Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Friday, 11 December 2009

Fast Friday Reflections

Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement regarding my health issues.  Day six of antibiotics, prednesone and two inhaler's, all is well (or should I say much better).

I have to say this health scare brought a few things to mind while I was struggling to breathe and being on my own:
  • carry proper I.D.; *(see note below)
  • make sure your personal information is up to date; (the hospital had my former significant other listed as the emergeny contact and I haven't talked to him in 10 years).
  • if you are single (like me), make sure you have a friend or friends who are willing and able to make decisions on your behalf, just in case you are unable to;
  • do not hestiate to contact 911, that is why they are there, you pay for it, use it.
Every since I started running a little more seriously and a lot more regularly and being the consumate worrier that I am, I looked into some sort of I.D. to either carry or wear.  For years now I have been receiving emails from and basically saying to myself, ya, right nothing will happen to me.

Well, I truly believe things happen for a reason and while I was over at Mel's blog 2nd Chances, she had just posted about RoadID.  So I figured it was the survival gods giving me a sign to finally just get some I.D.  so;

I just ordered one of the best products ever. It's called a Road ID - perhaps you've heard of it. If you haven't, go to their website and check it out. Road ID is a great product that could save your life someday.

When I ordered, they gave me a coupon that I could pass along to my friends. Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksLaurel587167

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 01/10/2010. To order, simply go to or click the link below:

If you prefer, you can call them at 800-345-6335.

You can thank me later,

Oh by the way, their website is awesome, the customer service is outstanding, and the owners are very smart and good looking.  (They made me say that part, hehehehehe).

Have a great weekend everyone,

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A series of events...

As you know I've been fighting with ill health for the past six weeks, it has been a revolving door of maladies and for a little while I actually got a reprieve from the health gods and I could function on a low level of fitness, however, all that rapidly changed over the weekend.

Now, I do have a history of breathing problems, partially stemming from hereditary donations from grandparents and parents and some self induced indulgence while growing up in the '60's.....I don't need to go into details, but just look in your history books you young'un's, it was a happening time!!!

While living in Cairo (one of the many locations I've lived in), I picked up what is known as Bedouin Lung and had to transported to a hospital in Paris, once recovered enough to travel, I was shipped to the Tropical Disease Centre in Toronto for Pulmonary Function, ya, you could say my lungs are my Achilles Heel.

Now, here is what happened over the weekend....

I've been sick for over six weeks and it was progressively getting worse, Saturday night I could not breathe hardly at all, it was just so scary. There was no way to find relief other than placing pillows under my shoulder blades and hanging my head backwards, similar to what you would do while performing CPR.

I emailed Jen to let her know that I wasn't going to run with her at the group run we go to at the Running Room and I figured it would just get better on its own as it has in the past.

I thought I'd come into work at the office for awhile, so I dropped into the pharmacy situated below the office and asked the pharmacist what I should take to ease my breathing...she took one look at me and told me to go to the walk in clinic behind the Metro Grocery Store, located not far from my office. It is open on Sunday's so I drove over and the Doctor at the Walk-In Clinic took me right away. She checked me out and told me that she wasn't going to prescribe anything, that I was to go to Emerg at the Queensway Carleton Hospital A.S.A.P.  She told me if I didn't go I could drop dead by midnight....


I tried to call a couple of the Wooo Hooo’s to let them know what was going on, but no one answered their phones, everyone has a life, so off I went to Emerg where they green tagged me. I didn't have to wait too long thanks goodness.

It was all pretty scary  and after a battery of tests, questions and results, I finally got out of there about 5 or 6pm.   Off to the pharmacy (again) where I dropped almost $ 200.00 bucks on meds....I love not having any medical plan, jeezzzz.

so, there you go, my story...and the moral of the story?

Don’t goof around with your health, the difference between life and death is one breath.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


At least this happened before Christmas not during.....

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Under construction ~ no, Really!!!

