I'm so excited. I have a new home in Rock Creek, British Columbia. It backs right onto the Trans Canada Trail in the Kettle River Valley, and just a short walk to the Kettle River. I have 1/3 of an acre to play with, a home that is in great shape, and landlords who are really great. It's a hobby farm, and Rob and Melanie have acreage that will be great for some animals... and Rob has an eye to goats... Now I remember goats from Mum's farm in Ontario... Moonbeam, Sugar and their babies... what a bunch of characters they were.
So I will be feeling right at home... took a load today of books and some dishes... and it's a gradual move, a bit here and a bit there... and I love the address - Zamora Road. It sounds and is perfect.
I am so grateful. So happy. And so looking forward to being completely moved in, and making my new place of creativity.
PS I'm sure the van was loaded with wee folk, the invisible kind, to check out their new space. It's time to create another fairy garden...
This is a year of change... as I retire from publicity work and begin to focus more on my own writing and projects.
In addition, I am looking for a new home - a rental - house - in the Boundary, South Okanagan area that will have studio space, and a garden - or a place where I can create a garden - both flower and vegetable. I'm trying to move closer to Oliver BC and family, but would enjoy the Rock Creek or Midway areas - away from the highway but not too remote.
I'm even into a fixer-upper. I did originally take Interior Design in the 1970's and taught it as an adult education course for many years - until the HGTV channel came into existence and started all their wonderful design, DIY, renovating, decorating programs.
The latest show I am enjoying is the Furniture Challenge with Ellen Dejeneres. The show reminds me of my days at Ryerson when we designed furniture, made it, and had to go through 'crit', meaning 'critique'. After many years of being away from it, I've now got some awesome old furniture pieces that require refinishing, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them... sanding, staining, painting, upholstering.
So if anyone has a house needing a caregiving-tenant, long-term, let me know. My phone number is 250-447-9713.
PS These are just a few of the pictures I took of my garden this past year - three years after getting it underway, with perennials, and also planting 20 trees. It's been a lot of work but so enjoyable, especially all the beautiful colours, and the visiting butterflies, hummingbirds and swallows. The neighbours have really enjoyed the view - like a fairy garden.
Well I was out there on the Highway on Sunday, September 21 for four hours... with placards and balloons... for peace and for action regarding climate - joining in with the hundreds of thousands around the world who were taking to the streets. I was on my own most of the time, setting up etc... but a couple travelling through helped at the beginning, and then my neighbour Jackie came along for a while. It was HOT, really HOT.
There was lots of traffic - holiday people, people passing through from here to there, and transports, RVs, etc... People smiled as they drove by, honked, made the peace sign, some just didn't see, some ignored, some even drove around to avoid me... and one chap even drove by slowly just shaking his head at me... go figure! Many of the license plates going by were from Alberta - Canada's oil capital.
And, so as not to be using fossil fuels to get to the location, I made a little cart and wheeled everything down. I say down, because it was downhill going there. Afterwards, in the extreme heat of the day, Jackie (who does not like having her photo taken) and I struggled to wheel it back up the hill and home... It was a heavy load with concrete blocks to hold up some of the placards. And here are some photos of signs etc...
And let us not forget the original reason for being there on Sunday, September 21 - for World Peace! Cheers, Rosemary
I'm off this evening to perform for the Nagasaki Hiroshima Day Memorial in Gyro Park in Grand Forks, BC (7 p.m.). JJ Verigin of the USCC (Dukhobour Community) invited me to participate with a few songs. So I've been going through my binders to find something appropriate. I've decided on Tears (www.quillsquotesandnotes.com/lyrics-tears.htm). I haven't sung it in a good number of years.
There's so much greed, avarice, anger, violence, etc. going on that I get quite disillusioned with life. How about you? So I live life, one day at a time, giving gratitude for what I have, where I live, the freedom I have, and still have hope. So YES, I will be singing There is Hope...
(www.quillsquotesandnotes.com/published-thereishope.htm - has a free download).
