Sunday, December 25, 2005

Humble Things

Humble Things

God uses, Oh, such humble Things:
A swatch of hay, a stable crude,
A swaddle cloth, a manger rude,
a donkey colt, a young, sweet girl,
To hold the hope of all the world-
The King of Kings-
Such little things.

by Margaret Penner Toews

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;The warmth of Christmas, which is love;The belief in Christmas, which is truth;The all of Christmas, which is Christ.

-- Wilda English


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Just The Beginning

That sacred night was just the beginning of a life of service teaching and great sacrifice, Jesus never traded His manager for a mansion, nor did he surround himself with powerful or wealthy friends. The rich were always amazed by Him, but few worshipped Him like Magi. And the Shepherds? They became the model for how He wanted to care for those who loved Him. the angel declared, "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!" And it's as true today as it was that night!

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Foreigners

Some months later, baby Jesus received a visit from a group of international travelers, Magi from the east. They had followed a special star in the sky, which they interpreted as announcing a newborn King of the Jews. They brought with them expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and when they saw Jesus, they fell down before Him and worshipped Him. They were the first of a host of people from every corner of the world who would someday also worship Him.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Visitors

When the brilliance of the angel's presence had vanished from the night sky, the Shepherds shook their heads and looked at each other in disbelief. Then their curiosity got the best of them and they literally ran to find this baby who was special enough to have an angelic introduction. When they found Him, they told everyone about the angels. Afterwards, they went home to take care of their cheep, still amazed at what had happened. What a night they were having.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


With the Son of God now newly born on Earth, it was time to make an official announcement. That night, with a touch of the over dramatic, an angel suddenly appeared to a group of sherpherds who were living in the fields with their sheep.
Absolutely terrified, the shepherds listened to the news of the birth of the Messiah and took note of the specific directions for finding Him. Then the angel was joined by a mass of others and they treated the Shepherds to a chorus of praises to God.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Baby

The birth took place on a busy night in the middle of a national Roman census. It must have been the most profoundly understated way that a prince has ever been born! With the local inn full, the young first time mother wrapped her tiny baby in some cloths and laid him down in an animals eating trough. No fireworks, no international headlines, no royal retinue. Just a mother and father destined to be the caregivers for a divine child.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Message

The drama began one day when an angel dressed in shining brilliance suddenly appeared to a young unmarried woman. She was told that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Savior of the world!
She would become pregnant through the work of the Holy Spirit before her wedding and the child would be the Son of God! Naturally she was afraid of her finacee's reaction but an angle visted him one night and explained to him what had happened. With the assurance that God was in control, the couple prepared for the most important birth that has ever occured in all history.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Spirit of Christmas

I found the spirit of Christmas alive and well and living on four blocks of Trinity Street in Vancouver. Tonight, tired from days of shopping, cleaning and cooking in preparation for the holiday, we armed armed ourselves with a list of decorated houses, a warm car (the temperature was -2)and a determination to find the true spirit of Christmas somewhere. We figured these folks, who spend hours decorating their houses every year and pay enormous hydro bills just so that looky loos like us can enjoy the sight, must know something about the Christmas spirit. We stopped at various light shows all the way from Port Moody to Vancouver. There were some very beautiful and creative light displays all along the way and it is obvious that some people have put a great deal of time and effort into it. However, none more so than the folks who live on four blocks of Trinity Street in Vancouver. Not only have they decorated their houses they have convinced EVERY person on those blocks to do the same! I can't convince three of my neighbors to agree to anything let alone get them to decorate their houses for charity for a solid month and put up with the traffic and noise all night long. As well, we arrived on the one night that they have a street fair with food and hot drinks and carollers and Santa Claus and his elves. There was so much fun and laughter and good wishes being exchanged and every nickle raised goes to charity. These people have truly discovered the meaning of Christmas. It's not what you get, it is what you give and there is not greater gift you can give than the gift of your self. This neighborhood has much to teach the rest of us about good will and Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Thanks Frances!

The decorating is done, the parcels are purchased, wrapped (for the most part)and mailed (when necessary) and the food is purchased. The farther into the festivities we get the more difficult to remember why we drive ourselves so hard every holiday season. So tonight as I sat exhausted in front of the computer trying to get my brain to finish the last of the Christmas cards and letters and pondering this question, I aimlessly began to look through my Christmas file. I found something that reminded me of exactly what the season is about.
This card from a dear friend with words of friendship and caring was lovingly made and sent to me a long time ago. Tonight it made me realize that friendship and caring and love are "the real reasons for the season"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This Christmas...



end a quarrel.

Share a treasure.

Seek out a forgotten.

friend. Write a love letter..

