my book

Hello 2011!

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It’s hard to believe it’s actually 2011. Not long ago, it was weird to write “2010” on things, instead of “200_” and now 2010 is gone. What a year! Here are a few highlights from my life!

No more Flight Service. I worked my last day for Nav Canada on December 31, 2009. Only a few times in 2010 did I miss it… and I don’t regret the decision I made to strike out on my own. I don’t hold any bad feelings towards Nav Can, so all in all, it was a great experience! I would even consider going back… In all honesty, I sometimes miss telling people “I’m like an air traffic controller.” But I do not miss the shift work! Or getting up at 6 am to go to work when it’s -30 C in a snowstorm! But those were good times too, in their own way! Always an adventure!

Starting my own business. Starting Flow North Paddling Company was a huge highlight of 2010, and a heck of a lot of work! I loved setting things up, working on the website, ordering business cards, getting a new vehicle and then getting it covered in lettering. I’m having a lot of fun being my own boss, although it has its challenges too. There’s nobody pushing me to get out of bed early to go to work, except me! Then again, I have to live with the pushy part of myself (which usually kicks in at 8 pm or so) that wants to get this-or-that task finished…

Paddling the Peace River. I was so very blessed to paddle about 800 km of the Peace River, 430 km of that in a solo kayak, on my own in the wilderness. It was a challenge and a journey, but most of all, a blessing to be able to do it. It took 19 days, and if I worked for someone else, I would not have had that much time off! It was “research” but it was also a sort of quest. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I found it! Peace, serenity, focus and clarity.

Joining the volunteer fire department. In the fall, I signed up for the volunteer fire department in my town. It has been another challenging and awesome experience. The people are great, I enjoy learning all kinds of new things, and I have made many new friends! I feel really well-suited to the work and enjoyed my first calls (what a day that was)! It gets my heart pounding, and hey, isn’t that what life is about?!?

Writing a paddling guide. Using a completely different skill set — researching, scouring through details, graphic designing, and writing — I have been creating a comprehensive paddling guide for the Peace River. It will be available online in the spring, through GeoTourism Canada’s website. They are paying me to write it, to make it available for free for all of you! I’ve enjoyed it, on the whole, although at times, it’s been challenging too. It’ll be great when it’s done! It’s been a priority for the last couple of months, so I’ll be glad to be done and have time for other things!

Almost finishing my book. In January 2010, I found an illustrator for my book. I started working on the finishing steps. Then, spring came and I got too busy with the paddling business to work on anything else. I took a little time in August to work on my book, and the paddling business slumped. I refocused, and the business came back a little. It’s amazing how one’s focus affects success! I had a friend do some editing for me… and when winter returned and the canoes and kayaks were put to bed, I resumed the formatting and other finishing work. I’m so close to finishing I can smell it. Hopefully by the end of next week!

Hmmm… it would seem like the theme of this year was challenges! Maybe it’s the theme for my life… in any case, I’m ready for another year, whatever it will bring! Book success! Canoe trips! Making more new friends! More writing! I know, I’m a week late, but let’s raise a glass to 2011!

Ducklings

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I came across this on the net — perhaps it was emailed to me — and just had to share it! Isn’t it the cutest?!? I’d love to know the story behind it…

I’m not sure what I love about it so much…. They are absolutely adorable with their little striped faces! But it’s more than that — they’re doing what they were born to do, and doing it vigorously! Can’t you just imagine their little webbed feet paddling along? And they don’t seem upset that their water isn’t very big — they’re just happy to be swimming!

Is it just me, or do they look confident, like they have some kind of secret? :) A little more research says that they were rescued by a canoeist who saw them — they had been washed out to sea. The photo is by Richard Austin.


In other news… Last night, Darren and I finished the webpage for my book, Love Your Skeletons. Go on over and check it out. I’ll be adding a blog and podcast component later on… now to finish the layout! And buy some canoes! (Which I made a good contact for this weekend, so I am excited!)

Thanks, Darren for all your help! And thanks, Merri, for your endorsement!

That’s all for now — have a great day everybody!

Lemonade Time!

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So I have a cold, again. I used to be so healthy, but the other day I caught another nasty cold. I’ve had 3 in 3 months! I got one while in Beijing (with a fever and everything) and then another one just before New Years. I spent New Year’s Eve at a friend’s cabin, had a great time, but could barely talk. When I felt like saying something, which was approximately every 20 seconds, I had to think really hard to decide if I really needed to say it. It’s a good exercise… most of the time I had to conclude that my clever quip could go un-said. I have less timeless wisdom than I thought! Anyways, it was fun, and in about 6 days I had pretty much kicked that cold to the curb. So, a few weeks ago, we went to Las Vegas, and California, and except for an occasional cough, I felt great. We got back to Alberta, and Darren and I took my niece and nephew to the waterpark at West Edmonton Mall, which was a hoot! We rode the waves in the pool and did some slides, too. I forgot how much fun those slides could be!  :) I swallowed a little water — got hit by a wave I wasn’t ready for. Afterwards, we got drawn in to the candy store (if you know West Ed, you know the one) and bought some Jelly Belly jelly beans. They are my favourite! We started munching them immediately — we were so hungry from all the swimming! — and I kept munching them on and off until bed time. I know, not good for me, but they are so flavourful! Fake, artificial flavours, I know, but anyways…

The next day, I woke up with a nasty head-stuffing cold! Man! Initially, I blamed the swimming, and germs from snotty-nosed kids in the pool. Well, I’m the snotty-nosed one now, and I actually want to blame the jelly beans! But, if they are to blame, then I must have been pretty low-immune system/toxic already. Isn’t it amazing how “toxic” we feel when we’re sick?

Darren and I stopped at an organic grocery store and while there, he found a booklet on “The Master Cleanser” by Stanley Burroughs. Besides describing how the combination of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne makes a good cleanse, Burroughs talks about germs and viruses in a completely different way. He says that they are always present in our bodies and we should be grateful for them because they help us clear toxins from our bodies (he talks  a lot about toxins), such as when we get a cold and our body produces a great deal of mucous to get rid of toxins. Interesting idea… I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but it’s something to think about! This line of thinking helped me be less resentful of the cold, seeing it more as my friend, and made me think about the timing of my last 3 colds — after being in Beijing, eating all sots of strange food (not always fresh, food with lots of sauces), after Christmas (which involved a few sweets and goodies, and although I didn’t majorly pig out, it’s more food colouring and sugar than I’m used to), and after Las Vegas. What do you think? Any chance it’s related to toxins… and more than a co-incidence?

And then there’s a whole other idea: that disease is caused by disharmony in our spirits. Now, I’ve meditated and thought about this, and I’m afraid to say that my colds might be related to unkind words. I admit that around those times I may have said some unkind words to Darren — not in arguments exactly, just bits of sarcasm or, well, unkindness. So, while I am doing this cleanse to help my body clean out toxins, I am also going to clean out the last bits of sarcasm, sharpness, or even wittiness that isn’t completely innocent and building others up. I think this will have a wonderful, positive effect on my spirit, much moreso than any dietary change! Think about it — beautiful, uplifting words to make a perfect, healthy throat and lungs. Makes sense to me!

For now, I’m finishing day 2 of the master cleanse, and day 1 of my kind-words-only policy. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m feeling!

In other news, progress continues of my book. The artist, Biliana Savova is working hard on the illustrations, which should be complete next week! This is all so exciting! I am going to be approaching a few people to read it and provide an endorsement for the back cover — a nice little quote on the back to say how great my book is! I need to work on the website… I’ll let you know when it’s ready so you can all go run and check it out! Take care everybody!