Uh Oh: Bird Tales From the Vent

Just recently, I’ve been publicly shamed on social media for asking for photo credit and explaining my distaste for the blast of photographs being published on line of members of the public, hoarding or standing in long lines in store environments. Just my opinion, but these photographs fall into the same category as Wal-Mart shopper photos, babies having temper tantrum photos and Fat Lady photos. I just don’t get what the purpose is? Oh…I received the explanation that publishing the photo of a profiteer who was bragging about the resale potential of a cart load of thermometers had shifted the behaviour of the big box stores and convinced them to limit sales. (all myth and absolutely no idea WHO the person was and what the product was and what the motivation was) Bull Winkle Twinkle Fairy Dust! Are you kidding? Social media photographs do not convince companies such as Home Depot to change their policies? And as a follow-up, it’s interesting that Reddit has deleted the photograph, while the legacy of hateful comments remain spouting off about Capitalism and such. Haters need to hate.

I digress. Because I spoke out about the negativity of such content being shared over and over again in formats such as Reddit and Facebook, I was labeled a lunatic who takes pictures of baby deer and eagles and was reminded that I am dumber than door nails. Too bad. I look at the fact that this person didn’t read or take in my concerns or my views on this subject. He only saw his own perspective and then BLACK OUT….the thread disappeared and the big BLOCK happened. Wow! UH OH!!! I’m telling my readers, we are living in very troubled times. Kindness is required.

And…back to the ‘baby deer and eagle photos’. It is my choice to try to retain a positive expression of social media. If I get so rattled, in real time, about something political or what I view to be a social injustice, I might post, but you will notice those discussions/threads disappear off of my social media within days. I think that what the world needs at the best and the worst of times is positivity, enlightenment and gratitude. If readers/posters want to be miserable all of the time, it’s their prerogative. There is room in the world for all of us. Just don’t block me, shut me down, silence me when I wish to share an opinion along the way.

Check out ethical practice when it comes to posting photos, specifically to shame others.

On the subject of this post…another big UH OH! Some of you have followed Tales from the Vent over the past seven years. At my kitchen sink and window, I find myself in close proximity to my neighbour’s vent. Over the years, this has typically provided a nesting site for House Sparrows, but the past few years, there have been nest wars between Northern Flickers and House Sparrows. Well, look here, what was spotted this morning at the vent. OH NO! Pigeon poop potential! It’s going to be interesting to see what happens this season. I’ll keep you up to date!

Gestures of Love

Recently, like everyone else, I’ve been swept up in more fear and anger than usual because of the shifting tides of political, economic and philosophical posturing the world over.   We try, surrounded by the bombardment of ideas, reactions and media, to sort and sift things out, but sometimes, regardless of our efforts, cave to the tumult.

I was feeling the darkness of our times.

It seemed that last evening, there was a shift of this dark into light, as my dear cousin living in Utah, sent me a message to give him a call.  He’s known for a long time that I have a big heart for family research,  and a desire to find the pieces of our history, however narrative in nature and lacking in the documentation required to make real sense.  He and I, both, have worked on our paternal side for a very long time, in our own ways, if you count up all of the years between us.

I weep this morning, as I type here, about the lovely conversation shared between Dr. Ted (our name of affection for him) and myself.  Ted lead me through some of his research on our family.  It was like bags of sweets laid out before me. (Remember that feeling as a child?)  He guided me patiently, while the both of us logged on to a family ancestral site…this is a fan chart…click on person…click on tree…this is who this person was…and this one…here is the document…And so it went!  Any of you who do this sort of work know how generous this gesture of love is.  My grandfather, John Moors, would be so pleased.  My father, John Moors, will be, when he reads this.  Blessed!  I love you, Ted! And I will pour over every detail bit by bit and so much will be revealed to me!

This morning, I decided to continue to focus on the unbelievable possibility of the positive.  Rolling out of bed, I stepped into my slippers and shuffled upstairs to go through my morning rituals.  As a single woman, I typically do a day’s dishes in the evening, later than you choose, I’m sure, but, just the way I do things.  Last evening, I didn’t.  I expected to bury my hands and arms into warm sudsy water while the coffee maker burbled.  I like doing these things, although when I had a partner, I was over the moon about having a cup of coffee prepared for me and delivered to the sofa, while I either read the paper or eased into the day.  Rituals change and I have become very happy about treating myself to those tender gestures of support and kindness.


