Friday, July 31, 2015

What's your 105?

A woman I know is attempting to swim 105 kilometers this weekend. Last summer she swam 70 kms - and she has been training for the past year. She and her friend entered the water at 4pm today. If you go here you can follow their progress.

Last December she asked people to post their 105s on the website. I signed up for 105 lengths of the pool. That is 41 lengths more than my tri-weekly swims, and will be about twenty minutes longer than my longest swim.

I hoped to do it in about 80 minutes. I was going to hit the water at 4pm to coincide with their start time, but by 2pm the butterflies were getting pretty intense - so my husband suggested I go early.

So we are off....he is coming as my cheering section.

I have a watch with a lap counter that hopefully will work so I don't have to concentrate on not losing count of where I am.

* * *

I am back. I finished the 105 lengths, 52.5 laps, 2625 metres in 1:22.26. The 51 is my time for the last half lap.

I insisted on sushi as a reward - that, and a big glass of water kefir.

It was crowded at the pool, and at times the water was quite turbulent. My lap watch worked great - I could just swim without counting. I kept my stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe rhythm so I could alternate breathing on each side.

There, of course, was the ubiquitous 'guy' who hung out at the end of the lane, never moving, so sometimes the touch and turn was awkward, but I persevered.

By eighty lengths I really had to pee (due in part to the big slug of water I had after 52 lengths) and my upper arms were feeling the effort, but I kept going and the time passed quickly.

By ninety lengths I really had to pee, wishing I was in the ocean because then I could have done just that. In the pool? Not so much.

I had thought it should take me 80 minutes, so I was close. My lap times definitely were slower the last twenty laps, but I am so pleased with the result.

After I finished (and peed) I soaked in the hot tub and had a nice hot shower. Then I had sushi, and then I peed again. (I know, I know, too much information.)

What I accomplished today is nothing to what Susan and Alex are attempting, not to mention, my brother who is swimming one 35km leg of the lake with them.

I am in awe of such determination, skill, and passion.

We all have it in us to do something great. To stretch ourselves. To conquer a fear, or a mountain, or a lake.

Many people have offered to support the swimmers by doing their own version of the 105. Some are cycling 105 km. Some are doing 105 sit-ups. Some are swimming 105 metres.

So, if you were to join in, to let these swimmers know that you support them, how would you challenge yourself?

What's your 105?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Happy 38th Anniversary

It is our 38th Wedding Anniversary today.

Here are some words by Walt Whitman that were part of our wedding vows.

Listen, I will be honest with you
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling, you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port, however calm the waters, you shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
You are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Come, I give you my hand.
I give you my love more precious than money;
I give you myself before preaching and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Every year on our anniversary, at some point during the day, my husband declares that he will renew my contract for another year. Usually it happens towards the end of the day.

Today I received this when I awoke:

As I hugged and kissed him good morning I said, "Let's do another 38."

He said,

"We'll see how it goes."

He pointed out he hadn't signed the certificate yet (but I know verbal agreements are binding ;)).

He is such a romantic.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

HodgePodge Wednesday

From This Side of the Pond is hosting HodgePodge Wednesday this week. Check out other entries here.

I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

My biggest struggle will be to relax and reset, yet oddly enough the one that comes most easily is finding the good in life.

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

I would buy wool. 'nuff said!

3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet...which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.

This is hard to admit, but it would be ego trip. I found myself twice this week (and its only Wednesday) thinking how great I was at a)swimming, and b)yoga and I felt certain that someone was going to notice me and compliment me. (didn't happen - but it totally should have.)

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?

I would love to do a headstand, and water-ski. I have never had strong upper body strength and if I did I would do all those arm balancing poses in yoga, and also lift cars off of people when they are in trouble ala Superman.

5. As July draws to a close, let's take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you...been swimming? enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster? camped? eaten corn on the cob? gardened? deliberately unplugged? watched a ballgame? picked fruit off the vine? taken a road trip? read a book? Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?

I have been swimming, had ice-cream, eaten corn on the cob, gardened, unplugged, and read a book. Camping and a road trip are next up, and the apples are ready to pick, and soon so to will be the blackberries.

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What's your question?

Being a Canadian I haven't followed it too too much. All I can say is 'Donald Trump? Really?'

7. What's your most listened to song so far thisI summer?

That's easy - my daughter is living with us this summer and she is a singer/songwriter - so all of her songs - and Valerie (which isn't hers but she rocks it).

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have let my herb garden bolt and go to flower and it is so beautiful. The honey bees love it and the flowers are so unique .

Monday, July 27, 2015

It has been a couple of good days

Yoga on a Sunday
With napping after noon.

Knitting and chatting
and eating good food.

Swimming the mile
and coffee with a friend.

A new shorter haircut
and sun thrown in.

Tonight friends for dinner
On the porch in the breeze.

Watching hummingbirds
delighting in their antics.

And more knitting
always more knitting.

