I can’t read


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This pandemic has affected us in so many ways. Each of us has struggled the past three months to cope with isolation, anxieties and fears.

One unfortunate outcome for me lately is that I can’t seem to sit still long enough to read a book. Of course, it might be related to my choice of books; I should just put one aside and try for another.

In my real-life, I used to read on the buses while commuting to and from the day job. I haven’t taken a bus since March 12th, when I lugged home my laptop with the approval of my Manager to perform remote work the following day.

Coincidentally, I had recently gone for medical tests for symptoms I thought were related to heart health and stress. My intuition was already telling me that sh*t was about to happen due to the reports of COVID-19 infections and deaths worldwide.

I am fortunate that I can perform my real-life IT work from home. I feel fortunate that I still have a paying job. I have my health. I am able to maintain contact with family and friends but cannot see them physically.

I am lonely. I am losing a sense of purpose.

I am at a loss since all public libraries shut down their physical access. Thank goodness they boosted online services and announced they would forgive overdue loans; they had to since they didn’t want people depositing books in the return chutes.

All the used bookshops shut down too, posting signs for patrons, and for people wanting to donate items to just keep them at home. I really miss the bookshop where I would volunteer most Saturdays. I miss the other volunteer friends, library staff and the regular patrons. A lot of the latter are Seniors, economically disadvantaged and physically challenged. I pray that they keep healthy and safe.

I don’t know if or when I will go back.


You can read other commentary, creative outbursts and deep thoughts by following the various paths at https://deepblondethoughts.ca.

The public library, your community, The Public


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As a volunteer in the local library system, I can relate to some scenes depicted in the movie trailer for The Public. 

I wonder if this is available on NetFlix Canada?

Listen to this interview with Emilo Estevez on CBC Q :

Emilio Estevez on The Public, a drama about the homelessness crisis and the importance of public libraries

Emilio Estevez joins q’s Tom Power to talk about his return to the big screen as the star, writer and director of The Public, a drama about a standoff between homeless people and the police that plays out in a Cincinnati library. The film premiered last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival and is available to watch now on demand.


During my volunteer shifts, I have observed the ragged conditions and quirks of visitors to our local library and other places in the community building.

I hope for a world where people have less addictions and mental illness and more people have a comfortable, safe place to go home to.

Thanks for dropping by.

Flo T


This is why we can’t have nice things


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I used to say that when the kids were young and rowdy. Now I mutter it because of the elderly cats who still live with me. 

My humble, sparse furniture needs covers and sheets to prevent their fur from embedding into the fibers. See also “Cat Lady Chic“.

cats on couches

What do you mean I have to let you wash this fur-enhanced chair cover?

black cat at laptop

Snuggles does his morning Cat on Lap thing

Miss Geneva Tabby was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes which requires special canned food ($$) and insulin shots twice a day.

At first I hesitated to go the insulin route due to my unease about giving needles to a cat. Now the biggest challenge is making sure she eats breakfast on time so I can give her the morning shot and catch my buses for the day job. This human still needs to work to make the money to pay for their creature comforts – and mine.

So much for spring travel plans due to this extra expense and need for daily attention.

So much for attending meetings or evening events to support local movements that strive to educate citizens about the need to protect sacred Indigenous sites.

So much for after-work dinner date opportunities. Damn but I can’t escape the Cat Lady designation!

Tabby Cat in front of house plants

Geneva Tabby after I administered my first insulin shot for her

I have inherited a moral, legal and financial responsibility and I intend to honor it. If caring for an elderly member of the family is my burden for a while, then so be it. This could be a teaching lesson, a lesson in patience and love.

Tabby cat on futon with Zen journal

She follows me when I escape to a quiet room for meditation

Me and my clingy, diabetic cat. Diabetic Cat. It has a lyrical ring to it, possibly for a poem or contemporary folk song?

Thanks for dropping by. Happy Year of the Pig, by the way. Wander over to Pampered Cats and Other Household Gods or try a sampling of my novel, “The Year of the Rabbit“.


Protecting sacred sites in Canada


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This is an opinion piece about rights to places of worship and protecting a sacred site in the Ottawa River. 

It’s Sunday morning. Where will you go to worship the almighty, to give thanks for creation? 

Many of us are relieved that we can choose to stay home on assigned days of worship, to offer prayers of thanks in private, that we don’t have to venture out to a church, mosque or temple.

What about those who want to visit a natural location, to make offerings to the Creator at a site held sacred for hundreds of years?

How would you feel if local and federal governments allowed that your place of worship and its surroundings be taken over by developers?

That is what has been happening through obfuscation of facts and irresponsible politics for many decades.

poster for creators first sacred pipe speakers panel October 7 2018


Historians and proponents for protecting Akikpautik and Akikodjiwan have performed extensive research to educate the politicians and the public by publishing timelines and writing letters to the editor of local newspapers.

