Marc & Jodie Emery–Heroes Or Hype?

I have been marching for cannabis liberation since before it was cool. Through these long years of hoping, praying & screaming for the end of prohibition, I have seen a few cannabis crusaders rise to quasi-celebrity status within the movement. Some, like the Emery’s hit celebrity status even in the mainstream.

To be fair, Emery was a celebrity from the Sunday shopping crusade (something I have never forgiven him for, as I think it has done nothing for us, except make us so fucking tired and even more overworked than we already are) Anyway, my point is Marc is not a one trick pony, he has been influencing Canadian politics for many many years on way more things than just cannabis. Any celebrity he has, is well earned, even if I don’t necessarily agree with everything he fought her.

In my opinion, his incarceration was a politically motivated immoral strategy that betrayed Canadian sovereignty. 5 yrs of your life is a big thing to sacrifice just to make a point-I respect him for it.

His arrest, trial, and incarceration, as tragic as it was, brought much attention to the prohibition movement. It was much needed attention that fuelled a public mainstream conversation we were begging for, but finding difficult to have.

Now that Emery is being released, and his wife campaigning for Prince Trudeau, they are back in the headlines and pretty much getting all the credit for all the advancements in the cause.

I can attest that there are countless activists that you have never heard of, that have lobbied for these changes and have been a huge part of the progress this movement has seen in recent years. The Emery’s are not the only ones that have dedicated their entire lives to the cause but they are the ones that get the most recognition for it.

Do I begrudge it? No! I certainly don’t deserve accolades. I mean, I did my part in a time most were too afraid to. I marched at protests, volunteered at Cannabis Days, wrote blogs, articles, twitter…..I did my part, but it was very little. I still held a ‘regular job’ and lobbied for many other causes besides cannabis. I also got resentful of the cliquish high school type social competitions of who was “the best cannabis activist” -the constant mini feuds turned me off the whole scene, and that distance impaired any hope of me making much of a difference for the movement.

Many other activists in different parts of the country have done FAR more than I have. They have put their homes, lives, families & freedom at risk in order the fight for such a worthy cause, despite mandatory minimums. I was not that brave. Others have worked tirelessly lobbying the different parties for a change in policy platform – something I was not motivated to do either besides twitter rant from bed.

These countless crusaders that helped Emery maintain and grow momentum are not getting the recognition that the Emery’s are getting for their contribution to the movement, and that is unfortunate. Let me be clear, the legalization movement is a group effort.

Having said that, if there is to be an ambassador for the movement, I’d say Jodie Emery is a stellar representative, and it pains me to see that some people in the legalization community resent the stardom coming her way. I see a subliminal sense of entitlement, that because other activists have put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears that they should be at the forefront of the movement or getting at least some acknowledgement for their efforts.

I’m glad Jodie Emery is getting so much time on the airwaves. She is articulate & poised. Most importantly, she is professional and therefore digestible to the few the movement has yet to convince. I certainly cannot do what she is able to do. With my nappy dreadlocks and my 13 fucks a minute vocabulary, I would turn off the majority of Conservatives hearing/watching me speak. I know other very passionate and dedicated activists who are up and down emotionally, cannot handle their temper, and therefore often speak publicly in an uncensored crude way (myself included) –all this is sincere perhaps, but not really the kind of enlightened image the movement needs to achieve credibility among the conservative voting block that we are trying to influence.

Jodie Emery however is incredibly polished, and never seems to lose her cool, which is the exact thing this movement needs. I know a lot of other activists that are quite publicly present – but I can’t say that any one of them are as presentable, poised, or polished as she is. I’m not saying that they are less dedicated or have made less impact – some of them may have even had more of an impact – especially on the liberal party’s change of policy position & Trudeau’s sudden about-face on the issue. The fact still remains, impact or no impact behind-the-scenes, Jodie is still the most articulate, presentable, polished & PR savvy (that I can see.)

Marc made the sacrifice, and even while sitting in horrible prison conditions, he still made an impact -especially in the US. While he was gone, Jodie truly rose to the occasion – she was literally astounding. The community should be giving Jodie in particular a standing ovation right now and Marc deserves the warmest of warm welcomes. She is a mainstream media darling, and that is exactly what the movement needs right now.

I celebrate any and all celebrity that Jodie and Marc enjoy in the coming years. I say this, and I don’t trust Trudeau, I certainly don’t trust the Liberals, so I’m not necessarily even supportive of their support of the liberals, although I understand it. What I celebrate is the level of polished articulate professionalism the Emery’s bring to this new public conversation. This is a critical time for the movement, and the Sheeple public can’t be distracted by things like appearances, bad language, tempers, or personal baggage/scandal that erode our credibility in the mind of the conservative voting block we are hoping to influence.

I really believe Marc is going to come home with renewed vigour, and with him and Jodie united, and SO public…and about to become even more public, the mainstream tide is shifting and legalization is just around the corner. If anybody can pull this off, it’s the Emery’s. They have my support.

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Lazy But Awesome Way To Clean Silver

Somewhere along the way I was gifted a silver tray that is actually quite stunning. It ended up in my basement for years where I just found it while doing a big declutter. As you can see, it looks like shit.

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I saw several posts online about aluminum and baking soda causing a chemical reaction that lifts tarnish, so I thought I’d try it.

You basically line a Tupperware container with aluminum foil, sprinkle with a generous amount of baking soda. Then place your items on that, and sprinkle more baking soda on top.

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Then pour enough rolling boil water over the items – enough to submerge them completely. Make sure that they make contact with aluminum foil .

Let it soak for a few minutes and then its just a matter of giving it a good rinse with some soap and water under the tap -no polishing required.

It worked great on all the parts of the tray that are still well covered in silver. There were quite a few spots where the silver plating has worn off, unfortunately that it couldn’t cure

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If you have a good quality undamaged silver, I highly recommend trying this. Needless to say, the item will be very very hot so mind your hands when pulling it out of the water

Returning To Me

My brain injury consumed my identity for a while, as did my recovery. All I wanted was a homestead, and it seemed like that dream was ripped from me. Little did I know, that injury fast-tracked to my dream.

This blog was my outlet for venting my struggles, triumphs, self reflections, dreams, ambitions, pet peeves, hobbies-it was like a journal-very healing.

Then I got a job that was all about ‘branding & social media’ -my public voice became completely consumed by work. My venting became highly censored and to be honest, it sucked all the joy and transcendence potential out of the social media experience for me.

Having to be happy & positive all the time is disingenuous and really fucking shallow and boring. So I stopped all personal blogging. This job was all consuming for a while, so I had nothing personal to say-nothing happy anyway.

I’m approaching the big 4-0, and I feel a mid-life “find myself” phase brewing. My life mandate has always prioritized being cozy-this job is so stressful, its impossible to be. But, it has afforded me 1.2 acres we are moving to in a few months, so I’ll gratefully nurture it as a means to an end.

The goal is to make the property self sufficient & to get to a place in my career that is less…combative.

I look forward to returning to posting about things I love-art, animals, nature, cooking, gardening, cozy living off the land. I look forward to more bon fires & less work stress. I look forward to doing more work in the garden & less on the ipad.

I’m truly tired of the rat race, have lost the need to ‘be anyone’ beyond who I already am, in all my fumbling glory. I want to be rewarded in love and laughter- fuck the public recognition. I really tried to make a difference, and I’m exhausted.

I just want to be, without expectation. This is my space to do that, and I’m glad to be back.

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Remembering Noah

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Dear Noah,

A year ago at this time I was wasting away at a job I used to love, but that was intolerable with my post concussive syndrome. I was offered a job spearheading a new start-up that felt meaningful…but I knew it was an uphill battle that would be long, hard and dangerous. I was at a crossroads.

The temptation to take the lazy way was big, because I had health reasons to rationalize my ambivalence. I had been void of anything emotional for some time…not in a bad way…but in a life routine way. I was starting to sheeple, and there was safety and comfort in that.

Then I got a frantic sobbing call from one of my oldest friends. I hadn’t seen your mom or aunt in 2 decades- until that moment I didn’t even know you existed, but when I found out you were dead, my heart was ripped to shreds. Not just for your young life, but in empathy of the anguish I could only imagine your mom & aunt feeling.

I looked at all your pictures, the fire in your young eyes. The life you dared to live that was robbed from you…not in a ‘shit happens’ sort of way…but in a ‘wow, the world can be fucked up’ sort of way. The person you trusted the most chose to end your life-you never got the chance to have a midlife crossroads like I was being blessed with.

I felt choosing the easy road would be an insult to you, given that the new start up helped children. I could not look at my grieving friends and choose a lazy path. I couldn’t look at your picture and just stay home.

You, little stranger boy, redirected my entire life path. Everything I am doing now, I almost didn’t. I didn’t know you when you were alive. Your life didn’t inspire me. The depth of the tragedy of your death inspired me. The grief of my friends inspired me.

I believe grief is love expressed, and the amount of tears shed around your passing washed any and all ambivalence from me. I don’t remember the last time I cried that hard, it was so healing to feel again, even if the feeling was pure anguish. The love that was born from our communal grief literally made my heart swell, totally Grinch style.

Noah, your murder lit a fire in me that burns hot still today. Every time I get discouraged, or get afraid I think of you, and I push forward. When I fear my choices might bring me to harm, I remember that you were murdered, and your dying changed my life, and many other lives. Your ending sparked a million new beginnings that are elevating the resonance and consciousness of this world. You remind me that if I live my life open and from a place of love, just like you did, even if my life is taken from me, it won’t be in vain. God will give even my dying a purpose.

You are an angel sweet Noah, not in a la-di-da make me feel better way, but as an absolute fact. You are a resonant being that has made this world a better place just because you were in it. The blessings that you inspire will glorify the world for decades to come.

You inspire me to live a worthy life Noah, and I am forever grateful.

