Category Archives: musings

A Dodgy Summer

It has been a rather dodgy spring and summer also has had an interesting start. Well, not really. Kind of alternating. A couple of days of cold rain followed by a couple of days of sweltering humidity. Really unattractive.

But …

There have been wild roses.

And interesting clouds.

And panting northern hot dogs.

And lots of green growing.

And more wild roses.

But my, it’s been rainy and humid and cold.

Not the best spring/summer, but lots to appreciate.

How about yours where you live?

Trumpian Pee Soup and Other Political Delights

Trump has insulted our prime minister. Badly. He called PM Trudeau “weak,” “meek and mild” and “dishonest.” One of Trump’s advisers even went so far as to proclaim that there is a “special place in hell” for Trudeau.

Now, no matter what your political stripe, that kind of unregulated and moronic loudmouthery is something that will unite this country faster than you can say Jacques Robinson. That’s because, love him or hate him, Trudeau is ours. In other words, we can criticise him, but American political hypocrites who project their personality issues onto others can’t. That’s not allowed.

And then to tell us that we’ll pay??? Gall darnit, now you’ve really done it.

A riled Canadian is not a pretty sight. And although that whole “polite and nice” bit is mostly a stereotype, angry and pissed is not our natural setpoint either.

Just wait and see.

How Canadian is this?

So, right now there’s a movement to boycott all American products and services.

Buy Canadian!!

Or, buy anyone else’s products but theirs.

I was thinking about this. We could do it. It would require some pretzelling, but we could.

And we’d probably be healthier and smarter.

Just think, no more Coke, Twinkies, or Doritos.

No more desperate housewives from? Hmmm. Not sure what city they’re from. But they’re desperate, they’re from the States, and watching them will make you want to lick your own eyeballs.

No more smarmy bachelors and bachelorettes who look like they have been built from a kit.

No more cross-border hockey.

Really?

Well, if all the Canadians left, many of the teams would collapse. But at least the season would be over before May. May hockey is just wrong.

No more internet.

Wha???

Actually, we can calm down about that one. It was the result of a rather large, world-wide collaboration that was constructed, layer by layer, on the work and ideas of many, including Nicola Tesla. At various stages, American interests put money into it, but so did a number of other nationalities. However, what we think of as today’s internet was invented by a British guy named Tim Berners-Lee.

There. It’s okay. The internet is not “owned” by the US.

So yes. We could probably live without US products.

But the problem is, I don’t think we want to and that sentiment is about an awful lot more than just stuff.

We’re pissed because a good friend has done the equivalent of announce to the world that one of us farted a big one during dinner and that the bed we offered had bugs. Except these would be total lies. Actually, it was Donnie who peed in the soup – figuratively, that is.

We’re pissed because our veterans have been slighted.

We’re pissed because we’ve been deemed a security risk over the War of 1812.

Really??? Donnie, you baby brain, are you seriously serious?

We want things to go back to how they were. Yes, there was the occasional squabble, but there was never anything serious.

We got along, visited each other, intermarried, tried each other’s food and culture and books and watched each other’s sports, and yes, ridiculous tv shows.

For the most part, we’ve always been pretty chummy.

But now, everyone feels awkward and embarrassed. People are taking it upon themselves to apologise for a leader they probably never voted for and of whom they are ashamed.

A pretty great relationship has become an uncomfortable side hug.

But for as pissed as Canadians might be at the moment, please remember that we’re pissed at Trump and his entourage of peckerwoods. We’re not pissed at you.

We know that the majority of Americans didn’t vote for him. We know that many of those who did felt that they were doing the right thing.

I just hope that underneath the orange glow that’s emanating from your direction, we’re really still friends, and will continue to be friends, long after the Trumpian morass has been consigned to the past.

Now it’s your turn. How do you see it?

Where’s Home?

When you think of home, what do you think about?

Is it a town? A city? A building?

Is it being in the same place with your significant other?

