Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coddled Kids

My sister Glynis and I both recieved this image on our facebook page. She has also blogged about this. My response was to my father who I knew would not see it. "I think we should send those nitwits on the right to the front eh Dad?" I do not understand this next generation and I am scared for them. The sense of ententilment that young people have these days is beyond my scope.
After listening to a radio documentary about coddled children and the number of calls that came in amazed me. Finding out that I am not the only one that thinks this way was a relief. I posted about this on my facebook page. ( I am now taking a "facebreak" because I can be a little too opinionated and people tend to think that I am pionting fingers) This may be the better place to vent...
I raised six children on my own and I had minimal child support for two of them. The other four none. My children always had a roof over their heads and plenty of food.  I managed to buy my first house at twenty four when I had three children. It was tiny but I learned how to build and put an addition on it. I always lived rural and had a huge garden, chickens, house cow or goats but I could not afford the extras. At income tax refund time I was able to buy new bikes or clothes but that was it. My kids always worked since they were old enough to babysit or do chores for the local farmer. My oldest son worked at an auction room and on the farm since he was eleven. He bought his first little honda dirtbike from his wages. None of my children has been without employment of some kind since they were teenagers. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I like to think that I passed a few good things on to my children. Work ethic was always important to me and I think they got that too.  The piont of this is..
Why is it that children nowadays seem to think they are disadvantaged if they do not have what everyone else has? Why do they expect it? Why do parents give in to and sometimes go into debt to give them things that should be earned and saved for? Why at such a young age are they allowed to do things that they are not supposed to? I am full of questions...
 If you allow a child to enter the teenage or adult world before they are emotionally equipped to handle it what is next? Rights of passage come with growing up. You can get your drivers license at sixteen, you can vote and drink if you want at eighteen and nineteen. All the laws of society. But what concerns me most is that parents seem to think that it's ok to let children do and have the things that are not meant to be in thier lives at this time. Just because one of their friends has it. Well meaning parents sometimes do not get this. Do they not know that there are laws to be followed. It is for the protection of our children. There are also rules of conduct. In the above image I saw no thank yous' nor pleases or God bless those that gave us the right to demand our wants...Rant finished. I may post this or I may not. That is my chioce. The young men in the left really had no choice. They had to turn from boys to men overnight on the battlefield (my Dad's words) to give those young hooligans on the right to demand...nuff said.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am my shadow.
When I was little I used to follow me around
I was so big.
I could do anything with such large piece of myself
Beside me.
Now I don't see me anymore.
Have I shrivelled up?
Or do I not see me ?
What happened to that giant girl?

Finding my Faith.

I look around my house...In my kitchen I have a cross with lovely words from the Bible. A picture of an old man praying over his soup and bread. On the window sill over the sink is my favorite brass laughing Buddha hands over his head. Two white nuns and one white Buddha sit on a cupboard. A picture of hands at prayer live on a wicker box beside the rocking chair.
In my living room is a fasting Buddha plus chimes. In there are also my moose antlers and wooden carvings of Canada geese. A kisii stone statue brought back from Kenya of a hawk reside there too.
Upstairs in my bedroom I have pictures of the Madonna. Crosses adorn these walls as well as two rosaries.
But my favorite room is my office...On my bureau I have gifts from my Kenyan friend that includes a crude carved wise man of the village he lives in as well as many wonderful wildlife statues. I have a very old print of a nun and and an angel crowning her with thorns. I bought this when I was sixteen for two dollars at a yard sale. (For some reason she called out to me and I had to turn around) That was forty years ago.  More nuns sit around her. Hindu people sit here also. Above them sit a carving of Quetzalcoatl. A deer antler ,rabbit skin and petrified sharks tooth are part of this too.  On the window sill in this room sit all my marbles plus a witches ball. My many books on Anthropology and religion reside on the book shelves. Beside my computer are words from the Dali Lama ,Einstein and Alan Ashley Pitt. All around these walls are pictures of my children and grandchildren. But my favorite thing is a book called "Talking to God" that shows the people of the world and all religions at prayer. This is where I found my faith. My faith in the vast and varied religions of the world. My faith that we are all looking for the same thing. My faith in our human spiritual sameness. Love and peace.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scrabble Words

