Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Twisted Anniversary

I’ll be taking some quiet, reflective time today between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Twenty years ago today was Black Friday. A tornado hit Edmonton killing 27 people, injuring about 300 more, and devastating a trailer park.

I was in it, trapped in my car.

I was in the city to visit a friend and was waiting for her shift to end. My car was in parking lot in downtown Edmonton and I’d had gone out for a bit of a wander.
It was sultry and had been for days. We’d had several highly charged electrical storms during those days.

It started to rain a bit so I went back to my car to change from the shoes I’d worn to an earlier job interview into some runners. In the less than two minutes this took the storm hit.

The wind was so strong I could not open my car door.

So I sat there and watched the rain until it came so thick and fast I couldn’t see out the windshield any longer.

For 45 minutes I sat there enjoying the storm. I had no idea I was in a tornado.

Eventually the wind and rain let up enough I could see again and I watched cars drive by on the street. Some drivers may have slowed a bit, but the water still splashed up in high walls around their vehicles.

When it was over I collected my friend and we drove off through the running water.

To this day I check cloud formations especially when it’s been hot and humid as it has lately. I’m happy to say I haven’t seen a funnel cloud.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll mark the anniversary this afternoon.

Quietly, I expect.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bookcase Betrayal

I picked up this meme from Dawn at The Flightless Writer who got it from Michael at Avatar Lore.

According to the rules I have to provide a list of books that I have on my shelves to see if anyone can learn anything about me. It’s not just any book. It has to be them as I’ve paid for as opposed to been given, begged for, borrowed, or stolen.

I was going to be careful about what I selected, but frankly, that just plain defeats the fun.

Here’s my list:

1. The Bible and Flying Saucers – Barry H. Downing

2. Many Lives, Many Masters – Brian L. Weiss, M.D.

3. Coffee, Tea, or Me? – Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones

4. The Past Through Tomorrow – Robert A. Heinlein

5. Tama of the Light Country – Ray Cummings

6. Atlanta Nights – Travis Tea

7. Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendships and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present – Lillian Faderman

8. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore

9. The Psychic Mafia – M. Lamar Keene (as told to Allen Spraggett)

10. Eats, Shoots and Leaves – Lynne Truss

I tag anyone who wants to play.

Meanwhile, it’s unlikely I’ll post tomorrow as we’re off camping in the blue Canadian Rockies with friends for the weekend.

May I suggest (being shameless ‘n’ all) that you check out Prozac Palace? I did the eight random things about me meme there the other day.

Readers might be amused.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Blessings Of Weird

Some aspects of life take a while to be seen as blessings.
Being called weird or odd or other names might sting a bit when you’re young, but eventually you know better.

For the longest time there was that little part of me that wanted to fit in and be like everyone else even though I knew deeply down inside that I couldn’t stomach the type of compromise it would take to do it.

Anyway, stretching my mind back over the years and viewing this objectively led me down an interesting path.
Were the name–callers straight-laced types?

Yeah, mostly.

Maybe they were jealous. Perhaps they would have liked nothing better than to loosen up a bit, but couldn’t. Perhaps it was due to a restrictive family life, or maybe they’d locked themselves into being a good girl or boy and were too scared to let their souls out.

Well, that’s where they were. They have their lessons. I have mine.

If they felt better labeling me, then in retrospect I believe that’s what they needed to do. Maybe I was doing them a service by being a target. It certainly makes me feel good to think so.

It was a blessing, really, to be called names. It didn’t stop me. I was quiet most of the time, but when I did say or do something it was exactly what was on my mind. I plain don’t know any better. If that made me odd, then so be it.

It’s freeing. I still do it and most people are used to me now. They expect it. The truth spills out before I have much time to edit myself.

It’s been years since someone called me weird without me sensing a certain amount of affection within his or her tone of voice.
That could be my imagination. If so, I think I’ll hang onto it.
It serves me well.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Me And My Typeaus

Faux French spelling aside--I did it on purpose--I routinely find typos and editing jewels in my blog posts.

