Again this year, in honour of Small Business Saturday I thought I would share some of my favourite Etsy sellers. Check them out for unique Christmas ideas and to support creative, talented people (many of them Canadian). I have bought from all these sellers and highly recommend them
4-United Cerebral Palsy of Rhode Island helps advance independence of individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities through art. 100% of the profits of the beautiful art, jewellery and accessories, goes to the artists in the Adaptive Art Program. Check out their wonderful work. http://www.etsy.com/people/UCPRI
6-Gorgeous cards, amazing prices, from a Canadian seller…..oh yeah….and all the proceeds go to help patients struggling with cancer. You can’t beat buying from this wonderful lady. http://www.etsy.com/people/LoveFromMe
Valentine’s Day-a day symbolized by hearts. You can’t walk through a mall without seeing hearts absolutely everywhere so I thought it would be a good day to share my thoughts about Bleeding Hearts.
In the past few months on several occasions people have sneered at me “Oh you’re just a Bleeding Heart” in a dismissive, derisive and derogatory way.
So I have given this much thought and my response is, “Yes, yes I am and I am damn proud of it.”
My heart does bleed For animals that are abused For children that are sexually assaulted before they even start kindergarden For teenagers that are bullied to the point that suicide seems like a rational option For the 25 000 people that will die of hunger TODAY For the environment For women who live in societies where honour killings go unpunished For veterans who come home after serving their countries and are not given the resources they need to return to civilian life My heart does bleed
And each day in my own small ways I try to make the world a better place
In my opinion it is much better to have a Bleeding Heart than one that is stone cold.
But just because I am a Bleeding Heart that does not mean I am soft or naïve. It does not mean I have love for everyone or even that I can find forgiveness for everyone (I am far from being that enlightened).
While I do not believe in the death penalty I definitely believe in much harsher prison sentences for those who chose to commit violent crimes and I am unable to feel sympathy towards them at this stage in my life.
To me the qualities that most define a Bleeding Heart are compassion, empathy, integrity and kindness so I’ll take being called a Bleeding Heart as a compliment.
When people sneer about The Bleeding Hearts I have to wonder if they realize the contributions The Bleeding Hearts have made to the world.
It was Bleeding Hearts who would have rallied against slavery It was Bleeding Hearts who would have worked for women to get the vote It was Bleeding Hearts who created the Children’s Aid Society and the SPCA It was Bleeding Hearts who believed EVERY child was entitled to an education It was Bleeding Hearts who fought for safe work environments Belong to a union? Well you can thank the Bleeding Hearts who came before you who fought for the benefits you enjoy today And here in Canada, it was Bleeding Hearts who believed every citizen should have access to healthcare
When I think of people throughout history it seems to me that Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Jane Adams, The Dalai Lama and Albert Schweitzer may have been considered Bleeding Hearts. While I am sure Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Ruhollah Khomeini have never been accused of having a bleeding heart.
I know whose company I’d rather keep.
So to all of you Bleeding Hearts out there I send my love and best wishes and hope you have Happy Valentine’s Day.
Ever feel overwhelmed by the problems of the world? Well here's a way you can make a difference today.
Today is International Human Right's Day and I am spending some time today to write some letters with other members of Amnesty International to help support those who have been wrongfully detained throughout the world.
If you have a few minutes today (or even tomorrow or later this week) click on the links below and please consider taking a look at the different cases and writing even just one letter. It will only cost you a bit of time and the price of stamps. And best of all it really does work.
I will never forget reading of one woman who had been unlawfully detained saying how after the first bunch of letters arrived the beatings stopped, after the second bunch of letters came she was given back her clothes, after more letters arrived she was given a decent meal and eventually she was released.
It seems authorities will often behave differently when they know the world is watching and cares
The links will also leading you to this year's greeting card campaign which I participate in each year. Sending cards across the globe knowing that it wil truly bring a smile to someone's face and possibly make a profound difference in their life is one of my favourite activities of the holiday season.
Over 34,000 Canadians are Writing for Rights today. Here's why: I write because its right and I have been helped by these writings in the past. Good works. Mutang Urud (former Prisoner of Conscience) - Victoria, BC
I will be at a hockey practice, and I will be writing letters with other hockey moms. It is important to show our children that human rights apply to everyone. Jonquil - Rockland, ON
Last year was my first time writing for Write for Rights. It was truly inspiring to see how much change something so simple could make. I can't wait to do it again! Chantelle - Winnipeg, MB Check out our Coast to Coast map and more comments from letter writers like you!
Denise, Thank you for being part of this historic event! This is a record year for global actions - we're projecting over ONE MILLION LETTERS written today in 80 countries around the world! Watch the global action counter rise on the Write for Rights website. Here's what you can do today: 1. Write for Rights:
Choose from any or all of our 14 featured Write for Rights cases.
Full details and mailing addresses are inside each case's page. Remember, you're making a real impact on real people suffering from human rights violations!
Visit the artists page to learn more about artists getting behind Write for Rights.
Artists include: Sting, Margaret Atwood, David Usher, Stephen Fry, Rise Against and more!
