Hope is oxygen, and random stuff leading to New Years…


1. A worthy pursuit is capturing JOY (and HOPE) and sharing it with others. Buddy Breathing is about sharing HOPE. An example of sharing JOY is Jump for Joy, a ‘project’ blog by a Canadian born photographer. Her project is to capture photos of people expressing joy while leaping into the air! People from all over the world, including many Canadians. I smiled often at her photos, proof that JOY (and HOPE) is contagious!

2. Speaking of photography, I’m excited to share that my son Malcolm is launching a photo blog. He has some amazing shots in his portfolio… coming your way soon…

3. So, here we are mid Christmas season and feeling a tad… bored? It happens when so much emphasis is placed on prep for THE DAY, and then THE DAY comes and goes and there isn’t much to do anymore. You’d think we’d be happy about this. Why is relaxing into the moment so difficult? But it is. Have we forgotten already the magic of a winter’s evening on the ice… just last week?

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4. Poetry… how best to share it, market it, send it out into the world to live and breathe. Many differing opinions, many options to consider and do nothing about getting it out there. So, 2013 is the year of setting my poetry free (publishing). I begin by attending a Patrick Lane January workshop at Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island, more learning, more writing and serious goal setting. Then the rubber hits the road. Writing is work. Writing poetry is work. Selling poetry will be even more work. As always, you’ll be the first to know the details!!!

5. Naming gifts has been something sustaining this year. Beginning with reading Anne Voskamps book, One Thousand Gifts, and awakening my soul to gratitude in every great and small thing in my first naming post, I managed to name 445 gifts in just over 6 months. Not 1000, but well on my way. A daily naming would get me there, but that’s not the point. For me it’s about remembering to be thankful, and that’s not full time or all the time, but the sometimes that are slowly growing closer together.

6. Almost at New Year now, I pause to remember what has been gained, what has been lost this year ~ a sweet friend passes away too soon, eldest son grows up, goes away and comes home again, middle son graduating, daughter fledging, husband loves, survives heart attack, we make changes, eat healthfully, exercise more, parents visit, peer mentors emerge, old friendships deepen, poems written, contests won and lost, publishers say no and no thanks, Pop-Up-Poetry launches, I live and learn and lean into what God would have of me.  I still consider a Soli Deo Gloria tattoo. Life continues…

Thank you for the path you’ve walked alongside me this 2012. It’s a privilege to write for you and imagine you reading my words, considering things I mention, and I get SO EXCITED when some dear person says something back to me! My heart LEAPS! May you continue to find HOPE here, and beneath it all, the foundation of God bearing up the life of this very ordinary woman.

All is well with me. In borrowed words, “all is grace

Lesley-Anne SDGDSC_0485

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midweek random ramble 023


emmy eyes1. A shout out and blogacious thank you to Robert Rife, author of the insightful blog Innerwoven and frequent forays into poetry at Rob’s Lit Bits (check both out, especially Rob’s transparent and vulnerable life story which he posts in segments, called “From Earth to Sky”). Mr. Rob Rife generously included Buddy Breathing in his list of “cool blogs”. Well, Mr. Rife, you are too cool for school too! And a great big thank you!

2. A beautiful boy named Jordan Unrau left this earth last week to be with Jesus. Jordan attended Kelowna Christian School with two of our kids. He was just 15. I can’t imagine what his family is facing now, what they have experienced in the past year, and yet there is so much more than pain in their story. Here is their blog called Jordan’s Healing, which contains the most profound expressions of faith I have ever encountered.

3. Decking my halls with a girlfriend is a brilliant idea. No more feeling sorry for myself that the family is less interested in the process than the result. No more pity. All light, all joy, all music and eggnog and girly conversation, and a beautiful end product that everyone can enjoy!

4. Started watching “Touch” on Netflix. Becoming attached to the character of Jake, and wondering what the world might look like through his eyes… if there is documented proof of ‘seeing’ in the way that is portrayed in the show? Might wonder only be visible to some? Hmmm…check it out. And, according to this article, Season 2 will be released Feb. 8, 2013.

5. I finally bought my airline tickets! I’m attending a workshop with poet Patrick Lane, on Vancouver Island, in January. I’m feeling a little scared and giddy at the same time. To learn from Patrick will be a landmark and a huge honour. To share my work with him, will take courage.

6. Facebook… I have to say I miss you once in awhile, but not as often as I thought I might. I’ve done great and wonderful things without you. Like, thinking without interruptions to post thoughts, fixing things around the house, organizing things around the house. writing, special projects, seasonal preparations, connecting with real people in real life, and I’m surviving just fine thank you very much. Still, I do like you Facebook, you just have this way of sucking the time out of me. Maybe it’s just me, but I think a little bit of you goes a long way. Maybe we’ll catch up again in January.

In all things, somehow grace enough.

Lesley-Anne SDG

midweek random ramble 022


It’s been a long time since I’ve rambled here… ranted, yes, but not rambled. So here goes, with seasonal thoughts of Christmas and snow and cold and inside warmth and preparing and stressing and singing and holiness and awe and wonder and sweet and varied moments with family and friends, all on my mind:

Frosty Footpath - winter snow

Frosty Footpath – winter snow (Photo credit: blmiers2)

1. overheard in the front hallway, “Well mom, are you trying to be in style, or to have your own individual style? hmmm… was there a commentary in there somewhere?

2. overheard in the car, “That’s just my old man strength.”

3. overheard on the airwaves through out the house, 24/7 Christmas tunes coming at us on the net… have you ever checked out the abundant free music available online?

4. so the local soccer supply store burned down the other night. We have had such great service from the manager there who always finds us the right fit and a good deal. I sure hope they find a way to open up again before too long. We’re so sorry Soccer X-Press!

5. sent out my first Christmas package by mail to family back east… but I still feel slightly disorganized and lacking in ideas… perhaps a little pinterest coupled with a good google search might inspire and help me with some new and creative gift ideas? After all, no stress, it’s still November right?

6. trying to increase the amount of veggies and fruits and reduce the amount of meat and carbs isn’t easy in a family where teens are hungry every 2 hours… just what do I feed them to fill them up?

7. loving the way Okanagan College offers personal attention to it’s students.

8. mandarin oranges, japanese varieties, miniature varieties, chinese varieties… many varieties are in stores now. Yummm!!!

9. Advent, meaning “arrival’ is something we have adopted into our family tradition. Four Sundays leading up to Christmas are rich with potential for celebrating the Advent… the pending arrival of baby Jesus, the promise of the returning Christ, and the incarnation (the God with us) in our lives. Did you know that Advent historically involved fasting, doing without in varying degrees leading up to the 25th, so when the big Christmas feast came at last, there was a renewed appreciation of the abundant favour and blessing of God.  I like that. The tasting and seeing that God is good.

10. seeking ways to inject my life/our lives with meaning is something I am always on the lookout for… so do you have any ideas for meaning-filled Christmas activities, any stories to share?

Christmas Season 1941 in Worthington, Ohio

Christmas Season 1941 in Worthington, Ohio (Photo credit: dok1)

11. planning and anticipating carolling with family and friends… and the faint possibility that it just might snow while we are walking around the neighbourhood from door to door. Yep, I’m sentimental.

Peace, abundant peace,

Lesley-Anne SDG

Thanks…giving…


368. his left and my right and fingers intertwined press flesh to flesh

369. sitting by my reading mother, reading

370. anticipation of Thai food and conversation with family

371. daughters pretty toenails in a new fall colour

372. daughter picking some cords on her electric guitar

373. being asked, saying yes

374. wine tour, corn maze, cidery, and the mercury holding at 18 degrees C

375. his dress shirts fresh from the wash, hung to air dry

376. enthusiasm of dogs

377. views to mountains, vineyards, orchards

378. long light pouring into the garden

379. eyes to see a photograph worth taking

380. stillness, time to listen

381. ambrosia apple with cheddar cheese

382. small talk

383. hydrangeas fading from chartreuse to sepia

384. the question of do you want to play some pool… delivered with a shy smile

385. a holiday weekend to remind us what matters… and to be thankful for what matters

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis...

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking for a common thread and finding random rambles…


It’s been a while since I’ve written… don’t know why, just haven’t felt much like it. Nor have I felt like writing poems. Enough said because the new me (since two nights ago when I re-established my trajectory with the gracious help of my dear husband Bob) is focused on finding a balance between over-sharing being honest, and living on the surface of life superficiality. And that, my friend, isn’t very easy for moi.

I recall a while back I used to publish mid-week random rambles, and I guess that’s where I’ll start. Easier than an essay or a soul searching journey that results in something vaguely poetic. Probably easier on both of us? Or, perhaps you can relate to #6 below… which takes me back to the difficulty in finding a balance. But, I digress.

Anyway, here’s my ramble for ya;

1. Found a new sweet spot… having artists/musicians billet with our family, share our stuff, food, ideas… the spine tingle of having them play our piano and sing in our rooms. I felt alive when they were here. Understood. Understood them to some degree, even though they were so much younger. Here’s Zerbin “New Earth”… have a watch and a listen. So talented…

2. When said band members were staying with us, they were in the kitchen devouring enjoying a dozen muffins when Derek started to laugh (I think it was Derek, maybe it was Jason or was it Nick?) Check out the view of our art gallery style fridge front in the slide show below with the cows (somewhat same theme of poo…). Yep, right under the bible verse you’ll see it!!! Nice to know there’s always something yummy to eat in our fridge!

3. Somewhat surprised that the photo of our dog Emmy and her amazing encounter with a deer posted in the Toronto Star and Kelowna Capital News… would end up with over 4229 likes and 1917 shares at Dogwork.com, on Facebook at D-Fa Dogs, on Tumblr and half way around the world on a hungarian website that I can’t find at the moment.

4. Seen along the way, a field of cows and calves, resulting in a return trip and walk into the ditch to photograph said creatures resulting in these photos… and then, the very next day after the photo shoot… they were gone! Relocated to greener pastures perhaps?

