Category Archives: Miscellanea

Whatever doesn’t fit exactly in the other categories.

Revisiting my bucket list from 10,000 feet up

I so very much love to stand out under the expansive sky at night, looking at the countless stars and the beauty of the night sky. The unique globe we live on, the bubble of air we live in, totally astound me. The curve of the atmosphere above and around us … the vastness of God’s creation … that serves to sustain life, almost takes my breath away. I am in awe over and over again. 

All month I’ve been planning to tell you about something I was able to do this summer. As my title suggests, I made a change to my bucket list — you can refer to my bucket list post HERE — because I completed one adventure I’ve been wanting to do for about seven years now. It was time to go …

 tandem  sky-diving!

On August 1st my four daughters, my grandson, and I went to the little local airport where I had reserved time for myself and my youngest daughter to tandem skydive. It was a gorgeous, sunny, hot day with a few fluffy clouds in the wide blue sky and a little breeze. An ideal day for jumping out of a plane.

7.our plane

After filling out and signing those just-in-case legal release forms …

1.Signing forms pre-jumpwe met our jumpmasters and got fitted into the proper safety gear.

We selected the jump with video, which, at the time of this writing, we have not yet seen. I dread mine and later I’ll tell you why. After that we got a short instruction of what to do, what not to do, and what to expect.

Because there were enough jumpmasters (experienced skydivers) available, my daughter and I were able to go up in the same plane together and jump about a minute apart. So cool!

8.Lynn boarding plane

My jumpmaster and I boarded the plane first, as you see in the above photo, followed by my daughter and hers – who happens to be the owner/operator of the business. I sat behind the pilot and faced my jump partner, while my daughter – in order to exit first – sat by the door, her jump partner behind her.

10.waving on take-offIn the above photo the plane’s window is ajar, and behind the pilot’s arm you can just see my hand as I’m waving to my family watching us taking off.

9.there we go!And there we go!

The flight up to 10,000 feet over the beautiful Annapolis Valley was exquisite and I loved it! The Valley is very beautiful and rich with colour and amazing landscape divided up with lakes, the Bay of Fundy, many plots of farmlands, the towns and little communities, and the hilly and forested regions. It was a great opportunity to see in a different way the part of the world God made for me (us) to live in, and it was such a thrill.

The photo below is a small sampling, so imagine this view from completely above the Valley:


This photo of Annapolis Valley is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I do love to fly! In a little Cessna it’s even more thrilling. During the flight I found that I was nervous and excited, more excited than nervous, and not the least bit afraid. You might argue that being nervous is fear, but for me it was just concern about whether I’d remember what to do. As it turned out, I didn’t remember everything and I survived anyway.  :)

Nearing jump time we were securely clipped together, newbies in front of and to our jumpmasters, and at the right elevation the first couple rolled forward out the door and disappeared. We followed. It was astounding! Strangely, I think that was my favourite part of the jump. No fear. It was not terrifying in the smallest way, just plunging out into wide open air space and rolling two or three times in midair. Oh. My. Goodness. Now I can hardly believe I DID IT!

The freefall was so fast, dropping for about 40 seconds before the ‘chute was released. I found the freefall to be very loud with the air beating against us as we plummeted (as one daughter on the ground called it) toward the earth. I had no bearings and found the straps uncomfortably tight – but that’s a good thing, really. It was when the parachute was released that the discomfort hit me. The tight straps, the feeling of motion sickness, the problems I had because of not remembering to keep myself positioned correctly, all took away from what was otherwise an amazing experience. Yet, I don’t regret it. Not at all. And most people aren’t affected the way I was; my daughter wasn’t.

The view is amazing from up there. What I noticed was the difference in air temperature; the closer we got to the ground the warmer the air became. A bonus for me is that as we neared our landing my jumpmaster surprised me by giving me temporary control of the steering! Pulling the left cord moved us left, pulling the right one … you guessed it … steered us right. Then he took over to guide us safely into our landing. 

coming down; Althea orange, Lynn multiIn the above photo look for the two colourful dots, the bottom orange one is my daughter’s parachute, the top tri-coloured one is mine.

