Walktober 2022 – Parc de la Freyère

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Taking the time to write has been most difficult. Taking the time to go out for a walk has been nary impossible. I exaggerate, of course, because we can always choose how to spend our time outside of work. It’s been a tiring time so the want was there but the energy was not.

And finally! Weather, time and energy were all in cahoots this past Tuesday (October 18th) giving me a week to put this together and link up to Robin’s annual Walktober fun. I have a weird schedule where one day I work 9-5:30 and the other 6:15-2:45. Tuesday was the early day and the weather was ridiculously perfect. I stopped off at home, did a few things, changed my clothes, grabbed my camera and off I went. Where would the colours still be beautiful? It had been a very long time since I went to the Parc de la Freyère, and even though I did go there for part of my 2018 walk, it was worth a return. I cannot see anyone complaining. Right? Right. I was out from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. and managed to take about 500 photos, give or take. While I joked that it was impossible to take a bad picture, I took more than a few that were immediately chucked as I uploaded.

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.”
Sarah Guillory, Reclaimed

On my way to the park, I had to stop and capture the three trees below. Could they more represent?

I decided to park on a side street, giving me the option to walk along Marie-Victorin Blvd which follows the St. Lawrence River through at least four towns – probably more but I’d have to check. That means walking by these gorgeous mansions with view spectacular.

As far as boulevards go, this one is rather intimate, shall we say…

Entering the park, I feared, Are the colours already over?

No, but we are definitely at the tail end, I should think.

I had to walk down this pier to see just what was frolicking in the water. Don’t those clouds look like a distant mountain range?

Herons and egrets and ducks and seagulls, oh my!

And a autumn walk would not be complete without some sumac – the first, along with vines – to show off their colours

“What the light looks like in the pear trees, in October, is a hundred teardrops of gold, the whole orchard weeping.”
Carole Maso, The Art Lover

There may be no pear trees here, but the light was just so beautiful.

I was not alone to take advantage of this autumnal perfection. This gentleman was flying his drone, surely taking breathtaking pictures, himself. Was a tad annoying when it flew above me like an oversized mosquito, though. (Hey, maybe he captured me capturing him!)

I had to include these for you, Crispina 😉

At this point, I figured I’d stick around and await the sunset, which was scheduled for 6:04. I continued walking around clicking away because it was all just so gorgeous. No editing is necessary because the light is just perfect!

The sun was starting to make its descent and the air chilled rather quickly. I did curse those clouds that were going to hide most of the sunset!

The sky was so soft (another for you, Crispina! 😉 )

I’m enjoying the quiet when I hear in the distance “Midnight Train to Georgia”. I film it, not knowing where it comes from (apologies – I thought I was going slow!) because for some strange reason, it just fits!

The culprit:

It’s starting to get rather cold so I decided to head back, but not before capturing this little seagull making his v-pattern.

The herons drying their wings and the egrets just relaxing caught my eye.

Suddenly the egrets took flight and were circling, trying to decide where to spend the night. Something was disturbing them so they would turn around and look again. It was getting harder and harder to focus and capture them.

As I also circled towards to road and my car, I watched them – all eight! – land in the trees and try to settle. My camera is not equipped for such low light and I had no tripod but I did manage to rest on a the bridge rail and sort of get a half-assed decent shot. Only by manipulating the photo can you see I managed to get 7 out of 8 in the shot. I, for one, am pretty pleased.

I declared myself done but as I got to the other side of that little pond, I figured, I’d try once more, this time leaning on a guard rail. And again, only by manipulating the photo can you see I got all eight. Joy!

I think I have more than abused your time for this year’s Walktober. I hope you enjoyed my walk as much as I did sharing it.

Easy-Breezy Sundays

If every summer day was like today, I would be in heaven.  25℃ (feels like 27℃) or, for you Yanks, 77℉ (feels like 81℉).  The sun is shining but are were puffy white clouds passing by, breaking up the blue and momentarily giving breaks from the direct rays. The breeze is warm and steady at 30km/h with gusts up to 39km/h (19mph, and 24mph).  The tree leaves rustle, the birds sing and traffic sounds so far away it is a barley discernable hum.

