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Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 4 - Finally Friday

It was another chilly morning, but no snow or rain. The first thing I did was check the back deck to see if there were more pawprints! Yes, indeed...followed again by a streak of fur high-tailing it off the sundeck!

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Hmmmm....I will have to think of what to do about Mr. Sneaky. I guess I'll move the lounge chairs so he can't hide under them. How would you like to lie back and relax on one of these? Brrrrrrr.

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I decided I'd really try and get on with my walk to work today without any distractions. I was doing quite well until a lot of hippety-hopping happened on the trail. Not rabbits by any means, but about 6 tiny birds hopping around and darting here and there. They stopped me in my tracks wondering at first, what the movement was. I think I was in dozy land, and at first it looked like a moving path. I tried to get a decent photo, but this is the best I could do:

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DayDateWeatherMin/SecPedometerDaily Ped.
1Feb 24 094 C overcast20.473259
2Feb 25 092 C cloudy20.57310114583
3Feb 26 090 C snowy22.53not checked10272
4Feb 27 091 C overcast21.07incorrect readingwrong setting


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My time was a bit better than yesterday, but not as good as Day 1 or Day 2. I don't know what was wrong with the pedometer today, but the numbers didn't make any sense, so I will try and reset it properly tomorrow.
I think for next week's March to Work, I'll keep track of the timings myself, and only share if I improve my time enough to celebrate! I know it takes between 20 and 22 minutes to walk to work at this point! Once I get the pedometer figured out, that would be more of an interesting statistic ~ how many steps from when I leave home until I return.

I remembered to take a photo of the lovely blue sky on the walk home.

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Because it was Friday, as soon as I got home, I got changed and drove my car for the first time since Monday, to meet my friends at the pub for our weekly gathering. I took this photo as I was leaving the pub, after about 1/2 jug of water with lemon :)

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This is also the same location that 10 Orcas (Killer Whales) were spotted last week. In March, Orcas head north from Mexico, through our waters, on their long voyage to the Bering Sea. I've also just read this: Resident killer whales don't migrate long distances but range over specific areas off the B.C. coast and Washington State coasts and around Vancouver Island, feeding on local fish. The pods have distinct cultural and genetic identities.

Walking to work was a great way to finish off February, and I look forward to continuing next month ~ for a week and a half and then it will be Spring Break! Spring...did you hear that Winter???

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 3 - Snowdrop and Snowcap

Before heading up to bed last night, I wondered if my lone snowdrop was being sheltered by the overhanging Japanese Maple. Out I popped into the cold night and bent down to have a look. Awww...A snowdrop in the snow. She seemed no worse for wear, so back inside I came into the warmth, wondering this time what the morning would hold for me!
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The morning radio announced that the school district to the south of us was closed due to heavy snowfall, however we weren't too badly off, so all was "go". So "go" I did. First I decided to go out on the deck to check the bird food situation ~ and what did I see but paw prints in the snow! As I was knocking the snow off the birdfeeders and adding more food, something shot across the deck! Mr. Sneaky!!! He had been hiding under the lounge chair waiting for breakfast! Unfortunately, I did not think to take the camera with me or I could have shown the evidence!

It was time to head to work. I put on my winter boots then added some 'treads' to the bottom of them, put on my hooded lined jacket, gloves, backpack and off I went for Day 3. Click.

My gloves have foldback tops that let my fingers peep out, which is handy for picture taking. I wish I had taken a video so you could hear the crunch, crunch, crunch as I crunched through the crispy snow. Here's a slide show of the first part of the walk:


Deer tracks:
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Oh, look at Snow Cat ~ his eyes have a bit of a glaze about them, don't you think? He looks as if he's as stunned as the rest of us after weathering winter's return.
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At this point I had to put my freezing fingers back into my gloves.


At last I approached the school, feeling quite invigorated.

