Okanagan Gold!

Starting to edit this page, last used for MLA run. Now, I am running for Mayor, for the second time. The first time was in 1996. It was a rough year, but it was also an amazing year in many ways. Started off with a bad break, 2nd cervical, but that became a chance to volunteer at an MLA office and to listen/ watch a lot of positive programs from a satellite that was purchased for that purpose. The down time became an inspiring time for the song "let's sing together" which is now a combination animation/ live video. It was the year a horse named Cool Momma went missing, and Mandy and Me's original Prince was shot but the missing horse chapter became a verse in the song Cool Momma and the horses Serandipity, Sheba and Faith were born. This was also the name change to Silverado became official. Sometimes i say that i was born again in the Okanagan in 1996 and that the name chose me. This is a big part of why my instagram handle is silvercitykelowan22 and my birthday on it is August 22nd, 1996.

In reality, partly why I changed my name to Silverado is because I had decided to have a western sounding name that better suited who I was. I had had a business which relied on trailriding income for over 7rl years and it had been a hobby business for several years before that. I was driving a 1985 Silverado 4x4 truck at the time and had graduated in 1985 from Mount Boucherie that year. In the summer of 1985, I won 2 silver medals in the Canada Games in the 1500 m and 3000m. The winners of both those races had graduated university and we all had broken the previous records. Coming second isn't so bad when it is by less than 2 seconds from first, you helped with the breaking of records and had stress fracture in your foot earlier in the year. Later in 1996, i would learn that there was a western movie with the name Silverado and it was made in 1985! In the movie, 5 strangers help turn the town of Silverado from one filled with corruption and chaos to one where peace and Justice rule. Life is not a two hour movie... we can hope to bring change together that will help the next generations though. I want to leave this place better than I came, how about you?

I went to university for 3 years before officially turning what had been a hobby into a business. I had been literally on the verge of the Olympics, which had been a goal since a child. My discomfort with public speaking was a problem . The talent to potentially compete at a world level was definitely there. My last 3000m resulted in a Canadian university record that still stands (my coach at the time told me that i would have quite possibly run under nine minutes, if not for passing people on the outside lane). The ability to get to chase my dreams were largely due to a great team of supporters from the schools I attended, the community, and many more. No idea what would have happened with my running if I continued. A friend, UVic graduate before me once won the world indoor championship in a time slightly slower than the time I won the CIS 3000 m indoor. She won the world title in Paris, in 1985 in a time of 9:04.99. She could have an incredible kick and it was probably a tactical race that started slow, but the idea of world pace to world peace is a dream that i try to share now. It will take many dreamers who want to see the dream fulfilled, no matter how crazy it sounds at first. I ran the 1985 world cross country championships in Portugal and saw the great Zola Budd warming up barefoot before she raced and won . She would drop out of competitive running while i still attended university in large part due to the apartheid issues in South Africa, where she was born. AT least a decade later, she would be quoted as saying that she didn't even know what Apartheid was at the time. I read that she also said "sports and music transcend politics." She is still my hero

We can dream but we can also work towards having a city where visitors and locals feel safe, protected. The rich Indiginous and pioneer histories should be valued and taught in schools and utilized as a tool for tourism . This is a start to my campaign. I am working towards having some podcasts and chatting with people in person. I believe in putting the drama on the stage, for the most part. To dwell on the chaos only brings crazy.. take Covid for example,. To bring solutions we have to concentrate on what we want to see and bring focus to that. We can definitely learn from the past and not repeat the patterns. We need to work away from the us verses them thinking and bring consensus decision making to our communities. We can do this!

I have great ambition, but not a lot of funds. I was federally funded as an athlete when i went to university as a carded athlete. The $500 a month i received combined with scholarship money (and frugal spending) allowed me to leave university with funds that i used to start up my trailriding business. A few years into it and the help of other jobs including delivery as a dominoe's driver, and some room rentals from my family home resulted in the business becoming self sufficient. My mother had passed when i was in grade 11 and in time, my father was kind enough to let me assume the mortgages while he rented in town. Eventually I combined the mortgages. 1996 had been rough financially as my dreams got the best of me and i took on all the expenses of my campaign which included a $3000/ month building rental. I did come back from that and would eventually buy 3 more acres to the existing nearly 2 acres and have it paid off! I write about this because my place was valued at over $500, 000 and used a line of credit on it to buy into a partnership that involved three houses. I would eventually lose the 3 houses and try to chalk it up to an expensive education while i worked to build up my business again. I was so close to getting back in the black. It is so ironic that i was able to pay my property taxes without borrowing money for the first time in a couple of years only to get my property sold due to a mistake by the bank in starting foreclosure procedures due to some misinformation by someone over unpaid property taxes. The next year, i would pay the property taxes early and put a new roof on my home after having had at least a year of tarps keeping the water out. I blame my lack of communication on my part. I should have told someone from the bank about the roof and property taxes and asked to get some kind of mortgage started. Hindsight is what it is. When someone offered less than $400,000, the lawyers took my home and home business of about 25 years. I would move over 10 times in the next year. I was left homeless with over 10 horses, 2 dogs and a rabbit. I have lived in one place for over 5 years now and am very grateful for this, but also inspired to not let this happen to others. I am down to 6 horses and one of those dogs but have an even greater education on how things are not working well for the regular person.

