Friday, July 10, 2009


I hated school, not learning, but the way public school approached teaching and how memorizing was more important than whether or not you learned anything that would be practical to your life. It was more about regurgitating what you memorized for an exam and if you forgot it immediately after, it made little difference to anyone.Reducing everyone to the lowest common denominator, that was the goal. There was never any sense of the individual being nurtured or encouraged.

I heard a man on C.B.C radio, the program, Ideas. His name was John Taylor Gatto. He taught 25 years in the New York public school system and he was an awarded teacher of the year, for New York State. He explains it all very well how the school system works, or doesn't work. He has written a book entitled, Dumbing Us Down. He talks about the seven lessons that are taught in schools generally.


2.Class position


4.Emotional dependency

5.Intellectual dependency

6.Provisional self-esteem

7.One can't hide

If you are interested in his web site it is It clarifys it all for me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shitter Shakers Apple River History

Here is a bit of Apple River history that took place a few years ago.

I started to teach belly dance at our local village hall last night. Five students with some more to come Thursday. It's history in the making here, real exciting to me. Who would of every imagined this would be happening in a village with such a small population of 60, made up of fishermen, woodsman and martyring maritime women who "stand by their man".I had been one in the past, so I say this without any disdain.

Our group of women were great fun, I felt we were doing almost something clandestine.
I went to visit my great friend after the class she gave me copious cups of coffee, oreo cookies and raisin toast for my supper, which she knew I hadn't had before my class. We had great conversation about women in a man's world, doing "men's" work , women working with men, which we both have done in the past, me a welder and her a fisherman with her Captain's license and she also worked at INCO. It was great talk, we are of the same cloth, her and I. Live by the seat of our pants, don't take no horse shit especially from what I like to call knuckle draggin' neanderthals! God only knows there's lots around everywhere you go...with hair on their backs I'm sure! Hey some of them are women!
Don't get me wrong I love men, just don't like a lot of their behaviour at times.
Belly Dance is an empowering art. I hope that in my own humble way I can make a difference in my little community to help change some of the attitudes that keep both men and women confined to a rigid gender definition and we are shakin' things up in Apple River, belly dancin' our way to freedom, celebrating who we are, just the way we are bellys and all!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Car Is Not My Life

This is a story of what happened to me a few years back, when I had a car. I haven't had one now for going on two years. Feels like a lifetime. I love cars, I've had some good ones and real bad ones. If you have one for sale, please let me know? I really need one now, but like the title to this story says, my car's not my life, but it sure helps if it's a good car!

On Thursday of this week I was coming home from work. I am a pastry cook in a very beautiful location in Nova Scotia. It is very remote and you have to travel a fair distance up a long and winding dirt road. At the end of the road you must then walk down a craggy trail to arrive at the most beautiful sight in the world to me, the sea and the sky. Along the cliff stands a lighthouse, a lighthouse keepers Inn and guesthouse. There is the lighthouse keepers kitchen which is where I work. I always say it doesn't matter what kind of day you have, you can't be in a bad mood for long when you are in the mist of such stunning and awesome beauty.

Well, I am hear to tell you I had the day from hell this Thursday past, and it was on the Cape Dor road. I was coming down that road after working my shift 6:30am til 12:30 p.m. My boss had to go on an errand down to the village, so I got an extra hour in. I was glad because my hours have been cut from 32 down to 20. I have bills coming out my ying yang and it would have been more pleasurable to have monkeys coming out of my ass Thursday and to be anywhere other than Cape Dor. When I was driving down the road my fan had been cutting in and out until about halfway down the hill. It had not been working the past few days and then began to work. Now, it had been on and off several times during this journey from work. Suddenly, my horn went on and wouldn't quit off nor could it be stopped. Then, I saw smoke coming from under the hood of my car. I could tell by the colour of the smoke, this was not the overheating kind of smoke, but hell shitadamn, my car is on fire kinda smoke, and what in hell am I gonna do now!!! So I got out of the car and looked to see flames flying out from under the tops of the tires! I was shittin' bricks to put it mildly! I didn't know what to do next. I ran around doing a few things that I'd rather not share in public, suffice to say I was insane! Anyway, I managed to get a grip on myself after running back and forth trying to decide whether to run up the hill or down, not knowing which way would be closer to finding someone to help and call the fire department. I ran downhill. Easier to run down, than up. I was sweatin' bullets! It was one of the hottest days I can remember this summer. Fortunately I met some people, tourists that stopped and drove to the closest house and I called my good friend Jim, who called the fire department for me. By the time he'd come to pick me up and we got to where my car was, it was completely engulfed in flames. My biggest worry was that it would blow up and someone on the road would get hurt coming along either way. Apparently, it is very likely a car will blow from fumes and not from a full tank of gas. I had next to no gas. Why or how it didn't blow was a mystery. I just thank God it didn't and no one got hurt.

My boss arrived at the scene with Jim and I. I broke down but still tried to keep my sense of humour. I asked Darcy if he had marsh mellows or any wieners. I had to try and laugh to keep from crying and to keep my perspective.
Now I 'll tell you this car wasn't fancy or expensive but it was paid for, purple and my shaggin' wagon. The back seats went down! I loved that car. I had a few cars I'd gladly of torched believe me, but that car wasn't one of them. It was my baby. 1994 Ford Aspire. The Purple Beet, I called her. Don't laugh it was paid for!

In my moment of insane panic, I have to tell you this. There was a split second, I almost thought to get into that car and drive to get help! Then I just as quickly snapped out of it and thought... you never run into a burning building... you sure as hell never get back into a burning car!

The same day after returning home from Jim and Lois' who were very comforting and kind to me, I won a $20 prize on a Set For Life Lottery ticket!!! Made $55 at the local Farmer's market today and I continue to receive a lot of love and support from friends who love me. So, the point of the story is... yes the Cape is a beautiful piece of God's heaven still, and I was not in hell that Thursday, it's just called life and shit happens in life, that never changes, shit continues to happen and always will. What has changed is my attitude. Today I am very grateful. I take the bad with the good, see the good in the bad, and live life on life's terms, and say the Serenity Prayer a lot. I have a gratitude list, count my blessings, my friends, my family, and my life. It's a great day to be alive no matter where I am, think of all those people that are dead! Hey... don't let your meatloaf!