Monday, June 11, 2018

The Present Moment

This present moment is all we have.

When I look back at my career as a teacher I regret not being more mindful and living in the moment with my students. What was I doing instead? Well...I was always thinking about what we were going to do next and was I prepared. Teaching students with special needs meant thinking of a contingency plan for every minute of the day in case something went wrong. Some students were non-verbal, some were violent and I had to be prepared for anything to happen. That meant spending a lot of time in my head thinking about the next moment, the next lesson, the next hour and so on.

Of course there were those perfect moments when everything was going smoothly, everyone, well almost everyone, was happy and I could relax and live in the moment. And those times when I just trusted myself and my instincts and flew by the seat of my pants were truly wonderful.


But life is life - I can't live in the past and I can't live in the future, unless time travel has been invented. The only place we can live is in the present moment. I'm trying - it takes a lot of practise and I'm learning a lot from my on-line course with Ekhart Tolle.



In other news...

  • I've lost 4 lbs over the past week and things are fitting better :) I sort of kick-started the weight loss with a bout of food poisoning but hey, whatever works! In a perfect world I would like to lose about 6 more lbs but what will be will be...
  • Went for a forest run (more like a jog) and ingested a white floaty seed thingy - it got caught in the back of my throat and I almost coughed up a lung. Of course you women who are around my age know what happens when you cough hard for an extended period of time. 😏
  • today's exercise will be beach volleyball for 2-3 hours and I'm hoping to ride my bike there and back. It's really windy so I'd say there's about a 50/50 chance of driving. I struggle on my bike when there's a strong headwind. 
  • Grrrrr.....I'm in a battle with all the squirrels around here as they dig up my potted plants in my patio area. Someone gives the squirrels peanuts in the shell and then they race over to my place to bury them! 
If anyone knows any safe ways to deter the squirrels I would be grateful!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Now I do Have a Reason to Complain...

Serves me right! The moment I think I have nothing to complain about...well, you know what happens right?!


I bought a package of fresh fiddleheads from Farm Boy on Monday - I just couldn't resist. My dad was a great wild food forager and he usually brought some fiddleheads home from his spring rambles. I loved them!

I steamed them until they were tender but apparently not long enough to kill the toxins that some fiddleheads contain. My bad. Those toxins can cause food poisoning unfortunately. Or it could have been caused by poor storage as stated below.

"Fiddleheads are the curled, edible shoots of the ostrich fern and are considered a seasonal delicacy in many parts of Canada. ... Fiddleheads can cause food poisoning if they have not been stored, prepared or cooked properly."  Canada.ca/health

I doubt I'll forget about the ill effects of two large helpings of fiddleheads next spring. Though remind me will you?! I ate a lot of them because my daughter sniffed at them and said "no thanks"! Smarty pants! 

Anyhoo, I had the cramps, nausea, headache and other less pleasant symptoms last night. Today I still have a bit of cramping but am feeling 95%  better. 

Lesson learned: cook fiddleheads til they turn to mush & keep my smug complaint-free thoughts to myself!!

Have you eaten fiddleheads? I still think they are delicious :)


Monday, June 4, 2018

Complaining

It's a cool wet day today but I'm not complaining about that - I'm happy that I don't have to water the flowers today and the Weather Network says the sun is going to come out a bit later and it will warm up to about 20c. I can handle that after a week of +30c. No complaints here!

Beach volleyball is still on but we won't have to wear socks today to protect our feet from the boiling hot sand - so no complaints there!

Lily got her jaw around an entire chipmunk on Saturday!!! But when she dropped it the chipmunk ran under the fence to freedom - so no complaining about that! Thank goodness! (Do chipmunks play dead when caught by a predator?)
aka Killer!
I rode my bike to the annual Gathering on the Green where my brother sets up a booth to sell his unique birdhouses. Humidity was high even though the day was cooler than usual and I was a puddle of sweat by the time I arrived. But I'm not complaining as I met up with friends, explored what was for sale, bought a gift for my sister-in-law's upcoming 70th birthday! Also went and had a nice lunch on a nearby patio with my friend Jules who purchased the creature below :)
Zombie Doll - Cynthia Rose
"Hey Cynthia Rose - get your slimy lips offa my beer!!"

Ran into a former work colleague who retired two years after I did. I asked him how it felt to be retired and he said it feels like his natural state of being. I understand what he means - it feels the way life should feel - waking up when the body is ready to wake up, eating when hungry and not because the clock says a certain time, exploring new interests, developing old ones more fully...retirement is fantastic!! Really...I can't complain!

Had a nice jog and then walked on the trails at Kilally Meadows yesterday. Ran into a friend who is a weather radar-watching freak and he told me a thunderstorm was going to hit at 2pm. But I'm not complaining - I timed my walk and made it back to my car just is time. He was dead on with his prediction! At precisely 2pm the heavens opened...though I don't think I heard any thunder or saw any lightning - SO NOT COMPLAINING!
The rain is on its way!

Kilally Meadows!
So...I guess what it all boils down to is this: I'm complaining about the fact that I have nothing to complain about! 
It's a tough life I lead!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Another Day, Another Chipmunk Tail



Who thinks chipmunks are cute? I do, I do!

I have lived in my home for 24 years and never saw a chipmunk until this spring. Lots of squirrels, rabbits, even skunks, but never a chipmunk.

At first I thought, oh how cute, and I enjoyed watching them bound along......
.....until they moved into my patio area and made a home behind my cement steps. That's a little too close for comfort.

