From One Jr. To Another – A Message to Donald Trump Jr.

The following is a letter in response to a post on Donald Trump’s Instagram account where he shared a letter a little girl sent to her father.

Snapshot from Donald Trump Jr.'s Instagram account.

Snapshot from Donald Trump Jr.’s Instagram account.

Subject: From one Jr. to Another


Dear Dr. Donald Trump Jr.,

This letter from an otherwise bright young woman, shows the weaknesses of our public educational systems in teaching our children what is right and wrong on a much more broader scope. Not that we don’t to some degree, but the focus is not strong enough to have these lessons carried the strongest beyond their secondary school years; above academics because without good basic morals, academia means nothing.

The way your father talks about woman, generalizes Muslims like we once did our Indigenous, African-American’s, Japanese or our LGBTQ community. The way he boasts about America building walls between great nations instead of relationships, and even simple things like blurting out ‘crooked Hillary’ all the time. This is not good leadership especially where setting a good example for our children is concerned. No child who has been taught what’s right and wrong before even learning arithmetic and literacy would ever write such a letter to any potential leader of what on the surface is a beautiful country.

You’re a father yourself. You even have a little girl.  The next time your father speaks, take your son glasses off and put on your dad shades. Would that be the voice you would want your own children to model after? Would you be proud to hear your boy or girl running off at the mouth calling people names, making poor excuses for the way they treated the opposite (or same) sex? Would you be a proud dad who felt he did well by how you have raised your son or daughter as he or she shouts out ‘I’ll bomb the shit out of them?’ Will you allow your sons to talk about woman the way your dad does? What about your daughter? Do you think she deserves this kind of treatment?

Maybe we are getting a lot of lies thrown our way but real words past and present on live television, tell their own stories.

I know he is your dad. We inherently love and protect and stand behind our parents through their strengths, weaknesses, and faults. We are all human after all but we are talking about a voice to lead a nation to peace, good health, and sustainability for 100’s of years to come hopefully.

No leader is perfect. There are bad leaders in every walk of life now, in our past and surely into our future. There can be no good in what your father represents however, if he cannot learn to wholeheartedly apologize for past mistakes without making excuses, and move forward with words that a child as sweet as this will look back on and feel they were right then, because she is wrong now.

Maybe Mrs. Clinton is crooked or an awful choice as President? There is nothing wrong with people not feeling like a certain candidate wouldn’t serve them well, but stop with the disgusting rhetoric. I don’t care what the other person did. Just focus on what ‘you’ (your dad) will do.

One day your children will look back on YouTube or Way Back Machine footage of the past couple of years and wouldn’t it be nice if at some point, tapes from today on, they could look back knowing that he righted his wrongs and chose peace and leadership fit for a child over the hate and disgust he spews each and every day?

I know you have to have thick skin to lead a nation and it’s not all raindrops and lollipops, but he still has to chose love at the end of the day before he can truly and honestly call himself the People’s leader. The most important people we must lead, are the children. They are our future and only when we can teach them what’s right and wrong at a very young age, will our nations have any hope in becoming truly ‘great again’. Every time your father is on television, he is teaching our children. He needs to remember that with every word.

We’ve seen through President Obama and now Justin Trudeau, what leaders look like who build strong relationships with people. You may not believe in what they have done otherwise, but for 8 years you have had someone (and his beautiful wife), who have been an inspiration to so many including the children. His children. Maybe soon, your father’s children. (shivering)

Hate is why we all dislike politics. Obama has returned faith in leadership. Stop bashing that and tell people how you will build off of that and change what you feel is lacking in your country’s leadership.

Take down this letter. Pass this onto your dad, and I’ll remove this story. Otherwise, this poor child is going to be horrified one day when she catches old video clips of the hate she heralded.

This is from someone with family and friends in your beautiful country. I have seen more of the US through these relationships than Canada so I have had the chance on a small scale to get to know the breathtaking land and the wonderful people from coast to coast to coast. They deserve better than what this election has stood for thus far.

I’m sure you’ll hate me for these words as I know I would get my back up if someone bad-mouthed my own father, but there is nobody with the power to make us better people than our own children. We have an inherent desire to make them proud and lead by example. We make mistakes and many of them but it’s how we say I am sorry, point out the err in our ways, that show our true mentor-ship.

