5 foot tall, 100 pounds – Mountain Conqueror

I recently had a discussion with a friend who has set 7 worthwhile goals for themselves.

shaileebasnet.2I confess 7 goals had me thinking and this morning at the auspicious time of 5:30 a.m. I realized it reminded me of Shailee Basnet. (find out more about here by clicking HERE )

I heard this 5 foot tall, 100 pounds young lady at the Vancouver Toastmasters Annual Convention in August, 2017.  The title of her speech was “Together We Reach Higher“.

Now you are wondering the connection between 7 goals and this young speaker. This young woman from very humble beginnings in Nepal has achieved amazing accomplishments she set for herself.

shaileebasnet.1At her young age she has climbed all of the seven summits of each of the seven continents.  (find out more about the Seven Summits by clicking Here)

Moving on from scary cold climbing now she is doing Motivational Speaking especially focused toward women and even doing Stand-Up Comedy in New York. I believe you can find her on Youtube.


Mount Everest Climb

But the thought that I had was that while she had the vision to climb all summits, each of the climbs were individual projects. She would have had to raise money for her team, supplies, travel arrangements, sponsors etc seven separate times although it may have got easier as she became better known.

Each mountain had to be climbed separately, the danger and challenges of each analysed and overcome. Lessons learned and applied and new lessons  added with each mountain goal.

My thoughts as I lay there this morning were big visions and goal setting is fantastic and possible but nothing is achieved all at once.  Climb one mountain at a time, but while climbing that mountain you will learn and it will help your next, and the next.

But first have the vision, plan how you will succeed, and start taking steps.

The  question is really ” Will you be better (closer to your goals) today than you were yesterday? 

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings


Thank you kind reader for taking the time to read. If you follow me regularly, even bigger thank you!  I love hearing comments and suggestions and when I receive them I am happy to reply so I get to know the readers better.

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The Myths and Magic of Kidney Donation

In this well written, and succinct post the author did an auspicious job of highlighting the MYTHS and the MAGIC of Kidney Donation. Got 60 seconds?

Leaving it better than I found it.

I have been SO impressed with the number of people that reach out to me every week about kidney donation. People are so curious and are really looking to do something meaningful with their lives! I wanted to get a post on my site that addresses some common misconceptions as well as some of the magic that came out of this process for me.


You are guaranteed to be a match to your family members, so you’re going to save your kidney in case someone in the fam needs one.

Just because you are related to someone doesn’t mean that you’re definitely a match. Being a match to someone requires that you have a compatible blood type, and you need to be a tissue match. I don’t have exact stats, but I have read multiple places that for siblings there’s a 25% chance of being an “exact match”…

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Walking in the sunshine

They were the best of friends, Dallas and Ryan, and time spent together was always appreciated, even when weeks passed between walks.


Last week they walked on a cold winter day, their faces exposed to the wind, so cold their fingers were still cold inside their gloves jammed in their wool coats.  On that day they had shared periods of silence comfortably with jabs of shared thoughts.  They were just glad to be sharing a walk, despite the weather.

Yesterday the sun shone as the two friends talked, and walked.  The sun shone brightly in intervals because of interfering clouds. As they walked they admired the stillness of the lake, so different from just a week before when it had been stirred up with wind blowing down the valley causing walkers to turtle in their coats.

wp-image-1453132257jpg.jpgDallas was going through a valley of sadness this week, dealing with a temporary situation. He really wanted to feel the sunshine shining down, warming him inside and out. Ryan was there to listen, and understand. He had his share of days when he longed for sunshine also.

During the cloudy interludes Dallas felt chill but it was somehow less because Ryan was there. There they were, two solid friends, admiring the lake, the clouds and sharing the moments together. The clouds may block the sun, but it is still there, and regardless of choppy waves or reflecting calm on the water, it was still the same lake and the sun would break through soon.

Ryan smiled, he caught his friend’s eye, then clapped his hand on his pal’s shoulder, let’s go, tea time!  

Soon they would be enjoying the warmth of hot tea, their fingers wrapped around a china mug, in between sips. Unspoken between them they realized the same understanding –  No matter what, life goes on, so let’s be grateful. 

flower from squirrelRelaxed in those chairs, they were walking in a different kind of sunshine even though they were indoors.

It was the kind that comes from counting all the good things in their lives and looking past the clouds, seeing the warmth that is there and the sunshine that will return to walk in, to share.

Life goes on, Life goes on. (Robert Frost knew it all along)

Just a snippet of a story I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading, and following my blog. I try to reply to all comments, so I can know you each better.

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Forgotten treasure


In the hallway of my house is a box with thousands of old pictures. Treasure I walked past without thinking. This week my son took a day to go through some of those, and we shared the treasure of past days together.  He inspired a beautiful day.

Pictures of scenery, sunsets long gone were set aside, barely noted.  The pictures of people, now much older, or passed on, are now priceless, and cherished.

I realized more deeply the value of those pictures as I looked at them and it was an emotional day for me.  I am not John Wayne.

Those were days of film and taking the film to be processed at the drugstore. Pictures were taken one at a time and processing was expensive.  How many people now wish they had been less thrifty and had more pictures of those long past days.

I found treasure today, pictures of family, that for me are priceless and irreplaceable.

Do you have a box tucked away with photos from days past?  Time well spent for me was pulling out that box and smiling broadly with the odd tear.

Thanks for reading.

