Sunday, July 22, 2007

Good vibes

A little while ago one of my favourite writers, Ian, tagged me with an invitation to write about five things that raise my vibrations. I loved reading his five, and immediately started thinking about what gives me good vibrations.

First though, for those of you who got here by googling "vibes", stop reading now. Just click this link and ignore the rest of this post. It's not what you're looking for.

So, back to what gives me good vibes. There are many things. I'm going to limit this post to one. And I am not going to tag anyone, but if you feel so inspired, pick up the theme. What raises your vibrations?

For me, one thing soars far above all the rest, lifts my spirit, my soul, and my eyes. It's a place, or actually many places. I can pick up angels there. Who then watch over me to make sure I don't fall asleep and miss my life, even when I'm down. Down in spirit or elevation.

Have you guessed? I'm talking about mountains. I adore mountains.
Climbing them:

Gazing at them:

Sharing the thrill of reaching the peak:

Playing in them:

And sleeping in them.

When I travel, I seek out the mountains. On my first trip to New Zealand I gave up the heat of a Canadian summer in August and went straight to the snowy Remarkable Range in the South Island. In the U.K., Big Ben, the Tower of London, and even Stonehenge were a bit of a snore. I really came alive on Mt. Snowdon in Wales.

Sacred Massai Gods live on Mount Ol Donyo Langai in Tanzania. I had to go up and pay my respects of course.

Even in Hawaii, the mountainous cliffs of Kauai's Na Pali coast beckon to me more than the beaches below.

My first real view of the Himalaya Range was of the Annapurna peaks at dawn from Poon Hill, Nepal, which I had climbed by the light of a headlamp before dawn. As the sun rose and these magnificent peaks came into focus I sat and cried in absolute joy.

I'm not sure if my love of mountains comes from some deep yearning to touch heaven, or simply because my first memories start when my family was living in the heart of the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper. Mom and Dad strapped skis on me at Marmot Basin almost as soon as I could walk. They loved to climb mountains too. I have their long old-fashioned ice axes from their mountaineering days. Here they are next to mine:

Best of all is being in the mountains with the people I love. My son started skiing in the mountains with me when he was four. By nine years old he was beating me down black diamond runs. Now he is an awesome snowboarding dude.

In summers my son has hiked and rock climbed with me. But I don't think he has ever felt the same pulling, aching need I have to be in the mountains.

My Beloved has also joined me in the mountains from time to time. When he does though, it is not the mountains, but me he wants to be near. I love him for that.

I told B that when I croak I want my ashes scattered in the mountains. "Can it be Splash Mountain in Florida or the Matterhorn ride in Disneyland?" he asked.

"No way!"

"But what if I'm in a wheel chair by then?"

"You won't be, you're five years younger than I am."

"But what if?"

"O.K., whatever, I suppose I won't know the difference."

So, if you are ever at Disneyland in 40 or 50 years and see spindrift blowing off the peak of the Matterhorn, that will likely be me.

Today's dream travel destination, the Swiss Alps. A mountain range I have not yet seen. Home of the real Matterhorn.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Ian at Or so I thought has given me a "Blogging Community Involvement" award. Apparently my blog has "the power of schmooze". I'm flattered, thank you Ian. But I'm not exactly sure what this means. So I'll take it to be an indication of a blogger that can schmooze folks in. One who who relishes the blogger community contact in return. Because I do truly enjoy the interaction, "conversation" and cyber-frienships that have developed since I started this little blog. It was totally unexpected, but the best part of this blogging gig.

Apparently I am to name five other blogs for this award. But I am going to break the rules (yes, again.) Because I do not follow many blogs. I've read many, but only a few have caught me (schmoozed me?) and drawn me to follow every post they write. So I could name all of those blogs listed over there on the right under the title "You'll love these" for this award. But I am going to limit it to one. One of the first blogs I began to read, and the first that got me hooked into coming back to it over and over. And the one that got me thinking "I want to try that". Now that's schmooze power!

