Adventures

I have always loved to travel. It’s one of the major things that I wish I could do more of. Luckily Bob and Piper share this love. We have been lucky enough to go on vacation every winter and it’s something we all really enjoy.

Bob and I always thought we would do more travelling in our retirement. I’d really take a trip anywhere to experience it but there are a few places I would really love to see in person. They include Italy, Ireland, Costa Rica and Greece. They are all so different and all very beautiful.

We might actually try an Air BNB in Costa Rica for our next adventure. There are some really cool options (almost an overwhelming amount). I would love to connect with people who have taken a similar trip and get some tips from them. Do you rent a car or cab it? How scary is it to drive there? What is the best area for families to stay? What are the must “sees” and is there something we should know ahead of time about the whole Air BNB experience?

I hope my health is good enough to travel this winter and honestly good enough hat Bob and I will see retirement together. There is so much of this world I still want to experience!flight

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Life Updates

Well, it’s been ages since I have blogged. Truthfully a lot has been going on and I’ve felt a little displaced.

At the beginning of May I thought that I had a chest cold. I felt congestion in my chest, exhaustion and was just feeling crummy. I eventually sought medical help because it was getting worse, not better and it turns out that I have Congestive Heart Failure.

I got out of the hospital after a week, made a bunch of life changes, thought things were going better but during a follow up test (5 weeks later) I ended up back in the hospital for another week.

I’m back to work now and still don’t have a lot of answers but I am muddling through. I spend most of my days in a state of denial (I keep thinking my Doctor will call and say “ooops, we mis-diagnosed you”) but some days reality hits and I have to face what’s going on. Everyone has their opinions and the people in my life really like to share their opinions. While I appreciate the concern, I really have to follow my own path on this.

I’m doing my best to stay positive and I’m doing my best to stay busy. If I have too much time to ponder the situation it really gets quite depressing. I am finding my creative mojo in art and making jewellery (did I mention I am doing that again??). I am also spending lots of time with Bob and Piper although it’s depressing how little I can do physically now. On the weekend I discovered that I can’t even make one lap around a mall anymore. All in all, I am trying to be positive though. I have faith in my cardiologist and I know the answers will come.sunrise

Spring Fever

Today is the first day of spring and I don’t mind telling you that I am thrilled about it! I was never a fan of winter and this one has felt extra harsh to me.

We were lucky enough to slip away to Punta Cana for a week. It was so nice to feel the sun on our skin and sand in between our toes. During the trip we went on an excursion to Monkeyland. It was definitely a highlight for me! Those little monkeys have huge personalities and they are so sweet. I have never wanted a monkey more in my life.

Along with the warmer weather and longer days I am looking forward to reacquainting myself with my back yard. I am looking forward to bonfires, bbq season and maybe even some swimming. I have been struggling really badly with our move to Norwich and I really think I will feel better about things when we can enjoy our outside space some more.

Creatively I have been making little animal totems and illustrated face magnets. Last night I started an acrylic painting as well. Something abstract which is new for me. I can’t recall the last time I painted anything abstract. I have found myself missing jewellery making so that told me it was time to start something new creatively.

In any event, a new season has sparked new creativity and offers me some inspiration. Bring on spring!

Lucky

3A505778-FB2A-4F22-909C-1F47BA6EAE92.jpegThis past weekend we adopted a dog.

I was following his story on Facebook and was aware that he had been thrown out of a car on a country road. Luckily some people who are friends of friends witnessed this unkind act and were able to save the little guy before he became dinner for coyotes or something else equally as awful.

Knowing my love for Boston Terriers (how could you not love them when you have one like Levi?) some friends suggested that I reach out and try to adopt him, and that’s just what I did. Piper and Bob named him Lucky. I am not a fan of the name at all because I don’t want him to carry the stigma of what his asshole previous owners did to him, forever. Also, I’d like something a little less predictable like Lennon or Jude. With that said though,  I am happy Bob agreed to have him and Piper was pretty chuffed with the name so, Lucky it is.

It’s clear this dog has not been cared for. He cringes or flips on his back if you inadvertently wave your hands near him or move too quickly. He is also very skinny. Granted Levi is a bit on the curvaceous side but poor Lucky is way at the opposite end of the scale. And to top it off, he has a skin condition and is pretty close to hairless from the shoulders down. He may look a little rough right now but he’s a smart little Dude. He’s quickly learning the rules of the house and is doing his best to be a good boy.

We will have him feeling confident and looking like a champion in no time.

Abs are nice but have you tried donuts?

Right now, in this very moment I am content. I am really challenging myself to take a moment, take a deep breath, look around and soak in what this feels like. All too often, we dwell on the negative and beat ourselves up over our short comings. I wonder how often people stand still and reflect when things are actually pretty good.

Sure there are things I would improve on. I wish I was skinny for instance (hence the title of this post). I wish I was better at math. I wish I had a spare million dollars.

Truthfully though, life is pretty nice. I have a job that I love, most of the time. I have really awesome people in my life. What I lack in super model body, I make up for in humour and artistic ability. I am in love with my family and my three fur babies. I have a house (and a pretty nice one at that), I am mostly healthy and there are more good times than bad. So today I sit, drinking in he richness that is my life.

Have a great day everyone and take a moment to dwell on what’s going right.donut

You know you are getting old when…

Christmas is right around the corner and I will admit that I am not the easiest person to buy for. If I need something or I really want something, I just go get it. The past few years though, as we near Christmas, I hold off so that I can offer Bob some sort of suggestion so he isn’t freaking out trying to find me something. Last year it was Ray Ban sunnies. This year it was Sperry Boat shoes. Then today I added to the list and instantly became aware that I am getting bloody old. I asked for a therapeutic pillow. Yep, a friggin pillow.

I have nothing else to add today.

Gym? I thought you said “Gin”…

So I am thinking of joining the local gym. I think it might be the tiniest gym ever but it’s the only option.

As winter nears (despite my willing the snow to stay away) I need to figure out ways to get off the couch, that are local. I also need to get this body moving. I have a desk job during the day and then I am a couch potato at night and now I am actually turning into a potato. It’s not a good look.

So Fridays are my half day at work and tomorrow afternoon I am planning on visiting the world’s smallest gym and seeing what they offer. I need to get out of the house and up off this bloody couch.

The Little Room Up Front

We moved nearly three months ago. It’s no secret that moving is tough. It’s expensive, it’s physically taxing and it’s a really emotional thing to do. I have joked a few times that the next time I move, it is going to be feet first!

What was a little tougher about this move was that I didn’t have any time off work to get settled. On top of that, every weekend for the first 7 weeks was crammed with plans. We did our best to empty boxes and place things where we thought we’d like them. We purged some things and bought new things for other areas and eventually it really came together. There was one room left untouched though and that was my little haven. My sanctuary for reading a book, drinking tea, snuggling Levi, doing some yoga stretches or creating something. I couldn’t envision what I wanted it to look like. I felt like it was some sorry consolation prize for having moved to the middle of nowhere. As we finished up with the rest of the house extra odds and ends were getting dumped into my little room up front and I knew where that was heading. If I didn’t get off my ass and start figuring the space out it would soon become the catch-all for everyone’s junk that they just couldn’t pull the trigger on getting rid of. So, I just did it. I finished painting the desk I spoke about in a previous post. I purchased a couch, I hung some pictures and I sorted through the last four boxes that I had been avoiding. I didn’t want the tour down memory lane and I didn’t want to have to decide whether to throw away this stuff or find a spot for it. It turns out I was able to donate most of and it felt really good to get it out of my space. I am only having things in there that I love and that serve me well.

It’s pretty much done now. I just have two more pictures to hang that were paintings my Granny did many moons ago. I would also like a funky chair of some sort for my desk (I will know it when I see) and I think a nice plaid blanket would be just right. Apart from that, it’s darn near perfect. I feel really lucky to have this little place! On the walls you will find art that I love. On the window sill you will find a little pottery bowl holding my favourite beach glass, a vintage covered bowl, my crystals, a little lucky Buddha and a singing bowl. I’ve got room to do yoga, room to do art (and even a blog post once in a while!), a comfy couch for cuddles and reading and I’m surrounded with stuff I love. I will say that it was worth the wait! Levi is always welcome in there and once in a while, I will even let other humans in too!room 1room 4room 5room 7room 2room 6

Park your Horse and Buggy Round the Back

I am starting to get used to Norwich. I will admit that I am still a fish out of water here but I am making an effort to acknowledge and appreciate the positives to small town living. For example, crime or lack of it. We were able to leave decent Halloween decorations out and not a thing got stolen. I also don’t have that uneasy feeling when people pass me or my house at night. In Norwich, they are actually just out for a walk.

My creative inner being is satisfied right now as well. I missed out on a lovely desk that I saw two months ago and didn’t buy right away because I wanted to think on it. You can guess what happened when I returned, it was long bloody gone. It serves me right. I wanted to put it in the room in my house that was designated as my own and I wanted to make sure it was exactly the right look (which it was) and of course, now it’s too late. In response, I bought another desk that is just kind of plain, teetering on the side of slightly ugly but it is equipped with the storage I need and it’s the right size. I stared at the new desk for a few days and then a though came to me…why not paint it into a state of awesomeness? That is exactly what I am doing. A mass of wild flowers, birds, leaves. It’s turning into a colorful and unique work space that I can’t wait to show off. What makes it even better is that Piper will sometimes pick up a brush and join in. I think this desk will stand the test of time with us and we will remember creating it and working on it for hours. I will get some pictures and I will add them to a future blog post. I love that I am getting that creative release and that it is going in a special place in our house.

Up until this point the room in question has been pretty much left empty. Bob got a man cave that he’s been working on for weeks. Piper got an office/toy room that we set up on day two and my room has just sat there while I attempted to figure out what to do with it. Now it is going to have a sweet little couch for reading, space to do some yoga, a rocking meditation pillow and this amazing desk for art work. I am feeling very fortunate to have this space right now.

And now I leave you with this, an actual sign at a local business in Norwich.

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MOJO

I’m starting to get my Mojo back. This weekend I spent some time attempting, failing and creating, while trying something new.

I have decided that I’d really like to make tiny animal sculptures. I really enjoy sculpting, painting and of course, I love animals. Some will be pocket charms or miniature figurines, some will be necklaces because, of course, I do love jewellery as well. They are tiny animal totems and I’m really excited to make them. Mine will have a whimsical flair that will include hand-painted design, maybe some sparkle and some will include little Swarovski crystals.

This past weekend I made a few attempts at them and will admit that I had a few fails in the bunch. I am enjoying the challenge though and am always on a quest for improvement.

This little guy turned out the best for me. My husband said he looks more like a mouse than he does a black bear (he actually called it the Bouse) but I beg to differ. I actually think he needs to get his eyes checked. This little bear is quirky and sweet with a colourful design on his coat. I certainly would not say he is flawless but it’s moving in the right direction. I can’t actually wait to make more. I am working on a highland cow, a blue jay and an owl. Stay tuned for updates.