Monday, December 26, 2016

My Christmas column on e-know.ca this year...







http://www.e-know.ca/regions/east-kootenay/always-room-one/

With love to you all...

Stevie

Sunday, April 10, 2016



So, five years ago this month, I did my level best to shuffle off this mortal coil. I contracted an infection, went septic, then into heart failure, all the while drifting about in lovely pain medication induced haze (my narcotically virginal body took to Percocet like a duck to water) and pretty much oblivious to how sick I was.

In the end, all was well that ended well, thanks to our wonderful hospital and staff. I lost a lot of hair (was is, as it was pointed out to me, a minor detail) but gained a new respect for the fragility of life. I was reminded of this, and how often we take things for granted, yesterday during a visit with a friend I have been missing for far too long.

And my point is, you ask?

My point is this:

Hug. Love. Laugh. Cry, Get mad is you must, but don't stay mad. Grudges are useless. And no one will make the changes you need to make in your life but you.

Enjoy the sunshine today Neverland.

xoxo





Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just... me. :)



For an awfully long time... much of my life, I suspect, I tried to be whomever "you" wanted me to be.
The identity of "you" changed from lifeline to lifeline, and I thought I always remained true to myself. But looking back, I see that I did not. 
I molded myself, changed myself in subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways. 
I shake my head a little, and smile ruefully to think of it now.
But now, I can no longer be who "you" want me to be... I can be only myself. 
And I am good with that. 

You are most welcome in my life, but now, I am only "as is." 
Perhaps that is the greatest gift of growing just a touch older. I know who I am. And I am more than ok with that. 
What a lovely time to be alive. 

xo

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fear...

This is a link to e-know.ca, Ian's online newspaper I occasionally commit journalism for.
More specifically, it is a link to my column. :)

http://www.e-know.ca/regions/cranbrook/step-inward-and-recognize-the-fear/

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Straight from the horse's mouth

When I walked outside this morning, something looked... awry. 
I could see the horses. All three of them. But Hollywood, a handsome and lovable, if lazy, gelding, was once again on the wrong side of the fence. 
Tony piped up that I should just get a pail of grain and lead the horse down the fence line to the gate the way he does when this happens. 
No way, says I, am I going to reward that naughty horse for his bad behaviour by giving him grain. Besides, no matter which side of the fence I am on, I will either have Hollywood crowding me for the pail, or the other two, Molly and Joe, who are on the right side of the fence. 

So off I trudge, halter and lead in hand, squelching through the mud, climb through the barbed wire fence and get the halter on Hollywood. 

I will translate what I believe to be an honest recollection of the conversation that ensued. 

Me: How do you get through the fence? I can't see any spots where you could keep doing this. 

Hollywood: I am magic. 

Me: You are not magic. You are naughty, and if I find that spot I am going to fix it so you can't do this anymore. 

Hollywood: Am so magic. My great grand-dam was part unicorn.

Me: You are lying. Let's go. We have a walk ahead of us. 

Hollywood: Where's the grain? 

Me: You don't get grain. Grain is a reward. You are naughty. 

Hollywood: Tony brings grain when I do this. 

Me: Tony is also naughty. Let's go. 

About a hundred yards down, Hollywood stops. 

Me: Come on, let's go. 

Hollywood: Can't. The other horses are back the other way. Let's go back. 

Me: No, we have to go this way, there is no gate on that side.

Hollywood: I miss them. 

Me: Well then you shouldn't have done this. 

After a little encouragement, we walk another hundred yards or so. Hollywood once again stops. 

Me: What's wrong now? 

Hollywood: There is something in that bush. 

Me: It is just a bag. The wind must have caught it. I will pick it up while we go past. 

Hollywood: SCARY BAG. Not going. 

Me: Ok, I will tie you to this post and get the bag. 

I tie the horse, walk over the get the scary bag, shove it in my pocket and go back to get the horse. 

Hollywood: You are my hero. It could have killed us both. 

Me: It was just a bag. We are almost there, let's go.

Hollywood: WAIT WAIT WAIT. 

Me: Now what?

Hollywood: Gotta poop. 

Which he proceeds to do. 

Me: Are you ready now?

Hollywood, sighing heavily: I am so tired. Can't walk. I might be lame. Are you sure there is no grain? I am famished. Pity me.

Me: You are not tired. We barely walked a kilometre. And frankly, you are fat and you don't need any grain. A little exercise is good for you. 

We finally reach the gate, unlatch it, walk through and latch it up again.

I take his halter off. 

Hollywood: I am just going to do it again you know. 

And with that parting shot, the pitiful, famished, possibly lame and exhausted Hollywood snorts at me, turns and runs like the wind back to his buddies in perhaps a 10th of the time it took him to walk to the gate. 

Horses. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Of raisins and March snowfall.

No one is ambivalent about raisins.

Have you ever noticed that? I posted on Facebook once about enjoying my delicious raisin toast and the most interesting barrage of negative raisin comments appeared with lightning speed.

