Ponder This

Electing a Leader

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I don’t usually write about politics. It’s a topic that I generally avoid because some people can get really angry really quickly and then they become irrational and unable to listen to an opinion that varies even slightly from their own. I don’t follow politics, because I find it too frustrating. I do have a few observations I wanted to share, however, from a more philosophical point of view.
In the past few decades, we have made money our god. We will do anything to have more of it, to save it or get it (directly or indirectly) from each other. I have found people don’t even think twice about screwing someone else out of money, because, well, it’s money. In popular culture, it is perfectly moral to do what you have to do to get more money. Millionaires are idolized and people wish they could take their place.
As a result, the citizens of the US elected a rich man to be their leader. He has no other leadership abilities or selling points, but he is rich. Maybe they thought that electing a rich man would make them all rich, and he may have made promises to that effect, but we all know not to believe a politician’s promises, right? He was also somewhat famous before he was elected, and many people seek fame as well as fortune. So it makes sense that we collectively elect someone that comes from a group that we admire — in this case, a millionaire.
I wonder if there is a certain amount of momentum behind the choosing of a leader. I mean, if around the world, millions of people all shifted their focus toward being more responsible people, making good, logical decisions, and taking responsibility for their actions, it might still take some time to see a change in the actual leaders who get elected. If millions focused on being kinder, gentler, more accepting and compassionate, — if we idolized equality, fairness, or empathy — those sorts of people would rise through our ranks to be our leaders. There would still be people who value money over all else, and who are selfish, greedy, capitalist consumers, but they would not be chosen to be our leaders. Could it be that our most treasured values are mirrored in the leaders we elect?

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I fear our election processes choose the most popular candidate, but not the best people to actually LEAD. Do you ever feel like politics is like high school, where popularity is everything and the smartest kids aren’t necessarily the most popular, nor are the ones who would ultimately be the best leaders. Thank goodness politicians alone do not make all policies. Every political office has staff who are experts in their field — people like the public health leaders who have, especially in my country, Canada, really stepped up to the plate and become true leaders, advising the politicians on the best course of action to take.
So, if we take this line of thinking and continue on a philosophical journey into the future… who will our leaders be in the decades to come? Those who had wild success of Tik Tok? Maybe a pop music idol, if one chose to pursue politics? A famous actor? There are many who have the popularity but few choose politics. I think it will be some Instagrammer, YouTuber or TikTokker, and it makes me wonder about where we are headed next.
Instagrammers often (not always, I know) focus on appearances. Everything looks perfectly composed, tidy, or cosy, or whatever vibe they are going for. Nothing is real. Okay, my Instagram is real, complete with rusting tractors and grass that needs to be cut in the background (@teresas_alpaca_cam, if you are interested)!
TikTok is about entertainment, is it not? Who can get the most views, whose video goes viral the fastest. This is pure fluff and there is zero guarantee that someone whose TikTok is wildly popular would even be able to lead a squirrel out of a paper bag (which is easy, if that wasn’t clear).
Have you seen on YouTube the obstacle course that a guy made for squirrels? They have to run a complicated gauntlet to be rewarded with the nuts they love so much. This guy put in a lot of engineering savvy to create the course that was sufficiently difficult and would not harm them. He built a squirrel catapult which safely flings any squirrel which lingers on its platform too long! This guy could, possibly, lead a country. He has at least shown that he has some smarts, problem solving ability, clear thinking, persistence and compassion towards animals.
I wonder if our current political system actually repels the truly good leaders? I wonder if they are “discouraged from applying for the job” so to speak? And I don’t just mean successful people, because believe it or not, they aren’t always good leaders… or wouldn’t be cut out for public office, in any case. Just because you are a good CEO doesn’t mean you can run a country. A good political leader should always be interested in the greatest good — not the bottom line, or the balanced budget or other things that might occupy a good CEO’s attention. A government’s job is to provide common-use services, safely and fairly to all its citizens. It collects taxes to do this — to provide and maintain common-use roads, schools, hospitals, libraries, and cultural centres. Its job is not to make as much money as possible, or save as much money as possible (common corporate goals). Its job is to provide services. It should try to do so with a balanced, reasonable budget, but at times, this may not be possible. One could add that its job is to stabilize the economy, whenever able.
So if we can’t draw from a pool of successful CEOs for our high-ranking politicians, who can we look to? Should we look to University professors? They are some of the smartest people out there, and many would make good leaders. They are thinkers, and many are logical and analytical. Some might not be overly compassionate, but neither are CEOs, necessarily. Again, I think our current system doesn’t not encourage such a person to even consider it. The pettiness we see in debates and house discussions would be unsavoury if not appalling to most civilized university types (I think).

