This Too Shall Pass


This summer, the lawns and gardens have been very parched and even a bit crispy in spots. Many people, of course, grumbled about it, while others simply pulled out the watering hoses and listened to the sighs of relief from the roots. I actually did neither, figuring that this too would pass. And so it did. Then for a few weeks, off and on, we had more than enough rain to make up for the previous lack.

But one thing has stood out to me. The dominoes have had an impact. This morning I was actually able to walk through the woods–about 15 minutes–with not one mosquito bite!

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Clearing Out the Clutter

On this morning’s walk, I started listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and can’t wait to get started with this new challenge! It all makes perfect sense and sounds almost easy–almost.

From what I’ve learned so far, tidying supposedly involves a simple decision: Discard the item or keep it and then find a place for it.

Among other things, I understand that to avoid failure, we should adopt the following:

  • Plan to tidy once, in one big process, not in stages, a little every day forever.
  • Work with categories, not locations.
  • Discard before you start tidying.
  • Focusing on how and where to store items is a recipe for  hoarding.
  • It is better to consciously decide what to keep, rather than to decide what to discard.
  • Aim for perfection.
  • Do it in silence.
  • Don’t let your family see what you discard.

Because I am really, really busy with life, I probably should actually add this project/activity to my schedule.

Because I share a home with someone who will almost certainly disagree with my choices, I will have to wait for the right occasion to start this.

Hmmm? Is that procrastination? Am I ready for this?

I’ll keep you informed of my progress.



Posted in Changes, Choices, Life, Recycling | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

So Many Benefits From Such a Small Investment



I knew I would get my money’s worth, but little did I know I would get it in spades!

Find out what I bought.

Posted in Feelings, Reflections & Personal Perspectives, Fun, Memories, Music, Reflections & Personal Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Daily Delight for the Five Senses

This belongs here too, I think.

AJ's Classroom

Who: I and my 82-year-old companion

What:  walk 5 km

When: 7 a.m.

Where: the perimeter of our community

Why: for mental and physical well-being

How: briskly with lots of communication

Bonus: All of our senses are stimulated.

Yes, it’s true. Not only do we feel and smell the newborn morning air, and see the changes in Mother Nature’s palette, but we also read each other and communicate with a glance.

This kind of bond is founded on mutual respect, and it works beautifully because we never judge or try to control each other with corrections or criticism or evaluation of the reality of the other. We don’t fill our 45 minutes with telling each other what to do or think or feel, nor how to dress or act or speak. We simply welcome and share personal experiences, perceptions, opinions and feelings . We simply listen and hear and touch each other with our…

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A Trick to Treat You With

A Trick to Treat You With

A Trick to Treat You With

Oh, my! How we have changed!

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Old Teachers Never … Stop Teaching

AJ's Classroom

P1330048 (1)

I’m curious about what inspires my need to teach.

Truly there is a force that compels me to take the information I process and share it with those I love. And it is not simply caring and sharing, but rather explaining, and rewording, and listening, and answering questions.

Truth be told, it also involves studying. Yes, “teaching is learning” and “re-teaching is re-learning.”

What I’m teaching these days is what I’ve learned–and unlearned–over the last five or more years about health and diets and drugs; I find it truly as fascinating as I did when I first learned it. Indeed, the rewording of what I understand is still rewarding–mostly because my 82-year-old student is as attentive and curious and as keen to learn as I am to teach.

The bonus is that our classroom is our daily five kilometre route at 8:00 in the morning.

Who could ask for more?

For the curious out there…

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Nothing is More Important

This deserves to be reposted. What a great writer and person!

Ben Hewitt


This morning the air feels thick and settled, and when I walked down the field to feed and water the meat birds, I could barely discern the cows through the haze. They rose clumsily upon my arrival, lumbering forms in the half-light, heading for the well-trod path that connects field and barn. They know the routine.

It has been more than five years since I started writing in this space. For at least the last two of those years, I have understood that someday the nature of my work here would change. That day has arrived.

There are many reasons I have decided to stop posting regularly, but chief among them is the sense that, in ways I have yet to fully understand but nonetheless know to be true, it is undermining my sense of personal integrity.

I have long believed that this medium cultivates and even encourages two-dimensional relationships…

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Striking the Right Chord

Reposted from Thrift Shops for Nova West Island


Accordion: a portable musical instrument with metal reeds that are blown by bellows and played by means of keys and buttons.

Accord:  an agreement or reconciliation.

Chord: a group of notes sounded together, as a basis of harmony.

Chording: playing, singing or arranging notes in chords.

Striking the right chordappealing to or arousing a particular emotion in others.

Common chord: the wonderful story below.

Tom volunteers at the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. With integrity, and to the best of his ability, he helps to ensure that donated items are collected, repaired, prepared and sold at a fair price. As a Social Impact Organization, we believe that the selling price must be fair to both the customer and the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. Otherwise we would be doing a disservice to our valued and generous donors, without whom we would not exist.

Like most volunteers, Tom is also a customer, and is happy to buy his treasures at the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. What you may not know is that, like all volunteers, he is not permitted to buy items until they are priced and on display for the public. Tom also pays the same price as all other customers. That’s only fair, right? This is especially true during half-price sales: volunteers must wait until the doors open for business before they are allowed to buy at fifty percent off. After all, why should Tom have special privileges to “steal away your treasures”?

Recently, a generous donor delivered a fabulous accordion to the Ste. Anne de Bellevue thrift shop. We were overjoyed and priced the wonderful instrument at five hundred dollars–truly a fraction of its value.

One Sunday in May, an elderly gentleman who had learned to play the accordion as a teenager, saw the treasure in our shop and graciously played us some tunes. What a treat–for us and for him! He knew the quality and value of the instrument and decided he would like to have it. He also wisely calculated that if he waited until the half-price sale, he would pay only two hundred and fifty dollars. So he decided to wait.

Step in Tom.

Tom wisely calculated that, if the accordion sold at half-price, the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island would be losing two hundred and fifty dollars–valuable funds that would otherwise go to Nova West Island’s health care services. Tom refused to sit back and watch that happen. So, on the Friday before the half-price sale, he arrived with his five hundred dollars and purchased the accordion.

You can imagine how disappointed our elderly gentleman was when he arrived bright and early the next morning and saw that his treasure was gone! He was told that it had sold on Friday at full price. In fact, he was so disappointed that he decided to get to the bottom of it. So he made some phone calls. He wanted to know who would buy “his” accordion almost right from under his nose. Who was this musician who would pay full price for something that he might have had at fifty percent off?

Well, little did he know that Tom was not a musician at all. In fact, Tom could not make any music with the accordion. But by his actions, he indeed stuck the right chord with our elderly musician.

Our resident accordion player tracked Tom down, met him at the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island and respectfully persuaded him to sell the instrument to him–at full price. Then he visited us with his five hundred dollars, told us some wonderful stories, played us some lovely tunes, and thanked Tom for making the choice to do the right thing.

Such harmony!

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Life is Short

We’ve all said it, we’ve all seen it and some of us have experienced it much too close to home but it is a lesson learned no matter how it is presented to us.

                         Life is short……whatever you are planning…… it now.


Well, at least as soon as you possibly can.

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The Beat Goes On

With winter behind us, and I sure say that lightly since we had more than a dusting of snow and cold temps late into May, it is time to get the creaks out of our bones, the warm clothes packed away as well as the scrapers, snow brushes and tires out of our vehicles. Soon a good wash will be in order for the little faithful Corolla that gets us back and forth to work through thick and thin, rain or sleet, sunshine or rain.
Snow Day Dec. 8, 2006006
Enough already!!

The solution for me?

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