No thanks, I’m full

120px-Woman_reading_at_the_beach One of the expressions I use when my mind and heart have heard enough is, “I’m full”. It means that my soul can’t stand any more hurt. I need to shut down for a little while and get some balance back. It’s a self-preservation technique, learned somewhere, and in my current job, it’s essential. Being balanced doesn’t require meditation, it’s just re-connecting with the woman in me who decided to work with people to start with. Having a healthy approach to work means leaving something for your family and friends on your days off. 

Finding your inner strength takes some doing some days. Laying in bed on a work day, thinking of all the things that need to get done before you can come back to your little linen paradise can be exhausting. Try to just focus on one hour at a time, relish your alone time and let it rejuvenate you. Don’t take on tasks that aren’t yours to take on. Delegate or ask a co-worker to pitch in. If you feel like you’ve had enough of the human race take your break away from them once in awhile; play a game on your phone, write a poem, go for a walk, listen to Andrea Boccelli on your iPod. We are all human, that’s right all of us; so cut yourself some slack when your feeling stressed. It’s not an excuse to not do the job you’re being paid to do, but in a social service field you usually have someone nearby that understands what you’re going through. 

As my tag line goes, ‘take care of you’ but if you struggle with that, find a friend, family member or counselor who can help.


Tech at the beach?

cell phoneA couple of posts ago I noted how damaging technology can be to our young women and men, due to online bullying and the sharing of sext’s. I think I noted how technology can be at the same time useful, and harmful. Given that two-pronged concept, I continue to debate with myself about taking my cell phone when I’m out walking. I know that as a woman it’s essential to have it if I’m out by myself after dark. (This rarely happens as I can’t usually stay up that late anymore) but what if I just want to head out for a stroll unencumbered by anything aside from my iPod and a $20 in my back pocket? 

AK and I went for a stroll down the beach trail, and along to the log pond by the mill. They were dumping the logs into the water and I thought to myself that it would have made a cool video, but alas I didn’t have my cell phone. Why? I had my hubby. If something happened to me, he was along for the walk. He would protect me and/or run for help. The only person I call when I’m out walking is him, and he was with me, logic dictates therefore, I didn’t need my cell, (we were having quality time anyway).

Has our dependence on our cell phones created a different mindset? Are we as women becoming less reliant on the observation skills and ‘creep alert’ sensations that have served us well in the past? Are we so mired in the selfie culture that we don’t put our phones down and look around for potential dangers? Do you know that with GPS apps on our phones we can be stalked and found anywhere we go unless we uninstall it?Why not enjoy the feeling of being free of interruptions, pretend it’s 1999 and no one knows where you are for a couple of hours, it’s quite liberating! Whatever you decide, phone or no phone, take care of you. 

Today of all days.

THS Logo, hires  Today is International Women’s Day. Around the world there are rallies, concerts, demonstrations and plays, all celebrating women. Our sex has been in the media quite a bit lately with all the #MeToo conversations, Oscar speeches and the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls investigations. This is a good thing, kind of sad that in 2018 we still have to have marches for our rights, it makes a person wonder if we’ve really come that far in the last 100 years. Yes we have the vote, and more women are making a mark in corporate offices; but we have yet to hit pay equity and there are still women being hurt, put on display, and treated like trash. I would love to not have my job. I would love to have transition houses and programs shut down from lack of need, but that seems to be a long way off. 

In the meantime we do our best to support the women that we see in our programs. Grace House has been in the community for over 20 years now, quietly caring for those women who need a break from their own chaos. Along with our other agency programs; Stopping the Violence Outreach, and Stopping The Violence Counselling, Specialized Victim Support Services, Police Based Victim Services, Poverty Law and PEACE Program (formerly Children Who Witness Abuse) there are many ways we can help. Take today to appreciate the women in your life; mothers, sisters, daughters and nieces. 


Without Meds


Most humans, (and some animals) will require medication of some type, for some condition in their life times. We have been using pills, ointments, injections and herbal remedies almost since the first sun rise. There is no reason to feel shame about needing medicine, but we need to question our GP’s a little more about what each drug does and how it will affect our lives in the long run.