Dismiss suspicion and replace.

it with trust. Give a soft answer..

Encourage youth. Manifest loyalty in.

word and deed. Keep a promise. Find time..

Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen..

Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand..

Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think.

first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind. Be gentle..

Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Learn to love yourself..

Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express.

gratitude. Go to church. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart.

of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of each moment..

Speak your love...

Speak it again...




Monday, December 12, 2005

A Bird's Eye View

On Saturday, in between bottling wine and shopping for Christmas gifts for those last people on my list that are so difficult to buy for, I stopped at Rocky Point Park for a breath of fresh air. I discovered this bird sitting on top of the light standard. I decided right there that next year I would like to be a bird and sit upon a light standard on a sunny cold day mid December. All us silly people below racing around trying to create a perfect Christmas day when all you had to do was look around you to see that perfect had already been created by the Creator and no amount of buying or decorating could ever match the beauty this bird could view all around him.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


It is the first snow of the season. I am not ready for it. I try to see the snow as something of beauty - something pleasant. Instead I merely see it as something to be endured.

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway." Maya Angelou

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Fog has Lifted

Finally, after nearly a solid week of dreary gray skies the sun broke through today making it a beautiful day to take Lucy to the bog. The bog, while cold, was a glorious place to be. The sun breaking through the trees created interesting shadows. The moss, that clings to most of the trees there, appears soft like velvet and the smell of the trees and the wet earth is invigorating. I am wishing that I could be like Lucy, and run free in circles around the trees, leap over the dead branches piled on the ground and splash carefree in the mud. The bog is a place of constant renewal. Everything here dies and renews itself over and over again and today after so many days in dreariness I too find myself by renewed and rejuvinated. My thoughts wander to my friend far away struggling with his pain. I want to package all this beauty and send it to him in hopes that he will find strength in it. Maybe if I send him enough sunshine and beauty and warm earth smells the fog will lift for him as well and he will find healing and peace and rejuvination.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Diane Xinyue Gong, B.Sc., B. Ed.

I was filled with emotion as I watched this young woman take her place on stage yesterday to receive her second degree from the University of BC. To have been able to watch this young woman grow from a small frightened sad little girl to a happy young woman has been one of my greatest pleasures in the last eight years. I so remember the first day I met Diane. She was so eager to speak to me and I think so happy to have someone to tell about her beloved life in China. It was not easy to see such a homesick little girl trying to be so brave. She would smile shyly at me as she struggle to act as translator for her parents and me. Sometimes I knew that she wanted nothing more than to tell me her own tale. Read me a Chinese story or explain a joke book from her country. She especially like to share the beautiful Chinese music that told such fascinating stories of the country she had left behind. She would tell me, when we were alone, that her one desire was to make her parents proud of her because they had struggled and sacrificed so much to bring her here. Eight years later with two degrees to her name... I think she can finally feel that she has accomplished her goal. Aero and Flora, her parents, have also accomplished their goal. Through their sacrifice and perseverance they gave their daughter a much better life than they had ever hoped to have. To have been allowed to play even a little part in this has been a great priviledge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


We have been smothered in fog for almost a week now. For the last two days it has not lifted much even during the day. Walking in it is like being wrapped in a wet blanket. It is not cold really, just wet. The trees are dripping with water and it only takes a short time outside for your clothes to feel damp. I don't like this weather. Looking out the window in the early mornings makes you think of every horror show and suspense movie you have ever watched. And for some reason it is very quiet. The fog seems to dull all the noise. It is dreary... very dreary. The cats have decided to curl up with a friend and sleep till it is over....I'm thinking that is a wise decision.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Walk Along the Fraser

Just a perfect day for a walk along the Fraser today. The sun was shining brilliantly and the water looked so calm and inviting. Lucy had a great time running up and down on the grass path while I soaked up the beauty.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Good-bye Karen

Karen Gail Canuel - November 1952 - November 2005

Thanks Karen for being part of my life at a time when I really needed friends. Thanks for being good and kind to my family especially my daughter Karen. You have been taken too soon, but I know that you, ever the stoic, always the optimist, would shrug your shoulders utter that unique little chuckle of yours and tell me "oh well... it'll all work out". I know that your soul restrained for so long by illness and poverty is now free. Free to soar above the dark clouds, to the place where sunlight dances every day, rainbows always shine and glorious sunsets never end.
"Wakan Tanka nici un" - Sioux Proverb
(May the great spirit always walk by your side)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Smile of God!

