Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

This is my first blog in a few months. Summer is over and it is time to get back to it.

I recently spent time on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The beaches are endless and great for surfing and boogie boarding. I spent a week camping and enjoying the grandchildren and some fun in the surf. Playing in the waves brings out the free spirit in all of us. The wind and water sets the soul free.

I am free

thrilling and free

Cannon is loving it

boogie boarding on Vancouver Island Canada

with the surfing dog Lucy

seven life lessons I was slow to learn.

The best teacher in my life has been life itself. If I had to teach a life course I would have to admit I usually got it wrong.

I love the quote: “The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon”. Anonymous

There will always be people holding up stop signs. You need to make a detour and often find that you end up discovering the new path is a more exciting way to get where you wanted to go in the first place..

My class would include the following life lessons.

  1. Never make a hasty decision on important matters. When I was in nursing school, I met a guy. You know the type, the tall, dark, handsome type, who makes your heart beat fast and makes you giddy with excitement. Before long, he was transferred across the country. He asked me to follow him. I threw my education out the window and moved. It has been 45 years and we are still happily married, but the point is, I gave up my education on a whim. Don’t do that. You will need it.
  2. Make good  friends and keep them. I am the bad example. I have lost good friends through neglect on my part. I have lost the closeness I once had with some and totally lost contact with others.  Do not let them get away. I often feel sad because I do not have a best friend. It is easier to stay in touch in this age, with Facebook and email and all the techy contact we have, however face to face interaction is vital.
  3. Stay humble, forgive and be willing to say you are sorry. Family members hurt each other sometimes. Friends say things. We all make mistakes. Always make an effort to patch things up. Take the initiative to make it right. I have seen too many families torn apart with misunderstandings. Do not be too proud to make the first move.
  4. Set goals.  I mean a lot of goals. These should be flexible but you need to start with what is in your heart. Write out a bucket list. Fill it with your dreams. Big dreams like retiring early and small dreams like learning to ski. I wish I had done that. I never heard of a bucket list when I was young, in fact, it seemed a womans goal back then should be to get married, have children and … ummm… well, that was it. So that is what I did. Years went by, kids grew up and suddenly, there I was, aimlessly going through life, my mission accomplished. Once I crawled out of the depression hole I found myself in, I wrote a bucket list and I am blissfully working towards completing my goals
  5. Do not waste your sunny days.Be adventurous. Be spontaneous. Never stay home because the laundry needs to be done or the lawn needs mowing. We had a lot of fun with our children on the days we jumped in the car to go get groceries and ended up a hundred miles away hiking in the forest, the grocery shopping abandoned, simply because it was a sunny day.

    Don’t waste your sunny days

  6. Don’t worry. We all know worry doesn’t change anything. Worry is stressful, it is a waste of time and energy. Most often, we worry about things that will never happen. It is as if we are waiting for the shoe to drop. Think of the times you have worried in the past. What happened? Did it help to worry about it first?  Instead, go for a walk, go shopping, watch a funny movie. Learn to distract yourself. When a crisis does hit your life, and it will, you will somehow find the strength to accept it and deal with it as best you can. Just look at all your options and pray.
  7. Make sure you are happy. That sounds obvious but too many people work at a job they hate, with a boss that expects them to work overtime, leaving them drained and tired. Family life suffers. You suffer. Before it is too late, find another job, go back to school if you have to, but don’t settle for mediocre. Aim to get the job that makes your heart happy. Remember your goals.

I could go on, and I might, but not today, I need to go out and play. Oh, this  is important, maybe it should be number one.. Do not ever think you are too old to PLAY.

Let’s play

Supermoon and its Moonshadow

Last night I photographed the “super moon of 2012.”Our beautiful moon was at its closest for the year. It is on an elliptical path, and this coincided with the full moon phase this month, making it extra special, extra bright and beautiful. The moon was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of the year.

I wasn’t thinking of the “weekly photo challenge: Unfocused”, I wanted a good photo. I wonder if this qualifies?

Everything went perfectly, no clouds in the sky… when I looked at what I captured, I found this:

The super moon and it’s shadow?

The wonderful old song by Cat Steven came to mind… “Moon shadow”. A song of hope in desperate times. A song about looking for the good in a bad situation. A song that reminds me that no matter how things look, how tough the road I am on seems, God is there and He is faithful. Shadows may be following me, But the Light is always with me. Remember that there is always something good, always a bright side.

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow,
moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow,
moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,

Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if…. I won’t have to work no more.
And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if…. I won’t have to cry no more.

