Monday, 31 January 2011

A Weekend Roundup

Only one thing I look forward to on the weekends.
That’s going for a long bike ride.
Love the "Let's Bike!" part!
Most favourite part? Not having to rush home to change, shower, eat and run out the door again for - whatever.
The heart, the mind and the body are tuned and tired. Complete with a holding tank full of fresh, clean air.
Yesterday I travelled new roads. Traversed lagoons, seaside scapes -  majestic mountain ranges wavered in the background. I rolled up staunch steep hills, grunting and groaning with each turn of the pedal - an awakening of the senses.
Passing forests, bearded with grafts of green mosses. Streams running through. Rabbits chasing birds. Songs echoing the wavering filters of the leaves of changing tree types.
Some arbutus for sure. Firs, then cedars. Horses clopping along roadside. Sheep gathered in fields. Rolling farmlands. Here, there and then again.
Curbside harvests available for purchase. Locally grown pork, chicken and beef even. Pottery artists. Countryside lanes. Classic cars meandering with their Sunday family drivers.
No one is in a rush.
The odd pack of cyclists wave me by. I pedal on.
Doesn’t matter about the time. I have it.
For that, my health, my family and the environment I live in - I am so grateful.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Respect for one other. Important.
Saw bits of the World Debate on BBC News. Part of the World Economic Forum.
Talk of leadership, global action  - taking action. With a shortage of conviction.
Talk is cheap. Lip flap. Gabble. The tongue wag.
A man in the audience says the power is with the people.
True enough. But for the people, where is the guidance on the planet today? With our global political leaders?
The political realm is filled with issues of transparency.  Mistrust and corruption fill the airwaves.  The truth is unheard. Honesty, integrity – all questionable. Why?
Are we breeding influential leaders I ask? Values in the cream of the crop. Moral ethics for humanity. Global Changemakers?
Will they rise up? Take a stand. Act.
The fire is all around. Look at Egypt
The Internet revolution and the power of influence in Social Media shut down in a day. How so and why?
I hear the good opt out. Too much grief working in government. It’s the affairs of the people. Them and us.
Then and now.
Does it have to come from the top?
Can’t it be from the bottom up?
Don’t look back with regret.
Act now.
Shout it out.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A Thousand Apologies

For not writing sooner.
I couldn’t.
For not picking up the telephone.
I didn’t want to cry.
For not reaching out.
I needed to wallow in my own self-pity.
For not telling you the truth.
I am here and cannot be there.
For not exercising today.
I didn’t have the power.
For not eating the vegetables.
The flour and the sugar fills the hole.
For not going to bed early.
It hurts too much to lie there and think of you.
For not following my heart.
I know better.
For not being honest with myself.
I love you but I can’t be with you.
A thousand apologies,
For not being able to let you go.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Passing Time

Eliminated by night. We sleep.
As darkness awakes, we flood the gates.
Joy, sorrow - grief whatever awaits.
Tempted by fate our Universe dictates.
What does the soul crave today?
A crossing to bear for the most awesomeness day we can spare!
It’s up to us to set the pace.
To enlighten the way.
Which way in our day?
Hope knows the path. For the love to fill the heart.
Cope with the moments with glee and with smiles and glad thoughts.
The power of now is that point in time.
Phase through the enigmas of despair. 
Enhance the occasions for laughter and play.
Dialed by day, the sun scopes forlorn. Remember. Alone you are not. Forever and not now.
Like the fleeting age of a storm.
Count on the instances of fun!
A cursory departure of senses may frighten you now.
For the day when it is gone is lost in all time.
Till the light glooms the shadows of the slumber era due.
We’ve moved another clock. Twenty-four hours again.
To another day passing time.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Lessons in Life

Was contemplating the important things in the day and what I'm grateful for. Pretty much sums up what I've learned in life so far:

Health is wealth.
Family first - no matter what.
Exercise often.
Know when to forgive.
Love – unconditionally.
Be patient.
Talk positively.
Give back.
Laugh often.
Be open.
Dream big.
Follow your heart.
Speak your mind.
Know when to be quiet.
Be creative.

