If You Want To Go Fast..

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

The source of the proverb isn’t certain, but its truth is as old as what it means to be human. Long ago, people relied on their tribes to survive. They relied in real physical ways. There was no way that they could say, “Let’s practice physical distancing.” If they had, they would have died from the reality that life at a distance is no life at all. People require touch. Not the kind of “manufactured touch” that often comes from apparently “trained” professionals.

My grandmother could give a foot massage that I had never received after paying $60 an hour from a professional. I’m sure there are good professionals out there, but I did not encounter one. I did volunteer hand and foot massage in the hospital years ago, and the nurses used to joke, “Oh, you need to do me next!” But I know it was no joke. People need this. The people I had looked after had really appreciated it, and I feel that it helps open the energy channels in the body. And most important, it feels good!

Right now, nature might be teaching us that our “connections” were broken before and that old apparently “normal” was nothing normal at all. People putting money and status before the truly important things in life. Rushing around without any kind of presence of mind. Living to eat instead of eating to live.

connect tree.jpgThe range of troubles that come from lack of connection are coming to their head and I’m sure we all are aware that change needs to happen and it needs to happen now. We are out of time. Individually and collectively, once we get this virus under control, it will not be enough to make permanent change. There will be another and another unless we fix our mental state, which leads to physical ill health as well.

It is believed now that although we don’t “see” the connection in the space between us, it exists and we have an influence on each other even if we don’t know each other. Anyone who knows the phenomenon of quantum entanglement and quantum particles reacting at a distance to one another could understand how this might work between us. See YouTube for many videos for a description of the experiment. Here is one link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFozGfxmi8A

If you have young children, you know how difficult it is to orchestrate a trip out. Everyone needs to be washed and fed. Provisions need to be packed for everyone. A plan needs to be in place for needed bathroom and rest breaks. The children need to know where they are going and why. One child might love to read. Another might love to solve puzzles. Another might want to write or observe.

The different desires and needs of everyone needs to be taken into account for a happy and successful outing. And people need to be able to share their experience in a meaningful way with others who will truly listen and care about what they have to say, understanding that what they have to say, is worthy. And this, too, takes time and strategy because a sharing of time and resources and mental and physical stamina must exist along with true mutual responsibility. Not mere lip service or some form of plastic toy that is played with and thrown away very quickly in favour of something else apparently more bright and shiny.

At this time, when people are re-shaping the world, we can take the time to make critical decisions that involve everyone around us in our sphere.connect3.png

We have the opportunity to think ahead and decide to walk through this, planning ahead as best as we can and taking action so that our “trip” together is as easy and fun for everyone involved.

If someone rushes you, tell them to go look at a flower and see that it is in no rush to grow. Tomorrow will come or it won’t. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it a present.

Homeschooling Your Kids

How you homeschool your kids will be unique to you and your children. There is no “one-size-fits-all approach”. When you decide to take on this enormous task, you are entering “as if” a new world and you will require a tribe to help navigate through the uncharted territory and support your efforts. There are many professionals who are skilled in many areas to help you.

It takes more than just one or two people to raise a child; it takes a whole group of people and that’s why we are fortunate to have so many resources available to us via our connectivity resources and technologies through our devices online and which extend around the world. The gas-burning old yellow school bus needn’t run everyday in order to accomplish the task of many kinds of learning.

1. Keep a routine, but be flexible.

There are many ways, for instance, to learn basic arithmetic and language skills.

Portioning dough is division. Measuring the distance of a homemade running track or obstacle course gives a real world spatial sense of what the numbers mean. Planning a menu and executing it requires a lot of thought. It provides opportunities for all kinds of learning. Use your imagination.

2. Choose topics that interest your child. Choose the things that hold their attention for longer. Don’t force them. Be gentle and let them lead you to a certain extent. Their particular gifts will reveal themselves over time. Have fun!

3. Find online resources and use them. You don’t need to recreate the making of a wheel that’s already been made. Many educational websites are free to use.

