Environment and our local City Garbage-The Disposal of the ‘Rapid Test Kits’ & Masks

Rubbish Garbage Environment Pollution Waste

I want to understand how much of an impact the rapid test kit chemicals may have on the environment and the general public because we are told to throw them out in the garbage. I will contact the CDC environment team, the Public Health Minister, and my local MLA about how we are currently disposing of these rapid test kit materials.

I was walking out and about to get my vitamin D from the sun, and there on every corner and on every street there was health masks on the ground. How many masks are filling the garbage dumps? What impact do they have over time as they accumulate? I wonder…

For more information go to: our Government Canada site:
https://recalls-rappels.canada.ca/en/alert-recall/rapid-antigen-test-kits-and-potential-exposure-hazardous-substances

This also may be of interest:

I don’t see any information about how to dispose of this stuff properly. I was told by the public health nurse to throw mine in the garbage. I spoke to poison control, and they shared that it is best to contact the above people. If you were exposed, it’s best to contact your local public health where you got your kit and ask if it is the one that is recalled or if they are all recalled. I know Okanagan College has been giving out rapid tests to the students. If you are a student or know one, maybe ask how these chemicals are disposed of there? Something to consider for our beloved earth and its creatures.

I honestly think that our Health Minister and the City need to have further discussions with the CDC environment teams to ensure that when we are told to wear masks, and do our own Covid 19 testing with kits to take home that there needs to be a plan to protect the public and the environment and wildlife from what may be toxic over time. It starts with us to care.

Caged Birds and the Hope of Flight

I was born in a time of protests and revolutions, where rallies rose as the vices of students and groups had their say to make changes to long-standing systems. We were moving away from the first wave of feminism into the second wave.

Doodle art by Christine Reeves

Two years ago, life changed for all nations of the world. The change was not Covid 19 that crept into the lives of every one of us. It was the change in our ability to understand who we are amidst a global idea of a pandemic. The change shifted from what we know to the hysteria of misinformation. Powers from our government and Public Health have blown into a social media data news frenzy. We became the enslavement of mass amounts of people who have become desensitized to balancing information from two sides of a coin. The only way I can express it. One side has an image. Flip the coin and another image. Both images are different but are one coin. Our Country is like a coin. Let us complicate it further, we have the coin, the Canadians, and then there is the manufacturing of the money, representing our government.


Those who serve the Canadians have flipped the image upside down, and because they work in the very crux of it all, they can see how easy it is to change the image ever so slightly.
Why are Canadians reacting to the fear our government is displaying? We are all here for a short time, yet some Canadians are questioning how the government spends our money and time.

There is a reason I stopped writing this blog. Perhaps it is because of the harshly censored writers. After all, many are witnesses to fake news happening to larger-than-life broadcasting companies. It could also be fear that as a writer something about the current state of Canada and the communities Canadians live in, a majority are suffering severe consequences for what they post on social media and other spaces on the web.

The bird had wounded its heart
I wanted to fix it
The bird couldn’t fly
I wanted to make it a new wing
I caged the bird, the bird died
I wanted to make it live forever
The bird flew away
I caught the bird and let it go
the bird lived

Think about that for a moment. Our Prime Minister of Canada states, ‘keep Canadians safe,’ safe from what and who? Our current government has bullied many, and many Canadians have displayed how unsafe they are while Liberals are in power.

I got sick with the flu.

The PCR test told me it was Covid 19 twice. Do I believe in the accuracy of a PCR test? No, I do not. Is Covid 19 a real issue? Yes, I believe it is, but I do not understand how public health can throw out figures and numbers of deaths and sicknesses due to covid because people get sick with the flu. I also think there are sides to our science and medical experts that need to come together and hash out misinformation, sit down and look at what is working and what is not with medical and science professionals who have a different view of our current situation about the pandemic we have been made aware of by our government and public health ministers all over the world.

I have gone to my community’s rally to support the Freedom Convoy. Yes, you are correct; I am one of those people who have attended and supported the peaceful rallies in my local community.

Photo by Christine Reeves

It is heartbreaking to see some families and communities pitted against each other. Difference of opinion means you are cancelled or, worse yet, judged to the highest degree.


Half of the community has been dismissed by their employer because they would not comply with the mandates of our Public Health orders. Some cannot serve in the community to help those in need because the government and public health officials tell us that we risk others if we do not comply with their ideas of information. We no longer hug our friends or neighbours. Half of the community is cancelling family visits because they have refused the jab. Then we have the other side of some families who have had severe physical reactions and have been pushed aside for severe physical ailments because the jab hurt them and caused disabling effects that no one in our Canadian Federal Government is paying attention to.

