It’s A Struggle

For the past couple of days I’ve been browsing through my photo library looking for inspiration for a story.  Anything.

… but I’ve been coming up with nothing.  What do you do when the most creative thing you can come up with is … well, …. nothing?

Reykjavik 2015.jpg

Reykjavik, 2015

I’m willing to acknowledge that February tends to be like that for me.  It’s cold, winter has been dragging along, and the weather is often unpleasant for getting outside for some fresh inspiration.

In Canada, during the month of February, everyday life can feel like a heavy burden – literally.  Gloves, scarfs, heavy coats and boots … and that’s just to put the garbage out. This week I had to put ice grippers on my boots to navigate the driveway to get the garbage cans to the street for pickup.

It’s enough to make even a hearty soul want to hibernate or pack up for warmer climes.

ringling-museum-of-art-jan-2017

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida – Jan 2017

I regret I never learned to ski … or skate.  It’s almost a sacrilege for a true-born Canadian to admit to. Perhaps if I had, winter wouldn’t feel so long.

Just before Christmas, I desperately wanted to get a pair of skates.  For weeks it was all I could think about … but I knew that was just the broken collarbone speaking out of boredom.

ringling-museum-of-art-jan-2017-2

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida – Jan 2017

So instead of embracing skating … and the likelihood of a new injury,  I spin for endless kilometers on my bike in my basement, going nowhere.

copenhagen-2015

Copenhagen – August 2015

… dreaming of spring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Toronto – Lake Ontario – February 2017

 

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Attitude, Memories, Nature, Outdoor Stuff, Random Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

121 Responses to It’s A Struggle

  1. Ice grips to take out the garbage? I think I took mine to the end of the drive way in my underwear this morning – but that was only for Pauly to pick up and take to our garbage hole on the farm. You can do that out in the middle of no where. It sounds so cold, but the good thing is that the season wheel is turning as we speak and spring isn’t far away for you. You did a wonderful post out of ‘nothing’. I have a better feel for winter in Canada.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Ha! I have a friend with a horse farm out in the country here. She talks the same about life in the country. I’m pretty sure the neighbours would object if I started skinny-dipping in the pool in the summer 😉

      Yes, the season wheel continues to turn and in spite of all my whining about winter, it gives us the anticipation of spring ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    The winter does grow long now doesn’t it Joanne? We had our first snowboarding lesson on the weekend. These new things definitely shine a little light on this determined season. 🙂

    Like

  3. prior.. says:

    I really enjoyed scrolling and reading your thoughts. it really felt like I was right there with you.
    and then I laughed at the bike – going nowhere – and how cool it was with all your art from visiting places.

    oh and I think you know – it is never too late to learn to ski – and you might just love it

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I have visions of me on a bunny hill with a group of 3 year olds learning how to ski 😉

      This post made me sit back and reflect on why I wasn’t doing certain things. I realized I needed to expand my circle of friends to find people who shared my interest in getting out and doing new things.
      This has spurred me on to find and join a couple of new clubs nearby. Here’s hoping!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mama Cormier says:

    The last time I went ice skating I fell and ended up in emergency with a muscle tear in my arm. That was at least 25 years ago. I know how you’re feeling right now. Today was the first day I’ve felt really sad, glum, depressed, uninspired and lethargic. We need some sunshine in our part of the world. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the snow yesterday. I was beginning to think that we were done with winter. As for today I’m not sure why I’m feeling so blue. I think I’m going to go out and do a little retail therapy. 🙂

    Like

  5. I have spring on my mind too. and I agree, February hasn’t been nice at all, nor kind. 🙂

    Like

  6. I’m dreaming of spring too!!

    Like

  7. Mrs. P says:

    I think your words captured the void that many feel during the winter time…waiting for the weather to be nice enough to leave the house and embark on some new adventure…or perhaps, even an old one.

    I too, am a fan of statues…they are all magnificent works of art and I marvel at the talent and creativity involved in making them.

    Like

  8. Sorry to say February has been great here in the desert. Temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 today. Great to go out to Death Valley at this time of year, which I did yesterday. Come for a visit! 🙂

    Like

  9. joey says:

    I struggle with stationary exercise, so I commend you on your dedication to spinning.
    February is rather dull, isn’t it? I try to think of winter as a great rest. I like it, I’m sure that helps, but in the north, it’s a good way to think of it.
    I hope you find something inspirational.

    Like

  10. Well you managed to pull out a beautiful theme and images to go with it with these sculptures!

    My Mom retired to FL about 5 yrs ago. She loves it and keeps telling me I need to come. It’s on our list of places to look into for retirement.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’m having a hard time convincing my husband. He’s one of those people who likes to work, needs to work, and will probably continue to work until he’s forced not to.
      … which leaves me in limbo in the interim.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ally Bean says:

    February is just a filler month for me. I expect little from it, setting my sights on March, the action verb month! I feel your pain.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      oh – I like that … the “action verb” month!

      I’ve always hated March … even more than February. I expect February to be cold and wintery, but I WANT March to be different … and it never is.

      For the first time, someone has given me a reason to embrace March. It’s an action month!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Margy says:

    After 60 years of Alberta winters, we bought a snowbird place in Arizona. It has made a huge difference to our lives! It gives us mobility and freedom to be part of a community, without wrestling with winter clothes and navigating a vehicle over ice and snow! It opens up a whole new world of things to photograph and a new landscape to garden in! (We spent December in Alberta – arrived when it was -25C and left when it was -25C. Sure weren’t sorry to head south again.)

    Like

  13. Mara Eastern says:

    Dreaming of spring is a good plan and probably the only thing one can do in this season, and not only in Canada. Your street art shots are intriguing!

    Like

  14. reocochran says:

    The winter beach scenery looks so beautifully unique. I am like you, dragging around a bit. I get a small amount of “seasonal depression,” Joanne.
    I have been years ago to the Ringling Brothers estate, where there is a large black and white Palazzo. I am sure it is a different location than the art museum. There are many beautiful and artistic relics in their palace.
    Keep your chin up and thank goodness your urges to skate and ski are tamped down by the realization you didn’t do this while younger, why start this now?! Growing up on Lake Erie, many of my friends were active outdoors. I knew how to ski and skate but always joked, If I marry or date someone rich, when they take me to a ski resort, I will take a fantastic book, sit by a fireplace and sip on hot cocoa with Bailey’s Irish Cream in it! 😉

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I wasn’t an outdoorsy kind of person in my youth. It wasn’t until I was introduced to running and cycling in my late 40s … and especially when I started hiking in my mid-50s … that I became *hooked* on outdoor activities.
      I’m glad I discovered this passion because it’s made life so interesting!

      Like

  15. nrhatch says:

    Hope that memories of your trip to Florida sustain you until the sun peaks out again in Toronto.

    Like

  16. your photographs compliment the story so beautifully Joanne. Congratulations. You probably don’t want to hear I’m in Mexico and the average daily temperature is 80.

    Like

  17. mickscogs says:

    Oh gee that last photo looks cold. Thanks for adding it. It’s a bit cool here at the moment 19°C Brrr. I want my high 20s back (but not high 30s or low 40s) Can’t please some people can you.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      19C would definitely feel cold after 30s and 40s!
      On the other hand, 19C here right now would be absolutely tropical! 🙂

      We had a lot of snow dumped on us today … the sky was so heavy and dark and it looked ominous over the water … but in fact the temperature was only a few degrees below freezing so it wasn’t so bad.

      Interestingly, as we were walking along the shore, we had that philosophical conversation about whether or not we would be able to voluntarily enter the water to try and save someone.
      The truth is, even a very strong swimmer would be paralyzed from the cold in just a few short minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Relax... says:

    I loved seeing your photos.. how talented people are! As for winter, I’m too old for this shyte. They’re referring to today’s and tomorrow’s storms in feet, not inches. *sigh… all we can do is hang in there.

    Like

  19. Do you do curling? 🙂 Hee, hee! I skate and ski, although not recently enough, and you already know I’m a big hockey fan. February’s almost half over and you can celebrate Valentine’s Day in a couple days, which will get you to the halfway point with some fun. 🙂 Sending you hugs and sunshine.

    janet

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      oooh – thanks for the hugs and sunshine! They’re always appreciated 🙂

      I don’t curl either (I really am a terrible poster girl for Canada) … I think I might have been accidentally born to the wrong parents. I’m pretty sure I was meant to be born into a wealthy family with a winter home in the tropics 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Lynn says:

    We were up in Ottawa this past weekend & winter is definitely present in this neck of the woods! Hubby headed home but I am staying up for a few days. Think we expecting another 20 – 25cm tonight😬

    Like

  21. Joe says:

    I think it’s a good thing you didn’t take skiing up Joanne 😀 Who knows if they have enough spare parts left to repair you !

    Liked by 1 person

  22. bikerchick57 says:

    February is a tough month, weather-wise and writing-wise. I feel the same way, Joanne. Other than finishing a post for One-Liner Wednesday, I’m hard pressed to come up with anything that has substance. I suppose I could always post photos of my cats…

    Spring is coming. Other than being very windy, it was a beautiful, sunny day here. High around 40. Time to get out the flip-flops. The weatherman is predicting 46 degrees next Saturday and my first thought when I saw that was, “I wonder if I would have time to take the bike for a spin.” Much better than the stationary bike at the gym or the treadmill or the rowing machine. Right?

    Like

  23. Heyjude says:

    Hang on in there Joanne, spring is not so far away. I always think February is the longest month, we are all so ready to get rid of winter and yet it can be the cruellest month of all. At the moment I am listening to the wind howling and really looking forward to some warmer weather when every joint in my body doesn’t ache or cause me pain when I move. And for a post about nothing you have done very well, love those struggling statues. Especially the first one.

    Like

  24. Margie in Toronto says:

    I have to admit that it is pretty out there – but I’m saying that from the safety and warmth of my couch! I had plans to head out early this morning but it was snowing like crazy when I got up and judging by the neighbours’ rooftops – had been snowing all night!
    I have to think about safety first – knee surgery is scheduled for next month so hopefully I’ll be a bit more mobile by the summer. Right now I’m just grateful that we’ve had such little snow this winter – although I had a feeling we’d pay for it this month!
    A friend did head out for a walk along the Humber River – we live right next to it at Old Mill and she said it was lovely but hard slogging. A number of people had looked out their cross-country skis and were enjoying themselves – and movie much faster than she was!
    I know that both the Canadian Groundhogs predict an early Spring – but I have my doubts. Hopefully it will be cleared enough to get out tomorrow.

    PS – I saw that statue in Reykavik – they have some truly weird and wonderful similar sorts of statuary scattered around the city – I think it speaks to their rather warped sense of humour – which I truly appreciate! 🙂

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      When we headed out down to the lake this morning, I was surprised by how many cars were on the road for a Sunday morning. Considering how bad the roads were, if I had been alone, I would have turned around and gone back home.

      Good luck with your knee surgery. I hope your recovery is a quick one!! I can see why you want to keep yourself safe in the interim!

      Like

  25. We don’t have a winter this year and I am not too happy with it. It’s raining a lot, the yard is a mud puddle and it’s way too warm. Then it drops down 40 degrees and back to rain afterward.

    Don’t shoot me, but I would be ready for two weeks of snow. The mud weather is getting to me.

    As for spring, it’s just around the corner. Hang in there!

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Up until this week, we weren’t having much of a winter either, so I can’t really complain much … I like to, but it doesn’t help and it just annoys everyone around me 😉

      It seems like Mother Nature has just realized her mistake and has been trying to correct it all in one week!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Phil Ryan says:

    Oh Joanne, even your ‘nothing’ is rich with something. Always entertaining and always with a fine line in humour. I’ve not cycled since mid December due to a ropey hamstring so I envy your spinning. But yes, roll on Spring… 🙂

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Thanks Phil. That warms my heart …. even if my hands are currently half-frozen 😉

      On a positive note, my cycling legs are coming along quite nicely. I say that now until I hit the first outdoor hill … and it’s all bets are off and let the swearing begin 😉

      Good luck with the hamstring. Now of course is the time to take care of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Phil Ryan says:

        Ha ha, low gears and counting to myself is a tactic I employ on hills. It doesn’t help but the swear box doesn’t bulge. 😉 If you’re going to be injured I’ve picked the right time of year. Stay warm! 🙂

        Like

  27. You managed a lovely post, Joanne. Great photos. Hang in there, spring is on its way!

    Like

  28. It will come soon enough. Funny how spoiled we are here in these warmer climates. I remember my mother putting on her jacket to take out the garbage.

