Zen in the Snow

It’s been snowing…


Salted nuts…

When I went to bed last night it was raining… This morning, I heard the snowplow out in the lot when I woke up. We had (supposedly) 3 cm overnight. In fact, it looked more like 10 cm (4″), judging from what was on the roof of my car.

Sometimes the plow comes by and does a sweep of the lot and then comes back in the evening to clear the whole lot. We get a call to move our cars before they come. I was hoping it was just a sweep because I could move my car into the visitor parking opposite and when they are done my part of the lot, I could move it back. Since one end of my section of the lot is the snow dump, they will often clear my area completely and I don’t have to move my car when they do a complete plow…. Not to be… Moments later, we got the call to move our cars. However, to GET to my car, I had to shovel the walkway down to the garbage pad and handicapped parking spot, the little ramp and then across to my car.

Then, of course, I had to clean 10 cm off my car. Never fails, too, there won’t be a breath of air until you start brushing the snow off the car and the wind picks up and you get a face and cleavage full of snow…

The view from here

After moving my car, I went to my sand and salt bucket and began salting the walkway. On the second trip, I hit something hard and round in the bucket. When I dug it out, I discovered a hazelnut. I guess a squirrel was taking the easy way out instead of trying to dig into the earth in front of my house. I expect he/she will rebury it in the same spot. It should be nice and tasty, being already salted!

Nuts to you


It’s snow cold!

We had snow last night (and freezing rain). Time to get out the snow shovel and by some salt ‘n sand. ‘Tis the season!

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BP and a brisk walk

Today… or rather… yesterday, I went for a walk. With the sidewalks being sort of “iffy” — wet and sometimes slippy, still, or almost non-existent in the suburb where I live, and the trails being still well covered with snow, I decided to do go somewhere indoors where I could walk fast and not worry about having to stop for traffic or climb a snowbank if the need arose.

I went to Bayshore Shopping Centre. I haven’t actually been there in a few years. I can’t even recall the last time I was there. It is, however, one of the few malls where the plan is basically oval and there are several floors all with more or less the same floor plan… and there aren’t huge crowds of people on a weekday.

I parked on the top level beside a door which I discovered led right to the food court. It was also in the centre of the mall. Next time, I will park next to The Bay doors which are on the end.

I walked one and a half times around the top level and went down the stairs to the second level and did a complete lap of it. Then I took the stairs to the lower level and did a complete lap of it before sitting for a minute to catch my breath and rest my back. Then I went up the stairs to the second level and did a lap of it, walked up to the top level, again and did a lap and a half of it. Six laps doesn’t seem like a lot, perhaps but I kept at a brisk pace and took the stairs both ways. I was also wearing my jacket. I worked up quite a sweat and by the time I was done, my heart was pounding. Next time, I am going to leave my jacket in the car, I think.

Each trip up the stairs winded me a bit but I didn’t stop and I found that I was able to continue quite well and shake that off.

I stopped to buy a bottle of water before I left and had to drive home with the window open in order to cool down.

My face was pretty red but for some reason that is something that has always happened, even when I was very fit and cycled across town to work, before I had my accident. People were always concerned that I was overexerted but, in fact, that just seems to be how my body reacts to exercise. My face would be nearly purple but my breathing and heart rate was always completely normal. I think it is just how my body regulates temperature.

There is a “walking club” at the mall which meets between 7 and 9 am daily. I’m not sure if I am up to doing my walking that early in the day but it might be worth looking in to. Someone I know is a member of a walking club at a mall. I’ll have to find out which one…. and avoid it like the plague. The club lists their benefits on the mall website. I like the last one… just in case someone croaks while walking, I guess.

  • Safe and friendly environmentally-controlled atmosphere
  • Meet great people and make new friends
  • Walk early in the morning to avoid the crowds
  • Free coat check at Guest Services
  • Free quarterly breakfast
  • Special guest speakers
  • Track your kilometres at Guest Services
  • Medically trained security officer on site

The GOOD news is that my blood pressure was quite a bit better when I took it in the morning. 148/100 with a heart rate of 57. That is a LOT better than 190/114. Hopefully, it will continue to drop.

I see the doctor on Thursday, so, hopefully, the test results will be back before that.

I am ALSO hoping that the package with my new wheel bearing for my car, plus the copy of Adobe Premiere that my nephew has sent me finally arrives. He sent it via Canada Post last week…. regular mail… I MIGHT get it sometime next century.

