Tuesday, July 08, 2014


In May, I succumbed to Ms L’s pestering  influence, and began Crossfit. The gym ("box") that I go to is right near my school ( Danforth and Coxwell). Tidal CrossFit. (There are also locations in York Mills and Burlington) Miss L recommended it—she teaches at a few different Crossfit Gyms, but she knew that I would only go if it was convenient, and Tidal sure is, so she recommended going there. I started with the “ Foundations” class - because there would be only up to 4 people, so there would be more individualized instruction. Mine was taught ( mostly) by Mags—the co-owner - and I was the only one in the class, so I got personal training. It was $199 - for 6 classes ( 3x a week)(1 hour classes) and then unlimited regular classes for the rest of the month. It was well worth it!!! Mags and Stephanie made me work HARD.  When I gave up, they made me keep going. They made me laugh... and didn’t make me feel like an idiot when I couldn’t remember things from one day to the next. 

(I try really hard not to bore my friends to death with my enthusiasm)

I had always thought Crossfit was too expensive, but it’s really not. You really get personalized instruction, and it is motivational. I used to go to Goodlife, but it wasn’t really friendly, and after the introductory hour, you’re on your own, unless you take classes, which I found too intimidating (seriously -- I NEVER knew what was going on -- and the instructor was too busy to ask). At Tidal -- ask away -- that's what the instructor is there for. So now I’m totally a Crossfit convert :) I started doing this to make Miss L happy—but I kept going because it made me feel good and it’s an investment in my health. 

The classes start with a warm up, then go onto strength (often some form of Olympic Weightlifting) and then the WOD ( Workout of the Day). I am there, working out for over a full hour ( I get there early, because for some reason, the warm up takes me 10 minutes longer than everyone else , lol) . I go 3 days a week -- Mon/Wed/Fri.
I am getting WAY stronger—and lost 12 pounds in just over a month. Seriously. I sweated it off, lol. Don’t worry, I’ll put it back on this summer with all of those Privateers Bounty Ice cream cones. And also, in my Nova Scotia, chips are a valid vegetable :)

I am trying to continue on with the workouts here in Port Mouton. I ordered equipment through Amazon and Walmart ( free shipping! ) Some dumbells, a kettlebell ( OMG - so heavy) , pull up bar, rings and a skipping rope. I am VERY DETERMINED to master double-under skipping this summer. I’m still doing workouts on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and I skip on my off days.

I’m even looking forward to September when I can go back to Tidal. -- Not just for the exercise, but for the community. I miss everyone! They are all so encouraging and inspiring!

If you live/ work in the East end of
Toronto, check out Tidal. Your won’t regret it. Tell them Martha sent you :) !!
This was my workout for today -- on my own
3 Rounds:
10 squats
10 burpees

3x 6split squats on each side

kettlebell swings (25lb)

5 rounds
100 single under skips
50 squats 
(I could feel Mags' evil eye on my wobbly left knee every single squat)

Here is my work out gear corner:
 (missing -- my pull up bar -- it is being installed in a doorway)
(and I need some 10lb weights -- those 15s are too heavy for thrusters right now)
(you can order from Walmart. Free shipping. Hate Walmart, but I'm cheap)

Here is Andy's work out gear corner -- he piles it all up together -- sometimes right on top of mine :) 

p.s. I got new shoes. Less dorky than the old ones. Now they won’t get stuck when I try to escape from the rowing machine.

If you want to see how strong Miss L is -- here is a short video of her competing in the 2014 Canadian Senior Weightlifting Championships in Saskatoon, SK. She takes after me (hahahahahahahaha.... not).
  (66k snatch and 79k clean and jerk)

Sunday, July 06, 2014


That would be Hurricane Arthur - Tropical Storm Arthur - Post Tropical Storm Arthur - paid us a visit out here in the maritimes. We're on the South Shore - the southeast side of Nova Scotia , and we weren't hit as bad as the west side -- and New Brunswick.
However -- we woke up on Saturday morning with no power, so we've been puttering around waiting for the power to come back on. Back in
Toronto, I have a gas stove -- so if the power goes off, I can still cook. Here.... Nothing. Severe caffeine withdrawal! At least chips and dip don't need cooking...... 

Here is my attempt at heating water over a candle (hey, it worked!)

