Friday, August 31, 2007

Remembering Diana the Mother of Prince William & Prince Harry

I woke up (reluctantly) early this morning to go to work (yes unfortunately I had to work today) and turned on the radio to hear a moving tribute by Prince Harry for his mother. It was so touching it made me think back to the days when she was alive. He could not have captured her better than to say that she was"that we remember our mother as she would wish to be remembered, as she was: fun-loving, generous, down to earth and entirely genuine." "the best mother ever". It was very touching. I think that these young men have waited a long time to give their mother the kind of tribute that they felt she deserved. With their concert for her this year and now this moving tribute on the anniversary of the day of her death I think these young men have given their mother more in death than anyone ever gave her in life.
Diane proved to the whole world that having everything didn't mean happiness. Diana wore her feelings on her sleeves for the whole world to see. She was open and honest with her emotions. She had too much spirit to allow herself to become an emotional robot to keep everyone happy. When Diana was unhappy she showed it, but when she was happy she radiated. Never did she appear more genuinely happy than when she was photographed with her sons. Harry puts it best he said "She was our guardian, friend and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or undemonstrated." That is the Diana I remember. Diana was so photogenic and as someone who loves good photography I could look at her pictures over and over again, but the pictures I find the most beautiful are the ones with her sons. She doesn't have that perfected pose or polished smile instead she radiated immense joy from within.
Today, Diana would be so proud of these boys. Her spirit is very much alive in these two boys.
I found this video tribute to her by One True Media.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just Another Lazy Day!

Slept late and then spent the rest of the day sitting in a beach chair watching the birds fly by. I could get used to this not doing anything real fast. Tomorrow more of the same just a different location.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Day at the Fair - Win a House Win a Car!

Win a car win a house.... every August for most of my life I have been listening to that sing sung at the Pacific Exhibition! I have loved everything about the fair since I was a little girl and used to watch it every day on the television. We lived in a small town up the coast and only occasionally did I get to go to it. However I made up for it big time when I got older and one year I went every day of the fair! There is nothing like the smell and the sounds and the excitement of a fair. I can hardly believe how much of a kick I still get out of visiting the barns! My daughters hate it! Every year they moan about going into the barns and looking at all the ducks and horses and pigs and rabbits and of course Peter the Great who replaced Bob (Bob was retired not eaten) as the biggest animal there! However, what they really hate is when I think one of the pregnant cows on display is getting ready to calve and then I like to sit down on the bleachers and wait and watch. Not one year have I ever been lucky enough to see a calf born, that fact however, does not deter me.These are the guys who captivated me this year. There were 10 little piglets all noshing and mom was sleeping away with this cute little grin on her face.
This is Peter the Great who replaced Bob and can you tell me why I love to just stand and stare at this magnificent animal?

Again this year they had the sand castle competition ,but this year,darn it, there was nothing as controversial as last year. For those who didn't get to see the picture I took of these last year check out "What was he thinking?". This was probably the most unusual one there this year and I was not quite sure what this one was about. It almost looked to me as though the guy was drowning.

Of course I bought a ticket on the house and cars and here I am explaining to my daughter that this year this one is mine. I can always dream.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What a Luxury!

Lucy and I spent the better part of the afternoon and early evening right here under this great big ole' tree watching the geese and crows and sea gulls, and boaters and seals come and go.
It was so lovely to just do nothing and not rush off to anywhere.
Doesn't this tree just make you want to snuggle up and watch the world go by?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It is National Dog Day!

It is National Dog Day according the to the Animal Miracle Foundation. This organization is dedicated to helping all animals and this day they try to bring greater awareness to people about domestic pets and animal suffering. As well they want to put an end to the overpopulation of unwanted pets through adoption, education and spay and neuter programs. Last year on this day they claim to have helped save 12,056 dogs and this year they are aiming for 15, 000. I sure hope they get there as I know all too sadly that there are so many abused and abandoned animals in our country. It brings tears to my eyes when I see how we treat these intelligent, loyal and loving creatures.
I got Lucy because she had been stuck in a small pen with her siblings for over six weeks in a pet store where they let all the kids maul them all day long. When I got her she was undernourished because they only fed them once a day and she had been habituated to messing in her kennel because that was the only place she had. She had eye infections and her coat was dirty and flea riddled. She was a frightened nervous little thing. She clung to my leg for days and it took us two years to convince her that she did not need to be afraid of kids anymore. Now, four years later, when I see her so confident and people walk up to me and say what a happy dog she is it puts a smile on my face and I know that all the work and walking and cleaning was worth the effort.
This was Lucy when we first brought her home. I can hardly believe how emaciated she was and frightened she always looked.
Here is Lucy today doing what she loves best- swimming and fishing. Her next passions are catching a ball or Frisbee and sleeping on my bed!