Speak to your pharmacist about doses, interactions and side effects so you know what to expect. Don’t discount other health advice like exercise and stress relieving activities to help the medications work. It’s possible that getting a few more walks in a week could help bring down your blood pressure. A few years ago I asked my doctor for an inhaler because I was having trouble breathing. When I started eating right and exercising, eventually losing 50 lbs, lo and behold I didn’t need the inhaler anymore! 

The above suggestion relates to mainly physical issues, obviously you aren’t going to just Zumba your way out of an OCD or borderline personality disorder diagnosis. The point about keeping tabs (pun intended) on your medications still applies here however. It would be difficult for women trying to deal with end of relationship issues while over-medicated. It would be difficult as well for a woman who is over-medicated to make thoughtful decisions about her life and relationship needs. There are people out there who find someone addicted to substances; prescribed or not, easier to manipulate. That’s often where we come in. If you or someone you know is finding control difficult to attain, call us or one of our support programs.

Where’s the balance?

120px-Balance_justice     I’m not talking about a bank account, or a trapeze act here. Having a good work-life balance is essential to becoming a healthier person. When your employment and your home life are both chaotic it’s difficult to manage either one effectively. If you have children that adds a new element to the mix. They come with their own set of needs, responsibilities, and expectations. You as the adult are expected to deftly manage your life, work and family without complaint, purchase the groceries to feed the hordes, keep the house clean, get the bills paid and maintain your equilibrium. (That trapeze thing is starting to sound easier isn’t it?)

A few blog posts ago I mentioned stress and the effects it can have on us. When all of the above starts pressing on your temples, you need to find an effective way to deflect the stress. A friend of mine wrote about trying painting, others have noted that exercise is the only thing that works for them. As part of an online weight loss group I see others struggling with not eating their way out of a bad mood as it’s the way they ‘cope’. We all have those moments, days, months when things appear out of control. It’s how you learn to respond to the situations that define you. Ask for help, see a counselor, talk to a friend or go for a walk. Try to avoid drugs or alcohol as a choice, they tend to just add to the ongoing situation. Just take care of you. (That way you can be healthier and handle stress, when it comes along, better).

Still in crisis

verbal abuse                     The link below lays out the response to the recent budget, from the B.C. Society of Transition Houses. The Society acknowledges the positive steps and promises, but still sees a gap in the funding for Transition House programs themselves. Take a look and see what you think. No matter what your particular interest is; children and child care, housing, mental health & addictions or other social programs. Our province is struggling to meet everyone’s needs at the moment. In many ways these issues are tied in a bundle, and one often leads to another. 

BCSTH budget response



Why you gotta be so rude?

ipod pictureThe title of this blog comes from a song by the group called Magic, (I already liked them for their tune ‘Red Dress’). It’s one of the tunes I sing in my mind when someone is being incredibly disrespectful. I guess I’m just one of those people that believe assertiveness and aggression are not found on the same plain.

Some people think that demanding services and material goods for themselves is the same as self-reliance. Self-reliance means ‘ a reliance on one’s own power and resources’. So by asking/demanding/expecting others to rush to your commands or wants is not being self-reliant. I’m not sure how that aggressive and rude personality trait develops. Has it ever really worked for anyone? Most folks, if asked will tell you that it turns them off and they are less likely to help someone who won’t use their manners or express appreciation after the fact.

The cliché goes, ‘the two most important words are please and thank you’. Another appropriate one is ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar’. I’m not talking being sickly sweet and fake, (most of us can spot that a mile away), the honest appreciation of someone else’s support goes a long way towards getting it again. Obviously there are rude people who don’t care what you think about them, they think they’re within their rights to treat others poorly. Some others are just in a bad mood, and don’t realize how their actions/words affected  you. Perhaps a quick question could help you decide what you’re dealing with. “Did you realize that what you just said could be construed as rude?” How they respond will tell you pretty quick which one you’re dealing with. Take care of yourself and other’s this weekend.

In preparation for pink

bullying  I don’t want to have to say this again, but when I was young….OK, yes it was some time ago, but I can still remember the way I felt when someone said something mean about me. Back in the 70’s it was more likely a comment about my adoration for the Bay City Rollers, or my gauchos. In the early 80’s a girl had the audacity to make a comment about the new appliqued flowered purse I had picked out in Disneyland. (We’re still friends today, so no worries.)

For young women today it’s at a nasty and potentially suicidal level. The addition of cell phones or social media to our youths daily existence has elevated snarky comments. Young men are at risk as well. Who are these cyberbullies and what’s their motivation?