I’m sorry.

I do the best I can. I can reasonably conclude from recent history that my best is woefully inadequate. For example, a recent post contained the gem “tipped his hat to me other . . ." While it does offer a lovely Irish-esque lilt, it makes no sense.

At least I do eventually find them. When I do I go in and make the correction. Can’t help myself. Even if no one will every see it again I feel the need to make it right.
It’s my writing. It’s got my name on it. If I am going to make wild allegations about the Web that I am a writer, then I should make the copy as clean as I can.
I’d like to find someone or something to blame but I can’t. It’s all me.

Oh, sure, I had laser eye surgery seven years ago and that’s certainly a . . .well it definitely plays a . . . no, I can’t blame my eyesight or the weather or lack of chocolate or an improper chew toy regimen. I simply think that everything is as it should be when I post.

Later I find out that I am once again wrong.


All I can do is my best and hope I catch every slip of the finger later on.
If I don’t, then any chance we can write it off as part of my charm?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Cousin Wayne

Today (July 22) is my cousin Wayne’s 49th birthday. Or would be had he not died last August.
He was exactly four months older than me and we were close when we were kids.
Wayne stayed with us for two weeks in August 1969. He’d just turned 11, I was still 10, and we caught frogs and played with garter snakes, snuck cigarettes in the old house on the farm, and dug tunnels in a huge pile of sand behind the new house we’d moved into a few months earlier.
The frogs were used in competitive sports. We called it the “Froggie Woggie Olympics” and events included determining how long the poor amphibians could stay submerged before they would float to the surface belly up.
When one did we turned it over and rubbed its back for a moment to revive it. I’m pleased to report we never lost an athlete.
Looking back it was probably cruel, but back in the golden innocence of youth it was fun.

Wayne was smart. He got high marks in school, was a thinker, and was very level–headed. We disagreed only once. We were talking about starving African children and I said they were undernourished. He insisted the right word was malnourished. Maybe we were both right.

Wayne’s family moved a lot and we didn’t see one another much after that year.
He got into drugs as a teen and became an alcoholic. He went to AA and celebrated two weeks of sobriety by going out and getting so drunk that we was in a coma for three days.

Somewhere in his mid-forties he was diagnosed as schizophrenic. It was a blessing. He took his meds. He straightened out his life. He took a course in hotel management and got a good job as a night manager.

Shortly afterward he was diagnosed with bone cancer. He didn’t last too long and I can’t help but think that’s a blessing too. Survival meant pain.

Some would look at his life and pronounced it wasted. I don’t agree.
We have our lessons to learn during Earth life and we choose how to learn them.
We decide in pre-birth the big things in life, who we’ll be with and what we’ll do. He chose the experiences of his life for his reasons. Maybe it was for him to learn; maybe it was a lesson for someone else. He knows that answer, not me.

Wayne came to me during one of my altered state sessions at the hypnosis retreat in May. He said “I made a way for you.”

I don’t know what that means.

It was good to see him again. He hasn’t visited me in my dreams like most of my other dead relatives.

I could see him clearly. Tall, strong, dressed in a buckskin jacket and cowboy hat. There was door behind him, like a office door, and he put one hand on the doorknob, tipped his hat to me and said, “You take care now.” He opened the door and I know he went to a life in the American Old West.

I believe he did what he needed in this life and learned what he came to learn in the fashion that suited his needs the best.

Whatever else he did, or didn’t do, Wayne and I will always be together in the golden moment of youth, playing with frogs.

Friday, July 20, 2007

How Old Are You?

Do you feel you’re as old as you birth certificate alleges?

Do you find you have to stop and think about your age?

I’ve caught myself doing this many times. Fortunately, I haven’t been too obvious about it.
Years ago when I was reporting I covered the Provincial Court, as such I heard people’s ages all the time. Say an accused was 40. I’d think: oh my, that’s old. Then I’d remind myself that I was 40 last year.

People in their 40s still seem old to me sometimes even as I can match or better their ages.
Now in my late 40s I can joke about a 40 year old being “just a kid” but deep down, it still seems old.