O beautiful rainbow;--all woven of light!
There's not in thy tissue one shadow of night;
Heaven surely is open when thou dost appear.
And, bending thee above, the angels draw near,
And sing,--"The rainbow! the rainbow!
The smile of God is here."
Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en days in my childhood were so fun and exciting that I vowed I would never give them up! The excitment started weeks before the big day when we comb old trunks and backs of closets for things to make our costume out of. There was no Cat Woman or Spider Man purchased costumes for us. We went as pumpkins, or fairies, or hobo's or cowgirls or my personal favorite .... a princess. It didn't matter what we went as though it was the delicious thought of going to other people's doors and asking for and getting all that CANDY! Oh! and it wasn't just that.... it was the party at school where you got to wear your costume and eat pumpkin shaped cookies and mom's brought in black cat cakes to share. We would laugh and giggle at each other's costumes and talk about how much candy we were going to get that night. We would warn each other to stay away from the houses that made you do too much for your treat or worse gave you FRUIT! What kid wanted and apple on Hallowe'en? Then home to wait for the magic hour when it got dark and scary and you grabbed your pillow case and hit the streets to make the haul. We would prowl the streets for hours meeting up with other kids and comparing our goodies. Exhaustion would catch up with us sooner or later and we would and home we would go to eat and count up the chocolate bars and the suckers and boxed candy and popcorn balls and the licorice whips! Best of all the homemade caramel apples!
In the hustle and bustle of adult life I have forgotten my promise to never give up Hallowe'en. I bought the goodies and oohhed and ahhed over the little ones dressed in the latest purchased hero costume of the day. Next year though I think I am going to look in the back of the closets and the old trunk down stairs and grab my pillow case and shout 'TRICK OR TREAT'!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Some days just suck!

Awoke to find that the furnace that I had worked for almost two hours to get going yesterday had gone out in the middle of the night.
Went to the kitchen only to find that the field mouse had visited again. This despite the fact that we have put out multiple traps, mouse poison and an electronic mouse repeller. Not to mention THREE cats! I am cutting off their food supply.
Went to start the car (after cleaning up the mouse leavings instead of the quiet newspaper thing I had envisioned for my morning) only to find that it would not start.
Decided if I hurried I could catch a bus and still be almost on time. NOT! gave all my change up last night and the buses won't take bills.
Run a mile to the office and get there only 15 minutes late to find out that no one has keys and the person who does will not be in for another one and a half hours. Decide to console myself with a steamed milk and an iced scone and read that newspaper in peace and quiet. NOT !Some very nice lonley man asked if he could join me and talked and talked and talked!
Finally get into the office and within half an hour some one comes in with a fax that they want sent right away to Victoria! Great I can do that.... except that the fax machine will not work!
So now I am on my way to bed in hopes that tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Fall on the West Coast!

It was a wonderful fall day on the coast. All afternoon I was out doing errands and thinking how sorry I was that I had not brought my camera. The trees were radiantly attired in hues of red and gold and yellow. They swayed in the gentle breeze as though swooning from the warmth of the last rays of sunshine. Tomorrow we are to get rain and a great wind that will leave them naked by the end of day. I rushed home and grabbed my camera late in the day and rushed to Rocky Point only to get there just a little too late. The sun had dipped and all that was left was this little bit of fall sunset. Oh well, maybe some trees will keep their finery for another day!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bou Country

The Caribou is a special place. The land is vast and seems, to me at least, almost empty although some of the pioneers of the area would argue that it is getting too crowded. As well, there is a peacefulness that seems to blanket everything. From the peaceful grazing cattle to the lonely call of the loons on the multitude of lakes in the area you are struck by the quiet serenity of the place. With little cabins tucked away behind massive trees and the only evidence they are there is the smoke rising from their chimney it is obvious by the way people struggle to build houses with no running water and no septic fields that the people that live here do so for the sheer pleasure of nature and privacy. As I walked the paths around Dekka Lake this past weekend with Lucy I was struck by the beauty, but awed by the silence. More on the Caribou later.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Fall in the Caribou

Dekka Creek

Time - where does it go?

Where in the world does time fly? I used to think that time would never pass quickly enough. Remember how you were 4 and it was another year before you could go to school - now wasn't that the year that never seemed to end! Or how about those nine months that you were pregnant....didn't those nine months seem to crawl along? However since I turned 50 I am convinced that I get up in the morning and 5 minutes later it is time to go to bed and I still have hundreds of things left to do. What is THAT about? Just like this blog, I could have sworn it was only a couple of days ago that I last posted so imagine my surprise when I logged in tonight (actually forgot my password something else that has happened since I turned 50 but that is whole other post) and discovered that I have not written anything for the last two and a half weeks. Lots to catch up on.
Thanksgiving came and went. I always take my Aunt out for a traditional dinner and a trip to the gambling ship. I lost , my daughter won and Auntie enjoyed herself.
Fall on the west coast is here with a passion, leaves falling in colorful mounds on the ground and the usual deluge of rain. I can't tell you how many times a day I change shoes and socks and coats because I have to walk Lucy in pounding rain that most of the time even she doesn't want to go out in. I don't want to complain too much though, because people have been telling me that we are going to have mounds of white stuff this winter something I dislike even more than rain.
Went away last weekend to the Caribou - such a peaceful place to be especially at this time of the year. The colors of the trees was mind boggling and it was interesting to watch everything sort of settling in for winter. I have some great pictures and more about my trip later.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Whew !

