11 years ago today my oldest daughter, Alison was born! An inqusitive bookworm, she is my walking encyclopedia Sensitive and caring, Alison makes this world a better place! Happy birthday Alison! I love you!
When people think of Canada they think of snow, cold and hockey. When people think of Kansas they think of wheat fields, sunflowers, The Wizard of Oz and dry land. Well think again! This has been a crazy year for Kansas weather wise! Might I remind you of this past winter when Heidi’s children had more snow days than mine did? You can read Who Lives in the Great White North if you have forgotten.
Most of spring was not much to talk about. The rain certainly was plentiful this past June in Cole Harbour but come July the sun appeared and our summer was full of hot, sunny days spent swimming and playing soccer. Our June weather was in stark contrast to the weather in Wichita, Kansas where from June 1 to July 13, only 0.18 of an inch of rain fell. The end of July was a much different story for Kansas. By that time, July of 2013 had become the fourth wettest July on record. Wichita even set a record low high temperature of 66 farenheit on July 28. The rain did not stop in August either. It seemed that Heidi was telling me every single day that it was raining. By August 9th, the pond beside her house was overflowing onto the lawn and the road.
And now fall is here and Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia is celebrating unseasonably high temperatures. It feels more like spring most days. Not so much in Kansas today. October 18, 2013 and it is snowing in Kansas!
Snow is not forecast for Wichita today but it is in towns not far away. Luckily for Heidi she is on her way to the Great White North right now and will avoid her just above freezing temperatures for at least the weekend. Who’d have thought she would have to come to Cole Harbour to do that?
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Early this morning, way earlier than it would be if I was my own boss, I pulled into the parking lot of my day job and there they were – the two baby deer. They did not pay me too much attention. I sat and watched them for a couple of minutes, expecting to see Momma deer but I never did. Perhaps she was home doing what mommies do – cleaning up after breakfast, paying the bills, shopping for school supplies, or preparing a picnic lunch for a special day with her babies. Whatever she was doing, I hope she did not end up having to get a “day job” outside the home. I hope she is still able to be home with her babies.
If you are gay or transgender, know anyone who is gay or transgender and/or support the rights of LGBT people, the 2014 Sochi, Russia Winter Olympics is not where you want to be. In direct contrast to the Olympic spirit where “the practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind,” Russia’s Sports Minister confirmed that the country intends to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT athletes, trainers and fans. So leave your rainbow paraphernalia at home and don’t ask, don’t tell.
In June of this year, Russian President, Vladimir Putin signed an anti-propaganda bill targeting non-traditional relationships. He says,
“It’s not about imposing some sort of sanctions on homosexuality…It’s about protecting children from such information. Certain countries think that there is no need to protect [children] from this…But we are going to provide such protection the way that State Duma lawmakers have decided. We ask you not to interfere in our governance.”
According to the bill, publishing information about same-sex relationships will warrant fines of 4,000-5,000 rubles (£85-105) for individuals, 40,000-50,000 rubles (£850-1050) for officials, and 400-500,000 (£8,500-10,500) rubles for businesses. Foreigners will not only be fined, but face administrative arrest up to 15 days and eventual deportation.
So, if you are a gay athlete who has just won an Olympic medal, remember to celebrate your incredible achievement with only heterosexual family members and fans. Certainly do not kiss your partner of 10 years!
And gay parents – do not hug your child in celebration of triumphs or in comfort of disappointments. You are exactly why the anti-propaganda bill was signed. Your love and commitment to each other and to your child definitely represents a non-traditional relationship.
“Non-traditional relationship” is awfully vague, Russia. Does it only apply to LGBT relationships? How about couples of different races? Blended families? Marriages in which the husband and wife are of different faiths? What about relationships where both parents work? How about when a woman financially supports the family? Stay-at-home dads beware!
The Olympic athletes have trained long and hard and deserve to compete in an atmosphere where they can focus on their goals. They should be able to be themselves, as should their trainers and coaches, their family members, friends and fans. Sexual orientation has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Olympics but by threatening to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT athletes, trainers and fans, Russia has taken away their rights. They will be participating in an Olympic atmosphere of discrimination. That is not right and I am not the only one who thinks so. There are two petitions on the go: One suggesting that the 2014 Olympics be moved from Sochi to Vancouver, which was the host city of the 2010 Olympics. and one urging sponsors of the Sochi Olympics to condemn their anti-gay laws. I have provided the links to both petitions below.
