Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wondering What I've been up to?

It's been quite a while....quite a long while since I've been on here...but honestly, there have been good reasons!  Cecil and I have been fact we've been very busy!  Changing direction, setting a new course, and revitalizing parts of the farm that we never seemed to get to before.

Part of the change of direction has been the creation of Truly You Life Coaching, and the Lavenham Retreat.  I have been working the last couple of years adding to my skills and offerings as a life coach.  In doing so, we've come to appreciate the peace, quiet and nature that we are +lucky to be surrounded by here in the lovely Lavenham Hills.  After contemplating that over the months last fall, we decided that we needed to make some of what we enjoy more accessible to more people that would benefit from the healing that this place has to offer.  So with that we've renovated the little house over the hill and turned it into a retreat from the stress and struggles of the world outside.  

It is now all but completed!  Trails to walk and enjoy nature are being created.  The peace and the wildlife await you!  And yes, I'll be here with both my life coaching....and my guitar!

Visit our new venture by going to TrulyYou Life Coaching and the Lavenham Retreat  and see for yourself!  Our doors are open.... and the beauty of the Lavenham Retreat awaits you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

World CP Challenge

My LIFE coworkers and I all decided that we would participate in the World CP Challenge this month! We started on September 4, wearing our pedometers, and trying to each clock at least 8,500 steps per day, while raising funds through donation for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba.

Our challenge began on September 4th, and continues throughout the month!  So far it has been a blast...everyone getting a little of that competitive spirit going, trying to out walk the others, or out raise donations!  It's been a fun challenge for a great cause!  I am happy to report that so far I have managed about 12,000 steps per day, which is great for our team....and better...really great for my health! As once more, I have made a commitment to make it a priority in my busy, crazy life!  But, with the busyness,  I also haven't done too much fundraising, so that I must start today, although between my team mates and I we have reached our goal of $400....the association deserves more effort from us.  So this entry is a start.  Tomorrow I will start annoying my friends and email buddies with other requests!  So here I go for week two of the challenge!  Over 60,000 steps and two 'summits'under my belt so far!  If you are able and willing...the link to provide a donation for this worthy cause is below....I'd deeply appreciate it...but the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba  will appreciate it even more!!! Step friends!  Step On!!

World CP Challenge

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Robbin Turner Photography

I imagine that anyone who follows any of my hobbies and happenings knows that I love playing with my photography!  I can lose hours, wandering aimlessly with my camera, waiting for the perfect butterfly, flower or sunset.  I can forget the worries and woes of the day  while looking through my viewfinder at what is before me, and it's been a wonderful pastime for many years now!

I wanted to share today, that I am not the only one in our family with a passion for photography, and my daughter-in-law Robbin Turner, has taken her love for the art a step further!

Robbin Turner Photography

Robbin's incredible eye for the creative has amazed me for years, as she has used her talents to create beautiful, original Christmas cards and photos, over and over again.  She recently decided to take her passion one step further, and invested the time necessary to enhance her skills through furthering her education about photography over the last year.

One of my favorites! Robbin Turner Photography
Robbin has always loved working with children and babies, and as the mother of three beautiful daughters, has had lots of opportunities to work on her techniques at home.  She is now starting her business as a professional photographer in the Winnipeg area, and specializes in doing maternity and baby photos. She has an amazing flair for finding the beauty in the ordinary, and creates extraordinary works as a result. 

Below are some examples of the beautiful work she does! If you are looking for a photographer in the Winnipeg area or beyond to capture the magic of your child's early years, contact Robbin Turner at 204-794-4350 or email her at  She is also available to do weddings or any other special occasions as well! What can I say....I am very proud of her accomplishment and the work she does!  Wish I was that talented myself!

Robbin Turner Photography

Robbin Turner  Photography

Robbin Turner Photography

Robbin Turner Photography

Sunset over the Assiniboine River by Robbin-Turner Photography

Bringing in the Winter's Wood by Robbin Turner photography

It's raining, it's pouring by Robbin Turner Photography

A Ladysmith view of the Assiniboing by Robbin Turner Photography
Till next time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Saying Goodbye To the Life we Knew

     Well, the auction is now behind us.  It's amazing that when you realize that although it was in the planning for more than a year and a half, how very, very quickly the day came and went. 
     It was strange...I have really done so little of the 'work' of farming in the past few years, leaving that to my better half.  But it seems like only yesterday I was the one out there!  Chasing the cattle, needling the calves, marketing the end product!  Wow....that seemed like another Lynda...the 'cow boss' !  Strange to watch that old life lined up and said good-bye to.

      I think one of the hardest parts for me was the dismantling of the cattle handling system!  Oh I fought hard to get that!  To get away from the shabby, dangerous head-gate and rough planked shoot that led to it!  Looking back over the years, I still wonder how it was that none of us were killed...or at least seriously maimed fighting with frightened animals to ensure they had the treatment or medication that they needed to remain healthy and strong.  On our best year, I was finally given the okay to pick out a system that would work better for us, and ensure that both the animals and the staff could work in an environment that had less stress and danger.  It was a wonderful day! And although I didn't think too much about the upcoming auction, and the life we were saying goodbye to, when I saw that system being dismantled and carried up to the auction grounds, I realized that we really were moving on.  There was a definite pang of sadness that went along with that reality.

Auction day Early morning lineup....

    One piece at a time, the possessions and tools of our old life went up on the block, and the bidders decided their value.  It was strange, and different, as a price was put on the treasures of our past.  But, in a matter of hours it was over.  The sale finished, the past released.

     We had made a conscious decision that it was time to move forward.  Age and health made continuing the farming lifestyle we'd come to know and enjoy both difficult, and sometimes dangerous. much has changed for us in the past few years.  So piece by piece the equipment was lined up to say goodbye to.  Machinery that had been purchased, tractors that had been inherited, and the memories that went with them.  

      It was time to move on, to branch out, to take the leap of faith that when we let this part of our history go, that there would be something new waiting in the wings.  Not necessarily something better, but something equally as good and different from what we've known.  The final call of 'sold' sealed the deal for us. There was no going back...

Now Selling..Going once, Going twice....
     I kept myself, and many of my good friends very busy throughout the day, as we decided to do the lunch at the auction ourselves.  Thank goodness for the support of friends and family, and some very wonderful neighbors from the Lavenham community!  We decided that any proceeds for the day would go to the Sunshine Dreams for Kids Foundation  It's a cause near and dear to my heart, after the joy it brought to Shane's life in 2004.  I decided that having a worthy cause to focus on for the day would take some of the nervousness out of the equation, and give me a chance to connect with most people at the auction one way or another.  It turned out to be great ...busy, but great...and collectively we managed to raise over $1300 for the cause through our efforts.  Hopefully our hard work will result in another child coming closer to having their dream come true, and life long memories created because of it!

So there we have it...feels like the end of an era on one hand, but feels like a world of infinite possibilities on the other.  All in all we were happy with the day, not really knowing what to expect, but still glad that it's behind us now. Its a lot of work, a lot of worry, and a roller coaster of emotions, but as with all other things in life, we were surrounded by people that wanted to help any way they could, and ensure that we felt supported throughout the day, in every way.  We are truly so lucky.

     At the end of the day, I headed back up over the hill towards the house, exhausted and feeling a little lost.  As I crested the hill, the sunset caught my eye, and I had to make a pit stop at my thinking benches to watch it set.  I captured the picture below, and was reminded once more, that I have so much to be grateful for, and a world of beauty and memories to be thankful for.  And the rest will figure itself out if I give it time and space to do so.  There is an open book in front of me, which is the next steps of my life...I can't wait to write on those pages of all the possibilities that await!

Sunset view from the Escarpment at the end of the day

Till next time,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Country Auction and Lunch Counter | Sunshine Foundation of Canada

Country Auction and Lunch Counter | Sunshine Foundation of Canada

Things are gearing up for a big day on Saturday!  We are saying goodbye to one part of life, while we look forward to the next steps!
All proceeds from the lunch counter at the Auction this weekend are going towards Sunshine Dreams for Kids Foundation, so join us if you can!  Will do a full update later!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Give the Gift of Dreams!

(link below)

Sunshine Dreams for Kids supported Shane to have his Whale Watching trip in 2004, and it was a memory that created deep relationships and lifelong memories for all of us. I decided last summer to become a Sunshine dream for Kids Volunteer, in hopes of repaying some of the joy that we as a family had been given through their hard work and efforts. As our Manitoba chapter is very small, this web opportunity looked like the perfect way to support raising some funds and awareness of this wonderful organization, and to help me to give back to something that gave us so much!

