Archives for posts with tag: Multiple Sclerosis


It seemed like I worked on it for ages… and yet 8 months has flown by.

I was nervous, and then I had it in my hands. And now, I love it so much.

Thank you Vici Johnstone, we did this together.

Caitlin Press

Talewind Books (Sunshine Coast)

Chapters Indigo




The people gathered at the mouth of Roberts Creek, fragile boats in hand. They are here to set intentions for the New Year, to float away the encumbrances of last year, to invite in the wishes for this year.


The one on the left is my boat, an Origami Sampan, inspired by Kim Oka’s enthusiasm. She was the BoatMaster. I made three, one each for me, Robert and Janet. Sue Bailey tucked a wish into the prow of my boat. I think intention boats can take unlimited requests, but her daughter Hannah had secretly made her a boat too, so she was well covered. Robert braved the rocks to take our boats to the water while Janet and I watched from the pier. With candles lit, they are surprisingly swift as they silently fly over the waves and out into the Salish Sea. Can you see them?


Mine said, “Fear Out – Faith In” and had my favourite Joni Mitchell lyric…  We are Stardust. We are Golden. We are Billion Year Old Carbon.

And the first day of a New Year feels so good.

Bear Mask

Telegraph Cove Resort is a perfect little horseshoe of magic, if you happen to be in the process of learning a new way to travel. I mull over a few different ways to tell you about this journey to the far north end of Vancouver Island… such as — Was it a Sketch Voyage, A Soul Journey, A personal Wobbly Marathon? I could say much about these aspects and probably will in future posts, but right now I’ll just try to keep it simple.

It was Fabulous and Fun….!!!

It looked like this from our window:


And this:

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It was so concentrated, and I could scooter around every bit except for the small entrance to the marina – almost a full circle of boardwalk. Voices laughing, hints of French and German amongst the conversations, not a TV in hearing or sight. Eagles and Ravens and Bears.. and more. Rustic, historic, and bags of charm. Peace and quiet.



A bit of a surprise to herself, my companion Kim learned to sketch. She is already a maker of fabulous encaustic books, I didn’t think it was much of a stretch.


Sketching and bookmaking in the Restaurant


Kim’s sketch of a Kayak

I can’t travel the way I used to, but it is a big fat waste of time to work up a misery over that fact. Better to embrace the extra planning, the limitations-that-aren’t and ignore any pinchy faces – mine included. There are many magical places yet to be found, without and within. It was hard……. and it was easy, and many people made it happen, so lucky am I.

Heartfelt thanks to the Supreme Helpers of Freedom:

Travel companion, Gimpy driver and Sherpa – Kim Oka and her Pug Ruby.

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The generous loan of the Ford Escape  with Air Con!! by Jenny.


All the sweet people who lifted/pushed the scoot every time I was stuck. Which was alot. You all wandered off as if it was nothing 🙂

GoGo Elite

Julie. You know. ❤





This summer on the coast has been spectacular, and I have relished every minute of it, but of all the seasons I have to say I love Fall best. As a Person With Multiple Sclerosis (aka PWMS) summer can be a bit torturous depending upon the big, warm sun. I like to fill my eyes and my skin with light and warmth every second I can, but if I miscalculate and the heat rises… well I am flattened. Like a bad pancake, weak wobbly and yucky.  And that is no fun. So it is a bit of a dance every day to take advantage, carefully, of summer’s intensity. But Fall, now this is my time. Days are shorter, but the air is soft and crisp. Here we can sometimes spin it out for months, and many a day will be bright with sunshine – minus the high temperature, though it can get very pleasantly warm. Perfect I say. So Ella and I went for a little jaunt to Davis Bay to check out the day, the first day of many to come before the rains… we hope.


Scented wild roses are sending out their last buds, and all the big rose hips are turning colour.



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I snapped some shots, and nipped some buds and returned home to my sunny deck for an afternoon of sketching – no wobbling or retreating inside from excessive heat. Supremely lovely.

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Ella, although born in the Caribbean, appears to be adjusting quite nicely to the Sunshine Coast. Good girl.