Here’s a closer view of my descent: 14.Lynn coming in for a landing

It seemed quite awhile, but was not long at all, before I could make sense of what was beneath us. I could see the landing strip, my family standing watching and taking pictures, and the ground getting closer quickly. My daughter landed neatly with us coming in moments after, landing beside them. It was a thrill to be able to do that, and she was immediately determined it would not be her only jump.  :)

landed.4Moving in for a happy hug.

As you can see above, the clouds were filling in more of the sky after we landed, which made me glad we jumped when we did. Before we left for home we each were given a First Jump certificate as proof and recognition of our accomplishment.  :)

And how do I feel about the experience? I can say “I did it!” I won’t solo, although I might tandem jump a second time; right now I’m not sure. It was exciting. It was something I have wanted to do for several years, even though most people think I’m crazy even to have considered it. That’s okay. I DID IT. And I’m glad I did. I know what to expect now so a second jump should be even better.

Oh, and why do I dread seeing the video? Well, it was a close-up of my less-than-enthusiastic facial expressions as I was trying to take in everything while feeling a little queasy, and it’s not pretty when the wind forces hard against one’s face.  Yes, I know … vanity. (smile)  I was told the first jump is an experience of all that’s happening, and that’s true enough; the second and later jumps are when one can enjoy the experience more fully and be able to appreciate it better. Maybe so. Perhaps one day I will test that theory.

I doubt I would ever discourage anyone from tandem skydiving. What I would do is urge them to relax and remember to do all that is instructed. It will make it much more fun. It’s an amazing experience! I am so glad I DID IT!

we did it! 3

Have you ever skydived? What crazy adventure have you done that you would love to do again, or why would you never repeat it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

Sympathy extended to Sue Harrison

As you know, Sue Harrison is a generous contributor to my blog, sharing her wisdom and experience as an international best-selling novelist. Her “Writing the Third Dimension” posts are informative, helpful, and appreciatively anticipated each month.

Sue has also been a longtime caregiver of her elderly family members. The circle of life brings us all the way around to taking care of the ones who cared for us, and on it goes. Recently she has had more help, which is such a good thing as it is very draining being the main care provider.

With regard to that … This brief post is to inform you that Sue’s precious mother passed away on July 28; therefore, life has been more hectic than usual for Sue the past two weeks. If you wish to leave notes of sympathy and encouragement for Sue, please do so in the comment section for this post where she will read them. You also can visit her blog and leave condolences there. 

Although Sue and her husband are taking a much-needed break from the usual demands of life, a time which I hope will be restorative and healing, there will be a “Writing The Third Dimension” post this month. Sue sent it to me today and it’s now scheduled for August 27. It’s a good one – as usual. In September she will respond to comments and questions regarding the topic.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

 

Hello, I am a writer

I   Am   A   Writer.

I was born to write, it’s all in the way I think and view things.

You know it has been a struggle for me – one of self-doubt, lack of confidence, discouragement. There have been times I felt disillusioned, frustrated, disappointed. And more.

All that is behind me.

Today is a new day!

Life and death are in our words. That includes the things we say about ourselves and the things we think about ourselves. Perhaps you have heard negatives about you since your childhood. You don’t need anyone to say them now, they replay in your mind over and over and over so that they have become your own personal mantra. You believe those ugly words.

STOP IT!

Stop lying about yourself to yourself.

Life and death are in our words. It says so in the Word of God.

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.  – James 3:10

That also means life and death are in our unspoken words, our thoughts! WOW!

This is something I have been taught and shown over a period of many years … but Wednesday the Lord make it so clear to me in a new way. He set it in my heart and mind that I have to stop speaking (thinking) death into my own life. I have to speak (think) life into my own life. It is time to not just know that fact.

IT IS TIME TO LIVE IT OUT.

Do you have thinking challenges? By that I mean, do you hear yourself thinking negative things about yourself – the challenge being to stop doing that? What do you believe about yourself? Are you hard on yourself as I am on myself? Or as I had been, I should say. It’s time for us to be good to ourselves. It’s time to KNOW who we are and BE who we are.

