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Voice of Reason

Eric is my reason and I am using my voice to stop the violence!

My Perspective

My Perspective

view:  full / summary

Broken

Posted on May 31, 2021 at 3:20 PM

BROKEN

We are so broken. Everywhere a person looks there is a broken system, a broken promise, a broken family. We need to build up ourselves, our community, and our world piece by piece. We have not learned from the past, we have not learned from experience, we have not learned to be better. It is time to be better. It is time to be stronger. It is time to rise up with integrity and thoughtfulness.

Our families are broken. So many children being raised with one parent in the home, children juggling between 2 homes, parents not raising children with manners and integrity, children are becoming accustom to dysfunction. We need to do better by our children. It takes a village to raise a child. Sadly, our villagers are lacking. They are lacking in funds, lacking in knowledge, lacking in empathy, or lacking in commitment.

Our educational system is broken. It is not the welfare of children that matters. It is the dollars and cents that matter. It is not what’s best for our citizens in education it is what’s best for the ledger. Small mindedness created from those in charge of our education system is systematically destroying our ability to move forward into the future with the best possible people at the helm.

Our government is broken. It does not matter if it is in our towns and cities, our provinces, our countries, or our world. Our system of governing is inept. There is no morality. Leaders that have blatantly broken the law are allowed to hold their positions, self-proclaimed leaders are striking fear in their citizens, others are stealing from their own people, and the list goes on. Some are so enthralled with these people that they would continue to vote them into power if given the choice.

Our healthcare is broken. It was broken well before COVID-19. COVID-19 has just brought out more of the cracks that were already forming in the system. Wait times, lack of beds, funding gaps, pharmaceutical disadvantages, and so much more are plaguing the system. We need less in administration and more boots on the ground actually caring for patients. We need salary prioritizing. Cull the administrative over employment and put money towards the first responders.

Our communities are broken. We have meth houses next to elementary schools, chop shops next to playgrounds, old people being the victims of fraud, and people scooping out neighbourhoods to steal from. We need the authorities to step in and take back our communities. But first, we need the police to be respected. This is something that is plaguing North America right now. We have a minority of officers that have made the news for their abhorrent behaviour and unfortunately the media has painted all authority with the same brush. The police need to be accountable and respectable to the communities they serve. They hold such a powerful position and they need to treat it with the honor it deserves. The citizens in these communities also need to show the respect these women and men deserve. On a daily basis there are officers putting their health and welfare on the line for those they serve. It is not just their physical lives they are putting on the line but their mental health, their relationships, their emotional lives, and also their families are expected to do the same. Every time their loved one leaves to take a shift policing, their families have the knowledge that if something goes sideways they may not make it home or may not make it home whole.

We need to acknowledge that our communities are suffering under immense pressure. Suffering from the pressure of the “me” mentality, the pressure of injustice, the pressure of racism, sexism, ageism, and any other “ism” that you can think of. Every person on this Earth whether they are white, black, gay, straight, Hindu, Muslim, rich, poor, old, young, female, male, smart or challenged deserves to be treated with respect. When it comes down to what should define how someone is treated it is should be based on good or bad. If you a good person you deserve the same treatment as everyone else. None of the characteristics above are relevant! If you are a bad person judgement should surely be laid down upon you.

What is it going to take to turn this world around? A revolution? What are we fighting for? Or should the answer be in a revival? We need a revival of spirit, of integrity, of action, of honesty, and of love. It is time to fix our broken world.

It is all so alarming, so frustrating, and so incredibly large that it feels hopeless for one person to make a change. That’s thing though, if every person put one piece of the broken world back together imagine how many pieces would be fixed. We are a world of carpenters. We need to use our skills and construct change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021

Posted on December 30, 2020 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (200)

What a year! This has been one of the craziest years that our world has seen in many years. Even with war, famine and other natural disasters that have hit our world, there has not been such a universal situation that has completely covered the globe at the same time. COVID-19 has literally changed the world. There is not one piece of our daily lives that has not been affected. Travel is practically non-existent, shopping involves: coat, shoes and mask, toilet paper is at a premium, Disneyland has shut down, going out for supper is a complete luxury even if it’s just to MacDonald’s, many workers are now working from home, in school learning is a bonus not available to all, funerals are via Zoom, eloping is the new marriage trend, parents are home working and raising their children at the same time and cash is not encouraged.

Everyday life can be monotonous. There is nowhere to go and no one to see without breaking COVID regulations. Christmas has been very heart breaking for many people. Seniors have been isolated in homes, singles are not allowed to travel to see family, families are not allowed to gather, many have been without work and cannot afford the Christmas fanfare, and businesses are closing their doors because people can’t go out and shop, children don’t get to sit on Santa’s knee, and Christmas parties are non-existent.

2020 is the year that the entire world can agree they would rather not have experienced. There was no positives. Our freedoms have been curtailed and our wants are not considered. It is as if we are in a never ending holding pattern. Let it all be done with.

As I sit back and reflect on 2020 it saddens me to think of the losses. I have had a dear friend, my step mother-in-law, and an uncle pass away. There was no funeral to honor them or provide closure. My son graduated from high school and my daughter graduated from university and neither of them had a traditional graduation experience. I had many trips cancelled, times with friends become shortened, my daughter was unable to go on her medical internship to Thailand, and when I did leave the safety of my home it was with trepidation that COVID was lurking in every nook and cranny to get me. It is a year that globally we all hope never happens again. Or is it?

While I would never wish the devastation of the pandemic on our world again it has not all been bad. If I am being honest some of it has been amazing! In the beginning of the pandemic my daughter was at university in Ottawa. From the time the pandemic was declared until she was home with us was five days. Five days to pack up and transport four years of her life across four provinces, still continue school online as the university was closed, and fly home (planes were a very real concern as that is how the pandemic had spread with infected passengers coming into our country on planes). While she did not get to finish school in a traditional way and had a lot of her plans cut short I did get my daughter home three months early. She is now home doing her masters online as the university is still closed to onsite students. I love having my child home with me! Which I know is selfish because she would like to be in school working alongside her friends and mentors. But, I am going to be grateful forever for this gift of bonus time with her.

