Sunday, March 29, 2015

A to Z 2015 Theme Reveal #AtoZChallenge

Ok, I am a bit late in the game as you can tell from the date in the picture; however, I do have a reason, a good excuse! I have been preparing for my move at the end of this month.

So does that mean I'm crazy to accept this A to Z challenge? Yes, I think so as I not only have to settle in soon as I have a busy month apart from this challenge!

Anyways, I changed my theme from gratitude to "Heart things, heart strings."

I hope you like it as much as I do...well, I will find out as I have yet to write my posts (though I do have ideas for most of my letters)!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gratitude List #3: Theme of New Home

Kitchen in my new home

I felt another gratitude list is in order, since my last one a week ago. This one primarily focuses on my future home, my "home-to-be" which I will be moving into shortly. In no particular order:

* Cold symptoms mostly gone thanks to epsom salt baths, hot herbal teas and soups, rest, and a good night's sleep
* My home-to-be which is clean, new, and comfortable
* A bachelor suite so I can downsize even more and save some money as less rent
* Laminate hardwood floor in the kitchen and hallway
* A number of large windows with screens bringing in natural light with a view to greenery and keeping out insects
* Curtains and two thick accordion pull-down blinds on windows
* New cabinetry and modern shelving space to house some of my stuff
* A dishwasher - exact same as the one in my current home with 'eco' features and a large stove to easily put pots on stove top and two cookie sheets in the oven (for Christmas cookies)
* A generous-sized fridge
* A desk area
* An alcove for a bed or temporary storage or ...
* A 'built-in' shelf that lines the alcove and living room to house books
* A bathtub for the occasional soak, e.g., after moving or when ill
* A window and heater in the bathroom and several towel rungs
* A dimmer switch in the living room
* A partially furnished suite including a kitchen table and chairs, and a shelving unit for my second-hand TV (to watch videos); avoid having to buy or lug extra furniture
* A private entrance and security though I expect to feel safe on a neighbourhood watch street and in the area
* Utilities (heat, hydro, hot water), WIFI, and cable included in the rent
* My own washer and dryer so I have chemical-free laundry; soap nuts (acting as a natural detergent and fabric softener combined)
* A place to garden as I desire to grow some cilantro and some flowers; maybe sunflowers too
* A landlord who is approachable and down-to-earth
* Only a landlord, adult daughter, and dog living upstairs
* Close proximity to three bus routes, a park (where I can hug trees), and a mini-strip mall with a small grocery store (that includes organic)
* A couple of friends who live nearby and some people I know who live in the area

The 'Law of Attraction' (or LOA) as I alluded to in some previous posts ( declares that it is important to express gratitude and feel grateful for that which is in your life currently. That way, more of the same is likely to actualize ... Hmmm, that's what happened didn't it, going from my current place - see last week's post ( - to my new place.

What’s on your list today and/or this past week? Please share with Laurel Regan, the woman who inspired me to do this as I am too busy this week (

My next post may be Wednesday, next Sunday or who knows. Time will tell as I am preparing to move, soon. ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Everyone is Self-centered

Here is a more challenging prompt thanks to B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member and blogger Shilpa Garg (, whose sentence prompt for today is "Everyone is self-centered; it's just the radius that differs.."

Whether spelled self-centered or self-centred, the meaning is the same. Self-centered refers to being "only interested in yourself and your own activities" or similarly, "preoccupied with oneself and one's affairs" or "engrossed in oneself and one's own affairs."

Synonyms (similar meanings) include that of being "selfish, narcissistic, egocentric, egotistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-seeking, self-interested, self-serving." That's a lot of words!

Radius on the other hand is "a straight line from the center to the circumference of a circle or sphere," definitions of both courtesy of google.


"...And so it was that they lived their secret lives in the shadows of silence." (from previous Wordy Wednesday prompt)

Suzette was enjoying her rendezvous with Jean-Pierre, but something seemed a little off on this particular day.

Was it that the rose-coloured glasses of their three-and-a-half-month relationship came off her nose? Did she now see her "love" differently? Were the expectations that she had projected onto him come to an end in her mind?

Whatever the reason(s), she noticed Jean-Pierre in a different light. That is, he seemed to be fussing about in the bathroom for what seemed like such a loooooooooooong time. She realized this was actually a pattern of his behaviour that she had dismissed prior. What on earth was he up to? What could he be doing? He seemed so quiet.

Suzy finally could take it no longer, her impatience and budding anger growing by the minute. Without knocking on the door, it was partially ajar anyway, she peered into an unapologetic scene.

