White Fragility

White Fragility – Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo is a book that been on my holds list for some time. I was something like 23 on 97 holds when I first put it on my list! It finally came in last week and it’s my first read book of February, 2019.

White Fragility is a slim book which really surprised me because it wasn’t slim in content. The author starts out by really explaining racism as a system and how while most of us white people (hopefully!) aren’t cool with any of it, and did not ask to be born into it, we sure do benefit from it and unconsciously and consciously do things to maintain it.

This and so much more is all stated and explained in a very non judgemental way. The author is completely open and honest about her own actions, bias and racist behaviors too. The book is written in plain language and is heartfelt and easy to understand. It’s the first book I’ve read on the subject that cleared away the cobwebs for me. It’s a book I want to read again and again, because the lessons are so valuable and I really want them to sink in to my old noggin.

Even if you think you are not racist, this is an important book to read. Actually, especially if you think you’re not racist, this is an important book to read. There’s special bit about so called progressive people too.

I personally have been examining myself and the system I live in for the past few years and while yes it’s been uncomfortable many times, I’ve survived just fine and am smarter for it. I’m still learning as I go too and I am so grateful to the brave men and women who are teaching me how to do and be better.

I give White Fragility by Robin Diangelo a big shiny gold star of appreciation.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Weird Life, Books, House & Home,

Ha ha ha! Same, whoever you are. Same!

Snicker. I haven’t been to Ikea in SOOOOO long. Maybe not for books though.

Right?! Right! You have to be very special to earn an invite into my sanctuary. How about you? Are you open to have people in your home of choosey like me?

I actually love Yoga but this made me laugh. Maybe if you did more yoga it wouldn’t hurt so much to bend down?

Heh! I feel this in my soul! You not would believe the looks I get when I go on rock hunting/stick picking adventures. And when I start talking to birds or cats? Ooooh that’s a whole other level of disbelief. Avert your eyes from my quirks and I’ll avert mine from you boring-ness, lol

Happy Monday and Squishy Hugs to you!

The Best of January.

Ha Ha Ha. Goodbye January and Helloooooo February!

How did you make out? I am alive and well, and grateful for the month behind me and the days ahead of me!

Let’s do a recap!

BEST THING I ATE: Sweet- Chocolate Wacky Cake. Savoury- Hub’s Lettuce Wrap. I ate a half pound of ground beef. Oooops!

BEST THING I DRANK: A perfect cup of spiced chai. I have finally mastered the recipe. Oh yes I have!

BEST OUTING: Taking baby OV out to the Farmer’s Market. Why? I don’t know. It was just good to be out with our boy.

PERSONAL VICTORY: Hearing my husband speaking about me with pride, telling his mum about how brave I am as a traveller. ❤

COOLEST MEMORY: A house full of family, good food, shot gunning’ with my girls in the kitchen and enjoying my grandbabies. Everyone was civil and relaxed. There were lots of laughs, no meanness just… love and fun.

BEST BOOKS:

BEST THING I LEARNED: To better prepare for the looooooong days of January. Have things planned. Don’t just sit around and whine, do something!

BEST WAY I LOVED MYSELF: See above. And see below!

I finally have my grey hair! It’s coming in white and silver and I’ve been wanting the whole process to just hurry up. I adore grey hair and was excited to get this. It took two years but my stylist finally got me to a place where we could just ash it out. The brown is still in there but not as noticeable. I am finally a grey haired sea witch 😉


I’M MOST PROUD OF: Making it through the month just fine. And resolving to do different next year.

SOMETHING UNEXPECTED: The length of this month! And my reaction to it.

SOMETHING UNCERTAIN: Everything. Specifically, will I find a job this month and will I care if I do or don’t ?

WHAT AM I LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE MONTH AHEAD: EVERYTHING! Valentine’s Day, Justin Timberlake, a long weekend, a trip? maybe, book club, my witchy group, reading, reading, reading, family dinner.

What are you looking forward this month? Happy Friday and Happy February!

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Book Brag January- *19

Good Goddess! 19 Books?! I amaze myself.

January is the LONGEST month. Its no wonder I guess. I’ve got 15% of my reading challenge completed. Woot-woot! It’s been effortless thus far. Not having a job will enable that 😉

Who Killed Mom by Steve Burgess was excellent! A Canadian memoir and real love letter. It was tender, funny. clever and wise. One of the BEST memoirs I’ve ever read.

Secret Daughter by shilpi somaya gowda was a real nice read. The story moved quickly and was thought provoking and engaging.

In Search of Buddha’s Daughters by Christine Toomey, was excellent! These women are so inspiring! I was interested the whole way through and found this book to be well written and highly interesting.

