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.

 

WWP #249 – What’s Your Recipe?

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 this weekly challenge. I really love it.

wk 249 recipe

Do you have the ingredients necessary

for a contented life?

Were they handed down with love

through a family recipe?

Or did you need acquire them elsewhere?

You can always modify the original

Make it yours

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #246 – Saunter

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. Always a pleasure to play with you, Sammi!

 

wk 246 saunter

 

Differing views on getting things done

Where I should like to see you at a trot, when I request it

You prefer to saunter, when you feel like it

I suppose, in the end, getting it done is what’s important

I am trying to convince myself

Hoping to find my zen

 

 

Tending the Home Fires

This past weekend was brutally cold and I remained cocooned in my house. No way in hell was I going out to run in -30ºC (with the wind chill) no way, no how.  For the first time this year, I decided to make a fire in slow burning wood stove.  Man, the wood I have is fairly useless.  Burns just like that (snaps fingers).  My cubby holds three large loads of this wood carrier doohickey.

I burned the whole lot Saturday.  Sunday was supposed to be warmer and I thought I’d go for a run and then fill up the cubby for the next cold snap.  ‘Parently the cold snap wasn’t done.   Whilst the kids were still snoring, I lugged in the three loads, snow-covered, and got that fire going again.  Thankfully snow doesn’t make it that wet.  It was a few degrees warmer than Saturday…

I decided to make a leek and potato soup, which got me to ruminating as I chopped.  I remembered how I followed Pol Martin’s recipe for Crème de poireaux (cream of leek), having graduated from the Sel et Poivre magazines to real cookbooks.  Sel & Poivre was fine and dandy but often included ingredients such as custard powder rather than include how to make the custard.  Funny thing is, in another recipe from a later issue, there was a recipe for crème pâtissière (pastry cream/custard)!  I used to take out both copies so I could combine them.  Especially after having searched high and low for the prepackaged powder crap (and finding it lacking).

Anyway, back to my soup.  I remembered cutting the veg rather small, and never puréeing it in the end.  It never mentioned to purée it and so I didn’t.  I no longer have the book – frankly, because this was the only recipe I ever tried in the otherwise dull and lacklustre book and I now know it off by heart and have probably modified it since, anyway – so I cannot confirm that that part of the recipe was omitted.   Not so much a crème then, was it?  However, I remember really liking it and receiving no complaints.  Funny then, that was the only time I didn’t whizz it up into a smooth and creamy texture, adding a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.  (I have also since figured out that the veg didn’t have to be cut so finely, especially since it was going under the immersion blender, or blender, that I no longer have.)  And then Sunday’s soup.  On a whim, I chopped everything fine and left it as is.  No cream necessary. I loved it.  And guess what?  Different audience, still no complaints!

As much as I could have remained in my cocoon for yet another day, I instead checked my fire and decided that it was warm enough(ish) to go out there, well-bundled up.  By 2:30 pm, I grabbed my camera, hopped into my car and determined where I would walk.  On a whim, I parked near the “country road” and started walking.  Realising I’d have to go a good ways before seeing anything, I trudged back to my car.  Off to the bird sanctuary, instead.  Note to self, these boots, while warm, are so heavy.  Time to go shopping.

I parked on the street behind another car, having noticed the parking lot was pretty full. Ugh. I long for the days when I worked shifts and could come here on a weekday.  It’s way too people-y on the weekends.