What?! No wonder! Jean-Pierre was taking pictures of his biceps and chest, his recently acquired muscular frame from having worked out at his local gym since having met Suzette. Now she knew she had her moments, but this?! Really!

She knew then this truth: Everyone is self-centered; it's just the radius that differs.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gratitude List #2

Part of my living room

I decided that today was and is a good day to write another gratitude list. One felt like it was in order, speaking of which my gratitude list for the day, week, month thus far is in no particular order as follows (concerning my current home):

* My home which is comfortable and relatively spacious
* A bed to sleep on (even if it is a couch bed), warm flannel sheets, and a down duvet to keep me warm
* Laminate hardwood floor replica in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom
* Generous-sized windows bringing in natural light with a view to greenery
* A gas fireplace to cozy up to in a small cozy living room on really cold days
* A new and clean dishwasher and stove
* A generous-sized fridge
* An abundance of cupboards and shelving space to house most of my stuff
* A storage area (albeit behind the fridge of all places)
* A 'built-in' shelf that lines my bedroom and living room to house books
* A partially furnished suite to avoid buying or lugging furniture from one place to another, especially as a renter
* A large deck to sit, eat, air dry my laundry, and watch and listen to nature (such as the moon and birds)
* Utilities (heat, hydro, hot water) and WIFI included in my rent
* A great landlord: approachable and easy-going
* My landlord's friendly golden labrador - my favourite dog!
* Access to a washer and dryer
* Close proximity to a covered bus stop, a park (where I get to hug trees), and a small mall (my preferred size) with some major conveniences

The 'Law of Attraction' (or LOA) as I alluded to in some previous posts ( declares that it is important to express gratitude and feel grateful for that which is in your life currently. That way, more of the same is likely to actualize ...

What’s on your list today and/or this past week/month? Please share with me and the woman who inspired me to do this: Laurel Regan.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Shadows of Silence

Today's Wordy Wednesday - why do they call it that anyway? It's not supposed to be a "wordy" post! ;) - is brought to you by BlogARhythm member, writer, and blogger Rajlakshmi Boruah.

Rajlakshmi writes and photographs extensively about her travel adventures with brilliant coloured waters and skies, including gorgeous hued sunsets in particular. Her photos are a feast for the eyes - your eyes - with mouth-watering colours. Oh what can I say? Her photographs inspire poetry! ;)

I hope I serve(d) her well, that is, did her phrase justice! ;)


It was a blinding day of hot sunshine striking on foreheads and pavements on the streets of France, Paris to be exact.

Suzette was to meet Jean-Pierre at 1 o'clock prompt at a particular sign (not to be mentioned here...shhhhh!) inside their favourite cafe.

After an afternoon brew of cappuccino in the cool-temperatured cafe, they would walk side by side, not hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm. Noooooooo!

They would saunter past a duck pond and sit purposefully, on what would later become their favourite bench, in a park facing a fountainous waterfall. Here they would whisper and giggle, and chat and laugh boisterously at their meanderings in their lives, the waterfall at times drowning out their words to the rest of the world.

After enough heat and excitement, they would catch a cab to their favourite "little hideaway," book a room for the rest of the afternoon ... And so it was that they lived their secret lives in the shadows of silence.

Note: This is still one of my early attempts at writing non-fiction. I just follow the words and see where they lead me. This was quite a surprise, even for me! Ooh la la! ;)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

International Women's Day: Make it Happen!

If you read my previous posts on Reactions to Delhi Rapist Interview on March 3rd and my post yesterday, Reactions to Oxford Trafficking and Rape, I asked a question: "... do you think we can individually as well as collectively change the occurrence of violence against women, against females - girls too! - in general?"

Whether through the media, personal accounts, or indirect reports on such violent acts and atrocities towards females, it could possibly have you start believing that all men are like this, which of course isn't true.

However, have you ever thought, wondered, or questioned like me, if generally speaking, men might be afraid of and/or jealous of women? Yes you read that right! Let me explain.

I believe and it seems that "The Burning Times" video implies that men are afraid of women's power, of women's intuition, of their mysteries, and the like. And perhaps underneath that they actually secretly envy women for the same reasons. Not that they want to be women, but to be like them in this regard.

There have been stories, some of which I have heard directly from women, that men are often jealous when their wife gives birth to their firstborn child. Why? The mother's primary focus and attention goes towards their newborn infant rather than to her husband. Does he feel neglected, dejected, alone, sorry for himself possibly as a result?

