Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Abounding Energy........

No, this blog will not be a discussion on quantum physics but rather on the energy I have had this morning.

I am not a slug by any means....I think Ron would vouch for that (he'd better!). It's just one of those days that things had to get done. OK, I did get some incentive from a phone call this morning. It was my niece. She announced that she and her mom (my baby sister) where going to drop by. They wanted to go for a walk with us at the beach . I said sure....that would be great.

That was when the energy kicked into high gear. The place was a mess!!! I swear we live like two bachelors without a care for housework. Maybe I am exaggerating a little but the house needed some serious tidying-up.

I started with the kitchen......dishes etc. Then the vacuuming. Mini tumble- weeds from Sophie since her haircut. Then the bathroom. Amazing how much HUMAN hair is in there!! Sometimes I wonder if we are shedding. And why is it so difficult to wipe it up? Always seems to want to stay behind. There's a fortune to be made in a cloth-like 'rag' to clean up these things.....something they will cling to.

When Ron came in from the garden, he knew that someone was coming.....Jim  had the vacuum out.

Enough. Luckily our house is a small one and it really doesn't take that long to 'sterilize'. Gee, the place smells wonderful and looks very presentable. Not that they will even notice. But we do and like it this way. 

Now, if we had more company then it only stands to reason that the house would be clean all of the time. 

Sophie is excited about the company coming, as she always is. She will wait on her hassock and look out the window for a car to pull into the driveway. Then she'll freak out for a few seconds and proceed to lick them to death.

They haven't  arrived yet but are due in a few minutes. Better get ready for the walk........the sun disappeared again, so we'll have to dress layers.

Three hours later........

The walk was an hour plus..........down the beach and back through the wooded area. My niece hadn't been at this particular beach since she was very young and it used to be a favourite of my sister's.

Sis is a personal trainer and is in very good shape. Every time we meet she will give us  new 'exercise' moves, whether we want them or not. Today's lesson was on incorporating light-weights into a walk or at home.  Actually, I can really use some new ideas.

We all came back to have a snack and some Chai tea. Sophie was exhausted. She curled up in a ball an ignored all the foolishness that was going on.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Showers Day

Getting some long awaited rain today. The garden can really use a good drenching. I've heard predictions that the east coast of Canada will be dry and hot this summer. So, the more rain now the better, I say.

Busy morning for me. It's my day to bring Dad his main meal. So after breakfast I prepared a salmon (with egg sauce), sweet potato, turnip and spinach dinner. I let it cool and pack it in a picnic hamper/basket and off the three of us go (Ron, Sophie and me (Jim)) to my Dad's.

We have been in the garden every day for the past month or so. But today because of the rain Ron couldn't get out and I was getting a meal ready. So a rest from all the winter clean-up and transplanting we have been doing.

We bought my parent's home about 20 years ago. They needed to live closer to town as they were getting up there in years.

My folks liked a front and in back. We didn't. So we began our journey into the gardening world. We had some idea what we wanted (sort of) and proceeded to turn under and over all the lawn on the property. We thought that lawns were too needy and required so much care. Plus, we wanted shrubs, trees, veggie garden, and lots of flowers.

We hit the garden nurseries all over the province and found all sorts of plants that we never heard of. Or should say that I never heard of. Ron knew what he wanted generally.

There was a lot of work to our garden. However, every second out there was worth the sweat and muscle ache. Hours would disappear , and still do. We've learned a lot and enjoy the results through each season.

Our veggie beds have turned into 'nursery' beds for 'sick' plants and shrubs that need some extra care. Besides, all those trees we planted have grown up now and provide too much shade to expect veggies to amount to anything.

Our garden is mostly at a maintenance level now.....with some new plants coming in as older ones die off.  Now we can enjoy it during those warm summer nights on the hammock. Oh, I can't wait!!

So to all you gardeners out there, and wanna-be gardeners, have a great spring.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Follow That Path

Got on the road at about 11 A.M. and headed to the Valley.....Annapolis Valley that is. It's about an hour drive.....100 kms. I drove up and it seemed the time went by very quickly and I kept within the speed limit. Guess we talked all the way there.

We planned to take Sophie for a walk at her one of her favourite places.....along the Gaspereaux Canal. But first we needed some sustenance. The place we like was open. Good food and nice ambiance. It is located in the little town of Wolfville. It is a university town (Acadia University) and the one in which Ron and I met when we were students. Lots of memories here. It is Ron's hometown. We both feel very close to this place and in fact lived here after graduation for a couple of years. More stories for a future blog. 

By this time Sophie was getting really pissed for making her wait in the car while WE ate. So, to the Canal we headed. 

The sun was trying it's damnedest to come out and the temperature was around 12 degrees C. Not bad for a walk. Sophie was in her element all the way down the Canal path. Into the water she flew after her ball...umpteen times.

When we got to the end we stopped and read a placque dedicated to a man who had spent his whole life devising ways to preserve the fish population in natural streams around Nova Scotia.

 We started to head back and Ron saw this path going down into the trees towards a river we could hear from the path. It was well trodden so we figured it would take us somewhere. We didn't know where.

Sophie thought this was super.....a new place to explore!!! Almost immediately when we were amongst the trees, we found this wonderful grove of hemlock trees growing along a river which turned out to be the Gaspereaux River. They were giants (at least by Nova Scotia standards) and probably 100+ years old. Some had fallen and were in a state of decomposition and still they looked huge laying on the ground. 

We walked out to the small river on rocks and pieces of wood. I love the sound   of a river.......constantly flowing.

Sophie thought all this was so good. She kept moving and sniffing everything in sight.

We got back on the path and headed towards where we thought we should be going. It was mucky in places and people had put logs across the more difficult sloppy places to get through without sinking into it.

After about a half hour we came to a clearing which we recognized actually but from a different view-plane. It was a farmer's field that we would normally see from the canal path which was way up a hill. We headed towards the path. For all the times we had walked this Canal, we didn't know that the Hemlock Ravine (which we are calling it ) was there. 

Sophie needed to swim in the Canal several times because she had found a dead something or other and began to rub all over it. Must be the lab in her (no offense lab owners). I threw the ball into the Canal and off she went after it. That should do it.

We were glad to have found this little jewel of a place and will return in the summer.

By the time we got back to the car the sun was out and it was getting warmer. Should be a good drive home for Ron.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Love the Ocean

As you can probably tell from some of the pics on my blogs, we love to be around the ocean. Thus the name of the blog.....Ocean Breezes.

Since Nova Scotia is almost completely surrounded  by water, it doesn't take one too long to get to the matter where you may live here.

As a kid, my younger brothers and a few neighbourhood boys and myself used to head to the very end of the city to spend the day at the park there. Most of Halifax City proper is also mostly surrounded by water.....peninsular Halifax.
So water has become a part of my life.

We went to another 'shore' (South Shore) this week and visited three beaches........Mill Cove Beach, Bayswater Beach and an un-named one in Blandford. Here are a few pics.

Have a great weekend !

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Before and After

Sophie got her hair cut yesterday. It was only the second time for her.

Being a 1st. generation labradoodle, Sophie does shed.....about 30%. So the hair-balls aren't too too bad to deal with. Her hair gets quite long and is wavey. It doesn't get tangled which is blessing.

Her appointment was at noon and we made sure that she was 'walked' beforehand......she would be more relaxed.

So we had a 30 minute walk on the beach then off to the groomers. The groomer said it would take about 2.5 hours.

We headed for Halifax to do a couple of errands and to have lunch. We decided on a vegetarian place we like (we're trying to have one meatless meal a week). Their special was a quinoa chili with corn bread and steamed greens. We were hungry and needed some protein, so we both ordered it. It was great!! Probably the best chili I've ever eaten. Lots of flavour and filling.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the Eastern Shore before the groomer called to say Sophie was ready. Too late! As we were heading over the bridge, she called. I told her we'd be there in about half an hour. And we were.

Sophie was excited to see us and she looked really short with more left on her head because we like it like that. The groomer said that Sophie was an angel.......she loves to be touched and we are all over her all the time!

Ron was outside the back door and Sophie run up to him. Then she spotted the groomer's pond . Off she went into the water to get all that sissy stuff off her. The groomer was not happy (she thought we would freak). I reassured her that it didn't matter to us at all. It was only water and clean at that.... due to some recent rain. And since Sophie didn't have any hair left anyway, what the hell ! We are so used to her finding anything wet to swim or roll in that we hardly notice.

There, Sophie felt better now.....more doggy-like.

Today we headed to the it wasn't raining like it did yesterday. Here are a few pics.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

" It's An Orange Popsicle World We Live In........."

This weekend has been pretty gloomy weather-wise. But that didn't stop us from getting outside and doing our daily hike at one of the beaches around here. And besides, our dog, Sophie, needs plenty of exercise too.

Saturday we headed to P.P. Park (Point Pleasant) is Sophie's favourite place to socialize with others of her kind. Actually, we like it too. A chance to talk 'dog talk' to fellow dog owners. The whole Park is an 'off leash' one, except for the perimeter which goes along the harbour. So there is lots of room to roam for both human and mutt.

We met up with another labradoodle. It was gray and black and a lot smaller than Sophie.......they were the same age (three years). Sophie, we have realized, is a 'big-boned girl'. They had a ball together.....playing off each other in a similar fashion.......or should I say bouncing off each other! Around the corner she found a little 'poodle mix' and tolerated it 'deep-throating' her ......till she finally 'told' it to lay off.

Today we were on the hunt for a fold-up blind for the kitchen window. We had our game-plan and off we went to a number of stores. Lots of blinds but none that were suitable or would is a custom window we had put in a few years ago. Anyway, no luck today.

So off to the beach with Sophie. She was getting quite annoyed with us for leaving her in the car. She let us know this by tearing up an empty Starbucks paper coffee cup. We got the message.

Even though it was overcast, Ron, my husband, thought he would put on his sun glasses for overcast weather (bright orange lenses). I guess it makes everything POP and look very clear. So he, being his normal positive self, began to sing a song that started : " It's an orange popsicle world we live in.....". There it was.... raining and he was driving, but he wasn't going to let it get the best of him. I really like this about him. Most of the time he is light hearted and cheery. (Yes, some mornings it can get to me till I am fully awake).

Anyway, was raining 'cats and dogs', so we had to make one more stop at home to get on our rain gear. It was only 2 degrees at the beach but not too much it wasn't that bad. It was low tide and there was some beach left on which to walk.

Sophie looked like she had restored faith in us. She bounded onto the beach. She did a '180' to see where we were and got into position for the first ball throw. She was happy. So were we.

Without sounding too, too syrupy, I learned today, or at least it became very obvious to me, that one can enjoy the moment regardless of what's going on around you. Or, to put it another way, why not find a reason to be content with what the day is presenting......instead of putting a negative spin on it. Even if the day is evolving into a lousy one, don't make it worse by adding to it. Put on those 'orange popsicle lenses' and enjoy the view from best you can.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meditating on the Past Weekend

Still a little groggy from a weekend of Qi Gong meditation. Yesterday was worse....very emotional and spacey.

Up at 7 A.M. on Saturday.Got breakfast, fed the dog, said goodbye to my buddy and off I went to Halifax (about 30 minutes from here). The workshop was being held in a massage therapy school and I didn't know what to expect. I also figured I wouldn't know anybody......we live a pretty insular life here on the coast.

