Monday, September 18, 2023

The Joy of Books

 I've spent most of this week reading. OK, I had errands to run, shopping to do, and orders to fill at work. Yes, there were also the people who came to power wash the stonework, paint the front door and the inside banister. Plus, there was the complication of taking off all the old (antique) hardware from the door so it could be painted and then not being able to put it back on again - sigh.

Fortunately, I found a locksmith who was very familiar with these ancient locks. He came by the same day; gave us a temporary fix so we could lock the door and then came back the next day to install new hardware. His price was 75% less than the price of $1,500.00 (plus tax) quoted by the architectural locksmith on Mt. Pleasant. Gotta love people who have been plying their trade for years. They have skill, integrity and stories to tell.

When I wasn't working, however, I was reading. I finished "Tom Lake" by Ann Patchett - loved it. I skimmed through "The Camino" by Shirley Maclaine - hated it and am now engrossed in a Rosamunde Pilcher, "Winter Solstice". I love her books.

I also managed my 10km walk to the Brickworks and back. Even with an extra sweater in it, my backpack still weighed just 6lbs. Pushing it to 10lbs may be a challenge.


Finally, the last challenge this week was finding a replacement cover for the mail slot in the newly painted front door. Home Hardware seemed to be the only chain that had a 9" cover. However, their warehouse was out of them, in fact, they were being discontinued and most franchised outlets don't ship!! We did find a store in St Catherine's that had 15, but it took 2 days to contact someone who had authority to authorize an online sale and ship. Really!!

Unfortunately, we had in the meantime bought one at Rona, which we thought was only 2" bigger. No, it was 4" bigger. They posted the inside measurements not the outside measurements. We can return it, but we are out the money for shipping. My son had also ordered one on Amazon, which we will have to return and probably eat the shipping too. This will be the most expensive 9" mail slot cover ever!!

But I was talking about books. I do tend to buy new books. They are an indulgence. I have a library card, but I never seem to fit into the library's schedule of when books have to be read by. I hate the pressure, so I buy books. It's the joy of setting my own time to read and not having to remember that a book has to be returned by a certain date. Silly, I know, but it is my entertainment.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be my books. I have not watched TV, Netflix, or anything else on a screen in a year.

The picture? Mud Creek in the morning. When I'm not reading or cleaning, I'm walking.

Have a joyous week!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Joy of A/C

 Most of this week the weather has been hot and humid, a little unusual for September, but it does happen. I haven't had to put on the Air Conditioning (A/C) for most of the Summer. What a Joy and a saving of energy, money and the environment!! However, this week was too hot and too humid to do anything, not even sleep, so the A/C went on.

The hot weather also meant I drove to work - too hot to walk and did very little of anything that required exercise. It did, however, cool off enough on Friday to go to Costco where I found by chance a book I have been meaning to buy - "Tom Lake" by Ann Patchett. It's a new release, but it was half price at Costco - what a Joy!!

I have just finished reading "The Push" by Ashley Audrain. I read it because I knew that as a new author, she received a contract of $1,000,000 (based also on a second book). I had to find out what the excitement was all about. It is pretty amazing. There is a real Joy in escaping into some really "cool" books.

Saturday it had cooled off even more and I was able to walk my 10kms to the Brickworks and back. This time I took water and a thermos of tea. I'm sure my backpack weighted at least 6lbs. I often meet people there - strangers, who are very chatty. Today I met a lovely woman, whom I presumed was at best in her early 70's. I found out at the end of our conversation that she was 84. I decided to try for 15kms on Sunday.

The pictures? I also made apple tarts with apples from our tree in the garden. They were delicious.

Have a week of Joy!

Monday, September 04, 2023

Camino #2

 I'm still training for my Camino. Today I walked 10.1kms. I set out at 8:00am to walk to the Brickworks at the bottom of the Mud Creek ravine. I decided that I could treat myself to breakfast once I got there. I was so pumped at 5kms that I splurged on a Belgian waffle with fruit and cream for $10.00. Coffee was and extra $3.00. I'll never have enough money to do a Camino at the rate I'm treating myself!!

