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My apologies for dropping under the radar for so long. It took me this long to get a new password and to delete the ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND SPAM COMMENTS. Now that the Spring cleaning (and it’s not even Spring yet!) is done, I feel more comfortable proceeding. Thanks for sticking around.

By the way, a surefire way to get your comment automatically deleted is to include a URL in it. Just sayin’.

Life update: I’m living in the USA now. My eldest daughter is happily married, trying to make me a grandmother, and teaching at a college. My youngest is cohabitating with her boyfriend and happily working at a theatre.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of health issues that have meant that I can’t work or continue my online schooling (so that Bachelor of Adult Education will have to wait) for another six months or so. It does mean that I have the luxury of being able to spend more time on self improvement: physical and psychological therapy, cooking, crafting, and gardening, reading and pondering, meditating and praying, etc. I’ve been attending and co-teaching local classes on Sufism. And I “took the hand” (ie. became a dervish) with the group I’ve been attending for the past decade.

So. Recently I’ve been thinking about orthopraxy, orthodoxy, and mysticism and how they relate to other things outside the field of religious studies. For example, if you look at Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, the ‘praxy is the sensory domain which involves learning how to do actions. ‘Doxy is more about the cognitive. Mysticism, although it has some overlap with ‘praxy and ‘doxy, is consistent with the affective taxonomy.

I’ve also been inspired to create art based upon Sufi or Muslim practices or beliefs, but with my own personal twist. All in all, things are OK. I look forward to sharing some winning recipes and some thoughts as my body heals sufficiently for me to be able to spend more time at the computer.

I got to thinking recently about parenthood.  About how I would like to have one more baby, but it’s not bloody likely considering my age and financial situation.  But I did want to share what I wrote recently about the give and take of parenthood.

Its rewards exceed its drawbacks for sure. 

Yes, there are sleepless nights dealing with the little poopmachine, or times when the baby cries so much you think you’ll never sleep again… then the tyke smiles at you, eyes big and open, full of total trust.

There’s the pain of saying goodbye when they move out when you live hundreds of kilometers away… and the pride you can feel knowing that you did the right thing, giving them all the tools they need to get there to be a healthy, well-adjusted and awesome adult.

And then there’s everything in between.  First day of school.  Christmas morning with the grandparents.  That victorious look on their faces, searching for your your beaming smile in the crowd when they win that big award/trophy at school/sports match/spelling bee.  The feeling of a little hand reaching for yours when they need to feel secure, because they *know* you’re strong and will always take care of them.  The joy in discovering splashing water.  The trust placed in you when they confide about their first kiss/period/crush.  Asking for advice on homework, on birth control, on books, on recipes.

For every pukey moment with morning sickness, or feeling that one’s belly is infested by some parasite, there’s that first wondrous moment of seeing the ultrasound or feeling a kick or hearing the heart beat when you know that you’re nurturing a potential human being.  For every restaurant invitation declined, or ruined blouse thanks to some spitup, there’s breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day of burned pancakes with a wilting flower picked from the garden in a plastic cup and a home made card.  For every sleepless night due to colic or your teenager not coming home, there’s the late night when you stay up late wrapping gifts for Christmas morning, and wake up earlier than the kids because you’re too excited and can’t wait to see their faces… or Mother’s Day morning when you force yourself to “sleep in” because your kids are trying to make you breakfast in bed, but are making a horrific racket with pots and pans, and giggles.