Is what I think you called out to me.

As I stared between the trees from the side of the street.

Overlooking High Park, off the road on Parkside Drive.

Trying to make sense of how you died.

Desperately looking on the side of the road for anything you might’ve left behind.

I found two shiny stones and gave them to Jess – as if you sent the sign.

That the Father – Daughter bond will never die.

I looked into the forest from the side of the road.

Holding back the tears, not ready to let go.

I saw the calm in the trees from the shade and sunlight.

As if you called out to me,

“Ollie, Ollie Oxen Free!”

To let me know that you were safe and free.

I couldn’t help but be so angry.

That you were gone because of someone’s stupidity!

Three years later, almost four.

We’re being reminded once more.

Because there are other souls who are being mourned.

From this very same street –

This can’t happen any more!

Photo by Pixabay on

It is Community that brings us up when we are down –

It is Community that show love in times of dark –

It is Community that advocate for our safety.

Come together for safer streets!

For our Families!


Bones – children’s bones – of Indigenous People. Of families torn apart from their blood and flesh. Forced to assimilate in Residential schools run by Catholic Churches and their nuns.

The stories have been told before – over and over again. The same cries that are not being heard. The same patterns that are evident and are left to be ignored. The horror resurfacing and heavy on our hearts.

It’s time to change the conversation about what we do next. The conversation about the harsh realities of history.

The conversations to increase awareness of the truth, the teaching moments with our kids to be aware of these patterns that still exist in this very moment. It’s in our literature, in our media, in our education system, in our popular culture that white culture is dominant, therefore creating the silos of minorities – who are non-white people – who are coloured people – the people who get the worst of an unequal deal.

Change the conversation now

During our homeschooling year, my daughter asked me to help her with her gr. 5 social studies assignment. She had to answer questions after reading a few pages of a virtual textbook. She couldn’t find the answers so I was delighted to help her research. Then I read the questions. Instantly I knew it was going to be a moment of peeling off a layer of blinders from her innocent world so that she could be aware of this knowledge of history that still impacts our country.

I taught her this new history lesson that will open her eyes for her world to come. The truth about how Canada came to be. In the end I gave her two versions: one that had school appropriate language or the way I wrote it. She chose the way I wrote it 😉 – my girl. I focused on the concept of Settlers vs. Indigenous that affects the whole world on so many different layers. I gave her more of the truth that the textbooks don’t expose.

Why did the Europeans come to Canada?

  • To claim land and territory from the original people who lived there – The Indigenous People of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities.
  • To start colonizing by breaking up families, taking children, to create new communities on this claimed land.
  • To extort the land of all its resources for trading and commerce built for the European, resource-hungry – white – man.
  • Disregarding Indigenous ways to preserve land and resources, and a balanced way of life.
  • To force religion upon the Indigenous People by taking their children away to assimilate into Christianity. Stripped of who they were and their spiritual beliefs. And now evidence of this genocide is where we are left waiting for some start of reconciliation for this nation.

How did it affect the Indigenous People?

Their land was invaded. Their ways of living drastically and tragically changed forever because of the European ‘settlers’ coming to explore to exploit, to enforce their culture (as if superior) in every way, especially trade and commerce, to adapt and to somehow survive this crisis after being thrown to the wolves time and time again.

There’s also something called the ‘Sixties Scoop‘, where Indigenous children were taken from their homes to be adopted by white middle class families throughout North America. Just imagine and try to understand the trauma and the ripple effects of these governed acts upon more than 20,000 innocent children, now older adults or gone.

Imagine people with many generations of culture, not being able to be fully who they were because another culture decided that they were superior and thought it was OK to take and disrupt for the ‘exploration’ eras. Imagine the pain of the parents who never heard from their children again. We are way past the exploration and excavation of land but not really. We thought we were past the degrading of minorities but not really at all.

Where we stand is in a hot spot of deciding what to do next, how to think for ourselves, how to overcome this superiority complex that is the very barrier of why the world is stuck in this vicious cycle.

What do we do now?

Increase your awareness and your understanding. Eliminate ignorance and superiority. Experience kindness with humility so we can start a new cycle of balanced structure and organization. We’ve all heard it before but it’s time to take action in treating others how you want to be treated. Do one thing today that will engage the right energy towards humanity that will serve only goodness.

