Tuesday, March 20, 2018


And a blessed Ostara to all.

I have discovered I despise winter. At first it is ok. And if it was bracketed by set dates, say Dec. 1 to Feb. 15, I could be be more accepting of it. But this dragging on to an unknown and arbitrary date is just not cricket.

Of course the skiers, like our darling Dale, have a totally different take on this. Well, there is no accounting for some people!

It has been ages since I have written. I could blame Facebook, and I am sure that has something to do with it. But I think it really has more to do with certain things in my life that I cannot be totally frank and public about so it has hindered my writing somewhat. There are those who will spill all the beans and damn anyone and anything that it might affect, but I do not feel that way.

That is not to make anyone worry... I am fine. There are just things, you know?

I am still home on the range, so to speak. Desperately awaiting those warm winds and sunny days that will melt all the snow and allow for gardening and lawns and tree work and all the lovely warm weather things I love to do!

My lovely sons are all well, and my grandbeasties are truly the loves of my life now along with the my children. Who knew how amazing it would all be! They constantly amaze me, as does the rush of love and hope for the world when I look at them.

All in all, things are ticking along. I have to write more. Even if there are things that will need to remain unwritten for the foreseeable future, there are far more things that can be said. And it is a part of who I am, one I need to re-awaken.

Hope all of you are well, my darlings! I am off to have a peek at your blogs now.


Sunday, October 01, 2017


I originally wrote this as a column, but in the insanity of summer, fires and everything else, it never quite made it. So here it is here.

Because it is too hard.
When I ask myself why I have not written a column about the passing of Sheila Tutty, or commented on the family’s posts, that is the only answer I can come up with.
Because it is too hard.
The words stick in my throat, they stick in my mind, my fingers don’t want to work.
Because it is too hard.
But sometimes we have to just take a breath, suck it up, and do the hard stuff.
So here goes.

Sheila. Dammit Sheila. You marked me, you know. With love, with stern moments when I messed up. With laughter, and hugs, and genuine warmth.
When I think of you, random moments come flying at me, moments from when you were my publisher, guiding The Valley Echo with deft strokes and strength, and moments of plain old friendship.

Like the morning you came in and I was in the editor’s chair while Ian was gone. I had made coffee, but some hallucinogenic malfunction had caused an eruption of coffee and grounds to flow over the basket, all over the counter, down the side and onto the floor. I was tired, grumpy, under deadline and the last thing I wanted was to deal with that mess. You growled, I growled back, then realized I had just lipped off to my boss and slunk out to clean up the mess and apologize. You gave me the look, but then you relented, smiled, and we got the job done.

The night you called from the BCYCNA awards to tell me I had won first place for community service writing. The plaque was accompanied by a carving. A large, silver beaver on a log. You’d had a few glasses of wine, I suspect, and you told me you were, at that moment, holding my beaver in your arms.
There was much giggling.

Late nights at The Echo. Late nights in the darkroom.

Eating schmeens, as you called corn nuts.

You bringing Graycen in to see us, him peeking around the corner and me saying, “you again?” For some reason that always seemed to amuse you.

Gleefully filling out forms for me because for whatever inexplicable reason you loved filling out forms.

Staff parties, pirate gift exchanges (I really did always make those baskets with you in mind, and held my breath until you finally got them).

The article I had written about condom use, and waiting for you do strike out the term pre-cum as unpublishable, me prepared to argue it was a legitimate term that was relevant to the issue, but instead you shouting through the office, “Is THAT what it is called?” and letting it through.

Hellos and hugs and bum pats at the grocery store.

As Ian said, we were a family. And like a family, we had days when we bickered, days when we laughed, days when we cried.
And now, days when we say goodbye.
It just doesn’t seem possible. But I know it is. And while I am no stranger to death, to saying goodbye, this was not a goodbye I was ready for. You fought the fight with cancer for 10 years, and won battle after battle. But in the end, it was one battle too many. So, rest… rest, my dear friend. You did us all proud.
When a person marks you, as I said you did, it means you have become a part of them. Random moments when I would hear your voice in my head, or you snorting with laughter at some goofy thing I had just done. A moment when I would be feeling frustrated when writing, or editing, or anything along those lines, and see that look on your face, that sort of encouraging yet unrelenting “get it done” sort of look.
Like this. I didn’t want to write. Did not want it to be official. Like somehow, if I didn’t fully acknowledge it, you would still be around.
And yet, you are, aren’t you? Just over my shoulder. Just around the corner. Just over there, in your office. Telling me to get it done.
There you still are. Right there.
In my heart.


