All the miscellaneous bits and pieces

Dear Vi,

Today I sent out another query letter for Holding Space. That makes nine. Out of the nine, I’ve received two rejections and one request for a Full. That means the agent liked the query enough to want to read the full manuscript. That’s pretty exciting. Even if she decides it isn’t for her, it’s a huge boost to my writerly self esteem.

And I’ve got a short story out on submission, but I won’t hear for awhile yet.

Meanwhile, I’m working on two new manuscripts. This is a bit discombobulating –  I need to settle into one. Instead, I dither, going back and forth, unable to totally immerse myself in either.

I’ve been busy in other areas, too: I’ve got one quilt ready for binding and another one sandwiched and ready for quilting, and socks on one set of needles and a sweater on another set. Lots of busy going on in that area, as evidenced by the gawd awful mess of knitting and hand sewing paraphernalia next to my side of the couch.

And then, as if things weren’t messy enough,  I decided that most of the pieces of clothing I’ve made up to now are not acceptable. They looked good in the initial trying on, but once I started actually wearing them – out in public, like – their flaws started showing up. Three dresses have been tossed into the recycle bin. There’s enough fabric in the skirts to use as a muslin for a couple of tops I want to make. It’s all a learning process.

Sam and I have really been enjoying the autumn colours this year. Somehow, they seem even more vivid than usual.

What about you? Anything interesting to report?

A walk on a sunny October day

Dear Vi,

It was so pretty this afternoon, I just had to take Sam out for a walk. Actually, it was Sam who took me.

I was happily basting a quilt, head down, paying no attention at all to leaves blowing over the lawn, sunshine streaming through the windows and bouncing rainbows around the room.

Sam waiting not so patiently by the door

But Sam grumbled and barked and grumbled and barked until I finally gave in.

We walked through the forest, down a country road, past a horse in the field and a wild apple tree whose branches were busting under the weight of hundreds of little red apples. The sides of the road were covered in blue wildflowers – the kind that will turn to stickers as soon as their blossoms drop. I’ll hate them later, but right now they’re stunning.

Sam is not cooperating

I wanted to take a picture of Sam sitting with the flowers. It seemed like the perfect photo opportunity. There I was, squatting on the side of the road, juggling the leash and the camera phone and trying to cajole Sam into smiling (or at least looking interested)…

Yeah, right.After I gave up, we walked back along the beach, where the water level has dropped but the sand hasn’t dried out enough to walk out very far without getting muddy.

Sam loves getting muddy.

And then we came home and had some lunch.

Have you taken a walk today?

A frosty morning walk

It is such a joy to wake up and see the sun shining! Sam and I decided to go for an early walk.

img_0134.jpegI can’t go for very long because my fasciitis is back. Argh! But I do the best that I can, and this morning the pull was irresistible.

img_0139.jpegThere are so many things to look at!

img_0142.jpegI’ll bet this abandoned little house has some stories to tell..img_0137.jpeg

A garden waiting for spring. Don’t you wish you could walk through that gate and step right into summer?img_0156.jpegI hope Saturday is treating you well!img_0149.jpeg

 

Four things to build Momentum in 2015

Do you choose a word to guide you for the year?

Last year I chose the word Play. You can read about it here (and there are also some great family photos on that post, too!) It was the perfect word for my first year of retirement.

But now it’s time to switch things up. I’ve thought about it a lot and the word that keeps popping into my head is Momentum.

Driving Power…Strength…to (continue) Moving Forward…to Repeat Recent Success.  I’ve felt stagnant lately. Bored, even. Recognizing signs of depression hovering around the atmosphere, like little dull grey sparkles just inside my peripheral vision.

Time to start moving forward again….build up some Momentum!

There are four areas I’ve identified that need some work. That need some momentum.

