Just Lynn

One woman. One name. One hell of an attitude!

2018 review

Written By: witchypo - Jan• 15•19

With 2018 passing, and time seemingly moving quicker and quicker for me as I age, I thought I’d take a moment to make a few notes while everything’s still relatively fresh in my mind…

House…

Late spring, Dan, Zig, and I reworked the back of the yard – relocating and adding plants – creating a ‘fairy’ garden for my grand-kids, and extending the veggie garden. The tomatoes and Swiss Chard did well, although the squirrels made off with just about anything edible. Next year, I want to add Brussel Sprouts and other dark greens. I also put in some garlic from dear departed Adolf’s garden. (God’s rest his soul.) Oh! and we had another infestation of maple bugs, which I’ve learned can be controlled with dish soap and water in a sprayer. Finally got the front door painted, the front stairs parged, and made a new winter tarp for the front porch. Really prefer the new design.

At Dan’s, we scrapped like mongrels, but ended up redoing part of the Dog House floor, adding a sink… and he rewired the house and got insulation blown in.

Family…

This year, Mom moved to Niagara, and it’s been a struggle dealing with her health issues, let alone her attitude. She’s had 2 or 3 episodes when she’s gone off her nut, and her doctor is of little use. At least she’s here, now, and we can help her. It would have been impossible for us to do anything with her living on the other side of the province.

The grand-kids are doing great. The little guy has finally begun to understand and even speak French! A huge relief, since both Anglophone parents aren’t teaching it at home. Meanwhile, lil Miss is growing like a weed and turning into quite the little ‘mother’.

Meanwhile, things between my kids and I have remained stable, or even improved a bit, which is nice. While Dan’s family has had their ups and downs, but seem fine.

Friends…

2018 began with Richard’s death. He’ll always be missed. Dan and I had said we’d put a plaque in the Dog House, but haven’t gotten around to it, yet. We also threw a 60th birthday party for Di, which went very well. We got closer to Ange and Matt, and I’ve unfortunately gotten less time with MA. In November, we lost Zig.

Travel…

Didn’t do nearly as much traveling as we usually do. Went to Watkins Glenn one weekend, and spent another at Byng. We also rode in the bike games at the Bro Bash for the 1st time. Otherwise, just biking, bicycling (bought a cruiser this year), and walking. Dan went to Cuba in December.

Weather…

This was a funky year when it came to cloud cover. I’ve noticed we get fewer and fewer clear days, and storms were strange… mostly missing us, but hitting hard when they did. Fall was practically a non-event, being comprised of a couple of weeks of cool rain and everyone stuck inside. Didn’t get out for even one walk in the leaves. Winter’s been so mild so far that I’ve seen some of my transplants sending shoots up in Dec.

Health…

My health took a dive this spring, eventually landing me in emergency. I fainted 3 or 4 times, and could get no real help from doctors. Cathy got me to try a suedo Keto diet, and it’s made a world of diff. My health’s been more stable than it has in years, since!

Work has been ‘status quo’ all the way, and there’s been little else worth recalling.

Lessons…

If I take anything away from this year, it’ll be…

  • to continue to use positive mindset and hard work to bring improvements to my material existence… trust that you”ll always have enough, and to aim high, because anything’s possible
  • to continue to value relationships above all else, but also to know when they’re a dead end, and to move on… there’s always more to be had
  • you are what you eat
  • I am a strong, capable, loving person who deserves good things in my life!

moving meditation

Written By: witchypo - Sep• 29•18

I’m ‘yaking… in the moment

it’s all rhythmic breath and movement

repetition washes cares and stress away

 

conscious thought is dissipated

while the ‘I’ in me gets faded

attuned to all 6 senses, I awake

 

and gently dip my paddle

feel vibrations ‘long the handle

play of currents in the water and the air

 

this subtle information

like ‘artistic inspiration’

determines how each ‘next’ stroke should be placed

 

without rushing or resisting

more like, fluid, co-existing

I let the air and water do the work

 

‘plant’ my paddle, slide my hips

and my whole craft lightly slips

smoothly ‘cross the surface of the stream

 

it’s moving ‘meditation

I’m creator and creation

in tune with Mother Nature, and at peace

 

While kayaking, recently, I got playing with my paddle and stroke. By paying ‘thoughtless’ attention to the constant stream of information I got from the boat, paddle, and my body, I stumbled upon something rather amazing. If I leaned forward a little, ‘planted’ my paddle in the water like a ski pole into snow, and – rather than dragging the water past me – simply slid my lower body and the boat around it past the paddle, I could move much smoother and easier past my it, in a desired direction. 

