Sunday, October 28, 2012

 Michael and I have been discovering new places to hike at - these photos are from last weekend when we hiked around Lake Whitaker. It was mild and sunny - just perfect. The colours have peaked and now there is a deep carpet of leaves everywhere.
 Usually I get melancholic during the fall season BUT this fall has been different. Can you believe I am looking forward to WINTER??  Yes, indeedy! We have had such brilliant weather this year - it all began during March  break when Michael and I went to visit the trailer I used to own and which now belongs to friends.  The weather just got better and better through the long spring and the never-ending summer. Just in the past two days has it been cool enough to put on a jacket. Remarkable, really. I find myself waiting for it to warm up again as I am so used to it being warm (or HOT) every day now.
 So that is why I am looking forward to winter. I am ready for a change of season and I can hardly believe I am saying that - ME - the lover of summer!

I am going to go out on a limb here (HAH! get it?) and predict that every leaf that is still attached to a tree branch around here will have fallen by next weekend and will be residing somewhere in Manitoba...or perhaps the Arctic! Hurricane Sandy is on her way and she is one of the most massive storms to ever trundle her way up the Eastern seaboard.  Her winds are not overly strong but her size is incredible - she is 1,000 miles in diameter and set to wage such destruction she will make her way into history books!  By Thursday we should be feeling the effects of all of her windy and rainy fury and by this time next week the trees should all be stripped clean. I just hope that they remain standing and that no one is injured or killed!
 Lake Whitaker is a little piece of heaven on earth. I used to come to the perimeter of this conservation area with my dad to pick elderberries years ago and had never hiked here before. Michael and I have circumnavigated the lake twice now - it takes about 3 hours, or more depending on how many side paths we take. The lake is quite small but the carolinian forest and the pine forests extend quite far to the north.
 My feet with my favorite Blundstone boots are peeking through a thick carpet of leaves.
 The geese love it here. And the blackbirds must stop here on their migratory path as the cacophony of sound was almost overwhelming at times.
 This week was pretty good - I am working hard at creating a structured learning environment at school and have made a lot of progress.  The powers that be have given teachers FOUR half-days of release time this year to work on a PLC (Personal Learning Community) project and so I chose to continue to work on structured learning of course. Last Friday was my first half-day. I got up at my usual time (5:15am) and was working away on my living room couch by 6am. It was a wonderfully productive time - being able to work for 4.5 hours WITHOUT interruption was fantastic! I am really making headway!

Shortly after I arrived back at school on Friday a friend arrived who is helping me to implement structured learning by helping to train my educational assistants. This friend helps at a number of schools and we used to work together for a few years. We see eye to eye so I know I  can count on her to pass on my strategies and methods in the same way that I would. By the end of the school day I was actually feeling JOYFUL!! Yes, joyful!

My regular readers know that last year was a tough work year for me and I ended up taking some time off due to the stressful work conditions.

I want to mark the day - Friday, Oct. 26th - as the day that I said to myself again -"I love my job!"
 You can see by my photos that I am always trailing behind Micael! It's because I stop and take so many photos!
 I love this photo - you can see little areas of light close up, in the middle ground and far off in the distance. What is Michael thinking, I wonder?
 Getting out for hikes every Sunday really saves my bacon. I get so caught up in the day to day grind during the week and it's so tempting to just lay on the couch with a book or watch something on Netflix. (By the way, I discovered the TV series "Jericho" the other day - wow, I love it!)  But, once I drag my butt outside I'm so glad I did!
 Just love the brilliance of these reddish-orange oak leaves against the blue sky!
 Do you think they're poisonous?? Even so, they are so CUTE!
 Walking though the pines on millions of dropped needles - so quiet...
One thing about walking on fallen leaves and needles is sometimes you're not sure if you're still on the PATH so I'm always happy when we come across a little bridge - yes! We're still on the path!
 This is where one side-path took us - how idyllic!

 Back into the woods - and I found a little green man dancing a jig!
And a little brown man! :) Well, not so little!
 This photo has a "holy" feeling to it I think...out of the darkness and into the light!
Some of the migrating birds - they moved from tree to tree overhead - filling the air with their constant chirping.
The light at the end of the tunnel - another side-path. At this point my camera battery died, aren't you sad??

No hiking this weekend - it's wet and cold...and wet. Blecch! And I've been on my own for most of the weekend so I DID INDULGE in some couch laying and some TV watching ;)  But I also rode my recumbent bike for miles and miles and miles just so I could break even with all the calories I consumed. I'm trying to get in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week which is the minimum we need according to "the experts".  I spent two days after classes in the cardio room at school - I alternately ran and walked on the treadmill, used the elliptical and did some resistance training. Far exceeded 150 minutes. Although it's great to get the exercise I do it mostly for managing stress. I really do feel better after working up a good sweat and I don't have to pay for a gym membership.

One of these days I'll do a financial update. I am sticking to a budget and while I spend, spend, spend it's mostly for school and I'll eventually be reimbursed. I hope. If I find the correct forms to fill in and haven't lost any receipts.

Well, I better move along. The dryer buzzed and there's more laundry calling my name. And so is lunch!! Have a great week everybody and thanks for reading my post.


kim said...

Pictures are exquisite! I am so glad work is going well.

savingfortravel said...

I totally get what you mean about walking/hiking lifting your spirits. I feel the same and if I'm low, it brings my mood right up.

Just amazing photos. I have so many favourites.

Glad you're loving school again.

Sft x

Witchisland blogspot com said...


Beautiful pictures. We also went for a long walk on a trail in Breadalbane.
It is well worth a try next time you are out and about in P.E.I. The beaver dam is huge and it is amazing how many trees they chew in a single night.
Glad thing are going well at work.

joliereves said...

Hey Jane. Sorry for not commenting for so long. When I try to at home the page tells me I need IE9 or another browser, which is odd because I have IE9. So I wrote on my hand to write you from school today where I have firefox.

Thank you thank you thank you for all the amazing pictures you have posted. Those fall ones from today's make me dreamy and ache to go walking there. Even moreso with the foot of snow on the ground today and the bitter cold wind. There is nothing more therapeutic than walking in environments like that. Hope your year is going well. Thank you for being YOU!

~Carla~ said...

Gorgeous photos Jane!! I'm so glad things are going well for you!! :)

P.S. Please keep winter in your end of the city then... ;) lol!!

CentsToSave said...

Hi Jane! Love the beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them with us. Glad things are going better at work. Your students are blessed to have you :)

Gill T said...

I too am glad to hear you are loving your job. Those are great photos, and yes this weekend has really been a wash out.


Louise@eliminatedebt said...

beautiful pictures Jane, makes me want to get out in the bush again..
glad to hear work is improved too

Tbe Borrower said...

The photos are amazing. Makes me wish I was there. I am so glad to hear things are better with work. I remember last year and it is about time for this turn around.

Jharrison56 said...

I agree it's time for a turn around at work! As far as our fall colours, I have a feeling they'll all be gone by the time H. Sandy wends her way across the country! Stay safe!

Jharrison56 said...

thanks Louise - I just take work one day at a time!

Sonya Ann said...

I am so glad that you are back to loving work! I was worried about you.
And your pictures are perfect! Thank you for sharing them, they brought a smile to my face!

Marguerite said...

I hope you guys have managed okay through the storm. Sandy has turned out to be quite a nasty lady. I'll bet your prediction about all the leaves gone was the right one, the wind has been whipping here all day, bridge closed to high sided vehicles. Hope this isn't a sign of the winter to come.

Jharrison56 said...

We got off pretty lightly considering the damage elsewhere. Thankfully. It was much worse in Toronto which is 2 hours away from us. As for winter I'm hoping it doesn't make us pay for the lovely weather we've had for the last 8 months! Glad you're OK!

Sluggy said...

I almost felt like I took that walk with y'all!lol I love photos of fall foliage.....always have. Glad this school year is off to a good start for you.

Susanna said...

so beautiful up there! I finally switched browsers and it seems to be letting me post! couldn't post from work either but at least I could look at the posts!

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Sharon said...

Hi Jane! Just thinking about you! Miss all of your great witty posts....hope all is well!!