The blessings of blooms

My daughter had wanted to buy flowers for the balcony for me for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately living in the Northern part of the province makes planting flowers unwise until after the 24th of May when there is less chance of frost. However, last weekend it seemed safe enough to take a chance and we brought home enough plants to start the “veritable jungle” my daughter wanted the balcony to be. I am quite happy with the results. Unlike last year when every flower was a shade of purple this year we have an assortment of colors and flowers.

There are more, but you get the drift of it, I’m sure. It is so lovely to sit with my morning tea on the balcony, amid the splendor and the blessings of blooms and listening to birdsong to start my day. The colors are vibrant and their beauty so good for my soul. Some are large and showy while others, like shy violets and tiny for-get-me-nots herald their blessings humbly.

I hope wherever you live on this beautiful planet that you are able to enjoy the blessings of blooms.

Thinking of you

I do think of all the lovely people I have “met” here, and sincerely wish nothing but the best for each and every one of you. Many years ago a friend gave me a bracelet with the following little rhyme etched into it: “Remember ‘A’; Remember ‘B’; But ‘C’ that you remember me”. That was decades ago. I still remember that friend with much fondness and affection. I hope you’re all enjoying the blessings that each day brings, if we have eyes to recognize them. Wheresoever you are on this little blue marble please know your kindnesses are remembered and I wish you an abundance of blessings to carry you through whatever life has dealt you at this moment in time.

Ping back: Asking questions

Sadje over at Keep it Live posted this about asking questions:

I do not believe there is any such thing as a “stupid” question. Like Sadje, I can ask very obvious questions. A lot of times it is simply me trying to work something out, often it helps me to talk out loud.

We cannot learn without asking questions. I believe every question has an answer. Every riddle has an answer, even if we struggle to understand them. Sometimes it is only in hind sight that we gain understanding.

I am sure I drove my mother, father, and siblings to distraction with my many questions as a child. Today I am more apt to ask myself a zillion questions, especially wham I am learning something new. And I do love to learn new things, even if sometimes it leads to a lot of frustration until I have the answers I’m seeking.

Spending time with children can be so delightful as they seek to discover the answers to life’s quagmires. They help me see this life through their eyes – eyes of wonder and curiosity.

Some questions simply do not have an answer, the big, profound questions about life: Why am I here? is there a God? Why is there so much evil in this world? Those questions are a matter of personal faith, but even these give an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth.

No, there is no such thing as a stupid question!

Apple Blossoms and more

Tomorrow marks my first Mothers’ Day without hubby – so many firsts, all of them somewhat difficult. In addition to that challenge is the weather and the explosion of wildfires in the province. We lived through horrific wildfires in 2016 and my heart goes out to the people in the communities that have been evacuated.

The smoke was intense here today as winds carry the smoke across the province and across the country. The niggling little worry that it could happen here again is ever-present. It comes in the spring of every year. As in 2016 we are having hotter than usual weather, although cooler temperatures are forecast for the middle of next week. I’d just like it to rain- a lot! We had such a mild winter with very little snowfall and a very dry spring – perfect conditions for wildfires to occur.

On a brighter note, the apple blossoms are out in full force and so beautiful. Some of our city streets are lined with crap apple trees, making for a lovely drive about town.

I took this photograph in my son’s yard, which also has a lot of apple trees, the birds love them!

I wish all the Mothers reading this a very Happy Mothers’ Day, may you be abundantly blessed!

Another day, another fifty cents?

I know I haven’t been active here. I’ve been working a lot more of late and visiting my son when I’m not working. Work! There used to be a saying, Another day, another dollar, relating to the need to work to get the money you need for life’s various expenses i.e. shelter, food, clothing, etc. etc. I figure with inflation it’s more like fifty cents these days. *Shrug*

At any rate I thought I’d pop by to share this image of the sunset last evening. I had to pull over to get it. This is just one more instance where the loss of hubby hits home. When he was alive he’d drive so I could capture images from the window in the car. Yeah, I miss him, and likely always will.

Red Dress Day to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: May 5th

Today is Red Dress Day in Canada. It’s a day set aside to remember and honour the many women and girls who have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada. In our little city alone there have been nine women either murdered or are missing. NINE women!!!! That’s nine too many – even one would be too many. One of the victims was a frequent patron of the library where I work. I remember her. Her remains were found in a wooded area of the city and her family placed a memorial there to honour her.

My son and I came across the memorial while walking the nature trail. Among the items placed there is a letter from one of her children. It is heartbreaking to read it.

What message are we sending the children of the victims? It makes me wonder.

I think it is important to remember these are real people with family and friends who miss them terribly. Each name is more than a statistic. Each one a reminder of how justice has not been served. A reminder of the loss their families, friends and communities have suffered, and continue to suffer. And it is a reminder that more must be done; that justice denied one is justice denied us all.

