Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Joy of Rain

 July has been wet. I don't mind. It means I don't have to water the garden and I can save some money and some energy. With all the rain, of course, the garden is lush. It's hard to imagine the barrenness of Winter with the sunny Rudbeckia in bloom.

The rain has also kept me indoors and given me time to work on my daughter's quilt. The more you add, the more you have to add to keep the balance and the symmetry. I have also forced myself to do a little cleaning and a little thinking.


I always feel that the cosmos, given time, will show us the way. With all this rain, I have had plenty of time to contemplate. So much so, that I think that I have found my "way" and it is ironically called, "The Way." I'm not sure how it came about, but I know I was looking for "something." I need to have a focus for the next ten years or however long I am spared. I think it must have been a post on FB (Facebook) that sparked my interest. Yes, FB may be the new oracle. Whatever the source, I was reminded of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and how much I wanted to walk it. I saw the film "The Way" a number of years ago and was captivated. I had actually read about the pilgrimage several years before that and wanted to go. I couldn't convince my husband, though.

This last week, however, I decided, one rainy day, to start training for the walk. I realized that I could walk 10kms a day and if I started in Sarria and walked the 100kms to Compostela, I could do the walk in 10 days. Of course, I would have to train and walk with a 10lb pack on my back, but I think I could manage that or have a service take my luggage for me. I won't be packing much. At 79, it will not be a fashion show; it will be an endurance test.

Of course, I have a lot to put in order before I leave. I will have to prepare the garden in the Fall for Spring. I will have to organized the dis-organized areas of the house. I will have to put money aside, read books, reconnect with a wonderful travel agent we use to use and of course walk, walk, walk.

My Joy for the joy jar this week has to be the rain. It nourished the garden and fed my soul. I now need to begin my journey.

Have a joyous week!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

The joy of doing nothing....

We're back from a few days vacation. My daughter had a week off, so I booked and AirBnB in Collingwood. It was a nice spot with a shared pool, near biking trails and a pleasant walk to the village.

The "drill," when we go away is: 

1. I buy a jig saw puzzle and spend three days doing it. It creates a space for the other three - daughter, son & son's girlfriend to chat, but to not be constrained by my constant presence. I am a only few feet away putting in a puzzle piece, but I can still comment from a distance. You have to know your place in this world - puzzle pieces not with standing.

2. We bring food from home. Yes, a lot of packing, but it does save money on restaurants.

3. The kids do their thing. This year they biked several trails in the area. My late husband and I had biked them a few years before. I miss the biking. I will do it again.

4. I go to bed early and the rest party until 3:00am or so. They make snacks, drink, play Scrabble and watch random "stuff" on TV.

5. On the last night I am invited to play Scrabble with them just after dinner. I don't think that I have ever played Scrabble after midnight - Bridge yes, Scrabble no. I usually win so they count the other days, they have played, as warming up for the challenge.

Unfortunately this year, my daughter was called back to work early. There were problems and she had to sort them out. She took the bus back and the rest of us decided to leave late afternoon to avoid an early morning pack up. We had to be out by 10:00am, so we took a leisurely drive back in a rain storm to be home by 7:00pm, the evening before we were to have left.

Yes, we left early, but it was still an adventure, time away, freedom from household chores (OK I still cook and clean a little) and an opportunity to escape into a puzzle and finish a novel I had started a while ago.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be the fact that I could spend three days with family and not think about housework, business work, projects etc.

The pictures? Rose of Sharon and my favourite red roses. I can also holiday in my garden.

Have a joyful week.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

The Joy of Disentanglement

 Most of my Joy this week came from a very unjoyous event - my wallet was stolen. On Wednesday June 12, I was having coffee with a friend at Aroma. I hooked my handbag over the arm of my chair and let it rest on the ground at my feet. I then put a shopping bag with a few purchases in it beside the bag. The table I chose was against a small divider and separated from other tables. Still the thief was able to crawl on the ground, squeeze between my table and the divider, move my shopping bag, open my purse and take out my wallet.

They unfortunately used my access card and various other cards to make purchases in the 24-hours before I discovered that my wallet was gone. I immediately set about to cancel my cards. However, it was not a quick process. I was on hold for almost an hour to cancel my Mastercard and negate a fraudulent purchase. I then went to my bank in person to cancel my other cards, all four of them, three of which had been used.

The next day I spent almost two hours at Service Ontario to replace my driver's license and health card. I will now have to replace various loyalty cards and have points transferred.

It's an eerie sense of violation, when this happens. Some stranger has pried into your personal possessions, exposing your identity to the world. It is also a wake-up call to be ever vigilant. The world has changed. Toronto has changed. It's a meaner place now.

