Tuesday, November 21, 2023


 Sorry! I thought I could return to a normal schedule. But my sense of 'normal' has changed. After the past 5 years of various ailments, they have all added up to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

I'm in my 3rd week of a flare-up.  Besides all the symptoms shown on the photo to the right, my sleep is disrupted by pain so that after only an hour or 2 of being awake, I feel like I need a nap! It's not fun!

There's a sense of relief in that I finally know what I'm dealing with and, therefore, what I should do about it. (The fact that there is no cure and no warning of flare-ups and this is the way it will be for the rest of my life means I do whatever it takes!) I've joined some online groups and am adapting my daily routine to include more down time, more meditation & yoga, less stress and more cannabis. (That's the only medicine that works on me without the nasty side effects of the other stuff I use.)

But I think one of the things I must let go of is this blog. That's not to say I won't check in on you all. And if someday this ailment gets under control and I gain more energy, I'll check back in with you all.

Thanks for being my blogging friends. You have been and will continue to be a source of joy for me. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Returning to our Normally Scheduled Programming

I apologize for being MIA for so long: now resolved family issues, health and a new job made for a busy, somewhat stressful month or so. But I'm happy that life has levelled out and I have more ME time. Time to enjoy this beautiful season, a season that's quickly disappearing here in NL; the leaves are dropping with increasing frequency and the temperatures are in the single digits at night. And I've yet to change out the coat closet and bring out the hats and gloves! One of today's chores.

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving and my 69th birthday a few weeks ago. Turkey 'n' stuffing, baked squash and NY cheesecake plus so much laughter and so many hugs and kisses from my 2 yr old grandson. Then later, we visited a local farm to see the sunflower patch. 

The actual day of my birthday was a day of calm amidst the busyness that had taken over.  I took myself out for a long forest walk, stopping first for a coffee to drink brookside and a couple of cupcakes for later in the day. I love bringing the colorful leaves back home with me and many are drying beneath my floor rugs. I have a few ideas for them: wax coating perhaps and creating a bunting? They're just so lovely to look at. 

My new job is homecare for one of my neighbours: nothing strenuous; just a few hours every other week mostly as a companion with a little light housework. So far, it's gone really well. She's  pleasant and has a great sense of humor and is very mobile. Although the paycheque is modest, the additional grocery and thrifting money is most welcome. 

She and I have gone thrifting several times and I've had some good luck. Here are a few of my finds: 

  • This 60's metal plantstand: I love the shape. ($15)
  • A gorgeous leather handbag in the perfect autumn color. ($2)
  • And my newest friend: Beatrice the mouse.  I have 2 other stuffies that hold sentimental value. But when I saw this little mouse at a yard sale, there was a definite connection. I brought her home, but found myself wondering why I felt so drawn to a  stuffed toy. Then one day it hit me! My husband and I moved to the country in 1989. We had an elderly neighbour named Bea who walked past our house daily on her way to visit her sister.  She was tall and lanky, wore overalls, men's shoes and peaked hats; she'd had a very interesting life - had been a nurse during the war, had travelled the world, and she had a fantastic rock and semi-precious gem collection. She loved my wee little daughter Amy and always stopped to speak to her, telling her stories and giving her little treasures, like her first piece of amethyst (which I still have). Bea was soft-spoken and gentle, and we were all sad when she passed. That little mouse reminds me of Bea 💕. And Totoro and Violet are happy to have another roommate. 

I've created a cosy little spot near my table for when I'm using my computer or doing paperwork, a spot that can also be seen from my couch. 

Once upon a time, I had a real fireplace in my home. Then I had a plug-in stove/heater. I was really happy when  another yard sale yielded me this cute little 'stove' which lights up. It's all about the ambience, n'est pas! And once I light up the fireplace channel on U-tube, my little cottage feels so much warmer! (Hahaha! The power of subliminal stimuli!)

I can seen the sun is shining brightly and it's going to be a beautiful fall morning. So, I'd better eat breakfast and get myself out there. 

Stay warm, keep colorful and Namaste, my friends!

Monday, September 4, 2023

Rabbit Rabbit & Farewell to Summer

Summer is coming to an end in western Newfoundland; cooler nights and changing leaves are as sure a sign as the calendar. And while I love Autumn, I am reticent to say goodbye to summer. It's never quite long enough for me because I know fall will come and go in the blink of an eye and then long winter will arrive. But before that beauty sets in, let's stay focused on the beauty of this dying season. 

I took my daily walk one early evening last week just after two days of rain had finally stopped and the blessed sun came out blazing. It was at the perfect angle when I reached 'the promenade' as the sun shining on the green trees behind the tall birch and spruce created the most amazing glow. Magic!  

We had mostly cloudy nights during the end of the month when the super blue moon was to be seen. But I did manage to snap this rather inferior but still quite dramatic photo. August was a good month!