Do you have anything to add?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Global Thinking

Doesn’t occur to me these days when I think about a project or a purpose to not include the whole world.
At some point along my varied career path, I gained the word precedent. Or should I say precedent setting.
When you think about it, something that’s out there that’s been done before more then likely paves some kind of path for the wave of the future.
Sure you can refer to books like the Tipping Point – but ironically speaking it’s someone or a company perhaps that has either intentionally or unintentionally set some kind of precedent.
I spent a few minutes this morning scanning Twitter and noticed a Global Trends tweet. Quickly I scrolled through a post on the Ten Key Trends to Watch.
Interestingly one on the list referred to the talk of we and me and not just they. The word co-create was in there too.
Tap into your mind a minute and chew on the last time you thought about co-creation. I could yell team work too, but as far as companies or even large corporations go is co-creation going on?
Managers can sit in their offices of a large corporation and dictate a strategy for the future of their company. How much are they dialing into their customer? Is it what they think and what they want and where they want the company to go?
Is it the user’s wish too?
Not always. Some branding re-launches come to mind there.
I’m not saying we should have to ask permission necessarily. But I am agreeing with the word co-create or co-creation.
The word engage passes my lips a lot these days too.
Now these are no more then simple mind reflections on my part.
I have to add though; the future as it is today - really does deserve global thinking. With the we and me.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Peaks and Valleys

Wherever you go, there you are. Funny how that is. You bring it all with you.
Recently I’ve taken to dawdling. In the sake of self-pity I suppose. Head down, on the ground.
I’m still recovering from my visit to Africa. Where a chunk of my heart got left behind. Yes ouch!
Mostly I attempt to sweat it out. Makes me feel better. But some days it’s carbs and chocolate, tears and pain.
A pal lent me a book. Hoping it might put me straight. I slogged through it. I’ve been back a month. I finished it finally last night.
It’s relieved some sores I have to say. Pema Chodron’s, The Places That Scare You.
It definitely spread my mind. Brought on new thoughts. Grew me some compassion and how to reach it out. It also ambled me into the middle ground. The place of groundlessness.
A weight lifts now when I say to myself, “Keep opening your heart.”  
Yes, keep thy heart open. 
I then remind myself to live for the moment. The future is ahead. No use predicting. Just be open.
There’s the moon and the sun. 
The stars and the sea.
Like the peaks and the valleys.
Take your pick.

Monday, 17 January 2011

That Word Illusive

Illusive. It falls under other categorical words such as: false, misleading, not real, erroneous and deceptive doesn’t it?
If it pops into my head, like it did tonight when I thought about a particular dream - immediately I said to myself, “Cancel that thought!”
Because I don’t want to let that way of thinking harbour my mind’s mandate when it comes to my dreams or where I think my love is.
Love is real. The mind sings. The heart wants. The dreams are the desire.
No such thing as that word illusive.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Giving Back

Anyone ever ask you what your perfect day looks like?
I know mine.
It starts out with a long workout. Something that grinds me to the core. When I’m done I’m lit up like a Christmas tree. With a salt lick on my face.
Every muscle is tired. Not achy. Tired.
I’m relishing the thought of a huge brunch with my fave Kick-Ass coffee.
I’ve digested a lot of fresh air. I’m high.
Yesterday was the perfect day. I started out on road ride with my devote bike store, Pro City Cycle.
As we rolled out I heard, “mellow.” I was okay with that. I’d wrestled with getting my ass out of bed in the first place.
We carry on and I get yakking with another gal, Sandy.
Under an hour later we hit the turnaround for the mellow. I’m feeling I need at least an hour and a half so I bolt to carry on. Sandy joins me. We talk training. She’s doing a triathlon and says she’s got 2.5 hours to put in today. I’m in, but realize I didn’t bring nutrition. She’s got it covered. We’re on.
The perfect way to start the day. We spun 60 kms with a host of varied elevations and came back to the shop in 2.5 hours exactly.
It was a grunt. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and she’s way fitter then I am. But boy, what a delightful way to start the day.
We toasted a kick-butt coffee at the shop and hugged goodbye. She was off to her kids.
Something she’d said during the tail end of our ride really stuck with me. We were both so elated to start the day out so right. She then said something like, “Now that’s I’ve done something for myself, I’m ready to give back to my kids.”
I thought to myself, how sweet. You do something for yourself – like a wicked workout and you’re even more valuable to everyone else. So true.
For giving back.

