Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Halloween. Trick or treat. Wear a costume. Watch Stephen King’s movie in Netflix. Tell gruesome stories of ghost and haunted house. Better yet, read or watch the news!

STOP!

Hijab

This weekend, rally against Iran all day happened. Traffic was gruelling.

Stay safe. Be safe. Fireworks tonight. Protect your furry friends and love ones.

Flower Power

It’s the flower that draws you to a plant that would make you smile. Even when I plant just one sunflower on my deck in the third floor that blooms brightly and makes people smile when they see the tallest flower ever. My next door neighbour gets most of the flowers I planted.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

White flowers are my favourite especially mass planting. Sweet woodruff, lily of the valley and snow drops are common in my garden. These were planted as a sign of my passive resistance for those people that loves to pick flowers. Pluck away, there so much flower power with the dainty white petals.

Recently, I started taking photos of all the flowers in the garden and shared them with the gardening groups I joined in Facebook. Unfortunately, most of them will remain nameless since I did not take note of the name of the plants.

The flower of the giant wild cactus on top of the mountain in Cuba is a hummingbird magnet.

Cuban Hummingbird

As for the perfect flowers, Dandelions are the prime example of “bloom where you’re planted.” Children are drawn to these bright yellow petals. How many mothers have received a bouquet of dandelions from their children? For sentimental reasons, parents will keep the flowers and press them between the books for keepsake. Love or hate them, they are here to stay.

God’s perfect flower

Super Heroes

Be proud of your heroes and show the starbursts in your life. Wear your heart on your sleeves.

Praise

His van was covered with superheroes toy each representing a character in the Bible. Stickers galore … “ Smile. Jesus Loves You. (Yah, and me too.)

He told me his story. Fascinating man. More lucid than me. He’s a fool for Christ’s sake and proud of it.

Praise.

Cheap

Want to buy a negligee? Another meaning for dishabille.

When Rihanna attended a Paris Dior show in nothing but a black mesh negligee, proudly showing off her baby bump, legions of fans (and the audience in attendance) did not clutch their pearls but applauded.— Christina Binkley, Town & Country, 23 Aug. 2022

Photograph and Memories – Treasures Hunt

Dig – Dig – Dig

When I grow up. I want to be a digger. Buy the biggest digging machine and unearth what ever treasures I can hunt. Here, my nephew, loves to dig with his bare hands to find seashells. A sand dollar is rare to find.

Joni and Grace

Grace was just a kitten that my cousin Joni proudly added to her collection of cats as if three is not enough. Grace is now living with me with my cat, Lucy, when Joni died three years ago.

Sunrise at Mt. Beatitude

One has to experience the rising of the sun at least once in your lifetime. I woke up with the birds during my retreat on top of Mt. Beatitude. Priceless.

The Drop at Vancouver Convention Centre

Today is a clear cloudy day. Vancouver is known as wet coast. A single big blue drop of rain now sits at Vancouver Convention Centre overlooking the snow capped mountain of the North shore.

Walking the Santiago de Compostela

Ha! I can’t believe that I captured a perfect circle of the reflection of the bridge. I’m not even a professional photographer just using my IPad.

Big brother reading to little sister

Jimmy is so good to her little sister. I just love the intent look of Layla’s disheveled hair as Jimmy reads proudly to her ever since he learns to read.

Homeless man with his BFF

Have a dog. Have a cat. Have a pet companion, you’ll never feel lonely and homeless. I wonder how he received a Harbour Air umbrella. I did have one before. I found it abandoned downtown. What a treasure to find abandoned umbrella.

Soviet Truck in Cuba

There are plenty of Soviet trucks left behind in Cuba repurposed to haul a load full of tourists to take us to the jungle. Unfortunately, our trip was delayed due to tire problem.

Purple Berries

Autumn is the time when leaves and berries of this shrub turns purple. I want this shrub in my garden to go with my burning bush.

It was serendipity when I found this boat with the name Pilgrim. Pilgrim is the original name of this site.

In closing, this is the beginning of my long search of John Bunyan, author of the book Pilgrims Progress. This photo was taken in one of the canals in London not knowing that I will find the gravesite of Bunyan at Bone Hill as well as William Blake.

To quote his writings

As I walk’s through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a Denn; And I laid me down in that place to sleep: And as I slept I dreamed a Dream.

Follow your heart.

The Big Squeeze

View of Vancouver from the North Shore

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely,
you can always go. Downtown.”

Vancouver has grown exponentially for a young city. Downtown is where the action to work and live. Many yuppies long to work for big firms and reside close to the beach. Buildings are now a combination of offices and residential area. Tall buildings are popping up like mushrooms. So far, the tallest building is Shangri-La, 62 storeys.

Leslie House – Heritage Home

“When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry, seems to help I know. Downtown.”

Here’s an interesting little yellow house beside a high rise condo. The two-storey 1400 square feet house was built in 1888. This can easily be replaced by another vertical dwelling but one has to find a place to relocate the house. Tag price of Leslie House is $18.7 million, last time I checked. That’s my sister posing for me as I was giving her a brief tour of the city.

View of North Shore from Jack Pool Plaza

“Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city. Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty. How can you lose?”

This area was built for Winter Olympics 2010. What a great venue for a party or protest. Another place I enjoy just sitting around watching the harbour planes, cargo ships, cruise ships, tug boats, SeaBus or people. In winter, this is the location for Christmas Market. My family has an annual tradition to rent a room at Pan Pacific Hotel for a night out at the market.

University Canada West

A new triangular shaped campus right at the centre of livable city by the Beach District. It opened in July 2020. Must be hard for students to study when the beach is just around the corner.

I used to work downtown and was static when I rented an apartment by the beach and aquatic centre. The office is walking distance. I loved it.

Metro Vancouver is one giant construction area

“Things will be great when you’re Downtown. No finer place for sure. Downtown.”

A new city is booming called Metropolis in Burnaby City. When I moved here 30 years ago, I loved the stillness of this area. Sleepy town. At the time, there was only one tower, Rogers tower. The buildings are ordinarily tall with low residential areas in between. One thing this area becomes attractive is the green spaces in the surrounding buildings.

Metropolis in Burnaby City

For the sake of “home improvement” many apartments were torn down and dwellers were displaced. Thankfully, renters were given five years notice and some moving incentives.

View from the Manor House

“The light’s so much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. So go downtown. Where all the lights are bright. Downtown. Waiting for you tonight. Downtown.”

From the three storey Manor House where I live, night lights are constant. I no longer need to go Downtown. Currently, Manor House is on the market. Mind you, this whole area is slotted for redevelopment. Aaah … progress.

Afterglow

Source: http://woodsmokeandpumpkins.tumblr.com/

Source: http://woodsmokeandpumpkins.tumblr.com/

“It is only her in large portions of Canada that wondrous second wind, the Indian summer, attains its amplitude and heavenly perfection, — the  temperatures; the sunny haze; the mellow, rich delicate, almost  flavoured air: Enough to live — enough to merely be.”  –   Walt Whitman, Diary in Canada

Photographs and Memories

There are at least 7,001 islands in the Philippines during low tide. The number might go down during high tide. That’s the on going joke. I was born in Davao far away from the mainland, Manila. The cheapest way to transport a family of 13 is by ship. Being on the ship is my first recollection of travelling. It took a week by sea voyage to get to Manila. My mother must have moved us two or three times. Was it fun? For a child, it was for me.

My nephew living the dream in False Creek.

My grandfather was a captain of a ship and he owned one of the islands, Stanlake. It’s a good place to live off grid with no electricity and running water. It now belongs to the Santa Cruz family but my mother made a wise decision to forfeit her rights. My cousin started a blog about it here.

Airplane was my next memory of major travelling moving to Canada. There were eight of us. My mother and seven siblings still dependent to her. A move running away from a country under martial law and dictatorship of Marcos. We never looked back.

Celebration of Life for Jim.
Canadian Airlines Model Plane

Recently, we finally celebrated my sister’s husband’s life, Jim, after two years of lockdown. He was a flight attendant for Canadian Airlines. Sometimes, I get a good deal in travelling as a standby tapping into his privileges. The only stipulation is that I have to “dress up” since I represent my brother-in-law and just in case I will be placed in first class.

When I was leaving Switzerland for DC, the flight was fully booked and there was no room in economy. I was placed in first class. Imagine being served champagne. Such a luxury. What a thrill that lasted briefly for another passenger was willing to pay for my free seat. I have to vacate the seat. Heh!