Thank you for continually reminding me to love. You gotta feel the ollie, right?
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Ice Wine Spiced Pear & Cocoa Cake

imageThis is a great cake to make when you really feel like being in the kitchen. The house smells amazing while its baking to! Served with vanilla ice cream is amazing

Prepare your mis-en-place:

Put 1/2 cup of sliced/chopped almonds in a small bowl. set aside.

In another bowl add:
the juice & rind of a small orange.
1/2 of a little bottle of vidal ice wine
2 tsp of ground cardamom
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla
3-4 pears diced finely. Mix well & often. Let them sit 1 hr while you get the rest ready.

put 1 cup of water in a small pan. Set aside.
put 1/2 a cup + 1 tbsp of cocoa in a small bowl w/ a whisk. Set aside.

Add 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar + 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in your food processor.
Next to your processor have 2 eggs, 1 cup of vegetable oil + 1 tsp of vanilla ready to go.

In a separate bowl sift 2 cups of flour w/ 1 tbsp of baking powder & 1/8 tsp salt.

Preheat to 355 degrees.

spray or grease a bunt cake pan

bring water to a boil & whisk it into the cocoa until its melted & smooth. bring that bowl next to your food processor.

turn on processor. Add 1 egg at a time followed by the oil. slowly pour in the liquid cocoa. When its well blended, add it to the big bowl of flour.

Mix until its all well combined.

Add pear mixture & almonds.

Blend well & pour it all into the bunt pan.

Bake for approx 55min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wait 10 minutes before removing cake from pan.

Allow to cool slightly.

GLAZE: Melt 1 tbsp of butter. add 1/2 cups of sugar, 2-3 tbsp heavy cream & a dash of vanilla. Stir until melted & smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Crockpot Cream Of Tomato Barley Vegetable

Yummy! This is not the sort of crock pot soup you whip up real quick before heading out to work. This is the sort of soup you make on a rainy day off when you have no chores and feel like puttering in the kitchen. All he ingredients I used were fresh from the farmers market. This was a 20 mile diet soup-its uber local!

5-6 field very ripe tomatoes (tip: roast them first for added depth of flavour) blended.

3 yellow onions, 2 sticks of celery, 1-2 carrots, 3-4 cloves of garlic, 3 inches of Sopressata (italian salami) chopped.

1/2 a yam peeled & chopped some green beans chopped 1 can of evaporated milk 1 cup of rinsed barley Spray inside of crock with non-stick, add blended tomato, yam, green beans, barley and some water. Turn on high.

In a big frying pan ass oil & butter. Fry onion, salami,  celery, carrot + 2 bay leaves, italian spice, salt, pepper, montreal steak spice. Cook over medium heat until really REALLY golden, almost brown. Add garlic & fry a few more minutes. Add to crock.

Add some water & let it cook for 5 hrs. Add a can of evaporated milk & cook another hour.

Its OMG delicious.

PS: My father in love makes a peanut butter sandwich & dips it into the soup. He swears by it, but I can’t bring myself to try!

Doberman Rescue Of Ontario

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Today we attended the Doberman Rescue Of Ontario fundraiser on behalf of my Chanelle, our Doberman Rescue. Since adopting her, we learned a lot about the uniqueness of her breed compared to other dogs we have lived with in the past. Dobermans have unique needs & personalities. Dobermans that have been rescued are difficult to adopt because they need to find homes with people that have the commitment to honour them properly. As such, its far harder for a Dobie with issues to find a home than lets say a spaniel.

Our Chanelle arrived with severe PTSD, and considering what a fierce animal she is, it was quite frightening at first. In the last 6 months she has blossomed in love, and we are spoiled by her love & protection. Although we didn’t adopt Chanelle from Doberman Rescue Ont, when we found out it existed, we felt compelled to offer our support.

The fundraiser was on 10 acres of stunning property in Caledon. They had an agility course for the dogs to enjoy, as well as a dog wading pool, water fountain, and free dog treats upon entering. They had great vendors on hand with fun shopping. I came home with a bag of various dog treats & recipes, baked goods for us & even a lawn ornament.

They had pet photographers, a pet hydrotherapist who was AWESOME, and even had a great BBQ with cozy seating in the shade. They had the most amazing DJ ever, I literally sang the whole time we were there.

It was a great event, and I hope next year Chanelle is able to attend. (We thought it would be too stressful for her given her unsociability)

My favourite thing was the raffle. The prizes were amazing. Chanelle won a big basket of toys, games and treats. She had a loads of fun with it all when we got home.

It was a perfect day and I congratulate the event planers. We had a great afternoon. There were Dobie’s EVERYWHERE, such beautiful animals.

You know how they say dogs match their owners? Looking around that crowd, I have to say, Dobie’s definitely attract a certain ‘type’ of person. People were sincerely friendly, completely unpretentious, funny, loveable and strong. Dobermans are such strong animals, the people that love them are strong too. I would describe the Doberman & aficionado personality to be Happy & Strong. I felt very at home among them.

What a beautiful day for beautiful creatures dog & human alike.

Doberman Rescue Website

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