Omar Khadr

Recently the biggest news in Canada is the 10.5 million dollar settlement and apology that is being given to Omar Khadr. You can just imagine the uproar on Facebook of people outraged that ‘Justin Trudeau is giving a convicted terrorist 10.5 million dollars!’.

Ignorant people jump on these headlines and never bother to find out the facts before they start shooting off their mouths. Even more ignorant when their only headlines come from Facebook. Outraged Conservatives rush in to use this opportunity to smear the Liberals.

The story is of a 15 year-old boy who was raised in Canada but taken to Pakistan and Afghanistan by this father who was a doctor. He was there to help and sent his son to help wherever help was needed. Omar did what his father told him to do. To his father, they were his old neighbours, to the government he was helping insurgents.

Omar was sent into the front lines as an interpreter when the compound he was living in was attacked by American forces. He survived the bombing and when the ground troops moved in, he tossed a grenade out in fear. Two soldiers were killed, however, he was not the only one that threw out grenades so no one knows for sure if it was his grenade that killed the soldiers.  He was taken to Guantanamo Bay where he stayed for 10 years being interrogated.

A lawyer in Canada who heard of his plight worked hard to get him transferred to prison in Canada. After years of court battles the only way to get out of Guantanamo was to plead guilty. If he didn’t plead guilty, he could be held indefinitely without a trial. That’s how he became a ‘convicted terrorist’.

I knew this part of the story so I was interested in seeing interviews with him in a show aired by CBC called “Out of the Shadows”.

The story of what this kid/man went through was shocking enough but I was blown away by how well-spoken, compassionate, forgiving and positive he was! There was no hatred or thoughts of revenge: he’d had those thoughts the first years in captivity but later his spirit grew to such heights that he affected the worst, most feared interrogator in Guantanamo. Everyone; inmates, guards, doctors, psychiatrists all knew a great injustice was being done and it could go on and on ‘indefinitely’.

His story reminds me of Viktor Frankl, or Nelson Mandala or (dare I say) Jesus when the Roman soldier offered to carry his cross; people who are held in captivity and so badly treated and yet their spirit thrives. It’s an inspiring story.

What does he want to do the most? He wants to be able to walk down a street and no one knows who he is or cares about him at all. Just blend in and live life. He says his goals are abstract; happiness and joy.

This is such a great reminder of how precious, fragile and wonderful our mundane, ordinary lives are, how important it is to love and forgive others. This is a story everyone should hear.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes/omar-khadr-out-of-the-shadows

Perfect Day at the Powwow

Yesterday was perfect weather for the Powwow. It was cool and breezy, the lake  had whitecaps which is unusual for our shallow beach. I live in a strip of land in the middle of a split reserve; Kettle and Stony Point. (Some still say its Stoney) so I took the back road into the reserve taking me past the beaches and around the actual Kettle Point.

kettle
Stock shot off the internet of a kettle and Kettle Point.

I continued past the marinas and cottages to the Powwow grounds and parked under a tree along the road. I could back in, making it easy to drive out; a perfect spot. Getting out of my car, another was backing in beside me. It was the people I was meeting: my niece-in-law, grandniece, my sister and her friend.

Seniors (over 60) are free so the woman at the admissions said, “Step right through, Ladies!”.

I said “Well, you could’ve at least asked!” and we all laughed. A young man stamped my hand which was a beautiful dream catcher. It was smeared so I asked him to do the other hand, that one smeared too but least I had both halves.

We found a perfect spot where the shade was just coming around and we set up our lawn chairs behind a slumped old lady and a little girl. The breeze was stronger off the lake giving a little shiver sometimes but no one was complaining after the oppressive heat we’ve had.

A Powwow is not somewhere you go around telling people you are vegetarian. I would totally expect to be sniggered at. An Indian Taco is what everyone goes for; basically a quarter pound of ground beef on a big wheat taco with a few vegetables on top. However, I found a smaller booth with corn tortillas and beans who would leave out the meat. They had extra tomato, lettuce and sour cream topping. It was so good I went back for another.

The drumming starts for Grand Entry and all the dancers go around the dance circle. It always starts with the veterans. It’s a good reminder of how many have fought for our country while being so badly treated. Then there is a speech and a prayer giving thanks to the Creator.

