Helloooo. It’s September. A lovely breeze is blowing through my window. I am finally wearing long pants. Ha. It definitely feels like fall today. And I am most certainly back in the game, my friends. The blogging game, that is.

The view from the dam at Watson's Mill in Manotick, Ontario.
The view from the dam behind Watson’s Mill in Manotick.

I had a lovely two weeks off. I tried to jam as many patio lunches, coffees, and dinners in as I could before the weather changes and my younger friends have to get back to work. Lots of trepidation there, I can tell you. And rightly so. My thoughts today are with all my teacher friends who went back to work on Monday, although not necessarily with kids in the classroom yet.

I’m sure the Black Dog Bistro in Manotick considers me a regular now. I’ve had two lovely dinners on their patio recently with friends. I’m not ready to dine inside. Not sure that will change even when it gets too cold to eat outside.

I’ve been shopping a bit. Well, once. During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale I visited my friend Katia who manages the Laura Mercier counter there. We had a lovely chat, and I came away with my make-up supply replenished and some good deals on skincare products. Laura Mercier often has sets during promotion time, full-size creams and oils etc at really good prices. Great value, especially if you already like and use the products.

I must say I was really uncomfortable in my new navy cotton reusable mask when I was shopping. I’ve been wearing the light blue disposable masks since the spring and have had no difficulty. But I found this heavy cotton one hot, and it made breathing difficult. Even though it looked great with my old Max Mara suit. After I left Katia, I has a quick whip round the sale merchandise upstairs. I saw little to tempt me and bought nothing. Then I hightailed it for home. Huffing and puffing all the way to my car.

As you can see below, it looks as if I am continuing my love affair with navy. I’ve worn my Max Mara suit twice and the matching jacket a couple of times. Once with my Rag and Bone checked pants, and another time with my Frame straight-leg white jeans, my Stan Smith sneakers, and my navy cashmere Vince sweater. I like the look of navy and white on me even better with my newly white hair than I did with my old hair. So that’s good.

On my holiday I had coffee with friends a couple of times. All masked up when applicable and socially distanced. Last week when my friend Marina and I met I didn’t recognize her in her sunglasses and mask. Oh, my god, how embarrassing was that?

As I gazed around the parking lot, and she stood in line to pick up her coffee, she even spoke to me saying where to line up to order. I just nodded and wondered why this stranger was directing me. Ha. Then she sat at a table outside and watched me cluelessly wandering around the parking lot waiting for her. She actually had to walk over to me and take off her mask. I almost fell over laughing. She just chuckled and said it was good to know that she could now walk around incognito, and even old friends wouldn’t know her. Hubby said my eye sight must be getting pretty bad if friends have to wear name tags. Okay… in my defense, I DO have to get that cataract looked at again.

Post coffee stroll and photo in Manotick.
Post coffee date photo. Still loving my Everlane box-cut tee.

Hubby and I squeezed in a few bike rides while I was on hiatus. Of course it’s not as if that will stop now. We are really enjoying our newly paved road with the wide paved shoulder. It’s lovely to be able to hop on our bikes and safely ride from home instead of throwing the bikes in the back of the truck and driving somewhere. Previously our busy main road had a sloping unpaved shoulder, chewed up edges, and tons and tons of potholes. I am not comfortable riding in traffic with big trucks approaching and a line-up of impatient drivers behind me waiting to pass. Even worse when it’s the truck impatiently waiting to pass.

Oh, that road was a nightmare in more ways than one. I still cringe at the memory of Hubby driving me to the doctor when I had shingles. Me clutching my abdomen and trying unsuccessfully not to cry, while he eased his way between potholes and bumps equally unsuccessfully. No more big bumps now, people. And we can safely ride our bikes to less busy roads and trails. Yah.

I did do one blogging related thing these past two weeks. I taught myself to use some new software that will allow me to edit my videos. That was fun. I love to learn new things. I’m no expert, but it’s a start. And I made a short video: “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.” Original, eh? Hope you enjoy it.

I have some ideas percolating in my head for posts I’ll write soon. I’ve finally given up organizing myself too far ahead of time. I’ve been trying to do that, with little success, for years. In the same way I used to plan a course, with topics and themes for the next few months, all organized and teacher-ish. I thought if it worked for my course content it would be good for blogging. But you know what? Being too organized just takes all the joy out of it for me. All the spontaneity. I think I’d forgotten those days when I’d walk into class and say to the kids that I’d jettisoned a lesson in favour of something more fun. Gad they loved that.