4. Allow time for a break and make sure that if the style of learning that has taken place has been largely sedentary— that break should involve getting outside and getting fresh air.

5. Switch up the days. Too much of the “same-ole-same-ole” can be boring. A change is as good as a rest. Continually seek out new ways of doing things especially if the old ways don’t seem to be working.

6. Go easy on yourself. You don’t need to have six hours of structured schoolwork everyday.

7. Play games. Board games like Monopoly are good for counting. Scrabble is good for word building. Lots of opportunities out there.

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Other Ideas:

Teach your child how to keep a journal and fill it with memorabilia.

Learn skipping songs.

Online dance or yoga classes.

Kitchen science experiments like baking soda mixed with vinegar.

Garden projects.

There are so many opportunities it’s impossible to list, but carpe diem! You can seize the day and make it great for learning!

The Story of Eleven

Sometime around 2007, I started noticing these 11′s all over the place. What? You say. That’s what I said. It was a very gradual thing, but maybe for instance I’d get in the car and drive somewhere and the DJ on the radio would announce, “It’s currently 11:11 and we’re breaking to go on remote to such and such location…” He introduces the fun event. Maybe a grand opening for a new garden center where they’re giving away hot dogs and coffee and offering a big “Jumpy Castle” for the kids. It’s the kind of thing that tempts you to swing by even though there’s no way you need another coffee and a hot dog after some sardines and toast doesn’t seem right. I skipped on that notion and stopped at the thrift instead.

It seems at this point the universe really wants to feed me despite any sardines and toast. The thrift is decorated with balloons and there is a table laid out with decorated cakes and a coffee pot. I’m greeted with a “welcome” and informed they are celebrating their 11th anniversary. I’m more enthusiastic about the idea I can get 30% off my purchases than I am about the cake and coffee, but I happily accept the goodies and peruse the children’s books. I leave with “The Harvest Queen” and enter back outside upon the spring day wondering why I bought an autumn book at this time of year and why I persist in collecting children’s books despite the fact my kids are grown. I’m too busy enjoying the sunshine and the cozy downtown street of Olds, Alberta. I’m thinking about how lucky I am to live near a community like this.

The kind of status quo for those times was marked by a consistent pace of chores interrupted by the occasional outing. It still wasn’t marked consciously by the observance of The Elevens. As I’ve mentioned, there’s no one single identifiable moment that I can remember “before” it really dawned on me. It’s a bit irksome to this day. Kind of like having the words of a song on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite remember. Logically it seems there should be one time that I can remember that I truly took notice, but I can’t. The best I can do is return to these “example days” or “random days”. I don’t know what else to call them.

They were strings of time before “the before” until I got to after “the after” which I can identify. That happened in Prague. That was like the dot on the exclamation mark— the quintessential moment that had me awestruck. If I had any remaining residue of thinking that it may have been a mere coincidental type of phenomenon, it was gone. I’ll share the Prague experience a little later, but first it’s apropos to share some of the “lead ups”.

I was working as a volunteer in the hospital and tinkering with screenwriting here and there. One typical day has me taking a trip in to do a home-care visit and stop-off to pick up some salad greens. I find myself waiting in a line-up at the grocery store and one of the staff directs me to come over to a different till where there is no line and I notice she’s leading me to checkout number 11. “Really!” I’m thinking. The customer service person is leading me over and the girl at #11 is waving “Come on over”. The two 1′s all lit up, the smiles, the direction, the waving. It doesn’t get any better than this. The distant beeping sound at the checkouts, the mundane of everyday exchanges becomes something more— something else, something closer to what is a little more real. A little more right.

11-28.jpgAnd then the really strange. She rings up my order and behold, the total comes to the precise amount of 11 dollars.

Now let’s go to what I’ll call, The Movie Moment.

One evening, I had an amusing circumstance occur where I went to the movies and tried to order a hot dog at the concessions. Tried is the key word here. The young fellow serving me has lovely blue eyes that sparkle with a certain kind of light and yet, he looks at me very apologetically and declares it will be about a half an hour. Now although this has nothing to do with “eleven” as far as I know, it was one of those moments happening during this time-scape I’ll call it that really had me feeling like was the one in a movie and here I was “at” a movie.