001
Too bad someone is in the middle but it was such a good flag shot!

There weren’t many dancers unfortunately. It was Saturday so hopefully many more would arrive later and compete today.  Each category was spread out around the dance circle so it was hard to get a photo of a group of dancers. I was disappointed in my photos. Here’s the best one;

011.JPG
girls 7 to 12,  Fancy Shawl Dancers

 

 

The colours and sparkles in the sun and wind were magical. The drums and the singing fills your heart. It really is wonderful. I urge everyone to find their local reserve and go to its Powwow. It is for everyone and a great way to bring the communities together.

There are booths with fantastic Native crafts. You have to a walk around around first and scout it out or you run out of money fast.  I bought a necklace for $10, some Sweetgrass oil and a cool night-light;

020

I did run out of money except for the $50 bill I stashed in my wallet pocket in case I found something fabulous. I decided candy floss was not a good enough reason to break it.

I got to dance, too; my grand-niece is one-quarter native and very interested in dancing. We did a spot dance together. That’s for anyone and everyone; when the music stops; who ever is on the ‘spot’ wins a prize. This time it was $35.  I’ve heard Six Nations Powwow has a ‘Wannabe’ dance competition for non-natives. It’s wonderful getting in there and stepping to the drums. If you have kids or grandkids…. take them to a Powwow!

Just when I was starting to get tired the ladies decided we were leaving. We said our goodbyes and I drove back the long way around the Point and along the beach.

It was the perfect time to get some sun and a nap. Not too hot and close to 5:00 p.m.; a gently breeze blowing. I was drifting off between motorcycles when I heard my neighbours fighting. I tried hard to hear what they were yelling but it was muffled by the breeze blowing through the leaves and passing motorcycles. Finally, I gave up and went in to continue my nap on the couch; still lying in the sun with a soft breeze blowing across me.  Heavenly!

A perfect day.

Today is gorgeous, weather-wise,  but I have to go into work tonight; 5:00 to 10:00. Horrible. The cloud of ‘going in’ hangs over my day. On one hand I hope they don’t call me in early, on the other hand, there may be more work than I can do in 5 hours and I’ll be alone to serve customers, too. It’s very stressful. Just driving in is tiring because of all the tourists. Now I have to give myself 45 minutes to get to work.

Luckily I don’t have to work tomorrow and can deal with my broken-down lawn mower. Life is so rarely perfect so it sure is nice when things go right.

************************************************************************************

OMG! When I wrote this post the daily prompt was not up yet. I published it anyway then went to look to see if the prompt came up. I’m not sure whether to link this or not! Savage is what we used to call Indigenous People. This dancing and drumming was illegal in our lifetime!  Let’s all celebrate reconciliation!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/savage/

An Ick-free Day!

I am so sick of Trump. Trump everywhere in the media. What a dick. He’s so much of a dick that you can’t help watching the news or Bill Maher just to find out what stupid thing he did now.

We, here in Canada, act so smug because we have Justin Trudeau. He’s so cool, so slick…… here’s a shocker…. I didn’t vote for him! He was not my pick, I’m firm NDP and vote to ensure they have a voice in Parliament. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of him…… after so many years of Harper he’s a breath of clean, fresh hair. I just thought he was too young and riding on his Dad’s shoulders.

I haven’t written much lately, I’m not sick but I’m sure sick of work. I’m getting to really hate this job and dread going in. The last summer…. the last summer….. that’s my mantra.

But I’m not going to get my knickers in a knot today. I have the day off to go to the Powwow and that icky heat and humidity has lifted! It’s going to be 24 C and breezy. The lake is roaring today from the storm last night, what a great day for drumming, dancing and singing!

Far, far away from the world of  Trump and white, corporate bullshit. An ick-free day!

SoCS

https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-817/

Oooh, It’ Canada Day

Well, tonight everyone is going to be ‘ooohing’ and ‘aaahing’ over the fireworks. I might even see some. The town I work in is having a huge display over the lake. It starts at 10:00 and I get off work at 10:00. The store is only a few blocks from the beach so I might just walk over after work….. maybe, if I’m not too exhausted to care.

