Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Self-Directed Search

Well. According to my results on the Self-Directed Search Interpretive Report ( my most suitable careers would be a Philologist (I had to look it up to make sure I knew what that was. I did. Phew! I first got it confused with a Philatelist!) and a Restorer of Paper and Print. Runners up were an Exhibit Artist, Copy Writer, Dance Therapist, Laserist (?), Painter, Reporter and a Restorer of Ceramics. Others came down the line like Dictionary Editor, Art Appraiser and Economist (Yikes! Not now!).

So, here I am - a Church Administrative Assistant. Who'd a thunk it?

A Philologist?? Really???

Sunday, September 21, 2008

At long last....Canada!

(Written after our first trip to Keystone during the first week of August)

While in one of our more successful fishing spots from last year (Not nearly as successful this year. Fish are fickle buggers!) we were kept company by one of the many Bald-headed Eagles in the area. They often hang around the spots where the most fish are schooling. On one weedy, reedy area a family were having a squabble. I think mom and dad were urging a youngster on to get his own fish, but he wasn't buying it. The youngsters can be distinguished by their still darkly feathered heads.

I never knew Eagles could make such a clacking racket. It was kind of like that which a Dolphin makes and resonates in the same way. I could feel it going right through me at times.

We also saw Otter and Beaver, but they dived back into the water before I could point and focus my camera. Rats! I did manage to finally get a pic of a Loon before he dived yet again. We played peek-a-boo for about 15 minutes before I got this pic and it isn't very good. But I felt triumphant! Hah! Got ya, ya wee bugger!

There weren't as many Loons on the lake this year as last. We were told by the Frostiaks (owners and proprietors of Keystone Lodge) that the Eagles have been making meals of the baby Loons. They snatch them right out from under the parent Loon's beaks. Because they still have their down and can't dive, the babies are left above like dainty, fuzzy appetizers for the Eagles while mom and dad head for the depths. Nature seems cruel at times, but that's the way of it.

Bass! Cedar Lake has been designated by the Canadian Powers-that-Be as a Bass lake. Indeed. We pulled in 2-4 pound Bass with annoying regularity. While I love to fight a good-sized Bass-- it's a real thrill--it can be a pain when you've already made your limit and are fishing for Walleye or Perch. I got the biggest one for the trip-- a really nice 15 incher. *Betty is smiling to herself, reliving the feel of that baby on the other end of the line*

On Tuesdays the Frostiaks hold a "Camp Fry" under the Tent. It used to be a fish fry, but it required such a great number of Walleye and, well, being proprietors doesn't allow that much time for fishing. Leanne gets out there and sometimes the boys, but they leave the fishing to the clients and do hamburgers and Nana's fantastic potato salad on Tuesdays now. Dave and Leanne, Mike, Doug and Heather (their kids) and Leanne's mum, Nana, make being at Keystone like being on a family outing - without all the family fracas that often ensues at those. They are wonders and some of the best folks I've known. Keeping up a resort is hard work - kind of like being mom to 30-50 people each week for 4 months, 24/7. They do it all with smiles, laughs, hugs and an occasional free beer! Amazing.

We did have showers off and on for the first few days and we did get caught out on the lake a couple times. (We fished 4-5 hours each morning and evening.) I got soaked through once and the temps were in the 60s. I shivered my way back to camp, but there were no repercussions. I'm no foreigner to fishing in the rain. Did it when I was a kid most summers at my grandparents cottage on Fourth Lake. I did remember to tote along rain gear in the boat after that, though!

It was beautiful watching the clouds, both puffy white and looming gray, chase over the lake while we sat, often in silence, in the boat. Light and shadow were mesmerizing. We were rewarded twice with rainbows after showers.

My visits to Cedar Lake have not just been relaxing, fun and stunningly beautiful, they have been a chance to re-connect spiritually. I have always found mySelf and my Creator much closer when I am out in Nature. With Mother Earth under my feet and the broad expanse of sky, cloud and stars above me I find my roots and return more clear-headed and knowing who I am.

And the water -- in a boat on water I can dive through the ins and outs, ups and downs of my life and find a peaceful center, even on rough waters and shivering when soaked through.

It's magic. Pure magic.

We went back for another week last week. This was the first time Bud had been there in September. It was a totally different story weather-wise.

