• Friday, November 25th, 2016


Not Bad For an Old LadyI want to thank all of you, my friends and family for your caring and thoughtfulness over the past couple of weeks. It truly touched my heart to understand how much you all care for my family. Here is a little something that is on my heart today as I get ready to go pick up my mom’s remains.


My mom and I loved road trips. In fact over the past five or six years we have made a lot of trips, whether to Saskatchewan to visit Dad and family or to someplace else just to look around. Mom loved getting out and seeing the world. I would pick her up, and ask her how she was and she would always answer in her typical Joan way, “Not bad for a grouchy old lady”.


Once we were on the road, we would talk. We would talk about the past, about the present and about the future. I learned so much about my mom during our road trips. I learned about her life and her dreams. I learned about her disappointments and regrets and we would laugh. For some reason mom thought I was really funny, so we spent a lot of time laughing.


Mom used to floss her teeth when we travelled. One time we were traveling to Saskatoon, mom was busy flossing her pearly whites and the floss broke in her teeth. She tried to pull the short piece of floss out that was stuck in between her teeth but couldn’t get it. I turned to her to see what the problem was, she smiled and there was this string hanging out of her chompers. I had to pull over, I was laughing so hard. She had me try to pull the floss out and I couldn’t get it….it was stuck solid. Finally I found a pair of pliers and managed to get the floss out of her teeth. We laughed so hard as we imagined the scenarios that could have happened if we hadn’t managed to release the stubborn floss. I cherished those moments getting to know her.


I remember the last time we travelled together to Saskatoon I left my mom there to visit family and I returned home. A couple of months later she called and said “Jerrilyn, come pick me up, I’m ready to go home.” I remember trying to explain to mom that It was a bad time for me to travel. I told her that I would come pick her up in two weeks when Dante was out of school for Christmas break…. but mom insisted…”No, come pick me up now, I’m ready to go home”. So I packed up Dante and Dakota (who was very pregnant at the time}, drove to Saskatoon and picked mom up.


Today, I pick my mom up for the last time. I know that there will be no reply when I ask her how she is doing and no laughter as I drive her home. I know that what I know of my mother’s life is all I will ever know. I will not hear any more stories from her about what it was like growing up on the farm in Dahlton or how, when I was born, she couldn’t afford to buy new baby items so she had to use what she was given or found at thrift stores. She ended up with a blanket that she really liked but it was pilled. So she spent hours picking every pill off of that blanket so when she brought me home, I would be wrapped in a soft blanket. Or how when Alan was a baby she was waxing the floor and when she went to get the can of wax it was gone….and apparently so was I. She walked into Alan’s room to find me pouring the wax over him and him contentedly splashing in it. Or when we were young, the dog had chewed the cord to the vacuum cleaner when it was plugged in and Alan grabbed the bare wire. I, being the considerate sister ran and told Mom that Alan had started smoking. I could go on and on with her stories, but for now I will just treasure them in my heart.


As I ready myself to go pick up Mom for the last time, I can’t help but picture in my mind that on that Monday, Sept 19th Mom sent a prayer up saying…”God…..Come pick me up, I’m ready to go” and when He arrived to take her home permanently, He leaned over and looked at her, his eyes filled with love and asked, “Hey Joanie my child, how are you doing?” And mom looking at Him and with a big smile on her face replying, “Yo Yo Yo…Not bad for a grouchy old lady.


• Monday, January 04th, 2016

So here it is….my first truly political post of this election and it is not a post about who to or who not to vote for. I don’t care if you are Red, Blue, Orange or Green in your political leanings. I don’t care who you voted for, I do however care that you voted. I don’t care if you liked Harper or disliked Harper. It just amazes me that people around the world see Canadians as so polite and yet the things Canadians have said about Harper in last few days following his defeat are horrible. People….this is a man with a wife and children who just served his country …served us. His family sacrificed and he sacrificed. Of course he made bad decisions and bad judgement calls at times…..just like EVERY other Prime Minister Canada has , and he made great decisions at times….just like EVERY other Prime Minister Canada has. But in the end, he is a man and he has a family who deserve our thanks and our respect as they move on into the next stage of their lives. Wouldn’t it show the world a much better side of Canada if we could put away our verbal swords and poison for awhile and thank this man who saw our country through many difficult times?

• Monday, September 21st, 2015

You probably won’t believe this but I have friends who are die hard Conservatives,  I have friends who are die hard Liberals and I have  friends who are die hard NDP supporters.  This isn’t in itself unusual I suppose, but it does influence how I post on Facebook and other social media sites.

