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Kelownagurl: Off and Running in all Directions

Updated: 2018-03-06T12:39:39.247-08:00


New directions!


I have decided to start a new Wordpress blog to go along with my new podcast
Kelownagurl's Adventures: Travel and Fitness into Retirement.

Check it out here!

The new podcast can now be found on iTunes. (Just search Kelownagurl in podcasts and it should pop up).

You can also listen on my Spreaker account if you're not into subscribing to podcasts.

Or check out my Youtube channel here.

As always, thank you!!!!

~ Barb  aka Kelownagurl


April 5, 2015


(image) Well as of today, I am now officially a member of the 55-59 age group and I even qualify for the 55+ senior discounts.  I don't know if I should be happy or depressed but I figure if I am still here, it can't be all bad.  :)

Once again, it's been awhile since I blogged but I'm not going to spend a bunch of space making excuses about what I have or have not been doing. Suffice to say, I'm still 10 lbs up, and haven't been running much since last summer, although I have been walking home from work, 3-5 km a day, 4 days a week, since January.  However, I have only been on a bike twice in the past 12 months.  Sad?  Maybe, but it is what it is, and the past really doesn't matter. I'd rather focus on the here and now.

I have a pretty awesome 2015 lined up actually.  I just got home from a 2 week trip to New Zealand to meet Erik's new grandson, and to tour the North Island for 10 days.  It was beautiful and I really enjoyed the trip, even though it was a short one (I only have a 2 week spring break).

Erik and I have a 3 week trip to Italy planned for the end of August and we will spend some time in Rome, Tuscany and Umbria, and finish up with 5 days on the Amalfi Coast. I love Italy and I'm really looking forward to the trip.

We will get back a week before school starts up for my last year of teaching. Yes, I am going to retire.   I am almost 100% sure it will be at the end of March 2016.  We plan to take off for a 2-3 month stint in Europe in mid April 2016.  We don't have all the details nailed down yet, but the plan is to spend about 2 weeks in Portugal or Greece, then walk the Camino de Santiago for 35-40 days (500 miles/800 km), and then spend a month in one place - either Provence or Tuscany. I have always wanted to go to Europe and try to live like a local.  Our dearest wish is to be invited to a typical family dinner somewhere.

I am so excited about this trip but it is also a bit daunting so I have decided this Tuesday will be the first day of a year's worth of training. In this case training means losing 5-10 lbs, and regaining my strength, fitness, and stamina.  I will go to the gym, walk lots, get back to running, ride my bike, do the physio and yoga and core work, and eat healthy so that I am in top form by next May.  Hiking 500 miles with a backpack is a big challenge but 1000's of people do it every year, so I know I can be one of them.

So - that's  my life in a nut shell.  I plan to revitalize my blog and share my travel planning tips, give regular updates about my "training" progress, and talk about the next transition in my life.

Stay tuned!

December 5, 1975



November 30, 2014 - Best Laid Plans


As you know, the motto of my blog is "It's never too late to be what you might have been".

I was watching a movie I purchased online this month that follows six people walking the Camino.  It's called "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago" (As an aside, it's an excellent movie about the Camino and as a bonus, one of the older guys is from Kelowna - click the link for more information and learn how you can purchase the video here for a paltry $12 and help this independent film maker.) 

Anyway, the final song of the movie is called Best Laid Plans by a singer-songwriter from Portland OR, Tyler Stenson.  I loved this song, I love his voice, I love the harmonies, and I love the lyrics.  They speak to me.  They invigorate me.  And they allow me to forgive myself when I fail.

"That which might have been, can yet still be"  ~Tyler Stenson
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Best Laid Plans
by tyler stenson © 2010 -- ASCAP

Best laid plans fail
And wrong winds catch sails
But that don't mean you lay down
And lose your boat to the treacherous sea.
No, you must believe:
That which might have been, can yet still be.

I've seen a beautiful sky turn gray
As I stood by watching weather change
But that don't mean the Sun is long-gone
And all of our Hope should leave.
No, you must believe:
That which might have been, can yet still be.

The greatest place ever known fell down.
It was the Fall of Rome--
But I've seen the Vatican and Coliseum
Under a summer's gleam
(And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen)
So, I'm telling you,
That which might have been, can yet still be.

Those best laid plans fail
And those wrong winds catch sails
But that don't mean you lay down
And lose your boat to the treacherous sea.
No, you must believe:
That which might have been, can yet still be.

