Inspiration for this blog came from my cousin Roy. His daily reflections of the events in his life have been thoughtful and interesting. Family, friends, colleagues are welcome to read my blog.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Couples come in all shapes and sizes. New relationships. Ongoing ones. Old relationships. Relationships terminated by death, divorce, disinterest. Some animals mate for life. Canada geese mate for life. Couples can share their strengths, weaknesses and anything in between. It is more fun dancing as a couple than alone or with a bunch of women. Having someone that understands your needs and accepts your flaws. Loving someone through all the times-not just the good ones. Regardless of how much it seems cool to date and have many different partners, most people want to pair up. Look at all the dating services, especially online! Not we will find you a date but a marriage. So what makes a good couple relationship? Why do people stay with each other? Why do some people leave each other? What do you like most about being a couple?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Being around modern teenagers is a reminder of the days I was a teenager and raising my own teenagers. Lessons, activities and homework have always been around!!  Oh yes there are gadgets, Skype, concern about cyber bullying and the constant use of cell phones, I-pods, tablets and computers but putting them aside hormones and feelings have not changed. My grandfather and father's generations went to war. Young children had jobs or part-time jobs too. Are today's youth smarter? I think not. They are exposed to more ways to gather information. But more apps on a gadget does not necessarily give more information. I have lots of apps on my gadgets and well some is useless junk! Just like junk flyers. As a parent, setting boundaries is your responsibility. All the pressures that teenagers face, your home becomes the safe haven from the world.  The gadgets can be turned off during dinner for example. But if you are a family like one witnessed eating at a restaurant recently with everyone checking their phones and no one really talking to each other as a parent you are setting an example of preference for your gadget then the people present including your own children. In other generations, no phone calls during dinner was a family rule in my home. Your friends knew not to call during the dinner hour. Teachers have a right to say turn off the gadgets during class. No texting, tweeting etc. I know I insist during a talk I give to new nurses to turn off the cell phones!! Of course I am met with looks of disdain! I don't care, I think it is rude behaviour. Well teaching and setting an example that some behaviour is rude is okay.  So do parents have an obligation to teach manners, you bet. Encouraging children to use all mediums such as reading a book, using a dictionary along with the infamous spell check, talking face to face not just through a gadget, doing math in your head without a calculator, handwriting and well listening to the sounds in your environment when walking are life's lessons. Well teenagers are argumentative. It has not changed. The yes but this and the yes but that. If the answer is no, then say no-there is no discussion. Basically, " I am the parent and you are the child!" Whether modern parents buy it, your teenager does want you to give boundaries-it keeps them safe. It lets them know there are rules. Yes the teenager must protest, it is what teenagers do. Yes you will be met, you are stupid, you do not understand me, another parent is better etc. It is what teenagers do.  I had a rule with my girls. To talk me about anything. Let me decide as the adult if the idea needed to go further. Let me as the adult give you safe guidance. I told my children to let me know if any friends were suicidal and putting themselves at risk. I told them it was better to lose a friendship then live with someone dying! Hormones run amuck! But hormones have not changed. Interest and curiosity with drugs, alcohol, smoking  and yes sex has not changed. There were times that teenagers of all generations like to drag race. Well it has not changed. Look at the odd teenage accident. I had school mates that died from such occurrences. The parent of the modern teenager just has to look at history. It was Socrates in Ancient Greece that said-what has become of the youth of today! And there were no gadgets!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Once the snow melts it is amazing how the bulbs just start to burst all over. Amongst the brown patches, little crocuses of a variety of colours are visible in the garden. The first true signs of what is to come. The leaves of the tulips and daffodils are emerging filling spots of dull soil. Waiting to see  if some new bulbs planted in the fall will come up under some areas in the back. Concerned that the heavy weight of the winter snow may have pushed them into a deeper part of the earth. Time will tell. Planting and waiting to see growth takes patience. Like life when we study, save or live, we wait sometimes to see what will take, grow or be stunted. Spring bulbs are so colourful relieving the white then brown of the previous season. Slowly areas come to life!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Is modern marriage different from other times? Two people who claim they will love each other until death do us part, sometimes stay together and sometimes do not! Marriage can be a love relationship or just legally binding. It helps when raising children since two parents are better than one. Couples go to great lengths to plan a wedding, a home, have children,  a life together. So why do some marriages last and others not? No one gets married thinking they will divorce. However children of divorced parents have a higher chance of getting a divorce than others. It is necessary to continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. Appreciating the uniqueness of the people involved and supporting it. Being supported is important too. It can not be one way or the love and lust will diminish. Talking, loving-is more than just sex although sex is very important, laughing, respecting, listening, and wanting to be around the other person. Finding time to spend with each helps the marriage to last. Children are wonderful but they are the greatest test of a marriage and can put so much strain on a couple. So why do some marriages last? We are a disposable society and many couples dispose of their marriage when things get a little tough. Others stay and see it through all the times especially the tough times. It takes nothing to love someone when everything is good. It takes strength of character to love someone through sickness too. My marriage is going into its 43rd year. More than just loving I believe being able to laugh together is my cement! Perhaps more thought is needed on this topic! What do you think? How is your marriage going? Do you ever consider what holds it together or what would tear it apart?