You and your siblings and your beautiful children see the good in your father as perhaps few may have had the opportunity to see, but please step back and understand the father the media has portrayed for us on one hand and on the other, your father’s own portrayal through his words and actions, of himself. If he is the great man you believe he is, let’s see love. The love you see because I can’t say that I have seen any of that and there is nobody who can show us the father you see behind closed doors, other than Mr. Trump Sr himself. How he presents himself in public going forward perhaps will determine if there is any goodness for the world to see.

I don’t want to see your father win because the whole world loses as it stands now with that choice and that’s in no way an endorsement for the other party. I do feel it’s important (especially for our children), that your father finishes off his campaign with even a glimmer of what it is you and your sisters see in him as a father, mentor, and founder of the businesses you yourselves now help lead.

I don’t like putting down anyone never mind someone else’s dad because I know my own fault’s all too well. The problem is this affects us all when our children up here are talking about Trump on our own playgrounds.

I believe it’s important that your father spend a few days in some of American’s most diverse schools. Without speaking and as much as possible under the radar, watch the children learn and play together. Little kids. Kindergartners. Before they know hate, color, religion, or various other factors that divide us. There is a great deal to be learned in the kindergarten classroom about getting along, playing nice, and living harmoniously as a wonderful mosaic of colors, beliefs and traditions.

Before you yourself respond with hate and judgement, be a dad for a minute. Look at this from the standpoint of parents wanting to leave a better world for their children and their children’s children to quote Michael Jackson. Heal the world. Don’t divide it further apart.

Larry from the other side of your father’s imaginary northern wall


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Fast Forward


‘Regrets, I’ve got a few. But then again…’

Fast Forward
by (Little) Larry Pattison

It’s 5:18 and I have been up for a few hours now. We all have our nights of unrest I am sure, not unlike my restlessness tonight, even amidst those early hours when you should be so exhausted that you sleep soundly past the 4th and 5th snooze.

Maybe I’ll check social media.

Phone down.

Still tired.

Give the animals some needed attention. Even they tire and lay down their heads.

Do I turn the television on? Too bright. Too loud. Too much effort.

Why not watch something on one of too many time-sucking devices. Okay. Fuller House. I’ve been enjoying this flashback/forward into the past. Everybody is ‘partnering’ up.

Phone off. Back to sleep?


Pick up phone again. How about a movie? The rest of The Terminal that I fell asleep to just a couple of hours ago maybe.

Not available. Smart alec software makes a few recommendations. (The cat steps on my keyboard while editing. Now bumping her head off of keyboard tray. Good thing for undo.)

The Truman Show. Cool. Haven’t seen that in forever. Good lessons in it related to having your life on display. Click on it. It makes more recommendations still.

Okay. Click. Cool! Haven’t seen that in a long time and remember it ‘waking me up’.

Thought I’d fall asleep to it. Screen time. Dogs humping stuffies. The tainted memories.

‘Time is flying by middled-aged girls.’ The snow in her snout. The slight swaying tummy of a once scrawny, crazed cat. Two hampsters. Fish. Now a Gecko.

The magical parent’s life.

The girls? Insert sad emoticon.

Guess the lesson is working the second time around. I’m sure I thought that the first time.

Here I am. After a snack, starting the dishwasher that I never use, sweeping, picking up park stick remnants, giving the cat some long, long anticipated wet food, contemplating picking up where I left off with the endless sock sorting game I can’t convince the kids is fun, to finally finding myself sitting at my computer writing about doing too many things without some sort of at least rough draft of a plan.


Staring at screen. What’s this little gadget on my desk that can distract me from writing.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Cat jumps on my desk in front of the screen I am peering around. Jumps down. I’m sure the dog will be over soon to bump my arm with her wet nose. I’ll reach down for a kiss. A pat. ‘Soon.’

Tap. Tap. Tap..

Staring at screen.

Weird little gadget again.

So Click.

Now the cat’s (Sand is her name) is on my lap purring like a happy girl who had soft food for the first time in awhile without pretending she is being sneaky stealing a fry from my lunch.

Pats. Kisses and resting my head on hers. “I love you.”


Sometimes a story has it’s own journey. I think the biggest change I need to make is seeing more clearly, what I need for me to be my best self.

Wish I’d learned more the first time around because the second time around just exemplifies the sadness the original message wisened me up to.

Why didn’t it? Why doesn’t it? Why always the hard way?

My life is rushing past me like the train that will be quietly whizzing through my neighborhood what will soon be tomorrow.

Are we all afraid of what lies ahead however far or near? I keep saying what I am scared about most is looking back without recollection of the stories behind the million pictures I’ve taken.

