Saturday, August 27, 2016

her fading green glory

Standing at the top of the road to summer I could see the days wind around the calendar like golden stones on Dorothy's yellow brick road. I had to flip the page twice to see the end, which was not the Emerald City but a Russet and Orange blaze before winter. It seemed like an eternity would pass. Now the last few days till September countdown and I wonder where the time went.

Our summer started off with the Titanium Rally in Niagara Falls. Soon after that we were entertaining Merikay and Craig, full-timers from the states. Shenna's arrival from NZ was next, and the week following that Kirsten and Nissa arrived. Days of family fun preceded at tearful goodbye. Which was followed by a tearful hello when they returned for Kenda's funeral. Another tearful goodbye. Bruce & Tina here for a night, a night at Ruth & John's cottage, and numerous other dinners and events that don't immediately come to mind brings us to today: one of the last few golden bricks until the calendar rolls over to September.

It is 30C but there is an underlying cool breeze. It FEELS different from a 30C day in July. Maybe it is the light which is more golden, or the 'hey, how could there be a cold wind when the thermometer reads 30", or maybe it is all in my head because I know that it is August 27.

I got some new luggage! I won't be able to use the larger suitcase as it is too big for the Virgin Australia leg, so I have the mid-sized one laid out on the table with a trial set of clothes in it. I will have to be a bit careful with what I pack, but I should squeeze all my stuff in. There is also a matching carry on that meets the size criteria with room to spare. Carm jokes that I'll pack and repack dozens of times, but I'm pretty sure it will only be 1/2 dozen - not including this trial of course.

I'm determined to be able to climb the hills with Kirsten and the girls this January when I'm in NZ, and I wouldn't mind fitting into a few of the things I took with me last time so the treadmill has become my friend again. When I've been too tired or some other such excuse, I recall the Olympic athletes and their physical exertions. Surely I can make my tiny treadmill effort. I not only can - I WILL. I think the biggest part of turning diet and exercise around is mental so I'm going to focus on a good attitude.

Breaking away from healthy eating, last week we went with Trudie & Leo to visit a new brewery in a nearby town. It's in a spacious converted fire hall, which gives it a loud echo. We got a sampler which gave us a taste of 4 different beers. Each one was good, but our favorites were two IPAs. Supper was 1/2 a panini with a salad - they don't have a full on kitchen, just a counter with a few griddlers. Next time I might chose the platter w cheese & meats (although that is so far from vegan as to be ridiculous).

I had another break away at Trudie & Leo's when we were included for dinner and to meet other friends of theirs. It was a lovely evening and we were able to enjoy it outside in the garden.

Today I enjoy the cicadas - there is one in the tree that abuts the deck. Its competitors are in the trees surrounding the house. It is the quintessential sound of August.

"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."
~Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown

Monday, August 22, 2016

a day at the lake

I've been away from my keyboard for a couple of days and for very good reasons :-)  After almost a year, we finally got together with Ruth and John for a wonderful day and night at their lakeside home. It was sweltering for some, namely Carm and John who were out on the links, while Ruth and I were comfortable on the porch. A breeze from the lake refreshed us (well… and so did some of the refreshments). I kept a light sweater on for most of the day.

The boys returned triumphant from their golf game, recounting every stroke and divot. They were hot and sweaty so we all struggled into our suits and stumbled over the rocks on the shore to get into the lake. Ahhh. What is it about swimming that is so wonderful? even if there was a bit of seaweed thrashing me as it rode on the waves that threatened to splash into my mouth

Grace had a fine time outside visiting with her cousins Cato & Bailey. The dogs stayed home with Pat for their first overnight with her.

Ruth made us a fine supper, (my measly contribution was a tomato salad), and we lingered into the night. Finally the fluffy white pillow on my assigned bed called to me so loudly that I succumbed.

We left after breakfast and got home 1 1/2 hours later - the standard time from door to door. We had a brief relax and then drove into the city so I could visit my brother, Olaf, and Carm could see his mother. Quick visits all around and we were driving in the rain to come back home. But our day wasn't over yet.

Pat, the pet sitter, came by to pick up the money I had forgotten to leave her. She had left us two beer from a local craft brewery so we had a taste testing together. It was great to get to know her better. Spike spent part of the visit glued to my feet and panting hard. I guess he thought we were going away again. We'll have to have her over here a few times before our next outing so the dogs get used to the idea that we don't always go away when Pat visits.

I can't believe I didn't take any photos. I've got to make myself carry my 'big' camera around as it is easier to set down and take a timer photo with all of us in the shot.

"Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another
'What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .'”   ~C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 15, 2016

golden crown

Yesterday morning the air was fresh with the scent of freshly washed grass. It had warmed up tremendously from Saturday, causing the moisture to rise from the earth, making the air soft to the touch. It was still slightly cool, but the promise of a warmer day was in the air. This was a far cry from the dusty smell of dormant grass that has hung in the air for weeks.

Today September is in the air. The sky is dotted with fluffy dumplings floating on its blue surface. The air is warm with an underlying hint of cool, as if winter has sent a tendril down from the North. It isn't a languid day where I am limp in the humidity, but one of calm enjoyment. There is something about the clear late August and September air that I love. The cicadas and crickets hum, a reminder that summer is still here.

It was warm enough to dip into the pool after my sweaty time on the treadmill this afternoon. The water has dropped from a comfortable 82F to a refreshing 75F. It didn't take long for my limbs to cool down. I floated on my back, eyes squinted shut against the bright sun. Ahhh. This is the life.

We watched the men's 100m race last night. Usain Bolt is impressive. At almost 6'5" and roiling with muscles he is a treat for the eyes. It was nice to see the young Canadian earn a Bronze.

(Note to self: we got haircuts today - a close inspection of the cut bits showed a 50% divide between grey and gold)

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
   Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
   Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."
~Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown