The Mountain Climber’s Mantra

Step up

Step up

Watch those roots

Hold your toots

Someone’s boot is

Clipping your heels

Breathe, breathe, step up, step up

Branch in your face, WHAP, tighten up that strap

Take a big ole swig o’ water, breathe, breathe, step up, step up, over that boulder, hug that shoulder

Don’t get slower, be a good soldier, pick up speed, breathe, breathe, step up, step out

Onto a plateau, can’t I sit a spell, inhale a protein bar, still got a ways to go, tackle that scree, breathe, breathe, one step up, two steps back, I might have a heart attack, why did I pack so much gear, SWEAR

Step up, trip up, fall down, get up, dust yourself off, just keep pushing, wind is rushing, nose is running, lungs are busting, sun is beating, sweat is gushing, NO RETREATING, breathe, breathe

step up, step up, when will this stop, can they send a helicopter, NO, for wimps they don’t bother, pretty, snotty PLEASE, WHEEZE, WHEEZE, step up, give up, DON’T STOP, look up



That was easy 😀

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Feature pic by Keith Traber. Footer pic by me. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

Embrace the Chaos

After fashioning

A messy bun

One stray tendril

Lithely slithered down

And curled about my neck

I smiled

And left it 

For I am learning

Not to be afraid

Of disorder

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Feature pic and border by Pixabay . Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

The Golden Hour

There’s something about an evening stroll through a park
Bodies winding down, letting go of today’s complaint
Light receding slowly as we saunter
Glancing off our faces with a gentle glow
The sun slides behind the trees
Smearing trails of pastel pink along the dusky sky
Bidding us a goodnight in the most gracious manner
Sure to foster the sweetest of dreams


Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Feature pic by me. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Borders from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!


Without a Bear in Sight

This hike started out like most others, except that my hiking friends from Calgary ventured south for warmer, dryer weather. I had already climbed Table Mountain three times because it’s in my area, but I should have known with them along, it would be a whole other hill of rocks. They, of course, decided toimg_4656 take the alternate route, something I was unaware existed. Silly me, I thought that dusty, fairly well-worn trail was the way up, but they had other, more risky plans. After slogging up a field of slippery scree feeling like a drunken elephant, I arrived at a chute, a rocky ladder the others were already shimmying up. Once I had hoisted my perceived elephantness up this irregular ladder, someone bothered to mention to me, with a smirk, that I could’ve avoided the chute, that there was a way to walk up. As is often the case, there was a chimney to greet me coming off the chute. I decided to bypass this chimney in favour of the trail to the right, after watching one of our shorter guys place his leg in a most unnatural position trying to climb it.

The top was as the top usually is, people running from here to there, checking out the view from different places, snapping pictures of themselves and others. The tippy top was blustery cold which resulted in aimg_4651 hasty gulping of food and drink and a scurrying back down to find the trail. Having been up previously, I thought I knew where the trail was, but we quickly ended up back at the chimney the others had gone up without me. The two guys coming up behind me, George and Phil, egged me on, telling me they had faith I could go down this way and they would help me, so, rather than backtracking like the rest of our crew, I followed them.

We were left to navigate a series of ledges which looked more doable to me from the top than they did from the bottom. We were about half way down, with my escorts flanking me and the remaining hikers img_4655watching from the ground. At one point, Phil climbed down first and George and I sat down on the ledge he vacated. Then, they both directed me to turn around and down climb that particular section, as there would be no chance of falling forward. Turning around on a ledge can be tricky, depending on how much room you have. As I was turning, my backpack grazed the wall of the mountain and I heard a “Pssshhht” sound, like the sound a can of hairspray makes when it’s discharged. Immediately, my eyes snapped shut and the pungent, fiery taste of pepper exploded in mouth. The bear spray in the side pocket of my backpack was triggered accidently when I turned, spraying me in the eyes and face. The safety clip must have fallen off somewhere along the way leaving it cocked, ready for the next charging grizzly we encountered. It’s only by the grace of God that my butt stayed glued to that ledge after being spritzed in the face with that peppery oil. I stuttered, “Ppppppepper spray”, as my eyes began to burn and stream. “Water, I need water”, I croaked to my hiking buddy, cupping my flaming face in my hands. Fortunately for me, George, who refers to himself as a camel, hardly drinks water on a hike and he began to pour his clean, cool agua into the palms of my hands which I splashed repeatedly in my eyes. I think I said the other word for poop a couple of times. I think I might’ve even laughed about the sorry mess I was in, being not even ¼ of the way down a mountain and potentially blind.

