Wednesday, October 21, 2015

HodgePodge - Back to the Future

1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

Well that is easy. I was home with my newborn son. I had just turned 30 and life was so very good.
Oh, and I did see all the movies - but the first was my favourite by far. I love Michael J. Fox!

2. If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

I would like to time travel to the past. To the time when my father was still alive. I know, I know, I would have to be careful about the whole time/space continuum issue - but it would be great to hear his voice again.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass). Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good?

I think technology is a two-edged sword. So many things are wonderful and advantageous, like cell phones, skype, on-line banking, but I am worried about the drone technology and also about how technology often takes the place of face to face communication. I think the internet, if used wisely, is awesome and as a teacher it was so great for doing lesson research.

4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

My favourite dish prepared in a slow-cooker is meat stew. I love setting it all up and then coming home hours later and the house smells so good. My favourite fast food is definitely sushi - rainbow roll is my go-to take-out!

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now?

I love the book Momo and the Grey Gentlemen by Michael Ende and all of the things it says about time and how we use it. My favourite expression about time comes from a teacher who told us 'Nobody has enough time, you have to make time'.

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

When I was a child my family had property on Bowen Island, specifically on Bowen Bay. Across from the bay there was a wonderful undeveloped point that we would hike along and play in. Now it is a huge housing development. I can't go there anymore because it makes me too sad. I loved the rocky beach, the arbutus trees and have so many memories of adventures there with my brothers and sisters.

7. Describe your comfort zone.

My comfort zone - oh, my, as someone who can suffer from anxiety that is a tough one, but clearly I am most comfortable surrounded my family and good friends doing what I feel confident doing like teaching, knitting, swimming, going to yoga and camping. I am definitely a homebody but I can be comfortable travelling if I have the right companion and don't feel rushed.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Since we are talking about the future, I am planning on living until at least 100. That gives me a good solid forty years to work with.

Thanks as always to Joyce for hosting HodgePodge. Check other Hodgepodgers here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

This. This is what 60 looks like.

Here I am at 28 - triathlon Mary-Anne.


This is what sixty looks like.

Not bad.

Not bad at all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wednesday HodgePodge - Patience?

Yup, it's Wednesday - Check out other HodgePodge entries here.

1. What's something that has recently 'tried your patience'?

I bought a gorgeous skein of yarn, and when I was winding it with my swift and ball winder I got into a horrible tangled mess. It took over an hour to undo and was so very frustrating.

2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I've got all the time in the world).

I think patience comes to some easier than others but i do think you can develop patience over time and with age. Generally speaking I am not very patient. I would probably give myself, on a good day, a five.

3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.

I always wish I could fly - especially so I could be close to my children when they have been living far away. I dream about flying often. I love those dreams.

4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?

First song that came to my mind is one my grade 4/5 choir sang called On the Back of an Eagle.

5. What's in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?

Well, it would be Mole Pie. Ha! No, really. It is a recipe that comes out of the Redwall books. It is really called Deeper'n'Ever Turnip'n'Tater'n'Beetroot Pie The moles ate it, and it was, and is, a favourite recipe in our house and perfect for fall picnics because it is just as good cold as it is fresh out of the oven. For dessert apple pie made with apples from our own tree. The where would be at the rushing river near the Headwaters park close to our home. The sound of the river pushes all the thoughts clear away.

6. Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping...which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?

Plumbing for sure. I have a leaky kitchen faucet in both my kitchen and my camper.

7. What's something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?

This relates to the previous question. The kitchen faucet I want is over 200 dollars and I can't quite choke that down.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I will be sixty in a few days and I can't wait. I think I am going to rock my 60s.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Three Day Quote Challenge - Day Three

"Just keep swimming." Dory (Finding Nemo)

This has been a favourite mantra of mine even when I wasn't swimming as much as I am now.

Sometimes when I was teaching, and having a bad day, a colleague of mine would remind me of this quote.

I told my son the other day that I swim to save my life.

Because when I swim my life is rhythmic, controllable, peaceful, powerful, and enjoyable.

I love the feel of the water as I push into it, and through it, and it runs over me.

My brother says swimming is the experience of being at one with the goddesss.


That sums it up.

Just keep swimming.

I do.

I will.

Because swimming reminds me of all the people I love.

Because swimming, for me, is primal.

It is where I have come from, and where I am going, and everything in between.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Three Day Quote Challenge - Day Two - Home

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. Robert Frost

I don't remember when I first heard this quote, but I was in my late teens, and it resonated so strongly with me then, and still does to this day.

Sometimes we treat our families like we would never treat a stranger.

I don't know if it is because of familiarity, or just because we know that even when those who love us see us at our worst they somehow, usually, can find the way to forgive us and let us back in.

