Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Sumas Christmas tree lighting Dec 07 2015


December 09, 2015

Robert & I went to the Sumas Christmas tree lighting at Sumas park Monday night, December 07th. I made 2 different videos, & created a video from the photos I took, using Photostory 3 (which is a free download from Microsoft). I then edited the 3 videos together, using Movie Maker (also a freebie from Microsoft). To the photostory I added a piece of free music I obtained from www.freexmasmp3.com

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Thursday November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Now that we are done with turkey day, it's time for me to start getting ready for Christmas!
My husband & I took a couple of cute photos on Monday when we were in Bellingham at Bellis Fair mall. 

And today we took some new photos together & I designed some new Christmas cards.


I made this one at:
This one came from this site: 
Another favourite site of mine is:

And this is my very favourite:



Tomorrow I will be posting Christmas TV shows & movies
that are available on YouTube, for those of us who have the internet but no longer have cable.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I had an interesting epiphany, an "ah-ha!"  moment of sorts, after a conversation I had with my husband. We were discussing deism, atheism & being agnostic.

A little personal background:
Growing up, my parents were what I call lukewarm Christians. We went to the Christmas eve service & Easter Sunday service. And my mother briefly attempted to get me to go to Sunday school, I got kicked out for swearing at the Sunday school teacher, who was also the pastor's wife. My mother got so weird & freaked out at my refusal to believe in God based on her say-so, I actually asked my father if she was from Nelson (a large nearby city, the nearest to my hometown with a mental hospital). 

When I was 16, I was hitchhiking across the US & spent most of the summer in San Fransisco. I met a guy from my hometown at the local Buddhist temple (they gave out free vegetarian sandwiches for lunch, every day). We talked a lot, he loaned me several books on Buddha & Buddhism. By the end of the summer I knew what I was , I was a Buddhist. It didn't seem to clash with my atheism, so I suppose I considered myself a hybrid of sorts, a Buddhist/atheist. I didn't think to ask about Buddhist temples in Canada, I just assumed there was none & so I would have to simply practice alone unless I decided in the future to return to the US. I am not sure why I assumed that, perhaps because I thought that the US was cooler than Canada, more open-minded. I was very pleased when I was 19, to discover that there are a number of Buddhist temples in the Vancouver area.

So, the other day we're having this discussion about beliefs & he asked me how I could be sure there was no God, & if so what proof did I have? That got me thinking & what I finally came up with is this: I suppose whether I would be considered an atheist or an agnostic, would depend on the definition of God you were using, as a basis for the question. Is it possible, even if very unlikely, that the Universe was created by some Supreme Being? It depends on the definition. If you are asking me if I believe the Universe was created by the God depicted in the Bible, FUCK NO!!!! I've read the Bible & I cannot wrap my head around the idea of someone that evil, creating us & supposedly loving us. Is a Creator possible? I don't know, maybe. So perhaps I am more an agnostic than atheist.

What I am absolutely certain of, is this whole subject makes my brain hurt.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

September 19, 2015

Had an interesting mishap while experimenting with a new canning recipe. I found a recipe online somewhere (I can't remember where, sorry) for a copycat Frank's hot sauce. I have been meaning to try this for a long time. But I just ran out, which combined with the time of year (canning season) made this the opportune time to try it out. I generally mix different types of peppers together when making hot sauce, salsa or any other spicy foods.

I checked several local veggie stores & picked up a good sized quantity of hot peppers (India chilis), in both red & green. I decided to make 2 separate batches, to see what I though of the differences.

I live in an apartment, so the kitchen has no windows & the living room window isn't accessible right now, as we still have the A/C installed there. I got the vinegar, garlic, salt & peppers boiling & suddenly realized the air was getting SPICY!!! I had to run the vent fan for a couple of hours & I could still (faintly) smell it! 
I have been canning for over 20 years & I have to admit, I felt pretty silly.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015

There are 2 things I have had on my mind a lot lately, partly because of things on the news, online, Facebook, etc. One is trans* rights & the other is the issue of "religious freedom"  vs marriage equality.

I am no expert on the medical issues of gender dysphoria (previously known as gender identity disorder), but I have had several friends who are trans women (MTF).  Which gives me a little knowledge & insight.

