Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 3:15 experiments

A bit of writing from the old 3:15 experiments, this from April 9, 2011:

Pushing forward and upwards
Bit foggy
Bermuda Triangle?

Sometimes it feels like
I'm lost,
And wind beaten

Fuzz inside my head
Words escaping me

Need a glimpse of the light
The beacon, that moment of
Clarity, to bring me back,
Grounding me

 back to what was never lost.

I remember how I was feeling when I wrote that.  I was stuck in a job that wasn't right for me, too stubborn or afraid to leave.  I felt constantly drained, anxious, and overwhelmed.  It felt Iike I was living a life of shell-shock, frantically rushing from day to day, and actually experiencing as little of it as possible.
While I don't miss living that nightmare, I am grateful for the lessons learned during that tricky time in my life.  It took me a long time to learn them, and a severance package, but eventually, I got the idea.  Life is now.  This is it.  It's not happening in the future, and it sure as hell isn't happening in the past.
Despite all the delusions of grandeur...  This is it.
So take a good look around you, and see the good.  And if you feel too bogged down, held under and suffocated to see the good (as I once did) then know that change is possible.  It may not happen quickly, but you have an evolution to get on with.  So don't let yourself get stuck in the
proverbial (primordial?) mud.
Sometimes it's the mud that we need to experience before we learn to soar.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Snug in my pack

It was a quiet walk today, I was by myself on the trails with Shelby and Paloma.
I love these girls, I love watching their boundless enthusiasm and energy as they leap across the fields and traverse up and down slopes, chasing each other and exploring together.
I'm reminded of Ender and Abby, and on days like today, I still feel them walking with me.  I can hear their unique footfalls:   Ender steady and surefooted, trotting right at my side;  Abby a little bouncy, a lot gangly and prone to wild, careening, spontaneous runs.

Having a dog is a wonderful experience.  Creating a pack, a family with dogs is a chaotic, adventurous, exhausting, exciting, beautiful and at times, heartbreaking experience.  Once a pack, always a pack.  I wonder if Shelby can feel them too.  And can Poe?  She's our newest pack member, and I wonder if Ender and Abby have reached out to her in some way.
I love days like today to remind me that I'm surrounded by my pack, present and past, at all times.

I find myself singing Abby's song, Rae Spoon's "I'll be a Ghost for You,"  and it's fitting.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A beautiful memory of my Lucy

So, I'm tidying up.
Which means basically moving things from place to place.
In the process I found an old journal I used for my 3:15 writing experiments.
If you've never heard of the 3:15 writing experiment it goes like this:
Set your alarm, so that you wake every morning at 3:15 am.  Yes, 3:15 AM.
You keep a notebook by your bed, and a pen, pencil, crayon...  a writing utensil of your choosing.
When you awake at this ridiculous hour, you groggily put to paper whatever groggy thoughts are in your head.
This is one I found from April5, 2011:

Awoken by my alarm
but raised from bed by the tapdancing of dogs,
this 3:15 is no longer my own.
My guardian Lucy comes
to restore my faith in sleep
putting her foot down
exactly where I'm writing, saying

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New and Improved Reading Culture?

So, I have always been a bit of a bookworm.  Wayback, before everyone carried technology with them, I would usually have a book with me.  This meant that any time spent waiting for buses, appointments and grocery store lineups could be spent reading.
Mostly, I just got used to the odd looks I'd get from people while I read in various scenarios...
As I drove into Kelowna today, I was amazed by the number of people I saw, in various stages of waiting, avidly reading from the small screens in their hands.

Interesting that compulsive reading has become the norm. 

Take a look at how many people around you are busily "reading" from their handheld tech.   And just imagine what it would be like if in their hands were books instead of gadgets.

Neat, huh?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More random pictures from Kauai

I still cannot believe how many pictures we took in Kauai.  There was just so much to see...
Historically, we have not been very good at taking photos on most of our vacations.  But seeing how we are now in the age of the camera-phone, and we didn't spend any time underwater on this trip, we had plenty of time and ability to take photos.

This was taken along the beach on the east side, where we stayed.  I love the light in this shot.

These are some kind of lobster shells we found on the beach on the east side.  I am amazed by the vibrant colours!  

 This beach is in a state park at the end of the road on the west side of the island.  This beach was simply breathtaking.  It was one long and wide expanse of soft, soft sand...  just lovely.

Driving views: 

 There are several of these single lane bridges on the island.  They work on the honour system, and they have a sign that suggests a "courtesy" of a certain number of vehicles per direction.

 I just loved the lush jungles of Kauai!

This is the highway up top of the Waimea Canyon.  Literally feels like you are on top of the world.  

 More along the road above the Waimea Canyon.

 This is coming down the mountain from Waimea Canyon.  The view of the ocean from up there is so beautiful.

This is a section of the highway the locals call "tree tunnel."