I’m 48. I don’t feel it, but I have no idea what any given age should feel like.
Chronology has little to do with age. I think of myself as somewhere in my 30s. Still prime in my mind even though the mirror puts the lie to it.

Physically I’m in better shape than I was 10 years go, and leaps and bounds beyond the lazy, if skinny, slob I was in my 20s.

I feel a certainly maturity, I suppose, but it has nothing to do with age. That’s simple inner growth.
But I sure can’t get my mind around the idea of being in my late 40s.
I like it.
I just don’t get it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


It's good to be reminded of the peace and beauty in the world.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Time seems to have a way of being filled whether I get anything done or not.
I’m not sure what’s changed. In part I’ve slowed down from the pace I kept while working. I can feel a great difference in my energy level and it’s wonderful.
I’m not rushed. I sleep better, enjoy my food more, and I get more out of a rest break now than I did when back when I needed breaks more.
But my energy level has slowed. Perhaps it’s because I’m not pressed for time and can remain in a lower gear. That’s okay, but it seems as though the day passes even more quickly than it did.

Is this perception a function of age? Or is something happening in the Universe that has caused time to redefine itself?

Does anyone else feel this way? Is time acting odd for you, too?

My days get filled somehow, yet when I look back over them it seems as though I haven’t done anything. I like the slower pace most of the time, but now that I’ve noticed it I find yet slightly upsetting.

Perhaps I’m gearing back up for something. I hope so. I can’t see what it is now, but I’m sure it’ll be exciting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hello Suckers!

Now that I’ve got your attention, and possibly offended you a wee bit, let me explain.
I’ve been ruthlessly experimenting on myself. Along with devoting an hour a day to writing, I’ve been trying to sort out what snackies are the best for concentrating.

Coffee has its place of course, and in the dead of the gloriously crisp Canadian winter, screaming hot tea. Earl Grey with sugar. I’m not sure what it is, but I can’t see to get tea hot enough. Oh, the water boils furiously in the kettle. I insist on a proper rolling boil and occasionally it spills over when I’m not fast enough to catch it, but it’s plus 30C now not minus 30C and hot tea is out of the question.

I need chew toys.

Something in my mouth helps me to think. I smoked for 10 years. One of the big attractions of this was having the object to suck on. It’s relaxing. It helped me focus. It was wonderful.

Toothpicks replaced cigarettes. Even though I’d stopped smoking before I got my driver’s license I found that a toothpick resting comfortably out one side of my mouth kept me sharp behind the wheel.

I used them at the office, too. Some days I had many stories to write and wanted to do them all at once. A protruding chew toy helped me to home in on one story at a time.
I know it’s not the least bit attractive, irrespective of what my more supportive friends say, but it’s me and it works and I can’t bring myself to care.

Lately during the writing hour I’ve chewed on licorice cigars, grape-flavored licorice twists, actual licorice-flavored licorice bits, walnettos (That name cracks me up to this day. Dear Dog I miss Laugh-In.) caramels, and suckers. That’s what we called ‘em here, anyway. They’re essentially a variety of lollipop.

I can pop one in my mouth and work it as I work on my manuscript. It lasts about a half-hour and the emptied stick is good for light chewing afterward.
It’s bigger than a toothpick, which I have at my desk for emergency think sessions, and they’ve got a bit of flavor to them.

As much as I liked all my chews toys, the suckers are the best. I may have to keep a bucket of them to get me through my manuscript.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


We've been adopted.

Slinker likes our yard. He commonly takes up residence under the canoe by the shed. It offers a lovely view of the pine siskins as they feed and provides shade and shelter for him.
I've no idea if he's a stray or someone's pet or even what his name is, if he has one bestowed by humans. He seems quite friendly, though, and makes every attempt to get a tummy rub.
I decided he ought to have a name and Slinker seemed to fit.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Doubly Blessed

Tomorrow (14 July) is the new moon. Remember to do your abundance cheques. I’ve posted about what to do here, and you can check for the time of the new moon in your area here.