I hope that this organization has great success this year and I hope that more people realize how horrible animal abuse is and that the laws need to be stronger and penalties greater for these offenses.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Christmas Shopping in August!

Yes - I went Christmas shopping today! I know it is August, but I really don't care. I want to get it done. I tend to buy little things all year round as I find them and they fit someone in my extended family any way so today my daughter and I really were just finishing things off. I hate doing my shopping in November and December. The stores are far too busy for me at that time of year and because of my panic disorder I don't make good decisions. Then I end up spending far too much money and I don't like anything I purchased.
Every year when I begin to think of Christmas and what needs to be done over the next few months I wonder how we got here as a society. What happened to just having a good decent meal on the holiday? Remember Tiny Tim and the Christmas Goose?? Well today Tiny Tim would think Scrooge a cheapskate for giving them that measly thing. Today it seems that Christmas dinner has to include at least a turkey and a ham and in many homes a roast of lamb or beef as well. Not to mention the myriad of vegetables, breads and desserts and of course all that booze that we just can' t seem to do without. Then there is the decorating and the round of dinners and parties that we just can't seem to get away from.
Over the years I have cut way back on the celebrations. I really prefer to have a quieter time with less gluttony involved. Oh don't get me wrong I love to eat, but every year I remember the time when we had absolutely nothing for Christmas and I was just too sick to beg for help. My daughters ate frozen pizza and watched TV and videos all day long. For many years I felt deeply ashamed and guilty about not being able to do something that year for my kids, but over the years I have watched my now adult daughters go out of their way every year to help some other family provide for their kids and I realize that something very good was instilled in my daughters because of that Christmas and I can think of a few young people who could use this lesson.
Every year I think of how painful this season is for some people in our society. Those with out family and those with not enough to feed, clothe and house their children are assaulted every day by the expectations of the season. No wonder this season sees the greatest number of suicides and admissions to hospitals for depression.
I love to remember my friends and family but it doesn't have to be dictated by a date on the calendar that has been seized by greedy companies. I think it is time for us as a society to decide to stop being influenced by advertising from companies that merely want to make great profits off of us. That is really what Christmas has become about. It is not really about sharing it is far more about greed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Time for Change

I have been thinking about all the things I want to do while I am off for most of the next couple of weeks. I realized that I feel like a kid in a candy shop! For almost two full years my life has been dictated by what I have to get done. It has been one thing after another ever since I got so involved politically two years ago. The first year I also organized a formal wedding at Van Dusen gardens for my friends daughter in less than three months then went from that to helping organize the largest fund raiser of our riding for the year!
Who did I think I was - Super woman?
Between my volunteer work, my responsibilities for my elderly aunt, my jobs (yes I do several different things) and my dog there is so little time. As well there has been so much stress. So many tears. So many ups and downs. I am so tired of it all.
More than anything else I want to do for the next two weeks I want to think about my life and where I want to be this time next year. Certainly not this tired and burned out. So I must find ways to change my life and get more time for me and for rest.
Laugh more. Spend time in idle chatter with a friend without looking at my watch. Return my friends phone calls. Spend more time walking and playing with my dog. TAKE MORE PICTURES!
I want to remember every day to stop and smell the roses . . .

or even the wild snap dragons in the canyon. (aren't they sweet)

Doin the Happy Dance


Today after I do about two hours more work I am free for almost two weeks! YEAH!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Touch of the Master's Brush over Semihamoo Bay