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5. Considered in passing, a sign that said “Ignore inconvenient twists and turns” and immediately I could think of all sorts of life applications for that one! Especially having just experienced a rather nasty twist when an elderly lady gave me a tongue lashing for pulling just a leetle too far into the walking lane at the intersection.

6. Discovered on the book shelf in Chapters… “Quiet”, a book by Susan Cane whom I just recently watched present a Ted Talk on the same subject of the power and joy of being an introvert. I’m waiting for the soft cover version, or the library copy… but I know there will be gems of affirmation in those pages. Here’s the talk…

Poetry Friday039


New Utility Poles

Image by misternaxal via Flickr

Grace is hosting tonight at Open Mic night at dVerse Poet’s Pub dVerse… come on over, share your words, read what others are creating…

If you look closely you can see where we’ve been

Lines…

windbreaks, hedgerows and telegraph poles
white, free falling water down mountains breast
sedimentary layers thrusting out of cold earth
fingers tracing ultimatums in dusty ground
runoff lost to gravity, air and quiet desperation.

lines…

furrows pulled into earth’s womb by plows
blue-green tributaries beneath translucent skin
edges, property lines, borders, divisions
our attempts to limit nature’s abandon
yellow edged pavement promising escape
concentric circles you will not cross.

lines…

on a page, over, over, cursive, circuitous
thoughts I read and write and memorize and say
homeless men waiting for shelter from the urban storm
florescent buoys, and all definitions of safety
fences topped with barbed-wire. Topics
held prisoner by decades of married life.

lines…

love, traced onto flesh by a lingering tongue
incisions cut into virgin land, primeval forest
scar tissue on our hearts
history, life and death, and passings
time, trails, tracks and animal prints in snow.

fine lines…

the part in a baby’s hair
what I see around your eyes
when you smile.

Lesley-Anne Evans, March 2011

Midweek Random Ramble020


Books - bookcase top shelf

1. On becoming an explorer of the world

But how does one do that? And why?

Here are 13 suggestions on the how, the why is up to you …

I recently found these and many more ideas to guide me on my journey to being more observant, more free to express my findings, and gave me permission to be as extraordinary as God created me to be! Got your interest piqued yet? All this in a little book! Don’t you LOVE books! When I think that e-books are taking a market share, I’m saddened because there’s nothing like the feel of paper, the smell as you stick your nose into an opened book, especially an old one… but I digress.

The book is called, How to be an explorer of the world, Portable Art Life Museum” by Keri Smith. Among other things, this book is full of inspiring quotes, creative exercise ideas, and suggests an entirely new way of looking at the world around us, under us, above us, beside us. Every day.

Check out this review of what I think is an altra-cool book. I just wish I had more time to read it!

2. Hard to believe, but it’s been almost a year since Claire and I traveled to Cancun to volunteer at a Sterilization Clinic with our friends and their non-profit organization, CANDi International.

I don’t think I ever was able to post the video that Claire and her friends put together to share their Cancun experience with their school. And, it appears that I still can’t post it without paying a premium to upgrade my video capacity on WordPress. SORRY! But, if you are my Facebook friend, you can drop by my facebook page to see it. I’m still very proud of these young ladies, for all they did to share their hearts and experiences with their school mates. Kids can do amazing things!

Another equally impacting video was produced in 2010, and is being screened on all Air Transat flights into Mexico. Featuring ‘At The End Of My Leash’ celebrity Brad Pattison, this CANDi International raises the awareness of Mexican tourists to the inhumane way that many cats and dogs are living in Mexico. Tourists are invited to come alongside and help financially.  Or, like we did, they can volunteer at one of the Sterilization Clinics in the Cancun area, organized by CANDi and The Achates Legacy Rescue Foundation. More on these amazing organizations and their passionate people can be found  Here and Here.

Check out the video… you may see some familiar faces!

3. I’m happy to report that I heard the Red-wing Black Birds calling in the marsh this morning. To me that always means Spring… aside from the groundhog and what he did or didn’t do, apart from what the Farmer’s Almanac has to say. Go outside on a morning when the sun has broken through the lid of cloud over our little valley, walk alone or with your dog along the edge of a marsh, and if you hear a warbling ruckus of birds calling back and forth over the bulrush edged ponds, you’ll know Spring is coming! Really!

4. Yesterday I went up a mountain to a special place of solitude that I return to from time to time. It was hard to leave the valley, hard to clear the internal clutter and be silent for a while. It was hard to remove the thought that this was not productive time. I went anyway. I listened anyway. I stayed for a few hours. God met me in the sounds of birds in the pine trees, the view of our beautiful city and surrounding mountains, the perfect calm of the lake, the insights into scripture and my life, the silence. He often does that.

5. It’s purging time, starting NOW. Call it Spring Fever, or whatever, I’m off to drag things out, pack them into boxes and bags, and release them into the world. My own version of reduce, reuse and recycle… release is my 4th ‘r’. Gotta run…

Peace is here,

Lesley-Anne