October 29, 2011 , Dartmouth, NS
So i suppose if you can't sail, the next best thing is to go walking?
The fall colours are well, absolutely gorgeous but also, almost gone... i think there's more leaves on the ground than left on the trees, the air crisp, the heat of the sun almost non-existent, but oh the smells of the forest (and the chilly air) sure do invigorate you !!! Mother Nature in all her mutli-colour splendour, a true feast for the eyes !
After we got our new iPhone hooked up and running, much to Dave's delight, we spent the remainder of the lovely Friday afternoon walking the trails in Shubie Park (and playing with the iPhone, hence the wonderful picture of me taken with his/our new toy). Technology sure has come a long way, and despite Dave's frustrations with Siri (while trying to get the wording right so she would understand his commands, he said at one point "I wasn't talking to you" and Siri responded with "who knew?"). Bugger !!!
I've been walking there since my arrival in Nova Scotia 20 some odd years ago, and have watching this park expand and grow into a system of trails (that are also part of the Trans-Canada Trail and are a hop-skip and jump from where we live) that border on Lake Charles (that include a beach and campground area) and Lake MicMac and an interpretive centre that explains the origins and workings of Shubie Canal System.
I guess that this land was part of King George III's personal wood lot (established in the mid-1700's, part of an estate called "Country-View"), that provided masts for the Royal Navy. It's now a 49 acre system of well laid out interconnecting trails.
I like that (parts of it) are dog friendly ! So many people stop to feed the chipmunks, squirrels, ducks, finches, bluejays... in fact they are so tame that if you stand there with food in your hand, they will easily fly down and clamber up for a moment or two to feast. As we were watching a lady who was doing just that said "it's great therapy" ... indeed !!
Right in our own backyard - who knew ??
October 28, 2011 , Halifax
It's that chilling time of year again, when all sorts of ghosts and goblins wind up rounding the corner and scaring the beejessus out of you, fun times to be sure. Walking around our neighbourhood lately, we've been amazed at how expansive (not to mention expensive) Halloween has become vis-a-vis the prep work involved. I won't even mention the aisles in the stores dedicated to these events.
Almost every single house is decorated, inside and out, with not only a spooky window here, but a creepy yard there, and a walkway and front entranceway that is indeed worthy of a few camera pics. Neither one of us recall families going to these great big lengths in our youth-dom. And the expense ? Temporary Halloween costume shops rise up on every street corner a few weeks before the big event with unbelievably over priced costumes on the rack. Combine that, with the cost of the decorations and the over-priced bags of candy... now THAT's enough to have you digging a grave...
Haven't all events escalated into gargantuan proportions lately ?? Valentine's Day ? I won't even mention Christmas. I guess I'm discovering how insanely old-fashioned I am in that isn't it, shouldn't it, be all about family and time spent together ??
I am admittedly a lover of celebrations (hence the very fitting name of Banyan for our home), and one who will find any excuse to make a celebratory food feast to be shared with friends for any and all calendar holidays, but especially non-calendar occasions. This year we are having a private celebration-à-deux. The plan is to have a hauntingly good time feasting on a fantastic meal while watching some not-so-spooky movies (Mothman Prophecies, The Fourth Kind) perhaps, and Dave will be happy to hear he won't have to dress up.
And all this makes me wonder how we will celebrate next year on our 40 foot Banyan ? Hang a ghost-sheet from the mast ? Where will we put the Christmas tree? I don't quite think that the galley oven will fit our usual turkey en famille and I'm sweating even thinking about basting a turkey under that hot Carribean sun. And the "en famille" will be a whole new way of doing things...
Superstitions vs Traditions on this one folks. Scream your way through a most haunting Tricking and Treating time !!
October 22, 2011 , Nova Scotia Coastal Trail
Today was spent taking care of more "stuff" on Banyan.
We needed to bring more things off and home so we could wash and store and fix. Wiped the galley clean and oiled the teak to help preserve the wood during the winter months.
Despite the extended Indian Summer we have been enjoying lately, the temperatures are starting to fall and it's now time to "get 'er done" and quickly before we hit the freezing digits.
She looks so bare and empty, but hey, I just have to look in our garage and go OMG and WTF ? And that's not even considering it all has to go back onboard AND we are going to sell all our stuff and move on-board with more stuff, holy shit, how's it all going to fit ??
Best part was that we decided to take the long way home, and enjoyed the rest of the Sunday doing the Sunday Drive thing... you know what I mean don't you ? Those annoying cars that drive ever so slowly, without a care in the world, without a backward glance at the long line of cars starting to trail behind them... well, that was us.
Ok, not quite, we did pull over a few times to let others pass, but in true "slow-mo" fashion, we meandered along the Coastal Trail from East River to Peggy's Cove, enjoying the day, the drive, each other, and seeing the little fishing villages pop up out of nowhere with their brightly coloured boats and their fishing shacks sitting on tilted stilts on the water, a true spectacle for the eyes.