I've read  Janet Mock's wonderful biography "Redefining Realness", & watched many TV shows & YouTube videos of Laverne Cox & Jazz Jennings. I have watched the entire 1st season of "I am Jazz". which is brilliant, thoughtful & insightful.

The thing that I found the most disturbing & frightening is that over 40% of trans adults have attempted suicide. Studies have shown that the rate is substantially lower where the transgender person has the support of family & friends. Tragically, this often does not happen. In fact, approximately 40% of homeless youth are LGBT.

If nothing else could convince me that these kids need our help & support, the death of Leelah Alcorn certainly did. 






Now, on the subject of marriage equality & religious freedom. I really am finding the viewpoint of some of these magistrates, judges & count clerks difficult to fathom. They are public servants, paid with taxpayer dollars & gay people pay taxes just like the rest of us. The US Supreme Court  has decided that marriage equality is now the law of the land.
Like the US Constitution's 1st Amendment, Canada wrote specific protections for religious officials into the new marriage equality laws in 2005. As far as I know, there hasn't been any difficulties in that regard in the last 10 years. I just don't understand why people can't seem to separate their religious views from their professional responsibilities.


Other people's marriages have no effect on you, so either do your job or if you cannot in good conscience do so, quit. Retire, go to school to become a minister, or choose a job where your anti-gay bigotry will not be a hindrance to your performance of your duties. 

I saw this video on YouTube & it strongly inspired me, to what the world could be like, if we ended prejudice, bigotry & hate:

To wrap up this blog post, I'll finish with this article on Huffington Post by Reverend Emily C. Heath, on religious liberty, that really speaks to the heart of this issue, in my opinion.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/religious-liberty-marriage-licence_b_7985894.html?fb_action_ids=10155900587705062&fb_action_types=og.likes

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015


OMFG!! It's that time of the year again! Canning time! 
I got a wonderful deal from the farmer's market this past Sunday (the 16th), 2 - 25 pound boxes for $25, I also bought several bags of tomatoes marked down (I always go late in the day, just before they start packing up). He also gave me another 5 bags of the yellow tomatoes for free!
So, probably about 60 pounds altogether. Quite a haul for me to lug home on the bus in my little shopping cart.

So, I made salsa by straining the yellow tomatoes & I ended up with 6 pints of salsa & about 1 liter of juice (they were very juicy!). Very weird looking, but amazingly delicious! I already drank the entire liter of juice!
Here's a photo:

I canned 12 - 1 liter jars of tomatoes yesterday & am just finishing 6 more. And one went straight in the fridge, no processing necessary, as they'll be eaten in short order.

I made 5 jars of refrigerator pickles using my grand mother's recipes, with minor modifications. I started making refrigerator pickles about 2 years ago, because my pickles were delicious, but never crunchy. Which made me sad.

For the last 2 years I have been making refrigerator pickles using Japanese cucumbers, which I figured might work better for pickles that would not be processed. If you are not familiar with Japanese cucumbers, they look like tiny baby long English cucumbers. Taste similar, as well.  But like their large English cousins, they have a softer skin & a milder flavour. 
But this year, I am going to use the modified recipe & regular pickling cucumbers.
I marked the date I put them in the fridge (yesterday), but I am not sure how much time to give them. The Japanese cucumbers had a thinner skin, so logically these might take longer. But how much longer? My grand mother's recipe said to wait 6 weeks, but that was for the processed kind, so these might take longer? I am not sure. I'll figure it out.

Update: 
I got some more pickling cucumbers for free from the Salvation Army the other day, many of them curly, so they wouldn't fit in a jar very well. So I sliced them very thinly half-peeled them & made a jar for the refrigerator. They were ready & quite delicious in only 1 week! 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

I believe that most of you know that I suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a concussion, in a car crash 7 years ago. It's changed my life in a lot of ways & I wanted to share some of that journey. 

I've learned a lot from other TBI survivors, several people I discovered through my own online research (the lawyer that represented me against ICBC, suggested it).

One is Micah Jones, she started "Brainsong, the Micah Jones foundation" which avocates for women with traumatic brain injuries. You can find her on YouTube, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DaWtcB9rUE
or her foundations website here:  http://www.brainsong.org/
or on Facebook, here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/BrainSong-The-Micah-Jones-Foundation/187485431292692?fref=ts

Another is Melissa Anderson Wanna, you can find her video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP1iKqcGfD8

I am working on a video for YouTube, as soon as it is online, I will add the link here.

