Friday, August 15, 2014



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 25, 2009

Article by Hadeel about the conference

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 1 Morning Photos

Judy Rand is fabulous... Here is our first morning. Hadeels is in there a few times too! :-)

Me and My New Best Friends, The Nobel Peace Laureates...

Hi dorkage factor here, but whatever, I was starstruck ok?!


I'm dorking out in one of the other videos too (I forget I think it's the participant reflections one.)

Don't know if you're following our blog, but there's some neat stuff with much more to come... (believe me I know, I'm the editor in chief :-) )

But I think the best stuff is on our Twitter page.... Quotes from the brilliant women from all over the world who have come here with us.

Plus I'm twittering my own self at my personal Twitter

Long, busy days, but tons of tingles and goosebumps, even welled up - or rather, was there any time when Mairead Maguire spoke that I didn't well up? She is the sweetest, gentlest, smiliest person ever - she's luminescent, but she gives barn-burners on stage! Wow. Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Laureates as well) also amazing, powerful, moving speakers.

I'm so lucky to be here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Well I'm SO BUSY that I hired a photographer to take photos of this place for me and bring them back so I could look at them in my hotel room while I work... :-)


So check out these amazing photos taken of this place by the photographer for the initiative...

Photos of Antigua and Casa Santo Domingo (where we're staying/conferencing) Be sure to click the arrows on the right hand side to see all the photos.

My goal tonight is to get some sleep..... After just a few million more things.... :-)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Working Hard...

Working very hard, twelve hours already today and maybe a bit more later tonight after a late dinner, but it's definitely a lovely place to work hard! Plus the food is amazing, they make my bed for me (well they would, but I don't let them....), and there's a pool, sauna, hot tub, and gym - all outdoors, surrounded by tropical vegetation and flowers - none of which I've used yet, BUT I WILL!

The Spanish is going pretty well, and ... what else can I tell you...

My head is mostly filled with mundane details about the website, media, communications, press releases, the reception for 200 people that the hotel realized it doesn't really have room for, and other blah blah blah...

I posted some photos below. The first two are the view from my balcony, the next are shots of Antigua, and the girl weaving is Angelina, who is 21. The piece she's working on has been worked on for three months already by her, her sister, and her grandmother. It has intricate shapes of animals woven in. The lady in the door is Julia, with baby Guadeloupe. Julia's mother, Maria, was also in the shop, as well as 8 year old Clara whose favorite subject is math and her teacher's name is Celia. We met them yesterday when we were touring with Ana. So lovely.

Antigua, Guatemala

First 2 are the view from my balcony.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


So it's been awhile, internet, since you've heard from me.  Well - not the internet as a whole, but the whole blog thing kind of fell by the wayside.  What prompts me to write again? The obvious - travel - and my incessant need to share every thought that crosses my head which is thwarted by the high price of texting from here... :-) I'm in Guatemala for three weeks - 2 working and one vacationing afterwards. My new organization (started there in February) is hosting a conference in Antigua, Guatemala from May 10-12th, and I am one of the lucky who got to come down early to work on preparations on the ground. 

I am staying at the Casa Santo Domingo, in Antigua - an old convent, now a museum, which houses a 5 star hotel. It's a bit like the garden of Eden, I expect - magnificent crumbling stone walls, fountains, flowers, scarlet macaws, hummingbirds.... It's amazingly beautiful. From my stone and wrought iron balcony I can see volcanoes, orchids, a stone fountain, gardens, etc. My room has a vaulted ceiling with large dark wood beams, stoneXstuccoedXwalls, and Mayan textiles on the beds. When I arrived on Friday night, the stone corridors, open to the gardens through stone arches, were lit with candles and candelabras. Very peaceful, soothing, beautiful. My first morning I ate breakfast in the garden with Guatemalan coffee and read the newspaper in Spanish, feeling very lucky.

I am here to work, and have been, but I have had time this weekend as well to see a little bit of Antigua for a few hours each afternoon. I love Central America - I love the painted stone walls and bright colours and the smell! It smells warm and mountain-y, with hibiscus and other flowers... Yesterday I wandered the streets and then the markets, mesmerized with all of the colour of the weavings and other textiles, the wood carvings, the fruit and other wares. 

