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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Should I name you Christina or Christine

Should I name you Christina or Christine
Or simply Christmas Baby in Bowness
Where you were left alone in -19 weather
Near Christmas Eve when others gathered
For the birth of Christ to celebrate?

Now I weep and pray for your soul to rest
To find comfort in our Maker’s embrace
And for your mother, seek forgiveness.

You shall be remembered each Christmas Eve
While you look down from Heaven
And sweetly sing with the cherubim,
Celebrating your birth, just in time to attend
To the coming of Hosanna in the highest.

What’s that again?

K Teacher: When you come back next year, it’s 2018! You’ll be older… and I’ll be younger.
Silence… then smiling faces. The teacher waited for the most courageous child to start.
Child #1: No, you’ll be older!
K Teacher: Waah! That’s not nice to say to your teacher.
Child #2: Then you’ll be older and older until you’re a hundred years old.
Child #3: Then you’ll die!
K Teacher: Then I’ll go to heaven!
Child #4: And you’ll see God and the angels?
All little mouths agape now…
K Teacher: Of course! (In her mind: Now, who wants to die with me?)
Silence again… The kids looked at one another, either believing their teacher or thinking she’s nuts. LOL.

What’s that again?
The boys in a Kindergarten class saw the CD cover photo of Mariah Carey, and their jaws dropped.
Boy #1: That’s my Mom!
Boy #2: That’s my wife!
Boy #3: That’s my girl!
Teacher: Boy, oh, boy! Are you guys 15 or 5 years old?
Silence… The boys were probably wondering why the teacher suddenly forgot how old they were.

Some kids in one class misbehaved during the school mass. Now they’re back in their classroom.
Teacher: Boys and girls, I feel really, really sad today about your behaviour during the mass. I just want to cry.
One child: Adults don’t cry!

Teacher: If you’re not listening, I’m going to tell your Mom.
Child: You don’t know my Mom.
Teacher: Oh, yes, I do! (lying, coz she can’t remember) You know, my Mom’s name is Merlinda.
Child: My Mom’s name is Melissa.
Teacher: See! I told you I know your Mom’s name… Should I talk to Melissa today?
Jaws dropped!

Some Kindergarten kids color with pencils, either because they don’t like using crayons or seeing colors or they’re just being lazy to switch to crayons.
Teacher: Why are you coloring your pumpkins with a pencil? Now you’ve got black pumpkins! I want to see orange pumpkins!
Child: That’s because they’re already rotten!

After seven years, a teacher visits her old school and finds her former grade 2 student, Kim, now 14 and towering over her with her high heels, skimpy tight-fitting dress, heavy make-up, fake lashes and dangling earrings. She’s also chewing gum and wearing heavy perfume… Kim stoops over and gave her former teacher a gentle hug.
Kim: Miss J! How are you?
Miss J: I’m all right. How are you doing?
Kim: I’m good, going to grade 9.
Miss J: Whatever happened to my sweet and simple Kim who had nothing but natural beauty?
Kim: Aw, Miss J, you’re so old school?
Who’s old school?

A Room with a View

Nine years after and thousands of miles across continents, I’ve endured plane seats with my elbows clipped to my sides or with the view of a lonely wing, and hotel rooms with a view of another window, behind which someone must be dreaming of an island vacation instead. Despite the pains of all these purposeful flights and plights, my destinations have always been with sheer delight. Once again at a crossroads, I remain thankful and feel blessed to have a room with a view – a view of evergreens on a quiet road. Simply imagining the robins singing in spring and the deciduous trees coming alive again, I can stop dreaming of palatial walls or a niche in a concrete jungle. Jamison/11/25/2017

The Minimalist

I’ve always aimed for minimalist living
No bed or couch or clothes worth keeping
Not even shelves for the books I’m reading
And hopefully thereafter worth passing.

Twelve years in North America though
And my luggage is full of portfolios,
Paintings and photos I can’t let go.

