We’ve had snow here in Manotick, my friends. Quite a bit of snow. And lots of wind overnight. The wind has died down now. And it’s snowing softly, beautifully in fact. With the biggest flakes we’ve ever seen. We’ve been glued to the window watching them come down.

Earlier this morning, Hubby had to wade in snow over his knees to get to the shed to access the snowblower. Every year he curses having built the back pathway too close to the house, creating a lee, so when the wind picks up snow, like it did last night, it dumps it right on the path. There could be grass showing in other places in the back yard, but there will be two feet of snow on the path.

Ah, the ironies of life. And winter.

Our last cat, who loved the outdoors even in winter, adored the back path when the snow was piled high on either side. He’d chase anything that moved on most days. But he especially loved chasing tiny snow balls, skittering along the path, often hitting a patch of ice at the corner where the eavestrough leaks, and ending up buried in a drift. When we dug him out of the drift he’d be purring.

I’ve come skittering along that path too. Particularly on cold, dark, windy nights after work, laden with an armload of marking, and hit that same patch of ice, legs windmilling like some cartoon character to avoid pitching up in the drift. I can assure you, if I’d ended up in the drift I would not be purring. Ha.

Time passes, and years later, the snow still drifts across our back yard and ends up on the path. Our cat passed away. And I no longer come skittering along the path with an armload of marking. I miss the cat, but not the marking.

I also don’t miss coming out of school at the end of the day to dig my car out of a snow drift in the dark. The dark, snowy drives home at night. Or dark snowy drives to work in the morning. I haven’t had to do any of that, or mark essays or exams or student creative writing for eleven years now. It hardly seems possible that I stopped teaching eleven years ago. I still feel as if I could step into the classroom and just start talking. When I stood to give Mum’s eulogy in August, it felt so almost… normal… and I blurted out that it had been a long time since I’d stood in front of a class. Everyone laughed.

I miss teaching in some ways. Not the political stuff, or the crazy stuff that is increasingly becoming the new normal. I think that teachers these days are beleaguered in ways I never was. Mostly what I miss is the talking, the discussion, the chance to be creative, and the storytelling. The camaraderie with colleagues. And with students. I miss the enthusiasm of the kids, the excitement when I’d announce that I had jettisoned today’s boring lesson in favour of something more fun. And, to be honest, I miss the captive audience.

That’s why I started writing High Heels in the Wilderness. This blog is my retirement project. I knew that I wanted to do something creative-ish, with an audience, that involved writing in some way. I’d only recently discovered that there was such a thing as a blog when I retired in 2013. In my last year of teaching, I began reading blogs. Preston Davis’ Keep it Chic, Alyson Walsh’s That’s Not My Age, and my (now) friend Frances Sprout’s Materfamilias Writes. And I read Linda Grant’s book The Thoughtful Dresser; she wrote a blog of the same name before she wrote the book. I read, and mused, and started to plot my future endeavour.

Frances and me in Ottawa’s Byward Market, summer 2016.

After I retired, life got in the way for a while. Hubby was diagnosed with a major heart blockage a day after my retirement party. How’s that for timing? So the first months of freedom were rather fraught. But a few months later, I was back on course. Doing my research, learning how to navigate Google’s free blogger platform, designing my blog, thinking of a name. And on January 15, 2014 I published my first post. You can read it here if you want.

So, yeah. Monday is my blog anniversary. Ten years of blogging for me. That also hardly seems possible.

I can’t believe I haven’t run out of things to say. I can’t believe that I still sit down at the computer every Saturday filled with excitement for what I’m going to write. Or wake up Sunday morning excited to see what you guys have to say about what I wrote the day before. For years and years after I quit my sales job and started teaching back in 1984, I used to say to Hubby that I couldn’t believe I was so lucky as to have fallen into a profession that suited me down to the ground. And which I loved. Same goes for blogging.

Mum reading my blog in 2018; she was one of my first subscribers.

How frigging lucky am I that I thought about doing this when I retired? I mean, come on! I have an audience, I get to talk about whatever I want. I totally ignored all the advice from those sites on how to write a blog when I started. I didn’t find a niche. I didn’t research which topics would “trend.” I didn’t keep my posts to under 500 words. D’uh. No kidding. I just decided to go where my heart and my interest lead me. And in return I met a ton of wonderful women who have the same interests as I do.

So happy blog anniversary to me. And to High Heels in the Wilderness. We’ve come a long way, baby. I’ve learned a truckload of new things. Changed up my format, redesigned everything twice, changed hosts a couple of times, migrated my blog from a free platform that was no longer working for me to a better platform where everything costs money.