Last night I worked late on the website, eating dinner in my room - my first time with room service. :-) I took a few hours in the afternoon while it was nice to wander around Antigua, with the promise to myself that I would do my work hours in the evening. It worked out perfectly, as when I got back to my room around 4.30 pm it started to rain very hard, so I sat with my balcony doors open, working on the website listening to the rain and thunder until around 10.30 pm, smelling the delicious smell of rainy gardens. There are worse ways to work.

This morning I had breakfast with my colleague, Ana, who is wonderful, and the also wonderful woman who will be photographing the conference. It was a lovely breakfast in the garden. Afterwards we toured the spaces that we will be using for the conference, evaluating many details, and then Ana took us for a tour of the town, pointing out essentials like the printing/copy shop, cell phone dealer, medical clinic. It wasn't all business however, and shopping ensued. We spent a couple of sunny and relaxing hours wandering the streets and markets and getting acquainted with the city. Ana is a wealth of information about secret gems - the best coffee, the best places to buy things, the store with the amazing natural cremes and lotions, the best shrimp, and the best margaritas. The combination of having lived in India and being a native Spanish speaker makes her an Olympic champion bargainer to boot... 

I'm back in my room now, resting a bit, and waiting for the verdict on the big change-over from the old website to the new... So far it looks - in transition.

I'm going to rest a bit today, as I know starting tomorrow it will become very intense.

My first earthquake

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This is not a unicycle

So Kent built one of these up the other day...
It's not a unicycle, there are no moving parts. It's an Ultimate Wheel.

Funny Site!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I need a hobby

Ledges and steps...

And Coal and Bella want this

I want...

Super cool bed designs here

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I totally need this

Friday, September 26, 2008

...And the kitchen sink

Monday, August 25, 2008

Best News!

It turns out I have a Vitamin B12 deficiency and I need an injection every 2 weeks! Why is that the best news you ask? Because it means the tiredness and all the other symptoms I've been having over the past year should disappear if I just shoot up with B12 biweekly.... Yay!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Etsy Loves...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Setpember 24th, 1985 - August 1st, 2007


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Where my brain is these days...

Went 'shoein in the Gats last weekend, had a picnic in a snowbank. Good times...

(I didn't take this pic... )

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Friday, December 21, 2007


Violence Doesn't Have a Religion...

My thoughts exactly

Nuff Said

From her husband

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ramadan - A Time of Physical, Spiritual, and Social Revival

On Thursday, September the 13th of 2007, 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will celebrate Ramadan, a period of contemplation, fasting, and increased worship. Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the lunar calendar year and is marked by the appearance of the new moon, which signals the beginning and end of the month.

Observing Ramadan is essential as fasting is one of the 5 pillars of Islam including Announcement of Faith (which is witnessing that there is only one God and that Prophet Muhammad is his last messenger), salaat (praying 5 times a day), Zakaat (the right of the poor on the wealth of the financially able), Fasting during the month of Ramadan, and Hajj (once in a life time pilgrimage to Kaaba).

Fasting is intended to increase one in goodness and self-control, as well sharpen the consciousness of God. Muslims also fast to honour the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad during this month. For one month, Muslims observe Ramadan by abstaining from food, drink, and smoking during daylight hours, thus breaking their fast at sunset. This act not only allows Muslims to practice self-restraint, but to also improve their health by reducing or eliminating impurities from the body. Fasting is not required of children, travellers, the weak, elderly or sick and pregnant or menstruating woman.

During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to refrain from any obscenity or immoral acts which can spoil the fruitfulness of the spirituality and blessings gained in this month. Also, integral to this period is a sense of community, which sharpens in Muslims the concept of social responsibility towards one another, and towards humanity at large as it encourages them to think of, and give more to the needy in our society. Many mosques will sponsor meals after sundown in order for the community to end the day's fasting as a unit, in addition to engaging in extra prayers throughout the evening. Muslims also increase their engagement in charitable acts such as organizing food and clothing drives for those less fortunate. Thus, Ramadan allows Muslims to experience a physical, spiritual, and social revival.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day religious festival called Eid Al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking). The celebration begins with the sighting of the 10th new moon of the lunar calendar. The most important observances of Eid al-Fitr generally take place on the first day. During this period, Muslims participate in communal prayers in the early morning and exchange visits and gifts with one another throughout the rest of the celebration.

