Gabriola Lovin'

Gabriola Lovin'
July 2012

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Falling Into Autumn

I've been waiting to say that. I can hear the *boo* from here- have a laugh, that's my intention!
My man and I have been busy rearranging. I love rearranging! We had an office that we have made into an exercise room and the office items are now in our larger rec space, having moved the piano to create space. The TV is gone, as is the small hideabed couch and chair. Books have been moved to a spare room- we have a few! A few spare rooms, a lot of books!
My kitchen has had things done that have been plaguing me for a while! I rearranged cupboards and drawers, cleaned and scrubbed and tidied. I love how satisfying it all feels! I make my own all purpose cleaner and so the whole kitchen has a nice minty mist to it. In the midst of all this cleaning and rearranging, we have had another load in the dehydrator and made more applesauce and slices for the freezer from our very abundant apple crop. We have plums that should be ready very soon-- and again, so satisfying! Truly nesting!
When we are away, I can put my home out of my mind and feel refreshed and relaxed, happy to be gone. We had such a great summer this year and I loved our time away. But back to school is a time in my head for rearranging. First day of school I usually clean floors, haul couches out from the wall to vacuum behind, dust ceilings and fans, those kinds of things. I might be found repotting plants or tidying bookshelves, as if those can particularly help me focus. I can't work in chaos, so cleaning, tidying, rearranging and changing things around helps my brain to settle into fcus.
These next few weeks will be busy as we head back into a new school year. My dear man will be back to his job after his summer hiatus. I have two more training sessions in the next 5 weeks and have some big reports to write. We are hiring new staff and planning a new season at our program. So, I needed to rearrange, to clean, too tidy and clear the cobwebs from my brain to help me focus on what's to come.
Do you have particular or peculiar ways to help you as you change seasons? As we head into Autumn, into another busy but fulfilling season, one full of outdoor pursuits, indoor employment and colours changing everywhere, I am reminded that it is a time to truly count my blessings. My family, my growing number of grandchildren, my growing number of loved ones that my children are choosing to spend their lives with, these continue to be at the top of my list of blessings.
For this, I am truly grateful!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cloudy with Sunny Periods

That title pretty much sums up my last few days. I have been in a quiet mood, enjoying time alone, time at home, taking care of a few things and mostly, taking care of my nest.
The summer has been awesome in every single way. Beginning with the arrival of our beautiful granddaughter, it has been full of celebration and joy! Doula trainings, birthing classes, plans for Fall and upcoming anniversary celebrations have rounded things out nicely.
But in each and every moment, whether at home or at work, my mind and heart seem to be centred on birth. Birth is, as you know so well, my passion. This passion has been deep within me for so long, starting with my own births then followed by supporting others. I have been looking for births to attend, births to support, supporters to support and education to confer. I learn so much from each person I speak with, where their journey has taken them, what birth has taught them and how they learned such amazing truths.
Truth. Truth is what much of my life has been about, searching for, validating it and even looking deeper to prove what I thought I knew. I am one who measures truth by what I believe to be true, God's Word. I am also very aware that many who know me and watch me are measuring me to see if the Truth I believe is living out in me. That Truth needs to be lived out in me through grace- grace I receive and grace I give. Grace is my word this year. Those of you have followed me for a while know that I ask for a word every year. Last year, it was forgiveness, two years before, it was gratefulness. These words are never easy! Asking for a word means a person will have to allow it to become real and that is rarely easy and often painful.
Grace is one of those words, not easy but it sure is a wonderful one to learn about! My passions are driven by mercy or compassion, so grace naturally goes hand in hand. Again, this doesn't mean it's easy, but it does mean it makes sense! Grace is rarely deserved but it is always worthwhile! And my life would not be the same if it were not for grace!
I had the privilege of spending time today with a lovely momma-to-be that I have known for years- since her own parents were dating, actually! Listening to her passion, her love for her husband and her ability to make sense of the world around her as she understnads it, I was reminded once again of the grace granted to me. Grace through the love of my husband. Grace through the hearts of my children. Grace through the sacrifice of my Saviour. In every example, I know it is nothing I deserve or could ever earn on my own, It is unconditional, something that is humanly impossible. That being said, I am happy to accept it, as much as I understand it. I can only hope to give it as well as I have been given it!