Oh I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow,

moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow,
moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg,

Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if…. I won’t have to walk no more.
And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if…. I won’t have to talk…

Oh I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow,

moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow,
moonshadow, moonshadow
 
Did it take long to find me
I ask the faithful light
Did it take long to find me
And are you going to stay the night


I’m being followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow moon shadow
Moon shadow moon shadow
Moon shadow moon shadow

I did manage to capture the moon in all its glory.

The Super moon of 2012

Reaching for the Sun

 I asked the children to touch the sun. “That’s impossible ” they all laughed together at such a silly notion.

I am too small to touch the sun.

“We are just too small.” the six-year-old explained with all the wisdom of his years. I suggested they climb higher, reach higher, try harder.

So they climbed the tower at the park.

They climbed to the top

.

One by one, they reached as high as they could climb

.

and they touched the sun

.They touched the sun

They held the sun in their hand

.

Even the skeptical six-year-old succeeded and learned that he is not too small after all.

. Grandma’s aren’t so silly after all.

 

 

 

.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

I love this song by the beatles.. written by George Harrison..

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darlin’ it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darlin’ it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darlin’ the smiles returning to their faces
Little darlin’ it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes”

on the edge of the canyon, a dead tree tried its best to block heat of the sun. It provided little shade, however.

Dead trees are great for sun photos, I like the play of shadows with the light,  and the twisting and gnarling of the branches. Sometimes, if you look carefully, you can see the haunting look of the trees eyes, a rather ghostly look.

Can you see them?

Arizona sun

Journey to find the Ultimate Outhouse

This week, the Weekly Photo Challenge is journey. I would like to take you on a journey… a journey to find the ultimate outhouse. This is an essential search when travelling to the northern parts of Canada, where towns are few and far between.

the endless highway... on and on and on.... not an outhouse in sight.

Sometimes the outhouse is out in the middle of a field with a small parking lot and nothing else around.  It seems all exposed and alone.

In the middle of nowhere

I wondered about the sign on the door.

WHAT?? Really? At what age can we leave them?

Do people tend to drive off leaving a child in the outhouse?

This cute little blue one was on a bit of a tilt. The bushes are growing around it. The door was left open. Is it safe? I was a little skeptical.

Is this safe to use? Maybe in a pinch. How desperate am I?

Some are doubles, Men on one side, Ladies on the other.

A family the pees together....

Is this an outhouse or and in-house? I suppose it was much preferred over going outside in the middle of a dark and cold night, but I would hate it in the morning.

I am glad I am living in the era of indoor plumbing.

Some Outhouses are super fancy, dressed up with plants and flowers, covered in vines. A treat for the weary and desperate traveler.

wonderful.. this outhouse is complete with flush toilets, a shower, laundry and books, if you are planning a longer visit.

Sometimes, there is a conveniently placed outhouse, but one has to wait for a turn. I waited and waited and waited and waited.

He looks a bit constipated... I wish he would hurry up.

After a long drive, searching for a sign, desperate for a rest stop, I was ready to give up and find a conveniently located bush when “what to my wondering eyes should appear”, but a cute little log outhouse nestled in the bush. I was so excited and about to be relieved.

Isn't this sweet.. a log outhouse...

I opened the door. Maybe…

I have waited so long... maybe...

Maybe not.

Absolutely NOT !!

It was time to find that bush.

A little way down the road..  I was caught.

outhouse relief.

I hope you enjoyed the journey. If you plan a trip to the far north, I can tell you that I have become an expert in finding relief behind a bush.

 

 

An Arctic Journey

The journey to the Arctic began at the Arctic Circle.

Crossing the Arctic Circle

The Dempster Highway starts in the Yukon, and continues into the Northwest Territories. We travelled for 734 km on the dirt highway, our destination: Inuvik.

We had to quickly shut the windows to protect us from the dust storm this transport truck kicked up.

The highway is built up above the permafrost. It is hard to see the steep drop on the side of the highway. We did not want to slide over the edge on this journey. I am glad there was not too much oncoming traffic.

The journey continued to the Mackenzie River. As we drove down the mountainside could see the community of Tsiigetchic as we descended to the river. There is no bridge. We had to catch the ferry.

The crew allowed us to climb up to the top deck, past the “no admittance” sign so that I could take some photos. I could not resist a photo of our very dirty van.

The ferry was not busy, they let us climb up to the "crew only" area

A great view of the approaching “dock”. The ferry simply runs up against the gravel, lowers the ramp and we drive on and off the ferry.

The road is built right to the edge of the river. The ferry is an extension of the Dempster Highway and is free.

We made it to the final leg of our journey to Inuvik , NWT Canada, home to the famous Igloo Church.

The Igloo Church in Inuvik