I think the young man thought I was going to react with anger, but it was so absurd I had to smile and repeat it to him, “A half an hour?” “Yes,” he replied now realizing my amusement. A lot happened in the next moment. Like time had collapsed in upon itself. I think I considered some random fact that I was unaware of that made the whole affair of serving a hot dog more complex than previously thought.

Maybe the wieners had to revolve around on their little wire skewers in the magic hot dog machine for so many rotations before being technically safe to serve and maybe the machine had to pre-heat for a certain length of time and maybe the young fellow had just came on shift and the last server had failed to load the machine and maybe, too, the buns were scheduled for delivery, but they were delayed. Or maybe it was the cheese. Hadn’t I ordered a cheese dog? Maybe the cheese was delayed. In any case, it’s amazing how many random thoughts you can pack inside a single moment, but it seems like they rolled on out.

This beautiful moment expanded where I looked into his blue eyes— eyes that said, I really do want to serve you some food, but the hot dog or cheese dog, couldn’t be achieved that fast and I recognized that he and I were having a moment of connection that no one else in the crowd of the movie theatre lobby was experiencing.

That movie moment, I will not have to search for. It was like a meeting of minds. Like the Spock mind meld, but a friendly one. “That’s OK,” I said. “I’ll have some fries.” This “movie moment” lacking any 11 was maybe some kind of trigger that had me thinking such things like, “They wanna give me hot dogs and coffee for free and I just finished toast and sardines, but then when I want to pay for a lilly old hot dog… This is hilarious. And maybe, just maybe I thought that this seemingly random collection of circumstances weren’t so random after all. I was extremely grateful for the fries and departed with a happy feeling that I can’t explain.

On another random day, sometime after the hot dog incident, I was cleaning out my emails and there were 111 in my inbox. That’s not that many in my inbox. I tend to like to save them up for some reason. A little while after, I needed to get with the program and get the chores done and I was baking cookies for The Reading Program at the school. (It was my answer to collecting children’s books).

11 pyramid.pngI did my thing, moving about the house, multi-tasking. You know how the clocks in your house are all a little bit different— a few minutes off. (Well, they are unless you are extremely precise) So here I am on said random day. I might be putting cookies in to bake and it’s 8:11. Then I go downstairs to fold laundry and a little later I tidy the spare bedroom and the digital clock reads 8:11 ten minutes later. Now maybe something is starting to break through my subconscious, but what. The day continues. A few trays of cookies later. The Reading Program. Some dishes. The typical day-to-day chores continue.

The next day I decide to Google 11:11 and I discover I’m not alone. A whole bunch of people it appears are having the same experience and they are all asking the same thing. What does it mean? There are, many different answers. Some people think it’s a “wake up” call for something, but they don’t know what. A little later, another random day, the phone rings. I’m called by a friend who asks if I can take her in to get her prescription filled. I drop everything and head over to her place. I enter into her kitchen where she is haphazardly trying to gather up her purse and a crocheting project she likes to take with her when she’s waiting for a doctor’s appointment. I busy myself while she’s getting her things together and wash some of the dishes for her. It’s at this moment that I notice the clock on her coffee pot is reading 11:11. Is this enough to wake me up? Now it’s like the numbers are following me around.

Several other “encounters” happened before I mentioned it to my husband. I don’t think he thought too much about it at first until it started happening to us at the same time.

Different DJ, different time, but he proclaims on the radio, “It’s currently eleven-eleven. We are monitoring a slow down in traffic on the… ” Instinctively, we turned to each other like we were reading each other’s mind. As if to say, “Alright. Maybe a little coincidence.” And then we’d stop off to pick up a burger and fries and the cashier asks my husband very politely, “Anything else, Sir?” To which he replies, “No that’s it”. And she proclaims, “Alright that’ll be $11.11. Needless to say we gave each other another look. I don’t know where it is right now, but I know at the time I had saved the receipt.