And now I realize I am writing using 'we' instead of 'I'.

Because it is painful to admit that I have not always treated family as I should.

I have not answered the phone.

I have not returned a call.

I have said mean things.

I have doubted.

I have ignored.

I have been selfish.

I have

been human.

But always, when I extend the olive branch, or turn to really look and listen and hear the other it has been welcomed and accepted.


Once when I had had a very painful exchange with a family member a colleague at work could sense my sadness and upset. He said families can give us the greatest joys, and the most painful struggles.

I am thankful that through it all I know they are always there for me.

And when I come to their door I am so grateful that they let me in.

That they let me come home.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Three Day Quote Challenge - Day One

I have been challenged by Edwina's Episodes and I accept.

“We have all hurt someone tremendously, whether by intent or accident. We have all loved someone tremendously, whether by intent or accident. It is an intrinsic human trait, and a deep responsibility, I think, to be an organ and a blade. But, learning to forgive ourselves and others because we have not chosen wisely is what makes us most human. We make horrible mistakes. It’s how we learn. We breathe love. It’s how we learn. And it is inevitable.” Nayyirah Waheed


This is what I need to read to myself.

To say out loud.

To repeat.

To whisper.

A mantra.

To keep the demons at bay.

The soul intact.

The reality of this, my, human existence.


We are.

And here is where we will learn the greatest lessons.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday HodgePodge

I am joining This Side of the Pond in this weekly hodgepodge.

1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?

Now that I don't have little ones at home Hallowe'en is not as big a deal as it once was. Like last year, I will spend it with my honourary grand-daughters because I do love trick-or-treating with them.

2. "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld

What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?

The first thing that comes to mind is the day I hiked up the Squamish Chief and then realized my legs were pretty much done and I had to get down. You can read about my 'will' experience here.

3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower?

My provincial flower is the pacific dogwood and it is perfect and beautiful.

4. What have you lost interest in recently?

Eating. Nothing appeals before the fact, although I do enjoy the taste of things once they are put in front of me. This is not actually a recent thing, but on-going and annoying.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician?


Oh, and Yo-Yo Ma probably deserves to be mentioned as well.

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?

I do like s'mores but since being diagnosed as celiac many years ago I can only eat the ones with gluten-free graham crackers and they don't quite cut it. I enjoy making them for others though - my great-nephews for example, and I have good memories of making them with my classes while on camping field trips. I have never made them indoors.

My autumn bucket list is to camp (which I did for a month and sat around many a campfire), and to lay on the porch in the sunshine as long as possible until the rains come.

7. Your favorite small town? Why?

Hornby Island! The people, the co-op, the market place in the summer, the Meadery, whaling station, Carbrea winery, Grassy Point, yoga with Ambika, the Thatch, the free-store, the art shows, the potters.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I realize that in answer to the question about losing interest - I have lost interest in reading many of the blogs that I used to enjoy. I am not certain what that is about. I did catch up yesterday but found myself skimming through rather than really reading the posts.

Perhaps it is because I have been away for a month and there are just too many to catch up on. I fear though that it is part of a general malaise I am experiencing. Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dinosaur bones

We spent part of our camping trip in Dinosaur Provincial Park.  We had briefly stopped there in 2010 on our way across Canada and I have always wanted to go back.

There is something about camping among the hoodoos, and the cottonwoods that I find oddly satisfying.

We spent four hours at the Tyrell Museum, our third visit in five years and it again rekindled my love of, and fascination with, dinosaur fossils. 

I remember studying dinosaurs in grade four, when a brontosaurus was a brontosaurus, and my favourite book as a child was about a young boy who finds an egg and out hatches a stegosaurus that then becomes his pet.  When I close my eyes I can still see the pictures in that book. 

Because it was early in the season there were not so many tours, but I did book a sunset tour into the hoodoos. 

It was a sunny evening, cameras at the ready, and the park guide took us into areas of the park where the public cannot go on their own. 

The views were gorgeous, but at the first stop we discovered we were standing on an ancient bone bed.  Once we attuned our eyes to what to look for there were 65 million year old dinosaur bone fossils all around us. 

We could hold them if they were loose.  We were not allowed to dig them up if they were still embedded, and of course they had to be left there.

I would be lying if I said there wasn't a moment that I though of slipping one into my pocket. 

Spending three days in the dinosaur park, camping at the base of glaciers, driving through the Rockies somehow began to put my little wee life into perspective. 

Some say that we can make mountains out of mole hills. 

 (Can you see the face?)

Sometimes mountains can illuminate the mole hills of our own existence.

It is so fleeting. In perspective my life is so tiny in the big scheme of things.

And I don't imagine in 65 million years anyone will be holding my fossilized bones in their hand.