As odd as it may sound, the first time I felt it happen, I was surprised.

After all, we tend to perceive water as being ‘fluid’ and innately ‘yielding’. So, the idea of being able to ‘plant’ the paddle into it and having the water ‘hold’ the paddle still hadn’t occurred to me. As soon as I recognized the phenomenon, however, I simultaneously recognized that ‘perceptions’ can be deceptive, and that changing one’s perspective can also change one’s experience of something.

If you, carefully, dip your hand into a pond, for example, the water’s surface yields, gently, allowing your hand to submerge itself. If you drop a body from hundreds of feet onto a pond, however, its surface will feel more like concrete, and that body might even bounce across it a few times like a skipping stone before the loss of velocity and such will allow it to sink past the surface. Thus, while water seems fluid and yielding, it can also be experienced as solid or unyielding… even unyielding enough to ‘plant’ something into it. 

Now, I can’t wait to get back out on the water and play with this and, possibly, perfect the technique before the kayaking season ends. With practice, I may be able to build muscle memory to the point that I won’t have to re-learn it next year, and it might help to alleviate the chronic tendinitis I’ve suffered for years.

I also suspect that, having seen this example of the affects of perception upon experience in kayaking, I’ll be able to translate it to other areas of my life, which may lead to new and useful perceptions and experiences elsewhere. 

 

 

self-deception – a comment on a video series @ actualized.org

Written By: witchypo - Apr• 06•18

Over the past couple of days I’ve watched Leo‘s (actualized.org) 3-part video series about ‘self-deception‘, and very much wish I had the time and patience to review and write each down for future reference.

As I watched it, I frequently found myself recalling the years of frustration or despair I’ve suffered because I’ve allowed myself to believe something or behave in ways that I’ve deceived myself into accepting as ‘right’ or ‘natural’ or ‘beyond my control or ken’. I’ve, also, recalled some of the convoluted, long-lived struggles I’ve gone through to see beyond these deceptions, and the often too-brief moments of deep and soul-shaking realization of ‘truth’ I’ve been blessed with along the way.

Of course, this process has taken me the better part of 40 years, and I readily acknowledge that ‘realizing’ something only, generally, presents the ‘opportunity’ or ‘choice’ to use it to change some aspect of my beliefs, personality, or behavior. Actually incorporating each into my ‘self’ and learning to believe or behave accordingly has, ironically and often only led to even more struggle but I’ve, eventually, learned that such is the case in so many aspects of life.

More than anything, though, I couldn’t help appreciating the time, effort, and discipline that Leo must have put into the creation of these videos, let alone the years of education and training that allow him to do so. While he admits, himself, to a certain level of mercenary motivation behind their creation and dissemination, I tend to suspect and admire his generosity of spirit, delightful humor and playfulness, and ability to concisely and effectively convey complex concepts in readily digestible and elegantly simple ways.

Unfortunately, I’ve searched his sight and can’t find a synopsis (or list) of the various forms of self-deception discussed in this series which, were it available, I would print and keep handy as a guide and reminder. So, I’ll simply post a link to the first video and will have to re-watch them periodically, I suppose.

3-part video series about self-deception

checking my bucket list

Written By: witchypo - Jan• 29•18

Late in 2017, my BF put his bike into a shop to get some repairs and upgrades done, and it’s been collecting dust, since. Then, Friday, the weather was good enough that he took it for a ‘test’ drive to Thorold, and he found that something wasn’t ‘right’. So, he worked on it off and on through the weekend and, yesterday, asked me to go with him so that he’d have an extra set of ears.

Of course, we only did a short ride in town, but getting out with him meant that I can, finally, say that I’ve ridden every month of the year, which might not mean much to others but, for me, it’s another item I can check off my ‘bucket list’.

We also went for a walk along the Rootbeer River and, while it wasn’t the nicest day, I got to check out my new camera (Xmas gift). Can’t wait to see how the pics turned out. 

