The last of the fall leaves during a bike ride and a life update

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

Hi! And Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends all the way from Oh Canada!

How is everyone?! It feels like it’s been forever since I posted.

What I’ve been working on lately hasn’t been very post worthy. During a time that most are gearing up for Christmas, know what I’ve been doing?

Cleaning.

I do this every. single. fall. As the Christmas season approaches, I can’t even remotely fathom bringing more stuff out before I clear anything that’s in my way. Are you like this too?

From gutting the garage workshop, to kitchen drawers, I get relentless. Anything that is in my way, look out! I’ve even listed several things on our local Facebook bidding sites, but it seems I keep bringing more home right after… hello wood collecting

I’m starting to think that collecting is just that… you collect what you think you’ll need and let go of what you no longer wish to keep around. There IS no end to it. You just keep evolving with new stuff.

Well, I suppose as long as I’m not renting storage units to house my stuff and can keep it under one roof (although with bulging walls…) I’m doing ok!

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

In other news, I’ve been gathering up house quotes to work on a few things that need fixing, and of course, things I just want changed.

It’s tricky to know where to draw the line when you aren’t sure how long you will live in a home isn’t it? I’ve been looking at house listings and everything I come across would take more work than the one I already have. I suppose it ultimately comes down to, what outside do you want to end up with? Do you have the space to do what you wish to do? Because the house can always be changed.

The only thing that’s missing from my current outside is no river / lake. Everything else I have is still on my wish-list. 

So I’m currently debating how far to go with what I already have. My wish list for this current home is EXTENSIVE.

And with renos so expensive… I’m thinking I’ll have to get big and brave and do some rather biggish things myself. 

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

I’ve also been working on new Christmas stencil designs. There are a few listed now so I’m hopeful they will encourage me to stop cleaning, and get out the wood and paint and get Christmas decorating already…

If I didn’t know better, I’m thinking my cleaning is a productive yet procrastination tactic so I don’t have time to make more challenging decisions… hmmm…

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

My goodness… I don’t think I’ve blogged about my volunteer dog walking yet! I’ll gather up those pics to help tell that entire sweet, sweet story. 

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

And my pottery class was on a bit of a hiatus, and is now firing up for two last sessions. We will be glazing our pieces this week. I’ll take some pictures this week to continue that story.

I didn’t sign up for another class because I don’t even know what the end result will be yet. I enjoyed the process, just uncertain if I wish to keep at it. I’m kinda thinking of leaving that space open for something new to try…

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

And I may have already found it.

My son started working out and wanted me to join him one day. So off to the gym we went and honestly, I had a blast! He shared his routine with me, then we jumped into the hot tub, sauna and pool. I’m thinking of doing this at least once a week with him so there’s that…

I was debating on joining a gym anyway however this is far more encouragement, so maybe… I’ll give it a little more play time first.

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

My writing class with Kim Klassen is now over, and I must say, I am heavily geared with every exercise in the book to keep me on the straight and narrow! I truly have no excuse now.

I’m not exactly sure why some people appear to stay on track and succeed, where some like me get sidetracked easily, then lock into unintended zones. Apparently putting pen to paper helps get your thoughts back to where you desire them to be so you can move forward with intention.

The writings do help. They become a road map of sorts, so I can reestablish where I wish to take my current day. 

Some of my jumbled thoughts are at least now starting to make a little more sense. It’s all really based on our dream goals. I think we can get so lost in the everyday transpirings we don’t take the time to dream, and if we don’t dream, we lose out on a new road map.

Take the time to dream, friends. Make your list. Then choose one, ignore the ‘safe brain’ chatter and go after it! It’s a start.

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

And as you can see, I’ve been getting out on the bike now and then. Our rain has hit and with days getting dark so quickly, it’s iffy if I even make it out to the trails these days.

But on this particular day, we had just had a major windstorm that appeared to drop most of the leaves overnight. So I just had to capture the last of fall.

Everywhere I biked, it was a blanket of glorious leaves. So pretty!

Are you still able to get outdoors or are you already snowed in?

Fall bike riding along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC Canada

And lastly, my amazing brother who picked wood with me came over today. It sure helps to have a knowledgeable guy around once in awhile because he shook this joint up! The notes area pretty much blew up my phone.

From the right oil to use, how to adjust my headlights, how to tweak my garage door so it closes, the best bulbs to use for the light he installed (after I was without for 2 years) to fixing my table saw then insists on teaching me how to use it because it will change life as I know it… 

Having him around already HAS changed my life! I mean… that light alone… But I’m certainly not beyond growing a little more, so I am IN!

So… here’s to new Christmas decor and house renos coming soon! (and to me changing my own tires and oil… ha! not a dream, so…)

I have a feeling that table saw will come in mighty handy though…

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What’s new with you? What are you currently up to or attempting?