If you’d like to learn more, Keetsahnak: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters is a compilation of stories written by family members and academics exploring the root causes of violence and the inherent difficulties involved in resolving them.

Medium (Spirit Talker)

Not all that long before he died my husband said to me, “If anything happens to me go see a reader so I can get a message to you.” Now I have never been to a reader in my life and I stressed this fact to him. “When have you ever known me to do such a thing?” I asked him. My husband’s family are great believers in mediums, readers, or whatever title you wish to apply. I, on the other hand, was raised Catholic and with a strong view that one’s feet should be firmly planted on the ground. I am basically pragmatic when it comes to this stuff.

Several months after he died I saw an advertisement on social media. A reader, a.k.a. Medium, a.k.a. Spirit Talker, was coming to town. His name is Shawn Leonard and he has a t.v. show on APTN called Spirit Talker. It is a show I often watched with my hubby. While I am not a big believer in mediums I took it as a sign and bought tickets for myself and my daughter. I can be cynical about this stuff because it is so easy these days to learn a lot about a person just by visiting their social media pages. Despite all that I was hopeful that my husband would come through.

During the event the Spirit Talker (as they are known to indigenous people) would start talking about a person by name and would describe things that he was apparently being told about by the deceased person. Inevitably someone would stand up claiming that the person he was speaking of was their loved one and the reading would proceed.

If Randy was there he never came through.

Grief is a tricky monster, and I, like many going through this process, would be delighted to “hear” from my loved ones, especially my hubby. Sometimes I wonder about the people who do these things. Are they in it strictly for the money or do they genuinely want to help others? I’ve always felt that there are people who are very tuned in to the other side, but more so in a spiritual way than in the way of fortune tellers and the like.

Despite my skepticism I did leave with a profound sense of comfort and peace. I do believe the Creator speaks to us through others and through nature itself. I believe in the power of prayer. I have been strengthened again and again by the Divine One; the Creator; the higher power, by whatever name you choose to call it. I believe we do go on after we leave this earth. And, I believe our loved ones are fully healed on the other side, that they no longer suffer in any way. But we miss them terribly and in our vulnerability we seek signs that they are okay, that we’ll be okay, and we will.

If you are suffering through grief I pray you find solace, comfort and peace. I carry Randy with me in my heart. I know you carry your loved ones as well. Wherever you are on this planet and whatever your belief system, know you are never, ever alone. I wish you an abundance of blessings as you travel this painful road to healing.

The Happy Baker, artificial intelligence, and ChatGPT; what’s it all about?

Awesome article well worth the read! Great job, Jane!

Robby Robin's Journey

Concerns about advanced AI (artificial intelligence) taking over the world as we know it have become front and center since the arrival of the incredibly impressive AI chatbot, ChatGPT. Before we get into ChatGPT itself, let’s use a very simple example of AI in everyday life to start our look at the reality and possible dangers of advances in AI.

Nearly all of us spend embarrassing amounts of time using the virtual keyboards on our phones and iPads to text, email, and, for us bloggers, to comment on blog posts. Nearly all of us notice that the suggestion bar at the top of the virtual keyboard is pretty good at predicting what our next word is likely to be; sometimes it seems a bit freaky. For example, if you key ‘Happy’, ‘birthday’ is one of the immediate suggestions for your next word.

The other day I keyed  ‘Happy’ in a…

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Saturday mornings at the library

Weekends at the library are often very busy and I usually work Saturday mornings. I am generally fairly tired at the end of my shift but oh how I enjoy the little ones who come to “rise and shine”. Our program services offer something for every age group, Saturday mornings is for the really wee ones and it is always such a joy to see excited little children race into the library all revved up for the story and song. The program usually includes a craft as well.

After the program they visit the desk where I work to check out their books and to be given a sticker. when I asked one little boy if he’d like a sticker he responded, “Oh, no thank you, but I will come to get one tomorrow”. It made me chuckle. He was very sincere and very polite and all of maybe four years old. And this, my friends, is why I love my job. Yes, it was a very good day.

Swirling Northern Lights

Canada was treated to the spectacle of gorgeous Northern Lights on this past Friday night, unfortunately I had to work Saturday morning and could not stay up to take them in. I have seen images captured from the East Coast and across the country to the West coast. That’s a rarity, for sure. I was sorry I missed them.

I was having trouble sleeping last night, which proved to be a blessing in disguise. I was lucky to capture another night of bright images, perhaps not as spectacular as they were the night before, but always a joy to see nevertheless.

Natural wonders, earthly miracles, wonderful to behold, and all free – the best things in life are free, so the saying goes and when it comes to the Northern Lights I have to agree.