One of the most frustrating things for me in this aging process is the way I discover my limitations. Sometimes, it's a simple matter of doing what you've always done but finding out that you aren't as good or as flexible as you used to be (i.e. yoga poses); or perhaps your stamina is lacking and it takes you longer because you need to rest more (i.e. gardening). And other times, it's as simple as looking at something you would have done before and knowing that you don't want to take a chance this season (i.e. jumping into the river from that bridge). Okay! as much as I don't like losing these things, I'll adjust my lifestyle and keep soldiering on.
However, most of the time, I find my limitations by unintentionally hurting myself. There's nothing gentle about it; no gradual decline in ability; no warning bells or alarms saying "Danger, Will Robinson!"; no little voice in my head saying to be extra cautious.
AND to add insult to injury, the memory banks are so full that I often forget things like the need to adjust the time I've allotted to something, that I can't do more than one "extra" per weekend, and that my recovery time will be longer and that's it's absolutely necessary. After 60+ years of living one way, it takes a lot of time, love and patience with oneself to relearn or to even let go. (So I keep reminding myself!)
I walk and hike because I love it; nature feeds my soul and gives me renewed purpose. But I also do it because it's good for me: it keeps me flexible, my sleep and digestion are better, I'm happier and it helps me lose weight. But when I'm actively trying to take care of myself and my body rebels by telling me after the fact via prolonged pain and distress that I made a wrong choice, it feels like betrayal. I have met the enemy ...... and it is ME!
Yep, I overdid it last weekend; and then put my back out just by picking up a tissue Tuesday. There was no hike. There was no walk. There was no picnic at the beach with friends. Boo hoo! The smallest violin played for me in my own mind as I rend my clothes and poured ashes on my head!
I spent this weekend fairly inactive. I did go yard saling with my BFF, and afterwards we had tea and sarnies on her back patio in the sunshine. But I spent the majority of my weekend resting with a heating pad at my back watching Netflix (Hello "Last Kingdom" and "Orange is the New Black" ) and looking longingly out my window at the green hills which were calling me. But then later Saturday afternoon as I was lying outside in my lounge chair, I was struck by the beauty all around me. I was reminded of how privileged I am to live where I do and enjoy the luxury of a sunny day, a comfy lounger, and the joy that can be found in simply existing on such a day in such a place.
I may be slowing down quicker than I like, I may have to wear more strings on my fingers as reminders, I may have to adjust my lifestyle, and yes, sometimes I may be house-bound just because of my own stupidity.
But life is still beautiful! And I will continue to pursue it and grab whatever beauty I can in whatever way I can.
The weather here in western Newfoundland has been wonderful for the past couple of weeks: sunny day and cool evenings are perfect for my tastes!
I'd been nursing a sore calf muscle that I believe was the result of walking twice in one day; neither walk was particularly strenuous, but I'd been suffering chin-splint discomfort in my right calf: so I decided to stop walking for a week. Then after doing the hike with my brother and my usual easy walks at home, I felt I was ready for a more challenging hike this past weekend.
My memory bank told me that last year's Corner Brook Stream Trail hike was a really easy one because it was one of two done on the same day. So, I thought I'd add the Ginger Root Trail to my hike because it actually which meets up with the CB Stream Trail. And according to the map trail map I found, it was a 4 km return hike.
I think I misread, and it was actually 4 km ONE way! Just before I reached the falls, I began to suspect it was longer than I'd anticipated ...... but of course, it was too late to turn back then.
It was pretty difficult, uphill almost all the way over rocks and tree roots; but I knew the falls were waiting for me. I ate lunch at the top, all alone, the sound of the falls in one ear, birds singing in the other. I stayed for about an hour, and it was blissful. The weather was cool at the start -- perfect for climbing -- and the woods were alive with bird song, squirrels and a number of friendly toads. It was warmer on the descent; so I spent some time talking to those creatures on my way down as I needed someone to commiserate with over my folly (and none of those creatures judged me). Here are some of the highlights of my hike.
