Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Kitschmas

Yes, even in the very heart of the Kootenays where beauty often surpasses beauty itself, kitsch is alive and well if you know where to look. And I wish I could add the sound bites that go with these photos. Yep, that's right, you've got the non-stop music ting-a-linging away as well. It's quite a scene. I mainly have two thoughts: first, where do they store all this stuff? Honestly, you haven't seen the half of it here. And the house is quite tiny, so I'm really not sure. And it's not just Christmas, almost any holiday that comes along, they've got a whole yard display. My second thought is that I hope that this is making some child extremely happy, although it could just as easily give nightmares. I certainly wouldn't want these images in my dreams.

Other than that, despite my silence, I wish you all extremely well. Life kind of got away from me for a bit and when I had the chance to sit still, that, not surprisingly, is all I wanted to do. And there is no better time to sit quietly than in these dark winter months. I am very much enjoying them, although I might protest the cold as I occasionally have want to do. I shall be back...most hopefully very soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One Thousand Years

A thousand years from this tonight
When Orion climbs the sky,
The same swift snow will still the roofs,
The same mad stars run by.

And who will know of China's war,
Or poison gas in Spain?
The dead ... they'll be forgotten, lost,
Whether they lose or gain.

Of all the brilliant strategies
Of war-lords now alive,
Perhaps a Chinese iris vase
Of porcelain may survive...

Perhaps a prayer, perhaps a song,
Fashioned of love and tears,
But only beauty, only truth,
Will last a thousand years.

~T Malone

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Essence

Myths are things which never happened but always are.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Once in a Moon

Your face reminds me
of a large full moon
on a dark cloudless night,
beaming down at the
deep, tenebrous, rumbling sea
whose fluid hips swirl,
dancing seamlessly around
the shimmering stars and
keeping rhythm to the
unvoiced song swimming
through the waves
in my head.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Blog Personalities?

I just ran my blog through Typealyzer a tool that calculates your Myers Briggs Type Indicator based on the content of your blog. So I'm guessing, that in actual fact, this is my blog's personality and not necessarily mine. We do often adapt a different persona in different situations, do we not? I suppose, however, at some level, this is who I am, at least in part.

I suspected that perhaps the "Typealyzer" was basing its analysis on my blog's front page. So as not to take things for granted, I took it upon myself to run a few different pages / years through the analysis. They all came up the same, so I guess I'm pretty consistent in my writing, either that, or this is actually my personality. I haven't yet decided. In any case, Typeaylzer declared me to be: ESFP or extroverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving. Hmm... So here you have it the performer. Run your own blog through and let me know how it all pans out.

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.
Here are a few other characteristics of the ESFP:
  • Lively and fun
  • Live in the here and now
  • Often find themselves in the role of peace maker
  • Observant about other people
  • Spontaneous and optimistic
  • Love to have fun (who doesn't?)
  • Likely to be practical, but hate structure and routine
  • Have an appreciation for aesthetic beauty

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tree Planter's Waltz

A little snippet of BC mountain culture for you. This was apparently filmed May 2009, however, if I didn't know better, I'd guess the filming in the Merritt night club took place sometime in the eighties. But then again, I have passed through Merritt, the culture is its own. Warning, the song will grow own you despite all protestations.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In the Spotlight

I've boarded the train, scrutinized the numbers on my ticket amongst the the Chinese characters and meandered my way to what I hope is my hard sleeper. Next stop: Xian, the Terracotta Warriors with over 2000 years of history and an adventure in the making.

Shortly thereafter a couple arrives with a new born. The woman smiles and nods and then busies herself with the child. The man quickly engages in conversation as the train slowly begins to rattle its way along the tracks. I find the Chinese very curious and friendly. Canadians are well thought of in China due to Norman Bethune's participation in the Long March. "Canada and China...very good friends," the man tells me.

It hasn't taken me very many days to realize that our western sense of "taboo" is completely non-existent in this country. Just a day before, after a bout of food poisoning and looking incredibly jaundiced, a Chinese person came up to me and inquired, "so, is your skin white or is it yellow?" How does one explain that? Normally, if I feel good, not quite so yellow. One would never get away with pointing out skin colour in just simply isn't politically correct. Here, however, absolutely nothing is off limits, except perhaps criticism of the government.

