Wednesday, 30 September 2015

To Just Be

Today was a day to be experienced rather than understood. So that's what I did. I became fully present and I allowed myself to experience.

It was a whole lot better than fretting over cancelled appointments or trying to figure out how many more things I could squeeze into what suddenly became more available hours.

I went for a walk on the pathway along the river which is right behind my office, then I walked down to the water's edge and sat on a log like a turtle warming itself in the sun.

I discovered it can be euphoric to let go of even the thoughts floating through my head and to just be in the experience.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Stubborn Ass

That's what I think I am sometimes. Maybe most times. Not in a bad way (at least I hope not), but in a determined sort of way. I hate to give up on things.

Unless of course it has to do with math calculations, sewing something, or brain teaser puzzles that make me want to pull my hair out. Those kind of things make me crazy and I sometimes I walk away with a few choice words trailing behind.

For other kind of things though I can be pretty persistent. That's it - persistent. It's a much better explanation than the title I gave this post. I like that. Persistent!

Now here's a farmer being persistent in finding ways to use his creativity!

My schedule bounced around today. Stick around with me and you never know where the day will take you. I get up, look at my schedule and prepare for what's ahead and then, wham! Just like that, I get phone calls, cancellations, rescheduling, new appointments, and my whole day takes on a different spin. Thank goodness I can flow with change pretty easily otherwise I'd have a noose around my neck by now.  

It's a full day tomorrow but there's already been one change made. Who knows what the rest of the day will bring. But then, life is like that sometimes.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Home Again

Left on Wednesday and got back late tonight. Good visit with friends and family in Kelowna area. Good conference in Vancouver. Awesome trip both ways with the splendor of the fall colors in the mountains and on the prairies.

This shot was taken from the car window somewhere between Langley and Chilliwack.
It took a long time to make the 18 hour drive home from Vancouver. We didn't leave the conference until 5 pm and since our hotel was only a few minutes away from Granville Island I decided to make a stop there before leaving. That delayed us by another hour or more but what the heck. Besides, I came back with another journal so it was well worth it, I'd say.

By the time we got out of the city and reached Kamloops it was around 10 at night so we and decided to spend the night. Today's trip should have been around 10 hours but another spur of the moment side trip and we ended up at Miette Hot Springs. That added a couple hours to our journey but it was well worth it  too, both for the scenery and for how thankful our old bones were after a long soak in the mineral water.

On the way up to Miette
Big Horn Sheep up at Miette
Getting closer to home back on the prairies
Pumpkin was one happy camper to see us walk through the door. She's sitting on my lap now as I try to write this. She'll be sticking to me like a post-it note for the next few days I'm sure. Now, a hot shower and some shut eye are in order. It's back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Cultural Diversity

Here I am at the ACCT (Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists) conference in Vancouver.
Our Hotel
I don't mind coming to this city once in a while but you would have to pay me lots of money to live here. I much prefer our little house in a little town where I can walk down main street in the middle of the day and not have to worry about traffic running me over.

It was a full day between our 4 hour drive here from Kelowna travelling on both the Coquihalla and Connector Highway, the highest point of which is at 5760 feet. For a while we were literally driving through the clouds. The conference started at 2 pm and went until 9 pm tonight but it was a good day of connecting and learning.

This year the theme is cultural diversity and today we were fortunate to have several First Nation speakers come and share their stories with us. Their passion, their pain, their spirit and their strength brought everyone to tears.

After supper we were entertained for over an hour by dancers who taught us about their cultural heritage through their songs and dances. We were privileged in that they even took the time to teach us how to dance and it was magic when everyone in the room joined in.

Tomorrow is another full day in conference followed by a few hours of travel to get a head start on our 18 hour drive back home.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Oh my God! We had the absolutely perfect day to travel through the mountains. We hid a lot of fog from Whitecourt almost up to Hinton and then just like that, the skies opened up and there they were, the Rockies, standing in all their majestic glory surrounded by the multitude of fall colors. It was like candy to the eyes and a hot cup of tea to the soul.

 We drove a big section of the trip almost in silence except for the, "look at this, look at that, look here, ohh - how beautiful," kind of exclamations and comments.