I AM A WRITER!  That is exciting, and I am eager to see what the Lord has for me to say – be it words of encouragement, stories to captivate the imagination, or whatever it is. And not only to think about writing but to do it.

Proverbs 12:25 says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

So may my words – and yours – bring blessing and delight into the lives of others.

Question: What do you hear yourself say about you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Funny for one person … not so much for another

Sometimes the funniest things happen, things that for the one to whom it happened is not so funny, but for the onlooker or the one being told the story … it is hilarious!  Know what I mean?

Here is an example, with back story first. 

When I got my little Schnoodle I had a hard time settling on a suitable name for her. You know the story.  I thought Minnie was it, but soon after I renamed her to Meyya.  (I tell you this so the story makes sense.Also, this incident occurred at my dad’s in the early puppy days.

By the way, this is Meyya today, all seven pounds of her. She loves her belly scratched and rolls over immediately to make it easy.  :)

Meyya.July 13'15Meyya.July 13'15.2

To continue …

For anyone who has had to wear boots, have you ever had that frustrating experience of losing your socks in them? You know how they always seem to sneak down into your boots and when you pull your feet out they are sockless?

Okay …

One day I was busy upstairs in Dad’s big house and my daughter – who, fortunately, has a great sense of humour – texted me from downstairs to let me know what had just happened.

Her words are in the white bubble, mine are in blue.

mishap

 

 

 

 

 

And I still laugh.  (Sorry my darlin’ but I do.)

Do you have a funny story to share that to the one it happened was less comical at the time? Perhaps it happened to you and you can laugh about it now but not so much in the moment. Please do tell!

FYI: I am trying to get things done in my own home these days to not feel as overwhelmed, I’m working on my health while being mindful of Dad’s, and wishing I could do more … of everything! As a result I’m reading less but still plugging away at it, book reviews to be written, blog posts to be composed. It will happen!  In the meantime …

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

I APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH!

Another sad good-bye

It has been a stressful, sad time of late. 

My dearly loved father-in-law passed peacefully from this life in the wee hours of June 10 with many of us, his family, near. It was a special, quiet, reverent time, although very difficult until his pain could be brought to a manageable level again. Breakthrough cancer pain is horrible. The minister came to pray with him and us, which brought assurance to his soul, and a last broad smile to his face.

Preparations have been completed … the service and reception scheduled for Sunday afternoon, June 14.

I will miss my father-in-law tremendously. He was a constant in my life for 39 years, and has been a wonderful role model for my husband and children. (My beloved looks so much like his dad and is very similar to him – and that’s a good thing.)

Now you know why I have not posted much lately. My energy and focus have been mostly elsewhere. I will get back to some sort of posting schedule as soon as I can.

Thank you for understanding.

Please check out the following information. We had known about asbestosis but had never heard of mesothelioma until my dad-in-law’s diagnosis. It is, and will be, affecting far more people than even, as yet, realize it exists – until it surfaces.

http://www.medicinenet.com/mesothelioma/article.htm

http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

What a winter was 2014-2015! Let me tell you my story

As goes life, 2015 is proving to be another year of challenges and concerns. I was going to share a little with you months ago; however, the way things have been going I am so very late starting it. It’s amazing to me how quickly we are almost half way through 2015! Perhaps you won’t mind indulging me anyway?

It seems there is always one grief or stress to deal with, hardly is one behind us then another is on the horizon, besides the ongoing ones. A cousin of my mum passed away during the winter; however, because of the tremendous amount of snow we were getting, and the storms that seemed never-ending for awhile, the funeral service was not held until May when family could get together again. Of course, the next day Dad didn’t remember anything about it.

In January our daughter in Alberta asked for our advice. She’d decided it was time to move home and had a job offer here in NS! After six years of being away it was a major life change for her, an exciting one for all of us. Once the plan was settled I got busy on this end of the country. Online shopping can be fun when looking for good secondhand furniture on Kijiji. After I found an apartment that way, located a few minutes from her new job, we also were able to get a washer, a dryer, and a table and chairs set for her. Our main concern, though, was that she was determined to drive home, about 3000 miles or about 5000 kilometers – in her jeep, with all her belongings – including her two adult cats. Alone. In the dead of winter.   um… NO!   We bought a ticket for my husband who flew out to Alberta the first of February to drive home with her. That was the beginning of a crazy week.