Four-wheels motorcycle

When I grow up, the next wheels I want to own is a red bike similar to this. My first car was a red four-door Ford eight cylinder sedan. It was heavyweight and powerful. I was the first one to own a car in the family. Needless to say, I became the chauffeur. This car was so solid that it protected me from a hit and run driver. The driver was caught and his car was more of a wreck. My car’s engine is still in good condition but the insurance company won’t pay for repair. Hence, I bought a used car this time, my sister’s Honda. That was my second and last car.

The Station

It was during Expo 86 when the Skytrain was introduced in Vancouver. I must say, the train changed my means of transportation. By year 2000, I no longer need the Honda to go to work. It was a major undertaking for the City to build a better mode of people mover from Skytrain (Canada, Expo and Millennium Lines) SeaBus, AquaBus, B-Lines, and West Coast Express. Many have utilized these means, became popular and now travelling within the city is packed!

I love train travelling and just watch the scenery as it zooms away. European and British trains provided me with the luxury to sit back and relax. In India, train ride was an experience that one has to have mettle.

“Man is only a pilgrim on earth.”

Celebration of Life

The word bleary first appeared in 14th century. Fast forward to 20th century, there would be plenty of dry eyes in the British Royalty with the end of an era of Elizabethan age.

God Rest in Queen Elizabeth II.

When I was in London, I have to wake up very early to take the tour of Windsor Castle, eyes wide shut.

Wake me up when we get there!

Warts and all

When I was young, I used to catch tadpoles and frogs. I love watching the tadpoles turn into a frog or toads. Mother used to scare me that I will get warts from handling them. That did not stop me. I never got a single wart. Amphibians do not carry this virus.

Since migrating here in Canada, I haven’t seen a single frog. So I joined this group at Vancouver Island.

Seek and You Will Find

I have a favourite residential area that I make sure I walk around whenever I visit my doctor. The street is lined with all kinds of trees courtesy of Vancouver City. The city wants an image of having green environment.

Knock and the door will be opened

Even the residents created street garden. I think they are gorilla gardeners that want to beautify their sidewalks. The city doesn’t mind. It is most enjoyable to see every corner of different vegetation growing according to the gardeners taste.

Kids Library

Isn’t that a noble idea to find Little Free Kids Library along the street. This area must be family oriented. A good way to share books. I checked if it has Calvin and Hobbes, my favourite comic book but not luck.

Dog Library

Further down the street must be a hood of dog lovers. Take a stick, leave a stick. Behind is a note for the human to curb their dogs. No pee pee around this area, please.

Little Free Adults Library

Take a book, share a book with book lovers. As much as I want to take a book to add to my collections of unread books, a photo will suffice.

To complete the the title of this post, it goes: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

The best part of this find. I wasn’t even asking, seeking or knocking. It was all free.

Sophie’s Choice

I started this plant from seed and it was so full of leaves. Today, it was all twigs.

What happened to the leaves of apricot hyssop? A fat juicy green worm feasted on it.

Well, this worm will not survive in the balcony so I placed it in the garden where it can munch away hoping it will turn to something with wings. The hyssop will survive.

Vancouver Sun

By royal decree, my sister, proclaimed that another month will be added called “Beachember.” She is a sun lover.

When we were growing up back in the Philippines, Mother used to send us out from 7 to 10 am to sun bathe. During this time, the heat of the sun is soft and we get our vitamin D.

As we grow older and wiser, instead of sunbathing, we prefer forest bathing. I introduced my sisters what I learned from a psychiatrist who provided group walks in MeetUp. We even signed up a UBC study group to help grad students for their thesis. The first session that we were supposed to attend, there was a warning of bear on the loose. Needless to say, that’s the end of our study group in this area.

As for me, I did gorilla gardening, with invitation. My neighbour has been watching me putter around at The Manor and asked me for help in having a floral garden instead of vegetable patch. It was fun transforming her front yard and moving some of my plants at her yard. I even made a small area of salad garden just for her.

Sun season is so short. When it’s out, here we come!

Healing Power

Coffee has healing power. It brings me back to life . It’s the first thing I take before my happy pill.

On my first day at work, my manager invited me to have a cup of coffee. Wasn’t that nice?

Fast forward.

One day, I heard her exclaimed, “I’m dying for a cup of coffee.“ In an open area setting, we could hear what others say.

Whoa! I maybe the Health and Safety Representative for the district. I don’t want any death injury at work.

So I said: “Let me buy you a cup of coffee.”

She responded: “Since when did we become friends?”

I retorted: “We’re not friends. I just don’t want to see you die.”

Now. Don’t Wait.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.


I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Warning by Jenny Joseph


Who has seen the Wind?

Who has seen the wind, neither your nor I

Who has seen the wind, neither your nor I

Do we have to see it to believe it?

Who Has Seen the Wind?
BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Means to an end

Photowalk Meetup is trending here in Vancouver. I joined it even though I’m not a photographer. My only means in taking pictures is an iPhone in order to go for structured walks. The group leader is a professional photographer and I heared about photographic niche, groove and ruts from him. None of these terminology is important to me since I just want to focus in fun.

Recently, I started cataloging photos of all the flowers I planted in my garden from full plant to close-up of a single flower. Most of these plants are nameless except for the lavenders. My motto is “plant your own garden, decorate your own soul.”

Photography and gardening keep me focused. Just as much I’ve taken so many photo shoots, only one is lucky enough to pass my myopic eyesight. However, I discovered that gardening and photography both have creative and therapeutic processes.

In old age, we should have enough passions strong enough to prevent us turning in on ourselves – Ursula K. Le Guin

One thing I know, rut will grow when joy is lucking. Images produced by photojournalist on “assignment” are unbelievable yet I can only take them in small dosage. I suppose I want to pretend life is Rosie, a well gardened mind.

From fragrant favorites like the honeysuckle and jasmine, to humble beauties like the daisy and wild wallflower, to literary symbol-corsages like the violet, which Emily Dickinson cherished above all other flowers for its “unsuspected” splendor, and the almond blossom, on which Albert Camus predicated his timeless metaphor for strength through difficult times – The Moral of Flowers, The Marginalian

Take time. To reclaim how to take time, say hello, exchange stories, fun and laughter is a basic formula in doubling enjoyment. I got lucky with this photo how it shows the warmth of their faces them holding a bouquet of lavenders.

Heavens, she’s in heaven embracing the best lavender in the garden. Provence lavenders. She only has to wait annually but worth it.

These are the faces of people that reap the rewards of my garden.

The one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.

Favourite. It’s a secret.

I have so many nephews and nieces that it’s difficult to choose a favourite. So, when one of them asks me who my favourite child is, I whisper to his or her ear, “You are. Keep it a secret. Your cousins will be jealous.”

London

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you

Surprised by Joy

What would your reactions be when you found out that the painting you were commissioned to do was gifted to Pope Francis recent visit to Canada?

Surprise by Joy!

Icon of St. Kateri

The painting of the Icon of St. Kateri, below, was gifted to Pope Francis on the occasion of His visit to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (OLSS) Church, in Maskwacis, Ab. on July 25, 2022. Gratitude for the gift of this painting is extended to Fr. Mario Fernandes, OCD, Susan Hauck, and the Artist, Dan S. Siglos.

The artist, Dan S. Siglos, explained the following: Yellow represents God the Father, Orange represents God the Son, and Red represents God the Holy Spirit. Regarding the Clothes, the Seven ‘Points’ in the design of St. Kateri’s green dress symbolizes protection, the perfection of God and the seven days of Creation; Triangles represent the Trinity, There are Triangles on St. Kateri’s head band, collar, cuffs and orange shawl. The Turtle on her necklace symbolizes St. Kateri’s Tribal Clan, the Turtle Clan. St. Kateri’s love for the celestial realm is represented by the Moon. The Twelve Lilies represent the Twelve Apostles. The White Lily is the symbol of Purity and Virginity. St. Kateri is known as the ‘Lily of the Mohawk’.

Source: http://www.skt4.ca/

Brief background:
Dan S. Siglos was commissioned to paint St Kateri by his sister, Susan Papas Hauck. Dan researched about her and felt a connection. He took his time painting/meditating.

Susan Papas Hauck presented the painting of St. Kateri on her feast day to Fr. Mario in April 15, and was placed in the church in Alberta. She also made prayer cards 3×4 inches, a photo of St. Kateri on front and inside is her prayer, and Infant Jesus with the relic fabric touched by the miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague at His Shrine. At the back is a powerful 9 days or 9 hour prayer. Susan’s intentions was “May St. Kateri intercede for us and Infant Jesus, prayers to stop this pandemic, heal the sick, stop abortions, guide, protect and bless us all abundantly.”