Dumb and Dumber

Safe at last! This ranks right up there with making Martha Stewart wear that ankle bracelet for another two weeks! I don't know about the rest of Canada, but I am sure I will be sleeping better at nights because of these guys!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Sunset in the Fraser Valley

Friday, September 23, 2005


Fall came striding into BC yesterday bringing colder evenings and mornings, but still allowing us to enjoy those last warm rays of summer sun during the day. I took a ride out to the valley yesterday and spent some time down by the river with Lucy and my daughter. I love the fall, but it always comes with a touch of saddness as I realize that old man winter with his dark cold long days cannot be far behind. So I try to drink in all of it. The harvest moon that hangs so low in the sky at this time of the year and the beautiful colors of the trees as their leaves turn golden orange and brown and slowly drop off as they are caught in the winds we get at this time. I love to walk through the park and listen to the leaves crackle underfoot. I watch the squirrels as they scurry from place to place trying desperately to stay out of Lucy's way and still get on with the task of storing nuts for the long winter sleep. I don't want to let these days go. I want to hang on to summer and if I can't have summer then I want to hang on to fall. I am not ready for winter... my head and my heart are still longing for more lazy days in the sun. Alas, I know it is not to be so I, like the squirrels, try to gather all of my resources to help me make it through the long dark cold winter days.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Whew! Finally good news, it's Friday(seemed like the week would never end), the Burns Bog fire is all but out, my friend in England finally got at least one parcel I sent her. I have no idea where the other one is, but hey one is better than nothing, and it is raining! Yes!! that is good news as it will hopefully help clear the air of the smoke that has been plugging my head and lungs all week as well as help the fire fighters get that bog fire out. Yep! Good news!
Good news from a world perspective as well - New Orleans is starting to recover, President Bush has admitted it was his governments fault that it took so long for help to get to the people after Katrina hit, the NDP finished their first week in the legislature finally ending four years of a mean dictatorship by Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals and the federal Liberals are actually talking about giving us some relief from the high gas prices we are all trying to live with.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Day Two of the Bog Fire

This morning, to the untrained eye, the bog fire appeared to have thankfully settled down. The smoke coming from it was not as black, the wind seemed to have died a little and the flames that were shooting from the tree tops the night before appeared to be out. It was a happy site for me and even more so when I realized that the part of the bog that Lucy and I walk in appears to be untouched as yet. However, turning on my raidio as I drove past the site on the freeway this morning, I am informed that in fact the fire almost doubled over night (20 hectares) and they were bringing in the gigantic Martin Mars water bombers today. Late this afternoon the bombers began flying past my kitchen window and none too soon as the fire has increased another 3 hectares! I am praying that this fire will soon be out.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Burns Bog is Burning

My beloved Burns Bog, where I have walked Lucy several times a week for almost three years, is burning as I write. I am devastated. When I first moved to Delta I knew nothing about the bog and would probably have never learned if I had not gotten Lucy. When she was a puppy she spent many happy hours swimming and playing and hiking the trails with me and we still go there a couple of times a week. I have developed a deep affection for the bog and my daughter often teases me about being a fanatic about the place. As the sky glows red from the flames that are leaping from tree to tree I can't help but wonder if Lucy and I will ever be able to walk there again.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