You see...when I spent summers in PEI there were lots of chipmunks. And while they were as cute as they could be they also enjoyed living in my basement, chewing on electrical wiring and chewing up the insulation. I'm not good at killing rodents but it was them or me! I trapped them and let them loose in the forest but they ran back to the house faster than I could!!

I'm not able to reach the nest behind the steps because of a cement overhang from the doorsill. Lily has been doing her best to chase them out of our patio and will sit patiently for hours by the steps waiting for a chipmunk nose to appear.

This morning I was sitting outside, reading the paper, while Lily guarded the perimeter. Suddenly I heard the unmistakeable CHIRP of the chipmunk and next thing I saw was Lily playing with the fur off the chipmunk's tail!!

Ughh! She was having so much fun hiding the fur in a bed of myrtle and tossing it around like a cat does. I couldn't stand it (and I'll never kiss her again!!) so I put on a work glove and tossed the fur over the fence. Lily wasn't too pleased with that but I just couldn't watch her displaying her killer instincts!

Then I checked google, of course :) and found that when a chipmunk (or squirrel etc) is threatened with capture/death from behind they release their tail. In this case just the fur that covers the tail. Lily was just doing a good job keeping our patio (and home) free from rodents. I do understand that this is her instinct and she's not misbehaving.

I'm hoping that close call persuades the chipmunks to take up residence elsewhere! Otherwise my patio is going to be a battleground over the summer.
Should have named her "Killer"!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May's Money Challenge


My money challenge this month (and pretty much every month) is to get to the end of the month before I get to the end of my money :) As I am sure you would agree some months are harder than others! Sometimes things come along that you want to take advantage of (sales at your favourite store...I don't really fall into that category as I rarely go shopping), an appliance or car breaks down (so far so good), you eat out more often (nope), there are a lot of birthdays/anniversaries, (yes, to some extant), old furniture needs replacing (yes but I'm going to postpone those sorts of purchases for awhile longer), home repairs or redecorating etc etc etc...

 Budget BUSTERS can occur at at any time, some are small, some are large, some can be squeezed out of a monthly budget, some need an infusion of money drawn from savings. I HATE it when THAT happens!

I haven't had any large budget busters this month BUT I did decide to take an online course with Ekhart Tolle, author of "The Power of Now" and other helpful, inspirational books. When I first retired and my mind wasn't filled with schoolwork and students and clubs and curriculum anymore I found my mind became busy with less positive thoughts and I spent too much time in negative thinking, dwelling on the past and wondering about the future and what retirement was going to look like. If you are a long time reader you will remember (possibly) that in 2014, the year I retired, I made a LOT of changes in my life - some were my own decisions (taking an early retirement, selling my house in PEI and remaining in London), and others were thrust upon me (the breakdown of a relationship, the death of a pet and so on.)

Gradually I tried lots of different things to help myself through this period of transition - some have fallen by the wayside (crocheting, sewing, spool knitting, anxiety meds!!) and others have stuck (hiking, being out in nature, cycling, volleyball, reading, blogging, meeting friends for breakfast and movies, photography, travel and...Ekhart Tolle!)


His book, "The Power of Now", wasn't easy to read (I find non-fiction a tough read usually) so I borrowed the book on audiotape and listened to Ekhart as he read and explained the book. It was a real life saver. Living in the present moment is the only way to live - there is no past or future moment, there is only now. Due to many traumatic events happening over the past 60+ years I was STUCK and Ekhart's revelation of a book was very significant in helping me to become unstuck.


I hemmed and hawed about taking this course online but decided it was a very worthwhile expense for me. It is eight weeks long and the second week starts tomorrow. So far I would say I'm getting a lot of value for my dollar and it is money well spent. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do things that will be a benefit to your life even if it costs money. Sometimes you just have to loosen the pocketbook a little bit. Living frugally doesn't mean never spending! I'm saying that to myself, not to you, as it can become a bad habit tucking every bit of my money away into savings.


I am learning a lot and hope I can successfully apply it to my life.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

I've Got Gas!


See? I kid you not!

I was down to 3 bars on my fuel gauge and gas went below $1.20/litre on Friday so
I decided to grab some.
I added $30.00 worth of gas to the tank and now have about 3/4
of a tank. 
I wonder how long that will last.
I also wonder when was the last time I bought gas.
So I just checked my credit card online and the last time I
purchased gas was April 6th 
and I purchased $45.00 worth. 
That was 6 weeks ago!!
(Both purchases were on Fridays)
Not bad...not bad at all! 
😊

Friday, May 18, 2018

May Weather Not Good for Blogging!

I am sooooooo grateful these days for the wonderful weather we're having after our long hard slog through winter and early spring. "Mid-SPRING" has been worth waiting for! Only a couple of weeks ago we had a major ice storm and now the fruit trees are flowering and yesterday I was attacked by mosquitoes and flies while hiking in Kilally Meadows!! The temperature yesterday was a HOT 27c (81F) so I took full advantage of it enjoying a good long ramble.

Mr. Heron is about the only bird that sits in one spot long enough for me to get a photo!

So I guess you know what kind of photos I'll be taking for the next few months :)

Fauna and flora :) in the photo below those 3 blurs are white-tailed deer running along a path.

 I zoomed in a little more and you can see a lovely little white tail just right of centre. They were loving the weather as much as I was. If you look at the header photo above that is the trail the deer were running on. Of course by the time I hiked across the field to get to the path the deer were long gone.

It's so amazing the difference a coat of green foliage makes!

I was getting VERY tired of grey/brown:

Now there is so much colour everywhere!  



So, if I don't post often just imagine me on my bike with a big smile on my face: