Archive for the ‘Stuff About Me’ Category

Happy Friday the 13th!

Friday, April 13th, 2018
A friend from high school turned 58 today on Friday the 13th! She was born on a Friday the 13th, and, guess what? 5 + 8 = 13. That’s pretty lucky. For years, until I was 13 and met this friend and another born on April 13th, who both set me straight and showed me calendars from the year of our birthday to prove how wrong I was, I thought I was born on a Friday the 13th in January.
Turns out I was born on a Wednesday. My mom had 3 kids close together and couldn’t remember the day of the week I was born. My dad only knew he was working out of town and came home on Wednesdays and Fridays. So I was therefore born on one of those days. Thirteen years of thinking I’d been born on Friday the 13th flew out the window! I had to console myself with being born on the 13th day of the 13th month.
Happy birthday to everyone born on the 13th of a month, but especially to the Friday the 13th babies! It’s not unlucky. We’re a bit weird, but, hey, weird is wonderful. Embrace it!

Quick Palm Springs Break

Friday, March 16th, 2018

I recently returned from a week’s visit to Palm Springs with my husband. This gave me a great chance to see where my parents spend their winters. My first time in Palm Springs, and I loved it. Palm Springs has a great, laid-back vibe, and, well, it kinda reminded me of Fred Flintstone’s Bedrock City. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Bedrock City is based on Palm Springs (I shall have to google that and see if I’m right).

We had some “bad weather” (aka clouds) while there, but still plenty of pool time. Had a chance to visit the zoo and also ride the Aerial Tram. Here’s a shot of me with my Dad at the top of the tram.

Here’s another of my husband playing with the big rocks:

And me, afraid of slipping down the slope, so this is as far as I got:

I usually post photos on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. I’m trying to get better at doing it here.

Did you have a chance to take a break somewhere warm this winter? I’m now back to snow, which thankfully is finally melting (slowly…so slow…ly…).

A Slushy Walk

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Between bouts of clouds and slushy snow, it’s a beautiful day. Ghost of Allie pulled me away from my laptop and took me for a walk. She’s much faster now that she’s not in earthly form. We happened to pass the house of one of my “old man friends” from the dog park. There were two special old guys with dogs with the same name (different breeds). Both called Shadow, humans named Bob and Jim. I remembered their names by thinking of Jim-Bob Walton. Bob passed away from an aggressive cancer maybe over a year ago. Maybe longer. His Shadow died a week later. Jim continued to walk to the park even after his own Shadow died. But then Allie and I changed our patterns, and I stopped seeing Jim.

What a delight to find Jim out shoveling snow today (he’s in his late 80s last I knew). I didn’t know if he was still around or not. I don’t know if he recognized me, but we chatted, and I was so pleased Ghost of Allie decided to drag me on this walk. It just lifted my spirits to see Jim still in his huge house and still obviously managing. Way to go, Jim. Thinking of Bob. Jim-Bob Dog Park Old Man Friends…I’ll remember you both fondly.

A New Year – A New Word(s) of Intention

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. The surest way for me not to attain a resolution is to set it in stone. I don’t know, the rebel in me just balks. So for the past couple of years, I have chosen a Word of Intention for the year. 2016 was Gratitude. Each day, I strove (strived? stroved? egad) to feel grateful for some aspect of my life, no matter how small. My mood is affected by not only the ups and downs of daily life, the losses that naturally increase as we and our loved ones age, but also by the weather. And in my part of the world, in the winters we get our fair share of white-shrouded skies, in the spring comes the gray clouds and sometimes torrential rains (our region suffered severe flooding in 2017), and the summers, while usually nice, lately we are experiencing drought and forest fires up the whazoo, which makes for more clouds–with smoke–obscuring the skies. Something about a blue sky just lifts my spirits. The weight of clouds weighs me down. So my annual Word of Intention helps me get through those rainy or fire-smoky days,

For 2017, I chose Positivity as my Word of Intention. In retrospect, this was a fantastic choice. My dear doggie left this world in November, and I spent most of last year as her caregiver. Reminding myself to find the positive in a day–no matter how small–helped me focus on the positivity animals, and especially dogs, radiate. Once Allie died, I got very ill with a host of viruses that seemed to swoop in and take advantage of my total lack of defenses. Only wrapping myself in the feeling of positivity Allie gave me helped me through some of those days.