       This is my second trip to Mumbia and I am not looking forward to the heat and lack of adequate facilities in this Indian city. I hear the zoom of the engines as we vie for airspace on this transatlantic flight. My name is A.J. Moss one of the purchasing and product managers for a Canadian aerospace company. Upper management has decided to continue it's investigation into what seems a superior brass hex nut that was used in the fighter plane "the Gnat".
       I am thumbing through a flashy magazine and see that Akon has arrived in New Delhi for a concert. His song 'I'm coming ova'(sic) is gaining ground on the Indian pop charts. I think to myself "ya suck" and toss the mag back into the pocket in the seat. Time to think. Need a plan of action and a way to get the ideas in my head in line with what the company is looking for. I slip off to sleep with visions of India seeding my dreams. 
   What seemed just a bit later I wake up in daze. My mind seems to be playing tricks on me. Maybe I should not have had that last gin and tonic... The pilot announces that we are preparing to land. How long did I sleep ? I get through customs and look for my regular driver Mr Mehra who was to meet me at the airport. Not seeing him there was raising the ire of my already foggy disposition.  A man in a faded jute dhoti came over to me and said he was sent by Mr Mehra to pick me up in the auto rickshaw he pointed at. I did not know what to do. My mode of travel in India at the last trip was always in a regular cab. Certainly not in one of those rough rickshaws. Do I try to call a cab or do I trust this man Amir as he called himself. I step into the auto rickshaw. 
      Traffic in this city is chaotic. Amir maneuvered around as best he could. All of a sudden we were side swiped by a cab ( of the like I should have been travelling in) I had a deep gash in my brow. Amir was frantic and had some of his friends take me to a healer a few blocks away. I had to duck my head to enter the door which had a tigers head carved on it. After my eye's adjusted to the dim light I looked in awe at all the beautiful Hindu art that covered the walls and ceiling.
      Sitting on a stool was this old shaman with dread locked hair down to his waist. He was wearing little but a small dhoti and garlands of flowers around his neck. Amir spoke to him in his dialect and the healer whose name I found out was Buti stood and looked at my bleeding head.  After a few minutes of chanting he said he could rid me of the injury. Buti immediately started gathering an assortment of herbs powders and figs which he beat in a small tin bowl. He told me he would slather this potion on my brow with special prayers and all would be well in my life. As he worked on my brow he chanted. I left feeling much better and the gash on my head was barely visible. Amir quickly took me to the hotel where I rested as per shaman's orders. I was filled with wonder at this new old side of India that I had not experienced before.
     The next day was my meeting with Rhohit Shah the CEO of the plant. I'm not sure what happened to my head yesterday but it was exploding with grand schemes and my proposal was greeted with enthusiasm. A done deal was made. The bump on the head must have helped or was it something else...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PJ's and Peacocks

     My landlords son keeps peacocks in the barn on the property I rent. They are beautiful birds but can be very noisy. Their call sounds like someone yelling loudly for help. Help is what I needed a few nights ago.

     I was nicely settled in bed with a good book and it being the month of June some daylight just barely lingered. Listening to the calls of the peacocks through my open bedroom window I thought to myself that that last one sounded like it was really close. I got up and looked out the window. To my utter dismay there was the white peacock in the field across the laneway. Wearing just my jammies I tumbled down the stairs slid into my rubber boots and grabbed the broom. By the time I got outside this bird had made it down the field and was headed to the woods on the other side of the road. All I could think of at the time was that some fox was going to have a very exotic supper. I did not think that some of my neighbours may be driving by. I did not think that this runaway bird may disappear into the woods and that I would be left in the middle of the road wearing my jammies, wellies (rubber boots) and brandishing my broom.... I am not sure if anyone saw me because I was too busy chasing this white peacock back across the road onto the lawn and running a few times around the house and barns. After a quick gasping message to my landlord who wasn't home I finally got this *blankety blank*  bird cornered in the main barn after starting a stampede of cattle (cows don't like big white birds).  Big white bird was captured and put back in the peacock pen minus a few feathers. What really amazed me was how fast I could run in my wellies at my age and if my neighbours did see anything they still wave at me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scary Children and Parents...

