Category Archives: Self Realization


1:45 I leave work early, Tuesdays I don’t have daycare and he is in a special after-school tennis program so cannot take her home when school lets out

2:00 I board the Seabus

2:15 I board the bus

2:30 I walk home

2:50 I walk to school

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A mother’s image

It’s not that I hate being framed by the lens of a camera, rather it’s that I hate what it might “see”.

Out of my profile a nose arcs out like a parrot’s beak. My mouth is typically caught open in a gaping guffaw or wide smile that forces my lips into the shape of a curly bracket } and my cheeks into a featureless beach ball. And, the penance I pay for a lush head of hair? A peach-fuzzed visage topped off with a post-partum shadow over my upper lip. My patchy skin, my short forehead, my bushy eyebrows, my thick neck… the list of critiques is lengthy and I haven’t even begun to describe below my shoulders!

That’s what I see, but this is what she sees: Continue reading


Welcome to the blog

I love a good photo, but a dreadful one is even better! Especially this one for its pairing with the birth of an adoption; a process I can’t wait to follow.

Live within limits without limiting life

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Dorothy Was Adopted

This past spring I FaceBook posted a truly epic photo of me. I was in all of my glory – disheveled hair, buggy wild eyes, and a strained expression extending from collarbone to forehead. You can imagine the comments (I love you all, I really do).

The truth is that photo was one of the more important ones taken of me in my entire life.

That wintry and blustery day last spring, Martin and I had rushed during our lunch hour to get an RCMP clearance check. We handed over several pieces of ID, got fingerprinted, and then photographed. A few weeks later, we had another important piece of documentation in our hands – confirmation by Interpol that we are clear of any previous criminal activity. Another hurdle cleared.

We’ve been doing a lot of high jumping this past year……….because there’s a lot of paperwork to be done when you’re…

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Mama, sing a song.

Baby, what song shall I sing?

Sing a song that is happy.

A song about love?

No, love can be lost.

A song about friends?

No, friends can be forgotten.

A song about dancing?

No, dancers get tired.

Baby, what song shall I sing?

A song about home, mama.

Because home is where the heart is?

No mama, because home is where you are.

Live within limits without limiting life

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Passion over pragmatics

Sometimes I re-watch this when I can’t quite remember the direction I was going:

Swiggtalk chats with Betsy Agar about following your passions, advice on choosing to do what you love, and the many career options available to teen girls. More at

Live within limits without limiting life

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Almost Crimes – Broken Social Scene

Imagining the story behind the song…

Almost Crimes

I get up to pee. It’s early still, the house is quiet.

I live alone. What changes from night to day. Is it outside noise—cars, birds, neighbours?

I realize I’m still sitting on the toilet for no reason, just lost in sound and silence.

I live alone, where does the sound come from?

I flush. Onomatopoeically speaking, flush is not particularly accurate. It’s too gentle for such a violent sound—rushing water gulping air, desperate for the return of calm.

I’ve broken the seal, sound floods in. Who says “onomatopoeically speaking” anyway?

I hear the furnace rev up, readying to deliver the day’s warmth. Heat is energy and so is sound. It’s more than just fan noise. In the cold there is silence, in the warmth there is sound.

My body is humming.

As if mocking my reverie, the music visualizer on my laptop is pulsing in an electric light show. Even in the silence there is sound expressed in light and shapes and flashes of darkness. I press the mute button and the sources of the vibrant show suddenly flood my ear canals.

… The Yukon keeps me up all night

Complications seize your best…

Drums punctuate guitar riffs, rolling and stopping, pacing the vibrations as if the drumheads themselves were plucking the strings. Voices exchange words and sometimes interrupt. It is a love song. It’s on repeat and I replay the night before.

The ache returns.

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In the quiet

Two square shapes
On one rectangle
Their sides rectangles too.

She reaches out
With her cylinders
And lifts an angle.

Her big circle stills
Her small circles
Rest on the squares.


She puts the sphere
As though it could be taken apart.

Put together
Taken apart
Put together.

All that is left is to
Choose the colour.

This moment is hers
I pause
And this is my reward.


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But what does it mean

They’re drifting
I thought they’d stay
I lose more
With each day

Half full
And my heart beats off and on

I pine and wane
This is my fate
Brought on by me

Half full
And it seems I’m losing steam

We count the like
In the face of stars
It seems so small
But my heart is theirs

Half Full
And a solo is this song

A new beginning
Brought a new end
I have to start
To start again

Half full
And myself I have to blame

All that’s new
Seems permanent
I cannot see
A return again

Half full
And life here is unknown

Late at night
Voices the same
I cannot see
A logic game

Half full
And here I must remain

They said I’d turn
It could be so
I can’t predict
What’s left to show

Half full
And so I plod along

If you see
I’m there today
Please forget
What I might say

Half full
My thoughts are wicked friends


Live within limits without limiting life

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The destiny of an accidental writer

If destiny is predetermined, then perhaps I have always been a writer, with skills and passion lying in wait, building on personal experiences that would define that destiny. Although, it is equally possible that I might never have been a writer. Last night, I was reminded that there are a few chance occasions that have accidentally led me to this place.

Photo Credit: My 4-year-old son

Photo Credit: My 4-year-old son

The first was an event of outrage, which I was compelled to place squarely on the shoulders of a Letter-to-the-Editor. As I say in my bio, engineers are not expected to be able to write, and I are an engineer, as the saying goes. I never thought about writing, despite my way with words being my most valued asset while I was practising.

That letter started a habit and that habit grew into writing opinion pieces for the Hamilton Spectator. Most of these are now in archives, but one still lingers to remind me of my roots: The Balancing Acts of Motherhood.

The second was an event of irony. I tried to negotiate my way out of a Computer Science course, which is required for my program of study (CultureNet at Capilano University), but the Registrar refused so I had to “suffer” through. The irony: That course provided me with a set of invaluable skills in a number of unexpected ways. It was also the impetus for this blog.

Way back in May of 2011, when I posted my introductory “Hello world!” as is the tradition in the World Wide Web, I expected just to let the blog die along with the close of the course. I wrote about what I knew, namely parenthood, about what I was learning, mostly topics in sociology, and eventually about what I love, always concepts in social and environmental sustainability. It would seem that my blog didn’t die, and it won’t anytime soon.

The third was an event of luck, when I answered a call for volunteers to help with the We Canada campaign.

A year after relocating to Metro Vancouver, I was coming down from that initial high of moving to a new city (and frankly not looking forward to returning to classes in September). At the time, I was still juggling “littles” and school was my only prospect “outside of the home.”

When the ad for writers to craft online content for a national campaign appeared, a door opened, angels sang, my heart stopped, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, in short, every promising cliché nodded smugly and said: See? Told you.

The We Canada Team, Partners, Sponsors, and Champions, are a stunning aggregation of Canada’s most passionate, dedicated, and focussed citizens and experts. They are the reason I continued to write, and I am forever indebted to them all for the opportunity and motivation.

I have only been calling myself a writer in recent months. The persona still fits more like a cardigan than a second skin and it has a long way to go before I’ll claim it with confidence, but like any labour of love, it is 110% worth the sacrifice.

Live within limits without limiting life

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They’re delicious!

“She made it herself!” I blurt out. I am showing my sister a grove of Christmas tree cakes crafted by my daughter. I am expecting reservation, or even a look of disdain.

Sadly, I didn't have the forethought to snap a photo of the Christmas baking. So, this shot of her baking with friends at age 4 will have to do.

Sadly, I didn’t have the forethought to snap a photo of the Christmas baking. So, this shot of her baking with friends at age 4 will have to do.

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