Regardless of the reason why men might secretly fear and/or envy women - a whole other topic and not one I wish to explore, possibly never (though take it upon yourself to research it if you wish) - I believe that we can view all of this in a totally different way. And yes, you read that right too!

There is a universal law or principle also known as a spiritual law or principle that goes along the lines as follows: what we think, we will attract, and thus create, create in our lives that is. This is what we label as 'reality.'

The principle of what you draw your attention to on an ongoing basis is what intensifies or is drawn towards you, similar to us as a collective or society. This may be a shocking statement given the context of violence against women. I can understand how hard this may be to assimilate and digest for those new to this concept.

The reverse can also be true however, that is IF we individually and collectively stand together and start focusing on what it is that we do want.

We as a society, what can also be termed as a 'collective conscious,' create our (own) 'reality.' Everyone's individual 'reality' though is different based on their own perceptions, biases, life's experiences, etc. We all see with different eyes.

Birth order is one such example where children within the same family have totally different stories of a family incident, or witnesses to an accident where there are different accounts of the same experience from each bystander is another.

Reversing our (limited) reality is possible and achievable, though may take time. Here is a great example to illustrate this: Greek philosopher Pythagoras (before Christopher Columbus' time) informed others that the world was round. The societal paradigm of a flat earth eventually shifted to that of a round earth!

IF it is indeed true that we can change our reality, well then, what is possible? Actually science actually backs this up. Most recently, The Secret, a film borne out of the law of attraction principle (2006), followed by a book with the same title illustrates the scientific principles.

There are also various books on the topic including some historical titles such as As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (originally published in 1902), as well as The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles (written in 1910), and Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich (in 1937).

As these books indicate, we give power to our thoughts and speech which then form our reality. Thus I ask, what kind of society do we wish to live in?

One way of a new society, a new way of being is for men to support women, such as in the photo below: Afghan men wearing burqas in Kabul to say no to violence against women:

Just a note for anyone interested, there are worldwide events which can be seen here (

This year’s International Women's Day theme is "Make it happen." Thus, I ask, how can we make this happen: create a society where women are treated respectfully and equally at least in terms of social standing, that is that of a human being, not a slave or an animal!

Speaking of which, if any of you wish an interesting take on men vs. women in the field of international sports, read my last year's post on Women's Day. It was on the theme of the Olympics, in particular the Canadian women's hockey team, quite interesting what happened:

P.S. I would like to add a blogger's comment on the importance of raising sons with upstanding values to treat females respectfully. Hear, hear! :)

Today's blog post is linked to the following: #IWD2015, #internationalwomensday, #MakeItHappen, #womensday, #PaintItPurple as well as #Blogarhythm.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Reactions to Oxford Trafficking and Rape

On Tuesday March 3rd, two blog posts ago, I wrote about my response to this sad and shocking piece of news - "Reactions to Delhi Bus Rapist Interview" (

Of the women who had commented on that post thus far, at least two had been raped - one didn't mention it but she had been gang raped - and at least another two could have been (almost?), myself included as an attempted date rape.

I re-read that post today at the library, before writing this one, shedding copious tears. My heart is still in grief about that very incident. My heart still bleeds and aches for this particular woman and also for all women worldwide.

(Just an aside here: When I find a piece of artwork I created and a poem I wrote in relation to the paragraph right above this one on the theme and history of violence against women, I will post it. Either one or two blog posts will ensue, in part of a more personal nature and I think an interesting one. It is in draft form as I am writing three posts today along a similar veined theme. This one may be entitled, "You've Come a Long Way, Baby" so stay tuned and watch out for it.)

The same day I posted that very sensitive and vulnerable post referred to above, another headline shrieked witness to other similar horrific events, this time in the United Kingdom (

According to Sky news (see link above),
"Six vulnerable girls continued to be raped and abused for five years because authorities failed to take them seriously and bring a paedophile ring to justice ... Between 2005-10 the vulnerable girls were reported missing 500 times - half of those when they were in council care - but it did not raise alarm bells with authorities ... The report reveals 373 girls have now been identified as possible victims of sexual exploitation within the last 16 years in the county ... In May 2013, seven men were convicted of 43 offences including trafficking and rape ... Their trial detailed how they 'actively targeted' girls from the ages of 11 and 12, the majority of whom had been sent to live in care homes ... The girls were plied with alcohol, introduced to drugs, then sold for sex in guest houses, private houses and hotels, and abused by multiple men, some of whom had travelled to Oxford from 'far afield' ... The humiliation and degradation involved knives, meat cleavers and baseball bats. The girls' ordeals sometimes lasted days ... Since the trial, Thames Valley Police said approximately 700 children in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire have been referred to them where there is a suspicion they might be being sexually exploited."
My apologies dear readers. I actually did not intend or wish to blog on this, such a gruesome topic, anymore. However, I think it is important that people worldwide wake up, both men - not all are 'bad' - and women. Trafficking as well as sex slavery of women and girls is prolific worldwide, even in America. Yes, that includes Canada I'm sorry to say; I know this via my work.