The strangest thing of all was when we arrived in Prague. Here we had traveled all the way over the ocean, been on a cruise, been on planes, rented a car and were driving to our Hotel room and we turned on three different streets and witness 3 – #11 busses in the span of a couple of minutes. I’m thankful that my husband was witnessing this Twilight Zone phenomenon together with me because I don’t think I would have believed my eyes if I was alone. “Did you see that?!” I said. And he’s not an over-reactor, but this was making him wonder, too.

These kinds of things continued. We’d get placed in #11 rooms. I thought he was playing a prank on me. “Did you ask for Room #11?” I asked him. “No.” He replied. I looked hard at him thinking I might be able to see a trickster lurking. “No, really,” he said again. And soon the numbers would start shifting. Not just 11s, but repeating numbers. 222, 333, 444, 555 etc…

I see today that those numbers were messages. I can’t explain how it could have happened, but then again I can’t explain anything much anyway. What I do know is that I’ve come to learn that the letter, Kaph, כ is the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a value of 20. Yes. 2020 would be Kaph-Kaph. And Kaph-Kaph would be a significant “wake-up” call. Twenty-twenty vision is a very good thing to have and is something we need moving forward.

In 2020 we are witnessing the re-structuring of the world. We have arrived. We are still safe, but we need to recognize the signs around us and pay attention to the things that really matter. If we do, we will have unbelievable moments like we never imagined.

The Junk Drawer

Awhile back, I knew a lady who helped operate a museum/thrift store existing within the walls of a little old white church. Upon browsing the curiosities, I noticed a beautiful box-like structure, covered in some kind of plaster in which all kinds of little things had been pressed– buttons, thimbles, pins, wooden spools for thread, safety pins, bottle caps. I was touched by the sincerity of the expression of the unseen hand that had put this all together, with what most certainly was a lot of love. junkdrawer01I imagine those things came out of a junk drawer and the person that had an attachment to them, recognized their value by creating this artifact.

Very quickly my little moment of contemplation was interrupted by a female voice behind me, an attendant caretaker working behind the till. “That’s not for sale,” she said, “Frieda’s mother had made it.” Frieda managed the community thrift in close proximity to the museum. Typically the goods, once sorted, made their way to one of two places: either the antique store and museum in the old church or, alternatively, the community thrift. The finer things went to the museum and were consequently sold as antiques, for a higher price or not sold at all, but found a home where they could be appreciated by many travellers passing through the little town.

Simple enough one would think to sort the quality of the items, but I’m sure it’s not so. Like the sound of wind chimes speaking to the soul, the old box covered in plaster and things that probably landed in the junk drawer had spoken to the one who determined their importance, spending the precious commodity called time to caretake over them– those things that almost always wind up in a drawer with such an unfortunate name.

How often in life do we fail to acknowledge that the little things have greater value than we think. If, today, in fact, we think at all, bothering to take the time to do so, since we are increasingly governed on auto-pilot by apps promising to do more for us and quicker. Always we think, quicker is better. Indeed, that box covered with plaster and all those little things took more time and attention than most people today care to allow in their daily smart phone-worlds which, in fact may, by revelation, turn out to be quite phoney.

It’s amazing indeed, that something made by someone no longer living can reach down through time and mesmerize the eye of the current beholder. It’s amazing how the value of the seemingly insignificant can be raised to the level of museum quality rather than merely the community thrift side of things– something so priceless it can only be called soul. It manifests into this world by those actions we focus our attention upon, for the right reason. The priceless things in reality, it turns out, are often the very things that people take for granted.

Unfortunately, we spend our lives placing our time and consequently our money on things that really have very little value in the scheme of things.

