a little, here’s Johnny Cash singing, A Boy Named Sue.  🙂



Writer’s Blues

Hi there,

I think I may have the Writer’s Blues.  (That should totally be a song!)

I just received a comment asking me for tips on how I clear my mind to write.   I realized the biggest tip is to just start writing, and edit later.  (I’ve also discovered how much I hate editing.)

I really do beat myself up a lot over not writing enough, not editing, not being disciplined, for coming home from work with a head ache, and from being tired at night.  (As though I can control a headache or waking up on Saturday morning with a migraine!)

It definitely annoys me though, the feeling that I am not being productive on the days where I can be productive.

I’ve tried to set deadlines for myself.  The problem with being a writer is that it’s all about self-motivation.  And, there’s a million and one other things I can be doing, like watching Stephen Colbert!

I think we all need to set goals, as well.  And, then celebrate the milestones!  Be happy for yourself!!  Pat yourself on the back.  Do something nice for yourself to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are – they are not.  Your accomplishments are worth celebrating!

Find an accountability partner, someone who will check in on you and ask you about your writing.  The person will be completely tickled when you write a little blurb in the back of your book about how you couldn’t have completed your project without their help.  🙂

Writing is hard work.  People don’t realize this.  But, it does make me feel like a real writer when I am talking about the process of writing and the difficulty of letting go – you can always change a word here or there –  the work is never completely finished – EVER!!

Anyway, someone said he was listening to an interview with Leonard Cohen and the poet, singer, songwriter, said the exact same thing.

Yep, me and Leonard – like two peas in a pod!

I think it’s for this reason, I also love going to writer’s festivals.   While others are listening to the plot of the novel, etc., I am listening for the gold nuggets of writing.  How does this author deal with distractions?  How does this other author deal with motivation? etc., etc.

When a friend asked me what Mary Walsh’s book was about, I said, “Uh, it’s kind of about a girl from Newfoundland and Labrador.”  But, Mary said she’s always wanted to write a book ever since she was a little girl and now at 65 years old, she’s published her first novel. Inspiring!  She also talked about the difference between real life and novels.  They’re different, according to her editor.

For instance, the character leaves home to really save herself.  In the original story, Mary Walsh’s character does not return home for her younger sister, but her editor insisted that the character must do this!  Mary argued that in real life people do not go back.  They save themselves.  The editor argued this is a novel, not real life.

I’m guessing the editor won the argument.

At any rate, I picked up a golden nugget – a few in fact.

I would also recommend listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk, called, Your Elusive Creative Genius.  See below.

I hope some of this advice helps you to sit down and write.  You CAN do it!!




P.C. Post


It has been such a long time since I’ve blogged. I haven’t really felt too inspired.  I’ve been writing a lot. I have completed the first draft of a children’s series.  And, now the editing begins.  (Do you feel the sigh through the internet?)

I have decided to rework Forgiveness is a Four-Letter Word. Basically, I am starting from scratch.  (Another long sigh…)

I entered a writing contest (and contests are like the lottery, pretty darn near impossible to win).   That said, I’ve created a character named Joy, who I absolutely love and base a collection of short stories on.  I have no shortage of ideas, but it’s the re-writes and editing of these things that’s killing me (maybe literally, who knows for sure!)  The life of a writer is absolutely ridiculous.  🙂

And, now that I’ve sufficiently ranted about the writing process and how much I sometimes hate my life, I’d like to turn my attention to another issue that’s been weighing on me quite heavily – the taking down of monuments of historical figures, who are, well quite frankly, racists.

When I look at the recent heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, United States, I can see the effect on Canada.

I am saddened by the fact that the United States doesn’t have a leader, who will stand up and denounce hate.

Groups like the KKK exist here in Canada, but we have a leader, who will stand up and say (after the shooting at a Mosque in Quebec City) that the Government of Canada and Canadians will not tolerate these crimes.   (I would be thankful for this, but I feel like denouncing Nazis and the KKK is a pretty low bar you have to jump over!)

With respect to renaming buildings, removing monuments, etc., Canada is now following in the footsteps of the United States.

The Prime Minister recently renamed the building, where his office is located.  Macleans magazine wrote (see below to read the full story), “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says keeping the name of Sir Hector-Louis Langevin – someone associated with the residential school system – on the building that houses Prime Minister’s Office clashes with the government’s vision.”

