‘Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.’
Normally I do more reading over the winter but this summer with the heat I've managed to stay cool by staying put and reading. Here is a photo of this week's reads.
I've finished the two books on top the pile but am still working on The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book by Peter Finn and Petra Couvée. This is an interesting story of how Boris Pasternak's classic book, Doctor Zhivago became a weapon used by the CIA in the cultural Cold War to provoke dissent in the former USSR. Read more here if interested. Though it isn't the main thrust of the story, I'm fascinated by just how much the Russian people love(d) poetry and how much a part of life it was for many.
I'm still reading The Blood Sugar Solution , The Lost Art of Gratitude and Laced with Poison, (my 3rd mystery novel of the year). After that I have a new book I purchased called, Obama's Wars and some other books I want to take out of the library. When I finished reading The Emperor of Paris, I successfully completed my reading goal of 40 books for the year. I think this was the most books I've read in a year since I started keeping track a few years ago. I don't read every day. I might read two days a week but when I really like a book and it is a longer one, I usually read it every day until finished. This pace suits me because I also have time to do other things. I do like to set some goals so that I actually have a target that keeps me moving forward.
I'm still engaging in my "secret activity" several times a week. I've had a series of ups and downs, especially these past two weeks, but I persevere. I'm hoping I will begin to see some tangible benefits beyond the immediate stuff I've noticed. I also need to see if any benefits are lasting or temporary. More to come later.
I've also been busy preparing to go out of town, keeping busy around the house to see what I can clear out and recycle & keeping in touch with family and friends.
I had one friend move back from the prairies and has been here for a few weeks only to be moving again. This time to the City of Toronto which is about 5 hours by plane to the east of where I live. He expects to be gone for a year or two as gets his career headed in a different direction. Yet another friend is also looking for work again. That will make the second job this year. He is a terrific worker but needs to find a job where he isn't the only one putting in 150% of the physical effort. Otherwise I fear he will burn himself out with all the physical demands of the job.
Our province has been having a teacher's strikes since mid-June 2014. A friend who works as an assistant to disabled children in the classrooms has been affected by the strike and doesn't know when she will be able to return to work. All teaching staff, students and parents too have been affected. Quite likely all support staff and management staff have also been affected but I am not 100% certain of that. There is still no new deal in sight though the school year begins in a week or so.
It is a very sad situation as teachers have been terribly affected over the summer months with financial losses. I don't have little ones at home but there will be many parents who have to manage child care as they juggle work demands. Our government is trying to pay them some money that has been saved by not paying the teachers. I view this as trying to score political points against the teachers. Nonetheless I'm sure many parents can really use the funds to help pay for child care. Hopefully things will soon change soon for the better.
An elderly friend broke her hip and underwent hip replacement surgery in late May. We finally were able to get together for lunch at her place today before another mutual friend drove her to do some errands. Though we didn't have much time together it was nice to catch up with her. She is looking remarkably well and is getting around very well too though she still needs to take it easy as she recovers.
Now that the weather is transitioning to Fall, I've been spending a bit of time thinking about what I need to round out my wardrobe for the coming cooler weather. Of course I always do so on a budget this week was no exception. I saved hundreds of dollars on my purchases and purchased everything brand new. I have nothing against buying second hand but seldom do I ever find what I need in the colours and sizing that I need. It is always much easier for me to buy new if I can find a good sale. To give you an example of the sales, I was able to purchase a Fall jacket for $18 (original price $120 Canadian). It is something I will be able to wear for years to come so I am quite pleased.
It is still very warm here in Vancouver. Today was deceptive and a little time spent outside at my friend's place made me yearn for the cool of the fan. But I have noticed a distinct change in the air in the early mornings. Past experience tells me that by the 1st of September there will be a definite chill in the air. Though the days may be warm, you will know that Fall is not far behind.
I've been hoping to have some completed works in progress to post and show but haven't met any crafting deadlines. In fact, I've found it too warm to really get into crafting.
Instead, in keeping with my one of my guiding words for this year (simplify), I'm working toward simple living, not simply living, I've been making time for the things that matter to me: friends and family, reading, health and routines, and keeping pockets of stress free time to relax and enjoy the simple life. This is actually harder to do than not. I keep reminding myself with quotes and pictures of flowers and taking time to smell real flowers.
I hope all of you are coping well wherever you are. I end with a beautiful scene from my fair city, Vancouver. Enjoy!
Linking with Our World Tuesday