I will keep my handbag on my lap in future or start wearing a purse strapped to my body. The last time I had my wallet stolen was 45 years ago at the Eaton Centre. I hope it never happens again.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week? Things could have been a lot worse. I'm so glad they weren't.

The picture? Art imitating nature or nature imitating art. 

Have an uncomplicated day!!

Sunday, July 09, 2023

The Joy of Ups & Downs...

..... This week has been HOT - 30ÂșC during the day, with the house never really cooling off at night. I finally had to turn on the AC. There will be the "see-sawing" on and off of the AC now for the rest of the summer.

Here are a number of other "see-sawing" events this week.

1. Up - I found someone to repair the front porch for less than my original quote of $6,000.00. The price to do it was $3,500.00 + tax (which I could have avoided, if I had paid cash.)

    Down - They did an OK job. Yes, you get what you pay for. Still I can live with the job and tidy it up, as needed, for less than $2,500.00

2. Up - My daughter has decided to bike to work. She will ride her father's bike. I'm so glad it will be put to use.

    Down - It needs a new tire - still not insurmountable!!

3. Up - I'm making a huge amount of progress with my daughter's quilt.

    Down - I need to re-think the next step. Always, the angst of "Will this work?"

4. Up - I joined a FB group of "slow walkers" on the Camino.

    Down - Now, I have to do it or face the fact that I am too old. I will be 80 when I set out for something that has been on my bucket list for years!!

5. Up - I have had the Joy of all my roses in bloom - it's amazing what a bit of manure and a mild Winter will do.

    Down - I have to dead-head daily. Still it gives me time to live among the flowers. I know this is a privilege denied many. I am ever grateful.

6. Up - I found a rug I could live with on (or it found me - it's a long story). It was on sale for $150.00 with FREE shipping. It's smaller than the one I had and makes the room look larger. What's not too love?

    Down - The cat has decided it is his. His toys are all over it!

7. Up - I finally found Muriatic acid. No one at Home depot even recognized the name. Fortunately Canadian Tire had it - go figure - we may seem, as Canadians, a little backward, but we still understand the fundamentals.

    Down - I now have to use it to clean 80 years of "crud" off my stonework.

8. Up - It's been a peaceful week of summer routines - Saturday morning market at the brick works, selective watering of the garden, counting the tomatoes turning red, celebrating the yellow finches on the Coreopsis turned to seed.

    Down - The days are getting shorter. I have trouble with this.

Pictures  - flowers inside and out.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be that my daughter has claimed her father's bike as hers. His spirit lives!!

The pictures? Indoor and outdoor flowers.

Have a Joyful day!

Monday, July 03, 2023

The Joy of being Canadian

 This last week ended with Canada Day, July 1. We celebrated as a family, which included a friend who has been part of our family for almost 50 years. It's comforting to know that we live in a country that is not at war, has (until Ford destroys it) decent medical care, respects democracy, is a diverse nation of multinationals and occasionally has a mild winter in southern Ontario :)

When I was growing up, my parents always wanted to move to the US. For some reason they felt that things were better there. I'm so glad they never applied for visas. I can't imagine how much medical care would be for our family, if we lived in the US. Socialism is not a "dirty" word up here in Canada, but it seems to be south of the border.

Even now, I have huge reservations about travelling to the US. I think that the "Trump" fiasco has made a number of us think twice about even flying to NYC for a long weekend. I'd rather go to Europe.

Apart from Canada Day, it was a quiet week. I had lunch at a friend's house - always a delight. I got a massive amount of work done on my daughter's quilt. I've made lists for our week up in Collingwood and I tidied up my needlework area in the living room. Yes, it finally got done!

My niece graduated from university in Glasgow, so there were lots of texts back and forth. My gift of a crocheted shawl arrived in time. 

My sister is out of hospital and on the mend. She kindly offered her sons to help, when my eldest and his partner take possession of their 80 acres to live off the grid in northern Ontario. One of her sons can skin a caribou and the other is a crack shot with a bow and arrow. Skills I'm sure they will need at one point, as they work things out "up there."

Other than, cooking, cleaning, gardening, needlework and office work, it's been pretty much a Canadian week. Nothing particularly spectacular, just peace, order and a new mayor - Olivia Chow - who will hopefully stop the destruction of our city by a ruthless premier.

My Joy for the Joy Jar this week has to be the election of Olivia Chow. She is the quintessential Canadian - an immigrant who struggled to build a life here and rose to become a political leader. We need so much change to happen in Toronto and I'm sure she can do it!!

Picture - so sorry just one. I have organized my embroidery threads for my work in progress, in a more tasteful manner :)

Have an awesome week!!