Thursday, September 26, 2013

Changing Seasons.

 I had to turn the heat on last night for the first time; it was damp and only 11 deg C (about 50 deg F).  Brrrr!  And, of course, as my hand was reaching for the thermostat, my brain was registering the costs associated.

But it's okay!  I'm ready for the change of season.  As a matter of fact, I'm really looking forward to Autumn.  

You know what?  I was even thinking last night of how much more I enjoy autumn than spring --- my used-to-be favorite season!  "When did that happen?" I thought. 

 And then I found this:
Does this mean I have a happier state of mind?
Does it mean I'm growing as a person?  

I have no idea; I simply can't keep up with me these days!  I just "am".  I don't have time to analyze the whys and whats; I only want to accept and enjoy.

But I do acknowledge that I am constantly changing.  As a post-menopausal woman, I'm often surprised to find that I don't feel or think the same way as I had for most of my life.

I certainly can't "do" a lot of the things I used to do.  And if I focus on that, it becomes very frustrating.  For example, other than walking, I'm not able to exercise any longer because of injuring my back 2 yr ago.  Even getting back into sweet, gentle, beneficial yoga has been painful for me.  (My massage therapist says to approach my yoga like I'm an 80 yr old.  Encouraging, huh!)  So, it's baby steps for me.  I'm trying to find what will work rather than crying about what won't work.  

But maybe learning to accept what happens to us as we age is also part of the "change of life" --- just part of our personal seasons.      

I love being excited about the change of seasons, unlike the younger me who hated any thought of cold.  But now-a-days, I love all the seasons.  And I feel huge joy to know it's Autumn and that things will be changing every day.

Not many of the leaves have changed on the trees yet, but I notice the ones that have changed.  So pretty!  I notice -- and take full advantage of -- the wonderful array of vegetables at the local Farmer's Market.  So delicious!

I'm thinking about pumpkins and creamed soups, warm crisp breads & rolls and apple cakes with spiced cream.  

I'm thinking about Halloween (and making my costume for the student party).  And I'm thinking about Christmas (and checking my gift list and budget for what's left to purchase).

I changed out my summer for my autumn wardrobe last weekend, and did some necessary purging.  Very cathartic!  And as a bonus, I came across items that I'd purchased at thrift stores and sales and didn't even remember I'd bought.  Gotta love that.

I am happy to be entering sweater and fleece weather.  My colored jeans and bright scarves have come out of hiding.  My favorite (and only) leather jacket is being worn and appreciated again.  (And my new birthday boots are lying in wait under my bed for next month!)

Change is inevitable.  And if we can roll with the punches and learn to focus on the positives of change, we can not just accept it but learn to love it.  Just like I did with Autumn.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - September 19, 2013

There were lots of fun thrifting trips this summer.  There were local thrifting trips, trips to Halifax and a great Salvation Army thrifting trip home in Newfoundland.  

Yes, there have been many thrifting excursions this summer.  But the best bargains in regards to money saved were the following 2 purchases.  And yes, they were items that were on my Janis Joplin thrifting-wish-list.  You know:  

"Oh Lord, won't you buy me ..."

A Lug crossbody purse for $7.99 + tax at Value Village --- retails locally for roughly $65.  These bags have a lifetime guarantee, no questions asked.  If anything goes wrong, you can take it to any store that sells Lug bags and they will replace it.   Mine had a rip in the small bottom zipper pouch; but I liked the color and size so much, that I simply repaired it.   

A Pouchee for $2 at my local, Daisy store --- retails locally for $35.99 + tax.  You fill it with your cards, money, phone, etc; and it can simply be transferred from purse to purse without all the hassle of rearranging everything again.  The reason this one was so cheap was because it was badly soiled inside; I threw it in the washing machine with some Oxy (for $2, I took the chance) and
Voila!  C'est magnifique!

Happy Thrifting everyone!  Tell me what you've thrifted lately.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Snippets of my Whirlwind Summer

Hello my lovelies!  It's so nice to be back with you again.  I had an amazing summer!  What a fortunate woman I am.  With an empty house, I got to spend lots of time alone, eat when I felt like it, run around naked and make or break my own plans.  It was marvelous!
AND I spent just over 2 glorious weeks in Newfoundland -- travelling with my friend, Sharon, for the first week; then hanging out with family for the second.  Here are some of the highlights.
My wonderful parents.  I'm so lucky to still have them with me.  My Dad is loud and silly and learning to navigate Facebook!  (He needs something to complain about.)  My Mom's eyesight is quite bad, but she has great stamina and joy for life.  She got to bug me about my weight (as she encouraged me to have another brownie), and we played several games of Skip-Bo every night. 

Just a few members of my family:  my eldest, Cindy and her husband Jody on the left; my baby, Libby, on the far right; and my crazy sister, Linda, in the middle.
Cindy is pregnant with my 1st grandchild, due in January.  I'm so excited!  And I love scouring the Frenchies and Value Village aisles for baby clothes. 

The 1st stop for Sharon and me was Gros Morne National Park.  There's so much to see and do here; we did a lot of driving, walking, picture taking and saying "OMG!  Look at that!"  We managed to fit in one good hike to the lookoff outside Rocky Harbour.  Only 2.6 km return, but it's straight up -- and as you can see, a spectacular view from the top.  We even saw a young cow moose on our way down, not 100 feet from us!    

Next stop,Twillingate.  We began our hike at the Lighthouse in the far distance.  The trail system took us down through the middle-earth-type country you can see (flat, green sections), around rocks, over little brooks, down to the sea, past an old copper mine and up the stairs into Mordor.  What a trek!  A 9 km return hike ..... much deserving of the amazing dinner, 2 ice cold ones and NL Screech (rum) infused bananas flambé we finished our evening with.

The next day we took the ferry to Fogo Island.  We visited Auk Island winery (unlimited samples!), ate iceberg ice cream -- Yup, made with pure, million year old iceberg water -- and viewed a little of the new luxury Fogo Island Inn.  Their rooms start at $880 up..... so we stayed at more modest accomodations.

Our last stop was the Trinity area.  The left photo was taken on our Sheriwink Trail hike (5.6 km return) -- a wonderful trail system with mesh covered boardwalks for most of the walk and spectacular rock formations.  We went to a dinner theatre and walked historic Trinity, full of beautiful old fishing captains' houses.  We drove up to Bonnavista where we saw humpbacks.  Then to Elliston, the self-proclaimed root cellar capital of the world:  that's where we saw adorable little puffins and where we both coveted this deck chair.  It's also where we ate fries, dressing and gravy -- a coronary hardening NL specialty --  and the best bread pudding either of us have ever tasted.     
My students returned to me the first week of September; so it's back to our regular routine --- work, school, sleep, eat.  But it also means great little day trips for the 3 of us ..... like yesterday's Open Farm Day.  We visited 3 local farms, met cute, satiny-smooth chickens, said goodbye to the cows who will shortly meet their  demise, had a wagon ride through an apple orchard and ate a delicious Airstream Cafe dinner on a hill overlooking forest and farm land as the sun was beginning to set.  We were a happy, contented bunch. 
It's nice to be back to "normal".  Thanks for hanging on and waiting for me.


  Sorry! I thought I could return to a normal schedule. But my sense of 'normal' has changed. After the past 5 years of various ailm...