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Gentle Be!

I have to be honest…  i haven’t yet decided what to write about tonight.  I’m feeling a general disdain about a great many things tonight, and any one of them would likely make a good blog post.  Nothing like righteous indignation to fuel a blog post.  But then I remind myself that I have made the decision to choose joy whenever possible.  And there is no joy to be found in those topics.

I can’t say that I am feeling joyful tonight.  I can see my way through to calm, or even peaceful…  but not joyful.  I’m too tired and road-weary for that.  So, I think, tonight I will just leave you with this:

#SKVotes is now #SKVoted

Time to update your 2011 Saskatchewan election hashtags: #skvotes is now #skvoted.  And honestly?  I feel pretty good about my results this year.  Every election I’ve ran in has given me something new to be proud of.

In my first national campaign my message resonated with youth, and I came in second place (by a small margin) in the mock youth vote done throughout Canada’s high schools.  I also heard from a number of individuals who chose to vote for the very first time in order to vote for me.

In the provincial by-election I accomplished something no other Provincial Green had ever done before.  I actually won a poll (in a landslide I might add).  And in a very strong NDP riding too.

This last election saw me running in my home riding – which was pretty amazing.  And as before, I encouraged people to vote who had never done so in the past.  I also stuck to my campaign messaging (equality and anti-bullying) in spite of a narrow focus on corporate politics by the media.  But here’s the big one:  I came in third, beating out the Liberal candidate.  And I have to say, it feels pretty good not being last.  😉

Saskatchewan isn’t ready for a Green MLA yet, an I knew that going into this election.  But I’m in this for the long haul…  slow and steady and all that.  And when ya’ll are ready, I’ll be here then too.  We need an alternative voice in the Legislature, that much is clear.  And I’m ready to be that voice, when you’re ready to have me.

The Green Party of Saskatchewan fielded candidates in every riding, 43% of which were women.  I’d say it’s high time the other parties took note.  They may preach gender equality, but they hardly practice it.

For those of you who enjoy a look at hard numbers, here are a few for you:

Party Candidate % of votes Votes
SP Parent, Roger 53.9 3,767
NDP Quennell, Frank 42.0 2,934
GRN Smith, Tobi-Dawne 2.3 159
LIB Jeffries, Nathan 1.8 128

That’s up from 1.66% of the vote in 2007.  Small steps?  Maybe, but they are steps forward just the same.  And I am proud knowing that the message is getting out, and it’s bringing voters out too.

Today I got a message that read:

Hey Tobi! I live in the River Heights area and your name was on my ballot when i went to cast my vote. I wasn’t voting NDP as I usually do. And Sask Party was out of the question!! So, when I saw your name for the Green Party I smiled to myself and put my X to the right of your name!! :-) Just thought I would share.

My thanks to Tom Fournier, both for his vote, and for writing to share.  It’s not too often than casting a vote brings a smile to a person’s face, and I’m glad to know this particular vote did just that.  I have to admit, letting my daughter find my name on our ballot, and marking our X beside it, made us smile too.  🙂

Congratulations to all my fellow candidates.  You all ran excellent campaigns.  The life political is not an easy one.  Thank you for all your hard work during this election, and for all the work yet to come.

Saskatoon Meewasin, MY riding.

This is my third election.  And I’ve had ties to each riding I’ve ran in…  but this is the first time I’ve had the honour of running in my home riding.  Saskatoon Meewasin is my riding.  So when I was asked to take part in a bit of a photographic essay, sharing sights from within the riding, it was an easy task.  Four of the five images were taken within a three block radius of my home.  The other is in Meewasin Park – where I spend a lot of time working.  So, have a peek into MY Meewasin:

Why might a photo not make the cut?

After my post a couple days ago, outlining my basic editing process, I have had some inquiries.  It seems you’d all like to know a little more about why a photo might not make it past the purge.  Well…

A photo might not make it past the first round of cuts based on a number of things.  Sometimes someone has blinked.  Sometimes an insect, snowflake, or raindrop has crossed between my client and the lens in an odd way.  Sometimes there was a movement I hadn’t accounted for.  But honestly?  Even more than the obvious things (like those I just mentioned) it’s often just a feeling.

For me to accept an image into my final 40-50 images, the final cull, those worth investing my time into…  It has to speak to me.  It has to have something interesting to say.  It has to make me smile.  It has to share a story.  It has to resonate.  It has to have a certain spark.

A photo won’t make it through my purge if it isn’t special – and that’s the biggest test of them all.

