Sunday, July 30, 2017


This year, more than ever, we need to celebrate PRIDE festivities with an open and loving heart. Donald Trump's hateful tweets, statements and attitude incites hatred towards people who are just trying to live their lives the best way they know how. Just like the rest of us. We all know gay people - what's wrong with them?


This is one of a few rainbow crosswalks in my city. They make me proud. I'm also proud that London has a fantastic 11 day long Pride Festival with new events being added every year. This year The Royal Bank of Canada sponsored a 1km run and a 5km run which brought together athletes of all colours and was aptly called "Run with Pride"!  

The highlight of the festival is the parade on the final day - TODAY!!
So soon I'll be biking down town to cheer on all of the people who take part - the churches, the police, the fire fighters, the unions, the politicians (yes, even them!), those marching with family members who are LGBT - it's a blast!! 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thrift Shop Finds

After a previous post Sam (of A New Frame of Reference) gave me a suggestion about what to pack for my trip to Scotland.  She suggested an Oxford type shirt that can act as a jacket as well. I thought that was a great idea so off I went to my neighbourhood thrift store (Talize) where I had a good look around. Not only did I find a couple of shirts to fit the bill I found a couple of sweaters as well! Prepare to be dazzled! (not really, but it sounds

The first little number is a tie-died shirt from  Garage.  It will look great with jeans when I'm in civilization. It's big enough to go over any number of layers and will also fit under my rain jacket. It isn't a typical Oxford style shirt but will hide any number of drips and spills that it will undoubtedly gather along the way :)
(Does anyone else have a problem with tipping your coffee cup before it hits your lips? Or am I the only klutz?)

And then there's this creamy white number (I may need to take a Tide to Go stick for this one!!) But I couldn't resist as it's such a good quality shirt. It's a Woolrich; a Canadian brand which is known for its high quality outdoor clothing. It has a number of details which will really come in handy: inner zipped pockets, button tabs that open at the bottom of each side seam, sleeves that roll up and button and the collar comes up and buttons around the...

...neck as shown it the next photo! Again I can fit a tank top, a T-shirt and/or long sleeved top underneath it.

I also purchased two sweaters as shown below - a Hollister with 3/4 length sleeves (which on my short arms are the perfect length :)

...and a super warm sweater which I am tempted to put on right now as it is a cool, damp kind of day when I  want to wrap up in something cozy!

And finally...a white jacket for everyday use on the trail. I've read that mosquitoes/midges are attracted to dark colours so I am tending towards lighter clothes while hiking. The is the back - for some reason I didn't take a photo of the front??? But it shows that a certain area is mesh which I hope will deter the midges while also allowing for much-needed ventilation. I like the fitted style and always try to find an everyday "hiking" jacket that has zippered pockets. I also DON'T wear hoodies as I wear a hat plus rain jacket hood so hoodies just don't work for me. This jacket ticks all the boxes!

So that is the sum of my "new to me" purchases for Scotland. I've also purchased NEW tanks and T-shirts ($4.00 and $5.00 respectively at Giant Tiger) for layering purposes. I'm sure I've mentioned before that if I need some extra suitcase room prior to hitting the duty-free then I leave behind thrift store purchases and cheap tanks and tees. As I end my trip in Glasgow I'm sure I can donate my extra clothing to another thrift shop.
Okay...I have goose bumps - time for a cozy sweater!

Friday, July 21, 2017

More on Books...The Big Reveal!

This bookcase with the clock now looks like...

....this... the clock has been moved and I was able to get a lot more fiction books onto it...

 This "book stool" has been disappeared with the books going upstairs to my bedroom/study.

This  dog's breakfast has been turned into...

...this...and will stay this way!! The old old cupboard was my grandma's - when I got it the stain was black and gummy so I refinished it. I'm ashamed I let it get covered up with a ton of stuff!


A neater and less cluttered table top now - my nature books and travel guides now reside in the book holder. Oh, by the way the two small plants have also been moved along with a few other things. My grandma made the crocheted table cloth.

The inside of my secretary now looks like...

this!! This is my small collection of history books.

This small bookcase was my mother's. I added a few more books to it and turned some sideways to maximize the space.

The rest of the fiction and reference books went on the two bookcases that are in my bedroom...

 It was pretty easy to shuffle some things around to make room...

After going through all of my books I ended up donating only TWO books to the Goodwill Bookstore and since they had a 50% off sale today I ended up purchasing six (new to me) books. Yeah, I bought more.

But I have an excuse awesome reason why!! 99% of the books I've read over the past couple of years have been e-books borrowed electronically from the London Library! And in addition I have purchased a number of books using the Kindle App. So for the next long while I've decided to go back (mostly) to paper books so that I can catch up with what's been given to me, keep the ones I love, and donate the rest.

I'm gonna be BUSY!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Fiend

Yup, that's me! I learned how to read quite young as being a writer my mother kept the house chockablock with books. We also had a subscription to National Geographic and Reader's Digest.  I don't know if you remember these but Reader's Digest also used to send out hard-covered books containing condensed versions of fiction and non-fiction books. My brother can remember me at a very young age devouring these books.