Smiling at passerbys
for no reason but this:

It has been a good couple of days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I have regained my knitting mojo so I have two shawls on the needles, a pair of socks and of course the ubiquitous blanket.

No picture of the socks because it is a surprise for someone who reads this blog religiously - no peeking.

I even have some fibre on my wheel that I am quite proud of.

As I believe that we are all works in progress I consider myself too in today's post.

I have been going to sunset yoga (a free class) every Tuesday night for the past three weeks).

I have been getting at least two miles a week in at the pool.

I have been sitting in the sun and reading books on karma, illness, and healing.

I have been breathing.

I have been reaching out - albeit slowly and in baby steps.

So that is my work in progress Wednesday.

How about you?

Monday, July 20, 2015

A fifth of music

The rules:
1.Write a whole paragraph (a paragraph sounds easy right?)
2.Without any word containing the letter “e” (still easy for ya?)
3.By reading this you are already signed up.
4.Challenge at least five bloggers to do the challenge.

Music is soul food. If I could ask for anything, that costs just about nothing, and still can flow out of a human, who wants nothing but a day full from sad thoughts, I would ask for music. Music is worship and adoration. Music is kind. Music holds sway. Music plays on. A fifth holds its own. But, now it is not part of a plan. Just as a paragraph can miss a fifth. So too, my days can miss music.

I nominate Lupey Loops, Cynalune, Wendy of the Rock, North of 49, and Happy Radical and anyone else who wants to play.

Even if you don't want to post your paragraph to your blog - give it a try - it is an interesting assignment.

Thanks to Edwina's Episodes for egging me on. You can check out her paragraph here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Folk Festival

A little Sunday morning gospel at stage  two....respect yourself!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fuschias and mum

I posted these pictures earlier today and then discovered that one year ago today I wrote this.


I don't think so.

Friday, July 17, 2015


That is how I feel.


I did swim for fifty-one minutes today - doing my version of individual medley (I throw in the elementary backstroke instead of the butterfly). That felt pretty good.

I read a very interesting book on illness.

I sat in the sun.

But still, and all, today I just felt flat.

We went to the night market.

It was crowded, but manageable.

I did buy a very cute knitting project bag.

I did run into a student I had taught for five years. She introduced me to someone as her second mom.

The music?

Not so good.

We went to another night concert.

The music?

Equally, not so good.

The food was ok.

The popcorn was ok.

The sour keys were ok.

The Mexican coke was pretty good.

(Coca Cola you guys.....sheesh!)

I woke up today not wanting to do anything or see anybody.

I think I am going to bed in the same frame of mind.

I kind of want to go to the folk festival tomorrow, but I am afraid to spend all that money, drive all that way, navigate the crowds and still feel flat.

That would be silly.

Here's hoping

"the sun'll come up tomorrow,

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow

There'll be sun."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

HodgePodge Wednesday

HodgePodge Wednesday is hosted by From This Side of the Pond.

Here are today's questions:

1.July 15th is National Give Something Away Day. What can you give away? Will you?

I have a box of books I am giving to charity, and a book I am gifting to a friend.

2. Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.

My usual mantra is "Just keep Swimming", ala Dory in Finding Nemo.

3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?

My husband does the grocery shopping. He shops every day and usually has a list. I love my husband, just sayin!

4. Is there a TV show you're embarrassed to say you watch? You're going to tell us what it is, right?

I watched 'The Real Housewives of Vancouver' when it was airing and it IS embarrassing to admit that.

5. A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-

that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless

Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?

Amazing, definitely amazing.

6. So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It's called 'The Granny Hair' trend. Your thoughts?

Not one to judge what others are doing, but I am happy with my gray hair - I've earned it!

7. A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they've read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let's try. What's one of the most beautiful sentences you've ever read in a piece of literature?

Someday, the curtain of the world would lift onto a sunny springlike stillness and reveal that nothing - nothing - had been for nought, neither the suffering nor the agony of the child in the hallway, nor love that ends in death:nothing. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I read a meme lately (I know, I hate memes) that said "Depression is when you don't care about anything. Anxiety is when you care too much about everything. Having both is living hell!"

So that's me - check out other entries by clicking the link at the top of the page.

Monday, July 13, 2015

If I can just find that sock it will all be ok

Yup, the washer is broken, but just the timer, so I can do a load of laundry as long as I go downstairs every few minutes to advance the cycle.

The dryer is working so there's that.

I was having an anxious day - trying to order a new washer via the internet.

Trying to help my brother use the internet to book some air tickets.

The internet is making me crazy enough these days.

Dryer done.

Folding and putting away laundry always makes me feel better.

And my husband was out of socks and underwear, so doing the laundry was definitely going to make him feel better.

Once laundry was all folded I noticed one of a pair of socks was missing.

No big deal.

As Rubber Shoes in Hell would say - 'hahahahafuckingha'!

I checked the washer.

No errant sock.

I checked the dryer.