Remember a couple of posts ago I was metioning the ups and downs of my 2009?  Well it never seems to end, but isn't that just like life?  The only constant in life is change!

One early, early morning after a rain storm, I went into my clothes closet to pull on my house robe and something felt damp, no it was wet!  So I turned on the bedroom light and went for a closer look.  There were water droplets on my dry cleaning bag that was hanging in the closet...hmmmmmmmmmm, then I heard "plunk" a water droplet hit the plastic bag again....double hmmmmmm.  I looked up and there it was, the leak in the ceiling that was dampening my clothes and my spirits....

Water had been seeping into my house of an unknown period of time and had finally pooled and was finding a way into the interior...forget about the hmmmm, now it is more like *shit* how much damage has been done?

I called my trusty friend with whom I use to work with when I was actually working on site construction and he came over for a look. The water had come in from the old chimney stack that had been used for, a) at one point in time a wood stove; b) now un-usable propane fireplace....Water was actually pooling on top of said fireplace....*SHIT*.

So, what went from fixing the roof now became a wall tearing, insulation damage / removal, pull out the fireplace adventure!

Well, what's money when you don't have it, I always say,  let's replace the fireplace with a shiny new Napoleon gas burning fireplace and build a nice wall unit around it....why not!!!!   Oh, and let's throw in a brand new hall closet while we are at it, because after was damaged too!

So, *fireplace is in, wall unit not....**hall closet had to wait for the fireplace....

I've been living under construction for over a week now, but you know what?  It's going to look great when its done!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


*fireplace pictures to follow
** hall closet pictures to follow after that!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Virtual friends or not,
I wish you and your all your family a wonderful day together.

We all have much to be thankful for...


Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 20 November 2009

Up and down, up and down

my year of running and cycling has been up and down like a toilet seat!

Let's start with New Year's Eve,

Up: going to run the Resolution Run with the Wooo Hooo's
Down: a car gets hit while leaving my driveway heading to the race.
Up: a Murder Mystery Dinner after the "non run" race.

Richmond Road Race

Up: raced a solid fast 5K race
Down: really cold  & snowy
Up: lunch & birthday celebrations after the race.

Hypothermic Half Marathon

Up:  ready to roll
Down: with less than 6K left, was SO cold I couldn't feel my hands nor feet.  DNF
Up: some of Wooo Hooo's waiting in the car with coffee & baileys to warm us up!  Thanks!

Ottawa Capital Marathon training begins

Up: pace leader for the 5hour group
Down: tear right knee meniscus on a 28K run, have to walk 14K in the freezing rain.
Up: cheer on the group during the marathon & then party with the Wooo Hooo's after the race.

100K Rideau Lakes BikeTour

Up: started cycling consistently.
Down: knee not ready for the distance.
Up: played sherpa & meet the gang in Kingston.

I could go on and on about the up's and down's, the starting and stopping, but the good news is even though I'm not out competing at the moment.  I've been able to get some great rides on both Ruby and the Iron Horse.  Short runs along the trails in the Torbolton Forest and now that I am no longer a biohazard with my cold, I'll get back to the gym and continue to cycle and run outside while we have this fabulous mild, snow free November!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Steeped in tradition

Yesterday afternoon was spent doing something that I don't often do.  Go to a "social", a fund raiser put on by a Sorority and it was a Fashion Show to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ottawa.  It was held in a small town church about an hour from my place. 

The invitation came to me from one of the Wooo Hooo's, saying that a friend was part of the show and would I be interested in going.  As mentioned I don't often do the girly - girl thing so I thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and spend the afternoon admiring some of the latest fashions, rather than spending it in either running or cycling clothes.  So yes, I donned a pair of panty hose and put on a skirt and sweater and off I went.

The church hall had been beautifully decorated with a Christmas theme, the podium had a huge spray of fresh cedar boughs and red "swamp" twigs and long stemmed white roses, each table had a hand made centre piece made from freshly cut pine boughs, spray painted "snow" pine cones and a single white rose.  The tables had a place setting for eight people and it was beautifully appointed with fine bone china teacups, plates and silver cutlery.  All memories of my childhood growing up with very traditional Scottish and English grandparents.