Modesty aside, Dan, Susan and I are siblings. I am so honoured to be affiliated with them. i’m just a story teller.

To ALL Canadians on Emergency Act – URGENT

World events know that the liberal prime minister of Canada enacted the Emergency Act towards the peaceful Freedom Convoy to stop all Covid mandates in Canada because Trudeau feels that this a threat to his position.

There are no violence from the protesters. The violence and insurrection started from the a Government. Live feeds were broadcasted around the world.

Emergency Act is similar to Martial Law. Historically, in 1972, exiled president Marcos placed the entire Philippines under martial law. It lasted 14 years.

To ALL CANADIANS. DO YOU WANT THIS TO HAPPEN IN YOUR COUNTRY? No. Then write or email to have our Senators revoke the Emergencies Act.

Please send a brief email to your Senator and tell them that you request that the Emergeincies Act be revoked.

It can be that brief.

There’s an email list of the Senators on the following pages.

You may have to look up who your representative is since they are appointed by region with Ontario has 24, Quebec 24, Martime 24, Western Canada 24, Newfoundland 6, and Northen Territories 3.

https://sencanada.ca/en/contact-information/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_senators_of_Canada

SUBJECT: REVOKE THE EMERGENCIES ACT

Hello, My Senator.

I would like to inform you that I live in your represented area and I would like you to vote to revoke the Emergencies Act immediately.

Thank you.

Your Name

Your Address

Image Source: Justin Trudeau’ Tweet

Memorable Day. Imagine That!

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

A day in my life exercising my Freedom on January 22, 2022 amongst ten thousands marching a peaceful rally at Vancouver Downtown Core from 12 to 4 pm. This is yours truly at the end of a very long line ensuring that the peace keeper behind me is doing his job. Someone has to keep him honest.

FREEDOM RALLY

Flight 2022

Flight 2022 Instructions*

ALL ARE WELCOME. PASSPORTS NOT REQUIRED,

Good blessed day and welcome to Flight 2022. We are ready to take off into the New Year.

Please make sure your Positive Attitude and Gratitude are secured and locked in the upright position. All self-destruct devices: pity, anger, selfishness, pride, and resentment should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt, and discouragement should be put away.

Should you lose your Positive Attitude under pressure during this flight, reach up and pull down a prayer. Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith. Once your Faith is activated, you can assist other passengers who are of little faith.

There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight.

God, our Captain, has cleared us for take-off. Destination – GREATNESS!

Wishing you all a New Year filled with new HOPE, new JOY, and new BEGINNINGS!

Source: Unknown

Bike Tags and Murals

It’s so pleasant to walk around how the city is transformed into an outdoor gallery of painted walls in epic proportions in public spaces. It turned out to be a yearly mural festival since 2016.

Another event took place last year to encourage others to have fun in taking a shot of the street art and posting it in their Instagram hashtags #biketags.

“Why am I so damn cheerful? Because ain’t nobody got time to be moping about. The present is only a gift if you’re actually PRESENT for it. Open your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Absorb all the goodness around you until it overflows into the world around you.”

When you enter Mt. Pleasant, the larger than life murals of Past, Present and Future, welcome you. I see these in my daily commute to work.

Notice the bike? This is Tyrone Siglos’ bike. He started biking all over town maybe 10 years ago. At the start of Pandemic, he was layed-off. He made use of his bike to earn a living during this hard times by delivering food with Uber Eats.

While biking around, he found more things in life and still keep finding something new everyday.

I’ve always wanted to go to Hogan’s Alley where Jimi Hendrix stayed when he came to Vancouver. This is one area of the Black community in Vancouver. Most of the murals tell a story.

Nora Hendrix, the grandmother of Jim Hendrix, established a low income housing for black and indigenous community. Nora Hendrix Way is a new street named after her.

The big tag went into full swing.

“It’s an awesome way to bike around during the pandemic,” Siglos says in Vancouver is Awesome

Some Bike Tag locations are cool street murals or creative public art, others are beautiful spots for a ride — like this trail on Burnaby Mountain in Vancouver’s Bike Tag wrote West Coast Travellers.

The whole Vancouver is exploding with murals and there are gems off the beaten path.

This is my favourite. It symbolizes how an Angel has guided Tyrone, my nephew, to rise above it. He branched out to promoting local eats, raised fund and performed the challenge of Everesting.

The concept of Everesting is simple: Pick any hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeats of it in a single activity until you climb 8,848m – the equivalent height of Mt Everest.

Tyrone biked the mountains of Grouse, Seymour and Cypress. His name is now recorded in the Hall of Fame in Everesting.

What I am so proud of him is how he managed his mental wealth through these activities.

Siglos struggled with depression, but noticed when he started riding his bicycle to work, he felt better. After being laid off from a job in the warehouse sector last spring, he decided to take a job delivering food on his bike with Uber Eats.

“I haven’t felt this good ever, just mentally, so that’s a big part of it,” he said. “I love … exploring the city, the freedom that it allows me.” – CBC

When I see a murals in town, I sometimes wonder if I beat Tyrone in finding this one first. Definitely, he hasn’t seen the FNATIC since this one was taken in London.

Too Hot To Handle

Across from the building, a cat is on the balcony with no place to hide from the scorching sun.

The cat is has been outside for a couple of days. The balcony door is close, owner is missing in action.  We called SPCA (Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) asking for advice.  SPCA needs pictures of the status of the cat and a report from them before they can act on rescue mission. 

For the past nights, the cat has been meowing in distress. 

Forget that, time to rescue the cat without SPCA.

Here enter the Cat ~ Woman, yours truly:  Picture this: Second floor balcony, a long ladder, and three adults (Mr. and Mrs. Room 307 and Mr. Frenchie) holding the ladder, watching Cat ~ Woman climb up to second floor, assess the situation and to take pictures as evidence for SPCA.

A box with pillow and poo poo, a litter box filled with more poo poo, a bowl of dry food, no water.  

Tell Me A Story

How do you respond to this question or statement when I ask you “tell me a story” instead of “how are you?”

Is it an art to be able to respond to a simple question? Or you’d rather not talk about it? As I get older, I noticed even in my family, I could sense their discomfort in sharing even the best of life’s situation. Thank goodness, I am learning to be still.

There is a site that offers vestige stories of women that are open to storytelling.

o

Let’s share meaningful narratives.

Vestige is the poetic synthesis between the essence of minimalistic beauty and the gravity of storytelling. Stories collected from women of different paths form the basis of our designs, which are then woven, sewn or embroidered into each garment. Storytelling has long established its place as the most essential tradition of all human culture. We hope this precious custom can extend beyond the literature and media we consume, and permeate the very products we use in our daily lives.

Photo credit: Vestige Story

Talk of the town

Now all the babies are born, all three of them, one boy and two girls, the centre of our conversations is about the babies. You can just imagine the chin wagging on how to raise a child from the elders.

I for one hardly say on how to raise a child. I just want the child to see the ordinary and make it extraordinary.

This is Lucy. She’s now a grown up studying at UBC to become a lawyer. I don’t know if she remembers the simplicity in life. But I think she does. The other day, she sent us how fall is blooming in the grounds of the university reminding us that it’s time to visit and see the ordinary beauty of nature turning into extraordinary.

Can’t wait. This time bringing my other sister who wants to escape from intellectual conversation.

How do you express relief

We have in a state of being anxious, happy and excited about something upcoming anticipating when someone is coming. We are thrilled and looking forward for the first time. … My nephew waited with great anticipation for Thanksgiving to arrive. Thanksgiving came 2 days ahead.

Her name is London. I will nickname her England.

World Mental Health Day

Well, that is another hope gone. My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hope.

I’ve used this statement before as a lamentation but it no longer applies to me because there is always hope. There is always help.

We are more fortunate during this era that there is so much resources available when it comes to mental health. Now, we are open about it due to media-hype-awareness and medical professions are better trained.

Below is a two-page document that I can refer to when something troubles me. I am sharing this information hoping that it might benefit others taken from Feeling Good.

Steven Taylor of UBC Department of Psychiatry said “Psychology plays a central role in pandemics, influencing the spreading and containment of diseases, and shaping pandemic-related distress and socially disruptive, divisive and potentially harmful phenomena such as panic buying, racism and protests against pandemic mitigation restrictions.”

He wrote the Psychology of Pandemic in 2018 Lessons Learned For The Future.

