Good Hump Day my Readers! Yes, it is that time of the week where Rochelle Wisoff-Fields entices us with an image and challenges us to write a 100-word story about what we see. This week she uses her very own intriguing picture. I cannot lie. I wrote something, flushed it; tried again and well. There you have it.
If you want to add your own vision, please do! It’s fun (most times!). Just click on the blue frog below and add your link.
She loved walking past the old viaduct. Her friends thought it was too dangerous to walk in that area alone but she always felt a sense of peace and calm. People were so paranoid, believing they should fear every little thing.
She always carried her camera, knowing something new would catch her eye. It was her journal of sorts. Observing her surroundings, recording what was new. What secrets lay beneath the stones? How did those plants thrive?
Today, the stones moved. Curious, she leaned in, zooming her camera lens.
They found her camera but the blurred images told them nothing.
Thanks to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this weekly gatherers of coffee, tea or other beverage drinkers who love to share their weekly happenings. Should you want to read other shares or, better yet, share with us, just click on the image above and you will be taken to Diana’s blog and can add your link, of course, after reading hers! Do join in, it’s a great way to share your story and, for me anyway, to show my gratitude for the previous week.
If we were having coffee, I’d say, please, do come in. It’s a beautiful snowy Sunday morning (just barely can still call it morning) and I’ve made cappuccinos. If you prefer regular drip or espresso or tea or hot chocolate, please don’t be shy. My favourite thing to do is entertain and make my guests happy. I would have to tell you that I don’t have much time to dilly-dally but that’s okay; while you are sipping your beverage, you can stick around and keep me company whilst I make my clients their first meals of 2016. I have until the meat reaches room temperature to write this post so, no faffing for me!
I don’t usually sweeten my coffee but I just love adding some Turbinado sugar along with some cinnamon on top of that lovely frothed milk. The little crunch brings me happiness.
If we were having coffee, I would say that, like the general population, I cannot believe how fast 2015 flew by. Though it was a year of “firsts” without Mick, it went pretty smoothly. Of course we had our moments, and will have more in the future but I like to think that more often than not, the memories are accompanied by a smile. I keep saying I will write our stories and started with NaNoWriMo but foolishly also started a job in the same month and well, that went to hell. I did manage to write two of them so it is encouraging that I will be sharing some in the following months!
If we were having coffee, I couldn’t help but mention how ironic it is that the snows came the day after Christmas and have basically not stopped coming! We have a winter wonderland out there. But it is that perfect-for-snowmen but what I call heart-attack-snow to shovel. Speaking of Snowmen, check out these babies Zeke and I came across during yesterday’s walk! They have a Baymax (from Big Hero 6) look to them, don’t you think? I apologise for the quality of the image. It was not an ideal photo-op day…
As we kept on walking, we came upon these two lovely little girls building their own masterpiece. That snow was H – E- A – V – Y!
Hard at work
We continued on our walk and ran into a couple with their 12-year-old Australian Shepherd, Bally. Once the “parents” felt comfortable, they finally let go of the leash and allowed the two to chase each other. For an older dog, Bally sure had some spunk! Always fun to make a new friend!
Zeke and Bally
We continued on for a few more kilometres but methinks I need some new boots. They are no longer waterproof so as we walked, the boots got heavier and heavier! I figured I’d better turn around so that I could make it home before my feet got wet! But, as per usual, just a few more shots (despite the horrid lighting) while having fun with PicMonkey, attempting to give some oomph to the photos. Great, now I have the song “Willow Weep For Me” in my head… just have to share it with you my favourite version by Dinah Washington!
Willow Weep For Me
Bursts of Red
My New Year Eve was spent in quiet reflection. The boys were invited to their cousin’s for a party and I declined all offers. I drew myself a hot bath, lit all the candles I have and just relaxed. It was perfect – I did have to assure my family and friends that it was a choice and not a time to “woe is me”!