And I’d love to know… what are some things you’d like me to blog about? Perhaps I could use a new topic or two to add to this ‘new life beginnings’ life of mine…

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Here’s a few more pretty bike ride adventures with stories if you’re so inclined…

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  1. Goodness, I’ve been away from blogland forever it seems! I enjoyed catching up with you and seeing what all you are up to. Sounds like you have a very full and enriching life… thanks for sharing parts of your day. I’m a lot like you, it seems. I’ve been a cleaning and organizing fool in my kitchen, haven’t started my Christmas decorating, love to get outdoors as much as I can… but my son hasn’t invited me to the gym with him yet, lol!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving~

    • Welcome back Angie!

      I’ve missed my more chatty posts with all of you. It really does feel like you’re sitting in the room with me so that kinda blogging comes easy!

      I’ve been going through some empty nest kinda things so figuring out my new place has been challenging. Little things like getting out more and trying new things really helped.

      Enjoy your non-gym membership… LOL I landed in bed at 6:30 pm after my first workout! Can’t get in my PM TV that way! haha

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! I enjoy your blog. I hope you will continue to travel and write about your adventures. Thank you for sharing your Maui Favorites. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited many of the same places.

    Your craft fair demonstrations are fun to read about. It would be great to see you in person during your presentations. Junk Shops and your purchases…and how you use the items are interesting.

    I love the wooden tote that you made with the tree branch handle. If only…

    Thank you for sharing your adventures, and life stories.

    • Happy Thanksgiving Pat!

      How interesting… I wasn’t sure my travel posts were all that popular so this was good to know! I still have a TON of new info to share from my last Maui trip and all my adventures in Toronto so I’ll put that back on the weekly list. There’s some great tips in those travels.

      I love the idea of traveling around hosting live workshops! Let me muse over that one a little more…

      One thing I failed to do during the conference workshops was to have a photographer take pictures during the event. I honestly thought I could handle it all but the pace proved super challenging. I’ll rethink that next round so I can better deliver a full story.

      Gotcha on the shopping and revamps! I’ve been on this purging stream lately so as I loosen up more space, I’ll get back to… buying more? hahah I miss my authentic antique collecting. I already told myself I don’t have a whole lot left to Christmas decorate with so there’s that!

      I think the resurrection of my table saw will open a bunch of new DIY doors I’ve been held back from entering. Miter saw cuts have limited my abilities. I’ll see about getting more easy tutorials back in action!

      Thanks for your feedback, that was great!

  3. You’re doing exactly what I need to be doing…cleaning! But instead I’m making more messes creating stuff. I host my mom’s side of the family at Christmas and usually have 60 to 70 people. I know it’s coming, but instead of starting early, I’ll panic the week before and get busy!
    I know what you mean about living on a lake or river. There’s something so calming about water. We built our house 12 years ago on a lake. We get the most beautiful sunsets over the water. Every now and then my husband talks about building again, to which I tell him that if it’s not facing west over water, I’m not going! Plus, I love my house on the dirt road in the country and am still not going!

    • Well Virginia, you may be the smarter one. Cleaning my house does not make for good Christmas content! haha Sometimes ya just gotta ignore the surroundings and get to the nitty gritty of it all, then clean up the much bigger mess later. I’m getting close to this…

      And you reconfirmed what my heart keeps saying about water or land or something. There’s an element I’m searching for that isn’t at my current property. Perhaps it’s the brand new challenge period… gotta over think that one a little more before spending my savings on my current place me thinks.

      I wouldn’t leave either if I were you.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! Love your photos. Very beautiful views from your bike! I enjoy reading about your adventures as well as your creative posts. Just reading your blog inspires me both personally and creatively. You are one of the first bloggers I started following after we purchased our fixer upper. We love the idea of repurposing items and having a story behind the items we’ve chosen to decorate with – even if the story is we made it ourselves. For instance, we made the farmhouse trim you did a blog post about a few years ago. 😀. And knowing your life isn’t perfect and you have struggles, too, makes me know I’m not the only one. Because of your honesty and authenticity, I feel a bit connected to you and am thankful to have a fellow sojourner 😀
    Finally, we are fortunate enough to be going to Maui in January. So your blog posts are very helpful. Thank you!

    • Happy Thanksgiving Moriah and thanks so much for the kudos!

      I’ve been feeling guilty for not DIYing more so I’m glad you’re finding value in the other stuff.

      I personally love reading about something a little deeper than just DIY when it comes to blog post reading so I suppose I’m morphing into what I desire to have for myself.

      I’m SO glad you have been encouraged to go to Maui! So exciting! I have a lot more NEW adventures to share from my last trip too so I’ll see about resurrecting that info once again for the traveler crowd.

      I miss my tropical fix… you may find me on a plane ticket back there if I start writing about it again! 🙂

  5. happy thanksgiving to you and your son and your family.

    I am so with you on everything you said in this posts.

    I always clean and organize to procrastinate!!!

    2019 is my plan to start doing more of what I love and work on my crafts (to sell) instead of working for others (stuff I don’t love).

    I, too, so need to get an exercise plan!!

    • Happy Thanksgiving Cindy!