Friday, 14 January 2011

For Sale: Affordable Waterfront Property

SV King Cyrus in Tod Inlet July 2010
It’s a true story. She's affordable waterfront property.
You can go wherever your heart desires and breath in the luscious sea air and enjoy the view. I love it. Have done for the last seven years.
Asking price was $60,000 (the insured value - recent survey available) - it's now the BEST OFFER closest to.
Time to roll on. I’m more concerned about my rusting road bike on the aft deck then I am about blowing up a bumper.
Sadly – both seem to be the case. The tarp flings back on the westerley’s unraveling the bike’s protective coat and well, I just haven’t got around to pumping up the flats. Fenders that is.
She’s been a labour of love. A passion of insanity, really. I’ve put my heart and soul into her. With the help of dear Uncle Len.
It’s all his doing. My 87 year-old retired boat builder of an Uncle. Lucky for me!
Uncle Len brought out of retirement!
Seven years ago I decided I needed more headroom then what I had. A 22 foot old wooden (plywood) Atkins designed sloop (sailboat with one mast).
Did some fender kicking with the local broker on the dock. Said I wanted more space, but didn’t want to shack up with a big debt. He found me “The King.”
Went to look at her on my own with the broker. Felt overwhelmed. She was in pretty sad shape. Full of junk. Rat poop. A derelict mizzen mast lay across the cabin top. I got the swift sale story. All fixable. Ha ha. If you know how I thought to myself.
So I invited Uncle Len for a visit. It’s a chippy December day. We amble inside. He stands in the galley. Takes his gloves off and peers up at me. I’ve got the creeps with all the stuff and poop inside. Wasn’t sure I wanted to gamble it again.
“You didn’t tell me she was an Angelman?”
Angelman, smangelman I think to myself. So what?
“This boat is made out of teak. Virgin teak,” he follows.
Teak, smeak I mull over to myself. What’s the diff?
“You could sail to Hawaii in this boat,” he concludes.
My ears perk up.
Now he’s got me thinking more seriously.
He does his fine tooth comb inspection. We depart and arrive to the transom. Broker long gone.
“She's got two of your names on her (Victoria and King),” he adds looking at me.
Later that night I lay stranded on my boat. I’m thinking early retirement. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a boat that size to graze on. It starts raining. Really hard.
I remember seeing a crack in the cabin and all of sudden find myself lifting up my aft locker and grabbing a spare tarp. I’m off to Fisherman’s Wharf where she sat to cover up the cabin.
It’s dark. I walk around the decks for the first time. Something feels oddly familiar. Kinda almost homey like.
I tussle her up and depart. Can’t stop thinking about her that night.
I decide I’ll haul her out to look at her bottom. For fun. We tow her round to Oak Bay. I am feeling pretty good at the wheel I have to say. She’s got weight. Feels like a ship of the sea.
Uncle Len declares a remarkable bottom for the age.
We do a further survey and I make an offer. A low ball.
Some hours later, much to my surprise it’s accepted. A steal really.
Over the years I’ve come to conclude, I have pretty high standards. When it comes to restoration. You have to do it right the first time or not at all.
So she’s in shape. Ready to sail away. New laundry would help. No question. First thing I did was put in a new motor. Under 500 hours on a 40 horsepower today.
I spent four years without refrigeration. She’s now got an icebox with a 12 volt. All the trimmings for electrical, new batteries, wiring, etc. New water system, pumps, hoses. Two large water tanks.
No oven though. The old one was for Barbies. The space too small for the new models. I’ve spent years with a convection oven at the dock (do all my Christmas baking) and a propane camp stove two burner. Of course the flush aft deck is perfect for barbecues in the summer. When it comes to rafting she usually ends up in the middle. The party boat.
There’s been many a dinner around the table. Eight no problem.
She’s a ketch (two masts, tall one in the front). Built in 1967. Designed by Hugh Angelman himself. After the Sea Witch designs. Maybe a Sea Spirit – her beam is 11’ 6”. She draws under five feet. With the bow sprit and davits she's 41'.
Spins on a dime. Takes the seas beautifully. And has been my home for my hat for truly seven years.
If you’re interested in seeing her or viewing more pictures you can email me at
In Victoria, British Columbia, Canada this old sailboat is what you call affordable waterfront property.
With character I might add!
Sunrise leaving Cowichan Bay February 2008

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Computer is Dead

Evidently… I’d hooked into Linked In last night and apparently sent everyone who had ever sent me an email a request to Join Me.
Got an amusing email from a pal this morning.
“So and so isn’t super computer savvy want to give her a telephone call?”
I did. Late in the day. Left a message. She called back. We talked. On the telephone. It was wonderful!
Throughout our conversation she gleefully squealed out how absolutely inept she is on the computer and if someone really wants to talk to her they can pick up the phone and call.
I agreed.
Our culture is skewed towards text messaging and emails. Even invitations. No more hand written expressions of delight.
But the words on the screen don’t express the tone in your voice. They don’t give time for you to supply a reaction. Or an air for laughter. Or a breath for silence. Where’s the spirit in a typed out memo?
Like S.T. said.
“The computer is dead.”

