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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Buying local keeps jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador. Even yours


Remember last winter when we were hit with power outages & snow storm after snow storm? The supermarket shelves were bare (except for whole wheat bread which everybody hate) because trucks couldn’t get across the gulf.

I started thinking about how sustainable are we as an island.

Should we be relying on the mainland to feed us?

What amazes me is, we are an island with 26,000 miles of coastline & thousands of miles of unused land. Yet we buy bacon from BC, potato chips from Ontario & bread from Winnipeg.  

I just visited our grandchildren in Alberta. Driving from Calgary to Edmonton I was fascinated by the number of farms there. Every piece of land is either growing crops or raising cows, goats, and pigs.

Surely Newfoundland and Labrador can do the same.

It seemed like every community I went to in Alberta had a specialty: A meat market where preservatives were not used, fresh vegetables pulled from the ground, locally made clothes and crafts.

It can be done here.

Look at Fogo Island. Who would have thought Fogo Island could be turned into a tourist destination for the rich and famous? It took the brilliant mind of Zita Cobb. Ms. Cobb should be the Minister of Municipal Affair and Environment, Natural Resources, Tourism and Culture, Finance. Hell, let her run the government.

Every community in this province should have a Zita Cobb.
Newfoundland and Labradors biggest export is intelligence. Our young people are leaving to find work elsewhere.

Just recently my daughter dragged me downtown to go shopping. The first thing I thought was ‘I hate downtown! The parking is terrible.’ I chastised myself for that afterwards. 

We went to this beautiful little boutique called, Ethereal Boutique, 199 New Gower Street. It’s owned and operated by 28-year-old Meagan Warren. She opened this classy boutique in September 2017. Her clothes are anywhere from daily wear to haute couture and all reasonably priced. Meagan is a young person trying to make a go of it in downtown St. John’s, an area that desperately needs to be revitalized. I easily found a parking spot right in front of her store. Buying a sweater from her instead of online means that she can work and live in this province as apposed to buying a sweater from China, where our money
leaves the province.

I admit I also shop on line but lately I have been more conscious of it. Maybe because my own sons had to go away to find work.

I am sure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians eat more potato chips than anyone else in the world. Then why aren’t we growing our own potatoes and making our own chips! Why, during every snow storm, must we run out to the supermarkets like maniacs to get the last bag of Smokey Bacon when the factory should be in The Goulds.

Why are we buying bread from a company located in Winnipeg? There are several local bakeries to buy bread from.

I know what you’re going to say. I can’t buy my groceries all over town, I’m too busy. I get that. I buy the Sobey’s locally made Newfoundland bread. Sure, Sobey’s is a national chain, but they sell products made by local companies and they employ local people to produce other goods, like bread.

We should be a self-sufficient island.

When a storm stops the ferries from crossing and shuts down the airports, it shouldn’t stop our food supply chain.

What would happen if a national crisis hit? Like a war where food would be distributed to the bigger centers first. Where it would be too expensive to burn the fuel to send trucks or planes to a remote island.

We need to utilize all this empty land around us. We need to support farmers and local businesses. We need more entrepreneurs like Zita Cobb and Meagan Warren.

We should not be reliant on trucks & ferries from the mainland to survive a snowstorm.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Welcome to the Canadian Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Department. This is Censorship at it’s finest & it needs to stop

The Nazis controlled people through censorship. 

So ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ is now pulled from some Canadian radio stations.
Come on!

I mean, seriously?

They think it promotes rape? Well maybe they are not listening to it properly. 

To me, that song talks about the how society keeps women in a chastity belt. She wants to stay with the guy but feels her reputation would be damaged if she did. This woman wants to break out of her girdle and wear a thong, but society tells her it’s wrong. Baby it’s Cold Outside is a women’s rights anthem!

So, what about Roy Orbison‘s, Pretty Woman, or Queen’s Fat Bottom Girls? You can’t pull Fat Bottom Girls, that’s my theme song!

Are we going to delete the entire playlist from the 1980s? Or the 70s or the 60’s? Will radio stations stop playing rap music all together?

Are we going to delete all songs that mention women as sexy beings? Or songs that offend women?

What about books that mention women in a derogatory way? Are we going to the library next to pull all the Danielle Steel books off the shelfs?

What about paintings that show women in the nude? Are we going to rip Henri Matisse, Blue Nude off the wall and ban it from public view?