Friday, December 12, 2014


So, just for the record... it was negative stoopid (double digits) when we left for Hawaii.  This is a shot of me on our hike the day before our flight:

And this is Shelby, caught in the act of trying to stowaway in our suitcase:

This is a very cool spider we saw at the Allerton-McBride Gardens:

I couldn't stop looking up at the treetops!

This is the river that runs through the Allerton Garden.

 Donnie smiling in a selfie?

This waterfall was our hiking destination after a kayak up the Wailua River.  If you ever want to check it out, go with Rainbow Kayak tours, Davey is a great guide!  The waterfall is about 120 feet tall.  The water in the pool at the base is COLD!  But I figured I'd try it out, it couldn't be any worse than Mud, Sweat and Tears :)  

When you got close to the water fall, there was so much wind, generated by the falling water that it was hard to breathe!  I had to back into it, in order to breathe.  Wild! 

And this.... this is the home of the finest coconut cream pie I have ever had the pleasure to savour... If you're headed to Kauai, you're only hurting yourself if you miss this little gem!

The ocean is THIS BIG!

Kauai Coffee

We had never visited a coffee plantation before, and we had some time on one of our last days, so we checked out Kauai coffee.  It was pretty neat to see the plants, and some of the machinery used in the collecting and processing.
This was the coffee that we had in our room each morning, and even Don enjoyed it so much that he wanted to see the plantation.  We learned a lot about different types of coffee, light roast vs dark roast for caffeine content... it was pretty neat!

Sorry, not many pics here.

This is an arabica coffee plant:

Sugar cane was a prominent crop on the island before coffee came in to replace it.

This is a robusta plant, another type of coffee - it's cheaper, and has less of an actual coffee taste.  It made me wonder if a very popular coffee chain here in Canada might use this type of coffee, because I have never thought their coffee has much of a "coffee flavour" to it.  The chain shall remain nameless :)

Pictures of an old coffee mill.  It amazes me how ornate this machine was made to look.  Machines now are so devoid of beauty, I find it interesting that there was a time when people took pride in the aesthetics of processing.

And the sign, in front of the property...

Random Kauai

I took so many pictures on this trip...  there are some that just don't fit into any category. 

Like this orange.  Bought it at a farmer's market, the most delicious orange I've ever tasted.  I did not manage to get photographic evidence of the bananas, pineapple and papaya - also procured market style - also delicious!

 Yeah, so this is a thing!  The ultimate "his&hers" store - Ace Hardware & Crafts!!!

This was the view from our morning flight to Seattle.  

And this view is from our Seattle to Kauai flight.  I have never been over so much open ocean before.  Beautiful! 

This is a sign we saw on a telephone pole in Hanalei Town.  Love it!

Lunch on the beach, procured from a taco truck.   So Yummy!  

Waimea Canyon selfie!  Don just loves selfies :)

Another view fromthe Waimea canyon drive, this one looks out to sea.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kauai Flora & Fauna

There was SO much to see in terms of plants and animals on the island of Kauai.
First thing we noticed, even at the airport, was the ridiculous number of chickens, feral chickens, just running everywhere all over the island.  We heard alot about the chickens of Kauai over the week.  There is a rumour that explains the presence of the chickens as a result of a hurricane that damaged some coops, freeing domesticated chickens and fighting chickens.  The story goes that these two groups interbred, producing a tough little breed of Kauai chickens.  Some say they don't taste very good, some say that you can hunt as many of the as you like.  Both may be true.
When we saw the number of chickens, we assumed that there must be no feral cats on the island, because how could chickens run that amok with a resident feline population?
Wrong, there are feral cats, but even they don't want to tangle with these chickens!
And then, while driving one day, we came across an actual "ostentation" of peacocks.

And there were these pretty geese... called Nene.

This stretlitzia was on the grounds at our hotel.  Just gorgeous, and right outside our door! 

There was so much plumeria, all over the island.  I loved the pink variety!!  The blooms were dropping off the trees, and littering lawns all over the place. 

Kauai:  Where they plant orchids like you or I would plant day lilies.  Amazing.

Beautiful nymphaea in a water feature.

So many bougainvillea blooms on this one branch!

This stand of alocasia was HUGE.  The leaves were at least six feet above the ground. 

This is a bad shot, but if you look at the centre of the plant, you will see the biggest fiddlehead Ive ever seen!

This was taken from beneath that big fern, it probably towered about 7-9 feet tall

Rainbow eucalyptus - Eucalyptus deglupta - my new favourite tree!

Hedichium coronarium - white ginger - with a most beautiful, soft scent.  I would wear this scent every day if I could!!!  Apparently it's quite an invasive "weed."  

From my research, this variety of ginger seems to be Hedichium gardnerianum.... extremely invasive, and during the week I was on the island, the blooms appear to have faded, leaving an odd orangey red fruit.  Not super pretty, but I am amazed at how many varieties of ginger I saw in one week on one island!

Yeah, this is staghorn fern, growing on the side of a tree...  lovely!

Foliage of the monkeypod tree, Albizia saman, another new favourite tree for me :)