Or the adventures of the Summer Solstice Girl in the Great White North

500 Today


I got this sweet notification from WP today


I can’t believe my little blog has 500 followers. Continue reading


Perceptions are a funny thing

When you are a baby, you think everybody perceives the universe the way you do. That’s why they think that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them either.

As a child, you start incorporating your family’s views into your perception of the world (I loosely equal world to universe here). You learn values and point of views. You learn to fear the things your close ones fear and to hate what your close ones hate. And that is what you consider “right”. Whether you are being raised by two moms, or two dads, or a single parent or a mom and a dad, that’s your understanding of “normal”.

SSG’s very own universe

Incidentally, that’s also the time when we learn that Mexicans are “lazy” or that “Muslims” are terrorists” or that gay people are “evil sinners” or that black people are “dangerous”, or… do you get my drift?. At that age, one doesn’t question one’s parents. At that age, we think they know (and are right about) everything.

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Crazy COLOURlover

Remember when I told you about my new thing? Well, I am having a grand old time with designing stuff. I found this awesome site called COLOURlovers (and yes, It has the right spelling! w00t w00t) and apparently I now eat and breathe colours.

I am having so much fun. I am still a n00b, of course, but I am getting the gist of it. I still don’t have the skill to create my own pattern templates but I am starting to get good at creating nice patterns with other people’s templates.

Wanna see?

This is my most recent one and the one I like the most so far! I am very happy with it :)

 Made of  sapphire & Mithril and shining with the light of Telperion

Varda’s jewel


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The One Where I Muse About Sexism And Paradigms

As usual, Facebook is a never-ending source of grief.

The stupid things that people post all the time are… well… stupid.

To me, that is. Because as a wise friend of mine and fellow canvas author pointed out the other day, who gets to say what’s stupid?

But as usual, Facebook, for all its stupidity it always makes me think. And that is a good thing. And man, it has plenty of cats. So that’s why I stay. Because Cats, dude!

This time around, there is a petition regarding the Canadian Swing Championships. And that is a BIG deal for us, swing dancers. It deals with sexism, misogyny, rape culture (don’t worry, no one was sexually assaulted) comments during the event. A blow up doll was involved too. Very tasteless

Bad stuff.

And also as usual, you have the prevailing two poles (why are we human beings like that?): One faction is throwing up their’s hands in horror while another is like, grow some thick skin. If you don’t like the event just don’t attend. It is all in good fun.

Worse of all (although I predicted it last night when link for the petition was sent to me in a private message), it became a witch hunt.

The truth, as it is usually the case, is somewhere in the middle and there are a lot of grey areas there. Continue reading

We Need To Talk About Depression

Summer Solstice Girl:

Well, what do you know. TechCrunch is talking about depression (well, at least one of its writers). Yes, of course we -all of us that write for A Canvas Of The Minds or that took the Blog For Mental Health 2014, agree that we need to talk about depression and all the other mental illnesses.

It is sad that it takes the deaths that some well known people to start the conversation. What about the other countless deaths that were conveniently ignored or overlooked because, you know, that doesn’t happen in our family.

But hey! Keeping the conversation about Mental Health going is always a good thing. And coming from TechCrunch means lots of listeners.

Hopefully people will pay attention

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Building a startup is like climbing a mountain and being told you’ll only get the gear you need–harnesses, helmets, bottled oxygen–as you struggle toward the peak. Long hours away from family, responsibility to investors and users, and the fear of failure are extremely stressful and they sometimes coalesce into something more severe.

I’m not a startup founder, but as a TechCrunch writer I’ve gotten to know many, some quite well, and I’ve seen how entrepreneurship can put even the most optimistic people at risk for depression.

That’s why I was glad to read a blog post this weekend from Y Combinator president Sam Altman about founders and depression. Psychological issues of every kind are stigmatized, but it seems even worse for people working in tech.

As Altman writes,

“There is a huge amount of pressure as a founder to never show weakness and to be the cheerleader in all internal and external situations. The…

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My New Thing

Planning #GeekSquaredWed (Yes, I did just use a hashtag), has taken me to an unexpected journey. Unfortunately not that kind of unexpected journey. Dwarves and Wizards are yet to knock of my door but I haven’t lost hope. And to be honest, I’d rather have elves knocking on my door, anyway. I’m more into singing to the stars than into digging in mines for jewels.

Anyway, journey. Yes.

Long story short, one of the things I ended up doing was signing in for a DeviantART account (and this is going to make Sidlet 1 very happy as she had been wanting me to do so for quite a while). Another one was dabbling in digital art.

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Higher Education & Trigger Warnings

Summer Solstice Girl:

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Month. While PTSD gets the most airtime in regards war veterans, there are a good number of civilians who deal with non-war PTSD.

Please join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you! :)

Originally posted on A Canvas Of The Minds:


click to read SSG’s bio

Yesterday (for me, but a week and a bit later as you read), I was part of a very interesting FB conversation. It started with a question from Creston Davis, professor and co-founder of  the Graduate School my son is affiliated with. Which by the way, is a seriously kickass school that is breaking paradigms left and right. I had the chance to meet both founders earlier this year and I am thoroughly impressed with what they’re doing.  Also, serendipity at its best. They are based in Grand Rapids, MI which is only 1.5 hrs from Lansingland and Dandelion Soup. Um, Squirrel….. Ah yes, the question:

Are the so-called “Trigger Warnings” yet another way to censor professors? Could they be considered the equivalent of cultural censorship controlled by a privileged demographic only looking to received a non-challenging education? What say you?

Professor Davis included a…

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The Chronic Complainer

Or, How I Hate When People Complain About Stupid Things.

I often say to any one that wants to hear, that Canadians complain way too much. Too my third-world-raised mind, it is annoying and unbelievable selfish to say the least. However, I am not the only one to think so. It is a well known joke that the Canadian National past time is to complain. And to be offended. Complaining and being offended go hand in hand.

Two things identify Canadian people. They complain all day long and they say I”m sorry even if it was your fault. You step on their toes? They say, oh, I’m sorry. For more on this watch 12 Ways to Say I’m Sorry and then read How To Be Canadian by Ian & Will Ferguson. Excellent book. I promise you’ll be peeing your pants laughing from front to back. It is that good.

But! The lady doth protest too much, methinks. And by “the lady” I mean the whole so-called first world. Continue reading

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

I am sitting here absolutely bawling.

I was having a hard day. Beyond horrible. All I’ll say here is that I was forced to relive things I don’t even want to remember and I got triggered big time.

I’ve been in limbo all day. Absolutely numb.

And then, I had to get up for something and realized the mail had come. There was a package for me!

Naturally,  I did what every sane person would do. I ran to get my phone so I could take pictures :)

Do you recognize the sender?


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Musings on Grief & Mourning

Recently, I’ve been privy to two close bloggers’ grief. One lost her father, the other her grandfather. The pain they are experiencing is beyond what words could ever express and my heart goes to them.

Thoughts of death always make me go into introspection. I can’t help but examine my own feelings regarding the deaths of my parents. Which are pretty non-existent when I am in survival mode, which is to say, my every day mode.

When my mother died, I didn’t cry. I even wondered at some point why I didn’t feel like crying when everyone else was but I just couldn’t. The answer -at the time, was very simple*. I was glad for my mother. I was glad that she was not going to suffer anymore. There was even the possibility that she had gone to a better place where she could be happy. But even if one takes the approach that there is nothing after death, that was still good news. If there is nothing, there is no suffering, so I was relieved and happy for her.

Needless to say everybody thought it weird I was so composed. I am pretty sure more than a few thought I was a bad daughter for not showing the appropriate mourning signs. A year later, I was really sad because I lost a trinket that I treasured and that brought tears to my eyes. One of my uncles saw me and said to me: “You didn’t cry when your mother died and you cry because of that stupid thing?” How can one explain the nature of one’s trauma when one is merely 15 and doesn’t really have a grasp on one’s own psyche?

When 8 years later my father too died, I didn’t cry either. I only had the feelings of relief for him. He was a tortured man and that is no way to live.

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