Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tour de France

In 1998, I was in France for two important sporting events. I was in Nice on July 12, the night  that France defeated Brazil for the World Cup at le Stade St-Denis and I was in Paris 3 weeks later on August 2 at the finish line of the Tour de France.

I must admit that I am not a spectator sport enthusiast. Monsieur, like many Canadians, grew up with the family watching Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday. In my family, my brothers played soccer (football) and we all played baseball and badminton in the summer but television watching was not one of our family activities.

In France, after watching the World Cup game in a bar beside the Mediterranean and watching the night-long revelries in the streets, we drove a rental car through southern France only to find that we were running into the Tour wherever we went.

Spectator-lined streets were closed to cars, accommodation was difficult to find but the enthusiasm of the crowds lining the streets was contagious. Every night, we watched the highlights, looking for familiar landmarks of the countryside. By the time we returned to Paris, we were fans!

Our last Sunday in Paris was the final day of the Tour. In 1998, much of Paris was closed on Sunday and during the month of August. Shops and restaurants in the 14th where we were staying were locked up tightly that day. My friend and I travelled to les Champs Elysées to find a spot to watch the grand finale. Although we waited a long time, what could be more exciting than drinking a cold Stella Artois on a sunny day on the Champs Elysées among cycling enthusiasts from all over the world?

Since 1998, I have watched as much of the race as possible on television. I have learned about pelotons, yellow shirts, and green shirts. I have seen countless French villages and small towns and longed to be among the spectators. Although the Lance Armstrong legend impressed me, I never really cared who won. It was about the countryside, the stamina and the enthusiasm.

This is the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France. I will still watch, perhaps with a bit of skepticism after all the doping scandals but, for me, it is the memories and the enthusiasm of the fans that fuels my loyalty. The race begins in Corsica today and I shall be watching Ryder Hesjedal, a Canadian cyclist from Victoria.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lifetime Friends

Yesterday, Daughter and I went to see a production of Les Misérables with some longtime friends. L and I met at prenatal classes in the summer of 1975 before we gave birth to our daughters. In a group of very young expectant couples, somehow my first husband and I and L and her husband "hit it off".

L and her husband were newly arrived from England without family or friends so, when we found ourselves new homeowners living close to each other in an outlying area, we were delighted. The 1970's were a great time to be young mothers. We could survive on one income because our needs were not great. I bought all of my "baby equipment" second-hand and sold it again when it was no longer necessary. As most families in my neighbourhood (distant, undeveloped suburb) had only one car; mums and toddlers shared rides, activities and baby-sitting. There were free story times at the public library, community centre programmes and Mum and Tots playgroup at each other's homes. It was a wonderful time to be a young family!

But, with time, all things change. Our new friends moved further out in order to live on acreage with their growing family and No. 1 and I moved closer in to the city in order to attend classes. Our priorities changed in the 1980's. With daughter in school, I found a part-time job as a library assistant and No. 1 became an auditor and travelled quite a bit. We had more money but we were much less content. We seldom saw our friends who were now a family of six. When my marriage ended, I didn't drive and L doesn't drive on freeways, our friendship became almost impossible.

Our daughters found each other on Facebook a few years ago. Although my daughter is single and her friend is married with teen-agers, they have resumed their friendship and laugh at how alike their mums are. Maybe it's a 70's thing!  But now instead of talking about toddlers, L and I were talking about the recent loss of our parents, blood pressure tablets and dementia. L's family has grown over the years and I got to meet her younger daughter and we remembered each others' families from long ago birthday parties.

In some ways, I mourn the loss of those happy family times. Monsieur has no children and we will never be grandparents. Although we are financially comfortable and free to pursue our individual interests, happiness seems more elusive than during those far off years. Could it be nostalgia, the "road not taken" or just plain ageing?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Day without My Computer

Thursday, my computer did not work. The keyboard on my MacBook would not function and I couldn't sign on.  What a calamity! Anyone who spends time with me will tell you that I spend about 5 hours a day on the computer.

Okay, it's not as bad as it seems. Being a retired librarian, I read a lot and my books are on Kobo desktop. I have a Kobo as well but I prefer reading on my computer. I used to buy magazines because I enjoy looking at beautiful pictures: gardens, travel, homes, clothing; now I read blogs. I love reading about daily living of women like me. I have some books in reserve so I read All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky, who wrote Suite Française. It wasn't a great book but I enjoyed revisiting La France.

