Monday, July 31, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 28 - Yummy Food

Handsome Hubby, sunny day, yummy food, a pint from the Friday cask -   doesn't get much better than this. A perfect adventure.

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day 27 - Mountains

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We drove across Canada when we moved to the coast. I had never been west of Sault Ste. Marie, so I was excited about seeing more of our country on our way to our new home. I was particularly looking forward to being amazed by the prairies; I had heard so much about these wide-open spaces. When we finally got there I was underwhelmed.  The area of Ontario where I grew up was at least as flat. 

Amazement didn't set in until we first glimpsed the Rocky Mountains. I was dumbfounded, and kind of terrified. I couldn't believe we were going to drive through those mountains. Would our little car make it? I was so awed that I shot most of a roll of film as we drove toward the mountains. (Yep, it was in the olden days when we used film to take pictures.) 

Now I live in a place where I am surrounded by mountains. It was hard when we first moved here. I missed the horizon. There were days when I wished someone would just move the damned mountains so I could see.  Those days are long behind me. They have been replaced by days, like this one, where I once again look at the mountains with amazement and awe. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day26 - Snail Mail

I am lucky to have a few friends that still send me snail mail. It's wonderful to find something other than bills and flyers in the mailbox. On the day of the "snail mail" prompt though, I received no mail at all, so I wandered around trying to find something other than a letter to photograph. I was hoping to find an interesting mailbox - something like the one below.

Photographed while on holiday - Summer 2016

Instead of a colourful personal mailbox, I found this:

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

This is the side of a Canada Post mailbox.  In fact, it's a mailbox that I pass at least 3 times a week, yet I never noticed the new paint job.  I'm sure it was plain, unadorned red the last time I used it.  How did I miss its new look? I quite like it.  I particularly like that it includes the postal code for the North Pole. 

My participation in A Month of Everyday Adventures helped to bring my attention to a change I hadn't noticed. The thought made me smile - until I turned around and discovered that my picture-taking hadn't gone unnoticed. A woman seated at the outdoor cafe across the road was watching me. Busted! Though I can't imagine what she thought of my mailbox photo-shoot, the look on her face made me think she didn't approve.  I moved on before things got too adventurous. In hindsight, I should have smiled and waved. I feel like I missed an opportunity to share the adventure. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day 25 - Meditate

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

I could have staged a photo for this adventure. I was tempted. In my defence, it is difficult to take a picture of "meditate". It's definitely an activity that is confined to my "headspace". 

It is easy to find things that we associate with meditation. Lotus flowers. Cushions. Stacks of smooth stones. Nature. All were certainly possibilities for this photo, but none of them would accurately reflect my budding meditation practice. Instead I'm sharing the view that greets me most mornings. The Headspace loading screen. It takes a while to start on my ancient iPad, but that just gives me a few more minutes to meditate.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day 24 - Work Remotely

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

My job isn't suited to working remotely, but I wanted to participate in this adventure.  How about a work remote instead?

Sometimes I think I'd like to be able to work from home, but most of the time I'm quite happy to leave the job behind when I leave work. Besides, I'm a procrastinator.  A part-time job would expand into full-time hours if I didn't have a clock to punch at the end of the day.  Leaving the work at work means I have more time to enjoy everyday adventures. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day 23 - Bicycle

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

Hubby and I bought Norco bikes a few years back.  They both have the same badge on the front, though this one is from Hubby's bike. His bike was easier to access, as it gets used. Mine hangs neglected on its hook. 

Lately, bike-riding seems far too adventurous for me. Some day I'll let go of the things that are holding me back. Until then, be patient my two-wheeled friend. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day 22 - Fur Baby

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017
This is Cleo. She is not our fur-baby, though we do tend to baby her. She's more like our fur-niece.  We are lucky that she comes to visit from time to time. It was doubly fortunate that this visit coincided with the "fur baby" prompt. 

And now I'm off.  There's a cat on the other side of the door waiting for someone to spoil her, and I don't want to keep her waiting any longer. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 21 - Hubs

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017
I may have misread the prompt for this adventure. 

On purpose.

I was fully aware that the prompt said "hugs", and though I did give and receive hugs that day, the thought of photographing a hug didn't appeal to me.

It wasn't just because I spent most of my day home alone, so there was little opportunity to photograph a hug. Even if I had succeeded in capturing a hug, I try not to share photos of people without their permission. Any scenario I could imagine where I was going to get a photo and permission was too weird for my taste.