While I can understand that it is important to show our Aboriginal brothers and sisters that we are dedicated to reconciliation, I have a question:

Are taking down statues, renaming buildings, schools and street names going to address critical problems and issues, which I would argue are much more pressing?

Here are a few I came up with off the top of my head:

  • There are still Aboriginal communities without clean drinking water.
  • There are people living in impoverished, unclean, unsafe communities, whether they are called “Reservations” or some other name.
  • There are children committing suicide on reservations because of a depth of pain I can never truly understand.
  • There are hate crimes against Aboriginals, Muslims, Jews happening in this country (and more so since the election of Donald Trump).
  • There are missing and murdered Indigenous women and their families trying desperately to be heard and fighting for justice.
  • There is police brutality against Aboriginal men and women.
  • Black people (particularly men?) are carded in the subway / metro.
  • We still have homelessness, in spite of the wealth in this nation.
  • We need to revamp our justice system – the majority of those incarcerated are Aboriginals and the link between the effect of residential schools and incarceration cannot be ignored.
  • Women (of all colours) are being sexually assaulted, beaten, killed.
  • A lack of education, with respect to history, in this country (we’re getting better) but things can be greatly improved!

Come on, Prime Minister – Come on, Canada – We can strip away all of these names, monuments, etc., but if we do not work to improve the quality of life for every person living in this country, then I don’t think it makes one bit of difference how many names and monuments we tear down or how many placards we update to accurately reflect history.

Don’t get me wrong – These are not bad things and they show that we care, but it actually makes me quite angry – not that my culture is being “taken” from me – but that we’re not taking concrete steps to correct wrongs and improve lives.

It’s too easy to change a name, but much more difficult to change a life.   Are we just taking the easy way out to make ourselves “look” and “feel” good?

To our friends in the United States, I say, ” Hang in there America!” and “Please don’t have another civil war”.

Love and blessings,



Trudeau renames Langevin Block


Rise Up, Canada!

Hello there,

President Donald Trump recently said he likes Canada, but we’ve outsmarted the American government for far too long.


That statement is so fascinating on so many levels.

Firstly, does the President really think that Canadian politicians can outsmart American politicians, who have graduated from such colleges like, Harvard, Princeton and Yale?  Now, don’t get me wrong. We have our Ivy League schools as well, such as, McGill, Queens and Dalhousie.  We have some pretty smart people running this country.

If this assertion were true, I’d say Canada can feel pretty-darn-smug about its history of pulling one over and over and over the Americans.  Yep, we should be having a really good guffaw right about now.  But, it’s not true.

Politics is complicated. Trade Agreements. Treaties.  All very complicated things.  I am sure there are good things and not so good things for both sides of the Treaty.  (Which is why the current President was grumbling about how difficult the job is!)

What’s particularly funny to me is the rhetoric I am hearing from Canadian politicians. It goes something like this:  The new American government does not come from a political background, so its view is from the outside. Once we explain it to the new American Government, they’ll understand.   Don’t worry, Canada. Everything will be alright.

Okay. Sounds good to me.

But, I can’t help but think that I’m not a politician, and yet, somehow, I understand that these issues are complex.  Sometimes it feels like Canada is the one getting screwed over by these trade agreements. e.g. The Dairy Farmers of Canada and the TPP.  (But, I say that as an outsider looking in!)

To the rhetoric, our government adds:  We’ll also explain to the new American government, that Canada is an independent Nation, with the prerogative to implement our own foreign policy.  WTF?

I know, new American government. That notion must sound completely bonkers to you!  What does Canada mean by implementing foreign policies that do not benefit the United States of America?  But, alas, it is the truth.

Hmm?  Maybe I need to put this in terms of alternative truth / facts?  How does one go about doing that?

Here goes:

Marriage – Canada and U.S. relations is like a marriage.  Both sides feel like they’re giving 187% in the relationship, and that the other is only giving 14%. And, that 14% is a generous number.  We both feel like we’re getting a pretty crappy deal, but this is only our perspective. Our own limited, human, frail, insecure, fearful, anxious, perspective.  We don’t think we’re getting what we need out of the relationship, like our partner is taking advantage of us.  And, we’re both right.  But, like a marriage we’re in this – for better or for worse.  I don’t think I did such a good job of speaking in alternative truth / facts.

Now, Canada – I have something to say to you.  Americans, you can go watch another mindless program of Big Brother (Canada – stay with me here – go PVR the damn episode, and come right back!)  Are you back?  Good.