We have one television and Monsieur is watching playoff hockey and action movies. I watch selected dramas on the computer. Sometimes I listen to TED talks or BBC World. All of my music is on the computer. I have an addiction to FUNTRIVIA and like to maintain my class standing. I really am a nerdish woman.

I am always planning a trip or doing research with my computer. I do all banking and make appointments online. Without my digital appendage, I am truly lost. I spent a couple hours troubleshooting and identified my problem:one of my keys was stuck.

I called to make an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. The young genius confirmed my diagnosis and tried to remedy it but alas, the keyboard needed replacing. Friday morning, at opening time, I was at the Apple Store to pick up my computer.  What a great reunion! What a great relief! How dependent are you on the computer? What do you use your computer for?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mid -Twentieth Century Woman

As I was born in the early 1950's, I can describe myself as a mid-twentieth century woman. Those of us born in the 1950's have experienced a great deal of societal change during our lives. In 1952, when I was born, the average woman married at the age of 20 and conceived the first of her 3.77 children within 7 months of marriage. She had no plans to work outside of the home and the idea of divorce was unthinkable.

In the elementary school yard in Canada, during the 1950's, boys and girls did not play together since boys played rougher games than girls. Physical Education classes were also segregated according to gender and there were few organized sports teams for girls. It was not regarded as "feminine" for a girl to be "competitive".
Look how many of us were in the class!

In high school, all girls were required to study Home Economics for at least one year and then encouraged to consider a Clerical or Home Economics programme in addition to the Academic programme. In my life, this is when I started to balk because I wanted to study two foreign languages rather than Childcare or Bookkeeping. Against the advice of the school counsellor, I took my chances and followed a "Double Academic " programme with "nothing to fall back on."
You can tell that Mademoiselle L was a dreamy girl. 

There were still few career options afforded to young women: teaching, nursing or social work.
None of these appealed to me in the least! I dreamt of becoming an interpreter for the United Nations or  a foreign correspondent. Not knowing where to begin with this, I did what many other mid-century women did: got married and conceived a child within 3 months just like my mother and grandmother. But the times, they were a-changing. I worked part-time is a small public library and found myself discontent with domestic life. Many of my friends who married in the early seventies are now divorced; some remarried like me, others single by circumstances or by choice.

Most of my friends have supported themselves and their children at some time. Some have been the principal bread-winner in a marriage due to illness or job loss. I lived in nonprofit housing with my daughter while I completed post-baccalaureate education and began my teaching career. In all of my adult life, I have only lived in a detached home for three years. Since my daughter has been an adult for almost 20 years, much of my personal income has been spent on travel, theatre and opera. My friends are much less likely to spend an entire day doing housework than their mothers did. Technology has freed us from many tasks although I enjoy cleaning and rearranging our apartment.
Mum and Dad at my retirement.

As we age, the women of my generation are likely to have more interests and more independence than any group of women before them. As roles in domestic relationships have changed over the years, it may be the husband who enjoys cooking and the wife who undertakes do-it-yourself projects. Financially, women today are more likely than their predecessors to have their own pensions and savings.

The women of my age have lived through a period of transition like no other. Today, women generally marry at a later age or perhaps not at all. They can raise children in a relationship, on their own or not at all. Women make up more than 50% of post-secondary students and are working in the trades as well.

As we approach the Third Age, mid-twentieth century women are poised to be the most influential and most  resilient group of women in history.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Canadian Favourites

The population of Canada is one tenth that of our neighbour to the south, the United States of America. Much of our television, film and music comes from the U.S.A. but on a driving trip with Monsieur this winter, I found women's clothing with Canadian labels in shops in Sedona and San Diego. My cousin(the Dancing Queen) and I were attracted to a shop in Paris only to find that what we were looking at was Joseph Ribkoff, a women's line manufactured in Dorval, Québec.  My mother has a cousin with a shop in  Lerwick, Shetland Islands and she stocks Canadian-made clothing.Yes, there is Canadian fashion and it travels the globe.