What do you think of my ponderings? Am I crazy? Or do you worry about who our next leaders may be? I am little worried for my neighbours to the south, and friends who live there, but I will not share and describe my worries here. They are contagious. Hopefully, the next election goes smoothly and the leader who wins is well-suited to lead.

Ack! The alpacas got out!

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We had some extra excitement today! Just a little backstory… last time I cut hay with the swather, I got stuck. Actually, I only got one tire (out of three) stuck, but it was really making a nice round pothole and I couldn’t drive out of it, so I had to get the tractor to pull myself out, which worked fine. I left behind a round crater-shaped rut/pothole that I have been wanting to fill in so that we can go and finish cutting hay. Yes, it’s the latter part of September and I’m not done making hay. But at least the forecast is good — really good!

So, I used our riding lawn mower and a small utility trailer to haul some dirt/manure/wood shavings to fill in the pothole in the hay field. There were some nice molehills out there too, so I harvested them — I scraped the loose dirt off with a shovel and filled the utility trailer. I have been needing some nice loose dirt on the yard, and in particular, near the house.

A little more backstory: There are 3 areas of our yard. The hay field is out beyond the main yard. The alpacas (right now, it’s 5 of the boys) have access to the main yard during the day, which is all fenced to keep them in. Near the house and driveway, there is an area that is not fenced so when we drive on the yard, we aren’t going to be dodging alpacas right away. I’ll call this the “house yard.” To get onto the main yard from the house yard, we have to drive through the main gate.

Resuming my story: coming back from the field, I drove through one gate onto the main yard, past the boys who were lounging in the back, and then drove through the main gate that would let me into the house yard. Since I thought it wouldn’t take me long to unload the trailer, AND the alpacas were way off in the back part of the yard, I left the main gate open. Big mistake.

Once I finished unloading the dirt around the house, perhaps 5-7 minutes later, I hopped on the riding lawn mower and headed for the gate. I immediately saw the boys coming through the gate into the house yard! I sped up and shouted at them but all 5 boys came through the gate anyway! Don’t they know what a woman shouting from a riding lawn mower means!?!?

So here I was, the only one at home, with FIVE alpacas to chase back into the main yard BY MYSELF! Oh man. I ran around with my arms spread wide (that’s how we “round up” alpacas) trying to get them back through the gate. They split into 5 different directions, ran around where the raspberry bushes are, over by the car, and down the driveway! I sprinted down to the end of the driveway to chase them away from the road. I was so afraid they might wander onto the road and get hit by some truck driving by!

Imagine trying to get behind these guys and move them all together in one direction! By yourself! Not going to happen!

Somehow, I got Fozzie and Pigpen back through the main gate onto the main yard, so I closed the gate. They stood right there, of course, to watch me run around, trying to round up the others. But how could I get the rest of the boys back onto the main yard with the gate closed? If I opened it, Fozzie and Pigpen would just run back onto the house yard! Such buggers! So I opened a man-gate (just a bit wider than a person) that is closer to the house and continued trying to push the 3 remaining boys in that direction. They would scatter sometimes, as I chased them, and go into the secret garden past the strawberries. There’s a maple tree in the way, that they ran around too. At one point, two of them were near the metal gate and I thought if only it was open, they would go through. So ran over there, chased Fozzie and Pigpen away and opened that gate. Pigpen made his way over to the open man-gate and went back into the house yard! But, Ziggy and Frankie went through the metal gate, and I managed to manoever — half-chasing, pointing to the open gate, urging them on! — Alex and Pigpen through the main gate too.

Whew. That’s when I realized I was sweating like crazy. But I got it done.