Should we take all the CDs, books and paintings that depict women as nude, weak, and offensive, throw them all in a big pile in the centre of town and set them on fire?

Wait! We’ve been here before.

Censorship in Nazi Germany was extreme and strictly enforced by the governing Nazi Party, but specifically by Joseph Goebbels and his Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

This ministry tightly controlled information available to citizens. Almost all
A Nazi book burning
Modernist art, such as Impressionism and Expressionism, was considered degenerate art by the Nazi regime, and much modern music such as Jazz and Swing was also barred as degenerate music. Jewish composers like Mendelsohn and Schoenberg were also banned.

Amongst those authors and artists who were suppressed both during the Nazi book burnings and the attempt to destroy modernist fine art in the "degenerate" art exhibition were Ernest Hemingway. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh. They banned composers such as Gustav Mahler. They banned philosophers, scientists and sociologists such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.

We live in a world where ‘offended’ is a personality trait now. 

There are professional ‘offended’ people. These are people who devote their life to being offended everyday and make a living out of it by doing it on social media and getting picked up by the mainstream media. 

Like the people who get a Christmas classic like ‘Baby it’s cold outside’ banned from public airways.

Are companies like CBC, Rogers Media and Bell Media now allowing special interest groups to censor their playlists? Why can’t I, as a listener, decide if I want to hear it. If you don’t like it change the channel. 

So, are these radio stations now also banning all rap music and vetting every song they play to ensure it doesn’t offend someone?

Are we allowing special interest groups to be the new Nazis regime?

If a radio station or theatre production decides they want to play ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’, will these groups start protesting outside?

Wait isn’t that what trumps followers are doing now? They protest outside the house of journalists to stop them from telling the truth.

This is plain and simple censorship at it’s finest. 

I think CBC, Rogers and Bell are on a slippery slope right now. Once they give in to these professional protesters where does it stop?

They may find themselves out in the cold…. And Baby it’s Cold Outside.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

You’re not getting a gift for Christmas because you have everything!


Ya know what’s insane? People running up their credit cards or spending money

on gifts for people who don’t need anything.

I am one of those people. I don’t need anything (except from hubby. He can stop reading right now).

Please don’t buy me gingerbread scented body wash, cheap wine or pills to help me lose weight (Yes, you know who the frig you are).

And I won’t buy you anything. That’s a deal.

This is a notice to all my family and friends (except for Nancy because she buys me really weird cool stuff like a tissue container with our pictures all over it, which I still use).

I am not buying you anything if you’re an adult. I’ll buy for kids but that’s it.

Why?

Because I don’t know what you like, or what you need, or your size. Basically, you’re a grown ass adult so buy your own crap.

Seriously.

This year I am sending a Christmas card with this letter in it to each of our family members that says:

Merry Christmas
This year, I am letting you off the hook
I am not buying you a Christmas gift.
Please don't buy one for me or Robert 
(Kid are not included. Please give them gift cards from the mall, they hate everything)
Instead, come to my house on December __ and join us for a delicious supper & good company
Supper is our present to you,
Your attendance is your present to us.
We don’t need anything – you don’t need anything
So lets just enjoy the holiday without the pressure of extra shopping
Save your money. 
Seriously, you’re not getting a gift.


How will they react? I am sure some will get their knickers in a knot, but I don’t care. Most people will say “Thank God!”

I am not the Grinch, I just being realistic. I am tired of going into debt for other people, and I am horrified that someone is going into debt for me.

I wish I had thought of this when our kids were small. 

As two working parents, we would put toys on lay-a-way and pay them off for months. Every payday, I would buy a $25.00 Sobey’s gift cards starting in mid September. So, when December came, I would have the extra money for groceries and entertaining. We had to budget. As most families do.

Here’s the funny thing about Christmas. The mortgage is still due. Newfoundland Power still wants their money. The telephone and cable bill still has to be paid. Gas still has to go in the car. Insurance still has to be paid.

But your pay cheque still stays the same.

Families have no choice but to turn to credit cards and try to pay the debt off after Christmas. Which never happens.

On top of trying to give our kids a good Christmas, we would try to buy for our nieces and nephews. I have over 35 nieces and nephews! Count them. 35! I’m not kidding. I am the youngest of ten kids. Plus, my husband’s family.