You couldn't have put any more ladies in the hall, it was jammed packed.  At the back of the hall was a table laden with fresh baked goods, ranging from Christmas puddings, cakes, squares, pies and more, all of which had been festively wrapped and adorned in decoration for the bake sale.  Door prizes, have I mentioned the door prizes? WOW, unbelievable, they were ALL lovely and beautifully gift wrapped or gift bagged (oh I won one by the way).     Ladies, you put on an amazing afternoon, thank you all so very much.

The guest speaker had been or still is a radio personality from the Ottawa area known as "The General", he spoke eloquently of the horror of watching a loved one suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, he spoke of first hand experiences...quite an eye opener.

As I looked around the hall there were women young and old, from all walks of life, but what impressed me the most was the excitement of the afternoon event and what deep traditions that hold a small town together.  I have friends here in the Ottawa Valley who live that life, I've been to their homes where you walk in and and you wonder how an event could be taking place, only to have the side door open and flurry of women arrive with pans of hot food, freshly baked bread, bowls of salads, the table is set and laden with food.  And a word I had never heard of until I moved here, 'SQUARES'.  Yes, church lady squares of fabulous looking desserts easily (I assume) baked in one pan.

Having left home for the big old world when I was young and always been a bit of a vagabond and never having a traditional life, it always amazes me the women who have stayed where they grew up, had families, know their neighbours and attend church on a regular basis.

How exciting it would have been to have had a "normal" life I suppose, but then I can not regret my life.  It has been pretty exciting at times, have those ladies ridden a camel across the desert in Giza?  Have they cycled past windmills in Holland?  Have they woken up on train that was stopped at the East German boarder being patrolled by the East German Army and armed with rifles?

Well, we all have been steeped in tradition, from our ancestors before us, no matter how far we roam from “home”, we are all made of what our parents and grandparents have taught us....

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Thursday, 12 November 2009

cycling in the park...

The weather this November has been stellar, but shhhhh, I don't want to jinx anything.  Now that Remembrance Day (week) is over and appropriate tributes paid to our hero's (one being my almost 90 year old father), blogging will resume.

Last Sunday was another primo day, so I loaded up the Iron Horse and drove to Fitzroy Provincial Park.  Lily and Ruby watched as we drove out of the driveway without them.

It was a gorgeous day!

Sunny and Warm!

If I'm really quiet, she won't see me....

this is a really big hill!

what?  dogs are okay, but not Martini's?
What about beer??

the Iron Horse can't read...

Loaded up to head back home.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

(not so) Wordless Wednesday

The poem was written by a Canadian — Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor and teacher, who served in both the South African War and the First World War.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A change of scenery ... Part 2

Only in Canada

and not necessarily just  in Calgary,

can you go from this....

to this

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 6 November 2009

Changes of scenery

This past week has been spent trying to get the remainder of the gorp out of my system. Whatever this "bug" is it sure takes its sweet time leaving.  Going to the gym is just out of the question, people would be running for cover or would ask me to leave or better yet bring in the Department of Health to take me to the sanatorium.  So I've been doing a lot of walking, since I can't get enough air to even try to run....last weekend was spent walking along our beach, it was a gorgeous day!

Beautiful fall splendour at every turn

But I've heard,

Red sky at night, sailor's delight,

Red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning....

yes, we got our first snow fall November 5, 2009

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to the gym soon.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Optical Illusion

A woman just stopped me while I was walking along the hallway at my office, she said WOW, are you ever looking fit.  (Okay, you can stop laughing and rolling on the floor now.)  Instead of what would of have been my usual response of "are you out of your mind?" I just smiled and nodded and said thanks. 

