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I’m in the middle between two big adventures. The past 10 days or so have been spent largely tramping around the city of Toronto, trying to find a living space that was liveable and that I could afford to buy (no small achievement). Yesterday I signed an offer for a lovely condo apartment in a very solid and attractive building that is located very centrally and also appears to be within my budget! The offer will be presented this afternoon - perhaps by tonight, the apartment will be mine! Toronto is full of condominium buildings that seem to be springing up everywhere they can possibly be constructed, something like an epidemic of warts on the landscape. A lot of our green space is disappearing under the shovels of the developers, as well as a lot of old unused factory locations, etc. Unfortunately, most of the units are not aimed for folks with beer budgets such as myself. “My” (if I’m supposed to live there) condo is located in an older building, perhaps 1920’s construction, with 18 units, on a very attractive street not far from a ravine with a walking/jogging/biking/blading path going through it. The good thing about the ravines in Toronto is that the developers haven’t yet figured out a way to turn them into housing complexes! The bus stops in front of the house, and it’s close to the subway. It already feels like home. I hope I’m not disappointed.
The second adventure starts tomorrow morning, when I leave, in the company of a few friends, to travel to Perth, Ontario, not far from Ottawa, our nation’s capital, for a 5-day meditation retreat to be held in a camp area beside a lake, with wooded areas nearby. I’ve been looking forward to being on this retreat for several months, ever since I registered for it. They offered a great (very cheap) rate for seniors, and staying in a room with 3 others lowered the costs further. I indicated that my dietary needs were different from most, and they agreed they could accommodate the vagaries of following the B blood type diet. I have already come to the point where I would rather not eat anything than take something that will give me a bad reaction, and I am fine with a little fasting from time to time if necessary. I suspect it won’t be, though.
It’s been rainy the last few weeks here in Ontario, which means the little critters that like to live in the woods will be out in goodly numbers. There are two of them that will probably be waiting for a few free meals once I get there – mosquitos and black flies. I haven’t experienced black flies for a very long time now, but they are fierce – they like a little meat with their blood. I managed to find a natural insect repellent at one of the local holistic shops a couple of weeks ago. I hope it is effective. The listed ingredients are olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and essential oils of citronella, lavender, thyme, garlic, peppermint and lemon grass. The label says it is effective against mosquitos and black flies. I hope that this repellent, coupled with the BTD, will keep me immune from more than an occasional bite. At least I should smell nice! One of the many other side effects I’ve noticed deriving from the BTD is that the winged critters don’t seem to be very interested in consuming my blood any more. I’ve had experiences when out in parks with two different friends on different occasions when they were being dive-bombed (to their utter panic, I should say) by buzzing winged creatures, while none came near me at all. It does make it easier to stay calm under such circumstances!
So I will end by asking for your prayers – one for my housing needs, one for good food during the retreat to support my meditation efforts, and one for the avoidance of bites. Thanks in advance to all who send prayers my way. I’ll let you know how well we all did!