      I think cleaning has become my go-to because you can accomplish a lot without having to think hard! I love gutting and purging and enjoying the aftermath. I suppose I could incorporate some stories around that to encourage others with…

      I agree with your future plans… do the stuff YOU love. You’ll find that others love it too and you’ll just end up doing more of it somehow.

      Moving in some form or fashion is a good thing. Really works off the stress. I haven’t biked now for awhile and I miss it. Next sunny day I’m leaving my ‘messes’ and hitting the trails! Try just going for a nature walk, perhaps with camera in hand and give yourself a photo challenge. It helps with the enthusiasm part.

  6. Glad to see a new post! I have been missing you! I love your rambling posts, they just are beautiful and get me thinking! In the US we are celebrating Thanksgiving today so I am thankful for you and all the other wonderful blogger friends I follow. (((hugs)))

    • Happy Thanksgiving Laura! I did forget when I first put up the post so I’ve included it now. 🙂

      And thank-you for noticing my absence! I suppose I told myself that what I was currently doing wasn’t story material. I’ll challenge myself to get a little more wordy and see if I can’t come up with a way to do both.

      I’m also thankful for you and those that have followed for a LONG time and enjoy a good, long wordy ramble! Those posts are easy… 😀

  7. Hi Donna,
    Happy Thanksgiving! I found the best way to declutter ,our house burned down in the Camp Fire in California ! Many,many years worth of building things with wood and funky hardware is now a pile of ash! I will never stop creating things though and maybe with time, I will be at peace with everything we lost. This Thanksgiving, we are thankful to be alive and we found our beautiful cat, so with a smile on my face, I will face the unknown and will take each day as it comes! I wish you and your son and cats a very wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • I feel so sorry for the loss of your home. So much of ourselves (our personalities, desires, dreams, spirits, memories) are wrapped up in our homes. I can’t imagine how devastating it is to lose such a huge part of oneself to a fire. Your thankful spirit is surely the first step in God’s plan to create beauty from ashes, and surely your creative instincts will flourish in the days ahead.

    • Linda! I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your home! Horrific!

      Your perseverance attitude is so amazingly inspiring… thank-you for allowing us to visit a different side of life. We truly do have it so good as simply being alive and well.

      And your cat! Oh my gosh. You’ve pretty much named one of my worst fears. So glad your little one found you again!

      May the challenges ahead bring something brand new to your life you would never have discovered otherwise. Go you! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  8. we always get into projects this time of year and clean!

    maybe it is what us junkers do…Lol

    I love reading all the things you write about and do enjoy the personal posts

    I’m also enjoying the writing and excited for the class coming up and 2019

    xo

  9. I loved your pictures of the beautiful paths and the last leaves! It’s wonderful that you’re working out with your son! That’s precious time together, fun, and a great way to stay fit!
    I like your statement about “putting pen to paper, puts your thoughts in order, so you can move forward with intention”, (I paraphrased slightly), but I got your main idea.. I need to be writing again, blogging and journaling! Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the holidays coming!
    Be blessed~! Linda

  10. There are so many things I would like to do to my house! I want to paint cupboards, remove popcorn ceilings, paint bathrooms and completely overhaul my kitchen. I realize these are highly ambitious dreams for one winter in Michigan and I will be happy to get some popcorn off the bathroom ceilings and get the cupboards painted. The rest will have to wait for warmer weather.

  11. Happy Thanksgiving, Donna and family.

    Love your blog just the way it is. You are one busy gal!

    You asked what we are doing? I should be cleaning out the craft room but I made a planter out of a Model A muffler. Hubby is restoring the Model A and suggested we drill holes in the muffler and plant it. So that we did! It’s hanging on the back wall of the shed. Looks so cool and plan on adding more discarded parts to the shed. Also, made a flower out of a rusted hub cap after cleaning it up with aluminum foil. I used spoons around the edge to look like a sun flower.

    We are in the design stages for an outdoor kitchen.

    Look forward to your Christmas ideas.

  12. I’ve missed you! I feel ( KNOW) my life is also in a transition/empty nest stage, but I’m the one who has left the nest! I had to take a teaching position two hours from home, so I’m living in a 300 sq. foot garage apt. during the week, home to my daughter, assorted pets, friends on weekends. My daughter is in college, living at our home alone and I feel like I am missing so much. Her boyfriend and his mother are a big part of her life and sometimes I just feel like I’m an outsider. Understandable but still something I have to work through. Soooo, a lot of my contemplation is centered on where to go from here? Find a closer job, a different job, resolve my feelings of not being a huge presence in my daughter’s life (I’m a single mom, too). And of course, any chance of a relationship of my own now that my major child-raising years are over. So, I want you to share more of your journey in your blog. We women need to support, listen and help each other. Our shared journeys can be what is needed to keep another on the path to contentment, peace and satisfaction. Have a blessed season ahead and Happy Thanksgiving, too!

  13. I really enjoy your showcasing of “Junk” Christmas decor. I am in Nebraska and snowed in right now…but just give it 24 hours. LOL
    The scenery on your bike ride is just breathtaking…hope it gives you new inspiration. Any ideas for making snowmen from old wood?