Category Archives: What Matters

Groundhog Day?

Over two months since I have posted or even read much on the blogs I follow.  This picture sums it up.


What day is it today?

Check out what  my feelings are and what the holiday is!! Yep, that is me.

My two youngest grands, 5 and almost 3 now live with us. Oh yes, and their father. Retirement never felt so good!

I looked at the teaching calendar at dinner tonight.  Who has been playing with the calendar I asked. Charlie the youngest:  “Me, I wanted to make Halloween tomorrow, again!!!!”  Yikes.


Bill Murray, you ain’t got nothin on me!!






Vitamin N

And dead mice!

When I was little, outside play and dirt were the norms. Summers at the ocean were driven by my mom saying “get outside and play, don’t come back until lunch”  Wouldn’t happen today.


Our youngest grand was here this last week unexpectedly  because her sister was in the hospital. She is not used to being by herself. She is quite resourceful and loves to play outside, soaking up Vitamin N(ature). Dirty to her means the opportunity for a bath, (“can I have colours”) at bedtime.  Friends? Way too many friends here.


And dirt! Sand to be particular.  It goes in your Crocs and it comes out, too.


Oh,  and the dead mice. We have  a problem with mice in the barn, but the cats are on it. As for this little fellow, well, he lost his importance to real goats and chickens. Sometimes the Disney variety just doesn’t cut it. They get abandoned.


When the play is over, the only thing left to do is go in for lunch!


Love Unconditional

“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”

……Sydney Jeanne Seward



The Best Place To Bury A Dog

Relax Again

Relax You're At The Lake

“the more relaxed you are,

the better you are at everything –

the better you are with your loved ones,

the better you are with your enemies,

the better you are at your job,

the better you are with yourself”

…..Bill Murray


I find the world today so….busy. I shouldn’t, I am retired. I can sign myself out of newscasts and social media but it seems that everyone around me is stressed…..and in a hurry. I live at a lake, calm, beautiful and serene. Every morning you can hear the loons, the geese, the ducks and the coyotes across the lake.

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When you drive the 26km from the lake to town you can see, deer, moose, bear, eagle , hawk, owl, wild horses, ranches, quails, kamikazes chipmunks, free range cattle, mountain vistas and lakes. Why are you in a hurry? Go slow so you don’t miss:

If you watch closely they all of a sudden pop out of a cattle guard, on their way to the lake, and not in any hurry. They even wait for the last duckling.



Or this:


8 steps to happy laundering — Karen Maezen Miller’s Cheerio Road


This is one of my favourite bloggers. She seldom posts but when she does it is so worth reading. For me she has turned the daily making of the bed into a meditation!

You might think I’m using a metaphor when I say that my spiritual practice is doing the laundry. Metaphor or not, laundry is the practice of seeing things as they are. Take a look at how to go from the hamper to happiness in eight steps. Empty the hamper – Laundry gives us an honest…

via 8 steps to happy laundering — Karen Maezen Miller’s Cheerio Road



My oneword for 2016. It’s not the chill out or slack off relax, it’s the 11th commandment from my friend Rev. Patel Dimitoff. On the 8th day Creator “relaxed” because all was done, all was well, time for enjoying the fruit of all his labours and not stressing. It is what he wants for us. This was his gift.


Well have you ever seen any two more relaxed than these girls? Mom and daughter, eyes closed leaning up against the barn door, soaking up the sun.


As for the “relax” fake rock above. I took the picture at Homesense. They wanted $30.00 for it. YIKES. I could relax and paint my own.

Have a very relaxing day, everyone.

Spring Took A Leap

Spring Rhyme

What a beautiful day. Sunny here in the sub alpine, extremely warm in the grasslands,  and very sunny and 16 degrees in town. You could say too warm. I hate to complain.


I saw three red-wing blackbirds in the marsh just before the flats. I took a walk with the dogs on the river dike and I could hear the meadowlark. Too soon, too soon.

meadowlark-1These are last years and two years ago pictures: meadowlark from the end of March and blackbird from May.

This is climate change. This changes everything. Time for a LEAP!