Now, I’ve talked your ear off and bombarded your visual senses. I must go and cook! On the menu:
Pork tenderloin with blueberry sauce and spicy roasted sweet potato wedges
Flank Steak with Emeril Lagasse’s Creole sauce
Lentil soup with corn bread
It’s already quite late so I may just take my client’s offer and take my time to make it all for tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. I shall torment you with images next week, if you’d like!
I can’t stand my own company in the quiet house so Zeke gets a late dusk walk. I figure I’ll at least change the air in my lungs for a bit, if not the company.
As I walk away from my house, the sounds get quieter (blasted highway can be particularly loud when the air is as dense as it is tonight) and all I hear are my footsteps, Zeke’s panting (as if it’s 35ºC and not the 19ºC it really is ~ which proves just how humid it is!) and the occasional birdsong (the rain song, Mick used to call it). I’m not sure I would call it the rain song as it comes in spurts, as if even the birds can’t decide if the predicted thunderstorms are coming or not! If they do, it will be once I’m snug as a bug in my bed!
I breathe in the mixtures of scents: the wonderful lilacs, the freshly mown grass and, what’s that? Oh THAT! That stinky tree with the white flowers (I know not what it is but I used to have one ~ ugh!) that smells like a cross between skunk and bad fish and just plain yuck! OK, OK, I Googled it: It’s the Pyrus Calleryana or the Callery Pear tree. You don’t need to see ’em to smell ’em! Don’t be fooled by the pretty white flowers – they’re not but a ruse for you to buy them!
Anyway, stinky trees aside, when it is quiet like this, my brain goes into full hamster-wheel mode (think the Mel Gibson when he first gets zapped and can hear all the women’s thoughts in the movie “What Women Want”)!
There is no order to my thoughts. They go from one subject to another and have no rhyme nor reason.
I think of my morning and how, after showing the trailer to yet another potential buyer, I empty a few more items from it and get all emotional once again. Camping is over so it needs to go. (The proceeds of the sale are going into the “take the boys to an all-inclusive-trip-fund, however.) There are many memories tied to that white box and I just ache from the loss. As I’m sitting in my blessedly quiet back-yard (the neighbours are out!), feeling sad, I get a “ping!” from Messenger and there is my sister saying aloha from Hawaii! Their flight was fabulous, though long, and they were getting ready to leave for their cruise. So far, so good; the two couples are getting along famously (both are celebrating 25 years of marriage). This brings me joy. Because I’m feeling this way, I grab my camera and take pictures of my bleeding hearts, smoke bush and rhubarb. This brings me more joy. I don’t usually stay in the sadness for too long…
Then my thoughts go to the house and the immense job I have ahead of me to sort out what to keep, what to sell, what to throw away and when to actually do all this. I know, I know, start with something, anything and just take it one thing at a time. I get all emotional, looking at all THIS and think of our plans that are now nought and sadness comes again, followed by anger (how dare he leave me to deal with all this by myself!), followed by overwhelm. Then I think of the Mary Kay business I signed on for and wonder what the hell was I thinking with all this other stuff going on? Do I really need the added work? But I get a phone call from a client who found me on my MK website that I had created just two days earlier and make a sale! Maybe not so crazy after all.
As I walk (wishing each step would miraculously take a layer of insulation off my thighs), I think of my future and dating and OhMyGodAmIReadyToShowThisBodyToAnyone? I don’t go into panic mode but there may be a small (OK, bigger than small) level of insecurity. WTF! I keep reading how “women of my age” are totally at ease with who they are and accept all the “bumps and bruises” that life has given them to reach this point in life and are comfortable in their skin. This, of course, leads them to a fulfilling sex life where they need not worry about their boobs being too saggy or their cellulite, or the extra love handles because it just means there’s more to love. When you have been with the same guy for almost twenty years and he’s seen the changes you’ve gone through from your first meeting to your last good-bye, which includes giving him three beautiful children, and whatever else you’ve shared, you know where you stand. You’ve aged matured together. You’ve earned your said “bumps and bruises” together. Now, the thought of future lovers (see my positive spin on this?), who themselves have certainly had changes happen to their bodies (understand I am not crazy enough to think of hooking up with too-young boys who still smell of pee-pee) are probably quite conscious of the fact that a 50-year-old body is not that of a 20-year-old one! Obviously I’m talking of the regular folk who are trying to age gracefully; not the scalpel-loving-living-in-denial folk (not that there is anything wrong with that ~ we’re not here to judge!) They are probably not expecting perfection either…
So I keep walking, thinking, occasionally arguing with myself (pretending to talk to Zeke) and tellng myself to not sweat it, to just be my fabulous me and all will work out in the end. I am not a “wallower” and will not stop living or looking for rainbows. I will move forward doing what needs to be done, all the while enjoying the journey, even if a few tears are shed here and there, because I know the sun always comes out after the rain.
