Saturday, November 20, 2010

WK 32: Living life's seasons...

Note:  December 2nd:
Sorry there are no new pictures to show you!
Lost my USB camera cord during the move & can't upload any photos!
Coming soon!

Well folks, I'm a couple of days later than usual posting the photos and blog. It's been a busy week trying to get Christmas cracker orders filled and organizing a move of my home and business. But never too busy to snap some photos! The ones this week are taken from a hike through the South Monck Trail the beginning of Wk 32.  It was a beautiful fall day with all the colours of the forest floor reflecting the warm sun.  It's kind of a sad time of year some people would say but I also find it comforting.  Nature has dropped a warming, protective blanket of leaves over the landscape to prepare for the winter sleep.  Just imagine all the plant and insect life lying underneath, resting, sleeping, waiting for the surge of spring to push all the energies of life back up again toward  the heavens in a few short months.

We are incredibly lucky, I think, in this country to experience the four seasons. As I approach my 60th birthday, I feel in sync with nature's calendar and place myself on it somewhere towards summer's end.  It's a relief to me and an education to see the continuum of my own life reflected in the seasons. I feel less afraid, comforted even, by the rhythm of nature as I begin my older years.  I can let go of the fear of life's end one day and rather feel instead the joy of being alive in the moment. 

Another event this week that makes me think of life's seasons: Today, I had to dis-inter my old feline buddy, Grendle, and take her to a new and permanent resting place where she can lie undisturbed.  She lived with me nearly 20 years, the best kitty-friend a person could want.  She was the chief greeter for nearly 10 years at my stationery shop in Toronto and she moved north with me experiencing one town after another - sometimes adventurously, sometimes with trepidation - until we finally settled on beautiful Bracebridge where she passed away a couple of Christmases ago.  After such a long history, I couldn't just leave her behind in the ground when I move for someone else to dig up and discard.  So, she is headed this week to her final home and her long winter's rest.

Well back to the cheerier business of 'Cracker Central' as my friends call it.  I love my job and I just love packing up the boxes after the crackers are filled.  The last thing into the box is a Christmas card with a holiday wish for every customer.  These folks who order year after year have become my "Christmas Families" - I have come to know the names of their family members - even their cats and dogs.  Some even write to me at Christmas to tell me what new pets has been adopted into their homes.  It's a business with lots of personal connection, high spirits, colour and sparkle. It's an honour to be part of hundreds of family celebrations. How lucky can a person be to get paid for doing the job they love.

That's the blogging ramble for this week.  Hope you are well, busy, happy.

Thanks for walking with me on my footpath this week.


This weeks photos are here:
And, should you be interested, the crackers are here:

The weekly health report will return after Christmas.  I am still walking daily and have made tremendous gains in lowering the blood pressures!  I hope this encourages any of you who are considering taking up walking, hiking.  10,000 steps a day is not so very many as it turns out.  Just walking to the post box, the pharmacy, around your living quarters and a round a couple of blocks and you've taken positive steps to improved flexibility, a sense of well-being and better health. I enjoy the walks and hikes.  I hope you enjoy yours too!

A reminder - you can view all 30 pluse web albums at Picasa:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wk 31: Visioning a new home ...

Muskoka River Reflection at Taylor Road Bridge

I was reminded yesterday as I took a series of river 'reflection' photos, that a lot about our life and how we live it has to do with what we SEE, how we SEE it and with whom we SEE it.  Not only our eyes but our minds, hearts and souls SEE all that is going on and how we interpret it.

2 1/2 years ago I had to make an unexpected move from my home in Gravenhurst. The owner's son had lost his job and was returning to town in need of a place to live - so I was toast and on the move yet again. I had only lived there a year and I was very unhappy about having to move so soon again.  I knew I had to find a new home quickly but I couldn't SEE the new home in my mind and, more importantly, I couldn't SEE getting 'THERE' from the 'HERE' where I was at the time. The time taken away from my business while I looked, the $1,000 to pay movers and relocate services, all the work of packing when I was barely even feeling settled, having to do all - find a place and pick up packing boxes - without a car and without any family up north to help - well, you get where I where I was and how I was feeling at the time..

