Monday, July 31, 2006


Hot dry winds from south - powerful switch to wet cold winds from north.
One hundred kilometre per hour gusts off the lake!
...blew wee Jenny smack off her bike into the ditch.

We don't have to worry about the entire forest burning... there's less forest left to burn.
Our house didn't blow away, but the trees did...

The background music to our days are the clean-up crews - like rock and roll stars wielding chainsaws.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Conflagration of the Netty

The summer of 2003 was hot and dry.
In a region where the forest fire threat remains high even after a week's worth of rain - it was near deadly when not a drop of precipitation had fallen for more than two months.

The drive through Banff and Kootenay National Parks was marred by thick acrid smoke, flames and floating cinders.
The nearest city eventually became out of reach when the road was closed, due to the dozens of hungry blazes devouring the countryside.

The fires also threatened our small settlement on the western slopes of the Rockies, and we had our valuables and emergency supplies at the ready in case of a last-minute evacuation notice.

During that hot summer I was laid up with a painful set of broken ribs sustained in a recent mountain biking accident.
My whole left side was incapacitated and I could do nothing but lie carefully on the couch propped up by pillows.

I lived there and I slept there...

A huge gash had been ripped open on my left buttock, as well, resulting in a large haematoma that only added to my discomfort as both boo-boos vied for supremacy.

Unfortunately, as a mother of three school aged children, life does not stop due to illness or injury.
It remained that I had to rise in the morning, make meals, clean the house, look after the books and go to work.
That all can be very taxing at the fittest of times!

We also had various relatives visit us for the entire month of August.
My sister-in-law flew out from Toronto with her fifteen year old son and nephew for a fortnight.
The following weeks my brother came out to visit from Ottawa with his nine year old and eleven year old sons.
It was a hectic time - all with me flat out sporting a series of bung ribs and a sorry butt.

During the time my sister-in-law was here, one of our neighbours across the way hosted a lovely wedding for their grandson.
The couple was piped in and married in the garden.
We attended the following reception with dancing and live music - which included my George on bass guitar, a lead guitarist, a violinist and a piper.

I retired relatively early from the festivities, due to a certain amount of discomfort and the responsibility attached to my label of Mother.

At two o'clock in the morning I was roused suddenly by my sister-in-law shouting those words I had been dreading... FIRE!
I leapt from bed - broken ribs and ripped butt be damned - and flew upstairs.
Looking out the kitchen window I could see a column of flames leaping high into the tree tops - the tinder-dry treetops...

My hands shook as I dialed the local volunteer fire department and did my best to explain what was happening and where we were located.
I always thought I'd be very cool in a situation like that.
...apparently not.
I ran back downstairs to rouse the children from bed and hauled them back upstairs and outside.

We stood in horror as we watched the neighbours rented blue plastic outhouse writhing in a crackling dance of flames and smoke - dangerously close to their house and the trees.

In no time there were five garden hoses hissing and sputtering through the burning and melting mass that was once the loo.
As the fire department arrived, the last of the fire was being drowned by the quick-thinking souls who had such presence of mind to gather hoses and water within mere seconds.
The fire fighters then set their hoses upon the surrounding trees to avoid any further spread of the inferno.

As it turns out, the wedding party, who had been strongly advised against it, had kept a candle lit in the plastic port-o-potty.

All for the sake of ambiance...

Friday, July 28, 2006

I have updated the hair a bit...

Mustn't forget the other half of said rhythm section...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bobsgirl and the rainbow...
if you'll look closely
- no, closer... that's it!
... the end of the rainbow is in her wineglass

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The best damn rhythm section in all of rock and roll...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

All this talk of dancing...

Yesterday was a great day.
We rose early and took Beth to work where she serves fancy coffees and sandwiches to hungry tourists.
The rest of us headed into town for the free pancake breakfast presented by the Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Valley Appreciation Day.
Main Street was blocked to all traffic and vendors had their booths set up to display and sell their wares.

I bought a giant cucumber, but I had no bag for it.
I felt rather foolish walking up and down the street with a huge green vegetable under my arm, so I ducked into my workplace and left it on my desk while I returned to see what more trouble I could find.
I found another bag full of fresh veggies - picked that morning - from an acquaintance who has a greenhouse in the valley.
I promptly placed those alongside the giant cucumber on my desk.

When I returned to the festivities I was greeted by live music at one end of the street and a foot-stompin' show by the Square Dance Club at the other.

An old friend of mine - from another lifetime before kids - had a booth and was selling her beautiful stoneware that she designs, glazes and fires at her pottery studio. I decided to treat myself and bought a lovely blue-green glazed serving platter with a side dish.

I also bought two lollypops with real caterpillars encased within the candy - Jenny ate one - minus the bug, but Bobby wouldn't touch his!

By eleven thirty it was already very hot and the children were ready to go home and cool off in the lake.

I spent the afternoon doing odd jobs about the house while the temperature rose to the ridiculous height of 40 degrees C!
We had the sprinkler watering the grass so I was able to leap through it every now and then to cool myself off.

After dinner we walked to the neighbourhood pub where they were celebrating their annual fun golf tournament.
It's nice to visit with old friends whom we don't get to see very often throughout the year.
I even got to help round up the chicken for the chicken poop scramble...
The hen was let loose upon a large piece of cardboard divided into numbered squares.
A person can buy a square and the winner is the one who's square the chicken first poops on!

The live music was a great rock and roll band with a Scottish twist called McQuaig.
The front man plays both rhythm guitar and bagpipes.
...and no, not at the same time - for any of you wise guys.

During the break between sets some of us headed down to the lake for a refreshing skinny dip off the dock... how many places can you do that during intermission?