I recently put a photo album together for my parents comprised of pictures of the first years of their granddaughter’s lives. Well I printed the pictures at least. That was a start for me. Then there are hundred’s of more pictures I’d like to find/sort through.


Maybe if I’d take a few moments from time to time to look back at where I’ve been, looking back wouldn’t seem such a space void of what I have really accomplished.

If you haven’t seen Click with Kate and Adam, do. Like many of his gooffy films, the basis is solid and something I have a great deal of respect for him over.

I usually get too technical and start creating all sorts of hyperlinks that lead to way too much time learning about what I don’t need to know about, and less doing what’s needed or in the best interest of a project or sanity.

So go learn about the movie for yourself. Is ‘lol’ appropriate for blogs? I hope not. ‘Chuckling out loud in my head.’

I’ll leave the meaning for you to interpret but my wake up call has me wanting to stay up all night writing about it.

Time to just do it.

Be brave icehopper.

Wait. It’s 6:13 am (now 7:03). I guess it was all night after all. I actually like these nights. The ones where inspiration replaces the need for workplace coffee.

“Okay, Pretty Girl. Let’s go for a walk.”

Gracie is her name.

Okay. Now strong coffee though and maybe some song recommendations to keep me awake until midnight.

Categories: Education, Family & Friends, Featured, Love, parenting, Self-Discovery, Seperation | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

So Long For Now

It’s been awhile since I have written in this space. Another adventure has captured every ‘spare’ moment of my time.

I have had a difficult couple of days. Today I found myself needing to think about a mentor to help guide me through what I am struggling with.

I wrote this story and submitted it for publication upon my grandfather’s death last May, but it wasn’t until after the 2014 Municipal Election that I remembered that I had not at least posted the story on my blog. Today I once again remembered that this tale had still yet to be shared.

I thought that sharing a brief account of my late grandfather’s influence on all of our lives was very appropriate under the circumstances. Seeing this image of love in itself, was therapy enough.


“Did you know that I was born in the same town as Hans Cristian Anderson,” my grandfather would often query.

That town was Odense, Denmark.

His birth place and the legends that sparked from it through the pen of HC Anderson seem to have influenced even late into life, my grandfather’s inner child and his ability to tell a story.

It was that child inside that kept him young and loving life even through everything 99 years threw in his path.

I spent a lot of time listening to my grandfather share his life’s stories so I thought I had heard almost every tale. During my grandfather’s viewings in May, I realized there was still a big part of who he was missing from what I knew about him from his full real name, to the touching stories that everyone carries about how my grandfather influenced them.

I’ve heard recollections of how people past and present touched him, but to hear the stories from another vantage point leaves our family with such comfort in knowing that the adoration that he carried for so many, was returned with every hand he shook.

My grandfather jet set across countries and space time continuum during our visits as he shared his life’s travels from an old, ratty rocking chair. He seemed to know then that his world adventures were behind him although I know he would have loved to cross oceans if for one more time.

My grandfather was always giving but he held a special place in his heart for helping children in need. He had this life-long desire to bestow both time and gift.

I often walked away from our visits with a little something from a book, to a memento from one of his many adventures. He’d disappear for a short while. You could hear the hallway cupboards sliding open and thudding shut. Some fiddling around. The sounds of searching.  Then you would hear him marching back down the hall and upon entering the room, he would ask you to reach out your hand. He’d meaningfully place the item in your palm and begin to tell the story of how he had come into possession of your new keepsake.

His offerings weren’t always tangible. Sometimes they came in the form of a story but ask anyone who met my grandfather and his gift for re-telling his life’s adventures was something we all remember him by the most.

My grandfather loved to bake from homemade bread to his infamous butter tarts.  He carried those tarts around with him like business cards.

Harvey Hansen had a gift for conversation. He often talked about the importance of recognizing someone being new to a situation and how all you had to do was reach out your hand to break the ice and settle someone’s unease.

“See. It wasn’t so hard.”

The rural roads we travelled had many stories to tell of how our city and countryside had changed over an 80+ year span. I am not sure many of us can even fathom what it’s like to see a city – a world, change so drastically in one lifetime.

He fought in a great war and lived through the depression. He quit school in grade 8 to take care of his family and travelled the countryside via train selling flowers his sisters arranged to make ends meet.

For a man whose education was so short lived, a love for adventure, books, and people made him one of the wisest people I have ever known.