What pay-off do we have if all our resources go to the wrong place? It’s interesting to think of how the things that matter to the soul can’t be sold, just like that plaster box is not just any old plaster box, the same goes with how we value anything that has meaning. What matters to one may seem little and foolish to another, but most important is that we value people, especially the ones who need it most. Let’s consider for a moment:

Proverbs 21:13 says, Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

It is up to us to value the homeless people who have wound up in society’s junk drawer and recognize what they teach us about ourselves and where we are placing our attention.

It is given to each of us a portion and of that portion we must make the most to see that “the good” gets spread around appropriately. Yes, our leaders must be equitable, but we cannot expect them to wave magic wands to solve the problems of the world. We, as individuals, must take personal responsibility for the issues that face the homeless, the disabled and handicapped, the mentally ill, the working poor, the overworked business person, the starving artist, the burnt out nurse and doctor, the confused over passionate person like me who can barely eat sometimes because she’s too wound up, and the many people who, very soon, will be out of work due to our new technologies.

If we treat the homeless like they belong in the “Junk Drawer” of society’s priorities, we are missing a very important point. These are probably some of the best souls that we currently have on the planet. Souls that were so sincere and delicate, they could not tolerate the false foundations that our world has been built upon– foundations that wouldn’t exist if people knew the truth.

Nature has so much bounty. Try working with it and you will see. Grow a tomato and try and count the seeds. It would take a very long time just to do that.

People need to be allowed to work with their soul, to recognize that the current school systems are so geared towards perpetuating themselves they have forgotten the most important thing. It is not merely human intellectual pursuits that matter. To have that at the forefront of our educational system is in great error and if not corrected will cause much suffering in society as a whole on all levels as we shall see. Making proper changes is the only thing we should make haste with since our world is on fire and no one wants to live in a burning house.

The question of what changes need to be made will need to come from deep within the souls of each individual person upon this planet. It is incumbent upon all of us now to recognize if we do not make necessary changes in our own personal lives and scrutinize how we can build more positive structures with a moral core as its foundation, then we will face greater tribulation.

I have a bible I found at the community thrift. Strange, it really should have been located at the museum, but I was fortunate for where it was placed because I couldn’t afford it had it been classed as “antique”.

The book has a navy blue cover. It’s a King James Version, a 1967 edition.

Mathew 4 reads:

Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward |hungry|.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

But he answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

***

There is much to learn from scripture whether you study in English or Hebrew and there exist many faiths in various languages that bear the same seeds of truth and yield positive fruits.

Today, however, we witness to the fact that cheap fast food is placed higher on our priorities than quality bread made at home or in a small “caring” bakery. If we really understood how little food we need to live, if it were of good quality, we would understand how we have been misled.

People race foolishly around, not knowing what is the matter. They sit in idling vehicles breathing exhaust so that they can drink another coffee in a paper cup.

Let’s think of children for a moment. They are very close to the soul because they just came over from that other place. They can sense the falseness even if they don’t understand.

Children’s spirits need feeding. All of the ice cream in the world will not satisfy the human soul. It’s time to live the truth and it will set us free.

Haileevale

Amid Covid-19

Earlier this year I wrote the following:

I recently heard it said, that all we’re being asked to do is stay at home and we’ll be heroes. Let’s not screw it up this time. I’ve heard terms like “social distancing” and someone say, “That’s really incorrect. It should be called “physical distancing.”

Because I’ve worked in the “virtual sphere” since 2002, I know how social connections can be established in this computer world, this place of non-place where physical boarders and boundaries don’t exist. My daughter’s Grade 7 teacher had expressed how much she loved teaching online because she didn’t have to be involved in crowd control. The kids really wanted to learn and their parents were involved and supportive. Her words came at a time before the smart phones and apps we see today. That was eighteen years ago.

The 2020 upheaval amid Covid-19 has put us all on edge. And how we want to view the current situation, whether as a blessing or a curse, it’s clear that the world we live in has changed. As if overnight, old ways of doing things are going out. Not fading out, as would imply a gradual shift, but necessarily blotted out.