On second thought, I think they’re enough
For my funeral pyre to burn just right.
A naked minimalist from the very start
And minimalist ash and dust as I depart.
Jamison/23 October 2017

Teachers' Day

Yup. They work more than 60 hours a week, dream about their exciting plans and their possible results every night (or worry about you-know-which students), shop for fun items for their classrooms instead of their homes on weekends, put off going to the bathroom when kids need them during recess, have lunch with kids as a reward (for the kids!), facilitate extra-curricular activities and perform other duties in between classes, attend meetings/training during lunch breaks and before/after school, and the list goes on and on... Some unfortunate ones I know needed stress tabs, suffered miscarriage, had throat surgery, neglected their families…, but nothing can stop teachers from performing their duties because it’s a noble profession that brings priceless joy once learning and progress are evident. And teachers’ greatest joy? To see their graduates at the top of the world. Blessed are you, all teachers. Jamison/06Oct2017
We pray for world peace,
For the people of Quebec and Haiti,
Puerto Rico, Catalonia and Zimbabwe,
For the Rohingya people and Aung San Suu Kyi,
For the victims of political strife and calamities,
For love in every heart and an end to greed.

How fast my little friend has grown!

How fast my little friend has grown!
Exploring the park as if on his own,
Full of confidence, with a toy phone in hand,
Saying he’ll call once he’s already tired,
So in his stroller he can again ride.

Word of the Day: new

Child: (jokingly) You’re old, Tita Lina.
Adult: (pretending to cry) You’re hurting my feelings. That’s not nice to say.
Child: (moved) I’m sorry, Tita Lina. I’m not going to say you’re old anymore… (thinking), You’re new.

On People Watching

I pray not be a witness to any literally bloody incident
When eyes are down on phones instead of steps
When focus is on selfies instead of oncoming vehicles.

But I love most the sight of families sharing memories
Despite all the “I’m tireds” and “Aren’t we there yets,”
BFFs and couples sharing love of sights, sounds, scenes…
However far (or near) their knees can take them,
The young taking out in the sun the elderly,
And singles (like me) braving an unknown destiny.

Who Doesn’t Love Mondays?

Who doesn't love Mondays
When I’m in a lovely classroom
On this cool, still-summer day?
When the frost-kissed grass has dried
And screaming seagulls hover overhead
And dive for the ground in full speed
As if to chase shrieking children
And snatch their crackers and cheese, cookies,
Carrot and cucumber sticks, potato chips,
Apples and oranges, chocolate-coated pretzels,
Granola bars, bananas, grapes or M&M’s?

(Well, would you blame these scavenger thieves,
Like screeching acrobats in the summer skies,
Floating in mid-air, like kids riding scooters,
When the days are getting shorter, and in winter,
No kid would be outdoor snackin’?)

In the Summer of 2017

Moonface made many a missile and sent a threat
Throwing Yellowhead in a fit of rage
And putting the Earth on a teeter totter
In the summer of twenty seventeen.

Neo-nazis, nationalists, and right wing extremists
With free speeches, took to the streets
And let blood flow and imaginary torches lit.
No difference from the heartless Yellowhead,
Removing temporary protection for Haitians
And DACA for stateless Dreamers.

BC fires kept burning with inexhaustible embers,
Turning the red sun and moon into glowing eyes,
Stunned at the sight of spilled Pandora’s box.
Hurricanes Harvey and Iris, and earthquakes
Seem to punish the sinless and the innocent,
Victims of insatiable greed and self-indulgence.


We Still Need You!

Adult: Now that you know how to get to the playground and back, I think you can be on your own. I can stay home and sleep some more. Zzz…
Children: No! What if bad guys pick us up?
Adult: Oh, I thought you could fight like the teenage mutant Ninja turtles?
Children: No! You’re being silly, Tita Lina. It’s just pretend. We can’t fight the REAL bad guys. We still need you.
Adult: Well, I’m glad you think I can fight bad guys with these muscles and bones. Hiyaaa!

Tongue Twisters of the Day

Adult: Leaf insect.
Child: Leaf insect.
Adult: Stick insect.
Child: Stick ins... ins… stick instinct!

Child: Please pass the check-up.
Adult: Ke-, ke-, ke-, ket-chup.
Child: Ke-, ke-, ke-, ket-chup. Ketchup!
Adult: You were asking for something?
Child: Yes, please. Check-up, please.

Ms C.H.

You come into the store as always, saying
You’re not really getting anything
Just looking… but if you need something
You’ll want to get it, your eyes twinkling.

