Friday, 3 July 2020

July 3, 2020 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   I belong to a year-long women’s mentorship program, and is often the case with women, the issue of (negative) body image came up at one point.

   I wanted to share a slightly different perspective on body acceptance in the group, so shared a more personal (and emotionally raw and vulnerable) version of this…

   “Unlike the majority of women, I have been underweight my whole life. It got significantly worse following my physical collapse 7 years ago as I lost 25 pounds (as we tried to figure out what food was causing the problems) I did not really have in excess to lose! So, I was down to 105 pounds and desperately trying to GAIN weight to no avail.

   Last Fall when we finally discovered it was the tap water making me sick most of my life, and I got the reverse osmosis unit, I started to gain weight! I had people coming up to me and congratulating me on my weight gain, and I said I was probably the only woman who was cheering and giving friends updates on how many pounds I had gained. Just over 8 months later, I am now 150 pounds!!!

   Buying clothes has always been a challenge for me.  I was looking at clothes with a friend once.  She suggested an outfit and I told her “if it looks awesome on the hanger, it will probably look great on me.” She freaked thinking I was putting myself down, but that’s the type of figure I had - clothes hung on me the same as they did on a hanger.

   Now...I have curves I’ve never had in my entire life! My clothes actually fit.  I do double-takes when I walk by a mirror, see a picture of myself, and even when I get undressed...this body - while it feels good  and healthier - LOOKS so foreign to what I am used to.”

   No matter what the issue is that we are personally faced with, or conversely, personally avoiding facing, our society is geared to the majority.  And while, there are benefits to that - just imagine the absolute chaos and confusion if we had to include every possible option or configuration to cover every possible scenario or outcome - we must remember that, ultimately, EVERYONE is NOT the majority.


Contact The Chautauqua via email: or via Facebook:

Wednesday, 1 July 2020


Wandering re-establishes the original harmony 
which once existed between man and the universe. 
 - Anatole France

Happy Canada Day!

Monday, 29 June 2020

Friday, 26 June 2020


Sometimes your only available transportation
is a leap of faith.
  - Margaret Shepherd

Wednesday, 24 June 2020


There is no such thing in anyone’s life 
as an unimportant day. 
– Alexander Woollcott

Monday, 22 June 2020


If you’re breathing, you’re WORTHY. 
If you’re here, you BELONG. 
- Tina Greene

Friday, 19 June 2020

June 19, 2020 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   When I was 14 years old and first got seriously sick, one of the symptoms was that all my eyelashes fell out, and I have not really had eyelashes since - except for a handful on my right eyelid every once in a while.  I would notice tiny lashes emerging and then a day or two later they would all fall out again. 

   The only real exceptions were September,, I had eyelashes on both lids for 2 weeks and we're not sure how or what caused it, and then in June, 2017 (after being in bed for 2 months crying non-stop) I had lashes on both lids long enough to get fake ones on my own for the makeover I won - the lashes lasted 5 weeks before they all fell out and I was back to having none

   When we discovered it was the tap water making me sick, I said I would know I was "cured" and totally "healthy" when I had real THICK eyelashes again, and so far nothing.

   Last week, I noticed that I am starting to get a few longer lashes on both lids, especially my left!!!!!!!!  Hopefully this is the beginning of the sign I've been waiting for!!!

   We all look for, and want, dramatic signs of change, but it is usually the tiniest little changes that signal the turning of the tide and better days ahead.


Contact The Chautauqua via email: or via Facebook:

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Monday, 15 June 2020


It’s enough just to make a start, wherever that may be.  
What difference does it make at what point you enter into a great river? 
 Sooner or later, all its waters reach and pour into the sea. 
 - Guy Finley

Friday, 12 June 2020


The real value of setting goals 
is not the recognition or reward, 
it’s the person we become 
by finding the discipline, courage, and commitment 
to achieve them.  
~ Anonymous

Wednesday, 10 June 2020


Sometimes when we feel the furthest away from what we want, 
we are actually closer than ever before…
 – Sacred Rebels

Friday, 5 June 2020

June 5, 2020 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   This year I decided to try something really different. 

   Instead of planting the garden in “traditional” rows, I decided to create a labyrinth (similar to a maze but there is only one path in, and one path out) and plant the garden veggies between the paths.

   When I came up with the concept, I figured that I “should” have more space “in theory” to put the plants, but until I actually started creating the layout, I didn’t know for sure. 

  I was right!  In fact, I have so much more space, I am planting veggies I’ve never tried planting before, and crossing my fingers we have a good season and they grow!

  All in all, it has certainly been quite the experiment and a learning process!  Hopefully by the time you read this, it will all be planted - I won’t commit to having it all weeded, and besides, one is never done weeding till the snow falls. 

   I am still trying to figure out what to do for the path - would like to make it more permanent, but am still exploring possibilities.


Contact The Chautauqua via email: or via Facebook:

Wednesday, 3 June 2020


Even at a million miles an hour, 
anxious thoughts and feelings still take you nowhere. 
 - Guy Finley