November 20, 2015 … 11 years



11 years ago tonight, with family and friends present, we exchanged vows and spoke sacred words. Today, we continue to live into those words. Tonight, we had dinner at the fabulous FIRE GRILL, once again.

I have shared before that there are three restos, that are at the top of the budget when it comes to dining out …

  • Fire Grill
  • Rueben’s Smoked Meats
  • Baton Rouge

This short list is a foodies paradise of good eats.

I am grateful that I live in Canada. Due to recent events, in the world, people are at odds, and words are being spoken, that are totally, out of left field. I’m not sure most folks, politicians and leaders alike, know what they are saying.

My tight group of friends are at odds with each other, because of differing views of current events, and what each of them thinks, as to what we should do and how we should do it.

The ties of friendship are being tested. And if a second conversation that needs to take place, because the first one began and ended badly, doesn’t heal the rift, I am afraid that my circle will be broken over non-negotiable statements.

We are Canadian. And we, for the most part, share Canadian values, and for some, that is not good enough. Everybody has a right to their opinions, because of their origins, how they were educated, and how they each decide to live their lives.

No One Person has the definitive answer, because, let’s face it, we don’t. I don’t think a real, tangible, solid, workable answer is possible amid the heat of argument and prejudice.

Let us keep each other in our thoughts …

Notice I did not say “prayers…”

Religion has become a dirty word. People are choosing to incriminate all, due to the actions of “a few.” And that does not bode well, for an entire community of people, world wide.

One day we will see this for what it really is, and we will shake our heads and say to each other …”Was I really that stupid?”

Yes, we really are that stupid.

At least I can unfollow people. And I can turn the channel, and better yet, I can totally turn off my computer when it all gets to be too much of hateful overload.

More to come, stay tuned …


To Thine Own Self Be True … Honoring Lives … Trans Lives Matter

556cd6644ae56e586e4588d8_caitlyn-jenner-bruce-jenner-july-2015-vfCopyright – Vanity Fair – Annie Leibovitz Photographer

I was just a boy, when Bruce Jenner won the decathalon at the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics. He was the star of the Olympic Games that year. He went on to grace the box covers of Wheaties cereal and he was the hottest ticket in town for millions of children who would grow up to be athletes like Bruce.

In my teens, I crossed paths with Jenner once again. I actually baby sat his first kids from his first marriage. Long before the Kardashians ever were known to God and man.

The most important trans gendered woman presented herself to us today, with one sentence:

“Call me Caitlyn.”

I watched her interview with Diane Sawyer and I listened to the Kardashian clan speak their minds since. But I wonder, how do you appease everyone when you are in a body that isn’t what you wish it to be?

We know, and history shows us, just how fear and intolerance keeps us in our respective closets, keeping secrets and living lives that are not totally honest. She didn’t share everything with those she should have and we know today that resentments rose.

But can you blame her for the fear that she must have been living under for so long? My God the weight of the world is carried on so many shoulders today. What will people say, what will they think? Will my family toss me on to the street alone and destitute?

I think we can say that Caitlyn will never be thrown out on the street by family and that she will never be poor or alone. She will have everything that she needs to live and prosper from this point on.


Ignorance is alive and well. Just click on any social media thread that is focusing on this Big Reveal today. There is plenty of ignorance and stupidity to go around.

And those pesky Christians are the most guilty of ignorance and intolerance in God’s Kingdom.


I am sure that every one of you, my readers, KNOW or KNOW OF someone who is trans today. And if you are still in the NO column, then let me add that we are just degrees of separation from someone who is or is going through transition.

I know. And I know of. and I am familiar with, on a personal level, one particular little girl who is the daughter of very good friends. She knew early on who she was, being born into a body that did not represent who she was and we are all amazed at just how hard her family work every day to make her life meaningful and loving. She is a rock star.

Coming out … And I’ve done it several times, brings with it certain fear and dread.

Times have changed over the past twenty years. And Lives matter. We’ve all learned at just how fluid gender and the definition of gender really is. And it is only in the last decade where that fluidity was given its proper place in the spectrum of life experience.

We’ve moved from Sexuality to Sexual Orientation to Gender Orientation and finally to Trans community discussion and little by slowly, trans orientation and sexual reassignment.

We owe every human being love and acceptance. We owe every human being the right to be or to become who they need to be, and not ignorantly insist that they remain in the body and with the gender that they were born in, without regard to who they believe they are.

Every life was created by a loving God. And is honored by God.

In God’s scheme of things, there are NO mistakes.

We should honor Caitlyn and her decision to become the woman she wants to be.

And we should tell our children, should they ask, or find that they are, trans, that, that is ok.

Times have changed. So should our views of humans and human sexuality.

This is for you Rose … We love you so much.

Thursday – Canada, Strong and Resolute !!!

parliament hill

The week is coming to an end in a very dreary fashion. It is chilly and spitting rain. We were in for a real soak, so they said, but we just got pissy little rain and it is a bit blustery out. Nothing a warm toque can’t handle.

It has been a difficult week for us here in Montreal and the past couple of days as a Nation.

Yesterday’s shooting and killing of a soldier at the National War Memorial – at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the subsequent storming of Parliament by the same gunman, took Parliament and the nation by surprise.

One person was injured in the attack, who was said to make a full recovery, The Sergent-At- Arms for Parliament dispatched the gunman in short order and saved many lives. He is an honorable, humble man, who, when called to duty, stepped up and took care of matters of security.

We are indebted to him for his courageous actions.

Needless to say, I think people, who are out and about, are mindful of their surroundings, at least I am. We might be connected to mobile devices while traveling, but with this weeks events, paying closer attention to your surroundings is good sound advice.

Soldiers have been advised from this point on, NOT to wear their uniforms outside of work while not on duty. Uniforms are only to be worn on base and upon beginning a shift. The fear that other military service personnel may be further targets has pushed command to make this decision for our troops to protect them from further harm.

This just adds another layer of security for our men and women in uniform.

This evening it was reported from NYC that a man attacked a group of police officers with a hatchet, injuring two, one with an arm injury and the second was hit in the head and required surgery for a fractured skull. This may be an isolated situation, but authorities in NYC are investigating the situation. The hatchet wielding man was subsequently killed by officers in the attack.

One must be vigilant about ones person out and about.

We offer our prayers and condolences to the families and friends of those who have died in the two attacks here in Canada. And as Canadians, we support our men and women in uniform. And all those who work to protect us on a daily basis.

Canada stands strong and resolute. We will not bow to terrorism, not now, not ever…

*** *** *** ***

Tuesday past, we continued our journey through Step Seven. The major take away from the reading was the word Humility. We sat a nice group of folks. It was a great evening.

Tonight, Thursday, we read from the Daily Reflections, since this is the tenth month, all the readings for October center on Step Ten. “Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”

The reading speaks to the fact that “Continued” does not mean occasionally, or frequently. It means throughout each day. It was common to hear that few people are on step ten tonight, and we also heard someone say that he didn’t have a proper definition of what an inventory would be?

It is a practice that I have learned from the women to write. To begin taking an inventory at the end of the night, and every person is different. It is with guidance that my guys work their steps the way they do, with specific instructions in what they should be doing on any given day.

I get my guys writing early and frequently, so that they get used to writing now, instead of later. Each of them have issues that we deal with daily, and the lists are simple observations, or thoughts, or problems, that we can discuss when we speak on a daily basis. You don’t have to be on Step Ten, to take a simple inventory at the end of the day.

  • How was my day?
  • Had we been selfish, dishonest, self seeking or frightened?
  • Did anything notable happen during my day?

The further my guys are in their steps, more questions are added to the daily inventory list.

It is something we practice together. If we aren’t working our program actively every day, then we might be missing lessons that may be skipped over or lessons not learned. And there is always something to be learned every day.

It looked early on that we may only sit a few folks, pleasantly, a solid group of folks came out, even in this inclement weather. It is a known fact that when it rains or when it snows, people usually choose to stay home.

*** *** *** ***

Tomorrow morning I depart with my sponsor and a fellow for Vermont. Our morning journey will take us to Stepping Stones for a visit to Bill’s home where he and his wife Lois are buried. Then we will make our way to the Mad River Inn at Mad River Valley in Waitsville Vermont.

Due to changes in the program and a serious hike in the fees for this particular retreat at this particular location, half our number decided not to make the journey. For more than thirty years this location has been the B&B of choice for the Men’s Intensive. But after our last weekend in the Spring, things have changed.

The Mad River Inn has been renovated to very high specs, and the pricing for the weekend had been kept low for the benefit of the men who came, but the price was not sustainable for future weekends. One has to pay the bills and run a B&B properly in order to make money. In the end it is always about money. And low numbers speak volumes to just how much people have to spend.

A discussion of where we go next will be on the table. And this prospect is tedious at best.

Spending over $150.00 for a two night B&B stay is steep. We had to make special arrangements to be able to send me on the weekend. With all our bills that have to be paid and still have money for staples and spending money for each of us, $200.00 off the top is not something sustainable for the future.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I will be off grid until Sunday. I will have photos and lots of stories to tell you about then.

More to come, stay tuned …