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Not just survival, someone gave me life

I love a friend’s tshirt, it reads ” Of course I’m an organ donor – Who wouldn’t want a piece of this?

Kidney failure is not rare, and neither is dying while waiting for a transplant unfortunately.
Please be an organ donor and sign up today or even investigate being a live donor. Live donors face limited risk and are more common every day and save a life.
Thanks for reading.

Life and Random Thinking

When someone said yes, allowing their loved one’s organs to be donated, it did not mean I was going to survive, no it meant I was going to live again.

Today I celebrate my re-birth (transplant day) but I am also thinking about those waiting for a transplant.

Utah - Arches and Canyonlands-11Living on dialysis is something I did, I had no choice. I lived doing peritoneal dialysis until I got an infection and nearly died. I did four exchanges a day, even when I went to work, every day, even Christmas. Four times daily, and each and every time I hated it, but it gave me another day to hope for the call.

Then I did hemodialysis three times a week for 5 hours, better but worse because I had to be so careful about fluid intake.

July 6, 1987 –  I got the call, they had a kidney for me. Hopeful, excited, nervous…

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Greetings, Hello, Hi There

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Originally posted on Life and Random Thinking:
This Muppets skit is priceless but so hard to explain to anyone else.  But if you are in on the joke…………..then you get to laugh about it with your friends through imitation.  That…

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Testing and More Testing

There is nothing like a story, a true story, to understand and connect with the storyteller.

5th in Line to Donate a Kidney

Day one of testing finally arrived. My day began at 7:30 am, in the lab.  I was finally able to rid myself of the big, cold, full jug and None too soon!  As I walked into the lab with my huge tote bag carrying not only “the jug”, but also everything I thought I might need, the phlebotomist laughed and said, “Unload the bag.” When she saw that my jug was full, she smiled brightly and said, “Oh child, you did good!” She seemed quite pleased with me and the humor of driving across state lines with a jug in a cooler burst out of me in a story that made her call over other lab employees, so we could all laugh together. It was a really good way to start my nervous and somewhat embarrassed day. I soon learned that nothing about kidneys or bodily functions seemed to bother…

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5 Ways My Recovery From Kidney Donation Was Nothing Like What I Expected

I am happy to be amazed by good people who become a live donor, and I shudder to conceive those who die on dialysis, needlessly and waiting , hoping, suffering, eventually dying.

Leaving it better than I found it.

I haven’t posted a blog in quite some time. In the weeks since my last entry I’ve been struggling with how to depict what my recovery has been like. I had more than a year to build a series of ideas in my head of what the experience would be, and as the weeks and months have unfolded since my surgery day… I was way off.

Some of my expectations were that it would be extremely painful, I’d have a really hard time getting my fitness back, and that I’d look at my kidney donation as being a really pivotal point in my life.

Nope, nope and nope.

Here are five things that were totally unexpected in my recovery.

1 – I didn’t have much pain at all.

As part of the surgery, gas is pumped into your abdomen to puff you up so the surgeon can see what he’s…

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Snow wonder


The air seems a little more blue this time of year, and snow wonder is all around. I went walking a few days ago and took some pictures of Okanagan lake (above) and included a couple pictures from when my wife and daughter went snowshoeing at Apex mountain {link to the left if you are curious} over the Christmas/New Year holidays.

toqueIt takes a little more discipline or determination to get out and walk this time of year. All dressed warm, toques on, gloves on and nose poking out from my balaclava; it feels good, refreshing, rejuvenating to face the elements. Plus there is tea and hot chocolate waiting by the fire.

The Okanagan valley definitely has all four seasons and each part of the valley receives from Mother Nature differently. The south end towards Osoyoos is always the first to receive spring and the last to receive winter.  The fruit trees in the south are the first to have ripened fruit, cherries sometimes in early June. At the north end of the valley which runs north & south, the city of Vernon will have two feet of snow when midway near Penticton we will have just a few inches.

heart-snowWe are over the December 21st “hump” and daylight hours are advancing slowly again. Soon the longer hours of sun will be more noticeable and everyone will feeling optimism in the air. Gardeners will be starting seeds indoors, and lawnmowers and grass seed will filling their thoughts..

The cold chill will be soon replaced by leaves on the trees, and plans for fixing of fences and lakeside sashays.   Naked branches wait the first blooms heralding the picking of fruit and the joyful singing of birds.

winterBut right now the calendar says it is winter, and snow wonder is still to be enjoyed.

Thanks for reading, for following this blog. Comments, feedback, and suggestions always welcome. – David

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Chapter 5 – Skywalker : My treat

LAST chapter! Which did you like the most? Did you read all five Call Me Skywalker? Would you like story to continue? Any comments welcome.

Look under recent posts along the right side if you missed any previous chapters.

Most importantly Happy New Year to you, and thanks for following my blog and encouraging me with your messages.

Life and Random Thinking

Sophie stepped out of her car and into the light as the cyclist approached, she was striking to see with her military posture, flawless skin and her face and lips just slightly damp from the light misty rain.

The cyclist approached steadily, and his right hand reached for the brake as he saw Sophie standing close to his path. Satisfied it was safe to proceed he started past her silent figure, but then shuddered to a stop when he applied his wet brakes. Twisting his head back at her, he then walked his bike toward her.

Sophie watched him stand up his bike, take off his helmet and run his fingers through his flattened bike-head hair. Luke grinned at her, and his eyes shone.

Standing there along a bike path, in the light rain they looked at each other. Sophie trying to piece what her mother Stella had told her with…

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