Lady Tracilyn George, Author



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Staycation in NB

With all the uncertainty of 2020 it was difficult to make plans for vacation this year. All of the restrictions meant our original plans were out the window so we had to come up with a new plan. We had many options in the province of New Brunswick but finally settled on the Acadian coast and Kouchibouquac National Park. Traditionally, we would have went camping with friends however the park was closed and not accepting reservations at the time and the kennel was also closed so we would have to bring our dog, Dallas, with us.

We settled on accommodations at Sejour Kouchibouquac Resort as they allow dogs. We had a one bedroom unit with a small kitchenette in a four unit cabin. The staff was friendly and helpful. There was a BBQ,

lawn chairs and fire pit near the cabin as well as a small playground on site. An added bonus was that it is located just outside the Kouchibouquac National Park (which is where we planned on spending the bulk of our time).

Now that we had a destination in mind, I searched online for other attractions that we might enjoy in the area. To be honest I didn’t find much before we left home but I knew we would take the Acadian Coastal Scenic route and enjoy the adventure. We packed up our bikes and the dog and headed out Monday morning towards Shediac, NB. It was nice to explore without any real agenda for the day.

I had always heard that Parlee Beach was a nice spot but we had never been so we stopped on our way and went for a walk. Dogs are not permitted on the beach so we walked along the trail beside the dune. It was foggy and moist that day so it was not busy, just a few people walking and biking. Most things were closed while we were there but it had a large parking lot, washroom facilities, a playground and places to get food.

We continued north along the Acadian Coastal Drive stopping for lunch in Bouctouche, NB. We debated the many restaurants in the area and finally decided on Pirate de la Mer for fish and poutine. While in Bouctouche, we took note of all they had to offer knowing we would be back for a day trip later in the week. It was a beautiful drive through all the small Acadian villages. It is quite obvious that they are proud of their heritage as you can see all the Acadian flags and the red, white and blue at every turn. We arrived and checked into our cabin by early afternoon. 

Kouchibouquac National Park is well known for its bike trails. When it wasn’t raining we took advantage of as many trails as we could. The first day we set out from our cabin and drove to Pijeboogwek where information is set up for this season. From there we set out through Petit-Large, Middle Kouchibouquac, (stopping for a snack on the bridge near Sipu) Patterson for a ride of about 13 km of bike trail. The next day was Canada day (free park entrance) so we drove up to La Source with the car and biked from there to Kellys Beach

to walk out along the boardwalk and back. We also took advantage of the hiking trails: Salt March, Migmag Cedars, Pines and Claire Fountaine. Later that day we biked from our cabin 

and back. We also biked out to Patterson and back after supper a couple times. On Friday, we made the longest trip of our journey; from Pijeboogwek past Petit-Large to La Source (where we stopped for a break) on to Middle Kouchibouquac, Patterson, Pijeboogwek and back to our cabin for a total of 18 km. In total, we biked 68 km and hiked 9 km. It was great to explore nature and we felt like we had the park to ourselves.

We took a day-trip to Bouctouche. We were planning on enjoying Le Pays de la Sagouine, however because of Covid, the island was closed and the presentation was in French only. We did have free entrance to the grounds and Walks Alone gave us a brief history of the Acadian people. We will definitely be going back another year. We explored the Irving Arboretum, Eco-Centre: La Dune de Bouctouche and the Rotary Park.


When the pandemic started we were not even sure if we would have a vacation. We really enjoyed staying in a cabin instead of a tent when it was raining. We didn’t spend any money but enjoyed exploring this beautiful side of NB. It turned out that it was one of our most memorable and relaxing vacations.

Nova Scotia - Beauty, History, and Fun!

Hardcore Truth - article by Marisa Morataya

Ok white friends, I’m about to lay some hardcore truth on you right now, and many of you are not going to like it...

Many of you are the problem. Yes, you read that right. Many of you are the reason why these riots are happening. Many of you are the reason why it’s come to this. This is especially true if you’ve ever (but especially in the last week) said any of the following;

1. “It’s awful but...” - No. No buts. In the English language, the word “But” is often used to deflect or to justify behavior. Police murdering black people in the street is awful. Period. End of discussion.

2. “I support the movement but not these disruptive protests...” - No, you don’t. Right now, the movement is taking the form of disruptive protests. They’re the same thing. You either want police to stop murdering black people in the street, or you don’t. If you do, then support the protests — even if you find them disruptive and frustrating — because that’s black people fighting for their lives.

3. “All lives/White lives matter too..” - no one said they didn’t. The conversation is specifically about black lives right now because police are murdering them in the street. Until police stop doing that, and White people stop dismissing it, it’s not “All lives matter,” it’s “MOST lives matter.” It’s not “ALL Lives” until Black Lives Matter too. Stay focused.

4. “There are good cops...” - No one said there weren’t. There are three categories of cops; Good cops, bad cops and complacent cops. Good cops are marching with the protesters. They’re sharing the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. They’re trying to change the system from within the system. There are many levels of Bad cops. The most obvious one is those officers that are murdering black people in the street. Bad cops are also sharing the hashtags “blue lives matter.” Bad cops are trying to shift the focus. Bad cops don’t stop their colleagues when they murder black people in the streets. Complacent cops just show up, follow orders and try not to take sides. Complacent cops are bad cops.

5. “I don’t support the looting and destruction...” - no one says you have to, but please stop acting like looting nullifies the entire protest. And definitely stop acting like looting is “just as bad.” That’s like comparing someone stealing your car to someone murdering your child. They’re not equally bad. Stop pretending they are. Police murdering black people in the street is definitely worse than robbing a Target.

6. “Just because I’m white doesn’t mean my life has been easy...” Of course not. Everyone struggles. But being white has never been one of those struggles. You’ve never been enslaved or murdered because of your white skin color. Being poor has been a struggle. Being a woman has been a struggle. Being gay has been a struggle. But being white has never been a struggle. The same can’t be said for people of color. I could go on and on about white privilege, but it would be so much easier if you educated yourself instead. This isn’t about how you have suffered in your life. This is about police murdering black people in the street. Stop trying to make it about you.

7. “I really wish they would protest peacefully...” - of course you do. They’re easier to ignore that way. People of color have been peacefully protesting for hundreds of years. It hasn’t been all that successful. The reason riots and violent demonstrations work is because it makes people — especially white people — uncomfortable. We can’t ignore them when they’re waving torches in our faces. It scares us. It puts us on edge, which is precisely where we need to be. People only pay attention to the extreme. If you have trouble recalling a single one of the hundreds of peaceful protests that BLM held across North America last year, but you can still recall, with crystal clarity, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, then you’ve just proved my point.

8. “I don’t see color...” — Congratulations, you’re lying to yourself. Of course, you see color. And that’s good! Black people want you to see their color. Their colors are beautiful and the very foundation of who they are. If you don’t see their color, then you also don’t see their culture. If you don’t see color, then you erase their very identity. If you don’t see their color, then you also can’t see the pattern of violence they’re confronted with every day. If you don’t see color, then you’re blind to more than just racial injustice. You’re blind to the world.

9. “They shouldn’t have committed a crime...” - This one is a big one for me. Consider me triggered. A boy who steals a can of pop from a 7-11 does not deserve to be shot in the back three times. A man illegally selling CD’s on a street corner doesn’t deserve to be shot to death in front of a record store. A man who runs a red light does not deserve to be shot while reaching for his registration. This isn’t about their crimes; this is about bad policing. Stay on topic.

10. “Black people kill white people too...” yes, murderers exist in every race and walk of life. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking police brutality, and the reality is, black officers are not murdering unarmed white men in the street. That seems to be almost exclusively white officer behavior. Stop gaslighting.

11. “Black people kill other black people...” - Yes, they do, just like white people kill other white people and Latinos kill other latinos etc. Crime related violence does not adhere to any imaginary racial boundaries or allegiances. But, we’re not talking about criminal violence right now. We’re not discussing drug violence or gang violence or sexual violence or domestic violence or bar brawls or whatever random type of violence you’d like to bring up. The conversation is specifically about POLICE BRUTALITY. Say it with me. Police. Brutality. Any other form of violence you bring up is entirely irrelevant. Please stay on topic.

12. “I support black people, but I can’t support the violence...” — In other words, you would prefer people of color continue to be murdered by police, rather than have them rise up violently against their oppressors. Got it. That’s not support.

13. “It’s not about race. We are all human beings...” yes, except people of color often aren’t treated like human beings. For instance, they’re being murdered in the streets like animals. On video. While people watch. While people do nothing.

14. “The looting and arson distract from their message. It’s their fault for not controlling it...” If you’d like to lay blame, how about we start by blaming the police who frequently murder unarmed people of color. If they didn’t frequently murder unarmed people of color, the protest wouldn’t be necessary. The protest wouldn’t have turned into a riot, the riot wouldn’t have turned violent, and looting wouldn’t have happened. Blaming the oppressed for not better “controlling” their social unrest is asinine.

15. “More white people are killed by cops than black people. Here are the statistics....” - I love when people do research! Thank you for that! But those stats that you’re proudly flashing around aren’t an accurate reflection of the issue. According to data, there are approx. 234,370,202 white people In the United States. Comparatively, that same data states that there are 40,610,815 “Black” Americans. So, when your stats show 1,398 white people have been killed by officers since 2017 and only 543 Black people, what those statistics really show is .0005% of white people were killed by police in those 3.5 years, while .0011% of black people were killed by police. That means black people were killed at a higher rate. 220% higher, to be exact.Math has no racial bias. Those aren’t great stats. Stop using them to defend your position.

16. “Black people commit more crime...” - Do they really, though? According to data released in 2017, there were 475,900 black prisoners in state and federal prisons and 436,500 white prisoners. That’s a difference of about 9%. So for argument's sake, let’s say those numbers are an accurate reflection of the amount of crime committed. If people of color commit only 9% more crime, why are they killed by police at a rate of 220% higher?

17. “Well, the same stats you mentioned shows that even though they’re only 12% of the population, they commit 54% of the crime.” - Good Catch! You’re right. But those numbers don’t actually reflect the amount of crime committed. That’s why I said to assume they’re correct. Those numbers only reveal how many people are incarcerated. The reality is, while those numbers are all we have to go on, they don’t tell the complete story either. In the United States specifically, socioeconomic racism, which was designed to keep POC in poverty through district redlining, lower quality of education and other systemic obstacles, is a huge component.Thanks to redlining (look it up) and other zoning and banking practices, the quality of education in “black” neighborhoods are significantly lower, which means the average income for POC in those neighbors is lower and the unemployment much higher. Also, thanks to redlining, the unemployment rate, and lower-income rates, crime in those neighborhoods tends to be higher. That means those neighborhoods are patrolled by police more often. Thanks to racial bias, POC are followed, stopped, harassed and arrested more frequently than the white people who live in those same neighborhoods. What all of this means is that, when POC are arrested more frequently, they often can’t afford fancy lawyers to help them. They usually end up with Public Defenders, who are often overworked, and they often encourage POC to plead guilty in exchange for less time. Then there’s the fact that, because white people make up 73% of the population, they also tend to make up a bigger percentage of jurors. There’s lots of factors to consider. So don’t assume that just because they make up 54% of the people in jail, that they make up 54% of the crime. The entire system is broken. That’s part of the problem.

18. “You’re promoting violence and destruction, shame on you...”. - I don’t remember encouraging anyone to riot. I also don’t remember encouraging anyone to loot or commit arson. The truth is, looting and arson is certainly not my preferred form of protest. But it’s important to remember that protesters haven’t committed most of the violent behavior. Civil unrest tends to cause chaos and confusion. That chaos provides the perfect opportunity for poor-intentioned people to do poor-intentioned things. That doesn’t mean the civil unrest should stop. I don’t condone the violence. I just don’t think it should dominate the conversation. If you want to focus on the violence, try focusing on those officers who’ve killed POC in the street. You’re focusing on the wrong violence.

If any of you are guilty of saying any of the above, then I have unsettling news for you. YOU are the reason it’s come to this.

YOU are the reason peaceful protests haven’t worked.

They haven’t worked because YOU haven’t been listening.

YOU haven’t been learning.

These violent riots are happening because YOU have left people of color no other choice.

These riots are happening because no matter how people of color have said it - taking a knee, marching the streets, bumper stickers, banners, signs, or chants, YOU still don’t get it.

That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

That doesn’t mean you’re racist. It only means you’re white. And that’s not a crime, any more than being black is.

The difference is, police aren’t going to shoot you in the street for it.

Racism and the World

Due to current events, most of us have become more aware of the prevalence of racism within our world. Corona virus caused targeted racism against those of an Asian descent. Following this, one of the biggest injustices that people are currently discussing is the murder of George Floyd by a White policeman. It’s important to note that this is not an isolated case of racism, but a case which has been recorded and documented, out of the many that haven’t been. People are starting to repeat names of Black murder victims such as Breonna Taylor and Tamir Rice. The murder of George Floyd also caused a massive uproar in many countries across the world, begging for justice for Black lives. This also led us to consider the racism directed towards other backgrounds, such as Indigenous people. But what do we really need to do to combat racism? 

Change is only going to come through self-reflection and evaluation. We must change our belief systems if we expect racism and racist acts to decline. Simply criminalizing racist acts is obviously a good start, but racism can easily be masked. Internalized racism cannot be changed by a simple change of the law, it can only be changed by being understood. This also stands true for institutionalized racism. Those of us who are born as white must understand that we are born with privilege. We must not be blind of people’s color but seek to understand the historical context behind color. We must understand the racial wage gap and the impact it has on Black communities. The current system is not working, as punishment without solving core issues of racial segregation is ineffective. There has to be more focus on rehabilitation in the criminal justice system and this can be achieved by providing things like accessible mental health services and safe housing for all. We cannot simply link crimes to race, we have to understand the part discrimination had to play. We must seek to understand and learn from those who are being oppressed by the system. We must hear their stories and listen. We must look within ourselves and try to dismantle and understand any preexisting prejudices we hold against people of color.

Treatment and Coping with Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Depression is about more than just feelings. Your mind, body, emotions, and environment are deeply connected. When depression has turned your life upside down, treatment may be the next step. The most effective treatment is therapy with medication. This approach holds true for both depression and bipolar disorder. Take a closer look at how these treatments and coping strategies can help.


Treatment and coping with bipolar disorder


Medication is a vital part of treatment for bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers like lithium and valproic acid keep manic episodes more manageable.


Antidepressants can be helpful for depression symptoms. But they can also trigger manic episodes in some people with bipolar disorder. For this reason, antidepressants must always be taken with a mood stabilizer.

Counseling therapy can help you understand how your mood and thoughts affect each other. Knowing more about this connection can help you prevent and manage mood swings. 

The following kinds of therapy can all work well for bipolar disorder:

● Cognitive behavioral therapy

● Dialectical behavioral therapy

● Family-focused therapy

● Group psychoeducation

In therapy sessions, you’ll learn about coping strategies like:

● Getting exercise

● Staying on track with your medication

● Getting support from family members

● Finding a daytime and sleep schedule that works

● Relaxing and having fun

● Following a healthy diet

● Staying connected with friends and family

Treatment and coping with depression

Depression can leave you feeling hopeless and uninterested in the things you usually enjoy. If you have thoughts of death or self-harm, speak to a counselor or your doctor immediately. Do not try to manage severe symptoms like those on your own.

If your symptoms are milder, you may find relief on your own by:

● Leaning on family and friends

● Getting exercise

● Eating a healthier diet

● Getting better sleep

If you try those methods but still struggle to function and don’t eat or sleep well, you may need treatment. Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa are common antidepressants that help many people feel better. Most people feel some improvement after taking them for a few weeks. And while symptom relief is helpful, it’s only part of the story with depression treatment.

Counseling therapy treats depression through a trusting relationship with a therapist. You work with them to learn about your emotional, behavioral, and thought patterns. Coping strategies like exercise and social support can benefit you as well.

Don’t give up - Get support for depression

Get in Touch.