As a result, I monetized in 2019. I thought long and hard about this. I consulted you guys, asked what your thoughts were. I wanted to make my costs back, but did not want to turn my blog into something that was merely a platform for ads or for products I wouldn’t buy myself. So I decided to join a collective which allowed me to use affiliate links for shopping in my posts. That way I made commission from links to books or clothing which I could honestly recommend. For a while my shopping links made enough money to pay for the blog: the yearly cost of “themes” around which my blog was designed, yearly hosting fees, the monthly cost of emailing posts to subscribers, and the cost of the occasional tech support I required.

In the spring of 2022 I cut back my posts from two a week to one a week. As life ramped up after the pandemic, I was finding two posts a week onerous. One post a week gives me a better life balance. More time to do other stuff. Like travel, and reading, and walking, and whatever. And more time to really think about what I want to write each week.

Me and my walking buddies.

Then quite naturally I began to use fewer shopping links in my fashion posts. I was shopping less and less. So most of the pieces I talked about in my posts were old, and not available anymore. Plus, I’d pontificated enough about slow fashion, I had to try to live by my professed values. And as a result my affiliate income dropped dramatically.

And then this year my hosting fees and emailing costs went up because the blog and its subscriber list has grown. Which is great. But it meant that in 2023 my monetized links covered only about half of my costs.

Enter “Buy Me a Coffee”… which saved my bacon. Am I mixing my metaphors there, do you think? Thank-you, thank-you everyone for all the coffee love. High Heels in the Wilderness will break even this year. Yah.

So. Happy blog anniversary. To me. To us.

What a community of interesting, interested women we’ve become. Many of you have been around almost from the beginning. Gad. You must have the patience of Job, as my grandmother Sullivan would have said. But seriously thanks to everyone for sticking around. I appreciate it so much. I do.

As a friend said to me in an email recently, she’s been reading my blog so long she can’t be doing without it now. Ah. That made me tear up a little. And I can’t be doing without you guys either.

So onward we go. Into our eleventh year. A long line of readers, friends, arms linked. Doing that legs-crossing-over-the-next-person’s-legs funny walk thing we used to try to do when we were kids. Like Lavern and Shirley in the intro to their show, but with more people. Imagine a long line of women, arms linked, looking a bit like John Cleese doing his funny walk… leg-wise, I mean… and you’ll understand what I’m trying to describe. Maybe.

My mum taught me to do that arms-linked-funny-walk when I was a kid. She said she and her friends used to do it when she was a kid. That’s my mum and her friends in the photo below. Not walking in a line, but ready to set off on a daylong trek on their bicycles. Friends together. It was 1943 or 44, I’m not sure which.

My mum is second from the right, in the sunglasses with her hair tied up in a turban. The other girl in sunglasses with the big hair is her best friend Betty Rushbrook. I never in my life met Betty, but I’ve always felt as if I knew her from my mum’s stories. When they both married young, she and my mum grew apart, except for the occasional phone call. Kids, and life, and in my mum’s case tragedy, intervened.

My mum and her friends circa 1943 or 44

And speaking of intervening. The snow has stopped long ago. I’ve been writing this post off and on all day. In between loads of laundry, pedalling my exercise bike, eating dinner. And now that dinner is over and the dishes done, I’ve been staring at that photograph of those girls so long ago. What were their names? I remember that picture as a child, but only came across it again in the last few years. By the time I asked my mum who was who in the photo she couldn’t remember anyone except herself and Betty.

Looking at all those smiling faces, I try to imagine the lives those women went on to have. But I guess that’s a story for a quite different post. And maybe one that will never be told.


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From the archives


Fall Closet Goal… Wear What I Own

I have a closet goal this fall. To wear what I own, especially my fall jackets. Here's how I'm doing.

Love Is Not All

As Edna St. Vincent Millay said, love is not all. Only the most important thing.

When Is It Time to Say Good-Bye to Your Clothes?

When you do a seasonal closet cull, how do you know what to keep and what to get rid of? When is it time to say good-bye to your clothes?

135 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Snowy Winter Morning”

  1. Happy Anniversary Sue. So very glad I found you…don’t quite remember how, but I think it had something to do with Jane Austen. Your posts are always so timely. We are -6 degrees here in Denver, with a wind chill making it feel like -16…definitely cold. My Husband’s truck broke down (froze), but a buddy gave him a ride home. Tomorrow must arrange for a tow, but I am sure there will be many in the queue ahead of us. Just been thinking I need some new, heavy, warm sweaters (jumpers), may have to do some online shopping. I did try to have coffee with you…I hope I did it right, still a bit hopeless on the computer. Hope you have many good books to read and lots of goodies to nibble…stay warm.