Twofer - November 22/23, 2014


So I forgot was too busy lazy to post yesterday.  I was actually too "busy" most of the day and then I finally remembered I hadn't blogged just as I was going to bed, and that's when the lazy part kicked in.  I had nothing to say anyway. I figured I would run today and then post about that instead.

Except I didn't. Run that is.

(image) So the weekend went like this - I was really really tired all week, fighting a cold that the rugrats are spreading around the classroom. On Saturday morning, I had a sore throat and swollen glands, so I stayed in bed until noon and read one of my books. (The Rosie Project - which is hilarious, and an easy read, and reminded me a lot of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory).  I finally got up and ate around 1pm and then went out and ran some errands.  When I got home, I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening reading.  I finished Rosie and started The Secret Life of Bees - another page turner.

Last night I slept like a log (which is rare for me) and managed to sleep in until 9:30.  The sore throat had more or less disappeared but I took it easy for the morning and then I went into work for about 3 hours. By the time I got home, I didn't really have time to go for a run because I was taking my daughters out for a birthday dinner. 

Now it's almost 9pm and I am going to settle into bed early, watch Homeland and get a good sleep so I am prepared to fight the bugs this week. I am hopeful that I will go for a run tomorrow. 

November 21, 2014


And on the 21st day, she slept...

November 20, 2014


It's not about the nail.

OK this video has nothing much to do with anything on my blog but I just thought it was so true and so funny, I had to post it. If you've ever read "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus", you'll know what I mean.

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November 19, 2014


29 years ago today, I gave birth to my second daughter.  I've always thought that mothers are the ones who should get gifts on the birthdays. I can't believe I have kids that old. 

Today I went out for a run after work. It's everything I can do to get myself to exercise after work, especially when it's cold out. I just want to come home, put on my jammies, and curl up on the couch. And that's what I did Tuesday, instead of running. I was cranky yesterday.

However, maybe it was good that I took the extra day because I had a great run on well rested legs. While I ran, I was listening to Blackie and the Rodeo Kings on my ipod and totally lost track of the time. I was planning to run 4/1 but I ran for 10 minutes before I realized I hadn't taken a walk break, so I only took 3 one-minute walk breaks for my entire run and felt fine! Plus, I ran a full 5 k instead of 30 minutes.  What a slow 5 k it was though. 40 minutes. Ah well. My endurance is improving and that's what counts.

I'm still taking my vitamins daily but I'm don't try very hard to remember to do my physio every morning and evening. My reminder app is getting frustrated with me.

Photo credit to
I haven't lost any weight yet either. Erik's in fucking Costa Rica for 2 1/2 weeks so I eat what I want, when I want, instead of making proper meals and following a healthy eating plan.  The good news, I don't drink when he's not around so I've cut back on those weekend booze calories and I don't make fancy, calorie-filled meals so that's a calorie cut back too.

I hate that's he's off vacationing on a sandy beach and I'm stuck here in the cold, going to work, doing all the housework, looking after the pets etc.  It sucks and it makes me cranky.  However, I don't actually want to be down on the beach in Costa Rica right now - it's supposed to be Fall and I love the end of Fall/beginning of Winter.  I just want him home with me so we can do all of our usual stuff together.  If I were to head off somewhere warm, it would be in February when I'm sick of winter and snow.

OK enough bitching. Time to go feed my starter....

November 18, 2014


Sourdough Starter Part 3


Sunday, Nov. 16, 4 pm -  1 cm riseI'm getting excited about this batch of starter. I have a feeling it's going to work this time. There's lots of bubbling going on and it's starting to rise a little within 6-12 hours after each feeding. It is even starting to smell "yeasty".I've been following the instructions on a couple different websites (The Fresh Loaf and FoodTravelThought) and so I have varied what I've done a few times, but the starter is definitely bubbling and rising.Last night it had risen about 1 cm (see photo) from the day before so I stirred it down, kept 100 grams, and fed it fresh rye flour and warm water.  This morning, it had risen 1 cm again so I decided to start feeding it twice a day - morning and evening.  By the time I got home from work, it had risen again, so I decided to set up two jars this time, one fed with dark rye flour and one fed with unbleached white flour. I was reading about the 100% hydration method on the Fresh Loaf site, which means you add equal parts of flour and water by weight (not volume). Because I'm using dark rye flour and because it's very dry here, I have to use less flour so it's about 100/80 water/flour. That site recommends using 1:2:2 (starter:flour:water) which was different than the 1:1:1 that I was doing before. Anyway, tonight I thought I'd try it that way instead. I had quite a bit of starter to I split it into two jars and still had to throw some away.Jar 1 - 50 grams starter, 100 grams warm water, 80 grams dark rye flour (this was still too thick in my opinion so I may use less flour tomorrow).Jar 2 - 50 grams starter, 100 grams warm water, 80 grams unbleached white flour. (This was runnier than the rye flour batch. I think it seems better, but it'll be interesting to see which one works better.)So now I'm curious to see what happens.  They should be showing some bubbling before I go to bed, and for sure by morning.  My goal is for the starter to double in size before I try making bread with it.Below are the two jars right after feeding. You can see how thick the rye flour one it on the right.  There are air pockets and the top isn't level.  The white flour on the left poured in to the jar easier.  I'm not sure if one is better than the other though.  Some people even make a super thick starter that is more like dough. We'll see I guess.Enriched White Flour (left) and Dark Rye Flour (right)[...]