Our fingerprints are unique and different, and we are all not the same. Mass injections of one form of treatment and trial will affect each person differently.

Some families cannot see their children due to the mandates that public health and government officials have ordered; this has created a divide in our backyards.

We live in a great battle, and the circle of unity broke until The Canadian Truckers for Freedom came to our rescue.

It took Covid 19 to reveal the actual ugly head of power and oppression to breathe a new kind of air. The type of air is fear and control and the stopping of all touching, hugging, singing, working, and buying for what. Compassion and listening to both sides of the coin are necessary to have peace and forgiveness. We need to change our ways and look into the camera without the lens cover on.

If we are not careful and go with only one side of the information, we will not understand how to flip the coin to see the other side. I also realize that we have two holes in our nose for a good reason and a hole in the mouth that does not muffle it with chemical-laced material; the hole in our mouth also allows us the ability to speak. Many Canadians stopped talking and stopped sharing?

The mandates are harming so many. A friend of mine said the generation of children today will not read people’s expressions on their faces because of the mask covering half of the citizens’ faces. That alone may hinder growth and social awareness.

I am heartbroken over the current state of our government, which is name-calling and bullying many Canadians. One side of Canada is against the mandates, and the other is for the mandates. I am frustrated that the government cannot look at both sides and come together with the medical experts currently protesting with the Truckers’ convoy and rationally and peacefully look at the two-sided picture on the one coin.

I stopped writing because I lost faith in people and my government my idea of being Canadian shifted downward. No one is paying attention to the ‘dismissed’ Canadians who lost our voices and this is the workers in our country this is all of us. Our labor represents the rim; the edge is unity with no break in the whole circle representing all Canadians. I long for the community to hug, smile and build bridges with each other again and for everyone to stop asking if people had the jab or for government to stop creating division and oppression for people that do not want the jab or cannot have it.

The convoy of Truckers came in droves. I burst out crying with new hope. I began to see a shift in my community, people talking more, removing their masks and smiling again. I started to see people come together as I had never seen before. A unity that makes me smile as I write this. I pray for Canada and all of our beautiful nations of the world, and I hope that somehow we can forgive and respect both sides, even if it means to touch the leper who needs bread.

Victim of a Scam

I fell prey to a scam. However, if it wasn’t for my wise father, It could have been worse for me. There are a lot of feelings that come from being scammed. The feeling of being stripped as another trusted person gets into one’s space and then strips your belongings and leaves you standing there with a cup of empty coffee in your hand with no pot to refill it.

It all started one morning when I received a text message from the Chief Operating Officer from one of the companies I sent my resume too. He texted me saying that I have been chosen as one of the top applicants.

I have had many resumes that I sent out to a lot of companies that I had checked out thoroughly for gaining steadier employment. These jobs seemed reputable. But let me tell you, as reputable as they are, keep alert because scammers are lurking for their next victim and targeting people looking for work.

My text message, ‘dinged,’ from my cell phone at 8:00 AM. It was from the job I was hoping to get because it was a remote job I could do at home. I had all the credentials, reviewed the company, and looked up the individuals who texted me through LinkedIn and the ‘said’ company off their website. I should have picked up on the ‘possible warning alert’ when I had to go through the mobile app called telegraph to discuss the job by the human resources interviewee on my phone. However, I didn’t grind my coffee beans yet and was very excited over the opportunity. Everything looked legit.

I covered the tracks, reviewed the company. I confirmed their existence, and I was ready; once they told me they would like to offer me the job, it sounded fantastic, they sent the offer letter via email. I signed it and sent it back to them via email (bad idea). Soon after that, they sent me another email expressing that I needed to purchase a MacBook and a fax machine with a Norton program and other Software. Things were looking great. They spoke of the benefits, the fact that employees can purchase shares. The job seemed easy enough, data entry and client service, something I can do while building my dreams as I complete my diploma, even if it means reaching for the lightbulb at home instead of the stars.

I was thrilled that I got the job! What made me feel unsettled in my toes and tummy was that this human resource person had stated that they needed to deposit some money so I could purchase the office equipment. She also mentioned that she would send the cheque in a pdf format, and I would have to print it off and then use my mobile banking app to deposit the cheque. I did it. Why did I do it? I double-checked their names and the company, and I knew they had my resume for quite some time now. I rationalize it by my past work experience where when I worked for a Chemical Co., my manager gave me money to set up all the offices for our operators coming from overseas, so I didn’t think much of this. I didn’t heed my inner warnings.