    1. That’s pretty cold. Is that unusual for Denver, Heather? I’m thinking the tow truck driver is making a killing this weekend. We did first connect over Jane Austen. I’m pretty sure I remember that. Just listened to a great version of Persuasion on Audible. Once I have read them I love listening to them again. Especially Pride and Prejudice. With a good narrator the words come alive.

      1. Hello!! I was so fortunate to have found High heels in the Wilderness about 5 years ago….not quite sure how I stumbled across it, but once I did, I was hooked! I look
        Forward to your blog every week and find so much in it to relate to.
        I, too, am a teacher….a high school teacher of reading, working with students who have dyslexia. I retired from teaching in 2017, but barely lasted 3 months when I knew I needed
        To go back! I am your age and marvel about how little has actually changed in teaching, but it is the place I feel most myself.
        I also live in a cold climate, Massachusetts, not quite as cold or snowy as Canada, but cold!
        I also love fashion and grapple with the changes in my body and style as I age and have gotten so much inspiration from your content and suggestions!
        Congratulations on 10 years and know the valuable service and enjoyment you provide for so many of us! Thank you!

  2. Thank you, Sue, and congratulations on ten years. Your blog has been part of my Sundays since the pandemic, so pretty recent, but am I glad I found you. You are vivid in the best sense of the word, with your lively writing, your slightly self-deprecating wit, and style! You got style! My old friend Brenda Kinsel had that, too, and it is a lovely thing. I’m grateful for intelligent fashion, book, and beauty talk. Please keep going for another decade, at least.

    1. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging. I was an early reader- my daughter introduced me to blogs when we moved to Sweden, where I really felt I can into my own with clothing. I was captivated by your blog title- still love it, and I love that you are a retired teacher like me. 2 international moves later , I on’t live far from you and you continue to enhance my Sunday mornings.

  3. Congratulations on 10 great years of blogging, Sue! That’s quite an achievement. It’s always lovely to see photos of your mum and the one with the bike chicks is a hoot. You and Frances together in 2016 is gorgeous.

    I’ve been reading for many years and commenting for several. I look forward to all your thought-provoking posts. It’s like visiting with a friend every Sunday, or early Monday here, if I’m slow. Thanks for all the book recommendations, fashion tips, virtual travel but most of all thanks for all the laughs! Here’s to the next 10 years 🥂 🎉

  4. Happy blogging Anniversary Sue! I’m so glad I found you, I always look forward to reading the next installment, so to speak.
    You made a great decision when you decided that blogging was your new future, happily for us who enjoy your posts so much!

  5. Wish I’d found your blog 10 years ago! Congratulations and keep up the good work! I love your cat story, and really, all your stories. Thanks for all of them. I look forward to reading the first one.

  6. I echo so many of the ideas you have just articulated – teaching, retirement, being creative when working life is ending…not the snow, but it is cold here and very silent, just me and Susan and a cup of tea. Your blog is a part of my Sunday routine (see above). And that photo of your mum and her friends. I find myself looking at similar – my mother-in-law in the early 50’s, out with her friends on her bike, my mum walking with pals somewhere in suburban London, 1940s and my heart turns over. Like you, I will never find out who was who because my m-i-l is lost to dementia and my mother now dead for more than four years. I think I need another cup of tea. Here’s to another ten interesting, thoughtful, amusing and authentic ten years!

    1. That sounds lovely, Annie, you and Susan and a cup of tea. That cat has real personality. And you’re right…finding something after teaching is important. Or at least it was to me.

  7. The internet sometimes gets a bad press . Social media can be cruel & distort reality , for youngsters especially . Unscrupulous politicians take advantage of easy access to people’s minds & we all need to be on our guard against scammers etc . Then there’s you , & Frances & a few others . Honest people living good lives who have intelligence, imagination & the gift of storytelling. It doesn’t matter where we live , once a week we are there with you beside the river in Manotick listening to your stories . I’ve been laughing along with you for years now but it hasn’t all been laughter .I’ve worried about Stu , had some tears for your brother & your mum & sympathised with your occasional frustrations at life . That the thing about you . You tell it like it is . You make it clear your life isn’t perfect & , like all of us here , you are just doing your best . So ten years ! & I still get out of bed on a Sunday morning looking forward to your latest batch of news . Don’t you dare stop now .

    1. That works both ways, my friend. I look forward to getting out of bed on Sunday and finding out what bit of wry Yorkshire wisdom you’ve imparted in your comments.