Everything from how they were nothing but sad little wrinkled grapes to a diatribe about raisins being the root of trust issues as an adult (something about that cookie they thought was chocolate chip really being raisin oatmeal).

But snowfall, that is something I do have mixed emotions about.

In a place like this, where our climate is semi-arid, and in a profession like my current one, that being a ranch manager, a good heavy snowfall means water in spring. Water for crops, water for trees, fields that are not tinder dry by August and therefore an interface fire threat.

Lots of snow means a rich water table.

We are not that part of BC that is rich and lush, though I would seriously consider a move there if it were not for wanting to stay where my children are, at least for the foreseeable future.

But even with that desire for a healthy ecosystem, waking up this morning to an inch of fresh, wet snow, I was sorely tempted to climb straight back into bed.

The cheery side of me says "well more moisture is better, even if it is just a little!"

The grumpy cat side of me shoved that little Pollyanna wretch aside, swore like a sailor, and thought of all the mud this will create in cow and horse pens, and pondered going back to bed for at least, say, a month.

And of course, true to March form, it is now about 5 degrees above zero, and the snow is melting, sinking into the ground, creating mud mud mud... no way I will be getting into the greenhouse until tomorrow.

In like a lion. Out like a lamb. One can hope.
Beginning to understand that raisin/trust connection...





Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Saturday...


Sitting, drinking coffee, just sort of spending time this morning. Feeling time-wealthy enough to waste it in fact. That is a rarity! I have decided I am taking this weekend to do what I want. Period.
It is has been… odd lately, the past couple of years. I have not written much on my cherished old blog, in large part because so much of what is going on in my life just now is not really up for publishing. At least not just now.
I feel like a fraud. I tell everyone things are great, all is well, I am fine.
And in truth, I am fine, but not because all is well, rather in spite of it not being all well. I feel a bit of the old British backbone I must have inherited from my maternal grandmother kicking in.
Because how else can I let it be, but fine?
I am not battling a dread disease or anything like that. Things are just not… well.  But that is ok. I know from experience that they will be again.
It’s funny. I pop onto Facebook, and as I scroll the number of people that feel fit to go public with all and any issues going on in their life, large or small, sort of astonishes me. Each to their own, I suppose. But I had no idea that I was so… is prudish the right word? Reticent perhaps?
Is it a desperate need for attention those posters crave, or the desire to show people how strong one is despite “all these awful things?”
Or maybe I am just more private that I realized. Perhaps, in this day and age of oversharing, I feel more protective about my personal life.
I don’t mind baring my soul now and then, to a smaller audience. And one day I will be more specific about what is currently going on. One day. Not today.
I will say I am right sick of winter! We have this greenhouse, you understand. And a rather large garden. As you can see from my previous post, I have ordered seeds and it appears I have become a bit of an addict.
Who would have thought the teenage girl who hated having to pull weeds for her parents in the garden would one day long to be out there, doing just that and tending to the seedlings with glee? Which makes me wonder, how are Ian’s oak trees growing? Did Little John stay strong? My, that was a long time ago.
Ok then. Coffee cup is empty. Must go refill.
Hello to one and all, will pop by and have a keek at what you have been up to lately.
Sending love and huddles,
Stevie

Friday, February 26, 2016

A seedy ode...


Seeds!! I ordered my seeds!! Seeds seeds seeds... An ode to seeds:

All through winter I've been pouty
But soon you will be sprouty sprouty!
I'll work the soil
Get all dirty
And with you I'll be all flirty

A little water and lots of love
And that glowing ball above
Will see you break
Through loamy soil
To you, my darlings, I'll be loyal

From starter pots
To outside beds
I will not plant you
On your heads

And when the soil is deficient
With additives I'll be efficient

Tiny seeds and pods and slips
I'll dust my hands off on my hips
And promise you to do my best
It's up to you then, all the rest!

Grow and grow and get so green
Tomatoes, kale and lima bean
Some corn and lettuce
And maybe yarrow
I'll tend you all with my wheelbarrow.

I love seeds.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Some things should not change.

I tried the new look... tried a few... hated them. I need this one place to stay the same.
So, I am back to my old look.

I did not even want to write on the new one.

So much I do need to write about... not sure where to start.

But at least, I can come to my blog again and not want to gag a little bit.

This one thing must not change.

More soon...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The social spread of hatred.