It is now late afternoon and all the neighbours, myself included, have mowed our lawns; no more sounds of circular saws or hammering or other chores needed, and now, we can sit by our pools or on our patios or right in the grass, having earned our time of respite, and just be one with the world. 

Of course there is supper to be made but I’ve actually planned ahead, sorta, kinda maybe.  The salmon “should” be thawed by the time I’m ready, right?  Plus, supper won’t be at least until 7:00 pm today…  In the meantime, I am catching up on my reading – I am participating in Sammi’s Lord of the Rings re-read.  It’s fun. We read a half-chapter per week, then “discuss” on her blog in her Tolkien Tuesday.  I was behind by four weeks!  Tomorrow we shall be discussing the first half of Chapter 11: A Knife in the Dark.  It’s fun to get the opinions and thoughts of others (we are 4-6 regulars who participate) on each segment.

I was actually serenaded by a robin as I enjoyed the afternoon.  How can one not appreciate that?

The BBQ is cooking my salmon and my rice is in its last resting five minutes.  The asparagus are just about to get some grilling and I may actually be joined by the other residents of this household for supper, like at the same time as me.  Whoa. 

We so enjoyed the different flavours brought out by the barbecue, it had me wondering why I barely used it last year.  I shall definitely rectify the situation this year. 

I’m also wondering why the hell we did not eat outside, especially since at the time we ate (8:00), the non-existent roof on my gazebo (ripped last year and needs to be replaced) wouldn’t have mattered as the sun had moved away from the house.  Much as I love to eat outside, I do not love to eat in full sun and will never understand those who do.  To each his and her own, I say.

*Special note:  I was so enjoying the day yesterday that I finished posting today, Monday 😉 

 

Back in the Saddle Again

Three weeks.  Three. Whole. Weeks.

I just want all o’ y’all to know I am not belly-aching. Nor whining. Nor whinging.  Nor any other -ing that means the same difference.  Just statin’ the facts, y’hear?  Took me a whole damn three weeks to shake this thing (and I still have a little frog in my throat) but have decided enough was enough.

Today was (is?) the day that I put my lungs to the test! The only thing I had to decide was do I do 20, 25 or 30 minutes?  I promised myself to go slow and if there was anything whatsoever that didn’t feel right, I was going to walk it. Hell, I even brought my ear buds so I could continue listening to “Beloved” by Toni Morrison (such beautiful writing but… what? Anyway.)

The morning had started off with dark skies and rain but by noon, blue skies and puffy clouds and sunshine.  So nice. So inviting and enticing. So perfect.

I set my running app to “run”, my timer to 16 minutes (so I know when to turn around) and started my Tabata timer, choosing the 10 sets of run/walk, for a total of 30:25 and off I went.   I made sure I kept my pace slow and steady.  1:45 minutes of running, 1:00 of walking. Since I am reading “Breath” by James Nestor, I and have been practicing nose breathing.  Oy. Not so easy when running but something I can see improving with time.

The temps were perfect and the wind was lightly gusting, but not enough to bother me.  I put up my hood when it was a bit more chilly than I liked but other than that? Really nice.  I was even able to run through my little park, the mud being minimal. A robin added with a trill of encouragement!

I had barely reached my destination park when my halfway timer went off.  At that point, I decided to make my wall all the way to my discovered path and walk my way back.  So glad I did.

Walking back, I remembered I had my ear buds and turned on my book.  I was in no rush and it felt so good to just be out in the sun without a huge coat.

Of course, I had to take a photo of “my” willow 😉

In all, a distance of 6.7 km (4.15 miles) were run/walked and it felt great.

I got home and not half an hour later?

Talk about great timing!

I was going to end with a poem or response to a prompt like I did last week but hey, look at the time! It’s almost 10:00 p.m. Tomorrow is my first day at my new job.  I need to rest!