How To Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach was another excellent one. A lady after my own heart, Jenny gives us not only really cool recipes but also inspiration to celebrate ALL THE THINGS. I’m totally down with that. A lot of cute stories and a lot of good recipes to try.

Educated by Tara Westover gives homeschoolers the world over a very bad name, ha ha ha. Did I ever tell you I homeschooled my kids? Well, I did. And none of the awful crap that went down in her family, went down in mine. I just feel the need to put that out there, lol. This book was hard to read. But interesting. People are weird. And sometimes, not in a good way. Capably written if not triggering for child abuse. Be you warned, if that sort of thing gets to you.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a quick and easy read on an awful topic. A novel by Heather Morris, it’s based on a true life story. It inspired me to start looking up my own Jewish grandmother.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs was interesting. Steve Jobs was a total dick. I tried to find sympathy for him because he seemed so obviously disturbed and he was human, after all BUT I’m afraid I failed in that department. Just like he failed with his daughter. Ugh. I really felt for the author. She writes honestly about her relationship with her famous father, her mother herself and life growing up between the two.

Aware by Daniel J. Siegal, MD had such great potential. I was excited to read it because I’m a meditator. Alas, I found it dry, repetitive and hard to follow. There is a lot of excellent information here, its just hard to get at.

Let Us Compare by Leonard Cohen was a gift from my hubs. Which is really the only reason I finished this one. Ha ha. I found it hard to follow at times and that frustrated me. It was also a tad pretentious. I stuck it out and found some beauty too so maybe this is a book one needs to go over a few times to fully understand and absorb.

Making Friends with Death by Laura Pritchett was a book I suggested my public library buy. YOU’RE WELCOME EDMONTON! It was SO good! One of the best books on death I’ve read to date. And I’ve read A LOT on the subject. Part work book, part … I don’t even know, this book was practical and heart felt, touching on everyone’s greatest fears in such an honest, friendly, supportive, non judgemental way. I will be adding this one to my bookshelf!

Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford was alright. A quick read. There was detailed killing of animals throughout so if that is not your jam, be forewarned. This one made me grateful for my creature comforts and in awe of what us humans can do.

A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb was a no for me. Overly simplistic and totally unbelievable. The story idea was great. It was just the delivery that failed me.

Here’s a tale about another dick, My Life with Mr. S by George Jacobs and William Stadiem is about the author’s life working as Frank Sinatra’s valet. People! People, people, people. With their egos and their insecurities. Oy! It was a quick read, capably written. I grew tired of reading about spoiled jerks after not too long.

The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman is a book that needed to be written. It passes back and forth between the kidnapping of Sally Horner and the writing of the book, Lolita. (which I have not, nor will read) It was capably written. I found myself grossed out throughout much of it. Why are people so awful?

I loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti and boy did she ever! If you like endless spaghetti recipes, this book by Giulia Melucci is just the thing for you! Recipes for pasta and other things are interwoven through tales of relationships gone wrong. This book reminded me how awful dating is, ha ha.

Epic Hikes of the World by Lonely Planet was not wrong. This book is huge and epic. A shit ton of hikes all over the world to awe and inspire you.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson came my way because of the Netflix series. It’s supposed to be SO scary so I thought I’d better read the book first! I enjoyed it. It disturbed me, not because it was scary per se but because it reminded me of how I get every Autumn with my S.A.D. Is it really depression over taking me or am I being over taken by something otherworldly….who knows! A quick read that still stands.

I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell started out strong for me and has the honour of the only book on death I’ve read, that scared me. We’re dodging death left, right and centre and it was scary to realize that and see it, in action! A good read.

Oh. MY. Heart. I am in love with this book. I don’t even know where to start. and I honestly feel like my words, wont come close to doing it justice. The characters are so well developed and real. The story will break your heart and then give it back to you. My life is better for reading this one.

What are you reading these days?

Dogs, Cat Speak, Situations & Time.

Ha! This is totally what it feels like if you are a dog lover. Meeting new dogs is the best! See also getting jumped on and licked too 🙂 Owners are always so apologetic but inside I’m thinking ” Yes! You’ve chosen me! I love you too!” I would pet every dog I saw if I didn’t think it would bug the crap out of people. I know myself, sometimes you just want to go for a walk and not chit chat with every person you come across!

I still remember one of the greatest days of my life. On a patio at Starbucks, squeeing over a Boxer puppy being walked on the sidewalk toward me. The puppy’s owner PICKS HIM UP AND PLOPS IT ON MY LAP! Seriously! What a gift. It’s be twenty years and I still remember the thrill of that moment. No words were exchanged just love. Sigh … what a day!

