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Friday, June 29, 2012

Dog Chase Dog Day

I have attempted to capture my dog boys enjoying an afternoon of fun. I Hope you enjoy the photo-essay of their antics as much as I enjoy watching them play.
The Old Boston Bulldog: Pablo
The Pug: Fernando
Fernando: What are you looking at?
Pablo: What are you looking at?

Fernando: Whatever...just stay away from my bone.
Pablo: Whose bone?
Fernando: I'll show you whose bone it is!
Pablo: You and what army?
Fernando: I'll show you an army! 
Pablo: You'll have to catch me first Shorty!

Fernando: Got ya String Bean!
Fernando: That was fun. What's next?
Pablo: Hang on a second. This collar is annoying.

Fernando: Tell me about it Bro. 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Religion Beyond Patriarchy

I am currently reading the book Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism by Rita M. Gross. Yes, I know you're all dying to read it after me ;) It is a great book. Though, somehow I don't think anyone will be fighting me for the book next.

However, the issues it brings up are huge, staggering. We, as women have made slow advances in trying to gain equality on this planet. However, most, I dare say, all popular religious affiliations lag terribly behind in this quest. I believe it is up to each and every woman who believes in a particular religion (spirituality)  to take a stand, speak up and be heard. If we are truly going to follow, practice and believe in a particular religious doctrine and or philosophy (Buddhism) we must do it with dignity.

Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist--as a woman, you must demand that women have equal or greater roles than men in the religion. Ask yourself: Are women permitted to be monks? Priests? Rabbis? Imams? Do women have equal or greater status in all areas of the religious doctrine? Are women given equal or priority seating in the place of worship?  If the answer is no--then the religion is out dated and patriarchal and needs to evolve. A simple concept, yet will require much work, diligence and courage on every woman who follows that religion. And horrifically, in some cultures, I realize that women risk their lives by trying to stand up and be heard.
Forward ever, backward never.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Montreal in Black & White

Here are a selection of black and white photographs from my time in Montreal. It is one of my very favorite cities in the world. I have been to many North American, European, UK and a several Asian cities and out of all, I believe Montreal would be my favorite place to live. It was much cleaner than other cities its size and I felt safe walking alone in the evenings. And where else in the world do two languages co-exist so eloquently? Although, the winters may be something else! Though, for some reason, winters in Montreal seem far more romantic than bitter. It has something to do with the old stone buildings and ice skating I think. Enjoy a photo-story of my trip to Montreal.
Old Montreal
Old Montreal

St. Peter's Basilica Replica beside Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Oliver Potier
Old Montreal
Old Montreal
Old Montreal
Notre Dame Basilica
Notre Dame Basilica
Montreal Harbour
Saint James Hotel
Rue Saint Catherine's street performer
Notre Dame Basilica
Old Montreal

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Basilicas of Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica

Peter and I toured two beautiful Catholic churches today: an Irish Catholic: Saint Patrick's Basilica and a French Catholic: Notre-Dame Basilica. They were both equisite. My favorite is actually Saint Patrick's. I have toured many cathedrals and basilicas all across Europe and I do believe Saint Patrick's in Montreal is my favorite. It is not oppressive, heavy and dark like so many of the others. Saint Patrick's has an unusual lightness about it and the atmosphere is calming and warm. Notre-Dame Basilica is below. It's construction was started in 1824. It is very ornate and rich with hues of blue, turquoise, gold and dark polished wood. It is very beautiful but like most basilicas, it has a heavy, oppressive atmosphere.

Saint Patrick's Basilica

Construction of this beautiful church began in 1843. It is designed in the Gothic revival style. The interior is light with soft shades of chartreuse and white oak. I felt very much at peace in this church. Perhaps it is partially a connection to my Irish Catholic ancestors that arrived in Canada in the early nineteenth century. 