And for every little bit of this, I am grateful!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dog Days are Done!

Leaves quietly make their way south, turning in their time and falling soundlessly. Colours are changing from vivid to vibrant and with them, we change our activities from outdoors to in. The last few days have meant that our nights are cooler, quilts on and blankets for feet when we watch a movie or read a book. But what a summer it has been!!
Our summer started with a new addition, fruit of our womb and blood of our blood. Mo chuisle. A bright and shining star in the universe! Celebration of life is my passion and it is, as I have said many times, more than what I do, it is who I am! We adore this wee Miss, adore her and her parents completely! When we think on all of our blessings, we are grateful to overflowing for all the gifts that come straight from our children. They are becoming 'family' themselves, expanding on what we started close to thirty years ago.
My lover, best friend, chosen partner, father of my children, husband and I spent a bit of our summer exploring. We explored beaches and coves, starfish and jellyfish, dolphins and seals, seaweed and sea asparagus. This list is just the start! I watched seals do something remarkable- and something I have never noticed before! A seal would 'flop' repeatedly in one place, creating a sonic boom of sorts. My hypothesis is that this might stun fish and bring them closer in so the seal could eat. It would happen in the evening, most every day we were out. My announcement would go something like this: "SLAP" Oh, there's a seal out there. "SLAP" Fish spanking again. "SLAP" Quick, did you see it?
And we would paddle toward the sound, wondering again what the purpose of this behaviour mught be! Oh yes, paddled! We paddled around Cortes Island, exploring this summer. We enjoyed a few nights camping right out of our kayaks in our wee tent on a deserted beach or island. Cortes has a terrific counter culture right on the island, a wonderful group of very interesting individuals! And there is a coffee shop and Health Food Co-op in Manson's Landing that deserve some high praise!
We paddled a bit on Quadra Island as well before heading south on the island. A highlight for both of us would definitely be paddling the inner harbour of Victoria on BC Day! It was glorious and hot, a perfect finish to a couple of weeks of marine exploration! We have pictures of each other in our kayaks, posing against the back drop of the Empress Hotel or the BC Legislature Buildings. Unsurpassed beauty in the charming capital of our province.
Blackberries and friendship capped off our time on our way north, reconnecting and edifying one another joyfully. Is there any other way?  This time away was so relaxing and gave us a time to simply enjoy being together.
With family as a focus, we have had very little 'on our own' time, as we planned! We have enjoyed pouring our lives into our kids and making our family our number one priority. But this year, we celebrate thirty years married. We have grown older, grown softer and gone grey--well, I have anyhow! We have cried and laughed, lived and loved and lost and still, we are deeper and deeper in love as the years go on. We count our blessings daily, praying for each of them and keeping in touch. Our relationships stay at the top of the heap and we place them as our top priority! So, when we are able to carve a little time away, we are so grateful! And with our aging, we are finding more commonalities- some of them things we never imagined we would have in common!
So, as summer, progresses and Fall falls, we take joy in routines, plan excursions and family times, look at calendars and make decisions. I have more Doula Trainings booked and am open to more births, as is my passion! I take delight in the small things and breathe thanks for each day. 
And in this all, I am grateful.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay....

