Cutting Myself Some Slack

I have to admit, I’m not at the top of my game lately.  A person can be confronted by and, possibly, absorb a lot of gut-wrenching stuff via the media, daily. (the state of Syria, regional economics, pipelines, the American debates and election, unemployment and the economy, involvement of Russia in global agitation, the status of North Korea regarding armaments, the state of our environment and the care for dwindling species…these are just a few concerning factors that spewed out the tips of my fingers at the keyboard…free flow)  If that ‘removed’ material isn’t enough, then there are also the daily stressors that one must face, sometimes alone, and these can really nail a person down, both in body and spirit.  The important thing is to do something about it by changing patterns and practices.

This past weekend was one of those weekends for me.  Not really ‘into’ any interactions with my wider circle, I focused on ‘being’ with smaller groups, staying closer to home and eating good food.  Quality time with my daughter and my ‘real life’ friends was very healing.  I am grateful for that sense that the rest of the world can motor on at warp speed while I take a little vacation from the nonsense that becomes my whirling life.  What we’re trying to prove, I don’t exactly know.  What I’ve been doing, I do.

The weekend began with a gathering of my hiking YaYas and our ritual gathering photo op with prop.  Thanks to Cathy for hosting.  What a relief it is to talk and talk and talk and laugh.  And wow…those hugs at the end of an evening!


Walking the circle of the pond at Frank’s Flats…always calms me and makes me live more deliberately or consciously.  Walking, itself, causes the lungs to fill up and with ‘real’ air.  The light filters in and replaces worry or dischord.


Contemplating my closest companion…our friendship…activity.  There are many funny moments created by my Max-Man.  This weekend, I was grateful for my fur-boys, both dogs, Laurie-Dog and Max-Man and cats, Piper, Edgar and Peanut.


On our Saturday afternoon walk, a flock of fourteen Trumpeter swans flew overhead. There is nothing like their sound pulling out of a blue sky.  I didn’t care about zooming or panning, obviously, but I can not look at this patch of blue, without remembering what that was like.  I always consider these events to be Holy events and I have been graced with the blessing of many such moments.img_2378

On Sunday morning, I went to early Mass.  For me, the peace that comes with this celebration can’t be replaced with anything else.  I was also very grateful to be embraced by the MacDonalds in the parking lot, afterwards. Such good people.

Off to the grocery store, I filled my basket with cheeses, beautiful squash, vegetables and fruit and some Kaslo sourdough pasta.  I had selected a lovely Cannelloni recipe to prepare for dinner.

Sunday offers the opportunity for people to recline and have a little snooze, or as my Dad calls them, a Sizz under the Fuzzy.  I had one of those and then…

I drove to Hull’s Wood…a part of my life, here, in Calgary’s fringe.  Jess has begun her teaching of this semester’s Pow Wow dancing.  I highly recommend this practice to all of my readers.  We began with the peacefulness of a smudge ceremony and the blessing of sweetgrass and sage.  Then…cardio…then practice.  This week, some basics in handling a single hoop.


I had missed a few openings on the weekend.  I especially wanted to see the exhibit, For You and Me hosted by the Paul Kuhn Gallery, curated by artist, Ashleigh Bartlett.  As well, I had wished to offer my support of Mark Vasquez-Mackay and Rich Theroux for their opening, Mindfulness at the Rumble House.

I decided, on the way home from Pow Wow dancing that I would stop off at the Queensland Community Center and spend some time with Mark’s mural on the building.  On a perfect autumn day, it was a wonderful option for viewing art and giving one of my peeps, some support.


At home, Cayley and I made Cannelloni together.  It was fun to share the kitchen and I’d like to do that more often.  The process of cooking can be a very relaxing thing.  When I went to my room in search of my bedroom slippers, I noticed that my daughter had also folded my clothes from the dryer.  Kindness from others is likely  the best medicine out there, for anything that might ail you as an individual…it is also the best medicine for the world.

I would like my readers to share what it is that they do to relax, to find their center…to be at peace.  We don’t have to control everything all of the time.  But, how do we let go of that need to control everything?

What’s happenin’ at my house?

