Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dr Huxtable......................I presume?

Whenever I write up a " controversial " post - or one of my " rants " there's always a moment when I hesitate.
Will I offend anyone?
Is my blog the place to write about certain subjects?
Is it a DIY blog?
Is it a furniture makeover over blog?
Is it a humorous blog?
Is it a lifestyle blog?
I don't know - I suppose it's all of the above in general - and none of the above in particular.
But what I do know is that I have a small platform in which to express my thoughts - and this is one time where I don't have any doubts that I need to hit publish.
So here I go..............once again

I'm a child of the 60's and 70's.
And though I go on sometimes about what a wonderful era that was to grow up in - there were parts of that era that were shameful and horrific.
For women in particular
( well more than that, far more than that - but this post is about women and a mindset that was the " norm " )

We have a case going on right now which has taken social media by storm - if you aren't aware of it you can google Jian Ghomeshi.
It " broke " about a month ago.
It's a case about a man with power.
It's a case about abusing that power.
And it's a case that brings to light how far us women have come while not really moving forward at all.

And now we have Dr. Huxtable in the news.

I grew up watching Bill Cosby.
I can remember snippets of I SPY ( I was quite young then ) and I most definitely remember Fat Albert but the show that stands out in my memory the strongest is the The Bill Cosby show.
Talk about family values.  Talk about females being as important as males !

I also grew up in a time when far too many women I knew had been molested.
Unchallengingly molested.
We were our Mother's daughters, to some degree, so a lot of them just accepted that this had been done to them - but we were not our Mother's daughter's in that we spoke about it.  We were a generation that had discovered we had a voice and though it may not have been heard by the masses - it was a voice none the less.
( our Mothers kept these horrible secrets to themselves - swept them under the rug - pretended they didn't happen )

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend

The 70's were a little different in that we were actually talking about female injustices - albeit only amongst friends for the most part but there was, at the very least, healing powers in the ability to speak about atrocities that had occurred.  I remember - as clearly as if it were yesterday - having a party once - and looking around the room and knowing that almost half the women there had been violated against in some manner.
Them's high numbers and sad proof that nothing had really changed.
I also remember arguing with one of my friends that she had " rights "
That she had to DO something............that this couldn't be silenced.
She looked at me with sad eyes and said " My own Mother never believed it Suzan "

Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever going to keep me there again

The 70's.
Ahhh the wonderful beautiful 70's.
When woman were trying desperately to shatter glass ceilings without bras on.
When woman were entering the work force and demanding equal rights.
When woman were finally realizing that we had more worth than a perfectly baked loaf of bread.
When woman were saying - in large numbers - NO - and meaning it.

You can bend but never break me
Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal

The 70's.
Oh the horrible ugly 70's.
When woman were still picking up their boss's clothes from the cleaners or running out to pick up a sandwich for them because they were too busy doing " real " work
Or making the perfect cup of coffee.
When woman were still told they had to wear dresses or skirts and high heels to work
( you have such lovely legs dear - show them - please )
When woman had their asses grabbed or worse, much worse, by bosses they couldn't stand
When indecent proposals were to be considered a compliment by a man who could have you
fired for talking " back "
When the only way we could get into a board room was with a pen and pad and excellent stenography skills.
We were a generation that were constantly knocked down - much like our Mothers
We kept getting back up and every time we did - we got just a little louder.

And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

It's hard, very hard, to look back on those years with 2014 eyes and understand a woman's thought process from an era when a woman's thought process was considered completely irrelevant.
When judge and juries deemed us " little women "
When we " asked " to be raped because of what we wore or how we looked - or how we spoke
When we were constantly put in our " place " by men who truly believed they were superior beings.
But the one thing I want to - need to - have to - convey here - is that there was a movement on it's way -
A sisterhood if you will - a bond that was growing world wide.
A grass roots movement in fact - tiny at first - but ever growing

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land

And that movement was screaming - at the top of it's lungs - from mountains and valley's - from roof tops and kitchens - from typing pools to stay at home Mom's
We held each other's hands
We encouraged cleansing of the souls
We validated our gender and stood up for each other
We were a soft and gentle landing pad for our sisters -
We needed to know we counted - that we had worth in the eyes of a male dominated world but mostly we needed to be believed.

But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go 
Until I make my brother understand

I'm not passing judgement on Mr. Cosby.
He has not been proven guilty in a court of law - and it's not my place ( nor is this the place ) to sentence him.
BUT - you will never - ever - hear me bashing those women.
Because, as a child of the 70's, I never want to think of a woman being shamed into silence again in my life.
I KNOW far too many women that were.