Monday, December 26, 2016

My Christmas column on e-know.ca this year...


With love to you all...


Sunday, April 10, 2016

So, five years ago this month, I did my level best to shuffle off this mortal coil. I contracted an infection, went septic, then into heart failure, all the while drifting about in lovely pain medication induced haze (my narcotically virginal body took to Percocet like a duck to water) and pretty much oblivious to how sick I was.

In the end, all was well that ended well, thanks to our wonderful hospital and staff. I lost a lot of hair (was is, as it was pointed out to me, a minor detail) but gained a new respect for the fragility of life. I was reminded of this, and how often we take things for granted, yesterday during a visit with a friend I have been missing for far too long.

And my point is, you ask?

My point is this:

Hug. Love. Laugh. Cry, Get mad is you must, but don't stay mad. Grudges are useless. And no one will make the changes you need to make in your life but you.

Enjoy the sunshine today Neverland.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just... me. :)

For an awfully long time... much of my life, I suspect, I tried to be whomever "you" wanted me to be.
The identity of "you" changed from lifeline to lifeline, and I thought I always remained true to myself. But looking back, I see that I did not. 
I molded myself, changed myself in subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways. 
I shake my head a little, and smile ruefully to think of it now.
But now, I can no longer be who "you" want me to be... I can be only myself. 
And I am good with that. 

You are most welcome in my life, but now, I am only "as is." 
Perhaps that is the greatest gift of growing just a touch older. I know who I am. And I am more than ok with that. 
What a lovely time to be alive. 


Sunday, March 13, 2016


This is a link to e-know.ca, Ian's online newspaper I occasionally commit journalism for.
More specifically, it is a link to my column. :)


Thursday, March 03, 2016

Straight from the horse's mouth

When I walked outside this morning, something looked... awry. 
I could see the horses. All three of them. But Hollywood, a handsome and lovable, if lazy, gelding, was once again on the wrong side of the fence. 
Tony piped up that I should just get a pail of grain and lead the horse down the fence line to the gate the way he does when this happens. 
No way, says I, am I going to reward that naughty horse for his bad behaviour by giving him grain. Besides, no matter which side of the fence I am on, I will either have Hollywood crowding me for the pail, or the other two, Molly and Joe, who are on the right side of the fence. 

So off I trudge, halter and lead in hand, squelching through the mud, climb through the barbed wire fence and get the halter on Hollywood. 

I will translate what I believe to be an honest recollection of the conversation that ensued. 

Me: How do you get through the fence? I can't see any spots where you could keep doing this. 

Hollywood: I am magic. 

Me: You are not magic. You are naughty, and if I find that spot I am going to fix it so you can't do this anymore. 

Hollywood: Am so magic. My great grand-dam was part unicorn.

Me: You are lying. Let's go. We have a walk ahead of us. 

Hollywood: Where's the grain? 

Me: You don't get grain. Grain is a reward. You are naughty. 

Hollywood: Tony brings grain when I do this. 

Me: Tony is also naughty. Let's go. 

About a hundred yards down, Hollywood stops. 

Me: Come on, let's go. 

Hollywood: Can't. The other horses are back the other way. Let's go back. 

Me: No, we have to go this way, there is no gate on that side.

Hollywood: I miss them. 

Me: Well then you shouldn't have done this. 

After a little encouragement, we walk another hundred yards or so. Hollywood once again stops. 

Me: What's wrong now? 

Hollywood: There is something in that bush. 

Me: It is just a bag. The wind must have caught it. I will pick it up while we go past. 

Hollywood: SCARY BAG. Not going. 

Me: Ok, I will tie you to this post and get the bag. 

I tie the horse, walk over the get the scary bag, shove it in my pocket and go back to get the horse. 

Hollywood: You are my hero. It could have killed us both. 

Me: It was just a bag. We are almost there, let's go.

Hollywood: WAIT WAIT WAIT. 

Me: Now what?

Hollywood: Gotta poop. 

Which he proceeds to do. 

Me: Are you ready now?

Hollywood, sighing heavily: I am so tired. Can't walk. I might be lame. Are you sure there is no grain? I am famished. Pity me.

Me: You are not tired. We barely walked a kilometre. And frankly, you are fat and you don't need any grain. A little exercise is good for you. 

We finally reach the gate, unlatch it, walk through and latch it up again.

I take his halter off. 