As the train creeps through the country side, We pass a series of your standard Chinese shanty shacks. Farmers toil the fields accompanied by mangy looking dogs. Eventually, up a dusty hill, I see an unusually luxurious looking residence. Officially the Chinese can't own land, or so I've been told, but the man is most obviously nervous about this topic and the sharp contrast of this house compared to those we saw previously.

The conversation turns back on the baby. With the one child rule, children are spoiled and doted on. These parents, like so many others, are beamingly proud. My mind keeps flitting to a particular fair haired, blue eyed "waspy" looking friend back home who had allegedly been born with a mysterious "Mongol spot", a dark spot at the base of the tailbone which I've been told is common place amongst almost all Asian children. The spot usually disappears when the child is anywhere between two and four years of age. For years, this girl's doctor teased her of being descended from Genghis Khan, for the spot is sure "proof" of Mongol blood. I wonder. It is not something that I had ever witnessed. Was it true?

Eventually curiosity overcomes my reserved, stoic upbringing. I have to I ask, "is it true?" The father immediately flips the child over and whips off her bottoms and there it is. I'm stunned. I no longer remember what I had imagined, but it certainly wasn't this...a big dark blue, round spot that looks like a huge bruise. The father explains that there is a myth about a benevolent goddess...although looking at the size of the spot, I'm not quite sure how benevolent she could be. When the child is coming into the world, if the goddess decides to spare the child's life, she gives it a hard smack on the bottom right as it makes its way into the world leaving this big round blue spot. This young girl has been spared and apparently blessed.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Elderberry Magic

Here I've done it again. Life has gotten in the way, and I hardly have time to breathe, let alone blog. But for the past couple of weeks, I've been ruminating about everything I want to tell you about Elderberries and quite frankly October couldn't be more perfect month to broach the topic, for no tree is so magical, nor none surrounded by as much folklore and mystery than that of the Elder. Alas, it is the tree upon which it is purported that Judas hanged himself, as Langland's Vision of Piers Plowman stated:

'Judas he japed with Jewen silver, And sithen an eller hanged hymselve.'

Although the branches of the Elder are so willowy that I find it hard to believe that anyone could hang himself upon such a tree. But perhaps, as another tradition states, the tree only became that way after the cross of Calvary was made with it:

'Bour tree - Bour tree: crooked rong
Never straight and never strong;
Ever bush and never tree
Since our Lord was nailed on thee.'

But the Elder's mystery and folklore predate Christianity. Heathen myths of northern Europe talk about Hylde Moer, the Elder-tree mother who lived in the tree and watched over it. Should the tree be cut down and furniture be made of it, Hylde Moer would follow her property and haunt the owners. In fact, if one wanted to cut from an Elder tree, he had to first ask permission and not cut until consent was given through silence to prevent ill luck from befalling him.

Numerous other bizarre superstitions regarding the Elder extend well beyond the small borders of northern Europe. Russians believe the Elder tree to drive away evil spirits, Bohemians go to it with a spell to take away fevers and Sicilians believe that sticks from the Elder tree will kill serpents and drive away robbers. In England it was once thought that the Elder tree was never struck by lightening and that a twig of Elder tied into three or four knots and carried in one's pocket would prevent rheumatism. Some in Britain also collected Elder leaves the last day of April and affixed them to their doors and windows to prevent witches from entering their homes. In Denmark, one might see the fairy king and all his attendants go by, simply by sitting under an Elder tree on Mid-summer's Eve.

But more exciting than all this folklore, is what I shall get to in my next post: the medicinal benefits and folk remedies that come from Elderberries.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer Harvests

Most of you know that I get busy with things like canning this time of year. I really prefer eating foods that are regional, fresh, and in season. Nothing can beat the intense flavours of vine ripened vegetables or fruits. Summers are plentiful, but, of course, living in a northern climate, there's not much that's regional and fresh in the winter. Essentially, canning or freeing is the only way to capture those fresh flavours and save them for grey, dreary, dark days.

This year, like most, I canned a whole slew of tomatoes, essentially because they are so versatile and go in so many dishes. Some years I think I will eat less tomatoes...they are, after all, from the nightshade family, however, I haven't yet gotten to the point where I feel the necessity to eliminate them.

I also did up apple sauce. We have bumper crops of apples this year the likes of which haven't been seen in years. Old trees in the mountains, which haven't produced much in years, have boughs bending to the point of breaking they are so heavily laden with fruit. Apples are definitely on the menu this fall and some sauce for the winter.

