Not to sound totally Pollanna-ish, but I’m sort of sad to see the end of November this year. I’m even sad to see the last of late November, which is astounding.
Usually November, especially late November, is one of those times of the year that we kind of dread around here. Like February. Except November is normally dark and wet and heralds the onset of winter. While February always makes us feel that winter will never end. Let me clarify that. February makes me feel as if winter will never end; Hubby on the other hand just keeps on skiing.
But this year, November has been lovely. At least in retrospect it seems as if it’s been lovely.
I’ve been walking with friends most weeks. Sometimes twice a week. Afterward we usually decamp to a local coffee shop for a latté and convivial conversation. This is the trail on Monday when I walked with my friend Nancy. The sun shone and the wind blew, and it was glorious. Then it snowed; it is late November after all. But we were well wrapped up, so we didn’t mind.
I’ve walked by myself a few times this month as well. I love to walk on my own. This month I’m listening to the Robert Galbraith novel Troubled Blood. For a long time I resisted even trying the Galbraith/JK Rowling Cormoran Strike detective series. I’m not sure why because I am really enjoying this book. It’s very, very long, but since I’ve been doing a lot of walking and pedaling, I don’t mind.
I love how Galbraith spins out the details of an investigation: creating the first impression of events, interviewing witnesses, uncovering missing bits of the story, re-examining clues, analysing how and why people do what they do, and finally building a convincing scenario. In this particular book Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin are looking into a cold case. So the plot is the polar opposite of a thriller: no car crashes, no suspenseful twists, or frenzied violence. Yet. But I’m only half-way through, so that may come.
Hubby has just read The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first book in the Cormoran Strike series. He really enjoyed it. But when he was finished, he sighed and told me to make sure I found him a short book for his next read. Seriously, Rowling/Galbraith rivals Elizabeth George for long detailed plots. If you like that sort of thing you’ll be in heaven. I do, so I am.
I’m back in physio again this month, which should not be a good thing, but actually is. I have a new physiotherapist and he’s given me some great tricks to loosen up the old body. Especially legs and hips. I didn’t do anything drastic to my back this time, just felt the warning signs in my hip, and so booked in for a “tune-up” as I told the receptionist.
See below for evidence of how relaxed I felt after a walk, followed by coffee and conversation with Nancy, followed by physio. Very, very relaxed. And happy, despite the red nose and weirdly white upper lip.
I have no idea why my upper lip always, always looks whiter than the rest of my face. Probably because of the permanently red nose just above it? Sometimes in photos, even with make-up on, I look as if I have a snow-white mustache. Not “Snow White”, you understand, who didn’t have a mustache as far as I know. If I try to wear foundation on that part of my face it goes all cakey, and settles in the wrinkles above my lip. So I have to choose between a really wrinkly-looking upper lip, or a snow white mustache. And I always rub all the makeup off, anyway, because I am constantly blowing my nose. Sigh.
I have had a stuffy nose or a runny nose my entire life. Back in the nineties when my niece was getting married and some of the family were helping fetch and deliver stuff needed for the reception, I was in the car with my sister and my sister-in-law’s sister, whom I had not seen for years and years. Not since the day, when I was twelve, when her sister married my brother. Anyway, on that day in the car, I was, of course, blowing my nose. And she laughed and said, “I see you still have your runny nose.” Yep. Nice to see you again too.
For part of November we were cat sitting. This is a shot of our next door neighbour’s cat. He’s gorgeous isn’t he? And so is his sister. Hubby and I fed them while our neighbours were away in Italy. We were happy to do so since we both love cats. We fed them in their own house, and let them outside for a run around. Then we let them back in again, usually sitting with them for a bit, for a pat and a cuddle, so they wouldn’t be so lonely.
Oh… they quickly had our measure. Rolling on their backs on the floor, waiting to be petted, when we arrived to feed them in the morning. Sitting on our back doorstep, after they’d been out for a half hour, gazing up at our window. Then, if we were unresponsive, they’d go around to the front of the house and up on the deck, where they could stare at us through the big front window. Knowing if they looked forlorn for long enough, we would don our coats to come out. Well, you get the picture.
Now that the neighbours are home, we are trying to ignore their pleas. The cats’ pleas, I mean. But it’s been hard. And we are so weak. Ha.
November has been wonderful in other ways as well. I’ve had some lovely excursions, some of which I’ve written about here and here on the blog. Tonight I’m off to a local bistro for dinner with a friend. And I’ve been invited, along with a few other ladies, for afternoon tea at another friend’s house on Friday. I’ll probably share my “event” outfits with you on the weekend post.
I say “event” because I’m trying to look at every excursion as an event. An occasion to be planned for, savoured in advance, relished at the time, and rehashed for your delectation and mine, here on the blog.
Above is a little video I took of the late November “Beaver Moon.” We missed the big event, the lunar eclipse, because it occurred at 1:00 A.M. Friday morning. But on clear nights we’ve been admiring the full moon on the river. Last Friday, I stepped out onto the deck to witness it. I could have just taken a photo. But I wanted to capture the calmness of the river, and the rippling of the moon’s reflection in the water. If you turn the sound up you might be able to hear the geese settling in for the night.
And after I captured the view over the river, I swiveled to capture the view inside. Hubby is building our nightly fire. Late November is the beginning of cosy fire season at our house. If you look closely you might see a rolling pin on the ottoman. Using it is part of my new stretching regimen for my leg. It works a treat on tight muscles.
Next week, the first of December, I head down east for two weeks with my mum. My sister has been staying with Mum full time for the past month. When I get there, my sister will come back to Ontario to arrange her affairs, and return to Mum’s afterward. Mum still has her care-givers twice a day. But my sister will be there when the care-workers are not, and most importantly at night, so Mum doesn’t have to feel nervous. And we don’t have to worry about her.
What a gift this has been. For Mum. And for the family. My sister has worked her whole life in health care. First in nursing and then in pharmacy. And we are so lucky, and grateful, that she can do this for Mum.
So November has been a good month. And I am kind of sad that it’s almost over.
Life in November hasn’t been exactly exciting around here. A little of this and a little of that. Nothing novel. Quiet. And pretty routine. Kind of like this blog post.
But, you know, in this crazy mixed up world, I’ll take routine, and be glad for it.
A walk on a sunny day, even when it snows. Dinner and a glass of wine with a good friend. The sound of Hubby’s chainsaw in the morning as I sit at my computer writing and sipping my tea. A roaring fire in the evening. A good book or too. The comfort of knowing that family is all tucked up, safe and sound.
Seriously, my friends, I’ll take all that. And be very happy.
And how about you? How has November been treating you?