So, here’s the new game plan.  If ever there was a period in history that Canada could take advantage of the U.S., it is now.  Now is our time to screw over our neighbour / our partner.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of waking up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, only to sit down and wake up to a splash.  Dammit!  They’ve been leaving the toilet seat up long enough, I say.

And, to my American friends, who may still be reading this even though I told you not to – I say to you now – Can you blame us?

But, don’t worry.  When you regain your senses in about four years, things will return to normal – the balance will return.  So long as you don’t f…it up, America!



Forever Young

Hi there,

I wonder if our fascination with Twilight and vampires has anything to do with us not wanting to get old.

I was recently in a salon, where I was ‘promised’ that I could stay looking exactly as I do today if I started facial treatments.  The procedure now involves laser technology – I don’t even need to have some awful steroids or hormones, via Botox, syringed into my wrinkles. (Is “syringed” a word?)

You get the terrible picture.

When I was telling my mom, she said he was talking to the wrong person, that he should be talking to her, because she’s “vain”.

I must be vain too because I confess it’s a temptation for me.  I mean, who wants to get old and wrinkled?

Question:  Are we okay with getting old, but not okay getting wrinkles and looking old?

Is it mere vanity?  Or, is it something else?

Getting old isn’t any fun.  Things start to hurt, wear down, slow down.  It’s like your mind is off to the races, but your body doesn’t want to participate.

Sometimes, you get grumpy as you age and end up looking like this guy:

Image result for the seven dwarfs grumpy

There are so many negative images associated with getting old.

No one ever thinks about what the aging population has to offer society – years of wisdom, expertise and lessons learned.  It would be my guess that those who are getting older still loved to be challenged, and would love to learn something new.

My grandfather used to do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper every week.  He wanted to keep his brain sharp.  That said, he wanted nothing to do with getting a debit card.

I think the issue isn’t getting older.  The real issue is death.  Or rather, the fear of death.   I’ve already put in my request to have an aneurysm in my sleep.  How many of you have put in your requests as well?

Or, maybe that’s not even the real issue.  Maybe the real issue is vanity?  We all want to look young.

When I find myself worrying about my wrinkles and graying hair, I just think about my grandmothers.  I can honestly say that I think they were two of the most beautiful women I knew.

They were both very different. One was quite fashionable. She got her hair permed, wore wigs, make-up, dressed “fashionably” (for her time), while my other grandmother was more of your typical “grandma”, with knee-high stockings and floral cotton dresses.

They had such kindness and love in their eyes when they looked at me – and joy when they saw me.  They had inner beauty that shone through!

I want to be okay with getting older.  I want to continue to say that that line between my brow has character, that it took a lot of worry and furrowing of that brow over the years to get it “just-so”.

Pray for me!  I’ve already succumbed to the highlights to cover the gray, and I feel my knees bowing to the pressure, and the promise to remain forever young!



Hello there,

I was having a conversation with a friend today about evangelicalism.

On a side note, I once had a lively discussion with someone, where I maintained that all “isms” were of man.   We went through quite a few “isms”, some Christian, others not, and finally he said, “Christianity”.  I said, “That’s not an “ism” – Christianity – “Show me the “ism”!” He couldn’t.   I love it when I win an argument. Is there anything better?


So, back to the reason why I felt the need to blog today.  My friend sent me a NY Times article, entitled, The Evangelicalism of Old White Men is Dead.  (The link to the article is below.) Essentially,  there were issues with the Christian-image or perception, so some geniuses (I use the word lightly) came up with the term “Fundamentalism”.

When the s-hit the fan, those same geniuses decided to come up with a friendlier term, “Evangelicalism”.

Well, given Donald Trump’s presidential victory to the South of us, now those same same geniuses are thinking that Christianity needs a new brand.

They’re trying to come up with another “ism”.   (Can you hear me SCREAMING??)

Haven’t they learned their lesson?  I mean, if the re-branding has failed twice, what makes them think, oh right, “Third time’s a charm”.

Okay, let’s just go with it for a minute.

I think we should start with something most people like, something that makes people feel homey, warm, fuzzy inside.  Something like Banana-Bread-Christianity.

It’s catchy. I like it. I am open to suggestions.

Banana-Nut-Bread-Christianity.  I think I like this better.  I’ve been to church – there are a lot of nuts sitting in churches.   At least half.  Statistically, there are same number of adulterers sitting in church as in Starbucks.  Just saying.  Could we just say it out loud instead of making lame excuses?