As a family we discovered some new camping spots that were a bit off the beaten path. We got to enjoy some cute little municipal campgrounds with friends. These spots maybe didn’t have the best golf courses but they had friendly community grown golf courses that allowed families to golf together even if there were more than four of you in a family. They had fish ponds and bird watching, little parks and walking paths. There were spots that we never would have gone to if the traditional parks would have been open.

With the kids graduating our family had a social distanced fifty person backyard party. This party had everything from my eighty-seven year old father to seventeen year old grads. Grads, young adults, middle aged, and seniors enjoyed a day, evening, and night of good laughs, good food, and great memories. One of my son’s eighteen year old friends said it was the best party he had ever been too. That party brought neighbours, friends, and generations together.

Without being able to entertain ourselves with things like movies and restaurants we had to come up with other ways to entertain ourselves. There were neighbourhood fires with six of us, lots of family crib games on the deck, ladder golf, rock painting and checking out the swimming hole by Nordegg.

People in the community worked together to bring some happiness to one another. There were wine fairies that delivered bags of wine to the door for fun. Neighbours brought goodies and family games. Community members brought Santa to the streets of town. There were numerous sponsors in the community that helped bring Christmas to those in need. Sidewalk chalk could be found beneath your feet throughout town with messages of hope and pictures to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. People have worked and are still working together to come up with unique ways to live life to its fullest in a limited capacity. I attended my first online baby shower the weekend before Christmas. It was not the norm that we are all used to but it was very amazing. If it hadn’t been online I wouldn’t have been able to attend because it was in the USA and I am in Canada. We played games, had snacks (provided our own), and got to spend time with the expectant parents. It was awesome. I missed seeing my great nieces this summer. As a family we were supposed to go to BC and see them. COVID put a stop to that plan. So, we had to get creative. I have actually spent more time with the girls and my niece because of COVID. We have Zoomed numerous times throughout the year. I planted a fairy garden at my house this summer that the girls helped me fill every week with their ideas. I have read Christmas stories by the tree and listened to them read and sing to me. I got enjoy my grand niece’s Christmas concert via YouTube. We have developed a great bond even though we are not in person.

When living in a bubble you grow even closer to the people around you. I have got to spend some great time with young people and old that are in my bubble. My dad organized years of slides that we shared together via online. It was nice for him to relive memories and share them with me. Playing games and camping with bubbled friends has been such a blessing. We never got to do much of that because our kids were always so busy in sports.

I am working now fulltime. I have been working fairly steady since the beginning of the school year. It is official now though since the end of November. I know I get to work until at least the end of January. It is my greatest hope that I get the whole school year. I am in a classroom of grade ones now. I am cohorted to that class and Monday through Friday that is where I spend my time. Before that I was going to various classes. Because of COVID there was an abundance of casual work for me which has been such a blessing. I love spending time with my little ones. While it is daunting to be working with children that do not wear masks it is so rewarding. Now more than ever we are expecting our children to adapt to a new way of doing things. Not only do these little ones spend days away from home that they are not used to but they also do it under the cloud of COVID. Our children are amazing and adaptable. You tell them to wear a mask they put a mask on, some of the tweenie students in the school have started making fashion statements with their masks making them match their outfits or decking them out with sequins, students have learned to stand like an airplane with their arms out so they are socially distanced, it is not an issue to have them sanitize as soon as they go into a different room in the school or come in from outside, children go in and out the proper doors, and they follow the arrows that are lined out for them for safety. I personally think our children are combatting and tolerating COVID better than a lot of adults that I know.

The team I work with is incredible. Our administration is checking in with everyone all the time to make sure everyone is okay. COVID is very scary in a public situation where you are constantly in touch with everyone around you. No matter the rules that are in place you are working with children and their families so you are being constantly introduced to their germs. It can be overwhelming. Also, there are members of the team that COVID has affected their home lives whether it be mentally, physically, or financially. It creates stress that is overwhelming at times. Coworkers need one another to lean on. I had to work in the office for two weeks before Christmas. When I asked my administration what I should do once I am done my daily chores their response was, “It is your job to focus on everyone that comes into the office. You are the first face they see and we want everyone to feel heard and given extra attention in these times.” When they spoke of everyone they meant parents, teachers, students, visitors, and even our delivery service people. The response from the leaders of our school team was to make sure no one was falling through the cracks if they were feeling stressed, unhealthy, or scared. They worked hard at finding out which families needed extra help this season whether it be for gifts, food, gas, emotional support, or all of it combined. Other members of the team left secret Santa gifts for everyone, some handed out goodie bags, and a member got up at 4:30 am so we all had fresh cinnamon buns for breakfast, emails were shared with positive notes, and everyone was thankful for all the little things that get done in a day. ERE Rocky Elementary really pulled together to ensure that working throughout COVID was not only “okay” but exceptional.

I have watched more families than ever bike throughout my community. If you even tried to buy a bike in my local town there was none to be had. Every store was sold out. Board games were also a hot commodity. More families than ever were playing games or having family movie nights. My children were always so busy with sports that it was hard to sit down as a family for a meal let alone the extra things like playing games as a family. This year with no organized sports and nowhere to go families had to rely on one another for entertainment. For that I am thankful. Our society needed to put family first again. I totally believe in sports and activities for our children but it is equally important that families have time to develop together.

While COVID has affected millions, killed off generations in some areas of the world, stalled the world economic community, and devastated many it has also provide a reset. It has brought a large portion of the global community back to its grassroots and simpler times, one that was not in constant motion. It is good to rest, to reset, and to revive oneself. We can looked at all the upheaval that COVID has caused and become very despondent or we can take a look at the positives. When we look at the positives it gives me hope that we will come out of this pandemic a much stronger global community, put family first, and perhaps slow down a bit to actually enjoy all the things we work for.

May 2021 be a year of many blessings for you and your family. May it be a year of global healing. And may we never forget the lesson 2020 has taught us - Slow down, live life with gratitude and love one another.

