Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Last Day

Those two were having a serious chat today. They had lots to say and one was as determined as the other to stand their ground and say their piece. But all in all it was a friendly conversation I'd say.

Our last day of soaking in the pools here at Harrison Hot Springs. There are 3 different outside pools each one at different temperatures. When you get to hot in one you can move to one or the other of the two cooler ones. 

Plus there's a building with two inside pools. One is a fairly big warm and deep. The other one is a  hot circular pool with soft music playing in the background. This one is meant for soaking, relaxing, and reflecting.

It was difficult to find a time where I could snap a picture with no one in the pool but I finally got one.

Tomorrow is a day of travelling as we make our way back home. We leave here at 7 in the morning and I figure we should be home by 7 pm or so. Drive to Abbotsford airport. Fly to Calgary with a 2 hour stop over. Then fly to Grande Prairie. Followed by a two hour drive home. Then it's back to reality and back to work.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Sashquash Day

It's a great place to be in Sashquash town otherwise known as Harrison Hot Springs. Spent the whole day here and will be spending the whole day tomorrow before we head home and back to reality. For now, I am more than grateful to have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs to our hearts content and to hang with these rather friendly creatures whenever we come across them.

This morning we went out to grab a bite to eat and landed in this cozy little joint that served a scrumptious home cooked breakfast. It's a good thing we walked there because there was only one parking left and we didn't dare take that one.

But I found who that parking belonged to and struck up a friendly conversation with him.. He's the one that pointed to the breakfast cafe and said that's where he had just filled his tummy. Just the size of his belly was enough to convince me it must be a great place to eat, and it was!

 By the time we left we figured we better do more walking to burn some of those calories so Andree decided to follow this guys footsteps to see where that would lead us and sure enough, we encountered another one, but this guy didn't look all that friendly to me.

But then again, Andree can strike up a conversation with just about anyone and somehow eventually sweet talk them into a smile. This guy wasn't falling for it in the beginning but he eventually caved and cracked a grin too.

It took us a long time to walk only a little ways since we were always stopping to snap pictures of the many flowers and trees or simply to feast our eyes on natures plentiful gifts.

I always love yellow flowers with the brown center that look like sunflowers. Reminds me of the poetry book I'm reading right now called The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. It reaches the core of me. Touches me deeply.

Do you want to come and sit a while with me under the tree? We could sit on the bench facing the lake. Or sit under the bonsai tree. We could talk about everything or nothing if you'd rather just sit and be.

It doesn't matter which you choose. I'm sure that once we're together you and me it will be just like when I tell you Namaste. Which means.....

I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is love, truth, light and peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me. We are One. 

Friday, 26 October 2018

Morning Meanderings

Andree and I went to visit her sister at the home she's in again today. This time I went in to say hello but only stayed a few minutes in order to give Andree and her some time to themselves. I walked to a close by  park and made my way around it twice before returning to the room to visit some more.

There was 5 ducks, each of them very different looking sitting on the side of the water. Most of them 
were having a snooze with their head tucked in under their wing.

I guess they're used to having people and dogs around and it doesn't bother them because they weren't scared at all. It's likely one of their favorite hangouts.

While I was out there I picked several leaves of various colors and sizes. Reds, yellows, greens, and golds and I made an arrangement with them and brought them to Lise so she could have all the fall colors in her room. I managed to staple them together and tape them to her wall where she could see them.

It's too bad the sun was peeking in and out of the clouds and seemed to always be in them when I went to snap a picture so the pictures are a little on the dark side.

It's a fair size body of water and there was several people fishing. I stopped to talk to an elderly gentleman who was just packing up his fishing gear when I walked by. "Catch anything?" I asked. "Not a thing," he replied. When I asked what kind of fish was in there he said it was trout.  

There's a lot of parks in this city and plenty of opportunities to connect with nature if one wants to. And who wouldn't? It's such a great way to feel nurtured, grounded, connected and at peace.

Those are some gigantic leaves I tell you. And look at all the other leaves that came to rest on the big one and created this master piece. Nature is full of gifts for the soul.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Travelling Along

On Wednesday, Andree and I left home at 5 am in order to catch an 8 am flight into Calgary. It was a beautiful drive with the bright full moon guiding us all the way there.

It wasn't long after we were up in the air that the sun popped out to say good morning. Too bad we had the wing of the plane obstructing some of the view but I wasn't complaining. Kind of need both wings to make a safe journey.
Sunrise from up above.
The pilot pulled a U-turn over downtown Calgary in order to point us in the right direction to bring the aircraft down on the runway. I swear that city stretches across so many miles it feels like it goes on forever. Last I read up on it I think the info said the city covered 825 square km. or so.

A view of downtown as we're coming in for landing in Calgary
We had a little over an hour stopover before boarding a bigger West Jet aircraft to take us to Abbotsford which is only about a 40 minute drive from Vancouver. We much prefer landing there than in Vancouver. From there, it's only a 70 km drive to Coquitlam which is where our final destination was.

Doesn't all those fluffy white clouds makes a person want to step outside and go for a walk?

A sea of clouds
Across the street from where we're staying, which backs onto a mountainside, there are several accesses to trails that wind their way through the forest. When I went for a walk it was like entering a whole other world. It felt like I was being pulled into a magical place. 

I could have gone on forever but with my poor sense of direction I likely wouldn't have found my way back had I ventured out further than I did. Tonight, Michelle, the lady of the house here, said, "there's some nice trails in there but don't go walking by yourself because there's bears." Too late!    

The top of the tree
I took a photo of the top of this tree and the photo below is the trunk of the same tree. No matter how hard I tried, there was no way I could get the whole tree in the picture. So I took a picture of the top and one of the trunk but the mid-section is missing.

The trunk of the tree

What a beautiful canopy to walk under.
This one I took standing and looking up above. So beautiful compared to the tiny often sickly looking trees we have in Alberta.

One of the beautiful bridges over the streams
And then I came upon a couple of bridges to get across a little stream meandering it's way through the forest. That's when I found myself wishing I had brought my journal with me so I could have sat by the water to do some writing.

There's nothing like sitting in the middle of a forest with the sound of running water close by to inspire and awaken creativity.

Want to walk in the water and choose a favorite stone?
Such beautiful vegetation and leaves everywhere
This walk in the forest was just what the doctor ordered after being on the road and up and down in the air. A wonderful way to end the day.

Today, Thursday, we had a relaxing morning, went to visit Andree's sister at the nursing home, went to the mall for a bite to eat and an inside walk since it was raining outside and at 7 pm we went out for dinner with two of Andree's nieces and their husbands.

Too noisy a situation for me to be able to take part in the conversations but it's always a good opportunity to practice lip reading.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Fun Night

I didn't get through the evening without sweating a little and my mouth feeling like the Sahara Desert while I was reading. But, once more the rewards were plentiful and it was a worthwhile, fun and pleasant evening. 

We were a diverse group of authors, seven altogether who shared how our book(s) came about followed by a short reading.

I started by reading the quote that got posted on my author Facebook page. It was good to start with a chuckle. It eased the tension in the room or should I say my  own. I followed that with a short intro about how finding my voice and using it has pretty much been a life time struggle for me and I read a couple of short passages from my book that illustrated that.   

Sounds like it resonated with a lot of people from the questions, comments and chatting that took place once the formal part of the evening was over. I enjoyed hearing from the people who came to speak to me about their own story and how the little bit I shared hit home for them. It's so awesome to hear those kinds of comments. It makes every struggle a writer goes through that much more worthwhile.

That's the ultimate for me - the connection that happens with others and how it opens up conversations that otherwise would never take place.

Oh, yes, and a lady came up to me and asked if I wanted to join the Peace River Writer's Group who apparently gets together every 2nd Wednesday. Uhhh.....ya! You bet your bloomers I do!

Meanwhile, back at the lake, my friend Marcel is out there taking some amazing photographs. I told him he should start his own blog instead of me stealing his photos to post here, but he made it clear he had absolutely no intentions of starting a blog so I'm the lucky person who gets the honor of posting the occasional one here.

Winagami Lake - photo by Marcel Tanguay

You Would Think

You would think, at this stage of my life, that I would be used to it by now - public speaking I mean. 

Nope. I still struggle and have to work hard at it. It's a lot better than it once was but it's good that not everything in life doesn't show up as such a slow, tedious and trying process.

Strange how something so demanding for me, can at the same time, once it's over, be so rewarding.

Words. One of my greatest loves of life, and one of my most challenging struggles as well. 

Once more, I'm sue I will survive.

Monday, 15 October 2018


Grrr.....what an absolutely frustrating day! It's been one of those days where I wonder why I spend almost two hours on the road driving to work and back, why I choose to work for myself instead of having a regular job with a regular paycheck, and why I even bothered to get out of bed this morning.

Seven clients were scheduled to see me today. Only one showed up and none of them gave me the required 24 hours notice to cancel. Two contacted me by email and one called to let me know but only shortly before his appointment time. One thought his appointment was at 2 pm. when it was at 1 pm. 

And, my last two clients of the day were two individuals from the same family, who were driving together but seeing me separately. They also didn't show up. I waited an hour, then headed back home. When I was 10 minutes form home, they called wanting to confirm when their appointment was to which I responded in a very polite and professional tone of voice, "Your appointments were for 4 and 5 o'clock today."

