Set the Date

You could be forgiven if the title made you think of a wedding. I do have one of those in my near future but I also have something else to look forward to!

I’ve set the date of my retirement from being a full time orthopaedic resource nurse. My work mates, collectively across the board, are like “no you can’t” and I’m like “You’re Gonna Me Miss When I’m Gone “. My singing skills are pretty bad but I do enjoy the first few lines and the tempo of this song. It’s interesting to note everyone’s reaction borders on the no but for one young colleague. She’s excited for me and wanted to know how I planned to spend my days.

I know the answer to that question easily. The days will be full and busy but the priorities will be different. The 5 km’s a day will occur when I want and not at last light on a cold winter’s night. The to do list won’t get any smaller but there will be time for lunch with a friend or an afternoon playing with Annabelle. I also still intend to work but it’s yet to be written in stone what I will do for a 24 hours a week for 5 years.

In the meantime I can’t spend all my time focusing on 01/18/19. I need to remember to Finish Strong and go out at the top of my game.

I find it highly ironic that I’m posting this blog on my coffee break at work this evening. After 10 years of a hiatus from evenings as the “perk” to being a resource nurse we are back on full shifts. So evenings and midnight call on my monthly weekend instead of days. Although I understand the why, so short of seasoned nurses in the OR, I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled about it. I suspect my insomnia won’t be happy with the bouncing around of sleep cycles either. But hey it’s only for 13 more months which compared to 35 years in the OR is a drop in the hat.


Sunday Snuggles

It’s been a long week in my life professionally (that’s a story for another day maybe) and combined with the lack of sunshine it’s been totally exhausting. So when I was asked to provide some time today for a special cause I did hesitate for a second.

But then I realized that what could be exhausting could also be seen as invigorating so I said yes. My heart expanded and rested as it seemed that the only nap to be had was going to be on me. Dreadfully hard to get asleep she awoke all full of giggles.

Nap time was followed with play time with Gramps and the puppy. She climbed the stairs, practised walking and delighted our hearts with her “kisses”.

Her wardrobe always keeps us smiling. Today’s shirts were no exception although it was hard to get the photo as she was determined to grab the phone. 5 shots later. Her earlier pink shirt was our present to her from our trip away.

All in all I’d have to say that Sunday snuggles were just what I needed. Alas though that the only sunshine of the day was while she slept on me in a darkened room but I used technology to capture the light!


Side tracked

Tis the season to entertain which usually leads me to clean the house deeply. Which in turn lead me to finally finish cleaning up the last of the garden. You can only move or hide things for so long before you need to deal with them. That applies to important shit and the beans from the garden.

So should it be #meatlessMonday or seeds for the actual bean plants next spring?

These lovely big purple ones are the big red scarlet runner beans I grew on a trellis in the old wagon. I’ll keep them for seeds. The little white and purple ones are called Jacobs Cattle or so says the bag they came from.

These brown beans seem to be two different kinds and must be the common bush plant that I grow every year.

I will combine them with a bag of kidney and brown ones that were my starter kit last year and do a pot of beans for supper Monday night. I’ve wanted to try making real beans from scratch for a while. Wish me luck or send me tips. Meanwhile I really have to go finish cleaning. Bernie

An Advent of Gratitude Week 1

I’m a titch late jumping on the band wagon but decided it felt right so here I am. This year my lovely friend and loyal blog reader inspired me to do a gratitude calendar.

Last year for the month of December I did a daily post based on my activities around a kindness advent calendar. I wanted more focus on the season and people and less focus on the perfect gift or event.

Remembering to find daily gratitude seems like a challenge right now (more on that in a subsequent blog post someday maybe) so that’s why this is so important. So below is my catch up for week one.

Dec 1 –Pay .25 per woman in your family who graduated from high school.

  • If I add my sisters, mom and my family now that would be $1.50

Dec 2 — If you rode in a car today pay $1, if you drove it pay $2

  • I’d pay someone $2 to drive me around

Dec 3 — Count the number of light switches in your house and Pay .25 per switch

  • Holy hanna banana that would be 34 for a total of $8.50

Dec 4 — Count your shoes/boots and pay .10 per pair

  • OK and I didn’t think I had many? $1.50 which included my work shoes

Dec 5 — If you’ve never had your power turned off due to your inability to pay your bill pay $5

  • Straight up $5. I was poor in school but didn’t have a power bill or it might have been an issue.