Meanwhile, it’s Friday the 13th. Yay!
It’s the not-unluckiest day of the year, and it’s the second not-unluckiest day of the year this year.
We’re doubly blessed.

I’d like to think the new moon influence extends both ways, but I’m pretty sure I’m wrong. Until it actually is the dark of the moon it’s still the old moon waning. That’s not good for growing anything.

I just wanted it to be so this time because then we have an abundance of the not-unluckiest days. I think it would be exciting.
Oh, well. I’ll just enjoy it for what it is.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Salvage and Resurrection

My current writing experiment has been working well. Almost too well though I must note that I am in no way complaining. I’m happy.

I’ve faithfully devoted one solid hour every day to writing. I’ve managed to keep away from checking the email, bopping around the Internet, and playing solitaire. However, I’ve caught myself looking out the window once or twice.
If I do have to leave my desk for a moment I add that time on at the end.

Between the new material and salvage work I’ve cobbled together somewhere near 35,000 words. How much of that will stay is anyone’s guess. Rewriting, extensive and bloody, is in order.

I’m not even sure if any of what I’ve brought back to life deserves to be included. It was added in a cut-and- paste feeding frenzy over a few days. All very logical at the time. Retrospect may fail to show said logic.

The ms currently seems to have two or three ideas running it instead of one good, solid main focus. And after all that text-moving frenzy I’m not sure just exactly what I’ve got and where I put it.

I’ll have to go through the ms and reverse-engineer an outline. That should keep me busy for a while.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My husband noted how inviting mountain meadows look. I have to agree.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rudimentary Gratitude

This morning I started thanking the Universe before I got out of bed. Sleepiness lends a bit of clarity to my thoughts, in an odd way, because I’m too tired to think of anything except the thought itself at its ground level.
No fancy words come to mind, no clouding the issue with explanations, just the idea in its rudimentary form.

It occurred to me that I was grateful for this clarity. The feeling associated with thankfulness gets through easier when I’m not paying any intellectual attention.

It went like this: I’m grateful for the time I have to thank the Universe before I get out of bed.

That led to: I’m grateful that I can get out of bed.

Which in turn became: I’m grateful that I have a bed.

This seemed like a very good starting point for the day.

It reminded me to not take for granted the advantages I have, nor complain too much about any perceived shortcomings in my life.

Are they really there? If I gave it much though I could whine and bellyache with the most accomplished of negativity purveyors.

I choose not to.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Assorted Irritants

Some things will never change, no matter how many times I rail about them. I realize there’s limited hope, but I’ll write this anyway.

Even if I touch just one life, if I open one set of eyes and cause one person to think, even for a moment, then it will be worth it.

If I am wrong about any of the following, then I apologize.

A.M. means ante meridian. Ante means before.
P.M means post meridian. Post means after.
Noon and midnight are the meridians.
That which happens before or after a meridian can, by definition, not be happening on a meridian.
Ergo, 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. do not exist. They’re not real times. Stop using them. Now.

I will allow one exception: speeding tickets. Although I rarely speed I do occasionally catch myself sneaking up past the posted limit. If caught at noon or midnight I want the ticket to read 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. It will be a gift from the Universe.

This is the seventh year of the new millennium, not the eighth. Decades run from 1-0, not 0-9. 2000 was the final year of the nineties.
No one cares, I know, and it’s old news at best. But it still rankles.

The word “the” is pronounced “thee” in front of vowels in Canada.
Pronouncing it “thuh” in front of vowels and consonants alike is American usage. Good for them. It’s their country. They can spin the language any way they please.

“Thuh only,” and “thuh average” hurts my Canadian ears when it comes from a born and bred Canadian. I went to school with a girl who used “thuh” before vowel sounds. It still grates.
We had exactly the same education all through elementary school. We learned the same day in the same class from the same teacher that we were to say “thee” before vowels. I remember the day. She apparently doesn't.