“Although the Chaudière Falls and Islands are in Algonquin territory, the area was considered a neutral place where anyone could meet. People would come from huge distances. They would camp on the riverbank where the Canadian Museum of History is now, leave their weapons behind, and canoe to the Islands to gather in peace. It was a place of communications and governance. Enemies met here. It is a place without War, which may be unique in this world. This use ended with European settlement and industry, but that is just a moment in time.”

Source: http://anishinabeknews.ca/2016/10/01/chaudiere-falls-is-an-indigenous-cathedral

Do you want to learn more about this issue?

Please tell a friend about the October 27th event. 

Thank you,



Public services and mental health


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I volunteer in a used book shop near a local library branch.

This gives me a sense of purpose and community involvement. The local branch receives all sorts of visitors like families with young children, students, Seniors and adults performing genealogy research. These visitors and patrons often stop in the bookshop to browse, purchase items or even drop off book and CD donations. They acknowledge the work that we do and that the revenue goes back to support the library system.

These public services are essential in communities where low-income families and people with disabilities live. Libraries and related services are like a community hub, a place where people of all kinds can visit, learn and share. It is encouraging that many people are willing to protect the future of public libraries, that they should not be replaced by Amazon stores!

Drawing of a bookcase

My shift experiences can vary between bustling sales activities, sorting and pricing donations during slow periods, tidying the shelves and having conversations with patrons. The latter can range from mundane pleasantries, to book discussions, to philosophical debates. They can also result in lengthy monologues by pseudo-intellectuals who lack social graces and basic conversation skills.

I am learning from awkward experiences to identify which patrons participate in thoughtful discussions and which ones to steer clear of engaging in conversation other than providing them customer service niceties.

It is apparent that people with mental health issues are regular patrons of the public library and the used book shop. They deserve the right to services offered by the library and the right to browse and purchase items from the shop. They do not have the right to dominate a conversation or hold people captive with their lengthy monologues.

I almost want to suggest that they resort to Twitter or start a blog. That way, only the people interested in what they have to say will read, follow along, then provide the commentary.

Thanks for dropping by. Meaningful, relevant comments accepted 😉


A sweltering summer in the valley


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It’s mid-July in the Ottawa Valley. I am typing this at the dining table with a light towel under my laptop and sticky, sweaty forearms.

I miss the refreshing water and breeze of Georgian Bay. At least memories of the Bay compensated for the hot, sticky summers NOT being stuck in the city with a noisy air conditioner and fans for comfort.

Permit me to share with you an early excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit, one where Sera Fletcher begrudgingly attends the parish picnic with her family. Father Gio finds her moping off among trees by herself.

Parish picnic excerpt at the novel’s blog.

Consider obtaining a copy of the e-book:

  • No trees were harmed.
  • No rabbits were harmed either.
  • Go to Smashwords.com where you can read or download a 20% sample then… purchase a copy in one of many supported formats. YOU, dear reader get to set the price. Smashwords recommends a 99 cent minimum.  I think that’s fair. You will need to create a Smashwords account. The way I see it, that will provide you with opportunities to discover and read works by more indie authors. 

Thanks for dropping by and … stay cool!


A Lunar New Year Cleanse


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What’s a good way to keep your hands busy on a snowy, drab weekend? Perform a Lunar New Year cleanse!

You could also call it Winter dust removal.

It started on Saturday evening, with removal of last year’s element objects then gentle sweeping and dusting. Since I already had a demanding afternoon, it soon was time to seek my pillow for a good night’s sleep.

Bright and early Sunday morning, I was on a roll again. The cats did not appreciate my sweeping and rattling around. They knew well enough to stay in their room while I wiped up dust, corralled their fur-ball tumbleweeds and did the sandalwood incense cleanse.

Cats in a room

The furry roommates are banished to their room

Maybe they were avoiding the broom and wrath of the servant woman. Perhaps they were cautiously preparing (and plotting) for the approach of the Year of the Dog.

Snuggles supervises, inspecting my Feng Shui plans 

The Feng Shui master delivered plenty of advice to recent workshop attendees, tips on how to approach and welcome the Lunar New Year, to spread efforts over a two-week period.

I liked that gentle, gradual approach. I’m not one for rushing in to things…

The cats have endured my Feng Shui attraction for over five years.

The cats’ approval after a 2012 Feng Shui rearrangement

This time around, I feel an extra need for attention since it WILL be the Year of the Dog arriving on February 16th.