Have a fantabulous night, folks (and Monday)! And thanks for sticking with me.

 

Done and Done and… What’s Next?

I am, in general, an excellent starter.  Finisher? Not so much.  Not that I don’t finish anything – each of my parents and my grandmother got a needlepoint I made for each of them.  My grandmother has one because she had the bright idea of taking up needlepoint but instead of buying herself a nice little 4″ X 6″ as a starter, bought a big-ass one (like 18″ X 24″ or is it 24″ X 36″). She figured her granddaughter (me) would teach her how to do it.  Easy-peasy. After doing one one-inch square (too tight, by the way), she gave it to me with a “I don’t have the patience for this!” So I did it and then gave it back to her for Mother’s day. My mother’s contribution was to pay for the framing.  She wrote on the back “To be returned to Dale upon my death”. Well, Mémère died twelve years ago and my aunt lives in the house now.  When she tried to give it back to me, I told her to keep it.  When she sells, we’ll determine what to do with it then.

As usual, I have detoured to China on my way to New York…

So. Back to the reason for this post. Today marks my 365th day, like, in a row (sorry, David, had to steal it!) of doing my 10,000 steps per day.  10K steps.  Every. Day.  The funny thing is, I didn’t decide when I started this on January 3, 2020, to do it for one year.  I actually decided to start it on a Sunday (simply to avoid starting it on the first of the year), and merged it with the 68-day challenge they do at work, which started on the Monday.  Two birds, one stone.  But then a funny thing happened.  The last day of the work challenge came and went and I was still on a mission.  I don’t know when hey, let me try to do this for a whole year came to be but suffice it to say, that it did. And I did it. I had my cheerleader and co-participant Marc, who actually had been doing 10K per day for months before I started and just joined in, determined to keep me company till the end. Thank gawd.  There were days where his “Go, Q, Go” was the difference between planting my butt on the sofa and getting out there.  I like to think there were days where I did the same for him.

I’ve gone from running in intervals of one minute run/one minute walk, for 10-16  sets to one 1:45 run, one minute walk, for 10-16 sets or plus.  I have also gone from doing increasing (by fifteen seconds) intervals starting at one minute run up to one two minutes and back with one minute walk in between each to 1:45 up to 2:45 and back with the one minute walk between each – that makes for a 47:15 total run/walk Pretty damn good as I was never a runner. 100 metre sprint? No problem. Run just to run? Not so much. So this gradual increase has been something I’m rather proud of.  I shall not be quitting any time soon and shall keep trying to increase my run times.

I’ve been chased by dogs and almost run over by absent-minded driver doing an “American stop”. I’ve run in the rain and on snow and in ridiculous heat and pretty frigid cold.  I’m still rather surprised at myself, that I did all that, tell you what.

I had a little minor surgery on my back to remove a chunk of fat called a lipoma on December 15th.  The surgeon asked me to not run for a few days.  Which turned into two weeks because the weather just wasn’t conducive to running – I don’t do slush/ice/snow which hides ice/ridiculous cold, etc.  So I walked outside and marched inside while watching episodes of shows.  Sometimes my steps went way over the goal and other times I just barely made it. I’ve had a few times where I prepare to go to bed, check my steps and gasp! Still have 1500 or so to go… March, march, march! Then sleep.

Saturday I was finally able to run, opting for the 1:45/1:00 X 14 sets for a total of 40 minutes 45 seconds (all my runs include a 15 sec prep and a two-minute cool-down.)  I also had to change routes as the only place I was pretty much guaranteed asphalt was on the main drags – not a pretty place to run.  Not a pretty day at all. We haven’t seen the sun in ages.

There was a lot of internal dialogue going on. A LOT.  The first set I thought, this is gonna be hell.  By set number five, I was convincing myself that I would go to six and turn around. 12 sets was nothing to be ashamed of.  By the sixth, I saw I was a ways from the overpass so why not go to seven as planned? It’s not like I would have to run up the damn thing. The photo does not do it justice. It’s the type of slope that even by bike, you want to speed up before the climb because by the top, your thighs are burning.  The voice in my head changed to Marc’s.  “You’ve got this, Q.  Last run day. FINISH STRONG.” I lost count for which set I was back on my return.  The Universe’s way of encouraging me to just keep on.  No point in quitting now.  When I hit the curve, I knew I’d soon be seeing my street. Yay! One more hurdle and done and done!

January 2, 2022, was my last day of my challenge.  I was awakened by the incessant sound of snowploughs going to and fro. First the streets, then the sidewalks, then my driveway, then the streets again…. I got the message and got out of bed!  A couple coffees, a late breakfast and I bundled up and headed out just as the snow was slowing down.

Almost as soon as I stepped out, I found myself in a snow globe.  What a perfect day to end my challenge!

What’s my next challenge?  Not sure yet. Will keep you posted!

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #238 – Familiar

Yesterday turned out to be way lazier than I had planned. Don’t you just love that?  Well, I do, anyway 🙂

So it may not be the weekend but hey, does it really matter?  A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Thank you, Sammi, for hosting!

 

wk 238 familiar

 

Why don’t you run on a different route? they ask. Aren’t you tired of the same-old, same-old? Don’t you want to see something different?

What they don’t understand is there is something special that happens when you choose the familiar.  Rather than not see what is there, you notice every little change.  There is a shift in light as the seasons morph from one to another and nothing looks the same. I  am in continuous awe of it all.

Walking. With Stanley

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery… However (Stanley’s favourite word), I do so hope you don’t mind, David Kanigan, of Live & Learn, that I have usurped your style for this post. As I was considering writing what shall follow, I kept hearing in my head “Walking… With Stanley” and, well, I decided not to fight it. I’m inspired by you but will still add my own thing by bombarding inserting photos here and there.

I have been convinced into actually using my subscription to Audible by my fellow blogger and friend Janet. You see, she told me about Stanley Tucci’s new book, entitled “Taste: My Life Through Food“. and said she had listened to it, as read by the author himself, and found it wonderful. I said I didn’t listen to books and she said maybe I was like her sister who doesn’t like to be read to. I said I think it was more about my not liking to have continual sound in my ears. I can be up for most of the day, in total silence, before I turn on the TV (when at home). We exchanged back and forth and next thing I knew, I was on Audible, thrilled to find I had one credit and was able to get it for free.

Usually, when I walk, my movie is the view around me and the accompanying sounds of nature serve as soundtrack. I have to admit that when running, I am too busy trying to regulate my breathing and trying to convince myself that I am totally loving it (I’m actually starting to), to notice. I am, however (there it is again), getting a tad bored during my forced every-other-morning walks. (Gah! I cannot wait for this year-long challenge to end!) Anyway, why not try listening to a book? It might make the time go by faster or feel a tad less monotonous. There are only so many times I can be thrilled at the sight of “my” willow.

Okay, so how does it go, D.K.?

3ºC (37.4ºF), 6:44 a.m., Tuesday, November 2nd.

Boucherville, La Seigneurie neighbourhood. Day, I have no idea but day 364 will be on January 2.

Wind is negligible. I have a thick white (to be seen) sweatshirt over two layers of tops, my tuque (not tuk, David) and gloves. I don’t feel the cold at all.

I start my new book. And I walk. Not my usual path. I go right instead of left outside of my house, past Industrial Blvd.. I snap a pic as I’ve decided to take a daily record. It’s still very dark and I see the morning crescent moon. I’m half-tempted to go back and get my real camera but that defeats my walk with purpose. I’m already bad enough taking pics with my phone!

I decide I’m going to go to the second block and turn up de Nogent which will bring me, I am frankly not too sure where, but am not too worried. I’ve got lots of time and it’s not that complicated. I am enjoying listening to Stanley wax on about his youth and his love of food through memories of family meals and can now understand why David ends up buying both the Kindle and the Audible versions as I think, shit! I would’ve highlighted that part. Or, dammit! I want that recipe (coz he gives quite a few of them). Now what? No way in hell I am going to stop and mark the time and the chapter so I can go back to it. Hmm. Not sure now about this whole listening to a book thing. Still on the fence.

However, (yes, Stanley, your editor should have pointed out just how many times you say it), I continue listening and don’t fret as I cannot do much about it for now and before I know it, I find myself in the park that I usually go through first on my runs. I’ve not gotten lost after all. It’s still pretty dark. Already the ubiquitous hockey rink has been set up in preparation for the upcoming season of thwwack of a puck slapping the boards, the Ksssh-ksssh-ksssh of skates cutting into the ice and shouts of laughter.

A chapter ends and I notice the sky is starting to “orange up”.

I look at my watch and see it’s 7:11 and think wow, only half an hour has passed? How fast have I been walking? Or was that loop a helluva lot shorter than I realised? I decide on a whim to make my way over to the overpass and hope the sunrise will be capturable. This is the only place I can even hope to do so. Where David has the best spot EVER to get it and does so spectacularly every morning, I have none. I have lots of options for the sunset, however ( 😉 ) so not all is lost. I make my way up to the top of the overpass and not only is the traffic so loud that I cannot hear Stanley, getting aggravated at the bombarding to my eardrums while I’m at it, the sunrise was totally not worth it and, as if that wasn’t enough, I screwed up and it’s blurry. C’est la vie.

As a result, have decided to only listen to the book when I am walking – far from traffic. Or when I am raking up 12 effing bags of leaves. The noise level was tolerable but not ideal. I have come to realise I prefer quiet streets or parks to do my listening.

And no. I do not want to get noise eliminating ear buds. I want to know if a car is coming and could run me over. And, imagine that, on today’s noon walk? I realised I had forgotten my buds but still could listen to the book through my phone in my pocket. As my guy would say, Win, meet Win! (And a reminder to leave a set at work!)

One of Those Perfect Moments

A random, everyday drive.  Nothing special.  Nine o’clock in the morning. On my way to the post office as I do every Thursday or so since lockdown to pick up the company mail before making my way to the office.  Only this morning, as I left the house CBC Music was playing a version of Debussy’s Claire de Lune by Janina Fialkowska.  So gorgeous.

As I drove down the street that runs along City Hall Park, I could see the two huge weeping willows (not mine that I am forever claiming) waving in the wind.  They seemed to sway in time with the music – the point in the music, about two or so minutes into it.  Perfection.  I had this feeling of peace settle over me in the most beautiful way.

I continued onto the post office but this music and that image were still with me, so before making my way to the office, I just had to stop at this park and walk along the path that winds through it,

then across the newly fallen snow so I could get the proper angle of one of the trees, still blowing in the chill morning air.

It truly is all about the simple things in life, isn’t it?

 

 

Le Trois Fait le Mois

Le trois fait le mois, si le cinq ne le défait pas

                                ~ old proverb

It means:  The third determines the month, if the fifth doesn’t reverse (or undo) it.

I can’t explain why they use this particular expression, especially in March, except that this is the craziest month of the year. Don’t try to talk me out of it!  It’s like a teenager with all their hormones outta wack.  Monday, March 1st, was a glorious day, here on the south shore of Montreal. Meltage was happening, mini lakes were forming, the temps were above freezing.  You could smell spring was in the air.  Of course, that also meant lots of muck! But it was a wonderful 4ºC (40ºF) – now, to some of you not used to this, you might think it’s cold. Nay. Not to us.

And then, that very same night, just as I was heading for bed, the winds picked up ferociously.  Things were banging on the roof, against the house – I was sure I was going to wake up to a yard full of debris.  Nope.  Just my shovels in the middle of my driveway.  But boy did that wind bring a bitter, go-to-your-bones cold.  What in the blessed fuck?  The type of cold that makes your jacket crinkle, your nostrils stick together and you wonder if you’ve been teleported to the South Pole. Or North Pole. Both – at the same time. (Yeah, I stole this from you, Marc 😉 ).  I dunno what happens to the human body.  You get a couple of mild days and suddenly you turn into a solid wimp when the temps dip down to -28ºC (-18ºF).

