Kathi Wehage’s Desire to Inspire!

Kathi Wehage’s Desire to Inspire!

In a world of busyness and constant stress, what is that special something that enables some people to always (or mostly) be hitting on all cylinders; exuding poise while excelling in their chosen passion be it in sport, art, writing, fighting for a cause or gaining satisfaction through altruistic efforts? It is more than just motivation, which is usually temporary, rather…it is INSPIRATION; an enduring emotional force that bestows on one unwavering determination to fulfill their purpose with a drive and conviction that keeps them on course!

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Our interview with Inspirational writer Kathi Wehage revealed a woman who cultivates such substance; passionate about helping people by sharing her words of inspiration that may bridge those from a state of uncertainty and turmoil, to a position of calm, rejuvenation and strength. At her shows she has had many people ask her if she had a book about inspiration, and so she saw the need and set out to deliver. The result was A Woman of Substance, her well received first book that she collaborated on with her friend and artist Debra Blades. It is an uplifting work of inspirational quotes, passages, poetry and artwork.

Kathi's first book - A Woman of Substance

Kathi’s first book – A Woman of Substance

Kathi attributes her insights to the world around her; nature being her biggest library of resources. She notes that whether sitting alone on a rock at the beach or by the lake, standing in a forest, reading a book or interacting with family and friends, it all nurtures her creative spirit. Kathi admits to having hectic and stressful days like the rest of us, and so she likes to keep perspective and calm by writing down five things that she is grateful for that day. She says, “Gratitude helps us to appreciate what good we have right now in our life and inspires hope for a good or better day tomorrow.” Stay tuned for Kathi’s upcoming second book, a gratitude journal which is going to print soon!

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Kathi has given people a varied menu of ways in which to nourish their soul. In addition to her book, she also creates greeting cards with inspirational quotes, postcards, including three of them shown here: Tree Sense, Reflections and A Woman of Substance, as well as a collaboration of inspiration meets art, with her poetic passages embedded within Debra’s original artworks.

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Inspiration is a key that can unlock three main doors of c’ s.
*clarity *courage *calm

Clarity of thought to understand where we are and where we would like to be.
The courage to take the steps we need to make, in order to experience change in our lives.
And the end results when we take these first two steps?
….is inner calm.

~ Kathi Wehage ~

Enjoy listening to our interview with Kathi and feel free to share on social media and leave a comment below!

The Ancestors are Arranging Things by Noreen Kruzich

The Ancestors are Arranging Things by Noreen Kruzich

I have to admit, after reading the last word of the last sentence of the last page of the book The Ancestors are Arranging Things by Noreen Kruzich and meeting Noreen in person, I find myself at a loss for words for this particular blog. It is not because there are no words that come to mind; I am sure I could come up with all kinds of energetic sentences and paragraphs. It is more the question of how do I bring to light the seriousness of Noreen’s seven year journey and one she continues to this day. Ironically, her book is just as relevant and important today, not only from a historical point of view but also for the environmental challenges we face. As I was reading The Ancestors are Arranging Things I couldn’t help but think that history is repeating itself in Canada right now! The only difference is that all of us, not just the First Nations people, are facing a loss so great it is irreparable. The Canadian government has set fire to the laws that protect our land, air and water and this is a direct violation to our own health and well being. Noreen’s book is timely. We need to stand up and speak out and show we will be Idle No More. The question is will it be different this time?

Back in 2004 Noreen Kruzich was a journalist working on an unrelated story when synchronicity crossed her path and she found herself face to face with a story that was never told but needed to be, and Noreen was the voice to tell it. In summary, when Europeans first came to North America to colonize the land they were greeted by the people that already called this continent their home. These people had a relationship with the land that transcended beyond the word “resources”. They understood that the earth was the giver of life and must be cherished and respected. They were a nomadic people that moved with the animals, hunting and gathering for their families. When the Europeans showed up their vision of the land was drastically different. They saw wealth and riches and a land to be conquered.

Noreen Kruzich holding a Native drum with totemic signatures of Algonkin and Nipissing chiefs.

Noreen Kruzich holding a Native drum with totemic signatures of Algonkin and Nipissing chiefs.

Noreen spent seven years researching a particular time in history for the Algonkin and Nipissing people of Ontario. The protagonists were two chiefs, one a father and one a son. These men spent their entire lives, over 100 years combined, trying to secure a range of land for their people so that they could continue to feed their families. Even back in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds you could hang yourself on the bureaucratic red tape it was so long, and in fact a forgotten nation of people did just that despite the perserverance of Chief Pinesi and his son Chief Kigonz. In one instance it took thirty four years for a reply from the government to their request for rightful land ownership. The answer was NO.

When Gary and I met with Noreen, I could see that her book was more than words written on a page for her. The impression I got was that her research actually put her there, standing along side both these great men and wanting desparately to change history. I have great admiration for Noreen for taking on such a research behemouth; lost information, no information, and decendants that so long ago had forgotten who they were. So many people would have left sleeping dogs lie and said things like “that’s too bad” or “I’m sorry to hear that” and carried on with their day to day. In fact, Noreen expressed she would gladly spend another seven years setting things right. Almost four hundred years later Chief Pinesi and Chief Kigonz are speaking again on behalf of their people through Noreen and their decendants. The ancestors truly are arranging things. Here’s hoping that the rest of us pay attention this time.

Noreen spends her days in a rural setting just outside of Ottawa in a place called Clayton with her four cats. When we met her she was tilling her land for a garden and literally pouring her life energy into it. She is currently learning the Algonquin language, practises Native spirituality in her daily life and has integrated herself in the First Nations culture in Ontario. Please join us as Noreen speaks passionately about her seven year journey on the Algonkin trail.

Enjoy our interview with Noreen and comments are always appreciated.

Doug Underhill – Author and Outdoorsman

Come join us in Doug’s tranquil back yard as we get to know this eclectic author and get a glimpse at his latest book, Salmon Country! Whoever thought that fishing and hockey would be referenced in the same book?

Writer, poet and author Doug Underhill grew up in a home filled with language interaction. His father would sing, his mother would read to him, and together they would tell stories and jokes. As a result Doug developed a love for language, reading books, and the spice of words that brought that language to life. That fascination with language led to a 32 year career teaching high school English, 20 years as a sports journalist and freelance writer, author of twelve books, and in addition to his ongoing writing he also has a weekly fishing column. Doug says that there is indeed life in language with different levels of meaning in words. It is no coincidence then that he has an ear for puns, and he admits that his past students were an unsuspecting (and captive) audience to his unrelenting wit!

Doug grew up in Newcastle, New Brunswick; a place situated on the mighty Miramichi River which snakes it’s way from the forested enclaves to Miramichi Bay and on to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The rivers of New Brunswick hold a special connection for Doug, and our time spent with him revealed a man that cherishes the simple pleasures in life, preferring to vacation in his own back yard (literally), or out in his other “back yard”, the wilderness and rivers of New Brunswick. These rivers not only give life, but also hold life, and as an avid fisherman Doug has been in pursuit of one such denizen of these waters, the king of all fish, the venerable Atlantic salmon!

This leads in to his latest book, Salmon Country, a coffee table book inspired by editor Jacques Héroux, whose idea it was to portray the book not as a “how to fish” book, but rather as a sentient representation of the culture, people, history and ambiance of fly fishing the rivers of New Brunswick. These famous fly fishing waters are the dominion of his protagonist, the Atlantic salmon, and Doug’s compelling and descriptive writing matched with photographer André Gallant’s stunning pictures gives the reader the true essence of what it means to participate in the culture of sport fishing throughout this pristine, sylvan province.

I think Doug’s gift for writing is an altruistic one; a means for us to share in his experiences and to “step into his hip waders” so to speak. It is also meant to satisfy his conveyance of language in a meaningful, interesting, humourous and entertaining fashion. If we haven’t experienced the thrill of an Atlantic salmon straining against a tiny hook while knee deep in a sparkling river, Doug’s narrative will certainly put us there! As I was reading Doug’s prose poem at the beginning of Salmon Country I could picture and feel the sights, sounds and energy of the moment, right up until that last tail snap as the salmon is returned from whence it came!