So yes, I came home a little frustrated to say the least. I've had much better days that's for sure. However, like the old saying goes, "When life hands you lemons, learn to make lemonade." And that's what I did. I worked on a piece of writing, picked up a few groceries and took advantage of the beautiful day by going on some walks. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day business wise.

On my last walk I came across this little fellow.   

He was quite content to be munching on the lawn in the backyard of this building. 

And when I took a different route back to the office this is what was hanging over the fence of one of the houses I went by. Not even sure what it is but I thought it was quite pretty. Don't you?

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Gifts In The Sky

I only have my phone to take pictures with but if you look closely you will see the beauty I was trying to capture. 

A swarm of geese circle high up above making it look like a black speckled sky. And in the middle, the crescent moon is starting to make its appearance. 

Then, when I turn to my right.........

The sun gives one last splash of light before it disappears behind the tree line leaving a beautiful gold and red glow that I continue to enjoy as I continue on my walk home.

There are definitely some advantages to living in a small village in Northern Alberta and this is definitely one of them.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Lunch Is Being Served

Well, I gave in. I was thinking of not feeding the birds this winter since it can quickly add quite a bit to the budget. But, how could I not. We got so much enjoyment out of all our visitors last year. They brought life to what can sometimes be a long drawn out winter. Besides, look at the pretty little cabin feeder we got as a gift. How could I resist putting it out there.

I'm changing what I'm going to buy for feed though. I'm hoping to attract more of the smaller species and less of the blue jays. They are pretty birds but man oh man can they ever make a mess with how much they scatter all over the ground and waste in order to find the seeds they prefer.

Our friend Marcel, out at the lake attracts different birds than we do in town . He started feeding a couple of weeks ago and it didn't take very long for the critters to discover that lunch was being served at his place.

There's a few other hungry wingless competitors showing up at his feeding stations though. Pretty soon he's going to have a regular zoo at his place. What a cutie! I'm looking forward to my next visit with Marcel. Hopefully I will also have the opportunity to meet this little fellow in person.  

Yup, that's snow on the ground and that bunny's ears and feet are turning white so you know what that means. Another season is rolling around the corner along with a whole new set of adventures to enjoy.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Listening to the Changes

Photo my Marcel T.

On my walk today, I saw how fall is leaning into winter, how the changing seasons lead to endings and from those endings comes new life and new beginnings.     

Death can do that. Death can make people come alive and bring new beginnings. This may sound like a strange statement to make but I’ve witnessed it in my own life and in the many stories clients have shared with me over the years. Death has the power to awaken life.

The death of someone close and dear to us cuts us off at the knees, leaves us gasping for our next breath and grappling with how to keep moving forward in a world that keeps spinning around us when our own seems to have come to a halt.

At first, we barely manage to go through the motions but eventually strength comes from God knows where, and we manage to stumble our way through the days with some kind of semblance of having reappeared in the so called “normal” world.

Only we know there is no such thing as normal and we no longer are who we once were. We are different. We have been thrown face first into the intensity of the present moment and the pain and heaviness it carries.  

The superfluous falls away and is replaced with a deepening of the soul that I can only describe as a need to cut the bullshit. A thirst for what is important, for what matters, for understanding, for truth and a need to sink our teeth into life as it unfolds. In this way, death can and often does make people come alive.

It makes us, as Elie Wiesel, a Romanian-born American Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor said, “think higher and feel deeper.” To think higher and feel deeper, whether we are touched by the death of a loved one or not, is something that all of us need to aspire every day to do.

Drop judgments, put a stop to gossip, do away with apathy, blame, discrimination of yourself and others or numbing with drugs, alcohol, or food in order not to feel. Why not dive head first into the life we are fortunate to have? Why not think higher, feel deeper and listen to what is trying to come alive. 

Friday, 28 September 2018

High River Balloon Festival

Jody Bossy Photo
Jody's photo above is from last year's balloon festival and it was used for this year's calendar. Other photo's are my own. 

It's the first year Andree and I attend and it was a blast. Cold but a whole lot of fun to watch and be part of.

These first few photos are from the morning launch. I snapped those when my daughter Brenda and I were walking my grandson Finnley to school.

This guy dipped down to the river with his balloon then magically brought it back up again. 

Here's one when all the balloons are up for the morning launch. So beautiful with all the fall colors.

Getting all the balloons blown up before dark and before they let the crowds onto the grounds.

Getting darker now and they've let the crowds swoop down on the grounds.

Big puppy balloon with his tongue hanging out.

And here they are all lined up just before the sky got dark. We were getting pretty chilly by then.