Conceptual hand writing showing Scam Alert. Concept meaning warning someone about scheme or fraud notice any unusual

The next thing that jarred me was when she texted, “you must get the office products right away so that your training can get started. I texted back, “okay.” What does one do when one does not have a husband to talk things over with? I called my dad, “Dad, did you hear I got the job with this awesome company? They have great benefits, and I can work the night shifts and still complete my studies during the day! It is a lot more money than what my last position paid me. Also, they sent me a cheque already in my email, which I deposited in my bank, and I am waiting to purchase the office equipment!” He said, “I just heard on the news not long ago about a student who did what you did print off the company cheque, deposited it in her bank, purchased what they asked her to, and then the cheque bounced. She was out all this money.”

I felt like I hit a wall. “I have been scammed.” After about 10 minutes of thinking, I panicked.

They had my name, address, a signature from the offer letter I signed. They had my confirmation that I sent them via email with my bank information. Wow! all in one afternoon! I was one busy girl.

I called my bank after the fact and told them of my recent deposit and that I needed them to check if the cheque cleared on their end. They told me it would take five business days to determine if it bounces. They logged my account, sent me to the fraud department, and advised me to make another account and transfer everything to be safe, which took the remainder of the afternoon into the evening. I contacted the local police they opened up a file. I called the TD bank, which the scammers used for their pdf cheque. The TD clerk took all the information down off the cheque and thanked me.

There is a lesson here: when you do an interview, do it over zoom or a remote job, then ensure you facetime, or skype with them and never download a pdf cheque and deposit it into your mobile bank app on your phone.

Okay, so I fell flat on my face, and it was okay because the sun shone somewhere else in the world, just not on me that day. I am wiser, and I am extra cautious now. Once things got straightened out on my end, I decided that bad things happen to vulnerable people. There is a good tune that cheered me up. I cranked up the volume and danced around my living room to the song by Blue October, ‘Life’s like a Jump Rope.’

Check this CBC news article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/banks-online-scam-fake-cheque-fraud-td-1.6244111

The Red Cottage – Timeless Love

The Red Cottage, photo given to me from my Auntie Jean

by Christine Reeves

The moment we hit the dirt road, my windows rolled down, and we were able to touch the forage on the side of the road as we passed. I knew we were close to arriving at the red cottage. The tingles in my toes, my heart skipping a beat, my breath held and then released. If you recall watching a balloon filled with helium fly out from your hand, going straight up in the air, that was me ready to fly out of my seat in anticipation.

Upon arrival at the red cottage, my dad could not stop the car fast enough; before we could run out the door to look at the lake.

The red cottage is my favourite place where dreams come true, the family gathers, and love fills the air away from the school world, the drama of friends, traffic, and responsibility. Time is what we had there, a time of surprise where dreams unfold for everyone, where love comes together in one super present, ready to unwrap it takes your breath away. It wasn’t just the arrival; it was walking into the cottage that gave me a whole secure perspective. The familiar kitchen window overlooks the lake. The chair in front of the large window, my uncle, would look through his binoculars while we were in the lake swimming to make sure we didn’t pass the dock. If we did, he would wave and yell, “Come back, that’s too far!” Watching him jump up and down with his arms swaying like a tree moving to-and-fro in the wind made us giggle even more and sneak past the dock to see him do the ‘warning dance.’ We loved our Uncle Don.

Going to the bathroom was exciting because on the door was the ‘knock-knock plaque’ with a wooden hammer attached to it, to which we loved to take the hammer and knock incessantly for fun. However, it wasn’t so fun when it was my turn to use the bathroom, and my cousins would do the very same thing! The bedrooms were neatly dressed, the scent of my grandparent’s, and the orange marmalade jam smell in the kitchen I could almost taste it by memory. The colouring books stacked on the shelf and the large crayon box underneath them call me to pick them up and start colouring!

It was warm enough for a swim. My mother laid the luggage on the bed. She pulled out my favourite pink bathing suit with the buttons on the front. My sister grabbed hers already and ran down to the lake faster than fast. I was too dreamily taking in the ambiance and the curtains, the paisley flowers, the deck of cards we were going to play. The unloading of the goodies in the bag my dad brought in and set them on the counter. The fishing rods that looked so lonely lay against the wall in the corner by the door. The famous couch where all the adults sat watching our play and songs we made up for entertainment. I paused, looking into my cousin Stephen’s little bedroom window to hear the familiar birds. I missed listening to the song of the birds because, in the city, the noise drowns their music.  I loved his room. We were allowed to take turns sleeping in his room, which made it exceptionally exciting when it got to be my turn. I was the youngest.  In his room at night, you could hear the crickets; the rhythmic song always put me to sleep.