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Greed Culture

Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I graduated from school. Was adamant I needed to get out of school fast.
Didn’t think much about owning property or getting married. Kinda wanted to travel, maybe see a bit of the world.
Of course I’ve seen more now. Way more as the clock has ticked. And I’ve come to a conclusion.
Money rules the world. Money rules life. Money rules (period).
It didn’t take me long to realize you can’t live without it. The more you make ironically, the more you need. Or you think you need.
I remember once a family member saying when I’d confessed to being miserable about debt, “You made your own bed.”
True enough. However, fate deals us the almighty cards and the Universe shovels out what should be. At least that’s how I view the big picture now. I'm so grateful that money comes to me easily and frequently!
Who invented money anyway? It used to be we’d trade. Barter. Now we have debt and bills because we can pay with credit cards and bank loans.
In Uganda, everything you buy is paid for by cash. No credit. No trust.
So a person doesn’t get what they can’t afford. Not like our culture.
I'm ashamed to say - the greed culture.

Monday, 10 January 2011

About Bikes

Someone else's bike.
What I like about bikes:

  • They respect you.
  • They love you.
  • They don't talk back.
  • They never complain.
  • They're always happy.
  • They smile when you do.
  • They help you stay fit!
  • They can carry a lot.
  • They give you the wind in your face.
  • They guide you through all the fresh air.
  • They're always there for you.
  • They don't judge.
  • They never let you down.
Just saying...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Life Cycles – The Movie

The venue was plush. I wasn’t expecting too much when I sat down in the seat for two with a holder for my coffee cup. But I was relaxed.
Once the grandiose HD Life Cycles movie began I had to resort to blindly writing my notes. I couldn’t dare take my eyes off the screen.
The narrator’s words immediately clung to my soul. Married with the high definition artistic portrayals of the manufacturing of a bicycle to start things off - I was completely captivated.
It was unimaginable for me that I could go to a bike movie – a bazillion of which I’ve seen on my son’s computer over the years – and be brought to groundswell of tears. How so?
There was a mingling of intensity shed on the story of life, sidelined with the great outdoors and of course a bicycle.
Human power. Capable of greater good.
The iconic pictures your mind dances with when the voice pitches in with “…mystery of what lay around the bend…” had me rattled. Honestly I got a rush.
“The bicycle our noblest of inventions…” okay.
I felt the rhythm. The visuals, the eye candy, the words, the music.
It all tugged at my heart strings. Truly a film with spirit.
Also purpose, flow, joy, interaction and instinct. It delivers balance. A bike and life. Intertwined with the sound of the chainsaw or the ching of a pedal to the medal. Take your pick. There’s the wheels of change. Construction, destruction then creation.
I loved the lines; “Bicycles are powered by the human motor,” and then the “Forces that aim to take it all away.”
What did I take away I think to myself as I amble out of the theatre with my son who claimed, “Awesome.”
It’s what I did today. I saw it, I felt it and I lived it.
Like the movie said - Life Cycles. It never ends.

N.B. Can hardly wait to own my own copy.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Inside Out

Snakes do it. Humans do too. Not quite as drastically. Shedding skin that is.  
I got on this train of thought in contemplating inhibitions. Preconceived notions. Fear of what other people may think. That kind of thing.
As a teenager worried about my wardrobe my mother used to chime up with “What makes you think you’re so important everyone is going to look at you?”
Who trained our minds to worry about such nonsense in the first place?
We did of course.
But why?
In Uganda when you ask a child to dance there’s this natural rhythm that comes out. Expressions in their eyes even. No holding back. 
Ask an individual from our world, a perhaps more developed civilization and chances are they aren’t going to dance like no one is watching.
What’s up with that? Why do we instill a stigma of what other people may or may not think that perhaps stops us from being who we truly are?
To be who we are, we can’t be afraid to turn ourselves inside out.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Us Loners

Typical gong show at my grandmother’s home tonight for the Yugoslavian celebration of Christmas. Wonderful food - lots of it mixed with a plethora of alcohol consumption around the table. Raise a toast to a bunch of wild spirits in one room at one time and you have it – wham, bang, ding, dong it’s the goon show!
As a family we don’t come together often. But when our eyes meet, we pretty much pick up where we left. You know, the mutual admiration society. All the way round.
Sometime after the Alaskan King crab consumption, my Uncle (aka The Shack) concludes to the room that we’re a family of loners. He starts listing off the elders and where they ended up in their lives before they moved onto the next one. Alone, unmarried or widowed.
I confessed I don’t want to end up that way. A good bonking is always appreciated. Two marriages under my belt. I’m open to receiving more love. However, he got me thinking.
Society really does have us married off. Living together or what have you. We have children, raise them, send them off, retire, then we die. We’re programmed to be with someone.
But wait a second here, we are born alone. And when we die, we die alone.
So in the path of life as conditioned as we are to being with someone truly we do need to know how to function independently.
As us loners.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Habit of Time

Once I heard my son say sleeping was over-rated. I beg to differ.  I was trying to tell him he needed to catch up on his sleep.
“That’s impossible,” he replied. "You can never catch up on sleep."
The dog sleeps with his tongue out. Snoring. I profess to giving him a swift foot nudge when he starts to twitch at the end of my bed. It’s nice someone is asleep.
As far as scheduling out time though, here’s the thing. Should we be scheduling sleep?
Recently an associate asked me what time I went to sleep, what time I got up and what I did when I woke up first thing.
It got me thinking. Living takes time. Think about it. There's all this other time stuff like for example:
  • Time to eat.
  • Time to wash dishes.
  • Time to vacuum.
  • Time to buy groceries.
  • Time to walk the dog.
  • Time to shower.
  • Time to check emails, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Time to work out.
  • Time to talk to friends.
  • Time to meditate.
  • Time to be with family.
And so on. Not including the biggest time suck of all - work.
I’ve been to known to answer in a stern voice when asked, "exactly what time will I get there?" (at my mother’s house for the family dinner for example) with, “I’ll be there when I get there!”
What about the time to just be? To space out. To vacate. To drift off. To go off into la la land.
Do you make any time for that -  in your habit of time?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Heart Outside

Near Store and Herald Streets in Downtown Victoria #yyj.

At times the world seems crazy. People in particular. Even families. Dynamics change. Circumstances engage rifts. At times it all seems unfair.
I don’t let it get to me. I go outside. Get some exercise. Play in the sun and the wind.
I also avoid driving. When time permits.
Took a stroll today to a meet-up with some folks. Along the way I took note of these stairs. They made me smile. I felt the peace.
Some people say, “You wear your heart on your sleeve!”
I surmised... why don’t we all wear our heart outside?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Art From My Heart

Climate Change by Jane Victoria King
(oil on canvas)
My early experimentation with oils. Have to say I was super happy to have discovered oils you can clean with water rather then with turpentine.
There are simple pleasures in life. Some, in my opinion which are essential to our well-being. One for me is feeding the heart with art. Creativity that nourishes our souls.
Thought I'd share some of my art - from my heart.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

2011 - Setting the Stage

When it comes to setting goals what do you think the hardest part is for most people?
In a recent conversation by email, a friend wrote something to me to the effect of, “Well, you don’t strike me as someone who lets obstacles get in your way…”
My immediate reply was, “The only obstacles are in your mind.”
Take fear. Nine out of ten times fear strikes you from within. Sure there may be external forces at play too, but generally speaking - fear is created in your mind.

For 2011 I’m setting some lofty goals:

  • Live healthily so I can help others. Health is wealth.
  • Exercise longer, more frequently and encourage others to as well.
  • Practice gratitude - daily.
  • Follow my heart, no matter what. Dad used to say, “Do what you like, but like what you do.”
  • Think/dream big - outside the box. Live it.
  • Nourish the soul with creativity and encourage others to as well.
  • Practice self-love and self-care often. Teach others.
  • Be open to receiving. Love and be loved.
  • Take daily doses of inspiration and share it.
  • Make a difference through words and pictures - A Fresh Thinker.
  • Activate People and Purpose - worldwide.
  • Donate blood.
  • Explore the unknowns.
  • Learn more.
  • Blog sustainably.
  • Work with OWN.
  • Activate a TED Talk.
  • Review goals often.
  • Smile, so others will too.
  • Be. Be me. The best that I can be.

Over to you now... hint: remove the fear by creating a clear and believable path in your mind. You CAN do anything. 

Good luck and remember to be patient.