 I couldn't stop saying "thank-you" for being so fortunate that we get to live in such a beautiful country and for the opportunity to make this trip through the mountains at this time of the year where there's beauty abound.

We are making a quick overnight stop in Kelowna to visit family, then on Friday we leave to make our way to the conference in Vancouver.

We left home at 4:30 am and got to Kelowna at 6:30 pm AB time. Even with having breakfast and lunch in the car, it's a 14 hour drive taking in the construction zones and having to stop for gas and pee breaks here and there.

 My behind feels like it's on fire not to mention my back and a few other places. To be honest, I think we're getting too old to make these long trips in one day.

But look at these pictures. How can you say it wasn't worth it.

Now, I must get this sore rack of bones to bed before it's 4 in the morning again and I've gone around the clock with no shut-eye.

Who knows, I might even be able to sleep in until 8 am with no Pumpkin to paw and poke me demanding to be fed breakfast, NOW!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Going Deeper

As I was making my way to work this morning I spotted something that made me slam on the brakes, turn around and head back in the direction I came from. It was a bald eagle. Of course when I hit the rumble strips in the pavement I sacred him off and he flew across the road to a higher perch.

Wish I would of had a camera with a telephoto lens for this guy. He looks so small in this picture I snapped with my phone but I guarantee you he isn't. The eagle has always been my totem bird. I used to see them often when we lived in BC and I've missed that so I was thrilled to have this one cross my path this morning.

I looked it up on Yahoo just now and this is what they say is the significance of the eagle is:

"The Eagle represents spiritual protection, carries prayers, and brings strength, courage, wisdom, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, and a knowledge of magic. The eagle has an ability to see hidden spiritual truths, rising above the material to see the spiritual. The eagle has an ability to see the overall pattern, and the connection to spirit guides and teachers. The eagle represents great power and balance, dignity with grace, a connection with higher truths, intuition and a creative spirit grace achieved through knowledge and hard work." 

Driving to work in the morning with the sun rising in the East and beaming in through my side window always makes a perfect start to my day. Needless to say, when I got to the hill and started my descent into town I was a little disappointed to see the fog cover down below.

The first words out of my mouth were, "Oh no!" On another day it wouldn't make much difference since normally I go straight to my office but this morning I was early and I had hopes of taking a walk in the sunshine before going in session with clients. But, by the time I got to the bottom of the hill the cover was starting to lift and I was able to sneak in a bit of a walk.

On my walk I thought about how symbolic all this was. When I was on top of the hill I could feel a tug of war going on inside me. I didn't want to go down into the fog. It felt heavy and so draining that I almost made the decision to park on top the hill until it was time to go to my office just so I could stay in the sunshine.

But something told me to keep going down the hill instead of stopping and when I went deeper into the valley the light was coming through and off I went for a walk along the river's edge. That's when this little fellow came to greet me good morning and to chat with me, in his own lingo mind you.

After a few minutes he graciously, and seemingly without any effort at all, took the sky and when my gaze followed him on his journey this is what I saw.

It made me realize that sometimes we have to be willing to go deeper, to enter the fog in order to see the beauty on the other side.

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Reward is Joy

This has been and continues to be my experience at this stage of my life. I sought to speak truth in my book, and the reward really wasn’t justice or expertise, or acknowledgment, the reward truly was joy. 

It's the same with any kindness or giving I bring to others. The reward is not acknowledgment, or receiving in return, the reward is joy. The joy of giving, the joy of seeing the other person benefit from, the joy of sensing the relief in the other, the joy of having had purpose and meaning added to my life.

A while back I got this picture of a fellow standing in a field of sunflowers off the internet. I kept it because it brought me such joy. I thought, what could be better than standing in a field full of these bright smiley faces?

A few weeks later, I was lucky enough to find myself standing in a field of sunflowers too. Here I am making my way back up to my car, with an armload of those smiley faces to gift others with in order to bring sunshine to their lives.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Fun Afternoon & Evening

At noon we decided enough. Time for a break. By 1 pm we were on the road to Slave Lake with Marten River campground as our destination. Lovely place. Surrounded by nature at it's best, peaceful, and nurturing to the soul. What made it even better was our surprise visit. We dropped in on my daughter Karen and her partner Steve.

