I Give Credit to the Tulips, the Woods, the Words

The Tulips In My Back Yard

My husband and I still like each other.

We have had a lot of togetherness. A lot of uncertainty. A roller coaster of emotions.

Tulips take my husband outside.  He tends the garden. The brown, rich earth is his medium. He disappears in the beauty of creation.  He returns with a smile.

Tulips allow us some separation and space.

The garden helps us stay friends and our marriage stay healthy.

I give credit to the Tulips in our back yard.  A sign of Spring.  A sign of Renewal.  A sign of Hope.

 

 

My Neck Of The Woods

We are allowed to go for walks in our neighbourhood.  We are encouraged to exercise.  

I am very grateful.  I am aware many people on our planet do not have this privilege.

We have access to a forest and farms nearby. 

We move one foot in front of the other.  We are aware how time marches on. 

Today’s present moment is more important than the past or the future. 

I give credit to the Woods. Tranquil moments in nature replenish my soul.

 

Beautiful Words

I have many words that enter my life every day. 

Words entertain me.  They teach me.  

Words comfort me. They sustain me.

The words seep into my pores.

I give credit to the Words.  Words forever change me.

 

Grateful For My Life

Today I am healthy.  I live in a tranquil, beautiful part of the world.

Today’s present moment is all I truly have.

I give credit to the Tulips, the Woods, and especially the Words.

 

 

 

What do you do to stay mentally and physically healthy?

         

Postscript:

I have mentioned before how I learn something new from every single post I read.

Please continue writing, sharing and connecting. You will not always know when you have made a difference in someone’s life.

A Few Recent Words:         

  • Lisa Dorenfest: “…life has prepared me for this moment….”   “…visualizing what I want my life to look like post-pandemic.” Since I read these insightful words, I also have been “visualizing what I want my life to look like post-pandemic.”   Thank you for your wisdom, Lisa.  Lisa Dorenfest
  • Lauren Baydreamer  Exceptionally creative words capturing the mood and emotions of our present time.  I am left with goosebumps long after reading this powerful palindrome poetry.  “The Virus”
  • Natalie Natalie the Explorer  Shares a post each week where she focuses on “Every day is full of simple pleasures that make me feel positive and grateful.” “During these uncertain times, I choose to focus on the positives, work on finding a balance in my day, be flexible, and stay strong.” Natalie, your words help me focus on the beauty of my surroundings.  You are an inspiration.
  • Leanne Cresting The Hill  Marie Kondo’s books refer to items and a life that sparks joy. Leanne’s words and her message resonated with me: “…it’s okay to not fill every waking moment with something meaningful.” “Doing less sparks a lot of joy for me.”  
  • Joanne And Anyways…  Home schooling is a challenge for many right now.  Joanne shared a meme that continues to make me smile.  “It might take a village to raise a child, but it takes a vineyard to home-school one.”
  • Sue Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond  Shared a game she plays online with her six-year-old grandson, Ethan. They find five things starting with a letter of the day.  Ethan writes it down, takes a photo of it and shares it with Sue.  I began doing this last week with six-year-old Sadie.  She loves this game!  Thank you, Sue.  You always make a difference in my week.
  • Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia, informs calmly and clearly about COVID-19:   

This is not forever. This is just for now. Let’s all be kind, be calm, and stay safe.”

 

The Perfect Day To Make A Fool Of Myself

Warning:  This story does not contain thought-provoking, motivating and highly inspirational words of wisdom.

We All Do It.

When we have toddlers in our life, we talk about it….. often.

When we get older, we visit it….. often.

When we take photos of everything, we have many pictures of it.

I am talking about the loo, the lavatory, the privy, the throne room.

 

The Bathroom.

I have been sitting on this story for almost a year.

My post is an excuse to share a few fun photos from some of the bathrooms I have visited over the last few years. 

The photos put a smile on my face.  I hope they put a smile on yours.

 

The Laundromat Cafe, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2017

 

 

The Laundromat Cafe, Reykjavik, Iceland 2017

Hokonui, New Zealand

 

Larnach Castle, New Zealand, 2019.  Our lodgings, 140 year-old stables. Shared bathroom facilities.