So along came the time to choose my word for 2018. I chose Joy, as an extension of Gratitude and Positivity. Here we are less than 10 days into the new year, though, and Joy alone isn’t quite working. As I gazed at the white sky while on a solo walk without my beloved pooch, I wondered why. And I decided Joy wasn’t…verby enough. It’s a fine plan to try and embrace a spark of joy in daily life as we proceed through the year, but I needed something more active to spur me along. Joy is my goal, but being Proactive every day, in my writing and in my life, I believe will help set me on the path to Joy.

And you know what? It’s working. The days I can’t find joy, I remind myself to just be proactive, to take a step toward a writing or personal goal. And once I’m in the midst of doing that, well, there comes my joy.

Some days, joy is elusive. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s hard to find joy when someone passes away or another sort of tragedy befalls a loved one. But by being proactive, I am confident that step by step, I will find my way back to joy every time.

What about you? Do you set Resolutions? Or do you have a Word of Intention for the year? The season? This month? That’s sort of the approach I’m taking with 2018. If February requires a word other than Proactive to pave the path to Joy, so be it. Don’t fence me in! My year is wide open.

Fun Interview at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Join me today for a fun interview at Anastasia Pollock’s blog!

Fun fact about Anastasia – she’s fictional! You can find her in Lois Winston’s books.

Listify Life – Favorite Vacations I’ve Taken…

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Today is the last of the Listify Life Spring Challenges! A new Challenge for Summer starts next week, and I’m going to see if I can keep up. But this week’s theme is very simple for me, Favorite Vacations I’ve Taken… 

In the last six years, my husband and I have done a LOT of traveling. The plan is to now slow down (our bank accounts need to catch back up). There are a ton of places I would still like to travel, but currently no plans are in place beyond next year. With no further ado…

  • The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – 2012. This is by far the best vacation I have ever taken! We were on a catamaran exploring the islands for two weeks and also enjoyed some time beforehand in Quito. During these two weeks, we made some friendships that are still on-going. We’ve met one of the couples in Vegas for a visit and stayed with another couple in Australia. They’re returning the favor by visiting B.C. next year.
  • Peru and Machu Picchu – 2012. And Lake Titicaca, and the Nazca Lines, and Huancayo in the mountains. This trip started our six-year whirlwind of adventures and was a celebration for our 25th anniversary. This trip was just my husband and myself. We felt like we were backpacking through Europe again, like a couple of kids.
  •  China – 2013. Our son moved to China several years ago to teach the B.C. high school curriculum in Shanghai. We had a wonderful time visiting him and exploring Beijing, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, visiting rice fields and escaping landslides, but there was some Serious Stuff happening back home, so we decided to return home early. It’s human nature – the Serious Stuff will forever affect how I feel about China. I loved traveling there, but a melancholy followed us.
  • Australia – 2014. My husband had an uncle in Australia, plus cousins we had been planning to visit since the 80s, so we finally gave it a shot. For a solid month. One of our two longest trips. Loved Australia! Visited Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, Ayer’s Rock, Perth (where we stayed with a couple we met in the Galapagos) and Melbourne. We even met up with an Aussie we knew from 1981 and had lost touch with long ago.
  • Chile and Patagonia – 2016. This year’s trip! And the last “big trip” until we see where the next chapter of our lives takes us. We spent four weeks visiting the wineries south of Santiago, Easter Island, Chiloe Island, cruising the Patagonian Fjords and seeing Pia Glacier, and trying to land on Cape Horn, visiting the End of the World, and Buenos Aires. The big surprise for us was how much Chile was like British Columbia. So it wasn’t as different as, say, the Galapagos or Peru, but it was very much a Bucket List experience.
  • Cuba – 2015. Last year we took a year off from adventure travel and stayed in an all-in-one resort for a few days in Varadero. But then we took a 7-day cruise around Cuba and had the opportunity to visit several ports of call before Cuba and the U.S. mended ways.

Next Stop? Haida Gwaii in our own British Columbia, next summer. We’re going on a fishing trip to the Queen Charlottes with the same Aussie couple we stayed with in Perth after meeting them in the Galapagos.

What are your travel hot spots?