I think people would respond in a more positive way to us Christians if we just spoke the truth.  If we were real.

Have I ever mentioned how much I despise being put in a box?  When I outed myself as a Christian at work, the reaction was, “As long as you don’t try and convert me.”  I wondered if this person even knew any Christians. I mean real Christians. Not stereotypical-on-the-news-Christians.  Or Fundamentalist Christians. Or Evangelical Christians.

But, real Christians.  Chocolate-Banana-Bread-Christians.

If we have to re-brand ourselves, we should offer up some truth for a change. One of my favourite priests said, “There are good people and there are bad people sitting in the church because the doors are open to everyone.”  Amen Father!

My current pastor said that church people are the worst people, and she’d take a room full of sinners any day.

I sure hope I don’t fall into the “church people” category.

Here’s something revolutionary – Maybe we could try something like humility?  Wouldn’t that be a shocker?  Or simply say, “We’re followers of Jesus.” Plain and simple. I follow the Teacher.

Well, I gotta go now and start sinning…



Link to NY Times article:


The Trump Effect

Hi there,

A couple weeks ago, I found out that someone had painted offensive graffiti (hate) on a Rabbi’s door.  This happened in my church’s neighbourhood.

The community of churches in the neighbourhood gathered to hear from the Rabbi to show our support and love.  It was a great meeting, but also highly emotional.

She believes that the election of Donald Trump has “emboldened” others to speak hate into the lives of Jews, the LGBTQ community, women, etc.

I agree.  When I heard about this terrible act, I immediately thought of the election results to the South.

I also thought about an incident between 15 to 16 years ago.   A coworker and I were passing through the park on our lunch break.  Littered everywhere on the ground were pieces of square paper, with the words, “No Mongrels”.  The perpetrator of this message was the Heritage Front.

I confess I had to go home and look up the word. When I saw it, I wondered if I myself would fit into that category.

The incident also made me think about Canada.   It is easy for us to look to the United States, and feel pretty smug about how much better we are, how much more tolerant we are than our neighbours to the South.  But, are we?

While reading a book on World War II by Tim Cook, I discovered that we used to have “Gentile Only” signs plastered on our public spaces.  We separated White girls from Chinese boys were a bad influence on White girls.  (The more likely story is that they didn’t want any dating between the two races – It has kind of a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it?
“No Mongrels”)

The Book of Negroes gives us a glimpse into the history of Blacks in Nova Scotia. The picture of a Black man hanging from a tree, having been beaten beyond recognition.

Or Thomas King.  A short story which includes an Indigenous man, as represented by an eagle, tied to a fence, also beaten, because the man might steal something that belongs to the White man or sleep with his wife.   These writers did not make up these stories. They are fictional, but they are certainly not fiction.

I think it’s important for Canadians to not only recognize what we have done in the past, but also recognize that these things, this kind of hatred still exists.  I do not know the full extent of it, but it exists.

I recently saw a young White man with the words “White” tattooed on one leg, and I believe the word, “Power” tattooed on the other leg.

A man at the neighbourhood gathering reminded me that Rob Ford, infamous mayor of Toronto, had 30% support.  Toronto prides itself on being multi-cultural and tolerant.   If Toronto had 30% of its population in support or Rob Ford, what percentage of Canadians across the country also supported him?

As a side-note, I just have to say I really despise the word tolerant. Tolerance is a temporary state, in my opinion.  I will tolerate you until I decide not to tolerate you anymore.

Love – this is something that endures. Not tolerance.  We need to love one another.

i was amazed at the feeling of love in the room.  People were brought together, who would not otherwise come together.  A lady from the community would like the larger community included in the meetings, not just the churches.

And, this is where I feel hopeful.  Maybe the thing Trump has done is to get us talking about racial and religious hate in our country, north of the border.  He is bringing Christians, Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, those from non-faith communities.  This is an amazing outcome!!

He has opened up conversations of love.   There was talk of Restorative Justice for the juvenile, who committed this hate crime. The Rabbi does not want revenge. She wants to talk to him, to reach him.

She wants to offer him the love of God, grace and mercy.  And, this is the theme that echoed throughout the room that night.  Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness.  There was also unity and togetherness. I felt that we were of one accord, of one mind.

We will not be made to feel ashamed or afraid.  I stand with the Jewish community.  It was heartbreaking to hear that due to the Holocaust, there are those, who wanted the Rabbi to remain quiet, who believe that whenever the Jewish people speak up, it is worse for them.

