Thursday, September 27, 2007

Red Whale Coffee Company

The other day after dropping our little girl off at pre-school, my husband and I decided to check out a new coffee shop that opened this summer called the Red Whale Coffee Company. You might be familiar with them as they used to be located in St. Andrews.

The minute we entered we were thrilled! Delicious coffee plus free refills, sandwiches, deserts to drool over, muffins, coffee beans including fair trade beans all roasted on site plus comfy red leather couches to curl up in. Oh, and they assured me that they make wonderful cappuchinos...which I plan to try the next time. I find that with local coffee shops, consistency can be weak and I hope this won't be a problem.

Another thing that impressed me was the time they took to add in features that only a busy parent can appreciate when they try to venture out with their little ones. They have bean bag seats and tables for kids plus the newest little seats for babies that keep them upright. Oh, and the popcorn machine was a nice touch too!

So check it out and discover for yourself this lovely, local coffee shop!

Monday, September 24, 2007

An unexpected kindness

My niece Kristen surprised me late last week with a gift certificate to a hair salon! I could get my hair cut & styled, coloured, highlighted...whatever....I was flabbergasted, overwhelmed, embarrassed, and profoundly moved and appreciative of her amazingly kind and generous gift!

It has been well over a year since I got my hair done...I had been commenting on facebook howI kept meaning to get a haircut on payday...but as everyone knows, after bills, groceries, the needs of four kids, any socializing at all...comes with a cost. So, naturally, you put off doing things for yourself to the next paycheque, but the cycle begins again.

For her to notice that I needed to put myself first, to pamper myself...heck to maintain myself...made me realize that it has to be prioritized and it comes with a price! Somehow, I need to learn to put myself first on certain the gym...going for a walk, eating healthy...rather than worrying that I'm needed somewhere else.

Even writing this I feel like I'm complaining or being ungrateful for my wonderful family and hoo wendy is busy! Plus, I am blessed beyond measure to have my wonderful sister who has become my rock of late...and I have all my dearest friends nearby that I love dearly! But Kristen at the wise old age of 14 taught me a lesson. Not to mention, to hear some of the kind things she said about me, well it really touched me and I will cherish her kindness forever!

Thank you Kristen, I can only imagine you will become even more amazing as you transform into a young woman!

Re-making New Brunswick: The Business Agenda

At this point, I am neither for or against the planned proposals to change our universities into polytechnical schools...I do plan to learn about the issue and hopefully, it won't be decided by a powerful few...

This newspaper (NB Telegraph Journal) has given over much of its content in the past few days to the report of the commission on post-secondary education. Brunswick News, an Irving company, finds much favour with the report. ...Last week, days before the report was released, Derek Oland (of the NB Business Council) was heard on radio promoting the concept of a polytechnic in Saint John... The unfolding of the new agenda for post-secondary education looks an awful lot like the unfolding of the energy hub agenda. The business community lines up behind it, Premier Graham comes on side and the primary newspaper in the region dedicates an overwhelming amount of both news and editorial space to convincing us that this is the best thing since sliced bread. It is not an accident that the post-secondary commission recommendations follow many months of public hand-wringing about labour shortages anticipated as the energy hub agenda rolls out. The Premier's self-sufficiency agenda, largely reflecting the priorities of our handful of big businesses, provides the umbrella under which all of this fits. ... Premier Graham has tied his wagon to the Irving horse ...Troubling in all of this is the undercurrent ... that industry should dictate higher education priorities. ...

- Excerpts, Re-making N.B.: the business agenda, NB Telegraph-Journal, 19 Sept 2007, by columnist Janice Harvey, director of the Conservation Council of N.B.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dodged a bullet

I remember the struggle to have my first child. The seven years of infertility, the seven years of being told it wouldn't happen, the mourning of a child lost that never was....then fast forward to the moment holding that child for the first time...determined to do the best by this obvious gift from God. I remember sitting in the public health office surrounded by other mothers waiting my turn to vaccinate my child. He was two months old...eight weeks or 60 days...a blip on the screen of life.