The biggest problem I feel at this time on Planet Earth is population - too many humans. Everyone needs to be fed. But again, there is the issue of greed and control - as those who have get more and more and those who have-not receive less and less. What is the answer?
Nature is in danger, not just from pollution but from humans invading out-back terrain - as they invest in fancy vehicles (promoted by our automobile industry that still hasn't made the appropriate steps of producing vehicles that don't use gasoline) that can take rough roads, and noisy All-Terrain-Vehicles and snow-mobiles that take humans into wilderness - with potential to destroy natural habitats.
I'm told we have to watch for invasive plant and water-life species (like mussels) in our pristine area (Christina Lake BC) that gets invaded by tourists every summer, who ply the lake with gas-using polluting boats, party hardy, and disrupt Nature.
I figure as long as there are humans there are invasive species. Right?
What a delight it has been this year to receive so many works of art from children of various cultures, and from as far away as India. I even received a package with original drawings from children in the MAYA school in Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States. Every drawing is a wonderful creation and delight to see.
I just returned from the launch of my latest endeavour, "A Song to Remember - 45th Anniversary Memoirs", featuring the voices of the British Columbia Boys Choir. It is a book telling the story of the choir and how it has influenced the lives of almost 1000 boys in those 45 years, boys who went on to become successful businessmen, professional entertainers, lawyers, singers, and more. It was a wonderful experience to meet many of the 'old boys' who have contributed to the book.
Upon my arrival home last night I see there are drawings from Spain and Ireland, sent by teachers, to be added to the One Seed Kids Art Gallery. Thank you - I shall be getting to them this week.
I just wish I could be in the class rooms and see the faces of the children when they see their art on the internet.
Thank you so much, all the teachers, parents and children who have participated to date.
Nelson Mandela has finally gone Home, free from Earthly shackles. What a difference that man has made on the planet and to the lives of so many - with his struggles against apartheid, his prison term, his presidency and development of a new South Africa.
His work and words for peace will still continue to make that difference.
I remember picketing South African wines in front of a liquor store in Ontario when I wasn't even old enough to drink. We were protesting the apartheid movement - a group spearheaded by a fascinating fellow - Usi Ndugu - I think that's how it's spelled - meaning Black Brother?
People coming in and out of the liquor store were quite hostile.
One of those memories that sticks with me even now.
And so as the years passed apartheid was removed and South Africa became its own country. With Nelson Mandela a new country was formed. And while his words and actions helped so many, there are still difficulties for the poor and underprivileged as there are around the world. I don't think there is a single county on this planet that doesn't have this problem. Please enlighten me if there is.
So to all in South Africa, I join you in your prayers of keeping Nelson Mandela in the light in his transition from this life to the next. And to his family members and all who knew him, peace.
Maybe one day all that he spoke of will truly happen - peace on this planet. Imagine!
Nelson Mandela - a seed, like the story and song One Seed, who grew when others said it was impossible and couldn't be done, a seed who shed more seeds that have grown around the world.
Blessings and Peace be with you
How fortunate I feel to be living here in beautiful Christina Lake, in high country, where temperatures are moderate, even at the hottest and coldest of times, where winds are gentle, and water is abundant.
How fortunate I feel to be safe, to have a roof over my head, food in my cupboards, water from my tap.
How fortunate I feel to live in a country where I have freedom of expression, freedom to walk the streets, freedom to be myself, freedom to be an artist.
How fortunate I feel to have friends and family, a community that is friendly, a neighbourhood where we watch out for each other.
I give my thanks to all those throughout history who have made this possible.
I give my prayers for all those who do not have such freedoms, don't have food, a roof over their heads, or running water.
I give my healing thoughts for all those thousands of people, pets and animals that have died this weekend in the storms in the Philippines, and prayers for their families and friends in their grief.
I give my gratitude to all those who are of service, providing rescue, food and water and necessities to the many survivors.
I sit here at the laptop, ready to do some writing for the Vancouver Island Symphony, and have before me my tattered, coverless paperback thesaurus and realize it is 50 years old this week. It's "The New Pocket Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form" and has been my faithful companion all these years. What remains of the back cover says, "With this book you can find the exact words to make your language come alive!"