What is cyberbullying? Bullying through electronic means. There are many forms, including harassment, impersonation, outing, cyberstalking, and denigration, but all exist – at least in part – in the digital world. Cyberbullying can often feel even more overwhelming than traditional bullying, because access to a target is 24/7. If you think you’re being targeted online, or know of a friend who may be involved, take a look at the following steps to help you stay safe online. And most importantly, THINK before you post.

Please click on the link for more information; and please be kind to others, you don’t know what they’re dealing with. Do you want to be the person that makes it worse?

Love, a day late.

daffodils   Well, it looks like Spring is coming, as I opened the door at work I noted some blossoms in the garden, just little buds but still, they are a promise. Yesterday involved Valentine’s Day activities; present/card exchange, a favourite breakfast cooked and then a walk for me while A watched his football team win a game. Everyone has their own V-Day traditions, some people ignore it altogether! This is fine as it’s taken on a heart-string tugging dimension, hard when you’re single or unhappily hitched.

The boss and I were just having a discussion about weddings, (it was work related, trust me). How big and expensive everything is, have you watched ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ or ‘Four Weddings and a…..?” These shows seem to encourage one-upping the last bride, spend more money, hire more bizarre entertainers etc. What happened to family and friends witnessing the love between two people? When a young couple tell me they’re separating after they’ve ‘tried to make it work’ for six months. I wonder how much of the break-up is owed to two self-involved individuals who wanted a wedding party and didn’t think about the years of communication and work that comes after the confetti.

Love of any kind is not to be trifled with, it’s a serious emotion. It can be very painful then, when the person you love and who swears they love you hurts you in some way. It becomes hard to trust anyone after that. Lack of love can change a person, it can make them suspicious, angry, even aggressive. They start to doubt their own worth, ‘if no one loves me, there must be a reason.’ Take care of you, and remember to show love and appreciation to those around you, it can make a difference!

Family Day

listening ears   I’ve heard that family are the people that know all about you, but love you anyway. There’s also an expression about ‘home is a place where you can go, and they’ll always let you in.’ I’m not so sure about either one of those phrases. They sound like they were thought up when family life was more ‘Leave it to Beaver-ish’.

The format of families has changed in so many ways, step-families, single parent families, gay couples with or without children, grandparents raising grandchildren, the list goes on. The whole heterosexual couple with 2.5 children is a minority in the 21st century. The important thing about families though is that a healthy one can help shape you.

So, given the change in the definition and expectations, what does the future of the family unit look like? What do you consider family? Are they there for you, or have you come to a tragic (or necessary) parting of the ways? With B.C.’s Family Day Stat Holiday coming up on the 12th this will be a good opportunity for many of us to consider what the word means, and for those of us lucky enough to still have some around, perhaps spend some quality time with them!

Hard to define

assault  There’s been a lot of talk lately about sexual misconduct. Everyone from Hollywood personalities to the President of the USA, to Canadian politicians are being called out for some form of it. What is sexual misconduct? And is it me, or does that word sound pretty tame? A hockey player can get a 2 minute misconduct, that doesn’t help define the word though. It lacks precision, and doesn’t appropriately describe the seriousness of the violence. The Ottawa Citizen newspaper had a piece on February 3rd discussing the terms. Read below for their definitions of each.

“Sexual assault is a legal term and constitutes a criminal offence. In the criminal law context, sexual assault means non-consensual touching of a sexual nature. Sexual assaults are prosecuted by the Crown. One can also be sued civilly for non-consensual sexual touching. This is called sexual battery.”1

“Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. In Ontario, it’s defined as engaging in a course of vexatious conduct that is known or ought to be known to be unwanted. It includes making sexual jokes, asking for sexual favours, unnecessary physical conduct, demanding hugs, repeatedly requesting a date, using pornography at work etc. These claims are dealt with through a complaint process conducted by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.” 2

Sexual misconduct is a social issue and not a fixed line-it shifts as women gain access to economic and political equality. It’s not found under law, in human rights codes, or collective agreements. It might be found under professional disciplinary codes. It’s clear we don’t have a consensus on it, either. I can give you a clear definition of sexual assault. But for sexual misconduct, I don’t think I could give a clear definitions, except that there are three key considerations. First, a power imbalance. Second, coercion, whether implied or explicit. Third, predatory behaviour.”3

1 and 2. Elaine Craig; associate professor at Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie

3. Elizabeth Sheehy: Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession at the University of Ottawa.

I hope these definitions help differentiate between each type of assault.