I did not think I could do it. One person can’t chase 5 independent-thinking alpacas! I was madly formulating strategies: I thought I might have to halter them individually and drag them through, but it is NOT easy to catch and halter them; I have never done it solo, and doing it out in the open? Forget about it. I thought about flagging down the next person to drive by to be a human fence, just to keep them from running into the secret garden and raspberry area. I thought about calling a neighbour to help. My husband was at the garage with our truck, so he could not get back to help. I thought I might be late for work, with all this chasing! Thank goodness, they seemed to sense my urgency at the end and they finally went where they needed to go. After I was done, I put the riding lawn mower and told them boys that if that area was fenced, I would let them stay there and someday I would do that.

I am so grateful that none of the boys actually went on the road and got hit by traffic. I am so grateful that Fozzie and Pigpen went back easily. I am so grateful that the other boys eventually cooperated too. I got my sprinting workout for today — a bonus on my regular FarmFit program! It was an alpaca rodeo with a good outcome.

Take care everyone! I hope that you can go through today with some lightness and joy and perhaps imagining me running around, chasing ‘pacas as they scattered everywhere helped!

Searching for Bliss When it’s Hard to Find

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The catchphrase to “seek your own bliss” became popular a while ago, and it sounds great… but what does it mean?

If we seek our OWN bliss, it might mean “be your own person” or “don’t follow the crowd” and do something you enjoy. It could also mean don’t worry about anyone else’s bliss. Focus on your own.

If we focus on SEEKING our own bliss, it might mean that we should never give up until we find happiness, which implies that it is elusive. Things that are sought after — the past tense of seek — are generally hard to find or take years to earn. So, some people think that seeking your own bliss is not easy.

If we focus on the BLISS part of “seek your own bliss,” then it really gets interesting. How does one find bliss? What does it look like, or feel like? Most of us think only certain situations are blissful — a sunny day at the beach, playing a song you love, indulging in your favourite food/drink, achieving a lifelong dream or whatever else you think is blissful!

Bliss is actually not tied to a physical situation or activity at all. I don’t have to be anywhere in particular, doing anything in particular, or with certain people in oder to feel blissful. For me, bliss comes easily when I do two things: relax, and remember to be lighthearted. I immediately feel blissful, no matter what I am doing. I actually felt blissful today after I got the swather stuck in the field! And equally blissful when I pulled it out with the tractor and got it unstuck!!

So, as you go about your day, with tractors and whatnot 😀 why not relax a bit and stop taking yourself so seriously? Stop taking life so seriously! Despite how it may appear, it is ALL going to work out just fine. Nothing can damage your soul. Hardship need not be painful. We don’t need to fear anything. Relax a little — take a few slow breaths and come back to the present — and remember that a light heart is a blissful one.

Love you all! Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great!

I just remembered that my friend Rose McInerney produces a magazine and one of the issues was “Bliss.” You might want to go have a look!  🙂Bliss Womanscape magazine

