Monday Musings 10/8

Welcome to Monday Musings, where I share a bit of what's been going on in my little part of the world.  However, I need to be a bit quick with this one . . . Monday is close to being over already!

1)  I attended a full day training session over the weekend, and I am now  t  h  i  s  close to being a certified O-2 Sierra Club wilderness leader. The O-2 designation means I can lead hikes and backpacks on developed trails in our local mountains. The training session was long, but very, very interesting. Firstly, I really enjoyed the energy of the other people taking the course, about 1/3 of them my age, and about 2/3 of them appearing to be in their 20's and 30's. They had youth and strength, but those of us that were older had considerable experience, so when we were broken up into groups for some of the time, we all meshed terrifically well.

Doing what I most love to do, our beloved dog Lady by my side.

I love the outdoors so, so much, and it's where I feel my most authentic self, so I'm very pleased to be training to be a volunteer for a wilderness organization I greatly admire. I do still need to select, advertise and lead a hike of my making before being full appointed, which I'm in the midst of designing now, and thoroughly enjoying.

2) I've started a new routine in the morning of leaving all electronics in my office, and instead waking up with just my coffee mug, the sunrise out of the windows, and my Sarah Ban Breathnach books, Simple Abundance and Something More: Excavating Your True Self.

Not only am I feeling enriched and enlightened as I start my day, I no longer get sucked into the vortex of online pursuits. It feels great, and I'm finding that I'm getting a lot more accomplished each day.

3) Along with the above, I made the difficult decision to ask that my blog link be removed from one of my favorite blogging sites, Satisfying Retirement, operated by my dear friend Bob Lowry. Bob's site is the real deal, he works very, very hard on his excellent posts, and he has a well deserved, large following as a result. He was extremely kind to post a link to my blog the moment he learned I'd started one up again, and I was, and am, very, very appreciate. However, I found myself worrying that either I wasn't putting up enough posts, or that the ones I did put up were kind of 'fluffy' so I ultimately decided I really did just want to be an under-the-radar blogger with no sense of pressure, and asked to be taken down.

I love my cadre of female bloggers, however (you know who you are!), so hopefully my blog listing on their sites will all continue.

4) I've been so busy with all my usual activities, I finally just got around today to perusing the itinerary for our upcoming trip to Japan. Oh. My. Gosh. The itinerary looks amazing! So many new sights and experiences coming our way - Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, a Geisha village, an overnight in a traditional tatami inn, bullet trains, sake tasting, sushi making demo, temples, a tea ceremony, zen gardens, and a castle among other things.

I'll be posting lots and lots of photos on Instagram as WestCoastTamara as we move through the trip.

5) And finally, I made myself sit down and go through a ton of emails I'd been ignoring, and as a result our calendar is now full to pretty much bursting. In clearing through them, we now have athletic, social and entertainment engagements scheduled well into 2019. Rather than feeling stressed by all that is now on my calendar, I instead feel blessed. It's a wonderful thing to have options, and people we care about to do them with. As challenging as much of 2018 turned out to be, I feel like a real corner has been turned, and that there is now a whole, whole lot to look forward to.


That's it for today's Monday Musings, but would love to know what's running through your heads this morning, so please do feel free to share some of your musings below!


  1. You should love your new routine. I do my morning time in bed when I wake up and I do allow my fire, because that's what my meditations are on but those are the only things I use on it. I also do stretches in my bed and meditation.

    1. I am finding I'm more relaxed as I start my day, and that my energy is more consistent throughout as I move through my activities. And both books leave me with little bubbles of well being, which has been lovely. (As does working to avoid any and all news. Once a week via the Sunday e-papers is more than adequate.)

  2. How are you liking working through Something More? I hadn't seen that one of hers before.

    1. Something More is less widely known it seems, perhaps because it is broken up into sections rather than daily reads. It offers small challenges which appeal to me, like creating a virtual vision board via Pinterest to remind me to strive for my version of living authentically. The two books work very well together.

  3. Going through emails today. Hitting delete a lot!!
    Great choices of titles for your quiet time. I am only familiar with Simple Abundance but I am sure the second title is equally inspirational.
    Did you all put together your itinerary for Japan or did someone else, perhaps a travel agent? PC usually puts together our plans and does a good job but sometimes I want to see things off the beaten path a bit.
    Congratulations moving that much closer to becoming a Sierra Club wilderness leader. WOW, wow, wow!! I am sure your energy and enthusiasm and experience all matched or surpassed that of the others in your class. A+!

    1. I hit 'Unsubscribe' frequently, but even the remaining emails accumulate quickly. I try to view each one as an opportunity rather than an annoyance. I'm not always successful, but I try!

      We are traveling to Japan with a tour group, via their Small Group brand. They'll be less than 20 travelers, and we'll be moving pretty quickly as a result, which I'm fine with. As short of a time as we'll be there, I want to see as much as possible.

      Sometimes I'm fine doing the planning, sometimes I want to hand it over to someone else and just enjoy the ride!

      And, yes, I am pleased to be joining up with a group of people I deeply admire via the Sierra Club, so thank you! ☺

  4. Sarah Ban Breathnach's "Simple Abundance" is a throw back to my '90's. I still bring it out once in awhile to ground me and remind me of the abundance in my life. I've just read the Oct 9th entry titled "Coping with Stress," a timely reminder as I deal with my ageing mother and some seasonal deadlines. I was wondering about the absence of your blog on Bob's blog roll as it is one of the blogs that I most look forward to. I'd like to hear about your definition of "puffy". Reading the blogs each morning challenge my thinking and contribute to my purposeful retirement/life for the most part. Here in NE Alberta, the late fall brings a lull to my outdoor activity and I need to up my game when it comes to exercise. Your active lifestyle is a motivation. So far I'm 4 for 4 for schedule changes this week. I anticipated a quiet Sunday evening after returning from a Saturday concert (Shooter Jennings & his mama, Jessie Colter!) 2 hrs away. The pasture renter showed up to load cattle so I helped them with that in a fall snow squall. The change in the weather caused me to cancel the annual wood haul on Monday since my truck has fair weather tires on it. "A Star is Born" was on the schedule for tonight but my friend decided to go last night. Kudos to Bradley Cooper. The Wednesday night whist game was cancelled. I'll see how the rest of the week goes.

    1. The Oct 9 Coping With Stress had an amazing list of de-stressing suggestions to consider, didn't it? I'm thinking it's worth a blog post in and of itself.

      I changed 'puffy' to 'fluffy,' meaning I stay fairly light on this blog as I have no interest in attracting trolls, which is pretty much inevitable anytime a subject is perceived as being remotely controversial. I have scads of opinions, trust me, but I prefer to express them in person, not via my blog.

      I do wish you had a blog as your descriptions of NE Alberta are always so lovely, and I would love to see photos.

      Um, not sure I can do a new Star Is Born in that I think it will forever be Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in my heart!

  5. Congratulations, Tamara, for getting so close to being a certified O2 Sierra Club wilderness leader! If I lived closer, I'd sign up for your hike. Your enthusiasm would make the hike more fun.

    Your new routine with your two books sounds great. I usually do my meditation first thing in the morning and before bed time.

    The photo of Kinkakuji (the Golden temple) in Japan brought back fond memories for me. It's one of the countries that I'd like to return to explore more. I look forward to hearing what you think about Japan after your trip.

    Like you, I feel blessed to have so many beautiful options to experience with fitness, entertainment, arts, social activities, and travels. I'm reading about Morocco to prep for my trip in November. One common description that I've seen in the Morocco travel guides is "sensory overload"!

    1. Oh, that was so nice to say, Natalie, thank you! I do think I'll be enthusiastic, but I will have to watch out for trail markings as sometimes I get so caught up in talking to folk I hike right on by the turn!

      Re: Japan - I am positive we will love it. We hosted numerous Japanese students when our girls were young and here at home, and we fell in love with the culture as a result of their presence in our home.

      Morocco - oh boy! We have been to just the border city of Tangier, and while it was ah-ma-zing, it was hard to be there as a Westerner. You're kind of a sitting duck for merchandisers, plus we were yelled at a couple of times from afar, and not kindly. However, I know you can't judge a country by it's border city, so I do still have it on my list as a sometime-in-the-future trip. The opportunity to spend the night in a tent in the Sahara Desert is pretty darn enchanting and enticing!

  6. I love your blog. You do so many fun things in goal! Cindy in the South

    1. Hi Cindy, happy to hear you enjoy my 'fluffy' blog! I'm not planning on doing away with it anytime soon, I just wanted to feel free to write about whatever I wish to, even if it's just my weekly menu, without worrying that I'm not significant enough to justify being listed on a much higher quality blog. My issues entirely, I know!

      And we are back to having fun, finally!

  7. It's kind of interesting . . . I think your experience with your major landscaping project and my experience with the construction project at our rental property are similar in that it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders (yours, too, maybe?) and now I can get back to really enjoying life. We, also, have plans in place already for next year and knowing that there are no more MAJOR projects on the horizon is making the anticipation of all that is to come quite delightful.

    1. Our re-landscaping project was beyond stressful. Right out of the gate one of our neighbor's was uncooperative regarding signing off on the plans for the HOA, and continued to be a thorn in our side throughout the entire project. Add to that a series of unexpected delays where we were held up for a month at a time, the noise our job generated, the bright yellow outhouse for all to see, and, of course, having to work with, and wait on, our city, architect, and structural engineer, and it became close to untenable at times.

      However. We are now almost to the finish line, we love the way both front and backyard turned out, it's a piece of cake to maintain (no mowing!), and life is once again good.

      But, I am never, ever, doing anything like it again. Ever! ☺


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