I looked under the bed, the dresser and inside the leg of the pants I was wearing when I last wore them.

Nope, nope, and nope.

I sat down on the couch while my husband and brother continued to tackle the internet/airline ticket challenge.

I got up and checked all my husband's t-shirts because sometimes socks like to hide in there.



Down on the couch again.

Where is that f-ing sock?

This is what happens to me. I believe (I know, magical thinking) that if I can just match up socks the rest of my life will be so much more ordered.

Where could that sock be?

Check the dish towel drawer - you put away a bunch of dish towels.


There was that one big bath towel.

I shook it out.


Sock found.

That feels better.


I am not a total failure.


I can wash a pair of socks, and dry them and get them into the drawer as a matched set. (You can sing this line to the tune of I AM WOMAN by Peggy Lee - just sayin')

Any less anxious?


I bet you all thought I was looking for a hand-knit.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Walking around memory lane

I had an hour to kill and I was close to the neighbourhood where I grew up so I took a trip and parked in front of the lot where I used to live with my parents and five siblings.

I say the lot because the house is gone and replaced by a monster house, and they even changed the street address, so there is that.

I decided to walk around the park which was right across the street from my front door.

And the memories started to come.

Playing in the woods, hiding in the bushes, pretending to be escaping from someone, or something. The dinosaur rock is still there - as kids we used to think it looked like the skull of a T-Rex.

The park house was still there. I babysat there quite a few times. One time there was a gang of teenagers outside making a ruckus. The police wouldn't come when I phoned them. So, I phoned my mum. She came. With a baseball bat. Problem solved - and she stayed with me until the parents came home.

The tennis courts where I roller skated, and where my dad taught me to play tennis.

The equipment shed where all the stuff was stored for the little league team. My dad coached for some years, and also umpired there. The big grandstand is gone, and there are two more baseball diamonds, but still, and all, it brought back memories of sitting and watching my brothers play.

The community centre where I took cooking classes, ballet and archery lessons. It has a much fancier entrance way now, but the main part of the building looks much the same.

The hill from the community centre to the field used to seem so steep - to run down, or ride a bike down, or toboggan down.

It didn't seem so steep anymore.

The house where the two sisters lived that I hung out with - I remember us sitting on their top bunk and spool knitting.

The house where the guard geese terrorized me as I walked past.

The old swingset and monkey bars are gone, but I remember swinging so high and singing "I love you Paul, or yes I do...." Paul McCartney, of course. And I once fell through the monkey bars from the very top - ouch.

There was the lawn bowling club where I would often meet the little old ladies with their Pekinese dogs.

My dad and I used to run around the perimeter of the park. Through him I learned that I liked to go on long distance runs. Through him I also learned I like to do long distance swims, but that is another story for another time.

I walked past the neighbours' houses remembering their names.

I drove down the lane to see if the cherry trees were still there. They didn't appear to be.

I realized I had only lived in that house for ten years, although it remained the family home for another twelve.

I have lived in my house for thirty two years.

This is a rambling of memories that came tumbling into me triggered by a place and things in that place.

It reminds me that I am not lost.

I just need to let geography help me remember and find my way.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Even my dreams are kicking my ass

I have been having A LOT of anxiety dreams lately.

The kind where you wake up and

a) it takes you a while to convince yourself it was 'just a dream', and

b) your stomach is in a total anxiety knot that takes a few hours to calm the fuck down.

Today's morning dream was:

a: a derelict car (that was mine although I would never drive anything that big) was laying across the road in front of our house blocking traffic.

b: some guy had taken a chain saw to all our trees on the north side of our house, and I kept trying to get his name but couldn't quite make it out.

c: our sump pump (which we don't have) was bubbling up this oozy brown gunky water and the neighbour's grand-daughter was playing in it.

d: the neighbour's son, reached into the ooze and pulled out some weird cog thing and said I needed to replace it and put it all back together (like I would know how to do that).

e: for some reason there was a toilet in my carport that I was sitting on as the neighbours all came over to see what all the commotion was about, and this young boy, who I mistook for my son, was trying to sell me a silver star pin for three dollars. I bought it (after I got off the toilet).

f: I whole bunch of people arrived in my carport trying to give me the pieces of a game that I was planning to re-tool and market. What?

g: I wanted to call the police to report this guy for cutting down my trees, but people kept interfering with me making the call.

h: I noticed, now that the trees were gone, that I had an upstairs to my house I didn't know about and the one half of the shutters were a different colour (pink) than the other half (brown). I knew this was going to be an issue for my neighbours across the street.

i: The dream ended with me saying - 'that's it, we are selling', and my retired real estate agent neighbour saying - 'you probably don't want to do that with your house being as run down as it is'. Ya think? What with the derelict car, broken sump pump, open toilet and hacked off trees?

I might have been dreaming, but I am not stupid.

So that is how my day has started.

In reality, my washing machine is broken.

So, there's that.