Book Club


So last month I joined a book club.I've always been a reader. When I was a kid, I would often devour a novel in a day. I remember riding my bike to piano lessons each week and stopping at the library on my way home to exchange 5 "chapter books" for 5 new ones. I would get immersed into a book and not be able to put it down until I had finished it. I pity people who aren't able to do that. There is nothing more amazing, than shutting out the rest of the world and being drawn into a good story.But somewhere in the last 20 years - well about as long as I've been teaching full time - I've stopped reading for pleasure.  Oh I still read a lot - but most are non-fiction books related to work, travel, triathlon etc.  I usually manage to read a couple of novels every summer, but during the rest of the school year, it just isn't happening. I can think of a million reasons why I didn't read during the school year - too busy with my kids, too busy with work, too tired, too much TV replaced by too much internet - but gradually those reasons just turned into habit. So I thought about it and I wondered why I don't seem to be able to carve out any quality reading time now.  I don't have little kids at home any more, my work life is more streamlined, and all I really need to do is turn off the screens an hour a day and read. For pleasure. Just do it.So right around the time that I was thinking this - or maybe I thought it out loud and someone heard me - a friend/work colleague suggested we start up a book club.  We'll meet once a week and drink wine and eat treats, and maybe talk about the book we've agreed to read. I've never been a part of a book club but the idea has always intrigued me and I thought this would be the ideal way to give me the kick start I need to get back to reading for pleasure. Immediately a dozen people from my school jumped on the idea and our first meeting was scheduled for November.The first book we read was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  We met last week and had a great time discussing the book, and eating and drinking....  I loved it.  And I loved powering through a good novel.  At our meeting, we set the dates for the next six months or so, and each person chose a book and signed up to host that month.  Although I am a techie through and through, and I have a dozen books on my ipad, I love having a real book in my hands, and I decided that I wanted to actually own every book we read in this group, so when I got home, I immediately ordered all of the books from Amazon (although I picked up one from a local book store). Here's a list of what we are going to read before the end of June.The Rosie Project by Graeme SimsionLove Anthony by Lisa GenovaElegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel BarburyInvention of Wings by Sue Monk KiddThe Husband's Secret by Liane MoriartyNo Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeodCatcher in the Rye by JD SalingerEast of Eden by John SteinbeckI am so excited that today I spent at least an hour updating my Goodreads account and creating new shelves.  If you want to be friends on Goodreads, feel free to add me. I'm Kelownagurl of course!Read on! [...]

Sourdough Starter Part 2


My new batch of sourdough starter began to bubble on Day 2.  Today is the end of Day 3. Between feedings, I am storing my jar in the oven, with the oven light on, and the door ajar.  I have a thermometer in there and the temp is about 24-26 degrees celcius. I don't want it to go over 27-28 celcius (about 80F) and it gets up to 30+ if the door is closed. I'm following the fruit juice method (recipe two posts back). I didn't have pineapple juice in the house the first two days, but I used some yesterday.

Here's what I have done so far:
Nov. 15, after feeding

11/12 - 9pm - mixed 2 T dark rye flour, 2 T orange juice in a pint jar

11/13 - 6pm  - added 2T dark rye flour, 2 T orange juice

11/14 - 6pm - added 2T dark rye, 2 T pineapple juice (some bubbles were visible)
11/15 - 4pm - I got a clean jar (just cuz) and added 1/4 cup of the starter mix (threw the rest away), 1/4 cup lukewarm water, and a scant 1/4 cup rye flour.I marked the level on the outside of the jar so I can see if it expands at all.

And now I watch it and wait for it to be able to double in size. Until then, I will feed it every 24 hours - keep 1/4 cup of the starter mix, throw the rest away and add fresh flour/water.  I'm going to keep using rye flour until it seems really strong. Then I will start to switch over to white flour.  Maybe.

Once it can double in size, I will need to feed it twice a day. When it can double in 4-6 hours, it is ready to make bread.

Oh, and I went for a run today.  It's hovering around freezing (zero celcius) but it was sunny and bright so it was nice to be outside.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings


You may have noticed I'm not posting about my workouts.  Um, that's just because I have so many other much more interesting things to tell you.  (I promise I will run tomorrow)   :)

(Photo stolen from their website :)
I was out at my favourite restaurant, The Minstrel Cafe, the other night and in between sets of a local band, a CD was playing in the background. There was one song with a guy that reminded me a little of James Taylor's style, although a little less mellow. I asked the waiter if he knew who was singing and he didn't but he was sure the owner would know - it was his CD.  In short order, the owner, Clare, was at our table with the name "Stephen Fearing".  He told us if we hadn't heard of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, we should go home, and buy every album they have made.  Apparently they are amazing, and knowing Erik's and my taste in music, Clare thought we would like them. He said to start with the album that has the song "Stoned" in it.

So I looked them up on itunes and found they have a whole slew of albums, in a roots-blues-country-rock style. Furthermore, the three members of this Juno award-winning band - Stephen Fearing, the multi-talented Colin Linden, and Tom Wilson, of LeE HARVeY OsMOND fame - are all amazing solo acts in their own right. At this point, I was embarrassed to admit that I had not previously heard of them.

Anyway, I bought BARK (which has Stoned on it) and loved it right away, and tonight I bought Kings and Queens, which is an album of duets with a long list of well known female voices. I am not a reviewer and do not have the words to do justice to their work, so here's a writeup of the album by my twitter pal, @penguinstorm, who writes music reviews for No Depression in his spare time.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have caught my attention like no other band has in a long time.

Fuckin' A - I love it when I find someone new to listen to - check them out!

Adventures in Sourdough Bread


I've always found great weight-loss success with a paleo-ish diet - that is, cutting out grains and other high glycemic foods like rice and potatoes.  But I don't really like it.  I miss bread.  I LOVE bread. And eating paleo meant cutting out SOOOO many things that I truly enjoy eating. Like bread.So this blog post is about bread.  I love cooking and I love making bread.  I don't eat bread all that often and I avoid sandwiches, but it just seems wrong to cut out that gorgeous rustic artisan bread whether I make it at home, or buy it in a speciality bakery.I was doing some reading and I've learned that if you're going to eat bread, the best kind to eat is sourdough.  Why? Because the flour in sourdough is fermented, breaking it down into basic amino acids.  The longer the bread is fermented, the more broken down the starches and proteins become, and theoretically, the healthier it is for you. Some believe if it's fermented long enough, even celiacs can eat it safely, but there hasn't been enough research done to know if that's true or not.  Of course the "healthiness" of a food is a relative and debatable term so keep that in mind.  IF you believe that fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chee, and sourdough are good for you, then you might find this worth trying. (Check out the Mark's Apple site link below for more info)So - the problem is - you can't make sourdough bread with regular yeast. You have to make it with "wild" yeast which is found in the ground grain (and some believe, in the air, and on other items in your kitchen).  Supposedly easy to make, you simply mix ground flour and warm water and leave it out on your counter for a week or longer until the yeasts begin to take hold and multiply.  And of course, you need to "feed" it every day, and then later 2-3 times a day - you dump out half of your starter, and stir in more water and flour.After a week or two, you should have a starter that doubles in size within a few hours of a feed, and it's ready to made into bread.Of course, it's not as simple as that. I've read a ton of websites and recipes (links below) and have been trying to get some sourdough starter going for the past two weeks, without a lot of success.  But I've just started my third batch now and I'm planning to use the citrus fruit juice method and see if it works.  The science behind this method can be found here.Apparently, within a few days of starting a flour/water mixture,  it starts to bubble and bloom but it's not actually yeast growing yet, it's just growing normal gas-producing bacteria. The yeasts can't grow in this environment. Supposedly, once you wait for that stage to pass, it seems to die and stops doing anything. Then, finally the yeasts start to grow.  Mine doesn't seem to want to reach that stage though. It dies and doesn't do anything else. So what to do?Day 2 - Do I see bubbles?The flour with the highest success rate is supposed to be rye flour, which I am using. Many recipes say to use distilled water, which I have not tried (tap water only so far).  But the pineapple or orange juice method is supposed to work because the bacteria that produces the gas in the early stages, can't grow in an acid environment so supposedly the yeast is able to start growing right away, and doesn't have to wait for the bacteria to die off. I dunno - I'll let you know how it goes. I'm on Day 2 right now.And it's important to note, that once you have good starter, you need time to make the bread.  Plan to start it two days before you want to bake it.  You make a sponge with the starter and let it ferment for 6-12 hours, then you mix the dough and let it si[...]