I just found a very exciting article on rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/blog/breakingnews/pages/post.aspx?PostID=316

Thursday, 4 June 2015

I am reviewing a new product for Smiley360,  Centrum® MultiGummies Multivitamins, a great tasting and easy to take multivitamin.

I just got an email that they are in the mail & on their way. I will be writing a review & sharing here & on Facebook. Here's alink, if you want more information:  http://h5.sml360.com/-/101r8

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

April 22, 2015

I haven't been spending much time on my blog lately,& yesterday it occurred to me that I spent a huge amount of time on Facebook, but it can be difficult to find posts later. It occurred to me, that I should also be sharing some of the amazing stuff I find, on here.

Ways to reduce food waste:  http://www.mrfood.com/blog/mf/how-to-reduce-food-waste-for-earth-day/

Here's a wonderful article on conserving & using rainwater:  http://www.upworthy.com/she-came-up-with-an-invention-to-save-12-million-people-genius-kinda?g=2&c=reconDFP&fb_ref=Default

An interesting new article on cleaning water: http://www.aol.com/article/2015/10/13/this-incredible-contraption-has-removed-more-than-6-million-ciga/21248603/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00001348

And here's another article about how difficult water can be to get, for some people in this world:  http://www.upworthy.com/her-name-is-gertrude-mamba-here-is-her-story-brace-yourself?c=reccon1

An article on a famous rock star, who is helping people in his area:  http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/stories/at-bon-jovis-soul-kitchen-you-can-pay-it-forward-or-pay-with

Another article, this one about a Baltimore restaurant owner's opting out of "restaurant week" in July 2015 to feed the homeless instead: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/06/homeless-restaurant-week_n_7715644.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063


At the Dandelion Noodle restaurant in South Korea, the customers are either homeless or struggling financially. The owner Youngnam Suh doesn’t charge them a single penny. A devout Catholic, he operates the restaurant this way based on his religious beliefs.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/30/south-korea-priest-restaurant-poor_n_6036684.html

In response to a European Union directive to divert waste from landfills, local governments across the continent have had to come up with ways to meet the target goals or else face large fines. In France, the microscopic town of PincĂ© (population: 206) has come up with a particularly creative and logical solution: Backyard chickens for all.  http://transitionvoice.com/2012/08/three-french-hens/

Elon Musk's brother Kimbal Musk  is attempting to revolutionize the food system. http://www.alternet.org/food/elon-musks-brother-wants-revolutionize-our-food-system
 Here's a very interesting article on an 800 year old archaeological find on the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin: http://www.littlethings.com/gete-okosomin-big-old-squash-v1/?utm_source=free&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=misc
Here's an amazing article about a man who has spent over 30 years growing a forest, to help & protect animals in his native India, starting when he was in his teens.
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/indian-man-single-handedly-plants-a-1360-acre-forest

And here is an adorable story & video about a stray calico cat who wandered into Russia's Leningrad Zoo & became friends with a lynx: http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/videos/stray-cat-walks-into-a-zoo-and-a-friendship-is-born

This article is interesting: The "no-mow" movement is gaining steam, and I've joined it, after I've had the luck to see firsthand how beautiful a natural meadow can be."
http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/why-ill-never-have-lawn-again

Here a terrific article on simplifying your life.
http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/stories/the-seven-stones-of-simpler-living

Here's an interesting article on life/work choices: http://www.bbncommunity.com/imagine-living-a-life-you-dont-need-to-escape-from/

New ideas on growing food:  http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/how-to-farm-without-a-field

We need at least one of these amazing unique trees, in every city!!
http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/mysterious-tree-can-grow-over-40-different-kinds-fruit
                                        And I wish every city had a park like this, as well.


Here's a wonderful article about a town in England, that has started a program to grow food all over town, that anyone can have for free.
" Incredible Edible is about so much more than a plot of veg. It's about education people about food & stimulating the local economy. There are lessons in pickling and preserving fruits, courses on bread-making, and the local college is to offer a BTEC in horticulture. The thinking is that young people who have grown up among the street veg may make a career in food. Crucially, the scheme is also about helping local businesses. The Bear, a wonderful shop and cafe with a magnificent original Victorian frontage, sources all its ingredients from farmers within a 30-mile radius."

Here's one on starting your own hydroponic garden:  http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/how-to-start-your-own-hydroponic-garden

Here's one link to a woman on YouTube who has dozens of video articles on small houses & living off the grid.  https://www.youtube.com/user/kirstendirksen/videos

Ikea's newly designed shelters for refugees:  http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/04/10/ikea-refugee-shelters-iraq?cmpid=tp-ptnr-policymic

Purdue students invent innovative. weather-resistant shelter for  disaster victims:  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/outreach/2010/100322SmithUbershelter.html

Have you ever consider having your cremains made into diamonds? I found 2 companies that are doing this.  http://www.lifegem.com/

http://www.cremationsolutions.com/cremation-jewelry-for-ashes/cremation-diamonds-made-ashes/four-cs-cremation-diamonds/

Or these beautiful pendants?  http://mentalfloss.com/article/62615/artist-turns-ashes-beautiful-pendants

Here's an interesting article on why native men wear their hair long:
http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/the-truth-about-long-hair-spiritual-power-and-why-natives-wore-their-hair-long/

Did you know that bras don't really work? This study may be enlightening: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/bras-dont-actually-work-says-french-study
And here's some interesting tidbits on bras & breast health:  http://www.007b.com/bras_bare_facts.php
And another one:  http://all-natural.com/bras.html
And one more: http://chetday.com/breastcancerandbras.htm
And while we are on the subject, why was it considered news on October 16 2015, that Iggy Azalea wore a pretty (albeit somewhat revealing) shirt at LAX (airport):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/iggy-azalea-low-cut-shirt-airport_5620ea4ae4b06462a13b951b

Here's an interesting article on cultural acceptance of women's equality, as perceived through the lens of toplessness:  http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/09/montreal-woman-walks-topless-on-saint-catherine-street/

And, in case you were wondering, some cool information on Go Topless Day & nudity laws that discriminate against women.  The next go topless day is Sunday August 23, 2015.  http://gotopless.org/gotopless-day

The truth about religion in American, we were never a Christian nation:
http://www.alternet.org/story/155890/the_truth_about_religion_in_america%3A_the_founders_loathed_superstition_and_we_were_never_a_christian_nation?sc=fb

A young man's innovative invention, helping to deal with plastic pollution:
http://www.iflscience.com/environment/20-year-old-launch-world-s-first-ocean-cleaning-system-2016

The French government plans to pave 621 miles of its roads with solar panels in the next five years — providing power to about 5 million people.
http://ecowatch.com/2016/02/01/wattway-solar-road/

This is the most amazing & wonderful use for a closed WalMart building:
https://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/04/1362304/-Texas-town-comes-up-with-the-best-use-for-an-old-Walmart?detail=emailclassic

Here's a wonderful article on a Vancouver artist's series on modern society & faith.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/11/06/dina-goldstein-gods-of-suburbia-photos_n_6117140.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000051&ir=Religion&fb_ref=Default&fb_source=message

And here's a hilarious play about Obamacare; by Dan Savage: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/10/16/jesus-and-the-huge-asshole

I will add more articles later. Enjoy!!

I enjoy a variety of different survey groups, sampling groups & focus groups; including Smiley 360.
http://h5.sml360.com/-/zk7q
April 21. 2015

There's a cool place in Sumas called SuperDuper, it's a truck stop/convenience store. It's got good prices & has some wonderful deals if you buy gas there. Robert was shopping there last week & got some tokens for this cool crane-style game, like you might see at Playland at the PNE. If you pick up the block of cheese or butter & drop it down the chute, you win! 


I won a 2 pound block of Pepper Jack cheese!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wow, I was sending a link to my blog to a friend & suddenly realized that I haven't made a single post yet, this year. I have been blogging since June 2013 (I think, some of the early posts, I didn't date), so it hasn't become a habit yet.

Robert & I celebrated our 4th anniversary on January 4th. It was wonderful, there was still snow. We had lunch at our favourite little restaurant "El Nopal", in Sumas.

We had some beautiful sunny, warm weather in January, as well. And I've been experimenting, learning about new Sony camera, which also takes panoramics! 

Sumas is a pretty little town. We've enjoyed walking around exploring. (Feb/2015)


Some new photos that Robert & I have edited using a cool new program for the I-pad, called Snapseed. 





And some cute Easter frames.