Many things, seemingly little, irk me no end. I could go on, but these three seem about right for now.

What about you? What gets the steam whistling out of your ears?

Friday, July 6, 2007

To The West

Looking west from Abraham Lake. The lake is man-made and was brought about by a dam on the North Saskatchewan River in the early 1970s. It had been a native burial ground.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

What Are Your Intentions Toward Yourself?

I’ve been thinking about the power of intention. I use it as part of my morning prayer cycle. I put out to the Universe what I want to get done in the day and commonly that’s exactly what happens.

Stating something has an interesting twist to it. It can make that something real or it can take away its power.
That’s the general idea behind talking about something in order to feel better. Life’s problems aren’t so quite so bad once the words are out.
It’s still intention, though. You intend to feel better by talking, so therefore, you are. You made it real. You switched the power around and put it to work for you.

This brings me to my point. What are your intentions toward yourself? What needs some power behind it?
Here are a few ideas to get you going. Feel free to use them as is or adapt them for your own needs

I intend to eat well.
I intend to exercise.
I intend to be published.
I intend to be successful.
I intend to be my own woman and live the life I want.
I intend to be happy.
I intend to stand up for myself.

Go ahead. Make a commitment to yourself and put it out to a Higher Power whether that is God, the Universe, or Fuzzy Bunny.
Make it real and watch it work.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pussy-toes and Prickly Rose

The flowers were in full bloom on the weekend for our mountain hike.

These are pussy-toes (Antennaria parvifolia) we found growing along the mountain path.

The prickly rose (Rosa acicularis) and western wood lily (Lilium phildelphicum) were found growing near the trail head. They seemed happy together.

I call them tiger lilies because that’s how they’re commonly known, but Mr. Goat’s Lunch Pail has degrees in forestry and botany and I promised him I’d make things right with the flowers.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Hiking along the Cline River in the Canadian Rockies.
I'm a wee bit scared of heights, but I can look at just about anything through a camera lens.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Spiritual Wake-Up Calls

Have you gotten your call?
Help from the Other Side takes many forms. Perhaps it’s a mental pull or an emotional nudge that draws your eye to a course list for a local college or adult education evening classes. This nudge or trigger might seem to be from a magazine article, a line of dialogue in a television show, or a person, a picture, a movie, book, a random bit of overheard conversation on a busy street, or just about anything else.

Certainly this can come from your own intuition. It’s your link to the world beyond our physical apprehension. But commonly it’s a loving and much needed push from the Other Side. These signals remind us that it’s time for a lesson.
It might be a simple reminder of the world beyond our five senses. But on occasion, it is quite literally a “wake-up call” from the spirit side.
We arranged before birth that we’d get these soul-awakening reminders. When our guides give us one, they’re keeping up their end of the bargain.

But how can somebody who’s incorporeal make a wake-up call? Their higher frequency can cause all manner of interesting things to happen to telephones, televisions, vacuum cleaners, and most anything else that’ll get our attention.

Have you ever been roused from sleep by a buzzing or ringing or the sound of a hurried, whispered conversation that you can’t quite make out? That’s a friend on the spirit side signaling you that it’s time to get on with your Pre-Birth Agreement.

Back in the early 1990s I was often jarred out of a peaceful sleep by the sound of a ringing telephone. I’d pick it up to find the ring was only in my head. The same thing happened with the intercom. Several times over about 18 months the intercom would buzz in the middle of the night. I’d answer, then realize it wasn’t the intercom at all.

Eventually, through meditation, I learned it was my guides trying to get my attention. They were literally waking me up to the possibilities beyond the physical world.

“Yes, when you are startled awake in the night because you thought you heard the phone ring, but it only rang in your head, yes, that is us,” Merope and Geon said together.
“We honor the agreement to help you awaken,” Merope continued. “These are signals you are familiar with and you understand. On the deep soul level you know why it is happening and it starts the process for you.”

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Birthday, Eh!

Canada turns 140 today.

The blue Canadian Rockies are in front of me and the tiger lilies are in full bloom. What more does one need?