I’m not a big fan of fireworks. So noisy, polluting and terrifying to animals and birds. In my last house we lived behind a cricket field where they had fireworks every Canada Day. We watched from behind in the woods and after every bang all the birds flapped and clucked in fear. We all know how our dogs react so all those little animals outside are doing the same.

Last night I was watching TV, windows closed when a huge bang made me jump. Then another and another…… a whole series of bangs for 15 minutes. I looked out thinking must be able to see them but they were too far, yet the noise was like it was next door.

Another thing making me ambivalent towards Canada Day is that I have 10 or 12 Facebook friends who are First Nations so I’ve had lots of reminders on how our great country was built on broken treaties. 150 years isn’t that long compared to the 13,000 years they’ve been here. What we did to the Indigenous people is nothing to be proud of.

On the other hand; I love Canada! What a great country to live in! Of course we want to celebrate being Canadian. I’ve just had it up to my eyeballs in Canada Day Flag every-fucking-thing in the store. So sick of Canada Day cakes and cupcakes and every thing covered in red and white and flags……. this has been going on all week for us and now it peaks today…. today is The Day. Canada Day.

My ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aahs’ will come tonight when I close my front door behind me.

“aah…. I’m home.”

“ooh” (more of an ‘ew’) when I take of those polyester pants. “aaahhh” when I take off my bra and massage my squished breasts.

Then the bigger “AAAH” when I put on my soft, worn out cotton PJ’s and the final ‘aahh’ when reclining on my couch.

Happy Canada Day! Be nice to the people who are working to serve you.

SoCS

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ooooh, aaaah,”. Use it as a phrase, or break it apart.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 1/17

Relieved

I am extremely relieved today. Relieved this is the first day of three days off. Relieved it’s not hot and humid so I can open my windows; hear the birds and feel the breeze.

Last night I worked until 10:00 p.m. That extra hour at night seems so long and late. I started my shift at 4:00 and relieved the day person leaving her shift. She had been on alone for several hours and was in a frenzy getting her work done, not leaving it for me. I love her.

There were two birthday cake orders to fill then I made Fudge Brownie Bar cakes. That’s chocolate cake covered with fudge icing, sided with chocolate curls, nine halved brownies stuck in the top and drizzled with caramel sauce.  Yeah, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. I ate a little too much fudge icing: its in a huge bucket and doesn’t need refrigeration but it’s, oh so good.

I usually do the ‘dishes’ before I go for my break but there was a big stack of trays and it was already close to 7:00 p.m.  When I get a half-hour break I’ll go sit in my car. The employee parking lot is beside a small wood lot making it so much better than the refrigerated lunch room with the announcements, music and talking people. They have these vinyl chairs that are like sitting on ice only sweaty.  To my great relief the heat and humidity had broken and a cool breeze blew through the open windows of my car. It was a very pleasant break.

So I didn’t feel too bad when I went back in to do the dishes, clean work counters, break down cardboard boxes and take them to the compactor, wash the floors, count and toss the leftover bin buns…. etc. Relieved I was done at 9:55 and had the last five minutes to ‘face out’ the commercial breads (tidy and bring forward).

Relieved driving home that I got a lot accomplished and didn’t have anything weighing on my mind. A job well done.

So that’s why today I am extremely relieved. No worries, no dramas to turn around in my head, no feelings of inadequacy. And it’s nice out! The last few days have been so hot and humid I’ve had to keep my windows and curtains closed. It’s so frustrating to see its breezy outside, then open the window and get slapped by hot, wet air. Today all the windows are open and hopefully can stay open. I even feel good enough to do some things outside.

Yes, relieved is an understatement of how I feel today.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relieved/

Signing Off

Last night I got a laugh at work when I found two signs written on the back of old price cards that read “NO”. I could imagine my boss standing at the work table, a customer comes up to the counter and he just holds up two “NO” signs.  I don’t really know if that’s what they were for.  I hid them in places my co-workers will find today.

I have all the signs of aging. Yeah, yeah, you are only as old as you feel: well, I’m feeling pretty old today. Two 7-hour shifts back to back and I’m shuffling. Good thing I’m off today because I would be no good at all. I can’t imagine having to do that 5 days a week. This old horse is lying down today; kicking will do no good.

