Photo Friday

This week the photos are from Center Islands, Toronto Canada.

We start with boats… because islands need boats.

I was worried we were going to be attacked by pirates ūüôā
Where there are boats there must be a lighthouse.

Switching gears, I learned something new:

Babe Ruth his his first professional home run here (albeit in the minor leagues).
I thought this looked rather like a jigsaw puzzle picture.

 

Keep Your Focus!

 

The Week in Review 6/27/2018

Summer Solstice: ¬†We went all out celebrating the Solstice. ¬†First we had a picnic lunch in our yard. ¬†We ate the Peanuts Thanksgiving meal: ¬†popcorn, pretzel sticks, jelly beans and toast. After dinner we took a long swim staying in the pool until dark. ¬†Which is only ~8:15p here. ¬†We got ready for bed and then came outside and looked at the stars and the moon and the creepy shadows until 10:00p. ¬†I laid in the hammock and my son had the swing. I thought about sleeping out all night but as it was still 90¬į at 9:00p we decided to pass. ¬†Plus there is the whole bobcat, scorpion, rattlesnake fears. ¬†We used the lanterns we made earlier this summer (pictured above). ¬†We decorated jars with glitter glue and put in fairy lights. ¬†In the dark it looks like a jar of fireflies, so cool.

A Mild Annoyance: ¬†I switched to a school year planner a few years ago finding it worked better for me. ¬†This year I ordered a planner on-line and didn’t realize it started in August and my current planner ends in June. ¬†Oops. I don’t think I will be ordering a planner on-line again. ¬†I don’t love the one I got dates aside. ¬†It is a little too busy for me.

Something Worrisome: ¬†¬†The cashier at the commissary had a very odd moment. ¬†In the middle of checking out my groceries she paused. ¬†There were bananas sitting on the scale and I thought she was trying to remember the PLU number. ¬†Then she asked ” did you hand me five-oh-nine or five-eighteen?” ¬†I thought she was asking me what the PLU number was and responded with a “huh”? ¬†There was clearly a sticker with the number right on top of the bananas. ¬†Then she asked if I just handed her some money. ¬†What? She looked blank a moment then rang up something that came to $40.11 which she then voided. ¬†She looked at the bananas again and then said something about taking some allergy medicine which had made her sleepy. She finished ringing up the rest of my groceries and as I was driving home I began to wonder if she had had a small stroke or something. ¬†I felt like I should have said something to the manager who had to come over because of the void. ¬†I have been worried about that poor woman ever since.

Throwback Reading: ¬†I think I may have invented the term but I know I am not the only one re-reading favorite childhood books. ¬†I just indulged myself with the purchase of the whole “Ramona” series by Beverly Cleary. ¬†My son and I have read them together (checked out from the library) over the last few years but I decided I really wanted to read them in order over the summer to myself. ¬†So I splurged on buying a set and am so happy I did. ¬†I got a paperback version in a cardboard case and they have wonderful drawings scattered throughout. ¬†Bonus, my son decided to re-read them also.

CSA:  I have been loving my CSA (community supported agriculture) pickup every Sunday.  One less thing I have to think about and to my surprise I am even enjoying the beets.  I made Harvard Beets with the first batch and roasted the second with olive oil and fresh thyme from my one and only herb plant. And I found the easiest squash recipe ever from Susan Branch:  slice squash very thin (you can do yellow or zucchini), heat up some Italian salad dressing and pour over.  I let it sit on the counter 20 to 30 minutes and then popped it in the fridge.  I took it out about 30 minutes before dinner, it was cool and refreshing.  Very tasty in the hot weather.

Our one day of rain from Hurricane Bud led our cat’s claw to bloom. ¬†So nice to see some color.

How are you enjoying summer?

Photo Friday

How about some flower pictures taken in Toronto?  Why not, they make me happy and I hope they make you happy too.

A field of yellow flowers and my current desktop photo. (Center Islands)

 

“I am ready for my closeup…”

 

Me too! From the garden at Casa Loma.

 

Irises from Casa Loma.

 

Keep Your Focus!

The Week in Review 6/20/2018

Rain: It is a rare and wondrous thing to get rain in the desert, even more rare in June. I thoroughly enjoyed the remnants of “Bud” waking to steady rain and thunder Saturday morning. We had storms off and on all day with a particularly heavy deluge in the late afternoon that had us a bit worried about flooding but didn’t cause any damage.