And now just 2 1/2 years later, I am yet again, facing an unplanned and most unwelcome move over the Christmas holidays.  While working through this mentally, financially, emotionally, physically, I recalled a visit I had with the friend of a friend in Gravenhurst just weeks before I found my current home.  The woman is a psychic and I have never visited one and, in fact, wasn't that time either but she had a dear apartment available that she wanted me to see.  She called it her 'chalet' and sitting off alone in her back yard and beside her swimming pool that's pretty much what it looked like.  It was absolutely perfect... but it had NO plumbing!

Anyway, I sat down with this wonderful sight-full and quirky woman for a tea and a visit.  She asked me about things and suggested I write down everything that I was looking for in a new home.  I acquiesced because although I didn't see how it was going to help, I figured it wouldn't hurt either, now would it?  I wrote my list... sunny, near water, big work space, close to the post office, a garden, and a place that worked for my kitty pal, Grendle.  And it had to have ladybugs.  Somewhere.  I looked at the list and passed it over to my psychic friend and she immediately said, "It looks like you will be moving to Bracebridge". 

What?! At this point I figured this had to be all nuts because Bracebridge was the LAST place I wanted to live!  But within a couple of days I had confirmation of an apartment in, yes,  Bracebridge no less.  I moved to town.  Sure enough the river was only moments away as was the post office.  There was a big work room, and Grendle enjoyed her last 5 months of life in the sunshine under the skylight.  And, there were ladybugs in the garden.  So it all came true.  Every bit of it. As Helen had told me to SEE, to vision.

Now here I am in the middle of my busy holiday cracker season, working 18 hour days til Christmas eve.  With reduced income expectations this season due to all the stress and the time that has been required to deal with what's going on. And, still I have no car. Still there is no family up north to help with this all.  Though, thankfully, there are a few new wonderful friends in my new town of Bracebridge which I have truly grown to love.

So, I have been remembering my psychic friend and I thought, well, it worked well last time, why not try visioning my next new home?  Maybe I can SEE it if I really try. Maybe I have learned a thing or two about what needs to go on 'The List'.  It follows below:

But first, I have two favours to ask of you all.
2) And PLEASE SHARE THE VISION with your friends, neighbours, colleagues - anyone you can think of. I have a hunch that if enough people can SEE my new home list then this vision WILL materialize.  Someone will know someone that knows of someplace available.

~ on the river on Wilson Falls Road
~ country kitchen
~ ENORMOUS workshop room with built in shelves for my cracker/card biz
~ pine trees
~ garden for veggie growing
~ room for a dog or kitty
~ bath tub
~ friendly neighbours to share coffee with
~ LONG and STABLE lease
~ decent landlord who appreciates me and whom I can appreciate
~ the money and time to make it all possible
~ good health to enjoy it
~ and work enough for the next dozen years or so while the cracker biz develops into a small, enduring cottage industry which can remain in town long after I’m gone.

Thanks all!  I am off with some friends this afternoon to walk the South Monck Trail.  Will check in later this week to tell you about our walk in "Today's Trail Notes".

The Photos this week are a little different and all about 'Reflections'.  They were all taken at the Taylor Road Bridge over the Muskoka River.  They spoke to me about 'SEEing'.  YOU can SEE them here:

If you are enjoying the blog or have some other thought to share, please leave a note below.
Maybe there is something or somewhere you would like me to photograph for a future blog?

Have a good week everyone ~
Thanks for walking with me on my footpath this 31st week of the Project. Gillian

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wk 30: What I saw on my way to the shops this week.

The Images that caught my eye
on the way to the shops this week are here:

Life is busy in every way and the blogs will have to wait until Christmas now.

Thanks for walking with me on my footpath this 30th week.