Thursday, October 29, 2015

Letters of Love

I remember reading about the problem of homeless people and suggestions to give them knapsacks with food and warm clothing in them. Negative naysayers (they’re everywhere!) said that wouldn’t solve the problem and they would still be homeless.

My thought was that even if doesn’t solve the bigger problem, at least it touches another human being and shows that someone cares. Isn’t that worth something?

Being so fortunate to live in a peace-loving country like Canada, it’s hard for me to imagine what people in war zones go through. I can’t help thinking about recent victims of war such as the Syrian refugees, especially the orphaned children, so lost and alone.

What can I do to help them in their plight? Like the homeless people, I can’t solve the huge problems that the refugees face, but surely I can show I care in some small way.

I found it so uplifting to read about Letters of Love, an initiative started by 23 year old Pooja Pradeep, an engineering student in India. Her idea is to send photos and greetings to the Syrian refugee children to let them know we care. It’s a sprinkle of hope in an otherwise dark world. Sometimes just knowing others care helps get us through difficult times.

I first read about the Letters of Love iniative on Parul Thakur’s blog
and Parul’s cheery positive post inspired me to create a letter of love of my own to send. Here it is.

 The idea is to send the refugees uplifting photos of our pets or doing something fun, but not to emphasize material possessions, or anything that would make them feel badly. We can include a short 3-4 line message of encouragement that will be translated into Arabic and handwritten on the back of the card. 

To send your postcard, send an inbox message to the Letters of Love Facebook page.

Pooja has had an overwhelming response to her letter initiative. With winter coming, there is also a fundraiser to buy warm clothing for the refugees. If you would like to donate, please also visit

And for more information refer to the
Letters of Love facebook page.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Writer's Plight

Feeling stuck and at a loss
I stare at the screen in dismay,
Writer’s block makes me cross
I can’t think of what to say,

Does anyone notice if I write?
Does anyone feel my despair?
Does anyone understand my plight?
Does anyone really care?

My muse has left me in a lurch
I’ve gotten right off track,
Like a lone bird on a perch
I wait for my muse to come back,

My muse is goofing off again
She likes to taunt and tease,
Like a stopping starting rain
Or a fleeting breeze,

My muse was out dancing on the lawn
Now she’s gone on a shopping spree,
Muses can’t be counted on
I have to count on me,

Maybe I don’t need the muse
I’ve found my writer’s voice,
All I have to do is choose
And be positive in my choice,  

Tap, tap, tap, I start to write
I let go of fear and guilt
Little by little, my writing takes flight
Gold nuggets emerge from the silt.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Beautiful Butterflies!

I’ve always loved butterflies with their symbolism of freedom, hope and rebirth. They are such beautiful creatures who seem so fragile with their paper thin wings and delicate bodies. Butterflies are deceiving in their fragility as they are so tough, able to endure the elements and able to fly huge distances. 

It amazes me that the fragile-looking monarchs fly all the way from Mexico to Canada each spring. I don’t see as many monarchs as I used to when I was a kid and that makes me sad. I did see one this summer on a bike ride around the farms where I live and I took lots of photos of it to commemorate the day.  I loved one photo so much I've been making cards of it and have it up on Zazzle as poster and a card.

Monarch Butterfly Card

It’s incredible to think of the transformation butterflies go through in their life stages from a pupae to a caterpillar, to the cocoon and then the metamorphic transformation to a butterfly. 

Imagine my delight to hear about the special Butterfly Exhibit at the Nesbitt Biology Building at Carleton University this week.

Monday morning my son and I ventured over to have our special time with the butterflies.

When we arrived, a long line snaked out the door with everyone from babies to seniors waiting their turn to interact with the butterflies.

Finally it was our turn to crowd into the hot humid greenhouse crammed with tropical plants, flowers and butterflies! 

Instead of being awkward and claustrophobic among strangers, there was a happy family feeling as everyone took photos of each other’s butterflies. We smiled and laughed as we passed around our butterflies that were drinking from the orange wedges.

Some like the giant Owl butterflies weren’t shy at all and landed on people’s shoulders, much to everyone’s delight.

It was such a simple and magical time interacting with those butterflies. My son and I enjoyed our experience so much and came away feeling calm and rejuvenated. We look forward to going back again.