Or is it a state of mind?

The melting ice of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories.

Do you have to leave it in order to recognise it? To know that it’s home and it’s where you belong?

I left “home” many years ago. So many places have now been “home” that I don’t really think of it any more as a place.

You can’t go home again. That is the title of a novel by Thomas Wolfe. In it, the idea of home is explored, but there are no definitive answers.

Once you leave home, does home become a construct? Is it an illusion? A sentiment? If what you experienced as home still exists, is it the same? Or was it ever what you thought it was?

I think of home as a place in my head. I don’t always recognise it, but I know it when I feel it. The land where I now spend my working life is a type of home, but I also know that it isn’t home.

Some people can’t wait to get back home. They will only leave it temporarily, if they do at all.

I couldn’t wait to leave home. I wanted nothing to do with it and got as far away from it as I could, both physically and emotionally. I had to find my own concept of home, and did so by exploring the homes of many others. I travelled a lot, both throughout Canada and the world.

And what I found was that the idea of home held a great number of commonalities across ethnicities, countries, religions and regions. It was often about a familiar group of people doing familiar things in an environment that, for the most part, held few surprises, even if there was a war going on. In fact, the notion of emphasising their familiarities was even more pronounced if there WAS a war going on.

So, maybe home is about expectations. We expect certain people to be doing certain things in certain ways in a certain environment. When all about us moves and changes, this idea of home provides a great deal of – well – certainty.

I once took a course that taught that expectations are inherently disappointing. That if you expect something, and then don’t get it as so often happens, you are causing a lot of trouble for yourself.

Maybe that’s why you can’t go home again. Expectations are never what they are in your head.

Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts about home?

 

Meet the Bruin Triplets

We recently encountered the Bruin triplets. As a precaution, we photographed them through our windshield – the photo quality suffered because the window was dirty and there’s also a lot of visible glare. The bears are coming into a lot of contact with humans however, and we think it’s best not to open windows or to stop and get out. The more minimal we can be, the better, because in the end, it’s the bears that pay the price for human thoughtlessness.

The bears? Well, they’re just being bears.

One of the bears was particularly explorative while the other two stayed close to mummy. They all appeared to be very healthy and well fed.

These bears were born during the winter and will stay with their mum for about the next 12-14 months until they become juveniles, at which time they will start their independent lives. Their mum will go on to find another mate and to give birth again.

But as with all young ones, right now they are completely adorable. 🙂

Naramata Peacocks

The Okanakan Valley is more known for wine and fruit than it is for peacocks but surprisingly, they have nevertheless become a part of the ecosystem.

About 20 years ago someone abandoned some pet peafowl to the forest near the village of Naramata. No one thought that in the long run they would survive, and there were attempts to capture them.

But here they are, years later, fitting in well and doing their peacock thing. They’re Canadian now.

It’s a bit odd seeing them strutting around, but odd can be a very interesting thing. 🙂

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park is one of the largest preserves in the world.

M and I recently drove through a small part of it.

We saw bison (buffalo) of course but also bears.

And a sink hole.

It was the middle of May but there was still a little ice and snow at the bottom of it.

We didn’t see any whooping cranes – this park has one of the largest whooping crane nesting sites in the world – but had a very interesting short visit to an environmentally sensitive and important area.

Have you been to a park lately?

Mother’s Day Bears

On the weekend, M and I drove through Wood Buffalo National Park on our way to Fort Smith. We saw quite a few bison (frequently mislabelled as buffalo; the park has also retained the old inaccurate name) but lots of bears as well.

They have been out and around for about two to three weeks now and are fully awake.

I was surprised at how tame they are. This bear stayed in the road, unphased, as we carefully maneuvered around him. He looked hopefully at us as we passed.

There were others as well. This one stood up, also unbothered, as we slowed down to take his picture. There was no attempt to flee.

Another beautiful bear was curious enough to start walking towards us. We took the picture and pulled away.

