We’ve enjoyed a whirlwind – and quite unexpected – trip to BC and back this week.   Insane, yes, and someday, we hope to enjoy this trip at a much more relaxed pace.

Kijiji can be a relentless taskmaster – if you find “just what you’re looking for”, you don’t sit around and dream about it.  You do something.  Greg had found the exact model of truck with a camper on Kijiji a couple weeks ago.  Many phone calls and photo swaps later, we found ourselves making headway to get it.

We flew to Prince George, BC, flying into an endless sunset;  we arrived at 10:00 pm., and the sun was still setting!  Once we descended into the inky layer of purple cloud cover, we realized that the earthlings below had not seen any sunset whatsoever!  What a strange feeling.  We soon became earthlings again and headed to bed.

We met the seller of the truck and camper at our motel….interestingly enough, he was an actual Indian Chief!  We test-drove, we liked, we bought, we crossed our fingers and we started to drive.

Incidentally, we made it home within 6 days, driving the 4,200 km without a hitch, and without killing each other.  Not too hard to do – there was just too much to see!

Less than one hour out of the city, we saw a few black and brown bears sitting in the ditch, eating dandelions there.IMG_1115

We drove through the majestic Rocky Mountains in both Jasper Provincial Park, as well as Banff.  We were thrilled beyond measure – what GLORY!!


At every turn in the road, we were enveloped in beauty too hard to describe:


Then came the moment that suddenly these silent monsters were no longer in our rear-view mirror.  We entered the 3 prairie provinces….and suddenly the atmosphere for 2 solid days was windy and desolate.  Our most excitement was seeing a giant tumbleweed racing down The King’s Highway #1, as well as trucks pulling enormous farm equipment.  I am sure there is plenty more to see beyond the mind-numbing, time-saving #1 Hwy, but we had a schedule to keep, and I was reminded that we needed to “stick to the plan”, again and again.  Thus, the photography was taken like this – on the run.


So much to see in this beautiful 150 year old country of ours!  We can now say that we have driven through 10 of the Canadian provinces, and dipped our toes in all of the Great Lakes.  It is a country of spine-tingling beauty, as well as great empty distances.  We truly look forward to the day when we can do a trip of this magnitude at a relaxed pace!


It was exhilarating!  At first, when I watched Rachel, our yoga teacher spotting a young – and VERY buff – man as he did a head stand, I said under my breath, “There’s. No. Way.”  Somehow, Rachel must have convinced me, because suddenly I found myself tucking my head into my hands, fearfully searching the faces of my friends who were spotting me. 

For one nano second, I looked into those kind and concerned faces of my spotters looking down at me, and instantly my mind went back to the moment before the anesthesia took hold of my mind seconds before surgery and the surgeon and nurses’ faces watched from above.  I almost lost all courage – was this flash-back a bad omen for me to just quit right now?? 

The fear…….!!

And suddenly, my feet were up in the air, and I felt tremendously light, as if I was nothing but a puff of air!  I was standing on my head – it was the most unbelievable feeling – ever!  I accomplished a Magnificent Head Stand!!

People – there was a lot of equipment being hoisted upwards…. and yet, it felt like nothing.  I simply laughed in the few seconds that I was upside down.  Almost everybody did – we were cheering and clapping and high-five-ing as one after the other, head stands were being preformed by the most stubborn and fearful of us all! 

It was an AMAZING class! Thank you Carol, Jane, and Rachel…for believing in us all.18813386_1363370283700533_6859783073578240896_n


Ahh, those impressive nails!  How they mock me. 


Three weeks ago (today!) I had surgery to remove a cyst + ovary.  All went well.  They said recuperation is approximately 6 weeks.  They said I’d be tired.  They said brain-fog would be with me.  Check check and check. 

I thought the worst of my fatigue was behind me by time Good Friday rolled around and we would have overnight company that included two delicious little grand babies who I cannot NOT pick up.  I paid for that joy! 

The sun is out….warm rains come and go….and the gardens call me more loudly every day!  I have painted my nails fancy to prevent me from digging in the earth.  And no, gloves won’t do…I have this intimate relationship with feeling the earth under my feet and in my hands.  Those wretched nails prevent me from doing much.

On a positive note, I have made acquaintance with this lovely and bizarre woman who practises reflexology!  I came to her so that the toxins of anesthesia could be released.  I come away with a new-found friend.

So glad I am that all this happened now, and not in the middle of summer.  I cannot wait to cut my nails and embrace spring again!



Elmira Syrup Festival ….you’ve got nothing on good old Huron County’s bounteous and delicious maple syrup coming from local Blyth Creek Maple Farm!  My hubby and I took a trip down memory lane, this past weekend, visiting old friends of ours, who have started the maple syrup business in a commercial way.  We’ve all done the school class trips….(and if not, then GO!)  and we highly recommend Steve & Val Bachert’s fun and informative sugar bush adventure.  It is part of our Canadian heritage, after all!IMG_0158

We learnt some interesting facts!   If you listen carefully, there is always something to be learnt!



We laughed as some city kids splashed happily in knee-deep mud puddles;  watched a cross-cut saw challenge;  and tried out our hand at the bow & arrow shoot.

What really caught my ear, though, was today’s news on CTV – link is below.  Scientists are now discovering what our native ancestors have known forever:  there are great health benefits to maple syrup.  There are natural compounds in maple syrup that increase the strength of antibiotics – WOW!  – an ally against antibiotic resistance!  Some prescription doses can be reduced by 90%, if maple syrup is also ingested.

Now that is good news, especially to my hubby, who often drinks 1/4 cup of this magical potion every day.  I hope he does not read this article, as he may feel he needs to adjust his intake!



Truth be told, my daughter has been my primary hairdresser for the last 10 years or so;  and half the time, I end up falling asleep in the chair.  There is nothing like those magic little fingers sifting through my hair that puts me to sleep!

However, thanks be to God, we still share a tight friendship:  but I will miss her immensely.  She has been studying for the past several years – through a couple pregnancies – raising a family – and a major move……and very soon, those silver scissors will be hung up to make room for her to follow other dreams.   

While I applaud her other pursuits, I will miss those hair sessions!

Throughout the years, I have snapped a photo or two of some memorable moments and hairstyles that I will share.

One of my first visits to THE GROTTO, Stratford, where Jen first worked.


Nov 20, 2010…a very special day when we welcomed Jeffrey into our family.

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One of my sisters & I went together to get our hair done.


Primping….my 2 Diva Children….


Bad Hair Day, so don’t talk about it or I’ll plant one on you!


Doing Dad’s hair….he looking all-wise and all-knowing and all-smug…


One of my favourite little girls….


….with my favourite son-in-law, who does this kind of stuff for his girls (real love)


Grandpa O getting the treatment


The Little Princess….just a couple months before her little sister arrived…


Lucky Little Girlie….


With a headful of gorgeous curly red hair, how can one go wrong?   (on the day Elsie was born)

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Trying out the “androgynous look”


O, how we rocked the Elvis & Friend look!


Embracing an era that has gone….I do not always like change.  I do try though.  I do.

“…and how do you say “No” to them?”


On occasion, I have the privilege of joining Greg on a job site:  and when we were called to one of our oldest customers who we’ve dealt with for years, I decided this would be the one I would attend.  And so we went, on this somewhat chintzy day of Valentine’s Day: the day of  chocolates and hearts, but not necessarily the real love-pumping hearts.  (says the Auntie Acid in me)

But today, I caught a glimpse of the true heart in our customer –  and truly, she is one of the sweetest women I have ever met.  As well, she’s one of the oldest women I know – at 89 years of age, she is still independent and feisty, living in her home on some substantial acreage on the lake.  She also heats her home with a wood stove, thus the call.  She needed a sweep – and the hard chunks of creosote that came battering down her chimney was an indication of the trouble she had. 

This woman had been married for 60 plus years and had a huge family, with over 20 grandkids.  “However,” she told me decidedly, “when we have reunions, there are over 100 of us:  I have so many kids who, throughout the years, have wanted me to adopt them.  And how do you say “No” to them?” 

Indeed, you don’t.  Here was a genuine heart that pumps nothing but real love.  On this Valentine’s Day, the day of hearts, I recognized the real thing, and the real thing is beautiful indeed.  What a refreshingly wonderful thing to see.  My heart was gladdened.


We’ve had a few long, grey days – fog, rain, and mostly cloud.  Hard on those of us (me!) who suffer from the lack of sunshine.  I keep as busy as I can with different activities, but still, when I look out that window, I need to take a deep, steadying breath. 

Every morning, Greg & I use a sunlamp – 20 minutes of train-wreck light blasting on our faces, as we eat our breakfast.  (always a sigh of relief when we click it off!)  I think it helps, but still, we need that organic light….

But, I gotta say…..the days I go to the gym for exercise classes, is the day that I end up feeling like a million bucks!  There is something about that endorphin release that is so incredibly true!  Not to mention, that Carol makes us forget, and she makes us laugh.  We try so hard to be “in that moment”, and then she starts to think random thoughts out loud, and we lose our poses, and it cracks us up. 

Ah well, it’s all part of the process of embracing winter and making it work for us.  Get us through the dreariness of this month.  At least we don’t have to shovel snow…nor do we need to go through white-knuckle driving. 

There ARE some good aspects to embrace! img_2404