Be well and remain well.

Photographs and memories

For the past 800 years, if the tree could talk, it would be able to tell us what it has witnessed on better days. For the tree to still stand and withstood the foibles of humanity, nothing is better than getting a good hug from it.

Dante Alighieri is another example who has seen better days. When he was exiled from his hometown, Florence, he was heartbroken. His heartache drove him to write the famous Divine Comedy.

In Canto 5, Dante met Francesca de Polenta. She said to Dante:

There is no greater pain
than to remember happy days
in days of misery.

Francesca committed adultery and was put in the circle of lust. She discovered that her happiness having a forbidden love is now her misery.

This year, we are celebrating the 700th year of Dante. What a better year to delve in his work as a poet and a pilgrim while we ride the wave of pandemic. So I joined reading 100 Days of Dante. It would go on until Easter 2022, by then we are hoping the malaise of the society has very little negative effective in our mental health.

When I think of better days, I think of a plum and prune.

What did the prune say to a plum?

I’ve seen better days.

White Space

I spend many times staring into space as much as I can whenever I can. It’s an important activity that disconnects me from the busyness of work during coffee and lunch breaks. It is a luxury to be able to do this when I have long list that requires attention.

As I was waiting for the bus sheltered by plexiglass during my early commute to work, I noticed the fog forming. I wrote: White Space.

White space.
It is a space in between prayers and thoughts creeping in. Hail Mary full of grace … prepare meeting agenda … the Lord is with you … must return phone call … Blessed are you amongst women … gosh I forgot to return the books … and blessed is the fruit of your womb …. buy kitty litters …. Jesus, help me focus praying.

White space.
It can be annoying that I cannot even complete a single prayer. Forcing myself to complete the Hail Mary is work so I stop praying and stared into space. I find that staring into space provides the stillness of thoughts and I become involved in a thoughtless prayer.

White space.
The pause between breaths: breath in, Hail Mary, pause, breath out, full of grace, pause … puts me in a meditative stance as if breathing is a prayer. This is nothing new, an old technique I learn to calm my thoughts and body. It is a necessary pauses that connects me to God.

W  h  i  t  e      S  p  a  c  e

Mrs. Chuchi Siglos Seal No. 0340

I still have my mother’s certificate dated 29th day of February 1972 presented to her by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.

My siblings gave this to me when mother died mainly because my mom has a devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and named me after Our Lady.

I really wouldn’t know what to do with this. I like the golden old fashion seal with a green ribbon.

Indian Summer

Blue sky, not a cloud in the horizon and the air crisp. The leaves of the Cherry Tree is blossoming with fiery orange. In spring time, it flowers first before the leaves come out.

At Forest Lawn, this place is so beautiful. No matter what time of the year, it’s stunning all around. I often wonder how the residents feel in close proximity at the cemetery.

A bursting crimson colour shrub in my garden is what we have been waiting for. The name of this plant is Euonymus but I cannot remember it, so I called it burning bush.

My sister came to visit bringing a small pumpkin wishing me happy fall. Already? I can’t believe it’s here and have forgotten the season of the year. It still feels summery. I suppose I have to start putting the rest of the plants to bed and winterized them. In the meantime, we are off for a walk to check out autumn colours and fall plants at UBC. This purple berries are so beautiful that I am planning to grow it in my garden. Sister looked great posing with Callicarpa.

“When the leaves fall,
the whole earth is a cemetery
pleasant to walk in.
I love to wander and muse over
them in their graves. Here
are no lying nor vain epitaphs.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Truth. Reconciled.

The sign states: “No Trespassing, Private Property”. What a strange sign when there is a church in this land? How can I attend the church as a stranger in this property when it is situated in the middle of an Indian Reserve?

Took all my courage to trespass in a deserted street and I was cautious of my surrounding. I felt that there were eyes looking at me as I walked along the street and to my relief I saw a gray nun heading toward the church.

I felt much better when I was inside the church. The congregation was mostly Native Indians and elders. Much to my surprise, they were very hospitable to me. I felt at home. Soon, I became a regular every Sunday Mass at St Paul’s Church of North Vancouver for a short period.

Here I met Starr. She is kind to me and a little bit on a serious side. I told her that I was just passing through on my way to Thailand to do volunteer work. Starr confided that one day she would like to do an altruistic work. I said by the grace of God, it will happen, just keep praying about it. That was year 1998.

Before I left the church, there was an activity of hanging a star on a Charlie Brown Tree. Anyone can take part to hang a star and share what it means to her or him. Then Starr came to me and lead me to where the tree was. She pick up a star and hanged it.

She introduced me to the congregation that the star represents me as her “hero” because of what I embarked to do in Thailand. I was a surprised by her kindness.

When I came back home to Canada, Starr has obtained a home. Her plan is to help out destitute troubled women. The house will be a recovery home for addicted women. I helped her a bit on some legal papers. I provided her with boxes of books from my own collections of religious books for her house. As a present, I gave her a meditation book “God in All Things by Anthony de Mello”.

Then life got in a way.

I’ve lost in touched with Starr until one night in 2010,I was watching the evening news. The news was the Courage to Come Back Award presented by Coast Mental Health. They called a name that is so familiar to me, Starr Peardon, a recipient of the award.

Oh my goodness, I have to watch this, dropped everything and glued watching the television.
There is so little I know of Starr. As far as I’m concerned she’s a beautiful person and I never once asked her what her background is. Then I learnt her story from the news.

Starr was a drug addict, drug dealer and a criminal. She was in and out of jail and gave up her children to foster care. However, it was in the correctional facility where she had her conversion.

In an article written in The Province Newspaper, I quote:

It was while doing time at the old Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women that the jail’s chaplain, Hank Smidstra, prayed over her while she detox.

“This strange thing happened. It was like a warmth. Like God put his arms around me. I didn’t believe in God,” said Peardon. She woke up the next day and knelt on the concrete floor

“I prayed to a God I didn’t believe in. I swore and I cried and that same peace descended on me. That was my conversion experience,”

With her conversion experience, Starr was able to fulfill her dream. “Talitha Koum”, meaning “little girl, rise” is the house for “broken women”, a place of healing. Countless women have turned around their life with her help. It is going strong until now.

On March 31, 2012, we celebrated Starr’s retirement party. And she has all the reason to smile for being an instrument of God. And I have all the reason to smile outward and inward when I think of her.

God bless you, Starr Pedron. She found her truth. She reconciled.

Today, we are celebrating the vast Truth and Reconciliation with the Indian Affairs that happened in Canada.

Light Up

Each evening from dawn till dusk, Science World lights up using 198 LED lights. This became an iconic Vancouver Lights.

When Vancouver was lightless, In 1942 Earle Birney wrote Vancouver Lights.

Through the feckless years we have come to the time
when to look on this quilt of lamps is a troubling delight

In daytime, Science World still is a delight to see.

of nothing pulsing down from beyond and between
the fragile planets We are a spark beleaguered
by darkness this twinkle we make in a corner of emptiness

The stage red lighting in this production has the intensity of passion and love. If I remember this Filipino folk dance correctly, it’s called Maria Clara. The dress is an elegant formal outfit for women with clean lines that symbolize the virtues and nobility of a Filipino woman while the men wear Barong Tagalog, a traditional Filipino embroidered long-sleeve shirt made of pineapple fibre. He’s holding a castanets known as clackers.

Don’t they look fabulous with the lights on?

On a personal level, I use up a lot of artificial lights. This is my Day Light lamp 10,000 Lux therapy lamp for the living room. The lights mimic natural light to help me get through my seasonal affective disorder. The only months that they are unused are the months of August and September. I have another lamp in the bedroom.

These lamps are used first thing in the morning to wake up my brain. They are my lifeline.

How do you plea?

Plea the Fifth Amendment. I refuse to answer for this might incriminate me.  In Canada, we call it Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Self-Incrimination. 

“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”  And then I swore on the Bible.  This was my experience as part of a Jury for 10 days.  A priest once told me when he is called on to swear on the Bible he refuses because he has already taken the Oath when he decided to serve God and mankind.  Of course, I forgot about this when I was asked.  I placed my hand on the Bible, and I said:“I swear.” 

It was quite an experience and an honour to serve Canada being selected as a Jury.  It made me think that the future of this man lies on my hand should I decided against the other jurors.  I was Number 8.  Mind you, we were given a manual on pointers on how to become a jury and how to make a decision based on just law.  No bias, no discrimination.  The jurors came from all walks of life.  One juror, in my opinion, was very fashionable.  She made sure that she is well dressed for the public and for the Judge.  This is not a criticism.  It’s important that we are dressed properly.  But once we deliberate behind closed doors, we have to divest ourselves.  Not our clothing, but our just minds.  We have to have an open mind without the probability of a doubt. 