My favourite summer skirt is a brown, easy to wear cotton knit from Neon Buddha, a Canadian company that is developing ethical manufacturing in Thailand. Three hundred women receive maternity leave, paid health care, and free English classes for all family members. The casual, "yoga style" clothing is excellent for travel and my skirt is one of my basic summer pieces. I was amazed to see Neon Buddha in Arizona, California and Oregon. Obviously, the line which also comes in women's sizes is a favourite with active retirees and "snowbirds" (Canadians who winter in the warmer U.S. states.)
I love this skirt. Top by Joseph Ribkoff.

In my home, I like to have  comfortable, attractive clothing to wear while I am reading, writing or watching a movie. For many years, I have chosen Diamond Tea Gowns because they are elegant and well-made. I wash mine frequently, hang to dry and wear them until they wear out. Right now, I have a luxurious black velvet robe for winter and a turquoise and brown animal print caftan for summer. Diamond Tea gowns have been manufactured in Québec for sixty years.

My cousin loves to go tango dancing and I cruise often with Monsieur. We both enjoy the Joseph Ribkoff for evening and dressier events. The black skirt with many different tops is my essential piece for resorts and cruises where I "dress" for dinner. Chocolate brown is "my black" and my brown jersey dress is my favourite "dress up" piece to be worn with pearls on any formal evening. I have a couple of evening jackets that can be worn to change my dress a bit.
Joseph Ribkoff black skirt with one of many possible tops.

I have been wearing clothing from these manufacturers for a few years. I didn't choose them because they were Canadian but because they produced a product that suited my age and lifestyle. Their durability has provided good value for my clothing dollar. In these times, we must also consider working conditions in clothing factories.  I do not want to be indirectly responsible for the exploitation of women and children in order that I might have inexpensive clothing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Saving Face

Face sans makeup.
Travelling in Europe is a wonderful experience but how does one preserve the European look in the North American world? It is obvious in Paris that every look begins with grooming. There were two Instituts Marionnaud kitty-corner on rue Cherche-Midi where I rented my Paris apartment. Soins de visage (care of the face) is very important to every French woman no matter her age or economic status.

In France, I visited instituts for eyebrow shaping and tinting, épilations of different sorts and a facial. I tried products from Monoprix and from many corner pharmacies. While travelling, I enjoy using sample sizes and freebies as much as possible. There is no point carting full-size products around Europe when every major city offers a smorgasbord of product and service opportunities.

At home, my life involves more stress, more responsibility and a suburban lifestyle that does not abound with opportunities for spa visits which are regarded as a luxury in my neighbourhood. I do however live across the street from a Shopper's Drug Mart. Not your typical Parisian pharmacie (so not that I often want to cry), but it does provide opportunities for skin care.

It is important to visit a drugstore, if one must, that has a skin care section with a wide assortment of products of many brands and price levels. Visit when the counter is not busy and introduce yourself to the "cosmetics manager" who is a salesperson not an aesthetician. My local drugstore is building a more personalized approach to skincare. The "cosmetician" measured the hydration level of my skin and told me that it was 24 and that I should be aiming for 40. I didn't really understand the measuring system but it indicated to me that the old face is drying up.

I am sixty-one years old, don't smoke, don't sunbathe too much, and wear a moisturizer with SPF 30 at all times. I have Celtic origins and am prone to some redness and will change colour with coffee or wine. Four generations of women in my family (that's all I've seen) have aged without significant wrinkling or lining due probably to a moist climate and a tendency to plumpness. My mother who is fairer than I am is developing a lot of skin cancer in her eighties.

I have been following a skin care program for three weeks and I pleased with the results. Above is my naked face photographed with the inevitable Photobooth application. I always have to tilt my head to photograph my face and to avoid a fixed stare. I have noticed a reduction in redness and a more even skin texture. I will go back to Shopper's after four weeks to see if my hydration level has improved.

In the morning, I am washing with cool water only. I pat and do not rub my face dry. I spray on a product called Skin Resonance for sensitive skin. I bought this product at a day spa not at Shopper's. Next, I use Thalgo Crème Collagène wrinkle smoothing that I bought at my favourite institut Oneto on rue Montparnasse. This is available in Canada at some day spas. For a more even complexion, I use Clinique Superdefense CC cream with a 30 SPF (available anywhere).  I can leave my house for my morning walk with a "natural" face after this simple ritual.

I eat a lot of fish and vegetables daily. I consume no more than 2 coffee products in a day and drink wine with restaurant lunches and during the "happy hour". I should drink more water and I am on a  prescribed 25 mg diuretic. Skin care is health care so product alone will not compensate for poor health habits.