Thanks, baby : ) 

gotta get my man one of these

Written By: witchypo - Dec• 05•17

Summer of 2017

Written By: witchypo - Jul• 26•17

You know, time’s been going by so fast that summer’s going to be gone before we know it, and that got me thinking that I really should write something about what we’ve been up to while its all still fresh in my memory. So…

Kayaking:

This year, the Niagara Region’s gotten a lot more rain and more consistent cloud cover than we’re used to, which has led to record high water levels, not only in the Great Lakes, but pretty much anywhere not controlled by the canal system. That’s meant that ponds and streams that, usually, dry out to the point of inaccessibility have remained usable… especially for people like us who like to kayak… well into the boating season.

I, also, realized fairly quickly that, while we’ve kayaked some local waterways to death, these higher water levels have been opening up the chance to travel further than we have in the past, so that we could rediscover old favorites. So far, we’ve kayaked…

15 Mile Pond: from Charles Daley Park to just short of 4th Ave., where it became tree choked.

16 Mile Pond : from service road at Charles Daley Park to just short of 4th Ave.

Martindale Pond: from the Green Ribbon Trail, down the side creek to the last bend before the QEW.

Grand River: from York Park, York to Bob Baigent Memorial Park, Caledonia.

Welland River: from bridge in Niagara Regional Road 27, (between Beketts Bridge and Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport,) down southward pointing branch of Welland River to natural dam, just past the train bridge.

Big Creek: from Concession Road 3 to the marina at the last bridge (Regional Rd 59) before Lake Erie.

Frenchman’s Creek: from the Niagara Parkway to about a kilometer or so past first split in the creek near Bridgeberg.

Rockwood (Eramosa River): paddled from the mill to the dam near the beach.

Guelph Lake: just a short paddle around northern branch of the reservoir.

and we’ve taken in a few of the many local musical events…

  • went to private party to hear the ‘Brothers Gunn’, St. Catharines
  • checked out Blues on the Battlefield, Thorold, Ontario
  • caught a number of bands at the Bro Summer Bash, Welland
  • the Norfolk Tavern, Saturday afternoon band jam, Port Dover
  • also various street festivals in Font Hill, Niagara, etc.
  • Fireman’s park Thursday night blues concert

Of course, we’ve also done a little riding (motorcycle),

  • the Bro Summer Bash, Welland, gave us a chance to ride from St. Catharines to Vineland, to Font Hill, and Welland, where the party was amazing, as usual.
  • Rode to just north of Port Dover, then hugged the shoreline of Erie to Port Stanley, and stayed a night in Simcoe, before kayaking Big Creek, then rode to Dover for the night, and home.
  • From Niagara, along Ridge Rd, to Hamilton, where we clocked the Burlington Harbor for future kayaking run
  • Various rides around the Niagara Region

In between, we’ve also gotten the chance to do some ‘killin’ an’ chillin’ out at Jack’s ‘Lake House’ and at various friend’s homes. We’ve taken in the the 82nd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes at the Fort Erie Race Track, and gone bicycle riding with the grandkids.

One thing we haven’t been doing this year is mushroom hunting, which is a shame because this moist weather’s, likely, been making all sorts of treasures pop up, but I just haven’t been willing to risk the ticks (Argh!) Same goes for camping, which is a shame, because I really wanted to camp at Rockwood Park(near Guelph) or Turkey Point this year. Maybe I’ll get brave in August(?)

Of course, life’s not all bikes and beers, and we’ve spent a good deal of time – including the BF’s vacay – just taking care of business. In his case, that’s meant getting a lot of miscellaneous repairs and clean up done on his property. While, in mine, its meant finally tackling some serious drainage issues at my house. So, I’ve been puttering for weeks at installing a French drain in my yard, relocating a storage shed, and getting foundation work that I’ve put off for the past 8 years DONE.

Now, I’ve still got a tree root to deal with, and a bunch of brick to move and ground to level, as well as a ‘fire pit’ to build, but we’ve gotten the worst of the work done. So, next year, I can start beautifying this joint.

rocking the grey

Written By: witchypo - Feb• 20•17

Last year, I turned 50 and, like many a so-called ‘milestone’, it wasn’t as traumatic as expected.

