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Waiting in welcome,
Windows of the soul.

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You’re late. Where are you?

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Sign of the Times

I came across this sculpture today and I had to smile …

I remember a time when people talked about peace as if it would really happen. When both sexes wore their hair to their shoulders, the girls stopped wearing bras, and the boys all pretended they could play guitar.

The world was going to be a better place. We would make it better.

Yeah …

Created for the Toronto Light Festival last winter by Studio Rosenblatt, Symbolic Peace is a “laser cut steel sculpture meant to signify the strength of diversity within our community”.

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Maybe it’s time to bring back the 60’s  🙂

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#Thursday Doors

I drove out to Niagara-on-the-Lake recently, a small town in Southern Ontario with a big history. Founded in 1782 by Empire Loyalists fleeing the newly created United States of America, Niagara-on-the-Lake became a battle ground between the Americans and the British during the War of 1812.

Today, Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the Shaw Festival (summer theatre) and wine, wine tours, and wineries.

I stopped by McFarland House for tea and a tour.

20180527_151124 (2)Built in 1800, McFarland House was unusual in its day in that it was constructed from brick instead of wood. It served as a hospital for both American and British troops during the War of 1812 and thus became one of the few houses to survive the period.

The front door was, and still is, painted red — a sign of welcome.

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As you can see, the door could use some work. Probably because no one uses it anymore, all guests entering through a side door that opens onto the tea room.

Unfortunately, while I can’t claim Norm’s camera skills, I did find myself reaching for my phone on a wander through the Old Town.

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Fun fact: Niagara-on-the-Lake boasts the oldest surviving golf course in North America, Niagara Golf Club circa 1875.

Funnier fact: The town is home to the oldest operating inn in Ontario, The Olde Angel Inn established in 1789. If you’re ever in the women’s washroom, think twice before you lift the privacy leaf on the Statue of David — a bell will ring in the main dining room 🙂

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Pride

For Pride this year, we have our first ever LGBTQ2 themed Heritage Minute.

For all you non-Canadians, Heritage Minutes are sixty second films that document significant people and events in Canadian history.  Often, moments and viewpoints are explored in these mini-movies that our high school history books failed to mention.

Case in point: Gay activist, Jim Egan.

Never heard of him? Neither had I.

Today, James Egan would be called a gay activist. Back in 1951, when he first sat down at his typewriter and pounded out an article entitled, I Am a Homosexual he was just a young man who was pissed.

Jim battled rampant homophobia with letters and op-ed pieces in the press, eventually taking the Government of Canada to court demanding spousal benefits for his life partner.

In 1995, Jim and his partner Jack Nesbit cruised down Yonge Street, the same street they could have once been arrested on for simply holding hands, as honorary grand marshals in the Toronto Pride parade.

Happy Pride 🙂

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Scary Stuff

Think It was scary?

It

Or It Comes at Night?

It Comes

Maybe something from the Friday the 13th franchise?

Want to know what has me hiding in a corner with my hands over my eyes?  The scariest thing on the screen today?

The Handmaid’s Tale

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No ghosts, no zombies, nothing coming out of the floorboards to grab you in the night, but The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t need CGI special effects to be truly terrifying. The monsters here are human and very real.

The scary thing? The loss of liberty depicted in the show has happened in other countries and could happen in any country … if we take our freedom for granted and stop paying attention.

 

As in any dictatorship, no one is free in this story. Women are cattle and men are tools. Being attracted to your own sex is a death sentence.

Religious platitudes justify atrocious actions … hmmmm … where have I heard that before?

It’s only fiction, right?

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Conversion Therapy

It was a mistake.

I knew any book set in an abandoned mental asylum was going to be too dark for me. I knew it, and I read the damn thing anyway.

Tin Box

Not that The Tin Box by Kim Fielding isn’t a good book. It is.

Fielding tells a story of two Williams — One arrested and consigned to a mental hospital in the 40’s for homosexual activity, the other trying to recover from religious parents and conversion therapy circa 2012.

I finished the book and thought I was okay … until I tried to sleep that night. Impossible. I kept thinking of that poor 1940’s William. I told myself it was fiction, fiction!

Fiction? Well … Yes, and no.

True, Fielding’s Williams are fictional characters, but what happens to them in the book has happened — and is still happening to LGBTQ people today.

In one of those freaky, maybe-there-is-a-Master-of-the-Universe coincidences, I opened my phone the next morning to find an email asking me to sign a petition to End Gay Conversion Therapy in Canada.

?????

Disgusting, but true. 2018 and Conversion Therapy isn’t banned nation wide. So far, only two provinces have declared CT illegal. Thank God, I live in one of them.

Really? What is wrong with this world?

How hard is it to say you be you and I’ll be me?

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Sunshine and Sailboats

I’m not saying flowers aren’t worth a look or two because they are.

 

But…

Do I see a flower on a beautiful day and think, “Can I have another life? Please.”

No.

Flowers may not be in my backyard — except for one stubborn rose bush that even I can’t kill — but they’re fairly easy to find. They don’t instill envy and the wish that I believed in reincarnation.

Sailboats however…

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A summer day in that other life, the one I don’t have 🙂

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Canadian Rhythm

From the National Film Board of Canada, celebrating 79 years this month, one of it’s most requested classics — The Log Driver’s Waltz

Passing on the smiles 🙂

These days, most of us need all our coordination just to cross the street and the logging industry long ago replaced the dancing loggers with machines, but national consciousness originates in the past.

As my neighbours in Quebec say, “Je me souviens.” (I remember.)

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Burial Chic

Fashion is no longer just for the living.

If you can’t find a coffin that expresses the complexity of you, consider the Infinity Burial Suit. Created by Jae Rhim Lee and Mike Ma it’s the latest in eco-friendly, post-mortem fashion.

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It’s not only chic, it’s good for the environment. It helps your body to decompose and neutralizes the toxins the body releases into the earth. Plus …

You can never go wrong with basic black 🙂

 

As to how it works, the suit is embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores that grow from the body after burial. Essentially, the mushrooms eat you.

Now would be a good time to mention — I don’t like mushrooms.

Don’t like the texture, don’t like the not-taste. Might as well eat Tofu, which BTW, I don’t eat either 🙂

It didn’t help my hate affair with mushrooms any that, even though I was a Psychology major back in my university days, I was dumb enough to take a Mycology course because I thought it would be cute to share a class with my boyfriend.

Ugh.

The labs were torture. The professor cooked up a batch of mushrooms on a hot plate in the classroom. Even worse, I got a B and my boyfriend got an A!

So yeah, fry mushrooms in butter, drop them into a pasta sauce, do whatever you want with them, but … keep them off my plate.

I’m not eating them, but I could be persuaded to let them eat me 🙂

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To Serve and Protect

This past April, an Ontario woman was stopped for speeding in Georgia. It happens, right?

You know the routine, you drag your license and registration out, the cop writes you a ticket.

Not in Georgia, not if you have a Canadian driver’s license. The 27 year old grad student was told her license was invalid. She was handcuffed and ended up in jail. Mug shots, fingerprints, scary stuff.

The article I read had over 1700 comments. Quite a few people felt the woman should have had her passport with her. Apparently, having copies of her passport, birth certificate, and Nexus card on her phone wasn’t good enough. Some felt that she should have had a Tennessee license since she was living there while going to school. One comment said that particular area of Georgia was known for “financing their counties through bogus charges and fines.”

Whether you think the cop was right or wrong probably depends on which side of the border you live on, but the report got me to thinking…

I’ve been stopped for speeding more times than my husband appreciated. Never once was an officer less than polite. Most were friendly, and a few had a sense of humour. I’m certain they would be just as professional if I was holding a Non-Canadian license.

To every police officer in my neck of the woods; Toronto Police, York Region Police, Ontario Provincial Police, and the Quebec Provincial Police I want to say thank you 🙂

The next time I’m in the States? Uber.

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