I cannot understand their depth of pain, of the feeling that they, as a People, are unwanted, despised, unloved.  (As a Christian in Canada, I feel like people just think I’m annoying.  Nothing too serious, yet.)

What I would like to say to the Jewish people is that you are loved.  You are God’s chosen people and have nothing to feel ashamed about. Psalm 122 says:

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet have been standing
    within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city
    that is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
There thrones for judgment were set,
    the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    “May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls
    and security within your towers!”
For my brothers and companions’ sake
    I will say, “Peace be within you!”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your good.

 Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and I had the privilege of lighting the first purple candle, the candle of hope.    On that note, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:23-25).  Amen!
Love and blessings,
P.S.   This Hour Has 22 Minutes did a really funny sketch on “How has the US Election affected Canadians?”  Check it out at:


Ellie’s Near Encounter with…

Hi there,

Today’s blog is proudly sponsored by the letter “C” for “Crazy”.   Crazy, for those days when you wonder where your brain’s got to.  (No kidding, I first spelled “suspense” wrong, and then spelled “your” “you’re.)

I am not actually sure if this blog has anything to do with crazy. I just finished reading Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy.  She battles mental illness. I was relating a story I had read in her book to a co-worker, which I had found hilarious, so hilarious I had laughed so hard I cried, but for some strange reason, my co-worker didn’t.

I wondered if you have to be a bit crazy yourself to appreciate crazy.  (By the way, Lawson uses this word to describe herself and people around her do take shake their heads at her, and tell her not to say that, but heck, it’s better than calling oneself a lunatic – You’ll have to get the book to read what I am referencing here…You’re welcome, Jenny Lawson!  And, since my own mother battles mental illness, I figure I’ve earned my stripes.)

Furiously Happy  inspired me to tell my own crazy and fantastical story. Those of you who know me are already in the know.

Here are Ellie’s Top 3 Too-Close-for-Comfort Encounters with Mad-Squirrels Stories:

# 3.   One morning I was walking to work and saw a grey squirrel. Now it’s usually the black squirrels I have issues with, so I thought nothing of this particular squirrel. But, you know that feeling you get when you think someone is staring at you?  Well, I had just that feeling. When I turned around, the grey squirrel was chasing after me.  I gasped and when I did this, my handbag fell from my shoulder to my arm, startling the unexpected squirrel.  He took off in another direction.  He thought he’d just sneak up from behind me and attack. That little…

# 2.  I was coming home one day, and you know how they say accidents happen when you’re closest to home. They’re right!  I was just about a block and a half away from home, when a mad-squirrel blocked my path. He was guarding the side-walk like he owned it. (You’d think he was a European-Colonizer or something.)   At any rate, he dug his little sharp-squirrel-nails into the concrete and guarded his territory like a mad-badger. (Badgers might be getting a bad rap here – I’ve actually never met a badger.)  So, I had to walk out onto the road to get around this bloody squirrel, and as I walked AROUND him, he kept moving his chubby rodent-like body toward me to make sure I wasn’t invading his space.

# 1.  And, finally the top prize for mad-squirrel disease goes to Chester. (I just made that name up – It does sound like a crazy-person’s name though, doesn’t it?)  Chester takes the cake.  I was going to church one Sunday morning (important detail because it implies there weren’t a lot of people out and about*), and Chester was on the OTHER side of the street, but when Crazy-Chester saw me, he darted across the street and charged at me. (I’m not even exaggerating here!!)  I lowered my bag to guard my lower extremities, in case Crazy-Chester decided to leap at me, and yelled at him to go away.  He wouldn’t budge. I looked at his mouth to see if it was foaming, but it was as dry as Arizona.  I yelled more. Nothing. I thought about giving him a good whack with my bag, but felt the odds were in his favour. After all, I’m not what the medical community would classify as a demented lunatic.  I finally saw a truck slowly making its way down the street, and I thought to myself, ‘Why are you driving so slowly? Hurry up and run this crazy-ass squirrel over, already!’  It dawned on me quite some time later what I must have looked like to this driver.   A demented lunatic on the sidewalk yelling and waving her arms madly at…a squirrel?

The moral of the story – Squirrels are evil bastards!

Stay safe. Stay alert. Stay off the sidewalks.**



*Canadians don’t actually say “out and about”, but I thought I’d throw it in for the Americans who might be reading this blog. I know how disappointed and upset you get when we don’t fit the stereotype.

