Apr 29, 2009

I think I'll stick with walking.

As my sister and I walked down the faded grey road we talked about normal things, normal for us anyway. We thought it would be a good day for a nice stroll down the road, so we geared up and started toward the street. After we got walking we were oblivious to how much exercise we were getting. After a while, we found ourselves gawking at a retired doctor's property. The landscaping around his enormous house was gorgeous but there was one thing in particular that caught my eye. A red paved square to the side of his back yard with a big grey fence around it. A tennis court. So, right away my sister and I turned around and walked home, we were pretty physicked after seeing two people running around hitting tennis balls at each other. When we arrived at my house I went straight to the garage and grabbed two tennis rackets and a green tennis ball. We were already geared up in sneakers and gym clothes so we got ready to play some tennis. After we found a good place in my drive way to play we realized a simple fact... neither of us have ever played tennis before in our lives. We decided that if we could play it on the Wii then it couldn't be too difficult, right? Wrong! We're not sport people so after a few blunt head injuries, a small encounter with the Atlantic ocean and a minor dent in mom's Nissan we decided to call it a day. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Walking takes you places :) but just because it doesn't look like it requires skill doesn't always mean unskilled people can do it although we had lots of fun trying. We have both decided we're going to stick with walking and volleyball for physical activity.
Can you see the world from your car window?

Apr 27, 2009

Spring is here

Spring is here.

What are the signs? Kids playing in the water.( #s 1 & 3 were playing in the ocean this weekend) Ducks playing in the water. I caught a glimpse of these ducks in the ditch on the road by my house. Scared of the flock of Canada Geese in the lake perhaps?

Bees buzzing around the flowers. These croci were home to the first sighting at our house this year.

And I’m glad that the bees are back. Across North America over 1/3 of the cultivated populations are being hit with some sort of illness which wipes the colony out. What would we do without these industrious little fellows? Most of our veggies at the local markets are pollinated by these little fliers. They’ve had a bad reputation but really are so necessary to life as we know it.

And the true sign of spring. As I look out my window, my trusty better half is busily pruning (or slashing ) down my favorite smoke bush . One guy's pruning is another plants massacre.

Apr 23, 2009

Lucky Pennies

So, there I was walking with my head in the clouds making my way to work when my random thoughts about spring ran smack up against a more pressing thought about keys.

That's right, suddenly my tranquil thoughts about running a half-marathon were disrupted by more a more serious thought about whether I put my keys in my backpack.

Responding as I do to such immediate, annoying thoughts, I stopped to search my backpack. That's when a pleasant, soft-spoken elderly woman interrupted me.

"I have to give these to you," she says with her hand extended out to me with two tarnished pennies laying flat in her palm.

“What,” I ask staring at her, then the pennies, then at her again. “The pennies?”

“Yes, I have to give these pennies to you in order for it to be lucky,” she responds.

“Sorry,” I ask, not sure what act of superstition I am about to partake in.

“If you find pennies, you have to give them away for luck. And I found these ones back there” she tells me, pointing back to the sidewalk behind us.

“Okay, sure,” I say, “I’ve never heard of this, but I’ll take them, maybe they will bring me luck today.”

I thanked her, placed the pennies in my pocket, and returned to my search. She smiled and walked off relieved that she had passed on her pennies to someone. Finding my keys, I returned to my walk when my mind turned to thoughts about pennies.

Curious, I decided to find out more about pennies when I got to work. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the penny is composed of the following: 94 per cent steel, 1.5 per cent nickel, and 4.5 per cent copper plating or copper plated zinc. It weighs 2.35 grams and is 19.05 mm in diameter and 1.45 mm in thickness. The Royal Canadian Mint minted 846,420,000 in 2007 and 928,434,000 in 2001.

On 10 October 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint released a study on the future of the penny in Canada. The findings show that most small retailers were slightly in favour of removing the penny while consumers were split on the issue.