And So It Goes


Perdita was a rescue kitten, from a 2002 SPCA seizure, she was bred  for no tail and Persian qualities. She died as a kitten in my arms.

I was stupid a couple of times. I owned cats and didn’t get them spayed in time. I had two litters of kittens. In  the first litter, the mom died and the kittens were all sick but I managed to find homes for them. Not until they pooped over every piece of furniture I owned.The second litter all died except the mom. We got her spayed and she lived to be 18 years old. She had a good life. Both those experiences make me the animal owner I am today. I try very hard not to be judgemental since I definitely am not without sin. I don’t go looking for redemption but somehow it tries to seek me out.

goat family

My first barnyard rescue, a family of goats.

Last Saturday the SPCA called to see if I would take a goat that had been hit by a car, and oh by the way she is pregnant. Yikes. Okay I will pick her up on Monday at the vet. Turned out she was a sheep not a goat and her injuries were so substantial that the vet’s decision was to euthanize her. Off the hook, yes but we do have two goats who are healthy, and  looking to be rehomed. The owner wants to surrender them. It only takes a little bit of guilt for me to say, yes I will go and look at them. So meet the newest additions to my little farm here on Paradise Lane, just off Paradise  Road.  Sugar and Spice. They are both wethers and dehorned. They will be perfect companions for Latte and Mocha, once the girls have finished showing them who is boss.


Spice a Pygmy/Nigerian Dwarf cross


Sugar a Nigerian Dwarf

In the last two weeks there have been two puppy mills busted at the coast. The animals were in a deplorable condition. Its heart wrenching actually, the media likes the optics, for ratings. Yes, if you want to raise money there is nothing like sick children or sick or abused baby animals to haul the dollars in.

I know you can’t fix stupid and there will always be unethical sellers and naive or greedy buyers.  There is a market for designer dogs (mixed breeds guaranteed to be non shedding and every one knows that mixed breeds are healthier: there are no scientific studies, but lots of studies on purebreds and their health issues) and dogs to be status symbols or lawn ornaments. It will always be buyer beware.


So please, if you feel the need for a pet do your homework. Do your research. Buy a pet that’s right for your lifestyle. Don’t get goats no matter how little or cute they are if you live in an urban area.  Buy from a reputable breeder if you want a purebred, one who is listed with the breed parent club and can show you the parents of the puppy or kitten and will let you come to their home. Or better yet, get a rescue and get them spayed or neutered. Don’t breed, not even to show your kids the miracle of birth, it could also be the reality of death.  Just get a pet and love it for the rest of its life. You will be a better person for it.

Their unconditional love will be a great teacher for you.


The Shrinking Woman

“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance. “

David Whyte



For some reason I am bombarded with thoughts and articles of women growing old recently. It has been annoying. The quote above is seriously annoying.

My oldest sister called this week. she has just returned from a month in Mexico. No big deal really, she is only almost 82. What the heck it was only a couple of years ago that she was in the Baja, sleeping in a yurt on the beach. But, hey that’s my sister. That is the sort of stock I am from. Strong, resilient women. Now keep in mind I am nowhere near 82. My sister could be my mother. I often think of her that way as our mom has been dead over 10 years and she was 95 when she died, in her sleep. I was born between my sisters first child and my mom’s last. I grew up as a grandchild, sort of. But back to being old. I could aspire to be like my sister!

The movie 45 Years played at our spring film festival. My Tom Courtenay, Strelnikov from Dr. Zhivago, OMG with a very capital O, my heart-throb. I dated a man who looked just like him in 1970, I was so in love and it was so verboten. He was an American and 5 years my senior. I was only 16 going on 17,  yikes. He was the first person that told me the universe had a conscious, I was mesmerized! And Charlotte Rampling as well. I aspired to be her. Beautiful, talented and skinny. I am so excited. The movie was sad and god they were old. Sad, sad, my life seemed parallel. Look at them!

45 years

Again, today  from a blog I read, BrainPickings

Weathering, yes well I am weathered.


