Happy New Year, Sparkers!!
I had a very nice Christmas with my brother, SIL, and niece. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmases and l wish you and your families health and happiness and love in 2015!!
Allan Gardens Christmas display
I am doing well, still taking photos and painting. Enjoying a quiet life in retirement. Maintaining my 25 lb. weight loss from Sparks but 50 lbs. more to go. I am eating healthy whole food Paleo type meals, including free range chicken and eggs, wild Pacific salmon, even a little grass fed beef or other meat, mostly organic veggies, lentils or chickpeas, nuts, some Lundberg rice, quinoa or sweet potato, steel cut oatmeal, northern fruits like blueberries, apples, pears, cherries.
baked chicken breast with herbs, sauteed greens, and roasted beets with onion.
My dairy is goat yogurt/ cheese and organic kefir and butter. No gluten, breads, cereals, or pasta, no purchased GF products. I do miss some sort of bread at breakfast, so I bake biscuit-like squares once in a while from GF flours. I make mixtures of rice and sorghum flours and almond meal, adding nuts, dried cranberries, ground flax, but too many GF products put on pounds too. Excellent GF recipes here, I made a delicious GF chocolate gingerbread loaf that the family loved at Christmas.
No coffee of black teas any more due to caffeine and my afib. Darn it, have to limit chocolate too so my sugars are from maple syrup or honey, fats are olive oil, coconut oil, or organic butter on my biscuits. The extra cost for my whole foods is offset by not buying processed packaged foods or fast foods out, buying local seasonal veggies from the farmers’ market, making homemade stews and bone broth, and only eating out once a week, in my favorite restaurant with good quality food, and at lunch not dinner, so price and portions are less.
In 2015 my goal is to make more smoothies and fresh juices. Another goal is to do more meditation as it really helps me relax and focus, as does EFT (tapping) when I feel stress or anxiety.
Not as bad a winter here as last year and hope it stays that way! I bought some Activator poles for walking and they keep me more upright and balanced than a cane, and exercise the body core.
Good for my knees and back. Even in the city I see some older people walking with these poles. Makes me feel empowered and energized instead of hobbling along like an old lady with my arthritis and my cane.
sunflowers for sale at the Market
I have been enjoying my little city park and occasional senior day bus trips for lunch at country inns and visits to gardens or a boat trip on a lake etc. Too expensive to live in Toronto and afford holidays and I still have my condo mortgage so these trips are a lifesaver to get me out of the city.
September on Lake Muskoka.
August in Toronto Botanical Gardens
private garden east of Toronto
For the last three years I sold my photo cards outside at the historic St. Lawrence Market next door to my condo and enjoyed meeting local and tourists www.alice-art.com
Selling cards twice a week got me out of my condo, gave me focus and a goal to take new photos on my bus trips.
I had many regular customers, like one man asking, “Any new squirrel photos?
enjoying beet chip
Unfortunately the market management (City of Toronto) has just informed us that they are discontinuing the arts and crafts vendor program next year til further notice, supposedly due to construction and temporary lack of space (although they actually could place us elsewhere). Part of a bigger plan to clean house and redesign and renovate the whole historic market complex. I am hoping they do not destroy it instead, as often happens when people are greedy and forget about the historic atmosphere that makes an area special and attracts visitors.
my condo is there behind market, very small in this photo but my little vendor cart is the one in the middle with the blue canvas top in front of the historic South Market.
This low greyish 1969 North Market building is to be replaced with a new 5 story one, with city offices on top. The Saturday farmers and Sunday antique markets who are on the street level and outside seasonally will go in a temporary building during construction, but we have been ignored.
This is where most of our outside vendors sell, but this park will be torn up for 2 years as it is next to the building above.
Our local customers are very upset that the vendors will not be there and will miss buying our products, like handmade jewelry, Indian scarves, wood and pottery, knitwear, hats, paintings, my cards. The tourists are not going to buy cabbages from the Market to take home on the tour bus. There about 35 vendors including summer seasonal ones. I sold April to November. There are reassurances that there are plans for the arts & crafts vendor program to come back and be improved, I bet with higher table rental fees. Anything is an improvement as it was badly managed, we were treated like dirt, and at the end any old junk was allowed to be sold. Meanwhile some vendors who depend on selling there as their only income will have a tough time finding other affordable places to sell, there is nowhere else like the Market. We started a “save the vendors“ petition, with already hundreds of signatures, that will go to city council.
I will miss the little extra money that supplemented my pension! That card money paid for my bus trips or painting class. I will have to have an even tighter budget than before. Oh well, I packed up my cards and hopefully will be out there again someday. I have no car so hard to get to craft shows and too high rents unless I share a table with a friend who has a car and can pick me up. This summer a local gift shop bought 80 of my cards to sell so maybe I can find other places like that. It is said that when one door closes another opens so I must think positive. Will still take photos!
But now - what to do with myself? This winter I am making progress in my endless de-cluttering and without card sales twice a week and the needed recovery day after standing most of the day out there, I can continue to concentrate on my condo. I can sit down frequently and take my time. Also in 2015, I plan to concentrate on my healthy eating, pole walking, meditation, to spend time with family and friends, enjoy free or inexpensive activities in the city, to enjoy each day and the coming Spring in my city park.
Enjoy the winter calm after the busy holidays. Best luck with your health goals and new projects in 2015!