And yes we held hands the entire way. Love Rules !
October 21, 2011 , Halifax
Yours truly had a truly wonderful week-long birthday celebration.
Birthdays are truly a wonderful event. Just like the coming of the New Year, I like to sit back and reflect on the changes of the past year, how "young" I truly feel, and envision where I may be headed for my next year's adventures... laugh at all the mistakes I made, appreciative of all the support I have been lucky enough to be surrounded with... all in all, trying to find a balance. Eating healthy and exercising, and damn right, enjoying all that not-so-healthy food, and those I'm too lazy to move days too !!
Dave and I both agreed to try and limit our presents, if any, to our future lives together, and so, apart from the roses, the TLC, the first ever and very heartfelt "to my wife" card, I am now the proud owner of a fantastic HH knapsack (and ballcap), that I can't wait to put to use exploring the many regions we are going to be sailling to.
Just the thought makes me all giddy and excited. Now THAT's fun !!
A romantic dinner (yes, chocolate cake !!), followed by another family dinner made for way too much food, but when you're celebrating, really, who cares ?
PS: And how does the picture of Banyan on her stilts relate ? Well, isn't she perfectly (or precariously) balanced ??
October 20, 2011 , Halifax
Last week we had two classes to attend for the Amateur Radio Course and the topic of discussion was Antennas.
A rather interesting thing, this piece of metal... not only do antennas have a dual purpose in that they help us receive the signals we want to, or need to hear, but they also radiate the signals we want to emit.
Essentially any antenna will work with any radio. Antennas will make contacts but the signals will be stronger on some antennas than on others, and some antenna's "hear" better than others. More can be done to improve the signal strength WITH ANTENNAS than can ever be done by increasing the power. Now that's insightful. (READ: now that's a clue for what's to come!).
On a totally different tangent, it's been a très busy week for me. I was on EAP training related to my work, which always brings a great group of people together to share and sympathize and empathize and well, the soul searching that happens during these Development Days is just exponentially overwhelmingly fantastic, not to mention, a tad personal which leads to a tad draining, as all soul searching can be. I often feel that the subjects that grasp us the most, that essentially bother us the most, are the ones that we need to work on the most.
So how do these seemingly unrelated subjects of conversation end up on my blogpost ? Not a surprise by any means that I have a penchant for seeing the world around me and thinking that the Universe has a way of putting things in our lives to make sure we are awake and grinning, but most importantly, to make sure we are dancing on the right path... or hell, I just like to connect the dots and sometimes I take the long twisted way around. Today might just be one of those days. Or maybe I'm just twisted.
So, are we just a bit like antennas? Are we choosing to hear the right things ? And what about the flip side - what kind of signals are we emitting ?
Simple and conclusive. Antennas are damn important. So are you. And I.
Let your antenna receive, and emit, the right "stuff" that will guide you to your happy place, and may your happy place inspire you, and as a result, those around you.
October 19, 2011 , Halifax
These past few days have been rather busy ones.
More for Dave than I, I mean. So thils blogpost will be all about Dave and his list of things to do.
The big items have been done and Banyan is now sitting pretty (albeit a tad dirty) in her cradle.
Engine is winterized, oil changed. Check.
Bimini/dodger have been removed (that in itself was a trial and tribulation). Check.
Today the separate pieces are on their way to the shop. The plan is to ask for a quote to "repair" and a quote to "replace". Since on average, these things generally have a life of about 5 years (and they are currently 5 years old), and given that we want to add a few extra pieces for our future travels, well, it way be more advantageous just to replace them all, add the new ones, and then everything is of the same colour and "new" with the same life expectancy. If we do it now, it'll be one less thing to have to worry about a few years from now ?
Sails were removed the other day. Check.
Today they are on their way to the shop as well, for verification, and repair if need be.
The dinghy engine was taken out the other day. Check.
Today it is on its way to the shop for regular maintenance.
I'm tired just typing and thinking about all that running around.
On the health related list of ours, the plan of attack is simply to do a little something "healthy" every single day. So we're juicing our juices. Going for walks. And going to yoga (check on those achey muscles). Noticing a slight improvement in posture... sitting a little straighter, standing a little taller (if that's possible) - it's like a do-it-yourself alignment for your body. Yay and check to that.
On the brain-y part of things, we're moving along in our Amateur Radio Course, and subject of discussion lately is Waves, Wavelength, Frequency and Bands, and moving on to Propagation. The list of formulas to memorize is getting a tad too long, and speaking of THAT to do list, we need to get caught up on our reading instead of watching the SENS lose yet another game, and what is up with that ?
Why is there a perverse satisfaction in not only writing lists, but then getting them done, and crossing those items off? All part of the journey, n'est ce pas ?
So here's to lists, checking them twice, adding things on, and checking them off... And here's to hunny that's getting 'er done !!