Like me it has aged. Because of the missing front cover the A's are a bit worn away up to 'acceptance' but after that, apart from a wee rip in 'powderiness' and in 'prediction', which also has a loose page, Thesaurus is still very much in tact, just a bit discoloured, and the edges in W, X, Y and Z are showing wear. Not bad for an old girl!
I remember the time well. It was September 1963 - my first week at school in Canada, CCVS in Cornwall, Ontario. I was only 13 and entering Grade 9 in a new country, new school, new form of education. I was shy and very insecure but because I was English and had an English accent I was quite popular and often the brunt of amicable teasing, especially from the boys. You see, it was the year that North America discovered the Beatles.
There was no thought of future, just of living in the moment; no visions of 50 years down the road or that I might become a writer. So dear Thesaurus, I wonder how many years lie ahead of us, working together on the written word? We've come so far, travelled continents together and written so many works that have been published in magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and books. It's funny how getting older gets us thinking about these things and wondering 'where will I be years from now?'
It was dusk as I was heading east along Highway 3 (Crows Nest), coming down from Anarchist Summit near Bridesville, and saw this amazing spectacle. I couldn't help but pull over and take this picture - full moon special. Rosemary
I'm actually backed-up now... with a pile of art from different schools, one in Colorado and one in Virginia. I just posted a group of kids drawings from Abbotsford, British Columbia, here in Canada and finally figured out a way to make it easier for visitors to see where the art comes from. My simle computer has provided me with a simple HTML solution (I got the little gray cells working) with an index in the side-bar. It just took a bit of figuring out, a couple of hours of intensive focus, and VOILA... it is done.
Check it out... www.oneseedkidsart.com and see all the incredible creations from children of all ages, and from different continents.
Every picture has a story. I can see in each the thoughts of each child, how they see the story of One Seed. Mrs. Karen Winford of Branson, Colorado, US writes... "Thank you for sharing the One Seed story. Our K-2 class really enjoyed watching (the YouTube video), listening, and drawing (multiple times!) We sang it often before school was out. The students asked me to send their art to you for your art gallery, so I have included 9 drawings. Thank you for making a difference in the students' lives."
My reply to Mrs. Winford is - IT"S THE TEACHERS who make the difference!
I shall be getting to posting the drawings as soon as I have them all scanned.
And the same goes for the gorgeous collection from Springfield, Virgina. John Nolan has written a heart-touching letter on how he promised the children he would send their art along. They too will be up in the gallery in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you so much all teachers who have sent art, and parents and family members. The gallery is really growing.
It was the tail end of the Spring Festival of Awareness in Naramata BC - a wonderful weekend of sharing. I was staying at the Albano's and while Carol headed off to work Angelo invited me to their Cafe Nevermatters for breakfast before I was to leave.
Now that is French Toast to die for. Brioche stuffed with cream cheese and bananas and topped with mango sauce with a dash of lemon and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Oh my! I could only eat half so I put the rest in a recyclable container ready for breakfast the following day.
DELICIOUS!!!! Mmmmm. Highly recommended, along with a good coffee.
Thank you Carol and Angelo!
It's the first year that I have started tomatoes from my own seeds. This is really exciting. I don't have a greenhouse so the seedlings are in my living-room window, getting lots of great sun. While the tomatoes are growing, about 6 inches high now, the Boar squash from South Africa is coming along gang-busters and needs putting in the garden. So, today is the day to prepare the last couple of beds in the vegetable patch and lay down the recycled-paper weed blocker. The latter is made in Texas and I used it last year. The wonder of this product is that it can be dug into the garden at the end of the summer. It really does block the weeds and also holds in moisture.
Already in the garden, peas are coming up, carrot seedlings, and onions. This morning I even noticed a few of the organic heritage potatoes showing above the surface of the soil.
After finishing off the last couple of beds it will be time to sow bean seeds (they are incredible, heritage Doukhobor climber beans), some more lettuce, and make my way around to plant some flower seeds.