Black Opus Oct 2012 Dog Paws

I have not felt so happy in a long, long time.

All my life I have had animals. Dogs when I was a skinny kid racing around the pine forests of the BC interior. Cats when I lived in the West End of Vancouver. Cats that moved with me to the Sunshine Coast, lived on a boat and then in an Airstream Trailer, and that lived to be 21 years old. Then a Jack Russel Terrier. And Now Ella.

I had no fence for Sammie the Jack, but when he was young I could still walk the beach, and the woods, and we learned to leash up for a pee in the big back yard, because he would bugger off if didn’t. Bloody Jacks. So we lived with no fence.

Then came Ella, 8 months old shelter dog, still filled with puppy-ness, but the strength of a full grown dog… and chaos ensued.


The thing is, she is a sweet smart pup, and not one thing is her fault, but for all my ways, my carefully crafted strategies for making my life with MS seem not so bad – I crashed – because I could not care for her.

So, due to circumstances, she was to go to Dog Daycare for 10 days, at a time when she was just getting settled in her first real home ever. Because I couldn’t do the essential things, like take her out for a pee or toss a ball to get her puppy energy out – and toxic pup energy was translating to fights with Sammie – so stressful. And so demoralizing.  So she left.

The house was so quiet. And it wasn’t right.

Allan and Joyce at No Pawblems are the best animal caregivers I know, and she would be safe and secure, but she needed to be home. I missed her.

So a fence came to be.


I don’t even know how to thank Robert, it chokes me up to think of it, but he knew I needed it quickly, and he did it. This temporary fence will eventually be re-configured to surround the whole big property, but to be able to have Ella back right now, and for me, her and Sammie to be safe and together, this magic fence… put up in an afternoon…  is perfect.


And they played. Peed. No leash, no yanking, Pure dog happiness. Pure person happiness. I sat on the porch, in the sweet sun of the afternoon, and watched them until they wandered up to come into the house for their dinner.

As I said, I have not felt so happy in a very long time.


Ella softly woofs in her sleep.

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…that I love what I do, even though I sometimes – actually often – don’t know why I do it.

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…that I love where I live…


even though it is not perfect…

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it is perfect for me.

And I have learned that perfect is gone forever from me in its physical manifestation, yet oddly enough..

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… I have acquired so much more

worth sharing.

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…because today was a day of extreme tides and wild wind.


When the weather settles, should make for a super sunny beachcombing day… and I might even take the Dog’s new ride. We have a ShopRider accessory.



So now, when the rascally Jack gets to be too much to handle, in he goes.

And look at all that space for picking up … stuff…!


Every weather chance we get, we rattle down to the end of my road… and gaze.

The Dog and I.


Some mornings you wake up and you just know the day isn’t going to go the way you want it to. MS symptoms can still cause trouble, even after a procedure. Your head feels funny, your hands are all tingly, and you know you have to lay low. Some days, laying low is OK. But today you become all pissy because you are supposed to do a thing which you really wanted to do but can’t.

What to do. You have no patience for a bad mood.

Well. You get out your camera and get really really close to some screamingly pink Gladiolas you bought yesterday. Stuff the lens in, focus on that colour, it has to elevate your mood. But the tungsten kitchen light is making the pure petals all orangey. Which would be fine if you wanted orangey. But orangey isn’t doing it for you today.

So you know you could fix it in photoshop but that is not always the best. Instead you look more closely at the camera buttons and…. there it is. The WB. White Balance. A whole new tool to play with.

Immediately, the pinks are properly pink and good photo things follow. The day has improved dramatically and you are still just standing in the kitchen.

The colour is doing its job.

Then. A phone call. The friend you cancelled on this morning drops by. With a book. A signed Camilla Gibb book. Camilla Gibb is the author you had to miss at the Writer’s Fest because of the MS altered day issue. Your friend tells you all about the event in detail, making you feel like you had been there (minus the discomfort of feeling icky in public) and leaves you the book which is inscribed by the author “To Sheryl…with Best Wishes”

Some days don’t go the way you want them to. They go so much better.