After arriving there and getting a good night’s sleep, the next day he and she packed her belongings into a U-haul rental trailer – so full he said they couldn’t have wedged in a box of kleenex. They drove farther north to briefly visit her friend from NS who has lived out there longer than she, then started their long journey home. Since the plan was to take turns – one sleeping when needing to while the other was driving and then switching roles – and with the cats in their enclosure taking up the back seat, there was only room to sleep sitting up in the front passenger seat … as comfortably as could be arranged.

Remember, this was in the worst of our unpredictable Canadian winter. Coming across the middle of the country they experienced frigid minus-degree temperatures and bitterly cold winds in which no one should be out in the elements in miles/kilometers of nothing but dangerous weather. Nevertheless, they passed a hitchhiker daring to do just that! The jeep was crammed so full they had no room for an extra passenger, so when they stopped at a little diner they told a police officer. The officer picked up the hitchhiker to find a place for him to stay the night; otherwise, that person very possibly would have succumbed to the elements. 

 Meanwhile …

It was my week at home (instead of at my dad’s), so I was trying to keep the house and myself warm. The challenge for me was our outdoor wood furnace which I had never loaded or maintained because my husband always took care of it. I just didn’t want to. Usually, most of the wood my husband lifts into it is very heavy, way beyond what I can lift. It’s actually whole tree trunks cut into three-foot lengths or so, much of it not even split as it’s not necessary because it burns well as it is. It was only split if it was not possible for him to lift whole. Fortunately, last winter’s stash of wood had more small-sized sticks available than usual, many of a size I could handle without injury – if I were careful in how I lifted, didn’t slip in the very deep snow, and could propel the wood into the furnace to properly load it for efficient airflow. 

Now, the wood my husband can load in is so big the furnace has to be reloaded only twice a day, morning and evening. The wood I could manage was much smaller, therefore it had to be replenished much more often as it burned quicker. Let me tell you, I got more exercise than I wanted!

Because …

Unfortunately, soon after my husband and daughter started their journey eastward, here in NS we were hit with a wild blizzard that dumped a few feet of snow on us. When that settled I found, because of how the ‘white stuff’ had drifted, I could still make my way through a path in the snow to keep the furnace stoked. Then, hardly had a way been cleared in this province when we were hit with a snowstorm. A huge one. With loads more snow. By the time that one ended I had so much snow I couldn’t get out my back door so had to battle my way out the front and around the house to the now buried path to the furnace. Did I say buried? There was no longer a path beside the truck which was half buried. (see top right photo below) I have never spent so much effort and energy repeatedly struggling through such deep snow, bitter cold, and biting wind – quite an experience for little me. It had to be done. I couldn’t let the fire die out, but the snow was so high and dense I couldn’t struggle through it anymore. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I was determined not to ask for help for as long as I could hold out.

snow halfway up our back doorMORE snow, truck half buried

can't get in this way our back door from the outside

 

 

 

 

That’s when my dear father-in-law came to my rescue. That morning he arrived on his tractor equipped with snowplow and blower, after I’d been shovelling in an attempt to clear snow off my deck so I could open the door and also begin a new path to the furnace. If you look at the above photos, the bottom right one, my path was along the front of the deck railing on the right, across what was our lawn and up a rise.The snow was very heavy and packed solid, so by that time I was so depleted of energy I’d given up for awhile and gone inside to warm up and gain some energy back. I told my dad-in-law I would finish the deck, just had to stop awhile because I was so exhausted, but I would do it. He insisted on doing it for me. Bless his heart. I knew he was not feeling well, either, but he still insisted despite my objections. He got it done much quicker than I could have, for sure. I certainly appreciate him, he’s a good man.

Dad D clearing deck for meDad D plowing for me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the travellers …

My husband and daughter stayed in a hotel one night – a place that allowed her cats – because it was a long stretch of nothing they were on, getting on for dark, with no idea what they might encounter since it was blustery and very, very cold. I’m sure they slept better that night; the rest of the time they slept on route.