When my vision started to return, I said, “Let’s get this thing done,” and scuttled down the rest of the way. My friends on the ground greeted me with comforting sounds and more water. I lay down, uncaring, on the tick-infested, rocky earth while they poured their precious water over my still burning peepers. My left eye was the hardest hit and the wind seemed to make it worse. My dear friend, Denise, the only other lady on the hike, covered it with some gauze and gave me her sunglasses to shield it. Thus, we began the trek back to our vehicles, with me looking like some sort of disheveled hiker/pirate, as any grooming Iimg_4658 conducted in the morning had been obliterated by the splashes and splashes. (We can’t always look as we want to look, which is why I’ve included this most unflattering picture of me, edited for your amusement.) I was pleasantly surprised I was still able to navigate the terrain effectively with the use of only one eye. My left eye continued to weep and my left cheek felt like it was melting, but I had the assurance of Jesus as I journeyed down with my friends around me, that I would be okay, that my vision wouldn’t be adversely affected, and that I was capable of getting home on my own. When we arrived back at the cars, I had another dousing of water and I seem to recall some talk of eye drops. Being in health care, I’m not accustomed to being a patient, but I’m happy to report, my friends give very good care. I did go to the emergency room that evening, after calling our health link number and consulting a registered nurse, because I found further washing caused more burning of my eyes and skin. The ER staff carried on where my friends left off.

Did you know bear spray is considered a weapon and you need to show identification to purchase it? I didn’t. My husband picked up our first can. There are holsters you can buy with covers to keep the safety clip in place until you’re ready to use it. There are also many tutorials online to show you the proper way to use bear spray in case you ever meet up with a bear in your travels. I can tell you, first hand, that if you use it properly, you should have no problem getting to safety. It works to incapacitate, not to harm.  img_4648

I would also encourage you to hike with others. A noisy group of hikers is a much better deterrent for a bear than a can of bear spray and much more affordable. Besides that, hiking with others is always safer and more enjoyable. Had I been alone, who knows what would have become of me. As it was, my friends got me out of a potentially dangerous, very spicy situation. (Everything I ate on the way home tasted like pepper.) 😀 I am forever grateful for their help and friendship. 🙂



Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. All pics in this post are mine, except for the feature pic of me taken by Keith Traber and the pics of The Chute, The Chimney, and The One-eyed Hiker by George Mach. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

What Can You Do?

My favorite show on TV is The Voice. I was watching it recently and a contestant, talking about how his dreams were on the verge of coming true, said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” This is an oft repeated phrase in North American culture, meant to motivate people to great heights, but it’s only partially true. Can we do anything hula-162558_1920 (1)we put our minds to? Strictly speaking, no. I can’t touch my nose with my tongue. I can’t wiggle my ears. I purse my lips and blow and no whistle comes forth. EVER. I can’t keep a hula hoop swiveling about my hips and I try every time I come across one, much to the amusement of those around me. I can’t find my missing socks. I can’t command the weather and this is a sore spot for me. I can’t change another person and I’ve learned it’s not advisable to try, because it ends badly. I can’t stop myself from getting old, shriveling up like a pea with freezer burn, and dying. I can’t see with my eyes closed. Now I’m just being ridiculous, but maybe not. Words have power. Why don’t we say what we mean? Why would we want to set people up for failure? Continue reading “What Can You Do?”