"I love texting, tweeting, blogging and emailing as much, if not more, than the next person, but there are some occasions when nothing, but nothing, can replace the power of the hand-written letter .... these can work surprisingly well."
- Stephen Fry, British Actor and Writer
You can celebrate Amnesty International's 50th anniversary with us!
3. Donate: Tell governments that you won't stand for anyone infringing upon your human rights - or anyone else's - and help Amnesty International continue its work for another 50 years by making a donation to the Write for Rights campaign today. Amnesty International is 100% funded by our members - we accept no government money under any conditions. Put simply, without you there would be no Amnesty International.
4. Spread the word: Write for Rights is making waves on social media today. Please spread the message! Here's what you can do:
Use the hashtag #4Rights. Visit this page for ideas on what to tweet. And don't forget to follow @AmnestyNow for updates! Use the Facebook "Like" buttons at the top of each case page.
Well yesterday was Black Friday and apparently today was Small Business Saturday. Over the past few years I have been trying to do more of my shopping at local businesses and from artists, artisans and crafters so when I stumbled upon www.etsy.com it was wonderful. Now I do a good portion of my shopping from etsy at Christmas and throughout the whole year.
I figure when you know about a great thing it’s always good to share so I created a list of 10 of my favourite etsy sellers. I don’t know any of these sellers personally, I have just bought items from them and have always been thrilled.
I want to crawl into a hole, or at least back to bed. I awoke this morning and again no water as the pipes from the well are frozen. This is day two.I really want to soak in the tub.I can’t lie I’m a little worried of what’s to come as this is only November and I hear Saskatchewan winters can be downright frigid.
The sky is blue and the sun is shining. Snow has blanketed the landscape but I am warm and cozy in the house we have rented for this next year.
We are out here, 3 people, 3 dogs, and 3 cats, a 12 minute drive from town with no vehicle until my husband gets his next break in 10 days. As a woman who chooses to live in rural Canada I have gotten pretty good at preparing my home for the inevitable unexpected but I must admit I’m a little worried and a little annoyed by the lack of water.
While we do have bottled water on hand for drinking, dishes still need to be washed, toilets need to be flushed and a shower would be so nice.
Yesterday in an effort to be proactive I took a bucket outside, filled it with snow and brought it in to melt on the stove so I could give the pets water that wasn’t from our bottled water supply. Once I got started though I melted more snow so the toilets could be flushed and even boiled some to wash the dishes and do some cleaning. This chore took a little over an hour. This is just what they would have had to do in Little House on the Prairie, I mused. And the words of Ma Ingalls came to mind, “What cannot be cured must be endured.” and “What must be done is best done cheerfully.”
Today as I sit looking out on the Saskatchewan countryside I am still more than a little annoyed by the frozen pipes but I also know how very lucky I am-lucky for the bottled water, lucky for the snow, lucky for hydro to melt the snow, lucky to have options. I realize many people aren’t so lucky and I can’t help but do a search on the internet about water.
I stumble upon water.org. I quickly learn that almost a billion people lack access to safe drinking water. I learn that every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. I learn that 1.2 billion people have absolutely no access to sanitation facilities. I learn that in just one day 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed collecting water.
And I learn that donating just $25 could provide water for life for one person.
I think about $25 and what that means. The last time the family went to Saskatoon we probably spent close to that on our lattes, coffees, and hot chocolates. We definitely spent more than that on our subs for lunch. I recently spent more than that on Christmas cards. And I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I spent more than that on the dog’s winter coat (she truly did need one in these parts)
The American Thanksgiving is coming up and once again I am reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for. If you are reading this than you have access to a computer and the internet and I will assume safe water. No matter what else is going on in your life right now when it comes to water you can consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Good or bad, fortunate or unfortunate, things often just come down to a matter of perspective.
Today is Pitbull Awareness Day. One member of our family happens to be a pitbull so I wanted to email family and friends to share some pitbull info.
Charlie Bow (short for Charlotte Baudelaire) came to us in 2008. She was only 12 weeks old but unfortunately for her a pitbull ban came into effect in Ontario in 2005. I am unsure who bred her parents or why the people who first adopted her had her. Perhaps they did not know she was a pitbull or about the ban as they lived in a busy suburban subdivision and walked her frequently in the neighbourhood. Animal control was called and I can only assume they were not eager to put a 12 week old puppy to sleep as they left it up to her family to either find her a new home or have her put down. They put the word out and as we lived in a secluded area we agreed to take her and keep her in hiding as we were already beginning to have thoughts of leaving the province.
Charlie quickly became the family princess as she amazed us with extraordinary smarts, loyalty and love. Since we first got her we have left Ontario to pitbull safe provinces and it is no exaggeration when I say how pitbull friendly a community is, is a huge consideration when we look for houses.
Over the years we have lived with a turkey, geese, goats, and cats and been frequently visited by deer. Charlie has always been a peaceful creature and is especially fond of baby animals. She was protector and surrogate mother to the baby goat we had to bring in our home and bottle feed.