I don't always, but this year I also did up a couple batches of tomato sauce. It's nice to have sauce already prepared and to be able to simply open a jar. I did one batch with a recipe from the Re-Bar cookbook and then made up a batch of my own making. Mine was heavy on the basil, with not quite as much garlic as the first batch.

I still have some more canning / food prep to do if I can find the time, but I essentially feel okay about the colder weather settling in.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Plea

Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live
Give me hope to carry on.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Heavenly Concoctions

My latest ice cream experiment was a screaming success and I have to share it before summer leaves us completely. I've learned a few things about home made ice cream this summer. First, the addition of alcohol keeps it from freezing so hard (an issue with non-commercial ice creams). Second, if one uses fresh (or even frozen) fruit, one can totally eliminate the cooking of an egg custard step found in so many recipes. This is a real coup if you are trying to eat raw. Now the real trick here is going to be to try to remember exact proportions of ingredients as a couple weeks have now passed since I first created this concoction.

Rum Raisin Peach Ice Cream

Take about a half cup of raisins and cover with rum. Let sit over night.

In blender, mix 1 1/2 C of cream, 3/4 C of sugar, 3 C of skinned chopped peaches, rum and raisins. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Put into your ice cream maker and process as usual.

How easy is that? Enjoy.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Zucchini Soup with Pasta

It's that time of year when harvest is plentiful and cheap...if not free. If you've ever grown zucchini, you will know that they can go, or rather grow, a bit crazy. Many around here are continually looking for ways to use or disguise the stuff so their children will eat it. When they're not doing that, they are pawning these huge squash off to neighbours and friends. I never mind, I actually quite love the stuff and have used it in all kinds of things. I have never, however, up to this point made soup with it, but must say I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh, light and refreshing it was. It's just the sort of fair you need for this time of year. And of course, this is really simple to make. The taste almost reminds me of the soups my Italian neighbour from my childhood used to make. Rosa never ever, to my knowledge, put zucchini in her soup, but she always made these light brothy soups with little pasta like stellette, so different from the more substantial meal in a bowl type soups my mother usually made. In any case, if you'd like to try something a little different with your zucchini, I'd recommend this. It's perfect for a cooler, end of the summer evening and would be perfect served with a slice of crusty bread.

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 smaller onions finely chopped (or one large)
6 1/4 cups of chicken or turkey broth
1 1/2 lbs of zucchini (probably about 4 cups grated)
1/2 cup of small soup pasta (I used small bows, but use whatever)
a little lemon or lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
cherry tomatoes halved
fresh grated Parmesan or another hard cheese of your choice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not coloured.

Add the chicken or turkey broth and bring the mixture to a boil.

Grate the zucchini and stir into the boiling stock with the pasta. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes until the pasta is tender.

Season to taste with a bit of lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley. Just before serving top with some halved cherry tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009


At the end of the day, all that matters is who is in your life.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Task

There comes a time
when one must remove
all evil from his life.
Surgically cut it away
with a razor sharp knife
that runs deep and makes
the blood flow thick and fast
like the letting done
with leeches long ago.

Monday, August 03, 2009


We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.

~W. Shakespeare

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Thrust into the darkest part of the night,

I flailed about and hated the unordered chaos.

The ice burnt a hole in my heart,

And tears evaperated into bitterness

As anger held tight to my thrashing soul.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Things

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at four litres / one gallon of raw, unadulterated farm fresh milk. This morning I made myself the best fruit smoothie I have ever had in my life. I think I will make yogurt next. I am in heaven.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Market Street Fest

Nothing incites the imagination more than one of Nelson's summer street festivals. Hippies descend from the surrounding mountains to dance freely in the streets to local bands. The artistic crowd sets up tents and tables to display their offerings. A large smattering of Nelson's residents and many tourists turn up to enjoy the festivities and breathe it all in. It's a place to run into old friends and meet new, try Little Miss Gelato's new summer flavours or some old Doukhobor specialties. It's a place to be transported to another plane of reality (but we won't go there). Merchants keep their shops open late and there is no better place to sit back and do some serious people watching. If you happen to be passing through Nelson during the summer and you're curious to discover the "true" flavour of this unique little town, find out when their next street festival is and head down to Baker Steet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


"We are not retreating; we are advancing in another direction."

~Maj. Gen. Oliver Prince Smith

Friday, July 17, 2009


Think of an experience from your childhood, something you remember clearly: something you can see, feel,maybe even smell as if you were really there. After all, you were really there, weren't you? How else would you remember it? Well, here's the bombshell. You weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Crazy Making

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

~Winston Churchill

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Adulterate: to debase or make impure by adding inferior materials or elements ; use cheaper, inferior, or less desirable goods; to falsify.

latin - "adulteratus": to falsify.

In one context, making an impure substance.

A substance can also be the opposite: unadulterated, pure.

In another to make a relationship impure, harmful and less valuable (adultery).

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Big Celebrations

I am a little slow in posting these, but Canada Day (July 1st) is marvelous here in the Kootenays. Everyone heads down to the park to listen to the music, sit on the beach, go swimming and participate in all kinds of festivities. This year was no exception. The activities started early and continued up until the fireworks display at the end of the day. I hope today is just as wonderful for all my American friends.

Monday, June 29, 2009


There is so much I would love to write about these days. Unfortunately, life has been busy and hectic and hasn't really allotted me the time I need to vent my thoughts. Summer has finally arrived and it's supposed to get significantly warmer before the week is up. This is all good news for my garden, particularly my tomatoes.

This year I decided to leave them in pots on my sundeck rather than plant them in the ground. I figured this would at least somewhat compensate for my poor soil conditions and would also allow me to protect them from the elements when needed. (We had a week of thunder showers where the rain was so heavy that I was convinced the second great flood was on its way. ) As you can see, my tomatoes are thriving where they are. I am not sure as to whether it's because they are in pots on my deck or whether the conditions all around (heat, rain, etc) are better this year. Last year I hardly got a tomato, and this year, it's not quite yet July, but I have one that's almost ripe and a few more that are well on their way. I've done two types of tomatoes this year: the large ones...I can't tell you the exact type, come from seeds that an Italian friend of my father's brought back from Italy. They are almost the same shape as a Roma, but much, much larger...think beefsteak tomatoes...I think last year my father had one that weighed about three pounds. They are the meatiest tomatoes I have ever come across. One slice will make a very large sandwich. There isn't a lot of juice that comes gushing out. They aren't hollow, they are solid flesh...perfect for making fresh salsa.

My other tomatoes are small cherry tomatoes (I have two varieties and no longer remember what they are). I am quite partial to these for salads as nothing quite packs a punch of flavour like they do. These tomatoes are not quite as far along as I started them much later. They don't yet have tomatoes on them, but they are full of blossoms and looking very healthy.

I also put some of my lettuce in pots on the deck as well. Some of them went in the garden, but I thought I'd try both. The lettuce in the pots on my deck have grown much faster and are much sweeter. Perhaps they were watered better, I'm not sure. The lettuce in my garden really didn't grow much until this last wave of heat. Perhaps the pots heat better and retain the heat. How's your garden these days?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


You'll never leave where you are until you decide where you'd rather be.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Small Realizations

I recently had the following snippet of a conversation with a delightful international student that I have had the privileged of knowing and working with this year. I love how the wheels in the minds of children turn as a new realization sets upon them and expands their understanding of language.

DG - Carla... (slow and ponderous) is your hair blonde?
Me - Ya, I guess you could call it blonde.
DG - Oh...
Me - Well what colour did you think it was?
DG - I thought it was yellow.
Me - Hmm... I see...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Zesty Lemon Mousse

You know you've stumbled upon a gem, when you bring a dish to a staff party and the entire building asks for the recipe. This is exactly the category in which this lemon mousse falls. It's light, not too sweet, and pairs well with berries and white wine and probably even chocolate. I hope you'll enjoy this as much as I have. The recipe doubles easily, and for as quickly as it will disappear, you are probably best to do so, or you will find yourself needing to whip up a second batch before you've scarcely finished the first.

Zesty Lemon Mousse:

1 pkg unflavoured gelatin
1/4 C cold water
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1/2 C lemon juice
1 C granulated sugar
2/3 C plain yogurt
1 C whipping cream

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small sauce pan. Let stand 1 minute to soften. Stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice and half the sugar. Stir in the yogurt. Let set in the refrigerator until the consistency of egg whites.

Whip cream and add remaining sugar. Fold into lemon mixture. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or more.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


"How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? ...This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know; all things are connected like the blood which unites our family. All things are connected."

~Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe states - 1848

Monday, June 08, 2009

Yum, Yum

Awhile back Pandave told me that it was about time that I posted another recipe. Well, truth be told, I haven't been in much of a cooking mood lately. It's been way too warm to think about putting anything in the oven. So I got to thinking, why not ice cream. I had some blackberries in my freezer that I wanted to use up before the next crop started coming on. And voila...what's not to like about this recipe? With only three ingredients it couldn't be easier. And trust me, this one tastes as good as it looks.

Blackberry Sherbet

4 C of fresh or frozen blackberries (thawed)
2 C sugar
2 C buttermilk

In a food processor, combine the blackberries and sugar; process until smooth. Strain and discard seeds and pulp. (I strained through cheese cloth but couldn't bare to throw out the seeds and pulp, so I threw it all in my teapot, added hot water and had delicious blackberry tea.) Stir in buttermilk. If you have an ice cream maker, throw the mixture in and let the machine do its thing. If not, pour the puree into a 9X13 pan. Freeze for 1 hour or until edges begin to firm. Stir and return to freezer. Freeze 2 hours longer or until firm.

If you like, just before serving, transfer to a food processor; cover and process for 2-5 minutes or until smooth. This step probably isn't necessary if you use an ice cream maker.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tyger! Tyger!

Take a walk through the urban jungles with this magical short by Guilherme Marcondes of Brazil loosely based on Blake's, "Tyger! Tyger!" This mesmerizing little production combines puppetry, illustration, photography and CGI. Wow!

Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symetry?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Goosey, Goosey, Gander

It's that time of year again. I've been watching the goslings as they scurry along the beach and occasionally dip into the water, bobbing up and down with the goose and gander never far behind. They're much bigger only a weeks time. Took some more photos this morning which I will post when I have a moment. There is actually more than one family, they form quite a posse. Of course they have to be vigilant in their guard. Last year I watched as an eagle took a swooping dive and plucked one of the little ones out of the water. Not anything anyone could have done. It was nature at its finest.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Sad Tale

Cherries are legend here in these valleys. Back at the turn of the century, and when I say that, I still mean the one before last, the cherries grown here were reported to be as large as plums and equally sweet and juicy. They were famous for being the best in all of North America, even better than the Okanagan which now grows many of our cherries. They were famous right across the country. J.T. Bealby, a Nelson fruit rancher, was quoted as saying:
"One of the most wonderful sights in a British Columbia orchard, and more especially a Kootenay orchard, is the cherry-trees when laden with their snow-white blossoms. Every branch, from its divergence from a large limb or the main trunk, right away to the outermost twig, is thickly feathered with clusters of blossom, and tufts of bloom cling even to the main trunk and large limbs. This is true of every variety of cherry alike, sour as well as sweet. The crops are, as a rule, enormously heavy -- so much so that the trees, and this applies to apples, pears, and plums, as well as to cherries -- have to be well supported with props to prevent them from breaking down under the loads they carry, and even then it is not an unusual thing for one or more branches to split off before the fruit can be gathered."

Indeed that bit about props is true. My parents have two very old apple trees in their yard (well over 100 yrs by now...they were put in shortly after the house was originally built) and last year that is essentially what happened. One of the branches on one of the trees was so heavy with fruit that the branch broke and my father had to prop it up and mend it hoping to save the apples on that particular branch long enough for them to ripen. But it is an old tree, so some years it takes a rest, but then there are years like last where there is a real bumper crop. Not bad for an old tree whose trunk is almost completely hollow that it totally baffles us that there is any fruit at all. But back to the story of the

Unfortunately, about 1933 a mysterious cherry disease hit destroying the thriving industry. The first symptoms were noticed at Willow Point, just around the bend from where I live. At the time, it was called, "Little Cherry Disease." Most disheartening was that infected trees only became obvious about two weeks before harvest. By this point, the damage was done, the
cherries were small, lacked taste and sweetness, and were for the most part wormy. Once a tree was infected, there was nothing to be done but to cut it down, as the cherries from then on would be as such. By about the 50's the disease had decimated the industry and all cherry trees were ordered to be cut down to try to stop the spread which by now was determined to be transmitted by infected insects.