Rained so hard I couldn’t see out the window.

What I am watching: Eagerly waiting for the final episode of “Genius: Picasso” on National Geographic Channel. I got used to the jumping around in time format and loved learning about the man and a little history of the various time periods. I thought this was a stand alone mini-series and was happy to learn it is actually a series. They did Einstein last season and I found it on-line and watched the first episode. Same time traveling format (which I don’t really love), I am eager to continue my education (even if the math/physics goes right over my head!). Next season they are doing Mary Shelly, can’t wait.

Flag Day:¬†I like celebrating lesser feted holidays like Flag Day. ¬†Didn’t do much but we did eat red, white and blue for dinner: ¬†raspberry, blackberry and vanilla yogurt parfaits and Patriot’s Day pancakes served with blueberries and raspberries. Yum. (No pictures, sorry.)

I couldn’t find a picture to color that matched my mood and then remembered my sketchbook and doodled myself a picture.

Hot Water: ¬†It took a full week to get our hot water heater repaired due to the left hand not talking to the right with the various entities involved. ¬†Since the problem was a defective part the supplier was involved who did not want the original guy who installed it to replace it. ¬†They wanted to use their main plumber because this is an on-going problem with our model of water heater. It really wasn’t that big of an inconvenience, more of a nuisance. I had to wash the dishes by hand and take sort of cool showers. ¬†(It is impossible to get cold water out of the tap here in the summer.) ¬†The good news was it didn’t cost us anything and we got the new and improved part with the plastic prong (that broke off) replaced with a metal one. Just bad luck it happened while we were away.

How is your summer going?

Photo Friday

Since I took over 300 photos in Toronto I figure I am set for the summer photo posts. I took only my little Olympus Stylus SH-50 Camera, I knew I wasn’t going to feel like lugging around my DSLR everywhere. I missed having my “real camera” a few times but for the most part my Olympus takes pretty good pictures. ¬†I mostly use the auto setting or some of the scene settings. ¬†Super macro is good for flowers. ¬†I did have some issues with the auto focus but shutting the camera off and back on fixed the problem.

Since Ripley’s Aquarium was my my favorite and where I took the most cool photos I have decided to start there.

Fishes at an aquarium!
Any guesses?  Jellyfish lit with a special light.
Yikes!
A frog fish. Ripley did not make this up. 
So many sharks they were coming out of the ground ūüôā

 

Keep Your Focus!

2018 Aspirations: May

I know this post is a bit late due to being on vacation the beginning of June. And now I can’t even remember the month of May which maybe isn’t such a bad thing! ¬†I really want to keep looking forward these days.

Be Healthier

This is not really going so great. ¬†Actually it is just not going as I thought but that is to be expected. I am shopping more at the farmer’s market and doing a decent job of only eating when hungry. ¬†This is harder with school being out but I think I can adjust. ¬†At least I am not gaining any weight. ¬†At this point in time I will simply soldier on through the summer and see what happens. ¬†Frankly I am tired of thinking about food all the time. ¬†I have scaled back on my cooking which has had the effect of me eating less. ¬†Go figure. ¬†With the heat I am looking at more salads and fruit. If I didn’t I have to cook for the family life would be a lot easier and healthier.

I have found a balance with walking on the treadmill enough, but not so much that I dread it.  I have not been swimming as much as I would like because of my allergies.  I do not know if the pollen is worse this year or if I am getting more sensitive but my sinuses are making me quite miserable.  It seems to be more windy than usual this time of year and I wonder if that is a factor?

On the hormonal front the rollercoaster seems to have flattened out a bit.  No period at all this month, whew!  But I have had a few weepy days.  One day I started crying out of the blue, no idea what triggered it.  Luckily I was home alone.

Feet to the fire: Weight on 1 June 144.6 lbs.  I did yoga 21 days and only missed doing PT for my shoulder 3 days.  I can live with these numbers.

Random photo from Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto.

Be Happier

At the start of the month I gave my office a good clearing out.  It began with a plan to do a few shelves and then it spread to a few more spaces and finished off with doing the two bottom drawers of the file cabinet. It was an oddly satisfying way to spend a Sunday afternoon and I am loving my time in my office.

So far the “Summer Plan” is working out quite well. ¬†It does take a lot of energy and patience in the morning but in the afternoon we each get a bit of time to ourselves so I can get some work done (take a nap) as needed. ¬†I am happy I started right from day one of summer break so there were no bad habits to unlearn for either of us.

I went back to using a habit tracker for May.  I really do find it helps me get things done. My favorite thing to do right now is my coloring meditation. I am finding it very soothing these days. And I am thrilled with the progress I am making organizing my digital photos. I am done the first run through of making albums by date and event and now I am going to go back and make  some albums of different groupings. I was surprised to find I am really enjoying this task.

Pretty, flowers always make me feel happier.

 

See you next month.  Geez I hope I have nothing but positive results to report!

 

 

The Week in Review 6/13/18

I am back from our vacation in Toronto, Canada and I am exhausted. Now I am surrounded by stacks of laundry and keeping an eye on Hurricane Bud.  How exactly does one prepare for a hurricane in the desert?  Anyway here are some of the highlights of the trip.

Favorite Food: Tim Horton’s maple glazed donut. I always thought people were crazy being all excited about how we have In-n-Out Burgers but now I get it. ¬†That is how I feel about Tim Horton’s!

Favorite Place: ¬†Ripley’s Aquarium. ¬†We did a lot in Toronto (CN Tower, Bluejays game, Casa Loma (the castle), Center Islands, Hockey Hall of Fame, St. Lawrence Market as well as a trip to Niagara Falls) and the aquarium was the most impressive. ¬†When I saw the name “Ripley’s” ¬†I was afraid it was going to be full of three headed fish but even though it was “that Ripley” it was a normal aquarium. ¬†A really cool, large, fantastic aquarium.

Yup, sharks swim right by your head!

The stereotype is true:  Everyone in Canada was very friendly, crazy polite and super helpful.  Not one surly waitress or impatient cashier. People held doors, cars waited to make right hand turns while we were in the crosswalk and every time my husband screwed up the credit card reader (which was every time he used it) they just laughed and reset it and helped him out. Our condo had this weird (to us) key fob thing that you used to get in the outer lobby door and to use the elevator.  We had an access code to get us in the first time (the key was in the unlocked condo) and that was supposed to magically work the elevator to our floor.  Only a bunch of people were going in and they held the door for us so when we got in the elevator we could not get to our floor.  But a guy in the elevator was going to the floor beneath ours and took us up the one flight of stairs and unlocked the fire door for us.  How nice was that?

The Journey To and From:  Surprisingly smooth.  No delays, no turbulence, no lost luggage.  The only issues we had were with technology.  Passport readers never worked easily for us and when we checked in for our return trip our luggage tags printed but not our boarding passes.  But in typical Canadian style an agent was right there and whisked us over to a computer terminal and got us all set.  I was surprised at how computerized the Customs and Immigration process was and breathed a sigh of relief when we passed through after all the problems we had with the machine reading our passport barcodes (coming and going, sheesh).

The Kindness of Neighbors: ¬†As bad luck will happen our hot water heater had a valve fail from corrosion (we have very hard water here) and spewed three inches of water into the garage. ¬†Our neighbor leaving for work at 6:15a.m. noticed the water coming out under the garage door and shut the water off at the main valve. ¬†He then called his friend who he knew worked with my husband. ¬†From there three of my husband’s co-workers/friends (including the guy who was checking on the pool for us while we were gone) came over and cleared out the garage, set up some floor driers, contacted the hot water heater guy and sent him a picture of the corroded valve so he could order a new one. ¬†We still don’t have hot water but the garage dried out nicely (it helped that is has been 105¬į everyday) and there is no sign of mildew or even a smell. ¬†Whew!

I miss you my friend.

 

And how is your summer going?

Photo Friday

We decided to take advantage of one of the last double digit temperature days and visit the Sonoran Desert Museum. This place has a very diverse range of exhibits and a nice mix of indoor and outdoor displays. There was a decent amount of shade over the outdoor walking areas, critical under the desert sun.

It was siesta time and lots of the animals were sleeping in shady nooks and crannies.  Here is a bobcat snoozing away.

These three Bighorn Sheep were awake.

There is a hummingbird aviary.

Even an aquarium!  Here are some garden eels, kinda creepy.

Keep Your Focus!

(No post next week as I will be on vacation!)