We did reach a verdict.  NOT GUILTY.  Whew.  I was glad we came to a conclusion.  What was the case, you asked?  Joe vs. the People.  Joe was accused of killing his brother.  Just like in the Bible, Cane killed Abel.  But Cane was guilty; Joe was not. 

Back to swearing on the Bible to tell the whole truth; when I was a child, my Mother always reminded me to tell the truth.  That is so plain and simple.  Should you ask me WHY, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  (click to play the song) 

Tell the truth, try, you might like it. Nothing adversarial.

One Minute Meditation:

“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere,” said the Master. “Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?” “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.” || Anthony de Mello, SJ

Cast in Stone

 A photo taken 33 years ago in Manila reminds me how sad and brave my grandmothers were as they bid us farewell for our journey to Vancouver.  After final blessings, embraces, and tears, we boarded the plane with suitcases crammed full of everything we could bring from our old life.  Everything except my cherished umbrella which we had somehow neglected to pack.  I loved that umbrella the way other four-year-olds treasure dolls or teddy bears.  My new friends were mystified by my broken spirit and broken English.  I did not know the word for umbrella.  “My payong, my payong.”  I repeated woefully.  I wanted the umbrella that had sheltered me from the hot sun. 

I wanted to escape this strange place where umbrellas held the wind and rain at bay.  As I got older the memory of my umbrella drizzled away.  I planned my getaway: Paris, Tel Aviv, New Delhi … even Toronto.  Anywhere but rainy, boring Vancouver.  Like my parents, I sought a better life elsewhere.  Unlike them, elsewhere left me disappointed.  I yearned for the seawall and for Granville Island and salad rolls.  In my homesick mind, I heard the seagulls at Kits Beach, and breathed in the deep green peace of a day spent at UBC.  I longed to smell the cedar tree in the backyard of my childhood in Marpole, and to taste the vegetables my parents tend there.  I ached for Vancouver. 

Today, I show the photo, taken all those years and countless lost umbrellas ago, to my husband and children.  I will leave umbrellas behind, but I don’t forget where I have been or how far I traveled to get here.  Once it was a distant destination promised in a photograph.  Now it is the place I love and call home.  ~ Bernadette Gonzales McGrath 

The story of Bernadette is in two places.  One in Marpole, close to where she used to live, attached to a lamp-post.  The second is a monumental rock where each word is cast in stone, at Queen Elizabeth Park, a forever chiseled story cast in stone. A masterpiece. 

Bernadette and I are cousins.

 

Expression

At the school setting, ask the students to express their nightmares. The EYE seems to be common in their artwork.


night·mare
the difference between you and i is when you have a nightmare you wake up and it ends
i wake up to get to school to relive my nightmare
the nightmare of seeing him
of feeling his presence
the honest to God fear he has me under is driving into insanity
i could use millions of words and not one could describe my hatred and fear


who i am?
where did this feeling come from
did it arrive after i understood the effect this will have
not understand leaves me wondering
clueless to the way this will follow me to my death bed
as i lay my head down to die
the flashes of images and emotions will fill my soul once more
nightmare


nightmares are real
just different from what i thought about as a kid
i used to think monsters lived under my bed
now i know they live within people
they bring you into washes
they rob you
they lie
they ****
they hurt
i am done letting him control me
i say that often
i say those words every time i see him
or when i need strength


i just need to repeat it enough times so i will start believing it
lord help me
live a life full of dreams not nightmares
i want more
i desire
desire is a fire that depends on power
power at which i don’t contain
powerthirst on control from others because of a lack oneself
the emotional security one can not give feeds into anger
mistakes are failed risks that seem to have this hold on our souls as if that has the power we have been searching for
so mistakes are our minds negative power
then successes are our positive power
nothing makes sense


we are flawed humans stitched up with cravings
these cravings can be used for glory or for the evil that we conform to
we should use the craving to move us out of the darkness instead of pain
we should push to the happiness that is reachable
we refuse to do what we were called to do
nightmare
the nightmare i can not wake up from
a life i did not choose but can not awake from

Poem by VOID

Sunday Snippet

This is supposed to be a reblog but I am having difficulty doing it in my second generation iPad.

The source is from friarmusing, I call him FrG as a term of endearment, short for Fr. George.

His writings are enjoyable to read and exceptionally good reads. This post is about a list of reading materials.

This post is by no means complete, thorough, or makes any claim to being the last word. It is just a slice of what is out there on September 4th that caught my eye, looked interesting, and so I gave it a read. Maybe you will too.

▪Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic – New York Times.

▪Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future – The Atlantic

▪Six Important Questions About Booster Shots Answered – Smithsonian

▪The Coronavirus Could Get Worse – The Atlantic

▪Pandemic Psychology – The Guardian

The Pandemic Psychology from The Guardian surprised me. As I dig deeper, a Canadian Psychiatrist from UBC Department of Psychiatry published an article that I never encountered in our news media written by Steven Taylor in 2018 pre-covid era. I have so much respect for this department because they helped me reshape my faulty thinking due to brain disorder.

He interpreted that pandemics “are essentially a psychological phenomenon and about the behaviors, attitudes and emotions of people” and that “the psychological footprint is bigger than the medical footprint”.

That, Taylor says, is not to downplay the significance of the disease to those that have become sick or died, but that many more people have been psychologically affected. The analysis was fleshed out in another academic paper, published in Canadian Psychology, in which he wrote that “pandemics are not simply events in which some harmful microbe ‘goes viral’”.

He wrote: “Psychology plays a central role in pandemics, influencing the spreading and containment of diseases, and shaping pandemic-related distress and socially disruptive, divisive and potentially harmful phenomena such as panic buying, racism and protests against pandemic mitigation restrictions.”

Lesson learned: Sunday sermon is not all about the Gospel.

Photographs and Memories

My feet carry me in different parts of the world to understand the divinity of Mother Earth.  I am grateful what Mother Earth provides beneath our feet.

Along the way, we encounter a bridge and calm water that create a perfect reflection of what is above the still water, ‘as above, so below.’

Passing a bridge walking along Santiago de Compostela

Passing a bridge walking along Santiago de Compostela

Pilgrimage takes me to sacred sites where I deepen my faith and understand other’s devotion. The road beneath our feet can be a rocky terrain. There are others that will go up hiking barefooted to feel more connected with the Earth.

Stony path hiking to the top of Medjugorje

A flat paved surface is a pleasure to walk along the groves of olive trees as we pray the rosary and meditate on the passion of Jesus Christ.

Flat surface at Fatima

For more adventure, climbing Mt. Sinai requires the help of a guide or a camel ride in the dark. At Mt. Sinai, we meditated about Moses’ encounter with the burning bush and talking to his God. At the top of the mountain, we welcome the rising of the sun. With the sun’s glorious light, a new day dawning and darkness dispelled, the walk down is more treacherous. A rock beneath your feet, one could take a tumble on a slippery slope.

Rugged terrain at Mt. Sinai

Walking a Sacred Labyrinth in tuned with every step and every breath we take quietens the mind. There is no right or wrong way to walk. There is no time limit. Meditating or staying prayerful as we step one foot forward, stop and pause as long as we want, then take the next step. One could never get lost going in the center with an open mind and heart . We walk out of the circle feeling rejuvenated and centered.

Labyrinth at Naramata

According Hermes Emerald Tablet ‘as above, so below’, I can only translate this according to my Catholic faith.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” ~ Jesus Prayer

Church Cemetery at Oberammergau

As a pilgrim, I keep walking, passing through these places. In the end of it all, I will be the one lying beneath His feet.

Change dot Org

One of the common tools in reaching out to instigate a change in the society is a petition. It’s a movement to voice out growing concerns, challenge the law and hope for the best.

This is A Public Service Announcement

Bonnie J. Fraser Henry OBC FRCPC is a Canadian physician who is the Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia, the first woman in this position. Henry is also a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia. She was a family doctor and is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine.

Bonnie is loved by many ever since Covid came to play. She mentioned that “this virus has shown us that there are inequities in our society that has been exacerbated by this pandemic. And is there no way that we will recommended inequities be increased by use of vaccine passport … ” excerpt from this news three months ago,

Bonnie announced recently that covid passport will roll out effective September 13, 2021. John Horgan and Adrian Dix, premier and health minister of BC respectively, support this mandate.

Bonnie Henry and the Government of BC lied.

Canadian Law 101: Immunization is NOT mandatory in Canada.

Larry Hansen started a petition to “Abolish British Columbia Vaccine Passport Program and Mandates

Whether vaccinated or not, medical segregation should cause concern for every individual in British Columbia. It’s a clear violation of human rights and once we lose these rights it will be very difficult to get them back.

I am for Immunization but not the vaccine passport.

Should you wish to support abolishing the vaccine passport, please visit change.org or click on this link.

Thank you.

Attention Seeking

Come on let’s get happy or angry, we may be able get what we want.

Since the word scot free is of Scandinavia origin, SKOT, meaning tax or payment, it reminded me of an angry child statue in Norway. Of all the statues in the park, created by Gustav Vigeland made Oslo famous in Norway. The artist agreed to donate all originals of previous and future artistic work to the city, as long as it would provide him with a place to live and work.

Quid pro quo.

Negative Space

The City of Vancouver provides this plaque with blue triangle as a decor of heritage places especially old house that are preserved by new tenants. It’s fascinating to see old homestead and bricks surrounded by modern homes.

Community gardens are also provided by the city for green space. You can plant what ever you want. When it comes to my humble abode, I like negative space. Hardly any decor at all.

Remember IKEA? (I Know Everything Already.) It’s the number one home decor store that is within your budget. The only thing is you have to assemble your furniture. I have no patience for reading adding instructions and deep six that idea. Needless to say, i have no IKEA stuff.

Remembering Heart Surgery Blues

G.A. Miller sketched his self-portrait when he had a heart surgery, titled My Golden Colorado Days. Not only can he draw, he’s a singer as well. A good one I must. say.

GAM thank you for putting this all together for me. Much appreciated. Seeker.

To listen to the heart surgery blues song, please visit my post here.

Talking to myself.

Layla, my three year old grand niece, talks to herself all the time. Her imaginary friend, Snowflake, is there for her. She gathers her little dolls, steals her brother’s red convertible car, and she makes sure Mother Mary and Infant Jesus are included to go for a wild ride. For the grownups, we encourage her in this chimerical stage.

Today, I decided to get up when the alarm went off set for 8:30 am. Normally, I snoozed the alarm and return to sleep. That’s a good thing because my sister emailed me that she’s coming over after nine. The door is always open in my sanctuary.

There’s so much ideas to exchange with my brainiac sister to save the world. We ended discussing about her 71 year old friend who started talking to herself. It’s a bit worrisome when adults behave this way.

However, I want to stay with the first thought when I read the word fanciful:

If you’re feeling fancy free
Come wander through the world with me
And any place we chance to be
Will be a rendezvous

Koda-Kan

Koda-kan is a Filipino terminology we gave to Japanese tourist taking tons of pictures. It’s such a cliche in a fun way because when we Filipinos get together and wants our group photo, we say “Let’s go Koda-kan.”

Shūkabutsu is Japanese translation of bromide, an anime. I could never get tired watching Japanese anime. They are soothing more than boring.

Toph Beifon is my favourite blind bromide. She hates it when others think of her useless without sight. To use her line “Let’s see who is the blind one!” She’s a hero in the movie Avatar, the last air bender.

Sayonara.

Light Made it Visible.

To reach the peak of Mt. Sinai to witness the first light of the day, one has to start trekking at zero dark thirty.

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways
to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~ Rumi

Dawn of a new day
On top of Mt. Sinai.
Half light, half dark
The light made it visible.

It is a place for everyone.
Muslims, Christians, Buddhist, Atheist.
All is welcome.

Zero dark thirty is a phrased I picked up from Tina.

Meanwhile in Canada

Reading memes, one-liner jokes and satire are tricky. There are a few abrasive ones that made me squirm. But satire won’t always make us comfortable, or even always make us laugh.

These two made me laugh and smile.

“Watching fully vaccinated people scared of unvaccinated people is today’s comedy show”
“Why call it a vaccine passport when you can just call it a covID”

Meanwhile is Canada was once to be a funny site filled with memes and jokes. It can be political and shares its meme with the news. But it went overboard and some readers where aghast.

“this page used to have funny memes. Now it’s just pushing vaccine propaganda and shaming the anti vaccers. It’s terrible. I can follow local news to hear this.”

“This page is quickly becoming political and basically Covid Only content.. we hear and see enough of this on the news, social media, etc. If you aren’t a professional, don’t speak on it like you are.”



“A lot of interesting comments indeed but I do miss the lighthearted/comedic commentary that this group generated. Shout out from Sweden 🇸🇪 ”

“Imagine using your very well known page to spout off on your personal agenda because you know better, even though it should be a personal choice.”

“Meanwhile in Canada again keep your own opinion out of this… ”

It used to bring a smile on my face unfortunately it became a site of hubris.

I made a comment on this post “Meanwhile in Canada About page is “Looking at the lighter side of life in Canada and Canadian politics. Hope you “like”. It! Satire (including comments). Nothing to like here.”

Thank you Meanwhile of Canada for deleting my comment and blocking me. Now I can only share a comment elsewhere. So, I’m sharing.

Feet, wheels, shoes, tires, fetis

Our body is the best vehicle that will transport us to many places. Our feet is the wheel, while shoes are the tires. We need good tires to protect the wheels as much as good shoes to protect our feet.

For people who only see feet and shoes and not the sky, understand this:

“The whole universe is completely insane!”

I enjoy looking at shoes more than shoes. This converse high top shoe caught my eyes and would have been perfect as to what’s happening for the past two years. I did not buy the shoes because I was into high heels then.

Speaking of high heels, Stella knows what she wants if the shoe fits.

She feels sexy at her tender age what more when you are a woman. But, the red shoes created a stir when a movement of men wearing red shoes to walk a mile raising awareness in violence against women.

As for feeling sexy wearing stiletto, I resigned when i grew up at age 40.

Fun fact: Men were the first one who wore high heels as a symbol of supremacy and aristocratic status. Another reason is to protect their feet from the puddles and dirt.

Should you ever come to visit my place, be ready to be showered with affection by Lucy, my cat who has a fetish for feet and socks. By the time she’s finished with you, your feet is covered with slimy saliva, fur and dander. She is so sweet.

One foot missing? No problem. There’s always a solution. This cyclist did not deter him from doing what he loves. There is another person that has only one leg. He became a worldwide hero in raising awareness and funds to find a cure for cancer. He ran a marathon across Canada with just one leg and a prosthetic. He must have used thousands of running shoes in order to complete his goal. Recently, the foundation launched a video titled The Power of One. His name is Terry Fox.


Hot off the press, breaking news on August 15, 2021 at 11:57 am. Allow me to introduce a new born male feet, an addition to our growing family. His name is Bennett Logan Greirson.

I love feet. Why? Because …

Whenever there is a new born, we’ve been told not to kiss the baby. Not to touch the baby. What is allowed to touch is the feet. Face is still sensitive. Hands must be kept clean because babies tend to put them in their mouth. It would be awhile for the baby to discover his feet, therefore, it’s safe to worship his feet.

Fun fact: Do you know that solestry is known as foot reading most commonly practiced in India? Foot readers claim that they’re able to get a glimpse of a person’s character simply by taking a look at their foot.

Well, that is far fetched since our feet changes as we grow older, molded by our footwear, body weight and activities we do in life.

Just remember to thank your feet. Take good care of them for it will take you beyond. Relax, take off your shoes and socks, let your feet breath. Massage them while you are watching Netflix or just plain doing nothing as a couch potato.

You light up my life. Not the sun, but the moon.

By the light, not the dark but the light
Of the silvery moon, not the sun but the moon
I wanna spoon, not croon, but spoon
To my honey, I’ll croon love’s tune

Honeymoon, honeymoon, honeymoon
Keep a-shinin’ in June
Your silvery beams will bring love’s dreams
We’ll be cuddlin’ soon
By the silvery moon

Wales or Whales

Hiraeth is often likened to nostalgia in English or saudade in Portuguese, and it shares qualities with the German concept of sehnsucht, but none quite match exactly. It combines elements of homesickness, nostalgia and longing. Interlaced, however, is the subtle acknowledgment of an irretrievable loss – a unique blend of place, time and people that can never be recreated. This unreachable nature adds an element of grief, but somehow it is not entirely unwelcome. – BBC Travel

On the far side, a true story of my travel in Ireland.

“I can see whales” says my traveling buddy.

