by Jan

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things.

And that is why a zillion books are written on the Tao. Classes are held all over the world on the Tao. Everyone is doing their level best to name and explain the eternal Tao.

This is also true with the saying… No means no.

In a perfect world — no is a complete sentence, the end of the conversation. A No vote stops the bill from being passed, the convention centre from being built or the municipality from going ahead. No stops Site C and women all over the world are safe from harm when they declare No!

And yet… much like the Tao and the many ways people try to explained the unexplainable; saying No, can be seen as a jumping off place for negotiating.

I’ve taken a lot of self defence classes. Heck, I’ve even taught them. We teach how and when to say No in all these classes. We use our voice, we put our hands up for emphasis and we crank up the volume as well.


In a perfect world — whatever we said no to, should be the end of it. Done, finished, kaput.

The problem is we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where the word no, if we aren’t vigilant, becomes something (like the Tao) we think we need to explain it 10,000 different ways.

On Bowen Island we voted No on becoming a municipality two times, before it became a muni. I remember voting No on building the convention centre in Oregon a couple of times as well. (News flash, the convention centre got built).

A lot of causes are put on a ballot time and again and again. They get tweaked and negocieated bit by bit, until they pass, and then and only then will you never see them again. Right or wrong (and I think it is wrong) we say no until we get to a yes.

In push hands, we hear no, no, no, no…. Yet, we are taught that we keep at it until we find yes. We “need” to be able to say yes to the force. Let it in — only then will we be able to manipulate it to our advantage.

People say no to shit that happens all the time.

Saying no doesn’t alwasy have dire consquences if it isn’t heard, or honoured, but it can and it does eat away at communication.

I’ve said no — only to find myself in a negotiation to find something that may work better, be it a time or day or action.

Oh, you say no to Tuesday mornings… does Friday work?
Oh, you say no to this? How about that?
Oh, you don’t eat tomatoes? Have you tried them with green chile?

We need to be clear — No means no. Full stop, No is a complete sentence. No does not mean, try again later, or come at it from a different angle.

Say what you mean, mean what you say – just don’t say it mean. Practice, practice, practice!


by Jan

The other night we were invited to the home of friends for dinner. After we ate — we played games! We played both a card game and a board game.

Oh, it was fun.

On the way home, Ken and I thought it would be fun to do more of that, so… Now that my cooking hasn’t set off any fire alarms lately — perhaps, we will lure friends over more often and then…. Pounce them with a game or two.

We have a few card games at the ready, and I’m going to keep my eyes open for some fun board games as well.

Each time we do play cards or a games with friends, we say, “Wasn’t that fun!” and, “We should do that more often.” Because it was and we should.

Watch out, 2018 – maybe become the year of a regular game night on Samron Rd.


by Jan

Secretly, I know people read this bloggy thing, still I’m caught of guard when someone tells me they do.

For the most part, I write this public, personal diary, out of habit, and to keep Sandie informed of my goings on. (We don’t talk often enough!) Plus, this bloggy thing keeps my brain working, and is a good practice.

While I welcome comments, I do not expect expect them  — yet, this week I scored!

I received several book and author recommendations. My friend Sarah, even dropped off five books she thought I might like!

Yay and thank you!

I’ve also come to the conclusion that biographies are as brainless reading, as the TV show, Say Yes to the Dress is! Maybe it’s my choice of who to read about, but…. So far I’ve found the ones I’ve chosen are super easy reading, yet extremely boring.

It seems only, celebrities, politicians and dead people from past monarchies, fill the shelves at the library for biographies. Like I said … booooooorrrrrring!

The good news is I now have a stack of books on my side table, a new author to check out, and my suggested reading list is long again.

I’m ready to dive into some new stories!

Thank you for reading this bloggy thing. AND thank you for responding to my whinny… I’ve nothing to read post!


by Jan

I love a good book. Who doesn’t?

I carry a list of recommendations that I’ve collected from friends, and I pull it out when I’m at the library.

Our library is small — yet they will order any book I want if it isn’t already on the shelf. But, almost every book on my “to read” list is not on the shelf, so putting a hold on a book is just part of my library experience.

Of course then, I have to pick another book that I know nothing about to bring home. I usually pick from the cover, the description on the jacket, and of course, font size matters.

If the words, war, mystery, suspense, terror, or abuse are in the description – I pass. I don’t have time for that shit.

What I’m finding though, is most books make for interesting reading because of war, mystery, suspense, terror, or abuse, with the overcoming, and getting through the war, mystery, suspense, terror, or abuse.

I brought home and started four books last night. I am in that horrible in-between books place, so am looking for the next good read to swallow me.

I read a chapter of each — nope.

One scared the crap out of me on the first few pages, one was set in a place where I had a difficult time pronouncing the names and places in my head (this may be a better audio book for me) and one was about the super natural. The fourth book was childish.