On top of that, there’s the bus driver, the teacher, the dance teacher. I mean come off it. I pay dance over $1500 a year. She should be giving me a gift.

Where does it end?

Well, it ends right here. 

My gift to the adults in our lives will be a delicious holiday meal. Which by the way, will cost up to $300. Go price a steak. So, I am not cheaping out.

I am not going to lie and say that I'm donating to a charity in your name or buying you a goat in some African village. I'm simply not buying you a gift.

I’m letting you off the Christmas hook and asking you to let me off it too. 

Spend your money on your kids, or my kids, or your cat. I don’t care.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good credit rating.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Christmas makes me miss my friend Barbie. Do you miss her too?


All the Christmas toys lining the shelves at department stores makes me miss my

best friend, Barbie. She and I go way back. I loved her as a child and I still love her now.

The Christmas I remember the most was the one when Santa gave me the pink Barbie camper and the blow-up furniture. I lost my mind.

I couldn’t wait for the Sears Wish Book to come. I would flip to the toy section and see what was new in the Barbie world. I would cut out the pictures and give them to Mom, so she would know exactly what Santa needed to bring me.
My room was full of Barbie’s. This beautiful little doll introduced me to the world of fashion and shoes. I would spend hours combing her hair, dressing her and changing her shoes. To this day I claim I have a ‘Barbie foot’ because I wore high heels for so long.

Barbie inspired me. This single gal born in 1959 had it all and never needed a man. She was a teacher, a doctor, an astronaut, a police officer, a veterinarian and a business woman. You name it and she could do it.

 She had her own Barbie dream house, town house, pink sports car, camper, loads of furniture and all the clothes you could fit into her closet.

Then there was Ken. I mean come on. Every little girl knew Ken was Barbie’s gay best friend. Barbie never married. Ken was an accessory just like her shoes and purses.

Truth be told, my Barbie had a long fling with G.I. Joe that I stole from my brother. G.I. Joe would cruise over in his camouflage green jeep with those ripped stomach muscles and his kung-fu grip, and pick Barbie up for an exciting ride around my bedroom.

Oh, those romantic nights.

I had a huge Barbie wardrobe that was stuffed with every outfit and accessory Santa could find. And I played with her until I was about ten years old. Then someone told me I was too old to play with Barbie. It was the first time I realized there was an age limit on fun and imagination.  

I packed up my best friend and all her stuff and put her in my closet. But when no one was around I would take her out and comb her hair and change her clothes. I did that until I was about sixteen.

Then I convinced myself that I was cool to play with Barbie. I gave my entire collection to my Mother to give away.

I regret that decision.

When I gave birth to my daughter, Sabrina, the first thing I bought her was a Barbie. Throughout her childhood we would sit on the floor in her room changing Barbie’s clothes, combing her hair and changing her shoes. My daughter would make Barbie and Ken talk to each other and I would bring G.I. Joe over for old times sake. Every Christmas I would give her the most beautiful Barbie on the shelf. It was an annual shopping trip I looked forward to. I believe the doll was more for me than her sometimes.

Then she grew out of Barbie.

When she became a teenager, she packed up her Barbie collection and we gave them to a friend. I put the special ones in a showcase in my house.

I thought Barbie was gone from my life for ever. Now I have a granddaughter and she loves Barbie and I love buying Barbies for her. Sitting on the floor in her bedroom, combing Barbie’s hair brings me back to my Barbie’s and how much I loved playing with her.

Some critics claim little girls look at Barbie’s tiny waist and perky boobs (without the nipples) and feel their own body is inadequate. I am not one of those little girls.  I loved Barbie’s body and long plastic legs, but I knew she was a doll. I knew she was only real in my imagination.

Barbie never made me feel bad about my body. Fashion magazines did that.
Barbie made me celebrate who I am. She allowed me to be a little girl that played with dolls and developed her imagination.

When I was with the RCMP as their Senior Communications Strategist, Mattel came out with the Barbie Mountie. I was thrilled. I picked one up and she sat on my desk for the longest time. Even though the uniform was wrong, and her boots had high heels, I still loved her. She sat next to my computer with that ‘you got this girl’ smile on her face. Every now and then, I would pick her up and comb her long hair down over her iconic red uniform (which is against protocol to wear your hair like than when in uniform). When I retired, a co-worker asked if she could buy Mountie Barbie for her little girl. They were hard to get. So, I gave her my doll.