Here are some appalling statistics and the like on the issue of trafficking (

On my previous blog post (, I said, "I am not (normally) one for a heinous punishment, but truly in this case I wonder. Would it be best that a man gets castrated for this crime? Death seems an easy way out even if by execution. A quick death. I think pain is more punishing in terms of suffering."

And then I wonder if the following might be just as or more appropo to the perpetrators - see Part 2 of The Burning Times" at the 4:25 to 4:44 time mark and you will understand; even better, back up to the 4:00 mark! (The full-length video is just under an hour in length, though this video has five parts broken down in approximately 10-minute segments.)

And as I said on that same said post,
"On the other hand, I'm not God and I imagine the men involved will suffer the consequences karmically.)

Rather than asking you to take sides of my severe punishment - definitely not! - I would instead at this time like to ask you a question: What can WE individually and as a society do to STOP rape and other heinous crimes against females? Pray tell me. Tell us ... those others who read and comment.

And men don't get me wrong. I know there are a lot of good men out there as well. I am referring to this particular type of crime, though I have written about others in a couple of previous posts. (Just do a word search on my blog.)"
On a lighter note in preview of tomorrow being International Women's Day, read my last year's post on Women's Day which was on the theme of the Olympics, in particular the Canadian women's hockey team (

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Essential!

Ah, this is a fun challenge thanks to B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer and blogger Roshan Radhakrishnan, whose word prompt for today is "Essential." I couldn't resist not partaking in this! How fun! ;)

Other than what is going on in my life right now, I would say that what comes to mind is...oh wait a minute, not so fast! Let me back up for a moment.

Have any of you seen the commercial years ago, I think an American Express card with the tag line, "Don't leave home without it!" This refers to the credit card.

The following commercial isn't the best that I've seen; however, it will give you a sense:

Well, for me I use that tag line verbally out loud from time to time for something I consider extremely essential on any given day, whether hot and dry or cold and wet. It is small enough you can stick into a pocket or a purse.

Guess what it is? Oh, you'll probably never guess. It's chapstick! For me, it's of the natural kind like Burt's Bees.

Wouldn't you agree, this is essential, maybe even more so?! ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reactions to Delhi Bus Rapist Interview

Clipart image

This was my immediate reaction to the news article with BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) having made a documentary about this crime against a woman (

My original post had some strong and sensitive languaging disguised as swear words to emphasize the extent of my anger. I did that on purpose for two reasons: (1) because that was my genuine feeling and reaction and (2) I felt that this was such an important and deep cause that it felt like the 'right' thing to do, perhaps in part to elicit corresponding emotions/reactions in others.

I was extremely angry upon hearing this as I am by all injustices whether people, animals, or the environment.

What century do we live in for God's sake?! I can't believe this! This is so appalling and I am SO mad!

When can women roam the streets at night in peace ... really after 9 pm? These excuses are lame ... teach HER a lesson? Are you out of your mind?! Oh I am so bloody mad ... I can't believe this! I not only feel angry, mad, pissed off, but furious!

First of all Mister, girls, women, females do NOT ever ever ever ever - get the point?! - "ask for rape" or rather "ask to be raped." Hell NO! You have got to be kidding me? Are you CRAZY?! (Don't answer that 'cause the answer is so blatantly obvious, at least to me!)

Us girls, women, females are only responsible for ourselves. YOU are responsible for you and your thoughts and actions, and yes, that includes self-restraint!

The woman's murder was "an accident?!" Excuse me?! Pardon me?! Did I read that right?! Oh you only meant to rape her? Not leave her for dead? Holy moley! Again, who are YOU kidding!

Oh pardon me sir (can't even call you that!), I am here to inform you: "Your wife is no longer. It was an accident by some men." How would YOU feel if you were told that? Oh let me guess, you don't have a wife!

