Me too!

My “Me Too” experiences in life….the overly chummy & somewhat creepy junior high school teacher who always managed to run his hand up and down my back (and other girls) while we talked…..or the family friend I worked for for a very short time in my teens who called me to his office one day, shut the door and propositioned me while trying to corner me against the wall…and when I explained to my father why I left that job suddenly he refused to believe me……I, like most women, developed that awareness of when the world around me was not safe, an alertness to avoid “that guy” or that situation! I am not shocked by the number of me too’s…..just very sad! And angry! So angry! – by the stories that are much harsher or violent or destructive than mine!

I have daughters and I know each of them have been subjected to some kind of harassment or assault! From boys groping them or leered at them or making suggestive comments to them to the more threatening actions of men who grew up doing those things to girls as if it was their right.

Every women knows these men and they aren’t always big powerful guys like Harvey Weinstein. Sometimes they are sleazy co-workers or bosses at some job that you desperately need in order to pay the rent or feed your kids. Those are the worst because you have to put up with some of it or put them in their place and risk being passed over for promotion or fired.

While we are having a public conversation about these issues right now, there is no guarantee that the discussion will continue or will change anything.  Weinstein may be the sacrificial lamb, the one that gets nailed and pilloried in public so all the other Harvey Weinsteins of the world can carry on!




Bees & things!

Here’s what I tell people when they ask me about my bees. The hive is mostly females, the Queen and all her daughters. There are the occasional males, drones, but they are few in number.

The hive is all about the Queenand she is all about the hive! And it is self sustaining. The female bees, care for the Queen, feed and groom her, care for the hive as they mature and eventually become foragers. They scour the neighbourhood for pollen and nectar, bringing it back to create honey and pollen cakes for the hive.

It is endlessly fascinating to watch the bees coming and going! They arrive from their foraging with huge pockets of pollen on their hips, or stores of nectar. They fly in and out all day long. At some points in the day their are hundreds of bees moving in and out of the entrance, creating a lovely hum of noise!

When you open the hive, a warm sweet scent of honey and bees wafts up to meet you. Thousands of bees are busy drawing wax comb, making honey, feeding the young, making pollen cakes, being born, dying. It’s a universe unto itself.

The food stores of honey and pollen will see the hive through the winter. The Queen at peak summer season lays thousands of eggs a day but slows that rate in the winter, always with the innate sense of food ratio to population! She wanders through the hive, checking on stores, laying eggs, surveying her domain. She is regal and lovely.

One fascinating activity is the undertakers who clean out the hive and carry the dead to the edge of the hive entrance, then off into the surrounding area to hide the bodies in the grass. Wasps, carnivorous as they are, often hover somewhere near by, like thieves, waiting to steal a corpse away!

Meanwhile, the drones do nothing to help the hive! They eat, they wander around, completely indolent. They live for one purpose only, to leave the hive and mate with a Queen from away, from another hive! They die during the mating. Their brothers left in the hive will face certain death as well for when winter comes and food resources are a concern, the females will push all the drones out of the hive to die.

I can and do spend hours watching all the action, listening to the buzzing, watching the weather, observing which plants are favourites.

While all this lovely activity is going on in and around the hive, the bees in their wandering and gathering are pollinating the food we eat, the food wildlife around us depend on and helping to sustain human beings as well as their own little microcosm. It’s a process we mostly take for granted.

Climate change and human behaviour, pesticides, noise, habitat loss are all major challenges for the plucky little bees to manage. The more time I spend with them the more frustrated and sad I am about those challenges!

Pondering aloud!

After 21 years in elected office, a business career, and raising a family, I am trying to retire!

Well…..maybe! I have taken up bee keeping and will talk more about that as time goes one. It’s enchanting and fascinating and good for the environment. What could be more satisfying than that.
And I’m stating to do things I’ve always wanted to do but could not commit to while in office….taking tai chi, doing a bit of contract work in the housing sector, redesigning my gardens, painting and sketching occasionally, and spending time with my children and grandchildren.
And I still follow the news and current events closely and from time to time may write down some thoughts, perhaps a criticism or two, vent when things make my blood boil, and give cudos where they are deserved.

Reinvigorating will be fun too!