And the award goes to: Alda at theIceland Weather Report. Often side splittingly funny, frequently deeply insightful, sometimes achingly honest and personal. I love her descriptions of "Niceland" and Icleanders, and if I ever need to fly to Reykjavik on the spur of the moment, I will know what time the sun will set.

Today's dream travel destination: Iceland of course. A destination way up on my gotta go list.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Service interruptions due to weather

This blog is on summer hours. Fine weather and long daylight hours may result in unavoidable service interruptions. Regular service will resume with the rain.

I am spending very little time indoors. Saturday we spent the day on the boat at Pitt Lake. Sunday an old friend was in town, and we cycled 68 km to the Richmond Dikes and Steveston Village. The winter's mould is finally baking out of our brains, and the sun has our damp joints moving again.

Evenings have been spent in the garden, where we are making a huge mess landscaping. Lumberjacks are removing a massive overgrown cedar hedge. Two sad trees will also come down. Listen for their screams. Weed beds are under attack. I am finally getting a place to plant my long-wished for Ginkgo Biloba tree.

When darkness falls, making chainsaw use a gamble, we reluctantly drag our aching old bones inside, shower, and collapse. Dust is building up on the forlorn computer. The lonely mouse sits on the mouse pad squinting out at the hot, cloudless sky, wishing for a storm.

Today's dream travel destination, Steveston Village, Richmond, B.C. Where the freshest seafood is sold right off the boats at the docks. And the halibut & chips at Dave's is mouthwatering.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Party animals

Dateline: Saturday June 30, 2007. B and I are taking the dogs for an evening walk in the 'hood.

"Oh look, the Smiths finally finished that retaining wall" I say.

"It looks good. That stone would look great around the edge of the back flower bed we've been planning" B answers.

"The one we have been planning for five years? The one we dug up half the back lawn for, that is now a giant weed heaven?"

"Yeah, that one."

"Oh, cool, look over there, Crazy Hoarding Neighbour has a new member of her lawn gnome family."

"That's no gnome, it's a hung over troll."

"How can you tell?"

"He's cross-eyed and looks about to puke."

"No, I mean how do you know he's a troll and not a gnome?"

B gives me THE LOOK that indicates my lengthy, expensive education was a waste.

A few blocks later, when we have looped back to our front door, I ask, "What do you want to do now? It is Saturday night."

"We could go to a movie."

This time I give B THE LOOK. "Who are you kidding, we haven't watched a movie except on our own T.V. in 4 years." We talk about going, then just wait until it comes out on pay-per-view. Where we can watch it snuggled on the couch with a glass of wine, wearing sweatpants and torn tee-shirts. And pause it for refills and pee breaks.

We check the listings and there is nothing interesting on pay-per-view. Still, it is a long weekend and all, so I suggest: "We could go up to the pub for a beer."

"We have beer here, and it's cheaper. Besides, we've just been for a walk, I don't feel like walking up to the pub. And if we drive, one of us can't have beer."

So we have a short soak in the hot tub and go to bed with books. It's 9:45 on a Saturday night. My God, we are so wild and crazy.

Today's dream travel destination: Montmartre, Paris. Where we would just be starting dinner at 9:45 on a Saturday evening.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm one of the Rockin' Girls!

After a few days away from the computer (the weather is finally too good to stay inside for long) I came back to find that CS (Another Tangential Thinker) has given me a Rockin' Girl Blogger award. Now it has been a long time since I've been called a girl and a longer time since I actually was one. And I've never been called "Rockin'". Cool! With my 50th birthday hurtling towards me I am delighted. Thank you C.S. Coming from a rockinest mom, woman, snake lover, photographer blogger I am truly honoured. Proud to be considered one of the girls.

Now I get to hand out five more. To female bloggers that rock. Oh my, where to start? Stay tuned, I need a little time to think about this.

Today's dream travel destination: Parliament Hill, Ottawa. The best place to be for Canada Day celebrations. Where I celebrated Canada's 100th birthday 40 years ago, and where my son celebrated his first Canada Day 20 years ago.