Everything is a bit early this year. We have had no rain for a couple of weeks and it is very hot, so different from the last few years. And it doesn't look there will be any rain in the next couple of weeks. This means getting out with the hose in the morning and giving each plant a delightful spray of moisture. It's a wonderful way to start the day - coffee mug in hand, hose and sprayer in the other, saying 'good-morning' to all that is in the garden.
And the lilacs are in bloom!
PS I have received some wonderful art from Texas and South Carolina for the One Seed Kid's Art Gallery. It warms my heart to know that teachers are using the story and song and that children around the world are enjoying it.
Dear Readers, When I was in the library the other day a woman came up to me and let me know that for Earth Day she is sending a link to everyone to the YouTube video "One Seed". That warms my heart.
Like many people I have days when I wonder if what I am doing is making a difference in this world - then I receive an e-mail from a teacher, a parent, a student - sometimes sending along a work of art to be posted on the One Seed Kids Art Gallery, or just to let me know that their school will be presenting the story.
And this week I received a comment on YouTube from a youngster in Ireland who stated that his class sang the song at school while planting sunflowers.
I have noticed there are now over 145,000 viewings of One Seed around the world (in the last month mostly from direct access and mobile apps), the top countries being the US, United Kingdom, India, Australia, Canada, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, European countries and many others. I realize that many only view the first minute, so about half of the above (75,000) view the whole story and song. Oh, and by the way, the song alone has over 15,000 viewings. I do know that teachers and parents have downloaded the video onto their computers so I really don't know how many times it is now viewed.
As Earth Day arrives I send out my prayers for this dear planet, our home, and all life upon it. I will be working in the garden here in Christina Lake, preparing it for growing food for next winter. I give my thanks to this planet for all it has and continues to endure, and for all it gives us to live.
I send to everyone and particularly to Mother Earth - warmest wishes for a happy Earth Day! Rosemary www.oneseedstory.com
Ah, this morning Robin sat in the tree opposite my office window. It is the first time I have seen her this year as she made herself comfortable on a branch that faces me directly. It was as if she was letting me know she is back, that spring is just around the corner. She sat for quite a while, just staring at me through the window as I sit here at the computer getting ready for my week's work. What a joyous moment! Meanwhile the apple tree is half pruned. One Step at a Time - is what I have been told. So gradually I shall make my way from the apple tree, to the lilac (which I didn't get to last year), to the rose bushes. There's still snow on the ground and it is gradually melting. Thank you Robin on this sort-of gray day, for a reminder that the garden will soon be waking up. And there will be new life!
Goodbye 2012 - Hello 2013! Like a breeze 2012 just flew by, and in spite of all the mass-predictions of an ending world we are still here. I smile! On Friday, December 21, we sat outside with a little bonfire toasting marhmallows and sharing an awesome mulled wine with neighbours and friends. It was perfect! For us it was a Solstice celebration - the shortest day and longest night of the year. Candles were lit and left to burn overnight and we joined in thinking of all the celebrations around the world past and present - offering light into the dark. We focussed on letting go of the past, and on making wishes for the future. So here's wishing everyone of you new beginnings, joyous outcomes, prosperity and dreams fulfilled. It's a tall order - but possible. Cheers Rosemary
Today is the 15th Anniversary of John Denver's Going Home... poet, singer-songwriter, humanitarian, lover of humanity and all life upon this planet Earth. John Denver made a difference.
I give my thanks for your music, your heart, your caring; for your work towards making this planet a better place to live; for your insight, spirituality, and positive outlook even in times of desolation.
As your spirit soars free, so too now does the spirit of the Windstar Foundation. Your legacy remains with the Windstar Land Conservancy, Rocky Mountain Institute, and all those around the world who have benefitted from your vision.
You live on in our hearts as we all, in our own way, strive to live, love and make a difference.
Thank you John and thank you to all those who continue your work and vision!