 

COVID - 19 PART 3

Posted on September 12, 2020 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (4)

NEVER HAVE I EVER EXPERIENCED A PANDEMIC!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE MASS BURIALS IN A FIRST WORLD NATION IN 2020!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THE ENTIRE WORLD COULD SHUT DOWN!

NEVER HAVE I EVER WITNESSED THE DEATH OF SO MANY WORLDWIDE!

AND NEVER WOULD I EVER WISH THIS UPON ON OUR WORLD AGAIN!

#coronaapocalypse #nottodaycorrrrona #socialisolation

 

Humanity is spinning out of control. The controversies that we are perpetrating amongst ourselves is so ridiculous. People are arguing amongst themselves over so many irrelevant topics. My mom use to tell me, “Pick your battles!” Not everything needs to be a battle. Common sense should prevail as well as respect for individual preferences.

The fight over wearing a mask is a prime example. If a store insists on customers wearing a mask then put the darn thing on. It is not your right to say no (unless you have a true underlying reason such as asthma). It is the store’s right to create the policies the make them feel safe and keep a healthy work place. It is not your right to argue with them. You do not have to shop there so respect their policies. It is a privilege to shop not a need or right. On the flip side policy makers need to be making decisions based on science not fear. The most recent example of this is the education system. We need to keep our staff and students safe while not creating an atmosphere of anxiety. Administration needs to listen to the needs of their staff and not make policies that are based on fear and excessive dictatorship. Masks are not needed in a high school classroom for the teacher if they are at the front of the class completely social distanced from their students. I can’t imagine trying to have an interactive lesson on “Othello” with students while wearing a mask the whole period. I can however appreciate the need for a kindergarten teacher to wear a mask while helping their students put on their coats and outside shoes before recess. A one size fits all policy is not suitable for the wellbeing of our students and staff. Administrators need to base policy on needs not on fear or their own personal vendettas.

I know that there has always been conspiracy theorists. COVID-19 has created a new following and it is amazing to me how many “normal” people buy into it. This is an ever increasing battle being played out among friends, social media and the news. The idea that the world leaders are trying to reset the world is beyond insane. Our governments are not trying to make us complacent. They are trying to keep us alive. The sad truth is that our governments are people too and they have made mistakes throughout this pandemic but I truly believe they are doing what they believe is right.(short of the USA, that is a whole different crazy) And, every nation may not have the same idea on how to do this. Back to the mask idea. Some local governments are making it mandatory to wear a mask in public. They have contingencies for those that cannot wear a mask due to medical or emotional reasons. This is not the government dreaming up a way to make us more compliant. Think about it, every day we follow the rules of the road, the laws of justice, social norms and behaviours. We don’t run red lights, we don’t walk down the street naked and we don’t murder our neighbour for making too much noise. These are all society/government rules. We are compliant on worthwhile lifesaving and morale issues. Masks are no different. You may not agree with it but it is your responsibility to comply to keep others safe. Just like I don’t agree we should only have to drive 110 km down our Queen Elizabeth Highway. I think we could go at least 130 km but I comply to keep everyone safe. If we were all driving different speeds it would create chaos.

Why are we battling with doctors that have experience, expertise and knowledge? People are arguing with professionals over a multitude of issues dealing with COVID-19. Do you not think that the professionals that have dedicated their lives to the learning of health, medical protocol, pandemic response, vaccination development, asepsis, pharmaceuticals and an array of specialties are not the best people to be directing us on our response to COVID-19? These professional provide the best knowledge and response. They have dedicated their lives to providing support in these situations. But, one quack self-proclaimed “expert” on Facebook can gain thousands of followers. Wow way to pick the wrong side to go into battle with. Don’t get me wrong we don’t want to become sheep. We can question but when the facts are scientifically explained or proven than maybe we need to listen instead of picking the side with the loudest voice or most fanfare. Go to battle with the right armour or information.

COVID-19 has created an atmosphere of anxiety among all of us. This desperation is felt all the way from an individual standpoint to an international level. Society has become desperate. We are desperate to get out of isolation, to work, to return to school, to enjoy our leisure time as we had before and to travel. We have too much time on our hands to think about the negatives. People are not picking their battles wisely they are just battling over everything. How about instead of taking time dreaming up conspiracy theories we reach out on different platforms to make our seniors feel less isolated? Instead of getting twisted up over having to wear a mask draw a funny face on it and make a child laugh in the grocery store. If you are in a position of power take time to evaluate why you are making the decisions that you are. Is it for personal gain or for the collective welfare of all? Listen to your healthcare professionals they have spent many years of their life and ridiculous amounts of money to be educated. They wouldn’t go through all that if they weren’t concerned about society collectively. Let’s choose our battles wisely folks. Life is so much easier when we meet on positive or neutral ground rather than a battlefield.

 

 

 

May 3, 2020 COVID-19 Part 2

Posted on May 3, 2020 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (107)

NEVER HAVE I EVER EXPERIENCED A PANDEMIC!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE MASS BURIALS IN A FIRST WORLD NATION IN 2020!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THE ENTIRE WORLD COULD SHUT DOWN!

NEVER HAVE I EVER WITNESSED THE DEATH OF SO MANY WORLDWIDE!

AND NEVER WOULD I EVER WISH THIS UPON ON OUR WORLD AGAIN!

#coronaapocalypse #nottodaycorrona #socialisolation

We are well into our season of COVID-19 the new world apocalypse and I must say it has come with some valuable lessons. I have learnt that no matter how many degrees behind your name you have in medicine and infectious disease there is some redneck lay person that is much more knowledgeable with their conspiracy theory. Never mind the fact that world renowned doctors that have literally trained for decades are all working on prevention, treatment, and vaccines for the newest strain of death, COVID-19, there are lay persons around the world in communities and government that know best.

I mean really does it not sound reasonable that the whole world has literally shut down and we have lost almost entire generations in some countries, states, or municipalities to the virus but the self-professed have claimed that COVID-19 is everything from a government control mechanism to not being as serious as the yearly flu to Bill Gates trying to take over the world? Let’s take a look at these ideas. You decide if they have any validity.

First, there are the conspiracy theorists that have deemed this a way for the world governments to take back control and reset the world. I am quite sure that at no time could we ever get the government leaders of every nation to actually agree to do the same thing at the same time the same way. That would be the first dead giveaway this ridiculous. Secondly, it is not even plausible to suggest that governments of the democratic first world nations would even entertain this thought as it goes against everything democracy and freedom stand for. New age democratic nations allow babies to determine their gender, support all races to embrace their ancestry, recognize non binary gender, the Canadian anthem was changed to be more inclusive, encourage entrepreneurship, and speak up against nations that infringe on others’ basic human rights. Do you think for one minute these countries would support the idea of literally isolating the people of their nation from one another, stopping the economy, taking away the rights and privileges of education, shopping, dining, and social interaction? NO – this goes against everything they stand for. What do the governments of the world have to gain by halting the activities of the nations? It is costing the world billions of dollars, there has been an enormous strain on the world’s medical system, and the world has lost great minds, actors, musicians, doctors, philanthropists, engineers and many more brilliant people. This is possibly one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

Let’s talk about COVID-19 not being as serious as the yearly flu. I am not going to argue that that flu kills many throughout the world. BUT, the flu has a vaccine that people can choose to protect themselves with. It also is not cross species and it does not discriminate as much as COVID-19. COVID -19 was borne from a cross species interaction which means that the human body is not made to fight it. Flus are specific to humans and our bodies have systems in place that take over to combat the effects of the flu. When you are dealing with new infectious agents that has jumped from non-human animals to humans there is generally no known cure or vaccine because it has never been seen before. It makes sense that it is harder to protect against the unknown than the common. Not to mention the fact that COVID-19 is rapidly spread and so far has killed approximately 4.7% of patients as opposed to 0.1% that the flu has killed. So NO – we cannot treat CoViD-19 like the flu we have to be aggressive in combating the spread and infection of this new and terrifying disease.

Now let’s address possibly the most ridiculous thing I have heard so far. Bill Gates is trying to take over the world through the spreading of COVID-19. Why would a worldwide philanthropist design to take over the world? It sounds like a story line from Phineas and Ferb. Bill Gates makes money from people – why would he cut the hand that feeds him? Not only all these obvious reasons if this was really true I am sure the world leaders would take him out. They would have him assassinated. There are too many power hungry leaders that would not be willing to give up their piece of territory for Gates to take over the world.

I certainly feel more secure listening to Dr .Hinshaw, Dr. Tam, and world infectious control doctors than some uninformed bigoted person in the grocery line that is complaining to some poor essential worker that they can only buy one package of toilet paper and there wasn’t enough of their favorite potato chips in stock. The world has not come to stop on a whim. It has slowed down to a crawl to prevent infecting the mass population of the world’s nation. As world citizens we do not want to see the re-creation of the devastation in Wuhan or Italy. The USA has not paid attention to the recommendations from the health world and they are now exceeding the highest death tolls in the world. If you are asked to stay 2 metres from the general public than do it, if you are asked about your medical history before entering a public building than provide it, if you are asked to don a mask put it on and if you are asked to share the grocery supply than do it with a glad heart. We are all part of the international community and we need to be responsible for the health and welfare of all. We need to protect our vulnerable, our essential service workers, our families and ourselves. We need to come out the other side of this travesty smarter, healthier and prepared to fight against another wave of the disease. COVID-19 could quite possibly be around for our lifetime let’s be prepared for it!

 

May 3, 2020 COVID-19 Part 2

Posted on May 3, 2020 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (55)

NEVER HAVE I EVER EXPERIENCED A PANDEMIC!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE MASS BURIALS IN A FIRST WORLD NATION IN 2020!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THE ENTIRE WORLD COULD SHUT DOWN!

NEVER HAVE I EVER WITNESSED THE DEATH OF SO MANY WORLDWIDE!

AND NEVER WOULD I EVER WISH THIS UPON ON OUR WORLD AGAIN!

#coronaapocalypse #nottodaycorrona #socialisolation

We are well into our season of COVID-19 the new world apocalypse and I must say it has come with some valuable lessons. I have learnt that no matter how many degrees behind your name you have in medicine and infectious disease there is some redneck lay person that is much more knowledgeable with their conspiracy theory. Never mind the fact that world renowned doctors that have literally trained for decades are all working on prevention, treatment, and vaccines for the newest strain of death, COVID-19, there are lay persons around the world in communities and government that know best.

I mean really does it not sound reasonable that the whole world has literally shut down and we have lost almost entire generations in some countries, states, or municipalities to the virus but the self-professed have claimed that COVID-19 is everything from a government control mechanism to not being as serious as the yearly flu to Bill Gates trying to take over the world? Let’s take a look at these ideas. You decide if they have any validity.

First, there are the conspiracy theorists that have deemed this a way for the world governments to take back control and reset the world. I am quite sure that at no time could we ever get the government leaders of every nation to actually agree to do the same thing at the same time the same way. That would be the first dead giveaway this ridiculous. Secondly, it is not even plausible to suggest that governments of the democratic first world nations would even entertain this thought as it goes against everything democracy and freedom stand for. New age democratic nations allow babies to determine their gender, support all races to embrace their ancestry, recognize non binary gender, the Canadian anthem was changed to be more inclusive, encourage entrepreneurship, and speak up against nations that infringe on others’ basic human rights. Do you think for one minute these countries would support the idea of literally isolating the people of their nation from one another, stopping the economy, taking away the rights and privileges of education, shopping, dining, and social interaction? NO – this goes against everything they stand for. What do the governments of the world have to gain by halting the activities of the nations? It is costing the world billions of dollars, there has been an enormous strain on the world’s medical system, and the world has lost great minds, actors, musicians, doctors, philanthropists, engineers and many more brilliant people. This is possibly one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

Let’s talk about COVID-19 not being as serious as the yearly flu. I am not going to argue that that flu kills many throughout the world. BUT, the flu has a vaccine that people can choose to protect themselves with. It also is not cross species and it does not discriminate as much as COVID-19. COVID -19 was borne from a cross species interaction which means that the human body is not made to fight it. Flus are specific to humans and our bodies have systems in place that take over to combat the effects of the flu. When you are dealing with new infectious agents that has jumped from non-human animals to humans there is generally no known cure or vaccine because it has never been seen before. It makes sense that it is harder to protect against the unknown than the common. Not to mention the fact that COVID-19 is rapidly spread and so far has killed approximately 4.7% of patients as opposed to 0.1% that the flu has killed. So NO – we cannot treat CoViD-19 like the flu we have to be aggressive in combating the spread and infection of this new and terrifying disease.

Now let’s address possibly the most ridiculous thing I have heard so far. Bill Gates is trying to take over the world through the spreading of COVID-19. Why would a worldwide philanthropist design to take over the world? It sounds like a story line from Phineas and Ferb. Bill Gates makes money from people – why would he cut the hand that feeds him? Not only all these obvious reasons if this was really true I am sure the world leaders would take him out. They would have him assassinated. There are too many power hungry leaders that would not be willing to give up their piece of territory for Gates to take over the world.

I certainly feel more secure listening to Dr .Hinshaw, Dr. Tam, and world infectious control doctors than some uninformed bigoted person in the grocery line that is complaining to some poor essential worker that they can only buy one package of toilet paper and there wasn’t enough of their favorite potato chips in stock. The world has not come to stop on a whim. It has slowed down to a crawl to prevent infecting the mass population of the world’s nation. As world citizens we do not want to see the re-creation of the devastation in Wuhan or Italy. The USA has not paid attention to the recommendations from the health world and they are now exceeding the highest death tolls in the world. If you are asked to stay 2 metres from the general public than do it, if you are asked about your medical history before entering a public building than provide it, if you are asked to don a mask put it on and if you are asked to share the grocery supply than do it with a glad heart. We are all part of the international community and we need to be responsible for the health and welfare of all. We need to protect our vulnerable, our essential service workers, our families and ourselves. We need to come out the other side of this travesty smarter, healthier and prepared to fight against another wave of the disease. COVID-19 could quite possibly be around for our lifetime let’s be prepared for it!

 

April 14, 2020 COVID-19 Part 1

Posted on April 15, 2020 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (524)

NEVER HAVE I EVER EXPERIENCED A PANDEMIC!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE MASS BURIALS IN A FIRST WORLD NATION IN 2020!

NEVER HAVE I EVER THOUGHT THE ENTIRE WORLD COULD SHUT DOWN!

NEVER HAVE I EVER WITNESSED THE DEATH OF SO MANY WORLDWIDE!

AND NEVER WOULD I EVER WISH THIS UPON ON OUR WORLD AGAIN!

#coronaapocalypse #nottodaycorrrrona #socialisolation

Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected 2020 to be the year of worldwide sorrow and suffering. As I toasted in the New Year way back in January I had high hopes for the year. I wished for more job hours at the school division where I love to spend my days with the students. I had my sights set on some trips to Arizona, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, of course the mountains, and some camping destinations. There was to be celebrations for my son and daughter who were both graduating, one from high school the other from university. There were plans in the works to spend time with my great nieces in British Columbia. I was so hoping for warm weather this summer to take advantage of the lakes in our own backyard and up north to fish and play. And now, the biggest dreams I have are being able to plant some flowers, have a fire in my own backyard, walk my dog and weather permitting spend as much time outside in my patch of yard as possible.

The world as I know it has come to an end. Jumping in the car to have supper with my elderly dad is no longer an option. I can’t buy groceries daily whenever and however I want, meeting my friends for lunch is out of the question, Wing Wednesdays at the local watering hole is off the list of pleasures, picking a new read out of the library is off limits, even gathering to worship is no longer an accepted practice. My whole life has been turned upside down. It is alienating, stressful, and even disorientating. And yet, I truly can’t complain because I am blessed and I am lucky that these are my problems for there are so many more across my family, my community, my province, my country, and the world that are suffering great loneliness, strife, and loss.

Loneliness is one of the greatest emotional cripplers that humans can experience. With social distancing on steroids that we are experiencing right now loneliness is a mental health issue that is plaguing many. There is no social gatherings, many are not working and interacting in their place of business, kids are not with their peers in school, extracurricular activities are halted, and even going to church is off limits. People are home, scared, and stressed over things like money, health and the interruption in their routine add loneliness to the mix and it is a catalyst for mental anguish.

I feel overwhelmed that I can’t freely go and do what I want when I want with who I want. I feel alone sometimes and disconnected. I just want to go out to a friends and have a visit or meet up for a coffee or head out for supper for a change of scenery. But, all of that is off limits. I can however stay home and be with my husband and kids. I can’t imagine being ALL alone at home day in and day out for God only knows how long. It would be daunting and terrifying. What would I do? How would I entertain myself? I know that I can still talk to people on the phone, over Facetime or meet on Zoom but it is still not actual physical interaction. There are many throughout our families, communities, and onward that are alone. There are seniors in homes that are literally locked in their small rooms, single people that have lost their jobs and are now staying home all by themselves, there are so many different scenarios of people on their own throughout these times.

My father is 87 years old lives at home with his cat. He loves to go 5 times a week to the senior centre for coffee or down to his buddy’s shop to swap talk over a cup of java. He walks 1 mile a day and enjoys helping out his neighbour by picking up her mail and putting out her trash. He does odd jobs around her place when she needs help. Funny thing about it is that she thinks of him as a son – HE’S 87! He goes to church on Sundays, senior nights one Thursday a month, and has tickets to the drama performances in his town. My dad also drives up to Rocky Mountain House at least once a month for a couple days, and he likes to travel. He is a busy guy to say the least. All of his activities have stopped. He is living in isolation except for his once a day walk only if the weather is decent enough and he has to stay 6 feet from anyone walking by. His amazing neighbours pick up his groceries for him and run any errands that need to be done. He has had a few wonderful people drop off meals to him so he visits for a few minutes while they stand outside, otherwise he is alone. I feel isolated and alone and I live with 3 other people. My poor dad is on his own indefinitely. He did say that he is glad he has experienced being on his own for a long time otherwise it would be really difficult.

My sister is a frontline worker that is in the hospital working every day. At the end of the day she come home to her 2 cats. She is thankful that she has work because at least she gets to interact with people otherwise she would be completely alone. Again when my loneliness hits I have to give myself a great boot in the attitude because again at least I’m not alone. There are so many out there all by themselves with no support.

I am challenging all those that have taken the time to read this to reach out and tackle the loneliness in our world right now. Pick up that telephone and actually talk to someone that needs some interaction. Don’t just text actually dial up a friend or family member and let them hear your voice. Stimulate more than one of their senses. Deliver a meal, send some flowers, surprise a friend with book on their doorstep to help them spend some time on something different, call a friend for a walk or if the weather is nice head out for a driveway visit. I have challenged my dad to get his 70 years’ worth of slides in order now that he has time. The options are endless. In my community a local business created a family wagon of Easter Bunnies that travelled into all the neighbourhoods to bring Easter joy. My sister had a surprise of kitty toys hanging from her door handle, as I mentioned before my dad’s neighbours have looked after getting his errands done for him, others have dropped off wonderful meals for him, I talk to my dad every day and make a point of going up at least once a week to sit on the driveway and talk to him, my church dropped off Easter care packages with a note of encouragement. Do your part to break the chain of loneliness. We need everyone healthy and that includes mentally healthy to help fight the devastation of COVID-19. We may not all be frontline workers but we have the potential to help those in need. Let’s all do our part.

 

Facebook February 28, 2019

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (140)

I originally wrote parts of this post in 2017. Reading it over I’ve thought of some new ideas. Sometimes Facebook can me make feel like the biggest failure in the universe. I look at how happy everyone is and they are posting all the great things they are doing and achieving. I was talking to a family member and they actually have closed their Facebook account. They were tired of always feeling like their life was so much more stressful, less exciting, and humdrum compared to all their friends. It was causing them to feel bad about themselves. I can agree, on my muffy days it makes me feel inadequate and depressed. I thought about this for a while and when I originally wrote this article I scrolled through my own Facebook page and thought wow I wish I had her life. Which I did! What we put on social media most times is the good stuff. We don't usually carry on about how ordinary our lives can be: vacuuming, washing, doing errands...... Or how we struggle with the blues or sickness. We usually share the fun and exciting stuff.

I think we all should remember that social media are posts of moments in time. All of our moments are not going to be life changing, special, or exciting. For most people there are more routine moments rather than exciting moments. We should not judge ourselves or our lives based on how other people live on social media. It upsets me when I see how depressed some people get when they do not get enough likes on snapchat, Instagram, or twitter. I am not trying to pick on the younger generation I promise but I see how much value they put into social media. I know a young woman who if she doesn’t get a certain amount of likes within 5 minutes she takes down her posts and then feels bad about herself for the rest of the day. She lives her life stuck to posting in the best clothes with the best accessories, showing the best picture all on social media. She thinks that having the best clothes, the best computer, the best phone, and the best of everything all categorized on social media will bring happiness. It saddens me because life is not about all the material stuff, emoji’s of hearts, and like buttons on social media. Life is about full relationships, experiences, and love, not a screen.

I have been avoiding all social media for the past couple months. Usually I am the first one to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I like to share pictures of my family all together and times that we have gone out and done something exciting. I was very ill at the beginning of December. The illness actually took away some of my comprehensive ability, writing ability, sight, and a great deal of my physical wellness. It made me realize how important my words and physical self really are too me. Sometimes you don’t realize what you are or have until you don’t have it anymore. While I love to see what is happening in everyone’s life on Facebook I felt I didn’t really have anything to say. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to pretend everything was great. So I just didn’t bother posting anything.

Social media platforms are venues for interaction. It is not always a true representation on how someone is doing at any given moment. You know how I know this? I know because I don't usually share on Facebook when I am having a rough day or when I feel like the walls are closing in on me. I usually share the "good" stuff. Sometimes I share the frustrating stuff but I don't usually share the really emotional and meaningful stuff that is going on in my head, like the days I feel no one gets me or the days I feel blah about my body image or when I am hurt by something that has happened or when I am so exhausted I can hardly get out of bed. So if I am not sharing that stuff I guarantee there are others out there that aren't sharing either. Don't be quick to judge yourself based on how you see others portray themselves on social media, it's usually only half of the story.

Justice?

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (16070)

The legal system has let us down at every turn. No longer is a victim protected. Perpetrators have rights victims have heartache. In a land of freedom the average citizen is held in bondage of not being able to protect themselves, their property, or the ones they love. When will the scales of justice actually balance themselves?

In a democratic society everyone has the right to legal representation and a fair trial. It is one of the founding policies of a free country. As citizens we must fight to protect due process as it sets us apart from countries of tyranny. Autocratic countries do not acknowledge human rights and liberty. Unfortunately the scales of justice have tipped in favor of the perpetrators rather than protecting the rights of victims. The time has come for the scale of justice to be calibrated.

Personally I have been affected directly and indirectly by the lack of accountability in our justice system. I am just one person and yet I have many stories to tell. Compound myself by the entire population of Canada and it is a scary reality that criminals are allowed to threaten or hurt law abiding citizens on a regular basis.

Directly I have been forced to live with the reality that the eight men who murdered my nephew have never been truly held accountable. The sentences that we handed down in his death ranged from one year conditional sentencing to five years behind bars. While I have forgiven the men that took my nephew from me I still feel that the justice system has let me down, my family down, and society down. I am not sure on the status of all these men now but I do know for fact that some have gone on to reoffend. They did not necessarily kill anyone else but they have been involved in other serious crimes. Where is the accountability in these sentences? What has the justice system done to ensure that they will not hurt others? It is a circle of crime committed, charges laid, time served, released, crime committed, charges laid, time served, released, and so on.