In my financial disclosure, I have indicated debts to the federal government and to ICBC. I did not file my taxes for 10 years due in large part to just trying to get back on track, to feed the horses and keep my sanity in challenging times. I was lucky to still have riders and was paid to take care of them while bringing calmness to myself which is a double dose of sanity. My taxes were estimated at the same rates they were before i bought into the houses. I had let my business slide a lot but also had lost my life's savings with this poor investment decision. I still remember the warning given to me about this, but was literally trying to change a bicycle tire at the time, had lost / misplaced most of my financial records over the moves and was basically not able to do anything about it, so told them that. Ironically, a car accident early into my financial fiasco of investment, was a big part of my problems and i still have a sore rotator cuff from it. A car had gone through a light that had just turned red and totaled my car. I would later let someone who wanted to buy one of my two trucks and who seemed keen to potentially help a bit with it. I didn't check that he had a license, had assumed. He had an accident and i now owe over $30,000 to ICBC. Expensive lessons of trust with both him and the person i partnered with. The third debt is in respect to a cellular provider. I had been working with one job but in the process of moving yet again.. and i needed a new phone. It has been a few years and I am not sure whether the phone i had was broken, stolen or lost. I had been a month or two behind but needed a phone. To lose my cell number of over 20 years was a tough decision, but i had not been impressed with some past treatment on the phone by some young customer service people and made the call to change and save some money short term. It is something that has multiplied 7rl times over with interest and penalties. I do plan to pay it when in a position too. Pushing and punishing someone when they are down is not what the company would want to have advertised and i know it is not their fault. I probably should have asked for the agents names and put in a notice of their comments/ behaviors but that was not on my mind at the time. Respect is sometimes learned but so is bullying. .. they had fun at my expense, but i did not grasp that at the time. Humiliation comes to mind. I have learned, but aim not to do the same. As a society, we have have grown. Hanging of horse thieves was once a thing, and cutting of hands from those who steal. There was also times where making a living by stealing seemed to be the only resort. I am grateful to have a stable income source that is not dependent on the weather or whether people decide to ride or not.

My trust in others is based on having had great success when assuming the best of people in the past. With my past business, i trusted that people would pay, and over 95% would. Towards the end, i would offer discounts when people paid early, to help me with urgent feed bills, and many loved the opportunity to save and to secure their future spot. We had many people that rode every summer and i would see children grow up and get to know them better than most from my own neighbours. There were many teens and younger who helped with the horses, that i would see grow up too, but then they would get their own horses, families, jobs, and basically move on . I am not ashamed for trusting people but am a bit ashamed to see many people assuming the worst of people and treating others who seem disadvantaged poorly. There is theft from so many layers of society. On the good side, it is inspiring me and helping me to remain calm under stressful situations. Being able to perform on the track at race time and dealing with animals several times my strength had given me a fair bit of that ability already. In August of 2022, some friends had their vehicle stolen while we were out on a ride! Insurance will cover much of the loss, but should the victim have to pay anything? The person is out time, money and peace of mind. Her friend and I kept vibes up a bit with songs and stories while she dealt with things and i later gave them a ride home. Bringing calm under chaotic' stressful times is a valued trait. The fact of the matter is, it is learned on the job.

I have, in the past, had severe injuries when distracted by financial and physical threats. I have tended to hurt myself when trying not to think of the threat. Many head injuries from before my housing crisis and after, now have me on financial assistance for disability. It took over a year of homelessness, vertigo and a finger broken in two places for me to apply for welfare. To understand, imagine being in a hurricane that only you feel. No one else understands why you are dizzy nor do you understand that you are in a storm because it crept up over time. I have learned to cope through rational thinking, but am mostly learning to cope because i have gained friends that i know would never take advantage of my trust. My head is clear now and I am thankful for the vertigo not lasting more than 2 weeks. Short term memory problems are likely to remain for ever, so please don't take offence i don't remember faces or names. Sometimes, i feel that I have been disabled by the gaps in our system. Other times, i think the challenges given are similar to the ones from my big brother. Just out of reach yet always keeping me alive and giving room to grow to meet the challenges.