As a result I became interested in many wide-ranging genres and would withdrew 4 books from our neighbourhood library 2 or 3 times a week. Our librarian was a wonder. When she would see me veering towards "young adult" or adult books, books by Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, gothic fiction, crime books etc, she would redirect me to shelves filled with more age-appropriate books! I read the "The Little House on the Prairie" books at least 10 times! The day when she stopped re-directing was a wonderful day indeed!

Anyhoo...the problem lies in storage of so many books. I sold/donated about 2/3's of my books when I was planning to move to PEI so that gave me some breathing room for awhile but they have gradually been filling up my shelves once again. I have a sister (in PEI) who saves books for me and sent some home with Kazi when she was visiting there last week. Two friends also give me their books when they are done with them. I always ask if they want them back after but they say no....

The other problem is my proximity to the Goodwill Bookstore. Whenever I go there I never leave without at least a dozen books!! I have come to the conclusion that I have too many topics that I am interested in. Just take a wee peek at my latest purchases and gifts and you'll see what I mean...
I am big on "life is a journey" type of books like "Passage to Juneau".

Anything to do with ancient maps...The Aran Islands where Annie and I went last year...a poetry book by Emily Dickinson entitled enticingly "I'm nobody! Who are you?" As an invisible 61 year old single woman I was drawn to her book!
"The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" is a fantastic "life is a journey travel book" which I will reread a number of times, I'm sure. I read "The Woodlanders" by Thomas Hardy while I was in B.C. (I am allowed to read Hardy's books now! :)
I'm always excited when I can find a P.D. James book I haven't read!! "The Great Hunger" is about the potato famine in Ireland in the mid 19th century. Annie and I walked the Famine Trail last year. "The Highland Clearances" is another devastating  story about people being separated from their land. "Go Tell it On the Mountain", a moving story of black families surviving in Harlem.
...books from my friend Julie
....books from my sister
Don't stop giving!!
I just have to find more room for them all! Because this is what my house looks like right now...
Hmmmmm, get rid of the clock and I have another shelf...

Non-fiction reference books - they belong in my bedroom/study....
 ...books holding up a lamp...
 ...this stool is going to give out soon!
Inside my secretary desk - it has a door that hides the mess inside including.....BOOKS!!
I see potential here...
.....I see a theme happening...
 A bit of room...
 Bleh... a dog's breakfast!!
 Another dog's breakfast...

It seems like I recently tidied up my study but you'd never know it! So I am going to sort this all out today so that I can join Lily outside...

Sorry - I need to learn to write shorter posts!! Who are the book lovers out there?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Moving on...

If you saw my last wee post you'll know I now have Scotland on my mind! I need to take another look at my arrangements to make sure I haven't forgotten to book a train here, or a bnb there. This is my most ambitious trip to date and I don't want to add "sleeping rough" to the itinerary.

Then there's always, every single year, the debate over which suitcase to take. I managed with just a carry-on for my week in B.C. BUT even though I was only gone for 8 days I ran out of tops (hiking = pee-yew if you now what I mean!!) and I ended up at a thrift store in Qualicum Beach and found two tops that were perfect and inexpensive! So Tammy, I did get a bit of the west  coast thrifting experience ;) I also ran out of clean socks so washed a couple pairs and hung them on a radiator to dry.

Just so ya know - I hauled both of these tops out of my dirty laundry basket so they are wrinkled (like me!) and don't look their best at the moment.

The first top is a Danskin semi-fitted grey number - if you saw my complete selection of clothes that I took west with me you would know that anything grey would fit right in! Comfortable and stretchy - perfect for hiking.

The second top looked brand new though of course it's a wrinkled mess at the moment. Both tops are getting a lot of use. It's an original Seabreeze, fitted and flattering and with its grey cap sleeves it fit into my colour scheme for the week.
Where oh where was I going with this train of thought?.....oh, yes, suitcase size. Well, I do believe I'll end up taking my usual suitcase which is pictured above in the header photo - the one that is wide open to receive everything from my broken down old suitcase. Last year after hiking in Ireland with Annie I didn't want to wear my hiking boots when we were sight seeing in Galway and Cork. So I had to fit them into my suitcase. That will be the case again this year, I'm sure.

Once the hiking portion of the trip is over I'll want to switch to my comfy GoWalk shoes for carousing around Edinburgh. I also need a variety of clothing - travelling in September means I could encounter cold, cool, mild, warm and possibly hot (not bloody likely!) weather. When hiking I get hot and off come the layers. However, when in the highlands (warm air does NOT rise in the highlands!)  the layers get added on in addition to my monsoon ready coat. So I need tank tops, T-shirts, long sleeved tops and some really cozy hoodies. The bottom half of me isn't quite as needy as I wore my rain pants with side zippers every day of the hike with yoga shorts underneath. Too hot? Open the zippers. Too cold? Close the zippers. Easy-peasy!

