Monday, January 30, 2023

And now, back to our normal forecast!

Well, the winter 'honeymoon' period is over! After almost 2 months of little to no snow in western Newfoundland, the weather seems to have reverted to normal. Our senior's cottage community has a local man who shovels the pathways from one cottage to the next to the parking lot: he shovels when he feels like it, and he warned me it could be the middle of the night. I don't normally hear him: but last night, I woke at 2 am and again at 5 am to the scrape, scrape, scrape of shovel on concrete. Yet when I awoke at 7 am, you couldn't tell anyone had been here! I'm grateful that I no longer have to make my way to work but can nest safely in my little home.

I'm also grateful that I took an extra long walk yesterday, not only for the health benefits and fresh air in my lungs but because it's part of how I spend all the new-to-me hours in my day. It was very cold and crisp yesterday, one of those days when the light is somehow different and in the midst of all that snow, everything seems to have a bolder outline.
 I took the path by the brook like I've done a few times, but this time, I crossed the main road to what used to be the old road before we had a highway. I walked on the bridge we always crossed back in the 60's when my family would head to our cabin at Big Bonne Bay Pond. It brought back such memories: Mom and Dad in the front seat with baby on Mom's lap, 4 kids crammed in the back complaining about who's touching who, and the dog on the back window! (The days before seatbelts!!!) But somehow, we all survived. I spent a good hour outside and my legs were happy to be home again.

I made myself a gourmet hot chocolate with frothy hot milk (I love my milk frother!).  And I also had some apple crisp that I'd baked earlier. The week before, I'd bought some raisin oatmeal cookies on sale, but I didn't really care for them. Being on a fixed income and not wanting to waste money, I turned them into crumbs, rubbed in some soft butter, added some chopped walnuts and used this as my crisp topping. It was delicious!

I have no plans for this snowy day other than a little puttering ...... and the remainder of that crisp! 

How's your day going? 


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Now that I'm retired, I've made a plan for my days: I'd rise early, meditate and stretch, eat a healthy breakfast, take a walk, spend my afternoons on chores, and then reward myself with a relaxing evening watching Netflix or Prime. Doesn't that sound good? Doesn't that sound productive and healthy? But life doesn't go as we plan.

I spent the past 2 days resting because my back pain flared up again after pulling my 18 month old grandson on his sled. It never hurts while I'm doing it; it's always the next day. And seeing as I've never done that particular activity before, it's not like I should have known better. Sigh! It's just another thing on my list that I have to remember to not do because of my back! (It's a long list.)

But this morning, I felt much better. I meditated, I stretched (a little), I ate my yogurt and fruit. So, the next step is to go for a walk. And after 2 days of inactivity, I was anxious to get out that door!

                           Oh! Yeah! Newfoundland weather!

Well, perhaps I'll just wait until the snow let's up. And if it doesn't, then I'll have to settle for walking round and round the outside of the senior's cottages. But I must get out for some movement and fresh air. I don't know about you, but if I don't move often, my arthritis will act up, I have trouble sleeping and I'm oh so crabby!

In the meantime, there are other things I can do:

  • I'll go through my recipe binders and remove the ones that I've never tried (and probably never will)
  • I'll write up a grocery list
But my first priority will be to make myself a latte and catch up on new blog posts. 

Stay warm and dry, my friends!


Friday, January 20, 2023

Goodbye David


One of my childhood icons has died today. Like so many of us, I loved the music of David Crosby, from his early years with The Byrds to Crosty, Stills, Nash and Young, and on to his own solo efforts. 

I was a very young teen when I first discovered his music. And although I didn't always understand the politics behind some of the words, the beautiful harmonies and poetry of the lyrics always touched the deepest part of me.  

I hear he was a difficult man; his life was colored with substance abuse, prison, infighting, rudeness - much of which was caused by his addiction. According to the 2019 Netflix documentary "Remember My Name", David regretted past actions and spent his latter days trying to make amends ... trying to find peace. (Me too, David; me too. )

At the end of the documentary, David once again said something that resonated deep, deep down inside me, and I've adopted those words as one of the tenets of this, the winter of my life:

"Time is the final currency. How are you spending yours?"

Farewell, dear David. 

And thank you for the music. 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Food for a Nasty Day

It's -3 C (26.6 F) out there and freezing rain is falling. I'm glad I decided to cook yesterday so I can enjoy my time inside today.

Newfoundland comfort food
I baked a ham on New Year's Day and froze the leftovers. So, I made yellow split pea soup: thick, slightly salty and so comforting. Most Newfies use salt beef, but ham works just as well for me. But I didn't make the traditional doughboys (dumplings) as I have a sensitivity to wheat. I'd rather use my wheat rations for something else.

Something like these delicious Homemade Fig Bars.

Add a dollop of yogurt or cream
I'm slowly making my way through a bag of dried figs and found the perfect recipe. They are similar to a date square except the bottom is more of a shortbread. I made a few changes to suit my tastes and pantry. 

When I made the fig jam filling, I grated a little orange zest into it. And seeing I didn't have walnuts or pecans, I substituted chopped almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds.

Those were great choices! These squares are da bomb! Now ........... what shall I watch on television?

Stay warm and safe (and well fed). Namaste! 


Monday, January 9, 2023

A Magic Trail Walk


Because Newfoundland (NL) winters are so long and harsh, and because CB was so 'hilly' and icy, winter usually meant I was stuck indoors most of the time. Each spring when I could safely get outside to walk, I'd notice that my strength and endurance had lessened. 

My new community is flat which means I can walk year round. It's off the highway, tucked in the Humber Valley and surrounded by alpine forest on 3 sides and the Humber River on the other. There are so many trails to discover, some of which will have to wait until spring (so I don't get lost). But seeing as my word for 2023 is Explore,  I'm anxious to do just that. 

The view outside my kitchen window is a peaceful one, overlooking the trees (and the storage garage). Western NL has had a very mild winter to date. There's just enough snow on the ground to sparkle and just enough cold to make the snow crunch. The end of my street is a dead end which leads to a small copse of fir trees; you can hear a brook below but you can't see it and it's too steep to reach. However, there at the end of a chain link fence is a path leading downhill; this path is often covered with the footprints of small children and dogs, so today I decided to follow those footsteps.

At the bottom of the hill and around a bend, I came upon the brook. The path widened at this point and followed the water. Other than the sound of the water gurgling around rocks and icy patches, it was so quiet and peaceful. 

There were places where trees had fallen and you either had to go under or take the path around. In two places you could see the back side of other senior's cottages. But mostly, it was just me and the forest. Walking through this particular 'promenade' was magical: the sound of the brook combined with the snow laden fir boughs overhead was so enchanting!

The path eventually led to a bridge and onto the main road. And lo and behold! There ahead of me were the creators of the footsteps I'd been following - a mom, 2 children and 2 dogs. I followed them up the street, we took a right through another little senior's cottage community, and then following the sidewalks, they led me straight to my street. Thank you!

My leisurely stroll took me about an hour. After peeling off my many layers of clothing, and stretching my muscles for a cool down, I made myself a homemade chai latte in my beautiful last-Xmas mug. Ahhhh! This is a good start to a new year in a new community. 

Do you enjoy winter? What do you do to get through?

Namaste my friends!

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Back from the Land-of-the-Dead Computer!

Hello my dear blogger friends!

It's been almost 2 years since I posted. Two years!!! My deepest apologies for leaving you high and dry with nary a word of farewell. But just after my last post in March of 2021, my home computer died. And almost immediately after that, Covid hit! 

With the tightening of my financial belt, the possibility of dying from Covid, my dad's death, 2 of my siblings fighting cancer, and what has been the unfolding, almost total breakdown of the world around us, I have muddled through these past 2 years using my phone for social media; Any remaining energy was put into  trying to maintain a positive outlook on life and finding pockets of blessed joy and serenity. I would read your posts sometimes at work, but I couldn't myself post. 

But I've recently gone through a number of very big changes. My long-awaited retirement happened in early November 2022; and while I was ready to sit back and enjoy this new-found freedom, within days, I got a call to say that a senior's cottage had become available for me in the next community. So, I had 3 weeks to pack up my life and move, for the 3rd time in 6.5 years! Xmas came, Xmas went; I finally bought myself a new laptop, and now that the dust is settling, I'm ready to begin blogging again. 

I'm in a new location, my time is (almost) my own, I have the necessary technology, and I have an excitement and zest to discover what my new life will be! I've never been retired before!

I'd love it if you would once again join me for whatever adventure and (safe) mischief I can possibly get into.

I'm back ..... and happy to be here with you.



  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...