You can find out more about the penny’s future at http://www.mint.ca/store/dyn/PDFs/FutureofthePennyENG.pdf.

I say we keep the penny. For, were it not for the penny, I would not have met this elderly woman eager to ensure I had a lucky day.

Apr 15, 2009

Rain Rain stay today little children love to play

Well the rain can mean different things to all of us. I was sitting in my rocking chair as befits an old gramma on Easter Sunday lamenting about the rain, when I realized number 4 grandchild was quietly putting on her boots ,over her night attire,and taking her new umbrella for a walk. (Apparently the Easter bunny also has a thing for umbrellas.) Now she did not see the same challenges I did. Her challenge was to sneak by the adults and get out the door without being told to get dressed!
And again I marvel at how we put obstacles in our way when none really is there. (I too own boots and an umbrella, but was not prepared to use them on such a cold drizzly day)

And it is amazing how the word spread.
Soon One, Two, and Three were in their boots, slickers and umbrellas and away they went on an adventure. Apparently it is a lot of fun to get really, really wet.
Again I thought of how social walking is, how much fun they were having, and how just one little girl (just 3 years old) could inspire an entire family to get on the move. (If only to run for the camera so we’d have a good shot of the adventure gang!)

So her song is “rain rain don’t go away”.

Apr 11, 2009

Wait, Think, Go

Sure we were cold from walking in the rain. But there we were, taking pictures of what we thought was interesting. Or, I should say, my nephew was taking pictures of what he thought was interesting.

For me, holding back as he took pictures, I found it to be an easy way to talk to him for in between me showing him how to change my camera's settings I was able to ask him about what he was doing lately. See, the thing of it all is his girlfriend
just broke up with him.

The loss of your first love is always difficult. Surprisingly, my approach worked for he wasn't as guarded as he normally is when I ask him questions.

Who knows, maybe the "so, you want to push that button on the left three times" interspersed with "so,
how are you feeling about everything" was an easy - or seamless - enough distraction to him that it didn't seem like his uncle was prying, but rather making sure he was okay.

He took these traffic light pictures, I simply told him where to stand and what to look for when we was ready. I like the photos for two reasons: first, it showed me what he thought was interesting on a windy, rainy, weekend afternoon on our way to get something to eat and second, it captured how we should approach life.

The red light means we
should stop to take time out for ourselves and for those important to us in life.

The yellow
light means we should proceed with some caution about big decisions in life.

And the green light means that if something or someone is important to us then we should go after them in life.

You never know what you'll find out or what you will see when you start to ask questions or view the world through the eyes of another when you go for a walk.

I found out that he's upset about the break up. He found out that he'll be okay.

He found out that he has an uncle he can talk to. I found out I have a nephew who likes cameras.

By talking and by walking, you'll eventually get to where you're going.

Apr 2, 2009

Umbrellas and such

An umbrella or parasol (sometimes colloquially, gamp, brolly, umbrellery, or bumbershoot) is a canopy designed to protect against precipitation or sunlight. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)An umbrella or parasol (sometimes colloquially, gamp, brolly, umbrellery, or bumbershoot) is a canopy designed to protect against precipitation or sunlight. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

I’ve been thinking about umbrellas and how we use them; mostly because I expected sun today but maybe it might shower in a bit. I just came back from a spot where the umbrella is definitely used as sun protection. And as I watched folks using them, I thought there may be a fair amount of wisdom that we could take from these people.
For example: Our bus ride which would have been a quick 2 hour ride here in NS, was almost 4 hours. Why? Not just because the roads were bumpy (they were), but because we were heading through towns at noon, everyone was fetching their kids from school. On foot…with parasols (such a great word) and guess what? Busses yield to pedestrian traffic! And in areas of heavy population, the sidewalks were in better shape than the road. Walking is a way of life. Walking is important transportation for the population, and walking deserves some consideration.
So as I get ready to go to a meeting, I’m tucking my umbrella in my pack and hoping I’ll need it as a parasol not for avoiding the rain!