I took a good many photos, some of which ended up on the Facebooks and the Instagrams and I shall share them here, saving more for another post… 😉

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #235 – Mirror

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 this weekly party!

wk 235 mirror

 

Tempestuous, slate-grey clouds
hang heavy in the sky
mirroring my hungover state
waiting to free themselves

I could curl up into a ball and bemoan my state, or
Be inspired by my love (suffering similarly)
who found the wherewithal to go out and run
I’m inspired

Before long
the crunch of gravel under my feet
erases the pounding in my head
I rejoice in the colours of the leaves
Against the grey, above, and below

The rain starts, and rather than run faster
I slow to a walk
A cleansing of sorts
Alive once again

Standing Tall

It seems I might have a penchant for participating when Merril is hosting Prosery Monday on dVerse.  Hmmm… Wonder why that is? Maybe because the phrases she chooses speak to me. It is not impossible.  For this 144 text of prose – no poetry allowed, we must use the following:

“I am bombarded yet I stand.”
From Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”

Some go through a large chunk of their life with nary a scrape.  They haven’t lost a single loved one and hardship is a foreign word to them.  The day they do experience loss will be a tough one as they won’t know how to handle it.

Then there are others that you swear were born under a broken star or dark cloud.  They are magnets to misery.  You cannot help but wonder why this seems to be.  What foul past life are they paying for?  And they fall to pieces each time, never learning.

As for me?  They say I am bombarded, yet I stand.  They say I had more than my share and call me resilient.  I just see life, no better, no worse.  I move forward, do what needs to be done and I keep going. I know no other way.


Organizing – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Yessiree!  That means it’s time to Friday Fictioneer.  I must thank Ted Strutz (so glad to see you’re getting better every day!) for the use of his picture and to Rochelle, who, even while dipping her toes in the ocean, still keeps this show running.  If you’d like to play along, just click on the jumble of frogs below to add your link to your 100-word story.

350pc Family Puzzle Frog Pile jigsaw puzzle by Cobble Hill Puzzle Co.  (mixed piece sizes)

Click to play!

Organizing

Bills         Taxes        Kids      Housework     Stress     Job    Love    Health    Frustration    Disappointment   Elation   Excitement Sleeplessness   Hunger    Pain    Empathy   Boredom–

“ENOUGH!  All of you, OUT. NOW!”

She took a deep breath.  And another.

Oh, that felt good. She could feel her body, mind and soul come back together in a cohesive and natural state of being.

“Whatcha doing? And what’s that jumbled mess?”

“That mess is a serious purge of all that was taking over my body.”

“Uhhh…”

“Now I can look at each piece individually and see what needs to be done. What stays, what goes. Prioritize and organize.

“You’re weird.”

“Maybe.”

Weekend Writing Prompt #219 – Vivid

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 219 vivid

Time for a walk, I’m short on steps

Outside my door, one tiny phlox,

a vivid purple, demands my attention

It succeeds. I photograph it and turn

right into the rain I hadn’t noticed

Big, fat drops bounce off the hot pavement

releasing petrichor

delighting my nose

God, I love that scent!

I breathe deep and keep walking

Turning the corner, a bright white cloud

Can white be vivid?

it is so bright

over there, while

thunder cracks

over here

I jump over puddles, laughing

all the way home

 

Why Would I?

It is Haibun Monday at dVerse and this week it is hosted by Frank J. Tassone.  It just so happens that I had plans to write about being present in the moment today.  And lo!  It is this week’s subject. How could I not tag along?

Not later than yesterday, I had an exchange with a fellow-blogger and friend.  He loves to take his morning walks accompanied by various podcasts or audio books. This is great for him because he loves to multi-task and is an avid reader with only so much time in the day.  It is great for me because he gives such wonderful book suggestions and has not steered me wrong yet, so I shan’t ask him to stop! He suggests I should try to listen to podcasts, as well.  I beg to differ, my friend. There is so much noise in our everyday lives that when I can walk in nature, I want nothing else but to be present in the moment, to fully absorb the sights and sounds she provides.  From the flowering trees to the buzzing bees, to the wind rifling through the leaves to the wonderful variation of bird calls.  Why ever would I want to tune them out?

nature’s orchestra

trills and chirps, a caw or two

silenced by earbuds

Yesterday’s raucous symphony can be heard here, my friend 🙂 Something tells me your earbuds would have been insufficient.

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?