***A BIG PART OF HEALING IS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, UNDERSTANDING, AND RECONCILIATION TO MOVE FORWARD. There is a framework of resources that are found in this guide called “Let the Truth be Told“, an Indigenous Oral Testimonies Activities Guide.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national, Indigenous-led charitable organization that works to promote healing and Reconciliation in Canada, which is the important step in spreading awareness in our homes and in our education systems. Increase our understanding of history, ‘civilization’, popular culture, as well as using the tools for reconciliation and healing to rebuild a better nation.

Change the conversation you have today with your family. Start with your circle and let it organically grow from there.

New Earth…Better World – Rebuild it now.

Credit: YouTube ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ – ODB

I hyped myself up to dedicate all weekend to writing for ‘book time’. Made playlists to get moving. Got lost in the surf. This song’s been in my head for 2 weeks now. As I started my weekend, I wound down with the thought of getting down to it. To start typing out the pages that I’ve already written to make into a book.

All I could feel was the hype as this verse popped into my head and still lingers because….

‘Ooh baby I like it RAW, Yeah baby I like it RAW.’

‘Ooh baby I like it RAW, Yeah baby I like it RAW.’

These pages are my raw and the process is to hype myself up to share with you……with a little ‘Ol Dirty Bastard spirit 😉

It’s not procrastinating if I’m hyped. If you like Hip Hop, listen to this song. Let it move your soul and hype you up for whatever you need to get done today. If you don’t like Hip Hop, listen to this song. Let it move you into another zone of free-flowing rhythm of unfiltered rawness.

Happy Sunday…enjoy the vibes! For you and your favourite ❤

I’ve always loved this song but more today than ever before. Deep feelings resurfaced and unraveled during this new moon ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse. I’m singing it loud and clear. What happens when you let love rule….

I Belong To You – Lenny Kravitz – 5

“You are the flame in my heart

You light my way in the dark

You are the ultimate star

You pick me up from above

Your unconditional love

Takes me to Paradise

I belong to you

And you, you belong to me too

You make my life complete

You make me feel so sweet

Your soul and mine are entwined

You make me feel so divine

Before you I was blind

But since I’ve opened my eyes

And with you there’s no disguise

So I could open up my mind

I always loved you from the start

But I could not figure out

That I had to do it everyday

So I put away the fight

Now I’m gonna live my life

Giving you the most in every way

Oh I belong to you

And you, you belong to me too

You make my life complete

You make me feel so sweet.”

Credit: YouTube Lenny Kravitz – I Belong To You

Listen and feel me on this

.elephant shoe

It was the 1990’s, I was in high-school, sporting a perm of long ring-locks and coffee bean shade lipstick. Smelling like mango perfume oil from the Body Shop.

We had pink rose carpet throughout the house, including my room, which was the first room coming up the stairs. I had the faux-wood grain closet with 3 sliding doors, big enough to spread some teenie bopper posters of Johnny Depp and Rick Astley, pulled straight out of the magazine.

My wall beside the closet had the big movie posters that I had got from my cousin who worked at a video store. She gave me all the good ones but I remember only putting up mostly the ones of Wesley Snipes from his movies: New Jack City (1991), Passenger 57 (1992), Sugar Hill (1993), and Boiling Point (1993).

It was always the first thing I saw when I went into my room.

New Jack City and Sugar Hill were in the string of line-ups of movies in the early 90’s that were featuring all-star black casts (after House Party 1990); such as Boyz In the Hood (1991), Juice (1992), Menace II Society (1993), and Above the Rim (1994). A promising new era documented on my wall.

It was Wesley Snipes face on my wall, looking at me when I entered my room. The Boiling Point poster was on the left, Passenger 57 placed in the middle, slightly lower than the others, New Jack City on the right, Sugar Hill on the far right, all hung with clear tape across each corner.

One weekend, I had a chance to go to a club in downtown Toronto. The only times I was really allowed to go to clubs was with my older cousins. We got dressed up, hair fresh with gel, and coffee bean lipstick. To be fun and young.

“Is that Wesley Snipes?” One of the cousins asked.

“Just standing there out in the open?” We wondered.

“Let’s go talk to him” The other one pulled us along.

It IS Wesley Snipes. Just hanging out like a regular clubber. It seemed no one noticed him. There was so much space around him when we went over to say hello.

I don’t even remember how any greetings went.

WESLEY SNIPES was right in front of my face!

I HAVE YOUR POSTERS ALL OVER MY WALL!” I screamed all star-struck and frozen.

He asked interested, “Oh yeah, which ones?”

I went blank. I could see each poster, laid out on my wall, the way I saw it every day waking up and every night going to bed. Come on, think! My brain had no message or output coming from my mouth. Blank.