It is a bit like Old Yeller out there.
On Facebook I mean, and social media in general.
It started out well enough. Getting to see cute posts, photos of family, keep in touch with all sorts of people and participate in groups!
Yay! Ah, such fun.
But like many things, including lovely, unvaccinated yellow dogs, we seem to have a tiny problem.
Facebook appears to have developed rabies.
And it is running rampant, passed on in posts that promote hated and fear, intolerance and increased ignorance.
Take Islamophobia for example. Can you think of any better way for extremists to succeed than by having millions of people post messages of hatred and intolerance that prove their point that the non-believers must be exterminated?
Oh, well done.
Would not surprise me in the least to find out that most of the hate and fear inducing things originate from the extremists groups themselves.
After all, what better way to recruit than have the very people you hate do your promoting for you? And like the fearful Chicken Little we all run about with our wings a-flapping, terrified the sky is falling and making the entire situation significantly worse, especially for the majority of Muslims who frankly don’t have any use for the extremists either.
Get my drift? Somewhere there is an Islamic terror group, geek division, tapping their fingers together gleefully saying “Oh goodness! Look how they are falling for it! Now ALL the Muslim people will join our cause, now that they see how much the infidels hate us!”
Criminy. You have heard the term “playing into their hands,” yes?
The myriad of angles the entire Islamophobia issue brings up would fill volumes, and I am not here to argue the rhetoric of religion. I am, as we all are, horrified and angered by what has been happening in the world.
I will say, however, that the posts that bug me most are the ones angled towards, “If you don’t want to abide by Canadian Law, git out!”
Such short, convenient memories the masses have.
I had coffee the other day, with a First Nations friend, who can clearly recall what it was like to be taken from her family, forced to forsake her language and culture, and beaten if she dared mention any aspect of her own people’s religion. Forced, really, to abide by Christian faith, rather than the one her people had in place for centuries on this very land. What is done is done, but let’s not forget the past couple of centuries of change, murder, theft and devastation that occurred so recently on this continent.
Somehow we have once again managed to gloss over the centuries of harm, murder and degradation the Christian faith as perpetrated to masses of people. I don’t know of any faiths, except perhaps Buddhism, that have not committed atrocities at some point or another.
But again, I digress. Because my point, and I do have one, is this: Facebook has become a bit rabid, and it is being passed on quickly to many of its members.
Our outlook, our morality, out so-called patriotism, all are being affected.
Funny thing, that social media creature.
We entered into the age of the Internet a couple of decades ago. The original intent, I think, was to make information available to all at the touch of a keypad, to bring us closer together, to create better understanding.
We can see what is going on anywhere in the world at any given time.
But here is the rub: who do you believe?
There are lot of decent, reputable news and information agencies out there providing, as best they can, balanced, thoughtful, informative parcels of information so we can use our powers of rational thought to come to informed, intelligent conclusions. Of course, new information is always forthcoming, and even the best of the best can be misled or given false information. And we will not always agree.
But then there are the scary ones.
The (and I simply cannot call them journalistic) outlets that promote hatred, fear, uncertainty and paranoia. Or just plain stupid shite.
If I tried hard enough, argued strenuously enough, perhaps enhanced a few photos and quoted enough “sources,” I imagine I could convince you all that the real culprits of all war, terror, environmental degradation, social collapse and every other evil out there, are all courtesy of a secret society of people that few of us are aware of yet, led and masterminded by none other than the nefarious, impossible to kill, Grigori Rasputin.
Sound far-fetched?
Perhaps, but not nearly as far-fetched as some of the tripe I see out there. And I am not just talking about extremist groups now. I am talking about a lot of the stuff that is floating around out there like mines in the cyber-ocean. I swear to the Goddess if I see one more post about Michelle Obama really being a trans-sexual man I think I might scream. Because number one, I think it is idiotic, and number two, and more importantly, if she really is a trans-sexual man, I don’t care. Again… I digress.
And the even scarier part is that there are people who BELIEVE some of this stuff.
Because they have proof you know. Verifiable facts.
Facts become facts based solely on getting people to believe them.
Or are they more like an opinion?
Everyone has one, after all.
Take this column. This is what you call an “opinion piece” which gives me the ability to vent and express my opinion freely.
A news piece, as a journalist is taught in their first year, must, to the best of the writer’s ability, contain the who, what, when, where, why, as well as the various sides of each story. Your opinion, no matter what the issue, should not leak through.
Not so with social media. It is a massive free for all, with no moderators, no rules or guidelines, you can say whatever you like, manipulate in any direction.
Let me let you in on a little secret. Facts can be made up. Photos and videos can be altered dramatically. You will be outright lied to in order to further a cause. You, yourself, can be, and likely have been, manipulated.
It can, indeed, be difficult to know what to believe.
And another thing, you cannot fully comprehend something like, for example, the troubles in the Gaza Strip, from a Facebook post, short article, or even a long article, because it, like a great many situations facing our world, is a long and convoluted mess of issues that frankly take a lot of time and study to understand.
But don’t let that stop you.
By all means, hop on board, push share, click that link and promote hatred, fear, ignorance and intolerance. Play into the hands of terror and prejudice. Because that is your right. As a Canadian.
Or, here is a thought: colour me crazy, BUT… what if we stop with the relentless promotion of rabid negativity?
Unlike with Old Yeller, social media cyber-rabies cannot be dealt with using a bullet. But perhaps we can find a way to decrease the spread.
I am not saying stop reading. On the contrary, I am saying read more. From a variety of sources.
And then read more. And more. And while you read, remember. Remember the past. Remember it clearly and without ego. Remember it with clarity and, as best you can, with humility. Remember the good stuff, and remember the bad.
Because guess what folks? We are all in this together.