I was dismayed to learn later that the reason why the bears seem so comfortable with people is that they are often being fed. And in a national park no less! Heartbreaking. As the saying goes, “a fed bear is a dead bear.” This park is huge (bigger than Switzerland) and there is limited access by vehicle, so park rangers will try to move bears that become too friendly into the back country. Unfortunately, some of them return and are then euthanized. All because human beings can’t stop being idiots.

 

The Narcissist Who Chased Me

I have had a particular search term show up a lot lately: narcissists who chase women (or words to the same effect). Narcissists do chase women, but those who chase women aren’t really chasing women. Sound confusing? Read on.

Unlike this lake, a narcissist can be good at hiding a ruffled surface.

First of all, my apologies to those who have suffered through a female narcissist. However, the fact is that most narcissists are male, hence the search for information on narcissists who chase women. I admit to having something of a bias in this area because I had a relationship with a male narcissist and I often write about my experiences with him and about what I learned. However, I was raised by a narcissist – my mother. It’s taken me a long time to see that and to even admit it or say it out loud or write it here. (It took a lot of reading and thinking and chatting with my blog friend Ursula at https://www.anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com. Thank you, Ursula.) So, to those who have experienced female narcissists and who may also feel a bit like they’re stepping on female territory, or who feel left out, don’t. A narcissist is a narcissist and that’s that. They may take different approaches, but the damage they cause is profound, no matter what sex you or they are.

Narcissists do chase, mostly because you have something they want or they think you have something they want.

They like to hang on to people whom they have for the most part discarded when they’re in the process of collecting someone else, just in case the new subject gets away.

They like to return to someone they have discarded when they are in between “relationships.”

The point is that they are never without someone. (Please see the piece I published about that particular situation.)

The first example – that narcissists chase when you have something they want or think you have something they want – is probably the trap that catches the most targets. Narcissists are usually determined, highly motivated and extremely single-minded when they have zeroed in on a target that they see as very suitable – in other words, when they have zeroed in on someone who fits a set of characteristics that they believe can be easily exploited.

Narcissists are never direct or straight.

There are degrees to which they will pursue, however. The less important you are to their wellbeing or sense of self and/or success, the less seriously they will invest energy in you.

The more desirable you are to whatever it is they need, the more ardent they will be.

So, if they really want something, and they believe that you have whatever it is they want and you possess the right characteristics, they will chase you. They will study you to find out the information they need in order to get you to trust them, and then they will put a lot of energy into proving that your trust is warranted. During this phase, you will feel like you have landed in the nirvana of relationships. It will feel absolutely wonderful.

What comes next, though, is devastating, because once they have secured you, once you are no longer a challenge, once they have achieved what they wanted from you, you will become, at best, unimportant. At worst, well, that could be anything that another human can do to you to hurt you.

A narcissist can clean you out.

Do narcissists chase? Yes. They do. It is what they do. It is their defining characteristic. It is how they survive, emotionally and financially. They chase women, men, colleagues, neighbours and children. They will chase anyone who fits the “profile” and from whom they can get whatever it is that they determine they need.

The important thing to remember though is that they aren’t really chasing people. They’re really chasing stuff.

So, now it’s your turn. What do you think?

Yup – It’s Spring

I’ve been taking a break from the northern -20° climes …

Site of the juvenile snowboarding venue – 2018 Arctic Winter Games, Fort Smith, NWT

… and experiencing much warmer weather in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. 17°C to be exact.

This is the NK’Mip First Nation winery and resort just outside of Osoyoos. M and I didn’t stay there (or swim in the pool), but we did stop for a really fantastic lunch. Osoyoos is about 45 minutes’ drive – through stunning wine country – from our home.

The grape vines are still dozing, but they will soon be fully awake.

After buying some favourite wines, we moseyed back. This photo is of a reflection over Osoyoos Lake.

Here it is again, right side up.

Having a break from the continuing cold weather in the north has been wonderful. *Sigh*  🙂