Signing off for the day.

SoCS

 

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1717/

Enter; Stage Right

The drama continues. No prompts here today, only an update on the drama that is going on at my job. This serves two purposes; anyone who read yesterdays SoSC prompt and wants to know what happens can find out if they are curious. The other purpose is to get it off my chest so I don’t drive my sister crazy on a beautiful weekend.

We enter Scene 2 when I go into work, not knowing if my co-worker went in the day before or called in with a ‘headache’ as she told me she was going to.

She did go in but left early with a headache. She did the most important cake orders but left a doozie: six six-packs of cupcakes, with white and purple icing. A custom purple: the woman who ordered brought in a piece of purple paper for us to match. She wanted half in whipped icing and half in buttercream icing. So that’s two different batches of custom purple icing that match perfectly, and two different kinds of white icing. This was to be alternated on white and chocolate cupcakes. Confusing? It was much worse scribbled on a cake order.

My boss made the custom purple icings the night before along with a lot of specialty cakes we needed for this weekend. He had been in the day before at 4:00 a.m. to unload a truck order we needed for buns. Then he went home, rested a few hours and went back and worked noon – 11:00 p.m. because he was MIC (manager in charge) for that night.  Yes, she did it when he had this much work.

He was already in the next morning when I got there and was not in a good mood. He snapped “You have one hour to refill the cakes and pastries then do this order before noon!” Everything in the pastry counter was expired.

I couldn’t ask if she went in because I don’t break confidences. He started to tell me all that he had done the day before, so I could innocently ask, “Wasn’t ___ here?”  He said she went home early with a headache.

It was very busy at the store…. the whole town was hopping on a hot Saturday. I worked as fast as I could which is never fast enough for my boss. There were constant interruptions to slice bread, write on cakes, replace cakes, etc. so I had to stop and change my gloves every few minutes then get back to the white and purple cupcake order.

I got through the day OK. Got the order done on time and well done I might add. She was very happy. My boss made me feel adequate which is good enough.

My co-worker came in on time and there was tension but she acted as if she was OK with me. I had two cakes orders done for the next day putting her ahead of the game. She’s good at her job, better than me, I wish she would just do it and leave the drama at home.

My boss still had two more hours of work after I left. The poor guy is so tired; I’m glad he has today off.

I’m working 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. today. Soon we will  have to keep the bakery open until 10:00. I’ve got to admit…… this job is getting to me.

 

 

 

SoCS: I’ll admit

I’ll admit I’m a little apprehensive about going into work today. I haven’t much time to write as I’m working my favourite shift; 10:00 to 3:00. My co-worker, the main cake decorator is spitting mad (what else is new) that she has to come in after me and do the closing shift.

Last week she confided in me, “Don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to call in sick with a migraine on Friday.” This is along the lines of ‘I’ll show him’.  Friday is the most important day for cake decorating because most of our orders are for the weekend. She had quite a few difficult orders hanging on her hook for Friday. It was also my day off.  She said if my boss phoned me in, “don’t answer the phone”

I stewed about it all week. I hate two-faced back-stabbers so much. She was going to work with him and be so nice knowing she’s setting him up for the kill. And she would advise me to screw my boss over because she doesn’t like her schedule.

We crossed shifts on Tuesday and I’ll admit I was angry and didn’t say it nicely, “You’ve put me in a very difficult position!” I said.

She starts to leave, “Have a nice night.”

“It’s shitty thing to do!” I called after her.

I haven’t seen her since then and don’t know if she went in yesterday. My boss didn’t call me. I honestly can’t see her admitting to be wrong; she’ll have to do it now. I think he probably did the orders himself as I’m just not that good at it. I’ll admit that.

I should be so happy about having a 10:00 to 3:00 shift but she has soured it. She’s soured the whole staff with her anger and drama. The conversation I want to have with her is going around and around in my head. I have to try to get her to discuss a problem rather than getting angry and plotting revenge. She doesn’t know how: she only knows how to be angry.

It’s time to get ready for work now. I don’t know what to expect. I’ll admit I’m more than a little apprehensive.

SoCS

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1017/