    2. Thank you Wendy, y
      ou have articulated my thoughts exactly. And thank you Sue and Frances (for your blog as well) and all those who leave thoughtful comments. You enrich us all.

  8. Happy anniversary Sue! I’ve been reading your blog for several years…and, like Heather says above, not quite sure how I found you. I often read the numerous bits aloud to my husband and we laugh together! I love the travel, the fashion, the book discussions—love it all!

  9. Happy Anniversary and may there be may more! I’m not sure how I found you (it was close to the beginning). I love all the things you write about and appreciate that its not about what you can “sell” (I’ve unfollowed many blogs who went that route) but your real life and musings on it. I’m thinking about my own retirement (in 2025) and what I want it to look like. While I haven’t identified a “project” per se – I know I want it to be like yours; full of fun, travel, books and yes, fashion. Please keep writing it for at least another decade!

  10. So glad you decided to start this blog. I anxiously await its post every week. I sit with my tea and let your words roll over me. I enjoy every comment left and often read the whole post again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I have followed you for a very long time but only sporadically comment. Many times those who comment before me say it best. Any how I wish you happy anniversary and genuinely hope you will continue this endeavor for all our sakes. Your blog is thoughtful and considerate…not a push to influence your readers to buy, buy, buy. You are a breath of fresh air!

  11. Happy blog anniversary Sue!
    I’m utterly happy to have found both your and Frances’ blogs (who knows how-there were only girls blogging here  and I still don’t follow any of the croatian blogs ) and even met you in person,it was like meeting good friends again
    You were ahead of time even in 1984.,reinventing yourself! Look how it ended!
    Well done! Your posts (and conversation with friends :)) are such a pleasure
    I’m glad that you are enjoying snow (and I’m not!)- it is idyllic to watch
    All the best to you and your Hockey Player !

  12. I too am so very glad I found you, not sure how but it was many years ago. The days you posted I could hardly wait to see what we would chat about, a distant friend with the topics I love to read. The fashion, stories of your life, your travels, oh how you can make it all come to life, your skin care from the perspective of a real person, not trying to sell something. I could go on but you get the idea that I really enjoy your writing style and topics. When you went to one post a week, I felt lost on those days for a while but then would anticipate Sunday morning all the more. I thoroughly enjoy meeting and reading the comments of our community and, like them, wish you many more years of sharing your life with us. Happy Anniversary Sue!

  13. Happy Anniversary! I discovered you within your first year of blogging — surprisingly easy to pinpoint because I can remember reading an entry while visiting my best friend in San Francisco! My best guess is that I stumbled across you while reading Frances’ blog. I was reading a lot of knitting blogs at that time, and I believe she had one called Materfamilias Knits which has morphed into Materfamilias Writes. I’m wondering if she mentioned you at some point or if you left a comment … but however I discovered High Heels in the Wilderness, I have been with you ever since. I love checking in first thing Sunday morning — sometimes last thing Saturday night — and greatly enjoy your voice and that of the wonderful community you have established here.

    I’m with you for the next ten!

    1. I did mention Sue quite early on as one to follow — particularly because she wrote (very well) about style “at a certain age” but in the context of a full life than went beyond the focus that was beginning to prevail on Visibility (or visuality). She wrote about what she did, what she remembered, what she read. . . and yes, how she dressed — with her engaging “brand” of Polished Casual Chic! Why so many of us are reading her 10 years later, right?!

  14. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon your blog, but it was probably about five years ago. I remember commenting about what I was going to wear to watch President Biden’s inauguration! I’ve admired your style and occasionally seen outfits in my closet from what you model for us. Most recently, it’s the all burgundy look, where I told you I have that same pair of NYDJ pants! It did lead to finding two matching sweaters and a puffer vest, which I love wearing. Thank you! And then there’s your love of reading, all the books I’ve read based on your recommendations. I wish you a happy and healthy new year, and look forward t your stories every Sunday. Be well!

  15. 🎉 Happy Blog Anniversary, Sue! 🎉 Thank you for ten years of sharing bits of your real life. I’ve enjoyed reading about your perspectives on fashion, travel, family, friends, camping, and retirement! Your vlogs are fun, too!
    Here’s to the future of High Heels InThe Wilderness!
    🍾🥂🍾. May your joy, enthusiasm, and realistic point of view on your blog never wane!
    I’m a fan…Charlene H

    1. Thanks so much, Charlene. Thanks for sticking around through your own life trials. I feel as if I have come to know so many readers through their comments. It’s been wonderful.