The right road

images4FT2D52W     For some reason every person on the face of the earth has a road they have to travel. It could be a literal road; such as the highway to their workplace, or it could be an emotional road, such as the path to wellness, or sobriety. There are an awful lot of metaphors involving roads so it’s obviously on our collective minds. Just consider the following sayings;

-‘End of the road’-It could indicate the final stages of life, employment or marriage.

Road not taken’-I feel a sense of missed opportunity when I hear this one.

‘Fork in the road’-This screams choices, go with your gut and decide your path.

-‘Road less travelled’-This is the road a lot of us chose not to take for whatever reason, it’s often the one that would have challenged us the most.

“Straight roads do not make skillful drivers”-This is my favourite quote because:

If you’ve never faced debt, substance abuse, divorce, sadness/grief, or any other human frailty, how can you support others going through tough times? How can I as a human services worker grasp what my clients are struggling with if there isn’t an Achilles Heel of some kind in my own past? Having curves thrown at you is essential to learning how to handle them, and if you can master the curves you can ace the straight lanes and be in a better position to teach others how to drive!

Support system.

medication bottles  In the next month or so our staff group will be involved in training. The first one will be a workshop on suicide intervention support. This is heavy material in an already heavy workplace. As anyone who has lost someone to suicide knows, one of the worst parts is the self-blame, guilt and wondering if there was anything you could have said or done to show them hope. I lost a friend to suicide about 19 years ago and I still think about the last couple of times we talked.

For support or information, there are phone numbers you can call:

B.C Suicide Line——–1-800-784-2433

B.C. Mental Health Info Line——1-800-310-6789

Crisis Line—————-1-866-661-3311

When talking with someone who is suicidal, remember the following;

  1. Listen-try not to be judgmental or appalled
  2. Talk-show a willingness to discuss it, be interested-you don’t have to do all the talking though.
  3. Ask questions-general-about their feelings, and specifically-“have you got a plan”?
  4. Don’t feel you have to psycho-analyze
  5. Do not put their feelings down, or make light of them.
  6. If risk seems imminent do not hang up or leave them alone.
  7. Suggest professional help, but if they don’t want ‘that kind of help’ then initiate it yourself.

This subject is hard for many people to handle, a lot of us ‘just don’t understand why someone would want to do that’. You may be trying to rationalize a mind that has lost its reasoning powers. When someone is in that much pain, they aren’t thinking the same as you. Don’t be harsh or critical, you don’t know what other people are dealing with. Take care of you, and if suicide is something that has crossed your mind, for whatever reason, please talk to someone.

Heritage Day

thistle   January 25th is Robbie Burns Day, it’s usually full of all things Scottish; music and poetry, haggis and whiskey, kilts and sporrans, you get the picture. My dad was a Scot by birth, my husband is a Scot due to his birth place, and I always saw a lassie when I looked in the mirror. The first (and only, so far) time I’ve been to Scotland was way back in the late 70’s.Our family visited dad’s relatives and various ‘must go to cities’. It was a stirring visit for me as I started to notice more people with big hands, broad faces and backs just made for flipping sheep, (to shear them, it’s not a sport or anything.

Fast forward to 2018 and that lassie in the mirror has more than a few age lines. Our town has changed in so many ways, more people from other countries and cultures, a wider variety of foods available and the cultural diversity festival keeps adding to their lists. So here’s a question for you. Does your place of birth, your family heritage, belief systems, etc. affect how you view relationships? Does your stance on feminism come from a mother who marched or burned her bra way back when. Perhaps you were taught to stay in the marriage regardless, did your family disown you for making a match outside their consent, or are you a wife as a result of an arranged marriage? Our heritage can make deep and long-lasting impressions on us, even when we don’t realize it. With an increase in companies providing ancestry searches, it’s obvious that more and more people are curious about their gene pools. Knowing where you came from can give you a deeper look into your own psyche. You just might find a link to explain why some traits are more attractive to you than others. In this fast paced, social media consuming world we live in, it might be nice to just sit and look at old family photos for an afternoon. Take care of you, (no matter what aunty you look like).