I stood in line…23rd in line, at the drug store post office.  It was the second time I’ve done that in the past week and I am proud to say that I went at the experience, having coached myself for the second time, into being ‘light’ to the line-up.  I was the one chatting it up with the couple who have been married for twenty-four years because ‘he’ was willing to hold her heavy green and obviously feminine purse over ‘his’ shoulder for ‘her’ as ‘she’ shifted weight from one high heeled foot to the other for the duration.  I met the wee nine month old who managed, in the heat, to be of good nature while his mother remained the same.  Eventually, I made the front of the line.

Max and I headed enthusiastically for our off leash experience…finding it dark already, but the weather mild, with no wind.  Christmas lights have sprung up throughout the neighbourhood and I was left with a wonderful and magical feeling as we headed home.

Arriving, I quickly phoned my mother and father. By that time, I had missed our Skype date.  As is usual, hearing their voices warmed my heart and then it was time to plug in the tree lights, pour the rum and eggnog and dip into Frogger’s chocolate jujubes.  (I bought five of these boxes to share with others…now I have four.)

Now…for the big chill.  My boy, Peanut, exemplifies that feeling the best!  Since I’ve taken away his hang-out carpet in order to make room for the Christmas tree, he has, without any hesitation, taken over Max-man’s chair.  This makes me smile.

P1080887It was while I was taking my first jujube nibbles and washing those nibbles down with rum and eggnog that I came upon this very fine work created by my friend, Jen.  This particular website is called I Am Worth So Much More.  An awesome piece of work!  I hope that some of the resources can be of assistance to young ladies who are ‘trying to find their place in the world’!

It has been a very busy few days, with a whack of things packed into each and every day.  I hope to write about some of it over the next while…but, if I don’t get to it…Heh!  That’s alright too!  Hoping that my readers are also enjoying their seasonal preparations and rituals…and that you also, find the time to chill!


December's Calendar

December’s Calendar

New Digs

It was a rainy day and I enjoyed driving to my daughter’s neck-of-the-woods in order to check out her new ‘digs’.  We chilled, grabbed some Thai food (she is in a great location), wandered a second-hand shop and shared some laughter over various and unrelated topics.  I love seeing her so relaxed, pom pom slippers and all, surrounded by places she enjoys and good people. Good to see that she’s sticking to using existing holes on those walls as well! :0) Congratulations, sweetie.

Pig Butcher Board Art

My Pigeon, chillin’

Everyone Hugs…Peace Prevails

Still Life



Morning Coffee With Hattie Hughes

I relaxed this morning, with a coffee and the Island Voice of Hattie Hughes.  This past summer, I spent time in Cardigan and really treasured time with a new friend, Karla and appreciated a serendipitous meeting with Nora MacDonald.  That experience opened up my heart to the east coast!  Because of all of this, the interview felt like a little taste of ‘home’.

Hattie Hughes Interview Island Voices

Winter on the Back Deck: Looking at the Stars

Sippin' Wine and Chillin'

This evening reminded me of winter-camping in Waterton during my years attending university.  It is an amazing thing when wine stays chilled as you’re looking at the stars.  By the way, I have identified four of the seven planets…but need to get my telescope out tomorrow night to see the other three.  The sky has been so clear, it’s absolutely stunning! 

I remember one night like this in Waterton, hiking in to a lake’s edge.  It got so very dark in the mountains and the sun set early, but the fire threw magical light and created shadows on everything!  It was much like tonight, not particularly cold, but enough so that the wine stayed chilled and the noses and cheeks felt a bite.  Curling into sleeping bags, everything was cozy for a good night’s sleep.  But, as is typical of the mountains, there was no less than a foot of snow dumped on everything come the morning, on this particular day.

I was thinking about light, as I sat on the deck benches tonight…the softness of it…how it reveals so much in the literal sense, but also metaphorically.  I can’t help but think, now that Bing Crosby is crooning and I am warm as toast, about that star that the shepherds saw and what all of that meant.  Here I am in 2011, gazing at the same night sky.  I feel blessed.  The cat purrs in the circle of my arms as I type and I think about going to the kitchen to bake a sweet treat and eat cheese and crackers.

Max after a good exercise event...snow-gazing.

What are we doing out here?