That left me with, well, me. How was I going to manage to photograph a one-person hug? Even if I did manage to stage one, I don't like sharing photos of myself - I am "elusivelaurie" on Instagram for a reason. Everything about this adventure seemed like work. I wanted to play!

So play I did. I grabbed a pencil and paper and indulged in some word-play.


Hubs! Hahaha! 

I do have a strange sense of humour.  

I was able to find hubs to photograph without leaving the house. Handy, as it was pouring rain and I didn't have a car available to drive - or to photography for that matter. 

I don't know if any of the other Everyday Adventure participants noticed, or understood, what I had shared, but I managed to amuse myself. Those are the best adventures - the ones that leave me smiling. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 20 - Journal

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

The writing on the top page says: 

July 20,2017
Journals aren't just for writing.

It's good to remind myself of that from time to time.  To remember that when words fail me, when I feel I have nothing to say, when picking up my pen sparks resistance, there are other options. I can draw and doodle. I can colour and collage. Paper can hold so much more than words, though words are good too. 

I had so much fun sitting down with my journal and my coloured pencils for this 20 minute adventure. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 19 - Camp

Camp. Another nearly impossible adventure.  I'd like to say it's because I was working, so camping wasn't an option, but that's not completely true.  The reality is, I don't camp. I used to camp. My parents took us camping a number of times when we were kids. I even have happy memories of those trips, but I don't camp now. You might convince me to "glamp", but only if you can promise me a spider-free bathroom experience.

So, how to take part in this adventure? Take a photo of our unused camping equipment? Skulk through a local campground on my lunchbreak snapping photos of unsuspecting campers? Rocky Horror Picture Show costume selfie

I spent a lot of time thinking about this. Time likely better spent doing other things. Like my job, though it was at work where I had my aha moment. I looked out the window and saw sailboats. A string of tiny sailboats. Sailing camp!

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017
Can you see the string of sailboats in the distance?

And around the corner from my workplace you can catch a glimpse of the cadets' summer training camp.  Sometimes you can hear them too.  When I took the picture below, I could hear cheering and laughter.  Last week, when I was in Royston, I could hear gunfire. 

Last week gunfire. This week laughter.

I'm glad I remembered there's more than one way to look at "camp". I hope our local campers are enjoying their adventures...and a spider-free bathroom experience. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 18 - Home

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View from my kitchen window.

Home-ownership is an adventure alright. There are so many variables, and so many things to ponder...

There's the neighbours.

(Who thought it would be a good idea to give those kids whistles?)

There are chores.

(What happened to days off?)

There are little things - like the actual arrival time of the scheduled tradesperson vs. the promised arrival time of the scheduled tradesperson.

(Where is that guy?!?!)

And there are big things - like the event that necessitated the phone call to the tradesperson.

(When did the furnace stop working?)

Then there's the finances.

(How are we going to pay for this?)

Sometimes it's hard not to wonder about our choice.

(Why did we decide to do this anyway?)

But when I look out my kitchen window, and I can see across the entire valley, I'm glad we've made this house our home. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 17 - Camera

Look! It's a selfie of my camera!

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

OK, it's a selfie of my phone, but it's what I currently use as a camera.  I still marvel over that from time to time. I'm taking pictures with my phone.  Wow!

I've owned a camera since about sixth grade.  My first was a Polariod that took black and white pictures.  Then came a Kodak Instamatic with a drop-in 110 film cartridge. Eventually I made my way up to a Minolta 35mm auto-focus. Then a 35mm Nikon SLR camera handed down from my Dad. Then my first digital camera - a birthday gift from Hubby. 

I still have many of those cameras, though they sit unused. They have been replaced by the camera in my phone.  

No wonder it looks so smug in that selfie.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 16 - Walking Meeting

Walking Meeting Minutes 
July 16, 2017
  • Laurie
  • Hubby
Agenda Items:

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

  • Steps were taken
  • Words were exchanged
Look at things:
  • "Things" included but were not limited to: people, trees, cars, wildflowers, dogs, birds, clouds, sky, mountains, meadows, ponds, water lilies, fish and boardwalk.
Take pictures:
  • See below:

  • A light lunch was consumed and enjoyed. The Everyday Adventure Committee wishes to thank the caterer.
  • Moved by Hubby and seconded by Laurie that we should do this again soon. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 15 - Weather

Saturday was windy: a difficult weather-type to photograph. I figured the beach would be the best place to capture images of the wind. White-capped waves, sailboats and kiteboarders were all in my mind when we started out.  What I didn't expect to find was smoke.

Hubby and I could smell the smoke before we saw the plumes in the distance, but we couldn't tell where it was coming from until we arrived at the beach. Once there, we discovered we had stumbled on the perfect vantage point to watch the action. We stayed for a short while and watched the helicopters pulling water from the ocean to douse the flames.

Another couple on the beach told us fire had been going for at least an hour, though they didn't know what was burning.  It wasn't until much later that we learned that it was a brush fire. We were relieved that no one had been hurt, and were grateful that the firefighters managed to get it under control before more damage was done.  It has been dry here lately, and, given the wind, things could have been much worse. Our little valley is very fortunate that it wasn't thrown into a nightmarish adventure. 

 elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017
If you zoom in you might be able to spot the helicopter. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 14 - Nature

I woke feeling yucky on the morning after my road trip. Had I over-adventured? My sore throat and general achiness seemed to indicate that I was the newest victim of the summer cold rampaging through my workplace. To prevent the spread of germs I quarantined myself. I cancelled my plans with friends and went back to bed.  Too bad.  We were going to hike to a swimming hole for a dip. It would have been a perfect opportunity to snap "nature" pictures.

Instead, after a good sleep I wandered around my yard snapping pictures.  That was enough adventure for me. 

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017
Pileated woodpeckers were here.

Flycatchers were here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 13 - Road Trip

Hooray! The prompt for "road trip" fell on a day off, so I planned a wee jaunt for myself. 

Tank full.  Radio on. Windows down. Let's roll!

First, I headed to Buckley Bay where I grabbed a cappuccino at Weinberg's Good Food.  I don't normally drink cappuccino, but hey, I was on an adventure so a new beverage was in order.  

After a delightful half hour of sipping and writing - writing in public is also adventurous for me - I stepped into Fanny Bay Oysters Seafood Shop for some candied salmon then continued on my way.  

I drove toward Royston, detouring down unexplored side roads on my way. (Well, obviously they had been explored by someone, just never before by me.) 

I eventually made my way to the Royston Seaside Trail.  I found a picnic table and snacked on salmon then went for a short stroll along the water. 

Bits of rusted metal are strewn about the beach.  I'm guessing they've washed in from the Ghost Ships of Royston over the years. 

Its not as spooky as it sounds.  The ships were deliberately beached to create a breakwater for the logging industry years ago. 

Ghost ships in the distance.

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

My road trip was only about 55 kilometres round trip. The perfect size for a mid-week adventure for one.  Me!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 12 - Make a New Friend

Make a new friend.  On a work day. Not going to happen.

So, do I skip this adventure? I didn't want to do that either, so I asked Hubby to forward the picture below:

Photo courtesy of Hubby
Georgia dressed for the day.  Note the maple leaf collar. 

This is Georgia.  We met her, and her people, on Canada Day. Though, as you can tell, she wasn't particularly interested in us, we were quite taken with her. She was going to be my "new friend", until I told Hubby why I wanted the picture.  He suggested that we actually make, as in construct, new friends. This was such a great idea that I decided we had to do it.

We had a gleeful, if brief, time "making" our friends. We could have spent longer on them, but it turns out that the cheap clay I picked up for the project was kinda unpleasant to work with. Still, we had fun, and I love the results.  Meet our new friends:

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

They're still sitting on my dining room table.  I don't have the heart to squish them out of existence.  They make me smile every time I see them. I might have to keep them as a souvenir of this tiny adventure. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 11 - A View From The Water

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A view from the water.  Not a view of the water, or a view from the water's edge, a view from the water.  A difficult task on a workday, but I was determined to make it work.  

It took me a while to figure out how I was going to do it. My schedule eliminated my initial ideas.  Paddle boarding, a ferry ride, and begging friends for a boating excursion were all out. Eventually, I remembered that there are three beaches quite close to my workplace. I sometimes go to those beaches on my lunch break, but I rarely get out of the car. Most of the time I sit and watch the waves while I eat my lunch.  It had never occurred to me that I might get out of the car and into the waves.

I'm so glad it did occur to me. It was a stellar day for the beach. I waded around in the water for about a half an hour before returning to work smiling and secretly sporting sand between my toes.

Professional, black, knee-length dress.  Five fingers. I didn't look strange at all. I also didn't care.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 10 - Wild

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Wildlife is part of the everyday adventure of West Coast life. Last month a cougar was spotted around the corner from our house.  Last week a bear was roaming the neighbourhood around my workplace.  I regularly see deer.  A raccoon ran in front of me while I was walking this morning.  

Though it's common to see wildlife here, it's not common to get a good photograph. (I was too slow to photograph the raccoon, and, thankfully, I only heard about the cougar and the bear.) So when I started my tiny "wild" quest I was fairly confident I would see something, but I was less sure that I would be able to capture that "something" on film. (Or with pixels, whatever.) I was right on both counts.

I had barely arrived at the marina for my adventure when a bald eagle flew quite low in front of me.  I was too slow to get that shot, but its mate was on a lamp post at the end of the pier. It's in the top left photo above.  Really.  It's there.  You'll have to trust me on that one.

You're also going to have to take my word about the crabs on the rocks just below the surface of the water in the top right picture. And the starfish in the lower left picture.

And you're really going to have to trust that there's a seal in the bottom right picture.  I was actually able to snap several photos of seals (or the same seal several times).  This photo was the best of the lot.  

At first I was frustrated that the wildlife wasn't co-operating. Then I realized how ridiculous I was being.  Once I let go of my expectations of what a "wild" photo should be I had a great time snapping pictures of wildlife I knew you wouldn't see.  I saw it.  It was awesome. Wish you had been there to enjoy the adventure with me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 9 - Pleasures

Hubby made pancakes, and if that wasn't pleasurable enough, he served them with fresh raspberries. Mmmmm. So good. Such an improvement over my pancake-making adventures last week.  My pancakes resembled a cross between a crepe and a disaster.  

Some things are best left to those who know what they're doing. Light, fluffy pancakes, like the ones above, are an excellent adventure.  Disaster-crepes - not so much. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 8 - Reflection

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I was walking with a friend and reflecting on the first week of Everyday Adventures.  As I we walked and talked I wondered what I was going to do for Day 8's adventure. Reflection in a mirror? A window? A dark television screen? Water?


The proverbial light bulb went on. We were walking beside a still river. The world was reflected at every turn. Perfect.

Sometimes Everyday Adventure is right there in front of me. I just have to pay attention.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 7 - Good Reads

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

While I struggled to find something new to try for my Day 6 adventure, my Day 7 adventure was a snap. Literally.  I grabbed my phone and walked around the house. *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap*  Done.

When you consider my morning routine consists of me, coffee and something to read, these photos really shouldn't surprise you.  I have stacks of books like this all over the house.

Clockwise from top left:
  • The stack of books at one end of my sofa-adjacent coffee table.
  • The stack of books beside my bed.
  • The stack of cookbooks on a chest just outside my kitchen.
  • The stack of books at the other end of my coffee table, just in case I decide to move to the other end of the sofa to read.
And this doesn't include the books on shelves and in boxes throughout the house.  

Yep, when the adventure is "good reads", I'm one adventurous woman!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 6 - Try Something New

Try something new.


Like what?

Maybe berry-picking? 

I hadn't been berry-picking in years, and I'd never been to Ash Berry Farm. Heck, I didn't even know where it was.

So an almost-new experience made fresh by a new location. That should count. Particularly when you add the fact that I went by myself.  

Yup.  Until this week I had never considered going berry-picking by myself.  I had always thought of "picking" as a group activity - something to share with your family and friends. That's how it's usually depicted. Do a Google-image search for "u pick farms" and you'll see what I mean.  Lots of apple-cheeked children with berry-stained lips. Families. A few young couples. Farmers. Nary a solitary middle-aged woman in sight.

As a result, going to the strawberry patch on my own felt rather adventurous. 

And if that wasn't adventurous enough, when I arrived, I misread the sign directing visitors to the parking lot. I went left too soon, and after a drive down a curved, rocky, bumpy track I found... chickens! 

Not only was there no parking lot, there was nowhere to turn around.  I had to back down the curved, rocky, bumpy track. Not a problem for most people. I am not one of those people. Just the thought made me cringe, but I did it with relative ease.  All part of the adventure, right?

And worth it.  After a quick chat with the wonderfully friendly Miguel, I hit the strawberry patch.  I picked 6 pounds of berries, not counting the ones I ate. What a wonderful way to spend the morning! Another successful everyday adventure.

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Everyday Adventures - Day 5 - Play

Just playing on the swing and eating ice cream on a sunny day. As middle-aged women do on their lunch break.

Unlike yesterday's photo, today's is completely staged.  Oh, the ice cream is real, as is the park, and that foot you see is mine. (You might recognize the shoe from Thursday.) The picture is wonky and the cone is out of focus because I was really and truly swinging on a swing.  In the middle of a work day.  In public. 

I played.

That never happens.

But it did.  I took a few minutes out of my day and went on a quest for a tiny adventure.  It was awesome.  

In spite of my worries no one laughed at me. No one pointed. No one asked what I was doing. No one accused me of behaving strangely or suspiciously. No one called the police. (Or, if they did, the police didn't arrive before I wandered back to work.) I didn't even dribble ice cream on my pants. 

I had fun.

I could get used to Everyday Adventures. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Everyday Adventure - Day 4 - Morning Routine

Text from "Margarita Wednesdays" by Deborah Rodriguez. Coffee by Aeropress
Oh, how I wanted to fudge this one.  I so wanted to stage a morning routine that looked different from my actual morning routine.  I thought about artfully orchestrated photos with yoga mats, and  green smoothies, and mediation pillows, and handcrafted journals.  I considered faking you out with a picture of what I feel my morning should look like.  Instead I decided to share what it really is. Me, a coffee and something to read.  

It wasn't always like this.  There was a time when I didn't drink coffee.  Those days are best forgotten.  And, as most of them are in my distant youth, many of them are.  

The "something to read" has been a constant for as long as I have been able to read.  It doesn't always have to be a book. Once upon-a-time it was the cereal box. Reading is a big part of my morning routine.

And I'm not just talking about leisurely weekend mornings.  I mean every morning.  Even when I'm rushed I find time to read.  Sometimes I'm rushed because I "found" time to read. That time is often stolen from more practical chores.  Like getting ready for work.  

I have been known to prop my book open behind the faucet so I can read while I'm drying my hair.  Many bad-hair days can be attributed to a good book.  Our last apartment came close to disaster when an exciting scene in Guy Gavriel Kay's "Fionavar Tapestry" distracted me from the smoke pouring from a malfunctioning toaster. (Spoiler alert: The smoke detector went off in time, and I was able to save our home. The toast could not be rescued.)

So, I have to ask myself, if this is how I usually start my days, can it be considered an adventure? If you too are a reader, you'll know the answer is a definite YES. 

I cannot imagine starting a day without something to read.  I hope I never have to. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Everyday Adventures 2017 - The Beginning

I received Tammy's newsletter outlining A Month of Everyday Adventures last week.  I thought about participating, then I decided I didn't want to. February's Month of Tiny Pleasures was enough for 2017.  I just wasn't in the mood this time around.

Then a friend emailed and asked: 

Have there been any tiny pleasures in your life since February? 

That was all it took to change my mind.  I wanted to have Everyday Adventures after all.

As you can see, I'm a very decisive person.  Once I make up my mind it stays made up.  Until I change it.  

Anxiety set in immediately.  In addition to the angst that goes with sharing on social media, there was the additional panic caused by my late start. It was already July 3rd, for crying out loud.  I had missed the first two days. How was I going to make up for the lost time?

Yes, I was that student.  I did all my homework, and the bonus questions, and unasked-for work if it occurred to me. Starting Everyday Adventures on the third day was almost unbearable.

But I did bear it.  The prompt for Day 3 was "vibrant colours". July is perfect for vibrant colours. They're everywhere.  Below are just some of the vivid examples I found on my lunch-time walk. 

I chose the photo below to share for the daily photo challenge:

elusivelaurie shared on Instagram #EverydayAdventures2017

Old habits are hard to shake.  This became obvious as I strolled around snapping pictures.  I couldn't let go of the two days of prompts I had missed.

Day 1's prompt had been "gather your tools".  At first, I was ok with skipping this one.  I had no idea what "tools" I would need for everyday adventuring. Then, as I walked, I realized all I really need is my feet!

The shoes make this photo a candidate for "vibrant colours" as well.

The prompt for Day 2 had been "unplug".  I get the inherent ridiculousness of trying to photograph an unplugged moment, yet when I found this quiet corner in the park I felt my entire day slide away.  I may not have been unplugged, but I felt it.

I think I'm going to like being an everyday adventurer.  I'm looking forward posting again soon with more tiny quests.