   Last Saturday I went to Wallmart to get some garden furniture for my Dad. I despise Wallmart. I get panic attacks just being there. Too much stuff. Too many people. No windows.
   One of my Dad's desired items was not available until 3pm when a worker who could get it down for me from the high racking was due in for work. It was 1:30. I decided to try to wait.
    Wandering around the aisles I saw this boy around 11-12 years old push his mother around. I heard the mother tell him that he would be late for the party. This boy was crying, screaming and demanding that his mother just listen to him. He wanted something he had seen. This child that was almost as tall as his mother kept isolating her in between aisles to do his tirade. I do not know what came over me but after almost twenty minutes of seeing and hearing this I had to say something. I went to where he could still be heard whining and demanding. He was still pushing his mother around. So this Grandmum gave this boy (potential wife beater -abuser*) a piece of her mind. I told him he was acting like a two year old and to stop being such a baby. Mom said thank you!?  This boy gave me a sideways glare that I will never forget. I am scared for this boy but what is more scary is the fact that this mother had absolutely no control over him. He will be bigger than her in a few years.
    If this was one of my boys or grandsons they would have been led out the store "ever so gently" by the ear or the scruff of the neck. Party would not be on the agenda for the day. He would have spent the rest of his day in his room. Sans anything entertaining.
    That's me though. What are we teaching parents in this day and age when an almost grown boy can intimidate his mother like this?
*An abuser will always try to isolate their victims. It is so sad that I saw this in a young boy. Where did he learn this?

Monday, March 14, 2011

I weep.

Like many I have been glued to my computer since Friday. Japan, how can I express what I feel? All I can think of is the babies, the children, the parents, the elderly. I am so sad. I cry when I think of what this country has gone through and still is. Like I told my sister today, a hundred years ago we would not of heard of this for weeks or even months. It would have been a few lines in our local newspaper. We are now a global village. What happens in this world comes to us instantly. I just think we should react to this tragedy as if it was and is part of our town. Help if you can.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Swallow

     I wanted this swallow. Living in the country around barns and old porches they were frequent visitors in my life and I admired these divine little birds. This lovely piece of pottery was in my sisters kitchen. Every time I went to visit I dropped large hints that perhaps, maybe she should let me have the object of my desire. To no avail it seemed. Glynis liked it too.
     Then one Christmas I opened a gift from my sister and lo and behold there was the coveted item. Glynis told me that a true gift is something you really treasure yourself..I was the recipient of this treasure. The swallow was proudly displayed on my kitchen wall.
     The next Christmas I was wrapping gifts and thought about the swallow and the meaning behind my sister's gift. I sent it back to her with love.
     The next Christmas..yup she sent it back to me. It has been almost twenty years now that this little bird has flown between our homes. I look forward to another twenty years of sharing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sally's Story

     I honestly really did not want this dog. I had answered an add for a free, six month old, short haired, border collie but when I went to see her she was not what I thought I was looking for. I was very wrong.
    I had bought a little tiny house just outside of town for myself and my three children. We had left a farm so we had to sell our house cow and Barney our pony. We bought Buster the dog with us but a few months after, he was hit on the road. My children really wanted to get another dog so I put her in the front of my truck and took her home. We named her Sally. She became a part of our family for seventeen years. Most of those years were rural.
      In our little area a few miles out of town there were five houses not too far apart and a large barn at the back. All these places had dogs and a few mutts also lived at the barn with the horses and cows. Back then nobody tied up their dogs so doggy relationships had to be made. Sally was only a medium size dog but she was the alpha female. She bossed and ruled even the large males. She never backed down from any dog, but this little ruler had a heart made for babies.
      Sally  loved "baby anything" I have seen her look for chicks and ducklings lost and peeping in the long grass and ever so gently rescuing them by picking them up in her mouth. I remember the TV being on and Mr Dressup had baby chicks peeping. She was determined  to find them and even jumped onto the TV. Sally would take under her wing sick calves or goat kids that we had brought in the  house to warm by the wood stove. Her mothering instinct was so strong that she would lick and soothe calves that were three or more times the size of her. What really touched my heart was her love for my babies. I had three more while we lived at that little white house.(The old woman that lived in a shoe often came to mind!) She was always on duty when there were children and babies in the house. She would do anything to get a little lick of a wee ones feet. I could leave the baby out in the pram or lying on a blanket and Sally would never leave their side. If a cat or critter came too close she would bark and send them off running. One day I had Annie lying on the blanket with Sally as always a few feet away. I had gone in the house to wash dishes with one eye on the window when I heard Sally bark. Looking out I could not see what had got her attention. Off I went to check on the situation. Turns out Sally in her vigilance to safeguard my/her baby was barking at a spider who had dared to set itself down on the blanket. I always trusted this dogs instincts and one day she showed me what a wise decision that was.
      I had just got back from the hospital with baby number five Eddie. Sally's instincts told her that there was a new baby and she kept running around the house whining and jumping for joy until I finally let her in for a sniff and a little lick of baby toes. Eddie was two days old and I had put him down in the front room for a nap. I had shut the door so that the other children would not wake him. All of a sudden Sally who had been sleeping by the wood stove got up and ran to the front room . Frantically she started to scratch the door and whine. I ran in the room to check on Eddie and his little face was blue. I grabbed him and turned him upside down then blew gently into his mouth. I was so scared. He finally started to breath again. Sally had saved his life. (I still cry when I think of this)
      Sally's other love was her "boys" JJ and Joe were five and six years old when we got her. They had many adventures together. Sally loved to dig for groundhogs and over the years I often saw the boys with Sally and usually a few other dogs in tow traipsing the fields on a groundhog hunt. She also had a knack for rooting out raccoons. Sally often had a few battle scars from tussles with these critters that were very often the same size as herself.  
      We moved from the little white house to a farm about eight miles away. Knowing my little dogs alpha ways I was a little concerned for Sally because the neighbouring farm had two rottweilers and a doberman. I was so surprised to look out my window two days after moving there to see little Sally chasing two rottweilers and a doberman back across the field. At the white house on school days you could always find Sally waiting at the top of the driveway for the kids to come home. It was the kids first day of school at our new place and Sally was missing when they got home. I was so upset I thought maybe she had been hit on the road so I went looking for her. She had travelled the eight miles to meet her babies were she always had. The next day I kept her in and took her to the end of the long lane way to show her the new waiting place.
      Sally was a brave and wise little dog. Over the years we had 12 other dogs that came to unhappy endings. Jake was the exception. We got him when Sally was around eight years old. Even though he was a big bossy german shepherd who was always ready to rumble with anything canine (even cute little puppies), he knew his place with her. She reminded him a time or two as well. We lived for a little while under the flight path of hot air balloons. Jake was petrified of them and would hide under the nearest truck when they went over. Not Sally she would bark and carry on to chase those big "birds" away from her territory.

