“It’s Not All About You.”

These are difficult times, indeed. And you, apparently, are very afraid.

I don’t understand this fear, but I respect your right to look at what you see, and then to conclude that you have reasons to live in fear for yourself and others – and then to act accordingly.

I don’t understand it, but, though I am tempted to do so, I don’t judge you for your beliefs. And I don’t ridicule you. And I certainly do not accuse you of being selfish or inconsiderate of others when you do not hold their views or act according to their beliefs. Nor do I ask you to behave in any way to protect me. I do not hold you responsible for my life.

Today’s enforcement of mandatory mask-wearing in all enclosed spaces here in Quebec marks a very difficult next step for those of us who are not afraid, and who think outside the “approved” group-think accepted by so many.

My very sincere question though is this:

Why should my taking a stand and posting personal views of my position on Facebook be such a threat to you? So much of a threat, in fact, that it justifies comments like this:

“And how do you propose to protect the people around you? It’s not all about you.”

It’s easy to see why so many feel they should be afraid: we are all surrounded by the main-stream-media hype everywhere. Censorship abounds! No opposing views are ever allowed or even entertained as possibilities.

Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Apparently they don’t trust that we are educated enough to even hear the views of opposing virologists and scientists without making unwise, radical choices that would put the whole world in danger. Allowing us to hear other views, and decide what we believe would be unsafe for all of us.

They are afraid – afraid of what we might think and do? And afraid that we might stubbornly find support to disagree with the one and only view they present.

But why would anyone disagree? Why would anyone not join the ranks of those who happily don a mask — for others?

I don’t know about others, but here are some of my reasons:

I am curious and a critical thinker.

I am a voracious reader, and know how to get valid and trustworthy information outside of the mainstream media.

I have the privilege of time to investigate a multitude and variety of resources.

I have the confidence to speak about my beliefs and discuss them with other questioners.

I have the courage to go against the things that I believe do not make sense.

I have conviction and I try to always act according to my principles.

I am convinced that I am not being told the complete truth.

This Quebec ruling puts me in a very difficult position because I believe that:

  • my wearing a mask protects me from nothing that you may or may not have.
  • my wearing a mask protects you from nothing that I may or may not have.
  • my wearing a mask gives me headaches and nauseousness.
  • my wearing a mask means that I am breathing in my own hot carbon dioxide.
  • my wearing a mask compromises my health much more than any imagined virus.

I also believe that we should be sharing our micro-biomes with each other – by congregating, and talking, and touching, and growing healthier and stronger as a result.

I realize that this is not a popular position. But my research has given me the knowledge that has truly eradicated my fear; my knowledge, though certainly not absolute, has given me enough courage to take the position I do; my knowledge has allowed me to fight for my freedom of expression – whether or not it offends you.

I too am offended – offended that people feel that it’s okay to point out that the government’s forcing me to wear a mask is such a small sacrifice compared to being on a ventilator! Or that I need reprimanding if I consider going to IGA without a mask! Or that I obviously think it’s only about me! My irresponsibility could be putting their mothers’ and grandmothers’ lives at risk!

Truth be told, though, I am frightened too.

I’m frightened of how people have become suspicious of others; and of their motives; and of their beliefs; and of their actions; and of nature and life itself! And I’m frightened when I see children mistrust each other; and worry about smiling adults; and be afraid to look at people; or talk to them. This fear seeps into a kind of anger that haunts me, and exhausts me. This fear is daily stealing away the very fabric of joy in my life.

Although this appears to be dramatic, it is, sadly, very sincere. 😩

Daily Striving

Of course it has pockets!

These are the ambitions I pack in my bag:


1. See failure as a beginning.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Assume nothing, question everything.
4. Teach others what you know.
5. Analyze objectively.
6. Practice humility.
7. Respect constructive criticism.
8. Take initiative.
9. Give credit where it’s due.
10. Love what you do.

In respect for #9, I reveal that this is from Professor Richard Feynman on Twitter.

Our Confirmation Bias on Covid-19 — Courageous Disclosure

Let’s admit it: we all are guilty of confirmation bias. That is, we all look out for, and welcome, “official” support for whatever we believe on a certain topic. If we believe the earth is flat, we are overjoyed when we discover the “evidence” on Duck Duck Go that supports our claim, no matter how outlandish it might appear to others. With proof on the screen right in front of us, we feel totally justified. And maybe even a bit smug, right?

