Category Archives: Family

The Strength in Peace

I watched “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” last night, as a prescreening because I managed to get the movie to the film group on Pender Island. It will be showing September 19th.

This is a very inspiration movie about Liberian women who were tired of the war, they stood up for their rights and the rights of their children, and through a non-violent protest, ended the civil war in Liberia and got a woman voted in a democratic government.

It’s funny because back in June I remember having a discussing with Theresa and Ivan about how a woman is the emotional barometer in a family. A woman has a great influence on the emotional health or “un-health” of her family. Her moods directly affect the rest of the family to a greater extent, I would argue, than the rest of her family members. She has the ability to generate emotional awareness, emotional health, and peace within her family circle. I realize that to generalize is dangerous as the mother is not always the emotional instigator. But excuse my generalization. I think it’s an important responsibility that women must be made aware of.

This movie takes this concept to a whole new level for me. It said as women we have a responsibility not only to our families, but to our communities, to our regions, to our countries. The movie had footage of the rebel soldiers giving their guns to the women protesting for peace. They said “These women are our mothers. We trust their words and respect their pleas for peace.”

Women, we are society’s mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters. What is our responsibility?

Between Bounding Kittens

I am again between bounding kittens. At home. Where the blueberries are ripe, the tomatoes are orange, the hawaiian lilies are in full bloom and the bees are playing leap-frog on the dandelions and lavendar bushes.

We ventured off to a neighbouring farm and “helped” with a swarm of bees.

Really, the bees won,

we all got stung,

but it was fun.

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Then we ventured over to Pike Place market. Good spice market, a little bee-beauty stand, a cheese store and we were set.

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We got to watch Hazel be milked. It is still one of my life goals to sit on a three-legged stool and milk a cow. But this was pretty close.

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Hazel has an unusually large udder, if you were wondering. But she’s a very good Jersey cow who gave approximately 4 gallons of milk a day, and fed her calf Louie. That is a high-producing momma if you ask me.

After our stop in the states, we were on our way to Summerland for my brother’s wedding. This is my baby brother. (I have two.) You may remember him from this posting. We camped whilst everyone else enjoyed the hotel. We enjoyed camping and got to use their showers. It was a good situation for us all around.

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We got to have a leisurely morning, (when the van would start) and meander our way to the hotel where the hustle and bustle grew as more relatives and friends arrived.

After much anticipation, it was the wedding day. Brendan was ready to receive his bride, and the hot weather held off, much to the relief of all the guests.

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I thought it would be a lot more emotional, seeing my little brother getting married. But I was just really excited. I love Andrea (his wife) and her family is really nice. I’m really excited to see their marriage unfold. And I get excited when I know people I love will be in my life forever as family. It is definitely a good deal for me. With all the happiness, it is impossible not to shed a tear or two.

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All is well that ends well. And we’re glad to be home!

Adventures That Knit us Together

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This is the token update for the giant pumpkin that we got from P.E.I from Laura Jane at Whimfield. Apparently pumpkins off this plant can get to be 1100 lbs. I don’t know if we in our limited knowledge will ever attain such gi-normous glamour but we’ll see how she does. What shall we name her? Any ideas?

We have had a torrent of guests. The summers on Pender are always like this and we love sharing our island so it works well. And in the midst of these delightful friends, we have rescued a poor fellow, stung 8 times by a wasp nest.

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The wasps were very indignant that I took their home and their family away and put them in the wood stove to meet their demise. Perhaps I need a stronger emotion word. They were very “stingy.”

We’ve gotten out in the canoe a fair bit lately. This makes up for Marc wanted to go canoing in February and my hesitation. I tried to stall him, to protest, to excuse myself and Marc often ended up alone, paddling around. Now I am much more enthusiastic about canoing. I am very temperature dependent. I feel sorry for my paddle being in the frigid February waters, I feel sorry for myself out in the canoe, freezing. But now, it is beautiful.