    I could probably fill a book with Sally's stories but I will end here. In her old age she turned into a wobbling little old lady. Affection in her younger years was not something she sought. As she got older she was almost glued to my hip. She was deaf and almost blind. As she got incontinent we kept her in the kitchen and I gladly cleaned up after her. She stopped eating. It was a week before Christmas. I could not watch her starve. I carried her in my arms into the vets (A fight would have been her normal response. She hated the vets office.) She was ready to go. I wrapped her in a shawl and my now big boys dug a grave for her in our backyard. I have never grieved so much for an animal in my life. My oldest daughter asked why I was so upset. "Mom its just a dog" No she wasn't. I truly loved that brave, baby loving little creature.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Word

The first words are written by one of my son's when he was around ten years old. It is on faded school paper written in pencil that I can hardly make out. The teacher has written in red pen her comments.                               
                                              What conditon were
                                             you in? Did you fall
                                              in the mud?
                                               I hope so.

It was too muddy to stop and there was about a hundred ducks there. They were flapping their wings and the pigs were out. I nearly hit one. I finally stopped and I looked behind me. There was my brother! He said you can't ride the bike anymore unless I can throw a puffball in your face. I said to myself "Well riding the motorbike is pretty fun and its only a puffball. It won't kill me so I'm going to do it" It was a little different when I got there. He tied me up and started to laugh his head off. I knew then I was in deep trouble. He had five puffballs, three tomatoes and water. I yelled for help but my mom was up town and my big sister was at the barn. My brother picked up a puffball and threw it in my face. He took a tomato and threw it. It just missed. I sort of grinned. He picked up another tomato and he was two feet away. Suddenly the phone rang. I was lucky! JJ went to get it.                  I can't stop laughing!
My little sister came out of the house. She said "Why you tied up Joe? I know she likes J.J. better so I told her that monsters did it. She untied me and then ran away. J.J came back out and I picked up two tomatoes. I pretended that I was still tied up.
                           Now I'm lying on the floor in tears.
JJ picked up a puff ball. Just when he going to throw it at me...splat!! I ran like a jackrabbit. I looked behind me. There he was following me. I think I could have beaten Ben Johnston.
              You rascal!!
      You told me you have such a boring life. You could work professionally writing for comedians. I can't remember the last time I read a story that was so funny and so well written!
     Please let me read this to the whole class, and then have it typed for you!
      My husband has offered to type it if: 1. You recopy it neatly and carefully.
2 He can read it to his class.( He loved it too!)