We settled into our cabin Sunday afternoon which was the other half of the duplex cabin we stayed in last year. The view from the balcony was gorgeous. The sunny was shining, blue sky, but the wind was almost a gale. The lake had whitecaps. We bumped and rolled to our favorite fishing spots. It was so bad Monday night that everyone came in early. It was just too dangerous to be out there.

It stayed like that until Tuesday when a storm came through at night and the temp dropped into the 40s F. Wednesday there were a few showers, but mostly sunny, so we braved them with the help of sweatshirts and a couple of Keystone fleece jackets we purchased and our wind/rain gear. (We old dodos forgot our jackets in the dryer at home! Ugh!)

It became Autumn in that one night. The lake turned over, green algae from the lake bottom formed a scum over large parts of the lake. Sensitive characters like Walleye and Perch are not so active and picky about biting under those conditions. The aggressive Bass and Northern don't give a fig and kept on coming at us. We, however, had already landed a couple of 16" Bass and plenty of smaller ones. I got surprised by a 26" Northern! I haven't caught a Northern that big in many a year. But we were almost stymied in finding Walleye and Perch for a couple of days - with the exception of my 18" Walleye caught where we saw the Eagle in the tree last time. And, by gum, there he was again!

I'm quite used to waiting for fish to bite. Bud, however, was dismal. He wanted to hit the Walleye like he was used to doing. They just didn't cooperate like that. The last day, though, we managed to exceed our limit. Walleyeman still pouted.

But it was grand and beautiful out on the lake, if a bit nippier than we had anticipated. The Frostiak family were their usual friendly, helpful selves and because there was only one other couple in camp we got to spend more time with them. It was a cozy bunch.

So that's all until next year. *sigh*

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland is written in a genre I've never dabbled in before. Oh, I watched Buffy a few times, but wasn't an avid fan. I did watch quite a bit of Charmed when I lived alone and had nothing else to do on a Sunday evening. And I do watch Ghost Whisperer. But I've never felt drawn to reading the vamp/paranormal genre. And I'm still not sure I am, but I will look for the further adventures of Elizabeth Phoenix in Doomsday Can Wait when it comes out in May 2009.

Phoenix is one busy psychic, empathic, dream-walking, shape-shifting chickie! Sheesh!

After the first few chapters I had to put the book down and go do some vacuuming. I felt like I was reading "Gilmore Girls Go Vamp." My head was spinning. The dialogue is fast, furious, and smart-ass. It took me awhile to settle into it, but as I read more it went easier. I do, however, feel that there were things in those first few frenetic chapters that may have been short-changed by the author's eagerness to dive into the genre style. They felt overdone to get that style across, pushed and losing a bit in really drawing Elizabeth Phoenix more clearly for the reader.

I really didn't "get" Phoenix until she was faced with Sawyer. Sawyer was drawn far more clearly, and because he was, Phoenix's interaction with him gave her more depth.

But I get the idea that this genre is not necessarily character driven, but action driven. I get that. "Any Given Doomsday" certainly fills that bill well and why I will look for the next installment of vampires, chindi, stregas, witches, etc. doing their darnedest to put our heroine out of commission.

But I still would like more character. I'm hoping the sequel will give us more insight into Elizabeth Phoenix.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference by Irene Watson was a surprise for me. Watson, a psychologist, opens her self and tells the story of her own journey through co-dependency. Sitting Swing is not a handbook, self-help, or how-to, but, as Watson terms it, the story of how she learned she could rewrite the "script" of her past. We don't get jargon and pop-psychology terminology, but walk alongside a soul in pain that had been walled into her own self-made barricade of coping mechanisms.

Watson attended a 28 day workshop at Avalon, a center for Recovery. Not being an addict herself, she wondered why she was there. This was clearly a 12-step program, the sort with which she was very familiar, as a psychologist. She began her stay by applying what she was hearing to her clients, but not seeing how they applied to the problem - her troubled marriage - that she told herself she was there for. Instead, she was brought face to face with her own co-dependency.

As an eternally recovering co-dependent myself, one who has worked the 12 Steps, been to therapy, read, meditated, journaled, searched, wept in self-mourning, and in the joy of opening to blissful surrender, I totally empathized with Ms. Watson through a great deal of her journey. It was both like and totally unlike my own.

My only problem with the book is that it only hints at the fact that the re-writing of one's script does not end with one blissful surrender. It takes continual surrender and continual work. There are, actually, many, many great "Aha!" moments. This could be deceptive to a newbie on their journey.

It is a well-written book, interweaving her journey at Avalon with her journey through her past. It is very compelling reading.
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