” Yes, i can see Wales from here. Can we make a trip while it’s just accross the sea?

I’ll always cherish and get a good laugh that day we spent together, walking along Aran Island, looking at tide pools, rocks, whales and Wales.

The Grace of finding Veronica Shoffstall

Having different names can be inspirational. I, for example, have used many names from Seeker to Pilgrim to Perpetua. Then there is Grace.

I have posted “Plant your own garden, decorate your own soul” twice. The poem has been an inspiration to so many. However, it has been attributed to so many names such as Jorge Luis Borges, Shakespeare and Veronica Shoffstall.

Jimmy and GG

After a while, you learn the subtle difference Between holding a hand and chaining a soul And you learn that love doesn’t mean security, And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts And presents aren’t promises.

Grace found the poem posted in three different occasions at Ravenous Butterflies in Facebook attributed to Veronica Shoffstall. In the first post, Grace being ungraceful commented insisting that it was written by Borges. A Ronnie Shoffstall was inspired to reply that she and Veronica are the same. Still Grace is skeptic

On the second post, a quote showed up in Ravenous Butterflies:

So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for some to bring you flowers.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Grace commented: Kindly give us the full quote of Jose Luis Borge. And Butterflies obliged attributing it to Borges.

Pandemonium ensued that Veronica Shoffstall is the author commented by many.

Therefore, Butterflies changed the author to Shoffstall. Fair enough since it was originally posted as Shoffstall.

Enter Grace commenting again since she is so inspired by this poetry attaching it to her photos as an avid gardener.

“Ravenous Butterflies, what made you change the name of the writer from Borges to Shoffstall.”

Grace is the ability to redefine the boundaries of possibility. ~ MANNING MARABLE

garden

And you begin to accept your defeats With your head up and your eyes open, With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today, Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain. And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

The following is the conversation in Ravenous Butterflies third post between Grace Siglos and Ronnie Shoffstall (in italic).

RS: because Veronica A. Shoffstall is the author of this poem. Sr. Borges wrote a different poem, and someone (who would get pimples and hemorrhoids) taked my poem onto it.

GS: word for word added a few lines, wart and all, I suppose anyone can call it theirs. Just like I said, I wish the dead could speak. ( GS and RS had a previous conversation before in the first post).

RS: So do I, my fried. So Do I.

GS: unfortunately Jorge Lois Borges died when the poetry showed up written in English.

RS: Like I said, if you really want to know, do some honest research with the facts I’ve provided. Otherwise, please don’t spread misinformation. It’s hurting me.

GS: I am not spreading misinformation and I am not the only one that is questioning the validity of the poetry. I am hurting as well.

RS: So check it out. Satisfy yourself.

GS: hahaha … not buying your response. YOU have to provide th facts since it’s in your name.

Maple Tree

After a while, you learn that even sunshine Burns if you get too much. So you plant your own garden and decorate Your own soul, instead of waiting For someone to bring you flowers

RS: I have done. I will do again and again. *First published in The Ivy, yearbook of SUNY Mohawk Valley. 1972 Yearbook was late, so it was delivered in a boxed edition, with my poem beautifully printed on a piece of parchment.

This must have made this easy to copy, distribute, or hang on refrigerator doors. It made its way around the SUNY system and eventually showed up without my name.

By December 1982, it had found its way to the syndicated Ann Landers Advice Column. My mother was a dedicated Ann Fan and called me, all excited, when my poem appeared in the column, someone asking who wrote it. I was in contact with Ann Landers office at the Chicago Tribune, and Ms. Landers posted my poem many times afterward, correctly and properly attributed, calling it, in her book WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, one of her most requested items.

Since then it has been published in more than 40 books, ranging from a Jewish book of advice, a quilters manual, a lesbian live novel, and a Christian marriage manual, and in several novels. It was even recited in its entirety in a played called, NANTUCKET SLEIGH RIDE, by John Guarre. Each of those authors found me, researched me, and requested my consent. An excellent calligrapher. Sherry Locker, markets my poem and gives me a percentage of the profits to the Polycystic Kidney Foundation, a disease my brother, sister, dad, aunt and uncles, as well as myself, all experience(d).

People started showing up claiming this poem, changing this poem, or asking my permission to corroborate on a better version of my poem. Several have been given permission to set it to music. I haven’t made as much money from this poem (maybe $500 since 1982?) as I’ve spent to defend it, with a lawyer who told me it would be like “gathering feathers in the wind”. So now I depend on angels who know the truth about this poem’s creator and defend the truth.

You asked for this, Grace Siglos. I hope I don’t have to say all this again. I don’t know who makes up a story like this, but if it sounds MORE LIKELY TO YOU that I would put my name in the work of a FAMOUS poet, then you are certainly have freedom of belief. You are one of those blasted feathers in the wind.

GS: thank you. You should do more that this and write to the copyright powers to clear your name. Plus post it on your FB and your blog site. If I am the real writer, I wouldn’t be mad and start name calling but be thankful that this piece of poetry is associated with famous writer. It’s all a blessing similar to Madame Currie’s invention and became a Nobel Prize Winner.

RS: Grace, I think the only thing I called you was a feather in the wind. I apologize if my tone was filled with frustration and indignance but I’ve been dealing with this a very long time. I don’t have children so this poem is my only thing that will outlive me. I rarely ask for money, usually a signed copy of the book (I have KISS ME LIKE A STRANGER, by Gene Wilder!) or tickets to the play by Mr. Guarre (it sucked btw). Anyway I appreciate that you a seeker of truth — I belong to the Baha’i Faith and we’re big on that. And I’m an American, which at least proclaims itself to be. So I did not mean to offend you and I’m sorry if I did. I was just frustrated . And since you forced me to write all this out, I’ll save it so I don’t have to keep doing it. So thank you, Grace.

Bouquet of flowers

And you learn that you really can endure… That you really are strong, And you really do have worth And you learn and learn and learn. With every goodbye, you learn.

GS: I can understand your frustration. My background is mostly validation on facts, figures, science, legal and strength of materials. I have strong faith as well. You still have time to send notification without costing you to clear confusion as I mentioned above. BTW, thanks for visiting my site.

If any consolation to you, the Spanish community vehemently saying this is not the work of Borges or Shakespeare but yours. I doubt Shakespeare wrote this. Gosh, you’re famous amongst these literary writers. I suppose people are looking for Veronica and not Ronnie where the confusion lies.

RS: It’s crazy. Jorge Luis Borges has books of poetry, he’s got biographers! He’s an esteemed, productive poet! It boggles my mind that there is any confusion at all. I guess I should be honored, but it really makes a problem for me, particularly because it is already in so many books and publications. I hate that anyone thinks I’M the plagiarist.

GS: Just like I said the confusion lies on the name between Ronnie and Veronica. Hope you pinned a note on your FB and blog sites that Ronnie/Veronica is the same person.

In the meantime, Grace found the yearbook with the poetry, provided it to Butterflies that is was written by Ronnie Shoffstall and change the name to clear the confusion.

RS: Thank you, but my name is Veronica. Ronnie is a pretty standard abbreviation. Please don’t change my name. Ronnie is what my friends call me. It’s my “home name”. As far as the bank, the government, my insurance companies, and other matters of importance, I’m Veronica. If you are my friend you can call me Ronnie, but Veronica wrote the poem, copyrighted the poem, and attributed to the poem. None of my important papers say Ronnie. I doubt that my nickname was the problem. But thank you for your concern.

GS: To end this on a good note. Here’s the message I received from Centro Jorge Luis Borges Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno Republica Argentina:

I am writing to you in order to answer mail that I send you above the message.

By this means, I have to say that the text that you have sent us does not belong to Jorge Luis Borges and of course is not part of his Complete Works.

I think, is just a fake text that apparently appears in a page of googlereads (goodreads) as many others.

Best regards,
German Alvarez

Plant your own garden

My gardening days are winding down Inspiration to garden lives on passing it down

Bonded

When people asked me if I’m busy at work, I proudly say, of course, I have so many paper clips to rearrange by size to colour.

Ever heard the old adage “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough?” Paperclip Law

The many uses of paper clips.

Oh!.? I’m not hanging in there.

Cats, Diapers, Sperm, Infertile, etc. etc. etc.

Moot points. Let the debate begin. I have all day.

RESPONSES TO THE QUESTION, “WHY DIDN’T YOU EVER HAVE KIDS?”

“Diapers are an environmental disaster (and also, yuck).”

“I enjoy my carefree lifestyle of two jobs, an elderly mother whose crises necessitate expensive bi-weekly trips out of state and a diabetic cat that needs insulin shots twice a day.”