Snuggles, the laptop companion

This morning we were back to our routine of laptop affections and inspections. I moved Kwan Yin to a more auspicious location. Geneva is back to one of hers, and Snuggles has already left a couple of fur-balls on my clean floor.

cat on futon with plants in the background

Some things never change

Thanks for dropping by. Perhaps you will be interested in reading an ebook edition of The Year of the Rabbit, A Novel About Fate, Family and Forgiveness.

What are your plans for the Lunar New Year?



A chorus of silent cries


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Volunteering in a used book store has its benefits – and risks. 

While tidying the bookcases and displays, you can discover the rare gem. You can also become distracted and overwhelmed with the eclectic variety.

This past week while tidying up the book cases, I was pleased to discover “The Silent Cry – Mysticism and Resistance” buried in one of the sections.

Book cover The Silent Cry

The Silent Cry – Mysticism and Resistance

The Silent Cry appealed to me so I put it aside for purchase at the end of my shift. It is likely one of the books I will read as part of the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge. So many books, so little time… 

The book shop volunteers have been maintaining a display area for books on the subject of Faith. It seems appropriate for the post-holiday excitement, to bring us back to the reason for the season, acknowledgement of other belief systems and quiet contemplation during the dark, cold winter nights.

books on faith

Post-Christmas display on Faith

It was good to see regular customers brave the bitter cold, to get out for fresh air for a visit to the local library and drop in to browse our shelves. An added pleasure is when they have time to chat with me during quiet spells.

When some regulars lamented about all the extra books they have in their own bookcases, I offered consolation based on what I recalled from a recent article “Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read“.

“An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations – the vast quantity of things you don’t know, half know, or will one day realize you’re wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself towards the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning.”

And that wasn’t just a ploy to encourage them to continue buying books in our shop. I did add that if the books were sitting in boxes rather than gracing the shelves then it was time to weed them out – and consider donating some to our shop 😉 I do this every few months myself!

Call it faith, determination or hope, I think people need something to help get through winter with learning new things, helping others and making new friends.

Wall banner about life cycles

Wall banner about life cycles

Wishing you an enjoyable New Year – filled with books, conversations and new possibilities.


Holiday mythology


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As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, farmers’ fields are laid dormant under a blanket of snow.

Central Experimental Farm December 2017

This is the reality of our world’s nature, with the changing of the seasons.

With winter holidays and Christmas celebrations approaching, it feels appropriate to honour the blessed Mother of all Mothers.

I am of course referring to Mary, Mother of Jesus of Nazareth.

As a lapsed Catholic and skeptic, I have difficulty referring to her as the Mother of God. That’s a big role with a lot of expectations and accountability! At least the bible accounts provide a comforting tale for the masses.

framed print of mother holding a baby

Mother and baby – Family heirloom print

I see this Mother Goddess as strong, compassionate and loving. If you want to read a tale about mothers of gods, you can learn about the Egyptian Goddess Isis, the sister of Osiris and awkwardly… the mother of his son and nephew, Horus. It’s a tale about sibling rivalry, murder and the assembly of essential body parts…

Ah, mythology. 

Regardless, I get all weepy-eyed when I see pictures, paintings or statues of mothers holding their wee babes in arms. It’s beautiful. It’s universal and timeless.

Please share in the comments section, your knowledge of other mythological Mother Goddesses.

Content for this post was copied from a recent page in the series, Pampered Cats and Other Household Gods

Thanks for dropping by.


Chaudière Falls deserve veneration, not flashy shows


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Imagine if some circus director got permission to walk freely through your church, temple or other place of worship and set up a flashy light show.

Imagine if one small group claims representation for the sacred site, and allows in condo developers and showmen.

Not being a fan of the Ottawa 2017 events that were funded by our tax dollars this year, I am especially dismayed by the lack of respect for the sacred site and the division that developers and showmen have caused among the first peoples in the area.

This movement to Free the Falls and its Islands has appealed to my respect for the First People’s spirituality, a sense of justice and environmental wellness. When my body is able, I join the walks and fundraising events. Otherwise, I show my support for this movement through writing blog entries like this or donating money.

Medicine Wheel button and blue ribbon representing the river

Medicine Wheel button and blue ribbon representing the river

Ottawa Citizen Letters to the Editor – October 14, 2017 – Chaudière light show disrespectful – http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/letters/todays-letters-chaudiere-falls-deserve-veneration-not-flashy-shows

Blog post by Albert Dumont, Algonquin elder and proponent for the sacredness of the falls and the surrounding islands – http://albertdumont.com/lights-and-glitz-at-akikodjiwan/

Free the Falls group and movement – https://freethefalls.ca/

Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaudi%C3%A8re_Falls

I pray that somehow soon the various levels of government and splinter groups will give the site the respect it deserves.

Thanks for dropping by. Spread the word. Support the movement.