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Volume 3 Issue 2


In This Issue

Pepper Row by Janice Hayward

Publisher’s Note


Janice is a journalist/ photojournalist at Captain Jacobson Park, Esquimalt, B.C.

Wherever you go, there you are

Emily Madill


Carmen Waterman


Lessons learned from an ‘on the move’ mom

Do you have a favourite island photo you’d like to share? Send it to: and your photo may be on the next cover.

Follow your dreams

Ann Baird


My 3/thirds lifestyle

Laureen Barry


Astri Wright

Are you feeling lucky today?

Joyce Bezusko


Vernice Shostal

What it’s like to live in a million dollar home

Donna Lynch


Empowering women in rural Samoa


Sarah Daviau

The best therapy in the world...

Ally Rees


Ocean crossers–connect the shores...


It’s easy to be polite while travelling


Deborah Wickins

Ask Ally: Your Questions


Women in wine

Ulla Jacobs


Anne Fearon-Wood

The law of attraction


I believe as photographers...

Janice Hayward


Nancyanne Cowell

Saying good-bye to a faithful companion

Carolyn Burns


Elaine Lakeman

Ukulapha’s first practicum student

Maureen Eykelenboom


Moments...caught in time


Grace Cockburn

Round and round the wheels turn

Catherine Moffat


Potent moments...cradled in transformation


Garden party


Jane St. Pierre

Exits and entrances


Finance 101–the common sense approach

Janet Bauer


Dona Anderson

Living with chronic pain—the F word

Leanne Dyck


Lynne Duquesne

Maybe if I said it out loud

Terry Dance-Bennink


Is it guided relaxation or guided meditation


The trip


Sally Rae Dyck

On the front line of the green wave


Hooked on seafood





Find us at or write to us for all inquiries 250.217.2388 Copyright© 2013 Island Gals Media Group No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Island Gals does not endorse or represent any of the products or services in this publication. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Island Gals is published four times a year.


volume 3 issue 2

there you are


Publisher’s Note

by Johanna Socha

One of my favourite sayings. It just seems to sum everything up, especially when I happen to be in conversation with myself and my lamenting seems to go on for too long. Also a great way to wrap up a conversation with someone when I feel they’ve surpassed their lamenting limit. Another favourite saying of mine is, “it’s just the luck of the draw.” Funny that they’re on my list of favourites when they’re such polar opposites.

recently watched a couple of YouTube news clips. The first was of Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head for campaigning for all girls in her country to have the right to go to school.


The second was about Aesha Mohammadzai, a young Afghan girl who tried to escape an abusive marriage, a marriage she was forced into at the age of 12. Her punishment for trying to escape was to have her nose and ears cut off by her husband and in-laws. The basic ‘luck of the draw’ we all share is who we’re born to. No choices there. You get what you get. I could have just as easily been born to Malala’s neighbour, or been Aesha’s sister. All things considered, my luck was pretty darn good and I got a very decent draw. So lucky that I get to watch Malala and Aesha on YouTube, while I ponder about ‘wherever I go’ next. These two girls could have lamented about the luck of their draw, or lack of any luck. But even with the cards they were dealt, they wanted to change that draw, go someplace different and end up somewhere better. They both paid a very high price for that first deal, but they did it. Malala recovered and now goes to school in volume 3 issue 2

London and Aesha somehow found her way to an American Aid facility and now lives with a family in the U.S. who care for her and laugh with her; she enjoys family dinners instead of being afraid of them, and is learning to read and write. Many surgeries later, she now has a nose and ears. Not the ones she was originally dealt, but they do the job. But many of Malala and Aesha’s girl sisters around the world still aren’t so lucky. Malala had to get shot and now she can go to school. If Aesha hadn’t had her nose and ears cut off, I wonder where her luck would be now.

A little closer to home: The other day, while in my car and stopped at a red light, I saw someone on the median with a sign around their neck, asking for spare change. This happened to be a street in my town, but it could have been Anywhereville. What was a little different and caught my eye was that this wasn’t the stereotypical ‘signholder’ we’ve all seen and driven by, or maybe rolled down the window just enough to pass along a few quarters. That particular signholder was a woman about my age, almost 50. Light turned green and I drove past her, wondering what the luck of her draw was, while still going to where I needed to go, to get where I needed to be.

Maybe I should have stopped and asked.