Then looking at the weapon that took down a blood-thirsty bat, the famous broom was standing in the corner of the hallway. I remember one evening a bat flew in the door. Everyone ran wildly all over the place. My aunt yelled, “cover your hair!”, my mother ran into the bathroom, my sister and cousins ran outside and me? I watched the fun unfold as I clung to my hair, peeking through my strands, praying the vampire bat wouldn’t suck our blood. My dad was the true hero in the story. He took the broom and our butterfly net, caught the bat, and let it go outside.

What is even more precious is when my grandmother puts the kettle on because once she starts the kettle, that means its Storytime. We sat by her feet while she shared her adventures when she was young. Then the family gathers around the table to play cards. I don’t remember the kinds of games we played. I remember my grandmother laughing so hard she accidently peed in her pants. I knew that love intertwines in memory of each of our hearts that grows inside me. Family love is shared, experienced, and transparently moves into the present and designs the future. Do you see? It isn’t just the Red Cottage I speak of; it’s the love that filled it and the love that continues to fill us.

The Wedding Day

by Christine Reeves

Pure white peony flowers as floral art background, wedding decor and luxury branding design

Two by each travelling by
summer’s heat and winter’s freeze
spring blossomed, and fall got cold
long before we knew it so

Marijuana haze, eyes a glaze
simple loving became a craze
of one by one each alone
united by love
addiction transpired
nothing is what it seems

I longed for dreams of white
satin laces
warm nights in a loving embrace
walks and journeys, expeditions long overdue
I never knew of these

My soul reaches for the little boy
long bitter heart controlled
emotions rise and rejection soar
long before we knew for sure
love has split and broken

I meant my words on that simple
day, before God, I sat and prayed
a will and a hope of love to stay
that only winter’s freeze took away
Promises and calming hugs
never an action to make it okay

I began to yearn for the day
the wounds of loss on that fateful night
would shed the pain and healing might
restore your faith again

I miss my dreams of all we had
all the loving shared that mattered
it seems to me I hold a candle that lights
the truth that lies scattered
I know what it means to stay lit
in the face of disaster

Anniversary’s come every year
love passes some with cheer
ours has broken from lack of mirror
the actions hurt confusion and denial
power and less nothing can resolve
an empty nest

Love remains the same
love doesn’t change
selfish means rip apart
what golden rings meant from the start
the beginning of a white wedding.

The Thift Store

My friend took me to this quaint little place called the Bargain Bin, which is located downstairs under the United Church. This Church is over 110 years old. You would never know. I say this because it looks well kept, and the structure is sturdy. The face, doorway, and the steeple built with love embedded into its frame. It was the perfect escape I needed from the craziness of the current horror story unraveling in the news daily by going to a thrift store that I hadn’t gone to in a long, long time.

This place holds stories in each piece of ornament, dishware, handmade pottery, and antiques. I wondered what the owners could tell me if I were to sit with them in time as they explained their treasures. It is like walking into the past for a moment despite the current clothing trends. The staff took their time to do what many have done from years past. Raise money for organizations in need.

People once moved through this community long before it was named Peachland. This place comes with an exciting history that stone and earth intertwine this community that has built longstanding trust in God, with each other and through one another.

Somehow earth had warmed
Somehow earth had shifted
The ice of water freezes life in its tracks
Glaciers broke, and signs of life emerged
The beat of the heartbeat began so many years before
How natives danced beneath the ice core
Peaks and valleys pointed up to the sun
And many people found their way to run
Creatures followed as birthing mother breaks forth
A newborn baby travels the course
that there flowed melted glaciers that formed 
structures that tower above us? 
This erosion is what is needed to melt hearts 
that have become cold that changes the weather 
from human works of stupidity to believe 
that we are greater than our environment 
than our bodies condition. 
We mess with structure and the structure breaks. 
We trust God and new health wakes

This place is tucked away in the basement of the Church in Peachland. I walked right in front of the bookshelf and somehow found the most incredible honey I could find. The sweetness of finding a small corner of the best books I could only dream of seeing all in one place and its not a bookstore!

The current heaviness from the battles we face daily escaped me. I now hold prized books from scholarly excellence of stories that orchestrate life’s melody in pages of wooden trees is a leaf filled with stories hooked onto its branch spreading over nations.

I found myself smiling.