We should trust our health, police and political officials. I look forward to being part of these teams and raising the bar of transparency and honesty in all levels of community. To be a better neighbor, we need to be better neighbors. It starts with each of us.

would love some support. Should be a lot more fun then running around a track, at least that is the plan! Planning for it to be entertaining and motivating to be on the side of Justice too. We can dream and work to make these dreams come true too. Have had dreams of the Olympics and having a horse.. may have failed on the Olympic side, but inspired some other local Okanagan athletes to run and they made it. Have had more than 70 horses through my lifetime and am pretty sure that there would be a hundred if not a thousand times that many people, that have been inspired to have a horse since because of the trails we did. My goals were never to have a horse, but to maximize fun /satisfaction while minimizing danger. Initially, i didn't know or think about the dangers. I always aimed to not let others learn the hard ways i had. I think the same goals apply.

Starting a new gofund me, just for the election. Have had many things stolen from me these past years and some unexpected vet bills. Seems being honest has a price, but i would like to think that other people would like an honest person to have a chance. Hoping to get a few bumper vinyl signs out there, that will be fun and re-usable too. Also working on some fun signs/ business cards .


As a society, we don't value peace near enough. On the other hand, there seems to be great entertainment and economic value in chaos- for those that cause it. Recognizing this is a step towards resolving it... a stable community is a healthy community. Let's bring the peace and prosperity we need to see in the world!

at this time, i am planning to focus on some projects promoting local farms/ small businesses. If you would like to help with this or supporting in some way, i welcome an email contact. silverado_socrates@hotmail.com Thanks for reading and have a great day.

The following is from past election runs.. saving the work and time efforts while adding energy to the real world work.

World pace to world peace MAREthon tour- Serious as a heart attack preventing one ! MARE -- Mentoring Active Recreational Example Being the change we need

From an MLA run 2020

Welcome to the website for Kelowna Lake Country independent candidate Silverado Socrates!

4 main talking points

1: Community Matters! A stable community is a healthy one- with this in mind- not taking land out of ALR near the university to put in a transit yard. More on this in points 2, 3, and 4

2: Jobs should not the priority for a leader so much as ensuring that everyone has adequate food water and shelter.

3: Education should be potentially free- but combined with community involvement.

4: Let's get beyond the typical 2- 4 year election cycle timelines and dream of 2067- Canada's bicentennial year. I would love to see a school and park for the international institute for peace through tourism (IIPT) established in the Okanagan as part of this dream, and have communities across the country and world be connected through it both virtually and in real time.

Homelessness, addictions and suicides are better prevented than cured- by working towards these 3 goals, we can be a star that shines light on how we can be the change we need to see in the world.

On facebook October 3rd, 2020 I posted "We need to move beyond the kind of thinking that we need jobs for people, to the idea of providing protection, suitable shelter, nutritious food and safe drinking water for everyone."

"And time/ desire to enjoy life in our community!"

How can any humane person not agree with this? How can we get people from all walks of life working towards this? Have someone in leadership that has a heart and mind to recognize this, a heart and mind that can relate to folk from all walks of life and life experiences, One that has involved working and playing with people from all walks of life. It is not rocket science, it is real roots in community and care of it.

Typical business shareholders make money without doing a thing (funny, i accidently wrote think, but they doing have to think either- and that includes the cost/ collateral damage as well). We could and should have a means of investing time, money and energy to be the change we need to see on a sliding scale basis. Those that can help in various means could. Stand back and watch or pitch in and swim with those that want to win this race. Giving some funds towards it is better than seeing the funds go towards the chaos of paying the costs of doing nothing.

First.. to webpage that give run down on ALR land near UBCO.. hoping I have helped slow things down if not get things headed in a golden direction with this initiative. Unfortunately, we have lost lots of our agricultural roots forever. There is great potential for a park to be made that will honor our pioneers, give positive passion to the present and set a powerful precedent for the future on how things can be done! Having said that, since making this page, there has been some great progress in this direction with the honoring of Carney pond with official signage and a beautiful dock and bike racks. I'd like to think that the voices raised against ALR removal helped with this. .. it is a good start. I will put a picture of it, but keep mind that there is still work being done on it and Sambucca's tale is in the shot. (picture taken October 19th and the dock was made in the last week).

Planning a run for mayor.. would love some support. The following account will be dedicated to expenses for the race until it is over. Should be a lot more fun then running around a track, at least that is the plan! Planning for it to be entertaining and motivating to be on the side of Justice too. We can dream and work to make these dreams come true too. Have had dreams of the Olympics and having a horse.. may have failed on the Olympic side, but inspired some other local Okanagan athletes to run and they made it. Have had more than 60 horses and am pretty sure that there would be a hundred if not a thousand times that many that have been inspired to have a horse since because of the trails we did. My goals were never to have a horse, but to maximize fun /satisfaction while minimizing danger. Initially, i didn't know or think about the dangers. I always aimed to not let others learn the hard ways i had. I think the same goals apply. Happy trails!