You're only as old as you feel! Part II

The "Black Hole" tube slides slides are located at the back of the park and are distiguishable from the others mainly because they are painted black already giving them an ominous air before you even climb the ridiculously high staircase to the entrance. At first I was a little hesitant about this one as the tubes were completely closed in and I don't like to go in tunnels and such. However, I was feeling invincible and game to try and as this was a slide that two people could ride in a double inner tube I tried to convince my partner in crime to ride with me the first time, but she was not having any part of it. So off we went single inner tube in hand and climbed the wet rusting stairs to the entrance.The water on this slide seemed to be moving faster than on the others as we flopped on our inner tubes and went swishing rapidly down the black tube. At times my inner tube was going so fast as it went around the corners that I was litterly riding sideways. Suddenly I could see the sunlight at the end and as quickly as that thought entered my head my inner tube and my body hit the water pool with a loud splash. Laughing as I pulled myself and my inner tube out I begged my daughter to go again, but for now she was having nothing to do with it. So off we went to try some of the smaller slides, but after awhile that kid in me that just loves a challenge began to nag my daughter to go back on the "Black Hole". Finally my daughter gave in, but was that enough for me...... noooooo. I had to beg her to do the double rider inner tube. Now when you get to the top that is a little tricky to get into as the water is rushing pretty hard and fast down the shut and the first person in has to hold on to the metal railings to keep from shooting away until the person in the back gets their butt in the hole of the inner tube. Now this where things got a little tricky and I began to think that maybe this was not such a good idea, but would I back down....nooooooo. While my daughter struggled to get in I struggled to hang on to the metal rails. My arms were hurting terribly and I was not sure that I was going to be able to hold on while my daughter kept trying to slide her butt in the hole. Finally either she or the attendant gave up and figured we were okay to go and off we went even faster than when we went by ourselves. I was just beginng to think this was going to be fun after all and I might come out in one piece when all of sudden I was airborne in the middle of this great black tube and flipped face downward. I could hear my daughter asking if I was alright, but with my lips being dragged across wet plastic and my big toe twisted at a painful and unnatural angle all I could do was moan. For a few moments my head told my body "well you old idiot it's all over for you now". I saw myself at best walking with a cane and at worse in traction with a full body cast. However, I got a grip on my senses and flipped myself right side up and continued shutting down the tube on my butt with my daughter behind me coming at the same speed or better. I had no sooner given myself a pat on the back for living through the nightmare when I realized that we were going to encounter more problems when we hit that recieving pool, because there was no way both of us were going to erupt in any dignified way out of that tube. I also figured that I was going to take the brunt of it as my daughter was most likely to land on top of me. Soon enough I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and tried in vain to put some distance between her and me. However, my feet had barely hit the water when she came crashing down on top of me. I spluttered and choked my way back up grateful to be in one piece and still breathing. Limping painfully to the side of the pool I could only laugh as my daughter rightfully berated me with "I told you I didn't have a good feeling about this ride"and vowing never to go on it with me again. ( I am sure she is just joking!)
I have a bruised toe and knee, skinned elbows, sore arm and sore lips to prove what a great day it was. Next year when I go again, I am hoping that my daughter forgets all about the incident in the "Black Hole" , but incase she doesn't I am planning on bringing some one new with me who has never been there before. Won't that be fun!

You're only as old as you feel!

I don't know who first said those words, but I am convinced it was a woman because the words are so true. Today I went to Splashdown Water Park with my daughter (she is in her late 20's) and felt like a ten year old kid again. I discovered how much I loved these things about two years ago and jump at every chance I get to go and play on them. I am never disappointed. The rush that you feel when you first sit at the top of the slide and let yourself go is such a marvelous feeling I almost become addicted. Rushing even faster up the stairs for yet another turn at on a different slide. First the Kamakazi, then the Corkscrew and the Oliver Twist -oh and the Double Trouble. All of them just a little different. All of them crazy fun!
The one enjoyed the most was "Big Jim's River Run"! For this one you take an inner tube and climb the stairway to the run entrance where a huge fountain sits in the center of a wide run spewing water. You walk around the fountain and flop yourself into the tube and cascade down several levels of water landing in pools on each level till you get to the last pool. The pools are of varying widths and you can get trapped there having to use your arms and legs to pull yourself to the next drop to get going again. As well, other riders are flying over the falls and hurtling themselves a you and at times crashing into you so hard that you think you will fly head first into the high cement walls on either side of the run. Screams and laughter are al l around you as you spin around on your inner tube, sometimes going over a pretend fall backwards adding to the excitement. Finally you reach the last drop and you and your inner tube hit the recieving pool and spin halfway accross before you realize that the ride is over.
My daughter and I barely sat down for over two hours and we laughed so hard that even the bruises I got from bumping down these water runs didn't hurt much. We tried everything but the kiddie runs and that only because my daughter wouldn't let me! However the one ride that finally did us in was the "Black Hole" tube rides, but I will leave that one till tomorrow when the pain in my body has hopefully subsided.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Did He Die in Vain?

Look around you brother,
Look around you friend.
Everywhere you turn you see the face of pain.

Look down that dark and dirty alley
See the man who trembles there using dirty needles
to shoot the poison in his veins.
Look deep into his eyes,
See the pain.