I also realized that not only do I have to be fit, I also have to be nimble. I have to be able to manipulate backpack - open to retrieve wallet. Right hand with waffle, left hand with walking pole, where does one hold coffee. In fact I looked like a house of cards ready to collapse, when a kind stranger offered to reset the lid on my coffee before everything fell apart. There are angels everywhere!!

The waffle was filling. The coffee was great. It was early so the crowds were manageable. I bought $5.00 worth of green beans and passed on the Ginger Gala apples for $7.00. There were maybe 7 in the entire basket. Maybe next time when I bring my own breakfast.

The entire walk took me 2.75hrs. The walk down hill was about an hour. OK, I used to be able to do 5kms in 45mins. That was about 10 years ago. I spent half an hour at the market and then walked back uphill, a little slower, but not exhausted.

And as a footnote - pun intended. I had no blisters!!

Buen Camino!!

The picture? The peace at the end of the struggle.

Have a wonderful day!!

The Joy of Connections

 Another glorious week of Summer....gorgeous weather.....lots of activity...and...lots of connections.

1. Sunday I was invited to a friend's house for lunch. It's always a delightful visit. Her home is in Pickering, a stone's throw from the lake. While we chat and prepare lunch, her husband plays classical music on his amazing grand piano. I also get to spend quality time with their standard bred poodle - so much fun!

2. Tuesday I met with 10 friends; all of them I have known since grade school. We grew up together in Weston, ON. Even though three of us went to the local Catholic school, while the others went to the public school, we all went to "the dances." When you add in the "boys" who also came out to the dances, we were quite a large group, an instant party. In fact one of those "boys" dropped by on his way to see another chap from the group, who was in rehab for a fracture. We go back a long way!!

3. Saturday, I walked again to The Brickworks. It's a wonderful 10kms walk through a forested ravine. This is where I connect with nature, my music, my mind and all the morning people out for runs, walks and cycling. Sometimes I'm so lost in thought that I forget what I'm listening to on my phone. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" sounds just as nice on a warm summer's day, as it does in December.

4. I usually don't post for Sundays (saving those events for the following week), but I wanted to add a long walk on consecutive days in preparation for my Camino, so I'll mention that I walked again to The Brickworks for their Vintage and Artisan market. The connection here was a knitting booth called I introduced myself because I am (also .ca). We chatted about knitting, yarn and the craft business in general. It was a lovely conversation.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be my meeting with friends from elementay school. Several are in their 80's. We all live in our own homes, drive and are very active physically and socially. In fact, one woman is 83 and still working, as am I. They are marvelous examples of longevity. Though many have lost spouses, there was still a lot of Joy, laughter and fond memories among us.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Joy of Peaches

Saturday morning I managed another walk to the Brickworks Market - round trip 10kms. I took a 6lb backpack and wore my new walking (running) shoes. These were the Under Armour ones I got from Sporting Life for $40.00 - on sale. They were perfect - no blisters.

I upped the anti for the walk back, because I bought a basket of peaches that weighed 4 lbs. This meant that I was carrying about 10lbs of dead weight on my back. It slowed me a little and by the end I could feel my hips, but I still made it home in 1.25 hours.

Other joys this week were:

1. My son finished sanding and painting the wrought iron railing around the front porch. It looks amazing.

2. I got a good quote for power washing the stone work at the front of the house. Plus they will sand and paint the front door, the moulding, re-caulking as needed, however, the kicker might have been the fact that they would paint a wrought iron, indoor staircase railing to the second floor for FREE!!

3. Orders continue at work - this is always good.

4. Had coffee with a friend at Aroma. Always wonderful conversations about books, life and more...

5. The weather has been perfect!! I could get drunk on Summer!!

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be my 10km, 10lb walk to and from the Brickworks. Yes, I like peaches, but I love the ravines even more and the fact that there is a busy market destination at the end of mud creek ravine, makes me want to walk forever!! 

