Changing Seasons – July 2018

My home city of Toronto seems to be going to hell in a hand basket this year.  There has been an unusually high number of gang-related shootings, innocent people being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now a mass shooting in an area where I used to live.   It’s like the city has gone insane.

Meanwhile Northern Ontario is burning with over 100 fire forests triggered by the hot and dry summer we are having.  Too many of those fires are still out of control.  Every day on my FB feed I see photos posted by family and friends of smoke-filled skies.

If all that isn’t bad enough, our newly-elected provincial government makes me grind my teeth in frustration at their narrow-minded thinking.

All of this is to provide some background flavour to July in Ontario this year.  Every day the news has been filled with dire stories of tragedy and questionable political direction.  In the midst of all of this, I’m trying not to feel guilty that I’m having a wonderful summer.  Truth is, I’m typing this in my ‘whispering voice’ for fear of jinxing it.

My July has been full of family, friends, and outdoor activities.  I’ve golfed, cycled, kayaked, walked, swam, and just laid about doing absolutely nothing at all.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Treetop Trekking and Ziplining

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With Gilles
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It was right about this time that the heat started to really affect me.  I wondered if they ever had anyone faint on the tree walk.  For a few head-spinning minutes, I was afraid I would be “that” person … but I’m thankful for the miracle of hydration!
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Did I mention caves and crevices?  We did those too.  Our group leader enthusiastically guiding us down into the cooler temperatures.

Kayaking 

I’ve had a couple of kayaking adventures, including a date with my sister casually cruising the Nottawasaga River admiring the homes and cottages along the shore.

 

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My sister, Tina … just enjoying the day.

Golfing

My friend Judy and I are back to our weekly golf evenings.  Fresh air, a pretty country setting, great company, and questionable golf play … all a highlight of my week in spite of the stifling humidity and inevitable insect bites.

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Walking

With Helen away, my hikes have been solitary contemplative strolls … well, almost solitary. What should have been a quiet walk in a park on this day felt like a foray into enemy territory.

Did I ever mention I HATE Canada Geese? – nasty, disgusting blights on our green spaces.

L'Amoreaux Park

Cycling

Summer isn’t summer without bonding time with my bike.

It’s rare for me to have someone to ride with, so when I do, it’s going to be a highlight.  This month it was on the Waterfront Trail near the Quebec border with our long-time friend, Scott.  Incredibly, he thought it would be fun to cycle with me at my poke-along speed.

He particularly liked the part about leaving painted rocks behind.

 

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The beaches were so inviting on this hot and windy day.  A painted rock was left behind here.
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Nope – not this one.  It was left at a different camping site.

This has been my July – so far.  There are still a handful of days left in this month and my calendar tells me that each one of those days is going to be full.

Perfect.

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Changing Seasons is a monthly photo challenge hosted this year by Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch.

 

112 comments

  1. Good for you, planning an active and fun summer. I know what you you mean about being superstitious about feeling too happy. Since retiring and moving to Vancouver Island, Rob and I often look at each and say “we are just so lucky.” And then we knock wood.

    Jude

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  2. We’ve been keeping up with the news here and have been so saddened by what is going on in Toronto. Being originally from Chicago, I always considered Toronto a sister city and love visiting there. I was completely unaware however of the tragic fires in Northern Ontario. And ‘self-serving’ seems to be a job requirement for the world’s politicians these days. The world has gone mad and Mother Nature has had it with mankind I guess.

    I am delighted to hear that you had a grand July. That shot of the narrow bridge through the street tops was gorgeous. Hard to believe it was so hot as the trees make it look cool. Sorry about the invasion from the Canadian Geese on your walks. It looks like they are taking the place over (like a sequel to a Hitchcock movie ‘GEESE’ 😱)

    I hope that your summer temps cool but glad that you have access to such lovely beaches to combat the effects of the heat.

    Looking forward to hearing about a stellar August.

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    • I try to tune out the madness in the world as much as I can. It just weighs down the spirit … but when it strikes at your home, it’s pretty hard to ignore. However, I did have an amazing month and while August (so far) has been a completely different pace, it too has been pretty amazing and I hope your’s has been too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your July sounds nice and do you paint the rocks? Or are they there?
    And ha- I do know your stance on the Geese and I think of you when I drive this side road (occasionally) and must wait for them to cross the road! They take their time

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  4. I am so glad you had a good month, Joanne! despite all the troubles in the world close around you. As my Dad always reminds me, no need to feel bad that you are doing good & having fun – there is enough trouble & turmoil going around the world!

    Incidentally, I told my family about your Rock Painting & leaving them on the trails you walk – we all think it is such a wonderful thing you are doing!

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  5. Ah ha! The Scenic Caves! Wasn’t the zipline AWESOME. 🙂 Hee, hee. Lovely pictures and post as always.

    It does seem like we are headed somewhere in a hand basket. The gun violence, the clueless politicians and the crazy world in general. Let’s hope hell is ways away.

    Hope your summer continues to go well.

    Rashmi

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    • It was not my first time zip lining and I really do like it. My only complaint is that it’s over so quickly!! 🙂

      The latest nonsense out of Queen’s Park does not augur well for the next four years. Both Tory and Horwath have stated that it’s unlikely they can stop this gutting of city council. The detrimental impact on Toronto isn’t even measurable at this point. I feel sick about it.

      Back to my happy place, back to my happy place ….

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  6. Wow! Your July was great, Joanne. My daughter and her man also did the tree-top trekking thing…without me. I have magnanimously decided to forgive them (vigorously pats self on back). 😉

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  7. Yes, up and down and all around for your town and all of us. But we do what we can and you’re doing it. I love the trio of kayaking photos the most, especially The world needs more Canada. 😀 😀 😀 We dooooo!!!

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  8. The whole world seems to be coming unhinged, but my answer to that is to pretty much the same as yours – keep on keeping on.What’s the alternative?. Love your July activities. I have been playing lots of tennis (heat index 103) and trying not to suffer dehydration. Joanne, if you are not already using a re-hydration product, I highly recommend DripDrop. It helps me avoid what Janis described as “wiggy” and it has very few calories. You can get it on Amazon. Thanks for another encouraging post!

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  9. Bummer about the shooting. Seems to be everywhere these days. Your July has been very full (as per your blog title), you make me feel very lazy. Does reading count? Thought not…

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  10. No need to feel guilty about enjoying yourself! Becoming a “news junkie” and staying at home in misery, refreshing your newsfeed, doesn’t help anyone. Enjoying life and spreading a smile or two, contributes positively to the world. 🙂

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  11. The news from Ontario and Toronto especially has just been heartbreaking. Thankfully it looks like you have been able to have so many wonderful outdoor adventures. I’d say you are one well rounded athlete!

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  12. Good for you, doing so much for you, with your Juy! I feel as though I’ve done the same and now it is almost August and time to face reality once more. But we still have a few more days…

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    • Since I retired, I’ve felt that there was so much I wanted to do with my summers but time seemed to slip between my fingers. This year I started planning early and filled my calendar. It’s been SO much fun! … and still many days ahead 🙂

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  13. I think that despite (or because of) the horrible going-ons in the world, our duty is to enjoy each and every day. To breathe it in, to spread joy and feel joy, to accept and be grateful for each day. And that is exactly what you’re doing, Joanne, with your hiking and cycling and kayaking and golfing. Yay for you – keep on doing your joy thing – it’s infectious.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love all the things you’ve been busy doing! And you’ve inspired me to look back for a mid-summer review as well. No tree-top hiking (we did one a few years back …so check off and probably not again. LOL), but I was on the river in a canoe just last night. OK, with hubby, so I had the paddle in the water a total of 4 times in 3 miles…. lovely to sit back and enjoy the view (even if feeling a tad of guilt for no exertion to justify the wine at the end). Onto an equally fun August…. living life fully – show the world how it’s done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hehehe! I don’t think my husband would let me get away with not paddling if we were sharing a canoe! 😉