While Muslims in Islamic countries generally regard it as inappropriate for others to eat, drink or smoke in front of them while they are fasting, this is not the case for Canadian Muslims since Ramadan is not observed by the majority of Canadians. It may be appropriate however to provide school children who are fasting with alternative activities during lunch time.

Source: Abdirizak, Cair-Can

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Countries I've Visited

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

She's Free

Rae of Sunshine Bell

On August 1, 2007, with rays of sunshine streaming through the windows, Rae left this place and headed home.

Precious, only daughter of Sharon Redden and Winston Bell, Rae will be remembered and sorely missed by her grandparents, her innumerable aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

She’s going places she’s never been
Seeing things she’s never seen
Those left behind grieve – her company we no longer keep
But the angels rejoice because her beautiful soul is now free

Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at Community Pentecostal Church, 1825 St-Joseph Boulevard in Orleans (exit Jeanne d’Arc, turn right at St-Joseph).


Join us to celebrate Rae’s life on Saturday, August 11th, at her Godmother’s home.

2 pm ‘til whenever. Special presentation at 4 pm. Bring your happy memories.

100 Lennox Street
Richmond, Ontario
613 444-0035

All who loved Rae are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Ottawa Rotary Home Foundation, 30 Rochester Street, Ottawa, Ontario. K1R 7V3, Telephone: (613) 837-7376.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Don't You Just Wish it Was Like That????

Link from

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bookmarking Again

Cindy Sheehan packs it in

This is so sad. Not necessarily that she has given up, but her utter despair at trying...

Self-Regulation Muscle


I'm posting this here b/c I skimmed it and it seemed good, so I want to go back and read it, and check the links and see if it is...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Miss Vicky sums it up...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Water Water

Awesome! We're doing this!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Minwaashin Lodge – Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre
Phone (613) 741-5590 Fax (613) 748-8311

Request for Canadian Tire Money

May 2007

Dear Organization and Associates:

Minwaashin Lodge is an Aboriginal non-profit organization (CRN 136843026RR0001) that supports First Nation , Inuit and Metis families that are low income, fleeing abuse, and have experienced violence within their families. We are currently planning recreational activities for their summer/fall 2007 that would provide a quality family fun time for our children, youth and parents.

If your organization can forward any Canadian Tire Money for our children and youth programming would be greatly appreciated. It will be distributed throughout the Sacred Child Program 0-6yrs of age and through our Spirit Movers & Fire Keepers Youth Program. The lives of our First Nation, Inuit and Metis children and youth would benefit greatly.
We thank you for your consideration and look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

In the spirit of caring and sharing,
Elaine Kicknosway E.C.E.
613-741-5590 ext 234
Sacred Child Coordinator
Minwaashin Lodge

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bella Enjoying Her New Basket

Can't you see how much I love my new basket? I'm sitting RIGHT beside it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

How Do I Feel Today?

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

and I guess I didn't squeak.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Are You Quite Sure He's Literate?

I had heard about this beautiful thing last night on the ceeb, but I like the way Dop puts it so much more...

"You may be interested to know that Yann Martel, author of the love-it-or-hate-it award-winning novel Life of Pi, has decided to send Prime Minister Stephen Harper a new book every fortnight, along with a letter explaining why he has chosen each particular book. ... Apparently, this project was born of Martel's -- and other Canadian authors' -- frustration with the government's funding cuts to the arts."

Check out the CBC article here, about artist's frustrations. I like this quote from Lawrence Hill, author of Book of Negros (one of the best books I've ever read):
"Artists are not encouraged," author Lawrence Hill said. "Artists are among the most entrepreneurial of business people, but they need support."
So true! You have to be an expert in marketing, advertising, bookkeeping, budgeting, product selection, etc, on top of perfecting your craft.

Follow along on Yann's site here:

Maybe I'll read along with Satan -- I mean Stephen. Then we'll have something to talk about when we're new best friends. He's my neighbour after all.

And while we're at it, can we talk about the elitism of the access to the arts in Ottawa? Thirty to sixty dollars per ticket (so double that if you are not a hermit) for a play or a dance show is just NOT accessible to many people, including people like myself who would most appreciate it. But that's a post (rant) for another day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Worrying does not rob tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength. -- unknown