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us with your comments at:

If I live to be a hundred, and never see the seven wonders, that’ll be alright. If I don’t make it to the big leagues If I never win a Grammy I’m gonna be just fine Cause I know exactly who I am So when I make a big mistake And when I fall flat on my face I know I’ll be alright Should my tender heart be broken I will cry those teardrops knowing I will be just fine Cause nothing changes who I am I’m a saint and I’m a sinner I’m a loser; I’m a winner I am steady and unstable I’m still young, but I am able Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy But I’ve got friends that love me And they know where I stand I am my mother’s daughter The spitting image of my father It’s all a part of me And that’s who I am That’s who I am ~Jennifer Andrews Who I Am


your dreams


by Carmen Waterman

Dreams are an essential part of the human experience


is the ability to see beyond our present circumstances and to envision something better: something that connects with our own heart and spirit. To a child, day-dreaming and imagination are limitless gifts. If you were lucky, when growing up you were encouraged by someone to develop your gifts and talents, which in turn became the driving force behind the decisions you made and the life you are living. However, you may not have been so fortunate. For some, life is a journey to connect with our dreams against the odds, and at any age. This journey begins with the discovery of what is truly important and what we really want to achieve in life. Today, many people hold jobs that bring no personal satisfaction, and that are actually detrimental to their wellbeing. Many companies run on management models based in bullying and fear. People are getting sick, stress is rampant, and workers in every industry are squeezed to give more and more, until they have nothing left to give. While some people can run on automatic and get through the day doing a job that “pays the bills,” others find it increasingly difficult to live this way.

volume 3 issue 2

My own

story is of someone who was told as a child and young adult that she was a “dreamer”, as if it was a bad thing! I locked my dreams inside for so long that I didn’t even know what I enjoyed doing. I survived by being what everyone else wanted or needed. I had a long, successful career in management, and yet something was missing. I found it harder to ignore the signs as I struggled with depression and the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. I wasn’t being true to myself as long as I had to fit into a mold that restricted me from being me. The first step toward living your dreams is connecting with the things that bring you true joy. For me, it was the creative outlet I found in digital art that opened my mind, heart and spirit.

Carmen is a self-taught digital artist, personal coach and Reiki master who is passionate about helping others. A certified MBTI facilitator, she offers workshops and individual sessions about innate preferences and selfdevelopment opportunities. The Rainbow Travellers Tarot can be purchased directly from her website at: You can also book a tarot reading with Carmen or visit her at the Duncan Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

My work now continues to align with my core beliefs and with my professional training to help my clients discover, and live their bliss. The unexpected thing that happens when you start living authentically is that you open yourself to even more new experiences. For me, this has meant using my deck to become an intuitive tarot reader; something I had never imagined before last year! We all have gifts and talents that make a difference in this world. You are never too young or too old to evaluate where you are, what you are doing, and the dreams that are important to you.


do come true.

For many years, I engaged in spiritual studies as I developed my art. In 2012, I took a leap of faith and left a secure corporate career to follow my dreams. Today I am the creator of the “Rainbow Travellers Tarot”, which I selfpublished and much to my delight has found its way into the hands of people around the world.



y return from Maui was d week scheduled for the third ause of March but because as this year’s journey was filled with many family challengess and a couple of my Maui friends needed some help, I wondered if I dare push the envelope.

Joyce Bezusko crafts her Joy ori original jewelry at her studio in Parksville and displays at Island shows and fine ga galleries on both Vancouver Isl Island and in Maui, Hawaii. w


After a quick call to the airlines, it seemed to all fall into place and I managed to defer our return to Vancouver Island for an additionall 19 days—YES! use to Just ecstatic over that one, any excuse soak up the spirit of Hawaii. But after the zed that we excitement began to wane, I realized didn’t have any accommodations. At that time of the year, it is nearly impossible to find any, but being ever the optimist, I always believe that things will work out. I had faith. In speaking to one of my friends, who incidentally needed some help, she offered to have us stay in her beautiful home. Didn’t hurt that it was ringing in at a $1.3 million dollar price tag. However, I told her, I love you and I thank you, but that is the way I want our friendship to remain. Nineteen days and nights is just too much to put on anyone. After a few minutes of thought, she suggested we stay in her boyfriends house, a six bedroom, four bath home located across the street from her. They were now co-habitating in her home and his was on the market for sale now and yes, you guessed it, $1.4 million dol dollar price tag. WOW! How gen generous. We accepted and wh when the time was ready, we m moved in. Nineteen glorious ddays in a gorgeous home with kkiller views! W Well put all that away! Before we moved in we knew what we were in for. Because of the sale of the property, there was to be no cable, no hot water, no st stove/oven or microwave, no ppower in parts of the house aand of course, no internet and th the only furniture was a bed and a stand. volume 3 issue 2

