Happy With 200 Downloads of my ebook Strong Camino Woman

When I walked the Camino Frances (French Camino) in 2013 at age 58, I could not have dreamt that my ebook would be read by 200 people, some friends and family and others lovers of the caminos de Santiago. It is an honour to be recognized by lovers of The Way, which was portrayed in a movie produced by Emilio Estevez whose father Martin Sheen was the main actor.  My ebook on Smashwords website will not likely be a best seller. It is enough that if it reaches 1000 readers, I will be satisfied.

Anyone can read 15% of Strong Camino Woman free of charge. Right now it can be purchased for 99 cents. What can you buy for less than a dollar these days?

Hope you check it out, even the 15% free part. My second ebook about Camino Portuguese will be uploaded before November. 

To those leaving for another Camino, buen Camino! I’ll be leaving for Camino del Norte/Primitivo soon and will be reporting daily on our progress. Stay tuned. 

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My New Guidebook ETC For Camino Del Norte

  1.   I ordered from the UK and it finally arrived. It is the latest edition. Not as thorough as I’d like, but it will do, along with our own research. I’m always most anxious about making my way to our starting point, which is Irun. I land at Charles de Galle airport and take two trains. And getting back to cdg is a pain as well. I need to go the day before my flight as there are long waits in Madrid or Barcelona. And I don’t want to arrive in Paris late at night. 
  2. Getting the right gear is also a headache. I have a new Tilley hat, new hiking pants and poles. I have too many jackets so it is difficult deciding which one or two to take. Should I wear my old Merrell hikers or my new Asics? Shorts or no shorts? 
  3. How many euros should I carry? Mostly I like cash for alberigues and food.  If we stay in any hotels I can use Visa or cash. Such are the thoughts of a Camino walker. Did I mention there are venomous snakes and wild boars somewhere along Camino del Norte?
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Camino Del Norte Here I Come!

Keep the poisonous snakes, wild boars, brown bears and wolves away. I’m soon heading off to walk my third camino. I fly to Paris and then grab some trains to Hendaye and walk to Irun. The closer it gets the more fears surface. I go through this every year. Then I close off from thinking about all the fears and get my tickets. This year I got them on points, like Camino Frances. I’m flying into Charles De Gaulle airport alone.

I’ve added a few items to my Gregory Medium backpack. These include a better map compass, BD z poles, a waterproof plasmic jacket, waterproof puffer down jacket, waterproof socks. You can tell I’m realistic in expecting rain and fog on the Del Norte! I need new tips for the z poles and Nuun tablets plus energy bars for replenishing the energy.  I’m cutting back on all the clothes and first aid items. I’m also adding Penaten cream, which kept my feet blister free last camino. Live and learn. I also bought a new Black Sea to Summit neck purse.

Last year I carried 20 pounds but this year no more than 15. My new guidebook hasn’t arrived yet from Cicerone. It is a recent publication, which is preferred in any guidebook as it contains suggestions for the route and accommodations.

If you have walked the del Norte, please send suggestions, especially of what to avoid and where to stay.

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Coyote or Fox?

As we returned to our vehicle at the old stadium parking lot we saw a coyote walking down the sidewalk towards the lake. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wasnt sure if was a coyote or a fox. My husband said it was a coyote. I had seen a fox many times, even in my backyard, but this animal had a very bushy tail and a different gait.

I haven’t heard anyone else mention a coyote. Or a fox either. I just wonder if either can be dangerous if hungry or if cornered.

Oh, the mystery of my life! Can it get any richer? Anyone who saw a coyote or fox in St. John’s recenly feel free about leaving a comment. I welcome more information about the wildlife walking down our streets.

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Winter Has Set In

This week has been cold, close to 20 below, with two days of shovelling. It certainly has put my muscles to a hard test. The ice was the hardest to deal with and even my studded boots didnt make me feel confident. I did not want another broken arm.

I quite enjoy all the movement in the neighborhood. One fellow cant get his driveway cleaned fast enough. He now has a blade on his quad or else his brother has loaned his to him. Another younger neighbour uses his muscles and seems to enjoy the shovelling. He has an ergonomic shovel which I covet. And my neighbours on adjacent lots do a lot of shovelling, using a blower when the snow is high. The small children are outside more than usual, playing for hours, which warms my heart.

The noise pollution is brutal at times with snow plows and snow blowers wrecking my peaceful place. But c’est la vie! If I choose to live in Newfoundland I need to accept Winter.

The fluffy whiteness of the newfallen snow delights the soul. The trees laden with the flakes of snow and ice are beautifully inspiring. I love awakening to the clean covering of newly landed flakes. I loved this as a child and I still enjoy it.

Everything but the walking on ice and heavy shovelling are the only negatives. Anyone driving on surrounding roads would be wary of possible accidents. It all goes with Winter.

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This is a Winter photo from a visit to Carleton Place.

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Favorites At Christmas Time

First when I was married I made dozens of shortbread cookies topped with red and green candied cherries. I was queen of the easy fruit cake, too. I made the cakes months before Christmas and froze them in saved cookie tins. Turkey was and still is our favorite meat, with the traditional jiggs dinner of cabbage, turnip, carrot, potato and peas pudding. My mother always fixed raisin and molasses pudding in large juice cans. We found that our children preferred peas pudding.

Now many decades later I make snowballs and date squares. This year I made an apple pie for dessert on Christmas Day. My sister in law gave us a lemon pie, so we are eating it today, Christmas Eve.

Years ago we hung up stockings to be filled with small treats from Santa. Christmas songs played on the radio as they still do today. Lights are put on the front of the house to put everyone in a Christmas mood. Yesterday we took a drive around St. Shotts to admire all the beautiful lights. Mummers would be on the go during the 12 days of Christmas and on occasion I would join some friends and go to a few houses.

Going to mass on Christmas Eve is customary. It wouldn’t be Christmas without the full church and beautiful choir hymns. And the smiles on children’s faces.

Christmas Eve was always my time for watching Scrooge and eating Pot of Gold Chocolates. When our three sons were small I dressed them in the same color cozy sleepers and took photos. We read The Night Before Christmas and then the three went to their rooms to stare at their small Christmas trees until they fell asleep. A note and lunch was left for Santa earlier in the evening.

Now our sons live in other provinces with their own families. We send gifts to the children and phone on Christmas morning, except for the lucky Christmases when we travel to see them, or they get to come home.

One small tradition that I’ve started after the birth of our grandchildren still continues today. I buy a special ornament for each child during the after Christmas sales and give it to them the following Christmas. It brings a smile to their little faces. This year I went through all my ornaments and picked out 15 for each son, some were made by them when they were young, some bought and placed on their own small trees in their bedrooms.

Just another small write up to remind us of the Christ child, who lives among us in the faces and hearts of our children and grandchildren. May you all have a happy,healthy and peaceful holiday season. Pay it forward this year by helping a friend, or stranger who might like a kind smile or a meal.

Felix navidad! Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas!

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Special Deal for Christmas on my book Strong Camino Woman

As a gesture of thanks this Christmas I have lowered the price of my book to 99 cents. It is an easy read about my solo Camino Frances adventure. There are quotes, journal and blog entries, and prayers. Stories about people I met along the way are included.

I am very pleased with the number of downloads of the 15% free portion of my book. And I look forward to comments and reviews of the book. Please feel free to be honest in your appraisal.

You can get the free portion or all of it at http://www.smashwords.com by typing in Strong Camino Woman.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

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