  1. Writing: I wrote over 50,000 words last November during NaNoWriMo and then totally let it fall to the side.
    What I’m doing about it: I’ve joined a writing critique group. In fact, I have someone’s first three chapters on my laptop waiting for my own comments right now! Wow! Now, not only does this give me serious aakk! moments but it also gives me incentive to keep on writing. In fact, my goal for today is to get a chapter ready to send around for a look-see. I’d like to send it out this afternoon. And a bonus is that it reminds me that I am capable and competent – something I have struggled with this first year of retirement.
  2. That number on the scale: I gained 15 pounds. Yup. In one year. You’ve heard of the Freshman 15, right? Bet you hadn’t heard of the retirement 15, l0l! Eee Gads. How embarrassing to have to admit this out loud.  Several years ago I lost 65 pounds with Weight Watchers. Read about it here. Then Weight Watchers changed from the Momentum plan to the “new” Points Plus plan. The new plan just didn’t work for me, and my weight crept up until I had re-gained 15 pounds.Over the next 4 years I started and quit weight watchers three times.  Finally it sunk in. The new plan just doesn’t work for me. At all.
    What I’m doing about it: I’ve dug out my old weight watcher’s momentum plan stuff. I’m going back to what worked for me the first time before any more damage is done. Did you do the math? Yup…15 + 15 = 30 pounds “found.” I remember my friend Judy saying that she wasn’t loosing weight, she was getting rid of it because she didn’t want to find it again. Right on, Judy! Does this put me in the same category as all the other people who vow to loose weight and get fit in the new year. I suppose so, but I don’t care. What I care about is regaining that feeling of good health that I enjoyed up till recently. So YAY for the old Momentum plan. It worked for me before and so far it’s working for me again as I am already down 4 pounds in the first two weeks. And I’m having fun! Just like I did before.
  3. Fitness: My fitness plans went sideways, and I’m not sure why. I’d been doing a fair bit of walking…Sammy and I have covered quite a bit of ground over the year, and I’m really pleased about it. But I’ve also been doing a fair bit of sitting, what with all the sewing and quilting and book-reading I’ve been doing. I really missed my treadmill this winter when the weather hasn’t been cooperative for going out.
    What I’m doing about it: we moved my treadmill out of storage in the garage where it has resided since we moved in last year and set it up in the sewing room. Yup. My little 99 square-foot sewing room just got a little bit smaller, lol! And better yet, I’ve built a little desk for my laptop, so that I can move while I write.
    046Yup! and the little pink balls you see there weigh a couple of pounds each, perfect for a few overhead presses while I’m thinking or watching an episode of SG-1 on DVD. How’s that for two birds with one stone, eh?
    045It isn’t hard…I haven’t fallen off once. In fact, I’ve spent 68 minutes writing this post  at the low low setting of 1.2 mph and have walked 1.35 miles. That’s over a mile on my feet instead of on my butt! Awesome!
  4. Social: I often feel isolated and lonely.
    What I’m dong about it: Not 100% sure yet, but things are going to change. I’ve gone to a second quilter’s group and may join – though I am deathly afraid of becoming an old lady who does nothing but quilt. I am thinking of maybe joining a line dance class or something active and fun like that. Even teach a dance class, maybe? Tomorrow night I’m going to attend a meeting at the Sunnybrae Community Hall down the street from us and see if I want to get involved there in some capacity. The important thing is that getting more involved is on my radar and this will be the year to do something about it. I need to make a life for myself outside of being home alone all the time.

So there you go. Four things to build some momentum on. Four things to move me forward. AND a plan to help me do so.

And did you notice that sewing and quilting didn’t even make the list? That’s because there isn’t anything at all wrong or lacking in that area. I aim to continue learning and growing and playing with needle and thread.

Do you have a plan for the year? and seriously…what do you think of my walking desk? too cool, right?

what early retirement means to me

“You think you can. You think you can’t. Either way you’re right.”

I came upon this quote on Tamara Reddy’s blog, Early Retirement Journey and it jumped right off the page at me. I’ve been feeling some trepidation lately…worries that the small budget we’ve set for ourselves won’t be adequate, worried that I will be bored, worried that I won’t make new friends. People keep asking me what I plan to do in my retirement, which sends me into a bit of a panic because I haven’t been able to formulate a coherent answer.

