Sunday, July 31, 2016

Walking on Marshmallows

Yesterday I helped a friend move. Well, partially move. We still have a lot to do today. Because I'm coddling my knee I just did some cleaning - no lifting other than a sponge! She wants to paint her kitchen so I'm wiping down cupboards and walls. I am happy to say my knee isn't as bad as it was. It's not completely healed either but I feel there is progress. Less than 4 weeks to take-off!

My partner in this adventure is Annie at Northern Living Allowance. Some of you know her and the rest of you should check out her blog. On my last post she mentioned some good walking shoes so I thought I would investigate.  And here they are:

Skechers Gowalk 3. They have memory foam or something - they are like walking on air! Oh, they call it "high rebound cushioning" - perhaps they'll help me walk! Thanks for the tip Annie! I found them at the Soft Moc store and they were on sale! I don't want to wear my hiking boots everywhere so these are my go to shoes when we are OFF the trail.

My legs look funny from this angle! They look so far away!

They have good tread on them too!

My other footwear will soon be getting some attention:


Well, that's my feet looked after. I'll be packing my hiking socks and liners, and an assortment of bandaids :) Still need to buy some foot lotion to pamper them with at the end of each day.

Any suggestions?

Friday, July 29, 2016

No Spends and Foto Friday (Hey, I remembered!)

It's a banner day when I can remember to do something on the proper day! Sooooooo, before I forget here is what was going on one year ago.

Lily doesn't drool when she naps but
she does let her tongue hand out!

Looks like a beach day at Pt. Stanley although the sky
looks a little threatening

Cloud porn

Big waves!

I got new patio furniture!

Lily says - "I smell ice cream!"

Getting a few licks in :)  This summer she
isn't interested. All the more for me!
No Spend Week: success!! I spent zero dollars all week except Monday when I spent $21 at the grocery store. That was the day before I decided to have a No Spend week. It was more like 3 no spend days. But what the heck! My account looks healthy again and I'm headed off to buy some euros!

I might just need to pick up some Heavenly Hash ice cream too! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

No Spend!

Yes, that's right...I'm putting a lock on my wallet!! Just until Friday!

This month I received an extra $310 from the gov't, thank you very much! I still have that amount left in my account and ALL of my bills have been paid. The fridge is well-stocked and Kazi is on a road trip so I don't see any reason why I can't have a No Spend week!

That doesn't mean the $310 will not be just won't be spent in Canada! On Friday, when the school board and the gov't make lovely deposits into my account I'll be headed off to the currency exchange outlet to buy more euros :) and I'll be using the bonus money to help pay for it.

As far as my  trip with Annie goes I don't think I have to buy too many more things...I wouldn't mind a new pair of walking shoes as we'll be doing a lot of "city walking" before and after the hike as well as cycling. However, I do have shoes I could take. Not an absolute necessity....

.....or is it? I'm off to get my knee x-rayed momentarily. Perhaps the technician or my doctor will recommend a supportive pair of walking shoes :) And a bottle of scotch! Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch!

What would you spend an extra $310 on?

Monday, July 25, 2016


 I just had to share "a few" photos from the PRIDE parade that took place in London yesterday. Do you have PRIDE parades where you live? It's one of my most favourite days of the year! 
I love seeing all of the most "colourful" people in the city join together to celebrate our
differences and our similarities.


There were people dressed up as furry animals posing for photos with the kiddies
- one way to lose weight in a hurry!

For one day you can let your love shine through without worry.

Usually there's a large contingent of "biker chicks" but this year only two.
Don't know the reason for that.

One of several teary moments happened when I saw a group of people
carrying signs with the names of all the Orlando victims.
This is my favourite photo of the day - this sweet sweet boy
is appropriately solemn.

Most of our police officers are good solid serious people. But even they
get into a celebratory mood and don't mind roaring around
in mini cars.  I had another teary moment
as members of our police force walked in the parade
and everyone around me started clapping to show their
appreciation for these dedicated folks who put their lives
on the line every single day. 

This was a big surprise for me - never before have any military
personnel been in our PRIDE parade. Yup, another teary moment!

I have to say it's about bloody time!

I also saw many more folks with disabilities in the parade. 
That makes me happy that they've been included. Feeling
normal only one day a year is NOT enough however.

It wouldn't be a PRIDE parade if we didn't LET OUR GEEK FLAG FLY!!!

I just thought this girl was so pretty!

The bubble machine was working hard!

This lady was walking with one of the many United Church's who
marched in support. This church definitely leads the way - they
are so accepting and inclusive. 
When I saw her I immediately thought of Joseph
and his coat of many colours.

Can't have a parade without music - these folks were 
fantastic on the steel drums.

The sign that summed up the day for me - LOVE IS LOVE!

Another tribute to Orlando carried by another differently abled person :)

I just loved this lady's creative skirt!

I suppose a PRIDE parade isn't the spot for me to get my FLIRT on!! 
"Macho macho man!"

My first (but definitely not my last) PRIDE cookie!

Oooh la la! She's holding up the scales of justice and looking
HOT at the same time :)

Can I just say I LOVE flamboyance?  She was having
so much fun posing for all of us! 
I wish I was as brave!

The geeks were well represented in their Comicon gear.

And finally, a lousy photo of Mr. and Miss PRIDE! 

I can't wait til next year!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

In the Hot Seat...

In the hot seat, the hot couch, the hot name it, it's HOT! It's too flippin' hot to have the stove on even with the central air blasting away. So today saw me go to the grocery store in the a.m. before it got too hot so I could get the veggies I needed to make salsa (was out of green peppers), tortilla chips (to eat the salsa with!) and more onions. I think I have enough food on hand now to get through to the end of the month :) That's fantastic as I've gone over the food budget for July.
(Food budget is $280 and I've spent about $294).

Food just keeps getting more expensive around here. I had two plastic containers of veggie chilli in the freezer so I've thawed that too. I like using the chilli with a bunch of shredded romaine and/or broken tortilla chips (a great way to use up the crumbs from the bottom of the bag!), a dollop of sour cream or grated cheddar.

I just wrapped up an hour and a half in my kitchen creating said salsa and also did some devilled eggs and it's time for a cold drink. I notice a lot of people spell it as deviled eggs but that just doesn't look right to me. No alcohol in this drink - just some sparkling water with a dash of lime and lots of ice. I'll get to the alcohol later ;)

My patio is in shade 90% of the day (especially at night!) so I feel very fortunate that I can sit outside no matter how hot it gets.

Had a bit of a scare this past week. My right knee has been bothering me a little but not enough to interfere with my activities. Then I road my bike to a restaurant where I was meeting a friend for lunch and rode home again. As I put my bike away I noticed how much my knee hurt and decided to diagnose myself on google. Then I saw that it was very swollen and it was so painful I could hardly get up or down stairs. What the h-ll did I do??

Luckily I was able to get a doctor's app't the next day which was yesterday and I have to get an x-ray and ultrasound then I'll be referred (if need be) to a sports doctor. Cause I'm an athlete you know:) And I was told to take one Aleve with Naproxen twice a day. Well, I've had 3 of the Aleve so far and the swelling is practically all gone!! It could just be arthritis - will wait and see. But I feel so much better - I can go up and down the stairs, no problem. I was a little panicky to say the least as I head to Ireland in 4 1/2 weeks and I need my knee to be in good shape. I have no pain when I stand or walk but I couldn't bend my knee without pain. Just knowing that the Aleve can take care of the pain and swelling is such a relief. If anyone needs help with pain and swelling get the Aleve GEL CAPS with Naproxen, I think it's 210mg of Naproxen. Honestly I was flabbergasted at the quick results!

The kitties like the patio too though I put them inside most of the day today.
 Snoozing Luna zzzzzzz!
Snoozing Lily. The blue tarp is thrown over a chair and give them a little tent
to play in. They love to sneak up on each other and pounce! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Here We Go Again...

Or as it goes in the Whitesnake song - here I go again!  The heat...the heat is back with a vengeance!! What fun things can I do inside today?... tomorrow ?... Saturday?...  I've cleaned all three floors of my house! I've made tuna pasta salad, scones, salsa etc. I've laundered everything that could possibly be laundered, dusted everything that needed to be dusted blah blah blah...

Well, I do have a lot of computer-related tasks to work on such as my itinerary for the upcoming trip to Ireland. I like to have my entire plan on one piece (or 2) of paper so there is no guess work. For example, once I land at Dublin Airport, go through customs and nab my suitcase I have to find my way to the first B&B so I research buses and trains to find the most direct and closest route to the B&B. Then when I'm panicking I can check my little list and see where the bus/train terminal/station is and which # to take.

Doesn't she look just like me?

And I haven't blogged for a week! I think about it but have no consistent plan about when or how often. So I get lazy. There's no big news so it's hard to get inspired....

  • Spool knitting - still working on that while I watch TV at night
  • Carving - nope, not in the summer - who wants to sit in a windowless room and create dust when I could go outside and bike/read/walk/hike in Kilally Meadows etc? Not me. That's a winder pastime. 
  • Reading - Ken Follet's "The Pillars of the Earth", and "The Nest" by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, and "The Swans of Fifth Avenue" by Melanie Benjamin. And numerous non-fiction books. I put books on hold at the library (online) an often get 2 or 3 all within a few days and then it's a reading marathon!
  • Crocheting - going to start something today
  • TV - currently watching "Broadchurch" a great British detective series
  • Travel - in the past couple of weeks I've gone to the beach once, to a summer festival or two, hiking in Kilally, out for lunch
So that's my life. What have you been up to? What do you do when it's 40c+? (104F) 

Maybe I should go to the movies!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Let the Good Times Roll!

Good things just keep on happening! Yesterday I noticed a deposit in my account of $205.00!! The info just said "EFT from Canada". I had no idea what it was. So I went onto my Service Canada Account which provides info on our tax returns & rebates/credits, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security etc. It turns out I'm now eligible for a provincial rebate of Ontario Sales Tax, property taxes and an energy tax credit. I googled and saw this post heading: Ontario's Trillium Benefit - a New Way to Help the Poor!!!!!!!
I'm still laughing! All the way to the bank, poor me!! The bad news is I only get it once a year - boo hoo hooo!

Including my GST rebate I received an extra $310.00 this month. I'll take it thank you very much! I have a lot of extra expenses this month with my upcoming trip to Ireland. And I have the same amount of money in my misc budget line as I did at the beginning of July! Not to mention the $160 in my gas budget line that I likely won't use. (blows kisses in the general direction of her bicycle :)!!

And I've spent $$$ on new clothes (cheap), socks, undies, bandaids etc etc etc. I've purchased Peterson's Field Guide for Birds and his Guide for Wildflowers.

I've paid off my Mastercard in full, spent $63 at Talize on thrift store clothing, spent $60 at Sunfest (a T-shirt, food and beer), bought a bicycle tire pump, a curtain rod etc etc. I think July is going to become my favourite month!!

The bad news (such as it is) remains the weather - I'm sure I could cook up some fried eggs on the hood of my truck! It's dry dry dry as a bone here and so hot!!! We always have major humidity here in London which makes it feel a lot hotter than it actually is. I think we're at 39c (102.2F) at the moment so I'm staying in today and I made salsa and Greek Quinoa salad. So we're set. The kitties have their little faces squashed up to the patio doors - they don't understand. Well, they would if I booted them out. But then I'd have to go out too and I just can't. I'm wishing and hoping for a thunderstorm.

So that's today's news - all good pretty much. I can't do anything about the weather except complain.
Are you sweating or shivering??

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sunfest 2016

We are super fortunate in this city to host one of the TOP THREE festivals held in all of Canada! To hear and celebrate music from all over the world, to celebrate diversity and uniqueness, to sample international cuisine - what could be better?! I spent Friday evening at Sunfest until the storm chased me home and then Saturday and Sunday with friends. We danced and danced and ate and ate!! And may have imbibed a few drinks too...

Saw this band - FIVE ALARM FUNK - three times over the weekend. They are amazing - funny AND funky! Everyone dances when they play...

They have three percussionists, a brass section and a guitar section. They like to dress up and go craaazy!

This guy is my favourite - Tom Towers - he does some quick changes into a gorilla mask, alien head, batman etc...

People as far as the eye can see!

Tom Towers...

Tom again...

Lazo, has played at Sunfest for over 20 years, hence he is known as Mr. Sunfest!

I didn't notice this at the time but I got a photo of someone taking a photo of Lazo!

A new backup singer!

Five Alarm Funk...again... Tom in his alien head...

One of the other drummers - Tayo Branston - a real WILD man!

 Definitely a good time was had by all :)