When we Don’t Agree


I’ve had it with their jabs and diatribes

Their mocking and foot stomping and protesting

I fear I’ll come upon them

And feel the need to spew a few jagged pieces of my mind

If one could actually knock some sense into another

But You’re calling me to be a lover

Not a knocker

And anyway, it seems there’s no such thing as common sense

Only my sense versus theirs

Can we agree to disagree without derision?

I guess it’s up to me

I can only orchestrate my own behaviour

I lift them up to You

And ask for blessing

And a revelation of the truth


Not mine

And ask that you will fill my heart with love

And shut my mouth

In kindness


Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Pics used within the blog content from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time! 

A Hand Up

Jesus healed so many when he was on this earth, but there is one story that stands out to me after celebrating Easter. It’s the story of the raising of Jairus’s daughter found in Mark 5:21-43. For those of you who don’t know the story, Jesus was approached in a large crowd by Jairus, a synagogue leader, an important man in the community. This man was so desperate, he threw himself at Jesus’s feet even in this packed setting. The crowd must have parted for such a display. He explained his daughter was gravely ill and begged Jesus to come and heal her, something Jesus was now famous for. Jesus was willing, but the crowd made his leaving slow going. I imagine Him wading through a sea of grabby hands. Everyone wanted a piece of His power. According to the text, He healed a woman in transit, someone with so much faith that she tugged on his cloak and the power left Him, freeing her from 12 years of pain and suffering. Not one to heal and run, Jesus addressed her, but even this brief encounter was too long for Jairus and his daughter. As Jesus finished up with her, others arrived with the sad news that Jairus’s daughter had succumbed to her illness. They urged Jairus not to “bother” the teacher anymore. Jesus, overhearing the conversation, assured Jairus it was no bother and told him not to be afraid, which I find curious. I, of course, looked up the synonyms for the word “afraid”, because I associate this word with being frightened and it didn’t seem to fit this situation. Discouraged, disheartened, disturbed, anxious, upset, were all words one could use in its place. “Don’t be rattled,” Jesus said (my paraphrase). “I’ve got this. I’ve got you.”img_4194

Continue reading “A Hand Up”

Walkin’ Shoes

In the startled jangle of a baby’s cry

In the halting steps of a toddler

In the dirty face of a happy boy

Emmanuel, God with us



In the keenness of the teen in the temple

In the clumsy hands caressing wood

In the siblings jostling for a mouthful

Emmanuel, God with us



They say you should never judge a man till you’ve walked a mile in his shoes



In the gnawing hunger and the nagging heat

In the fierce temptation of the day

In the snoring erupting from the rocking boat

Emmanuel, God with us



In the push and shove of the bustling crowd

In the weariness at the well

In the dusty feet and the sweaty brow

Emmanuel, God with us



In the solitude on the mountain

In the breaking of the bread

In the revelry of a wedding

In the wailing for the dead 



In the wisdom imparted to the people

And the work of healing hands

In the wounds inflicted by His enemies

And the kiss of an erstwhile friend



In the fearsome tears in the garden

In the gasping thirst on the cross

In the anguish, pain, and rejection

In thinking all is lost



They say you should never judge a man 

He was and is and is to come

He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs

He still laced up those stinking shoes

Emmanuel, God with us

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Pics used within the blog content from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time! 

Make Your Mark

I recently heard a story about my youngest daughter I hadn’t heard before. When my children were in elementary school, they were walking home and came upon fresh concrete, a driveway that had justshoe-5156417_1280 been poured. My mischievous, curly-haired gal plunked her foot down on it, against the advice of her older, wiser sister and brother and the three of them promptly fled the scene. The next time they passed this spot, it was apparent the owners of this block of cement didn’t appreciate my daughter’s dainty contribution. The offense had been remedied and the pad had been fenced off to avoid any other such occurrences. Why did my daughter spontaneously vandalize someone’s property? What is it about human beings that we want, even need, to make our mark? Continue reading “Make Your Mark”