In fact, I had a great year! I got to snorkel in the Dominican Republic, take my grandkids to the beach, and party poolside like a rock star with my friends. By the end of the summer, though, I looked like a well tanned, escaped mental patient… my hair was ‘patchy’ from home dye kits, broken by hair ties, hats, and helmets, and sun-bleached after weeks of kayaking and swimming.

Naturally, I could simply have dyed, conditioned, and cut it… again… but a lot of people had been talking about ‘chemical exposure’ and, after almost 30 years of staining and mediocre results, that route didn’t thrill me. On the other hand, not dying meant risking that my BF might find me less attractive, it could weaken my chances in an already ‘brutal’ job market, and it meant giving up the frequent ego boosts I got as people’s jaws hit the floor when they found out how old I, really, was. Since all I need do in a ‘worst case’ scenario, however, was to buy another box of ‘artificial youth’, it wasn’t that big a deal. Besides which, I’d gotten all freaked out by becoming a grandmother, only to find that it was one of the biggest joys of my life. So, I’d rock the grey!

Of course, by February, I had 2 or 3 inches of salt and pepper root showing and the rest of my hair was oddly colored from trying ‘DIY’ lightening tips. So, when I found myself in a meeting with a well coiffed, 30-something, professional woman, I couldn’t help commenting on my roots. To my great surprise, though, rather than offer some false, but polite, encouragement, she laughed and said, ‘Are you kidding me?! Everybody’s doing it. It’s totally ‘in’ this year!’

Then, it was my jaw that dropped as she listed a handful of celebs that were going grey… including one of my heros, Pink… and told me that, even with their money and the pressure they were under, some weren’t simply dying it grey, but allowing people to see their roots growing in. ‘You should look it up on ‘Google Images,’ she suggested and, grateful for the encouragement, I thanked her and got back to the topic of our meeting.

A week or so later while waiting for my BF to do some shopping I, finally, got around to looking it up and was shocked to see how others… including some very young models and stars… have been dying their hair grey, and stunned by the variety of styles and colors they were mixing and matching. Suddenly, going grey took on new possibilities. I’ve also been surprised and pleased to find that friends, neighbors, and even strangers have been commenting on my grey… I mean, I expected ‘teasing’, but not ‘encouragement’…which is helping to reduce the stress that comes with this choice.

Perhaps the best surprise came the other night, though, when my BF and I went to a bar to support a friend’s brother who was playing in the band. During a break between sets, the band-friend interrupted our conversation to tell me he loved my hair, and said that he finds it ‘so sexy when women embrace their age, and the power and wisdom that comes with it.’

‘Well said!’ I thought, and secretly hoped I won’t forget it, because it was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.

You see, now, I’m not only more determined to stick to my more natural path with my appearance, but to do as this fellow suggested and to embrace the full wisdom and power that comes with my age and experience. After a lifetime of self-exploration and struggling to know myself, it’d be nice to, finally, bring it all together and see what I’m truly capable of.

review 2016 year of the Monkey

Written By: witchypo - Jan• 06•17

Well, its time to say goodbye to the monkey, is it?

Travel: went to Sosua, Dominican Republic in Feb., Byng Camp Grounds, Dunville, in the summer, but stayed within the Niagara Region, otherwise. Went to street festivals, bike runs, hiked, and kayaked a few ‘new’ creeks along the Niagara and Welland rivers.

House: no big changes, converted lights (basement) to LED, added spinach – other flowers and such to yard, refined the look, added tarp to front porch for winter, started decorating. Also, lost roommate Josh and gained Zig, Lou’s still here. Had an infestation of Maple Bugs again, but not as bad as last year.

Money: no major advances or set-backs, always seemed to have ‘enough’ and to get by.

Weather: had a typical winter/spring, then a long, dry, hot summer, hardly any fall, and winter’s been GREAT! with more rain than snow. It Jan. and I’ve only shoveled once, about an inch of snow. Worried for the world, though.

Health: fairly stable, with continuing concerns about increasing pulse rate, lungs, etc. but my head doesn’t feel like its got an orange growing in it any more. Still stuck on Turkey Tail.

Family: Both my brother (and his family) and sister visited, which was a big deal. Daughter finally bought a car. Son ended long-term relationship with a toxic GF. Spent more than usual time with BF’s family. Mom still alive and kicking in the home.

