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,