And wow! That is some wind! I don't know how the leaves stay on the trees!
The rose petals have ALL  blow off of my rose bushes. Humph. My peonies are horizontal!!!
I didn't want to get into big painting projects until Mr. B had left, so I couldn't begin painting ( upcoming -- the living room ceiling and walls, then the mud porch)
So I've been reading. I just finished The Book Thief ( ripped m heart out!! - can't believe that this is a children's book!) now I'm onto Shauna Singh Baldwin's - The Tiger Claw -- set at the end of WWII. I'm only 27 pages in, so,not sure if it's as good as What the Body Remembers.

I'm also finishing ( knitting) a pair of socks and am about to start a new pair.
We've begun a new tradition here. Happy Hour! Snacks and libations on the sun porch! 

*** we finally got our power back at noon on Sunday ***

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ahhhhhh, summer......

We left Toronto enroute to Nova Scotia at 5 am Sunday. Our car was FULL. Well, actually, see for yourself -- I guess that I could have fit a tiny bit more in.....

This time, we drove south,through Buffalo and took the I90 east toward Boston, then the  I95 North to Portland, Maine. The drive is about 10 hours of actual driving -- it took us about 14 hours -- Ray ( and Andy) need frequent stops. ( please note, that if you are traveling to/from the US with a pet, you just need a note that they have had their rabies shot within the year, but also more than 30 days ago. No problem at all, we sailed through customs)
We arrived in
Portland around 7 pm -- so we had a few minutes to stop at Trader Joes ( olive tapenade, rosemary raisin crisps... You know, just the basics :) Portland is such a pretty town/city -- I hope to be able to explore it more next year.
7:30 we got in line for the ferry -- NovaStar ( from Portland to Yarmouth, NS) the Ferry is gigantic! It is touted as a "cruise ship".  We were a bit worried for Andy - who had to stay crated in our car for the 10 hour voyage. But we cracked down our windows a bit ( this is a night crossing -- and quite cool - no sweltering heat, don't worry) and wired a bowl of water to the door. His crate is his safe and happy place,so we were hopeful that he would be fine. He had his blankie. Night night Andy -- see you in the morning.
We splurged a bit and booked a cabin ( so glad), so we dropped our stuff off and then went to explore the ship ( note to travellers -- the power outlets on the ship are international, so you can't charge electronics or plug anything in). Our room had 4 bunks ( the top ones were folded up), a bedside table, a tiny desk, rack for clothes, and a bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. Toiletries and towels in the WC. We booked an interior cabin because we would be travelling at night and not really needing a view.

The ferry left dock at 9 -- the sun was just starting to set. The port was beautiful. Many car alarms were going off below deck, so we worried a bit about Andy, but the ship managed to contact everyone to shut off all of the alarms. 

We stayed on deck until it was dark , and then headed off to fine some food. There are 3 places on board to find food -- a "fine dining" establishment that we never came across :) , a buffet, and a pub where you can get muffins and sandwiches. We chose the buffet ($23 each). The food was FANTASTIC. We started with salads ( Caesar, tomato) then moved to the mains. I tried some curried beef, seafood wontons and baked fish. All excellent. I had blueberry pie and Mr. B had blueberry cheesecake. 
Have I mentioned the Ferry Staff? So helpful and efficient :)
We were tired ( by then it was
10:30) , so we ambled back to our cabin. Only a small roll and rumble, so I wasn't seasick yet!
We slept like babies, and were awakened by a VERY
LOUD announcement that it was morning and we would dock in an hour and a half, and would we please vacate our rooms within a half hour.
We showered, packed and headed to the buffet for breakfast ( I was still full from supper the previous evening, but Mr. B says the breakfast ($12) was great.

Another announcement invited us down to our cars... We couldn't remember where our car was ( note to self: next year, pay attention), but we found it, and Andy seemed
JUST FINE. We drove off the ferry, and quickly sailed through customs again, and stopped at the tourist information centre to walk Andy. He hopped out of his crate, happy as can be. We walked around for about 1/2 hour, and then he happily hopped back into his crate for the rest of the car ride. What an awesome dog we have!!!!

 (that's the ferry in the background!)
We will DEFINITELY  take the NovaStar again!
Then we had less than a 2 hour drive to our summer home ( stopping in Barrington Passage No Frills for more groceries)
Yay! We are here -- the roses and peonies are beautiful. Time now to relax.
If you are reading this and have any questions about the ferry, please leave a comment, or email me, and I will get back to you asap)