Month: February 2014

Dear Women

It occurred to me earlier just how valuable female empowerment is. And no, I don’t mean the kind that bashes men. I disagree with the bashing of anyone, especially those I love and live with.

No, I mean the kind of empowerment that lifts women up and helps them to see the value in themselves, as well as those around them.

I was having a conversation with a friend earlier and we spoke about how hard it is to parent in today’s society. In a world where children, tweens and teens, young adults and even adults alike are bombarded with negative thinking from all angles. To raise a child in a society that says a size 6 for a tall woman is fat. Where the words “fat shaming” even exist. Where judging someone based on their outward appearance alone is completely acceptable. And where racism and prejudice, sexism and agism, religious persecution even exist at all.

To have my friend tell me, despite my 35 years, grey hair and extra 60 pounds since she last saw me, that I am beautiful and that I am doing a great job, is empowering. To have her say to me, “I understand where you’re coming from” when I talk about how in my youth I thought, at that size 6, that I was fat. I subscribed to the media’s message of “thin is in”. I subscribed to the shamers. The haters. But now, in my 35th year, I know and feel, truly, that it is not the outside that matters but the in. That’s not to say that we don’t feel the pressures to surrender to the scrutiny the media* would have us believe is real beauty. Even Dove, with its real beauty campaign, is targeted at a certain demographic. That being a size 8. I’d love to see them using women of ALL sizes, not just thin ones.

When my husband tells me that I am beautiful, I believe him. And, to his discredit, I feel that maybe sometimes he says that when it isn’t the truth. I know that I have gained, in the 8 years we’ve been together, 20 – 30 pounds. Physically, I am not the woman he fell in love with. And there’s a certain amount of guilt that goes with that. I feel badly for him that his wife is the size she is.

But to have a woman tell me, “It’s okay. You’re doing a great job. You look fantastic.” It makes me realize that the words my husband tells me are true. Because guess what? Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love was right. He doesn’t leave the room when I take my clothes off. He isn’t repulsed. Though I may feel, wrongly, that he should be. He isn’t and he loves me still, is attracted to me still, as I am to him.
Despite the negative thoughts I feed myself with.

Those thoughts aren’t nourishing for the body, soul, and mind.

It is time, ladies, that you realize the media hates you and wants you to hate yourself.

When you look in the mirror today, smile at yourself. Flirt with yourself. Ask yourself, “How YOU doin’??” If someone holds the door for you, say thank you. If someone offers to help you with your bags or the stroller, say thank you and accept the help graciously. Just because you CAN do it yourself, doesn’t mean you should have to.

And then, in turn, offer those same kindnesses to strangers. Because what better way to go through life than to love?

The power is not in the fact that you CAN, but the KNOWLEDGE that you can. Flaunting your power merely lowers your own worth.

* by media I mean magazines that photoshop their photos and tell us how to get thin in 25 days and how to fit into that summer dress. The shame should not be on women for their size but for the magazines who would have us believe we are less than we are just because we don’t fit into their mold.

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odds and ends/notes from my phone

for·give
/fərˈgiv/

verb
verb: forgive; 3rd person present: forgives; past tense: forgave; gerund or present participle: forgiving; past participle: forgiven

1.
stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been conversing via email with Sophie’s sister and I have to say, it’s been therapeutic and I’m extremely grateful she reached out to me. And, during the course of this week, I realised that I’ve forgiven Sophie. I’m not sure when it happened – whether it was this week, talking to her sister, or whether it was sometime within the last two years but I’ve been holding on to the pain that I just didn’t realize I’d done it.
This week a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. While I still hold with me the events of that night, the memories and the visuals, sounds, smells, and yes, the anger, it is no longer directed at Sophie. And how freeing that is for me. And for Sophie, too. Not that I believe she was tortured in the afterlife by my anger, but I do believe that the good and bad memories we hold of the dead affect them, for us. And I’m so glad for her, and for me, that I have forgiven her.

Just over a week ago I wrote this on my phone. It is evident that I am still angry but that my anger has shifted from Sophie to life. That life can be so cruel, so unfair, to those who don’t deserve it. No one deserves that pain, to have to shutter it away for no one to see or suspect.

“I am rebuilding. The wall that was so ceremoniously torn down, knocked down, is being rebuilt. I am not sure what the mortar is made with this time around. Numbness. Pain. Horror.
And yet I am broken still. I tempt cars. I hold the gaze of the drivers as I walk in front of their vehicles. It is not that I have a death wish but that I am angry with Death. For he tires me. When he takes away, I am left in this swell of nothingness. It is as if the sea of life has been parted and I am left on the dry ocean floor, empty and alone, a hollowness left within my soul.
I know he is coming for me, as he comes for us all. I would like to face him, head on, and look him in his deep, infinite eyes, and make him feel. I would make him feel the pain of every life taken. And then I would turn around, for it is not yet my time, and make that same sea envelop him in life. All the lives not yet taken.”

I should mention that I tempt the turning cars on a red. I’m really not as badass as I make it seem. 😉

* * * *

So I have this blog thing and I write stuff and post etsy stuff and people follow me. Which is weird. There are 38 people who follow me and chances are I only know three of them. Why do strangers follow my blog? Not that I mind – I follow other strangers but they’re well known/funny/writers or activists. So welcome! to all the followers. I hope you find at least a few interesting things here?

St Valentine’s Day part deux

Bonjour!
Ha. Funny, unrelated story. I took hubby to PEI in 2008 and, because it’s very much a tourist destination they cater to both English and French tourists (though there’s a large number of Japanese tourists – so much so that our grade 4 teacher taught us to say hello and goodbye in Japanese) (I never used either until 3 years ago) so, as a result, all the hotel and tourist workers fluently speak French/English.
Every time we met someone who would say “Hello, Bonjour!” to us, I’d always reply in French. “Bonjour! Comment ca va?” And then they would reply in French. Hubby doesn’t speak French so I would tell the person, Merci pour la conversation en francais mais now you have to translate to English. I’m sure they all hated me. Because I did it all. the. time.

I’m not sure why I have jerky tendencies.

And now, back to the show! More Valentine’s goodies for your valentine! Don’t forget, if you’re going to purchase an item, check the store’s turnaround.

First up, ME! Another set that is reminiscent of Downton Abbey wear.

Knitty Little Secret

Knitty Little Secret

This husband and wife team are fantastic and are the epitome of what a home based business can be. They work hard but their hard work pays off. With almost 6000 sales, they set the bar for hard work and amazing promotion. And they’re just the cutest things ever.

Forgotten Cotton

Forgotten Cotton

This next business is a woman after my own heart. She makes the most amazing gadget gear bags and absolutely gorgeous quilts! But that’s not all! She makes padded camera straps. Bags. Lens pouches. Oh my goodness, there’s so much that she makes and picking just one is nearly impossible. However, this one has just been listed and is so sweet.

The Quilted Valkyrie

The Quilted Valkyrie

Next up is Chrysalis Jewelry, another semi husband-wife team. The jewelry is gorgeous but I thought I’d offer up this leather purse, which is quite stunning!

Chrysalis Jewelry

Chrysalis Jewelry

My friend Tammy, who is the most creatively talented woman I know (no seriously. She’s got the midas touch), is also the strongest woman I know. Perhaps, from this listing, you’ll figure out why.

MetalLuscious

MetalLuscious

I don’t know this store at all but I love pottery and really, what more do you need? This is for your sweetie, who loves to cook!