It is one of those beautiful August nights here on the lower mainland. I drove to the beach to watch the sunset over Semiahmoo bay. I spent almost two hours there. It was like watching a great artist paint. I was mesmerized by it. Every minute the sky seemed to change colors and vibrance. In the beginning it was so alive with brilliance and warmth and then it slowly settled into inky quiet. With a sliver of a moon rising on one side of the bay and the streaks of a fading sunset on the other. The sound of the water gently splashing on the rocks was so relaxing I wish I could share the moment with every one. Alas I can only make a flickr badge and hope that you get a little of it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Let it Be Twilight

Let it be twilight
just a little longer...
don't turn the lights up
yet;
twilight's a time
for remembering,
twilight's a time to forget;
a decompression chamber
where the soul
submerged, uptight,
can un-begin
and slowly rise
to night.


by Ruth Bell Graham

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yep! I'm With Bob!



It was our "I'm with Bob Barbecue" fund raiser and by the looks of us we both had too much to drink last night!
It was our second in a series of three fund raisers for the NDP in our riding. We did this one with our President Bob in mind, because it is his birthday this month.
We had a great big cake with so many candles that we had to have someone on hand with a fire extinguisher just in case one of the tents caught fire and we covered his deck in balloons with prizes inside for people to pop! We had a questionair to test people's knowledge about such things as Bob's favorite song with choices such as "Damn I Feel Like a Woman" and "I've got friends in Low Places". Turns out his favorite is "Peggy Sue". Who knew? There were lots of old people jokes and teasing, but true to his style Bob took it all with a grin and threw in a few jokes about himself too!
Brenda, his wife, did most of the food preparations and Bob's daughters helped cook the steaks. They were great. We couldn't have done it with out them and they are great people to work with and be around!
Now just one more fund raiser left and I am all done.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Morning Rambling

I have had a busy weekend doing .... ?I really don't know, but it has disappeared faster than you can say "now you see it now you don't" !
I really have accomplished very little this weekend except for drink some wine and eat junk food. Just what my diet calls for!
Speaking of diet... I give up! At least for this month. Too many fund raisers and too many friends in from out of town who want to eat drink and be merry with me.
Speaking of fund raisers!
Yup we have another one today.
Yup - it's another barbecue this time steak with the works!
Yup! it's raining yet again. There has not been one out door event where Mother Nature has seen fit to bless us with incredibly hot weather.
Oh well, at least it is not snowing (I heard that Whitehorse has already had some) or hailing (apparently 100 mile house got some of that in July and August)
However, as bad as my day gets today it can never be as bad as what the coal mining town in Utah is having to go through. I can not imagine having a loved one buried under a ton of dirt or knowing that someone else has died trying to get that loved one out. I wince at the pain that this town collectively has to be feeling. Makes the rain look pretty insignificant.
My thoughts and prayers are with them and today when I meet up with friends and family I will let them know how much they mean to me and how much I love them. Tomorrow it may be too late.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Remembering Elvis

How many of us can still remember where we were when we heard the news that Elvis was dead? I can remember very clearly. I was sitting at my parents kitchen table on the Sunshine coast first thing in the morning having not slept very well because I was very very pregnant with my first child. (She was born two weeks later) I can still remember how sad I felt about him. Like every young woman who grew up in the 60's or 70's I was in love with Elvis and dreamed of some day being able to see him in person. His death killed that dream and that was part of my sadness. However young as I was I sat there thinking of the little I really knew of his life and realized that despite his wealth and fame he really lived a very sad life. He had few real friends and was constantly followed by the paparazzi. His every move in life was fodder for gossip and I think that underneath the persona of a star there was a very shy quiet human being who really just wanted to be happy. I also felt that despite his drug use he was a very good human being who really wanted the best for those around him. I have read several books written about his life and all of them seem to confirm my impressions of him.
On August 16th, 1977 I think the world not only lost an incredible artist, but also a good human being.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer is fading fast! Too Fast!

Today I realized that the summer is quickly slipping away and I have not gotten to do many of the things I had planned. So here is my absolute must do list for the balance of the summer.