"Music and sports transcend politics." A runner hero of mine said this over a decade after she had been breaking world records in middle distance running. She stopped early, in large part due to politics around Apartheid. She warmed up next to me at my first world cross country race! I was a teen at the time, in my final year of high school. Juniors competed with seniors then but we were both juniors. She won, barefoot! So amazing an athlete. I think her stepping off the track was definitely a factor in my stepping off. She was only one year older than I yet being bullied off of roads during races she did while running for England, using her dual citizenship since South Africans were banned from competing. It seemed so unreal, and unfair that the world would never know how fast she would have run. I couldn't have imagined the pressure she must have felt but felt for her.

I read in a book about a man hearing someone say "You can't really be a revolutionary until you know the kind of world that you want your kids to live in." He had wanted to start riots but this speaker's words stopped these thoughts. I've never been so much a protester of projects as a promoter of peace. We can create fruit in the Okanagan valley that is much more nourishing than any food we eat through a culture of kindness and respect. Feel free to add to and like Fort Socs on facebook . https://www.facebook.com/fort.socs/

Below, is the one and only candidate forum from this election. Very grateful for the opportunity to speak to people.. thanks to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and sponsors. I was a member of the Kelowna Chamber for several years or more with Mandy and Me Trailriding and had a silver sponsorship with Fort Socs one year. Whether a member or not, I like to sometimes go the networking events, as well as some tradeshows, luncheons and other engagements.

The Buck Starts Here!

Hard to believe that I have spent more than 30 years in the trailriding business. I didn't feel like i was taking people for a ride so much as helping them to fun fitness and self fulfillment. We had a goal of smiles every mile, aimed to please, and shot pretty good! I did trailrides as a hobby in highschool, but left on running scholarships to university. Returned to help others feel as if on a podium and made the hobby into a business. Had my 5 acre home and business paid off in full after a couple of decades at it. A car accident and some poor choices of investor partner later, I am currently receiving money from the province. I feel this in large part due to gaps in our system that are no one party's fault, but that is a sign of a faulty system. Schools should be about teaching, hospitals about healing and ICBC should be about supporting folk that need it- not about profit. We don't need to reinvent the wheel overnight or over a 4 year election cycle, but we do need community members to recognize that we do need change that supports community members.

I am going to add in a video that was made a few years ago. At the time i was promoting a peace park on the West Kelowna side of Okanagan Lake. I got very little support there and ended up losing my home of over 30 years. I blame myself. Hind sight is 20 20 but the fact is I still have the goal and am now thinking that the place i have lived the past 2 years may be even better! Now working to call it the Magic Peace Park and it is very close to UBCO and more easily accessible by the public. It has been a rough three years, but could be for the best- with a little help. IF you don't feel like reading all of this, i don't blame you, but have some fun with the end videos and this next one at least please. AT the end is one by Abba and one by some local folk (Including me) using a song that i made in 1996. Trying to lighten up the dark of the past days for more than me .. so much fun to be had if we work together. No one can do it all- at least not nearly as fast or fun. Life is not a race, it should be easier and more enjoyable. I was crazy back in the day- isn't that the definition of crazy ? Trying to do the same thing over and over? I guess it isn't if you break records and people still remember how it made them feel to be a part of the community you represented. I had once been a runner athlete with Olympic goals but stopped well short of my prime. I felt and still feel a bit bad to have stopped racing in that I know that I disappointed a lot of people.. but i had bigger dreams. I wanted to share my magically real and wonderful world of Mandy and Me. I did that for many years through a trailriding business, taking people on an excape journey for a couple of hours during their visit... time for some new goals and I would love to share them with y'all.

This is pretty basic website.. I am definitely not a computer expert, but it will give you an idea where I am coming from and how i hope to work with the Okanagan residents to create great experiences for those living and visiting our wonderful valley. To be honest, I had been incredibly disappointed to move so close to the town of Kelowna when i first moved here in 1981. I was 15 years old and had had dreams of living in the forest on a farm with my horses. We could see the city of Kelowna from our acreage on the opposite side of the lake and it seemed much too close for my liking! To counter this were the trails directly off the property that would lead me to great adventures. It was walk of 2 km to the school bus stop and i would walk, ride my bike or get a lift from neighbors to get to school. Later i would drive due to all my extra curricular sports (cross country running, field hockey, cross country skiing, track and field and soccer). Turned out I had the best of city and country life, as I think everyone in the Okanagan do compared to many places. I currently live near the Kelowna airport and the university. I feel very fortunate again to have the best of both worlds at my doorstep. I don't consider myself a politician so much as an ambassador, and peacemaker. I have loved swapping stories with strangers for over 30 years and have made friends from all ages, walks of life and many areas of the world. I have also traveled to over a dozen countries on vacation and as an athlete. I feel strongly that "a stable community is a healthy community." Pun intended, I had used this saying on a billboard while I had a couple of horses living at Don o Ray farm along Benvoulin about ten years ago.