One of the books I found is called “Stolen Life The Journey of a Cree Woman,” by Rudy Wiebe and Yvonne Johnson.

“Nothing just happens, my friend, unless it was meant to be…If we are guided under the Bear, then even our futures can be changed… YOU and I may have been chosen long ago to meet, and our past has given us each a gift of understanding.” 

Yvonne Johnson to Rudy Wiebe excerpt from the book Stolen Life, Chapter 1. 1998, Jackpine House Ltd., First Vintage, Canada Edition, 1999.

Another book I found called “Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups by Ben Holden made me chuckle. I remember the goodness that love’s memory carried over and awakened at the thought of my mother reading while I lay on her lap, hearing the sound of her voice and her heartbeat with the rhythm and pulse of love’s drum. I have slept peacefully since. I haven’t read the stories in this book, but I am intrigued and looking forward to it.

I picked more books but I cannot name them all.

The next treasure I picked up was the perfect scene. This painting captivated my eyes and my heart. The colors are beautiful. It isn’t that often one can find something so beautiful and rare in a bit of a nook. The painting is on my wall above the desk where I write. The perfect inspiration!

Look at the wall before and after:  my silly scribbles or this wonderful painting? You see my point?

my wall then, my wall now *smiles*

While I discussed art with the cashier, her smile and gentleness lifted my spirits. My soul awakened to the goodness of others. People in our lives and the community instill hope for the future and a beautiful mystery waiting to solve. It is in anticipation of love that tears dry and separation eases.

Despite our current sufferings, we can be sure that this will change like a shift when we do something out of the ordinary to escape the pressing issues that demand attention.

I embrace the idea that exploring the mystery of life is enough to know love when corrosion unleashes and breaks the dam that life circumstances eroded in a soul that has held off what kept it from making a lake I now love to swim in.

Experiment Drama – Gas

Design made using Canva by Christine Reeves Drama continued by Christine Reeves

Gas by Jose Rivera, Page 353
(CHEO starts to pump gas. As he pumps the gas, he notices something horrifying. He pulls the nozzle out of the car. Blood comes out of the gas pump. CHEO stares and stares at the bloody trickle coming out of the gas pump.) BLACKOUT.

Characters:
Cheo
Roman (gas attendant-who happens to be Cheo’s brother)

(Spotlight: Centre Stage-Cheo staring at the gas pump holding the nozzle as blood trickles out)

Cheo. Fucking sick, hey! Hello, YOU FUCKING DIPSHIT look at this mess; what do you got going on here? DIPSHIT COME OVER HERE! We got something BAD over here! we got BAD GAS here!

(Waves at the gas attendant)

Roman. Cheo old man. It’s not bad gas. Its my blood that’s spilled from Riyadh, my blood bro, my blood is spilled all over the desert dust.

Cheo. There is no time for jokes. Come and fix this gas pump here so that I can go on my way.

Roman. It’s me, Cheo, It’s me, Roman, your little brother.

(Spotlight on Roman flicker blue and gold lights)

Cheo. It finally happened, I fucking snapped, mom lost it too we’re losing our heads.

(He sits by the truck tire the gas nozzle dropped)

Roman. My death happened fast. We underestimated the Iraqi troops; we thought the previous attacks weakened them. We got it wrong; they prepared for a counter-attack. The weather was terrible. There was blowing sand and rain, we could hardly see the enemy lines. That’s when we got hit; our station exploded. That’s how my body got scattered over the sands of the desert. My blood pours out to you brother.

Cheo. It can’t be. I’m fucking losing it.

(Turns to look at Roman beside him spotlight shines on the two brothers Cheo traces Roman’s face)

But, you, you do look like my little brother. I was thinking about the time mom brought you home, you were so tiny. I thought you were like a doll or something. When she told me to sit down, and put you in my arms, I wouldn’t dare show it, but I loved you then, Roman. You grew so fast. You were the one that touched the heart of everyone. Unlike me, I had to make sure the family could eat, you know? That you had what you needed. You Lil Shit! What the fuck were you thinking about joining the army. Your family needs you, Roman not the President, not the country, us your family! Now your guts are spilled all over the fucking sands. You didn’t know this, but your ugly wife is pregnant. That’s right, trust me, it’s your baby!

Roman. I needed you to know that you were like a father to me Cheo. Whenever I had nightmares, you came into my room, holding me until mom got home Whenever I hurt myself, it was you bandaging me up because mom had to work so much. Cheo, before I got killed, God showed me your heart. You know, it’s okay to marry Dinah, she’s beautiful. She won’t make the cover of those magazines, but she’s got a good heart Cheo, and she loves you.