I woke to a note on my kitchen counter.

Went to
Made you
Leave the
dishes +
garbage. Will
do when I come

<3 you

My adult daughter and a gesture of love…makes everything feel different, doesn’t it?  When someone does you a kindness?  Little effort, but a whole spin that takes you to a place of reassurance and gratitude.  Thank you, Cayley.

I opened up Twitter while I sipped on this first hot cup of coffee.  This, after turning on the Tallest Man on Earth. (My cousin Peter finally showed me how to connect to those lovely speakers over there, with Bluetooth).

My friend, Wendy, had posted this…and I felt so grateful.  Something about me? Really?  The artist?  And the title of the piece, STABILITY!  Thank you, Wendy!



I’m feeling that these three gestures of love are a small smattering that represent the possibilities that are available to me today, these and the warm nuzzle of my Max Man pushing up against my thigh, here at the computer desk.  “Let’s go, Mom!  Let’s walk!”  Today, let’s all look for the gestures of love in our lives and look away from the natural draw to worry and sadness that pull at our heart strings these days, often issues that we have no control over.  Let’s simply do what we can, with a real focus of what are the blessings of our lives.  Create!



Complete Contentment

The morning ritual, with the first coffee sitting on the desk, is to read a few blogs, the news on line…check the e mail and then set out to create a day.  Tom Phillips is playing down at the Ironwood tonight, but I didn’t think to reserve a spot until last Friday…so, I’m on a waiting list. My dancing partner, Bee, says he can get me in…but New Year’s Eve is not the night to drive down to a place and then find out that they can’t sandwich you in to an event.

Being single is weird on New Year’s Eve.  Regardless, there are ways around that and things that you can do to cause you to feel those anticipatory jitters about how wonderful life is without a partner.  Like I say…going to one of those spots where people LOVE music is one of those welcoming ideas for singles.  I have many single friends who just love music so much that it’s great to be with them and their passion for all things beautiful as you ring in the New Year.  I’m pretty sure that the Gorilla House is open tonight…now, there, I could mingle with like-minded artists…maybe paint…have a drink…and one thing is for sure, have a barrell of laughs!

Being peaceful…now, that’s always a great way to bring in the New Year.  Slicing yourself up a bit of good sausage (will have to talk to the daughter about where she picked up the Christmas sausage…it was amazing!)  OH!  Here’s the information on the packaging for the strawberry/rubarb pie purchased at the same location…The Log Barn 1912!  Amazing food!

So…yeah…put on some music…slice up some good sausage…put out the gherkin pickles, cheese and crackers…for the brave, a tin of oysters!  Open a glass of wine and light up the candles.  Play some music. MAGIC!

I think one of the most memorable ‘quiet’ New Year’s Eve events I enjoyed was one shared with my son.  We went over to the movie theater and watched the Last Samurai.  We stepped into the cold winter night at around 1:15 a.m. that year.  The movie had been such a beautiful metaphor somehow.  We talked quietly about the whole experience as we drove home.

So, yeah…the point is.  Bless your own life with divine light for the new year.  Give yourself everything you need to be a healthy, positive and affirming force for others.  Be generous of heart and go easy on the pity parties.  Create!  Challenge!  Question!  Love! And…delight in the small things.

My small thing this morning… the light…a small shape of light, perhaps reflected off of a Christmas ornament on the tree on to my bookshelf.  It was beautiful and I may be reading too much into this (readers laugh here) but, I consider it to be a sign…an offering…an offering of light for this day and the year to come.  I’m taking it that way.


A friend of mine posted the lyrics to this tune and I’m going to post the music here.  One of the deeply inspiring experiences of 2012 for me was to sit and listen to Leonard Cohen.  Sit back…enjoy…and remember to be kind to yourselves.  Happy New Year!

Ok, so, You Can Choose to Be Positive

I’ve posted pretty positive stuff this morning.  First, I posted a slide show of ‘Flowers Coming to Life’ that a friend of mine sent via electronic mail early in the day.  I haven’t been in touch with her for a very long time, but that doesn’t really matter because if I were to see her today, we would just take up where we left off.  And it would take something very major to get us to end the conversation and find ourselves back on our way to another series of months without speaking with one another.  In some respects, I feel like I neglect our friendship, but in others, I think that we are truly blessed with what we have.  Love, apart/together OR together/apart, whichever way you wish to view this.