The funny thing about elections is that they can batter and even destroy friendships and acquaintances.  When I was a child my Dad and Mom told me “never discuss politics, religion or sex”.  As an adult I think about this and am pretty sure they didn’t mean …EVER.  I think what my parents meant is “never just begin spewing negative political, religious or sexual thoughts randomly” because you will, in all likelihood, end up offending someone.

Have you noticed how, on social media sites, people randomly post thoughts about political parties and leaders, religious belief systems and sexual orientation.  Most of these posts are cloaked in humour, but alas, even an offensive remark that is well concealed in humour, does damage and puts others on the defence.

In the last month I have seen more disparaging political party posts than I have since……well, since the last federal election.  Some are really, really funny, some are clever and some are just down right mean.  I have also seen posts from people saying, “if anyone on my friend list posts anything negative about ________, I will unfriend you.  Just like that!

Why do we let politics become this divisive?  When you look at this  Federal Election, be cognisant that we are choosing a person and a party to run this country, to manage and be fiscally responsible with yours and my tax dollars.  This election will determine the future of our country. Instead of using this election as an opportunity to show the world  how much we love our country and how important this election is, we turn it into a three ring circus and make a mockery of our political foundations.  Why is that?

We owe it to ourselves, and to this Country we call home, to handle this election with tact and dignity.  We are not going to change the way someone votes because we have posted a joke about a candidate’s bad breath, or by comparing a Canadian leadership hopeful to Donald Trump.  We may however impact people by promoting what and why we support a certain party.

But I believe the best way to influence people is by encouraging them to listen to the candidates, read what each party stands for and then GET OUT AND VOTE.  I know I said that rather loudly, but voting is the one thing that could change our country’s direction. If more people…especially young people, got out and voted,  It would change the face of Canadian politics.  Canada needs a generation of committed voters.

More to come…….

• Saturday, September 19th, 2015

I hear people complaining that Federal level politics becomes nothing more than smear campaigns and criticism of candidates and Parties. The problem I see is that many people post negative comments about the looks, personality, character of the candidates on FB and other social media sites ( I’m not being party specific ). I’ve always believed politics should be about what’s best for our country and the people of Canada rather than mocking and disrespecting the people who are running to lead our country. Wouldn’t it be a more effective use of our minds to concentrate on the issues rather than running down the candidates. I believe the negativity and disrespect we show the candidates and parties, is a huge part of the reason there is so much apathy in Canada when it comes to political voting.

End of thought!


And speaking of love…Sadie and Chuck

• Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Well, 2014 was quite the year…filled with great successes as well as great losses. And here we are, on the verge of 2015, not knowing what the year ahead will hold but sure that it will hold change and with change comes great successes and great losses.

Last year I wished you a year of making mistakes because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. (thank you Neil Gaiman for those words of wisdom).

This year I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.


• Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Christmas So Far…And a Journey Back

I Love these girls!!! I”m so proud of each of them and their amazing little personalities (Grandma’s comments)

It’s my favorite time of the year! And also the time of year where I feel the most disorganized and NOT on top of things. Ididn’t get Christmas cards done again this year….and even if I had, I lost my address book in our move last year, so I have the process of re-collecting addresses ahead of me. We didn’t get lights up outside because of reno’s, and the inside is only partially decorated. I’ve done no Christmas crafts with the girls yet, and no baking for ourselves or to share with the neighbors. Needless to say, my decorating skills leave lots to be desired.
All of that aside, the Christmas season is alive and well in our home. The girls are good at making sure that Christmas music is pretty much always on, and that sets the mood well!

This year we bought our tree in town. I let Danica pick it out, and I think it’s probably the most perfect tree we’ve ever had. Seriously. That girl has a good eye!

And since this season is all about the “spirit of Christmas” anyways, I think we’ve nailed it :) besides, my favorite part of Christmas is the people.

We’ve also done gingerbread decorating…so I suppose that could count as a “craft” lol.

I wrote a small article for the paper from the town I grew up in, Tumbler Ridge. I’d like to share the article here….it covers my favorite memories of Christmas.
All I want for Christmas is for our girls to lock some of their own precious moments into their hearts, so they can share them with their children!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

“In 1986, our family moved from Faro, Yukon to the brand new town of Tumbler Ridge so my dad could work at the mine. I was only 3 years old, but there are some things that I remember so vividly. I can still remember my first day of kindergarten at TRE, going for picnics at flatbed, and eating burgers with my family at D&G Burgers.
Now that I’ve grown up, I didn’t go very far. I married a man from Carstairs, Alberta, and we live on a quarter section of land on the Tumbler Highway outside of Dawson Creek with our five daughters.
One of my favorite things about living here is that I’m still close to Tumbler. My mom still lives there, and we get to come visit her lots. On any given drive to Tumbler, I can be seen turning down the radio and telling my girls stories of what it was like to grow up there. “When I was a little girl here, it was so quiet that we could ride our bikes down the streets and not see more than one or two cars!” Or “if you take this trail, you can walk up the mountain to the bald spot. My friends and I used to go often when we were teenagers.” They love when I tell them about Grizzly Valley Days, and the parades we used to have.
And at this time of year, I tell them about the Christmas Eve Service growing up, and how we always had an open house at my mom’s after.
I have always appreciated that my mom is a warm, kind person, but it’s because of that, combined with her extreme hospitality, that my childhood memories are as cheerful as they are.
Our home was open to everyone. We had a small, cozy house, but the size didn’t stop mom. I remember years where we were all standing shoulder to shoulder visiting, laughing, and eating….and those memories are some of the happiest! We always had such a family-like closeness with our friends there, and I’ll never forget those relationships.
Christmas looks different now, but I cherish the years that Daniel and I can bring our girls to Tumbler for Christmas. I love being able to recreate some of that Christmas magic I felt as a girl there.
Merry Christmas to my mom, and all of the other extraordinary residents who make Tumbler Ridge what it is!”

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• Thursday, December 11th, 2014

This song by Jason Mraz says it so well….

“3 Things”

There are three things I do when my life falls apart
Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart
Not until I do this will my new life start
So that’s the first thing that I do when my life falls apart.

Oh, the second thing I do is I close both of my eyes
And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life.
I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside
Gathering new strength from sorrow,
I’m glad to be alive.

Things are looking up
I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking up
Love is still the answer I’m relying
Three little things
Things are looking up

The third thing that I do now when my world caves in,
is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end.
I design my future bright not by where my life has been.
And I try, try, try, try, try again.
Yes I try, try, try, try, try again.

Things are looking up
I know beyond the dark the sun is rising
Things are looking up
And I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking
Love is still the answer I’m relying
Three little things
Three little things




• Thursday, December 11th, 2014

I want to tell you about something that happened today, something that shattered me, not in a bad way but in a way that will allow me to move forward. While I’m doing that I will tell you a little about where I’ve been this last month

November was a tough month for me.  I ran in an election, I was the incumbent and I lost, it was close, but I lost.  To understand what this loss meant, you should  know that I am passionate about what I do. I am one of those people who gives it all when I do something.  I believed that it is an great honour and a huge responsibility to be elected. I gave it my all. I grew to love the people and their straightforward, no nonsense way of letting me know what they wanted and what they didn’t want.  When I ran for this position initially I knew I wanted to do the best job I could at representing the people so I chose to make this my career.  I put myself out there and ended up serving on regional, provincial and federal committees and organizations, doing this because it gave the region a voice at various levels of government, this was a win/win for the area. Like I said, it was my passion, it was who I was and the loss hit me like a sledgehammer to the gut or more like a sledgehammer to the heart. It has left me reeling. Being a single mom of a teenager in a small community that has 1200 people out of work makes it feel even more harsh.

What do I do now? How will I afford to raise a teenager? Advocating for people is my life and when you are voted off the Island, there doesn’t seem to be any other land in sight. People keep telling me “When one door closes, another door opens” but there is this period of time when all the doors are shut and it is very dark and that is where I am now, looking for dry land in a very dark place.

Now, it may seem that I’m taking this opportunity to tell you about what is  wrong in my life, but please bare with me…I’m simply laying the foundation for what happened today.

On Sunday, I left for Saskatchewan to pick up my mom (who had knee surgery), she wanted to come stay with me and she wanted to come right now.  It is a bad time of the year to be travelling but sometimes you drop everything and go. I knew that I could also visit my dad who is in a long term care facility just outside of Saskatoon but it had to be a super quick trip.  I had to take my daughter out of school so she would get the chance to see her Grandpa and my second youngest daughter also decided to come so she could see Grandpa.  Like I said, bad time of year, rushed trip, 28 hours of driving in three days, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, a person who really doesn’t want to make the trip.

I admit that I have been feeling a little sorry for myself about the state of my life…no job, a child to support, a father who has gone downhill very quickly and a mom who needs taking care of. By the way…Local Government representatives, Mayors, Councillors, Directors, can’t collect EI if they are not re-elected, so that has added to the panic of not having a job.

So we drove the 14  hours to Saskatchewan, The next day I visited my Dad, shopped for things he needed, had a birthday party for him and then headed to the hotel so we could be up by 5 AM to pick up mom, cram another body and luggage into the Jetta, and drive the 15 hours home.  On the way home we decided to spend the night with my daughter in Grande Prairie so my mom could have a break from sitting in one position.