But today I feel good, and I’m reminding myself that these are normal fears for someone who is making such a big change – leaving my daily routine, moving to a new part of the country and all that that entails. I would have to be crazy if I didn’t feel nervous about it! Phew! I’m okay! I’m normal!

And I know that it will be okay because, really, it is only my circumstances that are changing, not my attitude. I have always lived a big life, and now I will have the time to explore and enjoy the things I love to do even more…live even bigger!

What do I plan to do with my retirement? Well, I am a healthy 52 year old woman and my husband is a healthy 55 year old man and we both look forward to being active together. We both enjoy walking with the dog, and look forward to living in a climate where we will be able to do these family walks most of the year ’round.

We don’t do much hiking these days because of time constraints, but when we spent a month in Australia a couple of years ago we went hiking almost every day, and we hiked into places that I had no idea I was physically capable of going. And I loved it!  Both of us are looking forward to throwing the camper on and driving into nearby provincial & national parks to check out the trails. I’ll start off slow and train up to the steep hikes, getting stronger and fitter with every outing. And then there are our bicycles, and believe me we have plans for using those!

I love yoga and Pilates, and I’ve included classes into the budget. I figure I can meet some new friends this way, too.

And as you read in my last post, I would like to do some teaching or coaching in the local dance community (assuming they’ll have me, of course!)

I also look forward to having time to write, and get involved in a writer’s group. In fact, I’m taking another creative writing course right now and loving it.

I would like to do some volunteer work as well, and I’m interested in working with children. Maybe I could be part of a food-for-learning program and help prepare & serve breakfasts in the schools. I’m sure the volunteer possibilities are endless.

And music, of course. We will definitely be involved in music – I almost don’t even need to mention that one, it’s so obvious!

I haven’t even mentioned my love of handwork, and you know that knitting and quilting are going to be high on my list.

I  am going to have a fabulous garden, including fruit trees (apples, cherries, plums anyone?)

I want to experiment in the kitchen and make interesting meals together with my husband, and share those meals with new friends. I look forward to reading a good book from cover to cover. And if I want to do something I will, and if I don’t want to do something, I won’t.

Whatever I end up doing, it will include participating in my new community. And, hopefully, I will make a positive contribution.

And if we get homesick for  the Yukon, we can drive the truck & camper up whenever we want and stay for as long as we like.  The cabin at Fox Lake will be there waiting for us.

I am falling in love with the endless possibilities.

Walking in Whitehorse: the Millennium Trail

Take a walk with me today!

The Millennium Trail is my favourite Whitehorse walk. Starting at the S.S. Klondike, it follows the Yukon River in a 5 km loop, crossing the river at the Whitehorse Dam. It takes about an hour to walk the dog, depending on how active the “pee-mail” message boards are. 🙂

If you’re reading this on your tablet, you will need to go directly to the website to see the slide show as movies don’t seem to work on tablets or phones.

Music by The Big Band (and you can clearly hear me on bari sax, lol!) Enjoy!

Linking up with Lily’s Quilts Small Blog Meet

Spring!

I didn’t have to go to work today! It was such a beautiful morning that I decided to take a walk and get my errands done early. Samson and I walked the river loop at about 9:30 in the morning. It was about 0 degrees, so everything was crisp and frosty. I love it when the sun is warm on your shoulders and the air is chilly on your skin at the same time. I love it when the ground is slightly crunchy before it’s warmed up enough to soften. Spring is definitely here! The seagulls are back on the river, screeching and squawking. Walking along, I heard an especially loud ruckus start up in the gull population. I turned around just in time to see a bald eagle fly about 20 feet over my head, chased by a half-dozen of the afore-mentioned squawking flock. Further on, I found my first crocus flowers blooming on the river edge, and Sammy and I had to stop and smell the air when we got our first whiff of warm dirt and sap. Robins are singing, leaf buds are swelling and the snow is melting. Oh, happy day!

I didn’t have my camera with me, so I took some pictures of the yard when I got home instead. Here is what spring looks like at my house today:

 

Here is the rhubarb just starting to peek out of the ground. And brave early poppies sprouting, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Spring to you!