Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Much to be thankful for on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

The orange dahlias and begonias in the back a teaser for showier autumn foliage on its way. Right now the maple is only beginning to redden, only a few fallen laves on the stone.

I'm finalizing the dinner menu: Prime Rib, mushroom gravy, Yorkshire puddings, brussels sprouts with chestnuts. Choosing the wine: a 2007 Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano that has been waiting too many years on the shelf for a special occasion...

Alex and Penny will be joining us for dinner. In a few weeks they will be moving into their first house! I can't believe my son has bought a house in this crazy market. Of course I shared the story of how when we bought this house, it dropped 20% in value before we even moved in. Our town is overdue a market correction, but the two of them have wanted to buy for awhile and jumped in as the prices became a bit more affordable. I am both happy and apprehensive for them, but they are in for the long game.

Long game, indeed. Almost 30 years at this address, house poor for more than half of them, Rob and I taking turns at being unemployed throughout the 90's. Time and meals spent at home together, camping vacations, working hard, making do. If it all came easy, would we have enjoyed things as much?

Now in the autumn of our lives, a harvest of life's pleasures.

Beautiful finish

Over to the island and back again. Overnite the boat was actually heeling in the wind as we were tied tightly at Hanlon's wall.

Sunday morning there were  8 kite surfers flying in the strong winds, graceful sails arcing in the sky. We watched on the beach to the sounds of waves, debating whether to stay another night or go.

The Environment Canada marine map had coloured all the bodies of water red, due to a tropical storm effect. The forecast indicated rain and stronger winds the next day, so although we'd pre-paid at the wall for two nights, we headed back to the club with a credit for next year noted on our account.

The trip back was spectacular, sailing by the jib in the autumn sun with  dazzle on the water. I was more than a bit melancholy, knowing it the last trip of the season.

We docked and stripped the jib and main, laying the white canvas on the grey gravel in the parking lot, tucking the sails away for winter.

A beautiful sunset at the end of the day offered some solace.

Yes, I am thankful for the season but greedy for more!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Full Hunter's Moon - October 2017

Alex and Penny are coming for a mid-week supper tonight and I've been staring at the light in the back garden. Life is good.

September and October have been busy. Courses (Mindfulness Studies and Drawing for People Who Can't Draw), busy with work (SIX events in November).

Still picking up my uke a couple of times a week, and lately playing  Don't Fence Me In.
Love this line in particular:  I want to.... gaze at the moon until I lose my senses...

The moon is full today, 2:41 pm
(Image: Photo by Colin Lane, Manchester)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Yoga Camp!

A weekend get-away with Liz, Anita, Denise and Chris to the Queen Elizabeth Y in Honey Harbour. Nicki was there, too, with a separate group of friends.

A few weekends a year the YMCA welcomes adults. We signed up months ago to the camp, and I'd been looking forward to it but didn't know quite what to expect.

Yes there were yoga classes, but it was just as much about the yoga of connecting with friends, walking on pink rocks, paddling at sunset, meditating at sunrise, trying Qi-Gong, going on nature hikes, eating great food, forest-bathing, swimming, standing on my head on a paddle board and tumbling into the water, trying archery for the first time, singing at a campfire, going kayaking, crafts, lichen-looking, stargazing, birdwatching...

Being a sailor it has been many years since I've spend a summer weekend with such fabulous weather in a cabin on land. So lovely! We stayed in the same bunks the kids would sleep in, narrow beds with plastic mattresses. A trough outside to wash up and brush your teeth, a separate building for toilets, the main cabin for meals.

It sounds funny but I felt busy dawn to dusk. There were scheduled activities throughout the day, with meals served at designated times. No dishes, no cooking!

One sunset we took the war canoe out for a paddle. There must have been twenty of us out for a leisurely tour, enjoying the sound of the water licking the side of the boat and the beautiful colours of the sky.

I love the pink rocks of the Canadian Shield! Sculptured by the wind. Smooth and hard. In the morning we did Qi Gong on the rocks, followed by meditation.

On the nature walks, I couldn't believe people were walking so quickly past the moss and lichen. I had brought a magnifying glass in my pocket so I could see it up close, and even tugged a field microscope along. The microscope went unused but the magnifying glass opened a window to a miniature world.

On the nature hike, I did learn how to recognize the call of a phoebe and got a good view of a millipede. Too short a walk though, and too many people scared away a lot of the creatures. On another walk, they came across a rattler and a hognose snake. There were sightings of porcupine and fox, but not by me.

The weather was unseasonably warm, so I finally got to jump in the lake. I tried standing on my head on a makeshift paddle board - didn't last very long but it's something I've always wanted to try. A few other firsts as well - archery, kayaking.

So much fun! Hope to go again next year with the same group of gals.

Sailing holidays 2017

For so many years we have been sailing east to Waupoos for our holidays, but this year was different. Due to high water levels, some of the eastern reciprocals were unpredictable. So we went West, stopping for a few days at Toronto Island before tugging on mooring balls at Smuggler's Cove, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Lots of great sailing, and plenty of summer storms to keep our eyes turned up to billowing storm clouds. No swimming for me this year, the water was too cold when it was clean and too high with e-coli when it was warm.

Weekend get-aways were often literally just around the corner, admiring the chalky bluffs..

Hope to get in at least one more sail before the end of the season!


First time we ever stayed at Smugglers Cove. The US border was close enough to swim - but the current way too strong. The little clubhouse is actually a trailer on a dock - so charming, and the members welcoming. Wineries and plays at the top of the hill. This year we saw The Madness of King George, and tasted wine at Reif Estates and Two Sisters. A great holiday, only 5 or 6 hours away.
I always admire the Bluffs, but often as we are passing by on our way to somewhere else. High waters meant we felt more confident bringing our keel boat closer to the bottom of the Bluffs, but we also used the dinghy to get closer to explore.  Less than a half hour away from the dock!

It still blows me away, coming into Toronto Harbour at sunset, with the tall glass and metal on one side and a natural green haven on the other. A place like no other.

Stormy weather is always a source of entertainment, especially when safely tucked into our slip. In August we moved to L dock, a whole different view.