The next day, before leaving for home we decided to splurge and have breakfast/lunch at Cora’s in Grande Prairie. Now this is the part I wanted to tell you about.

We had a lovely meal and when we went to pay for our food the waitress said, “it’s been taken care of”.

I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand”

and she said,  ”Santa took care of it”.

I, the master of words, looked at her and said, ” I don’t get it”.

She looked at me patiently, smiled and said, ” There was a gentleman in here who paid for  your meals.”

I, again not grasping what had happened said “why?”

She explained that she didn’t know why, he just did.

I don’t know why this hit me so hard but something inside of me shattered and as I stood there, the tears started flowing….I was a mess.

I said, “Please, if you ever see him again. Tell him thank you, this meant more to me than he will ever know”.

I have to admit, it was uncomfortable being on the receiving end of such an amazing act of generosity.  It humbled me and made me realize so many things about myself, things I won’t bore you with.  It keeps going through my heart and my head, “how did this person know that I was having such a rough go of it?” “Why us in a restaurant full of people?” I guess I will never know.  What is important though is something shattered inside of me because of this.  I’m not sure what it is but every time I think about what this complete stranger did, those things that were blocking my joy and making me focus on myself rather than others seem to be breaking off.

What I am left with, once the feeling sorry for myself is scraped away by a stranger’s act of kindness, is a rawness that will heal eventually.The quote below says it better than I can…
So, stranger, if you are out there and happen to read this….Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your random act of kindness made a big change in my life.









Category: Uncategorized  | 4 Comments
• Friday, November 14th, 2014

With regard to the proposal for water and sewer in the four electoral areas.

As the Director for Area E, I hear you loud and clear and I promise you that I will take your concerns back for discussion and action before any decision on this subject is made.  You have given me the ammunition I need to make sure that your concerns are addressed. Following are some of the concerns that I have heard at ALL the Area E meetings.  I will be bringing these forward at the next PRRD board meeting. Thank you for your input in this consultation process and call me at 250-242-8047 if there are any points I have missed or with any questions or concerns.

  1. Area E residents have stated emphatically that they are in opposition to the proposal as they feel there is not going to benefit them
  2. They don’t need this because they have spent thousands of dollars on developing our own sewer lagoons and do not want to support providing sewer services for others. Nobody helped them pay for their lagoons.  Why should they be forced to help others pay for their sewage disposal or water as there is currently no consideration being given by Chetwynd or Dawson Creek to stop providing service to Area E residents.
  3. Residents should not have to go out and find 10% of the voters to oppose this proposal. They are content with the way things are now and are not looking for any change. The Alternate Approval Process forces the residents to do the leg work and spend their own time and money to force a referendum or stop this proposal.
  4. The AAP is like saying to us, you do the leg work and even if you find 10 % of the eligible voters to oppose there will probably be a referendum.  Might as well go to referendum and scrap the AAP.
  5. They don’t like to be lumped in with the rest of the electoral areas as it means the most heavily populated area, which is also the area that requires the service, will probably win the vote.
  6. Why is this proposed to occur on land and improvements:  Sounds like double taxation.  If residents are not asking for something, don’t push it on them and tax them for it.










• Friday, November 14th, 2014

Well…here we are, the day before the election! Here is another question I was asked by media and my answer.On a related note, the NEBC Resource Municipalities Coalition has faced accusations from a few rural directors of being at best, redundant, and at worst a rival to the PRRD. How do you feel about the new coalition? What opportunities, if any, do you see for co-operation between the new coalition and the PRRD? Finally, what steps, if any, do you think the PRRD should take in the next term to promote the federative concept of regional districts?
One thing I can say after being involved in politics for over 10 years is that elected officials will generally do what they feel is best for the area and the people they represent. Although I do see redundancies, if this Coalition is what the Mayors feel is best for their communities, then I wish them well. The issues we will work together on will be the issues which represent both rural and municipal interests. I know that as a Director I’m always willing to work with other levels of government or other organizations to ensure that Area E resident’s best interests are served. So, if that was the intent of a co-operative initiative, then I would be more than willing to be part of that. If I felt that in any way this would hinder the interests of the residents of Area E or the PRRD, I would be a strong voice in opposition. Probably the best way for the PRRD to promote the federative concept of Regional Districts is for us to continue operating within the mandate we have been given by the Provincial Government and when the newly elected workshops are held, ensuring all newly elected representatives are educated as to how Regional Districts came into being, what a Regional District’s mandate is and how a Regional District operates.