August was good to me at the thrift stores. Here are my top finds:
  • The complete series of "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" by Michael Scott
  • This gorgeous 4 piece cannister set
  • 100% cotton/linen tunic in a gorgeous golden sunflower color with really pretty detail down the front-sides.
  • 100% cotton maxi dress with this lovely pink cotton-ribbon edging detailing.

And one of my favorite memories of this month was a trip I took with my oldest friend, blood sisters since we were 10 years old. She with her replaced hip, me with my crunchy knees and orthotics, both with our walking sticks, we creaked and puffed and cackled all the way round our wee hike and picnic.  

I don't know about you, but I can feel a busy September in store as the harvests come in. 

Until we meet again, keep healthy, active and happy. Namaste, y'all!

Saturday, August 12, 2023

The arrival of August


For those of us in western Newfoundland, August has brought with it cooler temperatures and a few rainy days. The garden has been beautiful all summer; the roses are almost gone now, but that little bush has had so many blooms and has been beautifully fragrant! 

And after living with the newly painted 'Persian Cat' white walls in my cottage for over a month, I have come to the conclusion that I don't care for just white. I need some colour! The committee had given me half a can of blue paint so I could paint the closets; but there was enough to also paint 2 of the walls in my bedroom . Ahhh! Much better.

I found a can of mis-tint blue/grey paint for 50% off at the local hardware store which I used to paint the hallway wall that entends into the living room; and then using the Persian Cat paint, I stencilled that wall in a mandala pattern. I'm really pleased with the result. (I ordered the stencil off Temu; but since then, I've heard such horror stories about Temu! All has been fine so far for me. But had anyone had a negative experience with them?)

I found the wave painting at the
local Sally Ann for $10.

I used to use stencils back in the 80s; it's a great way to add colour or just interest to a space. Have you ever tried it? In the meantime, I have lots of other decorating ideas on my list. But I need to pace myself as up-and-down on step stools and lifting my arm overhead to paint takes a toll. So, those ideas will wait until fall.

My daughter and I went to see the Barbie movie last week, and we loved it. Have you seen it yet? I loved that it was full of positive feminist messages and was so funny and fun. Also, I recognized some of the clothes from my eldest daughter's 1980's Barbie: Ken's shiny silver jumpsuit from the dance scene and those matching hideous multi-coloured roller skating suits. Hahaha! 

I'm still walking Rusty's Run every day. But I decided to walk to the beach once day, about 45 min each way. Getting there was fine; but even after sitting for an hour, the walk back was really difficult and I think I overworked my calf muscles as I was sore for a few days. I guess I really do have to listen to my doctor's advice and stick to 30 minute walks. Well, most of the time anyway! 😜 🤷

The raspberry u-pick has just opened up. So this week, I'll probably make jam. And bread 'n' butter pickles are also on my to-do list. I've run out and am missing them a lot.


I hope it's cooler where you are now and that you get to enjoy the rest of summer.

Namaste, y'all!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Hot and Sticky and Sweet

What a month! Like the majority of Newfoundlanders, I don't have an air conditioner as there usually isn't much need: our summer temperatures normally sit around 20-24℃ (70-75℉) with perhaps 2-3 days of high heat. But like the rest of the world, we are experiencing extremely high temperatures (30sC / high 80sF). And as I'm mostly made of sugar, jelly, BS & asthma), I can't function in hot weather. I have at least 1 fan for every room. But most of the time, I'm just sitting on my couch with 3 fans pointed at me. Two are fairly new. But the one that does the best job is a old yellow metal 1960's model I bought at a recent yard sale. Although she sounds like a jet engine, man! Can she blow! Here's a depiction of me relaxing in front of the fan:

Trying to read captions on Netflix as I can't hear a thing over the sound of Old Yeller!

Before the really high heat struck, strawberry season happened and I went to a local U-pick. With the addition of some rhubarb, I froze some, made jam, tarts, muffins, a cobbler and a failed but still tasty cake. Yummy!

But one of my favorite things to preserve for winter is rhubarb/strawberry syrup. You simply add a little water to rhubarb & strawberries (I use a 4-1 ratio R to S), add some sugar to your taste (mine is slightly tart), stew this, strain into bottles; and when you're ready to use, pour over ice and add sparkling water (on a 1 to 3 ratio or to your taste). [Tis' also grand added to a G'n'T😜] And it's such a wonderful hit-of-summer in the middle of winter!

I have managed to walk the brook path most every day (which someone has named Rusty's Run) as long as I go early morning or just before sunset. The bugs can be a bit fierce, but it's always cooler, quieter and so serene in amongst the trees and ferns. 


Temperatures this week are supposed to be slightly lower, but now the humidity has begun to set in!  So, I shall have to endure the roar of Old Yeller for a while yet.