  16. Your blog is my Sunday morning treat – I’m an early riser, loving to sit with my coffee and watch the dawn break here at Kamaniskeg Lake. It is a peaceful time and always a wonderful read! We are old campers, XC skiers and retired teachers who have loved living here for almost 27 years. We also have enjoyed Portugal and I have a love of Montreal (was born there). Our move to Ottawa in the spring will bring me closer to Montreal too. Your fashion discussions keep me current. Keep up your wonderful thought provoking writing, Sue – just delightful.

    1. Thanks, Miriam. I think you will miss that view a little bit when you move to the city. But there will be compensations. Keep me posted about your quest for a hairdresser.

  17. I live in the NYC metro area and discovered your blog only this past week, and I’m having a great time exploring it. I’m so happy you decided to start your blog ten years ago and that you plan to keep it going.

    P.S. English was always my favorite subject.

  18. Congratulations on ten years, Sue! I don’t remember how I came across your blog, but I think I’ve been reading since close to the beginning. We have so much in common. We are both retired teachers, are very close in age, have white hair, and share a love of books and clothes! I look forward to reading your new posts every weekend.

  19. Happy anniversary! I am also a retired English teacher, and I appreciate your writing. It’s intelligent, fun, interesting, and honest. Aren’t those the things we tried to get from our students’ writing? Thank you for your approach to life – I love this stage of life, and I love that you ‘get’ it. I’m looking forward to many more years of being your ‘friend.’

  20. Hi Sue,
    Congratulations on your 10th!!!
    I found your blog when I was “lost” in my early retirement years… 11 years ago. I spent time on the internet seeking guidance on how I was going to navigate my unstructured days. I couldn’t wait to retire, but discovered… be careful what you wish for!
    Your blog and Bob Lowry from Satisfying Retirement (who recently retired from blogging) were my go too’s. Both of you, were so comforting to read.
    All the best and many thanks for all the enjoyable years. Cheers to many more!

    1. It’s hard sometimes isn’t it? Retirement can be a let down after the anticipation. As Stu said to me one day when he was retired and I was off to work, “Easy for you. You know what you’re doing today. I have to make it up as I go along.” I thought he was being funny. Turned out he was so right! Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

  21. Happy anniversary! I will have to buy you a cup of coffee soon to celebrate.
    I too enjoy your blog — it’s the best of the four or five I read. I wanted to say, I started reading it shortly after you began writing, at a strong recommendation of a wonderful friend of mine, Leslie Fisher, who thought I might enjoy the fashion/reading/travel aspects of it. She left the earth almost two years ago, but I am still thanking her for the hint. We met in Northern California, and both enjoyed long talks about books and what fashions we liked, and trips we dreamed of taking, then looking back at one we took with our husbands to Italy. Leslie was scared to death of flying, but her doctor sent her along with a little pill so that she could go, and we all watched and listened to her becoming more relaxed and just a little silly before time to board. Here’s to your lovely and special blog, and to you, to friendship and good books, trips imprinted on our hearts and being free to try new fashions as a creative outlet for our inner selves!
    Thank you for the past ten years and here’s to as many as you have a desire and ability to share with us.

    1. Those friends are rare, aren’t they. What I call backyard friends…because you never run out of things to say to each other. I have a few of those and I cherish them. Thanks for your lovely comment, Eva. And I hope the jet lag has eased. 🙂

  22. I love the image of the purring cat being pulled from the snowdrift! My last cat didn’t purr and we don’t have snow, but still. I want another! 😉

    I read your post half expecting you to come around to saying, well, 10 years is long enough and it’s too expensive now, anyway. So happy that wasn’t the case. I look forward to your blog posts for many years to come.

  23. Hi, Sue —
    Happy blog-iversary! I have been following your blog since some moment during the pandemic, when I was spending more time doing personal exploring on the computer. I am still working from home, and anticipating retirement at the end of May, if I get the stamp of approval from the financial planner. (I wish there was more information available regarding how to know when one is financially set for retirement! I find the whole prospect of retirement quite daunting after all these years of working and a steady paycheck.)
    I very much enjoy your musings on a variety of topics, from books and fashion to everyday events, and also appreciate that you do not push readers to consume items that few of us need at this point!
    Keep up the fabulous work, and enjoy a coffee on me!
    Julia K.

    1. Thanks, Julia. It is hard to make the decision to take the leap. I felt relief once I knew exactly when I was going to retire. But that didn’t stop the six months of anxiety that the paycheque had stopped and the retirement savings would not grow any more.

  24. Happy Blog Anniversary 🥳🎉
    I love to see your photos and videos of nature. It’s amazing to me that your camera could capture those huge fluffy snowflakes. I look forward every week to reading your thoughts about life, the universe, and everything.

