Thursday, November 17, 2011

I just found this site that is very interesting as I hope to retire one day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Zen and Gardening....

This morning in the paper there was an article about Zen and the art of Gardening....which by it's very title...intrigued me. As it's that time of year and summer has finally arrived (we hope!) I read it with anticipation expecting inspiring thoughts on gardening....and I was not disappointed, only because all too often we tend to regard gardening as a chore that we "must get to". This article brings us back to what it really is....a chance to connect with and enjoy our garden and our home.....and in doing so...ourselves. 

You can read the whole article here....and just to note that the article is about Ed Lawrence, a long time Ontario CBC garden host. He is the author of the following......offering these "five seeds of advice for the ideal garden"

* Spend time: "You have to get down on your knees and get close to things," says Lawrence, who refers back to an old Irish saying: "The most effective thing in the garden is the gardener's footprint." The first step is to pick up any garbage left behind by the winter or spring winds. "It doesn't matter if it's your garbage or not. Pick it up. Your garden and your community will look better."

* Power of order: Once the litter is picked up, it's time to put order into your property. "A little order goes a long way," says Lawrence. "Take time after cutting the grass and do some smart edges. It will make a huge difference."

* Inviting walkways: Not everyone has the space or budget to design a wide winding pathway leading to the front door, but you can create the illusion with smart planting. Make a narrow walkway look wider and more inviting by edging and creating beds on either side. If the walk is three feet wide, create a three-foot-wide bed on either side, Lawrence suggests. The final impression will be nine feet of welcome.

* Outdoor rooms: By now, the property and front walk is looking pretty good, but before expanding or creating more garden beds, take a step back and look at this makeover as if you are designing a series of outdoor rooms and ask yourself some questions: How much space do you have? How are we going to use the space? Define the spaces and use the spaces, Lawrence says. And don't worry about what the neighbours will think. This is your garden.

* Sit down and dream: You have picked up stray bits, edged the lawn, planted and now it's time to relax and enjoy the space. "You are going to notice a lot of things and daydream about the next project," Lawrence says. "It could be to create a bocce court. The key is to exercise your muscles and your brain muscle. Gardening allows you time to think, relaxing after the work allows you to dream."


Friday, June 17, 2011

Playoff Hockey.....over.....for now!!

Well….finally it's over and I can get back to a relatively stress-free existence!! I'm speaking, of course, of the playoff run of the Vancouver Canucks.
I won't comment on the aftermath….something that, apparently, would have happened win or lose….because I think enough comments have been made on that. Suffice to say that people never cease to amaze me, both in a bad and good way!!

As for me….well, I hope by next year I will have figured out how to manage this whole "playoffs" thing. Little did I know, in my early years, that I would be a fan of such empathy that it would be almost impossible for me to sit through a game in the playoffs without dissolving into a cursing swearing maniac interspersed with tears and ending with a stomp down the hall and slamming of the bedroom door, and turning on the radio….LOUDLY!!  That's if they lose of course….when they win, my mood just lifts to the skies….nothing defeats me, the smiles are there…'s a total roller-coaster ride!! 

Who knew!! Me….gentle, relatively quiet and caring me….had this volatile streak in me, this loyalty thing to a SPORTS TEAM!!!!

I think it's something about hockey…not sure what it is….I like watching football occasionally and cheer for the BC Lions….but hockey just grabs me. It grabs me and turns me inside out and forces emotions out of me that surprise me. When things are not going well, I plan scenarios in my head where it would all be planned….lull the other team into "feel good because we're winning" mood and then our team would come back and blow the other team out of the water……a scenario that would never happen….but it's trying to take a positive outlook on a negative event.

When I stomp off to the bedroom, my head fills with anguish at how the players must be feeling…and this year, the player I most felt for was Luongo. He said himself that the playoff run was one of the most stressful events he's ever had to endure….outdoing even the 2010 Olympics…..and I can see where he's coming from….and it didn't help that the opposing goalie was almost indestructible….and arrogant to boot!!

One other thing I learned this time….never put your belief in a video game company. EA Sports predicted that the Canucks would win at home in the seventh game…and it all panned out the way they said…except the last game. I think their system of simulation of THIS Stanley Cup needs a little tweaking!!

After all that has happened, I can only say that I'm so proud of the Canucks, they played incredibly well during the season and for most of the playoffs.  I think that they were done in by the fact that they just ran out of what ever it took to get them to the top of the league during the season…..that and the loss of some major players due to injury. The cliché saying "there's always next year" kinda takes the shine off what they accomplished this year…….a year of amazing plays, saves and scores.