Of course with teaching one had a responsibility to finish the curriculum, prepare kids for the next course, for post-secondary education, or for the real world that awaited them. It couldn’t all be spontaneous. And it wasn’t all about me. But blogging is all about me. And you guys. And you and I can do as we please. Right?

I’m going to continue to jot down ideas as they come to me, ideas that may or may not become future posts. And I’m telling myself that I am not a slave to that list. Feels great, you know.

I should tell you that I do have a post on jeans coming up. I haven’t written a post about jeans for ages. I’m excited.

So. That’s all from me today. I am back from summer holidays, even though I went nowhere. Ha. And back in the game.

And like my video says… ” The end. See you soon.” 🙂

P.S. There are a few clothing affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission.


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48 thoughts on “Back in the Game”

  1. Good Morning, it’s wonderful to be able to hear your voice after reading you for so long. Nice job on the video editing. Very smooth transitions, nicely timed. My only suggestion is regarding the background music which overpowered your voice, making it difficult to hear you. I look forward to seeing your next video. 🙂

  2. So glad you had a relaxing vacation at home. I really like your videos for a friendly chat. I know how a little thing like getting your road paved can make all the difference. Our road was nothing but potholes for so many years that when we got our new paved surface it was a little piece of heaven to be on it, centre lines and everything. Anyway, it is always nice to get a taste of your area and surroundings while you are out and about, so peaceful and yes, fall temperatures right now are the best. I may actually try going into a store this week to shop as I need a new pair of jeans, but maybe I wll wait for your post first. Looking for a pair with stretch and maybe a stretch waistband, straighter leg and just below ankle length. Not much of a list…ha. Good to have you back.

    1. Thanks, Diane. I am looking for jeans too. Hence the upcoming post. Straight leg, full length. I’m tired of only being able to find ankle and cropped jeans.

  3. Great video Sue , very professional . Congratulations on the new road . I’ve reserved The Actress but the library tells me it’ll be eighteen weeks . Anyway there’s always my book pile . I enjoyed Jim Kelly’s latest The Night Raids & the recent Anne Tyler . Plus a new author to me , Anne Youngson . I found her Meet Me At the Museum quite strange at first but really enjoyed it . Currently reading The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham , an Australian author & it’s looking very good . There’s been a few duds too but we won’t mention those . Nice to see you back . It’s been quiet without you .

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I’m happy to be back. I want to read Meet me at the Museum. I think that was Mary’s choice for our book club party a while ago. Didn’t the make The Dressmaker into a movie? I must look that up.

  4. Welcome back! Really enjoyed this. Thanks for the book suggestions. You looked so nice for your dinner. Your makeup Looks great. I liked the choice of music.

  5. Welcome back, loved the video, good job. Absolutely loved the sound of the crickets at the end, such a soothing sound, and now days we all need a bit of soothing…and paved roads.

  6. Love the video and pictures of where you live. I agree about wearing some masks, I bought my family some expensive masks (Livinguard) that are supposed to keep out 99% of Covid germs and I hate mine so I’ve been going round still wearing the blue surgical ones. Wearing jeans today for the first time in months today and it feels quite strange. I have been listening to The Martian by Andy Weir on Audible, and unexpectedly loved it, so I recommend that.

  7. Welcome back! Your hiatus sounds lovely. 5 more years…with as much fun as I can squeeze in before then, too! It’s starting to cool off a little down here too. We had one day last week where the hubs relented and let me turn off the AC and open the windows – bliss!

  8. Welcome Back!
    I have to admit, seeing your name in my email this morning gave me a lift!
    It’s probably healthy for you to take occasional hiatuses throughout the year-“spontaneously scheduled” of course, but know that you are missed.
    Your remarks about organizing resonated with me – is it an occupational hazard for educators? I’m a not quite retired (but getting a very good introduction by 5 months of teleworking) university administrator, and I can see that I have a penchant for organizing and planning -often at the expense of the actual lived experience!
    Your video was lovely and I will look forward to reading Anne Enright, whose work I do not know.
    Glad you’re back!

  9. I too love learning new tech things – and would love to hear more about what technology you taught yourself to improve your videos. Perhaps a topic for another post? Or, just drop me a line?