By the way, it was too damn cold to take a picture, so these will have to do!  (Friday’s moon)

Wednesday morning dawns (and this was the day this post was to go up because it was the third, but yanno… life and all that) and it’s snowing. But not just any snow. The snow globe kinda snow.  So Zeke and I took a morning before work walk.

Lunchtime came around and out I went again because steps to be had!  The sun was shining and the temperature was just right.  I made my way down to the Parc du Bois de Brouage to “my” river.  I stepped as close to the little bridge-like stone walkway as I felt was safe, and clicked away. And then it wasn’t.  Through the crust I went. Up to above my ankles… and I was wearing hiking boots – that go up to your ankles. Boot full of water. Cold water. Friggen cold water. Turns out it was time to turn back home anyway… a twenty-minute walk.  OY!

Not one to cry over things, I sloshed-stepped-sloshed-stepped my way home, changed my socks (amazed I could still feel my ankle) and made myself my lunch. I didn’t quite have my steps come five o’clock so closed up the work computer and back out I went! The sun was such a show-off and turned Zeke golden! He’s been loving the fact I bring him out twice per day for short walks.  Those hips are not getting any younger but his enthusiasm is still there. For short wslks, anyway.

What did Thursday bring?  More cold. More wind. Ugh. I did manage to get out there for a morning and after-work walk with Zeke and at lunch, it got cut short when I ran into a friend and we jibber-jabbered.  It wasn’t as horrible as Tuesday but far from lovely like Monday.

Yesterday? Cold. More cold. -7ºC – feels like -15ºC (19ºF feels like 5ºF). As a native Montrealer, this is not really that bad. But for some strange reason, after the mild that we had?  It feels so cold! Plus the wind was rather not fun and tried to pierce through – nothing like Tuesday.  Still, optimist that I am, I did enjoy the blue of the sky and captured the noon moon.

Which brings us to today.  March 5th.  Seems like we have a cold month ahead of us if we believe that old proverb mentioned at the top.  Went for my morning walk with Zeke. -11ºC feels like -20ºC (12ºF feels like -4ºF).   And it’ll only warm up by a couple of degrees come time for my noontime walk. Sigh.

Even Zeke is discouraged.

I hate March.  Only good thing about it, is the last day… coz that’s the day Iain came into the world.  The rest?  The cold, the muck, the cold, the major snowstorms – ever notice some of the major doozies happen in March?

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #156 – Home

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Wow. Congrats to Sammi for doing this prompt for three years already!  Looking forward to what’s to come!

There is always that one house on the block where people congregate. As kids, it is the meet-up or the hang-out place – if the mom says it is okay – and if she says ‘no’ today, it will not stop you from coming back tomorrow. There is nothing obviously special about this house. It is like everyone else’s in size and shape and number of rooms. And yet, the kids know. Here, they are welcome. Here, they can be kids, and whether related or not, will be yelled at if they get too much. Here, they feel like they belong, part of a family. Here, this is not a house. It is a home.

Mine.

 

 

I’m Sorry, But, We’re Done

That’s right, Sourdough.  You and me? We’re done. Finito. Kaput.  No matter how much love I give you, you refuse to do your thing.  I had to bring in Janet into the situation for one-on-one consultations and STILL, you gave me grief.  Janet asked me what I had named you and I apologise; I had no idea.  So I gave you my favourite name:  Charlotte.  And what did you do? NOTHING.

But let me go to the beginning.  When I first decided to try my hand at sourdough – yeast having become more impossible to get than toilet paper – (and like every other Tom, Dick and Harry during the great Sit-In – so unoriginal and such a follower, am I) I followed Janet’s instructions to the letter. 50g flour, 50 g water (filtered), mix, set aside, covered, room temp. Days 5, 7, 9, I did the 50g sour, 50g flour, 50g water – keeping the discard for future waffles (which were rather good, I might add).