Yes I am wise
But it's wisdom borne of pain
Yes I've paid the price 
But look how much I've gained

I saw too many tears fall down silent cheeks -
I saw too many fall victim to substance abuse because of a lack of self worth incurred by the hand of their abuser.
I saw raw as it gets - written on faces with indelible ink - that will never in their life times be removed.
I saw lives shattered - irreversibly so - because of doubt.

If I have to, I can face anything 

Chances are today - if you sit in a room filled with women - a good percentage of them still have these stories silently festering inside of them
Chances are they will never speak about them for fear of ridicule or worse - judgement.
Chances are - the ones that will criticise the most will be other women.
And I think, at the end of the day, to be doubted by another woman is possibly the nail in the coffin.

We were not a generation of teachers encouraging truths to be spoken about.
We were not a generation of numbers to call for help
We were not a generation of being offered a safe place to go to.
What we were was a generation of women trying desperately to stop it - collectively.
And in order to do that we had to believe each other.

Are all these women telling the truth?
Who knows.................there are women who invent stories - but as the numbers grow - as the story gains momentum - who are we to say it never happened?
Who are we to call them all liars and gold diggers?
This story has happened to women since time began.

And so my final word on the subject is this.
Please - all you girls and women who are now acting as judge and jury against these women who are speaking out - keep this in mind.

It's a lonely lonely road that they are walking upon - please be gentle - help them speak their truths if the truth is what they are trying to speak.
If we can't hold their hands...................if we can't stand beside them................or support them
Please please please let us not be throwing stones.
That road they have stepped out on to is not the Yellow Brick's a Black and Grey one and it's very dark.
There's no dancing on this road - just small steps - so small that they sometimes take 30 years to reach their destination.
That light shining at the end of it?
It's so tiny it's almost invisible.
And every single time a " sister " says they don't believe it diminishes even more.

I am strong

and it's made all the darker when we fail to listen - at the very least - to just listen

I am invincible 

I will never be the weakest link in a chain my generation helped to build.


If anyone needs to talk, I am here, please know that I am here.
I can't heal you - I can't make it go away - but I have experience with listening.
Far more than I wish I did.

I am woman

And I am on your side.

Much love,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Friday chat ( about this & that )

Good morning everyone - from your friendly neighborhood clueless blonde.

I've been having major computer problems - so bad that I was ready to toss it out the window and stop blogging - seriously.
It was soooo frustrating -
Took me far too long to upload photos for a post - sometimes hours - ( renovating this place is quicker I think - than actually writing up a post about it )

So.............I called my son-in-law - the computer nerd/expert.

Tony says - Have you cleaned it lately?
MIL - says - I always clean it !
Tony says - I mean on the inside - removing the panel and cleaning it on the inside.

Well he might as well have asked me to take out my own appendix -
Clean the INSIDE of the computer?
He told me what to do step by step
Step 1 - unplug the computer
Step 2 - take the side casing off
Step 3 - vaccuum

Whoa !  Cleanliness REALLY is next to Godliness !
It's working like a charm -
And I'm feeling cocky now - anyone need an appendix removed?

So winter is officially here in Montreal - I'm looking out at white stuff while I type
And I was just wondering
Would anyone be willing to marry John so that he could get a green card - then a quickie divorce so he can send for me?
No one in the Northern States need reply to this question -since you got more of the white stuff then we did only Southerners please - and only Southerner's where it's stinking hot -
I may consider certain sections of Europe as well.
Thank you.
And speaking of winter.................................

Blame Canada, my eye !
I had an AHA moment this week. ( I've been waiting for an AHA moment - since everyone seems to get them - it may have taken me forever but it's a HUGE one )
For years and years and years ( probably my whole life ) I've listened to you Americans blame Canada for winter.........( and then it became a hit freaking song Blame Canada - which I have to admit is hyserical )
" send it back "
" we don't want it "
And the thought occurred to me last week - as I sat here looking out at green lawns and sunshine - reading AMERICAN weather reports of horrific snow storms and cold temperatures - 90 staggering inches in Buffalo - N.Y. - U.S.A.
Like bad weather war dodgers you've been sending the snow up across the border.
This has been the best kept American secret and I HAVE FIGURED IT OUT !!!
How can we send down to you what we don't have ?
YOU send it up here - and then blame us - and we apologize - it's a brilliant strategy - absolutely brilliant.
I'll forgive you - 'cause I love you guys - but really - I'm on to you - the gig is up ( and I intend to " leak " this information out - )
Maybe you're not even aware of this yourselves - maybe your government has been lying to you ?
This has to be the biggest cover up out there.
Just call me Edwina Snowden.
But you'll understand if I stop apologizing for winter this very minute.
In fact YOU owe me one - ( now that you know the truth )
This investigative blogging is dangerous work - but someone has to do it -
Can I continue the blog from Russia do you think?
AND guess what's north of Canada?
We don't stand a chance.
( Stuck in the middle with you )
And it just goes to prove -
That you can fool some of the Canadians all of the time
And all of the Canadians some of the time
But you can't fool all of the Canadians all of the time.