My grandfather travelled a great deal but what made his stories fascinating was that there were real people attached to them. Even on vacation, he had this need to make human connections. To him travel wasn’t about full service and beaches. It was about the people.

My grandfather’s greatest gifts were the connections he created for us. He even left us with new friendships in his final days that I am sure will last many more years for we have shared something very powerful together. The hard work, dedication, and unconditional love of the closing years of our loved ones lives. It is during these difficult struggles that we truly see what our families are made of. It is through these experiences that my family pride was further reinforced.

I am touched by the lengths my parents and other loved ones around the nursing home went to, to ensure their patients had everything they needed from love to care and not just for their own relatives, but the extended families these experiences forge. They were always looking out for one another, including my grandfather’s newest friend Bob Bishop; a war vet himself, who watched over my grandfather until his final moments.

Harvey Hansen was an amazing father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and a mentor. He will forever be missed, admired, and loved.

So as he has asked us all to do over the years we will not say goodbye. We will say so long for now.

“But shouldn’t all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?” ― Hans Christian Andersen

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Defining Hamilton’s Schools as Community Hubs Model

The Parkview Institute

 Excerpt from the original article published on Raise the Hammer.


We should reach out to every school community in Hamilton. We should ask them to engage the broader neighbourhoods – from those without children to seniors – asking them what their needs are with regards to their immediate surroundings. Is it a pool, a room to play cards with other neighbors, a kitchen to learn how to cook or access to sewing machines or woodworking tools? How about Yoga classes or a weekly friendly pickup basketball game in a nearby gym?

How about social services or shopping needs? What if there were family services located in our schools or a post office even? What could your neighbourhoods use? In the case of Milgrove, how about the loss of a public library. Could one in the school become accessible to the entire community?

We should enter this process with the current guidelines for community partnerships set out by the Province out of sight and out of mind. It’s important for us to allow creativity to shine through and if we go in with a stringent set of rules, we will miss out on truly developing a plan in line with the community’s needs and desires.

It’s important for the Province to see without prejudice, how local municipalities see the model for their neighbourhood schools supporting our changing needs.

There are many documents on the Schools as Community Hubs concept including a definition of a true Community Hub. Take these documents, study them, and look at the individual needs of each school community.


See this link for the full article.




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Green campaigns connected to communities

My Letter to the Editor from Thursday June 12th 2014 with links to external content

As someone whose top concerns this provincial election are education and poverty, I am infuriated that the only party truly addressing these important issues has been left out of our local media coverage.

The most inspiring of all campaigns in any Hamilton riding has been Peter Ormond’s “uncampaign” yet we have read nothing of how it has resonated with citizens in Hamilton-Centre.

This wasn’t about votes for Peter. This was about making our communities better. That’s what I want from a leader.

Locally, the task to take down the leader of the New Democrats in a long-standing orange city is tall, but Peter Ormond and the Green’s in general prove more and more each day, how well connected they are to their communities.

As someone who has generally despised politics, it’s refreshing when faith is restored through leadership grounded in creating grass-roots change. Not slander and broken promises.

If you haven’t read the Ontario Green’s platform yet or listened to Mike Schreiner on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, than I encourage you before voting tomorrow to at least give Mr. Schreiner the benefit of the doubt. By taking a few moments to learn about what the Green’s stand for, you are sending a statement to the other parties that you are tired of the status quo. Of broken promises and your hard earned money squandered.

This Province can no longer move forward in this manner and the ‘big three’ have had their opportunity to show us how they could create a more prosperous, healthier, happier place to live. Did you know Hamilton-Mountain candidate Greg Lenko started the Escarpment Project? I thoroughly enjoyed watching my young girls excited to help out in their community this past April. Just another in the inspiring acts of community the Green’s are bringing to our neighborhoods. These are the types of leaders that will be on your ballots.

Hamilton in general has great candidates in every riding including Niagara West-Glanbrook where Basia Krzyzanowski would be a welcome change to politics. The Green Party of Ontario has candidates in all 107 ridings.

Vote for the future you want to see. Not the one you fear.

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50 things that matter – Seashells, Candlelight & Saying “I love you.”















Saying “I love you.”

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50 things that really matter – Puppies & The Sound of Music













The Sounds of Music

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50 things that really matter – Bubble Baths & Passion











Bubble Baths



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50 things that really matter – Honest Work and Faith











Honest Work



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50 things that really matter – Warm Spring Days & Memories










Warm Spring Days



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