In August

Cute mushrooms seen during hike

Cute mushrooms toadstools seen during hike

In August…I didn’t travel, and didn’t attend any concerts or festivals, or see any movies, or go to the beach. I didn’t take any time off and it was just a regular work month. But sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that.

As you know from my Fitbit post, I zoomed in on fitness this month. The Fitbit has motivated me to walk more and to accumulate “active minutes,” but also to get to bed earlier and try to sleep more.

FItness_30Day Fitness_NMTZ

I took a few fitness DVDs home from the library and only made it through a minute or two because they had complicated “moves” just like in the bad old days of aerobics. Until I tried a Jillian Michaels one, and her DVDs have much simpler moves that I could actually do. They are also organized into circuits with just a minute or two of each exercise, repeated in sets. I have now done “No More Trouble Zones” and Level 1 of “30 Day Shred” a couple of times each. They are hard, but in a good way. After just a couple of weeks, I can actually see a difference in the way my clothes fit. Of course, when I think of fitness DVDs, I think of Sunny (who has been doing The Firm workouts lately). Whenever I am doing a DVD and Rom walks by, he has fits of giggles when he hears Jillian say things like, “Hammer that tush!”

In order to find space to do a DVD with a floor mat, I had to rearrange a room, and now I feel a “home gym area” coming on 🙂  I have to laugh at myself, though, because mat work does not equal steps, so the Fitbit doesn’t really count it!



Trail head is about 40 minutes from my home; zero development on this lake which is in a designated wilderness area

You will be surprised to hear I did something outdoorsy, and went on a group hike. We trekked to a pristine lake and had a swim and lunch on a beautiful Saturday. The next day I swam in the lake at my parent’s place, so I was really on a roll.


Giant zucchini (gifted by my brother), with a simple stuffing


I am enjoying August food – zucchini and watermelon and peaches. And have also been out for (veg) sushi and Thai food this month.

On the minus side, I had to go to the dentist for two fillings 😦

This is the one I like although none of the styles are really

This is the one I like although none of the styles are really “me”

In day to day stuff, I made a good start on weeding the garden (I am normally weeding books), and will have a lot of shrub trimming to do this month. Related to that, I went out looking at Tilley hats, a brand name of hats that are used for gardening, hiking, etc. Since they are expensive and not on sale, and it is summer’s end already, I decided to wait until next year. I am also a little sheepish about being the kind of person who wears a Tilley hat.

Social-wise, I met up with a visiting out-of-town friend, and helped out with a suitably momentous party for my younger sister’s 50th birthday.

All is well and I’m looking forward to the three-day Labour Day weekend September 5/6/7. (I worked the Saturday of the August long weekend which was August 1/2/3).

The numbers above remind me of one of my favourite kid jokes:

Why is 6 afraid of 7?

Because 7 8 9 !

How was your August?


  1. I have a Tilley hat that I bought for travel, 17 years ago. If your head stays the same size then you will be able to wear it forever – they are indestructable. I have the classic white one with the green under-brim and snaps. They are great hats and if it is hot and you are gardening you can wet the hat and stay cool (that is what I did in the desert).

  2. My boys loved telling that silly joke. 🙂 Wow a month with no concerts, trips or movies? I think this is a first for you. I’m sure in a way it felt good for a change.

  3. EcoCatLady

    0 U 8 1 2?

  4. Fiona

    I am very excited to see the hike pictures (and of course zoomed in on all of them!) Did you enjoy doing a group hike? Did Rom go along? I’m really excited to see Canadian landscapes – very, very different to our ‘wilderness’ areas here. If I had a ‘Bucket List’, hiking in the Canadian wilderness would be high on the list.

    I keep saying to Sunny that I will get a ‘DVD of Pain’ but I’m afraid it’s been empty words so far. Maybe I’ll see if I can find a Jillian Michael’s DVD (maybe!) Kudos for sticking with it long enough to notice a change in clothes – very motivating!

    I really like the Tilley hat, but they are similar to an Akubra hat here. These are iconic enough here to be acceptable.

    My favourite joke in the primary room at the moment is: Q: What happened to the person who fell in the river in Paris? A: They went insane.

    It takes ages for the kids to get it. When they do, they groan terribly!

    • EcoCatLady

      Wait… jokes that require actual geographic knowledge to understand?!? That’s cheating! 🙂

    • I have been on a couple of group hikes in years past (literally, two of them) and a few on my own or with relatives. I would love to send you some pix by email if you are up for it! Very diverse landscapes. When I see pictures of “forest” in Australia (usually along river banks), it looks like dry semi-scrub land to me, like what we have along river banks on the Prairies. But my perceptions may not be accurate. I looked up Akubra hats and see that they are the classic Australian felt hats. The most popular Tilley ones are made of synthetics (nylon) so they can be hand-washed and dried. They are pretty iconic here, actually. I would recommend the Jillian Michaels DVDs for anyone who has a solid base of cardio from walking, cycling, etc. They are a good step up from that point. Ha, a teacher joke!

      • Fiona

        I would really be interested to see the photos, Dar. Do you have my email? I’ll see if I have yours saved and re-send to you. ‘Forest’ (or ‘bush’ as we call it here) varies greatly in Australia too but eucalyptus trees are endemic everywhere.

      • You are too kind. I have never seen (or smelled) a eucalyptus tree!

      • I can post you some eucalypt leaves! I remember being so excited when I saw some growing on an island in Greece when doing the 20-something backpacking trip. They grow them in NZ for wood. They grow straighter than in the variable water supply in Oz. I have a “widow maker” (what tall eucalyptus trees are called cause they drop branches which die off regularly) that needs to be removed from my backyard. It is huge. I have got council permission to remove it as it is dying and had termites. Will cost me thousands to have cut down.

      • I can imagine what Canada Border Services would think of leaves arriving for me – I would get investigated for sure 🙂 You need permission to cut down a tree? Definitely not required here. Can hardly keep tree shoots from growing everywhere.

    • I agree the Canadian landscape looks so different. All those conifers. So dark green and dense. And the lakes! All that water.

      My husband collects Akubras. I find them too heavy. They are not using Australian rabbit skins for the felt anymore. So not wholly Australian.

      • I looked it up and was shocked to see that Canada and Russia still make beaver fur hats. But fortunately they are not popular. Not sure where that niche market is.

  5. Whenever I get your monthly reviews I am often stumped to what my month contained. At least August = mother’s birthday, and I blogged about that! I had most Saturdays to myself as the BF was teaching, and last weekend did two half days at motor cycle school. So I’ve had a lot of ‘browsing the shops’ time. And sick days!

    Unlike years gone by, saw no cinema movies, but we saw Insurgent on TV which was so so (we tend to like the noise. We. Me, alone, I blog often in peace, like now). No concerts, and I think it was the month prior my parents took us to comedy, which was more like tragic ode to a mother’s passing – sort of an awkward ‘comedy’ store experience. The dinner after was lovely though I’m still not forgiven for eating the last piece of the ‘good’ pizza!

    Your hike location looked lovely – I hope we go kayaking this weekend, as we did one unseasonably warm Sunday gone by. It’s just so nice to be close to the water and the nature.

    • Kayaking would be awesome! I have canoed a bit but never learned to kayak, although it’s very popular here. I have seen Divergent but not Insurgent. I worked 2 Saturdays in August and received weekdays off in exchange, which I used for house/yard work. I am curious, what temperature does it have to be in Sydney before everyone wants to flock to the beach? Here it about 23 which would be early Spring weather for you!

  6. I remember laughing in shock at an American exercise video that told us to “Shake our fanny.” OMG! This was before swearing was commonplace on TV.

  7. I love my sun hat! It was an impulse purchase when we visited Florida a few years ago but so worth it. I wear it daily on summer walks and while gardening. It keeps me cooler and gives an extra bit of protection again the sun. 🙂

    I own Jillian’s 30 Day Shred and like it. I never could go the entire 30 days of the program because I get bored with it, but it was nice to pop in on days when I was stuck inside. These days I’m rotating through the 5 different prenatal exercise DVDs my library has, a nice change of pace!

    • This week is the hottest week of the summer and now I wish I’d bought the hat! I had no intention of doing the 30 Day Shred for 30 days, ha ha! I am aiming for twice a week 🙂 Good for you for still doing some fitness!

  8. Look at you getting your Jillian on!! LOL I found No More Trouble Zones to be more challenging that I wanted to do at the time I got it. Good for you for sticking with it. I find that when my clothes start getting looser to be incredibly motivating. Your zucchini looks delicious.

    • Thanks. I am trying to do a fitness DVD twice a week to “mix it up” from my old routine. Doing the abs and strength parts of those Jillian DVDs is completely new to me. Of course the 30 Day Shred one is only half as long as the Trouble Zones one so it’s much easier to fit into the week! Skating at the rink is back in session now, so I need to push myself to keep doing the DVDs as well.

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