Second, I posted a tune by a former student, Nicholas Field.  I always thought that Nicholas was brilliant.  I enjoyed his writing, but more important, I think, I enjoyed his perceptions of things…that he was honest, sometimes brutally so, during class discussion.  He made things interesting.  He shook things up.  He felt things, deeply.  Hmm…he was actually engaged.  Sometimes students just weren’t.  I know I was like that in Junior High about some things.  I wrote about Nicholas On January 25, 2007.  It’s interesting to see how things move….how time moves.

Ok….so, these two bits of positive stuff are like pieces of bread.  So far today, they have created a sandwich and the filling…well, just so much for a single morning really.  Sometimes life just amazes me.

I headed out for church at 8:30.  Mass was rich and spirit-filled, as per usual.  My first-born was responsible for singing the psalm and for the first time ever I was left breathless by the beauty of her voice.  I regret that I didn’t compliment her in just that way.  As mother’s do, I think I said, “The Psalm was amazing…you were so clear.”  Hmmm…in retrospect, I wished I had let her know just how spectacular it was.  I think that I heard her every word and that doesn’t always happen.  My ears were opened.  She proclaimed the word!  Her voice was beautiful.

As well, the homily was powerful.  Our assistant priest, Father Jerome Lavigne, explored the meaning to the words.

Give Unto Caesar What is Caesar’s and Unto God What is God’s

I felt happy ‘in my head’.  I just really really appreciate it when I am left thinking about the Word of God.  I dropped my daughter to the gym club and proceeded to pick up the ham for Sunday family dinner at the grocery store and was happy to make the decision for Schwartzie’s potatoes instead of mashed. 

My cousin had a pot of home made oatmeal sitting on the stove for me, on my arrival.  It was the type sweetened with raisins!  Yummers!  I enjoyed a bowl full, along with my hot coffee and read a bit from a book I had picked up last week from the WIN store, three books for $2.09.  This one is titled The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life.  I plan on creating something along the lines of a vision board over the next while and I’m heading for a Dream Retreat at the end of the month with my daughters, so all of this is of interest to me.  After enjoying my bowl of porridge, I took pause as my cousin shared some news she had picked up on the internet…and this brings me to my title, “You Can Choose to Be Positive.”

Our conversation and reading brought me to such a painful story that I felt that I might have an impossible time turning my mood back to the absolute brilliance and blessing of this day.  Our thoughts turned to the story of the mass genocide of Mohawk children on Canadian soil, as connected with residential schooling in 1832.  I was blinded by anger as I poured over some of the writing and film that has been published on Youtube on this topic.  As recently as the beginning of this month, authorities have begun the painstaking act of unearthing these graves and thus, unearthing the history and circumstances of our First Nations people.  History has left so many scars and so much woundedness.  We find these scars in immediate families, in organizations of every sort and it never fails to shock or disappoint when acts of human hatred are brought to light.  A blog post is insufficient for saying all that needs to be said on this specific topic.  But, to move through such a wondrous autumn day like this one, without at least acknowledging that this is on my heart, would be wrong.

The Peaceable Kingdom

I think that it is important to pray for forgiveness and for love in all matters such as these.  It is important to live a better life and to respond to a greater calling because of historical events such as these.  It is imperative that we become called to greater wisdom and kindness.  Every child, every person, needs to be recognized for their beauty.  There is no place for racism, hatred and division in our world.  I decided to keep this story tucked close to my heart and to move forward into my day…and what better than to go outdoors where the sun was shining and golden leaves were gathering on the grass.

A neighbour greeted Max and I, crossed the street and spoke of a phone conversation with her mother in Bulgaria.  She talked about how her mother was complaining of the cold and how she was a survivor of breast cancer.  She shared a new connection with me as neighbour and headed west on the circle, for a walk. I headed for the community park with Max for a combination of Whizzo and ball, a great time really as he actually returned to me throughout the exercise, instead of deciding at the end that the game should evolve into a game of keep-away instead of return.  From there, we went to pick up a new bag of bird seed and returned home to listen to Bailey Diane Sutton’s musical recommendation for today and to write about a single day…one where I chose to be positive.

Happy Sunday dinner, to all of you!