On another note, I finished a scarf I was knitting this evening and started one for my Mom. It may seem just a bit pointless knitting scarves in March when Spring is almost here, but it has been keeping me busy and I find knitting very relaxing. Hopefully, we can find them come next winter…

I will try and get a photo of the new scarf tomorrow. Maybe it will actually be cold enough to wear it.

Went for a walk.

I have to start getting more exercise to lower my blood pressure. So, today, I decided to go for a walk on one of the many, many trails, nearby. I decided on the Pinhey Forest Trail (the one off Slack Road), here in Nepean, which is fairly close to home. I was hoping to see some Chickadees so brought along some seed.

I brought Mom along because she is going stir-crazy, now that she has had her license suspended.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of wildlife out and about. We saw a squirrel and a fair number of squirrel tracks. What we DID see was what you see in the photo below. Probably the work of a a Pileated Woodpecker.

Woodpecked tree, Pinhey Forest Trail

Woodpecked tree, Pinhey Forest Trail

Unfortunately, as well, Mom’s hip began to hurt towards the end of our walk. It was just too long for her and she had to rest a number of times, including sitting in the snow in the middle of the trail. She enjoyed it but it was just too long for her. It is so sad for her because not too many years ago, she used to cross country ski along the same trails.

My friend Krys suggested the trails behind the Nepean Sportsplex. They are part of the same trails but north-west of the Slack Road trails. There are lots of Chickadees there, she says.

More about the Pinhey Forest: This forest is named after Mr. Pinhey, who donated the land in 1948 so that it could be used to demonstrate conservation practices.

Pinhey Trails

Pinhey Trails

In regards my blood pressure. I went and had my tests done today.

One thing I have noticed is that I am having hot flashes almost constantly. I can feel the blood rushing up from my chest and to my face and I get a panicked feeling… sort of the kind when you would get when you realize you did something really awful and are going to be in real trouble…. Think of sending a really important document off and realizing that you sent the wrong draft with all the wrong information on it… Multiply that by 3 or 4 hundred times a day. And then I start to sweat.

Obama made a pit-stop for a Capital taste treat!

While President Obama’s trip was forecast to be a business-only one, with no chance for the public to see him, the Prez had other plans.

Firstly, he took a moment or two to wave at the crowds gathered on Parliament Hill, which we were all told would be out of the question. Later, after his meetings with Stephen Harper and other politicos, he made a decidedly personal shopping stop in Ottawa’s Byward market to indulge in some very Canadian treats.

His purchases included shortbread maple leaf cookies for his daughters and a Beavertail.

A Beavertail, for the uninitiated, is a fried dough pastry with various toppings. They have various types from the savory (garlic and cheddar) to the sweet (cinnamon and sugar).


Cinnamon Sugar Beavertail

In this case, he got an “Obamatail“, a creation which the local shop came up with for the inauguration and which was a hit at the Canadian Embassy celebrations, in Washington.  It is a variation on the cinnamon and sugar version with an added whipped cream “O”, chocolate syrup and maple butter.

Obamatail FansObamatail Fans
 (tracey tong/metro ottawa)

As an historical aside, the founder and owner of Hooker’s Beavertails in the Byward Market, purveyors of this wonderful delicacy is a descendant of General Hooker, Civil War general and the man whose major claim to fame is allowing “camp followers” to accompany his troops. It was because of General Hooker that we have the term “hooker” for prostitutes.

All this would merely be “interesting” if it weren’t for the fact that back in the 1980s, Grant Hooker, proprietor of the aforementioned Hooker’s Beavertails, was one of the prime movers in the local merchants and residents to have prostitutes driven out of the Byward Market area….

Oh! The irony….

On another note, we were all told that Obama would be arriving at about 7:30 am… I decided to give his arrival a with berth in order to get myself across the city to work, my route taking me right by the airport. Imagine my surprise to find that, in fact, he arrived about 10:30 and I was caught in the midst of the parking lot that was the Hunt Club Eastbound lanes. For some unaccountable reason, traffic was flowing smoothly in the Westbound lanes. Since the two lanes run parallel and mere yards from each other for the full length of Hunt Club East, it was a mystery why the Westbound lanes were moving and the Eastbound were stopped.

I was stuck for more than 1/2 an hour (and 15 minutes of THAT time was AFTER he arrived on Parliament Hill).

Cold, Crisp Day














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