I'm not a one trick pony. I am a 6 horse 2 dog one person family girl... no tricks up my sleeves but each of us guys and gals has at least one trick (all make the treats disappear pretty quick) We aim to please and shoot pretty good, is a saying that I used in the field of trailriding adventure tourism that I held for over 30 years. Have had many people and pet teams over the years and a lot of fun too. The business was successful on many levels. Was so fortunate to make friends all over the world and practically raised a few different era's of teens. Many life time memories and friendships would result, but I felt it hard to take care and have fun with people for a couple hours while knowing that many of the people that could not afford the time or money to ride were the ones that needed doses of nature and friendly folk the most. It is also a rough lifestyle for financial stability too. Having injured myself a few times, I realized I should work towards some other forms of income. Trailriding income relies on the whims of the people and the weather (not to mention fires or potential injuries).

My first run at politics was in 1996. At the beginning of the year, I was resting from an injury i had done when in too much of a hurry to get a ride ready. Seemed a great time to voluneerat an MLA's office, since i needed to avoid physical work on land and had interests in leadership and politics ( I had qualified for a road relay race in Korea, but trained for that by pool running). Once my injury healed, i was busy again with the trailrides. Later in the year, I rented a place downtown that i had geared to be a motivational center. My mother had passed from a heart attack when i was in my grade 11 year. One summer between university years, i had won $500 in a race sponsored by a tobacco company. I am pretty sure it is the only race i had one money and it seems so ironic that smoking would have been a major contributor to my mother's death. I had vowed to one day be a motivational speaker and earn more than i had in that race. I spent $3000/ month on that location but hoped it would eventually pan out. If tobacco companies pay money to runners as advertisers of their products, seemed sensible to me that people/ companies would pay a former runner to help its citizens. Seems crazy now, but learning curves don't start until you start. I did find a lot of people needing to have a place to stay at night, so would let them stay in the upstairs section and while I slept downstairs, near the door The door opened onto Leon Avenue. People staying there were very grateful and i had no troubles other than one fella who came in one night off the street and took a bathroom break on a pillar! A gentleman who took to being a sentry near the door, walked him out. I think he helped clean it up too. I had never felt in danger. The journey opened my eyes to many things. Lots of eager people but i had my hands full just keeping the doors open.

Somewhere in that time, i decided to run for mayor against Mr Walter Grey. My fear of public speaking had held me back in my academic and athletic endeavors but having finished the first manual of toastmasters, been doing the trailrides for a few years as a business and many after hours events had me perhaps too confident in my ambitions. It was a great learning experience though! I may have not finished won gold in this race, but i do have a couple of souvenirs and memories from the attempt.

I would end up having some lean years after my education. I was very grateful to some people who gave me credit on hay and another who bought a horse. I would later buy back the horse and pay for the hay.. eventually would pay off the ranch and add another 3 acres. There would be success, hardship, losses and gains. Life.. is what it is. Never lost sight of the bigger dream/goals. Helping others help themselves to fun fitness and self fulfillment.

I would later legally change my name to Socrates in large part because the mind can take you further than the land can.. we must first imagine it. Everything starts with the mind.

I would lick my wounds and years later try again as MLA in East Kelowna while being part owner of three houses i had saved from foreclosure using the equity of my fully paid off 5 acre home. Unfortunately two of the houses were illegally rented and one was a crack house. I had no clue on first learning and do have a stubborn streak on making the best of situations. The learning curve was steep but a car accident at the beginning didn't help. The combined education would be even more expensive than my first run at Mayor.

Soon after, i would run against Christy Clark in the Kelowna West by-election of 2013. This was after having gone to attend the world conference of the international institute for peace through tourism (IIPT) in Zambia in May of 2011. The expense of the trip to Africa may not have been the wisest thing but i felt it as a means to a core purpose of establishing a peace park and helping more folk to fun, fitness, and self fulfillment. The organization of IIPT had been founded in Vancouver over 20 years earlier yet had had no official chapter in Canada. The founder and president Louis J. D'Amore told me that if I wanted to form a park, I would need to go. First came the song discover Magic, then months later the funds came together to make the trip. Some youth there would turn Discover Magic into a video that would arrive just in time for the BC IIPT chapter initiation on Nov 11 of 2011 where our theme would be "forecast furever Sunny and green" in honor of a horse named Sunny Boy that had passed earlier that year. My expenses in the elections for MLA were not so much in expenses as in less income as i changed my focus. Looking to them as educational expenses help!