Russia does not recognize same-sex relationships, does not allow same-sex couples to marry or adopt and does not allow gays to openly serve in the military. Here is a checklist of LGBT rights all over the world.
Read George Takei’s article entitled It’s Time to Move the Olympics which explains his reasoning behind his call to have the 2014 Winter Olympics moved from Russia to Canada and then sign the petition to have the 2014 Winter Olympics moved from Sochi, Russia to Vancouver, Canada http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/international-olympic-committee-ioc-relocate-the-2014-winter-games-to-vancouver-2. At the time of my writing there were already 138, 447 signatures on this petition.
Here is another related petition urging sponsors of the 2014 Olympics to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws http://www.change.org/petitions/stand-against-russia-s-brutal-crackdown-on-gay-rights-urge-winter-olympics-2014-sponsors-to-condemn-anti-gay-laws. This petition will be delivered to Coca Cola, Samsung, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble and VISA. At the time of my writing there were already 103, 206 signatures on this petition.
As I drove to work this morning, Friday, August 2, 2013, I pulled up to the stop sign to make my last left turn before I reached the parking lot of my office. There, in the middle of the road, blocking my way to work, was momma deer and not just one of her babies but BOTH of her babies. Momma deer is pulling out all the stops.
I stopped my van and momma deer and I looked each other in the eyes. I sensed that what she was saying to me was, “I will let you through to work today because I know you have to pay the bills. But I am watching you and I don’t want to see you around here much longer. Our babies don’t stay young forever. Get home to yours.”
And with that message sent, she lead her babies to safety in the opposite direction (see the picture below).
I am enjoying my encounters with momma deer and her babies. And I have not given up on my goal of making a living writing from home.
George is not the first pet whose gender we got wrong. We will never forget Jill, my daughters’ first hamster, who hit puberty, grew a set, and then died the next day. We have always wondered if she was just as shocked as we were to discover that she was really a he.
Jillian the hamster, Jill’s mother, currently lives with us along with our three rats (all girls for sure) – Sir Runs A Lot (sounds better than Miss Runs A Lot), In and Out and Scaredy Rat, our Siamese Fighting Fish, Tulip and our sea monkey, Howard.
Howard used to have many brothers and sisters, most notably the first two that grew big enough so that we could see them without looking through the built in magnifying glasses of their “house”. Beth, my middle daughter, named them George and Philamina. We were sure George was a boy as he had a very defined sac in his lower region which we identified as a scrotum. Philamina had nothing visible in that area so we were sure she was a girl.
After a recent visit to the Discovery Centre in Halifax, my daughters became very well sea monkey educated and today Beth proclaimed, “George was a girl. The scrotum was really her egg sac. That means Philamina was a boy.”
Well at least we got one thing right…George definitely had a sac.
In order of appearance in the pictures: Sir Runs A Lot, Scaredy Rat, In and Out, Jillian, Howard, and Tulip
Today, Tuesday, July 30, is much less dreary – weatherly speaking. Momma deer and her baby showed up at lunch to check on me and hung their heads in sadness again (see photo below) as they saw me head into work for another day.
Someday soon momma and baby, I will just be here for a visit and some inspiration for my writing.
On this dreary Monday morning, July 29, 2013, as I reached for the cold steel handle of the heavy door I must open to enter my “day job” building, I was greeted by some regular visitors – the momma deer and her baby who was born this spring. I believe their visits are two-fold: to enjoy the abundant leafy greens and to see if I still work here.
As you can see in the picture, they both hung their heads in sadness when they saw me enter the cold-handled, heavy doors.
They can’t wait until I earn a living writing from home and neither can I!
7 years ago today, my little Sarah was born. The youngest of three girls, Sarah is a sparkplug! She brings energy to any situation! Very intuitive, caring and a little go getter, Sarah has made this world a better place! Happy birthday Sarah!