Saturday, May 29, 2010
Today I was so very thankful for having one day off alongside my partner. I soon will be having my weekends opposite his schedule.
He had some collections to do for his work, so we planned to get on the road by six a.m. and we were actually earlier than that this morning.
We travelled a very scenic part of our province: the road twists and turns as it gains altitude. The mountains were cloaked in morning fog. The yellow of the Scotch Broom (wild, untamed bush), the purple of the wild lilac and the brilliance of the flowering rhododendrons did not escape my appreciation.
We were in the vehicle together and making it an OUTING!
There was next to no drizzle, the breezes are mild and it seemed to me as if the world was quiet, sleepy and very "zen". I guess there are advantages to driving before others get out of bed.
When the duties of work were over, we went to a favourite restaurant for breakfast and we know how important the first meal of the day is, right? We enjoyed a succulent breakfast at The Pioneer House Restaurant and I drank more coffee than I should have, but I didn't finish all the herbed & savory potatoes. I enjoyed two scrambled eggs and rye toast. Super YUM!
There was a shopping list to attend to next, so I went in one place and he went into another. We managed to find everything we needed, plus I found a few more plants for my garden. (Those were more in the "wanted" category than the "needed" category.)
I was enthusiastic to add a few more marigolds, impatiens, three geraniums (and my splurge)... a calla lily to my backyard garden. What a nice little shopping experience.
My fellow found the ceiling tiles he needed for work and I helped him to load the truck. Soon we were off looking at the sleepy little town of Duncan. Little did I know that I was soon to be surprised...
In the middle of town we found a farmer's market! We actually stopped and checked it out.
What a marvelous bunch of stalls there were to explore. I saw hand-turned wooden bowls, bought three homemade jellies: Gooseberry/ginger/rhubarb, Lavender Jelly and Green Gage Plum. I've never tried any of them before.
We bought a piece of art that was cut out of metal in the shape of a hummingbird. I know it wasn't laser-cut, but it was something like that. We plan to use this art piece as the focal point of a cedar gate we have been commissioned to build. (It's gonna look wonderful!)
I found a lovely cedar trellis that was locally made. It is just the thing for my future hollyhocks to grow against. It was a bargain at $20. At another stand, we tried a selections of cheese and bought a spicey one to share later in the week.
For a quick lunch, we shared a veggie and cheddar crepe cooked right before our eyes at a stall. It was all yummy meltiness. There were 3 colours of bell peppers, some onion and a shake or two of hot sauce. Hmmm.
When we had exhausted all the nooks and crannies of the farmer's market, we started for home, but not before we popped in at a coffee roasting shop. I ordered a latte and he had a medium roast.
It turns out that the owner is interested in a property that DH is looking to lease. We enjoyed a delicious beverage as the men chatted about square footage, electrical power and exhaust fans. I chose to people-watch and nod a lot. It was bliss. We got a quick tour of the coffee man's roaster and we were back to the truck to head for home.
We had a drop off at his shop (work) and enjoyed a lightly travelled highway back to home. Gosh, but it was an exhilarating day.
In one 8 hour adventure, I feel as if I had a mini holiday and we were only 60 miles from home. I haven't plugged in my dietary choices for the day, but it was all so enjoyable that I am not feeling guilty in the least.
There was a bit of walking, patting dogs, loading and unloading the truck and then the planting of my bedding plants. That's got to be worth a few burned off calories.
I highly recommend a stay-cation or a mini adventure at your earliest convenience. You don't have to buy a thing! Shop, stroll, smile at strangers, point at the artwork or a flowering tree. Breathe deeply of the spring air. Pack a snack and let the breezes direct your next adventure!
I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Making comparisons can really be an eye opener.
Whenever I get dissatisfied with my little corner of the world, I put it into perspective by comparing my situation with what I have seen on the news, read in books or heard from others.
I have started a job 3 months ago and I was asked if I was flexible. (Not in a contortionist sort of way...) and I told them that I try to be. So far, all that "flexibility" has entailed has been to take on extra shifts when a coworker needed a weekend to move.
Now it is clear that being flexible will mean working in two stores, starting work at 9am, 9:30 am, 12:30, 4pm and finishing work no later than 9pm... until the Christmas season starts. I may be required to work the full extent of our national standards when the shopping days extend to 12 hour days or more.
I've never worked in retail before. I keep trying to compare this job to working in an office. (I'm more familiar with working in an office.) Nine to five with weekends off. How very niave.
If I keep this mind set, I will be disappointed and frustrated because I will no longer have two days off together, I will be working any and all statutory holidays, there are no set breaks for lunch or human 'needs', and the work hours can be changed every month or so.
Last night before bed, instead of allowing my guts to twist and churn, I tried to compare this mall job to worse jobs in the world:
-We do not use child labor
-I am not handling poisonous insects or snakes.
-I am not chisling filthy coal in total darkness with noxious fumes.
-I can go home after a shift.
-No one is shooting at me, nor am I likely to step on a landmine.
-My town is not known for yellow fever, malaria or cholera.
-The environment is temperature controled, well lit and not too loud.
-I'm not having to scale rock faces, paddle rapids or camp with lions all around...
-I don't own the company (tough times) watching the profits get smaller and
smaller. Nor am I self-employed pounding the pavement for my next meal.
-I get to try to help others rather than preying on people.
-I can keep my head high because I am not being pressured to compromise my ethics.
... yeah, working a job at a mall for a very small wage with long hours doesn't sound that bad.
There are so many others still looking for their next paycheque, so it is important to remember that I might be in the right place for this time of my life.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
If you live in Canada, you already know that yesterday was a statutory holiday for Victoria Day. Yipee!
All across the country, we set off fireworks, watch parades and drink a wee cuppa tea in memory of olde Queen Vickie. Maybe I made up the part of the cup of tea... that's just what I like to do.
I watched the local parade on TV because it goes on for 4 hours! We invite marching bands from Washington state and all sorts of little towns around our province. Everyone was waving and smiling... because we usually get so much darned rain on this coast... and this year is was bright and SUNNY!
I spent some time on my gardens and I tried to do as little laundry as possible. That's long weekend style for me.
When is your next long weekend and what do you plan to do with it?
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