At the time, the source of the outbreak was not known, but it has since been determined that Japanese Ornamental
cherries were carrying the disease in symptomless form. There were three specimens of these trees growing not far from the original outbreak on the property of Selwyn Gwillym Blaylock, the rich vice-president and general manager of a mining smelting company which later became known as Cominco (this property is just a ways down the road in the other direction from me). He had a passion for gardening and had beautiful grounds surrounding his estate. The grounds purportedly featured one of every species of tree native to Canada as well as many other ornamental trees and flowering shrubs. Blaylock encouraged frequent guests, including foreign dignitaries to bring gifts of trees and shrubs from their native land to add to his collection. But this was not how he had acquired the particular trees in question. They had been imported by Blaylock himself. He had officially inquired about the importation of Japanese Ornamental Cherries and had been told that the trees were diseased and not to be imported. He decided to smuggle them in anyways.

So thus is the story of
cherries in the Kootenays. Infected trees were to be removed, but it was tough as there were and still are so many wild cherries growing out in the woods which of course, by this point has probably also been diseased. Cherry orchards have since been re-established around Creston, the far end of Kootenay lake, and indeed the cherries are good. But the industry has never gone back to what it once was.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Visitor

This cute, thieving little bandit decimated my tulips a couple weeks ago. I apologize for the photo...but dusk had already fallen when I took the snap, so I had to lighten it, giving it a rather grainy texture. Animals are quite abundant at this time of year. As soon as spring hits, they make their way down the mountain side looking for some tasty morsels after the bland winter fare. One evening I came home to find three in my yard, or rather on the outskirts. This one was a loner who was quite startled when I opened the door to try to get a shot...shot with my camera that is. He immediately took off at a trot, but not before he had bitten off almost all of my tulip heads. Tulips are apparently quite sweet. Ironically, they never touch the daffodils. I have a ton of them. Deer aren't the only beasts lurking about in the spring. Last week a bear took apart my compost box trying to find a good feed. I didn't actually see the spectacle as occurred, but witnessed the mess later. Luckily a kind neighbour put the box back together for me. There was a Grizzly just this past week who was wandering about a neighbourhood just a few miles out the lake. A conservation officer had to be called in as apparently nothing was scaring this fellow off. These aren't overly common occurrences, but do occur regularly in the spring.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Easter weekend I received a call from a good friend, and in the spirit of Easter, she ended our telephone conversation with, "may all your sins be forgiven." I can't recall anyone ever having said that to me before and I've never known this girl to be at all religious, so initially, I was a little taken aback. However, the more I thought about it, the real message of Easter is the hope we have of experiencing the grace of forgiveness, and certainly, there is not much that is more freeing than being forgiven and being able to forgive.

Forgiveness is a lesson that took me a long time to learn, not that I didn't want to forgive, but that I didn't truly understand it. Forgiveness is not at all for the transgressor but rather the person who is doing the forgiving. Forgiveness is the act of untying oneself from the thoughts and feelings that bind us to the acts committed against us. It is a conscious decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge and to move on with one's life. It is the ability to pick up our shattered self and move beyond in a quest to find that centre of peace which makes us whole again.

Forgiveness, however, does not mean that one denies or condones the wrong committed against them or others. Forgiveness also doesn't guarantee reconciliation nor does it absolve the transgressor from restitution. Reconciliation is a much larger process of which forgiveness plays but one small part. Now that last point is probably where my confusion began. At one time, I believed my forgiveness was what was needed to bridge the chasm created by the transgressor. But alas, it was the responsibility of the transgressor to rebuild that bridge. In the process, I've learned to listen to actions rather than words, as for some, sickly lies come easy, but the body always reveals its true intent.

Undoubtedly, you have now realized that the threads of another story are quietly weaving themselves within the layers written upon this page. Now is not the time for me to go into all the lurid details, however, know that the road is never smooth when one is called upon to proclaim the truth in the shadow of her tormentor. These coming days are gray and I cannot yet see beyond the bend in the road, so if you can find it within yourself to say a prayer on my behalf or throw a positive thought in my direction, I would be most appreciative.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


We do not keep the outward form of order, where there is deep disorder in the mind.

~ William Shakepeare

Monday, April 20, 2009

Period of Grace

I apologize to all for my silence. It's been a rather busy month. Busy and then company. But the worst was when my internet connection went down. I am still waiting for the technical issue to be resolved...hopefully this week. Shaw has promised to send an IT technician on Wednesday. In any case, I haven't abandoned you, nor jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. I have posts started, even if they're not completed, and I look forward to getting back online soon and catching up on all your stories.