The flowers of summer are blooming all around our apartment complex. On Canada Day,
Monsieur L-B performed at the annual hotdog day pool party. During the summer, there is a poolside celebration every month and attendees range from infants to seniors. This year, I met a very interesting elderly lady who was born in the French Concession in Shanghai. She had even attended The Cunning Little Vixen opera that I had been to the week before. Summer poolside is a great place to meet the neighbours and to build connections for the winter.
The hollyhocks are blooming!

The second meeting of the book club is on Tuesday and I am wondering about our membership. Some of the elderly members seemed a little confused. I'm not sure that they will have read and understood the novel Book of Secrets by M.G. Vassanji. Oh well, I am not their teacher and there will be cookies and lemonade.
One of the book club ladies tends a lovely garden area.

I am releasing the orange and brown items of clothing that I have amassed over the years. I am no longer red haired so those colours just don't work. I am still following The Vivienne Files and I am coming to love my new colours. HOWEVER, I am not rushing out to buy a complete new wardrobe as I am not rich and my new grey and blue items will certainly carry me through the summer. I am repeating my outfits more often but that's okay. There is a tendency on my part to want to fill the vacuum immediately.

It's difficult to let go of things that don't work any more:wardrobes, relationships, beliefs…… But that  journey really does begin with the first step. I had my physical this week and I'd really like to let go of obesity. I feel so badly that I dislike photos of myself and consequently I can't show off my new look on my blog. I feel that some of my husband's lack of interest may stem from this additional weight but it is a vicious circle that ends only in sadness.
I am getting to like grey and blue. 

I have been more involved with teaching again and met this week with a former colleague to discuss languages and travel adventures. Monsieur made a remark about the books that I was carrying as I headed off to my French conversation session. Books and learning are part of my identity that still work for me. I know in my heart, that whatever path I take, these elements are essential. I would enjoy taking a summer course and I might even consider a writing course at the University. New people, skills and ideas tend to lift the grey clouds that have surrounded me since I arrived home.

Last week:
I contacted two interesting former colleagues to talk about travel and culture.
I attended a meditation class.
I scattered my father's ashes.
I entertained two of the women that my husband performs with.
I visited with my friend from prenatal classes (39 years ago).

This week:
I shall attend a meditation class.
I shall attend Weight Watchers.
I shall begin to teach another student.
I will enroll in a week-long writing course.

How do we get the confidence to make changes in our lives? I think that it is by building on previous successes. There is no magic wand only small determined steps.


  1. OMG I just lost my comment!
    I wanted to say how fabulous you look in your blues and greys and that I admire that you are making a contribution to others while you are taking on a large personal challenge.
    Please don't get too discouraged about the weight took me almost a year to shed 30 pounds and it is so worth it from a health standpoint. If you need a pep talk, I am here for you, not next door but across Georgia me anytime.

  2. Thank you. I am getting used to my blues and greys and that linen cardigan gets worn most days. I know that if I actually go and weigh in and start, I will feel a little better. A lady at church who has just lost 25 lbs. at WW invited me for a walk this week. It really is a mind-set and the health advantages of weight loss are significant. Your offer is very kind and I really admire and respect your achievement.

  3. I'm so impressed with the way you are shaping this next phase of your life, acknowledging areas of happiness but not getting bogged down, instead choosing to contribute so meaningfully to your community and to move forward with personal goals. You look great in these new colours, and I think you're wise to sit with the state of your wardrobe as it is now rather than jump in to fill the vaccuum (which, I'm afraid, would be a temptation I'd have to really fight as well).

  4. It is quite daunting to have only about 20 articles of clothing when I am used to having so many more. I think that it is wiser to see where the next phase will lead before acquiring a whole new wardrobe. It seems that our "things" often seem to direct our lives. I think Thoreau said something like "beware of new enterprises that require new clothes." He might be right. My tendency when I am anxious or unhappy is to shop so I am purposely "backing off". Is your sleep schedule back to normal yet?

  5. The grey and blue outfit you are wearing suits your colouring so well. I'm following the Vivienne Files, too and find this current series of posts really useful.
    I think it's important, as life moves from one stage to the next, to take the time to think about what lies ahead and how to make the transition positive. Often, taking that first step is the most difficult.

    1. Isn't it great to know that it is not necessary to have many pieces of clothing, just the right ones. I don't know where the road will lead but it is good to know what is important to me. We all need to be adventurous in our lives even when we feel afraid.

  6. Wow -- those colors are yours for sure. Lovely! You know I admire your approach to setting up "Act III" of your life, and this is another example of that process. Have no doubt at all that you will reach your goals.

    FYI - so that we can see more of you on your journey, LOL - in case you haven't seen it, the blog "Miss Whistle" has a post today on taking selfies. I'm awful at that, and anyhow, it seems that unless one is very young or very beautiful, it's darn hard to get shots we really like. If it helps you check in as you go along, hope you check it out. ;-) Mary

  7. Forgot to add -- you look so confident and happy here! Love it.

    1. Those selfie pictures can be awful. I went and read Miss Whistle as I am uncomfortable with photos of any kind. I'll be out facing the sun just before dusk every night. It was interesting that on Sunday, the sermon was on how we need to live a life of "small adventures". Perhaps as we get older and when employment is no longer a focus, our adventures, in fact get bigger. I am coming to like grey and blue a lot but the recycling of my old wardrobe is taking time. Thank you, I am working on the smile.

  8. Madame, I admire your honesty in this post, and I also admire your dedication to living your best life, both outwardly and inwardly.


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