December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

1 more sleep until Christmas Day!

I hope you and yours are all ready for the season. Whether you have a small Christmas with a few friends or loved ones, or if you are sleeping on the floor in an over-crowded family home with cousins galore, 

October 6, 2014

Happy 200th-Postiversary!

image source
Happy 200th!

Yes, it's true, this is my 200th blog post! Amazing!

I started this blog eight years ago, thinking it would just be a place to air my thoughts, share my ideas and maybe work out the messy innards of my complicated mind and heart.

I started using a blog before photos could even be added to a post!
Now that makes me feel old!

My very first post on September 21, 2006 was called "Growing Up & Sow's Ears", how's that for a catchy title?
It was about moving past my childish ways and thoughts, about growing up but also growing into who I was meant to be,

I look back on that post and I admire that young woman. (Yes, I know, I'm talking about myself.)
I admire her for sharing herself on this public platform, where sharing has hopefully encouraged others and inspired hope.
I admire her for her zeal and her vivacity. She has faced trials and sorrow but hasn't given up on herself, her God or her future.
I admire that even back then, she was starting to cast off her sackcloth of apathy and dissatisfaction and look around to embrace her talents and her abilities though her future was uncertain and foggy.
I admire that she continued to bear her soul, that she didn't settle for less, and that today she shines in small, subtle ways to those who know her best.

To answer the question....
Do I finally feel grown up?

Hmmm, let's see.
I feel like I am on my way to becoming a grown-up, an adult, a mature and valued member of society.

But the not-so-secret is...
I still like movies and popcorn and playing with Lego and watching cartoons!

As one 10-year old said to me after he and his brother wanted to head inside after an afternoon of playing with me in the snow, "Hey, you're just like a big kid, aren't you?"

Yes, yes I am.
I am a grown-up, but a grown-up who loves life, love and all the little things and no one can ever take that away from me!

I will always have a funny accent at the ready.
I will always be the best at making a new train track for my nephews.
I will always like bright colours...on my walls or on my clothes.
I will always choose rain and wind over heat and sun, just because I like how the wind whips my hair around and the rain makes the ground smell so fresh.
I will always be able to do all the voices from a storybook.
I will always be able to make up a song to make the time pass by more quickly.
I will always have clutter in my house that includes pretty shells and rocks I've found.
I will always be a little disorganized simply because I have so many things I still want to try.
I will always love dogs and animals and creatures big and small.
I will always love to colour, create, draw, craft, make something with my hands.
I will always make a fool of myself when I'm excited about something.
I will always wear my heart on my sleeve and in the blush of my cheeks.
I will always find the game in everything.
I will always prefer to be silly rather than serious.
I will always know those lyrics to some random song.
I will always come up with some interesting fact about where we are or what we are watching.
I will always be a nerd/geek/weirdo at heart. (yes that 200 image at the top is made up of Star Wars Lego  figurines...but not my own, just for the record.)
I will always care...about my family, my friends, my co-workers.
I will always eagerly give my heart away, even if that means it comes back needing much repair.
I will always be the loudest laugh in the room.
I will always, always be able to find the fun!

And if all that makes me childish or immature...then I am glad.
Because all me!

To All of You:
Thank you for continuing to read my blog. 
I would love to hear from you and know how you like my posts, how you found my blog or just a little about you! Please comment below or send me an email sometime. :)

September 22, 2014

Such a Gem!

A few weeks ago I entered a giveaway contest from a blog I regularly read (SquirrellyMinds) and guess what? I won!! 
The Prize: An original gemstone watercolour painting of my choice!
Tan, of SquirrelyMinds, is genuinely talented and I love ALL of her watercolour art!

I was trying to pick an ideal candidate for a painting to adorn my wall and it came to me....I wonder if she could paint a geode!

What's a geode, you ask? 
Basically, a geode is a sedimentary or volcanic rock...with a surprise inside. Somewhere along the way a hollow or bubble formed inside the sediment or lava and crystals formed over time.

On the outside, a geode looks just like any other ordinary rock, plain, uninteresting. But once the inner hollow is accessed (cut or cracked), a geode's centre is a riot of colour and texture, catching light and reflecting it's glorious beauty.

Hmmm, makes me think we should never judge a rock by it's outer looks. :)

Why a geode, you ask?
When I was about six years old I was visiting my grandparents in northern BC and on a trip to a store with my grandfather, or Pops as we affectionately called him, I noticed a few of these beautiful rocks on display.
 Being the generous and most amazing Pops ever, he bought me one (what grandfather can't resist a granddaughter's charm?). This small stone fit in my own tiny palm, grey on the outside and sliced in half to reveal deep blues and purple crystals on the inside.

I've kept this momento and it has always been a warm reminder of my grandfather.

* Today, I am quite distressed. Since thinking about this geode, I have tossed my house looking for it, to no avail. It's misplaced! When I do find it I'll be sure to update you with a photo.

So, I asked Tan if she would venture to try painting me a geode.
Tan delivered!!

She created a wonderful, unique painting for me!

She also went the extra mile and delivered it to me, though sadly I had stepped out of my office and just missed her.
I came back to work to a lovely gift wrapped with crisp tissue and gold foil stickers spelling out my name!
(As a kid with a slightly unusual name, let me tell you anything with our correct name on it is a treasure!)

Here it is, my very own geode painting. Love it!

Thanks, Tan from SquirrelyMinds! (Psst, check out her wonderful blog!)

(Extra foil stickers cut outs from the front adornment.)

Geode Gem Watercolor painting artwork purple stone

Geode Gem Watercolor painting artwork purple stone
Love my new Geode Painting!

September 17, 2014

Weird & Wonderful Wednesday: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my Weird & Wonderful Wednesday Series!
(have a look at Part 1)

Today I bring to you a sample of some of the weird & wonderful photos I've taken over the years.
Some are of oddities and some are just magical.
All are unedited and not at all enhanced.

This lot comes from all over the place and from over the past seven years.
     (*Bonus points if you can name where some of them are taken!)


September 12, 2014

Love's Secret: A Risk Worth Taking

I've mentioned before that I love poetry.
I love the lilt, the play with language and wording.
I love the visual imagery a poet can create for their reader with a simple line of thought.

William Blake William Blake is one of my favourite poets.

Not only did he draw out wonderful imagery from his words, but he was a talented and other-worldly artist, creating art from metal etchings that most often included the poems themselves.

Some of his works are difficult to look at, with drastic themes and angry undertones. Yet, many I can appreciate for their simplicity and beauty.
This poem, "Love's Secret" is short and simple but deep.

The subject is describing what it was like to finally voice his love only to have his hopes dashed.
His affection is rejected and the object of his love is eventually whisked away by another. Sad.

Blake does hint, though, that if you never voice your love, it will never come into being.
Love only happens when it is proclaimed and admitted. 
For him, that love was lost.

Love is a risk, no matter how you seek it out.
You can never risk the good without risking the bad.

Perhaps I'm feeling a little melancholy tonight, since this poem, though a little sad, feels sweet to me.

Love's secret is just that...a secret, an inward longing, unless risked to have a voice.

"Love's Secret"
by William Blake

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
Ah! she did depart!

Soon after she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.

September 3, 2014

Weird & Wonderful Wednesday

Today I bring to you a sample of some of the weird & wonderful photos I've taken over the years. Some are of oddities and some are just magical. All are unedited and not at all enhanced.

This lot comes from my Summer of 2003 folder.
- First, a flight to Calgary for a friend's wedding and family reunion of sorts.
- Then a road trip up to Smithers to visit family for their annual Fall Fair.


Weird personification of an automobile.
Flying over the Rocky Mountains. I never tire of a good window seat!

Downtown Calgary as seen from my family's former property, the place where I grew up for my first seven years.

Dock off of Sylvan Lake.

Old-school 3D comics.

Some young cousins twirling for me.
Ginger, ready for her close-up!

I think the wee one has mistaken her dog for a horse at the Fair.

Traveling home from northern BC...cowboy country.

We also traveled through forest fire country at a bad time of year. Many hills were black and smoking.

One of my favourites. The smoky haze from the fires lends an eerie through the mountain passes. 

What are your favourites from this bunch?? 

Tune in next time for another episode of "Weird & Wonderful Wednesdays" or check out my "Scenic Sunday" series as well.

Ta for now!

September 1, 2014

What's your story?

There are many metaphors for life.

Running the race.
Traveling on a journey.
Sailing the course.

My favourite has to be that our lives are a story.

There is a beginning...we are born.
There is a middle...we live.
And there is an guessed it, we die.

YET, your story doesn't have to seem so standard, cookie-cutter, or so depressingly final.

If you believe at all in God, know that He loves you and He thought about you before you were born.
 Your beginning wasn't just some random dot on a timeline.
 God knew you before you began.

And if you believe in a heaven then you know that if you've chosen to trust God and grow close to Him, we will live forever in His amazing presence.
 Our end isn't stuck here in an aging world.

As for the middle?

Well, we are living it everyday.
Like the lyrics above tell us, all the little things that you've stumbled over, all those walls you've smacked up against, all the pits and holes along the way, they just become a part of your story.
They are not the end.
They don't define you and what and who you are.
They are footnotes, character flaws that make us unique.