To be truly confident that we are not simply being duped (let’s say by fake news) we should honestly acknowledge our bias while also examining the opposing views — with an open mind. Indeed, is it not possible that two or more positions have equal merit?

And then what? Hmmm.

Isn’t it equally possible that the opposing view has more validity? If so, then we owe it to ourselves to adjust our position and move on, wiser for the experience. Stubbornly holding onto views that make no sense can only keep us ignorant.

However if, after we have looked at an issue from as many sides as possible, we still come up with the same conclusion, shouldn’t we be brave enough to own our position, and shout it out loud and clear? Regardless of real or perceived criticism?

Shouldn’t we share what we have learned from extensive study of the experts’ opinions on these vital questions?

We think so. In fact, to do otherwise is the coward’s way out, and that doesn’t help anyone at all. It takes time in today’s world to arrive at Truth, and we are aware that many do not have the time or inclination to do the research required, nor to sift through the mass of information available.  Regardless, no one should ever accept anyone else’s “truths” at face value.  Perhaps, though, we could inspire you to question a little more, and do a small amount of research to find out what you believe — so you can make your own informed choices.

Here are links to some of the recent podcasts, videos or articles that we have learned from, and where you can perhaps get more info to help you make up your  mind on these vital issues.

The facts about Covid 19 that you may not have seen

Why you might want to say no to a vaccine

Why you might not want to wear a mask

Very insightful articles by respected journalists and the questions they ask

Why Bill Gates may not be your friend

Towering

Giraffe neck

A group of adult female giraffes with their calves is called a tower. By contrast,  the male giraffe remains mostly solitary and travels from herd to herd looking for a mate. When necessary — in combat — he uses his neck as a weapon. Comically, this behaviour is called necking. 

Today, I am going to mimic the male giraffe and stick my neck out — not to be combative, or find a mate, but simply to express my personal opinion on the hot topic of the day, one that I hear discussed every morning on my health-related podcasts.

Mainstream doctors and experts — the world-over — all agree that the only smart way to tackle this COVID-19 pandemic is with lockdowns, self-isolation, reduced activities and social distancing. 

(I don’t understand why they use this descriptor since we are actually only physically distancing, as a quick look at the ever-growing social media posts can confirm.)

Nevertheless, we must all stay physically away from each other — especially if we are over 70, or 65, or 60 or … whatever the latest number is. We must absolutely self-isolate to protect both ourselves and others from this deadly virus; we must avoid all but essential activities; we must stay inside and do our share/our duty to flatten the curve.

We must use two counter-tops to treat our essential grocery purchases, disinfecting everything, including fruits and vegetables, before we put our items away, and wash our hands every step of the way, and preferably, wear a mask, … or not.

We are surrounded by rules that take away our freedom to act as we see fit. What happened to our rights to use our own logic?

There are, thankfully, very intelligent and questioning dissenters out there who have a different narrative. I find it very refreshing to eaves-drop on these intelligent interviews and discussions by such open-minded scientists. They are experts in their field and know how to have professional debates on challenging topics — and even disagree — without the ubiquitous ad hominem attacks. For sure, they aren’t all on the same page, and that’s okay because they have respectful open dialogue and share their well-thought-out and well-referenced view-points in such a way that we can form our own opinions knowing the facts they present.

Indeed,  with careful and judicious selection from the podcast- and YouTube-world we can find those who speak with a different perspective — with a wisdom that we never hear on television where, at any time of any day, or any week it’s the same old repetition of the same old: wash your hands, stay home, respect the social-distancing rules, don’t ask questions, …. Sadly, their facts consist of the ever-increasing rambling numbers of cases and deaths that they throw out there to continue to terrify us into compliance!

It is so very tiring! And I really wonder this: is it working?

So what’s my take-away? Well, sadly, I obviously don’t have all the answers either. I’m a simple retired English teacher/greeting card designer — not a scientist.