Raindrops on Clothesline
Raindrops on Clothesline 2
(I couldn’t decide which one I liked more, so I’ve included both!)
Sheesh… only one more week left in November! Between my wonderful photography class with Joy Sussman, my Italian wine class (boo hoo… last one is this coming Thursday), my couple of catering jobs… time just flew! Thank goodness because it didn’t allow me to focus on any negatives for longer than necessary! There are always bumps in the road but the goal here is to not focus on them… Acknowledge them, face them, do what needs to be done, learn from it and move on!
There are quite a few photos I took during my class that I’m proud of and it was pretty difficult to choose but one… so, what the heck, here are a few!
Inspired by Pollock/Rothko
Got a chance to go see our Habs whup St.Louis’ butts at the Bell Centre and had great seats (that’s Hockey for those who don’t follow!)
Had a bit of a disaster delivering to a first-time client downtown but was able to save the food! Thanks for being so kind and understanding, Lucy!
So grateful to my sister Tracy for having been available to help me with my delivery downtown.
A second family just signed up for two Dalectables family-style meals per week. Woot! Baby steps moving forward but still moving forward.
It’s so nice when the boys go to Mick’s shop to help out with production (yes, it is not for free, but still!)
Another great week has come and gone! The weather has been pretty darn good and you can smell the end of the school year. Two more “weeks” of exams for the boys are all that are left. This in reality means there are only three or so half-days of exams! This silly school has added tutorials after some exams! Seriously, how many kids are going to attend these?
Zeke and I had quite a few nice walks, meeting new friends like Pouf, Lily, Tom (cute names…) and yesterday got to hang out with the neighbour Nyala as she was going to be left alone all day. Couldn’t let that happen!
Thursday brought another lovely day and an even lovelier lunch with my good friend Karen. How funny is it that we went to elementary school together, lost touch after she moved away after fourth grade, only to re-find each other on Facebook! For all of you Facebook haters, this is the main reason I am on it…. I have reconnected with so many people I had “lost” over the years. And, though it starts on line, many of them have moved up to the face-to-face type get-togethers. So no, it is not impersonal 😉 I have hopes that some of my “Internet Friends” (whether through Facebook or the Blogosphere) will one day be met in person. This will “sadly” mean I’ll have to hop a plane to Portland, Oregon; County Waterford and County Cork, Ireland or Crawfordville, Florida; to name but a few!
On Friday the day looked quite “iffy” and I kept hesitating on when to go out and of course chose the wrong time! Zeke and I got caught in a lovely summer downpour! I was on my way back home, having chosen a short one because of the clouds and we should have just continued on as it stopped not long after. Just the smell of wet dog is so unappealing…. However, just as the rain started, I spotted this little fellow! He was kind enough to pose for me before hopping off!
Being able to have lunch with a friend so we can just catch up on each other’s lives.
Cooking up a storm to entertain friends on a Saturday Night.
Walking in the summer rain after a hot day where the pavement has that fabulous smell known as petrichor (such a weird name for a fabulous scent).
Capturing wildlife with my camera on my walks.
This one item is difficult for me to explain or write. For the past week, I’ve been absorbing all the Maya Angelou “things” I can get my hands on. The Master Class episode, the two Super Soul Sunday episodes, the quotes being recited pretty much everywhere, parts of her memorial service (will watch it all later)… I was so inspired by her (as were millions!) and am so grateful I was lucky enough to have read a couple of her books (and now want to read everything she has ever written!) and well, I just want to be better.