Power outages

light-bulb-lit-black-47541430    Using the picture I already had in my media files was intentional, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to bother trying to find another image. The purple light will always be turned on in my mind. Purple stands for domestic violence and at the risk of stretching an analogy, the lit light bulb has always meant that someone is here for you. It’s like the old tradition of keeping a candle in the window.

I decided to tackle the issue of power outages on a day when the wind outside has kept people indoors, ferries from running and camping lights at the ready around here. What about the other kind of power though? What does it mean to have power over someone? Or for many of our clients, to be at the mercy of someone with more power. This could be a financial, physical strength, or emotional advantage. It’s a situation where one person has the upper hand. They may hold the purse strings and make all the decisions about what’s purchased for the house, or what they spend the money on. This is often contrary to the actual household needs. For example, bills need to be paid but ‘he who has the cheque-book’ decides that a new ride-on lawn mower is more exciting than the mortgage.

The obvious down side of living with someone who has power and control issues is that your needs and wants always come a distant second. These people can be found everywhere, not just in families. You may have a supervisor, a neighbour, or an elected official of some kind that follows their own agenda. How do you deal with this kind of person?

Firstly, decide how much of a battle you want to have with them, state your preferences or needs clearly and stick to them. If it’s an abusive situation, learn as much as you can about safety planning. If you aren’t sure if what you’re dealing with is a power issue, call us and ask questions. We can help you sort through it.

Ask Why?

microphone     Did anyone else watch the Golden Globes last Sunday? Even if you didn’t, you have surely heard about the event. Almost all the women wore black, some of the female stars brought women who work in the field of anti-violence as their dates instead of boyfriends or husbands. Oprah accepted her award with a speech that made some people feel like she should run for President. She discussed the #Metoo campaign and spoke of how long women have been dealing with abuse, degradation and relationship violence. This is no secret or surprise to many of us women, we talk to each other, we listen and watch our friends and neighbours. Some of us work in the field and are constantly reading industry books and emails to learn about the newest ways people have found to hurt each other.

My question is, why are men so uncomfortable with this topic? Very few, if any of the male stars discussed the evenings theme, not one mentioned the reason their co-stars were dressed to protest sexual assault by wearing black. Does the topic make them vulnerable? Do they worry they might not get a part if they’re thought of as being too controversial? Women deal with that threat all the time. In 2018 we are still considered as the sex that should just show up and look pretty. Discussing the power differences, wage inequity, and anything else political isn’t considered feminine. There are some movements towards getting men on side, “Be More Than A Bystander” is a good example. It started out as a campaign by the BC Lions and the Ending Violence Association of BC to get young men to consider how they and their friends were treating girls/women. A group of football players go around to different high schools throughout the province and talk to the males about how to step up when they see a guy abusing a girl in some way. This movement has spread to other CFL teams. I’m glad that it’s taken off, we sure do need more though. What do you think? Do we have enough power, a strong enough voice? Tell me what you think the next generation of females need from us. Take care of you.


New Year, New Promise(s)

115px-Portable_violet  I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because I get too bummed out by failure. If I make one, then break it I feel like I’ve disappointed everyone; even if it’s just me that knows about it. I did start on a healthy eating/exercise/Weight Watchers program back in September, and doing fairly well on that. My next ‘non-resolution’ is to get back to things that make me happy; like writing and getting pieces published, and reading some books recommended to me. Travelling more as well, and if that can be combined with spending time with family, all the better.

Small goals are often more satisfying as they are easier to manage, and that can help with the feelings of accomplishment. What about personality change type resolutions? “I need to work on my patience, sense of humour, boundaries” etc. These are big chunk type of goals and harder to change the older we get.

Try to find small steps within each one. Let’s take patience for example. In my current and recent occupations patience is not only a virtue but ‘necessary to good mental health’. I try to break the situation into manageable chunks. “What would I gain by blowing a gasket? How would that be supportive to the client? Or effective to the solution? So, I look for ways to regain my equilibrium. For example ‘I take 5 minutes to myself’ or ‘do deep breathing exercises’, or ‘watch/recall a funny stand-up routine’ and if possible, debrief with another staff. Then, when I’m calmer I can head back into the fray in a stronger frame of mind.