Here I am 4 days later and only now beginning to recover from what turned out to be 9.5 km (6 mi) of walking! Egad!
My feet didn't suffer as I have good hiking sneakers. But my legs, butt and lower back were been seized up tighter than an 8 day clock, and I've been waddling around like Jemima Puddle Duck!
Oh the follies of the growing-elderly!
I should be recovered enough to take on a small hike this weekend .... fingers crossed and brain engaged this time round!
Logging is one of Newfoundland's oldest industries, and that means that there are old unused logging roads everywhere. With our great love of the rugged outdoors, these roads are still well used; and many people have set up their weekend cabins (cottages) in these places. The government accepts applications to rent a piece of land at a nominal fee, and because some of these trails are part of the Appalachian Mountains Trail and are used by the local snowmobile and ATV clubs, they work to keep the trails and roads in 'good' condition ..... well, good for off road vehicles and 4x4's.
I spent the Canada Day weekend at my brother's cabin, and it was so wonderful! His comfy but rustic cabin overlooks a pond (we don't have "lakes" in NL -- only ponds); and the front garden and deck are always open to squirrels, chipmunks, Blue and Grey Jays and the
Toast and fruit are on today's menu.
occasional moose or caribou (although not during my stay). I spent lots of time just relaxing with my book of NY Times crosswords, got in a great hike and ate sporatic but wonderful meals. Barbequed steak, baked potato, grilled asparagus and strawberry shortcake on Sat night means steak 'n' home fries, an asparagus omlette and fruit salad on Sun morning! Yum yum! And evening visits to and from friendly neighbors means lots of Newfie music, cold beers and big, blazing fires!
💛Ahhhhh! Fresh air at yer bum .... sky at your head .... and bird song all around you! 💛
My brother has a generator, so there were lights, a small refrigerator and, depending on the time of day, even a few channels on the satellite TV. And although his cabin has a bathroom with a composting toilet, my favorite 'room' was this one.
It was clean, fresh smelling and ........... drum roll .................. it boasts a clear, plexiglass roof which provides the most beautiful view! Plus you get a heck of a lot more privacy. But yeah, that view! 💖 💖💖
I hope your Canada Day was a good one. And to my American friends, I hope your July 4th gives you something great to celebrate tomorrow.
My heart has been heavy for the past week with the horrific news reports of what happening to immigrants and their children in the U.S. Now that we at least know families will be kept together from this point forward, I feel a little less sad. But, of course, there has been no report on reuniting families that have been torn apart already. My heart breaks and my head is reeling with anger at this. I am so sorry for my American neighbours. But as there is little I can do here in Canada, I sit and wait for some semblance of humanity to surface in those responsible for perpetrating this crime. And I pray.
And then I turn my focus to my work (there's always some issue to advocate for or against at a women's centre); and I turn my focus to my children (one is currently visiting Tokyo so I'm living vicariously through her); and I look for joy in the little world closest to me.
I've had some stellar evening walks! It's finally warming here in western Newfoundland with perfect temperatures for walking. Last evening's loop took me past the seaside with the sound of the gulls and the waves gently lapping (and the occasional car speeding past) and then through the forested former rail line with birdsong and the scent of flowers .... and barbeques! Yum!
Beauties found in the ditch along the way.
Last night, I took an especially long walk to clear the cobwebs and dust out of my head. (Literal dust: there are renovations happening at the office, and I eat dust in spite of the mask I wear.) I also just wanted to leave the big work to God while I enjoy His creation. Then I came home, put dinner in the oven and turned on some Buena Vista Social Club to listen to while I soaked in a lavender and epsom salts bath.
I had a wonderful time last weekend in St John's. Coming from NS where the finer things in life were readily available to me and moving to CB where it's meat 'n' potatoes and the necessities of life, the trip was an enormous tonic to my foodie soul. Sharing it with family was icing on my cake.