Was the first one there. I registered and got a good seat upfront. I know how easily I get distracted with people, what they have on, what they are saying etc. etc. So I was ready for the unknown!
People started to arrive and sure enough I didn't know anybody except for my massage therapist who told me about this workshop. I said hi to him and he asked where my husband was. I told him that he had a bad week with a flu/cold and was not up for this one.
Just as people were filling the chairs and the first session was about to start, a woman came towards me to the empty chair next to me. At first I didn't recognize her. Then I did. She was a teacher with whom I had worked a couple years ago. I liked her then because she was a little 'quirky' and we would talk about things in which we both had an interest. She was there because of her serious migraine issues and was looking for some kind of relief. We had to stop talking because the workshop was about to begin. I was glad she was there.....could relax a little.
Our 'teacher' for the weekend was a young woman who had spent time in Malaysia learning the technique and philosophy of this particular form of meditation. She was a sweetheart!

The main purpose of meditating, she said, was to 'empty out' all the accumulated karma in our minds. That way we were creating more space, uncluttered space, by which to live and enjoy life.... unimpeded by past thoughts (karma) and experiences. I'm not sure what I thought karma was, but this put a different light on it.
This sounded just empty out the mind. But we were all to realize that it could be a difficult and strenuous task. There were experienced practitioners attending who would help us along the way.

We meditated for half hour intervals in a number of different positions........seated, standing, walking and a variety if continuous, repetitive movements.

We were encouraged to focus on whatever 'point' in our body was touching the ground/floor and to keep our minds on that point for as long as we could. Of course, this varied amongst us. Sometimes I was lucky to focus for a minute or two. Then my mind would wander to lunch time or some other memory or thought. That's's human to do this. So back to the 'point' I went for a couple more minutes. We did this for two days.
I know what some would ask : Why would you put yourself through this physical and mental exercise? Well, the simple answer is to learn to relax in the PRESENT moment and to not be so preoccupied with the past and the future. This creates 'space' in your mind and it's this 'space' that enables us to cope with the 'suffering' (anger, rage, death, illness, etc.) that life throws our way continually from the day we were born. It's the normal human condition..... ever since we evolved into a 'self-conscious' being.

Dogs do not accumulate garbage in their heads....actually they'd eat it! Animals live in the present all the time. Sometimes I'd love to be a dog.

Not to belabour this........but back to meditating for a second. We were encouraged to be very vocal during our meditating. Let whatever wants to 'come out' that surfaces, come it sounds, words, nonsense words, whatever. Move as much as you feel you must.

Well, I was soon to become quite surprised at the 'releases' we were about to hear and see. Of course, we were to ignore all this and return to our 'point' and focus. I do not mean to sound glib's just that I was astonished at what people had to 'release' AND were not in the least bit embarrassed to do so. I managed to move a bit and sway from side to side but dared not allow a sound to pop out.

At the end of the first day, I felt that I was either totally 'empty' or so plugged up that nothing was able to move out of me! My friend felt the same way.

I have been 'sitting' (meditating) for a number of years now but had not done so using this style. That was why I attended. It was so different from sitting very quietly and being 'still'.

Day two was much the same as day one, but we were encouraged to be more spontaneous and not to judge other people's releases. I moved around a lot more but was quiet. Funny how some people, ME, cannot let go in public. I have to feel very safe before such a display of emotions.

We were told that this coming week may be difficult for some, due to the 'stirring' of feelings and emotions that may have surfaced. Actually, by the end of day two, I felt very invigorated and ready to 'face the world'. I did feel that I had allowed a little, teeny weeny area of space to be created....I felt good!

Monday morning......I was very tired physically and thought I felt quite relaxed. Until my partner said something that hit me the wrong way. That was it!! I melted on the spot! I became very 'down' about everything in my life. I even thought of my Mom who had died three years ago and became very grief-stricken for her.This lasted for about an hour. My poor husband didn't know what hit him. He was very apologetic for 'starting' this whole thing.

When I 'came out of it', I told him it wasn't his (the reaction I had) was probably due to a number of emotions that had surfaced over the weekend. I reassured him that I was going to be fine...... I was, but a little tired out nonetheless.
Sounds like a difficult weekend. It wasn't. It was a positive experience with people who were very receptive and in touch with their feelings.....even though some of their antics were hilarious!

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