Trying to Understand

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I am trying to understand what a person of colour in the US has to endure. I am trying to imagine their hardship and the discrimination they experience every day. I can’t imagine being singled out by police, harassed and arrested simply because I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time and I have the wrong colour skin.
Since university, I’ve been a minority because of my gender. I went into Physics and there were not very many women in my classes. But I never really felt like I was discriminated against. I had to work hard, for sure, and I was not at the top of my class, but that was my own doing. The material was hard and I had to really apply myself to it… and balance work, and a small degree of poverty. I ended up at a food bank a few times, but at least there was one I could go to. And since I had to work, it took time away from my studies but at least I had a job. I could never afford to live near the university — I always had to go for cheaper rental units farther away — and I couldn’t always afford a bus pass, so I walked a lot. But, despite my difficulties, I never felt like anyone was against me. When times got tough, I just dug in and kept at it. I come from hard, pioneer stock.
I wonder if my pioneering ancestors contribute to my success. Not literally, of course, but if I look into my heritage, I have farmers on my mom’s and dad’s sides. They worked hard and didn’t let small things like the depression, poverty or terrible weather that seemed to conspire against the farmers stop them. My grandmother had to leave “the old country” at the age of 18 and has talked of the oppression she experienced there. One of my great-grandmothers was forced to flee her country at one point and worked on the railroad and eventually walked back home. Can you imagine?
I can’t imagine having slavery as my heritage. I can’t imagine thinking of my grand- or great-grandparents and knowing they were kidnapped from their homeland, forced into boats to a new land where they became another person’s property. I was never anyone’s property, although my ex-husband probably thought of me that way. But my heritage allowed me to dodge his attempts to control and belittle me, and before too long I was able to leave and be free.
Isn’t that what everyone who is enslaved wants? To be free? But how can you be free of your heritage, your past? If you fight against it, you can never change it. All you can do is fight in the present, against those who seem stuck in the past, who seem intent on oppressing and owning others.
The ironic part of it all is what you fight grows. The only way to be free from something is to find a way beyond it. As long as it angers you, it still has its ugly claws dug in. As long as you hate, your own body chemistry is poisoned and you fight disease as well as discrimination. But how to stop fighting when it is the only thing you think will help?
Racism is ugly, and it has no place in this world. The best way beyond it is to give it no attention. If you think about it, the best way to respond to someone you don’t like is to not respond. The best thing to do to an ex-boy-or-girlfriend who won’t leave you alone is do nothing. Don’t engage. About two weeks into President Tr*#@p’s reign, I had to stop giving him my attention. His stance seemed pretty obvious so I made a conscious decision to stop giving any attention or energy to him. Why would I? He does not deserve it. I carefully choose what and who to give my energy to.
I give my energy to a vision of coloured people and minorities everywhere being celebrated as the wonderful, unique beings they are. I give my energy to noticing talent, skill, intelligence and beauty wherever I see it, and skin colour is the least of my consideration. I am doing my best not to judge others by how they appear, what they wear or what part of town they live in. I want to acknowledge that I have some degree of privilege and then watch for opportunities to help others, no matter their heritage. I make a new future from the ashes of a world that is burning up under the weight of its hatred, fear, and anger. There is so much love and light to be found, mixed in with darker sides, and that’s alright. The light always wins; that’s why the darkness tries so hard. It doesn’t want to accept the fact that it is doomed.
Every single one of us has a role to play on this beautiful world we call home, together. We all have an equal opportunity to make an impact on it. We may never even know the impact we make; it may seem small, or it may only impact one person, but one person encouraged or uplifted is enough. It is the first ripple in the pond. You know what? That analogy sucks. The pond is full of tidal waves and tsunamis. We can be the first huge wave that sloshes over the seawall to put out the fires that burn beyond.

I wonder if my heritage was one of slavery, how would I feel about myself? Would I grow up feeling like a helpless victim? If I rehearsed that train of thought, I might start to feel like everyone is against me and I can’t do anything about it. That’s a very disempowering state to be in. The only time in my life I felt suicidal was after weeks of thinking like a victim, and feeling trapped. Thankfully, I did not act on those thoughts. So, although it feels stronger to fight and lash out, in some ways, what’s going on is suicidal on more of a social scale.
But maybe I’m on crack. Maybe I am way off the mark! Or maybe if a few billion people unfollowed the haters, the racists and the insane leaders, they would lose their influence over society. Would it be possible to go on without them? While we can’t work around the police, could we give them less attention? Go about our lives, doing our best to be whole and complete despite them? If you ever doubt the impact one person can have, think of that cop who decided to kneel on a man’s neck. He started a shitstorm. Let’s not be like him, not even in the tiniest way. Let’s be the opposite, in a proactive way, not an angry way. Let’s find ways to promote peace and understanding. Let’s find ways to bring others to life.

Easy, Delicious Ice Cream Cake

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I am catching up on my blogging, and I wanted to share a recipe for Ice Cream Cake that is so easy, you won’t buy them from anywhere anymore! I actually made two – one that’s chocolatey and one with raspberries!
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You will need:
– A springform pan like this one:
spring-form pan
– A cookie sheet or another pan that the springform pan can sit in.
– A freezer with enough room to hold the cake while it sets. You might want to go see if you have room and make a flat space big enough for the cookie sheet now! At the minimum, you have to freeze the springform pan, but it’s a bonus if you can fit the cookie sheet too. A large chest freezer is best.

Chocolate Supreme Ice Cream Cake

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Ingredients

2 containers of ice cream, 1.5 quart (1.4 L) each (image at the bottom of this post)

Two-bite brownies, in a 800 gram tub (scroll down for image)

    • *Save 3 br
    ownies for the top*
    • 10 packag
    es of Kit Kat chocolate bars
    3 packages of Ferrero Rocher chocolates (a total of 9 balls), or whatever other chocolate you like
    1 roll of Rolos, or whatever chocolate you like
    A small amount of dark chocolate, such as 1 bar of dark chocolate or a square of dark baker’s chocolate
    Chocolate sundae sauce

Instructions

1. Take the ice cream out of the freezer for about 20 minutes to let it soften a little. Meanwhile, make space in your freezer to put the cake when you are done.
2. Put the springform pan on the cookie sheet. Carefully open the Kit Kats and place them standing up inside the pan, facing out. They will be taller than the pan but don’t worry about that.
3. Cover the bottom of the pan with one layer of two-bite brownies. Put some in upside down to help them fit together snuggly. Cut some brownies into thirds or quarters to fit in between the gaps. Don’t fuss over it too much, though!
4. Scoop the chocolate ice cream in, filling the pan up about half way. Embed some rolos and Ferrero Roches inside the chocolate ice cream. Every now and then, drizzle some chocolate sauce too.
5. Keep filling the pan with chocolate ice cream, chocolates and sauce until you run out. Place 3 brownies on the top, centered (or whatever you fancy). Shave some dark chocolate on top and/or drizzle some more chocolate sauce!
6. Place in the freezer, nice and level, for at least 2 hours. You can definitely make this a day ahead and it will be fine. Take it out of the freezer for 10 min before serving, or it will be very hard to cut. Keep it on the cookie sheet or other serving tray because it will start to melt and make a mess! Don’t forget to take the outer ring of the springform pan off! It works well to cut pieces 3 Kit Kat bars wide, which will give you 13 servings.

Vanilla Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

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Ingredients

    2 containers of vanilla ice cream, 1.5 quart (1.4 L) each
    800 gram tub of two-bite brownies
    10 packages of Kit Kat chocolate bars (In the photo, I ran out of Kit Kats but had another type of similar chocolate bars)
    3/4 cup raspberry jam
    A small amount of dark chocolate, such as 1 bar of dark chocolate or a square of dark baker’s chocolate
    2 cups frozen raspberries (save 1/2 cup for the top)

Instruction

Follow steps 1- 3 above.
4. Add scoops of vanilla ice cream and random raspberries until the pan is halfway full. Smooth out the ice cream.
5. Spread the raspberry jam in a layer on the ice cream. Fill the rest of the pan with scoops of ice cream and randomly added raspberries until you run out of ice cream. Smooth the top. Place your last raspberries on top and then shave some dark chocolate on it as well!
6. Place in the freezer, nice and level, for at least 2 hours. You can definitely make this a day ahead and it will be fine. Take it out of the freezer for 10 min before serving, or it will be very hard to cut. Keep it on the cookie sheet or other serving tray because it will start to melt and make a mess! Don’t forget to take the outer ring of the springform pan off before cutting it! It works well to cut pieces 3 Kit Kat bars wide, which will give you 13 servings.

I have to be honest with you — I am going off of memory here! You should probably buy double the ice cream, just in case. 🙂
Enjoy, everyone! You can see how easy this is and you can customize it however you like! 😀

A Little Encouragement for Canadians re: COVID19

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Hello everyone!
I just wanted to share this graph I made, using the daily reports on the Alberta Government website. These numbers are real.
Graphing the growth of confirmed cases of COVID in Alberta

You will see the blue line is confirmed cases. The orange line is new cases that day. The dots are the exponential growth of COVID when that number doubles every 2 days (which I read about here) We probably would have seen numbers like that if we had not done the social distancing we are doing.

Highly populated places have a hard time containing this virus, but it can be done. I am so proud of how Albertans have responded and just wanted to encourage you to KEEP IT UP! It is NOT time to relax the social isolating or physical distancing you’ve been doing. It is WORKING! KEEP IT UP!

The graph for the US (source), as of today is not looking so good:
graph of growth of COVID in the US
There are many, many reasons for this, I am sure. One friend pointed out that perhaps we have more unreported cases, or unconfirmed cases, since people are being told to stay home. It’s hard to say. But if you are on the fence about this, just isolate.

May you live in interesting times. – Chinese curse

These are interesting times alright. But they do not have to be a curse. Keep in mind the hardest thing you will ever try to do is make someone do something they don’t want to do. We can’t make people isolate. We can’t make people pay attention, or think they are indestructible, or think ANYTHING else. All we can do is choose our own actions, which includes how we think about what’s going on. So, please, don’t worry, but don’t be foolish.

The graph for Canada (source) looks more like exponential growth.
grwoth of COVID19 in Canada
This makes me wonder why we haven’t been able to “flatten the curve” as a nation. I guess that’s something we need to work on.

Take care, everyone! Keep taking care of each other as I know you have been. I’ll blog about that soon!

If anyone has a graph for the other provinces, I would love to share those here too. Thx 😀

New Growth

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I am sucker for plants for sale at hardware stores. Sometimes, I want to take them home and nurse them back to health. Other times, they are well-cared-for and they look so lush and vibrant, I can’t resist buying them. Such was the case with a beautiful, blooming African Violet.
I put it in a spot in the living room where it lived for a long time. I transplanted it once and it grew more, although it did not bloom that much. I didn’t mind; it was still lovely to me. Then one day, I noticed that it wasn’t doing so well.
I thought that perhaps I should move it to a new spot. Maybe it needed more light than it was getting. I put in in our porch with a south-facing window, but kept it out of direct light. It should have been happier there.
It continued to go downhill. I’ll admit, in its new spot, I may have forgotten to water it occasionally! One day I noticed how rough it looked and decided to do something about it.
Sitting at the kitchen table, I carefully removed all the dead leaves. It had been two plants, side by side, but one of them had died. I pulled all the dry material off, carefully, and watered it thoroughly. I decided to keep the plant on the kitchen table so I wouldn’t forget it again.

African Violet struggling

It started to look a little better. I gave it small amounts of water more often. Today, I removed a few more small, dry leaves that I had not noticed before and I gently cleaned all its leaves off. I mixed up a batch of special plant food, just for African Violets. I watered it again, lots, careful not to wet any of its leaves. African Violets don’t like their leaves to get wet. Then I noticed something new.

Despite its straggly appearance, there was new growth in the center of it. Tiny, bright green leaves were slowly bursting out from the rosette in the middle.

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I also realized something else. Although the porch has more light, it is also colder. All winter long, the door lets icy cold air in and I think my violet was struggling even more there.
Isn’t this just like life? Sometimes, in the face of a struggle, we make a move to somewhere that we think will be better. Later, we have to admit that it wasn’t, or at least life didn’t go according to plan. Some parts of life were better but other parts got worse. Sometimes, we have to look at the dead leaves in our lives — the ideas that are not serving us, or old habits that are not helping our growth. We have to trim things out of our lives and then take on some water — a metaphor for nurturing ourselves, being kind to ourselves. We must be open to living in a new space, and to letting Spirit tend to us… to be open to its pruning and guidance and love.
You’re so much more than a plant, and yet you also need light, water and nutrition. In seeking more light, you may discover you get cold. All the elements need to be optimized to really grow. When you realize you need to make a move again, be gentle and loving with yourself and remember that growth takes time. Everything is going to work out.
Whatever you do, don’t get so distracted by the dead leaves that you don’t notice the new growth at your core. The tiniest new leaves are so promising! Take heart; you are doing amazingly well.

Baffin Island Pictures – Akshayuk Pass

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It took me a while, but I finally went through all my photos from my epic Baffin Island expedition and chose the best to share with you! 🙂 Enjoy!

Lest We Remember

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I wrote these few paragraphs lest we remember the past incorrectly.

Thousands of men and women died in World War 1, World War 2, in Korean and Viet Nam, and other conflicts in more recent times. What I would like to remember and affirm is that although their bodies died, their spirits went on. Their essence went back to source at the moment of death. Their love of life and individuality was completely absorbed back into the essence that Source is. For those who died on the front lines, I know that none of their pain was lost, and none of it went on either. At the moment of death, all anguish was converted into love by All-That-Is, by Source.

If we are to remember these people, let’s not think of them as victims. Let us not label their deaths as pointless. Let us not focus on their deaths alone; let us remember that they lived a life they chose, and that they acted in faith and to the best of their ability. In their deaths, let’s not propagate the ignorance, racism and the many other causes of their deaths. Let’s go forward and forge a brave new world.