Hollywood: I am just going to do it again you know. 

And with that parting shot, the pitiful, famished, possibly lame and exhausted Hollywood snorts at me, turns and runs like the wind back to his buddies in perhaps a 10th of the time it took him to walk to the gate. 


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Of raisins and March snowfall.

No one is ambivalent about raisins.

Have you ever noticed that? I posted on Facebook once about enjoying my delicious raisin toast and the most interesting barrage of negative raisin comments appeared with lightning speed.

Everything from how they were nothing but sad little wrinkled grapes to a diatribe about raisins being the root of trust issues as an adult (something about that cookie they thought was chocolate chip really being raisin oatmeal).

But snowfall, that is something I do have mixed emotions about.

In a place like this, where our climate is semi-arid, and in a profession like my current one, that being a ranch manager, a good heavy snowfall means water in spring. Water for crops, water for trees, fields that are not tinder dry by August and therefore an interface fire threat.

Lots of snow means a rich water table.

We are not that part of BC that is rich and lush, though I would seriously consider a move there if it were not for wanting to stay where my children are, at least for the foreseeable future.

But even with that desire for a healthy ecosystem, waking up this morning to an inch of fresh, wet snow, I was sorely tempted to climb straight back into bed.

The cheery side of me says "well more moisture is better, even if it is just a little!"

The grumpy cat side of me shoved that little Pollyanna wretch aside, swore like a sailor, and thought of all the mud this will create in cow and horse pens, and pondered going back to bed for at least, say, a month.

And of course, true to March form, it is now about 5 degrees above zero, and the snow is melting, sinking into the ground, creating mud mud mud... no way I will be getting into the greenhouse until tomorrow.

In like a lion. Out like a lamb. One can hope.
Beginning to understand that raisin/trust connection...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Saturday...

Sitting, drinking coffee, just sort of spending time this morning. Feeling time-wealthy enough to waste it in fact. That is a rarity! I have decided I am taking this weekend to do what I want. Period.
It is has been… odd lately, the past couple of years. I have not written much on my cherished old blog, in large part because so much of what is going on in my life just now is not really up for publishing. At least not just now.
I feel like a fraud. I tell everyone things are great, all is well, I am fine.
And in truth, I am fine, but not because all is well, rather in spite of it not being all well. I feel a bit of the old British backbone I must have inherited from my maternal grandmother kicking in.
Because how else can I let it be, but fine?
I am not battling a dread disease or anything like that. Things are just not… well.  But that is ok. I know from experience that they will be again.
It’s funny. I pop onto Facebook, and as I scroll the number of people that feel fit to go public with all and any issues going on in their life, large or small, sort of astonishes me. Each to their own, I suppose. But I had no idea that I was so… is prudish the right word? Reticent perhaps?
Is it a desperate need for attention those posters crave, or the desire to show people how strong one is despite “all these awful things?”
Or maybe I am just more private that I realized. Perhaps, in this day and age of oversharing, I feel more protective about my personal life.
I don’t mind baring my soul now and then, to a smaller audience. And one day I will be more specific about what is currently going on. One day. Not today.
I will say I am right sick of winter! We have this greenhouse, you understand. And a rather large garden. As you can see from my previous post, I have ordered seeds and it appears I have become a bit of an addict.
Who would have thought the teenage girl who hated having to pull weeds for her parents in the garden would one day long to be out there, doing just that and tending to the seedlings with glee? Which makes me wonder, how are Ian’s oak trees growing? Did Little John stay strong? My, that was a long time ago.
Ok then. Coffee cup is empty. Must go refill.
Hello to one and all, will pop by and have a keek at what you have been up to lately.
Sending love and huddles,

Friday, February 26, 2016

A seedy ode...

Seeds!! I ordered my seeds!! Seeds seeds seeds... An ode to seeds:

All through winter I've been pouty
But soon you will be sprouty sprouty!
I'll work the soil
Get all dirty
And with you I'll be all flirty

A little water and lots of love
And that glowing ball above
Will see you break
Through loamy soil
To you, my darlings, I'll be loyal

From starter pots
To outside beds
I will not plant you
On your heads

And when the soil is deficient
With additives I'll be efficient

Tiny seeds and pods and slips
I'll dust my hands off on my hips
And promise you to do my best
It's up to you then, all the rest!

Grow and grow and get so green
Tomatoes, kale and lima bean
Some corn and lettuce
And maybe yarrow
I'll tend you all with my wheelbarrow.

I love seeds.