Well, I am not entirely sure how it got to be Sunday night already but here I am, needing to make a blog post to keep up with my target of at least 1 post/week!
I might be jumping the gun a tad as it’s not quite the end of the month…but I have some lovely wintery photos burning a hole in my iPhone, so here goes my first attempt at a Changing Seasons post. (Su, I hope I am doing this right!) All of these photos were taken on the Mill Run Trail that starts in the Village:
This weekend I was back down on the Mill Run Trail again, this time with Joanne of My Life Lived Full. This was our second get-together, and my pleasure to host her at my stomping grounds. The weather was a lot milder than on New Year’s Day, and the snow showed it:
Back indoors, when not binge-watching Grace & Frankie, I was “arting around”:
This painting came to life while following instruction from Angela Anderson
I love the way the background came out but I could have done better on the blossoms. I want to fix some stuff and do some glazing, and then it will be done!
I haven’t proceeded any farther with my Queen of Wands idea. I’m trying to figure out the best way to take a small drawing and transfer it to a bigger canvas. I’ve looked up the process of using a grid technique (cheap but looks tiresome) and also have discovered (cue angelic singing): the Artograph. Yep, that’s about 800 dollars worth of awesome technology that I won’t be buying anytime soon. Back to reality I go…
This weekend’s January thaw also meant it was finally a good time to wash Edward II, without risk of his doors freezing shut. If the sun would come out, he’d be all sparkly again. For about 5 minutes. Until covered with wintry road goo once again…
My weekend was jam-packed with fun stuff. How was yours?
I think I may have mentioned on Ye Olde Blogge a time or hundred that every year I struggle with our North American commercialization/celebration of Christmas. It has become much too materialistic and in-your-face for yours truly.
This season has become instead a time of reflection and review and planning for me as the nights get longer and longer. And I love this time of year for that!
TRIGGER WARNING: If someone holding a different opinion than your own could lead to you turning into a Judgey McJudgepants and leaving a nasty comment, please skip over this next section. If you feel you must take a tone with me, your comment may or may not be deleted, depending on how much of a chuckle I get out of it.
Oh sure, I partake in some Christian Christmas rites. It’s part of my upbringing and my history. I put up a tree. I send out cards to friends and family. I re-watch old Christmas movies and sing along to carols. I even do the gift thing, although more and more I am giving gifts that are homemade – gifts of my time and intention. I love to wish people a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year AND I mean it. I do these things because I enjoy them and I like celebrating this season (this month, especially) of long nights and waiting for the sun to return.
I am not a Christian, so there is no religious meaning to my celebration. You won’t find a manger scene at my house. But I will haul out the Seashell Jesus, because I find it amusing. I think I’ll put it next to the picture of Krampus my talented son made for me. For balance. Someday maybe I’ll add a representation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the mix, and my triptych of mythical beings will be complete. Ramen!
If you are reading this and a practicing Christian/Jew/Wiccan/Pagan/Hindu/Zoroastrian/Muslim/WhateverReligion, great! You do you. Whatever gives you comfort and meaning is cool with me. Please return the favour.
TRIGGER WARNING OVER.
What I am celebrating at Chez Badass is this: the end of the darkness and the return of the light. Because the longest night – tonight – the winter solstice (the official start of Yule or Yuletide) – is something I can get behind.
I do so love this rock we live on – the natural world – and the turning of the year, and I like to acknowledge this event. And this is the time and the season for me to pause and reflect and set intentions for the next spin around the sun that I am lucky enough to be a part of.
This is nothing new. Humans have been celebrating the solstice since well, we first noticed it was “a thing”. And these Yule celebrations have been co-opted into Christianity and have become integral to the Western celebration called Christmas.
For my particular celebration of the longest night, I will lighting (many, many) candles and finalizing my goals and intentions for the coming year. These include, in no particular order of importance (because they are all important to me):
I’ll be going into each of these goals in detail in upcoming blog posts. Yule see, hehehe!
I will leave you with this thought – at this special time of year why not remember to:
Merry Christmas and Rock on,
First a PSA: thanks to the power of the Twitterverse and a blogger named Kat of AsKatKnits, I learned that NaBloPoMo is still a thing! Another blogger (Aimie from Blissful Lemon) is hosting it this year. Go Aimie! Link up here, if interested in joining in the challenge (and the fun!).
Here is part 2 of how I made the most of Ontario’s better-late-than-never summer weather :
And now the real fall is finally upon us. Dark mornings and early evenings and damp, cold, windy weather.
Thankfully, I have this to look forward to during these dark days ahead:
Rock on until tomorrow!
This is going to be a two-parter, because Summer finally came to town in September and hung on through almost all of October.
I did try to make the most of the great weather while it lasted, and when I wasn’t working.
Tomorrow I will do a photo recap of the glory that was October.
Well hello dear Bloggie,
Coming at you from a hotel room in Kelowna, British Columbia on this fine 3rd day of September – which would have been my 7th wedding anniversary. (Or would it? Hmmm…I’d like to think I would not have divorced my mentally ill, betrayer of a husband had he not died from cancer…but who knows what alternate reality I would be living by now had things turned out differently…) Anyhow, I don’t have a whole lot of emotion surrounding this day anymore…and I think that is a good and healthy sign.
August has been a stressful month for me. My sister has been quite ill and in hospital here in Kelowna – hence my presence. Most of the month I was on pins and needles, not knowing when her surgery would finally happen or if she would be healthy enough to even qualify. This, plus lots of goings on at work made the month both drag on and fly by simultaneously, if that makes any sense (and it does to me).