 

 

I Almost Peed Myself Laughing.

Janis, from Retirementally Challenged   shared an exceptionally funny and witty post on her blog  Sitting on the Deck of Bidet*   For the sensitive folk still reading here, I caution you.  Janis discusses “nether regions,” and “derrieres.”  

I shared with Janis how our house in Nanaimo had a bidet in the ensuite bathroom and a laundry chute.  When friends and family came over to visit the first thing they wanted to see was the bidet.  Then they would throw something down the laundry chute.  Janis brought up a good point. “As long as your guests didn’t get the bidet and laundry chute mixed up.”

Iceland is very windy.  Cement filled tires secured to the porta potties.

 

April Fool’s Day.

I decided April Fool’s Day was a perfect day to make a fool of myself and share some silly and fun photos.

Every day is a perfect day to take care of our mental health.

Yes, life is exceptionally challenging and serious right now.

If laughter is the best medicine, then I choose to distract myself, even temporarily, with something that makes me smile.

I hope it makes you smile, too.

 

Do you have an April Fool’s Day story or prank to share?

Is there something that can still make you smile?

Milford Sound, New Zealand, 2019

 

Limitations on toilet paper purchases after initial frenzy. The Island, 2020

Will I Wake Up And Find Out All Of This Has Been A Dream?

I have had very vivid dreams all of my life.  My dreams are in full colour and they contain elaborate story plots. When I wake up I remember all of the details of a complicated story, the colours, the smells, the emotions. 

When I wake up, I also realize it was all a dream.  

This past week, for a brief second, when I wake up I feel life at the present moment is a dream.  The present events are surreal.

I feel I may step out of the movie sets, “The Truman Show” or “Capricorn One” at any moment. 

Then reality sinks in.

When Did We Begin To Take This Pandemic Seriously?

Is it social distancing, social isolating, quarantining, shelter in place? 

Last Sunday, my husband and I made the decision to completely hunker down. 

Up until then, my husband was still going to the gym daily and I was on Day 16 of a 30 day yoga challenge at my yoga studio.

No more gyms, stores, visiting with family and friends.  This is a serious pandemic and we need to take it seriously.

“You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem,” my husband’s quote.  Sometimes he does have something smart to say.

Many Things Have Not Changed

We are fortunate we live in a home and we are comfortable with basic necessities.

Everyone in our immediate family is healthy.

Spring has arrived. We have access to trails and many walking areas in our immediate neighbourhood.

A Few Things Have Changed

We have been advised the Half Corked Marathon will either be cancelled or postponed. We Won the Lottery! The Golden Ticket!  We are staying positive and still in training mode.

 

We had tickets to a James Taylor/Bonnie Raitt concert in April.  This event is also cancelled or postponed.  Cancellations are common around the globe right now. 

My early evening walk is usually filled with the sound of children laughing and playing at a park nearby.  Yesterday, all of the parks were closed. Yesterday, the park was completely empty and eerily quiet.  

 

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I met with my best friend last Saturday, and for the first time in 50 years we did not hug good bye. We giggled and stepped back.

         Inside, I am choked up.

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We usually have a lot of interaction with our daughters and their families.  The grandchildren are 4 weeks, 23 months, 4 and 6 year old.  They are very huggy, smoochy, drooly, and they touch everything.  They would not understand boundaries.  Our goal is to help keep everyone healthy.  We FaceTime and Video Chat.  This is temporary and this is important.  I put on a brave, happy face and I tell them this will only last for a few weeks.  

         Inside, I am choked up.

The Question:   Do You Recognize The Common Denominator?

  • I have continued my yoga practice and I am doing a 30 Day Challenge with “Adriene’s Yoga” on YouTube.   Thank you to Deb The Widow Badass   for this great recommendation.  I love and miss my yoga family at Found City Yoga.  How Hot Yoga Changed My Life

 

 

  • Thank you to Marty, Snakes in the Grass  for your witty, humorous posts, always.  Your last post reminded me how I should keep a thermometer easily accessible.  I hunted through the house and I found the thermometer we keep for when we watch the children.  I tested it twice.  36.6 C each time.  Whew.