Trying something new here, posting from my iPad! Our holiday has done wonders. I feel rested, refreshed, relaxed and renewed! Sunshine, beaches, breezes, paddling and visiting with my lovely family- what more could I ask for?
We spent time with my mother in law on the way, having spent the night at my brother's home. We are so blessed to have family that are happy to see us when we turn up very late at night! The long drive south was hot and sunny and hasn't changed much since we got here. We have done some shopping, some visiting, some eating and some walking here and there. Planning for a few nights out in the kayak, we have looked at charts and maps and bought foods that will work. A fishing trip this morning was fun, with limited success but maximum satisfaction!
Most of all, this time away gives my love and me some time on yet another adventure! We like adventures, enjoy time together and are so excited to see areas yet unexplored by us! My childhood included so much time in a power boat exploring the coast of BC and we are wanting to see many of those places from a different perspective! The kayaks will launch from Cortes Island on Monday, taking us into places with familiar names but only distant memories. We are looking forward to creating memories of our own, stories to share with our grandchildren. We are deeply blessed to live in such a beautiful place, a place for adventures and as we plan, we are so grateful!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Doula Daily

So much has happened since I last posted. In fact, a year has! My grandson is starting Kindergarten in the Fall--and he has been joined by a precious cousin! We have a girl! And I am over the moon in love! Business as a doula is doing well and it too has been joined by a cousin. I have started to do DONA Approved training now, so others can become birth doulas. This dream has been a long time coming for me. Dear readers know how much passion I have for all things birth, all things life! I have spent time training for this, studying and learning and becoming. It transpires into sharing with others, all that has made me ME.
It has also been a year of struggle in so many ways. With my dedicated passion for life comes a passion for people. People means relationships take precedence and I have had one major relationship in my life become my greatest struggle ever. My grandson knows when he breaks something or ruins something, he asks forgiveness. I have told him that things are NOT important, people are! He always is more important than spilled milk, than broken angels' wings. It may break his heart that he has broken or ruined something, but I tell you, it is much more important to me that he knows just how much I love him and that things will never be more important to me than he is! In this one area of my life that my struggle comes out of, the relationship is simply broken. I know I am human and have asked God to search my heart- like David in Psalm 139. But this one is out of my reach, out of my ability to do any more to change. And it breaks my heart. But I also know I have done all that I can and the job is in God's hands. If He is heard, hearts will change. This I know.
So, blessing upon blessing enters into my life. Relationships around me blossom, new love grows and children are welcomed into loving homes. I have a new granddaughter to dote on, to sew for, to talk to about the mysteries of life. She will join my grandson as one among my favourite people! I don't narrow down favourites- I love equally and without holding back! I have so very much to be thankful for and I am grateful.

Tomorrow: A Post about Other New Passions and Mysteries!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I am doing everything I can not to do the one thing I need to. I hate that! It has been a good and busy day, full of good stuff! The local youth community garden project had a $10 fill-your-bag with produce you pick day! So, for $20, I filled two bags with tomatoes and basil and carrots (tri-coloured!), beets, hot peppers, broccoli and a mid-sized pumpkin. My hands are stained with dirt and it feels so very good!

Thing is, I am not usually a procrastinator! I don't like the pressure of deadlines, so I often work at things until they are done, just to have them out of my way. This new turn? I am not liking it so much! I have had a lovely project on my plate since mid-July. Soon after taking it on, we left for a 4 week holiday--and I have just not been able to get it done since! Strange part is, I love the work itself! But I think, at the heart of it, I am scared I will fail, not do a good job or let my mentor down. In thinking that way, I have allowed myself to put this off over and over, afraid of what others think once again! Just putting this into print in front of myself helps me see how very foolish it is. Intrinsic motivation would tell me that I should do this for the personal value and satisfaction it would bring, no matter how it would appear to others. Am I afraid of letting myself down? Am I concerned that I am not cut out for the job I am taking on? Let's see..!

I love birth. I am fully trusting that we have a Master Designer at work Who has made us fearfully and wonderfully. I really enjoy seeing the lights come on for someone who 'gets' what I am teaching. Others tell me I make sense, that I facilitate learning. I understand the facts and evidence about natural, normal birth, enough to create a passionate argument for a point of view. So, what am I afraid of?