I regret that. I wish I had Mountie Barbie back.

I love seeing parents putting the latest Barbie in their shopping carts, knowing that Santa is going to give it to some little child for Christmas. When I visit friends during the holidays and I see a Barbie, I can’t help but pick her up and say, ‘Hi. Remember me?”

When I think about it, Barbie did influence my life. I love fashion, especially shoes. I love getting dressed up and driving around in my sports car. I love make-up and doing my hair. I have had several great careers. Now I am using my imagination to write blogs and best-selling novels.

You know what? I am a grown-up Barbie.  I live in my dream house and married my G.I. Joe. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. Life is plastic it’s fantastic. Come on Barbie, let's go party!


Friday, August 31, 2018

Operation Wormwood: We must be vigilant when it comes to stopping the sexual abuse of children


I find it frustrating that celebrities who know nothing about the culture of
Newfoundland and Labrador, will come here to sit on an ice flow and save the seals … and of course, get their pictures taken by the media.

But ask a celebrity to be the face of the sexual torture of children, and the answer is most times… No. That would not be good for their careers to be associated with something so dark.

The #metoo movement is finally shining a light on it. Or I should say, ‘at it’, not ‘on it.’ In my opinion the #metoo movement started out as a good thing but the light quickly faded as those who claimed to be victims also had accusations of sexual misconduct against them. Then those who were raped became over shadowed by those who were whistled at. Then the conversation about sexual assault became old very fast. 

Since Operation Wormwood has been released, I have a conversation regarding child sexual abuse almost ever day. We need to get this out of the dark corners of life and shine a light on it.

The sexual abuse and torture of children is not a thing of the past. Everyday there is a story in the media about someone charged with child pornography, child luring, and/or the sexual assault of a child. It seems like it is getting worse, not better.

The internet has brought strangers into our homes, and into the bedrooms of our children. Read the media stories from our own country about children dying by suicide because they were lured into giving sexually explicit pictures of themselves to a stranger they met on line, who then blackmailed them.
We do not have the luxury of thinking, “It can’t happen to me.”

I believe the reasons you are hearing about it more is because children are being educated in schools about ‘good touch – bad touch’. Police Officers are given the tools they need to hunt down the “on line” predators.  Adults and parents are more vigilant; victims are not afraid to speak out and families are no longer willing to protect the pedophile.

This is a good thing.

I was recently at a book signing and a lady I did not know walked up to me and said, “I read your book. Please tell me Wormwood is real.”

I answered, “I wish I could.” She thanked me for bringing the subject matter to the forefront. I wrote this book to give vengeance to victims and create paranoia among pedophiles. I truly hope it gives victims of sexual abuse some type of closure and I hope it puts the fear of God in abusers.

At another signing, a young lady gave me her book to sign. I could tell from the way she was looking at me that she wanted to say something. I asked her what she had heard about the book and we had a brief discussion. There was a line up of people behind her waiting to have their book signed. Although I wanted to ask her what was on her mind, I didn’t want to encourage her to talk about it in front of strangers. She slowly walked away with the book in her hand. I can’t stop thinking about her.

I realize that this book will have some triggers for those who suffered abuse. I’ve had a few police officers tell me there were triggers for them in Operation Wormwood as well. I was very careful not to sensationalize the sexual abuse of children in this book, and I do not go into detail. But there was no way to tell the story without vaguely eluding to it.

The idea for Operation Wormwood came about as I struggled with a deep theological question myself: Why does evil against the most vulnerable go unpunished by a loving, all powerful God?

Every Saturday, I would sit in church praising God, then Monday morning I would sit at my desk as the RCMP’s senior communications strategist in NL, reading reports that proved he did not exist.

So, to answer the question I get the most: Is Wormwood a real disease? I only wish it was.

For those who have suffered through child abuse, or any type of abuse, I ask that you please take care of yourself and reach out for help. Here is a list of available help for you.

Canadian Mental Health Association https://cmha.ca/
Mental Health Crisis Line NL (709) 737-4668
THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE? There are many crisis centres available 24 hours a day to talk to you. https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/
Find a Psychology Provider http://www.apnl.ca
NL SEXUAL ASSAULT CRISIS & PREVENTION CENTRE http://nlsacpc.com/ 1-800-726-2743