I did manage to get up to see my other sister (Me Too) and her wife at their lovely lakeside home, on the Civic Holiday Long weekend…and stopped in at a National Park (another one crossed off the list) along the drive up there.
And I did get to Riverfest Elora 2017. A fantastic festival with such a great vibe – I think this will be an annual event for me. Hopefully next year I can convince someone to join me. I didn’t mind going alone, but naturally it would have been even more enjoyable to have company.
As I fretted and stressed the month away, I decided to pour my feelings into the paint I was applying on some canvases.
I did find some time to get on the river.
And then I got word that my sister’s surgery had finally been scheduled and was happening within 48 hours, so it was a mad dash to get plane tickets and book a hotel. I arrived in smoke- and ash-covered Kelowna on Tuesday. This has been the worst season for forest fires in 60 years, I’ve been told.
My sister’s surgery was a success and she is steadily improving. And the skies have cleared up too!
I have booked my flight home for this coming Tuesday. Now there is nothing left to do on this Labour Day long weekend but enjoy visiting my sister and eat my fill of Okanagan peaches.
Back in February I committed to another half-marathon race. I started training for the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon (again). Things started out well but I began to struggle as temperatures rose and distances increased. I made the decision early in May that I would not participate, as I couldn’t meet the minimum pace required to finish the course in time.
This was a tough decision to make and initially I felt defeated and like a failure. I have successfully trained for and completed 5 half-marathons and I have never had this problem before.
I had no idea why I wasn’t improving despite adhering to my tried and true schedule of training walks. I wondered if maybe I was developing exercise intolerance due to the daily medication I now have to take (thanks TIAs!) or if work was kicking my ass even more than I suspected. What the hell has changed?
I made an appointment to see my doc for a physical and blood tests were ordered. My clever doc ordered a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test to be done along with the “usual suspects” of blood counts, lipid profiles, blood sugar etc. I downloaded my results on Friday and noticed the TSH levels were reported as abnormally high, meaning my thyroid gland may be under-performing. Hmmmm….this explains a lot of symptoms I am experiencing, not just my poor performance on my walks.
I am making an appointment to discuss this with my doc first thing Monday, to see what the next steps are. I do feel a bit better now about my inability to meet the pace requirements for today’s race. I know I made the right call to pull out, even though a part of me wishes I was on the course with all the other runners and walkers right now.
Anyhow, it does seem that indeed something has changed and I will get that investigated further and addressed. Stay tuned!
In other Badass news, I have experienced a setback with my rooftop garden as well. Thanks, Mother Nature.
Looks like this gardening adventure is going to be a “fall down 7 times; get up 8” type scenario. Still up for the challenge!
In Kayaking news, I took my newest acquisition out for its maiden voyage. (I’m stopping now with kayak purchases, I promise!).
When the weather is bad, I play around with my art supplies. I put together a new storage cabinet yesterday for my ever-expanding collection of pencils, crayons, markers, inks and paints.
Here’s a sneak peek at a work in progress.
*Japanese term: forest-bathing
When my sisters and I were little, my parents and grandparents would go for their annual 2 week vacation together. Each year during that time period we would head up to Mattawa, to a rented cottage. This was before the tent-trailer/trailer camping phase (sans grandparents) of our lives began.
I absolutely loved staying at the Blanchard family’s cottages, located on a private lake.
Every (very early) morning was spent watching the sun rise from our little aluminum boat, poles expectantly dangling above the water. Every evening was spent the same way, this time watching the sun go down and using a flashlight to get back to the dock in the near darkness.
We caught so much fish we had it for breakfast (catfish with our eggs and bacon) and supper (perch, bass or pike). At first it was great. But after a week of this we kids used to beg Mom: “Please, no more fish! Can’t we have pork chops tonight please???”
Days were spent exploring the property and swimming in the lake. There was a little pond at the end of a trail in the bush near the cottage, that housed the baby fish used to stock the lake. I loved to go there and check on their progress.
There was a tiny tuck shop at the main house and every day Mom would give us a dime (a whole dime!!!) with which to buy ourselves a treat – it ended up being a chocolate bar, usually. This was unbelievably thrilling to us as kids as we didn’t have any sweets at our house, except for special occasions.
My middle sister (the youngest was still too young to accompany us) would invariably pipe up that she wanted whatever I was getting, which earned her the nickname “Me-Too” from Mrs. Blanchard.
Once back home, I would often lay awake at night and relive those carefree, happy weeks every summer at the cottage. I felt unbearably homesick for that part of the province at times, and vowed I would find a way to live there – on a lake – when I grew up.
Well, I grew up and did not end up north of here, living lakeside, for a multitude of reasons.
But little Me-Too managed to do it! And I was reminded of my childhood vow when I visited her and her wife at their lovely property last summer.
This got me thinking that I have nothing stopping me from relocating to a waterfront property, once I am no longer tied to an area due to proximity to work. There are so many lakes in this province of mine (including 4 Great Lakes) that it will be hard to choose the exact “right” one for me.
For sure, my dream property has to be close to hiking and walking trails and be ideal for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and swimming.
(Fishing has lost its thrill for me so that doesn’t factor into my decision…something I never could have foreseen. I haven’t fished in years and last time I did I surprisingly felt so sorry for the beautiful fish I hauled out of the lake, I released it right away – much to my first husband’s chagrin. So I started leaving my pole on the shore and bringing a book onto the boat with him instead.)
Obviously a move like this is a huge decision and one that requires a lot of thought and research. Wouldn’t it be funny if it became my turn to be “Me-Too”?