1. Visit Granville Island
2. Spend an afternoon at Harrison Lake (possibly during the Sand Castle Competition)
3. Visit the Pacific National Exhibition
4. Spend two whole days at hiking with Lucy.
5. Finish my Christmas shopping so I don't have too much to do

The ONE thing I had my heart set on this summer was spending a day at VanDusen Gardens taking pictures, but the civic strike put an end to that dream. The park is closed till the strike is over.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Day In The Fraser Valley

The Fraser Valley is one of my favorite areas of the lower mainland. Until a few years, ago when I started taking Lucy to Kilby Park for a swim at the camp ground or day use area, I would never have thought I could like the area so much. It is not only very beautiful it is also very peaceful and I always come home feeling very rested. Yesterday was a perfect day there. The temperature was 30C and the mountains provide the perfect back drop to the lush produce rich farms. On the way home we stopped just by our house to take some pictures of the sunset over the Fraser River.
Click here to see the Flickr set for all the pictures.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Reflections on my weekend.

Took Lucy for a walk this evening in Burns Bog to look at the sunset and reflect on my weekend. It was a bitter sweet weekend for me with some really good things and some very sad.
The good things -
Getting about six hours of walking time with Lucy either in the bog or around the neighborhood. She loved it and so did I. I have not had much time in the past three months to do that.

Getting to go to a great barbecue at a wonderful house with a lot of nice people. Even though I had a family dinner commitment early in the evening I still had time to drop in for a drink and some much needed chit chat and laughter with friends. Loved it! Only sorry I didn't get a chance to taste all that wild game they served at the barbecue.

Getting time to throw an ice cream party with all the trimmings for my neighbors children and eating pakoras and roti that their mother made us for dinner. The giggles and happiness that oozed from these children made me smile and forget the week ahead as well as the sad part of the weekend.

The sad things:
My 86 year old aunt is very ill and even though I am her sole support there is really nothing I can do for her and it is frustrating.
My children's Aunt, one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life is dying of cancer at the age of 69. I sat at dinner on Saturday reflecting on the times we had spent together over the years and wishing there had been more of them. She will probably not see the new year in and if she does it will probably not be pleasant. She has two different types of stomach cancer that has metastasized and is now in her lymph nodes. She is a strong lady and she has a positive attitude. I can only pray that God will be merciful to her. It makes me so sad to know that she will not be in our lives for much longer.

If we are open to it life can bring us great joy, but at the same time we must also accept the times of great saddness as well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS TOMMY-D!

And to all of your team for winning BEST INTERPRETATION OF THE PRIDE THEME AT this years Vancouver Pride Parade!


TOMMY-D WINNING FLOAT FOR BEST INTERPRETATION OF THE PRIDE THEME

T.G.I.F.


Any one else feel like this?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Vancouver - A City With Pride!

The twenty ninth Gay Pride Parade took place in Vancouver yesterday and for the first time in my life I went! I don't know why I have never gone to this event before as I am not a prude or a homophobe. This being the largest parade of it's kind in North America I think it has more to do with the 300 thousand plus people who go every year. Those kind of crowds scare me silly. This year a friend convinced me to go and never wanting to turn down an opportunity to take photo's of something new I went. The day was perfect for a parade. Sunny and warm with a lovely breeze. Not ever having been to this event before I was not sure what to expect. It was a good thing too, because from the time we hit the muster station to the end of the parade there was something happening.
On the advice of some regular goers that we met before the parade we got a place on the corner of Beach Ave and Denman Street. This is where the parade has to slow to turn the corner so I was able to get some really good photo's which I have posted here on my Flicker badge. As well I have posted a few video clips on here on YouTube so you can see and hear some of the mayhem for yourself
The parade started with the Dykes on Bikes a group of well.... dykes on motor bikes and having a great time of it as you will see. From there the parade just got crazier and crazier. There was everything and everyone in this parade 160 entries and almost three hours of nonstop mayhem. It really is like Mardi Gras Vancouver Style! Some of the entries were so outrageous that it made me blush. I have never seen so many naked and half naked people on the streets of Vancouver side by side with the boys in blue -Vancouver's finest Police Department. I can only imagine what they think about this event.
Water ballons and mardi gras beads were some of the less flamboyant things being thrown to and at the crowd. Add to that rainbow condoms and tubes of lube and you had one interesting grab bag at the end of the day. Rainbow colors, the official color of the Gay community depicting diversity were predominant.
The parade was not without it's messages. Who knew we had a gay hockey team? or that so many gay and lesbians are abused world wide or that those drag queens were so good looking that a couple of them made me jealous and of course the battle against AIDS was front and center. Why did we wait so long in recognizing and treating this disease? So many people have died needlessly because of our ignorance.
It was an interesting day and I learned a lot about the city and the people who live in it. They are a diverse tolerant people with the ability to have fun and most of all the sense of humor to make fun of and laugh at themselves. I have always loved this city, but I think I like it even more today after seeing this parade.
To see all the photos of the Parade check out my Flickr set for the Gay Pride Parade.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mother Sea
by Charlotte Mair