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Montreal Kind of a Day

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Peter is full on conferencing today. He left at 7 a.m. and won't return until 9 p.m. I have been exploring Montreal alone. First a little shopping on Rue St. Catherine's. My sunglasses smashed yesterday so I purchased a new pair as it is very hot and sunny here in Montreal. Then a stop at Sephora for eyebrow stencils (blame yesterday's Globe & Mail--How to Have the Perfect Eyebrows).
*Note the before eyebrows look very similar to the after ones I have discovered! Not perfect at all :P
 I walked to the Fine Arts Museum. I especially enjoyed the Napoleon exhibit: busts, paintings, furniture and house ware of (and from the house hold of ) The Emperor Napoleon and Empress Josephine. It also included personal items belonging to Napoleon: clothing, hat, boots, writing scroll etc. The personal tidbits are the best: Napoleon was a messy writer. His clothes and writing scroll were always smudged with ink. I did not know that Josephine had been married before and had 2 children--her 1st husband was guillotined during the French Revolution. She and Napoleon married and then divorced later as they had no heir. Napoleon remarried and had one son who died childless at age 22.
 I am resting at the suite and will later attempt a Zumba class at a studio about 20 minutes walking distance from the hotel. The class better be well air conditioned or I won't be able to deal with the heat. With the humidity index, it is over 40 oC. Our hotel room is nice: 2 bathrooms and a separate living room. I feel like I live in down town Montreal in a tiny apartment! Must get to work editing before that Zumba class. The Hotel is on top of the VIA Rail station which is great as there is every kind of take-out in the world in my basement!  Missing my girls  (and dogs too)  a lot. I don't really like to travel without them!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

J'aime Montréal

We have walked around Montreal for two days. I love Montreal because it is so wonderfully Canadian with a little Europe thrown in. I believe every Canadian needs to visit Montreal because for many descendants of the first European immigrants, this is where it all started. The ships arrived and our early  ancestors disembarked. Montreal has history for my family: my mother was born here, Peter's parents both attended McGill University and my brother in-law John was born and raised here. I feel the history of the French, English and Iroquois Nations (I studied the history of the Iroquois Confederacy in University so I love this topic). Montreal is relatively quiet for its size and clean. I am comparing it to other international cities I have visited recently: Vancouver, Barcelona, Seattle, San Francisco to name a few. I love the French! I had no time to practice before I left for this trip but this city has inspired me to thoroughly learn the language so as to become bilingual as soon as I return home! We explored Rue St. Catherine (shopping/cafe district), Old Montreal (Love this historical neighborhood), Westmount (to view lovely homes), and a walk around  McGill University. Enjoy a brief photo-story of our days!
Love all of the bronze statues in Montreal. This one is Edward VII.
This picture is for my daughter Mistaya: here I am at the store you really wanted me to find!  
This sculpture of a woman's torso is across the street from our hotel.
Peter in front of our Hotel: The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. It has a complete 60s vibe. I half expect to bump into John and Yoko in the elevator (they staged their infamous 'bed-in' in this hotel).
A replica of Saint Peter's Basilica behind me.
Peter in front of a typical historic building in down town Montreal. 
On our way to Old Montreal--the sculptor's first name is Fernando, of course that is all I can remember (my beloved pug is named Fernando)!
The First Bank of Canada: established in 1817 The Bank of Montreal
The Notre Dame Cathedral (a copy of the one in Paris).
Peter in Old Montreal
More Old Montreal and more Peter (Pierre)
 Old Montreal--on our way to find a place for supper.
 Old Montreal window shopping 
A summer evening in Old Montreal 
Peter in front of Jardin Nelson where we decided to have our meal and listen to a live Jazz trio on the patio. 
The sun sets in Old Montreal 

Peter in front of Montreal's City Hall
One of my favorite bronze statues, as Lietenant De Vauquelin appeared to be most handsome :)
A small portion of Queen Victoria Hospital:where my mother Sandra was born!
Peter and I at McGill (a fun morning guided walking workout hosted by Fairmont staff).
 Rue Sherbrooke
Peter across from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Peter with some colourful locals!
Breakfast of croissants at Pâtisserie Olivier POtier
Montreal College-private Catholic High School on Original Catholic Seminary grounds--very impressive in its Hogwarts like atmosphere--Mistaya, you would love to attend this school!
Stone steps leading up, up and away to Westmount.
Me in front of a lovely character home in Westmount.
Peter in Westmount
More Westmount walking!
Peter--the water guy.
 Westmount Walk--we walked non-stop for about 4 hours this morning plus an hour workout-walk at 6:30 a.m. That is 3:30 a.m. BC time! Making sure we can handle the big dish of poutine for supper tonight :D

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