Communities that ban pitbulls fail both people and animals as they punish innocent animals while people who use and exploit animals and irresponsible pet owners face little consequences.
Following is a bit of pitbull history-
Once known as the ‘Nanny Dog’ the pitbull was used by poor families in the 1800s to watch the children while the adults worked the farm because of their intelligent, protective and loyal nature.
There is much speculation that Jack the brindle bulldog of the Little House on the Prairie books must have been a pitbull (after living with a pitbull this is something I believe)
Helen Keller had a trusty pitbull
During the Civil War the 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry had a pitbull named Jack. When gunfire cease he would go out search for the wounded and dead men of his regiment, not resting till every man was accounted for, No Man Left Behind. Twice he was captured by the Confederate Army, held as a prisoner of war and became the first dog to be traded for the release of other prisoners.
In 1903 Bud a pitbull became the first dog to travel across the U.S in an automobile. His goggles are at the Smithsonian
Sergeant Stubby is a pitbull who served during World War 1. During his stay at camp he recognized the various bugle calls, the drill marching routines and even learned a dog version of a salute by putting his right paw to his right eyebrow when others saluted. While overseas he saved his entire platoon by warning of a poison gas attack and later captured a German spy on his own. For this the commander put him in for a promotion and Stubby was the first pitbull to be given rank in the U.S army. Sergeant Stubby went on to serve in 17 battles became a decorated hero and was honoured at the White House
In 1993 a pitbull named Weela rescued 30 people, 29 dogs, 13 horses and 1 cat from heavy floods from southern California
Pitbulls often serve as search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs and work in law enforcement.
Pitbulls DO NOT have a locking jaw
Unfortunately these days pitbulls have gotten a bad rap even though on the National Canine Temperament Testing pitbulls rank 7th with a score of 86%, better than the Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, beagle and many other popular family dogs.
Recently 47 of Michael Vick’s dogs that had been raised as fighters have been rehabilitated and adopted out to loving homes proving that it is not the breed that is the problem but people.
Pitbulls are known for their eagerness to please their people. While this trait makes their humans adore them, when they fall into the wrong hands it is this trait that has caused them so much trouble. Pitbulls will fight because their people tell them to and above all pitbulls are loyal to their human friends.
It is time that people who mistreat and exploit all animals are held accountable for their actions. It is also time that innocent animals are no longer judged solely on how they look.
Please forward so we can raise awareness of the true nature of the pitbull. Throughout history pitbulls have been there for humans it is time for us to be there for them
A lot of times the best gifts don’t cost much at all. This Valentine’s Day mix up some sensual massage oil and give that special someone the gift of your time and attention. A massage relaxes both your muscles and your mind. It is also a great way to strengthen intimacy with your partner.
¼ cup of warmed almond oil
20 drops of essential oils
Several essential oils are known for their aphrodisiac properties including rosewood, ylang ylang, coriander, jasmine, rose, patchouli, and sandalwood.
Back in May I took a trip out to British Columbia with my Dad to visit my brother, Jonathan.The two of them are looking to buy some property about two and a half hours north of Vancouver where my brother lives. Jonathan thought it would be a good idea to drive up some old logging roads he knew to get an aerial view of the property. Slowly up the mountain we crawled in his 4x4. When we got to the spot we jumped out and headed for the edge. Much to our surprise there was about a dozen people up there relaxing, hanging out and about 4 of them parasailing.My dad an avid sailor has recently reacquired his pilot’s license after a few decades and was quite fascinated with these guys.He got chatting with one and the guy offered to take him up. I sat on the side of the mountain looking up.
When my dad rejoined us he said, “ Maybe one day I’ll give that a try”.
My brother said, “Oh, I could never do it”.
I said, “ I’d do it, it looks awesome”
My father replied, “ Ok, then do it ”.
“What right now?”
“Why not right now, you’re here, he’s here, and the weather conditions are perfect.
About twenty minutes later I was strapped in and running off the edge of the mountain. It was beautiful and exhilarating up in the air far above trees taking in the bird’s eye view. For one instant the thought of something going terribly wrong slipped into my consciousness but immediately the reply was “If this is my time to go so be it, there’s worse ways to go and this is just too amazing to miss”
I guess I was up there about 30 minutes but I had lost track of man’s time. I was just one with the mountains, the trees, the birds and all of nature.
This is the position I will take to my writing. When an idea comes and my inner voice says that would make a good story one day, I will answer back “Why not now?”When I complete something and think I will submit it one day, I will answer back “Why not now?” And once I have put in my best effort and done the research to find the best places to submit my work, then I will let it go. I will put out of my mind things going terribly wrong and getting rejection letters. I will remember that if I don’t go for it I might miss something truly amazing.
This is a simple, quick, healthy way to begin the day. I started making these last summer but have found that I enjoy them year round.
Throughout the summer I spent many days on local pick-your-own farms picking strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Once home I washed them and popped them in the freezer so I could enjoy year round.
Berries are a good source of Vitamin C and full of antioxidants and hemp seeds are full of protein and essential fatty acids.
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