We 2 mums were with our two 20-something daughters, so we did our best to keep up, fueled by a big breakfast and a big supper with coffee and water in between; but it was so exciting and fun that no felt hungry until we stopped each day. We did breakfast at Chez Cora and Rocket (where I also bought a delicious loaf of whole grain sourdough bread to bring home). We ate at Swiss Chalet one night and had an epic evening at Jack Astors another night: St John's is known for it's colorful row houses (left picture), and I was so tickled when I visited the ladies room to see that they'd paid homage to this with the toilet stall doors that I had to snap a picture to share (right picture).
We'd start each day with bridal salon appointments and end up in the malls mid-afternoon. I even managed to fit in a few hours at my beloved Value Village where I scored some treasures. I got to eat Laura Secord ice cream (pistacho/almond and double chocolate together!); and I got myself a Starbucks. I loved the ice cream. But surprisingly, I found that I could have done without the Starbucks and chocolate buttercream cake from Rocket; my months of eating healthy is helping me get over my sugar monkey. Hurray! (And don't worry, there are lots of other fattening, unhealthy foods that I'm still addicted to!)
But OH! THE BRIDE! She tried on so many dresses; and each salon had a front runner. But #3 salon - Kathy Evans - was the winner, with a gorgeous beachy, sparkly gown that came in under budget and, as my mum would say, "fit her like a smack in the mouth". Yes ...... I cried and so did her mum-in-law! I'll share some of the runner-up gowns here, but the winning dress is a secret!
We celebrated that evening with pizza at our Air B'n'B and a bonding evening of hilarious board games as we raised a glass or 2 to a beautiful bride-to-be and a successful shopping trip.
I loved this vacation weekend with it's over-indulgence, late nights and exhausting day-long trekking. But ohhhhhhhhh! How good to be back to regular meals and sleeping in my own bed.
This weekend promises to be a sunny one here on the west coast of NL. And the weather man says there will be a turn for the better weather-wise next week with spring being here and summer on it's way!
Although I haven't posted for a long time, I'm alive and finally well again. I had a terrible head cold and a minor family emergency that kept me away from the keyboard, but I'm back with a spring in my step! But that's also because the sun is shining.
The weather has been quite cold, and we've had a lot of rain. Central NL had 30 cm of snow last Wednesday; and we're not out of the woods weather-wise yet! That's what happens when you're this far north and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It had been 2 weeks since I'd last walked in the sunshine, and my body spoke loud and clear: my mood changed; my sleep patterns went off-course again; and I had more aches.
Yesterday both health and weather were aligned; so I took a walk around Glenmill Inn Pond Trail with my youngest and her 2 dogs. Jack and Olive.
Jack is 5 years old; he loves to walk and will happily move to the side and trot ahead of you. Olive is not quite a year old, so she was zig zagging in front of our legs (as she feels the need to physically touch her brother Jack from time to time), stopping to look up at us with love and gratitude, and bounding at the rustle of every bush. She also needs to explore every nook and cranny and is positively beside herself when she meets a new friend. The 3 km return trip had the puppies panting, tired and very happy at the end. Great! Now we can go sit outside with delicious foamy lattes while the puppies happily cuddle at our feet, right?
We brought our drinks to the table and took the dogs out of the car; but settle, they did not! Jack was determined to go inside the cafe. (He's a glutton for attention!) And Olive was overwhelmed with all the traffic noise, chattering people walking by and skateboarders. She bolted out of Libby's arms AND her harness and lead into the street! Thank goodness there was nothing coming and we were able to get her back to safety. Poor little mite was afraid.
When I took the dirty cups back inside, I indulged Jack and took him with me where he was met with lots of petting and chucks on the head. He was a happy dachshund! And I was an equally happy woman!
(PS - Heavy rain and possibility of snow has been forcast for the next couple of days. Egad! You'll find me under the heat lamp thinking sunny thoughts.)
My back went out a couple of weeks ago (didn't ask permission!); and after 2 weeks of pain and turtle-paced healing, I finally decided to book a massage. I tried a new clinic this time; and when I got there, filled in the half dozen forms and met with the proprietor, he asked if I'd like to try accupuncture. He follows the eastern philosophy of our ailments being linked to various organs or body functions. And I'm very sympathic to other medical philosophies as I'll do almost anything to avoid having to take a pill.