What are your coping techniques? What are your promises for 2018? Not resolutions remember, just little chunks of self-improvement.

Seasonal flashbacks


So back to work after a lovely weekend. Along with some friends we attended the local ‘Carols by Candlelight’ performance on Saturday afternoon. It really gets you in the mood for Christmas. As I mentioned in my last post, music is a powerful force and at this time of year the history behind each seasonal tune can be strong. As I type this blog post I’m listening to the Vince Guaraldi Trio album on YouTube. They are the jazz group that did the music for the Charlie Brown’s Christmas special. (This show came into being the same year I did, so I’m kind of attached to it.)

If you’re a certain age you’ll also remember Jimmy Durante’s version of Frosty The Snowman, or Gene Autry doing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, both in the soundtracks for the television specials way back in the 60’s-70’s. These songs have the ability to conjure up much more than 1/2 hour specials. Grandpa’s aftershave aroma, the red and green balls on grandma’s tree, getting a book of lifesavers every year from our uncle. So many good smells and tastes, people dropping by, high school students outside caroling, it seems magical now.

What are your holiday memories, have any of them defined your beliefs or framed your own traditions with your kids? Are there things you do each year that starts the season for you? “It can’t be Christmas until_____________happens?” kind of things? It’s a good time to reflect on what it all means. It’s not about shopping, racking up credit card bills or arguing about whose family you’ll be visiting this year. Take the time this season to look around at the faces of friends and family you have around you. When things get a bit hectic and you’ve just eaten your body weight in shortbread remember to take care of yourself. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The soundtrack of your life

ipod picture   If you’ve ever been at a stop light and ‘that song’ comes on the radio, it can often send you back in time. If at 50, you’re talking to a friend and you start reminiscing about the bands you liked when you were 16, if you’re dancing in the kitchen without realizing how you started until the dj comes on and announces a tune you’d totally forgotten about, congratulations you have a soundtrack!

Not all the tunes are happy ones, and not all the memories they evoke are positive, but they mean something to you either way. Songs that played at your first wedding may bring some bitter emotions to the surface years later. Perhaps hearing bagpipe music reminds you of a grandfathers’ funeral. Just as those Madonna lyrics from 1985 make you shudder thinking of all the lace gloves and jumpsuits you squeezed into. Music is a great tool to bring people together; choirs, Christmas Carol sing-a-longs, etc.

If you had to come up with a playlist for your life, for each part of it that is, what would be on it? Songs from your teen years, adulthood, parenthood, songs from family car trips (Nana Mouskouri will live on my childhood tape reel for ever. ‘Love is a rose’ specifically). Here’s an idea for a wet weekend, compile all those special songs on a piece of paper and try to write a few lines about the memory it brings up.

Shoe Memorial 2017




Community Services Association, Powell River & Region Transition House Society, and Powell River RCMP present the Sixth Annual Shoe Memorial.

It will be held at Town Centre Mall on Wednesday, December 6th. This is an event designed to increase awareness as part of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The shoes; women’s and children’s will be displayed at the Walmart end of the mall, the staff of the victim service agencies will be on hand to answer any questions. Each pair of shoes has a story attached that relates to a woman and/or children who died as a result of family violence. It’s an important but sad memorial.


verbal abuse     I’m reading a book at work called ‘Nasty People by Jay Carter. Surprisingly it’s only 100 pages. I can think of a lot more nasty folk than that! The sub-title is ‘How to stop being hurt by them without stooping to their level’. That part makes sense to me. I remember as a child and young woman being told not to ‘stoop to their level’ if someone at school was being mean or dishonest in some way.

The primary message in the book is about those invalidators in  our lives, those people who bully and cajole, they are sarcastic and misogynistic. They could be romantic partners, bosses or parents. The book also talks about the people on the receiving end of this emotional abuse. They are the victims. Either willingly or unwillingly, they don’t know how to react politely to someone who has obvious control issues. It’s a good book, and I think quite well written. It sets out the message in a folksy kind of way, it’s not a technical book for people ‘in the business’ but speaks to everyone.

He does cover personality disorders and chemical imbalances as possible reasons for this nastiness, but the overarching message is that these folks are ‘little hitlers’ they cause immeasurable grief to those in their path and seem to have no remorse. I have mentioned the concept of victims in this blog and it seems to be a bigger conversation in the media lately. We all know what a victim is, do you know how not to become one? Stay tuned and take care of you.

