Sunday, May 18, 2008


This weekend is the Victoria Day weekend here in Canada - and I am actually off tomorrow. That doesn't happen too often, as I am a nurse and working in a hospital means shift work and different days off every week. But this time I actually do get the statutory holiday off. (Although that also means I don't get paid time and a half while working!)

So Zoe and I went to Assiniboine Park today and wandered around for about an hour, enjoying the sunshine, the people and the scenery. The grass is wonderfully green and the trees are doing their best to catch up, despite the slow and chilly start this spring has had. We lay on the grass for a while and just watched the goings on around us, soaking up some rays and catching our breath after a brisk jaunt.

Then it was over to the ice cream stand for something refreshing. I was hoping they had plain white ice cream for the dog, as chocolate is a deadly no-no, despite her eagerness to give it a try. Well! Did you know that Nestle makes little things called "Frosty Paws" just for dogs???? Kind of a frozen protein treat designed just for pups on hot summer (or warm spring) days, in a paper cup that you just peel off and let the pooch go at it. Zoe was thrilled to get her little treat, and once I got it out of its paper prison (no easy feat, let me tell you!) and onto the grass, she chomped it down in a few bites and was looking for more! Will have to do that again next time we are there.

After heading home and letting the dog have a big drink and settle in for her afternoon nap, I decided a bike ride was in order. I have been slowly slimming down since last fall but have stalled out over the past 6 weeks, so I obviously need to up the ante as far as energy expenditure goes. So the old mountain bike got hauled out of the shed, cleaned up and inflated, greased and ready to roll. I spent about an hour humping it around various scenic parts of the city - areas that I had never been to - along the river in fairly fancy neighbourhoods, through Osborne Village a bit, cutting through The Forks on my way back home. Lovely ride, exhilarating to be biking again, and fabulous that the weather cooperated today. Too bad tomorrow is calling for rain all day. Would definitely be up for that again.

As if I hadn't done enough physical stuff for one day, after arriving home post cycling, I headed out to the yard to clean up fallen branches and trim back a few trees that had branches at eye-poking levels.

There is a tree growing next to the house that someone, in their infinite stupidity many years ago, tied a rope around as the anchor for a clothes line. Now, they didn't just tie it once - no, they wrapped it around the trunk at about eye level (for me, anyway) about eight times. I say many years ago, because this rope has cut into the bark of the tree so deeply, I am surprised that one section is still alive at all. There are a few dead branches above the rope and the rest look like they are struggling, so I got a knife and cut the rope off. It was so tight, I couldn't even get the tip of the knife under any strand, so I had to lay the blade flat across and just saw back and forth until they started giving way. How can anyone be that stupid and not realize the tree will keep growing? I don't know if it will still survive, but at least now it has a chance.

Because this is a long weekend, there were fireworks scheduled to go off at The Forks (a 10 minute walk away) at 10:00 p.m. I thought about heading over to watch, but by this time I was securely ensconced in my recliner, remote in hand and phone in the other (talking to my sister) and the dog asleep at my feet. I could hear them, and I imagine they were great, but there certainly wasn't any more energy in me to expend on that, so... I just stayed put.

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