"Sure", I replied. "Let's try it".
I lay on my tummy on the massage table as he put 6 needles in my left hip/buttock area and 4 in my left ear (directly connected to my kidneys?). I didn't feel most of the needles, and the ones I did feel were just like a momentary pin prick. I was extremely comfortable lying there for 15 minutes listening to soothing music. After he took them out and I slowly got up and about again, I was amazed that the pain was gone! It was wonderful!
He explained that throughout the day and for the next few days, it would feel different -- with some pain and/or discomfort returning or showing up in other areas. Accupuncture is a process that heals over a period of visits.
Sure enough. That evening, there was mild discomfort. And because I work at a computer all day (the worse kind of work to do if you have back problems), some mild pain and discomfort returned. But not to the excruciating degree that it had been at.
I had a second session this morning, and I feel so much better then before I went in.
I knew that spring has sprung for sure here when I began hearing birdsong a couple of weeks ago. But those surprise snow storms made me scratch my head, especially last Friday nights fall. Although the roads may have been clear, it added to the huge mounds along every street and parking area.
I'm happy to report that those mounds are almost entirely melted! We've had warming temperatures this week and a day of rain. Hurrah! I can actually walk up to the scrubs and trees and see the buds. It's ever so exciting.
I've one of those backs that goes out every now and then (without even asking permission). It happened last week; I've been nursing it with extra rest, but because I sit at a computer all day long, it takes longer to heal. I've not been walking, but thankfully I think I can resume this weekend. I become giddy with the thought of walks along the Bay in the sunshine!
But I also become giddy at the thought of spring cleaning, washing my windows and changing out the sofa pillows and throw with more spring-like colors and patterns. I look around my little abode and think "What can I do to bring in the light? Where can I move this piece of furniture? What color can I incorporate in my decor?" It's all part of my celebration of spring.
But it's been such a long, harsh winter, I feel quite justified in my giddiness!
Although spring is very slow coming to western Newfoundland, the snow is melting. Friday night, my sister and I had one of our sleepovers -- a wonderful bonding experience that involves reminiscing, a few brewskies, lots of laughing and, if I'm lucky, a little girl-dancing.
Imagine our surprise when several hours after our evening began we noticed this scene outside! Yes, that's a brand new blanket of white on trees and ground! It was very pretty but thankfully was gone again by mid morning Saturday. That's when Linda and I set off for an adventure day!
We drove to nearby Deer Lake and visited their wonderful Sally Ann. I found a really cute pair of black polka dotted pants ($4) and a green depression glass plate ($2). (Not sure of the pattern though. Help!) We window shopped at a couple of other small shops; and then she took me out for supper before heading home again.
Sunday was a bit of a cold day; so after making chicken veg soup and moose meatballs for this week's dinner, I spent the late afternoon reacquainting myself with "Westworld" because that evening was the season premier. It's an intriguing program!
And I had another day off yesterday because it was St. George's Day? (I don't argue with my ED when she says we have obscure days off.) The sun was shining and it was all of 11 deg C (51 F); so I headed uptown to another one of my favorite shops, the Bulk Food Store.
Living alone means I use smaller amounts of everything. Instead of using the bags above the bins, I love using the wee spice bags and filling them with spoonfuls of chopped pecans, dried cranberries and the like. I hadn't been there for a while, so I had lots of fun walking up and down aisles and looking at new stuff. Look at these adorable colored bow-tie pasta! And yes, I eat a LOT of rolled oats.
I was home by 3 pm; and at that time of day, the sun is around the side of my house and streams into my kitchen and living areas. I get rainbows on my floor and lovely shadows on my walls. After cooking, I lit the tea light under my patchouli scented oil and it was so tranquil and serene.
Ahhhhhh! T'was a good weekend. Hope yours was as well.