Perhaps our collective consciousness is helping to create this shift. Certainly, we see how Canadians can make necessary changes in their lifestyles to support a cleaner environment and healthier communities both here and abroad because what we do, does have an impact on our world and it’s amazing to think how our choices as consumers can have such dramatic effects on business and industry. Yes, you do have power. Yes you can be a hero. Just by being still. Strange isn’t it?

And yet, many people do not have such options. They must be at their posts and guard their stations whatever those stations may be.

I express my extreme gratitude for those standing guard for all of us. On behalf of my family and our many friends around the world, Be well and be kind.

Haileevale

Experimental Love Pancakes

can YOU do it? yes U CAN!

The word around here has been “present”. What does it mean? It means something like this:

Living and loving the moment. I think it also means: being like a child. … You know? …

Where you just do stuff because you’re excited and passionate. You don’t need a reason.

…such is my story of Love Pancakes…

Kay. You know you wind up coming in contact with these big zucchinis? Some one gave you a big bag full? No? Well, if you’re not so lucky, just imagine…zucchini

You’re living your life. La-la-la… everything is pretty ordinary and yeah, you have hopes ad dreams, but you have to pay the bills; so, so. So-so. You know? You forget about your dreams. But then…

But then someone comes along with this great fantastic wonderful amazing heartfelt gift!!!! (Truth is they haven’t a clue what to do with the gift and so they give it to you. (((((So what. GO WITH THE HEARTFELT!!! THEY WERE TRYING!!!!!)))) ….

So anyways, the heartfelt gift as per above was and were these amazing GIANT ZUCCHINIS!!!

What to do?

I’ll tell you what to do! MAKE ZUCCHINI PANCAKES!!!  pancakesAnd NEVER EVER LOOK BACK ON YOUR DECISION. It won’t turn you into a Cliphosh or a Mandrake or anything. I promise.

So here’s the WRANGLY DIRECTIONS:

Git yurself sum sourdoh sterter. it need be done easy like. Just take a cup rye flour and a cup water (more er less to a thicky type paste) Stir it up like you know. Cover but let breath a little every so often. Give it a wish and a dream if you know what I mean. In a few days after sum stirrin’, it should be a bubblin’ and smell kindu lika well, have fermentin’ like. …

Ok.. You can also do sumin better scientific like searches for starters, but me point is: it’s not so hard as they make it.

BUT!  If you have such a critter as a STARTER on your shelf. Take a portion (no exact amount just steal from it) and add it to these pancakes:

4 cups Barley Flour
4 Tbsp sugar or honey or whatever suits your fancy
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs plus enough milk to 4 cups of liquid (using powdered milk is more economical– that or even frozen plain yogurt that you got on sale and froze and then added water to the concoction. You get the idea. Just make do with what you have. Got no milk? Oh well. Do without.

Kay where em I? … Oh yeah…
These are spozed ta be’in Zuchs Paneekakes right?
Well allz ya gotta do is have yer fancy kitchen prep person have chopped sum a yer zucchini fer ya and cooked it a little so it’s already a bit soft.

Ifn ya drop yer zucchini into yer batter and stir it and it’s nice and thick, then flibber me gibber ya got yerself a pancake dough. If the dough seems runny when ya do yer first cakes, then just add sum’mer barley flour to yer mix.

Oh and fry these on a nice hot griddle, but use whatever fat ya have saved. Be frugal with ya fats. Theyz a good thing really. Contrary like what theyz say in the public media king thing. Cause ya know theyz only feedin peeple with the white deminerlized flour and such and ya know the path where that leads. Ooh I hate ta even magine. Let me live on real stuff folks. Let it be for me kids and grandkids.

God done bless ya all already. But let ‘im do it a second and third time everlasting fer me.
pancake-face

(In seriousness… just add your starter to your pancake dough. Add whatever you want to add– be it zucchinis, apples… or even if you’re wanting to do savory pancakes and forget sugars so much and do onions mushrooms… the point is that your dough be really nice and thick and just feel really free to have fun and experiment. It’s a pancake for cryin’ out loud. It’ll forgive you.” :) :) :)

Luvya,

Hailee Vale