Monthly Archives: September 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: SATURATED

I was at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market. As it was fairly early, I found the stores saturated with stocks; just right for this week’s Photo Challenge: “Saturated“. The cheese store displayed a sea of yellow in different tones, the meat was pink and fresh, and the florist was saturated with colours too.

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The Hamilton Farmers Market shares a long history with the City of Hamilton since its inception in 1837. It is open four days a week. Since it is situated in the downtown area of the City, it is a convenient location for office workers to shop for fresh produce, coffee and spices, baked goods as well as household items during lunch hour, and before or after work.

Hamilton Farmers Market, 35 York Blvd., Hamilton, Ontario. (Jackson Square).

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Thursday Special: My 200th Blog Post

I celebrate my 200th post to-day with a link to my first post. I also submit this post to Thursday Special, that Paula of Lost in Translation has set up. I entitled my first post “Impossible? Possible!” It was the banner in the photo that gave me the inspiration to start blogging, and the words also reflected my determination to power walk to bring health to my life. Blogging and power walking are now two activities that I engage in regularly, together with my other passions–reading, food, and music and art.

I was standing under the same banner at the start line of the Sporting Life 10K earlier this year in May and took a picture of it myself. It dawned on me too that I had been blogging for one year. These two activities have enabled me to connect with many lovely people, who have shared with me their interests and their lives. They have broadened my perspectives, challenged my usual way of thinking, and in short, they have enriched my life.

My walking friends have supported me through races and hikes. I have covered distances that I have never dreamt that I am capable of doing. They have also given me the privilege to share their blessings and joys, as well as trial and tribulations. Without walking with them, and being part of their non-walking related activities, about half of the contents of this blog would have been missing.

My blogging friends (yes, although we have never met, yet I consider you my friends) are generous and embracing. They open their world to me. Their posts have made me laugh, made me cry or rendered me speechless in awe.  I learn about books, movies, music, crafts and hikes, as well as classics. Their blogs have taught me how to take pictures, how to write and how to cook. They help me update my bucket list of things to do and places to go. They have offered me comments and “likes” that have encouraged me to keep blogging better posts. The benefits I have derived are too numerous to count.

Now that I have reached the 200th post mark, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

This blogging milestone is making me reflective, but not sentimental. I am determined to live by the Tagline of this blog to “age with peace of mind”. I have made a choice to appreciate my blessings in the vicissitudes of life. I have likened races as a metaphor of life. Walking and Blogging are part of my Life. Thank you for celebrating my 200th post with me–if you reach this far–and so, let us walk on and blog on.

For other Thursday Special posts this week, check out: Lost in Translation.

 

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A Canal Hike on the Merritt Trail

My last encounter with the Welland Canal was on the Laura Secord Hike and only then did I learn that there were several canals in Welland, although not all of them were fully in operation. I therefore joined the Canal Hike of my local hiking club, -the Iroquoia Club of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, to find out more.

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We car-pooled and our starting point was at Port Robinson in St. Catharines. Ahead of us was a paved trail which ran beside the Canal. The lift bridge was in sight.

This is a big structure and I think it is interesting to have this industrial structure standing beside the green trail.

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At the lift bridge, we turned into a smaller trail which took us further up the canal and here we saw torrents of water raging downstream. Here we crossed over the bridge to the other side of the Canal.

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Back to paved roads and trail and we were heading in the direction of St. Catharines.

It was here that we discovered that the trail was closed due to reconstruction, and our hike leader had to change our plan to turn around and hike back. We passed the lock again with its rushing water.

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Once passed it, we were also able to enjoy again the calmness of the canal and the serenity of the trail.

You may have read about my fascination with lift bridges, and with this shot, we walked back to Point Robinson. We completed this hike  of 13 Km which was mostly paved trails. This is a leisurely hike recommend to anyone who does not want too much exertion.

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Travel Theme: THROUGH

For the Travel Theme this week in Where is My Backpack, Ailsa has posted Through. My two photos are taken at the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. The  Bay of Fundy has the highest tide in the world rising to an average of 53 ft. compared to 11 ft. at the Atlantic Coast in the area.