Cheo. We counted on those letters Roman, it told us you, you, were ALIVE. I’m thinking of the time I whooped your ass good when you gave our savings to the homeless guy down the street. You remember that?

Roman. He was a war veteran Cheo, lost his legs, who else was going to help him? You were so mad you chased me for blocks threating to kill me if I ever tried to come back home. But, there you were, driving all over the place trying to find me. It didn’t take you long. You knew all my hiding places. That’s when I could see that you loved me. You were crying like a girl, hugging me, telling me you would never kill me and that it’s ok.

Cheo. I need to apologize to you, Roman, I didn’t know how to be a big brother. There was a time that I felt overburdened, and I could see it hurt you. But once I got a job out of town and left for a few months. You were crying and screaming for me to come back, and I just ignored you. The thing is little bro, if I looked back, I wouldn’t have been able to go, and it would’ve kill me right then and there like a torpedo explosion.

Roman. I forgive you Cheo, you were hard on me, but that’s because you cared. When mom was in the hospital, you made sure she had the best care, and you coordinated round the clock family time to get her through. That’s your heart big brother, that is the kind of heart you have. When I was out there in the desert inside the tank, I swore that if anything happened to me that I would be able to tell you it’s going to be ok Cheo. You can be an uncle to my baby girl. I’ll watch out for her from heaven.

Cheo. Ok, no bringing up that nonsense religious fucking shit on me, Roman. It’s enough mom thinks I’m going to hell. But you? What’s Heaven Roman?

Roman. I had this dream out there in the desert when the bombs were going off in Kuwait. I was running in this field with tall grass, and there was this crazy windmill in the distant. I ran towards it, but it turned out to be this shack all boarded up. I peeked in the window and there was pure white sheets covering the furniture on the inside.

Cheo. The gulf war got to your head, Lil bro, come on now, this sounds like a dream. A dream this isn’t real.

Roman. I pried the door open and walked in. I walked through cobwebs, but once I was inside, the sheets were as white as snow. There was food left on the table, rotting. I walked towards the kitchen, there was this mummy case, you know, like the kind of King Tut tomb mummy? I was dazzled! All those colourful paints like gold and royal blue made that mummy case spectacular. I pried that thing open. I wasn’t afraid of no dead body. It flipped open, and there was Jesus Cheo; he took my hand and spoke to me without using his mouth. He took me outside, and it was so beautiful Cheo, the colors in Heaven are so vivid, nothing on earth can compare to that. There was this boat see? It was a red boat by the shore. I had this sense Cheo to row for him deep in my gut. Jesus took the oars and rowed the boat for me. I did nothing compared to what you did for our family Cheo. But I need you to know that there is a God, and he loves you. He wants you to help others and go to Church with mom. She’s going to need God right now when she finds out that I’m not coming home to give her HOPE Cheo. You got this. You can do this. Jesus is real, and everything is going to be okay. I want you to trust me.

Cheo.

(Crying holding onto Roman, I don’t want you to go, your my little brother, we need you hear man, we need you fucking here)

Roman. I’ll always be your little brother Cheo. I’m always going to be with you. We are going to see each other again. Trust me. You need to make sure mom knows that when you go back, and you tell her the news.

(background change – spot light shines in the back where the trees and flowers are. Roman is feeling an urgency)

It’s time, Cheo, I gotta go. God’s calling me home. You got to be strong for me, okay? Like you always were strong. You got this, Cheo!

Cheo.

(Brother’s hug 1 minute-music starts Roman goes towards the back and disappears. Spotlight on Cheo he falls to the ground on his knees as the light where Roman stood flickered black)

Fucking war, fucking Gulf fucking war, the fucking desert.

(He sees something shining and glowing on the ground. Spotlight on the ground. Cheo picks up his brother’s dog tags)

It’s fucking real, it’s fucking true. I’m going to make you proud, Roman. You watch from heaven little brother. I’m going to be the best fucking uncle and the best God father EVER!

