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I have gone AWOL from aquafit today. I should be there right now getting ready to splish and splash in the name of keeping my arthritic knees and feet moving for a while longer. But, I just couldn’t. The thought of walking the seven blocks to the gym in this hottest-of-the-summer heat, then changing my clothes and then getting in the pool for a class with a novice instructor who might be just fine but maybe not, too, was too much today. I could, if I wanted to, feel righteous and perfectly fine with my decision since my favorite instructor who was supposed to be teaching also went AWOL. If she could do it, why not me? But, fact is, she doesn’t have a damn thing wrong with her knees and feet — yet. So, instead, I have taken myself to my favorite writing den of Science Fiction, and Speculation and Fantasy in my neighborhood library. They know me here now — just like Cheers without the beer. The head librarian of all this Speculation looked at me today, and without speculating at all, said, “What’s wrong with you? You’re limping today.” I like that kind of straightforwardness.  So I told her my sad but true saga of arthritic knees and feet. I didn’t tell her I should have been, at that moment, in the water helping those same said knees. It’s nice to be noticed — even if only for my frailties.

I couldn’t stay home either to write this. No, siree. Those furry beasts have my schedule down pat and they’d have known I was supposed to be in the pool and not sitting playing games at the dining room table. So before Rose could start her whining about my poor time-management skills and telling me to “Get your behind moving now!”, I faked her out by putting on the backpack, hiding the bathing suit and flip-flops in the closet and slipping out the door with my usual, “See you after class. Don’t worry about a thing.” Nick, being more laid back, would have been cool with the idea but not Rose. If she had known that I was skipping class, she would have been on the horn immediately ratting me out to the No-Nonsense Trainer, Christina. (Now that’s an interesting thought, Cats Ratting. Do Rats Cat on someone?) I do believe that Christina has enrolled Rose and Nick as Fitness Spies to make sure I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing — including getting in the water as often as possible.

I’ve watched the three of them over the year and a half that I have been struggling through the These-Are-Good-For-You-Work-Harder exercise plans. Every month when Christina brings the new exercises, the cats are right there. They meow through the pleasantries and wait to get their instructions. The three of them don’t think I’ve noticed, but, I’m not stupid and, believe me, they are not subtle. As I struggle to keep my bum up doing pelvic tilts, Christina cues Nick who immediately starts bumping his way under my legs, going  back and forth and back and forth. It’s hard not to keep your bum up when you have a 15 pound, very long cat sitting under your knees. When I finish, Christina is there giving him cat high-fives with ear scratches and sweet talk. He purrs his pride in his work and waits for leg lifts to do it again. And, then yesterday, as I balanced on one foot with 5 pound weights over my head, Christina yelled at me, at me because I shouted at Rose to get the hell out of my way. Needless to say, Rose didn’t move. Christina explained to me that Rose was doing this to prepare me for a day when I just might trip over a cat and this may well be what keeps me from falling. Rose smugly accepted her “Good job, Rose” from the trainer, turned her back on me and went out to get more food.

Well, it’s late enough and I’m hungry so I’m leaving the speculation and fantasy room and going home. I’m sure I didn’t fool them at all — just like the Murmuring Ex-Husband never fooled me walking out with his empty gym bag when he was really rendezvousing with his lover. However, unlike him, I’ll face their disappointment and tell them the truth. But they have to promise not to tell Christina.




Update on my First Time For Me Toronto Things

Now, to some of you adventure seeking types, these additions to my First Time for Me In Toronto Things may not sound so exotic or adventuresome but, since I’m making the list, here they are.


My first bunch of garlic scapes from Borden Market.



For the first time, ever, in Toronto or anywhere else for that matter, I ate Garlic Scapes. I didn’t even know they existed before seeing them in the market last week. Am I the only person not to have known about these tasty little stalks from the garlic plant? Think of all these years when I could have been using them and, in my ignorance, just didn’t even see them. I think of the fields of garlic in Spain. I could have been harvesting them all that time. It is never too late to become an Eater of Garlic Scapes.

Number Two on my list this week, Ta Dum, I went to a street in town that I never even knew existed let alone that Hablemos Español Clara lived there. It is in a funky part of IMG_0486time with Almost-Views of the Lake and more antique shops than you would ever need to visit. I’ll go back but it won’t ever again be a first.

Number Three is, are you ready, today for the first time Ever in Toronto, I walked down the street wearing shorts! I felt downright naked but so cool and didn’t even think about my varicose veins, well almost never. Needless to say, there will not be a picture accompanying this last first!