16 Days of Activism

16 days of activism


From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

Orange the World 2017: Leave no one behind

This year, the UNiTE Campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence under the overarching theme, “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”— reflecting the core principle of the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls” reinforces the UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world, while reaching the most underserved and marginalized, including refugees, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters, amongst others, first.

As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, and buildings and landmarks will be lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the issue of violence against women and girls.

Join us!

Share your photos, messages and videos showing how you orange the world at and using #orangetheworld and #16days. For more information about the theme, download the Action Plan. For more information about Orange Day, please contact Natalia Tuerogerman, [at]

‘As part of the 16 Days of Action, the Powell River Community Services Association program Police Based Victim Services, along with The Powell River and Region Transition House Society, and the Powell River RCMP is presenting the Sixth Annual Shoe Memorial at the Town Center Mall. They will be at the mall from 9:00-6pm on December 6th. It is a powerful display that brings home the realities of violence against women and children. Each pair of shoes represents someone who was killed as a result of that violence.’

‘Like busboys in a restaurant’

In the movie ‘Stand By Me’ the older version of one of the young males, has a flashback to his 12th summer. One of the lines in this flashback part of the film says something like, “I never had friends again like the ones I had when I was 12, does anyone?” It got me reflecting on my own circle of friends, and more importantly about the ones who have passed away since junior high.

At 52, obviously there have been many a year (nearly 40), since my attendance at Oceanview Jr. Secondary was mandatory. People move away from small towns to make their way in the big wide world, we lose touch and wonder what ever happened to them; until Facebook came along that is. We need friends in our lives. Family and a spouse are great, but having someone in your life that you’ve known for awhile, someone you can talk to about that same spouse or family member is essential for peace of mind and life satisfaction.

Think about your friends, what do they bring to the table? Why did you click with them and do you still know in your heart that they’d be there in a crisis? I challenge you to think about that. “People come in and out of your life like bus boys in a restaurant” (another quote from the same movie). How did you make the decision to keep the good ones from leaving?


Treadmill of Life?

treadmill    Yesterday I decided to do a 5k walk on the treadmill at the local recreation complex. As with most of my decisions, it seemed like a good idea at the time but after a half hour I started to question my own sanity. I had my tunes, there was a hockey game on the t.v. above my head and some seemingly nice people doing their own thing. I should have been happy….and I was, when at the 56th minute mark the ‘journey’ came to an end.

It got me thinking of blog posts, and how I was going to turn my decision to tackle 5k’s into a piece on domestic violence, or bullying or self-care, topics that usually get covered on this website.

Self care is the obvious choice, deciding to drop some weight and get healthy was necessary for my physical and mental well-being. Everyone has something they would like to change about themselves, especially women. We see magazines and shows and even acquaintances we would like to look like. Being happy with ourselves is sometimes difficult. Having someone in your life who is telling you that you aren’t good enough, is tragic.

If you are being bullied or abused by anyone call someone here at the agency or talk to a friend/family member who isn’t involved. When I’m having some personal doubts I list 5 things I’m proud of and it puts things in perspective. Whether I’m on the treadmill, at work or at home I remind myself that I’m the best version of me there is! 

Shelter from the storm

snow-in-pr    So this is what my blood felt like this morning; COLD! I was out de-frosting the car (at 5:15am so I could come to work) using my little spray bottle of magic. It sure speeds up the process of de-frosting, de-icing and de-lighting in general. I had the time to sit and listen to the radio while the side windows warm up enough to see out of and heard a story about the urgent need for ‘warming centers’ around the lower mainland.

This kind of story breaks my heart. If you have nothing, or very little. If you have no where good to stay, no warmth in your life of any kind, not even a pet, how do you cope?

If I’m having trouble reconciling my lifestyle, my warm home, my family, when I hear about these issues, how do really rich people deal with it all? I remember hearing about some Vancouver City Councilors and media personalities deciding to ‘sleep on the street’ to raise awareness and maybe some funds too, about homelessness. That’s great that they did that, but where did they sleep the night before, and the night after? Did the group camping trip change anything? There are still thousands of people in downtown Vancouver, (and other cities) sleeping rough in all weathers. I don’t know what to do about it. If you have any answers, drop me a line.