  25. Congratulations on your blog anniversary! I think i have been reading your blog from the early start…perhaps Frances was the one who introduced me to your blog. Happy to be able to read your posts and I appreciate and enjoy your posts.
    Love the fashion posts, travel and books as i am interested in those topics…retired as well, worked in public schools and still write my blog. Humble as it is I find it still fills a need.
    Enjoy the snow…we are cold here in Victoria with an Arctic Freeze!!!
    Your blog posts are wonderful and i hope that you continue to be inspired to share your thoughts with us. Happy New Year.

    Hostess of the Humble Bungalow

  26. I am so glad I found your blog, which was recommended to me by a dear friend! I love the authenticity of your writing and enjoy your stories so much; it is so refreshing to read a blog and see photos posted with honesty rather than being glamorized. I look forward to reading your blog for many more years, and hope, in turn, that you also keep enjoying creating such interesting content!

  27. Congratulations Sue on the first ten years. Thanks for your hard work coming up with topics every week which must be difficult sometimes. Looking forward to many more years of High Heels In the Wilderness!

  28. Happy Anniversary Sue! I’ve been following you from the beginning and yours is my favorite blog. I look forward to hearing from you every Sunday. All the best to you and Stu in 2024. Health, happiness and joy and most importantly love.

  29. Margaretanne Clinton

    Congratulations 🍾,
    You have a great post. It’s my special time to relax !!
    You are a talented writer. And great fun .to read.
    Plus. You have insight and depth in your serious posts.
    Thankyou for doing what you love. It’s evident in the body of work.
    It was funny to see the big snowflakes on the film as proof. They are huge.
    Proof of the quality of your site , the articulate comments of your readers.
    I love reading from the “friends. “

  30. Congratulations, Sue! You’ve guided me to some excellent reads (Wolf Hall, hello) and some classic looks, all while entertaining and inspiring. I was led to you by Cindy Hattersley some years back, when you wrote about kindness. Your blog is truly a highlight of my week. Here’s to the next ten!

      1. Oh, you must!! Historical literature (when done well) has such an impact; even when we know full well how things will end, when we get to it, we’re gobsmacked. Bring Up the Bodies and Team of Rivals had the same effect on me. I was inconsolable.

        1. I think I was overwhelmed with historical fiction at the time when I abandoned the third of Mantel’s trilogy. Hubby and I were on a streak of reading C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake books set during Henry VIII’s time. I needed a rest from the brutality.

  31. I can only echo everyone here in saying how much I’ve enjoyed your blog over the years. You are smart, articulate, observant, funny, and it’s helpful to watch you learn about and wrestle with issues that I can relate to. Your blog is the perfect Sunday morning with coffee read, when the world is quiet and thoughtful. I can pay it no greater compliment. Thank you!

  32. Congratulations on your Anniversary. Your blog is such a gift to me. I wait each week to read your posts, So many times you have been there with me as we address life’s ups and downs and love of reading. I enjoy your travel adventures and learning about where you live as I live in Oregon. Thank you for all the hard work you do to produce this blog. I so admire you.

  33. Happy 10th Anniversary of your wonderful blog writing Sue and the community of wonderful Women you have brought together. I loved the beautiful Winter scene. We had similar winds and snow here in Southwestern Ontario and today is a lovely sunny albeit cold day. Continued success with ‘high heels in the Wilderness’!

  34. Congratulations, Sue, on completing your first decade of posting. I sincerely hope you carry on for at least another decade. You are spot on with everyone of your topics and many are read and reread. As a retired principal and teacher of some 40 years, oh how I delight in your views on educations and when you talks about your students they are right there before me – amazing . We also click on the white hair although I would dearly love to have your pure white, my is mostly white/silver with quite a bit of mousy brow😠. Winter arrived in Edmonton in a fury od cold and snow. Nighttime temperatures are windchills in the 50’s A read danger of rotating poweroutages so we are W using vthe least electricity as possible. As we are in a four storey condo we are reassured with friends nearby ready yo reach and help if needed. Turning 80 in April is making me squirrely but then I realize, it truly is just a number. Could just see your little kitten purring after a romp in the snow. Love your pictures. I am happy to see the changes you and hubby have made in retirement to accommodate what you both want to do. May 2024 be filled with more magical moments and memories you describe so very well, Hear’s to your next decade of blogging and connecting so many of us with various thoughts and backgrounds which you skillfully weave into magical carpets for us to journe on.