For those of you who couldn't be there, here's a visual tour of our afternoon and evening.
Rainbow on the way there.

View of the lake. 

Karen looking out.

Here we are. 

Stairs to the beach. 

Teepee on the beach

Nature's Art

Footprints in the sand

Sands of time

Time running through my hands

A walk on the beach

Trails everywhere

The oddities of nature

Odd mushrooms

Mushroom hats 

Fall at work 

Fire starting Steve style - no chopping - blowtorch 

Supper's cooking 

Check out the oven mitts

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Fall Is In The Air

It takes me two hours to go around and cut all the grass with that push mower. Next time I do it I will use "map my walk" app which will tell me how many kilometers I'm walking. I'm curious to know. I don't have a whole lot of time to go for walks these days so when it comes time to cut grass I take it as my exercise and walking time.

Once all the outside work is done I'm going to start walking just for the joy of walking and I'm going to check out the yoga classes that have started in our area. I need to stretch and exercise all those sore muscles before they turn into a pretzel and there's no way of untying them.

There's a chance of rain again this afternoon, Sure hope the weather man is wrong. Don't need anymore rain right now. Poor farmers are having a tough enough time trying to get that harvest in.

I'm looking forward to a trip to Vancouver this coming Wednesday. It's a real treat to travel through the mountains at this time of the year. The snow capped mountains accented with the many colors of fall is always such a treat to experience.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Long but Rewarding Day

It's been a long day of hard work. I'm looking forward to going back to the office tomorrow so I can rest my sore muscles. I got lots done though.

Started off with doing the last bit of paint touch ups in the room we painted and reassembling the room to what it used to be. I like the looks of the Tuscan Sun color. Sure brightens up the place.

Hung the curtains back up, brought the furniture in, put the shelves up and moved all my precious books back, changed the furnace filters and cleaned the ceiling fan. The only thing left to paint in that room are the two closets now. That will be the weekend project.

My little meditative corner 
My collection of books on writing
That picture still needs to be hung up.
Once the sun got out and the air warmed up out there I left the inside stuff and went to work outside. Pulled out some frozen flowers. Yup two nights in a row of a pretty nasty frost here. Then went in the garden and pulled out the kohlrabi and the onions and cleaned those up.

Next I started doing some edging around the sidewalks and trees in the front yard. That's a hard job but it looks so much better. Came in for supper at 7 pm and at 7:30 I went to our other garden and pulled the rest of the potatoes. Too bad I didn't think of getting a picture of that harvest. Quite the heap!

Fall is in the air that's for sure. It was a perfect ending to a worthwhile day when I sat and watched the sunset tonight. What a gorgeous sight to behold.

Are the days ever getting shorter. A sign of what's to come I suppose. But its best I don't think about that and I enjoy the moment instead.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Getting Antsy

I miss my paper journal and I miss working on a bigger writing project. I'm not sure what to do about it but I know I have to figure something out.

The flow of the pen on the page is not the same as pecking away on the keyboard. And, these little blog pieces, although fun to do, are not the same as being intently focused on a vision for a bigger piece of work and I crave that too.

There's gotta be a way to find a balance between all of it. This whole earning a living thing keeps getting in the way and I'll be dammed if I've figured out how to ditch that one yet.

There are many things I love about writing, but one of the things I love the most and the reason why I crave for more, is the sense of connection and communion it offers me. Therein lies the true gift. What could be more precious than that?

I totally agree with May Sarton who says; "From my isolation to the isolation of someone somewhere who will find my work there exists a true communion."

Knowing this and having experienced this many times over, how could I not want to keep writing?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Mark Nepo

I quote this fellow quite frequently. His words give me food for thought and reach a place deep inside of me. 

“We often don’t take the risk or time to stand before another long enough for their truth to surface. This is what I need, for you to wait till I can get there, all fresh from the deep.” Mark Nepo

I often feel this when in conversation with people. they don't take the time to stand before me long enough for my words to surface. I too need people to wait. 

Wait for me to finish speaking instead of jumping ahead of me with what you think I am going to say. When you do this it robs me of my words and and shuts me down.

“Show yourself and I will swim to you.” Mark Nepo

Reveal yourself  to me and I will gladly walk along side of you and share my world with you.