Days 10, 11, 12, I left you alone.  When I uncovered you, your stink made me recoil.  “It should smell pleasantly like cheesy beer.”  Ummmm. No… this was closer to vomit.  I threw you out.  Oh wait… this would not be YOU, you.  But let’s call him/her your late cousin, who shall remain nameless as well, I didn’t know.  Plus there was an orange tint to it so, I took no chances. Of course, once I posted my failure on FB, everyone who could chimed in with a NOOO don’t chuck it!  Too late. NEXT!

We decide, Janet and I, to start fresh and do a double-feed per day for three days and then bake.  Let’s see…  You looked nice

So I did my kneading (stretch, pull over, eight “corners”) every half-hour for three hours.  Followed the video, EXACTLY, the bowls, the cloth, the flour.  I was not impressed with the rise at all. But I went with it anyhoo. My boules looked nice though not huge. (Haha! I wish!)  Used my special Dutch oven, preheated, baked and… phooey.

“Looks acidified,” says Janet.  Well hell and damnation.  The crust was nice, as you can see but the crumb?  To the bin with ya.

We start over.

We do the double feed, for three days to speed up the process with the intention of trying just one loaf.  At one point Janet said you looked cold, Charlotte,

so I gave you the oven with the light on.  Barely a bubble.  We tried all sorts of feedings. Nothing.  I left you alone for a few days, figuring you were in a mood.  All you gave me was a thin crust of hardened – something.  I think my oven lights are too hot.  Skimmed off the goo. Oh! But you did smell wonderful and guess what?  Yeah. You made FABULOUS pancakes.

Will I ever try this sourdough thing again?  Maybe. I dunno that I have the patience for this type of endeavour, to tell the truth.  Ironically, I was on Twitter when I caught Lesley Chesterman’s tweet (she was a food critic for the Montreal Gazette):  “I think I’m ready to break up with my sourdough starter. Too moody, too needy, too high-maintenance, sure to let me down in the end. And a bit stinky.”  Yep. Pretty much covers my feelings.

Nota bene (or post scriptum):  Since last Monday… I have yeast, so…

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Running Diary

For those of you who ready my post where I shared my new “love” of running… ok, ok… I don’t love it. Yet. I thought I’d bring you up to date on the last two.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and there were way too many people out.  Some were being good, some, not so much but all of them I kept my distance from. That said, off I went, enthusiastically, for my 10 X 2/2.   I made it all the way to the park where I discovered a beautiful field of flowers last year. By the looks of it, there will be more this year – Yay! Plus I ran into a couple from the golf club – chit chatted for 30 seconds, luckily during my walk part. Soon as the bell rang, I was off.

On my way back I was feeling like there was no way in hell I would complete my ten sets.  I fudged a little on the times, cutting the run parts twice by 10-15 seconds in an attempt to catch my breath.  By the time I was just past my Willow the guilt set in so I added a rep and a half to make up.  I was glad it was over.

Today was another story. Like a recalcitrant child who doesn’t want to go to bed, I dug my heels into the entry rug.  It was cold outside with a light wind and rain was threatening. Really? Do I have to? I don’t know what force pushed me out the door but it worked.  And you are right, B… nothing more satisfactory than pushing yourself to do that thing you don’t feel like.  Not only did I do my ten sets, but after the first two, I felt I could actually control my breath.  And then, after walking for four minutes, I thought… why not? And I added three more!  Woot!  My knee felt a slight twinge just as I finished the third so I made sure my stretching session was properly done.  Extremely pleased with myself today.  Oh, and, following a discussion with Monika over at Tails Around the Ranch, about her lack of belief there is anything good about running (my former belief, as well), and did I ever notice that runners never smile?  Well, guess what Monika!  I kept thinking about you and put a smile on my face every time I heard the alarm that yet another set was completed 😀

Itty-bitty magnolia