Monday, May 30, 2011


Like Laura, with our many childhood moves, I was often lonely and longing for a good friend. My young prayers were regularly heartfelt pleadings for friends. I have certainly been blessed in my life with very good friends. Ronni and I have been friends for almost 20 years now. The weekend before the May long weekend she swooped in to help me. At that time my garden consisted of one bed with early plantings of lettuce, mustard, kale, etc. and 9 overgrown beds that would have looked better in the lawn... It was so overwhelming I couldn't bring myself to start despite 60 tomato plants which were almost ready to be planted. She hates gardening. Her garden consists of 5 pots of herbs on her patio that she complains if she has to weed once or twice. But she was there, spade in hand, digging and weeding one of my largest beds. Pretty soon Dean joined us and tackled one of the worst beds. By the time she left, it was starting to look a lot more like a garden than a weed patch! While I spent every waking moment in my garden, she cooked and cleaned and made her usual gourmet quality food.

Then she took me out for the dreaded job of finding my 'mother-of-the-bride' dress. We went to every store in Vernon and Kelowna that carries women's wear. Did you know that patterns are in this year? And I needed a solid? And did you know that all those little original-looking boutique shops really carry just the same thing but at different prices? We saw the exact same dress in almost every shop only varying in price from $75 - $200. The stores were almost closing and we had not found a dress that I loved. We had one reserved as back up but I hated the way it made my knees look - which showed. (And I know all you knock-kneed sisters know what I'm talking about!) We stumbled upon a Melanie Lynn shop with 30 minutes to spare. We had the nicest sales lady we had had all day. And we got my dress. Its dark blue. And its rather form fitting. (I wanted a full skirt but there is no such animal in solid colour in Kelowna or Vernon). Ah, the elation of having that difficult problem settled.

We were all along for this long day of shopping - Eryn, Andrew, Rhiannon and Ronni's daughter. Eryn had taken the girls to H2O about half way through the day. So now, mission accomplished, we picked them up and went out for dinner. A wonderful long dinner at Kelsey's in Kelowna where we talked and laughed and shared good food and lingered there for more than 2 hours. It was the perfect ending to our day. One of those moments that you try to memorize to remember often.

The next morning our mission was shoes for R & M who are the flower girls at the wedding and for me. We managed to get them all at the Vernon Mall. Then we drove them to the airport and saw them off. It was a whirlwind visit but we got so much done. It was the support that I needed to feel like I could actually do this. She left with my heart full of gratitude for this friendship. It has been a long one and it has been a reciprocal one. I have been there for her in the same way. It is one where we spend a lot of time laughing and we have done our share of crying, too. It is such a great gift to have a friend like that. She whooshed in and with typical Ronni style, she just got everything on track with her complete belief that it could be done.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Checking In

Oh, I have lots to say but not time to say it. Less than three weeks until the wedding now (20 days) and there is so much still to do. I wonder how I will get it all done! Every second of my day is full. The only reason I have time to write right now is because I am waiting for the puppy to finish eating before I take her with me to move the electric sheep pen. Wait a minute! What's that, you ask? Yes, at this insane time we got a puppy... She's a border collie X Australian shepherd. She is Jodi's apprentice. Jodi is 13 years old now - my soul sister - and not as able as she once was. This winter arthritis really started to hamper her left back leg. So we have been looking and thinking about puppies for awhile. I was astounded to find mutts going for $300- $400 and pure breeds upwards of $1000. So we have been keeping our eye out for the right dog - believing that the right dog would come for a price we could afford.

Then the last time I was at Briteland picking up chicken feed, there on the back of the delivery door was a sign saying "Border Collie X Australian Shepherd puppies born in March $150". I took the number and called right away. But the woman was out of town so we had to wait a couple of days but I did find out that there were 2 dogs left. She got back on Wednesday so while Rhiannon was in tap class, Dean and I took Jodi (for approval) and went out to the reserve to see this dog. We drove up, opened the door of the car and she barrelled towards us. We were hooked. The other dog was a male that they had decided to keep. She is almost all black with just a wee white tuft on her chest, under her chin and on two of her toes.

She was for Rhiannon to take over Jodi's duties. When we got home Rhiannon was already there but in the bathroom. She came out to see the little black face. They are fast bonded already. The little black pup has been named Iris and she shows all the signs of being a smart, easy-to-train dog. Except for the potty training so far. She lived her life outside where she was born and we are still working on the whole where to go to the bathroom thing.