Have an awesome week!!

Monday, August 28, 2023

Camino #1

This is my first post on my plans to walk a Camino next Spring. I made the decision to at least think about walking a Camino last month. Since then I have:

1. Joined several FB groups to gather information.

2. Ordered and received four books - one for each of the four most popular caminos.

3. Bought a merino wool singlet. I needed to replace one that never returned from the wash - I live in a crazy house!

4. Received and started reading a book my sister-in-law gave me, "The Gathering Place." It's about one woman's journey on the Camino France´s. It's a wonderful book. 

5. Started training.

Today I walked 9.1 kms. I did stop for coffee and a danish - there go any pounds I might have lost from walking!! I also developed a blister. Did I mention that I was carrying a 6lb backpack. Now I need to increase my distances and the weight of my pack.

I am also madly trying to find information about elevations. I would like to know what 250m of elevation looks like in real life. I think I found that 115m of elevation is the rise out of Mud Creek and maybe 160m of elevation is the rise out of the Sherwood Park ravine. I'm not sure about these, though.

I would like to get an idea of the difficulty of various climbs on any of the caminos. I guess, I'll just have to wing it (If only I could :) )

Monday, August 21, 2023

10.1 kms of Joy!!

 This week was a lovely week of summer weather. Most days were around 25ÂșC with sunshine. I harvested tomatoes from the garden and cooked some interesting meals using up tomatoes that were ripening too quickly. This is my idea of summer - lots of warm weather, lots of sunshine, lots of colour in the flower garden and lots of fresh meals from the kitchen garden. 

This week also had lots of mail!! Two packages arrived on Wednesday - a book on the Camino France´s from my sister-in-law in Edinburgh. "The Gathering Place" is written by a Scottish woman who walked The Way in 2020. It's a well written, fascinating read. In fact I finished it in three days. The second package was my fourth book by John Brierley. This one was also on the Camino France´s. I have decided to walk a section of this Camino from Sarria to Santiago - just over 100kms - hopefully next Spring.

In preparation for the journey, I managed two pre-camino walks this week. One on Tuesday for 9.1kms and one very early Saturday morning for 10.1kms. I actually walked from my house to the Brickworks market along the path known as Mud Creek. I had breakfast at the market and walked back!! It was amazing!!

In fact, my Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be the length and enjoyment of my walks - Buen Camino. 

The pictures? Garden Joy.

Have an amazing week!!

P.S. I will be writing more posts with more detail about my Camino preparations. However, they may all just merge with my Joy posts. It's difficult to have a compartmentalized life.


Monday, August 14, 2023

The Joy of walking

 Today, I walked 7.2kms in an hour and a half!! It's my best yet. And....and...I'm not tired!! I also had a 6lb pack on my back. OK, I was walking on pavement and the terrain was mostly flat. However, I had walked this same path three weeks ago and I had to take a break at 6kms. I was also walking with a lighter pack and was really very tired. "Say not the struggle naught availeth." In fact, I could feel my hip bones before I left and didn't think I would get very far. I also developed a foot ailment at 2kms, but pressed on. Everything worked out. I do love mornings like this.

Next time I am going to push it to 8kms.

For the most part it has been a joyous week. 

1. They found a vein for a routine blood test on the second stab - always a relief.

2. I met with a friend for lunch and finally gave her her Christmas present. She in turn gave me an awesome handbag with sooo many pockets that I have still some empty.

3. Orders continue at work. This is good.

4. I finally took some ugly weeds from the garden.

5. I have tons of ripe tomatoes, which have been harvested today.

6. We had a great Civic holiday dinner with family and a family friend last Monday. My son smoked chicken legs and pork side ribs. They were delicious.

7. I am making progress on the revision of my book. Now to find a believable curse to drive the conflict of the plot.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be my 7.2 kms walk. It's been a fruitful week - all puns intended.

Have a wonderful week!!