Wordless Wednesday – what are we doing to our planet? | Dec 4/19

This 10-year old sperm whale, found washed up on a beach in the Outer Hebrides in  Scotland this past weekend, had an astounding 220 lbs of trash (plastic cups, netting, ropes, etc.) in its stomach.




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Black Friday … or Buy Nothing Day?

I don’t usually do blog posts two days in a row, but a letter to the editor in our local morning paper made me decide to make an exception. Its message is so worth sharing. Full credit to its author, Tom Reddin. Why had I never heard of Buy Nothing Day? Here’s the letter:

Today is Buy Nothing Day

Today, the day after American Thanksgiving, is known as Buy Nothing Day, an international day of protest against consumerism. The things we buy can often have a big environmental impact, and in our present “climate emergency”, we must face the ethical consequences.

In our “developed” countries, 20 percent of the world’s population consume over 80 percent of the earth’s natural resources, so our economy has to quickly transform away from gross consumerism and our reliance on a growing gross domestic product.

Buy Nothing Day means ignoring the Black Friday sales and online purchases, and reflecting on our daily spending habits.

Various public protests have been used on Buy Nothing Day to draw attention to the problem of over-consumption, e.g., Zombie walks around a shopping mall or ‘Whirl-Marts’ of silently steering shopping carts in a long ‘Buy Nothing’ line. Some people will not only not buy anything, but also not drive their car, and keep televisions, computers and other non-essential appliances turned off for 24 hours.

Sierra Club Atlantic Canada Chapter encourages residents to consider a “Buy Nothing Day Walkaway” by getting outside for a walk to celebrate the great outdoors, while walking away from consumerism and unnecessary shopping.

The message behind Buy Nothing Day is far more than a day protesting consumerism; it can be the start of a new lifestyle for citizens, and a societal change to lessen our impact on our precious, beautiful earth. Continue reading

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Kindness is key to health and happiness, and it’s free!

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. and, just as with Thanksgiving in Canada (which is a little earlier, when travel is more predictable), it’s a time for many people to consider all that they have to be thankful for and to be reminded that gratitude is good for our health. In fact it’s very good for our health. Just google “gratitude and health” and you’ll find out.

As it turns out, being kind to others is also good for your health, maybe even more so. You can google that as well! Engaging in kindness has all kinds of positive physical effects. Ongoing research shows that kindness can actually extend your life. It lowers your blood pressure, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps the immune system. Research shows that kindness can help you live longer and better, both in the giving of kindness and in being the recipient of kindness. And it all starts with the simple act of using a pleasant tone with others instead of a complaining or accusatory tone and treating others with respect. Shouldn’t be so hard.

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A new project finally begins

A new project means different things to different people. It could mean starting a new woodworking project, a new writing project, a new painting, a new garden plot, or maybe a new venture altogether, like beekeeping. Whatever you feel passionate about. For me it’s always a new quilt. Getting started again, regardless of your preferred area of creativity, is all about motivation.

I had lots of fun making a number of quilts in 2017 for many of my favourite people (my grandchildren!). Not the case in 2018 and 2019. Well, except for one. The motivation for that one was impossible to resist. One of our nieces, who had been a few months shy of 3 years old when I first met my husband(-to-be)’s family, became a grandmother in May of this year. A grandmother! And we had spent a lot of time with her daughter, the new mother, when she was a tiny thing, living for a short but sweet period of time in the same town together. She was the cutest thing ever. Now she had her own little daughter. Suddenly the idea of making a baby quilt had appeal. Lots of appeal.

Little sweetie on her quilt in June

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Making the Human Race Whole

From Barry Hopewell’s blog I Can’t Believe It!, with thanks.

A poem from Steve Taylor‘s November newsletter, with permission.

Make as many connections as you can
so that this broken world can become whole again.

It’s your responsibility
to radiate benevolence to everyone you meet
to be reckless with your friendliness
and surprise strangers with your openness
on behalf of the whole human race.

It’s your responsibility
to turn suspicion to trust, hostility to sympathy
to expose the absurdity of prejudice
to return hatred with implacable good will
until your enemies have no choice but to love you
on behalf of the whole human race.

It’s your responsibility
to free yourself from bitterness
and harness the healing power of forgiveness
to repair connections and re-establish bonds
that were broken by resentment years ago
on behalf of the whole human race.

It’s your responsibility
to make as many connections as you can
to open up channels of empathy
through which compassion can flow
until there are so many connections
across so many different networks
that finally, like the cells of a body,
billions of human beings will fuse together,
sensing their common source
and their common core.

Then a new identity will emerge, an overriding oneness,
a human race that is truly whole, at last.

Featured image of earth from NASA.

via Making the Human Race Whole — I can’t believe it!

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101 years of Remembrance Days: what we remember and what we keep forgetting

Last year, 100 years after the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, I posted this piece about the soldiers and sacrifices we remember and the lessons we seem to have forgotten. I am reposting it because it seems even more relevant a year on. The one thing at least some countries and their leaders had learned – sort of, kind of – in the unbelievable aftermath of two World Wars within a few decades, is that working together to solve problems and learning to compromise for the greater good has the capacity to engender peace and prosperity. Any expectation of government leaders working together on behalf of a greater good now seems to have run its course, at least with the current leadership of the world’s most powerful (and power hungry) countries.

As most of us pause this Remembrance Day weekend to remember those who sacrificed everything so that we could have freedom and peace, keep in mind how badly that dream of a peaceful and mutual understanding world has been lost in the past few years. Sad beyond belief.

This year, as always, I remember all of my parents’ Generation who fought in WWII, those soldiers who have served bravely in wars and similar extreme situations, none of which were of their making nor the innocent “enemy” citizens, and of my high school friend, George Cressy, who served so bravely in Vietnam.

Robby Robin's Journey

November 11, 2018. One hundred years since the signing of the. Armistice that ended World War I.  One hundred years of remembering the many, many sacrifices made by millions upon millions of people. Horrific sacrifices. Heartbreaking sacrifices. For far too many, the ultimate sacrifice. Sacrifices made by countless young people – on both “sides” – who had little or nothing to do with the decisions that led to the war in the first place.

What we remember

Every year in most towns and cities in Canada, and I assume most places in the western world, people of all generations come together to honour those who have served and those who have laid down their lives in past wars, especially WWI. Our town happens to be located in close proximity to Base Gagetown, the largest military training base in Canada, and as a result we have an extremely impressive and moving…

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Runfessions: Time to hang up the sneakers

In August I was full of both resolve and expectation. True, it hurt when I walked, but hardly at all when I ran. I committed to a few 5K and 10K races, and had 10 wonderful weeks this past summer spending time jogging along my hometown trails. Sure, in the back of my mind I wondered if it was really OK to keep running when walking was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, but what the heck. Whatever was wrong didn’t seem to bother me much when I was running.  However, the day after my first race in September (really a fun run rather than a race), the annual Terry Fox Run, my head won out over my heart – or maybe it was the ensuing pain that won out. At any rate, I knew it was time to go for full-time rest for a while. Now, after nearly two months of full-time rest I realize that this is more than just the usual running injury. It’s more of a “now I see why so many old(er) people walk with a limp” situation. It’s time to stop dwelling on when I can start running again. Instead it’s time to think about how fortunate I’ve been to have been able to have the past ten years of running. What a ride it’s been! Continue reading

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