The first picture is taken at low tide. One can walk on the ocean floor and see through a cavity in the rocks towards the Bay.

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The next photo is taken at high tide the following day. The water has risen above the hole but one can see the top of the rocks through an opening from higher grounds.

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Thursday Special: A Mud Run

This is not an Adult post, nor is it rated “X”

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A mud run? Who wants to get dirty in the mud?

I want to make this post a Thursday Special initiated by Paula, because it is a totally new AND special experience for me…even as a spectator.

On this beautiful day in early Fall, my friends invited me to join them for a road trip to Buffalo, NY. My assignment was to be their photographer when they participated in a mud run. We drove almost three hours from Hamilton Ontario to New York State. The event took place in Elegant Raceway Park.

Pink was the dominant colour at this event. Although it was not a fundraiser for cancer, survivors were offered complimentary registration, hence making it a popular occasion for survivors and their families and friends to have some fun. I was impressed by the beautiful team T-shirts and the colourful knee socks and tights around me.

Some participants wore tutus.

The run was a five-kilometre route with obstacles along the way–climbing up a rope fence, wading and crawling in mud pools, and sliding into a mud tub–just to get dirty!

Some people rolled and swam in the mud pool, while others tried to stay as clean as possible using different strategies, but it was all relative, for they still got dirty anyway. Most people seemed to be enjoying themselves even when they walked away dripping and caked in mud.  So did my friends!

The organizers offered some basic facilities for rinsing off the dirt and for changing. My friends felt comfortable enough to head out for lunch afterwards, knowing that they would have a thorough scrubbing when we returned to Canada.

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I am so proud of my friends. We are in the same age group and they have taken on the challenge to get dirty in this obstacle run. I should be up to it stamina-wise, but I prefer to stay clean and enjoy the experience vicariously. We do what we can and prefer, and I think this experience fits beautifully into the philosophy of my blog–Aging with Peace of Mind.

(Here is the where Paula talks about her conceptualization of this wonderful Thursday Special non-challenge “challenge”. I love this avenue to express ourselves.)

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A Terry Fox Legacy: Terry Fox Run 2013

1-IMG_1839One of the first things every school child in Canada learns is that Terry Fox is a Canadian hero. The Terry Fox Run every year in mid-September also draws crowds from every city across the country to raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation, set up in memory of Fox to support cancer research. This event has also become worldwide, and millions of participants in some 60 countries come out for the Terry Fox Run.

Terry Fox’s story has become a legend. When he was only 19 years old, Fox’s right leg was amputated after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He was a distance runner and continued to run with an artificial leg. In 1980, he embarked on a cross-Canada Marathon of Hope to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. His noble endeavour to run a marathon distance every day was sadly cut short when it was found that cancer had spread to his lungs. He had reached Thunder Bay, Ontario, after walking for 143 days from St. John’s Newfoundland . He died nine months later. His effort has resulted in the establishment of the Terry Fox Foundation in 1981 to carry on his dream.

I was with a group of friends in the recent Terry Fox Run. We power-walked a 5 Km distance in memory of a walking buddy who lost his battle to cancer. It was a beautiful day, and everybody at our walk location, Coronation Park in Oakville, ON, was upbeat and excited about the walk.

There were a festive atmosphere around. Stores were selling souvenir items. The cheerleaders were all already to go. The first group to head out at the start line were children on their bikes.

Then came the runners and walkers doing 1 Km, 5 Km and 10 Km, and of course our pets could take part too!

As the Terry Fox Foundation website has put it, this is a “non-competitive and all-inclusive” event. We can run or walk at our own pace, and the most important part is to remember our loved ones who have lost the battle to  cancer, pray for those under treatment or in remission, and to cherish the hope that one day the disease will find a cure.

Nothing was better for our team at the end of the walk than to enjoy a snack at our team table.

We shall see each other again next year!

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