I’m delightfully unemployed at the moment but still looking for work because the household needs money to run … and I like to travel! It’s been six months of talking to my pets for 8 hours a day so I relate this one strongly. Meow!

Snicker. Speaking of not working. Oh. EM. GEE! Social skills get lost when you don’t have to practice them every day! I’m such a weirdo these days. Its hilarious. I have to actually remind myself to be mindful of acting ” normal” before I go anywhere! I’m grateful I don’t embarrass easily, heh.

I just adore this. A much better way to measure time. ❤

Makeshift Meals- Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Banana Bread-Bananas.

What? Banana bread can be a meal.

Especially if you make it into an epic dessert like I did!

Here’s the scoop.

I was feeling dessert-y but didn’t want to make anything and didn’t really have anything laying about that was turning me on. Until I remembered the big chunk of chocolate banana bread I’d popped in the freezer and the half hand of brown bananas.

So, I microwaved the banana bread then lightly toasted it in the oven.

Then, I sliced the bananas into long chunks and pan fried them in a shit load of butter, until golden on one side. When I flipped them over to brown the other side I sprinkled over a big soup spoon of brown sugar and let the whole lot caramelize for a few mins. THEN, (this is the best part ) I poured over a good glug of chocolate, cinnamon chili Kahlua, let it all come together (without the loss of my eyebrows or home ) and poured the whole lovely mess over the warm and toasty banana bread.

It was rich as hell but really good. You should try it sometime!

Day Trip To Jasper, Alberta

Is January not the LONGEST.MONTH.EVER?

I mean, this isn’t a bad thing. Not really when you think of the alternative. January could be OVER for me any second and then won’t I be the one wishing for another day?!

It seems I grow impatient with what is as I dream of what I WANT. February, March, April, May and June. *Note to self: plan more fun things for the longest month of the year.

I shouldn’t be bitching because the Hubs and I went to Jasper on Saturday. It’s just a few hour drive from home and it was really nice to get out of the city for a bit.

The drive was pretty and uneventful. We saw one deer and countless ravens.

We drove down the Icefields Parkway for a bit:

And these signs made me laugh. Mountains? What Mountains?! We were completely socked in and then it started to snow, sideways.

We drove up the ski hill- Marmot Basin– and were annoyed by the way people park up there. People?! You so crazy! I was seriously getting anxiety just driving through the lots. Cars parked behind cars with seemingly no regard for others, cars parked in the roadway, on snowbanks, in the driveway…it was insane. And don’t even get my man, the “parking police” started! I thought he was going to have a stroke with all the anarchy. So, just be forewarned.

Driving down from Marmot Basin

I spent a few minutes in the rock shop -Jasper Rock and Jade– where I spent half my allowance on rocks 🙂

Rose Quartz, Tiger Eye, Carnelian and a bag of rocks for Ms. Sassafras.

Lunch time! ( My second favourite time of the day!)

Jasper Brewing Company makes a mean Mule:

Pomegranate Mule

Hubs and I both had their Fried Chicken Sandwich with Fries. It’s “
buttermilk marinated chicken, slaw, hot pepper relish, pickles, sriracha mayo, sesame bun ” Sounds good, right?

It was sadly underwhelming. Now don’t get me wrong, it was put together well and the ingredients were a quality product, for sure. There were chunks of white AND dark meat in the sandwich, which I was impressed by. It was clearly made with care. Its just that it lacked flavour!

The chicken, both the flesh and the batter could have used some salt and pepper or something. The hot peppers weren’t even mildly spicy and the slaw and pickles didn’t really taste of anything but “sweet”. I was sad because thought and attention went into the thing, it just didn’t taste like anything but sweet, bready meat. The fries were good! Hot, crispy and salty. And our service was excellent. My drink had me craving more and it was a fun place. Young crowd. -We were counting the “old people” We were two of six, out of a huge room, ha ha- We’d go again. I’d just try something else.

The wind picked up and it was time to go home. Was the snow we’d met on the parkway coming into town? We didn’t stick around long enough to find out! It was a gorgeous day. Sunny and WARM! +4 degrees Celsius! Much nicer than the -13C that awaited us in the city, that’s for sure.

We stopped at a beautifully maintained outhouse at the edge of the park where I was almost blown away:

And with one last lingering glance at the beauty around us, it was back to the cold, safe and sound!

Jasper, in January was still a hoppin’ place but there were a lot of things that were closed for the season. So just check before you go. It’s still worth the trip. We saw a lot of animals, sheep and elk, although my park book tells me WOLVES are often seen on the valley floor too. I’d yet to see one but soon … soon! I’m sure of it!