The next chapter would be the less work to get through the nomination procedure. I ran federally in 2015 as a paper candidate in Quebec. I have a picture and some info about this on another page.

I had hoped to run for the green party in this election. I felt ready and looked forward to having a local team to work with. Unfortunately, the night before the nomination I had my guitar stolen from the bus on the way home from an open mike I had guest hosted. The week before i had had another incident that I feel lead to my sabotaging myself by not truly giving a good idea why the green party members attending should vote for me. People are so busy.. i had been wanting to get on with things the previous month if not more. I was attending local gatherings of business people or media. I have been doing events like these for the past 30 years as i have always been very keen on building community and being part of the existing networks that do many things behind the scenes.

I have attended gatherings and been a member on and off of both the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Westside Board of Trade for the past few decades. With my business, I have mostly dealt with people from out of town so to get to know other business owners locally was very grounding. I had attended several Rotary meetings in the 1990's but felt it too expensive of time at the time. I felt welcome but that there were better ways for me to contribute to community with my business. I would attend and be a charter member of the Okanagan Jaycees. I first learned that it would be starting up through a friend at toast masters who was in the Kelowna Jaycees. Another lady and I had wanted to join and they basically suggested starting a chapter for ladies. The other lady would become the president and be a major part of it for many years. I was also a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women for a few years. It would be through this organization that I would learn about Soroptomist International of which a number of us tried to get a chapter in the central Okanagan and still aim to do so. Soroptimist International is a worldwide volunteer service organization for women who work for peace, and in particular to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world It has chapters in over 100 countries and has been around since 1928.

In the past, i have competed in several countries as a middle distant runner. It was an honor to represent the Okanagan as a high school student and help put Mount Boucherie on the map. I would bring local pins with me to meets in other places. While in Zambia, i brought pins as well as several boxes of Sun Rype fruit leather and bars. They were great hits. From nurses, to orphans to a king and tourism minister- many people got a taste of the Okanagan! I had also brought stickers of Magic smiling to give away. He got his mug on the motorcyle of a gentleman from Germany that i had met at a hostel in Lusaka. He communicated that he was travelling through much of Africa that way and got a kick out of putting it on his bike. In later years, I would feel great pride in wearing the Canadian uniform. To meet other Canadian athletes that had won medals for Canada and be able to talk with them after having read about them are memories I still carry. The dedication to the pursuit of excellence is something that does not happen overnight. It may or may not bring gold on a podium but it does allow a person to tap into something that can light their life in a way that brings an energy to the darkest times. I stopped running due in large part to wanting to help bring that light to others and did so with my trailriding business. I was once a federally carded athlete which allowed me to go to school and come out of 3 years of university with some money to start up something else. It would be incredibly full circle and I believe fitting to one day be a federally funded leader. I would love to help bring the Okanagan to the world stage as an ambassador for tourism and especially promoting the ideas of peace through tourism and bringing more peace to the valley.

This was taken in 2011, at the world conference of the International Institute for Peace Thru Tourism, — in Lusaka, Zambia. I believe that the gentleman I was sitting with is from India.

I am going to post something that I wrote when i first ran for MLA. I had been very nervous about an all candidates luncheon that was going to happen. I was nervous about the race in general so had put my nomination papers before going to Victoria to attend some runner's reunion with my U Vic friends and family. The funny thing is that i had not confirmed my going to the luncheon so was not able to attend! There was not even tickets left to attend it so I waited outside and tried talking with people a bit, but it really was on deaf ears. On the good side, i had come up with a bit of a song while all worked up about what i would say. The song is still pretty appropriate.


I’m a runner , I’m a rider, I’m a soldier I’m no saint

I live for what I love and I won’t be what I ain’t.

i’ve lead many trails but first had to ride them on my own

had many nervous riders and taught them to go on.

Some people say I put my heart upon my sleeve

I say I put my heart in anything I believe

I don’t put labels or limits on you, I expect just the same

Give me half a chance you will see what great things we can gain

Let’s take the reins out of democracy and lead eachother a new way

with role models of gentle guidance for those who go astray

These lines are kind of random, but what am I supposed to do

I’ve had more than 40 years of choices to simplify for you!

I made the first part of the following song/ poem in late Augest of this year. I had recently done a flip over my bike and had woken up in the hospital. I really have to stop riding my bike while day dreaming! I made the second part after an encounter with someone that had been in a very foul mood. My head and arm were still hurting from my fall. I figured she was upset due to my not responding with a smile to her having said 'hi'. I had said hi, but was really not feeling great and her comment came quickly while she was literally scooting by. I figured that she had not heard me and misread my not smiling back. I don't know what she was basing her curses on but came up on the idea that there really is no point in being angry or jealous of one another since we all end up 'ashes to ashes' so to speak. That night, the rest of the song basically came to me in the form of the tune "break it to me gently". I thought it fitting to use on this webpage since my I really have to figure ways to turn the dreams into our reality. I am thinking this is the year.