See the beggar on the street,
Wrapped in rags from head to feet
Pushing all her lifes possession is a dirty rusted cart.
"Just some coins for a meal" she begs
as the bugs run through her hair.
Look deep into her eyes,
See the pain.

Watch the young girl on the street ply her trade
In sheer black stocking and tiny stretchy skirt
Shivering in the winters chill
Her makeup covering her bruised and battered face.
She smiles sweetly for the johns to fill her empty plate.
Look deep into her eyes,
See the pain.

Remember Jesus Christ, the man from Nazareth?
They said He was a criminal and they hung Him on a cross.
They mocked Him and spat on him as they bartered for His clothes.
Look deep into His eyes,
See the pain.

Look around you brother
Look around you friend.
Everywhere you turn you see the face of pain.

Can you let them suffer?
Can you ignore their pain?
Did the man from Nazareth -
Our Saviour die in vain?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Trying to look at the world in a different way

I have been trying to look at the world in a new way! Some time ago I realized that I look at the world in a certain ways because that is the way I learned to look at the world and I acknowledged that a lot of my learning was deeply flawed. As well, I realized that I tend to see the world from the place where I am right at that moment rather than seeing the whole. For example, if the weather is lousy, I am late for an appointment and the dog has decided to throw up her dinner all over the carpet I generally feel that the life is not good and think of all the things that are also going wrong with the world at large. Global warming, the free trade dispute with the US, the war in Iraq and the high price of gas all become much larger problems in my life than they really are just because of the personal challenges that I am facing. Being a feeling person I also tend to see the world more from my inner perspective than what is really happening around me and I have discovered that there are days when I just don't feel up and happy and positive about the my life and the word in general. So from now on I will attempt to see the world from a healthier perspective no matter what I may be feeling at the time or what is happening in the world or my life at that moment. After all, what good does it do to lose faith and hope in people and life.
I promise myself to:
  • Try to see the whole picture. Afterall, if Lucy is still there giving me kisses and wagging her tail can it really be such a bad day.
  • Try to find beauty in different way. Not every day can be perfect, but every day can have some perfect moments. Sometimes the most violent rain storm produces the most beautiful rainbows.
  • Make the most out of the smallest things. Sometimes the greatest things in life are the littlest things. Morning dew on the grass, coffee with a friend, or a beautiful sunset can mean more than caviar and champagne.
  • Always give thanks for everything. It is not the problems we are dealt in life that define us, it is how we deal with them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Weekend Under the Trees

I lucked out and won tickets for Saturday to the Blues and Roots festival that is held every year at Deer Lake. After walking around and getting a feel for the festival grounds we managed to find a spot on the grass to listen to Lhasa. A rather strange entertainer who sang an eclectic mix of English, French and Spanish vocals. The sun was burning down on us and I knew I had to find shade. I spotted a huge tree off behind the concession stands and headed for it. It was so peaceful laying there staring up into the tree while listening to the music being played.
Sunday morning brought even warmer temperatures and as we drove to the park where our family picnic was to be held I kept my fingers crossed that we would find a spot in the shade. Once more we were able to get a spot under a pair of giant maple trees that provided enough shade to shelter twenty of us for a day of games, good food and family eccentricities causing me to ponder how many other family picnics these ancient trees had witnessed.
Trees... we think so little about them. They stand majestic in all seasons. They give us shade in the summer, provide warmth in the winter, shelter from the rain in the spring and in the fall they turn beautiful shades of gold and yellow bringing beauty into our lives making saying goodbye the last rays of summer sun a little easier.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dealing with life!

Recently I have been feeling stressed out and loaded down with the issues of life so when this message arrived in my in box I took it as a message from God to lay my burdens down if only for a while every day.

  • Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
  • Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  • If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • It may be that your sole pupose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  • Never buy a car you can't push.
  • Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, becuas then you won't have a leg to stand on.
  • Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
  • Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  • You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  • Some mistakes are too much fun to only make one.
  • We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Sweet togetherness on a warm summer day.

Some pictures just say it all and put everything in perspective.
"A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words." Ansel Adams

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hiking Challenges!