Sunday, April 20, 2014


A Canadian Easter can be warm, cold or in between. The sun has peeked it head so it should be pleasant today. The church bells are starting to ring form the Anglican, Presbyterian, United, Catholic and in the distance Baptist- churches. Richmond Hill has a history of Christian faith. Recently more synagogues have been built so Passover has been celebrated at the same time this year and is visible in the larger community. Judeo-Christian roots! A Canadian base. Other faiths are here too. Sometimes people invite others to their Easter table. Christians are inclusive and should be loving! Easter that time to reflect on renewal, resurrection, hope and love! Do onto others as you would have them do onto you! Simple but difficult sometimes. The hardest is forgiveness-true forgiveness! Easter has the fun side-the Easter egg hunt, lots of chocolate, lots of eating but most of all another excuse to get family together to enjoy LIFE! Our Easter table this year along with my spouse, daughters and families has a visiting sister and niece and her family! Not a lot of people-16! But big enough! Of course, the blessing of a new granddaughter!  Easter is about counting one's blessing! Do I feel blessed-yes I do! Family, work, home, skills, interests, and the opportunity to keep landing on my feet despite any adversarial events! And often it is faith that keeps me going! Faith the answers and solutions will come! How about you? What does Easter mean to you in your part of the world? Does getting together with family have meaning? Do you attend a church service? Do you love the Easter hymns? Happy Easter to my readers coast to coast and to those from near and far away lands!

Friday, April 18, 2014


We are never too old to learn something new. Attending a Social Work education day was so meaningful. There are a group of social workers throughout the province that are on an email link. We all deal with Mother and baby issues of some sort in our hospitals. The topics on Postpartum depression, the neonatal development of premature babies, surrogacy, employment benefits and drug issues were so relevant. Listening to speakers that were so knowledgeable in their fields was so enlightening. The best part was being around interesting, creative social workers with a positive outlook on life. Even one of the speakers said her best Allied Health colleagues were social workers because we are so nice. If the group present was any indication, she sure was right. Learning is lifelong. It just feels right to attend a lecture or hear a speaker and getting a fresh perspective on the topic. Have you had any training lately? Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner?


The Easter Lilly is such an iconic symbol and a must for any home this time of year. As flowers go, it brings beauty and hope. I like to think some flowers are happy! And this is one of them! As we celebrate the Easter message of renewal and the Resurrection, being with family makes it more meaningful. Having one or more Easter Lilies around us add depth to the message.
There are stories of how the Lilly became part of our tradition. Lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ's death. Or were they from his sweat during his last hours on this earth? Or were they connected with the Virgin May when Gabriel gave her some to let her know she was to be the mother of Jesus? Even the story after the Virgin Mary died, that all that was in her tomb were white lilies is meaningful.
Lilies have been in many stories or legends. The Romans said Juno-the queen of the gods was nursing Hercules and when her milk spilled to the earth, lilies grew from the spot. I like the stories connected to the flower. I can not recall the first time the lily made its way to my home. I just know it would not be Easter without at least one during our celebrations. Joyous and hopeful, tell me doesn't it belong to everyone?