Later in the evening, while I was minding my own business doing my version of the Highland Fling, I felt a sudden tear up the back of my left leg, followed by a searing pain that nearly dropped me to the floor.
That resulted in a long hobble home in the dark.
The usual seven minute walk took close to half and hour - although I did stop to pat the horses along the way.

In an ironic twist of fate, I believe I have just torn my Achilles tendon...

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I have always done my best to live as simply as possible.

It can be a difficult thing to do in these complicated times.

I have been fortunate enough to have discovered the ability to strip things down to the bare essentials.

This might come from the fact that I live closely with the land - without many fancy trappings.

I ache for my heart's longings and I am passionate about following my dreams...
I have never desired much in the way of material things...
I will live in the moment...
I am able to look up to the mountain peaks and take comfort in their peace...
I can also stand at the lake's edge and shout "Yes!" to the silvery glow of the moon!

I have dragged myself from bed, weary and bruised, to face yet another day and do what needs to be done for the children...

I can also dance - if not with my feet, then purely with my heart and soul - on fire!

How is it that one might become fearful and shrivel in the face of adversity and another become stronger and better for it?

I have sat with my pain and only myself for company... yet have still known in my soul that I will succeed.

But it does not happen with ease...

I understand now that I am truly Blessed.

Photo: Lake of Sacred Dancing, Colorado by Branson Reynolds Photography.

* Please read the previous post...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Waxing Reflective...

The Invitation - by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for, and
if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are,
I want to know
if you will risk looking like a fool
for love,
for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know
if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals or
have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without having to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and
let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story your're telling me is true.
I want to know
if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know
if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know
if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty every day, and
if you can source your life from God's presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failures, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake and
shout to the silver of the moon, "Yes"!

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money
you have.
I want to know
if you can get up after a night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here,
I want to know
if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and
not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone with yourself, and
if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I will dance about my living room!

I will dance under the full moon!

I will dance around the Beltane fire!

I will dance over the rainbow!

I will dance across the mountaintops!

I will dance!

After many years of working hard and struggling to make ends meet, we are finally completely out of debt - all except our mortgage of course...

Our truck is our own.

Our van is our own.

Our boat is our own.

Our camper trailer is our own.

Our home is two thirds our own.

My life is my own!

I will even dance around a handbag...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

something... for a pig

please allow me to introduce myself
i'm a pig of wealth and taste
i've been round for three long years
soothed my pet's soul and faith
and I was round when my own one
had her moment of doubt and pain
made damn sure that plate
of lettuce was washed and sealed in a plastic bag
pleased to meet you
hope you guess my name...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I am living in a mother-of-a-teenage-daughter HELL...

Sunday, July 09, 2006


There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth

It is called the Rainbow Bridge - made of many colours.

Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved dog dies, they go to this place.

Food and water are plenty and warm summer weather reigns.

The old and frail animals are young again.

Those who are maimed are made whole.

They frolic with each other.

There is only one thing missing -

They are not with their special one who loved them on Earth.

So they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops and raises its head.

The nose twitches... The ears are up...

And this one runs from the group.

You have been seen.

And when you an your special friend meet, you take them in your arms and embrace.

Your face is kissed again and again as you look once more into the eyes of your loyal and trusting friend.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together - never to be separated again.

This was given to us by a someone who knows how it is to lose a beloved golden retriever.

I took the photo of the rainbow on the evening Murphy passed away - from the very same spot where we watched the huge storm pass overhead later that night...

More Candy...

It's still very hot here...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Is this the answer?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


The burning question...

Monday, July 03, 2006


Last night after dinner my husband and I and two friends took our pink boat to the Lakeside Pub for a pint of Sleeman's Honey Brown.

It was a lovely evening after a scorching hot day. The new moon hung over the undulating horizon of the Purcell Mountains that define the western boundary of our valley. The lake was rippled with the reflection of the azure skies.

On our way home across the water, we stopped to drift in the dark on the currents off shore. We then stripped down to nothing and leaped into the refreshing waters of the lake to splash about like playful children.

Today I was not able to locate my sunglasses. They are on the bottom of the lake... because I had them on my head when I jumped into the water last night.

So, here is a photo of my new shades - a wee bit shiny and a wee bit funky.

To go with our fushia boat!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Right in White - for the German French Duke...

Right in white with all my might
I've been too long
I'm glad to be white (and fluffy)
Yes, I'm let loose
From the hoose
That's kept me hanging aboot (cue the Scottish kitty...)

I've been looking at the sky
'Cause it's gettin' me high
Forget the kitty litter
'Cause I never die
I got nein lives...
Cat's eyes
Abusin' every one of them and running wild

'Cause I'm right
Yes, I'm right
Well, I'm right
Yes, I'm right
Well, I'm right, right
Well, I'm right in white.
Yes, I'm right in white.

Right in the front of a car that's white
Number one with a bullet
I'm a power might
Yes, I'm in a bang
With a gang

They've got to catch me if they want me to hang
Cause I'm right on the bite
And I'm beatin' the fight
Nobody's gonna get me on another hip-hop
So look at me now I'm just makin' my play
Don't try to push your luck, just get out of my way

'Cause, I'm right
Yes I'm right
Well, I'm right
Yes I'm right
Well, I'm right, right
Well I'm right in white
Yes I'm back in white
hooo yeah
Ohh yeah
Yes I am
Oooh yeah, yeah
Oh yeah

Right in now
Well I'm right, I'm right
Right, I'm right, right,
I'm right, Right
I'm right, Right
I'm right in white
Right in white
Yes I'm right in white
Outta sight!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Just Us

This was the blaze the volunteer fire department started for practice.

They burnt down an old farmhouse down the block from us.

The view
out our
back door
during June
- our rainy month.


An afternoon out riding with the girls.