Monday, September 17, 2018

Yoga Camp Weekend

Just the balm I needed!

This is the second year I've made it to the Queen Elizabeth Yoga Camp weekend. It sells out quickly so we signed up as soon as the notice came out in April.

I shared a no-frills cabin with Liz and Denise, just a short walk to the outhouse and water station, with just a few more steps to the Big Camp. Chris was there too, bunking in a cabin with Campbell.

Delicious meals appeared without having to think about their preparation or clean-up. What a treat! As was sharing the table with friends.

There were so many different activities offered: yoga, qigong, hikes, meditation, rustic spa, massage, crafts, open waterfront. It was often hard to choose. 

Each morning I enjoyed qigong with the morning sunrise, followed by guided meditation on the rocks. I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh on the topic of inter-being, so in seated meditation with my eyes softly focused I could wonder at how the rocks gracefully submerged under the water, the reflection of clouds above. A wonderful becoming.

I also relaxed with candlelight yoga, gentle yoga, yin yoga for neck and shoulders. I even fit in a short vigorous practice before a massage.

Even though it was mid-September the days were hot. Breezes were cool. The lake was the perfect temperature for swimming.

Rustic sauna
This is the first time I tried a "rustic spa" sauna. Fun! Slather warm oatmeal all over your body, smear olive oil and brown sugar on your lips and let it all dry. Then you need two buckets: one steel bucket to put rocks hot from a fire and the second for a bucket of water. Gather at least four friends and huddle yourselves underneath a tarp. Add water to the rocks - and presto  - rustic sauna! Sweat until you've had enough and then jump into lake to remove the oatmeal and feed the fish.

 The craft this year was making  holiday ornaments. Everything was supplied and all the wood was sliced and ready to go, just waiting for embellishment. Little momentos of a summer's day, set aside for the winter ahead.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

One remarkable woman

My mom was a remarkable woman who accomplished so much in her life. 

My grandparents were rightly proud of their intelligent and talented daughter, an excellent and well-rounded student who accepted the honour and duties of being the valedictorian for her high school graduating class. 

Marion met James Patrick -, fell head over heels, and married the love of her life not long out of high school.

As an only child, family was always important to Marion, and she would go on to be a mother to six, grandmother to 13, and great-grandmother to 8 (and counting). She loved us all, and did her best to be there for each of us. She even put aside funds for grandkids to help prepare them for the future and get them all off to a good start. She never forgot a birthday, and made sure every Christmas and Thanksgiving were special.

She made it a practice for us to try to focus on the positive. As kids growing up we said grace before our meals and nightly bedtime prayers. I remember we would often be called on to talk about what had gone well during the day, and what we had to be grateful for. When someone might have the audacity to say “nothing went well” my mom would say, “Come on, no one can live on God’s good green earth without at least one good thing happening to them during the day.” So she helped us to see the good each day could bring.

In addition to being a homemaker, Marion held lots of different paid jobs over the years: window dresser, graphic designer, advertising coordinator. She turned her creativity and dexterity to knitting and crochet and her designs were published in craft magazines. She worked as a child care provider for the Region, as a training specialist for Junior Achievement, worked for the Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance, and later as a provider at Home Instead Senior Care. Many of these positions called on her compassion, patience, creativity and diligence.

Always a spiritual person, she was also a valued and active member of the Catholic church community here in K-W. 

She made lasting contributions as a volunteer and said the years spent with the St. Vincent de Paul Society introduced her to one very large group of caring and committed Christians, who were concerned with the plight of the hungry and homeless, and willing to give above and beyond ordinary efforts. She recalled the seven years spent building and establishing Marillac Place as eventful, exciting, and exhilarating.

Life brings challenges to us all and Marion faced hers with courage and fortitude, whether it was the sudden death of her beloved husband, the loss of her good friend Lou,  the trials and tribulations of her family, or her own personal struggles with health.

Last November my brothers and sister accompanied our Mom to the hospital, where was told she had an aggressive form of lung cancer that, left untreated, could mean she had as little as eight weeks' time remaining. We were all devastated. 

The medical system kicked in and soon she received medical appointments and advice, personal service worker visits, pain medication, water pills, heart pills, chemotherapy, pleurisy treatments, MRIs, CT scans, and more. 

Mom chose Expected Death in the Home, or EDITH, as the local health integrated network describes it. She knew it would not be easy but also made a conscious choice to make the best of her remaining days.

Some days were easier than others, as she struggled with breathing and painful symptoms, confronting the daily conditions of living with a terminal illness. The diagnosis was both a blessing and a curse, because we knew her death was coming we were able to make special occasions even more special this past year.

We weren’t sure how much time we would have left with her, so our family celebrated Christmas in early December, and again on Christmas day. We got together again for New Years. In January, we celebrated her birthday. We gathered together at Easter, and again on Mother’s Day. A feast and groaning boards at every occasion. 

Mom had a voracious appetite and enjoyed her food, sampling most everything and savouring each morsel. 

Day to day she continued preparing meals for herself and others. As the weather got warmer she would sit in the carport and visit with family and friends, taking in the fresh air and view of the flower garden. 

She wanted her children, her grandchildren, great-grand-children and their partners to know she loved them, and told us often.

She was always happy to have family, friends and neighbours stop by. 

Regular visits from the St. Aloysius community meant the world to her, as she received Communion and was anointed with last rights. Also very much appreciated were the visits from associates from Marallac and St. Vincent de Paul Society.

These last few months I came to know my mom better, and understand the depth of her love and compassion. 

As she was reflecting on her life she wrote, “Life has taught me that we are all in this together and the Golden Rule of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is the rule that matters.”

She is an inspiration to all who knew her. Those that touch our lives .... stay in our hearts forever.

Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Marian. Thank you. Your love will light our way.  Your memory will forever be with us.


Bickers, Marion,
Only daughter of John & Ada Schlachter, died on August 21, 2018. She will be fondly remembered by her children and their families; her daughter Diane and her husband Rob Cowan; daughter Kathy and her late husband Dan Emery; her sons David and his wife Therese; Michael and his wife Karen; Alex and his partner Sue Taylor-Binsted; and her son Patrick. As well as by her 13 grandchildren: Daniel, John, Alex, Eric, Christopher, Sarah, Leo, Jessica, Robin, Emma, Olivia, Luke and Jared and 8 great-grandchildren Nicholas, Destiny, Terry, Mercedes, John Jr., William, Autumn and Araya. Predeceased by her husband James and her parents.
Marion's family will receive relatives and friends at Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467 on Sunday, August 26, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Prayers Sunday 4:30 p.m. at the funeral home. A funeral mass will take place at St. Aloysius R.C. Church, 11 Traynor Ave., Kitchener, on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Reception to follow in the parish hall. Private cremation to take place. 
As expressions of sympathy, donations to St. Aloysius Church - Food Pantry or Marillac Place would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the funeral home).

August Full Moon

The moon is full August 26, 7:56 a.m.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sailing Vacation!

Yondering leaving Stella
Long awaited holiday on the lake! Three weeks!

A palette of blues. Big sky, open water. Uncluttered horizon. Change of perspective.

The cruising portion of the holiday lasted 17 nights, with most of the time spent at anchor (12 nights!).  I love being at anchor, just swinging with the wind and a nice breeze going through the boat. 

Dockside at Newcastle and the tiny municipal docks at Brighton, and marinas in Clayton and Belleville. Anchored at Cobourg, Half Moon Bay (2 nights), Waupoos Island (3 nights) and Stella (2 nights), CFB Kingston (2 nights),  Glenn Island (1 night), and again at Cobourg. Then it was home to Bluffers for a couple of days before a short stay on Toronto Island.

We managed to visit some new spots along the lake and returned to others we haven't visited in years. This was also the first time we travelled ‘outside’ from Brighton docks straight to Waupoos. Usually if we are travelling on the north shore we meander the Bay of Quinte, and it takes us 5 days - this route brought us to Waupoos in 3 (Newcastle, Cobourg, Brighton). Conditions were favourable, light winds and a flat lake. 

sunset views in Cobourg
We started out the trip in tandem with Caroline who was single-handed, and dropped anchor with other Bluffers as we coddiwompled about the lake.

An afternoon visit to Picton with Lynn and Mike to provision. They had a car in Waupoos, so we were also able to lunch at the Waupoos Cidery and stop at Black Creek for ice cream. And in Stella, we enjoyed another tasty meal with them at the ‘Back Kitchen,’ a non-profit enterprise on Amherst Island that is run by volunteers and staffed by paid students-in-training.

After Waupoos we crossed over to Clayton USA and began the trek back again. 

One of the highlights was definitely the visit to Clayton and the Antique Boat Museum, along with Boldt castle and the tour of the 1000 Islands. La Duchesse was Boldt's houseboat, acquired by the Lifesaver King and then became the Rand McNalley's summer home. So light, airy and breezy! They would tie La Duchesse up in front of their palatial island property and spend most of their time on board.

The only downside to the Clayton visit was the having to tie up. In sweltering heat there was no breeze and the view was a bit industrial from the transient boat dock. Otherwise the historic town itself was quite picturesque, with lots of great restaurants and restored homes.

We also returned to CFB Kingston and moored there. A short swim to the beach on shore and what a lovely view.

Jumping in the lake at least once or twice a day, floating in the chair or noodling about. The water in the Bay of Quinte / Glenn Island was a bit weedy and green, but otherwise the water was clear and refreshing. 
Clear sailing (or motorsailing) most days. The engine conked out on the way in to Belleville and Bill came to give us a tow into Crates marina (great service at the marina!). We went out to the Boat House restaurant there and enjoyed a nice meal that evening. Next morning,  the engine was a quick fix - nothing that a full tank of gas and proper fuel conditioning didn't solve. Another Catalina 30 was towed in that morning and not so lucky - their engine totally blew.

Then back to home waters again, from Belleville to Cobourg to Bluffers to Toronto Island.

On Toronto Island, we tied up to the wall so we could easily take our bikes ashore. Cycling is always a pleasure, checking out the beaches, pier, boardwalk, city and home gardens, lunch at the Rectory. 

We've had our summer vacations on the lake since 2005 when we got our first boat. Chatting with Mais Lis and Don back at our dock, she said sailing was 80% bliss. It's true, there are definitely moments of frustration and irritability and danger, but overall I can't imagine a summer without a sailboat now. 

We may do some renovations on Yondering to prepare for summers ahead. Ice isn’t lasting very long in the cooler which has us considering adding refrigeration to the boat. We wouldn’t be so dependent on replenishing and could stay longer without a visit to shore. The list of renovations grew on this trip: new upholstery, new deck seating, potential paint job, propane, some solar panels… 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Thunder Moon Moon 2018

There  has been plenty of thunder this week, with summer storms and torrents of rain. 

Hopefully this will clear the atmosphere as we  head out on our sailing vacation and want to avoid any bad weather on the lake. 

Provisioning the galley, packing, stocking up the library. Three weeks!

Rob and I will be traveling in tandem with Caroline who is sailing single-handed.
Heading east? south? west? 


"Full Buck Moon"–Algonquin
“Ripe Corn Moon” –Cherokee 
“Middle of Summer Moon” –Ponca
“Moon When Limbs of Trees Are Broken by Fruit” –Zuni
Full Moon: July 27, 4:20 P.M.