Please take a moment to check out the link, and consider giving....Sunshine supports not only children who have life threatening illnesses, but also those children and their families who struggle with long term sickness and disabilities, among other wonderful things. Although they are celebrating their 25th year, they are not well known in Western Canada, and the hope is to change that!

Although this campaign was initiated to work over the holiday season to raise funds, I decided to make it my focus in January, when Shane would have celebrated his 20th birthday! As with so much, I do this in honor and in memory of him!

Thanks as always for your consideration!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Winter's Bleak Beauty

I realize that as my last writing was in February, I have once again let the busyness of life get the best of my good intentions. I wonder sometimes if I keep my life so busy on purpose. Is that what keeps the sadness at bay? I wonder. I know I keep saying I want to do things differently, to have more time, more space...but when space appears, I immediately fill it up with something else. Something for me to reflect on I guess.

2011 is all but gone and was a year that saw some healing, finally. It’s been such a rocky road the past few years, but in looking back, I think I can say that for every bad day there was a good one this past year. That is an accomplishment, and hopefully the start of a better balance of days yet to come. And 2011 had some remarkable moments...lots of them in fact! A West-Coast House Concert Tour, 2 trips to Boston to share my music as part of leadership trainings, a return to California for the 25th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert among the highlights...but today, I just want to focus on this day, and hope that as I make time for writing in my life, I can touch on some of those things later.

It’s been a funny fall....long and mild and very un-Manitoba like! There is a strong chance that we will be having a ‘brown Christmas’, there is so little snow around. It lays just a few inches deep in the valleys, and in the woods and on the hills there is nothing at all. Though the lack of snow and the dead fall colours leave things looking rather bleak, there is nothing bleak about either the sunrises or the sunsets we’ve been witnessing this year. They have been nothing less than breathtaking!

Sunrise as viewed from the yard, Nov 2011

I just came in from the most amazing walk. Among the things that have happened over the past several months, I have managed to make my own health a priority again. That has included daily walks...and although with the onset of winter they aren’t happening every day right now, I am still managing the recommended three times per week.

Today was exceptional! Here it is, December 16th, and we’re experiencing temperatures of only -2. Typically my walks are centered on doing circles around my driveway. It’s about 4.5 minutes per circle, and I aim for 45 minutes a day. But today, instead, I ventured south of the yard. The remarkable fall we’ve had has resulted in very little snow for this time of year. As a result, I was able to spend an hour walking back through the pasture and woodlands behind the house. The day was beautiful...sunny and mild. Last night we had just the lightest dusting of snow, and the sparkling reflection of the sun off of it was almost blinding.

I walked for an hour. With the snow being so fresh, I could see the tracks of the dozens of other creatures that share this quarter section of land with me. Some tracks I recognize, the deer, the rabbits. But lots I don’t. I thought of my Grandpa. He’d have known each and every one of them, just like he knew every tree, every wild flower, every bird. As I walked in the stillness of the winter day, I remembered his love of snowshoeing. Even into his 80s he would go out daily for the exercise, the fresh air, and most likely the time with nature that I was enjoying today. It’s funny how our people keep coming back to us at the strangest times. Especially those people who were such brilliant threads in the fabric of our lives. He was like that. The wisdom he shared, the lessons he taught, and the values he held all made you want to be a better person as part of his linage. What a treasure his memory still is.

My Grandpa, Allan James Dickson in his snowshoes (my Dad in the sleigh)
1933 in front of the Ladysmith School

As I walked today, I marveled at the silence. Except for the odd flock of birds whirring past in search of another source of food and the soft whistle of the warm wind, there was nothing. I did hear an eagle, although I didn’t see him, I recognized the call. I know there are several of them around. We’ve watched them feasting on the remains of the deer that didn’t survive hunting season, the ones that were wounded and left or butchered on the spot so the best cuts could be taken and the rest left behind. I know to everything there is a season, but those things just make me angry...and sad! I suppose it is that lack of responsibility on the part of the humans that allowed the eagles to eat for another period of time, so maybe its part of how the cycle is meant to go, I don’t know.

'Cecil's Eagle' photographed behind the cattle pens 4 years ago

For all the fresh tracks around, I half expected to see some sort of wildlife, but the crunching of the snow probably gave them lots of warning that I was coming. They were most likely watching me as I was watching for them! But even so, it was perfect! It allowed me to breathe deeply, centre myself and just be in the moment....what more can you ask of the place you call home.

The stillness of the escarpment in winter......

Till next time,