“My face catches the wind
from the snow line
and flushes with a flush
that will never wholly settle.
Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young forever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
and only pretty enough to be seen
with a man who wanted to be seen
with a passable woman.
But now that I am in love
with a place that doesn’t care
how I look and if I am happy,
happy is how I look and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake,
my waist thicken, and the years
work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
it’s little enough lost
for a year among the lakes and vales
where simply to look out my window
at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors
and to what my soul may wear
over its new complexion.”

…..Fleur Adcock

And again from David Whyte

and this one is best…

“Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me.
I seem to see
beneath your face
all the women
you have ever been.
Midlife woman
I have grown with you
in another parallel,
breathing with you
as you breathed,
seeing with you
as you see,
lining my face
with an earned care
as you lined yours,
waiting for you,
as it seems
you waited for me.
I see your
inner complexion
breathing beneath
your outward gaze,
I see all your lives
and all your loves,
it must be for you
that I wanted to become
more generous,
a better man
than ever I could be
when young,
let me join all your
present giving
and all your receiving,
through you I learn
the full imagination
of every previous affection.
Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me,
in you
I see a young girl,
lifting her face to the sky,
I see the young woman
in haloed light,
full and strong,
standing before
the altar of time,
waiting for her chosen.
I see the mother in you,
in your past
or in some yet
to be understood
I see you
adoring and
I see you adored,
and now,
when I call your name
I want to see
day by day,
the woman
you will become
with me.
Mid-life woman
come to me now,
I see you more clearly
than all
the airbrushed
girls of the world.
I became a warrior
only to earn
your present
mature affection,
I bear my scars to you,
my eyes are lined
to smile with you
and I come to you
and unshaven
walking rough
and wild through rain
and wind and I pace
the mountain
all night
in my happy,
at finding you.
Mid life woman,
In the dark of the night
I take you in my arms
and in that embracing
invisibility feel all of your
inner lives made touchable
and visible again.
Mid-life woman
I have earned
my ability to adore you.
Mid life woman
you are not invisible to me.
Come to me now
and let me kiss passionately
all the beautiful women
who have
ever lived in you.
My promise
is to you now
and all their future lives.”

— Mid Life Woman, from The Sea In You

David Whyte

old-2I am okay with mid-life woman. I can tell you I am not going to wake up and be unhappy with my life. Hell I just bought a horse that barrel races. Yahoo!!


Poor Clothing Choices

“This is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”

…..Parker Palmer

muddy barn yard

I was so jealous when I read Omid Safi’s essay for On Being this week. It was about the rain in Vancouver. Wet coast,  where I spent 48 years of my life. Rain, rain and rain.  I miss it so much sometimes.  Today, we had rain, but it wasn’t west coast rain; it was icy, cold and sleaty. It melted snow and then it froze again creating a skating rink in my front yard. Gates were frozen and if you weren’t careful the car slid back down the driveway when you were trying to exit. Disgusting weather. Too early for this time of year. It’s the torment before spring, the melting of the 4 foot drifts of snow leaving behind rivers that run downhill carrying sand and dirt from the road. Animal and human feet become mud magnets dragging all the shit silt indoors. You can wash the floor three times a day but you will never get it clean. You just mush it around. Depressing. I just wanted to see the beautiful green rain forest rain  that washed everything clean. Even the animals are depressed.


The funniest part of the essay is when Omid came across a Canadian saying

There is no such thing as bad weather.
There are only poor clothing choices.”

I laughed so hard. Yes this is true. I change my clothes so many times a day. Barn in the morning, one set of clothes and boots. Go to feed my new horse, another set of clothes. Go to town, different clothes and a change for in the car in case I want to go feed Jenny, my horse on the way home. Driving out the driveway and opening and closing the gate myself, put on Bog boots with attached spikes. Hot Shot hand warmers in the car and at home. Remember to open a pair first thing in the  morning so they can warm up and go in my gloves.

IMG_9047Check the weather report for here, the local mountain and in town. Decide what coat and how many layers to wear.


To live happily we must be accepting of what comes our way. The weather, well it just is so make sure you make the right clothing choice and enjoy! So what if the wind ruffles your mane!