“It was so great to catch up with you after all these years, really, but would you look at the time?”

“According to their profiles, all the sperm donors available were Rhodes Scholar finalists for both the Fields Medal and the Man Booker Prize who’d at least bronzed in the Olympics, and I really just wanted a regular kid.”

“That’s kind of a personal question, isn’t it?”

“I hate getting up before 9 am (mainly because I am sometimes up until then finishing freelance work).”

“I considered it, but I couldn’t afford a nanny, a dangerously ill-trained au pair or even a teenager who might work for $5 an hour and access to my unlocked liquor cabinet.” (That mid-shelf bourbon is fucking expensive.)

“My mother had it rough with my grandmother. I had it rough with my mother. My cat seems to think I’m pretty fucking awesome.”

“Do you ask childless middle-aged men this question?”

“As a matter of principle, I’m opposed to minivans.”

“Yes, I realize I’ve missed out on an integral part of the female experience. But the one week a month I spend writhing on the bathroom floor and bleeding through every goddamn overpriced tampon in the box helps remind me that I am, and always shall be, one with the sisterhood.”

“Why didn’t you ever have a cat?”

“Watch an episode of Better Things and then let me know if you still have any questions.”

“That’s really none of your business, is it?”

“Maybe I’m infertile! Maybe I had a miscarriage! Maybe I never met the right partner! Maybe I thought the prospect of having a child alone only made sense for women with a trust fund and the patience of Gandhi!”

“Maybe I wanted to break a dysfunctional family pattern and the only way I could figure out how to do it was to not have kids.”

“Maybe it’s none of your fucking business.”

“You’re right, I will have regrets when I’m in menopause! I regret staying in my dorm to study that night in 1984 when R.E.M. played The Rat. Beyond that, I’m good.”

“Yes, I realize there will be no one to take care of me in my old age. No one I can demand to hop on a plane to change my burned out lightbulbs and clip my toenails, no one who will spend hours scrubbing my kitchen — cleaning out the moldy cheeses and rancid mystery meats from the fridge, handwashing all the dishes because the dishwasher is broken and I’m too cheap to get it fixed — and who I will then berate because I would have preferred said adult child (almost certainly a daughter) use a different kind of cleaning solution, one that I refuse to believe has not been on the market since 1992. I’m good with paying strangers to put up with this kind of shit, thanks.”

“MAYBE IT’S NONE OF YOUR MOTHERFUCKING BUSINESS.”

“Yeah, probably I’m just selfish.”

Source: McSweeney written by Lisa Borders

Post Card to myself

Although i may have travelled all the roads,
crossed mountains and valleys from East to West,
if i haved not discovered the freedom to be my self,
i have arrived nowhere.

Although i may have shared all of my possessions
with people of other languages and cultures;
made friends with pilgrims of thousand paths,
or shared alberque with saints and princes,
if i am not capable of forgiving my neighbor tomorrow,
i have arrived nowhere.

Although i may have carried my pack from beginning to end
and waited for every pilgrim in need of encouragement,
or given my bed to one who arrived later than i,
given my bottle of water in exchange for nothing;
if upon returning to my home and work,
i am not able to create brotherhood
or to make happiness, peace and unity,
i have arrived nowhere.

Although i may have had food and water each day,
and enjoyed a roof and shower every night;
or may have had my injuries well attented,
if i have not discovered all that the love of God,
i have arrived nowhere.

Although i may have seen all the monuments
and contemplated the best sunsets;
although i may have learned a greeting in every lanaguage
or tasted the clean water from every fountain;
if i have discovered who is the author
of so much free beauty and so much peace,
i have arrived nowhere.

If from today i do not continue walking on your path,
searching and living according to what i have learned;
in from today i do not see in every person, friend or foe
a companion on the Camino;
if from today i cannot recognize God,
the God of Jesus of Nazareth
as one God of my life,
i have arrived at nowhere.

This is a postcard titled “Pilgrim’s Prayer” written by Fraydino I bought not as a souvenir but a reminder that I am only a pilgrim on earth.

50 Things To Do Before You Die

in year 2009, I bought a BC Magazine to celebrate its 50 years featuring a list of what to do in the province I live for the past 45 years.  Here I will remain for the rest of my life.

We call this province beautiful British Columbia!

The list could go on. These are just a teaser.

Forest Bathing

A bird on guard for thee.

  1. HIKE the West Coast Trail
  2. DIVE the Emerald Sea
  3. HUNT for mythical monsters
  4. CYCLE the Trans Canada Trail
  5. BE ALONE with nature
  6. MOTORCYCLE through the Kootenays
  7. HURL YOURSELF from a great height
  8. SURF a West Coast wave
  9. BACKPACK the Chilkoot Trail
  10. SET FOOT on every Gulf Island

On top - Copy

Balu Pass

  1. SAUNTER along the Seawall
  2. GLIMPSE BC’s wild horses
  3. DANCE at a powwow
  4. GO TUBING in the Okanagan
  5. GAWK at Squamish eagles
  6. PADDLE the Bowron Lakes
  7. PHOTOGRAPH a wild bear
  8. BARE IT ALL on Wreck Beach
  9. MOSEY through hoodoo country
  10. SUMMIT a mountain

Atlin BC walking the highway

Walking towards the lake to check it out.

  1. TOUR the Duffrey Lake loop
  2. DRIVE BC”s Alaska Highway
  3. WHALE WATCH at Telegraph Cove
  4. RIDE the Seven Summits Trail
  5. WITNESS the northern lights
  6. SOAK in a natural hot spring
  7. DISCOVER ancient petroglyphs
  8. BOAT up Bute Inlet
  9. GET GOBSMACKED by mountain light
  10. BOARD a BC ferry

Atlin BC look out

View from higher grounds. Beyond is the frozen lake

  1. SKI into O’Hara Lodge
  2. RUN a wild river
  3. VISIT a volcano
  4. DEVOUR BC at Feast of Fields
  5. FOLLOW dinosaur footprints
  6. FLY A KITE on Wickaninnish Beach
  7. WALK BAREFOOT in the forest
  8. BOUNCE through Barkerville
  9. BITE into a BC apple
  10. TAKE the road less travelled

Jimmy and Green Apples
41. REVEL in a wildflower meadow
42. SCALE THE Stawamus Chief
43. MAKE A 50-YEAR PLAN to visit every BC Park
44. SAIL through Haida Gwaii
45. WAKE UP some place wonderful
46. PLAY HOMAGE to the Cheewhat Giant
47. ZIP across the sky
48. HEAR THE ROAR of a mighty waterfall
49. DO some good
50. RAISE A GLASS of BC wine

Sunflowers and Nicole

Well, I’ve only done half of this. If I was born here, probably, I would have done most on this list tripping along the back country roads with a bumper sticker “Get those rocks off my road!”

Let Us Ask Ourselves

Let us not lose the memory preserved by the elderly, for we are children of that history, and without roots, we will wither. They protected us as we grew, and now it is up to us to protect their lives, to alleviate their difficulties, to attend to their needs and to ensure that they are helped in daily life and not feel alone. Let us ask ourselves: “Have I visited my grandparents, my elderly relatives, the older people in my neighbourhood? Have I listened to them? Have I spent time with them?” Let us protect them, so that nothing of their lives and dreams may be lost. May we never regret that we were insufficiently attentive to those who loved us and gave us life.

Source: World Day for Grandparents and Elderlies

Photo: Dear My Friends Korean Show

What’s it like to be a Canadian

~ Ninety percent of population is massed within 100 miles of northern American border.

~ Seems not to mind that one of its provinces has turned almost entirely French.

~ Excessive politeness only makes sense as cover for something truly sinister. But what?

~ Citizens seem strangely impervious to cold.

~ Decriminalization of marijuana and acceptance of gay marriage without corresponding collapse of social institutions indicate Canada may, in fact, be indestructible.

~ Has infiltrated entertainment industry with singers, actors, and comedians practically indistinguishable from their American counterparts.

~ Consistently stays just below cultural radar yet never quite disappears.

~ Parliamentary government and common-law judiciary appear to function acceptably yet remain completely inscrutable.

~ Never had a “disco phase.”

~ Seemingly endless supply of timber, donuts, and Scotch-plaid hats with earflaps.

~ Keeps insisting it “has no designs on America” and “only wants peace.”

~ Plays a mean game of pond hockey.

According to McSweeney: REASONS TO FEAR CANADA

by SEAN CARMAN