Well what will we do to make it work, is this even a possibi possibility? How can we get along with so little...or can we? Alb i we weren’t ’ auditioning d Albeit, for “Survivor” but in this day and age, we were used to a few more niceties. Our one saving grace was a fridge holding all of our scrumptious foods, but that managed to go out a few times, so rescuing the food became an annoying occurrence. But hey, we were living in a beautiful home with views to die for! Will this be manageable, can we get through this unscathed? In the days following, I learned to cook full course meals on a single burner hot plate, bought old VHS tapes and put them into the old tv, read in the intense quiet surroundings, took cold showers and warmed myself in the comforting Maui air and made trips to Starbuck’s for internet every other day. It was a time to reconnect with the peace in my soul. I allowed myself to be still, which seldom comes in my everyday life. I learned that survival is what you make of it. There is that theory that 10% is what happens and 90% is our reaction.

Making lemonade from lemons. It forces one to draw on ones strengths and ingenuity and look deep inside this false belief and hype in the necessity for the latest gadgets and electronic devices and keeping up with the Jones’s. Upon my arrival to Vancouver Island, I walked into my home and realized that I too…


keep your dreams high and your spirit higher


living with chronic pain part II

the ‘F’ word

by Janet Bauer

fibromyalgia (fms) I was born in Medicine Hat Alberta but moved to Victoria 40 years ago. My permanent home is in Victoria, but, from spring to fall you’ll find me at my ‘great escape’ recreational property on the beach at Otter Point. I spend part of the summer in Parksville, and in late fall and winter, you’ll find me at the beach in Hawaii. Ok, so I’m a beach girl at heart too. The sun and its warmth are what keep my spirit levels up and my pain levels down. I have a beautiful 25 year old daughter, and am so proud of the great young woman she’s become. I worked for the Provincial Government for 20 years until my illnesses forces me to stop working in 2010. I love to volunteer, taught parent education for 10 years and have been a Victim Services volunteer for almost five years. I also teach a Chronic Pain Management course a few times a year. I love people and giving back.

FIBRO (supportive tissue) MYO (muscle) ALGIA (pain)


urther defined to include wide spread, ongoing chronic pain, fatigue, (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome–CFS), non-restorative sleep, cognitive dysfunction and over 100 other symptoms ( signs) that can affect those who ‘live with it’. I prefer that to ‘suffer from it’. To do the subject of FMS real justice, I would have to write a book. I hope that in this small space in time, you’ll understand what FMS is and maybe even be curious about it–or at the very least, understanding what those of us who live with it go through. This ‘syndrome’ (as it’s referred to) is silent and invisible. It affects 2–3% of mostly middle aged Canadians and is 6 to 9 times more prevalent in women than men ( It often takes many years for an FMS diagnosis.



n my case, it’s likely the onset of my FMS/CFS began over 20 years ago and the severity of it crept up on me slowly, one symptom and illness at a time, until I was unable to function. During that time, I was diagnosed with, and treated for, many other illnesses, prescribed numerous medications and tried any treatment I could, none of which ‘fixed’ what was going on in my body.

It’s All In Your Head. Aside from a cure, what is the one thing people with FMS want? For people to believe our pain is real. People living with FMS/CFS have struggled for years to be believed; by those in the medical community and by family and friends. Our invisible illness, very difficult to diagnose, with no definitive cause or known cure, is all-consuming, debilitating and very difficult to treat and manage. FMS wasn’t recognized as a true syndrome until 1990, when it was published in the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria. Despite that, many people still believe our pain is not ‘real’ or ‘not that bad’. We are labeled as complainers who are weak, lazy, whiny and who just aren’t trying hard enough to get better. In fact, we’re the opposite! We are (or should I say ‘were’) often the ‘A Type’ personalities. Well educated, highly motivated, busy, multi-tasking hard workers. We take the meds, (whose side effects often complicate things more) and try the treatments as they come along. No one