It has been a glorious holiday weekend here on the west coast. Hot sunny days and warm evenings. My daughters and I had the weekend off and decided to make it a hiking weekend. We started by hiking 10K around Bunsen Lake after work on a warm Friday evening. The Buntzen lake trail alternately winds along the lake side and up the hillside. The views are spectacular. The first part of the trial is the most challenging and leads to a small sandy beach. The second part of the trail is not so demanding and leads you back to the main beach and the parking area. While it is not that challenging a hike it is tiring if you are not used to it and none of us had done this trail in over two years. We were expecting the hike to take us about 3 hours and were pleased with ourselves when we finished it in just under 2 1/2 hours and still has some energy to spare. Lucy enjoyed every minute of it only sulking when I put her on the leash around the cliffs for her safety.
Saturday we plotted our next hiking trip over a couple of martini's and a bottle of wine. Buoyed by our success at Buntzen Lake, (the drinks didn't hurt any either) we decided to do the Campbell Lake trail at Harrison. The trail is described on Harrison's web site as "Harrison's answer to the Grouse Grind". "A real cardio-vascular work out". It went on to say that it was a 10K round trip on an unmaintained trail with a nice little trout lake at the top. The lake was the clincher. We all fancied ourselves having a nice lunch and a dip in that lake after our climb. Sunday the weather office had predicted that we would get a bit of a shower and that is always good on a long hike. However, the sun was bright and hot on Sunday morning and showed no signs of letting up. We arrived at the hike not long after 11 am and were a little disconcerted by how steep and rocky the trail was, but bravely encouraging each other we started our ascent into what was to become the hiking trail from hell. The path rose straight up with barely a break and was nothing but rocks and in some places the rocks were wet and slippery. The temperature rose as fast as we did and with sun beating down on those rocks we were slowly cooking. Before long even Lucy had decided she should have stayed home. By 1:00 pm, exhausted,we had at least gotten to the forest at the top. Inside the forest was green and lush and quiet. We sat inside a canopy of trees and had our snack and let the breeze cool us. Thinking that the promised lake was now only a short climb through the woods we set off in a good mood thinking we had beaten this hike. Almost an hour later were soon to be disappointed. The trail seemed to wind on uphill endlessly. We crossed old rotting wooden bridges and stair cases only to arrive at a bridge that was for me impassable. It was tilted on it's side with only one guard rail in place and two of us refused to cross putting an end to our quest for the lake. We could have gone around the bridge, but we all reluctantly agreed that we were too tired and over heated to try and forge a new trail around it. Eeven Lucy was showing signs of exhaustion. Disappointed we turned back. Our descent did not take as long as our ascent, but was just as treacherous in places. The wet rocks hard to climb when going up hill became lethal downhill and at one point I landed on my butt hitting my elbow on rocks and my daughter came tumbling down beside me. Fortunately the damage was mild and we all arrived exhausted, over heated and tired at the car at 3:00 pm. Today, looking at the pictures, I can hardly believe just how high we climbed on one of the hottest days of the summer. The fact that we did not make our main objective, the lake, means little. The fact that we met the challenges of the worst of the hike is quite an accomplishment for a bunch of weekend hikers.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sea Calvalcade

Went to the Sea Calvalcade Parade this morning and despite all the work it took, having to get up at the unholy hour of 5 am to catch the early ferry to the Sunshine Coast, as well as leaving Lucy with someone for the day(I have never left Lucy with any one but family before and I felt like a new mother....almost phoned home to check on her!) it was well worth it. I got to relive a little of my childhood. In Gibsons, a town where they roll up the streets by 6 pm ,a festival no matter how small is a big event and one of the major high lights of school vacation for me growing up. I remembered the endless chatter with friends about what we would wear and what events we could go to and of course the one thing no one wanted to miss - the parade. Today, it seemed to me, as it did in they days of my youth, that the entire town turned out for it and as though to emphasis in no uncertain terms the importance of this event nothing less than a mounted RCMP in full dress regalia led the parade! You could see the awe and expectation on the faces of the children as, with incredible pomp and ceremony, that horse and rider elegantly,wound their way down the hill with the Canadian flag snapping in the breeze. What truth there that old cliche "every one loves a parade".

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

It's a purple hued night out there!

"All that you see or seem, Is but a dream within a dream."
Edgar Allen Poe

It is one of those warm calm evenings when the sky turns that wonderful purple hue just above the mountain tops and there is a big round full moon hanging there like a big yellow ball. It is just these kinds of evenings when I like to sit back and let my thoughts drift. I think about other full moon, purple hued evenings. Evenings when I was young and slept out under the crab apple tree and stayed awake for hours watching for shooting stars or when I was a teenager and sat on top of the roof of the rooming house I lived in and chatted with the other tenants. My thoughts on these evenings are always sweet thoughts. Thoughts of family and good friends. It is as though I am wrapped in the delicious warmth of a downy soft purple blanket and my soul is at peace witht he universe.

Monday, July 18, 2005

My world according to Jones Cola

Three days of Jones sayings.

