It's been an interesting week for new experiences.

This past weekend found me down by the lake and two very exciting things happened.

I saw the Snowbirds in person. Well, not exactly in person, but with my own eyes in real life, as opposed to images on the television screen. There they were, flying in formation out over the lake. You may have to embiggen the photo


A little later, when I wrenched my eyes downwards from the sky, I saw a loon! I have been in Canada for 29 years and had never before seen this iconic bird in any place other than statues, paintings, the loonie and the like. In person? Way cool! Before I posted it to the blog, I checked with The Boy. Just in case. And he said it wasn't." What are you talking about?" I said, “have you seen that profile?!” He said the loon’s beak comes to a point and this one didn’t.

Hrm. I cropped, got a close-up and lo and behold, he was right. This wee fellow had a distinct overbite. So I consulted my friend the bird expert. She mentioned cormorant and that put me on the right track. After some digging – and Facebook conversation – I think I have it. It’s probably a young Double-Crested Cormorant.

All of a sudden, I understand bird watching as a hobby.

Last week also saw the occasion of me uttering the following sentence: "I have a shoe emergency." I wear a specific type of Clarks sandals. Found them years ago - 10? 15? - and never looked back. They are incredibly comfortable, work with my chair, have the right kind of heel for when I do transfers from my chair to other places and best of all, Clark's doesn't seem to stop making them. They're a bit expensive, but considering that my present pair lasted 4+ years of being worn everyday, summer and winter - yes, with socks and I know it isn't fashionable, but it's comfortable - it works out to an amazingly cheap deal. However, the heel is finally disintegrating and the sole is this close to cracking into two pieces, so I've been out there looking for replacements. Naturally, this couldn't happen earlier in the summer when there was a nice selection of sandals. Nope, it had to happen just on the cusp of the change of seasons. Finding replacements proved at first impossible and requiring going to a lot of different shoe stores. To be told that no, they didn't have them and by the way, haven't seen that model all season. I did eventually find a small store that had three pairs left in my size on sale and I got them all. I now have shoes for the next decade or more.

However, that is not the point. The point is that as part of the quest, I went to a shoe store on Yonge Street that is 1 km from my home and back again. This is the furthest I have gone in years. I don't actually remember the last time I went that far. And sure, I'm paying for it with some interesting pain levels, but I have range again!

And now for the last first, which is sort of two, but they're connected. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about being smack up againstmy limits and a very good friend left a comment giving me a smack upside the head. She suggested that perhaps I wouldn't be quite so close to my limits if I posted a little less and in the blinding brightness from the lightbulb that went off over my head, I decided to, for a while at least, to decrease how often I blog. I'm not going to set out some sort of schedule - I'll still be here every week, but how much depends entirely on how I'm feeling. I can be taught. If it's accompanied by a smack upside the head, that is. Thank you, good friend.

And in related news… Slowing down didn't help. This Monday, after having spent two days doing very little, I woke up exhausted. Again. This, combined with the whimper that escapes me every time I hear about somebody going on sabbatical, made me think. And then I put on my big girl pants, faced facts and am now on a two-week sick (stress? sleep?) leave from work. It's going to make me nauseous the next time I pay my bills, but if it was becoming very clear that if I didn't, my body would make me sit still and I wouldn't enjoy that at all. And best of all, it's obviously the right thing to do, because waking up this morning, I didn't have that awful feeling that I was Sisyphus. All that's on my list today is getting groceries and reading a book. And it's bloody marvelous!


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