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DayDateWeatherMin/SecPedometerDaily Ped.
1Feb 24 094 C overcast20.473259
2Feb 25 092 C cloudy20.57310114583
3Feb 26 090 C snowy22.53not checked10272



As for the day at school itself, suffice it to say that circus music would have suited, in fact I'm sure I heard it playing somewhere in the back of my brain!!
What I didn't get a chance to take were photos of the beautiful blue sky that came out during the day~ blue and white, such a lovely combination. The students of course were delighted. Most of the snow melted away, except for in the shady spots, but it was still chilly walking home.

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Does the sky hold promise of a clear day tomorrow? Only time will tell!

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Day 4 is Friday and for all intents and purposes, month end :) Does that mean that next week I have to MARCH to work...?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 2 - Robin and Rainbow

At least it's not hard to think of a title ;)

Day 2 started out much like yesterday, although this morning I remembered my camera and put my cellphone in my jacket pocket.

Today the road was wet, but the sky was dry, with the morning sun filtering through the branches.

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The sun added sheen to the tendrils of a weeping birch.
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I walked on along a narrow path where I had previously taking a photo of raindrops on ivy ~
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"Good morning, Cat", I smiled. Cat was blinded by the sunlight and didn't even twitch a whisker!
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The sky was busily changing its morning colours, deciding what to wear, and let me tell you that it contined this indecision all day...
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More pathways ~
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"Oh, hello Robin," I said. Robin just continued to stare ahead, as gentle raindrops began to fall. Perhaps he was contemplating a wormy breakfast.
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Arriving at school, I turned to look behind me! I alerted the pre-schoolers whose door was close by! Three little ones popped their heads out and oohed and aahhhed!
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Click!

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DayDateWeatherMin/SecPedometer
1Feb 24 094 C overcast20.473259
2Feb 25 092 C some clouds20.573101



Well, I guess I did a 10 second dawdle taking photos (although I took most of them while I was still walking, hence a blur or two).

The day went by quite steadily inside, but outside the temperatures dropped along with hail, then snow began to fall, however by the time I headed home, it was all gone and just cold ~ 1 degree C and windy.

On with the hooded lined jacket, backpack etc. and set off for home. I kept my pedometer on all day until I got home.

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It is obvious then, that I'm not sitting at a desk all day! There's about 8000 footsteps at work! I'll be a shadow of my former self in no time.

Now, you'd think that would be it for the day, BUT check this out: (click on the middle one in particular)


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Day 3 tomorrow....ahem.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 1 - Walking to Work!

My walk-to-work program began as planned! By the time my lightweight backpack had been packed with my lunch and various other odds and ends (cellphone, keys, wallet, make-up repair kit ;) etc.) it was heavier than I thought, however, it had substantial straps so it was fine. On went the lined jacket with hood and my gloves, on went my backpack, click went the stopwatch and pedometer and off I went. It wasn't raining! The air smelled fresh, dampish but quite pleasant. I noticed a few dogs walking their owners, but otherwise it was quiet. Eek, I forgot my camera! Oh well, I was walking not dawdling! Results are as follows:







DayDateWeatherMin/SecPedometer
1Feb 24 094 C overcast20.473259


Did you notice I broke my trial walk record of 22 minutes!

And so the day began. However, before long things started to act strangely! The paper for the newsletter was full of static electricity which resulted in three pages coming through as one, with the front pages of the newsletter one-sided, separated by a blank sheet, and the back pages of the newsletter on a one-sided sheet. While the photocopying was going on, I decided to FAX the company that recently supplied us with this particular paper and let them know, however when I pushed the "2" on the FAX machine to begin the number, it didn't activate. Hooped. So back to the photocopy machine. I started separating all the pages ~ the ones that were properly double sided, the blank ones and the ones that were one-sided, and then proceeded to manually feed them through again to print on the other side. Now with all this static electricity and the curly hair that resulted from the damp walk, I had a feeling I looked like Ms Frizzy ~ a make-up repair kit would be useless, after all!

Meanwhile, in another part of the office, the laminator had gone loopy, and was only heating one side of the film, so we put in a maintenance call to the electrician.

Enough of that, I thought and sat down at my computer ready to follow the next procedure resulting from the workshop I attended yesterday. However after a few minutes, my computer crashed. I rebooted and restarted, but it froze. Another maintenance call to the Tech department.