Then, there is the case of home invasion. As my family and I slept one night our garage was broken into and my vehicle was stolen. The youth that was arrested in my incident had broken curfew at the time of the crime. He had nearly fifty charges against him already and some were assault with a deadly weapon. Why was he not in a locked facility? At the age of fourteen he was already a career criminal. He ended up having to serve six months in a juvenile detention centre for his crime against my family. The day he was released from the centre he got high with friends and for kicks beat up two of my son’s friend sending them to the hospital. One was beaten so badly his jaw was broken and he was in the hospital for a long time. There was no rehabilitation for his delinquency and no accountability. He went on to commit crime after crime until eventually he committed suicide last fall. The justice system failed me, my community, and even the defendant. It was known that he did not have a social compass due to past trauma and abuse. If he would have been kept in a controlled environment where he could be monitored and guided others would not have been traumatized and he would not have ended his life so tragically.

The young man that stole my vehicle is a prime example of no accountability. After he served his time for my crime and then served more time for assault on my son’s friends I saw him shopping one day with his “care mother”. He was buying the same expensive shoes and clothes that I was buying for my sons. My oldest son had to earn his shoes. Through hard work on his part with chores and school at the end of June I surprised him with the shoes he wanted so badly. My youngest son got a new hoodie that he really wanted for working hard at his schooling and afterschool chores. But, here stood a menace to society buying expensive clothing and he had done nothing to earn them. I do not think he should have been dressed in rags but I do think that he did not deserve to have the same luxury as children that behaved themselves. I think what really upset me about all of this is that it was paid for by the government. He was in care and was provided a stippling for necessities. Where was the accountability in what he was spending his money on? He was out shopping with the same caregiver that was supposed to have him in custody by curfew time, 10:00 pm, on the night he broke into my home and stole my vehicle. It would have been after 11:30 pm because we were up and about until then.

The other thing that bothered me when I saw this young man shopping was that he personally owed me $1200 in retribution payments. The judge said I would probably never see it. Why was he not court ordered to pay his dues? If he would have bought nice $40 shoes at Walmart he could have paid me $100 with the remaining funds he had. Or, if he could not pay off his debit with money why wasn’t he ordered to work in kind? He should have had to work off $1200 worth of debt. This would have taught him accountability. Even if he did not learn from the lesson at least as a victim I would have had been given the satisfaction that he was accountable for his crime.

The vehicles in my driveway are broken into at least four times a year. Some of the times it is known who the individuals or group of individuals are that are going into vehicles and yet nothing happens to them. It is not efficient to charge these criminals because it takes up police time, court time, and money. They end up not being held accountable anyway so it goes unpunished. When does this unaccountability end? When they have moved on to break and enter of a home? Perhaps mugging with a knife? Kidnapping? What is the deterrent for them to change their ways if justice is never served?

On a small scale I think we have to start young. If a child in school is disrespectful or misbehaves they must be held accountable. I do not think giving children in school suspensions or out of school suspensions teaches them anything. Basically it is free time to not be in the classroom paying attention.

I am a firm believer if you have a grievance with how something is done than you should have a solution. The fact that I do not agree with the accountability of detention or suspension charges me to put forward new ideas. If a student is found defacing school property, littering, or being obnoxious in class for example than they should be made to pick garbage on the schoolyard. I think a bit of humility would teach them manners and accountability. They would be expected to wear an orange work vest and gloves and everyone would know why they were doing it. THEY DIDN’T BEHAVE! Perhaps a child is being mean to other students. That child needs to be held responsible for their actions. If it is a child of reading age then they could go to the library and put away books for the librarian and then made to read to younger students. This would give them ownership and perhaps encourage an interest in helping others. If the child is too young to read they could eat lunch and spend time with a special needs student under supervision. It could be used as a tool of empathy.

It is time for rapists to spend time behind bars indefinitely. No more should they be allowed out with a warning to the public that they are likely to reoffend. If there is no change in accountability then there is no chance of release. Why should the women of our nation be scared to walk down the street because of a depraved few? Why are reprobates allowed freedom while law abiding citizens are held in captive fear?

A strong example of this is the case of Michael Stanley from Alberta who in 2013 was released with a warning to the public that he was likely to reoffend and an electronic tracking anklet on. He removed the anklet and a manhunt ensued. He was eventually caught in the USA after recommitting crimes including raping a seventy year old woman! Why was he ever afforded the luxury of release when authorities knew he would reoffend?

There has to be balance in justice! If a rapist has not shown remorse, participated in programming that is designed to address the depravity of the charge, and not admitted their accountability then they should not be allowed to leave a secured facility. Lawmakers must make the needed amendments to our laws to include these perimeters. It cannot be as simple as a defendant has served their time therefore they are allowed their freedom. They must earn that right.

In the recent news is the warning out to citizens in Ontario about a childcare giver who poisoned her charges. She is thought to likely reoffend if given the chance. There are safety measures in place but she is still out in public. Children are not safe. She should not be allowed out in society unless she is unlikely to reoffend. Our most vulnerable are at risk. She is a criminal with a criminal mind. She has lost her right to freedom.

Carla Homolka possibly the most notorious female sexual sadist murderer in Canadian history was sentenced to twelve years in prison for manslaughter with eligibility of parole after three years served. She now resides in Montreal with her children and is able to volunteer on field trips within her childrens’ school. This is the most disgusting piece of information I have ever learned. I HAVE TO HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK AND SOCIAL SERVICES CHECK DONE BEFORE I CAN VOLUNTEER WITH MY CHILDRENS’ ACTIVITIES AND SCHOOL! Yet a demented human being like Homolka can be around children. Not only does she have interaction with other people’s children how on earth was she able to actually volunteer with them?

When people break in to your home you do not have the right to defend yourself. If you hurt the perp it is you that will be charged. It is your property: you paid for it, you worked for it, and you pay taxes for it, yet you do not have the right to defend it. There is something definitely wrong with the system!