  35. Happy Blog Anniversary, Sue! Your thoughts about both teaching and blogging mirror mine. I’m just a few years older and further down those roads; retired in June 2007 and started blogging at the end of that year. I don’t remember when I found your blog, but it must have been pretty early and like your friend, I look forward to every post! I had the privilege of “meeting” Frances through your blog and now consider her a friend as well though we’ve never met in person. I suspect that we share a few other readers too. It’s definitely the delightful community of women that blogging creates that keeps me motivated to continue. Here’s to many more years! 🥂

  36. Hilarious to me … finding a doppelgänger. I, too, have white short hair, am a retired teacher and Teacher Librarian. I read widely across the spectrum and share the same basic clothing aesthetic and philosophy. Curiously, I had my first pair of loafers in grade six. Pretty much says it all fashion wise.. A cosmic coincidence finding your blog during the pandemic.

    I shared your picture with my daughter, who used an expletive, %+_=/, or something like that.

    At any rate, enjoy the next ten years.

    So, nice to know you are out there.

  37. Happy anniversary, Sue! Your blog is one of my few must reads, and you and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to books. Please keep reading and writing and passing the ideas on!

  38. Congratulations, Sue! I’ve just spent too much time searching back through my blog to see if I could find the first post where I linked to you, introducing you to my readers as someone they should be following. I remember it quite clearly, but obviously didn’t do a good job with the retrieval hashtags. It must have been early on that I made my way to you, surely following a link on someone else’s blog; I do know that by the summer of 2016 we were good enough friends to meet up when I was in Ottawa, and I’ve referred to you many, many times since on the blog, as well as chatted with you by email regularly and even managing a long chatty Zoom or Facebook session during the pandemic.
    Thanks for stringing words together into such evocative stories, as you do, and for building a community of readers that I’m happy to be part of. We need all the connection we can muster these days! And when it comes as stylishly as it does on High Heels in the Wilderness, all the better. xoxo

    1. I saw your blog in someone’s “blog roll” …maybe Sue/UneFemme? And started reading you first, I think. Before I ever started my own blog. I remember I wrote you an email asking if you minded if I put you in my blog roll. You are the very first comment on my very first post. Wow. Lots of water under the bridge since then. For both of us. xox

  39. Happy Anniversary Sue! I’ve been reading almost from the beginning. Found you through Francis’s blog many many moons ago. It’s been so wonderful reading/hearing about the area that I lived and grew up in.
    Reading all the diverse subjects that you favour is such a treat. I’ve laughed, cried, and look forward to the comments. So many of the woman I would love to meet. We are all different, but the same.

    I don’t comment as often as I used to, but read faithfully. It’s been such a pleasure. I’ve not returned to the Ottawa area in years…seems so bizarre that it’s ALL Ottawa now…but when I do I would love to meet up with you in Manotick or is it The ‘Tick….

    1. It’s lovely to read comments from someone who knows my area, Ali. Next time you are in Ottawa we’ll meet at one of our two new and lovely coffee shops in the village. 🙂

  40. Happy anniversary from one country’s capital to another (Australia to Canada).
    I’m also a teacher who retired in 2013 and I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I usually read it in Feedly and haven’t seen the Coffee button. 😞
    Will look for it now.
    Wishing you all the best from a hot and rainy place 😁❤️

    1. Hot and rainy… so different from here. We loved Australia and would love to go back. P.S. Sometimes the coffee button is quite low on the right side of the blog. Feedly might have a different presentation. I’ve never used it.

  41. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but it was probably about six years ago, pre COVID which now makes any “When Was That” a challenge to pinpoint. Your many thoughtful posts are what we are all here for.
    Congratulations on this Milestone.
    So appreciative of you.
    Suz from Vancouver

    1. I remember your trip to Europe hiking…or was it cycling? And I asked you to recommend hiking boots … I wore them to South America in 2017 and they were a life saver. I’m still wearing them.

  42. Congratulations Sue on 10 years of blogging. I have followed your writing from around year 2016. I remember linking to your blog from a post by une femme d’un certain age (unefemme.net). I just went down a rabbit hole to see if I could find the exact post and voila – here is the link https://unefemme.net/casual-vendredi-apres-ski-edition.html. Your writing is authentic and delightful. I look forward to reading your blog each week.

    1. Thanks, Liz. I remember the post that Sue linked to on my blog…about happiness. You have a good memory. I also remember I found out about the link when my stats jumped significantly the next morning. She has a much bigger audience than I do.

  43. What lovely comments from your readers. I’m a newer reader of course, here because I enjoy your storytelling! Best wishes for the next ten years of blogging.