 

  • I am going on longer and more frequent walks.  Thank you to Mark, Swinged Cat  for sharing information about the Voice Recorder app and Voice Memo app.  When a bolt of inspiration hits me or I need a simple reminder, I can just press on the big red button and record my thoughts.
  • Janis’s post Retirementally Challenged  “In this time…” contained many gems that resonated with me.  I copy/pasted her last paragraph into a Gratitude/Positives file. Thank you, Janis, for your wise words “….we don’t have to distance ourselves from much that nourishes us.”
  • Pam’s words Rough Wighting  warmed my heart. “I wish we could all meet in a safe place and hug each other and talk for hours. Well, I suppose that’s what we do right here in the blogosphere!”  Thank you, Pam, for reinforcing the importance of connections.
  • Thank you to Laurie Meditations in Motion  for her words “we’ve got this. One step at a time.” 
  • Thank you to Liesbet Roaming About for always reminding me how little we need to lead a happy, simple life.  We are all living “a life less ordinary right now.”  In your last post you discussed the positives, negatives and reality of the present events.  Your phrase “our solution is our flexibility” has stayed with me.  Thank you.
  • Anabel Glasgow Gallivanter shares a great deal of history and information about Scotland.  The photos on her site are breathtaking.  Thank you, Anabel, for helping us plan our next vacation.  You have helped put Scotland high on our list.
  • Jo Restless Jo shares posts containing stunning photography of exceptionally beautiful, historical buildings.  Thank you, Jo, for reminding me how humankind has weathered many challenges over the past thousands of years.

     This too shall pass.

Ten minute walk from our house

The Answer:  “You” Are The Common Denominator.

I am sharing a quote from Suzanne, Picture Retirement  “I have always been grateful for my connections throughout the blogging community, but now, more than ever.  There is so much sharing, caring and outright humour being delivered to my inbox daily.”

I strongly agree with Suzanne.  I am entertained.  I learn something new.  I laugh.  I cry.  You touch my heart.  

This Is Not A Dream

I realize when I wake up in the morning, all of this is not a dream.  This is our present day reality, changing by the hour. We are also in the early stages of this pandemic.

I have a great deal to be thankful for always and especially right now.

People have been very kind and thoughtful.  Almost everyone in our neck of the woods is respecting the social distancing, social isolating guidelines. 

We are going to get through this together. 

I appreciate the connections in my personal life and in the global community.

Please continue writing, sharing and connecting.  You will not always know when you have made a difference in someone’s life.

         Thank you for making a difference in mine.

 

How are you connecting with friends and family?

Has someone recently made a difference in your life?

 

Postscript:

I shared only a few posts from blogger friends.  I could easily include gems from every single post I read.  

I just finished listening to a very good, empowering podcast.  “The Tim Ferriss Show #414:  Jack Kornfield – How to Find Peace Amidst COVID-19, How to Cultivate Calm in Chaos.”  

A Bonus Gift:  People Be Weird”  

Kate’s witty posts Coffee Kat Blog often bring a unique perspective to daily life and the human condition.  She sometimes adds  a “people be weird” in her post.

I was walking by a house yesterday and a couple, likely husband and wife, were quibbling about whose turn it was to take their dog for a walk.  The husband yells out how “the dog had better not poop.  I am not picking up dog poop.  If the dog poops, I am calling 911!”  No humour in his voice.

Likely cabin fever and too much togetherness already setting in.

Yes, Kate, “people be weird.”

I still can’t stop giggling.

 

How An Iceland Adventure Led To Midlife Blogging

I am honoured to be a guest on Leanne’s inspirational and informative blog, Cresting The Hill  as part of her Midlife Symphony Series 

In my post I am sharing why the second half of my life is the best half of my life.  Choices I have made in the last two years have completely changed my life.   For the better!