So – my dilemma – I want an engaging book, but not one that is scary, heart pounding, or silly.

Ken reads history and “how to” books. It got me thinking, maybe I can pass on novels for a bit and look for another genre. Maybe give biographies a go.

I’ve read a few — mostly about rock stars like Keith Richards and Bob Dylan – I enjoyed them. I like gossip — so perhaps reading about others peoples lives will satisfy my reading requirements.

Can anyone be interesting enough to write about their life if they haven’t been involved in war, mystery, suspense, terror, or abuse and how they overcome it all?

I’m going to find out.


by Jan

I started to write about all the memories January 22, held for me, but as I got into it, my memory  took off and I started thinking of all sorts of anniversaries.

First off –
Yesterday, January 22 was my step-father Jack Del Dosso’s birthday. He would have been 93. I miss the old fart. Also January 22 also marks  the three year anniversary that Ken and I have lived in Sechelt on Samron Rd. And… way back when – I married my first husband on January 22, 1977. (spoiler alert…. that didn’t work out.)

So, January 22 holds big goings on in my life, but then…as I was thinking back, I also remembered that Kim died just two days after we moved here. Linda death anniversary is in February as is my brother Bills.

Then I thought about the first year we lived here – Seven important people in our life died that year, including our kitty, Peet.

I mean come on. It was rough.

Now, I do not consider myself old — yet, while I do send Happy Birthday cards out, I also put a lot of “I remember__________(fill in the blank)” cards in the mail.

Today, tripping down memory lane, what I also remember, is that everybody dies. AND I’ve been lucky enough to have known A LOT of wonderful people.

Today, I cherish the living and salute the dead.

One of my favourite personality traits Kim had, was that she had a song for every occasion.

Today I’m singing – Obladi-oblada, life goes on.


by Jan

The headline says, Tom Petty died of an accidental overdose.

He probably didn’t say, I want to use one more time.

Tom Petty was in pain, and as a life long addict, he turned to what he knew.

He didn’t use heroin again, or have one more drink. He wanted to stop hurting and took the prescribed pills designed to help.

Only as an addict — he took them all.


I remember one of the counsellors at the O saying — the next time, could be your last time.

We addicts like to think… okay, this addict likes to think… I could try — just one. If it doesn’t work out – I can always go into treatment, back to meetings, start over.

Except… whoops.

Tom Petty, Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Whitney Huston, Doug Mitchal, Liz Gurley, shall I go on? They didn’t commit suicide – they used.


Tom’s family said, “Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.” They don’t mention that he
also struggled with a heroin addiction most of his life.

He broke his hip — he was in pain. He took some pain pills. He took a lot of them. We assume Tom Petty didn’t want to die.

I believe very few addicts think they will die when they take that drink, that needle, that pill.

They call it accidental, because dying was not quite what they had in mind.

Whoops. Damn.


by Jan

You’ve heard of the Man cold? That’s where a man gets a stuffy nose and becomes as helpless and whinny and annoying as possible.

Well, the man cold has nothing on the Jan cold!

That’s right… I’m sick!

This is what I get for going out in the world and being around people!

I blame the stupid senior centre, with its stupid fitness class, full of happy people, dancing around to good music, with one of the best instructors, the coast has ever seen. I also blame the stupid Sechelt Aquatic centre, with its stupid $2. price fixing that gets you in there, and then has stupid people germs in the locker room.

There is also the stupid library, and stupid store, all full of people snorting, and wiping their hands on stuff.


I’ll stay home, and sniffle and snort in bed, and on the couch. Just give me a box of tissues, a cuppa tea, let me watch Perry Mason, and most important – give loads of sympathy to poor Ken, who is doing his best to help AND stay out of my way.

Like I said, the man cold is nothing — compared to the Jan Cold.


by Jan

Thirteen days into 2018, and I’m already thinking of the year in review, as I have an answer for “what is the best thing you bought?”

I have the answer! It was delivered on Tuesday. I tried it out the next day, and again yesterday.

My life is forever changed!

One of the many reasons we chose to Sechelt as a place to live was that it had a great aquatic centre.

The first year we were here I went to the aqua fit class — it was super fun and I enjoyed the people I met. The instructor was loads of fun as well. The aqua fit class was fun, but not perfect. It started at 8 a.m. and truthfully — that’s too early to get out of the house and into cold water for me. Once I was there, I was fine. Before the class, I would try to swim a lap or two to warm up.

I’ve imagined being able to swim laps as a form of exercise, for as long as I can remember. Others tell me they have a meditative, or zen like experience when they swim. Not me, I kick, slap the water, gasp for breath, and have a hard time opening my eyes in water.

While I probably won’t drown, I’m not a great swimmer.

Then my head blew up. Splashing around in the water was impossible for me. So, as most of you know, I spent a lot of the year figuring out how to heal my head injury, and I got out of the pool.

Enter the best purchase I made in 2018.

This full face snorkel has freed up the challenge I have of breathing, and seeing. Now, when I swim, all I have to focus on is flapping my arms around, and kicking. It is awesome!

Plus, I can go to the pool in the afternoon when it only costs a twoonie and not so many people are there.

Yesterday, I swam 24 laps in the 25 metre pool, with only a short break, in just under 30 minutes! I felt like a rock star, if not an Olympic champion!

Swimming can now be moved from my list, of things I’d like to do —to things I actually can do!

I may look funny. A man holding a young child, came up to me and exclaimed, “See, she’s not a turtle.”

Who care? I can now swim with a huge degree of comfort, and if I scare the little children – all the better!

Best purchase ever!


by Jan

Rant alert!
I was hoping not to complain so much in 2018. But dang it I’ve been screaming at the inter-web for a few days now.

I’m looking at buying airline tickets on the inter-web, as we’d like to go visit my brother.

It seems to me, as soon as I start the search for travel, a good price comes up and I think —  before hitting the buy button, I should check in with others about dates, details, and doggy care.

Then, when I have those things covered, I go back to buy the tickets, and for some magical reason, the price for the same trip went up a couple of hundred dollars, and has changed to some crack of doom, departure time.

They fucking know, I’m interested.

When Ken was working as a draftsman, he had a saying for his customers. “Fast, cheap or accurate.” Pick two. This  really works.

If you want something fast and cheap — well, it won’t be accurate. If you want something accurate and cheap — plan on waiting. Fast and accurate — get your cheque book out.

The same goes for travel. Only, I put the three at accurate, convenient, and well, I can’t say cheap, but I do hope for as advertised.

Convenient is the real kicker for us living on the coast.

We cannot get an early morning flight out of YVR, because of the ferries. To leave early, we’d need to stay in a hotel the night before in Vancouver. I take that into consideration when looking at price. The same goes for coming home. The last boat won’t wait for us, if the plane is a bit late, so again… hotel. We know any trip we take is neither, fast, convenient or “cheap.”

Okay, we chose to live here, it’s the price we pay. So, I suck it up and go in once more to the web site to buy said ticket — jeepers. That same flight, just went up again and now has a eight hour layover in Tucumcari or Dallas!

Fuck you Travelocity. You know too much. You now know we want to go somewhere on certain dates and now, you think we should really pay for it. Each time I look the price goes up and up. What happen to the price that was offered the first time I looked, much less the one that was advertised?

So, the last few days I’ve been meaning to buy a stupid ticket and yet… each time I go look the price has risen, the times are worse, and the layovers longer.

Do you know that a flight from Vancouver to Vegas can take anywhere between 1.5 hours to 16.5 hours? That does not count getting to or from the airport, or the time waiting to get through security on the front end.

They advertise $195. round trip flights all over the inter-web, but the reality is closer to $450. and that does not count a hotel, taxi, or super late night arrival needed for the schedule.

I think the three choices we have now, have come down to two choices. Forget fast, cheap or convenient. We now need to pick   — go or don’t go.


by Jan

Where do I begin to tell the story….

When I was a young child, my mother told me she didn’t even try to brush my hair. It was just too…. too. (Her words)

In high school when Janice Joplin was queen, I thought I’d finally arrived, but still, my mom was all… “Can’t you just do something with that…?”

I had a guidance counsellor tell me, that I’d never get anywhere in life, unless I bought a better bra and did something with “the” hair.

The long and short of it is – I’ve had hair with its own personality ever since I was born. People called it “natural,” said I was lucky, and then would try everything on the planet to tame it.

My hair grows fast. It is thick, course and fuzzy. I can go from super short hair to waist length in about three years, and have many, many times.

But, oh, the adventures we had while it grew out were just… too.

I can tell story after story involving my hair.

Once in Milton, ON, Ed Cooper took me to his barber, for some “help.” This lady, I swear, loaded my head up with about 200 bobby pins and sprayed a full can of Auqanet on my head. “There,” she proclaimed proudly, “it’s not too….”

An elastic band was always my friend, and of course hats. I rarely go out without a hat — for me, it isn’t for fashion or keeping the sun off my face. A hat “controls” the mane.

Now, that I have short hair, I thought my troubles would be over. And for the most part they are, because I don’t care. Still, the young woman I found to cut my hair here on the coast, smiles, steps back, when working on my do, and says, “You really do have interesting hair.”

My short hair is easy. All I do is run my fingers through it before putting on my hat, when I go out, plus it dries in no time, after I wash it. (compared to the next day dry, when it was long.)

Why all this talk abut my hair? Because this photo showed up in the FB memories today.

It’s just too… too!