Next week, I am to facilitate two sessions on The Purpose and Value of Continuous Labour Support for a group of my peers. Terrifying! But exciting as well! I want to make it interesting and useful--and have 90 minute sessions! I will be using the same information for a Doctor's Medical Rounds toward the end of October. Funny thing is, the very thing I am procrastinating about is putting together my Birth Doula Trainer curriculum.The very thing I will be giving 3 training sessions on in the next few weeks. Am I passionate about it?? You bet! So, I guess I should get to work!!

1 Chronicles 28:20-21
David continued to address Solomon: “Take charge! Take heart! Don’t be anxious or get discouraged. GOD, my God, is with you in this; he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch. He’s at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of GOD. You have all the priests and Levites standing ready to pitch in, and skillful craftsmen and artisans of every kind ready to go to work. Both leaders and people are ready. Just say the word.”

So, I should get to work. I need to set a completion date for myself--one that I can keep!! I keep running into my own walls, my own way of talking myself out of finishing. I know it will feel so much better to be done, too! Will you help me? I set the date of October 4 to have it in the mail! I need to, because the very next day, I leave for a very important date! My lovely daughter, the bride-to-be is closer than ever to being the bride! We will meet with family and friends for the wedding of our girl, that step in her life journey, the leave and cleave one. We have confidence that it will be a wonderful event, joyful and full of beauty. 

The next two days are also important events. My parents will each celebrate birthdays. My mom's is first, then Dad will make the 3/4 century mark! What an amazing accomplishment! Cards were even sent on time this time--I seem to be having trouble with that recently! A wee package, so here's hoping that Canada Post is on my side!

Another day is done. Accomplishment and joy fill this home. Peace and a sense of well-being need to mark my path so that I can take care of the tasks at hand! And I will set procrastination packing! It is helpful to write it out, since it shows me how powerless it truly is. And for that, I am grateful!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Current Designs

Like the new header picture? It was lovely watching my grandson wade in tide pools and enjoy his delight in his findings. While on vacation I bought a book for him called " Down By the Seaweed Cafe". The book takes the same kind of delight a young child would in beach treasures. It encourages the reader to participate in a Seaweed Dance--which of course, is a gentle, lovely swaying!
We learned some new things about current by watching seaweed flow.

While we were away we spent more time than ever before in our kayaks. There is so much to learn about current, ebb and flow and tide and our own ability to paddle in it. We had adventures, finding beaches and pretty ocean pathways. I found out what happens when I paddle in too close to a back eddy! I ended up facing backward then forward in about 2 seconds--all the while trying to figure out which stroke I was supposed to be employing!
Mostly, I think we learned about letting things go. We used less strength when we worked with the current rather than fighting it. We enjoyed the little things, a knot of sea grasses, seaweed in clumps, seals sunning, the taste of sea lettuce plucked directly from the water. It has been a time of change. When tides change, they carry away the waves which have been banking cobble on the beach. They ebb away the leftover heat of the day from rocks, carry wood and logs that are floating in wait. The same tide coming in may bring new drift wood, waves which create drama on the shore. Learning how to read the current, to follow the tide and to use it well are the challenges of paddling.
Recently I have been challenged in my personal life, tides are changing and the current is strong. I am learning to let go and work with the current, rather than trying to cross it and make my way more difficult. But I am still learning to read the water that I am in. Some around me are more patient than I deserve while others have no patience at all. I find it is a bit like kayak surfing- I am a little afraid of it because I can't read the water well enough to know when it is safe. Somehow it is easier to stay in quiet waters and in places I feel safe. But there are times I am called to the surf, time where I need to cross the current and paddle hard to get where I am going. Setting a bearing while crossing strong current sometimes means the bearings need to be checked several times to make sure of the direction. I am grateful to have my compass set on Christ and that even though the currents are strong, I have His strength made perfect in my weakness. My hope is built on nothing less!

While I ponder all of these things in my heart, I continue to give thanks for the memories made and the life I celebrate. Tomorrow I teach Class Two in my Birthing Preparation series. More time spent empowering women, teaching about the miraculous design of the body and the life it is so capable of creating. This pathway that has chosen me makes me very happy- and I am humbly grateful!