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MPA Resource Centre
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Mon-Fri 10am to 7:30pm
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Activities

Activities may be subject to change due to weather or staff availability.

Molly’s Monthly Musings

March 2024

Hello All,

Just when I think I have said enough about important or not important events in a month, I come across something of interest that I have not yet “mused” 🤔 upon. I am in the process of moving. I am moving to a smaller place and therefore have less room. I have done one move for items into storage where I decluttered a little and now the big move to my new digs is later in March. TMI or as I like to say “but I digress”😏 – I am getting to the point of all this. Remember when your parents or other folks in the household would say, “It is time for Spring Cleaning!” Well, there is a National Cleaning Week! (I think my mother may of had something to do with this!) Just as Spring arrives it occurs from March 24th and goes to March 30th. Now you may want to get an earlier start on it this year as Good Friday is on the 29th, just for your information to consider.

In 2010 University of California, LA, observed that those with a cluttered home had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The study also shows that a clean home increases productivity (you’re not spending time looking for things) and gets you in a better mood (because you are not getting frustrated looking for things). You can also burn 200 calories over a 2-hour cleaning spree. Such benefits! Who knew! Also, cleaning your home reduces the spread of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. It also prevents mold and reduces the chance of allergies being triggered.

It also gives us the opportunity to highlight those who work in the cleaning industry. These folks keep us healthier, more productive, reduce our stress and improve our mood. Thank you!

Some interesting facts I have learned as I mused on this and that – in 2800 BC the Egyptians invented soap using fats and ashes.

In the 7th century in Italy, Spain, and France, soap making became an industry due to the availability of olive oil.
In 1791, Nicolas Leblanc patented soda ash, a key ingredient in soap made from common salt.
Daniel Hess of Iowa invented the manual vacuum cleaner, originally called a carpet sweeper, in 1860. That reminds me – I have an Electrolux vacuum at home that is over 60 years old! 😲

Other important dates in March:

  • March 8th -International Woman’s Day
  • March 10 – Middle Name Pride Day – My dad didn’t have a middle name. When I was a kid, he told me that they were too poor for him to have a middle name. I never thought much about it until I was looking at this holiday. Middle names were first seen in European countries in the 13th century, and in the 17th century only royalty used them until the 1900’s. Then women would use their maiden names for middle names. Then around this time the tradition came to America. (For context my father was born in 1919, in Glasgow). Often, Christians and Catholics would give a Baptismal name or a family name to carry through generations.
  • March 11 -Ramadan begins at sundown
  • March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 19 – Earth Day and Spring Equinox (the 20th is the first full day of Spring)
  • March 24 -Palm Sunday
  • March 29 -Good Friday
  • March 31 -Easter Sunday (April 1 Easter Monday)

Regards, 

Molly

Molly McDonald B.F.A, D.V.A.T.I.
Pronouns, she, her, hers
Recreation Therapist
MPA Resource Centre 

Molly’s Monthly Musings

February 2024

Hello All,

As it is Black History Month I would like to start my musings with a quote:

“Privilege is not about what you have gone through; it’s about what you haven’t had to go through.” -Janaya Khan (BLM) Toronto.

This is also a Leap Year. I am going to give the Coles Notes (I am such a Boomer! You young folks can google what that is🤣) version of why we have a Leap Year. Julius Caesar of Roman times based the months in a year using lunar months to keep with the seasons and would tack on a month every so often. The Egyptians based their year on the sun. Caesar saw this as a better way and after consultation with an astronomer, the Julian Calendar was born. However, the year would still have 365.25 days with each month having much the same number of days. One was a little shorter, so it was decided to add one day every four years to, you guessed it, February. This took centuries to come to and many calculations to get to. Now, holidays like Easter and many others move around on our calendar, Why? do you ask…because its date is based on the original lunar calendar.

Now speaking of holidays that move around our calendar that are based originally on the lunar calendar, we have Lunar New Year on February 10th, the year of the Dragon. Okay you have to admit that was a pretty smooth transition🤭. Most of us are familiar with the Chinese Zodiac animals, and other countries, like Japan, use this calendar, but the Vietnamese switched out two of the animals. They took out the rabbit and replaced it with a cat. Experts have two theories. One – that rabbits are not common in Vietnam, whereas cats are and are considered lucky because they drive the rats from the rice fields. Cats also appear in the Vietnamese Zodiac story. The cat gets to the banquet because it can swim. The cat in the legend of the Chinese Zodiac is tricked by the rat and misses the banquet where the Jade Emperor is giving each animal in attendance a year to be honoured. The second theory is that the word for rabbit
Mao-Meo is similar to rat which is Con-Meo, and that Vietnamese was an oral language at the time the folklore originated. The other animal the Vietnamese changed was from the Ox to the Water Buffalo. The Water Buffalo is a vital animal to the people of Vietnam. This animal is to be celebrated as it works and guards the rice fields. The water buffalo plants the rice which feeds the countries economy and its people. So the cat and the water buffalo are more in line with the Vietnamese environment.