You say these words maybe for the nth time
And turn your wheelchair round and round like a child
Slowly looking up and down the shelves
Filled with knick knacks donated by strangers
Items from their basements or garages
Or from loved ones who have departed
Who have passed on ahead of you…
Ahead of me, too.
Jamison/06August 2017/27Dec2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Craving for Pizza

You stare at your potted tomatoes,
Wondering why they haven’t borne fruit.
Against your will, you pick a dollar canned tomatoes,
With its promise of vitamins A and C,
Sauté them with minced onion,
Spread on your home-made chapati,
Top with shredded cheddar and bake.
Yum! Crust so thin and crispy…
No need for pizza delivery.
Still, you wish for fresh tomatoes.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Lost in Space

On board a "spaceship" in the playground:
Adult: Where are you going?
Children: To planet Earth.
Adult: Errrr... I'm afraid you're already on planet Earth. How about going to the moon instead?
Children: No. We want to go to planet Earth!

Yikes! We're just blocks away from home, and now we're lost in space...
30 July 2017

Summer job with little friends

look for bugs in the yard while I do the mowing, pick the pine cones so they don't get stuck in the mower, paint the cones... now let's start making Christmas decors :)

Adult: Did you know that these cones have seeds in them?
Child gathers cones and leaves them on the ground.

Adult: Where's your cone collection?
Child: I planted them there so they'd grow more pine trees.

Yes, that's my tree-planting friend.
30 July 2017

Irritable Terrible Two

What to do with a boy this age? Distract him!

Look! Blue wildflowers. Your favourite colour. You can pick one…
A robin’s nest! Want to take a peek? How many baby robins can you see?
Red lily beetles! What are they doing, you ask? Hmm… I think they’re making eggs.
Mushrooms! We can’t touch them though. They might be poisonous.
A bunny in the yard! Oh, no! It’s sitting on the tulips!
Mommy and Daddy robins! There! Up the tree!
A slimy slug! Eeew!
A new bird with a black mask! It’s a Bohemian Waxwing!
Do you hear that? It’s a woodpecker looking for bugs.
A caterpillar on hollyhocks!
Ants on the peonies!
Would you like to water the plants with Olaf?

Phew! Good thing it’s still a wonderful world that amazes a child…

30 July 2017

30 July 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pure Joy, Sheer Pleasure

My little friends want to do a lot of adult stuff, really rushing to grow up. I can’t blame them; I was the same when I was their age, building a fire under a thatched roof house and pretending to cook vegetables (shredded leaves) in a big seashell balanced on three rocks. Imagine the shock of my grandmother? I got a painful pinching afterwards, not really comprehending how I could burn the house down (as she had said) with my teeny-weeny fire! Not even sure how she found out after I had returned the box of matches exactly the way I found it on the highest ledge in the kitchen, scattered my tools in the garden, and buried the embers in the sand. I thought she must have a photographic memory, a super-sensitive nose, and Superman’s x-ray vision!
So as I pulled dandelions with Fiskars Weed Puller, which looks like a scooter to the kids. The kids stopped looking for bugs in the garden and came over.
Child: That looks like a scooter! Why are you pulling the dandelions?
Me: Because they’re weeds. They’re not good plants here.
Child: Why are they not good? They’re beautiful.
Me: Yes, they’re beautiful, and I use to gather them, too, when I was a child. But they’re invasive.
Child: What does invasive mean?
Me: It means they spread too much and take the space of good plants, which is not nice. The good plants won’t have space to grow. They also spread a lot because you blow their seeds, right? But that’s okay, I used to do that when I was a kid, too, because it’s fun.
Child: Can we help?
Me: Dunno how you can because this is hard, and it’s got sharp claws to grab the whole thing including the roots so it doesn’t grow again in spring.
Child watched as I stuck the claws into the ground, on top of a dandelion. I pressed the extension down the ground with my foot. She could hear the crunchy sound of lawn grass, dandelion leaves and roots being grabbed by the claws. I pulled the weeder and voila! The whole package was out.
Child: Wow!
Me: Yup! There’s your dandelion all right. And what are these?
Child: The roots! Now there’s a hole in the ground. We can play golf!
Child started helping by stepping on the weeder and enjoying herself as I swung the tool to and fro before pulling. She then ejected the weed into a bucket and took the bucket to where I had dumped weeds the previous days. Her little brother had his turn, and everyone forgot about bug hunting. Jamison/07/13/2017


Can't recall who shared a chapati recipe, but many thanks indeed as I was able to make some for my whole week's supply for quick and easy meals - no need to get ready-made ones from the store. Very economical. I tweaked a little bit with S&P and garlic-flavoured oil. Next time, I'll put in some herbs or minced veggies in the dough.