Go easy, be moderate and patient. (aren't I always?)
Financial security is just around the corner. (what corner??? where??? damn I was never good at scavenger hunts)
A new chapter in your life is being written. ( does it include me being a blonde, 29 and size 6?)
Fun and excitement will soon be yours. ( really? does this mean I finally get to play with Pierce Brosnan?)
You will find Monday an especially important day. ( an hour left still time for this one to come true!)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Greener Grass

For Lucy, my sheepdog/lab cross, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I sit and watch her stare across at the neighbors lawn with longing, while our entire yard with it's dog toys, water bowl and dog house go unnoticed. Lucy does not live in doggie Beverly Hills. She has much less than some of her doggie pals. Her buddy Monty, not only had his own water bed, but his own air conditioned bedroom to go with it and some of her doggie pals can afford to go to the dog spa for a spiffy grooming every week, while Lucy has to rely on her doting guardians to bath her and brush her. No high priced doggie perfume or jewelry for Lucy. It isn't in the budget. However, Lucy is well fed with proper high quality dog food, plenty of toys, lots of trips to the park and beaches, not to mention being allowed to crawl into bed with her doting guardian (I have sworn Lucy to secrecy about this) for an early morning cuddle no matter how bad she smells. All in all Lucy pretty much leads a pampered dogs life. Still, she sits and stares longingly at the neighbors yard and sometimes sneaks past me on the way to the car to run little circles around it as if to say" Yippeee I finally get a taste of that better grass!" That is of course until I manage to bring her back to earth with a "Lucy!!!! COME NOW!"
As I sit, on this lazy sunny afternoon, watching her gaze at the green grass of my neighbor, I can't help but think how much she resembles the human race. Rarely do we stop, think and give thanks for what we have. Instead, like Lucy, we seem constantly driven to look for greener grass.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Being Human

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe," a part limited in time
and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated
from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind
of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few
persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our
circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its
Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 14, 2005


"That beautiful season the Summer! Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if new created in all the
freshness of childhood."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Summer, with it's hot days and warm nights seems to finally have arrived in BC. Despite it's tardiness in appearing this year people seem to be very forgiving and the sun puts a smile on most everyone's face. Summer has a way of helping people to put their problems aside for a little while. Vancouver gets very laid back in the summer. People head for the parks and beaches with subway sandwiches in hand and beer hidden in their back packs. Late into the evening people stroll along, their dogs happily loping along side enjoying the freedom. Summer has always meant freedom for me as well.
As a child growing up I would head for the beach and spend hours playing in the water. I loved it! The smell of the salt air, the warm sand between my toes, the sound of the waves as they hit the rocky coast and the sea gulls screaming over head all brought me immense inner joy. Today when I get the chance to take in a day at the beach I begin to feel the same way inside. It feels as though thanks to summer I have hope again and dreams become possible once more.

Will this be here for my grandchildren?

Beautiful British Columbia

This province is truly the most beautiful place on earth. The more I see of this province the more I am convinced that the greatest resource we have is the incomparable beauty in every little corner of it. When I was a child my family used to take camping vacations in various parts of this province. We traveled to many different towns and of course as a child you don't think of the esthetics of the area as much as the fun you can have and for me fun was nature. I loved the excitement of having bears and skunks and raccoons invade our campsite! While everyone screamed and ran I was fascinated by it. The towns along the way always seemed to be built around some wonderful resource of nature. Towering mountains, rolling hills, rivers that changed colors, lakes that went on endlessly into the sunset and sandy beaches that seemed to beg to be explored added a grand dimension to even the smallest town and made me dream of returning long after I had gone home. I myself was fortunate to grow up in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places on earth - the Sunshine Coast.
Today as a middle aged woman I have again lucked out - I live just a few blocks from Burns Bog. I walk there most days with my dog and as I watch her run through the forests chasing the squirrels, birds and butterflies I wonder what this place and this province will look like when my daughters are my age. I see governments who are more interested in the bottom line than in preserving the natural beauty of this province. Roads cutting through environmentally sensitive areas so tourists can flock to Whistler to ski, forests being clear cut to build more condos for tourists and foreign investors and rivers polluted by companies who feel they cannot compete on the world market if they spend the time, manpower and money on environmentally friendly manufacturing equipment and practices. Our oceans , not only are becoming polluted and destroying natural habitat for sea life, but the oceans are being fished out by improper fisheries management. The majority of the people of this province seem unable to grasp the incredible richness that is in their backyard and is their rightful inheritance to it let alone put any kind of a value on it. I wonder if they will feel that concrete towers, miles of pavement , polluted rivers, lakes and oceans were the right economic choice when they show their grandchildren pictures of what this province used to look like. I wonder if that generation will feel that the bottom line in the bank statement that their was their grandparents choice justified the destruction of their inheritance. Once it is gone it can never be restored.