Isn’t if funny how we can be so deeply affected by certain events in our lives?
Ya know? I’m a tad frustrated today! I always take my camera with me when I go for my daily Zeke walk. As I don’t want to carry a camera bag, I have to make the decision which lens to bring. I thought of bringing my zoom then I put it back, hesitated again and finally left with my standard 18-55 mm lens.
(I’ve been on a double mission lately… make that triple. Get outside and get fresh air, while walking the dog, take great pictures to become the next Ansel Adams (OK, no, not really but I AM trying to improve my photography!) and get my 10,000 steps in. That last one is hard as I was absolutely convinced my walks covered at least that many…. Hmph! Nope. I have discovered the “Walking Mate” app on my phone and have started using it. My walks average about 8500 steps (about 6.5 km). Dammit! Of course if I carried my phone with my while I go up and down the stairs at home, walking around doing whatever it is that I do all day, I may get close to it but I don’t really want my phone attached to my hip.)
Soooo…. yesterday, we walked over to the other side, called de Normandie Park and we were surrounded by the beautiful chirps and songs of various birds. It was fantastic! Did I have a zoom lens to capture these beauties up close? No! Though I did manage to capture this one.
So today, I decided that for sure it was going to be zoom lens all the way! Great!
No birds could be found anywhere! Seriously! What is UP with that? I could hear them but they were hiding… I would have thought there’d be as many birds in deBrouages Park as in deNormandie. Apparently not.
I did manage to capture these ones…
After that, not a bird could be seen! Oh well, go with the flow, they say!
I ended up focusing on the water flowing in “my” river. Hard to believe I walked all along this same river just last month!
I tried to get up close and personal with the flow!
And then thought about how I can’t wait to not have to wear boots and a heavy coat and all the other winter paraphernalia and just sit to enjoy the sounds of the woods.
Mr. Zeke, on the other hand, is just happy! He doesn’t give a rat’s behind how cold it is! He likes to lie in the snow and much prefers winter of the sweltering heat of summer…
I have quite the busy day today and I’m on a mission to get this body into better shape and fix this blasted shoulder and foot that have been causing me grief and keeping me away from the dojo. There are only so many physiotherapist and chiropractor visits a person can take before realising nothing is really working. So, I blew the dust off the old Wii and re-started the Yoga. Laugh if you will, I care not! It is a tool that is “forcing” me to slow down and take the time to stretch. I can barely run in running shoes – barefoot, forget about it (this is why the dojo is being ignored by me!) The shoulder pain is related to my fracture of over a year and a half ago! Goes to show how one learns to deal with an injury thereby causing another. Sigh… this getting older shit is really not fun! Healing is much slower than it once was!
What I was trying to say above, before my case of verbal diarrhea, is that I had to get my walk with Zeke in early so I was out of the house by 7:45 this morning! A vast improvement over the 9:00 it has been lately! I was hoping I was still in the “Magical Hour” so beloved by photographers (I dare to actually put myself into that group, albeit of the amateur variety!) and was not disappointed.
Zeke, my faithful companion doesn’t really care what time we go out, as long as it is OUT! Thought I’d share his most regal pose…
Just gonna stay here…
And off we went to the Industrial area – I know, again!
We had the usual stick throwing… Have I mentioned Zeke is NOTa retriever? His fun is to chase after a stick, and make like a beaver, until I get close enough and then it’s grab and dash and catch me if you can! Funny critter.
Got my stick
Catch me if you can
He is very patient with me as I practice what I learned in Joy Sussman’s on-line Photo Class – all the time! Lines, perspectives, macros…. Really, you should check out her site but clicking the link. She takes the most amazing photos!
Lines & curves
Of course, I don’t spend ALLof my time with plants and things! When I can, I get up close and personal with Zeke…
Look at me
Another nice walk with my dog. We should all be as exuberant as he!
Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.