November 12, 2014


November 11, 2014


November 10, 2014


Tomorrow is Remembrance Day so we had a touching assembly at school today. I didn't work out today so instead, I will tell you about my Grandpa.

(image) My paternal Grandfather was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in1897 (100 years before my son!). He  emigrated to Canada with his family in May 1912, when he was 14 years old. The family settled in Vancouver where he went to school. In November 1917, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force - the 1st Depot Battalion, 68th Battery Vancouver, BC and was sent overseas. 

He was stationed in Bramshott, England, southeast of London, close to Southampton.  I wish I had known that when I was in England this past summer so I could have visited the area. His discharge papers say he served in CRA (Commanding Royal Artillery) and Record Clearing Office.  His rank was "Driver".

Grandpa never told me anything about his time in the army so I have no stories.  In fact, I didn't even know he was in WWI until I was going through some of my Grandma's papers long after they both had died.

My grandfather was discharged from the army on August 25, 1919, after the war had ended. He became an accountant, married my grandma in 1927, and had two children, both of whom predeceased him. He died at the respectable age of 80 in 1977.  I remember him well.

He was always "old" as long as I knew him. I remember him as being soft spoken and kind. He was not a very big man - only 5'5" tall.   He loved classical music and played the piano and so he was always very interested in how I was doing my piano lessons. And I remember he still had a Scottish accent so I loved the way he said my name and rolled his r's.

Thanks for your service, Grandpa.  Rest in Peace.

Lest We Forget.

November 9, 2014


I ran today.  Third time this week.  More yay me.  My back felt ok and I was able to run a steady 3/1 the whole time so my 30 minute mileage has increased from 3.4 km last week, to 4.1 km today. I'm happy with that.

Nothing much else to report.  I really need to focus on eating healthy this week. No more dessert/candy/treats/junk. No booze during the week (well, except for Thursday because it's my Book Club night). And I'll try hard to cut out grains again because I always find that REALLY helps me lose weight.

OK gotta go.  It's the season finale of Downton Abbey tonight and I'm really looking forward to it!

November 8, 2014


So my kind friend Lybbe mentioned me in her blog post today. It seems my attempt to kick start my own good habits has motivated her to do the same. And that, my friends, is why I blog.

What sometimes seems, at the moment, to be boring and inane drivel about your goals and achievements might be just what someone else out there needed to read in order to motivate them to get their ducks back into a relatively straight row.

And even better, after my Failure-Friday (meaning I didn't work out AND I ate crap yesterday), Lybbe's kind words helped me to stay on track.

Thank you Lybbe. Please check out her blog and give her some encouragement at Twenty Counting Down.

I had considered going to the gym today, but Erik leaves for Costa Rica tomorrow (lucky bugger), so we decided to head up to Crawford for one last hike on the trails before he goes.  It was overcast and threatening rain but not cold (about 10C).  Most of the leaves have dropped but it still feels great to be out in the forest.

Tomorrow I hope to go for another run/walk if my back will allow it. If not, I'll go after school on Monday.

After an unseasonably warm fall (I believe I heard it was the warmest October on record?), the weather is about to turn.  Tomorrow will be rainy and then a cold front will come in on Monday and we will be SUB-ZERO highs all week and lows down to -10C.  WTF? Not sure I'm ready for that!  I suspect my lettuce will not survive. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted....

November 7, 2014


It's Friday - 'nuff said.

November 6, 2014


I'm feeling proud this evening.  I went for another short run today after work. I tried to run more and walk less this time, mostly 3/1 ratio, with a total of 3.4 km in about 30 minutes.  My back felt tight but what do you expect when you run twice in a week after a two month hiatus?

Other small accomplishments 

- haven't missed my vitamins at all this week
- have done my physio twice a day for 4 days now

We won't talk about my failings.

November 5, 2014


 No writing today.  Just a few "inspirational" quotes I found on the internet.


Now if it was just one pound, I wouldn't care


Baby Steps

November 4, 2014


So I did my physio this morning, and again when I got home (to strengthen glute med and try to stave off lower leg injuries). That's two days in a row now.

And this evening I did a yoga routine to stretch and strengthen overall body. That's 3 days in a row of SOME kind of exercise.  

Yay me. Small victories.

But I am tired. And I have a headache that started around noon so I won't be doing any cardio tonight.  

Tomorrow, the plan is to walk/run again. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and I'm getting my head wrapped around getting back to full-on healthy eating next week. This week, I am doing it for at least half the time, more if I can.  I'm making healthy lunches and trying cut back on high GI carbs at dinner.  But I'm still eating too many calories and allowing the occasional junk food or dessert.  Next week, that'll be gone. 

I can do this.  I've done it before.

It's never too late... yadda, yadda...


I found this on my blog from back in December 2012. 

November 3, 2014


I've been doing a lot of failing lately.  Over the past 3-4 months, I have hardly worked out and over the summer I was enjoying food entirely too much (10 lbs up now).  I realized that each time I tried to get back on track, I was trying to do everything all at once (taking my vitamins, getting more sleep, drinking more water, healthy eating, doing my physio, and exercising 4-5 times per week). And so this time, I'm going to try picking it at one thing at a time.

For the last two weeks I've been taking my vitamins every day.  Not a lot of them, just a few supplements that were recommended.  Calcium/Magnesium/Vit D, Omega 3, Recovery (has glucosmaine), an eye vitamin for macular degeneration.  Oh and B Complex just cuz.

After two weeks, I've finally got the habit down and now it's time to add another item to the list of things I do - exercise (almost) every day.

For the past two months, I've only been hiking on the weekends.  Going back to school after the strike and only having one weekend to prepare for the school year meant something had to go - and that was exercise.  I've been working 8-5 or 8-6 every day and putting in more hours on weekends and evenings and I'm BARELY caught up. 

This was the first week I felt like I might have my head above water. That and I actually had a decent sleep last night.

So after work tonight I went for a run.  Well it really was a walk/run with more walking than running, but hey, after 2 months, you gotta start where you're at. 

It felt good to be out running (in the dark) and I loved the cool air.

I might try it again later this week.

So - vitamins for 2 weeks, exercise for 2 days.  Let's see how this goes.

November 2, 2014


First frost this morning.  Unbelievable that we didn't have any frost in September or October.  Equally amazing that I picked the last of the ripe tomatoes yesterday.  And it's November, did I mention that?Last week I set up the cold frame in my garden to protect the lettuce I planted in late summer. I also have carrots and new green onions coming along, plus I planted some more greens so I guess we shall see if they will grow before Christmas.  I have a single light bulb hung in the cold frame for additional warmth although we didn't need it today. The air temp was about 11C, but inside the frame, it was about 18C with the lovely fall sun beaming down.  I'm pretty sure I'll be picking fresh greens for salad for at least another month.This morning, Erik and I went to a walk along Mission Creek.  For the past month, we've gone for a longish hike up in the Crawford trails every weekend because I love to walk among the pine trees. I think it resets my restless brain.  I find I really need to be  the outdoors at least once a day to keep sane. I was reading a blog post about the impact of exercise on your brain and thought this graphic was interesting.  The author stated that: study on the correlation between brain activity and exercise resulted in not only confirming what most people assumed about physical activity, but also proved that those who work out on a regular basis are both physically and mentally strong. Researchers conducted 19 studies involving 586 individuals and discovered that just 10 to 40 minutes of physical activity helps with numerous brain functions. From helping retain your memory to increasing mental focus and helping concentration, exercising daily can do wondrous things to your brain and body.   Every weekend, for the past 5-6 weeks, we've been lucky to have good weather on the weekend. During the week it's been cloudy and showery but for some amazing reason, it's been lovely and sunny almost every weekend and we've tried to take advantage of that and hike up in the hills.  Today I wanted to walk the greenway because there are only a few days of autumn colour left and it's so beautiful along Mission Creek with all of the Poplar and Maple trees such a brilliant yellow.It's funny - Erik is so excited to be heading off to Costa Rica next week and yet, I'm just so happy to stay here and enjoy the seasonal changes. I'm even looking forward to the first snowflakes that will likely fall before the month is gone.  Perhaps by the end of January, I might like to go someplace warm and sunny, but right now, I'm more than content to watch the leaves fall and feel the chill in the air.  It's gives me an excuse to make a big pot of soup and curl up on the couch with a good book. In fact, I think I'll go do that right now....  :)[...]