I'm lucky I suppose to surround myself with like minded people who are interested in keeping themselves in some sembalance of fitness, whether they are involved in yoga, running, cycling or swimming (or all of the above).  Compared to other people my age, yes I guess I am in okay shape, as much as I slag myself for being a slug sometimes.  I think to myself how lucky I am to live in a country that embraces fitness, freedom and the rights of women.  I am allowed to walk, run, swim, bike and talk freely.  Fitness is allowed, I am not hidden away nor chastised for being outspoken, single, childless and an individual.

For those many reasons I would like to take a moment to say Thank YOU to the war vets past and present for allowing me this very, oh so precious freedom.  With this week heading towards our National Remembrance Day on November 11th, please take the time to say thanks, wear your poppy proudly and be proud that you live in a free country.  Many, many men and women have made the ultimate sacrific so we could have our freedom.

The poppy is the national symbol of remembrance for the 117,000 men and women who gave their lives during military service around the world.

Give thanks and Remember.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Saturday, 31 October 2009

Spooky Day ...

It is pounding rain and blacker than the inside of a crow. A very spooky start to All Hallow's Eve day.

Last weekend was warm with drizzle, not this heavy rain, so I pulled out the Iron Horse and went riding. I love the mountain bike, it's big, safe and can take me places Ruby just can't.

Saturday was spent riding through our forest trails and along the roads to the was fantastic....Sunday the I.H. was loaded up on to the bike rack and we headed to Flat Rapids, just outside of Stewartville where I meet up with a couple of friends and we headed to the TCT that would take us to Renfrew. It was VERY windy and cool but that didn't stop us.

Here is some of 30K+ ride in pictures.

Had to do a little trail maintenance along the way.

We rode past swamps and marshes.

Across some pretty interesting bridges.

Some VERY interesting bridges.

and met up with some colourful characters.

Got a group hug while we were at Coco Jarry's

This one's a little too thin for me.

Don't look up,

and then, there he was, sitting alone at the end of the bar with a far away look in his eyes...

my kind of guy, an individual, with a great sense of humour, comfortable with the way he presents himself to the, if he only had a.......Brain!
(Wizard of Oz)

What were YOU thinking???


Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Thursday, 29 October 2009

One Lucky Girl

Well what can I say other than life has been VERY busy and I'm one lucky girl too.

Way back in the early fall the ever lovely Marlene who is the creator of Mission to a(nother) Marathon had a random draw for not one, but two Halo Headbands which were being given away.

Well don't I get an email saying I had won a headband, how incredible is that?

Not only did I win a Halo headband, I got to pick which colour I wanted...well, being the matchy matchy dresser I am, (yes I am), I chose red to match my bike I spin in style. Marlene is such a cutie she also threw in a TriBerry GU too. Thanks Marlene and thanks to those at Halo.

I'm also back running, mind you and I'm actually enjoying it again. Several weeks ago, after a really nice 10K run, Jen and I went for a cycle along some of the NCC trails, the weather was quite cool, very windy and it started to rain so we only ended up cycling for about 18 - 20K.

After we put the bikes away we decided to go to a cute little restaurant called Lapointe's which is close to Jen's home. It has fantastic seafood and of course adult BEvERages. When we placed our order for lunch, the server said if we ordered either a Moosehead Beer or an AppleCider drink our name would go into the draw for the beer fridge that was displayed at the front of the store...well, okay, don't need to twist my arm so I ordered a Moosehead, put my name on the ballot and didn't think twice about it.

Well, guess what?

I'm now the proud owner of a beer fridge...
Cute huh?

oh, I just want to take a moment to thank those of you who checked in on me during my Hiatus. Thanks!! Thanks too for those who sent me emails and notes on FB. I'm feeling much better now that I'm over my bout of whatever it was. I can't say it was a mild case of H1N1, because I didn't go to the doctor (yea, I'm stubborn like that) but from reading the symptoms and from what I had it was about as close as it gets to it...

So, there you go, I'm back and looking forward to running the 8K Beat Beethoven on Saturday!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Are you for real?