DragonflyArts

DragonflyArts

And, another store that I don’t know but I saw their rings and fell. in. love! These rings are made with recycled bottle glass, which is cut and tumbled for a smooth finish. I just LOVE the colours and the size. I’m very picky about the size of a ring and these are perfect. This is such an amazing gift for a valentine, and they have different colours.

reVetro

reVetro

St Valentine’s Day

I love love. There’s nothing more beautiful than the honesty in love. Seeing two people who are brave enough to have completely given themselves over to each other is beautiful to me. That being said, Valentine’s Day has become this commercial day that makes us feel like we can never live up to the hype.
You shouldn’t be relegated to celebrating your love on JUST. ONE. DAY. Celebrate it every day.

However, that’s not the point of this post, is it?

Here are some amazing Etsy finds to celebrate the love in your life. Click on the photos and they will take you to their page where you can, if you’re lucky, purchase them. However, please be sure to check the turnover time of each item/shop.

Thunderpeep makes some amazingly funny cards and she’s so very creative, not to mention the creator of my logo. Plus. Her trolls are the handsomest in the land. I sort of wish they wore tight pants…

Thunderpeep Designs

Thunderpeep Designs

If you’re ever been on reddit or you’ve seen the toys you shouldn’t buy for kids feed on buzz feed, then you’ll know this store. If not, then you should know this store. Mrs McG makes some incredibly hilarious toys that are not meant for kids.

Mrs McGettrick's Fuggler Emporium

Mrs McGettrick’s Fuggler Emporium

I’ve been a fan of Kiva Ford’s forever. If you’ve never heard of this artist then you’re missing out. His glass is so beautiful and I totally coveted his Christmas ornaments.

Kiva Ford

Kiva Ford

How cute is this necklace? Candiware is an artisan whose jewellery smells as delicious as it looks! Yes, that’s right, this necklace smells but you’ll have to click on the link to find out.

Candiware

Candiware

I love Minouette’s art but this is especially cute and very unique! How about art that changes colours when your valentine puts their hand on it? This would be a great gift for your valentine who is far away.

things from secret minouette places

things from secret minouette places

This next shop owner is insanely talented as well as a friend of mine. I once asked her to make a necklace using only a photo of my friend’s tattoo and she did it within a couple of hours and it was beautiful. Her work is difficult to define into one genre (classic tattoos?) (glam diva?) but she makes jewellery and it’s beautiful.

Faster Than You - artallnight

Faster Than You – artallnight

And really, you can’t have Valentine’s Day without some conversation hearts. Nail Kandy, a local polish and nail designer, makes beautiful nails! I own a pair. Not to mention? Her Mardi Gras nail polish was featured in People Style Mag!!! SOOOO excited for her, and super proud, too.

Nail Kandy

Nail Kandy

And, of course, you can’t have a blog without a little shameless self promotion. But at least I’ve promoted the others before me…

Knitty Little Secret

Knitty Little Secret

check em out

if you click on this link it’ll take you to my friend’s blog, Thunderpeep Designs. She makes amazing greeting cards and other paper paraphernalia (I love her trolls!). But you’ll also see, in the three photos, a pair of my leg warmers in action. Snow action!

Because who doesn’t love snow, right??

…right?

….hello?

Okay, okay, I get that you’re sick of snow. That’s fine. Clicky on the linky and go see the leg warmers.

http://thunderpeep.blogspot.ca/2014/02/weekends-in-february-rock.html

Dreams of The Past

A piece taken from my book.

knitty little secret

Sitting by his bed, his respirator like a song of life. I found a beat with every group of noises, found a note in any lasting hum. His respirator seemed oddly slow for the life it was holding onto. I tried to breathe as slow, in and out, such long breaths. I wondered if he could ever breathe this well in real life, when he was alive. When he could make faces, play guitar, shuffle along in his slippers. I wondered if he heard the rhythmic tempo of his respirator, his life support machine keeping him in perfect time. I found the tempo soothing, as if being rocked to sleep in a warm train. I fought to stay awake.

My father’s hospital room faded away and I saw my grandparents house at night-time; all the stars in the heavens so beautiful. I look up and wonder if they are even…

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