I remember for the first time feeling fear...wondering was i doing the right thing....I for one, had not done any research into vaccines...and from my difficult pregnancy, I discovered you couldn't always trust doctors as all knowing and all caring.

I submitted to those vaccines. But I went home determined to know more for the next time...I read, I researched, I bought books on the subject and tried to wade through the hysteria on both sides. I came out of it believing that vaccines were neccessary but not at the ages recommended. I learned about thimerisol, i learned about the debates raging...

All I really cared about was how might my decisions affect my children. With my first child I delayed his vaccines, with my second son I delayed them even later and only allowed one at a time with no thimerisol, if any vaccine listed it on the insert, we avoided it. With my third we did not even begin them until he was two and I have followed the same routine with my fourth child and only started at age three. But, I made this choice weighing the risk and benefits which only a parent can do.

With my second son I truly believe that with him, I dodged a bullet. I believe in my heart, had I submitted to the recommended schedule that my son may have developed autism or some of the related disorders. With my second son, he did not read until much later...and it is also why I believe I was meant to homeschool...not so much because my first child didn't like school...but because it allowed me to prepare myself to teach my second son who would have been labelled within the public system...probably to never recover from the labelling. Now, he is a prolific reader who loves learning!

So, I suggest to all parents...don't accept things outright...challenge the status quo and make sure you are doing what is right for your child. How the medical community can belive that one vaccine fits all is beyond me...question all things!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nothing to say...

For a while now, I feel as though I have so much going on in my head but no way to express how I am thinking or feeling. I'm wading thru some stuff but feel lost to explain how I feel. In fact, I feel silenced. Therefore, I have nothing to write about because every time I try, I fail.

Music, poetry and my sister helps...because I hate feeling like this.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pre-school for ella...

Today was a big day for Ella...and me! I decided, after much thought and discussion with her dad to register her into a pre-school group. No big deal to many, but I have been homeschooling for 10 years now and if you are a homeschooler you barely give pre-school a thought as they just learn along side their siblings.

I never imagined that I would even contemplate putting her into public school, but in reality, she is a very outgoing little girl and wants little friends. My three sons had each other, but Ella does not have any siblings her age, nor does she have any little friends nearby since we moved here. Don't get me wrong, if I choose to homeschool her, it does not mean she won't have any friends or not be "socialized" but I want to make sure that if she does show a desire to go to school that she doesn't go in cold. Which brought me to this decision.

Homeschooling is a wonderful option and we have truly loved it! Not all of it, but I can't imagine my life any other way than how it has been with my kids close by these last 10 years. However, the boys are all showing an interest now in going to highschool in the fall and I have always said I would honour that request, should they decide.

I'm not interested in joining any homeschool groups and I certainly will never start or run one again...politics and overly sensitive people with issues has left me cold on that, my time is far to valuable and I no longer feel any desire to serve people in that way.

So, now I will struggle with my own personal issues with the public education system. I worry about the dumbing down of our children and the numbing of their minds to think freely or question much of anything beyond the latest hip hop or mtv music video. I will work along side my kids to insure they do well and hopefully, I may help out in some way to help with the staggering 49% illiteracy rate here in NB. Mainly, I fear that huge machine far more than anything else.

In these days of government running amuck, people spending their way into ruin, depressing world events, churches bickering amongst themselves, religious zealouts on all sides growing by the day, I just want my kids to be able to think on their feet, have a voice, be fearless to live out their life with honour and to question everything!!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

ARE YOU PROUD? Canada one of few expected to vote against the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

On September 13, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly is scheduled
to consider adoption of the long awaited and much needed Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada is one of only a few countries
planning to vote against it. The Declaration would be a major step
towards eliminating the human rights violations suffered by 370 million
Indigenous people worldwide. The Native Women's Association of Canada is
marching in Montreal today Fri. Sept 7, 2007 alongside the Quebec Native
Women in support of the UN Declaration. Urge Prime Minister Harper to
support the Declaration.

Sign a global petition organized by Grand Council of the Crees and
Amnesty International Canada in support of the Declaration.