Whatever you are searching for, or whatever path you are on, it doesn't have to be final.
You can change your mind.
You can find peace and love and wholeness.

It's not a calling to an easy life.
You will be set apart and mocked and looked down upon.
But those are just pages in your story. 
They are not the focus.

Centre yourself around what really matters.
Find your way in this muddled up world towards something greater than our selfish tendencies.
We can try to be 'good' until we exhaust every volunteer or donation opportunity but that simply isn't enough.

We need to find our way to the love of God.

You may read my blog and not agree with me. That's ok.
I just think it's time I shared what I believe.
I want to make sure it's clear.
And I care enough about all of you to make sure you know about it, too.

My life is nowhere near what I thought it would be.
And that's ok.

If I was no longer alive tomorrow I know it would not be the end.
I have a faith, a trust and a hope in something greater than myself.

You can have it, too.

What do you hold onto? 
What's YOUR story?

Out Of Hiding (Father's Song)
by Steffany Gretzinger
Come out of hiding, you’re safe here with me
There’s no need to cover what I already see
You’ve got your reasons, but I hold your peace
You’ve been on lockdown and I hold the key

Cause I loved before you knew what was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles my victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home

And I’ll be your lighthouse when you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate everything
No need to be frightened by intimacy
Just throw off your fear and come running to m

And oh as you run, what hindered love
Will only become part of the story 
Baby you’re almost home now
Please don’t quit now
You’re almost home to me 

August 24, 2014

Scenic Sundays: Terrace BC

((A quick look at some of my favourite scenic photos I've taken.
All of these shots remain untouched and unaltered.))
One of my favourite childhood destinations was always Terrace, BC. My mom was born and raised in this Northern city and we spent many summers at my Grandparent's home and at the local lake. The mountain scenery is spectacular!
This year I visited Terrace in April with my mom and aunts after my lovely grandmother passed away. We drove from Smithers to Terrace and visited Lakelse Lake, a place holding so many memories for myself as well as my mom and aunts.
We always took over this entire shelter whenever we came out to the lake. There were usually 20-30 of us (cousins, aunts, uncles etc) and we enjoyed many hot dog roasts, card games and Uno cakes here.
There is just layer upon layer of gorgeous mountains as far as you can see!

The canopy of huge cedar trees overhead.

It's difficult to see the massive scale of these roots and trees. Look for me in a photo below for some perspective.
We often played in and amongst these huge roots. Many photos were taken of us as children climbing up them.

See, they are huge!!!
I love Terrace and Lakelse Lake! One of my favourite places!
Here we are, me at about age 7-8, playing in Lakelse Lake.

Click HERE to see more of my Scenic Sunday posts.

August 22, 2014

Powerful Words

What will you tell your daughter about her body?

First of all let me clarify that I do not yet have children.

I would like a few and I would of course love to have a daughter.

However, when I think about my own daughter growing up, going to school, my eyes well up and I get a dreadful churning in my stomach.


Because although I was confident and spunky as a young child I was ruthlessly teased all throughout school.

The first few years of school were great, I had good friends, great teachers, loved learning.
But when about grade 4 and 5 came along I was made very aware that I didn't look like most of the other girls at school.
I had a rounder face, and though I was a bit of a tom-boy, I wasn't interested in sports at all so I began to get just a little bit soft and chubby.
I wasn't overweight or abnormal by any standards, but for some reason a handful of kids, mostly boys, at school made it their mission to constantly put me down, call me names and tease me.

Their words began to cut deeper and deeper.

I remember feeling so helpless and hurt that I soon began lashing out, getting angry, using my fists to solve these problems.
I was scrappy and ended up in more than a few fights at school or on the bus home.

The teasing and name-calling continued into Jr. High.
This time, mean-spirited girls would make fun of something I wore, or my hair, or some not-so-perfect part of my body.
I was dreadfully hurt and angry but I no longer fought back physically.
I shoved my pain deep, deep down, burying it beneath layers of walls so I wouldn't have to feel that way all the time.

I did have great friends all throughout school.
Friends that I could count on to laugh with and have fun.
But most of them never knew how much other people were hurting me.

I also had an amazing family.
My Mom and I have always been close and she has always been an encourager and lifted me up when she knew I was down. Many times she breathed life back into my sails when someone else had knocked the wind out of me with their words.

It still hurt.

It still hurts.

It's taken me many years and many dark moments to get over some of the damage that was done to my innocent, young-girl confidence.