I do, however, have a good degree of critical-thinking abilities, and having listened to, and read dozens of articles on these issues, I too have become a bit of a dissenter. And there are many things that I question:

— If we never allow the children (who are least vulnerable to this virus) to get out into the living world and play with their friends, and get exposure to microbes of all kinds, how will we ever get an elevated degree of herd immunity to resist this virus?

— With nothing close to 85% herd immunity, how can we possibly avoid a second wave of lockdowns, social distancing, manic hand-washing, illogical grocery routines, etc. ?

— How many more people will suffer even more ill health and then die a prolonged and much more miserable death because of the continuing lockdowns?

– Why don’t governments pre-emptively spend the enormous offers of hand-out money to fix the obesity, diabetes, heart, kidney, auto-immune, etc. diseases; and the horrendous social problems of addiction and homelessness, etc. so that people can be healthy enough to hardily face any and all novel, unexpected and unimaginable biological forces of nature?

— Why don’t we instead get sunshine/ vitamin D exposure, fresh air, exercise, sleep, peace of mind, … and good vibes from our neighbours and loved ones?

— Why don’t we look at this as a challenge to build up our health, to tower above, and to become very, very bad hosts to this virus?

 

For an even more sobering read see this Off-Guardian article from April 17.

And Part 2 is here

Lockdowns are the first steps towards monitoring and controlling our behaviour:

“A cashless society, mandatory vaccination, universal basic income, a surveillance state, restricted freedom of movement and a complete restructuring of the global economy have already been touted as necessary following the “pandemic.” “

 

From Sports to Crafty Volunteering

Volleyball is great for more than exercise, fun and socializing. It is also a super way to network and share our skills – off the court.

One of the women in my Saturday morning league is a doctor, and she had sent out a request for volunteers to sew cloth face masks. She needs them for patients who visit her clinic. So I took up the gauntlet and joined the ranks of other women who are doing the same thing — sewing masks.

Having been a seamstress for many years, I have accumulated more than enough supplies to put together some fashionably colourful accessories while also using up items I haven’t seen in years, and possibly would otherwise never have used.

I found a design on the internet, suggested by a nurse – it is for a double-layered mask with an inner pocket that could accommodate a filter. (I’m wondering if people actually use coffee filters?) With some slight modifications that seemed practical to me, I set to work cutting, and pinning, and stitching, and then trimming the hundreds of threads.

I ended up with 13 masks each with ties for the top and bottom. No, I will not be demonstrating how they are worn.

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Nurturing with the letter K

Last week I listened to a podcast featuring Joel Salatin where he said, “It’s wonderful to nurture something.” And oh, how I agree!

Indeed, his comments encouraged me to appreciate my own nurturing activities – what a blessing to be able to enjoy these treats so easily.

Kombucha, Kefir, Kvass & Kraut

Kombucha and Kraut are happy, long-time regulars in my kitchen, and each batch has its own particular character.

Kvass has recently made a come-back, after a pause for about a year. Hmmmm. It is such a refreshing drink.

And now milk Kefir has joined the pack. An easy-peazy quick process. Thanks go to Kristin for the grains and to Donna for the inspiration.

So nutritious and delicious these all are – we hug each other every day.

With the arrival of spring-like weather, [K]ompost is also now stirring nicely in my backyard, getting ready to make itself a home in my garden.

Such a lovely, lively and hard-working family!

My sourdough is, unfortunately, being very stubborn. Perhaps it is missing the letter K?

Brilliance on the Small Screen

Moira

Off and on over the past year or so, I have watched bits and pieces of Schitt’s Creek, but have never gone out of my way to view it regularly. Just yesterday, though, I was mesmerized by several back to back episodes, and have concluded that this is a brilliant production, featuring extremely talented actors.

Now that we are supposed to spend more time at home, I will maybe find time to check out what I’ve missed — on the smaller screen.

 

Truth Be Told

img_0794The drive to know possibly has something to do with my seven decades. It has, though, for a good long time, been a quite-intense-work-in-progress* — made so much easier with the accessibility of the internet. I remember stressing on my students — time and time again — that, with this tool, they had a wonderful free gift of knowledge right in front of them,  and all they had to do was unwrap it. Be curious, read, research, dig, question, study, learn, cross-reference, reject, start again, …. I told them there was no excuse to be in the dark about anything. The responsibility to look for the answers, however, was theirs alone. Thankfully, my retirement has given me the opportunity to continue to fulfill my responsibility and be a life-long-learner.

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In the Red!

Chez moi, at Audities’ House of Cards, when I’m not taking photos, or designing greeting cards, I tend to dabble in experiments with fermented foods.

To date, I’ve mastered kombucha quite well, and drink it regularly. I’ve also successfully fermented beets, made beet kvass, and most recently, produced some delicious white cabbage sauerkraut. So now, I am on to a new venture: red cabbage sauerkraut.

For your enjoyment, I’ve documented the process from two days ago.

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Cabbage salt mixture

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Gray sea salt with some pink Himalayan

I added about four healthy teaspoons of coarse gray sea salt to about two and a half pounds of coarsely shredded red cabbage, and blended it together with my hands. The salt made the cabbage glisten with moisture almost immediately.

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Before using the mallet

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Water Treatment on 11th

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I’ve decided to make a few greeting cards using the designs from the walls of my friend’s house. On this one I’ve added a water filter as a sad reminder of the events of May 2017. Unfortunately, I have not been able to conclusively nail down the artist responsible so cannot give him credit for his unique creation.

Join us at Terrasse en Art on November 18th to see this card and others featuring scenes from Terrasse Vaudreuil.

Self-Promotion Time

Voici Audities’ Cards on Facebook.

Montrez Ă  vos ĂȘtres aimĂ©s qu’ils vous tiennent Ă  cƓur avec des cartes d’Audities’ Cards!

Des cartes de haute qualitĂ©, uniques et abordables, faites Ă  partir de photos de ma collection personnelle, de photographies d’illustrations antiques et de gravures. Ces charmes en image ont droit Ă  une seconde vie au lieu d’ĂȘtre enfermĂ©s dans des livres oĂč personne les voit.

Toutes les cartes en inventaire sont seulement 3 $ ou moins.

La plupart sont sans texte Ă  l’intĂ©rieur.

Pour toute commande de 10 cartes, il me fera plaisir de vous inscrire un message personnalisĂ© sur le dessus ou Ă  l’intĂ©rieur de la carte et ce, selon vos prĂ©fĂ©rences.

Venez la rencontrer de 10 h Ă  15 h

au Centre communautaire

78, 7e Avenue, Terrasse-Vaudreuil

Terrasse en Art

Can You Help Me?

I’d like to give credit to the gentleman who decorated so many homes in Terrasse Vaudreuil some thirty-odd or more? years ago — even if he is no longer living. Unfortunately, I am having trouble finding the information I need.

The initials appear to be F.K. and I have heard the name Fred Kliner or Kleiner. Can anyone confirm this for me, please?

Much appreciated.IMG_0111 (1)

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Heartaches and Goodbyes

Watching a home be demolished

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and then be trucked away

was something that stirred my adrenaline —

I don’t see this every day.

I was awed by his skill with the shovel —

that operator worked so well.

But the emotions that grew as I watched him

Made the pain in my stomach swell.

How can this family recover?

How can they turn the page?

How can they feel that justice was done,

Or feel anything other than rage?

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The Sadness of Walking Away

 

 

I’m Vending My Wares

I’ve just recently begun offering to display and sell Audities’ Cards in seniors’ residences. To date the cards have been well-received by the residents, so I will continue.

This choice has given me yet another excuse to design a sign to promote my craft.

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If you have suggestions and contact information for me, I would be grateful. Thank you.

Thinking For Myself in 2018

As I go about my busy life, I get many reactions:

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To Share is to Care

  • “What?”
  • “You’re kidding!”
  • “Why?”
  • “That’s just weird.”
  • “I don’t understand.”
  • “You had better be careful!”

And, every summer, when I spend a week with my five sisters and their hubbies, I hear many variations of the same surprised reactions. And the reason is simple: I think for myself, and once I reach my conclusions, I act on my beliefs — no matter how unconventional. Unfortunately for my brothers-in-law, I also share most of these ideas with my more adventurous sisters. 😉 Some of the men call me a witch; they blame me for getting their wives into things they consider “weird.”

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