(He puts the dog tags over his head . Picks up the gas pump and sticks it into his car. Fills the car with gas Spotlight fades to black)

Upcoming Events

“There is always space to join a place that brings community face to face or wire to wire when we enquire”
Quote by Christine Reeves

UBC Events 2021 that are open to the Community

Date Night Sunland Family Ministries

February 18th 2022, Friday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM the community Church is hosting a movie night for kids so that parents can enjoy an evening out together. For complete details: https://www.sunridge.org/events/date-night-lld3s-lc466
Sunridge Community Church, West Kelowna, BC

Okanagan College Event Open to the Community

Business Expo and Employment Fair
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM open to the community
https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/business/business-expo

Indigenous Speaker Series
Secwepemc activist, mother, water and land defender, and member of the Tiny House warriors Kanahus Manuel as their next speaker in the Indigenous Speaker Series event.
February 4th at 6:00 PM Those who wish to attend that goes for anyone in the community can attend so please invite them to zoom as well. More details click here:
https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/indigenous-speaker-series-event

Okanagan Regional Library

Online Writing/Reading Events…

Around the Okanagan

Downtown Kelowna

Metro Cafe

Okanagan Heritage Museum


West Kelowna


Naramata


Rutland

Rutland Winter Fest
February 13-21st, 2022
https://www.rutlandrec.com/winterfest

Armstrong

Joyride Sleighride

Presented by Caravan Farm Theatre
Begins December 3rd, 2021 to January 2nd 2022 click below for all the dates it is $63.00 but worth it! Starting times are at 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM
https://www.tourismkelowna.com/event/joyride-sleighride/27698/

Armstrong Spullumcheen Museum and Art Gallery
8th Annual Festival of Trees
December 7th-23 and December 28-30th
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Tuesdays through Saturday

Gigantic Book Sale
April 6th to December 30th (There is still time!)
Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
https://armstrongspallmuseumart.com/

Vernon
Victorian Christmas at Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Big White Ski Resort

Saturday Fireworks
The Greatest Show in Town
Saturdays December 4th, 2021 7:30 PM Ending April 2nd, 2022
https://www.bigwhite.com/events-activities/events-calendar/saturday-fireworks

Free Mountain Tours
For Everyone!
December 10th, 2021 through to April 9th, 2022
Book online here:
https://www.bigwhite.com/events-activities/winter-activities/free-mountain-tours

Silver Star Mountain Resort

The Annual Light Up

Christmas Craft Nights – Ginger Bread Houses
The spots are limited pre-booking… necessary!
Night 1 – December 22, 2021 at 6:00 PM
Night 2 – December 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM
https://www.skisilverstar.com/events/christmas-craft-night/






Experiment 7-Drama

Based on: The Werewolf, by Angela Carter, Pg. 153

The Werewolf

Characters:

Blanchette: Italian 7-year-old female known as, ‘The good child’

Cesaire: Werewolf

Setting: In the woods inside the book of the fable The Werewolf

Time: mid-morning

Blanchette:

(The child wiped the blade of her knife clean on her apron, wrapped up the wolf’s paw in the cloth in which her mother had packed the oatcakes and went towards her grandmother’s house.) (Carter 153)

Cesaire: Gulping and whimpering, BlanchEEEEETTE! That was uncalled for. Do you see that boulder over there? I happen to know there is a hole underneath it. It used to be an old well, a deep, deep hole; I’m going to throw YOU in it and cover it up!

Blanchette: Idle threats don’t work. Cesaire come out from where you are, and let’s discuss this over oatcakes?

Cesaire: (lies down under the old oak tree licking his stump). I am tired of this; how long must we keep this up before the story gets too dull for children and they stop liking it?

Blanchette: Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you came into the forest to kill me? The rule is you were supposed to run past me and get grandmother first, FIRST, not go for my jugular. You are so unwise sometimes. I get to be ‘The good child’, and you get to be the bad werewolf. That’s the story. Why did you change it?

Cesaire: I am so bored with the same story. I wanted to kill you off in hopes we would both get transformed into a rabbit, you know, like that movie people are watching on Netflix, ‘Watership Down,’ it’s so much more sophisticated and exciting than this.

Blanchette: The story will end when parents stop reading the story. That’s that stop being so overdramatic.

Cesaire: I flashed my red eyes on the mother while she read the story right before I attacked you.

Cesaire laughing

Blanchette: How many times have I told you that when you screw with the plot AND the reader, it screws everything else up?

Cesaire: She blinked and saw me! Well, what’s the worst that can happen, Blanchette, the reader throwing the book away? OOOO I’m scared.

Blanchette: Nothing, I guess, I don’t know. The reader never caught you before like this one.

Cesaire: Do you see that? The mother just lit a match?

Blanchette: Oh, dear, she’s burning the book. My goodness, this is a first. Why did you have to freak the mother out? SHEESH.

Cesaire: Well, can you share those oatcakes now that they are steaming hot before we die?

Blanchette: Yeah, just for the record, this is ALL your fault; if it wasn’t for you, we could have at least got to the grandmother’s house and eat a decent meal, but noooooooooooo you had to freak the mother out!

(The Werewolf and The good child sit and eat oatcakes together as the forest burns).

December 2020

Thinking About Endings and Death

Scenic cemetery and tombstone.Gravestone and Halloween background.Surreal graveyard.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

It has been a while since I have written. It has a lot to do with my community that has gone through a different kind of ending. What do I mean by that? Some restaurants have permanently closed, some are on the brink of closing, and some I do not know what happened. They are just gone.

There are endings of relationships that are the most difficult to handle and the termination of employment for some or loss of health for others.

homeless man lost his job due to coronavirus COVID-19, he stands with cardboard, need shelter and food, isolated in studio

Many goodbyes.

My son held unto his comfort blanky as though it was a part of himself and that he would not survive without it.  My son gave me his comfort blanket. It now lays on his bed; because he is much too old for such things as that. I felt the pain of it all.  I mean, this is the blanket that I would rush 20 minutes to go back to where we were to get that blanket in the wee hours of the morning because he would not sleep without it and because he was heartbroken.

Blanky Christine Reeves

One day I washed his comfort blanket. He asked where his blanky had gone; I remembered I had hung it up to dry on the balcony. We frantically searched EVERYWHERE for his blanky, and it was nowhere.  My son, sorrowful, went into his playroom to weep. And sure enough, after being so sad, I went outside to search and contact the neighbours in case blanky had blown their way.  There, on the ground was his forever friend, his beloved blanky. I found true joy at that moment seeing my son’s whole self light up like a lit-up Christmas tree.  It was pure happiness.

Death is a challenging topic to write if one is not writing a horror story or living in one.

We live in ‘time.’ And time, unfortunately, is passing.

I went to a Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed through the Church in my local area.  I have never gone to a Commemoration like that before.  It was touching. A few of us were there with families at the cemetery.  We had time to stand there, and talk while waiting for the Priest to start the commemoration. It is funny what people talk about standing in a cemetery.  We spoke of marriages, and this one short woman with a very downcast face said, “my husband and I were married for 54 years, and he died two months ago.” We all went silent for a time. Then we discussed marriages. A few couples addressed the length of their marriage, and then there was me, the ‘divorced’ one. I had nothing much to say except I was embracing endings. Which got me thinking of a book I once read, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

Mitch Albom

My grandmother was quite the woman.  She was stubborn and had to do things her way, even to the point of putting herself out and damaging her own life to prove a point. I am sure Jesus had to run through many fields and forests, even through thick walls, to get to her!  There is irony because when the Priest told us to disperse and find our loved ones instructed us to put out our hands, and he would come and give them a blessing with holy water.  Well, my mother and I walked clean across a long, long, long, long stretch where my grandmother lay buried, which was the very last row. By the time we got there, everyone else had left. My mom and I were jumping up and down, calling the Priest. He looked over to where we were from the top of the hill, and he could not find the stairs.

So what did he do? 

He jumped the wall. I thought he could hurt himself, but he was okay, and then he walked briskly over to us in the muddy grass.  We tried to tell him there were stairs and a path, but he couldn’t hear us we were so far. When he finished the blessing, I chuckled out loud. “What are you laughing at?” my mom asked me. “It just shows you, even in death she took the hard way, that a priest has to jump hurdles to get to her,” I said, giggling.

Speaking about death and how one lived can be funny at the right time. 

My mom and I had our laughs, which was also part of celebrating her extraordinary life. While we were walking towards the parking lot, I thought about what the Priest said: “everyone who dies is sleeping.” I found that comforting and disturbing.

Comforting knowing that if everyone there is just sleeping, I will see all my family and my pets in Heaven that the bodies of those I love will be made new and come out like they just woke up from a long sleep.  Disturbing because I have read too many ghost stories and read too many horror books in my past that taints my images that I need to readjust my head to my heart. Ghosts are actual, and so is Heaven. We will not talk about hell because that is another topic for another day.

You smiled so joyfully
even though death filled
your body.
You shined like the sun,
when you clasped
your hands in prayer.
I didn’t realize how a warm washcloth
could make you feel so much better,
that I looked at love in your face. 
Your face had felt deep pain.
I held your hand while your breath was labored
You told me everything is good.
You came in my room a day after you died
You hugged my hand
You taught me to live life and love deep,
That love is alive and forever.
The hope of all hope is light in great sorrow.
Great endings have always been about
the beginning of tomorrow.
Remembering is to grasp onto the history
of what is authentically you.
I think it is necessary to live love and dance
While we journey through.

Serena Ryder Stompa

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