60while60

December 10, 2015

Dear Followers, Friends and Family,

Today is my last post because my list has come to an end. I want to thank all my followers, family, friends and the “blogosphere” world for being kind in all of your follows, comments and likes.

It all began because I wanted to meet Rick Mercer on my 60th birthday, a year ago today. At first it appeared I would meet him but when it didn’t, I decided I wanted to do other things and then realized I had a list.

60

60 things that is and then I had an idea

My list was meant to be fun, to repeat some of my favorite things, to experience new things, to set challenges for myself.

I was asked what the hardest thing was on my list to accomplish. I have to say starting the Blog as I had no idea how or where to begin. The Blogging 101 course squashed all fears on that front. Also, writing has never been my forte. When I wrote letters to my Mom while at university, she would send them back with red corrections throughout. My Mom was a teacher. Writing each post has been a challenge in itself and oh, how I wish she could have been around to read these posts!

Some things on my list were out of my control, like having the WestWing Series cancelled by Netflix. I couldn’t control the weather for skiing so switched it up and took our grandson sailing instead. The most adventurous item was going to the Central Coast on our sailboat. The most intriguing item was having my tea leaves read. The most thrilling was the extreme course at Wild Play and climbing Mount Benson. I continue to give blood on a regular basis and now work at our local Soup Kitchen every Wednesday. I continue to volunteer at various events and I am still giving things away. I was tickled pink when I sold three of my paintings to followers.

I could go on but enough to say I loved all the things I did on my list. It gave me great pleasure, satisfaction and gratification. The stories brought back so many memories. And I know I brought a smile and a giggle to some of you from time to time and that made it complete.

Thank you to those who participated in many of the things on my list. Without you it would never have happened. I especially have to thank my husband for being a great sport on so many outings and reviewing my posts from time to time. Thank goodness because the “Charline’isms” would have been rampant. I love you!

In closing, I learned a valuable lesson from this experience and that is not to procrastinate. If you can do something today, do it! Why wait? because tomorrow could be a missed opportunity.

It’s been an adventure and thank you, thank you for coming along!

Sincerely,with Warm Hugs

Charline xox

Me

#35 – Buy Flowers for the House

I love having flowers around the house. It’s a statement of bringing the outside in and brightens any room. I try to be creative in what I put the flowers in but I am limited to a few vases. I guess a trip to the local Thrift Shop is in order in the new year.

FLower1

Flowers I have bought throughout the year

I do not have a garden because we have too many deer so I buy them at various flower shops. Just as an aside, my herb garden is thriving. The deer don’t like herbs and have left them alone.

My favorite flowers are poppies and calla lilies because of their unique shapes and brilliant colors. The poppies are free and easy where the calla lilies are sturdy and bold. Painting them is also something I enjoy.

Tante Joséphine had a beautiful garden of Tiger lilies, peonies, and daffodils to name a few. Her hedges of “Rugosa” roses were abundant, full of colour and oh so fragrant as you walked up to her front door. My grandfather, Pépère, had them growing all along the fence leading up to his house as well. These roses were also prolific hedges at the family cottage. It’s one of the reasons we named our boat “Rugosa” because they are hardy and love salt air.

Flowers2

More flowers

#31 – Vote for a Liberal

Monday October 19, 2015, I voted. I hope all eligible Canadians do too.

My father was a staunch Liberal and I remember going around the neighborhood with him handing out pins and pamphlets for the Liberal candidate. It was an easy sell because the majority were all Liberal supporters, until we got to “Matilda’s” house, the hairdresser. She spoke a mean streak and her and Dad would get into some pretty heated discussions. She was my hairdresser and the more she talked, the more she cut. I would go in for a trim and come out looking like a boy.

In the last few elections, the Northeastern riding in the Acadian Peninsula has been won by the NDP. I’m sure Dad has turned over in his grave.

Politics are not my forte but I do think the Americans have it right. After 2 consecutive runs of 4 years, the President has to step down. Not like in Canada.

I will be glued to the TV watching the results and I hope they won’t announce a winner before all ballots are counted across Canada. It has happened in the past after voting was over in Ontario.

I really want the government to change. And I know, “Just…. T…. he man”.

Oh Canada

READY!

#15 – Lose 6 lbs

During high school and all throughout university, I weighed the same, 110lbs. When I applied for work as a flight attendant with Air Canada, they had a height/weight chart they followed rigorously. You had to be over 5’2”. I just made it at 5’2 ¾”. It got me in and to this day when someone asks me how tall I am, I always include the ¾”. Depending on your height, you had to weigh a certain amount. To my surprise, I had to lose something like 5+ lbs before I returned to Montreal for training. I think that was the start of a dislike on diets and weighing myself.