For years I constantly judged others because I felt constantly judged.
For years I compared myself to everyone because I thought that was what everyone was doing to me.
For years I became angry and bitter in response to many of the situations life threw my way...or the situations I thought I should have had that life didn't throw my way,

It's taken years to move past it, to dig it all up and let it all go.
I did it with God's strength and love, as well as the love of my family and friends.

It hasn't been easy and yes, sometimes, it still hurts.

If, one day, I am blessed with a daughter, these are the things I will tell her about her own body:

  • That it is her body but God made it, He knows every hair on her head and knit her together piece by piece, and so she should treat her body well.
  • That even when someone makes fun of how some part of her looks, she is still beautiful.
  • That it's okay to have soft bits and hard bits. 
  • It's beautiful to be both strong and smooth around the edges.
  • That as she grows up, she should do her best to know what is going on with her own body. Check what needs to be checked, keep healthy, don't ignore what her body is telling her.
  • That she is unique. There is no one in the world that looks just like her and that is awesome!
  • That flaws are not flaws, they are just the little ways that make us different and our own selves.
  • That if she wants to, she can play sports, or dance, or swim, or sing, or try anything as long as she is happy doing it.
  • That pushing her body and muscles until they ache is sometimes a good thing. Don't give up on something before that good ache.
  • That she can use her body to express herself. And I would hope she would use it to express joy, life and happiness.
  • That if she is my biological daughter, we are always going to be just a little bit shorter than everybody else. But I didn't mind always being the short one!
  • That she should never compare herself to others. She will, but she shouldn't dwell on it. We are all beautiful in our own skins and it just wastes time enjoying life when we compare.
  • That she shouldn't listen when she gets teased. She shouldn't let it ruin her day. She should try to bite her own tongue and be kind or walk away. Words can hurt but they don't define us. We don't know what struggles go on underneath someone's dark words.
  • That I love her. I love her if she is short, or chubby, or slim, or tall, or with long hair or short hair. I love her because of who she is, inside and out.
  • That she truly is beautiful!
 __   __   __   __
 This month, a blogger I enjoy reading ( has set out some writing prompts for us fellow bloggers or writers to share our real-life stories. The theme for August is: Body Image, with 31 different topics to write about.

August 14, 2014

Charge Me Up

This month, a blogger I enjoy reading ( has set out some writing prompts for us fellow bloggers or writers to share our real-life stories. The theme for August is: Body Image, with 31 different topics to write about.

Where do you go when you need to recharge?

When I'm stressed, or tired or just need some time to myself there are a few places I like to go.

I love the ocean!

I love walking near the shore or scrambling over rocks or just sitting on some driftwood and watching the waves.

I'll find a beach close to town or even drive to some secluded wild west coast beach.

Rocks or sandy, it doesn't matter.

I love the ocean.

But today I want to share one of my new favourite summer retreats.

It may be for a few hours or it may just be for a few minutes, but my patio garden is where I can always go to recharge.

I sit on my lounge chair facing my back yard, shoes off, toes wriggling freely in the fresh air and relax.

My plants and flowers in my patio garden oasis glow with bright shades of red, pink, purple and orange in the light.

I can hear the birds singing and chirping and twittering.

I can feel the breeze against my skin, hear it among the tree branches and see it rippling the shades of green around my yard.

 I may have a book in hand or not, depends on how tired my eyes are.

I may have a cool drink siting beside me.

My little white dog is usually scampering around in the grass, sniffing where the wild bunnies have traveled or chasing the mostly elusive little lizards into their hidey-holes.

The best moments that leave me sitting frozen still and prickly with excitement are when I hear that familiar thrum and a tiny humming bird comes zooming in from the bushes to check out the glass feeder I've placed near my hanging flower baskets just for them.

They hover and twist their heads towards me, down below them, wings all blurry in a flurry of movement.

If they decide I am not a threat, I am still enough and quiet enough, they turn their tiny jewel eyes to the feeder and zip in and out, assessing if it's something good to sip.

They take a drink, quick as you can blink.

And again, and again. Then finally feel comfortable enough to cease their exhausting wing beating and sit on the feeder perch to indulge in a deeper drink.

I smile and know that I probably have the best and sweetest offering on the block for these dainty creatures. I make a super-sweet and sugary boiled syrup for them, filling and refilling it almost every other day.

The little sharp-beaked bird, once drunk its' fill, then zips off lickedy-split!

Those moments recharge me.

The quiet. The trees. The fresh air.

The feeling of being close to something so small yet so very alive.

I feel the burning knowledge that God, Creator of everything, cares about that little bird.
And if He cares about just one tiny, delicate bird, how much more infinitely does He care about me and my life?

I need to feel that once in a while.

I need those moments.


What about you? 
What are some of your favourite places to recharge?


Here are the other Body Image posts I've written about so far: