photo journal: dog days of fall

Start of the walk, Cally is looking forward— (to it!)

Today has been driving rain, sunshine, wind, calm and breezy….typical fall weather

Our neighbours have finished cutting hay.  Next up…combining of beans and corn.

Milkweed:Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. As the monarch larva consumes the milkweed leaves, it also retains the cardiac glycosides making the monarch toxic to predators.  Cool!

The apples I pick along the way are always a highlight of our walk for me…

and Cally!

Imagine the possibilities

We have all heard the phrase “Dance like no-one is watching”.  Any of you out there that have seen me dance know that I take this to heart!  Not that I purposefully set out to be a somewhat discombobulated dance fiend, it just turned out that way.  My friends husband said that I am the only person he knows that the top half doesn’t seem to know what the bottom half is doing…should I be offended, or sign up for adult Irish Dancing, or better yet “clogging”! ?

I thought about all the other areas of life that we should heed this same advice, but substitute dancing for fashion, home decorating, art, architecture, cooking, ….etc.  How much more creative and inventive would we be if we explored our own inspirations, all the time?  I catch myself sometimes with a moment of judgement when I am about to wear/paint/sew… something a little unexpected.  The best feeling is when I do it anyway because it feels right. 

The next time you find yourself second guessing your own ability to create or are insecure as to how much of your true self to show to the world, stop!  Shake it off, dance it off if need be, but go ahead and pull out those aspects of yourself that want to be seen and heard.  The most inspiring people we come across don’t apologize for being themselves.

It is ART in its highest form, it is authentic and it is personified.

Just so that you know; I write like no one is reading.  Ha!  …and some days, that’s true!

Neil Young, Harvest moon…love in the air

Last night I was stopped in my tracks as the moon was coming up over the fields.  It looked like the sun rising.  Checked the Farmers Almanac, realized tonight is the night!  Neil Young and Harvest Moon, watch this!  All about the love baby, pass it on:)

Go outside tonight and see what your harvest moon looks like!  I hope to report back tomorrow with a picture of a moon like this;)

acknowledging simple abundance

On my walk to the barn yesterday morning I was struck by the sounds of nature; a cacophony of bird calls, crickets and bugs.  Everything seemed more alive than the day before.  The more I listened, the louder everything sounded.  It was like someone turned up the volume, when in fact all I did was tune in.

It occurred to me that when we pay close attention to things that please us, that make us smile, or bring us joy, the impact is greater.  The other side of the equation is that when we are bothered by something, give too much attention to it, then it will also deliver emotion, but be draining instead of life affirming.

My meditation today was to be conscious of giving attention to life-affirming moments, and let any that are irritable or irksome pass by. 

Sidney Crosby and Ben Johnson, the same old story…

Wow!  I was blown away listening to the CBC report that Sydney Crosby is still working on returning to hockey.  O’k maybe the biggest shock was the interview with his neurosurgeon who is completely supporting Crosby going back to the game…which it is!  It’s a GAME!

CONCUSSION:  ” med. a violent injury to the brain caused by shaking or jarring,..” Oxford Dictionary. How many concussions has Crosby had in his hockey career?  Probably a half-dozen diagnosed, and then a few more that went un-detected.  Who is fooling who?  When a sport (and I get that it is his profession), compromises your immediate and long -term health, what part of the brain turns off to allow you to tell yourself that it’s o’k to continue?  If he suffered a broken leg every season, he probably would find a new profession.  For some reason,  many take our brains for granted, yet it is the most important aspect of our make-up…if our brains don’t function well, we don’t function well.

When I was a member of the Canadian Track Team as a junior, I was at many of the same meets as Ben Johnson.  Johnson was always in the top 3, but never the winner.  One spring he came back from training and the track world saw a different person.  It was widely suspected that he was juiced.  He also starting winning and setting records.

A friend of mine,  was a middle distance runner, and on the team with me.  She found herself in the same place as Johnson.  She wanted to win at any cost.  She left Kingston to train with Charlie Francis and Ben Johnson, while I went on to university.    She never reached the top 3 in the country, but for years she participated in steroid use.  One year after we went separate ways, I came across her.  She was once a beautiful, leggy athlete…she turned into a course, awkward version of herself…she didn’t look or sound right…a bit freaky, really (but drugs do that to you)

Eventually Johnson was stripped of his gold medal and my friend faded away.  Their bodies abused and their minds altered.

Sydney Crosby seems to be affected by the same desire to push himself regardless of known health problems….in this case,  associated with frequent concussions:

headaches, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental health concerns, anger, depression, sleep disorders, mood swings, early onset dementia….

What does it take for someone to take a step back and assess their life in totality?    I am baffled as to what makes playing hockey so alluring when day in, day out Sidney Crosby is experiencing problems associated with brain trauma.  Sometimes I think it is simply the fact that he doesn’t know anything else.  He doesn’t have a Plan B.  Admittedly, he doesn’t need one at least in terms of financial security.  If he could step away from his perceived sense of self, he might see that there are many ways to contribute to the world that don’t include adulation, stardom, and truck loads of  money.  What happens to people like Sidney Crosby and Ben Johnson when you strip away the labels?  Heck, lets throw Tiger Woods in there too!  They show themselves for who they are… Human.  Mere mortals like the rest of us.

That seems to be their biggest challenge and greatest fear.




We all participate in the kill

In the car yesterday I heard an interview with Jian Ghomeshi of the CBC.  He spoke with an American woman, Danielle Martin,  who is trying to persuade the world to eat bugs…crickets, larvae, beetles…Take a peek at her cooking video.

So here is what bugs me!  Beyond the obvious!!!

Some of her critics are vegans and vegetarians who are concerned that she is killing.  That killing insects is no different than killing a cow.  I will agree that killing is killing.  However, can I point this out to all the vegetarians and vegans out there….when you eat beans, soy products and fish for example, there is massive amounts of killing involved.  Most commercial fish are hauled in and asphyxiated.  They lay on the boat in the hold until delivered to the processing plant.  For all commercial harvesting of fruits, vegetables and legumes untold numbers of insects, mice, voles, raccoons etc. are also caught up in the combine or run over by the equipment.  If you live in farm country, which we do, you can’t help but notice this.  Last year during haying, I saw a rabbit caught up and killed.

Stop reading now, because I may just offend a whole group of people.

This is the real world.  Lets just all get the stories straight.  If you don’t want to eat meat because of large feed lots, that is one thing.  To say that you won’t condone the kill, is naive.  We all participate in the kill in order to survive, carnivores, omnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegan

let ’em roll baby roll, shake your booty ya ya


An odd segue, but stay with me;)  Just warning you, this post is about good advice and great music:)

Animals are  just like people:  if you have the right ones around you, they add so much value  to our lives.

Did that sound lame?  o’k then..,..Winston Churchill said it this way, so it has to be better right?

There is something about the outside of a horse, that is good for the inside of a man”.

I am feeling frisky(was that my outside voice?)…felt like something fun to match the horses playfulness today!

Or, should it be…shake your booty! watch?v=pOr7TMuk461&feature=related

Gotta get me some bell bottoms pants…

know this


we are the village.  the kid at the video store, gas pump or track meet; are our children.  offer them what they need…smile, money or encouragement.

Water does that to you

Ahhh!  Last swim of the season!  Finished barn chores, hot and sweaty, anxious to swim it all off.

When I swim, in my minds eye, I am a dolphin.

In my minds eye, I am an Olympian!

In my minds eye, I am Four

Baby looks the same;)

My mother sent me this photograph a little while ago and it struck me that I haven’t changed much:  I love to wear hats, fur coats(o’k this is a fake fur, but I won’t hold that against my mom!), and rubber boots.  I love dogs and still have an odd way of standing/or sitting with my right leg crinkled up behind me.  What do your childhood photos say about you;)