Some other holidays in February:

  • February 14th – Valentines Day
  • February 15th – Singles Awareness Day
  • February 19th – BC Family Day

Regards, 

Molly

Molly McDonald B.F.A, D.V.A.T.I.
Pronouns, she, her, hers
Recreation Therapist
MPA Resource Centre 

Molly’s Monthly Musings

January 2024

Hello All,

Well, it is 2024! Or, it will be by the time you get this.

Let’s talk Voodoo shall we? Benin, West Africa. This is an area of the world I have not written much about, or at all, so let’s dive right in. On January 10th there is the Benin Voodoo Festival. Benin is a small country on West Africa with a population of 13 million and its beaches are on the Gulf of Guinea. This festival pays homage to the various gods of African spirituality. It is a national holiday but the town of Ouidah is the epicenter of the celebrations. The holiday is marked with beach parties, drums, horse racing, sacred ceremonies and sacrifices. 😲 Out of my league although drumming sounds like fun and I do like a good celebration with a lot of history. Symbolism. Well it represents the angel Gabriel from the nativity scene.(Oops, that was a digression of maximum length) 🤭 That was fun.
Okay, now to the Shetland Islands. On the last Tuesday in January the town of Lerwick embraces its Viking heritage. This celebration includes authentic music and dance (who knew Vikings could dance? Never really thought about it but why not I say!) Great costumes, lots of food and drink. Then 1,000 Viking clad residents with burning torches set a Viking ship ablaze. And after all that, they all parade down the main street. The picture in my head is quite epic! Well, we aren’t on the beaches in Benin and when you live on a cold, damp island you find your reasons to have fun in your history and celebrate it! 🤗 Oh – and if you don’t have any traditions to celebrate it is never too late to start them in any and all forms. Just look at history. The variety is endless. 🤗

Some other holidays in January:

  • January 1st– New Years Day. 2024 here we come!
  • January 6th – Epiphany
  • January 7th – Orthodox Christmas Day
  • January 14th– Orthodox New Years Day
  • January 25th – Robbie Burns Day
  • January 26th – Tu B’Shevat

Regards, 

Molly

Molly McDonald B.F.A, D.V.A.T.I.
Pronouns, she, her, hers
Recreation Therapist
MPA Resource Centre 

Molly’s Monthly Musings

December 2023

Hello All,

Well, it is the time of feasts and winter celebrations that we look forward to. It keeps our minds off the cold and grey. That is what I tell myself any way.

A few celebrations that don’t get as much “press” (for lack of a better word) – I thought I would bring some light to.

The first is Rohatsu or Bodhi Day on December 8th. This is a Buddhist holiday commemorating the day that Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) attained enlightenment. Of the many quotes we hear in our day to day, I have chosen this one, “Mistakes are proof that you are trying.” Traditions include meditation, chanting, and giving gifts to monks and nuns.

The next is Feast Day of Our Lady Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, on December 12th. Mexicans and Mexican Americans will celebrate this day to show patriotism. Many visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December. This Basilica is the site of an
apparition of the Virgin Mary seen by an Indigenous Mexican man in 1531. The Virgin Mary’s face can be seen everywhere in Mexico, in homes and shops. Many shrines will also be erected throughout Mexico.

On December 24th the Spanish holiday Nochebuena takes place. Nochebuena means “holy night” or “good night”. The Christmas Eve celebration is marked by attending midnight mass, eating a traditional meal of roast pork and beans and opening presents.

Now, Christmas is a big day for many Christians and Scotland is considered a Christian country for the most part. Christmas was actually banned in Scotland for the better part of 400 years. So, from the very early days most folks celebrated the winter solstice on December 21st having a more pagan history. I have written previously about the pagan movement, which was incorporated into Catholic tradition, so I won’t digress. Instead, let’s talk about the Scottish (Protestant) Referendum. This happened in the 1500’s and the Protestant clergy at the time felt that the Christmas celebrations were extravagant and had little to no basis in the Bible. So, the Church of Scotland BANNED Christmas. Scottish Parliament went so far as to make celebrating Christmas illegal in 1640 and, yes, folks were jailed for any sign of Christmas celebrations. Even a wreath on your door was grounds for being put in jail. You can imagine what jails were like in the 1600’s in Scotland. Oops, digressed. I just had to! I mean really a whole musing without a digression. Couldn’t do it.🤣 People didn’t even get the day off, they had to wait till Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) to celebrate. The law was revoked in 1712 but the Church still frowned upon the holiday for centuries. It wasn’t until 1958 that it became a public holiday again and with that, the day off. Many of the traditions of Christmas in Scotland come from the UK but one tradition, pagan in origin, is baking an unleavened bread, a Yule bread which would have a trinket inside, (or in my family a few coins). If you found one in your slice you would have luck the whole coming year.

Other dates of importance:
  • December 8th – 1st day of Hanukkah
  • December 15th – last day of Hanukkah
  • December 21st – Winter Solstice
  • December 23rd – Festivas
  • December 26th – 1st day of Kwanzaa
  • December 26th – Boxing Day
  • December 31st – New Years Eve
  • January 1st – last day of Kwanzaa
  • January 1st – New Year’s Day 2024
“Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” – John Lennon ☮️

Regards, 

Molly aka “Twinkle Boots”

Molly McDonald B.F.A, D.V.A.T.I. Pronouns, she, her, hers Recreation Therapist MPA Resource Centre