The other day I was talking with my elderly neighbour, we were outside working in the gardens just chatting about this and that and I happened to mention on several occasions what had been going on around the world in blogland. She thinks I'm crazy to be running at my age and always worrying about me out on the bike, (I thought I was the queen of worrying, but no, I believe she's got me beat).

I had mentioned injured runners, cyclist's being hit by cars, several friends who had competed in ultra running events, friends training for Ironman Triathlons, some who had already completed an Iron, friends dealing with elderly parents, babies, engagements and divorces.

Then there are the free give-aways of really awesome items that I had won and people posting cool video's of their home and native land(s).

Nodding her grey haired head, she smiled at me and said, but dear, they are not real.


Interesting take on the virtual world that is foreign to someone who has grown up throughout world wars, T.V., telephones, cell phones, aircraft and better cars, but she has not accepted the world of communication via computers.

I've met some of you, we've shared laughs, thoughts, hugs and friendships that have continued on even through our computers. Some of you I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting, but hopefully will one day. You have ALL taught me something, you've shown me parts of the world I would never otherwise get to see, you've taught me new languages, slang and swear words and I got to participate in a running sock review. How great is all of that?!?

You guys are really real to me.

Thanks for the friendship!!

I'm not feeling particularly chatty lately so I'll be taking a little break.

I'll continue to read and catch up with you ~ good luck to all of those competing, cycling, cx-ing and just living life...because,

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Oh nuts....

This past weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving, thankfully the weather gods shone their smiling faces down upon us for three.full.days!!

It was a good news, bad news sort of weekend. The bad news is a very dear, life long friend of mine has been hospitalised with a brain tumour. I received the phone call from her son on Friday afternoon. At that point in time the doctors still hadn't determined the severity of the tumour.

Saturday I drove the almost three hours (one way) to Kingston to visit with her in the General. When I first arrived she was delighted to see me and we had a fairly normal conversation, but as our visit progressed you could obviously tell the full affect of the tumour.

Thoughts were jumbled, people's names, dates, times and words were not making any sense. Sometimes you could see the frustration in her eyes, other times she just didn't realise what was coming out of her mouth. Over the weekend many, many tests were performed, her surgery is booked for tomorrow, Wednesday. Even though you don't know her, please send positive energy thoughts to the universe .... thanks!

Now for the good.

We had fantastic weather (well, breezy and cool), but great and sunny none the less. I had the chance to get some running done(10K, a solid 6.5K, plus a 10K walk on Sunday) and had Ruby out for some biking too. I'm a regular now at the gym too, hopefully that will help me survive the winter months and keep my weight down.

The rest of my patio furniture is stored away along with the rain barrel's. The yard's were raked and I can't believe the number of acorn's this year! Unbelievable.

Now I just need to get the leak in the roof fixed and I'm ready for ole man winter. Well today is a work day, so I'd better get at it.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Monday, 5 October 2009

Just sometimes

You have to start from scratch.

I'm learning that just because I've been able to run long distances at a fairly reasonable pace, when you start back from an injury that will never get better than it is, you have to start slowly and you have to go shorter distances.

This past week, I've been going to the gym and running on the routes that I have marked out over the years at home. I find the dreadmill hard on my knee for some reason, so I'll use it sparingly (while wearing my brace) and use the gym for weights and spin classes.

It'll be fine, I have come to terms with the fact I'm running my way to a knee replacement.

The weather has been so typical of fall, warm, wet, sunny and windy, you don't have to wait very long for the weather system to change, in fact yesterday it was sunny and bright at the front of my house and it was raining with a thunderstorm in the kidding. The weather gods are having a lot of fun.

I'm hoping to get a lot more ride time on Ruby before she goes onto the trainer for the winter, worse case scenario, I bring out the Iron Horse (mountain bike) and hit the trails, see how the knee holds up on those adventures.

Well, that's it for now,

Life's fun if you don't weaken,