In less than five days they made it home and I was so excited to get my arms around them! I’d prayed much for their safe travels. Interestingly,  they missed all the storms since it began storming in Alberta after they left so the bad weather heading east was always behind them, and the worst happened in Nova Scotia before they arrived. :)  Granted, there was a lot of snow clearing for my beloved to undertake once he got back, and he felt sorry I’d been stuck with so much to handle while he was away, but I survived!  :)  (And now he knows I can load that darn furnace if the wood is small enough. ah well.)

In this photo (left), with more snow coming down, I was leaning on a snowbank under which was our lawn swinging-chairs set. Somewhere.
I am happy to say there is NO SNOW now. :)  How I do love Spring and Summer!

too much snow!I'm leaning on a snowbank

 

 

 

The last thing I’ll say for now is this …

My dad – who will be 90 in a few days – is getting worse (wretched Alzheimer’s, and weak heart) but is still spunky and usually cheerful; and another dear family member has been recently diagnosed with Mesothelioma (incurable cancer) with not much time left with us. Some days life’s stresses feel so heavy on me, but then I remember the Lord is my Strength and the Song and Light in my heart. If God is for me, who can be against me?

I wish you each a sweet song in your heart.

What has been going on in your life? How do you cope? What joys do you have to share with us?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 


 

 

 

SHHHH! This is a library!

Take a stroll with me down memory lane ….

I remember when I was a youngster in school and whole classes would get turns going to the library to read or study. That experience was usually a little nerve-racking for timid little me. I was always so afraid I would accidentally make a noise, perhaps by dropping something or whispering too loudly to the person next to me. Those were the days when libraries were quiet places.

Library_Sign_Quiet_Please

 

 

 

 

Decades later I used to take my children to the town library to borrow books. It was a small library then with that heady smell of old books, new books .. books, books, books. And it was so nice and quiet. I taught my little girls that we were not to talk out loud in there, even if it was only the librarian with us at any time. A library is a quiet place.

Now, let me tell you about my experience when I was in town for an afternoon one day last month.

After leaving my little Meyya with the groomer I had time to myself, so I decided to walk to the library. I had with me a list of books that I wanted to look for, hoping to borrow a few to see what’s new. When I walked into the library the first thing I noticed was the woman at the counter talking – loudly – to the two librarians.  hmm  I made my way to the children’s section where I attempted to find a book, any book, on my list. Over came a young mother and her little lad. She sat at a computer and began using it while her little guy wandered restlessly around looking at books, calling to her about them now and then, until finally he found a big book – somewhat advanced for him – which he brought to his mother. He asked her to read to him; she said no, she was busy but find one she would enjoy reading to him at home. She didn’t think he would like that one. (I privately wondered why he wouldn’t like it at home if he liked it there in the library. He seemed to want to learn about what it contained. ) She, in a normal speaking voice, proceeded to try to discourage him from choosing that book. He whined. loudly.

Both librarians were still busy so I finally gave up trying to locate any of the books on my list and sat at a table to read the novel I’d brought with me. Next thing I knew, the woman who was still at the counter called across the room to her friend to ask her something, and it continued. Oh my. Frustrated and annoyed I packed up my things and left, not finding out if they even have any of the books I was interested in borrowing.

My next stop was the bookstore. As soon as I walked in I felt my annoyance melt away … in the peaceful, quiet atmosphere.  *sigh*  That’s what I missed in the library. It didn’t have to be quiet in the bookstore and didn’t stay that way, but it was just so pleasant and peaceful. I was delighted to find two children’s books I’d heard about, one I read right there and reviewed on April 28, the other I purchased and will review next week.

Tell me, have you found a difference in your libraries, too? What’s happened to “Shhh, this is a library!”?

Perhaps this sign would make a difference:

quiet in library

 

 

 

 

I’ve noticed that many people don’t seem to know what to do with silence! They have to have noise of some kind, or don’t understand the lack of ‘loud’ is perfectly wonderful. What’s your opinion?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)