Rolling, thunderous, ever plunging breakers
On the Point No Point shores of Vancouver Isle
Watching Orca thrust down on the wave crests
Spraying salty air, refreshes on my smile

Happily gazing through the distance of Her sea view
Meditating on the sands of Her Long Beach
An encrusted, war torn log displays its aging
And creates a chair within my welcoming reach

Glittering sun-jewels hitting on the water
As Her icy hands encircle unclothed feet
Strangely now adjoined, in Her rapturous caress
Like and old seafarer, at last port - - I’m so complete!

Whispering reflections bid me daydreams
As a sea ern circles calmly up above
Escaping from all complexities - - disquietude
I interpose in peace with life’s mural of love

Sands create themselves as artist’s renderings
As frothy, soft tides rise to shape the shore
Sail boats sit at bay, on this carefree summer day
Then turn to catch a wind on sail once more

Living for the beauty of the moment
Skipping pebbles along the water-line
Nature’s marvels convey in me deep solitude
As lasting visions saturate my mind

I love this sense of liberty She grants me
If only for mere seconds of the day
My searching soul does always thirst this freedom
As Mother Sea caresses thoughts at play

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Like this Word "NO"

I have begun to like this word NO. On Tuesday I was supposed to go to work, but I said NO and took Lucy to the beach. On Wednesday my inner voice told me to lay on the couch and watch TV in the evening, but I told that inner voice NO and went to Aquacize and did my exercises to look after myself. This morning I was supposed to go to work and I said NO again and because Lucy and I had such a good time at the beach on Tuesday we went again today. The weather was perfect and we walked and I took pictures for over two hours. I have not sorted or edited them, but I just had to put up a few so you can enjoy the beauty of them as well.

Mount Baker, covered deep in snow, dominates the landscape.
The eagles were back two of them this time sitting like sentries at the edge of the water.
They are such magnificent birds. I can't help but be in awe every time I see them soar through the air.
It was beautiful, calm and serene.

Then of course there is Miss Lucy trying to hang on to her Chuckit and chase birds at the same time!
If only these days never had to end, but tomorrow I really do have to go to work!

Jessica

All I can say is who cleans up after the kitchen visit?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Saying No!

I have a hard time saying no to people. Especially to people who I care about. I never like to let anyone down and end up taking on far too much, getting overtired and sick. When I do say no people are so shocked that they tend not to take it well even when I give them advance notice of my intention to say NO. It is a major dilemma for me, but the older I get the more I realize that I have no choice. I can't do as much as I used to and I need to take better care of myself as I have found out that if I don't no one will.
I am an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. I like to socialize with people and have a good time, but that is not how I recharge my internal batteries as most extroverts do. I recharge mentally and emotionally in solitude.
Doing things like walking on the beach with Lucy or hiking in the canyon is something I love to do. I find it relaxing and renewing. I have had few chances to enjoy this simple pleasure since the start of the summer and with summer rapidly disappearing I have begun to realize that I need to manage my personal time better. I have to say NO in order to get time to rest and renew. So I am on to a new me. Every occasion I am asked to do something I will decide if I can balance that with some ME time or if it will prevent me from fulfilling MY goals. I only hope that those around me who I care about can understand that sometimes I just have to say no and they will have to get used to the new me. They need to understand that I will be able to give more of myself to them if they have less of my time and energies.
So I am going to spend the rest of the summer fulfilling my obligations and goals, but with more balance. I am going to spend more of my time laughing and less of my time grinding away.
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
-- Mark Twain