Click on the link below to read the story.  I look forward to meeting you there!

Via     How An Iceland Adventure Led To Midlife Blogging

 

Myvatn Nature Baths, North Iceland

We Won The Lottery! The Golden Ticket!

The Half Corked Marathon is a run so popular, all tickets are allocated by a random lottery.

South Okanagan, British Columbia

What is it?

The Half Corked Marathon is a half marathon fun run taking us through scenic vineyards and world class wineries.

This highly anticipated run recently won “The Event of the Year Canadian Tourism Award. 

We sample award-winning wines and food at approximately every kilometre. It is a weekend of fun festivities, entertainment and amazing costumes.

                                An experience of a lifetime!

Where?

The Half Corked Marathon takes place in beautiful Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country in the scenic, South Okanagan region of British Columbia. 

South Okanagan, British Columbia
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Oliver, B.C.

When?

The Half Corked Marathon is on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Fun events take place all weekend May 29-31, 2020.

Who?

This year there were 8116 entrants for the coveted 1500 tickets.

This is the third year we have tried to get in. Some hopeful runners have entered their name into the lottery the past twelve years and no luck.

The draw is open for one week at the beginning of November. One entry per person. All tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable – no exceptions!

Why?

  • Wine sampling before the race at the starting line.
  • Wine and food pairing along the course.
  • Approximately twenty-five wineries at the finish line, showcasing and celebrating the viniculture in the picturesque South Okanagan Region.
  • Fantastic awards for the best and most creative costumes.
  • Picnic party at the finish line with live entertainment, music, dancing, food trucks and you guessed it……..more wine tasting!
Waiheke Island, New Zealand

How do we train for the Half Corked Marathon?

Part 1:  How do we complete the Run/Walk?

  • The race rules specify we have 3.5 hours to complete the route with a run/walk pace to allow time for sampling the wine and food.
  • The organizers also state, we should be able to run at least five kilometres to safely participate. 
  • There will be four wave starts with cut off points to make by a certain time. If you have not reached the cut off point in time, a Sag Wagon will pick you up and bump you ahead.

                                 No Sag Wagon for us. We do have some pride. 

  • In past years we have run marathons, half marathons and a gruelling  “The Great Walk” ultra-marathon from Gold River to Tahsis. 63.5 Kilometres to receive the “Burning Boot Award.”
  • I use the term “running” loosely. We were usually back of the pack, almost crawl to the finish line, “runners.” We did complete the events.
  • A few toenails were lost and grew back. Hips dislocated and clicked back into place.  Fun!
TC 10K in Victoria, British Columbia

Part 2:  How do we sample all of the wine?

The race information states ‘you are not obligated to drink the wine.’

             The organizers clearly have a sense of humour.

We have had some practice drinking wine.

“This hot, sultry wine was picked provocatively by a number of nubile nymphs. The juices were pressed, barrelled for many years with the lights out, and then bottled. The palate has saucy dark rich undergarments, and an explosive finish.” Miro Vineyard, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Part 3:  How do we decide on a costume?

Elaborate costumes are a big part of this event.

Prizes are awarded for Best Individual or Duo costume and Best Team Costume.

 

Some of the imaginative costumes over the past years included:

Five costume planning thoughts to keep in mind: 

1.  30 degrees Celsius temperatures are not uncommon at that time of year.

2.  We want to be able to run/walk/move in the costume for the entire distance.

3.  If nature calls, we should be able to take a quick porta-loo break.

4.  We want to see what is in front of us.

5.  We want to keep at least one hand free for wine and food samples. 

 

We welcome all suggestions!

Do you have any unique and fun costume ideas?  

Do you have any training tips?

Do you want to join us?  Free admission for all family and friends to attend the party at the finish line.  

Stunning scenery!  Award-winning wines!  Food!  Entertainment! Fun!

                                           An experience of a lifetime!

Version 2
South Okanagan, British Columbia

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***All costume photos are courtesy of Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Facebook Page.

When Blogging World Meets Real World

Butchart Gardens
A magical evening at Butchart Gardens.

