Vermont Xmas trees in Brooklyn

Over 32,000 people live in the Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens (names after Captain Carroll who is one of the signatures on the Declaration of Independence) area.
Now that figure might be off somewhat but I read it off the chalkboard of a local bagel shop today. And that must explain why there are so many tree offerings. So many people lack cars and this makes a perfect seasonal business that is offered up.

In front of churches, convenience stores, deli shops and school yards, vendors have set up their stalls to sell their trees, wreaths, bows, and, in some cases, maple syrup.
The scent of pines, cedars and firs fill the air, teasing my nose and flooding my memory with past holiday celebrations. The tree that BC picked up was from Vermont. They were selling them outside a church near Baltic and Henry. I don’t know the name of the church but I learnt that during an August summer lighting storm that some pieces had become loose.  One of the stones fell onto a man passing by who fell, got up a little stunned and continued home only to die shortly afterwards. Very sad.

Wasting time in my hotel room

Wasting time in my hotel room

I am amazed by how small little actions can waste so much time when I check into a hotel room. It’s October 24 and I checked into the Atrium hotel in Irvine, California. I selected a hotel close to the airport, with a reasonable room rate i.e. less than $125 including taxes, and would be simple for my co-worker to find in the morning. I guess I’ll find out how simple it is tomorrow.

Meantime I checked into my room, wash my hands, use the bathroom – not necessarily in that order. I then checked out the shampoos and soaps that were offered up and debate if I would take them or not. I usually find that I end up with so many small plastic bottles of soaps and shampoos at home that I have to get my head a shake and remind myself not to be so wasteful. Sometimes I’ll give it to a women’s shelter or equivalent but that also takes time and work to find those groups. Then I checked out the balcony view – I overlook the pool area — the palm trees are just so lovely to see coming in from Canada. The trees are highlighted from below by multicolored lights. It looks very pretty. I thought of going downstairs for a wine or beer, but do I really need one? Instead I made myself a cup of Jasmine tea with a teabag that I took from the Red Carpet lounge at the San Francisco airport this afternoon. Numi tea. I’m hoping it is going to relax me. 

I opened up my luggage to find a notice that my bag had been checked, even though it looks like nothing had been disturbed. I then poured everything out of my purse on the bed looking for a business card that I had misplaced.  Next, I  had to sweep all the crumbs off the bed from the cookies that I had slipped into my bag earlier. Then I discovered that a small bottle essential oil peppermint that I was carrying had melted and, luckily for me, I had put it into a plastic bag since the airport security person told me I had to. A blessing in disguise. Another five minutes cleaning off the essential oil from the other miscellaneous items that were in that bag.

I checked my text messages, responded to the ones that were more urgent, set my alarm for tomorrow morning, decided what I was going to wear in the AM, turned on my computer, and arrange my newspapers, and continued to find ways to dillydally away a good half-hour.

The next hotel that I check into I’m going to make a better effort to be more efficient in my movements. I could have easily used a half an hour to do sit-ups, to write a blog post, or meditate. 

Post by email works for Blogger but not WordPress

I love the internet but only when it works. Right now I have been trying to send updates to my site via email. I generated the secret email address and all the rest of that. But no success. Funny enough blogger works perfect right now using email posting.Tried wordpress help but frankly I don’t want to spent an hour looking for the solution. So if you want to see my last post go here:  ottawa chick

No Room, thanks

The title of this post No Room, thanks amuses me since it could refer to a traveller looking for a room. Or in this case it could be someone advising the counter person that they need No Room for cream or milk.

It was just a snippet of conversation I overheard. I was banging away on my keyboard at T.A.N, a coffee roaster in Ottawa in Sandy Hill.

At least I think it is Sandy Hill. That sounds odd I know but doesn’t it ever happen to you? You are somewhere you really enjoy being but you really don’t know where you are. So if I were to tell you where I was I would tell you the landmarks around me – it might be the red building two doors in from the corner or the stone church on the corner or a painted piece of graffiti on the wall.

The other day I stopped at a food market, at a quick glance it looked like Bosley’s Fruit shop – my mind was making mind connections to Charlie’s Angels I suppose – in reality it was Bousleys Fruit Shop.

At least I know that I can mess up words and letters and that I often have to make other types of connections. It takes longer for me to write as I need to go back and check if my facts are straight. Or I just write what I remember.

After all isn’t life about what we remember versus what is true?

BIG! Raises Over $15,000 for Alzheimer’s Research

Can you image that I actually went on long trek up Mt. Gardner through forest and rain without my camera?

I can’t share with you the visuals of the day but what a successful morning it was. It rained but dozens of us climbed over rocks, up steep inclines, through puddles and muddy patches and made it to the top. Along the way there were pretty signs with purple ribbons that sounded so encouraging – at first. By the time I saw my third or fourth sign that said “you are almost there” or “this was the steepest part of the trail”, I was getting ready to find the signmaker and give her a piece of my mind. One bright point – the volunteer committee had made dozens of cookies that were available to all at the top. I lasted long enough to imagine the view (it was rather socked in with clouds) and then headed down as the chill started to sink into my bones. It was a great hike and I like the fact that the money was going to a very specific research project at UBC. Stan, Nicki’s dad, would be very proud of what she accomplished in being one of the key persons to pull this event off. Other hard working Board members included Barbara Wiltshire, Jen Hall, Tim Hausch, Nicola Murray (Nicki), Jeff Kellner, Karen Redmond, Lisa Holleman, and Carol Petersen

Not only did the BIG group surpass their goal of $10,000 but they had a fabulous after-party at the Legion.

The Rolling Stallones, Grand National Ron VanDyke, Peter Robinson had the 150 people in that room working up a sweat, dancing up a storm and just adding to their energy levels (even after that grueling hike that I didn’t get a single photo of – did I mention that already?). It is a few days later and I can still feel the impact on my muscles – but they are happy feelings – glad to be used.

Below is a link to more images from the evening by Candice Albach.

And a link to the hike should you want to do it on a clear, sunny day or

Canada Day on Bowen Island

We were so lucky to have a few hours of sunshine as we celebrated Canada Day on Bowen Island.

The lack of motivation

Every day it seems that I need to dig deep to find my motivation. I’m not sure why I face this lack of desire so often. Maybe it is because I don’t like change. Perhaps its the age I’m at or maybe my hormones are controlling me. Or perhaps I’m concerned about how I need to act or perform or be for others when really I just want to be myself. Could it be something that I ate? I often ask myself this question but I don’t seem to find the answer.

For instance I know that in a few hours I will be going to my bootcamp class. It starts at 5:30 PM, and, if I’m lucky, I will get out the door between 5:30 PM and 5:40 PM.

Once I’m in class all is good – I enjoy the workout and I leave pleased that I battled the bulge.  Now I rather be at the EAT! Vancouver showcase but that just adds to the rolls – but I recognize that. That isn’t – that is just the desire to be at another event.

I try the different tricks – Continue reading