So there is your bit of news. Likely you'll be able to meet Iris at the wedding she is almost 3 months old so not a wee pup (Jodi was only 6 weeks old when we got her). Jodi is gruffly tolerating her and enjoying the extra attention she gets as we make sure we are 'fair'. The cats are all hissy but we think they'll warm up. I have pictures but I don't have time to upload them right now. So you'll have to wait.

Off to work now....

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Throw Away Vote

I am actually very offended by the concept of the throw away vote - that somehow in this democratic country, expressing your view on election day however it is that you do it could be 'throwing your vote away'. Nonsense. I think the real ideal is if everyone voted. If everyone did, I think we would have a very different government.

I suppose in the very old days when there were only two parties, things were simpler. There was always a clear majority. With the arrival of the NDP, that ended that. And now there is the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party as well. I think the expanding list of political parties more accurately reflect the variety of points of view in our country. I don't actually think there is anything wrong with a minority government. What I do think there is something wrong with is a group of adults (mostly men) who can't manage to work together effectively - who are continually back stabbing each other, showing each other up, undermining each other, etc. in an effort to either stay in power or seize power. Pathetic. Really. No party has ever represented every single Canadian. Stephen Harper's less than most. Yet he persists in ramrodding neocon agendas. And of course the only reason we are having an election right now is because the NDP and the Liberals thought that with the revelation of Conservative corruption in the last election that they had a chance to grab the power. C'mon. I'm not stupid. Why did they choose now to bring the government down? There have been lots of other chances. I think its true - Canadians don't want another election. We want them to grow up and work together. At least, that's what I think.

When Dean gets home from work we will drive down to the elementary school and exercise our democratic right. I am voting Green. I am voting Green because I don't really think there is another decent choice. Conservatives think that the way to improve things is to give breaks to huge corporations which in turn, out of the goodness of their hearts will create more jobs. Despite the fact that this particular theory has been well proven to not work so well as corporations take their tax breaks and use them to set up jobs in third world countries (a move, I might add, that is rife with systemic racism as we underpay their citizens and grossly pollute their countries). Liberals in power for decades in this country - what do they really stand for anymore other than wanting to get back in power? They are responsible for the mess that is our current health care system thanks to Paul Martin. Like the Conservatives when they make cuts it is the poorest and least franchised that feel it while their friends in big business are rewarded. Then there is the NDP. I know Jack Layton knows how to scrap. What I am uncertain of is if he knows how to cooperate. They are controlled by big Unions which are not so very different than big corporations. Their stand on the environment lacks teeth and specificity. They believe in Universal Childcare but they don't support parents in looking after their own children.

I am voting Green because I think the environment is the biggest issue facing us. The dichotomy between the economy and the environment is a false one. Without an environment, there is no economy. Just ask those people in the Southern US how their economy is doing right now. But the Green Party is far from a one issue party. Elizabeth May was actually a Conservative and served in Brian Mulroney's cabinet. She believes in income splitting which would help families that have one parent staying home to look after the children. Right now my sister, Katie and her husband Brent would be better off tax-wise if they both had two crappy jobs. But because Brent works and Katie is at home, they are penalized. She also believes in supporting parents to look after their own children. I am all for supporting families where both parents want to work but I am frustrated in the systemic lack of recognition and support we give parents who want to look after their own children. Like a daycare worker is somehow more qualified than I am. There are plenty of statistics that show that children do better when a parent is home to look after them. Of course there are many factors that go into that (like socio-economic status) but it almost seems like we are pushing parents out the door to drop their kids off at daycare. We need good daycares and daycare workers should be paid better than they are AND we also need to support those parents who have the desire to be there for their own kids everyday. Its only fair. The Green Party platform is the only one that really make sense to me. It seems like common sense and listening to Elizabeth May is like a breath of fresh air - no wonder they want to keep her out of the debates! It is both fiscally and socially responsible - a balance seldom seen in Canadian politics. And she isn't afraid of taking on the real issues of our day.

And that is not throwing away my vote. That's putting my vote right where I believe it should be.

Anyways, in case you were tired of reading about lambs, there is my political rant for the year. I'll shut up now.