Musings defined: ponderings, reflections, meditations, contemplations.
I aim to share experiences, past and present, with the goal of learning and appreciating what life presents.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Are we having fun yet?

Carroll, Grandpa, Jean and Pieter.  We are having fun in spite of our muscles feeling like old dried out leather strips suddenly asked to stretch.  Last week Pieter and I went bowling.  This week, after the muscles in the back of our legs recovered, the "girls" joined us.  We played five pin because the balls is much smaller and therefore lighter.  Took us awhile to discover the sweet spot that gives strikes.  I expect it will take much longer to get the ball to that exact spot with any kind of regularity.

Bowling used to be a popular sport.  Judging by the empty lanes on this Friday afternoon, and the greatly reduced times of seeing bowling on TV, I conclude bowling needs a revival.   Carroll and I bowled in a league in our early marriage days.  Pieter and Jean both bowled with teams from work.  Cost is a factor today, like $48 for four persons for two games, including shoes.  As previously noted, the exercise is good.  The game also provided us a different social interaction as it's good to get out together.

Notice I haven't said anything about scores.  After throwing our first few balls, we decided that we came for fun and not to get uptight about every gutter ball.  When our scores can withstand scrutiny then they will be available for publication.  I can divulge that Pieter had the very respectable high score of 194, and   we all bowled strike(s).

What's to learn in this little outing?  Repeating activities from the past can bring back memories of good times.  Social activities improve the mind and the spirit.  If you haven't used a muscle lately, it hurts the next day, but with persistence, that muscle quickly regains its elasticity and serves its purpose.  What part of your body has lost its elasticity and purpose: mind, muscle, spirit, social, creative or emotional?  Have a merry tune-up and enjoy giving the abounding love of Valentine's Day.
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Monday, 6 February 2012

2 writing courses

A Big Leap 
(a true story)

 Frantically, I run along the stream bank watching the roiling
water of the flooding Logan River. Where is Donna, my co-worker? My adrenalin is pumping. My heart's thudding in my chest. This normally gentle stream is in spring's flood stage with the snow melting and rushing down the mountainside. I stop here and there looking behind trees at the water's edge. Then I see Donna's head bobbing in the turbulent water. The current is bringing her closer to me and to a big log angling out from the bank. I must save Donna. I don’t swim. I don’t know how to swim. Can I jump out far enough to snag Donna with my right hand and still grab the log with the left? I run at the bank, and jump. In mid-air I remember that I am wearing my new shoes, my first expensive pair of Florsheim Wing Tip shoes. Will the water ruin the leather?

I entered a writing competition last week.  I thought of the most dramatic moment in my life and wrote about it.  Lest you get excited, the competition is only for local residents and has no entry fee so that tells you how small time it is.  This all came about after I registered for two writing classes through SLR or Society for Learning in Retirement.  A classmate gave me info on the competition so I submitted a 1400 word assignment I had written for class.  You just read the first paragraph.  This story has incorporated into it many suggestions from Rebecca.  I am very grateful for her help.  If you would like to read more of my story(s), please leave a comment to tell me.

These classes make me write, and I am writing my Life Story.  Time to get it on paper before I don't remember anything.  "Let's Write" requires a copy of my story copied and handed out to each of my 8 classmates.  Everyone critiques it and hands it back with helpful comments the following week.  SLR has an account that pays for the copying.  The 8 week class called "Writing Your Memoirs" also requires weekly writing, but on assigned topics like this week's, "My First House".  Quite a mix of interesting people attend and I feel quite accepted, eventhough most of them have previously attended these classes.  Fees are only $21 because everything is run by volunteers.  One class is held in rented classrooms at the Martin Educational Centre and the other at a swank care home.  I am having fun and it's motivating to receive feedback.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Expensive homes

The Demographia International Housing Affordability Study was released Jan. 25th.  It confirmed that homes here and in Vancouver are too expensive for an ordinary family to buy.  In all the world, only Hong Kong has more expensive housing than Vancouver.  Some median house prices are listed as:  Vancouver - $678,500; Abbotsford - $443,700; Victoria - $417,300; Kelowna - 385,100; Toronto - $406,400; Saskatoon - $274,700; and Calgary - $353,700.  The writers of this report use this information to argue against restrictions on land use; saying that prices are down in places like Atlanta and Houston because they have less intrusive policies on land use.

If you are interested in economic policies, I recommend you check out Jay's blog, The Seen and the Unseen, at:

Doesn't look like any of my children are buying a first-time home any time soon.  Sorry.  I have always thought that the best investment Mom and I ever made was the purchase of our home (except for our children of course).  We always put a higher percentage of our income into our home than we needed to because we thought owning our own home was so important.  It worked for us but these days I don't know if the rules have changed or not.

On a closely related topic, I attended a meeting at our local library (organized by the Friends of the Library to which we belong) where I listened to Carl Zanon who told us how to go on line to find the site where we could compare our recently mailed property assessments to those of our neighbours.  Not every property is fairly assessed.  Gratefully our property, assessed below our local median, is in the lower range of our neighbours.  Another way to compare is in how much our assessment changes in comparison to others.  Locally, the assessments have gone down in value an average of 2%.  Ours went down 5%, so that is good for us too--as long as we aren't selling, and we aren't.

My bit of wisdom: Be patient and watch closely.  Like anything else, prudent use of money, money management, or wise purchases, all take effort to research and sort out.  Decisions require more wisdom than most of us have so ask for help from others, and in the end ask Heavenly Father.