AC

Air Canada Graduation 1976 – I’m front row 3rd from left

Now in adulthood and after kids, my body has changed and the 110lb weight is a thing of the past. Nowadays, that I can no longer run marathons, the six-pack is gone and the wine pouch is in. It was bound to happen gaining a few pounds here and there, pants and skirts feeling tighter.  I decided to slim down a bit so I set myself a reasonable goal.

I think the kick-start to the weight lost was not a diet at all but when we went sailing. My husband calls it the “Sea Going Diet” – no dessert, few chips, lots of water. I noticed the cloths fitting better and since back I have upped the exercise. I have lost the 6lbs and feel good and comfortable at 127lbs.

#21 – Give Something to Someone Who Needs it More Then Me

My aunts on my mother’s side were excellent quilters. They owned a quilt frame and spent many a night telling stories while hand stitching quilts. Their closets were full and I am pleased I have received quite a few over the years. They are keepsakes as my aunts are now deceased.

Quilts

When my aunt Marie learned we were building a cottage, she made 3 quirky quilts with leftover material. She referred to our cottage as the “camp”. While cleaning, I found them wrapped in tissue in protective bags. They are in excellent condition because they were hardly ever used.

Camp Quilts

My sister was visiting us while we were at the cottage and in conversation she mentioned that the Fredericton Homeless Shelter Sheltercould use some blankets. I thought this would be a great donation and sent them off with her. After the blankets were delivered, my sister called to let me know that the manager was thrilled and so thankful of the donation. The shelter has been constantly busy with over 27 men each night. Donations such as these come in very handy.

I like giving – gifts, my time when volunteering, articles others can use. This giving is something that will bring warmth to many who live on the streets and who have very little.

 

 

#12 – Read at Least 6 Books

I am old fashioned. I love to hold a book and turn the pages. I particularly like to see how I progress by looking at the seam of my book for the amount of pages I’ve read. I have a favorite chair I like to sit in and usually with a cup of tea. I am turning into my Mother! Of late, I have been reading on our boat because we are in the middle of nowhere with no TV or radio. It’s been wonderful!

Library Rugosa

Library on Rugosa

I have quite a few favorite books but will limit to mentioning these:

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Book Thief by Mrkus Zusak
  • The Help by Kathyrn Stockett
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (I had a lot to say about this book in my note book)

I enjoy reading about athletes, artists, professionals and politicians. I am particularly interested in reading people’s biographies. My favorite was “The Friendly Dictatorship by Jeffrey Simpson about Jean Chrétien (former Canadian Prime Minister). By the time I ended that book, my mouth was crooked and the voice in my head sounded just like him as I read.

Reading has made me sit quietly and enjoy what others have to say. I really get into the characters, the story line, the history and try to figure out how the author thinks.

Books

Books read so far during our trip on Rugosa

In case you didn’t read #25 – Host a Book Club Meeting, I have a notebook that I keep with titles and authors of books I have read. I jot down interesting passages, new words, and whatever catches my eye worth remembering about the book. I’m particularly pleased that I have read 6+ additional books on top of those chosen in book club. It’s been a great year of reading so far and it’s not over yet!

#42 – Have “Tea Leaves” Read

I take a seat and drink my tea with purpose. The leaves that remain will tell of my past, present and future. I’m asked to twirl the cup three times. She dumps the dribbles and sets the cup on the table. “This is a busy cup”, she says and the session begins.

Cup

I sit quietly and listen attentively. She starts with a description of who I am. I appreciate the adjectives she uses but I am skeptical about all this. I can ask questions but I prefer to let her speak. I interject with the odd “umm”.

My curiosity peaks when she asks, “Are you a writer?”

“I wish”, is my reply.

“You have lots to say. And your stories are written in a unique style. It’s how you speak”.

Now I am questioning if she knows I have a blog. Has she read some of my posts?

“You have humor in what you write”.

How does she know this stuff?

The conversations in my head are non-stop. I am answering my own questions while at the same time focusing on what she is saying. She is hearing words, getting vibes and describing details that make me realize there is more to this. Is this “clairvoyance”?

As the session progresses my skepticism dissipates. I believe she is the real deal. She is looking into the near future, 7 months to 3 years down the road. The constant discussion in my head stops. I am really listening now.

Will the “offer” present itself?…

Will there be success?…

Am I going in a new direction?…

#44 – Treat Myself at a Spa

I can count on one hand how many times I have been to a spa. It has never been a habit of mine or something I spend money on. The trip to the Grotto Spa is a gift, one I appreciate receiving and certainly welcome. But what to choose? There are so many choices; facial, body treatments, massage, nail care. What would give me most pleasure?

GrottoSpa

“Grotto Spa” picture courtesy of the Grotto Spa

I decided on a Body Wrap because all of me would benefit. The “Glacial Clay & Seaweed” sounded good, stating it will detoxify and restore. I could use that. It is also so West Coast, so why not.

Mineral Pool

“Mineral Pool” picture courtesy of the Grotto Spa

At the Grotto Spa, you are treated special, with your own locker, spa robes and sandals. The etiquette is to speak with a soft voice. That’s hard for me. Maybe it was a good thing I went alone. If you arrive 60 minutes before your treatment, you can indulge in the mineral pool. The rain shower station is the best. Having it rain over your head and shoulders reminded me of when I was a kid playing in the rain. You can also enjoy tapas “à volonté” and martinis. You need to reserve for that and there is an extra cost.

The treatment was relaxing but invigorating at the same time. Covered in mud, sorry that was clay, and the smells of lavender, sandalwood, rose hip and 5 more the Massage Provider mentioned, was heaven. Apparently there is seaweed in the mix but I did not smell anything close to salt water or the ocean. I did feel like a caterpillar tucked in its cocoon all warm and cozy in a secret garden.

Lotions

“Lotions” picture courtesy of the Grotto Spa

While wrapped, I received a gentle hydrating facial. It evens the skin. That’s a nice way of saying it lessens wrinkles! After the wrap, I then received a full body massage with soothing lotions. The lotions smell good enough to eat.

In the end, I think I made a wise choice. Initially, I thought it would be just a body wrap but to receive the facial and then massage, it was a 3 in 1. I got more then my monies worth, in this case, the gift card.

All I can say is WOW and THANK YOU L&B for the pleasure.

#55 – Meet a CBC Host

Last Friday we went to the Vancouver Boat Show. We walked on the ferry from Vancouver Island and then jumped on a bus to downtown. It stopped at the corner of the CBC building and I couldn’t help but think, I have to go there, it’s on my list to meet a CBC host. After lunch, I snuck off and decided to try my luck in hopes of meeting any of the CBC radio or TV personalities I follow daily. I’m a huge fan. My favorite personality is Rick Mercer. But he stood me up on my birthday after he said he would arrange for us to get together. So he’s in my bad books, (not really).

I walk into the lobby of the building.

CBC

Me: “Hi. I am hoping you could help me with a request.” And proceed to explain, “I am accomplishing 60 things while I am 60 ……”

2 Security Guys: “That’s cool. But we can’t arrange visits. You can call this number in Toronto though. You can use the phones by the red couches.”

Me: “Hello, is this CBC Toronto?”

Man with nice voice: “Yes, how can I direct your call.”

Me: “I have a request.” And repeat my spiel.

Man with nice voice: “I’ve never heard that one before.”

Me: “Can you help?”

Man with nice voice: “I’ll give you the direct number to Vancouver.”

Me Thinking: I am in Vancouver.

Me: “Hi, is this CBC Vancouver?”

Lady with pleasant voice: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Me: I repeat my spiel

Lady with pleasant voice: “That’s great what you are doing. CBC has open houses and that’s a good time to meet the personalities.”

Me: “I’m from Vancouver Island and happen to be in Vancouver today. “

Lady with pleasant voice: I don’t think that will happen today. I can put you through to Communications and they can give you dates for the next open houses. I’ll transfer your call, just a moment please. “

Lady with an even more pleasant voice: “CBC Vancouver, can I help you”.

Me: I repeat my spiel and add that I am in Vancouver and if I could meet any of the following personalities, Johanna Wagstaffe, Ian Hanamansing, Gloria Macarenko, it would make my day. I mentioned I was sitting in the lobby on the red couches.

Lady with an even more pleasant voice: ”That is so exciting what you are doing. I was just in a meeting with Johanna.”

Me: “Oh, really! Any chance I could meet even one of them?”

Lady with an even more pleasant voice: ”Stay on the red couches and give me a minute. I’ll see what I can do”.

Me: I am beyond myself and thinking, am I really going to meet someone?

After a few minutes, out comes the lady with an even more pleasant voice with Johanna Wagstaffe. She has this big smile and mine is even bigger. We chat for a while but not long enough. How do you squeeze in all your questions in so few minutes? She is so down to earth and easy to talk to. She wants to hear more about my list and I want to hear more about her and her job as a meteorologist. By the way, in my opinion, she is the best-dressed host on TV.

While on the ferry ride back, I shared my adventure with my fellow companions and showed them the picture as proof. I sent her the following email and she responded within an hour.

EmailTO

JandC

EmailFrom