Drunk on a Dream

Drunk on a dream, don't want to sober up

People are dying for a drink I want to fill their cup

Not talking about a fluid that is easily served

Talking about a vision that is not too easily blurred

Talking about a culture, that leaves no one behind

that respects those serving on the front line

what we like will one day be us

arm in arm with no fuss

To give a buck for the common good can be the only way

if we are to live beyond today.. we have to do more than just pray

We can build a future, that leaves no one behind

that respects those serving on the front line

what you dislike will one day be you

ashes to ashes are all of our previews

To give a buck for the common good can be the only way

if we are to live beyond today.. we have to do more than just say

Drunk on a dream, we have to sober up

People are dying for a drink we can fill their cup

Not talking about a fluid that is easily served

Talking about a vision that's not too easily blurred

We can build a future, that leaves no one behind

that respects those serving on the front line

what we like will one day be us

arm in arm with no fuss

To give a buck for the common good can be the only way

if we're to live beyond today.

The following post is from earlier in 2019 at a poetry slam. I finished writing the song in 2011. Most of my songs pretty much come to me from start to finish, but for this one, the chorus started an earlier year when i paid to introduce a TED talk by William Mcdonough called 'Cradle to Cradle'. I felt that we need to work on helping folk on a more basic level, both those with ability to fund these things and those struggling to provide the basics to their family. Earlier this year, I sang this song at the celebration of life of my brother. His was born 12 years before me and was retired from the armed forces. It was not until I was in my 30's that it really hit me that he may not come home due to the nature of his work. I have come to recognize that the assumption of a safe return is a necessary cultural norm to people that grow up children of military families, which i was for the first 14 years or so of my life. I wondered what could i do to help bring peace to the world so that people would not be hurt in war? I realized that through tourism we become friends with other people from other cultures and countries. Why would be fight friends? Seemed tourism was a great fit for me after all. The verses of the song all came separate to me with the last one being inspired by the people of Kasama, Zambia . People would say "and how are you today" to friends and strangers alike, in a very sincere friendly manner. A friend had wanted me to make another verse within a week of performing it with her children over the Canada Day Long weekend. We were performing at a stage during Westside Daze. I thought she was crazy, but then the verse came to men naturally within a couple of days of her mentioning it. My friends in Zambia would later do a music video to this song too!

The next post is from the spring of 2019. I feel strongly about honoring the folk and nature before us.



In cleaning out some old files, I came across a single sheet of paper with a typed list entitled "11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team." I couldn’t recall its source, but a Google search led me to a book by Ian Percy of the same name (subtitled Collaborating with Purpose and Passion), published in 2003.

Regardless of the age of this list, these 11 items are all still relevant today, so I wanted to share; along with some comments of my own.

1. Help each other be right – rather than wrong

It’s easy to over-rely on who’s supposedly right and wrong as a determining factor, but what’s the bigger picture? Think about what’s important and what you are trying to accomplish, rather than feeding your ego or keeping score.

2. Look for ways to make new ideas work – rather than for reasons they won’t

Too often we have the mindset of: "We’ve tried that before." "That just won’t work." "We don’t do things that way." Instead, try: "What if we try it again?" "What if we look at it differently?" "Who could we speak with to get a different perspective?" or "What would we do to make this work if it was our only option?"

3. If in doubt, check it out – rather than making negative assumptions

Lean into the challenge or obstacle, rather than assuming that it can’t be overcome. Do a little more research. Experiment a bit and learn from your small successes and failures (try to fail early and fail fast). And don’t let your fears guide you (remember that FEAR = False Emotions Appearing Real).

4. Help each other win and take pride in each other’s victories

One sign of a mature and effective team is when the team members get as much pride and satisfaction from the accomplishments of others as they do from their own. Be a strong and supportive team member and celebrate others’ achievements.

5. Speak positively about each other and about your organization at every opportunity

No one likes a Negative Nelly or Davey Downer. Don’t ignore issues and shortcomings, but speak well of others and they will likely do the same of you.

6. Maintain a positive mental attitude no matter what the circumstances

Positivity feeds on itself, but so does negativity. Your attitude influences how you act and how you respond to situations, which impacts your ability to achieve your desired results. So keep a positive, can-do attitude, especially when it seems most difficult to do so.

7. Act with initiative and courage as if it all depends on you

You don’t have to be out in front all of the time, but if team members consistently wait for others to act first, then no one will take the lead and forward momentum is hampered. Every team member should view the success of the project or initiative as their responsibility, and take the initiative accordingly.