    Like

  29. jan says:

    I’ve been feeling listless and uninspired also. However the sun’s out today. I love those sculptures.

    Like

  30. Su Leslie says:

    For a post about nothing; you managed to say a lot and be very engaging. I can’t imagine rugging up to take the rubbish out or being really trapped by the climate. It’s incredibly humid here, and I’m finding ways of staying near the air-conditioning, but that’s for comfort rather than survival. I love that your sculptures all portray struggle. Art speaks volumes! Hopefully you will have an early and delicious spring.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Are you familiar with our Groundhog Day? It’s February 2nd when a local *celebrity* groundhog is urged out of hibernation to predict the coming of spring based on whether he can see his shadow or not.
      Anyway, this year he has predicted an early spring. We’ll see 🙂

      I’m glad that you picked up on my deliberate choice of sculptures portraying struggle. I had so many to choose from!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Su Leslie says:

        I’ve seen the movie, but I didn’t know that this year he’d predicted an early spring. Hope he’s accurate. What is the groundhog’s success rate?
        I guess a lot of classical sculpture depicts struggle; and I really like the first, contemporary work.

        Like

  31. I am also bereft of inspiration and I haven’t been out to take pictures in over a month so I totally understand how you feel. I am too dreaming of spring and it is snowy pretty hard in Montreal right now…(Suzanne)

    Like

  32. Dan Antion says:

    This is a wonderful post. A week ago, I would have been a little jealous of your winter. Ours had been dry and unseasonably warm. Since Thursday, we’ve had almost 20″ of snow and we’re getting 8-14 more as I type this comment. I’m suffering from the other winter problem, travel and weather have eaten into the time I read and write.

    Pretty soon, you’ll be on a bike that isn’t stationary 🙂

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I was lulled into a false sense of security. So far our winter had been the kind I liked – little or no snow. Sadly, that has now changed.
      We’ve been hearing the weather reports about the east coast. You guys are getting dumped on big time … and now, so are we. It hasn’t stopped once since I got up this morning and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. Thankfully, I don’t have to go anywhere.
      It’s days like today that make us appreciate summer as much as we do 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. ms6282 says:

    Yes, January and February are miserable months.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Winter is something we all like to complain about 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find a blog post is only half the fun – the other half is reading the commentary. But here I will stop lurking and jump in.

        When I moved up to Cobalt, I was taken aback by the number of local folk, as in born and bred in Northern Ontario, who complained about winter. That is, there was no difference from the south. I had somehow figured that folks would be used to it, or not even remark upon it. In that way: I felt right at home!

        You managed a fine entry, and I love the images from your treks.

        If it makes you feel any better, it snowed most of the day up here, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Heyjude says:

          I’m with you on the comments Maggie – I am a fellow lurker… 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Joanne Sisco says:

          Oh no …. Northerners have highly developed skills when it comes to complaining about the weather … all kinds of weather, except for that very small sweet spot that occurs for a few days every year randomly spaced between June and September 🙂

          I had been on edge all day because Jordan and his friends were up in Huntsville at a cottage for the weekend. As you know, that drive down through the snowbelt can be brutal. I didn’t start to breathe again until I heard they were back in the city.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, my, I am tense just reading your comments about the guys travelling. I completely understand. I’m relieved to hear that they made it!

            Whenever I’m in the same situation, that is, a loved-one is travelling, I make the journey with them from home – I watch the weather radar, I estimate their progress – “should be in Barrie by now” and don’t really relax until I hear that they have arrived safely. As if by my will alone, they are protected. [eyeroll] I suppose that’s what prayer is all about.

            Like

            • Joanne Sisco says:

              I’m not eye-rolling, because I’m convinced my worrying is what keeps the Universe in balance and my loved ones out of serious trouble.
              If I stop worrying, then the world as we know it will collapse completely 😉

              Liked by 1 person

  34. Donna says:

    I never get tired of your writing or photography, Joanne — so I was happy that you decided to do this “nothing” post. I agree with ourfrenchoasis — what about cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing?