It seems to me that petty crimes or crimes that involve money get larger sentences than brutal acts against others or crimes that are sentenced to prove a point. Take for example the case of Robert Latimer in Saskatchewan. Robert was the father to a daughter who spent every day of her life in constant and excruciating pain. When his daughter was twelve Robert carried out compassionate homicide. He lovingly took her life so she would not suffer anymore. Now, I am not going to argue whether I believe in this or not. But, what I am going to argue is how can a man that performed the ultimate act of love hold a longer sentence in jail than a group of men who brutally beat someone to death? Latimer spent seven years in jail while the longest term in the beating death of my nephew was five years. The sentences do not fit the crime!

It is time for a major revamp of the justice system. No longer should the bleeding hearts of the nation get a say in how justice is administered. It should be with a heavy gavel and strong sentence. Perpetrators do not have rights! When they made the decision to break the law they gave up those rights. Citizens need to hold our courts, judges, and lawmakers more accountable. I fear that if there is not a swift change we will see a spike in vigilantism. Everyday citizens are tired of paying the price of unlawfulness. Put criminals behind bars where they belong!

 

 

Facebook March 23, 2017

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (584)

Sometimes facebook can me make feel like the biggest failure in the universe. I look at how happy everyone is and they are posting all the great things they are doing and achieving. On my muffy days it makes me feel inadequate and depressed. I thought about this for awhile and then I scrolled through my own facebook page and thought wow I wish I had her ilfe. Which I do! What we put on facebook most times is the good stuff. We don't usually carry on about how mundane our lives can be: vacuuming, washing, doing errands...... We usually share the fun and exciting stuff. I think we all should remember that facebook is posts of moments in time. All of our moments are not going to be life changing, special, or exciting. For most people there are more mundane moments rather than exciting moments. We should not judge ourselves or our lives based on how other people live on facebook. We should not judge ourselves PERIOD! Life is hard enough without giving our own souls negative talk or making unrealistic comparisons between ourselves and others. Facebook is a venue for interaction. It is not always a true representation on how someone is doing at any given moment. You know how I know this? I know because I don't usually share on facebook when I am having a rough day or when I feel like the walls are closing in on me. I usually share the "good" stuff. Sometimes I share the frustrating stuff but I don't usually share the really emotional and meaniful stuff that is going on in my head, like the days I feel no one gets me or the days I feel blah about my body image or when I am hurt by something that has happened or when I am so exhausted I can hardly get out of bed. So if I am not sharing that stuff I guarantee there are others out there that aren't sharing either. Don't be quick to judge yourself based on how you see others portray themselves on facebook, it's usually only half of the story.

A CHRISTMAS LESSON

Posted on December 26, 2016 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (151)

I don't like to have negative stories on Christmas so I have waited to share this post with you. The weeks leading up to Christmas this year have not been held with tidings of joy. I have had very upsetting news from the recurrence of cancer with my brother in-law, to the diagnosis of cancer in my Roxy (Yes she is a dog but she is my baby. I became one of those crazy dog people) to experiencing the first Christmas after my father-in-law has passed away, and missing my daughter so far away. It seems that life tends to give me overwhelming situations at Christmas quite regularly.

I had to push myself to do the usual arrangements for Christmas. I actually only put up 1/3 of my usual decorations this season. I didn't finish my baking, and I was wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. This is very out of character for me.

I agreed to work the entire week before Christmas at the Elementary School. This was time that I would usually take to finish off the last minute Christmas details. I ended up going home absolutely exhausted every day. I would sit on the couch and vegge out except on the wonderful Wednesday night I drove to Calgary to pick up Kaeleigh. I did not get a single thing done. Now it sounds like maybe I would be better off not working the week before Christmas but nothing could be further from the truth.

There is definitely magic to being with children before Christmas. They are the reminder that I needed that really it didn't matter that I only had one batch of shortbreads made rather than the usual seven or that I hadn't made homemade buns or that instead of the usual homemade gifts my neighbours got from me I ended up sending flowers. Children hold a special wonder of the holidays and in that wonder they held my heart. One special young girl holds my heart just a little more than the rest.

When I was working one Thursday there was a backpack left in the foyer of the school. I picked it up and opened it to see if the child's name was inside of it so I could return it. There was no name but what I found was sadness to my soul. The backpack was FILTHY. I don't mean a little dirty it was completely soiled. There was rotten food, crumbs, stickiness and the smell of cigarette smoke permeated every pore of the material. There was however no name. I took the backpack to the lost and found.

During the morning I looked up from my desk and a little urchin was staring at me. There was the dirtiest little girl looking at me. She nervously asked me if there had been a backpack turned in. I told her I found one earlier and put it in the lost and found. She ran out of the office in search of it. A few minutes later she returned looking desperate. No backpack! I assured her it would be there and went down the hall to look with her.

On the way down the hall I explained to the young child that she needed to clean out her backpack of all the gross food that was in it. She told me she does every time she makes her lunch but she forgot to make it that day so she didn’t clean it out. ENTER HERE MY BREAKING HEART! We found her backpack and she was so relieved and thankful.

I took her with me to the school kitchen and made her a lunch. When I passed it to her and wished her a Merry Christmas she was too busy looking in her backpack to grab her lunch. Finally she pulled a new Christmas pencil out of her pack. The same type of pencil a multitude of young children received from their teachers throughout the week. She passed the pencil to me and said, “Merry Christmas and thank you for helping me.” This was one of the most heartwarming things that had ever happened to me. I nearly cried. This small child gave me the most precious gift she had at that moment and did it with a loving heart. This child lived the meaning of Christmas. She had so little but gave so enormously!

God gave his most precious gift to us. He asked nothing in return and if we accept Him we will be eternally blessed. I was blessed by the generosity of this child. Yes, I got a free pencil out of the deal but what I really received was a Christmas blessing. Yes, I still have the stress of some very sad situations but I also have the blessing of love. It put into perspective that it really didn’t matter that not all my baking was done or that not all my decorations were up, what really matters was my daughter was home from Ottawa, my children were safely under my roof celebrating the season, there is food on my table, hear in my home, my husband has a job, I have a wonderful extended family, and I live in a country of freedom.

We need to open our hearts to the lessons that God teaches us. “Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14 If the children are to come forward to the greatest man to walk this Earth they must be allowed to come forward to us. And, in them we may learn lessons of love.

GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!

 


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