8. Do everything with enthusiasm – it’s contagious

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." So, ask yourself: Do you want to help engergize the team, or drag it down? Teammates should be able to rely on one another when working together, so that 1 + 1 can equal 3.

9. Believe in what you are doing – never give up

If you don’t have faith in what you are doing as a team, then you probably need to either "fake it till you make it" or find a different team. Often, persistence and perseverance makes the difference in whether the team is successful or not; so, find reasons to keep your confidence high and your belief strong, and help your teammates do the same.

10. Whatever you want – give it away

Do you want the team to be successful? Then do your part. Do you want the team to communicate well? Then be a good communicator yourelf. Do you want the team to have a positive attitude and care about one another? Then bring those things, everyday. Don’t expect more of others than you are willing to give of yourself. And give of yourself to your teammates…without the expectation of getting anything in return.

11. Have fun

Sometimes the last thing we think about having at work is fun. But work should be fun, and enjoyable, and energizing, and fulfilling. Does that sound like "work"? When team members have fun together, they work harder, stay committed to achieving the goals longer, take care of the team better, and handle difficult situations with more composure and empathy. So, go ahead – have some fun!

i had a small flyer that i sent out in West Kelowna when the name change choice was going on. I think i lost a lot of support when i refused to support the names West Kelowna or Westbank.. there were sides that were very firm on either. I felt it would result in further animosity to vote either one and put it out in this poem. Seems sometimes saying the obvious makes you a scapegoat by both but c'est la vie. I met one gentleman that felt we should be looking bigger to bring the whole of the Okanagan under one umbrella rather than fighting to be separate and spending so much money and effort to due so.. not sure if I talked to him before or after i had made this post, but it made sense to me. I crossed out our old number and added the current website

I was born in 1967. My parents would call me their centennial project, which would make me feel special. I remember saying something about this to a classmate when i was about 10 years old. They replied, with indifference, that they were too. It definitely took the wind out of my sails to hear this, but i now realize that most people are not made to feel special. I have been truly blessed and cursed with this natural feeling. I am always wanting to make that grade! Respect grows as respect is given so i would like to propose we all be bicentennial project and work to create a world in 2067 where everyone feels included, respected and special! Like this idea? Feel free to join a team and let's make this happen.

Bringing health and wealth to the Okanagan is my priority. .. Okanagan gold starts within each of us. My business of Fort Socs and formerly that of Mandy and Me have been about helping people help themselves to fun, fitness and self fulfilment. That should be the goal of any leader and we can all win in this election with someone promoting home grown community and wellness. We can be a model for others to follow and learn from.


a couple of plugs from the past.. induction to Canada West hall of fame and Uvic hall of fame... I would love to help lead the Okanagan to a very positive world stage in the fields of peace through tourism. It is a passion that has no limits and that has helped me conquer my own fears of public speaking. Helping others help themselves to fun fitness and self fulfillment is rewarding in intangible ways but worthy of much more than gold. Please give me a chance to carry the magic wand of parliament to help make this happen.

I should add a video of a song I made back in 1996 when my 2nd cervical was broken. A couple of years ago, friends help record and make it into a combination animation/ music video earlier this year. The Okanagan has so much potential to build from. Fun is foremost to health and wealth in my books. Nice when can work with others on this idea.. my talents are very limited but together it is exponential! I would much rather be in the audience too.. have had more than my share on stage/ podium. It is an honor but I much prefer being more of a coach/ big sister/ cheerleader. I had volunteered with a local MLA in the first month or so that i had been hurt, back in 1996. I had figured it was a good chance to learn a bit about it. Business and running the farm would take priority once able to ride again. I was lucky to have had someone help me while i was hurt-

ok.. one more video- i love promoting local talent. This video was made this year of a song made by local Okanagan artist Ben Click. A friend has made a great little business of making linedances to country songs. Due to Covid, this amazing duo arranged a great project. More than a dozen local linedanceres learned the video via a video and/ or zoom style meeting. It was challenging but very rewarding. I learned it and then taught a friend after she had done her daily farm chores. We put our product in and we made the cut! You don't get to see the miniatures that photobombed us, but you do get to see quite a few folk with fun takes.

note from past still present

September 12, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Not asking for a million $

not asking for a hand

wanting to make the world a better place

dont you understand?

but if you want to be a part

if you care to try

we will gladly take your tips

i dont want to lie

this isnt a sure thing

nothing ever is

but we have a track record

in the caring biz

we've been helping people help themselves

for over 20 yrs

we need to train up new recruits

in releasing others fears

helping create worlds of laughter and learning

is the way to go

lets get rid of the war and drama

and create an inspiration show!