**In fact, don’t walk at all. This blog is actually a paid advertisement for the auto industry…I think Dow Honda owes me a car.


“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.”  George MacDonald

Hi there,

Do you think you’re precious?  Unique? Beautiful?

If you’re like me, when you look in the mirror, you see flaws.  You look down at your body and see lumps and curves, or maybe you see flatness.  Whatever it is, you know you’re not perfect.

Nobody is though!  Heidi Klum’s response to Donald Trump’s comment about how she is no longer a 10 was, well, first she was rather confused. She had no idea why he was even talking about her, but most importantly, she said, “Nobody’s a 10.”   Heidi Klum, people! Heidi Klum said, “Nobody’s a 10!”

George MacDonald’s quote runs deeper than the skin.

How do you feel about your gifts and talents?  Do you think you have something to offer the world? Do you look at others and think they have something more to give, something special to contribute?

Comparison is a killer.  It will destroy our sense of self and paralyze us. We will not reach our full potential if we constantly compare ourselves to others.

I just don’t think it’s possible to reach for the stars if we are constantly comparing our gifts, talents and abilities to others’.   We will always come up short, thinking and believing that someone is better, smarter, stronger than us.

And from this place, the thought, ‘Let somebody else deal with the issues and problems of the world. Someone who has more power, money, fame…’  will naturally flow out of us.

I get trapped into this way of thinking myself. I’m small.  I have no power.  I grew up in relative poverty (by the West’s standards).

And yet, I know that it is this way of thinking that keeps me small and powerless.  It is my own making (with help from the media/world).

I love being reminded of how I was uniquely created by God, with His own hands.  That if I do not do what God has put me here to do (in this time), then it will not get done. It’s a sad thought, but it also means that I have purpose, I am not a mistake and that everything I have gone through, who I am, can be used for the greater good.

I think a lot of times, we don’t see the impact we make on others.  I’ve learned even a simple smile can go a long way in making an impact in another person’s life.

Emmanuel Jal, former child-soldier, now speaker and musician, was a guest at our church. He challenged us to be thinkers and problem-solvers. That’s not an easy challenge. It’s much easier to choose the status-quo and watch mindless TV after a hard day’s work, but it is a challenge worthy of my time and effort. (

Step 1 – I heard that listening to Baroque or Classical music makes you smarter, so I ‘ve put in a few CD’s and have been feeding my brain.  (It’s only been about a week and a half, so I’m guessing it may take some time…)

I encourage you to throw on some Classical music and feed your brain too! If nothing else, we’ll be pretty mellow and relaxed. Not necessarily a bad outcome, I’d say.





Rainy Days

Hi there,

It’s been awhile since I’ve written.   Apologies for that.

I’ve been reading quite a bit though, Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese, The Little Paris Bookshop by whom I cannot remember, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and since it’s been raining all day,  I dug back into and finished reading The Girl on the Train.

All very good.

I confess I’m not a huge fan of Hemingway. I love the portrayal of him in Midnight in Paris.  He’s a drinker, wearing a wedding band, with no sign of Hadley, and flirting with women galore.

I will grant him his talent though.  There’s only been two writers who have moved me emotionally – one was an excerpt from Hemingway’s, In Our Time, the other, Audrey Lorde’s poem, Power.

Hemingway also talks about writing in  A Moveable Feast, which is why I think I like it.  He wrote a story where the weather was overcast and dreary because the weather was overcast and dreary that day.

He also speaks about truth and determining to write a story for each thing that he knows well.  With that philosophy by own body of work may be short.  🙂

Hemingway’s love of Paris seems to stem from the fact that you can be poor and still live well in Paris. It’s the 20’s after all – a roaring time, if you believe the Historians.

And, yet there was still longing, pain, boredom, death.  These things are universal.  There are some parts in the book where I do feel an underlying sadness in Hemingway. Regret in his failed marriage, which he blames entirely on himself – an affair.

Given the rainy day, I’ve been reading some quotes on rain.

Thick Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, said,  “If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”

It sounds like a nice way to live, connected. Grateful. Happy.

I grew up on a farm and like to go to the Market to buy fresh produce.  It helps me feel connected to those who are growing our food, to those who depend on measured amounts of sunshine and rain to make their crops healthy and abundant.

Next week, I must remember to thank the farmers at the Market.  I know from first-hand experience, okay from second-hand experience (smile) that it is hard work.

To be thankful, something I need to work on.  Will you join me?