Stay cool and hydrated, my friends. Namaste!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Welcome to July!

My apartment is painted, and just about everything has been put back in place.  I did some fun tweaking and added some summery cushions and a throw. (Now my area rug doesn't quite 'go' with everything ..... so do I need a summer carpet?) Hmmm! I shall be scouring the thrift stores and FB marketplace.

The weather has been what I consider perfect with temperatures mostly in the mid 20's (80's). I've finished working on the community garden, and it looks so lovely! The Peonies are in full blossom, and the Roses, Lillies and Foxglove are ready to open any day. Summer has finally reached Newfoundland.

Canada Day was a fun day with family and their friends' families; there were lots of happy, sticky children, laughter and great food. I spent most of the day in the pool repeatedly catching my 2 yr old dare-devil grandson who would recite "Weddy, Set, GO!" and then jump off the side into my arms. Hahaha! My arms ached so much. 

Although the black flies can be a challenge, I'm still walking brookside every day, and I love watching the changing flora and fauna. Things change on a daily basis. One day, the path itself was strewn with white and yellow pollen -- like confetti at a wedding. The next week, the ferns were covered with fallen blooms from the trees. The ditches are full of color! Purple Lupins & Vetch, yellow somethings, Oxeye daisies and bright, beautiful reddish/orange Fireweed.

I almost always bring home a bouquet. 

Today will be in the high 20's; so it's a picnic and swim day with my eldest daughter and wonderful 10 yr old grandson. Being a grandma is one of the best things about aging for me!

Namaste y'all! Stay cool and hydrated, and seek out the small joys!


Sunday, June 18, 2023

I spent my past week moving furniture from room to room just ahead of the painter; one more day (for the painter) to completion! 🤞 My aching body has been glad of a few days off to take my time with the aftermath and prepare for Tuesday when painting resumes. So, I decided that today would be a day of total rest; just a lazy day of indulgence. I began with an 8 am brookside walk. 

The 1st part of the path is now covered with beautiful ferns on both sides. If I looked at them too long, everything went fuzzy ..... like looking for the hidden image in one of those maze-type pictures that come across your Facebook page. Whozzy! But so beautiful to walk through these waves of lacy green!

The mornings are still quite cool here - only 8𝇈C (46𝇈F). I was chilled when I got back. So, coffee was next on my agenda. Freshly ground, good quality beans, frothy milk and just a smidge of honey make this such a treat. And I drank it from my new cup (Homegoods). Ahhhh! 

I'll make granola later. And I'll probably walk the path again this afternoon. But for now, I'll catch up on my bloggy friends and u-tubers. And I'll rest, rest, rest. 

I leave you with a Happy Father's Day and a Happy Pride Month. 

Namaste y'all! 💖

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Happy June/Happy Pride

Sorry for my absence but my body hasn't been functioning as it should. An x-ray showed no arthritis in my hand 💁; so the next step is to see a neurologist. But after a 3 week head cold along with debilitating pain in my right hand and arm (to the point where I couldn't use it), I'm now beginning to feel better. Aging sucks!

I've eaten boring food and watched boring TV, so I've nothing exciting to share on that end. We've had 2 days of sunshine sandwiched by 16 days of cold and rain. Still I've gotten out for my brookside walks a number of times. It's fascinating to watch spring wake the earth: the unfurling of a fern or the lifecycle of a Dandelion bring such delight and hope.

And the community garden is coming along beautifully. It needs to be weeded again soon. But all the neighbours join me in saying what a joy it is to look outside and see the blooms (especially on these rainy days). 

The local committee has been doing inspections and repairs of the units. Mine is due to be painted very soon and I'll finally say goodbye to this sad, dingy yellow. Now, I'm someone who likes to surround herself with colour; but seeing as this space is much smaller for me and I have a lot of colour in my furniture and accessories, I have opted instead for a neutral white color! (My kids are shocked!) The colour I've chosen is called Persian Cat, and I like it because the sample seemed to change with the light; sometimes it had a slight green tint, other times a slight blue. Once the painting is finished, I have a few other small esthetic changes to bring to my space to make it more ME. 

I hope your health is good, my friends, and that summer has already arrived where you are. 

And a Happy Pride month to everyone. Remember: choose love. 

Namaste y'all! 💕


Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Week in Review

Thank you for your kind words and advice. My arthritis pain is getting a little better each day, and I have found a couple of ways to deal with the pain. The weather has been also getting better each day which does so much to help a body! Here are the highs from my week:

  • The yummiest, gluten-free banana bread! It's made with oat flour (which you zip up yourself in the food processor). I added 1/2 cup of chopped mixed nuts and seeds as well as a few chopped chocolate chunks.  It has a light banana flavor with a slight crumbly/nutty texture. It's sweetened with maple syrup (& honey), so is not overly sweet. Perfect!   
  • Fresh, local, greenhouse kale and chard. I steam my chard and have it with a sprinkle of vinegar and lashings of butter! Yum. And look at those gorgeous multi-color/multi-size eggs! They have brightest yellow yokes and are so tasty!

