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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

Thornless Blackberry Blessings

Thornless Blackberries are the most prolific fruit in our back garden. Thornless (or prickle-free) blackberries are a cultivar of other blackberries -- maybe wild blackberries, but most often, other commercial varieties, such as loganberries. Wild blackberries still spring up with wily abandon on most empty lots in the Pacific Northwest (Canada and the USA).   When we came to Vancouver Island nine years ago this Fall, I was thrilled to hike around our neighborhood berry patches with a pail every summer.  Most of our neighbours were quite incredulous at my  industry-- why was I picking so many berries?  Most of them picked enough for a pie or a few jars of jam, and that was it.  The novelty had worn off.  They had so many other wonderful fruits and berries to choose from, many growing in their yards.  At the time, my husband and I were falling in love with-- actually, fast becoming addicted to-- green smoothies.  We were amazed by the simple abundance of the FREE blackberries.  W

Perfect All-Natural Foot Soak

--> A friend sends me information about all sorts of natural methods for body care , such as the baking soda-apple cider vinegar no-shampoo and this fantastic foot soak for tired tootsies. Because the no-shampoo works so well for my hair, I tried out the foot soak and was thrilled at how my feet and legs relaxed, and so did the rest of me. Here is what you do: Dig out a basin, or as in the case of vegetarians like me, re-purpose that big turkey roasting pan that you don't plan to use for that any more. Add the following to the pan/basin: 1 T. Green (your choice of brand) dishwash liquid 1 T. Honey (yes, you read right-- a disinfectant and a moisturizer) 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other accessible oil) 5-10 drops of peppermint oil (I have linked to my favourite pure peppermint oil) Fill the basin with warm water (as warm as you can take) and soak your feet for about ten+ minutes.  Dry.  Perfect time for a foot rub or reflexology.  Your feet will feel so