If I'm really lucky I may not face too many midges as their season will be winding down. I got stung a few times in Ireland but I didn't find the bites very itchy. I found as long as I kept moving they didn't bother me too much but I like to be prepared. If I'm prepared then I usually have good luck with both weather AND midges.

And then I need clothes for the sight-seeing portions of the trip and as long as I don't slop food on myself I can usually wear things more than once. A lot of places will allow use of washer/dryer - I'll always remember the lovely lady (I think her name was Cathy) who washed Annie's and my clothes after a wet day of hiking. Such an angel she was.

Oh yeah, playing slow-pitch introduced me to another way of wearing a T-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt...this doubles my options!! Once the long-sleeved shirt gets slopped on it can go UNDER a T-shirt! Cool beans!

So a carry-on won't work for such variable weather conditions in addition to various activities - hiking, shopping etc. I also like the "swivel in any direction" wheels and the hard outer shell. It has stood me in good stead the past three years and the 1950's magazine images makes it a standout on the luggage carousel!

There's usually 800 black suitcases and then mine :) yes, always last!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mispellings oops Misspellings!!

Thank you to the reader who pointed out that I was spelling Ucluelet wrong. Hope I have corrected all of the misspellings now! I think I was spelling it like Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut :) But anyways...the older I get the more speeling mistakes I make hahaha!

Today I have a wee rant. If anyone is reading this in London, ON and you have your property taxes set up as an automatic withdrawal, (like me), you might want to check your account to make sure it didn't get deducted twice, as it did for 33,000 people (like me) this month! Apparently someone sent the file twice (so far) causing lots of people to go into overdraft (NOT like me...yet!!)

 Like Kim is trying to do @ Out My Window I start each month with all the money I need for bills in my chequing account. However I don't keep more in there than I need and I certainly don't wish to pay my property taxes twice in one month! I could go into overdraft if this isn't quickly corrected!

Sooooo....I emailed City Hall to talk to THE MAN because I'd read in the paper that everyone had been reimbursed by last Friday (not me) and was told that the refund information had been sent to all the banks (not mine) so I should contact my bank. Oh great...

Phoned my bank and after being put on hold for a lengthy period of time listening to the worst music ever they told me that while they could see that it was deducted twice they hadn't received any information about refunding it to me. Sigh....they said I should wait a few more days and check again. Not bloody likely!!

I emailed the MAN again and he is contacting the bank  again to see what's what! And here I wait...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Are you sick of the Travelogue yet?

If not, read on haha........Hiking the Wild Pacific Trail!
I've been on a bit of a hiatus as it was Sunfest weekend here in London, ON. That's when bands from all over the world vie for space in Victoria Park with 100+ food booths and craft/clothing/etc booths to make a hot, spicy blend of wonderfulness! More on that later.

First let's go to Ucluelet B.C. As you saw from the photos of my trek TO Ucluelet it was a warm sunny day. When I was a few kms away from Ucluelet the sun disappeared and I was enveloped in a foggy mist that took the edges off the trees and rocks.

The hike started - here - at the sturdy Amphitrite lighthouse built in 1915 to withstand hurricane force winds. Then the trail wound along the clifftops in a big loop with dozens of places created for photo ops. I had drops of moisture on my eyelashes and skin and I needed my hoodie for the first couple of hours.

It was a bit ghost walky for awhile looking out at trees and rocks shrouded in mist. I didn't find it slippery at all - the trails are obviously well-looked after. There were many signs posted to stay off the rocks but of course there were always a few (much younger and foolish) folks who took the risk.
This lookout spot is called The Crow's Nest! (this photo was taken a little later in the day hence the blue skies)

I had not the slightest inclination to go clambering around off trail on the rock formations - it's times like these I feel my age! Thankfully! At least there's two of them - if one falls and kills himself/herself at least the other person can locate the body!

Back to the foggy morning...

 I like the "atmosphere" that great billowing waves of fog gives to the landscape.

Gradually it cleared up and it became sunny and warm. Perfect for the day's activity.

I was disappointed that I didn't see any whales or other marine life though I was lucky to see eagles soaring over the cliffs but you know me and birds - just can't get them to sit still for photos!

In one spot there were stairs down to the beach. I found a couple of rocks (looked like fossils) that I added to to pile collected by many previous hikers.

Everywhere I go I find tree/log/driftwood sculptures - fantastic!

*Teaching moment* - below is the "selfie" you get when you forget to zoom out after a closeup of said tree sculpture!  OOPS!

There's one of my little rocks (above) that I donated to the pile. Isn't it cute?

Then I found a bench and sat to contemplate life for awhile (and eat trail mix and smarties! :) Contemplating life can make a girl hungry!

It's still a bit misty here though beyond the closer trees you can see another beach way below with a trail that I briefly hiked.

So many little islands.
 The day is clearing up - I'm glad I didn't let the fog scare me away.

Some baby ferns - so cute! I half-expected to see a dinosaur - just a little baby one of course!

Once section of the trail went through an "old growth" forest where the trees were immense. And beautiful. And regal. And invincible (I wish - the fierce winds over the centuries have taken taken their toll!)

Ending off with my favourite misty photo.