A holiday from work…

We are on the eve of my husband’s last week of holidays from work.  This is the last chance to get renovations and cleaning done before Winter comes.  I have high hopes for what can be accomplished…  or, rather…  what MUST be accomplished this week.

We’ve been living amidst piles these last months in preparation for this week of “time off”.  We’ve gotten toys boxed up, the kitchen mostly pulled apart, and furniture ready to be moved.  It’s my hope to reinvent two of the main floor rooms completely.  Turning one into a living room, and one into an office with dedicated workstations for all three of us.  The kitchen simply needed to be torn apart to make it function better (even if we aren’t really adding anything new to it).

I love living in a small house, but it definitely offers challenges.  The main one we face right now, is that there isn’t enough space to accomplish any changes indoors once the weather turns cold.  We need to be able to utilize our outside space in order to get these renovations completed.  So time is working against us.

Wish us luck.

A week may seem like a lot, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, a week can be easily frittered away (that can’t be right, did I just mix my metaphors again?)  LMAO

Latent tendencies revealed through facebook crossword?

So…  this image is currently making the rounds on Facebook.  I actually think it’s a pretty clever little thing.  Whether it actually means anything or not, who knows.  But it is interesting – and is getting folk talking (which, in my books, is always a good thing).

I’ve increased the size by quite a bit as it was horribly tiny previously.  Hopefully this will help some people play along.  So?  What three words did you first find?  Mine were READS, SEE, and WISDOM.  If nothing else, I think it says something about what I value.

READS – I read to my daughter from chapter books every night, and I believe that we (as a society) are who we are because of our stories.  Without our stories, our journeys, our shared narratives, there isn’t much of value left.

SEE – I believe in looking beyond the surface to find the truth in everything.  We must do more than look if we are truly to see.

WISDOM – From the first two things – our stories, our vision – comes wisdom and knowledge.  And I learn constantly how much I don’t know.

Celebrating Family on Thanksgiving Weekend

For me, celebrating with family is what the holidays are about…  and that is something that in and of itself should be celebrated.  We are so lucky and so blessed.  We have a large, diverse, gifted, beautiful, amazing family.  And I am truly thankful for each member of it.

Over the years, we’ve lost many members of our family but we’ve gained many too.  Our family shrinks, grows, changes…  it’s an unfinished tapestry of lives woven together in an amazing intricate pattern.  A pattern that has bound us together in love and in spirit.

Tonight, I’d like to remind you all to celebrate your family this weekend.  We’re all a little crazy, we’re all a little dysfunctional, but we are whole through the love that exists between us.  So whether you are family by choice, by blood, or by circumstance – celebrate those whom you consider family.  You are lucky (just as I am) to have them.

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Lily-Ann and Khalid…  Cousins, separated by a year and a half, and generally by hundreds of kilometers.  Family.

I love having family around!

I come from a big family.  Lots of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and a ton of siblings too.  And there is little I love more than being surrounded by family.  Last night my Auntie Risa, my cousin Oshyn, and her son Khalid all arrived in Saskatoon.  The wee girlie was at my mom’s to greet them (it was her Friday night sleepover), and today Damon and I headed over there too.

I can’t believe how big Khalid has gotten.  Seriously.  LOL  Little ones age so quickly, and when you miss out on some of it as a long distance family member… it goes by like lightening.  He’s almost three already.  When I got to mom’s, he and the girl were out on the trampoline, having a fabulous time.  And as any good mom with an iPad would do, I ran in the house grabbed mine, and took a quick bit of video:

Hopefully it works all right.  LOL  I’ve never attempted a Me Gallery upload before.

Well…  I’m off to lay quietly in the dark next to my sleeping girlie.  She crashed while I was reading The Wind in the Willows (by Kenneth Grahame).  We’re on chapter 4, “Mr. Badger”.  The perfect way to end an absolutely delightful day.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has passed away.  I have to admit, the idea that this icon of a man has left this world feels not quite real.  Some folks, and what they’ve done, are bigger than life…  and whether you like ‘um or lump ‘um, when they are gone it sort of feels like an odd practical joke.  I would have been curious to see what Andy Warhol would have done with a man like Jobs.

I wish his family peace.

A few more days please…

Anyone mind tacking on a few extra days here before September is over?  I’ve got a few things I need to wrap up still, and well…  I could really use a few extra days to get it all done.  Anyone?  I seem to have lost my magic wand, figure someone out there probably has one stashed somewhere.  Right?

Hello?  Anyone?


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