In the evening, I cleanse with Estée Lauder Soft Clean for dry skin. I use warm water and pat dry. Then, I use Avène soothing, hydrating serum for sensitive skin with Avène rich, compensating cream.
These products all came from my neighbourhood Shopper's Drug Mart.

While I am no longer in Paris, I am able to maintain my skin regimen without too much difficulty. I use only a little product each day so most will last a long time. My local drug store has a loyalty program so accumulated points will give me a discount on future purchases. The drugstore actually called me to see  whether I was satisfied with my products.

Every month, I plan to visit a day spa for a facial and exfoliation to maintain my skin. In my seventh decade, I hoping not to "turn back the hands of time" but to maintain as healthy an appearance as possible.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day

Dad and Mum outside Extended Care Unit
This is the first Father's Day that I won't have a father. Until last year, when he was living in the Extended Care Unit, I used to take my dad out for breakfast for Father's Day. He would always order the traditional breakfast that was not heart healthy. Most days of the year, he followed the healthy regimen but Father's Day and Christmas were notable exceptions.

Monsieur sang at the Garden Room at the Extended Care Unit yesterday. Friday was Dad's favourite day at ECU because there was entertainment and beer. Dad adapted well to the hospital and learned to enjoy bingo, exercise class and Pub Day. Whenever we visited, we wheeled Dad to the Garden Room where he could look out at the plants and the greenhouse. On warm days, we went outside and explored the garden or went to the waterfall to sit in the sun. Sometimes we ventured as far as Mahoney's Pub to escape the confines of the hospital world. It wasn't so much the food or the beer but the opportunity for Dad to enjoy a more "normal" setting.

Maman brought treats to Dad each time she visited: grapes, cherry tomatoes, sometimes even a drink of vodka and Clamato juice in a thermos. All of these little pleasures made his last year a little more bearable. A B.C. Lions blanket, a painting of wild birds, and a roommate who was an ardent sports fan made the stark and sad hospital room into a home of sorts. From the window, my dad always watched as we drove away and Maman always honked as we left.

The end of life is sad and as we become more feeble, one by one, the little pleasures slip away. The last time that I pushed my dad to Mahoney's Pub, he could barely lift his beer and I fed him a little soup. He lost interest in bingo and was too weak to enjoy the exercise class any longer. Yesterday, when I was talking to my sister, she said that she feels sad whenever she thinks of Dad. We are all so different because when I think of Dad, I think of the tomatoes that he loved grow and to eat, of how he used to bring Maman a yellow rose from the bush in front of their townhouse, and how nobody dared to sit in his chair. Tomorrow, I will miss the "traditional" breakfast but I will think of my dad when I am in church and perhaps I'll go and buy a tomato plant for the balcony.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Bright!

I love my misty French bedroom
I have been transforming my soft  creamy white and Balboa Mist bedroom into a quite different room for the summer. I love the relaxing blues, cremes and greiges but I need a boost right now so I am creating a  bright tropical garden room.  I started with a thorough cleaning of carpets, furniture, blinds and woodwork.

Next, I bought some inexpensive décor items mostly in turquoise and teal. I thought exotic birds and  vibrant colours. As this is a temporary transformation, I don't want to spend very much money

My bedroom furniture was  repainted and distressed a few years ago.
While I was out shopping, I found just the right (colourful and inexpensive) coverlet and shams (less than $70).
This is a bright, cheerful change.
I put décor accessories and artwork away for future use but I make sure that I go through it periodically to cull and recycle items that I no longer "connect with".
I put this collage picture away a few years ago. Good colours. Nice reflection too!
I wanted birds in my garden and look what Maman just recycled to me.
With my turquoise candles, birds, and coverlet, my exotic new garden bedroom is just about complete. Tomorrow, I shall buy some splashy, pink peonies to complete my room. It's always fun to shop your cupboards and those of family members to decorate a room! You may find most of what you need without spending a dime.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Freshening Up

Yesterday, I freshened up my bedroom. Before the carpet cleaning man came, I cleared every surface, washed my painted furniture with warm soapy water, and dusted all the doors and blinds. While he was working, I washed ornaments, cleaned silver and sorted fashion jewellery into little organza bags.
Inexpensive box for jewellery
The carpets are still drying so my room is quite empty. Do I want a more simple look for summer? Shall I leave the cover off the quilt or just use my light summer blanket? Could I change the decorator cushions to a different colour for summer? Changing or eliminating a few items will create a fresh, new look.
Peacock Jewellery Dish