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Aside from canoing and wasp-killing, we had a little adventure that I’d like to tell you about.

I went to Victoria for my brother’s convocation. He graduated with a bachelor in mechanical engineering. This is my baby brother who is getting married this year. *sigh* Sometimes life goes by so fast. Anyway I asked my brother and his fiancee to drive me to the ferry after. They said “No Problem” then I said, “Oh yeah, with bees…”

There was blank looks exchanged. There was doubt, confusion and then smiles. She must be joking, right? Nope! We went to my bee supplier’s house and picked up a hive of bees. After picking up my very trusty friend, Theresa, we duct-taped the bees very very very well in the parking lot at the ferry terminal.

Now these trusting people have all heard my story when I picked up my first hive and the bees began escaping as I drove down the highway to the ferry. They all know of my misadventures with stinging creatures. They support my hobby but I think they got a little over their heads on this one.

The taxi drivers in the parking lot at the ferry were giving us very perplexed looks. What are they doing with that box? What could be in there that they are so ferociously taping up?

I went and bought the tickets, and Theresa and I “bee-lined” for the elevator, hive in hand. We were not sure if they would mind if we had a box of live bees. Theresa told me to practise my “oh-so-innocent” look. We debated if we should say that there were weasels in the mysterious green over-taped box. Or snakes. Or tools. Or really, honey bees…

Walking on the ferry with a hive of bees is interesting. I didn’t know if we should announce ourselves, or hide. So we walked confidently by the ferry workers, like nothing was unusual about our trip. We marched upstairs and placed the box ever so gently on the deck, out of the wind, and sat down to wait.

It all went surprisingly well. The bees did not kick up a buzzing storm. They waited patiently in their little box. (Not sure they had a choice with the amount of tape we used.) We took them to the community garden and set them up in the corner. We lost a few to a stinging mishap as I tried to get the frames out of their secure little nuc box and into the full size super box. It was all very exciting and sneaky. Theresa and I were so proud of ourselves.

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That is the community garden where we put the bees. It is in it’s first year. It’s very exciting to be a part of early on in a project.

It’s lovely being on Pender in the summer. I really enjoy living seasonally. In the summer, gardening, canoing and having active beehives. In the winter, I look forward to curling up around a wood stove with a thick book and a pot of tea. Every season has such different joys. I am so thankful that I get to enjoy each one as they come and celebrate the small things in life. The first ripe blueberry, the thick smell of honey, clovers between my toes. I hope each reader out there celebrates the small joys and accomplishments every day brings.

Happy Summer Wishes!

Time Flies Like Bees

It was my youngest brother’s birthday yesterday. Happy 23rd Brendan! 23??!!! Now, I have known Brendan for his whole life. I remember when he was born, because I was the ripe ol’ age of 4. And I remember when he took his first step and abruptly fell down, clunking his head on the floor. I remember when he broke his wrist at Newcastle, when he had his first crush, when he learned to read, write, *applause* and how much he loved sharing his lego with his big sister. I watched his imaginary games with Wrinkles, Johnny Beans, and Chomper. And this year he has graduated from Uvic with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. And to top it all off, he’s getting married in 2 months! I’m incredibly proud of him!

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My other brother James just turned 25. A quarter century this year! He was my first competition for my parents’ attention and I would have held more a grudge if I didn’t find myself fascinated by him. He’s always been the brainiac of the family. You want to verify an event, you ask James. You want a funny fact or a random tidbit, James will offer one. From James, I learned about dinosaurs, planets, bats, rocks, ants, and the wonder of magnification.

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How does time go so fast? One minute you’re a little kid, discovering shells on a beach, burning ants with a magnifying glass, making yucky mud soup, and the next minute you’re talking about adult things. Though I believe I need to practise staying in the moment more, I believe nostalgia is good to visit. It makes me realize how far we’ve come. How thankful I am.

Remember to stop and appreciate how far you’ve come. Because time flies like bees!

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