      True – August is looking just as busy and fun-filled as July! I’m going to need a loooong nap when this summer is done!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ally. I’ve been having a lot of fun this summer. It kind of reminds me of being a kid again on summer holidays – forgetting all the ‘should-dos’ and focusing on the fun stuff instead 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What a contrast between the shocking news of what’s going on and the personal delights that you have created for yourself. Seems that forest fires are now a new climate reality all over the world with Greece having been hit hard recently too…. heatwaves everywhere.

    Love your photos. That tree walk looks challenging ha! Glad you made it without fainting.:)

    So lovely to see how much you are taking advantage of enjoying summer to the full.

    Peta

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    • The stories from Greece were horrifying. It seems the world is either drowning in floods or burning in drought. It’s so easy to let ourselves get down by all the frightening news.

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  16. We are having some gang related problems in Australia, Joanne and it isn’t good. I’ve seen on the news what has been happening in Toronto and such a shame because I love Canada. However, negatives aside, your zip lining and golf and kayaking just made my day. I love seeing women and men of our generation getting out there and giving life a go! Great photos.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    • Thanks Sue. Sometimes it’s really hard to ignore all the bad stuff going on around us and live in our ‘happy bubble’ … but I’ve definitely been in my happy bubble 🙂

      I’m a believer in use-it-or-lose-it and I don’t think it’s ever too late to start something new. Our bodies might be aging but that doesn’t mean we have to give up our joie-de-vivre … in whatever way we happen to define it 🙂

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  17. No guilt. Got it my friend; absolutely no guilt about getting out and enjoying yourself. Staying at home feeling miserable won’t fix the (very real and very scary) things that are happening around you, but would make you feel crap too.

    I am in awe of your adventuring and so glad that you’ve had fun. For the rest, I wish I could think of something intelligent to say about the mess our leaders and troubled individuals alike are making of the world. I can’t, but I do like the idea of re-naming the geese 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Su 🙂 I really don’t know why I allow those stupid geese annoy me so much.

      I try not to let the news bother me too much for fear that I will simply end up being another frustrated person angry at the world … but it’s really hard sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Geese are pretty horrible creatures, so I get that.
        I’ve basically stopped watching the news because I was becoming such a wreck about all that is wrong. I think I’m learning to pick my battles.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful photos, Joanne. It looks like you’re having a great time. You can’t feel guilty for enjoying life while chaos rules the day. Thanks for sharing the pictures !

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  19. Do you collapse into bed at night with all you do? You amaze me, Joanne–and about scared the hell out of me. I thought you were riding your bike across that narrow path in the second photo. Tell me you were not doing that!

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  20. You enjoy summer so well, I almost, just for a moment thought I should be enjoying it more, too. But that’s just the power of pictures, and I’m okay again. 🙂
    Wonderful times to share with us!

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    • I love the way you express things – it makes me laugh out loud. I know exactly what you mean. In fact I experienced it this morning when my son and son-in-law left for the 600km bike rally from Toronto to Montreal. I get caught up in the excitement of the moment and think how wonderful it would be to ride with them.

      … then I give myself a good shake and tell myself to snap out it!! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! We’ve got some cooler gray rainy days this week and I just revel in it!
        I hope your boys had a good time, but my legs and hip flexors are numb just thinking about their adventure!

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        • Today the guys are into Day 3 of the bike rally. It’s Red Dress Day and my thoughts are with them every step of the way. As much as I’m appreciating these cooler temperatures, I hope they don’t see rain on their journey 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, just changing their name would not make them any less annoying.

      At the risk of inciting every animal protection group, could we not occasionally have a cull on Canada geese … and raccoons?!!