I was very moved by a recent comment I received on my blog.

I was asked whether “all was well” since I had been silent for more than a month in the blogosphere. 

Life Happens, To All Of Us

There are many reasons we may hit the pause button or stop blogging for a period of time.

  • We may need to be quiet to divert our time and energy to pressing concerns.
  • We may have health complications.
  • We may need to replenish our body and our spirit. 
  • We may not need a specific reason.  Just time for a break.
  • In my personal life?  An unexpected family crisis.  Then Christmas came along.

After all, blogging should be a fun part of our lives.  Not a self-imposed chore with a strict timeline.  

Yet, I respect how many bloggers set different writing goals and parameters.

Butchart Gardens

The First Post I Read in 2020

I read Shelley’s recent candid post  Quaint Revival   on why and how she continues to blog.  She brought up the concept of clicks as “fly-by clicker types” and other categories of superficial followers. Not a new topic in the blogosphere.

Shelley’s wisdom helped me reflect on the blogging friends I have made and the reasons I blog.

Are they Real People who treat me like a Real Person?  Do they  actually read my stories?  Do they read my comments on their site?  

My Aha Moment

Just like in Real Life, I prefer to hang out with Real People who genuinely share and care.  Blogging friends who truly make a difference.

You impact the Real World in more ways than you may realize.

Five Ways The Blogging World Entered My Real World This Past Month

1.   Thank you, Donna and Richard, for a fun lunch date.  Retirement Reflections    We are long past the introductory Blind Date  (Link)  stage when we met last Spring.  It feels as if we have been friends for a very long time.  It was also a real treat to meet your son and his girlfriend visiting from overseas.  We look forward to many more future get-togethers.

It feels as if we have been friends for a very long time.

 

2.   Thank you, Annika,  Annika Perry  for writing a beautiful children’s book.  I received “Oskar’s Quest” just in time for my granddaughter, Abby’s fourth birthday.  A beautifully illustrated book sharing a message of courage, kindness and friendship.  Abby loves to follow along and she is already reading (memorized) part of the book, especially the sound effects.

 

 

3.    I met Joanne Tracey on her blog  andanyways.com   Joanne’s book, “Happy Ever After” was a finalist in the 2019 Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year (Ruby) Awards. I can see why Joanne won this honour.  “Happy Ever After” is an engaging and compelling story about the nuances and challenges of relationships, marriage and happiness. Suspense, too.  I am almost finished reading this book and I still have no idea how the story will end.   

 

 

4.   Thank you, Yvette,  priorhouse blog  for your inspiration on my title for this post.  I have always remembered a sentence on your blog that resonated with me.  “Don’t you love it when blog world meets the real world?”

5.   Thank you, Suzanne,  Picture Retirement  for commenting on my “radio silence”  and “hoping all was well.”  You entered my Real World and you touched my heart.  

An evening stroll at Butchart Gardens.

I Appreciate The Blogging Community and The Friends I Have Made

  • I learn something new from every post I read.
  • I have the opportunity to vicariously experience parts of our planet through your adventures.
  • I see the world through your lens.
  • I am informed and I am entertained.
  • I learn lessons when you share your vulnerabilities.    
  • I appreciate when you share your wisdom.

Most of all, thank you for your Humanity. You make a difference.

Especially, when you touch someone’s heart.

   

Have you ever been emotionally moved by a comment on your blog?

Have you ever hit the “pause” button and taken a break from blogging?

I Was Tempted To Lie To My Husband

Aukland Zoo, New Zealand

 

Not a good thing.

Especially two weeks before our wedding anniversary.

Is there ever a good time to lie?

It is actually an act of omission.  Something I did not want to tell him.

Is this still considered a lie?

 

It Started Last Sunday

I had booked a massage.  A real treat.

Before the massage, I took off my wedding ring and I placed it in my wallet. 

An hour of bliss followed. 

On the way home I stopped at Discovery Coffee to buy coffee beans.  They have the best coffee in Victoria and it is worth the drive to pick up the beans.