Let's see, what else?
Can I refill your cup?  Do you want something to eat?  Sometimes these chats go on a little too long, I know
They're calling for 11 celcius on Monday - that's 50 degrees fahrenheit
We shouldn't have been so quick to close the pool
And I just realized that it's taken me well over 30 years but I finally really do think in Celcius !!!
( I thought it would never happen )
Although I still think in terms of miles ( not kilometers )
And yards ( not meters )
so that may take another 30 years I suppose.

It's hockey season - I don't watch all of them and even when I watch them I don't watch an entire game - I don't have the nerves for it - seriously - I get too worked up -
BUT what I love to do is this - when John walks out of the room - ( bathroom - snack - coffee - whatever ) I scream out OH MY GOD - WE JUST GOT A GOAL - YOU MISSED IT !!!
He always runs back in - you'd think he'd know by now -
And I giggle like a maniac
It only works once during a game.
Last week I did it - he ran back in -
John says -  WHY DO YOU DO THIS?
John says - SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH YOU !!!!!!!!!
Anyway - he was in the kitchen getting a snack - and they scored TWICE while he was in there - in the first few minutes of the game - first period.
I started screaming - GET IN HERE - 2 GOALS - OMG - THEY JUST SCORED AGAIN

John says - Yeah Yeah - do you think I'm stupid?

He missed the best 2 goals of the game LMHO
And because that happened in the beginning of the game - I was able to scream out one false one later which of course led him bombing it back into the room.
It was a good night.

I've been sick the last couple of days - first cold of the season - Hurrah !!!
I always celebrate by letting John make me supper.

John says - What would you like?
John says - Anything at all

Seriously - this usually means he's going to order in - he can't cook - at. all.

Suzan says -  How about a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches?
Suzan says - I'd LOVE that -
John says - No problem
Suzan says - Do you want me to explain how to make them?


John says - Don't be ridiculous - I think I can manage 2 grilled cheese sandwiches.

AND brings me up 2 toasted cheese sandwiches.

Suzan says - Uggghhh
Suzan says - But you made toasted cheese sandwiches

2 pieces of toast with a slice of processed cheese thrown between them is NOT the same thing as a grilled cheese sandwich...........

Do they not have grilled cheese sandwiches in England?

He KNOWS there's a difference - because I make them for him all the time !!!!!!!!!!

Maybe he's just getting back at me for the Hockey thing?

I make huge pots of home made soup almost weekly in the winter - it just might be my favorite meal ( with crusty bread or garlic bread )

I've never used a recipe for soup in my life - I taste it as I go - and after 30 years of experimenting I can now proudly say I'm officially a " soup nazi "
If people lined up outside and said the wrong thing I could ban them from my kitchen
( was that one of the best episodes or what? )

The only problem is - once in a while it's over the top incredibly fantastic.

John says - This one turned out great
Suzan says - Why thank you
John says - I wouldn't mind if you made it again actually
Suzan says - I can't
John says - Why not?
Suzan says - Because I just make it as I go - I don't follow any recipe so it can never be redone
John says - Why don't you write what you put in it as you go?
Suzan says - Because I never thought of doing that !!!!!!!!

Keep an eye out for the best soup recipe book coming to a blog near you at some point in the future.
But don't hold your breath or anything - old habits die hard.
And speaking of soup...........................

We used to do business with a man from Pakistan - and his favorite expression was
( with a very think Pakistani accent )
" John we're in deep soup - veddy veddy deep soup "
I used to fall on the floor laughing whenever he said it - I'm not sure if it was the accent or the expression or both.
Is that Politically Incorrect?
I'm so tired of having to weigh everything I say - sometimes a Pakistani accent CAN be really funny to this North American's ears - it's just the way it is.
If people can laugh at Canadian accents - well then it's " aboot " time I can laugh at others LOL( although I have never in my life pronounced it " aboot " )
And speaking of accents.............................

Does anyone remember this movie?
I can't tell you how many times I've seen it - and It can still make me go into hysterics
Peter Sellers at his best.

I hope I haven't offended anyone -
I keep getting marriage proposals from Pakistani Men ( and Woman for that matter )
Hope they have a sense of humor.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone -
I'm going to curl up with hot soup - ( veddy veddy hot soup )  Advil liquid gels - and garlic bread and watch this movie on the internet

Much love,