      … and now there are studies that say our garbage is adversely affecting the health of raccoons – making them fat and diabetic. Are you f**king kidding me?

      whew! I’m ok now …

      Liked by 1 person

  21. So, the craziness has spread over the border now and your politicians got infected as well. Build a wall. 🙂

    Sounds like you have a good summer. I have to get my butt in gear, summer will be over soon and I haven’t done much other than work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bridget, I’m having a wonderful summer … but I am rather superstitious and I worry about being too happy 😏

      Your comment about building a wall reminded me of something I saw a while back – that we’re too polite to build a wall, but a privacy hedge would be nice 😆

      I hope the work you are doing is stuff you enjoy. Then it won’t make you feel bad 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Being an American, I will not say one word regarding violence, gangs, politics or anything government related going to hell in a hand basket. 🙂 But, I will stand on a chair and applaud loudly at your physical accomplishments and friend adventures for the month of July. You go girl! I for one am impressed beyond belief. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy – but I’m willing to bet that your yard doesn’t look as neglected and unloved as mine 😏

      I made “fun” a priority this summer and actively scheduled things to make it happen. What a ride! I don’t plan to have any regrets when the fall arrives 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Sorry to hear about the fires, etc. We have had an extremely early fire season – currently Yosemite is closed which, in the middle of vacation season, is a real catastrophe for that area.

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  24. You don’t sit still for a minute Joanne 🙂 I had to give golfing up years ago. There were too many reports of headless worms after playing a round.

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  25. You’ve certainly had a busy month and packed it full of fun! I sometimes feel guilty having so much fun when MY country is going to hell in a hand basket. But, I need to be out enjoying life or I would just sit and watch the news and be depressed. Looking forward to our lunch date!

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  26. Hi Joanne. What an exceptional July for you. If it’s true that living well is the best revenge, you’ve got it nailed, my friend. And good for you for getting out there. The politics and the violence are making me want to pull up the drawbridge and stay on my own property.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean, Karen. There is a part of me that’s most comfortable hunkering down inside and not facing the outside world. It’s not unusual for me to spend 2-3 days without ever venturing outside … but when I do, I rarely regret it – even when I encounter stinky honking geese 🙂

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  27. I thought Canada was free from all the political nonsense and scary violence…guess with being next door to the US, no one can be craziness-free….your summer does looks lovely. I especially love your painted rocks idea..that’s a keeper. Spreading a bit of magic. On to August.

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    • I wish we were immune Jeanne, but sometimes the ‘crazy’ comes out and this year has been particularly bad 😕
      I simply don’t understand why some people are so intent on being angry with the world.

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  28. It looks like you’ve had a wonderful month, Joanne, despite the troubles with politics and fires (tell me about it). I remember not so long ago you were stuck in a relentless and wet spring. That tree walk looks so cool! I hope your August is equally filled with adventure!

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  29. You are making me tired! Actually, your month looks varied and wonderful. I second your props to proper hydration! I will sometimes get all dizzy and weak and my eyesight gets wiggy, then I’ll remember to drink lots of water. It’s amazing what that clear, no-calorie liquid will do. It’s a miracle!

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    • That miracle liquid was a saviour!! I’m so glad I insisted on taking my backpack with a bottle of ice water. I felt like a wilted flower reviving after a drink of water 🙂

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  30. My July has been filled with family get togethers, the cottage, baking bread two days a week and lawn bowling. I too am disturbed about the increase in gun violence in our city and the rash decisions being made by our new provincial government. It seems like everything the last government did is being thrown out without any consideration of the consequences. Sigh!

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  31. You are far more courageous than I am but my July has been great too except for the weather. Stifling heat and oppressive humidity with torrential rains describe most of July. Still love it though.

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  32. Great post Joanne. You are such an inspiration to me. And as such, I thought I would look into that tree top trekking. Can you let me know what company that was through, or one you would recommend? Thanks

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