Dec 6 – If you have traveled outside of Canada pay $2. Pay an additional $2 if you have traveled within the last 6 months.

  • Guess the trip is still costing me (😏) $4

Dec 7 – Pay $2 if you have bought a gourmet coffee in the past month

  • Redeemed myself there with a big fat 0 (good thing it didn’t say beer)

So after one week my total is $22.50. It looks like my last donation for the year is going to be a decent one. I will continue to monitor the amounts weekly and then in the final week I will decide were to donate the funds to.

So I’d encourage anyone reading this to challenge themselves to think outside their own box this holiday season. The great thing is everyone can make you their own concept of how to pay it toward.


The engineer/electrician/husband wishes me to correct my reckonings so while there are indeed 34 plates in the house there are actually 56 light switches. Well now that increased the donation significantly! That’s $14 so the new total would be $28.

Sunshine Not Tofu

I haven’t been doing so well with the walking or the writing lately. I need both of these things to keep in balance. It seems like lots of reasons along with the fact that Continue reading

That’s Why

I had an email this week from a close friend. She’s finally clearing out her inbox, now that it reached 3000+ emails, and found this in her sorting. She sent it along with a note remarking how much writing I had been doing. Which reinforced to me why I write; etching down words as the thoughts flow out into a cohesive weave.

The land of morning skies

Where the sunrise sparkles on a clear horizon

Where your neighbour’s friend will help you out

Where friendly smiles are the norm

The land of the midday sun

Blazing brightly though a gorgeous blue sky

Where covered dishes still show up at times of crisis

Where rider pride always lives on

The land of the evening sunset

So stupendous it takes your breath away

Where it’s only ever two degrees of separation

Where the best of friends live

Land of the nighttime sky

So full of stars or blazing with northern lights

Where we can look out to our hearts content

Where we are blessed to call home

That my friends is why I wrote. To express what’s in my head and heart and hope that it reaches out to you like your favourite comfort food.


Pukaskwa National Park

At long last a return to the Canada 150 series. These have been stock piling so even though winter has descended I will post them to remind us all of the beauty of Canada. It will inspire summer places to explore. Continue reading

Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey and I’m not talking about the turkey in the freezer, waiting for a special supper. I’m talking cold turkey, the event in my life for the past ten days ((due to technical difficulties it’s actually been more than two weeks since I initially wrote this)).

I have in the past given up chocolate and beer, both seen as empty calories really, but this time it has been something different. For me the concept has been coming for a while but recently a morning blurb on CBC Radio highlighted an issue in my life. So I delved deeper and watched the Marketplace episode called  Are You Addicted to Your Phone? . Trust me, this is worth 22 minutes of your time.

I saw in the show, myself,  with the constant cycling from one social media app to the next one. The never-ending stream of new feeds in all my loops; scanning for information and not wanting to miss anything. The tech companies are competing to keep us on their sites for marketing purposes. They are influencing our brains, emotions and behaviours without our ever being aware of it.

In July on #MyCanadaDay150 I poached my cell phone in the pocket of my rain jacket. I was out of the loop for a few days and realized how much time I spent on it. I can say it doesn’t rule my life but if I uploaded the device that tracks time spent I think I’d be appalled. I’m very productive at home and only check it on breaks at work. I set it aside easily when loved ones and friends are around. But I also reach for it as my camera,  alarm clock, fitness recorder and my work schedule and ….. but the truth is I spend a lot of time with it. I blog and read blogs, I connect via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. So truly it never seems very far away. I have restricted myself to absolutely no use between 11 pm and 6 am even if I have wicked insomnia because I have read the reports of the havoc it causes with sleep cycles and I struggle enough without adding that element in.

Recently during a difficult period I was having trouble writing. That, tied along with a couple of comments about how everyone knows what I’m up to, made me really stop and think about the use of social media. I don’t post what I had for supper or that I am running late again but obviously I post enough that people feel they have adequate info about me and don’t need to ask how I really am. Key in the Marketplace episode and I feel like I’m in the deep end, not connected even when I am connected.

Which leads me to a poll which I created inside the blog post called Mixing it up a Little. A social experiment so to speak. It had, from my point of view, very interesting results. Let me share why.

First off the blog post was read 46 times and yet the poll only had 7 responses. The time to read and do the poll rounds out to about 7 seconds. Yet only roughly 15% of the readers responded which seems like a particularly low rate of return for something that is quick, simple and easy to do.

The poll asked two questions about potential reasons. The first question was about why I was struggling to write. The red herring option about having nothing left to write about    garnered more votes than anything else. The real reasons, sad and tired, got none. The other options about being a sandwich generation grabbed a few votes. The other question is about why one would or would not leave a comment. The answer to this one did not surprise me at all. The most responses was that people like to read but keep their thoughts to themselves although one lovely person did leave me a comment stating how much she likes reading my blog.

Which turns me inward towards my writing and blogging. The house blog (, which is a diary of our progress, and the daily haikus lead me into a personal blog where I challenged myself to write daily. I’ve always had a love of words but is that why I write now? Or do I write for the stats and the comments and the invisible connection? Because it is quite invisible. Social media has made us more connected (hey I mean who doesn’t want to look at travel pictures) but are we actually becoming more disconnected through our increased uses of personal devices?Our parents were warned about too much television being bad for their children. Will the next generation of parents even realize how bad personal device time is for themselves let alone their children?

I’ve gone cold turkey because I’ve been away from my usual source of easily accessible internet. This has cut my ties to social media and put me out of the loop. Which begs the question: what will I return to? I had, in July, shut off all notifications from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Should I be like one or two of my young friends and nix my Facebook account? Will I stop sharing quite so many photos on Instagram because it makes me look like a floucy even if I do it because it’s a wonderful creative outlet. Nix  Twitter because I still don’t “get it” and it seems like a waste of time? I did that to Pinterest a couple of years ago. It sucks you in to a vortex of a “perfect” world that is hard to replicate in real life. I had, very briefly, SnapChat, but never returned the app to my new phone because I couldn’t get into the filters.

A friend my age suggests that social media is used differently for our age group than the younger age groups. It’s perhaps like they use it to replace real interactions with cyber ones. We use it more to supplement our face to face but even that can suffer when we forget to focus on the person we are with and spend more time looking at our phone than looking at each other.

I had an honest conversation with a friend of mine who seems to have escaped most of the social media connections. Her time is spent more altruistically and on a deeply connected level to everything that she does. She was traveling with friends and one of her group connected with someone via Tinder. His phone also buzzed constantly with Bumble conversations. This defied her scope of a relationship and connections. The number of people connecting via on-line is growing and isn’t necessarily restricted to the millennial generation.

Which brings me to the crux of the entire matter. The endless loop of social media and what “we” are addicted to. Because I am 100% certain I am not alone here but just rather more visual in giving an opinion and documenting my thoughts about this and other issues.

I suspect, as with everything else in life, there is a balance to be achieved.

Between the fact that I like to write and know that people do seem to enjoy reading it, I will go onward.


PS I’ve been having word press issues for about 10 days and just finally solved it. It’s interesting to note that no one even seemed to notice my absence or if they did never reached out to see why so maybe I am writing more for myself.

PPS Social media certainly has down sides. One hears about cyber bullying and stalking. The power is real and can be unseen until the attack comes. It can happen closer to your own home that you’d think. Being behind a screen seems to shield these people and they say things you wouldn’t probably say to the recipient face to face. Check out comments on any controversial news feed and see the amount of venom that is spewed out. Moral of this — apply the golden rule.

#Eatthecake #Takethetrip

#Eatthecake — even if it’s a brownie cooked in a pot. Hm tasty. 

#Takethetrip — even if it’s cloudy still relish the opportunity to venture from your everyday. 

#findyourbalance — #findabalance or #findyourbalance or #balance — whatever hashtag you use find what works in your life. It’s not all work and it’s not all play.