He was waiting for some kind of response while the music of the club filled in my silence.

“I dunno………..but you’re on my wall!” I stupidly responded with an embarrassed smile.

“So, how long are you in town for?” My cousin quickly swooped up the conversation just as his body guards motioned for him to move along.

I’m a jack-ass. Ruining the only moment to actually talk to the guy who’s face took up my bedroom wall. The one who’s a big celebrity in his prime! Who was right in front of me! Live in person, in the flesh, wanting to know more about his posters!

POINT BLANK!” I screamed before he disappeared into the crowd. As I remembered the poster where he’s pointing his big shiny gun.

Fast forward to 2021, the month of March on a weeknight. Decided to wind down with Coming 2 America, just released.

Surprise, surprise. Hey Wesley Snipes! Loved your character, hairstyles, costume attire in this sequel because it reminded me of your rhythmical comical character in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Mar.

Outside of the box, I like that!

These would actually be some good posters. I wonder where I could get my hands on some for old times sake?

We were coming back from Cayo Coco, Cuba. Our first family trip to our friend’s destination wedding. What a trip! Just a few days back before the world shut down.

It was our kids first time on an airplane to an island resort. They proved to be good travellers. I was glad they weren’t babies anymore so we could travel comfortably. A new phase in our life….finally!!

We got there at midnight just on time to settle in and rest, to do it up for the next day for the wedding.

The Cuban sun, the ocean, the live music, surrounded by the love under the gazebo makes me nostalgic. The wedding was the sweetest and so special. I got really emotional to be with my family friends and seeing everyone bond all week. Best time of our lives.

It was the perfect formula for the best party ever! (Bruises from Heavy Metal clashing with boardwalk posts are not applicable). Fantastic, fantastic time.

Bonding with my kids as they experience a destination wedding with some Cuban (resort) culture, the calm blue ocean, hamburguesas and papa fritas at the 24-hour snack bar, swimming with dolphins…………………………………………….

Ok, let me tell you the truth.

I didn’t want to do it. I have a phobia of swimming with fish, never mind a dolphin!

But it was a generous gift from the bride and groom……

Everyone else already went days before. So it was just my family of five. Me – who had a phobia, my husband who doesn’t swim, my kids who were a little scared – but it would be so rude not to go!

Hype, hype, hype, hype – all week. We could do this. We have to do this!

Suck it up buttercup!

“Ok family.” said the dolphin trainer, as he motioned for us to come forward so he can explain what to do.

“Pay attention!” He snapped at my 5 year-old who needed the discipline before getting in the water.

I climbed down the ladder first into the water, then my kids followed one by one. I grabbed them all in a line and started swimming. I saw a school of striped fish and tried so hard not to freak out – Eebie Jeebies- the worst kind – as I had my youngest in my arms facing him the wrong way submerging his face a little.

“His face! Wrong way!” My husband yelled out from the dock.

I got side-tracked to see where the dolphins were and saw the trainers dump the bloody bucket of chum.

The Eebie Jeebies scaled up high, running up and down my spine. Good thing the lifejacket held me up.

Show calm for the kids. It’s fine, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. It’s all good. I couldn’t tell the difference between my sweat and the warm Cuban ocean.

The trainer blew the whistle. Here they come, one for each end of our linked arms.

I was always curious to swim with dolphins even though I CANNOT swim with fish. This is really happening!

Enjoy the moment, especially if my kids were doing great! Is what I had to tell myself to see the bigger picture – that no one was crying or freaking out. We were actually having a good time. More curious than scared. This is unbelievable! Another memory engraved in our minds. Thanks to the bride and groom for these long-lasting memories.

The dolphins danced, sang, splashed, and jumped around us. We got to rub their bellies…..

Here comes the kiss…its beak pushing hard against my face. So strong that I had to tread harder to stay in one spot. It was a long kiss. I think this dolphin likes me!

You offer Inspiration, even if you didn’t know it.

Your energy has uplifted me in some way.

Strong, Resilient, Beautiful, Confident, Creative

As you Are.

You go Girl.

Keep doing You.

It helps me be Me.


Alicia Keys

Everywhere I’m turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I’m searching
For the better part of me
I hang my head from sorrow
State of humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me

Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I’m a Superwoman

For all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
And all my women, all my women sitting here trying
To come home before the sun
And all my sisters
Coming together
Say yes I will
Yes I can

‘Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I’m a Superwoman

When I’m breaking down
And I can’t be found
And I start to get weak
Cause no one knows
Me underneath these clothes
But I can…

Pink Shirt Day

Today is Pink Shirt Day across the globe to celebrate the notion of anti-bullying in schools. In the background of our kids’ virtual learning, I was immersed in the discussions about the different ways kids can show kindness to their classmates. Fuzzy wuzzy feelings.

How inspiring that all these classrooms in all these schools in all these cities in all these countries involved in this movement of being kind to each other.

It’s revolutionary!

I wish we had this awareness growing up, maybe it could have set some people straight. Yes, kids get bullied all the time. Yes, we need awareness of when it’s happening, and yes, we need to change the narrative. Then I searched to see what other shirt days we can look forward to support.

Orange Shirt Day

September 30, Orange Shirt Day is to honour Indigenous people who were victims of the Canadian Indian Residential School Systems that were meant to strip the youth of their culture to assimilate into Euro-Canadian society run by the Catholic churches.

From the 18th to 19th century, where Indigenous children were sent by government to be stripped of who they were to be more ‘Canadian’. This day is set to remember the mistakes that Canada had made towards these families and their children and to start increasing awareness of this disgusting racial discrimination.

Black Shirt Day

Non-existent except for in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where the Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) of Vancouver launched the proposal of Black Shirt Day in BC for January 15th, Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.

Despite the day not being officially declared due to deadline issues, Black Shirt Day was celebrated by students in BC, sporting their shirts so geniously designed with it’s multi-coloured raised fist logo. This day needs to be declared as a time to stand in solidarity for the dream of life without prejudice – especially in schools where young minds are absorbing – priming for real world.

This day could be one of the steps to help dissipate some anger, to start a new narrative, to shift mindsets within generations that no race is better than the other – we are all PEOPLE. The work had been started generations ago but honestly feels so uneventful in a society that’s supposed to be civilly advanced. I want a world where my kids won’t ever have to explain what the word ‘racist’ means to their children unless it’s about history.

Ministry of Education

School boards have proven that they can support students who initiate good will and have shown how one little act can change the world. Use this momentum to change the many disappointing things we have witnessed. Let’s act now! One simple click. One simple way to put forth the right energy where it needs to be! Make this happen so we can see you next year wearing your Black Shirts on January 15th 2022!

Black Shirt Day, January 15, British Columbia, Canada.

Black Shirt Day, January 15, Ontario, Canada.

Stirring To Get the Cards Done!

It was the night before Valentine’s day when I was about six years old. Me and my mom were scrambling to get my valentine’s cards ready for my grade one class. It was dark in the living room of the apartment where I was on the floor sitting with only the light coming from the kitchen. It was late because everyone else was sleeping and I remember it was a different kind of night for me because I got to stay up.

The cards and envelopes were scattered across the floor as I worried that I wouldn’t have any to share because we didn’t have any glue to make them. I looked up to see what my mom was doing in the kitchen. Her back was to me as she stirred a little pot at the stove. In a few minutes, the aroma of cooked steamed white rice instantly filled my nose. I wondered if it was for her lunch the next day as I looked back down at my cards. Maybe I’m just not going to school tomorrow. It’s getting late now and my mom’s busy making her lunch.


It didn’t take that long for the rice to cook. Once it was cooked, my mom put it in a small bowl and mushed it into a paste. I instantly understood what she was doing when she put the bowl on the floor next to the cards. She kneeled down then smeared the rice paste onto her finger, then onto the paper, and sealed all the envelopes.

I felt a little embarrassed that we weren’t using real glue, then the realization quickly hit that we can MAKE glue anytime we wanted! If you’re Filipino, you know cooked white rice sticks to everything! This is art. Especially for a young curious creative mind like mine. This was the night that started the tradition of making rice glue. When we were lazy to make the rice, we would make glue from a flour paste.

Valentine Ready!

I’ll never forget that night before Valentine’s Day feeling worried that I wouldn’t have my cards ready on time to share but my mom quickly turned into a super-hero right in front of my eyes and saved my day. The next day at school, I walked into class without a worry and saw that everyone had their big envelopes decorated with their names taped onto the front of their desks, ready to receive everyone’s cards. With confidence, I was ready to deliver our home-made Valentine’s cards – straight from the heart – and felt a little special when I got some in mine too. “For love is something if you give it away,…you end up having more’. – Malvina Reynolds

Do you have a specific memory of your Valentine’s Day disasters or saves?!? Put it in the comments!

Photo by Karley Saagi on

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