                       A perfect end to my week.              

Frenchman Lake, Yukon, 2011

Monday Morning   

I realized I was not wearing my wedding ring.

I was quite certain I had placed it in my wallet. 

I checked my wallet. No luck. 

I did have spa brain yesterday, so I might be wrong.

I completely emptied my purse.  No luck.

I phoned the Spa to see whether anyone had turned in a wedding ring, a simple gold band.  Nothing.  

I phoned Discovery Coffee.  They checked the back desk where lost and found items are placed.  Nada.    

 

Darn.  I Feel Sick To My Stomach.

It is just a ring.  A material object. 

I am actually surprised I haven’t lost it before now. 

I take it off before every yoga class, sometimes placing it on the towel next to me.  I used to take it off before running when I used to run.  My fingers swell and I am not in the mood to have anything cut off.

It is only a physical item.  It is not as if anything serious has happened, especially to anyone I love.

Physical items can be replaced.

Then why do I feel sick to my stomach?

 

Forty-one Years Ago

This ring was given to me as a symbol of commitment and a promise we made to each other.

Forty-one years ago it was a shiny, simple, smooth gold band.

Forty-one years later this ring shows some wear and tear.  Not unlike all marriages.

            This ring means even more to me now.

It represents a friendship and a life we have built together.

It is symbolic of our enduring love for each other.

 

I Do Not Want To Tell My Husband

I am disappointed and upset.  I will likely start crying.

He may not even notice the missing ring.

I could replace the ring with a similar looking gold band.

My husband would say the right things to make me feel better.  He always does. 

He has been my best friend for over forty-one years.  I have always been able to count on him.

 

Thursday Morning

I phone the Spa and Discovery Coffee again.

       A last-ditch effort to find the ring.

Nothing was turned in at the Spa.

A friendly voice answers at Discovery Coffee.  Yes, they have found the ring!”  

Happy tears.

 

Am I Using Up My Good Luck Quota?

I often think of luck as a finite amount of good in my life.

I am allocated a limited quantity of good luck in my lifetime.  I do not want to waste it. 

I recently wrote about finding the Ruby Red Slippers  link here   Now my ring shows up.  These are two small examples of something good going my way.

                   What are the chances? 

I would rather save the good luck for the most important parts of my life, the people in my life.  My loved ones. 

I realize life doesn’t work this way.

We play the cards we are dealt, good and bad.

I am grateful for the hand I have been dealt for most of my life.

Jokulsarlon Glacier, Iceland

Do I Tell My husband? 

Lying is not a good thing.  

Yet, we are also not perfect.  I am sure the both of us have kept silent at times or told white lies to spare feelings. 

We believe in communication in our marriage.  Even on difficult subjects. 

After all these years, I could not hide anything from my husband.  We know each other too well.

Communication is often non-verbal.  

Aukland Zoo, New Zealand

Lost Or Found

I was not aware how much this ring meant to me, until I lost it.

         A good reminder for a great deal in life.

I also do not need an object to remind me of our respect and love for each other.  For us, love is a verb.  We show up for each other every day.

I was planning to tell my husband about the ring, lost or found.

When he opens his inbox today and reads this story. 

                      Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.

Thank you for the forty-one years we have shared together.  I look forward to many more.

 

 

 

November 24, 1978

 

Have you ever lost a special item?  Are there times when not telling the truth is a good thing?

 

Postscript:   Last night I read a beautiful true story, on Jill Weatherholt’s blog about   A 94-year-old couple who had been married for 75 years.      Jill added this quote from Richard Bach. “True love stories never have endings.”

A few hours later I read Pamela Wight’s beautiful, poignant story on her blog, Roughwighting.  The  Once to Now  feels like a brief moment in time.  Where did the time go?

 

Related Links:

Sliding Doors. Do You Ever Wonder How Your Life Would Be Different Now If You Had Taken The Other Door.

40th Anniversary, You Know He Is A Keeper

Do You Believe A Person’s Energy Can Be Attached To An Object?

Where Are The Ruby Red Slippers?