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday in Canada. It was this day 15 years ago (October 12, 1997), when I was sitting at my computer writing a story, that I heard the news of John Denver's plane crash. I was in shock. My dreams were dashed. I have big dreams and one of them was to perform with John. Audacious eh? Well if you have read some of my stories, or seen me perform, you will know that I do. OK, so you may think I'm crazy (that's OK), but if you were to read the story "Whales and Dolphins" you'll get the picture. Folks have even told me that he overshadows me when I sing. One elderly lady came to me at intermission once, unaware of this phenomena, and said, "Did you know that you look like John Denver when you sing his songs?" I gather this phenomena has been happening with a number of singers around the world. This doesn't surprise me. There's far more to life than meets the eye or can be proven scientifically. Let's just say, some things just 'are'.
And so it is no surprise that on this Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday, fifteen years after John's spirit went Home, that I received an e-mail from members of the board of directors of the Windstar Foundation (started by John Denver and his close friend Tom Crum back in 1976) informing me that the Foundation's spirit has been set free. It has now been merged into the Windstar Land Conservancy (about 900-plus acres that John donated in Aspen, Colorado) and the Rocky Mountain Institute, and remains in the heart of all those who have in any way been connected to it, contributed to it, benefitted from it - around the world.
The Foundation was once a thriving vision of the future, so far ahead of its time. "The heart of the Foundation was about collaboration, about peace, about you and me creating a brotherhood and sisterhood of stewardship and frienship, creating a global family of connectedness." It drew scientists like Buckminster Fuller and Amory Lovins, politicians and celebrities, and folks like you and me. It created a heritage of vision.
So, today feels like a turning point, as the open letter to members and friends was posted up on the Windstar web site at www.wstar.org.
From the mountains of British Columbia I give my thanks, for all that Windstar represented, for all that is in my own life, and for all this planet offers us at every turn. And in my gratitude I share with you the song "Thank You" that I wrote a number of years ago for Thanksgiving here in Canada. It's a simple video, one of my first, and includes photos I took in the John Denver Meadowlands in the Windstar Land Conservancy, the Rockies, and various scenes from this amazing continent and country, and my own backyard.
The water heater burst a couple of weeks ago and won't be replaced for a few more days yet. This means I've had no water in the kitchen, and no hot water at all. Thank goodness this happened in the heat of mid-summer rather than during the cold of mid-winter. What a learning experience I am having! Following the example of a good friend, I put plastic jugs filled with water outside in the morning. They heat up and just before sunset I retrieve them and place them in a thermal container. One jug is for my shower, the other for the kitchen. Of course I could heat up a kettle-full of water but it isn't the same. One thing I am most grateful for is that I have water, and good water. For drinking, because it has chlorine added, I have three one-gallon jugs and let them sit for a few days. On each I have the words 'Love' and 'Thank You'. The water tastes wonderful. I am also grateful for the water that I am using for my incredible garden. I say incredible because I have never had one so big before with so many vegetables, including lots of tomatoes and potatoes. It's been a learning experience and one I have been enjoying immensely. Of course I have lots more to learn yet. You might say I am experiencing Gardening 101, using my Readers' Digest Canadian Guide to Gardening as a resource, and the folks at Durand Nurseries here in Christina Lake. Meanwhile the US is experiencing a drought. Well we live in a culture that has to have a shower every day, even two, and a continent where it's important to have green lawns. I'll not forget arriving in Canada in 1963 and seeing all the green grass and sub-division houses plonked on it. There were no fences, no divisions. Just one hugs green lawn. I don't recal seeing any real 'gardens' with vegetables and flower beds, just lots of grass to be mowed and watered. Lawns are definitely a North American trend. About ten years ago I calculated how much water a neighbour of mine was using. He had three sprinklers going for two hours, sometimes twice a day. I figured he was using about 72 bathtubs full of water each time for his green lawn. And there was me trying to conserve by having a shower only every third day. Something is really wrong with this picture, especially when we learn of nations where there is no water, where women walk miles to get a few gallons for the day. Water - a precious commodity. I give my thanks for water - it gives me life.