medication or treatment works for us all. And if they do, it’s often not for long). In Lonely Isolation, is how many of us live. We grieve for lives we once had and are angry that our symptoms and conditions have us living frozen in time as we watch the rest of the world pass us by. We wake up and live virtually every day feeling like we have the worst unrelenting flu in the world. Our bodies feel like they’re wrapped tight in a cocoon of fire, lined with nails, fed by a constant current of electrical shocks. Our beds are ‘nests’ made up of memory foam, pillows, heating pads, fabricated ‘bridges’ to keep covers off the most painful parts of our bodies and whatever else we can find to try to make lying down comfortable. If we’re lucky, we might even manage to drift off–for a little while. We feel like we’re being sucked into a deep, dark black hole that gets increasingly difficult to climb out of. When we can’t work, some people think we’re on some sort of nice ‘vacation,’ when in fact, managing our illness is the most difficult and complex, emotionally, volume 3 issue 2

physically and psychologically draining full time job we’ve ever had. And it’s not 9 to 5—it’s 24/7/365! And the pay sucks! Believe me, we would quit this ‘job’ in a nanosecond if we could. It IS All In Our Heads! Studies show that the pain receptors in the brains of people with FMS have developed a memory of pain. Therefore, our brains become more sensitive, which in turn means they then overreact to pain signals. We have a much lower threshold for pain (and feel it when there is no reason to). We are different! Because of repeated nerve stimulation, our FMS brains change and have abnormal increased levels of certain chemicals that signal pain (neurotransmitters). It is also believed that genetics, infections and physical or emotional trauma may play a role in triggering FMS. There Is Some Good News. More research is being done on this mysterious syndrome than ever before. Hopefully, there will someday be a more concrete way to diagnose it, and more importantly, a cure. In The Meantime, we push on. We do the best we can to manage each day – and hopefully sleep a bit each night. RESOURCES: NATIONAL ME/FM ACTION NETWORK Myalgic Encephalomyelitis– also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) THE BC FIBROMYALGIA SOCIETY THE CANADIAN PAIN COALITION NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC PAIN ASSOCIATION

NEXT ISSUE Part 3: What I Do My full time job is managing my illnesses. I’ll share with you how I do, that, as well as some of the many resources I’ve discovered along the way. volume 3 issue 2

…but maybe it wouldn’t sound that silly

if I said it out loud We islanders know magical things happen on ferries. Here’s what happened to me... by Leanne Dyck Leanne’s writing has appeared in Island Writer, Kaleidoscope and Canadian Stories literary journals. From 2006 to 2009, Leanne self-published paperbacks, ebooks and an audio book. In 2011 Decadent Publishing released her dark thriller, The Sweater Curse (novella-length) as an ebook. Follow her author’s journey by visiting her blog; or

am I going to do now? That question had been dogging me for months. The years after my mother’s death had been ones of transition. My husband and I had moved from the urban mainland to a rural island. On the island, I opened a craft supply store only to close it two years later. My experiences there had led me to a new career—knitwear design. But it hadn’t been as easy to establish a career in knitting as I’d hoped. All through my life, knitting and writing had been the two constants—my two passions. I’d tried knitting. Now I knew the days were numbered on that career. It was going nowhere. I have to close the business, I told myself. And do… And do what? I climbed out of the truck and followed my husband past the rows of vehicles, up the stairs and to the passenger deck. We claimed one of the last available benches. Maybe if I write about it, the answer will come to me? This strategy had worked in the past. I pulled a pen and my journal out of my purse. I wrote about the weather, the ferry and what we where going to do on the mainland.


Then I wrote: maybe I could be a writer. I quickly added a series of buts—but I have dyslexia; but I don’t know how: but I don’t know any authors. Me become a writer. It sounded so silly in my head. But maybe it wouldn’t sound that silly if I said it out loud. “I want to be a writer,” I told my husband. “What do you mean you want to be,” he said. “I find your writing all over the house. You are a writer. You do write.” “No, I mean for a living. Be an author. But I have no idea how to do that. And me? An author? It’s too… It’s too si—“ The woman who was sitting on the bench in front of ours, turned around. “Pardon me,” she said. “I don’t mean to eavesdrop. But I heard you say you wanted to be a writer.” I blushed but nodded. “I’m an author.” She gave me her name and told me about her books. “And there’s only one way to be an author.” I was hanging on her every word. I wanted so badly to know the secret. So I asked. “How?” She fixed me with soft, friendly eyes. She smiled and said, “It’s not as hard as you think, you know. To be an author, you need to write.

So write.”


ISLAND created by local Island women



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