And let me guess, you also have a double standard for men and women, or rather men and 'girls' (a form of belittling us females, in my opinion at least) - "A decent girl won't roam around at nine o'clock at night." I bet the men are allowed out at night, but females need to be caged up inside their homes, maybe even locked inside (by the sounds of it)!

"A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boys and girls are not equal" you say? 'Girls' as you probably name all 'women' are NEVER responsible, do you HEAR me?! We don't ask for it and neither do we want it.

And since when are boys and girls not equal? God created us both equally in terms of a social standing. However, I see that you skew this point only because their brains and bodies differ.

Dreamstime image

You further state, "Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes." Oh excuse me! Get rid of the archaic (patriarchal?) system that 'rules' women, puts them down, makes them feel inferior, useless, and worthless like ants or fleas!

And what is wrong with dancing and having a good time socializing with friends? Yes, maybe she sweats from dancing in a crowded disco so dresses a bit lighter and cooler.

However, if you are turned on and it bothers you there are always choices and options other than rape. I can think of a few, so why can't you?

"About 20 per cent of girls are good." Really?! Where on earth did you get that information, that statistic from? Are you projecting (what may be the case for men) onto 'girls?'

Being attacked with hands let alone metal bars is inhumane, even for animals God forbid! You should be disgusted and ashamed of yourself!

I saw a pre-movie (a short clip before an actual movie) once that made me cringe and I should have left the theatre. It depicted, rather insinuated the rape of a young (Asian) girl ... just writing those words is horrific. I was shocked and sickened by it.

I could not fathom how anyone can make such a movie. Yet this happens in real life way too often, including India. It is a crime against humanity, children, innocence, and our future.

The Delhi bus driver who didn't participate in the attack had suggested to BBC in an interview - did he or does he feel like a hero being interviewed I wonder - that the rape was a way to teach this young woman "a lesson." Really?! Should YOU be taught a lesson in such an undignified and cruel manner?

And apparently she was supposed to just surrender, NOT "resisting her attackers." What the hell?! Instead, "She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they'd have dropped her off after doing her and only hit the boy." ... I cannot believe what goes on in your pea-sized brain! You have got to be kidding me?

Furthermore, the driver stated that future rape victims would likely be killed by the execution of him and the others who were convicted of this crime. Are you trying to get off from being killed?

Oh, and to make matters worse, he also declares that "in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight" if his sister or daughter - oh he is married?! - "disgraced herself" if seen with a man. I am so appalled, I can't believe your thinking! Let me guess, men can get away with murder though if the roles were reversed ... and please don't say anything. I KNOW the answer!

Clipart image

The defence lawyer further adds fuel to the fire by saying, "In our society, we never allow our girls to come out from the house after 6.30 or 7.30 or 8.30 in the evening with any unknown person." Why? Because you are caring and protective of them? Or are your motives more controlling in nature?

He continues, "You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that doesn't have any place in our society. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman."

WHAT?! Men and women cannot be friends?! Whoa! The "best culture"? I do NOT think so, not after those statements! And "no place for a woman?" WHAT??????!!!! You have got to be joking! You wouldn't be around if it wasn't for a woman, and ... well, use your imagination to fill in the blank!

OMG, I think I'm going to faint. I can't believe you said (all) that! Am I to kill myself because I am a woman? 'Cause I'm not meant to be here, to live? Oh, let me guess, you'd rather do it to me or for me, kill me off that is. You have no use of me. Oh, but then who is going to do the housework?

The mother of her dead daughter states, "Whenever there's a crime, the girl is blamed, ‘She should not go out. She shouldn't roam around so late or wear such clothes.' It's the boys who should be accused and asked why they do this."

Yep, she's right. The boys are the ones who attack(ed). They should be the ones in question, NOT the "girl!" However, I disagree with questioning men as to why: there will only be rationalizations and justifications. There is NEVER any reason to commit such a crime.

I am not (normally) one for a heinous punishment, but truly in this case I wonder. Would it be best that a man gets castrated for this crime? Death seems an easy way out even if by execution. A quick death. I think pain is more punishing in terms of suffering.

On the other hand, I'm not God and I imagine the men involved will suffer the consequences karmically. (A post to follow next week about this with a totally different slant.)

Rather than asking you to take sides of my severe punishment - definitely not! - I would instead at this time like to ask you a question: What can WE individually and as a society do to STOP rape and other heinous crimes against females? Pray tell me. Tell us ... those others who read and comment.

And men don't get me wrong. I know there are a lot of good men out there as well. I am referring to this particular type of crime, though I have written about others in a couple of previous posts. (Just do a word search on my blog.)