    1. I was learning to use i-movie which I downloaded for free onto my i-pad. I researched which free ap was best for beginners. I use my i-phone for filming and taking photos, but my desktop PC for writing my blog. So I edited the video on my i-pad mini which is still too small for my comfort. When I change up my old desk top I’ll probably buy a Mac this time. Despite the added cost it will be easier to sync wit my i-phone and i-pad.

  10. Hi Sue, I think one of the things I’ve learned through this awful time , all of us need time to shut the world out , have some me time , see the people we want to see – put all our ducks in a row lol .
    Nice to see your ducks in a row –
    Seeing your blog is like a friend popping in .

  11. Welcome back. Glad you had a lovely holiday.

    Think you did a great job with the video. I do have to increase my volume quite a bit to hear you, but think it is likely my computer/speakers and not you. Bet you are having fun learning a new skill set.

    1. YouTube has a volume control as well. I am having fun. And trying not to inundate you guys with too many videos. Nor to get under Hubby’s skin by filming everything. Ha.

  12. Welcome back! Yay for your newly sealed road, which will be so useful for you both. And well done for improving your video editing skills. I’m nearing the end of a short, online course on finance and investment, which I’ve enjoyed tremendously. Now I half-understand a lot of concepts that I only had the vaguest idea about before. Learning new things is very empowering. I like your new go-with-the-flow approach to blogging. Anything that makes it more fun for you will also make it more fun for us. Bring it on!

  13. Suzette Fernandez

    Loved your dinner outfits! You sound like you really enjoyed your Staycation. I would guess a lot of thought and energy goes into blogging successfully so a timeout is required every so often. Glad your back, I didn’t realize how much I enjoy your blog!

  14. Love the video and the views around your home. So beautiful. We had a dirt road leading to our last home, and the day they paved it was a Red Letter Day, believe me. Especially nice for biking out.

  15. It’s wonderful to have you back blogging! I always enjoy your posts though I don’t always leave a comment. I love your style and am looking forward to your post on jeans. I am still developing my “retirement style” three years into retirement. Take good care.

  16. Glad you enjoyed your break and are refreshed for the next part of the year. Each day I stick my head out of the back door and inhale, just waiting for that September hint of damp and decay. We are almost there but there is still summer in the air though the evenings are filled with woodsmoke because it is cold when the sun goes down. Like many people, I too gird the mental loins in September, refill the metaphorical pencil case and pull up the new socks. Re the teaching habits…five years since I finished and still have the tendency to plot days out, make little timetables. It is passing. And I don’t think I will miss it. Looking forward to new tales, new thoughts, new views.

  17. Glad to have you back and that you’ve enjoyed your vacation and your lovely outfits and hair!
    Actress is waiting already-I’ve read the other two books
    I highly 🙂 recommend The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. It is situated in Nigeria,poignant ,unforgettable story ,with real life horror,but with some fairy-tale elements as well.
    I’ve read Anne Taylor’s The Redhead by the Side of the Road-she writes so beautifully…
    To have the bike trail from your home-yay! It is great,as well as your walking scenery.
    We were open during summer,I was very shortly at the seaside-it was beautiful,stressful and difficult at the same time-happy to be back home after ten days (for the first time)
    The aftermath-numbers are much higher than in spring,so……,but,let’s not talk about the elephant in the room for a while

    1. I’m glad you were able to get away, Dottoressa. We are going fall camping this month, and if we are unable to get down east to my mum’s we’re going to try to rent a cabin or something later in the fall… for hiking and such. Really, just an excuse to get away.

  18. I don’t usually comment on your blog but had to write to let you know that I LOVED your video. Loved hearing about the books you read and your hair looks great. I caught myself nodding and smiling along with your conversation several times. Often people make videos and I end up feeling nauseous for hours afterwards because they fling the camera around too much. Your video was perfect … good job !!

  19. Keep those book recommendations coming. Love your hair and new makeup. Looking good. I’m also learning editing. You did a great job. I haven’t even adempted to do what you’re doing. So bravo to you. I’m using Adobe Premier Rush. What are you using? Have you found good tutorials or are you just a natural? Keep it up. Love watching them.

    1. Thanks, Sandra. I shoot my short videos on my phone, and I edited them with i-movie on my i-pad. It’s a free ap. I watched one free tutorial that explained the terms, what the various buttons were for, and how to do the basics, but otherwise, I just played with it. Trial and error, mostly.

  20. Welcome back! I really like the Liberty of London masks. Beautiful fabrics and very light. It is super hot here and the masks are sill tolerable. Plus, so nice to have a pop of color on the face.

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