Go Canucks….you will always be my team!! 
....and I will try to behave myself next year....I think!!


Saturday, June 11, 2011 annoyance or a help???

I pride myself on being spontaneous, off the wall, creative and a little wingy…..

Imagine my consternation then, when I noticed that as I have gotten older, I have become someone who has routine in her life. Gaaaah!!!

As much as I purport to dislike routine, I'm finding that, at my age, routine is helpful. I think at times it helps my memory and lowers my stress level…..and then again I find that I purposely go out of my way to avoid the routine just out of spite!! 

My daughter laughed uproariously when I said that I sometimes got annoyed at all her dad's routines. She said that I had just as many as he…..and annoyingly…..she's right.  I do blame DH for some of this "routine" issue though…he is very much a routine person and it's a joyous occasion when I can succeed in my attempts to get him to do something that wasn't planned. He does surprise me at times, however, when he will take the initiative and suggest we do something that I haven't even been thinking about, but upon consideration turns out to be quite pleasant.

There are definitely times when routine is a good thing…..taking medications……exercising (not one of my better routines!!), bedtime, wake-up time, afternoon naps, lunch, book reading, grocery shopping, Sunday dinners, …..oh my goodness!!!
My entire life is one big routine. Aaaack!!!

I have so much routine in my life I have no time left for spontaneity or creativity….or …. just being me!!!  I gotta be me!!!


Well…ahem…'s back to the drawing board for me……creative musical wingnut here I come!!!!


*Upon further consideration, I have realized that my routine is self-imposed..........but I still  need to do some may be self-imposed but I'm not entirely sure it's my nature.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paring it down....

So when you get retired.....a big challenge is to make less food to eat.....after all...there's only two of you ....right??

Easy to say....not so easy to do. My excuse is that I make enough for two nights, so I don't have to cook the next night for dinner. However, that still leaves the temptation to eat far more than is good for you on the initial night. Take for example last night.....

I thought I was being relatively simple...and I the variety of food, just not in the quantity.  It was after all an Easter Dinner. We had ham, scalloped potatoes with 3 cheeses and steamed veggies with chocolate layer cake for dessert.

Two nights of ham and cheesy scalloped potatoes, as delicious as they were, is just too much. The rest has now gone in the freezer, although DH drew the line at freezing the chocolate layer cake. Funny thing...although the ham and potatoes were a was the veggies that there was the least of after last night's meal. (There were four of us). So I either cooked less veggies (although I thought there was a huge amount) or  I cooked far too much potatoes and ham. Methinks it was the latter.

When it comes down to it....I am really content with a meal of one half a chicken breast, half a potato and a salad and no dessert.

I just have to get into that mindset.  It's been six years since we started the retired'd think I'd have it down pat by now.

I guess definitely needs some work.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playoff Hockey.....Phffft!!

I really have to laugh at myself.

As I get older I get less tolerant of my favourite hockey team when they screw up. When they win, I'm the happiest person around, but when they lose....look out baby!! I cannot take the stress of playoff hockey.....just as when the Canadians were playing during the Olympics. I spent all the games downstairs with the occasional look at the game online.

 My stomach gets in knots and I swear and rant... and when they lose (which I'm sure they will at some point) I just mope around. It's totally ridiculous, but it's always been that way and as I get older it gets's a friggin' roller coaster ride....and I was never a fan of roller coasters.

So...I have decided that when the Canucks enter the playoffs, I will retreat to my workshop at the beginning of each game and not emerge until the game is over.

Hopefully....the playoffs will allow me to get some work done.....DH can make the dinners and I'll eat at the table wearing my IPOD!!!


Go Canucks!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A small espisode in the Life of Chauncey and the Old Folks....

Chauncey (our Bichon) and his dad (DH) are a pair. They go on walks together and they sit together and.......
 ...well you get the picture....

Chauncey does spend time with me but Dad is his exercise buddy.
However.....sometimes Dad goes out to exercise on his own...much to Chauncey's dismay.....and it sort of goes like this....

Dad gets his gear ready, Dad goes downstairs to get his coat on, all the while being excitedly watched by Chauncey.... and then Dad does the unthinkable....he says goodbye? to Chauncey and heads into the garage.
When the garage door opens, the car starts up..and.....
"Dad, Dad are you really going without me????....and in that big red machine??"


                      "He'll be back soon....I just know it.....I'll just keep watching...sigh"
(and he really does sigh!) 

Then he has to put up with boring ol' mum until Dad's return.....needless to say, there is joyful dancing and play when Dad returns and takes him for his walk. 

A small episode in the life of Chauncey the Bichon......

Slainte !