Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Things You Learn With Family

I've been spending a lot of time with my family lately due to Gramp being in the hospital and we've passed the time just talking.  He's told me stories about his past, the family, and just different things about the Island (Grand Manan).  The things I've learned the past week have been more valuable to me than the classes I've missed and I hope to remember forever - so of course, I'm writing it down.

Gramp has taught me about weather patterns, about fishing when he was younger, about getting along with people and about how much of a spitfire Gram is.  Apparently, wind from the south is warmer - but that doesn't mean it feels warm (it's just nicer than North or East).  If it's a North wind, he never wanted to go out fishing because even the fish found it to cold and stayed lower.   

He also told me about his first gun - His dad got it from a salvage (his words, not mine) after the war.  All the boys had a gun like that and that's how he learned to shoot.  He still has that gun and it reminds him of his father, a man I never had the opportunity to meet but he sounded pretty interesting.    
When talking with Mom, Mam and Gramp today, Mom told me today that there used to be a craft cart that went through the hospital for people to buy little projects to work on when they were in there (which was a lovely idea).  She had made a few stuffed animals when she was pregnant with me - including a turtle :) She's trying to find it so I can see it...I'm convinced I peer pressured her while I was still a little fetus.

When we walk in the hospital, first thing Mom has to do is run to the washroom...beside the washrooms are a small display of hospital artifacts.  Mam saw a picture of the old TB hospital in Saint John - and had a very upset look on her face when she told me that the doctors thought Uncle Robert had TB when he was just a little kid and she had to leave him there for awhile as a child.  She was NOT happy about that decision.

Today is also the first time I've ever heard anyone say that Mam does have the early stages of Alzheimer's.   Gramp Browne (my great-grandfather) had it and her brother does as well.  I didn't say anything in the hospital but it wasn't a complete suprise.  She's forgetful over small things but still remembers the important stuff.

As I was running tonight, it began to sink in and it's scary.  I don't know what exactly to think except pray for as many good years as possible.  Let her be okay because I need my grammy around for awhile longer (preferably until I'm 102 years old).

So as I write, I laugh at some stories and I start crying writing down others.  It's scary to think of my grandparents as 'old' because in my mind, they aren' I'll just keep writing and remembering and thinking positively!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Steubenville revisited

If you saw my earlier post about Steubenville, most of you will assume I was confused.  I had a lot running around in my mind but couldn't really put it together in words.

Henry Rollin's post (Click here) was amazing.  This is exactly what has been going through my mind.  I could have cried reading it because it was just "yes, yes, yes, I agree!" 

I encourage you to read it and leave feedback!



Recipe Time

Sweet 'n' Sour Chili 


1/2 pkg firm tofu (I usually leave it out all afternoon on paper towel to drain it)
1 can whole tomatoes (drained)
1 medium onion
Garlic (as much as you like)
small can of pineapple
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) - 1 swirl around the pan
Veggies (whatever you want)
splash of apple cider vinegar
Any spices you may like (I use Mrs. Dash and pepper but basil, oregano, chili's, curry - whatever you enjoy would work).


1) Throw tofu in pot and smoosh it.  Crank it up on high until it sizzles than lower the heat.  

2) Add EVOO to large frying pan.  Add chopped onion and garlic.

3) When onions are soft, add a splash of vinegar and pineapple juice.  Taste it.  Do you like it? Balance out your flavours here - I usually go half and half.

4) Add whatever other spices you like.

5) Add veggies (I used spinach this time but I've thrown in carrots, mushroom, broccoli, green beans - most anything will work - I use some pineapple chunks as well). 

6) When this is hot, start adding tomatoes to the mix. Stir it up.  Keep watching the tofu that is simmering away.             

7) When tomatoes are hot, add to the tofu.  Stir it around and turn up the heat.  It shouldn't boil but it should be simmering.  When it's hot, serve it up.

Okay - so my recipes are definitely ad-lib.  Don't feel like you NEED to add garlic if you hate it - want more pineapple? Add more! Have fun with it and keep taste testing - for your flavour.  Usually I use hot peppers until my friend's eyes are watering...I'm perfectly fine.  This time, since it's for gramp, I left the hot stuff out. 


I don't feel like Running

I don't feel like running today.  Well, I don't.  I know I'll feel better...I know the ache isn't really pain.  My hangnail doesn't count as an excuse.  My shoes aren't wet - it's not snowing.  But I don't feel like it.

So I'll just put on my running clothes.  I won't go...I'll just see how I feel in my sweats. 

Well, maybe just a quick walk down the block and back.  

Maybe just a mile...

Maybe another.

I guess I felt like running today...

My chats with my Grampy

Over the past few days, I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my grandfather. Even with the stress, it's been a blessing to have that time with him.  We've had some great talks about different things and here are some things I've picked up on:

-Love isn't about expression, it's visible in a person's face. Gramp looks at Gram like she is the most beautiful, valuable, wonderful woman in the entire world. 

-Justin Beiber is young and is making too much money.  Stop worshiping these kids - it's not healthy on them...or on the people who are idolizing their heroes!

-His faith isn't a part of him, it is him.  He told me if I cry when he dies it will be because I miss him but he'll be in a better place (because THAT made me feel better).

-He is happy because he is content with what he has. He doesn't want more 'stuff'

-He's proud of me and loves me unconditionally.  I might not be a parent...but I wouldn't mind a grandkid someday :)           

Monday, March 18, 2013

That Stupid Voice

I heard that voice again tonight - it was the same one I heard constantly two years ago.  It was just a whisper in the back of my head that told me if I just stop eating, Bamp will get better...figure that one out.  I know logically this is a lie - it is physically impossible. 

I know it's my mind's way of coping with stress - it's easier to focus on being hungry, on losing weight, on obsessing with every calorie than it is to be afraid or cry every time I'm alone.  

I know I can't listen to that voice.  I can't give in for a second or else I'm going to be sick again.  My body will be sore, I'll be full of bruises and I'll have my fingers down my throat once again.  I don't need to go back to that place again - it was hard enough to crawl out of the first two times around.  So I'm going to go get a shower...then I'm going to drink some juice and eat a spoonful of peanut butter.

Welcome to the world of manifests itself in so many ways but none of them are healthy.  



You know that moment - when you think "I'm not going to cry"...and then you just lose it and start sobbing?  Well, just had another one of those.  I'm doubling up the layers again and am actually going for a run - Hopefully, I can clear my mind and just calm down.  

Pro-Rapist? Pro-Youth? Definitely conflicted.

I've been (loosely) following the Steubenville trials of two young men aged 16 and 17.  Now, I am not a fan of focusing the media's attention on the guilty.  However, having dealt with being assaulted before, I would feel terrible if I had been targeted by the media.  So what do you do to be fair - you focus on the guilty because if you hurt them, it's not as bad. 

Think about it for a second: you're a young woman.   You've been raped.  Not assaulted, not molested - you've been raped.  You didn't have sex with someone - they forced themselves on you.  Not one, but two men.  Now you are all over the news with cameras flashing around you, people screaming at you for an answer asking you how you feel???  That doesn't seem right.  This is the most intimate act ripped away from your control and you're being sensationalized...that doesn't seem quite right, does it?  So we leave the victim alone...and we report on the guilty.

Here's my problem with everything.  I feel badly for the boys too.  I don't feel badly that they are going to jail - personally, I think they deserve to be there longer.  I don't feel badly that they were caught - they did it.  I don't feel badly that everyone is going to know they raped this girl - They. Did. It.  I feel badly because when I look at pictures of them, I see two boys who were being stupid and cruel and probably egging each other on.  I see two boys whose parents let them stay out, who probably weren't worried about coming home smelling like booze, who were raised up on pedestals because they could throw a darn football.  I see two young boys who are probably going to become products of the jail system.  Statistically, they will commit another crime, go to jail again.  They will never live a normal life (nor should they) but they have destroyed their lives at such a young age that yes, I feel bad.

I'm have been extremely conflicted over feeling bad're supposed to hate rapists not feel bad for them.  I hate their actions, I hate their nonchalant attitude about it at first, I hate that they have hurt (I refuse to use the word destroy because that gives too much power to the rapists) an innocent girl.  But rape is about power - were they really trying to be powerful? Or were they being stupid teens?  My guess is they were being stupid teenagers and they went WAY to far.  They deserve to be punished and yes this will haunt them (as it should) but can I completely harden my heart and say I don't feel badly for them? No I can't.  

I don't blame the parents either - it was their childrens decision, not theirs...but I also know how many times I could have gotten in a LOT more trouble because of crap I did when I was younger had my parents not cared enough to ask questions, make sure I got home at a decent hour and punished me when I broke rules.  Young people are sometimes really stupid.  That's why we have parents!  (If the coaches knew about it though and said nothing, I blame them and hope they rot in jail.)

Before I get blasted with "you're pro-rapists", I promise I'm not.  Having been assaulted, I am even more conflicted as to why I feel badly.  The only way I can say it is I feel badly that they are so young, that they chose to make those decisions that affected their lives forever.  

There is no other outcome for these young men - they were wrong, they were caught, they are going to juvie, they deserve it (and probably more).  I hope they will learn to be responsible young men while in jail but that's a hard sell.  

Whenever a young life is destroyed - even if it is by their own hand - there is a place for empathy.  That being said, there are lines that need to be drawn between feeling bad and being sorry it happened.  I am not sorry they were arrested.  I am sorry they did it in the first place and hurt a young woman.  

And still, I am conflicted about feeling bad - sometimes writing it out doesn't sort out every feeling.

Feel free to post your opinions on this.  Did you watch the video of their sentencing and if so, how did you feel?