Friends: continued to develop friendship with MA and Lady Di. Making friends with Zig. Lost Mr. B. Haven’t been as active with larger circle of BF’s friends this year. Spent most of my time with him or my favorite girls.

Work: no big changes, got small raise, relationship with manager still toxic, although owner seems to have softened a little late summer.

BF/GF relationship: BF seemed more considerate this spring than usual, but once weather warmed up he often lost to his puppet-master. Oh, and he stopped with the shut-downs early summer (also gave me trip to DR and best B-day ever!) but was slowly but surely driving me nuts. By Sept. I couldn’t take it any more and I told him he had to cut the strings or I’d have to leave. From then to Xmas it was a constant struggle, but at the 11th hour, he seems to have decided ‘we’ are worth it, and he’s showing effort. Made it through our 6th year together!

Otherwise, this seemed a ‘fast’, hot year, with lots of chances to feel like a movie star, hanging in a rich man’s swimming pool, going to the beach, seeing what’s left of nature in the area. (Saw my 1st live/wild mink!) Paddled from Byng to the point, and so many other miles. Slowly but surely getting more confident in driving. Put a lot of miles on with traveling every week to see kids, get dental work done in Welland, etc. Started cleaning/sorting/decorating my space like never before. Over all, relationships went well this year, but still sick-sad about Josh and B : ( and worried about environment and politics with Trump election in the States. Never made it to PA – might not go again this year.

Only ‘monkey’ traits of the year that I noticed were that I was always busy, esp. with hands/working, and it went ‘fast’ and included lots of opportunity to ‘play’.

boat full of hope

Written By: witchypo - Aug• 13•16

We’re kayaking up a thin snake of a stream,

past cottages, silos, and swaths of golf greens.

Carp splash and thrash and some ram our small boat,

while we laugh and struggle to keep’er afloat.

Then, we’re out in the boonies where few people tread

and, like explorers, feel excitement and dread.

But, what we fear’s not what’s ’round the next bend.

It’s that the time of the wild is nearing its end.

The flocks, herds, and schools that once filled this land

are reduced to mere remnants by pressures from man.

Thus, animals scatter when they sense us near

’cause hop, swim, or fly, they all share the same fear.

‘Course, we can’t help but think that they’re right to do so,

but are saddened too, to see them all go.

Then, a heron swoops down on gargantuan wings,

lands, stands, and searches for fish, frogs, and things.

Chickadees, starlings, and other small birds

return to the bush where they’re less seen, than herd.

Turtles claw up onto logs to sunbathe.

Cicadas and crickets start droning in waves.

Squirrels start gossiping ‘mongst the tall trees.

Dragonflies dart around beetles and bees.

Then, a mink – lean and low – pokes its head through the reeds

and studies us, closely, with eyes like black beads.

Amazed, we both gasp, and grasp at this small sign

that if we can change there may, still, be time.

Mother Nature’s not ‘beaten’, but She’s on the ropes,

and we’ve got to help her if there’s to be hope.

a kayaking peom

Written By: witchypo - Jul• 30•16

When I get stressed… just need a break

I pick a pond… a stream… small lake

off-load my kayak, drop it in

and push off with a paddle fin

then, its breathe-paddle-pause… and row again

mindless movement works its ‘zen’

while Nature paints such wondrous scenes

living art in blues and greens

that, spellbound, I lose track of time

I’m in the moment… so sublime!

perspectives and perceptions change

priorities get rearranged

the problems that I left on shore

don’t seem as dire any more

my way, once lost, becomes quite clear

my needs… quite simple, life… more dear

here, with fish, bird, turtle, bee

a gentle sighing in the trees

the warming sunlight… glassy bay

it always seems a ‘perfect’ day

‘course life will, soon, come crashing in

will build, ebb, flow… to crash again

but, I choose how I think… feel… ‘deal’

can strive to keep an even keel

so, when the stress crests… drags me down

it inundates… it seems I’ll drown

I’ll take a mental kayak trip

grin… climb in… and off I’ll slip

Ironically, even as I wrote this poem about my kayak’s ability to help me escape or deal with stress, I thought of the ever  present risks and stress that’s involved in any kind of boating. As ‘scared’ as I sometimes get in boats, however, I suspect that its that ‘life and death’ element that adds value to my time on the water and helps me to get a different perspective on things.