  44. Happy anniversary Sue. Ten years of commitment to your wonderful blog is quite an achievement. I think I discovered your blog through a pin on Pinterest and have been a loyal follower ever since.
    Like you, I am a retired teacher, love reading, travel and intelligent conversation and I get all of these from your blog. Please keep up the good work for at least another ten years and take care on slippery paths!

  45. Oh Sue, huge congratulations on your anniversary! What a brilliant effort!
    As other readers have already said, I’m so glad I found your site. I love it! Such varied topics, such a great community.
    Only retired as a principal three years ago and completely agree with your thoughts on education.
    Thank you

  46. Happy Blog Anniversary, Sue! I was introduced to your blog by a friend, who thought it would be a good fit for me. I really look forward to your Sunday posts, whether the topic is weather, books, friends or fashion. I now have a long list of books that you’ve recommended that I plan to read.
    It is -35 here in southern Alberta, a wee bit cold even for this Prairie girl. This morning we woke to a very dense ice fog. It was quite beautiful, though I’m sure that those whose flights were cancelled were not charmed. I loved your video of the snow gently falling – so pretty.

    1. Thank-you, Sue. Ice fog is gorgeous, isn’t it? We see fog on the river many mornings in the winter. I love it. But it does make. me want to sit down and sip my tea and just look instead of getting on with whatever I was going to do.

  47. Happy blogaversary! I’ve enjoyed every post since I found you several years ago. You are a wordsmith and I look forward to hearing from you each week. I love the fashion journeys you go on. I love hearing about what you’re reading and since we have similar taste in books I’ve found most of my favorites through your recommendations. The travel experiences you share are the icing on the cake. We are all hooked now so keep going!!

    1. I’m so glad you are hooked, Debbie. 🙂 At times I have wondered if casting my topic net so wide is a good idea. But what’s the point of writing is I can’t write about the things that interest me?

  48. Congratulations! Breakfast on Sunday mornings wouldn’t be complete without your blog. I love reading about your adventures, your glorious fashion explorations and book recommendations. Most precious are your family stories and ponderings in general. You express your feelings both genuinely and articulately and have hit my heart too many times to mention. Well done looking forward to at least 10 more!

  49. Congratulations Sue! As I am on the West Coast I read your blog late Saturday evening. I enjoy how you put a style together by switching different items in your wardrobe. I loved your white puffer jacket so much that I bought one for myself. I have short white/silver hair and find that I am wearing a lot of white and cream. That was new to me. Thank you for introducing Frances to me. I think I will enjoy reading her blogs as much as yours and especially as she is on the west coast. Thank you!

  50. Woo Hoo. Congratulations to you. I’m late to the computer today. I think I’ve been following your posts for about 5 years and I LOVE THEM. I’m also a retired teacher albeit, more than a few years older than you. I wish for many more blog posts from you.

  51. Congratulations on 10 fabulous years of blogging!! Your blog always has so many different & relevant topics. All of which are so well written and a joy to read.
    I remember typing in “fashions in Canada” quite a few years ago before the pandemic and your site came up. So grateful to have found you and the wonderful community you have fostered. A Huge Thank You Sue 💖🤗

  52. Congratulations Sue. Whether clothes or books or grey hair or loss and love, I so look forward to your post every Sunday.Thank you for being there in a crazy world.

  53. I rarely comment as everyone else always seems to express my feelings but your blog is my favourite, filled with books, fashion, life etc. All the things that us mature women are interested in. Your writing is always on point, just keep them coming and I will continue to read and enjoy. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. Quite the milestone.

  54. What can I say that hasn’t already been said! Love your blog as it has been my favorite since finding you on a hunt for Canadian over 50 bloggers! Such a treat everytime a new post is published. You have such a special gift for writing! I also love reading all the comments. I lost the ability to read the comments for quit a few months due to an old iPad but since getting a new one I have regained that privilege and it certainly adds to my enjoyment. Such an interesting and diverse group of ladies you have following you!
    Here’s to another 10 years Sue! My Sunday mornings wouldn’t be the same without you!

  55. Happy blog anniversary and thank you for so many years of enrichment. I especially enjoy the travel posts, and the outfits and the hair pondering. Well I guess I enjoy all of it.

    Warm regards – we have about 5 inches of snow and everything is on hold until it melts.



      1. Oh no, I am in Virginia towards the east coast. First snow in 2 years and we are baffled. During President Obama’s first winter as President there was one of these snow/ice/low temperature things, the whole federal government shut down and he commented something along the lines of “In Chicago we would think the storm missed us”. So true.


  56. Hi Sue, I want to add my congratulations on your 10th anniversary of blogging. Thank you for sharing your life stories with us all, they are always interesting. I particularly love your blogs on clothes! Just keep them coming.

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