I have been adding a little turquoise or teal to each room to "change up" my cream, orange, brown palette. I don't want to buy a lot of décor items so I have been "shopping" my cupboards and the local import décor emporium. I'm fond of birds so I've been adding a few avian touches to my rooms for a cheery summer look.
Wire bird with potpourri

Just as I like to change my clothing, scent, hair, and diet as summer approaches, I enjoy making my apartment a little lighter and brighter during the summer months. If you live in an apartment without a garden, forest, or beach nearby, how do you bring a touch of these natural elements into your living space?
Small details brighten my neutral bedroom.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lazing Down the River

Sunday morning, Maman and I went to church for swimming lessons. Not really! The sermon was about relaxing and having faith that the water (or God) will support you. The more you flail or struggle, the more likely it is that you will drown. You can not change the course of the river or even always avoid the rapids but it is faith that will provide you with the buoyancy to survive. The water is always stronger and more persistent than the swimmer.

I didn't grow up with this faith. I still partially believe that, if I work harder or try to understand better, things will be different. That is obviously a ridiculous notion. Only when we can let go of the notion of struggle or even intellectual understanding, will we be supported by the river. Do you remember learning the Dead Man's Float? My dad taught us to swim in Okanagan Lake and he was totally unafraid of water. He could jump out of the boat mid-lake and help the flailing little girl straighten her water-skis. He was always telling me that I was "rolling" when I swam and was wasting energy.  I'm not doing missionary work but, if you want to listen to to this sermon, it seemed relevant to many of us who are dealing with challenges: changing lives, illness, ageing, or family troubles. Perhaps the Dead Man's Float was all I really ever had to learn.

Sunday afternoon, Monsieur and I went to a barbecue where his new band, The Surfrajets, played for the first time before an audience. Monsieur, has been playing music for more than 50 years. He was the bass player for a well known local band, Kentish Steele and the Shantelles when he was a teen.  I have spent quite a lot of time as one of those superfluous entities called a "band wife". Bands, singing partners and venues change quickly in the music world. I had never met this group but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The band members and their partners were amiable and the neighbours had been invited so there was no problem with the volume.

I am getting tired of trying to take pictures of myself. Monsieur found the same fuzzy focus problem with my camera as I experienced in Europe. Finally, we were able to get some photos but I really have to relax and stop flailing in front of the camera. Anyway, I am linking with Visible Monday for the 100th post.

Going for my morning walk.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Looking out for Number One

I have always been an "easy-going" individual who basically likes to stay out of trouble. The adjective "conscientious" was often used to describe me on report cards. I was the girl who always did the homework and who never skipped class.  Probably, I was a "nerdy girl" but that's perfectly okay with me. I did my requisite rebelling, quit university, and made the necessary "unwise" choices to emerge a more or less mature differentiated human being. I am not the same as my brothers and sister. In fact, sometimes I feel so "not the same", that I need to spend time with myself away from "family ties."

Monsieur and I are so dissimilar that he claims that we are from different planets. But Monsieur and I are intellectual equals which counts for a lot. When I say that someone does not know a Hohenzollern from a Hapsburg, Monsieur knows what I am talking about. I have absolutely no sense of rhythm while Monsieur hails from a family of barbershoppers. However,  I know all the lyrics from any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.Monsieur sees no problem in practising or hanging out until late at night and I, descendent of Presbyterians, figure that if it's not done before ten o'clock, it's not worth doing.

Another photo booth picture
So how do I preserve me? I do not want to conform to the restrictive mores of my family. I am too Presbyterian to accept the lifestyle of Monsieur. I am just me. I love to see new places and to learn new things. If they don't speak another language, it's not worth visiting. The choices of life  are difficult but how do we make them?

To my way of thinking, we think of offering support to others in a fashion that is true unto ourselves, We can't explain ourselves to others but if we listen to our own feelings, we'll do alright.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Daily life and Disasters

Daily living is not always exciting. This week, Vancouver finally got some sunshine and and I have fastened my step counter to my waistband and headed out of doors. Ducklings and young Canadian geese are learning survival skills in our local park.

 Monsieur is practising his music for a summer of playing at pool parties, outdoor markets and street festivals. He is visiting his new studio each day so that I have much-needed time for household tasks.  My mother has lived almost two weeks in an apartment and is looking forward to doing some gardening on her immense balcony. Her balcony is covered and almost as large as her living-room and dining-room. This area could be used as a very comfortable outdoor room for entertaining and container gardening.
No more clothes! However pretty, for whatever reason!

As for me, I am organizing and decluttering. I have too many clothes and I like most of them! They all fit and are maintained. I sew buttons, press and regularly check for stains so I can't cull on those grounds. Frequency of use is an issue. Although I have too many dress clothes for my retired life, I have some occasion to wear them. I go to opening night of the opera and enjoy ocean cruises with Monsieur. My mother, whose Presbyterian roots are evident, would just say "too much money." I vow to buy nothing this summer.
Three weeks ago on the Danube

Three weeks ago, I was cruising on the Danube River. We boarded our river boat, the AMA Dolce in Passau, Germany. Passau, located on three rivers, is renowned for its university, cathedral, and architecture. Right now, Passau is experiencing the worst flooding in 500 years. The flooding has caused deaths and serious damage to property. It only takes a flood, earthquake, or hurricane to put all those daily "problems" in perspective. We must appreciate the beauty around us and be thankful when our daily lives pass "without event".

Monday, June 3, 2013

School Years, Retirements and Life Changes

Do you remember back when you were in school?  June meant Sports Day, track meets and extra outdoor activities if the weather was good and the teacher was tired of being cooped up in the classroom.When I retired two years ago, I figured that I had spent more than fifty years  following a school calendar.
In Paris, there are special year-end chocolates in June.

Each year, in June, some of  those who have been students graduate and some of those who have been teachers retire. When I consider these two words, I feel more like a graduate than a retiree. "Retirer" means " to withdraw, to go to a place of privacy or seclusion." After two years of "retirement," I feel that I have stepped out of the classroom into a far bigger world.

The Spanish word for retiree is "jubilada", which means "one who sings or shouts with joy".  On further  investigation, I even found The Jubilados Manifesto, a slightly tongue-in-cheek document of the Utne Institute which organizes Community Earth Councils of Elders and youths from 16 to 28.
The word "retiree" obviously dates from a time when the "elderly" worker could no longer contribute in the workplace and so needed "to be put out to pasture."

I feel that in my two years as a "jubilada," I have lead a busy and productive life. Monsieur and I fulfilled one of his travel dreams:sailing through the Panama Canal. I spent time visiting my Dad in the hospital and learning more about end of life. Monsieur is now entertaining in Extended Care facilities and we are both comfortable among the frail elderly. I have spent 7 months living in Paris where I attended the Sorbonne and graduated with honours. I walked the last 100 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago and have been exploring religion and spirituality through participating in a Church. Certainly, there has been more "going forward" than "retreating" in my life.
Graduates waiting in the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne

Today, my 18-year old niece will attend her Valedictory Ceremony and many teachers will begin to count down their final month of school. For both the18-year-old student and the 60-ish educator, new possibilities are looming: possibilities based on circumstances, finances, aptitudes and health. June is an exciting time and I am so glad to be a "jubilada".

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Janice MacLeod and Photo Collections

One of the first bloggers that I ever read was Janice Macleod, a Canadian living in Paris after quitting her job and embarking on a life of travel. Janice was a Canadian Living magazine "blog of the month"
last year. She is an artist whose blog features musings on life and some practical advice for those who would like to find and follow their bliss.
Arizona 2007

Janice wrote a post in April on e-spring cleaning. This involves organizing the photos on the computer and deleting most of them. Yesterday, I worked on this, creating albums of the best photos, creating a calendar for a friend and deleting many, many photos.
Seattle 2008

In our apartment, we have albums and boxes of photos. My mother is in the process of weeding 60+ years of meticulously organized albums. Monsieur has organized our common digital photos and plays them on our big television.
Puerto Escondido 2011

Okanagan Wine-tasting 2012
What do you do with a lifetime of photos? My daughter would not be thrilled to receive thousands of photos of Monsieur and my camping days. Family photos are interesting if you know who the people are. I still have a lot of work to do in decluttering and organizing my belongings.
Camino de Santiago de Compostella 2012