  • Yubuchobap (Korean) or Inari sushi (Japanese). These are sweet, chewy tofu pockets that you fill with rice that's been mixed with a sweet vinegar and dried vegetables. I picked up the package from the freezer section; and it's one of my favorite, very addictive snacks. Thank goodness it's kinda healthy! 

  • Free7 Mix - a carbonated pineapple/coconut flavoured drink that I bought from the international foods section of my local supermarket. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be mixed with alcohol; but as I don't imbibe much these days, I drank it as is and icy cold. It was delicious! Kind of like an alcohol-free, fizzy Pina Colada. They also had a strawberry flavor that was nice as well. 

But the biggest highlight of my week was being able to walk in the woods again. Sunday was my daughter's birthday, so we enjoyed a sunny but cool meander through the forest. 

We had a snack by the brookside and just soaked in the sound of the stream and the birdsong. We scooched under fallen trees, held branches away from each other's face, and warned each other to step around evidence of last fall's visiting moose.

Forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku! 
Sure is good for the spirit and the soul. 

It was a good week. I hope yours was too.

Namaste y'all!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Managing Pain

Spring has finally come to western Newfoundland! The snow has melted around town and is slowly leaving the forest and mountains. With any luck, I can actually walk my favorite brookside path today. The other morning, I bundled up and sat outside with my coffee, and I had some new visitors from a nearby house. (One must now be more careful where one walks!)

For the past two weeks, I've been dealing with debilitating arthritis pain in my right hand, arm and shoulder. (It seems as if now that I've retired, my body thinks it should break down and point out all my ailments immediately! Scheesch!) My doctor just yesterday prescribed Tylenol 3 (which I will take sparingly) and sent me for an x-ray on my hand so we can be sure that it is arthritis and perhaps determine what kind. 

In the meantime, I'll keep to my own pain routine: I'm still trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet at least 80% of the time, and I'm a huge proponent of cannabis which is, thank goodness, legal in Canada. With my sensitivity to prescription drugs, it is the only thing I've found that will alleviate most of the pain and has no side effects.  Finding CBD only (no psychoactive effects) is difficult here; I do have CBD gummies and I use an infused cream. But CBD alone has not as effective as weed with THC. Moderation in everything has always been one of my personal tenets! But aging is a new adventure that I find I must take on a daily basis: some days will be better than others, I guess, and I must adjust accordingly.  

Any suggestions you might have on dealing with arthritis pain would be more than welcome.

  • Drinking green tea? 
  • Applying an onion poltice? 
  • Dancing (not naked) round my fire pot at midnight?
 I'll try it all! In the meantime, the sun is coming out ...... and I can hear the forest calling. 

Namaste y'all!

Friday, April 7, 2023

Happy Easter

 When I lived in areas where I could get into the woods in winter, on Ash Wednesday, I would cut a branch of an alder tree, sit it in a jug of water, and by Easter weekend, the leaves would be budding, bringing joy and live-greenery into my home. Alas, the snow is much too deep here to venture into the forest, so I simply picked up a tree branch that I found while walking. No greenery, but still a good prop for my homemade Easter decorations. I only have a couple left that were made by my children (20+ years old); but my Asian students enjoyed the craft, and it makes me so happy to have those mementos.

After the month long muscle tension followed by a head cold, I decided to adopt an anti-inflamatory diet. And after a few weeks, my morning head felt clearer and my arthritis eased up a little. But I'm a realist, so I'm looking to eat clean MOST of the time. I mean, a girl needs a good latte and a piece of carrot cake every now and then, right? So last week, I took myself to Deer Lake for a leisurely breakfast followed by thrifting and a visit to my favorite Dollarama Store. I was pleased with my 2 new-to-me polka-dot t-shirts and an Old Navy  maxi-dress that I found. But my favorite find of the day were these freeze-dried strawberries; 80 calories a bag at $1.25 Cdn each. 

(These are not the whole bag)
Initially I bought 3 bags as I didn't know if they'd be any good. But the next day I went for groceries in the city and went to both  Dollaramas where I bought as many as I could without being an inconsiderate shopper; it was difficult, but I left plenty for others. Those stores also had bags of apples and a strawberry/banana combo. 

They are delicious! Crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth texture with a deep strawberry flavor. I often accompany these with a few pieces of 75% dark chocolate. Yummy!

Easter will be spent at my daughter's, and we're doing ham and scalloped potatoes this year. I'm responsible for a nice green salad. And with any luck, someone else will bring a dessert worthy of my tossing my anti-inflamatory notions out the window again that day.

I hope your Easter is one of peace for you and some good food.


  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...