Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paint Away...

A few days ago, sister-in-law Sharon and I went to Milner Gardens in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. It felt like being in a painting to be there strolling through the gardens and having tea.

Milner Gardens in Qualicum, BC

Silk Tree blooms at Milner Gardens

Sharon is just the best sister-in-law.

Fuschias are some of my most flavorite flowers.

And now for the next five days, I’ll be attending an intensive workshop called the Painting Experience with my husband’s cousin Annie.

How fun to be communing with the women in John's family.

What are you doing this week?

Friday, August 17, 2012

At the River on a Hot Day...

Scenes from John, Gingee's and my outing yesterday to Top Bridge Park in Parksville, BC, Canada on a very hot day (80+ degrees Fahrenheit).

Boys frolicking.
Woman watching.

Gingee after her swim.
Taking the dive.

Boy resting.

Girls gliding.

How have you escaped the heat lately?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Snowflake and the Seventy Dwarfs...

When I was a girl in the seventh grade, I was teased and called "Snowflake." Why? I'm really not sure. That was my first year in a racially "integrated" school in the little town of Star, North Carolina.

I suspect I was called Snowflake by some of my new white classmates because I was classed as "African-American" or "colored"  but I looked as white as any of them. Teasing can be a way for kids to deal with their bafflement I guess. But it was frightening and humiliating for me at twelve years old to be taunted. It made me want to hide under a rock and never come out.

The reason that I bring this up now is because the transitions of the past six months - specifically my move to Canada - have for some reason caused a massive insurrection of unresolved fears and internal resistances.

What does a massive insurrection of internal fears and resistances look like? Well mine look like, or sounds like (might be more accurate), a hailstorm of dwarf voices. All of the little voices delivering some kind of nudge towards that rock.

An interesting and effective exercise (suggested by my personal coach Trish Lay when I told her of the paralysis caused by my overwhelming generalized fear) has helped me. She suggested I merely name each fear or "dwarf" as it emerges. (Trish encourages play.)

Meet some of my dwarfs.

1. Blamey (He says "It's <you name him/her but it's usually John's> fault.")
2. Needy (Says "It's too scary to be all alone.")
3. Sneaky (Says "Just check it out when nobody is looking.")
4. Iffy (Says "If you do that, it will end in disaster. Don't do it." - This one sounds familiarly like my older brother's voice from our childhood.)
5. Don't Deservy (Says "That's not appropriate for you anyway. Forget it.")
6. Sleepy (Says "Just take nap" as a solution to just about anything.)
7. Shamey (Says "You SHOULDN'T do <some wonderful thing,> Why? Because <any shaming excuse will do>. )
8. Opposey (Says "I'm not going to do that!" Why? Just because!)
9. Dialoguey (This one just gets into imagined back and forth conversations with someone - often John - then tells the next two to come in and deal with the situation.)
10. Meany
11. Bully
12. Rushy (Just tells me to "Hurry up." Why? Just because. There doesn't have to be any reason at all. Just rush through life.)
13. Pleasey (Says "Just smile and act nice." As if this works in resolving a  problem.)
14. Homey (Tells me that the only comfortable and safe place is back at home if I'm out and at home if I've not gone out yet.)
15. Go Alongy (This one tells me that everyone else's idea is better than mine so just go along with them.)

You get it?

It was quite enlightening to learn that I could name more than seventy dwarfs just on my first day of exploring my mental landscape of fears and resistances. No wonder I became paralyzed! Who can function happily with all that going on in her head!

The best lesson I learned from this exercise was that as soon as I named my fear (dwarf), the fear melted away and the little dwarf lost its power over me. I could act again, with confidence.

I wish that I'd known about naming the dwarfs back in seventh grade when life was so new and so frightening and all I'd had to prepare me for what was to come were pictures on television of armed soldiers escorting little black kids through angry white crowds into their classrooms at their new "integrated" school.

Oh well, better to grow later than not at all. Ay?

Do you have any dwarfs?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How do you like those oysters?

No kidding, you can find oyster shells this big on the shores of Cortes Island (British Columbia).

See what John picked up the other day?

Oyster shell from Gulf Islands, B.C.

How big was the biggest oyster you've ever eaten?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


This morning as John and I ate oatmeal and toast and
 drank coffee outside, this little fellow visited. I love being so close to nature.

Northern Flicker spotted at Surfside RV Resort, Parksville, B.C., Canada.
Do you have a favorite bird?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cortes Island Life...

Wow! What an island experience John, Gingee and I just had! We went to John's cousin's fifteen-acre farm property on Cortes Island for five days! What began with a bit of culture shock . . .

we stayed in a little one-room cabin with only cold running water,
we took showers outside in water warmed by solar energy,
we did our business in an outhouse...

Annie and David's little summer cabin on Cortes Island.

We showered with the bamboo!

ended in less than a day ...
because within a day, we were fully warmed by the beautiful sights on Cortes Island and by Annie, David and Noella's hospitality (not to mention it was really hot over there)!

Boy and boats on beach at Mansons Landing.
The dock at Squirrel Cove.
John and Gingee enjoying the breeze at Squirrel Cove.
Our last dinner at David, Annie and Noella's included fresh vegies from the garden.

And here we are with friend Andy having
cookies and tea at the beach on our last evening together.

Just before sunset at Mansons Landing.

Evening boaters at Mansons Landing.

What is your favorite island memory?