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Thanks Donna. I have a bad case of cabin fever right now. My biggest problem in that I don’t have any one to do things with.

      My hiking partner is in Portugal for a month, and my husband still works (his choice 😦 )
      My friends/family are either working, uninterested, or have moved to Florida or Mexico for the winter.

      Yes, I have snowshoes and would love to get out more, but unless I go by myself, I’m pretty well stuck.
      This winter has really been a turning point and I’m going to start looking for an active seniors club that gets outdoors for hiking, snowshoeing, cycling, etc. I need to make more friends 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. DailyMusings says:

    My Lake Ontario looks foreboding. I do love the sights from Sarasota as I gaze out my ice covered window and listen to the frozen rain hitting it. No ice skating!! Find an indoor pool and go swimming!

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      haha! I actually have a gym membership that includes a pool. I’m fluffing my way through aquafit classes right now, but swimming is still too much of a stretch for my shoulder (pun not intended).

      For the past week, I think we’ve been having similar weather. We had freezing rain earlier in the week, now it’s just endless snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. loisajay says:

    I feel your pain. I have been reusing photos on my posts 1)to put off shelling out $99 to upgrade, but mostly 2)I have been unmotivated to go out and take photos. Of anything. Wow. Ice grippers on your boots? I’ve never even heard of those. Whatever it takes to protect your shoulder, Joanne. Spring will be here soon…..

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’m going to have to upgrade soon too … or start a new blog, which I seriously doubt I’ll do.

      I bought the ice grippers a few years ago when we were hiking the Bruce Trail. We had started the hike in winter time and needed grippers to navigate the often icy trail. They really came in handy this week after the ice storm we had and everything was encrusted under a layer of ice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • loisajay says:

        whew! You must be talking some serious ice, Joanne.
        Honestly, I do not want to start over with the blog so will (gladly?) fork over the money for more photo space. I don’t write much and really do need the space for photos–you know, the ones I will eventually get outdoors to take! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Joanne Sisco says:

          I discovered photography because of my blog and it’s a new passion of mine – although I have SO MUCH to learn.

          I had to laugh this morning while out with my husband walking along the waterfront in the driving snow. He would make suggests about shutter speed and aperture to capture a certain kind of photo …. meanwhile I’m only interested in keeping my hands from freezing off, the snow out of my eyes, and the camera reasonably dry 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  37. How about taking up cross country skiing or even snow shoeing. We went snow shoeing for the first time last winter whilst on a skiing holiday. It was immense fun, you make really make it as easy or as hard as you want it to be and it certainly keeps you warm.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Yes, I have snowshoes and I love it. You’re right, depending on the terrain and your pace, they can be quite the workout. On the other hand, being without snowshoes can also be a major workout in deep snow 😉

      This winter has really proved to me that I need to join a seniors club that’s actively involved in hiking, skiing, cycling etc. Being part of an active community should make a huge difference.

      Like

  38. Helen C says:

    This is a good article, Joanne. If this counts as a “Nothing came up” article, I would take Nothing all the time. 😉 When I am really stuck and want to write a story, I would write a letter to someone. And, usually, something in the past would come up.
    Have a great day. We know spring is coming. 😉

    Like

  39. Janis says:

    I can imagine how seemingly endless days of snow, gray skies, and bitter cold would leave you feeling a bit uninspired. I’ve been feeling that way a bit too, so maybe it really IS February’s fault. I really love your pictures of Florida, though, so at least keep them coming until you find your muse again.

    Like

  40. That white winter wool blanket can certainly be scratchy and overbearing. I don’t handle confinement and the burden of bundling up very well. That’s usually when I get the seed catalogs and graph paper out. Most of those gardens never come to fruition, but I they certainly look beautiful (and springy) in my daydreams.
    You can do this! We’ll do it together 🙂

    Like

  41. Safety is #1. Cycling in the basement is better than skating, at least for me. I skated in my youth, and it was on my bucket list to do just one more time. I did it last year and realized it didn’t need to be on my bucket list because I’d gone past the age of safely skating. 🙂

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I never learned how to skate … or to be more specific, I never learned how to STOP once I got going 😉

      This afternoon I discovered that a nearby centre offers free skating to seniors during the week. You just know I’m going to have to check it out if only to watch 🙂

      Like

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