By this time, I had called for recruits and had some students come down, count out newsletters and deliver them to the classrooms.

Yay, the electrician arrived. Yay, the technician arrived. The office was buzzing with activity ~ and not mine! Soon the laminator was pulled apart, the FAX machine was poked at, and the Tech was under my desk checking out the CPU. Off she went to get me some more memory (wish it was that easy in real life), and a new keyboard. The laminator was working, the FAX machine was working, my computer had been upgraded and was ready to go! And I was ready to go home. Of course, along with this pandemonium, one child lost a tooth, one needed ice for a bump on the head, three had fallen in mud puddles, along with a couple of scraped elbows and knees.

By the way, the keynote speaker at the workshop yesterday discussed "brain wellness". One of the important things to do for our brain is to keep active, keeping those dendrites growing ~ walking, for example. Check. He said that brains do not like interruptions. They are not fond of multi-tasking. They like to complete one task before starting another. Hopefully, the walking grew some more dendrites, because they were certainly needed today.

My son dropped by in the afternoon with my camera. I had planned on timing my walk home, however my cellphone rang a few minutes after I'd left work, and somehow taking the backpack off and fiddling around, twisting and turning, trying to get my cellphone out of the backpack, I must have hit the stop button on the stopwatch in my pocket because when I got home it read 4 minutes, which was about the time the phone rang. I think, therefore, in future, I will keep the cellphone in one of the pockets of my jacket. Did you see that I said, "in future", which means tomorrow when Day 2 begins.

Thanks for your patience in reading through Day 1~ and here's a photo I took on the way home.

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Even a cat is acting strangely ~ looking stunned and frozen in its tracks.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I did it!

Although it was a rainy day, I donned my raincoat and set off to see how long it would take for me to walk to work. My son came along to show me the route he recommended ~ 22 minutes from door to door. We came back a longer route on pavement which I could take if I rode my bike. We were gone for 50 minutes all told. I took my camera, but because it was raining I didn't want to get it wet ~ only one photo:

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I did take another photo, but it didn't turn out well, so I must take it again because it is really a cute subject matter!

Later on I went into town and bought a lightweight backpack to hold a few things I will need to take when I walk to work each morning. Tomorrow is a Professional Development Day ~ no school for students, but workshops for me. On Tuesday I plan to start my new walking-to-work program!!

PS There will be no excuses.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Unexpected

I was quite excited to check for signs of Spring today. The bright blue skies of the past few days didn't materialize first thing, however it did brighten up by noon.

I was looking for Spring, but found Fall still in the icy grip of Winter! I moved these chunks of ice from the cover of the lounge chairs on the back deck.

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As I was puttering around the house, I glanced out the front window at the new bird feeder I put on the pink dogwood tree. The bird bath is fairly close by, so I thought it would be handy for the birds, but haven't seen much action there.

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As I was looking out of the window, I noticed something in the bird bath ~ and it wasn't a bird! I ran to get my camera but by the time I came back, it was leaving its vantage point.

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This is not Mr. Skulky ~ this is Mr. Sneaky.

He then decided to sneak through the back garden...

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Later on, when I checked out of the window again, this is what I saw (sorry for the reflection).

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No wonder there are no birds at the bird feeder!!

Once it brightened up, I went in search of Spring again:

I had to look hard to find one tiny snowdrop ~ it is only about 1 1/2 inches high!

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Other sproingings:

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and in the back, the peony was starting to poke through:

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It seems that rain might be forecast for tomorrow ~ perhaps the little sproingings will like that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beautiful Blue!

The header is a photo I took today of a tranquil spot I found after climbing steps up from the beach. I added some poster edges to the photo. There is a small rose garden near the fence which I will keep an eye on.

Today was beautiful! The seagulls seemed to think so too, as they glided gracefully in the blue.




Next a video and slide show seen from the bluff





I could have walked to the school to see how long it would take, or I could have cleaned up my garden, but did I? No...I took off for the day :)


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...returning home as the sun set ~

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