Let’s remember that they loved and were loved. No one ever lost their humanity in any sacrifice. No one ever lost their sanctity in being tortured. The Spirit we all share cannot be crushed or diminished in any way. It is the core of us and it is indestructible.

Please stand with me if you agree that we’d like NOT to repeat the circumstances of the past. Stand with me if you would like to remember past soldiers’ ingenuity, which is our ingenuity, their courage, which is our courage, and to appreciate the immense change they contributed to. Let’s remember the love they were, and let’s go forward from here. Please stand with me in 1 minute of silence and hope.

– – – – – – – – –
I was honoured to read these paragraphs aloud at the Sunday celebration at the Centre for Spiritual Living that I attend. I was singing and playing keyboard in the band and got to read this near the end of the service. 🙂 Hope you find that it gives you a new perspective — certainly something very different from the usual Remembrance Day talk.

If you’d like to talk about this, please leave a comment. 🙂 Take care, everyone.
poppies

Miracles do Happen! Our Frankie-Daisy Double Miracle

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I have to tell you about two miracles on the farm! If you read the last post, you met Frankie, our baby alpaca. He’s very sweet, and for some unknown reason, when he was born, he could not find his momma’s milk. So, he was not nursing, and he would have died if we had not intervened. So, we started feeding him bottles with goat’s milk, half-and-half cream, and even with a tiny bit of plain yogurt mixed in. Later we switched to milk replacement (formulated for lambs and cria) and we’ve gradually increased from feeding him every 3-4 hours (6-7 times per day) to feeding him every 5-6 hours.

Here’s miracle #1: The first clue something was up came one morning when we were watching Frankie run around the yard, full of energy and joy. It was awesome! That was around 9 am.

He was clearly having the best day ever! On the right, there’s a little hill that the alpacas like to climb and play “king of the hill” on. He was doing that with his momma and running around the yard like never before. What a guy! Well, at 3 pm when I went to give him his bottle, HE WAS NURSING off his MOMMA, Daisy! I was stunned! I think he had just started that very day! I watched, and when he was done, he walked over to me with the cutest milk-mustache I’d ever seen! Somehow — here’s where the miracle comes in — he had finally figured out where the milk was!

Miracle #2 is related. How did Daisy still have any milk? In Frankie’s first 2 weeks, we had tried and tried to show him where the milk was, and we had been milking Daisy a couple of times a day (no easy task). We finally had to stop because Daisy had dried up. It’s normal for a momma to stop producing milk if there’s no baby nursing. So HOW was Daisy producing milk SIX weeks later!?!? It’s a miracle! I have no idea. But she is gradually increasing her milk production to feed Frankie. While bottle-feeding, he had maxed out at 49 ounces per day! Since he started nursing, we’ve been offering him bottles every 5 hours or so, just in case he needs some, and he sometimes has a little, but he is barely interested in the bottle. Daisy’s milk is better!

A screen shot from the alpaca cam in the barn — proof he’s nursing!

We thought that once a cria was a bottle baby, that was permanent. We did not think there was any chance he would start nursing! I used to check, frequently, when he was a newborn, but he never did nurse then. So, we had to take a deep breath, and take on the commitment of bottle feeding him several times a day for what we thought would be at least 8 weeks. I’ve juggled my schedule and rushed home from work more times than I can count. I’ve asked my mom, dad, and cousin’s daughter to help with feedings. I have to give credit to my husband who took the lead on bottle feeding, in order to save Frankie’s life. Obviously, I was on board immediately, but it was his idea first that we buy goat’s milk and baby bottles. He had found a page on the internet that gave us hope.

Now, our hope has been rewarded in the most amazing way! So unexpectedly! And I just bought the BIG bag of milk replacer. 🙂

I think our double-miracle might be related to the Power of 8 group we were in this summer. These are groups that pray – in a particular way – for healing for others. It’s more like setting a very clear intention and then focusing on it together. We met in the group for 10 weeks, and we’ve heard that people who participate often experience miracles of their own in their lives. So, I think our Frankie-Daisy double miracle must be related. 😀

Take care, everyone! If you are struggling with something, or hoping for a miracle, don’t give up! Miracles DO happen. 🙂