Mind your Ps and Qs

Naramata Centre is a place to inspire people to make a difference in the world. 
We were the first group that arrived in Naramata and we planned it that way.  Soon after, people will start flowing in for the summer.  Ah, peace and quiet. 
Not quite. 
I heard the call of the wild. It’s very haunting and eerie. 
Peacocks!  There are two of them roaming around the streets of the Centre. 
This is the first time I’ve seen Peacocks on the loose.  They are so tamed that they ignored me. 
Other than Peacocks, there were so many Quails as well.  They have a thing on their head bobbing as they scurry away just like Peacocks.  What a nervous little birds. 
Apparently, the call of the wild is a mating call for Peacocks.  Two male Peacocks, tails all fanned out going around and shouting at the top of their lungs “Aaaaahhh, Aaaaahhh, Aaaaahhh,” 
These calls, after a while became noise to me especially when it woke me up early in the morning.  
Where are the females? 
Well, the seniors in the Centre decided to get rid of the female because they don’t want to see any “rag rats” running wild. 
I think that is so cruel for the male Peacocks. 
The male Quails have their females and little ones.  Peacocks are entitled to the same thing. 
Should the dwellers of Naramata keep this up, I could see a new species of Peacocks. 
A new breed:  Quails running around with long tails
Peacock tailed Quail

Peacock tailed Quail

 or maybe with Peacock’s head with Quails body. 
Quail with Peacock head

Quail with Peacock head

Imagine that! 
To the Naramata residents:  Please mind your Ps and Qs.
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Generation of Boomers and Ys

You are Not a Baby Boomer if you were not born between 1946 and 1964. 
If you think The Jerk, The Swim and The Hustle are the nicknames for the Three Stooges. You are NOT a Boomer. 
If you have never been to a drive in movie or don’t even know what one is, you have no idea what you missed. You are NOT a Boomer. 
If you don’t know that TV used to be black and white and people used “rabbit ears” to get reception.  You are NOT a Boomer. 
If you think a “party line” is a dance, you never use a rotary phone back those days.  Definitely, You are NOT a Boomer. 
If you would rather make love and not war, you may or may not be a Boomer. But at least you have the right idea. 
After all, being a Boomer is more than just being born at a certain time. It’s a state of mind.  And this mind is starting to show signs of senior moments.
 If you were born between 1980 and 2010 you are called Generation Y, 
Why are You called Generation Y?   This is why. 
  • Y should I get a job?
  • Y should I leave home and find my own place?
  • Y should I get a car when I can borrow yours?
  • Y should I clean my room?
  • Y should I wash and iron my own clothes?
  • Y should I buy any food?
But a cartoonist explained it very eloquently below…
Generation Y

Generation Y

Oh, are you asking me what happened to Generation X?  Opsey, my mind went blank (senior moment).

Child vs. Experts

There’s the story of little Johnny who was mentally retarded, so they say.  But he wasn’t.  
Johnny goes to school for special needs children.  In his modeling class, he took a piece of putty and started modeling it.  He takes a little lump and goes to a corner of the room and plays with it.  
The teacher comes up to him and says:
“Hi, Johnny.” 
“What’s that you’ve got in your hand?”
“This is a lump of cow dung.”   
“What are you making out of it?”
“I’m making a teacher.” 
The teacher thought Johnny is regressing.  So she calls out to the principal and told her that Johnny has regressed. 
So the principal goes up to Johnny and says:
“Hi, Johnny.”
“What do you have in your hand?”
“A lump of cow dung.”
“What are you making out of it?”
“A principal.” 
The principal thinks that this is a case for the school psychologist.  
The psychologist is a clever guy.  He goes up and to Johnny and says
“Hi, Johnny.”
“I know what you’ve got in your hand.”
“A lump of cow dung.”
“I know what you’re making out of it.”
“You are making a psychologist.”
“Wrong.  Not enough cow dung!” 
And they called him mentally retarded. 
Excerpt from “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello

A moment of love

Homeward bound
On a cold windy stormy day
The train is half empty
At noon time. 
Moving on. 
Next station,
Two teenagers
Sat in front of me.
Male and female
Young, maybe 14 or 15
Shoulder to shoulder
They snuggled. 
Head kisses
Shoulder kisses
Starry eyes gazing
At one another.
Whispering, maybe about
Sweet nothings. 
Second station.
Another two teenagers
Again, male and female
Maybe in their early twenties
Sat in front of the
Younger teens. 
Nose kisses
Butterfly kisses
A peck on the lips 
Seeing these
From behind
Makes my heart
Grow fonder.
To see the youthfulness
Of innocent love
Maybe infatuation. 
Next station, central
Both teenagers
The seats lay bare
Nobody took over
No more young lovers. 
in my thoughts
Feeling happy for them
Love lingers 
Next station,
my stop.

Courage to come back

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. 
Courage to come back starr
Last year 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. 
This article is a true story written for Writing Challenge: Truth.
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I think I shall never see…

When I look outside my balcony towards north, facing the horizon, I could see Grouse Mountain of North Vancouver. When it’s covered with snow on a beautiful sunny winter day like today, it’s spectacular.  I feel like making a trip and climb the Grouse grind.  Not. 
I cannot due to just being plain lazy.  Then I look down below.  Sigh.  My beautiful tree is no longer there.  I gave that tree a hug all the time.  I love watching the squirrels going round and round the branches.  The racoon checking out the tree at night for food.   My winged friends make it their home to nest. 
When it starts to flower and seeds, so much pollen floating in the air.  Much too much pinecones and don’t mind if I have to rake them out.  The beetles in summer months come out at night.  Lucy and Maurice the cats exercised their hunting skills. 
One year, Father Winter came with a vengeance, covered the tree with snowy splendor.  And then… sad, the branches cannot carry the load of white powdery stuff.  Needless to say, I bid goodbye to the tree and all I have left is this memory. 

This is my Quest…

A writing challenge: New Year’s Resolution not a dream, not impossible… 
Many times I resolved to make a resolution, a total failure.  Therefore, I resolve to fail less… three is doable.  It will be more of a goal, and not a resolution.  I make my goals fun and enjoyable, not a chore.    
  • Every year, I make sure that I do one thing that I haven’t done in my life.  For example, last year, I learnt how to bake cookies and cakes.  I was well liked by those cookie monster and cake fiends.  A very expensive way to learn.  Done.  Next?  Next is learning how to bake a traditional ham or turkey that my family always make.  The guinea pigs are my next door neighbour who made me mushroom soup for Christmas.  And I did, ham first.  We had it for New Year’s Day.  Now my neighbour wants it to be a tradition.  Are you kidding me?  The turkey has to wait.  The guinea pigs will be my nieces.  I promised them to have a YaYa cousinhood at my place.  They were pinning since they have not set their foot in my sanctuary.  They saw the pictures in the Facebook and how they love to check it out.  Yah, right.  It will be a dry get together, I said.  They agreed.
  • Gardening.  What new plant would I want to try this year starting from seeds?  This would take time visiting Garden Centres, reading Garden Magazines and visiting Community Gardens.  I enjoy gardening and it’s so much fun.
  •  Walking.  This is a must since I am planning to join Walkers’ World this year to Santiago de Compostela.  It’s vital that I am able to walk at least 10k a day.  That is equal to walking around Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC.  Not a big deal, since I do walking meditation and I have now a camera to take pictures along the way. Can’t wait.

A Prayer of New Beginnings by St. Mary

God of new beginnings, we are walking into mystery.
We face the future, not knowing what the days and months will bring us
or how we will respond.
Be love in us as we journey.
May we welcome all who come our way.