Thursday, 27 October 2011


We are just heading into November!  This is a month that I dread!  Very little light and damp cold.  However, I will be busy so it will be easy to get through.  I am going back to work at CAPC, three afternoons a week temporarily.  It will only be for the month because the program has had staffing problems big time!  I will go in to help only with the children so it will be fun.  My previous boss has also signed me up on a casual contract and will pay me well for this particular job. This will give me a little bit of money for Christmas that will make me very happy.  It will also not interfere with the skating in Thornbury that we are really enjoying.
A couple of my friends from Sarnia were up to visit for the weekend.  Always a good time with lots of laughs and heated discussions mainly about children in the early years and policy around education and social services.  Looks like I might have the opportunity to do training for the program "Roots of Empathy" that won't begin till August.  I have always wanted to do this!  If it works out, I will be able to facilitate this program in the schools around here and it is all about babies and empathy!  How perfect is that?  The training will be paid for but my time will be volunteering. It is so perfect that I can hardly believe it!  And...if it doesn't work out, no big deal!  That is the future and I am enjoying now!  I am so fortunate.  It is amazing what can happen when you open up yourself to opportunity.  This program will not take up much of my time either!  Many good things will happen because of it.
I am back in my dream group, Jungian therapy, and that has been a dream!  The group is made up of great people and is very intimate.  It provides me with the support I need and has been very helpful during this transition. Things seem to be falling into place and I get to be with people I enjoy being around.
Dan and Carina will be here on November 18th. (not really here but in Toronto)  It is exciting because they are both involved with a band called Puscifer and they will be performing at the Sony Centre of Performing Arts in Toronto.  We do not really like that kind of music but this is a big venue so it will be exciting to be there.  I can be the proud Mama.  The other good thing is I will get a hug from both of them and get to spend some time with Sara and Kelsey!  Times like this are precious.  I'll take what I can get from my very busy children.
Last time I wrote, we were going to Foodstock to protest the building of the Mega Quarry in our area.  What an amazing event!  100 chefs and some amazing music.  Even though it was a cold, windy, rainy day, at least 28,000 people showed up!  The food was awesome and it was so well organized!  We pray now that this terrible hedge fund group will back off and that our govt will support the cause.  Only time will tell.  Lots of money was raised to help with the legal cost of fighting this cause.  Farmers, chefs and all those interested in local foods and protecting farm land came together.  I am including some pics from that event.
Till next time...... chow.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Change of Heart

Since my last blog, I have had a change of heart.  I am LOVING retirement!  Of course the weather has helped.  We have spent most of our time outdoors working in the garden, bike riding, walking and hiking.  I said to Gerry last week, "I retire and summer continues till the middle of October!"  Most of our lunches and dinners have been on the back deck. 
I have been injoying spending time with friends.  I am  so blessed to have so many good people in my life that have been very supportive.  Now I feel warm and safe in my transition.  Also, I am thankful for the time I have with Gerry and his support as he continues to work to make this possible.  He still really enjoys his work and loves to stir the pot in his profession.  Talk about "stirring the pot,"  it has been easy to find causes to make a difference.  Tomorrow we will be attending Foodstock to help to safe precious farmland from a mega quarry.  I would have loved to be in Toronto today for the social protest against capitalism.  It sure is great to know that people are finally speaking out about how contolled we are by big corporations and banks. 
On a lighter note,  I am feeling very proud and blessed to have great children who are very talented and great people.  It is so wonderful to be able to share in their success.  Looking forward to spending more time with all of them including  Jen, Aurora and Oscar who will hopefully be moving back to Canada soon. 
It is time that I discover who I really am.  I have been busy this last couple of months cooking and getting my house in order.  I will continue to do the things that have been  enjoyable but I will begin to protect my time more closely by doing more of nothing.  Meaning, sitting and reading, doing art, writing on this blog and learning to be "still."  This will be a challenge but I am up for it.  Also, commiting to more activity such as tia chi and skating.  One of the best comments that I heard that truly reflects on what my life has been like mostly this past few months, was when we went ice skating in Thornbury for the first time on Wednesday.  Gerry and I were skating around the ice together at full speed to the music.  One fella came up to me and asked, "Do you two have a license to enjoy yourselfs cause you sure look like you are!" 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Now what?

It has been almost 2 weeks since I wrote my last blog.  Since then, I have done a few things from the list such as, made some really yummy soups, had 4 wonderful days with Sara, visited with many friends, gone on hikes and bike rides, read, gardened and enjoyed the good weather.  Today it is raining.  I have many projects to do in the house but am procrastinating.  This is challenging!  I am feeling a little useless and not earning money is hard.  Seems a bit crazy that I feel healthy and fairly energetic and not contributing to society or the household.  I do feel like I still have earning power so don't want to do volunteering yet.  My intuitive self says, "give it time, have a long rest, get into it, relax and enjoy for a while.  Be open to the opportunities that will arise." 
What I am loving is not having to get up in the mornings, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with Gerry on the back deck, reading and having the freedom to do what I want.  On thursday I will go to the annual meeting of the SGB Community Health centre where I remain a member of the board for another year.  I am sure there will be a few things that I will get involved with but again, not a big committent.  I have no need to get back to the job I did before.  I figure that I would like to do something totaly new, away from young children and families, something useful but not so intense and that is fun.  I realize I am all over the place with this and I would love to hear any comments. 
On Monday I will sign up for Tia Chi.  Looking forward to that.  Till next time!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


How could I have forgotten the Giant Redwoods in California!  They were spectacular!  Love the trees.  This is one place that Gerry and I would go back to for sure!  Could not see the top of the trees.  The tops have there own eco system.  Most of the trees are 1000 years old!  Thanks to John D Rockefeller JR for saving these trees for all to enjoy!


We made it home on Friday after a very long three days of driving.  The weekend was made up of unpacking and getting settled in.  People have been asking me what the highlights of the trip have been.  There have been very many.  My best ones are  (in no particular order)
  • Spending time with Gerry. Which is the point of my retirement. We had a GREAT time together!
  • Being able to spend my 60th birthday with Dan.  It is so rare that we see each other on special occasions so this was extra special.  The camping trip with Dan and Carina was fabulous.  We got them all to ourselves for three days!
  • The Italian food we had on my Birthday in a LA restaurant.  The best ever!
  • The Thai food in LA.  The best ever!
  • The Japenese noodle dish.  The best ever!
  • Carina's English breakfast.  Beans and poached egg on toast.
  • Camping food.  Kraft dinner with Broccoli, french toast with dark chocolate almond butter.
  • California wine.
  • Swimming in a Mountain fed lake in Custer Park on a HOT day.
  • Riding a bike from Santa Monica to Venice Beach.
  • Crazy Horse
  •  Wild life.  The elephant seals, deer, eagles, whales and all the diffent types of squirrels and chipmunks.  Buffalo, elk..and many many more.
  • The scenery while driving.  Spectacular!
  • Crazy Horse
  • Grand Canyon and of course, the Arches
  • The Rocky Mountains in Colarado..


Yesterday while I was with my good friend Pat, she asked me what I was going to do now that I was retired.  She suggested I write a book.  Ha ha I said.  What would I write about?  Her words stuck with me and I decided that I would keep on with this blog.  Retirement is a whole new life.  I have no deadlines to meet, no special time to get up in the morning, and no pay check!  For the next couple of weeks I plan to be quiet, spending time at home and hopefully visiting with my daughter and good friends.  I have started a list for September.  I plan on joining Tia Chi again, do all the walks of hope for Sept., hit a few golf balls, learn how to get my pics organized, read, walk, ride my bike, make soup, and garden.  Other than that I would like to go camping somewhere close during the good weather.  My challenge will be to NOT to take on any committments for a few months so I can get to know who I am without my career.  After that, I will be able to lead a more balanced life and be able to give of myself again.  The door is wide open to see where I will go with it.  My other challenge will be to live more simply.  I see that as a positive challenge because I worry about money all the time.
 I thought that this blog might be a sign of being self absorbed but I will use it as a tool for myself and if anyone has any suggestions for me than I would appreciate it.  Look at what has happened to some people who wrote blogs.  Maybe someone will want to publish this as a book and/or make a movie!  That would take care of my money worries!!!

Playtirement has a new beginning of today!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Today in Colorado!

It was great to get on the road and out of the desert.  The change in scenery is such a short drive was incredible and mind boggling.  Also the temperature.  We went from red rock and sand to lush mountain meadows and much cooler temperature in a period of about 6 hours!  It is great to be in a motel room for two nights also.  We definitely loved camping but have had enough of it.  The heat got to us.  The days and nights were HOT in Utah. Thank God we were smart enought to bring a fan.  As I write I am looking out the window at snow capped moutains.  Here are some pics from Dillion Colarado near Breckinridge and Vale.

And to top it off....we did not go on too many shopping trips but this one ended it all!  Our motel is right across the road from those wonderful outlet malls they have down here in the States.  We did some great shopping at Columbia. 

We have booked motel rooms for Wed and Thursday.  Plan to be home by Friday evening.  I can't imagine what the scenery will be like through Nebraska and Iowa.  I know that Illinois and Michigan will not be exciting.  Looking forward to coming home. ( I think.) 

OOPS! More of the Arches!

WOW!  This blog thing it tricky!  Please be patient with me.  Here is some more great photos.  We have so many of our time here it is hard to choose!

The Story.


There are so many more!

We also did a drive down the Columbia River.  I learned that Gerry loves rivers.  This particular one was most facinating because we also viewed it from the Grand Canyon.  It found it's way through all this rock.
Here is some fun photos of the drive.

Off to Colorado!

The Arches National Park, Utah

The drive here from the Grand Canyon was only 6 hours and the scenery was spectacular!  We felt like we were on a whole different planet.  The elevation is high but it was a desert!  It was very HOT!  The day we had the blowout was 108!  Still worth the experience.  It was like being in a Museum of Nature.  Not one thing man made but made by Mother Nature.  A very spiritual place.  Both Gerry and I had very strang dreams while we were there.  This place is where many of the Indiana Jones movies were made.
The town of Moab where the Arches is located is also very different.  Since it is a tourist area, people are very friendly and efficient.  I have never seen anything like it!  On Monday morning when we got our tire fixed, it took all of half an hour.
The trick to being in a desert we learned was to drink a gallon of water every day.  You have to drink before you feel thirsty or you can dehydrate very quickly.  As you will see from a few of the pics I added, it is very beautiful.

The balanced rock!  (How did this last pic get on here twice?  That is Gerry waiting for the rock to fall on his head!)

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

We left LA and drove through the Mojave Desert past Les Vegas and into Utah.  Nice drive but the HOTTEST yet!  Went up to Utah and drove through Zion National Park and then to camp in Jacobs Lake which is just a few miles from Grand Canyon National Park, North rim.  We had met a woman in Half Moon Bay that said that it was not that hot at the North Rim so we decided to do the trip.  The days were hot but manageable and the nights were cool for sleeping.  This experience was spectacular.  We both are so glad we went although the drive was very long!  Spent two days visiting the Grand Canyon.  The first day our legs were very wobbly.  In many parts you cannot see the bottom!  The second day we were a bit braver.  We visited many view points.  People that we spoke to said that the North rim was less crowded and less touristy than the South Rim.  We had a mavelous experience!

On to Arches National Park in Utah!

Last day in LA

We had such a great day!  I rented a bike, Dan rode Carina's, and Gerry was on Dan's roller blades.  We went to Santa Monica and rode to Venice Beach along the bike path.  That evening we visited with friends of Dan and Carina's.  It was very difficult to leave but we had an awesome time.  Thank you Dan and Carina.  Love you both!

A Santa Monica dog. 

Venice Beach

I got a chance to play with a toddler!  Our new friend Jasper, son of Sierra and Matt.

Update from Dillion Colorado

In my last blog, I said that we were staying in Utah for 3 days.  It ended up to be 4 because we blew a tire on the trailor on the way out.  Since it was Sunday, no place was open to get if fixed.  That evening, I wrote and included many photos.  It was about an hours worth of creating and then a huge thunderclap came and wiped out the whole thing.  So, I will create a few new blogs this evening.  We are on our way home tomorrow.  Will make it by Friday if all is well.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Hello from the Grand Canyon

Had a long trip from LA through the very hot desert, ZION National Park and then to the Grand Canyon North Rim.  It is spectacular here!  Weather has been beautiful. Sunny and warm in the day and cool at night.  Will send pics later.  Tomorrow we are off to the Arches in Utah for three nights and then to a motel room before we head to Colorado for a couple of nights.  After that, heading home.  Been difficult to access wi fi.  I will send more when we reach the motel.  Still having a fabulous unbelieveable time.  However it was difficult to leaven sunny California and Dan and Carina.  Love them lots!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Hello from California!

Still having a great time.  Gerry and I went to Santa Monica last Monday.
On Tuesday we went camping to San Simeon on the coast about 4 hours north of here.  We had a great time cooking, going to the beach and on a fab wine tour!  Also saw the elephant seals.  A great time was had by all.  The highlight of the food experience was hot dogs done over the fire and kraft dinner with broccoli.

We are now planning our trip home.  Looks like we will be there by the end of August'  We are headed to the Grand Canyon an Zion in Utah.  Then we are going off to Arches National Park in Utah and off to Rocky Mountain Park in Colorado.  That will take up about 9 days and then we will take about two days to get home.  I will keep in touch to let you know.  I am very sad about leaving the California.  Our time with Dan and Carina has been awesome!

Here are a few pics of California.